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Battle of Sigma Octanus IV
- Main article: Sigma Octanus IV
On July 17, 2552, the Gettysburg and UNSC Allegiance were the first ships to respond to Commander Jacob Keyes warning of an impending Covenant attack on Sigma Octanus IV. Following the UNSC Iroquois's defeat of the Covenant vessels, Keyes alerted the Gettysburg of a retreating Covenant carrier.
The vessel then eventually participated in the Fall of Reach. There, an energy projector gutted the vessel, destroying the Bridge and life support. Despite this, the Gettysburg was still structurally intact with its fusion reactors and weapons still being functional. Although its engines were apparently damaged beyond a timely repair as well as its Slipspace drive.
Eventually, John-117 along with several survivors of Battle of Installation 04 and the Fall of Reach, used the Gettysburg, fusing it with the Covenant ship Ascendant Justice via external hard points on both ships, thus becoming the first Human-Covenant hybrid vessel in history. It was used because the Ascendant Justice could not do the two Slipspace jumps in and out of a group of Covenant ships fast enough using just its own reactor. The dead crew of the Gettysburg were placed Cargo Bay 7.
Despite the damage it had taken, it was apparently repaired enough after the fusing that the crew started to use it over the Ascendant Justice as their main ship for living and working on, presumably because it was a human ship and had things they needed on it, although the Ascendant Justice remained the primary ship of the two for the engines and Slipspace.
During a skirmish in Slipspace, the Gettysburg was used to propel the ship to the side by filling the docking bay with air and then releasing it all at once. In a skirmish near Eridanus secundus with a Covenant cruiser, the superconducting coils for the ship's MAC gun were used to shape and fire a plasma charge to destroy the enemy ship.
Operation: FIRST STRIKE
- Main article: Operation: FIRST STRIKE
After the Spartans initiated Operation: FIRST STRIKE the Gettysburg-Ascendant Justice was dropped out of Slipspace at the edge of the Tau Ceti system where the Covenant Fleet was. Upon seeing the size of the fleet and knowing that even if the Spartans destroyed the Unyielding Hierophant the fleet would still overwhelm Earth, Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb had the hybrid ship jump to the other side of a nearby moon in the system and the two ships unlinked so that he and First Lieutenant Elias Haverson could use the Ascendant Justice to lure a Covenant battle fleet to the Unyielding Hierophant, which was about to explode and destroy the fleet. The ship was refitted with Ascendant Justice's Slipspace drive to give it back the ability to jump, which was presumably lost when the ship was damaged in the Fall of Reach and left behind the moon to rendezvous with the returning Spartans, broadcasting the Spartans Oly Oly Oxen Free code to get their attention as they had no idea the ship remained in the system. The Spartans boarded it and after receiving final orders from Admiral Whitcomb, witnessed the destruction of all but a dozen ships of the over 500 ship fleet in the explosion caused by the Spartans and thanks to Whitcomb and Haverson's trick.
Return to Sol
Following Admiral Whitcomb's last orders, and unable to do anymore in the battered Gettysburg, John-117 ordered a jump to Slipspace to a random destination as per the Cole Protocol and then finally to Earth. On board the Gettysburg, the last surviving members of the Fall of Reach and the Battle of Installation 04 were finally able to return home. Thanks to their actions and what they learned, they were able to warn Earth of the impending Covenant threat and weaken the forces that were later sent against Earth severely, giving it a chance to win in the Battle of Earth where if they hadn't destroyed that Covenant Fleet, Earth would've been easily overwhelmed and decimated.
Once in the Sol system, the Gettysburg docked at the Borneo Space Tether. After that, its fate remains unknown. Certainly the slipspace drive captured from Ascendant Justice was likely studied, though whether improvements were made in time for the Battle of Earth is unknown. The actual hull may have been refit for service in the decimated UNSC Fleet, or scrapped to provide materials for other ships.
The Gettysburg was refitted with the slipspace drive from the Ascendant Justice prior to unlinking.
The Gettysburg is one of the few ships to have an Officers' Club. It housed a massive table of oak, scored with numerous gouges and scorches from a hundred cigars set upon its surface. There was a bar stocked with bottles containing a rainbow collection of liquors. It also housed the UNSC gold-fringed blue flag, photographs of past officers and captains of the Gettysburg, and a tin Civil War daguerreotype that displayed battlefields of charging men, cavalry, and cannons.
This ship's bridge had to have Titanium-A plates welded in order to replace the destroyed viewports.
- It is named after the Battle of Gettysburg. The American Civil War battle took place on July 1–3, 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Earth. This is interesting, in that it was fused with a Covenant vessel, just as the two factions of the American Civil War eventually rejoined into one country.
- The Gettysburg is the first UNSC ship to have a hybrid translight drive system both Human and Covenant. As well as being the first Covenant-Human hybrid ship in the fleet.
- After Ascendant Justice's Slipspace drive was installed this ship was the fastest ship in the UNSC.
- The engines may have been used to improve the UNSC Infinity, however it is unlikely as the refits to the engines were done by Huragok after the war.
- ↑ Halo: Reach - Level: New Alexandria
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Halo 2: Anniversary - Collectible: Terminal 15 - Unyielding
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, Page 76
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, Page 208
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, Page 328
- ↑ Halo: The Fall of Reach, Page 172 (Digital)
- ↑ Halo: The Fall of Reach, Page 182 (Digital)
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, Page 225 (Digital)
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, Page 208
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, Page 209
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, Page 288 (Digital)
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, Page 332
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, Page 329
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, Page 286-287