The year is 2607. Humanity has finally recovered from the devastating war against the Covenant that ended on 2553. Now many of the Human colonies that were glassed by the Covenant war machine have been terraformed back to a habitable state. Now, on the edge of the Outer Colony territory, a small group of UNSC ships were on patrol. This small force was led by a Supercarrier called UNSC Agincourt. Four UNSC Frigates stayed close to the giant ship. These four Frigates were called the UNSC Razor Edge, Dante, Spearhead and Washington respectively. Two destroyers also joined the battle group to provide extra security, the UNSC Winter and UNSC Armageddon. This group of ships was on a mission to locate a reported Insurrectionist base on the moon of a gas giant. It was possible that these rebels had starships, though nothing in the Insurrectionist arsenal could ever come close to the raw power of the UNSC Agincourt.

As the ships made their way through the blackness of space, Captain Robert Johnson of the Agincourt watched from the bridge as the Frigate UNSC Washington began to speed ahead of the Supercarrier, protecting the ship from any possible attack. Johnson smiled to himself as he watched the Frigate but his attention was drawn away from it as the AI of the Supercarrier, Lucy, appeared as a hologram and spoke.
"Captain, I have the moon in sight" she said and the Captain nodded in response. Lucy watched him for a few seconds before continuing.
"We should arrive within the hour. Are you sure it was a good idea to come out of Slipspace too early sir?" she asked him.
"If we came out any closer then the Insurrectionists would've detected us and scrambled. Couldn't risk it" answered the Captain and Lucy shook her head. The Captain was a stubborn one.
"Well I still doubt the chances of there even being a rebel base on that moon sir. I mean, it's an old mining facility, abandoned almost a century ago! How would rebels have made a sustaining environment on an industrial world?" she asked. The Captain looked over at her impatiently.
"Lucy I understand your concern but orders are orders and I'd rather be on a mission than back in Havana providing security for shuttles heading up the space elevator" answered the Captain. Lucy nodded in agreement.

Deep in the bowels of the UNSC Washington, four ODST troopers were waiting for the green light to drop. They sat around a table, all wearing their battle armour though two of them was wearing their helmet. Two of them, Sergeant Smith and Corporal Pugh, were wearing Close Quarters BDU while one other, Corporal Simon, was wearing Ranged armour. The other was wearing a Recon version of the battle armour. Pugh had kept his helmet on so the others couldn't tell that he was sleeping, while Simon and Smith debated the mission. The one in Recon, whose name they hadn't been told, kept silent with her face covered by her Recon helmet. She was an ONI agent so this mission was serious and this led the other three to have a sense of fascination with the mission.
"So what are we fighting here?" asked Simon.
"As you've already been briefed, we don't know. All we know is that we'll be going in there and introduce ourselves to whoever decided they wanted to rebel" answered the Sergeant. Pugh slowly opened his eyes as he listened to the two of them talk. He didn't enjoy the Sergeant's attitude to missions; he always acted like they would destroy everything that got in their way. In reality they usually just provided recon. But this time it seemed to be different. Pugh hoped so, before going back to sleep.

The small UNSC force was now holding position over the moon. Lucy talked the Captain through everything that was happening.
"Well sir, the target is an old storage facility on a little island on the equator. The island is about twice the size of Manhattan. That's where the ODST will be dropping" she said.
"Sounds good" said the Captain and Lucy bit her lip, wondering if a small ODST squad would be enough to neutralise the entire rebel base. The Captain seemed to read her mind.
"Don't worry yourself about our ODST not being enough; they're just there to scout the area. They confirm the target and assuming there's no innocents likely to get caught up in the... MAC round..." the Captain trailed off, letting Lucy figure out for herself what would happen to the base once it was confirmed to be there. She shuddered at the thought but her programming made her believe that it was for the greater good. Of course, the greater good.

As the Captain watched the rust coloured moon below, Lucy suddenly shouted out to him.
"Captain! I'm detecting several objects approaching fast!" she shouted.
"Where from?" asked the Captain.
"Right out in deep space, outside this system. It's coming right towards us really fast sir!" Lucy panicked.
"Identify the objects right now!" ordered the Captain but there was little need. He looked out across the atmosphere of the moon and saw a group of what were unmistakeably starships, coming to a halt several miles away from the fleet out of an incredible speed that had seemed to stretch them. It was like they were going at the speed of light but without using Slipspace.
"Sir, orders?" asked Lucy. The Captain watched the ships intently.
"Attempt to establish contact with the ships, bring weapons systems online. They may be rebel ships, I'm not taking any chances here. Get that ODST squad on the planet now!" he ordered and Lucy nodded at him.

Several miles away from the UNSC group, seven Republic ship kept position over the moon, surveying the UNSC ships intently. The Republic fleet was made up of three Venator-class Star Destroyers and four Acclamator II-class Assault Ships. This force outnumbered the UNSC force by one ship but like the UNSC they had no idea what they were looking at. Aboard one of the Venators, Admiral Jasd Recri surveyed the scene of the UNSC ships. A intelligence officer walked up to him.
"Admiral, none of those ships are in our data files. They must be something new" he said.
"So the CIS are using new ships to defend their new base? Must be some important stuff they're making down there" said the Admiral.
"Sir... we don't know if they are CIS-" began the intelligence officer but he was cut off by the Admiral.
"They're stationed in orbit over a CIS held moon and they just brought their weapons to face us about thirty seconds ago. You don't need to be a genius to figure it out. I want weapons brought online and I want them to fire. Focus on the smaller targets first, then we'll take care of that leviathan in the centre of the fleet" said the Admiral. The intelligence officer gritted his teeth before turning and walking away.

Aboard the UNSC Supercarrier, the Captain watched in shock as suddenly one of the Venators suddenly opened fire with several laser cannons. Red laser shot from the ship and struck the Frigate UNSC Dante on the port side. Explosions ripped through the ship, tearing chunks of metal off the ship's body and surround much of the ship in a small field of debris. But the ship wasn't nearly crippled, the damage wasn't nearly enough to take it down. The Supercarrier Captain turned and yelled over to Lucy.
"Lucy! Red alert, activate all weapons systems and take those bastards down!" he yelled.
The moment he gave the order, the UNSC Dante, which was belching fire from several gaping holes in its side, opened up with 20 Archer missiles that burst from pods all over the side of the ship and streaked towards the enemy ships. The first Venator was so far the only one firing, still focusing on the Dante. Each of the missiles homed in on the Star Destroyer. The first few Archer missiles hit the shield of the ship without making a dent but there were too many for the shield to hold. The blue shield flickered before deactivating. The rest of the missiles tore into the top body of the Star Destroyer, many hitting the long red stripe that went along the centre of the ship. Massive explosions ripped through the ship, demolishing multiple sections. Hundreds of personnel onboard were killed by these strikes. But the Dante wasn't nearly done with exacting revenge for her damage. The Frigate began to turn to directly face the Star Destroyer before beginning to charge up its Magnetic Accelerator Cannon. After a few tense seconds, the cannon fired. The entire Frigate was shaken as the cannon launched a projectile directly at the Star Destroyer. Everyone onboard every UNSC ship was watching, waiting to see what damage the round would cause. What happened was incredible.

The round tore right into the very front of the ship, dead in the centre. But it didn't stop there. The round tore halfway through the ship, ripping an enormous hole that stretched from the front to the middle of the ship. Then the round exploded. The rear of the Star Destroyer lit up like a firework as the MAC round exploded, making the rear section of the ship expand like a balloon being blown up. And it did exactly what happens if you blow up a balloon for too long. The entire rear half of the ship didn't explode, it was ripped apart. The engines, the control towers, the bridge, the two wing-like fins were consumed by a single massive orange ball that grew and grew, consuming half the ship. The main body of the ship shuddered violently before breaking off and being sheared clean off the rest, which was now a single burning entity. The main body, which had now been torn clear off, slowly drifted away as internal explosion became visible, filling the body of the ship with fire. The first Star Destroyer was dust, obliterated.

The Republic fleet was in a state of shock, but that was quickly replaced by a determination to take down the enemy ships. Starfighters scrambled but the UNSC fleet was way ahead of them. UNSC Longswords and Sabres (The Sabre project had been reborn in 2557) sped towards Republic ARC-170s and Nimbus-class V-Wings. At long range the UNSC ships fired missiles which the Republic had no countermeasures against since these missiles had programming completely different to any CIS missiles. Several Republic fighters were destroyed within seconds. Then the fighters began to disperse and the UNSC fighters acted as one, using great teamwork to pick off enemies easily. Several Longswords were shot down by the ARC-170s but the Nimbus fighters were practically useless, especially against the Sabres which easily outmanoeuvred them and took them down with missiles and machine guns.

As this dogfight took place between the two fleets, the UNSC Dante prepared to fire another MAC round but the remaining two Venator Star Destroyers concentrated their fire on it, believing it to be the only ship possessing the MAC weapon. The laser blasts ripped through the thin armour of the Frigate, causing explosions everywhere as fireballs rose up from all over. Suddenly there was a bright explosion and a fireball erupted from the midsection of the Dante, tearing the ship in half. More explosions went off all around the two sections but the Dante was gone. Throughout the Republic fleet there was cheering but this wouldn't last long. Every UNSC ship had at least one nuclear warhead onboard and they were prepared to use it. It made a change for the UNSC to be fighting something they actually could fight. As the battle wore on, the ODST squad silently dropped in towards the moon, unnoticed by the now panicking Republic forces. This mission just got a lot more complicated.

To Be Continued