Loot Crate/Transcriptions/Battle for Earth

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First Twelve Hours

09 JANUARY 2553





Good morning, Admiral.

As requested, here's a timeline of the Covenant assault in the first twelve hours. It's broad and it's a very wide lens with zero extraneous detail, but it should have what you're looking for.

20-OCT 1248: Io relay pings encroaching Covenant fleet [2 CAS/13 CCS]
20-OCT 1412: FADM Hood and FADM Harper coordinate orbital defense
20-OCT 1421: Malta and Athens go dark, first attack wave clears grid
20-OCT 1450: One CAS is disabled by S-117 ["Day of Jubilation"]
20-OCT 1459: Remaining CAS targets New Mombasa ["Solemn Penance"]
20-OCT 1512: Risk identified: T1 Asset exposed to capture or kill
20-OCT 1557: A-5 confirms procurement of artifact pursuant to WINDOW PANE
20-OCT 1602: BUMRUSH greenlit from orbiting CA-942 ["Say My Name"]
20-OCT 1603: CAS initiates slipspace event within city and departs
20-OCT 1624: A-5 designated KIA, artifact lost
20-OCT 1649: Orbital elevator collapses, Covenant occupation 38%
20-OCT 1852: Alpha Site denied to enemy, Covenant occupation 51%
20-OCT 2141: Remaining enemy cruisers coalesce over New Mombasa
20-OCT 2215: Cruisers begin excavation of slipspace event crater
20-OCT 2227: Covenant occupation 78%
20-OCT 2319: T1 Asset sighted and reported by 73998-38490-VD
20-OCT 2324: Covenant occupation 94%
20-OCT 2359: T1 Asset secured by 65th/A-9, 92458-37017-EB

NOTE: Covenant occupation metrics correlate to troop/material dispersion contrasted against UNSC presence within city boundaries.

In the days and weeks that followed, additional enemy vessels arrived and struck other sites globally and in other parts of Sol, but with disparate levels of organization and notably less effectual force. The enemy focus on the Excession was utterly single-minded in the first twelve hours, reducing their combat efficacy in other theaters. This error served to save Earth from the fate of other worlds.

As you've hypothesized, if such fanatical preoccupation can be exploited at arm's length, it could assist us in the stemming of future alien hostilities, giving us the necessary time to rebuild.

Additionally, I have attached a CSV evaluation snapshot of the candidate you requested. I thought you should know that Musa Ghanem is also seriously considering him for integration into S-IV. Seems relatively frictionless, but certainly flag-worthy since I know you've been keeping an eye on this one for other projects, such as K-5.

Buck, Edward Malcolm
ENL: 05 Dec 2545
DOB: 22 Aug 2510
New Albany, Draco III
188.1cm / 89.3kg

Candidate has been active in the UNSC Marine Corps since 2528. Records indicate exemplary service on Harvest, Madrigal, Groombridge 1830, Vodin, Charybdis IX, Alluvion, Sargasso, Bounty, and Reach, among others. Despite taking an enlistment survey course in 2532 for the ODST program, he would not officially join until 2545, after Draco III had been glassed by the Covenant. Most of his ODST career would be spent at the head of Alpha-Nine, a specialized fireteam in the 65th Shock Troops Division.

Strong leadership characteristics, effective at de-escalation and hyper focusing team on the tasks at hand, especially under great duress. Models a classical and robust strategy logic, but also thinks fast on his feet. Very strong team ethic and emphasis on the value of its members, even at the risk of the unit. Candidate's outlook is rooted in a wider moral framework that informs all aspects of his performance.

Primary concerns with placement on a special task force such as the prospective "K-5" are two-fold: (a) his prioritization on the personnel over the objective is problematic during a high-risk operation and (b) his current ethical grid would unavoidably collide with scenarios he would likely deem morally questionable, creating unpredictability. Additionally, his existing bonds with members on Alpha-Nine will be an impediment. His personality and behavior are most compatible with conventional squad context.


Special Topic Request

My team has assembled a summary of the activities you requested in our meeting. We've kept this offline as much as possible, but you can't access the records vault without tripping a half-dozen SPDR and MOIRAI threads set up by various interested parties. Our cutouts trace back to an outhouse in Montana, but we can't guarantee that someone hasn't buried a nasty surprise in these matrixes.

Good luck, and I hope you find what you're looking for.

6 JANUARY 2554



Fleet Admiral Joseph Harper [07959-90021-JH] was commander-in-chief, Fifth fleet from January 20, 2548 to February 1, 2553. Effective September 5, 2552 all remaining UNSC naval forces were consolidated into a single command grouping under the Home Fleet. FADM Harper was appointed senior flag officer and given primary administrative and tasking authority of all aerospace assets in the Sol system under emergency security directives authorized by UNSC High Command and approved by the UEG Security Council. Remaining expeditionary and defense fleets retained administrative control over their battle groups, though all type commands were dissolved.

This memorandum highlights select activities of Fifth Fleet in the Earth Defense Coordination Zone, through Action/Operation reports compiled between October 8, 2552 and December 3, 2552. Other fleet activities are not discussed in this memorandum. Detailed appendices are available for each report. These appendices consist of casualty reports, battlenet logs, awards recommendations, and lessons learned.


Sequence Log 01-0089, Preliminary Reports of Action - Defense of Reach
Admiral J. Garcia. October 8, 2552. 844 files.
This report documents UNSC fleet actions in the Reach Defense Coordination Zone during the period July 24 to September 5. Findings forwarded to UNSC HIGHCOM for additional simulation and comprehensive data mining. The report also includes morale and disciplinary reports from all major commands.

Sequence Log 01-0921, UNSC Security Council Special Session
Dr. O. Cheng. October 9, 2552. 1 file.
Contained here is the updated intelligence report forwarded by the UEG Strategic Forecasting and Scenario Planning Group which incorporated recent asset losses. Additional classified appendices and opinions from the Office of Naval Intelligence and UNSC Special Topics Committee are redacted. The accepted scenario concluded the continuance of human civilization was no longer probable with currently available military assets and remaining industrial base. FADM Harper is on record as not concurring with his assessment.

Sequence Log 01-0991, Action Report - UNSC Totem Lake, Report of Battle of October 10, 2552
Captain W. Murray. October 17, 2552. 83 files.
Report from the commanding officer of Third Fleet, Battle Group Rhino recounts the loss of UNSC Totem Lake (CVA-92) near Enceladus on October 10, 2552. Battle Group Rhino detected twelve unidentified large vessels broadcasting outdated civilian IFF codes. Upon approach, eleven of the vessels made unauthorized slipspace transits, exiting the Sol system. Pursuant to standing orders to engage vessels not positively identified as friendly, Battle Group Rhino engaged. UNSC Totem lake was lost with all hands after suffering multiple hull breaches and reports of boarding parties. Battle Group Rhino subsequently disengaged and regrouped at Phase Line Alpha above Enceladus. Permission to reengage remaining vessel submitted by VADM Williams and denied by FADM Harper.

Sequence Log 01-1101, NAVSPECWAR Survey of Mars Site #01-04-78-C
SSGT M. Geffen. October 19, 2552. 2 files.
Contained in this document are initial reports of the scouting team investigating gravitic and radiation anomalies near Argyre Planitia on October 13, 2552. Team conducted on-site search and assessment. Cloaked remote sensor platforms of unknown provenance discovered, triggering cryptonym WIDEAWAKE. Priority 1 stand-down issued by FADM Harper after consultation with ADM Parangosky. Remaining records redacted.


Sequence Log 02-095, Status Report - Earth Defense Coordination Zone
Fleet Admiral J. Harper. April 6, 2554. 190 files.
Report of the operations and events by UNSC elements at Earth from May 14-19, 2552. UNSC forces were placed on maximum readiness levels and all warships with functioning MACs self-deployed or towed to rally points. Additional records include assessment of UNSC Chevalier (CBC-5) security team deployed by FADM Harper to Cairo Station in preparation for arrival of FADM Hood and establishment of flag headquarters.

[RECORD MATRIX 3] Sequence Log 03-0101, Earth Sustained Defense Campaign, 3rd Battle of New Mombasa - November 17, 2552
Vice Admiral K. Lanba. January 19, 2553. 15 files.
This report contains information on the engagement with Covenant fleet elements excavating the Excession artifact on November 17, 2552. Battle Group Victory vectored to support Air Force and Marine operation clearing Type-27 AAC emplacements in surrounding area. UNSC forces authorized to deploy MAC rounds in atmosphere by FADM Harper. Ships engaged enemy command ship to no effect. Slipspace portal generated by Excession created spatial distortions that damaged artificial gravity systems on all ships present. Science and repair records redacted at request of ADM Parangosky.

Sequence Log 03-0997, URNA SW Campaign, from November 10, 2552 through Operation: MARSH FLASH, December 3, 2552
Admiral I. Zhou. March 1, 2553. 1244 files.
During the period covered in this report the Covenant excavated and occupied built-up positions centered at free-fire area OZONE (31.565043/-110.343567). UNSC forces began counteroffensive on November 17, 2552 after Covenant battlenet cohesion broke with the departure of command ship through the Excession. UNSC flagword LUX declared and UEG emergency evacuation broadcast at 0630 on November 19, followed by tactical nuclear deployment at 0700 against multiple shielded enemy positions. FADM Harper directed Operation: MARSH FLASH on December 03, which successfully eliminated clusters of high-value Jiralhanae leadership attempting to activate artifact at OZONE.

//End Summary


15 NOVEMBER 2552




This report was generated by UNSC AI Barca immediately following the interrogation of ASSET RD-9746-X, also known as QUICK TO ADJUST [Cat7 'Huragok' life-form procured from Op-5684-76643-545-0048].

Due to the symbiotic assimilation of the urban infrastructure subroutine called 'VERGIL,' it was referred to as such for the duration of the interrogation. This interrogation was conducted on November 15, 2552, 1649 hours at an ONI-appropriated wing within the terminus of the QUITO SPACE ELEVATOR.

The following is an excerpt from this interrogation organized for immediate and urgent review by 07960-48392-TH.



[DARE] ...registry wasn't logged according to my people at the Tycho observation facility. They're saying it wasn't a UNSC ship. In fact, they're saying it wasn't a human ship at all.

[JOHNSON] Maybe they're right, Captain. Maybe they're wrong. But you know that I ain't here to talk about how I got back to Sol.

[DARE] They're saying you and Commander Keyes came back from something they discovered in deep space. Something they're calling 'Halo.' If this information is pertinent to my-

[JOHNSON] I'll stop you right there, Captain. You know I got clearance from up top to find out what they're looking for down there. Not sure if you noticed, but we ain't got time for bickering back and forth. This critter you picked up has intel and Command wants it, so let's cut the crap and get to work.

[DARE] Lord Hood may have given you clearance, but it was my op and it's my interrogation. We only captured one - it's very delicate.

[JOHNSON] Don't worry. I know what the aliens like.

<Enters secured wing. Members of Alpha-Nine present with the Asset.>

[JOHNSON] It has access to the Covenant battlenet?

[DARE] Limited, but yes. We're not entirely sure how it manages a remote connection to the-

<48789-20114-AJ tosses an antique propane lighter at the Asset. The Asset catches the lighter.>

[DARE] Sergeant Major, please. It's extremely flammable.

<48789-20114-AJ directs his attention toward the Asset.>

[JOHNSON] The Brutes. The bastards who put bombs on your buddies and killed millions of my people. They're digging a mighty big hole. You're gonna tell me exactly what they're looking for and then you're gonna help me stop them.

<Subject lights 48789-20114-AJ's cigar.>

[DARE] Barca, are you online? Are you capturing this?

[BARCA] Yes, ma'am. I've been recording since the service corridor. Current date and time is November 15, 2552, 1659 hours. This is UNSC AI Barca, service number BCR 7584-2. Sergeant Major, please state your name and service number for the record.

[JOHNSON] Johnson, Avery. 48789-20114-AJ.

[BARCA] Captain, could you do the same?

[DARE] Dare, Veronica. 73998-38490-VD. Naval Intelligence.

[BARCA] Let the record show that the Asset, referred to as 'VERGIL,' was confirmed acquired on 20 October 2552 from New Mombasa, at 2359 hours by 73998-37490-VD and 92458-37017-EB. Subject has been in ONI quarantine since, with limited interfacing from outside personnel.

<Translation apparatus activated. Observes the Asset's sign language and replicates synthetic vocalization. The Asset is uncooperative at first, but eventually complies.>

[BARCA] Sergeant Major, you may begin.

[JOHNSON] They call you Vergil because you downloaded some kind of city AI from one of our computers. He still in there somewhere?

[VERGIL] Yes, we are.

[JOHNSON] And those covies ships down there, still digging for something. They don't suspect that you've got some human AI in you? Their sensors don't pick that up?

[VERGIL] Huragok made sensors. They see what we want them to see.

[JOHNSON] Fair enough. My people tell me you don't know what the Brutes are looking for. I don't buy it.

[VERGIL] We know only what we were allowed to know.

[JOHNSON] We had eyes on the ground in the city before it got glassed. They saw what your buddies were writing on the walls. You were coordinating their search parties. Looking for something Forerunner, right?

[VERGIL] We cannot say for sure.

[JOHNSON] I think you can. And you're gonna. Does the word 'Ark' mean anything to you?

<The Asset is visibly distressed by this statement.>

[VERGIL] How do you know about the installation?

[JOHNSON] I just came from Delta Halo. The Covenant are in the middle of a civil war. They're breaking apart. Won't last much longer.

[VERGIL] And your kind has sided with the rebels. The Elites.

[JOHNSON] Now you have a lot to say all of a sudden.

[DARE] What. Wait, what is he talking about, Sergeant Major?

[VERGIL] How do you know that it is not a trap?

[DARE] A trap? Sergeant Major, clarify... What is he talking about?

[JOHNSON] Vergil, if the Brutes access this thing first, this machine buried underground, you know we're all in a heap of trouble. Tell me what they are looking for and we'll stop them.

[VERGIL] But you will tell the Elites first. Then the Elites will find me and take me back. Just like the Brutes.

[DARE] No one is taking you anywhere, Vergil. Just answer the question.

[JOHNSON] The Brutes won't stop when they're done. Once they get that thing uncovered, they'll kill the rest of the human on this world.

[VERGIL] No. I cannot tell them. The more who know about its existence, the more the risk compounds. I must be silent.

[DARE] Tell them what, Vergil? Who are you talking to?

[VERGIL] I am talking to Vergil. I am Quick to Adjust.

[DARE] 'Quick to Adjust'?

[JOHNSON] That's its alien name. It must be talking to the subroutine. Vergil is right. You know that. This machine the Brute are tracking down. It's on our wold. Your makers gave it to us.

[VERGIL] My Makers left. They abandoned me. They abandoned all of us.

[JOHNSON] Vergil, we're running out of time. What are the Brutes digging up out there? What are they looking for?

[VERGIL] They're looking for the Ark. You know this already.

[JOHNSON] Why? What is so special about the Ark?

[VERGIL] They're going to activate Halo. They're going to finish what my Makers started.

[JOHNSON] If they fire Halo, they die too. They've been lied to.

[VERGIL] But we will remain.

[DARE] Is that the reason you're helping them? The reason you've helped them all along?

[VERGIL] Once Halo is activated we will go back to our homes. Perhaps our Makers will come back for us. We shall wait.

[JOHNSON] No one is coming back for you, son. The Forerunners died when they activated the Rings. You're all that's left to them.

[VERGIL] No. We are not. There are others.