Battle of the Silent Cartographer
- "It's Halo: Combat Evolved's Normandy moment"
- — Halo: The Great Journey: The Art of Building Worlds
The Battle of the Silent Cartographer was a brief conflict within the larger Battle of Installation 04, during the Human-Covenant War in late 2552. The battle produced numerous casualties on both sides and resulted in the UNSC's discovery of Installation 04's Control Room.
Prior to the battle, the Covenant Special Operations Officer Zuka 'Zamamee intentionally allowed Cortana to access data about the Cartographer so he could kill John-117, who had wounded Zuka during the assault on the Pillar of Autumn. Cortana relayed the information to Captain Keyes, who realized the strategic importance of the map room and ordered SPARTAN-II John-117 and two squads of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers to land on the Covenant-held island, access the Cartographer and locate Installation 04's Control Room.
Two Pelicans carried the UNSC strike team to a beach that was defended by light Covenant infantry. The marines and John-117 stormed the beach surprising Covenant forces as a bloody battle ensued. After all the Covenant forces on the beach were massacred, a Warthog was subsequently delivered to the beach by Echo 419. The Master Chief and two Marines took the Warthog past two Covenant patrols and launched an attack on the heavily-guarded entrance to the Cartographer. They succeeded at wiping out the guards, but as Master Chief faced off with an energy sword-wielding Sangheili Zealot the Covenant managed to seal a security door, separating the Chief from the Zealot and halting any further progress.
The Chief moved to another part of the island, where he ambushed and neutralized another unprepared group of Covenant infantry at a second beach. He then moved inland, fighting his way past Sangheili, Unggoy, Kig-Yar and eventually a Mgalekgolo pair. Cortana called in Pelican Bravo-22 for a delivery of reinforcements and heavy weapons. After defeating several more squads of Covenant infantry, the Chief fought and killed another pair of Mgalekgolo who were posted as guards of the security override, and then used the override to open the door. The Covenant struck back; ground forces succeeded in shooting down Bravo-22 and a squad of Stealth Sangheili ambushed but failed to kill the Master Chief. The Chief defeated another Covenant patrol near a mesa and resupplied at Bravo-22's crash site before returning to the Silent Cartographer. A trio of Kig-Yar and a pair of Mgalekgolo had been sent to guard the entrance but the Chief was able to defeat them easily using an M41 rocket launcher he had taken from Bravo-22.
The Zealot who had guarded the path to the Cartographer earlier had disappeared and the Chief fought his way down through the corridors leading to the Cartographer; in many of the fights the Chief was able to ambush unprepared Covenant infantry. However, the Covenant launched a counterattack against the Marines on the beach while the Chief was underground and wiped them out.
After finding the map, the Chief fought his way back up the surface. The Zealot returned and dueled the Chief but was killed, and a final squad of Stealth Sangheili arrived by Spirit dropship but were also defeated. The Master Chief was picked up by Pelican Echo-419, which then carried him off to make an underground aerial insertion near the Control Room.
- It is not stated in Halo: The Flood how many factual Marines participated in the battle, but in the game you are given a varying number depending on the difficulty you are on. Easy will give you nine, but Heroic will give you seven.
- The book only mentions two Warthogs and not the wrecked one you find by the beach in the game.
- The fate of the two squads that accompanied the Chief to the island is unknown, although they are believed to have suffered heavy casualties in both the initial beach assault and in assisting the Chief on his daredevil insertions underground. However, if the player heads back to where the Marines previously were, they will find their bodies scattered on the beach head.
- The iconic beach landing inspired the Warzone simulation Raid on Apex 7 in Halo 5: Guardians.
List of appearances
- Halo: The Great Journey: The Art of Building Worlds, page 45
- Halo Waypoint: San-Diego Comic-Con and A Hero Reborn ViDoc released