|This article, Benjamin-B314, was written by Rangerkid51. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|This article, Benjamin-B314, is currently under active construction.|
|This article, Benjamin-B314, takes place in a canon-following story in an alternate universe, and it should not be considered as part of any official timeline.|
- "Mankind will never fall so long as I'm still breathing."
- "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
- ―Benjamin-B314, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Master Chief Petty Officer Benjamin-B314 (Benjamin Samuel Watson, Jr. by birth, Benjamin Alexander Brisbane after conscription into Section 1, Sierra Beta Three-One-Four by alpha-numerical designation, and Codename: ANTIOCH by ONI designation) is a SPARTAN-III Commando, special warfare operator, and a member of the UNSC Marine Corps and UNSC Naval Corps, as well as a former member of the SPARTAN-III contingent Beta Company and the Spartan team NOBLE.
Career Service Vitae
Early life (25?? - 2534)
- "It's cool, Dad's job, isn't it?"
- ―Leon Watson
- "He's defending and protecting entire colonies, Leon. That's, like, more than a billion people. That's one of the coolest things anyone can do."
- ―Ben Watson, Jr.
Ben's 3 younger siblings Leon, Kenneth, and Claire were soon afterwards. In 2534, Ben Watson, Sr. had become the ships's captain and had the Guinevere transferred to the Insurrectionist frontline, but did not see any "action" until six months after the transfer. UNSC FLEETCOM had assigned both Guinevere and the corvette UNSC Secretariat to the battlegroup defending Arcadia, where they were delivering troops, weapons, and other military supplies.
Benjamin Samuel Watson, Jr. was born in The Commonwealth of Texoma in the Great Plains Territory of North America. His exact birthdate is unknown, but he was believed to have been born within the years of 2525 and 2529. He is the son of Ben Watson, Sr., then the commander of UNSC Guinevere, and Dr. Anne Watson, who was a prominent member of both the UNSC Medical Corps and ONI Section 1. Ben was born during the Insurrection, however his father's ship was not a frontline ship.
- "I wonder if my parents are still out there somewhere...."
- ―Ben Watson, Jr's personal journal
However, en route, the two ships were attacked and raided by a Covenant battleship. When the ships never reached Arcadia, UNSC investigated, and later found the wreckage of a UNSC Corvette at what was to be the midway point between Reach and Arcadia, along with more than a dozen destroyed Bumblebee escape pods that matched the same ones in the Guinevere's manifest, but no wreckage matching a Frigate was ever found. Both Captain and Dr. Watson were declared MIA, and Ben didn't see either of them ever again for nearly forty years. He and his siblings were placed in the care of their father's brother.
The Orphanage (2534 - 2537)
- "I am a poor wayfaring stranger,
While traveling through this world of woe.
Yet there’s no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright world to which I go."
- ―Wayfaring Stranger, Appalachian Folk Song
Unfortunately, more tragedy struck the Watson children a mere seven months after being placed in the care of their uncle; he was diagnosed with a rare and violent form of Brain Cancer, and only one year after his diagnosis, he died. Ben and his siblings were then placed in the Reach orphanage. Ironically, Ben's placing in the orphanage was the first turning point in his life - for a tremendous military opportunity was about to come to, not just him, but his brothers and sister as well.
In the three years that they lived at the orphanage, Ben slipped into a long and brooding depression. He would eventually run away from the orphanage and join a street gang, whose influence made him shave his hair and dye it black, and engage in fights, store robbings, and open public hostility. Due to this, Ben was arrested and forced to serve time at the Reach Juvenile Detention Center three times as well. He would also make repeted attempts to commit suicide.
The SPARTAN-III Program (2537)
- "Where are you taking us?"
- ―Ben talking to SCPO Franklin Mendez
- "To your future, son."
In 2537, the orphanage was visited by Franklin Mendez, who took several hundred of the orphans, including Ben and his siblings, for what he said would be, a "top-secret ONI evaluation". But when they boarded the Pelicans, Mendez informed them that they were going to be apart of the next generation of Spartans. Ben had heard stories of the SPARTAN-II super soldier, known as the "Supermen of the UNSC", but be believed them to be a myth. Mendez informed him that they were not to be training him as a SPARTAN-II, but as a SPARTAN-III; these Spartans would be faster, stronger, and better in battle than even their existing Spartan counterparts. The training would take place on the remote planet Onyx.
- "You have been called upon to serve. Many of you have lost your family because of the Covenant, and I want you to get a chance to strike back. With mine and Senior Chief Petty Officer Mendez' guidance, you will become the best that we can make you. You will become defenders of Earth and all her colonies....and you'll do it as Spartans."
- ―Lieutenant Commander Kurt (-051) Ambrose, at the Indoctrination of Beta Company
When the Pelicans dropped him on Onyx, Ben learned that the man who was training them, Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose, was a SPARTAN-II himself. He told him and the rest of the recruits that they would become the defenders of Earth and all her colonies (which, Ben later, learned, was the same propaganda that Dr. Catherine Halsey used on the SPARTAN-II's years before.)
Not long after the Lieutenant Commander gave his speech, the trainees got back onto the pelicans; their fist task was to do a night jump out of a Pelican when it became dusk. When Ben passed this test, the "real training" began. For the next five years, Ben would slowly become a Spartan.
Becoming a Spartan (2537 - 2542)
- "These exercises are designed to test your endurance. If you can't endure these, then you can't hope to endure on a battlefield, can you?"
- ―Lieutenant Commander Ambrose to Beta Company recruits
The training that the Lieutenant Commander put them through would be simple, but hard and rigerous. They began with usual exercises, not unlike those done by professional wrestlers of the 21st century. Push-ups, sit-ups, running laps, obstacle courses, and the like all became commomplace for the trainees at Camp Currahee. To maintain his determination, Ben, who now went by the callsign "Benjamin-B314" (or simply "Ben-314"; he also sometimes referred to himself as Sierra Beta Three One Four) earned the reputation of being the first one at the training site and the last one to leave. This constant regimen soon changed his scrawny build to that of an olympic athlete within a year's time.
When they moved on to weapon training, Ben became a skilled gunsman, but took exceptionally well to the M392 Designated Marksman Rifle, getting over thirty headshots at a time during several target practice sessions. He would also learn to handle Covenant weaponry and various kinds of turrets better as well.
As he improved his shooting skills, Ben began tinkering with his DMR, adding an infrared scope and improving its rate of fire to that of an SMG. Taking his weapon to Lieutenant Commader Ambrose, the LC liked the weapon, allowed its use, and within a few years, several members of Beta Company had the new M392A Designated Sharpshooter Rifle.
Ben eventually became the leader of Fireteam India, which consisted of him, fellow future NOBLE team member Catherine-B320, Jacob-B217, Mikayla-B307, and Damián-B198 (but Ben still continued to maintain connections with his siblings, now known as Leon-B247, Kenneth-B066, and Claire-B132, and with Fireteam Foxtrot.)
Ben, as Team India's leader, became its driving force and its rallier, being tough but easy to get along with. With Ben's guidance, Team India passed multiple exercises with top honors, and Ben himself received commendations as well.In 2542, after 5 years of hard training, Ben and Team India graduated with top honors. Ben, along with the rest of Beta Company, went to the UNSC Hopeful to participate in Project: CHRYSANTHEMUM: the augmentations that would make him a true Spartan.
These are the augmentations Ben received:
- Carbide ceramic ossification: Advanced material grafting onto skeletal structures to make bones virtually unbreakable. Recommended coverage not to exceed 3 percent total bone mass because significant white blood cell necrosis.
- Muscular enhancement injections: Protein complex is injected intramuscularly to increase tissue density and decrease lactase recovery time. Risk: 5 percent of test subjects experience a fatal cardiac volume increase.
- Catalytic thyroid implant: Platinum pellet containing human growth hormone catalyst is implanted in the thyroid to boost growth of skeletal and muscle tissues. Risk: rare instances of elephantiasis. Another risk is to get a suppressed sexual drive.
- Occipital capillary reversal: Submergence and boasted blood vessel flow beneath the rods and cones of subject's retina. It produces a marked visual perception increase. Risk: retinal rejection and detachment. It can also cause permanent blindness.
- Superconducting fabrication of neural dendrites: alteration of bioelectrical nerve transduction to shielded electronic transduction. Three hundred percent increase in subject reflexes. Anecdotal evidence of marked increase in intelligence, memory and creativity. Risk: significant instances of Parkinson’s disease and Fletcher's Syndrome.
Ben, along with his siblings, and the rest of Team India, would survive the augmentations, and was battle-ready for anything the wars would throw at them.
- "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
- ―James 1: 1-4, The Bible
Operation: GUNSLINGER (2543)The first known operation that Beta Company participated in was Operation: GUNSLINGER in early 2543. ONI officer Colonel Peter Longstreet had discovered a Covenant fortress, which also was revealed to be a prominent Covenant armory as well, on one of the moons of Arcadia, where the Covenant had been launching attacks on the planet from. Beta Company's mission was simple: neutralize the fortress.
Beta Company arrived at the moon aboard the UNSC Walls of Jericho at 0600 hours. 1 hour later, the whole of Beta Company hit dirt, and were met with heavy resistance. An entire invading army occupied the fortress; this was the prelude to no less than an all-out invasion of Arcadia.
Advancing on the fortress from their LZ, th initial resistance were only cannon fodder Unggoy and Kig-Yar, which did not present much opposition, but soon became a thorn in Beta Company's side as their numbers grew. As their advance continued, so did the numbers of the enemy: Sangheili, Jiralhanae, Lekgolo, and even the insectoid Yan'me began fighting them on the field of battle, and while Beta Company did not suffer any casualties, many injuries were suffered, including Ben himself, who broke his foot after it was caught beneth a downed Shade turret.
Ignoring the pain, Ben ordered his team to keep fighting through to the fortress no matter what, while he would buy his fellow Spartans some time; a AA gun had been set up several meters south of the Fortress and was firing on the Walls of Jericho. Hijacking a Ghost, Ben rode to the outpost, killed the guards, and rigged explosive charges in the Ghost, which destroyed the gun. As he exited the now leveled AA bunker, however, a Sangheili Fire Team ambushed him and prepared to have him brought to the fortress for questioning. Using speed and strength that only a Spartan could muster, he backhanded the Sangheili holding him in its midsection and quickly killed it with his Combat Knife, then stole its Plasma Rifle and killed the others.
As Ben rejoined his team, the battle got uglier. A Covenant cruiser had arrived with reinforcements and was also sending Banshees, Seraphs, and even Daemons to bomb them. Realizing that remaining to prolong the battle would be suicide, he radioed Walls of Jericho and asked them to evacuate them within 30 minutes.
Thinking quickly, Ben came up with an idea. He radioed every other Beta Company Fire Team on the moon, telling them to retreat to Walls of Jericho, while his team remained to destroy the objective. Their fellow Spartans were initially reluctant, but agreed.
Knowing they had limited time, Team India hastily carried out Ben's plan: they rigged a Warthog with 5 BULLDOG Heavy Duty Nuclear Warheads (which, combined, could destroy the Fortress 5 times over) and drove the Warthog through the army of Covenant, into the Fortress, and into the Fortress' center. Quickly setting the detonation timer for 1 minute, they ran out of the fortress and radioed for evac.
However, the Pelican that arrived for them was shot down by Banshees. Searching quickly for a way off the planet, Ben saw a Phantom dropship barely lifting off at the Fortress' small landing platform. The Spartans raided the dropship, killed the Covenant on board, and escaped before the following explosion destroyed nearly the entire battlefield they had just left. Operation: GUNSLINGER was a success, but Ben couldn't help thinking that it was a little too easy.....
The Olympia Campaign (2543 - 2544)
Assault on Tower Base
Not long after Operation: GUNSLINGER, contact with the human colony Olympia was lost. The destroyer UNSC Samoa was sent to investigate, only to return badly damaged a week later. It returned with a message from Insurrectionists: "Olympia is ours now. Come and get us, if you dare." This began a yearlong campaign to retake the planet from the Insurrectionists.
1 month after Operation: GUNSLINGER, Beta Company arrived at Olympia aboard ONI Battlegroup Alpha (Walls of Jericho, Samoa and Manchuria), and were inserted on the planet's surface at the ONI Tower Base, where the Rebel presence was lowest.
After killing the Rebels at Tower Base, Beta Company made it their primary staging point for retaking Olympia. While searching the base, Team India discovered one last small squadron of five Insurrectionists holding the barracks. After a brief firefight, four out of five were dead, while they held the fifth for questioning.
The captive rebel told them that they held various outposts on the planet: bases, villages, factories, etc., but that their main theater of operations was in New Byzantium, the capital city, under the direction of Generals Robert Patton, James Dixon, and Marty Oates.
Operation: EAGLE EYE
Not long after the capture of Tower Base, Ben hacked into the Insurrectionist computer network (with Kat-B320's assistance) via the (still operational) computers at the base. The Insurrectionists held six major bases of operation outside of New Byzantium: a ship breaking yard, a factory, two large military camps, an airfield, and an armory. Ben relayed this to the rest of Beta Company, and the whole contingent, with the assistance of Colonel Longstreet, were split into their teams to scout the planet for the six targets. This mission was codenamed Operation: EAGLE EYE.
Not long after India and Foxtrot left Tower Base, India decided to search for one of the two military camps, Camp Tanglewood and Ft. Gibson, and actually found one, which was identified as Ft. Gibson, heavily fortified and situated several miles upward from a beachhead. Landing at the beachhead (because any other LZ would be too hot), Team India linked up with a garrison of ODSTs from the Samoa and began the long hike up the road from the beachhead to the fort. The Insurrectioninsts deployed many troops to attempt to halt the march of the oncoming Spartans and ODSTs, but to no avail.
Upon reaching Ft. Gibson, Team India learned that Ft. Gibson was the Insurrectionists' planetary stockpile of contraband UNSC Military weapons, vehicles, and other gear. It was also more heavily fortified than previously thought. Fighting through waves of Insurrectionists, India managed to wreck havoc in the base, destroying two AA Mass Drivers, a little less than half of their Armored Tank Division, and even a stolen Covenant Locust Walker.
When India almost had the battle won, Ft. Gibson began evacuating. While Ben at first thought this was unusual, he soon learned that General James Dixon was present at the Fort, and was attempting to flee with his Elite Guard before being killed. As Dixon and the guards fled for an escape Pelican parked only a few meters away from the base, Ben rushed into Ft. Gibson and found several intact SPNKr Missile Launchers. Taking one, and giving the others to the rest of his team, they fired the missiles at the departing Pelican, bringing it down.
As the Spartans prepared to leave, thinking part of their mission was done, a Frag Grenade was thrown at their feet, momentarily draining their energy shields but relatively unaffecting them. The Spartans turned around to find Dixon, alive, a Grenade Launcher in his hand. The Insurrectionist General turned and ran into the base, chasing Dixon all the way to the command center before cornering him and finally landing the killing blow when Ben fired several rounds from his DSR into the General's chest. As Dixon choked out his last breaths, he smugly replied: "Well done Spartans. You got me. But guess what: I'm taking you with me, 'cuz I've just initiated the lockdown of this base, and I've also set this place to self-destruct in 5 minutes. You know the old saying: What goes around comes around." before finally dying.
Finding themselves in a tight bind, Team India desperately looked for a way out before time ran out. Using the stolen Missile Launchers, they attempted to blast their way out, but the now locked-down base prevented that. With that, they returned to the command center, where Kat attempted to override the Lockdown, but firewalls had been enabled to prevent this. They quickly searched the General's body to see if he had a password written down anywhere, but to no avail.
With a little over two minutes before the base was set to self-destruct, Ben thought of a last-ditch plan and radioed Colonel Longstreet on board the Walls of Jericho, explaining their dilemma. Longstreet ordered a scan of the base's automation system and concluded that it was a little older than the UNSCs was and could be overridden by a "smart" A.I. Ben proceeded to state that they didn't have an A.I, but Longstreet transmitted a fragment of the shipboard A.I. on Walls of Jericho, known as Kaval, into the Ft. Gibson database. With less than a minute to spare, Kaval brought down the firewalls and disabled the lockdown, allowing Team India to leave the base, steal a Warthog, and ride back down to the beachhead for evac. Moments after riding out, Ft. Gibson exploded. A Pelican picked them up soon afterward. This mission was later codenamed Operation: TIDAL WAVE.
Discovering the Traitor
However, moments after they lifted off, three Insurrectionist starfighters came out of the sky and opened fire on Team India's Pelican, bringing it down.
- "So answer me this, Dinsmore: Does that make you more of a backstabbing son-of-a-bitch than Watts?"
- ―Ben-B314, taunting the traitorous Rear Admiral Dinsmore.
At first believing them to be their saviors, Ben would soon learn the truth: Dinsmore, Avery, and the entire ONI and UNSC Personnel who were on Olympia before had betrayed the UNSC and defected to the United Insurrectionist Front (The official name for the unified organization and all of its extremist groups.)
It was revealed that Dinsmore, who had previously been Vice Admiral Margaret Parangosky's right hand in charge of ONI, had been demoted and exiled to Olympia as punishment for secretly arranging an attack on a high-value Covenant capital ship, the Seeker of Truth (which would prove futile, as an entire fleet awaited the battlegroup and wiped it out), against orders not to. Angry at the ONI, believing them to have become weak and cowardly, Dinsmore didn't take well to his new job running the ONI on Olympia, as the Insurrectionists controlled more than half the planet; Dinsmore had little real power. In secret, Dinsmore, believing he was taking matters into his own hands, rallied the standing UNSC troops on planet, led by Sergeant Major Avery, and entered into an alliance with the Insurrectionists, who promised him a spot among the leaders of the entire UIF if he gave them control of Olympia. In this, they staged a coup where the Insurrectionists invaded New Byzantium and "overpowered" the UNSC soldiers there, and ended up "killing" the Rear Admiral. In reality, the now defector Dinsmore would operate in secret, and had total control over the entire planet.
Shocked at this act of betrayal, Ben tried to escape from his restraints as Dinsmore explained a bigger plan: he and Robert Watts would gather the entire UIF fleet and launch an attack on the planet Reach, one of the UNSC's most vital colony worlds; their only problem was that they did not know Reach's exact location, and they planned to get that information from Team India, who, of course, refused to speak. Dinsmore would then resort to torturing them; the restraints that held the Spartans had been electrified, and whenever Dinsmore gave a certain command, an electrical charge went through the Spartans, and Dinsmore could control the intensity of the charge.
For nearly thirty minutes Dinsmore had gotten nothing out of the Spartans, who had shown extraordinary resillience to the charges Dinsmore was sending through their bodies. As he prepared to increase the charge to its most lethal setting (which contained the same amount of energy in lightning bolts), ODSTs began storming through the underground base. As a firefight ensued, Dinsmore and Avery fled from the room, and a group of UNSC-faithful Marines entered, with Colonel Longstreet. When Team India asked how he found them, he replied that the IFF transponders on their captors showed them as UNSC Personnel, and that too many things did not add up. Releasing their restraints, Longstreet and Team India quickly headed for the surface for evac. As the firefight ended, Team India learned that Sergeant Major Avery had been killed; Rear Admiral Dinsmore, however, had escaped.
Turning the Tides
After returning to Tower Base, Team India was briefed on a new discovery, and a new target: The Olympia Penitentiary, a high-security prison which was under control of the Insurrectionists, and held a great number of civillians, including Governor Harry Jefferson (thankfully, ONI had secretly evacuated most of Olympia's civillian population in the weeks before Beta Company arrived.)
Ben would relay the revelation of Rear Admiral Dinsmore's betrayal to the other teams, and they all agreed that leaving Dinsmore alive was too dangerous. Beta Company initiated Operation: PUBLIC ENEMY - the search for Dinsmore.
Over the next 9 months, Beta Company would successfully neutralize Camp Tanglewood (Operation: SWITCHBLADE), the Airfield, the Armory, and the ship breaking yard (Operation: ROCK BOTTOM), bringing them closer to retaking Olympia.
- "It seemed Dinsmore was using some sort of voodoo mind control on the remaining civillians, 'cuz when we got there, we couldn't tell the Innies from the Inmates."
- ―Ben-B314's Personal Journal
By February 2544, Beta Company had neutralized all of the primary objectives on Olympia, except one - the Olympia Penitentiary. With the odds now in Beta Company's favor, it was their turn to strike at the Insurrectionists (still unnoficially calling themselves the United Insurrectionist Front), and the time seemed ripe to attack the Penitentiary. On the 24th, all of Beta Company began the attack, initiating Operation: HAMMERFALL.
When they arrived, Beta Company faced themselves with a problem: the Inmates of the Penitentiary had allied themselves with the Insurrectionists, so they faced an even greater opposition than previously thought. It seemed as though Rear Admiral Dinsmore had rallied the Inmates to the Insurrectionist cause, turning them against the UNSC.
While the ensuing battle was fierce and the combined Rebel/Inmate army was taking Beta Company to their limits, they could not fell the mighty Spartans so easily.
Ben and Team India decided to take initiative and locate the Rebel leadership within the Penitentiary. Leading his team to the battle's sidelines, Team India maneuvered behind enemy lines and began searching the building. Even though they would enounter more Innie soldiers along the way, none of the Rebels were a match for the five Spartans.
After clearing a few levels of the prison, Team India came across a small group of UNSC Marines in one of the Prison Cells. Ben freed the prisoners and asked them if they knew where the Rebel leadership was operating. The leader, Staff Sergeant Luis Pujols, stated that he believed that the leadership was in the command center on the top floor, which had been previously the Head Warden's Offices. But Pujols also warned them: the floor below the command center had been the prison's administration area, and was heavily fortified with Innie troops. Ben stated that they would take the risk, and Team India proceeded to the final two floors.
Evidence of Dinsmore's defection was everywhere as they fought through the Administration area: stolen UNSC blueprints and schematics, navagation discs, contraband weapons, and armor lockers were stashed throughout the area. This inevitably gave the Rebel soldiers on hand an advantage, but the Spartans did not give ground, fighting through the soldiers and they made their way to the top floor.
When Team India arrived on the top floor, they found Generals Robert Patton and Marty Oates, the two remaining Insurrectionist leaders on Olympia, and a large squad of Innie soldiers waiting for them. The Spartans easily killed the soldiers, but Patton and Oates would prove to be far more difficult. The Generals were more heavily armed than their fallen soldiers, using both Human and Covenant Weaponry, and were rapidly becoming a thorn in Team India's side. When it seemed that the two Generals had India beat, Ben thought quickly, threw down a Smoke grenade, darted behind General Patton, and locked him in a full-nelson; signing to Catherine to do the same to oates, and she did. After the two Generals had fallen unconscious, the Spartans roughly woke them up and interrogated them.
The Generals informed the Spartans that Rear Admiral Dinsmore was rapidly becoming the most powerful person among the Insurrectionists' higher echelon of leadership, and that he planned to unite all of the separate Rebel groups with the Insurrectionists to form one single organization: the United Insurrectionist Front. Ben explained that he'd heard the Rebels on this planet refer to them as the United Insurrectionist Front ever since they reached Olympia, and Patton explained that this was because they believed that the unification had already happened. The Generals would go on to explain that in exactly one month, Dinsmore was going to hold a meeting in New Byzantium with all of the major Rebel leaders to make the unification official. Ben realized that they could not let this meeting come to pass.
After the interrogation, Ben received a COM message from Fire Team Zulu that the Rebels were retreating. Hastily returning to the ground floor, Team India assisted their fellow Spartans in eliminating the rest of the Rebels. Within 30 minutes, it was determined that all hostiles had been eliminated. Operation: HAMMERFALL was a success. The Spartans radioed the Walls of Jericho for evac.
As Team India boarded their Pelican, they heard an explosion. Looking back towards the Penitentiary, they saw an Insurrectionist Pelican near the top of the prison, and Generals Patton and Oates were getting on board. Team India could only watch, begrudgingly, as the two Generals escaped.
Operation: LAND'S END
When Beta Company returned to Tower Base, Ben relayed the intel he gathered at the Olympia Penitentiary to the other teams, and Col. Longstreet. Taking this information, Col. Longstreet saw this information as a way to finally end the Olympia Campaign, naming it Operation: LAND'S END.
One week before the day that Rear Admiral Dinsmore's meeting was to take place, Longstreet initiated Operation: LAND'S END, Phase I. The goal: scout the city in stealth, locate the command center, analyze troop placement, and identify the leaders attending the meeting. Longstreet tasked three teams with this first goal, India, Team Foxtrot, and Team Charlie. All three Spartan teams would have their SPI Armor fitted with special cloaking devices that would render them totally invisible on their command.
The night following their debriefing, a Pelican dropped the three stealthed Spartan teams under cover of darkness into the city. Splitting up, Ben took Team India to the nearest security center, stealthily killed the guards within, and searched for the areas that appeared to be guarded the most heavily; those areas would likely be where the Rebel leaders were staying. When this task was accomplished, Ben rallied the other two teams, and they scouted the locations, thus confirming their suspicious: Governor Jacob Jiles, Generals Patton and Oates, Dinsmore, Sergeant Major Ron Washburn (James Avery's replacement), Dinsmore, and even Watts were in the city. The three Spartan teams transmitted these locations to Col. Longstreet via STARS above the city. Not long after, the Spartans were evacuated as quickly and as stealthily as they had come.
With the locations tagged, Beta Company hid out a mile from the city, hidden, for a week. On Friday, the day that the Rebel meeting, they began Operation: LAND'S END, Phase II. The Spartans charged into the city, meeting an Insurrectionists army ready and waiting, and the Battle for New Byzantium began.
The resistance was heavy; the entire Insurrectionist Army was there, including some of the escaped inmates from the Olympia Penitentiary, MAKO drones, and trained hounds. The Spartans, however, would not give ground. Fighting through the waves of troops, the made their way towards the New Byzantium Capitol Building, where Rear Admiral Dinsmore's meeting was taking place.
Ben, along with Kat-B320, steered away from the battle, deciding to hunt down Dinsmore. On the way, however, they were stopped by Sergeant Major Washburn. However, Washburn did not attack them. He revealed to them that he was an ONI agent, a spy secretly working for the UNSC (giving intel to Longstreet under the name Codename: CRIME DOG.) Washburn let the Spartans pass.
As they reached the first floor of the building, they spotted General Patton emerging onto the battlefield, inside a Scorpion tank. Fortunately, Kat happened to have a Sniper rifle. With prescision targeting, she killed Patton with a single headshot.
- "Lambs to the slaughter..."
- ―Ben-B314, just before killing General Marty Oates' men
Ben and Kat continued their advance, killing any Innie soldiers in their way. On the way they found the last surviving General, Marty Oates, discussing battle plans with several other Innie officers in a conference room. Oates, a coward, used his men as sacrificial lambs as the Spartans gunned them down. While Ben and Kat were distracted, Oates attempted to flee, only to be shot to death by Ben.
Following the death of General Oates, Ben and Kat proceeded to the upper tier of the Capitol Building, where they discovered Dinsmore, Governor Jiles, and Colonel Watts preparing to sign the treaty - the only signature missing was that of Colonel Watts. As Watts prepared to sign, thus making the United Insurrectionist Front official, Ben fired a few rounds from his M6 Pistol, hitting Watts twice in the arm. Dinsmore, enraged at seeing the two Spartans, ordered Jiles and Watts to escape while he "finished them off". Before Ben and Kat could capture the two Rebel leaders, Dinsmore blocked their way, two Saber Rifles in his hand, and a firefight ensued. Dinsmore orived to be quite the nuisance to the Spartans, and proved hard to kill. The Powerful Saber Guns damaged the shielding in their SPI armor suits, and the sword-like bayonetts were lethal and could easily be cleaved into their heads. Nevertheless, the Rear Admiral could not fell the Spartans. Ben launched a right hook at Dinsmore's face, catching him unawares. Kat then grabbed him and put him in a sleeper hold. As Kat held the Rebel Leader firmly, Ben picked up the treaty and ripped it up right in front of Dinsmore, thus ending the hopes of the United Insurrectionist Front. A moment later, Ben threw down a smoke grenade, and Kat, still holding on to the Rear Admiral, pinched the nerve in his neck, knocking him unconscious.
When Ben and Kat exited the building, they reunited with Col. Longstreet, Sergeant Major Washburn, and the rest of Team India, where they had been informed that the Insurrectionists had ordered a full retreat. When Ben asked what had happened to Jiles and Watts, he learned that they had disappeared. While they suspected the two rebels to have escaped alive, without Dinsmore or the treaty, their threat had greatly diminished. They would later learn that they had hijacked the Manchuria in Mid Orbit and escaped from Olympia aboard the destroyer, but for the time being, this was not a priority.
As Team India prepared to join Beta Company outside theto prepare to return to Tower Base for evac, they heard a motor whirring. They turned, and saw an injured, but alive, Rear Admiral Dinsmore in a Pelican preparing to escape the city. India at the moment, were only armored with rifles and pistols, so their fire bounced harmlessly off of the dropship. The mad Dinsmore declared that he had outsmarted the Spartans, and once he escaped he'd re-write the treaty, the UIF would become a reality, and the Insurrectionist Army would return twice as strong. But as the Pelican prepared to leave, Team India heard someone say "Don't bet on it." It was Tom-B292 of Team Foxtrot, with an armfull of Spartan Lasers. Giving one to each member of India, and to Longstreet and Washburn, all eight lasers fired at the hastily departing Pelican. The combined laser fire blew the dropship apart...but Dinsmore jumped from the ship before it did.
- "You have one last chance for redemption, Rear Admiral Dinsmore: Remorse. Go on, be a man, try for some remorse....If you do, then maybe HIGHCOM will be merciful in your sentance."
- ―Ben-B314, attempting to reason with Rear Admiral Dinsmore
- "Never.I'd rather die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner to your UNSC for all the days of my life."
- ―Dinsmore's response.
- "Then say hello to The Devil for me."
- ―Ben, just before killing Dinsmore.
Dinsmore, who landed in the nearby square, attempted to escape, but Ben caught up with him and shot him with his pistol in each leg. As Ben cornered the now crippled Dinsmore against a wall, he made one final offer to Dinsmore: If he showed remorse for his actions, they'd allow him to live, but be brought to HIGHCOM for sentencing. Dinsmore admantly refused, saying he'd rather "die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of my life." With that, Ben took out his Combat Knife and rammed it through the Rear Admiral's chest, thus finally ending the hopes of the UIF once and for all. Both New Byzantium and Olympia had been declared liberated; Operation: LAND'S END was a success.
The Headhunters (2544 - 2545)
- "Will you commit yourself to this program?"
- ―Col. Longstreet, asking if Ben-B314 wants to join The Headhunters.
- "Hell yes, sir."
- ―Ben, responding.
Shortly after returning from Olympia, Ben was called to an ultra-secret meeting with Col. Longstreet. Longstreet informed him that he was commended for the actions on Olympia and he had been selected to join a top-secret section of the SPARTAN-III Program known as The Headhunters: small teams of SPARTAN-III's who participated in extremely dangerous missions far behind enemy lines; missions whose survival rates were almost next to zero. The Headhunters were an extremely secret group which only the most elite of Beta Company were allowed to join. Only one other team of Headhunters had been assembled before Ben was called: it consisted of Roland-B034, Jonah-B222, Desmond-B114, and Ryan-B009, who had all perished during a failed mission on a Covenant moon. Ben, honored, accepted, and was paired with Tobias-B294, Edward-B062, and Jeremiah-B149. The four soon became close and dubbed themselves "Team Orpheus." The four Spartans were later given an armor upgrade, receiving sets of the experimental ATLAS Powered Battle Armor specially designed for SPARTAN-IIIs (This armor would later be used for Orbital Drop Heavy Troopers.)While Ben was still concurrently the leader of Team India, his existence as a Headhunter was never revealed to his team or any other SPARTAN-III. A flash clone of Ben was utilized for the leadership of Team India during Ben's Headhunter missions; Team India never knew.
Team Orpheus' first mission with the Headhunters was known as Operation: HEMORRHAGE: a Covenant Bird of Prey known as Deliverence From Evil had for unknown reasons, had been temporarily been detached from the Covenant Fleet Of Particular Justice and was traveling to the Covenant penitentiary world Weeping Shadows of Sorrow. Orpheus' mission was simple: destroy the ship.
While it took some time to locate Deliverence From Evil, it was finally located at the slipspace midpoint from Weeping Shadows of Sorrow.
The prowler Point of No Return delivered Team Orpheus to the location of Deliverence From Evil. They waited until one of the Phantom dropship escorts broke formation to rotate, then jumped from the ship and raided the Phantom, killed the crew inside, and masqueraded as the now-dead crew, thus convincing those on board the prison that they were the Covenant crew. This illusion would not last forever, though.
Parking the Phantom so it wouldn't' look conspicuous, Team Orpheus prepared 5 BULLDOG Nuclear Warheads and harnessed them onto their backs (with Edward carrying the fifth warhead), then put the A.I. Kaval into the dropship's main computer. Kaval would make the dropship appear damaged and lock it down for everyone except the Spartans. Team Orpheus used active camouflage to silently kill the few Covenant in the hanger (there was only one Elite Major, a Hunter pair, and a dozen Engineers) and proceeded through the ship to the bridge. Although they were compleatly stealthed, they knew that stealth wouldn't last them for the entire mission, but they were able to get through unscathed.
However, an Elite officer on patrol in the hanger discovered the killed in there and sounded the alarm. Realizing they'd been made, Team Orpheus, forgetting about stealth, and still carrying their warheads, took a detour and made their way to the ship's central reactor, where they were going to plant the warheads.
On the way, however, Jeremiah was injured after being shot in his ribcage with a Needler. While his injury slowed him down, he ignored the pain, stating that "You guys shouldn't have to slow down because of me." Offering to ease his friend's burden and pain, Ben took Jeremiah's warhead as they made there was to the reactor.
- "They told us when we agreed to join the Headhunters that the survival rates of these missions were next to zero. It can be all of us, or it can just be me. That way, Team Orpheus will live to fight another day."
- ―Ben-B314, explaining why he should be the one to stay on the Covenant ship.
Slaving the warheads to their COM signal as soon as they reached the reactor, Team Orpheus set the timer for 10 minutes and prepared to detonate them. But when they tried, the warheads wouldn't arm. To their dismay, the Covenant had jammed their COM, which required them to arm the bombs manually....meaning one of them would need to stay aboard the ship. At first, Ben volunteered to be the one to stay behind, but Jeremiah said he would do it, saying he had a feeling that "I have a feeling that this war will need more Spartans like you". He also indicated that his injury had become worse in the time it took to arm the bombs and that he was headed for reassignment to inactive duty as it was. Although he was reluctant, Ben finally agreed to leave Jeremiah behind to manually activate the BULLDOG Warheads.
Fighting their way back to the hanger, Team Orpheus called for evac from Point of No Return. A Vulture gunship arrived in the hangar to pick them up. Retrieving Kaval, the Spartans boarded the ship and hastily escaped from the Bird of Prey, only moments before it exploded.
When they were back onboard Point of No Return, Kaval informed them that while he was on the Phantom dropship that a strange data file had been placed into his memory banks. When Col. Longstreet opened the file, he was shocked: it was a message from General Adal 'Myramee and The Minister of Doubt, who were, respectively, the ship master of Deliverence From Evil and a minor Prophet, who had escaped from the Prison Barge before it blew.
- "The efforts of your Army of Demons are futile, humans. Your attacks on our Fortress and on this Prison Barge merely served as diversions. During these so-called 'victories' of yours, we used a a gift from the Gods to restore power to the reactors you destroyed on K7-49. As we speak, the Covenant's largest shipyard is being rebuilt, and then nothing will stop us from launching the assault that will annihilate your race once and for all. For your destruction is the Will of the Gods....and we are their instruments."
- ―Adal 'Myramee, on the message discovered in Kaval's memory banks,
With this disturbing information about the reconstruction of the shipyard at K7-49, ONI Brass began drawing up the plans for Operation: PROMETHEUS II.
Operation: PROMETHEUS II
K7-49 was first discovered in mid-2537 when the UNSC prowler Razor's Edge was trying to probe an enemy ship during the Battle of New Harmony. They followed the ship through Slipspace and discovered the asteroid, along with a dozen partially constructed Covenant ships; an orbital shipyard. The volcanism on the planet was artificial; it was created by 30 high-output plasma reactors that liquefy metallurgical components. The ships were then refined, shaped, and shipped away for final assembly.
The first Operation: PROMETHEUS was initiated by ONI as a target for the first contingent of SPARTAN-III's, Alpha Company. The mission for the SPARTAN-IIIs was to disable as many reactors possible so that the liquid contents of the facility would solidify and permanently clog their capacity to produce the metal. On July 27, at 0700, Alpha Company landed at K7-49, and over the course of one week, they would manage to successfully shut down the shipyard after 89% of the planet had cooled, but on August 1, the Covenant had sent a large counterrsponse. By the seventh day, August 2, PROMETHEUS was a success, but even more Covenant reinforcements had arrived and Alpha Company had been cut off from its Calypso exfiltration craft. Unable to evacuate, the Covenant reinforcements soon became too overpowering for the SPARTAN-IIIs to endure. Alpha Company was compleatly massacred; not a single Spartan survived (Even though years later, Ben would fight alongside three former members of Alpha Company with Noble Team: Carter-A259, Emile-A239, and Jun-A266, all of whom never participated in Operation: PROMETHEUS because they had been discreetly transferred out of Alpha Company by Chief Mendez to form Noble Team shortly before the op went underway.)
This time, however, specially trained Huragok had employed to the desolate asteroid to reactivate the reactors, but due to the severity of the damage, they could only restore them to 50%-power. That is, until Adal 'Myramee and the Minister of Doubt arrived with a Forerunner Restoration Array - a device that could restore any type of mechanical device, no matter how damaged it was, to full power. The Array, which had been discovered some time ago but had never been used by the Covenant because it was believed to be too dangerous, had been instilled as a fusion reactor for the newly-built complex that would operate all 45 reactors automatically (15 more reactors had been built in addition to the original 30.) Team Orpheus was tasked with the execution of Operation: PROMETHEUS II: the final eradiction of K7-49.
On November 3, 2544, Team Orpheus was dispatched to K7-49 (closer to the complex than Alpha Company had) via the Samoa. They were only just deployed on a platform outside the complex when Sangheili Warriors began shooting at them from the open windows of the entrance corridor. Soon after, suicide Unggoy squads began spilling out and rushing at the Spartans. They did not make it far, as Ben gunned the leader down, and the grenades the Unggoy was carrying detonated, killing its comrades. They managed to secure their landing zone, then flooded the corridors and stormed into the lava observatory room, where they found a Huragok, Not So Heavy, running the systems being mainatined by the other Huragok throughout the complex. They soon found out that Not So Heavy was the leader of the Huragok at the complex, yet being a Huragok, it was defenseless, and was easily dispatched by the Spartans. Seizing control of the observatory room gave them access to an outside walkway. It was after marching across the walkway that the Covenant fully learned of the breach in thir security, and began sending in heavier reinforcements: Team Orpheus encountered a Lekgolo pair guarding the security door beyond the walkway, and barely got past them, but managed it.
Team Orpheus managed to take command over an overlook station from the Covenant forces. From there, they regrouped and rushed into the complex control center, where they encountered Adal 'Myramee and the Minister of Doubt. A skirmish ensued, and, while the Spartans took the fight to the Zealot and the Prophet, and while Doubt suffered an injury, Adal, being the superior warrior, injured all three members of Team Orpheus with quick slashes from his Energy Sword. During the chaotic battle, however, Ben threw a grenade at the Master Command Interface Computer, damaging it and releasing the processes controlling the flow and pressure of the lava, thus causing the reactors to go haywire and the lava to rise at an alarming rate. If nothing was done soon, the lava would totally consume the complex...and the Spartans with it.
Due to this ordeal, the time to place the orbital strike beacon had come. The beacon was set on the overlook to signal for the orbiting Samoa to bombard the base. With the destruction of the complex, the reactors would be permanently shut down and the rapidly rising lava would cool.
As Team Orpheus fled to the LZ, a Black Cat Exfiltration Craft waiting for them, the remaining Covenant forces ('Myramee and Doubt had ordered evacuation, but Doubt stayed behind) along with the Minister of Doubt, blocked their way to their craft. Another skirmish ensued. While the Spartans were able to take out most of Doubt's guardians, the Prophet himself fired an overcharged Plasma Pistol at Ben-B312, but Tobias jumped in the way, taking the shot full in the chest. Throwing a final grenade at the group, Ben got his comrades into the Black Cat and took off. Thinking that the Minister had made a foolish mistake by staying down there, a Phantom picked him up. Cursing this bad luck, but content that it was a small bad mark in an overall victory, they had just enough time to jump clear of the system in the Black Cat when their overhead forces executed an orbital bombardment command, completely demolishing the complex and permanently cooling K7-49.
The victory came at a heavy price, however: The overcharged plasma burst to the chest that Tobias took proved to be fatal, overheating his heart and putting it in full arrest. Despite Ben and Edward's efforts to apply first aid treatments, it was no use. Tobias died shortly aftr they entered slipspace. Ben vowed that no matter what, he would do whatever it took from then on out that he would do anything to avenge his fallen Spartan brethren.
Operation: CARTWHEEL (2545)
During the Olympia Campaign, Governor Jiles and Colonel Watts took a small force and escaped from New Byzantium during Operation: LAND'S END, using an Insurrectonist Pelican, raiding the UNSC Manchuria and taking command of it and escaping the system. Since then, ONI had been searching for the Manchuria's whereabouts, still believing it to be commandered by Rebels.
The Manchuria was successfully tracked down and located at the decommissioned Repair Station Ares. Beta Company was deployed with the mission to successfully recapture the ship, but failing that, destroy it.
Operation: CARTWHEEL went underway sometime in June 2545, and Beta Company was deployed to Station Ares discreetly by the prowler Exodus. The Station had come under almost total control of the Rebels, and both sides soon engaged each other on the ground.
Teams India, Foxtrot, and Charlie volunteered to try and recapture the ship while the rest of the Spartans engaged the Rebel Troops. Sneaking to the outpost that the Rebels had set up on the far side of Station Ares, the three teams used stealth, prescision, and a little bit of luck to capture a docked Insurrectionist Pelican. Flying up from the base of to the destroyer in orbit, the Spartan teams masqueraded as Rebel forces and managed to convince the Innies onboad the Manchuria that they were crew members transporting supplies.
Once they got on board the ship, however, the illusion was shattered....temporarily. A squad of 30 Innie Soldiers was waiting for them in the Manchuria's hanger bay. The Spartans killed all of them, and soon, Ben and Kat found a control terminal that they would attempt to use to reassert the UNSC's control over the vessel. But they soon learned that the Rebels were one step ahead of him: the system had been locked out to their control, and the entire ship had been notified of their presence. Reactivating the stealth systems in their SPI Armor, they maganged to, very carefully, sneak to the upper deck of the ship.
Once there, they dropped their active camo and fought their way to the bridge, where more than two dozen Rebel commandos waited for them. While the commandos were a tough bunch, they could not compete with Spartans. The three teams killed all the commandos and the self-imposed captain. Once the bridge crew was dead, Ben managed to override the lockout protocols established by the rebels, then searched to see if either Jiles or Watts had been on board. Neither of them were. Ben then came up with a plan: knowing that there were many more rebels still alive on board the ship, they would depressureize the entire ship, thus killing all the remaining rebels vua asphixiation.
The plan proved successful, and once the Spartans had control of the ship, they used its Modified MAC Guns to destroy the Rebel Outpost and take out the remaining resistance, then repressurized the ship and recalled the rest of Beta Company onbord the Manchuria, then took the ship back to FLEETCOM.
Immediately following the completion of Operatio: CARTWHEEL, a member of Ben's team, Catherine-B320, was given reassignment orders by ONI. What Col. Longstreet told them was that Kat's technical and battle prowess had gotten her reassigned to one of ONI Special Warfare Groups. For many years Ben never knew where exactly Kat had ended up....until they fought side by side once again as members of Noble Team on Reach several years later.
Following Kat's transfer, Ben personally requested that his brother, Leon-B247, take Kat's place. Leon was, at the time, the leader of Fire Team Charlie, but accepted to fight by his brother's side.
Operation: TORPEDO (2545)
- "Then let my name stand among those who saw so many of Humanity's heroes die for Earth's sake, and in doing so, earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won."
- ―Ben-B314, explaining why he should stay behind.
During Ben's missions as a Headhunter, the local CENTCOM had discovered a Covenant deuterium/tritium refinery on the star Pegasi Delta in the 51 Pegasi system. These chemicals were used in the Covenant's plasma reactors, therefore making this refinery an excellent refueling plant for Covenant ships, right on the edge of UNSC space. The destruction of this supply point would triple the length of Covenant resupply and buy the UNSC valuable time to recover from the ravages of war. This time would be spent regrouping in the wake of numerous crushing defeats at the hands of the Covenant Navy. Long range nuclear bombardments were met with failure as the Covenant ships shot the weapons out of the sky, and neither a regular invasion nor an ODST insertion were considered worth the attempt. So Beta Company was selected, and Operation: TORPEDO was underway.
At 1135, on July 3, 2545, the 300 SPARTAN-IIIs of Beta Company landed on the planet, Pegasi Delta, via Long Range Stealth Orbital Insertion Pods launched from the UNSC All Under Heaven . Nine Spartans did not survive, they were either killed on impact or by Covenant forces. No one on Ben's team were one of the deceased. As Ben ordered his team to advance towards the refinery, the moved foreword in a flanking position of Team Foxtrot.
At first, initial resistance was light, as the Covenant had not yet realized how big the force was. Soon, however, Covenant Seraphs began their strafing runs, prompting the hiding Spartans to abandon their stealth and rush to the factory for safety. As more Seraphs appeared, a few Spartans attempted to hold them back with missile launchers, and succeeded in destroying two, forcing the remaining Seraphs to cancel their runs. Ben believed this to be highly suspicious, and too easy....
Ben's suspicions were confirmed when moments later, the Seraphs returned and launched bombing runs on Beta Company. killing dozens of them. Thousands of Jackals and Elites joined the assault. In response, the surviving Spartans charged, their speed and reflexes helping them kill hundreds of Covenant soldiers until "the field ran with rivers of gore and blue blood". Also seizing an opportunity, Ben managed to hijack a Banshee flier and provided Beta Company with air support, shooting down the Serpahs and other Banshees, while also firing at the Covenant's ground forces below. Slowly, but surely, the odds fell back into Beta Company's favor.
At that moment of victory, however, the Omega Three panic retreat code was ordered. Ben was confused as to why, for they were winning the battle. Suddenly, seven Covenant Cruisers landed, and with them, were thousands of Elites. Half of the remaining Beta Company turned to face the new threat in an attempt to buy time for their fellow soldiers. Team Foxtrot were the ones to rush into the factory, the destruction of the core being their only solution. Still piloting the captured Banshee, Ben ordered the rest of Team India to provide Foxtrot cover by having them guard the entrance, thus preventing any more Covenant ground forces from getting inside.
While Ben continued to provide air support as long as he could, his Banshee was eventually shot down by Seraphs. Rejoining his team, they continued to provide cover for Foxtrot (now deep within the refinery), until the seven cruisers began firing down on them. Knowing that no human, not even a Spartan, could survive such firepower, Ben reinitiated the Omega Three code and ordered everyone to evacuate while Foxtrot still had time to blow the refinery.
Ben hijacked a Covenant Revenant and picked up Leon, and also managed to rendezvous with the rest of Team India. The team continued to make their way towards one of the Black Cat subprowlers as the rest of Beta Company fell around them, either being killed by the pursuing ground forces or by the capital ship fire that rained down on them.
However, as they pressed on, Jacob and Mikayla were killed trying to fight off a fire team following them. Saving his grief for his fallen teammates, Ben, along with Leon and Damián were only meters from the nearest subprowler. But more tragedy struck when a blast from a Wraith tank mortar hit their Revenant, severely damaging it and mortally wounding Damián. Damián's last words were "Blast their asses to kingdom come for me, guys."
With the Revenant damaged and the Covenant overpowering them, Ben realized that there was no hope of survival. Ben urged Leon to leave him to hold the Covenant off. Leon would have nothing off it, but Ben urged him to go on, claiming that he wanted to return a conqueror of his enemy, not as someone who retreated from a massacre, so he would be a conqueror in death. Finally convincing Leon to take the Black Cat with as many of the other survivors as possibly, the brothers exchanged one final, tear-ridden embrace before parting for what seemed the last time. Leon ran to the subprowler and got it ready.
Now alone with the scattered other SPARTAN-III's retreating, Ben engaged the fire team. He was vastly outnumbered, but managed to slay several Jackals and Grunts. Even then, the odds still stacked against him, as the surviving Sangheili and Jiralhanae of the team surrounded him, the Sangheili leader grabbed him by the neck and prepared to skewer him with its Energy Sword....when the refinery blew. As the team scattered, Ben locked down his armor. The blast passed over him.....
What seemed like hours later, Ben awoke, realizing he had survived the blast, but his SPI Armor had been overtaxed and was severely damaged. Ben was overjoyed to realize that the refinery had been destroyed...but the blast had been so powerful that it had vaporized everything within its range, including the Covenant's ground forces, the cruisers...and every one else in Beta Company.
The lone Spartan, believing himself to be the only survivor, found one final subprowler. From it, he sent a transmission to CENTCOM requesting pickup.
The loss of everyone in Beta Company affected Ben deeply. His previously social demeanor all but vanished; he became cold and calculating; he often spent long peroids alone, utterly silent and still. Thought he would recover from this depression, the shock and despair of losing Beta Company never fully left Ben. In the years to come, Ben would feel no joy or sorrow in what he did, losing any hope that humanity would stand a chance to the superior Covenant. He became filled with rage and vengeance, which he would vent during his missions with ONI. Ben became a lethal force of destruction, a loaded gun to be pointed at a foe, on a bitter quest for revenge on those he felt had robbed him of everything.
Agent of ONI
- "When deeds speak, words are nothing."
After leaving Pegasi Delta, Ben was recovered by the Excelsior-class science prowler Ignis Fatuus. On board the ship were Colonels Ackerson and Longstreet, Rear Admiral Ned Rich (director of ONI Section 1) Captain Aaron Gibson (head of ONI's BlackOps division), and Vice Admiral Margaret Parangosky.
They had informed him that his time in Beta Company had been closely monitored by ONI, and that, with him now presumed dead, they had come in to conscript him into ONI as the leader of their newest special operations unit: Task Force 141, a SpecOps unit that was primarily under the jurisdiction of Section 1, but carried out missions for all of ONI. This actions effectively placed him as one of ONI's top field commanders for all of ONI operations in the field.
Longstreet became Ben's new direct commanding officer (or handler, as they were sometimes referred to as) under the alias Codename: RORSCHACH. Ben himself was assigned the alias Codename: ANTIOCH. Ben was also given the AI Kaval, and was made a Petty Officer, First Class.
Task Force 141 was a multi-global special operations force composed of the best members of the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Air Force, but, unlike most ONI projects, they were only under a thin veil of shadow.
From that point on, Ben would report diretly to the higher echelon of ONI's leadership (Parangosky, Rich, Gibson, and possibly a few others) (albeit through Longstreet) and, for the next 7 years, Ben would go on nearly hundreds of missions on behalf of ONI. Also, Ben was presented with a new set of armor to compensate for his badly damaged SPI armor: the MJOLNIR Power Assault Armor/Mark V(B).
Operation: DELIVERENCE (2545)
Ben's first mission leading Task Force 141 was Operation: DELIVERENCE. Communications with ONI Research Station 66B, which was in orbit near Sirius, an asteroid that had been colonized by ONI as a research outpost, had been lost, and Covenant activity had been suspected, as Sirius sat close to Covenant space. Ben and Recon 111 were dispatched to Sirius on board the sloop Walk of Shame. Indeed, when they arrived, Station Epsilon was under attack by two Covenant Destroyers.
When Ben arrived on the station, the commanding officer on board the station told him that, before the Destroyers attacked, they had sent several strike forces down to the surface of Siruis. He told him that they had overheard some of their COM transmissions, and overheard them saying "find the relics". Ben surmised that the Covenant had found Forerunner relics on Sirius and were searching for them. It was then that they created Operation: DELIVERENCE, where their goal was to find these "relics" first.
Ben was deployed planetside via a Pelican dropship, with thanks to coordinates provided by the leaders of Station 66B. The coordinates were believed to lead them to where Covenant activity was highest.
Siege of Durandal (2545)
Battle of Paramount (2545)
Battle of Andromeda (2546)
Battle of Skopje (2547)
Operation: MEGIDDO (2548)
Operation: CRUCIFIX (2549)
Siege of Paris IV (2549)
Second Battle of Arcadia (2549)
Battle of Joyous Exultation (2549)
Siege of Olympia (2550)
Operation: TRANSCENDENCE (2550)
Battle of Nimbus III (2550)
Operation: BLOODSPORT (2551)
Operation: PARADOX (2551)
Battle of Herodotus (2551)
Operation: SUNBURST (2551)
Project SABRE (2551 - 2552)
- "Our goal is this: to make a starfighter that's faster, more powerful, and more maneuverable than anything we've ever made before. What is that you Spartans call yourselves? Defenders of Earth, and all her colonies? Well, the Sabre is exactly that, and more. And, Spartan? You're by far our best pilot. So who better to test it out than you?"
- ―Codename: WILL O' THE WISP, about the Sabre program sometime in 2551.
In 2551, Ben was recalled to Reach by WILL O' THE WISP, where he met with Peter Longstreet, now a Rear Admiral with his return to ONI, Colonel Ackerson, and General of the Air Force Randy McPherson. The three men had recently succeeded in getting the "preposterously rumored" Sabre Program approved by HIGHCOM (it had been dismissed by three other administrations before), thus allowing the construction of the YSS-1000 starfighter, better known as the "Sabre" into Navy service, and they wanted to train Ben on how to pilot a Sabre.
Ben was given a promotion to Lieutenant, and would spend nearly a year aboard the UNSC Hopeful, the same place where he received the augmentations of Project CHRYSANTHEMUM, in flight simulations and training for Project SABRE, under the careful eye of General McPherson, who had become his new commanding officer.
Second Battle of Mamore (2552)
After nearly a full year of training to fine-tune his pilot skills, an opportunity arose for Ben to test the Sabre for real.
Several months earlier, the ONI Prowler Corps has sent several two Athena-class Prowlers to investigate rumored Insurrectionist activity on Mamore. There they'd discovered Governor Jacob Jiles' personal stockpile. They had further learned that he had arranged for Insurrectionist forces to discreetly travel to Harmony, where they disabled Harmony's primary communications array and then stole two Stargazer-class Civillian Freighters from drydock. Jiles had then started up a smuggling operation, disguising their operation as a shipping line so they could smuggle UNSC supplies, arms, armor, and other equipment from the rest of the Epsilon Eridanus system and even the Sol System.Phase One of the op was for Ben to meet with Jiles under the alias of Alexander Brisbane, the president of an imaginary shipping and trading company "Aurora Shipping and Trading Industries" aboard the cargo freighter Othello (actually the prison ship Mona Lisa disguised as a cargo freighter.) Ben was given a code to work with: If Jiles immediately accepted the deal, that meant he knew that the UNSC was on to him and to initiate an air strike raid. If he was wary, he would not know.
Ben was sent down to the Robertson Ship Breaking Yard (consisting of a Command Center, the two warehouses where the stockpiled supplies were kept, a drydock, and an airfield) on Mamore to meet with Jiles onboard his personal ship, the Beatrice (a long-since decommissioned ONI stealth vessel that Jiles has purchased on the black market), which was in the Robertson drydock being refit, along with the two stolen Stargazer freighters, along with a third Stargazer, the Exxon Valdez that the rebels had built from scratch, and was intended to be the Governor's new ship.
When Ben reached the Beatrice 's bridge, he met Jiles under the Brisbane alias and with the pretense of wanting to make a deal with the Insurrection: in exchange for the two Stargazer-class Freighter, they'd give them an entire fleet of new, more modern freighters, plus Aurora's protection from the UNSC's Cole Protocol AND other space traffic laws. What surprised Ben was when Jiles immediately accepted the deal....indicating he'd been made. So Ben retreated from the Beatrice back to the Othello, then take to the skies of Mamore.
Ben, along with the rest of "Sierra Squadron" began bombing the Robertson complex. The Rebels deployed fighters of their own to combat the UNSC onslaught, but the Sabres were immensely superior in every respect. After neutralizing the Rebel counterresponse, Sierra Squadron disabled all AA batteries, all defenses around the warehouses and drydock, and were able to recapture the freighters and contraband equipment, thus permanently halting Governor Jiles' stockpiling operation. As they prepared to touchdown into the complex to find and arrest Governor Jiles, they noticed the Exxon Valdez preparing to leave the planet as well. Ben ordered all UNSC forces to return to the Mona Lisa and use any available weapons on the vessel to disable, but not destroy the ship. When the succeeded, Ben lead a force and stormed the ship, but only found a minimal skeleton crew on board. As they pondered their problem, the Mona Lisa detected a ship entering slipspace on the far side of Mamore. Sure enough, it was the Beatrice. Ben soon learned that the Beatrice wan't under repairs at all and the Exxon Valdez was never intended as Jiles' new ship, but as a decoy. Jiles had evaded the UNSC once again. But the UNSC forces enjoyed the victory of shutting down the Innie smuggling operation and reclaiming the freighters.
Noble Team and the Fall of Reach (2552)
- "And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
- ―There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale
Following the operation on Mamore, Ben was recalled to Earth by Rear Admiral Longstreet, Admiral Parangosky (now director of ONI), and Colonel Ackerson to meet with Colonel Urban Holland, the commanding officer of SpecWarCom Group Three. Holland had seen the after-action report of the operation on Mamore and wanted Ben to become the new member of Noble Team, a squad of SPARTAN-IIs and SPARTAN-IIIs, including Catherine-B320, whom Ben hadn't seen since Operation: CARTWHEEL seven years previously. Ben would go by the callsign "Noble Six", replacing Thom-293, who had perished several months earlier during a battle against the Covenant on an unknown human colony. Although Ackerson and Longstreet were reluctant to lose Ben's services, they agreed it was better for Noble Team to have the Spartan rather than ONI. Admiral Parangosky approved the transfer, and Ben was the new "Noble Six"
Joining Noble Team
- "I've seen your file, Lieutenant, even the parts the ONI censors didn't want me to. I'm glad to have your skillset, but we're a team. That lone wolf stuff stays behind."
- ―Commander Carter-A259
Benjamin-B314 arrived on Reach to meet up with Noble Team in July, personally driven by Warthog and escorted by a pair of Falcon fliers. When the arrived at the small camp where Noble had set up operations, Ben met his new squadmates for the first time: Commander Carter-A259, Noble Team's commander, Lieutenant Commander Catherine-B320, the second-in-command and the intelligance specialist, Warrant Officer Jun-A266, the sniper, Warrant Officer Emile-A239, the assault specialist, and Chief Warrant Officer Jorge-052, the only SPARTAN-II on the team and the heavy weapons specialist.
When Ben arrived, Noble Team was receiving orders from Colonel Holland to deploy to the nearby farming village of Visegrad; their comms relay had been knocked out and contact had been lost; several trooper fire teams had been sent to investigate, but had not reported in for some time and had since been declared Missing In Action. Holland suspected Insurrectionist activity, so he wanted Noble Team to figure out who knocked out the relay and neutralize any threat.
Before Noble Team disembarked, Carter informed Ben that he was "stepping into shoes that would be better left unfilled" but he was glad to have him onboard and to have Noble back to full strength. Carter also told Ben that he was glad to have the Spartan's skillset as a pilot, but to leave all the "lone wolf" stuff behind.
Skirmish at Visegrad
- "Colonel, this is Noble One. There are no Rebels. The Covenant are on Reach. Acknowledge?"
- ―Carter, at Visegrad Relay, reporting to Colonel Holland.
- "Come again, Noble One? Did you say Covenant?"
- ―Holland, responding
- "Affirmative. It's the Winter Contingency"
- ―Carter, on the situation.
- "....May God help us all."
When Noble Team reached Visegrad, they picked up a distress beacon possibly from some of the missing troopers. When they investigated further, they searched a nearby farmhouse and found the beacon beneth the wreckage of a severely damaged Warthog, along with signs of a fight happening there, but no troopers, dead or alive. After concluding that nothing was there, they moved on.
When Noble Team came the next cluster of buildings, they enconutered a cluster of Hungarian farmers hiding. One farmer told them that they "were attacked, and heard gunfire, and something in the fields killed his son." Shortly after this, Jun, who was partolling from a Falcon in the sky, detected heat signatures in the buildings ahead. Jorge and Emile got the farmers back inside as Noble Team moved on.
Farther in, they found three of the missing troopers, all dead. As they proceeded, they picked up brief flashes of movement, but not long enough to find out what.
When Noble Team reached the last farmhouse, they finally saw who the invaders were: the Covenant. Multiple ground troops had already been deployed, with Banshee fliers providing air support. Noble Team quickly dispatched the troops, but more were coming, and it was imperative that they get to Visegrad Relay as quickly as possible. Emile and Kat would advance to Visegrad Relay and clear any hostiles there, while Ben, Carter, and Jorge would recon East Valley and try to find any survivors of Fire Team 3 Charlie, who they had just received a distress call from.
After fighting through waves of Covenant ground troops, they found the survinvng members of 3 Charlie fighting several Elite fire teams down by a river bank. The Spartans assisted the troopers, eventually eliminating the hostile forces and having Jun evacuate them, then transporting them to Visegrad Relay.
When they recached the COM post, more reinforcements had arrived. Although Noble Team had cleared most of them out, more continued coming, so they retreated inside.
At first appearance, Visegrad Relay appeared to be devoid of hostiles, and also of any surviving friendly forces, save for a few injured marines. Ben was tasked with finding anything the Covenant would be interested in. Ben found nothing until he searched the corpse of a xenoarchiologist named Laszlo Sorvad. On Sorvad's body he found a data module, but he handed it over to Kat because it was not his domain. Nearby, Jorge had found another survivor, a girl who appeared to be in her teens (who they later found out was Sára Sorvad, Laszlo's daughter), who appeared to be struggling to escape, despite Jorge's attempts to calm her down.
Moments later, Noble team was ambushed by a team of Elite Zealots, led by a Field Marshall. The Field Marshall attacked Jorge and captured the girl before turning her over to the Zealots. In the chaos, the Field Marshall charged Ben, knocking him to the floor and almost stabbing him with an Energy Dagger, but Carter kicked an Assault Rifle to Ben, and Ben fired on the Marshall, managing to get him off. Ben and Jorge were ordered to follow the Elites and "clear the hole".
After fighting through several waves of Sangheili and Unggoy, Ben reset a junction in order to restore the COM signal. The signal was patchy, but they got through to Colonel Holland. Holland declared WINTER CONTINGENCY and said, before ending the transmission, "May God help us all."
Battle of Sword Base
- "Beautiful, ain't it? Someone should take a picture. Nice work, by the way."
- ―Jorge-052, following the end of the Battle for Sword Base
- "I aim to please."
Following Noble Team's extraction from Visegrad, they learned that the Covenant had begun a siege of an ONI outpost in the Babd Catha Ice Shelf known as Sword Base via a corvette. According to Noble Team's AI, Auntie Dot, the use of orbital rounds had been temporarily prohibited due to Sword Base's "sensitive nature", so the Spartans had to go to groundside to defend the facility. The UNSC troops on base had managed to organize a resistance, but the Covenant forces vastly outnumbered the UNSC's. Ben and Kat were deployed into the courtyard to assist the struggling troopers, while Carter, Jorge, Emile, and Jun proceeded into Sword Base itself.
After fighting through waves of Covenant troopers, they finally cleared the courtyard. After this, Sword Control gave them clearance to proceed to the main gate. However, their path was blocked by a pair of Wraith tanks. Ben made short work of the tanks after destroying them with a target locator he'd found. Afterwards, a Pelican arrived with a Warthog, in case Ben and Kat needed extra firepower. Also, they were tasked with proceeding to Farragut Station and activating a comms array that would put them back in touch with command, and Airview Base, which had an AA gun that could clear the skies.
Ben first arrived at Farragut to activate the comms array, but found that it was heavily patrolled by the Covenant. After battling through the Covenant forces there, saving several clusters of marines and troopers, Ben activated the array, then saddled back up and headed for Airview Base to activate the AA gun. En route, they were contacted by Carter, who told them to get back to Sword Base as soon as possible. When Ben, Kat, and their forces arrived at Airview, they saw that it was just as heavily enforced as Farragut was. After fightinng through the Covenant's forces once again, Ben activated the AA gun, and the hostile forces soon dispersed. Ben and Kat then returned to Sword Base to link up with the rest of Noble Team. However, during the battle, their Warthog was destroyed by a plasma genade, so the Spartans hijacked a Revenant-class Scout Assault Vehicle.
Now in possession of a Revenant, Ben and Kat returned to Sword Base, only to find more Covenant forces assaulting the main gate, including several other Revenants. After getting past the forces assaulting the gates, they proceeded back into the courtyard, where they fought past several Elite fire teams, and into the lower building of the base, where they encountered a Hunter pair. After dispatching the Hunters, they found an elevator that took them to Sword Base's Security Office. After fighting their way through there, they met Jorge, Carter, and Jun fighting even more Covenant reinforcements in the atrium. Carter informed Ben that the Covenant corvette was now in position for the orbital strike to commence, but swarms of Banshee fliers were bombing the top of the building, and Emile had gone topside to assist a small squadron of shock troops to get rid of the Banshees. Carter ordered Ben and Jorge to go topside to help him.
When Ben and Jorge arrived, Emile's shock trooper squad was almost gone, but he informed them that they'd been stockpiling rocket launchers and spartan lasers. Emile handed Ben a launcher and a laser, and together, with their combined firepower, they eventually destroyed enough Banshees to initiate the oribtal strike. Moments after Emile declared the all clear, a MAC blast destroyed the corvette.
Following the destruction of the corvette, Noble Team was recalled to Sword Base's science wing to meet with none other than Dr. Catherine Halsey herself. Apparently she knew of Noble Team's presence at Visegrad when the Covenant first attacked and wanted to know the details of the attack. She informed them that Professor Sorvad was one of her key researchers, and wanted to know how he was killed. When Carter told her that they were ambushed by Zealots and that he gave the order not to pursue, Halsey reprimanded Carter, then proceeded to explain that advance teams of Elite Zealots were dispatched by the Covenant to hunt down artifacts of value to their religion, and that Professor Sorvad's final entry in his field notes made reference to "a latchkey discovery", something that the Covenant were not likely to pass up. Kat handed the data module found on Sorvad's body to Halsey before departing.
- "That's no strike force...it's an invading army."
- ―Jun-A266, after he and Ben-B314 discover the Covenant's full presence on Reach.
That night, Ben, along with Jun, were deployed as "Recon Bravo" to the area that was believed to be the Covenant's "Dark Zone"; the Covenant's forces had not shown up on HIGHCOM's scans thus far, and they were to recon the area and gain details of the Covenant's presence and find out what they were hiding.Ben and Jun touched down, both armed with sniper rifles, and planned to go in as quickly and quietly as possible. When they enountered the first Covenant-controlled complex, Ben swiftly assassinated the Elite Overseer, and the two Spartans successfully picked off the rest of the forces there with carefully coordinated sniper fire. After clearing the hostile forces, the Covenant became fully aware of their presence, and were ordered to keep searching for the Dark Zone.
After fighting through several Covenant occupied areas, Ben and Jun encountered several very large indigenous creautres known as Gúta. Though this slowed them down temporarily, they soon picked up speed, as they did not encounter anymore Covenant reinforcements for a while.
Farther up, Recon Bravo arrived at a pumping station where a band of colonial militia were fighting off Covenant forces. Thinking that they could have valuable information, Ben and Jun decided to forge an alliance with them and help them fight off the Covenant forces there. They soon learned that the militia troopers had stockpiled contraband UNSC weapons and had various caches around the station. Using these weapons, the combined militia/recon force fought through several waves of Covenant before the area was considered safe.
The militia led Recon Bravo to a hydro-electric plant up the river where the militia saw the Covenant coming from. Following the riverbed and reaching the plant, they noticed that the plant was heavily fortified and that a pylon had been set up. After contacting Kat on COM, it was confirmed that it was the source of the Covenant's Dark Zone, and that they were to stick the pylon with a remote det charge and clear the plant.
As soon as the area was cleared, Jun planted the det charge in the pylon, placing it inconspcicously in the pylon's power core. They soon advanced further into the Dark Zone to find out what the Covenant were hiding.
After fighting through several foreword battalions of Covenant, including disabling seversl Shade guns, Ben and Jun noticed a Covenant Corvette looming in the distance, hanging right above what looked like a large, dome-shaped energy shield off in the Viery territory. When the two Spartans went to observe, they discovered a massive Covenant landing zone, housing an even larger Covenant force than originally thought. It was an entire inading army. Kat ordered all recon teams to disengage and fall back, saying that, when the sun came up, it would be a "very busy day."
Battle of Viery
- "It appears that Recon Bravo's discovery last night was not an anomaly. Large Covenant deployments have occurred undetected, and we are now under attack across the Viery territory."
- ―Auntie Dot
Following Recon Bravo's discovery, the UNSC Army, with the help from Noble Team, initiated a large counter-attack against the Covenant forces in Viery by sending in the frigates UNSC Grafton and UNSC Saratoga to deploy a large convoy of military forces (consisting of Warthogs, Scorpion tanks, Falcon fliers, and multiple trooper fire teams), led by Noble Team, to combat the enemy. The landing zone that had been spotted by Ben and Jun the night before had been declared a Priority One objective, with secondary goals being to help the UNSC's forces in any way possible.
To begin the assault, Kat detonated the charge that Jun had placed on the pylon the night before. Moments after this happened, a pair of Banshees swooped down on them and opened fire. In the confusion, a blast from a Wraith mortar hit the Warthog that Ben and Kat were in, throwing them off track. As they gained back the lost ground and crossed a nearby bridge, another mortar destroyed it, sending the Warthog careening to the other side and crashing violently, killing the gunner and rendering Ben momentarily unconscious. The Spartans two regrouped and engaged the oncoming Covenant ground troops.
The resistance to the Spartans and the few troopers there was very heavy; Banshees continued to bomb them and two Fuel-Rod Variant Shade Turrets had been set up. After thinning out the resistance, a Rocket Warthog was dropped off at their location with explicit orders to destroy new targets: A pair of "Tyrant" Anti-Aircraft Plasma Cannons. Ben and Kat commandeered the Warthog and set off.
When they reached the location of the first AA gun, a large battle was already taking place in the valley below: Three Scarabs and multiple Ghosts, Wraiths, and Banshees were attacking a large group of Warthogs, Scorpions, and Falcons. The gun was also firing on 2 Lima 4 of the Bombing Battalion, thus preventing the Grafton from initiating an orbital strike.
The cannon was heavily guarded by Covenant troops. While Kat remained in the Warthog and fired at the outside of the gun to disable its shields, Ben retreated into the bunker and disabled its power core, damaging it badly enough for 2 Lima 4 to finish the job. Meanwhile, the Grafton and Saratoga used their MAC cannons to clear the hostiles from the valley.
As Ben and Kat continued their advance, they came upon a BXR Mining facility where a fire team of troopers was under fire from Covenant troops and a Shade turret. Ben ran for the Shade, killed the gunner, commandeered it, and used it to take out the rest of the Covenant forces firing on the troopers. After entering the facility, Auntie Dot informed them that an Elite Zealot was seen escaping from the facility and had been classed as a high value target.
They did not come across the Zealot until they had fought through nearly the entire facility. The Zealot was atop a platform yelling at his fellow Covenant. As Kat continued through the facility, Ben cornered the Zealot, who appeared to challenge Ben. The Spartan charged the Sangheili, his Assault Rifle blazing on full auto, firing two full clips at the alien; the fire didn't faze the Zealot. After firing at Ben several times with a Plasma Repeter, the Zealot ignited its Energy Sword and launched an uppercut at the Spartan. Ben dodged and rammed his Combat Knife through the Zealot's chest. After reporting the neutralization of the target, Ben met up with Kat and advanced to the outside of the facility to find the second AA gun.
When they reached the gun, they learned that this one's power core was unguarded, save for a pair of Hunters (despite the heavy resistance still outside.) Ben fought his way past the Hunters and disabled the power core with the work of a few plasma grenades and a salvaged Fuel Rod Gun. 2 Lima 4 was once again called in to finish the job. After the gun was destroyed, a Pelican dropped off additional UNSC reinforcements, clearing the hostiles from the area. Sonn afterward, a Falcon with Jorge-052 arrived to pickup Ben (Kat remained behind to set up a foreword observation post) to begin the final advance on Spire One.
When the Falcon flew through the shield being generated by the Spire, an EMP burst triggered, rendering the Falcon inoperable. The Falcon began to spiral out of control towards the ground; Ben locked his armor at the last second after a warning from Jorge. When the Falcon finally crashed, Ben was, once again, briefly unconscious. When he came to, he found that he and Jorge were the only survivors.
After fighting their way through several SpecOps Unggoy and Kig-Yar sniper squads, they finally arrived at the base of the Spire. Ben was ordered to proceed to the top of the spire and deactivate the shield it was generating. Avoiding the chaotic battle already ragin around the Spire, Ben navigated to a grav lift and immediately made it to the top of the Spire.
The enemy forces at the top were minimal, but still put up a tough fight. After fighting through more Grunts and killing the Elite Overseer with a swift stab to the back, Ben disabled the shield, then ran at full speed out the small observation deck, took a diving jump, and landed in Noble Team's Falcon. After the shield came down, the Grafton appeared above the Spire and obliterated it with a single MAC blast. However, moments after the Grafton destroyed the Spire, a burst of energy obliterated the Grafton. The source of this blast was revealed seconds later: a massive Covenant Supercarrier, the Long Night of Solace.
- "As a soldier in the field I couldn't possibly have access to those kinds of resources- that said, a good place to look might be... Oh, I don't know, the nearest nonexistent launch site in the nonexistent Sabre Program, dismissed by three administrations as preposterous rumor... And in which our newest member was certainly never a pilot."
- ―Catherine-B320, describing her plan to destroy the Long Night of Solace.
With the discovery of the Long Night of Solace, 60% of the UNSC fleet was recalled to Reach, with the first battlegroup expected to arrive within two days. However, Noble Team (who were lying low in a cave not far from the location of Spire One), Kat in particular, knew that two days was not enough time.
Kat devised a plan of her own: take a Shaw-Fujikawa Slipspace Drive and convert it into a makeshift bomb and get it onto the supercarrier. Carter disagreed with the plan from the get-go, not only believing it to be too dangerous, but not seeing any way to get both orbit-capable transport and an intact Shaw-Fujikawa Slipspace Drive. Kat brought up none other than the Sabre program, which had not been used since Ben's op on Mamore several month prior. With Ben's skills as a pilot, Noble Team had an advantage. Carter decided it was for the best, but was convinced that Col. Holland wouldn't approve.
However, Holland did approve, stating that "desperate times call for desperate measures." The mission was codenamed Operation: UPPERCUT.
Noble Team was deployed to the only still intact Sabre Program Launch & Research Range on Reach, at Farkas Lake in Eposz. Their goal was to reclaim the site from the Covenant and find a Sabre starfighter and rendezvous with Col. Holland's gathering space forces.
Resistance on the beach was heavy; the Covenant were trying very hard to prevent them from accessing the facility. Although they fared well against the Covenant's forces, additional drop pods carrying Sangheili Rangers arrived, making their trek up the beach harder. Yet they managed to make it to the Sabre complex, which, they learned, had not been breached yet and was still held, albeit barely, by UNSC forces. Noble Team made it inside the complex and quickly found one final launch pad with one Sabre still docked. Carter tasked Ben and Jorge with getting the Sabre before the Covenant breached the base, while the rest of Noble Team were to be exfiltrated as soon as they launched.
Ben and Jorge navigated through the control room and into the launch pad. After initially offering the pilot's seat to Jorge (who declined, saying he was "just a passenger this time") Ben climbed into the pilot's seat ready to go; it felt good to be back in the cockpit. Moments after the two Spartans got in, the launch sequence was initiated and they soared off into space.
When they entered space, Col. Holland's forces had already gathered: the repair and refit station Anchor 9, where four other Sabres were waiting in the wings, along with the frigate Savannah. Ben soon learned that the Savannah was donating its STL drive to UPPERCUT to serve as the bomb for the supercarrier.
As soon as Ben and Jorge reached orbit, they were contached by Holland, who told them to rendezvous with the Savannah as soon as they were ready so they could begin UPPERCUT. But en route, several squads of Banshee fliers augmented for space combat attacked them. At the moment, Anchor 9's defenses were down, so all Sabres were ordered to defend the station. The Sabres made short work of the Banshees, but not long after, several Seraph squads joined them. A massive dogfight ensued.
Not long after the Sabres eradicated the Seraph squadron, Anchor 9's defenses were brought online, just as four Phantom Gunboats entered the fight, preparing to board the station. The Sabres were redirected to take out the Phantoms and any surviving Banshees and Seraphs. Though Ben's Sabre took some serious hits, he left the ordeal almost totally unscathed, and will his fellow comrades piloting Sabres surviving as well. After the eradication of the Phantoms, Ben was recalled back to Anchor 9 to drop off Jorge, who was to escort the rigged STL drive aboard a Pelican to a nearby Covenant corvette, the Ardent Prayer. Once on board, they would set the corvette on a refueling track with Long Night of Solace, thus destroying the supercarrier.
When the UNSC forces reached the Corvette, Ben was tasked with creating an opening so the Sabres (and other forces from the Savannah) could board it. The ship's four engines were targeted, as well as its numerous fighter escorts.
Ben swiftly knocked out the Corvette's engines, and proceeded to decimate the escort. With the Ardent Prayer dead in the water and nothing to protect it, Ben touched down at its topside landing pad. He was tasked with getting inside the ship and taking out is communications, while the Savannah provided fire support.
The corvette's COM crew was comprised entirely of Sangheili Rangers armed with Focus Rifles, so they proved to be a tough fight, but with assistance from ODSTs deployed from the Savannah, the Rangers were soon taken care of, rendering the Ardent Prayer both deaf and dead in the water. After taking care of the COM crew, Ben led his strike force into the corvette's main hanger to clear the way for Jorge's Pelican....and the bomb.
Resistance in the hanger was heavy: Various Elite heaby troopers, Jackal snipers, and SpecOps Grunts met them and put up a hard fight. But the hanger was scattered with fusion coils that were very volatile, so Ben used the coils as makeshift warheads, shooting at them, and the resulting blasts instantly vaporized most enemies. Soon, the hanger was cleared enough for the Pelican to land.
As soon as Jorge landed, he was tasked with defending the bomb while Ben and his squad attacked the bridge and set the Ardent Prayer on the refuling track. But while they were making their way to the bridge, the Savannah, which had been taking heavy fire from the corvette, was destroyed. They were in deep with no cover; they needed to finish up and get out soon.
Ben and his force approacched the bridge not expecting to find it fortified, but when they got there, it was incredibly fortified with Sangheili, Unggoy, and Kig-Yar. As soon as the UNSC attack force engaged them, all hell broke loose. In the chaos, Ben found an Energy Sword and went on an adrenaline-fueled killing spree, slaying almost every Elite on the bridge, then, using a DMR, put bullet holes in most of the Unggoy and Kig-Yar, lesving the troopers to mop up the stragglers. Moments after that, Ben briefly interoggated the Elite Ship Master, asking him where the NAV controls were, before slashing the Ship Master's head off. Ben found the controls and set the corvette on its track to the Long Night of Solace. Ben was then ordered to return to the hanger; Jorge contacted him over the COM and warned him that their Pelican was under fire from Covenant forces in the hanger.
When Ben and his squad returned to the hanger, more Covenant forces had deployed than before and were making life hard for Jorge. The combined forces managed to thin their numbers and stave off any further reinforcements by jamming the doors to the hanger, then picking off any stragglers.
- "It's been an honor to serve with you, Jorge. Semper Fi."
- ―Ben-B314's final words to Jorge-052
With a little over a minute before the Ardent Prayer reached Long Night of Solace, Jorge informed Ben that the Pelican's thrusters had been fried during the fighting and the hallway leading back to the COM station had caved in (due to fire from the Savannah), so the only way off of the Ardent Prayer was by a high-orbit jump back to the planet below. Jorge also informed him that the bomb's timer had been damaged as well, so he'd need to stay behind and fire it manually...a trip that there would be no coming back from. While Ben initially tried to talk Jorge out of it and volunteered to fire it himself, Jorge insisted, saying "Reach has been good to me, Time to return the favor. Don't deny me this." Ben than accepted it, then told Jorge that it was an honor to serve with him and also told him "Semper Fi". Jorge returned the sentiments, then gave Ben his dogtags to remember him by, and then lifted Ben up with one hand and carried him to the hanger's shield door. Jorge said to Ben, 'Tell 'em to make it count" before hurling Ben through the shield door and into space.
Moments after Ben was thrown from the Ardent Prayer, it settled beneath the Long Night of Solace. As Ben entered mid-orbit, he entered deep-breathing mode and locked his armor as a large, unstable slipspace rift formed near the supercarrier's midsection. The corvette vanished, and moments later, the Long Night of Solace erupted in a giant conflagration, severed in two as its midsection vanished into the rift. Ben lost consciousness as he continued to plummet toward Reach, but not before his COM picked up one final looped COM transmission from NAV Beacon RA-15: "Slipspace Rupture Detected....Slipspace Rupture Detected....Slispace Rupture Detected....." . After Ben reached the atmosphere, his COM cut out; he didn't hear Gamma Station's, Col. Holland, and Anchor 9's discovery of a new, much larger fleet entering the system. It was the Fleet of Particular Justice.
Siege of New Alexandria
- "Where is the horse and the rider?
Where is the horn that was blowing?
They have passed like rain on the mountainside.
Like wind in the meadow.
The days have gone down in the West.
Behind the hills....
....How did it come to this?"
- ―Ben-B314, quoting "The Horse and The Rider" by J.R.R. Tolkien, as the Covenant glass New Alexandria.
Rescuing the CiviliansSeveral hours after his jump, Ben regained consciousness, and realized he had landed somewhere in Eposz. After regaining his mobility, Ben walked on for some time before he came upon the city of New Alexandria....and noticed it was under siege by four Covenant corvettes. Ben stealthily slipped into the city. Armed with only a pistol from his reentry unit, he was ill-prepared for a battle, but was ready nonetheless.
At first glance, the city looked derelict and foreboding; Ben had entered a small courtyard and did not see any signs of hostiles in the city, but once he got further, he saw bodies of dead civillians scattered about. Further on still, he began picking up overlapping COM transmissions discussing the evacuation of Traxus Tower. Also, it seemed to Ben, that the Army and Marines had coordinated an effective resistance against the invaders, according to COM transmissions from Gunnery Sergeant Stacker and Sergeant Major Duvall. Still, Ben did not encounter any hostiles.
However, as he proceeded out of the courtyard, he heard a transmission from Kilo Dispatch that they'd spotted squads of Suicide Grunts. Indeed, when Ben entered the first building, several Suicide Grunts attacked him, but Ben's practiced trigger finger and quick eye made short work of the Grunts. As Ben proceeded farther into the building, he began to see more evidence of a battle and various types of weapon damage.
As he went farther, he began picking up more COM transmissions that Gunnery Sergeant Stacker had initiated a missile strike against one of the Corvettes. Moments after the COM cut out, he felt the missile strike as the building was rocked by the force of the resulting explosion. But, apparently, according to further transmissions exchanged with Kilo 26 and Stacker, the missiles hadn't affected the corvette.
Ben continued to proceed deeper into the building, and now the lack of hostiles was making him a little anxious. As the continued cautiously, he overheard another COM transmission from Gunnery Sergeant Stacker, initiating another missile strike. Again, Ben felt the missile strike, but again, according to another angry outburst from Stacker over COM, it hadn't affected the corvette.
As Ben made his way to the basement of the building, he finally encountered more hostiles; the basement was swarming with Grunts. Some of them were Suicide Grunts, and some weren't, but all of them attacked Ben as soon as he entered the basement. Ben found a Needler Pistol and quickly made short work of the Grunts in the basement in a flurry of pink mist. After fighting his way up and out of the basement, he saw daylight again....and a raging battle. He had emerged onto part of the Traxus facility, and dozens of embattled Troopers and civillians alike were fighting the Covenant forces. As soon as the Troopers noticed him, they were relieved and one of them told him that they were in desperate need of assistance. Mere seconds after he was told this, a Phantom dropship landed near them and unloaded reinforcements in the form of Brute Shock Troops. While Ben had fought the large, gorilla-like creatures before, these Brutes were specially trained to reciprocate the ODSTs of the UNSC, and thus, were much more ferocious.
They eventually fought their way through the Brutes to a side entrance to Traxus Tower. It would be imperative that they enter the tower and attempt to call for evac, and that there was an elevator on the other side of the atrium within that would lead to a cargo port that would be suitable for evac. But, when they entered the tower, more Brutes, accompanied by Skirmishers, stormed out. Ben fought through them and into the facility and soon learned that the entire atrium was occupied. Fighting his way through the legions of Brutes, Skirmishers, Jackals, and Grunts, Ben and the Troopers eventually found the elevator.
After Ben activated the elevator, they were contacted by Stacker over the COM, saying that it would be a few minutes before the elevator got there because they were evacuating some civillians on the floor below, but as soon as they were successfully evacuated, he'd send the elevator back up. Moments later, more Brute teams arrived in the courtyard and heavily assaulted the atrium. Ben quicky noticed that many of these Brutes were armed with, so he killed one and picked up its hammer, and used it against the other Brutes. After nearly 15 minutes, the Brutes had been taken care of, and the elevator had finally arrived.
But moments after Ben entered the elevator and it began to go down, he received more bad news: Stacker informed him that Traxus Tower's topside landing pad had been destroyed by Covenant forces, and the cargo port had been cut off, so the only remaining landing pad at the Traxus facility was at the executive offices, but the Covenant had the area so heavily surrounded that there was no easy way to get there. A group of specialist ODSTs known as the Bullfrogs were working on a plan of attack, and Stacker ordered Ben to report to them and assist them in any way possible.
When Ben arrived, the casulties of battle were the first to be seen: wounded ODSTs were slumped agains the walls, with lower ranking officers tending to them. Soon, Ben emerged onto a walkway merged with a makeshift armory. The walkway overlooked a large area that appeared to be under partial construction. Using the walkway as a staging area for the retaking of the executive offices were a squad of specialized ODSTs from the from the 5th Drop Shock Battalion. These ODSTs, known as the Bullfrogs, planned to jetpack over the majority of the Covenant's forces there to get to the landing pad as soon as possible. Ben strapped on a jetpack and set off.
After nearly 20 minutes of combined fighting and jetpacking, during a time where Ben used a Brute Gravity Hammer and killed nearly ten Brutes in a row, Ben finally rendezvoued with the Bullfrogs at the executive offices and joined them in assaulting the Covenant squads within. It was a long, arduous skirmish; the Brute Shock Troops and Jackals and Grunts did their very best to prevent the SPARTAN and the ODSTs from taking the pad. But eventually, after the Chieftain was killed, the executive office was secured and the pad was declared green. After this, the squad Yankee 9 radioed to Echo Dispatch to call in the Evacuation Pelicans. Ben got onto a Falcon flier and took one of the machine guns while a large group of civilians were loaded onto Pelican Delta 15.
As Ben's Falcon escorted the Pelican across the city, Ben used his machine gun to thin out more of the Covenant troops still on the ground. But mere moments after they entered the air, Covenant air forces began targeting them, mainly going after the Pelican. The Falcon Pilot was telling Delta 15 to take an alterante route, but the Pelican insisted that they had the situation under control...until a Banshee pair appeared behind them and shot them down. However, they managed to maneuver in such a way that no one was killed. Apparently noticing that the situation was rapidly getting out of hand, Sergeant Major Duvall contacted the frigate Stalwart Dawn to provide air support and began an attack on the Covenant corvette attacking over the starport, but the Stalwart Dawn was unable to send in its Longswords at that time, which frustrated Duvall greatly. Meanwhile, the civillian transport 6 Echo 2, carrying 600 civillians, desperately needed to take off, but there were still too many hostile forces in the air for it to get through unscathed. Duvall was frantic, desperately warning 6 Echo 2 to not take off and pleading with Stalwart Dawn to send something down, if possible, but the frigate was still unable to do anything. 6 Echo 2, despite Duvall’s protests, decided to take off. But mere moments after the transport took off, it took a direct hit to its engines from the corvette. Shocked, Ben, along with everyone on the Falcon, could only watch hopelessly, listening to the transport pilot's terrified babbling over the COM, as the transport spiraled out of control and finally crashed violently into the harbor. Evacuation Dispatch suggested that they send search-and-rescue Pelicans, but Duvall said that there was no point.
After fully crossing the harbor, Ben received a direct COM transmission from the Sergeant Major himself. Having apparently decided that the corvette had overstayed its welcome for far too long, Duvall wanted to use two missile batteries in the central terminal on it, but they were heavily surrounded by Covenant forces. Duvall wanted Ben to fight his way through the Covenant troops and arm the batteries. Ben eagerly agreed, and attached himself to Duvall's fireteam. Finding an intact Warthog on the beach, Ben gathered Duvall and another marine and got in the driver's seat, while Duvall got in the passenger's seat and the other marine took the gunner seat, and set off. As they trundled up the path, Covenant troops began attacking them straight away, but as they were on limited time, they didn't stop and fight, though some Grunts did stray into the path of the Warthog and ended up as roadkill.
The whole of Caracalla Park was in chaos. Covenant troops were attacking what few UNSC forces were still there will reckless intent. Ben knew that arming the two missile batteries would not be easy. So Duvall remained behind to command the forces, while the rest of the fireteam would cover him as he ran for the missile batteries.
The first one was adjacent to the southern end of the bridge, and the Covenant's presence here was lowest. Ben and his team fought their way over to the first missile battery just as civillian transport 7 Echo 3 sent a warning to Duvall over the COM that the Covenant were closing in on their location. Ben managed to get the battery armed without much trouble.
The second battery was directly across the bridge and had much more Covenant forces around it and would be harder to arm. While 7 Echo 3's warning were becoming more frantic and Duvall reassured them that the situation would soon be under control, the Covenant did seem to realize what they were trying to do, so their resistance increased tenfold. Ben used a Shotgun he picked up at the beachhead and used it to blast his way through the majority of the Covenant forces, while the Army troopers with him covered him - but they were starting to wear out, so Ben needed to hurry. After killing the Brutes guarding the battery, Ben armed it. Now all that was left was to enter the Terminal and initiate the strike from the control interface in there. Knowing that time was of the essence, Ben ran into the Terminal.
Guarding the command console were two Brute Chieftains. At seeing the Spartan, they became enraged and charged him with their Gravity Hammers. Ben, utilizing the quick and agile reflexes that only a Spartan could have, he dodged them and planted several plasma grenades. The grenades killed the first Brute, but only dazed the second one, so Ben used the opportunity to duck around it and stab it in the side of its neck with his Combat Knife.
As soo as the fight ended, 7 Echo 3 send another COM transmission: the Covenant's forces had breached their launch bay doors. The time to fire the missiles had come. Ben slammed his entire fist onto the console and watched as the missiles were fired at the corvette. Moments after they were launched, Duvall ordered all civillian transports to take off immediately. The missiles didn't destroy the corvette, but it became damaged enough to abandon the battle. Ben watched happily as several civillian transports, including 7 Echo 3, took off from the starport as the corvette fled.
Feeling relieved, the Spartan walked away from the terminal and back to the beachhead. A few moments later, he heard a patchy signal over his COM. To his surprise, it was Kat. She was attempting to contact him and Jorge. Ben immediately responded. Apparently, Noble Team had picked up his IFF transponder an hour ago but could risk contacting him an open channel. She also said that the were getting nothing from Jorge. Ben informed her that Jorge didn't make if off the Ardent Prayer. After a moment's silence, where Ben assumed she was grieving briefly for her fallen comrade, she asked him what the status at the starport was. Ben told her that all transports had made it out safely. Kat understood, and then she said she was going to send a Pelican to pick him up and bring him to Noble Team's location. Ben acknowledged, turned off the COM, and threw a signal flare on the ground so the Pelican would know where to find him.
Reuniting with Noble Team
Several hours later, Ben was on board a Pelican heading into Central New Alexandria. By the time it was evening, two of the four corvettes Ben saw earlier had caught up and were already sending in their forces to destroy the city...and they had gotten a pretty good head start.
After a while, the Pelican finally touched down on top of a building, where Carter was waiting for him. Carter told him that he was glad to see Ben back in one piece. Ben apologized for coming back without Jorge, but Carter told him that no apology was necessary and to make Jorge proud.
Ben soon learned that they were cut off from Command because the Covenant had set up three jammers. So Kat, who was running the op, tasked Ben with piloting a Falcon flier (there were two parked on the top of the building), navigating through the city, and finding and destroying the jammers so they could reestablish contact with Colonel Holland. So Ben got into the pilot's seat and took to the skies once again.
The first jammer was located at the New Alexandria Hospital. Kat informed Ben that a Trooper team had been deployed there earlier but had lost contact sometime ago; Ben was to finish what they started.
It didn't take long for Ben to reach the hospital, as the Covenant air forces ignored him, for the most part. After he landed, he entered the upper atrium of the hospital, where a large squad of Covenant troopers, led by a Brute Shock Trooper and bolstered by an Engineer was waiting for him. Thankfully, the squad was mostly Grunts, so it did not give Ben much trouble. The problems began when Ben entered the hospital's concourse.
Multiple Brute teams had the concourse under their control, with only one struggling team of Troopers barely hanging on. However, these Troopers were guarding the jammer, which was located at the very end of the concourse. Ben fought his way through the Brutes and finally reached the jammer. The Troopers told him that he needed to overload the jammer to disable it for good, so Ben did this by maximizing the power input. Moments later, the jammer exploded. Kat contacted Ben over the COM and told him that, now that the jammer was offline, he needed to get back to his Falcon as soon as possible to being the hunt for the next one. Moments after Ben started back down the concourse, a large squad of Elite Rangers flew in and began attacking him and the fireteam. After a quick skirmish, they fought their way out of the concourse and arrived in the atrium again, now occupied by an Elite Ultra and a squad of Grunts. The fireteam said that they had the situation under control and told Ben to get back to his Falcon. Ben gladly oblidged.
As Ben returned topside and got back in his Falcon, a Covenant battlecruiser appeared in orbit above the city, destroying a large skyscraper.
As Ben waited for Kat to find out the location of the second jammer, he received a distress call from Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck of the 11th Shock Trooper Battalion: A squad of his ODSTs were trapped at Nomolos Tower after the ceiling had collapsed during a firefight. Kat redeployed Ben to escort Gunnery Sergeant Buck to Nomolos Tower to provide covering fire so Buck could get his men out to safety.
After escorting Buck's Falcon for about 20 minutes, they arrived at Nomolos Tower, which was under siege by a pair of Banshees. Weak COM transmissions indicated that Buck's squad was still alive, but were pinned down by the Banshees. Ben provided Buck with covering fire while he evacuated his soldiers, managing to chase off the Banshees. Afterwards, Buck thanked Ben for his help and promised him that he'd "see him in Hell."
Operation: FUNERAL PYRE
Battle of Aszod
The Final Stand
- "To the last, I will grapple with thee....
From Hell's Heart, I stab at thee....
For Hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee....."
- ―Moby Dick by Herman Mellville
Once the platform had been cleared, a Pelican docked and Captain Keyes emerged, ready to retrieve the package from Ben. As Keyes returned to the Pelican, preparing to depart, Ben noticed Emile combating an Elite Zealot.
- "This is Sierra Beta Three-One-Four broadcasting on an open channel. Hello? Is anyone out there? To any UNSC personnel still on Reach....Mission accomplished. Package delivered. Pillar of Autumn is away. This is Benjamin-B312....signing off. Semper Fi."
- ―Ben-B314's supposed final words.