“They believe this is the home of one of their gods. The way I see it, if those freaks want to meet God, then it is our duty to help them along.”
The Second Battle of Requiem, also known as the Requiem Campaign by the UNSC, was a major space and ground battle between the UNSC and a coalition of the Covenant and Promethean forces.
After the First Battle of Requiem the UNSC Infinity returned to Earth. Andrew Del Rio was stripped of his position as captain of the warship, and the newly promoted Captain Lasky took his place. Six months after the Ur-Didact's attack on New Phoenix, Infinity was ordered to return to Requiem by FLEETCOM. Several new Spartan and Marine fireteams were deployed to Infinity along with hundreds of engineers and scientists.
The Space Battle
Shortly before 0500 hours on February 7, 2558, UNSC Infinity emerged from slipspace in the midst of a Covenant fleet, plowing through a RCS-class armored cruiser before the Covenant could react. Infinity then launched her complement of Strident-class heavy frigates and hundreds of Broadsword fighters, which were engaged by Seraph fighters. Infinity began preparing a strike force for deployment to the interior surface of Requiem. Hundreds of Scorpions and Warthogs were loaded onto Pelican dropships, plus dozens of Spartan and Marine fireteams. As soon as enough Covenant ships had been cleared to make a clean shot for Requiem's portal to its interior, the ground forces were deployed in a massive invasion. As the waves of ground forces continued to swarm into Requiem, Infinity and her frigate escorts pushed the Covenant fleet back and secured a UNSC foothold above Requiem.
At exactly 0500 hours (5:00 a.m. Zulu Time), operations to secure a ground-side foothold began when a large task force of Spartan and Marine fireteams was deployed to a Covenant-held continent (designated REQ-931-B) on the interior surface of Requiem. The deployment area was largely a barren desert with deep canyons and tall mesas, earning it the shorthand name, "the Quarry." At least five Spartan fireteams participated in the attack, including Castle, Majestic, Domino, Ivy, and Crimson, in addition to numerous Marine forces and significant armor. Spartan Fireteam Crimson was deployed and successfully neutralized the power sources before being extracted and brought back to Infinity. As the air space within Requiem's outer shell was cleared of Covenant forces more and more UNSC reinforcements arrived until the continent was completely devoid of Covenant. Infinity Science began assembling pre-fabricated labs on the surface and command posts were set up as the UNSC began to build up their presence on the surface. However the Covenant still had installations in the region that were being remotely powered.
As UNSC personnel spread across the planet they consistently drove the Covenant back until Promethean forces were encountered. These AIs proved more than a match for almost all UNSC forces except Spartan-IVs. Because of this, Spartan fireteams were deployed to areas with high numbers of Prometheans to clear and secure them. Several Forerunner structures in Requiem's frosty mountains were the site of some of the fiercest combat against Promethean forces during the entire campaign. This location, designated "the Fortress," was part of Requiem's teleportation grid, meaning that for every Promethean killed, two more could take its place. Eventually the entire region was cleared by Spartan Fireteams, including Crimson and Majestic, allowing Infinity Science to move in and set up research facilities.
As the ground battle waged on, Jul 'Mdama's Covenant began to be pushed further and further back, although a large portion of its fleet was still biding its time, hidden from Infinity above Requiem's exterior surface. As more and more Forerunner sites came under UNSC control, Infinity Science began selecting points of interest where they wished to establish labs. Because these points of interest were usually safeguarded by Promethean AIs or solid Covenant resistance, a large number of Spartans were deployed to secure the locations. Fireteam Crimson made one of the most interesting finds: a Forerunner artifact that was brought aboard the UNSC Infinity to keep it safe from Covenant attempts at re-acquisition and teleporting Prometheans. The artifact began to have alarming behavior once aboard the flagship, however, including an electro-magnetic pulse that neutralized the ship's engines and caused the disappearance of the Chief Engineer, Dr. Henry Glassman. The artifact ultimately settled down, becoming dormant but immobile on one of Infinity's decks. At the request of Captain Lasky, the ONI prowler UNSC Aladdin brought Dr. Halsey aboard Infinity in order to assist in the investigation of the mysterious artifact. Meanwhile, Infinity Science continued to operate on Requiem's surface, with several notable science teams including Galileo, Gagarin and Copernicus. With the continued research of Forerunner facilities, word of a spec ops Sangheili Zealot team known as the "Silent Blade," began to circulate amongst UNSC personnel.
“My thinking is, if we can put Vol down like a sick dog, then the galaxy's a better place.”
After a number of UNSC operations, intelligence reached Infinity that Parg Vol, a Sangheili terrorist and known associate of Jul 'Mdama, was on the surface of Requiem and was responsible for a sudden Covenant counter-attack that had lost the UNSC several command posts and science labs, particularly in "the Quarry." After pin-pointing his exact location, Spartan Fireteam Crimson was stealthily deployed groundside to assassinate the commander. However, Vol was surrounded by considerable ground forces, meaning that Crimson was detected before reaching him, and that he was able to escape by Phantom. After the Spartans had killed all remaining Covenant forces they found that Vol had amassed an armory of UNSC armor and ordnance. Vol continued to evade his would-be assassins, appearing for minutes at a time before disappearing later. Finally he was cornered by Crimson in a grassy region of Requiem designated "the Gate." Here he made his last stand against the Spartans, alongside Sangheili Commanders and Zealots before finally being overwhelmed and killed.
The Didact’s Hand
Despite Crimson's successful hit, the scene of the battle was grim. Spartan Fireteam Castle had been killed and Infinity got word that Fleet Master Jul 'Mdama had arrived in person to oversee operations on Requiem. Known as the Didact's Hand, 'Mdama was present when the Covenant captured Dr. Glassman after his disappearance from the UNSC Infinity. 'Mdama then provided Glassman with captured UNSC scientific gear and ordered him to begin working on what the fleetmaster believed was the cairn of the The Librarian's Durance. At some point shortly after 'Mdama's arrival, the Covenant secured the controls to Requiem's teleportation grid, allowing them the same versatility and ease of transportation as the Prometheans. This became a massive thorn in the UNSC's side as they began hunting down 'Mdama. Spartan fireteams Crimson and Majestic became the fleetmaster's primary pursuers. After locating the Sangheili several times only to have him disappear, Infinity finally launched a massive barrage with the intention of taking him out before he could use Requiem's portal system. They underestimated the efficiency and alacrity of Forerunner teleportation technology, and 'Mdama escaped, but not before dropping a Forerunner-designed cube that the Covenant BattleNet referred to as the Didact's Gift. The UNSC swiftly secured the cube and rushed it to the nearest research facility, Galileo Base; not knowing that 'Mdama had intentionally let it fall into human hands.
The Didact’s Gift
Once at Galileo Base, a science team began running diagnostics on the Didact's Gift while Fireteam Crimson waited for evac. Their ride was postponed after Jared Miller picked up signatures from numerous Phantoms and Banshees, all en route to Galileo Base. Kig-Yar strike teams arrived first, alongside Unggoy Heavies and Imperials. Soon on their heels were Sangheili and Mgalekgolo kill teams with Ghosts and Shades. After an earlier attack, the base defenses had been upgraded with large AA rocket batteries. Unbeknownst to any of the Spartans present, one of the base's scientists had rerouted the power from the defenses to stabilize a nuclear reaction project. Crimson reactivated the rocket batteries, stopping all Covenant reinforcements from arriving, only to receive a frantic warning from the scientist telling them they needed to deactivate the base batteries unless they wished to be vaporized. As Crimson crossed the facility to reach the master terminal, several lances of Promethean Battlewagons teleported in, surrounding them. Crimson finally reached the master terminal and deactivated the facility's defenses. Immediately the Covenant began returning with a vengeance. Fireteam Majestic was deployed to the facility to take the Didact's Gift back to Infinity while Crimson covered them, however, by the time Majestic had landed and retrieved the artifact, the airspace above the facility was overrun with Banshees and Phantoms. After being pinned down and cut off from their Pelican within one of Galileo's prefabricated labs, Gabriel Thorne managed to board a passing Banshee and hold off Covenant air support while Crimson cleaned up ground forces and the rest of Majestic ferried the Didact's Gift to Infinity. Jul 'Mdama and his second-in-command, Gek, watched the battle from a nearby cliff. As the last Phantom was destroyed Gek warned Jul that the Spartans were escaping with the Gift. Jul merely calmed him with a wave of his hand and informed him that it had been part of his plan all along to let the artifact fall into human hands. Once onboard Infinity, Dr. Halsey identified the artifact as the AI matrix of a Promethean Knight. After accidentally activating it, she found it contained human memories of New Phoenix from the attack six months prior. This caused Thorne to go and personally examine the teleportation artifact that had been recovered earlier in the battle, not realizing its true purpose. After briefly making physical contact, he was teleported to a volcanic region of Requiem designated "the Cauldron," without weapons or a helmet for comms. After climbing to his feet he realized that a lance of sword-wielding Sangheili was waiting for him.
Gabriel Thorne's absence was not immediately noticed. For several hours it was business as usual on the surface of Requiem. Fireteam Crimson helped an Infinity Science team shut down the planet's teleportation grid and ward off a subsequent Promethean attack. As the team began conducting crucial in-field tests on the teleportation grid at Gagarin Base, Marine Fireteam War Bird was sent to secure the area, only to be attacked by the Silent Blade once again. A CRS-class light cruiser loomed overhead and began dropping reinforcements. Fireteam Crimson simultaneously protected the remnants of the science team and aided Fireteam War Bird in defending UNSC tech. The Spartans eventually eradicated every member of the notorious Silent Blade, but continued to be assailed by Covenant reinforcements from the cruiser above. Spartan Fireteam Shadow managed to board the ship while Crimson and War Bird held off Covenant on the ground. The Spartans sabotaged the ship's engines and escaped before it self-destructed. With their air support gone the Covenant quickly became disorganized and were defeated by UNSC forces. Despite losing a ship and yet another Forerunner artifact, Jul 'Mdama was undeterred. He had managed to gain access to the comms of Dr. Halsey's data pad and anonymously plied her with questions. When he inquired what she knew of the The Librarian, Halsey was so shocked that it aroused suspicion from the nearby Palmer, who promptly confiscated the data pad and escorted Halsey to the brig. The setback proved of little consequence, however, as Dr. Glassman managed to somehow activate the Librarian's crypt. It was at this point that Spartan Thorne's disappearance was noticed and Spartan Fireteams were mobilized to search for him. Fireteam Crimson arrived at a location in the "Quarry." Intelligence had located a large contingent of Covenant forces that appeared to be guarding something. After a fierce firefight the Spartans discovered that they were not guarding a Spartan, but a large stockpile of UNSC equipment. The fireteam was recalled to search another location, but their Pelican was shot down, leaving the Spartans surrounded by dozens of Phantoms and a CRS-class light cruiser. As wave after wave of aircraft arrived, Miller frantically called for reinforcements.
Crimson and Icebreaker
Eventually Crimson was overwhelmed and subdued. Miller lost contact with them and the Spartans were beaten senseless. Upon awakening, they found themselves secured by energy manacles within a large Forerunner complex. Unsurprisingly, all weapons and equipment had been taken from them. Their regained consciousness allowed Miller to triangulate their vital signs and order an airstrike on several nearby Covenant lances. The violent blasts weakened the energy manacles long enough for one of the Spartans to break free and kill the nearby sentry, freeing the rest of the fireteam. Crimson then captured several Ghosts and pushed through the large Forerunner ruins to a makeshift hangar. There they found a missing team of Marines, Fireteam Icebreaker, that Infinity command had assumed KIA. The Spartans freed the Marines including the team leader, Lieutenant Murphy, who helped Crimson capture and escape in a Phantom. Miller had re-established communications at this point and began guiding the teams back to Infinity. The Covenant had not yet realized the captured Phantom was no longer friendly, and instructed the vessel to set down at a secure location. Murphy did so and Crimson disembarked, killing all Covenant present and discovering yet another cache of UNSC weapons gear. Roland then requested that the Spartans investigate several nearby terminals. The A.I. was able to transmit a computer worm via the Mjolnir armor, giving him direct access to certain portions of the enemy battle-net. Crimson then fought through a contingent of Mgalekgolo and returned to the captured Phantom. Miller re-routed the Fireteam to several more locations before returning to Infinity. At one location, Crimson was intended to provide backup to Spartan Fireteam Switchback in disrupting a Covenant archaeological dig, however Crimson only found several IFF tags and heavy Covenant/Promethean resistance. The fireteam then disabled a nearby Harvester that was assisting in the dig and returned to the Phantom so as to deploy to one final location.
Thorne and Glassman
At the Librarian's cairn, Jul 'Mdama and the nearby Sangheili were awestruck at the spectacle caused by Dr. Glassman's activation of the artifact. So awestruck, in fact, that they did not even notice when the doctor backed past them and ran from the chamber. As soon as 'Mdama discovered that the artifact would only open to human touch, he flew into a rage and sent all nearby Sangheili after the escaped scientist, including his lieutenant, Gek 'Lhar. At the same time, Gabriel Thorne fought empty-handed against the Sangheili surrounding them. He managed to kill all but two before being knocked unconscious by a blow to the head. The two surviving Sangheili dragged him back to their headquarters, reaching the front door just as Glassman did. Thorne re-awoke as the Sangheili refocused their attention on the doctor. The Spartan then punched the nearest Sangheili in the back of the knee, grabbed the Sangheili's Storm Rifle and killed them both. Meanwhile, Gek primed Glassman's explosive vest via remote detonator. Thorne realized this and tore the vest from Glassman, flung it into the tunnel and hurled himself and the doctor out of the blast radius as the vest exploded. The explosion killed every pursuing Sangheili except Gek, who set off in a vengeful rage after the two humans.
Attack on Infinity
Meanwhile, as Dr. Halsey sat in the brig of the UNSC Infinity, Roland arrived and asked why she attempted to communicate with an unknown intelligence about classified material. After a brief interchange, Halsey used the pass-phrase override "UNDID IRIDIUM" to gain control of the inquisitive A.I. and then use him to move unsuspected to the captain's ready room. Once there she perused all the material she could find for information on the Librarian and the Didact's Hand, also discovering that John-117 was still alive and had survived the destruction of the Ark. She then used the terminal to communicate with Jul 'Mdama. She offered her assistance in exchange for what they both wanted: the Librarian's secrets. At that moment though Roland regained control of his confused matrices and pulled the plug, and alerting Lasky. Just as the captain was about to have Halsey interred in a cryo-tube, alarms sounded across the ship. Prometheans had gained access to the massive vessel and taken all hands by surprise. Most Spartan and Marine fireteams were deployed on Requiem and the Prometheans quickly overran most of the ship. All UNSC assets were recalled to the ship, but at that moment the rest of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant fleet arrived, composed primarily of CRS-class light cruisers, and attacked Infinity. At this point, Fireteam Crimson reached the battle, still in the captured Phantom. Infinity's automated point-defense turrets could not differentiate between the thousands of incoming enemy spacecraft and Crimson was hit. Lieutenant Murphy barely guided the out-of-control dropship into one of Infinity's hangars, the bay's vacuum shields decelerating the dropship enough to allow all of its passengers to survive. Fireteam Crimson promptly went to work, clearing the hangar and locking down all bay doors on the port side of the ship, preventing further Covenant boarders. At that moment though, teams on board made two discoveries: first the Covenant had internally disabled all the port defenses, leaving Infinity open to attacks from the Covenant fleet, and second that the Covenant had UNSC nuclear devices with them from Parg Vol's supply and had armed the devices at key points throughout the ship. Fireteam Kodiak disarmed the nukes in the ship's armory while Fireteam Crimson disarmed the nukes in the engine room. With the nukes disarmed and back in UNSC control, Crimson re-activated the ship's port defenses, which promptly destroyed all adjacent ships. The remainder of the Covenant fleet fled as the UNSC re-grouped. But Infinity was not safe yet. As Lasky escorted Halsey to the bridge, it was brought to his attention that Infinity was unable to move from its current spot because it was trapped by a sort of Slipspace anchor. As he turned his back, a Promethean Knight appeared, knocked Commander Palmer to the deck, grabbed Dr. Halsey, and disappeared again.
Gek 'Lhar's Death
As the massive battle waged hundreds of miles over their heads, Gabriel Thorne and Dr. Glassman trekked through the dusty canyons near "Sniper's Alley" in REQ-153-N to reach Galileo Base. Glassman sat down to take a rest and Thorne stopped to glance around. Realizing that something was amiss, he told Glassman to get to safety just as Gek 'Lhar emerged from invisibility, swinging his Energy Sword and slicing Thorne's Storm Rifle in half. Gek tossed Glassman aside like a ragdoll and attempted to truncate Thorne, who disarmed him in the process. Thorne managed to knock the Sangheili assassin to the ground. The Spartan then tried to break Gek's skull with a boulder, but the Sangheili caught it, flipped Thorne to the ground and brought the stone down on his chest, stunning him. Glassman was attempting to reach the fallen Energy Sword, but was stopped when Gek stepped on his outstretched arm, breaking it. Just as the Sangheili was preparing to execute the downed Spartan, he was shot in the head three times by DeMarco, who had shown up with the rest of Majestic. The Spartans looted his body, then returned with the injured Glassman to an LZ for Pelican evac.
The Janus Key
With the abduction of Dr. Halsey by enemy forces, Admiral Osman, head of ONI, ordered Lasky to assassinate the doctor lest the Covenant glean any sensitive intel from her. Sarah Palmer was deployed from Infinity despite Lasky's admonishments to the contrary. As soon as she was out of earshot Lasky contacted Fireteam Majestic and asked them to rescue Dr. Halsey, without telling them that Palmer was en route. The Spartans returned to the Covenant's base and engaged the sentries outside while Thorne used his recently acquired active camouflage unit to slip inside. At the same time, Dr. Halsey unlocked the shield set up by Glassman and entered the Librarian's shrine. Inside she was greeted by the Forerunner's imprint, which presented to her the two pieces of the Janus Key, an artifact that would reveal the location of every piece of Forerunner technology in the galaxy. Once she reappeared outside the shrine, Jul 'Mdama snatched one of the halves away from her, not noticing the second piece in Halsey's hand. At that moment Thorne broke a nearby sentry's back, killing the other with his assault rifle. Halsey tossed the other half of the Janus Key to the Spartan. Just as a sword-wielding warrior was about to kill him from behind, it was felled by Palmer. A pair of Promethean Knights appeared to protect 'Mdama and Halsey, but not before Palmer shot the doctor in the carotid artery. The rest of Majestic appeared and fought through the army of Prometheans alongside Palmer. Before they could reach the cornered 'Mdama, a Knight appeared and teleported away with him and the injured doctor.
End of Requiem
Jul 'Mdama, having completed his mission of retrieving the Janus Key, and of anchoring Infinity to Requiem, activated a secluded terminal that would cause Requiem to fall into the sun and drag Infinity with it. 'Mdama and most of the Covenant ground forces then used the remaining ships in the Covenant fleet to flee the Shield World and enter slipspace. Lasky saw the ships fleeing en masse right past Infinity and was rightly suspicious. At that moment the entire vessel rocked as Requiem began its rapid journey to the center of its star. Lasky ordered an immediate evacuation of all UNSC personnel from the surface and with the aid of Dr. Glassman, tasked Palmer, Majestic and Crimson with the disabling of the artifacts anchoring Infinity to Requiem. After their task was complete, both teams escaped through Requiem's disintegrating outer shell and returned to Infinity, which jumped to safety as Requiem entered the star, causing a supernova.
The Infinity escaped with minimal damage and only minor injuries sustained by the crew. As the vessel made its way back to the Sol system, Dr. Glassman analyzed the half of the Janus Key recovered by Gabriel Thorne. He discovered that it was inert at the molecular level, and correctly gathered that it was only part of a larger Forerunner device. Infinity arrived at Earth on March 3, whereupon both Lasky and Palmer were summoned to Bravo-6 for debriefing. Admiral Osman was highly displeased with the loss of both Requiem and Dr. Halsey, and pulled Infinity from its task of following Jul 'Mdama's trail, assigning the UNSC Vociferous to follow the cultist. Afterwards, Admiral Hood arrived on board the Infinity to personally reassign the vessel to aid the Arbiter on an upcoming diplomatic mission.
Meanwhile, Jul 'Mdama escaped to a safe location along with the surviving remnants of the Storm Fleet and the other half of the Janus Key. Dr. Halsey was brought aboard the Song of Retribution, where Jul was forced to amputate and cauterize her arm to keep her alive. Upon reawakening, he demanded her assistance in return for saving her life. Believing that the UNSC had ordered the hit on her, she reminded him that she no longer had any allies or friends, and that threatening her would not help him. She then proposed a counter-offer: she would help him unlock the secrets of the Janus Key, and in return, he would help her exact vengeance against the UNSC.
The Second Battle of Requiem also helped test and bring about change to several pieces of equipment. Lethbridge Industrial improved the power management system of the Venator Armour thanks to Spartan feedback. A new variant of the M12G1 LAAV which uses a new Gauss weapon, was also first tested during the campaign. Fireteam Shadow also tested out the Goblin Armor during the campaign.
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