|This article, Helen Calypso (Labyrinth Canon), is currently under active construction.|
- "I said nonlethal."
- ―Lieutenant Janice Forrester
- "I can do nonlethal."
- ―Helen Calypso
- "Sure, and I can do bonsai."
- ―Lieutenant Janice Forrester
Much of Project TROJAN remains a mystery, and likely will. Secretive and protective of its assets, some facts were declassified due to pressure from ONI Section Zero, as well as a need for propaganda material to bolster the flagging morale of humanity. Of the many TROJAN assets, Helen Calypso, aka; Codename: VECTOR, is the most well known, though not for the reasons ONI would wish. Recruited at the age of fourteen as a former JAVELIN Project member, the additional augmentations and training provided by TROJAN would introduce Calypso to military life outside of the indoctrinated soldiers of JAVELIN, forging her into the person she would eventually become - tough, sarcastic, and with a fondness for destruction.
Operating under the authority of Captain Aaron G. Gibson for much of her combat service, most of her record is classified at the highest levels, including several November Black missions, indicating at least some activity in suppressing lingering Insurrectionist forces or other internal threats. In 2557, she resurfaced during a cursory investigation of Project: ACCRETION by UNSC forces as part of a counterassault force sent by Codename: DRACULA, and was neutralised and captured. After being informed of DRACULAs involvement in JAVELIN, she would agree to work alongside Operation: VORAUSSICHT to apprehend or kill him, and would also take part in operations against the Blood Covenant, often working alongside Codename: ORPHEUS and Indigo Team, and other supersoldier personnel. After the conclusion of the investigation, Calypso would disappear again, hiding her tracks well and staying far away from the civilian chatternet or electronic grid. Repeated contact with Codename: HIGH DRAGON has attracted ONI suspicion, especially their involvement in events external to the UNSC. ONI suspects that Calypso has made a profitable living through bounty hunting, especially against extraterrestrial targets, using stolen or "acquired" VOLSUNG prototype gear to boost her already significant TROJAN abilities to near-SPARTAN levels.
The SPARTAN-II Program was not the only program to use the idea of children trained and augmented as soldiers, or even the first, but it was the most successful. Under Dr. Catherine Halseys careful supervision, the "recruits" of SPARTAN-II would become the best soldiers ever deployed by a human military, each one tallying a higher kill-to-death ratio than any human soldier in recorded history. Unfortunately for others, the results would be difficult to recreate - the various offshoots and spinoffs, and even parallel-developed versions, all designed to boost the number of Spartan-grade soldiers, would have a very spotty track record, and none with some exceptions in the SPARTAN-III Program would ever come close to achieving their success. The earliest of these was Project JAVELIN, a parallel-developed project headed by Codename: DRACULA during his early career, using candidates rejected by SPARTAN-II and clones created beforehand from genetically suitable templates. With the first generation consisting of seventy JAVELIN trainees, more than two thirds of them be unaccelerated stable flash clones - one of them eventually coming to be known as Codename: VECTOR.
Records from JAVELIN are hard to come by, and DRACULA ensured that his tracks were covered. Whatever the case, VECTOR apparently had a long record of rebellion against the authority of JAVELIN, with numerous escape attempts which were harshly punished. Her last escape attempt in 2525, the year most of the first generation graduated to combat duty, would succeed, and JAVELIN would lose track of her entirely. The decision was made not to reuse the original genetic template that she had been based on with the second generation. From here on, it is likely that VECTOR managed to get offworld working as a crewman aboard a civilian freighter or transport - unconfirmed reports indicate she boarded the CMA Good Things Come, and disembarked on Reach after it docked there, once again disappearing off the grid. Given her success, she probably had help in hiding from UNSC tracking by various groups mistrustful of the UNSC, though not neccessarily Insurrectionists - her subsequent deployments would show no hesitation in killing rebel combatants, and no signs of sympathising with them. She may simply have been taken in by a remote farmer community. By the time she resurfaced, she had already adopted the name she would prefer to be known as - "Helen Calypso".
With the continued fall of the Outer Colonies, Calypso would decide to risk discovery of her early past to enlist in the UNSC Marine Corps in 2529, claiming to be an orphan from the Harvest attack. At the time, Epsilon Eridani FLEETCOM was leaning heavily on its recruitment drives to bolster low UNSC personnel rosters, and her recruiters and trainers failed to question her thoroughly enough to uncover the easily discovered lie. She graduated from boot camp at the top of her class, with recommendations to attend officer candidate school - a recommendation she declined, serving in the 427th Marine Regiment during the late stages of the Harvest Campaign, from 2529 to 2531, rotated to anti-Insurrectionist duties on Reach, and then the UNSC defeat at Jericho VII in 2535. During this time, she established a reputation for professional excellence, including the regiment's highest confirmed kill count, rivalled only by Grant Wallace, though she also earned notoriety for disobeying orders in pursuing her targets, endangering team mates and civilians. No deaths resulted from these actions, but the regiment had already decided on disciplinary action when the request for her transfer came down from the Office of Naval Intelligence - after that point, she would be reassigned to the TROJAN Program.
As with JAVELIN, much of her time as part of the TROJAN Program has classified by ONI or destroyed by rogue elements. Nevertheless, Calypso clearly made a name for herself in the Program, promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade, restoring her former codename of VECTOR, and being assigned to the Black Operations Group under Captain Aaron G. Gibson. Most of her November Black classified missions date to this period, and later subsequent investigations by Operation: VORAUSSICHT would hint that she was often deployed to assassinate personal enemies of Gibson to advance his agenda and career in Naval Special Warfare. Other missions would see her deployed against various enemy factions other than the Covenant - more than two dozen Insurrectionist organisations, where she showed an innate ability to infiltrate and destroy from a secure and unassailable position within the groups themselves. Many of these rebel factions would tear themselves apart in internal power struggles, making them easy pickings for Army and Marine cleanup operations, likely instigated by Calypso. Other deployments would see her deployed in more conventional operations against the Covenant, usually alone or in support of other supersoldier units, such as codenames ORPHEUS, HIGH DRAGON or Indigo Team.
Her time in BlackOpGru may not have been entirely her choice, however. Evidence indicates that Calypso was coerced into staying by Gibson himself - it is possible that he had discovered her history as a creation of the JAVELIN Program, and used this to blackmail her into cooperation. Testimony provided by the Spartans she worked alongside indicates that at least part of her enjoyed her work, but not the threat that hung over her. It is therefore not surprising that she disappeared in 2550, dropping off the grid once again, using skills and contacts honed by her years in hiding from JAVELIN. Coincidentally, Gibson would be found dead in his home at approximately the same time - a military inquest would conclude natural causes, and even a VORAUSSICHT exhumation of the body could find little concrete evidence that Calypso had murdered him. Now free of the threat Gibson posed to her, Calypso would become less than a whisper for the next eight years.
Calypso herself has been reticent on the subject of how she filled the intervening years. Some have speculated that the disappearances of former JAVELIN personnel were her work, part of a crusade of vengeance against those who so mistreated her and the other "recruits" of the program, though VORAUSSICHT would conclude that she had been approached by DRACULA in 2554 to work as a mercenary contractor. Not knowing of his involvement in the project that created her, she accepted the offer, and would participate in several cleanup missions to eliminate evidence of DRACULA's involvement in illegal and unethical projects, including the assassination of unsavoury and vulnerable former coworkers. In 2556, she and Codename: BLIGHTBLOOD were sent by DRACULA to demolish the site of Project: ACCRETION - at least, this is the version of events that Calypso was told. Later investigations by VORAUSSICHT would reveal that her partner, an older pre-ORION supersoldier, had been ordered to kill her after the mission was accomplished, successfully or unsuccessfully, and only the intervention of investigators from Operation: VORAUSSICHT, including Indigo Team and Codename: SHOGUN, prevented her own death.
Taken prisoner as the ACCRETION site was bombarded from orbit by the UNSC Ajax, Calypso would be informed of a number of things - firstly, that SHOGUN knew of her involvement in JAVELIN and TROJAN, and of her operations under Gibson's command; secondly, that she had been employed by a declared enemy of the UNSC, and therefore was guilty of collaboration; and thirdly, that DRACULA had been the project head for JAVELIN in the first place, and that he'd planned to kill her off as one more lose end. Incensed at DRACULAs audacity, she would offer her services to VORAUSSICHT as an investigator, negotiating with SHOGUN - in exchange for the wiping of her record while in BlackOpGru, and a pardon for her time in the employ of DRACULA, she would become one of many combat assets available to VORAUSSICHT, spearheading the hunt for DRACULA and his remaining projects. She would serve in a number of combat theatres, including the Raptor's Nest Site, and would eventually participate in REDACTED.
At the same time, other NavSpecWar units would request her involvement in covert missions against the Blood Covenant, including Operation: SABERSAW. Though not her most important operation, and hardly related to the investigations of VORAUSSICHT, it would prove vital to the war effort, denying the Blood Covenant technological advances and allowing the UNSC an advance look at post-war New Covenant innovations and updates. The results would largely be buried by UEG bureaucrats, resulting in a disastrous lack of knowledge when the Second Great War broke out, but Calypso would nevertheless be remembered as the woman who allowed the UNSC to reverse-engineer and improve on the enemy's technology, eventually making victory possible.
After the conclusion of her interests in VORAUSSICHT, Calypso would once again abandon her employers, although SHOGUN would chose not to try to recapture her - possibly part of her agreement to cooperate with VORAUSSICHT. Some evidence exists that she has once again become a private contractor, engaging in extra-solar bounties, including alien species such as the former Covenant races, continuing her vendetta against those who destroyer her original home.
Her creation by Project JAVELIN and later involvement in Project TROJAN have forged Calypso into a finely honed weapon, perhaps one of the best in the UNSC. Like all TROJAN operatives, she is fully capable of operating under most combat scenarios, ranging from surveillance and reconnaissance, low-intensity and high-intensity combat, and even infiltration of enemy organisations. The latter skills are more a product of her time living off the colonial surveillance grid among people whose loyalty ONI has deemed "questionable but non-threatening," bolstered by covert warfare training provided by her training. Calypso specialises in very little, and excels in most, though most commonly she fills the role of sniper/spotter or close-quarters combat specialist, skilled in multiple disciplines of armed and unarmed combat, some honed by running with gangs in the slums of Reach's sprawling cities.
Unusually among supersoldier operatives, Calypso has undergone two augmentation procedures - in 2525 as part of Project JAVELIN, and again in 2537 as part of Project TROJAN. The latter may have been what revealed her JAVELIN past to Captain Gibson. Both procedures have radically improved her performance when compared to "regular" warfighters, and even when compared to augmented warfighters she is among the best. Her strength, reflexes, reaction time and mental acuity are all enhanced, and her eyesight allows her to adjust to extreme low-light levels rapidly. In close-quarters combat, her small size when compared to much larger and bulkier Elites and Brutes allow her superior agility and flexibility, which she has used to devastating effect.
So far, no offers have been made to equip her with MJOLNIR armour - under Gibson, it was because his project lacked the funding. Under SHOGUN, it was because he and his investigators did not trust her fully, but with good reason - after the conclusion of VORAUSSICHT, Calypso would disappear from contact yet again, taking with her an advanced prototype powered armour suit, the VAJRA-III, meant for use by VOLSUNG operatives - using innovations made by MJOLNIR, the VAJRA-III is form-fitting, compact and has a reduced profile compared to previous suits meant for non-Spartan personnel, while dramatically improving the wearer's performance even further. It is estimated that, in the suit, Calypso would be the equal to a SPARTAN-II in physical performance, though the suit lacks shield generators, and has a less advanced onboard computer suite.
- "If you see her walk into the bar, hide the booze. She'll drink you under the table, make off with everything in your pockets, and beat the crap out of anyone who tries to put the moves on her. A lot of guys just leave as soon as she arrives."
- "We were pinned down on Eternal Fealty - Brutes jetpacking in. All the Spartans were tangoing with the Wraiths and Banshees trying to hammer the extraction zone. Next thing I know, I see a blur, three Brutes are laid low and bleeding, and a second is kneeling, one arm behind its back, and she's clambered up on it - snapped the things arm like a twig. Then she puts a bullet through its brain, stands, and winks at us."
- "Her talents were wasted on Gibson. She could have been out there, taking out actual threats - rebels on Mamore, Covenant in the Inner Colonies. Instead, he had her running errands for him, bringing down rivals and critics so he can rise up the chain of command."
- "She must really hate DRACULA to ally herself with SHOGUN. Most of her missions under Gibson were under investigation. What was the deal - she takes down DRACULA in exchange for immunity? She never stuck around to reap the rewards."
Behind the Scenes
- Helen Calypso is an alternate universe interpretation of Helen Calypso, the original character created by Matt-256, used with permission. I have tried to keep her personality and backstory relatively similar, while incorporating her into the Labyrinth Canon beyond her Operation: VORAUSSICHT appearances and adding a little more mystery to the character.