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- "If we don't recover those assets, I won't be able to stop Cortana. If I don't stop her, the destruction of the Infinity is only a matter of time."
- — Dr. Halsey to Thomas Lasky.
The Fall of Reach
- Main article: Fall of Reach
In August 2552, Reach fell to the onslaught of the Covenant. Late in the battle, the SPARTAN-IIs were deployed onto Reach to help defend the planet's orbital defense generators from assault to give the UNSC Navy a fighting chance in the concurrent space battle. During the engagement, many Spartans were killed and more injured, with the majority of survivors eventually retreating to CASTLE Base, including Team Alpha and Team Delta. There, they met up with Doctor Catherine Halsey, who had been escorted to the site by Jun-A266 following the enactment of Operation: WHITE GLOVE on SWORD Base. Here, she worked to enact the operation on CASTLE, destroying all of the AIs present in the facility including Araqiel and Kalmiya, before using self-destruct charges on the base to ensure any materiel inside did not fall into Covenant hands.
The group survived in the Titanium mines beneath the facility, and were eventually later extracted by John-117 and the other survivors of the Battle of Installation 04 during the Raid on Reach.
- Main article: Created conflict
In October 2558, a force of artificial intelligences known as the Created, led by Cortana and the Warden Eternal alongside an army of Prometheans, rose up and began to subjugate the Milky Way galaxy. A year following this rise, Blue Team were deployed from UNSC Infinity to CASTLE Base to investigate assets hidden in Halsey's laboratory that may have survived the base's destruction, and help to lead to the defeat of the AI uprising. The team consisted of John-117, Frederic-104, Kelly-087 and Linda-058, who had begun to employ their own variants of the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor (GEN3).
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On October 7, 2559, Blue Team began their insertion into Reach's atmosphere via an D102 Owl, the UNSC Special Delivery. Their flight path took them over Big Crater Bay. Their presence alerted a nearby Seraph patrol, which began tracking their movement. The Special Delivery detected long-ranged Jiralhanae communications, indicating that the Seraphs had been launched from Sword Base's location. In an effort to fool the incoming Seraphs into thinking the Special Delivery was a meteor burning up in Reach's atmosphere, Major Van Houte performed a risky high-g maneuver, firing the main engines and rapidly decelerating the Owl before launching a series of decoys and unignited missiles and then dropping into stealth mode.  Although the Special Delivery successfully avoided interception by the Seraphs, the ship suffered damage when a drilling jumbo got loose in the cargo hold, forcing the crew to make a hard landing.
On the surface
Blue Team and most of the crew exited the crashed Owl safely, although Major Van Houte and Lieutenant Chapov were still trapped inside the cockpit, which was partially buried inside a lechatelierite layer. John and Kelly managed to pull Chapov out but they had a harder time reaching Van Houte. Although Van Houte wanted the team to leave him behind, John insisted on retrieving him. Kelly fired her M45 shotgun into the ground one meter away from the Owl's nose, fracturing the lechatelierite layer, which allowed Chief Mukai to use a load-haul-dump machine to breakthrough the rest of the lechatelierite.
Meanwhile a trio of Seraphs arrived and opened fire on the crash site. Fred used the drilling jumbo as a makeshift anti-aircraft gun and destroyed two Seraphs. The third Seraph attempted to perform evasive manuevers but ended up crashing. John and Kelly finished retrieving Major Van Houte from the Owl, as more Seraphs arrived to investigate. As they were evacuating the crash site, John noticed the damaged Seraph had crash-landed nearby. Using grenades to distract the newly arrived Seraphs, John inspected the crashed Seraph and discovered it had Banished markings on it. Once the team was at a safe distance, Van Houte activated the Special Delivery's self-destruct. The attacking Seraphs were caught in the blast and destroyed.
To prevent the actions on Reach from alerting the Created, three Anlace-class light frigates were deployed to create a full-spectrum jamming blanket around the world. Longswords were also deployed to try and destroy some of the hundreds of defunct satellites in orbit that could transmit information.
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The Banished occupiers and UNSC forces withdrew from Reach before Cortana's Guardian arrived. Some troops were left behind on Reach till the end of the Created conflict and the Viery Militia regained control over Arany Basin. Dr. Halsey got the cryobins from CASTLE BASE.
The Banished managed to open the portal on the Menachite Forerunner complex, allowing Atriox and some of his forces travel from Installation 00 to Reach on the Lich Pegoras, but after this Castor and his Keepers betrayed the Banished and stole their Lich, traveling to the Lesser Ark to fulfill their Great Journey. Unknown to them, the undercover ONI operative Veta Lopis and her Ferret team went with them as well. On the Ark, with the help of the UNSC Spirit of Fire, the Ferrets managed to foil the Keepers' plot and the faction was ultimately destroyed, leaving only Castor and Inslaan 'Gadogai as survivors.
After all UNSC assets have returned to the UNSC Infinity, it was to rendezvous with its escort fleet at jump point <RM.511.GS.005> and proceed to Installation 07. Using the contents of the cryobins retrieved by Blue Team, her remaining cloned brains from Cortana's creation, Halsey is able to create the Weapon, the only AI capable of stopping Cortana.
October 7, 2559
- 0217 Hours: Insertion of Special Delivery into the atmosphere in progress.
- 0241 Hours: Crew of Special Delivery begin exiting out of the crashed vehicle.
- 0351 Hours: Castor and a large force are in the middle of investigating the wreckage of the Special Delivery.
- 0631 Hours: Survivors of the Special Delivery crew were making their way through Tárnoc Gorge of the Ujeger Highlands.
- 1442 Hours: Blue Team continued moving towards Kiskӧre Base while being frequently harassed by Seraph fighters.
- 1532 Hours: Blue Team set off explosives at Kiskӧre Base, losing contact with Linda 058 shortly afterwards.
October 8, 2559
- 1200 Hours: Castor met with Deukalion and Ballas to gather information on the Spartans' activities.
- 1923 Hours: John-117 treated by Dr. Somogy at Logistics Base Gödöllő.
- 1924 Hours: Linda-058 lead survivors of the Special Delicery along the Juh Mező Aqueduct, still out of contact with Blue team.
- 1944 Hours: John-117 and Kelly-087 arrived at the map room of Logistics Base Gödöllő.
October 11, 2559
- 0234 Hours: Blue Team and twenty Reavian rangers tunneled towards a Banished armory in New Mohács. They accidentally hit an underground methane supply, forcing Blue team to shoot holes in the roof of the tunnel to create enough ventilation for the rangers to breath.
- 0244 Hours: Blue team led an attack against the Banished armory in New Mohács.
October 12, 2559
- 0504 Hours: Infinity moved in an orbital approach towards Reach.
- Captain Lasky ordered 120 Spartan IVs to descend towards Reach in HEV pods, along with ODSTs transported in pelicans and albatrosses. The first wave of drop pods were led by ten broadsword squadrons, while the rest of Infinity's broadsword squadrons led the second wave.
- 0540 Hours: Blue team prepared to hold the captured armory New Mohács against a Banished counterattack. Banished forced surrounded the armory from all directions.
- 0612 Hours: John-117 received a ride back into the New Mohács armory.
- 0632 Hours: Banished air forces attempted to break through M71 Scythes to retake the New Mohács armory.
- The first wave of HEV pods landed and moved to assist Blue team.
- 0905 Hours: Blue Team had their wounds tended to and armor repaired as they prepared to move towards CASTLE Base.
- 0932 Hours: UNSC forces broke through banshee formation in push towards CASTLE Base.
- 1308 Hours: Blue Team are doing surveillance while on Vanadinite Mountain on the approach to CASTLE Base.
- 1348 Hours: John-117 begins descending into CASTLE Base.
- 1845 Hours: Blue Team and ODSTs on board a Pelican were en route to the UNSC Infinity.
Keepers of the One Freedom
List of appearances
- Halo: Shadows of Reach (First appearance)
- Halo: Divine Wind (Mentioned only)
- Halo Infinite (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 13
- YouTube, Halo: Shadows of Reach - Special Excerpt Voiced by Steve Downes (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
- Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Shadows of the Former (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
- Halo 2: Anniversary, campaign level The Heretic
- Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Guardians
- Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Pen Umbra
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 1
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 2
- Halo: Divine Wind, chapter 1
- Halo: Divine Wind
- The Art of Halo Infinite: Back cover
- Halo Infinite, UNSC Audio log: Recovered Files #03 - The Mission
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 3
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 4
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 5
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 6
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 7
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 8
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 9
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 10
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 11
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 12
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, page 251
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 14
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 15
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 16
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, page 251
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 17
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 18
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 19
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 20
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, Epilogue