Outbreak at Site 22
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|Outbreak at Site 22
The Flood outbreak at Site 22 was a small-scale outbreak of the Flood parasite that occurred in 2556. The outbreak began after the chance discovery of a Forerunner starship buried inside an asteroid at a location codenamed "Site 22," resulting in the infection of numerous civilian personnel and eventually a number of United Nations Space Command military personnel deployed to combat the outbreak. To date, the outbreak remains the only known instance in which a Spartan supersoldier has been infected by the Flood, resulting in the declaration of the CORRUPTER and UPSILON cryptonyms and the total destruction of Site 22 via the nuclear weapons fired from UNSC Saturn, a Paris-class heavy frigate overseeing the operation.
In 2555, the human homeworld Earth was attacked by a fleet of Forerunner Retriever Sentinels, resulting in the widescale destruction of much of the UNSC Home Fleet - which had already itself been battered in fighting against the Covenant during the Battle for Earth in 2552. As a result, systems such as the Marcey system were critical hubs for mining and supplying many of the raw resources needed to reconstruct the fleet to fighting condition. Operations in the system were conducted in a joint partnership between the Imbrium Machine Complex (IMC) and BXR Mining Corporation, based out of the township of Elvie on the asteroid LV-31.
In 2556, a BXR survey operation resulted in the detection of a large Grade-K deposit at Site 22, resulting in the belief that the site harboured Forerunner technologies. The company deployed a number of EM-120 augers to investigate, which soon broke through the outer shell of the asteroid and exposed the Forerunner alloys - confirming the find and arousing the suspicion that the site may be a whole Forerunner spacecraft. Three days following the initial survey, a team of IMC hazmat corps personnel were deployed to the site to investigate directly, utilising a Pelican dropship.
After arriving at the site, a small team of miners led by Mox entered the Forerunner ship, only to be beset upon by the Flood interred within - resulting in garbled radio transmissions. The now-infected Mox soon returned to the surface and began to attack the rest of the party, who only had basic mining tools with which to fight off the infected. The loss of contact was registered by the artificial intelligence Lycaon, a Smart AI assigned to UNSC Saturn. Upon relaying the news to the ship's captain Pedro Alvarez, Lycaon attempted for two hours to get further information on the situation. However, BXR and IMC remained tight-lipped on the matter due to their unwillingness to compromise their potential find.
When the ship was finally able to observe the site directly, the crew immediately recognised the Flood on the surface, resulting in Lycaon attempting to commence the standard UPSILON protocol and urging Captain Alvarez to bombard the site with nuclear weapons. Alvarez refused, believing the find to be of critical strategic significance to the rebuilding of the UNSC fleet, resulting in Lycaon's attempt to remove the captain from command as per UNSC Regulation 14-372-01. Lycaon was interrupted during his attempt to relieve Alvarez's command due to Alvarez's knowledge of the command override phrase actiones secundum fidei ("actions according to faith") - leaving the AI frozen and the junior crew hesitant to attempt a mutiny against their commanding officer. Instead, Alvarez ordered the deployment of several Condor dropships to deploy military forces to the site to begin Flood cleanup operations.
Upon landing, the force (consisting of a squadron of Cyclopes, multiple Hellbringers, and the Spartan Fireteam Leviathan) was immediately engaged by the Flood, and for a brief time appeared to be successful in their attempt to mop up the outbreak. However, the Flood was soon able to bring down one of the Spartans, resulting in their infection and conversion to a combat form. The Spartan's MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor immediately detected the presence of the Flood Super Cell breach and reacted by overpressurising the armour's hydrostatic gel layer, crushing the Spartan's body, and activating the explosive mechanisms inside the Spartan's Gallows VISR - with the aim of destroying their brain. The Flood was able to counteract this and inject its own code into the suit, cancelling the countermeasure deployment and instead re-sealing the armour while converting the Spartan inside.
With the tables rapidly turning and the containment operation devolving into chaos, Alvarez realised his own shortsightedness and the risk now posed to the galaxy should the Flood make it off Site 22. Consequently, he gave the order to enact CORRUPTER protocols and begin nuclear bombardment of the asteroid via Shiva-class nuclear missile, giving all surviving ground-side personnel seven minutes to evacuate. During the bombardment, the now-infected Julien Donney was able to reach one of the Condor dropships, though it is unknown whether the Flood-infested craft was able to escape the bombardment.
Following Site 22's destuction, captain Alvarez considered the weight of his actions and the punishment he was likely to recieve were he to return home. He considered final dispensation for Lycaon and ordering his inexperienced crew to abandon the UNSC to avoid such a punishment, though he remained unsure of how successful it would be.
List of appearances
- Halo Infinite
- Halo: Saturn Devouring His Son (First appearance)