Argus V, also known as Dziban V and a host of other names, is the sole planet which resides in the Argus System's habitable zone. Located in an isolated region of space, Argus V is an habitable world that is characterised by its frequent mega-storms, numerous volcanoes and relatively small oceans. Despite these conditions, sprawling forests and bushland cover much of its surface, with water trailing down rocky mountains and carried by erratic weather patterns ensure the planet remains universally wet. Lacking a large population, Argus V has no known economic value and is instead known for a number of military research installations spread out across its surface.
Discovered in the twenty-fourth century, Argus V was briefly considered for colonisation, however, dangerous solar winds and a debris-ridden orbit identified the world as being too risky to colonise with the technology of the time. Terraformed yet abandoned, records would be seized by ONI Section Three, seeing the planet's unique hazards and remoteness as prime real estate for reseach bases. As a result, Argus V is home to dozens of ONI satellites, outposts and testing facilities, many of which are still in working condition after the world was abandoned in 2539. Because of it's general secrecy with few aware of its existence, it would be chosen as base camp for the DELTA Initiative. Erecting Camp Ambrose without ONI's knowledge, the planet played a significant part in training SPARTAN-IIIDelta Company. Delta Company was eventually shut down, however, Argus V remains a rally point for many of its former members, with many Spartans returning to remember their brothers and sisters from time to time.
"In summary, we might be able to get the colonists there, but the unpredictability of the solar winds will make it impossible to support them, especially in times of crisis."
― UEG Science Team's findings on 31 Draconis's habitability in 2367.
31 Draconis has long been in the scope of Human astronomy, as far back as the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, when powerful space-based telescopes were coming into use and maturing in design. Located around 75 light years from Earth and the Sol System, the star system was a far-reaching distance for a near-Earth star system. At first, only the system's gas giant of the star system were detected. Psi Draconis Bb, or simply, "Be-be," is a massive Jupiter-like gas giant orbiting the second star in the star system.
The constellation Draco which 31 Draconis is a part of.
A binary star system with two major stars and a single minor star, 31 Draconis goes by a number of names. To most, its Psi Draconis or 31 Draconis. When the star system was considered for colonization, either in the form of a habitable world being discovered or permanently-stationed orbiters around the system's gas giant, it was known as the Dziban system, after the Arabic name of the star in the Draco constellation - from which 31 Draconis was discovered and cataloged. To the Chinese government who once held a claim on colonizing the system, it was referred to as "Niu She," meaning "Palace Goddess."
Human Colonization Efforts
In the post-Interplanetary War era, often dubbed Domus Diaspora , the Unified Earth Government was heavily devoted to discovering and promoting Human colonization efforts of garden worlds beyond the Sol System, driven by overpopulation and the new development of the Slipspace Drives, which allowed starships to cross entire interstellar distances by cutting wormholes outside traditional space and shortening travel times from centuries down to months.
In 2348, a rare pass by several dark objects caught the eye of a Chinese colonization company's research satellites, pointed at 31 Draconis. Three terrestrial planets, named Argus II, IV, and V. Argus V was marked as stable enough and safe enough to be considered a world worth colonizing, located in orbit of the second star in the binary system, the same one Bb orbits, Dziban B.
The solar passing that motivated potential colonization efforts of 31 Draconis.
Probes were deployed to the star system but systematically destroyed by unstable solar winds. In 2352, the Chinese colonization company that first discovered the world, Sino-Tech Solutions, abandoned efforts to colonize the star system. They were later absorbed into the construction and spaceborne mega-giant SinoViet Heavy Machinery. From the reports on the probes being destroyed by solar winds, most colonization corporations were also discouraged from exploring potential colonization efforts. While it discouraged corporate interests, the government proved interested in the star system, primarily the Office of Naval Intelligence. While initial science reports believed that most planets in the system would prove unstable for Human colonization, department interest pushed the program further forward, to the point that further probes were deployed to the different planets in 31 Draconis during a mostly stable solar period to check the worlds' habitability.
The first four were quickly ruled out by the late 2360s, however, the last, Argus V, was deemed a habitable world - it was the furthest in orbit from the two resident stars and guarded by the magnetic field of the local gas giant, Bb. The small terrestrial world was then terraformed to the needs and personal profit of ONI, and the rest was history. A temporary ONI research station was deployed to the planet and the world was seeded with Earth-based life, both plants, and animals. Argus V was inhabited by two sections of ONI, I and III. Section III was the first group to prove interested in the star system and led the colonization effort. Section I later rented space from Section III as part of a listening station apparatus and installment of listening satellites as the Insurrections began to get fired up around this period, between the 24th and 25th Centuries.
Naval Intelligence Occupation
ONI Section I and III eventually abandoned the world due to the Human-Covenant War, moving resources and assets to other stations and planets as Argus V lacked in strategic value beyond being a potential retreat point for ONI's command staff if Earth and Reach were ever to be attacked. Argus V was buried under too much paperwork and data that it became lost for a time from most eyes in the Office of Naval Intelligence - this oversight was the perfect blindspot needed for the rogue Section III group, the DELTA Initiative to re-purpose the planet for their fourth generation of SPARTAN-IIIs, especially after the III Program was shut down by ONI with the end of the Human-Covenant War in 2553.
Another view of the quiet Argus V from orbit.
The only activity to occur on the planet of note following its abandonment at the beginning of the Human-Covenant War was the crash of the UNSC For Greener Pastures. It is unknown what brought down the old frigate during the war, however, the most likely reasons were heavy solar winds causing power outages or an ONI experiment went wrong. The story of the Greener Pastures is a mystery to just about everyone that has come to call the world of Argus V their home. While the previous knowledge of the world did potentially jeopardize the establishment of SPARTAN-III Delta Company, it was judged to be a minimal risk compared to being discovered by another ONI faction that might threaten the Delta Initiative who had managed to create a false paper trail making the planet look legitimate. For once in a long time, Humanity was a greater threat to itself than the forces from the outside, such as aliens. Argus V's limiting strategic value beyond its secrecy was more of an opportunity rather than a hindrance. A fact that the Delta Initiative would come to exploit.
Illegal Spartan Program
Camp Ambrose blueprints.
Delta Company continued to operate in secret, following the destruction of Onyx colony and the shut down of the SPARTAN-III Program. Supported by allies in the Beta-5 Division within ONI, the Delta Initiative scouted out their operations to the world of Argus V and decided to construct a new training facility on the planet. The new facility referred to as Camp Ambrose, was constructed in a style similar to a mix between a medieval castle and a standard enclosed military base. Camp Ambrose was built near the ocean, along the Arcadian Coastline with an unnamed bay. The said bay came to be known as "Ambrose Bay" mostly because of a lack of imagination from the military officers that ran the Camp Ambrose Facility. A cove tied to the Bay was a popular swimming hole for some of the more rebellious future Spartan recruits that would come to call Camp Ambrose and Argus V home for a time, the cove was known as "Shrapnel Cove," in reference to the water-logged wreck of a UNSC frigate out in the bay.
The actual base of Camp Ambrose was a decently-sized hill that was flattened out by earth movers to form a large plateau. The surrounding forest was cut down to form a large perimeter measuring out to about four hundred meters, almost a half kilometer. Lines of barbed-wire fences were added to the edges of the perimeter to prevent wildlife from attempting to get into the base and the grounds, and large walls were constructed to contain the facility and its inhabitants, however, construction was not completed due to budget cuts. A section of the wall was left incomplete, next to the Multi-Purpose Training Building, a large gym. This whole was covered up with a security fence, however, it remained a security risk throughout the training of between 2553 and 2557. It would be the method for Spartans, and even some of the trainers to walk off the facility during down hours such as the dead of night and to escape the extreme militaristic environment built up for the Spartan lifestyle. Everyone needs an escape from time to time, after all.
Merlin-D032 and Andra-D054 looking over Camp Ambrose in 2557.
Still going through with the Delta Company project, DELTA Initiative's personnel moved recruited children to the world where construction on the new Camp Ambrose was being built in 2553. The world would host the recruits of Delta Company through 2557 when the children graduated to become actual Spartans. Following their graduation, and the eventual dissolution of the DELTA Initiative, it's believed that Argus V returned to being an abandoned world, along with the star system.
The Created Crisis
UNSC Armed Forces
Virtue Station, the UNSC's deep-space refueling and medical facility.
While not home to any colonies, the UNSC did have a presence in the system, with warships occasionally making headway to Argus V on their way to warzones or providing security for the ONI personnel here. Most crews simply ignore the region, with few aware that its not surveyed at all. However, the system became a strategic location for a different reason; at that point in the war, it was one of the furthest systems in its sector not occupied by the Covenant. As a result, it briefly saw large fleets being stage near the planet until reports of Covenant forces finally forced them to choose a different staging point.
Before the Human-Covenant War, the UNSC only had a single permanent asset in the form of a deep-space refueling station. Dubbed Virtue Station, the structure was originally built in 2501 as a basic medical facility that could also provide basic necessities for starships. However, throughout its history it had been greatly expanded, first into a fully-fledged refueling and repair base and then into a formidable starbase. It is currently armed with a single nuclear missile silo, eight outdated Mark-2488 Onager mass drivers, eight 30cm naval coilguns,
sixteen M910 "Rampart" point-defense guns and twelve M58 Archer missile pods, allowing it to hold its own against groups of smaller Covenant warships. It also has a SinoViet drydock equipped for the construction of frigates, although the lack of any nearby mining facilities means that it can only deal in mere repairs of visiting fleets. Despite this, the station was abandoned without a fight when a scout reported that a Covenant ship had been sighted. It has since drifted into a distant orbit around Argus V, as the fuel from its station-keeping thrusters had long since run out.
The geography of Argus V is highly consistent, due to the specific creatures allowed to be grown on the planet. Serving primarily as a wildlife refuge before the Insurrection, when ONI Section III was still the planet's only human inhabitants. Later on, it came to house members of ONI Section I and the rogue division is known as the DELTA Initiative.
Before terraforming, the planet had a similar geographic landscape to that of Earth. Its mountains were large, but not any extremities, and had mild to high volcanic activity that formed strange continents and extreme mountain ranges that could span across the entire planet, rising and falling into small seas at times.
The surface of Argus V.
Argus V is mostly a rocky, flat terrestrial world with exception to its high mountain ranges, for the most part - this means a lack of major oceans on the planet's surface. Due to the planet's humidly temperate climate, the skies are commonly thick with large clouds and filled with some fog banks. Oceans are small and shallow due to the lack of deep points on the planet's surface - most of the time, these waterways follow the crevices in the world's tectonic plates.
In terms of terrain, everything is either flat or mountainous. Forests span for miles with exception to some prairies and thousands of miles of ice caps and tundra near the poles. The planet is much greener in color compared to some other colonies due to the vast forests that populate Argus V. While not hot enough to be entirely tropical, Argus V does have large rainforests - temperate with large coastal redwood trees flanked by oak and several decently sized trees that grow well in this wet but temperate environment. Subterranean seas, many sizes bigger than any surface pocket of water, provide the planet's entire water supply.
The only inhabited continent is the Arcadian Territory or the East Faunus, which was named after another colony similar in topography to that of Argus V. The Fauna Woods completely cover this continent, and it is the location of every ONI installation on Argus V, including Camp Ambrose. The Black Scales Mountain Range divide the continent, with one of the most prominent peaks being Mount Pan, a shield volcano. In the shadow of these mountains are the Foothills and the Fauna Woods.
ONI installations on the planet include "The Barn," a former listening station connected to a series of century-old satellites once operated by ONI Section I during the Insurrection in an attempt to listen in on rebel transmissions and investigate the probabilities of interstellar movements for rebellious interests. It was a hunch that was proven true as the Insurrections spread from star system to star system, sowing chaos. Today, the Barn has been stripped and abandoned. It is unknown if anyone still inhabits the location, and the workers from the DELTA Initiative cared little for the old military outpost. The structure is overgrown with trees and slabbed with mud from seasonal mudslides. Once a steel mound in the forest, it has become a dirt burial to a mission long past.
Camp Ambrose is located near the foothills, between the continental coastline and the Black Scales Mountain Range on the flat plateaus known to be filled with prairie grass. Woods are present within the visible range of the military encampment but it is a decent walk, allowing for an impressive perimeter and impromptu landing site if necessary like in the case for the UNSC Give Me More, the DELTA Initiative's resident mode of transportation that ferried the Spartan recruits to Argus V in 2553.
The rusting wreck of the UNSC For Greener Pastures.
One other notable location on Argus V is along the Arcadian Coastline near where Camp Ambrose is established, where the final resting place of an old Paris-class frigate is. While its known that it is called the UNSC For Greener Pastures, the cause for the crash, when it occurred or the reason it was here at all is shrouded in mystery. All that is known is that its impact was somewhat controlled, with a relatively short ditch resulting from its crash. Spartan recruits like to make ghost stories about this crashed warship and believe it was brought down by dark forces in unknown space. The drill instructors and camp staff, however, are under the logical impression it was stricken by heavy solar winds and was disabled, or was a derelict starship that unfortunately crashed into Argus V. There are records that the UNSC had operated a remote refueling station near the planet, with some being redirected to provide security for the ONI bases before the Human-Covenant War. There is also some proof to suggest that the Covenant did attack, although there are few details or concerns over the circumstances. As far as they are concerned, ship has become just another backdrop on the planet.