Aftermath of the Fall of Reach

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Reach, near the end of the battle.
The Covenant on Reach.

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Fall of Reach

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The engagements in the Fall of Reach resulted in an extensive aftermath for the overall war effort, for the units involved, and for the planet itself.

Losses and retreats[edit]

Escaping Reach.
The UNSC Pillar of Autumn escaping a glassed Reach, through a debris field of UNSC ships.

Numerous ships and units were destroyed or were irreparably damaged. The UNSC Basra, one of the finest in service was damaged beyond repair. One of the most revered ships in the fleet[1] and the Flagship of the Epsilon Eridani Fleet,[2] the UNSC Trafalgar, was also destroyed.[3]

The Covenant ship Valorous Salvation escaped midway through the battle and ended up attacking the colony planet Beta Gabriel.[4]

Several UNSC starships would escape the battle as well, such as the UNSC Aegis Fate.[5]

Escape of the Pillar of Autumn and Installation 04[edit]

Main article: Battle of Installation 04

The UNSC Pillar of Autumn would flee the battle, with the AI Cortana commandeering it's escape destination to the previously undiscovered fourth Forerunner Halo. While the Battle of Installation 04 was tangential to the main front, the containment of the initial Flood outbreak - and the experience gained - was just as critical for the survival of humanity.

ONI artifact recovery, and assessment[edit]

Artifacts and other recovered items[edit]

During and after the Fall of Reach, a number of artifacts were recovered. Prior to the completion of Operation: WHITE GLOVE, ONI recovered Dr. Halsey's personal journal.[6] As well, a flag that was originally used by SPARTANs during training sessions of Capture the Flag, was recovered and put on display at Outpost Discovery.[7]

Investigations and analysis of the battle[edit]

On September 4, 2552, the Office of Naval Intelligence began investigating Joseph Poteet and Alasdair Schicker, believing that they may have leaked classified information to the Covenant. Including the location of Reach.[8] At the same time, Lieutenant Wagner who escaped the battle reported to the UNSC Security Council at HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6, Earth, detailing the glassing of the planet and the escape of the UNSC Pillar of Autumn.[9]

An inquiry was held by ONI Retrieval and Acquisitions on September 26, 2552 which culminated in the creation of a target profile of Thel 'Vadamee by Lieutenant Commander Jameson Locke.[10] This report included information on Thel's actions at the Fall of Reach.[11]

Just over a month after the battle on October 8, 2552, Admiral J. Garcia compiled 844 files into a report called "Preliminary Reports of Action - Defense of Reach". It detailed fleet actions in the Reach Defense Coordination Zone. This report along with several others would be assembled into another file in 2554 for Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood.[12]

At some point after the battle, numerous reports were filed including ITEM/466F41.LV. Some of these reports contradicted one another, especially in regards to Jun-A266's actions following the SWORD Base portion of Operation: WHITE GLOVE.[13]

Earth and the Sol system[edit]

The loss of Reach was announced on Earth over PA systems.[14] Weeks after the battle, rumors started circulating on Earth that people were still alive on Reach.[15]

The Office of Naval Intelligence knew of at least four Covenant battle groups centred around large assault carriers prowling the outer edges of UNSC-held space. The Navy believed that the location of Sol was compromised and began relocating heavy industry facilities and command centers out of the system in a long-planned exodus.[16] UNSC units were also posted in Earth's tether cities following the battle of Reach.[17] Some graffiti on Earth used the slogan "Remember Reach".[18]

Following the battle, a memorial was created for fallen ONI personnel in the Fall of Reach at ONI Alpha Site on Earth.[19] The fall of the planet would also mean that Mars would once again become the largest industrial center in human space.[20]

Post-fall missions and activities on Reach[edit]

Rescue operation[edit]

Main article: Raid on Reach

As the Covenant began glassing Reach, the surviving Spartans continued their fight. Team Gamma; a Red team splinter composed of Anton-044; Grace-093 and Li-008, had managed to survive and complete their mission to rescue Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb from HIGHCOM. Too late to reach CASTLE base, they hid in the mountains attacking Covenant units with the use of guerrilla tactics as opposed to a conventional assault. They programmed their MJOLNIR suits to transmit the "Oly Oly Oxen Free" secret code on E-Band radio, hoping that any surviving Spartans would discover it and help them.

Meanwhile underneath the ruins of CASTLE base, Dr. Halsey and five Spartans (Fred, Kelly, Will, Vinh, and Isaac) had spent five days combing the remains of a Forerunner structure and an additional five days trapped in a hallway inside the ruins by Covenant forces. They managed to retrieve a Forerunner crystal that the Covenant were seeking, but it emitted a burst of radiation which alerted the Covenant to their presence. Vinh and Isaac fell at the hands of overwhelming Covenant forces, and the others escaped by blowing the hallway down behind them.

After the survivors were recovered by Ascendant Justice, a Covenant Flagship captured by John-117 after the Battle of Installation 04, the ship drew a group of Covenant vessels out of the system in pursuit to Eridanus Secundus, leading to the destruction of the asteroid colony, and the destruction of the artifact and the recovery of only a small number of pieces by the Covenant. The Ascendant Justice also destroyed around sixteen Covenant warships during the escape in slipspace and at the rebel base.[21]


The members of Blue Team meeting up in Reach's glasslands in 2558 to remember Sam's sacrifice.

The earliest known return mission to Reach would be in 2553 when a pioneer group came to the planet to scout and prepare for the planet's reterraforming.[22]

Surviving members of Blue Team would return to a glassed Reach in 2558, honoring Samuel-034's sacrifice at the Battle of Chi Ceti.[23]

They would again come back to a desolate Reach in 2559 during Operation: WOLFE and the Created uprising. This time they would attempt to dig into the ruins of CASTLE Base.[24]

Environment, livability, and future of Reach[edit]

A screenshot of the game's epilogue screen.
Reach restored to a green state in 2589.

A number of moa survived in isolated areas of Reach.[25]

Reach would return to a green state by 2589 and with at least one colony ship coming to settle on the planet.[26] By 2610, the city of New Alexandria was resettled with a few new areas including Hősök tere, which held the Reach War Memorial.[27]