FANDOM


Good Article
40px-Terminal.png This article, Operation: BLUE NIGHTS, was written by Spartan 501. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.

Given the often disturbingly broad reach and historically secretive nature of the Office of Naval Intelligence, it is no surprise that the powerful agency has, at times, exceeded the mandates set out before it by the civilian government and the rest of the conventional military establishment. Traditionally, ONI Section III, the Top Secret Projects division of the agency, has been plagued by a myriad of conflicting groups, factions, and cliques, with competing projects and agendas; these groups, in order to achieve their own independent goals, would often circumvent the laws and moral ethics of conventional wisdom, both with and without the approval of ONI leadership. While the outbreak and widespread devastation of the Human-Covenant War would provide the rationalization for some of these illicit schemes, other projects and operations would be conducted before, during, and after the war with few or no justifiable reasons--and often times, with the sole intention of furthering and hiding the agendas of key ONI members.

Prosecution of illegal projects during the first half of the 26th century was made difficult by extensive threat of both the Insurrection and the Covenant, compounded by corruption and shady back deals that often permeated the highest offices of ONI, including those who would have traditionally been charged with persecuting such activities. Even when barely scratching the surface, evidence exists of illicit cooperation between the highest levels of Section Zero and Three--the mere surface of an extensive assortment of illegal or clandestine dealings. While the conclusion of formal hostilities in 2553 would allow investigations to shed considerable light into the actions of rogue elements of ONI, and indeed lead to the arrest and imprisonment of a large number of individuals, some factions required much greater efforts to root out. These capable organizations had spent years before and after the Human-Covenant War weaving a tangled web of secrecy, that would befuddle investigators long after the Great War’s conclusion. Of note is the covert and mysterious actions of a small cell of ONI agents, Echo-9--and in particular, the long running, clandestine operation known as BLUE NIGHTS.

History

Formation

For an operation that would run for as long as it did and face such intense scrutiny, there is remarkably little information on the origins of Operation: BLUE NIGHTS. While it could hardly boast the most enduring secrecy of the illicit programs investigated in the post-war period, with other groups maintaining nearly full secrecy long after BLUE NIGHTS had been compromised, the information that was gathered was still severely limited. Association with other November Black-classified projects such as ACCRETION, GRAY, TEMETRITY, and LEONIDAS--brief or otherwise--has resulted in a tangled web of top-secret classifications, cross-branch clearances, and conflicting information that makes detailing the exact work of those agents involved in BLUE NIGHTS impossible. From what can be discerned, however, BLUE NIGHTS appears to have been a highly secretive, closed operation begun by a tight confederation of individuals throughout multiple factions within ONI, all operating without clear oversight or direction from the vast majority of ONI leadership, including Director Margaret Parangosky.

There are conflicting accounts as to the date of the formal beginning of Operation: BLUE NIGHTS, but the most commonly accepted theory holds that the mission had it’s roots in the discovery of ancient alien ruins in the Zeta Doradus System in 2511. While Project: TEMERITY had previously investigated potential extraterrestrial activity, the scope of the ruins discovered on Onyx blew away all previous finds and redoubled interest of ONI in research into alien findings. These new findings, however, sparked not only academic interest, but also outside concern. While by and large, the majority of the UNSC military establishment would focus on threat posed by the potential return of these aliens, other, smaller groups within ONI would--almost clairvoyantly--express very private concern over what had caused their apparent disappearance in the first place.

Some evidence points to the contribution of an indescribable exterior entity, but for whatever the reason, a small group of agents from varying branches of ONI began compiling information on these ancient relics, with an eye towards discovering what drove these apparently all-powerful beings to the brink of extinction. Initially only a pet project for the involved agents, the mission would take on new intensity as further evidence came to light. Limited translations performed by co-opted members of TEMERITY referencing a vague ‘enemy’ would lead the still forming Echo-9 to believe that these creatures had met a violent end--prompting them to continue further attempts at translation, all the while derailing attempts by traditional TEMERITY researchers to understand the glyphs, in hopes of containing this information. To date, the motivations behind this action--inhibiting the translation of potential vital information--has never been fully revealed.

Early Operations

Whatever the motivation, the mysterious Echo 9 would spend years intensifying it’s operations to learn about this potential enemy--the traditionally accepted formal beginning of Operation: BLUE NIGHTS. Networking amongst the disparate factions of ONI, the small cadre of agents and officers that made up the bulk of Echo-9 would bribe, barter, and blackmail in order to further their goals. Around this time, the de-facto leader of BLUE NIGHTS--Codename: HAYSTACK, a shadowy individual with unconfirmed ties to agencies throughout both the UNSC military and ONI--would reportedly come to power, though an accurate timeframe is next to impossible to determine. What is clear, however, is that HAYSTACK and his ring of illicit co-conspirators aspired to learn more about the details of this ancient war, using whatever means available to them.

Building a tightly secret network of likeminded individuals, Echo-9 set about scouting the known galaxy for signs of this potential enemy. Agents of the sub-cell procured Prowlers, colony ships, military vessels--any slipspace capable transports they could find. Blackmailing and threatening commanders, sometimes even outright stealing ships--losses which were promptly blamed on the growing Insurrection--HAYSTACK and his compatriots nonetheless uncovered disturbing findings, through both human controlled worlds and beyond. While investigations were sometimes hobbled by the difficulty of navigating unknown space or inexplicable losses, disconcerting evidence of an ancient war revealed itself upon closer inspection.

On planets both inside human space and beyond, scientists and agents made alarming discoveries. While actual alien artifacts or battlefields were naturally next to impossible to discover, other evidence dangled tantalizing questions. Continuing translations that pointed to efforts at ‘sterilization’, ‘quarantine’, and ‘retreat’; scarred, dead worlds in systems that typically should have supported life; and perhaps most ominously, the remains of ancient stars, which, based on comparisons between telescopic observances, appeared to have been artificially forced to collapse. Combining the growing pool of information gathered from translations of ancient glyphs on Onyx and survey missions, scientists took a step back and looked at previously dismissed scientific evidence--such as the Ross-Ziegler Blip and the discovery of unexplained Pre-Historic findings--and realized that they had uncovered something far greater than an ancient galactic war.

Before further investigations could be undertaken, BLUE NIGHTS’ investigation would be interrupted by the outbreak of the Human-Covenant War, with the alien’s attack on Harvest. With the rest of humanity now fighting for survival and the vast majority of TEMERITY’s assets diverted to research on the Covenant, Codename: HAYSTACK and Echo-9 realized that their findings would be glossed over by a desperate ONI that was hemorrhaging personnel in the war alongside the rest of the UNSC. Exposure of their discoveries would do little to impact the war besides declaring their guilt; BLUE NIGHTS would remain clandestine, operating in the shadows. But the war would also bring with it further, much darker, revelations.

Human-Covenant War

The twenty-seven year long Human-Covenant War would quickly prove to be the most destructive and violent period in known Human history. Any hope of defense against the alien juggernaut would necessitate the mobilization of military forces unlike any had been seen before, millions of soldiers and support personnel alongside thousands of naval craft, on hundreds of worlds across Human space. The devastation wrought by this conflict was unparalleled: billons dead, displaced, or missing, extreme and often unethical weapons development and programs, and entire worlds reduced to nothing but ash and cinder.

But beneath the façade of the war, the secretive ONI dramas would continue to play out unabated. In the face of such an unstoppable enemy, with humanity pushed to the breaking point, the fervor of clandestine Naval Intelligence intrigue would actually increase, as opposing factions vied to develop ways to resist the Covenant onslaught--often at the expense of each other, the military, or even the civilian populations that they were formed to protect. Back dealing and unconventional projects became the norm; confusion, sown by the impossibility of both managing a war and keeping disparate elements of the intelligence community in check, would provide the backdrop for a slew of projects and illicit operations that would defy both the orders of the civilian-military hierarchy and the ‘conventional’ ONI leadership.

The extensive networking undertaken by the Echo-9 sub cell in the years prior to the Human-Covenant War would prove invaluable for the continued functioning of Operation: BLUE NIGHTS, as even the small group began to suffer war related losses. Covertly interacting with other projects, divisions, and individuals within the Office, Echo-9 would establish connections to a wide variety of factions, from the brutal detectives of Section Zero’s Field Investigation Team to scientists working with Operation: HYPODERMIC’s attempts to translate Covenant signals. This period of BLUE NIGHTS’ history is cloaked in mystique and has been difficult to unravel, given the extensiveness of the infiltrations and the success Echo-9 has managed in covering their tracks.

What has been uncovered by investigators indicates that BLUE NIGHTS received somewhat of a revival in the years following the alien attacks on Harvest, and their subsequent campaign of destruction. With the increasing accuracy of Covenant signal translations, select members of the Office of Naval Intelligence--members targeted and co-opted by BLUE NIGHTS agents--would gain a growing understanding of Covenant society, culture, and religion. Connecting together the alien ruins previously observed on Human colony worlds, the Covenant’s devotion to an ancient, god-like species, and the avid interest that Covenant forces showed in acquiring artifacts from human worlds, Echo-9 members came to believe that the ‘Forerunner’ race revered so heavily by the Covenant were, in fact, the same race that had fought the epic galactic war that BLUE NIGHTS findings had previously indicated.

As the years of war dragged on, BLUE NIGHTS would increasingly focus on the study of Covenant religious transmissions in the hopes of discovering further information on this long-vanished race, and the conditions precipitated their sudden disappearance. To this end, the Echo-9 sub cell would hand pick and co-opt the most promising young talent from many other research teams, doing whatever was necessary to retrieve the personnel they desired. Investigators have linked BLUE NIGHTS to a multitude of under-the-radar abductions, faked deaths, forced conscription, and blackmail attempts throughout the Human-Covenant War--though prosecution of these would be complicated by incomplete records and frequent sabotage by co-opted or involved members of Section Zero. The efforts made by Echo-9 to procure their wanted personnel would result in the gutting of more than one special research program--stealing vital talent away, investigators would argue, from more important programs that could have aided in efforts to repulse the Covenant.

The tangled network of Echo-9 would prove effective, whatever the cost, in achieving their objective--initial investigations in the late 2520s and early 2530s would realize a growing, deeper understanding of the ‘Forerunner’ race worshipped by the Covenant--and more darkly, reveal the first details on the enemy that had apparently defeated the mighty civilization. Intercepted and translated Covenant religious transmissions pointed to the existence of an entity tentatively described as ‘The Flood’. Though these documents referenced this force as a test or obstacle that the Covenant would have to overcome to achieve transcendence, Echo-9 interpreted this differently.

While limited evidence points again to the subtle influence of a vaguely defined outside force, Echo-9 began investigating this ‘Flood’ force as the possible enemy that the ancient civilization on Onyx fought--and lost--their war against. As vague details on this ‘Flood’ were obtained from translated Covenant historical writings, theories of the enemy began to shift from that of a conventional military force to something far more sinister--an intelligent disease or virulent parasite becoming the dominant hypothesis. Vague but growing descriptions of the ‘Flood’ as a ravenous, terrifying monster pointed to a war that was not one of conventional military conquest, but rather mass assimilation. Evidence that had previously been regarded as the aftermath of the usage of immeasurably powerful weapons now seemed to point, much more logically, to a struggle of containment.

Investigators believe that BLUE NIGHTS personnel subsequently underwent a shift in dynamic, from theorizing and indirect study towards more direct threat assessment and ‘hard’ research. Evidence points to links between Echo-9 and Projects REVELATION and SUPERNOVA--both apparently considered as last resorts measures to contain the spread of a potential outbreak or sterilize an affected population. Despite a lack of evidence to suggest anything of the sort, there are some that believe BLUE NIGHTS may have even made direct contact with the Flood during this period; the revelation that the UNSC All Under Heaven and other craft encountered Flood outbreaks prior to 2552 has stoked the belief that BLUE NIGHTS personnel encountered the Flood independently and failed to report their contact to the rest of ONI. Given the still confusing nature of BLUE NIGHTS, such beliefs are impossible to verify--though some argue that the details of Covenant religious texts cannot sufficiently account for the rapid rise in comprehension of the Flood threat by BLUE NIGHTS.

Whether these alleged encounters between Echo-9 agents and the Flood occurred or not, it is nonetheless clear that BLUE NIGHTS continued throughout the Human-Covenant War to infiltrate other Naval Intelligence Groups, building a clandestine network among ONI, which would have remarkable success in avoiding detection by other parties within the agency. Details on the years between the late 2530s and early 2550s are difficult to discover; it is unclear whether the missing information is the result of an extensive effort by Echo-9 to cover it’s tracks, or simply indicative of a period of inactivity for BLUE NIGHTS itself. Rumors of surveys conducted to search for Flood infections and outbreaks of the parasite on colony worlds as tests remain unconfirmed, though it is clear that some research did in fact take place--though it is impossible to determine whether live samples had been procured, or if it was merely deeper investigation of Covenant religious texts. It is entirely possible that the traditional explanation--that Echo-9 spent this period establishing a stronger network and building up it‘s covert sphere of influence--is correct, but it is important to note that no evidence has yet surfaced conclusively disproving the rumors of risky field operations.

The 2550s would prove to be a decade of critical activity, however, for both humanity at large and BLUE NIGHTS. Reach would fall, the Halo Installation would be discovered, and Earth itself would be targeted before 2552 came to a close; mere months after it’s conclusion, the Human-Covenant War itself would drag to a close amidst the Battle of the Ark and the dissolution of the Covenant Empire. While the rest of the military establishment was reeling from the loss of Paris IV and a half dozen minor colonies, Echo-9 would begin this momentous ten years with a startling and alarming discovery of their own.

As far as the majority of the UNSC is concerned, the UNSC All Under Heaven was a carrier whose crew served with distinction throughout the war up until Paris IV campaign, retreating when the planet fell and mysteriously disappearing into slipspace---never to be seen again. Uncomfirmed reports placed the SPARTAN-II Yellow Team aboard the ship, but such theories were commonly written off as speculation---after all, Operation: RED FLAG records showed all three members of Yellow being folded into Red Team for the operations during the Fall of Reach. To ONI Section Zero, however, the All Under Heaven represents one of the most significant cover ups ever perpetrated in the history of the UNSC--and one of the key offenses committed by Echo-9 as part of BLUE NIGHTS. While the vast majority of the UNSC and ONI believed the All Under Heaven lost or destroyed, the truth is one of the few concrete examples of the power BLUE NIGHTS was capable of wielding--and the lengths that Echo-9 would go to maintain secrecy of the Flood from the rest of humanity.

The All Under Heaven returned to Human controlled space in early 2550, emerging from slipspace in orbit around a battered inner colony. The planet’s population had been decimated by a Covenant raid in 2548; few civilian assets remained, the majority of the population having been evacuated. It is unclear how or when exactly Echo-9 was alerted to the presence of the carrier, or how they managed to keep word from tracing back to the rest of ONI. What is clear however, is that two months after arriving, members of Echo-9, associated with Operation: BLUE NIGHTS, procured a Prowler and transferred high value personnel off the ship, transporting them back to Reach. The remaining personnel were kept in cryo, and a small crew affiliated with Echo-9 is believed to have been dispatched to take the ship somewhere into deep space, holding the majority of the crew until they could be properly processed. To date, there is still a significant number of military personnel from the All Under Heaven unaccounted for, fates ambiguous.

Those “high-value” personnel transported to Reach likewise are surrounded by a cloak of secrecy. The reappearance of the three members of Yellow Team, Keiichi-047, Carris-137, and Joseph-122, in 2551 alongside the main contingent on SPARTAN-IIs, apparently without memory of the incident, indicates that they were either co-opted by Echo-9 and sworn to secrecy--or that the agents may have made use of selective neural paralysis, a tactic ironically enough considered by Catherine Halsey herself, near the inception of the SPARTAN-II Program. Similarly, the Captain of the former All Under Heaven, {{Halopedian|Edgar_Sykes|Edgar Sykes]] reappeared in ONI records in 2556, operating as the commander of an ONI Prowler under the control of Echo-9--indicating further collaboration between the former All Under Heaven crew and BLUE NIGHTS. Other key individuals, including most of the senior ship staff and bridge crew, are conspicuously absent from records, perhaps indicative of an unwillingness to cooperate or simply more success in hiding them.

Following the recovery of the All Under Heaven, investigators have discovered a sharp increase in collaboration with other illicit ONI programs--GREY, and later ACCRETION, in particular. BLUE NIGHTS, according to salvaged records, began active and intense research into the Flood--both for usage as an offensive weapon against the Covenant and an attempt to prepare for a potential Flood outbreak or attack. Though their efforts were carefully shielded from the prying eyes of superiors at ONI, the much greater extent of recording from this period indicates intense activity--too fast for BLUE NIGHTS operatives to adequately cover their tracks. Evidence indicates repeated surveys of the system visited by All Under Heaven in 2549 by Echo-9 operatives. BLUE NIGHTS seems to have been singularly devoted to the task of gathering information on the Flood--conducting interviews of naval personnel, scouring the remains of the Forerunner construct for live samples, and conducting thorough medical examinations of the records of wounded personnel maintained by the All Under Heaven’s crew.

While there are inconclusive reports on how much success BLUE NIGHTS achieved with capturing live samples of Flood biomass--some believe samples obtained by ACCRETION may have been supplied by BLUE NIGHTS, though no evidence has come forward to prove this--investigators have nonetheless uncovered extensive data pertaining to Flood infection. Such data would be clandestinely supplied to ONI during the events following the Halo outbreak and the landing of Flood forces on Earth; ultimately, it would be these contributions that would allow future investigators to uncover the operation in the first place.

Post-War

Following the climactic events of late 2552, Echo-9 would find itself in an awkward position. The open handling of the discovery of the Flood on Halo, combined with the outbreak on Earth in late November, would eliminate the already faint possibility of maintaining the utter secrecy that BLUE NIGHTS had achieved in regards to public knowledge of the threat. Echo-9, like the rest of ONI, had also suffered losses during the attacks on Reach and Earth--Codename: HAYSTACK was killed in October of 2552, leaving leadership of the sub cell to another mysterious ONI member, Codename: CHERUBIM.

Under CHERUBIM, BLUE NIGHTS would proceed with it’s efforts to research the Flood threat; given the years of research they had already spent analyzing the parasite, Echo-9 still found itself with a distinct advantage. Years ahead of even ONI’s other scientists--and having already illicitly secured for themselves those with the best credentials--Echo-9 would continue intense research and gathering of Flood biomass for years, staying well ahead of the rest of the ONI’s development teams. There is limited evidence of collaboration with ACCRETION in 2556, with field teams from BLUE NIGHTS delivering Flood samples in exchange for research and assistance, but this partnership appears to have been short-lived, ending with the forcible shutdown of ACCRETION later that same year.

It was at this time that the strings holding BLUE NIGHTS together began to unravel. The intense scrutiny of the Operation: VORAUSSICHT investigation prompted a review of ONI that quickly rooted out a multitude of illegal, unethical, and unsanctioned projects. For all it’s intense security, BLUE NIGHTS could not escape detection forever. As part of investigations into Project LEONIDAS and INDIGO, the Yellow Team discrepancy was noticed by keen VORAUSSICHT investigators, who quickly honed in on a number of irregularities that Echo-9 had failed to disguise. The discovery of these irregularities pointed quickly towards BLUE NIGHTS, resulting in a full hunt to track down those responsible.

While efforts by investigators were stymied by the actions of co-opted members of the Section Zero Field Investigation Team and it’s commanding officer, Codename: CHAUCER--including even the deployment of CHAUCER’s personal LEONIDAN, Codename: EGOR--they could not be delayed forever. The recovery of Captain Sykes by investigators, the testimony of surviving SPARTAN-IIs regarding the mental state of Yellow Team following their reappearance, and a host of other loose ends allowed investigators a tantalizing trail of clues to follow, piecing the project together piece by piece. This process would continue off and on for some number of years, as VORAUSSICHT investigators juggled a variety of important cases--many with more current threat than BLUE NIGHTS.

While no less than fifty individuals would be tried and convicted of crimes based on their involvement in Operation: BLUE NIGHTS, and hundreds more reprimanded for lesser offenses, the investigators of VORAUSSICHT would prove unable to conclusively wrap up their investigation into BLUE NIGHTS. Despite strong suspicions by members of the VORAUSSICHT team, Codename: CHAUCER’s involvement in the deployment of the LEONIDAN operative Codename: EGOR would never be conclusively proven; CHAUCER would go on to continue to serve Section Zero for a number of years. Meanwhile, the identities of both Codename: CHERUBIM and the late-Codename: HAYSTACK would remain mysteries, leaving little for investigators to go on.

Furthermore, a woeful lack of evidence would lead to difficulty substantiating alleged connections between BLUE NIGHTS and other illicit projects, leaving the true details unknown. The lesser audacity of BLUE NIGHTS compared to other projects would also contribute to the civilian government overlooking Echo-9 once the military was forced to surrender control of the investigation; compared to projects like VENATOR, CHISEL, GENOME, and even REVELATION, the illegality of the actions taken by BLUE NIGHTS seemed vastly underwhelming. In the end, Operation: BLUE NIGHTS would be overlooked by history and regarded by the few that remembered it as merely another example of the corruption that plagued the Office of Naval Intelligence during the 26th century.

Known Involved Personnel

Codename: HAYSTACK

Enigmatic and puzzling, Codename: HAYSTACK’s existence itself is merely conjecture. While records recovered from BLUE NIGHTS do indicate that someone operating under the codename of HAYSTACK was indeed involved in the Operation from late 2515 until late 2552, the identity, service branch, and even role in the project is unknown. A wide range of theories prevail, some believing him to have been a member of TEMERITY, while others believe he may have even come from the ranks of Section Zero--explaining the otherwise inexplicably close connection between the investigative agency and BLUE NIGHTS. What evidence that does exist of HAYSTACK’s existence and role is derived largely from surviving operational records procured by Operation: VORAUSSICHT agents. These sparse files would support the generally held belief that HAYSTACK held a position of leadership within Echo-9, overseeing BLUE NIGHTS. The full extent of Codename: HAYSTACK’s role will likely never be discovered, and he serves as an excellent example of the extensive secrecy of Echo-9.

Codename: CHERUBIM

The second and only confirmed leader of Operation: BLUE NIGHTS, Codename: CHERUBIM is believed to have taken control of the operation in late 2552, with the alleged death of Codename: HAYSTACK. Under CHERUBIM, Echo-9 is believed to have significantly expanded it’s links with other illicit programs--notably, the connection between GREY, ACCRETION, and BLUE NIGHTS is believed to be the handiwork of CHERUBIM. While investigators were able to gather significantly more information on CHERUBIM than his predecessor, the elusive operative’s identity would remain a secret--as VORAUSSICHT closed in on the last vestiges of BLUE NIGHTS, CHERUBIM would disappear, taking with him files containing vital evidence. These final actions would hamper further investigations of BLUE NIGHTS, and lead to the failure to connect Codename: CHAUCER to the operation.

Codename: CHAUCER

Despite strong suspicions, VORAUSSICHT investigators were never able to conclusively connect the actions of Captain Alick Morgan--known in discreet circles as Codename: CHAUCER--to Operation: BLUE NIGHTS. While a multitude of coincidences and facts point to Alick as being a potentially active member, the destruction of Echo-9 records by Codename: CHERUBIM have left insufficient evidence to prosecute a member of Section Zero. What is known, is that Alick was the commander of Section Zero’s Field Investigation Team, a loosely controlled unit which has been linked to the abduction of Codename: EGOR as part of Project: LEONIDAS. While elements within Section Zero would protect Alick from persecution related to LEONIDAS, the connection between Alick’s involvement and the deployment of Codename: EGOR against VORAUSSICHT would make Alick a prime suspect of SHOGUN. In spite of this, no charges would ever be filed, and Alick would continue to serve within Section Zero for a number of years.

Codename: EGOR

There is sharp disagreement as to the extent Codename: EGOR’s involvement in BLUE NIGHTS, thanks in large part to the cloak of secrecy that surrounded the agent. The investigation of Project: LEONIDAS would reveal EGOR to be the third LEONIDAN operative extracted from the SPARTAN-II augmentation procedures in 2525--Leonid-144. Abducted by Section Zero’s brutal Field Investigation Team for use as an enforcer, EGOR’s existence would prove controversial in the fallout of Operation: VORAUSSICHT; the revelation that elements inside Section Zero had a hand in one of these illicit projects would shake the trust of ONI in the agency as a whole. It is widely theorized that Codename: CHAUCER has ‘loaned’ EGOR to elements of Echo-9, in order to acquire personnel or clean up loose ends, but the only concrete deployment of Leonid would be in 2558. This involved an attempt to forcibly slow down investigators who were closing in on Codename: CHERUBIM; while Leonid-144 would be eventually overpowered by the combined efforts of Indigo Team and Codename: ORPHEUS, he would succeed in buying time, allowing CHERUBIM to escape. Leonid-144 would be thoroughly interrogated by SHOGUN, in search of answers, but the LEONIDAN operative was far from forthcoming and eventually re-acquired by Section Zero’s Field Investigation Team after SHOGUN concluded that Leonid-144 had been deliberately kept in the dark by CHAUCER and CHERUBIM.

Codename: WHITMAN

To investigators, the esteemed former Captain of the All Under Heaven at first seemed to be an unlikely candidate for involvement in Operation: BLUE NIGHTS, but he is one of few officers that can be confidently linked to the operation. Following the alleged return of the All Under Heaven to UNSC space in 2550, there is substantial evidence that Sykes would become heavily involved in the operations of BLUE NIGHTS. Sykes’s wife and daughter would both disappear later in 2552, with recovered evidence of BLUE NIGHTS implying that they may have been covertly extracted on request of the Captain. Additional recovered documents indicate that Sykes was likely employed by Echo-9 as the Captain of a Prowler and covert strike team--ONI records definitively confirm that, at the very least, he was active by 2556--likely charged with the recovery and containment of Flood biomass samples, the major point of research by BLUE NIGHTS following the recovery of the All Under Heaven. Sykes would be captured by members of Operation: VORAUSSICHT without a fight in late 2557, and the information he supplied to investigators would eventually lead to the near-capture of Codename: CHAUCER some time later. While Sykes would be released, honorably discharged, and largely fade from the public eye, his motivations for collaborating with BLUE NIGHTS would be hotly contested by theorists for years.

Codename: CONSTANTINE

While it is clear that Echo-9 utilized Section Zero assets, such as Codename: EGOR, for many of their clandestine extraction operations, evidence has also shown that the sub cell was responsible for maintaining and fielding a small ‘strike team’, onward from 2530. At the head of this team for it’s duration of service would be the pragmatic Codename: CONSTANTINE, one of the most perplexing military servicemen attached to Operation: BLUE NIGHTS. Widely believed by VORAUSSICHT investigators to be a member of the ORION detachment--largely based on circumstantial evidence and speculation--CONSTANTINE is believed to have been recruited into the operation due to his considerable combat history--what was not erased by Echo-9 operatives indicates that, prior to recruitment, CONSTANTINE had seen extensive action against both the Insurrection and the Covenant, as part of Naval Special Warfare Strike Teams and ONI Reconnaissance Units. Evidence indicates that CONSTANTINE was the leader of a BLUE NIGHTS ground force during at least three separate engagements with the Flood, all prior to 2552. The fact that he survived these operations--some of which are believed to have almost ended in disaster--is testament to the skills he exhibited. During the VORAUSSICHT investigation‘s aggressive raid on the BLUE NIGHTS headquarters, CONSTANTINE would be injured resisting an investigation team. While he would be captured, he would sustain serious injuries, forcing investigators to grant him medical attention--giving him opportunity to escape, which he would capitalize on, disappearing from known space.

Codename: ORIGAMI

A minor player in Operation: BLUE NIGHTS, by comparison to other identified personnel, Codename: ORIGAMI is notable because of the success investigators have had in both capturing him, and securing information from him concerning the project. A former liaison from Section Zero to Section Three, Codename: ORIGAMI is believed to have been recruited by Echo-9 for his usefulness in infiltrating other intelligence agencies--and his potential as an enforcer of silence for the secretive sub cell. Testimony from Codename: ORIGAMI and recovered personal correspondence between him and Codename: HAYSTACK indicates ORIGAMI was deployed largely to investigate potential breaches of secrecy, and deal with them by whatever means necessary. Following the VORAUSSICHT investigation‘s final raid, ORIGAMI would be captured and interrogated. While he would consistently refuse to divulge details on Codename: HAYSTACK, CHERUBIM, EGOR, and CHAUCER--either from lack of information, or from a sense of loyalty--he would nonetheless provide investigators with vital information regarding the history of BLUE NIGHTS.

Codename: APPARATION

An example of just how far the tendrils of BLUE NIGHTS extended into the realm of other ONI Projects, Codename: APPARATION is considered to be one of the founding members of Echo-9. A xenoarcheologist originally attached to Project TEMERITY, APPARATION is believed to have uncovered the initial glyph translations that prompted the first beginning of the BLUE NIGHTS operation. While records of his involvement throughout the rest of the project are difficult to track, he is believed to have been active throughout the entire Human-Covenant War and into the post war period. APPARTION, like many other members of Operation: BLUE NIGHTS, would ultimately be captured in the fateful VORAUSSICHT raid on the Echo-9 headquarters. He would later be prosecuted with crimes against the UNSC, and imprisoned for treason. Unlike some other members of the project, APPARTION would consistently refuse to cooperate with investigators, apparently still believing that what he and the others had done had been necessary.

Codename: BANDIT

Operation: BLUE NIGHTS would infiltrate a wide variety of other UNSC and ONI agencies and operations throughout it’s run of operation, but of particular interest to Echo-9 were ONI’s efforts to translate and understand Covenant translations. Codename: BANDIT, a co-opted member of Operation: HYPODERMIC, would be one such example, recruited by HAYSTACK in order to gain further understanding of Covenant religion and learn any potential insights the aliens might have had to the ancient alien race that disappeared. The information provided by BANDIT on Covenant religious documents would prove vital to the continued vitality of BLUE NIGHTS, as Echo-9 began to unearth the first concrete details on the ancient force that had defeated the so-called ‘Forerunners’. These references to creatures known as ‘Flood’, would put BLUE NIGHTS decades ahead of other ONI groups, allowing them to refine their searches for the creatures and begin researching them years ahead of rival groups. BANDIT, unlike other members of BLUE NIGHTS, would not be captured during the climactic raid on the Echo-9 headquarters. Rather, BANDIT would be captured and tried after a false transfer to TEMERITY--ending in his arrest and prosecution for treason.

Codename: TARAN

Considered by many investigators to be the predecessor to Codename: WHITMAN, Codename: TARAN’s involvement in BLUE NIGHTS is often overshadowed by his death in 2542, during the UH-12 incident. While the exact details of his demise are shrouded in mystery alongside the entire encounter, TARAN is believed to have been the commander of a Echo-9 controlled Prowler from the mid 2510s until the early 2540s. Dispatched for a variety of roles by Echo-9, TARAN would be responsible for the recovery and transportation of “forcibly co-opted“ personnel, the delivery of the strike team headed by Codename: CONSTANTINE, and the survey of unknown system for potential evidence of ancient alien battlefields or ruins.

Codename: BYRON

The key link that allowed investigators to tie Project: ACCRETION to Operation: BLUE NIGHTS, Codename: BYRON was a turncoat that provided the location of the Echo-9 headquarters, after being captured by Codename: SHOGUN. Before his betrayal, BYRON was considered the leading expert within Echo-9 on research into Flood biomass. BYRON would be utilized by Codename: HAYSTACK and Codename: CHERUBIM to research and investigate the threat posed by Flood outbreaks, attacks, and incursions, as well as formulating potential defenses against the parasite. BYRON would also, under orders from CHERUBIM, act as a liaison with Project: ACCRETION, trading research data for research data, as well as delivering live Flood biomass samples to ACCRETION members for analysis.

Recovered Echo-9 Communications


Remarks

  • “There were a lot of weird revelations to come out of VORAUSSCHIT, but it was still freaky to hear that ONI not only knew about the Forerunners and the Flood, but actively hid the information from each other. What the hell kind of agency screws with its own people like that? Those are the guys we’ve got in charge of gathering our intel?”
  • “Everybody knows that Section Zero is brutal and plays dirty, but they’re supposed to be the good guys; your supposed to be able to trust them. BLUE NIGHTS is another matter, though. How the hell are you supposed to trust what Section Zero investigators are saying about illegal projects when you know they’ve got people in their own division neck deep?”
  • “Shit, I still remember hearing about the All Under Heaven disappearing back in ‘49. Back then, it was real heartbreaking stuff; pleas by family members, lots of conspiracy theories going around--just kinda drove home how bad the war had gotten. It’s a real hell of a shock to find out some of that conspiracy crap was true!”
  • “I think people fail to realize just how big a deal BLUE NIGHTS actually was, in the grand scheme of things. Sure, it might not have directly screwed with colonial populations the way things like CHISEL did, but it got a lot more people killed than ONI likes to admit. You can’t just go pulling the best and brightest off the line and taking them out of the picture completely.”
  • “The real scariest thing about BLUE NIGHTS is the way ONI just let such widespread corruption happen--not just without fighting it, but without even really realizing it was taking place. In the end, you can kind of see a vague justification for the things BLUE NIGHTS did, and that was really lucky. What if the guys in charge of things like CHISEL or REVELATION had access to the same kind of network BLUE NIGHTS did? I bet we would have seen a lot more chaos and death than we did.”

Related Information

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.