|This article, Studies and Observations Division Troops, was written by Agreon. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|This article, Studies and Observations Division Troops, is currently under active construction.|
The Studies and Observations Division Troops (SODT, as they were called on the battlefield, pronounced letter for letter) were troops that were commissioned by ONI to gather intelligence. ONI would often lend them out to SPECNAVWAR. They had many roles on the battlefield. As troops, they rivaled the ODST, and were inferior to Spartans. Their training was harsh, and their equipment was varying. The troops were the result of Project Epsilon.
ONI created a rival to the Spartan II program, Epsilon. They captured male and female children (Age 6-10) and put them into a training regime. It was not anywhere near that of the Spartan-II program, but it was superior to even that of the ODST.
Epsilon was a project conceived and carried out by ONI in 2532. ONI would kidnap the child they wished to put through the program. They chose the candidate based on background, as well as physical and mental capabilities. They were taken from their families, never to be returned. They had their family name stripped away, kept only in one file kept under lock and key that contained personal information on all candidates.
The troops were put through a harsh and brutal training program. They then were put on live combat with Marines. By the end of their training, at age 18, they were ready for battle. Because the troops were of different ages, there was a graduation held once a year for four years.
The kids were chosen based on ONI's files on all civilians. They were chosen based on a specific gene pool they must match. If all of their health matched, they became candidates. There were 1000 candidates. They were chosen based on eyesight, smell sensitivity, reflexes, bone strength, size, hight, weight, and hearing. To narrow it down, all troops had a coin flipped in their name. If the child was to be chosen, they would get heads. If they weren't, they would get tails. They got 350 kids, exactly.
SODTs use many weapons. Some are prototypes that are being tested through ONI, although this is not common. SODTs have access to the entire UNSC arsenal, including older types of weapons, brand new weapons, explosives, attachments, and electronics.
Some weapons were experimental, such as machine pistols, while some were more normal, such as sniper rifles. Either way, SODTs would use them if wanted or needed for their mission. They would rely on their weapons for life, so they frequently tested them at firing ranges or in Live Fire Exercise houses.
|Weapon||Level of Use||Used for|
|M7S Caseless Submachine Gun||Moderate||Liked for Quietness, rate of fire, caseless, and added features|
|M7 Submachine Gun||Moderate||Liked for rate of fire, magazine size, caseless, and modularity|
|M6C/SOCOM||High||Liked for accuracy and quietness|
|M6C||Very low||Rare due to lack of Smart Link|
|M6D Personal Defense Weapon System||High||Liked for accuracy and stopping power|
|M6G Personal Defense Weapon System||Medium||Liked for accuracy and Rate of Fire|
|BR55HB SR Battle Rifle||High||Liked for accuracy, quietness, ruggedness, modularity, stopping power, and selective fire|
|XBR55 Battle Rifle||Low||Liked for 60 round magazine, and modularity|
|M392 Designated Marksman Rifle||Lower||Liked for accuracy, stopping power, and selective fire|
|SRS99D-S2 AM||Moderate||Liked for rate of fire, low recoil, stopping power, modularity, and accuracy|
|SRS99 AM||Lower||Liked for low recoil, ruggedness, modularity, and accuracy|
|Hard Sound Rifle||Low||Liked for silentness and impossibility to track|
|M90 Close Assault Weapon System||High||Liked for ruggedness, modularity, stopping power, and round count|
|M45 Tactical Shotgun||Moderate||Liked for ruggedness, stopping power, and round count|
|MA37||Low||Liked for ruggedness, stopping power, and rate of fire|
|MA5B||Low||Liked for magazine size, stopping power|
|MA5C||High||Liked for ruggedness, stopping power, modularity, comparative accuracy, and rate of fire|
|BR55S Battle Rifle||Moderate||Liked for capabilities, stopping power, lightweight ammo, selective fire, and rate of fire|
|M41 Surface to Air Rocket||Moderate||Liked for ruggedness, stopping power, accuracy, lock on, and round count|
|M19 SSM Rocket Launcher||Moderate||Liked for stopping power, accuracy, lock on, and round count|
|M19-B SSM Rocket Launcher||Moderate||Liked for stopping power, accuracy, lock on, round count, and ability to kill Banshees|
|M6 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle||Moderate||Liked for power, accuracy, and ruggedness|
|M99 Stanchion Gauss Rifle||Moderate||Liked for portability, power, accuracy, ammunition, and ammunition count|
|M319 IGL||Moderate-High||Liked for portability, weight, power, and ammunition|
|AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun||Low||Liked for power, accuracy, and round count|
|M247 GPMG||Low||Liked for tripod, accuracy, and power|
|M247H||Low||Liked for power, accuracy, and round count|
Their equipment consisted of exclusive weaponry and armor, as well as all that available to other UNSC troops. They had access to special prototypes, as well.
The SODTs used a variant of ODST, almost exclusively. It did have some upgrades and options that other units were not given access to. They had special armor coatings that increased stealth. The color was standard of the ODST armor, black with personalized plates. The armor had a long list of different usable armor attachments and pieces. They could work in a vacuum for quite a while. Their armor was not based around the idea of letting the soldier survive a large amount of hits, but to sneak around the enemy. They could mount several abilities to their armor based around stealth.
Their armor was protective against bullets as well as Plasma. It was partially fire resistant. The SODT inside had an automated Climate control that could be either controlled by him or the team's AI. The helmet could give live feed of commanders, and relay feed to them because of a long range radio in it. Most SODTs loved their armor.
The SODTs were assigned a dumb AI. Their AIs were of the highest class, though. They had modules that were brilliant in the categories of logic, creativity, and analysis. Some 25 AIs were created, and copied to get the grand total of some 160 AIs. The AIs were distributed to teams (Discussed below). The team's AI would be working in the all of the team's armor.
The AIs were made to be different. They were put onto a data crystal chip that was functional in most to all Neural interfaces, including those of ODST, Spartans, and UNSC ship captains. The AI units had a software program to run Riemann Matrixes. They did use these in their data crystals, as a Riemann Matrix was loaded into them. The AIs would use them to increase their processing power.
The SODTs used many different other pieces of equipment. They had access to special military equipment. They could carry them in their rucksacks or in their added on pieces to their armor.
They often also carry a portable computer, as well. The purposes they use them for are just as varied as the purposes one can have. They can write text messages over the UNSC networks or through a direct connection of their armor to each other, or to UNSC command, and ONI. Their computers could also be used to access information databases. Their computers were very important. Almost as important as their long range radio. Many, many tactical things could be done through their computer.
Credential Data Crystal
Every SODT carried at least one data crystal. On it contained pass codes to all cities in UNSC controlled space for their city maps, access to local radio, and information on landscape for VISR technology to enhance its speed of loading area outlines. It also contained their credentials to "commandeer" some UNSC equipment, such as small ships (e.g. Pelicans, Falcons, Hornets, Mongooses, Warthogs, and Scorpion tanks). Also, "masterkeys" for all UNSC vehicles except for ships were kept on it. This meant that the troops could use any of the vehicles they want to use that are sanctioned by the UNSC.
An SODT would receive a Spartan Neural Interface. It had no modifications. The only difference was an attachment. It was the way that an ONI operator could view a HUD without armor. A contact lens, with the ability to display information right in the operator's vision. This was only activated by the operator if needed. Usually, operators would not even use them.
The SODTs were divided into groups. Each group did different things. One group would concentrate on assault, while another might concentrate on combat support, while another worked for ONI intelligence gathering. The different types were in a mission squad, consisting of different specialty squads. The assault squad, for example, would clear the way for an Intel squad. Meanwhile, vehicular combat squad would be preventing the enemy access to reinforce the area.
The assault kill teams of Epsilon were, by far, the most diverse in use. They were most similar to Spartans, and often said they were if asked by Marines. They could work as just SODTs, and clear an area, or they could be on the front lines, clearing the way with a Warthog charge, to name a few. Their weapons consisted of, but was not limited to, CQB weapons, such as shotguns and SMGs. However, they would also use grenade launchers, MA5Cs, and Battle Rifles. They used heavy weapons, such as rocket launchers, when necessary, but did not particularly like them.
Combat support teams were a cross between Assault and Intel. The combat support teams always included an SODT that was good with technology. Also, they would include a medic, that had enough skill to help a marine back into battle. Their structure was similar to that of an ODST team. Their main job was to support UNSC troops, or protect an operation from the battlefield. They would use long range weapons, such as the sniper rifles, as well as heavy weapons like Spartan Lasers and machine gun turrets.
Intel squads would be used under direct commission by ONI. They were technological experts, and their purpose was mainly to recover UNSC intel that was left in a now Covenant controlled area. They, with the help of Assault squads, are a large part of the reason that the location of Earth was secure for so long. Their choice weapons were the M6C/SOCOM, M7S Submachine gun, and BR55S Battle Rifle.
An Intel team was even more different than the rest of Epsilon. They were some of the most secretive soldiers in the UNSC. They were two man teams that would work by the cover of night with extreme stealth skills to capture Covenant intel, as apposed to UNSC recovery. They used only M7S Submachine guns, BR55S Battle Rifles, M6C/SOCOM, and suppressed sniper rifles (occasionally, Hard Sound rifles).
Some elite snipers were part of the Project. They became part of 2 man sniper teams that would try to assassinate important members of the Covenant. They were often loaned out to SPECNAVWAR, but, when not, they were used by ONI to eliminate threats to the UNSC behind enemy lines. They also were tasked with extremely sensitive reconnaissance. Sometimes, but rarely, they would give direct support to Intel or Assault Squads. Their weapons included sniper rifles, the BR55 Battle Rifle, and M6C/SOCOM, as well as some others.
The Epsilons were inserted to the battlefield with unconventional methods. Often, they are dropped in with a Drop pod. They could also be taken to battle trough more common methods, such as vehicular insertion. The troops were almost always only with other Epsilons. They had no need for the combat support of other troops. They did not want it, either. They were happy isolated.
Often, the SODTs deployed into battle in SOV Drop Pods, much like ODSTs. They can use them to get behind enemy lines fairly quietly. They have found this to be an effective (Not their favorite, though) method of getting behind lines. They have often found issues with them. Sometimes they can be loud. Often they have a long fire trail caused by atmospheric friction, making stealth even more futile. Although they often use SOV pods, they find that they have many drawbacks.
Vehicular insertion is much more popular with SODTs. They use Pelicans or Falcons to get behind enemy lines in the cover of night. They have the rights to commandeer Pelicans and other small resources. The program as a hole has 50 Pelicans, all painted jet black with only one identification label: A large ONI on the side. They did not have special abilities, but were stealthy, just in being black. They used Pelicans of the normal Marines far more often, though, because they were readily available, and a Marine pilot was familiar with his own Pelican as apposed to a random, unofficial, Pelican.
The troops have a tendency to develop their own unconventional methods of deploying. They often must travel from ship to ship in atmosphere. They like to take a Pelican close to it, and then move through space without any vehicle once within the enemy's radar. It reduces chances of being detected, and, therefor, enemy resistance. They take the Pelican to outside the radar zone from behind the ship, at an angle ONI has identified to be a blind spot. They are capable of 5 hours of EVA activity. They open the pay doors and move towards the ship by redistributing their weight. They walk from the section they "landed" at to an entrance, be it a topside entrance or a bottom service hatch. Whatever is stealthiest.