-1As some of my readers don't know where the Race comes from (despite the label Halo and Worldwar Series), though I can understand, it is an older series, the Race come from a series of seven books written by Harry Turtledove.

The series is about a race of space faring lizards, (The Race) invading Earth in 1942, and deals with the effects of the warring US, Nazi's ,Soviets, British and Japanese forced to band together and fight the invaders as well as the war for Earth.

It is a great series, I suggest you read them.

Here is the next Chapter Please Review!

"Right in front of you." spoke the green behemoth.

The armory was silent as Risten could not take his eye turrets off of the alien.

"I'm making first contact with a real alien from a spacefaring race?" Risten could not help but think to himself as he looked over at the rest of the group, all of which were still stunned to the point of being frozen in place.

It was almost comical.

Then Risten's mind caught up with him.

"Wait a minute! That alien just spoke to us in the language of the Race!"

Risten decided that he was going to be the first member of the Race to speak with this alien.

Nervously he formed the words to do so.

"How do you speak the language of the Race...err my species? You are obviously not familiar with us."

Ttomalss turned his head sharply at him and stared.

"A infantry male speaks to the alien before me?" was what Risten knew he was thinking in the back of his mind.

Then the alien dropped his weapon from its shoulder and held it at his chest, taking the three barrels off of the group, but still no doubt able to snap it up in a hurry.

Risten could not help but think as he looked at its armor that it might be able to slay the entire team. Its suit looked like it had faced far worse than their rifles.

"My suit's helmet has a translator in it. My Artificial...my computers have been intercepting the radio traffic of your fleet and of you allowing my computer to form a translation software." it replied in its lower voice as it stepped into the light of the room allowing him to get a better look at it.

It had no tail stub!

And he noticed that it didnt hunch over as a member of the Race or a Rabotev would to balance itself.

How did it not fall over?

The others of the group finally began to break out of their shock as Ttomalss began to ask questions.

"What are you?"

The alien seemed to hesitate for a moment before answering, "I cant tell you exactly what I am, as there is information that is classified by my superiors, but I am a soldier of the United Nations Space Command , or UNSC for short, and a member of the SPARTAN II Supersoldier Commando Forces under the UNSC Navy. My designation, or rank if you will, is Master Chief Petty Officer 117."

Risten, Ullhass , Woopah and the rest of the group looked at each other as the answer only raised more questions than it answered.

The alien spoke again, though Risten noticed that it cocked it's head for a second before continuing, as if he was listening to someone.

"But as your question seemed to be more directed towards what I am, I am from a race called Humanity, or Humans for short."

Ullhass looked at Risten with a hatchling excitement.

Its really happening!

Ttomalss continued.

"How did your ship end up in Home's system? And why is it cut in half?"

"Again, there are details that are classified, but my ship was part of a fleet of warships, itself a warship, as you've no doubt noticed, that was in battle with an enemy of the UNSC. During the course of the battle my ship sustained major damage. The crew evacuated and I was forced to stay behind due to classified circumstances. The battle was at its climax when I and the ship attempted to escape by Slipspace. Due to the damage the ship sustained the attempt failed, resulting in the ship being sliced in half and this half of the ship being propelled through space. I went into Cyro sleep, or as you refer to it as Cold Sleep, and waited. I was awoken when your fleet fired a nuclear missile, or as you call it an explosive metal bomb, at my drifting ship."

So that confirmed it about the theories behind the battle damage.

Risten then decided to speak up, "What is slipspace?"

The alien turned to him and replied, "It is how my species travel between stars at Faster Than Light Speeds."

Woopah immediatly replied.

"Impossible, our scientists have proven that you cannot travel faster than light. Not without going back in time."

Risten agreed, though he like many members of the Race had no idea how speed of light physics worked they were all taught in schooling that it was impossible for objects to travel faster than the limits of light.

"Is this alien lying?" Ullhass leaned over and whispered to Risten.

Apparently the alien heard Ullhass.

"No I can assure you I'm not."

It then turned to Woopah.

"You are correct about objects not being able to travel faster than light without breaking the laws of relativity. I cannot tell you of exactly how it works as it is classified for now, though I can tell you that my species discovered a way to bypass the speed of light by opening up a rip in spacetime and traveling through what is essentially another dimension that allows objects such as ships to travel much faster than the speed of light. We call this dimension Slipspace. It has allowed the UNSC to colonize other planets and star systems far beyond our homeworld." It finished in a slightly peeved tone.

Ttomalss spoke, "In..Interesting, I am a specialist in physiology not physics but I have heard of other dimensions"

It all went way over Risten's snout, it was mostly techno babble to him.

However Risten's mind wanted to refuse to believe it, as did those of many of the other males. Ttomalss still looked like he wanted to point his fingerclaw and call him a liar, but Risten saw a small hint of doubt in his eye turrets.

And it was most certainly about the Race.

"If you dont mind me asking," Ullhass interjected, "But what exactly is this UNSC you keep referring to?"

"The UNSC, as I said the United Nations Space Command, is the military arm of the UEG, or Unified Earth Government, which is the Government, or if you would MY Empire that I serve. The UNSC also administers the Colony worlds that the UEG owns and is what defends the Colony worlds as well as my species' homeworld" It replied.

It was a new thought for Risten, a being that was not subject to the Emperor and saw him as his sovereign.

That made him remember that the Alien was, and was telling them that it was, holding certain information from them that he was told not to by its superiors and ITS Emperor, whom he answered to.

Many members of the Race were going to have a hard time adapting to that fact, especially when the Fleetlord no doubt grilled the alien for information.

He was reminded by this fact as most members of the team were shaking their heads in disbelief and whispering among themselves that it was lying.

Risten's tailstump quivered in fear of what the Race's response would be to this discovery. Many would simply ignorantly ignore it and claim that the Race was the heart of civilization no mater what. Risten himself felt part of his brain telling him to not believe a single lie this alien told, but another part didn't.

It was no doubt a sign of the inner battle that most members of the Race would be having with themselves when the public learned of this.

Risten almost jumped as he thought of something.

"Excuse me ...err. alien, but do you have a name?"

The being seemed to go silent for several seconds before it turned to look at him with its golden visor.

"You can call me John."

What an alien sounding name indeed!

"Its a pleasure to meet you, Jaaahn." Risten replied as he gave a posture of respect, having trouble to pronounce the strange name.

"Well..it could have gone worse." Cortana chuckled as John ad the group of Lizards walked back to their shuttlecraft.

They had, after more discussions, most trying to explain that they were not lying about the UNSC, though in reality they had told them VERY little, and that they were wanting to make peaceful contact and relations between the Empire and the UNSC.

"What was I supposed to say? I come in peace take me to your leader? It was about to blow itself up." John replied with a tiny hint of humor that occasionally broke the surface of his otherwise quiet demeanor.

Other than Cortana, only with other Spartans, Sergeant Johnson, Captain Keyes and his daughter Miranda, Lord Hood and a very select few Marines and Navy personnel were privy to the lighter side of John.

"Well you could have chosen not to have your gun pointed at them, and remember when you meet their superiors you can show respect but they are not your superiors, so you don't have to bark your rank." Cortana chided.

"Sorry its habit. Ill try not to be too, submissive , when I meet this Atvar." John replied as he rounded a corner.

He was in the middle of the group of Lizards who had agreed to take him to their command ship, or Bannarship as they called it, to explain to their superiors why he was here and what he was.

As he looked down on them he realized just how short they were, especially to him.

Most humans came to at least his lower chest, but these Lizards were only at his stomach or his waist. How much taller he was almost comical, though the fact that all these little Lizards had guns, even if they would be almost useless against just the MJOLNIR's armor, made him take them seriously.

He knew that they were keeping an "eye turret" on him at all times, he was to them a gigantic walking tank that was armed to the teeth and of course an alien.

"The thing that has me worried is that they seem to be as stubborn as a mule when it comes to their viewpoint on the galaxy. It will be terrible difficult I'm afraid when we tell them exactly what we are and more about the UNSC. Even just the basic knowledge will make them addled. We saw how they reacted to us telling them of Slipspace." Cortana sighed.

"Im afraid your going to have to be a diplomat to the Race until we get rescued. Which thank god shouldnt be too long, we are not that far from what was once the boundary of explored space before the war, and with the UNSC victorious and the Inner Colonies, Earth Reach and Midguard still intact as well as most of the important strategic worlds and centers intact and not to mention the population was mostly saved, and the population boom that happened around 2543 and will no doubt happen again with the soldiers coming home the total human population should be at around 100 billion; which means the UNSC is probably recovering fast. We could fight the Covenant by the time of the Battle of Reach on even terms, in some cases in our favor, so the military should be in good shape which means that we get rescued faster." Cortana concluded.

John merely nodded as Cortana sighed.

"Its a good thing that the data dump took the stress off of my systems and that Guilty Spark's hasty repairs to get the activation index out of me added 9 years to my lifespan. I've been in hibernation for the most part of our voyage here so In retrospect I'm good as new."

"It is, I dont know who else would help me know what to say to these aliens." John said with a small smile.

"I know, funny that the most talkative guy in the universe who has probably killed more xenos than any other is the unofficial diplomat to another race. With your skills I cant see how this could possibly go to hell." the AI teased.

"Your quite the comedian." the Spartan replied.

"That reminds me are we sure that their shuttle can even fit us?" Cortana asked.

That was a good point. He remembered observing them as they docked. Even if there was room he might not fit.

He turned to the nearest Lizard, this one being the only one he could tell apart from the rest, due to it lacking a weapon. Ttomalss was his name he recalled.

"Excuse me senior researcher, but can your shuttle fit me?" he asked as his translation matrix sent out the noises that sounded like a boiling pot of water that was their language.

The Lizards all looked at each other for several seconds before hissing, obviously a sign of frustration. He also noticed that their tailstumps quivered as well.

"Curses we didn't think about having to bring a alien back with us!" the Lizard researcher exclaimed.

"Apologies for this inconvenience." one of the Lizards that seemed to be leading the group said. John couldn't tell which one it was..

"That's small group leader Woopah." Cortana answered the queation before he asked.

"Thanks." he replied with a grin as he turned to Woopah.

"Its not a problem Woopah. As you saw in the hangar bays I have plenty of ships at my disposal. Perhaps I can, with members of your team present, take one of the ships we call a dropship and dock with your flagship..er bannarship?"

The group thought it over before Woopah turned to him, "That seems agreeable, are you sure that this dropship is safe for several members of my team to travel with?"

"You have every right to be cautious. But I can assure you that my dropship is very safe. The dropships left on this ship have been through a very large battle and have survived heavy combat against what is, or was a mortal enemy of my species."

One of the members turned to John and spoke, "Exuse me Jaaaan," it gave his name a slight hiss, "But I must ask, you keep referring to this battle that you came from, and the signs of damage this ship has taken plus those on the vehicles on this ship do point to it, as well as the damage to your , ah what do you call it that you are wearing?" It asked as it pointed a clawed hand to his MJOLNIR Armor.

"Its called a Powered Battlesuit. Think of it as you space suit but with armor and mechanics that make you stronger and amplify the wearers movement." John answered.

"Thanks, who exactly were your species fighting?"

John again needed Cortana to help him with the name of the Lizard.

"Its Risten." she informed him with a giggle.

The Spartan stopped walking as he faced the entire group.

"My species under its government the UNSC and the UEG were fighting a 27 year long war against a religious alliance of seven advanced spacefaring species called the Covenant. The war spanned almost the entire length of this spiral arm of the galaxy and had battles on hundreds of worlds. The Covenant were on a war of extermination against my species that was fueled by their religion. The UNSC spent nearly 17 of those years, 34 of yours, loosing. Entire worlds were left uninhabitable or ruined and many worlds had to be abandoned just to buy time. The UNSC all but evacuated nearly all of the colony worlds that were farthest away from our homeworld , which we called the outer colonies, and the heavily populated colony worlds that were closest to our home system called the Inner colonies to buy time and allow the use of partisan and hit and run tactics on a interstellar scale to slow the Covenant down."

John didn't know how to read the emotions on the Lizards faces, mainly because due to their nearly immobile facial features they possessed, but the way their turret eyes were locked onto him he knew he had their complete attention.

He paused as the memories of the war flooded his mind.

He promptly shook his head of those thoughts before they overtook him. He had to stay focused.

Cortana noticed the spike in his brain.

"John are you okay?"

He grunted , "Yes, thank you."

He continued.

" The UNSC on many aspects were technologically behind the Covenant. We mostly made up for this with better tactics and fighting techniques, especially in ground battles where the technological differences were mitigated. We adapted to fighting them and eventually, with help through technology we captured from the Covenant, reverse engineered their technology and in some cases improved upon them to where by the twentieth year of the war we could fight them on even terms. We held off nearly all of their attacks on our Inner Colony worlds. The Covenant launched a large attack on a planet called Reach which was the most populous world outside of our home planet, Earth, but also acted as the headquarters for the UNSC and our military and was essentially what we call a fortress world. We won the battle, though we suffered a moderate amount of damage. After the battle we launched a counter offensive against the Covenant , ending in the total devastation of four worlds and the slaying of billions of the enemy civilians for the deaths we had incurred in revenge. By that point of the war we had lost nearly 1/6th of our population, around 21 billion souls."

That got a reaction from the Lizards, who hissed in wonder and horror.

He continued.

" By that point the Covenant had learned of the location of our homeworld, which had been kept a secret, and launched an all out attack. The battle for our world lasted months on end, though the considerable defenses of the homeworld and the home system proved to be too much for the Covenant to overcome. By that point in the war several species of the Covenant, one species in particular called the Sangheilli who were more or less the main military power of the Covenant, had been questioning why they were at war with us, as they saw us as worthy opponents. The Covenant operated by conquering species and making them a part of the Covenant, or they would offer them to become part of their ranks. The Covenant leaders, called the Prophets, never gave Humanity that offer, and instead of conquering us they were trying to exterminate us. The Sangheilli saw that we were as advanced as they were by that point and began to respect us. They began to openly question the Prophets as to why they were at war with us, especially after their failed attempts to destroy us and our counter attack, which left many to fear that the Covenant may be destroyed in the process of destroying us . This lead to an all out civil war within the Covenant which broke into two, the Loyalists and the Separatists. It was revealed that the religion that the Covenant believed in and what the Prophets claimed would bring them salvation was in fact a lie. This lead the Sangheilli to ally with us as we drove off another attack on our homeworld. The UNSC and the Seperatists banded together and defeated the Covenant Loyalists and killed the Prophets in a climactic battle which was the same battle that I came from, effectively ending the war but I am sure that there are still skirmishes taking place even right now with hold outs and rebels."

There was silence for almost a minute before one of the Lizards finally spoke.

"How big is this UNSC of yours?"

"Before the war the UNSC controlled 800 or so worlds which we colonized or terraformed into worlds suited to support us, and had a population of around 125 billion people. As of now I can only guess, but the UNSC probably has around half of that many worlds left, as 400 of them were either destroyed or abandoned, and around 100 billion people."

One of them spoke, it seemed to be the one named Ullhass, but he couldn't be sure.

"How many years have your species been traveling the stars? To accomplish interstellar travel and control so many worlds you must be ancient."

"I think we are about to give them a shock. From what I can tell they progress extremely slowly." Cortana chimed.

John prepared himself for the inevitable backlash.

"My species has advanced very fast after we finally became industrialized. We have been traveling the stars for nearly 500 years, and we had intersystem travel like yours for about a hundred years before that."

Here it came.

"You lie! There is no way that a species can advance that quickly." Ttomalss almost immediately retorted.

John sighed.

This was going to be a long day.

"No I do not. Senior researcher if I was lying you would not be having this conversation right now on this ship. The reason my species advanced so quickly lies mainly with the fact that for most of our history, even when we were just beginning to travel the stars, our homeworld was split into dozens of competing factions and ethnicities which were always in competition against each other for military, economic and social dominance over the other. This made it to where we constantly researched technologies and improved on them and created new ones so one faction would have an advantage over the other, which in turned caused the other factions to react and do the same. This lead to a constant technological progression where if one group did not advance they were either cast aside or were destroyed."

Before any of them could argue anymore Woopah broke in, "We can continue this elsewhere , for now lets simply get to Atvar's ship. Risten, Ullhass and Ttomalss will go with the human aboard his ship."

Risten gripped the seat as he sat behind the human in the strange cockpit of the "Pelican" dropship he called it as it accelerated away from the wrecked ship towards the awaiting Emperor Hetto.

The seat nearly swallowed him with its larger size, and it was uncomfortable as it did not have a place for his tailstump to go, but he paid no head as he was awed at the ship he was in.

Apparently it was meant to act as both a troop transport and a shuttlecraft, but what astounded him was it was able to work in space and the atmosphere with little problem. From the large troop bay in the back where Ullhass and Ttomalss were sitting, no thanks to the artificial gravity that was present, to the large cannon on the nose and the missiles it had in the wings, this craft could probably take out an armored column of Landcruisers while transporting no doubt large and terrifyingly armed humans to battle.

He still was trying to wrap his mind about the war that was described to them.

He also noted that they were actually yet to have actually seen the human yet, as it did not remove the helmet of its armor.

It had told them that he was not going to remove it until he was sure about the situation being peaceful.

It was a sound observation, as they had greeted him with an explosive metal bomb.

The human soldier, Jaaahn , had however showed them an image of a male and a female of his species.

He could not get over how alien they looked, with eyes not in turrets that seemed immobile and with fur on the top of their heads. Also instead of proper tough scales they had soft skin that apparently varied in color from one human group to another.

They looked truly alien! Even the Rabotev looked somewhat similar to the Race, but these humans looked so different!

As the dropship accelerated to the bannarship Risten almost dropped his mouth in laughter as the flight of killercraft escorting it to the ever looming bannarship had trouble keeping up with the dropship.

At that Ullhass crept into the cockpit, his eye turrets taking in everything with as much hatchling fervor as Risten before leaning to him and whispering.

"This discovery will change the Race you know. But will we embrace it or as we always have done will we be so cautious as to where we ignore it?"

He had no answer.

At one of the docking bays, this one being in one of the rotating sections, Atvar was thinking the same thing as he, Straha, Kirel and the other closest Shiplords as well as dozens of infantry males and researchers waited for the alien's ship to dock.

The male in charge of the docking system announced to the assembled males that the alien's ship was docking.

"What did this mean for the Race?"

Meanwhile…..

Ceti Chi System

UNSC Warlock Class Cruiser

UNSC Sword of Damocles

"Covenant destroyer is exiting the slingshot orbit of the primary satellite. Range 500,000 kilometers and closing! Its charging its plasma projectors and readying multiple plasma torpedoes!" the A.I. of the Sword of Damocles, a 4th generation "Smart" AI with the avatar of a Roman Legionnaire aptly named Maximus informed the captain of the ship with worry as crews and officers frantically worked at their stations.

Captain Ludmilla Jager grabbed her captains seat as yet more blasts of plasma slammed into the side of the heavy cruiser, the shields taking the brunt of the damage.

"CbIH N Cyka!" the 37 year old blond of direct Eastern European descent cursed in Russian.

Maximus turned on is holographic pedestal that was surrounded by the glass and holo-screens of the surrounding bridge officers.

"Also one of the Frigates appears to still be operational."

It had all started 26 hours prior when one of the deep space monitoring stations that was part of a net of 200 such stations that was to be essentially a wall of sensors to warn the recovering UNSC of Covenant Loyalist incursions, detected several slipspace "eddies" that were the profile of ships.

It was immediately apparent that they were Loyalist ships due to their vectors and the fact that the Sangheilli vessels that would occasionally come to human space would use a different vector but would be far more cautious.

As a response the fleet base at Midguard had immediately sent out a force to the abandoned colony system near the edge of pre-war UNSC space, almost as far out as Harvest, the Ceti Chi system.

After Harvest fell during the opening years of the war the systems 20 light years around Harvest almost immediately fell under attack, half of which fell before the White Doctrine or even the Cole Protocol were enacted. As a result the small mining colony of half a million was burned without almost any resistance by 6,000 Covenant soldiers and an as of then yet to be seen CCS Battlecruiser in 2529.

The world was near the end of the list of planets that were to be reclaimed, if at all.

The surface of the world, though scarred, was still hospitable.

And because of that the Covenant had decided to look for something on it.

The UNSC's response was considered to be more than likely overkill, but these days that was not frowned upon.

They sent her ship, the Sword of Damocles, one of the newer and more powerful Warlock class Cruisers.

By 2535 it had become apparent that although the Marathon class cruisers that preceded it were no doubt very powerful and good, they just were not powerful enough, and though the UNSC could build them at the various shipyards at Reach, Earth, Mars and about a dozen other Inner colony shipyards at a pace of about 80 a year, they needed a ship that was more powerful and could easily be adapted to take on the new technologies the UNSC was developing.

As such the Warlock was born.

It took until 2544 for the first couple dozen to roll off of the slipways, but by then the UNSC had produced the most powerful vessels ever outside of the newer Concordia heavy Carriers and the four dozen or so Battleships.

With a length of 1700 meters it was as large as Covenant CCS Battlecruisers.

(Yes I am using the Warlock from Babylon 5. Terrible show but interesting ship designs. Look it up if you want to see how a WarlockS looks like)

They were armed to the teeth with the UNSC's most powerful weapons. 2 Heavy MAC Guns, which fired a thousand ton slug at 130,000 kilometers a second, One Frigate sized 600 ton slug firing MAC mounted on the underside , an array of six 20 inch Non-Linear Gallienion Cannons, or Particle Cannons as they were called which were in three dual barreled turrets, two turrets on the top of the ship and one on its underbelly.

After that there were around 30 trusty anti-ship pulse lasers, 100 archer missile tubes with 30 reloads apiece, nearly a hundred strategically placed anti-missile pulse lasers and around 120 50mm CIWS. All of these weapons were complemented by no less than 80 Falken starfighters and 20 Longsword bombers along with 40 Pelicans.

All of which were firing as fast as they could to stop the onslaught of Covenant.

When the Sword of Damocles arrived in system it found not one or two ships it found no less than two CCS Battlecruisers, a CPV Class destroyer, and four frigates.

If the second CCS hadn't have gone to ground and the fleet being mostly split up around the system her ship would have been eviscerated immediately.

With luck on their side the Sword of Damocles immediately turned her slipspace jammers to full power to allow the cruiser to have the luxury of engaging each ship nearly one at a time.

The first two frigates whom were in orbit around Cheti Chi 4 quickly fell two the superior firepower of the cruiser, each one gutted by a heavy MAC slug. The third fell to the Longswords as they put three HAVOK Class 30 megaton nuclear missiles into it, vaporizing it.

By then the CCS Cruiser and the last Frigate had come into range and attacked, alongside around 140 Seraphs, which the Falkens dealt with, though they suffered around 25 casualties.

That had been a nail biter.

The battle had lasted for maybe six minutes and had begun at around half a million kilometers until by the time it was over the two sides were only a few miles apart.

By then the Frigate had been ripped open and burned by the six Particle Cannons and the CCS was half of what it used to be, literally. Its wreckage was going to slam into one of the primary satellites of the colony in several hours as it tumbled through space.

Four MAC rounds and all six particle cannons hitting it at a rate of three times a minute would do that.

However the Covenant had drawn blood too.

The once proud ship was now at less than 60 percent combat effectiveness as the shields were brought down and were slowly recharging, the were now only at 6 percent, might as well not been there.

The armor on the port side was down to 20 percent in some places as a plasma beam and a plasma torpedo slammed into the ship after the shields were dropped by the CCS Battlecruiser's energy projector, and several decks were open to space.

However worse still one of the MACs were damaged, cutting the ships firepower by a full 20 percent.

Ludmilla nearly snarled as she turned to the weapons officer, Lt. Fisher.

"Give it a full broadside of our heavy pulse lasers. Finish it off."

"Yes man." he replied curtly.

Ten quick pulses of blue light sliced into the wreck of the Frigate, one hitting the stricken ship's reactor and turning it into pieces of oversized shrapnel.

"Enemy ship preparing to fire ma'am." Maximus noted with a monotone voice.

Feeling her heart rush she immediately turned to Lt. Fisher, "What is the status of our primary weapons?"

The ship vibrated under their feet and seats as the helmsmen pushed the two oversized engines and four boosters into the redline in an attempt to throw off the Covenant ship's aim, as much good as it would do.

The Lieutenant's pale skin on his face was slick with sweat as he answered, "Ma'am the MAC's are at 60 percent charge and climbing, their built in energy capture systems were used up after our third salve against that Battlecruiser, and we pushed them past the limit when we fired four shots per gun on a single charge, they are taking a lot longer to reach maximum output. Our Shiva's will take too long to reach the target and we were not carrying our full load of ten when we launched. The Particle Cannons are online, however it will take two or three salvos to bring down those shields, and by then…" he trailed off.

It only took Ludmilla two seconds to think of a way out.

"Maximus launch two of our Shiva's, use a dry launch and let momentum carry them." She then turned to Fisher, "Shunt all power to the Particle Cannons, keep firing them as fast as you can charge them, I don't care if they overheat." She then addressed the helmsmen.

"Put us behind those nukes and at least 30,000 km away."

"Aye Captain." they all answered as she turned to Maximus, who just launched the two Shivas in what the UNSC called a "dry launch", where the missile one fired out of the tube by small magnetic rails would fire its booster for three seconds before cutting them off and drifting to the target.

"Once those Plasma Torpedoes get near those nukes, which will be maybe two seconds, detonate them, they will destabilize their magnetic fields and eliminate them. And tell everyone to hold on."

The AI smiled, "Pulling a trick from Admiral Cole's playbook huh? Yes ma'am I will do that, but that will not stop those plasma beams."

"We have to do our best then." She retorted calmly as Lt. Fisher informed that they had a clear lock for the Particle Cannons.

"Fire" she ordered with venom in her voice.

Immediately the ship rumbled.

The Particle cannons shot six red beams of ionized particles at 8/10th the speed of light. The six beams slammed into the shield's of the offending vessel, each with nearly a hundred megatons of blistering power, dropping them nearly by half.

the radar operator shouted, "They're firing!"

The lateral lines on the bulbous whale like 1200 meter ship flashed electric blue with plasma before it all focused into a ball and discharged, releasing a flaming blue projectile 30 meters across that was traveling at 80,000 km a second.

Ludmilla watched on the viewscreens as the torpedo neared the Shiva's and blazed across the distance.

"Now!"

Two new suns flashed into existence, each one over 80 megatons in power.

The plasma torpedo had just passed over them when they detonated, as such the intense radiation and energy destabilized the magnetic field that held the plasma together, propelled and guided the destructive bolt of hellfire.

With the containment gone the plasma simple dispersed harmlessly.

The Damocles rocked as the explosions were only a scant 30,000 km away, the weakened starboard shields blazed gold as the heat and radiation slammed into them.

"Ma'am I have re-established a lock and the PC's are recharged, commencing firing." Lt. Fisher bellowed as he grabbed for a handrail to keep from being knocked over, his crash webbing straining to keep him in his seat.

The Particle Cannons, (PC's for short) fired again, this time in a full broadside as the two ships now were passing each other only at 100,000 km, close range in space combat.

The six beams hit the Loyalist Destroyer and it's shields finally gave way in a burst of electricity.

However at the same time the Brutes in command of the destroyer fired back with two plasma beams from it's projector's.

Traveling at half the speed of light the Sword of Damocles had no time to evade as one then two beams hit its starboard flank.

The Shields, only having recharged to 25 percent almost immediately gave way after only having bled off 70 percent of the first beam, the rest cutting into the hull.

The Second beam hit exactly in the middle of the mighty UNSC cruiser, the Titanium A / Ferrite Composite armor holding back most of the beam before succumbing, the rest gouging deep into the ship and killing or maiming a hundred crewmen and burning three decks.

"Fuck!" Ludmilla cursed as she pulled herself back into her chair.

"Damage report!"

"We lost around a hundred crew men and have dozens more injured. The beam missed the critical sections though, so we are still in this." Maximus replied as his lines of code flashed.

"Fire every missile we have, and stagger fire the PC's." Ludmilla ordered.

Over 1100 Archer missiles, each with a fusion based warhead with the power of a MOAB bomb from the 21st century, shot out of their tubes and raced towards the Covenant vessel, which had begun to turn with the Damocles, starting nothing more than a shootout which would leave both ships destroyed as they both tried to get a shot at one another's engines.

To complement them the PC's began to fire one beam after another, cycling as fast as they could while they blew off the Detsroyer's armor and returned the favor.

The Destroyer desperately fired all of its anti-missile cannons and lasers, which as usual took down missiles in droves, but by the time they hit there were still 700 of them.

Just as explosions were wrecking the ship the Covenant vessel fired again, this time taking out the lower and smaller Frigate sized MAC gun and slicing three decks open.

By then however the Destroyer was a drifting wreck, the Damocles firing its Archers as fast as it could launch them, in the end putting over 3000 missiles on target and leaving the ship a twisted hulk as secondary explosions wracked the ship.

The crew cheered as Ludmilla sank into her seat.

Her ship was now down to 30 percent combat efficiency, and there was still a CCS Battlecruiser down there.

They would be lucky to last ten seconds against it in their current state.

The Marines that they had launched groundside were engaging the Covenant and were pushing them back,closing in on what looked like an excavation site, just what artifact they had found now needed to be found, and taken from the Loyalist if necessary. Though ground assaults against grounded ships were possible and had been done before, they were always bloody.

Maximus immediately cut into her thoughts, "Ma'am the Battlecruiser planeside is jumping!"

"What !" She exclaimed as she jumped from her seat.

The scans from the sensors jumped as they registered the burst of energy from the slipspace rupture.

"Why would they do that? it's a good thing that out Marines were not near the ship." Ludmilla though out load.

The raio officer gasped as he ripped off his headset, "Ma'am we are receiving a distress signal, that's…that's…"

"What is it?" She asked.

The officer shook her head as she simply switched on the bridge speakers.

What she heard next made her heart stop.

"Mayday Mayday Mayday. This is Sierra 117. Adrift aboard aft section of UNSC Frigate Foreword Unto Dawn…"

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