United Nations Space Command | Halo

By | December 8, 2019


On January 8th, 2553, following the end of
nearly three decades of constant war against the alien Covenant, the Unified Earth Government
was formally restored as the chief executive body of human civilization. The transfer of power marked an end to the
emergency military government that had seen mankind through its war with the Covenant
and the restoration of civilian authority. The decision to turn the fate of mankind over
to a military hunta was not always a popular one and made only in the gravest of circumstances,
yet there is little doubt that humanity would not have survived its war with the Covenant
if not for the United Nations Space Command, or the UNSC. First and foremost a military apparatus, the
UNSC is administered by High Command or HIGHCOM, with regional responsibility delegated and
exercised through various Central Commands. The UNSC maintains hundreds of administrative
and bureaucratic offices ranging from everything from UNSC Astrophysics to the UNSC Symphony
Orchestra. The primary branches of service however are
the UNSC Army, responsible for sustained planet based warfare, the UNSC Air Force which provides
both atmospheric and orbital support, the UNSC Navy which conducts spaceborne operations,
and the UNSC Marine Corp which acts as a rapid reaction force. Each branch of the UNSC Defense Forces is
itself comprised of numerous component and support services. Of particular note is the Office of Naval
Intelligence, which was known to operate its own fleet of covert warships, the Orbital
Drop Shock Troopers – which deployed directly from orbit in specialized drop pods, and the
Spartan Branch – which exclusively utilized members of the Spartan 3 and Spartan 4 super-soldier
programs to conduct high risk special warfare operations. The ubiquitous nature of the UNSC within human
society, even before the outbreak of war with the Covenant, made the organization at times
deeply unpopular within civilian circles, leading to allegations of unchecked militarism
and warmongering. Yet it’s role in the founding of modern
human civilization cannot be overstated and is the primary reason for its prominence in
human affairs. The origins of the UNSC can be traced back
to the last major conflicts on Earth, during which resurgent communist and fascist elements
attempted to resist the shift of political power from the various national governments
of Earth to a centralized UN authority. In a series of campaigns fought across the
South American Rainforest, Mars, and the Jovian Moons, UN forces achieved many stunning victories,
lending support to the adoption of a unified command structure. By the end of the war, the United Nations
Space Command had emerged as the principal military, exploratory and scientific agency
of the nascent Unified Earth Government. With the development of the Shaw-Fujikawa
Slipspace Drive, the UNSC began deploying vast numbers of colony ships to the nearest
star systems and planets, giving rise to the “Inner colonies” of humanity. By 2490 over eight hundred worlds in the Orion
Arm had been colonized, and the inner colonies, now major political and economic strongholds,
began to increasingly rely on the developing “outer colonies” for raw materials. The vast economic inequality between the inner
and outer colonies became a growing source of tension and rivalry, and public support
for the UNSC began to slowly dwindle across the edge of frontier space. During this time, the inner colony world of
Reach, strategically located in close proximity to the Solar System, grew to become the site
of the UNSC’s primary fleetyard as well as various training academies and the headquarters
of numerous UNSC branches and organizations. By 2494, the deteriorating situation across
the outer colonies gave rise to an Insurrectionist movement, with acts of terrorism, piracy and
open rebellion occurring across the frontiers of human space. Fearing the outbreak of a massive civil war
across Earth’s colonies, the UNSC initiated the Spartan Program, a secret project tasked
with creating elite soldiers through mechanical and biological augmentation. As the UNSC prepared to deal with the prospect
of a devastating civil war, this threat was pre-empted by the arrival of the alien Covenant,
a theocratic hegemony who viewed humanity as an affront to their religion. Sweeping through the outer colonies, the Covenant
enacted a policy of deliberate and systematic genocide against the human race, bombarding
human occupied worlds with powerful plasma weaponry, a practise known as “glassing”. The Covenant’s enormous technological advantage
gave them almost total supremacy in space-based engagements and the UNSC was often only able
to achieve victory using overwhelming numbers, or asymmetrical strategies. While glassing was the primary doctrine utilized
by Covenant, on worlds containing ancient alien relics critical to their religion, the
Covenant were repeatedly forced to deploy ground forces, neutralizing many of their
advantages and giving the UNSC a more level playing field. On Harvest, Arcadia, Jericho, and dozens of
other human colonies, the UNSC fought a tenacious defense, delaying the Covenant advance for
years until these planets too were finally glassed. By 2535 most of the outer colonies had been
destroyed. Food shortages, riots and open rebellions
permeated the remainder of human space, forcing the UNSC to subsume the last remaining civilian
authority, transforming the UNSC into an emergency military government. For decades the Covenant ravaged through the
inner colonies, inflicting devastating losses and crippling the UNSC’s ability to continue
the war. In desperation, the UNSC began considering
a number of high risk operations, including attempting to capture a member of the Covenant’s
leadership caste, ransoming its life in exchange for a truce. The arrival of the Covenant over the fortress
world of Reach interrupted these plans, and the loss of the planet was considered by many
as a prelude to the eventual total capitulation of humanity. With the location of Earth believed to have
been compromised and the arrival of the Covenant in the Solar System likely imminent, evacuation
procedures began in preparation for what would likely be the final battle of the war. In the wake of these calamitous losses, an
unexpected victory occurred on an artificial ringworld discovered by the sole surviving
ship from the Fall of Reach; the light cruiser “Pillar of Autumn”. Among the many revelations uncovered on this
“Halo” was the existence of a parasitic organism known as the Flood. Directed by a near-omniscient intelligence,
the Flood managed to spread across High Charity, an enormous planetoid space station that served
as the capital of the Covenant and their most holy city. Already caught in the midst of a developing
civil war after the death of most of their upper-leadership, the internal structure of
the Covenant was fractured with various secessionist groups aligning themselves with the UNSC. In a series of frantic battles across Earth
and additional Halo ringworlds, both the Flood and the Covenant leadership were finally defeated,
bringing an end to the most destructive conflict in galactic history and preventing the activation
of the Halo Array, revealed to be a superweapon of galactic scale. The UNSC had fought for humanity’s right
to exist and its victory brought about a new era in the galaxy. It is now a time of restoration as Earth’s
shattered colonies are restored and resettled. The Covenant, while broken, remains a formidable
power and the UNSC must contend with several rival factions in the place of a single united
empire. With new technologies, new ships and new weapons,
the UNSC is once more venturing out into the darkest corners of the Universe, but if there
is one indomitable truth that humanity has learned, it is that the galaxy has no shortage
of mysteries, and some are best left undisturbed. The Templin Institute investigates nations, organizations and factions from alternate worlds and realities. If you’ve enjoyed this video, please consider liking, sharing, and subscribing. Do you have a suggestion for a future episode? Let us know by leaving a comment.

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