Attack on Etalan
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The Attack on Etalan was an engagement early in the Human-Covenant War where the Covenant's Fleet of Inexorable Obedience, led by Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee, assaulted the human colony of Etalan. It took place in March 2526.
When the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience arrived in the Igdras system and set its sights on Etalan, they faced little to no resistance. By March 8, 2526, Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee was already leading his fleet as they methodically glassed the world, taking care to destroy Etalan's sole spaceport before any civilians could evacuate. Due to the fact that Etalan's population was thinly spread between one hundred thousand nomadic villages, the process of cleansing each settlement took a while to complete. Over a week later, only about half of these villages had been glassed.
The Minor Minister of Artifact Survey, who had been overseeing the planet's destruction from aboard the Pious Rampage, began to tire of the slow pace required if all the human settlements were to be destroyed. To expedite the process, 'Kvarosee suggested that they target Etalan's enormous shield volcano that rested on the equator. Such an action could trigger an eruption large enough to fill the planet's skies with smoke and ash, slowing suffocating the remaining colonists. Liking this plan, the San'Shyuum gave the order and the volcano was bombarded. The Fleet of Inexorable Obedience then moved to the nearby Kolaqoa system, leaving its fifteen-vessel logistics fleet at Etalan where they would theoretically be safe. As had been intended, the plasma bombardment caused the volcano to violently erupt and cover the planet in clouds of ash. By March 26, all that was left of the volcano was an immense lake of lava.
After Fleet of Inexorable Obedience arrived in the Kolaqoa system with its sights set on the human colony of Biko, Colonel Marmon Crowther of the 21st Space Assault Battalion got word that the logistics fleet was stationed at Etalan. Since destroying these vessels could slow the Covenant's advance through the Outer Colonies, the UNSC Vanishing Point and two prowlers—along with the twelve Spartans of Blue, Gold, and Green Teams—were split off from Task Force Yama to target the logistics fleet.
On March 22, the three ships dropped out of slipspace close to Etalan, and the Vanishing Point's analysts spent the next four days observing the logistics fleet's movements, trying to discern which vessel served which purpose, and which would thus be prime targets. By March 26, they felt confident that four of the fleet's fifteen vessels were equipment freighters that carried spare parts and other materials used to keep the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience operational in the field. At this point, the logistics fleet was seemingly preparing to break from orbit over Etalan, evidenced by the fact that they had begun syncing their orbits and bringing their fusion reactors to full power. Since time was running out, Gold and Green Teams were deployed from the Vanishing Point in S-14 Baselards, with the intent to destroy the equipment freighters.
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