24 February 2011

NEWS FLASH! Old Man's War Movie Deal!

 io9.com just broke the story that Old Man's War by John Scalzi is being developed for the silver screen! At the moment, the screen-writer is David Self, who wants to turn the book series into "into a large-scale science fiction project." Old Man's War  director will be none other than Wolfgang Peterson, who directed one of the earliest MSF movies, Enemy Mine.


What does the ever opinionated author of one of the best MSF novels of all time say? Here is the quote from his blog:

"Yes, I'm very happy with the team putting it together. I've been an admirer of Wolfgang Petersen's for a long time now, both as a director and as someone whose films do great business here and abroad, and I think he's a very good fit for Old Man's War. Scott Stuber is likewise a very smart and savvy producer, and someone who knows how to shepherd a film through the process right to the big screen. Screenwriter David Self has done some great work adapting material (see: The Road to Perdition), so I was very happy to hear he was operating on my work. I'm also very pleased to be at Paramount, who knows their way around making, marketing and distributing very large science fiction and adventure films. Basically, a good fit all the way around."


Given the comments by David Self and that the Old Man's War universe as several books, it could be assumed that there could be a series of movies, but Scalzi rejected that with this odd comment on his blog:

"As a practical matter, the rest of the books in the series should be understood to be off the table"

With Old Man's War and The Forever War both being made into movies, it looks the future of military science-fiction is going to be very bright in the years to come!

Of course, FWS will follow any development in the  Old Man's War movie.

19 February 2011

History of Space Warfare

"Control of space means control of the world."
— Vice President Lyndon Johnson, 1961

I remember the first time I watch the original 1968 Planet of the Apes, and there in the survival kit is a hammer-less .32 Colt (with one magazine?), and wondering if real Astronauts carried guns into space? Did Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin have Colt .45's in the LEM?  During research of my award-winning paper on the global impact of the AK-47, I came across an quote that stated a cut-down AK (perhaps an AKS-74U) had been the first gun in space. I seems odd to a follower of NASA history that the USSR would give orbiting Cosmonauts (who were serving officers in the USSR armed forces) a gun?

GUNS IN SPACE


The first gun in space, it seems, was not an AKS-74U, but a odd-tri-barrel survival gun, specially developed the USSR if their Cosmonauts came down in "hostile territory". The TP-82 is a break-action tri-barrel pistol (with a attachable butt-stock) that fired flares, 5.45x39mm rounds, and 12.5x70mm shotgun shells.
The TP-82 was developed after a March 1965 landing of a Soyuz capsule was off course (Russia capsules parachute over land) and rumors of wolves and bears caused the Soviet Space Program to develop a compact weapon that could be used in all manner of situations. NASA regarded the Russian space gun as a taboo subject, especially when Russians and Americans started serving onboard the International Space Station. This unusually gun is packed in a metal canister with the other survival gear under the seats of the Soyuz capsule. The fate of the TP-82 was sealed with the strangle 12.5x70mm shotgun ammunition stockpile became unstable, and so the weapon was retired in 2008, replaced by the new standard issue Russian Federation MP-443 9x19mm pistol. 
Rumors say that NASA is not thrilled...



SPACE-BASED ARTILLERY 

The Third Reich's super-weapons or Wunderwaffe, was working on a space-based "sun-gun" mounted a orbiting space station that would unitize a 100-meter wide concave mirror to direct sunlight into a focus attack on the surface of the Earth. 

Another space-based artillery system was proposed by Jerry Pourlle, at the time working for Boeing, using "orbiting tungsten telephone pole poles" in the 1950's for kinetic bombardment of the surface. Later, this idea was explored under the USAF's Project Thor. This dumb projectiles are also called "Rods from God" and featured in the military sci-fi novels of Footfall and Orphanage.

 Today, space-based artillery systems are being developed for asteroid defense. Some of the ground work on asteroid defense with space-based artillery is the use of  kinetic penetration for space exploration. These were used on the Moon with the NASA LCROSS in 2009 and the NASA space probe Deep Impact that releasing an "impactor" into the comet Tempel 1 in 2005 .The ESA as been working on the Don Quijote space probe specifiably designed for asteroid defense, and will be tested in 2013 or 2015 on asteroid 99942 Apophis.




MILITARY SPACE STATIONS

 The Soviet Union Space Program reeled after their defeat to the Americans to get to the Moon first, threw themselves into beating the Americans to having a space station in GSO. The Almaz/Salyut station were small rocket-launched "military" space stations that were fitted with Soyuz capsule docking collars. The idea was to have manned military space platforms that could preform anti-satellite operations and recon from space, including developing film in the tiny stations
The oddest portion of these military Soviet GSO stations, is that they were armed with a Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 23x115mm cannon. The first was mounted on the Salyut-3 station in 1973. The 23mm cannon was original used on a wide range of Soviet and Warsaw Pact aircraft, and it served as a "self-defense cannon" on the Salyut-3.


The cannon was limited in use, due to the entire station would have to be moved for the cannon to change firing positions. According to several sources, the cannon was fired by ground control at a nearby satellite with success, some sources say that the cannon was fired until it ran out of ammunition. The gun was never fired when Salyut-3 was manned, there was a concern at the recoil that was produced by the NR-23 and could led to damage in the station hull integrity.

THE TERRA-3 INCIDENT

During the 1980's USSR was developing a carbon-dioxide/Red Ruby laser for anti-satellite and anti-ballistic missile defenses at TERRA-3 testing range in Sary-Shagan, Kazakhstan. This was the Russian version of the USA's own SDI program.
 According to other articles found online, the Soviets had been tracking US satellites and disturb them with low-powered lasers. But the shuttle worried the USSR greatly, as a possible  military base-of-operations for space-based strikes on Mother Russia.

Minister of Defense Ustinov ordered that the SDI American policy must be 'challenged'.  This challenge was a "warning shot" from the 5N 24 Argun phased-array at the Terra-3 complex. Ustinov felt justified in this extreme action because of the tension between the USSR and the USA over SDI, also Dmitri Ustinov believed that the Challenger was being used a spy platform.
Terra-3 at Sary-Shagan in the 1980's.

This 'warning shot' came on October 10th 1984, when the USSR targeted the US Space Shuttle Challenger during STS-41G with a low-powered laser that "caused malfunction to onboard systems and temporary blindness to the crew".
What happened to the USSR ground-based Laser defense systems? When the USSR fell apart, and the Cold War ended, the expense of a anti-missile DEW system proved too much.Terra-3 was left to rot. In addition, Terra-3 proved that the laser was too-under powered to destroy an incoming ICBM.


ANTI-SATELLITE

One of the new tools of war that as changed what will be fought over is satellites, and these would be a important target during any major armed conflict. If there is to be any war in space within much of our lifetimes, it will over satellites, and this as driven anti-satellite technology. Here the examples of anti-satellite tests:
  • The Chinese Anti-Satellite weapons test  of 2007, used a head-on collision of the Chinese FY-1C Weather Satellite and a kinetic kill vehicle retrofitted from a DF-21 ballistic missile (01/11/2007).
  • P78-1, an American F-15 launched an ASM-135A ASAT missile (pic left) to destroy a failing USA spy satellite successfully (09/13/1985)
  • The USS Lake Erie shot down the military spy satellite USA-193 with a SM-3 missile. 
  • To counter the threat proposed by the American SDI program, the Soviets designed the Polyus satellite to destroy SDI platforms with a megawatt CO2 Laser. The first Polyus satellite launched in 1985 failed to make orbit, and with the lack of a SDI satellites in orbit, and Mikhail Gorbachev's new peace effort the Polyus project was canceled.  
MISSILE DEFENSE

The largest impact into the furthering of space warfare, it is the Reagan SDI program or "Star Wars" of the 1980's, that later was scaled down into the Missile Defense Shield of today. SDI was attempt to place orbital and surface based anti-ICBM defensive weapons against the massive USSR advantage in nuclear weapons. President Reagen sold SDI to the American people as more of deterrent and shield than a weapon system.
The USSR mobilized its scientific minds to counter the threat and viewed this as a way to break NATO. Some believe that SDI was an attempt to break the financial spine of the Soviet Union and get them to the table, however, some of the technology of SDI was developed.
In 1985, the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-51-G) launched the High Precision Tracking Experiment (HPTE), and tested on June 21, via a Hawaii-based low-power laser  tracked and bounced the laser off of the HPTE. This was the first step in ground-based lasers that could tack, aim, and fire a laser beam to destroy or disable incoming ICBMs. Further tests, in 1990, via the Relay Mirror Experiment (RME) allowed for a 60cm mirror on a satellite in GSO was tracked by a ground-based system and held for a unspecified amount of time.
In 1989, the BEAR (Beam Experiment Aboard Rocket) was launched to test the application of a Neutral Particle Beam in the vacuum of space, and successful landed, allowing the military to assume that Particle DEW systems have application in space.  

The USAF spend about seven years with Boeing developing an aircraft mounted chemical laser for use to intercept and disable tactical ballistic missiles while they were in flight. The laser was mounted in the nose of a Boeing 747-00F testbed and was called the Boeing YAL-1.
The program was ended in 2011, when the USAF did not request anymore funding. The thinking was that the airborne laser was simply not going to work, The reason that were given by the DOD, was the  reaction time needed to track and disable a incoming missile, and the laser could only engage one target at a time, the 6500lbs of weight that the DEW system added, and the massive fuel needed to power the beam, forcing the 747 to land after each missile.  Also, it's use as an anti-satellite platform was also limited, especially considering that missiles were already proven to work.  
The real issue was the chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) was not a blaster, there simple not enough fuel that could be carried to create a beam with a enough juice to outright destroy the missiles, instead, the beam was used to weaken the skin of the missile to create failure in the hull integrity, however it needed 3-to-5 seconds of lock to function.   

SPACE PLANES

During the height of the Third Reich, the Luftwaffe began a project for the "Amerika Bomber", that was intended to launch the first stage in the invasion of America...the first step was for a long-range strategic bomber that could strike targets in America. One of way of performing this task was to skip through the atmosphere, this led to the so-called Silbervogel or "Silver Bird". The invasion of Russia stopped funding in 1941, but some work continued...and some believe that the Nazi's work on the Sliver-Bird allowed for NASA to develop the Space Shuttle.


Even now, the project to develop a space-borne vehicle is being undertaken by the US Marines, the so-called "Hot Eagle"....From the Popular Mechanics Website:  "It could transport a squad of Marine riflemen to anyplace on earth within 2 hours, and then extract them after their mission is complete. Though the goal is appealing—imagine delivering well-armed Marines at hypersonic speed to a suspected Osama bin Laden hideout or besieged embassy—the concept seemed outlandish to many when it was first proposed."

The working examples of the space planes are: The SR-71, the American and Soviet Space Shuttles, The Soviet Uragan/BOR-04/MiG-105 (pics below), the Boeing X-37, the American 1950's era X-15, and the private owned SpaceShip One.

The old USSR in the 1980's was developing their own shuttle system, the Buran and at the same time, the CIA had photographic evidence of a small space plane being recovering from the Indian Ocean in 1987. It was the Uragan/BOR-4/MiG-105 "Space Interceptor". American intelligence felt the Uragan was a response to the Space Shuttle, and could be armed with missles to shot down SDI satellites or even do harm to the proposed Freedom Space Station (now the ISS). Today, the new Russian space program as said that the Soviet space plane of the1980's were actually a testbed for the the Russian Buran Space Shuttle.  

In 1999, the USAF began the developed of the robotic reusable space planes that could field military satellites, repair damaged ones via robotic arms, and other missions to further the goals of US Space Command. In 2010, the first two X-37's were launched from a Atlas V rocket and successfully landed. It is unknown if the X-37 will mount any offensive weaponry, but it does possess the needed Delta-Vee to change orbits. The secret program was spotted by amateur skywatches and the USAF later came clean about the X-37 program...causing China to warn of the "militarization of space." Then there is the story of a rumored American space plane...
The AURORA.
Through the late 1980's all the way today, there have been rumors, odd videos, "doughnut" contrails, sonic booms, and sightings of triangle plane around the world. These sightings were not linked to Black Triangle UFOs seen during the infamous Phoenix Lights incident of 1997.  Rumors pointed to a next-gen stealth spy MACH-5+ plane that may use scramjet, or pulsejet, or even advanced prototype ramjet systems to skip through sub-orbit and atmosphere. However, the Aurora sightings have dropped sharply since the 1990's.
The likelihood of the USAF developing a new spy plane in the era of the spy satellite is doubtful. The likely cause for the existence of something like the secretive Aurora plane could be as a testbed for a space plane project (like the X-37) or even the next-gen stealth fighters, like the F-22.  


Are these the Aurora plane, captured in low-orbit by the Space Shuttle mission STS-61-C in 1986?
 



LINKS

Website with information on combat spacecraft:

This website devoted to the USSR Space Shuttle Buran and other projects

Link to more on the Terra-3/Space Shuttle incident of 1985.


A Good general space history site:





 



14 February 2011

FWS review of Starship Trooper 2: Hero of the Federation

Here is the FWS movie review of the 2004 direct-to-DVD semi-sequel to 1997's Starship Troopers. The film was not directed by Paul Verhoeven, and had a budget of $7 million verse the original's $100 million, and it shows. Starship troopers 2 is basically a siege-horror-action movie, that was shunned by the third film, in the fact that it is not mentioned or it's concepts ever expanded upon.The little that connected the original movie to the 1958 book, doesn't exist here, Starship Troopers 2 was born within the Verhoven-created Starship Trooper Universe. Starship Troopers 2 takes place on planet deep within bug space around the fortress Hotel-Delta 1-8-5, and follows the Bravo Six unit of 701st Mobile Infantry being outnumbered and forced to withdraw into the massive fortress, and wait for pickup. Within the massive walls of Hotel-Delta 1-8-5 horror ensues, along with random nakedness, and bad acting.





The GOOD
One of the things I didn't like about the original movie was the tongue-in-cheek mockery treatment of the Bug War, which cheapened the bitter gore war-scenes. Starship Troopers 2 tried to darken the mood, dumped the mockery, and get down more of serious attitude while laying waste to Arachnids. The other element that works in the film is the new Morita II direct-energy-weapon, the new portable rail cannon, and pistols instead of the throwing knives. This gives the M.I. troopers in this movie feel more futuristic and serious soldiers. Most of the other gear is directly recycled from the original.
The first ten minutes are the best in the entire film, with Bugs swarming around the few M.I. left from Bravo-Six, and all looks lost. It reminds me, in theme, of the events at Rorke's Drift in 1879 (The movie Zulu).  That is the high-points, then it free-falls head first into firmly bad movie territory.

The BAD
Once Bravo-Six survives a desperate run into the fortress complex of Hotel-Delta 1-8-5, the movie's bad acting, weak script, and personify disorder ruin what could have been a good re-start to the series. The personality disorder that plagues Starship Troopers 2 is due to the film markers attempt to mix horror, action, and psychological drama into one film that doesn't have foundation that could support it. These crop up when the energy barrier is up, protecting the fortress from the Bugs to display the psychology-horror that effects on the M.I. troopers, but the acting and writing simply cannot pull it off.
The new "control" Bug species that takes over the troopers bodies is painfully not original, coming off hammy and tired. This all leads to an ending that is obivous for well over an hour.

The UGLY
The prop Morita II weapon seems to have a flash-cap on the front of the barrel. During the movie, I swore that the SFX department used a light at the end of the prop to fill in the DEW flashes....wow....that is...bad. In addition, the tired Fednet breaks are nearly worthless from their recycled footage from the 1997 film.



Should You Watch Starship Troopers 2: The Hero of the Federation?
Oh, Dear God, NO! To show how little I bought of it, I watched this free on Youtube. I wouldn't waste my time (or life) with it.


01 February 2011

HALO Frontlines: Part Five-

(This is the novelization of the HALO:Reach Deliver Hope Trailer.)

1550 Hours April 22th, 2552 (Military Calendar) Luyten 726-8 System, Luyten Colony, Old Willem City


Carter-259 took cover behind a jagged piece of concrete as plasma splashed harmless into the material. He cursed at having Elite out there with good aim, and for listening to Kat.

That always got him into trouble.

“Jorge!” Carter yelled into his helmet com-unit.

“Sir?” Over the line, the commander of NOBLE team could pick up the chatter of his M274H MG.

He pulled out a stolen plasma grenade and primed it for a toss. “Give me some suppressive fire on the Red Elite on my 2 o’clock!”

“On it, Sir.”

The Elite dove behind the broken walls of a store front, kicking up some dust. Carter locked in the Elite’s location, and expertly flung the hissing blue orb into the chocking grey skies of Luyten colony.

Behind the commander, a soldier whistled “With an arm like that, SPARTAN, you could have been a pitcher on the London Kings!” Carter ignored him, instead turning his eyes to the Elite popping up from cover with a plasma grenade sizzling away on his shoulder.

“Boom…”He whispered as the blue explosion of hydrogen burned the giant alien. With the leader gone, the Jackals and Grunts scattered.

“Their bugging out! Cut’em down!” Carter dictated to the muling mass of UNSC marines and soldiers. Within a few minutes, the helpless alien legion was rattled with 7.62mm, clearing the way deeper into Old Willem City.

“Noble Actual to Noble One, SITREP, over.”

“We are three blocks for RV point, clearing our up through the ruins, sir.”

“Is the baby still sleeping, Noble One?”

Kat walked up and showed him the blank display of the ‘baby’ to the Commander. “Noble Actual, the ‘baby’ is sleep.”

“Orbital sats report the CCS is at the RV point in Unification city square, ONI estimates 7 minutes until they start putting down reinforcements directly into the city, Noble One.”

“Hard copy, Noble Actual,” He gestured to Kat, and she moved the team and soldiers up through the rumble littered streets of the second biggest city on the Luyten colony. “Don’t worry Noble Actual, we’ll get the baby to the sitter just on time for the party, sir.”

“I have no doubt, Noble One. Actual out.”

“We push them out of the highlands, and then they roll up with that thing to outflank us.” Kat complained in her thick accent to her CO. “They are sore losers.”

“The Covies fight dirty, Kat.”

“Not like I do, Commander.” The death-head wearing Emile spoke as he rushed by them.

“Emile, you’ll be Kat’s close protection detail when we get to the square,” he pointed to the overly aggressive SPARTAN-III. “You’re to get her there, no mistakes, Noble Four.”

“Understood, sir.”

“Thom,” Carter was flanked by another SPARTAN-III in grey/black MJOLNIR Mark V powered armor.

“Sir?”

“Still got the jetpack in green status?”

“I always keep my shit clean, sir, you know that.”

“Good.” He smacked his armored back. “You’re the backup if the original plan goes FUBAR.”

“Understood, Commander.” Thom ran to backup Kat and Emile. That was the behavior that Carter-259 tried to foster in all of his SPARTANs, teamwork. Most SPARTANs, in Carter’s experience were lone wolves, barely able to work with their own kind, let alone normal soldiers. Like most SPARTAN-III’s, Carter had been on those meat grinder missions where 90% causality were acceptable, he wanted that to change with NOBLE. When Holland was allowed to form a rapid response black-ops team with SPARTAN-IIIs, Carter was rescued from those kinds of missions. The commander of NOBLE wanted his team to act more like what he had seen in the ODSTs and Marines, depended on one another.

That is where Thom came in. He was the backbone of the team; he was the rock that the others could depend on to back them up, provide covering fire, and pull them out when it got too thick. The last thing Carter needed was yet another voice of discontent that would argue with the plan, which is why he snapped up Thom from the jaws of Beta-5.

A group of UH-144 whirled over the heads of the ground element, brass from their door mount machine guns fell all around the team and fresh dust plumed around the fractured city.

“Noble One,” the com came to life, and SPARTAN-259 checks the sender ID tag, it was the marine FORCE-RECON element that had dropped from the doomed Halcyon-class cruiser Arcadia of my Youth.

“Go ahead Bulldog-Seven.”

“We’re high ‘n’ tight over the RV, the CCS Unquenchable Piety is deploying Banshees, and we are moving the Falcon’s in to take the heat off.” Noble Team heard the com-chat, and Carter could feel their anxiety. SPARTANs do not like to wait.

Carter twisted his mouth behind his helmet, “that means they will be deploying troops.”

“And soon, Spartan.”

“What is your status, Bulldog-Seven?” Kat asked over the open team com-channel. A-259 knew what she was doing…hatching a plan.

“We have eight marines that stand ready, Noble.”

Jun, Noble team resident sniper piped in, “and the situation on the ground, marine?”

“Small beachhead force of some Elites and their minions, with a shade cannon near where their ship will set up its transport beam.”

Kat shipped a text message with her strategy on it, Carter reviewed it, made a few changes and un-muted the active line with the RECON team. “Position your sharpshooters to cover the assault on the square, send your shooters on the left flank to drive the enemy towards us, we’ll herd them in, while the package is delivered.”

“Roger that, Noble One, we’ll be laying in wait.”

“Jun,” he looked over to the Noble team’s resident sniper, “find a perch, and help us out.”

He winked his green status that blinked at Carter, and rushed off in the ruins, while Noble team took to their assault position.

“Jun, what’s the field ahead like?”

“The enemy as a nice little setup, stationary shield generators, and they’re building an anti-gravity tower, and some Shades.” His claim voice made it seem like he was describing a printing rather than the alien that had been wiping humanity out.

“And their numbers?”

“About four Elites and the rest are a mix of grunts and jackals.”

“Emile, hit the formation with your M319.”

“I’ll give’em little taste of some 40 mike-mike.”

“Noble, this is Bulldog Three, I got about four Jackhammer missiles, I help you soften them up, Spartan.”

“When Emile starts put the grenades down range, we’ll hit them on the right flank, and Bulldog hits the right. Got it?” Five status blinked green and Bulldog confirmed with a tap-tap on the SPARTAN’s headset.

“Let’s go Noble.”

The Covenant position was saturated with withering incoming fire. Rolling fireballs and impacts of bullets cut through the alien position. Secondary explosions were detonated; spinning grunts up into the air, as Noble and the Bulldog Recon Marines stormed the shattered remains of the city square.

Sensing the moment of being completely routed, the aliens came from cover and attempted a bold frontal assault. Despite, their VISR, the chocking black smoke for fire lit by the thermal wash from the plasma barrage, darkened the square. Marines and SPARTANs poured into the fury with Covenant rushing to meet them.

Kat-320 armed her Misriah Armory constructed medium fusion destructive device, carrying it like a football down the field of battle. The LED red timer started clicking down, and she single-handedly pressed the attack towards the gravity-lift.

Running through the chaos of the combat zone, she pumped out 12.7mm rounds from her M6G pistol, trying to ignore the buzzing Banshee over head. Some of the marines that she ran past fired their rifles at the swooping alien aircraft. Falcons also tried to keep the alien fighters at bay while the female SPARTAN reached her objective.

Behind them, Jorge laid down a thick metal blanket of 7.62mm from his machine gun, while the mix of army and marines rushed in leapfrog pattern, spraying the Covenant that popped up. The grunts were pushed at the barking of their Elite masters, right into the lines of fire from the soldiers.

Then an Elite Ultra jumped on a piece of building, Kat swung her pistol towards the imposing figure, she did her protects. A single shot rang out, bursting the Sangheili warrior’s head into a blueberry hued mess.

She and her package was safe for the moment.

The Banshee made a tight loop back to the group of SPARTANs, firing off a green bolt of fuel rod energy, impacting directly next to Kat, launching her into a cartwheel. Thom was thrown back, while Emile was tossed into the remains of a building.

Pain filled Kat-239’s entire body, expect for her right arm, and that had her worried. The only thought that pushed through the screaming was the micro-nuclear device clicking down to Armageddon. She could not call for help, or even see out of her helmet, everything was cracked and she tasted blood.

Thom jumped to his feet, he let loose several rounds out of his DMR to cover his downed teammates. Once he was over Kat, he witnessed the situation.

Two minutes until detonation flashed on the tiny screen, Kat turned her head to the bomb as a signal to the SPARTAN above her. Thom-293 understood and scooped up the device. Relief hit Kat, as Thom activated his jetpack. It was unfair, this was her mission, she had planned it, and forcible convicted Holland and Carter to take the mission.

Now, she was broken…lying on the charred ground, while the battlecruiser hovered over the city, mocking her attempt to swat it out of the sky.

Would she pass out, or would the nuclear explosion end her life?

No, she thought, Thom was the backbone, the one you could count on. He would get it done.

As the lone SPARTAN-III rocketed up to the organic warship looming above, she knew the mission would be completed…she thought as the waves of pain overtook her.

Pressing the jetpack to its upper limits, Thom bolting from the fighting on the surface to the imposing looming figure of the alien warship, the light from the gravity lift pointed his way.

He entered the craft with little effort, and used the remaining fuel to make best speed towards the heart of the Covenant landing force. The great speed at which he was traveling, allowed him to easily run pass any threat.

18 seconds clicked off.

Thom stood on a balcony over the loading bay in the belly of the beast. There before him was an Covenant army of thousands coupled with all the familiar war-machines. With only ten seconds left on the nuke, he looked at fuel level of his jet pack.

The red light was on, Thom would not have enough to power down to the surface.

It was clear what he had to do.

One second was left on the counter; Thom tossed the nuclear device directly into the very heart of the CCS-battlecrusier’s landing bay. He had just one second to use gravity, dropping out of the shielding layer before the explosion overtook him. If he was outside of the CCS’s energy shielding Thom thought of the math as his feet rushed him to escape.

One SPARTAN for thousands of Covenant….

Just as he jumped into the skies of Luyten, blinding white light engulfed him.

Over the smoking funeral pile that was Old Willem City, a new temporary violent sunrise powered by 16 kilotons of explosive power.

“Thom…”Kat’s weakened voice was clear over the com, as Carter’s visor cut on a protection mode to shield his eyes from the nuclear blast.

“The ones who come out on top are the ones who have been trained in the hardest school” Jorge said while bowing his head, and Jun emerged from his position.

“He’ll be remembered.” For a moment, the team of √úbermensch remained quiet, with the sounds of distant combat echoing over the ruins.

“C’mon, Noble,” Carter motioned to Kat, “We got one down and one missing.”

There in the moment of victory over the dirty skies of Luyten, Noble team gathered up their wounded member, and mourned the other missing from their ranks forever.