OOC topic guys, throw discussions and profiles here for approval and such.
Character Profile layout:
Name: (What’s your name, soldier?)
Species: (Because maybe you prefer one of those alien types?)
Gender: (What’re your pronouns, fam?)
Age: (How old are you?)
Appearance: (This can be a written description, a picture, fan art, whatever. Source your arts, people.)
Rank: (Where do you fall in your rank structure? A note: Spartan-IVs are all ranked as Spartans, but can hold certain inter-Spartan ranks and specializations, whereas older Spartan units fell under UNSC Naval NCO ranks. These ranks have since been mostly swept under the regular branch ranking system.)
Personality: (What are you like, what makes you, you?)
Background: (Where you come from, what you did before now, how you got here, if you want to go there)
Equipment: (What’s your loadout? Feel free to get creative, but don’t go crazy.)
Skills: (Any specializations or extracurricular skills to note? Put ‘em here!)
Flaws:(These aren’t optional, where are your breaking points, what holds you back, and where can I poke to give you delicious character development?)
1. Forum rules obviously apply. Keep it clean! Don’t make the admins come into our home.
2. We write this together. I may know the story beats, but we all work together to reach them. So be nice to each other!
3. If you have issues, talk about ‘em! I can’t know something isn’t working if you don’t tell me, so don’t be afraid to do so!
4. This one’s a little special. Since we’re all doing this jolly cooperation thing, I’m also gonna be pretty lax with what you as players can control. My idea is to allow you guys to write scenes that are dynamic and enjoyable to read and write, and so I don’t end up with a players vs GM situation. That means you can control NPCs not only on the ship, but also enemy NPCs during missions, within reasonable limits. I ask that you take this responsibly, and not make every NPC you interact with a bunch of brainless zombies waiting for the slaughter.
5. It will likely not be an issue here, as PvP isn’t super likely to happen but if you guys ever fire up the simulator for a round of War Games, let's put it all out here. Don’t god-mod or auto-hit, y’all know the drill by now.
6. Be original fam, keep your characters away from canon bloodlines at all costs.
7. Keep your loadouts sane. Upgraded or tinkered with weapons are fine. I will even approve most REQ weapons. Most. Looking at you, Void’s Tear.
Other Important stuff:
This RP is by design, a short term game. It has a definitive endpoint in mind. That endpoint is not designed to end characters in any way(unless you want it to, of course) and if players are willing, the game can be extended past this endpoint!
I’m only human, and I’m inherently fallible. Mistakes will be made here and there. I’m also not the most experienced of GMs, as many of you know. I’ve helped run a game here in OTC and I took over for Corpus Rahkshi when our dear friend Adders vanished. If something seems amiss or if I’m being a butt head about something, lemme know, cause I genuinely want to be as excellent a GM as I can be for you all!
Oh! Most important, is this here magic link that will take you to the best place to look up stuff that might be unfamiliar to you: https://www.halopedia.org/
For your consideration, as promised. I may have some rewriting to do when I reread in the morning.
Name: Nikolai Markov
Appearance: Before three weeks vacation at a little bed and breakfast on Mars, Nik Markov had been a little taller than your average grunt and built lithe. Skinnier than you’d really expect for special forces, not that you could tell when he was suited up to dive feet first into . Now he’s only really lithe if you stand him next to another Spartan and at 6’10” he’s taller than even many other IVs. For his old squadmates it’s a bit like talking to a tree trunk, not that he noticed during the PT to get used to his new frame. The Spartan IV augmentations gave him a whole new lease on life with combat capabilities that could extend well into the next century, but they didn’t do anything to hide a lifetime of injuries big and small. Outside his armor, Nik’s hands are calloused and pockmarked by well-healed scars. Without a shirt you could see similar marks across his body, along with a pale line tracing a path across his shoulder and the skull-and-comet tattoo on the left side of his chest.
As much as some things change, though, plenty stays the same. It might be almost a foot higher than it was but Nik’s face definitely stayed the same. Pale skin, sharp facial features, and deep green eyes could easily look unfriendly (especially with his new build) but they’re softened by a friendly, irreverent demeanor. He smiles a lot more than you’d expect from an ODST, let alone a Spartan. Nik keeps a clean shave aside from the occasional five o’clock shadow depending on how busy he’s been, and his brown hair is kept medium length though not always tidy.
Personality: Friendly, laidback, self-assured, and easygoing; all of the words you would not expect to apply to someone who’s been among the most effective operatives in the UNSC for the better part of a decade. But nine times out of ten, before his augmentation, Nik’s first impressions ran contrary to preconceptions. That’s a lot harder now, but he would say all the more important for it. Don’t want to become as frightening to the guys on your side as the ones against, you know? In another time and place he would have lived a pretty peaceful life, but born five years into the Human-Covenant war didn’t leave many options. It’s when he becomes focused, on whatever has his attention, that it becomes clear why he is where he is. Nikolai can be driven in the extreme when he sets his mind to something, and considers success an inescapable fact. It’s only a matter of how you have to get there.
Nonetheless Nikolai is more capable and much more intelligent than he tends to let on despite his informal education, and maintains the utmost respect for his colleagues and peers. He never had the institutional distaste for the Spartans his fellow ODSTs tended towards, maybe because ONI had been using them to boost morale by the time he joined the outfit. He does, however, have an intense and occasionally problematic mistrust of former Covenant species and soldiers. Nothing that discipline doesn’t curb, but the Martian finds it difficult to remember that they were trying to kill him for his entire life.
Background: Nikolai Markov was born on June 19th 2529 on Mars, and knew nothing but war until it ended. Papers will probably be written about the psychological impact of growing up under the shadow of a war for survival on such a massive scale, but Nik didn’t understand any of it. But he grew up scared because in the shipbuilders’ neighborhood he was raised everyone was scared. Under the weight of such existential dread the young man acted out, getting into all sorts of trouble. Nothing serious, Nik was a good kid at heart. But he would break into places he wasn’t supposed to, get access to information he wasn’t supposed to have, anything he could do to benignly try and draw attention to himself. It went on for years, until he broke into a supposedly secure office (and server) at his local UNSC office and nearly got himself a juvenile record.
Cutting it that close finally nudged him a few degrees back onto the straight and narrow, and more importantly finally gave him a focus. On June 19th 2547 Nikolai Markov enlisted in the UNSC Navy. After a long night of celebrating, drinking, and saying goodbye to the neighborhood he grew up in he shipped out to UNSCN basic training the next day. Almost on day one he lobbied for a shot at the grueling, volunteer-only recruitment process for the renowned Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. About two years later he got it. No matter how tough he expected it to be he couldn’t have prepared himself for the reality. The training was designed to push him to the absolute limit, and it succeeded. Not everyone who applied made it. His own standards and the humiliation of being Returned to Unit kept him going and at the course’s end Nik was among its graduates. Then-PFC Nikolai Markov was initially assigned to the 105th Shock Troopers Division, serving under a former special forces marksman for his first few drops. He showed a real knack for sabotage and reconnaissance, remembering his youth and gathering any additional information from behind and between enemy lines that wasn’t nailed down. His career brought him to the defense of New Alexandria during the Fall of Reach, and later operations during the Battle for Earth that truly proved his mettle.
At the war’s end a good many problems still needed the none-too-gentle touch of an ODST fireteam, and Nik was happy to oblige. Many of those solutions took a liberal application of black ink and Nik found himself co-opted by ONI’s own plans on occasion. Four years after the war’s end, the Office of Naval Intelligence offered to put his talents to permanent use. A free ride through university, and a guaranteed job with a hefty security clearance attached. Spartan Operations, around the same time, offered him a chance at augmentation. The choice wasn’t hard.
Equipment: A charcoal suit of Recluse armor topped by a LOCUS helmet rounds out Nikolai’s only permanent set of equipment. A M6H2 Tactical Magnum is usually attached to the magnetic strip on his left thigh, but his primary (or tertiary) equipment rotates depending upon mission specifications. The helmet’s passive cyberintrusion package, battlenet cache, and multiple video feeds make for unparalleled battlefield awareness.
Skills: Nikolai excels in neutralizing hostile entities and hostile technology, by force or subterfuge. The former is really pretty simple. Nik’s first ODST fireteam leader drilled the unit on marksmanship endlessly, and it stuck. He’s versed in the operation and proficient in the use of almost all UNSC firearms, and he was a crack shot before augmentation. After undergoing the procedures it would be more notable if he missed. The latter is more nuanced; Nik has spent his professional career building on the intrusion skills he learned as a youth, and may be among the better cyberintrusion specialists in his current branch of service by now. His armor assists, of course, but the Martian has a certain innate knack for turning enemy or unaligned electronics to suit his own purposes. And after a stint doing asymmetrical warfare as an ODST, a learned proficiency for simply blowing up resources he can’t utilize.
Flaws: As dedicated and effective an operative as he is, Nikolai has two evident flaws. His mistrust of the Elites and other species formerly a part of the Covenant and an unrelenting perfectionist streak. For all his laidback mannerisms Nikolai allows himself no slack or quarter and it impacts his ability to effectively delegate tasks that don’t require his personal attention. Any failures become personal failures, and personal failures he struggles to let go of. As a former enlisted man he also is of minimal use on the bridge of a ship, or in the operation of small craft. He can fly a Pelican in a pinch, but don’t expect an air show. He’s used to gravity doing the work for him, what do you really expect?
18 Sanghelios years
As with the majority of her species Vali is powerfully built, possessing the lithe physicality common to Sangheili warriors. Her slimmer build and shorter stature, standing at about 2.2 meters and 175 kg out of armor, sets her noticeably apart from her brethren. Out of her armor and combat suit she is more recognizably female, with sleek features, smooth scales, and a light, pale blue complexion. Her eyes are a bright grey. Phenotypically resembles Alytcos Sangheili.
No stranger to combat, a thin scar traces its way down her left arm, mirrored on the right by a series of similar marks. Even so, her general posture is fairly relaxed from what can be interpreted from Sangheili body language.
Evocatus, though currently acts as a military liaison and technology consultant for crew of the Madrigal, on loan from the Swords of Sanghelios.
A driven individual with an innate curiosity and fascination with the galaxy at large. Traditional ideals of honor and personal excellence were instilled in her at a young age, none of which have particularly dulled in the years since. Even so, first impressions tend to give a casual demeanor not entirely fitting with the image of her species most humans hold. Though it may just be the fact that she isn't issuing challenges for personal combat or spouting off about honor every five minutes.
Vali 'Sakuai, or rather 'Sakua as it was back then, was born on the backwater world of Karava during the last decades of the Human-Covenant war. The cultural mix of various Covenant client species and humans gave her a unique upbringing within an otherwise xenophobic empire. The nature of the colony world precluded the traditional practice of communal upbringing among her own people, though the varied community at large served a similar purpose. The experience, while cut short as she was sent to Sanghelios in her mid teens, greatly shaped her outlook on the war itself. On her native planet she went through the standard education focused on combat first and foremost, an aptitude for swordsmanship propelling her far within the field, even if her real interest was in the artisan weaponsmiths of her world. By the time of the end of the war and the collapse of the Covenant Vali, now 'Sakuai proper, was working for Lodam Armory. In the ensuing chaos of the civil war that followed Vali aligned herself with the Arbiter's new fledgeling government of the Swords of Sanghelios. As with many of the younger generation of Sangheili she had grown disillusioned with the Covenant and their now dead prophets, and wished to return her native home back to the power of her own people.
The shift saw her take more direct, frontline action against various factions and Covenant remnants, the lack of manpower a driving force as much as her own sense of duty. Eschewing a more direct command role for a focus primarily on combat lead her into the ranks of the Sword's Ultras over the years since her first induction into the military. In 2558 her experience in both combat and with technology made her a prime candidate as a military liaison to the UNSC on board the experimental Halberd-class destroyer Madrigal, a partially joint venture which combined elements of human and Sangheili technology in some of its systems.
Warrior-class harness: A series of advanced pearlescent white, the color befitting its enhanced capabilities as well as her proper rank, nanolaminate armor plates. As with other Warrior-class harnesses it features bolstered energy shielding and active camouflage systems. The armor is mounted to a full body, vacuum hardened nanolaminate techsuit that provides enhanced physical abilities and protection against weapon fire. Energy daggers are mounted the armored gauntlets in lieu of a more conventional tactical knife.
Modifications to the harness' software package allow it to interlink with UNSC weapon systems for targeting and information readout in the HUD, projected by blue tactical lenses. She keeps an alternate fully-enclosed Ranger helmet for use in EVA conditions. Red markings decorate the plates, while the shield emitters glow a bright blue.
Type-27 SASR/K: High power marksman rifle, the weapon's casing matching the coloration of her armor. The weapon has undergone numerous revisions to allow it to be serviced with UNSC equipment.
Type-55 DER/F: A pair of compact automatic directed-energy weapons. They feature shortened barrels and heavier colimator shrouds for enhanced cooling and manueverability. Similar to her rifle the energy weapons have been modified to accept recharging via UNSC links.
Type-1 EW/S: Iconic energy blade appropriate for her given name. Honor wins out over practicality in this case, and the weapon is instead recharged by a direct connection to her harness' underlying techsuit.
Intelligent, adaptable, and inventive. A collection of traits which have served to make her both a highly competent engineer and warfighter. Like the majority of her species she is physically gifted as a result of her high-gravity homeworld, outpacing all but the most physically enhanced humans even out of her capability-enhancing battle harness. This combined with her skill with her species' traditional bladed and energy weaponry makes her a formidable combatant, keeping pace with the SPARTANs of the Madrigal.
Speaks Sangheili and mostly fluent English, as well able to understand if not entirely speak Kig-Yar.
While they are allies, her general distrust towards the UNSC, if not particularly humanity as a whole, has been an obstacle for complete cooperation between her and the command structure of the Madrigal. As with many of her species she views respect as something earned, which not many humans have managed to do as of yet.
Age: Chronologically 21 (born in 2537) biologically about 17 years of age.
Appearance: 202cm in height, 121kg in weight, Julia carries the unbelievably fit and powerful body boasted by Spartan III augmentations and training. Seen in armour, she’s clad head to toe in navy blue and gunmetal colours, her GEN 2 armour resembling retro SPI equipment, with her bowie knife on her back similar to traditional SPI knife mounts. Her helmet is a classic CQB design.
Out of armour, due to her age she’s quite youthful in appearance, though carries a hard stare that often makes her appear older than she actually is. She has jet black hair that is tied up in a short ponytail, and pale-ish skin (though not nearly as pale as Artur). She has a small silver scar above her lip to the left of the mouth, from a knife slash given by an Insurrectionist who didn’t go down when he should have. Her eyes are hazel.
Rank: Spartan, Headhunter
Personality: Julia-G101 is “no-nonsense” at a glance. She’s probably everything a Headhunter should be, concise, professional and largely impersonal. A sharpened sword ready to be used for whatever purpose deemed necessary. She’s good to work with, and isn’t asocial, but not many really see anything other than the soldier persona she initially projects. It’s through her interactions with Artur-G013 that some of her more unorthodox traits come out. For one, whilst she often feigns exhaustion of her partner’s tics and quips, more often she’ll bite back with sarcasm of her own, and sometimes throw admittedly half baked quips into the mix herself. The two don’t exactly communicate traditionally as well adjusted adults would, but there is an unspoken close relationship that likely connects the two as well as prevents the both of them from falling into their pitfalls.
After a psychological profile following the events of the mission where she met current partner Artur-G013, a couple of those pitfalls were highlighted. The most notable was complete unwillingness to talk about feelings of her experiences in training or prior to recruitment to counselors and consultants. This is the only instance of resistance to authority in her patterns and this is due to an innate fear of failing or breaking under pressure, especially in front of authority figures. She is unfailingly consistent about taking her meds as a result. Her occasional engagement with Artur is likely beneficial to her mental state as a result, as she does not feel she has to project as much around him.
As an offhand and unusual note, Julia has expressed interest in acquiring Sangheili tech for regular use, specifically in the energy daggers that Zealots commonly used in combat when the Sangheili were still largely sworn to the Covenant. Whilst this has been shot down repeatedly, the interest still remains and she does occasionally bring it up, albeit in a semi-joking fashion.
She also has a very faint German accent, though largely phased out over the years, some pronunciations of particular words reveal it a little bit.
Background: Born in the year of 2537, as far as anyone knows, Julia-G101 carries the same old story. Dead parents, offer of vengeance, implantation and training. Inducted into Gamma company, Julia excelled in combat training and hand-to-hand combat in particular, and her skills were quickly picked up. Put into Headhunter specialized training, soon enough she was deployed into combat. Serving as the close quarters and retrieval half of her pair, her skills were utilized almost solely against insurrectionist forces. Stealing intelligence and putting a bullet or knife in insurrection leaders was what she did best, and in multiple missions she did just that.
Of course, in 2552, things took a different turn. Her first brush with the Covenant was with a two pronged mission with another operative duo, one of whom was later to become her partner, Artur-G013. The mission was to investigate a possible alliance between an insurrection cell and a Covenant battlegroup. The two groups had been communicating and coordinating for some time as means of causing mutual chaos for the UNSC, with a vague promise to stay out of each other’s way. It didn’t take a genius to know that the alliance would not last for a long period of time, but the UNSC couldn’t sit and wait for the alliance to dissipate.
The investigation led to a colony not unlike The Rubble where the human insurrectionists and Covenant-aligned pirates, consisting mostly of Kig-Yar, had set up a trading port inside a hollowed-out planetoid. The two Headhunter pairs were given three goals to achieve once sent in.
It didn’t go quite that smoothly. Julia-G101 and her partner having been responsible for the Covenant part of the equation, they were discovered by the Kig-Yar and forced to fight as a similar situation occurred with Artur-G013 and his partner and the Insurrection. The place was put on lockdown, and with Julia’s partner dying about a day after discovery, Artur and Julia were forced to work together as an improvised pair. However, successfully managing to remain hidden in the shadow colony, the two worked extremely well, and were able to arm multiple explosive charges at structural weak points in the planetoid.
The next few days were difficult, but their will and the help of vaguely legal stimulants kept their eyes peeled and their sanity straight. The pair was able to assassinate the ringleaders of both groups and recover the intelligence that they planned to trade. Setting the charges to blow, they made a run for the port and commandeered a “borrowed” Pelican from the Insurrectionists, escaping by the skin of their teeth.
Meeting with a Prowler at the edge of the system after successfully completing their mission, they were reassigned in a Headhunter pair together and were taken to UNSC space to be patched up and given a psychological evaluation.
The war having ended with victory for the UNSC soon after, the pair were put into the BINARY system as Headhunter partners and now work together to this date.
Equipment: Similar to her partner, Julia wears a set of MJOLNIR GEN 2 armour that was designed for former Spartan IIIs in mind. Whilst possessing an active camo module more in tune with UNSC tech, it mostly functions identical to conventional GEN 2 armour, with strength enhancing capabilities and energy shields typical of the design. The appearance of said armour mimics almost identically what her SPI looks like, with the distinctive legionnaire-mail aesthetic of the armour but with her equally distinctive CQB variant helmet that she chooses to wear.
She also situationally has access to her old SPI armour, which looks almost identical in appearance (CQB helmet and all) which has all of the caveats of the retro armour (most notably, the photo-reactive capabilities of the original armour) albeit with a low powered energy shield.
Whilst Artur traded his knife for a tomahawk, Julia held onto her trademark bowie knife that she uses with efficiency when required.
Personal Medical/Trauma Kit
Skills: Infiltration, stealth, close quarters combat and retrieval.
Flaws: Julia is impersonal and difficult to get to know past the mission and things immediately relevant to it. Whilst she communicates somewhat more intimately with Artur-G013, this can lead to situations where team members may feel she is somewhat cold. She also has limited experience with Covenant forces, being more experienced with Insurrectionists and human threats.
She shares the illegal augmentations that all of Gamma company received, meaning she has to take Smoother anti-psychotics (though due to her Headhunter status she was granted an implant that administers them automatically, with periodical replacement). These stop her from going into a berserk rage that prevents her from distinguishing friend from foe, but can be overridden at the severe mental cost, allowing for increased strength and durability.
Age: Chronologically 24, born in September of 2534; biologically, around 19 or 20.
Appearance: Standing at 204cm tall, Artur is on the shorter side of average for a Spartan III supersoldier; at 120kg, he’s also on the lighter side of average, with a more lithe build than many others. Still, he’s noticeably taller and larger than the average for humanity, with what constitutes a lithe build for a Spartan still leaving him built like an unaugmented high-level athlete.
Beneath the armour, Artur has a fairly youthful looking face; due to rarely leaving his armour, he is very pale, and his features are somewhat gaunt, though in recent years this has been slightly hidden by the thick coat of stubble slowly growing along his jaw and cheeks. His dark green eyes are noticeably large and round, although not enough so to seem unnerving, and set above prominent cheekbones; just above them is wavy, dark brown hair, that has been grown noticeably longer than regulation strictly allows, though given how rarely he lets anybody see his face, nobody has had the opportunity to comment on it.
Rank: Spartan (Originally: Chief Petty Officer), Headhunter
Personality: Artur is a bit of an odd duck amongst other Spartan IIIs; he doesn’t quite share the professional attitude that many of them do, oftentimes treating his deployments almost as a game, cracking jokes, making one-liners, and exhibiting other such irreverent behaviours throughout any engagement. This is coupled with a generally relaxed and carefree demeanour, one that has drawn numerous comments from his superiors in his personnel file over the years. However, a psychological examination that was ordered after his ultimately-successful mission alongside Julia-G101 has revealed that this almost-childish outlook he holds evolved as a coping mechanism due to the traumas he experienced as a child, after being inducted into the program, and in combat engagements afterwards.
One prominent discrepancy from the baseline mental profile for most S-III supersoldiers that was noticed was how much Artur insisted on wearing his armour, often refusing to doff it unless absolutely necessary or if outright ordered to do so by a superior. The evaluation noted that he views the armour as his actual ‘face’ that others are meant to see, the image of a Spartan, and he identifies more strongly with the armour than with his own appearance. Instead, his actual physical appearance reminds him far more of the orphaned child he was when first recruited and starting to undergo training, something he considers to be a source of weakness and discomfort. It is, as of yet, unknown if his closer proximity to S-IV program members and other former S-III program members, and seeing how comfortable they are out-of-armour, will help him to reconcile this cognitive dissonance.
Background: Born in the waning months of 2534, Artur lived under the shadow of a Covenant attack his entire life; sure enough, like many other children throughout humanity’s small interstellar empire, his home was attacked and glassed, leaving him an orphan and one of the few survivors. He wasn’t found soon enough afterwards to be inducted into Beta Company of the Spartan IIIs, though when Gamma company was being conscripted he was uncovered by ONI investigators, upon which he was quickly sent to Onyx and inducted into the Spartan III program, despite being quite older than most of the other trainees. During training, his asocial, aloof demeanour towards the other candidates was rapidly noticed; while he could still function decently within the larger teams, he almost always did better when undergoing solo or paired exercises, something that held true throughout his time on Onyx. As such, shortly after undergoing the augmentations he was pulled aside, being put into Headhunter training.
After their training was finished, Artur and his partner were immediately sent into numerous missions, primarily being focused on assassinating insurrectionist leaders or disabling manufacturing centers they had controlled, rather than being used against the Covenant. However, in the latter months of 2552, that quickly changed, as Artur and his partner were paired with another Headhunter team (one member of which was Julia-G101) and sent to investigate a link between an insurrectionist cell and a Covenant battlegroup. The two groups had been coordinating for some time, and ONI operatives had only recently uncovered what was going on—the insurrectionists and the Covenant battlegroup were coordinating attacks, aiming to cause as much chaos for the UNSC as possible, while at the same time endeavouring to stay out of each other’s way as much as possible.
It was an alliance doomed to failure, and both groups knew it, though that didn’t stop them from coordinating against what each considered a larger threat for the moment; the meetings between the two parties were tracked to a secret colony much like The Rubble, where humans and various Covenant-aligned pirates (primarily Kig-Yar) had set up a mutually beneficial trading port inside a hollowed-out planetoid. Knowing that both groups were going to be sharing intel on their movements with each other, as well as comparing what they knew of UNSC movements, the two Headhunter teams were sent in with three goals:
Unfortunately, the mission nearly ended up a complete disaster; a short time after infiltrating the hidden colony, both teams were discovered, with the entire location being put on lockdown as the hunters became the hunted. Artur’s partner was killed a short time after discovery, while Julia’s partner lasted closer to a day. Luckily, Artur and Julia managed to reconvene with each other, and managed to keep their movements concealed within the shadow colony, while planting and arming numerous high-yield charges at weak points in the hollowed-out planetoid. Over the course of a few days, constantly on the run or in hiding, and relying on stimulants of vague legality to maintain their wakefulness and situational awareness, Julia and Artur did manage to eliminate the core leadership of both groups present, recover the intelligence they had intended to share, and set the charges to explode while they made a run for the actual port/hangar area of the colony. Managing to commandeer a Pelican that had been stolen by the insurrectionists, they made a quick escape shortly before the planetoid exploded, with whatever ships of the Covenant battlegroup that weren’t directly docked within it being destroyed by the shards sent hurtling through space.
After managing to connect with and board a Prowler hidden at the edge of the system, Artur and Julia were both “reassigned” to a new Headhunter team, comprised of both of them, due to how well they’d demonstrated the ability to work together under significant duress. After returning to UNSC space they were quickly taken to be treated for wounds they had sustained, with the war soon ending in a human victory; the pair were quickly inducted into the new Spartan IV program as members of the Spartan Operations branch, though they maintained their status as Headhunters in the new BINARY Spartan Operations program.
Equipment: Artur’s primary set of armour is a prototype MJOLNIR Gen2 variant (designated AMBROSE-class MJOLNIR) that is being designed for former S-III program members; outwardly, it appears identical to the SPI armour that they originally were outfitted with, though it possesses the energy shielding and strength-enhancing capabilities of MJOLNIR armour rather than that photoreactive plating that the SPI armour was designed around. Instead, to maintain a semblance of SPI armour’s inherently stealthier nature, he utilizes an Active Camouflage module, slightly redesigned with the help of Sangheili armorsmiths to function better with UNSC armour.
He also maintains, and has access to, his old set of proper Headhunter-program modified SPI armour, in the event that a mission is called for where it will prove more useful than the MJOLNIR armour. This possesses lower-powered energy shielding, VISR systems, a motion tracker, as well as a more advanced camouflage system, with the photoreactive plating common to SPI armour and an experimental energy field-based active camouflage system akin to that used by the Covenant, though using those drains energy from the shields while they are active, and the experimental module can only remain active for a short time.
M395b DMR, with suppressor for stealth-oriented missions (standard)
MA5K Carbine (situational)
SRS99-S5 Sniper Rifle (situational)
M6H2 Tactical Magnum, with integrated suppressor and smart-link scope (standard)
Tomahawk; Artur has eschewed the normal combat knife in favour of a lightweight, utilitarian hatchet. Still quite deadly as a weapon of war.
Personal Medical/Trauma Kit, and one full UNSC Health pack for in-field care beyond what the automatic biofoam injectors can do
Combined Universal GPS/TACPAD Unit on forearm
Skills: Infiltration, stealth, long-range combat specialist
Quirks: Artur has a very light German accent, much like Julia; he has also never seen many fresh fruits, such as pineapple, mango, or rambutan.
Flaws: Artur is very asocial, generally only communicating extensively with Julia-G101; he also does not work well within a full fireteam, both due to his asocial nature and the fact that much of his specialized training was to function in a two person Headhunter team or on lone-wolf operations.
Due to Gamma company’s illegal augmentations, Artur is required to regularly take a pair of drugs (commonly called “Smoothers”) to ensure that his mental state doesn’t spiral away into an uncontrollable, berserk rage. Due to being a Headhunter and dealing with missions taking place far behind enemy lines, he was lucky enough to be given the long-lasting subcutaneous implant that regularly delivers the antipsychotics needed, though it does still need to be periodically replaced; however, under extreme duress, the antipsychotics can be overridden in favour of ensuring his survivability, at the cost of tactical planning or ability to recognize friend from foe.
Species: Human AI
Age: 3 months
Appearance: Alice’s avatar takes on the likeness of Alice from Alice in Wonderland, appearing as a young girl with blonde hair and a blue dress.
Personality: Much like her avatar, Alice behaves somewhat childlike and is very inquisitive. She has no problems asking people questions if she cannot find the answer to it herself. Despite her childlike behavior, she will follow orders and commands without any real issue, though she will complain when she dislikes or disagrees with something.
Background: A recently created Smart AI, the human brain that was used to create Alice was from a young child prodigy that had died in a tragic accident. Before they died they’d expressed the desire to have their brain used to create an AI, and so it was done. Alice has been installed onto the UNSC Madrigal during it’s refurbishment, and the young AI seems more than happy to be onboard, and says so often.
Equipment: Being an AI, its more like Alice is the equipment if you think about it.
Skills: As a Smart AI, Alice is capable of being taught a vast wealth of information, and can learn and comprehend her surroundings as easily as any organic being. Alice can hack into and control any technology she’s connected to, though alien technology such as Forerunner or Covenant will give her trouble. Such as the UNSC Madrigal, while installed on the ship she can control all it’s systems and functions flawlessly.
Flaws: The most obvious weakness of any AI is the lack of a physical body. If Alice wished to leave the UNSC Madrigal, she’d have to hitch a ride by being uploaded into SPARTAN armor or some other kind of advanced tech that can host an AI. Alice herself is very childlike personality wise, and this can made her a bit difficult to deal with in certain situations.
Name: Myra Vasquez
Age: 33 (chronological), Late 20s (biological). Born 21st of January, 2525, Luna.
Appearance: Standing 6’9” (2,10m) tall before suiting up, with the accompanying augmented Spartan physique. Very tan, despite constantly wearing armor, due to her Latin American ancestry. Amber eyes. Very dark brown hair, almost black, kept in a spiky crew cut, with one bleached braid on both sides running along the edge of the shaved part of the hair. She has the ODST and fireteam Crimson emblems tattooed on her right and left upper arms respectively and inked on her back are several combat knives, as if stabbing into her - each associated with a name.
Rank: Spartan, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) Specialist.
Personality: Friendly in her interactions and with a dry sense of humor, she’s far from the abrasive Spartan stereotype. Despite this, Myra prefers to keep to herself and others at a distance. It’s not that she doesn’t like other people, quite the opposite in fact, but there are some things that just leave a mark. It’s because she cares that she went into this line of work and got into combat rescue: so that others aren’t put at risk. If that means putting her own life on the line to save someone - so be it. As long as it’s her and not someone else. This makes her very self-reliant and willing to take on long odds in missions.
Background: Myra was born in January 2525 on Luna, mere weeks before humanity first made contact with the Covenant on Harvest. Growing up near Earth, the war initially seemed like a distant outer colony event that only happened on the news, but as the years went on, and the desperate situation humanity was in kept getting worse, even the most sheltered kids couldn’t ignore their reality anymore. Desperately wishing there was something she could do about the staggering numbers of casualties reported daily, Myra enlisted with the UNSC as soon as possible and served as a Medic, first with the Marines and later as an ODST with the 25th Shock Troops Battalion until the end of the Human-Covenant war. It was during that time as a sergeant squad leader that a mission went bad, which weighs heavily on her to this day. Once again wishing there was more she could do to save others, she applied for the Spartan branch shortly after its formation and was accepted into the SIV program. Straight after augmentations and passing her recruit-armor phase, she was stationed aboard the UNSC Infinity with Fireteam Crimson during the Requiem campaign. There she gained a bit of a lone wolf reputation, insisting on handling a lot of missions solo. Despite misgivings by her superiors, her combat record, competence and professionalism spoke for themselves and led to her being assigned to Spartan CSAR.
Not trained from early childhood like the near-mythical SII commandos or intentionally expendable like the SIIIs, the new generation of rank-and-file recruited Spartan IVs required more specialized units for different missions. But with larger numbers, the possibility of Spartans either trapped or captured behind enemy lines became more and more likely. The answer was Spartan CSAR - combat search & rescue. While that was the official term, the enlisted men soon called these soldiers, that only came down from the sky to bring humanity’s mightiest back home, by a different name: Valkyries - due to their distinctive Gen2 armor association with norse mythology.
Equipment: Vasquez wears Mjolnir Gen 2 “Valkyrie” Powered Assault Armor with “Scanner” Helmet, painted in a grey splinter camo pattern, with maroon markings denoting the CSAR role. Extra equipment storage pouches are attached to the chest harness and thighs.
As CSAR is usually only called in when other Spartan personnel are in imminent danger, the combination of the Scanner helmet- developed specifically for search & rescue - and the Valkyrie armor’s flight system interface perfectly complemented each other. Paired with the extra equipment pouches and medkit, the suit makes Myra equal parts soldier, medic and pilot.
M395B DMR: Semi-automatic bullpup designated marksman rifle for medium to long-range engagements. Preferred during Casevac missions to neutralize threats to evacuees at a distance.
M20 SMG: Submachine gun for close range combat. The combination of light weight and firepower make it an ideal personal defense weapon.
M6H Magnum: Standard Issue Sidearm. A classic and always a good backup to have.
Standard issue combat knife.
Expanded Medical/Trauma/Repair Kit: Specialized for Spartan rescue operations, the kit is broken down into smaller sections and is more extensive than the standard issue kits and includes the means for basic armor field repairs. Its components are stored in several pouches attached to Vasquez’s suit. Since the pouches are exposed and might get torn off during missions, there is a certain amount of redundancy between them.
Myra has served as a Combat Medic for most of her career and as such has a lot of experience with treating, stabilizing and evacuating casualties under extreme conditions. As a Spartan, that skill set now also includes field-repairs to the Mjolnir armor systems.
As her job involves getting people out of hot zones quickly, she also is a certified pilot on the Hornet, Falcon and Pelican and their Covenant counterparts. A former ODST, she is also fully acquainted with the Orbital Drop Pods.
In addition to the usual Spartan marksmanship and hand to hand prowess, she is a skilled survivalist, a necessity for going into the unknown to rescue others from deep behind enemy lines.
Flaws: It’d be easiest to say she “doesn’t work well with others”, but that would be an oversimplification. She likes being part of a unit and is a team player for the most part, but she has a hard time relying on others, as that means they would potentially put themselves at risk for her, which is something she struggles with accepting. Being Search & Rescue she’s used to being the one putting her life on the line to save others, the one who gets called in when everything else has failed. Meaning she can’t afford to slack off - or people will die. She doesn’t think others are less competent, just that people, no matter how skilled, make mistakes and she’s the one picking up after them in this line of work. That attitude works fine for a solo operator, but can come off as patronizing or controlling when working with others, especially other Spartans.
Name: Taylor Gull
Appearance: European descent. Graying brown hair cut short for easy maintenance. Gray eyes with a constant thousand-yard stare. Scarring from decades-old blast wounds and surgery across left side of face/torso. 173 cm tall. Relatively small frame for an adult male.
Rank: Gunnery Sergeant
Personality: Though brash and impulsive in his youth, decades of military service and a brief experience with the brutality of ODST training have mellowed Taylor out into a quiet, contemplative, and respectful soldier. Something of his early stubbornness remains, however; hit him with a sufficiently traumatic experience, and he’ll throw every fiber of his being into making sure it never happens to him again. He has a fondness for both mental stimulation and working with his hands, and he can sometimes be found fiddling with model kits or writing down joking observations when other people are talking.
Rather atypically, Taylor has no hard feelings about having been RTU in the past; on the contrary, he’s quite insecure about his second chance at becoming an ODST, being fully aware that he was only reaccepted for training due to humanity’s dire need for elite soldiers in the wake of the Battle of Reach. He feels uneasy around fellow ODSTs, worrying that on some level he doesn’t truly qualify by their standards, and is uncomfortable with taking a command position even over a single fireteam despite his rank and seniority. As Spartan-IVs are both commonly former ODSTs and, y’know, Spartans, he feels even more uncomfortable around them in particular. His attitude towards allied ex-Covenant soldiers isn’t much better, what with his having spent over half his life fighting their peoples.
Background: Eager to defend his home against THE ALIEN MENACE, Taylor signed up for the UNSC Marine Corps the year the Human-Covenant War broke out. Exemplary service during his first few years enabled him to qualify for ODST training, but an accident in physical training (involving two particularly clumsy fellow recruits and a frag grenade) resulted in a two-year removal from active duty and a sharp lesson in humility. Over the course of the next two decades or so, he stayed with his old crew, slowly working his way up to becoming a platoon sergeant and explosives specialist in the 12th Marine Regiment.
Reach was not kind to Taylor. Out of his entire platoon, only he and six other marines made it out alive, barely finding their way off-planet before it was completely overrun. Haunted by the experience, Taylor volunteered a second time to become an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper; due to the staggering losses humanity had sustained at Reach, he was accepted. When the Fleet of Sacred Consecration invaded the Sol system, he was briefly returned to frontline service long before his training was completed to temporarily replenish the depleted ranks of the 103rd Shock Troops Battalion. The only major combat he saw before the war’s end was at the Battle of Voi, where his fireteam briefly operated in concert with an Sangheili spec-ops team, much to his consternation. After finally finishing ODST training in 2553, he would return to the 103rd to join for real.
Equipment: ODST/UA PPE close-quarters combat dress, standard-issue combat knife, M6D magnum (saved his on Reach, and he’s kept it ever since), M45D shotgun, M363 sticky detonator, Type-1 plasma grenade (kept from the Battle of Reach; it’s being saved for a rainy day)
any two of following: TR/9 antipersonnel mines, Type 14 magnetic/anti-tank mines, M168 demolition charge, satchel charges, thermite-carbon cords
Skills: Specialized in close-quarters battle and explosives use; decent marksman; very minor experience with Series-8 jetpack
Flaws: Taylor’s getting on in years; his bones are starting to creak, and his hearing isn’t what it used to be after decades of explosions going off next to him. Taking a grenade to the face in his youth didn’t do his body many favors either. He’s not exactly a cripple, but next to a bunch of Spartan-IV supersoldiers and a fully-kitted Elite, he comes up short every time. He’s also unwilling to act on his own initiative when on a team with anyone more elite than your average Marine due to his insecurities (unless explicitly told to start making his own friggin’ decisions, seriously, are you twelve or something), and being frequently reminded of those securities can get him distracted by his own perceived inadequacy, even in a combat scenario.
First things first, those of you I've talked to on Discord, once you've made the few adjustments needed here, all of your characters are good to go!
Second up is my own character, Cassie.
Name: Cassie ‘Boom” Rawlins A313
Appearance: Standing 6’7”(203cm) when not in armor, Cassie is appropriately tall for a Spartan, and weighs in at 295 pounds(133kg). She has dark skin that has stubbornly refused to lighten despite her years of service inside various powered suits, and her eyes are hetero-chromatic. Her hair is short, dark, and incredibly curled. Across much of her lower torso is a series of long healed claw gash scars, which she adamantly refuses to speak on. She has thin, but cheerful features, and were it not for her usual attire of rugged MJOLNIR armor, she’d seem lithe and lean.
Rank: Spartan(Senior Chief Petty Officer)
Personality: Cassie tends to be a fairly laid back individual, striking up a conversation easily and often. An extrovert with a tendency to make quips and tease, she always has something to say about the task at hand. She loves people and considers her fellow soldiers to be akin to her family, in part due to her nature, and in part due to the nature of her training as a Spartan-III. She has a noted love of old media and classically inspired pieces of media, classic music, old movies, even some of those old sim games. On the battlefield, she is no less talkative, but maintains a pride in her work that lends a sort of professional coolness to her words that clashes with the almost devil may care way in which she carries herself. She loves what she does, plain and simple, and it shows. She completes objectives with a genuine zeal, one not altogether unfounded in her animosity toward the Covenant.
Background: Born on Harvest in 2520, Cassie was conscripted into the Alpha group of the Spartan-III program following the attack on Harvest and a few months later, seeing her adoptive family killed by Kig-Yar pirates, but was secreted away along with several other members before Alpha Company's 300 were KIA during Operation: PROMETHEUS. A specialist in explosives of all kinds, she saw comparatively little combat during her years, being stationed mainly on the inner colonies quelling the Insurrection and generally taking care of any explosives measures that ONI needed. When Earth was attacked in 2552, she was recalled and helped defend Orbital Defense Station Madrid from Covenant attackers and was critical in stopping the antimatter bomb they'd managed to get aboard. She later was involved in several skirmishes when Truth's forces invaded, mainly supporting other resistance teams in setting up sabotage points to slow the advance of the Covenant to key defensive structures. Later reassigned to Infinity and swept into the general Spartan-IV program, she took the last name of Rawlins to keep her cover and was again instrumental in setting traps for invaders during the Battle of Infinity. During this time, she upgraded to Gen2 EOD armor and was later assigned to the Molon Labe for a short time for her explosives expertise. As a Spartan-III, much of her military history is inked over by ONI or credited to the Spartan-II program.
Equipment: The only permanent piece of kit Cassie employs is a custom MA5D ICWS she calls “Felicia” This weapon is equipped with a larger, 40 round magazine, and fires proximity air burst APHE rounds, identical to those found in certain versions of the M739 LMG. It is additionally fitted with an underslung M301 grenade launcher. It is a loud, and powerful upgrade to the standard rifle. All other weapons and ordinance is taken based on mission objectives and needs. Her armor is an altogether different story. A custom job based around GEN2 EOD, it features a Mk V GEN1 EOD helmet, CQC GEN1 shoulder plates, and an Unbreakable VISR system tailored for explosives ordinance use. The suit is painted a striking yellow and black, giving Cassie a passing resemblance to a very large and armored wasp.
Skills: Demolitions Expertise. Cassie has a way around explosive the likes of which are rarely seen, and among her class it was often joked that she could make a grenade out of the contents of a given person’s pockets. While exceptional at defusal, her true talent lies in the use of ordinance to destroy.
Flaws: Inexperience; while a veteran Spartan and no stranger to combat, Cassie has served more of a support role in her service and relies on superior firepower over tactical know-how to complete a firefight. Cassie also holds a deep running grudge for all things Kig-Yar, she finds them all bloodthirsty and disgusting creatures that deserve nothing more than the material used to put them down. Finally, Cassie is impatient, she doesn't like to wait around and prefers to get things done and over with quickly.
With that out of the way, I'll be getting the first establishing post up ASAP, today even, if time allows.
OnName: Jillian 'Jill' Munroe
Appearance: Jill would look like any other Marine, from her raven-black hair shaved to regulation standard to her seemingly omnipresent service cap tucked neatly underneath the crook of her arm when indoors (which, on a starship, is constantly), were it not for the work of the technicians of Project ORCHID. Now at a SPARTAN standard 6'6", she stands several heads taller than most of her former compatriots, let alone herself not that long ago. Her body, now a superhuman tower of muscle, bears the scars that most survivors of the Covenant's final campaign for Earth - the pucked, rippled skin that results from a direct hit from a plasma weapon. On her right arm, where the unit patch on a Marine BDU would be, is a tattoo of the unit she served with during that last, desperate struggle - 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, the victors of the Siege of Voi. The tattoo specifically is an arrowhead facing down the arm, otherwise filled in save for the silhouette of a bird of prey mid-strike. Incidental details include her eye color (blue), her weight (a SPARTAN-standard 289lb), and her teeth (several of her teeth on her left side are artificial, replacements for those lost during combat).
Rank: Spartan - former rank: Technical Sergeant (T/SGT)
Personality: Jill has a Marine's temperament, which is to say there is an invisible little switch in her head that she can flip between when around fellow noncoms and enlisted and when addressing anyone of a higher rank. Like any Marine, she is a swarthy-mouthed gremlin of a human being and an absolute wizard at profanity when under fire (or when bored). Having made it to the dreaded rank of Sergeant, she has lost her lower-enlisted knack for avoiding unwanted duties (not that SPARTANs generally are assigned to such menial, military labor), and has on occasion relished in exercising her rank and privilege on the poor s without three stripes on their BDUs. Jill is more stubborn than she is technically minded, an accidental savant who will throw herself at a problem until it "stops getting in the way and cooperates for once" (this is, of course, the censored version of the quote). With that comes a sense of pride for every accomplishment and proficiency she has, and a tendency to get into (generally) friendly competition with those around her in areas she considers her domain. When the chips are down, she is more than willing to throw herself into harm's way for the sake of a fellow warrior, and generally sees victory as secondary to the survival of the element (as she'd put it - again, censored - "you can't try again if everyone's dead").
Background: Born in Dublin, Ireland, Earth in 2527, Jill grew up on a planet preparing for the worst. Between wartime propaganda and a reasonable fear of extinction, Jill was always drawn towards a career in the UNSC military. Her father's failing health instead forced her to pursue a more civilian career, one that would keep her closer to home in case she was needed. After two years of technical college following graduating from high school in the spring of 2545, she would spend the next three years working as an electrician. In 2549, her father passed suddenly from a heart attack, leaving her and her other father alone to face an uncertain future. She would continue her work in the civilian field until 2551, when she was finally served her conscription papers. While privately elated to leave for the exciting and dangerous world of warfare and weaponry, her departure meant leaving her father behind. Her leaving for basic indoctrination would be the last time she saw any member of her family in person again. Enlisted in the Marine Corps, Jill was quickly recognized for her civilian skillset and was given a communication specialist MOS - a job that required the maintaining of radio and datalink networks while under fire. She was still a young Lance Corporal when the pivotal year of 2552 arrived, serving with the Earth-deployed 3/7 Marines when Reach fell, Halo was found and destroyed, and the war finally reached the birthplace of humanity. Like countless others, L/CPL Jillian Munroe fought and bled during the Covenant invasion, and was there when the ceasefire was signed in late 2552. Her service earmarked her for the SPARTAN-IV program, and was formally invited in 2557.
Equipment: Jill's primary ordinance is the MA5D ICWS, the standard-issue rifle of the UNSC military, with a M6H2 magnum as a sidearm. Her real weapon, as she would put it, is the backpack she carries with her on all combat operations. Inside is a bevy of technical equipment meant for use in EWAR, or electronic warfare - antennas and signal boosters for communication, scramblers and jammers for blocking enemy communications, wiretaps and EMP grenades, and more than a few spare radios. An AI might be objectively better at electronic warfare, but an AI requires a conduit to work through - all Jill needs is her hands, and that's more than enough. And, as she'd note, she's yet to see a computer field-assemble an antenna while under fire. Her MJOLNIR armor is a mix between the standard WARRIOR-class MJOLNIR kit (primarily the chest-piece and legs) and the specialized ANUBIS-class MJOLNIR kit (specifically the helmet and the gauntlets/arm-pieces). Her armor is painted an olive green, not unlike the color of a Battle of Earth-era Scorpion tank.
Skills: Basic combat proficiency. SPARTAN-level training and augmentation. Electronic warfare, communications, and electrical repair specialities based on over a decade of experience both in and out of the UNSC Marine Corps.
Flaws: Can be combative or territorial over areas of expertise she considers her own. Can be extremely blunt when talking to people at an equivalent rank or lower than her. Doggedly stubborn, occasionally to her own detriment. Does not have a "mission-first" mentality, which may lead to conflict in the field. Loud.
hello, @FarflungWanderer, and welcome to BZP! Jill is looking pretty good, but there is one area I'd like you to work on before I approve her for the game. Her flaws are a little one note, and I wouldn't consider loudness(assuming you mean her speaking volume) to be a flaw. I'd like see those expanded on a little.
Gotcha, I can do some expanding on that front. To be fair, I did finish that around 3:20am my time.
Oh, to clarify, "loud" meant more, erm, vocal.
Everything seems in order, consider Jill approved and ready to play!
Name: Cory ‘CASPER’ Lindbergh
Appearance: Cory wears a standard grey UNSC service uniform. A cap befitting his rank typically covers a buzz cut of grey hair. His right eye is blue, with his left eye being replaced with an ocular implant. The only remarkable thing about his pale skin is the large scar swiping from just above his left eyebrow to his upper cheek that crosses over where his left eye used to be.
Rank: Warrant Officer
Personality: Cory’s been around long enough to have learned to avoid getting too close to fellow crew members, and prefers to keep to himself when possible so he can focus more on his duties. Cory is not talkative; if he’s addressing you, there’s usually a good reason. He speaks in an extremely dry tone, with a distinct lack of emphasis and enthusiasm. Unless it's mission-related, Lindbergh keeps his opinions to himself whenever possible - he's not on board to make friends, but he's not there to make enemies either. He mostly acts like he just wants to get the job done and for his shift to end, which is one of the few opinions he won't refrain from bringing up if he's irritated by someone keeping the mission from proceeding.
Background: Cory Lindbergh was recently transferred to the Madrigal just before it set sail after it’s refurbishment. A career officer, Lingbergh has officially been a member of the USNC navy since obtaining several degrees from a university on Reach. Records of his prior assignments show various relatively short assignments to many UNSC ships of all shapes and sizes. It’s unclear why exactly he keeps getting reassigned – various reports cite issues raised by other crew, others mention medical complications, while one cites a short personal leave of absence after the fall of Reach. Cory was acting as support for a deep space scouting mission when Reach was destroyed, annihilating his wife and two daughters. Whenever he talks about old war stories it's difficult to tell what's true or what's a tall tale, and whether details are omitted or just lost from an aging memory.
Off the record, Lindbergh was inducted into ONI shortly after enlisting with the UNSC navy. Valued for his top-notch education and research experience, Lindbergh worked in ONI research and development for a few years before transitioning roles to be field support for sensitive ONI operations. Confidential ONI documents refer to him by the codename CASPER.
As far as the vast majority of the crew of the Madrigal is concerned, however, Cory is just a particularly grumpy officer who just transferred in and is too angry to retire.
Equipment: Cory carries two M6K magnum pistols in armpit holsters underneath the jacket of his UNSC service uniform at all times. For reconnaissance missions he remotely controls a modified MQ-96 support drone with his neural implants. This drone can be controlled anywhere within comms distance of the Madrigal. It has a full sensor suite and two basic, thin robot arms for manipulating objects. The ends of these arms can reconfigure themselves from their default claw form into multiple tools: ports for connecting physically to computer systems, a torch for slicing open and welding shut compartments, and a biofoam applicator for limited amounts of emergency medical assistance.
Hanging under the center of the drone, with a limited gimbal system providing stabilization, is a modified M7 submachine gun. Because it's mounted on a robotics platform, there isn't the same constraint of weight or human ergonomics, so much of the gun has been stripped away top the point of being almost unrecognizable. The magazine has been quintupled to hold 300 rounds within a custom magazine built into the robot's chassis. In an emergency, this internal magazine can be detached from the weapon, and a standard 60-round M7 magazine can be inserted (Preferably by an actual human, as doing so with the robot arms is extremely cumbersome.)
Skills: Cory is highly trained in various technical skills, such as breaking covenant encryption and eavesdropping on their communications networks. He’s very knowledgeable on the UNSC computer systems, equipment, and ships, although it’s not immediately clear how much of this is because of his decades of general experience or his more specialized training. Cory is a fast learner, having adapted to many new situations and new technologies over his long career.
Flaws: Cory is absolute in his beliefs, both a product of his experience, philosophy, and age. He despises being talked down to, especially by those he considers inferior in experience. When on a mission, he's extremely focused on the objective, to the point of ignoring the cost in human life to accomplish it. He has very little respect for any alien species, holding them in low regard for killing countless comrades and glassing his homeworld.
Name: Miguel Herrera
Gender: Son of Toledo Nuevo, y Domingo Herrera, thank you very much.
Appearance: Standing at 6'9 and weighing in at a lean 300 pounds (you know, for a Spartan), Miguel is naturally somewhere close to a foot taller than he was as a Bullfrog, but keeps mostly the same proportions of "athletic and balanced", if on the trimmer side of the equation. To any that knew him prior to his date with ORCHID, this means exactly squat, as the man now looms over them and feels like he's made of stone. But the more things change, the more they stay the same— he still has the same earthy eyes, strong onyx brows, and dashing, daring smile. His features are charmingly robust, accompanied by a close-cropped head of black hair and a serendipitous mustache that are mindful to not get terribly out of hand, though he half-jokingly contends that he should be allowed a "properly suave mane". Can tone his Exoplanetary Spaniard accent down on a mission. Happily refuses to everywhere else. His posture is quite lax for a Spartan, even considering he's a IV, and he'll quite readily chat and joke as though he were still a soldier of more mortal ken. Attributes the small, linear scars on each cheekbone to a near-miss involving a Sangheili energy sword, but the jury's out on whether or not it's as true as the "shaving with one's own combat knife" story.
Personality: That the stereotype of combat soldiers being hardcases has to an extent still survived into the 26th Century is no problem of Herrera's. Like many an ODST among those they recognize as "their kin", he is lighthearted, goofy, and seemingly carefree in interpersonal interactions, a gracious and welcoming host in his quarters and openly approachable outside of them. His lax affectations serve to disguise what they stem from in the first place— a full confidence in his own skill. Miguel may have that distinctly Hispanic flair for bombast, yes, but he has trained long and hard for this life of warfare, and it shows in his constant and consistent readiness for anything. When one rarely sleeps, they tend to find the time to keep themselves sharp everywhere else. Given his history within the UNSC prior to becoming a supersoldier, it is safe enough to say that he has no lack for bravery. Something of a rogueish streak within him rears its head in battle, especially in the face of Covenant forces— underhanded tactics and fighting with some panache are both perfectly acceptable psychological warfare to him, even if military discipline and a "strict code of honor" are sources of pride. Notably hides his darker emotions behind his usual veil of amiability and good humor.
Background: The son of a UNSC factory worker in the city of New Toledo, Miguel was born into a mild spring on September 29th, 2528, on the world of Alluvion. The childhood he enjoyed there was, by all accounts, rather normal— for a Border World with the spectre of War looming over it. It was certainly no coincidence that his father Domingo had a habit of "bringing his work home with him", per se, teaching his young son about the firearms he produced quite far ahead of schedule. But, one must remember, a little rough-and-tumble is to be expected on the colonial frontier. Childhood scuffles before dinner. Adventuring just a bit too high up the many trees and getting yourself stuck. Receiving earfuls from your mother for breaking something when trying to "hammer at the forge" like your father, while he tries to stay stern and angry atop bubbling mirth. Kid Stuff, really. As time went on, the rambunctious child, then preteen, began to seriously wonder where his path in life would lead. He wasn't half the man his father was, an opinion he knew he would always hold, but that pride he held in knowing his family was fighting the good fight, forging weapons to beat back their foes lead to a conflict of desires within the boy. Would he follow in the factory footsteps? Would he take his boundless energy into the front lines? For all he loved his father, he could not say while still so young.
And then 2542 happened, and the Covenant made the choice for him forever. New Toledo and its factories, being key strategic assets to the UNSC, were swiftly attacked by the Fleet of Particular Justice in the initial assault against the major population centers and spaceports. Given as the initial probes the year prior had stirred up a full military response by the UNSC, he had enough time to get out alive— but only barely, on one of the last evacuation vessels to retreat behind allied lines before the support fleet arrived and began to glass the surface of the planet, many millions of lives still succumbing to flames. One such was Domingo Herrera, having taken a solemn, unanimous vow alongside his foreman and fellow floor workers to produce supplies around the clock for the troops securing the escapes of their loved ones. Toledo Nuevo was beaten, yes, but they would never be broken.
Now robbed of the man he worshiped as a hero, the home he loved dearly, and the great majority of his family, Miguel found a gaping wound rent into his heart by fire... and with fire it filled again. It was a shame he were not just a few years younger— he would have made for a very good III. The young man, only 14, turned all of his precocious energy towards the fight with singular focus, that which he had so lacked in his life before. Even within the confines of the ship, before he relocated, he began to train his body— racing down its halls until he dropped. For the next 4 years, this continued without pause, for when a man of Alluvion takes a vow, only an act of God could stop him from seeing it through. Running, calisthenics, even taking up classes with a fencing instructor— all were towards a singular goal. September 29th, 2546 saw the enlistment of one very spirited marine. After psychological screening and, as he tells it, answering the question of "How do you feel about working with open flame?" with "Better than the aliens will.", he graduated boot and was shunted straight into a Hellbringers unit, where he defied the harrowing odds of survival for a full year. At the earnest nudging of one of his COs, he took a stab at ODST. After a year's work carrying a fuel tank on your back and attacking entrenched positions with streams of aerosolized rage, orbital drops didn't seem terribly awful by comparison, you know? The training was otherworldly, asking everything even a man like him had, but he refused to be Returned To Unit. Domingo Herrera did not raise, nor die to save the life of, a quitter.
The overseers of the program took one look at Miguel and slotted him into an additional training regimen, noting his bravery: Bound School. Colloquially, this made him a "tadpole", as it set his future to be within the "Bullfrogs", or ODST Air Assault Unit. He, of course, had no issue with the idea of a volatile backpack. For another two months he was drilled on AA tactics and the usage of the Series 8 Jetpack system in urban warfare, and then the PFC was off to the races. Serving under an even-handed officer, he was allowed just enough wiggle room for a few peculiarities to slip through in combat, but luckily seemed to understand when he was being reined in. His bravado did not supersede his fellowship with the rest of the fireteam, and he could hang tough with any of them in any situation. His drops took him to vistas such as the Siege of New Alexandria, Manassas, even a stint on Earth, in his ancestral home.
Following war's end, Miguel was one of the many that were more than happy to still take the fight to remnant forces that defied the armistice, blood still running hot at the notion. He continued to serve as a Bullfrog, skirmishing with belligerent forces until Spartan Ops approached him with the prospect of a three-week paid vacation on Mars. Ever the daredevil, the sales pitch hadn't even finished before he'd agreed.
Equipment: Cyclops Armor and an Air Assault helmet make for a sharp ensemble in urban camouflage. Magnum comes standard, as does the combat knife. Everything else... the phrase "Marines make due" has survived for well over 500 years for a reason. Given his experience in the role of Air Assault Jump-Jetting, it's a no-brainer that he'll be wearing the Series 8 if the need arises. He's got the training. The same can be said for the M7057 flamethrower, but these situations tend to be less common than the former.
Skills: Fearless, deft, and startlingly comfortable around most things involving flame, Miguel's main deviations from the general well-rounded Spartan wheelhouse find themselves mainly in his distinct specialization in the realm of Air Assault. A former "Bullfrog", or member of the ODST's Special Purpose Forces Air Assault unit in standard nomenclature, he specializes in the verticality and mobility necessary for urban combat, bounding from rooftop to rooftop via jetpack to secure and hold key firing positions. This naturally necessitated a comfort with CQB tactics as well— no sense in letting the floor below your objective go unattended when a group of Jackals could be nested within. Given that his military career began with a stint in the pyrotechnics division (dubbing themselves the "Hellbringers"), he's quite familiar with the M7057 weapon platform and acting in a small squad role. If you need a man to engage entrenched infantry or quickly take a point over difficult terrain and do either with a maximal score on style, look no further. As for his downtime hobbies, he quite enjoys the historical fencing of his ancestral homeland as well as cooking, finding the both of them therapeutic, even meditative.
Flaws: Has an overdeveloped sense of vengeance. The torching of New Toledo left many scars on its proudest son, and the largest of which was the hole in his heart shaped like his father that he wished to fill with the blood and ashes of the monolithic enemy that took him away. While the peace agreement has forced him, like anyone, to mellow internally, not even his affable air can fully hide his distrust for the races that were just yesterday the bitterest of foes. He's an insomniac, barely skirting the UNSC-mandated 150 minutes of sleep per 48 hour cycle— and his showmanship streak likely doesn't stem from purely clinical idea of "psychological warfare" as he claims. Perhaps seeing demons wreathed in flame while dreaming left him with a few ideas on how to even the score, but we all know the saying of what happens to those who play with fire.