The few major victories achieved by the UNSC were usually due to tactical genius, extensive use of nuclear weapons, the rapid deployment of Spartan teams, or decisive ground engagements where UNSC technology and skill outmatched Covenant tactics. After the ceasefire was declared, the Great Schism continued in the form of wars between the Sangheili and the Jiralhanae until at least 2559. Even against the militarily and technologically superior enemy, outnumbered 2:1, they still managed to inflict disproportionate losses to the Covenant, due largely to the twenty orbital defense platforms orbiting Reach. , Weeks after the battle, rumors started circulating on Earth that people were still alive on Reach. The UNSC's greatest soldier, and humanity's champion, was presumed dead..  On the ground, the SPARTAN-IIs secured a Forerunner artifact covered in symbols that the Covenant tried to transport out of Cote d'Azur. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. At the time of the invasion, at least one hurricane was raging on the surface of Reach. The war was instigated by the High Prophets of the Covenant following a discovery which led them to believe that humans were directly related to the Forerunners, contradicting their ancient religion. At first, the Covenant sent a pre-invasion force, consisting of a few SDV-class heavy corvettes and a CSO-class supercarrier, the Long Night of Solace, to Reach and secretly deployed a large force in the Viery Territory. The Autumn launched a Shiva nuclear device timed to explode on impact, and began to back away, with the nuclear weapon detonating inside the warhip's now-recharged shielding and reverberating off the shields and disintegrating the vessel. , The final battle of the war was fought on December 11, 2552.  Members of NOBLE Team assisted UNSC forces in clearing evacuation zones, succeeding in damaging a Covenant corvette in the process. However, the Index was stolen from the Arbiter by the Jiralhanae Chieftain Tartarus, who was under the Prophets' orders to retrieve the Index and kill the Arbiter, whom Tartarus knocked down an apparently bottomless shaft. The station's commander, Chief Petty Officer McRobb, sent an emergency message to FLEETCOM and ordered self-destruct to prevent the station's data from falling into enemy hands. Through this, the Covenant found two more worlds to attack.. Cortana's message told of a means to stop the Flood on the other end of the portal.  The Pillar of Autumn was among the surviving UNSC ships which fled the battle, and made a somewhat blind jump. Also, the Ascendant Justice destroyed around sixteen Covenant warships during the escape in Slipspace and at the rebel base.  This report included information on Thel's actions at the Fall of Reach.