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Halo: The Scythe of Death Part Six
Posted By: LordofDestruction<Exwing4123@aol.com>
Date: 8 November 2003, 8:15 PM

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Halo: The Scythe of Death Part Six
Location: Vega Prime Local Space
Date: April 14th, 2578 Military Calendar, 19:01 Zulu Time

"No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it, by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his" General George S. Patton

      Covenant Ship Master Elko 'Impkata wiped the sweat from his eyes. His dreadnought, the Flame of Wrath, sat virtually helpless in the cold vastness of space. He could see the fleet engagement still raged ahead of his ship, and he could not help his comrades! He felt so ashamed, his ship disabled and motionless, at the mercy of any stray human destroyer or cruiser. He said over the intercom "Engineering, how long before we can restore main power?"
      The reply came in the form of the bridge lights flickering to life. He uttered, "Excellent. Do we have weapons online?"
      The engineer replied, "Main power system has been jury rigged up as if a Hunter had worked on it, so I was only able restore power to engines."
      'Impkata's spirits immediately fell. His comrades were dying, and he couldn't help at all to save them. He took a short look at the screen in front of him, and saw to his dismay, that eighty percent of his crew was incapacitated. He pressed a button, which opened a comm signal to every compartment in the ship, and said, "It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve with you all." He immediately turned to his helm officer, and said "Plot a collision course for the nearest human battleship, set speed for full ahead flank."
      "Yes sir," Was his only reply.
      The ship immediately lurched forward at maximum speed, ready to avenge her fallen brethren. She darted through a group of derelict cruisers, and charged straight for the UNSC fleet.


      Patton saw the quickly advancing Covenant ground force said to his gunner, "Traverse right ten degrees."
       The gunner locked onto the Spectre, said, "On the way," and pressed the trigger. The turret shuddered as the round left the tank, and the round struck the Spectre at a range of eight hundred meters, ripping the top of the tank off.
      Then Patton heard Major General O'Hara give the order he never wanted to hear. "Fall back, all brigades fall back!"
      Patton checked the 1756th Armored's inventory, and found that nearly everyone was out of ammo. His Dragon had a mere three rounds left. He then saw the Pelicans lift off to the right, taking their 280mm Magnetic Accelerator Rifles with them. He directed his company, (B company, 4th Battalion of the 809th Armored Brigade, 1756th Armored Division) to turn around and head southeast. He said to his gunner, "Keep the turret pointed behind, if we have three rounds left, then we'll use them keeping them off of our tail." He felt great remorse, not only for the inhabitants of Nova Roma, but for all of his brothers-in-arms who would never leave the Tiberian Plateau, as it was called. Of the Forty thousand men in his Division, only eighteen thousand would make it off the field. The Division moved off at close to one hundred km/hour, all of the men eager to leave that sickening place.
      He was called over the radio by Major General O'Hara, who said, "Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Ibn Ali is dead, and I'm promoting you to Acting Lieutenant Colonel, and giving you command of the 4th Battalion."
      "Yes sir." Was his only answer. He didn't want to be promoted under such circumstances, he would have rather not have been promoted then have his commanding officer die. But this was war, and that was to be expected. Besides, it made him the highest-ranking Spartan in the entire military, which would shock many normal officers. He looked behind, and saw that the Covenant 36th Field Shock Army was not giving chase. Good, he thought, we'll be able to escape, and form up with some National Guard Divisions, and press a counterstroke. He called the Air National Guard, and said, "We need you to put some napalm on their LZ, to further discourage any attacks."
      An ANG Brigadier General answered, "With pleasure. You put up a good fight. Thank you."
      "Your welcome." He replied. He then started to compile the kills from all of the different units and found that the 1756th Armored and the 771st Mechanized Infantry had inflicted nearly six hundred thousand casualties (note: a casualty is a soldier killed, wounded or missing) Covenant soldiers, including a staggering eighty-five thousand tanks. Which was quite good for eighty thousand ODSTs. He looked up to the battle that raged in the heavens above…


      Nimitz heard his radar man say, "Twelve plasma torpedoes inbound, range three-thousand kilometers."
      "Commander Perry, the Angel of Death's XO, said, "Time to torpedo impact twenty seconds."
      Nimitz said, "turn 195 by 006, increase to full."
      "Come right 195, twelve degrees down angle, right standard rudder, full-ahead full." Perry said to the helmsman.
      "Lock firing solution and approach vector on the vessel that launched the torpedoes for four MAC rounds and ten Lancer torpedoes." The blue combat lights shone on his face, making him seem all more determined to win.
      "Aye-aye sir. Lock solutions on target CCS-1710A for four slugs and ten Lancers." He then said to the weapons officer, who, assisted by the shipboard AI, did his dirty work. The Lancers launched first, followed ten seconds later by four glowing white orbs of death. The MAC rounds hit first, tearing large holes in the ships superstructure, while the Lancer torpedoes detonated in the open wounds, tearing the forward superstructure of the unlucky, unshielded cruiser to ribbons. She listed quickly to port, venting her atmosphere and then quickly powered down, as a heavily damaged cruiser stormed past her, ready to strike the battleship UNSC Sparrow Hawk.
       Nimitz saw the ship, and knew it was to late to stop it. However, other ships tried. A total of twelve MAC rounds and nine hundred Longbow missile pods struck the ship, not abating its forward energy. The Sparrow Hawk tried to evade, but she had taken engine damage earlier, and was struck directly amidships by the charging dreadnought. The UNSC Sparrow Hawk was torn in half by the ship, and instantly burned up into a red-orange orb of plasma, overcastting even the white orb of the star Vega. The rest of the Covenant fleet retreated far out of the range of the Super MAC guns, beginning a long stalemate over the stricken colony. Vega Prime was a huge colony, captured seven years earlier from the Covenant. In all, it had some eighteen billion colonists living on it, and had more than twice the surface area of Earth. Covenant, once learning of the Prophets deception to all of the other races, became loyal citizens to the UN government.
      Just then, three UNSC carrier battle groups arrived, carrying three million ground troops, which would be very helpful in driving the Covenant off of the planet.


      Patton looked at his watch, being that he had taken his helmet off. It read 20:15 Zulu, or about 23:15 Local time. They were about fifteen minutes away from Fort Abrams, were six more divisions were waiting. There, they could get replacement equipment and personnel, as well as the much-needed ammunition. His Dragon had killed a total thirty Covenant tanks, as well as two dropships. Throughout the night, he and his men had depended on FLIR to see the enemy, and now, with GPS, were helping them navigate across fertile Cattalunnian plains, named after the field in southern France were the largest single day of carnage happened on Earth, The Battle of Chalons in 454 AD, where over three-hundred thousand men died in a single day. Fifteen minutes later, he directed his tank to a parking spot where some Marine technician came with a truck full of ammunition. He popped out of his hatch and jumped down off of the deck of the tank. His gunner supervised loading the fresh ammunition, mainly the new M250A2 long-rod penetrator, a round which was 76.2mm in diameter, but was 2286mm long and weighed a staggering 132.6 kg, which, with the software upgrade, could be shot up to 2500 m/sec, fast enough to push the front of a Spectre tank out the back side. This was rushed into service because the newest Spectre tanks had shields, which could stop the older M250A1 long-rod penetrator at ranges as close as eight hundred meters.
      He walked to his CO tank, and saw the grief-stricken look on Major General O'Hara's face. He said, "How soon until we can counterstrike the Covenant?"
      "We're indoctrinating twenty-two thousand Marine ODST reservists into our division, plus some Spartans to bring your old Company back up to full strength. We and our sister division, the 771st Mech. Infantry, are going to be joining the LXII Corps, comprising of us, three Armored Divisions (the 450th, the 1071st and the 43rd), two Armored Cavalry Divisions, (The ancient 1st Armored Cavalry Division, dating back to the late 20th century, and the newer, Russian themed 11th Armor Rifle Division) three Mechanized Infantry Divisions, (the 121st, the 187th, and the 1834th), and two Air Cavalry Brigades. Briefing is at 06:00 Zulu, so get your officers rested, and make sure that they get enough coffee, because it is going to be a major operation.
      "Yes Sir." Lieutenant Colonel (acting) Patton replied, and snapped a crisp salute.
      He started off for the Chief Quartermaster, and found the showers from him, and went and showered. It took him only ten minutes finish up, and went to the mess hall, and picked up an MRE, and wolfed it down. After such a long time not eating, even it tasted great, though he had had the same flavor hundreds of times before. He thought of how he would indoctrinate the new recruits into his battalion. Not that it mattered that much. He pulled out his PDA, and started studying the map of the area, thinking of where the Covenant would strike next. Then something caught his eye. Nova Roma was isolated from the rest of the continent by a large river, which had been recently named the Isen river, and that there were only three bridges within two-thousand kilometers of the Covenant army's last position. He knew that they would eventually have to cross those bridges, and he planned on beating them there. He zoomed in on the bridge areas, and using the 3d map, identified and memorized the best tank killing areas. His mouth fell into a thin smile. He had just saved maybe this entire section of the Colony, unless someone else beat him to it. He finished his beef stew MRE, and disposed of it, and then checked his watch, which read 22:05 Zulu, which gave him a good six hours of sleep. He walked to the makeshift bunk that was assigned to him, and laid down, and then was out cold before he could count to three.


      1st Lieutenant Sarah Nakiyama, commander of the 2nd Tank platoon, B Company, 4th Battalion of the 809th Armored Brigade, 1756th Armored Division, saw the grief on her CO's face. She was a Spartan also, and had been selected from the Spartan III program for officer training. Most of the few Spartan officers had taken a lot of criticism from the normal ROTC candidates, who thought of most Spartans as mindless automatons, which nothing could be further from the truth. The Spartan Threes, unlike their predecessors, had had much more contact with the real world, and were much more normal members of society, but just as deadly in the arts of combat.
      She sat down with her MRE, and started thinking about what the next day would bring. She had heard about the briefing, and her mind was alive with thoughts of it. The more she tried to not think about it, the more she thought about it, which was when she realized she liked being a soldier. It had just occurred naturally until now. She didn't like killing, but she liked being a part of something, and making a difference.

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