Seoba Ice Quarry
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Colonization of Biko
Prior to 2424, colonists established this quarry to mine ice that would be sent to Biko via mass driver. Built on the side of a mountain, the mass driver facility would launch thousand-ton payloads of steel-encapsulated ice into the planet's exosphere. Here, the capsules were intercepted by their purchasers, then guided into the stratosphere and attached to a dirigible so they could be floated gently to their final destination. By 2424, the terraforming process had finally paid off and Biko had developed a climate humid enough to generate its own rain. As such, both the mass driver and the quarry were decommissioned and abandoned.
In early 2526, the Biko Independence Army planned to overthrow Biko's government in preparation for the Covenant's impending arrival at the colony. This ice quarry was chosen as a suitable staging ground for the coup. However, the UNSC's Task Force Yama had also selected the quarry as their own staging ground for a daring operation to board Covenant warships and destroy them from the inside using nuclear weapons. On March 18, 2526, Task Force Yama arrived and planned to practice the mass deployment of their 21st Space Assault Battalion ODSTs and Spartans. Operation: ICE DANCE quickly became a warzone when the prowlers detected the insurgents hidden amidst the ice.
As the prowlers dropped off their complement, the entrenched insurrectionists tore the ODSTs to shreds with their M41 Vulcans. Meanwhile, a strike managed to damage the insurgents' communications relay that sat atop the quarry, preventing them from calling for help. In the chaos, John-117 disobeyed orders and leapt from the UNSC Ghost Song to face the insurgents head-on, with the rest of Blue Team following his lead. Using his rocket launcher, John pulverized two nearby gun bunkers that had been carved into the ice. At the quarry's frozen dockyards, Blue Team rendezvoused with Lieutenant Nelly Hamm and Captain Zelos Cuvier of the Black Daggers. Here, they formulated a plan to destroy an insurgent Civet convoy slowly climbing the quarry's steep slope to repair the communications relay. Another airstrike was out of the question as the UNSC Ghost Star had been lost on the previous run and Lieutenant Commander Hector Nyeto did not wish to risk another vessel. To stealthily cover the five kilometers up the slope to the relay before the convoy, the Spartans would use their thruster packs, flamethrowers, and C-7 foaming explosive to ascend the derelict mass driver's ice-covered acceleration tube. They went forward with the plan, having Linda-058 stay back to cover them with her MA5B assault rifle to watch for any hint that the insurrectionists had discovered what they were doing. John led the way, with Frederic-104 and then Kelly-087 trailing behind. Ultimately, the insurgents had realized their plan, distracting them enough so that Nyeto could deploy more of Hamm's forces ahead of the convoy. By the time the Spartans emerged from the accelerator tube, the convoy had been destroyed and the relay rigged to explode.
Arrival of the Covenant
The ice quarry's main pit was over ten kilometers in diameter and shaped roughly like an octopus, with multiple long curving canyons radiating from the central cavity. The walls of the cavity were pocked with oddly shaped cave entrances of varying sizes.
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