In 2559, the long-lost UNSC Spirit of Fire arrived at Installation 00 via unknown means, encountering Banished forces led by Atriox. The two groups began a long campaign for control of the Forerunner megastructure, ultimately ending with the assassination of Atriox's lieutenant Decimus, the destruction of the CAS-class assault carrier Enduring Conviction and the release of a Halo ring, Installation 09, intended to request help for the UNSC forces stranded on the Ark. With Spirit of Fire lacking a slipspace drive and the Banished's forces now completely stranded on the installation, many months away from potential reinforcements, both sides begun a long and brutal campaign for control of the Ark.
To Atriox's end, he tasked many of his officers and overseers with seeking out and securing caches of Forerunner and former-Covenant technology that would help bring an advantage in the conflict. One such leader, the Mgalekgolo population known simply as "Colony", would seek out and begin the recovery process of restoring a Forerunner Despair-class fighter, a powerful weapon that could be potentially utilised to destroy the Spirit of Fire or call for Banished reinforcements back in the Milky Way galaxy.
With Banished forces led by Colony setting up around the launch site of the fighter, Colony was quick to establish a Cloaking field utilising Forerunner technology as to not draw attention to activity on the site. At 02:47 hours, Spirit of Fire drones would pick up activity of the Banished's Huragok and become alerted to the presence of the cloaking field. Needing to find out what the cloaking field was hiding, Spirit of Fire authorised the deployment of Boomerang Company to investigate. 1.8 miles from the cloaking field, ODST squad Sunray 1-1 would perform reconnaissance, confirming the presence of Banished forces, encountering more Banished at 1.2 miles from target. In response to this, Spirit command deployed India Company to reinforce Sunray, including Hellbringers and M9 Wolverines. Sunray 1-1 would proceed through the terrain, linking up disparate elements of India company before encountering an as-yet unknown variant of Sentinel - the Controller Sentinel. Like the Enforcers of Installation 05, these Sentinels had shields protecting their front side, requiring a multi-directional strike to hit them from behind.
The UNSC forces would eventually stumble upon a Banished camp, encountering a transmission from a Jiralhanae Warlord, confirming that Banished Engineers had taken control of Forerunner control towers, and were using them to cloak the site. With the control towers under siege by Sentinel forces, Banished were falling back to defend the control towers until Colony's plan could be followed to fruition. Upon encountering a Controller Sentinel distracted by one of these hologram transmissions, Spirit of Fire would authorize the deployment of hologram decoy packages to assist India and Boomerang company forces. Eventually, the attack force would encounter a Banished Outpost, and successfully level the structure, clearing the way for the deployment of a Firebase. While waiting for the Condor to deliver the payload, Sunray would discover and capture two Forerunner Control Towers in the base's vicinity. During the fighting, Sunray would come across a new type of Banished vehicle, similar in appearance to the Type-30 Locust - the Skitterer - and later, the Goliath, an amalgamation of the usual two Mgalekgolo colonies. During the fighting, Sunray would rescue stranded India Company EV-44 Nightingales and Wolverines, further bolstering their ranks.
Upon capturing all five control towers, the field was successfully brought offline, revealing the Sentinel response to this incursion; a Retriever Sentinel. The massive construct was successfully destroyed, however, freeing up the UNSC forces to make an assault on the construction site.
Assaulting the fighter
With the path to the fighter launch site open, UNSC forces attempted an air strike via the deployment of a Condor gunship. During the strike, Banished forces seemingly ignored the craft, before it was destroyed by a vast EMP strike. Thanks to data recovered from the Condor prior to its destruction, however, UNSC forces were able to learn that that the pulse came from four charging columns, which were also facilitating the construction of the craft. With this came one complication; the fighter would be complete in fifteen minutes. Sunray 1-1 comes across the first of these columns, but quickly learns that their firepower isn't enough to seriously damage it; instead, a HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark II (J) Colossus is requisitioned to "stomp" the pad. With the column down, the ship's launch was delayed by ten minutes, allowing Sunray the time they needed to further disable the remaining three charging columns, fighting Sentinels and Banished along the way. Eventually, UNSC forces rallied for one final assault on the launch site to permanently bring the fighter offline, encountering a Mgalekgolo Captain deployed to prevent the attack from succeeding. The assault force was able to damage the captain, resulting in it retreating to be healed by Goliaths. The captain is eventually brought down, allowing the UNSC forces to send in a final wing of AV-14 Hornets, destroying the Forerunner fighter by dropping Satchel charges into the construction site from above.
With the Despair-class fighter destroyed, neither Banished nor UNSC would be able to employ it for their purposes. Instead, Atriox would seek out other means of advancing his campaign on the Ark, tasking warlords Pavium and Voridus with salvaging the wreckage of the Covenant holy city High Charity, which had crash-landed on the Ark in the Battle of Installation 00 at the climax of the Human-Covenant War. This excursion would result in the release of the Flood from its quarantine zone, forcing Atriox to abandon several of his fortifications to contain the parasite.
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