|This article, The Battle for Epsilon IV, was written by Major Rawne 001. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
The First Battle
On July 28th the Epsilon IV defense fleet picked up an in system slip space rupture. The Fleet Captain, Captain Web immediately ordered his fleet of to engage the covenant fleet, but not before sending a distress signal to Lord Admiral Darnath. The UNSC ships charged into the Covenant battle line. In the first Salvo the UNSC lost 9 Frigates with only killing a covenant Cruiser and 5 Corvettes. As the Battle raged the UNSC Prowler Watch your back armed all of its Nuclear mines and charged the Covenant Assault Carrier Judgment. Using it's stealth drives, the Prowler managed to get in close to the Judgement. The Prowler charged up it's FTL drives and rammed into the Carrier at just under the speed of light. The Prowler's nuclear payload detonated over the engine reactors completely annihilating both ships along with 5 Corvettes, 1 destroyer and badly damaging a Cruiser. Disappointingly the crew of the Watch your back died in vain as the entire Defense fleet was already destroyed by the time of their sacrifice, the entire first battle lasted 36 minutes.
On July 29th Navcom Admiral Darnath received the distress signal from Epsilon IV. He immediately dispatched the defense fleets of Jericho Sector and New Constantinople to rendezvous with the Fleet already at Epsilon V. Admiral Darnath gave the strike force command to Fleet Admiral Vor, however did not inform the admiral that the Covenant were in the system in an effort to not cause a panic. When Vor received his orders to move he only grudgingly followed them not understanding why his fleet was being redeployed. When Fleet Admiral Vor's ships rallied with the other fleet at Epsilon V. As soon as the commanders were in system they instantly saw the grave situation they where in as the system defense fleet was already destroyed and the Covenant Ships were found waiting in orbit around the planet. It was only here that the Fleet Admiral and two Fleet Captains heard of the Covenant attack on Epsilon IV. Admiral Vor Designated the Fleet Battle Group Epsilon and immediately ordered the fleet to go to Epsilon IV and secure the planet.
With the Defense fleet destroyed, the Covenant fleet moved into position in orbit around the planet. The fleet master opened the assault by bombarding the surface of Epsilon IV. Nuclear bombs of plasma landed amid many of the population centers killing thousands. UNSC Army forces tried to get as many people into fallout bunkers and evacuation zones. Several transports and freighters attempted to flee with their cargo holds filled with refugees, but the Covenant would let no one be spared. As the hours went on, the Covenant ships moved closer to the capital city of Adrenus.
The UNSC Army mobilized all available troops to key areas while the UNSC Air Force scrambled all the available Longswords and Pelicans they could. Most of the Longswords were quickly shot down by Covenant Seraph fighters trying to provide escorts for the drop ships and supporting ground operations with bombing runs. Pelican flights were scrambled in every direction. While several dozen were deployed to Adrenus to support the evacuation and military effort there, others loaded up with squads of soldiers and attempted to evacuate those trapped in the cities and towns cut off and under orbital attack from the Covenant ships. Many of the cities on the surface, especially those with space ports were the first to be destroyed, this meant the only way off world was the capital space docks in Adrenus. These operations did not last long as the Air bases they deployed from were quickly made targets of the Covenant fleet and were glassed. Though valiant, all efforts except a six of these rescue operations ended in failure. With the loss of the airbases, this meant an irreplaceable loss of vital air craft and soldiers. For many cities and towns, this meant the only way to get to Adrenus was by ground. The City of New Halitos was the next closest major population center to Adrenus resting 160 Km away. This meant the refugees fleeing the city were limited to the Highways, rail lines and subways. The commander of the UNSC army forces there ordered his troops to deploy defensive positions around the rail line stations throughout the city, while squads were posted at as many of the subway entrances as they could. Armored convoys would patrol the Highways to provide cover for the civilians escaping.
The UNSC regiment stationed in the capital city of Adrenus mobilized their battalions and sent units of soldiers to activate the city defenses located 5 kilometers outside the city. The Colonel in command of the Regiment initiated the operation of setting up defensive barricades and emplacements around the ICBM launch command bunker complex. The Army set up fire bases around the AA Missile Batteries and Power Generators stationed outside the city allowing the Mark 2488 Mass Drivers to function. While other Battalions deployed in the capital city itself to assist in the evacuation and crowd control. Scorpion MBTs and Sun Devil AA guns were put on the streets and ready to counter where they needed to.
The planet being a well developed colony and set to assist in fighting the Insurrection had a large central armory built. The armory had underground tram systems leading to 7 of the nearest City centers some over 900 km away. Using the mag line they could deliver ordnance to multiple ICBM missile bases and small arms ammunition. With the only hope of evacuation resting on the capital, all of the ordnance they could get was rerouted to the defenders of Adrenus through underground cargo rails. The UNSC commanders knew they could not beat the Covenant, but they would certainly hold out as long as they could to evacuate the planet and make the Covenant pay for their deaths.
Detecting the launch site of the human air craft fleeing the planet and making it to orbit the fleet master sent ships in to glass the location immediately. As his cruisers and Destroyers moved into position in low orbit, they were fired upon by planetary defensive missiles. The nuclear warheads crippled the covenant ship's shields but did not harm the vessel. However the Fleet master did not wish to risk losing his vital, and now very few surviving capital ships. Ordering them to get out of range and target other unprotected areas of the world, he sent in a pair of SDV Class Corvettes in atmosphere to hopefully deploy under the orbital defenses and attack the location close in. As the ships came within range however they were fired upon by the Mass Drivers and Missile batteries. The defensive barrage destroyed one of the Corvettes and causes serious damage to the other. The Fleet Master made two more attempts at breaching the city defense by air, and after two more failures, and more damage to his ships. Curious about what the humans were defending so stubbornly, he ordered one of his battlegroups to begin deploying troops to the ground with the orders of taking out the UNSC defenders dug in at the ICBM command base, and the generators powering the weapons. Meanwhile the rest of the fleet was ordered to begin glassing any nearby population center, and attack any humans they find. The first settlement the Covenant found was New Halitos and immediately began glassing the city.
The Covenant Ships set down 50 kilometers away from the city and established a landing zone beneath the Corvette. Unsure of the surface, and defenses, Ghost scouting parties and Banshee hunter teams spread outwards from the landing field scouring the area for humans, both military personnel and any civilians. The outlying terrain was filled with temperate forests and frequent towns and villages with hills and rivers marking the terrain around the main high ways leading to Adrenus. While the Banshees and Ghosts secured the surrounding areas, Seraphs controlled the skies while Phantom Dropships deployed hunter killer teams to clear out villages on the way to Adrenus. Meanwhile Banshees supported Wraith and Specter armored units attacking convoys of fleeing civilians, few times they met resistance from UNSC troops moving with the columns.
The Second Battle
On the early morning of July 30th the 90 ships of battle group Epsilon arrived just outside of Epsilon IV on the opposite side of the planet as the Covenant; where they were conducting surface operations. As the fleet Commanders put together a battle plan the Covenant fleet attacked. Fleet Admiral Vor was forced to throw away all their previous options and attack the Covenant fleet head on. As the two fleets charged towards each other the admiral ordered the UNSC Vostok, UNSC Tannenberg and UNSC Voltry Kej to leave the fight head strait to the planet's surface. The Admiral knew he needed to get troops on the ground to protect the Defense guns on the surface. He then dispatched 15 Frigates to cover the ships heading towards the surface from Covenant attack. As the two main fleets became within range the UNSC fleet let loose with their MAC guns. The opening barrage against the Cruisers at the for front of the fleet were decimating. 2 Cruisers were destroyed while another was crippled and 8 Corvettes destroyed. This would normally be celebrated by the commanders but Fleet Admiral Vor had set his sights on the assault carrier. Before the battle the admiral ordered all the frigates to engage the Cruisers and Escorts while his heavy Cruisers and destroyers engage the Carrier and Destroyer class ships. While the ships sent to the surface were plowing through the battle, a pair of Destroyers, a Cruiser and 5 SDV corvettes split from the fight and went to attack the 3 UNSC ships heading to the surface. The 15 UNSC Frigates engaged the 2 Destroyers and Corvettes. When they came within range the Frigates opened up with their MAC guns and Archer missiles against the closest Destroyer. The resulting barrage completely destroyed the vessel along with a Corvette. The remaining Destroyer and Corvettes ignored the ships, firing as they fled but managed to destroy 4 frigates.
Back at the main fleet engagement as the UNSC fleet moved closer to the assault carrier, 8 Corvettes moved in to block there path escorting the last CCS Class Cruiser. On Admiral Vor's command the the 12 ships escorting his Carrier all opened fire. The Combined firepower from MAC guns and Archer Missles destroyed the Corvettes, and the Cruiser took some major damage but survived long enough to return fire. 3 frigates were destroyed by Plasma torpedoes before the heavy Cruisers were repositioned to fire. The rounds and ordnance from the cruisers literally blew the cruiser in half making the perfect hole for the fleet. The majority of the Frigates were engaged in dancing battles with the Corvettes and surviving destroyers. It was here Cruisers split into two forces, directing fire at the Assault Carrier and helping finish off the escorts. The Cruisers and destroyers immediately opened up on the Carrier. Unfortunately the rounds and missiles did not affect the shields at all. It was after this first barrage that the Carrier opened up with its plasma and pulse lasers. The opening attack destroyed 2 Cruisers and 3 Frigates. While the UNSC ships reloaded their MAC guns, they continued to fire on the Capital ship with Archer Missile pods. These hundreds of missiles were still not enough to break the defenses of the massive ship. Longsword fighters deployed to try and break the defenses with nuclear payloads, but the swarms of Seraph fighters and row upon row of point defense weapons kept the air craft at bay. As the stalemate continued for another 30 minutes, the UNSC lost dozens of ships with each salvo the assault carrier dished out. It wasn't until the Frigate UNSC Albany ordered its crew to abandon ship. The captain took personal command and drove the ship into the front of the carrier, using it's small size to evade many of the incoming fire. This valorous act took out the Carrier's shields. This was the opening Admiral Vor needed. His force engaged the Carrier with all their archer Missiles and MAC guns. Vor's fleet had taken too much of a beating and the resulting fire power, though severely damaging the Carrier did not kill it. While the fleet's outrider battle groups destroyed many of the Corvettes, being stuck in a stalemate with the Carrier cost the fleet dearly and lost 10 Cruisers, 14 Destroyers, and 29 Frigates. Admiral Vor ordered his 30 surviving ships to the edge of the system to lick their wounds. The Covenant was left with a single Cruiser and Destroyer, with 2 Corvettes and a badly damaged assault carrier but the battle was just beginning.
The Ground War
As the UNSC Vostok, UNSC Tannenberg, and UNSC Voltry Kej entered the planet's low atmosphere the 19th ODST battalion and Spartan Teams prepared to drop to the surface in their SOEIV's. At 2:25 pm Spartan Blue and Red teams deployed from the UNSC Tannenberg to one of the planets defense guns. Their orders where to help the defense force defend the guns batteries. Once the Spartans where on the ground they fortified the defense guns and waited for the 223rd marine battalion to reinforce them.Later 8 Pelican dropships carring marines and armour from the 223rd battalion and half the ODSTs from the 19th Battalion flew in to deploy the reinforcements at Spartan Blue and Red teams positon. On the way in 4 covenant Banshee fighters intercepted the Pelicans and their 5 Longsword fighter escorts downing 3 pelicans and 1 Longsword. The other 5 Pelicans made it safely to the drop point. Elsewhere the other half of the 19th ODST Battalion deployed with the 556th Battalion to some of the planets defense laser batteries some 5 kilometers outside of Adrenus.
Meanwhile a mile away from the capital city of Adrenus the covenant Corvettes began assaulting the city. The ship began its attack by launching a plasma torpedo at the cities orbital elevator. The entire city went into complete chaos as the elevator fell a top their heads. The carrier then proceeded to glass the city killing thousands of civilians which afterwards dozens of Phantom dropships poured out of the ships hangers deploying hundreds of troops. The civilians and defense units in the city fled the covenant and went to the defense lasers that the 19th ODST battalion held. Unbeknown to the civilians they brought the covenant army with them. By nightfall the civilians and capital defense units met up with the ODST's and 556th Marine Battalion. At 11:32 pm the first covenant forces crashed into the UNSC lines and the first battle with ground forces was fought. By 11:29 am on July 31st the first covenant wave was halted. The two sides stared at each other from fortified positions.
The Revant and the A.I
By noon of July 31st the Brute controlled Frigate Revant entered the battle in an in atmosphere slipspace exit. Reports say that the frigate was fleeing UNSC forces and made a random Slipspace jump but that has yet to been confirmed by ONI. The Frigate exited over the glassed Capital of Adrenus and immediatly supported the covenant ground troops by deploying their Brutes.
Left in the ruins of the Capital building in Adrenus the planets A.I Stephen, retaliated against the covenant. He commandeered two UNSC Frigates and a Marathon Class Cruiser that were being repaired from the Battle of Iron. All three ships weapons were out of operation but the enginges were fully functional. Stephen Flew the ships at the brute frigate attempting to destroy the ship by ramming it. The Revent saw the ships coming towards it and fired its two broadside Pulse lasers. The lasers destroyed the two frigates but the Cruiser was untouched. putting all power to the enginges Stephen rammed the cruiser into the frigate. The resulting explosion Annhilated the ships and scorched 16 acres of land. This act of destruction was the first stage that set Stephen down the road of rampancy. Thankfully 4 hours later a group of grunts found the A.I and captured him but he was already to lost and wracked with emotions to even notice them.
The Third Battle
Back in space Fleet Admiral Vor and the fleet were weighing their options on how to destroy the remaining five covenant ships. His fleet once boasted 90 ships but now he's down to 30. He finally orchastrated a battle plan. He contacted the Spartans on the ground and ordered them to fire their torpedos into the fleet at a specific time. His fleet would then use the planets gravity to slingshot them at the covenant ships. At 12:34 am on July 31st the defense batteries began their bombardment of the fleet. The resulting fire destroyed a covenant destroyer and crippled a cruisers sheilds. Almost Immediatly after the remaing 30 ships engage the fleet. The frigates destroy the unsheilded cruiser with a massive barrage of archer Missles and a couple of MAC rounds. The remaining 5 Cruisers and 10 Destroyers opened up on the battleship. The remaing Covenant Cruiser and destroyer both turned and engaged the fleet of 13 frigates. With the precise firing from the guns on the surface and the combined fire from the frigates the cruisers sheilds finally buckled under 23 minutes of constant bombardment. The frigates immediatly opened up with their MAC guns and the cruiser was swiftly destroyed, but not before taking 3 frigates with it. With the frigates main target destroyed they turned their attention to the battleship. 4 frigates left the fleet to engage the lone destroyer thats been harassing the fleet damaging 2 destroyers and crippling one of their MAC guns. The Frigates easily and flawlessly destroyed the destroyer without a single loss. The entire fleet then began its bombardment against the battleship. Unfortunatly even after close to an hours bombardment the shields still held, and the UNSC fleet lost 6 more ships including 2 Cruisers and 2 Destroyers. Fleet Admiral Vor made a desperate move. he ordered the Spartan III Fox company to borad the ship and overload its engine core. Useing Boarding torpedoes the 299 Spartans of Fox company breached the battleship and fought their way to the engines. On the outside Fleet Admiral Vor pulled his ships back. When one of his captains said they should stay to extract the Spartan team Admiral Vor's responce was. " Their Spartan threes, their doing what their made to do. Complete tought missions and die finishing them." Reluctantly the fleet pulled away.
The Fall of Fox Company
As Fox company fought its way to the engine room the Prophet of Justice ordered all the warriors aboard his ship to kill the Spartans. Under the command of Spartan captain O'Connor and Lietenant Fargae the Spartan III's slit in two teams.100 of the spartans under comand of Lietenant Fargae headed towards the engine core to overload it. The other 199 Spartans under Captain O'Connor acted as the first groups reguard. Holding off hundreds of covenant soldiers.sadly after each firefight O'Connor lost at least one Spartan. As Fargae's team finally reached the reactor the went strait to work placing high explosives on the core including a Shiva Nuclear warhead. Once the charges were set Captain O'Connor ordered Fargae's Spartans to evac. The team reluctantly ordered and placed an experimental Antimatter-Tipped Shiva Missle on one of the walls. The Concentrated Explosion blew a hole in the wall. Unfortunatly the shrapnal from the blast broke the air tight seals on 50 of the spartans including Lietenant Fargae. He ordered the other spartans to go through the hole and escape the blast. 15 minutes later when Captain O'Connor radioed that the Covenant broke through, Fargae activated the explosives. The intail blast destroyed the rear of the ship and all the Spartan IIIs inside and the Covenant forces gone to kill them. The bombs though did their job and overloaded the core. The secondary blast vaporized the ship and the Spartan IIIs outside that were attempting to escape the blast. The fleet was destroyed and the Prophet of Justice was dead.At 4:58pm July 31st the space battle for Epsilon IV was finally over. Now only the covenant on the surface remained.
The Covenant Ground Attack
At 3:00am on August 1st 2535 the covenant launched a massive ground attack. The Elite Commander ordered the remaining 2000 grunts, 150 jackels, 300 Elites,60 Brutes and 40 Hunters on the offensive alone with hundreds of armoured vehicle support. The 19th ODST battalion and 556th battalion were forced to hold the line. The resulting firefight lasted 5 hours. The ODST's had the worst of the fight. The air was filled with plasma fire and Plasma mortars. At 8:13am the Spartan III Echo Company arrived at the fight in a massive flight of Pelicans joining the ODST's in the left flank of the defence line. On the right flank the covenant launched close to a hundred wraiths with Scarab super tank support against the UNSC line. The 556th armoured company attempted to hold the line. The engagement continued for another 4 hours. At 1:14pm Spartan Yellow team arrived at the 556th Battalion 1st and 2nd armoured companies. The 6 Spartan IIs immediatly changed the coures of battle, destroying one of the 2 Scarabs and dozens of Wraiths. By 4:36pm on August 1st the remaining covenant armour gets destroyed.
By 5:00pm almost half of the marines from the 556th battalion are dead and their line is failing. The Major from the battalion repeatly asked permission to retreat, each time being refused. As for the ODST's they lost a comopany and a half of their men. The marine battalions eventually were forced to retreat further into the defense base. The 19th battalion and 556th Battalion rallied at the second defense tower. At 7:49 pm the Spartan Blue and Red teams arrived at the firebase's landing pad with the 223rd Battalion as reinforcements. Once the Spartan Blue and Red teams rallied with Yellow team and the Spartan IIIs they immediatly went on the offensive retaking the first defense tower. The two marine battalions followed the Spartans in to secure the tower and surrounding area. The two battalions fought off the covenant but the aliens rallied and sent another attack immediatly. At 11:03pm the covenant Assault carrier held anchor a half mile away from the defense guns. The Carrier then proceeded to bring down more covenant armoured vehicles. The carrier launched dozens of banshee fighters to support the ground troops. The commander of Spartan Blue team Commander Jeffory Lance ordered the defense batteries to open fire on the carrier. Once the the shields were down he took command of Yellow team and the 7 Spartan IIs boarded the carrier via Pelican. On the ground the Marines, Spartans and ODSTs continued to hold off waves of deterimined covenant troops.
The Gods Will
The Spartan Yellow team entered the carrier through the secondary hanger at the back of the carrier. Once they fought their way through the covenant troops in the hanger they proceeded deep into the ship. Spartan Commander Jeff 089 slit the team in two. Three spartans led by Shaune 055 one of the teams explosive experts went to the engine room to attempt to sabotage the engines. The other 4 Spartans led by the commander went to sabotage the ship in any way possible. Their main objective was to destroy the ships ammunition storage. The Spartans ran through the carrier killing covenant forces left and right. They eventually arrived at the carriers ammo stockpile. The Spartan IIs immediatlly went to work setting explosives on the plasma batteries. While one of the Spartans set the charges Commander Jeff and 2 the two other Spartans held off the covenant. Once the charges were set Commander Jeff ordered Yellow team to escape the ship. Spartan Sergeant Shaune 055 disobeyed the commander's order and stayed with Jeff 089. The two Spartans decided to kill the covenant shipmaster before destroying the ship. The two Spartans fought their way to the bridge and engaged the Shipmaster and his two bodyguards. Commander Jeff took the Elite shipmaster in one on one combat him and Shaune 055 held the Elites at bay long enough to let the team escape. Once Jeff heard the other Spartans were clear he detonated the explosives. The blast rendered the engines inopperable and completely destroyed the ammo stockpile. The secondary plasma blasts blew the carrier in half. Not much is known about what happened to Spartan commander Jeff 089 and Shaune 055. The wreckage of the carrier show the bridge was realativly intact. The survivors of Spartan Yellow team say they saw two humanoid shadows leave on the far side of the crash but no solid evidense has proven anything. Spartan Commander Jeff 089 and Spartan Sergeant Shaune 055 are still listed as MIA. The surviving Yellow team members make it back to the UNSC units and rejoin the fight.
The Fourth Battle and the Evacuation
At 12:22am planetary time the remaining 19 UNSC ships of Battlefleet Epsilon picked up a slipspace rupture at the edge of the system on the northern pole of the planet. The scans from the ships showed a covenant fleet of 200 ships, a quarter of which are assault carriers,and another 50 are battleships. Fleet Admiral Vor knew he couldn't fight this fleet. He immediatly ordered all UNSC forces on the ground to evacuate the planet surface. To buy the ground forces some time he ordered the fleet to engage the covenant fleet in hit and run tactics. With their new orders the fleet stormed towards the massive covenant armada and began engaging the outside ships.
Once the forces on the ground recieved word of the evacuation the UNSC Tannenberg, UNSC Vostok and UNSC Voltry Kej immediatly flew to the defence position that the marines and Spartans held. The two frigates landed just behind the facility while the Voltry Kej stayed in the air. The ships sent down scores of pelican dropships and heavy lifters to gather the troops and civilians. As with any military action the civilians guided by police forces were quickly rushed to the frigates while the marines held fast against the covenants renewed vigour with the arrival of reinforcements. After occupying the covenant fleet for two hours already could only keep them at bay for another two hours before retreating. The risking gamble already cost him 4 ships. With only two hours to evacuate over a thousand troops the marines and fleets pelicans moved double time. The military evacuation began with both the 556th and 223rd battalions retreating to the ships as one, leaving the Spartan IIs and IIIs alone with the 19th ODST battalion to cover them. One platoon form the 556th battalion stayed back to rig a set of HAVOK nuclear warheads for remote detonation. In an hour and twelve minutes the two battalions and their surviving armour made it aboard the ships. Now was the ODSTs turn. With the skill and level headedness that is expected of special forces the ODSTs fell back to the ships. The Spartan IIs and IIIs now following command of Petty Officer John 117, Commander Jeff's second in command orchastrated the defense to hold the covenant off until the ODSTs were aboard. The ODSTs were aboard and ready in an hour and two minutes. Petty Officer John 117 immediatly ordered the spartans to get aboard the frigate UNSC Vostok. John 117 was the last spartan to get aboard. he clocked in at exactly the twelve minut mark. As soon as the 3 ships were clear the sergeant detonated the 3 HAVOK nukes obliterating a 5 kilometer radius. All the marines in his unit were awarded the Colonial Cross. The 3 UNSC ships then fled the planet to rendevuex with the remaining 13 ships of Battle Fleet Epsilon. The 16 ships made an immediat slipspace jump about a day away from Epsilon III. The main covenant fleet reached the planet and bgan to glass it entirly. The covenant won the Battle for Epsilon IV but at a great cost.