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40px-Terminal.png This article, Battle of the Antaeus Nebula, was written by Apollostriumph. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.

The Battle of the Antaeus Nebula was the first conflict between UCG forces and the Swarm; taking place on April 8th, 2633; when UNSC forces detected and engaged an unknown battlegroup of untagged, unidentified warships exiting slipspace within the quadrant.

Battle of the Antaeus Nebula

Date:

April 8th, 2633

Location:

Antaeus Nebula, Milky Way Galaxy

Result:

UCG victory

Belligerents

Swarm Fleet

UNSC Navy

Allegiance Royal Navy

Commanders

Hive Queen

Captain John Bradley

Commander Bruce Ornstein

Lord Indromil

Strength

3 Frigates

4 destroyers

1 cruiser

1 Carrier

3 Triton Class destroyers

11 Royal Frigates

5 Royal Destroyers

1 Supercarrier

Casualties

estimated 800 Casualties

Hive Queen

232 Human

103 Allegiance

Commander Bruce Ornstein

 
TSC Battle 5

Allegiance vessel plowing through Swarm forces in Indromil's Charge.

Leading up to first-contact

UNSC, Ve'nek, and Allegiance governments had lost contact on several occasions with vessels bound for worlds using the Antaeus Nebula as a mapped slipspace route. These vessels included a UNSC freighter, an Allegience survey ship, and on a later occasion, a Ve'nek passenger liner comprised of several high-profile politicians vital within their government. ONI special intelligence soon gathered that none of the ships that were reported missing within the quadrant had voluntarily or dispatched

coordinates to exit slipspace within the Nebula, but were instead, ripped from slipspace with an intense gravity distortion field that disrupted their faster-than-light travel. There had been no worlds nearby to create such a powerful distortion in gravity, leaving the Office of Naval Intelligence to believe that the vessels were forcefully pulled by some sort of highly advanced tractor beam deployed by unknown, but powerful vessels.

UNSC HIGHCOM was immediately notified of the baffling realization made by ONI, and orders were passed down in secrecy to investigate the happenings not with spy ships or scout vessels, but three Triton-class destroyers. The UNSC rapidly deployed these vessels under the command of Captain John Bradley, on the squadron's flagship dubbed the Watchman. Captain Bradley exited slipspace with his battlegroup to confront five enemy vessels upon entry to the quadrant. He employed a spy drone, which was quickly shot down by the unidentified ships; afterward Bradley ordered the vessels to give identification. When comms were opened, all that could be heard was a cacophony of hisses, clicks and screeches that not even the ship's AI could decipher properly; leading to the assumption that these ships were para-galactic intruders.

Captain Bradley immediately radioed for reinforcements from nearby Allegiance and Ve'nek military installations, and thus the battle for the Antaeus Nebula began.

Bradley's Folly

Captain Bradley engaged the five vessels, attacking them with a ferocity not normally seen in UNSC engagements against foreign opponents. Something enraged him about the enemy vessels, and made him aggressive, but unwise in the tactics to follow. No weapon silo on the three destroyers ran cold; each and every one launching every bit of ordinance short of nuclear warheads. The Swarm ships followed suit with a counterattack, two of their ships, identified as a heavy cruiser and destroyer, flanked the UNSC positions, causing the second destroyer, the Eridanus under heavy fire and sustaining significant quantities of damage. Bradley and his crew were shocked to see that their ordinance had virtually no effect on the encroaching ships as they pressed their unwavering advance. Their weapons were powerful enough to rip through heavily shielded carriers like those of the Covenant Remnant, yet had little to no effect on the Swarm vessels.

After witnessing the failure of their weapons systems, the captain of the Eridanus, Commander Bruce Ornstein, made a daring plan to save his two sister ships. He ordered his crew to evacuate on escape pods and dock with the Watchman and the New Harmony; while he engaged their forces directly. Ornstein radioed his plan to Captain Bradley and the commander of the New Harmony, who's name unfortunately is lost in time, as are many millions of others. Bradley objected at first, but after sustaining heavy damage and casualties, he decided it would be the only way to thwart the attack and prevent the enemy vessels from attacking the nearby Allegiance industrial asteroid New Canaan. Ornstein sent one final transmission to Captain Bradley, before he began his final offensive.

"Let HIGHCOM know what we found here, tell everyone, even the Covenant. These things are bound to devour every last living thing if we don't stop them, so do me a favor and send the word along. Notify them of their strategies, their ferocious, unwavering tenacity. Their devouring weapons and near unbreakable ships... But also tell em' that they aren't completely unbreakable. Heh heh..."

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Commander Ornstein and his crew launch full-speed into the Swarm's lines, only seconds before crashing through the enemy Carrier.

Commander Ornstein evacuated all of his personnel, with the exception of a handful of loyal crewmates who refused to sink without their ship. This brave skeleton crew accelerated their engine drives, and plowed full speed into the center line, smashing directly into the heavy carrier. The two frigates and one destroyer guarding the carrier fired every round it could into the Eridanus in a desperate attempt to stop the destroyer from crashing into the lead vessel, but failed. The sheer force and mass of the ship ripped through the carrier's graviton shields and collided with the vessel, causing a colossal explosion that destroyed the two neighboring frigates and dealing the destroyer significant damage.

The two remaining destroyers focused on the two remaining vessels as the damaged Swarm vessel reeled away from the conflict. More bloody fighting occurred between the four vessels, before four more Swarm vessels entered the quadrant through a slipspace rupture far different and more efficient than anything the UNSC had previously encountered. The New Harmony was quickly destroyed in the ensuing chaos, and Captain Bradley reluctantly retreated from the battle, notifying the Allegiance and the Ve'nek of the condition of his battlegroup and the threat they may face.

The Allegiance did not respond, they didn't need to; and understood what the captain was relaying. Seventeen Allegiance ships from the Royal Navy arrived in the quadrant, ready to defend New Canaan and thwart the Swarm's plans. The enemy vessels were soon overwhelmed by the blinding speed and firepower of the Royal Navy, destroying all of the swarm ships but one, which retreated to an unknown, uncharted sector of the Galaxy's outer rim. From then on it was assumed that the Swarm had entered the Milky Way from that point, and began their assault there. The Allegiance lost one frigate within the conflict, two destroyers suffering significant damage as well. The Allegiance's powerful offensive against the swarm would be forever known as Indromil's Charge. Named after the commander of the Allegiance battlegroup sent to destroy the Swarm.

War

Indromil's charge, as seen from the wreckage of the New Harmony.

Aftermath

Captain Bradley escaped into Ve'nek controlled space, where much needed repairs were carried out on the Ve'nek fortress world of Urandil II. UNSC HIGHCOM was notified of the sacrifice commander Ornstein made at the battle of the Nebula, and honored him for his service in the UNSC; officially making Bruce the first hero of the Swarm War.

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