Various systems in UNSC-controlled space
|“||As William Butler Yeats said: 'The center cannot hold.' ||”|
The Insurrection is the proper name given to an undeclared civil war fought between Earth's primary military, scientific, and exploratory agency, the United Nations Space Command and various loosely organized groups of rebels, collectively known as the Insurrectionists, over control of the Outer Colonies, beginning in the year 2494. Originally, the breakaway movements started as disquiet against the Colonial Administration Authority's oversight of the Outer Colonies, with the colonists tired of the organization's often overbearing bureaucracy. It first started as peaceful protests, and after years of frustrating negotiations, some groups began to use more forceful methods, eventually abandoning diplomacy in favor of terrorist tactics.
What had once been widespread support for the Insurrectionists quickly dried up at the outbreak of violence. Though they started out targeting only military and Colonial Administration targets, as the UNSC counterinsurgency operations began more and more innocent people were caught in the crossfire.
By 2524, the Insurrection had claimed millions of lives. The various rebel groups had become extremely adept at creating improvised explosive devices difficult for the UNSC to detect, and therefore stop, and had struck many high profile targets, even in orbit above Reach itself. Some opponents of the war believed the simplest solution was to simply give the rebels their autonomy - for the UNSC to pull out, and let the rebels have their independence. However, the value of the colonies made them simply too important to abandon.
 The Outer Colony insurgency
While the widespread fighting in the Outer Colonies did not start until 2494, there had been multiple isolated rebellions for some time. This led the UNSC to resurrect the ORION Project in 2491, to combat the increasing threat posed by civil uprisings. In 2492, the UNSC used nuclear weapons to put down a rebellion on the colony of Far Isle, one of many separate cases that increased dissent against the UNSC and led the Insurrectionists to adopt more aggressive tactics.
 The Callisto Incident
- Main article: Callisto Incident
The Callisto Incident was what effectively started the war between the UNSC and Insurrectionists. The UNSC Callisto, a corvette, was captured by Insurrectionists when boarding merchant vessels, and all UNSC crew aboard it were killed. In response, the UNSC sent a battle group of three destroyers: the UNSC Jericho, the UNSC Buenos Aires, and the UNSC Las Vegas.
On March 2, 2494, the battle group eventually found the Callisto in the 26 Draconis System. All of the ships fired six Ares missiles at the renegade destroyer. However, the Callisto managed to avoid destruction by maneuvering behind an asteroid. The insurrectionists then detonated a nuke hidden inside the asteroid before hand, launching the debris toward the UNSC ships.
The Buenos Aires was engulfed in the explosion and destroyed, and the other two ships were seriously damaged. Second Lieutenant Preston Cole, as the only living or conscious officer aboard the bridge of the Las Vegas, took control of the vessel. He signaled the Callisto, activating the ship's distress signal and requested medical aid for the wounded. When the Callisto docked with the Las Vegas in order to take command of the ship, Cole detonated the ships last Ares Missile, which had been planted inside the docking bay, critically damaging the Callisto. Cole then bluffed by opening the empty missile silos on his ship and ordered the Callisto to surrender and allow Las Vegas's AI to take control.
Following the Callisto Incident, the Insurrection began to spread to other systems, including the Eridanus system which became embroiled in a local insurrection in the same year. The rebellion was crushed two years later, at the cost of four destroyers, though the rebels in the system retreated into the asteroid belt and would continue to operate for several decades onward.
 Preston Cole and the Bellicose
In June 2501, an insurgent captured UNSC frigate, the Bellerophon, was pursued for the third time by the UNSC Gorgon, commanded by Preston Cole, into the Theta Ursae Majoris system. After a chase and battle, in which the Bellerophon managed to dodge a MAC round using excellent tactics, the Gorgon was contacted by the Bellerophon, renamed the Bellicose. A short exchange of taunting messages followed, and then Cole let the Bellicose escape. After laying traps in five systems over a course of three months, Cole had yet to find the captured ship. Several months later, Cole was married to Lyrenne Castilla, who was also pregnant.
In June of 2503, eight months after Cole's marriage to Castilla, Admiral Harold Stanforth sent Cole a transmission telling him that ONI uncovered the civilian identity of the captain of the Bellicose - Lyrenne Castilla, spying on Cole. Cole went to confirm this, and found that Castilla had robbed him of everything, leaving only a printout of the exchange they had between the Bellicose and Gorgon. In January of the next year, four destroyers engaged the Bellicose in the Theta Ursae Majoris system, and reported that the ship was caught in the gravitational pull of the gas giant, and destroyed.
Cole faced a court-martial for conspiring with the enemy and giving Castilla knowledge of UNSC slipspace upgrades, and possible execution. However, Harold Stanforth stepped in and vouched for him, and Cole was merely relocated to Earth with a desk job. The Bellicose survived, however, and remained in the shadows until eventually reappearing with an Insurrectionist fleet, dealing the Covenant a crippling blow in the Battle of Psi Serpentis.
 Operation: TREBUCHET
- Main article: Operation: TREBUCHET
Operation: TREBUCHET was one of the largest operations in UNSC history, spanning a timeline of ten years. The goal was to counter the Insurrectionists, which was eventually successful, but at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives.
Fighting broke out in the Eridanus system, particularly at Eridanus II and the space around it, as rebels supporting the system's breakaway from the UNSC built a small navy of civilian craft and attempted to take over the system. The disorganized Eridanus rebels were eventually brought together by Colonel Robert Watts. The UNSC responded harshly, sending a fleet of destroyers and carriers to the system to combat the rebel fleet. The resulting battle pitted the UNSC against at least one hundred smaller rebel craft. The UNSC forces defeated their rebel counterparts with little difficulty. During the battle, the rebels were routed and the remnants of their fleet fled into the asteroid belt to Eridanus Secundus. They would eventually establish a fully functional asteroid base and began conducting raids again by 2525.
A ground campaign also began on Eridanus II, as units from the 9th Marine Expeditionary Force were sent to the planet in force, hoping to capture leaders of the rebel movement and pacify the population. One of these units, the first Battalion of the 21st Marine Division commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Ponder, was involved in a disastrous mission to try and capture a rebel leader - the second in command - in Elysium City, which ended in the leader's family being killed and Ponder wounded and demoted.
The fighting eventually spread to the Epsilon Eridani system. By 2524, the fighting involved in Operation: TREBUCHET alone had taken over a million lives, the majority of which being civilians. In that year, a Marine battalion was posted at the colony world of Tribute, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Aboim and supported by the corvette UNSC Bum Rush and air support from Hornets. The battalion attempted to put a stop to rebel bomb makers near the city of Casbah. Two special warfare squads, led by Staff Sergeants Avery Johnson and Nolan Byrne, were involved in disastrous operation in June. Byrne's team was killed during a hostage situation at a Jim Dandy restaurant near Casbah city; thirty-eight civilians, three Marines, and two rebels were killed in the bombing. Byrne and Johnson were pulled from the system, and were later sent to Harvest.
 Kidnapping at Eridanus Secundus
- Main article: Assault on Eridanus Secundus
In the year 2525, a SPARTAN-II team, led by John-117, went on a mission to infiltrate and capture rebel leader Colonel Robert Watts. The Spartans sneaked on board via the Laden. Once onboard, they located a cargo that contained luxury items such as Sweet William cigars and champagne, verifying Watts' presence.
After boarding the rebel base, they neutralized the guards in their path and eventually found their way to Watts. They successfully killed his guards, and sedated Watts long enough for them to escape. Using explosives, they blasted their way out, killing dozens of civilians, much to the regret of the team.
 During the Human-Covenant War
Following the Covenant attack on Harvest and the onset of the Human-Covenant War in 2525, Operation: TREBUCHET was put on halt by the UNSC. The Office of Naval Intelligence Section II sent emissaries with full disclosure on events at Harvest to warn Outer Colony leaders. The UNSC made the offer that they would cease hostilities toward the Insurrectionists if they worked to bolster their planetary defenses and ended their attacks on UNSC ships. The rebels believed it to be a trap and responded with laughter, only to face a harsh dose of reality as the Covenant began laying waste to colony after colony.
As the new threat became apparent, many of the rebels, seeing that the UNSC offered the only real protection against the overwhelming Covenant force, ceased to resist and either submitted to the UNSC's control or hid themselves away from both UNSC and Covenant in remote locations such as habitats like the Rubble or Outer Colony worlds, many of which were eventually glassed. However, not all insurrectionists stopped their attacks against the UNSC, and continued their aggression for years after the beginning of the war with the Covenant.
As the war progressed, insurrectionist activity continued to decrease, apart from isolated conflicts such as the insurrections on Mamore and incidents on Harmony and Reach. This was in part due to the common enemy of the Covenant and the desperate situation humanity found itself in, but also the near-total decimation of the Outer Colonies which had served as the rebels' bases of operations. However, the desire for independence continued to linger on many remaining colony worlds. Using the situation to their advantage, entire colonies under Insurrectionist control intentionally cut themselves off the UNSC's communications relay network during the war, anticipating to resume their operations later on.
Although Insurrection activity continued over the entirety of the Human-Covenant War, the high-profile operations and major battles which characterized the early years all but subsided after the beginning of the war. Any engagements between the UNSC and the rebels following the Covenant attack appear to have been relatively low-key, often involving covert missions carried out by special forces such as Spartans. As a result, the generation that had grown up during the war had no knowledge of the Insurrection's persistence and considered the entire civil war as having occurred long before their time.[note 1]
 Raid on Camp New Hope
- Main article: Raid on Camp New Hope
By 2531, Insurrectionists had repeatedly had its operations disrupted by a four-man team of Spartan-II supersoldiers known as Blue Team. The team disrupted Insurrectionist operations including Station Jefferson, the destroyer Origami and a saboteur cell on Reach, as well as an incident in Micronesia, and a high-explosives manufacturing facility at an unspecified location.
In response, the rebels gathered together three stolen FENRIS nuclear warheads at Camp New Hope in a way so sloppy that the Office of Naval Intelligence could not help but notice, then contacted the UNSC and offered to trade the nukes in exchange for medicines for their people suffering from Boren's Syndrome. They then set a trap for Blue Team, whom they anticipated would be sent. They successfully ambushed John-117, Frederic-104, Kelly-087 and Linda-058 using an antigravity plate, however were unaware of the presence of a fifth Spartan and new addition to the team, Kurt-051, who had avoided the trap. Kurt was able to free the other members of Blue Team and they then retreated from the camp with the recovered warheads before the camp could launch a proper counterattack. Rebel leader General Howard Graves was killed in the process.
 Massacre at Eridanus Secundus
- Main article: Massacre at Eridanus Secundus
On September 12, 2552, Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb, Fred, the Master Chief, Cortana, Dr. Halsey, and Lieutenant Haverson, aboard the Gettysburg-Ascendant Justice, encountered a small rebel base in an asteroid - the same base John had raided 27 years earlier.
After a tentative agreement, Whitcomb convinced Jiles, the governor, to house their battered ships and repair them. Soon, a Covenant ship arrived. Whitcomb quickly destroyed it, but at the loss of their last functional turret, showing that there was most likely more Covenant ships coming. Whitcomb, feeling it was his duty to warn Earth first, initiated a Slipspace jump, leaving the rebels behind, helpless against the soon to arrive Covenant.
After the end of the Human-Covenant War, many insurrectionist movements which had ceased their operations during the war began to resurface. Meanwhile, the UNSC began attempts to broker peace with the surviving Outer Colonies and Fleet Admiral Hood embarked on a diplomatic mission to discuss reconstruction. A number of colonies refused this offer and cut all ties with the UNSC, which, according to them, had abandoned them during the war. Many insurrectionist cells were also able to acquire copious amounts of Covenant and UNSC weapons and equipment circulating on the black market.
Of particular significance to the reemerging insurrectionist movement was the colony of Venezia, which had become a major center for rebel operations during the war, when its insurrectionist government had declared itself sovereign and eliminated the local CAA authorities.
Also of major significance was the rise of the New Colonial Alliance founded by rogue UNSC Admiral Mattius Drake, which in 2553 attempted to hijack the newly-commissioned UNSC Infinity. In this attack, former SPARTAN-IV candidate Isla Zane staged a mutiny on the vessel and managed to briefly seize control of the bridge before being disarmed and apprehended by UNSC forces led by SPARTAN-IV Commander Sarah Palmer, leading to the UNSC's discovery of the new movement's existence.
|“||History looks upon this time as an unfortunate (and perhaps inevitable?) misunderstanding between Earth and her colonies, but those fighting for the last decade also realize that it was the most amazing piece of blind fortune the human race has ever stumbled upon. Had we not been armed and learning how to fight in space... what would have happened in the years that followed, when we faced an enemy a hundred times worse? Oblivion, no doubt.||”|
While the reason for the UNSC's eventual victory was arguably the Great Schism within the Covenant, from the Insurrection came the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, titanium-A armor, advances in ship-to-ship warfare tactics, and above all, the SPARTAN-IIs, all of which would prove crucial in humanity's fight against the Covenant.
 Known systems and planets with Insurrectionist activity
- Epsilon Eridani system
- Eridanus system
- 111 Tauri system
- 23 Librae system 
- 26 Draconis system
- Epsilon Indi system
- Charybdis system
- Procyon system
- Theta Ursae Majoris system
- Alpha Aurigae system
- Venezia 
- Lodestone 
- Sol System
- Dr. Elias Carver presents the Carver Findings predicting the Insurrection to HIGHCOM.
- The ORION Project is reinitialized by the UNSC to combat rebels.
- A large uprising occurs on the UNSC colony of Far Isle. Unable to control the rebellion, the UNSC declares code: Bandersnatch and uses nuclear weapons to raze the colony.
- Callisto Incident - A group of insurrectionists board a UNSC corvette, Callisto and kill the crew. A naval engagement ensues as three UNSC light destroyers are sent to hunt down the captured ship.
- Insurrectionist forces take control of Eridanus II, establishing their own secessionist government in the wake of the coup d'état.
- UNSC forces begin their campaign to retake Eridanus II, deploying a battle group to engage the makeshift Insurrectionist defense fleet. Despite the UNSC's best attempts at removing the entrenched rebellion, ONI fails to discover the location of their base. This hollowed-out asteroid would remain a safe haven for Insurrectionists for another three decades.
- Operation: CHARLEMAGNE marks a decisive strike on the Secessionist Union.
- Skirmish at Theta Ursae Majoris - The UNSC Gorgon engages the Bellicose in the Theta Ursae Majoris system. The battle ends in a draw.
- Operation: KALEIDOSCOPE - Jerald Mulkey Ander, the leader of the Secessionist Union on Harvest is assassinated by Avery Junior Johnson.
- Skirmish at Capella - UNSC Gorgon is damaged in a skirmish with Insurrectionist forces, resulting in the deaths of 32 crew members and requiring her to be laid up in space dock for one month for repairs.
- Battle of Theta Ursae Majoris System - Four UNSC destroyers are sent to hunt down the Bellicose, which is reported destroyed in the battle.
- A terrorist with the Freedom and Liberation Party detonates a commercial nuclear explosive in the Haven arcology on Mamore, killing two million people and injuring 8.3 million.
- Operation: TREBUCHET begins. Heavy fighting takes place in the Eridanus system, as the rebel forces led by Colonel Robert Watts face off against the UNSC in both the surface of Eridanus II and space around the planet. The rebel fleet is defeated and the remnants retreat into their hidden base in the system's asteroid belt and begin conducting raids.
- The SPARTAN-II Program is created by Dr. Halsey and initiated by the UNSC to counter Insurrectionist activity.
- Operation: TREBUCHET continues, now in Epsilon Eridani. A UNSC Marine assault to stop rebel bomb makers on Tribute goes awry, resulting in the death of thirty-eight civilians, three Marines, and two rebels.
- Luxury liner National Holiday is destroyed by Insurrectionists above Reach. The Office of Naval Intelligence successfully covered up the bombing as a freak accident.
- Assault on Eridanus Secundus - A team of SPARTAN-IIs are sent to Eridanus Secundus to capture Colonel Robert Watts. They succeed in doing so, crippling but not destroying the rebel infrastructure in the Eridanus system. Further plans to attack rebel base apparently abandoned due to Human-Covenant War.
- Shortly afterward, the Spartans were sent to halt a rebellion on Jericho VII.
- Operation: TREBUCHET is abruptly concluded with the start of the Human-Covenant War after the First Battle of Harvest.
- The UNSC warns insurrectionist leaders about the threat of the Covenant and proposes a truce. However, most rebels believe this to be a trap and decline, only to soon realize the direness of the threat once the Covenant begin their assault on the Outer Colonies.
- Sometime around 2525-2526, UNSC forces are sent to put down Insurrectionist forces on Jericho VII, and ODSTs are deployed there for over 131 days.
- ODSTs are deployed to counter Insurrectionist forces on Arcadia.
- Insurrectionists bomb a civilian spaceport in Troisi City, Lodestone.
- On Mars, two Insurrectionists of the Bandusa Insurrectionist group, Christina Rice and James McCann, are disguised as Army specialists and allegedly attempt to steal nuclear warheads for a possible attack on New Harmony, Mars. However, UNSC forces working with ONI agents discover this plan and Rice and McCann are captured.
- ODSTs are deployed against Insurrectionist forces on Andesia.
- In mid-2526 an unknown group of Insurrectionists were engaged with UNSC forces when both sides came under attack by the Covenant; both forces subsequently fought together against the aliens.
- Raid on Camp New Hope: SPARTAN-II Blue Team assaults Camp New Hope on the planet Victoria, recover three stolen nuclear warheads, and eliminate General Howard Graves, a prominent Insurrectionist leader.
- Scyllion Warehouse District Riot: Food riots led by Insurrectionist Jason Kincaide who is smuggling Covenant weapons from The Rubble. Kincaide leads a massive assault upon ONI forces and Jacob Keyes after telling them about the Kestrel, but is killed by Keyes. Riot put down by ODSTs from Midsummer Night.
- Battle of the Rubble: The Rubble, an insurrectionist asteroid habitat, is destroyed, but over a million civilians manage to escape with the help of a UNSC stealth frigate, the Midsummer Night. Also a major UNSC victory against the Covenant.
- Insurrection of Mamore, Spartan-III Alpha Company successfully puts down the rebellion.
- By this year, contact with the colony of Venezia is lost. Evidence points to a takeover by Insurrectionist forces, who were prominent on the planet.
- Insurrectionists disable a communications relay on Harmony, and steal two freighters from a drydock.
- Insurrection activity on Reach continues. In one instance, two insurgents trying to hijack a supply transport are surprised by Noble Team.
- Massacre at Eridanus Secundus: A group of Insurrectionists still hiding in Eridanus Secundus are killed by the Covenant after helping a group of UNSC forces. In this case, both the UNSC and the Insurrectionists were united, but the UNSC was forced to abandon them due to a greater threat to Earth.
- A group of insurrectionists belonging to the "New Colonial Alliance" are led by Isla Zane in an attempt to commandeer the UNSC Infinity. The attack is repelled, largely due to the efforts of Spartans Sarah Palmer and Edward Davis.
- Evidence suggests that the Insurrectionist government on Venezia is making preparations to attack Earth.
- The UNSC Ariadne comes out of slipspace above Venezia following reactor malfunctions; requests to Venezia for permission to evacuate personnel to the planet surface are denied, and the reactor experiences a meltdown, destroying the vessel with all hands lost. The UNSC Monte Cassino arrives too late to assist, and while searching for survivors is fired upon by an anti-aircraft cannon. Monte Cassino retaliates by destroying the cannon with missiles.
- The supporters of the Insurrection were known in slang as "Innies", which was ironic if one considered how much the "Innies" wanted "out".
- It is interesting to note that both the Spartan-I and Spartan-II programs have links to the Insurrection. The first generations of supersoldiers were created near the beginning of the unrest, while the latter were specifically created to deal with the projected results of the Insurrection - full-scale civil war within twenty years. After the attack of the Covenant, both assets were re-prioritized to deal with the new alien enemy.
 List of appearances
- Halo: The Fall of Reach (First appearance)
- Halo: First Strike
- Adjunct (Mentioned only)
- Halo Graphic Novel (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo: Contact Harvest
- Halo: The Cole Protocol
- Halo Wars
- Halo Legends
- Halo Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
- Remember Reach
- Patrol (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Reach (Mentioned only)
- Data pads (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Glasslands
- Halo: The Thursday War
- Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
- Halo 4 (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Initiation
- Halo: Mortal Dictata
- ^ The Insurrection was originally stated in Halo: First Strike to have died out after the onset of the Human-Covenant War, as the appearance of the Covenant left most Insurrectionists concluding that staying with the UNSC was a lesser evil to outright annihilation. However, later sources such as Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Halo: The Cole Protocol and Halo: Reach retcon this, with The Cole Protocol stating that the Insurrection continued at least until 2535, and Reach saying that it was still ongoing as of 2552. The 2010 rerelease of Halo: First Strike was modified to accommodate this change. However, more recently, in Halo: Glasslands and Halo: The Thursday War, it is maintained that the Insurrection subsided after the start of the Covenant War; characters such as Malcolm Geffen and Vasily Beloi consider the entire notion of conflict between humans a thing of the past. In order to reconcile this, it can be assumed that the characters in question were unaware of the continuation of the conflict, or at least the extent of it.
- ^ a b YouTube: Patrol
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 86
- ^ Halo: Evolutions, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", page 418, from Preston Cole's essay in March 2481
- ^ a b c d e f Halo: Contact Harvest
- ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 61
- ^ a b c d Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- ^ a b c Halo: The Fall of Reach, pages 17-18
- ^ a b c Halo: The Fall of Reach, pages 75-77
- ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 112
- ^ a b c Dr. Halsey's personal journal
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 45
- ^ a b Halo: Reach, campaign level Noble Actual
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 68
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, pages 216, 447
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 36-37
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 70
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 448
- ^ a b Halo: Glasslands, page 86
- ^ Halo: Initiation, Issue # 3
- ^ Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Impossible Life and the Possible of Preston J. Cole", page 457
- ^ a b Halo: The Fall of Reach
- ^ a b Halo: First Strike
- ^ a b Halo: The Cole Protocol
- ^ a b c Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole"
- ^ a b c d e f g Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Episode 1
- ^ Halo Encyclopedia, pages 44-45
- ^ Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", page 453
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 83
- ^ a b [Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Part 3
- ^ Amazon.com — Halo: Glasslands product description
- ^ Halo: Initiation - Issue 3