The Caskets are Operation: EUREKA.artefacts built for combating small, system-wide outbreaks. The function of a Casket is to accelerate the processes of the star of a system, causing it to erupt in a supernova effect, albeit presumably more powerful. During the , they were used as last resorts, to deny the Flood a star system's organisms. The search for the Caskets in the 26th century was known as
When activated, a Casket builds up a large amount of energy, then sends a number of small probes through slipspace into the heart of the system's star. These probes then act as catalysts in that star's nuclear fusion reactions, speeding up the reaction, and thus the star's life cycle. For a star at the very beginning of its life, this process takes only about an hour to exhaust its entire life.
Once the supernova stage is reached, the probes cease to function, becoming fuel for the supernova itself. Even stars which wouldn't naturally supernova do anyway, as a result of the sheer speed at which they completed their life cycle. The supernova engulfs the entire system, including all its planets, denying the Flood valuable resources.
They were highly effective in their task, as the resulting supernova was responsible for the destruction of the system, giving them a 99.86% success rate against Flood, according to the.
Creation and Forerunner-Flood warEdit
The Forerunners built the devices as weapons of early use in the first Flood outbreak. According to Forerunner containment procedures, they were to be activated as soon as a system was deemed beyond saving. In reality, this occurred after almost every Flood incursion. The existence of only three complete Caskets in Crystal and , were overrun before they could be activated, and only Epsilon-09 was stationed on a system that was not overrun at all, rather abandoned in favour of the .is testament to this; two were found only partially complete, in storage, Iota-03 and Kappa-02 were not activated because their systems, now called
- Main Article: Operation: EUREKA
Battle of CrystalEdit
- Main Article: Battle of Crystal
During the Sasuun 'Grtamee was responsible for the activation of the first known Casket, Casket Iota-03. Unable to activate the device himself, being a Sangheili and not a or Forerunner , he presumably used either a captive or a to activate the device, subsequently destroying the system.invasion of Crystal, the co-pilot of
First Battle of New JerusalemEdit
- Main Article: First Battle of New Jerusalem
Skirmish for the RequisitionEdit
- Main Article: Skirmish for the Requisition
Expedition into Covenant spaceEdit
Battle of EarthEdit
The first Casket encountered by UNSC forces, discovered buried under the planet Crystal. The discovery of it led to the creation of Task Force Bravo, in the hope of preventing the Covenant from finding them and using them against the UNSC. This Casket was activated in late , destroying the planet and the system.
Caskets Storage-03 and Storage-07Edit
The partially complete Caskets found on New Jerusalem, in the Armoury. These, along with Kappa-02, were loaded onto the stolen Requisition of Prosperity, in order to deliver them to . When the ship lost all power, and its occupants were forced to evacuate, these Caskets were left unguarded. When their location was leaked to the Covenant by Eric Baker, a large battle ensued, in order to secure the Caskets and a number of other relics taken from the Armoury that were aboard the ruins of the Requisition of Prosperity. The UNSC eventually gained victory in this battle, and the Caskets were delivered to Reach.
The only complete Casket found on New Jerusalem.
The only Casket successfully retrieved by the Covenant. It was taken aboard a Prisoner of War slave labour camp, deep in Covenant space, and then on to Legion of Malurok in and activated on . Task Force Charlie managed to deactivate it before it could destroy the .. Because it was known that only humans could activate Forerunner artefacts such as that, it was then loaded onto a , which then jumped back to the POW camp. It was presumed destroyed when Task Force Bravo self-destructed the station, with the assault carrier nearby. However, on confirmed, with his Installation's sensors, that it remained intact, and in Covenant hands. When High Charity crashed on , the Casket was recovered by the UNSC. However, it was stolen by the