"Deston's already damned lucky to survive the Covenant once. Let's just hope the luck is still good enough"
―Tyler-A319, just before engaging in the Second Battle of Deston.
Deston, also known as Daron VII is a resourceful UNSC-controlled planet situated in the Daron star system, a star just on the edge of the UNSC-controlled space where all planets came to be called as the 'Inner planets'. Being an important industrial location, Deston was the house to many famous industries and organizations, such as BXR Mining Corporation,
AMG Transport Dynamics, and Vanguard Corporation, thus making itself one of the few outer colony planets that were considered as important by the UNSC as the inner planets, even more so after the infamous Human-Covenant war began.
First colonized in the year 2396, Deston was one of the many planets which was attacked by the alien Covenant Empire but would earn its name as one of the very few which successfully defended the invaders. The First Battle of Deston, which took place in 2530, was one of the first strategic victories of the UNSC, owing to the small fleet of Covenant ships that attacked and the considerable superiority of the human forces defending the planet. However, after finding out that the planet held a secret portal to a Forerunner station somewhere on the edges of the galaxy, the Covenant tried and attacked the planet again in 2552. Surprisingly, Deston was lucky enough to survive the second invasion, although its moon Rudra suffered partial glassing, making a large part of it uninhabitable for decades.
Deston is also a widely-known tourist spot for various tourists, and following the end of the Great War, has garnered much more attention. Vanguard Armory, the manufacturing site of various weapons used by the UNSC Army has its origins and base on the planet, while the UNSC Army and Vanguard Corporation provide security and defense on the planet's surface, along with the UNSC Navy in its orbit. Deston contains over fifteen space elevators, important for mining and trade. It is the birthplace of various popular people, both in the UNSC and the UEG, such as Tyler-A319 and Daniel Averill
Unlike other planets, the discovery of Deston was uncommonly an accident. A CMA Frigate was headed towards the Sigma Octanus system when a slight miscalculation in its destination's coordinations caused the ship to go in a different way. Realizing the mistake, the ship's Captain immediately ordered to exit slipspace. Due to the general error of UNSC Shaw-Fujikawa drives while exiting slipspace which cause them to reach a point far from their actual destination, and the ship exiting quickly, they ended up reaching the end of the Daron system, near its eleventh planet.
On exploring, the ship found that seven of the eleven planets were hospitable to humans, with five of them not requiring any terraforming. Out of this five, Deston, then called Daron VII was the biggest one. Daron VII was quickly found out to have been rich in minerals such as titanium, palladium, and cobalt. On reaching back to Sigma Octanus after exploring the other planets too, the CMA ship's captain visited the UNSC Fleet's flagship in orbit around Sigma Octanus IV and notified of their discovery. The fleet then sent a couple of Star Charter-class colony supoprt ships—a predecessor to the later manufactured and much larger Phoneix—class colony ship—along with many immigrants in order to reduce the population problem of Sigma Octanus IV. One of the ships, whose name was the UNSC Ragnarok, then reached Daron VII and settled down, ultimately being stripped down for gaining resources and buildings.
Over time, Daron VII, later renamed to Deston, grew steadily in importance and became a mining and industrial hub. The planet really became known after the formation of two Multi-Planetary Companies (MPCs). One was BXR Mining Corporation, a company with its origins in Deston, expanded its reach and set up mining facilities on various planets, including Reach and Meridian. The other was AMG Transport Dynamics, the manufacturer of the military-wide popular vehicle, the M12 Warthog. Deston's singular moon, Rudra, was terraformed and colonized in 2430, and has become a residential spot for various tourists and also contains a couple of mass drivers, just like Deston itself.
Perhaps the biggest and most influential MPC to emerge out of Deston was the Vanguard Corporation. Originally beginning as a small private militia company that took care of the internal security of the huge metropolitan cities, Vanguard soon grew in wealth and resources, gradually usurping many other corporations on Deston, which ranged from mining to manufacturers, and eventually spread across various of the Outer Colonies. During the insurrection, and especially during the Human-Covenant War, Vanguard assisted the UNSC in maintaining peace and order in the Outer Colonies and took up responsibility in those planets abandoned by the UNSC. Vanguard also opened its own weapons armory and manufactured small ships, but their biggest breakthrough yet was partnering with SinoViet Heavy Machinery to manufacture a warship, the Impulse-class stealth frigate.
First Battle of Deston
In October 2530, Deston was first attacked by the Covenant. The Covenant ships that attacked formed the small Fleet of Pious Salvation, led by Shipmaster Reia 'Vuhomai, one of the few female Sangheili with such a high position. The fleet contained two destroyers, one battlecruiser which was the flagship, and three frigates. Luckily for Deston, there was a considerably superior UNSC fleet stationed around it, containing about fourteen ships. The UNSC fleet, led by Vice Admiral Arjun Krishnan of the UNSC Euphrates—a Marathon-class heavy cruiser—ordered to start the battle by striking first at the frigates. The targeting solutions were sent, and as soon as the timer ended, the rounds from the warships' MACs, along with the two ODPs in orbit around Deston destroyed two of the frigates. The destroyers then reacted by launching plasma torpedoes, hitting a couple of UNSC frigates and immobilizing them. The UNSC ships fired again, with many of them missing their targets due to the Covenant ships taking evasive maneuvers, but some landed on a destroyer and put down its energy shields.
ODSTs dropping to the surface of Deston
Just then, the UNSC Executor, a Hades-class heavy cruiser, discovered some Covenant 'Phantom' dropships descending to the surface, to the city of New Avard, along with a new Covenant ship, a Corvette. The Executor's Commanding Officer, Commodore-Admiral Ashok Raymond, requested to send in the ODST squads present in his ship, all of whom were former ORION operatives, in order to follow the Cole Protocol and destroy any data present in the ONI Testing Facility located in the city, and to assist the UNSC Army and Vanguard forces present there. Vice Admiral Krishnan agreed, and the ODST squads Alpha to Foxtrot were sent using SOEIVs to New Avard.
The various squads were scattered over a wide area, missing the city entirely. They suffered some casualties, either by being ambushed by Covenant forces or crashing hard and getting killed by the impact since the ship had to perform an evasive maneuver while the SOEIVs detached from the ship. Echo Squad, led by Staff Sergeant Richard Jones, whose members suffered nothing other than minor injuries, advanced towards the city. Just then, the Covenant corvette, which was already being attacked by multiple Longsword interceptors, began the process of plasma bombardment. New Avard's industrial zone was instantly vaporized. The corvette, however, was destroyed when it was shot thrice by a Mass Driver present in the city, possibly operated by the UNSC Army and Vanguard soldiers who were already present in the city.
With the threat of the ship gone, Jones and his squad continued their journey, having taken a longer route along the city's outskirts-highways, in order to avoid the glassed area. Reaching the suburbs area of the city, Jones was separated from the others when a Covenant squad attacked them. Jones, who was being chased by a Sangheili Zealot, took help from the team's sniper Allen Capone, who was then on a BXR Mining office building, to snipe the Elite, and later regroup with his team.
Near the facility, they met the Sangheili Syro 'Natam, a heretic Elite who was on the Covenant destroyer secretly, wearing the Ossoona harness. The harness was focused on active camouflage, allowing Syro to quietly enter the Covenant dropship without anyone knowing and reaching the surface. Thinking of this as his last mission, Syro offered to help the humans in fighting off the Covenant, since he did not believe of the High Prophets' preachings, and thus their hatred towards the human race.
After reaching the facility, Jones recalled Capone back to the team, which he did while escaping the aliens. They met other ODST squad members in the way, going for the facility. After entering the facility and erasing all the valuable data, they spotted a force of Covenant Jackals heading towards the facility, seemingly to acquire information of the human's homeworld. Although the ODSTs had enacted the Cole Protocol, the facility had some prototype armors being tested, and thus had to be protected from the Covenant.
Suddenly, the motion trackers on all their armors saw a large number of dots, seemingly moving towards their position. On looking outside, the ODSTs saw a large army of Jackals. Quickly understanding the situation, Jones ordered Capone to move to one of the balconies in the facility to be able to snipe easily, asked two ODSTs to stay at the facility with the Sangheili, and asked the rest to guard the entrance and fight the Jackals front-on. The Jackals, who had overlapped their shields like a phalanx, quickly broke formation when Jones' team threw a few fragmentation grenades over and behind them. With their bodies exposed, everyone started firing at the Jackals. After a few needler supercombine explosions, shotgun shots and melee killing, the Jackals' were down.
After the fight, they received orders from Captain Raymond that their next objective was to head downtown and help in evacuating the civilians. Jones led the ODSTs to the part of the city, where they were faced by a huge residential building, which the Covenant had seemingly entered, slaughtering the people inside. The ODSTs quickly went inside the building, killing the Covenant troops, and finding many survivors, one of them being the child Tyler Raymond. The UNSC Executor sent in various D20 Herons to evacuate the civilians back to safety within the frigate.
Back in the atmosphere, both the UNSC's and the Covenant's strengths were weakening; the Covenant had two destroyers left, and the UNSC had about eight ships left. One of the UNSC ships launched a Shiva-class nuclear missile in between the two ships, exploding and taking down the Covenant ships' shields and a large part of their systems. With both of them vulnerable, the Vice Admiral sent targeting solutions to all the UNSC ships, in a way that four USNC ships would fire at a single Covenant ship. The MACs fired, and each of their projectiles hit their respective targets. One Covenant ship was hit right at its engine and the command deck, exploding, while the other ship was hit at various different places, along with the debris of the first ship, destroying it. With the Covenant ships all but obliterated, the UNSC registered a pyrrhic victory.
Although Deston was successfully defended, the scars of the battle wouldn't heal so easily. The economy took a hit, with people blaming and protesting against the Government for the casualties. The evacuated civilians themselves were facing food shortage and crisis. In the survivors, the children were given the first priority, followed by women and men, as per the tradition. The partial-plasma bombardment of the city of New Avard's industrial area had its impact on the weather, with fierce rains and storms engulfing the planet for the next few days. The temperature too rose quickly, as a result of the glassing.
After three months, the UEG, still struggling to control the situation, finally opted to send the refugees to various other planets, which are able to accept them. A debate was held, in order to choose the planets to send. In the end, three planets were confirmed; Tribute, Emerald Cove and New Harmony. The refugees from the Eridanus system, who were originally scheduled to be sent to Deston, were again rerouted to the three planets.
The biggest hit was to the planet's industries, who had suffered a huge loss following the glassing of New Avard. With their major factories gone, the various companies resorted to their other branches in various other colonies for seven years, while seeing to the construction of new factories in different parts of Deston, more specifically Zander and Coreilis. After the attack, the UNSC and Vanguard Corporation both sought to strengthen themselves on the planet. For the next decade, Deston saw an increase in military strength, with new military bases and barracks. The emergence of Vanguard Armory can be considered as an important event in the history of Deston.
Second Battle of Deston
Deston could possibly be the only human planet to withstand Covenant attack twice, though incomplete and missing records are the only proof of its uniqueness
Deston's moon, Rudra is a reference to Rudra, a Hindu deity.