Battle of Sword Base
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On or prior to the night of July 23, 2552, the Covenant Fleet of Valiant Prudence arrived at the human Inner Colony of Reach undetected by its defending forces. A small strike, including artifact-hunting Sangheili Zealots from the Devoted Sentries, was dispatched to the Visegrád Relay in Visegrád to cut off communications between Reach and other UEG colonies. The Office of Naval Intelligence assumed that the communications blackout was caused by local Insurrectionists; in response, Colonel Urban Holland dispatched several Army fireteams to the relay. After losing contact with the troopers, SPARTAN Noble Team was sent to investigate. The team discovered the Covenant presence on Reach and reported back to CENTCOM, killing two of the Zealots in the process. WINTER CONTINGENCY was declared on Reach while Lieutenant Commander Catherine-B320 retrieved a data module from the corpse of Doctor Laszlo Sorvad.
On July 26, 2552, the Office of Naval Intelligence Sword Base came under siege by Covenant forces from the Fleet of Valiant Prudence led by a Ceudar-pattern heavy corvette. Due to the sensitive nature of the facility, orbital MAC rounds are prohibited from being used to destroy the corvette. With current defensive forces insufficient to repel the attack, ONI requests the help of NOBLE Team.
Clearing the main gate
With their landing zone hot, Lieutenant Commander Catherine-B320 and Lieutenant Noble Six are dropped into the Sword Base courtyard, immediately under fire from Covenant troops. Aided by UNSC Army troopers, the two Spartans clear the courtyard and are ordered by Sword Control to clear the main gate with a promise to be briefed as they go. The Spartans find a Target Locator and are promised that they will be provided with what limited artillery support is available.
As the soldiers emerge from the main gate, the corvette opens fire on Sword Base and a M831 Troop Transport carrying 3 Echo comes under attack from two Type-26 Wraiths which destroys the squad. Using the Target Locator, B312 destroys the Wraiths and the troops wipe out any remaining Covenant forces in the immediate area. A Pelican then drops off a Warthog for the use of Six and Kat.
In order to get back online with Command, Kat, Six and an Army trooper head east to the old Farragut Station which has its own comms array. At the station, the two Spartans discover it protected by multiple Covenant forces, including a Revenant. Together, the three manage to eliminate the Covenant forces in the area and activate the station's generator. Once the generator is online, a Spirit dropship arrives to deploy Unggoy and Skirmishers to prevent the comms array, located on a nearby rooftop, from being activated. After eliminating the reinforcements, Six activates the array. A second Warthog is then delivered via Pelican to reach Airview Base and the AA gun located there.
On the way to Airview Base, the Spartans come under attack by two Ghosts and a lance of Covenant dropped by another Spirit, but they are quickly eliminated. At Airview Base, it is discovered to be under the control of more Covenant forces, including a Sangheili Ultra. The Covenant forces are quickly eliminated and Six activates the base's anti-aircraft gun which opens fire on a Phantom that drops off two more Ghosts and then on the Banshees and Covenant dropships around the corvette, helping to clear the way for UNSC dropships to bring reinforcements.
Retaking Sword Base
After the comms are restored and the anti-aircraft gun is activated, the corvette draws closer to Sword Base, firing its plasma turrets at it. Kat and Six are ordered back to Sword Base which they are informed that the rest of NOBLE Team is inbound to. The Spartans are provided with a Gauss Warthog to aid them in reaching the base easier. Carter-A259 warns Kat and Six that the corvette is moving into position and they are needed at the base ASAP. Outside of the main gate, the two Spartans discover it under attack by Revenants, Ghosts and Covenant infantry which are quickly eliminated. Heading through the main gate, the two discover that Covenant forces once more occupy the courtyard and take them out, learning that the rest of the team is stalled in the tower atrium. The Spartans eliminate Covenant forces in the base garage, including a Mgalekgolo pair and enter an elevator to the security office as the corvette pounds the base hard.
After fighting through some Covenant troops, Kat and Six make it to the main atrium where they link up with Jun-A266 and Jorge-052 and several Army troopers. Six is ordered to go upstairs to aid Emile-A239 with Jorge and several Army troopers joining to make sure he makes it with Carter warning that the base won't survive another salvo from the corvette. Together, the UNSC forces fight their way to the ruined top floor where Emile uses a rocket launcher to fight off enemy Banshees and a Phantom which deploys several Stealth Sangheili. The Sangheili are quickly eliminated and Six uses a nearby rocket launcher to join Emile, destroying the Phantom and several Banshees. Finally, all of the nearby Covenant air forces are destroyed.
With the Covenant air forces eliminated, Sword Base is able to launch two Longswords to attack the corvette directly. The corvette quickly attempted to make a retreat. As the corvette flies over the water, a Super MAC round is fired from an orbital defense platform, punching a hole through the ship and sending it plummeting to the surface, ending the Covenant attack.
Immediately after the corvette is destroyed, NOBLE Team is ordered to meet with Doctor Catherine Halsey in the science wing. At Halsey's request, the Spartans provide her with a report on their previous engagement with the Covenant at Visegrád Relay and give her Professor Laszlo Sorvad's data module which supposedly contains a "latchkey discovery" made by Sorvad prior to his death.
Despite the victory, Sword Base comes under attack by the Covenant again by August 14 when Operation: UPPER CUT takes place. By August 23, the base is considered Covenant territory when NOBLE Team is ordered to return for a torch and burn operation to keep the base's excavation data out of Covenant hands, in reality a deception to task NOBLE Team with delivering an important package.
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