Battle of the Rubble
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The Battle of the Rubble was an engagement fought between various factions of Covenant and human forces mainly for navigational data that led to Earth and other human population centers, as well as a large asteroid called Exodus. It took place at some point in 2535.
After Madrigal's glassing, a Kig-Yar ship entered the 23 Librae system and began scanning the Lagrangian asteroids trailing the gas giant Hesiod. However, some of the asteroids had become a settlement known as the Rubble for insurrectionists and Madrigal refugees. While the Rubble's inhabitants were deciding if they should attack or flee, smuggler Peter Bonifacio contacted the Kig-Yar ship and came into contact with Reth. Reth reported this to the Prophet of Truth.
While the Prophet of Regret was unable to find the human homeworld, the Prophet of Truth devised a plan to have the Kig-Yar merchants, lead by Reth, ally themselves with humans in order to find its location. Originally, they pretended to be allies with the insurgents and refugee citizens, and even made a trade agreement with the insurrectionists that they would hand them Covenant weapons in exchange for slipspace drives whilst waiting for the opportunity to capture navigational data that led to Earth. The Kig-Yar bided their time and waited for the right moment to strike.
The weapons the insurrectionists were handed were modified and sent to other rebels across human space. When Regret found some of the weapons on sale on High Charity, not knowing that they were part of Truth's plan, he sent some of the Covenant's top soldiers to silence the "rebels". Meanwhile, the UNSC sent the stealth-equipped light frigate UNSC Midsummer Night to investigate the source of the Covenant weapons. Earlier, the SPARTAN-II Gray Team had been sent to the Rubble to eliminate all traces of navigational data with Earth's coordinates.
Meanwhile, Ignatio Delgado was assigned by the Rubble Security Council to protect a data chip that contained the coordinates to Earth. However, he and his copilot, Melko Hollister, were attacked by some Kig-Yar who wished to steal the data. Delgado managed to distract the Kig-Yar long enough for Hollister to escape and board their ship, Distancia. Delgado however was wounded and was about to be killed when he was rescued by one of the Spartans of Gray Team, Adriana-111. She asked for the data in exchange for helping him. Delgado refused however. She performed first-aid on Delgado and gave him an emergency contact beacon, telling him that if the data chip was attacked again, he should activate the beacon. Unfortunately for Delgado, Hollister had died while escaping with the data, putting the skirmish at a pyrrhic victory for the Rubble.
Meanwhile, the Rubble's AI Juliana noticed Gray Team's movements and disabled the Petya. She gave them a compromise: she'll give them the location of any navigation data in the Rubble in exchange for helping her protect the Rubble from the Kig-Yar.
Later the Covenant destroyer Retribution's Thunder and the raider A Psalm Every Day arrived in the 23 Librae system to search for the Kig-Yar "rebels". Two two vessels soon discovered the Rubble, but A Psalm Every Day attacked and disabled Retribution's Thunder so that they could claim sole credit for the discovery. Thel 'Vadamee and his crew were taken captive and stored within one of the habitats. The Midsummer Night arrived shortly after while stalking the Kestrel but was taken out with a mass driver round and missile fire from the Rubble Defense Force. Commander Dmitri Zheng was shot by rebel-sympathizer Lieutenant Badia Campbell but pushed himself to lock the arm codes for the Shiva-class nuclear missiles on board and fired them away to dispose of them. As Zheng died, Keyes was forced to take command of the ship. Lieutenant Jacob Keyes surrendered the ship to save the crew, resulting in them being imprisoned on the Rubble as well.
Unbeknownst to the others, Reth and the Kig-Yar were intending to use the Rubble for breeding grounds. To take over the Rubble, Reth had created a sanctuary on Metisette, a moon of Hesiod, for the Unggoy. He intended to have the Unggoy mass breed so he could have a personal army.
The Shiva missiles caused an EMP effect which shut down the lights and the anti-gravity generators inside the habitat where Thel 'Vadamee and the rest of his crew were imprisoned. This allowed the Sangheili to proceed with an escape plan. Using an improvised spear made out of a broken leg of a cot and tied to several coils of sheets, they managed to spear the Unggoy guard and steal his plasma rifle. Saal used the rifle to destroy the lock and open the door, which allowed the Sangheili to escape. They managed to board a Kig-Yar shuttle and eventually take over a Kig-Yar troop carrier, which contained a large crew of Unggoy. The Sangheili then used the ship and information gathered from the Unggoy to launch a raid on Metisette and capture Reth. After a lengthy interrogation and torture session, Reth revealed to the Sangheili that he is following orders sent from the Prophet of Truth. This confuses the Sangheili, especially Zhar, since they are following conflicting orders from the Prophet of Regret. Reth managed to escape while unattended and arrived back at Metisette. He decided to begin the invasion of the Rubble to show that he was loyal to the Covenant.
Meanwhile, Delgado was imprisoned by one of the Rubble Security Council members, Peter Bonifacio, on the charges of failing to protect the navigation data. Fortunately, the Security Council pardoned him in exchange for giving back the data to them to move it to Habitat Exodus, an emergency evacuation habitat for the Rubble. Peter Bonifacio and Diego Esquival, another Council member and long time friend of Delgado, accompanied Delgado to his ship, the Distancia. However, when Delgado handed the chip to Esquival, Bonifacio quickly held the two at gunpoint and demanded that Diego handed the data to him. Diego refused and was shot. Bonifacio took the data and retreated while Delgado returned fire from his own pistol. He grabbed Diego and re-entered the airlock. However, Bonifacio shut down the airlock and disabled the communications. He quickly undocked and flew away, leaving Delgado and Diego to die. Delgado, knowing he had no other option, activated the emergency beacon Adriana gave him.
Bonifacio contacted Reth, who he was working with, and informed him of the capture of the navigation data. Reth immediately began the preparations of the invasion of the Rubble while Bonifacio continued on his own route. Meanwhile, Gray Team pinpointed Delgado's position and quickly rescued him. Although Delgado survived, Diego did not and was put into cryogenic suspension in the ship.
The Rubble's resident AI construct, Juliana, discovered the movement of the Kig-Yar vessels and prepared the proper forces to defend the Rubble from the Kig-Yar assault. She collaborated with Gray Team and had Jai-006 rescue Keyes and his imprisoned crewmates while Adriana-111 and Michael-120 disabled the Distancia to retrieve the navigation data from Bonifacio. Although Adriana successfully entered the ship and dealt with the bodyguards, Bonifacio quickly fled in an escape pod. She interrogated a surviving guard and contacted Bonifacio, who gave her the location of the data in exchange for letting him free. Adriana reluctantly accepted his proposal and, with the navigation data, the two Spartans quickly moved out to help the others. Meanwhile, Jai, Keyes, and Juliana decided to take over a Kig-Yar raider, Infinite Spoils, in order to confirm the possibility of a Kig-Yar attack. The Mighty Sparrow, filled with ODSTs, latched onto the Infinite Spoils, allowing them to plug Juliana into the Kig-Yar battle network, while another group of ODSTs assaulted the airlock outside the ship. This allowed them to gain data on the upcoming invasion by Reth from Metisette.
During the infiltration, the Sangheili under Thel's command attacked the Mighty Sparrow which was docked with the Kig-Yar raider. Delgado and the remaining ODSTs, including Major Faison, quickly escaped and boarded the Infinite Spoils. While Faison and Delgado navigated through the ship, Faison took fire from a surviving Kig-Yar. The shot hit a blood vessel, causing Faison to loss blood quickly. Delgado was forced to abandon him but called for backup to recover Faison. Aboard Infinite Spoils, Zhar and Thel followed the same path as the humans took. Zhar ran into Faison and took fire before killing him with his plasma rifle. While Zhar became curious and remained shaken, they encountered Jai-006 and Thel engaged in hand to hand combat with him, declaring him a demon in the struggle. The Spartan took a look at Faison and retreated back into the habitat. Thel and Zhar decided to abstain from the battle and took the ship for themselves.
Meanwhile, ODSTs and Kig-Yar were fighting a hard battle in the Rubble. After some hesitation, Delgado handed Jai-006 the AI chip containing Juliana in order to depressurize the habitat and kill the Kig-Yar who were not in a sealed suit. The resulting loss of atmosphere killed off a majority of the front line Kig-Yar, allowing the ODSTs to kill the snipers and push back to the Petya to begin preparations for the Kig-Yar naval assault.
With the Kig-Yar ready to invade the Rubble, UNSC forces, AI Juliana, and Ignatio Delgado prepared to launch a counter-attack to destroy the Covenant forces first in the Battle of Metisette.
However, the Rubble Security Council was unwilling to fight against the Kig-Yar. Delgado decided to meet up with Maria Esquival, Diego Esquival's brother, in order to help convince the Council that the Covenant was their enemy and they needed to fight against them.
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