Assault on the Control Room (conflict)

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Battle of the Silent Cartographer



Assault on the Control Room


Human-Covenant War


September 20, 2552[1][2][3]


Installation 04, around the Control Room


UNSC victory

  • Cortana within control room systems

United Nations Space Command


  • 1 Pelican
  • Multiple Marine squads
  • Most forces
This article is about the battle in 2552. For the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign level, see here.

The Assault on the Control Room was an engagement within the Battle of Installation 04 in which John-117 fought his way through heavy Covenant opposition in order to reach the installation's control room, assisting several surviving Marine squads in the process.


Following the Raid on the Truth and Reconciliation the previous day, UNSC forces had learned that "Halo" was a weapon, and the Covenant intended to control it. The UNSC launched an effort to find the megastructure's control room, intending to use it themselves against the Covenant, led by Spartan John-117. On September 20, 2552, Pelicans Echo 419 and Bravo 022 deployed a squad of Marines along with the Spartan onto an island containing the ring's map room, referred to by the Covenant as the "Silent Cartographer". A pitched battle ensued, with John ultimately reaching the map room and determining the control room's location. The map indicated the control room would be accessible through the ring's honeycomb network of underground tunnels, prompting Echo 419 to pick up the Spartan and proceed to make their way through the tunnels to the region in which the control room was located.[4][5]

The battle[edit]

Echo 419 preparing to deploy John-117.

Echo 419 inserted the Master Chief on an underground platform, as close to Halo's control room as it could get. The Spartan disembarked there, catching several Covenant troops off-guard before fighting his way through several rooms full of more enemy troops, soon exiting out of a door onto a large bridge crossing over a canyon. At that moment, a Pelican dropship flew overhead, and John picked up an SOS from Fireteam Zulu, one of the units operating out of Alpha Base. John quickly took control of a nearby Mamua'uda-pattern Shade and used it to clear out all of the nearby Covenant forces before fighting his way to the other side, killing an energy-sword-wielding Sangheili Zealot near the opposite door. Fighting through several more rooms and descending on a lift, he eventually made it into the snowy valley where the surviving members of Fireteam Zulu were under heavy assault from Covenant troops including multiple Shade turrets, Karo'etba-pattern Ghosts and a Zurdo-pattern Wraith. John reached the surviving Marines and helped them repel their attackers[6]

Members of Fireteam Zulu in combat with Covenant ground forces during the Battle of Installation 04. From Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary campaign level Assault on the Control Room.
Fireteam Zulu engaging Covenant forces.

With the valley secure, John and the remnants of Fireteam Zulu pushed into the next valley, assisting another fireteam of Marines against Covenant forces near a crashed Pelican. With evacuation not possible at the time, the surviving Marines joined John on his push towards the control room. Mounting up in the nearby M808B Scorpion, 030569, John and the Marines advanced, engaging a Covenant armored force and then entered a network of underground tunnels and chasms, fighting through fortified Covenant positions before re-emerging in another canyon. Although most of the Marine squads and fireteams around the control room had been wiped out, John-117 discovered another surviving squad under attack by Mgalekgolo. John quickly assisted the Marines against the Hunters as well as a Dextro Xur-pattern Spirit dropship's troops. The UNSC forces attacked another Covenant position, the Marines moving up once John took care of the enemy Shades, clearing a landing zone. With evac finally available, the surviving Marines held their position, leaving the Spartan and Cortana to proceed alone[7][6]

John-117 and Cortana inside Installation 04's control room. From Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary campaign level Assault on the Control Room.
John-117 and Cortana inside the control room.

The Master Chief continued to fight his way towards the control room, moving through numerous rooms and passageways and across several outdoor bridges while battling heavy opposition from Covenant troops. He eventually reached the control room, the exterior of which had been heavily fortified by the Covenant. John was forced to fight his way up the numerous ramps leading to the entrance, engaging dozens of hostiles as he went until he reached the top. The entrance was guarded by a Sangheili Zealot and his troops but they were all taken out in moments by John's usage of a commandeered Shade. With all Covenant troops in the vicinity neutralized, John moved into the control room. He inserted Cortana into the control room's Core, where the AI proceeded to absorb vast amounts of data from Halo's systems, and she quickly deduced that the "weapons cache" that Captain Keyes was searching for was in fact a Flood containment facility. Realising the peril the Captain was in, Cortana ordered John to stop Keyes from investigating the facility. He quickly headed back for Echo 419, leaving Cortana in the mainframe.[6][7]


Following John-117's departure, the Covenant would proceed to send a large force to re-take the control room, fortifying it heavily. They would later come into conflict with Sentinels and the Flood.[8] John-117 would proceed with Echo 419 to the Flood containment facility, and would eventually discover the outbreak of the parasite there.[9] He would later return to the control room with the installation's monitor, 343 Guilty Spark, intending to activate the ring in order to stop the Flood before being stopped by Cortana who told the Spartan about the true purpose of Halo as a last-ditch attempt to stop the Flood by wiping out all sentient life in the galaxy.[8][10]

During her time in the control room, Cortana would absorb enormous amounts of information about the Halo Array and the Forerunners as well as the Flood. The sheer amount of data cut into the AI's processing systems, slowing her down and causing her to display uncharacteristic behavior which became a significant factor while on board the Ascendant Justice following the destruction of Installation 04.[11] John noticed Cortana's behavioral changes shortly after reuniting with her after his return to the control room.[12]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo Waypopint: Canon Fodder - That's So Raven
  2. ^ Halo Waypoint: The Halo Confict - Timeline (Archive)
  3. ^ The Halo Conflict
  4. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level The Silent Cartographer
  5. ^ Halo: The Flood, chapter 5
  6. ^ a b c Halo: The Flood, chapter 6
  7. ^ a b Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level Assault on the Control Room
  8. ^ a b Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level Two Betrayals
  9. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level 343 Guilty Spark
  10. ^ Halo: The Flood, chapter 9
  11. ^ Halo: First Strike
  12. ^ Halo: The Flood, chapter 10