Halo: Rise of Atriox Issue 1
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Issue 1 begins with a research report being compiled for Captain James Cutter after the UNSC Spirit of Fire's first encounter with the Banished on the Ark. Seth, an AI onboard the Spirit of Fire, cross-analyses transcripts and incident report data provided by the Logistics Smart AI Isabel to establish links between past events and the leader of the Banished, Atriox.
The story follows the perspective of Sergeant Jessica Kress, a UNSC Marine inside a military outpost under siege by Covenant forces during the Human-Covenant War. During the battle, the Covenant deploy waves of Jiralhanae soldiers on a suicide mission to devastate the marines at the base. Following another wave assault, Kress is notified by the base's damaged AI, Beatrix, that she is the highest-ranking individual in the outpost and is to assume immediate command of the staff and the fifty-six remaining marines. When Kress questions why the Covenant would waste the lives of their troops attacking the outpost, Beatrix tells her they simply want nothing more than to see them dead and offers Kress assistance before becoming non-operational. Sergeant Kress instructs her to send a message to UNSC command requesting support. After witnessing a dying Jiralhanae soldier proudly succumb to his injuries, Kress is alerted of another incoming enemy wave. The Covenant then dispatch forty more Jiralhanae warriors, among them a young and powerful Atriox. As the marines begin to fall to the Jiralhanae, Beatrix keeps Sergeant Kress updated on their dwindling numbers. Kress proceeds to ask Beatrix where the Jiralhanae are heading. After Beatrix informs her that a breach in the base's western section is their likely target of entrance, Kress takes point and leads some thirty marines to the western corridor to keep the Jiralhanae at bay until support can arrive. However, Atriox and his fellow warriors manage to overwhelm the marines and soon force a handful of them to retreat. While Sergeant Kress and another survivor conceal themselves inside to a vehicle bay full of Warthogs, Beatrix continues to countdown the last dwindling numbers of their troops. Irritated, Kress tells Beatrix to shut up about their numbers and inquires if Command's reinforcements will soon arrive. Beatrix can only apologize to Kress before her backup servers finally fail and she perishes, leaving Kress to deal with the Jiralhanae horde.
Although defeated, Sergeant Kress resolves to make a last effort to take out as many Jiralhanae soldiers as possible and escape. Starting up a Warthog, she accelerates and made a break for the exit by mowing down enemies in her path, while her gunner lets loose a barrage of turret bullets. As they flee from the outpost, Atriox takes aim at the last two survivors with a Pez'tk-pattern fuel rod gun and fires at their Warthog. The fuel rod detonates and destroys their vehicle, leaving Kress as the last survivor standing. Armed with just her combat knife, Kress gets up and prepares to square off against Atriox. She is ultimately no match for Atriox, who uses his gravity hammer to take Kress down. The last thought Kress has is how the Covenant could have easily just glassed them but instead chose to come after their blood, and were even willing to waste their own in the process.