|This article, Aleksandra Zaytseva, was voted as the Heroic Article of 2016 in the 2016 Annual Halo Fanon Wikia Awards.|
|This article, Aleksandra Zaytseva, written by Timothy Emeigh, was voted as the Best UNSC Personnel of 2016 in the Ninth Annual Halo Fanon Wikia Awards.|
|This article, Aleksandra Zaytseva, was written by Timothy Emeigh. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|This article, Aleksandra Zaytseva, is currently under active construction.|
- "Why fear the inevitable? When it's time for the people you love to move on, the last thing you should do is hold them closer."
- ―Zhuang Zhou
Lieutenant Commander Aleksandra Dmitrievna Zaytseva, also known as Sasha to her friends and holding the callsign Revenant, is aaviator and former . Born to a Russian family on , Sasha grew up immersed in the culture of the region, learning alongside the more common . This lead to her possessing a heavy Russian accent in whichever language she is speaking.
One of the few humans to survive through the entire, Sasha was first deployed to fight the , rather than the , as the alien hegemony had not yet made contact with . Originally quite outgoing and friendly, her time in the war has hardened Sasha. While still showing excellent teamwork, it is rare to find her enjoying conversation with anyone outside of her closest comrades in arms. While this has led to her having trouble getting to know any new team members, years of fighting aliens rather than other humans still allows for her to trust any other members of the as well as general civilians, though the latter less so than the former.
Born just outside the capital city of Biko on January 7, 2507 to a Russian family, Sasha grew up immersed in the Russian culture of the farming community surrounding her family home. As such, her childhood saw many influences of Russian culture, such as learning Russian alongside of English, growing up with Russian foods, and growing up under the care of her grandmother while her mother and father both worked.
However, after only a decade of her life, her father and older sister both grew to support the Insurrection on Biko. After Sasha's father's loyalties were discovered, he left Sasha and her mother, taking Sasha's older sister with him, leaving her mother to raise Sasha. Even though her mother was a SWAT officer, her love for her husband prevented her from reporting him, and, in her grief, she told Sasha that her father and sister had been killed by the Insurrectionists, rather than have her face the truth that they had betrayed the family, attempting to preserve their image in Aleksandra's mind.
Following this, Sasha lived the next eight years of her life growing up with a hatred of the Insurrection, and trained herself to be the best she could be when she turned 18 and could enlist in the UNSC Marine Corps. Additionally, during this time, she learned how to pilot several air vehicles in order to help out with crop dusting and transportation of goods around the farming community, a skill set which would eventually contribute to her leaving infantry to join aviation, and eventually to even transfer to a job as a fighter pilot in the UNSC Navy.
Marine Corps Basic Training
As soon as she turned 18, Sasha aimed to enlist with the UNSC Marine Corps, doing so as soon as she finished her final year of secondary education, and shipping out tosoon after. During this 13 week period, Sasha quickly learned that, even with her training over the past eight years of her life, which certainly left her better off to face the harsh conditions and drill instructors, this official training was still a large challenge to overcome, with the instructors seeking to not only physically and intellectually prepare the recruits for the duties of a UNSC Marine, but also strip independence and selfish thought from the recruits, training them to think of their friends and fellow soldiers around them first, rather than themselves.
The harsh training began as soon as the recruits, including Aleksandra arrived at the training depo on Biko, with the group facing receiving week, including in-processing, haircuts, uniform and gear issuance, and medical evaluations, as well as undergoing the initial strength test and meeting the drill instructors. From the moment she stepped off the, she was running, double timing it to the first formation of the recruits, learning to stand at attention. Following this, the recruits filed into the training facility to begin their transformation into UNSC Marines. The rest of the week presented Sasha with finishing off the other administrative tasks, including the initial fitness test, which Sasha easily passed, even surpassing the requirements for the maximum score in the pull ups and three mile run, before being separated into her platoon and meeting her three drill instructors.
After the conclusion of the receiving week, Aleksandra and the other recruits entered phase one of the recruit training. For the first three weeks of this phase, the second to fourth week total, Sasha received the most basic skills of a UNSC Marine, including classroom style instructions on military history, customs and courtesies, basic first aid, uniforms, leadership and the core values of the UNSC Marine Corps. Additionally, she trained extensively throughout the day to practice with both close order drill and marine martial arts, made up of moves from various martial arts styles known to humanity. All of this was done with the other recruits in her platoon, instilling Sasha with the ideal of putting the team first, rather than herself, reinforced by the removal of "I", "me", and "my" from her vocabulary for the duration of the training.
By the fifth and six of the training, the recruits were ready to begin training for swimming, micro-gravity, and vacuum training. For the first week of this section, the recruits started off every day with swimming physical training, rather than the morning PT of the other weeks. Sasha excelled at this section, having frequently visited the beach during her time off over the summers on Biko. As such, she was an excellent swimmer, and her strength let her quickly adjust to swimming in full gear and quickly stripping excess weight.
By the end of week five, the recruits in Sasha's platoon were all ready to move on to micro-gravity and vacuum training. As a group, they were each fitted for Vacuum suits, and then shuttled up to one of Biko's orbital stations for this week of training. For the rest of the week, they were living in zero-g conditions, having to work out a lot more than normal to get used to keep up body mass. Additionally, vacuum exercises were carried out every day in their vacuum suits to prep them for potential combat in EVA conditions. Following the end of this week, the recruits returned to the planet's surface to continue training, entering phase two.
On the first day of week seven, the recruits complete their first written test and competed against the other platoons in drill exercises. While she wasn't the best in either category, Sasha still performed admirably in each, completing and passing the examination. For the rest of the week, the recruits faced rappelling and gas mask training, undergoing the often dreaded gas chamber exercise. However, Sasha once again made it through the challenges with minimal complications, not struggling any more than any other average recruit.
Entering into week eight, Sasha and the other recruits in her platoon faced weapons training, specifically marksmanship practice and qualifications. The first two days were spent laying, sitting, and standing at the firing range, hours at a time, learning the operation, sighting, and feel of their weapons, including both the prototypeand the MA5 rifles. From the third day on, the firing exercises began, giving the recruits four days to practice and requiring them to qualify by the fifth additional day, or the final, seventh day of the week. Having used weapons before, Sasha only had to get used to the slight variations in the military weapons from what she had used previously, and qualified in marksmanship proficiency by the third day of firing exercises, using the last two to get better and increasing her rating.
Using the next week to slow down the physical side of training and begin working on team work, the Drill Instructors introduced Sasha and her platoon to week nine, or team week. Throughout the week, the recruits took a break from the nonstop training and, instead, helped out around the training facility, giving them the recovery time their bodies needed to develop, as well as providing a way to keep the facilities clean and introduce lessons into teamwork. By giving the recruits tasks that they would be unable to complete by themselves as individuals, the DI's hoped to, once again, instill the importance of teamwork in the recruits, including Aleksandra. As the week progressed, the platoon saw themselves getting better at working together, more willing to do difficult and tedious tasks, and willing to work hard to get the job done. By the end of the week, the recruits had completed their tasks, from laundry to janitorial duties, and were ready to move onto the third and final phase of their training.
Week ten, the start of Phase Three, introduced Sasha and the rest of her platoon to the first real combat training they had to face during their time in basic training. Continuing from week eight, the marksmanship lessons they were taught on the range were transferred to the field, with the drill instructors focusing on marksmanship in a combat situation. Additionally, they faced land navigation and orienteering challenges and training in how to cope with the stress and move under enemy fire. During the next week, Sasha faced more practical examinations, completing another physical fitness examination, once again passing with a score close to the maximum. Following this, the recruits complete the obstacle course on the grounds of the training depot, designed to instill confidence in the recruits, one final time. By the end of the week, the recruits were in the toughest shape they had been since they got to the training site.
Week 12, the pentultimate week, presented the Marines with yet another physical fitness test, though Sasha and the other members of her platoon also had to complete a written test on Marine Corps history, regulations, and spirit. Acing both of these, as well as completing the final drill inspection with her platoon, Sasha moved on with the rest of the passing recruits in her platoon to the final challenge they would face during their training, a 60 hour field event to fully exam everything they had learned and trained for during the weeks of basic training. Surviving the course and passing the Drill Instructors' expectations, Sasha and the other members of her platoon completed their final hike during the last few hours of the field event and were presented their Marine Corps insignia, signifying that they had completed their training and were now officially UNSC Marines.
The final week of the training served to give the new Marines a chance to complete administrative tasks, demonstrate what they had learned to the public through a close order drill activity, and face final inspection by their commanding officers. Additionally, the families of the recruits were allowed to visit the new Marines, an opportunity that Sasha's mother took up, congratulating her daughter on the day of graduation. Following her graduation on August 3rd, 2525, Sasha was given the rank of Private and given ten days of leave to gather her belongings and say her goodbyes to her mother, before being shipped to the military base in Durban to continue her training on the job for a few more weeks prior to being shipped out.
Durban Military Base
Arriving at the Durban Military base on August 13th, 2525, Private Zaytseva was assigned to the training platoon on the base, settling in to Barracks C. Over the next few weeks, Zaytseva participated with her new platoon in active combat training, a combination of daily PT and combat simulations using, simulated battlefields, and simulated battlefield sounds. This training culminated in a mock deployment during the second week of September. However, two days into this mock deployment, the group received word that the military base was under attack by insurrectionist forces. Having used the decreased forces at the base to their advantage, the insurrectionist forces had managed to take over much of the base. Though left with limited live rounds, Zaytseva and the rest of her platoon and training instructors were forced to return to the base and attempt to retake it, as there weren't any other forces in range to respond quickly.
Gearing up in UNSC Body Armor, including a gas mask due to rumors of the insurrectionists using chemical weapons, a M6C, and a XBR55, having scored highest in the use of the battle rifle of the new Marines in her platoon. Approaching the base with the rest of her platoon, the group was force to begin their assault without analyzing the situation very much due to instantly coming under heavy fire, including from a sniper. Rushing the base, approximately half of Zaytseva's platoon was killed, with the rest splitting up into fireteams to clear the base. Sasha's fireteam was tasked with exterminating the sniper and, as such, made their way through the base to the highest point, an overwatch bunker on the hill in the northwest corner of the base.
However, as the team advanced, a Scorpion commandeered by the insurrectionists managed to separate the team, leaving Sasha alone, closest to the overwatch bunker, and the rest of her fireteam pinned down. Ordered to continue on, Sasha managed to avoid the tank and make her way into the building leading up to the bunker, advancing slowly. Arriving at the sniper's location, out of ammo for her battle rifle, Sasha managed to get a shot off at the insurrectionist. However, just before shooting, she realized that the sniper was her sister and threw her aim off on purpose. Unfortunately, her shot didn't miss completely, clipping the side of her sister's head. Sasha called for a medic and, unable to stay with her sister due to the insurrectionists retreating to her position, Sasha fled out of the other side of the bunker, looping back around and rejoining the remaining dozen or so members of her platoon.
Pushing back into the bunker, the survivors of Sasha's platoon found that the insurrectionists had fled with the chemical weapons, leaving the base back in UNSC hands. This left the base in the hands of the survivors of Sasha's training platoon, their surviving training instructors, and the portion of the Marines that were stationed at the base and recovered from the original battle. Leaving the training platoon, with the real battle being viewed as a substitute to finishing off her training, Sasha was stationed on the base permanently to replace the people lost during the fight.
Retrieving the Chemical Weapons
With the base retrieved for the UNSC, the commanding officers of the base began working on how to retrieve the stolen chemical weapons. Eventually, after a month, the weapons were located in a known insurrectionist stronghold in the plains outside of Durban. Now with reason to attack the base, battle plans were drawn up, and Sasha's new platoon were assigned to carry out the assault. Gearing up with a DMR and M6D for this battle, Sasha loaded into a Pelican with her fireteam and another, deploying to the savanna.
Upon arrival at the facility, already under assault by UNSC aircraft, Sasha and the other marines were deployed to take the weakened base from the ground. Advancing on the facility, the platoon quickly managed to surround the building in which the chemical weapons were being held. Taking out the insurrectionist personnel defending the structure with minimal casualties, Sasha's fireteam, alongside two others, made their way into the structure while the rest of the platoon focused on securing and holding the insurrectionist compound. Managing to make their way through the storage facility, the three fireteams took out the remaining insurrectionist forces inside, arresting several members and securing the chemical weapons. Unlike the defense of the Durban Military Base, this assault saw very few UNSC casualties and no deaths, mainly due to the airstrikes weakening the base, superior UNSC technology, and element of surprise. Additionally, the insurrectionist forces at the base did not include Sasha's sister, who had been taken to another stronghold to recover from her wounds.
Returning to the base after the mission, the next few months were relatively quiet. Filling the days on the base with training, cleaning, and other administrative duties, as well as finding free time to socialize with the other Marines or take some time for herself, Sasha passed the time without much commotion. By early January, she had earned her first promotion, moving to the rank of Private First Class. However, this quiet wouldn't last for much longer. In just over two weeks, the Covenant arrived at the planet, starting the.
Battle of Biko
Early on January 19, 2526, the UNSC forces around the planet detected an incoming object in slipspace. However, by the time they realized what was happening, the Covenant had already arrived in the system, quickly move to engage the UNSC Navy forces in orbit. Landing forces at the same time, the Battle of Biko officially began, and Sasha was scrambled for the defense of Durban. Arriving in the city by midday, Sasha and the other forces in her platoon were immediately engaged by Banshee fire, stalling their warthogs and sending the troops to take cover in the buildings. Holding out against the Covenant forces until late at night, Sasha exemplified her resourcefulness at scouting, managing to call out several key targets for the snipers in her company as well as leading a flanking charge behind the alien ground forces, taking out her first Elite in the process. However, the aliens pushed back, and by dusk, the human forces were being forced further into the city, cutting off their escape.
However, shortly afterwards, Insurrectionist forces from outside the city joined in the conflict, paving their way through a weaker portion of the Covenant lines from behind, joining with the Marine forces. After an initial portion of confusion, the UNSC and Insurrectionists managed to team out to push out of the city and reach a warthog deployment sent to provide evacuation. Among these forces was Sasha's sister, whom the young marine teamed up with, only barely managing to survive the assault of an energy sword-wielding Elite due to the sniper fire of her sister. Shortly after this, with the surviving civilians loaded up in the warthogs and heading for the evacuation vessels, Sasha retreated with the remaining marines and her sister, running to reach the warthogs herself. However, during this retreat, her sister was killed, and Sasha, already in a vehicle, was forced to leave her behind, with only a family necklace heirloom to keep her memory.
While originally friendly and outgoing, surviving through years of conflict while those around her died in droves has led Sasha to retreat within herself and remain reserved, especially to those who are not working closely with her. While she may not make friends with anyone, she does intrinsically trust other humans, perhaps more so than she should, as her years of fighting in the Human-Covenant War ingrained in her mind that the aliens were the enemy, not other humans. However, this had the exact opposite effect in terms with her relationships with former Covenant species, against whom she holds a tremendous grudge. More likely to pull a weapon on anor than to defend them, she has trouble working alongside the prior members of the hegemony, and, as such, often requests missions in which she is working solely with other UNSC assets.
Her survival through the war has also left her with a sense of survivor's guilt, showing her struggle with PTSD. However, despite these mental struggles, Aleksandra remained adamant about continuing to serve in the UNSC_Armed_Forces, retaining her commission to this day. This dedication stems from her desire to right the wrongs she feels were done against her friends throughout the war, and her belief that continuing to serve to defend Humanity can serve as a method of redemption for surviving while her fellow marines and navy personnel did not.
Skills and Abilities
Growing up in a farming family, Sasha learned how to use a weapon at a young age to defend herself and her family's property. Additionally, she learned how to fly her family's aircraft in order to assist with crop dusting, giving her skills in flying. Overall, her remaining skills cover survivalist tactics, from being able to construct a fire, to gathering resources, to building a temporary shelter. All of these were honed during her various times left to her own defenses during the war, such as during the Siege of Sirona. Finally, Sasha is skilled at stealth, from quiet and inconspicuous movement, to proper camouflage techniques. She picked up these skills during her time in Marine Force Recon following her transfer into the program after the Battle of Biko.
Although temporally 51 years old, Aleksandra is significantly younger biologically due to years of time spent inand . As such, she looks more like she is in her mid-to-late thirties or early forties. About average height, she weighs slightly above average due to increased muscle mass compared to the standard, developed during her time as a marine and continued physical training throughout her naval career. Her skin is lightly tanned, but burns easily if exposed to the sun for too long without any protection. Additionally, a light row of freckles can be seen across her face, though they faded as she aged. Sasha has blonde hair and light blue eyes, traits that she took from her mother, rather than her dark haired and dark eyed father. However, her left eye has been replaced with an as her original eye was lost in combat with an Elite. Finally, her left arm was also replaced with a due to damages taken during the same fight. Both injuries were caused due to an energy dagger which the Elite stabbed through her hand, destroying the hand and upper portion of the effected limb, and near the eye, which melted the soft organ.
Career Service Vitae
- Sasha is the only member of her immediate family to join the UNSC Marine Corps. Her father and older sister were insurrectionists, and her mother was a Police Department SWAT officer. All three of them were killed during the .
(Disclaimer: All images used are either Bungie/343 Art used under fair use, created by the author, images under free use licenses, or used with the permission of the original author. If any of your artwork was used without meeting these restraints, please contact me, and I will remove the image from the article until a resolution can be reached. Copyright infringement is not my intent.)