|This article, Laura-125, is currently under active construction.|
Officially, Laura-125 was one of the washouts of the SPARTAN-II Program. During the augmentation, complications arose during the muscular enhancements, destroying her vocal chords. Though otherwise fit and able, and more than willing, Doctor Halsey was unwilling to allow a mute Spartan, and assigned her to a desk duty. There she would have languished, if not for Project: INDIGO. Recruited for the secretive project, Laura would become the technician, pilot and sniper-spotter for Indigo Team.
In her former life, Laura was considered a prodigy by her teachers, excelling in most pursuits, ranging from mathematics to music and art, gifts that teachers hoped to encourage. Unfortunately, she had the misfortune to be born to a high-profile socialite who, rather than care for her daughter, ignored her in favour of pursuing the affluent lifestyle that wealth and social prestige afforded her. As such, Laura was not missed when she was abducted by agents of the Office of Naval Intelligence, and would later consider it the best thing that ever happened to her. As with the rest of the SPARTAN-II "recruits", she was rigorously trained in virtually all aspects of warfare, conditioned to be a perfect soldier in the expected clash against the impending Insurrection. At an early age, she showed an adeptness for technology, able to disassemble and reassemble an MA5B Individual Combat Weapon System blindfolded, after only two attempts. Her psychological records show that she had tendency for self-isolation, though when paired up with team-mates this would disappear - Halsey suspected that Laura had suffered more than just neglect at the hands of her mother, responsible for this behaviour.
In 2525, the Spartan candidates would undergo a combination of physical augmentation and gene therapy to increase their mental accuity, reaction times, strength, speed and durability, all designed to allow them to wear the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armour that would characterise them for nearly three decades; during the augmentation process, Laura reacted adversely to the muscular enhancements, the sudden increase of muscle density crushing her vocal chords and nearly closing off her trachea and oesophagus. Her life was only saved by the rapid intervention of medical staff, though the damage would leave her unable to speak for the rest of her life. Though she swiftly began to learn a variety of communicatitive and military sign languages to overcome her adversity, and was otherwise fit and able, and more than willing to serve, Doctor Halsey was unwilling to include a soldier unable to communicate verbally into her Spartans, and Laura was assigned to a desk duty in the Spartan-II training facility.
Induction Into Indigo
It is likely that, as with Soren, this is where Laura would have spent the rest of her career in a life of frustrating banality until she was contacted by agents from Section-III, NavSpecWar. Offered a place in a secret Spartan team separate from Doctor Halsey's chain of command, Laura jumped at the chance, and was quickly welcomed into Indigo Team by Andrew-306, who she was surprised to meet - she had known all of her fellow Spartan candidates, and the fact that there were any she did not know about was a worrisome thought for her. Less worrisome was Jeremy-068, another recruit from Halsey's batch whose lifesigns had flatlined, and was deemed legally dead - only to resuscitate ten minutes later, to the surprise of even Indigo's organisers. Former as a team, the three were quickly deployed to their first combat engagements among the outer colonies.
The early engagements that Indigo Team are classified November Black, and even their later engagements can only be pieced together from rumour, speculation, and a little good intel. All efforts by ONI to keep track of them seem to have been halted at every turn by higher authorities, working to Indigo Team's advantage. Until 2529, Indigo was forced to don customised equipment from an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper unit - though not exactly sticks and stones, they still managed to pull off actions that would be almost impossible for conventional soldiers, and would be considered difficult even for unarmoured Spartans. Acquiring MJOLNIR Mark IV in 2559, Indigo Team's effectiveness would multiply exponentially. When they acquired prototype Vajra II variant MJOLNIR in 2542, Indigo would be the first Spartan team to be deployed in the field with fully functioning rechargable energy shields.
The only missions on record for Indigo team that are not restricted by November Black clearance are the operations at Pavo Secundus and Minorca; in the former, Laura inserted in an HEV pod, joining up with an ODST squad and serving as a sniper to pick off high-value targets as they assaulted a Covenant position, capturing a number of pieces of technology intact. Later, she would reunite with the rest of the team during the withdrawal process, and was immediately redeployed to Minorca to participate in the engagements on its surface, upgrading to the MJOLNIR Mark V en route. While their exact movements are still classified, the fact that they were still present is significant, and helps to explain a number of small and otherwise anomalous discrepancies in the record. Withdrawing to Earth, Indigo would take part in the battle of Earth, like all other military units, this time upgrading to the Mark VI.
After the Human-Covenant War, Indigo team's actions would again be classified November Black, though their presence in a number of missions is suspected, and in some cases all but confirmed. They seem to have taken part in Operation: TACK HAMMER, responsible for the assassination of Brute Chieftain Hephaestus. They also seem to have been present on Middangeard during the Brute's Operation Tartarus, and took part in an operation to try and save Lord Terrence Hood, though ultimately unsuccessful. They also partook in Operation: CORSAIR and Operation: LAMENTATION, though in what capacity remains unknown - though separate engagements, the two were filed together in the groups mission file. Afterwards, they seem to have once again dropped off the grid, to eventually resurface during the Second Great War.
Laura herself would customise her armour over time, modifying it over her career. Vision enhancement equipment was installed in the helmet, allowing an digital optical zoom and enhanced target tracking and display functions. More importantly, a smart-link was installed in the back of her helmet, allowing her to interface directly with her sniper rifle via the Spartan Neural Interface, improving her accuracy and range further. The armour itself was upgraded over the decades to feature small compartments for weapon and vehicle maintenance, ammunition capacity, and other technical requirements. In 2545, operation training programs were uploaded for newly introduced equipment, allowing Laura to update her skillset to accomodate advances in UNSC technology and additions to the UNSC arsenal. In 2550, an advanced text-to-speech synthesiser was installed, allowing fluid verbal communication between Laura and her team mates, though she would continue to use hand signs as her dominant means of communication. These modifications were transferred when she finally upgraded to the MJOLNIR Mark V in early 2552, and then the Mark IV later in the year.
Laura's meticulous customisation also applied to the weaponry she uses. While she generally prefers to use the BR55 and S2-AM series weapons, each is customised specifically for each mission, with dedicated optical scopes, handgrips and other attachments swapped out to improve performance. The method of uplink between the digital scope and the targeting software also differs - a wireless radio uplink allows better mobility, but a fiberoptic hard uplink negates the chance of detection by Covenant sensors.
- "You'd think being unable to speak would be a handicap - Doctor Halsey certainly did - but you'd be surprised how much a military operation uses silent hand gestures and signals. Having a mute team member ultimately made Indigo much better at nonverbal communication - which is nothing to sneeze at, let me tell you."
- "Ever see a fiberoptic wire run from the base of someones head to their weapon? Its a pretty creepy sight, let me tell you."