Battle of Installation 03
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The Battle of Installation 03 was a brief engagement on Forerunner Halo Installation 03 in the Khaphrae system. Occurring in late July of 2557, the battle was fought between the United Nations Space Command and Jul 'Mdama's new Covenant faction and the latter's Promethean allies.
The Covenant invaded Gamma Halo in an attempt to use the Forerunner Conduit to open slipspace portals throughout the installation. The Covenant intended to use the portals to transport a massive Promethean force onto the ringworld, which would aid in the Covenant's takeover of Installation 03. However, the attack was repelled due to the efforts of two Headhunters and the UNSC Marine Corps stationed on the installation.
At some point, the Covenant recovered the Forerunner Conduit, a device that was capable of opening Forerunner slipspace portals throughout the galaxy. During the Battle of Mombasa on Earth in 2552, the Covenant attempted to use the Conduit during the battle. However, the device was stolen by a squad of the UNSC's Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. The squad tried to escape the city to safely deliver the Conduit into UNSC hands, but the device was lost when the High Prophet of Regret's Solemn Penance entered slipstream space over New Mombasa. The resulting slipstream wake killed the ODST squad and destroyed the city, seemingly along with the Conduit. However, the Conduit transported itself to Installation 03 in the Khaphrae system by entering slipspace to save itself from destruction.
Concurrent with this skirmish in New Mombasa, a second ODST squad recovered a series of Forerunner glyphs which were finally deciphered nearly five years after the battle, pointing to a location on Gamma Halo that contained an unidentified Forerunner machine.
In July of 2557, UNSC personnel on Ivanoff Station detected a faint signal originating on Gamma Halo. The signal was soon discovered to be emanating from the Conduit, and a Spartan-IV Headhunter was sent to the installation to investigate—aided by Lieutenant Kwon. However, Jul 'Mdama's reformed Covenant faction had continued to search for the Conduit after its supposed destruction at New Mombasa in 2552. The Covenant faction succeeded in picking up the signal moments before the UNSC did, and a fleet traveled to Installation 03 to recover the Conduit.
Search for the Conduit
When Jul 'Mdama's Covenant succeeded in recovering the Conduit, they sought to bring the device to the Altar on Installation 03. There, the Covenant intended to use the Conduit to open slipspace portals for Prometheans to invade Gamma Halo and give themselves control over the installation. To prevent the UNSC from finding the Conduit's exact location, the Covenant jammed the device's signal frequency. The Spartan was deployed to a jungle on Gamma Halo via HEV, where he battled his way through Covenant forces and destroyed the five signal jammers. Afterwards, the Spartan wiped out Covenant forces in the area to allow the UNSC to deploy three signal beacons that boosted the signal transmitted from the Conduit. The Conduit's signal was soon traced to a nearby Forerunner structure, though its entrance was blocked by a Promethean-designed gate. A squad of UNSC Marines captured a Covenant Wraith, and the Spartan was directed to their position.
Manning the Wraith, the Spartan returned to the gate and deactivated it by destroying its power core with the Wraith's cannon. When the Spartan arrived at the structure, he was attacked by a Promethean Knight. It soon became apparent that the Covenant had established a relay station to create false signal to distract the UNSC. However, Kwon determined that the relay station's database could still be used to pinpoint the current location of the Conduit. After the Spartan activated three transmitters, the UNSC was able to discover the Conduit's whereabouts. Fighting past Promethean forces, the Spartan regrouped with a squad of Marines. Operating a Kestrel, the Spartan fled the area, while the Marines held off oncoming Prometheans. The Spartan eventually managed to escape aboard a Pelican dropship. Meanwhile, the Covenant discovered the Altar and prepared to release their Promethean allies upon the installation, certain that victory was theirs. However, the Spartan was sent to stop them.
Battle at the Altar
While en route to the Altar, the Pelican was shot down by the Covenant. However, the Spartan survived the crash. While engaging Covenant forces, the Spartan discovered a deactivated portal that led to the Altar. Using bioscan platforms to initiate the portal's power stations, the Spartan activated the portal and entered it. Kwon determined that a Scorpion main battle tank would be needed in order to break past the Altar's defenses. However, the presence of numerous Anti-Aircraft Wraiths prevented the UNSC from delivering the tank via Pelican. After destroying three AA Wraiths, the Spartan traveled to the landing zone, where the Pelican dropped off the Scorpion. Fighting past Covenant forces in the Scorpion, the Spartan traveled over a light bridge and reached the Altar. The Covenant attempted to stop his advance by setting up hard light barriers. After disabling the barriers, the Spartan engaged the Covenant forces within the area. The Spartan destroyed all Covenant forces at the Altar and finally retrieved the Conduit after killing the Sangheili Field Master that was carrying it. Realizing that they had lost the battle, Covenant forces began to evacuate the ringworld.
With the light bridges now shut down by the Covenant, Kwon directed the Spartan to a deactivated portal nearby. While holding off numerous Covenant and Promethean infantry, the Spartan rerouted the Altar's power stations to activate the portal. With the portal activated, the Spartan entered it and escaped the Altar. Arriving in a jungle on Installation 03, the Spartan fought his way to the designated extraction point. When the Spartan arrived at the extraction point, he destroyed the Covenant and Promethean forces nearby to allow a Pelican to land. While the Conduit was given to UNSC personnel aboard the Pelican, the dropship was damaged and was no longer capable of flying in space. As he held off Covenant forces, UNSC technicians repaired the Pelican. Once the dropship was repaired, it was forced to take off immediately to avoid further damage. The Spartan was directed to a Spirit dropship the Covenant was using to extract its troops off-world, where he killed the soldiers defending it. The Spartan used the Spirit to escape Gamma Halo, and rendezvoused with the Pelican that was carrying the Conduit in the installation's orbit.
Investigation in the jungle
Concurrent with or shortly after the skirmish at the Altar, a Spartan-IV supersoldier was deployed to the jungles of Gamma Halo to investigate coordinates derived from a series of Forerunner glyphs recovered during the Battle of New Mombasa five years prior. With the help of Marines, the Spartan utilized a Kestrel gunship to hunt down Covenant commanders in order to safely establish a forwarding operating base, from where UNSC forces pushed forward through Covenant resistance to discover the location of the coordinates, an unidentified Forerunner machine.
Following the activation of the Altar, the machine opened slipspace portals which allowed Covenant and Promethean forces to invade the city of New Phoenix, Arizona, on Earth. Attempting to clear the area, the Spartan was overrun following Covenant bombardment and was forced to depart the ringworld for New Phoenix by utilizing one of the portals that the machine had generated.
After returning to Ivanoff Station in a Pelican dropship with the Conduit, the Spartan received an emergency distress call from an Office of Naval Intelligence facility back on Earth. The researchers at the facility were studying a Forerunner artifact at the time of the battle. When the Covenant used the Conduit at the Altar, Forerunner portals were activated throughout the galaxy. One of the portals opened up in the ONI facility in New Phoenix, and Jul 'Mdama's Covenant and Promethean forces attacked the base. It was determined that the only way to close the portals was to bring the Conduit to New Phoenix. The Spartan traveled to the city with the Conduit, as the Battle of New Phoenix begun.
The other Spartan-IV arrived in New Phoenix as well, assisting the other Spartan in eliminating Covenant and Promethean forces outside the base.
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