UNSC Rubicon was a ship in service with the Office of Naval Intelligence, commissioned for the first manned mission to the Ark following the Battle of Installation 00. The shipboard AI was Curator.
Rubicon was commissioned in December 2553 in response to the loss of automated probes sent to Installation 00 earlier that year. The ship was dispatched to the Ark from Luna, carrying specialist remote contact teams, ONI scientific personnel, and an array of probes. Due to the damage dealt to the Ark's life support systems, the RCTs were forced to brave extremely hostile conditions on the surface in search of the signal's origin. Contact was lost with all teams after eight days; only RCT-06 returned, having sustained heavy casualties. However, they succeeded at recovering the beacon's source - the debris of 343 Guilty Spark, the former Monitor of Halo Installation 04.
The science team questioned the damaged monitor on his origins, who obliged the humans due to their authority as Reclaimers. Over the course of the interrogation, Spark breached the Rubicon's firewall several times, much to the team's dismay. Spark powered down after concluding his story and his damaged remains was subsequently ejected into space; unknown to the crew he had already transferred his consciousness to the shipboard computers. After subduing the onboard AI and taking control of the ship, he explained to the crew that he was going to resume his quest to find the Librarian and to restore his old friends, Riser and Vinnevra, back to life. Asserting that the Librarian was still alive, he put the crew to sleep and had the Rubicon proceed to her location.
In order to prepare the ship for the journey he planned, Spark used one of the Ark's remaining active slipspace portals to return the Rubicon to the galaxy with the intention of taking it to the shield world Etran Harborage to get an upgrade seed, unaware that the Etran Harborage had been destroyed in 2531 by the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire. However, there were complications after Spark took control and the Rubicon crashed into the planet Geranos-a in the Ibycus system. The crash killed everyone on board, though Spark survived by transferring himself into an armiger salvaged by the Rubicon from the Ark. Spark buried the crew in a mass grave on the planet and calculated that he was only 62.35% culpable in the tragedy. Spark sent out a distress signal that was eventually picked up by a cargo ship three years later in 2557 and passed on to the military. Having learned of Spark's story, ONI intended to capture the AI for themselves, but the wreckage was reached by the salvager vessel Ace of Spades first. The crew of the Ace of Spades recovered Spark and escaped with him. As part of a deal with ONI to get their seized property back, the Ace of Spades crew turned over everything they had salvaged from the Rubicon in August, including a data core they claimed held Spark but in reality held a splinter of him instead.
Search-and-rescue teams were sent to the area after contact with Rubicon was lost, but they failed to find any trace of the ship. Rubicon was formally declared lost on July 2, 2557. though a data drop containing a record of Spark's story was recovered in late 2555.
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