|This article, UNSC Las Vegas, written by Leo Fox, was voted as the Best Vehicle of 2009 in the Second Annual Halo Fanon Wikia Awards.|
|This article, UNSC Las Vegas, was written by Leo Fox. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "We were against impossible odds in the Battle of Earth. We did what we could...the little we could. Most of our kills were from the nukes. I thought we were dead. I still think we should have died during that battle, the odds were just so against us... But the 'Vegas pulled through. Somehow. The old city's luck must be with us. God bless the 'Vegas and the Skipper."
- ―An UNSC Fire-Control man
The UNSC Las Vegas (CLG-07) was the only surviving example of the Gulf-class Light Cruiser to reach active duty in the UNSC Navy. The vessel served through the latter stages of the Human-Covenant War and post war, serving until 2599.
Its largest contribution was during the battles of Earth, where the Las Vegas actively participated through the duration of for the entire battle, destroying 12 Covenant ships and damaging another dozen through extensive strategic usage of nuclear armaments. The ship also contributed to saving the trapped and marooned crews of crippled UNSC ships.
BeginningsThe UNSC Las Vegas (CLG-07) was conceived a possible replacement to the ageing Light Cruisers of the Fleet, which were essentially less armoured Halcyon-class Cruisers. The idea of a Light Cruiser, dashing close to Covenant lines, unleashing two or three SHIVA Nuclear Missiles, firing 3 Magnetic Accelerator Slugs, and then retreating at a very high speed, was enough to gain approval of the design with the UNSC Navy Admiralty, even though the tactic had failed with the smaller Destroyer and Frigates, tested the concept in earlier conflicts.
But the Admiralty ignored this, and funding for three models was approved in late 2549, but due to low funds at the end of the 2549 fiscal year, funding was not sent to Vladivostok Orbital Shipyards, in orbit over Vladivostok, Earth, until January 2550. The 'CLG-07' finally drifted free of the shipyards in May 2552, after a few delays, involving weak bulkheads and structural deficiencies which were eventually fixed. The Las Vegas was then taken to the refitting station UNSC Alabama to be outfitted with armament, additional armour, and other systems.
Commissioning and Ship Trials
The 'CLG-07' was then given a crew, and a commander, Captain George McClusky, and commissioned into the UNSC Navy as the UNSC Las Vegas. The ship was also outfitted with an onboard detachment of Marines, consisting of the 197th Marine Company, part of the 28th Marine Battalion (consisting of 215 Marines, 4 Scorpion Tanks, along with 12 Warthog LRVs) and the 74th ODST Company (consisting of 135 Orbital Drop Shock Troopers), part of the 105th Orbital Drop Shock Troop Battalion. The Las Vegas was also given its own Squadron, the 128th Naval Air Squadron, containing 16 Longsword-Class Interceptors and 8 Pelican dropships.
The ship then began trials in late June 2551. The ship performed well during the trials for a ship its size, and boasted a very heavy armament, but was deemed an unsuitable replacement for the current Light Cruisers. Furthermore, following trials, the Las Vegas was deemed ' combat ineffective against capital ships or heavier ', of which it was designed to tangle with. Essentially, the relatively-light amount of armour, which made the Las Vegas' acceleration and manoeuvrability so great, made any chance of taking on and surviving a fight with anything the size of a Covenant Heavy Cruiser or larger, of which the ageing Marathon-class Cruisers were barely capable of killing.
A mere 22 days before the First Battle of Earth began, the Las Vegas 's turn came have its engines overhauled, and also had Mini-MAC turrets installed, a new innovation on UNSC warships. The Mini-MAC was a miniaturized Magnetic Accelerator Cannon that shot 10 ton projectiles at 47% the speed of light. The Captain, Captain George McClusky, guided the Las Vegas into its berth at the UNSC Refit Station Balikapan and completed its overhaul 2 days before the 1st Battle of Earth began.
1st Battle of Earth
The UNSC Las Vegas was attached to the 13th UNSC Defense Fleet when the when the Prophet of Regret's small fleet dropped out of 'Slipspace'. Captain George McClusky was ordered not to engage, as Fleet Admiral Harper's fleet was engaging Regret's Fleet.
When the 13th UNSC Defence Fleet was finally given permission to engage Covenant reinforcement ships, the Las Vegas fought valiantly, destroying 5 Covenant Ships, and damaging another dozen. However, it was not all one sided for the Las Vegas, as she lost a large portion of her armor in areas, and was breached twice from Plasma Torpedo hits, resulting in the loss of 52 personnel. The Las Vegas also expended all its nukes and MAC ammo in the foray, and was forced to retrieve intact ordnance with crippled UNSC vessels to remain in the battle, as well as to search for surviving crew onboard the ships. The Las Vegas managed to retrieve 379 survivors from 17 damaged and/or crippled UNSC vessels.
The Covenant onslaught paused in the Las Vegas sector for a couple of hours, giving the surviving Fleet Tenders a chance to resupply the battle-weary UNSC ships. It also gave badly-damaged UNSC ships time to make emergency repairs. It also gave the Las Vegas a chance to get their newly-acquired crewmen situated with their duties. When the Prophet of Truth's massive task force arrived, the entire UNSC Navy engaged. The Las Vegas did what it could, holding out against the inevitable loss, destroying another 7 Covenant ships and severely damaging another dozen.
Once most of the Orbital Defence Platforms were damaged or destroyed, along with much of the fleet, the Covenant vessels descended to the surface of Africa. At some point during the battle, a Forerunner Dreadnought with SPARTAN-117 aboard, dropped out of 'Slipspace' and headed planet-side. The Las Vegas, along with most surviving UNSC ships pulled back to a rally point, where the UNSC was attempting to reorganize their fleets for a final push. Lord Hood immediately ordered a low-level strike on Covenant ship around the Ark and the Las Vegas, now commanded by Rear Admiral George McClusky, along its new escorts, began engaging the remainder of Truth's ships in orbit over the Portal. Eventually, the UNSC ships beat through the Covenant ships in Orbit, clearing the way for the low level strike.
The Covenant Loyalist forces then went through the portal, giving the UNSC forces a chance to secure the area around the Portal. Then, a message was received from FLEETCOM, stating that all 'Elite' ships were now allied, which confused the UNSC Fleets. Eventually, a system was figured out and Identification-Friend or Foe (IFF) systems were installed on the new, allied Sangheili ships, but not before a few friendly-fire accidents occurred. Most of the Covenant Loyalist vessels had gone through the Portal or were occupied with other battles with the Sangheili Fleets, and the Las Vegas and its few remaining escorts were tasked to liberate the little part of the Middle East the Covenant managed to land in.
This was accomplished at a relatively low cost of 478 Marines killed in action and another 239 Marines wounded. The Covenant Forces were ill-supplied and unprepared for the temperatures of the Middle East. Eventually, the Battle of Earth was over, and the damaged Las Vegas was one of a couple dozen UNSC ships still battle-worthy following the Battle of Earth, and was given priority for repairs, in which the Las Vegas had its armour replaced. The Las Vegas was then assigned to the new 3rd UNSCDF Fleet.
Post Human-Covenant War
Immediately following the Human-Covenant War
Following the Human-Covenant war, the UNSC focused on rebuilding its planets and repopulating. The UNSC was melting down big, crippled ships and using the metal to rebuild its cities. The Navy, which was down to a couple dozen ships, all at Earth, was given the task to protect Earth until more ships were made to replace the current ships. This happened from 2553 until 2556, when enough new ships were produced to bring the Las Vegas and most other ships off the active defence fleet.
Post Human-Covenant War RefitIn late 2556, the Las Vegas was finally sent in for a much-needed major overhaul, this time for a new reactor, engines, and improved armour, among other miscellaneous repairs and improvements. Most importantly, the Las Vegas was finally given additional Mini-MACs for added offensive and defensive fire. This was because of reports of the weakness of the Las Vegas' flanks and the fact the Las Vegas simply did not have the broadside armament to discourage attacks, and so it was finally decided to add additional Mini-Magnetic Accelerator Cannons, which were found to be extremely effective in large numbers during the Battle of Earth, on her sides to discourage this tactic.
Rear Admiral George McClusky, whose flagship was still the Las Vegas, finally retired, along with much of the crew. The ship was then placed in the command of Captain Taylor Anderson, who also served on a Frigate during the Battle of Earth. After the Las Vegas finished her overhaul, the ship was then transferred to UNSC 18th Fleet, to patrol UNSC space.
Combat Actions with the 18th Fleet
The Las Vegas then participated in various skirmishes with scattered Covenant Loyalist and Rebel forces over the 3 years the Las Vegas patrolled with the 18th Fleet. In March 2559, the 18th Fleet was participating in a counter-insurgency operation in interstellar space (34 LY from the closest UNSC outpost, 249 LY to Earth), searching for reported Rebel activity, when the Las Vegas was damaged by a large rebel nuclear device, detonated a mile off her port bow.
The 3.85 meters of Titanium-A battleplate absorbed the bulk of the blast, although much of the electronics on the ship were damaged and enough radiation got through the layers of lead-foil to cause a small amount radiation poisoning to the crew in the outermost port-side compartments. The blast also knocked out the port-side Auxiliary reactor, making the Port-side Mini-MACs useless unless in local control, with no AI or computer aiming options.
Furthermore, microscopic shards of metal passed through the lighter armour of the turrets, causing casualties and system-damage, as well as puncturing holes in the hull. 27 men were killed in the attack, and another 8 died when a bulkhead failed, where much larger pieces pierced it, and the compartment was vented to space.
Immediately following the attack, a single civilian-class transport ship 'jumped' out of the system, and a few UNSC frigates were detached to pursue it to no avail.
The damage on the Las Vegas was severe enough that it was unable to effectively continue fleet operations, and, following a 72-hour repair of electronics on board the ship, along with salvageable systems, the Las Vegas was detached from the Fleet along with another lightly damaged Frigate escort ship, and the two of them jumped back to Earth for repairs.
Almost two weeks into the trip, 28.6 Lightyears out from where the UNSC Las Vegas left the Fleet, the Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine suffered a catastrophic failure and the ships AI, Nelson, preformed an emergency 'Slipspace' exit to save the ship and crew. A brief attempt was made to repair it, but engineers concluded the engine was beyond repair. The captain ordered the ship to best sustainable speed and set on a Sublight course to the nearest inhabited Human colony, Uraguay II, 16 Light Years distant.
The entire crew was put into Cryogenic Suspension, with the exception of a 21-man (6 Officers, including the Captain, and 15 Enlisted) skeleton crew, along with a dozen others who did not want to be put in Cryogenic Suspension, who worked the ship in 1-month shifts. The ship relayed a distress signal constantly, to no avail.
Long Ride Back
The crippled-ship cruised through space for 6 years, controlled by the Ships 'smart' A.I, Nelson. In late of 2562, the ship came across the crippled UNSC Newfoundland, a Frigate badly damaged during the Harvest Campaign and jumped back to Earth - but never made it, due to a 'Slipspace' drive failure, much like the Las Vegas. The Newfoundland was placed under tow, and a boarding party found 537 crew in Cryogenic Suspension. The crew was taken back on board the Las Vegas and kept frozen.
The Las Vegas continued towards the nearest human colony of Uruguay II from 2562 through November 2570, where, 8 Lightyears short of Uruguay II, the Las Vegas was intercepted by a Frigate Flotilla, commanded by Commander Neville Meyers. The Flotilla had managed to receive an older distress message, and calculate, through the age of the message, where the ship was, and had immediately diverted from its prior mission to find the missing ship. The Las Vegas had been found after 11 years adrift.
The Las Vegas was docked to Meyers's Frigate, while the Newfoundland to another Frigate, and the Flotilla jumped back to Earth, which arrived at Earth in January 2578.
Debriefing and refitting
The Las Vegas 's crew was taken out of Cryogenic Suspension, along with the recovered crew from the Newfoundland, from which 15 crew died during resuscitation, from various complications. The rest of the crew from both vessels were debriefed, and the Vegas crew recovered 11 years worth of pay, and the entire crew was honourably discharged.
During the time the Las Vegas was lost, deep in space, the Covenant began skirmishes with the UNSC, forcing the UNSC to rapidly rebuild their military to counter the Covenant threat.
Because of this, the UNSC Las Vegas was then slated for immediate repairs and modernization.
Later, in 2606, the ship was briefly returned to active service to provide support for the riots on Baikal II; due to the lack of available modern UNSC vessels to do the task. However, upon the conclusion of the riots, it returned to Earth, and returned to the Naval Reserve.
Post Human-Covenant War Armament
The UNSC Las Vegas was equipped with 2 Magnetic Accelerator Cannons, which were capable of shooting 600 ton ferric tungsten/depleted uranium slugs at 47% the speed of light, with about 8,500,600,000 tons of energy on impact or 8.5 gigatons of force upon impact upon a target.
The Las Vegas also was equipped with a single 'Heavy' Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, which were capable of propelling 1000 ton ferric tungsten/depleted uranium slugs at 47% the speed of light, with a force of about 16,447,666,667 tons of force, or 16.4 gigatons of force upon impact upon a target.
She also carried a total of 36 Mini-Magnetic Accelerator Cannons, with 24 of them in 12 dual turrets, placed in various places around the ship, and another 12 in 4 triple-turrets underneath the Missile/hanger decks. It fired 10-ton projectiles with 39,581,333 tons of force, or 39.58 Megatons of force upon impact, at 57% of the Speed of Light.
The Las Vegas was outfitted with 60 Archer Missile pods, each containing 30 ARCHER Missiles, for a total of 1800. The UNSC Las Vegas held another 1,800 reloadable ARCHER missiles. Each ARCHER missile, post war, was more then capable of crippling a unshielded ship. They were also capable of being used as anti-aircraft missiles, and as anti-missile missiles.
The UNSC Las Vegas was also equipped with 4 SHIVA Nuclear ship-launched missiles. Vacuum-enhanced, the SHIVA nukes are more then capable of knocking out a shielded ship's shield, and obliterating a unshielded ship.
The Las Vegas supplied with 6 Zinko Nuclear Missile, post Human-Covenant War. Because they were modified ship-launched ICBMs, they were more then capable of simply destroying a shielded ship with one direct hit.
The Las Vegas was designed with 38 recessed 2-barreled 50mm turrets for point-defense, many with multiple overlapping fields-of-fire. Each gun shot thousands of rounds per minute, making it possible to shoot down incoming solid munitions at a close distance. This was the last defense against incoming munitions, before the hull itself, and because the guns were AI controlled, they were very effective.
The Las Vegas was also designed with a pair of 255-millimeter point-defense rotary Cannons per side, directly above Hanger decks. They were designed to simply shoot at ships adjacent to the ship, where the MACs could not reach. However, they were not very successful in their intended role, and were instead mostly used for point-defence actions.
As a last resort, the UNSC Las Vegas herself could have used as a weapon, plunging suicidally into an opponent's ship, ensuring victory - at the price of any crew still on-board at the time of impact with the target.