|This article, Brandon Smith, was written by Lordofmonsterisland. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "It has been said that 'A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.' If only the man who spoke those words knew what he spoke of..."
- ―Brandon Smith, referring to Joseph Stalin
Brandon Ryley Smith was a and Special Forces member who served from 2573 till 2595 before being picked to operate as a commander in the SPARTAN-IV Program. Originally quite idealistic, Brandon felt himself a bit of a hero throughout his encounters in the first years of revived rebellion, putting down and Remnants alike with naive ideals about his work. After a botched mission left Brandon's unit decimated and stranded on a backwater world for over a year, Brandon's view of life shifted radically, made even more extreme when the remainder of the unit was not rescued but captured by Remnant forces and imprisoned for six months. At the end of six months, Brandon and the five other survivors of his unit managed an escape during which one died and one was critically injured: they would return to UNSC space, where Brandon and his two surviving companions underwent extensive psychological therapy.
Managing to pull himself together and return to a fairly normal condition after a year and a half of therapy, Brandon returned to active service in early 2580, and after several months of service was recruited into Special Tactics and Operations, where he would spend several years both working to root out members of the United Rebel Front within UNSC space, as well as aiding in the training and funding of Jiralhanae Kingdoms double-agent cells. During both this period and his previous experience as a prisoner-of-war, Brandon's personality was vastly changed from that of an idyllic young soldier to a hardened warrior who looked on the universe with the eye of an apathetic cynic.
- "Crazy world; cockeyed."
- ―Brandon Smith's outlook on life
Born as a second-generation Fumirian, Brandon Ryley Smith was the only son of retired handler Sebastian Mycroft Smith and Nora Landra Smith (née Harper) along with his fraternal twin sister Hana Ocean Smith. Raised by their parents, Brandon and his sister led normal lives in their childhood, attending public school and progressing normally throughout their teenage years. However, at the age of fourteen, Brandon was dumb-struck at the news of a terrorist attack by Fumirians dissidents, spending several days fearing that his aunt and uncle had been killed in the attack. Relieved to find out that his relatives had survived with minor injuries, the event would still profoundly affect Brandon, and would instill a desire within him to stop such events from happening in the future. At 18, upon graduating high school, Brandon enrolled in the Sierra Military Academy on Fumirole, where he spent the next six months training before graduating with honors and joining the Marine Corps.
Assigned to travel the borders of UNSC territory and keep pirates in check, Brandon's company became engaged in numerous conflicts against both Remnants, wherein Brandon began to view himself as a hero of the UNSC, a man who drove back evil doers to protect the innocents. Very naive, Brandon felt as though he were living the dream that he had so long desired, and continued to fight for his government without any second thoughts about what he was doing or why he was doing it. While this had the unforeseeable effect of preventing some of the mental issues that other soldiers would experience, such as PTS syndrome or shell-shock, it served to distance Brandon from some of his teammates who saw war as a savage thing with which they wished they had never become acquainted.and
However, Brandon's situation took a turn for the worst far beyond anything he could have ever dreamed of when, during an engagement with the Covenant Remnants on an uncharted, backwater planet. Having answered a distress call that proved to be a Remnant trick, Brandon's company was deployed to the ground to deal with an anti-ship turret, and though their mission proved successful, half of the unit was lost in the battle. To makes matters worse, the ship that Brandon's company had been deployed from was shot down and destroyed by the attacking Remnant forces, and despite the Remnant ship's own destruction shortly thereafter via a reactor leak, Brandon and the remainder of his company were marooned on the planet with no way to escape or signal for help.
The reality of the situation thrown fully into his face, Brandon began to work with his company to eek out an existence on their backwater home. Despite the fact that the jungles of the swampy planet were filled with fruit, several types of fruit were discovered to be poisonous, and the jungle predators were a constant threat as well during foraging missions. As supplies from the ship began to run low after the first month on this world, the soldiers were forced to make do however they could, which became simpler as more men began to die from foreign diseases carried by the extraterrestrial insects. Brandon and the other soldiers learned to make their homes in the abandoned mountain caves, foraging for food during the day in groups while guarding the cave entrance in shifts during the night, praying that the larger predators would stay far away.
After a year of survival on this hellish world, the company was relieved when one day they discovered a Covenant ship descending to the world below. Overjoyed at the thought of rescue, this joy turned to horror when they discovered that the ship contained, not allied rescuers, but Jiralhanae slavers. Captured by the Remnants forces, they were stored in the ship's brig until the starship completed its journey back to Sapphire II, spending a week with little food or water, barely clinging to life. Once arrived at Sapphire II, Brandon and the remnants of his company were placed in a slave compound, where they would be systematically sold off to different owners for different purposes.
Throughout his time within the slave camp, Brandon and several others managed to stay together, and after six months of planning, he and five other survivors managed to mount a slave rebellion and escaped. Though temporarily successful, the rebellion was doomed from the start, and Brandon knew this: moving quickly, he and his companions made a break for a small, slipspace-capable interceptor with the intent of taking it and returning to UNSC space. The escape went well until the end, when a Jiralhanae ambush left one of the men dead and another critically wounded, with little chance for success. Unable to accept defeat, Brandon blindly rushed a Jiralhanae, by sheer luck managing to ram the ape onto a sharp spike protruding from a cargo box nearby, killing it, but at the cost of breaking Brandon's arm.
Brandon and the remaining three, as well as their wounded companion, boarded the ship and escaped quickly, leaving the planet and other slaves behind: using what limited resources he had, one of the other soldiers - a combat medic by training - was able to ensure that Brandon did not die from his wound, but he knew he would need medical attention. The crew managed to jump to slipspace and reach UNSC border territories within a few days, but by that time their wounded companion was long dead, another had time from malnutrition, and Brandon had slipped into a coma from his wound. Given immediate medical attention, Brandon and the two other survivors were saved from the brink of death: however, the psychological scarring from the entire year and a half experience was highly noticeable, and as soon as the trio was deemed physically stable, they were transferred to the John Dorian Memorial Psychiatric Hospital on Earth.
Learning to Breathe
- "Just another blood and nicotine sky"
- ―Brandon Smith, after a battle against the Remnants
As soon as Brandon was transferred to John Dorian Psychiatric Hospital, the doctors attending to him knew that he was one of the worst cases they had seen in the past decade. Heavily scarred by the ordeal of the past year and a half, Brandon's personality had been completely changed by the experience: whereas before he had been naive, thinking war was a noble quest for peace, now he was cynical and apathetic, despising idealists and developing both a severe hatred for Jiralhanae and a thirst for vengeance against the Remnants. Even after the doctors at John Dorian had deemed Brandon capable of functioning as a normal member of society again, they were loath to release him, keeping him an additional five months in failed attempts to quell this rage.
In 2580, almost two years after admission into the hospital, Brandon was discharged with a clean bill of health. Rejoining the Marine Corps with a few months, Brandon was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and deployed onto the growing Remnant front, just as he had desired. Here, Brandon unleashed all his hatred for the Jiralhanae, recklessly yet deliberately assaulting Remnants with a fury few soldiers had, constantly driving his soldiers forward when attacks began. This would earn Brandon the nickname "Fury" among fellow Corpsmen, one which some of his commanding officers worried about.
In 2583, after three years of distinguishing himself in the service, Brandon was contacted by Special Tactics and Operations of SOCOM with an invitation to join their operations. Somewhat hesitant at first, Brandon opted to join the STO after some coercion on their part, and soon began deploying on anti-Remnant missions in highly dangerous situations. Although initially Brandon had a hard time getting used to this new style of combat, much preferring to charge in head-first with a plan in the back of his mind, Brandon eventually managed to learn how to function within a Special Tactics unit, thanks in no small part to help from his squad's second-in-command, Jacen Nix.
- "God, I have never prayed to you before. I haven't the words for it. No one's gonna remember what kind of men we were: what we did, why we fought, who cared about us. All that matters is that today, a few stood against many. That's what's important! I hear valor pleases you God, so grant me this one request. Grant me revenge! And if you don't listen, then to Hell with you!"
- ―Brandon Smith
Against All Odds
Though not identical, Brandon Smith's Against All Odds incarnation shared a very similar backstory, if placed several years further into the past. Born on Fumirole in 2535, Brandon Smith
- "We can't all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by."
- ―Brandon Smith
In his youth, Brandon was a very naive individual, believing in the idealistic view that war was just and soldiers were heroes. Although brash and reckless, Brandon held respect for all his commanding officers, and would be hostile towards those who tried to question their superior's authority. Despite this, Brandon's friendships were numerous and strong. Although somewhat tactically minded, Brandon originally served as a close quarters combat trooper, caring more about pointing and shooting over thinking out his plan.
However, after his time as a castaway and prisoner-of-war, Brandon's entire personality was radically changed. Stripped of his innocence, Brandon became highly cynical, trusting few people at all, and listening to only a handful of C.O.'s thanks to his previous commander, whose cowardly actions during Brandon's company's catastrophic final mission led to both his death and the deaths of several others. Although Brandon would recover enough from these trust issues so that he could rejoin the military,
- "We all end up dead, the question is how and why."
- ―Brandon Smith
- "I'm not so much afraid of all Hell breaking loose as I am afraid of part of it breaking out.... it'll be much harder to detect."
- ―Brandon Smith
- Halo: Lost Brothers (AAO only)
- Survival of the Fittest, Season 4 (Non-canon)
- Survival of the Fittest, Season 5 (Non-canon)
- ↑ Quote by Mr. Savo in The Chosen by Chaim Potok
- ↑ A line of lyrics from Switchfoot's song "Rise Above It"
- ↑ Not intended as a reference to that other Fury
- ↑ Based on a quote from Conan the Barbarian
- ↑ Quote by Will Rogers