- “The Covenant believe that what they call "the Silent Cartographer" is somewhere under this island.”— Cortana
The Battle of the Silent Cartographer was a brief conflict within the larger Battle of Installation 04, during the Human-Covenant war. A part of a much wider conflict in late 2552, the battle produced numerous casualties on both sides and resulted in the UNSC's discovery of the Control Room's location.
SPARTAN-II John-117 and two squads of ODSTs were ordered by Captain Keyes to land on the Covenant-held island and capture the Cartographer in order to locate Halo's control room. (During this level, a plan to assassinate John-117 was launched by Zuka 'Zamamee and his Grunt assistant Yayap).
Two Pelicans carried John-117, Gunnery Sergeant Waller, and 7 other ODSTs to a beach that was lightly held by Covenant infantry. The 9 ODSTs of the second squad landed on another beach with a Warthog but quickly took heavy casualties as they fought their way inland towards both the Silent Cartographer and its security room. John and the first squad of ODSTs wiped out the defenders on their beach and a Warthog was delivered to them by Echo 419. John-117 and two Marines took the Warthog past two Covenant patrols and launched an attack on the heavily guarded entrance to the Cartographer. They succeeded at wiping out the guards, but as John-117 saw a sword-wielding Zealot, the Covenant managed to seal a security door that proved impervious to any attempts to open it.
John made his way around the island, where he ambushed and destroyed another group of Covenant infantry at the second beach and then moved inland, fighting his way past the Elites, Jackals, Grunts, and a pair of Hunters that had devastated second squad. Cortana called in Pelican Bravo-22 for a delivery of reinforcements and heavy weapons. After defeating several more squads of Covenant infantry, John fought and killed another Hunter pair who were the guards of the security override and then used the override to open the door.
The Covenant struck back; ground forces succeeded in shooting down Bravo-22 and executing the three ODSTs on board, and a squad of Stealth Elites ambushed but failed to kill John-117. Gunnery Sergeant Waller and his remaining ODSTs were attacked twice but managed to repel the Covenant assaults. John defeated another Covenant patrol near a mesa and resupplied at Bravo-22's crash site before taking the Warthog the Pelican had been carrying and returning to the LZ and picking up another pair of ODSTs. A trio of Jackals and a pair of Hunters had been sent to guard the entrance but John was able to defeat them using the rocket launcher he had taken from Bravo-22, however, both his ODSTs were killed.
The Zealot who had guarded the path to the Cartographer earlier had disappeared and John alone fought his way down through the corridors leading to the Cartographer; in many of the fights, John was able to ambush unprepared Covenant infantry. However, the Covenant finally launched a serious counterattack against the ODSTs on the beach, having two dropships deploy infantry while John was underground. The Covenant finally managed to overrun the LZ and wiped out the surviving members of Waller's squad before moving on to the Silent Cartographer to attack John-117.
After finding the map, John fought his way back up to the surface. The Zealot returned and dueled John but was killed. A final squad of Stealth Elites arrived by Spirit dropship but were also defeated.
Despite the horrible losses, John-117 learned of the Control Room's location. He was immediately picked up by Pelican Echo-419, which carried him off to make an underground aerial insertion as close to the Control Room as possible.
|UNSC Navy||Master Chief Petty Officer||John-117||Survived|
|UNSC Marine Corps||Gunnery Sergeant||Waller||Unknown (See Notes)|
|Marcus P. Stacker||Survived|
|Corporal||Unnamed Female Corporal||KIA|
|Private First Class||Hosky|
|Covenant Special Operations||Special Operations Officer||Zuka 'Zamamee||Survived|
|Special Operations Unggoy||Yayap||Survived|
|Unknown||Ogada Nosa Fasu||KIA|
|Igido Nosa Hurru||KIA|
It is not stated in Halo: The Flood how many factual Marines participated in the battle, but in the game you are given a varying number depending on the difficulty you are on. Easy will give you nine, but Heroic will give you seven, also the Sergeant leading the Marine varies, as ingame Sergeant Stacker leads the marines, but in the book Sergeant Waller leads the marines, also the book only mentions two Warthogs and not the wrecked one you find by the beach in the game.
The fate of the two squads that accompanied John to the island is unknown, although they are believed to have suffered heavy casualties in both the initial beach assault and in assisting John on his daredevil insertions underground. However, if the player heads back to where the marines previously were, they will find their bodies scattered on the beach head.