Joshua-G024, or later also known by his codename: Zealot, was a member of the SPARTAN-III Project from Gamma Company. Joshua was born into a life of extreme neglect and poverty due to the heroin addictions of his parents. His sister was his primary carer for the first few months of his life, but she would ultimately be killed in a riot. Within a few weeks of his sister's death, Joshua would be rescused the local Social Services and placed into a Care Home. Due to Joshua's frosty demeanour he was deemed unsuitable by many would be fosters and would never be fostered, even temporarily, resulting in him staying in the Care Home for the majority of his non-SPARTAN life. As a result of his intense introversion, Joshua was seen as an easy target to be bulled by a group of much older children, believing that they would not be punished for their actions due, they assumed, to his unpopularity with the staff. After several months, Joshua would finally retaliate and brutally beat the bullies, before a ONI Inspector would break the fight up and offer Joshua a place in a "special school" which he hastily accepted.
On Onyx, Joshua flourished and his personality, while becoming harsher, became more open to interaction. After several Trial by Fire exercises, he became the leader of Team Xiphos. Xiphos would garner a sterling field report during the training exercises under his leadership. His team would excel in Close-Quarters Combat, and Stealth combat, which was seen as an impressive feat, due to the different physiological stresses that the operator suffered during these missions. It would be because of this mental flexibility, that Joshua and his Team were cycled out of Gamma Company by ONI, with a plan to partake in several missions, before re-joining his Gamma Company comrades for the main company operation. The most prominent mission undertaken by Joshua while in ONI's custody, was Operation:Contagio Purgatio a mission with the objective to steal Covenant technology from a lone research base. During Contagio Purgatio Xiphos, with the exception of Josh and Amy, were massacred by the combined forces of the Flood and the Covenant. The ordeal left Joshua in Hospital for several months as he suffered severe internal organ damage; a bleed on the brain suffered during the operation would force him into a coma for several weeks. The mission would also leave a lasting mental impression on Joshua, as it turned him from a devout Roman Catholic into a Nihilist. However, the bond between him and Amy-G094, while already strong, would become a source of great strength for the pair. The two came to rely upon each other for everything.
After Josh and Amy recovered from their wounds, ONI deemed it prudent to keep them under their wing and reassigned them into the "Headhunters" along with the survivors of Team Sword. They would be folded together under the banner of VIOLET-III. He gained the call sign of "Violet Actual" as well as the codename: Zealot. VIOLET-III would then be sub-divided, with Josh and Amy retaining the namesake of their old team, and the other two IIIs under their old namesake. Joshua would be killed on one of the first days of the Created Uprising, during an ambush by the Kru'desh Legion ,lead by his former comrade Amber-G330, while aboard the UNSC cruiser, Athens. His body was believed to be lost to space, but was in fact recovered by privateers and his unique set of MJOLNIR armour would be sold to a private collector.
Career Service Vitae
"Your eyes, don't mock me, Sir, say less about the past struggle, more about the one to come."
―A psychiatrist commenting on Joshua during an evaluation. 
(as of 06:00 Hours, 1 January 2558)
Codename: VIOLET Actual, ZEALOT.
Full Name: Héroux, Joshua
Blood Type: AB+
Height: 198.78 cm
Weight: 93 kg
Born: Auxerra, France, Federal Republic of Europe, Earth
Age: 20 (chronological), 18 (physical)
Occupation: SPARTAN-III supersoldier, ONI Operative.
SIERRA-GAMMA ZERO-TWO-FOUR has risen to be among the best hunter-killer operatives currently active in human occupied space. He was born into a poor family, he's had it tough for most of his life - this seems to strengthen him in some ways, if not restricting him in others. A pertinent example is his lack of meaningful communication outside of the field: it is worrying to say the least. An explanation for this comes directly from his latest psychological evaluation. The good doctor has suggested he suffers from moderate-to-severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (WARNING: POTENTIAL FOR WORSENING IN LATER LIFE HIGH) In all likelihood, his ailment is down to the failed OPERATION: CONTAGIO PURGATIO where he lost most of the men under his command - including Xiphos. Xiphos XO SIERRA-GAMMA ZERO-NINE-FOUR, Amy, survived, however. This is most fortuitous on our part as she seems to be the real reason he's still standing, still willing to fight for humanity. (CAUTION IS REQUIRED WITH SIERRA-GAMMA ZERO-NINE FOUR: INTEGRAL TO SIERRA-GAMMA ZERO-TWO-FOUR'S OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES) He is an exceptionally capable and able field officer. It is most interesting to note that his communication skills improve while under fire. It is also noteworthy to mention that he has never failed to complete a mission since being taken out of Gamma Company Regular - it's a wonder then that he wasn't cycled into our division much sooner. Usually brass has a quick and keen eye for talent. His career highlight to-date has got to be the elimination of the notorious Colour Gang. He has a particular affinity for killing insurrectionists - he seems to relish taking down traitors; due to his unshakeable loyalty to the UNSC - it's amazing, even after he discovers his former expandability, he's still loyal. Remarkable. He's far from expendable now; he's one of ONI's best killers, we can't afford to lose him. Not at all. Not now. Not after everything he's done. Not with everything ahead.
Joshua was born into one of the poorest slums in Auxerre, France, which had, by the 26th Century, become a sprawling Metropolis. He was born into a small poor family, his parents both suffered from crippling heroin addictions and as such, were unable to provide him the care and attention that a child requires for its emotional development. His upbringing was laid at the feet of his twelve year old sister Claire. For months, she was able to successfully raise Joshua and give him some form of emotional connection. Indeed, Joshua's earliest memories are of his sister and the times they spent together. Unfortunately, Claire, while out purchasing food with the benefits money her parents received, was killed in a clash between two of the slum's largest gangs. This robbed Josh of the emotional stalwart which had taken to raising him. Two months after his sister's death, Josh was rescued from his home by the local social services. During this time, the 18 month old Joshua had been neglected almost totally and was ravaged with bedsores when eventually picked up. Upon being collected by the social services, he was found to be cradling a small book - the Book of Joshua. Joshua's name was unknown - there was little to no record of his birth and subsequent life. As such, his rescuer deemed it prudent that he should be named after his only possession. It was to become the boy's most prized possesion throughout his life.
Due to the extended period of neglect he suffered, Joshua was unable to form advanced social skills. He was an introverted and reclusive child that abstained from any form of contact with his peers. He was unable to form any kind of social bond, and as a result, Josh retreated into his own world of fantasy. His abnormal social patterns were picked up upon and attempts were made to try and correct the issue, but Josh didn't respond to any stimuli. It was his self-isolation that ironically brought him into contact with some of his peers at the care-home he had been placed into. Joshua was systematically target by a small group of boys aged eight-to-ten as a target they could bully. They believed, with some accuracy, that he would not defend himself should the altercations become violent. This was the case during the beginning of the bullying. Unsure of what to do, Joshua simply allowed the boys to torment him at first verbally and then physically. For the first year after arriving in the care home, rarely a week went past without Joshua sustaining some form of injury - the worst injury being a broken finger sustained after one of the boys stamped on his hand. The apathy showed by the carers in the home had a profound effect on Joshua - it furthered the distance he felt with with people around him and on top of that, it created a general mistrust of people who were in the position of power. He'd come to harbour extreme misanthropic tendencies that would slowly subside during the peak of his career with the UNSC.
The bullying Joshua was subject to, reached its zenith during the last year of his stay in the care-home. During their rountine attack, Joshua got an urge to defend himself - much to the chagrin of his attackers. Josh was able to take out the first of his attackers with a rough punch to the jaw which sent the boy sprawling to the floor. Another of the bullies then attacked him, this time, however, Josh was able to halt the attack, by grabbing the bully's arm, after doing this, Josh clumsily broke the arm by smashing it against the wall of the care-home. He then swiftly knocked that boy out, with a kick to the face. The fight then raged on for a while between Joshua and the oldest bully, with blows being dealt and blocked. Josh then headbutted the last fighting bully and broke his nose. He then proceeded to attack the main person responsible for his years of torture and torment. He punched him in the neck and face and was, unbeknownst to him, about to deal the killing blow, when an ONI Inspector arrived and tore the feral Joshua off of his victim. The ONI Inspector had come to investigate Joshua's suitability for the third generation of SPARTAN-IIIs. Indeed, the fighting proved that Joshua was an apt candidate for the ultra-secret programme. Though unlike the SPARTAN-II programme, the inspector could not simply abduct candidates, he needed their approval. Upon asking Joshua if he was interested, he received an instant response and Joshua was taken to Onyx to begin his new life.
During the time Joshua spent in the care-home, he was never optioned to be fostered to prospective parents. The administrator of the facility believed that he would be an unsuitable candidate for parents as he was anti-social and unresponsive to any form of stimuli. In fact, time in a loving enviroment was perhaps what the young boy needed most as it would have provided stability that would have allowed his emotional quotient to develop along its normal line - though at a much later age than normal. As it was, this did not happen and throughout the majority of his life, Joshua was to have a below-average Emotional Intelligence which was a hinderance during his Spartan infancy. Joshua would never look upon his pre-Onyx live with much positivity. It was something that he rarely spoke about and something he rarely thought about as it was among the most painful of his memories and often left him with crippling depression that he was forced to hide from the instructors and most psychologists during his active military career.
Induction into the SPARTAN Program
After being recruited Joshua, like all the other SPARTAN-III Candidates, was taken to Onyx where he was briefed by Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose about how he was picked because he had the potential to become a Spartan like him. As Joshua had never heard any of the SPARTAN stories, he asked what a SPARTAN was. Kurt was visibly bemused by the question as he assumed that at the current stage of the War, Spartans were a well-known entity. Regardless, he used the opportunity to begin indoctrinating them into the programme and he told him, and the others, the story of the SPARTANs. Indeed the tale had a rousing effect and all of the children were ready to train.
―Joshua often derided those with talents he felt were beneath his. A trait he would lose the older he got.
Moments after arriving on the secret world of Onyx, the traditional test given to all new prospective SPARTAN-IIIs was once again given to the newly arriving Gamma Company candidates. They were to perform night jumps from their pelicans--each filled to the brim with twenty infants aged four-to-eight. Joshua was perplexed by the need for such a test and felt reluctant to do so. During his time in the care-home, he had received next to nothing about the war going on between the Humans and the Covenant. Half of the time, Joshua didn't even fully believe there was a war going on as his life was pathetic enough as it was - he was untouched by the war in every way. His meeting with the other candidates both in the pelican and on the ship to Onyx brought home the stark realities of war to the young six-year old. He heard of how children's parents were killed brutally by aliens, about how children had seen their world turned into an orbiting ball of glass as the fled the alien ships. It all hit home with Joshua and it made him disappointed that he had signed up for something that was being billed as a special school. What could be described as human jingoism was instilled in Joshua as he made the journey from the ending of his human life and the beginning of his Spartan life.
Indeed, seeing Mendez was the first time he has seen a true soldier - Mendez was someone Joshua would hold in perpetual high-esteem and often gave him praise for his own aptitude in the field. As with Mendez, Kurt was the first Spartan that Joshua had ever seen. Seeing him standing in his suit of green MJOLNIR armour left the young Spartan awestruck and desperate to know more. Kurt told the children a story of the Spartans and many of the children, Josh included, were sent into a frenzy - they were desperate to become like the green giant standing in front of them. The SPARTAN-III programme and Kurt had gained their most devoted recruit. He, and the nineteen other trainees, clambered back on board in a mad rush. He was fifth in line to jump out--he was annoyed that he was not first in line; he was determined to show his devotion to the project--he got this opportunity when the boy in front of him refused to jump - Josh burst out laughing at the boy's apparent fear and cowardice. This attitude was rewarded when Mendez shot him an approving glare, this give him even more determination and confidence to jump out. When he was at the ramp, he jumped out almost instantly and without thinking; stopping only to take a deep breath in before jumping. The blast of air took the wind out of him, and gave Josh a burst of adrenaline that he would come to love and thrive upon. This burst would increase his desire to be in the field and many suspect that it was these bursts of adrenaline that allowed him to be such capable leader. After landing on the ground he felt that, for the first time in his life, he had accomplished something. He was determined not to fail and desperate become a SPARTAN.
Joshua was trained in a variety of areas. He was taught how to survive in the wilderness for an extended period of time: namely he was taught how to track, kill and skin an animal and how to chop down trees and turn them into various pieces of equipment such as bows, and spears as well as learning how to turn tree trunk into canoes. As well as that, he was taught how to build a rudimentary shelter in a hotchpotch of possible areas. Joshua caught on well to this and it became an area he would have a great of confidence in. He was also taught how to kill in a series of different ways. He would become proficient in the art of close-quarters combat and he would thrive on it. It would become the area of combat in which he would enjoy the most as it provided him with the largest kick of adrenaline. Joshua would eventually become the leader of his squad - Xiphos. He, along with the other Squad Leaders of the company, would be taken away and taught tactics. He would be taught manoeuvres that he would try out with his team during the 'Trial by Fire' scenarios which were used to discern who the best leaders were and who, if necessary, should replace the leader of a team should they not be up to the challenge of leading in a combat situation.
Academically, Joshua was fairly bright. Excelling in English Literature, Philosophy and French. Joshua would harbour a great interest towards literature from the 18th Century onwards. He was very interested in philosophical novels, with each of them leaving a lasting impact on him. After Contagio Purgatio, Albert Camus' Absurdist novel L'Étranger would become his new Book of Joshua, as Joshua saw parallels between himself and the protagonist from L'Étranger - Meursault. Another book which Joshua would hold in high esteem, would be the existentialist novel The Trial by Franz Kafka. These two books would be the main focus of Joshua's free time after the operation - his French copy of L'Étranger would be covered in his scrawls and he made various interpretations of the work.
Trial by Fire exercises
The Trial by Fire exercises were the final evolution of Kurt's training regime for the SPARTAN-IIIs of the future. It was created in the hope of overcoming the breakdown in discipline that had befallen the two previous companies of the SPARTAN-III programme: Alpha and Beta. During Operation: PROMETHEUS, the unit cohesion of Alpha Company had completely broken down as the Covenant brought the full might of the Armada to bear on the audacious company of Spartans. Upon reflection after the mission, Kurt saw the extent to which the company had fallen to pieces. Basic combat procedure had been forgotten and scores of Spartans fell as they ran from cover without suppression fire coming from their comrades. Despite the company's earlier success -- a series of small-scale strikes on Human territories -- had not adequately prepared them for the stresses of fighting a highly motivated and xenophobic coalition of alien races. Kurt's response to this was to pit the Spartans of Beta Company against the wash-outs of Alpha Company, thus the recruits of the second generation had a combat experience against those of equal training. Tom, one of the two survivors of Beta Company, and his team managed to dupe most of the trainers into a trap that allowed the company to win convincingly. After Operation: TORPEDO, it again became clear that these exercises had not been enough. For the tertiary Spartan company, Ambrose further added to his simulation combat training. By the time Gamma Company were ready to face the exercises, Kurt had perfected it. Squads were to fight each while being pursued by the training instructors. This was to create an atmosphere of severe combat stress, the purpose of which was to weed out those who would be unable to adapt to missions that would cause company members to go through even higher levels of stress. As Gamma had a larger pool of candidates, around six hundred, it made this approach more feasible than the previous companies with their limited selection.
The first Trial by Fire test devised for the Gamma Company recruits was also the first time the SPARTAN-IIIs had been assigned to their teams. Joshua put into a team with: Amy-G094, Maria-G173, Colin-G092 and Andrew-G143. They were given the moniker Xiphos. The tests also served a further purpose, they were used to find who would be best suited to squad leader of their respected squads. As such for every test, the title was rotated between each squad member. The first Spartan to be assigned the role was Amy. Indeed, many instructors had pegged her as becoming the unofficial leader of the company, however this would later befall Ash-G099, the leader of Team Saber. The squads were equipped with MA5Ks loaded with Tactical Training Rounds (TTR) ammunition. They were dropped to the south of the camp, in a relatively forested area. Joshua begrudgingly followed Amy's command. He had worked with her before and knew she was, to him anyway, a competent Spartan, he believed that he would be better suited to the role of Squad Leader. As the mission went on, Team Xiphos slowly wracked up the kills. Within the first three days, they had defeated three squads of trainers and two squads of fellow Spartans, Blade and Bayonet. Amy proved to be a very capable leader, and the longer Xiphos remained in the exercise the more Josh became to respect Amy's authority. She was able to avoid ambushes instinctively. Xiphos were able to watch three separate squads fall into the same ambush before they took out the squad responsible. Eventually though, Joshua and Xiphos would be got in the crossfire of a protracted engagement between three squads. Unable to find cover, they were cut down quickly. Whatever disappointment and anger they might have had soon vanished when they discovered they had finished ninth in the Company.
Thus began the rotation of the squad leader by Kurt. He was trying to find the best suited for leading while under the stresses of combat. After Amy, the squads performances began to suffer drastically. While each of the members of Xiphos were excellent individually, when it came to leading Maria, Colin and Andrew left a lot to be desired. Under Maria's stewardship she took a more aloof approach to leading the squad, she discussed everything with them before they pressed ahead -- a practise Joshua despised -- and as such it left them exposed as it took a while for them to agree anything. They were caught napping and were gunned down before any of them had any real chance to react. They finished in their lowest position of twenty-fifth. Andrew came next, and while he was liked, he was tactically inept especially while leading a group under him. He made a tactical blunder and lead them into an obvious ambush: an open area surrounded by foliage and shrubbery. Despite the reluctance from the squad he led them in regardless. The squad however, finished eighteenth, higher than Maria but still considerably short of Amy. Colin commanded respect as he had offered sound tactical advice during the previous exercises, yet when he became squad leader he failed to live up to his potential. He tried to man-manage everyone, constantly making sure everyone was in a position he had deemed correct, meaning he himself would often go out to position to point people in the right way. This drew the attention of the other teams and, again, they were cut down without any real resistance. They finished twenty-first.
By the time Joshua became squad leader for the last exercise, the leading authorities had become jaded with Xiphos, they had been a squad with such talent and potential that had been wasted by poor leadership. Indeed, they were even disappointed by Amy's leading and her lacklustre performances had seen her slip from the good graces. Joshua was something of a revelation, his performance as leader of Xiphos was exemplary, or at least compared to the rest of his squad. He was able to notice ambushes as he had a sixth sense in detecting them. Moreover, he was able to extract the best from the squad and they were able to reach most of the potential of what had been expected. Though he was not without fault, despite being tactically astute and knowing exactly where to be and when, he was succinct in his orders and rarely spoke unless he had to give them. This made it difficult for Xiphos to know if they were in the wrong as Josh allowed them a certain degree of freedom, for example they could swap positions in a formation as long as they stayed in that formation, even if they were not suited to the position they had moved into. Indeed, this would be their undoing as Maria had swapped positions with Colin and moved to the front, and him to the back. Colin was a more accurate shooter and better under fire. Xiphos met a hastily retreating Team Katana and were down to half strength by the time they had managed to beat Katana off, Maria, Andrew and Amy having all been 'killed.' As per the rules, Josh and Colin had to place their downed teammates upright against a tree and activate their beacon to allow for transport -- the beacons were automatically activated if the team was killed in one engagement -- however, Team Saber caught them doing this and finished them off. Joshua led his team to a fourth place - their highest and this earned him the role of Squad Leader and brought him to the attention of ONI, as he had been able to bring a seemingly average group of Spartans to a high-placed finish. Indeed, under Joshua's leadership the team began to flourish as their individuality was able to come through his leadership style. Never the best fighter, Joshua was determined, passionate and ruthless and as such it made him suitable to the role. However he was never the poster boy for the Company, he wasn't ever considered both through his quiet, distant nature and the fact he was widely disliked by his peers. Neither of which detracted from his leadership abilities.
"One day I woke up from unpleasant dreams and I was a super-soldier."
When twelve years old, Joshua and Team Xiphos took and survived the biological enhancements like all the other S-IIIs from Gamma Company did. To complete their transition into S-III soldiers, they were injected with the following drugs:
8942-LQ99: A carbide ceramic ossification catalyst to make skeletons virtually unbreakable.
88005-MX77: A fibroid muscular protein complex that boosted muscle density and strength.
88947-OP24: A retina-inversion stabilizer drug. It boosted color and night vision capabilities.
87556-UD61: Improved colloidal neural disunification solution, which in turn decreases reaction time.
In addition, the following drugs were injected into the Spartans. They were illegal, but their trainer, Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose felt that they were necessary for Joshua and his fellow SPARTAN-IIIs to survive.
009762-OO: a mutagen that alters key regions of the subject's frontal lobe. Enhances aggression, strength, endurance, and tolerance to injury. Negative effects include a loss in rational thinking and tactics. This is counter-balanced by the anti-psychotic and bipolar-integration drugs.
009927-DG: miso-olanzapine. an anti-psychotic. Counters the mutagen's properties.
009127-PX: cyclodexione-4. a bipolar-integration drug. Counters the mutagen's properties
Personality and traits
"If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth."
―Melancholia and depression were two of the most prominent features of Joshua's personality. 
During the early months and years of his time on Onyx, Joshua was a very introverted individual; with only seldom interactions with his fellow trainees. This was due almost exclusively to his parents and his self-inflicted isolation during his youngest years at the orphanage. During class and free time, he would spend his time alone reading. As a result of his self-imposed exile, his fellow Spartans often overlooked him and left him to his isolation. However, a member of his squad, Amy, made regular attempts to form a friendship with him; eventually succeeding in doing so. Josh would begin to talk to Amy and would find that they had been raised in similar circumstances. Through his friendship with Amy, Joshua eventually became less unwelcoming towards his fellow trainees and in particular his Team. Though never gregarious, his attempts to converse and interact were met positively. When eventually he was made leader of Xiphos, it was this warming of his personality that allowed his teammates to more readily accept him and his command.
In the field, however, Joshua's personality changed dramatically His introversion seemed to vanish under the stresses of combat leaving the trainers dumbfounded, but they later learned he thrived off of the adrenaline rush combat provided. At first, Joshua's leadership style was that of a ruthless autocrat, but this received significant push back from the rest of Xiphos. As such, he mellowed and become more accommodating of his team, while still remaining strict. He quickly became one of the better leaders in Gamma Company, which turned ONI's attention onto him. Joshua and Xiphos, along with Team Sword, were to be cycled out of Gamma on a temporary basis. During Cognatio Purgatiio, Xiphos was killed almost in its entirety; with only Josh and Amy surviving. The mission undid most of the progress Josh had made, as he slipped back into introversion. Josh refused to speak to Amy for the duration they were in hospital. Many doctors believed he had developed post-traumatic vocal disarticulation, but this mutism was selective as Josh spent most of the time writing in his diary and musing over his mistakes.
Despite Josh knowing he was little more than a "expendable" soldier, he was still deeply devoted towards the UNSC, and took great pride in the fact he had been trained to defend the UNSC to the death.
"He who learns must suffer And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget Falls drop by drop upon the heart, And in our own despite, against our will, Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."
Josh was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, due to his attendance at a Catholic sponsored Orphanage. Fittingly, his first known possession was the Book of Joshua, of which he would forever hold dear. Josh would pray to God daily: often before training exercises and operations. He would be n the minority of trainees to attend Sunday Service/Mass on Onyx, as many of the trainees forgot their religion once they arrived on Onyx; he would often serve as the altar boy for the service. He enjoyed his time as an altar boy massively, and it would be a fond memory; even after he lost his faith. Joshua's religion and faith developed during his time on Onyx, as he was able to spend more time thinking intrinsically upon his faith through the down time between exercises and the ability to spend time alone without interruptions. At its peak, Joshua believed that God was simply a guiding hand along a person's development. God played no role in the outcomes of events, instead He allowed them to occur to further enhance a person. This was the rationale Josh took to to explain the harsh surroundings in which he had grown up in. He believed that God was helping him grow as a person through the trials and tribulations he had experienced. Indeed, this viewpoint wouldn't have possible if not for Josh's firmly held belief that he had grown exponentially as a person because his upbringing. As such, he often talked little about his interpretation of God's involvement in other's lives as it was not a popular viewpoint, and was often met with disdain. Fortunately, this public refusal of his beliefs did little to dampen the fervency he had in himself and his beliefs.
Opertation: Contagio Purgatio had a cataclysmic effect on Joshua's faith - it destroyed it. After seeing the Flood with his own eyes, and seeing what they did to people made him apathetic towards God, and eventually with the death of his team, turn away entirely from God. Josh saw no purpose in the events of Contagio, indeed he felt that this event had hindered his growth, perhaps even stunted it permanently. He could not reconcile his beliefs to the brutality and the psychological trauma that he had been subjected to. This loss of faith, which has been such a constant in his life, left a hole in Joshua. However, Joshua would eventually find an embrace in philosophy, and while he would be by nature a Nihilist, he would love the philosophy's of Albert Camus, and Franz Kafka and would harbour existentialist tendencies. Existential Nihilism would partially fill the hole in Joshua's heart, but it would never fill him with the same warmth and comfort as his old, lost faith.
"Then there was like quiet and we were full of like hate. So we killed what was to be killed."
Joshua has taken part in over 50 Missions in his career to date;
Missions under ONI
Due to Xiphos' exemplary performance in training, ONI decided to use their services on a temporary basis, before re-cycling them back into Gamma Company. The Team were to be issued the new experimental Mk. III Semi-Powered Infiltration (SPI) Armour, in addition, they were given the opportunity to use any weapon in the UNSC's vast arsenal. They were to act primarily as an intelligence-gathering team, though, due to their "non-existence", they would be used in deniable ops, to assassinate Rebel Faction leaders, as well targets within the UNSC itself. Despite this newly garnered importance; the team would still be classed as "expendable" to the ONI Top Brass. And, for most of the infiltration missions, they would have a limited time to ex-filtrate.
Skirmish on New Asia
Joshua's first mission under ONI. Joshua, his Team and an additional S-III team who had also been picked by ONI - called Team Sword - where sent down to the Planet's surface; to retrieve data on the Covenant from the University, the planet had been overrun by Covenant forces and the UNSC could only afford to spare two small strike teams. So, Xiphos and Sword where sent in via Long Range Stealth Orbital Insertion Pod (LOIEV) from Slipspace by the UNSC Quicksilver. The Quicksilver would proceed to the planet exactly one hour after Xiphos and Sword were launched, so as to be there when the SPARTAN-IIIs were expected to have completed their mission.
At first the mission was going according to plan. Xiphos had reached the rendezvous point and waited for Sword before heading out. They reached the University without incident, but, when Xiphos began to extract the Data the fighting outside picked up. Sword, who where outside the University and where providing cover for Xiphos, were taking a beating by the advancing Covenant Legions, but were not sustaining casualties, asked Xiphos for assistance. Josh proceeded to send Amy and Maria out to help. They too realised that the window for extracting was diminishing by the minute, began asking Josh to allow a retreat. Josh was unwilling to allow a retreat, without the data, though, Andrew quickly retrieved the data, after this request and Josh ordered the much needed retreat.
After an hour of constant running, fatigue began to set in, and the Covenant caught up with them. In the ensuing firefight, Sword lost two members to advance Covenant assault teams. Josh had his team melt into the forest and positioned them in such a way that the Elites couldn't see them. When the Elites moved past, he and his team grabbed them and quickly killed them with their K-bar knives. Just after killing his Elite; a Seraph fired and hit near his position, causing him to lose consciousness, but, not before he had been told that the Pelicans where on station and awaiting their arrival. When he awoke, having been carried by Colin, he was at the Pick-Up Zone and was walking up a pelican ramp, when Sword came running out of the woods, one last member of Sword was killed by a sniper shot to the head.
The mission was declared a success, and Xiphos were continued to be under ONI's command, while the survivors of Sword were kept by ONI as Headhunters.
Operation: Contagio Purgatio
"Their strength kept me alive when mine failed."
―A note left by Joshua on the The Missing Wall beneath the names of his fallen comrades.
Early in 2552, a Listening Post on the fringes of the slowly receding empire of the UNSC picked up a strange, and never before seen energy pulse from a system five light-years away, Antioch Six. ONI quickly acted and sent a prowler -- the Pequod -- to investigate what the pulse could have emulated from. Once there, Commander James Ishmael found a lone space station in an otherwise dead system. From the preliminary readings from the prowler, it was postulated that the station was a possible science station. Furthermore, Ishmael in his report stated that he believed it to be a highly secretive station, due to its position and the relatively non-existent protection. It was obvious the Covenant had believed the UNSC would never find this particular station. The Pequod stayed in system for a further fortnight observing the routines of the station. It became clear that there was very little in the way of spatial traffic in and out of the station - an occasional cargo freighter would arrive deposit its load and then leave. Upon returning to Reach, Ishmael was taken immediately to ONI's head office where he gave his opinion that it would be feasible for a single ship with a small contingent of troops to board the station and take whatever information there may be there relatively easily. The scans of the station gave the place a basic, simple layout in comparison to the myriad floor system seen upon other Covenant vessels. Furthermore, the prowler had been able to intercept Covenant radio traffic, it deciphered that some of immense 'scientific and biological' value was on board the station. It did not take long for the highest ranking officers in ONI to reach a consensus - it was simply too good an opportunity for them to pass it up. They agreed that a small-scale raid would be undertaken that would involve some of the best trained forces they could spare.
Joshua and his team were the first to be picked for the mission as it fell within their greatest working parameters - close-quarters-combat. They had also been out of combat since the New Asia incident, from this action ONI decreed that Xiphos was a prime asset to be used whenever they deemed fit. Indeed they fit perfectly into the clandestine operations that the Office of Navel Intelligence regularly undertook as they were completely unknown to the public or those outside of the Beta-5 Division. As well as Team Xiphos, the SPARTAN-II Class II Team Silver lead by Daniel-240 who had proven himself very capable, were also brought in for the mission. By this stage of the war the Class IIs had been in combat for nearly seven years and Silver Team had racked up an almost perfect success rate in the field. Another Spartan was added to the already impressive team assembled - Laszlo-108, one of the Leonidans, or ONI's Reapers, was assigned to ensure the success as ONI trusted in his abilities more than the others as he had worked for them for most of the War. From the 82nd Shock Troops Battalion Indigo Company, led by Marlene Dietrich, was assigned to supplement the Spartans. In order to raise less questions from the prowler they were to be stationed on, Major Dietrich was given command of the mission.
On board the UNSC Private Property, it was presumed that the mission would go without a hitch as once in system, no anomalies were detected aboard the station. Major Dietrich assigned roles to each of the Spartan Teams. Silver Team was to deploy with EVA to sabotage the oscillating rings which prevented ships from entering the hanger as the reconnaissance footage had shown that they stopped whenever a ship was planning to dock. Laszlo was to deploy with second platoon, also via EVA, to knock out the Covenant communication array. That left Joshua and Xiphos: they were to deploy with third platoon after both the communications and rings had been taken out. Their objective was to secure the hanger for Dietrich and first platoon. Xiphos were then to push out along the adjoining corridors and secure them. This would allow Dietrich to move into the station and to take the command centre. After the command centre was taken, the plan stated that Xiphos would link up with Dietrich and push towards where the scientific findings were being held; something they would only be able to know after the command centre was in their control. While this happening, Silver Team and Laszlo were to go through the station and find the scientist(s) in charge of running the facility and attempt to capture them and bring them to UNSC space for interrogation. The Private Property was to maintain a safe distance from the station and monitor the situation and remain constantly in touch with the commanders of Beta-5 Division. Moreover, each of the Spartans' helmet-cams were directly linked to the CIC on the Private Property where several ONI officers were stationed. The CIC was sealed off to them before the mission and only the bridge was available to the officers.
"Remember: in and out - we're all coming home."
―Major Marlene Dietrich to her troops just prior to deployment.
Immediately after the briefing, Silver Team, and Laszlo and his accompaniment of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers set off to begin the operation. While this was being undertaken, Joshua and his team had a brief moment together to figure out a battle plan. Since it was to be an engagement of intense close combat and tight, narrow corridors it left Andrew, the team's sniper, and Colin, the team's heavy machine gunner at a significant disadvantage. Colin changed his machine gun for a Shotgun and a M6G Pistol, Andrew swapped out his traditional sniper for an MA5K and a M6S Pistol. Joshua took an MA5C and a M7/S sub-machine gun, while the rest of Xiphos took MA5Ks and a pistol. Joshua, having gathered advice from his team, agreed to propose to split them into two groups to lead exactly one half of the ODST platoon that had been put under their command for the mission. Joshua naturally placed himself with Amy, while Colin was given command of the other half of Xiphos. Upon discussing it with 2nd Lieutenant Matthew Ward, the proposal was accepted so as to give them more tactical fluidity. When Xiphos and third platoon finally began to embark upon the pelican, Laszlo radioed in to report that communications had been taken care with little to no resistance and as such, had sustained no casualties. Directly after, Daniel from Silver Team reported in to alert Xiphos and Dietrich that the oscillating rings had been taken care of. Soon after this, Xiphos and their pelican launched not before the Major had given them words of encouragement. Joshua placed himself towards the front of the pelican, so as to allow himself to be the first of his troop to engage in battle.
After disembarking onto the hanger area of the station, the advance force were bemused by the lack of any form of Covenant resistance. Joshua keep his troops alert as they moved from the hanger bay towards one of the two exits, however as they got closer two Jiralhanae-led lances came rushing through the door. What struck Josh as he moved into a defensive posture, was the ragged organisation of the lances. From his previous missions, he knew that the 'Brutes' as they were known to the humans were tactically inferior to the more martial Sangheili. He noticed that these lances were fighting in a frenetic manner, and that they were somewhat smaller than they should have been. He concluded that they must have been retreating from something but refused to say anything in case it delayed the arrival of Dietrich and her chalk. They fought on and quickly overpowered the lances. Josh then radioed Dietrich to inform her that the hanger had been secured and that they were now moving into the station to secure the corridors linked to the command centre. As they moved into the corridors it became apparent they had not fully appreciated the size of the corridors. They were very narrow and it made it difficult for a group of twenty heavily equipped soldiers in body armour to position themselves. They discovered something truly startling, as Josh approached a multi-directional corridor, he heard plasma fire. He then radioed Laszlo and Daniel to find out where they were, they replied that they had yet to link up and encountering no resistance. When they arrived, Josh discovered scantily clad Sangheili exchanging fire with Jiralhanae in full battle regalia. Perplexed, yet still willing to allow them to fight, Josh ordered his chalk to sit back and allow the two groups to weaken themselves. As the rate of fire Josh ordered the attack and quickly killed them. He proceeded to order Colin and his team to continue down the left side, where the Jiralhanae had come from. Josh approached the Sangheili side and inspected the corpses. Along with plasma burns, he saw injection sites along their arms and chests, suggesting experimentation. He put those thoughts out of his head and finished securing the corridors.
Major Dietrich and her platoon quickly moved in and took the command centre with ease, again experiencing little resistance. Joshua and his side of the platoon were told to meet Dietrich in order to discuss the next move; Colin and his ODSTs were continuing to sweep and explore the station - in contrast to the rest they were experiencing heavier resistance, saying that the Covenant forces were becoming more and more frenzied and distressed the further they pushed into the station. Furthermore, they reported the air had become foggier and punctured with organic detritus, a sentiment seconded by Laszlo and Silver Team. Unsure of what to make of it, Dietrich and Josh agreed to push on and achieve their objective. The scientific data they had been tasked to find was in a laboratory three levels below the command centre.
After Joshua and Amy recovered from their horrific wounds, ONI decided to keep them under their guidance, so as to have access to two of the best trained killers in UNSC Space. Josh and Amy would both be placed into the Headhunter program - an ultra secret assassination wing of the SPARTAN-III project, not even their peers or Kurt knew of its existence.
On the basis of their already sterling performance record, and actually witnessing combat, Joshua and Amy would be made, temporarily, trainers of the group, before being placed into the rigorous compatibility tests, to see if they could work effectively together. This was superfluous, as Josh and Amy already had a strong connection, forged on the anvil by both their combat together and their already close friendship, and this would be reflected in their score - 99.87%. The highest of any Headhunter pair.
Due to their high compatibility rating, Josh and Amy would be placed into a separate "Division" of the Headhunters - VIOLET-III. VIOLET-III would be a four man group of two Headhunter teams. They would be joined by Team Sword's survivors, John and Clara, who had also scored incredibly high on their tests - third in the section. Xiphos and Sword would often be sent on large scale missions, acting as both Rapid Response Units, and Scouts, for the counter-invasion of a planet, they were somewhat unique in that respect to their other Headhunter compatriots.
However, they would still be used on deep strike missions - both in Covenant space, and Insurrectionist space. Disrupting communications, assassinations, etc. They would also be used to assassinate corrupt UNSC officials, their deniability gave ONI a golden opportunity to get rid of UNSC officials supplying the Insurrectionists information, or worse: The Covenant.
VIOLET-III, and specifically Team Xiphos, would earn an incredible reputation, and quickly became the stuff of legend in both Human and alien space.
Operation: Rising Hope
Sent to London, England to turn the tide of the battle - which was slowly being lost by the UNSC ground forces: due to the Covenant having supreme air superiority. Joshua and VIOLET-III were sent in the UNSC High Command to try and turn things around for the beleaguered forces.
Arriving on Day five of the siege, VIOLET-III found that they would have to travel deep inside London’s historical West End to find the UNSC’s last surviving command post. The team encountered very little resistance, as an unannounced truce had taken effect as both sides licked their wounds.
Upon arrival at the command post, Josh soon found out how badly the UNSC forces had been hit. Almost an entire regiment of Marines had been killed, leaving a battalion of scantily equipped Marines, with little in the way of ammo and medical supplies. Most of the wounded were simply left with makeshift bandages, with lucky ones being given sherry for the pain.
Amongst the Marines, was a Battalion of Orbital Troop Shock Troopers, who had arrived a day before Josh and his team. Josh would later find out that most of the officers had been killed on arrival, and as such, Josh was given command of running the defence and if possible, the eventual re-take of London. Josh ordered John and Clara to scout the area and find a vantage point and stay there until the battle ended. He then ordered a company of ODSTs to take up residence in the historical West End building, so as to act as a sort of “early warning system” should the Covenant attack. He then set about improving the defences of the make-shift command post.
As Day five of the siege ended, Josh and Amy moved into Big Ben, and kept tabs on the re-grouping Covenant forces. It was suggested an attack
would arrive the next day – and so it did.
The Covenant used a tactic similar to the Nazis use of Blitzkrieg during the opening campaigns of World War II. They bombarded the forward command post with Banshees, before moving in with Grunts supported by Ghosts; the attacked was repelled quickly, however this was only a diversionary attack, as the main force came around the back of the UNSC’s command centre, John and Clara quickly reported this.
The attack quickly overwhelmed the Marines, as their wounded out-numbered their fighting men; most of the wounded were killed and less than a third of the fighting Marines made it out of the building alive. However, during their flight, more than a half were killed en-route to the ODST’s defence position, in total this left just over two companies of fighting men left in the city.
Josh and Amy provided sniper cover for the duration, killing many before they, too, were forced to retreat.
They regrouped with the remnants of the UNSC forces in Broadway just after they had repulsed another attack, which had further whittled down the defending forces. As such, Josh ordered them to prepare for an evacuation.
A pelican was unable to pick them up at their location, they would have to move back towards their old defensive position and a group of three pelicans would come to extract up.
Josh quickly briefed the men on the situation and they moved out during the night. They encountered very little resistance during the journey and arrived at the pick-up zone without much hassle. However, it turned out to be an ambush and in the ensuing firefight, more than two-thirds of the surviving humans were killed or wounded, SPARTAN-G164, John, was a member of those wounded.
Upon arrival, one of the pelicans was gunned down and due to the nature of the fighting, was left behind so its crew was forced to fend for themselves, they were all killed.
The surviving humans got onboard the pelicans and quickly left London and rejoined the UNSC Fleet in orbit, London was later retaken soon after the High Prophet of Truth’s fleet left Earth.
Time off was something that Joshua was not greatly accustomed to. In fact during his six years of active service, he had never been once given leave. The extended period of time in active service showed how desperately the UNSC needed his skills to bring stability to the Galaxy after twenty-seven years of solid and consistent conflict. VIOLET-III was a perfect special forces group to utilise as it allowed the UNSC to conduct clandestine operations without fear of reparation from the wider public. They would espouse peace on one hand to dissenters, while the other was kept hidden and quietly silenced any form of serious dissent. This kept Joshua and his team busy as during the first few years after the culmination of official hostilities between the Covenant and the UNSC, many independence groups within the remaining worlds of the recovering empire sniffed an opportunity. Indeed, in 2553 the 2553 Martian food protests lead directly to the unprecedented 2554 New Canadian Revolution. However before VIOLET-III could be deployed to help control the situation, the revolution passed peacefully and with next to no bloodshed. This was to be the exception rather than the rule. The rest of the 2554 Mid-Rim Protests where to be long, drawn out affairs that lasted well into the nest year. In November of 2554, VIOLET-III were deployed with the Battlegroup Ireland during the Kafkian Uprising. What had initially been a protest movement hoping to return the planet to its previous democratic status, became infiltrated by the United Rebel Front movement and became increasingly secessionist. Josh and his team were tasked with assassinating the leaders of the group as discreetly as possible. Indeed, after three to four weeks of intensive intelligence gathering, the leaders were found and quietly and efficiently executed. The rebels soon crumbled and the UNSC regiments were able to quickly to defeat the Uprising and restore order, with severe sanctions placed upon the populace.
Almost directly after his actions upon the fields and dirtied roads of Kafka, Josh and Amy were sent to what was believed to be an abandoned UNSC space station, but was in fact being used by a small Sangheili/Human slave trafficking ring. It was the first of its kind in the new post-War galaxy. It was targeting members of both species for the others'. Indeed, post-War, among religious leaders in the Sangheili culture, Human slaves of either sex where prised as slaves - both sexually and as oracles. Contrasting this, was how Sangheili slaves were treated in the human criminal underworld. Crime Bosses used their slaves as pitfighters generally, but there was a large number who would publicly physically and emotionally abuse their slaves as a form of sadist retribution for the sufferings they had endured during the disastrous Human-Covenant War. Team Xiphos received a rare honour in their mission to take down this crime syndicate - they were paired up with a Sangheili Special Operations group. The pairing was a fractious one at best, with both parties unwilling to trust the other completely and open hostility bubbling just beneath the surface. Despite this, it was to be a fruitful endeavour. Together, they were able to move through the station methodically and quickly. Slaves were freed and returned to the UNSC Dublin and the Sangheili cruiser, Righteous Duty. The syndicate was completely annihilated in the assault. Yet, that was not all. Within the servers on board the station, the group was able to ascertain who had bought what and where they currently resided. This led to a massive Joint Operation between the UNSC and Sangheili military as they attempted to rescue the slaves in what turned out to be a huge public relations success for both species in the other's camps. Leading to a summit in Juda in late 2555
As 2555 bled into 2556, Josh found himself less on the fringes on UNSC space where he was able to operate with freedom, to the core of the remaining Empire itself. Indeed, in July 2556 he finally took his first step on the homeworld of Humanity - Earth. It was here that he was turned into an assassin. As the Parliament on Earth became less centralised and delegates from the remaining colony worlds had their representation increased dramatically. However, this had repercussions as the further the world the Members of Parliament were from Earth the more radically independence based they became. Some of the furthest surviving colonies elected members with explicit and conspicuous ties to the United Rebel Front. This set the UNSC on edge. Josh was tasked in making sure that they were not planning to do anything dangerous that might disrupt the new parliament. One member for New Syracuse brought a small detachment of rebel fighters, which Josh and Amy became detached into silencing. It was done in a variety of ways. Josh was able to successfully place a severe sedative into the water system of one; he drowned in the bath. Amy and Josh killed the second one by making it look like he'd died trying to rob an ex-ODST. The final one was made to look like he had committed suicide in his apartment - he was found hanging in his bedroom.
Aboard the UNSC Infinity
"These new Spartans, these IVs. They all chose to become Spartans. Would I have made the same one? There was a period of time I know I wouldn't have hesitated; I'm not so sure anymore. I think I envy them; I never had a choice."
―Josh's musings in his diary after he first came aboard the Infinity. The IVs caused a sense of existential dread in Josh, as both a person and a Spartan.
This article was made during the author's first year on Halo Fanon. During this period, the author was very unoriginal with names, with "Joshua" being used primarily for names. Since rejoining the site, the author intends to keep this article the only article with the name, and has even changed his article which bore his name, to Michael Trask, just to have some originality. Despite being the name of the author, he bears no similarities to the character above.
The author considers this his most original, and has been subjected to a massive re-write. It its original format, it was intended to be a bog-standard SPARTAN-III, who served with Gamma Company and then went on into the after war years, before being brought to train SPARTAN-IVs in the Necros era. The author found this quite limiting, and so decided to remove the article from the Era, and expand him. So he has now become a Headhunter, with philosophical inclinations.
The article scored a 20 on this test classing him as not a Mary Stu.
This was the first article to be awarded with Good Article status in 2011 and is the author's first Good Article award.
This article was originally planned to be the cornerstone of the author's own expanded universe, However, upon beginning writing along with the author's work merging into Revenant Era, it became clear that Joshua-G024 had served his purpose in the author's broader narrative. As such, the death was rewritten and the role of protagonist was given to Amy-G094 - whom the author believes to be a much more interesting and diverse character.