• Published 15th Oct 2011
  • 6,312 Views, 90 Comments

Halo: Fall of Equestria - Big-Mac-115

The final frontier of the Human-Covenant war brings chaos where no man, or pony, thought it could go

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Staff Sgt. William H. McLendon

March 19th, 2756
1307 hours
Outer reaches of the Prometheus-Five system, aboard UNSC Halcyon-Class cruiser "Hellhound", en route to "New Arcadia".

>>//Journal entry #1//<<

Well, since we're going to be arriving at our destination later today, I figured I might as well jot down my first journal entry. I am Staff Sargent William Howard McLendon, ten-year veteran of the United Nations Space Command Marine Core and squad commander of the 407th Orbital Drop Shock Trooper (ODST) scout division..... Not much of an intro, but you get the idea (I've never been good at intros). Anyway, according to the ship's captain, Rear Admiral Mikel A. Barrat, we're gonna be dropping out of slipspace sometime within the next couple hours. And God, am I glad to hear it. We've been stuck aboard this hulk of metal that the Core calls Hellhound for almost four weeks straight in slipspace, nothing to see, nothing to do, so you can imagine me and the rest of the crew's reaction to the news that we'll be able to actually see something other than the pitch-blackness of slipstream space. 'Course, regular space isn't much better, but it sure as hell beats the nothingness of.... Well, NOTHING.

If all goes well, we're supposed to be dropping out within a few-hundred thousand kilometers of this new planet that the UNSC calls New Arcadia. ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) tells us we're just gonna be doing some research and reconnaissance of the place, seeing if it's inhabitable for life and able to sustain future colonies, samples of the soil, see what kind of life that may or may not live there, the general stuff like that. I call bullshit on that. They said that the details of the mission are classified, and when the spooks say "classified", everyone knows they mean "you're going to be hot-dropped into a battle zone with limited ammunition and reinforcements, because we're too much of a buncha pricks to give you the proper weaponry and equipment you need, in fear that we might ruin the surprise". I swear, they do this just to screw with us. Obviously that's not true - they're ridiculous, but they're not stupid enough to send a fleet of ships far outside the reaches of UNSC space just for a damn good laugh - but I can't help getting that feeling sometimes. I'm sure there's SOME sort of threat to take care of, probably just a group of Insurrectionists that tried to find a new place to live, and they want us to kill them. Typical. Whatever though, I don't mind that kind of work, so why am I complaining? 'Sides, hunting down the Innie bastards is better than just coming here for research or whatever it was that we're supposed to be doing.

As long as it's taken this tin can to travel to the planet, I must say she's a beauty. Although not quite as new as some of the other ships in the UNSC's Navy - but what'd you expect, they ain't gonna give some ragged scout fleet a set of brand spanking new Halcyon-Class VII cruisers - she's DEFINITELY got what it takes to handle herself, not only in a gunfight, but we've got enough new technology on here to do just about anything this job might require. It's one of the few upsides of the whole human-Covenant war of the late 2500s: apparently, based on research I've done and things I've learned, our technology then was even SHITTIER than it is now, and I figured that a hard thing to imagine. So, after we defeated the Covies, we salvaged technology from their ships, weapons, armor, ect. and adapted it to our own liking (I should say 'they', rather, because I sure as heck wasn't there). But anyway, thanks to their brilliant minds, they actually managed to not just replicate, but IMPROVE the Covie tech, upgrading it from "Wow, this is some pretty neat stuff here" to "Holy shit! I wouldn't want to fight that!". So, of course, yours truly is once again the strongest force in the galaxy. I say that with pride, because I'm sure there's a ton of other races out there in the universe that are fighting just for survival, and how many of them can say they're the best? Not many.

Well, while I'm ranting about our ship's tech and how it came to be, I should probably mention the rest of the fleet. We're traveling in a five-ship fleet composed entirely of Halcyon-Class IV light cruisers, a bit overkill if you ask me, even if we are dealing with the Innies (funny how they overstock us on ships and equipment, but understock us on weapons, huh? You'd think there'd be some middle ground, but no). It sure as hell is an excessive amount of firepower for a "scouting" mission, but, you know the Core: deploy a full convoy of M-1200 Main Battle Tanks to swat a fly. Anywho, we're actually making record time, once again thanks to our alien menace friends. A shipboard AI back during the war - her name was Cortana, I think? - managed to hack into some of the Covies' ships, accessing their schematics, memory base, encryption codes, and intell on weapons tech. But the most important thing she discovered was the programming of the ship's slipspace drives, FAR advanced compared to our Shaw-Flamboyant (can't remember the name) slipspace drives. The Covies had long been able to outrun and out maneuver our ships, both in and out of slipspace, but that discovery changed it for the most part. After the discovery, the mechanics and builders of the Shaw-Flaubert engines called themselves stupid and narrow-minded for never thinking of it like that before; apparently, the Covenant drives were not even that much harder to construct than our own, even though they were immensely more powerful and capable. I ain't no engineer, so I can't tell you jack about the details of the whole thing, but I can tell you that whatever the Covies did differently, it sure as hell worked for them (well, more or less... They did get it handed to them in the end). Funny thing is, we would have won that war even if we never got our hands on those schematics. It actually wasn't until about fifty years ago that the technology was successfully duplicated and improved upon to the liking of ONI, so the fact that this ship even HAS one of the new drives in place of a Shaw-Flumblebirth is beyond me.

Well..... Actually, it's not that outlandish now that I think of it. We ARE exploring a distant planet in another system after all, and it would have taken several months to travel to this new planet with one of the old slipspace drives, so I guess it makes sense. The faster the trip is, the less they have to pay us, so I guess the price for getting new engines outweighed the price for a bigger payday for us..... I'm going to have to say ONI can shove it up their asses. (I hope one of them finds this and reads it) Anywho, not only did Cortana manage to get the slipspace schematics, but she also got a look at the Covie weaponry, which we haven't quite mastered to the Covenant's full capability yet, but we're working on it. The ships in this fleet actually have small prototype plasma lasers that aren't quite as powerful as our standard MAC rounds, but they have a damn good effective range. Almost twice that of our MAC guns, in fact. Another thing that ONI says that they're going to be working on - and I don't think I hold them to this; they hardly live up to any promises they make - is the development of heavy shields, similar to the ones that the Covies used to have on their craft. Not that they're all that necessary anymore, the only threat we really have at this point is a handful of scattered Innie colonies, but it's a nice bit of reassurance the next time you may find yourself in an asteroid field for God-knows-whatever reason. The UNSC has done a pretty good job on duplicating the shields on a small scale (our ODST power armor has been outfitted with light shields, similar to those of the legendary SPARTANS), but I guess they just haven't managed to recreated them powerful enough to cover an entire battle cruiser. Which I can't really blame them, these ships are over a mile long. I can hardly imagine the energy and amount of time it would take to design one of those shields to fully cover one of these behemoths.

Hell, while I'm on the topic, I might as well mention our armor. Seventh-Gen ODST Mk XIII Semi-Powered Infiltration armor. BEAUTIFUL stuff (although the designers apparently never thought we'd have to sit down..... Ouch). Full-body light energy shielding, capable of sustaining several hits in succession before collapsing entirely. Derived from the original SPARTAN II Mk V MJOLNIR power armor, it's not QUITE as tough as that, but hey, you can't just go around mass-producing shield technology that costed a hundred and seventeen million dollars a suit (at least, that's what it was back then). Each one of our suits costs around three million, still not cheap, but with a pocketbook as big as ONI's, who cares? And besides, it's less danger we're put in on the battlefield, so it's a win-win (unless you're an enemy of the UNSC, then you can kiss your ass goodbye). Also a reinvention of the SPARTAN armor, the ODST Mk XIII helmet is outfitted with a new-and-improved Heads Up Display (HUD), which now has some neat little features such as tactical maps; thermal, electrical and night-vision modes; improved eye-to-weapon links, increasing the preciseness of the HUD, to allow for greater accuracy; a full-radius activity sensors, capable of picking up not only motion, but thermal and electrical energy as well ; and last but not least (and this feature is reserved mostly for snipers and marksmen), an auto-targeting and leading system for targets at extreme range. From what I understand, the optics in the helmet basically track your enemy's movements if they're running, calculates the range and travel time of the bullet, and tells you where you need to aim in order to make the perfect shot. Pretty cool, but not quite as cool as the features we close-quarters guys get: In our armor itself, we actually get a nifty little overdrive feature that allows us to use the armor's reserve energy in our shields, giving us an exponential increase in damage resistance for a limited time. How long that time is, I have no idea; we've never had a chance to test it first-hand yet (and I don't think I look forward to being in a situation where I might need to use it). But still, a nice feeling of security it brings. Downside is, you can only use it every once in awhile, and after you use it, your shields are completely drained until the system can recharge. The techs said that the recharge time could last anywhere from three to five days, so you better be sure you have a damn good reason to use it. On another note, something that both designated marksman, and regular CQC troopers like me have in common is our armor's onboard computer system that interfaces with our neural implants, making our reflexes faster, our coordination better, and most impressively, we can control and interact with parts of the armor just by thinking of it. Say, for instance, you wanted to open a secure COM link with just one or two members of your squad. You just look at them and think about it, and the COM channel opens, and you can talk to them via secure radio frequency. Or, say you want to mark out a target or designate a location for the rest of the team to see, you simply concentrate on the location on either a map or visual sighting of where you want said marker, and it places a beacon. Pretty neat shit, right? Well that's nothing compared to this: our armor's inner skeletal structure is composed of the same reactive metal crystal as the Mk VI MJOLNIR. Amorphous micro-capillaries of the stuff run throughout the suit, scaling and amplifying force. So basically, it doubles the wearer's strength and potential movement speed. Coolest thing in the galaxy if you ask me, and of course, it came from the SPARTAN project. You know, I really have no idea why the other ODSTs hate the Spartans so much. I mean, for one they don't even exist anymore, and realistically if it we're for Halsey and her Spartans, we wouldn't have most of this technology to begin with, not to mention we would have lost the war!

Damn, captain just announced we're exiting slipspace in thirty. I was just about to talk about our weapons, too. Oh well, gotta get moving to the hangar.

Staff Sgt. McLendon, out..... Time to see what this new planet has in store for us.