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Research and development
Argent Moon (AGES-004), sometimes shortened to ARGMN, was a research and development station in service with the UNSC Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence. Rooker served as the station's shipboard artificial intelligence in 2557.
The design of Argent Moon loosely resembled that of some deep survey craft designs of the 22nd century. The station is equipped with maneuvering propulsion systems at the aft that allow Argent Moon to travel through space, though Argent Moon is still classified as a large-scale production plant rather than a ship. With propulsion systems at its aft and navigation and operation controls at the fore, production and experiments on Argent Moon occur in the center of the station, within a massive, city-sized superstructure. Argent Moon was an ONI research and development vehicle that went missing. In addition to its secretive nature, the station's hangar bays housed at least one Winter-class prowler and a stealth corvette.
Research and accident
Commissioned on February 13, 2546, it did not enter service with ONI until May 7, 2553. During its time with ONI, the Argent Moon served as a top-secret research and development station for the Office of Naval Intelligence. The station's existence was known to only a handful of individuals, with ONI personnel experimenting with a variety of highly classified and experimental projects, as well as weapons testing. ONI crew aboard Argent Moon also experimented with technology retrieved from the Halo Array. The crew of Argent Moon were also experimenting with unsanctioned stealth technology.
Following the capture of the Forerunner archeon-class ancilla Intrepid Eye, she was taken to Argent Moon where the AI was imprisoned and interrogated in a room in which no technology was allowed. However, Intrepid Eye was able to, overtime, smuggle out pieces of her code, creating remote aspects of herself all over the galaxy with which she began manipulating events to prepare humanity for the Mantle of Responsibility. Intrepid Eye also began to only help Lieutenant Bartalan Craddog who rose to the position of the station's Chief Science Officer as a result. Intrepid Eye began blackmailing Craddog to do her bidding, forcing him to give the AI access to Argent Moon's communications array so that she could reintegrate with her other aspects. When Intrepid Eye's plan to weaponize Asteroidea merozoite was endangered by Operation: RETRIBUTION, she dispatched Craddog and the Papa-10 security unit to retrieve the Tuwa family's organs. The attempt was thwarted by Blue Team and Veta Lopis' Ferrets, exposing Intrepid Eye's bioweapon plot. However, Intrepid Eye's involvement was never discovered with the plot being instead pinned on Craddog and Rear Admiral Serin Osman ordered the bioweapon project shut down. Instead, Intrepid Eye manipulated the final report so that it was instead given an unlimited black budget, research was moved to Argent Moon itself, Ensigns Jess Wallace and Kris Gaston were promoted to Lieutenant Commanders and given permission to seek out new asteroidea antibody donors and permission was given to test its effectiveness on the enemy species of the UNSC. Though Argent Moon's AI Rooker tried to intervene, Intrepid Eye used a control worm, deception routine, logic trap and memory leech to successfully deceive him. Despite this, ONI eventually discovered Intrepid Eye's network and released millions of dumb AI hunter-killer teams that ultimately overwhelmed even Intrepid Eye's prodigious capabilities and destroyed her network and her remote aspects, leaving the ancilla trapped once more aboard Argent Moon.
In 2557, some personnel aboard the station continued experimenting with asteroidea merozoite that remained dormant and asymptomatic as it spread through a population before it was activated by an otherwise harmless aerosol dispersal; all test formulas were tested on live Kig-Yar subjects. There were also unknown, misshapen creatures detained in the laboratory's tanks. In March 2557, an accident caused a particularly aggressive form of the biological agent to vaporize and spread throughout the station via its air systems, killing nearly all aboard. Those closer to the accident were killed instantly and, depending on distance from the accident, the rest of the vessel's personnel began suffering symptoms from the chemical minutes or hours later. Although shipboard Rooker attempted to enforce quarantine protocols, they "massively" failed and all personnel aboard Argent Moon were dead by March 17, 2557. As a result, ONI lost contact with Argent Moon and Rooker sent a message that warned any ONI personnel who board the station of the situation. Rooker then took further actions to quarantine the vessel; he put Argent Moon on a course that kept it away from all inhabited systems and jettisoned what remains he could into open space. On September 12, 2557, Rooker was now suffering from rampancy due to being six months past his "expiration date". Feeling he could no longer manage the vessel, he initiated his own destruction. Despite being the cause of the bioweapon's research, Intrepid Eye was not responsible for the accident, having been left so isolated following the discovery and destruction of her network that she wasn't even aware that anything had happened.
- Main article: Operation: BIRD IN HAND
In October 2558, nineteen months after it went missing, Argent Moon was discovered by Kig-Yar scavengers, who sold it to Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. Preparing for an attack on Sanghelios, the Covenant infiltrated the station in search for weapons and resources to use against the Swords of Sanghelios. One week later, Spartan-II Blue Team was tasked with securing the vessel and its intel, encountering the Covenant scavengers aboard the vessel. However, a Covenant fleet soon arrived in response to their leader's recent demise. Outnumbered, Blue Team decided to scuttle Argent Moon instead to keep it out of enemy hands. Though Blue Team started a reactor overload, Argent Moon's containment systems attempted to cool the reactor from an outside location, forcing Blue Team to use Covenant Banshees to destroy the cooling system. With Argent Moon self-destructing, Blue Team escaped in the station's Winter-class prowler ONI Acrisius as they were unable to reach their Pelican. The reactor explosion destroyed Argent Moon and several nearby Covenant warships.
Due to the station's obscurity, UNSC investigators who examined the remains of Argent Moon were unaware of the station's role. The investigators searched the debris for clues, and eventually discovered that the station's crew were manufacturing bioweapons.
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List of appearances
- Halo 5: Guardians (First appearance)
- Halo Mythos
- Halo: Retribution
- Halo: Official Spartan Field Manual
- Halo: Divine Wind (Mentioned only)
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 41
- Halo Waypoint, Argent Moon (Retrieved on Jun 30, 2021) [archive]
- Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Blue Team
- Halo 5: Guardians, Mission Intel
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 35
- Halo Mythos, page 185
- Halo: Retribution
- Halo: Divine Wind, chapter 5
- Halo: Divine Wind, chapter 6