UNSC Forward Unto Dawn
|UNSC Forward Unto Dawn|
Support for heavier ships, transport, command vessel (after destruction of Home Fleet)
155.2 meters (509 ft 2 in)
139.2 meters (456 ft 8 in)
UNSC Forward Unto Dawn (FFG-201) was a Charon-class light frigate in the UNSC Navy. Affectionately known by her crew as "The Dawn", the ship's name is taken from a poem about humanity's interstellar expansion. With a maximum complement of 782, the Dawn participated in the final battles of the Human-Covenant War.
Battle of Voi
- Main article: Battle of Voi
In November 2552, Forward Unto Dawn was part of the UNSC's Seventh Fleet. The Dawn was recalled to reinforce the UNSC Home Fleet during the Battle of Earth. The UNSC suffered heavy casualties during the Covenant's assault. By the time Spartan John-117 arrived from Installation 05 aboard the Prophet of Truth's Forerunner Dreadnought, Forward Unto Dawn was one of the few ships remaining under Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood's command. Due to the lack of larger, more powerful vessels, Hood used the Dawn as his flagship during the Battle of Voi. He agreed to commit Forward Unto Dawn and two other frigates against the grounded Dreadnought, which had begun interfacing with the Forerunner structure the Covenant had unearthed between the cities of Mombasa and Voi. After the Spartan destroyed the Covenant's local anti-air defenses, the frigates and several GA-TL1 Longswords assaulted the Dreadnought.
Despite firing nearly a dozen MAC slugs at Truth's ship, the Dreadnought remained unharmed. Immediately afterward, a slipspace portal was activated and Truth's fleet passed through it. Unbeknownst to the UNSC, who assumed that the excavated complex was itself the Ark, the real Ark, Installation 00, lay beyond the portal.
The Flood arrived in Voi shortly after the opening of the slipspace portal; the parasite was pursued by the Sangheili Fleet of Retribution, led by the assault carrier Shadow of Intent. The Flood threat forced the UNSC into an alliance with the Sangheili-led separatists, commanded by Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum. After the infection had been cleansed, the Separatists and UNSC viewed a message from Cortana, warning them that the Gravemind itself was coming to Earth. They further learned that there was a solution to the Flood on the other side of the Portal - one that did not require firing the remaining Halos.
'Vadum insisted that Elites and humans both go through the Portal to deal with Truth and the Flood once and for all. Though skeptical, Lord Hood agreed to commit some forces to the mission. To this end, the Forward Unto Dawn joined the Fleet of Retribution; elements of the 11th Marine Force Reconnaissance/ODST were also tasked with gathering intelligence on whatever lay beyond the portal. Hood gave Commander Miranda Keyes command of Forward Unto Dawn while he remained behind to coordinate Earth's remaining defenses; the ship was docked inside Shadow of Intent's massive hangar bay and the task force set off through the portal.
Operation: BLIND FAITH
- Main article: Battle of Installation 00
- "I'm giving the Brutes all I've got, but this is a heavy-weight fight! The Dawn's only got the tonnage to last a few rounds."
- —Commander Miranda Keyes during the battle over the Ark.
Once at the Ark, the opposing Covenant fleets engaged one another. The Dawn was ill-equipped to fight against such large opponents, but was able to engage the enemy cruisers for a short time. At the same time, the Dawn deployed troops to the surface, with John-117's team disabling an Mantis AA gun and a pair of Anti-Air Wraiths. Once a landing zone was cleared, Forward Unto Dawn set down near the Cartographer and directly offloaded several M808 Main Battle Tanks and M12 Force Application Vehicles.
As the human-Sangheili alliance pushed toward the installation's control center, Sergeant Major Avery Johnson was captured so that Truth could force him to activate the Halo Array. Around this time, the Flood arrived at the Ark via the now-infested High Charity and began attacking both sides. Commander Keyes attempted a daring rescue, though she was killed personally by the Prophet of Truth. Nevertheless, the Chief and the Arbiter succeeded in killing Truth and stopping the Halo Array from being fired. Shortly thereafter, John-117, Arbiter Thel 'Vadam, and monitor 343 Guilty Spark discovered that the Ark was manufacturing a replacement for Installation 04; it was then determined that igniting the ring could destroy both the Flood and the Covenant with a single, decisive blow. With the rest of Forward Unto Dawn's crew and complement dead or aboard the remaining separatist vessels, Johnson brought the ship a few kilometers from the incomplete ring's Control Room and closed the distance in a Warthog.
Escape from Installation 00
- "Well, some of us made it."
- —Cortana, after escaping Installation 04B.
Ultimately, Johnson was betrayed and killed by Guilty Spark, who was in turn destroyed by the Spartan. The ring was activated, and John and the Arbiter raced to the now-deserted Dawn. After crashing Johnson's Warthog into the ship's oversized cargo bay, 'Vadam headed for the bridge while the Spartan uploaded Cortana into the ship's mainframe to activate the engines. The ship entered the slipspace portal, which collapsed as the ring's energy pulse hit. Forward Unto Dawn was cut in half as a result.
The forward section, containing the Arbiter, returned to Earth and crashed into the Indian Ocean. He was rescued from the wreckage by a UNSC recovery team. The debris from the ship that landed on Earth was auctioned off sometime after the end of the Human-Covenant War.
Adrift in space
The aft section emerged in unknown space, John and Cortana having survived the Halo's pulse. The Spartan and AI were left in a drifting hulk without working propulsion. After Cortana dropped a distress beacon, John entered a cryo chamber to wait for recovery. During the years that followed, Cortana remained active and alert while the Spartan slept in cryo. In 2556, the AI compiled a history of the Forerunners and humanity and shared it with the still-unconscious Spartan. She later took the opportunity to overhaul and upgrade John's Mark VI MJOLNIR armor, making modifications to its layout using nanomachines while also rewriting its firmware.
Arrival at Requiem
On July 20th, 2557, precisely four years, seven months, and ten days after the Battle of Installation 00, Cortana noticed that the ship's intruder alarms had been activated and awakened John-117 from cryosleep. After being revived, John fought off the intruders, who turned out to be Sangheili and Unggoy. The Chief and Cortana soon realized that a Covenant fleet had surrounded the Forward Unto Dawn's remains while a group of Phantoms unloaded more boarders onto the heavily damaged frigate. During the fight through the ship, the Master Chief managed to launch one of the ship's Hyperion nuclear missiles and destroy a nearby CRS-class light cruiser. Soon, John and Cortana crashed on the Forerunner shield world known as Requiem. The remnants of the Dawn did not survive atmospheric entry and the ship was torn to pieces, scattered over a kilometers-wide swath on the surface, along with the attacking Covenant vessels.
Fortunately, dozens of weapons and a handful of M12 Warthog LRVs survived the crash, enabling John and Cortana to scout the surface of the shield world. Having discovered Cortana's distress beacon, the UNSC Infinity was deployed to recover the Dawn's survivors. Infinity's crew, still following the beacon, attempted to find the Dawn's crash site inside the installation. However, the ship's locator signal was being faked by the Forerunner supreme commander known as the Ur-Didact, who attempted to draw the Infinity inside Requiem to enact his plan of vengeance upon humanity. The wreckage was presumably destroyed along with Requiem itself in February 2558.
Forward Unto Dawn underwent a major redesign in Halo 4. Despite maintaining a vaguely similar profile, the ship appears much larger, with more of the forward half remaining intact, though it is canonically still 490 meters long. This increase in scale was intended to create a more interesting playspace, much like the dramatic upscaling of the UNSC Pillar of Autumn in The Maw; otherwise, the first level's playspace would have been cramped and required a great deal of backtracking. The scale is further confused by the Covenant cruisers encountered in the level; while the Dawn's aft half dwarfs what appears to be a colossal CCS-class battlecruiser, the enemy vessels are actually 300 meter-long CRS-class light cruisers. The ship's cryotubes have also been remodeled and the cryo bay has been rearranged.
The enlarged cargo bay, (a defining feature of the Charon class), is greatly reduced in size and moved farther forward, which creates an inconsistency with the final cutscene of the level Halo. Rather than having two primary engines on the main hull and two secondaries on the "wings", there are only two primary engines with one secondary nestled between them. The port and starboard hangar bays have been reduced from five small bays on either side to one much larger bay on either side; they are moved much farther back, remaining with the aft section. The point defense guns have been retconned into three separate models, increased in number, and moved to different areas on the hull.
A slightly modified version of the Dawn's redesign is used as the appearance of the Strident-class heavy frigate. 343 Industries writer Jeff Easterling has since confirmed that the class' original appearance is considered canon. Notably, a Charon-class frigate is depicted in the original style in Halo: Escalation #6.
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- On the lower part of the bow there is a black "7" inside a yellow star with a yellow chevron under it, which shows the ship's assignment to the Seventh Fleet. This is one of Bungie's myriad references to the number seven.
- All three frigates in the level The Storm use the same textures as Forward Unto Dawn.
- Like the main vessels of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, (Pillar of Autumn and In Amber Clad, respectively), Forward Unto Dawn serves as the main vessel in Halo 3's campaign and is likewise destroyed near the end of the game.
- Halo: The Essential Visual Guide mistakenly lists the Forward Unto Dawn as appearing in Halo 3: ODST.
The aft half of the Dawn being pulled into Requiem in the Halo 4 announcement trailer.
An intact Halo 4-era Forward Unto Dawn signature toy by MEGA Brands.
Halo 4 concept art
List of appearances
- Halo 3 (First appearance)
- Halo Legends
- Halo: First Strike (2010) (Mentioned only)
- Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
- Halo 4
- Halo: Escalation
- ^ a b c d Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 74
- ^ a b c d e f g Halo Waypoint: The Halo Bulletin: 10.10.12
- ^ a b See production notes.
- ^ Forward Unto Dawn's starboard hull.
- ^ Halo 4, campaign level Dawn - Forward Unto Dawn status hologram
- ^ Halo 3: Official Strategy Guide, page 109
- ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Ark
- ^ Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Part 1
- ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Storm
- ^ Halo 3, campaign level Floodgate
- ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant
- ^ a b c d Halo 3, campaign level Halo
- ^ Halo: First Strike (2010), Adjunct
- ^ Halo Legends - Origins
- ^ a b Halo 4, campaign level Dawn
- ^ Game Informer: May 2012
- ^ a b Halo 4, campaign level Requiem
- ^ Halo 4, campaign level Forerunner
- ^ Spartan Ops, S1E10 - Exodus
- ^ Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Have S'moa