Operation: BUZZHAWK

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Concurrent:

Battle of Carrow

Operation: BUZZHAWK

Conflict:

Post-Covenant War conflicts

Date:

September 2558

Location:

Carrow

Outcome:

Tactical Surakan victory

Strategically insignificant

  • Hekabe accesses the Sharquoi hive, his true goal and continues his attack
Belligerents

Surakan Militia Volunteers

Jiralhanae

Commanders

Governor Ellis Gass

Chieftain Hekabe

Strength
Casualties
  • Four merchant ships
 

Operation: BUZZHAWK[1] was an operation launched by the Surakan Militia Volunteers during the Battle of Carrow to destroy the Jiralhanae ORS-class heavy cruiser Foebane near the city of Suraka itself.

Background[edit]

In 2552, the Jiralhanae Chieftain Hekabe seized an opportunity during the Battle of Installation 00 to steal the vertex from Installation 00, a device that would allow him to control the beasts known as the Sharquoi. However, it took Hekabe six years to pinpoint the planet Carrow, located in one of the Joint Occupation Zones, as the location where the Sharquoi could be found.

In 2558, Sangheili Thars 'Sarov disagreed with his cousin Rojka 'Kasaan's desire to make peace with the humans of the UEG and particularly on Carrow. Thars ultimately turned this into a full-scale civil war. To help win, Thars made a deal with Hekabe for his help, unaware that Hekabe's true intention was to unearth the Sharquoi hive, located near the human city of Suraka. With Hekabe's help, Thars decimated Rojka's fleet, but after he confronted Hekabe for going to the surface, Hekabe turned on him. The battle between the Jiralhanae and the Sangheili ships left all but Hekabe's flagship, the ORS-class heavy cruiser Foebane, which he was using to excavate the Sharquoi hive destroyed while most of Thars' ships were destroyed. The majority of the ones that weren't were forced to land on Carrow for repairs, leaving only three badly damaged Covenant frigates in orbit.

In an attempt to protect her planet and her people, Governor Ellis Gass began preparing a counterattack which eventually came to be known as Operation: BUZZHAWK. Though all of her slipspace-capable vessels were destroyed at the beginning of the conflict, Ellis still had a dozen merchant ships armed with point-defense guns which were capable of destroying Thars' remaining ships in their damaged state. Combined with her ground assets, Ellis convinced her generals to launch the strike in an effort to end the conflict.[2]

Battle[edit]

Once the merchant ships reached orbit, Thars' three surviving Covenant frigates in orbit retreated to the surface rather than fight.[note 1][3] On the ground, the Surakan Militia Volunteers began their attack with a dozen Kodiaks opening fire on Foebane's shielded belly from below all at once. The attack by the Kodiaks drew the attention of the cruiser's Phantoms and grave-makers which attacked the tanks and the anti-air support guarding them with a mixture of directed energy and searing hot metal projectiles. However, this was just a diversion for six Pelicans flying in from the Uldt Desert at low altitude. The Pelicans dropped the heaviest nonnuclear payload that Suraka had onto the ship, but its shields held. Catching on, a number of Phantoms chased the Pelicans and attempted to cut them off as the dropships had to avoid the cruiser's point-defense guns. However, the cruiser was forced to stop firing when its own Phantoms ventured too close and the Phantoms stopped their chase in shock of the next wave of the attack.

From the east of the city, eight of the merchant vessels appeared from the clouds and lit up the cruiser's shields with their own point-defense weaponry. However, this was just a diversion as the four remaining Surakan ships pushed three half-mined asteroids out of orbit and on a collison course for Foebane. The ships and artillery kept up the diversion while Foebane's return fire destroyed four of the merchant ships. The cruiser remained so distracted that it did not see the true threat until too late when the closest merchant ship moved out of the way at the last second. The first asteroid failed to penetrate the cruiser's shields, but it released megatons of kinetic energy that caused Foebane's shields to flicker along with the barrage it had already taken. The second asteroid penetrated the cruiser's shields, causing a brilliantly white fireball to blossom against the hull. The final asteroid caused the cruiser to appear to fold in midair, gushing blue and white flames.

Crippled, Foebane canted over as it dipped out over the far edge of the crater it had dug, trying to escape the pursuing Surakan ships. The surviving ships chased the cruiser, hammering it with their guns. Finally, Foebane pitched to the ground and crumpled between the city and the rocky foothills that led out into the desert where the cruiser was left burning, effectively destroyed.[4]

Aftermath[edit]

Despite destroying the remaining active Jiralhanae ship, the Surakan victory proved to be short-lived as Hekabe had already accomplished his goal of reaching the Sharquoi hive and using the vertex to place the creatures under his control. Using the Sharquoi, Hekabe soon after resumed his attack, though the destruction of Foebane forced Hekabe to steal Thars 'Sarov's remaining ships for his plan to get the Sharquoi off planet.[2]

List of appearances[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ On page 192, the Covenant frigates are called Jiralhanae frigates despite it being stated multiple times that it was Thars' ships in orbit. This appears to be a simple error as the frigates are consistently referred to as belonging to Thars elsewhere with only this single reference to them belonging to the Jiralhanae.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Halo: Envoy, page 193
  2. ^ a b Halo: Envoy
  3. ^ Halo: Envoy, page 192
  4. ^ Halo: Envoy, pages 216-219