1430 hours, October 20, 2552 (Military Calendar)\ Sol System, Earth on board
UNSC Destroyer Splendor In The Grass
“Sir, slipspace rupture reports off Jupiter’s moon Io,” exclaimed Lieutenant Harding. “Sir, it’s the Covenant! They have found Earth. Reports indicate fifteen covenant capital ships en route to Earth.”
“All hands to battle stations. I repeat all hands to battle stations,” ordered Captain James Peterson.
The alarm sounded off along the ship as the overhead lights were switched from their normal white/yellow color to battle station red.
“Sir we are getting a transmission from Fleet Admiral Harper,” reported Lieutenant Lopez. “They seem to be battle formations.”
“Patch them through to the main screen, Lieutenant.”
An overhead look of the fleet appeared on the main screen indicating positions of different ships with blinking NAV points.
“Sir, the Fleet Admiral requires us to move to point zero two eight by one seven zero degrees,” said Lieutenant Lopez indicating the position with a blinking arrow.
“Get us there Lieutenant! Move us in, eighty percent to aft thrusters.”
“Answering, aft thrusters, eighty percent, ETA one minute”
“Lieutenant Banks warm up our MACs. I want them ready to fire once we reach our designated position.”
“Aye aye sir, warming up MAC cannons,” said Lieutenant Banks.
“Sir, Fleet Admiral Harper is broadcasting via FLEETCOM,” reported Lieutenant Lopez.
“This is Fleet Admiral Harper, we are engaging the enemy!”
“Negative Admiral. Form a defensive perimeter around the cluster,” replied Lord Terrence Hood.
New data scrolled on the main screen as NAV points were readjusted to form a defensive wall around the Orbital MAC Stations. There was a slight shift in gravity as the ship changed course.
“Sir, we are detecting Covenant boarding craft, lots of them,” reported Banks.
“Don’t let them get through to the Athens or Malta. Arm archer pods A1 through A5. We are not going to let them get through even if we have to blow them out of the sky with our ship to ship missiles,” ordered Captain Peterson. There was a small clicking sound as the safety locks surrounding the archer missiles were released.
“Firing pod A1,” exclaimed Banks. Thirty small white streaks of exhaust flew from the bow of the Splendor In The Grass heading towards the oncoming fleet of boarding craft. There was a chain of small explosions as the boarding crafts’ shields shimmered, then were overridden, followed by a flash of blue sparks and light as the shrapnel tore threw the boarding crafts’ hull. The bridge crew cheered as they saw a mass of debris where the fleet of boarding crafts once were. The happiness was short-lived as a new fleet of boarding crafts along with an escort of seraph fighters plowed through the debris field.
“Banks initiate AI control of 50mm point defense autocannons. Blow those bastard single ships back to kingdom come,” barked Captain Peterson.
There were slight almost inaudible clipping noises as the Destroyer’s autocannons targeted the enemy seraphs and fired. 50mm High-Explosive shells clipped away at the enemy shields, then shredded threw the hull as the shields overloaded. The seraphs banked away from the boarding crafts strafing the Splendor In The Grass with plasma fire. The boarding crafts broke through the ship blockade docking on the Athens and Malta.
“Damn! Take out those damned seraphs,” exclaimed Captain Peterson
More almost inaudible clicking sounds were heard and the last three seraphs burst in a shower of blue plasma and purple metal.
“Sir, incoming transmission over FLEETCOM 2 its from the Malta. Playing now,” stated Lieutenant Lopez.
There was a small hissing sound and pop and then a young man’s voice came onto the COM channel, “I don’t believe it! They are retreating! We won!” Captain Peterson was knocked to the floor as the nearby Malta suddenly exploded sending an immense shockwave rolling through the ship blockade.
“Crap what was that,” the Captain questioned.
“Sir, it seems the Malta exploded from the inside,” replied Lieutenant Harding
“But wait wasn’t the Athens also boarded…” Captain Peterson’s eyes widened as he realized what was going to happen next. “All hands brace yourselves!” A second shockwave rippled through the UNSC fleet as the Athens blew outward in the same fashion as the Malta.
“Fleet Admiral Harper is assembling the fleet in attack formations, sir. Receiving coordinates. Moving on intercept vector with the first echelon. Incoming transmission, patching,” reported Lieutenant Lopez.
“First echelon you’re with me. Blanket those cruisers. Take ‘em out one by one. Second echelon, keep those carriers busy,” ordered Fleet Admiral Harper.
“You heard the Admiral men. Lets those blow those Covenant bastards straight to hell! Get our MACs hot Banks!”
“MACs eighty-five percent capacity. Almost there, almost there… were hot!”
“Fire!” The ship rumbled as twin bolts of thunder burst from the two MAC gun placements located on the bow of the destroyer. Twenty-eight massive white-hot streaks arced up pounding the Covenant cruisers with a multitude of six-hundred ton tungsten rounds. Four MAC rounds were complete misses while the other twenty-four impacted over a large area of ships. Three MAC rounds pounded a CCS-class Battlecruiser’s shields with the last MAC round penetrating leaving a three-hundred meter gash along its portside. The ship listed to port leaving its ventral decks open to two more MAC rounds, which pierced clean through incapacitating the ship and its bridge crew.