Battle of Visegrád
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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 force, 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 as the UNSC could not afford to have Reach cut off from the other colonies.
Investigating suspicious activity
Noble Team flew in to Visegrád using two Falcons, but quickly discovered that their comms with command were being jammed by an unknown source. Detecting a distress beacon and spotting smoke, Noble landed near some houses a distance from the relay with Jun-A266 ordered to remain in the Falcons to provide aerial overwatch. Investigating, Noble found the beacon hidden under a broken wooden pallet, a wrecked Warthog, blood smears and some possible plasma burns, but no sign of whoever set off the beacon or destroyed the Warthog or even explosives residue.
Noble continued their mission by pushing on towards the nearby smoke. Pushing through a house, the team made contact with a Hungarian farmer who Jorge-052 questioned. The man revealed that he had heard screaming from his neighbors and gunshots which had ended around sunrise and that something in the fields had killed his son. As Noble tried to understand what the farmer had meant by "something" instead of "someone," Jun called in with news of picking up heat signatures in the structure east of them. Jorge ordered the farmer back inside while Noble continued on to investigate.
A terrible discovery
Entering the structure, the team found several corpses, including Army troopers who had been tortured to death for information. Detecting movement, Noble continued on, only to discover that the enemy was Covenant and not Insurrectionists as they had believed. Noble engaged the Covenant troops around the structure while Charlie 1 shot down attacking Banshees. As Noble cleared out the enemy, a Spirit dropship deployed more troops across a bridge that were also taken out by the Spartans.
After winning the skirmish, Commander Carter-A259 stated that they needed Kat at the relay immediately in order to warn Colonel Holland of the Covenant threat. With Jun detecting more Covenant activity to the east, Noble crossed a creek and took out a squad of Sangheili Ultras. Once the Covenant were cleared out, Carter ordered Kat and Emile-A239 to leave for the relay in a Falcon while he, Jorge and Noble Six investigated more Covenant activity to the northeast.
Rescue of the surviving troopers
Boarding a nearby flatbed truck, Carter, Jorge and Noble Six drove through the area, eliminating several Covenant patrols as they went. Detecting heat signatures in the structures around the area, Jun directed the three Spartans to those locations where they cleared the structures.
As the Spartans continued on, they received a distress call from Corporal Travis of 3 Charlie, a surviving Army fireteam. Despite Jun's protests that they had better things to do, Carter chose to check out the distress call rather than abandon the troopers to the Covenant to continue with their mission. Noble was able to locate the besieged troopers and Jun recalled Charlie 2 for an evac. With Spirits dropping off Covenant reinforcements, Noble and the troopers held off the Covenant under heavy fire. Finally, the Covenant were repelled and the surviving troopers were evacuated by Charlie 2.
Battle at the relay
With the troopers safe, Carter, Jorge and Noble Six boarded the other Falcon to continue the journey to the relay, the road to which had been taken out by the Covenant. Having reached the outpost, Kat reported that door was locked and flash-fried and while Kat was cutting through the door, it would take time.
Arriving at the relay, Carter, Six, Jorge and Jun discovered Kat and Emile under heavy attack by Covenant forces. The team was able to clear out the Covenant, but Kat needed more time to get inside. Spirit dropships began dropping Covenant reinforcements, forcing Noble to hold them off as Kat continued to cut through the door. Finally, Kat succeeded and Noble retreated inside the relay with the outer door closing and sealing out the Covenant in the courtyard.
Continuing into the relay, Noble found the corpse of Professor Laszlo Sorvad in the control room, a wounded corporal and Professor Sorvad's traumatized daughter Sára. While examining Professor Sorvad's corpse, Noble Six located a data module that was taken by Kat who discovered plasma damage to the relay's controls. As Jorge attempted to get answers from Sára, she revealed that there were more Covenant moments before a Sangheili Field Marshal and two Sangheili Zealots attacked. The three Sangheili engaged in a brief battle with Noble Team before the Field Marshall fled on his own. The two Zealots were eventually able to escape by using the corporal as a hostage. Though Emile, who had been left to guard the outer door, requested permission to go after the Field Marshall who had blown past him, Carter refused and ordered him to continue to guard the entrance while Jorge and Noble Six cleared out the relay.
Chasing the Zealots, the two Spartans engaged several packs of Unggoy and Kig-Yar in the hallways. Despite the support of these additional Covenant troops, Jorge and Noble Six were able to kill the two Zealots and clear the relay of Covenant. However, the Field Marshall was able to escape and retreated with the remaining Covenant forces in the area.
After killing the last of the Covenant, Noble Six reset a junction at the request of Catherine-B320 who determined that the plasma damage to the relay would cause it to need at least two weeks of repairs to get back online. However, by splicing into the main overland bundle, Kat was able to get Carter-A259 a connection to Colonel Urban Holland while Jorge-052 attempted to get answers from Sára Sorvad without success. Carter reported the presence of the Covenant on Reach to a horrified Holland and that the WINTER CONTINGENCY was now in effect.
Two days later, while en route to defend ONI's SWORD Base from the Covenant, Kat attempted to access the information on the data module that she had recovered from Professor Sorvad's body. Alerted to the intrusion, Doctor Catherine Halsey explained to NOBLE Team after the battle that the Field Marshall and two Zealots they had encountered were a specialized artifact-retrieval team that was most likely after the abundance of ONI excavation data held at the relay, data that they most likely got away with since the Field Marshall had escaped. However, Halsey revealed that the recovered data module contained a "latchkey discovery" made by Professor Sorvad before his death and took possession of the module from Kat. The data recovered from Visegrád would ultimately prove to be the key to decoding the data on the Forerunner ship beneath SWORD Base.
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