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Distrubance above Harvest
On October 7, 2525 the UNSC's Battle Group 4 investigate the Harvest colony, because they received reports of have been reports of aggression. The UNSC Destroyer Heracles which is commanded by Captain Maribeau, is under orders by ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence). She exits from slipstream above harvest, only to be the witness to the destruction of the UNSC Arabia and Vostok at the hands of the Covenant.
Vice Admiral Preston Cole is called into active duty after being in retirement, he take the orders quite well, explaining that he's had a few failed marriages and a drinking problem. His orders are to take command of Fleet Command Cruiser Everest and a armada of One Hundred and Twenty ships to retake Harvest. 
Up to this point there has not been too much contact with the Covenant, because of this the mission doesn't go well for the USNC's forces. But on March 1, 2526 they succeed in destroying the Covenant anyway, with thirteen ships destroyed.
ONI on Reach spin this as a victory to the public and assign the Admiral Cole more orders, to hunt and destroy the Covenant using the tactics he learned on Reach. This involves several battles which ONI class as "strategic victories", which in fact are little more that damaging loses. These include three major battles. 
Origami Asteroid Field, Alpha Aurigae System on October 21, 2526. The remaining one hundred and seven UNSC ships are sent against twelve Covenant, leaving the seventy but all enemy forces were destroyed. Next System XI Bootis A on Feburuary 13, 2528. Seventy against eight, losing thirty in the battle. Finally the "Battle of Great Bear" Groombridge starts at 18:30 on December 24, 2530. With his forces diminished Admiral Preston Cole heads a fleet of Seventeen, to fight three Covenant vessels. The battle concludeds with seventeen loses and two enemy ships destroyed, with the final one crash landing. With the wreckage they find one survivor, an elite or Sangheili which they torture and interrogate. Admiral Cole sends the following message to ONI advising they on a new strategy, that protects Earth, Reach and other strategic planets identities and locations.
The Cole Protocols 

  1. All UNSC and civilian ships which come in contact with alien assets must have NAV com AI erased - destroyed if necessary - to prevent capture of core world locations.
  2. ALL human vessels fleeing from alien forces must do so on a randomly generated vector away from UNSC core worlds. 
  3.  ONI section II to immediately begin Slipstream space attenuated broadcast of pre-recorded human carrier signals from antiquity to prevent triangulation of.
Second covenant attack on Harvest
January 3, 2531 Commander Orez relays information, of a failed attack by the Covenant to Admiral Cole. However UNSC Prophecy has received damage in the engagement, her reactor is going critical and needs immediate assistance. Admiral Cole stated that due to their limited numbers they can't spare a combat class vessel, but one support class (a refurbished civilian craft) would be sent to help. The Spirit of Fire which is under the command of Captain James Gregory Cutter, is given the orders and enters Slipstream en route to Harvest.
When they exit Slipstream above Harvest the Prophecy is already in the start of a reactor meltdown. Because of this the radiation from it is affecting the A.I. on board and it hasn't initiated the Cole Protocol. Sergeant Forge and group of UNSC marines board the vessel via Pelican Dropship, they fight through a few Elites and Forge gets to the AI. The have a brief conversation which is quite a mess as the AI has taken on a American General persona, they talk about valor and conduct before the AI gives up control. Forge starts the self destruct, the AI then states that his men have rounded up the survivors and are in Bay 2. They escape with the Spirit of Fire Slipstreaming away, Forge is in the Medical Bay being treated with Anti-Radiation drugs. Serina the Spirit of Fire's AI informs him that all survivors have revived too much radiation and will die soon, Forge is last seen comforting a dying marine at his bed.


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