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Battle of Psi Serpentis
Conflict:

Human-Covenant War

Date:

April 11 (Prowler reconnaissance) - April 18, 2543

Place:

Psi Serpentis System, Primarily Above Viperidae

Outcome:

Tactical and Strategic UNSC Victory

  • Heavy Human Casualties.
  • Entire Covenant Fleet Vaporized.
  • Viperidae reduced to rocky core from super-giant planetary status.
  • Vice Admiral Cole presumed dead.
Belligerents

Covenant Empire

Commanders
  • Unknown
Strength
Casualties
  • Both Covenant fleets in their entirety
    • Well over 300 vessels in total
  [Source]

The Battle of Psi Serpentis was a battle fought toward the latter half of the Human-Covenant War in 2543 and had become colloquially known as Admiral Cole's Last Stand due to the presumed death of Admiral Cole. Cole spent a great deal of time preparing for the battle, he ordered massive amount of Titanium-A plating for his flagship Everest, and acquired the Io which had previously been damaged, and did extensive theoretical studies of star density and slipspace travel. While the massive preparations were of unknown purpose at the time, the events of the battle rival the accomplishments made by most other heroes of the war.[1]

Battle

Battlegroup India jumped into the Psi Serpentis system as a single unit, the resulting wave of radiation rippled through the system and encompassed the three nearest planets. This was a clear warning sign to the waiting Covenant fleet, which swiftly moved to engage Cole's forces. The UNSC battlegroup then performed a previously unheard of in-system jump to the gas giant Viperidae. A dozen ships limped behind the main task force and were picked off by the Covenant. However, the majority of the fleet brought their guns to bear on the Covenant fleet. Cole's forces inflicted heavy damage on the the hundred or so Covenant vessels, only to be outnumbered by the arrival of a massive Covenant fleet.[2]

As the Covenant fleet bore down on Battlegroup India, Cole divided the fleet into two groups, who arced around Viperidae to cut into the waiting Covenant force. As the ships came around, a group of Insurrectionist vessels emerged from slipspace. Led by the heavily modified Bellicose they opened fire on the Covenant, losing a quarter of their number. Once they attacked they smashed through the Covenant formation and proceed out of the system. Cole himself moved the Everest deeper into Viperidae's gravity well while the UNSC fleet proceeded to leave the system. He issued a broadcast to the oncoming Covenant ships, boasting his achievements while scoffing at their claim to righteousness. Sensing the challenge the Covenant moved to attack the Everest, but their plasma was deflected by the magnetosphere of the planet.[3]

Cole moved the Everest past the point of no return, and launched a barrage of missiles at the lead cruiser in the Covenant formation. Nuclear fire destroyed the ship but there was little damage done to the rest of the fleet. Unknown to them, Cole launched one hundred Shiva warheads into Viperidae's unstable core. The resulting fission event caused the planet to briefly nova into a brown dwarf. The resulting shockwave obliterated all of the Covenant ships, reduces Viperidae to a smoldering rock, and presumably destroying the Everest.[4]

Aftermath

In addition to the alleged death of Cole, over 300 Covenant vessels were completely destroyed when UNSC nuclear missiles detonated inside the atmosphere of Viperidae. However, the light show that Cole gave the Covenant, prior to the micro-nova of Viperidae is suspect. A group of archer missiles prematurely detonated in front of the Everest, and seemed to mimic a slipspace rupture. Cole had also done extensive research into slipstream travel which, when reviewed, appeared to be the calculations for an in-atmosphere jump. The next shot of the cruiser, captured by the retreating battlegroup, revealed the silhouette of another vessel, presumably the Io. After another flash of light only one ship remained, and was consumed by the nova event. This left Cole's death suspect to speculation, and it was calculated that there was about a 90% chance that Cole had escaped, according to AIs under Codename: SURGEON's command. Either way, Cole's achievements in this battle alone were only rivaled by the destruction of the Unyielding Hierophant and the actions of Spartan-117 throughout the course of the war. A painting depicting the battle, titled "Admiral Cole's Last Stand" was created and by 2552, it hung on the wall of the HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6 on Sydney, Earth.[5][6]

Sources

  1. pp472-485 of Halo: Evolutions, The Impossible Life and Possible Death of Preston J. Cole
  2. pp472-481 of Halo: Evolutions, The Impossible Life and Possible Death of Preston J. Cole
  3. pg481 of Halo: Evolutions, The Impossible Life and Possible Death of Preston J. Cole
  4. pp481-482 of Halo: Evolutions, The Impossible Life and Possible Death of Preston J. Cole
  5. pp483-485 of Halo: Evolutions, The Impossible Life and Possible Death of Preston J. Cole
  6. pg100 Halo: The Fall of Reach
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This article uses material from the "Battle of Psi Serpentis" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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