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Halo: Standing Firm Part I
Posted By: Xzilen<superman_adam@hotmail.com>
Date: 24 November 2002, 3:46 pm

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[Authors Note: This is my first attempt at submitting any fan fiction. There may be a few discrepancies in this story, but I attempted to keep that at a minimum, checking over the story quite a few times. I have part two on its way (its already started) and will post it if part one gets any readers interested at all. I would appreciate any feedback or comments. Thanks!]
Oh, and one other note. Halo belongs to Bungie... Not I... Just a small disclaimer...

1130 Hours, November 16th 2552 Military Calendar.
In Orbit around Ralon III

The Covenant have won. Captain Carl Lipton, commander of the UNSC Frigate Lazarus recalled being told by a junior grade officer whom had informed him of Reach's fall.
How Lipton wished he could forget about it.
      More than one hundred and forty UNSC ships destroyed. Three repair stations to waste. Hundreds of Longswords lost. The shipyards! The Spartan II's. And worst of all... Millions upon millions of lives gone as the Covenant ruthlessly glassed the planet.
      They had suspected a traitor after the Circumference incident, only tightening their growing fear.
      He had heard stories passed on by the few survivors of the battle that a lone Halcyon class cruiser had made an impressive attack on many of the Covenant ships, even taking out what seemed to be their flagship. How a Halcyon managed to do that was beside him, for last he knew, they were being lined up be scraped by the UNSC. But whatever it was, the survivors also told of how the cruiser had gone into Slipspace, drawing away almost the entire remaining Covenant ships with it (which from Reach was not a tremendous amount after the fight that the Human race had put up).
      Lipton paced across the deck with his hands clamped behind his back. The only positive things that had come out of the whole experience in his eyes were that after the battle, UNSC forces managed to recover some Covenant wreckage after regrouping with the main forces of the UNSC and finishing off the few remaining covie ships that remained at Reach to clean up. ONI had then been able to study those and upgrades were supposedly on the way.
      Oddly enough, no Covenant attacks on human held colonies had been reported since the Halcyon made the jump away from Reach, it was almost as if the covies were sidetracked with other matters.
      Lord knew that Lipton had seen his share of war. Thirty six years of age, seventeen of them wasn't even close to enough experience to know just how the human race was going to survive against the seemingly unstoppable might of the Covenant army. War against other humans always brought death and horror, but all the past wars among humans, even the uprising in the outer colonies seventy years ago that cost millions of lives, was nothing compared to the war against the Covenant. Lipton himself had survived four engagements with the Covenant, an impressive mark for any human.
      Still I have to remain vigilant Lipton thought. We aren't going to beat this enemy unless we try our best. We must stand fast.
      Looking through the view port, Lipton watched as his ship floated by the two orbital MAC guns in position around Ralon III. The planet that twenty two million people, six million of which now consisted of military after masses flocked to dedicate their lives to try to save their race.
      Unfortunately, massed against the Covenant, many did not have that long of a life to dedicate to fighting. Lipton had heard stories of whole regiments just being slaughtered, and one could not forget about the glassing that the Covenant did to planets, even with their own troops downside.
      To try to protect from just such a disaster, the Lazarus had around six hundred marines aboard, alongside three scorpion tanks, four pelican dropships, three Longswords, and eight LRV's, all ready to deploy for ground operations in a hair's notice. Of note were the twenty-four Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST) that were stationed aboard. The ships space power was impressive as well. Being a rather newly commissioned Frigate, the UNSC had pulled no short stops on the Lazarus. Three and two thirds meters of Titanium A Battle Armor protected the ship, two feet more than the standard issue of six months ago. The armament consisted of two MAC guns that could each fire two rounds in succession, three nuclear missiles, 1 Shiva remote Longsword nuclear fighter, 25 triple auto cannon emplacements, and 38 Archer missile pods, with plenty of spare missiles onboard.
      Still, Lipton knew that the Covenant had the better ships. His wouldn't stand a chance against the Covenant unless his ships and crew, and most importantly, himself could outthink the enemy.
      Taking a few steps around with his hands still cupped behind his back, Lipton took pride in the diligent working of his crew. He knew the times could not be easy on any sane member of the human race, and the way that the people aboard his ship held themselves together was truly a site to marvel on.
      At the very moment that the thought finished passing through his mind, a deck officer approached him hastily. Lipton knew merely by looking at the shuffling of the young Flight Officers' feet that he wasn't going to like the news.
      "What is it Ottoman?" Lipton inquired before the fresh-faced Flight Officer had time to say anything.
      Flight Officer Geneva Ottoman ran a hand nervously through her short-cropped raven colored hair before speaking. "Sir! Fleetcom has sent forth a warning. A survey station has detected the so called slipspace anomaly again" Ottoman paused and bit her lip for a second before finishing "It looks as though five Covenant ships are en route"
      Years of commanding kicked into play and Lipton immediately stiffened up, sending orders in all directions. Sending Ottoman back to her post, he took the slip she had in her hand and read the coordinates on it that the Covenant were believed to be entering the system at.
      Though only a Frigate Captain, Lipton ranked higher than the Destroyer Lancer's Captained and higher than the Frigates Reagan and Whisperwind's Captains, all ships of which were stationed with in the system.
      "Inform the Reagan, Whisperwind and Lancer that we need them to rendezvous at our position ASAP." Lipton ordered his comm. officer.
      "On it now Sir" Corporal Dan Nillenway, the comm. officer replied, all the while betraying no emotion in his facial expressions.
      Spinning on heel, Lipton turned to face his XO, 1st Lieutenant Angelo Marquez. "Get me the military headquarters on Ralon III, I need to speak immediately with the General."
      "As ordered sir" Marquez answered as he tried to raise HQ on the Radio.
      The few seconds that it took to raise Ft Hillenbrand might as well have been an hour to Lipton with the situation at hand.
      "Captain Lipton, your XO didn't sound too happy when he reached us a moment ago. What's the matter?" A voice that Lipton recognized as Brigadier General Jeffery Hollis asked with a bit of concern in his voice.
      Hollis had long been aquatinted with Lipton. Since the Battleship Sting Hive and the Cruiser Sentiment of Jericho had been recalled to defend the Sol system, Lipton was placed in command of the Naval forces around Ralon III. Hollis remained in control of ground operations appropriately, but it was in space where most battles were fought.
      On a daily basis Lipton and Hollis had been discussing what to do if a Covenant attack did take place on Ralon III. They had implemented weekly drills for the planet side people and had even managed to build a second orbital MAC Gun with the limited building supplies they had, for most of their mined resources were immediately shipped off for use at the UNSC's Central command's discretion.
      "General Hollis, excuse me for skipping our usual greetings my friend, but we have five Covenant ships inbound, ETA is in less than a half hour. The Reagan, Lancer, and Whisperwind are all inbound and should arrive in about eighteen minutes." Lipton took a breath before continuing "I must ask that you launch ground side Longswords, mixing up the greens with the experiences, and get the ground forces ready."
      "Acknowledged, I'm going to devote a third of the troops to getting the civilians ready to evacuate, the others I'll have get ready for any possible ground attack, especially at the fusion reactors" Hollis answered.
      An awkward moment of silence passed before Lipton broke it.
"Good luck" Lipton said having to muster up everything he had to say it steadily.
      Hollis paused for a briefly before responding "You to."
      With that, Hollis cut the transmission.
Hollis took a deep breath, exhaling it slowly before standing up and preparing to issue orders.
      If the man upstairs granted a miracle, the Covenant would be defeated in space without a problem. But the way things were going for the UNSC in space; it would probably take more than a miracle for that to happen.
      "Johnson" Hollis barked.
      "Y-yes sir?" Johnson asked, taken back by the sharpness in Hollis' voice.
      "Call up all available troops, we're to prepare for Covenant attack... This is not a practice run"

1214 Nov 16th 2552.
In space around Ralon III.

      The Reagan, Whisperwind, Lancer, and Lazarus stayed a bit out of the gravitational pull of Ralon III as to allow themselves the best maneuvering possibilities that they could get while still being able to protect the planet.
      Behind the four capital ships swarmed about one hundred and fifty Longsword fighters, and one remote controlled half-kilometer metal plate that was built as a "shield" craft.
      The greener Longsword pilots were kept back, ordered to prevent as many Covenant landing craft from touching down as possible if the Covenant tried to invade.
      Hopefully, they wouldn't have the chance.
      The two orbital MAC guns loomed over the planet, charged up to face the incoming threat of the Covenant. Just one round from these guns could destroy a Covenant ship. The orbital MAC guns at Reach had supposedly been responsible for the destruction of at least half of the Covenant fleet that had been there. They would do their job. The problem was making sure they were able to stay that way.

      "Lieutenant Mallen, are the MAC capacitors at 100%" Lipton asked as he ran a final shakedown of his ships operational capability at the time.
      "Yes sir, and our thirty five Archer missile pods are armed and ready with the safeties on, nuclear missile is in tube, Shiva remote Longsword is prepped and auto cannons are loaded and ready." Mallen responded while keeping his eyes on his screen.
      "Good, contact the other ships and have them on full standby, our unwelcome guests should be arriving shortly." Lipton answered while staring out the main view port, a look of grim determination on his face.

End Part I