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Halo: The Scythe of Death Part Two
Posted By: LordofDestruction<Exwing4123@aol.com>
Date: 11 June 2003, 8:50 PM

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Halo: The Scythe of Death Part Two
Location: United Nations/Covenant Empire disputed territory
Date: April 4th 2578 Military Calendar

      Commander Nimitz sat down at his command chair, and paused to think about tactics he would use to finish this engagement. He considered another flanking attack, but the enemy would expect that. He also considered to mix things up by sending his fighters to attack one cruiser while he attacked another, but decided against it. He finally settled on an attritional cycle, slowly whittling away at their strength and once they were weakened enough, crush them with a decisive blow. He gazed at the weapons con, and saw that the MAC guns were reloaded and recharged, along with the Longbows. 36,000 missiles could do quite a bit of damage. He finally said, "Position us at maximum firing range from the lead cruiser. Lock in firing solutions for eight hundred Longbow missile pods and four MAC rounds. Set safeties on the Longbows at full, no need for punching ourselves."
      The bridge crew said in unison, "Yes sir!" and immediately went to work. The ships maximum firing range was ten thousand km, requiring the MAC rounds just under thirty seconds to reach the target, and forty-five seconds for the missiles to hit. The ship's AI prepared the launch and timing sequence, and then said gleefully to Nimitz, "You like making them fight for every centimeter of ground, don't you?"
      His reply was, "Just returning the favor." He had seen things that would make most people sick of war in any form. He lost his parents and siblings when a group of black ops elites stormed the synagogue his family took shelter in, in order to kill one of the main Generals at the time in the UNSC. He could never forgive the Prophets for so callously ordering the destruction of the human race, but being a soldier, could forgive the ones following orders. The ship neared its firing position just as he was finished reflecting. He stood up and said, "Let's pay them back for all they've done!"
      The crew agreed and silently agreed. The ship was primed for combat, and the non-guided MAC rounds didn't show up on the radars except at point blank range, making them unavoidable. The ship fired the missiles, then fifteen seconds later the MAC rounds. The cruiser noted the missiles, and counted on its shields to stop them. What they'd didn't see was one hundred thousand tons of metal moving at them at nearly four hundred km/sec. The Covenant Ship Master chuckled at the thought, then gasped in horror as the four MAC rounds tore straight through his ship, allowing easy access to the ships vulnerable interior. The Longbows didn't even need to hit, as one of the MAC rounds tore the reactor apart, detonating it and cutting the ship in half, then annihilating what was left. The other two cruisers began frantically firing at the area where the missiles came from, but to no avail, as the Angel of Death had already moved from that position, causing the torpedoes to explode into blue orbs of flame as they passed their maximum range. Just then, the derelict stealth ship took its last breath of existence as it was sheared in half by the immense gravity, killing anyone still trapped onboard. The two halves bent and buckled, then burnt upon re-entry. The crews of the four surviving Covenant vessels bowed their heads in sorrow at their fallen comrades. The Prophets had pushed the humans to far, and as so many humans had learned, when you push a human, they push back even harder. A wise old Elite had said as they his ship began glassing the Harvest colony, "I hope we have done what is right is right, for I fear we only awakened a sleeping dragon, and filled it with a terrible resolve, echoing the famous words spoken by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after he bombed the USN Naval base at Pearl Harbor.
      Nimitz's ship looped around and away from the Covenant battle group, now only consisting of a crippled battlecarrier, a crippled cruiser and two functional cruisers. Whatever hopes the Covenant commander had died with the vaporized cruiser. Several plasma torpedoes neared the Angel of Death, but none locked on to her. She returned to her casual orbit around the Covenant battle group, while the crew prepared her for another assault.


      Covenant Ship Master Selphar stood defiantly on his bridge, hoping for some miracle to save him. He knew the Prophets would have his head for this disgraceful defeat and knew his only option was surrender. His crew backed him, but not the crew of the two surviving cruisers, they still arrogantly thought that they could win this vain fight with the humans. He had decided that they were a threat to his ship, so he would allowed the human cruiser to pick them off one by one, and then surrender to the humans. A Hades-class battlecarrier could be quite a bargaining tool. His engineers had gotten back one of the main reactors back, which gave him engine and shield power, though no weapons. His engineers had performed a miracle indeed. He could launch his fighters, but decided against it, for it would ruin his defection plans. He instead ordered his fighter wings on full alert status, allowing him to launch them on a moments notice. His ship had enough firepower to gut a Warhawk-class battleship if his fighter crews did their job. He ordered to his helmsman, "Increase speed to one half, come left seventy degrees."
      "Yes sir!" he replied. He knew his Ship Master's plans, and whole-heartedly agreed with him. The humans had inflicted far too much damage to the Covenant Empire, and the Prophets had not cared. They hadn't felt any of the damage, where as the underling races had. Their arrogance had killed billions of Covenant soldiers and civilians, taxing their economy and causing great resentment, especially when the people started to learn of the Prophets' deception.
      The carrier moved back on its course, and continued its repairs to try to get back weapons power to backstab the two cruisers, then defect. The engineers estimated three hours to that time, down from its original twelve.


      The Angel of Death's fighter wings began harassing the two cruisers, but didn't lay a finger on the carrier, as their orders said. Nimitz had suspected the head Ship Master was going to defect, and its power readings, along with the inactive status of its fighter compliment fueled that. If he wasn't, he would have launched all of his fighters and hunted down his ship. It was simply to idiotic not to do that. His MAC guns were back up to eighty-five percent, and the Longbows were completely reloaded. In five minutes, he decided, he would attack both cruisers simultaneously, then hail the carrier and see what its plans were. A simple plan really, the two cruisers were two thousand km apart, allowing him to slip in between them and hammer them both at once. If they fired and the torpedoes didn't hit, there was a good chance that they would home on to the other ship and wreak havoc upon it. The rest of his fighters launched as his MAC guns finished charging, and he said to his helmsman, "Position us behind the two cruisers, and then move up in-between them for our attack. Full ahead two-thirds." He then said to the weapons officer and Zeus, "Lock in firing solutions for four MAC rounds and six hundred Longbows pods apiece, set five-hundred km safety on the Longbows."
      They all said, "Aye-aye, sir," and continued with their business. The Angel of Death moved swiftly and silently through the enemy battle groups wreckage, careful not to hit any large pieces of debris that might give away their position. It took five minutes for the ship to maneuver in-between the two ships, moving parallel with them in the same direction. The weapons officer sat nervously at the weapons con, waiting with for the fire order. He had everything ready, all of the firing solutions, ranges etc.
      Nimitz stood up, took a fleeting glance at the two cruisers as he turned to the weapons con and helm and said coldly, "Fire."
      The four MAC rounds strobed out of each of their launchers, and hurtled towards the two cruisers, Zohak and Krell, named after mythological heroes of a forgotten Elite religion. The rounds tore straight through the shields without losing much velocity, then bored completely through the two vessels, destroying their engines and fire control. The six hundred Longbows that hit each ship flew through the MAC round wounds and gutted the interior of the ship, setting fuel cells and electrical lines ablaze. The Zohak, the port side cruiser, was ripped in half from its plasma torpedo magazine going up, and the Krell began venting engine plasma to prevent having a thermonuclear meltdown of its reactors. The Angel of Death accelerated to flank speed to avoid any debris or return fire. As she moved away, the battlecarrier CCS Zealot launch its fighters upon the two crippled cruisers, and allowed the thousands of Seraphs and Phantoms to annihilate the wounded vessels. Commander Nimitz was first shocked at this fratricide, but then saw it was a means of defecting. The two cruisers lived long enough to tell the rest of the Empire of the Zealot's wanton betrayal.
      Nimitz said out of the blue, "Open a comm channel to the battlecarrier."
      The comms officer, puzzled, said, "Yes sir," and opened the comm channel.
      Nimitz spoke to the battlecarrier, "Covenant battlecarrier, this is commander James Nimitz of the UNSC, please explain your previous actions."
      "I am Covenant Ship Master Selphar, and this is my wounded ship, the Zealot. I request that I may be immediately allowed to surrender my vessel and its crew to you." Said a voice.
      "Request granted." Nimitz replied. He heard a clicking noise come over the channel, most likely that Selphar character clicking his mandibles in agreement. "I must send over a boarding party to secure you vessel."
      "As you wish." The voice replied.
      "Close channel." Said Nimitz. "Sending three battalions of Marines over to secure the vessel, and tell them the 'don't fire unless fired upon' mantra."
      "Yes sir!" Said the comm officer.


      Selphar was rather pleased, despite that he had lost the battle. He had found a way to defect to the humans, and insured the well being of his crew. He, unlike other Ship Masters, was caring of his crew, and they looked at him as a father. This made him unpopular with the Military High Command's policy. The Military High Command was the body of Prophets and high-ranking Elites that controlled all military actions, though could be over ruled by the Prophets' High Council. However, they nearly always agreed about war actions against the humans. Now he had found away around that. He would help make them pay for their arrogance. He was near seven hundred years old and knew all of the Covenant Empire's logistics, tactics, research etc. He would help the humans finish what they had started.

To be continued in: Halo: The Scythe of Death Part Three