Disclaimer, I do not own RWBY or any of the franchises referenced in this work

Chapter 10: Necessary sacrifice

Inspiration: Halo Reach

"Welcome back from your rest, since Jaune is back in focus, I'm going to have him step out for a bit." Blank greeted his audience.

"Does he have to?" Yang whined.

"Rules are rules in this place and even I'm subject to some of them. Relax, nothing bad is going to happen to him, I'll just put him elsewhere where he can catch up on the exploits of his other selves, blueprints, manuals, notes, they're there for him to use." Blank answered.

"Huh, so do I get to learn how to build all those bombs?" Jaune asked excitedly.

"Indeed, among others. There's a firing range for you to test out the equipment you desire in there, but you don't get to bring anything back except the blueprints of course, you'll have to build them on your own in your own world. I can't just be supplying WMDs without cost after all."

"Awesome. But uh, when do I get back?" Jaune tempered his excitement for a brief moment and waited for a reply.

"Probably a few viewings from now. We'll see when we get there. Say your goodbyes now, next viewing is almost ready to start." Blank flickered out of existence as Jaune gave his friends a farewell hug.

Pyrrha opted to give him a kiss on the cheek while Yang went for a full blown one that left him a stuttering mess again. Jaune snapped out of his dazed state when a freed Taiyang lunged straight at him, he was mid scream when he vanished in a burst of light, allowing the enraged father to crash into the seats harmlessly.

"Where is he!? I'll kill him!" Taiyang roared and Qrow promptly clunked him on the head with a bottle again.

"That's enough of that, boy's already gone, now sit down or so help me I will chain you to your seat again." Qrow growled as he dragged his disoriented brother in law back to his seat.

Ruby pulled her hood up and hid herself in it while Yang simply facepalmed, neither wanting to acknowledge their father's embarrassing antics.

"Nora, calm down. I'm sure Jaune will share once he gets back." Ren said when Nora started vibrating in frustration.

"But it's not fair! Why does Jaune-Jaune get to see the bombs first! I'm the explosives expert on the team!" Nora pouted and folded her arms angrily.

"Don't worry, I'm sure Jaune will share everything, then you can help him improve afterwards." Pyrrha offered and the bomber nodded reluctantly.

"He'd better, or I won't share any pancakes with him ever again." Nora declared, getting her teammates to laugh, since when did Nora share her pancakes anyway?

Blank popped back into existence again once Jaune was safely settled in his new accommodations. "Alright, I'm back, this viewing covers a universe where the Grimm doesn't exist."

"A world without Grimm eh? So humanity is free from the threat of extinction then?" Ironwood asked.

"Unfortunately no. Similar to the first universe you saw, humanity expanded to the stars and found that they were not alone in a very hostile galaxy."

"How hostile are we talking about?" Qrow frowned at the idea that humanity would still be under threat from outsiders despite reaching the stars. At least with the earlier universe, it was more of a human vs human issue.

"Shortly after first contact, humanity received this message, 'your destruction is the will of the gods, and we are their instrument'. For thirty years, the conflict was essentially you vs the Grimm on a galactic scale, with humanity hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned against an opponent hell bent on xenocide." Blank replied.

"Shit. Does humanity survive or are they all doomed?" Torchwick shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

"Eventually humanity does triumph but the cost was unbearably high. Sometimes, a few good men in the right place at the right time can make all the difference, even if it costs them everything." Blank said and the lights dimmed, the screen coming shortly after.

The winds howled as a dust storm blanketed the area. Several armoured figures were taking shelter in a cave, watching the enemy formations assemble in the distance. "That spire was indeed a teleporter linked to a Covenant capital ship, a cloaked super carrier. Reinforcements are on the way, 60% of the UNSC fleet is en route to Reach from existing deployments. The first battlegroup should arrive within 48 hours."

"48 hours? We don't have 48 hours." Fox grumbled as he removed his helmet, plopping himself down on the ground.

"Half the planet will be overrun or glass by the time they get here. How the bloody hell did the Covenant sneak that thing past our defences anyway?"

"No clue, we're going to have to find a way to deal with it though." Coco shrugged and rested her chaingun against the wall before getting comfortable as well. Yatsuhashi was sitting in a corner performing maintenance on his weapons while Velvet was arguing with their CO Taiyang about their next course of action.

And the new guy? Six was just standing by, observing everything behind the featureless helmet. Despite herself, Coco felt a small shiver run down her spine, anticipation or nervousness, she couldn't tell which. Jaune, or Six as he preferred to go by, had a kind of air around him, nothing bad… just different.

She'd seen his file before his transfer to Noble team, ninety percent of it was blacked out. They'd all done their share of black ops, hell the entire unit was black ops, but Six was black ops personified. One didn't receive the designation of hyper lethal by just being a regular spartan after all.

"Hey, it's team CFVY and dad!" Ruby exclaimed, pointing excitedly at the screen.

"Yes we can see that, now calm down." Weiss sighed and shook her head.

"Spartan? Hyper lethal?" Winter's attention was focused on the unfamiliar terms.

"Spartans are super soldiers, think specialists taken to the logical extreme. Every single one of them are trained to go up against enemy armies and win. Hyper lethal is a designation given to only two individuals in that universe, an acknowledgement of their skills and ability to turn the status of practically everyone who stands against them into KIA." Blank supplied.

"That thing is crushing us and we're waiting for backup? By the time the fleet arrives they'll be backing up a graveyard." Velvet argued and pointed to the behemoth in the skies.

"Our nukes are either out system or went down with the ships that carried them. Unless you feel like throwing rocks at them from here, the only option we have is to wait for reinforcements." Taiyang sighed in frustration.

"You're preaching to the converted here."

"How converted?" Velvet asked, something in her tone immediately setting off warning bells.

"I know that look Velvet…"

"You can say no."

"No."

"You haven't even heard it yet. You sure you don't want to? It might be the solution to our problems." Velvet asked and smirked when she saw Taiyang start growling, hook line and sinker.

"Fine, I'll hear it."

"Remember that accident a couple years back, colony ship en route to Signus, seven hundred dead."

"Vaguely, slipspace drive malfunction, what about it?"

"Actually it worked fine. The drive was mounter improperly after a service overhaul, when it activated, it transitioned half the ship into oblivion and took everyone with it." Velvet shrugged and replied.

"And this is relevant how?"

"A certain super carrier could with some… assistance… suffer the same unfortunate fate." Velvet's victorious smirk drew the attention of the rest of the team, getting them to crowd in.

"What's going on?" Coco asked once they were gathered.

"Objective, destroy Covenant supercarrier in geosynchronous orbit above us." Velvet borrowed Yatsuhashi's combat knife and began drawing figures in the sand while Coco just exchanged a glance with Taiyang.

"Is this sanctioned sir?"

"What do you think?"

"They're going against orders?" Ironwood asked, unsure of what to make of it, insubordination was a serious offence in pretty much every military to ever exist, but then he didn't think those militaries ever had to deal with something like this.

"Not so much going against orders as taking initiative. There isn't much choice really, if they wait, odds are good the super carrier will just start glassing the planet and that'll be it for them." Blank answered.

"Glassing the planet?" Ozpin raised an eyebrow.

"Orbital bombardment with plasma weaponry until everything on the surface is dead. By the time they're done, even the atmosphere and oceans would have been burned away and of a vibrant garden world, the only thing that'll be left would be a barren world made of broken glass. It's what the covenant does to human worlds that have been discovered."

"Sweet Oum, the hell is wrong with them!?" Qrow spat out his drink in shock.

"They're religious fanatics that make the white fang look sane and peace loving in comparison. They believe their gods demand the extinction of humanity and they are more than willing to oblige. It doesn't help that humanity only wins space engagements at when they outnumber the enemy three to one, and even then, heavy casualties are sustained."

"C-can't they make peace or something?" Pyrrha asked in a small voice.

"Eventually some measure of peace will be found, but the scars run deep. True peace is a long way off for them, I just thought I'd let you all know, as hopeless as your war against the Grimm seem at times, there are plenty of worlds out there far worse off."

Velvet finished sketching and turned to address the assembled spartans. "Method, a slipspace drive failure in lieu of the nukes we don't have. Delivery system, us. Now we just need a way up there and a slipspace drive."

"So, all we need is orbit capable transport and the single most expensive piece of equipment ever made by human hands." Taiyang said in a flat tone.

"Well, as a soldier out in the field, there's no way I'd have either of those things. But a good place to look would be… I don't know, the nearest non-existent launch site of the non-existent sabre program denied by three administrations as nothing more than preposterous rumours that our newest addition was most certainly never a pilot for?" Velvet stood and nodded to Jaune in the back.

Yatsuhashi grunted as he retrieved his knife. "You're scary you know that?"

"All we need is the green light from command."

"Yeah, good luck with that." Taiyang said before his face fell when Velvet shoved a data pad in his face.

"You're the one asking, sir." Velvet smirked as Taiyang gave in and took the pad, if he was going to make a case to high command, then he needed to give them something concrete. Once more she was glad Taiyang was the CO and not her, when it came to being buried in paperwork, better him than her."

"They're never gonna go for this."

"Ergh… this reminds me too much of Signal." Taiyang grimaced and his miserable expression was shared by Qrow and Goodwitch.

"Oh yeah, it's a good idea they say, everyone knows what to do they say, it's all just common sense they say, so here fill out this stack of paperwork in triplicate just to be sure. That wasn't in the job description." Qrow grumbled as he recalled the massive stacks of paperwork whenever it came to holding any kind of special event in the school, even if they'd done it countless times before, not even a strong drink could help him cope with that headache.

"Understandable but frustrating." Glynda herself wasn't immune to the demon called paperwork, it was why she usually fixed up the damage caused by students with her semblance. There were only so many ways someone could write 'over enthusiastic sparring by students' on budget request forms before they wanted to throw themselves out the nearest window.

The falcon deposited Noble team on a sandy beach just beyond the launch facility. High command had given them the green light pretty quickly, things were more desperate in orbit than could be seen from the ground evidently.

"A bit of a hike to the launch facility isn't it?" Coco said as the spartans began their trek.

"Can't get any closer, LZs too hot." Taiyang replied as he took point, he was scowling under his helmet. The hope was that they'd be able to reach the facility and launch asap but the Covenant had already beaten them here.

"Launch facility dead ahead… and that's a lot of Covenant." Velvet trailed off as the enemy were massing on the beaches as more and more dropships arrived to deposit their cargo.

"Guess top secret doesn't mean much when you have orbital supremacy and can just look down." Fox grumbled.

"To be fair, no one expected them to find Reach so quickly, hell they bypassed so many of our inner colony worlds to get here. And now they're between us and the launch site." Yatsuhashi responded.

"It changes nothing. They're in our way and we'll just have to go through them. Noble team, engage hostiles." Taiyang ordered and six guns opened up on the unsuspecting enemy milling down below.

Jaune said nothing as he hung back and started sniping with his magnum, blowing off the heads of any unshielded alien unfortunate enough to enter his sights. The rest of Noble team fanned out to cover more ground and present less of a target.

An elite charge Jaune, screaming as an energy sword ignited. Keeping his cool, Jaune switched to his assault rifle and emptied the full magazine into the charging alien, breaking its shields in the process and getting it to roar.

Ducking under a swing, Jaune brought the rifle up and slammed its butt into the elite's jaw, sending it reeling back. Without time to reload, Jaune pulled out his pistol again and shoved it into the elite's mouth and pulled the trigger.

Grim satisfaction filled him as the elite's head transitioned into a bloody mess of purple blood and gore. Not flinching as several plasma rounds dissipated against his shields harmless, Jaune continued firing with the magnum, removing heads with surgical precision. Once it too was out of ammo, he ducked behind a rock to reload his guns, not a single wasted movement.

"He's good. Very good." Winter was impressed, there weren't many soldiers who could remain calm under fire and still keep up a high level of performance.

"Yeah! Break their legs fearless leader!" Nora cheered for Jaune's rampage against the Covenant lines, Ren and Pyrrha politely clapped along, even if Pyrrha was a little squicked out by all the gore. Grimm didn't leave such a mess when you kill them that was for sure.

Slowly but surely, Noble team pushed their way up the beach, leaving a trail of smoking corpses behind them. Taiyang ducked as a ball of green plasma sailed overhead, narrowly missing him. "Contact, they're hiding in the rocks, flush them out!"

Jaune primed two frag grenades and let fly, their detonations solid whumps that could be felt even through the armour. Bits and pieces of the grunts in hiding rained down around their compatriots as the rest panicked and started running. They didn't get very far before being cut down by a hail of gunfire.

A wall of energy shields greeted them as they crested a hill, jackals in firing line while hiding behind the cover their shields afforded them. Against regular human infantry without heavy weapons, it was a solid strategy, but they were up against spartans.

Jaune lobbed a captured plasma grenade behind their lines, a distance far greater than any human should be able to. Surprised and panicked chittering could be heard from the jackals before the column disappeared in a flash of blue and white plasma.

A lone elite rose to challenge them, he didn't make it far before Coco's chaingun reduced him to bloody paste. "And that's the last of them… for now."

"Everybody inside, there'll be more where they came from." Taiyang ordered and the spartans double timed it to the entrance. As they got closer, they could hear the voices of the human defenders beyond the door.

"Hold your fire! Friendlies coming through! Damn, we got ourselves some spartans boys! We're not dying today after all." Several cheers could be heard from the rest of the garrison as the spartans came into view.

"Talk about a hero's welcome. They sure are popular aren't they?" Torchwick commented.

"Spartans are legendary for being able to turn the tide of even the most hopeless ground engagements. Originally, they were all black ops, but when the human covenant war dragged on, their existence was revealed to the public as a morale booster for the civilians. It had the side effect of boosting morale among the troops as well." Blank answered.

"Is that wise? If the enemy can crack their communications, then they'll know about these spartans too." Ironwood frowned at the implications of humanity's secret weapons being revealed to the enemy.

"By the time of the reveal, spartans were common knowledge among the Covenant as well even if their leaders try to downplay their threat. Spartans are the one group the Covenant actually fear, they call them demons and for good reason."

"Flight control is this way sir! The techs are already expecting you." A soldier saluted as he unlocked the doors and allowed Noble team to enter.

"I still can't believe high command approved this." Coco shook her head in mild disbelief.

"Some plans are just too good to say no to." Velvet shot back.

"Whatever, I'm the one who had to hash out the full plan, now let's get those sabres airborne before command changes their minds." Taiyang rolled his eyes and pressed forwards, his team snickering behind him.

Along the way, they ran into several Covenant stragglers, remnants of an earlier attempt to breach the base. Cutting them down before they could cause anymore havoc, Noble team fell silent as they passed the bodies of soldiers and techies who had been killed in the fighting earlier, the bodies lay where they fell, staining the ground red.

Upon reaching flight control, Taiyang checked with the technicians on standby and had to resist the urge to swear. "Bad news ladies and gents, initial covenant assault took out most of the planet side sabres when the hangar got hit. We're down to the last one that was on standby for a test flight, the rest are already up in orbit."

"Orders sir?" Jaune asked as he holstered his weapons.

"Six, you and Coco are the only certified pilots among us, get in the sabre and launch."

"It's no longsword but the weapon control schematics are similar, I think I'll be able to figure it out on the way up. What about the rest of you guys?" Coco asked.

"We'll exfil with base personnel once you launch. This location is compromised and it's just a matter of time before the Covenant hit it hard enough for it to crumble. Keep the comm channels open, we'll set up rendezvous coordinates later. Good luck, we'll see you on the other side."

"Yes sir." Jaune saluted and made his way to the cockpit. Strapping himself in, he began pre-launch checks as Coco took the backseat and began checking the weapons systems.

"All systems green. We are good to launch." Jaune gave the tech on standby a thumbs up as the cockpit canopy closed overhead, sealing them in. Once the techs had retreated to safety, Jaune keyed ignition and the rocket boosters fired.

The craft shuddered as it accelerated to escape velocity. Shooting past the clouds, the sea of stars soon became visible to the two spartans as they left the atmosphere behind and the planet became visible behind them.

"It's beautiful." Weiss said, awestruck at what she was lucky enough to witness.

"It is, isn't it? Makes you wonder just how Remnant looks like from space doesn't it?" Ruby whispered in an equally awed voice.

"Similar actually, bluer, but no less amazing." Ironwood answered

"What? You know what the planet looks like from space?" Qrow blinked once before asking to double check.

"Yes we do. Space travel is beyond us at the moment since dust doesn't work once it leaves the atmosphere, but reaching space itself is easy enough. You can get the initial thrust to clear the gravity well with dust so getting into space itself is no issue. But after that, it's coming back down. We have some success with basic chemical propellant and batteries to control the drones we send up, enough to get a few pictures but there hasn't been a lot of progress on that front." The general sighed heavily at the thought that the technology was currently a dead end.

"A shame really, if we could get an observation satellite in orbit permanently, we might be able to track the Grimm and frontier settlements from the skies. No longer will we have to worry about settlements just going dark without warning."

Once the rocket boosters fell away, Jaune gunned the thrusters and headed to the rally point with the other orbital sabres. The comms sputtered as a new voice came in. "Noble actual to sabre Bravo 029, come in."

"Copy actual, Colonel Cordovin?" Coco answered while Jaune focused on flying.

"Indeed Noble five, welcome to operation uppercut, I'll be your control from here on out. Six, these sabres have been customised for orbital defence, these aren't the long range stealth units you're used to, you might to get reacquainted with them."

"Yes mam." Jaune acknowledged.

"Rendezvous at anchor nine with the frigate Savannah and the other Sabres asap, I don't know how much time we have before the super carrier starts glassing Reach. That cannot be allowed to happen." Cordovin's orders came in loud and clear, the two spartans acknowledged their orders and continued on their flight path.

"Cordovin? Haven't heard from her in a while, last I checked she was still stationed at the base in Argus." Ironwood mused quietly.

As the sabre approached the frigate, several contacts appeared on the radar. IFF tags indicated incoming Covenant fighters. "Attention, station defences are still offline from an earlier Covenant assault, Anchor nine requesting support until we can get them back up and running."

"Here we go, let's see what you got Mr ace pilot." Coco chuckled as Jaune put the sabre into a sharp one eighty, turning to engage the incoming hostiles.

"Banshees eh, they're seriously underestimating us." Coco grinned as the sabre's autocannons opened up on the nearest fighters, overloading the shields and scraping the banshee behind it in a single good hit.

"You're complaining?" Jaune raised an eyebrow as he put the sabre into an aileron roll to avoid fuel rod cannon rounds.

"Hell no, I'm just saying, this is a pretty good warmup. If it was just anchor nine, these banshees would be enough, too bad we're here, sucks to be them today." Coco laughed as she fired off a barrage of missiles. She was rewarded by several small suns springing into existence as several red dots disappeared from the radar.

Additional contacts appeared on the radar and Jaune recognised the signatures. "You wanted a fight, you got one. Incoming fighters, seraphs probably."

"Stronger shields, won't help em. These guns will chew straight through their shields and I got plenty of missiles for everyone. Get on em Six."

Jaune positioned the sabre above the seraphs before putting the fighter into a dive right on top of the enemy. Autocannons blazed away at the unlucky target and its shield shimmered before failing, the 50mm HE shells blasting holes in it but the seraph remained flying. Two missiles straight to the stern rectified that issue.

"And another one bites the dust."

"They're doing pretty well, I thought you said humanity loses in space." Winter asked once Jaune and Coco reduced another seraph to scrap metal.

"These are fighters nothing more, when it comes to capital ships, the difference in power becomes exceedingly obvious. Not to mention, these sabres are very, very, very expensive and difficult to make. Most human fighters don't have shields, those plasma rounds the sabres are shrugging off? They'll go straight through your average fighter. Such is the nature of the war sadly, the Covenant can field energy shields and weapons on practically every single unit they have, all the way down to cannon fodder infantry. Humanity on the other hand, is restricted to only the most elite of the elite."

"So these spartans then. Can they create more?" Summer asked and Blank was silent for a bit.

"…They can, they are, but not nearly enough." He said finally, some discomfort in his tone.

"There something wrong with that? Wouldn't more spartans be a good thing?" Taiyang asked next.

"When you're facing an enemy hell bent on your extinction, an enemy that has already wiped out a significant chunk of your population. It makes you desperate, and when you get desperate, things like ethics go out the window. Spartans are the best of the best, but what was done to create them… in peace time you'd be lucky to get a court martial, more likely someone would just put a bullet in your head for those sins."

"What could be so bad? Jaune-Jaune is kicking ass!" Nora cheered before Blank silenced her.

"What could be so bad? I said the Covenant burns every human world they find. That creates refugees, men, women, children who've lost their homes, their families and friends, who've lost everything and are left with only hatred for the enemy." Blank said and Nora's cheer died instantly, she swallowed hard as she recalled Kuroyuri, by her side, Ren's hands were clenched into fists.

"There aren't nearly enough resources to support all of them. So you give them all a gun and point them at the enemy. If they win, you send them out again, if they still return, you repeat. Again and again, until they die in hopeless battle, then they get replaced by the next revenge driven refugee. That's the adults, but to become a spartan, to be skilled in every single aspect of warfare humanity can teach, do you really think it's possible to train an adult that way?"

"…Child soldiers?" Torchwick was the one to voice the ugly thought that reared itself in their heads.

"Desperate times, desperate measures." Blank finished and said no more, leaving the audience to stew. Ozpin in particular stared into the murky liquid inside his mug, wondering if he'd end up doing something like that if Salem pushed him to the edge. Plan to make Pyrrha the fall maiden aside, he wondered if Raven had the right of it after all when she accused him of throwing them into a war they had no hope of winning in some fool's gamble.

'I'm nothing like that… am I?'

"Anchor Nine to all UNSC forces, station defences are back online, we're detecting a large wave of fighters inbound with boarding craft. Keep em off us." The radio sputtered and Jaune directed the ship towards the nav point where the Covenant were coming from.

"How are we on ammo?"

"Plenty left, this thing's loaded for bear. How's the sabre handling?" Coco asked as a quick check of the readouts indicated they still had over half their arsenal remaining.

"Excellent, the controls are more responsive then before… here they come." Jaune refocused on the battlefield as the first Covenant ships came into view.

"Banshees, seraphs and phantom dropships, Five, focus on those dropships, they can't be allowed to get boarders on anchor nine. The station's own guns will handle the fighters."

"You got it." Coco smirked and pulled the trigger, sending a volley of missiles towards the nearest phantom once she had a lock. The shields flared brightly and failed but the dropship carried on through, blue plasma torpedoes streaked towards the sabre and Jaune put the fighter into a barrel roll to evade.

"Ah nuts, these ones are tougher than the ones planet side." Coco grumbled and lit up the offending phantom with the sabre's autocannons, puncturing multiple holes in its hull and spacing the occupants.

Jaune said nothing as he concentrated on flying, those plasma torpedoes were lethal and even with the energy shields on the sabre he wouldn't be able to take too many of them before going down. Weaving through the oncoming barrage, he lined up the shot perfectly and Coco took it, delivering eight missiles to the phantom's vulnerable back, destroying it completely.

An explosion caught his eye and Jaune smiled lightly when the last phantom was blown to pieces by the Savannah's guns. Most of the fighters had been destroyed already and the few that remained were being picked off by friendly sabres after being boxed in by anchor nine's barrage.

"And that's the last of them. Docking for resupply now." Jaune spoke into the mic and headed for anchor nine's open hangar bay.

"Right, I've synced up the weapons system with your controls, they should function the same as a longsword now, I'll be with the escort team, good luck Six." Coco gave Jaune's shoulder a nudge before exiting the ship and heading for the pelican holding the drive core. Her fingers clenched into fists as blue white flashes on the surface of Reach could be seen from space as large swaths of land were wiped away by plasma fire. The supercarrier had begun bombardment and her home was burning.

"Shit. How are they supposed to fight something like that?" Qrow shivered lightly and thanked the gods Salem had nothing on that level.

"By throwing everything they have at the enemy." Blank answered.

"Noble Six, this is Cordovin." The radio sparked to life again as a message from high command came in.

"Go ahead colonel." Jaune acknowledged as the sabre was refuelled and rearmed.

"We have detected a Covenant corvette on a predicted docking path to the supercarrier. Get the drive on that ship and we have our way in. Noble five will escort the bomb, I need you and the other sabres to provide fighter support and clear the way for boarding. Since the Savannah has generously donated their drive to the cause, they'll be on station to assist."

"UNSC Savannah, our wings may be clipped but we've got your back." A brief communique came through from the frigate and Jaune nodded.

"Six, I don't need to say it but the fleet won't get here in time to save Reach. You're the only option we have. Do. Not. Fail."

"Yes mam. We'll get it done colonel, Six out." Jaune gunned the thrusters once he was cleared to launch again, falling into formation with the other surviving sabres.

It wasn't long before the corvette came into view, an ugly purple scar against the void. "Savannah here, we're jamming their comms, hit em hard while they can't call for help. Might want to clip their engines as well, slow em down for boarders."

The sabres acknowledged and began their attack run as soon as the frigate opened up. Jaune peeled off from the rest to engage the corvettes fighter escort, launching a full salvo of missiles and blowing a hole in the enemy formation.

After destroying several seraphs, Jaune watched the corvette's shields fail upon taking a direct hit from the Savannah's MAC. "Shields are down, taking out the engines now. Boarders, stand by."

Coming around from the Corvette's stern, Jaune emptied half his remaining supply of missiles into the engines, wiping them all out and slowing the corvette to a crawl.

"All hostile fighters destroyed, supercarrier is holding steady, I don't think they noticed us, good work sabres. Boarding party is en route, Six, you're with them, escort the package." Cordovin's orders came through and Jaune nodded, with all enemy patrols down and the corvette stricken, he was more useful fighting inside the ship with the boarding party as opposed to just flying around outside.

Seeing the boarding party being harassed by Covenant EVA units, Jaune strafed the landing platform with his autocannons and reduced them all to bloody chunks before landing himself. Exiting the sabre, he found an elite coming out of a nearby hatch, several dozen rounds of AP ammo later and a fresh corpse was floating off into space. Two grenades down the hatch ensured his buddies would be joining him shortly.

"Anyone else a little freaked out he's that good at killing things and so quiet at the same time?" Weiss commented, her face was slightly green as Noble six carved a bloody path into the ship's interior, leaving only carnage in his wake.

Neo shrugged and held up a sign, 'Looks fine to me.'

"Of course you'd think that." Roman sighed as Neo kicked her legs happily.

"He's a professional. Killing is just another task to complete for him… at least those aren't humans he's massacring." Ironwood grunted out.

"It's like he's a machine." Ruby said and shivered in discomfort.

Jaune rammed his combat knife into an elite's back, severing its spine instantly. Ripping it free, the spartan allowed the corpse to just float away. "This is Six, hangar bay is ours, I'm lowering the shields now for package delivery."

Entering several commands on the console the now dead elite was guarding, he watched as the shields lowered and the pelican containing the slipspace drive was free to land.

"Fireworks aboard HQ." Coco reported once she stepped off the dropship.

"Excellent. Six, take a squad and storm the bridge, the docking run with the supercarrier will have to be initiated manually. Five, protect the bomb from enemy reinforcements." Cordovin ordered.

"Yes mam. I get guard duty by myself again, this is going to be boring, so hurry it up would ya Six?" Coco gave Jaune a curt nod as she set up her chaingun and prepared to repel the Covenant attempting to take back the hangar bay.

Jaune pushed deeper into the ship, headed for the bridge. Cutting through to the next hangar bay, the UNSC Savannah was in full view from the bay doors. As he cut down the Covenant defenders, Jaune uttered a silent prayer as the frigate took several more direct hits from the Corvette.

"Noble actual, this is the Savannah, we can no longer stall the corvette. Severe structural damage sustained." The captain of the frigate said with an air of resignation.

"The package is aboard, break away now." Cordovin's orders came several seconds later.

"Too late for that mam, reactor's gone into meltdown. Looks like we won't be able to give you that ride home after all. Godspeed." The comms cut out and explosions blossomed along the Savannah's hull as the corvette continued firing on the ship with its plasma batteries. Jaune's visor polarised when the frigate's reactor went critical and detonated, destroying the ship and taking all hands with it in a blinding flash.

"No." Ruby whispered and clasped her hands over her mouth, Summer leaned over to give her a comforting hug.

"How? The corvette shouldn't be able to destroy a ship that size on its own!" Winter was in shock.

"Covenant ships have energy weapons and shields. Humanity has kinetic weapons and armour plating. Their shots bounce of the shields while the Covenant's melt through multiple layers in a single hit. Even a corvette is capable of doing severe damage to a human capital ship and a covenant destroyer is more than enough to lay waste to small fleets on its own." Blank said.

Bitterness welled up inside him as more of his comrades were ripped away by the merciless Covenant. Pushing it down, Jaune replaced it with grim determination, the Savannah was gone but before long he'd be sending the supercarrier after it. They would not go unavenged.

"Frigate's gone mam." Jaune updated Cordovin with a sombre tone.

"Damn! You're in deep with no cover, get the corvette moving towards that blasted supercarrier and get the hell off the ship!"

"Yes mam." Jaune led the rest of his squad in breaching the corvette's bridge, sending a tidal wave of lead towards the crew within. Even as several of the boarders fell under a hail of plasma fire, none of the rest gave ground, all were out for blood now, for the fallen on Reach, for the fallen on the Savannah, human blood had been spilled and it was up to them to collect on that debt.

Jaune slammed the butt of his rifle down on an elite zealot, breaking its shields and staggering it. The markings on its armour identified it as the captain and Jaune took satisfaction in that knowledge when he brought the rifle down again, bringing the elite to its knees. Drawing his pistol, Jaune pumped several rounds into the back of its head, executing it instantly.

"All targets neutralised, the bridge is ours. Initiating docking procedure now." Jaune reported as he entered the commands needed to send the corvette on its final voyage. Once the commands were locked, he put several rounds into the console, ensuring anyone trying to interfere would have a hard time reversing his actions.

"Six, our ride out is under heavy fire. Get back here asap." Coco's voice came from the comms as the sound of gunfire echoed in the back ground.

"Roger that." Jaune took point and led the rest of the marines back to the hangar bay, ambushing the Covenant within from behind. Announcing their presence with several well placed grenades, the alien menace found themselves being violently ripped apart by the returning humans.

"You're late." Coco greeted as Jaune walked over.

"Your watch is fast. Is the bomb good to go?"

"Yeah, it's already armed. Just need to hold here for a bit more before I lock down the doors, don't want them spoiling the surprise early by cutting through the doors."

"Very well." Jaune nodded and took up a defensive position near the pelican while the marines did the same.

Several waves of Covenant reinforcements hit their positions and one by one, the unshielded marines fell in battle until only the two spartans remained standing. A small beeping on their mission timers indicated they had just over a minute left before the corvette made contact with the supercarrier.

Coco shut down the doors and locked them, by the time the Covenant burned their way through, it would be too late to do anything to stop them. While Jaune did a circuit of the room to make sure every alien son of a bitch in there with them was deader than dead, Coco worked on the bomb and the pelican.

"Ah… so that's how it is." She sighed and stepped away from the pelican.

"I got good news and bad news." Coco said once Jaune returned.

"Pelican got hit bad, thruster gimble is shot to hell and that means the only way off this slag heap is gravity." She paused and stared out the hangar at Reach, very far below them.

"And it's a long way down."

"And the good news?" Jaune asked after a moment.

"That was the good news."

"Oh that can't be good." Blake said and shuffled in her seat uncomfortably.

"Understatement of the century right there kitty cat." Torchwick fired back with a mirthless laugh.

"Bad news is, timer got fried by plasma. It'll have to be fired manually." Coco removed her helmet and gave Jaune a wry grin.

"That's a one-way trip."

"Yeah well, we all make it sooner or later. They're gonna need you down there so better get going." Coco chuckled before removing her dog tags and pressing them into Jaune's hands.

"No, you're a spartan II, I'm just a III, I'm more expendable than you are." Jaune tried to argue before he felt his armour lockup when Coco triggered the override and overloaded his shield generators.

"That's not true and you know it. Sides, armour's breached." Coco lifted her right arm to show a patch of blackened and burned armour that was cracked in multiple places and leaking fluid.

"Suit's no longer air tight, I won't survive the vacuum. When you get down there, tell them to make it count." Coco smiled for the last time as she shoved Jaune out the hangar bay and sent him hurtling towards the planet.

As Jaune fell, the supercarrier came into full view above him as the Corvette passed directly under the belly of the beast.

A flicker of lightning as Coco triggered the drive.

Silence in the void for a split second, and then an orb of darkness lined with purple highlights blossomed where the Corvette used to be, consuming the supercarrier in the process.

When it dissipated, half the juggernaut was gone and the remaining two pieces began to fall and burn up in atmosphere.

As Jaune continued to fall, protected from the friction by his overloaded shields, his face fell when several slipspace ruptures became visible in the distance and silver-grey ships began emerging from them.

"No."

The covenant fleet had arrived, and they had come in force.

The screen dimmed and the lights came back on. Yang slammed her fist against the armrest and growled, her eyes burning red and embers already rising from her hair. "Are you kidding me!? After all that and it was for nothing!?"

"It's war Ms Xiao Long, as tragic as Ms Adel's sacrifice was, sometimes it just isn't enough and things get worse anyway." Ozpin said, a bitter taste in his mouth.

"What happens to Jaune after that?" Pyrrha asked.

"He survives the fall and regroups with the remaining members of Noble team, continuing their fight against the Covenant." Blank answered.

"Do they win?" Weiss followed up.

Blank's silence was telling.


Author's notes: I've waited twelve years for this, twelve years for Halo to return to PC after Halo 3 came out and there wasn't a pc port like 1 and 2. Next two chapters will be focused on Halo, final mission of Reach and the very first mission that started it all. You know, parts of history can be summed up with X happened and led to Y which eventually caused Z. If Halo didn't exist or become as popular as it did, RvB would never have happened, if RvB never happened, RT probably wouldn't have gone as far as they did, and if that didn't happen, RWBY wouldn't exist. Funny how that works isn't it?


Cast list:

Jaune Arc as Spartan-B312 Noble 6

Coco Adel as Jorge-052 Noble 5

Yatsuhashi Daichi as Emile-A239 Noble 4

Fox Alistair as Jun-A266 Noble 3

Velvet Scarlatina as Catherine-B320 Noble 2

Taiyang Xiao Long as Carter-A259 Noble 1

Caroline Cordovin as Colonel Holland


Murphy's law reference list:

Love it when a plan comes together – A team

Qrow and Winter barfight – Naruto (Rock Lee's drinking)

Home away from home away from home – Destiny 2

Making things explode by looking at them – Avatar the last airbender

Casino episode – Breaking Vegas

at first you had my curiosity but now you have my attention – Django unchained

Schnee Weiss – pun, literally snow white

Lotus, Shiva, Nova – Halo

Cool guys don't look at explosions – cool guys don't look at explosions

When in doubt C-4 – Mythbusters

Landing strategy – Deadpool superhero landing

Badass but not immortal – Call of duty black ops 3

Art is an explosion – Naruto (Deidara)

Cooking with C-4 – Mythbusters

Sand gets everywhere – Star Wars

Would you kindly – Bioshock

Big picture, small picture, hard to see behind wall of bodies – Mass Effect 2

Why so serious – Batman

Whiskey flask bomb wire – Gundam 0083 stardust memory

Adam slicing Jaune's eye – Metal Gear Rising Revengeance

Boost – Highschool DxD

Heart attack on the spot – Death note

Sound of forgiveness – llamas with hats

If you got even half of them pat yourself on the back, you've earned it.