Reach was a human colony world in the Epsilon Eridani system, located within the Inner colonies. At 10.5 light years from the Sol system, it is located at Earth's metaphorical doorstep. Reach is the fourth largest planet in the Epsilon Eridani system, and second closest to the star Epsilon Eridani.
The Forerunners once had some sort of presence on Reach, roughly 100,000 years before Human colonization. They built at least two structures; one beneath Menachite Mountain, and another beneath the Babd Catha Ice Shelf. Both of these were later discovered by the UNSC and commandeered by the Office of Naval Intelligence.
First confirmations of Reach's existence were in the early 21st century. It was originally colonized in 2362, by the Odyssey for its rich titanium deposits. The mines all over the planet, ran thousands of meters deep. ONI's secret CASTLE Base was located in one of these mines underneath Menachite Mountain. The Office of Naval Intelligence commandeered the mine after it breached a secret complex beneath Reach's surface containing a Forerunner artifact that was highly desired by the Covenant. The fact that this artifact was so valuable to them is perhaps the main reason anyone survived the aftermath of the Fall of Reach at all, as the Covenant were afraid of destroying it. This facility was also the birthplace of the legendary SPARTAN-II Program.
The Spartan-IIs were trained and housed on Reach. It was said by Fred-104 that Reach was their home, and every Spartan-II would fight to the death to defend her. It was hinted that Reach was more important to the Spartans than Earth, the home world of humanity.
Despite its position as the UNSC's largest naval base, strategic headquarters, and second-largest population center, the Epsilon Eridani system was wracked by Insurrectionist activity throughout the early 26th Century. Reach's sister planet, Tribute, was one of the fronts for the UNSC's anti-terrorist campaign, Operation: TREBUCHET.
In 2525, mere months prior to the outbreak of the Human-Covenant war, Reach was the site of a major terrorist bombing against the luxury liner National Holiday. Two taxi-shuttles filled with explosives were rammed into the liner, resulting in the liner losing control and plummeting into the atmosphere, incinerating everyone on board as well as burning the paint off any ship in a 2 kilometer radius.
Between November 2530 and May 2531, Blue Team came to Reach to break up a saboteur ring. At some point during the Insurrection, Operation: CLEAN SWEEP took place on Reach.
Revival and Re-Terraforming Efforts
The symbolic and strategic value of the planet prompted the UEG to quickly select Reach for remediation and recolonization. The surviving populace and infrastructure would assist in this endeavor.
A scouting team arrived on Reach to see the true damage to the planet in November 2553, and prepare the planet for reterraforming. By 2589, Reach had gone through re-terraforming and it was restored to a habitable state, with new human colonists re-settling the planet. In 2610, at least the city of New Alexandria had been re-settled.
Reach had nine space elevators, three located near the city of New Alexandria, and one in Manassas.
Before the Covenant invasion, Epsilon Eridani's superior interstellar jump point had been the most active Slipstream Space transfer zone (arrivals and departures) for over thirty years, with the system's inferior IJP and Sol's superior IJP regularly trading second and third place spots.
Reach was also the largest non-automated exporter of titanium, and had many titanium mines on the surface. Titanium was in such abundance in fact, that entire spires of the element rose up from the ground.
Reach as well traded livestock, specifically Moa, to the planet Gannick 22. One last shipment was sent prior to the Fall of Reach.
Ship Building & Breaking
Reach was the largest and most active shipyard of the UNSC prior to the Fall. Ships like the Stalwart-class light frigate were built there.
Ship breaking was a very lucrative business as there was an on ground facility and orbital locations for dismantling ships of all kinds. Metal taken from these ships were sent to nearby metal working refineries where they were melted down and coulc be recast and reformed for any other products that could be made from metal.
Reach was one of, if not the most important headquarters for the United Nations Space Command and the main supplier of military and civilian spacecraft, and the location of the UNSC's largest and most active shipyard. HIGHCOM, FLEETCOM and the Marine Corps maintained headquarters on Reach, as well as many primary Naval Intelligence bases, which included the highly classified CASTLE Base. It was also where the UNSC's most elite troops, including the ODSTs as well as the Spartan-IIs, were trained. Reach also had their own Central Command.
While Earth was rightly seen as the UNSC's commercial, political, and cultural center; Reach was undeniably the hub of its military power. The Epsilon Eridani Defense Fleet was a full strength Carrier Group with the Punic-class supercarrier UNSC Trafalgar at its core.
Eighteen repair and refit space stations, such as Anchor 9, orbited Reach. They to helped repair, refit and otherwise service UNSC Navy starships.
Orbiting around Reach were a semi-mobile array of twenty Orbital Defense Platforms (ODP),equipped with heavy MAC Guns also known as "big sticks," some of which were in place as early as 2527. They were in turn defended by multiple wings of single ships and tactical multi-role craft. In addition, there were also about 100 to 150 warships stationed in the Epsilon Eridani System at any time. The ODPs were destroyed during the invasion of Reach, or were disabled by ground troops by destroying their power source. Despite their huge numbers, the fleet of warships was destroyed by an even larger Covenant fleet.
Many of the original settlers hailed from Eastern Europe, particularly Hungary, which is reflected in some of the names of locations on the planet. Many of the planet's inhabitants also spoke Hungarian as their first language. Despite Reach's harsh nature, some settlers chose to live in small communities of homesteads, referred to as "Kivas," in the wilderness instead of the major cities. Rounded and enclosed, they were comfortable but practical, shuttered against Reach's forceful climate and bunkered into hillsides. It also related their independent nature; powered by wind turbines and hydroelectric plants, they were off the grid and self-sustaining.
Reach's purpose was not solely military however; the surface of the planet also featured farmland and civilian towns and districts. The largest cities on Reach were Manassas, Quezon and Ezhtergom.
Reach is a young planet with an age of no more than one billion years. Compared to the 4.6 billion years of Earth, Reach is remarkably geologically stable.Reach is larger than Earth, having a diameter of 15,273 kilometers, compared to the 12,756 kilometers diameter of Earth. Reach was however only the fourth largest planet in the Epsilon Eridani system. Reach was originally inhospitable for human life, requiring some degree of terraforming before it could be colonized. Mostly a rugged and harsh wilderness filled with towering mountains, deserts and weather-beaten forests, The surface is pockmarked with meteor impact craters, with some of them forming large seas.
While Reach was being glassed, many polar regions like the Babd Catha Ice Shelf partially melted. A large ionic storm formed at Aszod because of this glassing, which caused it to rain. After the Fall of Reach, most of the planet's surface was glassed.
Flora and Fauna
Reach had a thriving eco-system with various different species. The Highland Mountains contain a diverse range of flora and fauna. There were hundreds of different kinds of trees, plants, and animals including Douglas Firs,Cedars, Wild Blueberry Bushes, Moa, gray wolves (Imported from Earth), Owls (Imported from Earth), and Koi. Szurdok Ridge also had the alien Gúta. New Alexandria had rats (Imported from Earth) that lived in the maintenance areas in the city.here were also Koi in the Sinoviet Center.All over the planet, various avian species, including natives of Earth can be seen.
Reach is located near a small nebula, which has a visible effect on the planet and its moons, casting an "aura" similar to the Aurora Borealis. This could also be caused by Reach having a stronger magnetic field. It has two moons, the much larger ringed Csodaszarvas and the smaller, cratered Turul. Turul was captured in Reach's gravity, somewhere between 70-80 thousand years ago.
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