In the first years of the 26th century, the Bellicose was thrice engaged by the UNSC Gorgon, which was commanded by the legendary Captain Preston Cole. The Bellicose escaped twice and on the last occasion fought to a draw. On January 2, 2504, the ship's crew faked their own deaths by falling into the gravity well of a gas giant during the Battle of Theta Ursae Majoris and escaped by executing the first-known in-atmosphere slipspace transition.
On March 12, 2526, while located in the Little Nelek Nebula, the Bellicose hosted a conference concerning the Covenant's invasion of humanity, the fate of the attacked Outer Colonies, and the SPARTAN-II program. Representatives involved in the meeting included the Biko Independence Army, the Freedom League of Jericho VII, the Gao Liberation Force, and the People's Occupation of Reach. At the end of the debate, General Harper Gavin chose to open an exchange with the alien hegemony.
The Bellicose resurfaced during the Human-Covenant War at the battles of 18 Scorpii and Psi Serpentis under an independent flag. There, the crew of the Bellicose, captained by Lyrenne Castilla, Cole's former wife, saved the latter's forces from Covenant attack.
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