In an alternate reality of the future after the destruction of the Halo Rings, Earth was vengefully destroyed by an extraterrestrial threat known as "The Covenant." Despite mankind's valiant resistance against the unruly alliance of alien races, factions of human nations were forced into hiding in some of the darkest corners of space. Now orphans without an ancestrial homeworld and at odds with a vindictive cult, humanity's only beacon of survival lies in the courage of a few super soldiers--The Spartans.....
Not a lot is known of reformed thief, Arael; not even his last name. Bearing such an ambiguious birth, myth would bestow the man with his own legends and local fables. Some say a gypsy died giving birth to an illegtimate son, while others say he was cast out from the sky so he could pilfer and torment people as punishment for their evil deeds. Historical accuracy suggests he was born and bred homeless in the slums of a mainly Romani Andalusian neighborhood in pre-apocolyptic Spain, where a youthful Arael would take to the streets to steal for survival-- and at times, for pure enjoyment.
He was not alone, however. The infamous bandit had a posse behind him, consisting of orphan boys and girls without a place to call home. Nomads, cast out by society, they would pillage and sack places of importance(banks, hospitals, markets, holy sites, etc.) throughout the Iberian Peninsula, as revenge for their neglect and abandonment. Robberies would become alarmingly bold to the point that the Spanish government issued a special warrant for the arrest of Arael and his neferious clan of misfits. The warrant would later be revoked. Oni, an intelligence service of the United Nations Space Command, expressed its interest in Arael to the European body and assured his imminent deportation from the nation.
On an espionage trip in Spain, Oni personnel covertly observed the "most wanted man in all of Europe" carry out a sensitive and ultimately successful bank caper. Fascinated by Arael's leadership abilities to systematically command a small group of kids, the heads of the Oni project, SPARTAN-II, were certain they had discovered their last, ideal candidate--despite being slightly older than the mandated requirments for candidacy-- for their program and abducted the nine-year-old. Like him, 177 other candidates of both genders were selected involuntarily, to be sent to the human colony planet of Reach, to begin the rigorous training for an ambitious superhuman project.
Once on Reach, every candidate would be given a service tag number and would be refered to by it. Being the final selectee, Arael would be dubbed "Arael-177." In the first week of introductory training, four trainees would commit suicide, due to their stressful circumstances. Enraged for being their captive, Arael lashed out by trying to escape the base; though, he was unsuccessful in his attempt. Over the course of the months, he slowly became somewhat submissive, realizing that there could be no escape for him and that he would be without a future back on Earth. Furthermore, he quite enjoyed the lessons and exercises, like learning the art of combat, strategy, foraging to survive, politics, history, technology, advanced sciences, mathematics, literature, and more. Having never gone to school or any form of educational institute, Arael came to terms on how devoid of knowledge he's been all his life.
Old Habits Die Hard
It was a gusting autumn morning. The instructors rallied the trainees at a nearby forest, ten miles from the nearest UNSC outpost, for a competitive exercise. The top ten ranking candidates--Arael being one of them-- would compete to retrieve a golden orb. Nine orbs would be scattered across the tree-covered terrain. He or she who fails to recover one will have to survive in the wilderness as punishment.
During the course of the exercise, Arael failed to locate a orb. Feeling absolutely sure that the others have retrieved all of the remaining objects, 177 devises a plan to return victorious, instead of returning in shame. The cunning boy plottingly runs into an opponent who went by the name "Andrew-176." In the midst of confusion, Arael shrewdly switched the golden orb in Andrew's pack with a yellow fruit, native to Reach.
Arael's devilish ploy worked, and Andrew was sentenced one week alone in the wilderness, where he would need to survive. A week later, the Chief Petty Officer sought out to look for the boy, only to stumble to a decomposing corpse. The body was identified as Andrew, who appeared to have suffered from severe malnutrition. The coroner concluded after the autopsy, that 176 was ineffective in foraging for substantial sustenance, thus resorted to mistakenly eating a yellow poisinous fruit.
The revelation of Andrew's death did not settle well with Arael. It was an unfortunate outcome, one that he did not mean to be the cause of. He believed what he did was mere jest. Aching with guilt, 177 confessed the truth to his training officer and was sent to a militarty court. The jury unanimously agreed on a punishment for the gulity Arael. He would need to repeat Andrew's punishment, but for a length of a month. Arael would outlive the sentence and return to his training; however, his percentile rank was greatly affected, due to his latest violation, placing him in the very bottom. His return was met with disdaining reception, and would later be bullied by his peers.
Old demons from the past would come to haunt him in his sleep. All those moments he found fruitful when thieving seemed fruitless to him now; but he could not comprehend why. It was not until the Chief Petty Officer approached him one day, to give him an incentive. In his words:
"I am giving you this one last shot. You screw it up, and you're back living as a bottom feeder in the slums. I know exactly what you are. You're mad. You steal, because you're mad. Because someone stole something from you. They took the only thing that gives your existence any meaning at all-- you're identity. You've given misfortunes the permission to take control of you, to mold you, to turn you into something you are not without even so much as a fight. If you can have the destiny to become something greater than you can ever manage, take it. That's the only thing worth stealing."
And after that, the Chief Petty Officer handed Andrew's tags over to Arael and left. 177 promised himself to always carry it, to serve as a cautionary tale whenever the time to make a moral decision turns up. So that next time, he will do the right thing.
Homecoming Kings and Queens
The augmentation process was carried out, as soon as the candidates reached puberty. Extensive surgeries and radical biological changes were made on the subjects, transforming their physique forever. Some would die; and others would become crippled. Those who survived augmentation would inherit extraordinary strength, speed, reflexes, durability, longer life expectancy, and enhanced intelligence. A 12-year-old Arael would exhibit the peak-shaped body of a twenty-year-old.
Early versions of the advanced exoskeleton suits, known as The MJOLNIR Power Assualt Armor, were given to the first "augmentation-successful" generation of SPARTAN-II's. Harsh training preceded the premature homecoming, in order that the soldiers may become "combat ready" as soon as possible. The emergence of The Covenant, ushered a bloody age of war. Mankind would unite under one cause-- survival. Witnessing a certain prelude of their extinction, their efforts pointed to the Halo Rings. Designed by an inter-galactic ancient race, these installations stretched across the galaxy, as a last resort to stop the infectious spread of the virulent Flood. Inadvertently, all organic life would be destroyed in the process. To stop The Covenant, would mean to stop them from activating the rings for their own herectic beliefs and fulfillments.
The Spartans were immediately deployed on the ground. Arael-177 was commander of a six-man squad--Pegasus Team. They handled major civilian evacuation missions on Reach, when the first glassing began. A life-changing moment during the invasion of Reach for Arael, was when he failed to save all but one girl. Her family was killed in a crossfire skrimish. She was a reminder of himself-- an orphan-- alone and angry. Despite this, Arael ensured her with the comforting fact; she is not alone. Destiny granted her another day to live, as destiny granted Arael the opportunity to bury the old hatchet of guilt, over the death of Andrew with the preservation of one life.
Reach would not fall, and the Halo Rings would be destroyed. Regrettably, Earth would be turned into an empty wasteland in the coming months of the aftermatch. Spartan-177 would be assigned as a security caretaker of an ammunition vessel, carrying UNSC arsenal and stockpiles of confiscated Covenant weaponry en route to Reach. The ship would unwisely steer towards a wild wormhole, disappearing into it. Arael and its crew would be classified as missing in action(MIA.)
Personality and Appearance
The commander stands at a staggering height of seven feet, weighing 265 lb. He has blue-silver eyes, with an olive skin tone that bears many war-inflicted scars on his face. His black hair is usually kept well-shaven, to maintain standards with protocol on grooming. His exact ethnicity is unknown, but Arael exhibits both european and asiatic features. The MJOLNIR Armor variant he wears is a blue, first-generation Mark suit, but would later use the green Mark IV suit worn by Andrew-176 in an alternate universe known as the "Vine-Verse."
Spartan-177 underwent an extreme transition over the span of twenty years--from common thief to soldier of fate. Arael's hatred and lack of faith in humanity would quell during his active duty as a Spartan, having that same animosity turned towards The Covenant. Quiet and stern in the outside, Arael has a history of struggling with kleptomania. Constant therapy liberated him from his pickpocketing addiction.
Because of his early years of isolation from society by choice, 177 has difficulty naturally communicating with people. As such, Arael prefers to avoid contact with civilians, unless he has to. This difficulty is not limited to his relationship with the military and his team. As commanding leader of Pegasus Team, it's his vital role to lead his squad to excellence. Having trained together, Arael shares an uncanny bond with his unit. The leadership skills on the battlefield even show it. Give him a group to lead into a fight, and winning results will be promised. Though despised for his former thieving ways, no one can deny Arael's visceral ability to shape up soldiers and deploy them into skrimishes in a near-perfect synced fashion.
On his hours of leisure, the commander likes to vanish to his quarters and spend time playing on his flamenco guitar alone. And if anything else, he might take a stroll around the base, marveling the neighboring landscape. When he is present with the Pegasus Team, they'll carry out practice exercises and discuss mission briefings, to figure out what they can improve on. Arael likes to keep things with the team strictly professional. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Romani; with some fluency in Arabic, Hindi, German, Italian, Portuguese, and other languages.
Augmented Abilities and Training
The augmentation process compensated Arael with remarkable superhuman feats. The following lists the contribution extensive surgeries and biological implants made to turn him into a super soldier:
- SPARTAN-II hand-to-hand combat training, weapons training, training in diplomacy, and survival training.
- Capable of lifting up to 2 tons. Anything further than that, could rupture his muscles.
- Capable of running at speeds of 35 mph.
- Capable of achieiving leaps ten feet high and twenty feet across.
- Greater reaction time and reflexes than the average peak human. Spartans have described entering a slow-motion state, where moving objects appear in a slow animation, giving them the upper-hand to quickly respond to dangers.
- Stronger durability or stamina resistance against damage, illness, and mental attacks.
- Quicker health regeneration.
- Longer life-expectancy; however, there are no estimated records by how many years. It is possible it depends on the biology of the user.
- Increase in intelligence. Augmentation in the cellular level sought to increase neuron growth and the recovery of the nervous system. This allows the augmentee's brain to react quicker to receptors, giving them superior motor skills, acute problem-solving skills, and advanced recognition memory.
The MJOLNIR Power Assault Armors
Arael's greatest defense is his MJOLNIR suit. He was originally given a blue variant from the first generation, but would later inherit a stronger and greener MJOLNIR Mark IV from the deceased Andrew--Spartan-177 of the Vine-Verse-- when he travels into a wormhole and ends up in his timeline. He would take his armor and fill the void as the new Spartan-177, where he would make new updates to the armor, as to keep up with time and growing threats. The last thing Arael wants is to be obsolete.
- The Helmet: The helmet is made of Titanium metal and uses a Heads-up-Display that links to the brain and hands, and can identify equipment and display information about it when it is picked up by the user. Another feature is the direct neural interface system which connects to Arael's neural implants, allowing the suit's computer to read his movements and mimic them as soon as he makes them. The helmet also contains filters to remove toxins from the atmosphere, a supply to provide air to the user, thermal and motion sensors, communications, a night vision mode for missions during the night, and imaging and video gear for playback purposes.
- Titanium Alloy Outer Shell: The outer shell of the power suit is comprised of a fairly thick titanium alloy. This plating covers the chest, arms, hip, legs, calves, feet and hands. This alloy is very resilient, can take great punishment, and is nearly impervious to small arms fire. While enough shots from armor piercing rounds will breach the outer shell, the suit can take a few glancing blows from them without compromising the armor. The outer shell of the suit is covered with a refractive coating. However, significant hits will compromise the armor plating.
- Titanium Nanocomposite Bodysuit: Located between the external armor and the internal padding is a thick jet-black armored bodysuit. This suit has many functions. The bodysuit is made of a titanium-based material, making it strong and flexible. It serves as a secondary front of protection against ballistics attacks and is coated with a heat-resistant material.
- Hydrostatic Gel: Underneath the armored bodysuit is a gel-filled layer. This gel layer regulates the temperature of the suit and can re actively change its density to conform to the user's shape. The gel layer can also be pressurized to various levels to potentially save Spartan-177's life should the he have to face G-force or a high-velocity impact.
- Magnetic Weapon Holder Strips: The magnetic strips are very small yet powerful magnets place on the legs, waist, and back of the suit and is used to hold any equipment with a magnetic property. The suit also contains an electromagnetic system on the boots of the suit that allow its user to stay attached to a metal surface in area without gravity and can be toggled on or off by the user.
- Shields: Reverse-engineered from Covenant technology, UNSC successfully created an energy shielding function for humans. It is the first line of defense. An invisible electrical field protects the suit from damage. When Arael takes damage, the shield activates, appearing as a translucent surging layer. The shield can be lost from overloading damage; thus, needing some hang time to recharge and be used again.
- Pressure Seal: The Pressure Seal keeps the system airtight, underwater or in space.
- Automatic Biofoam Injectors: Biofoam is a medi-gel used to treat a wound. It may also be used to treat an infection. The process of injecting, or applying the gel to a wound is extremely painful and is only temporary.
- Fusion Reactor: The fusion reactor provides power to the armor. Without it, the suit can't operate.
- Force-Multiplying Circuits: Located throughout the armor, these systems boost the force applied by 177. They make hand-to-hand combat easier. Only Spartans can operate the armor, since their augmented bodies are able to withstand the power and speed of movement, where an average human body would be harmed from the strain.
- Reactive Circuits: Reactive Circuits are systems installed directly linked to Arael's Neural Interface. They amplify the his reaction time even more by connecting directly to his thoughts, making it much easier to control.
- The Mobile Bubble Shield:
A trigger switch on Arael's utility belt allows him to activate a protective energy sphere around him. The magnetic strip near his suit's fusion reactor forces the shield to stay near the user at all times, allowing him to move freely with the sphere still protecting him. He may disengage the strip's magnetism from keeping the shield bounded to Arael if he wants to, letting it temporarily lay there until it expires. This scientific achievement was also reverse-engineered from Covenant technology, as a defense against anti-artillery. Though intangible, the bubble can stop virtually any projectiles; however, it can be breached by simply walking into it or running into it with a vehicle.
- Invisibility Cloak: A simple toggle on the wrist, and Arael can blend into the environment and slip under the radar temporarily with the Spartan Invisibility Function.
- Hologram Function: Like the Invisibility Cloak, the suit's hologram function can be activated via wrist glove. The user simply points a laser at any location or surface, and an identical holographic version of himself or herself appears. Arael has a mental link to the imitation, allowing him to control it's actions and motions. Though not theoritically lethal, it can be used as a weapon of deception.
Spartan Weapons Gear
Hoplite-77: The Hoplite-77 is a multi-tooled infantry rifle, with five separate ammo casings and alternate functions-- 20mm Sledgehammer Gauss Mags, 10mm Gauss Mags, 7mm Harmonic Mags, 30mm Anti-Vehicle Mags, and 25mm Gauss Multi-Target Sniper Mags. It is equipped with a reflex sight, an optical scope for sniping, and a digital scope with a view ranging of 120 meters.
SRS99-S5 AM: A standard sniper rifle that uses armor-piercing 14mm rounds. It is equipped with a basic scope.
Spartan Laser: Though called the M6 G/GNR, this anti-vehicle is commonly known as the Spartan Laser for its punishing firepower. Allow it to charge for three seconds, and the weapon will unleash a rapid, red laser.
M45E Tactical Shotgun: A close-quarters weapon, that carries 8-gauge mags(12 shells.)
M6S: The basic semi-automatic Spartan handgun, that uses high-penetration 12.7mm rounds.
Combat Knife: Located on the chest permutation, is a sheathed combat knife, that is used during hand-to-hand situations.
The Covenant Energy Sword: One mission, many moons ago, Arael picked up an Energy Sword. And ever since, it has become one of his most favorite tools of war. Created by The Covenant, the curved blades are made of superheated plasma. It comes with a failsafe. Once the weapon is dropped, it will automatically deactivate.
Frag Grenades: With a causalty range of 50 feet, the M9 HE-DP grenade is a lethal force to be wary of.
Flashbang Grenades: Used to stun and disorient opponents with a blinding flash. It is not a lethal like the frag grenade or the plasma grenade, but it is an effective tactical tool.
Plasma Grenades: Covenant grenades that can stick to enemies. Once glued onto a target, his or her fate is sealed. The only way to remove the grenade is to use an electromagnetic field.