Colony Gamma 12
Posted By: zomby<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 8 January 2005, 8:12 PM
As the heavy cruiser "Unrequited Fury" dropped out of slip space followed by its compliment of 5 frigates and 3 destroyers, Captain Duffy eyed the situation around planet Gamma 12. After a few tense seconds Con reported no hostile contacts and the Captian ordered the crews of the 9 ships to stand down from red alert stations and begin retrieval procedures.
This skeleton fleet and several others like it, mostly comprised of a few aging cruisers and frigates along with any destroyers UNSC command had to spare, had been sent to retrieve soldiers and civilians from various outlying colonies after ONI had overheard chatter on the Covenant Battlenet concerning an assault on the planet Reach. UNSC command had sent these rag tag teams in order to bring back these personnel so that all forces could be consolidated around Reach and Earth.
Lt. Major Ramius stepped onto the bridge of the Fury and notified the captain that his men were loaded up and ready to begin retrieval of all personnel in the Gamma 12 colonies. The Captain told him to begin the operation and dismissed him.
Ramius was a die hard marine. He had volunteered for the ODST at age 20 and took a little too much pleasure in killing anything that got in his way. At this moment he was in a particularly foul mood because he had been assigned to this "clean up job" rather than being called upon to defend Reach. As he hopped into his Pelican he spit on the deck of the Fury to bid it goodbye.
In total about 120 Pelicans steamed from the ships towards the surface of Gamma 12. ONI had sluffed some prototypes on this expedition. Larger, not as fast but able to hold up to 50 occupants in a life support bin located under the hull.
The Ships stayed in high orbit while the Longswords accompanied the drop ships into low orbit. From there the Pelicans proceeded to the colonies. Pick up was complete in approximately 10 minutes.
Just then a message for Major Ramius rang out over the com: "5 covenant cruisers 200 clicks off our bow sir, return to the Fury immediately!". Ramius barked orders to his men scattered about various ships to get a move on and hurry back into orbit.
In complaisance with standard retrieval tactics the pelicans would drop their live cargo in the hangars of the smaller and faster frigates and destroyers while they were covered by the Fury.
The Longswords stayed back to cover the Pelicans as the Covenant Ships closed in.
On Captain Duffy's orders the archer missile pods were fired streaming countless warheads towards the fast closing enemy ships. Captain Duffy knew that these would only slow them down and buy some time.
Plasma torpedoes streamed from the Covenant ships. The call rang out across the com "brace for impact!". 20 Pelicans disintegrated immediately having been stuck by torpedoes. They were targeting the colonists!
Captain Duffy commanded his helm officer to move the Fury in front of the other ships in order to give them cover. "Order all non essential personnel to load up into the remaining combat pelicans and Longswords and meet the Lt. Major's men on the dark side of the moon." When the order had been given Duffy barked at his weapons officer "Arm the Shiva missiles and charge the Mac gun we're gunna go down fighting dammit!"
Ramius saw the excess fighters and pelicans leave flee from the Fury, he guessed what the Captain was doing before the message came for him. Having dropped his cargo off he ordered his men and all available Longswords to meet on the dark side of the moon to regroup in order to attempt to board the Covenant Ships.
As the Frigates and Destroyers with the colonists on board turned to enter slip space they lunched their full salvos of Archer Missiles at two of the lead cruisers. The missiles hit their marks and tiny explosions could be seen all over the Covenant ships as the two Cruisers slowed to let the other three take up attack positions. Now, the Fury was alone.
Duffy ordered two pods of Shiva nuclear missiles fired at the lead Cruiser and the rest of the archer's fired at the other two flanking it. Again white lines of missiles streamed from the Fury as purple torpedoes, now focused on one mark, streamed back at it.
Two Shiva Missiles found their mark and the reactor of the lead Covenant vessel exploded in a magnificent display of colors and plasma. The other two barreled on towards the Fury.
Many of the plasma torpedoes had found their mark on the Fury and the Shiva launchers as well as the engines had been knocked off line. Damage reports were streaming in from all decks. The Captain, realizing the fate of his ship did not bother to order that the damaged decks be sealed.
"Target the reactor of the least damaged ship with the MAC gun and open up!"
Three shots rang out from the bow of the Fury. The Covenant Ship did not have time to move away, of the shots hit and the back portion of the ship lit up with plasma explosions.
Duffy yelled to recharge the MAC gun when the 4 badly damaged Cruisers open slip space portals and began to limp off.
Duffy breathed a sigh of relief for the second time that day just as more fire alarms went off all over the ship.
Ramius' men had never been able to get close enough to the Covie ships to board them and he cursed under his breath. Looking through the Pelicans window he saw something shimmer off the edge of the moon that was beginning to be hit by the sun. "A Covenant Stealth Ship!". Not bothering to confer with Captain Duffy, who he could see was having problems with of his ship explosively decompressing compartment by compartment, he told his men to form up and head straight for the slight radar blip that was not starting to show up on their screens. The ten Pelicans went full throttle towards the stealth ship which had now recognized them and was attempting to take off from the moons surface. It was no use.
The Pelicans blew their way into the landing bay of the stealth ship and ODST poured out with Ramius at their head. It wasn't the fight he had hoped for but it was better than nothing. Gripping his assault rifle in one hand he and his team of 40 proceeded to take down the compliment of 100 or so elites and grunts that manned the stealth ship. They had surprise on their side and they took the ship with only 8 casualties.
Ramius ordered his techies to man the helm and get the ship off the ground so that they could pick up the stragglers from the Fury.
As the stealth ship lifted off one Ramius' men notified him of a large slip space portal that had opened up about 400 clicks from the Fury. It was a Carrier the Cruiser wouldn't stand a chance. Ramius ordered his men to continue with the pick up, Duffy had decided his fate.
As Duffy knew what it meant when the carrier did not launch any fighters. His ship was doomed. He ordered all personnel to abandon ship and remained on he bridge to oversee the final moments of his command. Before the gunner left he ordered him to fire all remaining missiles at the Carrier. "But sir they are out of range" replied the gunner "we cannot get a lock". "I know" replied Duffy "but the only chance we have is to shoot from the hip here."
Ramius saw a small number of life pods exit the Cruiser in one direction while a few missiles streamed in the other towards the Carrier, time was running short. He commanded the faster Longswords to pick up the life pods and then return to the Stealth ship so that they could open a slip space portal to Reach. The Longswords streamed away.
Duffy saw his missiles off then saw a blue light begin to emanate from the middle of the Carrier. He made one last call for all personnel the get the hell off the ship and then sat in his chair and lit a cigar. It had been a good run.
Ramius open a slip portal and ordered the other Pelicans and Longswords to go through first. As he followed in the Stealth Ship he saw the beam of energy from the Carrier cutting straight through the Unrequited Fury as the reactor core went critical the ship exploded in a massive ball of fire.
He took his helmet off to salute Duffy as his ship slipped into the portal.