Raid on the Truth and Reconciliation
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This article is about the raid conducted on the vessel to rescue Captain Keyes. For the later return by John-117 and capture by the ODSTs of Alpha Base, see Battle for the Truth and Reconciliation.
During the ongoing campaign on Installation 04, UNSC Marines led by Spartan John-117 launched a raid on the Truth and Reconciliation to free the captured personnel of the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, including the ship's Captain Jacob Keyes.
On September 19, 2552, the Halcyon-class light cruiser Pillar of Autumn exited slipspace above Installation 04, having escaped the Fall of Reach. The cruiser was quickly engaged by the Fleet of Particular Justice, including four battlegroups of three CCS-class battlecruisers. During the fighting, one Covenant vessel, the Truth and Reconciliation, was heavily damaged and forced to land on the surface upspin of the UNSC's operations at Alpha Base to conduct maintenance. The vessel was brought to rest one hundred units above a dry desert plateau, and became the center of activities for Covenant units assigned to "harvest" technology from the ringworld. Because of this, the corridors were thick with high-ranking personnel and even engineers.
Following the evacuation of the Autumn, Captain Jacob Keyes was captured by Covenant personnel and brought to the Truth and Reconciliation's brig for interrogation. At least three other Marines were additionally captured and detained in the brig. UNSC forces were able to recon out the ship and confirm the captain was held there, and Spartan John-117 was briefed by Major Antonio Silva on his mission - to lead a strike force into the ship and rescue the captain. The recon flights had also confirmed a blind spot in the cruiser's sensor grid, and the AI Wellsley had created an array of signals designed to trick technicians into believing an approaching D77-TC Pelican dropship was one of the Covenant's own. Seventeen hours and eleven minutes after landing on the ring, Echo 419 deployed the Master Chief and several Marines onto the plateau for a boarding action.
The plan for the raid was fairly simple; Echo 419 would deploy a team of marines to secure the gravity lift at the base of the ship, at which point a second team of marines would be dropped off to reinforce the first in the boarding action. The Spartan would go ahead with an SRS99C-S2 AM sniper rifle to clear the way for the team of ODSTs led by Sergeant Parker. The first group of Covenant consisted of several grunts, jackals and Shade turrets, who were eliminated by the sniper rifle. With the element of surprise lost, the group proceeded to push forward, until they reached the gravity lift. The area was ringed with more Shade guns, but the Spartan was able to eliminate the nearest gunner and take control of the emplacement, using it to take out the other turrets. A Spirit dropship arrived to deploy troops into the area, but John's Shade was able to cut those troops down swiftly. A wave of troops supported by Hunters came down the gravity lift from the interior of the cruiser, but the strike team was able to pour fire on them until eventually the Covenant troops were dead. Echo 419 then reappeared with a fresh wave of reinforcements, and the force made their way up the gravity lift into the ship.
Once the initial defenses outside the ship had been cleared, a second team commanded by Lieutenant Dalu inserted with Echo 419 to begin scavenging arms and equipment for use by the Marine forces of Alpha Base. These arms included plasma pistols, plasma rifles, needlers, power packs, food supplies and hand tools and communications equipment. As well, the raid was able to scavenge at least three operational Shade turrets to be manned as part of Alpha Base's air defense system.
Inside the ship, the gravity lift deposited the strike force roughly three feet above the deck, and almost immediately the team were beset upon by Covenant security forces. The team fought through several corridors, led by the Master Chief, until they eventually came into a large shuttle bay. Fire began to rain down from the central "pier" structure and Covenant troops poured in from all sides, with the Spartan focusing his attention on eliminating the Sangheili troops due to his energy shielding advantage. Two Hunters entered the bay, and Sergeant Parker was injured, but eventually Parker was able to bring one of them down, and the other was eliminated. The failed Covenant assault left the inbound troops in disarray as the team began to fight through another mazelike series of corridors, with John eventually ordering Parker and his men to stay put while he went ahead, as they were slowing the Spartan down. Eventually, the Spartan would enter the ship's bridge and encounter the shipmaster Lat 'Ravamee, clad in golden Zealot-class armor. The ship master would ultimately be cut down by the Master Chief along with his camoflaged security detail.
Eventually, the Spartan would find his way into the brig, and several more camoflaged Sangheili fired upon him. The elites were soon dispatched, and the captain freed. Keyes proceeded to explain what he had overheard during his imprisonment; the structure they were on was called "Halo", and the Covenant believed it to be a great weapon - and they were looking for its control room. The team began to make their way back to the hangar, able to follow the bodies and carnage left by John's previous rampage and having a noticeably easier time due to the now-disarrayed Covenant security. Unfortunately, Keyes was weakened by his interrogation and captivity, but was able to keep up with the rest of the group. Eventually, the group would make their way back to the bridge, at which point they would call for evacuation. Echo 419 had been sighted by a flock of Banshees and wouldn't be able to pick up the troops from the cruiser's shuttle bay. Luckily, the captain was proficient in flying the Covenant's Spirit dropships, and the team was able to begin making their way back to the hangar bay. Once at the dropship, they began loading into the shuttle as two Hunters made their way into the hangar. Keyes crushed the two aliens with the twin prows of the Spirit before leaving the hangar and making their way back to Alpha Base.
The raid on the Truth and Reconciliation proved to be a valuable distraction for the Covenant, as simultaneously another raid was launched by Lieutenant McKay's company of ODSTs to recover supplies from the downed cruiser Pillar of Autumn. The distracted Covenant forces would allow the Pelicans an easier time inserting troops onto the desert surrounding the ship. In total, Lieutenant Dalu was able to steal six Shade guns from the site, and the strike was able to deal (according to Soha 'Rolamee) six score (~120) Covenant casualties, while the humans took only 36. As a result of this incursion, the Sangheili Zuka 'Zamamee would be granted permission to take whatever forces he deemed necessary and go hunt down and assassinate the Master Chief. The human ability to evade Covenant sensor technology would not be taken lightly, and security patrols would do a full sweep of the ship to ensure no humans remained even after the sensors read all-clear.
Following unrest within the Fleet of Particular Justice, the Prophet of Stewardship would move his HQ from the carrier Ascendant Justice to the Truth and Reconciliation. He would be present in the ship for the remainder of the battle as Covenant technicians worked to restore the vessel. Eventually, the ship would come under attack by the Flood and later, the ODSTs of Alpha Base. Silva and his troops would capture the ship and prepare to escape the ring - capturing the Prophet in the process - but ultimately the ship was destroyed.
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