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Longsword: Desperation- Part Three
Posted By: Sterfrye36<Sterfrye36@yahoo.com>
Date: 9 June 2003, 5:09 PM

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      The Maverick, Liberator and Azelastine closed ranks with the approaching Covenant Fleet while Marcus and the rest of Hornet Squadron stayed nearer to Earth. After all, Two Cruisers Fifty-millimeter autocannons and a Covenant Cruisers Pulse Laser Turrets could handle any fighters or missiles that the other Covenant ships throw at them. If they went out there, they'd be dead meat.

      Captain Reeves was sweating hard, breathing heavily and shaking from head to foot.
      He was about to engage an entire armada with just one other Cruiser and a Carrier. The odds were slim, and yet, as the Covenant fleet grew closer...he felt strangely calm. This would either work or it wouldn't. The Human race was doomed, or it wasn't. In another sixty seconds, he either wouldn't be here, or he would.
      "Lieutenant Gloval, what's our ETA to the intercept point?" he asked his navigation officer.
      "Two minutes Captain," Lieutenant Gloval answered.
      "All right then, sound decompression alarms in all non-essential sections of the ship. Give them a minute thirty and then empty 'em. I don't want to go up like a bonfire if they land a lucky shot!"
      "Sangan," he ordered the ship's AI,"target those Cruisers. Let's see how many we can take down. We could also use a few decoys of those Archer missiles, just so they don't chew through our hull with those Pulse Lasers. Once you fire, boost our engines to max and fly us through there as fast as possible."
      "So, in short, you want me to Shotgun us past them?" Sangan asked, slightly bewildered.
      "If it's possible..."

      Motes of red light began to form along the Covenant ships' lateral lines...

      "Aye, Captain," Sangan answered as he brought the Jackhammer Rocket Launcher he hefted to his shoulders.
      Hundreds of Archer missiles flew from the Maverick, their white contrails streaming through space. Many were immediately turned into balls of small fire as the Covenant ships shot them out of the sky with their pulse laser turrets.
      "MACs are at eighty percent charge...ninety...they're hot sir, firing now!" Sangan burst.

      The motes of red light formed solid bands...

      Sangan fired the Jackhammer; twelve chords of thunder rumbled as the Maverick's four Triple MAC guns fired in tandem.
      There was another roar, and the Maverick leaped out ahead of the MAC rounds as the reactors pushed themselves to 310%!

The Covenant ships fired....clean misses!

      One of the MAC rounds hit a Cruiser just as the Maverick was passing it.
      From this range, everybody on the bridge could see Covenant of all shapes and sizes being thrown to the deck as a MAC round tore through the ship.
      Seconds later, three more of the Cruisers were out of the fight, having been gutted from ship to stern by the Maverick's Triple MACs.
      The Liberator fired its three Triple MAC guns as well, hammering the last Cruiser's prow and as it had begun to turn to port to try to avoid the onslaught, and sending spinning into a Destroyer. Their hulls fused together from the intense heat brought on by breaking through the Destroyer's shields and together they went tumbling through space.
      The other Triple MAC rounds hit another an enemy Destroyer and it simply blew, sending out tons of fragments into the nearby ships' shields, causing them to flicker a strange silver and some to even go down.
      "Sangan, redirect those Archers we fired to those ships with downed shields!' Captain Reeves yelled.
      "Retargeting; aye, aye, sir!" Sangan said as he gritted his teeth.
      The contrails changed direction and impacted; chain explosions fairly flew across their hulls, doing some damage, but not near enough.
      One Frigate was thrown out of the fight, atmosphere venting on all decks.

      Then the Azelastine[ fired a salvo of plasma and opened up with its Pulse Lasers.
      It hit another Destroyer, melting into its shields, turning them a hellish silver-orange. It was picked and chewed on by the Pulse Lasers, turning parts of it into slag, disabling it.
      "Target the Destroyers first with our lasers and then the Frigates," Gruth ordered his Elite ship officers." And deploy our fighters back towards Earth; have them on guard for any dropships."
      "Yes, my Brute-"one Elite began.
      "STOW IT!" Gruth barked, as surprised at his own usage of the Human phrase as anyone else on the bridge was; he eyed the unlucky Elite. "We agreed before, the Prophets started that religion just to make power grabs! We will no longer observe such foolishness!"
      The Elite stared at him and then said"Yes sir!" the Elite said as he opened his mandibles; he was smiling.
      He turned back to his station.
Gruth let out a low growl; he and his crew were becoming Humans!

      The Liberator followed suite and boosted through the Covenant formation, her engines flaring bright red.
      She made it through unscathed.
      The Azelastine had been picking up momentum as she flew through space. Every Plasma salvo fired at her missed to due the confusion of seeing a Covenant ship fighting with the Humans.
      Gruth knew he couldn't count on such luck for a second pass. He had to go in with everything the Azelastine had, otherwise, they would be toast.

      Captain Reeves knew they wouldn't survive a second pass. The first pass had taken the Covenant by surprise and that was the sole reason that it had worked.
      He had no choice.
      "Sangan, arm both of our SHIVA warheads. Set the proximity sensors for impact only. Land them right in the middle of the formation...
"Sir, might I add that we're so far inside blast raduis that we might not make it?" Sangan said; his voice carried an alarmed tone.
      "I'm well aware of that Sangan." Captain Reeves answered, his voice solemn.

      Marcus sat in his Longsword fighter, watching the three ships takes on the entire Covenant armada.
      His radar suddenly began screeching like two Cruisers trading paint; high pitched and painful.
      "Contact, Contact! Over five-hundred enemy dropships are inbound! They're heading towards the North Pole! Distance is three-hundred clicks!" he yelled over the com. "Get ready guys, it's gonna get nasty!"
      Indeed, there were so many dropships that they traveled in swarms rather than in formations.
      Marcus and Hornet Squadron gained relative altitude, trying to dive on the dropships.
      Plasma flashes erupted from the dropships tail guns.
      "Whoa, watch it guys, those things have teeth!" he yelled as he cork-screwed downward and dropped in behind the swarm of dropships.
      Marcus's HUD boxed a dropship in red; he smashed his thumb on the missile launch button. Twin contrails launched from his fighter and nailed the dropship on its right mandible. They exploded and broke it off, sending the dropship into a flat spin.
      He squeezed the trigger when he got another lock. The plasma bolts were cycling so fast that they looked like a solid stream rather than individual shots.
       The dropship he was targeting began to melt into slag while atmosphere venting from the holes in its sides turned into steam.

      The Destroyers and Frigates nearby threw some Archer missiles into the fray. Seconds later, there were only a few dropships left.

Another nuclear flash sent Marcus's Longsword tumbling...

Ah, yes, the power of cheese. Yeah. I know there were cheesy parts in this. I'd like to see you try to come up with dialogue between a Brute and an Elite on a ship that's defected! Longsword: Apocalypse. Coming soon(Like, tomorrow)