|This article, SPARTAN-091, was written by Spartan-091. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
Jared Ezekiel Korso
DATE OF BIRTH
September 17, 2511
DATE OF DEATH
December 25, 2712
7' 1" (216 cm) (out of armor)
319 lbs.(145 kg) (out of armor)
|Political and Military Information|
SPARTAN-091, born as Jared Ezekiel Korso, and referenced in ONI files as Codename ORPHEUS, was a SPARTAN-II super-soldier that participated with honorable distinction in the Human-Covenant War, the Memory Crisis, the PATRIOT Initiative, Operation REJUVENATION, and countless other post-war campaigns. He was noted by historians to have served as one of ONI's own classified SPARTAN-IIs, running countless operations for them, and eventually being selected as the Director's personal operative. He fought in some of mankind's most infamous confrontations, such as the Battle of New Bremerhaven, the Battle of Miridem, and the Defense of Earth, and was quietly involved with the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence's post-war destabilization and manipulation operations, as well as the OPERATION: VORAUSSICHT cleanup. As their top agent in the field for several decades, Jared prosecuted morally-dubious covert actions such as the training of Kimberly Ivy Blackburn, the assassination of several UNSC, Insurrectionist, and ex-Covenant leaders, and the covert acquisition and application of newly-discovered Forerunner technology. While always an exceptional fighter, he did not attain the level of mythos that his other brother- and sister-Spartans did, due in part to his highly-classified existence. Within the Office of Naval Intelligence, however, Jared has earned quite a reputation, for good and for ill.
Jared was born on Earth in 2511, to Benjamin and Sara Korso, a young recently-married suburbanite couple. Raised the first six years of his life in the suburbs of the Hartsfield-Atlanta Orbital Terminal District that sprawled across the North American southeast, Jared showed an early disposition for physical toughness and preternatural intelligence in his kindergarten school, shrugging off injuries that would have seriously affected other children. He fell out of a tree while climbing, landing directly on his arm; when his parents came running, sure he had broken his arm, he had already gotten back up and was moving to start the climb again. He did quite well on the initial spatial-immaterial intelligence tests, but his parents could not afford to enroll him in the schools that the tests suggested he attend. He was instead placed in the accelerated-learning program, which fit him for a time, but he soon outstripped. One factor that was later noted on his ONI dossier was his fondness for constructing complex models of UNSC ships of the line, models usually rated at a difficulty level that even adults would find challenging.
In the fall of 2517, just after his sixth birthday, the boy was conscripted into the SPARTAN-II supersoldier program, a sudden departure from his loving and comfortable home life that left him sullen and silent. After a few weeks in the program, however, Jared realized that even though he still missed his parents, he enjoyed the program's challenges more than the mediocre educational programs on Earth that he had long ago outstripped. He longed for new and more interesting information. Chief Petty Officer Mendez actually noted in his personal evaluation of Trainee-091 that he had often found the boy out of the barracks area, sneaking out late at night to Déjá's classroom in attempt to learn more about the history and weapons of the UNSC. Of course, Mendez handed out the usual disciplinary PT, forcing the young candidate to push hard and stay strong. Despite the knowledge that he would be torn apart by drill instructors in the morning, Jared persisted in creeping back to the classroom, drinking in all the new information that Déjá could provide him.
Within six months of beginning his range training, Jared, like the other trainees, had qualified as an Expert on most long- and medium-range weapon in the UNSC's arsenal. Though his scores checked in above several UNSC-wide marksmanship records, he was not nearly as good a shot as Linda, who constantly beat his scores by several points each session.
While Jared viewed Mendez with something akin to grudging respect, he grew to despise Doctor Catherine Halsey, the so-called "mother" of the Spartans. What he perceived to be her smug intelligence and civilian arrogance, as well as her infatuation with Zen existentialism and quite apparent disregard for UNSC regulations grated on the young trainee, who had been raised almost from birth to follow orders and obey the rules. He blamed her for the loss of his parents and continually refused to meet with her for his monthly psychological checks. Though he was forced to attend each session by his drill instructors, he angrily resolved to say as little as possible. This anger at Halsey put him at odds with some of the other trainees, who came to view her as something of a surrogate mother, especially Jorge-052 and John-117.
Later in the course of their training, Jared and one of his friends, Maria-062, smuggled parts from an instructor's freeze-paint pellet rifle from the camp's armory and took pleasure in "assassinating" Halsey as she walked from her office to the Headquarters building. The doctor was thankfully unharmed, but her hair remained a pinkish color for the better part of two weeks. John-117 and Kelly-087 beat up both of the conspirators behind the mess hall, Mendez cut their rations, and the drill instructors compelled them to run many miles during meals, but Jared and Maria wore their bruises proudly for the duration of the month.
In 2525, upon graduation from the basic training component of the SPARTAN program, the precocious candidate entered the biomodification phase of the Spartan program, which included these modifications and related risks:
- 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.
All of the augmentations were carried out with general success and no major side effects. However, his general reticence and skillset had been noticed and earmarked by a key group of individuals within the Office of Naval Intelligence. During the augmentation process, a doctor under Section 0's pressure administered the teenager an extra drug, which induced a coma and spoofed several other seemingly-negative side effects. Halsey ordered Jared-091 moved to a specialized wing of the operating blocks of the UNSC Atlas during the recovery phase, but the team there, who were supposed to be able to work out a solution to the seemingly-inexplicable coma, had been quietly replaced by an ONI medical team. This team was under orders to ensure that the SPARTAN-II was transported to the safehouse of a black operations cell of ONI's Section III that was managed by Captain Aaron Gibson, a top-ranking ONI officer later known for his hatred of Spartan operatives. Jared was reported to the SPARTAN Program officials as having died of complications with the muscular enhancement injections, his body replaced by a purposefully defective flash-clone, and was listed among the thirty candidates that had been killed in augmentations.
When the candidate awoke, he was informed that he would be working on his own from now on, and that most of his cohorts had met their ends during the augmentations. Though he passed through the trying series of severe augmentations unscathed, he was drastically changed psychologically by the reported deaths of so many of his fellow trainees. Mourning the loss of his brothers and sisters, Jared became much more serious in his outlook on life, and very quickly realized the gravity of his new assignment. His humorous side had all but dried up by the time he was sent out on his first mission, and was only renewed much much later in his life. When he officially graduated in the fall of 2525 from the extended ONI training course that Gibson had assembled, a strong sense of loyalty and dedication to the UNSC, and above all, ONI, was all that drove him in life. It was a blind obedience that would not be shaken until almost twenty-five years had passed.
Shortly after receiving his standard MJOLNIR Mark IV power armor from ONI acquisition elements, Jared was informed that he would be under the control of Vice Admiral Parangosky's special tasks unit, managed directly by Capt. Gibson and would be receiving all of his future orders from him. As the Insurrectionists reared their head on a larger scale, his unit, the Theta-2 Division, lined up several anti-Insurrectionist operations for him. On his inaugural mission, Operation HIGH NOON, Jared was sent to neutralize an Insurrectionist base that had been a thorn in the UNSC's side for years. He easily succeeded, wiping out all terrorist resistance there and recapturing a cache of prototype weapons that had been stolen from an experimental range facility on Chi Ceti IV by raiding black market gun-runners. Notable in this operation was Jared's nonchalance at killing fellow human beings, and his tolerance for carnage, something that ONI psychiatrists— who were to be constant companions in the Spartan's life from then on— took a keen interest in promoting. It was observed that, perhaps a side effect of the augmentation drug regimen, he was quite tolerant of violence carried out against any target, provided it was under orders. A few positive notes were made in his file clearing him for more sensitive operations in the future.
As a reward for accomplishing his mission, Jared's Theta-2 handlers allowed him to keep an SRS98 AMX from the retrieved cache, a weapon that he treated with the utmost respect and care. The rifle would be heavily modified and updated by the time the Human-Covenant War was over, tricked out and personalized by the Spartans' second-best shooter. Though it would be retired to Jared's trophy wall by the beginning of the Remnant campaign, "Bush Whacker" would serve its master well, bearing in hash-marks a number of his confirmed kills along its stock. Later, Jared worked alongside an elite task force of ODST operatives, hunting down and neutralizing an United Liberation Front leader by the name of Jonas Selkers. It was during this assassination operation that Jared received the distinctive scar on his right cheek, given to him during a lethal knife fight with Selkers' bodyguard, whom Jared killed soon afterward. When he returned to UNSC territory, he refused regenerative medical treatment for the wound, wanting it to scar over so that he would always remember the consequences of carelessness, and to never let his guard down.
Shortly after his seventeenth birthday, the Spartan was given the challenging task of infiltrating an Insurrectionist cell operating out of a base in Epsilon Eridani's asteroid belt. With rumors already abounding about the seven-feet-tall commandos that had taken down Colonel Watts, Jared found it extremely difficult to earn the rebels' trust, but eventually worked his way into their organization and their confidence, providing the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence with valuable information. When the time came for Jared to be extracted, orders were passed down for him to eliminate all high-ranking officers on the base, a directive that the Spartan carried out relentlessly and mercilessly. Over the time he spent in the station, he had grown to loathe the Insurrectionists' tendency to blame even their slightest troubles on others, especially the UNSC. He even took his orders one step further, overloading the base's old fission reactors and completely irradiating the base, removing the Insurrectionist presence in the system permanently. As he told his psychotherapist later, "they were just pathetic. Sitting there trying to look like they were fighting the good fight when their policies were exactly the same as the ones they were pretending to hate. Just disgusting anti-establishment low-lives looking for some cause worth getting their shorts in a twist over. And filthy extremists looking for an outlet for their craving for destruction. A bunch of rabble ruining the lives of others. And for what? Nothing. The Insurrection's an end in itself, and it will never go anywhere. Not if I have any say in it."
At the age of twenty, the newly-experienced Jared had his first encounter with the gathering of xenophobic alien races known as the Covenant. This encounter took place on the Outer Colony world of Kearsarge, a planet that had been ravaged by several bloody civil disputes between its inhabitants. Due to the fact that the attacking Covenant forces were merely a scouting party, SPARTAN-091 and a division of UNSC Marines who were stationed as peacekeeper forces were able to repel the invasion, and through a daring strategy, disable the Covenant corvette's engines. Though SPARTAN-091 was originally on-planet for a classified wetwork operation assigned him by Theta-2, his willful ignorance of that mission in favor of assisting the Marines allowed the Colonial Authority enough time to relocate the majority of Kearsarge's population. Unfortunately, the alien collective arrived in force shortly after the main evacuation effort was complete and irrevocably glassed the planet. For his tireless work in defense, and against the protests of Gibson, Jared-091 received the UNSC Cross of Valor.
On June 23, 2532, as the UNSC scrambled to respond to the growing alien threat, he was assigned to Operation WITCH HUNT, locating and destroying mobile Covenant supply bases with a classified Navy raider battle group. Successfully completing many missions, Jared was unfortunately severely injured during a planetside WITCH HUNT assault operation on a Covenant weapons depot in the Zeta Doradus system, and was rush-evacuated to the UNSC Hopeful, which was nearby. After being treated and having had around a month to heal, he was transferred back to the Navy unit at his request and with Theta-2's grudging approval. The extended operation continued for several years until Captain Julius Norman, the commander of the Navy battle group, was killed in action when the raiders stumbled into a Covenant ambush above Azura IV. Most of the battle group was annihilated during the ensuing battle, with the few surviving ships lucky enough to make an escape. Soon after the defeat, the remaining vessels were either transferred to other commands or scrapped, depending upon the level of damage they had sustained.
Jared-091 was then assigned to OPERATION KING SNAKE, another desperate, ONI-backed attempt to stabilize the UNSC-Insurrectionist conflict in light of the new threat posed by the Covenant. He served in an assassin's role once more, from 2535 to 2537, working out of Gibson's personal Prowler, UNSC Green River Killer. He quickly and successfully eliminated many rebel leaders and twice evaded capture by their forces. The SPARTAN was promoted to Petty Officer Second Class, and awarded several honorable designations in his personnel jacket for this particular effort.
Several years later, Jared, hardened from countless actions against Covenant and ULF forces, was contacted by Vice Admiral Parangosky, who had been closely following his career and evaluating his psychological profile. Because of his high level of demonstrated loyalty and obedience, he was earmarked as an effective asset for the future, and asked to participate in Operation WILLING STRENGTH, a special covert assignment behind Covenant battle lines that was authorized by the Vice Admiral herself. Jared went immediately to work in WILLING STRENGTH, and was deployed on New Bremerhaven, a planet that the Covenant had captured but, mysteriously, not yet glassed. ONI's directive was to investigate why the glassing had been delayed, and relay any findings back to the Office via the prowler stationed in system. Along with a contingent of specially-picked ODST operatives, SPARTAN-091 played cat and mouse with an Elite Special Operations unit, spending nearly a month creeping through the radioactive rubble of New Bremerhaven's polluted cities. Eventually, it was discovered that the Covenant had found a large network of Forerunner ruins and artifacts that were buried beneath the planet's surface. A great deal of new technology and one artifact that was singularly interesting to the Covenant was hidden in an eons-old research facility. In a fierce firefight that eliminated many of the ODSTs and only a few of the Elites, the artifact was recovered by the ONI task force. The team immediately requested extraction. Unfortunately, the dropship pilot dispatched from the prowler to pick them up panicked, left Jared and the ODSTs behind, and was subsequently killed by Covenant AAA fire. The Prowler was forced to withdraw for fear of being discovered. Dangerously low on ammunition and supplies, the Spartan and his operatives set out to locate another means of escape, pursued in force by a large group of Elites who were bent on recapturing the Forerunner artifact.
By early 2540, neither ONI nor the UNSC had heard from Jared or his team, and was forced to list him as officially MIA, presumed dead from the Pelican crash. But in May of that year, another ONI prowler that was dispatched to check on the situation picked up a faint distress call from a battered civilian freighter in the wreckage belt orbiting New Bremerhaven. Onboard were a battered SPARTAN-091 and the one remaining ODST. Eager to return their operative to duty, the Prowler relayed its findings to Parangosky and returned Jared and the trooper back to UNSC space. With Parangosky's authorization, they relocated Jared to a restricted station in orbit around Reach, where specialized medical crews nursed him back to fighting strength over a period of six months. As the pick-up had remained classified under November-Black security levels, any and all non-ONI UNSC servicemembers that had known of the Spartan's existence now presumed that he was dead or disappeared. Thus, Jared-091's true identity was, once again, only known to a select few: Vice Admiral Parangosky, Rear Admiral Rich, and Captain Gibson, the elites of the headquarters. To all the others he interacted with he was just known as the "Gray Ghost," the quietly efficient Spartan who disappeared and resurfaced with unnerving regularity as he carried out minor support-role assignments like guard duty or active protection of ONI officers heading into the field. The Office also used the opportunity provided by his healing injuries to train Jared in some basic electronic warfare skills, and he passed their entry course with a certification equal to that of a mid-grade technical systems officer. By late 2543, Jared was fully healed and ready to be put back on active assignment. For all intents and purposes, he was totally and completely dead to the universe. Thanks to recent improvements in technology, Jared was outfitted in a new, experimental version of armor which was equipped with an energy shield and a heat-emissions dampening system. The gray-colored powered combat armor was unofficially dubbed the "ONI Variant" or the "MJOLNIR Mark-V[B]/O", and consisted of some of the best features of many other versions, along with some prototype elements of a specialized systems upgrade known as "RECON", bringing the technology up to bleeding-edge efficiency.
In order to ascertain results about the new suit, ONI technicians suggested deploying Jared to a battlefield and monitoring feedback. They chose the embattled planet of Miridem, where Dr. Halsey was located at that time. Though Halsey already had a Spartan guard detail, along with various other UNSC personnel, ONI was concerned that the doctor needed more security, and decided having Jared operating as an overwatch element would provide that additional level. Jared was inserted into the field via a relatively secure LZ and fought his way through several hardened Covenant positions, which slowed his progress in reaching the doctor. He arrived at her last known position just in time to see the complex where Halsey was located fall under attack. Though he attempted to engage and distract Covenant forces, he could not draw enough attention from their target. In the ensuing firefight,was killed by an Elite leader, . 'Lodamee then abducted Dr. Halsey and quickly fled the scene in a dropship while his unit engaged Jared and the surviving Marines of Halsey's detail. They were completely wiped out, but did succeed in delaying UNSC forces long enough to allow 'Lodamee's escape. The UNSC Navy task force in orbit suffered heavy casualties at the hands of the superior and the commanding officer of the detachment ordered an immediate withdrawal of all UNSC forces in the area.
Jared contacted the ONI prowler that he was inserted on for extraction and informed the Office of the situation. Parangosky immediately relayed the information to HIGHCOM, careful not to let on who had obtained the information. HIGHCOM then dispatched a team of Spartans led by, making use of another ONI prowler in order to insert them. Meanwhile, as a detachment of the Third Fleet began to glass Miridem, Jared and the surviving Marines made a desperate gauntlet run through Covenant lines to reach a secure LZ. Once they were extracted, the prowler made a random jump to Slipspace and departed.
After Jared had been returned to UNSC lines and had his armor evaluated and repaired, Agent Gibson, the Spartan's previous handler, once again became his immediate superior. Jared was reassigned to Section Three's shadow subcell, the Theta-2 Division, which Gibson commanded. The officer ran his old operative out on a series highly-controversial black ops over the course of several months, before the war with the Covenant became more pressing. These few operations were extremely sensitive and involved the termination of UNSC personnel suspected of aiding Insurrectionists, as well as the disruption of critical Covenant logistics and command systems. Most of them are still classified by order of the Office.
Peter System Campaign
In the spring of 2548,
In September of 2550, Jared was deployed to the asteroid facility Halcyon II in order to assist in the recovery of valuable research data from a classified ONI facility on the planet. Fearing the facility had been overrun, and also loathe to admit this error to UNSC HIGHCOM, Parangosky and Gibson decided that sending him in would be the best bet. The facility was, indeed, overrun, and Jared had to fight his way through a legion of Unggoy and Kig'Yar in order to retrieve the necessary data and scrub the facility's computers clean. During this campaign, Jared was able to test out another advanced prototype armor, the MJOLNIR Mark VI/O. Similar to the Mark V[B]/O in purpose and design, it allowed for increased durability and survivability, as well as enhancing performance. The suit served him well, and was further fine-tuned by ONI personnel upon his return to base.
When the call came down the line in late 2552 from HIGHCOM that all Spartans were to be recalled and used on a last-ditch mission against the Covenant, Jared was not among those present. Parangosky considered Jared far too valuable to be wasted on what she thought was a rather long shot of a suicide mission, that was already overpopulated with Spartans anyway. To ensure that there were no ill effects on morale, none of ONI's small cadre of Spartans were informed of the mission or what their comrades' locations were. In every possible way, they were cut off from outside contact, forcing them to focus only on the mission at hand.
Battle of Manheim
In October of 2552, ONI HQ received a distress call from one of their agents in the Omicron Polaris System, embedded in a Navy battle group that was tasked with the defense of Manheim, the system's colony world. After the situation was analyzed, Rich, with Parangosky's permission, ordered Gibson to dispatch Jared, along with a squad of elite ODST operatives, to the colony. Unfortunately, the prowler carrying the ODSTs was detected and destroyed by the Covenant blockade. Jared was able to escape a similar fate by hiding in a debris field that orbited Manheim. In about a week, a meteor shower occurred, and the prowler was able to make its descent to the surface unnoticed. Upon his planetfall, Jared located a UNSC E-Band IFF signal and was able to link up with the crew of the UNSC Myrmidon, the only Human ship to survive the orbital battle.
Along with the Myrmidon's crew, Jared was able to initiate a successful guerrilla war with the Covenant invaders, striking various weak points and retreating back into the tangled industrial jungle of Manheim's factory sector to regroup and resupply. The conflict continued in this fashion for quite some time, raging on until near the close of 2552. It was at that time that the Covenant Civil War completely upset the balance of power. The Covenant armada that was stationed over Manheim was made up mostly of Sangheili military personnel who were moved to that location by the Prophets, who wanted them out of the way. When news trickled down to the Elites of the new Civil War, they attacked and destroyed all of the other races' ships, suffering minimal losses. On Manheim's surface, an Elite visionary named Sesta 'Laram initiated a cease-fire with the remaining Human guerrillas. Officers who objected to this truce, especially after a message from the Arbiter was received explaining his own version of the truce with the humans on Earth, were quickly moved out of the way by the Fleetmaster of the Sangheili armada. Together, the Humans and Elites cleansed Manheim of Covenant Loyalists, running into mysterious and dangerous Forerunner technology along the way. The exact nature of this technology remains classified by ONI command. Jared and 'Laram became good friends during this drawn-out search and destroy mission, and the two remain close to this day. After Manheim was cleared, a portion the Myrmidon's Navy and Marine personnel were put back onto their vessel with a Sangheili repair crew. The rest were loaded into the Sangheili ships, and with some persuasion from Jared and the UNSC commanding officer, Sylvie Grey, the armada headed for Earth.
The Second Battle of Earth
When the joint task force arrived at Earth, SPARTAN-117 and Miranda Keyes had already departed for the Ark, leaving Lord Hood to coordinate the remaining defenses. Since most of the Brutes had joined the Prophet Truth in his journey to the Ark, a lesser amount of Loyalist forces were present on Earth, easy pickings for the Sangheili strike fleet and the UNSC Myrmidon's crew. Lord Hood welcomed the reinforcements with open arms, and immediately deployed Jared to the Chicago Industrial Zone, where heavy fighting between Brutes and Humans had continued for several days. Along with the ODSTs from the Helljumpers' 10th Battalion, Jared succeeded in turning the tables on the Brutes, allowing the UNSC forces in the area to launch a major counterattack. With the North American situation stabilized, SPARTAN-091 was transported to Sydney, where he provided protection for High Command's remaining officers for the duration of the battle. When the survivors of the Ark battle emerged from the Slipspace portal, Jared expected to meet up with John and discuss old times. He was deeply saddened when the most courageous SPARTAN did not return, and fell into something of a depression when he realized that he was one of the last of his kind. After some extensive therapy, he later visited the Human-Covenant War Memorial to pay his respects to his fallen brothers and sisters. He is unofficially credited with scratching the service numbers of his fallen brothers and sisters into the memorial.
Jared did not attend the memorial's commissioning on March 3, 2553, as he was given an extended leave by ONI Command. During this leave, Jared chose to visit his hometown, which was located near the Hartsfield-Atlanta Orbital Terminal, a large district in the southeast of the former United States. When he arrived there, he discovered that his parents, whom he barely remembered, had been killed during the Covenant attack, and his hometown had been partly glassed. Asking around, Jared learned that most people did not remember his parents ever raising a child. The few that did said that the boy had died around the age of eight from a heart failure. After wandering around the Terminal for a few days, the SPARTAN decided to visit the Capital District in Washington for a few days. During this trip, he met a newly-commissioned ONI Lieutenant, a former scientific researcher named Lauryn Carson, who was also on a brief leave. After they met at the Capital's SPARTAN Monument, she became fascinated by his life's story. When the two parted later during the weekend, they promised to contact each other regularly after leaving Washington, vowing to remain close friends. On May 21, 2554, SPARTAN-091 was returned to duty once again, needed to combat the Insurrectionist threat that had once again raised its ugly head.
From April 21 to 25, 2553, Jared fought a desperate campaign against the small number of Insurrectionist forces that still remained. The terrorists had infiltrated several levels of government and threatened to destroy or eliminate certain people and equipment necessary to effect the UNSC's recovery. SPARTAN-091 completed several dangerous anti-terror operations, raiding a safehouse, taking down a secondary leader, locating and securing a suitcase nuclear bomb, and other such missions. But, in August, the Insurrectionists made good their threat, destroying one of the main terraforming plants near New Mombasa with another nuclear device. After a long series of negotiations, the Insurrectionists were allowed to leave UNSC control and settle a new planet, which they named Independence. Jared-091 was returned to Earth to have his AI, Juliet, removed and deactivated, as she had reached her maximum "healthy" operations length. Unfortunately for ONI, Juliet refused to let herself be removed, instead grafting herself directly to Jared's neural network implant. This process, while harmless to the SPARTAN, prevented any other attempts to separate the two, as High Command did not wish to accidentally kill one of their last super-soldiers in a risky surgery. It was during this time that Jared was placed under direct supervision of ONI's Director, reporting only to him and receiving all relevant orders and assignments through the Directorate.
After the process was completed, and Jared was deemed in no significant danger, he was ordered to Sydney, where he was assigned to Operation REJUVENATION. On this operation, he was attached to a frigate called the UNSC Long And Dark December, whose mission it was to scout out colonizable worlds and report them to High Command. The Spartan was expected to both provide security for the valuable crew and serve as the Director's eyes and ears. Sesta 'Laram, now a Shipmaster, accompanied the December on her journey in his ship, in hopes of finding Forerunner artifacts and promoting inter-species cooperation. Jared discovered that his friend Lauryn Carson was in charge of the frigate's joint ONI / Acumen research detachment, and the two were reunited. New Forerunner technology was eventually found on one of the survey worlds, but the Human and Sangheili forces that tried to recover it came under heavy attack by Forerunner forces led by a inactivity-crazed AI construct similar in role to a Monitor. Eventually, the technology was recovered, and with Juliet's help, the AI was subdued and contained for further analysis. For a period of six months, the journey around the edge of UNSC space continued, until finally, the December returned to Earth to make its report. Jared, after debriefing with the Director's staff, was given a surprise birthday party by his old friends, the first actual party he had had since he was six. After walking Lauryn home when the party was over, Jared was struck by a drunk driver going at extremely high speeds and severely injured. Thanks to his augmentations, he survived what would have been a fatal wound, and was immediately rushed to a Naval hospital, where he was placed in intensive care. The drunk driver disappeared under suspicious circumstances, and was later found dead in an alley. The incident was blamed on gang connections, but it is more than likely that ONI had the man assassinated after a prolonged interrogation to ensure no Insurrectionist ties.
After several weeks of treatment, Jared made a full recovery and returned himself to active duty. In 2554, he was contacted by his the Directorate and assigned to train a young ONI agent by the codename of TALON. The full details of this time period are still classified, but it is apparent that after completing the girl's training, 091 was deployed alongside her on numerous operations before she was finally deemed ready for solo operations. The two kept in relatively close contact over the years to come, as close as their respective assignments would allow them, sending each other regular messages about their current situations.
In late 2555, ONI received word of an anomalous distress signal emanating from the Pelagiad-3 debris field. Their transponder frequencies matched those of the ONI Prowler Green River Killer, long thought to be lost to Covenant forces in one of the many resulting skirmishes that took place around UNSC border worlds. Because Captain Aaron Gibson was onboard the prowler before it was considered destroyed, the Directorate dispatched the nearby UNSC Long and Dark December, along with Jared-091, to the site to evaluate what had happened and to ensure that this was not an Insurrectionist trap. Because of the strange magnetic field around the ship, only the SPARTAN-II could be safely inserted by Pelican, which deposited him at a safe distance with a . At some point during the mission, Jared turned off his helmet cam, so a large portion of ONI's files on the matter are missing.
According to rumors amongst lower-ranking ONI personnel, this was to cover up some secret past that Gibson and Jared had shared at some point, and that the two were responsible for the deaths of several high-ranking ONI officers. This controversial theory has been consistently denied by spokesmen of the Office, who blame the deaths either on assassins hired by disgruntled Insurrectionists or run-ins with Covenant forces. However, there has been no solid evidence of either side, so it remains up to the reader to draw their own conclusions.
SPARTAN-091 was heavily involved in what became known as the "cleanup of ONI," working directly with past associate and fellow operative Helen Calypso and several other classified ONI units such as Indigo Team. Because of his past with the notorious Gibson, and his status as top Office asset, Jared was repeatedly-- and initially, unsuccessfully-- interrogated for information regarding many of the atrocious and jet-black operations conducted by his former superior, and which he himself was involved with. Eventually, he proved willing to open up and cooperate once it was proved that the agent-in-charge was working with the express consent of the Director, and participated in several mop-up operations and strikes linked with VORAUSSICHT's overarching mission. A great deal of helpful information was uncovered, and with Jared and Indigo finally working together, VORAUSSICHT was able to make a great deal of headway. Further details unfortunately remain classified, especially regarding the ultimate conclusion of the operation, but the author expects such data will be forthcoming in the future. All that is known is that SPARTAN-091 was once again reassigned after the end of the operation.
Despite their promises to the contrary, as it turned out, ONI was not finished with the newly-independent Insurrectionists. After recalling SPARTAN-091 once again, this time for an indefinite amount of time, the newly-reformed Section-III office authorized him to conduct more assassination missions in and around Independent space, under the operational codename LIBERTY. For a period of four months, Jared did just that, working with covert ONI operatives to terminate many former leaders of the Insurrectionist movement and carrying out several insurgent strikes on the infrastructure of Independence. It was the reverse of what the Innies had done so many years earlier, and the irony was starkly visible to both sides. The people of the "free" colony, already suffering under the effects of a trade embargo by the UNSC, and now faced with the deaths of their leaders and collapse of their economy, grudgingly surrendered themselves to UNSC government. Brought back into the fold, the UNSC graciously granted the world a post on the Planetary Council, and placed no restrictions on free trade. They did, however, leave a sizable garrison of Defense Force troops on the planet's surface for "security purposes". In 2560, Jared was allowed a brief leave on his ONI psychological evaluator's orders, who realized the importance of regular stress-free periods to Jared's mental health.
On January 17th, 2596, ONI lost contact with one of its prowler frigates, the UNSC Adamant Resolve. Its last known contact was a mysterious and monolithic space station of obvious Forerunner construction. Fearing the worst, ONI called up its best field operative, SPARTAN-091, and dispatched him, along with a company of ODSTs and a detachment of Rangers, to the Resolve's last known position. Arriving there in the UNSC Long and Dark December, Jared-091 and the ODST focused on entering the station through a ventilation/intake shaft, a cavernous tunnel that led into the inner workings of the station. The Rangers were sent in first, infiltrating through the station's main entrance and setting up a perimeter so that the ONI science analysis team could work in peace. Initial forays into the main body of the station led to disappearances of personnel. The Rangers, after losing several teams, fell back to the perimeter. At the same time, the ODSTs stumbled across odd blood stains on the walls and floor of an antechamber. Jared-091, recognizing the type of blood and the fetid smell of the air, immediately alerted his cadre of ODSTs to the possible threat of Flood. As the Rangers found their comrades returning to them as Flood combat forms, panic swept through many of their ranks and a retreat was made back towards the hangar bay. Eventually, however, Captain Stanislav Skorozy managed to regroup and reinstate morale to his men and drove the swarm back from the outskirts of the hangar, meeting up with the ODSTs and SPARTAN-091 along the way. Fighting fiercely, the party made its way into the station's core to turn on the power needed to signal for pickup. There, they found a Proto-Gravemind, which, after a long struggle, was eventually destroyed by several well-placed charges. The power was turned back on, but aside from a few small technological elements recovered from the main areas, nothing was found onboard the station before evacuation. SPARTAN-091 and the surviving ODSTs and Rangers were kept in a quarantined area for screening before eventually being released back to their quarters.
ONI declared the lower levels of the station, which likely held the research laboratories, too unsafe for immediate recovery. Further attempts to secure those levels met with disaster. When it was revealed to HIGHCOM that the station had been infested, the brass refused to consider any serious task force and ordered the sector sealed, erased from navigation data, and had the research facility nuked to ensure that no Flood forms would ever survive.
Retirement and Death
After several hundred more classified operations, Jared continued in the service of mankind until he reached the UNSCDF's mandatory biological age of retirement, at which point he was honorably discharged from the service, with great honor and respect being shown by all those in attendance at the ceremony. He did not adjust to civilian life very well, showing classic symptoms of the so-called Serviceman's Syndrome: restlessness and paranoia. Thankfully, with some help from his few remaining friends, he eventually learned to cope with the relative monotony of retired life, though he frequently suffered from nightmares and bouts of disorientation from his many traumatic experiences. ONI, still the stern parent figure to him, ensured that their beloved operative was under close surveillance and able to get any and all help that he required. He decided to settle in his birthplace, the Hartsfield-Atlanta District, and moved into a small but respectable house in the heart of the sprawl. Visitors to the place reported that the former Spartan kept a vast array of pictures on his walls, ranging from portraits of fallen personnel he had known to beautiful alien vistas that he himself had captured through his helmet recorder. When asked about any particular picture, he could recite a lengthy and heartfelt tale regarding the event and his memories of it.
Neighbors reported that the old warrior would rise daily and go for a long run before starting his routine of maintenance and chores for the day. Eventually, though, he ran out of things to do. His restlessness returned with a fury, and he began writing a personal memoir in hopes of simply gaining closure from his eventful career. This only worsened his condition, and depression, which he had long struggled to stave off, overwhelmed him. The many horrible things he had experienced or carried out, the host of friends that he had watched die or who had died while he was away, and the sheer psychological weight of his final battles eventually proved to be his better. He lapsed into a fit of numbness, and sat for long periods of time in his memento room, cleaning his weapons or polishing the brass of his old Navy uniform.
In December of 2712, just past his chronological two-hundred-and-first birthday, and at the biological age of one-hundred-and-twenty, Jared-091, still in peak physical condition, donned his Dress Whites, trimmed his hair, and took a shuttle to the heart of the European Union, visiting the ancient Notre Dame Cathedral. Witnesses report that he entered the building at approximately 2200 hours Universal, spent several minutes presumably praying, then left, taking a long walk down the banks of the Seine River. Finding a park bench, he sat down and gazed up at the stars. On December 25, 2712, 0100 hours Universal, constabulary officials found the Spartan still seated on the park bench, deceased, a peaceful smile upon his face. Medical officials have still not discovered the main cause of death, but it is in wide speculation that the man had simply decided to stop living.
Jared Ezekiel Korso was buried with full military honors in the UNSCDF's hallowed New Mombasa Warrior's Cemetery, alongside other legends such as Edward Buck, Lord Terrance Hood, and Miranda Keyes. On his towering gravestone are the words: "Jared-091: Hero, Paragon of Humanity, and Fearless Warrior. Let his service be an example to us all." Underneath, at the base of the stone is carved: "Another Marine reporting, sir; I've served my time in hell..."
These are the in-depth statistics relating to and concerning SPARTAN-091's service with the UNSC Defense Force. They include, but are not limited to the following core areas: physical appearance, ONI-mandatory psychological evaluation, awards earned, and equipment utilized.
Jared can be distinguished by his relative good looks, dark brown hair cut in the "medium-reg" style popular amongst most senior Marines and service personnel, and deep gray-green eyes. Like most of his brethren, he towers over average Humans, standing at a full seven feet, six inches tall in MJOLNIR and around seven foot one outside of it. He is lean for a SPARTAN, but his build is a mix between a body-builder's and a runner's, with over-developed shoulder muscles, deep chest, and large biceps. Despite regenerative processes he has received over the course of his service with the Office, he still has a small distinctive scar on his right cheek, given to him on one of his first operations. He also still bears the faint remnants of the augmentation scars that he received as a young man, scars that have now faded into small white lines. Jared's default expression is rather blank, a hollow, unfocused stare into nothingness that some psychological evaluation officers have found troubling.
Jared keeps his body and skills in constant tip-top shape, and usually spends his "off" time at a local gym or firing range. While this does nothing for his popularity among UNSC personnel, those who have served with him understand that he works only to keep his mind off of what he has been through. Jared is a deeply loyal and respectful individual at heart, who keeps most of his thoughts and ideas to himself while obediently following orders, though he is known for being quite casual with his ONI superiors, to the point of insubordination. His early behavior had earned him the reputation of being "quiet", and was what originally attracted ONI's attention, but now he has developed a reputation as something of a socially-inept rogue, dishing out sarcastic, ironic, or humorous observations whenever he finds them funny. This does not usually coincide well with the moment. His mock-egotistical personality and usually-calm exterior belies the sadness that lurks below the surface, as he realizes he can never have a normal life, and often misses his parents. Often at odds with the more aggressive and outgoing SPARTANs, Jared still respects them as the brothers and sisters he never had, even if he does occasionally hit them with sarcastic observations that he has termed "incendiary."
Jared has a very distinctive personality, one which was very affected by his continued interactions with ONI. He is usually very quiet, and does not contribute meaningfully to discussions because of his private nature. If he does decide to participate, he will most likely distance himself from the gravity of the situation through the use of sarcastic comments and sardonic humor, which has earned him a reputation as something of an annoyance. Analytical and deliberative, he views life as a minefield, to be navigated with extreme caution and forethought. He is also quite driven, and does not take kindly to those who do not live up to what he perceives to be their full potential. He exhibits a rather callous attitude towards himself and his mental and physical health, and because of this has been forced to attend regular check-up sessions with ONI-approved medical personnel to ensure that he is properly cared for.
Since he has been through countless covert operations, he has come to the conclusion that he can trust only himself, and has made exceptions to this rule on a few very rare occasions. Though he will never admit it, he believes that most people are secretly out to get him, a perspective that has been confirmed by ONI psychiatrists as a symptom brought on by a form of Paranoid Personality Disorder, as well as a lifetime of running high security missions for the Office. He will often compulsively check locations multiple times to assure himself of their security, and will become terribly anxious when forced to wait around, for fear of the situation being a trap. Like most Spartans, he is mildly sociopathic, and has trouble understanding how to sympathize with or act appropriately around other people, a tendency that has been exacerbated by his time doing wetwork with ONI. For these reasons, Jared has immense trouble establishing any sort of relationship, whether friendly or work-related, and has taken a rather resigned outlook on the situation.
Due to his years of service, he remains extremely detached and jaded, having willfully suppressed the greater part of his emotional complex in order to carry out missions without problems. He finds some small comfort in following orders, and will usually carry them out to the letter, regardless of their implications. He also exhibits a great degree of loyalty to both the UNSC and the Office, something to be expected of any SPARTAN-II commando.
Despite his mild sociopathy and emotional detachment, Jared still suffers from a strong case of post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition he refused to recognize or report. He would often have nightmares where he would relive past missions or be haunted by apparitions of people he had killed, often waking up in a cold sweat or yelling. However, he stubbornly pressed on in asking for and receiving missions, ignoring these recurrent dreams as mere nuisances. He was finally treated when Juliet matched his brain's activity patterns to those of a PTSD victim and reported him to the medical office after confronting him with her findings. He currently takes a few brands of medication in order to stabilize his behavior and keep him in a strong mental state. Juliet also helps monitor his behavior and brain patterns in the field, as he has been known to have occasional traumatic flashbacks during missions when not properly medicated.
Jared supposedly prides himself on remaining neutral in most areas, keeping his own personal beliefs to himself. He claims that he will not hesitate to do anything that needs to be done in the defense of humanity, and is a firm believer in the saying "the ends justify the means". This standpoint has left him in a controversial light with his more moral comrades, who say that he is a utilitarian. In practice, this sort of approach towards ethics renders him amoral, as any so-called morals he possesses are dictated purely by mission parameters. This abnormal mindset has allowed him to gain popularity among the Office's brass, and acceptance among his fellow operatives, as he can be counted on to do even the worst missions. He has very few qualms in killing, or even murdering, a target set by his superiors, and many ONI historians theorize that the majority of the black ink in his service record results from missions such as these. ONI psychologists conducting standardized tests have witnessed and recorded a steady decline in Jared's recognition of, and attachment to the value of human life. At a low point in his career, Jared was forced into mandatory rehabilitation when he displayed behaviors that characterized an attitude of flippancy toward the safety of himself and other operatives who were deployed with him at the time. After a year's worth of consistent therapy, he was cleared for restricted line duty and slowly phased back into the normal operations roster, with the stipulation that he must attend checkups when required by his evaluations officers.
Weapons And Armor
The following is a list of equipment that SPARTAN-091 was known to use throughout his distinguished career in the UNSCDF. Weapons models and armor variants listed are listed by frequency of use, not preference. Attached to each piece of equipment is a brief description of its purpose, manufacturer, and date of introduction.
- MJOLNIR MARK V/O Powered Assault Armor (Early War)
- The first suit to incorporate stealth and assault technologies in the same package, the Mark V armor was originally cobbled together by UNSC R&D technicians as a part of the Meinhauer Strategic Defense Initiative. Late in the design stage, ONI agents were able to make sure the prototype "disappeared" in an apparent Covenant raid on a transport convoy. Spirited back to their own private research labs on Reach, the armor was worked on once more, this time with more-efficient tools and incorporating recently-captured Covenant weapons and defense items. A full list of features can be found in the declassified file listed above.
- MJOLNIR MARK VI/O Powered Assault Armor (Late War)
- A suit of standard Mjolnir-VI armor that, following in the footsteps of the first O-variant prototype, was designed, researched and developed by the Office of Naval Intelligence's Acquisition and Development Department in their Colorado Springs facility on Earth. It includes a small heat sink, an energy shield, and a variety of advanced materials that accentuate its stealth properties, such as its "Midnight Onyx" colored stealth coating. The small white bands on the thigh and upper arm portions of the armor are emergency heat sink strips, which can vent the armor's excess heat in case of an emergency. Though designated the "O" or "ONI" variant, it was commonly referenced to as "the Colorado suit".
- SRS98 AMX "BushWhacker" Sniper Rifle
- The sniper rifle which Jared was awarded upon the completion of his first op. It saw action in every operation that Jared took part in, and by the end of the Human-Covenant conflict, it was one of the most upgraded and personalized weapons in the UNSCDF inventory. The prototype for the late-war SRS99D AM-2, the rifle had an experimental targeting computer mounted forward of the main scope, which provided constant-update stabilization commands to the inertial compensators located throughout the weapon. In essence, it provided a more stabilized shot for a weight increase of about 5 kilograms. Because of this extra load, it was not put into use by un-biomodified UNSC personnel, but as a Spartan, Jared found it perfect.
- M6G/SOCOM Magnum Sidearm
- Jared's sidearm of choice was the "G" model of the standard-issue M6-series, but with several customized features, such as the dual-tone black and gray finish, matte grip-enhancer, slightly longer barrel, faster feed system, and the laser-etched column-and-star that the operative used as his personal sigil. These modifications allow the pistol to bridge the gap between the speed of the "C" series and the stopping power and accuracy of the "D" and "G" series. It has the standard features of any normal SOCOM-variant weapon as well, with an integrated sound suppressor, muzzle brake, and VnSLS/V 6E smart-link scope. The weapon was later keyed to the Spartan's biological signature and neural lace signal, ensuring that only he could use it. It has been the envy of many service personnel.
Awards and Decorations
Below is an incomplete listing of SPARTAN-091's honors, as well as abridged transcripts of the citations for each one. The list proceeds from greatest to least for each noted organization.
|UEG military decorations|
|Superior Service Award|
|Distinguished Service Cross|
|Purple Heart (4 silver award stars)|
|Navy Cross (1 gold award star)|
|Prisoner of War Medal (presumed after disappearance)|
|Red Legion of Honor|
|Silver Star (2 gold award stars)|
|Medal of Honor|
|Colonial Cross (1 gold award star)|
|UEG unit awards|
|Chancellor's Naval and Marine Unit Citation|
|Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2 oak leaf clusters)|
|Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2 Silver and 4 Gold award stars)|
|Navy "E" Ribbon (Frigate Long and Dark December)|
|UEG service awards|
|Navy Expeditionary Medal (5 silver service stars)|
|Naval Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon (with Expert Device)|
|Naval Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon (with Expert Device)|
|ONI Distinguished Operative Award (3 silver award stars)|
|UNSC action medals|
|Colonial Defense Service Medal (1 silver service star)|
|Defense Forces Expeditionary Medal (2 silver service stars)|
|Defense Forces Service Medal (3 silver and 1 gold service stars)|
|Humanitarian Service Medal (1 gold service stars)|
|SPECWAR Group SPARTAN-II Service Medal (1 silver service stars)|
|UNSC campaign medals|
|Insurrection War Service Medal (2 silver service stars)|
|Great War Medal|
|Miridem Campaign Medal|
|Peter's World Campaign Medal|
|Halcyon II Campaign Medal|
|Manheim Campaign Medal|
|Defense of Earth Campaign Medal|
|Medal for Evacuation (Kearsarge)|
|Army of Occupation (Independence) (1 gold service star)|
|Army of Occupation (Manheim)|
|Army of Occupation (Doisac)|
|Operation AXEBLADE (1 gold service star)|
|Operation REJUVENATION Service Medal (1 silver service star)|
|Remnant Pacification Campaign (1 silver and 1 gold service star)|
- Colonial Cross
- For meritorious and valorous actions in the confrontation at Manheim, and for organizing and leading the United Nations Space Corps Defense Force personnel in a successful resistance campaign against the xenocidal forces of the Covenant, and later forging an alliance with the Sangheili troops stationed there, thereby saving the lives of countless civilians and the resources of a valuable colony world. Awarded on this date, January 24th, 2554.
- Silver Star (x2)
- Bronze Star
- Red Legion Cluster
- Red Legion of Honor
- UNSC Navy Cross
- Purple Heart (x4)
- High and Meritorious Order of Sanghelios
- Holy Warrior
- Honorable Legion of Worthy Foreign Warriors
- Sword of the High Kaidon (Ceremonial Engraved Blade)
|SPECWAROP Second Class||30 March 2525|
17 June 2527
|SPECWAROP First Class||17 June 2527|
31 January 2547
|Chief SPECWAROP||31 January 2547|
3 April 2550
|Lieutenant||3 April 2550|
28 September 2568
|Captain||28 September 2568|
Confirmed Kill Tally
Over the course of his service in the UNSC military, SPARTAN-091 has killed numerous opponents. Below is an approximated total of all enemies destroyed, ranked by species, retrieved from ONI Databases January 1st, 2600. NOTE: Confirmed kills are those that are registered on any valid UNSC serviceman's helmet-mounted mission analysis camera.
- Grunts: 578
- Jackals: 237
- Drones: 406
- Elites: 98
- Brutes: 326
- Hunters: 14
- Humans: 1,278
- TOTAL: 2,937 confirmed kills
- "Hey, slow down and let's think before we go charging headlong into that mess. Look at how their deployment's weak on the right flank, near that tower. A few well placed rounds, we're in, and they're none the wiser."
- ―Jared-091, advising a more aggressive team member.
- "I'm no Linda, but I bet you that I can clear that LZ before we even touch the ground."
- ―Jared-091, commenting on the difficulty of landing on an unsecured spacehead.
- "No, let me go check it. I'm more quiet than anyone else here, and I don't have the temptation to kill every single Grunt I sneak past."
- ―Jared-091, on close reconnaissance, with a sidelong look at his ODST squad.
- "The inner nobility of Human nature? What inner nobility? Doctor, I've seen what we are capable of, the worst we can produce, and trust me, sir. We are most certainly not noble."
- ―Jared-091, addressing Dr. Pritam Balthesar, human psychological analyst, at a symposium that he was invited to attend by Dr. Beah Schore.
- ―A common phrase often heard by ONI personnel serving with Jared.
- "You are familiar with my luck, right?"
- ―Jared-091, on optimism.
- Jared's name translates from Hebrew as "Descendant".
- Jared's ONI codename was ORPHEUS.
- Jared was incorrectly portrayed as a Gray Team SPARTAN in the docudrama Heroes of Humanity: The Story of the Spartans. After being contacted by the UNSC Public Affairs office, the filmmaker fixed this error.
- In the late 2600s, Jared-091 was a leading character in the Saturday morning sim-vid show Sierra Squad, a fictionalized series that was loosely based off of the SPARTAN-II's Covenant War exploits.