Massacre of the Outer Colonies

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Skirmish on Minor Transgression

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Massacre of the Outer Colonies
Harvest Plasma Glassed.jpgHarvest glassed in 2525

Conflict:

Human-Covenant War

Date:

February 3, 2525 - June 1, 2536[1]

Location:

Outer Colonies, Orion Arm

Outcome:

Covenant Victory

  • Most Outer Colonies are glassed
  • Insurrection dies down due to heavy casualties from the Covenant attacks
Belligerents


Commanders

Strength
Casualties

Immensely devastating

  • Over 62,154,022 civilian and military casualties[2]
  • Hundreds of ships lost

Moderate to heavy

 

The Massacre of the Outer Colonies[3] is a series of engagements during the early portion of the Human-Covenant War.[4]

Background[edit]

Insurrection[edit]

Main article: Insurrection
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Battle[edit]

Harvest and the humanity's response[edit]

CMA Argo was tasked with investigating the silence of Harvest, but signals with it were soon lost too. The Colonial Military Administration sent Battle Group 4 to investigate the escalating situation. Arriving on October 7, 2525, the Battle group was attacked. Only the CMA Heracles managed to escape. The Heracles returned to Reach[5] on October 31st, relaying what had happened and a message: "Your destruction is the will of the gods, and we are their instrument."[6]

The following day, on November 1, 2525, the Unified Earth Government began mobilizing the CMA and UNSC.[6] Specifically, the UNSC went to full alert and stripped the CMA of its forces, giving them to NAVCOM and UNICOM.[1] On November 2, the SPARTAN-IIs were deployed.[6]

Early battles and losses[edit]

On the 27th of November, Chi Ceti IV was assaulted by a Covenant ship at the same time SPARTAN-II forces were receiving their MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor. Almost immediately after in December, the SPARTANs were reassigned to fight the Covenant at Alpha Corvi II.[7]

The first year[edit]

The beginning of 2526 saw the destruction of Bliss.[8] Soon after on March 1, Preston Cole in charge of UNSC Battle Group X-Ray fought the Covenant off over Harvest.[9] Seven days later, Cole as well as others would devise Operation: SILENT STORM, part of which would involve laying a trap at Biko using Task Force Yama.[10] At this point in time, the Covenant were only operating in the Polona Sector, Vevina sector, and Grenadi sectors.[11] The colony of Etalan, with roughly 10 million people was also attacked during this time.[10]

Despite the efforts of the UNSC, Biko however would still fall to the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience. Almost a month after, the prestigious Corbulo Academy of Military Science on Circinius IV was destroyed, leaving only 3 survivors.[12]

Only two days after Circinius IV, ONI projects were refocused to solely counter the Covenant. As well, ONI Section Two sent emissaries to Outer Colony leaders to warn them of the Covenant and give them an offer: end hostilities with the UNSC and receive protection. Initially they laughed at the prospect, until they witnessed footage of Bliss.[13]

Planets began falling two or three a week. The Office of Naval Intelligence was unable to collate intelligence at the rate of the Covenant's incursion. UNSC Fleet Command was unable to plan out grand strategies and thus granted operational autonomy to UNSC naval units.[14]

In the summer, UNSC forces along with forces from the Children of Mesra fought the Covenant on Mesra.[14]

At the end of the year, the UNSC and Covenant fought a large battle in the Alpha Aurigae system.[15]

Pressing inward[edit]

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The Covenant kept pressing ever inward into human space. In 2528, the UNSC continued to counter the Covenant at the Battle of XI Boötis A[15] but Madrigal fell later in the year.[16] Two years later in 2530, Eridanus II was glassed and the UNSC abandoned the planet.[17] On December 24 of 2530, the UNSC and Covenant clashed at the Battle of the Great Bear. The battle would lead to the formation of the Cole Protocol.[15]

The Arbiter[edit]

In February 2531, Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee, under the command of the Prophet of Regret, began leading searches for Forerunner technology to aid in the Covenant war effort during the end of the Harvest campaign and the Battle for Arcadia. With the Covenant having discovered the Forerunner shield world Etran Harborage sometime prior, the Prophet of Regret intended to use a fleet of Sojourner-class dreadnoughts docked at the Apex Site to crush humanity "quickly and with ease." With Ripa having kidnapped Professor Ellen Anders at Arcadia to use as a Reclaimer to activate the shield world, he was pursued by the UNSC Spirit of Fire, leading to a battle at the Etran Harborage. In the battle, Ripa was killed by Sergeant John Forge who subsequently sacrificed himself to destroy the Etran Harborage by causing its internal sun to go supernova. The Covenant plan was foiled, but the Spirit of Fire sacrificed its slipspace drive to cause the supernova, leaving the ship and its crew stranded in deep space.[18]

Aftermath[edit]

The Inner Colonies[edit]

Main article: Siege of the Inner Colonies

On June 1, 2536, the Covenant had finally broken into the Inner Colonies.[1] This would be the beginning of a multi-year siege of the most inner worlds of humanity.

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Continuing losses in the Outer Colonies & refugees[edit]

By 2535, a number of Outer Colonies had been lost and refugees were beginning to pour into the Inner Colonies, such as on Chi Rho.[19]

Other Outer Colonies also fell even after the Inner Colonies were being attacked. Meridian, came under siege for three years late into the war. As well, Arcadia was attacked a second time.

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Timeline[edit]

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2525[edit]

2526[edit]

2528[edit]

2530[edit]

2531[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Sources[edit]