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Halo Alpha

This article is about the civil war. For the loosely-organized insurrectionist factions, see Insurrectionist.

As William Butler Yeats said: 'The center cannot hold.'[3]

The Insurrection[4] is the proper name given to an undeclared civil war fought between Earth's primary military, scientific, and exploratory agency, the United Nations Space Command and various loosely organized groups of rebels over control of the Outer Colonies for some 32 years, between the year 2494 and 2526, there were however still small-scale incidents and isolated skirmishes throughout the war having then later decreased in severity between 2537 to 2543 and even continued all the way up until 2552. The Insurrection has seen something of a resurgence in recent years in the aftermath of the Covenant War. Originally, the breakaway movements started as disquiet against the Colonial Administration Authority's oversight of the Outer Colonies, with the colonists tired of the organization's bureaucracy. It first began with peaceful protests, but after years of frustrating negotiations, some groups began to use more forceful methods ultimately abandoning diplomacy in favor of all-out war.

What had once been widespread support for the Insurrectionists quickly dried up at the outbreak of violence. Though they started out targeting only military and Colonial Administration targets, as the UNSC counterinsurgency operations began more and more innocent people were caught in the crossfire.[5]

By 2524, the Insurrection had claimed millions of lives. The various rebel groups had become extremely adept at creating improvised explosive devices difficult for the UNSC to detect or stop and had struck many high profile targets, even in orbit above Reach itself. Opponents of the war believed the simplest solution was to simply give the rebels their autonomy - for the UNSC to pull out, and let the rebels have their independence. However, the value of the colonies made them simply too important to abandon.

Originally confined mostly to a few systems including the Eridanus system, the fighting spread to several other systems during the decades.[6]


The Outer Colony Insurgency[]

Origins rebel

An insurrectionist leader addressing a crowd.

While the widespread fighting in the Outer Colonies did not start until 2494, there had been multiple isolated rebellions for some time. This led the UNSC to resurrect the ORION Project in 2491, to combat the increasing threat posed by civil uprisings. In 2492, the UNSC used nuclear weapons to put down a rebellion on the colony of Far Isle.[7] In the end, there were many separate cases that led the insurrectionists to adopt more aggressive tactics.


The Callisto Incident[]

Main article: Callisto Incident

The Callisto Incident in January 2494 was what effectively started the war between the UNSC and Insurrectionists.[1] The UNSC Callisto, a corvette, was captured by Insurrectionists when boarding merchant vessels, and all UNSC crew aboard it were killed. In response, the UNSC sent a Battle Group of three destroyers: the UNSC Jericho, the UNSC Buenos Aires, and the UNSC Las Vegas.

On March 2, 2494, the battle group eventually found the Callisto in the 26 Draconis system. All of the ships fired six Ares Missiles at the renegade corvette. However, the Callisto managed to avoid destruction by maneuvering behind an asteroid. The insurrectionists then detonated a nuke hidden inside the asteroid before hand, launching the debris toward the UNSC ships.

The Buenos Aires was engulfed in the explosion and destroyed, and the other two ships were seriously damaged. Second Lieutenant Preston Cole, as the only living or conscious officer aboard the bridge of the Las Vegas, took control of the vessel. He signaled the Callisto, activating the ship's distress signal and requested medical aid for the wounded. When the Callisto docked with the Las Vegas in order to take command of the ship, Cole launched the ship's last Ares Missile, which had been moved by the crew to the docking bay, directly into the Callisto, critically damaging the Callisto. Cole then bluffed by opening the empty missile silos on his ship and ordered the Callisto to surrender and allow Las Vegas's AI to take control.

Open Rebellion[]

As well in 2494, a coup took place on Eridanus II.[8] By 2495, the planet was under the control of the Secessionist Union.[1]

In 2495 the Sundered Legion formed on Meridian, bringing the Insurrection to the moon. Though the moon would retain a sizeable UNSC presence.[9]

Retaking of Eridanus II[]

Main article: Operation: CHARLEMAGNE

In 2496[10] Operation: CHARLEMAGNE was conducted. This campaign led to the removal of the Secessionist forces.[1]


Main article: Operation: KALEIDOSCOPE

At the dawn of the 2500s, Operation: KALEIDOSCOPE was launched. Rebel leaders were eliminated in surgical strikes over the course of five years. Figures such as Molin Saal, Jerald Ander, Standish Kable and Elanor Kef were all eliminated.[1]

Preston Cole and the Bellicose[]

In June 2501, an insurgent captured UNSC frigate, the Bellicose was pursued for the third time by the UNSC Gorgon, commanded by Preston Cole, into the Theta Ursae Majoris System. After a chase and battle, in which the Bellerphon managed to dodge a MAC round using excellent tactics, the Gorgon was contacted by the Bellerphon, renamed the Bellicose. A short exchange of taunting messages followed, and then Cole let the Bellicose escape. After laying traps in five systems over a course of three months, Cole had yet to find the captured ship. Several months later, Cole was married to Lyrenne Castilla, who was also pregnant.

In June of 2503, eight months after Cole's marriage to Castilla, Admiral Harold Stanforth sent Cole a transmission telling him that ONI uncovered the civilian identity of the captain of the Bellicose - Lyrenne Castilla, spying on Cole. Cole went to confirm this, and found that Castilla had robbed him of everything, leaving only a printout of the exchange they had between the Bellicose and Gorgon. In January of next year, four Destroyers engaged the Bellicose in the Theta Ursae Majoris system, and reported that the ship was caught in the gravitational pull of the gas giant, and destroyed.

Cole faced a court-martial for conspiring with the enemy and giving Castilla knowledge of UNSC slipspace upgrades, and possible execution. However, Harold Stanforth stepped in and vouched for him, and Cole was merely relocated to Earth with a desk job. The Bellicose survived, however, and remained in the shadows until eventually reappearing with an Insurrectionist fleet, dealing the Covenant a crippling blow in the Battle of Psi Serpentis.

Rise of the URF[]

In 2509, a number of rebel cells merged under the leader Colonel Robert Watts to form the United Rebel Front (URF). The URF and UNSC would skirmish one another for short period of time. In 2513, the URF captured Eridanus II.[1]


Main article: Operation: TREBUCHET

Operation: TREBUCHET was launched a few months later, beginning with a swift recapture of Eridanus II.[1] It was one of the largest operations in UNSC history, spanning a timeline of ten years. The goal was to counter the Insurrectionists, which was eventually successful, but at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives.

Closing Actions[]

Kidnapping at Eridanus Secundus[]

Main article: Operation: TALON

In the year 2525, a SPARTAN-II team, led by John-117, went on a mission to infiltrate and capture rebel leader Colonel Robert Watts. The Spartans sneaked on board via the Laden. Once on board, they located a cargo that contained luxury items such as Sweet William Cigars and champagne, verifying Watts' presence.

After boarding the rebel base, they neutralized the guards in their path and eventually found their way to Watts. They successfully killed his guards, and sedated Watts long enough for them to escape. Using explosives, they blasted their way out, leaving dozens of civilians dead.

The Last Year[]


Cadet Chyler Silva reading about the Troisi City bombing.

In March 2526, a number of insurrectionist factions met on the privateer ship Bellicose. The United Rebel Front, Freedom League, the Gao Liberation Front, People's Occupation, the Venezian Militia, and the Biko Independence Army. At this point, the insurrectionists had a couple dozen outdated frigates and a few hundred corvettes under their control.[11]

Even by late April 2526, cadets at Corbulo Academy of Military Science still had their training focused on insurrectionists. As well, a bombing took place at Troisi City, Lodestone. An attempted bombing took place at New Harmony, Mars too.[12]

A tenuous peace was achieved with rebellious Outer Colony leaders that year. Emissaries from ONI Section Two attempted to broker peace to focus on the new Covenant threat. While initially laughed at, relayed footage from the Battle of Bliss persuaded them.[2]


Incidents during the Human-Covenant war[]

Despite the brokered peace, interspersed fighting took place at different times during the Human-Covenant war.

Raid on Camp New Hope[]

Main article: Raid on Camp New Hope

By 2531 United Rebel Front had repeatedly had its operations disrupted by a four-man team of Spartan-II supersoldiers known as Blue Team. The team disrupted URF operations including Station Jefferson, the destroyer URF Origami and a saboteur cell on Reach, as well as an incident in Micronesia, and a high-explosives manufacturing facility at an unspecified location.[13] In response the rebels gathered together three stolen FENRIS Nuclear Warheads at Camp New Hope in a way so sloppy that the Office of Naval Intelligence could not help but notice, then contacted the UNSC and offered to trade the nukes in exchange for medicines for their people suffering from Boren's Syndrome. They then set a trap for Blue Team, whom they anticipated would be sent. They successfully ambushed John-117, Frederic-104, Kelly-087 and Linda-058 using an antigravity plate, however were unaware of the presence of a fifth Spartan and new addition to the team, Kurt-051, who had avoided the trap. Kurt was able to free the other members of Blue Team and they then retreated from the camp with the recovered warheads before the camp could launch a proper counterattack. Rebel leader General Howard Graves was killed in the process.

The Rubble[]

Main article: Battle of the Rubble

In 2528, the Outer Colony Madrigal is glassed and the survivors are evacuated to a nearby Insurrectionist base called the Rubble, a collection of asteroids connected together orbiting the gas giant Hesiod in the same system as Madrigal. On the Rubble, a collection of Insurrectionists, refugees from Madrigal and miners make a life for themselves free of the UNSC and the Covenant until a Jackal ship discovers the base and agrees to trade as part of a plan by the Prophet of Truth to locate more human worlds and Earth. The people of the Rubble are content with the arrangement while the Covenant weapons are smuggled into the colonies to arm Insurrectionists there while the Jackal Reth builds an army of Grunts on nearby Metisette to take over the Rubble and use the Exodus habitat to invade Earth. This weapons smuggling draws the attention of the Prophet of Regret and the UNSC with Regret sending Thel 'Vadam to deal with what he believes are heretics while the UNSC sends the UNSC Midsummer Night to chase down a potential violation to the Cole Protocol. This leads to the battles of the Rubble and Metisette in which the UNSC forces, supported by Spartan Gray Team (sent to destroy navigation data behind enemy lines) destroy Reth's army and lead the inhabitants of the Rubble, around a million people, back to UNSC controlled space. While the Rubble's inhabitants had planned to leave UNSC and Covenant controlled space forever, the Exodus didn't have the engine power so they were forced to travel to an Inner Colony where most of the people were reintegrated into the population while some others, presumably Insurrectionists, fled.

Massacre at Eridanus Secundus[]

Main article: Massacre at Eridanus Secundus

On September 12, 2552, Admiral Whitcomb, Fred, John-117, Cortana, Dr. Halsey, and Lieutenant Haverson, aboard the UNSC Gettysburg-Ascendant Justice, encountered a small rebel base in an asteroid - the same base John had raided 27 years earlier.

After a tentative agreement, Whitcomb convinced Jiles, the governor, to house their battered ships and repair them. Soon, a Covenant ship arrived. Whitcomb quickly destroyed it, but at the loss of their last functional turret, showing that there was most likely more Covenant ships coming. Afterwards the rebels, knowing they couldn't face what was coming alone, set to work on repairing the ships. The two ships are repaired enough that they have some ability to fight back, but a Covenant fleet showed up before repairs could be finished. Whitcomb, feeling it was his duty to warn Earth first and being unable to take on a whole fleet, initiated a slipspace jump, leaving the helpless rebels behind for the Covenant. Presumably the Covenant destroyed the base and the rebels.


In 2552, insurrectionists disable a communications relay on Harmony, and steal two Freighters from a drydock.[14] As well, insurrectionists on Reach continue to operate. In one instance, two insurgents trying to hijack a supply transport are surprised by Noble Team.[15]

Affect on the Human-Covenant War[]

Ironically, the Insurrection may have contributed to the UNSC's victory in the Human-Covenant war. As Codename: SURGEON stated in his 2552 report on Admiral Preston Cole:[16]

History looks upon this time as an unfortunate (and perhaps inevitable?) misunderstanding between Earth and her colonies, but those fighting for the last decade also realize that it was the most amazing piece of blind fortune the human race has ever stumbled upon. Had we not been armed and learning how to fight in space... what would have happened in the years that followed, when we faced an enemy a hundred times worse? Oblivion, no doubt.

While the reason for the UNSC's eventual victory was arguably the Great Schism within the Covenant, from the Insurrection came the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, ships with Titanium-A armor, advances in ship-to-ship warfare tactics, and above all, the SPARTAN-IIs, all of which would prove crucial in humanity's fight against the Covenant.

Post Human-Covenant War Incidents[]

Though, by and large, the Insurrection was over by the end of the Human-Covenant war, several planets continued to defy the UNSC, either by refusing to return to the UNSC fold or by armed hostility. The colony of Venezia, for example, refused to assist the damaged UNSC Ariadne in its orbit, and opened fire on the UNSC Monte Cassino. Venezia would escalate to be a hub of black market trading and Insurrectionists living together with Covenant species. At some point however it seems as though the Insurrection resurged, evidence being the actions of the New Colonial Alliance. 

Known Star Systems of Insurrection Activity[]



  • Callisto Incident - A group of insurrectionists board a UNSC Corvette, Callisto and kill the crew. A naval engagement ensues as three UNSC light destroyers are sent to hunt down the captured ship.
  • Insurrectionist forces take control of Eridanus II, establishing their own secessionist government in the wake of the coup d'état.[8]


  • UNSC forces begin their campaign to retake Eridanus II, deploying a battle group of unknown size to engage the makeshift Insurrectionist defense fleet. Despite the UNSC's best attempts at removing the entrenched rebellion, ONI fails to discover the location of their base. This hollowed-out asteroid would remain a safe haven for Insurrectionists for another three decades.[8]
  • Operation: CHARLEMAGNE marks a decisive strike on the Secessionist Union.[22]






  • Operation: TREBUCHET. Fighting breaks out in the Eridanus system first, particularly at Eridanus II and the space around it, as rebels supporting the system's breakaway from the UNSC build a small navy of civilian craft and attempt to take over the system. The disorganized Eridanus Rebels are eventually brought together by Colonel Robert Watts.
  • The UNSC responds harshly, sending a Fleet of destroyers and carriers to the system to combat the rebel fleet. The resulting battle pitted the UNSC against at least one hundred smaller rebel craft.[24] The UNSC forces defeated their rebel counterparts with little difficulty. During the battle, the rebels were routed and the remnants of their fleet fled into the asteroid belt to Eridanus secundus. They would eventually establish a fully functional asteroid base and began conducting raids again by 2525.[24]
  • A ground campaign begins on Eridanus II, as units from the 9th Marine Expeditionary Force are sent to the planet in force, hoping to capture leaders of the movement and pacify the population. One of these units, the first Battalion of the 21st Marine Division commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Ponder, was involved in a disastrous mission to try and capture a rebel leader - the second in command - in Elysium city, which ended in the leader's family being killed and Ponder wounded and demoted.[25]



  • Fighting continues, now in Epsilon Eridani. By this point, the war has taken over a million lives, the majority of which being civilians. A Marine Battalion is posted at the colony world of Tribute, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Aboim and supported by the corvette UNSC Bum Rush and air support from Hornets. The battalion attempts to put a stop to rebel bomb makers. Two special warfare squads, led by Staff Sergeants Avery Johnson and Nolan Byrne, are involved in disastrous operation in June. Byrne's team is killed during a hostage situation at a Jim Dandy restaurant near Casbah city. Thirty-Eight civilians, three Marines, and two rebels are killed in the bombing. Byrne and Johnson are pulled from the system, and later sent to Harvest.[4]
  • Luxury liner National Holiday is destroyed by Insurrectionists above Reach. The Office of Naval Intelligence successfully covered up the bombing as a freak accident.


  • Operation: TALON - A team of SPARTAN-IIs are sent to Eridanus secundus to capture Colonel Robert Watts. They succeed in doing so, crippling but not destroying the rebel infrastructure in the Eridanus system.[26] Further plans to attack rebel base apparently abandoned due to Human-Covenant war.
  • Shortly afterward, the Spartans were sent to halt a rebellion on Jericho VII.
  • Operation: TREBUCHET is abruptly concluded with the start of the Human-Covenant war after the First Battle of Harvest. Though the Insurrection continued on and off for a long time, the rebel threat in the system was rapidly decreased with the threat of the Covenant present. In the meantime, many of the rebels, seeing that the UNSC offered the only real protection against the overwhelming Covenant force, cease to resist, and either submit to the UNSC's control or hide themselves away from both UNSC and Covenant.[18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Halo Mythos: A Guide to the Story of Halo, Page 55
  2. 2.0 2.1 Halo: Reach Limited Edition - Bonus Item: Dr. Halsey's Personal Journal, April 28, 2526
  3. Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe - The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole, Page 418
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Halo: Contact Harvest, Page ??
  5. Halo: Contact Harvest, Page 61
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Page ??
  7. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Page 183
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Halo: The Fall of Reach, Page 17–18
  9. Halo Waypoint - Universe - Meridian
  10. Halo Waypoint - Universe - Spartans
  11. Halo: Silent Storm - A Master Chief Story - Chapter 6, Page ??
  12. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,
  13. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Page 36–37
  14. Xbox.com: Gamescom is over
  15. YouTube: Patrol
  16. Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe - The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole, Page 457
  17. 17.0 17.1 Halo: The Fall of Reach, Page ??
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Halo: First Strike, Page ??
  19. Halo: The Cole Protocol, Page ??
  20. Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe - The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole, Page ??
  21. 21.0 21.1 Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, Page 418
  22. Halo Encyclopedia, Page 44-45
  23. Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe - The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole, Page 453
  24. 24.0 24.1 Halo: The Fall of Reach, Page 75–77
  25. Halo: Contact Harvest, Page 112
  26. Halo: The Fall of Reach, Page 83