The last battle aboard The Heart of Midlothian.
Sergeant Michael Baird—born within the European Union on Earth—had already committed a significant portion of his life to military service when the Covenant first made contact. Stalwart and loyal, Baird was not remarkable among NCOs in the UNSC, but his shrewd understanding of tactical infantry combat made up for any perceived lack of formal education.
Eventually enlisting with the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, Baird became a key figure in a number of campaigns across the Outer Colonies—serving with the toughest and most talented warriors the UNSC would throw at the Covenant war machine. Late into the war, he was assigned to the destroyer known as The Heart of Midlothian, and given an elite squad of ODSTs and very clear—if not intriguing—orders.
They would enter the outlying regions of the Algolis colony’s star system, slingshot behind a proximal gas giant along a stream of asteroidal debris toward the planet’s surface. There, they would rendezvous with an ONI contact group deployed by a lone UNSC frigate assisting with the colony’s evacuation measures. After they ensured Algolis’ stockpile of prototype weapons were destroyed, they would bug out—leaving the planet to the Covenant.
During the course of this mission, The Heart of Midlothian would come under attack by the Covenant. As the only remaining survivor aboard the ship, Baird would be forced to fend off the enemy boarding party long enough to ensure the safety of the ship’s NAV data.