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Halo: 11th Strategic Interceptor Wing Part 6: Invasion
Posted By: LordofDestruction<Exwing4123@aol.com>
Date: 17 April 2003, 2:25 AM

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Halo: 11th Strategic Interceptor Wing Part 6: Invasion
Location: Combat bridge UNSC flagship Warhawk
Date: Military Calendar November 7th, 2571

      Fleet Admiral Ronald Pershing walked on the bridge. The night watch had just ended and the combat crew came on to the bridge to prepare for the upcoming battle. Five fleets, his 3rd Battle Fleet, Admiral Smith's 7th Battle Fleet, Vice Admiral Doohan's 1st Battle Fleet, Commodore Nelson's 8th Battle Fleet and Rear Admiral Norris's 1st Reserve Fleet all were formed up and ready for battle. In total, four hundred battleships, two hundred battlecruisers, two thousand cruisers and two and a half thousand destroyers escorting seventeen hundred planetary assault carriers-eighty percent of the UNSC and Covenant Liberation Command's fleet. It had cost a lot getting to this point-this fleet alone commanded more firepower than the entire pre-war fleet.
      The Admiral walked to the main view screen and saw the count down timer for coming out of slipspace-fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes and the future of the universe would start playing out. All of the fighter crews were ready and Marines were prepared to repel boarders. "Bring the fleet up to Combat Alert Alpha." He ordered. "Get ever man at his station. Ulysses?"
      "Yes Admiral?"
      "What are we up against?"
      "I can't tell you. What I do know is that we are in for one hell of a ride."

       Lieutenant Commander Nimitz grabbed his M-6F pistol, an upgraded form of the M-6D featuring 14.7mm APHE rounds as well as improved accuracy, and slipped on his flight helmet. He ran out into Launch Bay 9 and climbed up into the pilot's seat of his Katana and started preflight. His weapons officer was checking over ordnance that the plane was carrying. Nimitz then pulled out his Star of David necklace and prayed for the upcoming battle. As a follower of Judaism, he was one of the very few Jews left in the universe. All the more reason for him to not die today.

      Fifteen minutes later, the Warhawk lurched out of slipspace and powered up. The rest of the fleet followed her into the system. Admiral Pershing knew that with a one-hundred fifty terawatt shield and seven meters of ATLAS battle plate, (Ablative Titanium Laminate Armor Sandwich, an armor with cm thick layers of Titanium battle plate sandwiched around a powerful heat ablative) it would take a quite a bit of firepower to take his ship down. He then said, "Ulysses, get me a firing solution on the forward battleship, and fire two MAC rounds into it, then follow up with Longbow missile batteries A-I.
      "Yes sir. Firing solution locked. Firing in three seconds." Said the A.I. smugly. As he finished smiling, the two MAC rounds slid out of their launchers along with four hundred fifty Longbow missile pods. The UNSC Styx did a similar maneuver on another battleship.
      "Well done Ulysses, any suggestions for a battle plan?"
      "Yes. We could fire a salvo of SHIVA Nukes into their fleet's center, charge in and divide their force while the other fleets try to string a noose around them."
      "Good. Enact that strategy. Prepare SHIVA nukes for launch. As soon as they detonate, increase speed to flank. Lieutenant, get me max recharge on the MAC guns. I want to have as much power as possible when we attack."
      "Sir! Torpedoes locked on to us!" cried a crewman.
      "Right standard rudder, increase speed to Full and fire emergency thrusters. Launch countermeasures! All hands, brace for impact!"
      Just then, a salvo of SHIVA nukes flew from the other vessels as fifteen plasma torpedoes roared straight at the Warhawk. Pulse lasers destroyed three of the torpedoes and another four were shaken by the countermeasures, but the other eight struck the port side of the ship. The entire crew gasped in horror as torpedo after torpedo struck the port shield and then tore though, allowing the last two to strike the vessel amidships, tearing about one and a half meters from its combat armor in two eighty meter wide craters.
      "Damage report!"
      "Damage is minor. Didn't even get past the armor."
      "This new ATLAS battle plate is worth its weight in gold." Said the Admiral in a relieved tone.

      Nimitz had just cleared the launch bay when the torpedoes struck the Warhawk, shaking the vessel quite a bit. As soon as he cleared the ship, he formed up behind a fighter group and tagged a destroyer with his ships target designator. Weapons officer Lieutenant Thomas McKnight locked an ASPT-34 anti-ship torpedo on the vessels bridge. As he was about to launch his missile into the hole in the ships shields caused by a MAC round, a Phantom jumped in behind his interceptor and launched volleys of plasma fire at him. Nimitz banked left just ahead of the plasma shots and shouted into the radio, "All fighters, begin the Thatch weave!" The Thatch weave was invented during World War II by the US Navy, which involved slower craft fly parallel to each other until one is engaged. Then they swing in a figure eight pattern, bringing the offending vessel into the other fighter's guns. This tactic is still very effective when used by slower interceptors and bombers, making up for their lack of speed and maneuverability. Nimitz swung his ship into a near collision course with a squadron mate who caught the Phantom pilot off guard and sent him to an early grave. Once he was clear, McKnight launched the ASPT-34 and selected a space-to-space missile and locked onto a fleeing Phantom, and let lose a missile at it. The Phantom banked left as hard as he could, but was hit by the missile in the aft part of the wing. The explosion tore his ship apart. Nimitz dove down behind another Phantom, lined the crosshairs three meters in front of it and spat 40mm cannon fire at it. Half of the rounds hit the Phantom's cockpit, destroying the ship and its pilot. He then pulled up to avoid a Covenant corvette and almost hit a floating piece of debris. He reduced his engine power and prepared for a run on cruiser.

The UNSC Warhawk swung to port as to not expose its unshielded port side. The ship fired a salvo of one thousand Longbow missile pods at a Covenant heavy cruiser, setting the enemy ship alight with plasma fire and spewing debris all over the place. Eight hundred more Longbow missile pods tore into a light cruiser, gutting it. The ship paused to reload its missile pods as it fired two MAC rounds into a frigate in conjunction with an UNSC destroyer's missile pods, setting the ship aflame. Another salvo of plasma torpedoes launched at the Warhawk, but the ships fighter squadrons helped take most of them down. The remainder of the torpedoes took the ships starboard shields down to fifty percent, but the port shields were already back up to ten percent and recharging at a rate of fifteen percent a minute. The Styx fired three more MAC rounds into the melee, along with twelve plasma torpedoes and eighteen hundred Longbow missile pods, pushing three cruisers into destruction. The battleships Adamant, Archangel and Hercules charged around the Covenant fleet's forward mandible's flank as the rest of the fleet destroyed a dreadnought and two cruisers. A column of UNSC armored cruisers protected the three battleships flank and pushed back the Covenant charge, losing two ships, the Saratoga and Centauri. As the battle heated up, the UNSC had lost two battleships, ten cruisers and thirty destroyers, with slightly greater losses on the Covenant.

To be continued in: Halo: 11th Strategic Interceptor Wing Part Seven: Heating Up