Battle of Charum Hakkor
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The Battle of Charum Hakkor was a prolonged military conflict between the Forerunners and the prehistoric human empire, being the last major conflict in the millennium-long human-Forerunner wars. Lasting for a total of fifty-three years, it took place around and later on the planet Charum Hakkor, the heart of the humans' interstellar empire, around nine thousand years prior to the Forerunner-Flood war. It concluded in the Forerunners defeating the humans' empire.
After being pushed back to the core of their empire, the collective human species managed to hold off the Forerunner military for fifty years. Despite the humans using Precursor star roads to link their orbital defenses and the extensive amount of preparation and study gained from humanity's early conflicts with the Forerunners, humanity was pushed backwards and cut off from reinforcements as the Forerunner military disrupted humanity's slipstream tunnels, effectively preventing reinforcements and supplies as well as blockading Charum Hakkor's system from the rest of the human-San'Shyuum alliance.
Lord of Admirals Forthencho, commander of the last fleets of Charum Hakkor, managed to successfully resist the Didact for a further three years of continuous attacks despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered and using inferior slipstream and AI technology. Human ships swept across the system for hundreds of times to counter the Didact's daring orbital incursions, to prevent them from establishing superior energy-efficient orbits. During the planet's siege, the Forerunners contacted the San'Shyuum and formulated a secret deal. Facing an inevitable defeat, the San'Shyuum were to betray their human allies by allowing Charum Hakkor's security to be breached by the Forerunners. In return, the San'Shyuum would be spared from extinction or de-evolution, but instead quarantined to their home system.
The final blow came as the Forerunners staged an assault through seven slipspace portals, opened at one-hour intervals to deliver a massive fleet commanded by the Didact and his most experienced commanders. The Forerunners sacrificed a significant number of ships, ranging from Fortress-class warships and dreadnoughts to picket cruisers, in mass waves to create openings in the now weak, human orbital defenses and overwhelming the human defenders with sheer force. In the final moments before the fall, a debate was held at the highest levels of the human government to purposely draw out the Flood and use them against the Forerunner ecumene in order to buy time. Ultimately, the plan was rejected as being too dangerous for the rest of the galaxy and humanity surrendered despite knowing the inevitable outcome. Had it not been for the San'Shyuums' treachery, the deadlock might have lasted indefinitely due to the planet's unique defenses.
During the humans' last stand, a special force team of 7,000 warriors and 70 ships led by humanity's Political and Morale Commander Yprin Yprikushma was assigned to protect the timelock of the Primordial in the Charum Hakkor arena. In the face of inevitable defeat, the human warriors stripped their uniforms so the Forerunners could not identify their commanders. Despite this, the Didact could easily recognize his main adversary, the Lord of Admirals, among the survivors gathered in Citadel Charum.
Knowing what was to happen to them if they lost, (forced relocation and the removal of technological privileges), the majority of the human population committed mass-suicide. Those who surrendered had their minds and bodies thoroughly inspected in order to decipher their purported Flood immunity. When this failed to yield results, their patterns were extracted into digital form by Composers, killing their physical selves; these essences would later be imprinted to future generations of humans through a geas imposed by the Librarian. After the final battle, the Didact had several monuments constructed in Sothra Hakkor's ring system in the memory of his fallen warriors.
After Charum Hakkor had fallen, the remaining human fleets, consisting of forty prime cruisers and ten first-rate tuned platforms, retreated to another human-occupied star system in the Greater Tiger constellation near the galactic rim, bombarding its planets to slag as a scorched-earth strategy, denying the Forerunners their resources. This system was later where Installation 07 was designated to self-destruct in the event it fell under enemy control, by placing the installation on a collision course with one of the system's planets.
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