The Siege of the Inner Colonies was a series of engagements taking place in humanity's Inner colonies.
Prior to Covenant attacking the Inner colonies, the Covenant had laid siege to the Outer Colonies for about a decade. Planets like Harvest and Arcadia had been attacked, killing millions in the process. The UNSC had stripped away most of the Colonial Military Administration, becoming humanity's main military force.
In 2530, following the Battle of the Great Bear, Admiral Preston Cole would devise the basis of the UNSC Emergency Priority Order 09881A-1 or the "Cole Protocol". This order was devised to help make sure the Covenant would not find the inner colonies, and was mostly the reason why it took so long.
On June 1st, 2536, the Covenant Empire finally made their way into the Inner Colonies.
Numerous ships were pulled from their positions in the Outer Colonies to defend the Inner Colonies. Old ships, such as the Halcyon-class light cruiser UNSC Pillar of Autumn, were refitted and brought back into service to supplement the remaining defense forces.
One of the earliest battles in the Inner colonies was the Battle of Camber. 5.5 million people were killed in the battle, and the planet was glassed. Nearly a decade later, Miridem would come under attack leading to the capture of Dr. Catherine Halsey. Actium would fall with Skopje at about the same time. In a rare moment, the colony of Ballast would come under attack and the UNSC would win the battle.
The Fall of Reach
“We knew this day would come. They have found our fortress among the stars.”
— Catherine Halsey
The Fall of Reach was one of the greatest defeats in the Human-Covenant war.
In 2552, the Covenant had discovered Reach. The Covenant initially landed on the planet with a smaller fleet, but it began to escalate as more and more combatants arrived on either side. Dozens of Inner Colony planets were bypassed by the Covenant Fleet attacking Reach. While Reach would end up being destroyed, a cruiser, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, would escape the destruction and begin the decisive Battle of Installation 04.
It can be presumed that even more inner Colonies survived, considering the next Covenant attack was Earth.
The Battle of Earth
“Earth...is all we have left.”
— Terrence Hood
After almost 27 years of war and the effort of most of humanity, Earth finally came under attack by the Prophet of Regret in late 2552. Earth's orbit would become the first area to be besieged, before the Prophet would move onto New Mombasa. The Prophet would then use slipspace to fast travel out of New Mombasa and to Installation 05. Other Covenant forces would eventually move onto Ross Island, Havana, Cleveland, and Pawa. When the Keyship carrying the Prophet of Truth and John-117 returned to Earth, his forces would use the crater created by Regret to dig up The Artifact. This artifact would eventually lead to Installation 00 and the end of the war.
The loss of many of the inner colonies had a severe impact on the remaining UEG. The loss of Tribute alone would have a severe economic impact on human space. On top of this, the Inner colonies that were hit hard by glassing would take some time to come back up to full health. Reach wouldn't become habitable until 2589.
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