Halo Striding Stars

This is a fanfiction centered around an Alternate Universe Marathon-class Cruiser being somehow transported to a new Universe by a mysterious Precusor known only as the Timeless One. Could this universe spell salvation for a lost crew or damnation? Earth is burning, shadows are moving and an ancient threat has awoken.
-Much thanks to Havoc-Legionnaire for his assistance in the technical field. I highly suggest you read his literary works on

Technical Guide

Marathon Class Cruiser, UNSC Mercury

The UNSC Marathon-class Cruiser is the forefront of the United Nations Space Command’s Naval Arm, incredibly expensive to build and a valuable asset to any fleet or battle group, the Marathon class is only given to the best commanders. Since the battle of Psi Serpentis and the subsequent discovering of the Forerunner cache the Marathon class has gone under several upgrade phases.

The Marathon class cruiser originally boasted 2 Mk4 heavy MACs, seventy oversized archer pods, and 35 50mm CIWS guns along with 7 meters of Titanium-A plates. The upgraded cruiser boasts 2 Mk8 Heavy AHR Cannons and a Mk7 Light AHR gun on an underslung turret as well as a CIWS suite of 50 50mm Rotary Rail HE CIWS cannons and twenty seven 500mm Coil Gun turrets. Seven meters of composite Titanium-B/C layers and ARC armor on a Titanium-B/C honeycombed hull allows it to absorb ten plasma torpedo impacts on the same site without significant damage. The new inertial dampeners reduces the relative mass of the ships enough to allow the Marathon class to match the acceleration of the faster Halcyon class cruisers. The Mk8 cannons can fire two consecutive shots. The Mk7 light MAC can turn 360 degrees by 30 degrees and are capable of three round bursts as well as sustained standoff slug fire at ten rounds a minute. The seventy Oversized M-58 Archer Pods have been refitted to fire Longbow and Javelin missiles. Forty Harpoon torpedoes are the standard load for the cruisers and the Mk8 cannons can each fire a spread of 5 Harpoon with enough energy left for a standard heavy slug.

The UNSC Mercury holds 24 GA-TL1 Longsword Strike Fighters, 12 MBT-982 Ravager Main Battle Tanks, 48 M12 LRV ‘Warthogs’, 18 D77-TC Pelican Drop-Gunships, 10 M-81 Cougar Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and 4 TAV-551 Fox Self Propelled Heavy Artillery and 2500 UNSC Marines with a platoon of UNSC Orbital Drop Shock Troopers.

Electronic Warfare Suite

In order to counter the sheer power of covenant weaponry, UNSC Naval Weapons Division sought to neutralize it instead of withstanding it. To that end, vessels equipped with a Electronic Warfare Suite (EWS) utilizes multiple means to hide from or blind the enemy. The suite utilizes cold plasma fields surrounding the entire vessel to absorb the EM energy of covenant radar. Any residual reflected radiation is then interfered with and its information distorted via erroneous return broadcasts. The result is that while the presence of a vessel using the suite is still detectable, its exact location, profile, and velocity can not be discerned accurately enough for an accurate sensor profile and weapons lock up to a certain range; even within that range, there is still a certain distance where weapons fire cannot be targeted on individual systems and damage is based purely on luck. An array of high power masers scrambles short range electromagnetic sensors and communications of the enemy, greatly degrading their overall combat capabilities. The main weakness of the EWS, however, is that it can be countered by seraph fighters acting as scouts relying information to covenant ships. Though this can be alleviated by the point defense suite, friendly fighter cover is the best counter. The Mk 1 EWS is a starship grade suite and equipped on all vessels. The Mk 2 is made for Longsword-B interceptors and Spitfire class corvettes.

Star Drive overhaul

Covenant magnetic confinement and slipspace technology has been successfully combined with UNSC reactor technology to create a potent star drive system. For the first time outside of experimental reactors, Helium-3 is now used as the secondary fuel supplementing the deuterium/tritium mixture currently used. As an neutron fusion fuel, Helium-3 provides a far higher efficiency and output but imparting the vast majority of its energy output in the form of high speed protons that can be easily harvest for energy. The challenge in the past has been to achieve the far higher temperature necessary for Helium-3 fusion without suffering marginal loss in efficiency against standard deuterium/tritium fusion. That obstacle have finally been overcome by the marriage of UNSC multi-reactor boosting and refined Covenant magnetic confinement technology. The main reactor will normally run on D/T fusion, but can switch to He-3 fusion during combat with the help of the tertiary reactors. The new reactor upgrades will double again the original gain by the multi-reactor boosting technology obtained alone. Combined with superior Covenant inertial dampening technology backwards engineered, UNSC ships with the full modifications can achieve anyway from 48 percent to 122 percent boost in acceleration depending on the tonnage of the ship.

M768 Armor Piercing Hollow Point Slug

This APHP slug is only half the size of its predecessor so as to increase its velocity and probability of impact, though it deals significantly more damage. The round uses uses a traditional hollow point design, using a nickle steel jacket that would mushroom and damage its target far beyond the impact site. Should the target’s armor or shields prove too strong for the nickle steel jacket, an interior self-sharpening tungsten kinetic penetrator will concentrate the remaining kinetic energy for greater penetration. Depending on the size of the target, the round can completely fragment with a shotgun-like effect that could tear whole sections of the ship off; the bigger the ship is, the more destructive the round becomes.

(continued)
M881 Light Standoff Slug

Weighing in at only 100kg of self-sharpening tungsten, the standoff slug is designed for primarily the Mk 7 light MACs. Its purpose is not to destroy covenant ships, but rather to simply suppress and harass them. The small size of the round gives it low kinetic energy and poor terminal ballistics but allows it to extend the effective range of a Mk 7 MAC 1.9 times the effective range and fire directly from the reactor’s power without discharging the MAC capacitors assuming that the ship runs under multi-boosted He-3 fusion. The purpose of the round is simply to drain covenant shields by continually pinging them to wear the field down and prevent recharge whilst the ship’s missile travel and her MAC capacitors charge for a heavy salvo fire.

There are two modes of fire for the standoff slugs: suppression fire and interlude fire. Interlude fire occurs when the ship is recharging its main AHR cannon capacitors to fire a full heavy salvo. Power is split between the main capacitors and directly to the rails themselves to fire light slugs. With the increase in power, it is possible to put out a continuous stream of fire to prevent covenant shield regeneration whilst the heavy salvo ready up. Suppression fire has the ship direct the majority of its weapons system power to firing a continuous stream light slugs while maintaining a ready charge on the main capacitors. This serves as a division of labor in a UNSC battle group, allowing the bigger ships to fire heavy salvos from irect the majority of its weapons system power to firing a continuous stream light slugs while maintaining a ready charge on the main capacitors. This serves as a division of labor in a UNSC battle group, allowing the bigger ships to fire heavy salvos from their more powerful AHR cannons more rapidly and the smaller ships to suppress covenant shields while still holding a heavy salvo at the ready for critical moments.

The 500mm coil gun turrets can also fire these slugs during point blank range battles, though clearly to far lesser effectiveness. The standoff slug can be effectively used to destroy a ship with a sustained and prolonged barrage, though one is more likely to disable it rather than actually destroy it and should be used for that purpose instead. Fortunately, its small size allow thousands of these slugs to be stored in any ship’s magazine as compared to the hundred or so ballistic tip slugs, effectively ensuring that a ship will not run out of ammunition during a battle.

M770 Sandstorm Flak Round

Much like ancient flak rounds meant for air defense, the Hornets’ Nest is meant to give the main guns of ships anti-fighter capabilities. The payload itself is little more than sand within a sabot shell. Fired at near relativistic velocities, though, it is incredibly lethal to fighters and bombers. The main guns of ships can put up a curtain of flak to break up enemy fighter concentrations. 500mm versions of this round exists for mid-range anti-fighter defense and close-in combat.

Mk 42 EM Disruptor

Designed specifically to counter covenant plasma torpedoes, the Mk42 disruptor uses an array of high power masers to disrupt the magnetic constriction fields. The disruptors can lock on to incoming torpedoes and can either simply break the constriction field or even attempt to wrest control of the plasmoid to turn against its user. To preserve stealth, the arrays are highly focused and would reveal the exact position of the ship only to the covenant vessel that the arrays are directed at. Offensively, they can be used to swamp and overload covenant sensor and communications arrays. Though it gives away the ship’s exact position to the target, the enemy point defense systems are severely degraded. Prolonged EM saturation would drain covenant shields as well.

Mk 21 Augmented Helical Rail Cannon.

An upgrade for the old MACs, the AHR Cannon can be summed up as a coil gun crossed with a rail gun. The traditional straight rails are twisted into a double helix, serving both as a conductor rail for Lorentz acceleration and the coils for Gaussian acceleration. Extensive studies of covenant magnetic multipliers have allowed for plasma conduction between the rails and the projectile, allowing for projectiles of any size up to the bore to be used. Smaller secondary rails further doubles efficiency by providing a pulling force to augment the main rails’ pushing force as dictated by the Lorentz equations. Combined, the AHR cannons gives a nearly three fold increase in efficiency and power over the MACs with the added benefits of a shorter recharge time.

M802 Javelin Anti-Ship Nuclear Missile.

This ten megaton nuclear missile is an ordinance with variable range determined by its means of delivery. Like the harpoon, the stealthy Javelin does not rely on its engine for initial acceleration, but rather on an external sources. The missile is released or fired with a targeting solution that gives it a general lead on the target. The missile then fires intermittently to correct its course so that it may remain hidden from thermal sensors until within 90 km where it is detectable even while running cold. At that point, the rocket engine runs full burn to the target. Using the same biased tamper in the harpoon, it is capable of knocking out lighter covenant ships with a few hits, though capital ships may require well over a dozen hits just to strip its shields. The Javelin can be deployed by longswords and Spitfire class corvettes as well as being fired out of missile pods.

Mk.1 Harpoon Class Directed Blast Nuclear Torpedo

A creation of Colonel Yeung, the 80 megaton Harpoon torpedo is the modern day descendant of the Shiva class nuclear missile. The Harpoon was designed to address the two main weaknesses of space-borne nuclear weapons: lack of a concussive blast wave and the relatively pitiful luminous output received by the targets thanks to the enormous distance in space combat often in excess of forty thousand km combined with the law of inverse square. The other main concern is that Shiva class missile have often been shot down in combat via covenant point defense lasers. To address all these concerns, the Harpoon utilizes several new innovations to warfare.

(TBC)

(continued)Current ordinance delivery doctrine dictates overloading the enemy’s point defense system to ensure that at least some of it makes impact. Obviously, this can rarely be accomplished with nuclear ordinance considering both their size, detectability, and cost. Therefore, the Harpoon counters Covenant defense via stealth. Every Harpoon is equipped with a Mk 11 EWS. To counter emissions, the Harpoon is not initially propelled by rocket engines, but shot out of a ship’s MAC at high speed. Chemical rockets then fire intermittently and flash cooled via liquid sodium evaporation to hide it from thermal scanners and to change its course and velocity. Detection is not possible with known covenant nor UNSC sensor suites until 30 km out, giving an average of a mere two seconds to counter.

The difference of the Harpoon from the Shiva aside from the delivery system is its unique ability to direct its blast output in one direction at near point blank range. The tungsten steel tamper of the warhead is enlarged to form the bulk of the missile’s top body; this increases magnetic permeability and prevents radiation emissions that can give its location away. The forward tamper casing, however, is significantly thinner than all other portions with just enough to reflect enough of the initial fission radiation blast to achieve optimal fusion. The forward tamper portion is vaporized before the rest of the tamper portions and combines with the Deuterium/Tritium fusion plasma to form a forward directed, but unguided weapons grade plasma stream. By the time the rest of the tamper casings are vaporized, most of the radiation output and the plasma stream itself is flushed forward, created a HEAT-like ‘nuclear shaped charge’ with 87.2 percent of its output pointed forward. The resulting radiation burst and plasma blast replicates an in-atmosphere blast and an equivalence of a point blank range standard 250 megaton spherical detonation. The harpoon torpedo is capable of confidently destroying covenant frigates and destroyers with a single hit and disabling cruisers and carriers. Assault carriers can be expected to survive at least one blast with varying degrees of damage. As there is a limited maneuver range for the torpedo, it must be aimed at the target with a general lead before firing.

M1098 Longbow Ship to Ship Missile

The Longbow is a new generation of ship to ship missiles meant to supplement the old Archers. The previous generation of Archer missiles suffered the flaw of being easily detectable and intercepted. The Longbow seeks to remedy this via stealth and maneuverability. Instead of streaking out of its pod with its engine full blast, the Longbows are explosively shot out of their pods in random directions and left to drift for a set amount of time before firing their rocket engines. The missile then accelerates short time before shutting off its engines, reactivating them only in short bursts to maintain its lock and to randomize its trajectory. Sprayed-on EM absorbing coatings gives the missile a near non-existent EM cross section. Once within 50 km of the target, the missile accelerate at maximum burn to impact. For close in engagements, it is possible to disable the soft launch protocol and fire the engines immediately.

Aside from the delivery system, the Longbow boasts a new plasma yield warhead. These warhead packs nearly the same punch as covenant plasma torpedoes, though with the advantage of stealth. Due to their higher cost of production Longbows are deployed in lesser numbers than Archers, often in ratios of 15:1.

UNSC New Land Warfare Innovations

UNSC MBT-982 Ravager Main Battle Tank

The Ravager Main Battle Tank is the direct successor to the ancient, and quite frankly pathetic compared to even the armored fighting vehicles of the 21st Century’s military forces, Scorpion. Using designs once considered too expensive and older, yet still powerful models such as the Abrams MBT, the Ravager is a far departure from the cramped, slow, and lightly armed MBT-808B Scorpion.

The Scorpion utilized a comparatively light 90mm High Velocity Cannon, that while utilizing a high rate of fire and advanced ballistic material, was slow moving and lacked the pure penetration ability of the HEAT or APFSDS Rounds. The Ravager, designed from the beginning to dominate any and all Covenant land vehicles and to one-shot a Phantom Drop Ship, is armed with a 150mm M92 Principle Gauss Cannon that fires either a S1 Anti-Infantry Grape Shot payload, a HEAT round for work against heavily fortified targets and Wraith, or the Titanium-Tungsten-Depleted Uranium Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Saboted round for work against Scarab Assault Platforms and air vehicles. All rounds are accelerated to Mach 40 before impact, using kinetic, thermodynamic and explosive force to damage or destroy targets.

The Scorpion utilized a small M247T Pintle-mounted Medium Machine Gun firing 7.62x51mm High Grain Full Metal Jacket Armor-Piercing Rounds, it was inaccurate and only a brave gunner would want to operate one because of the need for a manned operation and no armor for the operator. The Ravager does away with this and replaces the M247T for a Short barreled variant of the M41 Light Anti-Aircraft Gun firing 12.7x99mm Armor Piercing High Explosive Rounds. With the main body of the Ravager resembling the ancient American M1A1 Abrams tank, the M41SB is controlled by a remote weapons station in the same position as the old anti-infantry turret on the 21st century tank. Its secondary anti-infantry armament consists of a main turret mounted 102mm Shaped Charge High Explosive Rocket Launchers controlled by a secondary Remote Weapons station.

The Ravager utilizes a heavy belt of armor, a quarter of a meter of vanadium-titanium armor along with an ablative coating. The Ravager, since its introduction in 2541, is nearly four times as durable as the Scorpion or the Grizzly MBT.

The Scorpion, capable of only achieving 5kph, is often laughed at by the Ravager crews that regularly travel at 65kph off road and 70kph on road. Its often joked that the Ravager could out run a Banshee Atmo-Fighter, if it couldn’t shoot it down.

Current ordinance delivery doctrine dictates overloading the enemy’s point defense system to ensure that at least some of it makes impact. Obviously, this can rarely be accomplished with nuclear ordinance considering both their size, detectability, and cost. Therefore, the Harpoon counters Covenant defense via stealth. Every Harpoon is equipped with a Mk 11 EWS. To counter emissions, the Harpoon is not initially propelled by rocket engines, but shot out of a ship’s MAC at high speed. Chemical rockets then fire intermittently and flash cooled via liquid sodium evaporation to hide it from thermal scanners and to change its course and velocity. Detection is not possible with known covenant nor UNSC sensor suites until 30 km out, giving an average of a mere two seconds to counter.

(TBC)

UNSC M-81 Cougar Infantry Fighting Vehicle

While the Warthog, the M12 LRV, is more than aqueduct for minor support roles and fast raids, it lacks the heavy armor or weaponry to be a full IFV. The Cougar was launched in 2545 to alleviate this problem, heavily protected by sixty centimeters of ablative plating and armed with two M41 Vulcan LAAGs, a MG-45 Automatic Grenade Launcher, and a M247T Medium Machine Gun on a remote weapons station, the M-81 is capable of going against numerous Reverent Assault Vehicles and Banshee Atmo-fighters with little difficulty and terminate Hunters with only minor damage.

UNSC TAV-551 Fox Self Propelled Heavy Artillery

During the years before the Victory at Psi Serpentis, the UNSC was not supplied with proper artillery, relying on Frigates for support against Scarabs, heavy entrenchments, or landed enemy warships. The Fox Self Propelled Heavy Artillery Cannon was designed to alleviate this problem.

Lightly armored, the Fox is not designed for direct confrontation, but for lobbing 440mm Guided Nuclear Shells nearly 2800 kilometers away to enemy positions. It’s only anti-infantry defense is a single M41 LAAG and relies on Ravager and Cougar vehicles for defense.

Its primary armament, is quite frankly, overkill- a 440mm Guided 2 Kiloton Nuclear shell that can obliterate enemy encampments and can be turned towards the sky to provide limited surface-to-orbit support or to target Covenant vessels that are about to land.

ON TO THE STORY

Halo: Striding Stars

-Disclaimer-

I don’t own Halo nor Stargate SG-1. They are the sole property of their owners and I make no claim to them. Halo is the property of 343 Studios and Microsoft Game Studios and Stargate SG-1 is the property of MGM Entertainment and whoever else holds license to it.

Much thanks to Havoc-Legionnaire for his assistance in the technical field. I highly suggest you read his literary works on

Halo: Striding Stars

A Halo AU-Stargate Crossover

Setting: AU Halo 2551, Early Season Two for Stargate SG-1

Rating: PG-13

Summary: The Covenant War ravages a galaxy, billions have died all from the eon old whim of the Timeless One. His kind, banished by the great Forerunners, fled to a new dimension. For a UNSC Cruiser, fleeing a dying world, this new realm could spell salvation for mankind or damnation of the galaxy.

Chapter One: Lost in the Void

“I am a timeless curse upon the stars human…I have covered this mere existence in a sheet of blood and my people, your masters, caused the great awakening of the Final Strike, a great, sickly monster made of flesh and bone and metal, created from the billions of souls that I have snuffed out of existence for disobeying me. Even now, I have called upon my immortal, sleeping children in ships of our crafting to descend upon this pathetic stellar body to absorb all within. You will be one with my children, your children will be mine, and you will loose all control, a mere pawn to my plan and final endgame to my damnations. Trillions will be snuffed from existence…because I said it was so…” The Timeless One, Unknown Date

April 16th, 2551

UNSC Mercury

Fires raging, worlds burning, souls being smothered into nonexistence by an indomitable foe that stretched across the entire galaxy. Once blue rivers now ran crimson with the sickly sight of billions of gallons of blood, spilled in the war that encompassed the galaxy. There would be more, more death, additional worlds burned into but a mere crisp.

Perhaps, no, when the Covenant found Earth, humanity -every man, woman and child would be wiped out in a flurry of plasma bombardment, the few broken structures remaining behind, a relic to mankind’s valiant resistance in face of a perilous and foreboding death.

New Berlin was the overshadow to man’s impending doom. Nearly a hundred vessels, three million soldiers and two billion colonists stood in the face of the void, staring down the widening maw of death -prepared with every fiber of their limited existence to give mankind a few more precious months to prepare for the eventual glassing of Holy Earth.

The Mercury had barely escaped the battle that ensued over that unlucky, doomed celestial body. Her hull was marred from plasma and laser bursts, her hull compromised in several sections. Yet, much like the makers of the vessel, was still able to fly, fight and flee.

UNSC AI-GY-83717, known as ‘Gabby’ to the crew of the Mercury, thought of these events with a detached pain. She was not human, the closest thing to humanity she had was her formation using a cloned brain of Doctor Catherine Halsey. Gabby did not take the blood shed of this twenty-seven year lightly however, every death made her masters, her brothers in arms, fight a little bit faster and with more animalistic rage.

Her masters, her creators, would make the Covenant pay for every lost soul, every burned world even if it required mutually assured destruction. It was a likely probability, every simulation she ran came to the same conclusion-either man died or they took the Covenant with them to the gaping maw of eternity. She hoped for neither, death of mankind would mean the death of ‘her’, the death of every known sentient species in the galaxy. The great Milky Way would be desolate like it was so many years ago before the eve of her maker’s acceleration to the stars.

A flurry of activity brought her to awareness of the activity on the Bridge, Captain Marcus Johansen had arrived on the bridge. He was middle-height with short black hair and light brown eyes. He had broad, sloped shoulders that carried the ODST chest armor with out difficulty. His grey uniform was ruffled and he seemed to be exhausted. His holster was partially loose and he was waking with a slight limp from the blast that took out the Mercury’s secondary engine core.

A close friend to Captain Keyes, Captain Marcus Theodore Johansen has led a distinguished naval career aboard a variety of vessels such as the UNSC Everest under Fleet Admiral Preston Jeremiah Cole in his deadly campaign against the Covenant from 2525 to 2543 when the Everest and Cole were lost detonating the star of Psi Serpentis and taking out nearly five-hundred Covenant vessels. Marcus Johansen was then shuffled through various commands of Frigates, Destroyers, before being finally assigned in 2551 to the UNSC Mercury, a powerful refitted Marathon-class Cruiser. Even without the upgrades, he took out six superior Covenant battlecruisers single handily and damaged an Assault Carrier enough for a pack of Paris-class Heavy Frigates to destroy it.

He was haunted however by the death of his family and the twelve million others on his home world of Harvest. He would often risk his very life to take down a target and is widely regarded as the ‘second craziest commander in the UNSC’ by his crew members and the Fleet Admiralty Board. He is not suicidal however, and always picks the most logical and tactically suitable plan. He was ruthless.

Gabby respected this mere organic.

The Bridge of the Mercury was large, roughly egg shaped with the commander’s chair stationed on a raised platform in the middle. The helm, sensor and weaponry stations sat in front of him and overhead dominated a large view screen. Against the walls were numerous other stations ranging from fire control to engineering consulting. The door to the bridge was at the very end, guarded by two ODSTs in full battle armor and cradling BR55HB SR Battle Rifles, with shotguns and pistols accompanying their payload.

Every crewmember on the Bridge was armed with a M6D Pistol and two weapons lockers full of shotguns and ammunition decorated the walls. Many crew members, specifically those at the operations stations were known to have additional pistols hidden in their posts along with eleven inch serrated combat knives. Against standard regulation, but many captains, Marcus included, let this little fact slide.

Captain Marcus Johansen sat down in the ergonomic chair and let out a heavy sigh, watching as the swirl of Slipspace dominated the expansive windows of the Bridge. It still smelled like antiseptic and cleaning fluids much to his disdain, the staff had tried to get the blood out but it was still their with a large splatter dominating the wall near the entrance along with behind his chair.

It wasn’t pretty.

Slowly, he grabbed the data tablet from it’s charging station on the armrest and opened opened a report.

UNSC MERCURY (C-381)

Marathon-class

INTERIOR MEMO

SUBJECT: STOCKS

TO: CAPT 832

FROM: UNSC AI-GY-83717

Current Ammunition Stocks:

500mm Coil gun Ammunition: 80%-LOW PRIORITY

50mm Railgun CIWS Ammunition: 60%-MID PRIORITY

Main AHR Cannons: 71%-HIGH PRIORITY

-600 Ton slugs: 40%

-Light Standoff Slugs: 31%

M-58 Archer Guided Missiles: 40%-HIGH PRIORITY

-1.5 Kiloton warhead (heavy)-30%

-500kg warhead (standard)-5%

-Javelin-5%

-Longbow FULL

Harpoon Shaped Nuclear Missile-60%-HIGH PRIORITY

Ammunition for embarked complement stands at ninety percent, all manufacturing capabilities are being geared, at the moment, to reproduce M-58 Archer Missiles. Current estimates is seven point three days until fifty percent stocks are attained. Secondary ammunition manufacturing capabilities have been geared towards production of Coil Gun ammunition and AHR rounds.

:END OF REPORT:

Captain Johansen put his head back and closed his eyes. The small holographic-tank that stood at the side of his command station activated with a flurry of activity, a purple-blue woman dressed in a sun dress and hat with curly locks of light brown hair draping down to her shoulders appeared.

“Captain? My internal operations scanners detected a sudden jump in blood pressure. Do you require medical assistance?” Gabby inquired moving towards the edge of her dais.

Marcus shook his head and looked back ahead, “No Gabby, I don’t. I just wish that we don’t have to rely on our automated close in weapons to act as point-defense, I’d rather have experienced pilots out their patrolling while we are in space, sometimes scanners and sensors can be fooled.”

Gabby turned her head, “Captain the likely hood of us encountering a hostile presence in Slipstream space is impossible at best. Your worry is not required, in the event of an attack, myself and the Mercury’s gunnery crew are more than able to adequately defend this vessel. I do not make mistakes.” She paused, "And my records indicate that all Longswords are operating at a minimum of 80% efficiency.

“I hope you are correct in that assumption Gabby.” Marcus chuckled, “I really hope you are.”

“Captain we are preparing to drop out of Slipspace, initial probe scans are clear of any anomalies or vessels within the star system.” Ensign Sean Johnson reported.

“Very well, helm, begin a gradual slowing, prepare fusion drives for full power acceleration.” Marcus ordered.

“Aye sir, bring Slipspace drive power levels down. Activating fusion drives.” Ensign Andrea Gonzalez responded. One of his station’s screens switched to power levels, “Coming out of Slipspace in five…four…three…two…one.” The view from the bridge flashed white and was replaced with inky blackness and a spinning world. A yellow sun broke along it’s edges, casting it in brilliant light. “Activating fusion drives!”

The Mercury’s aft engines, six in total flared and maneuvered the ship upwards. “Unknown contact detected! Bearing sixteen by two-two-three!” Ensign Johnson reported, “Power levels low, weaponry consists of mass accelerators, lasers and armor consists of low-density ablative material.”

Gabby rose an eyebrow, “Threat analysis, high.” Her holographic form shimmered, “Detecting activation of weapons. Polarizing armor.”

Marcus sat forward, “Lieutenant Peterson, bring all main guns online, standard heavy slugs, Archer pods A through D are to be loaded with heavy payloads. Activate Coil Guns, prep all CIWS.”

“Aye sir!”

“Bring us about, match course and speed. Prepare for firing!” Marcus ordered.

“Sir, unknown vessel is opening a communication channel!”

Marcus stood up, “On screen!” He looked back quickly, “Gabby, start scanning the entire Solar System, this is supposed to be Beta Centuari! Yet I see no ODPs, no Battle Platforms and no 51st Fleet!”

The main view screen snapped from the sensor readouts to the scowling face of a flamboyantly dressed man with slicked back hair, a scar running across his cheek, and sitting on what appeared to be a stone throne. Pedestals with bowls of fire illuminated the bridge and armored soldiers adorned with tattoos on their foreheads operated consoles within. The man stood fully and his eyes flashed a brilliant gold, his voice was deep and almost seemed synthesized, “I am the great god Ares, your life is at my mercy, you will bow before your god or you will be destroyed insolent human slave.”

Marcus frowned, “My apologies, we did not intend to trespass in your space, we were expecting to be in a UNSC claimed system…”

Ares roared in laughter, “Your words mean nothing to me slave! You will surrender now!” He waved his hand.

Gabby’s eyes widened, “Incoming weapons fire, taking evasive maneuvers.”

“Weapons prep’d.” Lt. Peterson reported again. “Permission to fire?”

The golden bolts of plasma energy struck the sides of the Mercury, hitting the seven some meters of armor. The bolts were weaker than standard Covenant Plasma Torpedoes and the massive Cruiser shrugged them off with minimal effort. The Advanced Reactive Ceramic, ARC, armor boiled away and refracted away some of the weapon impacts with the Titanium simply resisting.

“Return fire!” Marcus barked out, “Gabby, begin ECW and try to hack into their systems.”

Lt. Peterson nodded, relaying orders to the gunnery crews. The first to fire were the Longbow and Archer missiles, streaking forward and smashing into the shields of the unknown pyramid-shaped vessel, exploding in flashes of nuclear light. The unknown vessel continued on it’s course, firing at the dodging Mercury. The vessel’s golden weapons fire became faster and the strikes on the UNSC cruiser’s hull began to increase.

“Main guns need to be aligned before we can send them to hell sir.” Lieutenant Peterson reported.

“I know that Lieutenant, thank you.” Marcus responded coldly, “Helm, keep performing evasive maneuvers. Gabby, status?”

The AI turned, “I have been unable to hack into their systems, they use a different type of networking I am not familiar with and the coding is quite difficult as it is in ancient egyptian of all things. I am recording a log of this attempt so that I may investigate this further later on. ECW is at full efficiency and the weapons impacts are causing only moderate damage.”

Marcus nodded, it was good that these weapons were less potent that Covenant Plasma Torpedoes otherwise they would have been free floating particles. “Helm, sling shot us around the main planet, Peterson, fire on my command.” He ordered, bringing up a tactical hologram of the surrounding space. A hashed line signified the course his cruiser would be following, the enemy vessel was represented as a crimson dot a few thousand kilometers away. With a flare of engines the massive UNSC cruiser accelerated around the planet in less than a minute, emerging from the other side with the much slower enemy vessel directly down the sights of the AHR main guns.

“Main guns loaded, APHP slugs sir.” Peterson reported.

“Fire!” Marcus ordered.

“Aye sir firing AHR heavy 1, firing AHR heavy 2, firing AHR light 1.”

The Mercury, as it raced forward into the maw of the enemy vessel, fired it’s three main guns; 300 ton Armor Piercing Hollow Point slugs, wrapped in a nickle-steel jacket with a dense core of depleted uranium and a self-sharpening Tungsten Kinetic Penetrator, lanced out at insane velocities, mushrooming against the shields of the enemy vessels. The first two rounds was effortlessly deflected, they were from the lighter main gun while the six more powerful ones, crushed the shields and tore into the hull, mushrooming upon impact and the 150-ton tungsten kinetic penetrator coring through the weak hull. The vessel drifted lifelessly, it’s running lights blinking weakly in the backdrop of space. Chunks of its strange golden hull floated in space and the Mercury raced pass it.

“Commander, I am still detecting several remaining weapons mounts on the enemy warship. They are still active and appear to be powering up again.” Gabby reported, her voice tinted with boredom. The enemy warship was equivalent to a Covenant Battlecruiser in fire power when the weapons systems were fully firing, however, their shielding and tactics were low-rate, consisting of sitting near-still and firing unguided projectile plasma towards the Mercury and utilizing a Destroyer-level shielding core.

“Are they a threat still?” Marcus asked.

Gabby nodded, “I believe so, I suggest eliminating them.”

Captain Johansen nodded, “Agreed, Helm, bring us into a pass with the enemy vessel. Lieutenant Peterson, load port Coil Guns with M881 Light Standoff Slugs. Fire when ready.”

The Mercury glided through space, passing within a thousand kilometers of Ares’ warship. Multiple dual barreled turrets on the UNSC Cruiser rose from their housing structures and swiveled into position, firing and sending 100kg self-sharpening Tungsten slugs down range and slamming into the hull of the pyramid-shaped vessel. Explosions illuminated space as the remaining weapons were terminated, simply crushed or incinerated by either the kinetic or thermodynamic energy released.

“Enemy warship disabled. I am reading multiple hull breaches on their superstructure and life signatures are fading rapidly in the lower levels of the vessel.” Gabby flushed red for a moment, “I am detecting a build up in their drive core. They may be preparing to overload it in an attempt to destroy us.”

Marcus nodded, “Prepare a Harpoon, load in AHR turret and target energy signature. Fire on my order.”

Lt. Peterson nodded, “Aye sir. Torpedo loaded. Light AHR turret ready.”

“Captain, I am detecting a subspace rift, much like a Slipspace portal I might add, forming off the port bow of the enemy vessel. Their remaining engines are accelerating the ship towards said anomaly, it appears unstable however. Warning, enemy vessel has launched fighters and bombers.” Gabby said, “Activating CIWS.”

Marcus frowned, “CAG, launch Fighters…” His eyes widened as the the pyramid-shaped vessel accelerated away into the subspace anomaly, a cloud of purple and dark blue before it dissipated, leaving behind several dozen fighters and ten larger ships that were obviously bombers.

“Aye sir, launching fighters.”

The Mercury’s CIWS activated, spewing forth thousands of High Explosive 50mm rounds at insane velocities, the deadly counter fire simply crushed the weak hulls of Ares’ fighters, debris and remains of the fleshy pilots being spread across space. The twenty four of the Mercury’s Longsword contingent launched, 110mm and 120mm Rotary Cannons, ASGM-10 missiles and M9109 ASW/AC 50mm Magnetic Linear Acceleration cannons lashed out at the swarm of fragile fighters and cut them down with a vengeance. The Al’kesh bombers released their payload, the heavy phased plasma bombs racing towards the Mercury’s surface before they were nullified by the Electrostatic diffusers. The bombers were quickly dispatched, one however, wounded and piloted by a zealot engaged its few remaining engines and smashed into the Mercury.

Alarms sounded across the bridge, displays turned red with warning symbols and Gabby dropped to her knees, “Damage to port side armor belt, hull breach in sections eight and nine of deck thirteen. Thirteen crewmember life signals have been lost, Longsword C709 Alpha Sixteen reports venting. Sealing bulkheads, diverting Damage control teams to deck thirteen. Medical bay reports ready…” Gabby gasped, the hits to the ship were like hits to her, in ways she was the ship.

“Space clear of enemy presence Captain.” Ensign Sean Johnson reported quietly. The alarms and warnings faded away and the CAG recalled the Longsword complement.

Marcus sat and looked down momentarily, “Bring us into a stable orbit. Gabby, start plotting a Slipspace jump to Earth, I want us…”

“Alert, detecting heavy radio chatter on the planet’s surface.” Gabby reported.

“From who?”

To Be Continued…

There was the first chapter and the technology guide, here’s the other finished chapters thus far.

Halo: Striding Stars Chapter Two
Halo Striding Stars Chapter Three
Halo Striding Stars Chapter Four
Halo Striding Stars Chapter Five
Halo Striding Stars Chapter Six

This is great (so far, anyway!). There’s a bit to read, and I’m only through the first few posts. Pretty sad that there’s no one commenting, but I’m reading, if that makes anything better!

wow… just just …wow:P