Battle of Mombasa
The Battle of Mombasa, also known as the Battle of New Mombasa, was an engagement of the Battle for Earth, taking place in late October 2552. Over the course of the battle, Covenant forces attempted to capture the city of Mombasa, Kenya before it was quickly retaken in a matter of hours by the UNSC. However, after the High Prophet of Regret's retreat, the city was occupied by another, larger Covenant force sent by the Prophet of Truth. In the aftermath of the battle, the Portal to the Ark was eventually found by the Covenant, which would prove to be a major determining factor in the final outcome of the Human-Covenant War. Years after the war's end, a movement known as "Project Rebirth" emerged to endorse the eventual rebuilding of Mombasa in the aftermath of the War.
After discovering and decrypting a Forerunner Luminary found on Meridian, the High Prophet of Regret of the Covenant was given Slipspace coordinates to a planet called "Erde-Tyrene", which was home to a Forerunner slipspace portal leading to the Ark—a facility highly important to the initiation of their "Great Journey". Unknown to Regret, Erde-Tyrene was humanity's homeworld, Earth. In his characteristic brash and ambitious manner, the Prophet of Regret, wishing to proceed with securing the Portal, took a hastily-assembled force of 15 warships to Earth. Though surprised to find not only a human presence on the planet, but a planet more fortified than any previously encountered human-held world, the High Prophet deemed his mission important enough to proceed and utilized many tactics to ensure his safe arrival on the surface. The coordinates provided by the Forerunner information indicated that his quarry was around the area of Mombasa, Kenya. Immediately after the Prophet of Truth learned of Regret's move, he sent a massive fleet he had collected in secrecy to pick up where Regret had left off.
The city was relatively lightly defended, with only NMPD forces as well as some Marine units present, including the 17th Marine Regiment. Some additional military units had been transferred to the city, along with Earth's other tether cities, following the Fall of Reach to bolster their defenses in case of a Covenant invasion. These included E2-BAG/1/7 as well as some UNSC Army forces.
Surprise Covenant invasion
On October 20, during the opening stages of the Battle for Earth, a single CAS-class assault carrier, the Solemn Penance, broke through the UNSC Home Fleet's defensive lines and headed towards Earth's atmosphere. The ship slipspace jumped down to the city of New Mombasa in the East African Protectorate. There, the ship came to rest over the Uplift Nature Reserve deploying infantry and mechanized support. One of the Covenant's first targets was the Mombasa Maglev train network.
At the time of the ship jumping down to the city, Sadie Endesha and numerous civilians had been kicked off a train in Old Mombasa. Covenant tanks that were very quickly deployed into the city, bombarded and destroyed the train in the vicinity of Makupa Station. NMPD Commissioner Kinsler and officer Mike Branley soon arrived on the scene, taking Sadie away from the crowd and headed for a police bunker outside the city.
The Mombasa Tether was shut down, forcing citizens to escape the city on foot or by car.
Over the course of the battle, some civilians took up arms in an attempt to defend their city, joining the Marines under command of a Marine officer. These "militias" were used as a propaganda tool by the NMPD, broadcasting their exploits over PA systems. Though a number of the stories of the militias appear to have been fabricated by Stephen at NMPDHQ, including that of "Harris 'Two-Shot' Kibaki. These militias and armed citizens allowed for most of the people of New Mombasa to evacuate from the city to Old Mombasa using boats destined for other surrounding cities.
Some time after the Covenant insertion to the city and the civilian evacuation, the Stalwart-class light frigate UNSC In Amber Clad descended near Mombasa to reinforce the ground troops already present. Intercepted transmission from the Covenant forces lead the UNSC to correctly believe that it was the High Prophet of Regret in command of the opposing force, making his capture their utmost priority. Three Pelicans, one of them with SPARTAN-117 on board, were deployed by the In Amber Clad to reclaim the city and board the Solemn Penance hovering near the Mombasa Tether. However, before they could get near the carrier, the formation ran across a Type-47A Scarab which shot down all of the Pelicans. The first was destroyed by the Scarab's main cannon, the second, carrying Gunnery Sergeant Stacker and an ODST squad, was shot down and landed on the beach. A third carrying Sergeant Major Avery J. Johnson and the Master Chief was hit hard, crashing into a building, upside down.
Over the course of the battle, the Covenant deployed several Scarab assault platforms in both the old and new sections of Mombasa, with many of them targeting the city's space elevator. The UNSC managed to trap and destroy many of them in the narrow streets of the city.
Both teams suffered few casualties from their respective crashes. The Spartan's team moved into a nearby bunker while Stacker's team moved up the beach to the Hotel Zanzibar and set up a command post, eliminating several Covenant units in the process. Both teams then waited in their respective locations for extraction.
After Spartan-117 and his allies repelled several waves of Covenant including a pair of Mgalekgolo, a Pelican found the group and gave them coordinates of an extraction point. Commander Miranda Keyes ordered Johnson to regroup with the In Amber Clad so that he could coordinate further deployment of infantry and armor units while the Spartan continued on foot through the city to find the second squad.
After fighting his way through multiple alleyways filled with Kig-Yar Snipers, John-117 found and assisted the ODSTs pinned down at Hotel Zanzibar. He then took a Warthog and spearheaded a counterattack, destroying Covenant infantry, armor, and Covenant artillery emplacements on the beaches facing New Mombasa.
John-117 and his makeshift Marine unit entered a blown-out hole in a tunnel where they intercepted and destroyed a Covenant convoy, made up primarily of Type-29 Shadows that had been attempting to rendezvous with the regrouping Covenant ground forces still stationed in that sector of the city. Along the way they engaged and neutralized several barricades the Covenant had assembled to fortify the tunnel network. After the engagement in the tunnels, they advanced towards the bridge connecting Old and New Mombasa. Before the Spartan got there, the Marine unit at the bridge had already exhausted itself fighting the Scarab.
As the In Amber Clad's force pressed towards New Mombasa, the Covenant brought the Conduit—a Forerunner device capable of opening slipspace portals—to New Mombasa. A Spirit dropship carrying a data pad with information pertaining to the Conduit was shot down by UNSC forces. When the data pad's relevance to the Conduit was realized by the UNSC, a squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers was sent to recover it. Covenant forces awaiting extraction at the crashed Spirit were attacked by the ODST squad and the Sangheili Field Master carrying the data pad was killed. With the data pad, the UNSC used the information gained to pinpoint the location of the Conduit in the city. The ODST squad was directed to a Sangheili task force carrying the Conduit. After a brief engagement, the ODSTs managed to procure the Conduit from the Covenant and the device was delivered to a nearby UNSC convoy.
The Covenant responded by assaulting the convoy with waves of infantry. Though the ODST squad and several Marines attempted to defend the convoy from attacking Covenant forces, a Sangheili Field Master dropped down from his Spirit into the Elephant carrying the Conduit, retrieved the device, and escaped the engagement aboard the dropship. The ODSTs gave chase and, eventually, the Spirit was shot down. The squad located the dropship's crash site and attacked its surviving occupants. When the Field Master and his Kig-Yar bodyguards were eventually eliminated, the Conduit was reclaimed by the UNSC. The ODSTs took the Conduit aboard a Warthog and were ordered to leave the city.
Concurrent with the search for the Conduit, an unidentified ODST squad participated in the battle with orders to retrieve information the Covenant were interested in. Commandeering a Grizzly tank, the squad rescued marines who had recovered an emergency broadcast from a downed AV-14 Hornet, stating that its crew had captured a series of Forerunner glyphs from the Covenant. The squad then trekked their way to the site, recovered the glyphs, and escaped the city before the Solemn Penance jumped into slipspace.
Battling for New Mombasa
The Master Chief arrived at the bridge to assess the situation while Sergeant Johnson reinforced the Marines with weaponry, including a Scorpion tank. The Chief traveled across the bridge with the armored unit, clearing it of both Covenant armored and mechanized forces. These forces included Ghosts, Wraiths, Phantoms, and Banshees.
After the engagement on the bridge, UNSC forces entered New Mombasa in large numbers. They linked up with various squads of Marines as they moved through the city, eliminating Covenant forces that were setting up positions. The Master Chief's team worked their way into the Kilindini Park Cultural Center through the sewer system, and then towards the city center via Shimanzi Road and Beria Plaza, finding that the Scarab had, likewise, taken a similar path.
Once in the heart of the industrial zone near the city center, John-117's team found a Marine outpost holed in a corporate building,[note 1] commanded by Staff Sergeant Banks of "A" Company under siege by a unit of Wraiths. The UNSC forces, with the help of John-117, destroyed the Wraiths, and secured a landing zone for reinforcements. The Pelicans then dropped a platoon of Marine infantry and a Scorpion tank.
The lumbering Scarab appeared from the other end of the plaza the Marine outpost was facing and the Scorpion tank opened fire on it, with no effect. After the Scarab destroyed the tank with its main gun, Marines opened fire on the walker, but it was unaffected and impervious to the weak rounds and climbed over their position and moved into the canals of the city. However, it soon found itself trapped inside of the walls of the canal, giving the Marines a chance to attack it openly with Pelicans.
The Master Chief and A Company followed the Scarab through the canals and the Spartan boarded the walker. While the Marines provided some cover fire, John defeated the forces manning the Scarab walker. After defeating its command crew, he managed to destroy the Scarab from the inside. All Covenant forces soon began retreating to Regret's carrier. The Master Chief was extracted by Sergeant Johnson's Pelican and taken back to In Amber Clad along with the remaining members of A Company.
The Pelicans carrying Spartan-117 and the Marines entered the In Amber Clad, just as the carrier was preparing to flee. Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood was hesitant to let In Amber Clad engage Regret's assault carrier, still above Mombasa and beside the Mombasa space elevator. He instead opted to call in two heavier vessels to intercept the carrier if it returned to space. However, when the carrier initiated its slipspace drive, preparing to jump while still in the atmosphere, Hood gave the ship the green light to give chase. The UNSC Paris, UNSC Redoutable, and UNSC Coral Sea, and the UNSC Dusk followed in the wake of the slipspace jump, with the latter ship losing contact with its companions in the slipstream.
Just before the carrier jumped, remaining ships of the UNSC Home Fleet deployed dozens of SOEIVs down to the city in an effort to infiltrate the carrier, only to be caught by the EMP blast in mid-flight, destroying their navigational and safety systems, plunging them and their Orbital Drop Shock Trooper occupants to almost certain death. It is likely that only one Squad survived, having changed their course away from the carrier at the last moment. Many of the city's buildings were heavily damaged but remained standing, including the Mombasa Tether. The rupture also created a large crater in the mainland, north of New Mombasa, revealing a section of the Forerunner portal. This event would later become referred to as the New Mombasa Slipspace Event, and would lead to the reactivation of the old NATO Outpost C9.
The ODSTs in possession of the Conduit were escaping the city as the nearby Solemn Penance entered slipstream space over Mombasa. When the resulting slipspace rupture engulfed the city, the ODSTs were killed and the Conduit was believed to have been destroyed as well. However, the Conduit entered slipspace to save itself from destruction and arrived at Installation 03.
Covenant reinforcements arrive
Large numbers of Covenant troops remained in the city even after Regret's withdrawal. While most of Regret's troops evacuated into the carrier, there was still a significant Covenant presence both on the ground and in orbit. Moments after Regret jumped however, a large fleet of Jiralhanae-led Covenant reinforcements sent by the Prophet of Truth arrived, and seized control of the battle. The remaining Jiralhanae from Regret's forces were simultaneously given orders to execute the Sangheili forces on the ground while the reinforcement fleet would do the same with the remaining Sangheili ships in orbit. During the course of the battle, more and more Covenant reinforcements commanded by the Jiralhanae started arriving at Earth. This was a part of the Prophet of Truth's personal scheme for the Covenant, which would come to its conclusion two weeks later when the Sangheili were officially removed from their positions as the main warrior caste of the Covenant.
However, a sizeable number of UNSC Marines and NMPD forces remained in the city. They organized an effective resistance, and fought for control of the city throughout the remainder of the day. The city's Urban Infrastructure AI Superintendent also had a vital role in the defense of the city.
Knocked off their course by the slipspace rupture, two ODST drop pods made rough landings: Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck's pod in Lumumba, and Captain Veronica Dare's in nearby Tayari Plaza. At this point in the battle, large groups of Brute led forces were being deployed into the city. Buck fought his way to Tayari Plaza to help Dare, killing large numbers of Covenant troops including a Mgalekgolo pair, but upon making it to her pod, he discovered that the Captain had disappeared. Meeting with another of his squad mates and with no idea what his objective was now, Buck took the decision to reunite with his squad and then extract them from the city as fast as possible.
UNSC forces regroup
Around thirty minutes after the slipspace event, the UNSC was beginning to regroup, following the orders of a Marine Colonel. The Marines' orders were to reach the Colonel's position near the city center, and take control of Regret's carrier's former landing zone in the Uplift Nature Reserve in an effort to seize an unidentified enemy asset.
Remote-controlled F-99 UCAVs were sent to the city to maintain air supremacy over the Phantoms and Banshees. Meanwhile, Marines at the Uplift Reserve, led by a surviving ODST began to take out Wraiths blocking their way to the rendezvous point. Eventually, the Mombasa Tether, already damaged by the jump, collapsed, with miles of debris from the tether scattered across East Africa. The collapse also killed the Colonel.
Fallback to ONI Alpha Site
After the UNSC reclaimed the Covenant landing zone in Uplift Reserve, defending the Office of Naval Intelligence's local headquarters became the top priority. Ninety minutes after the slipspace event, Marines began falling back to the building as advancing Covenant Wraith convoys prepared to lay siege to Alpha Site. The Marines were forced to fight through enemy forces in the Boulevard that led to the ONI site before falling back further into the ONI complex.
Within the ONI compound, the Marines and the NMPD forces destroyed the bridge leading to the base, in hopes of slowing down the advancing Covenant forces. This did not, however, stop the incoming dropships, but slowed the advance. The human forces fell back to the base's courtyard, which they defended against waves of Covenant attackers, before falling back into the interior of the main building. Again, they fended off multiple waves of Covenant. They then planted explosives inside the complex, to destroy it in order to prevent the Covenant from accessing the Superintendent's data facility deep under the building. The Marines and the police forces evacuated to the roof, where they were picked up by an NMPD Pelican dropship. Once on board, they detonated the explosives and watched as the ONI building was completely destroyed. Six hours later, the building was still burning from the explosions. At the time, the survivors of the siege were unaware that destroying the building had alerted a newly-constructed Yanme'e hive beneath the building in the Superintendent's data facility, making it much more difficult for UNSC forces to reach the data core later on.
Skirmish at NMPD Headquarters
While the Alpha Site was destroyed, Edward Buck and his squad's sniper, Kojo Agu, made their way to the top floors of the NMPD Headquarters building, where they were to be picked up by Pelican with two other ODSTs already onboard. However, the dropship was shot down before landing, and it crashed on another rooftop killing the pilot on impact. Buck and Agu fought their way across the rooftops, and eventually reached the crash site, where they fought off waves of attacking Covenant using heavy weapons from the Pelican. Finally, a Jiralhanae Chieftain dropped off from a Phantom, killed an NMPD officer and severely wounded Agu. The squad managed to kill the Chieftain, after which they decided to evacuate through the train tunnels which led into Old Mombasa.
By nightfall, nearly all human forces in the city had either been evacuated or destroyed. Among the few survivors were the members of Buck's ODST squad, who arrived at Kikowani Station near the city's northeastern seawall, only to realize that the station, as well as its surroundings had been flooded by water, making escape through train tunnels impossible. The squad decided to hijack a Phantom dropship, in which they succeeded. Buck escorted the rest of the squad through the flooded sections of the city in a Banshee. The area was filled with Covenant forces, including a Scarab. After destroying the Scarab, they managed to fly out of the city, when Buck suddenly realized he knew where Captain Dare was and decided to go back to find her, inside the Superintendent's data center. During the battle, arriving Covenant cruisers began excavating the area around the crater created by the slipspace rupture.
Around the same time, a lone ODST only known as "the Rookie", thought dead by the rest of the squad, woke up in his pod, on the edge of a rooftop in Mbaraki. The city was already occupied by the Covenant, with no UNSC resistance left. The Superintendent aided the Rookie to survive in the city and look for clues for what happened to his squad. Upon finding objects related to his squad, he envisioned what had happened to them over the course of the day. After wandering around the city for a while, the Rookie received a distress message from Dare, who was inside the Superintendent's data facility deep under the city. He made his way to a subway entrance, and descended down an elevator shaft, to Sublevel 7 of the data center. At this point, the underground tunnels had become infested with Yanme'e, who had built massive hives in the area.
Extracting the asset
Eventually, the Rookie managed to meet up with Dare inside the Superintendent's Data Center. Inside, they discovered a Huragok called Quick to Adjust, who had combined the Superintendent, namely its Vergil subroutine, with itself. As Quick disconnected from the core, the AI shut itself down, as all of its data had been transferred into the creature. At this point, Buck arrived into the complex and the ODSTs escaped back to the surface through the tunnels filled with Covenant, while protecting the critically important Huragok.
In the final hours of the day, the area was already full of arriving Covenant capital ships. Buck, Dare and the Rookie made their way to the surface, through a Covenant outpost in the city, and eventually took an elevator to the city's Waterfront Highway. They then pushed through the Highway and made a stand at the entrance to Uplift Reserve. The Phantom captured by the rest of the squad arrived and picked them up, and they made it out just as an assault carrier appeared from slipspace and glassed the area.
New Mombasa and Earth
Immediately after the occupation, more and more Covenant ships started arriving at Earth. They started uncovering the Forerunner structure which would later be revealed to be the Portal to the Ark.
The UNSC would not discover the actual purpose of the Covenant's arrival on Earth until two weeks after the Battle of Installation 05; most of the information was presumably received from the Huragok that had absorbed Vergil's data. By this point, the Prophet of Truth had already arrived in Sol System on the Forerunner Dreadnought with the remainder of his fleet with him.
The remnants of New Mombasa were liberated after Truth's fleet retreated to the Ark and were subsequently defeated, with Operation: MARSH FLASH beginning as part of the URNA Southwest Campaign. Years after the war's end, a movement known as "Project Rebirth" emerged to endorse the eventual rebuilding of Mombasa in the aftermath of the War.
Solemn Penance and UNSC In Amber Clad
The Solemn Penance would arrive at Installation 05 on November 3, the Prophet of Regret having learned of the ring's location from the Luminary on Meridian. The assault carrier was followed by In Amber Clad, who deployed a contingent of ODSTs led by John-117 on a mission to capture or kill the Prophet, an objective they would accomplish. The Coral Sea, Dusk and Redoubtable all arrived as well, but at different times. The last ship to arrive, the Dusk, appeared in time to witness the outbreak of the Great Schism.
Alpha-Nine, Vergil, and Sadie Endesha
Alpha-Nine was assigned to guard Quick to Adjust. Eventually, the Huragok was interrogated by Avery Johnson. A transcript of the interrogation of Vergil was given to Terrence Hood in a document titled "Vergil".
Forerunner glyphs and the Conduit
In the summer of 2557, nearly five years after the battle, the Forerunner glyphs recovered by several ODSTs in the city were finally decoded, pointing to a region on Gamma Halo containing an unidentified Forerunner machine.
October 20, 2552
List of appearances