Alexander Redford, also known as Codename: CAESAR and Agent 19, was a long-serving agent and later leader of the Office of Naval Intelligence's Project BRUTUS. Working for years as a one-man saboteur, infiltrator and assassin, he took part in numerous classified missions over the years and became was well-known within the organisation due to his impressive conduct and distinctive personality. Though he never held a particularly powerful position for most of his career, Redford commanded a surprising amount authority and held the respect of both his peers and superiors.
The son of ORION Project member Harold Redford, Alexander was born as a Spartan 1.1 and would undergo minor augmentations as a child that made him superior to baseline humans. After becoming a doctor in 2523, Redford practised for several years before being recruited for ONI's BRUTUS division after his father's death in battle.
Alexander would soon become well known within the organisation, and worked as both a deep-cover agent and assassin throughout the Human-Covenant War. An elusive figure within the intelligence community, Redford was both respected and feared, having killed several fellow agents during his long career of espionage. In the mid-2550's, he was partnered with Layla-B101, a SPARTAN-III who matched him in sheer skill and general unsympathetic disposition towards life. He would continue to work as a field agent until the Avalon Incident of 2556, after which Frederick King was almost killed and put into a coma, prompting his immediate promotion to the head of BRUTUS. His leadership would prove invaluable for the organisation, as the threat of the Prometheans and the Created emerged in the following years.
Alexander Redford was born in Baltimore, in the United Republic of North America on February 22nd, 2500. His family was quite wealthy, owning a large estate there. He lived a reasonably happy childhood with his mother and father, the latter being an ex-ORION Project member. The only thing the young Redford seemed to lack was real friends. Despite being well-liked by many and often being the centre of attention, he often kept others at a distance.
Growing up, Redford excelled in both school and college before attending Oxford University to study medicine, not wishing to leave Earth. By the age of 23, he had attained a PhD in medicine, initially wishing to become a surgeon. However, when war was announced in 2525, Redford's father rejoined the Marines, and was subsequently killed on Harvest during the campaign. Not long after, while at a memorial service for those killed - there were no bodies to recover - the young doctor was approached by Frederick King, an ONI agent and one of his father's former comrades. Knowing of his background, King offered Redford a position in Naval Intelligence, intending to put his enhanced speed and reflexes to use as an undercover agent. After some consideration, Redford accepted King's offer, and was sent to Reach in early 2526 to undergo the intense physical and mental training required for ONI.
Redford excelled in both the mental and physical tests required, and was put under King's command as part Project BRUTUS taking on the simple codename '19'. Though the Human-Covenant War was in full swing at this point, there was still a large rebel presence within the Outer Colonies and beyond. Redford's first mission for ONI was to infiltrate a small Insurrectionist group in an Outer Colony world. The young agent easily gained access to the group within a week, his natural charisma allowing him to be trusted by members of the Insurrectionist cell. Within a week, he had recovered sufficient data to send, and rather than wait for Orbital Drop Shock Troopers to storm the safehouse, personally killed the dozen rebels that made up the cell, before leaving. His actions would mark him as a useful asset for ONI, one perfectly suited for deep cover infiltration and assassination missions.
Over the years, Redford's information helped the UNSC to successfully eliminate a large portion of the remaining Insurrection, one particularly successful mission gaining the location of a rebel base, which was later raided in 2531, leading to the death of a high-ranking URF member, General Howard Graves. Over the next few years Redford would operate alongside his fellow BRUTUS operatives in hunting down the rest of the URF, revealing the location of a number of bases and nearly tracking down the elusive General Adam Makosky before his disappearance. Nonetheless, his excellent track record and thoroughness made him one of BRUTUS' leading agents, often competing with the likes of the skilled Kyle White for a place within the unit as King's potential successor. Even though King had been good friends with Redford's father, he did not play favourites and ensured that he and all the agents operated at maximum efficiency.
In mid-2534, Redford was dispatched to the colony world of Sargasso when news arrived that a well-armed Insurrectionist group was operating on the planet. Upon his arrival, he met up with fellow agent David Kahn, better known as 'Agent Twenty' within BRUTUS. Though he was vaguely aware of the older man's numerous exploits over the years, the pair had never worked together before on an operation. Kahn's sole reconnaissance had discovered a bomb-making facility deep within one of Sargasso's biggest cities, as well as a detailed network of spies across the colony world. Shortly before Redford's arrival, Kahn had taken one such spy captive, allowing the pair to interrogate him for some time until the names and locations of his compatriots were revealed. It turned out that due to their fear of a Covenant attack on the colony world, the rebel group intended to seize control of one of the colony's orbital elevators while sabotaging the rest and hijacking several ships filled with supplies before fleeing the system.
With only a few days to stop the attack and no time to contact their superiors, Redford and Kahn quickly set about ambushing the rebel agents across several cities, though the main group soon noticed their activities and began to evacuate their urban base as they transported supplies and manpower over to safehouses in the countryside. The pair then tipped off the local police force about possible terrorist activity, leading to a successful raid on the bomb-making facility and the death and capture of over a dozen Insurrectionists. However, the group's leaders managed to escape and within several days were ready to launch their assault. Though Sargasso's police force had stepped up security across several of the elevators, they did not know what one the rebels were going to strike and were taken by surprise when a hijacked bus rammed through a checkpoint and exploded, killing dozens and allowing the group to storm the facility. All attempts to halt that particular elevator were stopped when an unusually sophisticated computer virus knocked out the station's main AI and allowed them to quickly ascend to the platforms above.
Kahn and Redford had split up, with the latter stationed atop the elevator the rebels had chosen to attack. With only a few security guards for backup, he set up a defensive perimeter and attempted to manually disconnect the freighters attached to the orbital station's skyhooks by himself. Though he was unsuccessful, Redford briefly considered destroying the facility himself to deny the rebels their prize, though he was unwilling to sacrifice his own life. When the rebels arrived the firefight that followed was bloody and brief; the security personnel could not stand up to the well-armed and armoured enemy forces and were quickly massacred, though they inflicted heavy losses that gave Redford time to set up anti-personnel mines in the hallways and manually seal several doors. As they gradually worked their way through the facility he was able to ambush and kill a number of foes, though Redford was forced to hide in a maintenance tunnel when they finally breached his defences and began to load stolen weapons and supplies aboard one of the freighters. It was around this time that a D81-LRT Condor exited Slipspace near Sargasso, taking down two incoming Police Pelicans with a volley of missiles before docking with the orbital station. From his hidden position, Redford watched as an unusual man entered the station and began giving orders to the surviving Insurrectionists. As they finished loading supplies onto their freighter, a large group of heavily-armed SWAT officers arrived and engaged the rebels.
The rebel leader fought alongside his comrades with uncommon skill and speed for a mere Insurrectionist, killing nine of the officers himself before the rest were finished off. By this point the UNSC had been notified of the terrorist attack and had deployed a Frigate to the system in hopes of destroying the rebel ships if they tried to escape; firing directly on the orbital station carried the risk of badly damaging the orbital elevator itself. A single Pelican was able to land atop the station and from the outside, David Kahn managed to blow open two of the airlocks and a window with timed explosives, catching the rebels off-guard and allowing him to slip in unnoticed. Redford was contacted by his partner, who had driven most of the rebels away from the freighter they intended to steal and towards the Condor. Exiting the maintenance tunnels, he ambushed several of the group and joined Kahn in fighting the rest as they retreated. The rebel leader was able to keep both of them at bay for some time; even their considerable combat skills left them unable to kill him after a prolonged firefight. With the arrival of UNSC troops in the area, the Condor managed to escape the orbital station and jumped into Slipspace before the Frigate could intercept it.
Though there was a great deal of damage and a number of casualties among the local law enforcement, Redford and Khan's actions had saved thousands of lives and prevented irreparable damage to Sargasso's orbital elevators. Furthermore, a number of rebels had been apprehended by police before they could bomb the other sites, leaving a number of suspects for ONI to interrogate later. The rebel leader's presence had prevented a total victory as a few had got away, but Operation: STARFALL was considered a successful mission by BRUTUS' standards. Though he had been initially unsure about Kahn due to having not worked with him prior to this mission, Redford departed on good terms with his fellow agent to take his report back to the organisation's HQ on Luna.
Redford first saw action against Covenant forces in in 2538, when the ship he was on, the UNSC Apples and Pears was hit in a surprise attack and boarded by a Covenant strike force. While the crew were butchered, the ONI agent escaped into the ship's service ducts, evading Jackal patrols as he made his way towards the bridge. Once there, he found the bridge crew captured, the captain offering the location of Earth in exchange for his life. The ship's AI, which had been disconnected by Huragok from the core, was able to activate the bridge's emergency fire controls and douse the area with an extinguishing agent which acted as a smokescreen for Redford to quickly move in and assassinate the Sangheili Officer with his knife before reconnecting the AI. She promptly sealed the bridge and opened the airlocks, flushing the rest of the boarding party into space. Redford was able to quickly eliminate the Covenant forces on the bridge, his enhanced eyesight giving him the edge. After killing the last of the invaders, he executed the ship's captain with a captured plasma pistol for his cowardice. Redford led the few survivors to the escape pods, launching away from the ship as the FTL Drive was detonated, eliminating the Covenant ship in the process. The AI had remained behind to oversee the procedure. The ONI assassin was hailed as a hero by the survivors, who assumed that their captain had been killed by a stray plasma bolt. While Redford cared very little for the man he had killed, the willingness of the AI to sacrifice itself gave him a lifelong respect for the constructs.
Inner Colony Work
"Agent Nineteen, bring our lost friend back into the fold. Alive, preferably."
―King ordering Redford to find and return Agent Twenty to BRUTUS.
As the Outer Colonies fell, BRUTUS turned its attention towards keeping the remaining Inner Colonies in line as martial law fell over multiple worlds. Redford and numerous other agents spent a great deal of time suppressing dissident leaders and preventing large-scale uprisings among the rightfully disgruntled refugee population pouring into certain colonies. It was around this time that several members of the organisation abandoned BRUTUS for one reason or another, prompting a number of missions to eliminate or retrieve the AWOL agents. In 2540, he was sent to the world of Illios, where Agent Twenty - David Kahn - had cut ties with the group after a mission. Out of respect for his one-time partner, Redford opted to visit the man personally and discovered that he was attempting to live a 'normal' family life. While this would have usually made him contact a retrieval team for elimination, the agent discovered that Kahn had told his partner nothing of his past or even his real name. After some convincing, Agent Twenty decided to rejoin BRUTUS without incident, though Redford knew that this brief lapse in his duty had likely sullied his reputation with their superiors.
Operation: RISING DRAGON
In 2546, Redford was suddenly recalled from the field by Frederick King himself for a top-secret mission. After rendezvousing with a small contingent of other BRUTUS agents and a large security force on Luna, they were transferred to Kroedis II, a mostly unexplored and tactically unimportant colony world. Though he expected news of some massive rebel uprising there, Redford was surprised to discover that they were investigating news of an ancient alien ruin that had been occupied by a single terrorist cell one of their agents had infiltrated. Three days were spent excavating the site after evidence of a battle between the rebels and a number of unidentified machines were discovered, and Redford began to question why their presence was needed when ONI already possessed several dedicated xenoarchaeology divisions. King ignored his complaints, insisting that news of a powerful alien device that could change the outcome of the war had been reported to him. Dubbed 'RISING DRAGON', this operation would supposedly put unimaginably powerful technology in the hands of the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Disappointed to have been relegated to the role of King's bodyguard while their security forces scouted the subterranean structure, Redford was present when one of their men discovered that some of the alien technology responded to their touch, which would have been a momentous occasion were it not for King's call for reinforcements being met with news that the Covenant had launched an attack on Kroedis II. Worse still, several enemy ships were already en-route to their position, having judged the human presence in the ancient structure as an affront to their gods. King and Redford led a spirited defence alongside their security forces, funnelling Covenant troops into a killzone within the cramped tunnels, killing at least a dozen foes for each of their own. Even so, their numbers soon began to dwindle and Redford was forced to accept that he would go down fighting the Covenant alongside King. Before they were cornered, King was able to activate a piece of alien technology that unleashed dozens of flying machines that pushed back the Covenant long enough for them to stage a counter-attack. Redford, King and the surviving members of their expedition were able to fight their way towards the surface, encountering surprisingly little resistance the further up they went. They soon discovered the reason for this: a single SPARTAN-II supersoldier.
The Spartan, who had been sent by ONI's higher-ups to retrieve King's expedition, escorted them out of the structure and into a waiting ship, which they used to escape Kroedis II before Covenant reinforcements arrived. While he assumed at the Spartan was there solely to rescue them, Redford discovered upon their return to the Sol System that King had actually launched the operation without proper clearance, greatly angering his superiors. In the days that followed RISING DRAGON Redford was interviewed extensively by Section 0 agents on what he knew about the operation. Though he had little intention of selling King out despite his misgivings about the mission, he answered honestly and told his interrogators that all involved believed it to be an entirely legitimate operation that had the potential to change the outcome of the war. Shortly afterwards he received news that King would not be officially punished for his failures, though it became clear that his mentor would never see advancement either after that debacle. Redford met with King before his next assignment came in and thanked him for saving his life, though RISING DRAGON had opened his eyes to the full extent of the older agent's fanaticism when it came to achieving victory.
For the remainder of the Human-Covenant War, Redford continued to operate behind enemy lines, occasionally being assigned to eliminate Covenant targets, though these missions were few and far between. He continued to be a spook story for the surviving Insurrectionist strongholds in the outer colonies, he and the surviving BRUTUS operatives becoming just as feared as the Spartans were. Arriving on Earth days before the Covenant attack, Redford ensured that Ross was placed in a UNSC-run orphanage before departing for ONI Pillar base, situated under Mount Everest. It was here that he stayed for the rest of the war, helping to direct the remaining human forces against their foe. At this time, he was also privy to something called Operation: LIFEBOAT, a plan to evacuate key personnel from Earth in order to ensure the survival of humanity and the UNSC. Redford was against what he saw as a cowardly plan, but saw the significance of surviving should Earth fall to the Covenant. However, this plan was never put into action as the war being ended with the Battle of the Ark.
Skills and Abilities
"19 says he used to be a surgeon. I can believe that; it's scary to watch him on operations."
―a comment from a fellow BRUTUS agent.
As Redford's job usually entailed infiltration and surprise attack, he was often forced to rely on little to no equipment in the field, making the best of whatever he could find. As such, he became extremely proficient in close combat, his hand-to-hand skills backed up by the inventive use of everyday objects in a fight making him a formidable opponent. Redford's textbook knowledge of the human anatomy, garnered from his years as a surgeon, gave him knowledge of what parts to strike at and how to disable a person as quickly as possible, something vital when battling multiple opponents.
Redford received extensive training in most forms of weaponry from ONI, becoming a skilled marksman. His years in deep cover also gave him knowledge of various unorthodox forms of weaponry used by Insurrectionists. He did, however, dislike using guns in his work, only making use of them as a last resort, preferring to make use of knives or other close-combat weaponry to incapacitate his foes. On more than one occasion, he made use of poison to take care of his enemies, either by subtly drugging his supposed allies or using blades tipped with various substances to either quicken or slow down their death.
As a Spartan 1.1, Redford had been subject to numerous augmentations at infancy. Though they were not as advanced as the ones his father had received, it gave him something of an edge against others from a young age, being both highly intelligent and having enhanced speed and reflexes. While these skills played a small part in his pre-ONI career, he would make full use of his abilities as an agent, being able to take the advantage against foes. Redford's seemingly weak and unassuming appearance led to him being underestimated on many occasions, which would be the last mistake that many made.
"Always remain polite. Even in the company of thieves and murders, a little courtesy goes a long way."
―Redford commenting on his disposition.
From a young age, Redford was taught by his father, Harold, to show respect and courtesy to others at all times. This became one of his defining characteristics, the apparent kindness that he displayed to others endearing him to many, giving the appearance of trustworthiness. In reality, his father, who had once been an ORION operative, taught his son in the arts of deception and manipulation, something that, until he was asked to join ONI, he had rarely used. Redford's façade of kindness would usually fool most people into trusting him, something vital in his line of work. Hundreds had entrusted him with secrets or confided in him, only to finally see his true nature in their last moments. In reality, Redford was a remorseless killer; devoid of pity or empathy for the most part, though there were a few cases in which he spared those who had gained his respect. It was often remarked by other agents that Alexander Redford was almost like two people: The kind-hearted gentleman, and the savage, ruthless killer. It was his ability that made him the perfect undercover agent, spending months or even years infiltrating enemy groups in his decades of service to ONI. While Redford remained calm and controlled for the most part, there were a few occasions where he revealed his somewhat psychotic nature in angry outbursts, often when faced with defeat or even death.