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!

Fireteam Piercer Backstory: Hazard

Backstory: Maria Florous

This is the fourth 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. For now, sit back and enjoy the fourth installment, “Hazard” Fireteam Piercer’s “Hazardous Materials Operator”.

Chapter One: Childhood Trauma

Maria Florous was born on a moon of an inner colony planet, of much complexity. Normally a world such as hers would have been passed over due to the high sulfur content and the acrid taste of the air.

However, this moon was rich in elements used for nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP), specifically uranium. As well as other elements used in chemicals for various hi-tech purposes. As such, there were no cities or colonies, outside of several chemical processing plants dotted around the globe. The moon was under complete control of one company, ChemPro. The ChemPro plants insides were extremely clean facilities and were air tight and pressurized. On the outside, they were painted is similar colors to the planet’s yellow-green haze of the atmosphere. They were typically rectangular buildings of no more than 8 standard stories tall.

Everyone on the planet worked for ChemPro in some capacity, even the children. Each worker wore ChemPro hazmat suits in specific colors, denoting age. Some suits had patches that would signify the worker’s job designation. Adults wore either yellow or orange hazmat suits, teenagers wore green and children wore blue. The only other color was white. This was reserved for the highest levels of personal from the corporation, often referred to as corpos. Corpos were rarely seen in the facilities and even less outside of them. They were kept in more advanced offices restricted from all other personnel. It was rumored they wore other clothing in these offices. Comfortable clothing that people on most planets wore everywhere else. Their offices had the most purified air on the planet. Maria had never seen a Corpo in her 24 standard years.

Maria’s early life was hard. Women were treated differently on this planet than most. Unfortunately sexism and misogyny were very present. This meant that women were often relegated to more menial jobs than the men.

As a blueberry, as children were called, due to the color of their uniforms, Maria was picked on by the older greenie boys. She was always getting into trouble due to fighting with them and her ailing father’s pay was docked because of it. Arturo Florous, her father, was an older man. He had worked for ChemPro for 40 years when Maria was a blueberry. At that time he wore an orange hazmat suit. He had been injured in a chemical explosion and was unable to work in the mines due to his injuries. This left him very limited opportunity. He was relegated to maintenance duty, including cleaning up hazardous materials spills. As such, he was demoted to wearing a yellow hazmat suit. Arturo had promised Maria that he would make enough money to send her to her relatives on a far less harsh world. That promise never came to pass. Shortly after Maria graduated to a greenie, her father got into an accident under suspicious terms and passed away from those injuries. ChemPro was not the sort of company that would just let employees leave. Maria was forced to stay and continue learning about chemical processes and her future place within the company, alone. She did receive a small stipend from the company due to her father’s passing on company property but, it was even less than what he was making when he was alive. Rather than falling into depression, this emboldened Maria to become the best she could be so that she would become a valuable asset to the company and perhaps one day be transferred to another facility on another world. This meant she had to choose her path in life very early and with exactitude.

As greenies, teenagers were given basic employment paths to choose from, then further enhanced those with specific skill lessons, later in their teen years. Boys were typically given either labor intensive jobs or if they excelled in math and science, they were given limited opportunity to learn chemical engineering. Girls, were offered less laborious jobs and they paid much less. The Corporate Office just didn’t value women as much as men. So girls were either cooks, cleaners, or on the package processing line. Maria didn’t want any of those but, she knew she wouldn’t get much opportunity otherwise. So she chose processing since it at least got her around chemicals. However, she had her heart set on chemical engineering. So, she hatched a plan. Her best friend, Hidalgo, didn’t care much where he worked but, was brilliant in math and science. So she convinced ‘Dal’ to teach her everything he learned. Though Dal was forlorn, the chance to help his friend motivated him to do the best he could. During the next 5 years Maria and Dal spent every possible minute together. After their formal education, they would meet and Dal would teach Maria what he had learned from that day’s teachings. She became so adept that she would often do his homework for him.

They were weeks away from graduation when tragedy struck. Several boys in Dal’s class were jealous because Dal had been selected ahead of them for a chemical engineering internship and they were not. They had their suspicions about Dal and Maria’s relationship, so they took things out on Maria. After school, they cornered Maria. First making fun of her by calling her an orphan, then making disparaging remarks to her about being a girl. One began to push Maria and she socked him hard on the jaw. Some of the other boys laughed but their leader, a heaved set kid named Porto, spoke up.

“Are you guys going to just laugh or are you going to do something about that little pug hitting Manny like that?”

Immediately the other three boys, including Manny went after Maria. She kicked, punched, clawed and eventually screamed. Hidalgo, knowing Maria was late to meet him, had been looking for her when he heard her scream. He rounded a corner when he saw the brawl. He wasn’t a fighter but he couldn’t just let his friend be beaten like that. So he jumped into the fray. This excited Porto, who yelled to the boys to start hitting Dal. 

Maria, bruised and bloody yelled for Dal to run but, it was too late. Porto grabbed Maria and held her while the boys knocked Dal down and began to kick him in his sides and stomp on his chest. Dal let out a blood curdling scream while spitting out blood. Then looked at Maria in shock. His body went limp. Maria saw this and yelled a high toned shriek that surprised Porto and he let her go. She kick him between the legs and he went down. Then she immediately ran over to Dal. The other boys realized what they had done. They got Porto to his feet and they all ran away. Maria didn’t know what to do. She began looking for where the blood was coming from, when Dal whispered.

“I’m sorry we won’t get to graduate together, “ he said.

Maria cried and looked at him a said loudly, “No, you are NOT going to leave me so close to our goal!’

Dal, looked up one last time and through the blood spoke his last words, “I love you, Maria, thank you.” And with that, he fell silent. Maria let out another scream, She went to shake him but, knew he was already gone.

Chapter Two: A Fresh Start

The next day at school, there were three Corpos waiting in her classroom, along with the four boys who had attacked her and Dal the previous day.

“Maria, “ one spoke. “These boys say you broke Manuel’s jaw and kicked Portnoy between the legs. Is this true?”

“But, they KILLED Dal!” She yelled.

“Is it true? Did you hit and kick these boys?” another Corpo asked.

She was about to shout again, when the third Corpo an older lady with stringy blond and grey hair held up a hand. Maria guessed that this meant she wasn’t to yell. She looked right at the woman. A little surprised to see a woman in a Corpo lab coat.

“Yes, ma’am,” she said. The woman looked at the younger two male corpos and told them to escort Maria out of the room.

“Now boys, is what Maria said true?”

Porto spoke up before any of the others could chime in. “No, Ma’am. We didn’t even touch Hidalgo. He was our friend.”

“Is that so?” Said the woman.

“Yes,” said Carlos, one of the other boys.

“Well, we shall see,” the elder Corpo said. She glared at the boys, smacked one of her hard shelled boots on the floor. That startled the boys. She turned and walked out of the room, not to be seen by the boys again. 

The woman met with Maria in another room.

“Maria, my name is Dr. Catherine Halsey. I am not with ChemPro. I am with the UNSC.”

Maria’s eye grew wide. “Wow, this woman is even more important than I thought,” she said in her mind.

“Can you guess why I am here?” Halsey said.

“To punish those boys?” Maria responded.

“No. But they will be dealt with. That I promise you,” Halsey reassured.

Maria, looking confused then asked, “Then why ARE you here?”

“It has come to my attention that you are interested in Chemical Engineering and that you were completing your friend, Hidalgo’s, homework,“ said Halsey, sternly.

“How could you have known that?” Maria said worriedly.

“I will explain all to you later, however, I have one question for you,” said Halsey. Wonder and excitement glazed over Maria’s face. What would she ask? Why would this seemingly very important person come to her little backwater Corpo moon wanting to ask her just one question. “I can see you are eager to hear what that question is,” said Halsey.

Maria sucked in air, not realizing she had been holding her breath. “Yes, Ma’am!”

“Good. How would you like to come with me?” Asked Halsey.

It took no longer than a second, though Maria had wondered why would Halsey want her to leave with her.. “Yes! Absolutely yes!”

“Don’t you want to know why first?” Halsey said, with a slight upturn of one lip on her face.

“Ma’am, my life has been hard, especially since losing my father and now my best friend, just last night,” Maria said. “There is nothing for me here now. I’ll go anywhere else with you and do whatever you need me to do.”

“Excellent. Just what I wanted to hear. However, you should know that by going with me, I won’t go easy and you will learn a whole new set of skills,” Halsey said, matter of factly.

“I’m ready for whatever challenges lie ahead,” Maria replied.

“I know that you are. We will leave tomorrow morning. I have a few things I must do today. Gather only what you need. I will send someone for you, early tomorrow,” Halsey said.

Maria was elated! She would finally be leaving this world. Maybe not for a chemical engineering job but, at that very moment in time, she didn’t care. She wouldn’t have the constant reminders of her ailing father, his death and the fresh death of her friend Dal, surrounding her each day. She got what little she wanted to take and put that in a small duffel bag. She could hardly sleep that night.

The next day one of the younger men who was with Halsey the day before, came calling for Maria very early in the morning. Maria was already up, with duffel bag strapped over one shoulder. Before he could knock on the door, she opened it and said, “I’m ready, let’s go!”

“But you didn’t lock the door behind you,” the young man said.

“It’s ok, they can have whatever they want. I never want to come back here again,” said Maria.

They left for the small spaceport and met Halsey, who had a look of concern about her. “What’s wrong, Dr.Halsey?” inquired Maria.

“Nothing you need concern yourself with young lady. We leave in a few minutes. Find a seat on the shuttle,” Halsey said with a measured smile. Maria, went into the shuttle, stowed her duffle and waited for Halsey and company to board.

Lt. Morrison spoke, ‘What’s wrong, ma’am?”

“There’s been another massive attack. We are going to have to accelerate the new recruits training.” Halsey said sternly.

“Where?” asked Morrison. 

Halsey sharply replied, “That is on a need to know basis, Lieutenant. Though you will be briefed once we get back to the training facility.”

Lt. Hansen came up to the two. “We’re ready to go Ma’am. If you will both get on board, I’ll get clearance and we can leave immediately.”

“Very good,” said Halsey. They lifted off within minutes.

When they had landed, the sun was shining, the wind blowing softly and the air smelling sweet. This was the first time in Maria’s life that she had ever experienced fresh air with no need for purification. The first time she had ever been outside for that matter. She wanted to just stand there for a while and breathe it all in. However, Halsey snapped her out of her daydream. There were people hurrying about all over the place.

“Quickly, Maria. We have to get you started.” Halsey said. “You may not see me for a few days, but the Lieutenants and other trusted people will get you settled in and started. I didn’t want to start your training this way but, I am needed elsewhere.”

Maria understood as best she could. She didn’t know what was going on but, she knew Halsey was important and wouldn’t likely leave her, unless what she was needed for was even more important.

“It’s ok, ma’am, “ Maria said. “I’ll see you when you get back.” Halsey nodded towards Maria, turned and hastily left. Maria would not see her again for a long time.

Maria was ushered into a room where there was already another girl about her age, present and putting away her things. “Hi, I’m Maria,” she said. The other girl gave a grunt towards Maria. “Are you okay? What’s wrong?” Maria asked.

“Haven’t you heard,” said the other girl? 

“Heard what?”

“The Covenant hit Carthaxis and they are advancing quickly on other inner colony worlds!” The girl exclaimed.

“I’ve never heard of Carthaxis. I barely know anything about the Covenant other than what they taught us in school,” Maria said.

“Where have you been hiding all these years?” the girl said.

“A chemical…”

“That was a rhetorical question. It doesn’t matter. We’ve been at war for almost three decades now and the Covenant are winning!” Maria felt an audible gulp in her throat. Thirties years? All she knew is that there were aliens who had been attacking some outer colonies. The UNSC had fought back and things were stalled. Her home world would see an uptick in production from time to time. Rumor abounded that was for the war. Those rumors were often quelled with other excuses. ChemPro didn’t want their workers attention focused elsewhere.

“Well, what can we do about it?” said Maria with concern in her voice.

“I don’t know about you, Maria, but I plan on fighting back,” said the other girl.

“And just how are you going to do that?” Maria snapped back.

“New girl, you don’t know anything about where you are and why you are here, do you?” 

“Who are you calling new? You’re unpacking now too,” Maria said, now getting angry. She never liked being called names and she was not about to let anyone else start here at this new place.

“Okay, okay,” said the other girl. “Let’s start over. I’m Callie. I’m from New Caldonia. The Covenant attacked my planet a few weeks ago. My parents and brother were killed in the attack. I survived and the UNSC found me just three days ago”

“Oh, I’m so sorry, Callie. My best friend was killed by bullies two days ago, Dr. Halsey showed up the next day and here I am,” Maria said, with some sorrow in her tone.

“Seems like that’s how Halsey works, doesn’t it,” Callie said. She went on. “She finds kids who have lost everything and brings them here.”

“Where exactly is here? And what are we here for then?” Maria said with some suspicion.

“Strap yourself in, you’re about to go for a wild ride. We are here to become Spartans.” Callie said with a hard stare back at Maria. Maria had a puzzled look on her face. She was about to speak when Callie interrupted her. “Let me guess, you don’t know what a Spartan is?” said Callie, with a tilted head.


“We are going to learn how to fight.”

“But I already know how to fight,” said Maria.

“If you’re going to interrupt me, then you can just find out yourself,” said Callie.

“No, no, go on,” said Maria apologetically.

“We are going to learn how to fight with the UNSC’s best trainers, then we are going to be augmented. Then armored with super suits.” Callie said with some excitement in her voice.

Maria said, with eyes wide open, “Wait! What do you mean augmented?”

“They really didn’t tell you anything, did they? We are going to have some physical alterations that are going to make us stronger and faster than any other normal humans. The armor will make us almost indestructible,” said Callie. Maria’s eyes grew even wider. Wow, what had she gotten herself into? Then she remembered the life she had left behind and quickly became very interested in what she was about to undertake. She and Callie talked for a couple of hours from there about Spartans, where she and Callie came from, what they both knew outside of the war. It was mostly Callie talking but, Maria got in some conversation as well.

Those first few weeks were very hurried. Though Maria did fall into a routine, even amongst the chaos. She didn’t see Halsey for at least a year. However, she was so busy with training that that time just flew by. Halsey stopped by long enough to let her know that with Maria’s knowledge of chemicals, that she would have special training in that area, as a Spartan. The next four years went by quickly. While the war still raged on, she had become a true fighter, winning training fights even amongst some of the bigger boy recruits. She had also been augmented during this time and now stood a towering 6’9” tall. Her chemical training made her an excellent field operator in that area. 

Before graduation from Spartan school, Dr. Halsey came to her one last time. “Maria, I have some news that might be hard for you to hear,” she said. What news could possible be that bad that she hadn’t already heard in some form or another from the war? Halsey saw that same brief bit of daydreaming and again startled her into the moment. “Maria,” Halsey said sharply. Maria snapped to attention. “Maria, your home world was attacked. The Covenant destroyed every plant. We fear no one is alive and the whole place is a massive hazardous zone.” Halsey said with much seriousness in her voice. Maria thought about that for a minute. A place she had grown to hate, she didn’t have any love for it. However, there were people there that she knew, her teachers, some of the kids, now young adults as well. They didn’t deserve to die.

“What do you need me to do?” Asked Maria.

“We are sending you and a few other Spartans in to assess and then start the cleanup. The UNSC does not have the personnel to divert to this. Not on a grand scale. Besides, we do not know if there are any Covenant still present,” explained Halsey. Maria felt a pang of tension tightening in her chest. She never wanted to go back to that place. Surely anyone she knew would be dead. Hell, she would have been dead, if not for Halsey coming to get her years ago. But, she felt she needed to honor both her father and Dal in some way. By going back home, she could assess the damage, and hopefully find survivors. If she met any Covenant along the way, she was more than prepared to deal with them.

“I’m ready ma’am, whatever you want me to do and where ever you need me to go,” said Maria.

“Very good, Spartan Florous. You graduate tomorrow. Have you chosen your armor?” asked Halsey.

“I have,” Maria replied.

Her armor consists of:

Armor Core: HazMat
Helmet: ASHMAW
Visor: Echelon Echo
Left Shoulder: FX1T ARM
Right Shoulder: FX1T ARM
Wrist: COR-BIT
Gloves: MODEL 78-C
Armor Coating: Everglade
Spartan Number: [REDACTED]
Service ID Number: [REDACTED]

The armor coating she chose was specifically selected since it had both orange and yellow, the color of her dad’s HazMat suits, as well as, the same green she and Hidalgo wore as greenies. This was a way to honor both the most important people in her life.

Chapter Three: There and Back Again

When she and her fellow Spartans of Fireteam Hazard had landed, besides not having seen any Covenant ship or anything being picked up on radar, her first thought was, I wonder how bad the air smells now. There was smoke in many places, she knew the natural air of the moon smelled of sulfur but had forgotten how bad even the filtered air tasted. She wasn’t about to find out now. She was happy to have her helmet firmly attached. Whether by fate or by design, they had landed outside of the plant she had called home. She figured Halsey had some hand in that. Since she knew the layout, she went in first. It might have been 5 years since she had been here but, not much had changed. So she was able to easily navigate the team through the plant, though now at a different height advantage. Gone were the living quarters. Almost completely obliterated. Just some personal belongings of workers strewn about. They went by the cafeteria. Again much destruction. She saw some food that had rotted in the now perforated plant. The sulfur infused air had penetrated this once pristine location. They went by the classrooms where she had been picked on. She had a brief flash of frustration. They next worked their way to the Corpo office. They still hadn’t seen any bodies though, which was very curious, considering all the destruction. If not bodies, then body parts. But no human remains were to be found, as yet.

When they reached the Corpo offices, they were still sealed. No apparent destruction. Though there was one decaying body lying just to one side of the thick vault like door. She called for her Spartan infiltration expert. Spartan Mayes stepped forward. Though he was taller than her, he was slender for a Spartan. Spartans were mandated to a certain amount of physical training per day when not on missions. Often Spartans would work out even more to further enhance their physical prowess. Not Mayes, he preferred to sink his intellectual teeth into all things techno security. Mayes worked his magic on the security lock in front of him. Within a minute he had unlocked it and the hiss of escaping air let loose. Large cylinder locks slide from the other side of the door and the door swung inward. Inside, the scene was drastically different from what they had seen in the rest of the plant.  The offices were unscathed. She called out for any ChemPro personnel to come out, that they were safe. No one came immediately, though there was one small cry for help from what sounded like a small old man. Then the Spartans heard some rustling in the next room. Spartan Florous turned up her helmet vocalizer. This time her voiced boomed much louder. “Any ChemPro personnel, come out. This is Spartan Florous of the UNSC. You are safe now.” At this point, six people came out of hiding. A small old man, as she had guessed. A middle aged woman, a female child and three young men about her age.

The old man, looked up at the much taller Spartan. “Thank you! Thank you for saving us!” He exclaimed. The middle aged woman didn’t speak and looked like she had been holding back tears. the child looked shell shocked. One of the three men came forward. 

“Florous? Maria Florous?” One asked.

Maria knew that voice and she didn’t like who it was coming from. She turned toward the man. “Portnoy. So you’re still alive and I see Manny is with you. Carmen, is that you?”

Carmen was another boy she went to early school with. She wasn’t friends with him but, she had never had any issue with him.

“Hi, Maria. Thank you for coming back for us,” Carmen said.

“So that’s what you abandoned us for,” said Porto.

“Where I went, what I did and what I have become are none of your business. I was sent here to assess, save any people, and clean up the mess the Covenant made,” said Maria with a little edge seeping into her voice.

“Hold it together, Maria,” she thought. Here stood two of the men that had killed her best friend. But, she was a Spartan now and could not let her emotions get in the way of her mission. “Where are Carlos and Juan?” Juan being the fourth boy who had beaten her friend to death.

“Carlos died a week after you left. He was caught in a small explosion in the mines,” Porto said. “We don’t know where Juan is.”

“Was he still alive when the Covenant attacked?” questioned Maria.

Manny spoke up this time, scars still visible on his jawline where he had to have surgery to realign it. Maria had really got a good shot in back then. “Juan was right behind us.”

“Shut up Manny,” Porto chimed in.

“No. You are NOT going to do this again, Porto. You are not in charge here, I am,” said Maria, with hard inflection in her tone. Porto took a gulp of air. “Speak, Manny. Porto will not shut you up this time,” Maria said, rigidly

“He was right behind us. We got here to the Corpo offices. Porto ran in first. I made it through, then Porto swung the door shut, leaving Juan outside.”

“That must be the body we saw on the other side of the door,” one of the other Spartans said.

“So, Porto, you left one of your own friends out there to die. If he didn’t die from heat, then he surely suffocated from the outside air that has swept through this place.

Manny looked at Porto with anger in his eyes. “You killed Juan! He was my lover and you just left him out there to die!”

“I didn’t do anything but close a door. If Juan was faster, he’d have made it inside, like we did. If I didn’t close the door, we would all be dead now,” said Porto.

“Always making excuses, Porto. And Dal was not your friend,” said Maria.

A look of shock came over Porto. “You found that out?”

“I did”

“Well, you should also know that, that old woman got us banned from all the better jobs,” Porto said back.

“That’s a lot better than you deserved,” said Maria.

“Um, Spartan Florous,” said one of the other Spartans on their secure channel. That’s all Maria needed to hear to know that she needed to get back on task. 

“Get your helmets on. We are going outside where we have a ship. One of the Spartans will stay with you, while the rest of us finish the sweep. He will call in for rescue and a Pelican will come to pick you up for off-world transport,’ said Maria, very business like.

“Ha, looks like I’m going to get off world, unlike your boyfriend,” Porto snickered. Maria ignored the comment, though she wanted nothing better than to punch her augmented first into his face. Maria gave orders to the other Spartans to continue to sweep the area, but stay within a quarter click in case anything surprising happened.

Chapter Four: Survivors

Spartan Florous, Spartan Matone, and the survivors started to make their way to the ship. They had made it outside when Florous had a sense that something was not quite right. She had a feeling they were being watched but couldn’t see anything out of place that she didn’t see going into the plant. Just in case, she spoke over secure com to Matone. “Be on the lookout Pierre, I’ve got a funny feeling all of the sudden.”

“You felt it too,” said Matone. “Good, I thought I was the only one.” 

They both widened their motion trackers on their hud to 50 meters. Normal protocol was between 17-25 meters depending on the mission. Widening the trackers however was commonplace when things were too quiet and Spartans weren’t in cramped locations where the trackers wouldn’t pick up motion at that longer range. They began to cross one of the mining truck roads when a blast came from a plasma weapon. Both Spartans immediately told the survivors to hit the deck. Five of them did. The one still standing was almost frozen in place, with a giant hole in his glass visor, the edges of which were still melting from the fresh blazing hot plasma. Then the body fell over, already dead. The Spartans took up defensive positions. Maria sent a com to her team to have them come to their location ASAP. Maria’s head swiveled about while looking at her motion tracker. Nothing showed up. Matone looked over at Maria and made a hand gesture to stay put. He had seen something move about 20 feet behind her. Still nothing pinged on the tracker. Before she could react, a hiss of energy snapped into being and she barely saw the energy sword as she ducked under the slice. Matone immediately shot in her direction with his Battle Rifle. The active camo of the Elite shimmered then blinked off. With her attacker now visible but too close to take a shot with her Automatic Rifle, she used all of her might to land a hard upper cut to the Elite’s jaw. An audible crack was heard by all within earshot. The Elite winced in pain as he once again tried to slice Spartan Florous. Again, she deftly moved out of the way, the blade cutting through the air where she had just been. In the same motion, she grabbed the Elite by the sword hand and flipped him over her back, knocking him hard against an outcropping of stone beside the road. She drew her magnum from her hip and shot the Elite four times in the throat. The energy sword hissed off. Matone came over to her and asked if she was injured. She said, just her pride from being caught off guard like that.

She brushed herself off and went over to the person whose now dead body lay with helmet facing towards the ground. She rolled it over to see which of the survivors had died, though she had already guessed who. An ever so slight upturn of one lip occurred when the blasted helmet revealed that it was Porto that had been shot. She allowed herself to revel in the moment. She might not have been the one to kill him. That had been done by the enemy. But at last, he had paid for his treachery. After the moment had passed, she got right back to work getting the other survivors to the ship. The other Spartans were on scene mere seconds after she had downed the elite. They all took up defensive postures and swept the area with their weapons at the ready. 

Nothing else had happened on their way back to their ship. As promised, Matone stayed with them until another Pelican came to pick them up, after the all-clear had been given for the area. Florous and her team swept the area again, moved on to the other plants and found no other Covenant. They did manage to find another 12 survivors and got them all off planet safely. Clean up would take awhile. But, with the Covenant threat gone from the planet, ChemPro could send in their own teams of Hazmat workers to clean up the mess and begin salvaging what they could. Then the task of rebuilding would start.


Florous would receive a special award of merit for her actions that day. More importantly, ChemPro made some policy changes in light of one of their own who came back and saved their workers, some say at the urging of the UNSC, allowing women to hold the same positions as men. The woman she saved would go on to become the planet representative to ChemPro’s HQ, while the little girl was granted a slot to attend Chemical Engineering school. The old man retired to some vacation world. Manny, seeing the courage as well as grace under pressure from Maria, would go on to join the UNSC to both honor her and as a way to pay back for the sins of his youth.

Her last known deployment was aboard the Mortal Reverie, a UNSC Frigate, that was part of the UNSC Infinity’s fleet. She was to be transferred to Fireteam Piercer, aboard the UNSC Infinity as soon as they slipped into Zeta Halo space. It is not known if she made that transfer as there has been no word from Infinity. 

High command is assessing the situation and coming up with a plan.

Fireteam Piercer Backstory: Spartan Steel

This is the third 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. For now, sit back and enjoy the third installment, “Spartan Steel” Fireteam Piercer’s “Heavy”.

Backstory: Spartan Steel

Chapter One: Citizen Montague

Luciferrous Montague was born on the little known inner colony world of Gheny (pronounced gain-ee). Gheny is a small icy planet just on the outer rim of the habitable zone of its local star. The planet houses several metal processing and manufacturing mega facilities. Each of these facilities are cities unto themselves. Due to the excessive heat brought on from the processing of molten metal, Gheny citizens have no worry of heat on such an icy planet. In fact, it gets so hot inside these plants that workers often wear little more than the required protective gear. One step outside of these massive facilities would be an instant reminder of how cold their world really is.

As Montague’s name was a bit long, in his late teens, he shortened it to Ferrous Mont. Having worked various heavy labor industry jobs for all of his teen years, he bore a heavily muscled form. This went well with his shortened name, which translated in the local language, meant Iron Mountain. Mont’s features are that of a tall, dark brown skinned, clean shaven, heavily muscled man. One standout feature is his thick but short mohawk. He always carried his massive trusty hammer with him.

While Mont enjoyed working the various jobs of heavy industry, he longed for something new. The Human Covenant War had already been going on for a few years when Mont turned 20. It was upon his birthday that he made the decision to leave his world behind for even more perilous adventures. He went to the local UNSC recruiting office, slammed his oversized hands on the desk and demanded to be on the next shuttle out of Gheny to join the Corp. The recruiting officer was surprised by Mont’s size and immediately signed him up.

Chapter Two: In Space Nothing Here’s You Scream

Within the hour, Mont was on his way to the nearest UNSC boot camp. Once arrived, he went through the standard battery of physical and mental tests to ascertain his ability to see where he might serve best. Again, his size and strength led the way and made those decisions easy for his drill sergeants. During basic training, Ferrous also was given the opportunity to become a heavy gunner. Few humans could carry the oversized M247H Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) and Mont was up to the task as he was already quite used to handling large heavy industry tools and other equipment. He was a natural fit for this duty. Upon completion of basic training, Mont was assigned to the 412th Calvary Unit. There he learned how to operate all three major variants of Warthog guns. Those being the standard heavy machine gun, rocket launcher and gauss variants. While he appreciated the area of effect the rockets gave and the shear power of the gauss cannon, he favored the heavy machine gun. He loved using the HMG so much that he requested and was approved for use of his own modified HMG. Mont kept it with him for use as a spare should his Warthog’s gun become jammed or damaged, never leaving him without a high powered weapon to handle. The “Iron Mountain” as he came to be known brought fear to many a grunt or Kig Yar on the battle field. He reveled in mowing down large groups of Covenant with his HMG.

During a high stakes mission to reestablish a trade route that had been over run by the Covenant, the Iron Mountain nearly met his match. A UNSC Frigate and two Destroyers came out of slipspace only to be met with two Covenant ships waiting for them. The capital ships traded fire. Mont, seeing that the UNSC was starting to become at a disadvantage, quickly leapt to the nearest unmanned cannon and began returning fire. The thrill of firing an even more powerful weapon filled Mont with a heavy dose of endorphins. He was so focused on the battle in space that he almost missed that a small Covenant boarding party had made it near to his location. Mont ran back to his Warthog and grabbed his own modified HMG and began exterminating the would-be invaders. He managed to kill every last one of them except for one active camouflage Elite. This Elite got close enough to Mont to bring down a slash with his energy sword. Mont blocked the slash at the last second, at cost of his own HMG, having been sliced in half by the energy sword. 

This enraged Mont and he quickly retaliated with a hard crushing smash of the back half of his HMG onto the Elite’s head. The Elite’s active camo fizzled and shut down. Had the Elite not been wearing his helmet, his brain would have been turned to mush. As it were, the Elite was surprised by this human’s strength and stepped backward. This was all Mont needed to complete his revenge. Still carrying his massive hammer from his industrial days, Mont quickly unclipped it and swung a crushing blow to the Elite’s jaws. The Elite screamed in pain as its lower left mandible was left cracked and dangling. The Elite had dropped his energy sword hilt in this moment of confusion. Mont swung back with his hammer, this time catching the Elite between his right mandibles, breaking many teeth. The Elite swelled with pain. It took a second to look around, only to find that the human had picked up the energy sword hilt. The last thing the Elite saw was the bright light of the sword being lit as it was thrust upward through its skull.

Mont was not yet out of danger. Though he had managed to kill the invaders, there was still the matter of either destroying the Covenant ships attacking them or escaping. He knew the UNSC’s small fleet was losing. He also knew the age old line of wisdom to live to fight another day. With on-board klaxons ringing through his ears and the stench of smoke and blood, both alien and human alike filling the chamber, Mont made his way to an escape pod. His chances were few but better than staying aboard a dying ship. As soon as he got inside the pod and strapped in, he hit the eject button. Just in time as the UNSC vessel began to crumple then exploded with terrible might. His pod was but a speck amid the spinning detritus of the now wrecked frigate. That is what saved him. The explosion had blown his pod far away from the main wreck so that he was either not visible or deemed not important enough to check. That stroke of luck gave him the opportunity to carefully glide his pod down into the cloudy atmosphere of the planet he was originally sent on mission for. He barely knew how to fly this thing let alone fully pilot it. Once in the lower atmosphere clouds and having checked for any danger, which there appeared to be none on the radar unit of the pod, Mont brought up the small engines and found a heavily wooded place to land the pod. Surprising himself, he landed with little trouble, only knocking down a dozen or so trees and not leaving much of a trail of downed wood, to be spotted from above.

Chapter Three: Planetfall and the Banshee

Stranded now and not knowing when help was coming, Mont weighed his options. He could wait it out, knowing it would take weeks if not months for a retaliatory strike from the UNSC and hope they would find him. Or, he could scout out the Covenant trading port, infiltrate it and destroy it from within. One way meant surviving on a planet he did not know, without any food and not knowing what he could and could not eat. The other option meant assured death, whether he completed the mission or not. Mont thought to himself, “Well, I wanted more adventure and I certainly got it.” So he chose the second option. That still meant he had to scrounge for food. He wouldn’t be able to start a fire as surely Covenant scouts would easily be able to see the smoke. So he knew he would have to eat raw food. Plants were no problem to find but, he needed protein. One thing that came in handy at this point was his diet when he worked the manufacturing plants on his home world. Meat was not in abundance, so they had to look to alternative sources of protein. That meant insects, in the form of protein bars. This world was plentiful with insects. He just needed to avoid any ones that might contain poison. And this meant his meals would come from mostly grubs. Before leaving the escape pod he gathered up what little equipment he could use. When out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glint. He must have missed it when he was escaping the frigate but, lo’ and behold, there was a HMG stowed under a large blanket with part of the barrel protruding from underneath and with plenty of ammunition. He knew carrying the HMG for the distance he needed to go, would slow him down. However, his gut and his heart both told him he would need it. After all, he was a gunner. He rolled up the blanket and placed some small equipment into a rucksack and slung them on his back. His hammer was strapped to his left leg and he was carrying the HMG with both hands. Though now, at this moment, he felt the HMG barely had any weight to it. Perhaps that was the adrenaline running through him but, he wasn’t going to second guess it. He knew he was just shy of 10 clicks out from the Covenant trading port. Normally Mont would be able to make that in one day. The weight of the HMG would make that a two-day hike, regardless of how he felt at present.

So off he started. Not much happened during his hike. Mont stopped at a set of downed trees to look for grubs underneath them. He carefully set down his gear. The wood of the trees were rotting but still heavy. Mont used his strength to break a chunk of the dying wood apart. There he found a veritable smorgasbord of grubs to choose from. Due to his continued survival training with the UNSC, Mont recognized two species as ones edible for humans. There was a small stream nearby, so he used that to wash the dirt from the grubs than began to feast on as many as he could stomach. Which was quite a lot. He knew there would be more along the way, so he didn’t bother to take any with him. It was getting dark, so he better find a suitable place to camp for the night. Just as he was packing his gear, a banshee flew over. He had been careful and believed the banshee had not seen him. As the world’s sky grew dim then dark, it was then that he could see streaks of fiery light angling down to the planet below. He knew what that meant. It was wreckage from the battle in space making planet fall. He watched for a short time when he noticed a large fireball shoot over him but, still at some height. He continued to watch the trajectory as it met the planet surface. In an instant there was a large explosion, he felt the shockwaves slightly, then all fell silent. Mont decided this would be the best time to get some rest. He was going to have a very busy day tomorrow. He set his pulse wristband to give three short but hard pulses on his wrist to wake him up.

When the pulses rapped against his wrist Mont immediately awoke. While feeling refreshed, he knew he had only slept for about 4 hours. A day on this planet was only 18 standard hours, so Mont knew he couldn’t sleep his normal routine of eight straight. He again assembled his gear, strapped it to himself and set off with HMG in hands. Mont was about three clicks out when he found a lone banshee, curiously on the ground. It was in an off kilter angle to its normal landing position. He put on his binocular shades and looked to see if the pilot was still inside. Whomever the pilot was, it was no longer there or perhaps had been flung away from the craft when it landed haphazardly. Mont didn’t care. He knew this was a ripe opportunity for him. While he wasn’t fully rated for piloting UNSC air vehicles, much less alien craft, he took this chance to be able to sneak up on the Covies in plain site and bomb the hell out of their trading port. He would never get such an opportunity again and he would likely do more damage with this banshee before dying than he would, trying to infiltrate a guarded facility such as this. Mont managed to cut the branches and vines holding the banshee in its awkward position. Luckily for him, it came down at near perfect landing position, which would allow him to take off easier. Instead of taking all his gear, Mont kept shades, hammer and he’d be damned if he left that HMG behind. The banshee could easily carry the extra weight as it was used to carry fully armored elites. 

He strapped the HMG in and was about to board when he heard a sound. Did he make too much noise freeing the banshee? He knew he would have to investigate. Mont couldn’t take the chance that this was a trap and that he’d be killed before being able to take off. Though, he felt this wasn’t a trap. Any Covie monitoring him would have had plenty of opportunity to snipe him dead. Still, he had to see what the noise was. About 20 feet away from the banshee in some overgrown bush, Mont heard the noise again, though this time it sounded more like a gurgling stream. He got right up to the bush with hammer in hand, when he saw it. An Elite lying on the ground with three of its limbs bent in awkward positions. The elite was gurgling up viscous purple blood. Mont raised his hammer about to strike the Elite dead, when the alien spoke to him. Mont always found it strange that Elites could speak basic. This time was no different. The Elite looked up at Mont and said, “It matters not if you kill me. The Covenant will continue its crusade against humanity.” Before outright killing the Elite, Mont had to know what happened to the him. So he asked. The Elite, no longer caring about life, knowing he was about to meet his end, be it by this human or the massive amount of internal hemorrhaging he had sustained, told Mont that he had been on patrol. He thought he spotted a human and was about to turn back to investigate when all of the sudden a streak of fire clipped his wing and he crashed, being thrown from the banshee and knocked against several hard tree branches before finally crumpling to the spot where Mont had found him.

“This MUST be the same banshee I saw last night,” Mont thought, “He did see me. That could have been very bad for me.” Mont almost felt pity for the Elite. However, he had seen the devastation the aliens had brought upon humanity first hand. So that thought was quickly purged from his brain. He looked at the Elite and said, “Do you have anything left to say or are you just going to keep gurgling your purple ooze everywhere?” The Elite let out what passed for a slight chuckle, then said, “Human, your sarcasm and not seeing the seriousness of your race’s destruction will be your undoing. You…”  At that point, Mont had had enough and quickly brought the hammer down on the Elite’s skull, cracking it like a coconut, spilling the contents within. Mont boarded the banshee, did a few of what he thought were flight checks and started up the banshee. The engines flickered alive and the banshee took a heavy list to its port side. Mont quickly corrected that and was able to gently raise the craft into the air. 

The now short distance between him and the trading port would feel even shorter while flying. His adrenaline began to pump. Mont remembered the basic layout of the port from the mission briefings before the fleet left friendly UNSC space. Three main organic looking buildings that slightly resembled certain seashells from earth, two smaller buildings that were reported to house the port’s forces, a flight control tower and several landing areas around the port proper, that likely would be littered with various craft making trade runs. It didn’t take long for him to notice several tall pillars of smoke in the direction he was heading. As Mont got closer, the revelation of what he was seeing came into view. Wreckage from both space fleets had been pulled into the atmosphere. Many large chunks of debris had plowed their way into and around the port. He was still too far away to see if there were any Covenant roaming around but, he would soon to find out. It came to him that this would explain why a retrieval crew had not been sent out to find the downed banshee and her pilot. He put that thought aside for now as he had a mission to complete. Mont took a wide circle around the port, assessing the damage. Two of the big port buildings had been outright destroyed. The third one was torn in the middle with one half partially flattened by the wing of the frigate he had been stationed on. The flight tower had been knocked over like a tree during a heavy storm. There it laid, cracked and broken in many places with smoke billowing out from most of the cracks. If there had been ships on the landing pads, there were none to be seen or they had been obliterated by the shower of twisted wreckage from the destroyed ships. One of the small troop houses was now a small crater but the other troop house made it through with huge gashes in its walls from shards of metal glancing off the building during the firestorm. This looked to be the only target worth hitting with the banshee. After circling around the port twice to look for stragglers and finding none, Mont started his attack run. Bearing down on the building, he let loose with as many banshee bombs as the ship would allow.  Mont was fairly confident there was no one around and that destroying this building was fruitless at this point. But dammit, he had to destroy something! He switched over to the guns and started firing into the now smoking building, when out of the corner of his eye, he saw several blasts of green plasma heading his way quickly. He had little time to act but spiraled the banshee as best he could to avoid the incoming fire. Still, two shots had successfully hit him and he knew he was going to crash. The EMP blast from those two plasma pistols had temporarily disabled the electronics of the banshee. Able to level out just before the crash, Mont set in for what would be the hardest landing of his life. He thought, “well, this is what I signed up for.” 

Chapter Four: Casualties of War

The banshee crashed hard front end into the ground. It tumbled end over end a few times and came to a rest. Mont, dazed and amazed that he was still alive with just a few bruises and cuts unlatched himself from the banshee.  He grabbed the HMG and got ready for the firefight he knew would ensue. Though it was only 30 seconds at most, those seconds felt like minutes. He couldn’t believe it was taking the Covenant that long to find him and start firing at him. Everything was dead still as he focused his mind. Mont trained his ears toward where he thought the troops would be coming from. Then he noticed it. A lone Grunt running towards the banshee with two upheld plasma grenades in hands. Mont knew this was a tactic used by elites to flush out entrenched UNSC personnel. He also knew he didn’t have time to think about that as he did not know how many troops he was up against. So he lifted his HMG to the ready position with a long feed of ammunition attached and tore through the Grunt with high caliber rounds. The Grunt exploded in a blue haze, fleshy bits and hardened almost armor-like forearms and calves were flung about haphazardly. The plasma grenades detonated immediately after. A group of Jackals, Grunts, two Elites and a single Brute came out of hiding to fire upon the sole human. That was their last mistake.

Mont was so focused, more than he had ever been in his life. He took a lightning quick assessment of all the targets he could see, evaluated their strengths and weaknesses based on his previous training and began to methodically slaughter all the aliens. The Grunts were easy targets and not much of a threat. He didn’t see any snipers, so that meant the Jackals were likewise not a huge threat either. So he brought to bear the HMG on the two Elites first. Ripping into their armor and shredding them apart, both Elites fell quickly in heaps of boiling purple blood. This sent the Grunts scattering in a panic. The gigantic Brute lifted up his enormous gravity hammer, let out a howling battle cry and lunged at Mont. The Brute’s lunge fell short as Mont cut him nearly in two at the midsection. The now bifurcated Brute’s body smashed into the ground coming to rest just inches away from Mont. He then turned his smoking hot gun on the Jackals, exploding them into clouds of purple mist. The few Grunts remaining, while scared, tried to return fire, only to be met with the same fate as their higher ranked comrades. The ground battle took less than two minutes from start to finish. 

He had won. He had taken out the last remnants of the trade port and survived. Mont stood in silence for a moment to see if any more enemy troops would arrive. They did not. Able to finally exhale, Mont took his knees to the ground, setting aside his glowing white barreled HMG and let out a loud glorious roar of victory.

Chapter Five: The Pilot and the Comedian

It was then that he noticed a familiar silhouette in the sky. It was a UNSC Pelican. Mont got the attention of the Pelican when it came around for a closer pass of the trade port. It landed near him and a happy pilot and another marine leapt out to greet him.

“Are there any more with you?” the pilot asked.

“No, it’s just me.”

“I’d ask how you survived but, from the rounds of ammunition we saw being fired in the distance and that HMG you got over there, I think we already know how,” the marine said.

“Are you two all that’s left?” said Mont.

The pilot then dipped his head and quietly said, “Yes, as far as we can tell.”

Mont looked at both of the men and asked them if they knew what had happened to the other trade ports they were sent to destroy.

The pilot spoke again, “Looks like a lot of what happened here happened there too.”

Mont looked puzzled. “How did we get so lucky that our fleet being destroyed in space still managed to take out these ports?”

It was the marine’s turn to respond. “From what Intel I was able to gather, after the frigate exploded…”

“That was the ship I was on!” Mont interrupted.

“Well, like I was saying, after the ship you were on exploded, the destroyer Captains each gave the order to abandon ship, then took evasive action and set course for the other two ports.” said the marine. “The Covenant ships picking up on what was about to happen, tried to move their ships into ramming position. They were only partially successful. All four ships, both our two destroyers and the Covenant ships collided. Our ships were already on a crash course to the trade ports. So most of the wreckage made its way there. Some of your ship must have done the same, by the looks of what’s left.”

“And you’re sure there are no other UNSC survivors?” said Mont.

The pilot spoke up, “We’ve been searching for the past day and a half.” We’ve not seen nor heard any transmissions from anyone. That is, until we found you.”

Mont stood looking at them. “Okay then. Is your Pelican good to make a slipspace jump?”

“No,” said the pilot. “We took damage coming down to the surface. We can fly in atmo but, we aren’t space worthy.”

“Well then, we’ll just have to see what presents the Covenant has left for us,” said Mont.

“I’m ready for a hunt,” the marine chirped.

“Okay, let’s first find some food and drink, then we can look for a ride home,” said Mont.

“We’re already way ahead of you there. Say what is your name anyway?”

“Ferrous Mont, though my nickname is the Iron Mountain.”

“I can see that, man. You’re one steely veined marine!” said the pilot. “I’m Jacen Jimenez  but people call me JJ and that scrub over there is Mack Stewart.”

“Watch who you’re calling a scrub, air jockey!” Mack said jovially. They all let out a hearty laugh.

“Well boys, now that the pleasantries are over, what was that you were saying about being ahead of me?” said Mont.

“Me and JJ found a bunch of food and drink among the ruins of the other trade ports. We stowed it aboard the Peli, in case we found others and if we were going to be here for the long haul.”

“Great! Then let’s look for a ship that doesn’t have any holes in it that will suck us out into the vacuum of space.” Mont said with enthusiasm.

“Well aren’t you filled with sunshine and horse manure!” Mack snarked.

They again chuckled, got on board the Pelican and began to look around what was left of the trade port. With each passing minute they would lose a little hope. Then Mont noticed it.

Pointing in a direction, “Hey, bring us over to that small purple lump over there,” said Mont. 

“Yeah, I see it now,” said JJ.

As they got closer, their hopes had been realized. An unscathed Phantom was parked a click away from the port. Had the Covenant troops Mont laid waste been more cognizant of their surroundings, they would have found and taken off with the Phantom themselves. Another stroke of luck for the good guys! JJ landed the Pelican close to the Phantom. There were no signs of living creatures and no thoughts of ambush. Before they began to transfer goods and equipment from the Pelican to the Phantom, JJ boarded the Phantom to check if it was able to make space and perform slipspace jumps. What now seemed like the longest five minutes of their lives, came to an end with JJ exclaiming “Yes!” and with that, both Mont and Mack knew they would make it home. All three quickly transferred what they needed to the Phantom. 

“You fellas ready to hit the star lanes?!” yelled JJ.

“Hell yeah!” shouted Mack.

The Phantom lifted off. Mont was inside the cockpit with JJ, while Mack was by the closing bay doors. Then a streak of sharp pink shot out at them. Neither JJ nor Mont were able to see it as they were faced away from the projectile. All they heard was a thud coming from the small troop bay. Mont figured it was Mack just moving some cargo around but decided to take a look anyway. As he entered the bay, he found Mack lying in a pool of his own blood. A large Subanese shard had pierced through his chest and was now lodged into the ceiling of the bay, red blood dripping from it. It was too late and Mont knew it.

“Hey, what’s going on back there? You guys starting the party without me?” questioned JJ.

“No man, you better come back here and see for yourself.” Mont said.

JJ put the Phantom on auto pilot then appeared at the doorway to the bay. He looked over to where Mont was standing, to see the lifeless body of Mack and the embedded needle. “Gawd damn it! That’s it, I’m turning this thing around and I’m going to blast them all to hell!”

Normally, this would be something Mont was all for. However, having just survived a space battle, a couple of days trekking on an alien planet, eating grubs for food, and being in a firefight, Mont knew when this fight was over.


“What the hell do you mean, no?!” JJ angrily fired back.

“Just what I said. He’s already dead. We destroyed their ports and the UNSC will be back here soon for cleanup. I am not going back down there for what is probably one solitary soldier. Mack’s dead but, we aren’t. Let’s get back home, report what happened and let the UNSC take care of the rest,” Mont stated. He felt the hole in his chest deepening from having to say those words, from having lost a fellow marine and new found friend. 

JJ stormed back to the pilot’s chair. “Well, you can be damn sure I’m volunteering to come back and kick whatever Covenant ass we find left here!”

“I’m sure you will.”

Chapter Six: The Proposition

After having made it back to UNSC space safely and a week’s ordered R&R, Mont was approached by a bald headed man with a tattoo on the side of his head.

“I’m here to make you an offer. Before you decline, I insist you sit down and listen to me,” the slender man said.

Though the man standing in front of him was tall, he was not as tall as Mont who stood a towering 7’1”.

“It’s not often someone tells me to sit down with such authority. What’s your bit?” Mont asked.

“The UNSC a has taken special interest in you after the report of your latest mission. I wonder, is everything true or did you embellish anything?” the mysterious man questioned.

“Every bit of that is true!” Mont growled. “Look pal, you’ve got a lot of nerve coming to me, telling me to sit down, then insult me to my face about a fully legitimate report!”

“Good, I knew I liked you. Luciferrous Montague, how would you like to join the Spartan program?”

“I haven’t gone by that name in a long time. How did you know?” Mont inquired with an upturned eyebrow.

“The Spartan program finds all it needs to know about prospective recruits,” the man replied.

Mont looked with heavy suspicion. “Did you also know my nickname is the Iron Mountain?”

“Yes, of course. Though I have a better name for you,” said the man.

“A better name? I’ll humor you, what is it?” asked Mont.

“Spartan Steel”, said the man.

This made Mont think for a minute. His nickname was derived from his real name and also resembled his home planet’s export. But Steel was a stronger alloy than the element of iron. It also happened to mimic one of the last things JJ had said to him, saying he had steely veins. He liked it but, was that enough to follow the request of someone who had just insulted him and had an air of superiority about him? Well he thought as he had numerous times in his career prior to this, “I wanted more adventure and this is what I signed up for.”

“Yeah, I’m in.”

“Great. My name is Jun.”

“Just Jun?” said Mont with a smirk.

“That’s all you need to know about me. You will soon understand.”

Mont thought to himself, man, this guy sure seems like a whack job but, he also seems authentic. “Okay, when do I start?”

“We ship out in ten minutes. Don’t bother to pack your things. We’ve already done that for you.”

“Oh you have, have you?” Mont responded. “You better not have forgotten my hammer!”

“We didn’t, but we’ve got bigger and better toys for you to play with,” Jun said, while letting out a devilishly sounding chuckle. “You know, you remind me of a friend of mine from long ago.”

“And who is that?” Mont questioned.

“Never mind. If you complete Spartan training, I may tell you about him. Maybe.” Then Jun disappeared.

Mont went on to complete his Spartan training and augmentation, now an even more imposing figure at 7’6” tall. Further specializing in [REDACTED] heavy munitions and learned how to pilot several UNSC spacecraft.

The newly minted Spartan Steel’s armor consists of:

  • Armor Core: Mirage IIC
  • Helmet: Pilot w/ US/Type E6 attachment 
  • Visor: Bryce
  • Chest: UA/SATek
  • Left Shoulder: SAP/Guardpro MAX
  • Right Shoulder: SAP/Guardpro MAX
  • Knee Pads: UA/Type VTP
  • Wrist: UA/CRA Bracee
  • Utility: UA/Pelvic Plate
  • Gloves: Rift Kappa
  • Armor Coating: Watchdog
  • Spartan Number: [REDACTED]
  • Service ID Number: [REDACTED]

Spartan Steel’s first tour of duty would be as a member of Fireteam Piercer. The new fireteam was stationed aboard the UNSC Infinity and sent on a mission to Zeta Halo. It has not been seen nor heard from since.

Jun has not yet had the opportunity to tell Steel about his friend.

Fireteam Piercer Backstory: Agent 28

This is the second 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. For now, sit back and enjoy the second installment, “Agent 28” Fireteam Piercer’s Sniper and Spy.

Backstory: Agent 28

Secrecy surrounds Agent 28. What little is known about him is laid out in this dossier. If anyone asked his name, he simply replied, “Zed.”

Agent 28 comes from ONI. We know that at least some of his duties included spying on insurrection outposts and outer colonies who traded with the Kig Yar. He was often sent first for Intel, then to quell any burgeoning insurrection by assassinating leaders of the insurrection. His tactics were not so obvious, as the murders came by poison, accidents, and seeding the thoughts of mutiny to the point that others, unbeknownst to them, did his work for him. Outposts who traded with Kig Yar were assessed for their value to humanity and more so to the war effort. If trading brought about important Intel, then the operation was allowed to continue. However, if there was no Intel to be gained, or the Intel coming in had slowed or stopped, those outposts were destroyed post haste, often coming when trades with the Kig Yar were in process. This allowed ONI to cover up the outposts being destroyed saying they were casualties in the war effort.

Agent 28’s deep knowledge of Kig Yar trade, tactics and [REDACTED] information was brought to the attention of high level officials within ONI who wanted another of their own to be made a Spartan. While Agent 28 did not agree with that assessment, believing he blended in better with locals as his current self, he was very hard pressed to go against the wishes of his commanders. Reluctantly, Agent 28 went under the process of training and augmentation in the Spartan IV program. While there, he was also tasked to report back to ONI specific bits of information not outlined in this transmission.

The UNSC had been taking a heavy amount of backlash, regarding outposts being decimated, when there was evidence many of those outposts could have been saved or not as heavily damaged as they were. So, with his immense amount of expertise in outer colony trade and habits, Agent 28 was paired with another Spartan to destroy alien trade with humans, as secretly as possible. By using only a pair of Spartans, instead of coming in with warships and orbital bombarding said outposts, the UNSC along with ONI, was much more capable of hiding the fact that they were suppressing insurrection, even in the midst of a galactic war.

Agent 28 and his Spartan partner Sven Sorenson were quite capable of performing their missions with high efficiency. It was during their final mission together however, when things would take a turn. Orders came down to hit a small inner colony city with a tactical fusion bomb, at a recently discovered mining and manufacturing plant that was suspected of supplying enemy forces. The issue is that this was Sorenson’s home planet. ONI was testing his allegiance as they had bigger plans in mind. Sorenson showed no outward disobedience. However, Agent 28, trained to recognize such things during his tenure with ONI, specifically had picked up on some very slight cues. A second longer stare when talking about the mission or a furtive glance when the name of the planet came up was all he needed, to know something was amiss.

When they landed in their modified Condor, Sorenson said that he was going to tend to the fusion bomb. Though this was protocol for their mission, Agent 28 immediately became suspicious. He allowed Sorenson to leave, while he secretly released an insect sized drone to watch him. As suspected, Sorenson was found to be tinkering with the fusion bomb to set it off much sooner. The understanding was, that it would look like an accident and both he, and Agent 28 would be killed in the blast thereby sacrificing himself but saving his home world from a fate he had himself brought about several other human populaces.

Agent 28 sprung into action and did not give Sorenson a chance to explain. That order by ONI was made specifically to the Agent and he knew how to carry it out with lethality. The first thing Agent 28 did was have the insect drone land on and insert itself into Sorenson’s armor. Once in, the drone let loose a small but well positioned EMP pulse that rendered Sorenson’s armor reactor inert. Without the ability to quickly move, Sorenson reached for the trigger mechanism to immediately detonate the fusion bomb. However, Agent 28 stopped him just short of that goal by hitting Sorenson with a sniper shot to his hand, severing the three middle fingers. Then as Sorenson swung around, struck him in the lower lumbar region of his back, splicing through the least protected area of armor and immediately severing Sorenson’s spine.

Sorenson, knowing he had failed, resigned himself to his fate. Agent 28 came over to him. Asked if he wanted his helmet off or on for his last breath. Sorenson asked for his helmet to be taken off, so that he could breathe his home world’s air one last time. With that, he took his last breath and Agent 28 shot him cleanly between the eyes with his magnum.

Agent 28 went on to complete the mission as ordered. Destroying the facility and hundreds of workers present during the detonation. However, for the first time in his career, he felt sympathy. He knew better than to report his emotions back to ONI. However, in one sentence of his report debrief to UNSC command, he mentioned that the facility did not look to be making any weapons. This was enough for ONI to know he had been compromised. 

In order to keep an ever more watchful eye on Agent 28, he was reassigned to the UNSC Infinity. There he served under Spartan Commander Palmer, performing typical Spartan missions, no longer conducting the more tactical, secret missions he was accustomed to. He was then assigned to Fireteam Piercer under the command of Spartan Carl “The Duke” Wayon. His last known location was aboard the Infinity as they entered Zeta Halo space.

If you find a Spartan with the following configuration, you have found Agent 28:

  • Core: Rakshasa
  • Helmet: Morrigan
  • Visor: Shibuichi
  • Chest: Standard Rakshasa with Proxy Logistics attachment
  • Left Shoulder: SAP/HVISTLA PLATING
  • Right Shoulder: SAP/HVISTLA PLATING
  • Knee Pads: UA/Type SN
  • Wrist: DOISAC KISS
  • Utility: UTIL/Pocket Doc
  • Gloves: Tenosyno
  • Armor Coating: Smellbringer
  • Spartan Number: [REDACTED]
  • Service ID Number: [REDACTED]

No further documentation.

/End Transmission

Fireteam Piercer Backstory: Carl “The Duke” Wayon

This is the first 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. For now, sit back and enjoy the first installment, “The Duke” which is the backstory of Fireteam Piercer’s Leader.

Backstory: The Duke

Nicknamed the Duke after a centuries dead American Cowboy, Carl Wayon of Earth, is as stoic a Spartan as you will find, with exception to Master Chief. Wayon grew up working his family farm as his ancestors had done for the previous 600 years. As such, he knows the meaning of dedication, hard work and long laborious hours.

Carl joined the UNSC, even with the apprehension of his family, due to his self proclaimed duty to protect his family, his land, and his planet from the Covenant threat. He excelled in basic training in physical fitness, and shooting skills with standard issue magnums and battle rifles. He performed so well that he was made his company’s ‘recruit commander’. 

Wanting to do more than “just being the average grunt”, Wayon applied for and was accepted into the ODST training program. He again excelled. Now adding hand-to-hand combat superiority, quick thinking, and decision making on battlefield tactics. Upon graduation, he was granted a commission of Lieutenant and given a squad of ODSTs to lead.

During his time as an ODST, he led several successful missions against the Covenant, to assassinate High Value Targets. Upon each successive mission, his notoriety grew, having a 100% return rate for those under his command. He was quickly promoted to Captain and given a company to command. The Duke’s first mission as company commander came during the Battle of New Mombasa. This would be the cornerstone of his military career.

In charge of a couple dozen ODSTs, he and Colt company dropped into the heart of the confrontation. Thereupon, Captain Wayon and his Colt Commandos laid waste to a nearly assembled Covenant forward operations base. Killing every Covenant they found, save one jackal sniper, who managed to escape. This one misstep proved to be a heavy loss for the company. Soon after that first skirmish, they were met with heavy resistance in the form of a squad of Wraiths and two Banshees. With overwhelming force, the Covenant backlash decimated half of his troops in just the first couple of minutes. This was the first time the Duke had lost soldiers in battle. He and the rest of the Commandos fought back hard, taking a few more casualties but, ultimately winning. Having destroyed the Banshees out of the sky with well placed rockets and a lucky Wraith shot, he now had a ragtag squad of 10 ODSTs and three Wraiths.

Wayon and the Colts would continue to battle in small skirmishes around New Mombasa, surprising Covenant forces in their own Wraiths and picking up surviving ODSTs and Marines along the way. By the time of the quick exit of the Covenant from Earth, the Duke had amassed a force of more than 200 surviving soldiers. Immediately after the battle, He was given a field promotion to Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) and was now placed as leader of the newly formed platoon of Colt Commandos. Wayon and his commandos would serve a few more years together, routing Covenant forces in small and mid-sized battles.

In 2556, top brass from the UNSC came with a new offer for Wayon, “We want you to become a Spartan.” Having great respect for Spartans, he humbly accepted. It was then that he was entered into the Spartan IV program. Having much battlefield prowess, leadership skills, and experience, LCDR Wayon was put in charge of Fireteam Dragoon, a team of four Spartan IVs, after their augmentations were complete.

The Duke selected as his armor:

  • Core: Mark VII
  • Helmet: Linebreaker w/HUL [5X]/BNR/ECHELON attachment
  • Visor: Mentor’s Gift
  • Chest: UA/COG
  • Left Shoulder: UA/FLSF Type C
  • Right Shoulder: HIGHCOM Sentinel
  • Knee Pads: UA/Type MX
  • Wrist: TAC/Holodyne Milspec
  • Utility: TAC/MX CUTTER
  • Gloves: Provespa
  • Armor Coating: Gunsmoke Gold
  • Spartan Number: [REDACTED]
  • Service ID Number: [REDACTED]

Wayon stated that the overall look of his armor, evoked the lawmen of a bygone era, as it related to his nickname. As well, the three main colors of mustard gold, light denim blue, and muddy tan matched his farm’s colors.

It didn’t take long for Fireteam Dragoon to see action. The next few years saw the Dragoons in typical lightning quick hit missions to take out notable Covenant leaders. Wayon enjoyed this duty as it reminded him much of his earlier days as an ODST. Though now, he was much better armed, augmented, and armored.

The Dragoons were to be given a long overdue stay of R&R, when Wayon was sent word he was being reassigned to the UNSC Infinity to take charge of the newly formed Fireteam Piercer. Within a month after his new commission, the Infinity was sent to Zeta Halo, in what would become a fateful mission for the flagship of the UNSC.

Spartan Carl “The Duke” Wayon and his Fireteam’s whereabouts are currently unknown. Presumed to be on Zeta Halo, they are listed as MIA.