The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-03 06:10pm

Assuming a proton-proton chain reaction(644.93 TJ/kg energy released), I come up with a yield of a hair over 77GT yield per bolt.

Please, check my math.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-03 06:21pm

Well like I said the reaction is very inefficient and not self-sustaining - so while 77GT might be the theoretical max yield for fusing 500 tonnes of plasma, you won't get anywhere near that. I'm mentally sticking them at 40 megaton yields, about equivalent to Shiva warheads. Plus of course the kinetic energy of the impact - that's still intended as the main cause of damage (that and the 500 tonnes of plasma that is suddenly burning away your hull armour, hull, corridors, weapon systems and crew) - the small amount of plasma fusion is just a bonus.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-03 06:24pm

That works. I figured you didn't want the new MACs to be too wanktastically powerful, merely potent enough to give the Covies(and any future enemies) pause.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-03 06:43pm

Pretty much. The effectiveness comes more from the rapid/burst fire ability, which we saw was canonically very effective - Cortana manages 4 kills on Covvie CCS battlecruiser (out of twelve in total) with just one ship - after surviving the Fall of Reach and taking damage no less.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by fnord » 2018-06-03 09:32pm

And, frinstance, HMS Dreadnought won't raise a single eyebrow on the UNSC side of things?
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by B5B7 » 2018-06-04 12:08am

There seems to be a bit missing where Cole learned of the new ships that are coming from the Dying Light station.
Otherwise a quite exciting update.
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-04 12:27am

Dying Light kept the Tau'ri and the Kobolians informed of Cole's movements. It logically follows Dying Light was doing the same on the combined Terran/Tau'ri forces for his Reclaimer.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-04 05:43am

B5B7 wrote:
2018-06-04 12:08am
There seems to be a bit missing where Cole learned of the new ships that are coming from the Dying Light station.
Otherwise a quite exciting update.
There is a brief mention of Cole checking a message that says Dying Light is coming in with reinforcements. Cole doesn't now exactly who they are but he knows where they've come from. That's a discussion for the next chapter.

Ford, yes the British ships will raise some eyebrows, they get mentioned here as the ship that's the same size as Cole's cruiser
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by fnord » 2018-06-04 05:59am

Then, of course, there's the bloke whose flag they're fighting under. Probably will be more WTF than the Tau'ri Poms.
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-04 06:35am

It should be a lot of fun :)
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-04 07:26am

Though, at this point, the UNSC can't afford to really care who their allies are, as long as they stand between them and the Covies.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-04 07:35am

Very true...though desperate people do dumb things

EDIT: Amusingly, I've just noted that my sig quote about the Corran Entry is starting to fit Jellicoe very well.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-04 08:15am

It does, and
The Doctor wrote:When frightened, humans will do anything.
In other words, point taken.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-05 04:43pm

More fun times! A lot of talking here sadly, but it was necessary:

Riding to the Rescue
UNSC
Everest, in orbit of Sigma Octanus IV
July 17th, 2552 (Military Calendar)


As soon as the channel to Commander Keyes was ended, Cole asked Hilary to open a channel to Dying Light. The requisite hologram appeared and Cole paused for a second. Despite the complete lack of anthropomorphic features on the Monitor, he could almost swear it looked smug.

“Dying Light, I’m glad to see you brought reinforcements but how has it taken this long? And who are they?”

”My apologies Reclaimer, there was a temporal error with the return slipspace portal. By the internal chronometers on the Keyship I have been gone for approximately eighteen of your hours. I was unable to make contact with either the Lanteans or the Asgard, neither race is extant at present. However, these ships represent both the Heirs to the Lanteans as well as the Fifth Race, humans of the Tau’ri from Earth.”

Cole was moderately shocked at that. “There’s an Earth in that other universe too? And they’re a spacefaring civilisation? Incredible.”

”That is not all Reclaimer. The Heirs to the Lanteans are also humans, from a world called Terra. They represent the United Colonies of Kobol. I have noticed a great many similarities between your Earth and the other Earth, enough to suggest some common link or history, or perhaps that some unknown agency has kept the two civilisations roughly parallel. It is a fascinating concept..”

Cole decided to cut in before the Monitor could ramble any further. “Yes, fascinating I’m sure. Did your counterpart on the Ark carry out my instructions?”

”Indeed Reclaimer. The Halo Array is now in a shutdown mode and can only be reactivated from the Control Room on the Ark. Any Installation attempting a local pulse will require authorisation from Installation 00 and ultimately from yourself. All Installations with Flood Research Facilities confirm that containment is secure. All Installations have activated external defences and will open fire on any approaching vessel unless ordered to stand down by you.”

Cole breathed a sigh of relief at that. The idea that anyone could stumble across one of those Halo rings and trigger off a galactic-scale extermination of all animal life was worse than anything he could think of. The idea of the Covenant finding a Halo Ring was, somehow, even worse. Each of the Rings contained enough surface-to-space weapons to drive off the entire UNSC fleet which should be enough to prevent the Covenant doing any damage.

“Very well. I guess it’s time to introduce me to our new allies. Open communications please.”

”Of course Reclaimer.”

Warstar Nemesis Fleet Ops Centre

Jellicoe stood alone at the central display. Since only a relatively small part of the Combined Fleet had come on this recon mission, John had left Wayne Davies in command back at Terra, overseeing the assembly of First and Third Fleets in case more force was needed while he led the Command Group and the Tau’ri force to this new reality. That was the official story anyway, what had allowed him to launch this mission at such short notice. John already knew that more forces would be needed, especially after examining scans of the damaged local ship and how primitive it was in comparison to the Covenant vessels. They would need considerable help upgrading their putative new allies and for that they would need the really big tools.

The Admiral was already composing his first dispatch back to Terra (via the Ark, the Beacon and the Panopticon Network) and his “wish list” of equipment, ships and supplies, a list which was growing almost by the second after he had seen how close yet another world had come. If not for the almost insane courage of that small human vessel these alien bastards would have had free reign over the planet and the millions of civilians below.

His mental calculation was running alongside his simmering rage at the new alien menace, both of which were put aside when a signal came in from the Keyship, informing him that Admiral Cole wished to speak to him. He nodded his agreement to his comms officer and before long a hologram of this other human Admiral appeared before him. John decided the best way to handle this was respectful formality, so he snapped to attention and saluted.

He opened his mouth to introduce himself but stopped before any words came out when a discreet cough came from beside him. He glanced at Captain Mace who mouthed “Knight” at him and John sighed but relented. He was doing this by the book after all. “Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Colonial Fleet, Commander of the Alliance Recon Force, at your service Sir.”

The hologram showed Cole with a wry half-smile as he returned the salute.

”Admiral Preston Cole, United Nations Space Command. Damn glad to see you here. Walk me through what you’ve brought with you, we can skip the history lesson for now.” The man was direct, blunt, but Jellicoe could see the same haunted look in the man’s eye’s that he saw in the mirror every morning. This man knew what it was like to watch worlds burn.

“Sir, I have with me the Command Group of our Combined Fleet, led by the Warstar Nemesis, along with four cruisers and eight destroyers. We also have the Tau’ri Battlegroup, led by HMS Dreadnought and escorted by four battlecruisers. All ships fully manned and armed, ready for action.”

”HMS Dreadnought? Dying Light wasn’t kidding when they said our worlds have parallel histories. Anyway, Commander Keyes on the UNSC Iroquois, the damaged ship, informs me that reinforcements are on the way from Reach, should be here in about ninety minutes…which is good because Hilary has also just informed me that at least twenty more Covenant vessels are approaching in slipspace and will be here in about six hours. Looks like we’ll have quite a fight on our hands.”

Jellicoe absorbed that news carefully. On the one hand, they could get a chance to see how effective their weapons were against the Covenant and they would be able to make direct contact with the UNSC senior commanders more quickly. On the other hand, he had to plan a battle against an unknown number of ships, with an unknown effectiveness, while trying to protect a planet and a host of weaker, unshielded vessels.

“Indeed Admiral. We had hoped to make contact with you as soon as possible and through you, the rest of the UNSC, this is just sooner than expected.”

Cole smirked again. ”Contacting High Command could be interesting, they think I’ve been dead for the last decade.”

Jellicoe coughed to hide his surprise at that titbit of information. He hadn’t been aware of it but truthfully it didn’t make much difference. “Dying Light forgot to mention that part. I suggest we meet in person as soon as possible Sir, aboard the Keyship, to discuss our immediate and longer-term plans. The senior officer in the UNSC reinforcements can join us once they arrive.”

Cole once again was smirking. ”Good thinking. I’ll be aboard the Forerunner ship in twenty minutes.

Forerunner Keyship Shield of Eternity Meeting Room

It was the same meeting room that Jellicoe, O’Neill and the others had first met Dying Light in less than a day ago. Now it was the setting for another historic meeting. Admirals Cole and Jellicoe were beamed or teleported in at the same moment. Both took the chance to briefly size up their new ally before reaching out to shake hands. Both men appreciated the firm but not forceful grip and both could recognise the pain, the loss, the trauma that each carried.

Each felt an instant respect for the other, one based not on rank or awards but on the stark realisation that the other Admiral had seen the same terrible sights and had the same thing driving them – an unshakeable determination to save lives, whatever the cost.

Cole and Jellicoe quickly set to work, with the Colonial officer explaining exactly what his ships were capable of, especially the FTL drives and the superlaser. Cole reciprocated, describing standard UNSC weaponry and battle tactics, how his UNSC Everest had been upgraded and what, briefly, the Halo Array was. Jellicoe had felt vaguely ill at the concept but was glad to know it was shut down and could not be armed without Cole’s express order – and Jellicoe knew that was an order Cole would never give, not so long as a single human was left alive in the galaxy.

Dying Light assisted by providing holograms of ships, stations and worlds as needed and also thoughtfully provided chairs to sit on and refreshments as the Reclaimer and Iron Duke began hashing out plans for military co-operation, both in the coming battle and more generally. It was only when the Monitor reminded them that the UNSC reinforcements were now just ten minutes out that the two officers realised how long they had been working.

Cole pondered something. “Dying Light, how many ships are on the way?”

“Two vessels your records describe as frigates have already arrived and are in formation with the Iroquois. A further forty-five vessels are approaching in slipspace.”

Jellicoe turned that over in his head. “Either they have ships to spare which seems unlikely or this Admiral Stanforth has decided to come mob-handed to make sure they win the next round.”

Cole nodded. “Most likely the latter. Given how things seem to have progressed the Fleet badly needs a win to boost morale, both military and civilian. I just hope Stanforth has something more cunning planned than the usual tactic of outnumbering the Covenant and hoping to still have some ships left once they throw in the towel.”

Jellicoe had an idea. “Well how about we give them a victory, not just a close call but a decisive one? I can jump my ships out to a position where they’ll be hidden, the Tau’ri ships, your Everest and the Keyship can hide in close formation under the Keyship’s stealth field. We can catch the Covenant fleet in a three-way crossfire and wipe them out.”

Cole grinned savagely at that idea. “I think I’m going to enjoy working with you a great deal John. But before the enemy bastards turn up, how do you feel about having some fun with the good Admiral Stanforth?”

Jellicoe cocked his head. When Cole explained, John’s grin matched Cole’s.

UNSC Iroquois Commander’s Quarters
Thirty Minutes Later


Jacob Keyes sat at his desk and sighed, wondering how on Earth Cole (and his mind still rebelled at the impossibility of that) had talked him into this…prank on Admiral Stanforth. As soon as Cole and this new officer, Jellicoe, had finished their discussion shortly before the reinforcements arrived, Cole had started issuing orders that Keyes had had little choice but to obey. The commanders of the two newly-arrived frigates had been ordered to keep quiet, their own objections silenced by the legendary figure of Preston J. Cole giving them an order.

Then thirteen of those unknown new arrivals had vanished in flashes of light while the other six had simply disappeared. Mere minutes later UNSC ships began dropping out of slipspace, led by the heavy cruiser Leviathan and the carriers Hiryu and Langley. The rest of the fleet formed up around them; twenty nine frigates, thirteen destroyers and the unexpected bulk of a repair station, the Cradle. It was a very potent battle group and considerably more than Keyes was expecting. Evidently Admiral Stanforth expected more Covenant ships to arrive and was determined to drive them off. In the deepest corner of his mind, Keyes wondered if it was even possible to do that. Every time they had tried the UNSC had been slaughtered – the few victories they had gained were almost exclusively pyrrhic ones. But then he remembered Cole, the man who’d won more victories than anyone else and was now back with new weapons and allies.

He heard a message that Stanforth was aboard and on his way to Keyes’ quarters to meet with him and sighed again. He knew what Cole had planned, both for the coming battle and the imminent meeting and decided the entire situation was well above his pay grade. If a legendary Admiral who was back from the dead wanted to play a joke on another Admiral then he would just sit back and do what he was told. He knew how to keep secrets after all.

A knock on the hatch prompted a call of “come in” and in walked Vice-Admiral Hieronymus Michael Stanforth, his uniform perfect and his expression a mix of eagerness and annoyance.

“Commander Keyes, my congratulations on what you achieved here. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite that ballsy in years.” The older man held out his hand, which Keyes took.

“Thank you Admiral.”

Now the Admiral’s expression hardened slightly. “Now what are these whispers and rumours I’ve heard on my way from the landing bay about? Preston Cole back from the dead on the Everest? I didn’t think you were the sort to allow such wild speculation aboard your ship.”

Before Keyes could answer, a new voice entered the conversation.

“Who said anything about speculation?”

Stanforth snapped his head around in utter astonishment. From the adjoining door to Keyes’ private head stepped Admiral Cole, rather dramatically emerging from the shadows as he did so. Stanforth simply stood there, his mouth gaping like a fish. Given that he had led ONI Section Three for over a decade it took a great deal to shock him into silence but this managed it.

Cole pressed home his advantage. “And what’s this I hear about you holding command at Reach? Things must have really gone down the tube.”

Stanforth finally found his voice as his brain assured him that this was, in fact, actually happening. “Well the top brass couldn’t make up their mind so I challenged Borislav to a poker game for the job. I lost.” A smile began creeping onto Stanforth’s face as he gave a subtle challenge, a reminder of a mutual friend that should provide some proof.

Cole nodded thoughtfully. “Well you never could bluff Hieronymus, not even slightly. Makes me wonder how you survived so long as a spook in ONI.” The spell broke and Cole smiled warmly. “I’m glad to see you’re still alive old friend.”

“I think that’s my line Preston. What the hell happened to you?”

“Long story that we don’t have time for now. The short version is Everest’s AI decided that dying in a blaze of glory wasn’t good enough and made a slipspace jump at the last second, right as the planet was exploding. The jump was all messed up and we emerged way outside the galaxy and a long way forward in time, we came out and it was only a few months ago. We found some new friends, turns out the Covenant “Gods” were nothing of the kind, just an advanced species from millennia in the past. They’re long gone but they left behind a lot of hardware that I used to upgrade my ship and find some new allies.”

Stanforth blinked. It was the only response he could muster to such a tale. “Allies from where?”

Preston once again wore a smirking expression. “Humans from another universe if you can believe it. Want to say hello?”

“Umm..I suppose I should.” There was still some doubt laced in Stanforth’s tone, but after one impossible thing he was willing to take a chance. Cole smiled again and put a small metal disk on the deck to one side. A few button presses on a device on his wrist and a full-size hologram of Admiral Jellicoe snapped into being.

”You need something Admiral Cole?” John said, recognising there were others present – including Commander Keyes who was still standing behind his desk with a confused and vaguely terrified expression – and thus reverted to his usual formality.

“Yes Admiral. I’d like to introduce you to the commander of the UNSC reinforcements, Vice-Admiral Stanforth, an old friend of mine. Hieronymus, this is Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, commanding the Alliance Recon Force.”

Jellicoe’s hologram nodded respectfully at the third Admiral, who was looking somewhat confused as he took in Jellicoe’s uniform, something that was decidedly not UNSC standard, a fact which just added more credence to this insane story.

”It’s an honour to meet you Admiral Stanforth. I would love to talk for a while but Preston? Dying Light confirms that twenty four Covenant ships are inbound, ETA to the outer system is one hour. Analysis based on the data packets you and Dying Light gave us is one assault carrier, three CCS battlecruisers, seven heavy destroyers and fourteen frigates. Do you think we’ve got enough on hand to stop them with brute force or do we need to get creative?”

Stanforth, who was feeling decidedly behind the curve in this situation, simply had to say something. “With that kind of force coming in we’d need half again what we’ve got here, this is going to be very bloody indeed.”

Jellicoe’s hologram smirked. ”I take it Preston hasn’t told you just what we brought with us. Hold your ships in a close formation and engage at max range with your MACs. Leave the rest to us. Jellicoe out.” With that the hologram disappeared.

Stanforth turned to Cole and was about to speak when he belatedly realised that Keyes was still standing there, silently observing the whole thing. It prompted him to change tack rapidly and also reminded him of the other piece of business he needed to accomplish.

“Commander, I shouldn’t need to tell you that everything you heard just now is classified higher than God. I need you to forget anything you heard about a poker game. You should also get out of here and see to your ship, the Cradle is moving up to render assistance. Oh and one other thing.” He reached into a pocket and withdraw a small box which he set down on Keyes’ desk. “You’ll get official notice in a little while, but in my view this is long overdue.”

The Commander nodded dumbly at the comment about the poker game and reached for the box. He opened it to reveal a set of Captain’s rank insignia. Startled, he looked up at Stanforth who nodded, then at Cole who smiled approvingly. Stanforth shook his hand.

“Congratulations, Captain Keyes. Now go get your ship fixed up and if you don’t mind, Cole here and I need a word in private. We’ll see ourselves out.” Keyes nodded in understanding and then saluted both Admirals, who returned the salute crisply. The newly-minted Captain then walked out of his quarters, closed the hatch and mentally shook himself. He had work to do before the Covenant arrived.

=====================

So yeah, things are already changing. The Covenant are bringing a heavier force than they did in canon, because the initial group was wiped out, not just driven off, they think there's two UNSC ships not one, and they weren't able to land ground troops.

Yup, Cole is now in sole command of the Halo Array. It's a good thing they can't make the main pulse selective for what species it targets or the Covenant would be screwed.

Cole and Jellicoe together was exactly as fun to write as I thought it would be. If anyone is wondering why Cole seems so much happier in this chapter, the way I see him so far is a nearly-broken man who just wanted to die, and when that didn't work he's reverted back to saving human lives. He's spent a month trawling through battlefield after battlefield seeing nothing but glassed worlds and debris.

But now? Now he's over a world they saved. He's met up with both Dying Light and his Recon Force AND the UNSC. He's no longer staring into the abyss, he's been given hope that no, he's not to late to turn things around. And his old friend Stanforth is still alive, which is a bonus.

Incidentally, just in case anyone thinks I've made UNSC-standard slipspace drives too fast, this is actually how fast they arrived in the book. The timeline runs from 0300 when Keyes signals FLEETCOM to tell them the Covenant are incoming, through to 0320 when the Covenant ships drop out of slipspace, then by 0330 three of the Covvie ships are dead and the carrier retreats. And then at 0500 the UNSC task force arrives. Weird.

This was a big one at 3100 words. Up next, the Second Battle of Sigma Octanus, and the Covenant are going to be very surprised!
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-06-05 05:55pm

I'll admit, I never played HALO, I have only the roughest idea of the background, and I have only heard of Reach as a clusterfuck the humans somehow won. So, all this is new to me, but I can say that I am happy with what I've seen so far. You are at your usual high standards for dialogue and settings, and I am enjoying the ride.

I am also wondering if Hillary is AI for Everest, who is AI for Iroquois? Will we see them?
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-05 06:00pm

Hillary is my own creation but it fits. Iroquois in the book Fall of Reach ( which I'm working from rather than the later game which I never played) didn't have an AI installed yet as she was only three months out of the shipyard.

And thank you for the praise, especially about the dialogue. Whenever I've written stories before I found the dialogue to be the hardest to get right, probably because when writing you're mentally trying for proper grammar which people rarely use when actually speaking.

And canonically Reach was a cluster fuck that the UNSC definitely lost, though the main heroes escaped to kickstand the plot of the first game. This time it'll be different.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by InsaneTD » 2018-06-06 12:52am

Probably best to choose one and run with it rather then trying to use both sources on the fall of reach. The game changes several things and how they happen. I can't remember specifics off the top of my head though. It's been a while since I played the game and even longer since I read the book.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-06 03:03am

I've read the book countless times and never played the game, so that's what I'm going with, thoigh a few concepts about what ships the Civvies bring and names may carry over (a Covenant suoercarrier for instance)
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by InsaneTD » 2018-06-07 12:33am

It was the first Halo book I read such a good book.

Looking forward to how you handle the battle of reach and the Tau'ri/Kobolian reaction to the Spartan IIs.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by fnord » 2018-06-07 12:39am

Would be a good opportunity to examine how the Kobolian mob views even minor capability enhancements (via drugs, nanotech, prosthetics of various sorts - cybernetic or otherwise). One I could see being extremely common is a nanoenhanced immune system. Not necessarily universal, as Admiral Pendragon showed.

One option opened by having at least your ground troops immune/strongly resistant to known pathogens is drastically easing the logistical burden on semi-habitable plants, by not having to worry too much about water treatment.
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-07 10:19am

I think the Kobolians' general reaction, if the full details of the SPARTAN IIs are made known to them, will be a mixture of abhorrence and "needs must when the devil drives."

The Tau'ri, on the other hand, will likely be uncomfortable with the entire program, though it m8ght give the NID ideas, when they get wind of it.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-07 11:42am

The Kobolian reaction to the Spartans will be fairly neutral I think as none of their "upgrades" are cybernetic except, perhaps, the metal-coated bones. It's not like they've had arms/legs removed and replaced with machinery a la Robocop, so the upgrades themselves won't be an issue. The selection process and the abduction of children for forced, brutal training? That's a whole different matter.

But that's a situation for some time in the future at this point.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Jedi Commisar » 2018-06-07 12:57pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2018-06-07 11:42am
The Kobolian reaction to the Spartans will be fairly neutral I think as none of their "upgrades" are cybernetic except, perhaps, the metal-coated bones. It's not like they've had arms/legs removed and replaced with machinery a la Robocop, so the upgrades themselves won't be an issue. The selection process and the abduction of children for forced, brutal training? That's a whole different matter.

But that's a situation for some time in the future at this point.
If I member right there are cybernetic enhancements on the Spartan-II but it limited to the AI ports at the base of the Spartan's neck
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-07 01:50pm

Good point but IIRC that was the UNSC - standard neural interface/implants, the same ones that John-117 had to retrieve from Keyes to activate the self destruct in the first game.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-07 05:33pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:That's[/i] a whole different matter.

But that's a situation for some time in the future at this point.
That was what I meant. Though, the NID wouldn't be above abducting children and turning them into SPARTAN IIs.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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