Pillar of Autumn (Human Starship)
The Pillar of Autumn is a relatively small ship in comparison with some other UNSC fleet ships. In fact, it's in the Halcyon class, which are amongst the smallest ships produced in the fleet. That's not to say that this ship doesn't play a major roll in Halo Reach and Halo:CE. The ship, at the beginning of Halo: Combat Evolved, is fleeing from the planet Reach as it faces bombardment and destruction from Covenant forces.
Unbeknown to the Captian, Captain Keyes, they are about to run into larger problems. In their flight from the plant of Reach, they run into a Covenant armada and are boarded and attacked. This attack on the Pillar is the first level of Halo 1. This ship plays the biggest overall part in the game. It ends up crash landing on Installation 04 after the Covenant attack and Captain Keyes is captured by Covenant forces and detained on the Covenant Cruiser, The Truth and Reconciliation. On the last level of the game, Master Chief and Cortana must return to the Pillar of Autumn and, using the Captain's neural implant, they have to manually destroy the the fusion engine in the starship, which causes a chain reaction that ultimately leads to the destruction of Installation 04.
Halo Reach: It has not been confirmed as of yet, but I believe it is fair to say that the Pillar of Autumn will have some sort of appearance in the upcoming Halo Reach. The game is set on the planet where the Pillar was fleeing from before it crash-landed on Installation 04.
 Ship Specification
The ship is a monstrous ship, complete with a nuclear engine, powered by 4 large fusion engines that combine into one huge engine.
 The Engine Room
During Halo 1, you will become very friendly with the ship's Engine room. It is a huge 3 story room. The main controls for the manifolds protecting the engine's inner cores are controlled at the very top of the room. There are 4 manifolds, and the controls, when operated, pull back the protective casings around the inner cores.
 The Armoury
 The Canteen
The starship also features a large canteen for when it's huge crew need refreshment. Unfortunately, you'll never get to use it for refreshment, only for battle. Like most of the ship, you will encounter it in the first and last level of the game, The Pillar of Autumn and The Maw, respectively.
 Life Boats
The ship is outfitted with large numbers of air-locked life boats, to be used in case of an emergency on the ship. Unfortunately, the Covenant use the air locks against us and use them to lock onto the ship, as an entrance point.
- A point that was made by Bungie in reference to Master Chief is that the Pillar is 1.17 meters long. This was a reference to the Master Chief being John-117. Although, this is later disproved in the final level, The Maw, as you have to drive a combined distance of almost 5km to get to the end of the ship. This is more for the atmosphere than anything, as driving a simple 1.17km wouldn't build half as much atmosphere as the tense Warthog run at the end of Halo: Combat Evolved in The Maw.
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