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The Swordmaiden
Biographical Information


Joanna Vinh Kim


April 28th, 2511[1]


Ismaros, Jericho VII

Physical Description


205.7 cm (6’9")








SPARTAN Neural Lace

Political and Military Information


20px-AAO_E-5.png Petty Officer Second Class (E-5)




  • Combat Engineer
  • Swordsmanship


I: 2525

"Don’t you realize lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for?"

SPARTAN-030, born Joanna Vinh Kim, was a SPARTAN-II commando serving the UNSC's Naval Special Warfare Command during and after the Human-Covenant War. The daughter of Korean and Vietnamese-American colonists on Jericho VII, she was selected for the SPARTAN-II Program by Dr. Catherine Halsey in 2517 and brought to Reach alongside seventy-four other children to undergo rigorous training and physical augmentation. Of all her fellow Spartans, Vinh's closest relationship was with her squadmate Isaac-039, which became romantic during the war, conceiving with him a son whom they named Daniel and placed in foster care under the watch of ONI agent Erin Coney. Among the few to survive the SPARTAN-IIs' disastrous part in the Fall of Reach, Vinh was captured shortly after by Covenant forces while Isaac was executed, and survived more than a month in captivity to escape during the Great Schism through an alliance with the Jiralhanae Chieftain Parthius. Returning to take part in the Battle of Earth, she learned her son had been conscripted as part of the SPARTAN-III Program and was wounded in action defending him. After the war, the legends built up around the SPARTAN-IIs made her a war hero, and her stature was put to use as a diplomatic envoy to surviving human colonies the UNSC was trying to reconnect with, including Sedra and Stratos. After aiding in the defeat of a Jiralhanae Warlord named Attilus, Vinh retired over the Navy's objections to Beta Gabriel, assisting planetary engineers as a volunteer in the terraforming and recolonization of Reach.


Early Life (2511-2525)

Childhood and Conscription

"Weapons are enemies, even to their owners."
―Vinh’s father[2]

Vinh was born in the capital of Jericho VII, the daughter of Minh Kim[3], a retired UNSC Marine, and Lilian Thuy, a waitress, whom had met while Minh was stationed on the planet fighting the various rebel factions active on the largest Outer Colonies. While she was only an infant, however, her father began struggling with the effects of posttraumatic stress that he had acquired serving his tour quelling riots and fighting against insurgents, which Lilian was unprepared to deal with. After waking up several times to find Minh sleeping with a loaded gun, she started fearing for her life and eventually ran out on them, leaving Minh to raise their daughter on his own. Though he was a loving and devoted father, Minh's demons sometimes got the better of him, causing episodes at work and preventing him from holding down a job, while terrifying Vinh the few times it occurred at home. Distancing herself subconsciously, Vinh engrossed herself in her schoolwork, excelling academically and developing a powerful physique in the planet's relatively high gravity.

After his own experiences, her father was determined to keep Vinh from having anything to do with the military, and became noticeably irritated when asked about the soldiers who regularly patrolled the streets of the potentially-turbulent colony. Thus, it came as a shock to Vinh to one day discover her father's military keepsakes, including his non-commissioned officer's ceremonial sword. Although angry at first to learn she'd found them, Vinh's father realized his daughter's curiosity would only grow if he tried to suppress it, and began teaching her the basics of kumdo when she was five years old. At the same time, however, Vinh's remarkable achievements in school had brought her to the attention of the Office of Naval Intelligence as a potential candidate for the SPARTAN-II Program, and a member of the program's staff, Dr. Bernard Dalathorn, was sent along with two agents of Section Three to observe and interview her. Their findings were sent to the project's leader, Dr. Catherine Halsey, who was interviewing candidates elsewhere in FLEETCOM Sector Four. Impressed that Vinh already possessed a degree of martial skill, Halsey approved her conscription for the program and replacement with a flash clone to ensure the kidnapping would go unnoticed.

Training and Augmentation

Vinh and her fellow trainees awaken.
"You have been called upon to serve. You will be trained . . . and you will become the best we can make of you. You will be the protectors of Earth and all her colonies."
―Dr. Halsey first addresses the SPARTAN-II recruits.

Vinh's abductors took her in the middle of the night, sedating her to keep her asleep as she was placed in cryo-sleep for the two-week voyage through slipspace to Reach, the center of UNSC military power where the Spartans were to be trained. When she finally awoke, Vinh was terrified to find herself one of dozens of children in a dark room far underground, each trapped inside a cryo bed chamber. One of the first to wake, she began to pound on the pod's glass begging to be let out, and although drill instructors soon came by to let them out, the trauma of her abduction would become the root of an acute case of claustrophobia which she would struggle with for the rest of her life. The day's troubles had only just begun for her, however, as she was herded with the other children into an amphitheater where they were formally inducted into the program by Dr. Halsey and her AI assistant, Déjà. Although the thought of never seeing her father again was devastating, the tenets of her martial art training made the promise of serving a higher purpose intrigued her.

A young Vinh during her training.

After a rude awakening early the following morning, Vinh was matched up with fellow trainees Grace-093 and Isaac-039 for the obstacle course known as the Playground. Vinh bonded quickly with Grace, but took an immediate dislike to Isaac, whose incompetence held them back during the exercise and caused them to finish in the lower half, though John-117's abandonment of his teammates prevented them from coming in last. To Vinh's irritation, however, he was routinely matched up with her in team-based scrimmages in Green Team under Kurt-051, along with Will-043 and James-005. Thanks to Kurt's keen intuition, James' perseverance, and later Isaac's skill supporting his teammates, Green was capable of besting some of the highest-rated teams, though its performance was average overall. Vinh found her own niche as a mechanic due to her friendship with one of the training complex's staff, Sergeant Moses Wheatley. At first learning from him in her free time, Vinh's quick grasp of mechanics led Chief Petty Officer Mendez to recognize a talent, and permitted her to learn from him in the trainees' individual development phase until she was well-versed in the repair and maintenance of virtually every UNSC vehicle. As a further part of her training, Vinh continued to practice kumdo in addition to the hand-to-hand combat training all Spartans received.

As they came closer to the end of their training, the trainees were matched up against the Marines of Tango Company to see how the Spartans fared against Insurrection veterans. Despite the Marines' benefit of experience, the Spartans' superior training led to victory after victory against them, with Vinh and Green Team playing a crucial role as they sabotaged or stole the Marines' entire fleet of Warthogs. Humiliated by their repeated losses to children, Tango's commanding officer authorized his men to use live rounds and ordnance afterward, hoping to wound or even kill the trainees in retaliation. In July of 2523, Green Team paid the price when a stolen Warthog they were riding in tripped one of Tango's landmines, and in the ambush that followed, Vinh and James were taken prisoner covering their teammates' escape. Brought back to the Marines' jail, their captors savagely beat James and intended to rape Vinh to take out their frustrations, but were stopped when the rest of Green Team, led by Isaac, mounted an impromptu assault on Tango's headquarters. While Kurt and Will carried out a diversion, Isaac freed their teammates and helped overpower their jailors before retreating, finally earning Vinh's respect.

Vinh grieving for friends killed by the augmentations.

Two years later, all seventy-five trainees left Reach to undergo the final and most dangerous phase of their training: augmentation. The processes of genetically and physically altering their bodies would prove lethal to almost half the total candidates, and would leave another dozen irrevocably disfigured, bringing the program's failure rate to 56%. Vinh was one of only thirty-three to be successfully augmented, each of whom still required months of physical therapy to recover afterward. Returning to Reach after the therapy was complete, the Spartans trained to grow accustomed to their new abilities against their hopelessly-outclassed trainers in the tunnel networks underneath Menachite Mountain, even as news of an unexpected threat quietly reached the highest echelons of the UNSC.

Rise of the Covenant

"Am I a weapon, now?"
―Vinh harbors private doubts.

Three months after the first field deployment of the SPARTAN-IIs, when Blue Team captured United Rebel Front leader Robert Watts, UNSC HIGHCOM approved their briefing on the alien Covenant that had razed the Outer Colony of Harvest and destroyed four military vessels sent to investigate. In response, the Spartans' timetable was moved up to equip them with the products of Project MJOLNIR, armor which would drastically increase their already extraordinary performance. Initially, Vinh was unsure what to make of the sudden appearance of this new threat and their frightening capabilities. En route to the MJOLNIR testing facilities, however, the SPARTAN-IIs were deployed on several counter-insurgency operations, including one on Jericho VII. Seeing her brother and sister Spartans in combat against the people of her homeworld shook Vinh far more than the alien menace ever could, and she began to look forward to being deployed against the Covenant. Their emergence came to her as fulfillment of the promise that she and her comrades would be defenders of humanity, rather than its enforcers.

At last, their frigate, the UNSC Commonwealth, arrived near Chi Ceti IV, only to discover a small Covenant ship prowling the system. Suddenly engaged when the alien vessel made an inconceivable intra-system slipspace jump, the Spartans were ordered to disembark aboard a Pelican dropship while the Commonwealth held their enemy off. Taken to the Damascus Testing Facility on the planet below, the Spartans were first introduced to the Mark IV MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor, which would become their single most important piece of equipment through the entire war. Donning the sealed titanium suit for the first time, Vinh's memories of her first night on Reach almost triggered an attack of claustrophobia, but feeling how powerful the armor worked to amplify her strength, she was able to suppress her fear and soon grew used to working within it. Vinh, however, would never be as entirely comfortable with her 'second skin' as other Spartans. Returning to orbit once they were outfitted, they learned the Commonwealth had taken substantial damage and attempted an impromptu boarding of the Covenant craft themselves, but Vinh missed her target with most of the others and learned afterward that Samuel-034 had been killed in the attack. Sam's death was the Spartans' first casualty, and the fact it had occurred in only their first encounter with the Covenant led Vinh and many others to worry about what lay in the years ahead of them.

Dr. Halsey introduces the Spartans to their Mark IV MJOLNIR Armor.

Human-Covenant War (2525-2552)

The First Red Team

Isaac-039: "Great. We get the squad with personality."
Alice-130: "Shut up."
―Vinh and Isaac are assigned to Red Team.

While the Covenant spread rapidly across the Outer Colonies in the early years of the war, as the point of first contact, the agricultural world of Harvest became a symbolic and strategic center of conflict. In order to help ensure a UNSC victory, Naval Special Warfare Command ordered a detachment of SPARTAN-IIs dedicated to the Harvest Campaign until its end: Red Team. Made up of nine commandos, nearly a third of all active SPARTAN-IIs, the unit would be tasked with high-risk missions against valuable Covenant targets as well as supporting mainline military forces in combat. Thus, its roster was most often composed of heavy weapons, demolitions, and engineering experts to equip them for the heaviest of fighting, but virtually every Spartan was rotated through at some point either as a mission specialist or to replace a casualty. Most of the time, these casualties were wounded Spartans who needed time to recover, but at least two Spartans were killed in action and listed missing by ONI in accordance with Directive 930. Vinh's proficiency in repairing the heavy equipment the team needed made her one of the most frequent to serve in Red Team.

Although the SPARTAN-II Program was classified, Red Team's close proximity to other UNSC forces inevitably led them into contact, and rumors of their actions quickly spread throughout the ranks. One such instance was a skirmish in 2529 when Red Team lured a group of vehicle-mounted Jiralhanae, the Jakas Pack, in the ruins of Gladsheim and ambushed them, resulting in the destruction of almost the entire pack. During the fighting, Vinh fought against their Chieftain, Attilus, personally, fending off his gravity hammer with a length of steel rebar. Although both opponents survived, the sight of a human soldier holding her own against such a powerful Brute was just one of the stories that served to boost morale among the UNSC's forces on Harvest. Such a boost became sorely needed, as the campaign soon dragged on into "five years of hell"[4]. Although Red Team was responsible for many victories across the planet, at different times under leadership of Spartans such as Jerome-092, Linda-058, and Joshua-029, Harvest's importance eventually declined as the Covenant struck farther into UNSC space, and after its second casualty, Chief Petty Officer Daisy-023, Red Team was recalled to be reintegrated with the rest of the Spartans.

Warthog by Demonplay
Vinh's ability to repair and operate vehicles was invaluable to Red Team throughought the Harvest Campaign and the war.

One final conflict lay in store for the unit, however, as the long-dedicated team carried out a few refresher courses in the jungles of Arcadia. Using information gathered from Forerunner relics on Harvest, two Covenant battleships arrived and, after blowing through the handful of UNSC Navy vessels in orbit, began landing ground troops. Abandoning their training run immediately, Red Team came to the aid of local Army and civilian police forces suddenly under attack by the Covenant armies. As the Covenant closed in around Pirth City, Red Team split into two; Alpha-Red, made up of Jerome, Douglas, and Alice, would fall back to defend passenger shuttles evacuating civilians, while the six members of Omega-Red, including Vinh and Isaac, harassed Covenant forces entering the outskirts of the city. While in Pirth, Isaac started to become distracted, and at Vinh's prompting admitted that Arcadia was where he'd been born, but thanks to her console quickly returned to the task at hand. Both teams reunited after the city fell, and with support from units newly-arrived from the UNSC Spirit of Fire, destroyed the foundations of a Covenant fortress. While they continued to mop up the Covenant troops still on the planet, Alpha-Red left aboard the Spirit of Fire to pursue the remaining alien battlecruiser which fled the system. After the battle was finished, Vinh departed Arcadia with the rest of Omega-Red aboard the damaged UNSC Pillar of Autumn to rejoin the other SPARTAN-IIs.

Battle of Jericho VII

Within four years of the Harvest Campaign's end, the vast majority of the Outer Colonies had been found, invaded, and glassed by the Covenant war machine. Fighting in more than a dozen such battles, Vinh witnessed the same result again and again as the accomplishments made by ground forces were rendered inconsequential by the Navy's defeats in space, and when news reached the Spartans that her homeworld had been located in 2535, Vinh knew what to expect. While the Spartans made ready to deploy aboard the UNSC Resolute, however, Vinh was almost passed over for their mission in favor of Grace-093, who was the better explosives expert. Accosting John-117, the Spartans' leader, Vinh asked the favor of being picked, desiring to do her part in making the Covenant pay a heavy price for her former home. While she admitted to having low expectations for the battle's outcome, she made it clear to John that she was driven by a sense of duty to her homeworld, not sentiment which might lead to irrationality. John granted her request, assigning her to Joshua-029's Red Team as their explosives specialist.

Vinh helps execute an ambush on Jericho VII.

Over the course of three days, the Spartans of Blue, Red, and Green Teams carried out dozens of operations to support front line UNSC forces from behind enemy lines, including hundreds of kilograms of explosives set by Vinh in the forms of LOTUS anti-tank mines and fougasse IEDs. Doing so took Red Team far from Jericho VII's major population centers, leaving Vinh distraught as she tried in vain to recognize anything from her surroundings. Isaac noticed this, and returned the favor she'd done him in Arcadia to help her focus in time for their most important objective objective: the assassination of the Covenant's ground force leader, an Arbiter. After the rest of Red Team confirmed the route of the Arbiter's forces, Vinh and Will-043 were tasked with rigging a bridge in their path to collapse with explosive charges. Although the trap was successful in destroying several Ghosts and Wraith tanks, the Arbiter himself survived, and taking up a fallen Elite's energy sword, Vinh engaged him in melee combat. Although she was well-versed in the use of the alien blade, her opponent's lifelong training and energy-shielded armor gave him the advantage, but Vinh managed to disengage long enough for William to kill the Elite with an M41 Rocket Launcher. Having fought a high-ranking Covenant soldier in such manner for a second time, Vinh would later devote more time to training in swordsmanship with both human and Sangheili blades.

Thanks to the Spartans' efforts, most Marine forces were able to repel the Covenant with only minor casualties, with the exception of the 105th Division's Drop Jet Platoon, who were entirely wiped out in a critical defeat against overwhelming odds. With consent from the Resolute’s captain, Red Team was able to appropriate a HAVOK nuke and selected a Covenant landing point as a target of retaliation. As Blue Team created a diversion, Red managed to sneak past thousands of Unggoy soldiers to reach the landing site, where Vinh armed the nuclear weapon personally and detonated it as the next troop ship landed to offload thousands more of the aliens. Despite the severe blow dealt to their enemy, the Covenant's naval superiority forced the UNSC to abandon Jericho VII almost immediately afterward. Returning by Pelican to the Resolute, Vinh watched from an observation deck after their debriefing as her homeworld was glassed by the Covenant fleet.

Battle of Kholo

Using information gleaned from the former rebel leaders that had fled the Rubble four years earlier, the Office of Naval Intelligence was finally able to gather enough data in 2539 to initiate a series of counter-insurgency operations and requested two SPARTAN-II commandos, Vinh-030 and Isaac-039, to carry out the operations. Brought aboard the prowler vessel UNSC Nightshade, the pair were introduced to their mission handler, Lieutenant Erin Coney, and began their first operation in the capital city of Kholo. While Isaac was in the middle of a plainclothes op, however, the Covenant Fleet of Righteous Vigilance entered the system from slipspace and began an immediate assault on the planet, and the Spartans were cut off from any extraction. Abandoning their assigned mission, Vinh came to Isaac's defense in full armor and attempted to extract him from the colony as the Covenant's vanguard landed and local UNSC forces evacuated civilians to fallout bunkers the colony had prepared.

"Can you believe it took this to make us admit it?"
―Vinh, to Isaac, sealed beneath the planet's glassed surface.
Vinh and Isaac narrowly avoided death in the glassing of Kholo by escaping underground.

Unfortunately, Vinh's appearance in her armor was noticed by the Covenant's leadership. Intent on destroying the demons, the Prophet of Conviction dispatched a single corvette to obliterate their area with a pinpoint glassing beam, ensuring their destruction. The pair managed to survive, however, by freefalling down a mine shaft dug as part of the bunker network, escaping far enough underground to evade the plasma bombardment. After they regained consciousness from the fall, Vinh found herself trapped in her inert armor, and nearly suffered a claustrophobic panic attack from being locked in the titanium suit. Isaac managed to calm her down and help her out of her armor, and Vinh was able to use an emergency beacon to broadcast the Oly-Oly-Oxen-Free signal in hope of rescue, but the Covenant picked up the signal first. Certain the demons, if any human, had survived, the Prophet tasked Field Master Vract 'Aeramee, with a Scarab under his command, to dig them out. Believing themselves in their final moments, Vinh and Isaac admitted feeling for each other as more than teammates and had relations which led to the conception of a son.

Still lying undiscovered in orbit, meanwhile, Lieutenant Coney had picked up their distress call, and contacted a UNSC ship preparing to leave the system to requisition a squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers from the 7th Shock Troops Battalion. In a daring rescue, Coney and the ODSTs dropped in by orbital insertion pods and routed 'Aeramee's forces, commandeering his Scarab to finish excavating and extract the two Spartans. Outrunning Covenant fightercraft in a Pelican dropship, they returned to the Nightshade safely and made a randomly-coordinated slipspace jump before the alien fleet already engaged in further glassing of the world could stop them. Over the weeks-long journey back through slipspace, however, Vinh started experiencing unexplained pains in her midsection, and after an examination in the Nightshade’s medical bay, Erin revealed to her and Isaac that Vinh was pregnant. After explaining themselves to Erin, Vinh refused to abort the child in spite of their egregious breach in protocol, and sympathizing with them, Erin arranged for Vinh to be covertly transferred to the New Alexandria Hospital on Reach for the duration of her term.

Daniel, later known as Dyne-G217.

Over the following year, Vinh had almost no contact with the other Spartans apart from Isaac, who continued to do the work of two Spartans in counter-insurgency ops as part of Lieutenant Coney's attempts to keep up appearances. Erin's efforts to keep their child a secret were greatly appreciated, and in their time working together the ONI agent became a close friend to the both of them. Nine months in, Vinh gave birth to a boy whom the pair named Daniel Clarke, using Isaac's birth surname, after which she stayed with the child for three months even after Isaac had finished their string of missions, until at last Erin could no longer keep up a ruse for them. Leaving Daniel in an orphanage with the promise that Erin would keep a close eye on him, Vinh returned to her fellow Spartans believing she would never see her child again. Against all odds, Daniel would live through his infancy without any complications due to being a "Spartan 2.1," and would later become a Spartan-III as part of Gamma Company.

Fall of Reach

By the end of the second decade of the Human-Covenant War, nearly all of humanity's hundreds of Outer Colonies had either been glassed or lost contact, the Covenant were rapidly burning through the Inner Colonies, and the only naval commander in the UNSC who seemed able to contend with the Covenant in space was presumed dead. Furthermore, more than half a dozen SPARTAN-IIs had been killed or gone missing in action, all of which took a heavy toll on their remaining comrades. Though she had little hope the UNSC would win, Vinh dedicated herself to fighting its battles nonetheless in the memory of her fallen brothers and sisters, but the cycle of defeats at every turn weighed much more heavily on Isaac, though he took it on himself to hide his emotions to avoid distracting the others. Vinh took notice, but her partner denied it and told her he was fine, shutting her out and making her feel distanced from him. This led them to drifting further apart, and by 2552, they had ceased to be anything more than teammates again, although both Vinh and Isaac deeply regretted what had been lost between them.

After almost twenty-seven years of costly defeats, the Office of Naval Intelligence finally conceived of a viable unconventional strategy thanks to Dr. Catherine Halsey, and the SPARTAN-IIs were recalled to the FLEETCOM Headquarters on Reach to receive the new, energy-shield equipped Mark V MJOLNIR Armor and be briefed by Halsey on what they had dubbed Operation: RED FLAG. With support from a mission specialist and a refit UNSC Pillar of Autumn, the Spartans were to capture a Covenant vessel and use it to locate the alien capital of High Charity, then proceed to take high-ranking members of the Covenant's leadership hostage to force them into negotiating for a cease-fire. Just as they left aboard the Autumn, however, word was sent out that a massive Covenant fleet had just arrived over Reach, and the Spartans' mission was delayed for them to take part in its defense.

Vinh overlooks the devastation wrought by a CCS-class battlecruiser in the Highland Mountains where she once trained.

One of twenty-two Spartans assigned to Red Team under Fred-104, Vinh and her team descended to Reach's surface aboard Bravo 001, but were shot down by squadrons of Seraph starfighters and forced to bail out of the ship at high altitude. The fall would kill four Spartans and leave Vinh one of six seriously injured, with a torn deltoid, three broken fingers, and a disk herniated by the impact. Once the survivors regrouped, Fred divided them to carry out several different objectives and assigned Vinh to Delta-Red with the rest of the wounded Spartans and remaining Marines of Charlie Company to secure CASTLE Base as a fallback position. On their way there, Vinh, Isaac, and Will were separated from the rest of the team and lost contact with them, but managed to Reach the entrance to CASTLE Base only to find it sealed. When Fred and Kelly-087 eventually rejoined them, they brought news that all the other SPARTANs were now likely dead or out of range, but managed to gain entrance to the base thanks to Dr. Halsey, who had stayed behind inside.

Taking them to CASTLE's medical wing, Halsey quickly took charge and assessed each of the SPARTANs' injuries, then instructed Vinh and Isaac to take stock of the base's perimeter defenses. The pair soon discovered that the Covenant had already found them, and in order to keep the base from falling into their hands, Dr. Halsey enacted Operation: WHITE GLOVE, destroying CASTLE Base while she and the Spartans fled into the abandoned mine network below which they had trained in decades before. For eight days, the group remained trapped underground with the Covenant trying to root them out, reminding Vinh and Isaac all too much of their time on Kholo, and when they could find time alone reconciled with one another over their falling apart. In this time, Halsey was able to install a number of experimental upgrades to their MJOLNIR Armor, including a new linear accelerator for Vinh's energy shield, doubling its strength.

Finally, after days of navigating the empty tunnels, the group discovered the entrance to a Forerunner complex, and a chamber which distorted space and threatened to separate them until they reached the fist-sized blue crystal at the chamber's center, which seemed to be the distortion field's source. But the moment Dr. Halsey laid a hand on it, the crystal emitted a massive radiation spike which drew the Covenant to their location at once, and forced the SPARTANs to retreat once more. Fleeing into a narrow tunnel, Vinh and Isaac attempted to delay their enemies by collapsing the entrance with satchel charges, but a bolt from one of the Covenant's plasma weapons struck one of the explosives and set them off, burying the two Spartans as the tunnel caved in. While the other Spartans tried to hail them on COMs, they received no response and assumed them both dead.

Ultra Veral T'ramee, Vinh's captor.

Unknown to them, however, Vinh had survived, saved from the blasts by her new overshield, though pinned under tons of debris. As she came to, claustrophobia began to set in as she realized she'd been buried alive, when Unggoy under command of Sangheili Ultra Veral T’ramee dug her and Isaac from the rubble, bringing them before their commander. Inspecting the two of them, T’ramee decided to kill Vinh for personal glory and bring Isaac back for public execution at High Charity, but before he could, Isaac leaped up in Vinh's defense and slashed the Elite with a knife, dishonoring him by drawing the warrior's blood. Furious, T’ramee ran Isaac through with his energy sword, killing him instantly, and left the body behind as Vinh was taken prisoner and brought to a cell aboard his ship, the Devout Believer.


Normally, the news of a demon's capture would have been met with celebration, and Vinh's execution would have swiftly followed, but the continued excavation of Reach and the discovery of Installation 04 diverted the Covenant's attentions and prevented the Devout Believer from returning to High Charity immediately. For nigh on two months, Vinh was confined to a cell block alongside feral Kig-Yar and her Jiralhanae guard, Parthius. Rather than wait for her execution idly, Vinh exercised constantly to keep her body strong, and after some time began talking with her jailor as a way to pass the time, learning from Parthius much about his people's history, art, and culture as she shared with him the literature she'd learned from Déjà. T'ramee, however, felt cheated of his rightful glory for capturing a demon, and routinely tortured Vinh to vent his frustration and interrogate her for information, but after his killing of Isaac, her spite made her strong enough to endure the pain in silence. Soon, she would have her chance at revenge.

The cell block in the Devout Believer where Vinh awaited execution.

On November 2nd, 2552, the Sangheili members of the Covenant High Council were murdered on Installation 05 by Jiralhanae, and their High Chieftain Tartarus declared war on the Sangheili, causing the outbreak of the Great Schism all across Covenant space. On the Devout Believer, the Jiralhanae were far outnumbered and soon slain by their opponents, but Parthius escaped and fled inside the brig where Vinh was held. T'ramee found him there, and the two engaged in a duel between the Ultra's swords and Chieftain's energy spear, during which the shield door controls to Vinh's cell were destroyed. Just as the Elite would have dealt Parthius a killing blow, Vinh caught T'ramee by surprise and knocked him to the ground, decapitating him with his own sharp-edged fallen helmet. Allying with one another, Spartan and Jiralhanae Chieftain fought for three days on the Devout Believer, evading or ambushing security patrols with little to no rest and using scavenged Covenant weapons, including the pair of energy swords Vinh had taken from T'ramee's body.

The pair's guerrilla war culminated in a battle on the cruiser's bridge, where the Sangheili Shipmaster was slain. With their mutual enemies dead, Vinh considered turning on the Chieftain, but abandoned the idea when Parthius made clear he had no intention of attacking her. Despite that doing so was heresy, Parthius allowed her to escape using a slipspace-capable Sprite-class escape pod to return to UNSC space, but warned Vinh that the Covenant had located Earth and was already invading the planet, urging her to escape somewhere else and survive in hiding. But after already fighting a war she'd feared unwinnable for twenty-seven years, Vinh felt a responsibility to finish the fight so many of her comrades had died for. Using the Sprite's limited fuel supply, she jumped to the edge of the Sol system, arriving a week later on November 10th. There, she was picked up by an ONI prowler and treated in their medical bay for malnutrition and the many injuries she'd accumulated through Reach's fall, her imprisonment, and subsequent escape. While recovering, Vinh was informed she'd earned the Prisoner of War Medallion for her fifty-seven days as a captive, the only decoration the SPARTAN-IIs had yet to receive officially.

Battle of Earth

"I know, I know. What's a girl like me doing in a place like this?"
―Vinh is recovered from a Covenant shuttle.

After a full day of rest spent aboard the prowler, Vinh began reviewing reports of the ongoing battle for Earth and submitted a request for deployment orders that she might take part herself. Despite their chief medical officer's objections, Vinh's overpowering of the guards sent to keep her in sickbay even without armor and the increasingly desperate state of the worldwide battle convinced the prowler's commander to oblige, and put her in contact with Ryu Base in Tokyo, headquarters for UNSC forces in east Asia after China's fall and where several Spartan teams were already operating out of. To her surprise, Vinh learned one of the officers there overseeing Spartan operations was Erin Coney, whom she hadn't heard from in several years, and was even more shocked to learn what Erin had to tell her when they spoke over a secure vid-com channel. Vinh had quietly accepted after the Battle of Reach that the son she and Isaac had conceived had likely died during the colony's fall, but Erin informed her that he had actually left Reach seven years earlier in 2544, recruited by ONI as a candidate for the SPARTAN-III Program. Experiencing a range of emotions, from relief and joy to anger and apprehension, none of which she knew very well how to process, Vinh set her feelings aside and demanded to know where her son was, to which Erin quickly complied. Met in Earth's orbit by Bravo 029, Vinh made for one of Japan's outlying prefectures to rendezvous with and assume command of Team Machete, her son's unit.

Vinh, visor polarized, during the Battle of Earth.

Machete, however, missed their rendezvous, diverting last-minute to attack a target of opportunity. Setting out on foot, Vinh found them in the middle of ambushing an undefended convoy leaving Covenant territory just as reinforcements arrived, catching Machete off their guard. Carrying a Spartan Laser, however, Vinh was well-equipped to deal with the Jiralhanae Choppers sent after them, and single-handedly held off the reinforcements long enough for the SPARTAN-IIIs to reorganize and come to her aid, finishing the stragglers quickly. While Machete was pleased with its latest victory, Vinh called out their team leader, Kodiak-G114, and berated him for putting his team in danger by making an impulsive move unprepared in the first place. Though they accepted the senior Spartan's leadership, Vinh butted heads with Dyne-G217, who displayed a conspicuous lack of discipline, after which she learned was her son, Daniel. Privately embarrassed, she decided to withhold that knowledge for the moment and instead focused on the team's next objective: joining up with a Sangheili force to destroy a Loyalist Covenant landing zone in the city of Kanazawa on Japan's east coast. Though she distrusted the Elites, surprised they had sided with humanity after the Great Schism considering her experience with Parthius, Vinh had no qualms fighting the newly Jiralhanae-led Loyalist faction.

With several forward outposts already dealt with by Machete Team, the Spartans joined a legion of Separatists led by Field Master Juro 'Aeramee advancing through the weakened Loyalist lines toward their citadel in Kanazawa. On the way, they encountered few Jiralhanae, and those they did usually retreated, and as the allies began to suspect, found when they reached Kanazawa that the Loyalist commander had gathered his forces beneath the citadel's umbrella-like shield, defending them with the structure as they defended it. While Vinh conferred with 'Aeramee and suggested she lead Machete inside covertly to knock out the shield generator, the Field Master dismissed such tactics as cowardice and proclaimed they had no need to fear meeting such traitors in open combat. Unable to make him listen to reason, Vinh went ahead with her plan as open battle began. Though Machete managed to infiltrate the citadel, they were confronted by their commander, the Jiralhanae Chieftain whom Vinh had fought personally near the start of the war, Attilus, who had been preparing to leave. The Alpha-Pack Chieftain had been gathering his forces for a mass exodus, abandoning the citadel planned by Sangheili, but recognizing the demon he'd faced on the war's first battlefield, could not resist staying long enough to fight her again.

Reveling in combat, Attilus shakes off Vinh's opening shots.

While the other members of Machete Team proceeded with sabotaging the shield generator, Vinh eventually resorted to using her Energy Swords, the same as she'd used on the Devout Believer, against Attilus' Gravity Hammer, Riftrender, which to Vinh's surprise proved resistant to her blades. As they fought, Attilus boasted of having killed many other Spartans, earning himself the title Demonslayer, his spirit as a warrior reinvigorated by her defeat of him at Harvest. While she had speed, her opponent had strength, and the effects of Vinh's trials through the preceding months took a toll on her endurance. Before long, Attilus drove the blade on the reverse of his hammer into Vinh's abdomen, grievously wounding her. Before he could finish her, however, the citadel's shield suddenly fell, and artillery guided by Morgana-G018 began hammering Attilus' troops. With other members of Team Machete rushing back to Vinh's aid, Attilus was forced to organize the forces he had left to flee, leaving Vinh alive as he escaped. While the Sangheili recovered from their losing battle to surge into the breaking Jiralhanae ranks, Machete Team urgently loaded Vinh onto Bravo 029 for evacuation to Ryu Base, and the medical facilities there. Though troubled by Machete's lack of discipline and leaving Dyne still unaware of their relation, Vinh was content to know the younger Spartans had succeeded in their mission, and could be trusted to fight and survive on their own.

Although the hospital level in Ryu Base was already overtaxed by the battle's mounting casualties on top of those still recovering after Reach and earlier battles, a critically injured SPARTAN-II was made a top priority, neglecting other patients by dedicating half of the most capable staff until Vinh had stabilized. Left alone to rest, she was eventually visited by Erin Coney, for whom Vinh had many questions. Daniel, Vinh knew, could not have been conscripted without Erin's knowing, and when asked, Erin freely revealed the details surrounding the SPARTAN-III Program, including that she herself had been responsible for putting Dyne forward as a candidate. While bitter Erin had manipulated the course of her son's life in such a way, Vinh appreciated Erin's honesty with her regarding classified operations which could see Erin killed on treason charges for revealing, and the pair managed to stay friends, catching up before Erin had to return to duty. There Vinh would remain, regretting being unable to take part in the battle further, until five days later, Ryu Base was brazenly attacked by a Type-52 "Dragon" Assault Barge personally commanded by Attilus.

Vinh-030: "Shouldn't I get my good suit for this?"
Attilus: "I've bested you already. Now I take the trophy I am owed."
―Vinh confronts Attilus, unarmored.

With Jiralhanae storming multiple levels of the building, Vinh, though unarmed, unarmored, and still recovering from her injuries, took it upon herself to defend the hospital level's cornered patients, many of whom couldn't be moved. At first using scalpels and surgical tools as weapons, Vinh slew several marauding Brutes looking to slaughter the defenseless humans and appropriated their weapons, holding off an entire lance until Attilus himself appeared. Armed with only a stolen Jiralhanae long knife, Vinh was finding her chances unfavorable just when Machete's leader, Kodiak, arrived. Aided by another Spartan close-combat expert, this one equipped with full armor, Vinh again engaged Attilus in melee combat and wounded him in return, forcing the Chieftain into retreat as word reached him of the rest of Machete turning back his forces sent to the command center and destroying the Dragon. Impressed by the younger Spartan's skill, Vinh made peace with Kodiak and expressed confidence in him as Machete's team leader before he left, standing guard over the infirmary until the base was once again secure. The next day, November 17th, most of the Covenant fleet withdrew to Africa where the Prophet of Truth led them through a Portal to the Ark, and those left behind scattered without a unifying leader. After twenty-seven years, the majority of her life, the Human-Covenant War was finally over, and Vinh could scarcely believe humanity had survived.

Brokering Peace

Aboard Themistocles (2553-2556)

Volcanic ash chokes the lower atmosphere of Stratos.
"Don't watch my blade, Kody, watch my eyes. A fighter's intent is in their eyes."
―Vinh admonishes Kodiak-G114 as they spar.

Upon request, Vinh was assigned to the crew of the UNSC Themistocles, a light carrier that would carry surveying expeditions to planets with to find new colonies for the UNSC to rebuild on. Far from the Remnant front, she had asked for it specifically because Ion Team was part of its ground complement. From a distance, she was able to watch over her son.

To learn from the Engineers, she volunteered to be the on-duty technician during slipspace jumps. She discovered that Ion’s team leader, Kodiak, had a dislike to cryogenic freezing and avoided it as much as possible. Observing him in a combat simulation, Vinh lent her engineering skill to help him build an answer to the Sangheili wrist blade. After a time, she offered teach him the use of a sword, which the young Spartan eagerly accepted. Building first from meditation and stretching exercises, Kodiak was instructed in the use of both the human Longsword and Sangheili Energy Sword.

Reclaiming the Colonies

Warlord Attilus

Retirement (2556-)

Personality and Traits

"What does it mean to be a Spartan? I asked Mendez that once, and I don’t remember what he said. But every time I’ve asked myself, I come up with a different answer."
Vinh under the surface of Kholo.

From youth, Vinh was observant and overtly curious, though she learned strict self-discipline from her father which kept it in check. It gave her an edge adapting to the SPARTAN-IIs’ training early on, but in some respects kept her apart from the other trainees. At odds with the laid-back Isaac, Vinh was content with her own drive to improve rather than try to lead trainees like him, but eventually learned to appreciate his humor. Her inquisitiveness resurfaced during training, experimenting with mechanical systems to make them be more efficient or work even when damaged. The ability to quickly fabricate makeshift repairs and get derelict transports running served the SPARTANs well in many instances. Vinh at first had problems operating with MJOLNIR, affected by bouts of acute claustrophobia in the powered armor, but overcame it as she learned more about the suit's components and how they worked, and eventually began modifying MJOLNIR technology herself.

In the field, Vinh adapted easily to new situations and could make use of any weapon, human or alien. She trusted her teammates completely, but was always analyzing and double-checking plans to ensure they went smoothly. Committed to the war, Vinh seldom focused on anything other than the next mission, unless provoked by Isaac. After his death, Vinh was shaken by losing the one person with whom she’d formed a strong attachment, and was determined to leave more of a legacy for both of them than as human weapons. Her greatest success in that regard was through the SPARTAN-IIIs aboard the UNSC Themistocles, including Dyne.

Weapons and Armor

Vinh during the Fall of Reach in her MJOLNIR Mark V armor.
  • MJOLNIR Mark IV Powered Assault Armor
    Issued to all members of the SPARTAN-II Program in 2525 during the Battle of Chi Ceti, the first iteration of the armor to be used by SPARTANs in the field lacked energy shielding, instead offering protection against Covenant plasma weapons by a refractive coating over an armored alloy shell. Completely vacuum-sealed and nearly immune to EMP and radiation, the suit could allow its wearer to survive and function in extreme environments, including EVA. Vinh used a Mark IV suit through almost the entire Human-Covenant War, succeeded by the Mark V twenty-six years later in 2551.
  • MJOLNIR Mark V Powered Assault Armor
    Designed using data gathered from the SPARTAN-IIs' use of the Mark IV, at a quarter ton the Mark V weighed half as much as its predecessor and was capable of housing a 'smart' AI to further boost reaction time and intelligence gathering capabilities. However, its most significant improvement was the incorporation of a self-recharging energy shield to protect the user against all forms of attack. Vinh's personal suit was upgraded in 2552 with a new linear accelerator which doubled the armor's shielding output, nicknamed an overshield.
  • MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/EOD variant
    Damascus Testing Facility designed the EOD variant alongside the standard MJOLNIR for users handling explosive ordnance up close. Both the Mark IV and V versions which Vinh used defended against the force of detonations by channeling pressure waves around and away from the wearer, increasing their likelihood of survival. As a combat engineer, Vinh's use of explosives often demanded use of the specialized armor.
  • BR55 series Battle Rifle
    Possessing a high rate of fire and accurate at long range, the BR55 made for an excellent rifle. Vinh first used the prototype XBR55 against infantry during the Harvest Campaign until the standardized version entered service in 2531. The weapon gradually replaced all other marksmans' rifles except the Army's M392 DMR, until in 2548 the Heavy Barrel version made it a universal choice in the UNSC military.
  • M6 G/GNR Spartan Laser
    Developed as part of ONI's Project: GUNGNIR, the M6 is one of few UNSC directed energy weapons. The weapon emits a narrow, powerful beam of red laser light supplied by a built-in battery cell, effective against infantry, vehicles, and aircraft even at long ranges. Vinh was an expert on the expensive weapons and often carried one in battle, likely one of the only SPARTANs rated to take apart and replace their charge packs in the field.

Notes & References

  1. Vinh's birthdate is 4/28. 28 ÷ 4 = 7.
  2. In reference to Dinotopian law
  3. Named after Gears of War character Minh Young Kim.
  4. As per Captain Cutter
  • Vinh is a Vietnamese name meaning "glory."
  • This author, for one, did not like SPARTANs being killed as redshirts. So, creates article.


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