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SCS Pillar of Autumn
Posted By: Mr Bill Jr V<mr_bill_jr_5@hotmail.com>
Date: 12 September 2001, 3:09 am

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Of all the evils in this world, there is none more powerful then that ofthe Covenant. They come to our planets, and destroy our people. Theyannihilate our fleets and wipe out our armies. They raze whole worlds,and burn millions to the ground. We fight back and die in even greaternumbers. No matter what attacks and weapons we send against them simplybrush aside and move onto the next planet.  Nothing can stop them. Whathumanity needed was a bargaining chip, something that the aliens couldnot defeat. When the few remaining planets of the once vast empire ofthe Sol Core learned of the destruction of the 6th fleet they fearedthat nothing could stop the aliens. The Sol Core Five had believed thatthe 6th fleet was in a position to finally strike a blow against thealiens. The Five believed that the Covenant was softening up from thelack of resistance that the human forces were applying. They believedthat the time to attack was at Reach. They made a mistake that cost usdearly. An entire fleet, 700 ships, died in vain. It lasted an hour orso I'm told, that's 105,000 dead in an hour. That's 30 dead a second,and that's not counting Reach. 700 million dead in 5 minutes. That'snothing compared to when they vapor bombed Orleans: 4 billion died inunder an hour. There power has since then increased, and that was only ayear ago. And we all knew that Earth's time was up. They were surely tofind us now, with our fleets gone and our armies massacred there was noone left to fight them. We had reached the limit of our existence, andthey were coming to make sure that we paid our dues for the mark we lefton this galaxy. But then word reached the high consulate of the Five onVenus., of the escape of one light corvette from the battle at Reach.The SCS Pillar of Autumn. And when the Five learned that the entirealien fleet was following this one ship, they were filled with hope. ThePillar disappeared off all long range scanners at 2400 hours, earthstandard time, and sent a message to all nearby ships. That messageinformed us of the destruction of the 6th and of the location of the FTLjump. The jump was set for 400 light years. Over 50,000 Covenant shipsfollowed. That was there entire fleet as we had counted it, and theywere all chasing one ship. Where the Pillar arrived and what it found mynever be known, as any message they send wont arrive for another year.For one year they are alone, and for one year we are safe. What everhappens to the SCS Pillar of Autumn and her crew is beyond our control.May the divine light guide them to safety.Chief commander Zelsasar. Mars Long Range Scan Group,3rd division.

"Sir all FLT drives are online running at 120% capacity!"The steel deck rocked as we were hit by another round of laser fire.Chief weapons commander Fredrick had his head dashed apart against abulk head."How long do we have lieutenant?"Sparks flew out from a piping system as the front of the ship was hit bya pulsar battery."At this rate we'll be dead in 2 minutes.""What are the fleet's orders?"The com crackled as a message was played over all frequencies."THIS IS THE CAPTAIN OF THE HELL OF ALL SEASONS. EMERGENCY MESSAGE TOALL...."The message broke up, and it looked as if it would be lost.".... ALL SHIPS TARGET POINT 6,5,Q,9,Y,7. ENGAGE FLT DRIVE AS SOON ASYOU CAN. THE FLEET WILL SURELY BE LOST UNLESS WE FLEE. DO IT NOW OR...."And the message was gone.The captain had heard all that he needed too. A lance shot sheared ofthe left weapons bank, and tore open a breach in decks 12, 17, and 24,"What do we do sir?""You heard the message. We run. All ahead full, activate the FLT driveand plot a course to 6,5,Q,9,Y,7.""It is done commander," squeaked the rusted voice of the steer master.The corvette moved into position, all the while lasers striking it formall angles. But by some miracle they failed to hit the FLT engines, andleft the Pillar with the ability to escape the wrath of the aliens.With a massive strain of power, the last that was left in the ship, theFTL drive came on line and pulled the Pillar of Autumn into the void ofnull space.

The Sun lit the planets with a beautiful glow. The gas giant and its moon shone in the icy darkness of space. Silently rotating as if hung by gods in that darkness. If the planets could speak they would tell a thousand tales, each one describing the Ring. The Halo. It hung its self in between the moon and the planet. It contained the most power that this galaxy had ever witnessed, and it was what humanity needed. A torch of light in the darkness, a light against the evil. Against the Covenant. Then a small blue shockwave shot out from the void, and the Pillar of Autumn stabbed into this new space. She was battered and burning, but stable. "Sir close scan (200 macrobes) indicates two planets. One gas giant, and one moon. One abnormal construct."Abnormal construct?""I'm working on it sir, but the scanners are damaged.""Make for this construct full speed ahead.""Rescan confirms. One 10,000 mile in diameter ring.""On screen"And there it was. The future of the human race, with its secrets hidden.It was larger then earth its self. We scanned it again, and confirmedthat it had an atmosphere, and oceans. Were those clouds? It was...lovely, for lack of a better word. The Pillar had a new mission, andthat mission was on of the utmost importance. The Ring, the Halo, mustbe in human hands, and for a second it seemed as though the evil wasturned away by this torch. There ships were no where to be seen, and itwas clear sailing all the way to the light. But then again, like thegrim reaper, the Covenant came."Launch all drop ships! Weapons ready! Man all stations!"The great steal doors of the Pillar opened into the void. Gusts of airhissed out into space. Massive lights came on, and with the blast ofengine flares, the drop ships were clear. They fired there engines andmade for the Halo at full speed, leaving shinning trails of fire inthere wake. The Lift hit the Pillar. She was torn open by the blast, andburned from end to end, but fought on."Orders sir?""Face the alien fleet and engage them at point blank range!""Yes sir."Gun rounds clicked into place on the lower decks. Chain belts feed ammoto the macro caliber guns. Burning but alive, the Pillar stared down theCovenant. The first shot was fired by a Covenant heavy cruiser. A brightlance of energy stabbed out at the Pillar, and torn her engines off.She fired back with all functioning weapons, pounding the alien ship'sfront side, tearing it open. She burned and slowly drifted off; uselesswith her command deck gone. The next shot came from a light strike shipabout the size of the Pillar it's self. It's blue laser trail sheared ofthe top three decks of the Pillar, but was then ripped open in turn byredemption fire.A second latter the Pillar was raked end to end by lance fire. She splitinto two segments, as the pressure was sucked out of her. Then sheexploded like a glass bottle being smashed, killing everyone on board.The drop ships began to penetrate the Halo's atmosphere, and as themarines on board watched the Pillar dieing, they new that it had beenworth it. The giant ring was the objective now, and the Pillar of Autumnhad helped them get to it." Well lads, this is it. Were going against the Covenant and theregoanna go nuts when we land on this planet, so keep your eyes sharp.""What about them new alien troops? The ones with the shields? And theinvisible guys? Don't they out number us, like, one million to one?""Don't you worry about that stuff son. All you need to know is that thePillar got us here, and now its our job to make it worth while."The drop ship came to a slow as it's landing gear touched the virginsoul of this planet. It was snowing peacefully outside, and it remindedthe marines of earth. A battle would be fought here and men would die,but the Covenant would not take this planet, of that one can be sure.