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As I have talked about in a previous article, soon-to-be John-117 was 6 years old when he was abducted by ONI and put into the SPARTAN-II Program. During his training he showed great prowess in leadership and was thus awarded command of his own unit, which would be Blue Team. The unit's roster frequently changed for various combat operations, changing both members and size.
After several years of training, it was time for the SPARTANs first taste of real warfare as they were sent to retrieve the Insurrectionist's leader Robert Watts. Watts had been an enemy of the UNSC as the leader of the Insurrection movement. In order to put an end to the Insurrection, the UNSC needed Watts alive, and thus sent in Blue Team, consisting of John-117, Kelly-087, Fred-104, Linda-058 and Sam-034. They were given a Black Body Suit to protect them against enemy fire and were given disguises to blend in with the crew of the freighter Laden, which would take them to Watts. In order to find him in his base, the SPARTANs tagged a crate with Sweet William Cigars which would be send to Watts.
On their way to Watts, John and Kelly together silently took out a barrack of Insurrectionist after which all members of the team each took out a guard near Watts' office. This did not go as planned, as the SPARTANs had to make sure not to kill, so they took longer to subdue. This let 3 guards to come across them which started a firefight, which ended in the death of the 3 guards and the severe injury of John. John was shot three times in the side, one bullet penetrating his Black Body Suit, bouncing off a few ribs, and causing a tremendous amount of internal bleeding, keeping the bullet lodged in his abdomen, during the ensuing firefight. After John was given biofoam to stop the internal bleeding and Watts was given enough Polypseudomorphine to keep him out for a day and he was put into UNSC custody.
New Contact and New Toys
After three months of missions against the Insurrectionist, all SPARTAN operatives were called in to brief them on the massacre that had happened on the distant planet of Harvest. The UNSC now had a new, alien, enemy, the Covenant. Since the SPARTANs had already shown great prowess against human targets, they were designated to fight against the Covenant and were given radically different armour. This combat exoskeleton was designed by Dr. Catherine Halsey to vastly improve the strength, speed, agility, reflexes and durability of any SPARTAN soldier to wear it.
The SPARTANs did not have long to get used to their new armour, as a Covenant ship approached the facility where they were. The UNSC Commonwealth attacked the ship and damaged it enough for three SPARTANs (John-117, Kelly-087 and Sam-034) to board it and reach the reactor core. Unfortunately, Samuel's MJOLNIR suit had been breached when it was damaged during a firefight, and he was unable to evacuate the ship; he stayed aboard to activate the missiles. Making him the first SPARTAN-II to be killed in combat during the Human-Covenant war.
The End of John
The Human-Covenant war was a war like nothing ever before, the Covenant, with their superior weaponry and technology, were overpowering any human opposition and destroying large parts of the Outer Colonies. Although the UNSC had a few victories, the Covenant seemed unstoppable. So when the UNSC got wind of Covenant forces approaching Reach, Blue Team, consisting of John-117, Linda-058 and James-005 at the time, were sent to a Orbital Defense Platform to defend it against the Covenant attack. While fighting here, James was severely wounded by a Needler which prevented his armour to stay pressurised in vacuum and propelled him into space, making him one of the few SPARTAN-IIs to be truly MIA. Linda was hit in the back of her unprotected skull by a overcharged Plasma Pistol shot and slipped into a deep coma. This left only John-117, who soon after these events was put to cryo-sleep on the UNSC Pillar of Autumn which fled the battle toward Installation 04. After the events of the Battle of Installation 04, John was last seen when his ship entered the Slipspace portal toward Installation 05 during the Battle of Mombasa.
The Beginning of Frederic
When Installation 04 was destroyed, it emitted a signal that placed all other Forerunner installations in standby mode, including the Sentinels guarding the Shield World located within the artificial world of Onyx. On October 31, 2552, the first of these Sentinels to awaken suddenly began attacking UNSC forces on or near Onyx. Coincidentally, the SPARTAN-III Gamma Company was participating in an exercise at the time. The Sentinels quickly took out most of the humans on the planet, leaving only Team Saber, Kurt-051, Tom-B292, Lucy-B091 and SCPO Mendez. They would be joined by Dr. Halsey and Kelly-087 who, before being brought down by Sentinels, were able to summon SPARTAN-II Blue Team to come to Onyx. The message succeeded in reaching a besieged Earth and diverting Blue Team to Onyx.
As John-117 was still MIA, the commander of Blue Team was now Fred-104, who brought Will-043 and Linda-058. The message that had been sent was intercepted however, and a Covenant Fleet Master was sent to destroy all UNSC forces and recover any Forerunner artefacts. So shortly after all UNSC forces were linked up, they were again assaulted by the Covenant forces, who also had to fend off Sentinels. The SPARTANs held off the enemy advance while Halsey, aided by Kelly-087 and Mendez, configured Onyx's teleportation grid, their means of escape. Dante-G188 was killed rescuing Fred-104 from Plasma and Needler fire. Once the teleportation grid was functioning, the humans moved to the Sentinel Production Facility near the north pole in the aim of destroying it. During their attempt to destroy the facility, the USNC forces were forced into the Core Room Antechamber where they prepared for their last stand against the upcoming Covenant forces.
While two legions of Unggoy attacked the SPARTANs atop the stepped structure, the remainder of the attackers setup stationary shield generators and placed three groups of thirty Sangheili and one Mgalekgolo pair behind each shield. From this jump-off point, the Sangheili formed a wall using shields taken from Kig-Yar and began to advance through grenade and sniper fire. When the Covenant reached the first step, redeployed Lotus mines killed several Sangheili and dazed Mgalekgolo. One Mgalekgolo was dispatched by Kurt-051 before they could recover. Kelly-087 engaged and killed three sword-wielding Sangheili and was then flanked by two more Hunters but was saved by Holly-G003, who was killed in the effort.
The SPARTANs piled onto the two Mgalekgolo. Kurt-051 was wounded. Will-043 killed one Mgalekgolo, that had been shot by Linda-058, in hand-to-hand combat but was in turn shot and killed by the second. The last Hunter was killed by Fred-104 with a missile.
However, the main Covenant assault with hundreds of Sangheili, Banshees and Unggoy, was yet to come. Realising it was futile for his diminished force to resist further, Kurt-051 ordered the survivors into Shield World while opting to remain behind to prevent the Covenant from reopening the portal. With 'Mantakree approaching to finish off the wounded SPARTAN personally, Kurt-051 detonated two FENRIS warheads, killing himself and the entire enemy force in the Antechamber as well as triggering the Sentinels of Onyx to "erupt" through the surface of the planet. With the portal closed, his comrades who had escaped into Shield World were trapped, but unharmed.
Retrieval and Reunion
After spending a year in the Shield World, the surviving members of the Assault on Onyx were rescued by the ONI group Kilo-Five and given the choice to join the SPARTAN-IV Program. Later, Fleet Admiral Lord Terrence Hood ordered the three remaining members of Blue Team, Fred-104, Kelly-087 and Linda-058 to investigate the disappearance of Team Black and a science team on the surface of Installation 03. They were joined by John-117 who would serve as an advisor on their mission. When they discovered that both teams were killed off, they followed a recently opened portal in the Composer's Abyss. There they discovered that there were multiple Composers and that the Ur-Didact had survived the New Phoenix Incident. They confronted him and were nearly killed but 859 Static Carillon saved them. The Ur-Didact had requested a Halo Array from Carillon, and planned to use it against Earth but was stopped by Blue Team.
Shortly after the Didact's defeat and the destruction of the Composer's Abyss, John is ordered by Lord Hood to have a break from military operations with Blue Team. Instead of taking the orders, John leads Blue Team on countless military operations when needed.