Project: CHRYSANTHEMUM is a set of SPARTAN-III bio-augmentation procedures, similar to those of the SPARTAN-IIs.[note 1] With advances in technology, however, the casualty rate for SPARTAN-III candidates was 0%, as opposed to the 56% casualty rate of the SPARTAN-IIs.
The Spartan III augmentation procedures were a significant improvement over the Spartan II augmentation procedures, developed by Dr. Catherine Halsey. The genetic requirements for the augmentation procedures were broader than that of the previous Spartan program augmentations. However, the genetic requirement protocols still could not be deviated from, otherwise the failure rate would be increased drastically. While Dr. Halsey's Criteria for the SPARTAN-IIs emphasized specific physical robustness and mental fortitude in order to achieve physiological compatibility with the augmentations, the SPARTAN-IIIs' screening protocols were more lenient, due to advances in technology. As a result, the candidate pool for the Spartan III program was less physically and physiologically consistent, with an increased probability of behavioral problems. Some Spartan III candidates met the genetic requirements for the Spartan II augmentations, and potentially could have survived being administered them instead. The more aggressive and lively nature of the Spartan III candidates stems from them being orphaned by the Covenant, which has given them motivation that was not present in the Spartan II candidates.
The Spartan III augmentation procedures were less invasive due to them mostly being chemically induced as opposed to the surgical augmentations the Spartan II's received.[note 1] However, the augmentations that the Spartan III's received still had to be administered at the onset of puberty or the subjects body would reject them. Due to the accelerated schedule of the Spartan III program, the candidates were administered growth hormone, cartilage, muscle, and bone supplements 9 months before augmentations to artificially induce puberty at the average age of 12 years old. In light of this, the candidates possessed the physiques of adult Olympic athletes despite being on average, only 12 years old.
|8942-LQ99||"carbide ceramic ossification catalyst" drug.||Skeletons become virtually unbreakable, allowing survival in harder impacts.|
|88005-MX77||"fibroid muscular protein complex" drug.||Increased density of individual's muscles, allowing heavier lifting.|
|88947-OP24||"retina-inversion stabilizer" drug.||Color sharpness is significantly improved upon, and night vision is adapted.|
|87556-UD61||improve the colloidal neural disunification solution||Greatly improves the individual's reaction time, decreasing the time taken to react by 300%. "Spartan time".|
Gamma company also received the following in addition to the above.
|009127-PX (cyclodexione-4)||bipolar integration drug||Counters the effects of 009762-OO.[note 2]|
|009762-OO||Neural-altering non-carcinogenic mutagen.||Alters key regions in the individual's frontal lobe.[note 2] Enhances aggressive response to dangerous levels. Requires regular doses of 009127-PX and 009927-DG to be taken to avoid uncontrollable aggression.|
|009927-DG||miso-olanzapine||Counters the psychological effects of 009762-OO.[note 2]|
During the battle of Pegasi Delta, Tom-B292, 12 years old at the time and equipped only with SPI Armor, engaged a Covenant Elite armed with a Plasma Pistol and an Energy sword in hand-to-hand combat. The Spartan's enhanced reflexes allowed him to dodge a Plasma Pistol bolt and sword swing at point blank range. He then proceeded to throw the Elite to the ground and finish it off with his Assault Rifle. It is also stated that during the battle, Elites and Jackals moved out of cover because they realized that it was suicide to face these Spartans in close quarters.
Spartan-IIIs were also described to have been moving with "speed and reflexes that no Covenant could follow". "They dodged, snapped necks and limbs, and with captured energy swords, they cut through the enemy until the field ran with rivers of gore and blue blood". The 300 or so Spartan-IIIs faced thousands upon thousands of Covenant, including Covenant air support, and were described to have been winning the battle until 7 Covenant Cruisers emerged as reinforcements.
It was stated by Mendez that as Spartans grew older, they only grew stronger and faster as their bodies grew accustomed to their augmentations. During the battle on Pegasi Delta, the Spartan III's of Beta Company were roughly 12 years old. If the Spartan-IIIs lived long enough to mature, their physical abilities would have improved significantly.
During The Fall of Reach, SPARTAN-B312 was capable of knocking out a Sangheili General with a single elbow strike before shooting it twice in the head as it was struggling to get up. While continuing to make his last stand, he was also capable of dealing single strikes to multiple Zealots and Ultras, that caused them to forcefully stagger back, before finally being subdued.
During the Battle of Onyx, a 12 year old Spartan III in SPI armor briefly held their own against a 41 year old Kelly-087 in Mjolnir armor. The Spartan III in question was able to counter a lock by Kelly and was strong enough to twist her wrist and escape from her grip, before Kelly used her advantage of speed and weight to push the young Spartan into a tree.
Spartan III's from Gamma Company were given a special mutagen called "009762-OO", this augments key regions of the subjects brain, allowing them to endure physical trauma's that no normal human or Spartan II could withstand. For example, Dante-G188 thought he had been "nicked" even though he actually had needler shards tear open his entire chest. It also allows them to access reserves of strength and endurance no normal human could call upon. Although these augmentations offer extraordinary benefits in combat, they are not without faults, the mutagen needs to be countered with regular doses of cyclodexione-4 and miso-olanzapine or else the Spartan will loose their strategic judgment over time and be more susceptible to instinct driven behavior in combat.
- Chrysanthemum is the Latin name for a plant species.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Even though most Spartan IIIs seem to have one less augmentation than the Spartan IIs, it can be inferred that the catalytic thyroid implant that the Spartan IIs received was rendered redundant since the Spartan IIIs received human growth hormone months prior to their augmentations. Which in turn, allows the Spartan IIIs to not require the former augmentation.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 These drugs were illegally authorized and injected into the SPARTAN-III Gamma Company by Kurt-051. It was outlawed by the UNSC Medical Corps in 2513.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Halo: Ghosts of Onyx - pages 101-102
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Halo: Ghosts of Onyx - Page 63
- ↑ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx - Page 83
- ↑ Bungie.net: Communique from Kurt to Mendez
- ↑ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx - Pages 68,70
- ↑ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx - Pages 98, 100
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Halo: Ghost of Onyx, page 107
- ↑ Halo: Reach: A Spartan Will Rise ViDoc
- ↑ Halo: Reach
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Halo: Ghosts of Onyx- pages 21-23
- ↑ Halo: The Fall of Reach The Definitive Edition - Page 83
- ↑ Halo: Reach - Lone wolf
- ↑ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx - Pages 164-165
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Halo: Ghosts of Onyx - Page 340
- ↑ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx - Page 107