This article is about the battle. If you were looking for the novel, see Halo: The Fall of Reach.
|Fall of Reach|
- “We knew this day would come. They have found our fortress among the stars. The Covenant are on Reach. They will burn this planet, kill millions, and when Reach falls—and fall it will—there will be nothing left to stand between them... and Earth.”
The Fall of Reach, sometimes referred to as the Battle of Reach, was one of the largest engagements in the Human-Covenant war. It was fought between the UNSCDF and the Covenant from July 24th to August 30th 2552, however a small number of human survivors remained on the planet until September 7th.
Despite suffering a severe defeat at the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV, the Covenant managed to place a tracking device on the UNSC Iroquois and used it to find other human colony worlds. When the Iroquois returned to Reach, the human presence - and its extent - was disclosed and later revealed to the Covenant fleet. Ironically, the location of Reach was already known to the Covenant; a previously recovered Forerunner artifact indicated Reach held another artifact.
At first, the Covenant sent a pre-invasion force, consisting of a few SDV-class heavy corvettes and a CSO-class supercarrier, the Long Night of Solace, to Reach and secretly deployed a large force in the Viery Territory. This invasion force was cloaked from UNSC sensors by sophisticated Stealth pylons deployed around it. The Covenant also sent a small Sangheili Zealot strike team led by a Field Marshall to recover a Forerunner artifact from an excavation site near the Visegrád communications outpost.
- “Colonel, this is Noble One. There are no rebels, the Covenant are on Reach.”— Carter-A259
Before the discovery of the Covenant invasion force, Noble Team was sent to investigate a signal blackout at the communications array outpost that kept Reach in contact to the rest of the UNSC. Sabotage by Insurrectionists was suspected. As Noble Team arrived at the station, they discovered that the Covenant was behind the disturbance. After rescuing pinned-down UNSC troops and finding the remaining survivors at the station, Noble Team was ambushed by an elite team of Covenant Zealots. The only Zealot that escaped was the leader of the team, an Elite Field Marshall.
- “Winter Contingency has been declared, all units are mobilized and ready.”— UNSC Officer
The Covenant created a beachhead on Reach in the Viery Territory with anti-air batteries surrounding the perimeter of their staging area. With several Spires, the Covenant covertly inserted massive invasion armies, including several Corvettes, without detection. After the skirmishes at the communications array, Covenant forces attacked Sword Base in an attempt to overrun the ONI facility and possibly even find the forerunner artifacts under the facility. However, these forces were repulsed after Noble Team reinforced the base and brought its anti-air turrets and communications back online. The Covenant Corvette leading the attack was forced to retreat and was destroyed by an orbital MAC round.
With reports of Covenant deployments on Reach becoming ever-more frequent, the UNSC decided to initiate a reconnaissance operation in order to ascertain what the Covenant were hiding in the "Dark Zone". Upon discovering that the Covenant were massing a large invasion force, the UNSC organised a counter-offensive.
- “…we are now under attack across the Viery territory, including Orbital Defences. As per the Winter Contingency, we are countering on every front.”
As the fighting across the Viery territory escalated, the UNSC Army launched it's offensive at the Covenant's staging ground in an attempt to overrun the Covenant forces. The assault was spearheaded by Noble Team. Throughout the assault, members of Noble Team destroyed several of the Covenant anti-air batteries enabling the UNSC to achieve air superiority. Supported by Longswords and Frigates, the UNSC Army continued it's drive across the Covenant staging areas. However, the situation changed when the CSO-class supercarrier, Long Night of Solace, appeared over the area and reinforced the Covenant forces. As a result, many UNSC frigates were lost and the assault ground to a halt.
As the Covenant grew in number and in strength, the UNSC began to lose their initial home-field advantage. On the ground, the UNSC would never successfully go on the offensive again and although they would hold off the Covenant in certain areas such as New Alexandria, any surviving UNSC forces were ultimately glassed.
One of the first defeats suffered by the UNSC on Reach was the Covenant's second attack on Sword Base, this time actually glassing areas around the Base. The arrival of the supercarrier led to Operation: UPPERCUT, where Noble Team used Sabres and the corvette Ardent Prayer to deliver a "Slipspace Bomb" to the supercarrier and destroy it. Unfortunately, during the battle, the Slipspace drive malfunctioned and wasn't able to detonate remotely. Jorge-052 voluntarily sacrificed himself to manually trigger the drive. Just as the supercarrier was destroyed, more Covenant ships arrived, this time in the form of Cruisers and Assault Carriers, to reinforce the Covenant forces already present on Reach.
Over the next week, Covenant ground forces landed on the planet and Covenant ships began glassing targeted areas. A battle broke out in the city of New Alexandria, with large numbers of civilian evacuation transports being shot down by Covenant air and ground forces. Units from Noble Team assisted Army and Marine forces in clearing evacuation zones, succeeding in damaging a Covenant corvette in the process. Though UNSC forces, with great sacrifice, ultimately succeeded in clearing the majority of Covenant troops from the city, Covenant naval assets began to glass the city, and one member of Noble Team was killed by sniper fire while redeploying.
Redeployed, Noble Team and a small force of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers were ordered to destroy the Covenant-occupied Sword Base in a scorched earth operation. Proceeding into the base, the team encountered Doctor Catherine Elizabeth Halsey, who enlisted their help in defending her laboratory amid the ruins of a Forerunner complex from advancing Covenant forces. After successfully holding off the Covenant forces, Halsey ordered SPARTAN-B312 to transport a fragment of the A.I. Cortana to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, while Jun-A266 escorted her to CASTLE Base elsewhere on Reach. Even as August 30 dawned, however, a second, much larger Covenant fleet was detected exiting Slipstream Space on the edge of the system.
Third Covenant fleet arrivesEdit
- “Gamma Station, this is Fermion RSO. Unconfirmed reports of an in-system Slipspace rupture.”— Fermion Remote Sensing Outpost
- “Impossible. Check your source.”— Reach Station Gamma
Although elements of the UNSC Army and Navy were engaged in a pitched battle with Covenant forces throughout the Viery Territory, a large portion of the Epsilon Eridani Fleet, including Captain Jacob Keyes, was being kept ignorant of WINTER CONTINGENCY to facilitate the capture of a Class-Five vessel for use in Operation: RED FLAG.
However, plans fell apart when a second Covenant fleet of 314 vessels came to reinforce the attack. This combined flotilla, the largest ever recorded at that point in the war, would not only crush the UNSC in space and on the ground, but ultimately take up positions to glass the planet itself.
The approaching Covenant fleet was first detected in slipspace by Remote Scanning Outpost Fermion. The station's commander, Chief Petty Officer McRobb, sent an emergency message to FLEETCOM and ordered self-destruct to prevent the station's data from falling into enemy hands. A few minutes later three hundred and fourteen Covenant ships exited slipspace at the outskirts of the Epsilon Eridani System. WINTER CONTINGENCY was declared, and Admiral Roland Freemont issued file/bravo-tango-beta-five, ordering all ships around Reach, as well as those at Tantalus and the nearby Jericho system, to rendezvous at Reach in preparation for the coming assault. The Covenant moved in on the orbital defences before the UNSC fleet fully consolidated. Fifty two late arriving UNSC ships, including the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, ran a gauntlet of Covenant warships as they attempted to link up with the main fleet. At the beginning of the battle, only about a hundred UNSC ships were readily available to defend Reach.
The main Covenant force moved in on the orbital defences. The initial salvo of Plasma Torpedoes was mostly absorbed by three sacrificial refit and repair stations, allowing the defenders to return fire. The Orbital Defence Platforms and a nuclear minefield combined to take down a full third of the Covenant fleet, destroying about a hundred Covenant ships with the first salvo. The vaporized Titanium-A of the refit stations also served to block incoming plasma torpedoes. However, the next Covenant salvo significantly damaged the UNSC fleet, as the Covenant maneuvered for clear shots around the Titanium dust cloud and moved in for the kill. They destroyed a quarter of the Super MAC platforms, further crippling the UNSC orbital defence capabilities, before retreating out of range. A previously unknown warship type, the Covenant supercruiser, carrying an immensely powerful energy projector revealed itself, destroying the UNSC Minotaur before withdrawing temporarily. The attacking fleet withdrew to regroup after deploying hundreds of dropships to the surface. The UNSC fleet pursued and destroyed a large number of the Covenant dropships, but many still made it through and landed on Reach's northern and southern poles.
As the surviving dropships disgorged thousands of troops, the Covenant fleet began another attack. Some ships made pinpoint slipspace jumps, putting them within the UNSC formation. This left them vulnerable for a short time but allowed them to strike the ODPs directly. The Supercruiser returned and destroyed the UNSC Herodotus and UNSC Musashi from beyond ODP range. The UNSC Pillar of Autumn engaged and destroyed the Supercruiser, detonating a Shiva nuclear device inside the Covenant warship's shields. The detonation reverberated off the shield and disintegrated the Supercruiser.
Attack on the orbital defense generatorsEdit
- “There are thousands of them. Grunts, Jackals and their warrior Elites. They have tanks and fliers. Christ, they've breached the perimeter. Fall back! Fall back! If anyone can hear this: the Covenant is ground-side. Massing near the armory!”
Thousands of Covenant landed on Reach in an attempt to destroy the Orbital Defense Generators, and were intercepted by Marine forces who were able to defend against the first few waves of Covenant forces while sustaining heavy casualties. The remaining SPARTAN-IIs who were not assigned to Reach Station Gamma were sent to Orbital Defense Generator Facility A-331 to assist in the defense of the station. Unfortunately, their Pelican escort, Bravo 001, was shot down, resulting in the deaths of four Spartans (including Malcolm-059), and leaving others wounded. Near their crash site, the surviving Spartans discovered the shell-shocked remnants of Charlie Company.
Charlie Company had been assigned by Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb to find the prototype NOVA Bombs. They were forced to help defend the Orbital Defence Facilities on their way to their objective. Unfortunately, as the Covenant neared the Orbital Defense Generators, someone at HIGHCOM panicked and ordered Longswords to bomb everything within 500 metres, resulting in the destruction of the Covenant ground forces in that location, but also catastrophic friendly fire: Charlie Company was reduced to four men, and its leaders: Lieutenants Jake Chapman and Buckman were killed. The Spartans, after being briefed on the situation by Charlie Company, responded to a distress call from Whitcomb, who requested immediate evacuation. Frederic-104, commander of the Spartans, split the remains of Red Team into four groups: Team Alpha (Frederic-104, Kelly-087, and Joshua-029), which was tasked with eliminating an encampment of 10,000 Covenant and their hovering cruiser (without the use of a nuclear weapon, as the EMP blast would render the generator inoperable), Team Beta, tasked with defense of the Orbital Defense Generators, Team Gamma (Li-008, Anton-044, and Grace-093), ordered to retrieve Whitcomb, and Team Delta (the Charlie Company Marines and six wounded Spartans which included William-043, Isaac-039, and Vinh-030), ordered to secure the Spartans' fallback point at CASTLE Base.
Team Alpha hijacked three Banshees and approached the Covenant encampment (they were ignored by the Grunt Zawaz, who assumed they were Elites on a secret mission) and used Fury Tactical Nuclear Weapons within the shields of the Covenant ship, destroying the encampment and negating the EMP effect that would have disabled the Orbital Defense Generators. Joshua was killed in the process by concentrated small arms fire from the 10,000 Covenant ground forces encamped around the Cruiser. The remaining Spartans of Team Alpha then fell back to CASTLE Base, blasting their way through the remaining Covenant in the area with two commandeered Wraiths. Team Gamma accomplished its mission and fell back to Camp Independence with Whitcomb, where they survived the partial glassing of the planet. Team Delta fell back to CASTLE Base, but in the process lost the remaining Charlie Company marines and every Spartan save for Vinh, Isaac, and William. When the remnants of Team Alpha and Team Delta arrived at CASTLE Base, they found Catherine Halsey there.
Unfortunately, Team Beta was unable to stop the Covenant, who attacked in their thousands. The Orbital Defense Generators were compromised, and the Covenant (after eliminating the powerless, immobile ODPs in geosynchronous orbit around the planet) began the glassing of Reach.
Mission to Reach Station GammaEdit
During the space battle, the AI Doppler, controller of Reach Station Gamma, was unable to destroy the vital information on board the UNSC Circumference, an ONI Prowler involved in Operation: HYPODERMIC. As the Covenant deployed troops to the station, Doppler reported this violation of the Cole Protocol to the Pillar of Autumn before self-destructing himself to keep from further violation. In response, Captain Jacob Keyes sent John-117, James-005, and Linda-058 to the station. They accomplished their task and destroyed the NAV database onboard Reach Station Gamma, but at the cost of James and Linda. While on board, they rescued some Marines on board the station: Staff Sergeant Avery Junior Johnson and Privates Wallace Jenkins, Bisenti, and O'Brien. They then were evacuated by Pelican back to the Pillar of Autumn. Linda-058 was clinically dead, but there was a chance of saving her, so she was placed in a cryo-chamber. John-117 asked Lieutenant Hall to scan for James (who was blown into space) but they were unable to find him.
Battle at AszodEdit
- Main article: Battle of Aszod
With the battle for Reach now nearing its conclusion, the Pillar of Autumn set down at the Aszod ship breaking yards for repairs as well as to receive the fragment of Cortana that Halsey had tasked Noble Team with delivering to Keyes. Covenant forces soon descended on the shipyards and began landing troops. Although the docked Autumn managed to hold off the Covenant attackers, most of the facility and the surrounding area was occupied.
The remnants of Noble Team, consisting of Carter-A259, Emile-A239, and SPARTAN-B312, arrived on the outskirts of the facility. Carter sent Noble Six and Emile to deliver the package to Keyes. He then sacrificed himself to destroy a Scarab right before it fired its main cannon at Noble Six and Emile. Six and Emile fought their way to the shipyards, where they linked up with some surviving UNSC ground troops. Keyes then contacted the SPARTANs and ordered them to clear Landing Platform Delta so that he could pick up the package. Emile took charge of a mass driver and used it to provide cover fire for the Autumn from the attacking Banshees and Phantoms. Six, meanwhile, cleared the platform of Covenant troops.
After Six was able to clear the platform, Captain Keyes came down in one of two Pelicans, successfully avoiding the dogfight that raged over the Pillar of Autumn and personally took possession of the package from Noble Six. Just then a CCS-class battlecruiser appeared and started heading towards the Autumn. As Emile prepared to fire at the ship, a Phantom, guns blazing, shot down one of the Pelicans and headed towards the mass driver before Emile had time to shoot it down. There, it dropped off the Field Marshall and Sangheili Zealots which were sent to prevent the mass driver from shooting down the battlecruiser. Emile was able to kill one of the Zealots with his shotgun but was mortally wounded when a second one came from behind and stabbed him in the back with an energy sword. With the remaining strength he had, Emile stabbed the Zealot in the neck and fell off the mass driver, taking the Elite with him. With the cruiser closing in on the Autumn, Noble Six volunteered to stay behind to take charge of the gun.
Keyes returned to the Autumn with the package and prepared the ship for take off. Meanwhile, Noble Six was able to kill the last few remaining Zealots and the Field Marshall before heading towards the mass driver. Six took possession of the mass driver and destroyed several Phantoms and Banshees which were directly attacking the mass driver in an attempt to stop Six from shooting at the Cruiser. As the Cruiser came into Six's range and prepared to destroy the Autumn with its energy projector, Six fired directly into the ship's exposed glassing port. The resulting explosion crippled the cruiser, which crash landed on the planet's surface.With the skies cleared of hostiles, the Pillar of Autumn took off and escaped Reach. Once in space, it made a slipspace jump to Installation 04 (secretly arranged by Cortana). A dozen Covenant ships led by Covenant Supreme Commander Thel 'Vadamee pursued, while the remaining vessels stayed behind to finish glassing Reach. Back at the shipyards, the stranded Noble Six continued fighting against the Covenant invaders. Eventually, the lone SPARTAN was overwhelmed and killed by a group of seven Sangheili warriors.
- “We are not wasting a single UNSC ship to confirm what we have already seen a dozen times before: Reach is gone. Everything on it is blasted to bits, burned, glassed over, and vaporized. Everyone on Reach is dead. Dead. Dead. Dead.”
The UNSC lost their second largest military-industrial complex, after the Sol System, and sustained crippling military losses at Reach, losing over one hundred ships, including irreplaceable cruisers and supercarriers such as the UNSC Basra, UNSC Trafalgar, and the UNSC Musashi, not to mention the large numbers of civilian and military personnel killed by the invading Covenant forces. With the Epsilon Eridani System in Covenant hands, there were no further major stop points before Sol. Some estimates put total defeat at a matter of weeks. The Office of Naval Intelligence believed that the location of Sol was compromised and began relocating heavy industry facilities and command centres out of the system.
At the same time, despite such a devastating defeat the UNSC still fared better than in previous battles. Even against the technologically superior Fleet of Particular Justice, outnumbered 2:1, they still managed to inflict disproportionate losses to the Covenant, due largely to the twenty Orbital Defense Platforms orbiting Reach. The AI Cortana piloted the fleeing UNSC Pillar of Autumn to the previously undiscovered Installation 04. While the Battle of Installation 04 was tangential to the main front, the containment of the initial Flood outbreak-and the experience gained-was just as critical to the survival of the UNSC.
- Main article: Raid of Reach
As the Covenant began glassing Reach, the surviving Spartans continued their fight. Team Gamma; a Red team splinter composed of Anton-044; Grace-093 and Li-008, had managed to survive and complete their mission to rescue Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb from HIGHCOM. Too late to reach CASTLE base, they hid in the mountains attacking Covenant units with the use of guerrilla tactics as opposed to a conventional assault. They programmed their MJOLNIR suits to transmit the "Oly Oly Oxen Free" secret code on E-Band radio, hoping that any surviving SPARTANs would discover it and help them.
Meanwhile underneath the ruins of CASTLE base, Dr. Halsey and 5 SPARTANs (Fred; Kelly; Will; Vinh and Issac) had spent 5 days combing the remains of a Forerunner structure and an additional 5 days trapped in a hallway inside the ruins by Covenant forces. They managed to retrieve a Forerunner Crystal that the Covenant were seeking, but it emitted a burst of radiation which alerted the Covenant to their presence. Vinh and Issac fell at the hands of overwhelming Covenant forces, and the others escaped by blowing the hallway down behind them.
After the survivors were recovered by Ascendant Justice, a Covenant Flagship captured by John-117 after the Battle of Installation 04, the ship drew a group of Covenant vessels out of the system in pursuit to Eridanus Secundus, leading to the destruction of the asteroid colony, and the destruction of the artifact and the recovery of a small number of pieces by the Covenant. Also, the Ascendant Justice destroyed around sixteen Covenant warships during the escape in Slipspace and at the rebel base.
July 24, 2552Edit
- 0728 Hours: Noble Team is ordered to investigate a possible Insurrectionist activity at the disabled Visegrád Relay. Shortly after, the team learns that the Covenant are responsible for the attack on the relay. After retaking the relay, Noble Team discovers a data module on one of the dead staff. WINTER CONTINGENCY is declared.
July 26, 2552Edit
- 1128 hours: A SDV-class heavy corvette attacks ONI Sword Base. Noble Team is deployed to secure the base and surrounding outposts. After the corvette is destroyed by orbital bombardment, Noble Team meets up with Dr. Halsey and hands over the data module retrieved from Visegrád Relay.
August 12th, 2552Edit
- 0800 hours: The UNSC Army begins a full scale assault on the Viery Territory. Noble Team is sent to gather intelligence of Covenant-occupied sites and to destroy a EMP-emitting Covenant tower. The UNSC learn too late that the tower served as a teleporter linked to a cloaked Covenant Supercarrier. The UNSC Grafton is destroyed by the Supercarrier.
- 2007 hours: Covenant invasion of Reach is fully underway. Noble Team begins developing a plan to destroy the enemy Supercarrier with a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine used as a makeshift bomb. Auntie Dot informs Noble Team that 60% of the UNSC fleet is in route to Reach, the first battlegroup is set to enter the system in 48 hours.
August 14th, 2552Edit
- 1248 hours: Noble Team assaults and assists UNSC Army troopers in the Sabre Launch Facility and use it as a staging point for a battle above Reach. Using the Slipspace Drive from the UNSC Savannah, Noble Team disables and boards one of the Covenant corvettes and use it as the detonation point for the bomb. Due to a malfunction with the triggering mechanism, a member of Noble Team is forced to detonate the bomb manually. The Supercarrier is destroyed just as a Covenant Fleet arrives above Reach.
- 1248 hours: Covenant forces once again attack Sword Base and occupy the site. Dr. Halsey escapes capture by hiding under the facility.
August 23, 2552Edit
- 1534 hours: The Covenant fleet begins glassing targeted areas of Reach, and a battle breaks out in New Alexandria. Noble Six and remaining Army infantrymen assist in the evacuation of civilians from the city.
- 1857 hours: Noble Six links up with the rest of Noble Team. The team destroys three jammers installed by the Covenant, allowing the UNSC to safely evacuate all personnel from the ONI HQ. When the team reunites, they are debriefed by their supervisor to proceed to Sword Base. Catherine-B320 of Noble Team is killed by a Needle Rifle.
August 26, 2552Edit
August 29, 2552Edit
- SPARTAN-B312 and a team of ODSTs secure a landing zone for Noble Team's Falcon. Later Noble Team proceed inside Sword Base only to learn their true mission: escort a package, from Halsey, to the Pillar of Autumn.
August 30, 2552Edit
- 0447 Hours: The Remote Scanning Outpost Fermion detects more incoming Covenant vessels. An emergency message is relayed to FLEETCOM. The outpost then self-destructs per the Cole Protocol due to an unsecured science library and nearby Covenant forces.
- 0500 Hours: Another fleet of 314 Covenant vessels exits slipspace on the edge of the system.
- 0519 Hours: Admiral Roland Freemont (FLEETCOM Sector One Commander) issues a general order to all vessels in the Reach, Jericho, and Tantalus systems. All vessels and stations initiate the Cole Protocol and rush to Rally Point ZULU.
- 0534 Hours: Covenant vessels make pinpoint slipspace jumps attempting to destroy any incoming or outgoing human vessels before they can regroup. A Covenant carrier targets the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, but is destroyed.
- 0545 Hours: The Covenant vessels begin a frontal assault. As the Covenant and human fleets engage above Reach, it seems to be a stalemate, as Covenant ships take out UNSC ships, while the UNSC ships and MAC cannons take out an equal number. The first salvo by the UNSC vessels destroys a third of the remaining Covenant fleet. A Covenant supercruiser arrives and destroys several UNSC ships while outside human weapons range.
- 0558 Hours: Station Gamma Dockmaster AI Doppler is unable to implement the Cole Protocol on the UNSC Circumference, an ONI prowler docked at Reach Station Gamma, due to measures taken to maintain the secrecy of Operation: HYPODERMIC. Doppler sends a priority message to FLEETCOM concerning this violation. Covenant intrusion software detects this oversight, and the Covenant deploys troops to seize the NAV database aboard the Circumference.
- 0616 Hours: The SPARTAN-IIs are dispatched from the Pillar of Autumn. John-117, Linda-058, and James-005 form Blue Team and go aboard the Dock to destroy the Circumference, while the remaining SPARTAN-IIs form Red Team and head down to the surface of Reach to defend the power generators for the MAC guns. James goes MIA when a Needler hits his thruster pack and propels him into space during combat. Blue Team continue through the station, rescuing Staff Sergeant Johnson and Privates O'Brien, Bisenti, and Jenkins from Kig-yar and Sangheili.
- 0620 Hours: Most of the Covenant fleet retreats from the system after deploying more dropships toward the surface. The UNSC fleet fires on the ships, destroying many although hundreds still land on Reach.
- 0621 Hours: The boarding craft are landed and the armory is overrun; the Covenant fleet re-returns to the system. The Covenant split their 150+ remaining ships. One fleet attacks the UNSC ships, while another takes out the MAC cannons and send in troops to land on Reach. The UNSC try to split their 50+ remaining forces to engage the Covenant, but there are too many platforms to cover and too many casualties. The Supercruiser continues to destroy UNSC ships, allowing the other ships to attack the MACs. Eventually the supercruiser was destroyed by the Pillar of Autumn, but the UNSC fleet is practically decimated so it is too late to turn the tide of battle.
- 0631 Hours: Red Team's Pelican is shot down. They have no choice but to jump from the crashing Pelican and make a "hard landing" on the ground. Results in four dead and six seriously injured.
- 0637 Hours: John-117, the clinically dead Linda-058, and the Marines board the Pillar of Autumn.
- 0647 Hours: The Pillar of Autumn attempts to retreat from the system, but remains there for unknown reasons and heads for a drydock at the Aszod ship breaking yards on Reach, possibly.
- 0711 Hours: Fred-104, Joshua-029, and Kelly-087 plant a nuclear warhead through the gravity lift in a landing Covenant cruiser, leaving Joshua-029 MIA, (presumed KIA) in the process.
- 0720 Hours: The Covenant destroys ODG Facility A-331 by aerial bombardment, though some Spartans escape. The surviving MAC guns are now offline and are quickly destroyed by plasma torpedoes. Remaining UNSC vessels have no choice but to retreat. The Covenant warships are split into two groups: five ship teams that hunt down the surviving UNSC vessels and a group of ships that align themselves in formation and begin to glass Reach.
- 1652 hours: The remainder of Noble Team head to the Aszod ship breaking yards to deliver a fragment of Cortana, which holds important navigation data, to the Pillar of Autumn. SPARTAN-B312 successfully delivers the package to the Autumn and allows the vessel to escape by destroying an incoming Covenant battlecruiser. The Pillar of Autumn, pursued by a dozen Covenant vessels, retreats from the system, heading for Installation 04.
- 2000 Hours: SPARTAN-B312 is one of the few standing survivors at the ship-breaking yards of Aszod and the planet Reach. The SPARTAN makes a last stand, fighting off waves of Covenant forces, until eventually being overwhelmed and then finally killed by a squad of 7 Sangheili warriors.
- September 7
- 0002 Hours: The SPARTAN Red team survivors and Dr. Halsey, after days of walking through the abandoned Titanium mines below CASTLE base, reach a corridor covered in Forerunner symbols.
- September 11–12
- Unknown time: The Installation 04 survivors arrive at Reach, having experienced a temporal anomaly, causing them to be sent nearly two weeks into the past, after traversing through Slipspace with a Forerunner Crystal.