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Tuesday, October 18

OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE//SECTION 3 - DATA DROP FIVE




OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE//SECTION 3 - DATA DROP FIVE


OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE/SECTION 3
DUE DILLIGENCE REPORT – A340024
1115 HOURS, AUGUST 27, 2552
CLASSIFIED TOP-SECRET
COMM-SCRIBED/PTS 9386-9
>> 00834-19223-HS // VADM STANFORTH, HIERONYMUS MICHAEL
<< 00230-00923-MP // ADM PARANGOSKY, MARGARET ORLENDA
RE: OPERATION: RED FLAG
STATUS: GREEN

Margaret,
Some days I really get the feeling that we’re going to burn in hell for the
things we do. Today is one of those days.
Just finished briefing the team with Halsey and they still don’t suspect a
thing. No one does on this side of the planet. We’re keeping them well away
from the primary target sites where, as far as I can tell, all hell is
breaking loose and has been for some time. Army says they’ve got it handled
groundside, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Regardless, we can’t allow
RED FLAG to be compromised by what’s going on over there. If it does, this’ll
all be for naught.

I feel like we’re going to need to tell Keyes at some point, otherwise, as
soon as the Covenant show up – and I mean really show up – he’ll scrub RED
FLAG and jump in with guns blazing. He’s not the type to avoid a fight, hell,
he ran headlong into one just last month, all on his own. Our one hope is that
the Covenant bring their big ships to the front early and that the Spartans
can do what they do best.

Holland’s informed me that the only [CLASS-FIVE CSO] they’ve confirmed, a
vessel called “LONG NIGHT OF SOLACE,” was dropped just outside of New
Alexandria a few days ago. That could have been ours if SpecWar wasn’t so damn
trigger happy. Now we’ll just have to wait, pull the Covenant in deep enough
to bring the damn trap down right on top of them.

ATTACHED: Cortana’s catalogued metrics for the key staff/assets (including
herself), with some of my notes affixed to each. Let me know what you think
within the next few hours. Otherwise, as per our talk last week, we’re greenlit for RED FLAG as of 0100 hours...and I pray to God that we’re doing the
right thing.

- HMSCORTANA
SERVICE NUMBER: CTN 0452-9
ACTIVATION DATE: November 7, 2549
BRANCH: UNSC Navy, Office of Naval Intelligence
RANK: Smart AI Construct

Not a lot on file here, so it looks like Halsey’s done a decent job of
covering her tracks (and I can’t blame her, given the AI’s actual origin).
I know full well that neither of you get along and I’m definitely not claiming
that she shouldn’t be held accountable for some of the stunts she’s pulled.
Reality is that we need her for this op. That’s why she’s been here for the
last three decades.

As indicated in the previous conversation, she’s splitting Cortana into two
separate programs in order to juggle the Visegrád findings with this
operation, and she’s assured me that the AI is fully functional, well within
her capacity for this mission. I believe her and I’m hoping that you can
believe me.

FULL NAME: JACOB KEYES
SERVICE NUMBER: 01928-19912-JK
DATE OF BIRTH: February 8, 2495
HEIGHT: 194.3cm
WEIGHT: 96.2kg
BRANCH: UNSC Navy
RANK: Captain
BIRTHWORLD: Earth
CURRENT RESIDENCE: Luna

At the end of the day, there are half a dozen CO’s we could easily slot here,
but there’s only one who I’d trust with my life and that’s Keyes. Having
worked with him several times over the last decade, I can attest to his innate
prowess in astrogation and naval warfare, but more importantly, the man is
just plain fearless. I would definitely use “reckless” to describe anyone who
I’d thought fit the bill, but I’ve found no fault in his tactics. He’s handled
some things that even I can’t really quantify or explain, most recently the
“Loop” deal at Sigma Octanus IV.

He’d have been the first name on my list if I was the one making it.

SHIP NAME: UNSC PILLAR OF AUTUMN
REGISTRY: C-709
CLASS: Halcyon-class Light Cruiser
LAUNCH DATE: December 1, 2510
REFIT DATE: March 19, 2550
LENGTH: 1,171m
BEAM: 352m
ENGINE CONFIG:
Mark II Hanley-Messer DFR (3)
Series V CODEN/SFTE – Main (1)
ARMAMENT:
MAC (1)

Missile Delivery System (10 pods x 24 missiles, M58 “Archer”)
Point Defense System (40 guns, 50mm M910 PDN)
Not terribly surprised at this selection due the over-bulked, overmassed
honeycomb interstitial framework. It’s ironic, I suppose, that the same absurd
design that forced this ship into the scrap yard years ago is resurrecting it
for RED FLAG.

A cruiser was an obvious choice, as noted in my prelim, but the reason she
opted for a Halcyon - this particular Halcyon, in fact – is because it can
take an incredible beating without suffering functional compromise far longer
than any other ships we current field.

She might be slow and cumbersome, but she’s a real beast, especially now that
they’ve tweaked her armament. Good choice.

FULL NAME: JOHN-117
SERVICE NUMBER: S-117
DATE OF BIRTH: [CLASSIFIED]
HEIGHT: 208.3cm
WEIGHT: 130kg
MJOLNIR MARK V INTEGRATION:
HEIGHT IN ARMOR: 218cm
WEIGHT WITH UNDERARMOR: 179kg
WEIGHT WITH FULL ARMOR: 451.3kg
BRANCH: UNSC Navy, Naval Special Weapons
RANK: Master Chief Petty Officer
BIRTHWORLD: Eridanus II
CURRENT RESIDENCE: N/A

Looking at his CSV en total, my first thought is that this is fabricated. His
service record reads like a career composite of three full Tier-1/L5 ODST
squads, back to back for two and a half decades.

Dear God, active in 207 ground engagements and those are just the ones that
we’re able to file on record. If I wasn’t on line to approve his deployment
for these, again and again, I wouldn’t believe any of it.

And he’s just one of the SPARTAN-II assets we’ll have onboard, there’s 25 of
them being recalled for this op, all from a multitude of theaters, some even
being pulled directly from combat.

If that doesn’t scream last resort, I don’t know what does.

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