Archive:Halo Waypoint/2009 to 2014/Universe/Locations
From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
With its own civilian population largely aloof to such endeavors, the planet of Algolis had been the home to a number of prototype weapon projects including HRUNTING and YGGDRASIL. These simultaneous programs eventually culminated in the creation of an armor system that was unmatched within the UNSC’s arsenal.
This particular item was perhaps why the Covenant held specific interest in Algolis, sending a small but effective invasion fleet to what was a sparsely-populated human settlement. When the Covenant first arrived, civilians immediately prepared their ships for evacuation—but many were destroyed before they could even breach the planet’s atmosphere. Those who survived the risky escape did so by the narrowest of margins, retreating to lone frigate which hung in orbit.
During this swift and cruel siege, a UNSC demolitions crew nicknamed the “Hades Corps” was sent in to eliminate the potential threat of the Office of Naval Intelligence’s armor prototype falling into Covenant hands. But after the Cole Protocol was initiated, all communication was lost with the UNSC ground forces, and reports on the incident are inconclusive.
Although the local UNSC frigate assisting with evacuations was scheduled to link up with a destroyer by the name of The Heart of Midlothian for an escorted Cole-compatible loop back to Earth, contact with the ship was never made. The fate of the planet, the frigate, and its civilians remains unknown, though ONI remains confident that the technical data and prototypes of HRUNTING and YGGDRASIL will remain a secret.
While the Forerunners were responsible for the creation of the Halo Array—a weapons network which consisted of seven ringworld installations distributed throughout the galaxy—their plan against the Flood included yet another critical component. “Shields” or “shield worlds” were also created as a shelter against the galactic holocaust unleashed by the firing of the Halo Array. In response to the Flood’s brutal and virulent spread across the galaxy, the Forerunners would activate the Halo Array, placing salvageable life forms within these shield worlds for preservation. Although only two of these installations have ever been historically documented, the differences between the two are distinct and intriguing.
The first was discovered in 2531, when the UNSC Spirit of Fire stumbled upon a remote planet in the uncharted regions of our galaxy. As they traveled toward the world, they found their ship forcefully drawn to an aperture on its surface—an aperture which took them to the planet’s interior. Within it lied the revelation that the entire structure was an artificially-created Micro Dyson Sphere—a shell-like installation with a vast interior surface and a burning sun at its center.
During their exploration of this mysterious shield world, the Spirit’s crew discovered that the Flood had somehow been unleashed on its surface—the same parasite which the installation was ultimately intended to protect against. After engaging Covenant forces within the planet’s interior, the Spirit was forced to destroy the shield world, the Flood outbreak and a dormant Forerunner fleet which the Covenant were frantically seeking to activate.
Twenty years later, a contingent of ONI personnel and Spartans found themselves stranded on the remote and hidden planet known as Onyx. This planet would also be revealed to be a Forerunner shield world—and while its ultimate purpose would be similar, its design would be wholly different.
Within the center of Onyx was a controlled Slipspace rift—a technological concept which far outstripped anything humanity had ever encountered before. Escaping into the rift to evade a Covenant army, these humans found themselves with yet another Micro Dyson Sphere, this one existing outside of normal space. Though its dimensions were astronomical, the environment was completely hidden in Slipspace, safe from the obliterative pulse of Halo.
While these installations were both fascinating and impressive, it remains unknown whether their true purpose was ever successfully realized.
Based in the Procyon system, Arcadia was a colonial planet which needed no aggressive terraforming measures when it was first considered for human habitation. In fact, covered in densely lush forests and jungles—many of which remained unexplored for decades—the world had an incredibly plentiful supply of all the ingredients needed to support human settlement. Like many Outer Colonies, Arcadia would quickly find itself exploited for agricultural and recreational reasons—becoming both a farming world and a tourist destination. But the planet was not limited to these two industries: Arcadia was also the site of the Deep Space Research Array, leading some to point out the irony that the Arcadians knew more about the heavens than they did about the dense jungles of their own backyard.
Arcadia had six designated continents: Eire, Pacifica, Mu, Caledonia, Lemuria and Avalon—and within each of those a number of provincial regions exist, the most popular of which was the metropolitan capital of Pirth. This was quickly discovered by the Covenant upon their arrival in early 2531, and they focused a significant amount of their local resources on an effort to destroy it.
Though UNSC forces would eventually push the Covenant back, it would reveal what they were ultimately looking for. Buried deep within its jungles, Arcadia held a series of ancient structures which predated humanity’s presence—structures which would later be revealed as Forerunner. These relics led the Covenant to a shield world—a Forerunner installation created as a shelter against the firing of the Halo Array.
While the Covenant would leave Arcadia only days later, they would eventually return in 2549 to obliterate whatever remained. When they arrived, the Covenant found the surviving Arcadians in a bizarre, anachronistic state—flora had overgrown their cities and whatever remained of their civilization had slipped into a state of lawlessness.
Even in that dark hour, many Arcadians would do what they had always done: continue to plant and grow crops for the Inner Colonies, clinging to their trade and whatever vestiges of civilization still remained.
That is, until the planet was wiped out by the Covenant almost two decades later.