Skirmish on Infinite Succor
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The Skirmish on Infinite Succor was an engagement of the Battle of Installation 04 aboard the Covenant Mjern-pattern agricultural support ship Infinite Succor on September 21, 2552. After being overrun by a Flood infestation which came from within Installation 04, the Infinite Succor was boarded by a ill-fated Special Operations team in order to discover the source of the Succor's emergency beacon activation.
Infinite Succor was one of many supply ships of the Fleet of Particular Justice, providing food for its crews during their battles at Alpha Halo. Shortly after the Flood broke loose inside one of the ring's Flood containment facilities, the Spirit dropship Brilliant Gift escaped and flew into orbit with numerous Flood-infected aboard. The dropship crashed into the Succor's hangar and spread throughout the ship, killing and infecting the crew and livestock aboard. Though containment protocols activated to keep the boarders in the hangar, they only kept the crew stuck inside until the Flood killed them and then overpowered the security doors. A distress signal managed to be sent just before the crew was overwhelmed, but it had no solid information on who the attackers were. Suspecting that "the Demon" might be aboard, Supreme Commander Thel 'Vadamee commissioned a Sangheili and Unggoy special operations unit, led Rtas 'Vadumee, to reclaim the ship, kill its boarders, and rescue any survivors. They were given command codes and a map of the ship, codes that would allow access to all areas unless overriden by the Succor's commander, the Minister of Etiology.
The special ops team of Elites and Grunts were deployed by the Phantom Glorious Advance into the Succor's hangar bay. When searching it, the warriors found a trail of Unggoy and Huragok blood leading to the Succor's hunting preserve. The team followed the trail in hopes of finding the ship's attackers. When scans of the preserve indicated an approaching lifeform, the team split in two, one squad with Elites and the Grunts to flank, the other to draw the attacker's attention from the front. At that moment, many Flood-infected creatures swarmed the Covenant warriors, killing some of the Grunts and an Elite while the others fended them off with energy swords. When the hordes grew too great, the warriors retreated as fast as they could to the command bridge, locking the door with their command codes.
Inside the bridge, commander 'Vadumee ordered the Succor's self-destruct initiated, along with a radio warning to the fleet to destroy the ship themselves if necessary. However, the warriors found that both the radios and the ship's self-destruct were offline. The ship's sole survivor, the Minister of Etiology, then contacted them to say that he had disabled the Infinite Succor's primary systems so as to not let the Flood access them. Despite the warriors' insistence to let them set the self-destruct, the Minister refused as it risked the Flood taking control of the other systems if they were infected and ordered them to head to the medical bay so that they could confirm that they were not infected. The Flood broke through the bridge's door controls immediately then, with Rtas and his warriors battling through them out of the bridge. The Elites went first while the Unggoy held back to provide covering fire and to destroy the bridge so that the Flood could not make use of it.
Fleeing to the medical bay through the Blue Deck, Rtas had his men go first while he created a trap with a plasma turret. Overloading its charge to dangerous levels, he drew the Flood's attention and then evacuated the room just before the turret's battery exploded, creating a hull breach and killing any other Flood pursuing them. The warriors then regrouped and rearmed themselves with weapons from a nearby locker, though the battery's explosion had shorted out some of their communication equipment, meaning they would have to contact their pickup dropship visually. At the medical bay, the warriors scanned themselves and demonstrated to the Minister that they were not infected. They then went down via grav lift to the next floor, where the Minister awaited them in the hydroponics deck.
Inside, the Minister explained to them about the Flood and of its evolving nature. Now that they had spread throughout most of the ship, the Flood forms were growing more organized, assembling a Proto-Gravemind and setting up guard in the engineering bay, looking for a way to activate the ship's slipspace drive in order to spread to other planets. The Minister and 'Vadumee then conferred as to what their plan for destroying the Flood and escaping should be. Depressurizing the ship's deck into vacuum was out of the question, because there were no vacuum suits aboard and the Minister had limited pressurization control. The Minister claimed they should evacuate immediately and have the fleet destroy the Succor with their weapons, but 'Vadumee retorted that it would take nearly half an hour for them to escape then open fire, giving the Flood plenty of time to take control of the slipspace engine. Instead he ordered Sub-Commander 'Kusovai to take three Elites and the remaining Unggoy with the Minister while Rtas and the other four Elites took control of the slipspace engine and plotted a course into the local sun. 'Kusovai's unit would then contact the Phantom with plasma grenades as flares and leave if Rtas' group did not return within five minutes. When the Minister protested out of concern for his safety, Rtas, furious over the previous trials the San'Shyuum had sent them through, attacked him, demanding that he leave and give him his command codes.
The party then split and left the hydroponics deck to their assorted tasks. Going into Engineering, Rtas' unit blasted their way through the guarded hallway with plasma grenades, then using their swords to avoid damaging the local systems with their weapons. But in reaching the engineering control center, most of Rtas' warriors were killed, as were Kusovai's unit as well. While 'Vadumee input coordinates for the Succor, he was attacked by the infected corpse of 'Kusovai. The two Sangheili dueled with energy swords, Rtas eventually killing him at the cost of his left mandibles. With Succor's destruction assured, Rtas left engineering and returned to the fleet via Phantom.
Two minutes after 'Vadumee's evacuation, Infinite Succor flew into Soell and killed every Flood onboard.
Rtas' encounter with the Flood, as well as the loss of 'Kusovai and his mandibles deeply affected Rtas. As one of the few survivors of the Battle of Installation 04 who had battled the Flood, 'Vadumee knew of the Flood's capabilities and extremely dangerous nature, and for this was prepared for his next encounter with the parasite in the Threshold gas mine. Knowing of the Flood's power, he made quarantine efforts on both High Charity and Installation 05, and then Earth at the ruins of Voi.
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