Orbit around Tiber IV - 4 Decmeber, 2548 (Military) - Three's a Crowd
"So what all is left out there?" Captain Jennings asked Comandant Bryant.
Bryant shrugged, "Alot less than there was. Regalus is gone, glassed in '43; we recaptured Chiron VI in '40 but the Covies blasted it in '41; we lost Tantalus in '36..."
"Tantalus? Really?" Jennings asked. As he remembered, Tantalus was one of the more well defended middle colonies.
"Yup, Covenant showed up with a massive fleet, blasted most of the ships right out of the sky before they could fire off a single salvo." Tim replied. Jennings impulsivly looked at his star-charts that sat on his desk. The universe was getting alot smaller now a-days.
"Acheron's gone. Covies actually took the time to invade the place. But some crazy captain shoved a nuke right up the planet's core, right down a Covie excavation site. Apparently the shaft went all the way right next to the core." Tim said with a small grin.
"What's left of Acheron?" Jennings asked.
"An asteroid belt," Tim answered non-chalantly, "We got New Canada back."
Jennings was plesantly surprised at that news, "Oh? How so?"
"One of ONI's steath ships slipped in when the Covies weren't looking. Caught 'em with a few nukes before they realized what happened. After that, fleet rode in and batted clean-up." Jennings nodded his approval. The ONI stealth ships were legendary for their apparent ability to appear anywhere at anytime and during war, this capability was a valuable prise. Just as Jennings was about to continue to question his friend and senior officer, a lieutenant stepped in the doorway of Jenning's ready room.
"Sir, scanners picking up a group of unknowns headed towards us sir. Deep scanners just picked them up a few seconds ago." the lieutenant reported. On the other end of the holo-chat, Tim was recieving a likewise account.
"Looks like we may have company, eh Will?" Tim asked. Will nodded his reply.
"See you after the show," He said. Tim nodded and then ended the chat. Will wasted no time as he strode through the hall, out of his ready room and out into the Bridge. Which, he was pleased to see, was busy with orderly chaos.
"Sir, trying to get a lock on how many flavors of ugly are headed for us," Ops reported, "Whoever they are they're traveling in a tight formation."
"Ishi, best assesment on the unknowns. Give me a guess son." Will told him. Ishi paused a moment before replying.
"Sir, I'd say it's the Covenant. We can't travel in that close of a pack with our ships, we'd come out fused together on the other side sir." Ishi replied. Will stared at the viewport to the expanse of space infront of him. He only paused a moment before acting.
"Very well, sound general quarters. Give me a firing solution with the MAC, unlock the Archers pods A-D on both sides and take the safety off one of our Shivas." Jennings ordered. Ishi nodded as he returned to his post quickly typing and relaying orders, "Someone get me a channel to Commandant Bryant on the double." He had hardly finished his sentence before he was recieving an alert on his chair. It was a communications link, voice only, with Tim.
"Listen up people," Tim's voice ordered. The bridge fell eerily silent as they complied, "Seems like we got a whole lot of ugly comming to us from an unending train of stupid. Now I know the usual rates on the ship to ship battles between us and them and I wish we had more bodies to defend this place. But we don't, but that doesn't matter because those Covenant are walking straight into a trap boys, they're gonna find us ready and raring for a fight, and we're gonna give 'em one." People nodded in assent as they listened to his speech, "I'm uploading plans for an little ambush we're gonna set for 'em. Once those Covie bastards get in system, blow 'em out of the sky. And remember, you have all of those people on the planet below us counting on us. Do not fail them, that's an order. Bryant, out."
A wave of determination swept the ship, and the fleet, as it galvanized them into action. Jennings nodded, it was a good speech. He just hoped whatever 'ambush' that they were setting was going to do some good when the Covenant showed up.
"Sir, enemy is transitioning out of Slipspace." Ishi reported. Jennings stared deeply into the expanse of space. He was watching for the tell-tale signs of... there.