2005 hours - San Angeles
Rear-Admiral Vernette was laying down on the floor of the hanger bay of The Venture Capitalist. He was underneath a large, black Warthog, working on the vehicle. He was busy repairing a bit of battle damage and changing a few worn out parts.
Vernette was hard at work, when he felt his ear piece begin to vibrate, as he was getting an incoming transmission.
Vernette: You have GOT to be shitting me. Can't a man work in peace?
Vernette crawled out from under the vehicle and tapped his ear piece.
Vernette: Vernette here.
Jennifer spoke to him over the comm.
Jennifer: Preston...I just got off my duty shift on the bridge. Where are you right now?
Vernette: I am still at that meeting Jennifer. You know...the bureaucrats are drilling me. I just stepped out to grab myself a coffee before going back into the meeting. Yeah...ruthless.
Jennifer: I see. When will you be back? You gotta remember...we have dinner plans at 2100 hours...just you and I. We don't get much time alone these days...we should take every chance we get.
Vernette: Just dinner?
Jennifer: Well...I was going to suggest that we have dinner in your quarters...it is more spacious. More room to...move around. And, well...
Vernette: I get it...I get it. Trust me...I'll be there at 2100 hours...PRONTO! I don't wanna blow my chances...you know?
Jennifer: I am not walking into that one. You're quarters, 2100 hours, Frost out!
Vernette grinned. He got back to his feet.
Vernette: I love that Woman. The joy of my life.
Vernette then looked at a helmet sitting on a large equipment box. He looked into the red visor of the helmet.
Vernette: Aside from you, of course.
Vernette grabbed his coat from off the top of the Warthog and put it back on, neglecting to button it back up. Vernette walked to the adjacent side of the hanger bay, where his UNSC Vulture was waiting. As Vernette walked back towards his Vulture, he looked at the watch on his wrist. He saw the time as 20:19
Vernette: Shit...I better get back and clean myself up before 2100 hours.
As Vernette walked, he called out to the ships AI.
Vernette walked to the cockpit of the Vulture and started the pre-flight sequence. HAWK appeared on the dashboard of the Vulture.
HAWK: Yes Nighthawk? You called?
Vernette: Did you finish the ship's diagnostics that I requested?
HAWK: All systems are operating at peak efficiency. The Stealth generator is holding steady. Engines are nominal, and we are holding at gray mode. Power output is below the UNSC detection thresh hold.
Vernette: Well done HAWK. Another question; were you ever able to access any information on Project RISK TAKERS? I have been unable to dig anything up on my end.
HAWK: Nothing yet Nighthawk. I have been unable to find any information on the topic of Project RISK TAKERS. I am forced to conclude that this may be a private initiative spearheaded by Director Spender.
Vernette shook his head.
Vernette: I still can't believe the UNSC Security Council put THAT GUY in charge of ONI. If only they knew what I knew about that prick. That guy is essentially my fucking boss! Makes me regret not quitting after Paradise Lost.
HAWK: Well...far be it from me to comment on supernatural occurrences like Karma...but killing Kapsky really came back to bite you in the ass.
Vernette: So it seems...so it seems. Funny how that stuff works out.
After a few minutes, the Vultuure was done its check, and ready to depart The Venture Capitalist.
Vernette: Keep an eye on The Venture Capitalist HAWK. I...have man shit to do.
HAWK: Don't have too much fun Nighthawk.
Vernette nodded. HAWK vanished from the dashboard of the Vulture, and the Vulture lifted off. The doors to the hanger bay opened, and the security barrier was raised. Vernette's Vulture passed through the security barrier, and was on it's way back to The King Raven.
Vernette's Vulture docked a few minutes later, and he disembarked from the Vulture, and proceeded into the corridors of The King Raven. He made his way back to his private quarters.
As Vernette approached the door, he stopped to enter his access code on the side panel of the wall. After entering his code, the door opened, and Vernette walked in. TO his surprise, Jenner was already n his quarters. She had taken the liberty of preparing a table settings.
Vernette: Jennifer...what are you doing here?
Jennifer: Thought I would stop in early and get things ready.
Jennifer could smell motor oil and hydraulic fluid on Vernette's cloths.
Jennifer: Where the hell have you been? I thought you said you were at a meeting.
Jennifer grabbed his hands.
Jennifer: What the hell is this? Why are your hands this...dirty? Your uniform. Geez Preston...what is going on?
Vernette looked at Jennifer and thought for a moment, trying to think up a lie.
Jennifer: You don't use pens! You call them dark age garbage!
Vernette: Oh yeah...that's right.
Vernette thought again.
Vernette was silent.
Jennifer: You were gone all day...and you said you went to a meeting with the UNSC brass on the planet's surface...and you come back covered in...God knows what. Preston...
Vernette: Don't say it.
Jennifer: I just wish you were more open with me.
Vernette: Alright...I will be honest. The whole UNSC meeting crap...I made it up. It never happened. I...I wanted a bit of alone time...to work on work...real work...my work...work work...fun work. I needed to get a few ideas off of my head...stuff that had been backed up...ideas...concepts. I'm sorry...I just wanted to work non-stop...by myself...uninterrupted.
Jennifer: Fair enough. I believe you.
Vernette: Good...now that we have that settled...dinner?
Jennifer: It is on its way from the mess hall. Go and get yourself looking professional. I'll be here...waiting.
Vernette nodded. He turned and went to the washroom.He ran his hands under the tap and began to wash them.
As he did this, Jennifer spoke to him from the other room.
Jennifer: You know...it wouldn't hurt to let me in on some of the stuff you do from time to time. You are always working on "classified" things. What isn't classified wit you?
Jennifer: That must be a pretty lonely life...keeping secrets from EVERYONE!
Vernette: I didn't get into this field for the social interaction. I have always been a lone wolf...I have always been one to fly-by-night...you know?
Jennifer: So...you are sneaky and a loner?
Vernette: Pretty much.
Vernette left the washroom, and went to his closet and grabbed another one of his uniforms. He looked at Jennifer and grinned.
Vernette: Gotta look good no?
Jennifer grinned back and nodded. She raised he hand and gestured it at him.
Jennifer: I expect it!
Vernette went back to the washroom and took his shirt off and tossed it side. He reached over to grab the new shirt that he just took from the closet, but he stopped when he noticed Jennifer enter the bathroom in the mirror. He quickly turned around to face her.
Vernette: What are...
Jennifer approached him. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and over his shoulders. Jennifer proceeded to kiss him.
Vernette was taken aback by this. Although he had been seeing Jennifer for a few years, he was not used to HER making the first move.
Jennifer broke the kiss a moment later, and looked into his eyes.
Vernette: That was...quantifiably enjoyable...
Jennifer laughed. She began to run her hands down his chest, and she then began to notice something odd.
Jennifer: Preston...I don't remember some of these scars...
She looked at his arms.
Jennifer: Or these bruises...
Jennifer examined them.
Jennifer: These are recent. These are VERY recent! Preston...how did these happen!? It looks like some of these injuries were treated by...
Vernette: By what?
Jennifer: By someone who has ZERO knowledge of first aid...or at the very best...someone who has the experience of a day one field medic, who was treating themselves AFTER an injury...
Vernette: I resent being called a day one field medic. I have two PhDs...deuce...double...
Jennifer: And neither of them in medicine it seems! Preston...you need to go to the medical bay! These need to be looked at!
Vernette: I'm fine...really...I am fine!
Jennifer backed up. She had a look of genuine concern on her face.
Jennifer: I have never seen someone who walks around, beat up, like this. What the hell is wrong with you...Flag Officer types where you refuse medical advice!?
Vernette: You wouldn't understand Jennifer. All you need to know, is that I am fine, and that I don't need to under medical exams for bruises and scars. I have been living with bruises and scars my whole life. Just...try and relax. They don't hurt...
Jennifer: I'm sorry...it is just...I...I am...so insanely...
Jennifer: CONCERNED...about you. I don't want anything to happen to you.
Vernette grinned. He approached Jennifer.
Vernette: Wanna skip dinner? I am not that hungry.
Jennifer: Now that I think about it...neither am I...I think a quiet evening would be...what we both want. Just...you and I...
Vernette: You wanna cancel the order from the mess?
Jennifer nodded. She pressed her hand against her ear, and contact the mess hall.
Jennifer: Mess hall? This is Commander Frost...something has come up, and I am needed on the bridge...cancel my order.
After a moment, the Mess Sergeant contacted Jennifer over her comm line.
Mess Sergeant: Understood ma'am. If you need anything, let us know. Mess out.
Jennifer closed the comm line. She looked back to Vernette.
Jennifer: Now...where were we?
Vernette: We were at the good part...where you and I take advantage of the perks of me being the CO, and having the best creature comforts on this ship. That is where we left off.
Jennifer grinned, s Vernette grabbed her, and lifted her into his arms.
Vernette: Shall we?
Time Lapse: 7 hours - 0400 hours - San Angeles
Vernette eye''s began to open. The room was dark, the only light coming from a small clock on his night table. The clock read 0400. Vernette could hear someone calling him, but he was not immediately aware of where it was coming from.
UNSC Bridge Officer: Rear-Admiral Vernette...do you copy?
He could feel someone resting on his chest.
As his sense came back to him, he began to remember what had happened. As his eyes adjusted, he could see Jennifer resting her head on his chest. He examined his situation further, and saw that they were both under the covers of Vernette's blanket.
UNSC Officer: Rear-Admiral Vernette...do you copy?
Vernette then realized that the voice was coming from the comm system, and that someone on the bridge was trying to get a hold of him. Vernette tapped his ear, but he then realized that his ear piece was missing. He looked around, but the room wad ark.
UNSC Bridge Officer: Rear-Admiral Vernette...do you copy? You have a priority one signal coming in. Do you copy?
Vernette looked around. He tried to sit up, but with Jennifer sleeping on his chest, he found it to be more difficult than it should of been.
UNSC Bridge Officer: Rear-Admiral Vernette...please respond.
Vernette scoffed, as he spoke to himself.
Vernette: Oh my God person...give me a minute. Like...holy shit...it is like...4 am. I don't sleep in my fucking uniform.
The lights in the room turned on.
Vernette used his right arm to reach over to his night table and feel around, looking for his ear piece. He finally found it, and put it back in his ear. He tapped it, and answered the transmission.
Vernette: Bridge, this is Vernette. What is going on?
Jennifer began to wake up. She looked up at him. She wrapped her arm around his torso.
UNSC Bridge Officer: Sir...I was getting worried. You were not responding.
Vernette: Bridge...what is going on?
UNSC Bridge Officer: Sir...you have an incoming message marked as priority 1. I do not recognize the transmission header...but it is coming in through the ONI transmission relay. I cannot determine a source of origin. Should I patch it through?
Vernette thought for a moment.
Vernette: Bridge...does the transmission header have quad-symmetrical signal aggregation?
The Bridge Officer was silent for a moment.
UNSC Bridge Officer: Yes it does. Sir...how did you know?
Vernette: Patch it through. Route the transmission from the ONI Transmission relay, into comm processor Kai-655. Encrypt the routing protocols, and delete this transmission from the memory buffer, under ONI Security and Privacy Protocol Lambda-5. Do not speak of the existence of this transmission to any other Officer.
UNSC Bridge Officer: Y-yes sir. Carrying out your orders.
The bridge officer closed the comm line, and a moment later, Vernette had the transmission routed to his ear piece.
Vernette: This is Rear-Admiral Preston J. Vernette - authentication code...Tango Tango 449 Zulu.
Vernette waited for a reply.
He then heard someone laughing over the comm line.
Barrabus: That cracks me up every time...
Vernette: Dude...seriously? How many times do I have to say this...that transmission relay is for ONI communications only. Every time you contact me...I gotta go and invoke sketchy ONI security protocols to flush this transmission from the data buffers.
Barrabus: Trust me...this time is important.
Vernette sighed again.
Vernette: Can it wait? It is 4 am...
Barrabus: This is more important...
Vernette: I'm in bed...sleeping...
Barrabus: Still more important...
Vernette: I am not alone.
Barrabus: Then consider this my revenge for all the times you dragged me away from my "engagements"...
Vernette: It seems you are serious. Alright...what is it?
Barrabus: The Covenant has located a human-controlled world known as...Midnight...
Vernette jumped up. He was listening attentively now.
Jennifer looked at Vernette, curious as to what was going on. She could only hear Vernette's end of the conversation.
Barrabus: The Covenant has located a human-controlled world known as...Midnight...
Vernette: I heard you the first time...I just...do you have ANY idea how bad this is? This is terrible!
Barrabus: I can imagine this is pretty bad. What is Midnight anyway? All I have is the name.
Vernette: Midnight...is very important. All of ONI's R&D...the REAL R&D happens there. ONI keeps some pretty sketchy stuff there...all of it vital to the war effort. Losing Midnight is deemed the prelude to the endgame event...that is HOW important it is. Without Midnight...ONI's R&D effectively comes to a near halt. It has out best people...top technology...the real cutting edge stuff.
Barrabus: Can you move the R&D?
Vernette: There is too much of it to move. We could try...but...
Barrabus: Then that is a no. I thought so.
Barrabus: I have a plan...
Vernette: Beat me to it. What do you have? Tell me this is good.
Barrabus: I know where the launching grounds for the battle group is. The Covenant has a large battle group in UNSC controlled space...near Paradise Lost. I have a plan which will allow us to offline the entire battle group before it launches. However...you are going to have to leave your ship for this one...and we are going to need the usual equipment. This will require us to infiltrate and destroy.
Vernette: Stand by...
Vernette muted his ear piece. He looked at Jennifer.
Vernette: Jennifer...I have to go to work.
Jennifer could see Vernette's look of concern on his face. She knew something was terribly wrong.
Jennifer: Preston...what is going on? Please...talk to me. What is going on.
Vernette: I...I wish I could tell you...but I can't...it is classified.
Jennifer: I am not buying that! Tell me whats going on!
Vernette: I can't! Jennifer...I can't...I simply can't!
Vernette jumped out of bed, and he began to quickly get dressed. He ran to the bathroom to get himself cleaned up. Vernette turned the water on and soaked his hands and ran his hands through his hair.
As he did this, he unmuted his comm line.
Vernette: Talk to me...I need specifics. I need everything you know...right now. Break it down. Go!
Barrabus: We are dealing with a battle group consisting of a branch of the navy controlled by The Elites. This is a specialized attack, intended to destroy the planet in a single attack. The Covenant is sparing no detail, as they are going all out to make this a short and decisive battle. The exact specs of the battle group includes one Covenant Super Carrier...
Vernette: The same kind of ship that fucked Paradise Lost up.
Barrabus: The Super Carrier is escorted by 4 standard Assault Carriers. Each Assault Carrier is escorted by 8 CCS light cruisers. Each CCS light cruiser is escorted by 6 Corvettes.
Vernette: 85 ships...
Barrabus: A standard attack group...but...each ship is crewed by special operations. Their attack plan will involve a sophisticated plan to jam all outgoing communications, and prevent UNSC reinforcements. Their orders are to infiltrate any and all military installations, retrieve anything of value...and glass the planet.
Vernette: God damn bastards...
Vernette: How the hell are we supposed to stop that? There is no way we have the firepower to do it! I'm good...but not that good!
Barrabus: I have managed to get my hands on a high yield Covenant warhead. We typically use these weapons to demolish planetary bodies that we either want to mine...or clear out asteroid fields for ship yards. Needless to say...the explosive power on this weapon is vast.
Vernette: You have a planet buster? Wait...isn't that one of those antimatter warheads?
Vernette: Good...that's good. That is very good. All we have to do is deploy it...and bingo...done and done!
Barrabus: It is not as simple as that...but yes...in general...deploy it and...BINGO...whatever that means.
Vernette: Perfect. I like this plan...I am excited to be a part of it.
Vernette: So you said the battle group was near Paradise Lost?
Barrabus: Yeah...sorta. The battle group has held itself up some distance away from the planet to avoid any possible detection from any UNSC sensory arrays that may be possibly still reporting.
Vernette: Well...FLEETCOM has not reported any movement in that area. We assumed it was dead...but it seems The Covenant are just keeping their distance. It seems we were wrong.
Vernette: Which raises the question...where are you?
Barrabus: In orbit of Paradise Lost.
Vernette: Your Assault Carrier is at Paradise Lost?
Barrabus began to laugh, he then groaned.
Vernette: Then...what is going on?
Barrabus: Well...I had a disagreement with another ship master...an Elite...
Vernette: Oh no...tell me you didn't...
Barrabus: We ended up exchanging fire...
Vernette: Oh God...
Barrabus: Both of our ships were...damaged in the exchange. His more then mine...so I still won. I would of killed him had we not of been ordered to stand down by our Hierarch.
Vernette: Well...at least you hit him more than he hit you. That is what is important...right?
Barrabus: Yeah. In any case...while my ship is in repair...I was given a Corvette and ordered to return to Doisac for...meditation on what I did. I decided to take the chance to go home and smell the air of my world...but then I caught news of this whole...invasion. I decided to take the Corvette I was given, and head off by myself. I then decided to seek you out.
Vernette: Smart man.
Barrabus: Let's just say...I am not quite done shooting at Elites. What is it that you say? "The adrenaline is...still pumping"? Is that it?
Vernette: Sounds about right.
Vernette: Is there anything else I should know before I leave?
Barrabus: Yes, there is. I have taken the liberty of uploading some strategic information on the Covenant battle group we are going after. The files should of been uploaded to the remote data server you set up on The Venture Capitalist. I have included some information on the fleet commander, and all of the ranking Elites in the battle group. This may help you in forming any additional plans to supplement what I have suggested. Additionally, everything that we just skimmed over now, had also been included in detail. Pretty much...everything is there. I suggest you go over it.
Vernette: All right big guy...sit tight. I will come to you, and I will find you. I should be at Paradise Lost soon.
Barrabus: Looking forward to it.
Vernette: Vernette out.
Vernette closed his comm line. The first thing Vernette did was start to clean himself up. It took him about 20 minutes to get himself back in order. When it came time to suit up, Vernette decided against his duty uniform, and instead, went with his field operations uniform.
Vernette grabbed his side arms, and his equipment, as he began to suit up.
Jennifer had taken the opportunity to get herself dressed, although she was not as groomed as Vernette was at the moment. She simply looked at him.
Jennifer: Field ops BDU. Please tell me where you are going Preston.
Vernette looked back at Jennifer.
Vernette:Jennifer...I want to tell you. There is nothing I would want to do more then tell you where I am going. However...I cannot. It is not by choice, but rather, due to necessity.
Vernette placed his hands on her shoulders.
Vernette: Please believe me when I say this.
Jennifer: Just...promise me one thing.
Jennifer: Promise you will come back. I don't know what I would do if I lost you.
Vernette: Jennifer...I don't think the UNSC would know what to do if they "lost me". At least you would have company.
Vernette: But know this...I will come back. If I have to move Heaven, Hell, and everything in between, JUST to come back...I will do it, foor you. I love you...I have for some time now. I have not felt this way in years...and the last time I did feel this way about someone...those were the best years of my life. I finally have that again...with you.
Vernette: So...I guarantee you...I will be back. When Preston J. Vernette guarentees something...it is written in stone.
Vernette kissed Jennifer. After a moment, he walked away from her, heading towards the door. He stopped before walking out. He kept his back to her, as he turned his head.
Vernette: One more thing...
Vernette: Look after my ship.
With that, Vernette left his private quarters, and proceeded down to to the hanger bay to find his Vulture. Vernette initiated the pre-flight sequence, and as soon as he could, he departed The King Raven and proceeded back to The Venture Capitalist. As soon as Vernette docked his Vulture, he proceeded up to the Bridge of The Venture Capitalist, and sat down in the command chair.
HAWK appeared on the arm rest of the command chair.
HAWK: Yes, Nighthawk?
Vernette: We have a situation. I need to you engage the stealth systems and bring us out of grey mode. AFter that is done, and we have a full system init...we need to get to Paradise Lost. I will explain the situation on the way. I need an ETA for trip to Paradise Lost.
HAWK: At present location, and at optimum speeds, 8 days.
Vernette: Very good. Make it happpen! Make the jump as soon as we are clear and beyond any detection!
Vernette sat back in his chair, and he pressed a few buttons on his arm rest. The information that Barrabus had uploaded was displayed on the holotable in front of where he was sitting. Vernette began to shift through the information as The Venture Capitalist made its way through space, to rendezvous with Barrabus at Paradise Lost.
Time Lapse: 8 days - 0500 hours - Paradise Lost
The Venture Capitalist dropped out of slip space just outside of the Paradise Lost system.
HAWK: Nighthawk...we have dropped out of slip space.
Vernette stood up from the command chair. He looked out through the windows of the bridge, and saw Paradise Lost. The surface was totally scorched from the excavation lasers. Vernette shook his head.
Vernette: HAWK...scan the area for an SDV-Class Heavy Corvette.
HAWK: Scan in progress.
HAWK was silent for a moment.
HAWK: A Corvette has been located on the far side of the planet. It is currently powered, and it's engines are primed. The vessel is on a course that will take it around the planet to intercept us in exactly 78 seconds.
Vernette: Keep an eye on it...there is a high degree that Barrabus is on that ship. However...if that thing primes its weapons...prepare to get us the hell out of here.
HAWK: Nighthawk...we have an incoming message from the Corvette. The transmission header includes quad-symmetrical signal aggregation...and it is being router through the ONI communications array.
Vernette: That's him. Open a channel.
Barrabus: It is about time. I was getting bored.
Vernette: I am sure you found a way to keep busy.
Barrabus: Not really. There wasn't much to do.
Vernette: Well...now we have plenty to do. Get your ass over here, and lets go over the information you sent...and let's offline a battle group shall we?
Barrabus: I am on my way.
Vernette closed the comm.
Vernette: HAWK...once Barrabus is aboard, plot a course for the location of the Covenant battle group. Keep us under stealth, and get us as cloe as possible.
HAWK: Yes Nighthawk.
Vernette nodded to HAWK and he left the bridge, heading down to the hanger bay to await Barrabus' arrival.
Vernette arrived at the hanger bay as Barrabus' phantom moved through the security barrier of the hanger bay. The Phantom landed, and powered down. The side hatches opened, and Vernette approached the Phantom. Barrabus jumped out.
Vernette: Good to see you again. How have you been holding up?
Barrabus grunted. He nodded.
Vernette: Good to know.
The two looked at each other.
Vernette: I'm also good...thanks for asking. Things could't be better.
Barrabus was silent.
Vernette paused again.
Vernette: So...where is that planet busting bomb you promised?
Barrabus: In the Phantom. I thought I would bring it along for you to inspect. I know how much you enjoy these sorts of things.
Vernette took a few paces forward, and saw the large warhead in the Phantom. He jumped up the side, and was now standing in the Phantom. He circled around the large warhead.
Vernette: This thing looks heavy.
Vernette placed his hands on one of the handles as he tried to budge it. The warhead would not move.
Vernette: Yep...very heavy. I can definatly feel the payload.
Vernette paused. He looked at Barrabus.
Vernette: How the hell did you move this thing?
Barrabus: I am bigger than you. I can move things that you can't.
Vernette: Fair enough. Don't need to remind me.
Vernette placed his hands in his pocket and sighed.
Vernette: So...I went over your plan...and it is very risky. There are a ot of variables...a lot of things that can go wrong...very wrong.
Barrabus: We will work through it. Look...
Barrabus: All we have to do is plan this thing in the main hanger bay of the Supercarrier, and then we have to extract. This is not as difficult as you think.
Vernette: No...this will be much harder than you think.
Vernette: Look...don't get me wrong...this plan is good. The general principle of your plan and information is good. However...when the tiny, technical nuances come into play...your plan begins to show its weakness.
Barrabus looked at Vernette with a hint of curiosity.
Vernette: Look...let me demonstrate.
Vernette paused. He looked at the warhead.
Vernette: This warhead, for example. It is a powerful weapon for sure. I had HAWK analyze the technical specs of this weapon, and this thing has a massive payload. HOWEVER...there is a catch; you aid this weapon was for clearing out large planetary bodies to mine them...correct?
Vernette: Do you fully understand why this weapon is so good at destroying planetary bodies?
Barrabus shook his head.
Barrabus: Not fully...
Vernette: This weapon relies on an atmosphere to expotentially increase its destructive power. This is a matter-antimatter weapon! It relies on the destruction of matter to fuel the antimatter reaction which fuels its destructive capabilities. When detonated in a vacuum, such as space, there is little to no matter for this weapon to fuel its antimatter reaction. The resutling explosion is far less powerful than it would be if it was detonated in a matter--rich atmosphere. Is it destructive in space? Yes. Does it reach its full potential in space? No.
Barrabus: So...how does this impact out plan to destroy the Supercarrier?
Vernette: If we deploy this thing in the hanger bay. and we detonate it...we will not destroy the entire ship, and we will not destroy the entire battle group. The reason for that is, is because once this bomb goes off, it will destroy the immediate area, and be exposed to the vaccum of space before it can destroy enough matter to fuel its antimatter chain reaction to the levels we need it to.
Barrabus: So...what you re saying is that we...need to move this weapon...deeper into the ship?
Vernette: Bingo Brute!
Vernette: The best place...would be near the main reactor of the ship. The reason being is that the power source and "fuel" used by Covenant ships are incredibly potent and dense forms of matter.
Vernette: If we do this...the destructive power of this weapon will greatly exceed the maximum amount of energy we need to wipe out this battle group. In theory, the only thing we have to worry about is the possibility of ripping a massive hole in space....which...would be very bad...but...whatever.
Barrabus: And here I thought I had this all worked out.
Vernette felt bad.
Vernette: Look...in the grand scheme of things...that is why we are partners. To be honest...the fact that you are here, helping me, providing me what I need to save hundreds of millions of innocent people that you will never, ever see...you have made a far greater contribution to this then I have. So...don't feel bad.
Vernette: Besides...chances are...you are going to be spending the next little while saving my ass. So...try not to get discouraged.
Vernette: Algiht...so lets get this straight forward. How do we get inide the Supercarrier?
Barrabus: That is what the Phantom is for. We are going to use it to dock inside of the ship. Currently, The Covenant is in the process of exchanging military personnel, and preparing for their "perfectly executed" invasion of Midnight. They are positioning soldiers on different ships so they can evenly distribute land forces of of equal force and equal quantity to the surface, while the Navy crushes UNSC resistance in space. That exchange is still going on...and we are going to use this Phantom to dock in the Supercarrier while the Phantoms are coming and going.
Vernette: Good. I am guessing the next step is to clear the hanger bay?
Barrabus: Correct. If you cannot find a way to do this easily...we are going to have to do it the slow way.
Vernette: It might be possible for me to break into the Supercarrier's network and gain root access to their file system. however...it would be for a short time before they found me and kicked me out. I am afraid I don't know a whle lot about Covenant computer systems...but compared to the rest of the UNSC...I would be quantified as a God in terms of how much I know about Covenant computer systems. All I would need is a minute to ain access and vent the hanger bay and re-pressurize.
Vernette: After that...if I can get my hands on a computer terminal of any kind...I can locally place a trojan in their network to allow remote code execution on their network. It would be just as good as having root access. I could toss their entire battle net into disarray.
Barrabus: We would still need to move fast...as we need to get this weapon to the engineering deck, situate it, and arm it.
Vernette: I should be able to remotely detonate this warhead. Once we are clear... of the ship, and back on the Venture Capitalist...we blow it up, enjoy the fireworks, then go home.
Barrabus: Sounds like a plan.
Vernette: Good. Let's get suited up!
Vernette and Barrabus made their way down to the armory where all of their equipment was stored. They began to suit up, each of them grabbing their necessary equipment. It was not long before they were fully geared up and ready to go. The duo made their way back to the hanger bay, and jumped into the Phantom.
Anaconda: Alright...I will take the helm on this one. You will need to do...whatever it is you do.
Nighthawk sat in the co-pilots seat, and set up his laptop. He began to type away.
Nighthawk: I am set. Take us out when HAWK informs us of our arrival at the designated coordinates. I will be ready to start scanning their local battle net for any vulnerabilities at first chance. I have to time this right...or they could lock us out before we can correctly utilize this cyber attack.
Anaconda nodded. The side hatches to the Phantom closed, the rear compartment housing the antimatter warhead.
HAWK: Nighthawk, Anaconda...we have reached the designated coordinates. We are undetected, and you are in optimum position to commence operation.
Anaconda grunted as he readied the engines of The Phantom. The Phantom left The Venture Capitalist, and headed towards the large Supercarrier.
Anaconda: We are one minute out. I will begin to transmit our docking requests.
Nighthawk: You know...if they are receiving our docking request...I might be able to piggy back my signal off of the request to gain access to an open port in their network. This could give me the access I need.
A few moments passed. Anaconda grunted when he got confirmation.
Anaconda: We have confirmation from the Supercarrier. We are cleared to dock. DO you have access to their network?
Nighthawk: Yes...I have full root access. However...this will not last. At best...we have a minute before they find out that another operator has b een ghosted onto their network. If I last more then a minute on here, that is borrowed time.
Anaconda: We should be docked in 15 seconds. Once we are docked...vent the hanger bay...and kill EVERYTHING in here!
The Phantom passed through the large security barrier of the Super Carrier's ventral hanger bay. The Phantom began to dock.
Anaconda: Go...shut down the security barrier now! We are in!
Nighthawk nodded, as he invoked the command to shut down the ventral hanger bay's security barrier. Immediately, the hanger bay began to vent, sucking out hundreds and hundreds of Covenant soldiers into deep space, along with all their vehicles, equipment, and supplies.
Nighthawk: Decompression cycle complete. Re-pressurizing.
Nighthawk restored the security barrier and began to re-pressurize the hanger bay.
Nighthawk: The COvenant knows I am on their network. They are trying to lock me out. They must have every operator on the ship on my ass right now. They are shutting everything down.
Anaconda: Is there anything else you can do to make our job easier.
Nighthawk: There might be one more thing I can do...
Nighthawk was typing as fast as he could. His fingers were slamming the keys.
Nighthawk: Oh yes...yes...
Anaconda: What is it?
Nighthawk: I just deleted the on-board construct. It turns out, their entire local battle net was managed by the construct. I just crashed their entire battle net.
Anaconda: Which means they can no longer coordinate.
Nighthawk: It seems this has caught the attention of the ships operators. Without the ship's construct...they can't lock me out. I have permanent access.
Nighthawk pulled out his PDA. He interfaced it with his laptop.
Nighthawk: I have the necessary control of this ship in order to move us around. I think it is time to change the rules of this game.
Nighthawk issued a few more commands on his laptop. Deck by deck, the lights in the ship blacked out. The entire ship went dark.
Nighthawk: Time to make this habitat more friendly to the predators.
Nighthawk continued typing.
Anaconda simply watched.
Nighthawk: Their comms are down. Lights are off. Battle net crashed.
Nighthawk closed the lid of his laptop.
Nighthawk: Let's get to work.
Nighthawk and Anaconda got up, and exited the Phantom. Anaconda grabbed the Warhead, and lifted it over his shoulder.
Anaconda: I need you to cover me while I cover this thing. will keep my eyes on it, and protect it from behind. These warheads are equipped with anti-grav which allows us to move them with much greater ease.
Nighthawk: I though you said you carried it?
Anaconda: Brute chest pounding...nothing more.
Anaconda: Look at this weapon! Do you think it WANTS to be carried? Look at those spikes!
Nighthawk nodded. He drew both of his Magnums.
Nighthawk: Yeah...that would be...yikes!
Nighthawk: Right. In any case, I may need that noes of yours. If you smell any hostiles nearby...let me know.
Nighthawk led the way, leading Anaconda to the main entrance of the hanger bay. The door opened. Nighthawk had his night vision going, as he saw patrols of grunts in the corridor. Nighthawk placed several head shots into the grunts, and kept moving.
Anaconda: If I recall correctly, we will need to head down this corridor about 500 meters to the main gravity lift, take it up 4 levels, and proceed down a secondary corridor to reach the engineering deck.
Nighthawk signaled with his hand to confirm what he just heard. He continued to move through the corridor, placing head shots on the smaller infantry that was scrambling in the dark. Anaconda kept moving forward, pushing the warhead down the corridor using the warhead's anti-grav systems. He had one hand pushing the warhead, and another hand on his Spiker.
Nighthawk: No major resistance yet. I bet we killed the immediate response teams when we sucked them into space. That...and they have no idea where we are, or where they are. They could be scrambling Spec-Ops however.
Nighthawk stopped when he saw the outline of several Elites. He holstered one of his Magnums, as he grabbed a grenade off his belt. He rolled the grenade down the corridor towards the Elites and waited for the explosion to follow. After a moment, the grenade went off, and killed two of the Elites, and draining the shields on the other five. Nighthawk stepped forward, and fired his Magnum off, popping the heads of each of the Elites.
The duo were having very little difficulty moving through the ship, given the totally favorable environment.
Nighthawk ran forward, as he made sure the main gravity lift was clear.
Anaconda moved forward, still pushing the warhead. Anaconda looked at Nighthawk.
Anaconda approached a control terminal on the wall, and set the grav-lift to terminate 5 floors up. He then pushed the warhead into the gravity elevator, and the bomb went up the large gravity lift. Nighthawk watched it go up.
Anaconda: You will see...if my gut is correct, that is.
Anaconda waited a moment. He then stepped into the lift. Nighthawk followed a moment later.
Nighthawk looked up, and he saw Anaconda exit the lift, as he was forced out.
As Nighthawk emerged, he was grabbed from the side, caught in mid air, as he was ejected from the grav-lift. It was Anaconda who grabbed him.
Nighthawk: What is the big idea?
Nighthawk then noticed that the spikes on the antimatter warhead had impaled several Covenant soldiers as it was ejected from the gravity lift.
Anaconda: I made sure to avoid landing on the spikes of the warhead when ejecting from the grav-lift. Had I not caught you...your chest would of become acquainted with the spikes...
Nighthawk was silent for a moment,
Nighthawk: Point taken.
Anaconda dropped Nighthawk, but as he did, the duo came under fire from Spec-Op Elites.
Nighthawk and Anaconda jumped in separate directions as they took cover. Nighthawk began to reload, as Anaconda fired off his Spiker.
Anaconda: We cannot let them damage the bomb!
Anaconda emerged from cover fully, with both Spikers, and began to fire. He came under fire as his shields took the brunt of the damage.
Nighthawk also emerged from cover as his drew his Magnums and began to fire, forcing the Elites to split up their fire.
This gave Anaconda the change to prime one of is incendiary grenades, and toss it, at the Elite on point. The grande landed spot on, and the Elite on point burst into flames. This broke the cohesion of the line that the Elites formed, and it forced them to scatter. Nighthawk and Anaconda took this chance to both move forward, and break through the group of Spec-Ops.
Nighthawk looked at Nighthawk.
Nighthawk: No need for that kind of language bud...
Anaconda laughed, as he began to reload.
Nighthawk: I'll get on point...get the warhead!
Anaconda nodded, as he holstered one of his Spikers, and went back to his duty of pushing the warhead through the corridors.
Nighthawk began to reload his Magnums as he moved. It was not long before they came to the main engineering deck. The room was very large. There was a large central reactor at te center of the room. There were dozens of Engineers in this section, all floating around.
Nighthawk stepped forward.
Nighthawk: What the hell?
Nighthawk: I know...but...I have never seen them...like this!
Anaconda: It is quite sight. However...they must all die. Engineers will be able to disable this bomb without a second thought.
Nighthawk looked back at Anaconda.
Nighthawk: Oh crap...you're right.
Nighthawk: Shit...I just realized that these things could be working to get this ship back to spec! At any moment they could...
The lights in the corridor began to turn on, section by section.
Nighthawk: Repair the damage I did...
Nighthawk pulled out his Magnums and started shooting at the Engineers. Anaconda did the same. Anaconda used both of his Spikers to shoot down the Engineers as they floated around, in a panic, trying to escape the gun fire.
The Engineers began to make squeals of panic and fright, as they tried to escape.
Nighthawk: God...I hate these things! They make it so difficult to kill them. The movement, the flying, the crying...every trick in the book to maake someone feel bad!
Anaconda laughed. It was always a guilty pleasure of his to kill Engineers. Somehow...the tone of their cries humored him.
After a few moments, the entire room had been cleared of Engineers. Nighthawk holstered his weapons, and grabbed his PDA.
Nighthawk: I gotta check how much these assholes repaired. Big guy...deal with the bomb...prime it for remote detonation.
Nighthawk pulled out his PDA. He could see that his laptop was no longer connected to the local network, so he had no way of finding out anything about the Supercarrier.
Nighthawk: I have lost connection. Damn it! I dunno if they have their comms up. For all I know...these engineers created a work around.
Anaconda: I do not doubt it!
Anaconda looked at the bombs control panel. He grunted.
Anaconda: Remote detonation is enabled. What now?
Nighthawk: Key it to my comm line. I will trigger the detonation thaat way!
Anaconda: Perhaps you should do that.
Nighthawk turned, and walked over to the bomb. He looked at the control panel. He aaired the remote detonator to his suits comm systems.
Nighthawk: There...all I need to do is send a message to the bomb...and boom!
Nighthawk: Let's jet. The sooner we get out of here...the better.
Nighthawk and Anaconda ran out of the engineering deck. They ran back the way they came. They headed back to the grav-lift.
Nighthawk: Let me reverse the grav-lift.
Just as Nighthawk said this, the grav-lift activated.
Anaconda: Something is coming up the lift.
Nighthawk and Anaconda backed up. Nighthawk drew his shotgun, and Anaconda drew his Hammer. They both waited a moment, as several Spec-Op Elites were ejected from the grav-lift. They each drew their energy blades.
Nighthawk wasted no time in firing off his shotgun, pushing on of the Elites back, as Anaconda jumped forward and slammed his hammer down, scattering the Elites through out the corridor, killing one of them on impact. One of the Elites shot right over Nighthawk's head, forcing Nighthawk to duck to avoid being hit.
Nighthawk turned to face this Elite who was shot over his head. He took aim with his Shotgun, and shot the Elite right in the heed, killing him.
Nighthawk turned again, and saw an Elite charging at him. Nighthawk rolled to the side to dodge the downward slash of the Elite's energy blade. Nighthawk, while on the floor, on his back, aimed up at the Elite, and pulled the trigger. The first shot dropped the Elite's shields, and the second shot was the killing blow. The Elite fell to the ground.
Before Nighthawk could get back up, a third Elite grabbed him by the neck and lifted him up, and slammed him right into the wall. The Elite roared in Nighthawk face as he readed his blade to stab Nighthawk.
Nighthawk: I need help over here!
Anaconda turned, and he rotated his hammer in his hands, so the bladed end was down. Anaconda spun around, and slammed the hammer down like an axe, chopping the Elite's arm off right the elbow. The Elite stumbled back and howled in pain, as the dismembered hand released, and fell from Nighthawk's neck.
Nighthawk fell to the ground, but raised his shotgun and fired at the Elite, shredding the Elite's armor, and spraying blood all over the wall.
Nighthawk was breathing heavily.
Anaconda lowered his hand to help Nighthawk up. Nighthawk grabbed the Brute's hand.
Anaconda: Doing what I do best...saving your ass.
Nighthawk sighed, as he walked back over to the control panel. He managed to reverse the grav-lift.
Nighthawk: Let's go!
Nighthawk jumped down the lift first, followed by Anaconda. Nighthawk was ejected from the grav-lift a few moments later, and he moved to the side to make room for the Brute that was coming through.
Nighthawk looked around, he saw the area was clear.
Nighthawk: Look's clear...
Anaconda, however, was sniffing the air. He growled.
Nighthawk: What is it?
Anaconda hefted his hammer, and once again, swung it like an axe right towards Nighthawk.
Nighthawk ducked, he saw the blade go right over his head. Little did Nighthawk know, there were cloaked Spec-Op Elites behind him, waiting for the duo to eject from the grav-lift.
Nighthawk turned, and saw an Elite decloak, as his head rolled off his shoulders, and onto the ground.
Nighthawk: Good Lord!
Nighthawk turned, and he saw the shimmer of Spec-Op Elites move towards them.
Nighthawk reached onto his belt, and grabbed his last two grenades, primed them both, cooked them, and tossed them both. Both grenades exploded in mid air, right in from of the cloaked Elites. The explosion killed the cloaked Elites.
Anaconda: Nice throw...
Nighthawk: I have my moments.
Nighthawk turned, and ran back towards the anger bay, with Anaconda in tow.
Anaconda: We have to get out of here...the longer we are here, the greater the odds of The Covenant disabling that bomb are!
Nighthawk and Anaconda approached the door to the ventral hanger bay. The door was open, and they could see hundreds of Covenant soldiers in the hanger bay.
Nighthawk: Oh shit...they found our point of ingress. Dude...we ain't getting through that...
Anaconda turned when he heard the sound of Elites barking orders from behind them.
Anaconda: They are behind us.
Nighthawk: Shit...what do we do?
Anaconda grunted. He holstered his Hammer on his back. He grabbed Nighthawk.
Nighthawk: Dude...what are you doing?
Anaconda wrapped his arm around Nighthawk, and held him close.
Nighthawk: Dude...totally not digging the proximity. This ain't to comfortable!
Anaconda then engaged his active camo. The camo managed to encompass both Nighthawk and Anaconda.
Anaconda: Be quiet.
Anaconda backed into a small crevice, under active camo, and he waited for the Elites to pass them. Nighthawk watched the Elites go by, as if they were not there. Nighthawk couldn't believe this. He realized what Anaconda had just did...and he was impressed.
Anaconda: Keep silent. I am going to get us back to the Phantom.
Anaconda began to move. He walked behind the Elites that had just passed them. Once Anaconda had entered the hanger bay, he began to slowly move towards the Phantom they arrived in. The Covenant forces had set up a perimeter around the area in an effort to stop any escape, but, little did they know, Anaconda, under the protection of active camo, had managed to move the duo passed totally undetected.
As soon as Anaconda was right beside the Phantom, he jumped up into the Phantom through the side hatch. He released Nighthawk, and moved right into the cockpit, disengaging his camo as he moved.
Nighthawk followed Anaconda into the cockpit. Anaconda had sealed the side hatches, and he began to engage the engines.
Nighthawk: Get us the hell out of here now!
Anaconda nodded, as he hit the Thrust. The Covenant forces in the hanger bay all turned to see the Phantom powering up. However, the Phantom flew right out of the hanger bay, and escaped the Supercarrier.
Nighthawk then contacted HAWK.
Nighthawk: HAWK...move the Venture Capitalist forward and come and pick us up! We need to clear out of here RIGHT AWAY! I need your most liberal estimation of the explosive power of this warhead after it detonates!
HAWK: On it. I am on Route to pick you two up. Intercept in...24 seconds.
Nighthawk: HAWK...once we are on board...get us the hell out of range!
The Phantom and The Venture Capitalist were on direct intercept courses. The Phantom eventually docked inside of the Venture Capitalist. At that very second, HAWK reversed course, and plotted a course away from the battle group at best possible speeds.
Nighthawk and Anaconda ran up to the bridge, as they could see the battle group on one of the display screens mounted on the wall.
Nighthawk: HAWK...how long until we have put enough distance between ourselves and that battle group.
HAWK: 25 seconds.
Nighthawk: Keying remote detonation for 35 seconds...mark.
Nighthawk watched the count down on his HUD. However, HAWK spoke up a few seconds after it was keyed.
HAWK: Problem! I am detecting a massive spike in Cerenkov radiation!
Nighthawk: WHAT!? Is the battle group bugging out?
HAWK: No...something is bugging in...out of range of the warhead. There are multiple slipspace ruptures...opening...outside the range of the warhead's destructive blast.
Nighthawk stepped forward.
Nighthawk: Switch monitor 2 to the new slipspace ruptures. Keep monitor 1 on the Supercarrier.
Nighthawk's eyes moved back and forth between the monitors. His HUD was at 14 seconds, when he saw the second Covenant battle group emerge from slispace on monitor 2.
Anaconda looked at Monitor 2.
Anaconda: I recognize some of these new ships. Some of those are Brute ships...in fact...all of them are. The flagship...it belongs to Dangerus.
Nighthawk: I am sure that will bring great comfort to the people he is about to kill.
Nighthawk watched the count down.
HAWK: We are out of range of the antimatter warhead...according to projections.
Nighthawk watched the count down hit 0. The number 0 floated on his HUD for a moment. Nighthawk was tense, he did not breathe. He waited for what was an eternity. Thankfully, the bomb had not been stopped, and the Supercarrier exploded in pieces as the antimatter explosion spread outwards and engulfed the surrounding ships, destroying them as the wave of destruction expanded outwards. As the explosion ventured further into space, the antimatter reaction broke down.
HAWK: All ships in the first battle group have been destroyed.
HAWK: I have confirmed that te second battle group consists of a collection of Assault Carriers and CCS class Battle cruiser. There is no real fleet cohesion, as there is no sub groups. All of the ships...are just...there.
Anaconda: They are Brutes...they are there to punch their way through the enemy.
Nighthawk turned back to the second monitor.
Nighthawk: We have to destroy that second battle group.
Anaconda: What!? Those ships...those are my Brutes out there.
Nighthawk: I know...and I wish the circumstances were different...but...they are an immediate threat to a human world!
Anaconda: We cannot kill them!
Nighthawk: What is the alternative!?
Anaconda grunted. He couldn't answer.
Nighthawk: Barrabus...I know you very well...and under normal circumstances...I would ignore them if it meant making you happy...but right now...they are here, at a launching pad, to attack a UNSC world. My people are in immediate danger! I need your help if I am going to stop them!
Anaconda grunted. He was not happy with the situation.
Nighthawk waited for a response.
Nighthawk: I would do it for you...
Anaconda: Which is true...because you have done it for me. I did not forget what you did for me at Paradise Lost. You killed your own crew members to save me...using that very same suit as a disguise to do it. You proved that your loyalty was to me. What kind of friend would I be if I could not return the favor...and learn something from your sacrifices.
Anaconda: Let's do it!
Anaconda then paused.
Anaconda: What do we do? We have nothing to destroy that fleet with! We used our only antimatter warhead!
Nighthawk: Shit...that's right.
Nighthawk: There has to be something we can do. Do...do any of those new ships carry antimatter warheads?
Anaconda: I do not know. It is non-standard equipment. The only reason I was able to get mine was because I took it from my own ship. Dangerus' ship MIGHT have an antimatter warhead...but it may not. I do not know how he stocks his ship!
Nighthawk: Am I being told that there is NO definitive course of action!?
Anaconda and HAWK were both silent.
Nighthawk thought for a moment.
Nighthawk: HAWK...reverse course...take us right at the second battle group.
HAWK: Nighthawk!? Are you planning to engage them?
Nighthawk: Until someone tells me we have an alternative...yes.
HAWK: There is no alternative.
Nighthawk: Then we will engage them.
Anaconda: In a Frigate?
Nighthawk: Not just a Frigate...a Stealth Frigate. A Stealth Frigate with Preston J. Vernette in command!
Nighthawk sat down in the command chair.
Nighthawk: That is reason enough to bet on this ship!
Nighthawk looked at Anaconda.
Anaconda: I need to hear everything you know about those Brute ships...now!
Anaconda grunted. He walked over to the holotable. As he did, the second battle group appeared on the holotable.
Nighthawk: HAWK...bring all weapons online!
Anaconda looked at Nighthawk.
Anaconda: Our first, and only target, should be Dangerus. He is the one coordinating that battle group. Without the command ship...they will be much easier to deal with.
Anaconda: Assuming we live past the first 10 seconds of this battle.
Nighthawk didn't respond. However...deep down...he knew he was about to die. However...his years of Navy service demanded that he die, on the bridge of his ship, in defense of humanity...no matter the odds. He had to admit...it was ironic...because he wasn't in his Naval uniform, and this wasn't his true ship. However...it was close enough...as long as he died on the bridge.
HAWK: I am...detecting a massive spike in Cherenkov radiation.
HAWK: Yes. However...the source is from the second battle group, and it is not coming from an opening rupture. I believe that those Brutes are making a jump to slip space.
Anaconda: They just saw what happened to the first battle group. If that was me...my first order would be to engage, and to not sit around and wait for my battle group to be destroyed.
HAWK: I agree.
Nighthawk: Shit...can we catch up with those ships? How far are we?
HAWK: At present speed...we should be able to enter the slipspace rupture with one of those Covenant ships.
Nighthawk: Can we get a destination solution?
HAWK: Working on it.
HAWK was silent for a moment.
HAWK: Oh no...
HAWK: I have the destination solution...
Nighthwk: What is it?
HAWK: San Angeles.
Nighthawk: The Covenant was launching a dual-pronged attack into our territory. Unbelieveable!
HAWK: The situation seems to support this...
Anaconda: What is the tactical importance of San Angeles?
Nighthawk: I don't know...nobody does...that is the problem.
Anaconda: What does that mean?
Nighthawk: It means...that ONI Section 0 has several hush-hush installations set up on San Angeles...and I have no idea why they are there. I am a senior level member of Section 0...I am head of R&D...and I am out of the loop? Does that make any sense to you?
Nighthawk: Look...I cannot prove it...but I am convinced tht The Trust has somthing going on down on San Angeles. If ONI Section 0 cut me out of the loop...then you know who it is who is doing it.
Anaconda: I have an idea.
Nighthawk: Spender...Director Constantine Spender.
Nighthawk: Ever since that guy became Director of ONI Section 0...my authority in ONI has diminished, and he has taken every chance to spite me.
Nighthawk: However...with all that said...all I have is speculation. I cannot prove jack shit...until we take a closer look. I typically do not like taking action without more intel, which is why I have not informed you about the problems of San Angeles until now. However...with San Angeles now under attack...we have to be there...and we have to not only repel The Covenant...but find out what the hell The Trust is up to, if anything at all. We are looking at a fight on two fronts.
HAWK: We are in position to enter the slipstream with the Brute ships. I cannot estimate our ETA.
Nighthawk: Understood HAWK. We just have to wait.
Time Lapse: 36 hours - 1145 hours - San Angeles
The Venture Capitalist dropped out of slipspace with the rest of the Brute fleet, and immediately broke away from the Brute ships.
HAWK: Sir...it seems San Angeles is already under attack. Based on the sensor readings...and the comm chatter...this invasion began 30 hours ago.It seems the UNSC is currently responding to the attack, and have ground forces on deployment, and the Navy, in orbit, engaging The Covenant. Based on initial reports...UNSC Ground Forces are currently holding the line. However...The UNSC Navy is quickly losing ground, as their numbers are starting to dwindle. I am almost certain that with the arrival of these Brute ships...the UNSC Navy is looking at defeat within 6 hours.
Nighthawk: Shit...this is not good.
Nighthawk thought for a moment.
Nighthawk: We cannot risk losing The Venture Capitalist in a naval engagement. We are goinng to hit the surface.
HAWK: Nighthawk...would it not be more prudent to return to the UNSC Navy?
Nighthawk: Perhaps I should...but...what about The Trust? If I rejoin The Navy...I have to fight in space. However...we NEED to hit the ground if we are going to find out what The Trust is up to.
Anaconda: You are looking at this the wrong way Vernette. As it stands...we can hit BOTH The Trust...and The Covenant, on the ground. You are more useful like this.
Nighthawk thought for a moment. He considered it.
Nighthawk: If the situation becomes dire...I am going back too The Navy. We still have competent officers out there. Harrison, to name one. I am sure he can handle it!
Nighthawk: Let's hit the surface!
Last edited by Naked Crook; 02-09-2013 at 05:53 AM.