Last Hope part 1
Posted By: SSJBRK<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 1 may 2002, 11:26 pm
It has been a month since the Pillar of Autumn disappeared. Reach is gone, and earth is all that is left. With only bits and pieces of data on the MJLONIR system, the UNSC has made a last ditch effort to even the war with the Covenant. The MJLONIR system has been applied to every marathon class ship from earth. Rather than shield individual troops, we can now shield entire ships.
With the next group of SPARTANs still in development, ONI has improvised armor for the UNSC forces. Rather than basic combat armor which melts too easily, the UNSC now issues us plates of super heat resistant material. A combination of re-entry shield plating and super heat resistant composite plastic is now standard issue.
I have seen my fair share of plasma burns, many of which were fatal. Hopefully this stuff that doesn't burn will keep me and my men alive long enough to kill as many Covenant as possible. I will not have to wait long before I get the chance to field test the new armor. Tomorrow my fire team and I will depart on the new marathon class cruiser "The Absolution".
We are headed towards Epsilon 5, the last human stronghold in deep space. Ten new shielded cruisers are coming with us, and me and my squad are part of the division of Marines being sent to aid in the fight. Perhaps it is time to introduce myself, Major Aleksandr Kolotov. Lietenant Jake Aldon, my demolitions expert, and my best friend, along with Sergeant Dave Erikson, my Recon specialist, have been with me since the beginning. Unfortunately the rest of my squad is straight out of basic. One of them, Lance corporal Megan Feldon, shows some promise of success, she is the best shot in the squad aside from myself.
As far as I was concerned, this new armor we were given would greatly help my team stay mobile, as well as alive, if it failed, we were all meat, dead meat. I had only a few hours to organize and acquaint myself with my squad before we left. I took the time to assemble my entire unit, and not being one for great speeches, made my points quickly and clearly.
"Listen up ! We are going to Epsilon 5 to help the forces there hold off the Covenant. As far as we can tell, nearly a fifth of the Covenant armada has been devoted to destroying her, and they are on their way now. If we dig in and open up shop before they get there, we will be able to engage them on our terms. The new combat armor you are getting is supposed to neutralize the heat of plasma fire. This does not mean you are invincible, it will hold for a while, but once it is gone, it is gone so do not be stupid. I do not want my squad dying because they were idiots. Double time it to your quarters and saddle up, we move out in 2 hours. "
This mission's importance could be measured by the equipment we were getting. Several warthogs and scorpion MBT's were being loaded onto "The Absolution" along with Pelicans and marines. This was going to be an all out war. As "The Absolution" headed away from Earth, my squad and I settled in. The ship was large and designed with boarding defenses in mind from the beginning. The number of ships lost to boarding parties was almost as high as the number of ships shot down. Hopefully we would arrive at Epsilon 5 before the Covenant, and not have to put the defenses to use.
"The Absolution" was fitted with the latest engines, so a trip under normal travel which would have taken us a month, should take us a week. My squad and I had the chance to get a little closer before the fighting would start. I couldn't say whether this was good or bad. While I wanted a tight, well cooperative group, sentiment clouds judgement, so I had to take what I could get. So far we hadn't had any problems, I figured if they could live together, they could fight together.
The shipboard AI, Loren, came over the ship's comm link. "Combat teams, report to your action stations, we will be entering Epsilon 5 space in one hour. Commanding Officers report to operations room for final mission brief." I left my quarters and headed to the op room for final briefing, maybe now I could know what the hell was going on. As I entered the room and took my seat, the ship's captain, Aaron Blazko entered the room. After the usual attention and at ease, we all sat down as Loren's holographic display came up in the center of the table, along with a projection of Epsilon 5 and surrounding space. Something told me this was not going to be a simple FYI session.