Battle of the Beacon Tower
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|Battle of the Beacon Tower|
The Battle of the Beacon Tower was a battle between the UNSC guerilla team dubbed the boat crew and the Banished with the boat crew seeking to broadcast a message to UNSC space with the current galactic coordinates of Zeta Halo.
On April 26, 2560, Spartan Bonita Stone encountered Banished forces using a human prisoner to get a data node with information on the ring's defensive systems and location. Engaging the Banished, Stone was able to steal the node, copy the data and corrupt the node itself before she was killed and the node taken by Jega 'Rdomnai and Gorian. The next day, the boat crew found Stone's body and a grieving Nina Kovan retrieved Stone's data chip from her VISR which proved to contain the data that she had stolen from the Banished. Submonitor 091 Adjutant Veridity revealed that Stone had stolen from the Banished information on the ring's defensive systems and its current coordinates, giving the team the chance to broadcast a message to the UNSC for reinforcements.
Veridity led the boat crew, joined by Spartan Tomas Horvath, to the Conservatory where they were able to free Monitor 117649 Despondent Pyre from the energy barrier that Cortana had trapped her in. After learning of the release of the Harbinger, the Monitor agreed to help use one of Zeta Halo's beacon towers to broadcast a message to the UNSC for reinforcements and provided the team with a data key that would perform a security override and instruct the tower to broadcast a message into human-occupied space with Installation 07's current galactic coordinates and the site's pertinent information. However, Despondent Pyre refused to allow Veridity to assist the humans further, unwilling to risk one of her submonitors with the Harbinger on the loose. Instead, Despondent Pyre provided Kovan with a path out of the Conservatory.
On May 14, the boat crew reached a translocation pad and were teleported to an overlook near a beacon tower close to the Conservatory. However, the tower was well-defended by the Banished and near enough to the Conservatory for a battle to draw reinforcements within minutes. The boat crew performed reconnaissance on just how many Banished were guarding the tower and Spartan Nina Kovan ordered Isaiah Cameron and Robin Dimik to plant Dimik's explosives on the pass that the Banished would have to come up from the Conservatory, ordering them to blow it up once the Banished had filled the pass up. Spartan Tomas Horvath decided to clear the beacon approach for Kovan and ordered TJ Murphy and Erik Bender to guard Kovan as she would become a target once she activated the beacon. Before parting ways, Dimik provided Horvath with an MA5K carbine and ammunition.
Twenty minutes later, after preparing his shots, Horvath took out half of the Unggoy guards while two of the Kig-Yar mounted the plasma cannons and the rest engaged their arm gauntlets, waiting for the battle to come to them.
As Horvath engaged the guards outside, Kovan, Murphy and Bender were able to slip inside of the tower where they found two Sangheili Enforcers right inside. The three managed to kill one, but the other one rolled into the left corridor as Murphy threw a grenade and activated its active camouflage. Bender threw a smoke grenade down the corridor and Kovan went after the Sangheili. In the corridor were two more Sangheili whose energy shields had taken damage from Murphy's grenade and were probably disorientated. Bender took one down with a headshot and Murphy grabbed its Mangler and used the weapon to kill the other Sangheili. After checking that the right corridor was clear, the two men went after Kovan who took out two more Sangheili and reached the central plinth.
Kovan inserted the data key and the two men took up guarding positions as the energy began building up to send the superluminal message. Kovan warned that they had to hold their position until the sequence was completed and the message sent as Banished reinforcements came down both corridors. Murphy and Bender opened fire, eventually throwing fragmentation grenades down the corridors. However, a Sangheili was able to avoid Murphy's grenade and attacked him from behind, grabbing Murphy and throwing him down the corridor. As Kovan engaged another Sangheili, Murphy's attacker swung at him with an energy sword which he managed to dodge, draw an M6 pistol and run towards Kovan, firing at their attackers. With Bender having run out of ammo, Murphy slid him a plasma rifle from a dead Sangheili and Kovan tossed Murphy her own assault rifle, switching to her blade and Sidekick instead. Suddenly, Kovan's opponent disappeared as the energy in the chamber began to pulse and compress while red plasma bolts streaked through the air from the left corridor, just missing the console. Murphy realized that the next round might hit the console while Bender was forced to stop firing and remove his chest plate after getting struck by a plasma blast that ate through the plating.
As Kovan protected the console with her body, scanning the corridor for the Sangheili that had disappeared, Murphy saw the other Sangheili appear in Bender's former position and take aim at the console with a pulse carbine. Knowing that the Sangheili wouldn't miss this time, Murphy jumped in front of the blasts and was mortally wounded, sacrificing himself to stop the console from being hit. The gathering energy shot into space as the message was successfully sent and Kovan relentlessly fired into the Sangheili's face until it was dead. As Murphy died content in the knowledge that they had succeeded in their mission, Dimik's explosives went off outside.
Outside, Horvath tracked Cam and Dimik's progress after they detonated the pass and was warned of aerial contacts by Elfie just before a couple of Banished Banshees appeared and attacked. Horvath killed the last Kig-Yar guard and took its forearm shield and plasma pistol before running for the mounted plasma cannon. Horvath fired the cannon at the Banshees, taking one out while the other banked and flew away. A Banished Phantom then arrived carrying Gorian, armed with a Type-25 Brute Shot. Despite Elfie's warnings that he was in no shape to fight the Jiralhanae, Horvath knew that their only options were to fight or surrender and he wasn't willing to surrender. Kovan and Bender emerged from the tower and Kovan promised to hold the Banished off as Horvath went after Gorian, knowing that they were in a no-win situation with Gorian bearing down at them and reinforcements making their way around the destroyed pass with aerial support at their beck and call. Both Spartans agreed that there would be no mercy, anticipating a last stand, but knowing that they had done what they had set out to do and could now only take out as many Banished as they could.
Kovan tossed Horvath a pulse carbine while Bender gave him an energy sword taken from the dead Sangheili inside of the beacon. Strapping the Kig-Yar's energy shield to his wrist, Horvath went after Gorian. Facing off against the Bloodstar, Horvath kept his distance, knowing that he would have to play it smart in order to win as with his armor in its damaged condition, one hit from Gorian's Brute Shot would kill him. Horvath and Gorian entered a cat-and-mouse game, firing at each other, but with Horvath running out of places to hide.
As Kovan watched, a Terror Wraith emerged from the debris-clouded pass and bore down on Dimik and Cam as they ran towards the beacon tower. Taking control of the mounted plasma cannon that Horvath had vacated, Kovan fired at the Wraith pilot, but the vehicle was well armored and its gravity propulsion engine was nimble. Dimik and Cam were forced to separate as Banished infantry emerged from the trees and a Thrasher missile was fired at them from the growing Banished force. Firing at the missile with the plasma cannon in the hopes of shooting it down before it struck, Kovan shouted an order to Bender to take care of the Wraith as it chased after Cam as he veered left. However, the Wraith ran Cam down, killing him, before Bender emerged firing a plasma pistol that he'd taken from a Kig-Yar corpse at the vehicle. Bender launched himself onto the vehicle, wedged the pistol in a narrow breach in its armor and fired at the pilot, killing them and stopping the Wraith. One of Kovan's shots hit the missile as it streaked overhead, detonating it and causing a massive concussive shock that shoved Kovan and everything else to the ground.
After recovering, Kovan found Dimik lying facedown at the edge of the field and ran over to help Bender where he was getting up next to the Wraith and moved Cam's body behind one of the energy shields by the facility. As Kovan turned to help Dimik, she found her already gone, having survived the blast, but a plasma mortar struck the ground nearby before Kovan could go search for her. Kovan was driven back towards the beacon tower as three squads of Kig-Yar and a band of Sangheili mercenaries surged from the pass led by Blademaster Jega 'Rdomnai.
Still fighting Gorian, Horvath calculated that his enemy only had three shots left before one of them hit the rock in front of the Spartan before he had the chance to dive, blasting Horvath off of his feet and into a nearby boulder, breaking it apart. As Horvath went to roll to his feet, he spotted Dimik crouched behind the rocks near the tree line. Dimik showed him a spike grenade before she placed it on the stone and fled after apparently hearing something behind her. Spurred on by Dimik's courage, Horvath ran a blazing path that allowed him to circle behind an amused Gorian. As Horvath reached the overlook, he dropped to avoid another grenade from the Brute Shot and grabbed the spike grenade that Dimik had left for him. Horvath surged up and ran across the flat rock, drawing Gorian to fire at him again, just missing the Spartan. Leaping off the overlook, the last grenade from the Brute Shot passed just below Horvath's armpit as he threw the spike grenade at Gorian's feet. The explosion drained the Jiralhanae's shields, putting him and Horvath on a level playing field. After getting his footing back, Horvath began running back towards the overlook, only to spot Dimik pinned down by two Kig-Yar trying to flank her position.
Drawing his carbine, Horvath shot each Kig-Yar in the head twice before tossing away the hot, unvented weapon, intended to take his dead enemies' weapons. However, Gorian reached the overlook at that moment and charged him. Turning, Horvath grabbed the energy sword that Bender had tossed to him earlier as the Jiralhane's massive shoulder hit him in the gut, lifting Horvath high. Horvath punched the hilt into Gorian's ribcage and activated it, sending the blade through the Bloodstar's bone, tissue and organs, and coming out the other side, killing Gorian. Landing on the translocation pad, Horvath was pinned down by the dead weight of Gorian's corpse and could only watch as Dimik, running back to the others, was hit in the shoulder by enemy fire and Bender went to her aid. Suddenly, the pad activated and teleported both Horvath and Gorian away moments before it was destroyed by a Thrasher missile, preventing any chance of the others using it to escape or to later return to find out where Horvath had gone.
Dozens of Banished forces led by 'Rdomnai closed in on Kovan, Bender and Dimik who continued fighting even as they ran out of ammo and Kovan's armor began to fail. Before the boat crew could be overrun and killed, Submonitor 091 Adjutant Veridity came to their rescue and teleported the survivors away to safety somewhere else on the ring.
After being teleported to safety, the survivors of the boat crew spent the next four days mending their wounds and repairing their equipment, Kovan's armor being easily the most damaged and challenging to rectify. The battle left Dimik with a plasma wound to the shoulder and a few other superficial wounds that Kovan treated with biofoam while Bender was left with a nasty stab wound to his side, a broken nose and a couple of cracked ribs. The boat crew were left to hope that their message had been received and that the UNSC would send much-needed reinforcements to Zeta Halo. Kovan decided that their next move after recovering would be to try to rescue Lucas Browning from the Tower.
At the same time, Horvath and Gorian were teleported to a partially collapsed Forerunner facility on a mountain far away from the beacon tower. Horvath shoved Gorian's body off of the mountain and began making his way up spin in search of other UNSC survivors.
List of appearances
- Halo: The Rubicon Protocol (First appearance)
- Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 28
- Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 30
- Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 34
- Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 35
- Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 36
- Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 38
- Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 39