As the Covenant war-machine marches dangerously close to Earth, the Inner Colonies, such as Tiber IV, become immensly important as last bastions of hope for the Humans. But in this deadly and prolonged fight over Tiber IV, who will prevail? And who will live to see another day?
UNSC Three's a Crowd - Orbit around Tiber IV - 4 December, 2548 (Military)
"Sir, I'm picking up something on deep scanners." The lieutenant covering Ops reported. Captain William Jennings sat up in his chair as ripples of anticipation and dread filled the bridge.
"Report, what is it? Covenant or other wise?" He asked. Jennings then pointed to his Tactical station's lieutant who began spinning up the weapon systems. They'd be ready for a fight if one got started.
"Unknown sir, seems like just a few ships, but they aren't flashing IFF transponders or traveling in any pattern that we use, sir." Ops reported.
"Keep me posted Ishi," Jennings ordered, "Open a channel to the Arizona and Bull Run, tell them to high tail it over here with weapons hot. Also, prepare to initiate the Cole Protocol and someone alert the colony they might be seeing visitors. And sound General Quarters" The bridge crew, all veterans of the prolonged Human-Covenant War, snapped immediatly into action as the various stations began enacting the captain's orders, some of which he didn't need to speak.
"Sir, we'll get a better picture in about 1 minute." Ops reported.
"Archer missiles are ready to rock sir," Weapons reported, "MAC is at 96% and climbing. Awaiting your order to unlock the Shivas sir." Jennings nodded, speed was key when fighting the Covenant. There would be a brief moment where the Covenant would come out of their Slipspace jump and would be vulnerable. That was their key to success.
"Sir, Arizona and Bull Run are comming about. The Calais and One for the Money are comming too sir, but they're on the far side." Ops reported, "Hang on, tangos comming into view!" The bridge fell eerily slient except for the sound of the siren of the General Quarters, which Ops killed quickly. All eyes turned to the view port as they watched the unknown entities enter real-space. As they did, Jennings let out a breath he didn't know he was holding. They were friendlies.
"Sir, recieving a message from the Constantinople. They want to speak with you sir." Ops reported happily. Jennings saw the crew relax as they realized that their end wasn't so near as they had expected. Jenning pressed a button on his captain's chair which opened a small Holo-panel for the message to come through.
"Sorry about the odd entry Captain," The man on the other end appologised, "We were running silent, seems easier if we disable our IFF's for a while; confuses the Covies and you it seems."
Jennings smiled, "I'll say it confused us, we just about tagged you with MAC's and Shivas sir."
"Thank God you didn't." Commandant Timothy Bryant said with a smile, "Now, can we join you? Or are you still thinking about vaporising us into oblivion?"
"By all means come on in, the water's fine." Jennings offered, "Just a question, who sent you?"
"HighCom, they're sending reinforcements to all the Inner Colonies, we're your first batch." Bryant replied. Jennings looked at his small Tactical screen attached to his chair, he saw at least 30 ships accompanied Bryant.
"Wonderful, might as well make yourself at home, we're probably going to be here a while." Jennings said.
"Got nothing better to do, eh?" Bryant asked. Jennings smiled, not really. But a few star systems away, someone else had much to do.