https://twitter.com/ThunderheadQMArchive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Halo:%20Wolfpack----------------------------------------------------------------You are... you're asleep.Or at least, you were asleep, right now you're in some sort of limbo as your mind transitioned from unconsciousness to consciousness. Your eyes were closed, but you could see light dancing in spectral rhythm. The first thing to come back to you was your sense of touch came back first as you felt a numbing pain in the side of your torso, you didn't know specifically where it came from, but your mind instantly categorized it as a plasma wound.How do the Covenant manage to shape their plasma weapons?Your mind was running on different tracks as your grip on reality slowly returned. The pain in your side was soon joined by one on your left arm, which was both more and less painful than the first.It's probably magnets, fucking magnets, how do they work?You could hear something too...Someone was saying something, but you couldn't hear it over the deep thrumming noise in the back of your skull. You tried to focus on what was being said but you couldn't ignore the noise. It was familiar, you knew it well but couldn't place it. It took some indeterminate amount of time before you finally recognized the familiar sound as the thrum of a starship's engines, the comforting feeling of being underway nearly lulled you back to sleep, but words and memories soon began to fill your mind. Prowler... Cole... Clock... Arcadia... Jungle... Water... Heat... Teeth... Scientists... Surgery... Covenant... Mission... MISSION.The fucking mission!Your eyes opened with a start as you snapped up from supine, only for you to stop in your tracks as the pain in your side hit you like a freight train. You bit down hard and tried not to yell as you pawed at the side of your torso in a vain attempt to try and snatch at the pain. Your mind was still misty, but you could feel your stiff left hand brush against the medical brace that was doing a fine job stopping you from touching the wound that lay beneath.You are captain Norman Wells... and you've just woken up in one of the worst ways possible.>Check your surroundings, where the hell are you?>Gather yourself, how did you get here?>Call out, was someone asking for you?>Other (write-in)
>>4647511>>Check your surroundings, where the hell are you?I thought you were dead.
>>4647511>>Check your surroundings, where the hell are you?Total mission success
>>4647511>Check your surroundings, where the hell are you?
You carefully patted around the area where you lay with your right hand and quickly came to the realization that you had been lying in a standard cot in some darkened room. Swinging yourself to the side, you sat upright and let your feet touch the cold metal of the deck. Starship floors usually had some level of heating, though you would never have been able to tell from the sudden chill that danced across your feet. Usually, the feeling would have been quite unwelcome, but the fact that it took your mind off the dull throbbing pain in your side was enough to stymie your ire.You had to wait for a few seconds as your eyes adjusted to the dark, so while you waited, you listened out for anything other than the gentle thrum of the ship's reactor. You could hear the sound of multiple EKG machines, the small devices dutifully beeping out the heart rate of the people they were attached to. You could hear the sound of multiple people breathing, some breathing lightly, some breathing heavily. Either way, you knew that you were in a room that had been turned into an improvised medical ward.And the ward was packed.As your eyes adjusted to the dark of the room, you began to make out more and more of the medical ward. By your chemically-addled count, there were a dozen cots in the room, including yours. The cots were arranged against the walls, with portable monitoring equipment mounted to the walls next to the occupants. The lights were off, draping the room in almost total darkness. The few pin-pricks of light coming from the screens of the monitoring equipment and the little red light of the security camera mounted on the wall opposite to the door.You couldn't tell who occupied the other beds, though you assumed that they were sleeping off surgery anesthetics. Putting people in cryo while they were under often-times resulted in their chances of survival going down the toilet, and given how the occupant of the bed closest to you seemed to be missing part of their leg, you assumed that everyone in here had received the tender mercies of the auto-surgeon.Tender is definitely the operative word there... you though to yourself as you gently dabbed at your left forearm with your right hand. Sure enough, most of it was covered with a thin plastic film, probably to cover an equally thin layer of gauze over the actual wound.>Check around the cot, is there something to wear?>Gather yourself, how did you get here?>Call out, was someone asking for you?>Other (write-in)
>>4647591>Check around the cot, is there something to wear?See if we have our comms earpiece near us
>>4647591>>Check around the cot, is there something to wear?
>>4647591>Check around the cot, is there something to wear?
You knew that you couldn't stay there. Not because it's your obligation as the captain to be on the bridge, but because it was surprisingly chilly in the improvised medical ward, and you don't want to stay around for too long. As such, you carefully lent over and strained to reach under the cot for anything to cover yourself with. It only took a few seconds before your fingers brushed up against the lip of a small, standard-issue footlocker. You carefully dragged it out, keeping mindful that the other people in the room needed to rest. You undid the latch on the front, and carefully lifted the lid up. With the room left in darkness, you'd have to fumble around for a bit as you got dressed, but that was to be expected from your wounds alone.You had barely pulled out what you assumed was a shirt when you heard a quiet -but still noticeable- buzzing noise from the wall to your left. You instinctively looked over at it in time to be almost blinded by the sudden light. You instinctively turned away and blinked a few times to avoid the sudden light. But when you turned back, you found yourself looking at the two-dimensional image of a young woman in a dress that had been designed before humanity first took to the stars. The woman looked at you and smiled as you recognised the figure.That was your AI, and the person responsible for your surgery, Diana.The image of the AI tapped her ear with her right hand, before pointing roughly in your direction. You figured out after a few seconds that she was gesturing to the footlocker, and was probably trying to imply that there was an earbud in there. Sure enough, after a couple of seconds, you found a small, one-inch box that contained a standard communications earbud. You carefully put it in your right ear and was rewarded by the sound of the AI's voice."Captain, can you please nod if you can hear me?" The AI asked, her voice remaining neutral as she asked you to answer her. You simply nodded, earning you a smile from the AI's avatar.>Ask Diana a question (write-in)>Keep quiet and get dressed, you can ask her what's going on once you're out of the room.>Other (write-in)
>>4647690>Keep quiet and get dressed, you can ask her what's going on once you're out of the room.Best not disturb the others.
>>4647690>>Keep quiet and get dressed, you can ask her what's going on once you're out of the room."When i am out of the room, we can talk about the mission."
>>4647690>>Keep quiet and get dressed, you can ask her what's going on once you're out of the room.
"When I am out of the room, we can talk about the mission." You instructed the AI, speaking low and trusting the earbud's in-built microphone to pick up what you had said. Diana didn't respond, the AI seemed to figure out what you were planning to do and left you in relative privacy as she switched off the utility screen that she had projected her avatar onto. To replace the light that had been put out by the screen, she turned on the room's lights at a low setting, giving you just enough light to see what you were doing, without actually waking the other people in the room up. Still, a couple of people groaned in their sleep at the sudden increase in light. You carefully put on the grey tunic -most likely ONI's equivalent to the standard navy version- and took care not to agitate your torso wound my moving too much. It was still a relatively long and uncomfortable affair between your two wounds, but eventually, you got it in place. Following on after that was the set of trousers, socks, working shoes, and a belt. Finally, a baseball-style cap filled out the rest of the uniform. Strictly-speaking, the cap wasn't necessary, but you hadn't had a shower since just after you left cryo, and you didn't know what state your hair was in, so you decided not to chance turning up on the bridge with bed-hair and put it on.It didn't pass your notice that the belt was lacking the pistol and holster that was usually mounted on it.With your clothes on, you carefully stood up, making sure to use the frame of the cot for support as you stood up. You took a second to stretch, letting out the tension in your body with some standard stretches. You could probably do it as you walked, but you didn't want to fall over because you had decided to do two things at once. Still, the minute or so it took to limber up gave you some time to think.>Look around the ward, who else is here?>Leave the room, Dyad is probably waiting for you on the bridge.>Other (write-in)
>>4647758>>Look around the ward, who else is here?
>>4647758>Look around the ward, who else is here?
>>4647758>Leave the room, Dyad is probably waiting for you on the bridge.Grab a coffee from a machine outside and something to eat while walking. We need some energy
>>4647758>>Leave the room, Dyad is probably waiting for you on the bridge.
Need a tiebreaker
You decided to take it slow and look around the ward on your way out. Both so that you could get an idea for how many people had needed surgery, and how that broke down between soldiers, civilians, and scientists. Not to mention that you also wanted to avoid going too fast and falling over, checking on each of the beds would be a great way to pace yourself.At least, that's what you had thought. As you walked around however you found that actually identifying the wounded was harder than it looked. The scientists and civilians all looked the same, to the point that the only one you were able to peg as a scientist was the woman in the bed across from yours, you had seen an elite blow her leg off to captured her. The marines and ODSTs were easy enough to pick out, their neural implants marked them out as combat personnel. The link between your command neural implant and theirs was probably being facilitated by Diana, the AI was probably using your earpiece as part of a bridge between the permanent implants. It was definitely a weird feeling to look at someone, and instantly know their name, rank, and serial number. Still, you took notes of the injuries, most of them being either burns or complete amputations. Not that amputations were an inherently debilitating thing, medical prosthetics had come very far after all. All UNSC ships carried 3D printers, and with either some specialised equipment and a good doctor, or an AI, a new limb could be produced and fitted within a few days. Actual recovery and physical therapy was another thing entirely though, but if you worked on a warship then you could be back at your post in a matter of months.You were about to leave the ward when a new connection to your neural implant stopped you in your track. You looked down at a woman lying in one of the beds and felt your breath catch as you recognised her in an instant."Dyad?"Your XO lay in one of the cots by the door. Gauze covering the right side of her face. Aside from that, she looked fine. Her arms were nicked in a couple of places, but she wasn't missing any limbs. She was sleeping peacefully enough, her breathing was strong and steady. Hell, she was even snoring a bit. Still, it was a shock that your XO had wound up in the same place as you.Just what the hell happened while you were out?Congratulations Wells, this is definitely going to look good on review. You thought to yourself, before carefully leaning down, and patting your XO on the shoulder. She didn't stir, which told you more than enough about the number of drugs in her system. As such, you walked out of the room, pausing one last time to look around.A baker's dozen wounded in here, not counting yourself, how many more would already be in cryo?>CONT
>>4647889You walked over to the door, opened it with a few taps on the keypad, and walked out, letting the bill of your cap block out the worst of the light as you walked into the ship's hanger. The door closed behind you, leaving you alone in the empty hanger, most of the crates containing ablative panels and repair equipment having been left behind on Arcadia after repairs had been effected.>Head up to the bridge, you need to know what's going on.>Head to the mess hall, you need something strong.>Ask Diana a question (write-in)>Other (write-in)
>>4647891>Head up to the bridge, you need to know what's going on.
>>4647891>Head to the mess hall, you need something strong.Not too strong, we only have the one kidney for the moment.
>>4647891>Head up to the bridge, you need to know what's going on.Now's not the time for drinks.
>>4647891>Head to the mess hall, you need something strong.
>>4647891>>Head up to the bridge, you need to know what's going on.
Wasting no time, you turned and walked towards the door that would lead you back towards the stairs that would lead you up to the cryo bay, and past that the bridge. You strode over to the door, opened it, and immediately turned and walked the other way as you realised that you had gone the wrong way, and had been heading towards the mess hall.You were hungry, that was to be sure, but you had a standard to uphold damn it.After finding your way aft, you took a left up one of the sets of stairs going up past the escape pod silos. Part of you hoped that you wouldn't have a situation where you'd need to use them, the increased number of people aboard would take up valuable seats. And being the captain, tradition demanded that you be the last person to abandon ship. Of course, there was the option to try and use a cryo-pod as an improvised escape pod, but you'd rather not chance it. The pods weren't designed to survive re-entry.Speaking of the cryo pods, you checked how many pods were occupied and found another dozen pods already occupied with a mix of injured and uninjured people. You recognised one of the occupants as the head-case helljumper that you had recovered from the ONI research camp. It made sense to put the people who had cracked into cryo, the prowler barely had the facilities to handle the wounded as-is, looking after them was simply impossible.You arrived on the bridge a few minutes after leaving the cryo bay, having only stopped to check out the medical bay and the number of supplies remaining. The door to the prowler's bridge opened silently, giving no warning or hint to the people on the bridge that an officer had just entered their midst."Captain on deck." Diana called out over the bridge's speakers, ruining any chances you had to observe them silently. Almost as one, the assorted ensigns turned stood up and saluted, while the two other officers on the bridge simply had to turn to face you. Both of them stood on the raised dais in the middle of the room, apparently having been talking with Diana, who's holographic avatar stood on the small holotank installed nearby.The taller officer was the ODST that you had recovered from the ONI black site. Lieutenant Antonwicz still wore his burnt, battered and bloody BDUs, though apparently, he had changed his bandages, he gave you a slight grin as he saluted, one that you hoped was born out of respect.The shorter officer was the ONI spook who was originally meant to be your tactical advisor for the mission. Lieutenant Karmann was barely half the height of the helljumper, but you could already tell that he had been the one calling the shots while both you and Dyad were asleep.And behind them all, out of the bridge windows hung Arcadia. The world that you had almost died on.>Ask for a situation update, why are you in space?>Ask for a report, what happened while you were out?>Other (write-in)
>>4647999>Ask for a report, what happened while you were out?
>>4647999>>Ask for a report, what happened while you were out?
"At ease. Lieutenants, what happened while I was out?" You released everyone back to whatever they were doing before you entered the room, instead turning your attention on the two ranking officers. While you could infer what had happened merely from the wounded, you wanted them to explain what had happened."Well, after you went under from surgery, me and Lieutenant Commander Dyad assaulted the old UNSC FOB that the covenant was holed-up in. You know, the one in the ruins of the ONI alpha site." Lieutenant Antonwicz began the explanation, beating the smaller ONI officer to the punch. "Diana softened up the base with a volley of missiles before we hit the ground, and we deployed with two eight-man squads, sixteen men in total.""We hit the Covenant forces hard, and the Lieutenant Commander provided valuable operational recommendations during the mission. In spite of that, we still lost a significant number of men during the assault. We recovered the scientists as planned, though only six of the ten total managed to survive. During the operation, we lost another six marines with a couple more wounded. Additionally, another two armed crewmen were killed and six more were badly wounded. We hit the Covenant pretty hard too, multiple elites dead including at least one Zealot. During the assault, the prowler engaged and shot down a Covenant dropship that was attempting to land reinforcements. We remained ground side for a little under a minute, before dusting off." The helljumper gave you a brief explanation about what had happened planet-side. You were surprised that another Zealot had gone down, weren't they meant to be the Covenant's equivalent to special forces? Still, eight dead and six wounded to recover six scientists wasn't a good trade, you just hoped that it was worth it.Having apparently grown tired of the ODST hogging the spotlight, lieutenant Karmann continued with the impromptu briefing before the other Lieutenant could speak again. "With all other members of the command staff out of action, I took command of the ship and took us back into orbit. There was nothing else to do planet-side, and with the information pulled from the Zealot you had killed, we already knew that a Covenant fleet was incoming, so staying in-atmosphere wasn't a good idea. We tended to the wounded, though a seventh scientist died of their wounds before we could get them into cryo. Right now, we are currently in orbit around Arcadia, close to one of the lagrange points.">Ask about the Covenant, how long until their fleet gets here?>Ask about the innies, how are they looking?>Ask why you're still here, shouldn't you be going?>Ask about the Zealot, who killed it?>Other (write-in)
>>4648211>Ask about the Covenant, how long until their fleet gets here?>Ask about the Zealot, who killed it?
>>4648211>Ask about the Covenant, how long until their fleet gets here?Sounds bad.
>>4648211>>Ask about the Zealot, who killed it?>Ask about the Covenant, how long until their fleet gets here?
"Another Zealot? Who got that kill?" You asked, as you looked around for the camping chair that you had pilfered on your first day aboard. Thankfully, it was folded and strapped to one of the posts on the dais. Part of you assumed that the zealot kill was a team effort, but then again, you had killed one yourself with the power of stolen gear and a combat knife."That would be the Lieutenant Commander, ironically enough she was using your shotgun at the time." Antonwicz smiled, before asking. "Say, did they pull you two out of helljumper training or did you both just get lucky?""Given how the two of us are going to be on medical leave for a while once we get back home, I'm gonna go with the latter." You answered with a smile, before walking over to where your seat was stashed. Standing was imposing and all, but it was uncomfortable as hell."Then I feel bad for any poor hinge-head that tries to board your ship. Here, lemme handle it." Karmann stated, before helping you with your seat. Surprisingly enough, it only took a few seconds for for the one officer with two working hands to get the seat free, and a few more to set it up."Any idea when the Covenant are gonna show?" You asked the two as you sat down, the seat was nothing special, but you'd take it over remaining standing.The two lieutenants were quiet before Karmann answered. "That's the thing sir, they should be here by now.""Not that it's our problem, sir. We can bounce now without having to worry about them being around to track our vector out." Antonwicz stated, and you could tell what his argument was. He wanted to leave immediately. Not that you blamed him, sitting around and watching a world burn wasn't something you wanted to see either.>Spool up the slipspace drive and leave, you're done here (WILL END THE MISSION)>Stay and wait, you have a duty to see how this ends.
>>4648263QM thank you for coming back. You give me hope.>Stay and wait, you have a duty to see how this ends.
>>4648263>Stay and wait, you have a duty to see how this ends.
Ok, I'm gonna call it here for today. You can still vote as this is somewhat important, but I think we know where the wind is blowing.Thanks a lot for the turnout, I'm honestly surprised that this many people would show up. I'd figured that after a year wolfpack would have been a long forgotten memory, I'm happy that isn't the case. It really means a lot after how shit this year has been. I'm sorry that I just up and left one day, but work amped up one day and didn't stop for a while.Anyways, like always, If you have any questions then feel free to ask them and I'll answer them before we start tomorrow.
>>4648315Dont forget to shill yourself on the QTG
>>4648263>>Stay and wait, you have a duty to see how this ends.
>>4648263>Stay and wait, you have a duty to see how this ends.Remain ready for leave in case we are in danger. For now let s continue with the briefing. >>4648315Yours was a great quest. And after the last mission there is more than one or two people that should still remember it.
>>4648263 >Stay and wait, you have a duty to see how this ends.
>>4648315Ive been anxiously awaiting your return thunderhead! Great to have you back.
>>4648315Welcome back man
"We'll stay here and wait, we need to see this through." You decided after a couple of seconds. While you didn't want to witness the death of another world, you were obliged to see the mission to its end. If only so that the rest of the UEG would know what had happened here.And so, you waited. While the prowler you commanded had never been designed for comfort or combat, it excelled at staying hidden and waiting. Against the covenant, prowlers were the only class of ship that consistently managed to survive encounters with covenant fleets. Against the innies and their unsophisticated sensors, the prowler could roam around practically unhindered. If you wanted to, you could have easily packed up your gear and be gone in under an hour.You decided to leave your network of observation drones out in the void, the clarions would easily show up as lingering space debris on the rebel's screens, while the smaller and stealthier black widows could evade detection and record data. The network over Arcadia gave you a perfect means to monitor what was going on around Arcadia while you waited for the hammer to fall."How is this anything other than a delayed death sentence?"You couldn't help but think back to your XO's stance on what was about to hit the world. She wasn't a fan of the idea to not tell the innies of what was coming, and you were in the exact same boat. It was hard to justify leaving them in the dark, especially when you had already completed all of your objectives. You couldn't save the colony, and chances were that you wouldn't be able to save half of the people planet-side, but you couldn't bare to do nothing.You could also understand the reasons for leaving them in the dark. Leaving things to play out would inevitably kill off a significant number of people who would otherwise be trying to raid supply lines and steal weapons bound for the frontline of the war. And it wasn't like the UNSC was already implicated in what had happened here. A massive cyber attack wipes all ships in the area of their navigational data just a couple of hours before the Covenant butchered the world? You didn't need to take what would be a rumor and make it into a known fact.>Warn the innies about the attack. (???)>Leave the innies in the dark.
>>4649142>Leave the innies in the dark.
>>4649142>>Leave the innies in the dark.
>>4649142>>Leave the innies in the dark.We can hope they kill some covenants before they all die. Get a drink later on, saving them is what we would want to do but it goes against everything us and our soldiers have done today.
>>4649142>Warn the innies about the attack. (???)
>>4649142 >Leave the innies in the dark.Big F for the innies
You clenched your fist and cursed yourself for what had to be done, but you didn't have a real choice in the matter.What could you do? Send out a warning on all bands that the Covenant would be showing up in some indeterminate amount of time? The innies wouldn't listen unless you included some proof, and if the Covenant spec-ops team you had just encountered was smart, they'd simply grab their dead and leave with the only evidence to mark that they had ever truly been there. All you would serve to do was announce your presence, and give any survivors something other than the Covenant to cast their hate upon.You couldn't think about it anymore. If you kept trying to justify your actions then you would just make yourself feel worse. Instead, you focussed your attention on something else. And you found something else to occupy yourself with.The innie ships were still on guard from the cyberattack that you had launched before heading planet-side. What you assumed counted as the planet's defence fleet had broken down into five separate flotillas, each one lead by a Stalwart-class light frigate. You still didn't know how the innies had gotten their hands on all of the ships, though from what you could gather from the one that had just slipped its moorings, you guessed that most of them had been hulked in combat and left by both sides. It was pretty standard practice for UNSC prowlers to return to the site of a battle to mark out dead ships for recovery. Most of the time, there was a decent window of time between when the Covenant would leave the scene of a battle, and when their salvage ships would arrive to rend the UNSC ships apart for their base materials. So it would make sense for the innies to try and pick out some wrecks that UNSC salvage flotillas had ignored.That also meant that there was at least one leak in fleetcom, you'd include that in your report.>CONT
>>4649267Going back to the innies, they backed their captured frigates with converted merchant vessels and pleasure craft. Small vessels that probably originally lacked a slipspace drive, and probably relied on targeting data from the frigates to hit anything. Small flights of old fighters and converted gunboats filled in the gaps for them, providing some slight increase in firepower. They weren't lacking for orbital defences either, your sensors found active weapons signatures from a wide variety of stations and converted asteroids in orbit of Arcadia and her two moons. They ranged from small modular stations with a couple of archer missile pods, all the way up to what you assumed were improvised orbital defence platforms. The innies seemed to be using a mix of scavenged military-grade MAC guns and overcharged civilian mass drivers to form some vague imitation of the defensive grids found over valuable inner colonies. And while you couldn't see them, you were damn sure that there was at least a couple of commercial nuclear demolition charges mixed in there, just waiting for the activation signal to be given.All in all, the defences around Arcadia were extensive and well-armed by insurrectionist standards, it would have made them a tough nut for the UNSC to crack with the few ships that could be spared from the front. If you had to guess, it would have taken at least a carrier group to have broken through the defences here, and the UNSC couldn't spare that many ships.Against the Covenant, however, they'd be lucky to manage even a single kill.Still, you ran the numbers, back and forth through your head, matching force projections against the strength the Innies had to hand. And none of it came back good. Against the fifteen or so ships of a standard glassing fleet, the innies would be slaughtered with only a kill or two to their names. They could probably give a bloody nose to a smaller fleet lead by a single battlecruiser, but even that would probably slaughter them.You were sat there trying to figure out a scenario where the innies could win when the words you had been dreading were finally called out."Slipspace rupture detected.">CONT
>>4649270Your eyes shot up as the automated message was played out of the bridge's speakers. It only took a couple of seconds for the prowler's powerful camera array to be focussed on the incoming approach vector, but in those few seconds, you would swear for the rest of your life that you could practically see the slipspace tears where the Covenant fleet was emerging from, so many ships dropped out of FTL almost at once that you could almost see the dancing flickers of light caused by the momentary tears in reality as the ships entered real-space.And your heart stopped cold when the feed from the camera was finally projected on the screen above you. Dozens of ships had dropped out of slipspace in the first couple of seconds, and more were arriving before your eyes. The wave of Čerenkov radiation from the sudden arrival of that many ships tripped a couple of nuclear detonation alarms on a station in front of you. And at the head of it one -no, wait- two assault carriers. The largest ships in the Covenant armada, fleet-killers in their own rights, had come to reap destruction upon Arcadia. To call what you were seeing a "battle fleet" would be misleading, you were looking at an execution force.There would be no battle here, only slaughter.>Sit and watch, there is nothing else to do.>Spool your slipspace drive, it's time to go.
>>4649274>>Spool your slipspace drive, it's time to go.
>>4649274>>Spool your slipspace drive, it's time to go.glad you're back, thunder
"Diana, spool up the drive. We're bugging out." You ordered as the prowler's onboard systems logged the individual drive signatures of the two carriers, over a dozen cruiser-class warships, and dozens more destroyers and lighter escort vessels had already appeared with more on the way. And all of them were either charging their primary energy weapons, or they were already charged and awaiting firing solutions."Diana, hold off on charging the drive, plot us a route out first. Captain, we shouldn't be running." Lieutenant Karmann ordered, before turning to face you. His face was pale, but he kept a stern-set expression. Behind him, the unit-markers for the insurrectionist vessels slowly started to move as they reacted to the new and murderous arrivals."If we stay here, then they will find us. With that number of ships, they definitely have the numbers to saturate the orbital space around Arcadia and find us. And with that much firepower here, we won't last long enough to make an emergency jump." You answered as the first spears of angry blue and red light shot between the Covenant armada and the outmatched defenders. You didn't need to look up at the screen to know how badly those first shots had hit the innies.Karmann took a second to think, before rephrasing his argument, taking a calmer tone. "Captain, I know that you are used to the more... common way of encountering the Covenant. But allow me to reiterate that prowlers are designed to handle these odds. There's a reason why only a handful of our sister-ships have been lost throughout the war.""And you think that we can take this risk? Would you really put our mission in jeopardy in order to watch a world burn?" You asked flatly, ignoring the pathetically one-sided engagement that you had a front-row seat to."Yes." Karmann answered, but he specified his answer before you could draw him up on it. "I would risk the rescue of some scientists to watch one of their worlds burn. If putting ourselves at risk for a few days or so gets us the break we need to hit one of their resupply points -or better yet, a habitable world- then by god we should take that chance!"You... you could see where he was going with this. It would mean extending your mission out here by a substantial margin. And by extension, stretching your onboard supplies to their absolute limits. But at the same time, it could give the UNSC the lucky break it needed to go on the offensive for once.>CONT
>>4649387Well, that or you follow some Covenant ship into unknown space, and never return home due to a terminal case of plasma exposure.Although, a happy middle ground could be staying around long enough to record the Covenant fleet's exit vector. You remembered that the vice-admiral did unofficially ask you to stick around long enough to try and find info on Covenant mustering points, and recording their exit vectors would give a good amount of info. Unless the Covenant were following the UNSC's example and were stringing multiple jumps together to make vector tracking practically useless.>Follow Karmann's advice, and follow one of their ships through slipspace. (roll 1d20)>Stay around and record their exit vectors, you can have someone else follow it up.>Disreguard his suggestion and leave, you're not about to put the mission in danger.
>>4649390>Stay around and record their exit vectors, you can have someone else follow it up.Not a good idea to throw ourselves out of position without preparations.
Rolled 5 (1d20)>>4649390>>Follow Karmann's advice, and follow one of their ships through slipspace. (roll 1d20)
>>4649390>>Stay around and record their exit vectors, you can have someone else follow it up.
>>4649390>Stay around and record their exit vectors, you can have someone else follow it up.
>>4649390>>Stay around and record their exit vectors, you can have someone else follow it up.>we are in no shape to follow up.
You considered the lieutenant's words as you watched the battle unfold in orbit of Arcadia. Then again, to call it a battle would make it seem as if the defenders even had a chance. Granted, the human fleet and their orbital defenses put up a gallant fight. Charged mass drivers and scavenged MAC guns fired almost as one into the oncoming Covenant fleet, pouring fire into the few ships that had charged ahead of the pack, battering their shields away and peppering their hulls with fire. Quick-firing mass drivers poured fire into shield-less ships as the first and only volley of missiles left the ships that launched them. Almost all of the missiles failed to reach their marks and were annihilated in a barrage of pulse-laser fire along with the few pilots who had bravely flown their craft towards the Covenant fleet in a vain attempt to do anything to stop the slaughter. The few remaining missiles that hit their mark included a single nuclear-tipped weapon, the blast registering it as a civilian-grade demolition device. The weapon must have been fired on a bearing, rather than at a specific vessel, as the device detonated between a pair of covenant cruisers. One of them must have lost its shields, as part of its hull was burned away while the other hid behind its shield.The covenant fleet didn't give them a chance for a return volley. Energy projectors slashed out and practically vaporized most of the innie fleet in a single strike. Of the actual warships, one of them was put down for good after being practically dissected by multiple capital-ship grade plasma beams, while the other was vaporized with a single blast from the main energy projector from the leading assault carrier. The three remaining vessels had been obfuscated by Arcadia itself, having been patrolling the other side of the planet when the attack began. The two supporting flotillas and gun-stations facing the enemy fleet were destroyed in short order, almost all of them gone before they could fire again."Captain, I have calculated the slipspace jump. Should I charge the drive?" Diana called your attention back from the slaughter, and back to the question that was still hanging in the air."Delay that, we'll watch for their escape vectors." You answered quietly, before turning your attention back to the Covenant fleet.The fleet had split up into four distinct groups. The first and the second groups went straight for Arcadia's moons, having probably been assigned to destroy any stations that hung in orbit over them, and to glass any habitats on the moons themselves. The third group held the majority of the fleet and slowly moved into low orbit over Arcadia, repeating a dance that had been performed over every human world the Covenant had dragged into its murderous embrace.>CONT
>>4649548The fourth group, on the other hand, was more interested in killing the rest of the innie fleet than the world itself and threw themselves into low and fast insertion courses to get themselves in amongst the three remaining defense flotillas, which were moving to hold the space above the town of Abaskun, the last vestige of civilization on the planet. You had no doubt in your mind that jackals commanded those Covenant ships, they were the only race that seemed to throw caution to the wind enough to risk burning up in the atmosphere in order to get a kill. Their fast approach gave this improvised group a significant speed advantage and dipping ever-so-slightly into the upper atmosphere played merry-hell with the innie's missiles. And even the orbital MAC-guns had trouble tracking them, as some of them couldn't track around fast enough to acquire the incoming ships. Still, the innies poured fire into the Covenant outriders, and for the first time in the battle, actually seemed to score a kill. A covenant corvette's engines were shot out from beneath it, leaving the ship to fall into the planet's gravity well. A frigate had a faithful meeting with a pair of nuclear devices and disappeared from your sensors. But still, more ships made it past the barrage, and into close-quarters. Another frigate used it's momentum to crash straight through a converted merchant ship, letting its shields take the brunt of the impact. A pair of jackal raiders ignored the defense fleet entirely, instead focusing their attention on slaughtering civilian shuttle craft that were trying to escape into orbit. The brutal, close-in fighting lasted for around five minutes before the Covenant group broke away, having lost a couple of smaller ships in return for practically decimating the rebel defensive fleet.On the other side of the planet, the execution was about to begin. The main Covenant fleet had formed up into two lines, stretching from pole to pole. The first being made up of the assault carriers and cruisers, with the smaller destroyers following around a hundred miles behind them. For some reason, the Covenant had apparently started to start their glassing operation above the alien ruins that ONI had set up their old alpha site next to.>Try and get a feed from the alpha site, what does it look like from the ground?>Keep watching from above, you'd rather not dredge up some bad memories.
>>4649551>Try and get a feed from the alpha site, what does it look like from the ground?
>>4649551>>Try and get a feed from the alpha site, what does it look like from the ground?
"Diana, can you bring up a feed from one of the cameras at the ONI alpha site?" You asked your AI, you'd only be able to get a couple of seconds worth of a recording, but the shot alone would probably have some intelligence value."Of course, standby." Diana responded, before shuffling the orbital feed of the Covenant fleet to the left-most monitor. It took a couple more seconds before the screen crackled into life as the AI forced machinery that had been practically dead for close to two decades back into life. The camera feed came in at a jaunty angle and was rife with static for the first few seconds before Diana could stabilise the feed and clean up the shot. But even from the first few seconds, you could make out the telltale concrete plateau of the ONI alpha site, and the jungle beyond it.And hanging above it all was a single assault carrier, five-point-three kilometres of brutal weapons and powerful shields, all wrapped up under the lumpy and weird aesthetic of Covenant ship-building. The bulbous bow and stern were connected by a deceptively thin-looking neck, and what appeared to be a kind of city-scape that hung to its hull like barnacles. A glowing blue-white orb of searing hot plasma grew under the vessels snout, like a savage dog frothing at the mouth.The image alone sent shivers down your spine, this was not something you felt comfortable watching.Diana turned the camera away from the ship and instead turned it against a handful of dropships that seemed to be flying alongside it, their cargo doors open to expose the pale forms inside to the heat and radiation of the glassing beam. You quickly realised that most of the kneeling forms inside the dropships were human prisoners, but not all of them. Mixed in among them were some jackals and a couple of elites that must have done something abhorrent to suffer such an execution.The camera feed zoomed out, returning once again to watch the carrier as it made ready to end a world.>Roll 1d20
Rolled 3 (1d20)>>4649615>>Roll 1d20
Rolled 17 (1d20)>>4649615May the dice gods help us
Rolled 18 (1d20)>>4649615
Rolled 14 (1d20)>>4649615
The feed from the camera slowly started to degrade as more and more power was pumped into the carrier's glassing beam. Static cracked across the recording like heavy rain on a ground car's window, even in spite of Diana's best efforts to keep it stable. Despite that, you think you saw something around the carrier's hangar. Or what you assumed was a hanger, why else would there be a massive gap in the hull right under the ship's neck?And with one last burst of light, the feed abruptly cut out. The final discharge of plasma having finally killed the connection to the planet. Almost as one, the entire bridge crew looked out the main window, and saw a single pinprick of light erupt on the surface of Arcadia, followed by more as the rest of the fleet began their butcher's work."Diana, can you clean up the last ten seconds of the ground side recording?" You asked the AI as everyone was preoccupied watching the world below you burn. Diana complied silently, and in a few seconds had the recording up and playing on repeat over the central screen."What do your squid-eyes see?" Antonwicz quietly asked you, his eyes torn between what was happening to the planet, and what you were looking for on the recording."Diana, zoom in on the hanger-like structure at the base of the carrier's neck. Set playback speed to fifty percent." You ordered as you saw the same flash over and over but couldn't make out if that was a fault in the recording, or if you had just about spotted something."Stop!" You snapped, and the playback froze two and a half seconds before it cut out. There, just about highlighted in the massive plasma discharge from the carrier was a shape that was far too smooth and uniform to be a glitch in the recording."What's there?" Antonwicz asked, still staring at the still, unable to really see what was there."I might be wrong, but I'm pretty damn sure that a something just slipped aboard that carrier." You explained, before standing up and pointing at the screen. Diana seemed to know what you were thinking and placed a dot on the screen where your finger was pointing. You roughly marked out the odd displacement over the carrier's hull with the improvised cursor, highlighting it to the two lieutenants."Are you sure, sir?" Antonwicz asked very carefully, his tone measured, but obviously concerned. You turned to face him and looked dead in the eye of a man who thought that you were cracking under pressure. "I know that this is a tense situation, but I don't see anything there.""I think I see it. Diana, can you highlight the area that the captain circled?" Karmann took your side, though, from the sounds of it, he was just as unsure as you were about what was there. Regardless, Diana did as she was told, darkening the area of the hull around the section you had highlighted in order to bring out what you had only just managed to glimpse.>CONT
>>4649697The ODST was silent for a couple of seconds as he looked back at the screen, before then sighing. "I'll take your word on it, but I still don't think that there's anything there."You took that as enough, before looking back at the orbital feed. This time being projected from a satellite overlooking Abaskun. The camera let you watch as the few shuttles and transports on the ground immediately dusted off and streaked into the sky, and a few more dived down into the atmosphere to try and evacuate as many people as possible. A couple of freighters hung in lower orbits, putting themselves at risk of being trapped in the planet's gravity well to get the shuttles aboard faster.The glassing fleet was still practically on the other side of the planet, but they managed to get a line of sight on the fleeing shuttles. There was a flash of light before a sudden blast of plasma slashed at a close group of shuttles. The beam had lost some energy passing through the kilometres of atmosphere and must have been unfocused a bit to increase the diameter of the weapon, but even then it was enough to burn the shuttles out of the sky with no effort at all. Still, the shuttle crews were either brave or foolish, as they continued making their runs. They countered the incoming attacks by increasing the spacing between them so that only a couple of craft could be destroyed in each shot. The freighter captains on the other hand, lit their engines and burned away from the planet after the first shot. Shuttles still managed to make it aboard and drop off some more people, but after a couple of minutes, the freighters reached the minimum safe jump altitude and left the planet -and the shuttles that were just a minute too late to catch them- behind as they jumped into the relative safety of slipspace.Almost immediately, however, a pair of heavy destroyers in orbit over the other side of the planet turned to match the freighter's vectors and dipped back into slipspace. They must have been forwarded tracking data from the assault carrier and were rushing to follow the human vessels wherever they ran, so that they could destroy them the instant they returned to realspace.The few remaining innie orbital defences turned to fire on the glassing fleet, only to be enveloped by a swarm of fighters. You hadn't seen the Covenant fighters deploy from their motherships, but their arrival spelt doom for the remaining survivors. Of the three Stalwart-class frigates that had once defended the area, only one remained in any way mobile. This last frigate was trying to dock itself to another frigate's dorsal hardpoints to carry it away from the slaughter. Both vessels were filling the void around them with missiles and gunfire, but against the onslaught of fighters, it was just too much, and the intact frigate was forced away from its crippled comrade. A minute later, the crippled ship finally went critical and exploded as it's reactor overloaded.>CONT
>>4649699With the only other warship destroyed, and the last shuttles into orbit either magnetically docked to the outer hull or dead, the last frigate turned-tail and ran, leaving people stranded planet-side to their fate.They didn't have to wait long, which you supposed was a mercy. The Covenant carrier reached Abaskun only an hour or so later, trailing fire and glass in its wake. What probably took years to build up and return to civilisation was reduced to glass and ghosts in only seconds. It was a process that was repeated across the planet. From the ruins of Fort Deen and Pirth City, to the tiny farming communities across the Mu continent. The smoke and ash from the bombardment concealed a lot of the damage, but even through kilometres of black clouds, you could see rivers of molten rock and glass from space. It took only a couple of hours for the first wave of Covenant ships to make their round of the planet, and twice as long for the second wave of destroyers to melt the rest of the world in their wake. By the time the last of the Covenant ships lifted up into high orbit, the beautiful blue-green holiday world was a distant memory, replaced by an angry brown and red hunk of rock and fire. You didn't need to look at the moons to know they had suffered a similar, but less horrific fate.But before the Covenant fleet left for good, they had one last insult to lay upon the world. The assault carrier charged it's glassing beam one last time, and carved a glyph of some sort into the surface of the planet. You didn't know what it meant, but you didn't need to know the exact meaning to understand the threat behind it. And the promise, that the Covenant would not stop until they were victorious.With their mission of murder done, the Covenant fleet simply turned away from the planet, and made to jump into slipspace. As if what they had done was just... unremarkable.>Follow one of the Covenant ships. There needs to be some sort of vengeance for this.>Record their exit vectors and return home. There's nothing left to do.>Other (Write-in)
>>4649702>>Follow one of the Covenant ships. There needs to be some sort of vengeance for this.
>>4649702>Record their exit vectors and return home. There's nothing left to do.Job's done time to head home.
>>4649702>>Record their exit vectors and return home. There's nothing left to do.
>>4649699>Record their exit vectors and return home. There's nothing left to do.
>>4649702>Record their exit vectors and return home. There's nothing left to do.
>Record their exit vectors and return home. We will get justice one day, just not today.
>>4649702>Record their exit vectors and return home. There's nothing left to do.It's time to leave.
"Diana, start logging their exit vectors. Prioritise the carriers." You instructed as the fleet pulled away from the ruins of Arcadia. With the destruction of Arcadia complete, you could turn your attention to the two moons. Both of them were largely unaffected by the glassing that they had endured, largely due to the fact that neither of them had an atmosphere or ecosystem to be destroyed in the first place. Still, the molten sections of their surface that had once accommodated mines or surface habitats could be seen with the naked eye, like angry red bug bites.Curiously, neither of them seemed to be marked with a symbol similar to the one recently burned into Arcadia.Regardless, you turned your attention back to the fleet in time to see them leave. The telltale blue flashes of slipspace portals appeared just off the bows of the Covenant ships, which they then dove into, leaving the system through those tears in reality. The carriers once again lead the fleet out, followed by the larger combatants, and then their escorts. You glanced up at the main screen in time to see only a couple of exit vectors appear. You assumed that was good, if they were following humanity's lead and were jumping on random vectors, then you'd expect that number to be far higher. Of course, that also assumed that they were being sloppy and were jumping directly to their end destinations. If they were breaking their journey up over multiple jumps, then they'd be almost impossible to track."Exit vectors recorded and logged. Orders?" Diana asked as the final radiation bursts from the Covenant fleet hit your ship, leaving the prowler alone in the graveyard."Spool up the drive and jump back to Reach. There's nothing else here." You ordered, before getting up and walking off the bridge. There was nothing else to do, and you had other things to do.>Get into cryo, you want to be in better shape for your inevitable surgery.>Get something to eat and write your report, you ought to get that sorted while it's still fresh in your mind.>Other (write-in)
>>4650601>>Get something to eat and write your report, you ought to get that sorted while it's still fresh in your mind.
>>4650601>Get something to eat and write your report, you ought to get that sorted while it's still fresh in your mind.
While you wanted nothing more than to spend the trip back to Reach in blissful sleep, you still had a few things to do before you could steal away inside one of the pods. Namely, you needed to write up your report on what had happened since you arrived in-system. In order to get the energy required to do that, you needed something to eat and drink to stay awake. You retrieved a data-pad from one of the storage lockers set into the walls, before making your way down to the mess hall to grab something. On your way past the cryo bay, you noticed that more of the pods were filled than you originally realised. More than what you assumed were iced for medical or psychological reasons."Most of the scientists and civilian contractors elected to enter cryo in order to reduce the strain on resources and to give the lightly wounded time to recover while en-route home." Diana explained as you inspected one of the pods. You simply nodded and the answer, before continuing past the pods and down into the hanger bay. You entered the cavernous room to find a couple of marines floating by the ceiling, having turned off the artificial gravity systems to hang a divider curtain from the ceiling. Another pair of marined floated by the wall to your right, where they were setting up a basketball hoop."Hey, skipper! Gravity should be good on your side, just don't cross over the line we've marked with red tape." One of the marines noticed your arrival and called out the warning. The rest turned to you but didn't straighten up or salute. Generally speaking, saluting or acting formally in a zero-g environment was avoided in order to focus on staying safe and secure, so you let it slide. You thanked the marine, and let him get on with his job. With many of their pods being occupied by the civilians you'd picked up, they'd need a way to stay healthy and occupied during the trip home. And without a dropship to worry about, the hanger was just waiting for someone to make use of it. Besides, the mess hall would probably be used exclusively for eating and maybe watching some films, so moving the exercise equipment into the hanger would work wonders for ensuring that the two would have ample space.You entered the mess hall to find a couple of engineers and marines eating and relaxing. A couple of them acknowledged your arrival but didn't move to salute you. Like in the hanger bay, this was for practical reasons, but not for safety purposes. Smaller ships like corvettes often lacked an officer's mess, so the officers and the enlisted would share the mess hall. Such shared mess halls were practically neutral ground, where everyone could relax without really having to worry about rank and all. You figured that the same applied for prowlers, as they seemed to have a similarly cramped internal layout and spent longer out on patrol.>CONT
>>4650745Either way, you left the men to what they were doing and walked over to one of the auto-chefs installed against a wall. Sat somewhere in between the loathed food and drink dispensers installed on older UNSC ships, and the larger automatic cooking assistants installed in most modern mess halls. The auto-chef could "cook" meals with some help from either the ship's AI or from a pre-selected list of dishes. Diana had apparently taken control of this particular unit, as it was already putting a dish together by the time you walked up to it. You only had to wait a couple of minutes before the meal was done, and you could take it to sit down.As your butt hit the bench, your coms bead crackled into life. "Captain, lieutenant commander Dyad has woken up, would you like to see her before she enters cryo?">Call Dyad over, you want a word.>Let her head to cryo, she deserves her rest.
>>4650748>>Call Dyad over, you want a word.
>>4650748>>Call Dyad over, you want a word
"Is there somewhere private we can use?" You asked the AI as you looked down at your meal, a mixed dish of vegetables and a steak with gravy. Given that this was a prowler, there was a good chance that the steak was made out of actual meat rather than the substitute that most people had to eat. Having good quality food was worth paying out of the nose for -if your mission happened to include putting a bunch of people on a tiny ship- and it wasn't like ONI was hurting for a budget. While you could just warm it up in a microwave, you still felt a bit unhappy to leave it."Mission bay two should suffice. It's right next to the ward and the door should block out most of the audible noise. I'll tell her to go there." Diana told you where to go as you got back to your feet, you'd take your drink with you at the very least. You took a sip of your drink, before turning and retracing your steps back into the hanger. You entered to find that the marines had got the divider curtain in place, and were chatting amongst themselves in zero-g. Though you couldn't make out exactly what they were saying, you assumed that they were arguing over if they were going to play basketball or gravball, the only real difference between the two being if there was gravity or not. You ignored them and walked over to the mission bay where your XO was waiting.The room had been fitted out to carry your clarion spy drones and their launch tube. The launcher assembly dominated the middle of the room, with the four drones sat on their racks against the wall. The drones were left bare, though you could make out impact damage from tiny bits of space debris. Some tech would have to make repairs on them, but thankfully, he seemed to be putting that off. You walked around the launcher module, and into the back of the room, where you found your XO waiting.One arm in a sling, the other one holding a bottle wrapped in a crumpled paper bag and some disposable cups. She looked up at you with her one remaining eye and smiled as much as she could with a cup in her mouth.>Write-in
>>4650811>You look like you fought a meat grinder and lostHelp her out with the cup
>>4647511Holy fuck I hadn't expected this too come back, Dope.
>>4650811>Missed me? >Let me help you with that.
>>4650811>>Write-in>Kept you waiting huh?>Help with cup
>>4650811"SO what happened after i had to see the doc's?
"Kept you waiting, huh?" You asked with a smile, before reaching over and plucking the cup from her mouth. Your XO chuckled as you sat down, leaning up against one of the walls. You slowly sat down opposite her, making sure to take it slow."Nah, I was just getting comfortable." She said as she set the bottle in her lap and pulled the paper bag down, revealing a bottle of some cheap store-bought alcohol. She'd probably grabbed it as soon as she heard you were shipping out again, you didn't blame her, grabbing a bottle for the road was pretty common in the fleet. She struggled with the plastic wrapping around the neck of the bottle, before looking up and saying. "You look like shit.""I look like shit? You look like you fought a meat grinder and lost. Here, lemme do it." You replied with a chuckle, before taking the bottle off her. The hilarity of the situation wasn't lost on you, the two of you by all rights should be in hospital beds, maybe even in induced comas. Instead, the pair of you were having drinks next to some multi-million credit equipment on a ship that you didn't even want to know the price tag of.You pried the packaging off the bottle and poured the drinks, stopping only to hold onto something when Diana announced that the ship was jumping into slipspace. The mission bay had the feel on an old-timey torpedo room, and had more than enough hard-edges to break yourself on if the transition into slipspace was rough. The liquor was cheap and probably had a low alcohol percentage, though given that you were running on one liver, it'd take less time for you to start feeling it. Dyad downed her drink almost as soon as you poured it, so you topped her up before downing yours."So... it's finally over." Dyad sighed as you sipped your drink, you nodded to her over the rim of the disposable cup. The soon-to-be commander was silent for a couple of seconds before looking you dead in the eye."There's something wrong, isn't there?" Dyad asked, and you realised that she knew you well enough to know the reason why you had called her down here.>"Is there something else I could have done?">"It doesn't sit right with me, what I've done.">"Why are we here? This isn't our job.">Other (write-in)
>>4650913>"Is there something else I could have done? Alot of good men and women got hurt or died. Same song and dance as always."
>>4650913>>"Is there something else I could have done?"
>>4650913>"Is there something else I could have done?"
>>4650913>"It doesn't sit right with me, what I've done."I wanna avoid working with spooks as much as possible.
"Is there something else I could have done?" You asked the question that had been playing off your mind ever since you had stepped foot on the bridge. You couldn't shake the feeling that there was something else that could have been done, something that you had missed.Your XO was silent for a couple of seconds, before sighing. "Do you mean from an operational point of view or a moral one?"You simply nodded, wordlessly telling her to give you both sides to the answer."Alright, I'll start with the former." Dyad said, before lifting her arm and gesturing towards the wall that you shared with the empty bay turned medical ward. "We came here with an empty bay that could have carried more marines, some combat drones, or something else. Instead of that, we came in without the ability to soak casualties, and both of us paid the price for that. We were not prepared for a worst-case scenario, and that's on you.""At the time we were only expecting to have to pick up the base's personnel, not fight spec-ops teams, so I set that space aside for them. Perhaps I shouldn't have." You nodded at her operational assessment and gave your reasoning for why you had seemingly chosen to skimp out. The extra cots had been useful, but you had gone in expecting an easy ride, when if your last mission was anything to go by, ONI never had anything close to an easy operation."Fair enough, now onto the moral side of it." Dyad took a slug of her drink, before continuing. "There's nothing else we could have done without violating orders. Look, sir, I know how you feel. Frankly, I wish we could have done something too. But we had our orders, and it's not your fault for following them.">"Saying that I was just following orders isn't a defence.">"Do you really see it in such a clear-cut way?">"Who do you blame then? There has to be someone.>Other (write-in)
>>4650986>>"Do you really see it in such a clear-cut way?"
>>4650986>Thanks XO, can always count on you.
>>4650986>"Do you really see it in such a clear-cut way?"Doesn't make it suck any less.
>>4650986>>Thanks XO, can always count on you.
So are just okay with what we did from a moral standpoint, or are we trying to get into Dyad's pants? Read the room, if it's the latter.
"Thanks XO, can always count on you." You thanked Dyad for her council. It wasn't lost on you that you seemed to lean on her every time a mission didn't go well, and you were glad that she was at least willing to give it to you straight."That's why I'm here!" Dyad raised her cup to you, you raised your cup back, before you both finished your drinks. It'd take a bit of time for the two of you to go through the rest of the alcohol, and she'd have to do the lion's share of the drinking, but aside from that, "So, where to after this?" Dyad asked as she presented her cup to you, you filled it up for her. Leaning over to reach her cup was a very weird feeling with an organ missing, but you put up with it."I'll be getting assigned a destroyer, I'll see how much of the crew I can bring with me but they might be held on the Dawn. It's up to you if you want to come with me." You replied as you poured yourself another cup of weak alcohol. The orange liquor was obviously some kind of mixer drink, something to water down vodka or whiskey, but you'd take it.Dyad looked back at you with a slight frown, before carefully asking why. "What makes you think I'll jump ship?">"The Dawn will need a new commander, and guess who's probably in for a promotion when we get back home?">"Getting a replacement eye is gonna take you out of the fight for a decent length of time.">"At this rate, I'm gonna be in ONI's pocket. Do you really want to tie yourself to me?">Other (write-in)
>>4651052>>"The Dawn will need a new commander, and guess who's probably in for a promotion when we get back home?">>"Getting a replacement eye is gonna take you out of the fight for a decent length of time.">>"At this rate, I'm gonna be in ONI's pocket. Do you really want to tie yourself to me?"Pretty much all of these.
>>4651052>"The Dawn will need a new commander, and guess who's probably in for a promotion when we get back home?"ya all of them fit really well actually Lol.
>>4651052>>"The Dawn will need a new commander, and guess who's probably in for a promotion when we get back home?">>"Getting a replacement eye is gonna take you out of the fight for a decent length of time.">>"At this rate, I'm gonna be in ONI's pocket. Do you really want to tie yourself to me?"All of the above.Also I think you meant Kidney instead of Liver. we only have one liver. 2 Kidneys.>>4651036nah man, no panty raiding. Just Xeno killing.
>>4651036Im more interested in Diana personally.
>>4651085>He only has one liver
>>4651052>>"At this rate, I'm gonna be in ONI's pocket. Do you really want to tie yourself to me?"
>>4651100Did I read that wrong?
>>4651052>>"At this rate, I'm gonna be in ONI's pocket. Do you really want to tie yourself to me?">>4651036Yes
>>4651052>"At this rate, I'm gonna be in ONI's pocket. Do you really want to tie yourself to me?"
You grunted as you tried to figure out a diplomatic way to put it, before eventually deciding to just give the three best reasons for why you figured she wouldn't be joining you. You figured that she wouldn't care too much for the bluntness."Firstly, getting a replacement eye is gonna take you out of the fight for a decent length of time. Prosthetic or cloned-in, getting it put in is going to take you out for a couple of months. Secondly, the Dawn will need a new commander, and guess who's probably in for a promotion when we get back home?" You pointed out the first two reasons, before sighing and admitting to the one thing that you had been trying to avoid since you received word that ONI wanted to see you as soon as you were promoted. "And at this rate, I'm gonna be in ONI's pocket. Do you really want to tie yourself to me?"Dyad was silent for a couple of seconds, before putting her cup down, and holding up one of her fingers. "Firstly, what's to say that I can't just put an order in an order for a cloned eye or a prosthetic and then go out on patrol? It'll be waiting for me when we get back, and I can recover on the patrol after. Besides, I'm pretty sure that I can't actually get replacement bodyparts anyway, some of my family members are lacking for limbs and can't get proper replacements."She raised a second finger for her second point. "Secondly, that assumed I'll both be offered a promotion and command at the same time, which after only a couple of missions in my current station, is highly unlikely. Besides, if the rumour mill is anything to go by, then you might not be able to keep both the frontline posting and your current rank."Finally, she raised her ring finger as she answered the last of your reasons. "Finally, if ONI really is gonna try and shove you in their pocket, then they're gonna have one fuck of a hard time doing it while I'm around. If I leave, they'll assign some heartless stooge to take my place, and at that point, you'll stop being an actual commander.""Boss, I'd like to think that we're friends. So I'll put this frankly. If I didn't trust your calls then I wouldn't be here, I'd be back in the Epsilon Eridani system trying to find a new ship. So would you trust me a little bit here?" Dyad gave you a small smile as she affirmed her loyalty to you, before pointing her finger at you. "But don't go thinking that I'm gonna let my standards slip though, you start taking me for granted and I'll hand-pick my replacement.""I wouldn't want it any other way." You smiled back at your XO. While you didn't like that she was willing to put her service before health and promotion, you were glad that she was firmly in your corner.>Ask her about her family's condition. Why would she join the fleet if that was a known issue?>Ask about the rumor. Why won't you be able to keep both your ship and your rank?>Ask about something else (write-in)>Shut up and drink, you just want to enjoy the company for now.>Other (write-in)
>>4651146>>Ask about the rumor. Why won't you be able to keep both your ship and your rank?
>>4651146>Ask about the rumor. Why won't you be able to keep both your ship and your rank?>Mumble softly about Muh ship
>>4651146>Ask about the rumor. Why won't you be able to keep both your ship and your rank?
You sat in silence for a minute or so, simply enjoying the low-content liquor. Soon enough though, your curiosity got the better of you, and you broke the silence with a question. "So what's this rumour you've heard?""Ah, an old friend of mine from basic said that the new chief of naval ops is planning a rank reshuffle. A lot of things are gonna change, but pretty much everyone is going to be in for either a demotion or a new assignment." Dyad put the blame for the changes at the feet of the new CNO, and you couldn't help but believe her outright. It was pretty normal for new CNOs to make some sweeping change in the first couple of years of being granted the office. And ever since the last one officially stepped down after three colonies were glassed in as many months by a single covenant fleet back in '47, the office had been pretty quiet ever since."Captains are gonna get bumped up to oh-sixes from oh-fives, which is gonna exclude them from commanding escort vessels like destroyers and frigates. And there aren't enough cruisers rolling out of dock per-year for all of them to command, so that means a lot of 'em are gonna have to give up their stripes." Dyad finally dropped the part of the rumour that mattered to you."So, what? A bunch of captains are gonna get the choice between commanding a warship or commanding a desk?" You asked with a frown. You had only just been promoted, and now this was coming along? You knew what your choice was going to be, but it still felt like a slap in the face."I'm not gonna lie boss, I don't think there's gonna be a lot of choice in it." Dyad shrugged as much as she could, before hissing and rubbing her upper right arm.>Ask her about her family's condition. Why would she join the fleet if that was a known issue?>Ask about her arm. Why is it in a sling?>Ask about something else (write-in)>Shut up and drink, you just want to enjoy the company for now.>Other (write-in)
>>4652145>Ask about her arm. Why is it in a sling?"Heard you managed to take down a Zealot. Nice job."
>>4652145>Ask about her arm. Why is it in a sling?
>>4652145>>Ask about her arm. Why is it in a sling?
"What happened to your arm? Trying to follow my example again?" You asked about her arm with a joke. While you weren't happy that there were only two good arms between the two of you, you still found it ironic that she had also come out of it with an arm injury."You wish." Dyad jabbed back at you, before shaking her head and continuing. "No, I fractured my wrist at some point in the fight. It'll heal though, so this'll just be temporary.""Speaking of the fight, I heard you killed a Zealot." You called back to another thing you and Dyad shared, a dead elite officer under both of your belts. Granted, it was probably something neither of you planned, but "Killed it with your shotgun too." Dyad revealed, before presenting her cup to you for a refill."I swear, if I don't get to keep it after this mission I'm gonna feel so damn cheated." You sighed as you filled her cup, earning a dry laugh from your XO."You and me both, boss..." Dyad nodded, before drinking deep of the last of the alcohol. You didn't realise it until you tried to fill up your cup, but you'd already polished off the cheap alcohol. That was fine, you supposed. At the very least you weren't putting too much of a strain on your remaining kidney.>Head back to the mess hall, you've got a report to write up.>Help Dyad up to the cryo deck, she probably doesn't need it, but it's better not to chance it.>Ask Dyad something else (write-in)>Other (write-in)
>>4652287>Help Dyad up to the cryo deck, she probably doesn't need it, but it's better not to chance it.
>>4652287>>Help Dyad up to the cryo deck, she probably doesn't need it, but it's better not to chance it.
>>4652287>>Help Dyad up to the cryo deck, she probably doesn't need it, but it's better not to chance it."After this mission i seriously need to get back in shape. What about you ?"
"Come on, you need to be in cryo." You reminded your XO as you forced yourself to your feet. Dyad simply nodded, and stood up as well. You took her disposable cup and threw it into the paper bag alongside yours and the empty bottle as the two of you walked past the drones and ut of the bay. Out in the hanger, the marines had apparently settled on basketball and had split themselves into two teams of four."What, do you think I'm gonna fall up the stairs?" She asked as the pair of you walked towards the door leading out the rear of the hangar bay."Maybe it'd knock some sense into you." You said as you opened the door, and lead your XO up towards the cryo bay. "Either way, you did drink a lot, so I'd rather play it safe.""Jeeze, you sound like my brother." Dyad sighed as she followed you up the stairs, apparently making a point to push up ahead of you to make a point. You didn't comment on it, but either way, she seemed fine, so you decided not to escort her into the bay. It'd send entirely the wrong message."You know... after this mission I seriously need to get back into shape." You said as you reached the top of the stairs, Dyad had been kind enough to wait for you, and looked at you with a slightly smug expression. Yeah, she could laugh at it all she wanted, she wasn't the one missing some major organs."You won't be hurting for spare time during the flight back, that's for sure." Dyad smiled, though you weren't sure if that was just out of kindness or thankfulness for not being the person who had to stay and command the ship. Regardless, she tapped the button to open the door into the cryo bay, and took a couple of steps inside before turning to say goodbye. "See you at Reach boss.""See you then." You replied, before she shut the door. With your XO secure -provided that she didn't fall over and crack her head on the pod- you turned around and retraced your steps down into the hanger bay. A couple of minutes later, you entered the mess hall to find it far less occupied than it had been when you left. A note on the table closest to the door told you exactly why, apparently there was a poker game happening in the lounge. You would have gotten involved, but you had other things to do right now. So after tossing your trash in the bin, you walked over to your food and sat down again, at the very least the meat was still a bit warm.>Write your report, you want to get this done as soon as possible.>Look up some files, maybe ONI has something you can look into (write-in)>Other (write-in)
>>4652427>>Write your report, you want to get this done as soon as possible.
>>4652427>Write your report, you want to get this done as soon as possible.
>>Write your report, you want to get this done as soon as possible
Sitting down at the table, you took a minute to dig into your meal. Your earlier theory was proved correct, as the steal was cut from actual meat, rather than being some meat-analogue cast in the shape of a steak. While some would say that there wasn't a noticeable difference in taste between the two, the sheer fact that actual meat had not only thrived as an industry in the early stages of the war, and that current meat prices had sky-rocketed, all proved that the difference was noticeable enough for people to pay big money for.You broke the report down into key sections and tackled them one at a time. The first covered your arrival in-system, and the deployment of the virus that deleted all navigational data in the area. The second covered the landing and initial investigation of the ONI blacksite, including the recovery of the injured ODST and the recovered camera recordings. The third section was on how and why you took to the field and the subsequent engagement with the Covenant spec-ops unit. The fourth section covered Dyad's assault on the captured firebase and was very heavily based on the information you gathered second-hand from Diana and the marines. The final section covered the death of Arcadia and included the composition of both fleets involved, their movements, and preliminary projections for the total number of people killed.All in all, a total report length that clocked in at over a dozen pages worth of information. That'd probably be enough to sate the office's need for intelligence.Leaning back against the wall, you looked down at your neglected plate. Your food had gone cold by the time you had finished writing the first section, and you had barely touched it since. You reheated it in the microwave that someone had plugged into the wall, and polished it off as you decided on what to do next.>Read up on some combat reports.>Look up some files, maybe ONI has something you can look into (write-in)>Find somewhere to catch a nap, you feel tired (TIMESKIP)>Other (write-in)
>>4652522>Look up some files, maybe ONI has something you can look into (write-in)>Other (write-in)Add in the trajectory of the escaped innie ships.
>>4652522Back this as well >>4652539
>>4652539supportingYou can't just let those dirty traitors run and getaway.
>>4652522>Read up on some combat reports.
You sat there for a couple of seconds, before deciding to try and figure out just where the innie survivors had gone. Chances were that most of them had performed random jumps in order to try and shake off any pursuit while they calculated how to get to another system, but there was still the off-chance that someone had decided to take the direct route home. And if they ended up leading the Covenant to an inhabited colony, then a lot of people could die. While the virus had targeted their nav-data, you didn't know if that specifically went after the locations of human settlements, or if it completely wiped their nav data. Either way, navigation computers being a relatively inexpensive part of a ship regardless of the price increases caused by wartime legislation, so it wasn't out of the question for there to be backups."Diana, can you pull up the exit vectors of the innie vessels that fled Arcadia?" You asked the ship's temporary AI, who kindly sent the data over, and projected all of them onto a star-chart. Thankfully, the trajectory of a slipspace jump was already determined by the time a ship entered slipspace, and from there it was a relatively simple affair to extrapolate how far they were going along said trajectory by measuring the size and radiation output of the tear they caused when entering slipspace, relative to the assumed mass of the ship. That was actually one of the reasons why smaller warships were, in a word, faster than larger ships in slipstream space. Their lower mass relative to their drive output allowed them to travel more efficiently. And that was part of the reason why Covenant ships were fast enough in slipspace to "overtake" human vessels.A lot of the innie ships lacked the power of a military vessel and would be easy prey for the Covenant pursuers. Most of them ended up in the interstellar medium, the void between stars. You were thankful for that, as a couple of the bearings came very close to matching the trajectories required to reach some outlying colonies. One even came close to the Paris system, though the initial trajectory was off by a couple of degrees and the jump over-shot the system.Or at least, all bar one.The Stalwart class frigate had taken a direct course to a UNSC system. You didn't know if that was because their nav-data was intact, or if the innie navigational officer knew the trajectory by heart. Either way, it could be worse. The course lead the ship to the Gamma Pavonis system, which was apparently uninhabited aside from some mining operations. Either way, the Covenant had just been served another system on a platter, all thanks to some self-serving innie.>Set course for Gamma Pavonis. At the very least, you need to warn any freighters entering the system that the system is compromised.>Ignore it, there's nothing you can do. Unless ONI developed some way to scream a message into slipspace, you can't get the word out in time.>Other (write-in)
>>4652658>Inform the Spook and the other Acting officer about this information and if we should ignore it or move to beat it if possible.
>>4652658>Set course for Gamma Pavonis. At the very least, you need to warn any freighters entering the system that the system is compromised.
>>4652658>>Inform the Spook and the other Acting officer about this information and if we should ignore it or move to beat it if possible.
"Diana, do lieutenants Karmann and Antonwicz have comm-buds?" You asked the AI. With the rational part of your mind and your gut both at odds, you decided to bounce the question off your two highest-ranked subordinates."Yes. Please hold for five seconds while I make the connection." Diana replied, before leaving you to count. You found it a bit odd that she wanted you to wait for something that should be pretty instant, though you guessed that it was only to avoid startling them."Antonwicz, Karmann, can you hear me? We've got a problem." You asked over the link as a couple of crewmen filtered into the room. You exchanged a nod with them, and let them get to their breaks, making sure to lower your voice so as not to spread the news. "I've just put the recorded exit vectors of the Innie ships through the nav computer. One of them went straight for the Gamma Pavonis system.""I haven't heard of Gamma Pavonis, are there any colonies there?" Karmann asked, and it was a very legitimate question. You only knew that the system existed because the Hoel had spent a couple of months there on a patrol stint."According to data already carried aboard the prowler, the Gamma Pavonis system has some level of illegal activity. There is a standing UNSC patrol mission in the area, with a total of six corvettes and two unarmed picket ships monitoring the system's gas giants. Mining efforts in the area are minimal, with the main focus being an old helium-three mining plant in low orbit over the fourth planet." Diana neatly wrapped up the entire two light-years of space that the system inhabited in three sentences. Which was fair enough, it was a shitty little backwater that was too risky for further investment due to the Covenant's first move against Arcadia"There's not much point heading over there. The Covenant are faster in slipspace, so we'll probably just find a bunch of wreckage. Corvettes posted in the system can send out the warning to the local area faster than us." Karmann argued against rushing to the system."That assumes that any of them survive." Antonwicz pointed out, sounding slightly out of breath as he spoke. He paused for a couple of seconds, before continuing. "I think we should head over there, if only to perform SAR."Well thanks for helping me come to a decision. You thought to yourself as you found yourself right back where you started.>Set course for Gamma Pavonis. If only to pick up escape pods.>Ignore it, there's nothing you can do. The system patrol vessels will handle it.>Other (write-in)
>>4652784>Set course for Gamma Pavonis. If only to pick up escape pods.
"Alright then. Diana, set course for the Gamma Pavonis system." You decided after a couple of seconds. While you knew that both the Covenant and the Innies had a head-start on you, the prowler's high speed in slipspace ought to make up for a couple of hours worth of lost time. At least, when you were comparing the prowler to the Innie frigate. There was no way in hell that you'd be able to catch the Covie vessel"Understood, I'll plot a new course once we drop out of slipspace. Estimated time of arrival should be six days." Diana replied. You didn't know how long your current slipspace jump would last, but you assumed it would only be a couple more hours before you returned to realspace. Cole protocol compliant random-vector jumps were often pretty short so that ships could perform multiple jumps in sequence before needing to stop."I doubt there'll be any survivors when we get there." Karmann sighed, he probably wanted to get back to reach as soon as possible."We've still got to try, Wells out." You stated, before disconnecting from the shared channel.>Read up on some combat reports.>Look up some files, maybe ONI has something you can look into (write-in)>Find somewhere to catch a nap, you feel tired (TIMESKIP)>Other (write-in)
>>4652903>Read up on some combat reports.
>>4652903>>Read up on some combat reports.
Why not do some SAR on Arcadia.I'd be there's probably at least single digit survivors out in the middle of nowhere.
With nothing else to do while you waited for the prowler to drop out of slipspace, you decided to look up some recent combat reports. ONI had access to a wealth of knowledge, and it would be stupid for you to ignore the opportunity to look at things from their perspective. Thankfully, ONI's report handling system was similarly laid out to standard naval systems. Though you imagined that was down to restrictions placed on your ability to access the system. Like it or not, you were still just a captain. And one who had only just come into the office's service, and one that had only just been promoted too. It wasn't unreasonable for the officeThere were only two kinds of combat that ever happened on the frontline. Space combat and ground combat. Both were intrinsically linked, though in the grand scheme of things only the former truly mattered. It was a cruel fact of the war that regardless of the victories gained on the ground, it would all be for nought if the Covenant gained control of low orbit over a world.And unfortunately, ground combat was where the UNSC had at least something approaching a respectable number of victories compared to the Covenant. The news was often flush with stories of smaller marine and army battalions gallantly holding their ground in well prepared defensive networks against hordes of Covenant soldiers. Or of the UNSC's supersoldier of the week putting entire Covenant army groups into disarray by either assassinating their commanders or by blowing up something valuable.Space on the other hand was a far worse affair. UNSC ships were outclassed in almost every regard compared to their Covenant contemporaries. Even their largest carriers had a theoretical slipspace speed far greater than even the fastest UNSC dispatch vessels, and their line warships could catch up and lie in wait for UNSC vessels as they ran. And on the weaponry side of things, the advantage just got worse. The UNSC's only real advantage was from the massed use of smart-AI to provide targeting solutions at extreme range, and that never lasted in an engagement.>Read up on ground battles, how long does the UNSC last ground-side?>Read up on space battles, what's the current kill/loss rate?>Other (write-in)
>>4657250>Read up on space battles, what's the current kill/loss rate?
>>4657250>>Read up on space battles, what's the current kill/loss rate?
You decided to check up on the rates for space combat, the theatre where the UNSC lagged behind the Covenant the most. Though with the average Covenant "destroyer" clocking in at the same size and combat effectiveness as a light cruiser, it wasn't hard to see why. Plasma weapons made an absolute mockery of titanium-A battle armour, and that was without factoring in thermal collapse. While smaller Covenant ships such as raiders and corvettes could only rely on basic plasma cannons, the sheer heat transferred with each impact could overheat a UNSC vessel to the point that the crew boiled inside the ship. There were countermeasures of course, both passively built into the hull of new warships, and active means such as pumping coolant into the worst affected areas of a ship. And that was just with basic weaponry, longer-range weapons systems like plasma torpedoes and beam weaponry on larger Covenant ships could gut UNSC ships in a single hit.As such, it came as no surprise to you that the kill/loss ratio stood at one Covenant ship killed for around two UNSC ships of a comparable tonnage. And that was with the UNSC pressing all available advantages like AI-assisted targeting equipment, countermeasures, and excessive use of MAC guns.It didn't shock you that destroyers were the most common class of UNSC ship to both engage the Covenant and be destroyed. The standard Halberd-class destroyer was a tough little nut, which combined speed and firepower into a surprisingly useful platform. However, even with their tough hulls and decent speed, the fact remained that they simply didn't have the staying power against larger Covenant vessels. The fact that the production of Halberds was rushed also didn't help, a rushed vessel was a compromised vessel after all. That was part of the reason why they were organised into smaller flotillas, where they could combine their firepower to hopefully overload the shields of a few Covenant ships before any one ship was lost.>Look at some recent AARs, maybe you can learn something new?>Read up on Covenant warships, what are you likely to face?>Search for upgrades, shouldn't you get something useful for your soul?>Figure out the rates for raiding groups, what are your chances?>Other (write-in)
>>4657298>>Look at some recent AARs, maybe you can learn something new?
>>4657298>Read up on Covenant warships, what are you likely to face?Give intel pls
>>4657298>Search for upgrades, shouldn't you get something useful for your soul?
>>4657298>Look at some recent AARs, maybe you can learn something new?
>>4657298>>Search for upgrades, shouldn't you get something useful for your soul?
Deciding to look into recent combat reports, you back-tracked through the years to find a few promising candidates. Unfortunately, you only found three combat reports that seemed remarkable enough to be of any use.The first concerned the battle of Battle of Miridem. Miridem had been a valuable inner colony, acting as a resupply hub for UNSC forces across five other major systems and ten uninhabited systems. The planet had been engaged by a Covenant fleet, and was eventually lost after a month of heavy fighting with significant casulties. The remarkable part about the battle was the presence of routine stellar radiation flares from the system's star. Said flares were of obvious concern to the Covenant, though the first few paragraphs in the AAR didn't explain why.The second concerned the battle of Skopje. A relative footnote in terms of colonies, Skopje lasted only a couple of weeks before it too fell. However, Skopje was an interesting battle due to it's location. Being located practically inside the planetary ring of a large gas giant, the world was surrounded by asteroids, which the defending CMA forces made extensive use of to act as cover from plasma weapons.The third and final report was an engagement between a Covenant cruiser and a pair of UNSC destroyers in the gravity well of the brown dwarf Saerus. The engagement between the two sides was characterised as a game of "hide and seek" as the failed star's electromagnetic field was strong enough to hamper the effectiveness of both side's sensors. The magnetic interference had also effected both side's weapons too, as the UNSC only won when one of the destroyers rammed the cruiser deeper into the brown dwarf, the ensuing pressure increase eventually destroying both vessels.>Read about Miridem, why did the Covenant run from the stellar flares?>Read about Skopje, how did the CMA use the asteroids to their advantage?>Read about Saerus, how were both sides effected by the magnetic field?>Do something else, none of these are really promising.>Other (write-in)
>>4657383>>Read about Miridem, why did the Covenant run from the stellar flares?
>>4657383>Read about Saerus, how were both sides effected by the magnetic field?make us a better MAC artist and we can begin to understand how Covvie weaponry works.
Miridem -not to be confused with Meridian, a far larger colony- was a small moon that was located in the perpetual shadow of a gas giant. As such, the world was shrouded in total darkness, aside from what light could be generated from artificial sources. The two main reasons why it was colonised in the first place was the presence of an oxygen-rich atmosphere generated by extensive microbial life, and the fact that it's shrouded position perfectly protected it from the violent stellar flares. Said stellar flares would usually have caused widespread damage to sensitive electronics such as communications systems.When the Covenant fleet entered the system, they made a beeline for the colony, only to suffer some level of disruption from the stellar flares. While no accurate measures could be taken, the local UNSC defence fleet recorded a higher than expected number of kills against Covenant ships. Meanwhile, the Covenant vessels suffered issues with guiding their plasma torpedoes while they were under the effects of the stellar flares. Unfortunately for the defenders, these issues cleared when the torpedoes entered the "safe zone" cast in the gas giant's shadow, and the Covenant fleet returned to full combat capability once the stellar flares died down after a couple of hours. Interestingly, however, the Covenant then prioritised keeping up a defensive blockade around the colony rather than hunting UNSC ships in the rest of the system.So from what you could gather, the intense outburst of high-energy particles had caused some disruption to the Covenant fleet, though mostly related to their ability to guide long-range torpedo salvos. The apparent effect was minimal, though you wondered if the effect could be replicated...>roll 1d20
Rolled 13 (1d20)>>4657434
Rolled 5 (1d20)>>4657434
Rolled 19 (1d20)>>4657434
There was no practical way to replicate the effects of the stellar flare, especially not to the degree that it would be able to cause wide-scale disruption to a Covenant fleet. The power requirements alone would be almost impossible to provide and could be better served to send a couple of hundred tons of tungsten into a Covenant vessel. Using it against the torpedoes was also a no-go, as the amount of energy required to even mildly affect a ball of pure plasma would be even more absurd.However, the flares gave you something far more valuable. At least, in the right circumstances.You knew what communications frequencies the stellar flares interfered with. And after bouncing the information off Diana, you were able to pinpoint a couple of frequency bands that had provided the best chances for electronic intrusion. Granted, right now it was all just theory, and if the covenant ship you selected to be the test dummy for this theory managed to escape then you would have unintentionally strengthened their counter-SIGINT capabilities. But as far as you were concerned, if you could turn the exploitation of that frequency into a viable option, then your ability to stay alive in a fight would be greatly increased.>NEW SKILL: EXPERIMENTAL HACK>One time per engagement, gain plus 2 on any roll to attempt a hack against a Covenant ship. If successful, gain plus 1 to all further hacks against the hacked vessel. If the hacked vessel defeats the intrusion and survives the battle, then the ability can no longer be used.After going through one of the AARs, you were starting to feel a bit tired, but with nothing else to do, you decided to keep going until you were exhausted.>Read about Skopje, how did the CMA use the asteroids to their advantage?>Read about Saerus, how were both sides affected by the magnetic field?>Read up on Covenant warships, what are you likely to face?>Search for upgrades, shouldn't you get something useful for your soul?>Other (write-in)
>>4657520>>Search for upgrades, shouldn't you get something useful for your soul?
>>4657520>Read about Saerus, how were both sides affected by the magnetic field?
>>4657520>Read about Saerus, how were both sides affected by the magnetic field?Let's learn some more.
>>4657520>Read about Skopje, how did the CMA use the asteroids to their advantage?
Deciding to take a look at another AAR, you read up on the battle of Saerus. Given the small scale of the engagement, you figured that it would be a bit of easy reading.The prelude to the battle was pretty basic. The two destroyers had previously been assigned to a UNSC patrol group that ran into a Covenant fleet. There was a fight, and the UNSC fleet scattered, with the destroyers "Two for Flinching" and "Constantine" escaping to Saerus in order to discharge static buildup from drawing a large amount of power from the reactor and from using said power across a variety of shipboard systems. Saerus wasn't the best choice, given its highly active magnetosphere, though according to the commander of the "Two for Flinching", his plan was to discharge enough static in order to make two safe jumps, and then leave. You had to assume that the commanding officer of the "Constantine" planned to do the same.However, within an hour of entering low orbit, a Covenant cruiser of a similar design to the one you had encountered with Patrol Group Theta dropped out of slipspace within weapons range of them. Faced with no other options, both UNSC destroyers dived into the gas giant's atmosphere. The covenant cruiser attempted to engage them with plasma torpedoes, but the torpedoes were practically deflected by the gas giant's magnetosphere. As such, the Covenant cruiser followed both ships into the planet's atmosphere.To call what happened next the galaxy's most dangerous game of hide and seek would be an understatement. The planet's magnetosphere made getting a reliable fix on an enemy vessel's location practically impossible. Meanwhile, with both missiles and torpedoes unable to properly function in the planet's magnetosphere, both sides relied on their heaviest weapons. As could be expected, the combat between both sides was as sudden as it was devastating. The Covenant cruiser technically scored first blood by inflicting a mortal blow to the Constantine with its main plasma weapon. Attempts by the Two for Flinching to drive the Covenant ship away from the wounded destroyer came to nothing, as the cruiser's shields tanked both MAC rounds.The blow that killed the cruiser came in three parts. The Constantine fired both of it's MAC guns into the cruiser from point-blank range, before ramming the cruiser roughly where it's plasma beam weapon was located. The resulting impact caused both ships to lose power and fall rapidly into the gas giant's gravity well. The Two for Flinching took almost a day to reach orbit, and from there almost two months to return home, but at the very least it brought news of the Constantine's noble sacrifice.>Roll 1d20
Rolled 7 (1d20)>>4657621>Two for FlinchingWhat an apt name
Rolled 9 (1d20)>>4657621
Rolled 7 (1d20)>>4657621
The battle of Saerus was very similar to the battle of Psi Serpentis. Specifically through the UNSC commanders using powerful magnetospheres to interfere with Covenant plasma torpedoes. If you had to guess, the commander of the first ship into Saerus' atmosphere had also watched the final moments of Admiral Cole's last stand and had decided to try and use a similar trick to avoid his own. However, just like Psi Serpentis, everything you had found in the battle was already known. What was worse, was that nothing could be replicated either. After all, while gas giants were common enough in inhabited star systems, you couldn't take one out on patrol with you either. And while you were sure that a similar effect to the magnetosphere of such a large and active planet could be simulated, the sheer power and material cost would make it inefficient for shipboard use.No, you had to rely on bog-standard speed, emergency boosters, and luck if you wanted to avoid getting reduced down to free-floating atoms.You yawned again and found yourself surprised. While you had initially hoped to get more done, you were getting more tired with every report that you read. You probably had enough left in you for one more report, and then you'd bookmark some stuff for later. You certainly had enough time to kill on the trip out to Gamma Pavonis.>Read about Skopje, how did the CMA use the asteroids to their advantage?>Read up on Covenant warships, what are you likely to face?>Search for upgrades, shouldn't you get something useful for your soul?>Other (write-in)
>>4657700>>Read up on Covenant warships, what are you likely to face?
>>4657700>Search for upgrades, shouldn't you get something useful for your soul?
>>4657700>Read up on Covenant warships, what are you likely to face?
>>4657700>>Search for upgrades, shouldn't you get something useful for your soul?
>>4657700>Read about Skopje, how did the CMA use the asteroids to their advantage?
>>4657700 >Read up on Covenant warships, what are you likely to face?
You'd gone through enough AARs for today, it was time to see what other benefits ONI could give you. After all, now that you'd thrown in your lot with them, you didn't see a way out. So at the very least, you decided to see what you could obtain from them to avoid your life being cut uncomfortably short.Thankfully, the office was nothing if not inventive. Hell, back when you were serving on the Hoel, you played around with at least a couple of new, fancy bits of gear. And after getting a bit of help from Diana, you found your way to the directory for assorted bits of equipment that the office could help you acquire.>Weapons systems>Sensor equipment>Drive and slipspace>Strike craft and drones
>>4658476>Strike craft and drones
>>4658476>>Strike craft and drones
>>4658476>>Strike craft and dronesMore on strike craft and pelican upgrades
With your new ship being a destroyer, you wouldn't be hurting for weaponry and armour. The one thing that you would definitely be lacking for though, would be strike craft and dropships. The standard Halberd class destroyer carried only a single hanger, which could only carry a pair of pelican dropships. This meant that a Halberd would barely be able to carry a single longsword, so you'd have to find smaller fighters to fill in if you wanted to carry more than one fighter. Dropships were also another point of concern. Like it or not, if you were stuck with a pair of pelicans, you'd have to look into giving them specific upgrades to improve their combat capabilities.If you wanted to do more with less, then you'd have to look for something exotic to give you a leg up. And you knew for a fact that ONI could give you a hand with that.Something else that ONI did very well were drones. Communications, SIGINT, repair, and many other little robots were probably held in the office's pockets. Sure, they wouldn't be as effective in direct combat as fighters, but there were many other ways they could help you.>Strike craft>Dropships>Drones>Something specific (Write-in)>Look at something else (Weapons, Sensors, Propulsion)
>>4658580>>Dropshipsbetter pelicans for the lads will improve ground effectiveness a lot
A bit late due to computer issues, but can I have a tiebreaker?
As far as dropships went, the UNSC's lineup was composed of entirely of pelicans and pelican varients. Which was understandable enough, the dropship line had served faithfully since production started sometime in the 2470s, there was no point in replacing what already worked.That being said, the office had access to a couple of different pelican varients. Granted, none of them offered anything other than incremental upgrades and modular mission packs. The most substantial upgrade package offered by ONI was the D77-TC/p Pave Pelican. Featuring enhanced avionics and sensors, and a more efficient propulsion and life support setup, the dropship could operate further afield from your ship. You could also outfit it with a variety of roll-on equipment kits, like recon pallets, minelaying equipment, and boarding cutters. And that was in addition to the normal modules, suchas an extended troop bay and missile pods. However, aside from some slightly heavier ceramic armour and IR dampening equipment, they were only slightly better than the baseline pelican dropships.The only other alternative was the SKT-13 shuttlepod. Essentially an escape pod with the equipment needed to land planet-side removed, the SKT-13 was around a third of the size of the Pelican. So if you were desperate, you could use them for missions. However, due to their complete lack of lifting surfaces, the SKT was limited only to use in space. And it's single-compartment design meant that unless the pilot was wearing a vacuum suit, they would not be able to offload troops anywhere other than a ships hanger bay.You sighed to yourself as you looked at your two options to replace the frankly over-sized air-wing of the Dawn, a pair of slightly more capable pelicans or six cut-down escape pods.>Keep looking, maybe there's something you're missing (roll 1d20)>Look up strike craft, there's nothing worthwhile here.>Look at something else (Drones, Weapons, Sensors, Propulsion)>Other (write-in)
>>4658770>Look up strike craft, there's nothing worthwhile here.
Rolled 15 (1d20)>>4658770>Keep looking, maybe there's something you're missing (roll 1d20)
Rolled 17 (1d20)>>4658770>Keep looking, maybe there's something you're missing (roll 1d20)
You were not convinced that this was all that the office of naval intelligence had to offer, and as such, you widened your search from specifically looking for vehicles, to looking for reports including the use of experimental craft in operational use. And soon enough, you found something interesting. It wouldn't be a useful general-purpose craft, but for the missions you seemed to be getting scouted for, it would probably suffice.Having been first mentioned in reports around 2543, the pelican "boarding craft" was ONI's attempt to convert the workhorse of the UNSC into a chariot for boarding teams. Basically an up-armoured pelican, the boarding craft carried an extended troop bay that accommodated a magnetic locking system and the cutting equipment needed to cut through the hull of a Covenant ship. The armour completely enclosed the cockpit, allowing the ship to survive one or two direct hits from a pulse laser at the cost of forcing the crew to rely on external cameras and sensor input to reach the target ship. From the reports you found, it was workable enough in it's given role, provided that there weren't any Covenant fighter craft in the area. The actual effectiveness of the boarding teams on the other hand was a bit harder to measure due to a variety of reasons.The idea was operationally sound, it had been deployed enough times with ODST teams that you were certain that most of the mechanical kinks had been worked out. But there was still a couple of downsides. The extra mass definitely made it's acceleration more sluggish, meaning that it would be harder for it to escape if shit hit the fan for whatever reason. >Take the pave pelican, it'll give you better results overall.>Take the boarding pelican, you're sure you can make it work.>Look up strike craft, there's nothing worthwhile here.>Look at something else (Drones, Weapons, Sensors, Propulsion)>Other (write-in)
>>4658948>Take the boarding pelican, you're sure you can make it work.
>>4658948>>Take the boarding pelican, you're sure you can make it work.
>>4658948>take the boarding pelican, you're sure you can make it work.
Yeah, you were confident that the boarding pelicans would be useful. You'd have to look into modifications to the destroyer itself to try and expand your air-wing outside of the two pelicans, but the two modified pelicans would be a decent start. You sent a message off to Diana to prepare a requisition request for when you reached a usable comm-buoy. If worst came to worst, you could probably put in a specific modification request to make something similar yourself.You yawned again and checked the clock installed on the data-pad. All in all, it had been over twelve hours since you had woken up, and while you could usually stay up longer, you found yourself growing more and more tired by the minute. You could probably stay up and work for a bit longer, caffeine was a hell of a drug. But all things considered, you wondered if there was even a point to it. You'd already gathered a few useful tidbits of information, and you'd have a decent amount of time in the rest of the return trip.>Go and get some sleep, you'll feel better for it (time skip to Gamma Pavonis)>Look for something else, you feel like you can continue. (Look for other upgrades but with a -1 on rolls) >Other (write-in)
>>4660242>Go and get some sleep, you'll feel better for it (time skip to Gamma Pavonis)
>>4660242>>Look for something else, you feel like you can continue. (Look for other upgrades but with a -1 on rolls)
>>4660242>Go and get some sleep, you'll feel better for it (time skip to Gamma Pavonis)We're still recovering from getting manhandled, let's rest up.
You decided not to chance it. Almost getting run-through by a plasma sword had left you with some significant injuries, and while they could be mostly treated with some flash-cloned organs and stem-cell therapy, you didn't want to take chances in the meantime. "Diana, I'm going to hit the rack, who'll have the bridge while I'm gone?" You asked your AI as you stood up and left the mess hall, you'd grab your wash kit and hit the head, cleaning yourself with your current injuries would be uncomfortable, but that wasn't a good enough excuse to avoid it."Lieutenant Karmann has the bridge. Your wash kit is in the primary crew storage room, the head is located further up the bow from the crew quarters, I've already reserved a bunk for you." Diana replied, and told you where you needed to go. You had to pull up a map in order to find out where the storage room was located, though thankfully it was located in the crew section of the ship, roughly in-between the head and the crew quarters. You recoverd your small wash-bag and made your way into the only bathroom on the ship.The crew area in general for the prowler was far smaller than on any other kind of ship you'd served on. Hell, at least the corvettes had gender-separated heads. On the prowler, the head was literally just a couple of cramped toilet cubicle, some wardrobe-sized showers, and a couple of sinks. You weren't sure if the designer was some kind of sociopath, or if space was really at such a premium that they couldn't afford to allocate a few more square inches per shower. Still, the showers at least sealed properly and had an option to turn off the gravity, allowing you to make the best use of the meagre amount of warm water you could use. After struggling around for a few minutes, you climbed out, brushed your teeth, and made your way back to the medical bay, which forced you to walk practically the length of the ship each way.Once again, you wondered if it would have killed ONI to install a set of stairs or even just a zero-g tunnel between the crew deck and the command deck.Still, the purpose of your trip was simple enough, as you had to get your dressings changed. While clean medical dressings were still at somewhat of a premium on-ship, Diana assured you that there were enough left in stock for a couple of weeks. After that, there would start to be problems. Though you decided to focus on worrying about that for tomorrow and clambered into one of the cramped bunks in the crew accommodation area. The next few days of the trip to Gamma Pavonis would be monotonous if you had nothing to do, so before going to sleep you came to a decision on how to spend the next few days.>Focus on physiotherapy, you need to start your recovery as soon as possible.>Focus on intelligence-gathering, maybe you can learn something else.>Focus on looking for upgrades, the more modifications you have the better.>Other (write-in)
>>4660348>>Focus on physiotherapy, you need to start your recovery as soon as possible.
>>4660348>Focus on physiotherapy, you need to start your recovery as soon as possible.
>>4660348>Focus on looking for upgrades, the more modifications you have the better.
You made a note to start early on your physiotherapy. While there wasn't much you could do before you got your hands on some flash-cloned organs, the more you did now, the less mandatory downtime you'd have when you returned home. With that set, you drew the curtains closed, and let yourself drift off to sleep.The next four days were spent going in-and-out of the medical bay. Of course, most of the physiotherapy you could undergo while en-route was limited to stem-cell therapy on your forearm and some of the less-damaged internal organs. But even then, the process was still rather intensive with the limited resources available. Diana insisted on checking on the areas undergoing therapy every couple of hours and then removing any area that was starting to develop cancerous growths. Usually, stem-cell therapy would just require the recipient to lay in bed for a couple of days while a machine continuously monitored their progress. However, with so many people undergoing therapy in a single bay at the same time, it forced the AI to take more of a hands-off approach.A little over five days after the destruction of Arcadia, you stood on the bridge of the prowler as the crew made final preparations to drop out of slipspace in the Gamma Pavonis system. The bridge crew had remained awake like you for the trip, and a couple of them were looking worse for wear because of it. You didn't blame them, given the sheer number of cryo pods, you figured that almost all of the crew entered cryo for slipspace journeys while only a handful of people remained on station to ensure that the ship remained operational. It was common enough in the navy."Deceleration from slipspace confirmed, arrival in T minus one minuite." Diana announced as Lieutenant Karmann arrived on the bridge, the short spook gave you a weary smile, the two of you had spent a bit of time chatting during the journey, though due to the two of you keeping almost opposite sleep schedules, you had seen very little of each other. And given that he was nursing a mug of coffee, you could tell that he was keeping himself awake to advise you."Re-entry to normal space in five... four... three... two... one..." Diana counted down as the prowler started to shake, a bad sign, usually, such a small vessel would have no trouble transitioning back. The shuddering reached a peak before the ship suddenly went still. Diana's avatar appeared in the holotank next to you as the shutters over the main viewpoints retracted away from the viewport, revealing the inky blackness of space."Transition successful, stealth baffles are online, welcome to Gamma Pavonis, captain.">Start actively scanning the local area, you need to see what's going on.>Look for local infrastructure, maybe there are nearby comms buoys you can use.>Find out where you are, what's the lay of the land?>Other (write-in)
>>4660442>>Find out where you are, what's the lay of the land?
>>4660442>Find out where you are, what's the lay of the land?
"Diana, where are we?" You asked the AI as you looked out of the main viewport, the light of Gamma Pavonis was dim and distant, which meant that you were probably on the edge of the system.Soon enough, system telemetry data started to appear on the main screen above the viewport. The Gamma Pavonis system was composed of seven planets, with a total of twenty assorted moons between them. None of them were actually named, instead being numbered one-through seven. The first two were rocky planetoids that were too close to the system's star to support an atmosphere and were pretty much ignored by human exploration. The third planet was the only one in the habitable zone, but due to being tidally locked to Gamma Pavonis, one side of the planet burned while the other froze. Limited mining operations had been established in the twilight zone between the two extremes, but they hadn't proved too profitable. The forth was a gas giant with an active helium-3 mining operation taking place, making it one of the most active parts of the system. The fifth was a dead world, mostly due to the toxic composition of its atmosphere. The sixth planet was an ice giant, which had been largely ignored for anything other than drive discharging. And the seventh planet was a dwarf planet that marked the outermost point in the system.Right now, you had dropped out of slipspace on the edge of the system, putting you closer to Gamma Pavonis VII. It'd still take you a day or so to make the trip to the planetoid, or you could head deeper into the system, where the more inhabited worlds lay.>Investigate the seventh planet, you may as well start there.>Head deeper into the system, you should have better results at the inhabited worlds.>Start actively scanning the local area, you need to see what's going on.>Look for local infrastructure, maybe there are nearby comms buoys you can use.>Other (write-in)
>>4660541>>Head deeper into the system, you should have better results at the inhabited worlds.and while we're on the way>Look for local infrastructure, maybe there are nearby comms buoys you can use.
>>4660541>>Start actively scanning the local area, you need to see what's going on
>Start actively scanning the local area, you need to see what's going on
>>4660541>Start actively scanning the local area, you need to see what's going on.
"Sensors, can you tell me what's out there?" You decided to start being proactive in your efforts. And with the prowler having dropped out of slipspace so far out, you needed to get an understanding of what was happening deeper in the system before you made your next move."Standby, I'm bringing our primary sensor array online. Do you want us to scan actively or passively?" The ensign at the sensor station asked. Unlike the crew of the Dawn, the ensign didn't turn to look at you, instead focussing on his station."Go active, we should be able to hide and relocate if something pings us back." You decided after a couple of seconds of thought. If worst came to worst, it would take a few hours for an enemy vessel to reach your current position, giving you ample time to either relocate or charge your slipspace drive for a jump.>Roll 1d20-1
Rolled 8 - 1 (1d20 - 1)>>4660597
Rolled 8 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>4660597Mum plz
Rolled 3 - 1 (1d20 - 1)>>4660597
You waited in silence as the sensor operator worked. With the prowler's primary mission being intelligence gathering, you assumed that they had some way to counter the issues that you'd normally encounter when trying to perform an active scan of targets from such a long-distance away. However, after nearly a quarter of an hour later, the man simply sighed, before reporting back to you."Nothing, not even drive signatures." The operator briefed you. It was understandable enough, you were in interplanetary space, you'd probably have a better chance of finding evidence of what had happened here if you got closer to a planet. But even then, not being able to find signatures of active starship drives was worrying. Didn't Diana say that this system was being actively patrolled?>Investigate the seventh planet, you may as well start there.>Head deeper into the system, you should have better results at the inhabited worlds.>Look for local infrastructure, maybe there are nearby comms buoys you can use.>Other (write-in)
>>4660653>Investigate the seventh planet, you may as well start there.
>>4660653>Head deeper into the system, you should have better results at the inhabited worlds.
Well, you wouldn't get much done waiting out here, so you instead turned to your navigation officer and gave him permission to move. "Nav, take us closer to the seventh planet. We'll start our search there.""Understood, standby." The ensign at the station replied, and a few seconds later, you felt the subtle shudder of the ship's fusion drives as it slowly pushed you on course to your destination. It'd take a couple of hours, maybe even a full day to get there, but eventually you'd get there.>roll 1d6
Rolled 2 (1d6)>>4660748
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>4660748
It took a couple of hours for Gamma Pavonis VII to enter effective sensor range, the dwarf planet was only a few million kilometers away from where you had dropped out of slipspace. If you were particuarly honest with yourself, you wondered if this was the most genuine attention anyone had given it in decades. The boring little rock was about as unremarkable as they went. Too far out for effective mining, too obvious to be a place where rebels or pirates would actually set up their base. Still, someone had to patrol it and it's moon, and soon enough you found the sorry buggers who had been lumped with that job."Eyes on! Tally three contacts, standard UNSC corvette patrol group, seem to be investigating one of the planet's moons." Your sensor operator called out, before sending the relevant information to the main screen. Sure enough, you spotted a trio of UNSC Gladius-class corvettes. They were holding a loose arrow-head formation as they made their way into high orbit above the moon."A patrol group? Did the innies already get here?" You wondered aloud as you looked at the three vessels. None of their names really called out to you, so you assumed that they were just another batch of three that had been churned out of some ground-side shipyard."Maybe that's why they're investigating the moon. Should we contact them?" Karmann asked drearily, he had brushed you off an hour ago when you suggested that he get some sleep, and it really seemed like he was worse for wear because of it.>Hail the corvettes, what are they doing out here?>Get closer to the planet, you don't want to worry them.>Other (write-in)
>>4660800>Get closer to the planet, you don't want to worry them.
>>4660800>>Get closer to the planet, you don't want to worry them.
"Maybe. Still, I don't want to announce our presence. Nav, keep us on course." You ordered the ship to avoid the corvettes for now. They had their mission, and so did you. There wasn't much point in distracting them from whatever they were doing.The corvettes weren't the only ships hanging in orbit above Gamma Pavonis VII. The picket ship UNSC Hilbert was in orbit on the other side of the planet. The older vessel had probably been an old CMA survey vessel that the UNSC had modified into a sensor picket ship. Which would usually have made it into a safe enough posting for those recruits whose families had enough reach to edit deployment rosters. Aside from that though, the ship was probably a terrible posting, spending months out in the ass-end of nowhere on a ship with the defensive capabilities of a wet paper bag wasn't any sane person's idea of a fun time.Still, the presence of so many UNSC ships around such a backwater planet did make you a bit interested. All in all, those four ships made up half of the patrol assets assigned to the system. Concentrating that many corvettes in one location must have opened up a bunch of holes in their patrol routes. Just what were they looking for?>Hail one of the UNSC ships, you may as well be direct about this.>Try and hack one of the UNSC ships, Diana needs to test her skills anyways.>Survey the planet, are they investigating it for any reason?>Other (write-in)
>>4660899>Survey the planet, are they investigating it for any reason?
"Sensors, can survey the planet to try and see what they're looking for?" You asked as the prowler entered high orbit. The midnight-black ship remaining perfectly hidden from the assorted sensor output from the four UNSC vessels."I can give it a go sir. Just keep in mind that it'll take a couple of hours and a few orbits for us to get a good idea of what's planet-side." Your sensor officer asked, holding off from starting his task. You understood why, mapping an entire planet was a pretty boring affair. Spending a couple of hours waiting for an automated system complied some five-hundred years ago was not anyone's idea of enthralling work."Do it, we've got time at the very least." You confirmed the order, dooming the sensor operator to stay at his post for the next couple of hours."Don't trust the locals?" Karmann asked, his voice inquisitive, and ever so slightly annoyed. He probably wanted to take the more direct approach so that you'd be done sooner and could go to bed sooner."If we show our hand then they're gonna know that something's wrong. And I don't really trust the guys out here not to take bribes." You answered. While the navy was loathe to admit it, crews assigned to missions in backwater sectors like this one were either incompetent or were susceptible to bribes. And if you had to choose between one or the other to contact, you'd rather avoid contacting them at all.>Roll 1d20
Rolled 19 (1d20)>>4660982
Rolled 8 (1d20)>>4660982
Rolled 2 (1d20)>>4660982Oh shit, fell asleep.
It took a couple of hours, but eventually, your sensor officer was able to almost fully scan the planet beneath you. Thanks to your higher orbit, the barren rock of Gamma Pavonis VII turned underneath you, ensuring that the prowler barely had to move as it gathered the required intelligence."Nothing planet-side, aside from a small research outpost that's been abandoned." Your sensor officer reported, before sending an image of the research outpost to your main screen. Sure-enough, it certainly looked abandoned. The few hab-units had been almost buried in silt, and the only heat readings you were recording were from the radioactive decay of the radiothermal generators that kept some of the systems warm enough to function."Maybe they're interested in the moon? It'd make more sense for any insurrectionists to set up shop there." Karmann suggested. While you agreed that it was a possibility that the rebels would have set up there, you didn't want to get too close to the corvettes. The gladius was an often underrated little boat, and you knew for a fact that they were nifty little vessels.You were about to make your next decision when the space above the grey planetoid was marred by a pinprick of violet light. Your eye picking out the slipspace tear a second before the ship's alarms started to scream."Contact! Contact! One covenant warship just dropped out of slipspace. Standby while I run it through the system." Your sensor officer called out as the screen above the viewport switched over to show your new arrival's exact position over Gamma Pavonis VII. Fortunately, the enemy ship probably didn't see you, as it didn't turn towards you. And by your reckoning, it didn't see the three corvettes either, as they would have been the more pressing concern.Instead, the covenant warship turned its guns on the only UNSC ship in sight and range. The UNSC Hilbert, the unarmed picket ship.>Get involved, you can't actually shoot the Covenant ship, but you should still try to do something.>Sit and watch, you don't have the armour or firepower to get involved.>Charge your drive, those three corvettes don't have much of a chance.>Other (write-in)
>>4661983>Sit and watch, you don't have the armour or firepower to get involved.
>>4661983>Get involved, you can't actually shoot the Covenant ship, but you should still try to do something.>Other (write-in)We just got that new hack skill against Covenant ships. Good time to try.
>>4661983>Charge your drive, those three corvettes don't have much of a chance.time to go!
"Karmann, how well optimized are we for electronic warfare?" You asked as an image of the unknown Covenant warship was projected on the main screen. Whatever it was, it certainly wasn't a capital ship. The vessel clocked in at a little under a kilometre in length, marking it out as an escort vessel. The vessel sported a wide and flat "head" with two tooth-like fins protruding from the sides in some mockery of a predatory animal. The flat head joined to the aft of the ship via a thin neck, which seemed to be a common theme for Covenant warships. The vessel's bat-like wings were vaguely reminiscent of the design of your prowler, and you wondered if it served a similar design purpose. Something that definitely stood unique was the sort of insect-like carapace that sat above the upper-aft section of the vessel. You had absolutely no idea what the vessel was armed with aside from a network of plasma cannons along its flanks, as some of them were already charging up to fire on the Hilbert."We're a prowler, it's one of the few things we're good at. Though usually, we'd launch some drones just in case something goes wrong. The black widows would be the stealthier option, though the clarions can work in a pinch." Karmann replied as you turned your attention to the Hilbert. The picket ship was responding to the incoming threat, but with engines massively under-sized for its job, you were surprised that they even bothered to run, you would have launched the lifeboats already."How long would that take?" You asked as the first shots of the engagement were fired by the Covenant warship. This volley must have been either rushed or a ranging shot, as all but one of the balls of plasma missed the Hilbert, the one that did hit practically vaporised a large radar antenna."Two or three minutes tops for the clarions, the black widows won't be cooled down enough to function properly." Diana replied as the alien warship charged it's weapons. You thought grimly to yourself that the Hilbert wouldn't have that long."UNSC Hilbert has sent out a distress call, corvettes are in range to respond." Your SIGINT officer called out. At least someone on the Hilbert was making the right decision.>Hack them directly, you don't have time to wait. (roll 1d20+2, nat 1 may result in being detected by the covenant ship)>Deploy the drones, you need the insurance (roll 1d20+2, no chance of detection by the covenant ship)
Rolled 15 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>4662142>Hack them directly, you don't have time to wait. (roll 1d20+2, nat 1 may result in being detected by the covenant ship)
Rolled 19 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>4662142>Hack them directly, you don't have time to wait. (roll 1d20+2, nat 1 may result in being detected by the covenant ship)
Rolled 7 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>4662142>Hack them directly, you don't have time to wait. (roll 1d20+2, nat 1 may result in being detected by the covenant ship)We need to save them now. Ready all our ship weaponry and havenot wounded marines ready. Same for technicians. If our hack is able to disable it in some way or another, we might have a chance to take down this ship.At that point, we will need to announce ourselves to the other UNSC forces here.
Rolled 10 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>4662142>Hack them directly, you don't have time to wait. (roll 1d20+2, nat 1 may result in being detected by the covenant ship)
"Hack them directly Diana. Sensors, SIGINT, help her as best you can." You decided to take the more bellicose option, though to say you had a choice would be an over-statement. If you wanted to save as many lives as possible, then you'd have to act fast."Standby, attempting intrusion." Diana informed you as the covenant warship fired again. The next salvo caught the Hilbert amidships, melting straight through the few plates of titanium-A plating that had been haphazardly attached to the ship, and blew entire sections open to the void.Some of the Hilbert's crew took their chances and abandoned ship, ejecting themselves in small three-man escape pods. But this was for nought as the destroyer's pulse-laser turrets snapped to life, and sent torrents of searing heat into the pods. Although the lasers had significantly diffused by the time they hit the pods, it was still enough to start burning through their thin outer hulls. A couple of the pods started to spin, hoping to spread the heat of the lasers across the rest of their hull in some attempt to survive for even a second longer. In that sense, they were probably successful, as they lasted for almost double the amount of time compared to the pods that didn't put in the effort. Still, one by one, the escape pods popped as the lasers burned through seals and weak points, explosively venting the air inside the pods into space. If those crewmen weren't killed before from the heat, then they surely died then as the air was ripped from their lungs.The third volley seemed far more focussed than before and had it been aimed at a critical part of the ship, then it would probably have destroyed it. However, the covenant gunners seemed more interested in pulling off bits of the ship one at a time, like a child pulling the petals off a flower. More sensor dishes were reduced to superheated vapour with each shot."Intrusion successful." Diana cheerfully chimed, at last having been allowed to perform the mission she was made for. Within a second, a list of the enemy ship's systems was pulled up on the main screen along with the name of the vessel.Cleansing Advance was definitely a name that fit, if the thing they were cleansing was human life. "I can probably mess around with sensor input and minor ship systems without running the risk of being noticed. Or we can try and go after a major system like targeting or weapons controls, but that will run the risk of them noticing that I'm there." Diana briefed you as the covenant vessel fired another volley, this time blowing off the Hilbert's bow-mounted sensor cluster.>CONT
"Alternatively, you could start mining for data. Anything we can pull out of an intact covenant vessel is going to be very useful." Karmann suggested the tiredness in his voice completely gone. Maybe the sudden appearance of the Covenant ship had knocked some wakefulness into him, or just the potential to steal something.>Start messing with minor ship systems, you need to play it safe. (roll 1d20+1)>Look for major systems, the Hilbert doesn't have time for you to play it safe.>Start data mining, you may not have a chance to do something like this again. (roll 1d20+1)>Other (write-in)
Rolled 13 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>4662320>Start data mining, you may not have a chance to do something like this again. (roll 1d20+1)DIE WITH HONOR AND GLORY
Rolled 9 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>4662320>Start data mining, you may not have a chance to do something like this again. (roll 1d20+1)
Rolled 7 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>4662320>>Start data mining, you may not have a chance to do something like this again. (roll 1d20+1)
>>4662320>Look for major systems, the Hilbert doesn't have time for you to play it safe.
>>4662320>>Look for major systems, the Hilbert doesn't have time for you to play it safe.
"Start data-mining, we need to recover as much as possible." You ordered the AI, gathering a couple of side-long looks as you seemingly ignored the SIGINT vessel's plight. While you did want to save them, the only way you'd be able to do that would be by going for their reactor to give the Hilbert enough time to jump to slipspace. And that would only work reactor control was tied into the ship's primary electronics system. "Understood, accessing their secure information systems. Please standby." Diana complied, allowing more of herself to focus on the task at hand. You looked up at the screen in time to see the Hilbert soak another barrage of plasma cannon shots. The ship was in a sorry state, with sections of the hull glowing a molten orange as the leftover heat from the plasma impacts seeped into the hull. You noticed dryly that the ship's heat radiators had been blown off, which would doom the crew to a painfully hot end even if the ship survived the engagement. Nobody else was trying to escape from the doomed ship, though you imagined that it was only because the crew had seen what had already happened to their comrades.You glared back at the Covenant ship with a look that could kill, and you were actually surprised when the ship's shields flared into life. The plasma cannons along the side of the ship that faced the Hilbert ceased charging their next shots as the whole ship turned to face the oncoming threat. Your sensor operator called out the new arrivals a second later. "Eyes on, the UNSC corvette group is moving to engage the covenant ship."The corvettes. Damn those ignorant fools. While the Galdius was definitely the most heavily armed corvette in the fleet, it was just that, a corvette. Built only to engage fighters and light escorts, the chances of them even putting a dent in the large escort vessel was slim to none."I'm in, would you like me to recover data on specific topics, or would you like me to grab whatever I can?" Diana asked, turning to look at you with a smug smile, though it quickly disappeared as she read the room, it wouldn't do to be the only person smiling in such a serious situation.>Grab whatever data you can, you'll sort through it later. (roll 1d20+1)>Recover data on a specific topic (write-in and roll 1d20-1)>Forget about gathering data, start sabotaging the covenant ship's minor systems (roll 1d20+1)>Forget about gathering data, start sabotaging the covenant ship's major systems (roll 1d20+2)>Other (write-in)
Rolled 6 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>4662402>>Grab whatever data you can, you'll sort through it later. (roll 1d20+1)
Rolled 11 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>4662402>Grab whatever data you can, you'll sort through it later. (roll 1d20+1)
Rolled 19 (1d20)>>4662402>Grab whatever data you can, you'll sort through it later. (roll 1d20+1)Well shit, I can't think.
Rolled 14 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>4662402>Forget about gathering data, start sabotaging the covenant ship's major systems (roll 1d20+2)The corvettes need an help or they won t kill it alone.
Rolled 11 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>4662402>Forget about gathering data, start sabotaging the covenant ship's major systems (roll 1d20+2)fuck up the shields or reactor control
"Grab what you can, we'll sort through it once this is over." You ordered the AI as you turned your attention to the corvettes. The three corvettes were moving in a wide combat spread, roughy a couple of kilometres between them. From their trajectory, they had probably been monitoring the Hilbert's sensor feed, and had burned against their trajectory to Gamma Pavonis VII's moon in order to get a ballistic course towards the covenant ship. It meant that outside of manoeuvring thrusters, they would find it hard to evade incoming fire. But on the plus side, they could dump all of their power into powering their guns.You watched as the three warships fired their main guns as one, each shot being followed up with a short burn from their main drives in order to counter the recoil. One of the rounds missed entirely, but the other two hit the covenant vessel amidships, their impact being marked by the alien warship's shields flashing a vibrant blue.Motes of purple light expanded and brightened as the enemy vessel charged it's plasma torpedoes. However, the biggest weapons reading from the ship came from the two tsuk-like protrusions beneath the ship's head-like bow. Almost immediately, the weapons were identified as plasma beam weapons, which immediately fired on the incoming corvettes. One of the beams missed, while the other slashed across the side of a corvette as it tried to doge, burning off half of the ship's archer missiles and reducing one of its backup chemical thrusters and a secondary fusion drive to little more than molten slag."Captain! The Hilbert is moving towards the covenant ship!" Your sensor officer called out, turning everyone's attention back to the wounded picket ship. Whoever was at the helm had practically crippled the ship in order to turn it about towards its attacker. Much of the ruined sensor equipment had been practically shorn off the vessel, probably through the rapid firing of the ship's emergency manoeuvring rockets. The ship's main drives burned at a level that Diana almost instantly identified as being well above their maximum safe load.It was obvious to all what the commander of the Hilbert was going to do, the crazy bastard was going to ram the Covenant ship.>If they want to go out like this, you may as well help them out (roll 1d20-1)>You're on the clock now, if you want something major you're gonna have to go for it now (roll 1d20-1)>Keep gathering general data, there's no need to get involved.>Other (write-in)
Rolled 4 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>4662535>If they want to go out like this, you may as well help them out (roll 1d20-1)
Rolled 14 - 1 (1d20 - 1)>>4662535>If they want to go out like this, you may as well help them out (roll 1d20-1)
Rolled 18 - 1 (1d20 - 1)>>4662535>If they want to go out like this, you may as well help them out (roll 1d20-1)
"Well, let's try and help them on their way then. Diana, is there anything you can do?" You asked the AI as you marvelled at the bravery of what was effectively just a civilian ship with a naval registry number and some extra radars. You understood the reason for their sudden defiance, if you were going to die anyway, might as well do it while inflicting as much damage as possible on your killer."I can try and blind their sensor input looking aft. They may be too focussed on the corvettes, and might not have noticed the Hilbert turning to ram them. Standby." Diana replied as the covenant destroyer fired it's plasma beams again, this time both of them were directed at the crippled corvette. Both of the bright lances cut into the corvette, practically splitting it from stem to stern. Less than a second after they hit, the corvette's reactor went critical, blowing what was left into dust and echoes. The covenant destroyer didn't see the Hilbert's charge until the last few seconds, probably thanks to some menial's eye-witness message finally reaching the bridge. Plasma cannons charged and fired at the incoming ship, but they did nothing to stop it. The ensuing impact was weird to say the least, as the Hilbert slammed into the covenant ship's shields and for a second, the ruined bow of the Hilbert deformed around the solid wall of energy for a couple of seconds, before a pair of MAC rounds from the remaining corvettes finally overloaded it. With the barrier gone, the Hilbert lurched forwards again for the ten meters or so between the shield and the hull, slamming into it with all the force it had gathered in the seconds it had to move. If it wasn't for Diana's infiltration of the Covenant ship, you wouldn't have been able to tell what damage had been inflicted on the Covenant ship by the Hilbert's ramming attack. And suffice to say that it wasn't much. Sure, the hull had been breached and a number of sections had been breached to the void, but aside from that, there wasn't much else.>Clear the way for the corvettes, and shut down their pulse lasers (roll 1d20-1)>You're on the clock now, if you want something major you're gonna have to go for it now (roll 1d20-1)>Keep gathering general data, there's no need to get involved.>Other (write-in)
Rolled 18 - 1 (1d20 - 1)>>4662633>Clear the way for the corvettes, and shut down their pulse lasers (roll 1d20-1)
>>4662633>Keep gathering general data, there's no need to get involved.
Rolled 15 - 1 (1d20 - 1)>>4662633>Clear the way for the corvettes, and shut down their pulse lasers (roll 1d20-1)
Rolled 7 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>4662633>Clear the way for the corvettes, and shut down their pulse lasers (roll 1d20-1)
Rolled 16 - 1 (1d20 - 1)>>4662633>>You're on the clock now, if you want something major you're gonna have to go for it now (roll 1d20-1)
"Diana, can you cut the power to their pulse lasers? You asked as you looked over at the remaining corvettes. With only a couple of archer missile pods each, they'd be hard-pressed to deal with the enemy ship even before you factored in the anti-missile defences. If those lasers were left active, then you could guarantee that almost all of the missiles would be destroyed before they reached their mark."I can do you one better than that, sir." Diana replied cheerfully, before pausing for a couple of seconds as she worked. You looked back at the scene of the two ships being far too close for either's comfort. The covenant ship was firing it's plasma cannons at point-blank into the SIGINT vessel, while the Hilbert's engines were still burning at maximum output. A quick check of the map overlay confirmed what the Hilbert's commander had settled on.If they couldn't kill the Covenant ship outright, then they'd drag it into Gamma Pavonis VII's gravity well."Done, the software for individual control of each pulse laser turret has been deleted." Diana reported as the remaining corvettes fired everything they had at the Covenant ship. MAC rounds slammed into the vessel's exposed engine cluster, while missiles screamed towards the target with no opposition. In a regular attack, a Covenant ship's pulse lasers would destroy almost all of the incoming missiles. But without that protection, the missiles hit their mark, blowing giant holes into the enemy ship's hull. Everyone on the bridge cheered as the comparatively giant covenant ship was savaged by the smaller UNSC force, all bar Diana, who simply turned to shake her head at you. She must have lost her connection to the ship.Oh well, you'd still come out of this with something to show to the office.All of a sudden, however, the cheering on the bridge was cut short at both the Hilbert and the Covenant ship were wracked by a massive explosion. It didn't take much for you to realise that the Hilbert's reactor must have gone critical, as the nuclear fireball engulfed the two vessels. When it dissipated, the Hilbert was nowhere to be seen. The covenant vessel was almost totally destroyed in the explosion, one wing and most of the starboard side of the hull had been vaporised in the blast, and the rest had been reduced to little more than twisted and overheated metal. It would continue on it's terminal descent to the surface, where the impact would almost certainly shatter whatever was left. An impact crater would be the only grave for both crews, human and covenant alike.>Move in to look for survivors, someone had to have survived.>Let the corvettes handle search and rescue, you're done here.>Other (write-in)
>>4662727>Let the corvettes handle search and rescue, you're done here.
"Well, we've done enough here. Let's get out of here. Nav, start charging the slipspace drive." You decided as the remaining corvettes moved to start searching for life pods. One made a beeline for where their comrade had been blown apart, while the other continued on its course towards where the Hilbert had met its fate. There wasn't any reason for you to stay behind, the nippy little corvettes could handle it all themselves."Shouldn't we stay and wait for that frigate?" Karmann asked, though you already had an answer ready for that question."There's no need if we tip off the locals." You replied, before turning your attention to the comms officer. "Comms, get a message typed up from HIGHCOM at reach warning them of the innie frigate. Give them the approach vector and info that they should drop out of FTL around here. Five corvettes ought to be enough to force them to surrender."With his question answered, and everyone else already getting to their tasks, Karmann saw the opportunity to leave and took it. The short spook simply gave you a nod, before turning and walking out of the bridge. It was unprofessional, but at this point, you didn't really care. It took a quarter of an hour for the message to be typed up and sent off, and another hour on top of that for the slipspace drive to slowly build up charge. The navigation officer waited for the two corvettes to move out of sensor range before initiating the slipspace jump, tearing your way out of the system in only a couple of seconds.The rest of the journey back to reach would take a little over a month, and that meant that you'd have more than enough time to go over the data that you had recovered from the Covenant ship. But aside from that, you decided to...>Focus on physiotherapy, you need to start your recovery as soon as possible.>Focus on intelligence-gathering, maybe you can learn something else.>Focus on looking for upgrades, the more modifications you have the better.>Other (write-in)
>>4662835>Focus on physiotherapy, you need to start your recovery as soon as possible.
>>4662835>Focus on intelligence-gathering, maybe you can learn something else.
>>4662835>>Focus on physiotherapy, you need to start your recovery as soon as possible.
>>4662835>Focus on physiotherapy, you need to start your recovery as soon as possible.Hope we get some young, shy but hot girl to take care of us
Just as in the trip between Arcadia and Gamma Pavonis, you once again focussed on your health above all else. You had done as much as possible for your torso wound, and the few days of the stem cell therapy had done wonders to start repairing the damage to your intestines and smaller internal organs. Though the first few days of treatment were always the easiest, as during the month-long trip back to reach, you had to start taking small doses of dermacortic steroids to help the healing process.Dermacortic steroids were a miracle of medical science, they could accelerate tissue regrowth following catastrophic injuries, with specific benefits to healing burn wounds. However, the steroids also provided a stimulating effect that could last for weeks, and only grew worse the longer someone was using them. For the first handful of days, it was somewhat pleasant, but it got worse from then-on, and it wasn't uncommon for people to be sedated during the final stages of treatment. The doses you took were small enough to avoid the worst of the effects, but by the end of the first week of slipspace travel, things were already starting to feel unpleasant.While analysing the data gathered by Diana proved to be a welcome distraction, you internally lamented not pushing for something more specific. Diana had grabbed copies of whatever data she could get her hands on, including internal memos, systems data, reports, calendars, and other such things. All of it was probably very interesting to the spooks who specialised in looking at stuff like that, but it gave nothing of real importance to you.Either way, you were quite ready to leave the prowler by the time you dropped out of slipspace in the Epsilon Eridani system. A short intra-system jump later, and you were in orbit above Reach. You stood on the bridge as the prowler made it's way to the dock assigned to it, watching the forms of far larger warships flash past you as you went. The activity around Reach was both lesser in some forms, and greater in others. A lot of ships had left, but over half of those that remained were held in repair berths, frigates and destroyers shared docks closer to the anchor stations. Meanwhile, larger heavy cruisers and carrier held solitary orbits, each one surrounded by small flotillas of repair barges.You knew the reason why before you even saw the news. The Covenant had hit another colony while you were gone.>CONT
>>4663584The prowler's berth was a large hanger aboard Orbital Station Beta, a large three kilometre-wide ring, with docking bays and communications dishes covering its surface. The dockmaster AI Redshift gave you priority clearance and had medical teams already waiting to help take the wounded off the ship. You didn't have to wait long before your presence was requested planet-side. Unfortunately, though, you received simultaneous requests from two people at once. The first was your handler for the mission, Agent Fabian of ONI. The second was Vice Admiral Stanforth, the highest-ranking officer to take interest in your little mission to the doomed colony.>Report to Agent Fabian>Report to the Vice Admiral
>>4663588>>Report to the Vice Admiral
>>4663588>Report to the Vice Admiral
>>4663588>Report to Agent Fabian
>>4663588Swapping too >Report to Agent Fabian
>>4663588>>>Report to the Vice Admiral
Between the spook and the admiral, you chose to see the spook first. He was your handler, and the sooner you could tie a bow on this shitty little mission and get debriefed, the better.You still had to wait until things were sorted out on the prowler before you could leave though. Thankfully, all that was limited to was transferring the secure data onto an ONI data module for transfer, offloading the assorted wounded and the civilians, and moving Diana onto an AI transfer cart so that she could be moved into storage. The civilians and the wounded went first. With medical teams from the station already on-hand, the critically wounded that had been shoved into cryo were quickly thawed and rushed to the station's medical deck. The walking wounded -including your XO- followed after them, Dyad giving you a grin and a wave as she left. The civilians and marines were last, being escorted off for a debrief of some kind by a squad of ONI security officers. The data you had gathered went with them, being carried away in a secure container by the lieutenant leading the security team. You had to wait a little longer for the technicians to bring over an AI transfer cart, and a bit longer after that for them to set up the cables required to transfer Diana over. Beta station wasn't really designed to support the long-term storage of military-grade AI units, but there was enough room for Diana to be kept warm until you transferred over to your next vessel.With that done, you said goodbye to Lieutenant Karmann, before leaving to see the spook. Thankfully, the agent had apparently decided to meet you halfway, in one of the secure meeting rooms on Beta station. You were a little bit thankful for that, going through planetary entry was uncomfortable enough already, it'd be even worse in your current state. The station's AI led you to the room the agent had picked out, reserving you a seat on one of the packed trams moving between the station's docks and the habitable section. Once off the station, you went up a couple of floors and walked a hundred meters through the command section of the station before you arrived at the dockmaster's office. The agent had probably selected it because it was the most secure place on the station.The door opened as you approached, and you walked in as confidently as you could. The room was small, but nowhere near spartan. The dockmaster had apparently set up a home-away-from-home up here, that, or he was incredibly sentimental. A set of shelves on one of the walls was packed full of personal effects, including a small stuffed toy, that his kid had probably given him. The desk was similarly packed, but with work equipment and reports. None of them seemed to interest the man who currently sat before you. Agent Fabian of the office of naval intelligence. He looked up at you and smiled, before standing and offering his hand as he spoke. "Captain, it's good to see you again." >CONT
>>4663708"Likewise. Did you receive our message?" You replied as you walked in and shook his hand. Diana had sent off a coded burst with the reports enclosed when you first dropped out of slipspace, you could already guess that he had been reading through your report in particular, given how his eyes seemed to linger on your gut as you entered."That I have, you followed the mission requirements to a tee. Please, sit." The agent beamed, before gesturing to one of the seats in front of the desk. You sat down first, relieved to take the weight off your feet. The agent tapped something on a data-pad, before talking again. "Now, before we begin, is there anything you'd like to ask?">"Yes, I have a question... (write-in)">"No, let's begin."
>>4663710>"Yes, I have a question... (write-in)""Anything major happen while we were gone? Looks like the Covies hit another colony."
>>4663710>>"No, let's begin."
>>4663710>"No, let's begin."
"No, let's begin." You answered as you got yourself comfortable. This would take a while."Alright then. Let's start the debrief. This is a standard affair, going over what you did and why. This will be recorded for official record keeping. Do you understand?" Fabian explained as he reached over to a second, watch-size recording unit. He waited for you to nod, before pressing the button to activate the device, and put it down between the two of you before starting the debrief."Alright, I understand that you were given orders from vice admiral Stanforth to deploy a self-replicating blinder virus into the insurrectionist data-network?" Fabian waited for you to nod, before explaining what you had done for the recording. "The captain has nodded.""The deployment of this virus was done before you entered Arcadia's atmosphere to conduct your mission. Can I ask why?" Fabian asked, before waiting for your responce.>"I deployed the virus first to act as a distraction.">"I deployed the virus first as a form of insurance.">"I deployed the virus first because... (write-in)"===========================NOTE:If you guys want to skip this then say so, as this will otherwise be going over what happened over the last two threads.
>>4663865Honestly don't mind skipping
>>4663865Go ahead and skip.
>>4663865>"I deployed the virus first as a form of insurance."
>>4663865If it's only recap, skip.
>>4663865>>"I deployed the virus first as a form of insurance."if it's only recap skip it
>>4663865Yeah i'd say lets just skip this
Over the course of the next hour or two, you answered questions on almost every decision you made during the mission. From your choice to deploy the data-targeting virus before going planet-side, to choosing to go on the offensive against the covenant special warfare squad in the ruins of the ONI base, and even your choice to stick around to watch Arcadia burn. He didn't comment on your little excursion to Gamma Pavonis, but you assumed that was merely because it wasn't relevant to the mission.By the time you were done, you felt sluggish and tired. An amazing feat, given the amount of dermacortic steroids you were on. Maybe having the ability to almost bore someone to death in a debrief was a requirement for a spook."Alright, that should cover everything that happened. Thank you for your time. Agent Fabian, finishing recording at eleven-thirty military time." The agent thanked you, before switching off the recording. He lent back in the borrowed officer's seat and sighed, before speaking off the books. "Sorry for the questions, but the office likes to have answers to everything.""That's fine, how do you think I did?" You took the time to relax as well. Debriefs were a factor of an officers life that just had to be dealt with, that was a fact of life, and one of the few things you couldn't hold against the office. Still, at the very least it gave you a chance to ask for feeback."You got the job done and brought back some goodies for RnD to mess around with. What's not to like?" Fabian shrugged, before letting the room fall into silence again. You didn't mind, as it gave you some time to think about what you wanted to say or do next.>Ask about your next assignment, what does the office want to do next?>Ask about your captaincy, you've heard some concerning rumours.>Ask about RnR, you're owed a holiday damn it.>Ask about something else (write-in)
>>4663967>Ask about your captaincy, you've heard some concerning rumours.>Ask about RnR, you're owed a holiday damn it.
"Can I get some extra RnR to make up for the time I lost?" You asked with a grin. It'd take some time to get over to Tribute, but you wanted to spend some time with your family. You really didn't get much time with them last time."Sure. It'll only be a couple of weeks while you rest off the first couple of weeks from your upcoming kidney implant, then you'll have to spend the next few weeks underway recovering. But it's something." The spook replied. Getting the new kidney in would lay you up for at least a couple of days, but you assumed that they wouldn't count that as part of your leave.You were about to get up and leave when you remembered back to your XO. And more specifically, what she had told you. So you decided to try and get an answer to the rumor. "While on the mission, my XO told me about a rumour that has me a bit... worried. Apparently, the new chief of naval ops wants to bump captains up to oh-six rates, take them off destroyers and onto cruisers. But we both know that there aren't enough cruisers floating around for everyone, especially someone who's just been promoted.""And you're worried that you're either going to get demoted or reassigned to a desk?" Fabian asked, and you nodded in response. The spook was silent for a couple of seconds, before sitting up and looking at you. "I'm honestly not sure on that part. The CNO is indeed going to review how officers are assigned to different warships, but aside from that, I don't know the specifics. I do know that ONI helped to sponsor your promotion because you'd be assigned to us. But the new CNO said that he's going to go through things on a case-by-case basis, so really any decision is gonna come down from him. As such, I can't make a sound judgement.">Ask about your next assignment, what does the office want to do next?>Ask about something else (write-in)>Take your leave, you still have a vice admiral to go and see.
>>4664073>Ask about your next assignment, what does the office want to do next?
>>4664073>Take your leave, you still have a vice admiral to go and see.
"Any idea what my next assignment is going to be?" You tried to ask if the office wanted you to do anything else, though the agent simply shook his head at you."No idea, you'd have to ask FLEETCOM for that. If I had to guess, you'd probably get sent off to go fuck around with the Covenant's supply lines. Or you'll get pegged onto some other formation as an escort." Fabian shrugged, before then adding. "If the office needs anything from you, it's going to be at relatively short notice, so there's no point in trying to plan for it.""Do we know where the Covenant have set up logistical hubs?" You asked a similar question. Your previous assignment had been to a small hunter-killer formation, so it would make sense that you'd probably be assigned to a similar unit. And if anyone would know about Covenant weak spots, it would be the office."Once again, I have no idea." Fabian brushed off your question. You wouldn't get anywhere with him.>Ask about something else (write-in)>Take your leave, you still have a vice admiral to go and see.
>>4664169>>Take your leave, you still have a vice admiral to go and see.
>>4664169>Take your leave, you still have a vice admiral to go and see.
"If that's everything, do you know where I can find vice-admiral Stanforth?" You asked, before slowly starting to stand up."He's currently aboard the Leviathan. It's in a yard undergoing repairs, one of the station's shuttlecraft should be able to take you there." Fabian answered as he stood up with you. The agent extended his hand to you again, and bid you goodbye. "Good day captain, hopefully we won't have to call upon your skills for quite a while."You smiled at the mean-sounding, but well-intentioned remark. You weren't well suited well to the cloak and dagger bullshit, it was better to leave that to their trained core of professionals. They'd only need you if something had gone wrong. You shook the agent's offered hand as you returned the goodbye. "If you do, then you know where to find me."With that, you and the agent exchanged salutes, before both walking out of the office. The spook disappeared into a crowd of ensigns and was gone from your sight in under a second, though you paid him no heed as you considered what to do next. The fact that the Leviathan was in dock was actually pretty useful for you, it'd only take a couple of hours to reach the docked ship, hell, you could probably fly a shuttle there yourself with a decent autopilot function. But while arriving there sooner rather than later was usually the better option, it kind of fell apart when dealing with officers of such a high rank. After all, the vice-admiral was a busy man, and just expecting him to stay there while you bumbled over was a bit rich. Maybe sending off a message first would be the more prudent option.>Send the vice-admiral a message, it may be better if you met him somewhere else.>Get over to the Leviathan ASAP, you don't want to keep him waiting.
>>4664230>>Get over to the Leviathan ASAP, you don't want to keep him waiting.
>>4664230>Get over to the Leviathan ASAP, you don't want to keep him waiting.
You figured that since the vice-admiral had requested that you go to him, that sending a message to him to ask if he was sure about it would be a stupid move. As such, you found a terminal on the wall, and asked the dockmaster AI for directions to the nearest shuttle terminal. You had hoped to find one waiting that you could shanghai the pilot into flying you to the Leviathan, so you were a little surprised to find that the vice-admiral had already sent over a pelican to fly you over. You took one of the station's trams over to a smaller hanger bay, where the dropship was waiting for you.You entered the hanger to find the pelican tucked very tightly inside, it's wings almost scraping against the walls. The pilot had apparently been notified of your arrival, as the engines were already running when you entered the hanger. You didn't waste any more time, and climbed into the pelican's troop bay, taking care to duck under the cargo container mounted on the magnetic attachment rig underneath the dropshi[p's elongated tail. You strapped in, and yelled that you were ready to go to the pilot, who promptly took off.You stood up an hour later as the pelican made it's final approach to the battered heavy cruiser. You walked over to the monitor mounted on the bulkhead between the troop bay and the cockpit and switched over to the front-facing camera in order to see just how much damage the heavy cruiser had soaked. In spite of being one of the heaviest line ships in the fleet, the covenant ships that had attacked the Leviathan had carved huge sections out of the hull. The vice admiral must have replaced some of the hanger modules on the port side with extra packs of archer missiles, as they had taken a hit and exploded, causing significant damage to the ship. Granted, a lot of the damage looked superficial, but it would still take the better part of a year before it was repaired.The pilot docked the dropship in one of the remaining hangers, which seemed to be undergoing use as a massed supply intake area, given the massive numbers of crates being jostled around the room. More than once, you had to stop to let a cargo-handling mech past before you managed to escape from the hanger, after finding out from the ship's AI that the vice-admiral was on the bridge. Moving around the ship was a relatively simple affair, as the ship had an intra-ship tram network to make moving around far easier. Eventually, you found your way to the bridge and entered.>CONT
>>4664350The layout of the Marathon-class cruiser's bridge was similar enough to that of the earlier Halcyon-class cruiser, with numerous consoles set into alcoves lining the walls. Unlike the Halcyon, it didn't have that weird greenhouse-like section at the front where the nav and weapons officers were precariously hung with a great view of incoming weapons-fire. Instead, it was replaced with a slightly-canted main window, which offered a similar view of the surrounding space without posing a health-and-safety hazard. The nav, and weapons officers sat behind the window, with the captain's chair overlooking them.You found the vice-admiral sat in the chair, staring out into space.>Announce your arrival.>Wait for the vice admiral to notice your arrival.
>>4664350>Announce your arrival.
>>4664352>>Announce your arrival.Apologize for the delay, we had to give our debrief.
>>4664352>>Announce your arrival.
>>4664352>Announce your arrival.
>>4664352>Announce your arrival.Just caught up, got a good thing going here QM. Now I have to wait for posts like everyone else, what a bother.
>>4664352 >>Announce your arrival.
Wasting no more time, you approached vice-admiral Stanforth, and came to a halt a meter behind and to the right of his seat. You saluted smartly and announced your arrival. "Sir, Captain Wells, reporting as ordered. Sorry for being late, I had to give my debrief.""Oh, no need to apologise for protocol captain." The vice admiral stood up from the captain's chair, before returning the salute. Finally getting a good look at the vice admiral, you noticed that he wasn't looking too good himself. Sure, he wasn't wounded, but the bags under his bloodshot eyes told you enough about how much sleep he had been getting recently. That was to say, not much at all. The officer looked past you and addressed a member of the bridge staff. "Lieutenant, please inform the captain that I'll be in my office for the next half an hour. You have the deck until either me or the captain return."With that, the admiral gestured for you to follow as he left the bridge. He was silent as the pair of you walked past the few occupied stations and only spoke once you were a couple of empty corridors away from the bridge. "Agent Fabian sent me a copy of your report, the covenant response was far greater than we expected.""Any idea what caused the Covenant to send such a massive fleet there?" You asked, remembering back to the sheer horde of alien warships. You had a hard time trying to think of any worlds outside of Reach and Earth that could survive such a force."The only ship that might have been able to answer that question went missing right after Arcadia got hit the first time, so your guess is as good as mine." Stanforth replied as you both reached the admiral's underway cabin. On flagships, the admiral's cabins often sat next to the captain's cabin and were usually furnished to a similar standard. That was to say, it was massive compared to what the captain of an escort ship could expect; complete with a lounge, an office, bedroom, and a personal head. The vice-admiral's quarters were a little different though, with the lounge space having been practically converted into a small CIC. Fitted out with extra computers, an up-sized holo-tank, and only a couple of seats. The vice admiral gestured for you to take a seat, before taking one on the other side of the tank."So. How'd you find working for the office?" The admiral gave you a weary smile as he asked, leaning back in his seat.>Write-in
>>4669828Something along the lines of it sucks but our soul is already sold
>>4669836Sounds about right.
"It's not something I'm particularly fond of, I just hope that the benefits I get back from them are worth the price." You replied as diplomatically as you could. Like it or not, you still had to be professional. And turning around and saying that you felt like Faust would probably be a bit too close to being unprofessional."That's ONI for you. They're useful as all hell, especially if you're looking for an easy route up. But there's always a cost to it." The vice admiral sighed, before fixing you with a measured gaze. "That's not why I called you here though.""Is this about the new CNO's changes, sir?" You took a guess at why he had called you over. The vice admiral nodded, before reaching under the holotank and pulling out a small box. He placed it on the surface of the tank, and slid it over to you with a dark expression."I'm afraid so. I'm sorry son, but I'm gonna have to ask you to hand over your pins, CNO's orders." The admiral answered as you retrieved the box and opened it. The light above you reflected off the shiny surface of the two commander pins."Figured as much." You sighed as you reached up and carefully removed the pins you had wore for only a couple of months."I can provide you with some material compensation, and your pay won't be retroactively docked, so you'll still get a couple of months worth of captain's pay. But under the CNO's new orders you can't keep your rank and your command. It's either this or a desk, and we both know how much of a waste it would be." The admiral explained the options, and you didn't blame him. Truth-be-told, you felt that it was a little too good to be true that you were promoted so quickly, you should have seen this coming from a mile off."It still sucks, sir." You sighed as you swapped the captain's pins for the commander's pins, earning a small nod from the admiral.>Ask about compensation, what can you get in return?>Ask about what your next mission is, who are you reporting to next?>Ask something else (write-in)>Take your leave, if there's nothing else to do then you've got surgery to undergo.>Other (write-in)
>>4669980>Whats the plan then for being docked in such a manner and Who am I reporting under then? Trying too mix the Compensation and Next mission without sound like a bribe or disrespectful.
>>4669980>Ask about compensation, what can you get in return?
>>4669993I'll switch to this, let's just kill two birds with one stone than needing two separate updates
>>4669993I'll back this
"So, who do I report to next?" You asked as you closed the box, and slid it back across the holotank."That depends on what vessel you want to take out with you. The office planned to put you in a destroyer, yes?" The admiral picked the box off the table and put it away, though he never once broke eye contact with you."That was what I was hoping for, though it was never explicitly stated." You admitted. While you had hoped that the promotion Agent Quezon had offered you would bring you a better warship, it was just that, hope. Nothing had ever really been explicitly stated."Well, the paperwork hasn't gone through. So as far as the fleet is concerned, you're still assigned to the [i]Dawn[/i]." The admiral shook his head, before pausing, and smiling at an opportunity to repay you for your service. "If you want, I can shuffle you over to a destroyer, though that'll have some ramifications on what extra things you add on. Alternatively, you can keep the [i]Dawn[/i] and raid the war chest to your heart's content."This was a pretty significant choice. On the one hand, getting bumped over to a destroyer would massively increase your overall firepower and survivability. On the other hand, getting the vice-admiral's permission to raid the UNSC's equipment stores could give you an even better advantage. Afterall there was that idea you had discussed with Doctor Takahashi. >Upgrade to a destroyer, you need something you can rely on>Keep the Dawn, you have a couple of ideas on how to improve her.>Ask for some time to choose, you need to weigh your choices.
>>4670090>>Keep the Dawn, you have a couple of ideas on how to improve her.Since we're on the ONI path, I'd argue that the frigate's superior Marine and dropship capability is way more valuable than the extra firepower of a destroyer.
>>4670100>Keep the Dawn, you have a couple of ideas on how to improve her.
>>4670090>Keep the Dawn, you have a couple of ideas on how to improve her.don't want bigger ship desu
>>4670090>Upgrade to a destroyer, you need something you can rely on
>>4670090>Keep the Dawn, you have a couple of ideas on how to improve her.
>>4670138Asking for some time to make a choice would be your best option then, as you can take a look to see what upgrade options are available to you.
>>4670148The issue is that vote won't win, but thanks QM.
>>4670090>Upgrade to a destroyer, you need something you can rely onDeleted and changed my old vote.
>>4670090>>Ask for some time to choose, you need to weigh your choices.
>>4670090>Ask for some time to choose, you need to weigh your choices.Who is the new CNO? Hood?
>>4670090>>4670117In addition to me not replying to the correct post, I'll change my vote to:>Ask for some time to choose, you need to weigh your choices.Let's see if Dr. Takahashi can give us those MAC rounds, otherwise the raiding is kind of moot
"I'll take the destroyer, I need the firepower." You stated flatly. The fact of the matter was that while the Dawn had more than enough hanger space to play around with, the Halberd was simply more deadly. The Dawn's MAC gun had served you well, and it was just common knowledge that two guns were better than one. While the Halberd was slightly slower, you stood a better chance in a fight if you were on the bridge of a destroyer"Good choice, my AI should have a ship picked out for you by the time your surgery is done. This will be a bit of a reach for me to get you and your more important crewmen assigned to it, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't do anything too drastic when you get your hands on it.""Of course sir, there's only one major change I can really think of." You nodded. You had been thinking about how to handle the hanger issue over the last month, and while you had a reasonable idea on how to make it happen, getting the parts was a different matter entirely."Keep it that way." The vice-admiral nodded, before leaning back in his chair and thinking for a couple of seconds before continuing. "As for where you'll be assigned... I think DESRON thirty-five has room for you. They're one of the few squadrons that handle the more aggressive missions, and they're rebuilding after a recent battering. Though you'll have to wait for a couple of days before you get anything concrete.">Ask about DESRON 35, what does he know about them?>Ask about ONI, how are they likely to respond to this?>Ask about the Leviathan, how did his ship get so battered?>Ask something else (write-in)>Take your leave, if there's nothing else to do then you've got surgery to undergo.>Other (write-in)
>>4670335>Ask about the Leviathan, how did his ship get so battered?
>>4670335>>Ask about DESRON 35, what does he know about them?>Ask about the Leviathan, how did his ship get so battered?
>>4670335>Ask about DESRON 35, what does he know about them?It'd be rude to ask the admiral about his ship. We can always ask somebody else, with damage this bound they're bound to know.
>>4670335>>Ask about the Leviathan, how did his ship get so battered?
>>4670335>Ask about DESRON 35, what does he know about them?
>>4670335>Ask about DESRON 35, what does he know about them?>Ask about the Leviathan, how did his ship get so battered?
>>4670335>Take your leave, if there's nothing else to do then you've got surgery to undergo.
"If you don't mind me asking sir, what happened to the Leviethan?" You asked why the cruiser was currently laid up. Granted, pretty much any UNSC ship would be worse off after engaging a Covenant ship, but you were still interested."We went out on patrol a couple of days after you left for Arcadia. A week or so into the patrol, we were routed to Paris four when the Covenant showed up." The admiral answered. At the very least, you knew which colony had been hit."How bad was it?" You asked after the colony. You knew that there had been only a couple of examples of a colony actually surviving a Covenant assault, and even then they always came back to finish the job. So instead, you just wondered about how well the battle had gone."Any other colony would have been able to beat the covenant fleet before they made planetfall. But over half of Paris four's orbital MAC guns were relocated to Meridian after they got hit back in forty-eight." The admiral explained how humanity's most recent victory over the Covenant had indirectly resulted in the loss of a different colony. Meridian had been too valuable to lose, so the navy poured as many ships as possible into keeping the moon in humanity's hand. Even at the expense of less militarily important worlds like Paris IV. "The Covenant managed to land troops, and assaulted the city of Bestla before the army managed to contain them. Evacuations were focussed on remaining cities like Bargi and Mímir, so we protected the space over them while the Covenant brought in corvettes and landing barges full of troops on the other side of the planet.""We sustained most of our damage while tag-teaming a covenant cruiser alongside the cruiser Euclid's Anvil. We killed it, but the Anvil was lost with around thrity percent of her crew. Engineering says that it'll take a couple of months to fix up the damage, so we're rolling in another upgrade while we're here." The admiral smiled slightly at the kill, even if it had cost a cruiser in return.>Ask about DESRON 35, what does he know about them?>Ask about ONI, how are they likely to respond to this?>Ask something else (write-in)>Take your leave, if there's nothing else to do then you've got surgery to undergo.>Other (write-in)
>>4671090>Ask about DESRON 35, what does he know about them?I'll miss the old squadron, even if we didn't spend that much time with them.
>>4671090>Ask about DESRON 35, what does he know about them?
>>4671090>>Ask about DESRON 35, what does he know about them?
"What can you tell me about DESRON thirty-five?" You asked the admiral about his guess about where your vessel would be assigned."Not much I'm afraid. I know that squadrons thirty through to thirty-six were set up to operate for long durations outside of UNSC-controlled space. Thirty-five is the only one over Reach right now as they took a beating." Stanforth shrugged, casually acknowledging that he didn't know much about the unit he had guessed at."What makes you say that?" You asked after their beating."They came into port with two ships when there should have been ten, and one was carrying the other in." The admiral replied simply."Ouch." You winced at the image in your mind's eye. Destroyers were very tough for their size, and packed enough firepower that most Covenant ships would struggle to survive concentrated firepower from a squadron of them. But the few ships that could survive the barrage could just as easily reduce the squadron to molten slag. "How do they operate?""Once again, no idea. If I had to guess, I'd assume that they get info in from Prowlers about known Covenant supply lines or staging grounds, and go whack them." The admiral shrugged again, you wouldn't be getting anything else out of him.>Ask about ONI, how are they likely to respond to this?>Ask something else (write-in)>Take your leave, if there's nothing else to do then you've got surgery to undergo.>Other (write-in)
>>4671137>Ask about ONI, how are they likely to respond to this?
>>4671137>Ask about ONI, how are they likely to respond to this?>Thank the Admiral and depart afterwords.
"Any idea what ONI will think about me taking a posting on a destroyer?" You asked the admiral about how he thought the office would react to your decision. Frigate captains were valuable because they were versatile, destroyer captains on the other hand were good only for the fight and holding the line."Either they don't care or it plays into what they want. Else you'd be getting reassigned to a prowler or one of the stealth frigates they had commissioned in the early stages of the war." This time, Stanforth seemed a lot more certain about what he was talking about. You guessed that was because he was far more experienced with handling the office than anyone in FLEETCOM had any right to be. "If I had to guess, it'd be the latter. An officer of your calibre who's already shown a willingness to pick apart enemy ships for stuff that ONI's RnD department can make use of would have a lot of opportunities to refine his craft out with a squadron like that.""And because we wouldn't be operating close to UNSC worlds unless they've already been discovered by the Covenant, I wouldn't really have to abide by subsection seven of the cole protocol either." You added to his assessment. Under subsection-7, you couldn't take any captured Covenant gear back to a populated human colony for fear of it being tracked. Of course, it didn't mean anything to the seedier elements of humanity, who had already managed to figure out that they could steal infantry equipment and not have to worry about trackers. "I see you've done your reading. Either way, run it past your superior officer first." The vice admiral nodded at you bringing up the often overlooked part of the cole protocol. Though to be fair, you only really learned it as something to beat gunrunners over the head with back when you were a security officer on the Hoel."Of course sir. Is there anything else?" You asked, keeping mindful of the time. While you had nothing else on your plate aside from your surgery, the vice-admiral probably had thousands of things to deal with. Hell, the fact that he had a personal AI was proof enough that his time was incredibly valuable."Nothing else son. Head to support bay two, five decks up. There's a shuttle waiting to take you over to the UNSC Hopeful for your surgery. You're dismissed." Vice-admiral Stanforth stood up from his chair and saluted, a move that you quickly followed. With that done, you turned and left the admiral to his work.>Read up on DESRON-35, you should see what you're getting into.>Look up upgrades for a destroyer, you ought to get a work order ready.>Check your messages, has anything happened with your family while you were gone?>Relax and read, you need to be relaxed for your surgery.>Other (write-in)
>>4671228>Read up on DESRON-35, you should see what you're getting into.>Look up upgrades for a destroyer, you ought to get a work order ready.>Check your messages, has anything happened with your family while you were gone?All of them really
>>4671228>Look up upgrades for a destroyer, you ought to get a work order ready.
>>4671228>Check your messages, has anything happened with your family while you were gone?
>>4671228>>Check your messages, has anything happened with your family while you were gone?>Look up upgrades for a destroyer, you ought to get a work order ready.
>>4671228>Relax and read, you need to be relaxed for your surgery
Leaving the admiral's office, you took a second to find out where the nearest tram shaft was located. Unlike tradition tram systems that you might find around cities, ship-board tram systems were designed to move both vertically and horizontally. You only really needed it in order to go up a couple of decks, but in theory, you could use it to go from the bridge to the reactor in a couple of minutes. It took you far less time to reach the service hanger, where the small shuttle pod was nestled in the small service bay. Given the similar dimensions between the miniature docking bay and a launcher for a bumblebee escape pod, you were a little surprised to find that it hadn't been converted over. Either way, you boarded the craft and strapped in, giving the pilot the go-ahead to get underway.As you waited for the converted escape pod to reach its destination, you pulled a small datapad from your trouser pocket and started to read through the messages. You filtered through the assorted mess of repair reports, disciplinary reports for crewmen who had gotten into trouble while you were away, and other crap. Instead, you found a message from your sister. Ah, Beth. The only person in your family to who you had decided to give your personal account number. Afterall, your mom was too distant to make use of it and your brother would just sign you up to a bunch of messaging services that would fill your inbox full of things that violated military regulations. As such, you trusted her to act as your link to home.As far as the message went, things at home were normal. She was on break, taking some time to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. Your mom was happy to have gone with you to the promotion ceremony, even if it had all just been rendered a bit pointless. And thankfully, your brother had decided to put off joining the marines until after having a good conversation with you about it. You had planned to talk about it after you were promoted, but then ONI decided to drag you away.You quickly fired off a message back to her, telling her that you were back and planned to be home in a few days time, before looking for upgrade plans for a Halberd class destroyer.Thankfully, the Halberd was one of the most versatile hulls in the UNSC's fleet. Its modular hull and open-ended system architecture meant that you could essentially pick and choose upgrades. And while you didn't have as much room to play with as on the Dawn, you could still make her your own.>Weapons (MAC, Missiles, Point-Defence)>Systems (Targeting, Countermeasures, Electronic Warfare)>Propulsion (Main Engines, Emergency Thrusters, Slipspace) >Support (Aviation, Drones, Troops)>Other (write-in)
>>4671304>>Weapons (MAC, Missiles, Point-Defence)
>>4671304>Weapons (MAC, Missiles, Point-Defence)
>>4671304>Weapons (MAC, Missiles, Point-Defence)'ate covies'ate innieslove me mac simple as
>>4671304>Support (Aviation, Drones, Troops)Boarding pelicans
You decided to check out weaponry first. If you were going to get put with DESRON-35, you'd be far away from any UNSC reinforcements. So bringing as much firepower as possible would only improve your chances of survival. The Halberd class destroyer's weapons systems were far more diverse than anyone gave real credit for. It wasn't uncommon for fleet commanders to treat them like mobile MAC platforms when they were worth far more than that.For the MAC guns, the only improvements you could find any real need for would be to the capacitor layout. The Halberd's MAC gun capacitors were oddly mounted outside of the hull and were plugged into the ship's hull on eight ports. The main reason for them being mounted there was so that they could be easily replaced, as early MAC gun capacitors suffered reliability issues. Due to the fact that it made replacing them so easy the feature had stayed on new hulls, though it wasn't uncommon for you to see different layouts. While you could also look into other MAC rounds, your existing access to shredder rounds and a couple of other exotic ammo types would be enough to sate you for now. You didn't think that you'd be able to get your hands on the Doctor's nuclear rounds though, asking for both a destroyer and a few hundred tons of fissile material would probably be a bit much to ask for.In terms of missiles, you could choose between making changes to the handful of nuclear missiles you had, or making wider-reaching changes to your massive stockpile of archer missiles. The shivas were literally the nuclear option, and while you had never really made use of them, you knew that the UNSC had stockpiles of almost every conceivable type of nuke. Given the fact that you were also heading away from inhabited worlds, you could also look into seeing about getting that cap on the number of warheads you carried increased. The archers on the other hand were your bread and butter. Effective against almost everything if you threw out enough of them, the archer's biggest weakness was its vulnerability to pulse lasers. Given the sheer number of missiles lost every engagement to the covenant's not-so close-in-weapons-system, you imagined that there were a couple of projects already underway to rectify that.>CONT
>>4671392For point defence, you had the Streak anti-fighter missile and the rampart gun turret system. The Streak was a brilliant little weapons system, and to call it a point-defence weapon was disingenuous when it could reach out and touch enemy fighters at considerable range if handled properly. But at the same time, it's almost complete lack of effectiveness against enemy warships made options for upgrading it less attractive. Sure, they worked as distractions for point-defence lasers, and you had used them as such before. But still, options for anything other than completely replacing them were limited. The point defence guns were another matter entirely. The current blocks of Halberds carried six M710 coilgun turrets, with four under the belly and two flanking the superstructure. This was decent enough to protect the ship from attacks from the front and sides but left a channel behind the ship where fighters could only be engaged by missiles. Installing extra point defence turrets was an option, or you could strip out your defences even more and see about installing some more exotic systems on the mounts.>MAC capacitors>MAC rounds>Nukes>Archer anti-ship missiles>Streak anti-fighter missiles>Point-defence turrets>Other (write-in)
>>4671393>Archer anti-ship missiles
>>4671393>Point-defence turretsI don't like blindspots.
>>4671393>Point-defence turretsYeah... we will only maybe have one Longsword interceptor, and that's not even a given, so this is kinda important.
>>4671393>Point-defence turretsMake a note to request the equipment we have use for our last mission. It shouldn t be much of a problem for the prowler armory. Love that shotgun,Hopefully when we are done with recovery, we can get some training.
You decided to look into point defence weapons first, as aside from the hanger situation, the only other thing the Halberd lacked compared to the Paris was in point defence guns. Like most UNSC ships, the Halberd was equipped with the M870 Rampart point-defence system. The system was made up of a network of individual turrets, each one containing a pair of 50mm dual-propellent guns. While the Paris had boasted ten turrets spread out almost equally over the hull, the Halberd only carried six, with four of them located on the ship's underbelly. This was to be expected, after all, the Halberd's stockier design and the combination of the ship's MAC guns and a pair of large armour plates over the bow meant that the layout of the guns was more uneven than on the Paris.Unfortunately, this left a number of blind spots where fighters close to the ship's hull would be able to avoid the guns. The most notable blind spot was behind the ship, though there was also a pair of blind spots within two kilometres of the ship's flanks, where the existing turrets wouldn't be able to depress their guns low enough to reach the incoming targets. Granted, the ship's existing anti-fighter missiles could handle it well enough, but you distinctly remember the Dawn getting savaged by a determined assault by innie fighters that you had seen coming from thousands of kilometres away. Covenant seraphs that could use onboard slipspace drives to simply teleport into your blind spots were a far more lethal adversary.Your first option was a simple one. Install a network of extra close-in-weapons-systems on the exterior of the hull. The best option for that was the M710 Bulwark system, it was cheap, relatively easy to install, and was based on the army's proven M71 Scythe AA gun. They also had a far smaller power draw than the larger Ramparts, meaning that you could put more power towards charging the MAC gun and keeping the Ramparts running. The biggest issue with the Bulwark was the fact that they had a limited ammunition capacity and limited range. The 20mm round had been used for point-defence ever since the concept was first installed on ocean-going warships, and even though propellent sciences had advanced since then, you could only really expect them to reliably hit things within a few kilometres of the ship. Not to mention that the lack of armour made taking them offline a trivial matter for enemy strike craft that were willing to brave the hail of gunfire.>CONT
A better option for consistent point defence was to install extra M870s elsewhere on the hull. It'd simplify logistics for starts, and if you were going out into the sticks then that would be something you'd have to think about. Not to mention that there was a reason why the Rampart was pretty much the fleet's standard point defence system. Capable of operating at a decent range with a high rate of fire, and using the more powerful 50mm round, the Rampart was one of humanity's first weapons systems that didn't require major overhauls once it encountered the Covenant. The biggest issues though were the low gun depression of the standard turrets and the fact that the stern of the Halberd didn't really present many viable places to put the turrets. You could get some unarmored turrets that were easier to install, but they ran into the same issue as the Bulwarks, they would be far easier to take out.Of course, you could just go the opposite way as well. The Rampart system had to be plugged into the ship via dedicated attachment points to feed them ammunition and power for the coilguns. So if you uninstalled them, you could put in a network of Onager mass drivers. The slower training and slower firing mass drivers were practically useless against incoming fighters, but instead could be expected to reasonably harm an enemy warship at range. And their ability to rotate on their mounts allowed them to fire against targets independently of wherever the ship was pointing at or targeting. This meant that you could keep engaging smaller targets while you used the main guns on bigger fish but at the cost of your larger point-defence weapons.>Bolt on extra CIWS guns, you can get away with clustering them if you need to.>Install extra Ramparts, you need to keep things consistent.>Swap the Ramparts for Onagers, you can just rely on your missile suite.>Other (write-in)
>>4672717>Install extra Ramparts, you need to keep things consistent
>>4672717>Install extra Ramparts, you need to keep things consistent.
>>4672717>>Install extra Ramparts, you need to keep things consistent.
Deciding to take the reasonable middle ground, you decided to prepare a work order to install extra Rampart turrets across the ship. A task that was made all the more difficult by the Halberd's oddly shaped hybrid armour panels and radiators mounted on either side of the propulsion and reactor module.You spent most of your flight to the UNSC Hopeful checking different mounting options, before eventually deciding on installing one turret between the two main engine modules on a stinger mount, putting an extra pair of turrets on the top and bottom of the propulsion and reactor module, and another pair on raised pedestals between the two amidships armour plates. You had originally intended to install just the stinger mount, but you quickly realised that it wouldn't be enough to hold off a determined enemy attack. So instead you added the pair on the top and bottom of the propulsion module. The remaining pair were a no-brainer as they'd cover up the smaller but no-less worrisome blind spot over your MAC gun capacitors. By the time you had the work order ready and waiting, the shuttle was already on final approach to the UNSC Hopeful. Officially one of the oldest ships in the fleet, -as by technicality she was mobile enough to count as one-, the UNSC Hopeful had a paradoxical reputation of being both the ugliest thing to ever float in zero-g, and the most beautiful thing to ever float in zero-g. Though that tended to depend on if you needed life-saving surgery or not. Originally assembled out of two refit stations back around 2470 by a medical company, the station that would become the Hopeful was intended to provide disaster relief and major medical care for poorer colonies. When the insurrection started off with a nuclear-sized bang, the UNSC took it up from trade and slapped some larger reactors and a propulsion module to it to turn the giant station into something that technically counted as a ship. It had the facilities, doctors, and supplies to treat thousands of critically injured patients at a time, something that had pretty much become its modus operandi. With the horrors of the Human-Covenant War taking their toll on the UNSC forces, the Hopeful was always busy. If you had to guess, she was only at Reach to offload patients before jumping out for another combat zone.>CONT
>>4672887Due to its vulnerability, the Hopeful was always accompanied by an escort. And even above Reach, they hung close to their charge in the void. Five Halberd-class destroyers and six Gladius-class corvettes, the latter being modified to carry rescue vehicles. A pair of small surface-to-orbit tenders, offloading supplies one way and loading patients to take down to the planet. The small working shuttle you flew around in was directed to an exterior docking clamp, which the shuttle pilot reversed into. You disembarked as soon as the door opened, thanking the pilot as you left. You were greeted by a nurse as you boarded the station-turned-ship."Hello, commander Wells." The nurse saluted you as you boarded the station, you returned the salute as the airlock behind you closed, the shuttle pilot had decided to leave as quickly as he had arrived. "I'm Lieutenant Jr Garza. Please follow me to the surgery bay.">Ask the nurse about the Hopeful, what antics have they been up to?>Ask the nurse about himself, what does he do around here?>Ask about the surgery, how long will you be out for?>Keep quiet and follow the nurse, there isn't much point in asking questions.>Other (write-in)
>>4672889>Ask about the surgery, how long will you be out for?
>>4672889>Ask the nurse about the Hopeful, what antics have they been up to?
>>4672889>>Ask about the surgery, how long will you be out for?and well follow her, we can talk while walking
"Any idea how long the surgery is expected to take?" You asked as you followed behind the nurse. You supposed you had either the office or the vice-admiral to thank that you had been assigned one of the more expert nurses for this operation. At a time like this, you expected that they were up to their gills in work."It'll take around four hours. In addition to your new kidney being implanted, we'll also have to go in to check over your liver and the organs that underwent stemcell therapy on your way back here." The nurse replied as you walked past a cargo drone towing a pallet with a couple of tanks of medical suspension fluid. The kind of stuff that your new bodyparts had probably been grown in."What about my liver? If I remember correctly, it took some damage too." You asked about the damage to the most major organ that you had suffered damage too in the attack. The nurse seemed to sigh a bit as if the answer to that question was obvious enough that someone without major medical training could understand."Thankfully, the liver is the only organ in the human body that can regenerate itself. According to your AI's medical logs, you received some stemcell therapy for it, so we'll still go over it as well, but I wouldn't worry about it." The nurse explained in an exasperated tone, you guessed that he got that question a lot. Still, you sighed with relief as you followed the nurse into a small surgical theatre. Essentially a single room with an auto-surgeon unit in the middle, a sterile field generator, and a small booth for the doctor overseeing the surgery to sit in. The nurse gestured over to the slightly portly woman sat behind the screen, looking at something on a screen that you couldn't see. "Commander Wells, this is Doctor Chesterton. She will be overseeing your surgery.""Hello commander, if you wouldn't mind undressing and climbing onto the bed. Nurse Garza, please recover the commander's replacement organs from cloning bay seven." The doctor ordered with an exasperated tone, apparently unhappy that she had to take time to perform surgery on you when she could instead be planet-side having some well-deserved shore leave. Regardless, you walked over to the bed in the middle of the room, and took off your clothes, storing them on a shelf under the bed before climbing on. Unlike the more standard unit on the prowler, this unit was far larger and more advanced. Multiple arms dropped down from the ceiling, equipped with a variety of scalpels and delicate manipulators. You ignored them as you put on the face mask and lay down."Breath deeply and remain calm. You should be feeling sleepy already." The doctor said as you started to breathe in the anaesthetic gas. You felt your body get heavier and heavier, as you quickly drifted off to sleep.>roll 1d6 (you can't nat-1 this)
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>4673046
Rolled 4 (1d6)>>4673046
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>4673046AH SHIT, AH FUCK.WE'RE FLAT LINING.
Rolled 2 (1d6)>>4673046inb4 we fuckin' die
You must have been given some pretty decent drugs, as you didn't even dream during the surgery. As far as you were concerned, you closed your eyes in the surgery bay and opened them in a completely different room.The room you opened your eyes to was fairly well furnished, though it took you only a second to figure out that you were in a starship of some description. The room -or more correctly, the cabin- had obviously been furnished to serve as a private recovery room. The clean white bedsheets, the sterile grey walls, the tastefully isolated terrarium. It all stank of some medical professional's idea of a calming environment to wake up in.You'd give it that at the very least. It was definitely a lot more calming than waking up in a dark converted cargo bay.And on a small table attached to your recovery bed was your datapad. Or at least, you assumed it was your datapad, you could never tell with standard-issue gear. You reached over and picked up the device, turning it on with a gentle caress of its side. Immediately, you were bombarded with paragraphs upon paragraphs of medical jargon going over what had happened while you were out. You skim read through it to check that there were no lingering issues, before clicking the button at the bottom of the report to confirm that you had read it.With all the medical bullshit out of the way, you lay back in bed and smiled to yourself. Finally, you'd be able to enjoy some time at rest, away from the stress of the war and the military. Time to simply lounge about and check in with your family and the one or two friends you had back on Tribute.A time where you wouldn't be commander Wells of the UNSC. But just, Norman Wells. >Spend some time going over what Wells did on leave.>Timeskip to getting your new ship.
>>4673169>Spend some time going over what Wells did on leave.
>>4673169>>Spend some time going over what Wells did on leave.
The journey between Reach and Tribute had been booked on a sublight transport vessel, which you supposed was a blessing in disguise as you could spend the transit time resting and catching up on the paperwork that had fallen on your desk. Getting reassigned to another vessel almost always required that you left your old vessel in as close to pristine condition as possible. And while the Dawn was certainly in better shape than when it had arrived at Reach, the yard work hadn't been completed by the time you chose to move on. And that only increased the amount of bullshit you had to deal with.It also gave you a chance to pick and choose who you took with you to your next command. Though given how long you had been away for, you found that some of them had already been reassigned to other vessels. Still, you took what you could.By the time the transport vessel pulled in at a berth on Irbid's orbital tether, you were up and moving under your own power. Bending over was still uncomfortable, and you were advised against getting into any fights, but you could at least make the journey planet-side. The trip down to the planet was easy enough, space elevator travel was a surprisingly gentle affair, medically speaking. Even so, the doctor who ran the shop at the Irbid terminus insisted on checking you over, ostensible so that you didn't bleed out and die from an unchecked internal wound. You were eventually allowed to leave, and hefted your rather spartan bag over your shoulder as you left the station and the assorted UNSC posters that were plastered everywhere, most of them including those new commandos that the UNSC was showing off to boost morale.You left the building and spent the next quarter of an hour making your way over to one of the distant parking structure where your ride home was waiting. Unfortunately, you weren't allowed to drive on your own for at least another week, so you had to call someone out to pick you up...>You called out your sister, the one person you could rely on.>You called out your mom, who was starting to thaw at the very least.>You called out your brother, who you needed to have a conversation with anyways.
>>4673281>You called out your mom, who was starting to thaw at the very least.
>>4673281>You called out your brother, who you needed to have a conversation with anyways.
>>4673281>>You called out your brother, who you needed to have a conversation with anyways.
>>4673281>>You called out your mom, who was starting to thaw at the very least.
>>4673281>You called out your brother, who you needed to have a conversation with anyways.We put that off, didn't we?
>>4673281>You called out your sister, the one person you could rely on.
>>4673281>>You called out your brother, who you needed to have a conversation with anyways.finally back from ban
You found your brother's car parked in one of the multi-storey parking lots close to the city's main highway. The car wasn't his, instead, it was shared between the rest of the family in a three-way split. It had been one of a handful of things that they had bought with their own money, though you had argued with your sister over them not taking money offered freely. You found him leaning up against the back of the car, looking at something on his phone. He heard you approach, and looked up with a smile."Hey, how's the hero of the hour?" He asked as he walked over, you gave him a short hug before letting him take your duffle bag. "Come on, mom's still at work, so it's just us and Beth at home."You let him lead you over to the car, before letting him shove your bag in the back. If you were perfectly honest, you wished they had made a better choice. They had decided to buy the sedan version of the relatively common Genet, and while the original version was a nice little coupe the sedan left a lot to be desired. The original had ample legroom and trunk-space, while the slightly lengthened sedan model sacrificed a lot of that in return for a pair of seats in the back to double the passenger capacity. You rode shotgun while he drove, even if 'driving' in this case meant 'pull out of the parking space, and let the onboard roadware do the rest of the driving for you."So mom said you got jumped by some fleet intelligence guy, what happened? Someone need their ass kicked?" Your brother asked as he leant back in his seat, relaxing for the journey when he should really still be paying attention.>Write-in
>>4674359“Well I got mine kicked but everything turned out alright.”
"Well I got mine kicked but everything turned out alright." You summed up the contents of the last couple of months in as few words as possible. It would be bad enough if your mom found out about how bad your wounds were. As of her distance, she still cared about you You didn't need to add that you had gotten your wounds by playing matador with a very fucked off mound of murderous muscle."They actually had you go and do stuff yourself? Don't they outsource all of the heavy lifting over to the guys who can handle a fight?" Your brother grinned as the sedan pulled itself out of the parking lot and out onto the street, headed for the highway."Says the dumbass who aspires to be a jarhead. Nah, they needed me to go down and do some officer bullshit." You answered as you glanced out the window at the passing billboards. Aside from the assorted recruitment posters and adverts for war bonds, there were a couple of billboards going over some interesting shows. Apparently one of the UNSC's new super commandos was going to be on a talk show, and the banners were out for it."How bad was it?" He asked as the sedan slowed down as it reached a roundabout heading towards the highway.>Tell him the truth, just between the two of you.>Lie about it, he doesn't need to know about it.
>>4674494>>Tell him the truth, just between the two of you.
>>4674494>Tell him the truth, just between the two of you.
>>4674494>"How bad was it?"Is he talking about our mission?
"Honestly Mike? Things didn't go well. Me and my XO got injured, and a few guys didn't come home. Hell, if it wasn't for a stop-off at a medical centre before I left Reach, I'd still be missing a few bits." You told him the truth -or at least as much of the truth as you could reasonably get away with- about the mission. Of course, you could have simply lied, but that left a bad taste in your mouth.Your brother was silent for a couple of seconds as he sifted through what you said. He may have been a good few years younger than you, but he could tell when you were being economical with the truth. Eventually, though, he asked a far more careful question. "That stop off, would that happen to have been on the Hopeful?""What makes you think that?" You fired another question back at him. You were surprised that he managed to guess it on the first go, was your little bro finally getting an appreciation for the larger and more important things in space?"She was on the news about a month back when she came back from Paris four. She left over a week ago, so that'd line up with how long the trip between Reach and Tribute takes for us commoners." He reasoned correctly. You supposed that it was an easy enough guess, if the Hopeful was famous enough that basic news channels reported it's comings and goings, then he simply got lucky."Yeah, it was the Hopeful. They're the best in the business after all, and for them, it was probably one of the easier ops." You answered his original question as the car drove itself onto the highway, filing in behind a semi-truck before moving into the middle lane to cruise. You quickly followed your first answer with a request. "Do me a solid and don't tell mom? You know how she gets.""No problem, we all remember how bad it can get." Mike shook his head, remembering how you and mom had spent many hours practically yelling at each other after you unveiled your decision to join the navy.>Ask Mike about the marines, is he still set on it?>Ask Mike about how his grades are doing, isn't this his final year?>Ask Mike about the family, how are Beth and Mom doing?>Keep quiet and relax, you'll be home soon. (TIMESKIP)>Other (write-in)
>>4674575>Ask Mike about the marines, is he still set on it?
>>4674575>Keep quiet and relax, you'll be home soon. (TIMESKIP)
>>4674575>>Ask Mike about the family, how are Beth and Mom doing?
>>4674575>Ask Mike about the marines, is he still set on it?>Ask Mike about how his grades are doing, isn't this his final year?>Ask Mike about the family, how are Beth and Mom doing?
>>4674575>>Ask Mike about the family, how are Beth and Mom doing?>Ask Mike about how his grades are doing, isn't this his final year?>Ask Mike about the marmems, is he still set on it?In this order.
You let that conversation die, instead of looking out over the cityscape as it raced by. The various expensive, glass-plated skyscrapers gave way to more mundane, but no-less tall high-rise corporate buildings and apartment blocks. Various air-taxis and drones flew overhead on ridged flightpaths, controlled by the dumb AI governing traffic direction across the city. Hell, that very same AI was probably watching over the car you were in right now.After a minute of silence, you turned to your brother and asked about his future. "So, are you interested in joining the corps?""Yep. It's either sit around here and wait for the Covenant to come and kill us, or go out there and make a difference." Mike replied with a slightly proud tone. You understood what he was feeling, you had felt the exact same thing. You didn't object to it, in fact, quite the opposite."So instead of staying here and waiting for them to come, you're gonna drop onto a planet we can't hold to get shot at?" You rhetorically replied. You didn't like the idea of joining the marines, going down to a planet where your exit strategy hadn't been secured wasn't something you'd classify as a smart idea. Especially when the Covenant had a nasty habit of bringing in reinforcements faster than the UNSC could."Like you're one to talk. What's the difference between the corps and the navy?" Mike snapped back, and you understood immediately why your mom couldn't make any headway on dissuading him. When Mike wanted to do something, he lashed back against people who tried to stop him. A red flag if ever you had seen one.>"The difference is that we can always pull out, it's pretty hard to evacuate a planet if the Covenant are glassing it.">"There are far safer ways to fight the Covenant that picking up a rifle, even if they aren't as glamorous.">"Because the UNSC needs people who can follow orders, even if those orders suck.">Other (write-in)
>>4674714>"The difference is that we can always pull out, it's pretty hard to evacuate a planet if the Covenant are glassing it.">"Because the UNSC needs people who can follow orders, even if those orders suck."
>>4674714>"The difference is that we can always pull out, it's pretty hard to evacuate a planet if the Covenant are glassing it."
>>4674714>>"The difference is that we can always pull out, it's pretty hard to evacuate a planet if the Covenant are glassing it."
>>4674714>>"The difference is that we can always pull out, it's pretty hard to evacuate a planet if the Covenant are glassing it.">"Most Marines will not get to evac, ever.
"The difference is that we can always pull out, it's pretty hard to evacuate a planet if the Covenant are glassing it." You put it as frankly as possible, before sighing and taking a more diplomatic aproach. "Look, I want you to join up. Mom might not like it, but the fact of the matter is that the UNSC needs all the people it can get. But that doesn't mean I want you to join up in one of the branches with the highest casualty rate.""Yeah, because the navy does so well in their engagements." Mike sniped back as the car moved back into the outside lane, getting ready to exit off the highway."What do you expect when the Covenant ships have energy shields and plasma weapons? Look, I'm not saying that it has to be navy. Just pick a branch that doesn't get routinely left out to dry." You didn't rise to the bait, you just wanted what was best for him."The only branch that doesn't get left out to dry is the navy, and that's because they're the only guys with FTL drives. Come on Norman, I know that the casualty rates are bad whenever we lose a world, I don't need you harping on about it as well." Mike sighed as the car drove down the slip road and into the outskirts of Irbid, the rabbit warrens of old buildings and older city planning.>"Why are you so insistent on a combat posting anyways?">"What do you want to do in the marines anyways?">"Why not the army? They have far lower casualty rates.">Other (write-in)
>>4674821>"Why not the army? They have far lower casualty rates."
>>4674821>>"Why not the army? They have far lower casualty rates.">"Why are you so insistent on a combat posting anyways?"
>>4674821Doesn't the army just sit around and wait to fight off an invasion? He's already said he's sick of that. Also, chances are he will just be stationed on Reach... I don't know if there's much we can say here that others haven't. I'm leaning towards just dropping the subject and supporting him unconditionally. Maybe it will confuse him kek.
>>4674821>"Why are you so insistent on a combat posting anyways?"
"Why not the Army? They have far lower casualty rates." You suggested an alternative. Even though the army was more numerous than the marine corps, they enjoyed far less funding. How much of that was down to the navy -and by extension, the marines- getting the lion's share of the UNSC's funding, or simply down to the army not bothering much with a prolonged recruitment campaign."Because all the army does is loaf about doing nothing until it's their colony's turn in the meat grinder. At least with the corps, I'd be able to see some of the galaxy before I get sent to a colony." Mike sighed as a falcon tiltrotor flew overhead. You had no idea if it was an Army version or a civilian-owned one, and frankly, you didn't care."And do you know what most of the galaxy is? Empty void with nothing other than a couple of decks on a ship going around doing stop-checks on merchant ships. If you're lucky, you'll be on a frigate in a system that's actually colonised. If not, you're gonna get stuck on some old-ass corvette in a backwater system. And if you're really unlucky, it'll be on either a Mako or a Sharpfin." You pointed out the biggest flaw in your little brother's plan. A lot of deployments with the corps were ship-board, and ship-board life was tedious as hell. There was a good reason why the UNSC had kept a lot of older warships around as training vessels, and it wasn't to act as a reserve formation."And? I can just take an assignment on a station or a naval base to avoid that." Your little bro suggested as the car pulled to a stop at an intersection, the roadware slowing your journey down so that some other cars could continue theirs unabated."If you take a static posting in the corps, you're doing the exact same as the army, just with the obligation that you're gonna get left behind when shit hits the fan." You pointed out, before looking Mike in the eyes and repeating something you had hammered into your head throughout your training. "Most Marines will not get to evac, ever.">"There are far safer ways to fight the Covenant that picking up a rifle, even if they aren't as glamorous.">"Because the UNSC needs people who can follow orders, even if those orders suck.">Leave the argument there, you've made your point. (roll 1d20)>Other (write-in)
>>4674994>>"There are far safer ways to fight the Covenant that picking up a rifle, even if they aren't as glamorous.">Research and Development, Code cracking, AI manufacture, any idiot can grab a gun and die via plasma fire, logistics wins wars brother.>If he asks if we're an idiot due to likely dying via plasma fire we can say , "Only a half idiot, i get to fly."
Rolled 2 (1d20)>>4674994>Leave the argument there, you've made your point. (roll 1d20)nat 1
Rolled 7 (1d20)>>4674994>Leave the argument there, you've made your point. (roll 1d20)
>>4674994Backing this guy >>4675004
Rolled 20 (1d20)>>4674994>>Leave the argument there, you've made your point. (roll 1d20)
>>4675004you have my vote
>>4675074*In the Navy starts playing*
>>4674994>Leave the argument there, you've made your point.The more we try to change his mind the more his mind will be set.
If there was one thing you had learned in officer training, it was that the more you tried to force someone to change their mind, the more their mind would be set. And that was something that rang true with Mike, as at a certain point, he'd just start to tune out the argument. So you decided to make your closing remarks and end things while you were sure that he was listening. "Look, any old idiot can pick up a rifle and die via plasma fire. You've still got a couple of years in education, so why not try something else?""Then you've got a lot of competition then, navy boy." Mike smiled as the car started to roll again. You both chuckled a bit before your brother continued the conversation. "So, what would you recommend?""I'm only a half idiot, I get to fly after all." You said, before explaining your brother's options. While there weren't that many interesting options for him right now, if he put in the time then the sky was the limit. "If you're willing to put in the time and effort, you could to university and look at working towards qualifications to help out on the higher end with things like RnD, AI manufacturing, you name it and I'll fund it. If not, maybe mom can get you an apprentice position up at the yards?""Sorry, but uni isn't for me. Beth's the one to look at for all of that higher-level stuff. As for the yards, I'm not really enthusiastic about the whole idea of working far away from the front, where it takes months for my work to have any benefit." Mike sighed and shook his head. It didn't take a genius to figure out that he'd already gone over the idea of going off to uni, and had come up against it, so you didn't push that any further."You don't have to work there for the whole war, just long enough to get the skills required to get transferred over to a repair ship. Most of the engagements we've won have been down to a couple of skilled repair ships patching up a fleet between Covenant attacks." You pushed the only option that you had left to argue. You knew for a fact that a bunch of guys from your mom's work shift had left to help out on UNSC repair stations and ships a few months back, so it was a proven track.Mike was silent as he mulled over your suggestions as the car drove itself over to the apartment block your family lived in, the somewhat run-down thirty-two-storey building obviously wasn't linked to the city's roadware system, else the car would have driven itself into the underground parking lot. You got out as Mike popped the trunk open, calling out as you struggled up. "Beth should be up at the apartment, go on up there. I'll meet you there once I've parked up.">CONT
>>4679401You picked your duffle bag out of the trunk and hit the button to close it before walking into the lobby. The large but sparse room was decorated with a few bland paintings, some plants, and some seating. A receptionist sat at a desk by the door, though this time, she actually looked up and noticed your arrival.>Head straight up to your family's apartment. You don't want to wait much longer.>Talk to the receptionist. How have things changed since you were last here?
>>4679405>Head straight up to your family's apartment. You don't want to wait much longer.
>>4679405>>Head straight up to your family's apartment. You don't want to wait much longer.
You spared the receptionist a polite nod, before making your way to the elevators at the back of the lobby. The trip up to the floor where your family's apartment sat was uneventful, and neither was the walk over to the front door. You unlocked the door with a tap, and entered.The first thing to hit you was the smell of bleach. Your first attempt at shore leave had come with a significant lack of a warning, leaving practically no chance for them to clean up the apartment. This time, though, you needed to let the cat out of the bag a bit early, giving them time to clean up. And they had definitely done a decent job, at least when compared to how things usually were. The wrappers that were usually strewn around the living area had been tossed out, the floor was clean, and even the windows had been wiped down."Beth! I'm back!" You called out as you shut the door, the sound of the door almost masking the sudden thud of a head hitting the underside of the island counter in the middle of the kitchen area."Norman! You dick, where did you run off to?" Beth demanded as she stood up from behind the island, rubbing the back of her head.>"Sorry about that, FLEETCOM had a problem.">"Believe it or not, there's a war going on.">Other (write-in)
>>4679530>"Sorry about that, FLEETCOM had a problem."
>>4679530>>"Sorry about that, FLEETCOM had a problem."
>>4679530>"Believe it or not, there's a war going on."
"Sorry about that, FLEETCOM had a problem." You idly shrugged as you tossed your duffle bag onto the couch, where it could stay until you figured out who's room you could borrow."Unless they want another problem, then they'd better give us a few days notice. Damn it, I had stuff planned." Beth grumbled as she walked out from around the island, tossing a pair of rubber gloves on the side as she went. She walked over and gave you a strong, comforting hug, letting her head rest on your shoulder. "I'm glad you're back though.""Did you really miss me that much? It's good to be home." You patted Beth on the back, letting her decide how long the embrace would last. Thankfully, it was only for a polite couple of seconds, before she let you go."So, what was so important that the navy had to cut your shore leave in half?" Beth asked as she walked over to the fridge and pulled it open and started to root around.>Tell her half of the truth. Out of everyone in your family, she's the only one you really trust to keep it a secret.>Make something up. What happened out there was pretty incendiary, and it'd be pretty obvious for ONI to figure out.
>>4679631>Tell her half of the truth. Out of everyone in your family, she's the only one you really trust to keep it a secret."ONI stuff. That's all I can say on the matter."
>>4679631>Tell her half of the truth. Out of everyone in your family, she's the only one you really trust to keep it a secret.
>>4679631>Black Ink, Sorry beth.
>>4679631>>Tell her half of the truth. Out of everyone in your family, she's the only one you really trust to keep it a secret.
"ONI stuff. That's all I can say on the matter." You shrugged as Beth pulled a couple of cans of cider out of the fridge and tapped the door closed with her foot."Ok, would that be related to why you're back on medical leave?" Beth asked as she walked over to the island and put a can down on the side closest to you, before cracking hers open."What makes you think that?" You asked as you walked over and picked up the cold can. Inspecting it, it was some fruity low-alcohol blend, which these days meant that it was probably packed to the gills with synthetic components and chemicals rather than real fruits. Still, it'd scratch an itch, so you wouldn't turn it down."You asked for a lift here from the terminus station rather than making your own way here, I know you well enough to know that something's up." Beth reasoned as you sipped your 'cider' and listened. Unfortunately, she had hit the nail on the head, and you rather prefer that info about that didn't get around."What, I can't be lazy once in a while?" You tried one last time to try and get out of having to tell her. While you trusted her more than Mike to not tell mom, you had already told one person, and simply telling her would "Nope, you don't get to wriggle out of this one." Beth scolded you, wiggling her finger at you as if to wipe the idea from your mind. "Is it related to why you're back to being a commander?">Tell her the same thing you told Mike, you may as well be consistent.>Go off on a tangent, you might not be able to wiggle out of this completely, but you can go off about that bullshit.
>>4679803>Tell her the same thing you told Mike, you may as well be consistent.
>>4679803>>Tell her the same thing you told Mike, you may as well be consistent.>simply telling her wouldWOULD WHAT?! BURST HER HEAD?! SET OFF A NUKE? INFORM THE COVENANT OF EARTH'S LOCATION?!
>>4679861...violate several ONI and UNSC security directives punishable by death.
"Oh, that bullshit?" You grumbled as you tugged at your collar, and the commander's pin currently hanging off it. Thankfully you were wearing your standard naval uniform, rather than the ONI set that had been lent to you. "Nah, this was something else."Beth was quiet as you walked over to one of the stools, and pulled it out to sit. You could have told her standing up, but you wanted to give the impression that you were going over bad news. "I can't go into much detail, but things didn't go well. I got injured, had to make a stop at a hospital ship to get it sorted out.""Did anyone else get hurt?" Beth took a seat as she asked, taking on a far more serious tone as she realised the gravitas of the situation."My XO also got injured along with some other folks, some didn't make it." You answered, your voice going a bit lower as you remembered how badly things had gone wrong. You wouldn't tell her the specifics, the last thing you wanted was the office taking a greater interest in her, but that didn't stop you from remembering."Oh... I'm sorry Norman." Beth apologised for pushing, but you shook your head. She didn't have to apologise, she just wanted to figure out if you were okay.>Ask Beth how things are around here. How have things been since you left?>Ask Beth what plans she originally had before you were recalled.>Go and watch some TV. You need to clear your mind and start relaxing.>Other (write-in)
>>4679909>>Ask Beth how things are around here. How have things been since you left?
>>4679909>Ask Beth how things are around here. How have things been since you left?
"Enough about me, how are things around here? I didn't see the landlord on the way up here." You asked, pushing the conversation off the proverbial rocks and into a safer subject."Yeah, and we haven't seen him around either. He's still harassing other tenants, but he's left us be. At least, he has for now." Beth sighed, you remembered the last time you had seen the bigoted building owner. He had been talking to the receptionist when you left for your promotion ceremony. You might have been imagining it, but the weasely little man seemed to shrink a little bit when he noticed that you had arrived. You weren't happy leaving things as they were, but you didn't want to kick the hornet's nest without a guarantee that you'd be here long enough to handle the fallout.You pushed that problem to the side as you took another sip of the cider, before fishing for anything else. "Any other problems?""Think you can give the city's Superintendent a talking to?" Beth gave you a small grin, before shaking her head. "In all reality, there's nothing else to worry about, so how about you relax for once?""Come on Beth, I'm an officer. Relaxation for a foreign concept for us." You gave her a small smile over the top of your can. Sure, you were on leave, but there was still paperwork to get done if you wanted to keep your sanity when you took your new command.>Ask how Beth is doing. Has she decided what job she wants to do after trade school?>Ask about your mom. Working up at the shipyards must be stressful enough.>Ask about Mike. Has his drive to join the corps caused any more trouble at home?>Go and watch some TV. You need to clear your mind and start relaxing.>Other (write-in)
>>4681089>>Ask how Beth is doing. Has she decided what job she wants to do after trade school?
>>4681089>Ask how Beth is doing. Has she decided what job she wants to do after trade school?