Battle of Bliss
On February 13, 2526, ONI prowler Accra was conducting a survey above the planet's surface, when it detected 45 Covenant ships entering the system 18,537 miles away from the planet. The UNSC vessels Weeping Willows, Matador, and Purpose engaged the Covenant ships as they got to Bliss' moon, Aires, while Bliss began a planet-wide evacuation. In just one short minute, the UNSC picketing ships were destroyed.
While the Accra moved to a safer distance for observation, the Covenant ships quickly moved into position. While the carriers remained in high orbit above the planet, the battleships all moved in a unique geometric pattern above the planet's surface. The ships fired their plasma weapons and began glassing the planet.
Unfortunately, the Accra was discovered by Covenant probes and the carriers released fighter craft to engage the prowler. Although it attempted to speed up and activate its Slipspace drive, the fighter ships outstripped the prowler and began firing. Desperately, the Accra fired twenty escape pods, but the ship was destroyed.
It was assumed that all citizens on Bliss died before they could evacuate. The Covenant ships finished glassing the planet and left just as quickly as they came. The UNSC Prophecy arrived after the battle and recovered the data logs of the Accra in its last moments, which revealed the entire battle.
Before news of the planet's destruction was presented to the Outer Colony leaders, they laughed at the UNSC's warnings of the Covenant threat, thinking that it was just ONI propaganda and an attempt to fool them to submit to UNSC rule. However, when the Accra log became publicized, the Outer Colonies realized the UNSC wasn't lying and began negotiating with them. Arguably, if the battle had never happened, the Outer Colonies would probably have joined the UNSC much later, which would have lost them precious time for preparations.
Intersystem News reported that an estimated 500 million people were feared dead after the glassing of Bliss. This contradicts the data pads in Halo: Reach, which put all human casualties in the Human-Covenant War by 2530 at 62,154,022. This suggests that the evacuation of Bliss was highly successful or that the article was exaggerating and extremely inaccurate or that the data pads downplayed it, as they had done with the estimates for the Covenants glassing capabilities.
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