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Various systems in UNSC-controlled space
- "As William Butler Yeats said: 'The center cannot hold.'"
- — The Viability of Extended Colonization by Preston Cole
The Insurrection is the proper name given to an undeclared civil war fought between Earth's primary military, scientific, and exploratory agency, the United Nations Space Command and various loosely organized groups of rebels, collectively known as the Insurrectionists, over control of the Outer Colonies, which began in the year 2494.
Originally, the breakaway movements started as disquiet against the Colonial Administration Authority's oversight of the Outer Colonies, with the colonists tired of the organization's often overbearing bureaucracy. It first started as peaceful protests, and after years of frustrating negotiations, some groups began to use more forceful methods, eventually abandoning diplomacy in favor of terrorist tactics.
Initially confined to a few systems, the fighting spread across human-controlled space in only several years; as the conflict escalated further, even some Inner Colonies, as inwards as the Epsilon Eridani system and even the Sol system itself, were targeted by rebel militants and terrorists. What had once been widespread support for the Insurrectionists quickly dried up at the outbreak of violence. Though they started out targeting only military and Colonial Administration targets, as the UNSC counterinsurgency operations began, more and more innocent people were caught in the crossfire.
The Insurrection claimed millions of lives between the late 2490s and the mid-2520s. The various rebel groups had become extremely adept at creating improvised explosive devices difficult for the UNSC to detect, and therefore stop, and had struck many high-profile targets, even in orbit above Reach itself. Some opponents of the war believed the simplest solution was to simply give the rebels their autonomy - for the UNSC to pull out, and let the rebels have their independence. However, the value of the colonies made them simply too important to abandon, as it would bankrupt the Inner Colonies.
The Insurrection quickly died down after the onset of the Human-Covenant War that began in 2525. Many Insurrectionists prioritized fighting against the Covenant due to them being a common enemy as well as the outer colonies being the Covenant's first targets. However, few isolated insurgent groups staged operations against the UNSC in a two-front war, throughout the war until 2537, whittling down humanity's precious resources from the war effort against the genocidal alien hegemony.
After the end of the war in 2552, some of the surviving Insurrectionist groups—as well as all-new ones—proceeded to resume their fight against Earth. This led to their resurgence after the war, starting with the New Colonial Alliance raiding the UNSC Infinity in 2553, mere months after the Covenant threat had ended. In the post-war insurgency, Covenant splinter groups have sided with the rebels on a number of occasions. The Insurrection remained active at the time of the Guardians' emergence across human space on October 28, 2558.
The Unified Earth Government's first wave of extrasolar colonization took place between 2362 and 2390, resulting in the formation of the prestigious Inner Colonies. During the century that followed, new colonies were established at an even more rapid pace as the technologies involved became more widely available and affordable; the worlds settled during this period would become the Outer Colonies. Many of the Outer Colonies were established to supply goods for the Inner Colonies and Earth and entire worlds were established for the purposes of agriculture or mining. Earth and the Inner Colonies became exceedingly dependent on resources produced by the Outer Colonies, prompting Earth to take steps to ensure they stayed loyal to its authority.
From the beginning, the Outer Colonies were bound to become more unstable than the Inner Colonies. Whereas the original settlers of the latter had been carefully selected from Earth's finest, by the time the Outer Colonies were created the recruitment standards had loosened considerably and were no longer as strictly supervised. Many of the corporations contracted for off-world colonization had their interests in obtaining rights to valuable resources, colonial personnel being a secondary consideration: this led to the illegal conscription of colonists or acquiring them from among pardoned criminals. The Outer Colonies also became a haven for Earth and Inner Colony citizens unhappy with the Earth government or otherwise looking for a fresh start, and many fled to the Outer Colonies through both legal and illegal means.
In the early days of human colonization, UNSC Naval escorts and shipboard Marine complements had accompanied the outbound colony ships in order to maintain security as well as to justify the continued upkeep of the UNSC's massive military, which had not been needed in its original capacity for well over a century. As colonization became more affordable and widespread following the settlement of the Inner Colonies, the nascent Outer Colonies initially lacked a pervasive military presence—apart from the Colonial Military Authority, whose true loyalties ultimately lay with the colonies over Earth. As piracy began to plague the colony systems, some of the colonies appealed to the UNSC for protection, which began the UNSC's involvement in the Outer Colonies.
Following the rapid volumetric growth of the region of space controlled by the human race throughout the Domus Diaspora, the UEG found it increasingly difficult to maintain its hold over the Outer Colonies, hundreds of which were scattered across exceedingly large swathes of space. By 2490, the Outer Colonies surpassed the core worlds in number by several hundred. Despite their more discrete composition, the Outer Colonies proved an ample breeding ground for a strong nationalist sentiment among their citizens which in turn led to their perceiving the Earth government—and the UNSC which imposed its will—as a draconian outside force. Civil disobedience was not uncommon, often taking the form of refusal to pay taxes and the establishment of unauthorized settlements outside government oversight. On some cases, the Colonial Administration Authority made concessions to ameliorate the situation; for example, the registration of births to government records was kept voluntary. On the other hand, most Outer Colony citizens took advantage of the benefits offered to them by the CAA, including the free vaccination program. UNSC Navy Admiral Gabriela Castaneda was among the more profound voices advocating for diplomacy, though ultimately served as an impressive tactician and leader during the conflict towards the end of the 25th century.
As a result of the growing rumblings of discontent, many inhabitants of Earth and the Inner Colonies began to feel threatened by the Outer Colonies surrounding them. The UEG and its colonial governing and military entities—the CAA and initially the Colonial Military Administration—continued to maintain their military presence and economic control over the colonies with trade restrictions and taxes, engendering further dissatisfaction among the colonists and provoking the more radical secessionist elements. Civilian uprisings against UEG rule began to break out between 2475 and 2483. The CMA's response was swift and severe, but their heavy-handed tactics backfired, only hardening the resistance against them and further radicalising the population against them. Stronger and more aggressive dissidents began to take to the political stage, plunging the colonies further into civil unrest.
While outspoken and violent resistance against Earth was initially confined to disparate insurgent organizations, even the leadership of some Outer Colonies would eventually be sympathetic to the insurrectionist cause. Eventually, the People's Occupation and Secessionist Union were formed, uniting many of the dissenters under a single banner. In 2487, these newly established organisations jointly submitted formal requests for independence to the UEG on behalf of a dozen colony worlds. As well, as these sentiments spread, even some scattered elements of the CMA became increasingly sympathetic to the rebels, eventually providing them with information, funding and equipment. The involvement of these sects of the CMA with the rebels went public in 2497, leading to the organization's gradual dismantling and its supplantment by the UNSC as the primary military force in the colonies.
In 2491, Dr. Elias Carver presented a set of theories known as the Carver Findings to the UNSC High Command. According to a projection algorithm devised by Dr. Carver, social order in the Outer Colonies would break down completely in the near future. To stabilize the colonies, Carver recommended a swift and extensive military action on part of the UNSC. Carver's critics asserted that the situation between the core worlds and the Outer Colonies could be stabilized through diplomacy over enough time; however, the UNSC military adopted the Carver Findings as their standard model for the years to come and sought to curb any major unrest with military intervention. In the same year, the UNSC resurrected the mothballed ORION Project, creating the first generation of supersoldiers designed to surgically remove rebel leadership. Carver's proposal also informed the creation of the subsequent SPARTAN-II Program, although by the time of its creation the predicted scenario was even bleaker: an endless, apocalyptic civil war between the Inner and Outer Colonies. After the onset of the Human-Covenant War, the Spartans were re-prioritized to deal with the new alien enemy, becoming exceedingly successful and well-publicized in this role.
Far Isle rebellion
- Main article: Far Isle rebellion
Perhaps the most notorious instance of the brutal and heavy-handed approach the UNSC and CMA took to quelling rebellions in the late 25th century was that of Far Isle. In 2492, in the midst of the rising tensions throughout the colonies, Far Isle was among the first of the colonies to go into a full-scale revolt. Despite their best efforts, the UNSC were unable to contain the rebellion, and as a result, they resorted to nuclear weaponry, razing the entire colony and leaving no survivors from the populace. They subsequently declared Code: BANDERSNATCH, indicating a major radiological- or energy-based disaster.
Although not usually acknowledged as the inciting incident of the Insurrection, the destruction of Far Isle caused multiple larger rebellions elsewhere, and was considered a significant factor in motivating the Insurrection as a whole. Far Isle remained a driving force for the hatred that many individuals bore for the UNSC and UEG even as late as 2553, in staunchly independent colonies such as Venezia.
The Callisto Incident
- Main article: Callisto Incident
The Callisto Incident was a pivotal event which is often considered to have started the Insurrection, widening the scope of the conflict from occasional, disparate colonial rebellions into hostilities on a larger scale. The UNSC Callisto, a corvette, was captured by Insurrectionists when boarding merchant vessels, and all UNSC crew aboard it were killed. In response, the UNSC sent a battle group of three destroyers: the UNSC Jericho, the UNSC Buenos Aires, and the UNSC Las Vegas.
On March 2, 2494, the battle group eventually found the Callisto in the 26 Draconis System. All of the ships fired six Ares missiles at the renegade destroyer. However, the Callisto managed to avoid destruction by maneuvering behind an asteroid. The insurrectionists then detonated a nuke hidden inside the asteroid before hand, launching the debris toward the UNSC ships.
The Buenos Aires was engulfed in the explosion and destroyed, and the other two ships were seriously damaged. Second Lieutenant Preston Cole, as the only living or conscious officer aboard the bridge of the Las Vegas, took control of the vessel. He signaled the Callisto, activating the ship's distress signal and requested medical aid for the wounded. When the Callisto docked with the Las Vegas in order to take command of the ship, Cole detonated the ships last Ares missile, which had been planted inside the docking bay, critically damaging the Callisto. Cole then bluffed by opening the empty missile silos on his ship and ordered the Callisto to surrender and allow Las Vegas's AI to take control.
Following the Callisto Incident, the Insurrection began to spread to other systems, including the Eridanus system which became embroiled in a local insurrection in the same year. The rebellion was crushed two years later, at the cost of four destroyers, though the rebels in the system retreated into the asteroid belt and would continue to operate for several decades onward.
Preston Cole and the Bellicose
As the fighting spread, the Outer Colonies became a battleground between the UNSC Navy and the rebels' makeshift fleets. In June 2501, an insurgent captured UNSC frigate, the Bellerophon, was pursued for the third time by the UNSC Gorgon, commanded by Preston Cole, into the Theta Ursae Majoris system. After a chase and battle, in which the Bellerophon managed to dodge a MAC round using excellent tactics, the Gorgon was contacted by the Bellerophon, renamed the Bellicose. A short exchange of taunting messages followed, and then Cole let the Bellicose escape. After laying traps in five systems over a course of three months, Cole had yet to find the captured ship. Several months later, Cole was married to Lyrenne Castilla, who was also pregnant.
In June of 2503, eight months after Cole's marriage to Castilla, Admiral Harold Stanforth sent Cole a transmission telling him that ONI uncovered the civilian identity of the captain of the Bellicose - Lyrenne Castilla, spying on Cole. Cole went to confirm this, and found that Castilla had robbed him of everything, leaving only a printout of the exchange they had between the Bellicose and Gorgon. In January of the next year, four destroyers engaged the Bellicose in the Theta Ursae Majoris system, and reported that the ship was caught in the gravitational pull of the gas giant, and destroyed.
Cole faced a court-martial for conspiring with the enemy and giving Castilla knowledge of UNSC slipspace upgrades, and possible execution. However, Harold Stanforth stepped in and vouched for him, and Cole was merely relocated to Earth with a desk job. The Bellicose survived, however, and remained in the shadows until eventually reappearing with an Insurrectionist fleet, dealing the Covenant a crippling blow in the Battle of Psi Serpentis.
- Main article: Operation: TREBUCHET
In 2513, the UNSC initiated Operation: TREBUCHET, one of the largest operations in UNSC history; spanning ten years and costing hundreds of thousands of lives, the goal was to root out the Insurrectionists and impose order in the Outer Colonies.
Fighting broke out in the Eridanus system, particularly at Eridanus II and the space around it, as rebels supporting the system's breakaway from the UNSC built a small navy of civilian craft and attempted to take over the system. The disorganized Eridanus rebels were eventually brought together by Colonel Robert Watts. The UNSC responded harshly, sending a fleet of destroyers and carriers to the system to combat the rebel fleet. The resulting battle pitted the UNSC against at least one hundred smaller rebel craft. The UNSC forces defeated their rebel counterparts with little difficulty. During the battle, the rebels were routed and the remnants of their fleet fled into the asteroid belt to Eridanus Secundus. They would eventually establish a fully functional asteroid base and began conducting raids again by 2525.
A ground campaign also began on Eridanus II, as units from the 9th Marine Expeditionary Force were sent to the planet in force, hoping to capture leaders of the rebel movement and pacify the population. One of these units, the first Battalion of the 21st Marine Division commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Ponder, was involved in a disastrous mission to try and capture a rebel leader - the second in command - in Elysium City, which ended in the leader's family being killed and Ponder wounded and demoted.
The fighting eventually spread to the Epsilon Eridani system. By 2524, the fighting involved in Operation: TREBUCHET alone had taken over a million lives, the majority of which being civilians. In that year, a Marine battalion was posted at the colony world of Tribute, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Aboim and supported by the corvette UNSC Bum Rush and air support from Hornets. The battalion attempted to put a stop to rebel bomb makers near the city of Casbah. Two special warfare squads, led by Staff Sergeants Avery Johnson and Nolan Byrne, were involved in disastrous operation in June. Byrne's team was killed during a hostage situation at a Jim Dandy restaurant near Casbah city; thirty-eight civilians, three Marines, and two rebels were killed in the bombing. Byrne and Johnson were pulled from the system, and were later sent to Harvest.
Kidnapping at Eridanus Secundus
- Main article: Assault on Eridanus Secundus
In the year 2525, a SPARTAN-II team, led by John-117, went on a mission to infiltrate and capture rebel leader Colonel Robert Watts. The Spartans sneaked on board via the Laden. Once on board, they located a cargo that contained luxury items such as Sweet William cigars and champagne, verifying Watts' presence.
After boarding the rebel base, they neutralized the guards in their path and eventually found their way to Watts. They successfully killed his guards, and sedated Watts long enough for them to escape. Using explosives, they blasted their way out, killing dozens of civilians, much to the regret of the team.
During the Human-Covenant War
Following the Covenant attack on Harvest and the onset of the Human-Covenant War in 2525, Operation: TREBUCHET was put on halt by the UNSC. The Office of Naval Intelligence Section II sent emissaries with full disclosure on events at Harvest to warn Outer Colony leaders. The UNSC made the offer that they would cease hostilities toward the Insurrectionists if they worked to bolster their planetary defenses and ended their attacks on UNSC ships. The rebels believed it to be a trap and responded with laughter, only to face a harsh dose of reality as the Covenant began laying waste to colony after colony.
As the new threat became apparent, many of the rebels, seeing that the UNSC offered the only real protection against the overwhelming Covenant force, ceased to resist and either submitted to the UNSC's control or hid themselves away from both UNSC and Covenant in remote locations such as habitats like the Rubble or Outer Colony worlds, many of which were eventually glassed. However, not all insurrectionists stopped their attacks against the UNSC, and continued their aggression for years after the beginning of the war with the Covenant.
As the war progressed, insurrectionist activity continued to decrease, apart from isolated conflicts such as the insurrections on Mamore and incidents on Harmony and Reach. This was in part due to the common enemy of the Covenant and the desperate situation humanity found itself in, but also the near-total decimation of the Outer Colonies which had served as the rebels' bases of operations. However, the desire for independence continued to linger on many remaining colony worlds. Using the situation to their advantage, entire colonies under Insurrectionist control intentionally cut themselves off the UNSC's communications relay network during the war, anticipating to resume their operations later on. By 2552, Insurrectionist activity on Reach was still common enough for the UNSC to suspect rebel sabotage when a local relay hub went dark, although this turned out to be the work of a Covenant pre-invasion party instead.
Although Insurrection activity continued over the Human-Covenant War, with the last documented conflict as late as 2537, the high-profile operations and major battles which characterized the early years all but subsided after the beginning of the war. The vast majority of humanity had united under a single banner in order to fight for the survival of their entire species, even the ununited insurrectionists themselves would fight against the Covenant ultimately helping the war effort. Any engagements between the UNSC and the rebels following the Covenant attack appear to have been relatively low-key, often involving covert missions carried out by special forces such as Spartans. As a result, the generation that had grown up during the war had no knowledge of the Insurrection's persistence and considered the entire civil war as having occurred long before their time.[Note 1]
Raid on Camp New Hope
- Main article: Operation: SMOKING ACES
By 2531, Insurrectionists had repeatedly had its operations disrupted by a four-man team of Spartan-II supersoldiers known as Blue Team. The team disrupted Insurrectionist operations including Station Jefferson, the destroyer Origami and a saboteur cell on Reach, as well as an incident in Micronesia, and a high-explosives manufacturing facility at an unspecified location.
In response, the rebels gathered together three stolen FENRIS nuclear warheads at Camp New Hope in a way so sloppy that the Office of Naval Intelligence could not help but notice, then contacted the UNSC and offered to trade the nukes in exchange for medicines for their people suffering from Boren's Syndrome. They then set a trap for Blue Team, whom they anticipated would be sent. They successfully ambushed John-117, Frederic-104, Kelly-087 and Linda-058 using an antigravity plate, however were unaware of the presence of a fifth Spartan and new addition to the team, Kurt-051, who had avoided the trap. Kurt was able to free the other members of Blue Team and they then retreated from the camp with the recovered warheads before the camp could launch a proper counterattack. Rebel leader General Howard Graves was killed in the process.
Implementation of the Cole Protocol
Due to the threat of the Covenant finding Earth, Vice Admiral Preston Cole implemented the Cole Protocol to protect Earth and her remaining colonies. As a result, civilian cargo transport was relegated to either finding other arrangements for cargo leaving UNSC protected space or to joining a convoy where their navigation would be handled by UNSC communications AIs while their navigation data had to be wiped out. As a result, due to the fact that the Cole Protocol ended all non-Navy travel, the rebels were predicted to be unable to communicate with or resupply each other. ONI operative Major Akio Watanabe felt that this incidental side effect isolated the Insurrectionists across the Colonies and dealt something of a killing blow to them.
In response, when the Stalwart-class light frigate UNSC Midsummer Night attempted to search the freighter Finnegan's Wake and enforce the Cole Protocol, Insurrectionists aboard the freighter laid a trap for the boarding ODSTs with the intention of using the freighter itself, rigged with explosives, as a bomb to destroy the Midsummer Night. Thanks to the quick thinking of Lieutenant Jacob Keyes, the plot was foiled though the ODSTs suffered heavy casualties in the initial attack. A single Insurrectionist was captured alive and interrogated by Watanabe, but didn't know much beyond the details of the ambush due to the Insurrectionists' cell tactics.
Weapons Smuggling and Charybdis IX
- Main article: Scyllion Warehouse District riot
During the war, Insurrectionists operating out of the Rubble asteroid colony, particularly Peter Bonifacio, traded Covenant weapons they got from the Kig-Yar Reth to their compatriots in the Colonies. Unbeknownst to the Insurrectionists, these weapons were tampered with to be traceable as part of the Prophet of Truth's plan to locate and destroy humanity quickly. While recovering from being captured and tortured, Major Akio Watanabe becomes aware of this while working for a branch of ONI dedicated to data gathering and analysis. With the implementation of the Cole Protocol, stopping this becomes a priority.
After learning of efforts to stealth the Stalwart-class light frigate UNSC Midsummer Night, a deal was made between the UNSC Navy and ONI for ONI to help stealth the ship in exchange for helping Watanabe stop the Insurrectionists from selling Covenant weaponry in the Colonies which, under the Cole Protocol, was an act of treason due to the danger of such weapons leading to the Colonies. A slow freighter carrying over four thousand Covenant weapons was intercepted on its way to Charybdis IX and seized by ONI agents led by Captain Corinthia Hansen, leading to an opportunity to discover the responsible parties behind the Covenant weaponry. Posing as the crew of the Insurrectionist freighter, ONI agents led by Hansen attempted to perform a sting operation, meeting with well-known Insurrectionist Jason Kincaide. However, a riotous mob in the area forced ONI to cut its operation short and arrest Kincaide and his two henchmen but they came under attack by RPGs, stopping their escape.
Kincaide and his Insurrectionists stirred up the rioters, forcing the ONI agents and Lieutenant Jacob Keyes to retreat into a nearby warehouse while Keyes called Petty Officer Jeffries for a hot extraction, but Jeffries and Pelican 019 were shot down by RPGs, forcing Watanabe, Hansen and Keyes to hold out for twenty minutes until ODSTs from the Midsummer Night could arrive as backup. During that time, Kincaide led an attack on the roof using a firetruck ladder. Though Kincaide was able to kill Watanabe, he was killed in return by Keyes with his own plasma rifle and Keyes used the destruction of the ladder and Kincaide's body to force the rioters to rethink their actions. The arrival of ODSTs led by Major Faison shortly thereafter caused the rioters to flee while two ODST snipers killed the Insurrectionists armed with RPGs, bringing the crisis to an end.
After escaping, Hansen revealed that Kincaide had been so desperate to stop them because he'd told her the name of the next ship delivering Covenant weapons, the Kestrel. However, they received news that a Covenant fleet was on its way to destroy the planet. Hansen ordered the Midsummer Night to follow up on the Kestrel rather than attempt to aid in the planetary defense. At the same time, the Prophet of Regret learned of the modified weapons, not knowing of the Prophet of Truth's role in their creation and distribution. Having learned of where they came from, the Prophet of Regret pulled Shipmaster Thel 'Vadamee from taking part in the destruction of Charybdis to travel to the 23 Librae system and hunt down the source of the weapons.
- Main article: Battle of the Rubble
While on a mission to seek out and destroy any remaining sources of navigation data behind enemy lines, Spartan-II Gray Team discovered the asteroid habitat known as the Rubble, the source of the smuggled Covenant weapons and discovered that they were trading with a Kig-Yar named Reth for the weapons. Grey Team mainly focused their efforts on retrieving the navigation data protected by Ignatio Delgado, the only source of navigation data left on the Rubble aside from that on the Kestrel's computers and which Peter Bonifacio plotted to sell to the Covenant. At the same time, Thel 'Vadamee discovered the Rubble before his ship was attacked by the Kig-Yar raider A Psalm Every Day and destroyed, leaving Thel and a few other Sangheili to be captured by Reth's forces. However, they managed to escape their prison and learn the extent of Reth's operation. After capturing Reth, Thel and his comrades learned that he was actually working for the Prophet of Truth before Reth escaped with the help of some Unggoy.
By tracking the Kestrel from Charybdis IX, the UNSC Midsummer Night was able to locate the Rubble. However, the ship was sabotaged by Lieutenant Badia Campbell, a bridge crew member who was actually an Insurrection sympathizer who was aware of the Rubble. Campbell sabotaged the ship's engines and after taking a Rumbledrug, attempted to take out the bridge crew. Though she succeeded in mortally wounding Commander Dmitri Zheng, Campbell was stopped from killing everyone by Lieutenant Jacob Keyes and committed suicide. Under attack by the Rubble, Zheng launched and detonated the Midsummer Night's Shiva-class nuclear missiles while Keyes enacted the Cole Protocol and wiped the ship's databases. Before dying, Zheng surrendered to the Rubble while leaving Keyes in command. The crew was taken to the Rubble and given the chance to join the population which many decided to do while Keyes, the bridge crew and others were jailed instead when they refused.
After the Kestrel was fried by Gray Team with an EMP bomb and its navigation databases wiped, Bonafacio set out to get the last of the navigation data from Delgado to hand it over to Reth. After tricking Delgado into leading him to the data on the Distancia, Bonafacio revealed his true colors and shot Diego Esquival before leaving him and Delgado trapped in a broken airlock with communications cut off to die as he took Distancia to meet with Reth. Delgado was able to activate a beacon that Adriana-111 had given him, signaling Grey Team who rescued Delgado with the Petya. With Bonafacio in possession of the data and Kig-Yar ships moving out, Grey Team decided to chase down Distancia while working with the crew of the Midsummer Night to board a Kig-Yar ship with the Rubble's AI Juliana in order to find out the Kig-Yar's plan. Adriana and Michael-120 were successfully able to catch Distancia and retrieve the navigation data, but Bonafacio got away in an escape pod. When the Prophet of Regret's fleet later arrived, Bonafacio was killed when he attempted to surrender to a Covenant cruiser that instead destroyed his escape pod.
After recruiting the imprisoned crew of the Midsummer Night, an invasion was launched upon the Kig-Yar ship Infinite Spoils by Jai-006, Keyes and several ODSTs while Thel attacked at the same time in order to take control of the Infinite Spoils for himself. By plugging Juliana into the ship's systems, Keyes was able to grant her access to the proselytization network and she learned the full extent of the Covenant plans for the Rubble and its inhabitants. Although five ODSTs died, including Faison, the mission was a success while Thel escaped with the Infinite Spoils.
- Main article: Battle of Metisette
From the data she stole, Juliana was able to learn about the Redoubt on the nearby moon of Metisette and the army of hundreds of thousands of Unggoy gathered there. Juliana warned the Rubble Security Council which initiated evacuation via the Exodus asteroid while Keyes devised a plan to use the Rubble itself as a weapon to destroy the Redoubt and the Covenant forces there while they were still on the ground. Keyes agreed that if they succeeded, the navigation data would be handed over to the Rubble to be used in their escape. Working together, ODSTs, Jai and Adriana launched from the Midsummer Night to attack the Redoubt and destroy its scanning systems and antiaircraft batteries in order to leave it unable to see the coming attack or shoot down the pieces of the Rubble. The attack was successful and the Redoubt was left blind and defenseless when the Rubble rained down upon it, destroying the Redoubt and killing Reth and the hundreds of thousands of Unggoy gathered there, only leaving alive the limited numbers that had launched before the attack occurred.
After the destruction of the Redoubt, the navigation data was handed over to Exodus while the Rubble Defense Force dealt with the surviving Unggoy who had been sent by Thel who chose to stand off with the Infinite Spoils rather than risk facing the Midsummer Night. With the Exodus lacking the engine power to reach the depths of the galaxy, the Security Council agreed to head to the Inner Colony of Falaknuma escorted by the Midsummer Night where the frigate got a rescue effort moving while the Covenant found two more Colonies to attack through the smuggled weapons. Additionally, bringing the civilians from the Rubble brought an unknown number of Insurrectionists back with them. Over the next few weeks, the Insurrectionists began slipping away from the refugee camps on Falaknuma, something that Commander Hadley of ONI believed would come back to haunt them one day.
Massacre at Eridanus Secundus
- Main article: Massacre at Eridanus Secundus
On September 12, 2552, Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb, Fred, the Master Chief, Cortana, Dr. Halsey, and Lieutenant Haverson, aboard the Gettysburg-Ascendant Justice, encountered a small rebel base in an asteroid - the same base John had raided 27 years earlier.
After a tentative agreement, Whitcomb convinced Jiles, the governor, to house their battered ships and repair them. Soon, a Covenant ship arrived. Whitcomb quickly destroyed it, but at the loss of their last functional turret, showing that there was most likely more Covenant ships coming. Whitcomb, feeling it was his duty to warn Earth first, initiated a Slipspace jump, leaving the rebels behind, helpless against the soon to arrive Covenant.
After the end of the Human-Covenant War, many insurrectionist movements which had ceased their operations during the war began to resurface. Following the ceasefire, the UNSC began attempts to broker peace with the surviving Outer Colonies and Fleet Admiral Hood embarked on a diplomatic mission to discuss reconstruction. A number of colonies refused this offer and cut all ties with the UNSC, which, according to them, had abandoned them during the war. Many insurrectionist cells were also able to acquire copious amounts of Covenant and UNSC weapons and equipment circulating on the black market.
Of particular significance to the reemerging insurrectionist movement was the colony of Venezia, which had become a major center for rebel operations during the war, when its insurrectionist government had declared itself sovereign and eliminated the local CAA authorities.
Another formidable force to resurge was the United Rebel Front. After the war, they had multiple planets under their control like Talitsa and Terceira, which compelled the UNSC to conduct raids using Spartan forces.
New Colonial Alliance
Insurrectionist attack on the Infinity
- Main article: Raid on UNSC Infinity
Of major significance in the post-war era was the rise of the New Colonial Alliance, founded by rogue UNSC Admiral Mattius Drake, which in early 2553 attempted to hijack the newly-commissioned UNSC Infinity. In this attack, former SPARTAN-IV candidate Ilsa Zane and her NCA combatants staged a mutiny on the vessel and managed to briefly seize control of the bridge. The attack was foiled by Spartan forces aboard the Infinity and the boarders were all killed or captured, leading to the UNSC's discovery of the new movement's existence.
Battle of Ealen IV
- Main article: Battle of Ealen IV
As of 2558, the movement remained active and became increasingly militant. In March of that year, they attempted a direct attack on the UNSC during a peace negotiation between the Jiralhanae and Sangheili on the planet of Ealen IV. Having orchestrated the attack through a double agent later identified as Spartan-IV supersoldier Vladimir Scruggs, the NCA contracted Sangheili mercenaries led by Shipmaster Vata 'Gajat to assassinate the delegation, comprised of Fleet Admiral Lord Hood, Chieftain Lydus, and Arbiter Thel 'Vadam. However, the UNSC successfully repelled this attack and saved the members of the delegation, but not before the peace process was once again stalled.
- Main article: Ambush at Oth Lodon
Later that month, Captain Daniel Clayton of the NCA sought revenge against Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood aboard the UNSC Infinity for the loss of his father Captain James Cutter and the UNSC Spirit of Fire decades earlier, ambushing the vessel at Oth Lodon with the help of Gajat's mercenary faction. Utilizing a Covenant station's glassing cannon, Clayton managed to cripple Infinity and kill a significant portion of the flagship's crew. However, Spartan forces saved the Infinity by succeeding in killing Vata 'Gajat and apprehending Captain Clayton. With Daniel Clayton captured, Lord Hood visited the turncoat captain in his cell, querying Clayton about the intentions of the NCA's leader, Admiral Drake. Clayton only told Hood the NCA was stronger than before and had agents on every colony, even Earth, before being shipped to Midnight Facility on Hood's orders.
On the remote human colony of Conrad's Point, NCA rebels and mercenaries led by an unidentified colonel were transferred to the command of Ilsa Zane when she arrived on the planet. Zane organized the rebels into a more formidable force, operating ruthlessly and killing anyone who did not perform up to her standards. Under her command the NCA forces on the colony started to prepare for war with the UEG and accumulated a large amount of nuclear weaponry. Near the end of October, 2558, a Forerunner Guardian was activated on the colony, causing large-scale destruction to one of its cities. All NCA forces on the colony were sent to secure the site of it and sought to search the ruins for clues of the Guardian's next site of attack.
Not willing to let the Guardian site fall into the NCA's hands, ONI tasked Commander Maya Sankar to go undercover as the insurrectionist leader "FERO" and gather information by infiltrating the NCA, with the help of the AI Black-Box. After rendezvousing with her contact Ari Rezneck, they moved into the NCA encampment and discovered that the insurgents were celebrating the apparent death of Spartan-II John-117. ONI discovered Zane's presence in the camp and had warned Sankar of an incoming UNSC airstrike. Gaining what information they could, they attempted to leave but the camp was put on lock down and were then approached by Zane herself. Zane revealed both of them to be ONI operatives, killed Rezneck, then attempted to kill Sankar but was halted when the airstrike began. As the compound was bombarded, Sankar fled the planet and Zane with her NCA forces attempted to stop her but failed.
Tracking down Sankar's group to Laika III, Zane and her NCA forces shot down her ship and pursued her, intending to kill Sankar and then secure the planet's Guardian to use as a weapon against the UNSC. During their pursuit, they encountered UNSC and ONI forces and engaged them as the Guardian started to rise.
Ironically, the Insurrection may have contributed to the UNSC's victory and the overall survival of humanity in the Human-Covenant War. As Codename: SURGEON stated in his 2552 report on Admiral Preston Cole:
|“||History looks upon this time as an unfortunate (and perhaps inevitable?) misunderstanding between Earth and her colonies, but those fighting for the last decade also realize that it was the most amazing piece of blind fortune the human race has ever stumbled upon. Had we not been armed and learning how to fight in space... what would have happened in the years that followed, when we faced an enemy a hundred times worse? Oblivion, no doubt.||”|
While the reason for the UNSC's eventual victory was arguably the Great Schism within the Covenant, from the Insurrection came the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, Titanium-A armor, soft-seal technology employed in boarding actions, advances in ship-to-ship warfare tactics, the incorporation of the Illegal Entry Protocols and Counter-Illegal Entry Protocols into smart AIs, and above all, the SPARTAN-IIs, all of which would prove crucial in humanity's fight against the Covenant.
Known systems and planets with Insurrectionist activity
- Alpha Corvi system
- Epsilon Eridani system
- Eridanus system
- 111 Tauri system
- 23 Librae system 
- 26 Draconis system
- Epsilon Indi system
- Charybdis system
- Cordoba system
- Procyon system
- Redstow system
- Theta Ursae Majoris system
- Alpha Aurigae system
- Venezia 
- Lodestone 
- Sol System
- Dr. Elias Carver presents the Carver Findings predicting the Insurrection to HIGHCOM.
- The ORION Project is reinitialized by the UNSC to combat rebels.
- A large uprising occurs on the UNSC colony of Far Isle. Unable to control the rebellion, the UNSC declares code: Bandersnatch and uses nuclear weapons to raze the colony.
- Callisto Incident - A group of insurrectionists board a UNSC corvette, Callisto and kill the crew. A naval engagement ensues as three UNSC light destroyers are sent to hunt down the captured ship.
- Insurrectionist forces take control of Eridanus II, establishing their own secessionist government in the wake of the coup d'état.
- The Insurrection begins.
- Operation: CHARLEMAGNE: UNSC forces begin their campaign to retake Eridanus II, deploying a battle group to engage the makeshift Insurrectionist defense fleet. Despite the UNSC's best attempts at removing the entrenched rebellion, ONI fails to discover the location of their base. This hollowed-out asteroid would remain a safe haven for Insurrectionists for another three decades.
- Skirmish at Theta Ursae Majoris - The UNSC Gorgon engages the Bellicose in the Theta Ursae Majoris system. The battle ends in a draw.
- Operation: KALEIDOSCOPE - Jerald Mulkey Ander, the leader of the Secessionist Union on Harvest is assassinated by Avery Junior Johnson.
- Skirmish at Capella - UNSC Gorgon is damaged in a skirmish with Insurrectionist forces, resulting in the deaths of 32 crew members and requiring her to be laid up in space dock for one month for repairs.
- Battle of Theta Ursae Majoris System - Four UNSC destroyers are sent to hunt down the Bellicose, which is reported destroyed in the battle.
- The SPARTAN-II program is initiated the UNSC to counter Insurrectionist activity, with Dr. Catherine Halsey assigned as project head.
- A terrorist with the Freedom and Liberation Party detonates a commercial nuclear explosive in the Haven arcology on Mamore, killing two million people and injuring 8.3 million.
- Operation: TREBUCHET begins. Heavy fighting takes place in the Eridanus system, as the rebel forces led by Colonel Robert Watts face off against the UNSC in both the surface of Eridanus II and space around the planet. The rebel fleet is defeated and the remnants retreat into their hidden base in the system's asteroid belt and begin conducting raids.
- The candidates for the SPARTAN-II program are conscripted per Naval Code 45812, and begin their training on Reach under the AI Déjà and Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez.
- Operation: TREBUCHET continues, now in Epsilon Eridani. A UNSC Marine assault to stop rebel bomb makers on Tribute goes awry, resulting in the death of thirty-eight civilians, three Marines, and two rebels.
- Luxury liner National Holiday is destroyed by Insurrectionists above Reach. The Office of Naval Intelligence successfully covered up the bombing as a freak accident.
- Assault on Eridanus Secundus - A team of SPARTAN-IIs are sent to Eridanus Secundus to capture Colonel Robert Watts. They succeed in doing so, crippling but not destroying the rebel infrastructure in the Eridanus system. Further plans to attack rebel base apparently abandoned due to the Human-Covenant War's outbreak.
- Shortly afterward, the Spartans were sent to halt a rebellion on Jericho VII.
- Operation: TREBUCHET is abruptly concluded with the start of the Human-Covenant War after the First Battle of Harvest.
- The UNSC warns insurrectionist leaders about the threat of the Covenant and proposes a truce. However, most rebels believe this to be a trap and decline, only to soon realize the direness of the threat once the Covenant begin their assault on the Outer Colonies.
- The Insurrection continues in reduced capacity.
- Battle of Alpha Corvi II - Soldiers loyal to the United Rebel Front under the command of Captain Whitaker engage Covenant ground forces on Black Reef, a human settlement on Alpha Corvi II. During the battle they agree to a truce with the SPARTAN-II Blue Team to prevent the enemy from obtaining a Forerunner artifact. Despite their success and assistance to the Spartans, the UNSC abandons the rebels as they evacuate all military personnel from the planet; the rebels are subsequently wiped out by the Covenant.
- Sometime around 2525-2526, UNSC forces are sent to put down Insurrectionist forces on Jericho VII, and ODSTs are deployed there for over 131 days.
- ODSTs are deployed to counter Insurrectionist forces on Arcadia.
- Insurrectionists bomb a civilian spaceport in Troisi City, Lodestone.
- On Mars, two Insurrectionists of the Bandusa Insurrectionist group, Christina Rice and James McCann, are disguised as Army specialists and allegedly attempt to steal nuclear warheads for a possible attack on New Harmony, Mars. However, UNSC forces working with ONI agents discover this plan and Rice and McCann are captured.
- ODSTs are deployed against Insurrectionist forces on Andesia.
- In mid-2526 an unknown group of Insurrectionists were engaged with UNSC forces when both sides came under attack by the Covenant; both forces subsequently fought together against the aliens.
- Morgan Kinsano, one of the key Insurrectionists in the Outer Colonies, defects to the UNSC and enlists in the UNSC Marine Corps' Hellbringers, due to the Insurrection being completely powerless against the Covenant.
- Operation: SMOKING ACES: SPARTAN-II Blue Team assaults Camp New Hope on the planet Victoria, recover three stolen nuclear warheads, and eliminate General Howard Graves, a prominent Insurrectionist leader.
- Scyllion Warehouse District Riot: Food riots led by Insurrectionist Jason Kincaide who is smuggling Covenant weapons from The Rubble. Kincaide leads a massive assault upon ONI forces and Jacob Keyes after telling them about the Kestrel, but is killed by Keyes. Riot put down by ODSTs from Midsummer Night.
- Battle of the Rubble: The Rubble, an insurrectionist asteroid habitat, is destroyed, but over a million civilians manage to escape with the help of a UNSC stealth frigate, the Midsummer Night. Also a major UNSC victory against the Covenant.
- Insurrection of Mamore, Spartan-III Alpha Company successfully puts down the rebellion.
- The Insurrection dwindles out.
- By this year, contact with the colony of Venezia is lost. Evidence points to a takeover by Insurrectionist forces, who were prominent on the planet.
- Isolated Insurrectionists disable a communications relay on Harmony, and steal two freighters from a drydock.
- Isolated Insurrection activity on Reach continues. In one instance, two insurgents trying to hijack a supply transport are surprised by Noble Team.
- Massacre at Eridanus Secundus: A group of Insurrectionists still hiding in Eridanus Secundus are killed by the Covenant after helping a group of UNSC forces. In this case, both the UNSC and the Insurrectionists were united, but the UNSC was forced to abandon them due to a greater threat to Earth.
- A group of insurrectionists belonging to the New Colonial Alliance are led by Ilsa Zane in an attempt to commandeer the UNSC Infinity. The attack is repelled, largely due to the efforts of Spartans Sarah Palmer and Edward Davis.
- The Insurrection resurges.
- Evidence suggests that the Insurrectionist government on Venezia is making preparations to attack Earth.
- The UNSC Ariadne comes out of slipspace above Venezia following reactor malfunctions; requests to Venezia for permission to evacuate personnel to the planet surface are denied, and the reactor experiences a meltdown, destroying the vessel with all hands lost. The UNSC Monte Cassino arrives too late to assist, and while searching for survivors is fired upon by an anti-aircraft cannon. Monte Cassino retaliates by destroying the cannon with missiles.
- A force of soldiers of the United Rebel Front, led by Captain Ingridson invades the newly-resettled colony world of Draco III, occupying the capital city of New Albany and intending to claim the planet as independent of the UEG. The UNSC sends a team of SPARTAN-IVs commanded by Sarah Palmer and Alpha-Nine of the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers to retake the planet. Sustaining relatively light losses, the UNSC succeed in liberating the city and all hostages while eliminating the entire URF force.
- New Colonial Alliance insurgents led by Captain Daniel Clayton attempt to destroy the UNSC Infinity by luring the flagship into an Ambush at Oth Lodon. The attack ultimately fails as the Infinity's forces regroup and resist the insurgent attack, eliminating their Covenant allies and capturing Captain Clayton and the station.
List of appearances
- Halo: The Fall of Reach (First appearance)
- Halo: First Strike
- Adjunct (Mentioned only)
- Halo Graphic Novel (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo: Contact Harvest
- Halo: The Cole Protocol
- Halo Wars
- Halo Legends
- Halo Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
- Remember Reach
- Patrol (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Reach (Mentioned only)
- Data pads (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Glasslands
- Halo: The Thursday War
- Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
- Halo 4 (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Initiation
- Halo: Escalation
- Halo: Mortal Dictata
- Halo: New Blood
- Hunt the Truth
- Halo: Last Light (Mentioned only)
- Halo: The Fall of Reach - The Animated Series
- Halo 5: Guardians (Mentioned only)
- Limited Edition dossiers (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Ground Command (Mentioned only)
- Halo Mythos
- Halo: Fractures
- Halo: Smoke and Shadow (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Envoy (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Retribution (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Legacy of Onyx (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Bad Blood
- Halo: Collateral Damage
- Halo: Silent Storm
- Halo: Official Spartan Field Manual
- Halo: Battle Born (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Meridian Divide (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Shadows of Reach (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Divine Wind (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Outcasts (Indirect mention)
- The Insurrection was originally stated in Halo: First Strike to have died out after the onset of the Human-Covenant War, as the appearance of the Covenant left most Insurrectionists concluding that staying with the UNSC was a lesser evil to outright annihilation. However, later sources such as Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Halo: The Cole Protocol and Halo: Reach retcon this, with The Cole Protocol stating that the Insurrection continued in some capacity at least until 2535, and Reach saying that it was still ongoing as of 2552. The 2010 rerelease of Halo: First Strike was modified to accommodate this change. However, more recently, in Halo: Glasslands and Halo: The Thursday War, it is maintained that the Insurrection subsided after the start of the Covenant War; characters such as Malcolm Geffen and Vasily Beloi consider the entire notion of conflict between humans a thing of the past. In order to reconcile this, it can be assumed that the characters in question were unaware of the continuation of the conflict, or at least the extent of it.
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo: Evolutions, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", p. 418
- Halo: Contact Harvest
- Halo: Contact Harvest, page 61
- Halo: Collateral Damage
- Halo: Reach, campaign level Noble Actual
- Kilo-Five Trilogy
- Halo: Escalation
- Halo: Last Light
- Hunt the Truth , Season 2, Episode 06: TRANSENDENCE
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", page 428-429
- Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 43 (2011)
- Xbox.com: The Halo Timeline (defunct, Archived)
- Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 34
- Halo: Mortal Dictata, page 356
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "Pariah"
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 82
- Dr. Halsey's personal journal
- Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Outpost Discoveries
- Halo Mythos - Domus Diaspora; The Insurrection, Pages 54-61
- Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe page 44
- Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe page 33 (2011)
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx - Chapter Twenty-One, Page 183 (2006 edition)
- Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe - Locations: Human Colonies, Page 288 (2009 edition); Page 300 (2011 edition)
- Halo: Mortal Dictata - Chapter Ten, Page 291-292 (2014 edition)
- Halo: The Fall of Reach, pages 17-18
- Halo: The Fall of Reach, pages 75-77
- Halo: Contact Harvest, page 112
- Halo Wars: Official Strategy Guide, page 22
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 45
- Halo: Glasslands, page 68
- Halo: Legends "Origins" - "When this new foe emerged and declared war against humanity, you finally united under a single banner. And the weapons you so carefully constructed to control your own baser instincts, were now aimed not at yourselves, but against a deadly opponent. In pursuit of a shared goal, the very survival of your species."
- Halo: First Strike, page 255
- Halo: Glasslands, pages 216, 447
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 36-37
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 49
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 98
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 50-61
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 99-101
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 105-114
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 122-134
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 135-137
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 145-148
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 164-168
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 176-184
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 204-210
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 211-213
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 226
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 232-234
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 238-244
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 256-261
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 338-339
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 240-242
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 263-280
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 289-306
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 309-328
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 331-344
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 346
- Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 352
- Halo: Glasslands, page 70
- Halo: Glasslands, page 448
- Halo: Glasslands, page 86
- Halo 4, Wetwork Armor description
- Halo: Initiation - Issue 3
- Halo Escalation, Issue #1 - #3
- Halo: Escalation, Issue #6
- Hunt the Truth Season 2, Episode 02: FROM FIRE TO BLOOD
- Hunt the Truth, Season 2, Episode 05: WHERE THE THIRD LIFE SHINES
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Impossible Life and the Possible of Preston J. Cole", page 457
- Halo: The Fall of Reach
- Halo: First Strike
- Halo: The Cole Protocol
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole"
- Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Episode 1
- Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), pages 44-45
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", page 453
- Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 83
- Halo: Collateral Damage, Part 3
- Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Part 3
- Amazon.com — Halo: Glasslands product description
- Halo: Initiation - Issue 3
- Halo Escalation, Issue #4 - #6