Jacob Keyes was a captain in the UNSC and he commanded the Halcyon-class battlecruiser Pillar of Autumn
. He was renowned as a brilliant tactician and he also demonstrated superior intuition and had keen situational awareness; qualities which would help him distinguish himself as one of the most successful Ship commanders in the history of the UNSC. His "wild" and brilliant manoeuvres had garnered him many citations for valour and this in part had made him a valuable asset in many of the classified operations, usually involving SPARTANS II's
undertaken by the UNSC. After his untim
ely death in Halo: Combat Evolved
, Keyes is posthumously awarded the Colonial Cross, accepted during the ceremony by his daughter, Commander Miranda Keyes
The earliest recorded incident was one involving a training accident that resulted in the death of fourteen ensigns due to an instructor's poorly planned examination. Although Keyes himself suffered burns during the accident he refused to testify against the instructor thereby show casing that he could hold a secret. This incident led Dr. Catherine Halsey to recruit him for her Spartan-II project; there he served as her "assistant". However as time passed he started to realize the full nature of the project and so the doctor transferred him and made him a full lieutenant for his troubles. He had a myriad of other assignments including one where he saved a Frigate from a Covenant ambush and also helped to quell an rebellion. His skills as a brilliant tactician also started to develop during these years and he was an instructor at the Academy; however, some of the top brass at Fleet headquarters thought that his methods were flawed and personally thought that he deserved nothing more than to teach in a classroom.
Commanding the Iroquois
However, there was no disregarding the fact that he was one of the better tacticians in the fleet and by 2552 he was a full commander in command of the destroyer the Iroquois. This was when his reputation as a daring and brilliant commander really took off. He correctly deciphered from a slip space probe that the human colony of Sigma Octanus 4 was about to come under attack from Covenant
forces. Disregarding the almost suicidal risks that he and his crew faced going up against 4 heavily armed covenant warships; two Covenant frigates, a Destroyer and Carrier, he nevertheless engaged them. He lead his ship into an head first charge against the two frigates, as he used the emergency exhaust tanks to nimbly doge the Plasma torpedoes
. He managed to lead the torpedoes straight into the path of the Covenant destroyer and succeed in killing it. He also fired off two nukes toward the planet and then lead the frigates on a wild goose chase around the planet as he used the gravitational forces to pull the nukes closer to the frigates. He detonated the Nukes and released the ships complement of archer missiles and MAC shots and succeed in destroying the Frigates; the Covenant carrier fled the system by making a jump to slipspace. This was the largest victory that the UNSC navy had ever had and Keyes was promptly promoted to Captain. Although he succeed in destroying the covenant forces, they returned in force and faced off against the UNSC fleet that had massed there. Keyes believed that the the Iroquois which was badly damaged in its previous daring attack could not hold its own against a large number of Covenant ships and chose to reposition his ship near the planet. While he was there he was able to intercept a encrypted Covenant message from the planet's surface and was also able to destroy a Covenant Stealth ship that was receiving the signal. He was also able to alert the High command that the Planet was under invasion when he scanned the poles and found it teeming with covenant drop ships. At the end of the space fight, the Covenant retreated and it was declared a UNSC victory. However, unknown to everybody a small probe was left in the carnage of battle and it attached itself to the Iroquois. Thereby Keyes inadvertently gave away the location of Reach
when he went there to assume command of the Pillar of Autumn
Keyes was given command on a heavily modified halcyon class cruiser
, the Pillar of Autumn
and was told to partake in a dangerous mission. His orders were to help the Spartans to recover a Covenant vessel and use that to capture one of the prophets. The High command hoped that they could use the prophet as bait to stop the war. However, before he could leave Reach
was attacked and he was called back to help defend it. He fought bravely there, defending the Super MAC cannons and with the Master Chief's
help was successful in foiling the Covenant
to gain information regarding regarding the location of Earth. He was instrumental in destroying a number of ships, including what is presumed to be a Supercruiser.
Although he fought bravely, the Covenant overwhelmed the defences at Reach and over ran the planet, with the UNSC fleet in complete disarray he was forced to make a blind jump, that jump resulted in him jumping to the first Halo
. The events of Halo
take place after that.
He piloted the Pillar of Autumn
to the Halo
construct, successfully landing it on the ring, before being captured by overwhelming Covenant forces on the ring. Captain Keyes was taken to the Truth
and Reconciliation, a disabled Covenant
ship, and held there along with several marines. The Master Chief
and a squad of Marines launched a successful assault to recover the captain, and they escaped in a Covenant Spirit drop ship. Following this, Captain Keyes and a squad of Marines set out for a swamp in search of what they believed was a Covenant weapons cache. As it turned out, the facility was actually a flood containment center which the covenant had stumbled upon when they were exploring the ring. Not knowing this, the Captain ordered the Marines to break open the door and thus he became one of it's first victims. Keyes was transported back to the flood-controlled Truth and Reconciliation, where he began to form into a Gravemind
. However, Master Chief arrived to retrieve Keyes' neural implants and killed what remained of the captain when he grabbed the implants from the head of the Flood creature.