Fireteam Piercer Backstory: Crimson Glaive

Backstory: Vermillion Glaive

This is the fifth of FIVE backstories of my in-game Spartans. Each using a different core in Halo Infinite, I wanted to express why I chose each armor and give them each a befitting backstory.
As I post each story, I will add links to the other stories, for easy reference and switching back and forth.
After I conclude posting all five written stories, I will then begin to post the audio versions. with links after, accordingly as well.
Once that is complete, I then plan on writing the first of a hopeful series of full Fireteam Piecer stories.

I need to add a few of caveats here. First, The name Crimson Glaive sprung from my head as a suggestion for a fellow artist’s spaceship rendering. He ultimately did not choose that. I liked the name so much, that I wanted to use it somewhere. That turned out to be here in this story. Second, while Crimson is part of the “hero” name, I wanted a red themed name as well for his real name. So, In chose “Vermillion”. What turned out to be a big coincidence was the armor coating Glaive uses is named ‘Vermillion Wrath’. When I figured that out, I decided to keep it as a happy coincidence. Third, ‘BloodBlade’ is the name of the comic book hero Glaive grew up liking. Again, this was another coincidence as I had forgotten that the red energy blade is called the same. As I was already well into writing the story before I realized this other coincidence, it was too late to change it. Besides, “Blood Blade” the comic book hero name is in direct correlation to Crimson Glaive as both first names are red related and both last names are sword related. Fourth, this story was written well before the events of the season 2 finale of the Halo TV show. So the similarities of the boarding action are yet another coincidence. Fifth, the members of the team resemble the makeup of Silver team in the TV show. This was not deliberate. I just wanted some diversity. It wasn’t until I was almost done that I realized that huge similarity. Again, way too late to change things. Besides, I really like this dynamic.
So, in a way, I guess you could say these things were unintentional easter eggs.
Sixth, yes, he is supposed to look like a very popular current super hero. My personal favorite and similar armor/colors I’ve worn since Reach in homage to him. You know who he is…

So with those caveats out of the way it’s now time to sit back and enjoy the fifth installment, “Crimson Glaive” Fireteam Piercer’s “Technician and Master Swordsman”.

The backstory of this particular Spartan is one of fantasy, success, failure and redemption.

Chapter One: Action, Adventure, Excitement!

Young Vermillion Glaive grew up on a well developed inner colony world where life was very easy. Vermi, as his neighborhood friends called him was always drawing, digitally creating and daydreaming. He was also a huge fan of the holo globe adventures of his favorite super hero, BloodBlade. Holo globes were the latest technical advance in motion entertainment. One would sit inside a globe affixed to a gyroscope. A virtual reality program would play where you were at the center of action. Seeing the action play out from the point of view of the main character. Some more advanced VR programs even allowed you to switch to different characters to view the action from a different angle. The globes would turn and spin in correlation to the character’s movements. Vermi loved the feeling of flying and fighting monsters. BloodBlade was the best at what he did, Vermi thought. He wanted to be BloodBlade and this was the closest he thought he’d ever get. Vermi would draw or digitally create his own version of BloodBlade so much that his mother worried that he was separating himself from reality. His father however, a bit of an artist in his younger days, said he was fine. Vermi would either grow out of it or get even better. 

The latter turned out to be true as Vermi was accepted into the most prestigious art school on his planet. ‘La Grande Université Des Arts’ or the Grand University of the Arts. It was colloquially known as GUDA, pronounced ‘goo-da’. It was there that he learned about metal fabrication. Here he had the opportunity to create his own metal suit to resemble that of BloodBlade. Also during his time at GUDA he began intensive physical training to look as much like BloodBlade as possible. 

Vermi had just finished building his second suit when there was a Covenant attack on his planet. Delusions of grandeur ran through his head. Could he possibly face the alien monsters in his suit? Was it strong enough to prevent injury? Could it take a blast from plasma? There was only one way to find out. Was he scared? Yes. Was this an action of folly? Possibly. But, there was no way he was going to let this opportunity go and his people needed defending. Vermi grabbed the metal replica he made of BloodBlade’s sword and went towards the attack.

The planet had its defenses but, they were mainly orbital defense platforms. Ground forces were kept to a minimum so as not to influence the affluent nature of the planet’s civilization. What force there was including military, police and security was doing their best to battle the invaders. Which is to say, they were losing badly. As Vermi approached, he saw a contingent of alien forces. A mix of Elite, Brute, Jackals, Grunts and a pair of Hunters. Seeing this, heightened his fear. It also elevated his resolve to protect his planet at all costs. He got an even firmer grasp on his homemade sword and rushed into battle. Vermi started with the small ones as they were the closest to him. With large winding swings, he took out single and pairs of Grunts with ease. A couple of Jackals had tried to parry his sword with their energy shields. Though Vermi was able to side step their moves and return a backwards round slice himself that lopped off one of the heads of the Jackals and tore through the arm and torso of the other. An Elite saw what was happening and started to make a move towards Vermi, when a Brute stepped in front of him, as if to say, he would take care of the human. A couple of the police officers saw this too and began giving cover fire for Vermi. That was all he needed, as the brute was momentarily distracted, Vermi took a diagonal slice at one of the Brute’s calves. Though Brutes legs were akin to thick tree trunks, the blade had severed tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. Enough to put the Brute out of action, with a howling scream of pain.

The Elite looked at the brute and laughed. “How could you let a mere human do that to you?” Then the Elite shimmered and disappeared. Vermi knew of Active Camouflage technology. However, as part of his costume to emulate BloodBlade, he installed a rudimentary heat signature detector. This was enough for him to know where the Elite was. The Elite slowly stalked around the battlefield to close in on Vermi. Vermi acted as if he couldn’t see him and added a slight panic to his voice when he told the officers to back off but, keep a look out. The Elite has gotten right behind him. Raised his energy sword laden hand as was about to swipe down when Vermi reacted with lightening quickness, turned around and severed the Elite’s arm clean off. The active camo shimmered off and the Elite was exposed. The Elite tried to reach for its plasma weapon when Vermi cleanly relieved the Elite of his other arm. It was now the Elite’s turn to howl in pain. Vermi saw the hilt of the Elite’s energy sword, picked it up and with insult to the Elite, ignited it, surprised to find it had a blood red blade, and pushed it right through the Elite’s torso. The Elite fell dead. The Brute looked over and laughed, knowing full well he was going to die, as bullets rang out at him. At least he had outlasted the Elite and witnessed his death.

Last up in this skirmish were the pair of Hunters. Vermi was panting at this point but, adrenaline coursing through his body. He turned to the officers and asked if anyone had grenades or a powerful weapon. One officer shouted out that he had one incendiary grenade. Another said he had his sniper rifle. Vermi had never shot a sniper before but knew he could use the grenade. He hollered over for the grenade and the officer happily obliged him. Vermi then asked the sniper officer to get on top of the roof of a one story structure and get ready to take shots at the exposed areas of the Hunter. That officer, quickly got into position. Both Hunters lumbered heavily towards Vermi. Their footfalls were like land tremors and shook everything within 25 feet of them. Vermi took a quick assessment of both Hunters. They were the same size, same armor, though one had a small chunk of armor partially removed near the back of its “neck”.

Vermi figured the police knew hand signals. So, he signaled over to the sniper, pointing to one Hunter, then pointing to the back of his own neck. The officer gave a quick nod. Then Vermi got into position to take on the other Hunter. Both came at him, so Vermi moved around to give the sniper a clear shot at the neck of the one Hunter. The shot rang out with a loud crack then a thick sploosh as the bullet hit its mark. Both Hunters swung around. This allowed Vermi to close the gap quickly, unnoticed, and shove the incendiary grenade under the back armor and well into the back of that Hunter. It didn’t go off right away. Vermi turned toward the officer who had tossed him the grenade. The officer showed him a flip switch. Immediately Vermi knew he had to get some distance between himself and the Hunter. As the Hunter began to swing around, Vermi grabbed the swinging arm and used its momentum to fling himself away. Cleared, the officer flipped the switch and an explosion of fire, worms and orange goo, blasted away from where the Hunter had just been standing. The other Hunter gave a deafening roar, turned back again to Vermi and that’s when the sniper cracked off three quick shots. Each one landing with precision. The bullet ripped and tore through the worms in the Hunter’s “head” and disconnected it from the rest of the Hunter’s body. Quickly the rest of the officers engaged the downed Hunter to make sure it didn’t get up again. The skirmish was won. But that was just the first one. 

The officers rallied around Vermi as he ignited his newly won blood blade. They advanced to another squad of aliens. This time making shorter and easier work of them. Vermi deftly wielding the energy sword, cauterizing fatal alien wounds as he swung. They were about to attack a third squad when aliens and humans alike heard a loud thunder. They looked up. In the sky dozens of drop pods fell, landing all around them, taking out a few of the aliens while avoiding the humans. Spartans poured out from each pod, immediately brandishing high powered weapons of all types. Near instantaneously wiping the alien squad from existence. The UNSC was here! The aliens had been defeated and a new Hero arose. One rather large Spartan looked over at Vermi. “And what are you?” He questioned.

“Sir, my name is Vermillion Glaive and this is my home planet,” Vermi said.

“I mean your suit.”

“I made this in school, sir. I didn’t think I’d ever use it in battle,” said Vermi, finally catching his breath.

“First, you do not need to call me sir. You can call me Spartan 052. Second, well done. We could use you in our ranks,” said Jorge.

“Thank you, sir, er, I mean Spartan 052,” Vermi said with a wide smile appearing on his face.

“Why so formal, Jorge?” said Emile-A239.

“Stow it, A239, you know we aren’t supposed to use our names among civilians.” exclaimed Jorge.

“That’s enough, the both of you,” said Carter-A259. Carter Looked at Vermi hesitantly. Motioned over to Jun-A266. “What do you think, sniper?”

“Why are you asking me,” Jun said with a snark.

“Because you have a sharp eye for things,” Carter snapped back.

“He has potential but then, so do many others,” replied Jun.

A female’s voice spoke out, “I say we take him with us.”

“Wait, take me away?” said Vermi, puzzled.

Carter again looked at Vermi. “Son, we were lucky to get to you this time. We need strong fighters in the UNSC. Ones that can become Spartans,” he said. Vermi gave this some thought. His planet had just been attacked. They were on the Covenant’s radar now. They would come back. This time he was lucky and survived. He might not be so lucky again. Then he turned his thoughts to the battle. He helped turn the tide at least in his small area. Beat nearly every major Covenant race and got a new blood red energy sword for his actions. Those thoughts brought back exhilaration. It was as if he had become his hero, BloodBlade himself!

“Ok, I’m in!” Vermi excitedly said.

“We don’t have time, so you will have to come with us now as is.” said Jorge. Vermi gave him his best salute. “We don‘t do that. At least not in the field,” replied Jorge.

After advancing on and killing several more alien squads then getting an “all clear” on the comms, the battle was finally won. The squad of Spartans and their new recruit made their way to their transport.

Chapter Two: Egos Fall Hard

Months had now gone by and Vermi’s military training had been heavily accelerated. He was in Spartan boot camp learning tactics, old and new from humanity’s history. He had made a name for himself with his heroics in the battle on his home planet. So much so he had become somewhat of a celebrity. This did not bode well for him as he let this attention slip into his ego.

“Glaive!” a large rotund man with black hair and a grey beard shouted his way. Vermi was now used to being called by his last name. Whether that was by barking drill officers or fellow spartan recruits.

“Yes Sir, Sergeant Major,” Glaive said while snapping to attention and giving a crisp salute.

“Today is your day, Glaive. You’re going to lead Fireteam Civet in a night training op.” the Sergeant Major said. “Go see Lieutenant Martin in Ops for your briefing.” Glaive turned and made his way to the Ops center with a higher sense of assuredness about himself. He would definitely make a name for himself today. 

At the Ops center, in front of Glaive was a tall well built man. When Lt. Martin spoke, he had an accent that reminded Glaive of a casual English accent. He couldn’t quite place where Martin was from though.
“Spartan Glaive, you will be leading 3 other Spartan trainees in a training mission tonight,” said Martin.

Glaive replied, “How much time do we have to prepare?”

“Not much, your Pelican will be lifting off in 2 hours. Your gear is already on board the Peli,” said Martin. “You will be traversing through a narrow gulley, after the Peli sets you down. There will be a small monument at the end of the gulley. From there, you will need to march up to the plateau of a small mesa. At that point, you will need to survey the direction you just came from. Use your helmet’s cam to record evidence of your arrival on the mesa. Then your Peli will be dispatched to pick you up and return you back to base.”

“That doesn’t sound hard at all, Lieutenant Martin,” said Glaive.

“I wasn’t finished yet. Along the way, you will have to dodge non-lethal sniper fire. The amount of ‘survivors’ and the extent of your injuries will be assessed for your success rate of this mission,” said Martin. He continued, “You will also have non-lethal weapons with which to fire back. However, that is limited. You have until morning oh-eight hundred hours to complete the mission. If you do not check in with your Peli by that time with proof of your arrival, you will fail the mission entirely. Is that understood?”

“Yes sir!” Snapped Glaive with a sharp salute.

“Good. The rest of your fireteam has been called up and are in sector 4, hangar 12. They are waiting for you and know you are in charge of the mission,” clapped back Martin.

Glaive quickly hustled to the hangar. Once there he saw three other Spartan trainees. A dark skinned man with no hair on his head at all, including eyebrows, standing next to a gear crate, stowing things. Next to him was a tall somewhat slender woman, for a spartan trainee. She was checking their weapons. Behind her, a shorter woman who was inspecting her helmet.

“Attention on deck!” said the dark skinned man.

“At ease, spartans. I’m Spartan Trainee Glaive, your fireteam leader for this mission, “ said Glaive. He went on to explain to them what Lt. Martin had told them.

The tall slender spartan, Bondy, spoke up, “Why do you think they chose us and why for a night op? I know Vince but, have never met either of you two in training?”

“Perhaps it is to test our ability to coalesce as a group with little to no previous experience together,” chimed in Roshi, the shorter woman.

Spartan Vince spoke up now, “Well, whatever the reason, I’m ready to go!”

Glaive gave them a glance to see if he could assess their talents and personalities after this brief interaction. He knew he could count on Vince, with his gung-ho attitude. However, since this was a night op, stealth was key and he would need to remind Vince of that and to stay quiet. Bondy seemed capable and by the way she was taking apart and putting the weapons back together, it was no stretch to see she was their weapon’s expert. It was hard to get a read on Roshi though. She seemed the more cerebral type. How that would fit into this mission, he was not yet sure. This was going to be a new experience for all of them.

“Okay spartans, time to mount up. Let’s get everything else on board and be on our way. I want to be back in time for breakfast!” exclaimed Glaive. A resounding ooh-rah, came back from the other three.

The flight took about an hour. During which time, each trainee spoke of their home planets and how they came to be in the program. Glaive went last. After he told his tale, Vince remarked that he had heard the story from other trainees and said that they had a celebrity of sorts as their mission commander. Glaive beamed with pride at that comment. Just then, the pilot came over comms. “We’re about to touch down. You have 20 seconds to clear your gear. I lift off exactly at 20 seconds. Anything left on board will stay on board.”

“Okay team, let’s get ready,” stated Glaive.

The back hatch of the Peli opened. They were about 10 feet from the ground. They would have to toss out their gear. No time to go back and forth. So they got out as much as they could in the time allotted. Thankfully, this wasn’t a ton of gear. Two weapons each, a rifle and a pistol, the ammo, their helmets, water,  emergency equipment and first aid kit. They wouldn’t need much as this was just a one-night mission. In about 12 hours from now, they expected to be back at base eating a victory meal for successfully completing the mission.

Each Spartan carried their own gear, evenly divided. Their armor was not yet the vaulted Mjolnir they would graduate with. Instead, it was a suit outfitted with sensors that would immediately send back hit detection and force of impact on each trainee, back to base for assessment. It had limited padding but, at least allowed for maximum range of movement. Their helmets were all Spartan recruit helmets. Each decked out with nearly the same tech as their final helmets would be. As well, each helmet was a different color to help differentiate each team member. Glaive had red, Vince wore blue, Bondy a pale yellow, and Roshi a standard green. As promised, they were dropped at the start of a gulley. They could see it slowly wind its way upward toward a somewhat distant mesa. That was their end goal and one they all intended to make, as quickly as possible.

“Alright everyone, comms check,” said Glaive.

“Vince, here.”

“Bondy ready”

A little bit of static, then Roshi checked in as well.

They had barely taken 10 steps when the first sniper shot rang out. They all ducked and immediately began to scan their surrounds. Being in a gully made them vulnerable to fire from all sides. 

Vince spoke on comms, “that came from 2 o’clock about 15 meters up.”

“Yeah, I got the same reading,” said Glaive. “Everyone alright? No wounds yet?” The other three flashed green on Glaive’s hud. “Use your in-helm target locaters to identify threat and send that way. We’re going to use hand signals from here out. Comms silent after this.” Said Glaive. Again, three flashes of green.

They slowly arose from their position, two looking in the direction of the sniper, one straight ahead and the last looking over each shoulder behind them. Glaive signaled for them to work their way to a tree with large  almost horizontal branch on it.  Once there, he took a look at his terrain readout to see where next to go. That’s when the next sniper fire rang out. Three of them ducked but Bondy was alert and fired back where the shot had come from. A flash of yellow showed on Glaive’s HUD. Bondy had been slightly grazed on her left thigh. She would have been able to shake this off easily had they their Mjolnir armor. However, even though non-lethal, this was going to leave a welt on her for a couple of days. Glaive made the signal to move on him. They all flashed green and quickly moved out. Now that Glaive knew snipers were going to be ever present during this mission, he wanted to make haste to at least the base of the mesa they had to climb, before they took a break. Since they had not yet had their augmentations, they could only go as fast as humanly possible and at that as fast as their slowest runner, which was Roshi. Since she was shorter than the others, her legs could not cover as much distance as the rest of them. The fireteam found that they had to constantly slow down for her. Glaive thought, once they got their augmentations, this would be accounted for and she wouldn’t be a hinderance. Several more sniper shots burst out at them. They would continue on, occasionally returning fire where they thought the target was based on either their locater’s data or first hand sight. 

Trouble came when they had to cross a river. It wasn’t terribly deep but, it was wide enough and the current was swift. They didn’t have time to find a way around as the clock was ticking. Glaive sent them signals that each would swim along across the river. He didn’t want the whole team to be wiped out mid-swim by snipers. Three trainees would always be watching the area while one would swim across. He chose Roshi to go first with their one and only grappleshot. He knew if they had to wait for her on the other side, it would cause anticipation and anxiety. Getting her across first would mean the other three taller trainees could swim at the fastest pace while holding on to the grapple’s cord against the river’s heavy current and not have to wait for her. They all went prone and scanned the area for targets. Nothing came back. By now the local star had gone down and night was upon them. Roshi slide into the water, took aim and let the grappleshot fly. It stuck firmly into a tree across the river. Then she allowed the device to pull her to the other side. Once there, she looked back to see her fireteam and gave a green flash to Glaive. Knowing that Roshi could see them from this distance, he pointed to a tree to their right, Roshi’s left. Another flash of green. Just as Roshi grappled, another sniper shot snapped off. This simultaneous occurrence caused Roshi to be slightly startled, enough that the shot was off. The shot had pierced Vince’s inner right arm and stuck into the ground under him. Vince let out a scream in pain. Bondy immediately came over to render aid. Glaive signaled to Roshi to make the grapple’s cord go slack. She did. Then Bondy pulled the grapple hooks from the ground. They had no choice but to cut the grapple away from Vince’s arm, less they risk a serious infection to him with the dirty hooks and cord. She then treated Vince’s arm with biofoam at both the entry and exit wounds. 

With no way to now quickly traverse the river and one team member in serious pain and unable to swim, Glaive had to make a battlefield call. Vince would have to stay there until they completed the mission and then would come back for him. He did not make this decision lightly. Once again, Glaive swore to himself. Had they their real armor, this wouldn’t have happened. For one, the grapple would not have pierce that armor. Secondly, they all would have had their own grapples to get across. This mission was starting to go out of control and he had to reel that in quick or he’d fail. The grappleshot’s cord could not be secured without its hooks deeply imbedded into something. So Glaive made the next hard decision to have the grappleshot pull both he and Bondy across the river. Roshi would have to get her footing on something to be able to hold the line while it retracted back and brought both trainees with it. In full Mjolnir armor, this might have been tougher. Thankfully, they weren’t weighted down anywhere near as much. So the grapple could easily bring them both along. Roshi, got her footing against a thick tree root. Glaive tested it by giving it a hard pull. It and Roshi held. Now was the time, as they couldn’t afford anymore time on this problem. He had Bondy hold on in front of then he wrapped to cord around his arm a couple of times to be more secure. He then gave the signal to Roshi and she flicked to grappleshot to retract the cord. As both Bondy and Glaive began to skim the top of the water, holding onto the cord, they saw several sniper shots fire. Three towards Roshi and two towards Vince and Bondy. They were about halfway across when more shots were fired in Roshi’s direction. That’s when the cord went slack. This immediately loss of tightness made Glaive realize that not only had Roshi been hit but that she had lost control of the grappleshot and that the device would now be retracting towards them. He tried to tell Bondy but, it was too late. The device hit Bondy on top of her helmet and she went limp. Glaive struggled to hold on to her as the current started to sweep the two trainees further down the river. There was a bend in the river that for a moment slowed the current. This allowed Glaive to get he and Bondy to the other side. He checked his tracker. They were at least 100 meters down river. He used his comms.

“Roshi. ROSHI!” He exclaimed. “Are you there?” No comms, nor flashing light came back to him. Dammit! One river crossing and his whole team could be wiped out. He was now determined to finish the mission, even if he had to drag Bondy with him. He knew Roshi’s position as she was across the river from Vince and he had that marked in his helmet’s memory. They would both be picked up afterwards. For now, he had to tend to Bondy. He took off her helmet then put his hand to her lips to feel if she was breathing. She was but she clearly had not the capacity to complete the mission, let alone be able to communicate. In the midst of what was near catastrophic failure, they had also lost all but one of their weapons. Glaive had his pistol. No emergency gear or first aid kit either as those had dislodged and had been taken by the river. How could he fail so miserably? “Press on Vermi, dammit!” he thought. They were still hours away from the finish line. He would have to carry Bondy. But then, how would he be able to climb the mesa AND be able to bring up Bondy, without any rope or other equipment? Glaive just made the decision to cross that bridge when he came to it. He scooped up the unconscious Bondy and put her over his left shoulder. It was at this point he was thankful that she was slender. Had she been bulked out like most of the rest of the trainees, she would have weighed a lot more and carrying her would have been a lot harder.

It had been two hours and no sniper fire. While he was thankful, he was also cautious. Was this because they were off course? Did the snipers truly not know where they were? Or, as he thought more likely, they knew his position but were taking it easy since they would also know three of his team were down and he was carrying one of them. But then, that wouldn’t be a true Spartan mission. Would it? He let the thought pass and kept trudging through the nighttime forest. He finally made it to the base of the mesa. He checked his chronometer. He was behind schedule by two hours. He only had two more hours to complete the mission or fail entirely. There was the monument. Instead of looking at it with a sense of accomplishment, he looked at it with disdain. What should have been a simple op with a simple objective had turned into a nightmare. Was he really cut out to be a spartan? Glaive got out some water and took a drink. He then checked on Bondy. 

“Are you awake?” Glaive asked?

“Barely.  What the hell happened? Did we make it? What time is it?” Bondy fired off.

“Whoah. Take it easy there. You got knocked out by the wrist device when it retracted back to us. I got us across the river and we are now at the base of the mesa,” said Glaive.

“How much time is left?” questioned Bondy.

“Not much. We have just over two hours,” Glaive remarked.

“Go on ahead. I’ll only slow you down. At least one of us has to complete the mission.” Said Bondy.

“Looked, I’ve already about failed anyway, I’ve carried you this far. We can make it to the end together,”  exasperated Glaive.

“No, you know you can’t make it in time while trying to climb and carrying me at the same time. Finish this for the rest of us!” declared Bondy.


“But nothing! Go now. You can make it without me,” Bondy said with some emotion. Dammit to hell, if I even make it, I’ll be the only one, thought Glaive.

“Are you sure you’ll be okay by yourself? Need anymore water?” asked Glaive.

“I’m sure I can make it for another couple of hours. Then we’ll all be back at base,” said Bondy.

Glaive gave a salute and started up the mesa. He figured with the time left he might just be able to make it in time and salvage something from this mess of an operation. He was about halfway up when a sniper shot hit him on his back right shoulder. DAMMIT! I thought they were done shooting at us! He winced in pain as the spot where he was hit felt hot. He could feel the swelling already and that would make climbing even harder. He didn’t see where the shot came from, nor could his locator find it either. So he kept going. Now with a little more urgency and a lot more pain. He was about 20 meters from the top when another shot rang out. It missed him but did catch a large rock above him. The impact of the shot caused the rock to be dislodged. Then it tumbled onto Glaive, making him lose his grip. He slid down the side of the mesa and came to a hard stop on another equally hard rock and heard and felt a snap. This time it was his knee. He knew he had torn something and the pain was incredible. But, he just had to finish the mission. So he mustered all the strength he could and climbed the now 40 meters to the top. 

As he crested the mesa, he saw the Pelican a short distance away. It shouldn’t have already been there. He was to radio back proof they made it and then the Pelican would come and pick them up. Why was it already here? With excruciating pain, he made his way to the Pelican. The pilot was waiting there for him and he seemed to be very anxious.

“Spartan Trainee Glaive, reporting in sir.”

“No time for that, we are under an extreme emergency,” said the pilot in a hurried tone.

“What is it?”

“We’ll collect your squad and then I’ll tell you on the way back to base,” said the pilot.

Chapter Three: The Unease Before Battle

Picking up the rest of this makeshift fireteam was easy. What was not was the news to follow. The UNSC high command got word of a large Covenant invasion force heading to the next planetary system over. All available personnel were to be dispatched immediately. This included all spartan trainees. How were his team going to be fit for duty and ship out for this mission? thought Glaive.

When they got back to base, they were quickly ushered into a debrief room. No time to score their op. This emergency made sure of that. Once debriefed, they were then shuttled to the on-base medical facility. There the three that were hurt were attended to. Bondy had a concussion. However, the UNSC had remedies for that. Vince had some minor surgery on his arm to repair the wounds and a fast acting healing solution applied. Glaive’s shoulder soreness would go down with medication. It was his knee that was cause for concern. He needed surgery as his anterior cruciate ligament had snapped during the fall on the mesa. As knee replacement was part of their eventual augmentation, Glaive was given this surgery now, so that he’d be ready when they arrived tomorrow at the point of the Covenant’s attack. His surgery was barely over and he recovered from the anesthetic when he was given a new set of armor. It was heavier than Standard ODST armor but nowhere near as heavy as Mjolnir. He’d find out later what this new set was. For now it was time for him to suit up. He and most of the base crew were boarding two frigates that had just touched down. He saw Vince, Bondy and Roshi together.

Vince came up to him. “Well, it looks like we all get a second chance.”

“What do you mean?” said Glaive.

“We are a fireteam now. Fireteam Mesa to be exact. And you are once again our team leader,” said Vince.

“Wait. Are you serious? After that failure we just had?”

“Brass must have thought you did good enough since you at least made it to the top.”

“How’s your arm, Vince?” Glaive asked.

“Good as new, sir.”

“Enough with that sir business. Call me Glaive.”

“Okay, suit yourself,” said Vince.

“And you, Bondy, how’s your head feeling?

“Well, I ain’t drinking a bottle of Montroxian Ale anytime soon, with the headache I have. But, I’ll be fine. Then we can all get that drink when we get back!” exclaimed Bondy.

“Roshi…you good?” Glaive asked.

“I’m fine. I’m just sorry I failed all of you.”

“Stow that chatter right now!” Glaive said sternly. “We are all in this together. That was a training mission. We’re about to be in the shit now. So no sorries. Got it?!”

All three of the rest of Fireteam snapped off a “Sir, Yes Sir!” reply.

“Good, here are our official call signs. I’m Mesa One. Bondy, you are Mesa 2. Vince, Mesa 3 and Roshi, Mesa 4,” said Glaive, sharply. “Our mission is to intercept a Covenant Invasion force in the Azure planetary system. This is right next to us, so it will be a short slipspace jump. Other UNSC capital ships are slipping in from other sectors, so we won’t be the only two frigates out there. Once command has ascertained the full size and composition of the invading force, tactics will be given. However, we may not receive those before we slip in. So, be prepared for anything. We might be dropping onto a planet or one of their ships in space.” Attacking a Covenant ship, via drop pod, in space was not unheard of. Though it was always risky. Glaive didn’t know if they would have to infiltrate it or place bombs on it.

“Sir,” Vince piped up, “Are these suits rated for space?”

“Yes, Vince. I just got word, these are SPI armored suits.” Glaive responded. Though they have a limited amount of oxygen. So any action we have in space has to be quick. No time for mistakes. And Vince, while we are on the way, you can call me Glaive, remember?

“Sir, yes… Glaive, yes sir.”

They were on board now and at the armory getting their gear. Glaive had his trusty energy sword hilt magnetized to his left thigh. He selected a DMR as his primary weapon and a standard Magnum as his secondary. Bondy picked a Stanchion rifle as she was clearly the team’s best sniper from her scores, in training. Then she picked a Battle Rifle. Vince was the heavy and chose a Railgun as well as a SAW. Then it was Roshi’s turn. She grabbed a Spartan Laser and a standard MA5 Assault Rifle. The four of them went to a small situation room to discuss their plans if command was unable to give them orders before the drop. If it was a space drop, Vince was to take point and make some dents with his Railgun. If successful in penetrating the Covenant ship’s armor, they would toss in bombs and using jet packs, would jump into space and wait for a pickup. If the ship’s armor couldn’t be penetrated, they would place bombs on the outer hull and again jump to space. This plan wasn’t the greatest as it meant they would be free floating in space amidst a battle and would have to hope a Pelican would be able to get close enough for exfiltration. A planetary drop was much easier in terms of landing. However, once landed, they would have to quickly assemble, ascertain their surroundings and glean what information  they could about troop locations. If they dropped straight into a hot zone amongst Covenant forces, all bets were off. However, they knew to stick together.

Bondy spoke up, “Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to us having to use these plans. I’d rather have verified intel from command.”

“Me too,” said Glaive, “but we need to be prepared, just in case.”

“There is something that seems off about this though, Glaive,” Roshi commented. This puzzled the other three.

“What do you mean,” asked Vince with a side glance.

“The UNSC is usually much more prepared than this and wouldn’t rush to send troops in without a battle plan,” responded Roshi.

“Roshi, you know my home planet was attacked without notice. And the UNSC showed up almost immediately,” Glaive said sternly.

“I know but, this feels different.”

“No buts!” Glaive sharply retorted. “If you’re not up for this battle, then give your armor to someone else. We need everyone on board here!”

“I’m in 100%, Glaive. I’ve just got a bad feeling about this,” said Roshi.

“We all get butterflies before an op,” Bondy stated.

“Are we finished here, boss? I need to relieve myself,” said Vince.

“We are finished, unless there are any other questions or comments,” Glaive said, while looking directly at Roshi.

Roshi shook her head no in response. “Ok then, get some rest team. Comms will ping us 15 minutes before we slip in. Be ready!” exclaimed Glaive. 

Chapter Four: All Aboard!

Some time, not long after, Mesa got the ping. Bondy and Vince had been resting in crew quarters, Glaive was talking with Lieutenant Martin, and Roshi had been checking her weapons.

Among other orders ringing out in the ship, “Fireteam Mesa to drop pods nine through twelve.” came over the comm.

All of the members of Mesa arrived at their drop pods. Glaive looked at them for a second. “Alright team, this is going to be a space drop. Lock and load. Prep your armor for space detail. Check and double check those neck seals. I don’t want to lose anyone to carelessness. Am I clear?”

“Sir, yes sir,” responded the other three.

“Good. For this op, fireteam comms are open. Remember your call signs. We’re going into this hot.” Glaive said with a sense of urgency. “For humanity!”

“For humanity!” resounded the rest of Mesa.

Each got into their respective drop pods. Made a preflight check and awaited orders to drop. Those orders came quickly. Almost simultaneously, the four pods shot off towards the nearest Covenant ship.

The comms channel opened up. It was from the frigate. “Command has placed five Covenant ships in the area. Four CCS battle cruisers and one CAS Assault Carrier.” 

This was a major offensive, thought Glaive. What could be of such interest that they would send this large of a force?

“We have responded with six frigates, four destroyers and two carriers.” the voice over Comms said.

Glaive quickly added, “We are headed towards one of the cruisers along with another fireteam. They have the fore, we have the aft. We’re going to take out the engines.”

“Getting the ass end of the deal, huh?” Vince said with a chuckle, over comms.

“Stow that, Vince. Now is the time to be serious. Got it?” replied Glaive.

“Yes sir.”

Their pods shot out, headed for the nearest cruiser. The CCS cruiser had the tell-tale purple hue and 4 fins attached to the underside of its bulbous forward section. The middle section was fairly flat and wide, resembling a spade, while the aft third of the ship housed the engines. The cruiser was oriented at an angled in which their pods would land near one of the main engines. Glaive thanked the gods for this, as it would mean his team would not have to traverse a large portion of the ship to get to their target. 

Glaive came over comms, “Brace for impact!”

Mesa’s pods crashed into the Covenant ship hard. There is no sound in space but, if there were, the crash would have made a hard metallic sound. Immediately they jettisoned their respective pod doors and leapt out, with their magnetic boots securing them to the ship, so that they wouldn’t float off into space unintentionally.

“Weapons hot!” commanded Glaive. 

They had landed roughly 25 meters from their intended spot. Glaive, Bondy, and Roshi spread out just behind and to the sides of Vince, while he made way for the target. With no enemies in sight, he began to drill Railgun shells into the cruiser’s armor. He emptied a whole clip and hadn’t yet pierced the armor. As he was about to reload, Bondy came over comms, “Mesa, we have company!”

They all turned their heads to the direction they had come from. There about 20 meters further away from their drop pods came a squad of space suited Covenant. The squad comprised of two Elites, four Jackals and seven Grunts. Bondy dropped to one knee to better position herself and become more steady. She snapped off four quick shots before having to reload the stanchion. Each shot hit a mark as three grunts and a jackal went down. Glaive also took aim and brought down a jackal and a grunt. Roshi took aim at one of the Elite’s with her Spartan laser, the red line splicing space, finding its mark and blasting the elite in the chest and outward into the dark. The Covenant squad returned fire. Though they were too far away for any precision shots, save one of the jackals, who let out a shot from his beam rifle. The shot rang off Vince’s armor and he could feel the heat of the plasma however, it did not penetrate. This close call made Vince angry and he shot back with his SAW, mowing down the Jackal that shot at him and taking out another two Grunts. This left one each of an Elite, Jackal and Grunt. At this point, the aliens had reached the drop pods and Roshi let out a loud “Now!” With that, she hit a button on the top of a detonator. This exploded her pod and the Jackal and Grunt along with it.

Glaive came over comms, “Nice going, Mesa 4! You and Mesa 2 help three with the bombs, I’ve got the Elite.”Instead of voices, two quick green flashes showed on his HUD.

The Elite was almost upon him and snapped its blue energy blade into existence. Glaive responded by grabbing the hilt of his own energy sword and bringing the red blade to blaze on. This startled the Elite for a second as he stopped stride. Glaive couldn’t see it but, the Elite roared in its helmet and cursed the human for having the sword.

Glaive readied his stance. The Elite pushed off the hull and using booster jets built into its suit, charged at Glaive. Glaive in response leapt at the Elite, using all of his leg strength and releasing the magnetic hold of his boots. They both had swords in front of them and each ready to make a slash. Just before they made contact, Glaive gave one small pulse to his left booster which cause him to slightly roll. This action made the Elite miss while Glaive got a clean slice across the Elite’s chest. The Elite gave a look of bewilderment and horror as air escape his suit. Seconds later, it was dead and floating off into space. Glaive boosted himself back on to the exterior of the cruiser and went to help his team. They had placed most of their bombs when Vince finally made a hole through the hull. The set the timers on the few bombs they had left and threw them into the hole. Then all four shot off the ship and used their jetpacks to fly to the nearest UNSC ship, the very same frigate they had dropped from.

What felt like minutes but, was only a several seconds, went by. Then both the fore and aft sections of the Cruiser they attacked were blown apart. Great, thought Glaive. The other Fireteam was successful as well! During the time they had dropped and were flying back, the UNSC had taken out two of the CCS cruisers and crippled the carrier. However, that was not without taking heavy losses of their own. Of the twelve UNSC ships, only four had made it out of the battle. Their frigate and another, plus a destroyer and a carrier. There were large chunks of spaceship debris strewn through space above the planet. Mesa made it back to their ship, intact.

Chapter Five: Redemption

Lt. Martin met them and quickly briefed them on the situation down on the planet. Though most of the invading force’s capital ships had been destroyed or incapacitated, the Assault Carrier had released a large invasion force to the planet’s surface. Mesa would need to make planetfall. All available Pelicans were being prepped and loaded with troops, gear, weapons and ammunition. Martin was to lead three Pelicans into battle. One of which carried two squads of ODSTs. They had grumbled at not being able to drop in. However, there were not more pods available due to the space assault. Another Pelican was loaded with Marines, while the third was Mesa and Fireteam Royal’s Spartan Trainees. With no time to lose, the Pelicans sprung forth from the Frigate’s bay. The ride down was not smooth and everyone aboard all three ships could feel the heat emanating from the underside of their respective Pelicans as gravity pulled them down.

Lt. Martin opened up on comms, “Company, we are landing near the city of New Thresher. The Covenant have consolidated their forces there. We detected just a few Banshees. Though we will have air support in the form of these Pelicans and local Hornet and Falcon craft. We do not yet know the number of land ships the Covenant has down there. Again, we will have support here too with our own Scorpions, Warthogs and Mongooses.”  Our Frigate will be joining us soon after the last Covie Cruiser has been taken out. Once we land, you are to fan out into squads. Fireteams Mesa and Royal will be taking point, followed by you ODSTs, then the rest of you Marines. Standard battlefield comms will be open. Squad leaders be ready with your command comms to report enemy positions and compositions. We will be using urban guerrilla tactics for this operation. Careful and clean, block by block. No lone wolves. Am I clear?” Aboard each Pelican could be heard ooh-rahs from each group.

The lead pilot came on comms. “Planetfall in 20 seconds.”

Glaive nodded to his team. They were all ready to go. He nodded over to Royal’s fireteam leader who also gave a ready signal. Bay doors opened and a rush of air blew in. It was neither too  hot nor too cold. Local time was midday with about three hours of sunlight left. They were about a click from the city’s outermost zone. New Thresher wasn’t a big city. Its’ population was marked as 30,000 plus. The land mass of the city covered no more than five square miles. The city center had a modest few buildings over five stories tall. Again Glaive wondered what this city had that the Covenant wanted so bad. He may never get his answer but, the UNSC had to keep them from it. The Pelicans touched down. This time on land and not above it, like their night ops mission, two days prior. Out rushed several marines and ODSTs as well as Roshi and Vince and two of Royal’s team. They all took up defensive positions while the rest of the company off loaded the gear. Two Scorpions and five Warthogs awaited them. One of the Warthogs was of the Gauss variety. Vince immediately got excited for that one. “Stow that look, Vince. We’re on foot,” said Glaive.

“Ah man, why don’t I get to use the fun toys,” Vince said jokingly.

“You already have a railgun, Vince,” Bondy said back.

The Marines mounted up on the vehicles, while the two Spartan Fireteams took point. ODSTs flanked them on either side and fanned out wide to do recon and keep any potential Covenant enemy from getting too close to the company’s interior. Lt. Martin was in the Gauss hog. He came over comms again. “Listen up. Command has given me the location of the closest enemy troop position. Two Wraiths, several Ghosts and a Revenant are among them, with ground troops appearing to be about 50. Mix of all Covid races. So we are about evenly matched. Protect the Scorpions and they will protect you. Do not wander, stay focused. This is our land. They can not have it and we will not give it to them. We may not all live to see tomorrow but, we will prevail! For Humanity!” Cheers of “For Humanity” “Ooh-Rah” and “Yes Sir” came from the company.

The short jaunt to the edge of the city was met with no response. It was quiet in their immediate vicinity. While that would make normal people feel at ease, this was never the case with seasoned soldiers. Things being too quiet meant they were being tracked. Being tracked also usually meant there were traps. Mesa and Royal went in first. Mesa on the left, Royal on the right. Bondy had her Stanchion out and was fervently searching for any Covenant snipers. Behind and to her left walked Roshi and Glaive, with Vince bringing up the rear. Royal took up a similar position. Bondy could see a couple of the ODSTs getting higher ground by climbing up onto roof tops. She wished she could be up there with them to get a better vantage point but, knew her position was right here at ground level. The soft thrum of Warthogs was felt and the tracks of the Scorpions individually hitting the pavement could be heard. They were not moving fast.

All of the sudden two booming balls of plasma shot their way with a hail of purple needle shards following.

Glaive ordered, “Incoming! Scatter!” One of the plasma balls missed while the other struck one of the warthogs. It didn’t blow up but it was no longer mobile. The hailfire of needles mostly missed, though a few Marines and one ODST had been hit.

“Secure your load Warthog. Off that chain gun and join the rest on foot,” shouted Lt. Martin into comms.

An ODST who was on a rooftop gave signals as to the location of the wraiths. None of the UNSC force had a direct line of sight. However, Roshi spotted a few Covenant enemies on foot in that direction. She flashed yellow to Glaive. Then when he looked over at her, she gave signals to the location of the foot soldiers. Glaive put a fist up for all stop then gave a signal to find cover and then pointed to the enemy direction. The scorpions opened up and blasted the building apart that the Covenant soldiers had been hiding behind. Several alien bodies went flying into the air. The smoke had not yet settled when four Ghosts shot out from behind it, shooting blue plasma fire at them.

Mesa and Royal fireteams opened up on them as did the rooftop ODSTs. The Gauss enabled hog blasted out a powerful shot that immediately turned one of the ghosts into a fireball of scrap material. The other warthogs pulled up and began to give cover fire to the ground troops. Up in smoke went two of the other Ghosts. It was then that Covenant ground forces started to spill out of surrounding buildings. One of the Wraiths took up position behind the destroyed building’s rubble and began to pummel the UNSC forces. The Wraith giving its position away was all one of the Scorpions needed to send a hot slug of metal right into the main chassis of it, blowing it up in a huge explosion of purple and blue.

The lone Ghost that had made it out of the first salvo headed straight for the gauss hog. It’s plasma bolts ripping into the warthog’s side, shredding panels of armor from it. Lt. Martin was hit and the marines in the hog were killed. Glaive saw this and immediately ordered another squad of Marines to get to Lt. Martin. Shots rang out back and forth from each side. The battle only took about 10 minutes but it felt like hours. When the big guns had stopped and the small fire had nearly come to a halt, Glaive went to check on Lt. Martin.

“Are you alright, sir?” questioned Glaive.

“I took a hit to my shoulder and stomach. Got plasma burns at both and shrapnel in my stomach. I don’t know if I’m going to make it, son.” He looked around and saw that all he had left of his company were low ranking marines, an ODST sergeant and corporal, and 6 of the Spartan trainees. Royal had lost their team leader and another member in the battle. “Looks like you’re next in command, Glaive.”

“Sir, yes sir,” said Glaive. “We’re not done yet though sir. We’ve destroyed this group and help is on the way. We’ll get you to a field hospital. Glaive motioned for the company’s medic to come over.

“Listen Glaive, you and your team did a great job out there today. In space and down here on land. I’ve already made that short report to command, in case I don’t make it.”

“You will, sir.” Said Glaive with a little tear in one eye but a determined look, nonetheless.

“We shall see. In the meantime, gather what force we have left here right now. Since I am incapacitated, I am giving you command,” replied Martin. Glaive rounded up the troops, and Martin gave a quick speech and change of command. This time Glaive did not have a feeling of glee or anything relating to ego boosting. No, instead, he felt the real weight of leading a UNSC force into battle. He turned to look back at Martin, to respectfully say “thank you” when he noticed the upward facing eyes and stillness in Martin’s body. He was gone. More determined than ever now, Glaive gave commands to the forces he had left. One scorpion and two warthogs had made it out of the battle. There were eight mobile marines and two wounded. Of the ODSTs there were only four left. The sergeant, corporal and two privates. Plus he and the other five remaining Spartan Trainees. The two wounded marines would stay back with the medic on the scorpion as well as a marine to drive the scorpion and another to gun. The remaining marines would be split between the hogs that were left. He gave a field commission to one of Royal’s team and they got the four ODSTs. They could hear various skirmishes in different directions of the city. Glaive radioed into command their sit-rep. Command then sent them to two more skirmishes. They only lost one marine in those two ops. 

The Covenant were being surrounded. Their banshees were destroyed and most of the heavy artillery were gone too. This is when the UNSC sent in air support. In glorious union, Pelicans, Hornets and Falcons shot overhead of Glaive’s company. The bombardment on hostile forces left no question as to the outcome. While a large section of the city center had been demolished during the battle, the Covenant forces had been decisively destroyed.
Glaive’s first op failure was quickly replaced by these two victories. 

Glaive went on to continue serving as Fireteam Mesa’s leader for several years after graduating Spartan training and receiving their own suits of armor. Often, he would use his red energy sword in battle and after a time garnered the nickname of “The Crimson Glaive”, which itself harkened to his childhood hero, Bloodblade.

Word came from upper brass that each member of Mesa were now going to be redeployed to other teams. Each to be given their own team to command. With one exception. Glaive was to be second in command of a newly formed Fireteam aboard the UNSC Infinity. This was not a demotion however, as duty aboard the Infinity was now seen as a large step to a much higher level of leadership.

Glaive was reassigned to the UNSC Infinity and served under Spartan Wayon on Fireteam Piercer. He was aboard the Infinity when it was struck by Banished forces while slipping in near Zeta Halo. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Spartan Glaive’s armor is comprised of: 

Core: Mark V [B]
Helmet: JFO
Visor: Noble
Chest: Standard MK V [B]
Left Shoulder: SAP/MT
Right Shoulder: SAP/MT
Knee Pads: UA/Type GND
Utility: UA/Plate II
Armor Coating: Vermillion Wrath
Spartan Number: [REDACTED]
Service ID Number: [REDACTED]

The End?

Stay tuned for the stories of Fireteam Piercer amid the attack on the UNSC Infinity and the aftermath on Zeta Halo!

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About Sal

I’ve got tons of experience with Halo gaming and collecting. I feel I have something to offer to the greater Halo fan community. Posts along the way will be about tips and tricks in the games as well as collecting and many more Halo related things. I’ll also repost interesting articles from the official site,, or from fellow Halo fan sites. As I continue this blog, I hope to help gamers who want advice on the games, as well as any collectors with regards to where to find collectibles as well as deals, coupons and so on. You can also follow me on Twitter at:!/HaloFanForLife or Facebook at: Welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll come back again and again. -Sal