40px-Terminal.png This article, United Nations Space Command (Labyrinth), was written by Specops306 and The All-knowing Sith'ari. Please do not edit this fiction without the writers' permission.
UNSC WARNING: This document, United Nations Space Command (Labyrinth), is property of the UNSC and is Classified [NOVEMBER BLACK], protected under Office of Naval Intelligence Security Protocol 1A. Disclosure of its contents to, or access or alteration by, personnel with a clearance level lower than GAMMA THREE is an offense punishable by court(s) martial and imprisonment or execution for treasonous acts. Failure to disclose confirmed or suspected breaches of security will be treated as complicity, and is punishable by dishonourable discharge and/or imprisonment.
Lieutenant Commander Michael Pomare, Office of Naval Intelligence, UNSCDF Navy
ONI Seal 1
0056-CIV-Camera-sign1 CAVEAT: This article, United Nations Space Command (Labyrinth), is considered out of date by the author and no longer representative of internal "canon". Its content may not take into account new ideas by the author, may be poorly written, it it may simply be an idea abandoned by the author, and will likely undergo extensive revision or deletion in the future.
Lieutenant Commander Michael Pomare, Office of Naval Intelligence, UNSCDF Navy.
United Nations Space Command
Political information
Type of government
  • De jure: Emergency Military Government
  • De facto: Federal democracy

Charter of the United Nations

Head of State

Secretary-General of the UEG

Head of Government

Secretary-General of the UEG


Supreme Commander of the UNSCDF

Executive branch

Unified Earth Cabinet

Legislative branch

Unified Earth Parliament

Societal information


Official language



UN Credit

State religious body

None, secular

National holiday

Foundation Day


To the Stars, in Peace

Historical information
Formed from

Dramatic expansion of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations between 2160 and 2164


The United Nations Space Command (UNSC) is, in theory, the military defence force for Unified Earth, the civilian centre of government, and this is largely true. Comprised of the various branches of the United Nations Space Command Defence Force, the UNSC undertakes colonial security patrols, arbitrates internal conflicts and engages in external defensive and offensive operations, oversees the thriving inter-colony freight industry, and generally polices human territory to keep the peace and protect the sovereignty of Earth and all its colonies. In practice, however, in spite of its theoretical position as the UEG's military and scientific force, the UNSC's presence throughout Human space has been so ubiquitous over its four centuries of existance that the term "UNSC" has been used in the absence of an official name for the loose federation of Human colonies governed from Earth. With no official approval or condemnation of this practice, the name has stuck and does not look set to change in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, the First Great War has seen a dramatic, and some civilian politicians would call dictatorial, surges in power and authority with the UNSC. The nature of the conflict has forced the military to take a much more active role in day-to-day government than even it would like, and since 2525 is has stripped the Colonial Administration Authority of its authority, dismantled the Colonial Military Authority entirely, and has encroached significantly on the Unified Earth government's own authority. Because of its acronym, the UNSC is popularly referred to in slang as "the Oonsk", with its citizens and especially military personnel being nicknamed "Oonskers" or "Oonskies".

Since the end of the First Great War, the UNSC has begun to scale back some of this abuse of power, as humanity begins the laborious process of reconstruction and consolidation. Some aspects of the UNSC's rise remain permanent - there is no inclination among the UNSC leadership to reestablish either the CMA or the CAA, and there is similarly no eagerness for their return on the part of the remaining colonies. As humanity transfers itself from an emergency military state to a true civilian government, the UNSC has been forced to make concessions - the budgets for fleet construction, troop rearmament, special weapons research have all been scaled back as Earth rebuilds itself and its colonies. At the same time, however, the UNSC has been forced to perform operations against various external threats to its security - the Blood Covenant, various Kig-Yar privateer and mercenary groups, Sangheili secessionists and so on - and has begun introducing equipment meant to modernise the UNSCDF into a truly effective fighting force, perhaps for the first time in nearly thirty years.


  • 2069
    • Diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the United States reach a critical breakdown point, as Russia tries to enforce its claim on America's Alaskan territories until 2077. The resulting conflict, while never admitted as a war by either nation, would see fighting in the streets of Juneau, right on the Canadian border. the Alaskan Dispute would be remembered as a one last, bitter parting shot from Cold War hardliners - Russia itself would continue to pay reparations to the US for the next two decades, leading to borderline economic ruination.
  • 2082
    • The first colonial settlements are established on Mars, several moons, and various asteroids. Russian backing sees many citizens volunteer as colonists at a staggering rate, albeit to escape the depressing level of poverty and crime of the motherland. A joint American-British-Japanese expedition establishes Luna as a major colonial stronghold, while various European and Asian backers fund colonies among the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, as well as a small research outpost on Mercury.
    • The Russian Federation becomes embroiled in the Caucasus War, which threatens to spread across more of the continent as hostilities rise and diplomatic alliances come into play. Originally limited to its namesake region, the conflict eventually grows to involve Central Asia, other Eastern European nations, and sparks violence in the Middle East.
  • 2090
    • The United Nations invlves itself in the conflict, landing peacekeeping troops in the region to help in the reconstruction effort and ensure all sides' adherence to non-aggression agreements. The United States agrees to suspend Russia's reparation debt to help the reconstruction of the wartorn regions.
  • 2103
    • Vladimir Koslov, a neo-communist hardliner from the Russian Space Forces, attempts a military coup against the civilian government, declaring martial law and planning to declare war on the United States to remove what he sees a burden on the honour of the military over the Alaskan Dispute. His attempt not only fails, but backfires, driving his supporters away in droves and resulting in his capture and execution for treason.
  • 2142
    • After twenty nine years facing rogue terrorist cells inspired by Koslov's "martyrdom", the Russian Federation declares the "Koslovics" enemies of the state, beginning what Koslovics would later call the "Great Purge", and begins to arrest prominent supporters of Koslov. While they had originally been separate but related groups, Russia united them under one banner. They would gain significant support among the various orbiting colony stations, and especially on Mars among first- and second-generation Russian colonists.
  • 2152
    • To cope with their increasingly necessary offworld presence, the United Nations reorganise the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, creating the United Nations Space Command, beginning peacekeeping operations among the outer system colonies. At the time, the UNSC is still separate from the newly-formed UN Navy and Marine Corps.
    • Concerned by anti-Earth Koslovic sentiment, and especially their anti-corporation pro-worker idealism, German corporations covertly back fledgling Frieden groups as a buffer to prevent Koslovics gaining traction among the Jovian Moons. Unfortunately, the Frieden prove as hostile to Earth authority as the Koslovics.
  • 2160
    • The massacre of UN Colonial Advisors on Io prompts Germany, the biggest stakeholder among the Jovian moon colonies, to send Bundeswehr troops to react. As hostilities excalate, and German supply lines become stretched, the UN Navy and Marine Corps involve themselves. By the end of the "Jovian Moons Campaign" two years later, the UNSC has become the dominant combatant, and pacified much of the colonies. Fighting would continue to rage until 2170, but on a smaller scale.
  • 2162
    • Establishing covert bases of operation on Earth, Frieden and Koslovic efforts among various third-world nations lead to massive revolt in South America, Eastern Europe, South Asia, and Africa against the percieved injustices done to them by the "developed world". The Rainforest Wars would rage across much of the southern hemisphere, forcing the developed nations of the world to mobilise their military forces. By the end, the Frieden have begun to falter, having lost the trust of their corporate sponsors.
  • 2163
    • As a response, the United States and United Kingdom spearhead Operation: HOT EAGLE. Elements of United States Marine Corps Force Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets), in conjunction with British, Australian and New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS) forces, attack vital Koslovic infrastructure on Mars. Dubbed the "Argyre Planitia Campaign" after the site of the first landing, by the Marine Special Operations Regiment (giving the USMC the distinction of being the first combat personnel to land from an orbital deployment), the campaign would see a massive invasion of Mars by US, British, and UN forces to dismantle the Koslovic power base, robbing them of means of recruiting and training, economic support, and proving a substantial morale boost to Earth - New Legaspi, the last Koslovic holdout city, was taken by the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit at the end of 2163, with support from the UN 224th and 427th Marine Regiments. Again, like the Jovian Moons Campaign two years earlier, fighting would continue until 2170, but the never on the same scale.
  • 2164
    • With the massive successes of the Argyre Planitia Campaign, the military forces reform themselves into a true global military under the UNSC, which reorganises itself into the UNSC Defence Forces, creating the UNSC Army and Airforce branches. The UNSC takes the fight to the Frieden and Koslovics - though both had suffered devastating setbacks, neither were willing to accept their defeat yet, and the next six years became a campaign of locating holdout areas, destroying them, and moving on. UN Peacekeepers would remain to repair damaged infrastructure and improve existing equipment, a popular strategy thatsaw considerable support swing in the favour of Earth.
  • 2170
    • Both the Frieden and Koslovics undergo small civil wars. Both factions possess members who realise that their obliteration, and the loss of countless lives needlessly, is an unchangable fact unless they surrender. Small coups propel these leaders into positions of power, and the Callisto Treaty is signed by Frieden, Koslovic and UNSC representatives, officially ending the Interplanetary Wars. Small splinter-cells and breakaway factions would fight on, stubbornly refusing to accept their unwinnable situations, but the signing of the treaty would end both Koslovics and Frieden as a unified force - more lives would be lost to internal infighting over territory, leadership and idealism than by UNSC raids.
    • The nations of Earth reform themselves into a true global government under the United Nations, itself part of the larger Unified Earth government, modelling itself on the ideals of the United Nations without possessing the bureaucracy of its predecessor. The UNSC becomes Earth's primary exploration and colonisation branch under the CAA, with the UNSCDF still engaged in intra-system peacekeeping.
  • 2291
    • Tobias Shaw and Wallace Fujikawa discover slipstream space, a parallel seven-dimensional space able to be accessed, travelled through at superluminal speeds, and exited without any relativistic hinderances or drawbacks other than inaccuracy. Their discovery revolutionises human understanding of quantum physics, and sets humanity onto a path leading out into the stars.
  • 2310
    • The Reyes-McLees Martian Naval Shipyards are constructed to construct the first wave of UNSC colony ships, designed to be laden with terraforming gear and UNSC security forces. Their construction proves highly popular, and private corporations are started to oversee the recruitment drives that will serve to populate the colonies once they are ready for habitation and terraforming. Though technically only the genetically and psychologically fittest people are permitted, some corporations have less strenuous screening processes.
  • 2321
    • Project: ORION is started by the Colonial Military Authority, intended to use physical augmentation and genetic therapy to produce soldiers unparalleled by anything the UNSC can field. The project produces mixed results, and is eventually closed down and deemed a failure.
  • 2332
    • The Ross-Zeigler Blip is discovered. Originally dismissed first as site contamination, then as potential evidence of past quantum fluctuations, this same event is discovered on a number of other worlds, but is dismissed as a scientific mystery. It will eventually be discovered in 2552 that this is evidence of the Forerunners' activation of the Halo Array.
  • 2362
    • The UNSC's first colony ship, the UNSC Odyssey, is launched from the Reyes-McLees Shipyards. Provided with a UNSC Navy escort and UNSC Marine Corps internal security attachment, the Odyssey will found humanity's first colony, , though it would soon be followed by many more.
  • 2352
    • Terraforming begins on the second planet int eh Epsilon Eridani system. Eventually to become the largest population centre in the UNSC outside of Sol, the colonisation of "Reach" begins as soon as the planet is rendered habitable - terraforming would still be neccessary for a hundred years, but it produces a "New Frontier" attitude among colonists.
  • 2390
    • Most of the core planets that will eventually become known as the "Inner Colonies" have been founded, and Reach has become a shining example of a terraformed colony world.
  • 2468
    • Backers from the United Republic of North America fund a colonisation expedition to Epsilon Indi, settling on Harvest, establishing it as the seventeenth major human colony.
  • 2473
  • 2477
    • The settlement of Blenheim is established on Minorca, around Procyon, the second planet to be settled in the system.
  • 2490
    • Expansion begins into space further from Earth, founding the Outer Colonies. Becoming the raw resource production base of humanity, the Outer Colonies will also prove to be a potent fermenting ground for anti-Earth pro-independence sentiment, although it would be on Reach that this discontent erupts into violence. The planet is established as Unified Earth government's foothold in the colonies, and becomes a major UNSC and CMA stronghold, despite also playing host to the largest Insurrectionist uprisings of the period.
  • 2491
    • Doctor Elias Carver publishes his findings into colonial culture and the nature of an interstellar assembly of colonies, concluding that a massove independence movement is an inevitability. Though many are sceptical of his conclusions and methods, the UNSC takes these findings to heart, preparing for such an event.
    • Project: ORION, an unsuccessful earlier Colonial Military Authority research program to develop more effective soldiers for the UNSC, is reactivated by the UNSC producing some of the most effective warfighters yet seen, including figures such as Avery Johnson. Their first deployments are stunning successes, including Operation: CHARLEMAGNE, Operation: KALEIDOSCOPE, and Operation: TANGLEWOOD.
    • A planetary survey is conducted in the Zeta Doradus system, discovering Onyx.
  • 2492
    • The UNSC declares Code BANDERSNATCH on the Far Isle colony, bombarding it from orbit with nuclear weapons.
  • 2494
    • The Corvette UNSC Callisto is captured by proto-Insurrectionists, captured by a fake merchant vessel during a routine boarding, and used to harrass UNSC merchant shipping lanes. A battlegroup, comprised of the Destroyers UNSC Jericho, UNSC Buenos Aires and UNSC Las Vegas, are dispatched, and brilliantly neutralised by the Insurrectionists, destroying the Jericho and crippling the Buenos Aires and Las Vegas, the latter of which is almost captured until then-Lieutenant Preston Cole ingeniously turns the tables on his would-be captors. Though technically a victory for the UNSC, Cole's unconventional tactics, and the inspired manoeuvres used by the rebel-held Callisto, spark further revolt among the colonies.
    • Insurrectionists take control of of Eridanus II, setting up an anti-Earth secessionist government in the wake of their coup d'etat.
    • SPARTAN-II forces conduct Operation: CHARLEMAGNE on Eridanus II, assassinating key Insurrectionist personnel and sustaining only one casualty.
  • 2496
    • The UNSC puts Operation:TREBUCHET into effect. A UNSC Navy battlegroup wipes out the rebel orbital forces with the loss of four destroyers, but the UNSC regains control of Eridanus II. Most of the rebel leadership escape into the system's asteroid belt, where they would remain until 2552.
  • 2497
    • The revelation that the CMA suffered serious security breaches and conflicting sympathies is extremely damaging to the colonial forces. The UNSC begins the lengthy process of transferring its authority and duties over to itself.
  • 2501
    • The Skirmish at Theta Ursae Majoris between UNSC and Insurrectionist forces is concluded as a draw, with the rebel ship Bellicose drawing with the UNSC Heavy Destroyer Gorgon. The Bellicose escapes to slipspace.
  • 2502
    • SPARTAN-I forces conduct Operation: KALEIDOSCOPE on Harvest, assassinating Successionist Union leader Jerald Mulkey Ander.
  • 2504
  • The Battle of Theta Ursae Majoris takes place, with Battlegroup Tango engaging the Bellicose.
  • 2506
    • The cost effectiveness of Project: ORION is deemed too steep, and the project is discontinued, the various participants being reassigned to other UNSC Special Forces units or given honourable discharges. The program remains highly classified.
  • 2509
  • 2513
  • 2512
    • "General" Isandro Gilberto Anacleto founds the RPM or People's Republic of Minorca, beginning a campaign against the pro-CAA government.
    • An operation in Elysium City to arrest a prominent Insurrectionist turns violent, seeing a rise in hostilities on Eridanus II temporarily. Colonel Ponder, the commanding officer of the arresting force, is demoted for political reasons to appease those upset at the engagement.
  • 2515
    • Doctor Catherine Elizabeth Halsey becomes scientific advisor for the Office of Naval Intelligence.
  • 2517
    • Project: SPARTAN-II is enacted by the Office of Naval Intelligence. Built upon advances in scientific and technological understanding, the UNSC chooses to conscript children to under the extensive training regimen and augmentation procedures rather than military volunteers. Trained from the age of six/seven, these Spartans were selected as the genetic peak of human excellence, kidnapped by Office of Naval Intelligence agents to raise a fighting force that would go down in history as the most effective soldiers humanity has ever fielded.
  • 2524
    • Marine Special Forces conduct an anti-terror raid on Tribute, capturing a terrorist explosive factory but unable to stop the bombing of a civilian restaurant, and the deaths of dozens of civilians and a number of UNSC Marines.
    • Insurrectionists use a shuttle filled with explosives to destroy the civilian cruise liner National Holiday.
    • A Jackal-operated Missionary Ship cripples and captures an automated human freighter, leading them to Harvest. After numerous pirate raids on human shipping, Marine Special Forces personnel raise a Colonial Militia and manage to destroy the ship, making unintentional First Contact.
  • 2525
    • The UNSC defeats the Peoples Republic of Minorca, restoring the legitimate government and forming a power-sharing interim government until elections can be held.
    • A Brute-operated Cruiser arrives in-system, and the Harvest government attempt to make a second First Contact, this time more peaceful. With the two delegations meeting at an isolated area of Harvest, attempted negotiations quickly take a turn for the worst, leading to the murder of a government official and the death of a militiaman due to a trigger-happy Grunt. In the coming weeks, the Brutes proceed to wipe out Harvest in their misguided search for Forerunner relics, with only a fraction of the population surviving after the Militia performs a daring escape attempt.
    • The SPARTAN-II undergoes the augmentation process. Approximately half of the candidates are either killed or crippled by the augmentation process, resulting in only thirty three Spartan-II's remaining - but these are the best human warriors to have ever lived, possessing superior speed, reflexes, tactical and strategic ingenuity, ceramic-carbine ossified bones, and a knack for survival and success. Although Halsey had hoped for a more extensive observation and training period to acclimatise the Spartans with their new enhancements, the loss of Harvest forces her to accelerate the deployment of the Spartans.
    • The Spartan-II's perform their first operation, infiltrating and capturing Colonel Robert Watts, a UNSC defector from Operation: TREBUCHET. The mission is successful,
    • UNSC attempts to investigate the events of Harvest are hampered by a Covenant ship, which destroys an automated probe. A battlegroup is scrambled, arrives in-system, and is promptly slaughtered by the alien ship, leaving only one ship, the destroyer Heracles, as a survivor to inform UNSC HIGHCOM when it returns badly damaged to Reach.
    • The Battle of Chi Ceti takes place, with the Spartan-II's destroying a Covenant frigate at the cost of one of their number, Sam-034.
  • 2526
  • General Anacleto is captured by the UNSC Army, and executed for treason against Earth.
    • Preston Cole leads his fleet to Harvest, engaging the Covenant ship - the UNSC force suffers devastating losses, but manages to destroy the enemy ship. Though the battle was a pyrhic victory at best, it would continue to be used as propaganda material well into the war.
    • Cole's fleet engages the Covenant in the Alpha Aurigae system, destroying twelve Covenant ships at the cost of thirty seven UNSC warships
  • 2528
    • Madrigal is glassed in a Covenant attack.
    • Cole's fleet engages Covenant ships in the XI Boötis A system, destroying eight warships but losing thirty of their own.
  • 2530
    • Eridanus-II is glassed by the Covenant, although it and the UNSC forget about the Insurrectionist base in the asteroid belt.
    • A force of seventeen UNSC ships engage three Covenant warships in the Groombridge-1830 system, losing eleven destroyers but destroying two ships and crippling a third. An Elite survivor is brought aboard and interrogated for information.
  • 2531
    • Cole's fleet defeats a Covenant attack force during the Third Battle of Harvest, though ground troops are deployed. The UNSC Spirit of Fire investigates, eventually leading it to Arcadia where it is part of the counter-attack force against a Covenant strike to gather unknown "relics" from the planet. The Covenant ships abandon the planet, heading through slipspace - this is the last confirmed sighting of the Spirit of Fire, and exactly what the Covenant were looking for, and what they were led to, were never discovered fully. Various conspiracy theories exist - that it was an ONI coverup for a black-ops mission, that the Spirit of Fire followed it through slipspace, and even that it was actually destroyed, and that this was classified to prevent morale from being lowered.
    • Minorca is evacuated by the UNSC in the wake of the Arcadian invasion. A few stragglers would remain behind, persisting under the belief that the Covenant would be stopped - either by the UNSC, or by "God". Even these holdouts would leave, in the face of the devastation heaped upon other surviving colonies.
    • "General" Howard Graves, leader of the United Rebel Front in the 111 Tauri system, is killed during an operation conducted by Spartan-II Blue Team.
    • The UNSC Prowler transports Blue Team to the Groombridge-34 system. One of the Spartans suffers a thruster malfunction, and is ruled Missing In Action.
    • Spartan-III Alpha Company begins training. Headed by Colonel James Ackerson, a rival to Doctor Halsey for support and funds, the S-III's are intended to be cheaper, more effective, have a greater augmentation survival rate, and to be top-secret deployments against high value Covenant targets. Header by Spartan-051, Lieutenant Kurt "Ambrose," the Spartan-III's benefit from improved training methods and ethos - rather than invuluntary conscripts, each of them is a volunteer, recruited from orphanages around the surviving colonies.
  • 2532
    • Randall-037 is classified Missing In Action.
  • 2534
    • The UNSC redesignates the crew of the Spirit of Fire KIA, rather than MIA.
  • 2535
    • Battle of Charybdis IX - Insurrectionist forces lead a UNSC stealth frigate, the Midsummer Night, to a holdout Insurrectionist base. The planet is glassed by the Covenant as the UNSC withdraw, leading to the slaughter of thousands.
    • The UNSC arrives at the Insurrectionist base in the 23 Librae system, known as the Rubble, and are betrayed by a member of their own crew and captured. Spartan-II Grey Team manages to free the UNSC personnel, and they eventually recapture their ship, destroy a Jackal/Grunt staging ground on the nearby planet Metisette, and evacuate the asteroid base through slipspace to Falaknume in the 18 Scorpii system.
    • The last human occupants leave Minorca, as the UNSC Army closes its last military base of operations in the region.
  • 2536
    • Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb participates in the Seige of the Atlas Moons.
    • Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb participates in the Battle of New Constantinople.
    • Battle of New Harmony. Discovery of a major Covenant shipyard, K7-49.
  • 2537
    • The Insurrection of Mamore erupts, with Alpha Company deployed to participate, eventually winning the battle. Although Insurrectionists would linger on after this point, this would be the last major engagement.
    • Alpha Company engages in the Battle of New Constantinople, earning a commendation for bravery.
    • Alpha Company participate in the Battle of the Bonanza Asteroid Belt.
    • The Covenant attack a colony in the Leonis Minoris constellation, glassing the colonies.
    • Alpha Company is deployed on its last operation as a whole unit, Operation: PROMETHEUS. Although they destroy the Covenant shipyard, K7-49, tall participants are killed in action. A small number of Alpha Company Spartan-III's survive, and are reassigned to another Special Warfare branch of the UNSC Army. Beta Company is authorised.
  • 2539'
    • Beta Company begins training.
    • The UNSC colony Kholo is glassed by the Covenant.
  • 2542
    • Work begins on the MJOLNIR Mark V Powered Assault Armour, a radical update over the Mark IV.
    • The Emerald Cove colony is abandoned by the UNSC.
  • 2543
    • The Battle of 18 Scorpii takes place, with UNSC forces saved by the timely arrival of a small Insurrectionist force.
    • Admiral Cole's Last Stand - staged in the Psi Serpentis system, Admiral Cole assembles a massive fleet to lure the Covenant to the region. Once the Covenant's presence had been confirmed, Battlegroup India jumped into the system as one unit, sending a massive flare of cerenkov radiation, alerting the Covenant fleet to their presence. The UNSC ships then performed a second in-system slipspace jump, never before attempted, firing at the Covenant from their exposed rear, scoring heavy damage with only a few casualties - until the arrival of a second fleet. Splitting up, the UNSC fleet arced around the gas giant Viperidae, using its magnetosphere to protect it from Covenant plasma - a massive Insurrectionist fleet entered the system, smashing through the Covenant formation in a surprise attack, and left, allowing the rest of the UNSC fleet to leave the system. Luring the Covenant fleet closer to Viperidae, Cole launched all of his Shiva nuclear warheads, causing it to briefly become a Brown Dwarf strar before going nova, destroying the Covenant fleets. Cole may or may not have escaped death during the battle.
    • The Covenant return to Arcadia, glassing the nearly abandoned world.
  • 2543
    • The UNSC launches Operation: TORPEDO in the 51 Pegasi system, deploying Beta Company in battle. The Spartan-III's manage to reach and destroy a Covenant gas refinery on Pegasi Delta, but left only two known survivors, Lucy-B091 and Tom-B292. Again, others survived thanks to the efforts of Kurt-051, reassigning Kat-B320 and Spartans B170 and B312 to other duties to save them from the slaughter. Gamma Company is authorised and begins training.
  • 2547
    • The Office of Naval Intelligence publically discloses the SPARTAN-II Program - that is, they release information on technologically and genetically superior soldiers taking the fight to the Covenant, succeeding, and not dying. The fact that these "heroes" were kidnapped as children remains a highly classified secret, but the subsequent morale boost proves a handsome payoff.
    • Skopje is glassed by the Covenant.
  • 2549
    • Paris IV is attacked by the Covenant, with UNSC defenders using captured Covenant technology to repel the invaders long enough for survivors to escape.
    • The Covenant attack Delta Pavonis, one of the furthest surviving colonies. During the engagements, UNSC forces manage to capture a significant amount of equipment, allowing UNSC Remote Sensor Outposts to crack Covenant codes and translate messages - allowing them to learn that a fleet is being assembled to arrive at Minorca in 2551.
  • 2551
    • The UNSC initiates Operation: HOT GATES, essentially ambushing an exposed Covenant fleet, wreaking devastation upon the enemy force disproportionately to their own numbers. The Covenant land a few legions on the ground, but are routed by the orbital defence force.
    • The MJOLNIR Mark V Powered Assault Armour enters limited service among Spartan-II and Spartan-III forces, the latter restricted to Noble Team, a mixed unit outside of Ackerson's chain of command.
  • 2552
    • The Covenant attacks the Sigma Octantis system, landing on Cote d'Azure despite the efforts of the UNSC Destroyer Iroquois, which scores an unprecedented kill ratio - two frigates and a destroyer for one UNSC. Despite its efforts, a Covenant carrier deploys ground troops which ravage through the capital city, searching for ancient Forerunner relics. Spartan-II Blue Team is deployed to capture these relics for UNSC study, and managing also to evacuate civilians and detonate a HAVOK tactical nuclear warhead to destroy the Covenant presence. An orbital battle is fought, with the largest fleet assembled since the Battle of Harvest engaging a major Covenant force, using new tactics to emerge victorious, the first decisive win in a long time.
    • A UNSC Prowler, the Apocalypso, carrying a relic discovered in the Procyon system near the abandoned colony of Minorca, crashes in lunar orbit, blacking out communications for seven seconds.
    • Ackerson begins Operation: HYPODERMIC, an initiative to locate Covenant homeworlds and select the most promising targets for assault, in conjunction with Vice Admiral Whitcomb's Project: NOVA. Prowlers are recalled to Reach for the operation, disguised as civilian yachts.
    • Most surviving Spartan-II personnel are gathered to Reach to be briefed and equipped for a last-ditch effort to end the war - the capture of a Covenant ship, the location of a Covenant world, and the kidnapping and hostage of a Prophet, the UNSC hoping to bring the Covenant to the negotiation table. It is a desperate mission with little hope of success - the Spartans are therefore fully confident. They are equipped with MJOLNIR Mark V Powered Assault Armour, finally entering full frontline service, and briefed on the mission.
    • A Covenant fleet arives in the Epsilon Eridani system, engaging the UNSC Navy. Despite unprecedented defences and a stalwart defence of the orbital perimeter by the orbiting fleet, sheer numbers quickly overwhelm them. The ground battle does not fare much better - UNSC Marines and Soldiers manage an impressive defence, but the Covenant victory is a foregone conclusion. Various Navy, Marine, Army and Air Force personnel manage to make it offworld, as well as a small number of Spartan-II personnel, but for the most part the Battle of Reach is the largest and most devastating battle of the war, for both sides - while numerically superior, the Covenant still takes devastating losses itself. Almost all of the Spartan-II personnel are killed during the battle, or immediately afterward. 90% of the UNSCDF is wiped out by the conflict, leaving a skeleton force to defend Earth, despite its far superior orbital defence grid.
    • UNSC forces withdraw from Minorca as Covenant forces swarm across the world, bolstered by a reinforced fleet. There is some indication that the Covenant was engaging an unknown faction on the planet during the withdrawal, allowing the UNSC to withdraw quicker, but their fight is rendered a moot point when the UNSC deploy a NOVA bomb, destroying Minorca. The UNSC forces wthdraw back to Earth, after enacting the Cole Protocol.
    • The Pillar of Autumn, one of the few ships to escape the slaughter at Reach, arrives at an Iota Horologii, a previously unsurveyed system, discovering a massive alien artificial planetoid, a "Halo," constructed by an enigmatic and presumably extinct species, the Forerunners. The ship is shot down, but its surviving Marine and Navy contingent makes a spirited guerilla war against the Covenant, assisted by a Spartan-II survivor, Master Chief Petty Officer John-117. The ring is eventually destroyed - both to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Covenant, and to stop the release of an ancient and terrifying parasitic species called the Flood - also destroying an orbiting Covenant armada with shrapnel and debris, though the Master Chief manages to escape.
    • The Master Chief regroups with Spartan survivors of reach, launching a delaying effort against a Covenant staging ground in the Tau Ceti system, losing one Spartan but destroying the station and hundreds of Covenant ships. Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb is killed during the engagement to buy the Spartans time, and to keep the Covenant's attention fixed elsewhere. The arrival of Spartan-117 alerts the UNSC to the Covenant's knowledge of Earth's location, providing the defenders with crucial weeks of preparation.
    • The MJOLNIR Mark IV Powered Assault Armour, an upgrade to the Mark V, is introduced into service, worn by Spartan-117 and Blue Team.
    • A Covenant taskforce enters the system, anticipating little resistance. What they come up against is the full might of UNSC Navy, consisting of almost a hundred ships, as well as the three-hundred-strong Orbital Defence Grid of Super MAC platforms. A single Assault Carrier penetrates the perimeter, followed by a small number of UNSC ships to support the local defence forces, the 405th Division out of Diego Garcia, as it invades Mombasa looking for Forerunner relics. The battle for the city is bloody, but eventually sees Marine, Army and Militia units push the Covenant back onto New Mombasa island Seeing the unwinnable situation, and with orders to protect the onboard Prophet of Regret, the carrier jumps to slipspace in-atmosphere, pursued by the UNSC Frigates In Amber Clad, Redoubtable and Paris, as well as the Corvette Coral Sea and Prowler Dusk, to a second ringworld. The Dusk would return to Earth to alert the UNSC of the Great Schism, and woud see action at the Battle of Onyx. The In Amber Clad would be captured by the Flood, and used as a troop ship to invade the Covenant holy city High Charity, though many of its personnel would survive to forge an alliance with the Elites to stop the Covenant from activating the Halo Array.
    • At the same time, however, the UNSC and Elite forces fight the Battle of Onyx. On the surface, millions of automated defence drones left by the Forerunners had activated with the destruction of the first Halo, and had attacked the planetary UNSC base. The situation dire, the UNSC would send the surviving members of Blue Team to reinforce the planet against an attack by an Elite battlegroup, to prevent the technology of the planet from falling into the hands of another potential enemy. The exact events of the battle are unknown, but Battlegroup Stalingrad, twenty ships strong, would inflict severe damage against a local Elite force before its destruction - its loss was not the end of the battle, as the drones tore the planet apart, devastating the Elite fleet and forcing the dusk, hidden during the battle and having recovered a UNSC AI Endless Summer, retreated to Earth.
    • During all these events, the battle for Earth continued to rage, with the now Brute-led Covenant conquering much of the planet or destroying what was not of interest to them, occupying East Africa around an excavation site. Launching a counter-attack, Commander Miranda Keyes, with the ad of Spartan-117, pushed the Covenant back to the dig site and Lord Hood launched a last ditch Naval assault to try and kill the Prophet of Truth, the last leader of the Covenant. The attack failed, though the Covenant would activate a relic generating a slipspace portal leading to an unknown location - after a small assault force of Flood from High Charity attacked the area, an Elite-led fleet arrived to assist humanity, allowing the UNSC to save countless lives, the planet, and destroy the Flood presence. Following Truth through the Portal, the UNSC and Elites managed to stop his plan to activate the Halo Array, kill Truth, and activate a local Halo to kill the Flood of High Charity, which had followed them. Returning back through the portal, the combined force would be hailed as saviours of the galaxy. Sadly, both Spartan-117 and an AI, Cortana, were lost during transit - both labelled Missing in Action, though presumed dead.
  • 2553
    • A hillside memorial was constructed, commemorating the sacrifices made by those who perished during the Human-Covenant War, attended by UNSC military leadership and the representative for the Elites, the Arbiter. A lasting truce between the two was agreed upon, although the Covenant remained another matter entirely - though the leadership was dead, including the Hierarchs, much of the High Council, and many Brute Chieftains, the Covenant would no doubt begin licking its woulds, collecting itself for another strike. Both the UNSC and the Elites would set to work rebuilding and recovering from the recent events - the Elites from the devastating Great Schism, the UNSC from the entire war, the loss of Reach and the devastation of Earth. Studies to analyse the Portal were begun by military and civilian researchers, hoping to glean any and all advantages.


After World War Two and the formation of the United Nations, the Earth entered a period of comparative stability. That is not to say that this ushered in an age of peace - the Korean, Vietnam, Bosnian, First and Second Gulf Wars and the War on Terror, the Alaskan Dispute and the rise of the Chinese hegemony were all conflicts that involved the nations of the world, exacting huge death tolls. But the important aspect is that these were localised conflicts, limiting the (admittedly devastating) damage and casualties to a central area. The advent of the Communication Age, with the world linked to each other via phone, radio and internet, had seemingly made another World War impossible - the transparency such communications brought with it a distrust of governments, and an unwillingness to fight a war, as the War on Terror would prove.

It was with some concern, then, that the nations of Earth found themselves with military forces but no opportunity to put these to use. Some nations, like the United Kingdom and United States of America, involved themselves heavily in peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts - diplomatic fallout from the ill-defined and politically catastrophic War on Terror was still felt even a century afterwards, and the US in particular was still hard pressed to change the perception of itself by the rest of the world as an aggressive and xenophobic juggernaut of destruction. Others, such as the Russian Federation, began fighting border disputes with smaller belligerents - the former Warsaw Pact nations have never had a good relationship with each other, and full conflict broke out, leading to the Caucasus War in 2089. The conflict would escalate until the United Nations involved itself in 2102, putting an end to combat and inserting peacekeeper forces into the wartorn region to ensure all parties' adherence to non-aggression agreements. It is perhaps a combination of these two factors that would form the core of one of the greatest internal threats that humanity has faced in recent history - the adherents of Vladimir Koslov.

Formerly a prominent military figure in the Russian Space Forces, Koslov was a promonent of Russian interplanetary colonialism, in particular supporting a brand of neo-communism, harkening back to the "glory days" of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and was a vocal supported of greater cooperation between the other military branches towards this goal. His activism supporting an aggressive colonisation of the Argyre Planitia would prove a major concern to British and American intelligence operatives, and he likewise distrusted the actions of other states, especially those who claimed to support him. He would eventually become more and more reclusive, keeping only a tight-knit cadre of political devotees. In all likelihood, Koslov may indeed have achieved his goals of a Russian Mars if not for his ill-advised attempted coup in 2141, and subsequent defeat and discrediting by the Russian Federation, which began a major crackdown on Koslov's supporters in what has since become known as the "Great Purge of 2142", including the capture and execution of Koslov himself. Intended as an example against threats to Russian security, the execution was instead hailed as an act of martyrdom by Koslov, and rallied significant support in the coming months. Koslov's supporters, what few of them remained, decried these actions and claimed it as evidence of political suppression on the part of the Russian government, which had otherwise become considerably more tolerant than its reputation would continue to be, and would form the core of the "Koslovics," followers of Koslov's dream of a resurgence of neo-communism and the overthrow of the "oppressors" on Earth, with considerable support from Mars-born first- and second-generation Russian colonists.

The rise of the Koslovics would not be without impact on itself, though. The spread of its tenets, the overthrow of a bloated Terran bourgoise and the rise of the colonial proletariat, was a popular one among the myriad of orbital space colonies, the settlements on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and the Mercury colony, and the rapid gains made by the Koslovics alarmed most of the nations of Earth, especially the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China and France, which all had extensive investments in colonial activity. The respective defence forces began to engage in anti-Koslovic activities, at first separate and then, as the insurgency spread, cooperatively under the newly-formed United Nations Space Command.

The beginnings of the UNSC are a humble one. While many of the defence forces of the regional powers had spaceborn branches, the UN itself lacked such capabilities. With the spread of the Koslovic threat, the United Nations decided than an impartial presence was required among the wider solar system to arbitrate the disputes that were brewing and to prevent bloodshed, and especially prevent the increase in Terran colonial imperialism they anticipated. A sub-branch of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, members were recruited from all across the world - former space-combatants from the United States Marine Corps in particular would have a significant influence on UNSC traditions and methodology, and experts in interplanetary travel were hired from the scientific community to create a state-of-the-art fleet of ships, the beginnings of the UN Navy and Marine Corps. It would still be some time before either UNSC branch would see combat, and eventually reform into the UNSC Navy and Marine Corps respectively, but the foundations for the UNSC had already been laid - it existed, it was active, and it would soon become a major force to reckon with.

The rise of the Koslovics had overshadowed virtually all other potential threats to Earth supremacy, and it was a sudden shock when colonists on the Jovian moons attacked UN colonial advisors. The anti-corporation sentiment of Koslovic supporters, and the resulting outlash against Earth-sponsored colonisation corporations, had resulted in retaliation of sorts, especially by German-based corporations which had extensive holdings on Titan, Ganymede, Europa, Callisto, and other colonies. These would eventually form the core of the Frieden, a varied group that would eventually rival the Koslovics in size and potency. While the Frieden were bitterly opposed to anything even Koslovic-related, they also held no fondness for Earth, and saw itself as a liberating force just as much as the Koslovics did. The slaughter of UN advisors in 2160 would spark the largest conflict humanity would fight in its history until the Human-Covenant War - the Interplanetary Wars.

Interplanetary War

For much of the conflict, combat was undertaken by the regional defence forces of nations with stakes in extra-terrestrial assets, with the United Nations reduced to a side role. The deployment of Bundeswehr troops on Europa in 2160 was the first large-scale combat deployment of German troops since World War II, though Germany has participated in a number of smaller conflicts since then, largely in the interest of self-defence; the resulting conflict would eventually involve the fledgling United Nations forces. Originally present as a peacekeeping force, the UNMC personnel were eventually forced to take a much greater role in the conclift - the difficulties of space travel meant that the German forces, while superbly trained, were not prepared for such a long-proximity war. On the other hand, the UN Navy had already anticipated and prepared for such an eventuality - UN troops have always had to rely on external support, and the forces keeping the peace around the solar system were supported by state-of-the-art troop ships and freighters that kept them well armed and well suplied. The Frieden forces, on the other hand, had intimate knowledge of the environments they were fighting in, as well as significant covert financial backing by corporations who were eager to see the independence of colonies to set up an interplanetary economy - one which they could shape and control, they hoped. As the Jovian Moons Campaign escalated, the UN Marine Corps and Navy would eventually replace the Bundeswehr as the dominant Earth-based fighting force in the region, eventually pacifying a number of moons by 2162 - while fighting would continue to rage until the end of the war, the UN would hail this as the end of the campaign, and the beginning of peace in the region.

As the Jovian moons began to settle, both the Koslovics and Frieden decided that in order to prevent Earth forces from annihilating them utterly, they would need to take the fight to Earth itself, sparking the Rainforest Wars, perhaps the most famous conflict from this period. Although they originated in the South American nations, the conflict would eventually spread to South-East Asia, Central Africa, and the Middle East, forcing the United Nations to significantly ramp up its reaction forces. Combat veterans from the Jovian Moons Campaign would form the core of new regiments and divisions raised to counter the threats posed by the Koslovics and Frieden forces, and by 2162 these conflicts had largely subsided as the two factions failed to gain traction on Earth. The Frieden, in particular, found itself on the verge of bankrupcy as its backers finally realised what a potent force they had unwittingly created, and that it threatened their offworld interests - the Frieden would never again pose a major threat in the war, though they would remain active until the signing of the Callisto Treaty in 2170. The Koslovics, on the other hand, remained an extremely potent threat, with significant holdings on Mars, and a counter-strike was launched in 2164 - the Argyre Planitia Campaign. Spearheaded by special forces personnel from the United States Marine Corps and Army and the British, Australian and New Zealandforces, Operation: HOT EAGLE was the first combat deployment of military personnel from orbiting spacecraft, via dropships and the predecessors to the SOEIV, and the US Marine Corps holds the prestigious distinction of being the first military personnel to touch down. As Earth-backed forces ravaged Koslovic military centres and pushed them back, the UN Navy would play a significant supporting role, working in tandem with Commonwealth and American assets - the final engagement of the campaign, the liberation of New Legaspi in 2167, was fought between Koslovic forces and Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, with UN troops from the 427th and 224th Marine Regiments in supporting roles.

The rest of the war would be one of consolidation, mostly undertaken by the UN Navy and Marine Corps. Its successes during the Jovian, Rainforest and Argyre Planitia campaigns were used as effective recruitment tools by the UN's propaganda arm, and the expansion of the UN Navy and Marine Corps was extensive, followed by the creation of the UN Army and UN Air Force branches soon after, all finally united under the UNSC. Many of the defence forces of Earth were folded into the fledgling UNSC, forming the nucleus of Earth's dominant fighting force for more than three hundred years, and actions across the solar system were aimed at crushing what little remained of both the Krieden and the Koslovics. In 2170, to avoid total extinction, the Frieden underwent a small civil war, with reformists becoming the dominant internal force, hoping to form a truce with Earth - likewise, the Koslovics came to realise that their very survival was dependent upon their ability to put aside their differences and accept that Earth was the superior military force. The Callisto Treaty, signed in 2170 by representatives of the United Nations Space Command, Frieden Secessionists and Koslovic Revolutionaries was hailed as the end of the war. Fighting would continue to rage through the next two decades as various holdout groups and terror cells refused to accept their own sides' surrenders, but they would steadily lose support during the unification of all Earth-held holdings under Unified Earth. Formed in the wake of the devastating Interplanetary, UE would become a world government, based on the model of the United Nations but applied on a far grander scale - representatives of the colonies were given Security Council seats on par with Earth nations, and the UNSC was made the official military arm of Unified Earth, expanded slightly - the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Forces would be grouped under the newly formed UNSCDF, while the UNSC as a whole would eventually encompass a broader array of organisations dedicated to space exploration, humanitarian efforts, and colonisation projects. To satisfy pro-polonist factions, the Colonial Military Administration was set up as a colonial military force for peacekeeping, emergency response, and interplanetary dispute arbitration - for the next three hundred years, the UNSC would be restricted to Sol in a military capacity,t hough UNSC troop ships, freighters and warship escorts would play a major part in the colonisation effort.

Colonial Era

For more than three centuries after the Interplanetary War, humanity would enter an unprecedented era of stability as it was unified under Unified Earth and the UNSC - the problems of overpopulation and impending famines across much of Earth required far too much effort to address. The discovery of Shaw-Fujikawa Space in 2291, and the eventual development of the first early colony ships in 2362, would transform the UNSC from a peacetime military into a major colonisation organisation, and UNSCDF would provide escort and personnel for colonisation efforts - Epsilon Eridani II, the planet that would eventually come to be known as "Reach" upon its christening, was largely a military effort, and would support most of the UNSC's military infrastructure until it's destruction in 2552. As humanity expanded, the development of an interstellar political body became apparent - overstretched, the UNSC would find itself hard-pressed to deal with the sudden sprouting of privateer and pirate forces, and the fledgling secessionist groups, intent on independence, that would precede the Insurrection. Nevertheless, until 2490 the UNSC was still largely a peacekeeping and humanitarian force, involved in various police actions across human space, which was rapidly expanding at a rate that took all by surprise. Innovations in terraforming procedures meant that colonies could be created and inhabited in decades, rather than centuries, and while still a long slow process, it allowed the expansion of humanity on a scale never before seen. The population burden of post-Interplanetary War Earth was soon a distant recollection, as the fledgling Inner Colonies took the brunt of the overflow. The first worlds, with significant civilian and commercial infrastructure, would eventually be known as the "Inner Colonies" - not because of any proximal relationship with Earth, but because they were considered the "elite" among Earth's fledgling interstellar empire. As the new Unified Earth territories began to reach equilibrium, the foundation of the Outer Colonies began.


Ultimately, it would be the unfortunately termed "Inner Colonies" that would lead to the first fighting since the end of the Interplanetary War on any significant scale - the establishment of the Colonial Administration Authority was intended by Unified Earth to remove the need for independent "nations" in future colonies. Ostensibly, this was to prevent factionalism and facillitate cooperation in a frontier spirit, though it was percieved by many as a restictive body intent on preventing any potential threats to Earth's supremacy from rising. To an extent, this is an accurate evaluation of the CAA's operations - the CAA had become a bureaucratic force governing hundreds of colonies in dozens of star systems, but had little concept of the individual needs of each colony. A colony on par with Harvest, for example, a full planetary ecosystem with preexisting atmosphere and full support of agriculture and inhabitation with little restrictive factors, is so different to a colony such as those set up in the Madrigal asteroid belts, based in the cores of asteroids and founded on a mining economy, requiring specialist equipment to even exist. Certainly there were catastrophic failures of oversight on the part of the CAA, especially the Ross-128 Incident of 2431 and the insufficient regulation and oversight of Sierra Space Systems, and analysts have speculated that had its out-of-touch approach been prevented in the first place, the Insurrection might have been significantly more manageable, reduced to a handful of backwater colonies. As it was, the CAA's bumbling inefficiency became a rallying cry for millions.

The spark for the Insurrection, ironically enough, would actually be well within humanity's "Inner" Colonies - Reach, one of Earth's first established colonies, would prove the staging ground for the first anti-Earth terrorist and paramilitary factions, and the beginning of the Insurrection proper, with conflict erupting in 2490. In the interval between its foundation and the Insurrection, Reach had become a significant hub of military infrastructure and personnel, in addition to its major population centres - the UNSC believed itself in a perfect position to crush the threat in its infancy. There were a number of factors, though, that would eventually prove the UNSC woefully wrong: firstly, the UNSC had not fought a full-scale conflict since the Interplanetary War, and the nature of warfare had evolved beyond the tactics it had developed during the 2160's, and even the equipment they continued to operate among the armed forces; secondly, the fledgling Insurrectionists used terrorist tactics in an asymetrical warfare campaign aimed at demoralising the UNSC's support base and attract others to the cause, creating enough support for their cause for Earth to truly consider independence; thirdly, the Colonial Military Authority resisted all attempts at encroaching on its own colonial authority, even in the face of internal dissent and Insurrectionist sympathies; and finally, humanity was simply unwilling to accept the fact that the Insurrection was a legitimate threat to it. Centuries of comparative "peacetime" had left humanity with an inability to accept conflict as an inevitability. Centuries of peacetime with Earth as the cultural, scientific and military core of an interstellar human race produced a feeling of invulnerability, and a dismissive attitude to the "primitives" out in the frontier colonies. Worse still, many considered the plight of the colonies a noble one, perhaps harkening back to the spirit of secessionist portions of local history (ie; the American Revolution), and supported regional autonomy on a scale the CAA was unwilling to accept. Even without the bumbling bureaucracy of the CAA, events may have transpired differently.

In the colonies, these attitudes were rarely seen, and where before these secessionists had used public support and protest to garner support, they turned to terrorism, percieving the hostility of the CAA to their cause, and believing that Earth would never agree to their demands. The popular support that they had enjoyed rapidly dwindled, as Insurrectionists targetted UNSC, CAA and CMA assets in a campaign of terror designed to demoralise the Earth-backed factions. In this regard, it was a total failure - while many considered the colonies a lost cause, the UNSC and CMA rapidly swung into action, initiating Operation: TREBUCHET. While the UNSC would have a limited naval participation during the early years, for the most part it was left on the sidelines as a Sol-exclusive organisation, sidelined in the conflict by the CMA.

Perhaps the largest obstacle to UNSC involvement was its blocking by the Colonial Military Authority. Overseen by the CAA directly, the CMA served as colonial forces, raised from colonial populations as a self-sufficient interstellar military force, extremely protective of its duties and authority. In the early years of the Insurrection , the CMA attempted to be the sole respondant to the the crisis, hampering UNSC efforts to increase their level of involvement - the CMA Navy and Marine Corps would become bitter opponents of their UNSC counterparts. Worse still, the CMA found itself increasingly compromised from within, with many internal groups believing that the CMA's loyalties should lie with the colonies rather than Earth, and that the Insurrection was in their best interests. CMA sympathisers would render it ineffective in its role as a colonial reactionary force, and by 2525 the UNSC itself had been granted permission to involve itself further in the Insurreation, completely disbanding the CMA and absorbing most of its assets into itself.

Indigo Team

Perhaps the most famous, and fortuitious outcome of the Insurrection, was the development of the Spartan-II Program, the impact of which would be far-reaching.

The Insurrection had reached its height in 2525, spreading across hundreds of minor and major colonies, wuith the UNSC struggling to hold it in check. Building upon the earlier Project: ORION and their "Spartan" supersoldiers, the Office of Naval Intelligence would create the SPARTAN-II Program as a response - warfighters trained from childhod for warfare, genetically, mentally and physically augmented to produce a superior soldier, provided with state-of-the-art MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armour, the Spartan II soldiers were designed, quite literally, to defeat any enemy they engaged in all types of warfare, but especially the assymetric warfare favoured by Insurrectionists, specialising in infiltration, assassination and covert exfiltration. At the same time, as the UNSC replaced the CMA totally, they found themselves dealing with an increasingly militarised enemy. Factions such as the United Rebel Front of 111 Tauri possessed professional special forces, armoured fighting vehicles, and heavy weaponry, most of it either stolen from UNSC military bases or purchased on the thriving black market after the CMA's breakup. The transition from a peacekeeping force to an active military was complete by 2525 - and not a moment too soon.

Human-Covenant War

The early years of the Human-Covenant War are hazy, especially the reasons why the Covenant declared total war on humanity. Harvest was the official first contact between human and Covenant forces, first with the destruction of a Jackal privateer ship and then the ill-fated meeting between UNSC Colonial Militia, local Harvest political leadership, and a Jiralhanae and its supporting Unggoy and Yanme'e staff. Attempts at negotiating soon took a turn for the worst; the Brutes had no intention of negotiation, insisting on a total surrender and the turning over of all "relics" on the world. At the same time, a disasterous fifefight between a Militiaman and a Grunt with an itchy trigger finger resulted in the first fighting, and the talks came to a disasterous end, with the Militiamen barely surviving. On the other hand, the Covenant showed a remarkable understanding of human language, broadcasting fanatical religious threats even from the very first campaigns - ONI speculates that the Covenant had at least some knowledge of humanity prior to 2525, but until then did not consider them a threat, or indeed even worth the effort of investigating.

Regardless, the next eleven years would see the bitter fighting for the Outer Colonies begin. At first, humanity was woefully unprepared to fight an enemy such as the Covenant - technologically, the Covenant was centuries ahead of the most advanced UNSC equipment, utilising a variety of directed energy weapons and energy shields in combat to calamatous effect, and even equipment not intended for combat was still far ahead of anything the UNSC used, especially their ability to manipulate magnetic and gravitational fields. Even worse, the Covenant possessed numbers that the UNSC could not hope to match, deploying themselves en masse in planetary engagements with no concern for casualties taken. These advantages were able to be offset somewhat by human tactical and strategic ingenuity - the emphasis on unit cooperation and communication, lack of internal factionalism except by military branch, and generally superior quality of UNSC Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen over their Covenant counterparts, which stressed the importance of individual excellence and the importance of rank, as well as their unfamiliarity with human environments, meant that UNSC-Covenant engagements on the ground resulted in a disproportionately high kill count on humanity's part. Even with this, ground battles were a struggle, given the sheer numbers and firepower deployed by the Covenant.

The battle for orbital supremacy, on the other hand, was a radically different matter altogether. The technological advantage the Covenant enjoyed meant that even a small battlegroup could obliterate orbital defences and eradicate naval forces with comparative ease. In future engagements, the UNSC would figure that they would need a numerical advantage of three-to-one to make the battle an even fight, and that they would still take massive casualties. Attempts to remedy this were immediately put into place - improvements to slipspace drives improved reaction time, entry/exit accuracy, and facilitated interstellar communication and warning of Covenant attack. Improvements for common and effective weapon systems, such as the MAC, were sought - Archer missiles, formerly the standard offensive weapon on UNSC warships, had proven woefully ineffective against Covenant energy shielding, though tandem use with Magnetic Accelerator Cannons would boost their effectiveness. Furthermore, the UNSC stockpiles of nuclear weapons would rapidly becoe all but exhaused during the battle for the Outer Colonies, as the UNSC turned to the only weapons they possessed that could strike the Covenant on the same level. Project EXCALIBUR, established in 2530, was only one of many special weapons development projects set up by ONI to study, reverse-engineer, and apply captured Covenant technology to UNSC applications - Project TEMERITY predated it by nearly fifty years, while EXCALIBUR would focus on the applications of the technology, it was TEMERITY that did the bulk of the recovery and study work. Virtually no arm of the UNSC was left unchanged - the Special Forces branches of the Navy, Army and Marine Corps especially saw a huge expansion of their budgets, and subsequent expansion of their activities and composition.

The political fallout from the Human-Covenant War would also be dramatic. While the UNSC was still fighting a war on two fronts - a home war against secessionist rebel factions, and a total war against the xenocidal Covenant - it could not tolerate the inefficiency of the CAA. Initially, the organisation's authority was scaled back substantially, a popular move. CAA officials grudgingly gave concession after concession in the name of the war effort, and for the first time colonies were granted, if not independence, then a level of autonomy that had previously been denied to them. Eventually, the CAA simply stopped being a colonial oversight body altogether, reduced to a toothless entity in the name of UNSC protection of Earth and all her colonies. The earlier disbandment of the CMA had prepared many among the CAA for the worst, and when it was finally disbanded a number of officials went into hiding, taking with them classified documents and material that the UNSC deemed sensitive. None of these officials would ever be found, either by the UNSC or the Insurrectionists that they had hoped to sell their secrets to - the exact reason for this has never been determined. With the CAA disbanded, and most colonies n

These improvements would be introduced sporadically, and rarely in sufficient numbers to make as much of an impact as HIGHCOM hoped. At best, it delayed the Covenant's inexorable push into human territory, glassing colony after colony as they ravaged population centres and military staging grounds. The only other mitigating factor was the sheer volume of territory that the UNSC encompassed. At its height, the UNSC encompassed a volume of space more than 200 lightyears in diameter, with hundreds of thousands of stars located in that sphere of influence - but only slightly more than a dozen inhabited star systems, and a myriad of smaller minor colonies. Such a sparse population distribution has been perhaps the only thing between humanity and extinction - the effort to locate a star and investigate it for human activity is considerable and time consuming, even for the Covenant. Combining this with the now famous Cole Protocol, NAVCOM Emergency Priority Order 098831A-1, was a stroke of genius on the part of Vice-Admiral Preston J. Cole, its namesake - the protocol essentially means that all navigational data can only be held by authorised UNSC personnel to prevent its capture (or defection by Insurrectionists) by the Covenant. Ships carrying navigational data relevant to UNSC colonial navigation, and the locations of surviving human colonies, must either purge their navigational databanks or, if capture by Covenant forces is pending and a purge cannot be completed, self-destruct to prevent it from falling into Covenant hands. Hundreds of Covenant operations would be launched to try and recover usable data to lead them to more human worlds; none would be successful. The Outer Colonies had been plentiful, and therefore easy to find - the much rarer Inner Colonies would be a much more difficult prospect for Covenant strategists.

It is said that war is 1% action and 99% waiting for the enemy. Nevertheless, over the next eleven years the Covenant took the fight to humanity, conquering world after world, inevitably falling into a constantly repeated pattern - a massive ground invasion, with UNSC forces able to sometimes hold their own or even win major victories, but inevitably forced to retreat in the face of Covenant orbital supremacy. By 2536, even with the Cole Protocol the UNSC had lost all of the Outer Colonies, and was forced to now defend its Inner Colonies - major civilian and military population centres, and now the base of its economy. The loss of the frontier worlds was a damaging blow to the UNSC's industry - many of the Inner Colonies had long ago abandoned or restricted mining or agricultural industries, preferring to rely on the materials shipped back from the Outer Colonies. Massive agricultural areas were set up, and the old mines that had been abandoned were now reopened - before the Insurrection, the UNSC had restricted itself to Sol and the Inner Colonies, and had relied on Earth-based war suppliers. Its consuption of the CMA meant that all of the former entities assets became its own, and it had come to rely on the dozens of smaller local contractors that produced weapons and vehicles for the war effort - their loss to the Covenant was significant, but they were not irreplacable. At about this time, Misriah Armories Ltd. would became the primary UNSC contractor, manufacturing a significant amount of its equipment.

The fall of the Outer Colonies came as a wake up call to many. Inhabitants of the Inner Colonies had thought themselves untouchable by the Covenant, so long as the Outer Colonies existed to take the full brunt of the Covenant's xenocidal campaign. As they found themselves under attack, panic gripped many worlds. Insurrectionist groups recieved a brief surge of support, as colonists lost faith in the UNSC's ability to protect them - propaganda efforts by the UNSC, and continued belligerence by rebel groups, would eventually relieve them of their illusions of security with the Insurrection. Fighting against the only effective defence force for humanity proved to be unpopular, to say the least - by 2542, what was left of the Insurrection was reduced to a few ragtag bands of holdouts, who either refused to believe the UNSC could defend them, or believed that they had a better chance with the Covenant, a belief that drove away even more supporters, especially after the events at Madrigal in 2535.

Whereas the battle for the Outer Colonies was a chaotic and frantic scrabble, the battle for the Inner Colonies would be far more organised. Ground forces had a decade to prepare themselves for such an occurence, establishing military bases and supply depots for future use, setting up defensive emplacements, and training the civilian populace in evacuation drills and raising Colonial Militia units. The Covenant would find their battles to conquer the Inner Colonies a radically different war, especially in the orbital defence - while the UNSC still lacked technological supremacy, their use of superior tactics and numbers gave them a much better chance against Covenant warships, allowing ground campaigns to rage for months, sometimes even years, buying more and more time in actions that would delay the Covenant long enough, the UNSC hoped, for a way to end the war to be found. Investments in special weapons projects went through the roof, and research teams on Covenant military tactics and strategies, history, politics and territory to put to use to leverage any possible advantage that could be gained - covert teams would foster conflicts between different Covenant factions. The Grunt and Jackal species in particular would prove potent and bitter enemies of each other, but they were not the only one - dissent was already brewing from higher in the Covenant's ranks, as the Elites feared the rise of the Brutes and the Brutes likewise sought to supplant the Elites. Even more potent was anti-Prophet sentiment - the war was an unpopular one, even within the Covenant. Factions of Elites believed that humanity had shown remarkable tenacity in its struggle for survival, and that they merited being offered a place in the Covenant itself, while others believed that the Prophets reasons for wiping out the humans were less religious than they pretended. Other factors, such as traditional disagreement over treatment of Forerunner relics and interpretations of religious dogma, would eventually lead o the rise of various Heretic factions, setting the stage for the Great Schism.

By 2552, the UNSC had lost all but a handful of colonies, and ONI analysts estimated that they had months, not years, left before the Covenant eventually found and glassed Earth, shattering humanity once and for all. Operation: HYPODERMIC was enacted, sending stealth ships deep into Covenant space to find prospective targets for assault to divert Covenant attention, while at the same time the surviving SPARTAN-II personnel were recalled to Reach to prepare for a last-resort mission of desperation - the capture of a Covenant ship, its use to travel to the Covenant homeworld and capture a high-ranking Prophet, and the ransom of said Prophet in exchange for a ceasefire. Before either of these missions could be consucted, a massive Covenant fleet attacked the system, engaging the orbital defence grid, smashing through the orbital perimeter, and landing massive numbers of invasion troops. The battle for Reach was long and bloody, but ultimately the planet was fully conquered by Covenant forces and occupied. Most of the planet was glassed, though some portions remained hospitable enough for Covenant search teams to excavate ancient Forerunner ruins on the planet. The Fall of Reach was the most devastating battle of the Human-Covenant War, especially for humanity - outside of Sol, Reach was the UNSC's largest population center, and was also the UNSC military infrastructure hub. The loss of millions of sailors, airmen, soldiers and marines was a blow worse than any that the UNSC had yet taken in the war. Perhaps most devastating of all, however, was the loss of most of the SPARTAN-II personnel - they had become force multiplyers of unparalleled scale, and had proven their effectiveness countless times against Insurrectionists and Covenant alike, especially in infiltration and assassination missions that even the elite UNSC special forces troops would consider suicide. The deaths of more than a dozen SPARTAN-II personnel would have shattered the "Spartan Myth" that ONI had been so careful to foster as a morale boost if ever made known - the practice of labelling Spartan personnel as MIA rather than KIA in all cases would have been a thin veil at best.

The Fall of Reach would prove a catalyst of sorts, sparking a number of future of events that nobody could have predicted. Fleeing from the conquered planet, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn would stumble across an ancient artificial planetoid - a Halo. Built millenia ago by an ancient and now presumed extinct species known to the Covenant as the Forerunners, both the limited Covenant preliminary force and the UNSC survivors would battle over the secrets of the ringworld, only to realise that the Halo was more than a religious symbol, or even a technological treasure trove - it was a weapon on a galactic scale, capable of wiping out all sentient lifeforms in the galaxy, working in tandem with six other such ringworlds around the galaxy. Worse still, an ancient terror locked deep within the ring had been released by accident; a virulent and aggressive xenocidal parasitic species known as the Flood, which if allowed to leave Halo would consume the entire galaxy. The Halo was destroyed by a Spartan survivor, as well as the orbiting Covenant armada, but at the cost of the few UNSC survivors to survive the Flood. This Spartan, Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, would return to Reach aboard a captured Covenant flagship, extract even more Spartan survivors from Reach, destroy a Covenant staging ground and hundreds of ships before arriving at Earth, warning UNSC HIGHCOM that the Covenant knew Earth's location and were planning an invasion. The exact details of this operation are unclear, classified at the highest levels, but it was codenamed Operation: FIRST STRIKE, and saw the demise of celebrated naval commander Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb in combat with the enemy.

What little time the UNSC had left between August 30th, the fall of Reach, and October 21st was spent regrouping what UNSC forces remained in preparation for the defence of Earth in one last stand against the Covenant. Surviving forces were raised to full combat alert, ground and orbital assets were activated, and classified intelligence and materiel were moved off-planet in a span of time that was dizzying. No attempt was made to warn the civilian populace that the Covenant were en route - for one thing, evacuation procedures simply didn't exist to evacuate billions of people, and for another the resulting panic would have caused planet-wide rioting and looting, weakening the UNSC's last stronghold without the Covenant even arriving. While the UNSCDF was fully expecting the Covenant onslaught, the non-military population was taken aback. The propaganda released and distributed by the UNSC had always painted a picture of humanity holding its own against a collection of religious zealot barbarians, and the realisation that this picture, while not entirely false, was not the whole truth would have ramifications lasting decades, perhaps even centuries. Nevertheless, it was a near thing - Earth itself was only spared the traditional fate of worlds conquered by the Covenant because it was deemed a sacred site by the Prophets themselves, and the Covenant did not want to risk damaging more holy relics or, worse, angering the Prophets so close to the fulfillment of the Great Journey.

Spartan-117, who had arrived back from Halo earlier, would take part in the early stages of the New Mombassa campaign, pushing the numerically inadequate Covenant back from Old Mombassa into the city centre in an attempt to reach and board the first ship to penetrate the Earth Orbital Defence Grid, an Assault Carrier carrying a Hierarch - a doubly attractive target for the UNSC. The UNSC In Amber Clad would descend to engage the ship, keeping the city recapture effort supplied with troops and equipment, and pursuing the Assault Carrier as it attempted to jump to slipspace in-atmosphere, carrying Spartan-117 with it - the two ships would emerge over a second Halo installation, hundreds of lightyears from Earth.

At the same time, however, the Covenant was undergoing a period of fractionalism known as the Great Schism - events at the second Halo, "Delta Halo," would see the Master Chief assassinate a Prophet Hierarch to stop it activating the ringworld - theoretically, such an action had been anticipated to redouble the Covenant's xenocidal fury. If anything, it had exactly the opposite effect - the Prophet of Truth would use the event as an excuse to raise the Jiralhanae up as the Prophets' personal bodyguards, having lost faith in the ability of the Elites. In turn, the Elites threatened secession in protest - provoking the Brutes to begin a campaign of genocide against the Elites, targetting their leadership on Delta Halo especially. A religious/military warrior, the Arbiter, would eventually team up with UNSC forces to prevent the ringworlds activation and kill the Brute leader, forging a tentative alliance against the Covenant for as long as the two factions had to rely on each other, reaching Earth with a small Elite force with the loss of the In Amber Clad to the Flood.

These events did not go unparalleled. Earth itself was in the process of fighting for its life - the orbital fleet was now in tatters, especially after Covenant forces learnt that they could jump through slipspace to bypass the Defence Grid altogether, taking out the generators swiftly. Population centres were bombed by fighters and warships, and stragglers rounded up for "interrogation" - either questioned for information related to Forerunner relics, which most had no idea of, or captured and butchered for food. By November, the UNSC was in a dire state, reduced to a handful of warships, a few million people on Earth, and its last major bases reduced to a number that could be counted on one hand, especially after the destruction of HIGHCOM in Sydney. The last functioning human resistance forces, based in Kenya, would eventually be aided by returning UNSC troops with the Arbiter, - these same forces would also find the Master Chief, after the Spartan had stowed aboard a Covenant dreadnought and bailed out. Launching a major offensive, in coordination with the last naval assets, the UNSC would push the Covenant's remaining African forces back around the ruins of New Mombassa - reduced toa crater of molten earth, revealing a massive Forerunner structure. The planetary forces would withdraw from around the world to this structure until its activation - generating a slipspace portal from Earth to a location trillions of lightyears away. The Covenant withdrew through this portal, leaving the UNSC and a newly-arrived Elite battlegroup of twelve ships wondering whether to leave them to their fate or to follow them.

Complicating matters was the Flood - released on Delta Halo, it had captured and infested a massive Covenant mobile planetoid, High Charity, and was on its way to Earth to infect it, and to eliminate any threats to its existence. The UNSC would eventually elect to follow the Covenant, and assassinate the last of their leadership - the Elites had already resolved to hunt the Covenant down and slaughter them down to the last "man". Emerging from the portal, the combined battlegroup found themselves outside of the galaxy itself, in orbit above yet another massive Forerunner installation - rather than a ringworld, this one was a small Alderson-disc type construction and control facility known as the "Ark". Teams were immediately launched by the UNSC to track the Prophjet of Truth on the Ark, while the Elites dealt with the numerically superior but tactically and strategically inferior Brute naval forces. A combined attack would manage to assassinate Truth, though the Flood-infested High Charity had followed them to the Ark as well and tried to infect the last threat to its existence - its efforts were foiled by the Master Chief and the Arbiter, firing an incomplete Halo installation to replace the first one destroyed by the Master Chief months earlier.

Retreating through the portal, the Arbiter would emerge in the front half of the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn and land in the Indian Ocean. The Master Chief was not so lucky - located in the rear half of the ship, which never made it through, he is assumed to have been Killed In Action, though search teams continue to scour the space between the Ark and Earth for signs of the Dawn's wreckage. In March, the Arbiter and Fleet Admiral Lord Terrence Hood would dedicate a memorial to allhumans killed during the war, and officially bring the Human-Covenant War to an end.


Main articles: War of Vengeance and Second Great War (Sith'ari/Specops)

Technically, the phrase "peacetime" is a misnomer. Even in the brief lulls between major conflicts, smaller conflicts have always raged - campaigns against drug cartels in South America and terrorist cells in Africa and the Middle-East during the twentieth century, the suppression of piracy during Colonisation, and even after the Human-Covenant War this is a pattern that holds true. While the Covenant leadership was killed, either by UNSC assassination or by the infection of High Charity, and much of the Covenant military forces were left in tatters, neither the UNSC nor the Sangheili Armed Forces were much better off either. The devastation of Earth left the UNSC with a shattered fleet and a handful of operational military units, and the Reconstruction era was begun with only the support of less than a dozen surviving colony worlds to rebuild the civilian and military infrastructure humanity would need to defend itself. Even more damaging, faith in the UNSC had been shattered by the attack - the UNSC had always painted itself as victorious defenders, and the knowledge that even they had been unable to stop the Covenant finding Earth meant that the illusion of Earth supremacy was similarly broken.

However, it quickly became clear to the UNSC that previous assessments of their casualties had been over-pessimistic: Out of the original eight hundred UNSC colonies, less than seventy had actually been found and glassed by the Covenant, the majority of them lightly-populated outposts, harbours of Insurrectionists that the UNSC had felt it could stand losing, and agriculture and industrial worlds.[1] Even the majority of the colonies that the UNSC had evacuated or abandoned for fear of Covenant invasion were still habitable. However, this loss of productive worlds set back UNSC farming and industrial production significantly, and rationing had to be introduced on surviving planets to prevent food shortages. Furthermore, the Covenant had also succeeded in locating and attacking five of the UNSC's seventeen most heavily populated and oldest Inner Colony worlds (Earth, Reach, and Jericho VII among them). All of these worlds had populations going into the several billions, and these attacks resulted in the vast majority of the civilian population being killed. The population of Earth was reduced to a mere 200 million, and the attacks on these planets, combined with the military and civilian death tolls from the other colonies, brought the total death toll up to a staggering 23 billion. However, the UNSC still had a vast population to draw on for conscription and rebuilding.

While Humanity recieved a brief lull in the relentless onslaught of the Covenant, the UNSC immediately set to work consolidating the security of its remnant. Project EXCALIBUR's improvements were activated, in some cases before they were properly field tested, to produce a fleet that, while lacking the numbers for a full-scale war, could more than hold its own in a fight against Covenant or silimar warships. The reverse-engineering of Covenant and Forerunner assets, and its mass implementation among the fleet, would produce warships of unparalleled technical excellence, incorporating advancements in DEW, shield, slipspace travel and communication, and gravity manipulation to a degree not seen outside of Covenant fleets, creating a fighting force on par with the most advanced ships in the galaxy after the Forerunners. Introductions among the ground forces were significantly slow - the fact that the Navy had been all but wiped out made its reconstruction all the easier, but the UNSC Army, Air Force and Marine Corps would continue to use standard wartime armaments for decades afterwards - in the ground campaign, technological superiority had not been as major a factor as it was in the space campaign. Propaganda among the colonies bolstered the UNSC's ranks with fresh recruits, eager to take the fight to the enemy but even more eager to protect what little of humanity was left.

Despite the steady reconstruction of the armed forces, it would still be some time before the UNSC would be ready to commit itself to a true war. Its early role in the War of Vengeance would primarily be a combat and intelligence supporting one - the majority of the war was fought by the Sangheili, now diplomatic allies of the UNSC against the various former Covenant factions still in existence and still a threat to both groups. Only when the UNSC was convinced that inaction would lead to further catastrophies to human space did it act - and when it did, it was a hammer blow like none that it had launched before.

What became known as the War of Vengeance had its roots during the First Great War. During the Battle of Earth in 2552, the vast majority of the vessels brought by the Prophet of Truth to the Sol System went through the Portal to Installation 00, and were destroyed by the pursuing Sangheili fleet. However, a small number of ships were able to escape into slipspace, one of which was pursued by a UNSC Prowler to a Jiralhanae-occupied Covenant colony known as Unmoving Virtue. The Prowler was able to gather a large amount of intelligence on the colony and its defences before returning to UNSC space. However, the intelligence was shelved by the UNSC, who preferred to focus on reconstruction rather than taking the war to the Covenant, who in any case, appeared to be a less important threat than a potential second Insurrection, given that they were ripping themselves apart in a civil war created by the death of the Prophet of Truth and numerous Jiralhanae Alpha Chieftans.

By 2555, the warring Covenant factions had mostly been united under the New Covenant, led by the Prophet of Objection, the Blood Covenant, under Chieftan Hephaestus, and numerous other smaller, but no less dangerous states such as the Kig-Yar Privateer Alliance. The New Covenant, however, was not yet prepared to continue the war with the UNSC and the Sangheili, and it is indeed possible that Objection had lost the stomach for another costly war. In contrast, the Blood Covenant was rearming at full pace and made no secret of its aims to destroy humanity, the Sangheili, and the San'Shyuum, whom they viewed as deceivers responsible for their ill-fortune during the First Great War, and decisively ended negotions with the New Covenant over a potential military alliance by sending the two ambassadors home in pieces.

With their shipping being constantly harrassed by Kig-Yar pirate vessels, and the Blood Covenant rapidly approaching the capacity to overwhelm them, the UNSC recovered the intelligence gathered at Unmoving Virtue, and together with the Sangheili, composed a plan for a strike against the Blood Covenant that would cripple their military capability, and act as a deterrent against further aggression. At the pressing of his senior military advisors and cabinet secretaries, as well as Arbiter Thel 'Vadam of the Sangheili Armed Forces, UEG Secretary-General Pierre Plantard reluctantly made the unpopular move of committing the UNSC to an alliance with the Sangheili, and authorised a joint strike on Unmoving Virtue.


In spite of its theoretical position as the UEG's military and scientific force, the UNSC's presence throughout Human space has been so ubiquitous over its four centuries of existance that the term "UNSC" has been used in the absence of an official name for the loose federation of Human colonies governed from Earth. With no official condemnation of this practice, the name has stuck and does not look set to change in the foreseeable future.

The UNSC is governed by the United Earth Government, which operates on a republican Parliamentary democracy based on the British Westminster system. As such, there is no clear-cut separation of powers, and the head of government and the Cabinet all hold seats in the UE Parliament and so possess both legislative and executive power. The UNSC has an codified constitution, the Charter of Unified Earth, based on the original UN Charter. However, there is no technical difference between ordinary statutes and "constitutional law," codified in the Charter, Parliament can perform constitutional reform simply by passing Acts of Parliament and thus has the power to change or abolish almost any written or unwritten element of the constitution. However, no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change.

The Unified Earth Parliament is divided into two houses: The lower house, the democratically-elected House of Representatives, and the appointed Senate, which consists of men and women appointed by the government with the assent of the House of Representatives based on merit. Members of both houses are generally referred to a Parliamentarians, or "PMs".

The head of state and government is the Secretary-General of the UEG, which belongs to the Parliamentarian who can obtain the confidence of a majority in the House of Representatives, usually the current leader of the largest political party in that chamber. The post currently occupied (as of 2566) by Pierre Plantard of the Conservative Party. The Unified Earth Cabinet is composed of Parliamentarians appointed by the Secretary-General, and they serve at his or her pleasure. The Secretary-General and Cabinet exercise executive power based on the decisions made by Parliament, although this is considerably less clear-cut than it may appear.

Elections in the UNSC are based on the alternative vote system, with every person over the age of 18 without a criminal conviction holding the right to vote. The UEG operates on a multi-party system with the two most significant parties being the Conservatives and the Liberals. However, the Earth First Party is a significant third party that can effectively deny either of the two parties a majority, which has occasionally resulted in the need for coalition governments. A large number of smaller parties with a few or no seats in Parliament exist, but the primary power struggle is between the Conservatives, Liberals, and Earth Firsters.

Every one of the UNSC's eight hundred (since somewhat diminished, for obvious reasons) colony worlds is one constituency with representation in the House of Representatives, the sole exception being Earth, where all one hundred and eighty former nation-states hold representation in the House. This often resulted in many bills attempting to improve the standard of living in the Outer Colonies (often by raising taxes for the populations of Earth and the Inner Colonies) being overturned by this enormous voting advantage Earth holds over her colonies. This was a source of considerable resentment among Outer Colonists, especially since the UNSC's civil service, the Colonial Administration Authority, was formed with the express intention of preventing nation-states appearing on Earth's daughter colonies.

Scholars are divided as to whether the UNSC is governed as a loose federation or a strong confederation: The colonies and former Earth nation-states are mostly left to their own devices, and are even permitted to devise their own forms of government (provided those forms of government are liberal, sensible, and democratic and do not conflict with the Universal Bill of Rights) and possess their own militaries (which, in the event on a major attack on the UNSC, are put under the direct control of the UNSCDF). Therefore, the United Kingdom still possesses a constitutional monarchy, and France still follows the government system it has practised since the 21st Century. The UEG has powers which include the right to levy and collect taxes; to coin money and regulate its value; provide for punishment for counterfeiting; establish post offices, spacelanes, and roads; promote progress of science by issuing patents; create federal courts inferior to the UNSC Supreme Court; define and punish piracies and felonies; declare war and manage internal security; raise, maintain and support a military; make rules for the regulation of land, air and naval forces; make treaties with foreign nations; and to make laws necessary to properly execute these powers. All other affairs are left to colonial and former-nation-state governments.

Simplified organisation chart

Unified Earth Government and Colonial Administration Authority


Solar System

UNSC Solar System Colonies
Image Region Description/Infrastructure Population
Mercury Mercury: Founded in in the late 21st Century, Mercury has never been much of a population centre, though it does support several mining corporations who extract the iron ore on the planet. The northern settlement was established by a NASA expedition in 2080, and has since become the diminant settlement on the planet. A second settlement was founded later by the European Space Agency in 2113 in the southern hemisphere, but remains a secondary establishment.

Gemini Base - 211000

Virgo Base - 61000

Venus Venus: Science fiction is filled with fanciful notions of a Venus that has become a second Earth, and it is easy to understand why - it lies well within the haibtability zone of Sol, is of a similar size and mass, and has similar gravity. Unfortunately, these remain fantasy - to terraform a planet with an environment as hostile as Venus' would take centuries, a time frame which no company would ever deem profitable. For now, it maintains only a few hundred scientists on the orbiting Velikovski Space Station. Velikovski Station - 700
The Earth seen from Apollo 17 Earth:

The homeworld of humanity, Earth is the very core of the UNSC, the UN and the UEG, the centre of human-occupied space. While the rest of the planets in the solar system collectively support almost a billion people, this is nothing compared to Earth, which has supported billions since the 20th Century, and more than ten billion since the late 23rd Century. The devastation of Earth by the Covenant in 2552 has left it with little more than 200 million, most of these UNSCDF personnel from the defence of the planet. An influx of colonial refugees is likely to offset the sudden depopulation somewhat. Earth's moon, Luna, had been colonised since the late 20th Century, founded by a joint UK-US-Japan expedition, and is home to much of the UNSC Navy's infrastructure, such as the Mare Nubium Academy near the Asimov Center.

Approx. 200000000 (As of 2553, sudden change from 2551 planetary census)

  • Luna - 4000000
Mars Hubble Mars: Mars may not have been the first occupied planet after Earth, but it was the first true colony, with the first settlements founded by NASA in 2083, and a second larger settlement founded by the Russian Space Force in 2111. Since then, Mars has seen a turbulent history - the rise of neocommunist Koslovics, the Argyre Planitia Campaign, and recently a small invasion by the Covenant. Terraforming has done much to improve its habitability, and humans can now walk exposed without needing an environmental protection suit - though this is not recommended. Habitable is not the same as safe. Settlements are still enclosed in transparent domes to protect from seasonal dust storms, and massive land trains roam the planet hauling cargo loads to the New Legaspi and Losantiville space elevators.

700,000,000 (sudden change from 2551 planetary census)

  • Diemos - 9000
  • Phobos - 13000
Dawn Flight Configuration 2 Asteroid Belt: The main interest in colonising the asteroid belt was initially as a stopover point to the Outer System, and the foundation of the Galileio Inner-Outer System Base on Ceres was to facilitate this, and would prove instrumental in the colonisation of the Jovian Moons. However, most of humanity's presence in the region is in the form of mining corporations, harvesting the asteroids for the minerals and ores within them. Despite the efforts of the UEG, most of the larger planetoids in the area have been monopolised by mining transnational corporations, their populations essentially deemed "employees" rather than colonists, and law is enforced by hired private security and mercenary forces.

Ceres - 4000

4 Vesta - 2000

2 Pallas - 3000

10 Hygeia - 2500

Jupiter family Jupiter: Like Venus, Jupiter features in many science fiction stories, sporting fanciful cities floating in its atmosphere. One would be forgiven for thinking that the dozens of massive refineries set up in Jupiter's atmosphere were cities, but the planet is far too dangerous for habitation. Instead, its population is based on the largest and most habitable of its moons; Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, established in the early 2100's, and site of the Jovian Moons Campaign. These were joined by Io, set up by the UNSC in 2311 to monitor Sol's Inferior Slipspace Safe Entry Point, and serving as a local UNSCDF military base to oversee Jovian colonial peace.

Io - 400,000

  • Io Station [UNSC Military Base / Remote Sensor Outpost]

Europa - 91,000,000

Ganymede - 36,000,000

Callisto - 61,000,000

Saturn family Saturn Further out in the system, Saturn was deemed by most too far from either the Inferior SSEP to be a viable colony for shipping, but its two largest moons, Enceladus and Titan, were inhabited in 2211, intended to support a gas refinery infrastructure like that of Jupiter. Even after the Superior SSEP was discovered, Saturn simply remained too distant from either point to justify a colonisation effort.

Enceladus - 640000

Titan - 16000000

Uranus moons Uranus: Uranus was investigated early on as a potential source of helium and hydrogen, but like Saturn was deemed too distant from the Inferior SSEP to justify construction. When the Superior SSEP was discovered, a small wave of colonial entrepreneurs made their way out into the solar system, establishing a number of orbiting settlements to support a budding refinery industry, but settlement of Neptune saw it eclipsed.

Miranda - 3100

Ariel - 4100

Umbriel - 3200

Titania - 2400

Oberon - 1200

Voyager 2 Neptune and Triton Neptune: Unlike Uranus, Neptune is a thriving gas refinery world, producing much of the hydrogen/helium-3 that is sent to the colonies. Its proximity to the Superior SSEP makes it more economic to harvest than Saturn or Uranus, and Triton has become a hub of inbound freighter activity, the space equivalent of a shoreleave town. Nereid is little more than a space dock.

Triton - 30000

Nereid - 24000

600px-TheTransneptunians Size Albedo Color Trans-Neptunian Objects: With the colonies of Mars and the Jovian moons still having plenty of room for colonisation, there is little reason for colonists to move further out, unless it is to colonise a more promising planet outside of Sol. In fact, after Neptune the Solar System become dominantly a military domain, governed by the UNSCDF, which operated the Democritus Remote Sensor Outpost to monitor the Superior SSEP far away from most gravitational influences and debris fields. The Department of Commercial Shipping maintain their offices on Eris, while the UNSCDF retain control of the Pluto and Charon celestial pair.


  • Charon
  • Hydra





UNSC Extra-Solar Colonies
Star System Distance (from Sol) Colony/Status Status
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Algolis Glassed in 2531
Alpha Centauri System 4.3650 lightyears Thebes Still occupied in 2553, site of significant military infrastructure.
Mu Arae System 50.592 Ares IV[3] Lost contact in 2535, presumed lost to the Covenant. Destroyed in 2552.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Middangeard Xenoarchaeological dig site, politically sensitive.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Ulysses Still occupied by 2553. Site of the Ulysses Orbital Shipyards.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Magus[4] Invaded by Covenant Loyalist forces in 2552. Destroyed by UNSC forces.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Pyre[4] Glassed in 2531, invaded by Covenant Loyalists in 2552. Destroyed by UNSC forces.
Delta Pavonis System 19.915 lightyears Pavonus Secundus Attacked in 2551 by the Covenant, evacuated by UNSC. Re-occupied in 2553.
Alpha Canis Minoris (Procyon) System 11.402 lightyears Arcadia invaded by Covenant in 2531, glassed in 2542. Minorca invaded in 2552, destroyed by UNSC in 2552.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Ariel Invaded in 2551.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Asmara Glassed in 2528, no terraforming projects expected.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Atlas Colony evacuated by Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb during prolonged seige by Covenant fleet.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Ballast Attacked by Covenant in 2551, repelled by UNSC forces. Still occupied.
Epsilon Eridani System 10.522 lightyears
  • Beta Gabriel
  • Reach
  • Tribute
  • Circumstance
  • Epsilon Eridani IV
  • Tantalus
System invaded by the Covenant in 2552, all colonies glassed with partial exceptions on Reach. Terraforming projects begun on Reach, including reestablishment of military infrastructure.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Biko Glassed by the Covenant in 2525. No terraforming projects expected.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Charybdis IX Glassed in 2531.
Chi Ceti System 75.624 lightyears Chi Ceti IV Attacked in 2525, abandoned by the UNSC.
Ectanus 45 System [REDACTED[2]] Chi Rho Invaded by the Covenant in 2536.
HD 40307 System 42.327 lightyears Coral Glassed by the Covenant in 2552
Sigma Octantis (Polaris Australis) System 280.94 lightyears Cote d'Azure Attacked in 2552, still inhabited.
61 Cygni 11.403 lightyears Cygnus Attacked in 2552.
26 Draconis 29.488 lightyears
  • Draco III
  • Leviosa
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Emerald Cove Abandoned in 2542. Repopulated in 2553.
Eta Eridani System 136.53 lightyears
  • Eridanus II
  • Eridanus Secundus Asteroid Belt
Eridanus II glassed in 2531, Eridanus Secundus asteroid colony glassed in 2552.
18 Scorpii System 45.339 lightyears Falaknuma Glassed by the Covenant in 2543.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Far Isle Nuclear bombardment by UNSC in 2491 after massive Insurrectionist uprising.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Gilgamesh Still occupied.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Green Hills Glassed by the Covenant in 2525.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Harmony Glassed by the Covenant in 2525.
Epsilon Indi System 11.824 lightyears Harvest Partially glassed in 2525, recaptured by UNSC in 2531, remains in UNSC control.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Hat Yai Invaded by Covenant forces in 2526, subsequently glassed.
Lambda Serpentis System 39.545 lightyears Jericho VII Glassed by the Covenant in 2535
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Kholo Glassed by the Covenant in 2536
23 Librae System 84.474 lightyears
  • Madrigal
  • Main belt
  • Hesiod
    • Rubble Asteroid Belt
Madrigal glassed in 2528. Rubble evacuated by UNSC in 2531. Re-occupied in 2553.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Mamore Site of an Insurrectionist uprising in 2537. Still occupied by the UNSC.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Minister Still occupied by the UNSC.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Miridem Glassed by the Covenant in 2544.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] New Constantinople Invaded by the Covenant in 2536, glassed in 2537.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] New Harmony Attacked by the Covenant in 2537.
Zeta Doradus System 37.984 lightyears Onyx Destroyed in 2552. Quarantined.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Paris IV Glassed by the Covenant in 2549.
Lambda Aurigae 41.198 lightyears Roost [REDACTED[2]]
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Sargasso [REDACTED[2]]
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Second Base Glassed by the Covenant in 2525.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Skopje Glassed by the Covenant in 2547.
Hellespont [REDACTED[2]] Troy Evacuated by the UNSC and glassed by the Covenant in 2552.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Verge Invaded in 2551, used as a fuel refinery and power transmitter. Refinery destroyed in 2552 by Spartan-II Black Team.
111 Tauri System 47.8 lightyears Victoria [REDACTED[2]]
Alpha Aurigae 42.2 lightyears [REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]]
Groombridge 34 11.624 lightyears [REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]]
Groombridge 1830 29.654 lightyears [REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]]
Theta Ursae Majoris 43.964 lightyears [REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]]
XI Boötis 22.102 lightyears XI Boötis A [REDACTED[2]]
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Matariki Current UNSC training ground, agricultural centre, refugee repopulation centre.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Fumirole Like Hellas, Fumirole suffers from sporadic Insurrectionist outbreaks. Post-war, it has been one of many colonial hotspots.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Hellas Like Fumirole, Fumirole suffers from sporadic Insurrectionist outbreaks. Post-war, it has been one of many colonial hotspots.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Cyrus VII Military training base. Attacked in 2542.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Eirene Glassed in 3538.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Forseti Currently occupied, major civilian population centre.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Juneau Currently occupied, major civilian population centre.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Lenapi Currently occupied, major civilian population centre.
[REDACTED[2]] [REDACTED[2]] Sargasso [REDACTED[2]]


  1. The author justifies this opinion by referring the reader to the shards of glass that hang over what used to be known as the Step of Silence in High Charity. There are only seventy-six, which can be interpreted to mean that only a small fraction of the UNSC's 800 colonies were glassed.
  2. 2.000 2.001 2.002 2.003 2.004 2.005 2.006 2.007 2.008 2.009 2.010 2.011 2.012 2.013 2.014 2.015 2.016 2.017 2.018 2.019 2.020 2.021 2.022 2.023 2.024 2.025 2.026 2.027 2.028 2.029 2.030 2.031 2.032 2.033 2.034 2.035 2.036 2.037 2.038 2.039 2.040 2.041 2.042 2.043 2.044 2.045 2.046 2.047 2.048 2.049 2.050 2.051 2.052 2.053 2.054 2.055 2.056 2.057 2.058 2.059 2.060 2.061 2.062 2.063 2.064 2.065 2.066 2.067 2.068 2.069 2.070 2.071 2.072 2.073 2.074 2.075 2.076 2.077 2.078 2.079 2.080 2.081 2.082 2.083 2.084 2.085 2.086 2.087 2.088 2.089 2.090 2.091 2.092 2.093 2.094 2.095 2.096 2.097 2.098 2.099 2.100 2.101 2.102 2.103 2.104 2.105 2.106 2.107 2.108 2.109 2.110 Classified DECEMBER BLACK in accordance with UNSC Emergency Priority Order 098831A-1
  3. Site of the Battle of Ares IV. Limited intelligence available.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Part of the Mandorla Campaign
  5. Site of Operation: HOT GATES
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.