The scene moved across the screen as a blur. Smudges of ruddy gray and brown tones, smattered with orange plumes whirling across the frame. A recording from a helmet camera, the wearer struggling to regain their bearings. Rolling, or tossed airborne. The view bounced to a halt, turning quickly to the right. Jolting to a rest, the left side of the picture partially obscured by rough ground, but at very least stationary enough for an intelligible picture to form even through the distortion of pixilation and static.
Whoever the wearer of the helmet was, they weren't alone. Nearer flashes of yellow and white stood out against the twisted and curling flames, casting sharp silhouettes across dark gnarled ground and the humanoid forms moving across the frame. The automatic gunfire created overlapping flares of light which competed for dominance to highlight their features in clarity, causing a strange mosaic effect in that single relatively lucid moment.
Matte black armor plates pressed to human forms. Silvered visors reflecting the havoc of battle back out at this scarred world they currently inhabited. Somehow symbolic that this warfare, this destruction, was all that the viewer-be it their comrade apparently watching them from the ground now, or the eyes watching this recording-needed to understand of the wearers of those armor suits. They sighted down their weapons from behind mirrored visors, and their souls were of the conflagration which their bodies were thrown into. Spilling death out to meet death, in their own way at peace with what was. Born in, and of battle.
ODSTs. Orbit Drop Shock Troopers. Often referred to as Helljumpers. Unpleasant a place hell must have been to jump into, they somehow looked at home in the chaos.
"Cover!" A voice barked through the din of the battle, elevated over the constant whine of plasma weapons fire and bark of assault rifles, presumably by the auditory filters of the helmet the video was coming from. "Rick's hit!" The voice was elevated in natural excitement of the battle, but not raised in pitch to betray alarm. By sound alone, it was the voice of a relatively young man. Hardly more than a boy, who ought to have been a stranger to this setting of ultimate violence.
The view panned away from the three, who even in the brief stillness of the helmet's owner had still been advancing and firing. MA5B Assault Rifles shouldered, they were rushing in lock step firing at targets off screen to the camera's perspective. It appeared the squad was coming up on a rise in the battered terrain, a slab of what was most likely shattered concrete-or perhaps the former face of a building?-forming an artificial hill in their path. The video captured for a moment the jagged ground, then the upper edge of the slab, then snapped to look to the right. An assault rifle held in a single handed grip jumping back and forth between spots of motion. Green and blue and violet tracer fire still whizzed overhead, the ground shook and thumped. The world seemed to be thrumming and shaking around them.
"I'm fine," the voice was louder, evidently that of the wearer of the helmet. A deep, curt grumble. The initial blur of light and smudges of color had been this Trooper tumbling head over heels, blown to the ground by some great force... or stumbling then falling, rolling to the seated position he wound up in. The camera still showed a view behind the group, weapon still lingering toward the bottom right of the frame. He was covering the group's back now, despite being down.
"Then get the fuck up!" An immediate response to the announcement that he was 'fine'. The camera view turned again, angled up the rise and almost immediately having the view blocked by one of those armor suited men and his dark helmet with silver visor. One of the group had slowed and run back down the slope to extend an armored hand to the wearer of the helmet. In the reflection offered in his comrade's visor, the wear of the battle was apparent. If there was paint on the armor of either of them, it may have been where there were now smoldering and cracked patches. The one extending his hand was missing a segment of plate on the back of his right gauntlet. A faint crack ran down his visor as well. At some point in the fray, something very hot had passed over both of them.
His left hand shot out into the frame of the video, grasping the fore arm beyond the hand extended his way. Again the image shifted quickly-the trooper being tugged suddenly to his feet. The chatter of outgoing gunfire had increased vastly during the short exchange, and the resulting adjustment was smooth and orchestrated.
"Reloadin'," another voice crackled over the audio. A levity to this one, which betrayed easily a man who either wasn't driven to fear easily or tended to be the sort who found everything just a little bit funny outside of a firefight. "Bishop, use it or lose it."
The video showed a quick scramble up the battered concrete slope, then a jarring drop which briefly filled the image with static. The trooper had flopped down on his chest, the MA5B appearing at the bottom right of the frame once again… muzzle flashes dominated that corner of the screen, accompanied by the insistent report of the automatic weapon being fired from so nearby. No tracers from his weapon, but the effects of his firing could be easily tracked in the distance. An Elite, sprinting at a frightening pace from right to left across what appeared to be the charred remains of a causeway lurched to the side and stumbled at the sudden hail of impacts. The large, angular figure of the hunched creature flashed and lit up with the molded covering of energy shielding activating to protect it-and the fiercely determined alien regained footing after the initial burst. Elongated head thrown back, multiple jaws opening in what must have been a terrifying roar as an almost blindingly bright glowing blade of energy crackled into existence from a handle clutched in its right hand.
The advanced armor system the creature wore (which had protective shielding where as the armor of this trooper and his comrades evidently did not) kept it from being run through by the burst, and the momentary stumble apparently wasn't enough to derail its attempt to bear down on a downed human soldier attempting to crawl away from it.
A flicker of the feed and the image zoomed. 'Rick' using some cue internal to the helmet to interface with his armor and focus the image of his visor closer, thus altering the video feed as well. Another burst of rounds, and now with the creature-fully seventy yards distant-enlarged in the view, the line traced across its shielded body was easy to see. Six impacts, sparking and flashing that shield, a neat line drawn from right thigh to mid sternum. Kill shots, if only it weren't for the shield. The creature just continued after the downed soldier, now ignoring the impacts.
BOOM. The commanding, deafening report of a Stanchion Gauss Rifle briefly flooded the feed's audio. A sharp thunderous crack like some great hammer had found a way to shatter the very air around them. The four-jawed head of the Elite blossomed into a dark purple mist, the rest of the massive body almost lazily dropping thereafter, energy sword blinking out as what was left of the murderous creature crumpled on top of the soldier it was just about to end the life of.
"...Ho...Goddamn." Muttered from the owner of the helmet as the picture was zoomed back out to unmagnified proportions.
"Using it," came a fourth voice finally. Casually, conversationally. Brothers in arms. Brothers.
"Run across open ground, Eagle has a Stanchion, gonna have a real bad day." The third voice remarked, followed by a quiet huff of laughter from the others.
"Les'go." The deeper voice, which muttered from within the helmet. Watching the video feed, one could determine that this was 'Rick' who had been down a moment ago. The frame jumped again as the trooper pushed himself from the ground, jerking about and bouncing again as he heaved himself over the forward edge of that concrete rise and slid down the other side. Dust kicked up at the end of the slope, and the helmet was for the first time since the beginning of the recording up to standing height. 'Rick' wasn't a short man, by all comparisons with his environment. The rifle appeared again in the right bottom corner, the image bobbed with natural movements of his head. He was running, and soon he was firing.
"Onto open ground? Got any witty ones for this shit, Bishop?" The voice of the trooper who'd helped him up. He sounded amused, not opposed.
"Feet first. Every day's a bad day. Think we're immune." 'Bishop' quipped, his audio punctuated by the chatter of his own rifle discharging.
"Worse for that guy," 'Rick' put in. The video showed a sprint toward cover, a hard jolt as his body was turned and he slammed his right shoulder into the unyielding metal side panel of a burned out truck. A creature which was shorter and wirier than the hulking elite they'd taken down previously leapt out of the vacant driver's side window. It appeared vaguely avian in nature-in the instant the alien creature was fully visible-with large eyes and a beak like face and what could only be called plumage cresting its head. It squawked something which may have been alarm or may have been a threat of violence at 'Rick', flecking the visor with spittle.
He'd responded by reaching out with his left arm, grabbing the right arm of the creature as it attempted to raise a green glowing weapon toward his chest, fired off a half dozen rounds from his assault rifle blindly into its legs and then forcibly encouraging it to discharge that brightly glowing weapon until the underside of its own chin. The result was an upward and outward explosion of sizzling alien brain matter and beak chips.
"And that guy-GRENADE OUT!" The voice of the trooper who'd helped him up. 'Rick' was busy tossing away what was left of his squawking assailant and pushing forward again, so whatever his comrade had done was unseen. The ensuing thump of a fragmentation grenade soon after was easy enough to pick out even through the audio filters of the recording.
"They're not oh-dee-ess-tees." Said the one they called Bishop.
"He's not anything, anymore." Quipped back by the one who'd helped 'Rick' up. By their tones, for all the world-whatever world they were on-they seemed to be enjoying themselves.
"HAH! Thaaat's a double. You see that shit? 's how it's done Faulton." 'Rick' spoke up again, through heavy breaths. They were sprinting again. The feed shuddered; the camera view pitched forward as chunks of concrete and pebbles and assorted other debris rained down around them after a sharp white flash which seemed to originate from behind the group. He'd almost been pushed over again, presumably, by the overpressure of whatever had just made a sincere attempt at causing them to explode. As the camera view came back up, two more of the avian creatures (also stumbling from the explosion) were scrambling to stand. 'Rick' had leveled his rifle and fired into the back of one attempting to pull itself into a standing position with the help of what might have been the remnants of a phone booth. Jerking form the impact of the rounds it slumped out of sight-the second was shrieking already by the time 'Rick' turned that way. It had lost its left leg from its oddly backward turning knee down to a hail of fire behind 'Ric', and he almost offhandedly placed a three round burst into the side of its head as it fell.
"What? I didn't see two." Protested by 'Faulton' over the continuing sound of gunfire.
"That's because I'm awesome." 'Rick' stopped running briefly, as they'd turned down an alley. He didn't look down to reload, but the quick succession of clacks and brief lift of his rifle into his line of sight betrayed what he was doing.
"No pics no proof bro." The fourth voice, so rarely heard the far, commented briskly. Participating in the constant banter of the group, if of fewer words.
"You're full of sh-" 'Rick' was responding, but was cut off by the voice belonging to the trooper who'd helped him up. Faulton.
"Damn son, how many do you have?" They waited for the thump, then they were moving again. Down the alley, out into a similarly bombed out street-back into the alley, because they were answered with a storm of alien weaponry. Crisscrossing green and blue bolts etched the walls as they suddenly changed direction, strange pink needles lodging into nearby obstacles and then exploding into smaller crystal slivers. Fault lobbed grenades in their wake, and the thumps shook the feed.
"You didn't see the ammo drop?" Faulton huffed out, briefly overtaking 'Rick' and moving into the frame. He turned to put his back against a corner, reloading awaiting the others.
"No." Bishop answered him. 'Rick' took his place beside Fault, the banter distracting them none at all from the precision of their squad coordination. Rick had his right arm against Fault's chest plate, rifle half raised. Prepared to roll around the corner while Fault covered the opposite direction, thus never leaving the group exposed from either side. They'd learned almost immediately from rushing out of the end of an alley and taking fire.
"I meant the local militia who thought they were helping out." Fault muttered, a smirk on his voice. "Pretty well equipped for a bunch of farmers, gotta say…"
'Rick' turned toward him, so that they were nearly helmet to helmet. "Too soon, man…" Rumbled at his squad mate, though with a quiet huff of amusement himself.
"I'm just saying." The unconvincing, halfhearted defense.
"You are the worst kind of per-" 'Bishop' was-though with the same halfhearted tone-reprimanding 'Fault's moral standing, when he was cut off similarly to Rick.
"GRENADE OUT!" From the video feed, 'Rick' was watching as he in one swipe removed yet another grenade from beside his chest plate, thumbed the pin free and tossed the grenade backward around the corner. 'Rick' immediately rolled around him to lean out, rifle twitching between two targets which were impossible to clearly identify at that rate of movement, sprayed at each, and then came back around the corner.
As return fire was streaking by, and Faulton was firing past him in the opposite direction, the grenade went off. The fire from that direction immediately halted. Eagle's oversized gauss rifle was briefly visible at the edge of the frame as he moved out, and then 'Rick' spilled back out fully into the fray with the group, leading them to continue on.
They bantered the entire time. The four voices sometimes overlapping, sometimes calling out relevant information, sometimes remarking on a kill, sometimes jibing at one another, sometimes barking out harsh laughs, sometimes swearing, sometimes cheering. Their comms chatter did not at all match the cadence of the battle, and the reality the video feed portrayed. As they'd advanced, it became purely apparent why nearly everything seemed to be burning. Below them, the ground was black. Black, but glossy. Vitrified soil and concrete… Glass.
The edges of 'Rick's vision showed that the red-black sky was actually a limited canopy. Off to the right and left, swatches of blue sky could be seen. He rarely looked. UNSC vehicles of all sorts dominated the sky in those areas, a veritable hornet's nest of afterburners and missile exhaust streaks.
So then this squad was, for whatever reason, intentionally in the least advisable place possible. They, and the other ODST groups with them, were charging up what was almost certainly the fresh path carved by one of the Covenant's terrible ship borne weapons. Fighting in the scar left on a colony, on a planet, by an act of attempted genocide.
Around them, pure horror of warfare. Broken buildings, cooked ground, broken bodies and charred flesh. They seemed to pay as little mind to fallen ODSTs as they did hulking Elites and birdlike Jackals. They ran, they fired, they killed. At times they melded with other squads, but inevitably left them behind. 'Rick' always drifted back to the point position, so often the others were out of sight. He urged them forward; he always dove in first, broke cover first, and always from over his head and around his shoulders came an unrelenting hail. He and 'Faulton' even appeared to favor swiping the weaponry of fallen enemies. The field was a weapon, the chaos of the battle and the sheer insanity of where they were positioned among it was their advantage.
The squad was good at what they were doing. Too good at it. The killing was a game, to them. Ending lives had lost its meaning. These sort of men who, each in their way, could never have survived in peacetime.
Steadily as they surged forward, their target became apparent. Skyward in the distance, the fruit of that frenzy of UNSC air cover was dominating the view just over shattered and melted buildings. A large Covenant warship. Flaming, smoking, pockmarked with thousands of impacts. A bulbous, lumbering elephant in the sky being picked apart by entirely too many gnats. It was losing altitude, quickly. Shuddering and listing unhealthily, falling to wherever would be its grave. The weapon in its belly which fired a sustained beam of blinding blue-violet plasma into the ground was still active, wantonly destroying anything that just happened to be under the doomed vessel. The ODSTs were charging straight for it.
"WOOO!" Cried from within the helmet playing host to the video. "Bring it down!" The UNSC aircraft of course couldn't hear him, but in the rush of the moment he cheered all the same.
"How're we getting in?" From the quieter of the four.
"Lots of holes Eagle, pick one." 'Rick' quipped back. They'd darted to another rough outcropping of cover, and finally stopped advancing. Stacked up with backs against the nearly crumbling wall, Rick farthest to the left by the look of things. Watching the feed this long, any observer knew what came next when they entered this position. Rick would sprint out first, firing and then the rest would follow. Deep, quick breaths could be heard over the audio of all except 'Eagle', who seemed to be just fine with the continuous sprinting.
"That's what she said?" Bishop remarked, hands meanwhile reflexively checking and reloading his weapon yet again. A blurring series of movements, a staccato of clack-clack-slide-clack-pop-clack-clack, a very brief downward glance was the only hint that he was perhaps slightly less experienced than 'Rick' or 'Eagle' who at no point needed to look down at their weapon to know its orientation.
'Rick' started with a huff of a laugh, "To me, yeah. To you, it's probably just more like-"
Cut off by Faulton. "…is that a tank?" And answered with staggered laughter from the four. Eagle grumbled 'Oh yeah right…' "No, I'm fuckin' serious. Look man! That is a fuh.… that is a mother fucking tank. Fucking fuck. Fuck."
The scene shifted as 'Rick' turned his head, following the furious gesturing back out beyond their cover. Through the drifting smoke, one bulbous edge of a hovering Wraith in the distance was relatively easy to make out. Off to the side of their path, but present enough that a well-placed plasma mortar could turn them all into flaking carbonized skeletons in an instant. For that matter, their 'cover' suddenly wasn't nearly so effective. The video feed lingered a moment as he stared, likely mulling over the issue.
"Thought we'd be clear of armor going up the scar." Faulton griped sourly. "Thanks, command. Thanks a lot. You can just ask me to bend over, you know… don't even need an order…" The younger trooper sounded a bit more tense now. The frame moved, turning from the heavy armor looming in the distance to the trooper just beside 'Rick' and then gave a brief bob which may have been a re assuring nod. Followed up by a metal on metal thunk. 'Rick' had just elbowed him in the chest. A universally understood, man up, kiddo jab.
"It doesn't know we're here." Rick began quickly. Taking in a deep breath, most likely to keep himself from panting. When he needed to assume a command role, it appeared he slid right into it. Be steady, be firm, make a call. "So we wait. We're not alone. Five squads still intact moving up behind us. We wait for them."
"They'll get in our way. Tell 'em about it?" Eagle's question, and he leaned forward a bit to get a clear look at Rick beyond the others. He was in the back of the lineup.
"Nah. Let them do them. Then we make a big purple fire pit out of it and keep it moving." None of them batted an eye at the implication. Silvered visors covered their eyes, but otherwise body language made it abundantly clear that none of them cared much for the concept of sacrificing others for the mission. Let the other squads stumble across it, let one or two of them get fried by the Wraith, take it out in the confusion. They just didn't care about the lives involved. "They'll want to coordinate, and that'll slow us down. Any other squads present with higher marks in CQC than us? Is Echo back there?"
A short pause, then Eagle replied. He'd tipped his head to he left, quickly tapping on a datapad mounted to his left arm. Taking the time to check. Casual about it all… just too casual. "That's a negative."
"It's on us anyway, then. Fighting to the damn ship isn't the objective. Getting in, getting that core, that's our prize. So we're gonna do that." The frame moved from right to left slightly. 'Ric' looking directly at each of them, checking for any dissenting opinions. Fault nodded. Bishop gave and up nod of approval. Eagle held his head level, then flicked the cover on his datapad closed. Curtly nodding a moment later as he began reloading the gauss rifle and checking the heat sink which was steaming on its side.
A soft sigh, most likely inaudible to the others in the squad but caught by the video feed from 'Rick' as he nodded in reply. They hunkered down and waited. Two long minutes dragged on before the other squads caught up to them-the chaos erupted as expected. They waited for the Wraith to fire once, catching an entire team of four off guard as they cleared cover. The flash and detonation from the plasma mortar was blinding, causing a white wash out of the screen briefly. 'Ric' had leaned out to watch, and the ambushed squad seemed to have simply vanished into the light and thunder.
"Hold," Rick's voice. Curt, flat. They waited, they watched. Teams moved to engage, having no choice other than forward. The HUD (Heads Up Display) shown on the inside of this trooper's visor had been mostly barren until this point. A small mission timer, a small blinking blue square with a name beside it when each of his team members spoke. Now blue triangles moved across the display, marking the locations of those other soldiers.
Two teams moved off far right to flank the Wraith tank, one pushed forward from the other side. This placed 'Rick' and his team on the near side, and likely assumed to be joining the solo team from their flank. That placed their odds of not being the group fired upon at one and four. "My mark, we unload and get by it. Do not stop to engage. Run and shoot."
So he was altering the implied plan. They'd play the rabbit, which would temporarily place them at far higher risk. Yet he spoke with such confidence, absolute certainty in his call, and perhaps that was what caused the others to forget to question it. Surely he was counting on his team being an immediate threat, but fast enough that the hail of concentrated fire elsewhere would force the tank to engage other targets. A smart pilot would assume the group charging was a distraction, trying to turn it away from the others. A smart pilot wouldn't fire on them, but engage the larger groups. Fortunately, destroying the tank wasn't their objective. 'Rick' just wanted to get them by the thing. The other groups were almost certain to be wiped out.
A short pause, and 'Rick' seemed just fine with that. To the squad lead, it would appear that knowing how a battle would go (and that his team would make it through to the objective) was worth far more to him than eight more lives.
The Wraith drifted to turn back around, betrayed by the deep thrum its drives caused which shook the ground. It fired a frustration shot at what the pilot likely assumed was a good place for humans to hide, and 'Rick' responded immediately.
"Mark!" The voice within the helmet barked, and then all was again a rush of movement. Rounds bounced harmlessly from the thick, curved armor of the Wraith tank as they sprinted. There was an instant of tangible hesitation, then the three other squads opened up in unison. The Wraith was turning to track the sprinting team, then glided back around opposite to their direction to face the storm of fire coming from its flank, elevated in what was left of the second story of a building.
The video feed didn't show the Wraith firing, but the discharge was easy to hear. On the HUD, six of the eight blue triangles blinked out, and the remaining two began flickering earnestly with a small red '+' embedded in each. Their armor automatically signaling for a medic. The team just continued running, the video feed again bobbing from the charge and jumping left and right and up and down with the assault rifle just barely visible at the bottom right once again. It almost seemed to just be glued there, something which looked far simpler than it was. There was an exceptional athleticism to the fact that this trooper always ran with his rifle up and ready, following his line of sight.
"Think we're clear-," Faulton, sounding out of breath. "What do we do about that thing now?"
Bishop huffed wryly in reply, "Now it's not our problem."
"Marked the location for the consideration of Command. An Anvil or six should help." Eagle, sounding as at ease as ever.
"Aren't you a good Samaritan…" Rick remarked, his grin audible in his tone.
"We've gotta get out, too. Just sayin'."
"Heh. Right… Guns up Orion. Let's go get this done."
Over the audio, a voice crackled in which certainly was not a part of the tight wasn't knit squad. It sounded distant, disrupted by interference, and female. A transmission, captured by the playback. "This is Lieutenant Sara Chevalier." Even though the distortion, the Lieutenant sounded harried. Irritated about something, and a bit short on breath. "Brace for impact of Covenant vessel. Echo's probably danger close, but we're going in as soon as it's groundside. In case of loss of contact, we will tag our point of entry. Chevalier out."
A moment of hesitation. Three heads turned toward 'Rick', and he looked between the three. The quiet lingered until Bishop finally voiced what they were all likely thinking. "…how in the fuck did she get ahead of us?"
Across the video, in the top left, white letters scroll in quick succession. Something not a part of the playback, something being typed in.
…ERROR: INSUFFICIENT CLEARANCE
A cool, pleasantly detached female voice calmly recites the report after it flashes into existence on the screen; an AI.
"New Hatfield was a small industrial colony, mostly valued for its vast heavy mineral reserves and convenient proximity to the population center Reach (fastest clocked slipspace jump logged at only three hours and twenty minutes [3.33 hrs]) the colony was reported attacked by Covenant forces and 'glassed' November 13th 2249.
New Hatfield was the first of many UNSC operative zones in a new wave of deployments and programs centered upon ensuring UNSC stability in the event that the war were to drag on for another few decades or, inversely, the war were to come to a conclusion with the loss of Earth. New Hatfield was one colony which the Covenant did not destroy from low orbit. Assets were allocated into investigating their goals, halting them, and furthering other UNSC operations in the region.
SPARTANs from the various active programs were in short supply and, counter intuitively to their highly classified nature at the time, drew entirely too much attention to be viable for these projects. It was decided that, while SPARTAN IIs and SPARTAN IIIs were being deployed elsewhere, these engagements were best handled by 'lower visibility' troops. The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers were employed heavily in this, giving rise to a series of fierce but relatively unspoken engagements throughout UNSC space.
At New Hatfield, Covenant forces were noted to be paying far less attention to quelling the local human population, and far more attention to digging for artifacts which were strewn across the planet's surface. Conveniently, the largest of these dig sites was centered very near to the single major city and capital of New Hatfield, Silo. Rather than attempt to outsmart and out dig the Covenant forces there, UNSC forces hatched a far more brutal plan which included crippling a Covenant cruiser in low orbit and inserting ODST squads to recover data and/or Covenant prisoners to aid in the decryption of Forerunner artifacts.
The assault on the cruiser did not go as planned. The ship's shields held up far better than was predicted and, while it was damaged heavily by MAC rounds fired from orbit, it began to drift over Silo and in response to being attacked began glassing the city. The heavily damaged cruiser quickly lost altitude and, rather than consider the attempt a loss, the crippled cruiser was still regarded as an opening for the mission. While Covenant forces flooded in to support the cruiser, ODSTs were dropped in the only remaining clear path to the cruiser.
Directly into Silo, where they would follow the trail of scorched ground to the cruiser's point of impact and attempt to secure the crash site.
Of the twenty seven squads deployed on the operation, eleven were lost fighting to the cruiser [Troopers refer to this as the battle of the 'Scar']. Ten were reported to have reached the crash site, entered the cruiser, or otherwise dropped from contact near to the objective and were never recovered. Three squads made it to the crash site, and were later extracted successfully.
ODST 192nd squads E-27 "Echo", O-82 "Orion", and S-22 "Sigma" were recovered. Squad E-27 is credited with recovery of the Covenant data core."
…LOADING SQUAD PROFILE
Active Members: 4
Active Since: July 2246
Squad Specialization: Assault/Infiltration
LT Sara Jennifer Chevalier [ODST E-27 4045405] Lead
SSGT Eric Marks [ODST E-27 3029662]
PVT Nicholas (Wally) Walters [ODST E-27 3929665]
PVT Nadia (Crim) Crimea-Jackson [ODST E-27 4929667]
"You're going to like this. There aren't very many ODST squads which rate as recommended for high grade infiltration. Their stunning capacity to be… subtle… most likely stems from the unique experience of the squad leader. Lieutenant Chevalier transferred from a private academy on Earth to-hm. Actually, that has been redacted. Interesting. A moment-there it is.
After graduating with high honors from an ONI officer's academy on… Oh, that's redacted as well. Let me paraphrase.
Lieutenant Chevalier is a bit of a badass. Experience with ONI operations, a shadowy past beforehand, and an inexplicable application to become an ODST makes her uniquely qualified for this leadership position. This is a rare occasion where an on-paper asset translated into field worth effectiveness. Echo's record is sterling, often finding means to complete objectives in more cost effective and less destructive means. The squad is notoriously run a bit hard, leading to a 'revolving door' as far as personnel goes.
The current staff is kept on a tight watch under the Lieutenant. They'll get things done. Basically the cream of the crop. I give assessments, not recommendations."
…LOADING SQUAD PROFILE
Active Members: 4
Active Since: July 2246
Squad Specialization: Assault/Demolition/Occupation
SGTMAJ Darion (Ricochet) Argo [ODST O-82 4044915] Lead
CPL Emil Faulton [ODST O-82 4929662]
SGT Kaiya (Eagle) Szenov [ODST O-82 3729793]
CPL James Bishop [ODST O-82 4929667]
"ODST oh-eight-two has an… involved history. I will attempt to be succinct. Because of the classified nature of many of their deployments, there is no clear estimate for precisely how many deployments the squad has endured. Even to this ONI inquiry, and your particularly high level of clearance, I am unable to pull precise details of large swaths of time.
What I am able to recover may shed some doubt on their eligibility for the SPARTAN Four program. Undeniably efficient, concerns stem not from their mission success rate but from the alarmingly low survival rate of assets not directly attached to these missions. More than one mission log suggests that oh-eight-two tends to stand apart from other ODSTs, both on leave and during deployments.
If I may say, ma'am, it seems to me that they are a relic of the war rather than a shining example of heroism. There was a time when their breed of soldier, single mindedly pursuing objectives, could be excused by higher powers. Perhaps even a time when incidents such as being responsible for the unauthorized self-destruct of an orbital platform-thus causing numerous perhaps avoidable civilian casualties, and a particularly egregious turn of events at New Hatfield-could be overlooked.
In this post-war period, their brutal streak may perhaps be excessive. Have you considered decommission?"
…LOADING SQUAD PROFILE
Active Members: 4
Active Since: May 2243
Squad Specialization: Assault/Demolition/Occupation
CPT Keirin (Gecko) Graham [ODST S-14 2620914] Lead
GYSGT Samantha Goulden [ODST S-14 4929662]
PFC Sojourner (Sojo) James [ODST S-14 3838782]
PFC Zeth (ZJ) James [ODST S-14 3838781]
"ODST oh-one-four is known to be a very tight knit group. Exemplary track record, remarkable habit of actually following orders… Well, you may be very fortunate in this selection. To squads in one ba-
Belay that. There is an interesting… a truly alarming excerpt here about the ORION project. Squad leader Keirin Graham has tags running back to the ORION project. I can tell you that he is perhaps the best field sniper short of SPARTAN 58-Linda, and I don't think I need to explain much more than that."