United Nations Space Command (UNSC) Forces
"A blue field with stars and Earth in the corner."
Formerly established to serve as a space force for the United Nations in the 2160's, the United Nations Space Command (UNSC), has evolved to encompass all branches (Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Militia and Intelligence) of the Earth Government's military. After defeating Communist and Fascist movements on Mars, the Jovian Moons and South America, civilians supporting the UN volunteered to join the newly-formed UNSC, thereby organizing the most outstanding mobilization of troops in human history. Thanks to massive militarization propaganda, the UNSC had grown to control most of humanity's military forces by the end of the 22nd century.
Their faces are varied - the Marines, Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST Helljumpers), Foehammer, Lord Hood - but their goal of defending Humanity has always been the same. The UNSC military forces have suffered incredible losses at the hands of the Covenant's precise and lethal prowess. Fairing best on the ground. but hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned in orbit, the UNSC has nonetheless slowed the Covenant advance long enough to demonstrate again and again the superior ingenuity of Humanity at large. Artificial gravity, shield technology, MJOLNIR; with time, these staggering advancements could be improved upon exponentially, potentially allowing the UNSC to turn the tables.
Time, unfortunately, is not something Humanity has an excess of.
Fatigued and thinly spread, the remaining forces of the once colossal United Nations Space Command must regroup and prepare for the daunting task of defending the Earth itself from the Covenant's imminent onslaught. Though encouraged by the repulsion of Regret's small fleet, if the fall of Reach has demonstrated anything, it is that their chances of victory against a dedicated force are insignificant. At incredible price, their only hope may be to buy time for those that can more deftly assure it...
In an HBO forum post, El B makes a good point about fuel. The thread starts here, and El B's comment is here.
El Bastard™ (ElBastard@mac.com) writes:
Except that as one of the original vehicles, BUNGiE has had 4 years or so to have a viable explanation for a high-tech power source for the Pelican...
$50 says that they have a viable explanation, and it's swankô.
Foe Hammer. Just where did our super saucy favorite flying troop transport come from?
Necko Divad (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I noticed that in The Fall of Reach the Pillar of Autumn is listed as having only 3 Pelicans. While playing the game however I noticed that there were 4. One crashes in the level Silent Cartographer, the second on AotCR, the third in 343 Guilty Spark, and then there is Foe Hammer trying to pick you up in the Maw. Where did the other Pelican come from? My best guess is that some people on Reach managed to evacuate before it was destroyed. That would leave it open that others made it off too.
Could some of the Spartans have survived as well?
Spartans away on other missions? More groups being trained? Possible survivors from Reach? Who says we're a dying breed :)
And, in the same vein:
Aida-kun (email@example.com) writes:
A couple notes on computer security: It took Cortana quite a while to crack the code for the door in the Truth and Reconciliation, yet "they actually broadcast their tactical data on unencrypted channels." Cortana seems to effortlessly enter the Halo's systems -- it seems odd that there's no security.
Then there's a BIG question: how did Keyes and his merry men get into the Flood's primary storage chamber (or at least what appears to be it)? Mendoza (?) commented that the Covenant worked pretty hard to seal the door, but it opens almost instantly. HOW did they seal the door? Did they actually gain access to the installation's systems, or just weld it shut (which didn't seem to be the case at all)?
Another note: The Covenant have gotten to the Control Room. They were inside the installation at the end of Assault on the Control Room, and Cortana didn't have to go through any notable security on the way.
To sum up: The Covenant use no security for their tactical data, are capable of security that can foil Cortana for brief periods, and supposedly attempted to lock a door that some kind of portable electronic lockbreaker opened EXTREMELY quickly. This implies that someone or something sabotaged their attempt to seal the Flood, but the door was not broken open -- it was relocked, but minimally.
The security on the door was surprisingly lax, and as Otto has pointed out, redundant. Is the Covenant actually responsible for minimally resealing these doors, or is foul play at work here?
As I recall, someone else I know was once responsible for the control of doors. Ah yes, a friend of a friend...
<Spurious Interrupt- Breach Disabled>
<Further Access Denied>
Otto Mossberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
It was thought that the Covies had managed to reseal the flood, behind the door Keyes opened in 343 Guilty Spark. and in effect Keyes made the mistake of re-releasing the flood, while searching for a weapons cache. but, in the same cinematic, Keyes get a radio transmission from another group of marines, apparently being attacked by flood. so Keyes couldn't have just re-released them by opening the door. and if flood were already out, why had the Covies sealed that door?
Why indeed. Unnecessarily locking a door is not something I would be immediately concerned with if already under attack by a parasitic life form.
Justin Chen (email@example.com) writes:
Just as some speculation, where are the reinforcement marines coming from? And where is Foe Hammer bringing the rescued Marines, on Halo, to? It would seem like the Pillar of Autumn is too damaged to accept any marines, before it was run over by 343 Guilty Spark. Also looking at the transcripts from The Maw, Foe Hammer's Pelican was definitely not parked in the PoA. So where was Foe Hammer, and the rest of the pelicans to pick MC up and to drop MC off?
Unfortunately, the game itself provides no immediate information or mention of the area serving as the base of operations for Halo's Human inhabitants. The storyboard for this cutscene (which in my opinion is sorely missed for both background and emotional content) provides a glimpse of this makeshift home away from home.
Bungie likes military references. Bungie likes acronyms. This should be the perfect thing for me.
Stephen Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
While doing a report on the Korean war for my teacher, I was looking at a timeline. I saw something oddly yet almost completely related to Halo. It said the 1st Marine airforce wing engaged an enemy force blah blah blah. Marine Airforce Wing is shortened to MAW. Now what if the real name for the last level of Halo isn't the Maw but The Marine Airforce Wing. Hmm. Doesn't seemed related does it. Well... actually... it kinda is. The Chief leaves in a Longsword interceptor right? And this is a fighter plane right? So wouldn't it be part of the Marine Airforce Wing.
Geesh, if you wanted air support, all you had to do was ask...
MCDGundam (MCDGundam@aol.com) writes:
In the MAW the Master Chief escapes halo in a Longsword fighter craft. I find it a little strange that the marines or Longsword pilots did not bring the PoA's fighter craft down to halo. Why was this fighter still on the PoA when it could have been giving the human forces some much needed air support?
Halo-based Longswords can be seen in early cinematic storyboards, though they don't appear to be a factor in either the game or novelization. Not on the available equipment list? Assumed lost? Who knows, perhaps they had no one to fly it ;)
What to Think...
Silock, the cannibalistic squirrel (email@example.com) writes:
Just like to point out that while in FoR, it does say that the PoA has only 3 Pelican dropships (including Foe Hammer). In The Flood, the book does say that there were, indeed, 4 Pelicans. That puts somewhat of a damper on hopes that maybe people escaped Reach.
Perhaps. The designations of the Pelicans we hear of in The Flood are as follows: Echo 419 (Foe Hammer), Charlie 217 (the Covenant infiltrator), Bravo 22, Echo 136, and Echo 206. And while it is difficult to calculate the combined flight itineraries of the Pelicans, with Foe Hammer and another unnamed dropship inserting troops for the Silent Cartographer mission while at least 2 other dropships are hauling supplies to and from the Pillar of Autumn, Charlie 217 manifesting out of thin air above and beyond the previously noted numbers, and considering also the Captain's swamp insertion (and the subsequent loss of that dropship), it seems there are more Pelicans on Halo than initially realized.
The distinct dropships seen in-game however are Echo 419 (throughout), V933 (crashed in swamp), another Echo 419 (crashed on AotCR), and Bravo 22 (shown again as V933 crashed in the SC), though serial duplication on the SC makes an accurate count difficult to come by.
Page 316 of The Flood notes that 3 of the 4 dropships the Humans had left were being used to haul troops to the Truth and Reconciliation. To amalgamate (if possible), taking into account the Pelicans V933 (carrying Keyes; crashed in swamp), another Echo 419 (carrying Fire Team Zulu; crashed on AotCR, though not mentioned in the book), Charlie 217 (destroyed on Alpha Base), and Bravo 22 (shown in-game as V933; crashed in the SC), conservative estimates still tally at least 8 Pelicans...
Curiouser and curiouser.
Mike Stark (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
This one is about the sarge, in some levels when you battle the covenant with other marines and the Sarge dies, he ends up on other levels. Like If you killed the Sarge in the second misson on Halo [when you are rescuing the marines who crash landed from on Halo from the Pillar of Autinm] The Sarge ends up with you on Truth and Reconcillation? And, if you beat the Maw in legendary, he blows up with halo. BUT, if any of you seen the in game demo of halo 2 from E3, hes with you on a mission. How the hell is this all possible?
How, indeed? Evil Otto (Dave Candland of Bungie) has had a word or two to say about that subject. What do you think? Is the Sarge back in Halo 2 because he's a great character and it would be a shame not to have his unique insight into things? Or is there a more significant reason in play here?
Ryan Rodgers (email@example.com) writes:
Hey, I was reading the books for a fourth time, i noticed he picks up alot of dog tags. What does he do with them. It never says he turns them in to an authority figure. Does he keep them as mementos?
A keen eye. There seems to be no further mention of the tags; more than likely his collecting them was meant to make the scenes of the Chief with the fallen all the more somber. We'll see...
The pesky Pelican plot persists...
Mr. B (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I recall reading in TFoR that the Pillar of Autumn has 3 Pelicans. Yet when Reach is attacked, 2 Pelicans are used: one is used to take the MC and Co. (Blue Team) to the orbital station to destroy the navigational database on the ONI yacht. This Pelican is destroyed resulting from C-12 on its nose being detonated to kill off approaching Covenant forces.
The second Pelican is used to take all of the other Spartans (Red Team) down to Reach to defend the reactor complexes for the Super MAC guns. This one is (assumed) destroyed when Reach is bombarded with plasma. The MC and some marines escape the station in a separate Pelican, but this leaves an interesting question: if the Pillar of Autumn had three Pelicans, and two were destroyed, while one new one is brought back, why are there four in Halo: The Flood, and multiple in the game itself? Only two Pelicans (unless more docked with the Autumn which were not mentioned) were on the Autumn when it escaped Reach.
Indeed, Red Team's Pelican, piloted by a Flight Officer Mitchell, is thoroughly destroyed, as we witness in the First Strike preview. The number of Pelicans seemingly stowed aboard the Pillar of Autumn had already swollen to apparently grotesque proportions when source materials were compared. Thanks to Mr. B's common sense, we can now add 2 more to that list. (Well 1, if you count the extra Pelican John returned in from Gamma Station.)
Geesh... can Halcyon-class ships MAKE those things?!
A Miranda of a different colour wonders about Reach's abandoned ordinance
Marby Miranda (email@example.com) writes:
im just wondering , i read the book "first strike" and admiral whitacomb talked about a nova bomb that he armed and was supposedly taken by the covenant that either took it to their homeworld or was quaratined at reach for reasearch. The admiral informed MC that its armed and "suppose" to detonate in 20 hours. After the escaping form reach together with the other spartans and the crystal obtained secured by dr.halsley, the author or the story never ever mentioned what happened to the powerful bomb that can destroy a whole planet. and it should have detonated well before MC destroyed unyealding heirophant. I know that the time table got mixed up during the "strang" slip stream, but further in the chapters, the date changed from sept 20 something to september 12. so what happened to the bomb?
Indeed. The clock still ticks away from the wee morning hours of September 12 to just around supper on the 13th. It would seem, even with all the anomalous time errors going on, that the Nova bomb should have gone off by the end of the novel; after all, once the dates are revised, more than 20 hours have still gone by. We may be in for a little wait to see whether it was disarmed, shipped back to a Covenant world (as Whitcomb intended), or merely ended up rendering Reach itself.
Marty (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I don't have TFoR handy because someone borrowed it from me, but I'm 99% sure I checked it out and saw that it mentioned the particular docking bay in which Captain Keyes was boarding the Pillar of Autumn in was the one that had three Pelicans ("several", p.275). It's talking about one particular bay, not the whole ship. There's at least 7 docking bays on the cruiser: "theres a longsword fighter still docked in launch bay 7." Though TFoR does mention that one launch bay is closed and patched with titanium. That means there could be some 18+ pelicans in the cruiser.
Approximately 3 pelicans per bay multiplied by however many launch bays a kilometre plus long ship could accommodate... It seems that there may have been Pelicans to our heart's content on board the Pillar of Autumn. Problem solved?
Polygon (email@example.com) writes:
Something hit me the other day while reading your posts. When Guilty Spark asks the question about "If I was in your position would I still do it, having plenty of time to think... et al." I think spark is referring to Motubo. Motubo might have asked that question. A long time to think in A.I. may not be very long in human standards.
Good point. Mobuto's story would definitely be interesting to know. It'd make a great short story, eh?
::nudging Nylund, et al, in the ribs::
Zak Anderson starts a lengthy forum discussion on the exact details of the In Amber Clad's ordnance and payload. Persnickety.
We've occasionally mused that they must have been smoking something, but geesh! ;)
"My way's not very sportsmanlike..."
UrsusArctos muses why the Covenant didn't just shoot the MAC guns surrounding Earth.
58 responds, oh, so thoroughly.
There's great discussion throughout the post, so read away :)
Weekly Update Goodness: An answer to an old, nagging question
Here is a question that I know several people would like answered:
In the level 343 Guilty Spark the date in the recording from Jenkins helmet says the date is may 27, 2552. The books say that Halo takes place in September. Is the date in the recording a mistake?
When the Pillar of Autumn makes a jump, to adjust for normalized Earth time it will recalibrate equipment once position and relative position have been established. However, since the Autumn made a blind jump and straight into combat, no battle or field equipment was recalibrated. For that same reason, "north" on an assault rifle's built-in compass simply defaulted (per instructions from Keyes) to the largest visible source of gravity and magnetism - Threshold. The Earth-normal date was in fact September, in spite of what local equipment displayed. If poor old Jenkins had survived, his equipment would have been reset on the next (deliberate) jump.
Page updated. (Nice cover, guys ;)
There have been a number of other interesting weekly update items in the past months as well. I'll play catch up next time ;)
Continuing Narc Day (and for good reason I say; what a wit), I picked out one particularly keen observation he made of the pistols from H1, tF, and FS (the M6C and M6D, and which is really "standard issue") and added it to the Inconsistencies Page.
A short relapse, an accidental stumble. It all amounts to the discovery of one of the best assembled pieces of speculation I've come across. opogjijijp digs deep into Staten's comments on the events of Harvest and the dates and happenings we know of so far.
The Rookie is attracting speculation already, with VidBoi thinking he might get some girly action. The discussion prompted observation of fingers, a little bit of politics and . . . er . . . a little bit of fervent hope.
The latest Bungie Weekly Update has revealed new information on the timeline of Halo 2 and Halo 3 in relation to our new favourite ODST - the Rookie. We'll get this on our timeline . . . eventually . . . but until then why don't you mosey on down to the forum where MELEE isn't entirely happy with some explanations.
October 20: New Mombasa, Kenya is destroyed by the Slipstream Space Rupture Backlash from the Prophet of Regret's ship.
November 2: The Prophet of Regret's ship and In Amber Clad arrive at Delta Halo. Prophet of Regret liquidated by SPARTAN-117.
Am I alone in thinking these two dates seem a lot further apart than anticipated? I always thought that after the clad followed regret's ship through slipstream that they arrived at Delta halo the same day...the same hour even. Now they do say Nov 2 is the date that they "arrive" at delta halo, which might imply the date they placed their feet on the ring, but again I assumed this was all taking place the same day in a short amount of time.
Halo Wars story problems
Avateur isn't completely satisfied with some story aspects of Halo Wars. Some of the issues he brings up include the public reveal of Onyx in Halo Wars: Genesis, why the Spirit of Fire was able to pursue the Covenant to the Flood-infested planet considering the time it takes for UNSC ships to travel through slipspace, and why the Flood is hadn't developed a pre-Gravemind until the SoF gets there.
A number of users have participated in the discussion, so if you want to see their responses, just watch the forum thread!
Black Asgard (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
While playing the newly released Halo 3: ODST, I paid close attention to the story and design with the scrutiny of a writer. What I believe I've discovered is that ODST pays abundant homage to the first book of the Divine Comedy, Dante Aligeri's 'Inferno'.
The Inferno, as I recall it (having read it about 2 years ago after enjoying 'La Vida Nuova'), begins with Dante wandering lost and alone, in a 'dark wood'. It is night when you awaken in New Mombasa. The city towers above you not like a frightening wood.
The first helpful hand you encounter is that of Vergil, who guides you to supposed safety--Vergil, the Superintendent of New Mombasa, who shares the name of the Roman poet who wrote the Aeneid (about the Hero who survived the Trojan massacre (perhaps an allusion to Buck and Reach?)). Vergil guides the Rookie, like Dante, through 9 levels; the 9 circles of Hell.
New Mombasa burns, like the common image of hell. It is dark, dangerous, horrifying. And Vergil guides you gently, offering help with cryptic statements (in game, it is composed of the Bumble-bee-esque conglomeration of audio bytes).
Later, as you encounter the final lost squad mate, you descend to the 9th level of the city substructure where it is frozen; that is to say, not unlike Satan's frosty chamber. For what seems to be little to nor reason (as far as I could tell).
Food for thought. ;)