Darkness...sleep. Peace.

UNSC Providence. Artemis-class battlecruiser. Flagship. Battlegroup Liberation.

Stirring...something calling for her.

The screams. The shouts. The triple bangs distinctive to MACs. The hiss of plasma torpedoes. The screech of energy bangs of naval coilguns. The roar of Archer missiles. The thunder of Stoski cruise missiles. The thumps of Harpoon anti-ship ballistic missiles.

Return...we need your aid.

Civilian transports destroyed. Ships destroyed. The proud Eagle, Globe, Banner of the UNSC. In shambles. Civillians, brutally murdered. Planets, destroyed, their surfaces hot, marred glass. Entire continents, afire.

Please...return to aid us...

The Eagle never fell. It never gave up. Through decades of war, it persisted. It never withdrew. It struck back a thousand times harder than anyone thought possible. Through it all, It advanced, without falter.

Return! We need your aid!

I have sworn an oath. To preserve, defend, and uphold humanity to the very end. No one can stop me. I shall keep on, shall soldier on, until my dying breath to the void that saw my demise. My loyalties are to my creators, To Humanity I stand.

Please, come back to us, proud warrior of the ocean!

I shall. UNSC Providence, Artemis-class battlecruiser, reporting for action. Where humanity is, I am.

And I shall advance without falter.

Action Stations.

"Oh man, what the hell?"

The first thing she felt was pain. And sure it hurt. Her head hurt like a damn fucker. And she didn't know exactly why.

Fuck, that hurt.

Groaning, she got up from her prone position on the water before trying to stand upright. A jolt of pain caused her to wince slightly, and press her hand to the left side of her head. Feeling the blood dripping down from a nasty gash on her left arm, she let out an audible sigh.

Running a complete systems self-check, she also checked herself manually from top to bottom. Contrany to her earlier expectations, she herself was mostly a-okay, with the only serious injuries being on her upper left thigh, the gash on her arm, and a still-bleeding wound on her left temple that throbbed as if it was caused by a sledgehammer. It was mostly concealed by her officer's hat, but it still throbbed nonetheless.

The same can't be said about her rig.

Most of the armor plating was bent or scorched, with gaping holes torn in some areas and others turned to complete slag. The whole sensor array was bent and twisted out of shape, with some places destroyed completely.

As reports flooded into her bridge(s) and CIC, she coudn't help but sigh. Her long-range FTL sensors were completely gone, and so was her FTL comms array. The maser was offline, and her primary sensors were mostly blown to bits. Most of her situational awareness was liited to auxulliary radar and rangfinder crews on her bridges. She would have to send out a CAP flight soon in short order, one way or the other. Communication was also an issue, with the FTL array gone, she was limited now to old-school radio. Although, she could've easily crafted one herself out of random bits and scraps her fairies could dig up. That, or they could make one themselves.

A ping to her engineering section returned more bad news, the slipspace drive was ruptured and coudn't be started without risking enveloping the whole place in slipspace portal fury. Most of her point-defenses were blown to bits, and her ECM systems had only eleven out of twenty-two emitters functional. The fire control systems for her MAC was offline, though the ranging equipment and auxulliary targeting computers still worked, but her Archer pods and Stoski VLS tubes were both functional and running. So was twelve out of her twenty-two M910 Rampart point-defense guns. A twin-gun close-in weapon system armed with two rotary cannons, it could send a hailstorm of 50mm rounds at anything that got too close with flak rounds at 3,000rpm from each barrel.

Pulling her double MACs out from their mounts on her back, she eyed them curiously. They took a peluciar look compared to the firearms she'd often see. The design itself was a double-barreled rifle similar in design to the ARC-920 light anti-tank coilgun she had in her armories, however it lacked a slot to fit the 25mm rounds and instead lit up at the prongs with a distinct glow, along with a glowing '66' greeting her at the ammo counter.

"Haizz,' sh sighed. "Hal, where are we?"

"Dunno," answered her companion AI. "Best guess is 'in the middle of the ocean'. Not much else. Although, this planet seems to have a breatheable atmosphere and trace signs of industrialization. In terms of mass this planet is quite similar to Earth, with a gravitational force og 0.9975g. Atmospheric composition is–"

"Cut the shit, Hal. Exactly where are we?"

"Dunno. I could triangulate our position from nearby stars if I'm lucky, but there's no star outta there that is charted. We could be in another galaxy for all I know."


"Though, fretting gets us nowhere. Let's just asses the situation. Once that is done, we can make plans and proceed."

"And find out who mashed my damn head with a sledgehammer," she responded dryly. "It hurts like a motherfucker you know."

Activating the HUD on her eyeglasses, she game mentally the 'go' code for a squandron of F-86B Sabres to launch. The glowing vectored-thrust nozzles screamed as the STOVL craft swung themselves out of the enclosed flight deck, visibly armed with AAM-150 anti-air missiles. The fighters then split up into four trios and went off in the four ways of the compass.

Now free of things to do, she resigned herself to the wait. Lighting a cigaratte with a Zippo lighter, she took a drag, before exhaling. Letting the smoke escape her lungs ans she stared at the direction where one of the fighter wings went, she raised her hand to silehoutte it against the setting sun.

"Damn," she mumured to herself. "That's beautiful."

A ping and a blip on her HUD brought her attention back to reality. The wing sent eastward reported six contacts moving in formation, roughly six miles out from her position. While their course at first glance might seem random, closer examination of their peculiar zigzagging course showed a direct beeline towards her position. Whoever they were, they had clearly saw her and were moving in to investigate.

Strange, she thought.

Based on the blurry onboard camera footage, the leading two contacts were distinctly humanoid, with weapon emplacements scattered here and their like a fleetgirl's rigging, but had a distinctly 'alien' design flair to them. As to top it all off, four of the contacts running a vanguard line bore a distinct resemblance to a shark.

The fuck?

"You fucking serious bro," she mumured, narrowing her eyes at the camera feed. She zoomed in on places, out on others, checked, and double-checked the feed several times, even going as far as to completely reboot her monitor in order to make sure that she wasn't looking at some computer software malfunction. But regardless of whatever she did, the images stayed the same.

"Seriously?" she said to herself. Having given up by now and accepted things as they were, she pressed a button on the side of her eyeglasses.



"Reboot the comms."

"What for?"

"I see for 'sharks' in the distance. And worse, they have torpedo tubes. They're beelining for us as I speak."

"Get your eyes checked."

"I have you donut."

"Get your eyes checked again."

"No clinic."

"Then what about your monitor?"

"Done. Same result. Still there."

"Shichirigahama beach isin't seven shaku long though."


"So what? It's written that way. Whatdaya do?"

"Kujuukurihama ain't ninety-nine shaku long though, as well."

"You seem to know a lot of boring stuff, don't you?"

"You started it, not me."

"Setting that aside," said Halifax, "What shall we do with these 'sharks'? Make some shark fin soup"

"I'll give you a million if you can make shark fin soup out of a torpedo."

"Mmmm. Shark fin soup. Explosives flavor. Dosen't sound that all bad."

"If you mention that one food again I'll throw your AI chip overboard. Start being serious and quit talking on random things for God's sake."

"You started it."

"No, you started it." she said. "I'm throttling up. Hold on to something."

"Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

"Didn't ask."

A distinct whirring sound enamenated from below as her operational thrusters ignited, blue flames kicking large plumes of steam in the distance as she lunged forward at a steady thirty-three knots. The contacts, having apparently detected her movement, had clearly known that she'd detected them. They had abandoned the zigzagging course they'd been following earlier and instead beelined straight dead at her location.

Let's see how this goes, she thought.

As it turned out, the plan to strike up a relationship with the locals went out the window as soon as she got the chance to try it. She had approached with open arms–or rather, the space equivalent to it. But it did not matter much anyways, for the leading one, upon sighting her, had opened fire with neither warning nor provocation. She cursed internally as she dodged a salvo of fire from the now-confirmed hostiles, a plume of water thrown up from the impact drenching her in saltwater that left her uniform soaked and her wounds screaming in salted agony.

Verdammt, she thought. How are we supposed to negotiate with this kind of escalation?

Nodding at no one in particular, she drew her energy sword, and promptly sliced apart three artillery shells in quick sucession. A burst of fire from her operational point-defense guns eliminated a salvo of torpedoes headed her way. Adopting a defensive stance, she raised her hand.

"Fire Control, get me a firing solution. Nail them with an Archer barrage, and bring the coilguns around." she ordered. "Fire away, don't hold back."

A clicking sound made itself audible, soon followed by a distinct whirring sound as the four Mark 11 Spree naval coilguns located on her sides rapidly rotated and began tracking the hostiles, the triple 283cm guns angled directly at the enemy. Despite being a strictly secondary weapon for Artemis-class battlecruisers like her, the M26 Spree was by no means weak. Firing garguantuan 110-inch shield-and-armor-piercing high-explosive shells at nearly half the speed of light, the coilgun could easily pierce both the shields and the armor of a CPV-class destroyer and shred it outright. The M58 Archer dual-purpose missile was more of a triple-a-d type of missile, but it was still an incredibly potent missile. Apart from shooting down plasma torpedoes and Seraphs, they still remained capable in an anti-ship role. A swarm of Archers could easily cripple an unshielded CCS-class cruiser outright, or even tear apart an SDV-class corvette, shield and all.

As the fire from the hostiles drew nearer, the blast doors on the missile pods opened up to reveal the armed missiles within, ready to send trails of firey doom at their assigned targets.

A series of red blips appeared on her HUD as the missiles locked onto their targets and the coilguns transversed into position. It was all she needed, as a grin split her face in half, her scary expression directed towards the hostiles. If only her eyes glowed, the scene would be complete.

One swipe of her energy sword accompained her order.


An earsplitting series of relavistic cracks resounded throughout the area as her four triple Mark 11 Spree naval coilguns cracked off their salvo of 283cm shield-and-armor-piercing high-explosive shells, twelve bright golden tracers lighting up the twilight sky as they thundered at their target at four-tenths the speed of light. A heartbeat later, the M58 Archer missiles fired from their pods as well, six hundred trails of rocket exhaust and fire arced over the sea, intent on destroying anything that was dumb enough to challenge their master.

The coilgun salvo hit home.

If the muzzle flash from the hostile's initial salvo was blinding, the electro-magnetoplasma blast from the coilguns made them look like a mere toy. The leading alien was vaporized outright, it's armor providing virtually nonexistent effectivenes against a shield-and-armor-piercing high-explosive shell still trailing the plasma from the electro-plasma coils used to fire it at relavistic speeds. It's companion fared no better than it, a glancing blow pulverising it to the core.

The 'sharks' (as Halifax called them) were obliterated outright, the disruptor-explosive warheads covering them in gravitic shockwaves from spatial disortions as each and every warhead went off, generating large portals similar to black-holes before collapsing, sending shockwaves in every direction. They stood little chance against such overwhelming firepower, especially from warheads meant to defeat Covenant armor and shielding.

It was over as soon as it began.

Lighting a new cigaratte with her Zippo lighter, she moved over towards the last known location of the hostiles. Picking up a fragment of one of the pulverised hostiles, she eyed it curiously.

"Did I go too far?" she mumured.

Most, if not all UNSC ships relied on Titanium-A battleplate, and later, Titanium-A3 battleplate as their primary armor material. Even though it proved to be of limited effectiveness against Covenant plasma weapons, it was still by no means obsolete. A Paris-class heavy frigate could take several plasma torpedo hits and expect to survive, and a Marathon-class heavy cruiser sould withstand dozens. These ships might've as well used wet toilet paper for armor, given their virtually nonexistent armor effectiveness.

A ping on her HUD brought her eyes to it, she clicked the button to bring up the camera feed.

A naval battle unfolded in front of her eyes.

"Goddammit Hal, what am I looking at?" she demanded.

"Dunno. Some kind of surface engagement maybe?"

"Probable. But question is, should we intervene?"

"Your call. But..."

"But what?"

"Active sensors have finished relaying home the general shape and rpofile of one of the two opposing sides. They match with the ones who tried to attack us earlier." Halifax said, displaying images and sensor data on Providence's HUD. "The other side, I have no idea–though they seem to be of a rather old make. I've complied all the data on their weapon emplacements, they seem to match with the Type 96 light anti-aircraft gun, dual and triple mounts."

This was huge news. On one end, she had figured out that the planet was inhabitated, but she didn't know by whom. The first engagement and the new devenlopments that indicated that there were two opposing sides fighting each other also raised another set of eyebrows–she would have to pick sides carefully if she had to intervene. That the scans indicated that the smaller guns were the Type 96 25mm light anti-aircraft commonly used by Japan for anti-aircraft during World War II, of all times, wasn't helping.

"Halifax, assign targeting data to contacts on sensors, mark them alphabetically and numerically, standard code. Get an Archer lock on each and every of them, try to cover all our bases here. If push comes to shove and we have to engage them all, wire up the missiles to all fire simutaneously." she ordered. Not that she was trying to communicate (she really wanted to), but if the scans were correct and that they were out of date roughly six centuries, she won't even bother, since WWII communications technology was limited to direct line-of-sight only, and even then, nine times out of ten you would have to be in literally pistol range to talk.

"Roger." Halifax responded. "Assigning targeting data, classifying by apparent affilation. Earlier hostiles are marked A-1 through 16, others are marked B-1 through 11. Also, you should see this."

As Halifax spoke, she relayed a series of images to Providence's HUD, which indicated that multiple smaller contacts had emerged from one of the larger. She then proceeded to overlay one of the contacts with any databank entry in her computers, and much to her surprise, came up with a match: Mitsubitshi A6M Zeroes.

The fuck?

As if that was already enough for one day, one of the sixteen hostile craft launched three smaller craft, all making a dead beeline for her. Further imagery examination indicated that they either carried bombs or anti-ship missiles, either of which was bad. Halifax had assigned targeting data to them too, which meant that she could now destroy them at will.

She had initially decided to stay neutral, only fire unless fired upon, but as they entered rage of her point-defense, she switched channels to her bridges and CIC.

"Fire Control, launch the Archers. Target contacts A-1 through 16, AA-1 through 3."

Placing her energy sword back in it's holster, she gave the order.


A/N/Changelog from original:

Retconned the caliber of Providence's secondary battery from 11" to 283cm. Also changed the number of turrets to 4 instead of 30.

Retconned her point-defense batteries from 52 turrets to 22. The diffrence will be made up with SAMs.

Added a complement of Broadswords, Longswords, and C709 Longswords.

Completely rewrote the battle sequence.

TBH, when I just started working on this, I never expected it to become my most popular story (by far) nor did I expect it to gain this much attention so quickly. I originally posted this as a one-shot, one made initially as a side project. Now it's my main one.

Related to that, shifting personalities, the passage of time, and so on, had led me to significantly question the lore and plotline of the originals. That being said, I often found myself repeatedly posting filler material just to post something at all, or at other times purpose-engineer the drafts to fit the already-established lore. Shooting 200-ton rounds out of a 11" gun? Lol.

As such, I will completety rewrite, top to bottom, Chapters 1 through 12. The ones that follow will be completely rewritten to fit the new lore and retcons, using the original ones as a base template. That's going to be pretty much all for now.

To those who have read this before, thank you for reading this story, and offering your feedback. I sure do value it highly, and that is also one of the main reasons why I decided to do this rewrite. To those who have just picked up this story, Gluten Tag! Let's read this through the end and tell me how you felt about it :D

Also, the main theme of this story is (still) Final Frontier by Thomas Bergenson.

See ya in the next chapter (some 5 seconds away)!