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Battle of Sigma Octanus IVEdit
- Main article: Sigma Octanus IV
On July 17, 2552, the Gettysburg responded to a distress signal sent by Commander Jacob Keyes from the Sigma Octanus system. The vessel later fought in the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV.
The vessel then returned to the orbital space dock of Reach, where it was heavily damaged in the Battle of Reach. There the entire crew was killed in the battle when an energy projector gutted the vessel and caused the atmosphere to vent. Despite this, the Gettysburg was still structurally intact and its fusion reactors even remained powered up, although its engines were apparently damaged beyond a timely repair as well as its Slipspace drive as the ship later had to use Ascendant Justice's slipspace drive to perform a jump on its own.
Eventually, John-117 along with several survivors of Battle of Installation 04 and Fall of Reach, used the Gettysburg, fusing it with the Covenant ship Ascendant Justice via external hard points on both ships, thus becoming the first Human-Covenant hybrid vessel in history. It was used because the Ascendant Justice could not do the two Slipspace jumps in and out of a group of Covenant ships fast enough using just its own reactor. Despite the damage it had taken, it was apparently repaired enough after the fusing that the crew started to use it over the Ascendant Justice as their main ship for living and working on, presumably because it was a human ship and had things they needed on it, although the Ascendant Justice remained the primary ship of the two for the engines and Slipspace. During a skirmish in Slipspace, the Gettysburg was used to propel the ship to the side by filling the docking bay with air and then releasing it all at once. During a skirmish in near Eridanus secundus with a Covenant cruiser, the superconducting coils for the ship's MAC gun were used to shape and fire a plasma charge to destroy the enemy ship.
Operation: FIRST STRIKEEdit
- Main article: Operation: FIRST STRIKE
After the Spartans initiated Operation: FIRST STRIKE the Gettysburg-Ascendant Justice was dropped out of Slipspace at the edge of the Tau Ceti system where the Covenant Fleet was. Upon seeing the size of the fleet and knowing that even if the Spartans destroyed the Unyeilding Hierophant the fleet would still overwhelm Earth, Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb had the hybrid ship jump to the other side of a nearby moon in the system and the two ships unlinked so that he and First Lieutenant Elias Haverson could use the Ascendant Justice to lure a Covenant battle fleet to the Unyielding Hierophant, which was about to explode and destroy the fleet. The ship was refitted with Ascendant Justice's Slipspace drive to give it back the ability to jump, which was presumably lost when the ship was damaged in the Fall of Reach and left behind the moon to rendezvous with the returning Spartans, broadcasting the Spartans Oly Oly Oxen Free code to get their attention as they had no idea the ship remained in the system. The Spartans boarded it and after receiving final orders from Admiral Whitcomb, witnessed the destruction of all but a dozen ships of the over 500 ship fleet in the explosion caused by the Spartans and thanks to Whitcomb and Haverson's trick.
Return to SolEdit
Following Admiral Whitcomb's last orders, and unable to do anymore in the battered Gettysburg, John-117 ordered a jump to Slipspace to a random destination as per the Cole Protocol and then finally to Earth. On board the Gettysburg, the last surviving members of the Fall of Reach and the Battle of Installation 04 were finally able to return home. Thanks to their actions and what they learned, they were able to warn Earth of the impending Covenant threat and weaken the forces that were later sent against Earth severely, giving it a chance to win in the Battle of Earth where if they hadn't destroyed that Covenant Fleet, Earth would've been easily overwhelmed and decimated.
After that, its fate remains unknown. Certainly the slipspace drive captured from Ascendant Justice was likely studied, though whether improvements were made in time for the Battle of Earth is unknown. The actual hull may have been refit for service in the decimated UNSC Fleet, or scrapped to provide materials for other ships.
The Gettysburg was refitted with the slipspace drive from the Ascendant Justice prior to unlinking.
- It is named after the Battle of Gettysburg. The American Civil War battle took place on July 1–3, 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Earth. This is interesting, in that it was fused with a Covenant vessel, just as the two factions of the American Civil War eventually rejoined into one country.
- The Gettysburg has an onboard O-Club, housing a massive table of oak, scored with numerous gouges and scorches from a hundred cigars set upon its surface. There was a bar stocked with bottles containing a rainbow collection of liquors. It also housed the UNSC gold-fringed blue flag, photographs of past officers and captains of the Gettysburg, and a tin Civil War daguerreotype that displayed battlefields of charging men, cavalry, and cannons.
- The Gettysburg is the first UNSC ship to have a hybrid translight drive system both Human and Covenant. As well as being the first Covenant-Human hybrid ship in the fleet.
- After Ascendant Justice's Slipspace drive was installed this ship was the fastest ship in the UNSC.
- This ship's bridge had to have Titanium-A plates welded in order to replace the destroyed viewports.
- The engines may have been used to improve the UNSC Infinity, however it is unlikely as the refits to the engines were done by Huragok after the war.