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- "Ten soldiers wisely led will beat a hundred without a head."
- ―Jane-B337, quoting Euripides.
Jane-B337 was a recruit of the Special Proficiency, Assault, Reconnaissance and Tactical Augmented Nonconventional-force, Third Generation (SPARTAN-III) Program from Beta Company. Mid-training, she was one of several recruits taken away from the other trainees and trained into separate, secret two-man cells which, together, were known as The Headhunters. Upon graduation, Jane and her partner, Nessa-B256, went on missions behind enemy lines away from the rest of Beta Company, thus avoiding the catastrophic Battle at Pegasi Delta.
Sometime after their graduation and first few assignments, Jane along with Nessa were transferred from Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) command to Naval Command (NAVCOM), more specifically the Naval Special Warfare (NAVSPECWAR) unit, with Captain Salomon Martin as their immediate superior. In the NAVSPECWAR division, they were placed in a subordinate detachment of NAVSPECWAR Group Four – known as Herald – together with six other SPARTAN-IIIs. The two would then continue to fight throughout the Human-Covenant War – even as the rest of Herald were killed – until the Covenant Empire crumbled after the death of the High Prophet of Truth at The Ark.
During the reconstruction period that followed, Jane and Nessa were reassigned to Gentry Team, a unit of Spartans similar to Herald, and whom they had also worked with on occasion. Working in the same team with other headhunters proved difficult, and the new Gentry Team was prone to in-team fighting. In 2567, Jane was promoted and stepped in as commander of the unit until it was reorganized in 2574. After leaving the team, Jane and Nessa were sent out on a new mission on their own, during which they disappeared, numbering among the few Spartans to be truly Missing In Action (MIA).
- "You know, I didn't expect her to have her hair that way; I thought Sierras would follow military protocols very strictly, including the ones concerning hair length. I guess it is true what they say; there're weirdoes to be found everywhere. Even amongst Sierras."
- ―Anonymous Naval Special Warfare Operator
Common to most Spartans, Jane had a well-trained physical build, though hers was less apparent than in several others, trading some of it for a more slender and agile look. This reflected well on her abilities; rather than brute force, she relied on agility, speed and stealth. To accompany that, she had black hair (though for a short time in her childhood it was dyed brown), which she kept middle-long and with a lock tied together by a small piece of fabric (which had been ripped off from her mother's skirt and used to tie up her hair when she was born) as an improvised hairband.
She also had grey(-blue) eyes, as well as several scars in various places across her body, including; half a dozen cuts and other smaller scars on the arms and legs, one very deep cut on the right leg above the knee (received during her escape from the Covenant assault on Rurik), one slight burn on the left shoulder (from a plasma bolt that sizzled past her, burning her shoulder in the process) and a prominent scar on her waist (after being impaled by an energy sword).
- "She's always the rock-hard solid person you know you can turn to if you're troubled. That, and if you need something killed or blown to pieces."
- ―Nessa-B256 about Jane.
Though just a typical, playful infant in her early childhood years, after her family was taken from her by the Covenant, the subsequent sad life at an orphanage and then further tragedies in-training during the SPARTAN-III Program, Jane turned into a hardened version of herself, though unlike many others undergoing similar circumstances in their lives, she never became purely ruthless or emotionless. Instead, she learned to use her sorrows, fears and hatreds to fuel her resolve to keep going. Through this, she became a tough and confident person, always maintaining an aura of strength and solidity, yet kept some compassion and capability of socialization.
Along with still being chatty and talkative, and with a knack for understanding other people's emotions and thoughts, she managed to inspire confidence and a sense of safety to those close to her (mostly her partner Headhunter and lover, Nessa, due to the pair's limited interaction with other humans). Because of this, some – including Captain Salomon Martin – would refer to her as "a morale boost on legs", often also adding that it was "unfortunate that she has to be kept secret; otherwise she'd have been a good officer leading men into battle". For Nessa, who by contrast was a less confident person prone to concern and overthinking, Jane would also act as a voice of reason and comfort, which served to improve their relationship even further.
However, she was no saint (which she would also keep reminding those around her). While protective and reassuring to those she felt close to, those outside this small circle would often be treated with cold indifference – a product of the headhunter mentality, which in turn was a result of being isolated for considerable periods of time with just one partner – unless they began to "prove their worth" to her; mostly by proving to be skilled in battle or another defining characteristic, thus earning respect from her. This habit of developing respect for unusually skilled/powerful beings also ended up applying to her foes; despite intense hatred of the Covenant for their genocide on humanity, she developed a begrudging respect for some of their skilled warriors, mostly the Sangheili. Ironically, when viewed from this perspective, her morals were quite similar to the Sangheili's.
On the other hand, her loyalty to the UNSC always remained strong. This stretched back to when she was recruited into the SPARTAN-III Program; with life at the orphanage having been challenging and filled with loneliness at every turn, Jane felt that the life as a Spartan was a good new shot at life, which the UNSC had offered to her. As a result of being a member of the program, she found a new family and purpose. Even after her initial team's tragic deaths, she once again found someone important to her when assigned to the headhunters. For these reasons, she continued to be grateful to the UNSC throughout the war with the Covenant. This didn't prevent her from breaking one or two regulations, however; the hair-length regulation (as the name suggests, by keeping her hair longer than the limit), and perhaps most importantly, the regulations for fraternization (by having a romantic and intimate relationship with a comrade of a lower rank).
- "We're the perfect team; I soften up the targets up close, she picks them off at range; I teach her to be courageous in battle, she teaches me how to be tender and sweet to people I like."
- ―Jane about her relationship with Nessa.
Jane became partnered with Nessa after they had scored a 98.21% match rating in the Headhunter entrance evaluations. Soon, the two proved to be an incredible team, complementing each other's strengths and weaknesses almost perfectly. Over time, their teamwork became considered exceptional even by Headhunter standards, surviving many high-risk missions thanks to their cooperation. In combat, their general tactic was for Jane to weaken and set up the enemy with traps, assassinations etc. and then, when they were distracted by this, Nessa would take them out from a distance with sniper or marksman rifles.
On the personal level, the two were always on close, friendly terms, always honest and open with one another, allowing for perfect trust – which only helped to improve their teamwork. As they reached their teenage years, the relationship turned from friendly to romantic. Soon after, the romance turned into an intimate nature. Despite a few doubts about whether it was right or not, they decided to continue the relationship. They always had to keep it a secret, due to military regulations regarding fraternization, though even more so because they were Spartans; seeing as Spartans are always supposed to suppress their emotions in order to place the safety of humanity above any individual desires.
- "We weren't really a single unit. More like three separate ones. But still, you felt you lost something when they died. Like when the other Betas were slaughtered at Pegasi."
- ―Jane about the rest of Herald Team.
Jane's interaction with the rest of Herald Team – the Spartans under NAVCOM's Naval Special Warfare command – was sporadic, due to the fact Jane and Nessa, as befitted their headhunter training, worked solely in that pair. However, during the few off-duty hours or joint missions the Herald Spartans had together usually lead to friendly interaction; discussing missions, playing card, risk and other socializing games, or sparring to remain in shape. This led to all of them acknowledging that they were true comrades-in-arms, and considered each other a unit like the other spartan teams, despite not being a single unit in practice.
Herald-Beta (consisting of Sigmund-B103, Genevieve-B093, Arik-B240 and Rede-B055) was the first of Herald's sub-teams to perish; ambushed by a Covenant “anti-Spartan” Special Forces unit and killed in the subsequent battle covering their comrades' escape. Herald-Alpha (Xun-A146 and Bruce-A412) followed shortly after, ambushed and eliminated by the same Covenant elite force. Their deaths affected Jane and Nessa, and the two spent some time to mourn them, then moved on, fueled by a renewed will to fight the Covenant and avenge their comrades. When thinking about the Human-Covenant War's victims, the other Herald members would often pop up in Jane's mind.
- "Both our teams were made up of Spartans taken aside from the rest of our brethren and forged into a different unit with new and experimental gear. So yeah, we were essentially the same with different names. Speaking of which; I find it kinda curious how Spartans seem to pop out of the ground all the time. You'd think the UNSC spec forces would have better things to do than steal Spartans from one another."
- ―Jane comparing Herald and Gentry teams.
Similarly to Herald, Gentry Team was a unit composed of individual Spartans that were kept separate from the rest of their comrades to serve under a different command authority; their only major difference was the fact that Gentry included SPARTAN-IIs within their ranks. Because of their similarities, and due to her overall sympathy for Spartans, Jane harbored a degree of respect for Gentry, reinforced as the two teams occasionally had to switch members between one another or fight together on particularly difficult assignments for NAVCOM, where Jane would then see the members of Gentry perform well in battle.
However, Jane also felt some jealousy towards Gentry in that the latter team continued to survive as a unit despite losing members, whereas Herald were practically wiped out and received no replacements to cover their losses, for all intents and purposes ending up disbanded. These feelings resurfaced when she and Nessa were assigned to the new Gentry Team in 2553. Combined with the new team consisting of all new members who were difficult to work with, Jane found herself in an uncomfortable position. Few things changed when she was given a commission to Master Chief Petty Officer and command of the group several years later; she continued to feel like a stranger in a foreign unit until she was removed from the team seven years later.
- "We're all the same. We Spartans are the only ones who know what true war is all about. The marines and helljumpers never take on the dirtiest, riskiest, darkest ops like we do. The officers in the top echelon only give the order; they have no idea what it's really about. For that, all Spartans have my respect with no need to prove it first."
- ―Jane about other Spartans.
Due to all Spartans' natural combat prowess and similar experiences, Jane had an overall sense of respect for all Spartans, whether they were IIs or IIIs and regardless of which class or company they belonged to. This respect also manifested itself in a feeling of kinship with her Spartan brethren, considering all of them a new family to take the place of her previous one which was killed off during the Covenant attack on Rurik. However, she would sometimes change her mind about individual Spartans, in a good (as in Nessa's case) or bad (as was the case with the members of the new Gentry Team) way depending on their behavior and/or personalities.
- "He isn't really the best friend-who-you-invite-for-dinner type or the caring, concerning mentor figure. But at least he shows the courtesy of meeting with his subordinates face-to-face and has the guts to show that he's in charge."
- ―Jane about Salomon Martin.
After Captain Salomon Martin became Jane's superior shortly after the first few post-graduation assignments and subsequent transfer to NAVSPECWAR Group Four, Jane developed a quasi-friendly relationship with him over time. She came to respect his willingness to meet with his subordinates in person, unlike many others who would simply issue orders through messages or intermediaries. She also admired him for his intelligence, leadership talent and steadfastness. On the other hand, she quickly learned that personality-wise, the captain wasn't a friendly person, but rather grim, cold and with a degree of ruthlessness.
Due to this, while she remained loyal and somewhat respectful towards the officer, Jane harbored a dislike for the man as a person, causing her to often annoy him by interrupting his briefings, questioning his orders in a ridiculing manner etc.
- Jane: "All right, so we sneak up on the goldie and then…"
- Nike: "…we jump on its back and stab it in the eye socket?"
- Jane: "Wow. You get any more like me and I'll start wondering if you're my long-lost sister."
- — Jane in a conversation with the AI Nike.
When initially finding the fragmented AI Nike – the product of Project CHIMERA – on Aphrodite II, Jane was wary of “her” at first due to the fact that it was a new creation that could be potentially dangerous. But over time, as Nike saved her and Nessa on several occasions with her AI capabilities and function as a Military Assistance (MILASS) AI, Jane came to accept “her”. The AI also worked up a friendly relationship with the two Spartans, to the point that “she” asked to continue to act as a support AI for the two Spartans, which Captain Martin reluctantly agreed to. Since then, the AI has helped the Spartans in most of their assignments.
- "I hate them. I absolutely hate them, and everything related to them. They slaughter us like sheep for no reason, they turn our worlds to glass. And yet, some part within me can't help but respect the strength of the bigger guys for their skill and strength, nor can I help but feel pity for the small fellows for their status as expendable pawns in the eyes of whatever leads the Covenant. And I feel like I betray myself every time I have those feelings."
- ―Jane confessing her thoughts about the Covenant.
Ever since the Covenant attacked her home, which led to the death of her parents and many others she knew, Jane developed an intensely burning hatred towards the alien alliance and swore to exact vengeance, one way or another. Due to this, she leapt at the chance to join the SPARTAN-III Program. She continued to fuel this hatred throughout her training, and by the time of her graduation it had reached its peak. In the following missions she carried out, she rejoiced in how she was finally able to damage the Covenant and begin her revenge against those who had taken everything from her except her resolve.
But as the war progressed and more and more missions and operations were added to Jane's combat record, she started to subconsciously develop a grudging respect for the Mgalekgolo and the Sangheili for their skill in battle. At the same time, as she saw first-hand how the lower races in the Covenant hierarchy were treated, she found herself pitying them to a degree due to their position as slaves to those higher up in the hierarchy ladder. She found no bright spot for the Jiralhanae however, instead being constantly disgusted of their excessive brutality. Neither of these “positive” feelings on the Covenant was significant enough to affect her to the degree that it had an impact on her combat efficiency, but enough for her personally to notice.
Hobbies & interests
- "I would say that I do what I like and like what I do; but it's a tad bit more complicated than that. I don't always get to do what I want most, nor do I always like what I do. This isn't a fairy-tale world, after all. But there are things I love to do in my spare time, of course."
- ―Jane about hobbies and interests.
Jane's hobbies and interests mostly revolved around self-improvement; activities that always pushed herself to become better. To improve her body, she sparred with others – preferably other Spartans, because it was the most challenging. This also applied to mock combat exercises, which was another thing she enjoyed greatly. Meanwhile, to improve the mind, she studied warrior cultures and historical tactics, always hoping to learn something new to use to her advantage. However, while studying tactics, she also started to enjoy the history of the various cultures as well. In particular, she came to be very interested and intrigued by the Japanese Samurais, Roman military doctrine and emperors, and the Mongolians and their cavalry armies.
To a smaller degree, she was also fond of watching movies. While movies available to Spartans were hard to come by if at all possible, Jane managed to 'secure' some for herself from higher crewmen on the ships she was garrisoned on. She came to especially like the action and horror movie genres. In addition, she harbored a great love of food; she would often be found eating during a lot more times of the day than when food was actually served. To satisfy her fierce appetite, she did a great deal of small-scale raids on the ship kitchens, snatching small amounts every time; not enough to starve anybody on board, but enough to upset the cooks – who could never pin it on her since she never left any trails for them to follow other than occasional chewing on a sandwich they suspected wasn't the one included in her daily MRE rations.
- "It isn't as complex as some think; you meet a person, get to know him or her and then you realize you feel very good by just being around that person. Then things happen and you officially – in a manner of speaking – declare you're in love with him/her. Either he/she then tells you they feel the same way and a relationship begin, or he/she turns you down, which means your relation with that person is hurt for a while."
- ―Jane about love.
Jane has only had a single true love, which was vastly different from the occasional childhood crushes she had on other Spartan recruits – one of which was on Lucy-B091 from Team Foxtrot. But due to her homosexual orientation, she kept these crushes on the female recruits a secret; afraid that she would be declared a freak by everyone else if she was open about it.
She didn't meet her one true love – Nessa-B256 – until she was cycled out of the main program and arrived at the headhunter camp facilities for the first evaluation phase. During this phase, she was paired up with Nessa after they scored a 98.21% match rating on the various tests. During the following years the two spent together in headhunter training and as they entered their early teenage years, their strong and close friendship turned into a romantic relationship. This remained steady and solid even as they fought in the Human-Covenant War and later the post-war era.
- "As long as they're quiet and deadly, I don't care what weapons I have to use."
- ―Jane about weapons.
Jane mostly didn't have a preference concerning weapons, choosing to use whatever benefitted the situation most. Likewise, she wasn't particularly specialized in any weapon branch, only basic (by Spartan standards) overall understanding of and ability with most weapon types. She did prefer to use weapons with sound-suppressors, however, to ensure she kept the moment of surprise for as long as possible.
Her most commonly used weapons were the following:
MA2C Individual Combat Weapon System/SPECWAR
A variation of the regular MA2C – the successor to the MA2B light assault rifle – the SPECWAR-variant is a specialized and light-weight version of the MA5 series rifles, developed for and used by Naval Special Warfare operators. When she was transferred to Naval Special Warfare, Jane was introduced to the weapon, and it became a common primary weapon-of-choice for her; much due to its larger magazine than the MA5s, ability to also use shredder rounds in addition to the standard armor-piercing ammunition, and finally its endurance and reliability. It also featured several attachments, including a sound- and flash suppressor, a red dot 'reflex' sight, a smart-link scope integrated with the wielder's Heads-Up-Display, and a flashlight, much similar to the suppressed M7.
M7S Sub-Machine Gun
A lasting piece of weapon technology since before the Human-Covenant War with little modification, the M7S is a reliable stealth-orientation sub-machine gun. More accurate – and most of all, silent – than the original, non-suppressed M7, Jane found the weapon very useful. It was one of her most commonly used weapons (though not more so than the MA2C/SPECWAR), especially in pure stealth operations.
M6C Personal Defense Weapon System/SOCOM
Being the Special Forces version of the mainstream M6C, the SOCOM variant saw widespread use within Naval Special Warfare, and thus easily found its way into the Spartan's hands. After that, it became her most common secondary weapon to accompany the MA2C/SPECWAR or M7S.
- "Well, you know what they say; the armor makes the Spartan."
- ―Jane about armor.
Though initially having to rely on the SPI armor system like all other SPARTAN-III supersoldiers, Jane and Nessa – just as some other Spartans such as those of Gentry and Noble teams before her – were later fitted with MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor suits left unclaimed by the SPARTAN-IIs and Noble Team, in order to make up for Herald Team's small numbers.
The suits Jane used were the following (in chronological order):
Semi-Powered Infiltration Armor Mark II/H
Far more advanced than the ODST ODST Battle Armor and including special photo-reactive panels to conceal the wearer from detection, the SPI armor was a potent suit when worn by specialists like the Spartans. However, even the Mark II/H prototype (used by the Headhunters) wasn't as advanced as the MJOLNIR armor system; it neither amplified strength nor speed like the MJOLNIR, for example. Jane used the Mark II/H version after completing her headhunter training and wore it until she was reassigned to Herald Team.
MJOLNIR Mk. IV(CW) Powered Assault Armor
Being an advanced prototype of the standard Mark IV MJOLNIR, the Carnwennan (CW) variant countered many of the base armor's faults and errors, making it work more flawlessly than before. It also integrated numerous features for maximum stealth, including Cherenkov-R radiation reducers and photo-reactive camouflage panels like those found on the SPI armor. It was overlooked when the Vajra II, Gungnir and Caladbolg variants were introduced, taking all improvements to a slightly higher level than the CW. The project's two finished suits were forgotten after that, until Captain Salomon Martin recovered them from storage and fitted Jane and Nessa with them once they entered Herald Team's ranks. In early 2552, their armors were upgraded with smaller components used in the Mark V MJOLNIR in an attempt to compensate the fact that all newly completed suits had already been taken by other Spartan units.
MJOLNIR Mark VII Powered Assault Armor
The latest iteration of Project MJOLNIR, the Mark VII featured a wide variety of various improvements over previous generations. It includes fully functional energy shields and active camouflage and other minor equipment integrated to make the suit more powerful and effective than ever. Jane and Nessa didn't receive these suits until several years after the end of the Great War, having had to rely on 'patched' Mark IV(CW) variants before that.
- "It's easy as hell to sneak up on a split-lip and stab it in the neck. The trick is to do it without getting caught immediately afterwards. Good thing I know a thing or two about remaining unseen."
- ―Jane about her stealth capabilities.
Jane was overall a very skilled Spartan, enough so to be taken aside from the main company and trained to be a headhunter. She was also more prominent than many others in a variety of fields, most notably her great usage of stealth; she easily and quickly learned how to sneak and conceal herself in the most effective manner to remain unseen. This earned her the nickname of “Ghost” – a callsign used by others to identify elite stealth specialists among the SPARTAN-IIIs' ranks. This ability came well in hand for reconnaissance, assassination, sabotage, infiltration and other such missions. Over time, she became skilled enough to move quickly while still being unseen; combined with her considerable speed, she would move almost as fast another Spartan in normal circumstances and still maintain invisibility.
In addition, she was very resourceful and analytical, allowing her to adapt to most battlefields and spot strengths – and therefore also possible weaknesses – in her foes, adapting her plans according to that. Combined with her extensive knowledge of military tactics, she could rather easily come up with plans on the spot, even under fire. Often, these plans would be complex and include using the surrounding environment to her advantage – starting rockslides to crush the enemies in a mountainous environment, for example.
She was also gifted in hand-to-hand combat, having studied a few arts, including karate, boxing and Krav Maga. Alongside that, she had basic skill in nearly all weapon types – allowing for a well-rounded and adaptable combat style – and nearly flawless teamwork with Nessa. Their teamwork was good even by headhunter standards, where pairs are created to have as close to one hundred percent match rating as possible (98.21% in Jane and Nessa's case). All things considered, Jane was considered one of the best Spartans in Beta Company, nearly on par with other notable SPARTAN-IIIs – such as those from Noble Team.
- "I'd rather overthink things than the opposite; at least then you're sure that you'll be prepared if things DO go to hell."
- ―Jane trying to justify her occasional overthinking.
As is the case with any individual, Jane wasn't perfect. For example, on a few reported cases, she took her planning too far, overthinking and overanalyzing the enemy threat and capabilities, causing a slowed down progress and too careful approach. Though this would sometimes save both her and Nessa's lives, in some cases it slowed them down unnecessarily. The cause of this extreme caution likely stemmed from when Jane's first team was accidentally killed in-training due to what she saw as making a rash decision.
Also, she never truly specialized in any weapon branch, thus never earning mastery in any related categories. Nor did she manage to avoid a common mistake made by many headhunters; to not become over-reliant on her partner. The consequence of such a high match rating turned out to be that headhunters – Jane included – would sometimes overestimate the capabilities of their partners, thus occasionally getting caught in situations outside their capabilities while absolutely certain that their partner would be there to help them out – only for the partner to run into complications as well – leading to an increased risk of both ending up dead. This headhunter mentality also made cooperation with anyone beyond her partner difficult, leading to occasional in-team arguments.
Birth and infant years (2532-2537)
- "Things weren't always easy; but at least we had each other."
- ―Jane about her early childhood with her family.
Jane was born at a local clinic in the suburbs of the metropolis of Pobeda, largest settlement of Rurik, one of the most distant inner colonies. Her parents were Fyodor Novikov and Elizabeth Windsor Novikova . Fyodor – the father – was a priest in the Orthodox Church and could trace his ancestry back to a group of the russian people who fled their country to escape the onslaught of the Koslovics during the Interplanetary War, and several generations later, left to colonize Rurik upon its discovery. Elizabeth, on the other hand, hailed from a family in London, Earth, until she moved to Rurik and became a charity worker, meeting Fyodor in the process.
The couple had given birth to two other children by the time Jane was born; a son, Matthias, eleven years old by then, and a daughter, Natalia, who was seven years old. Having agreed to take turns at naming their children when they married, the two acknowledged it was Elizabeth's turn again. Like with Matthias, she chose a more English name – Jane – for her new daughter, in honor of her recently deceased aunt. Since the baby turned out to have a lot of hair for her age, Elizabeth chose to rip off a small piece of her skirt and used it to tie the hair together into a knot. When she grew up, Jane would continue to use it to tie a lock of her hair together, and kept it as a memento of her parents after they died.
As she grew up, Jane was raised in a loving – if occasionally difficult – environment. Though the family's economy would sometimes be troubled, due to both parents doing mostly charity work with little pay, they had learned to rejoice in what they had and do as good as possible with that. As a result, they turned into a tightly-knit group built upon mutual trust and respect. Despite their hardships, the family found various ways to enjoy their lives to the fullest; particularly popular activities included going down to the nearby lake on hot summer mornings and bathe for hours, or skiing down the slopes of the surrounding hillsides during the winter season. Due to this, Jane lived a happy life. That is, until the Covenant arrived.
Loss of family and home (2537)
- "They came and destroyed everything. There was nothing anybody could do but run, run until you couldn't run any longer – and then some more."
- ―Jane about the attack on her homeworld.
On the midnight hours between the 6th and 7th of August, year 2537 (during which Jane was almost five years old), a fleet of over fifty Covenant vessels of varying sizes attacked Rurik, completely overwhelming the UNSC fleet in orbit in the first hour. Knowing victory to be out of reach, Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb – the man in charge of Rurik's defense – ordered a full evacuation of the planet. Meanwhile, the UNSC forces did their best to slow down the Covenant, hoping that Admiral Preston Cole and his fleet would arrive to reinforce them later.
Thus, Jane was abruptly woken up and rushed into the family's car. A silent, panicked driving followed as the family waited nervously for the Covenant to break through the UNSC perimeter. Luckily, they managed to reach the city safely – despite the roads being blocked by hundreds of other vehicles trying to do the same – and neared the queues for boarding the evacuation transports.
At that moment, however, two Covenant Carriers broke through the perimeter and entered the atmosphere, Banshee and Seraph fighters and dropships pouring out of them and launching troops into the city. The outer areas were overrun almost instantly and a wave of banshees attacked the evacuation zone Jane and her family was in. Her parents ordered her and her siblings to run, saying that they would be right behind them. Jane obeyed and followed Matthias and Natalia towards another transport deeper into the city, while their parents were slaughtered trying to prevent the Covenant attackers reaching their children.
At first things seemed to be going well for Jane and her siblings. Unfortunately, they ran into a cloaked Elite vanguard, who proceeded to draw his blade and decapitate Matthias. Before Jane could comprehend what had happened, the alien swung its blade again, killing Natalia and leaving a deep cut in Jane's right leg. Shaking uncontrollably with fright and pain, Jane waited for the alien's third and final blow.
But as the elite raised its blade, its head was penetrated by a sniper shot clean through both eyes, killing it instantly. Shocked, Jane turned around to see that a green-armored giant had fired the shot. The giant then ran up to her and moved her out of the way as a pack of grunts neared their position. Holding her tightly, the giant drew his pistol and killed those aliens as well, while Jane simply looked in awe. Once the enemies were dealt with, the giant put her down on the ground gently and injected some painful foam into her leg which quickly sealed the wound.
He then carried her for the rest of the way to the other transport and shoved her in ahead of several others, before quickly returning to the attacked parts of the city to carry out his assignments. The transport lifted shortly after, barely evading Covenant air forces through the efforts of a UNSC Hornet squadron. Together with a scant few other surviving transports holding around a total of five thousand people – mostly children – the ship then left the system with a slipspace jump.
Meanwhile, all UNSC ships, except for the flagship commanded by Whitcomb, were destroyed or crippled by the Covenant, allowing the alien forces to begin glassing the planet. Though begun, it wasn't finished thanks to the arrival of Cole's armada. The Covenant forces, not expecting human reinforcements, were defeated – though Cole still suffered notable casualties. Section Two of the Office of Naval Intelligence would later dub this a "strategic victory" in the media. Regardless, the UNSC abandoned the planet after evacuating the last surviving colonists. Despite what the ONI-controlled media said, the battle was a terrible loss in the eyes of Rurik's inhabitants. Jane and a few others had suffered in particular by losing their whole families. Jane would remember this event her entire life, using the lust for vengeance it brought her to fuel her resolve to fight the Covenant.
Orphan years (2537-2539)
- "At that time, I was sad first, then filled with hate. In the end, I realized that I didn't do my family justice with either of that. And so I instead chose to remember them and let my memories of them guide me in my quest for just vengeance against those who killed them."
- ―Jane about her time as an orphan and her motivations for joining the SPARTAN-III Program.
After the loss of her homeworld and family, Jane and some other children from Rurik were placed in an orphanage in Cuidad de Arias, a major settlement of the planet Verge. The population consisted mainly of people of Hispanic descent with Spanish traditions and customs dominating the area. Thus, there were quite a few who disliked the sudden stream of Russian people into "their" city. This caused incidents between the two groups on occasion. A few months after the Rurikans' arrival, the conflicts reached their peak and turned into a brutal gang war between the oldest Rurikan orphans and the Hispanic Vergians in Cuidad de Arias' alleys.
Jane, grieving for her family and filled with hatred towards the Covenant, didn't feel any better by being constantly surrounded by the pain and suffering the gang war caused. She somehow managed to remain stable, and even formed a close bond with a fellow orphan, Vladimir; the two found a common ground after Vladimir revealed that he had also lost his siblings due to the Covenant attack. The two stuck together throughout the tough times that followed, doing what they could to overcome their sadness and have a tolerable enough time.
In late Mars of 2538, conflicts between the gangs scaled out of control, ultimately causing the leader of the Vergians, Butch Garcia, to lead his gang in a raid on the orphanage. Savage fist and knife fights followed, and the smaller children and even the orphanage's personnel were caught in the middle of it. Though Jane and Vladimir tried to get away, they stumbled across a member of Butch's gang instead. The man proceeded to beat them, earning a bite on his hand from Vladimir. In retaliation, the man started beating Vladimir's head against the wall. Jane used the opportunity retrieve a large glass shard from the nearby broken window and stuck it mercilessly in the man's back. As the man staggered away out of pain and tried to remove the shard, Jane managed to lead Vladimir away to hide in the laundry room.
Meanwhile, the Riot Control Unit of Arias' police force arrived at the scene and subdued the fighters. Ambulances arrived shortly after to care for all the injured. Jane accompanied Vladimir in one, fearing that he had received a concussion after the encounter with the gang member. At the hospital, this proved to not be the case, to the relief of both. The same could not be said about the gang member that attacked them; he died shortly after from the injury Jane dealt him. However, the shard that killed him was mysteriously lost, and thus the one who struck the killing blow could never be identified. Soon, things turned quiet in the area again after a year of intense violence after the leaders of both gangs ended up imprisoned. The incident made Jane realize that she had to focus on the future rather than dwell on her tragic past, allowing her to finally overcome her sadness and hatred to focus fully on ensuring she had a good future. After the realization, she started to adjust to her new life at the orphanage with Vladimir, enjoying herself for the first time since before the loss of her family.
Joining the SPARTAN-III Program (2539)
- "I thought I had heard wrong when the spook asked me the first time. The fact that I could join a special program dedicated to make us superwarriors to battle the alien bastards sounded too good to be true. Of course, I hadn't considered how much I'd actually have to work for it."
- ―Jane about her initial thoughts of being offered to join the SPARTAN-III Program.
With things going back to a slow and quiet pace at the orphanage, the lives for the Rurikan orphans and refugees on Verge improved substantially. As the months passed, more and more of the children reached the permitted enlistment ages for the various UNSC Defense Force branches. Since they had already lost their homes and family members to the Covenant, most of them eagerly volunteered to join. As they left one by one for the recruitment centers, Jane and Vladimir had to stay and watch them walk away, longing for the time that they would be old enough to do the same. This would eventually prove to be sooner than either of them expected.
One day – almost a full year after the orphanage incident – the neighborhood was visited by a mysterious man, who simply called himself "Lynch". In reality, however, he was a high-ranking operative in the Office of Naval Intelligence codenamed "DRACULA", sent by Colonel James Ackerson and Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose to track down previously identified candidates for the SPARTAN-III Program amongst the orphans on Verge. Jane and Vladimir's orphanage in Cuidad de Arias was by then the last on his list.
Upon arrival at the orphanage, DRACULA informed the establishment's supervisor that he was there to ask the children for their opinions regarding the day-to-day life in Cuidad de Arias. The supervisor allowed him to proceed, giving DRACULA room to search for the potential candidates. After asking a few of the children the questions pertaining life in Arias to maintain his cover, he finally found the two he were looking for; Jane and Vladimir.
Jane quickly guessed that the man was up to something, which proved true once he took her and Vladimir aside to answer his questions. After some introductions and making sure no one was listening, DRACULA told the two children what his true purpose was; to search for children showing enough promise to have what it takes to join the SPARTAN-III Program, the third generation of UNSC supersoldier programs. He then told them that they showed that much promise and offered them to join, assuring them that they would become powerful enough to fight the Covenant that took away their families and homes. Though at first unsure whether he was telling the truth, Jane and Vladimir then eagerly agreed, thinking they would finally have their vengeance. Satisfied, DRACULA told them that they would be moved as soon as possible to the SPARTAN-III training facilities to meet their soon-to-be brethren. He then left, his mission accomplished, leaving Jane and Vladimir to secretly speculate what their new life would be like. Little did they know about the struggles that awaited them.
Initial training (2539-2541)
- "So it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be; I still have it better here than at the orphanage. I've found a new family, and I feel like I'm actually doing something important."
- ―Jane to Kurt Ambrose about her afterthoughts of having been recruited into the SPARTAN-III Program.
As DRACULA had told them, Jane and Vladimir were later extracted from Verge and shipped to Onyx in the Zeta Doradus System. Simultaneously, 416 other children from all over UNSC space were also shipped to the same location. Together, these 418 candidates made up Beta Company, the second generation of the SPARTAN-III Program.
Once everyone had arrived and lined up in an orderly manner (with instruction from a cadre of Drill Instructors), Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose – trainer for the SPARTAN-IIIs and formerly a SPARTAN-II – stood up before them in full MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor. While all the other children simply stared in awe, Jane recognized the armor, recalling that the giant that saved her life on Rurik had worn a suit looking exactly the same. Ambrose then started speaking to them; he told them that he was a "SPARTAN", a supersoldier forged for battle, and that he would train them so that they could become the same. However, he also told the children before him that not all of them could become Spartans; there were only 300 slots open out of 418 volunteers. This shocked and worried Jane, fearing that she wouldn't get to have her revenge. She soon calmed down after Ambrose assured them all that the selection wouldn't happen then, but at a later date instead. She then decided to set out to become the best among the candidates to prove her worth.
Ambrose finished by instructing his right hand man, Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez, to group together the recruits into teams of four. Jane and Vladimir were paired up with two other recruits – Oliver-B052 and Belle-B281 – and termed "Team Whiskey". Relieved to be paired up together, Jane and Vladimir began to socialize with Oliver and Belle. The four quickly struck up a friendship and continued to chat even as the recruits were marshaled to their respective quarters, building the foundations of a good team.
The training was initiated early the next morning, beginning a long, intense and hard training regimen that would push the recruits to their limits. Due to the failure and annihilation of Alpha Company, the training was focused around improving teamwork to make up for their inferior genetic stock compared to the SPARTAN-II recruits. Jane quickly became the leader of Team Whiskey, and found that she rather good at it. As time progressed, Whiskey developed into one of Beta's better teams, besting teams such as Echo, India, Lima and X-ray, and fought on par with Foxtrot, developing a budding rivalry with the other team.
But the recruits weren't just tested physically; they were taught in a wide variety of academics to determine their grades, with Ambrose claiming that their grades would have a great impact on the upcoming selection process. Along with the other recruits, this led Jane to study intensely, occasionally even all night long. Though the candidates learned very fast, the intense studies combined with the rigorous physical exercises rendered them constantly tired, and only through their bonds with each other and their individual willpower did the recruits keep going.
Then, in early August 2541 (after two years of training), Ambrose informed all of the 418 trainees that the evaluation processes were close, causing a wave of rising anxiety among them. They knew that meant that soon, one-hundred-eighteen of them would have to abandon everything they had struggled to achieve; to become supersoldiers capable of properly battling the Covenant.
Selection and Evaluation processes (2541-2543)
- "Once I passed the selection process, I thought I had gotten the worst of it all out of the way. But 'that' day proved that my struggles had only just begun."
- ―Jane about her eventual discharge from the main SPARTAN-III Program and recruitment into Project HEADHUNTER.
As the Spartan-III recruits got out of their beds on the 24th of August, almost all of them were even more anxious than they had been when the selection process was announced. Regardless, they made their way to the designated testing ground just outside Camp Currahee, where Ambrose, Mendez and several DIs in full SPI armor awaited their arrival. Once all 418 recruits had lined up properly, Ambrose explained that the goal of the exercise was to ring a bell attached to a pole some distance from their current position. Meanwhile, teams of DIs would spread over the area and be ready to stop the trainees in any way possible, supported by automated machine gun turrets. With explanations out of the way, all the teams were told to get into position and await the signal to begin.
Once the signal shot was fired, Jane tried to lead Whiskey to the bell pole through the quickest route, though this proved to be a mistake when they ran into a group of DIs and got locked in a firefight as a result. The team managed to defeat their opponents after Jane managed to hit a flashbang grenade on the leader's belt, causing it to go off and stun most of the enemy team. With the obstacle out of the way, Jane and the others hurried to seize the DIs' weapons and grenades for later use.
The rest of the path to the bell ran smoothly, as Jane learned from her mistake and this time chose a safer route. However, by the time of Whiskey's arrival, several other teams had already made it there and bunkered down for the upcoming strike from the remaining DIs. Though jealous of Team Foxtrot because they made it to the bell before her own team, Jane and her teammates hurried to join their brethren to await the arrival of their soon-to-be prey. The wait bore fruit, and the part-stealthed DIs received an unpleasant surprise when they found an organized group of trainees ambushing them. After defeating several waves of attackers, Ambrose and Mendez arrived, commending the trainees on a good job.
In fact, the Beta Company trainees had done unexpectedly well despite the exercise's difficulty; a few more than three hundred of them had managed to complete test within the specified timeframe. With heavy heart, Ambrose had to turn down the excess amount, denying them their future as Spartans that he felt they had earned. Though Jane was glad that it wasn't her among them, she still felt sad for them; the members of Beta had trained and studied together for long enough to know each other's names and thus had a degree of attachment to one another. Little did she – or anyone else – know that Ambrose would later make arrangements in secret to ensure that those unlucky few would see deployment, despite what the budget for the SPARTAN-III Program had forced him to do.
Regardless, Jane and the rest of Team Whiskey passed the exercise, and alongside 296 others they would now finish their training to become Spartans. A new training regimen began in the morning the next day, with more advanced exercises and studies to promote the fact that they were about to become "true" spartans. For roughly two years, it continued at this pace. One day, Ambrose informed the trainees that an evaluation process would be held in order to evaluate their progress and capabilities, divided into a Physical Evaluation – where the trainees would undergo a live-fire battle exercise – and a Mental Evaluation – which meant typical psychological studies to determine their mental state. Jane and the others saw this as their chance to prove themselves to be the best among the spartans and earn the right to fight for top honors later.
On the day of the physical evaluation, Jane and the rest of the team arrived at the designated training ground, and were selected to be the first team to be tested. Eager and ready, they started once the clock reached 07:00 hours. Remembering the lessons she had learned from the selection exercise, she ordered the team to take a careful approach, especially since the automated turrets were loaded with live rounds this time, as to test how they reacted in actually lethal combat scenarios. Much thanks to her analytical mind and careful planning, the team performed well, methodically and effectively completing their objectives.
On their way to the last mock objective, however, things went terribly wrong. As the team passed a distinctive rock face, a cloaked and carefully hidden machine gun opened fire. As it was loaded with lethal ammunition, everyone in the team was injured. Jane was lucky, and only received glancing hits, but her teammates were not so lucky; Oliver was hit by several rounds clean through his chest, killing him immediately, Belle was hit through both lungs and choked to death shortly afterwards, and Vladimir was hit in the abdomen and legs, managing to cling to life for a bit longer.
After Ambrose witnessed what happened, he immediately called off the exercise and sent the DIs to sweep the entire training area, aware that he hadn't sanctioned any camouflage-cloaked machine guns. He and Mendez personally followed, disabled the weapon, recovered Team Whiskey and rushed back to the hospital building. There, Oliver and Belle were confirmed dead, while Vladimir died of blood loss during examination. Only Jane was alive and easily treated, leaving her with the burden of believing she was the cause of her friends' deaths by overlooking something important, even though Ambrose in a private conversation insisted that it wasn't, making it clear that somehow things had gone wrong in the exercise's management protocols.
Secretly, however, Ambrose was quite certain of what had actually happened; Codename: DRACULA – who had visited Jane and Vladimir several years ago – had before Beta Company's conception been declared the project lead for HEADHUNTER – a sub-project of the SPARTAN-III Program outside Ackerson's jurisdiction, dedicated to take certain trainees that showed promise and give them advanced training, effectively turning them into an elite clique amongst the S-III operators. After visiting Jane on Verge, as well as through extensive monitoring during the training regimen, DRACULA had determined that Jane was a highly suitable candidate for HEADHUNTER. However, he believed cycling her out of the main program would be difficult, since she showed no signs whatsoever of mental instabilities that could be used to declare her unfit for the program, unlike other aspirants. Thus, the ruthless ONI operative had orchestrated the death of her teammates with the cloaked machine gun, which caused a period of grief in Jane that scientists under DRACULA's command could then use as an argument for slotting her out of the program without anyone becoming aware of foul play.
In the end, this plan proved successful, and Jane was declared unfit to continue in the SPARTAN-III Program while she was still struggling with overcoming the death of her friends. She was then told to pack her few possessions and then report to a transport which would take her to another facility on Onyx – officially to join the other washouts in training to become DIs – while four of the previous washouts from the program were to be called back to cover the removal of a whole team. In reality, a new and important phase in Jane's life was about to begin.
The Headhunters (2543-2546)
- "You know, I wondered why they called us "Headhunters" of all things. I mean, hunting heads is far from everything we do. Actually, assassination missions weren't even in the majority – not that I was deployed with other headhunters long enough to really tell."
- ―Jane about the Headhunters.
After leaving the confines of Camp Currahee, Jane was surprised to discover that the transport wasn't heading for the DI facilities, but rather for a collection of secret training facilities on the other side of the planet. The driver didn't tell her anything more, leaving her to hazard guesses as to what was about to happen with her.
Upon arrival a day later, she was greeted by DRACULA, who she remembered as the man who had visited her and Vladimir at the orphanage on Verge and encouraged them to join the SPARTAN-III Program. He then took her into a mess hall where other trainees were already waiting, and told her to sit down. As she complied, DRACULA started explaining what had and what would happen to the trainees from then on; they had been assigned to Project HEADHUNTER, with the aim of making them elite soldiers even better than the mainline Spartan-IIIs. With that, a beacon of hope was lit within Jane; she could still become a spartan and have her revenge.
Training continued immediately after DRACULA's speech; it was harsher, harder, and pushed the trainees to their limits more than ever before – all to make them better fast. In particular, the headhunter training regimen dedicated the first two months and two weeks to improve the trainees individually, something DRACULA thought Ambrose had overlooked in his urge to teach the recruits to become family within the teams.
After this short and intense training period, the trainees were each put through two mock missions over the span of two weeks to confirm their right to be headhunters. These exercises employed armed DIs, automated turrets and a wide plethora of traps, like previous exercises – only this time around, the trainees had to succeed on their own. Jane was selected to be the first to undergo the testing. She passed the first – an assassination simulation where the goal was to take out the target and remain out of sight for the duration of the exercise – with flying colors, proving her strength for stealth-related activities. The second – a mission to recover an advanced prototype from a base under attack by "Insurrectionists" (naturally, DIs in different uniform) – was more difficult, since she had to break her stealth cover occasionally to fight back the "innies" and had little help in doing so, but ultimately succeeded, securing her a solid place in the headhunter ranks.
After several days of rest, Jane and the other headhunters were tasked to undergo an extensive series of detailed evaluations and an intense interview process to devise the most accurate and suitable pairings possible for team selections. After going through the procedure, Jane was paired up with Nessa-B256, an extremely skilled sniper, but somewhat nervous and timid as an individual. To both the spartans' surprise, they were told that they had a 98.21% match rating; the highest of all the Beta Company headhunters – slightly higher than the second highest of 97.36% held by Jonah-B111 and Roland-B301.
As they started training together, however, they realized why they had matched so well; they complemented each other's strengths and weaknesses almost perfectly, proving to be a force to be reckoned with during training exercises. They also got along very well on the social level, developing a strong bond over a short period of time. Eventually, this turned into a romantic relationship.
When the pairs had started adjusting to each other and develop into the teams they needed to be, the headhunter trainees underwent the augmentations procedure – a full year before the other Beta trainees were ready to do the same – followed by a month of recuperation. All of the headhunters passed without complications. After this, they were ready for a seven-month period of supervised field exercises, which gave them the opportunity to properly adjust to the augmentations. Jane and Nessa came out on top alongside Jonah and Roland during these exercises, which officially started a rivalry between the two pairs.
The seven months of field exercises were followed by six months of closely monitored real-world wartime insertions, where once again Jane and Nessa ended up on top with Jonah and Roland. Upon the Headhunter project's completion, DRACULA permitted the two top pairs to fight for top honors and the right to call itself the best headhunter team. After hours of tireless hunting, pursuit and firefights, Jane and Nessa managed to lure Jonah into a cleverly made trap, distracting the man long enough for Jane to finish him off. With him out of the way, they managed to defeat Roland as well though it took a great amount of effort to do so. Thus, Jane and Nessa officially became the best headhunter pair from the Beta batch (much to the other pair's chagrin). And with that, they – and the other headhunters – were finally ready for their first true deployment orders.
Mission to Rose (2546)
- "Believe it or not, but this planet's name does it justice."
- ―Jane to Nessa upon arrival at the colony world Rose.
In April 2546, the UNSC had successfully evacuated the colony world of Rose. A colony with a very small population due to its status as a nature reserve to protect its rare wildlife, flora and fauna, it was judged to unimportant to protect, and had thus been abandoned by the UNSC. However, the moment they left, a prominent group of rebels arrived and began inhabiting the empty settlements. A ship from the Office of Naval Intelligence Prowler Corps discovered this and, after some reconnaissance, confirmed that the rebel leader was none other than General Timothy White, one of three leaders of the United Rebel Front.
Considering this a golden opportunity to strike a crippling blow to the URF and claim their resources for the UNSC, ONI ordered DRACULA to deploy headhunters to do the job. The agent decided to assign his best team – Jane and Nessa – with the mission to kill the rebel general. And so, the two spartans were sent to Calamity at top speed with the prowler UNSC Romeo and Juliet – with Jane feeling positively excited to have her first real mission orders.
They reached the planet's surface through the use of Long Range Stealth Orbital Insertion Pods, allowing them to remain undetected. They then slipped into the forests surrounding the main settlement – Cultivar – where the general supposedly resided and set up a basic camp to wait out the hours until nightfall, during which they would strike. During the wait, they took turns at scouting out the area so that they would know what routes to use and which vantage point to use for firing the killing shot. Jane discovered a good place for the deed; an outcrop on a nearby cliff – previously used by scientists to check the air for birds. Once she did, the spartans moved their camp to that spot and took turns at checking for activity through the sniper rifle's scope.
At 9 PM, their wait finally proved fruitful; the general left the governor's mansion – which he had chosen as his residence on the planet – for a nightly stroll. Nessa didn't waste the moment, and landed a perfect shot clean through the head, killing the man instantly. With their target dead, the pair hurried to pack up their gear and scale down the cliff to reach their evac zone.
On their way, however, the captain of the Romeo and Juliet ordered them to head back towards Cultivar to recover any assets the rebels may have had. When asking about this sudden change of plans, Jane was told that a Covenant carrier had been spotted on the edge of the system and was quickly heading towards Rose. The spartans hurried back towards the city as they were told this, reaching it in time to see the rebels scrambling to either flee or fight, confused and misdirected by the death of their leader. Using this chaos, Jane captured one of them and carried out a quick interrogation, which led to the man disclosing that they were storing some stolen UNSC explosives and a total of seven FENRIS Nuclear Warheads. Having the information they needed, Jane snapped the man's neck.
The pair then infiltrated the settlement and reached the warehouse the rebels used for storage. By then, the Covenant carrier had already sent waves of dropships to the planet's surface, closing in on the settlement at an alarming rate. A few of the rebels were ready to fight and sent some men to recover the explosives, only to be gunned down by Jane and Nessa. As the first wave of Covenant infantry attacked, the pair hurriedly loaded the warheads onto one of the rebels' warthogs – except for one which they decided to leave behind with a timer of half an hour to kill the attacking Covenant.
Once the warheads were loaded, they drove away, with Jane at the wheel and Nessa at the turret. When they had almost exited the settlement, however, they were beset by Ghosts and pursued along the highway out of the city. Though Nessa managed to destroy two, another five continued the pursuit. In a daring maneuver, Jane steered the vehicle into the forest, skillfully maneuvering between the trees. The Covenant vehicles weren't well adjusted to the terrain, however, nor did they have as competent pilots; thus, they crashed one by one. With their pursuers gone, Jane steered back onto the highway and drove the rest of the way to the extraction point, where a Pelican was already waiting. After loading the warheads onto the dropship, the pair got onboard and was taken back to the prowler in orbit, which in turn quickly left the system.
Meanwhile, the primed FENRIS Warhead detonated, killing the few surviving rebels but also a few hundred Covenant soldiers and several vehicles. The escaping rebel transports were picked off by Covenant fighter craft before they could successfully escape through slipspace, thus killing the last remnants of General White's followers. After gathering some biological samples from the planet's jungles, the Covenant ship began glassing it, joined later by several other Covenant ships.
Despite the human casualties and Rose's glassing, the UNSC considered the operation a success; a portion of the URF remnants dealt with successfully, several warheads recovered, and finally the destruction of a fair share of Covenant soldiers and vehicles, all with no UNSC casualties, was considered an impressive result, earning Jane and Nessa some praise from DRACULA. Not to mention, it proved that the Beta Company-batch of headhunters was just as effective – if not more so – than the batch from Alpha Company.
- "You want to report me, do you? I'd avoid that if I were you. You killed valuable recruits – my men. Parangosky's men. You want that to reach her ears? I'm neither blind nor stupid; I knew it was your doing all along, and so I waited for the right moment to get back at you. I sincerely hope that this teaches you to stay away from my men in the future."
- ―Lieutenant Commander Ambrose to Codename: DRACULA after he reassigned Jane and Nessa away from DRACULA's command.
Ever since the Team Whiskey incident, Kurt Ambrose had tirelessly tracked down leads that pointed to DRACULA's involvement. With help from Onyx's smart AI, Deep Winter – which had also been outraged by what happened due to its concern and caring for the recruits – Ambrose managed to trace the error in the exercise management orders back to DRACULA, which confirmed he was responsible. After this, Kurt swore to get back at the man for playing with the trainees' lives like chess pieces.
This chance came after Jane and Nessa's successful first mission to Rose; on their way back, DRACULA was transmitting new orders to them. Through the contacts he had made thanks to his office, Ambrose managed to intercept these orders and replace them with orders for "temporary transfer" to Group Four of the Naval Special Warfare Division. To make sure the important mission DRACULA had issued was completed, Ambrose's contacts sent the orders to the second best headhunter pair – Jonah and Roland – instead. Due to this, it took several weeks for DRACULA to discover the deceit, by which it was far too late to do anything about it; he had effectively lost his most valuable asset that he had fought to gain for years, which Ambrose considered a fitting punishment.
It wasn't, however, just to get back at DRACULA; just as the case was with Carter-A259, Catherine-B320, Jun-A266 and several others, Ambrose thought that Jane and Nessa were too valuable to waste on suicide missions – headhunters were, after all, meant as suicide soldiers like the rest of their brethren, only better and more glorified than the others. Under Naval Special Warfare, Ambrose had made sure that they would be armed and armored as befitted Spartans as part of his deal with Captain Salomon Martin.
Meanwhile, Jane and Nessa received their transfer orders. Though it confused them a great deal that they would be handed over to Naval Special Warfare, they did as ordered and told the captain of the Romeo and Juliet to take them to their next destination detailed in the orders; D42, the asteroid headquarters of Naval Special Warfare Group Four in the 10 Tauri System. Upon arrival and after docking alongside other prowlers under NAVSPECWAR command, Jane and Nessa were told to report directly to the captain's office near the hollowed-out core of the asteroid.
Almost half an hour later, they had made their way to the office, where Captain Martin awaited them in person, cigar and glass of whiskey in hand. After some introductory phrases, the captain gave them a rundown of the situation; they had for all intents and purposes abandoned their association with the rest of the Spartan-IIIs, Headhunters and other personnel of the Beta-5 Division in the Office of Naval Intelligence; they were now spartans of Naval Special Warfare, in turn answering to Naval Command. Together with a headhunter pair from Alpha Company – Xun-A146 and Bruce-A412 – and four of the "special washouts" that Ambrose had had to wash out of the program due to too many trainees passing the selection exercise – Sigmund-B103, Genevieve-B093, Arik-B240 and Rede-B055 – Jane and Nessa would make up Herald Team, with the same goal as the rest of NAVSPECWAR Group Four; to combat, defeat and/or slow down the Covenant at every possible turn.
With their new future clear to them, Jane and Nessa were introduced to new arms and armor; weapons prototypes specially developed for Naval Special Warfare, various advanced gadgets, and, most notably, a suit of MJOLNIR Mark IV Powered Assault armor from the largely forgotten IV/Carnwennan variant(better known simply as IV/CW) each. To top it all off, Martin promoted Jane to Chief Petty Officer and Nessa to Petty Officer First Class – though secretly it was more of a security measure; a way to make it harder for DRACULA to track them, by ridding him of the option to search for them by their ranks. With all the new gear and higher ranks at their disposal, Jane and Nessa knew that they would be deadlier than ever, and that they had truly reached their goal to become spartans.
Battle of Hokkaido (2546)
- Xun-A146: "Alright, now that all eight of us are one big, cozy team, there's a thing I want to clarify."
- Jane: "And what's that?"
- Xun-A146: "'I'm in charge. Period."
- — Jane and Xun-A146, just after Herald Team's official formation as a team before the Battle of Hokkaido.
After spending some time at adjusting to their new armor, Captain Martin ordered the two spartans to head back to the front; more specifically to the planet Hokkaido in the Iota Piscium System – a planet known for its impressive amount of medical facilities, earning it the nickname of "UNSC hospital world number one". In addition, the colony served as the base of operations for various cloning research programs, including the failed MANTICORE Project from many years earlier. The latter was the reason for Jane and Nessa deploying there; the UNSC wanted to safely recover the cloning research before the Covenant broke through the UNSC defenses. Martin finished by telling the two that they would link up with the other spartans from Herald Team, giving them an opportunity to work on their teamwork with their new comrades.
Once they arrived in the system, the UNSC forces were nearly obliterated in space. The ground battle was going better, however; armored columns from the Marine Corps held their ground against the invasion force – which was slowed down even more by improvised chemical weapons hastily thrown together by the remaining medical personnel. Even so, there was no time to lose; they rushed to link up with the other spartans on the emptied space elevator on the dark side of the planet. There, they met the headhunter pair from Alpha Company – Xun-A146 and Bruce-A412 – and the four unaugmented washouts – Sigmund, Genevieve, Arik and Rede – with which they now formed Herald Team. Xun – feeling threatened by the new arrivals – chose to immediately make clear to the pair that he was in charge, earning Jane's contempt as a result.
Regardless, the spartans quickly got down to business and agreed on a plan thought out by Xun; Herald-Gamma (the four "non-spartans") would act as the team's eyes and ears – stay in touch with command, perform reconnaissance and overall intelligence gathering – to back up the others and feed them with a steady stream of important intelligence. Herald-Beta (Jane and Nessa) would be a distraction for the Covenant forces – kill commanders, blow up methane depots or communications devices, etc. – to draw away the Covenant from the cloning research facilities. Meanwhile, Herald-Alpha (Xun and Bruce) would sneak past the busy Covenant troops, infiltrate the facilities, recover the research, and then blow up the area with a Fury-class Tactical Nuclear Weapon.
Jane and Nessa deployed in a pharmaceutical factory district from a Hornet piloted by Rede, and encountered a vanguard force of Covenant soldiers in doing so. Dealing with the patrol swiftly and decisively, they moved on and saved a stray marine fireteam under heavy fire from a Jackal phalanx. The marines, grateful for the rescue, informed the spartans of an Elite commander that coordinated several units of Jackal infantry through the area's back alleys to flank the UNSC forces. Jane decided that killing the commander would be good for drawing attention, and ordered the marines to attack the jackals head-on with Nessa, while she moved through the abandoned apartment blocks to find the commander.
She found it trying to assault a UNSC anti-air position in a park, presumably to let dropships land with reinforcements. She then engaged her camouflage, using it to sneak up at the unsuspecting alien and waited for the right moment. Then she jumped up on its back and sank her combat knife deep into the back of the creature's head, all before it could do anything to fight back. She followed up by quickly downing the commander's bodyguards with successive bursts from her MA2C/SPECWAR carbine. Troops under the elite's command were quickly felled without guidance from their leader, letting Jane slip away and regroup with Nessa.
As planned, the failures in the factory district made the Covenant deploy most of their reinforcements to attack that area. The attacks saw little success due to the UNSC taking up good artillery and sniper positions in the tall factory structures – not to mention that Jane and Nessa's involvement helped a great deal. Reconnaissance and command support transmitted by Herald-Gamma's members allowed Jane and Nessa to direct the marines in the district to take up new positions based on the incoming enemies' attack pattern, countering the Covenant's every move. Meanwhile, Xun and Bruce had reached the research databases and were actively recovering the data. Everything was going according to plan.
However, this changed quickly when the Covenant fleet's commander chose to unleash his elite forces; over a hundred lances worth of special shock troopers dropped from orbit in insertion pods all over the settlement, supplemented by a new wave of dropships carrying Wraith mortar tanks and heavy infantry made up by a rare legion of battle-hardened Grunts along with their Elite and Hunter superiors.
Though Jane and Nessa did their best to hunt down and kill the recently dropped shock troopers before they could regroup, a considerable amount did survive and regroup, attacking the UNSC artillery pieces. The marines stood little chance against this elite force on their own, so Jane and Nessa were called back to help defend the remaining pieces, while several others were destroyed and the marines protecting them killed to the last man. By the time they reached the nearest artillery piece, the shock troopers had broken through the makeshift barricade and attacked. As the two spartans joined the fray, a needle round tore through Jane's thigh plate. The needle then splintered, spreading shrapnel over much of her leg. Though the armor protected against most of the impact, her thigh became severely wounded, forcing her to limp away to a corpsman to receive first aid.
While the medic started to carefully remove the remains of the crystalline round and the shards that had embedded in Jane's leg, the situation started to get rapidly worse – with the heavy infantry arriving to back up the shock troopers, Wraiths and various Banshee aircraft following up close behind them. Feeling the need to head back into battle, Jane told the corpsman to simply seal the wound with biofoam. Though protesting at first, claiming it would affect Jane's combat efficiency, he complied when the spartan pulled rank on him. With the wound sealed, she got back into battle, albeit with a hurting leg.
Soon after, the UNSC command issued a planet-wide evacuation order to all forces on the surface, as the fleet in orbit had been almost completely obliterated by the Covenant ships. Despite worrying for Xun and Bruce, Jane and Nessa had to comply and headed towards the extraction point. Luckily, their worries were soon laid to rest when the two Alpha headhunters met up with them and informed them of the mission's success. Once they reached the extraction point, the spartans were picked up by Hornets piloted by Herald-Gamma and taken to the Romeo and Juliet waiting for them in low-orbit. The prowler left the system at top speed once it had picked up the spartans, leaving Hokkaido to be glassed by the Covenant.
After the return to D42 and exiting her cryo tube, Jane had to undergo some surgery in the ship's medical bay to properly treat her leg. Following this, Herald Team met with Captain Martin, who commended them for their success, saying it was needed in a time mostly filled with failures. Though Xun quickly tried to take most of the credit for the mission's success, Martin directed much of his praise to Jane, assuring her that she would be awarded a Purple Heart for her injury and overall commending her and Nessa's skills, confirming his hopes that they would be a great addition to Herald. But Jane knew that, despite their particular mission being successful and her own best efforts, the UNSC had still lost at Hokkaido, much like they had for all intents and purposes lost at Rurik, her homeworld, many years ago.
Siege of Cadiz (2547)
- "Well, I guess history loves to repeat itself."
- ―Jane about the Siege of Cadiz.
Following the Battle of Hokkaido, humanity found itself getting increasingly strained, needing spartans on more fronts to have any hope of slowing down the Covenant. Thus, Herald Team was split into its three sub-teams and deployed independently to cover more of these fronts. Jane and Nessa would be sent on many covert operations into enemy territory to stall the Covenant war machine during the following months, to varying degrees of success. Not until the Covenant attacked the somewhat distant inner colony Cadiz were the two called back from enemy lines to fight the alien empire's forces on a human colony again.
Having planned to mount a new line of defense consisting of Paris IV, the neighboring colonies, and the Eden System, the UNSC had built several battlegroups worth of new warships at Cadiz – renowned for its heavy industry and naval recruitment centers. By chance, however, the Covenant navy had stumbled across Cadiz and begun an assault. Using the newly built warships, Cadiz' garrison managed to hold out, leading to a prolonged siege of the planet. On the other hand, while the UNSC for once held out in space, Cadiz found itself lacking in ground forces; the parts of the planet not used by the navy was generally made up of privatized corporate sectors, and thus the marine and army contingents were almost insignificant, leaving the planet to rely on the corporations' security forces. Predictably, the Covenant invasion forces quickly occupied most of the planet.
In an attempt to make sure the UNSC came out victorious, Captain Martin sent the bulk of NAVSPECWAR Group Four's operational detachments – including Jane and Nessa – to Cadiz to harass and weaken the Covenant ground forces until troop carriers with reinforcements from Paris IV arrived to reclaim the planet. Reaching the surface in cloaked Pelicans, Jane and Nessa – backed up by the twelve members of Alpha Team of NAVSPECWAR Group Four – headed into the colony's main settlement, Port Helmut, one of the last places where human resistance pockets remained.
Fighting their way through the factory buildings, the group encountered small groups of surviving security forces and rescued them from Covenant attacks. Jane – together with Alpha's commander, Lieutenant Teller – then instructed them to hole up just outside the city and await further instructions, to which they complied. Jane and the others repeated this procedure with every other group of survivors they found, slowly getting closer to the heart of Covenant activity in the settlement.
As they reached deeper, Jane and Teller decided to split up to cover more ground and attack more Covenant targets. Jane and Nessa then entered a nearby shipyard building to clear out the Covenant. After a thorough sweep and occasional firefights with startled Covenant troops, the shipyard was cleared, drawing attention from the rest of the garrison, which proceeded to send considerable reinforcements to deal with the intruders. Jane, expecting this to happen, silently slipped out of the complex with Nessa – though not before priming the core reactor to blow. Once the Covenant reinforcements arrived, the facility exploded, killing any Covenant inside.
Deciding to call it a day, the two spartans returned to where the survivors waited as they had been instructed. All the NSW-4 teams had also returned by then and awaited their arrival. Together, they made a plan for the morning; after some rest, the civilian survivors would be escorted by Delta Team and some of the security soldiers to previously designated evacuation zones. Meanwhile, the rest of the security forces, teams Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, and Jane and Nessa would continue waging the guerrilla battle until either the reinforcements arrived, or – if things went badly in the space battle – until an evacuation of the planet was called. None could be fully certain for how long they would have to wage the guerrilla campaign, due to the inaccuracy of human slipspace drives.
In a streak of good luck, however, the UNSC reinforcement arrived early, just a few hours after everyone but Jane – who had agreed to stand guard – had settled down to get some sleep. They were all then woken abruptly with new orders from the prowler in orbit; to draw the Covenant's attention in any way possible to let the entire 26th Marine Expeditionary Force – part of the recently arrived Rapid Reaction Picket – deploy (relatively) safely.
While the civilians and their escorts left for the extraction points, Jane led the improvised force back into Port Helmut. There, Nessa took position in a tower while everyone else spread out, following her instructions on what to target for. Meanwhile, Jane followed Teller and two of his men to line up shots against enemies near a warehouse repurposed by the aliens to serve as a motor pool. Once everyone was in position and had lined up their targets, Jane ordered them to open fire a second before firing her own rifle, killing a Sangheili with two bursts from her suppressed SMG.
As expected, the multiple attacks drew the Covenant's attention, allowing the 26th MEF to land safely and attack the city en force, an armored column of Scorpion Tanks and Warthogs up front to clear the path. After a few hours, the Covenant presence in Port Helmut was crushed and the planet was gradually liberated as the UNSC warships in orbit finally defeated the small Covenant task force. Thus, Jane's role in the battle was over with, and she and Nessa were taken back to their prowler to be shipped back behind enemy lines. However, this time Jane felt that she had accomplished something; the planet had been saved, at least for a while, unlike Hokkaido. This served to boost her confidence somewhat in the coming months.
Meanwhile, once the last Covenant forces were defeated, what remained of the fleet built at Cadiz left for Paris IV as planned. Meanwhile, other ships started to deconstruct the planet's factories and shipyards and shipped them back to other inner colonies, including Reach, Tantalus, Earth and Paris IV, in order to continue build ships for the war effort. After that, all humans left the planet, knowing that the Covenant would come back for it soon – though not before the Signal Corps made sure to plant radio transmission devices on the ruined planet and other nearby stellar objects in the system to confuse the Covenant and prolong their advance. Thus, Cadiz was, for all intents and purposes, a success for the UNSC, though a hard-won one – just like every other UNSC victory in the war.
Anvil Skirmish (2547)
- "Seriously, a Beacon? The aliens aren't very willing to keep a low profile, are they? Might as well have lit up an effing Christmas tree the size of Harvest while they were at it."
- ―Jane after being informed of their target; a Beacon on Anvil.
With the victory at Cadiz backing them and brightening up their mood, Jane and Nessa were hurriedly ferried back behind the front into enemy territory, more specifically to the conquered colony of Anvil. Having been terraformed in 2403, the planet was discovered to have massive reserves of Helium (most notably Helium-3), Tritium and Deuterium. While human understanding on how to use the gases as energy sources was limited, the Covenant used them extensively in their ship drives, and so did not glass the planet. After the human population had either been evacuated or killed, the Covenant proceeded to construct a Beacon to harvest the gases from beneath the planet's outer mantle, producing a great deal of fuel which could then be transmitted to Covenant naval forces making forays into human space. The two spartans' mission was, quite obviously, to destroy the Beacon, which would strip the Covenant of an effective refueling source and slow down their activities in the sector.
As usual, the two dropped onto the surface in Long Range Orbital Insertion Pods. On contact, they encountered a police force of Jackals, which were taken care of with little effort. They then collected their C-12 Shaped Demolition Charges from the pods and headed for the Beacon, evading or assassinating many enemy patrols while doing so.
Once they had the massive construct in sight, they settled down in the ruined remains of a corporate skyscraper to observe it and its surroundings. Through their sniper scopes, they watched as Jackals, Elites and Hunters busy herding Grunt and Drone slaves to work on and repair the machine. Beyond the guards and the slave workers, there were no other Covenant in the area, however, so Jane and Nessa were sure that they hadn't been found yet, which meant they still had the element of surprise.
After they were done scouring the Beacon's surroundings, Jane hurried to devise a plan; Nessa would stay at a sizeable distance and – once given the clear-signal from Jane – kill the Covenant guards around one of the Beacon's antigravity "stilts", which Jane would then exploit by either – if the guards around the rest of the Beacon didn't react fast enough – rush up to the then loosely guarded antigravity stilt and place the charge, or – if the other guards did react and send some of their soldiers to check what was happening – rush to one of the other, then less guarded stilts, and place the charge after dealing with the guards. Though Nessa was uneasy about the two splitting up, she agreed with Jane as usual.
Shortly thereafter, the two spartans moved into their respective positions around the Beacon, careful to stay out of sight. The enemy, conversely, were still occupied with herding the slave workers and did not notice them. Once she was in position and covered from sight by a rock an acceptable distance away from the Beacon, Jane gave Nessa the signal. As planned, the Elite commanders at the nearest stilt fell from precise headshots moments after, shortly followed by the Hunter pair, leaving the Jackals alone. Jane, once making sure the guards near the other stilts weren't moving yet, leaped out of cover and gunned down the Jackals. She then hurried to place the charge – molding and placing it to ensure the Covenant didn't find it – and moved swiftly back into the shadows.
While the guards at the second closest antigravity stilt sent some of their soldiers to check out the status of the rigged stilt's guards, Jane and Nessa took new, though similar positions around the now less guarded stilt, repeating the procedure. Once the guards were dealt with and Jane finished planting the second charge, however, things took a turn for the worse; the slave workers used the distractions the spartans had caused to riot. The slaves wildly attacked anything around them, even Jane – who was soon overrun by a massive group of Grunts. Though Nessa did her best to help by taking them out at a distance, Jane found herself overwhelmed, pushed to the ground and repeatedly beaten by the dwarf aliens, with her armor being the only thing keeping her safe.
Meanwhile, a Covenant Battlecruiser in orbit sent down Elites in orbital insertion pods to contain the outbreak. The tall aliens wasted no time before they began to mercilessly gun or cut down the disorganized rioters. One of the Elites fought deep enough into the wave of escaping workers to witness Jane as she wrestled to get back up on her feet against the wild Grunts. Declaring her a greater threat, the Elite charged the spartan and stung her through her gut with his sword. Though Jane discovered the approaching Elite in time to miraculously avoid being stabbed through any vital organs, she was wounded enough for the Elite to knock her back and prepare another slash to kill her.
Luckily, she was saved at the last second by Nessa killing the Elite – by shooting it straight through the eyes. Nessa, who had rushed to Jane's position once she was being attacked by the slaves, hurriedly helped Jane get up and run far away enough for them to safely activate the remote detonator to their C-12's. The explosions destroyed their respective stilts, and the remaining two became too pressured to hold up the Beacon, causing it to collapse, also killing many of the slaves and Elite reinforcements.
Their mission over, Nessa took her time to treat Jane's injury with Biofoam and painkillers before they headed to the extraction point. From there, they were taken back to ship and left the system to return to base at D42. There, Captain Martin commended their successes on both Cadiz and Anvil, both of which had served to slow down Covenant movement in the sector considerably. For their efforts, both received a promotion – Jane to Senior Chief Petty Officer, and Nessa to Chief. Jane also received another Purple Heart for her stab wound.
Battle of Skopje (2547)
- Nessa: "Where have you been?"
- Jane: "Oh, just saved a couple of Helljumpers and escorted them to the castle, that's all."
- ―Jane and Nessa during the Battle of Skopje, after Jane had strayed away briefly from her objective to save some ODSTs.
Following Jane's recovery from her sword-inflicted wound, she and Nessa were sent to Skopje – an inner colony that was the home for several million people, as well as the headquarters for a prominent shipbuilding corporation, Alexander's Ships & Tech. By the time that the two spartans arrived at the planet, things had gone awry enough for ODSTs to be called in to protect the corporation's headquarters, under the justification that any personnel and hardware that could be saved would be relocated to Reach in order to continue supplying ships for the war effort – much like Cadiz.
On arrival, they were instructed to engage as many incoming Covenant as possible to delay their assault and alleviate pressure off of the ODSTs, in turn buying more time for the corporation to evacuate its technology and personnel. Though they successfully held their ground and fended off everything coming their way, the same could not be said about the ODSTs, who had to take the bulk of the attacks. After more than an hour, however, Covenant forces finally stopped coming at regular intervals, suffering so heavy losses that they had to fall back and regroup.
Taking advantage of the moment, the corporation finished evacuating the last of its resources. As such, Jane and Nessa were given a new mission; to advance towards the Covenant forces' and sabotage a bridge, which would slow down the Covenant advance by a considerable amount and buy more time for the UNSC forces. Before heading off, Jane and Nessa decided to split up to cover more ground quicker. On the way to the target, Jane found a couple of ODSTs still attacked by surviving Covenant. She briefly forgot about her objective and saved the helljumpers. She then escorted them to a nearby stone castle where other ODSTs were holed up, and hurried back to her own mission.
After catching up with Nessa and explaining her late arrival, Jane helped her partner plant demolition charges on the bridgehead, only pausing sporadically to remain out of sight from Covenant scouts on the other side of the bridge. They then left the area and remotely activated the charges, destroying the bridge and delaying the upcoming renewed attack.
But, in the end, it was in vain; the UNSC called a general evacuation order sometime later, while the Covenant warships prepared to commence glassing the planet. Jane and Nessa left the system with the other UNSC forces, leaving another world to be destroyed by the hands of the Covenant. While ONI Section II would dub the battle a "strategic draw" – due to the fact that most shipbuilding technology had been saved – it was clearly another loss for humanity. With every lost colony, mankind neared their ultimate annihilation; a fact that disturbed Jane as she witnessed the glassing of Skopje on the shipboard cameras.
Battle of Cyrus VII (2548)
- "Cyrus…wasn't there some song actress back in the 21st Century called Cyrus?"
- ―Jane during the debriefing for her mission to Cyrus VII.
The Human-Covenant War continued to rage on as the human colonies continued to fall one by one. While the war had taken a much slower pace than before – due to the fact that humanity's remaining colonies were few and thus harder to find, made even harder by the efforts of the ONI Signal Corps – the UNSC leadership started to lose hope in victory. Most top-echelon commanders were certain that the Parisian Line would fall just as all other drawn defense perimeters had before it. As desperation grew, more and more high-risk, near-suicide missions previously turned down were passed, pressing the spartans' ranks harder than ever before. Jane, Nessa, and the other SPARTAN-IIIs of Herald Team were no exceptions.
But many new measures were taken on the more official fronts as well; this included mass recruitment from within the population, made possible by HIGHCOM passing emergency laws to increase the rights of military recruitment centers. These new regulations also gave the military branches permission to pardon prisoners held in UEG detention facilities to recruit them if they wished. One human-held colony that used these rights extensively was Cyrus VII; being a military recruitment and training bastion world, it was renowned for its Military Police (MP) School, top-security military detention facilities, and military technology storage facilities. For these reasons, it was considered to be of great importance to the war effort.
- Xun-A146: "Oh, it's you. And here I was thinking you might have died."
- Jane: "Not to worry, we're fine."
- Xun-A146: "Did I say I was worried?"
- — Jane and Xun during their reunion just before their mission to Cyrus VII.
As such, once the Covenant found it in 2548, its defense was important enough to warrant requesting the presence of most UNSC forces in the sector – including all spartans in said area. While the SPARTAN-IIs were mostly spread out across the galactic map, Jane, Nessa, and the rest of Herald Team were within reach. Thus, the group's sub-teams were reunited once more after a period of two years of deploying separately. Despite the long separation, Xun quickly accounted for everyone and devised a thorough plan for them to follow. Once again, he decided to deploy each sub-team separately; each one would deploy in SOEIVs roughly two kilometers away from the other. From their drop point, they would then fight their way to the designated target; a storage facility housing several Goliath Exoskeletons, which NAVCOM wished to save for the war effort. The teams would regroup on the way at a set of marine training grounds known as Camp Xerxes, helping the garrison fend off Covenant forces if necessary. Together, they would then move on to the storage facility, reach the exoskeletons, and then use them to fight their way to the extraction point.
As planned, Jane and Nessa touched down on the surface roughly two kilometers (counting descent adjustments to avoid dropping on rocks or in water) apart from Xun and Bruce's drop coordinates and hurriedly maneuvered through the contested streets of Cyrus City, stopping only to fight off Covenant attacking them or pinning down marine and army forces. Approaching the outskirts, they then passed through the ruined remains of Fort Kyros, encountering strange dark-skinned Jackals in close quarters. Regardless, the assailants were swiftly dealt with, and the two spartans met up with their teammates just outside Camp Xerxes, only to find it crawling with more of the dark-skinned jackals.
- "They're called 'Skirmishers'. Supposedly some kind of Jackal subspecies. Regardless, they're annoying little things, and unlike their mainstream brethren, they can actually fight in close quarters."
- ―Xun answering Jane's questions about the Jackal subspecies "Skirmishers".
After Xun gave a quick lecture about what the dark-skinned creatures were – a subspecies of Kig-Yar – Herald Team rushed to the marines' aid, shooting their way through waves of Skirmishers. Though the camp was filled with the aliens, Herald managed to work together with the marines to clear out most of the area. Most of the marines then left to aid the defense of Cyrus City, though Xun pulled rank on a squad to help escort them to the storage facility. Though uneasy about following a spartan, the squad – lead by a Sergeant Twyker – complied and took point to show the way.
Encountering little to no enemies on the way, the group soon reached the complex. After Xun told Twyker and his men to go back to their previously assigned duties, the spartans moved into the structure. Though Covenant forces were attacking fiercely, the facility's MP contingent held them off to great success, allowing the spartans to focus their attention on reaching the storage bay. Once they reached the storage bay doors – guarded by a vigilant pair of MPs – they were pressed for identification, though Xun simply showed the guards that they were on a special mission, proving to be enough to let them in.
Inside were a total of four Goliath exoskeletons, as well as some armaments for them. To get them out of the facility, Xun instructed Sigmund, Arik, Genevieve and Rede to don the suits, as they were Herald’s weakest links due to them only wearing SPI armor. Pleased to have something new, the four pseudo-spartans donned the suits and spent some time getting used to them. Once they had, the team moved out; Xun and Bruce taking up the front, Sigmund, Arik, Genevieve and Rede taking up the middle behind them, and Jane and Nessa covering the rear. Though the Covenant attacked the facility with more waves of infantry, their protection was no use against the Goliaths' powerful weapons.
The way out of the facility and to the extraction point went smoothly – much due to the Covenant ground forces returning to their ships for the impending glassing – and Herald were then extracted, Goliath suits and all. As with many other planets before, the UNSC again left a colony to be glassed. This time, however, Section II couldn't find any positive things to state in the media; Cyrus VII was a military bastion world and lots of military personnel and technology had been lost, along with a sizeable amount of civilians. By glassing Cyrus VII, the Covenant was another step closer to Paris IV, and thus closer to Reach and Earth. Though Herald Team had carried out their mission with great precision and efficiency, their success had had no impact on the battle's outcome whatsoever, a fact that wore down on all eight of them.
Second Battle of Arcadia (2549)
- "We spartans do a lot of things; most of what we do is so common to us that it's routine by now. But there are some things that are strange even to us; one of those things is helping lawless people to take out some other lawless people. I can think of only once I had to do that, and that was on Arcadia."
- ―Jane during an interview about her operational history, citing the Second Battle of Arcadia.
After the Battle of Cyrus VII, the Covenant fleets began attacking many of the bastion worlds that made up the Parisian Defense line, though unusually well-prepared UNSC forces were able to hold their ground. In particular, the battle in the Eden System asteroid belt were drawn out, with the Covenant forces being continually ambushed and picked off one by one in the tight asteroid belt which the human forces knew incredibly well.
However, while new recruits for all branches and new ships could continually be churned out for the war effort from less and less picky recruitment centers and ever-active shipyards, respectively, humanity found itself strained when it came to food supplies due to the loss of most major agricultural colonies and the increasingly less available space on remaining colonies, which would often be occupied by refugees from surviving worlds. Due to this, the UNSC had to make sure to keep all remaining agricultural colonies intact, whether they were distant and lawless or not. A prime example of this was Arcadia.
Attacked by the Covenant back in 2531, Arcadia had been saved by the intervention of the Spirit of Fire. After the battle, the colony was then left behind by both the UNSC and the Covenant, the former declaring it impossible to keep protecting, and the latter deeming it to be of little concern since all humans had presumably left. Both factions instead focused their forces on other, more important worlds. However, a few humans remained, and eventually they founded a rural community known as Abaskun on the continent Mu. Though the settlement was mostly lawless, it managed to reestablish contact with the UNSC and provide its forces with much needed foodstuffs.
As such, when the settlement's "leadership" requested UNSC aid with some "internal business", Naval Command was compelled to send a task force to aid them. Admiral Roland Freemont instructed Captain Martin to send some of his men to carry out the task, who in turn chose Jane and Nessa to handle it. Thus, the two spartans were once more separated from the rest of Herald Team and shipped to Arcadia. There, they learned from the leading Abaskun group that several smaller groups in the community wanted to stop sending shipments to the UNSC, fearing it would draw attention from the Covenant. In return for continuing the shipments, the leading group demanded that the spartans deal with the rebellious movements that threatened their authority. Aware that the UNSC needed those supplies badly, Jane accepted, and then set out to track down the "insurgents".
After receiving a list of names for people to look for, leaving their armors on the ship in orbit and strapping on civilian clothing, the spartans began their investigation in Abaskun. Though they were recognized as outsiders, some of the people opened up to them and supplied them with enough information to let them trace a hit man for one of the groups, Lance, to his farm shortly outside Abaskun's center. Once they neared his home, Lance panicked and fired at them with a pistol, though missed. Jane didn't waste any time; as soon as he began to reload, she broke into the house and disarmed him. Incapacitated, he was tied to a chair while the spartans questioned him.
Eventually, Lance let on that he himself possessed little information about his bosses, though one of them was scheduled to meet him later. After that, Jane locked the man in his own cellar and had Nessa guard him, while she fixed up the mess they had caused. She then waited peacefully for the new target to show up, eating much of Lance's food while doing so to keep her occupied.
As midnight approached, the leader Lance had referred to finally arrived. To his surprise, it was Jane who opened the door, who then dragged him in and tied him up in a similar fashion to what she had done to Lance. Likewise, the man also spilled his secrets, selling out the names of his comrades and their current locations – just as Lance had sold him out – after a mix of persuasion and threats from Jane. Then he was also thrown into the cellar with Lance. While Jane and Nessa prepared to hunt down the other insurgents, they made sure to block the cellar's door to prevent their new prisoners from breaking free. While it was less efficient than simply killing them, the two spartans decided that they preferred to keep the two alive, as they were also humans. They then took Lance's car to reach their next destinations.
In the cover of night, Jane and Nessa raided the insurgent leaders' hideouts. While some died in the ensuing firefights or after committing suicide, the spartans managed to capture most of them and load them up into the car. Once the sun rose up, they were done; all known insurgent leaders either dead or captured. Revealing this good news, Abaskun's leaders were pleased enough to promise sending another ship with supplies as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the two spartans returned to Lance's house to lock up their prisoners and get some sleep before requesting extraction.
But, as Jane and Nessa prepared to drive the prisoners to the extraction point, alarms sounded throughout the community – the warning used in case of Covenant attack. Having finally decided to wrap things up on Arcadia, the Covenant had sent a small force of ships to slaughter any possibly remaining humans and then glass the planet. Abaskun found itself in a state of disarray as they desperately tried to board any and all still functioning ships to escape, while the Covenant sent a few dropships filled with troops to slaughter the settlement.
Upon hearing this, Jane ordered Nessa to take care of the prisoners, while she headed to the center of Abaskun to help with the evacuation effort. She arrived in time to find Grunts starting to attack stragglers. Armed with just an M6 pistol, Jane managed to fend off the creatures, allowing the stragglers to flee to safety. Picking up the alien weapons, Jane then charged a larger group of Covenant soldiers in an act of unselfishness to buy more time. As she hoped, Abaskun's ships lifted off soon after – one filled with the promised foodstuffs for the UNSC. Jane then fell back into the jungles to outrun the Covenant, though she received a nasty plasma burn to the shoulder in the process.
Eventually, she got away from her Covenant pursuers and signaled for pickup. Soon after, a Pelican arrived to pick her up. A short while later, the UNSC prowler and Abaskun's freighters fled the Procyon system while the Covenant proceeded to glass Arcadia, putting a permanent end to the planet's role in the Human-Covenant War. Though only minimal human casualties had been suffered, the UNSC lost a valuable supplier of foodstuffs, thus forcing the UNSC to take new measures to produce food for the human population.
Meanwhile, the Covenant could now focus their full attention on crushing humanity's inner colonies once more. Later in the year, Paris IV fell to a Covenant fleet after a siege, breaking the Parisian Line. With another military stronghold lost, the other colonies in the defense line fell in a successive fashion in the following months up until the next year. Then the Covenant continued to search for humanity's last colonies, confident that they were close in defeating their foe once and for all.
Back in UNSC-controlled space, Jane was awarded a Silver Star for her acts of bravery during the second battle of Arcadia, by holding off Covenant forces in face of impossible odds to ensure the safety of hundreds of other humans. She was also treated for her burn damage on the shoulder, though it left a lasting mark.
Operation: TRIDENT (2550)
- "Our outer defenses are gone, you know that. And so, we must lash out at the enemy in whatever way we can if we are to have any hope of survival. That is why we send you on this mission; to bite the alien SOBs right where it hurts."
- ―Captain Salomon Martin to Herald Team about Operation: TRIDENT.
Battle of Aphrodite II (2551)
Epsilon Eridani Campaign (2552)
- "It is madness for sheep to talk peace with a wolf."
- ―Jane, quoting Thomas Fuller, upon hearing of the peace treaty between humanity and the Sangheili.
Career Service Vitae
(as of January 1, 2574)
MASTER CHIEF PETTY OFFICER
- FULL NAME: NOVIKOVA, JANE
- SERVICE #: S-B337
- UNIT: NAVSPECWAR/GROUP FOUR/HERALD
- ENLISTMENT DATE: CLASSIFIED
- LOCATION: CLASSIFIED
- GENDER: F
- BIRTHPLACE: POBEDA, RURIK
- BIRTH DATE: 18/08/2532
TOUGH, LOYAL AND CONFIDENT WITH AN UNBREAKABLE RESOLVE. INSPIRES CONFIDENCE IN THOSE AROUND HER IN A CALMING, REASSURING MANNER. LIKES TO BE THE VOICE OF REASON. UNNERVING ABILITY TO SEE THROUGH PEOPLE'S EMOTIONS. TOP-CALIBER ASSASSIN AND SABOTEUR, NOT TOO SHABBY IN A FIST FIGHT EITHER. MOVES QUIETLY AND QUICKLY EVEN OUT OF BATTLE.
ACTS WITH COLD INDIFFERENCE TOWARDS THOSE OUTSIDE HER CIRCLE OF CLOSE FRIENDS. ARGUES THAT PEOPLE NEED TO 'PROVE THEMSELVES' IN HER EYES BEFORE EARNING HER RESPECT - MEANING TO SHOW SKILL IN SOMETHING, WHETHER IT BE LEADERSHIP TALENTS OR BEING A CRACK SHOT: SHE RESPECTS TALENT.
RECOMMEND KEEPING AN EYE ON HER; THERE'S A POSSIBILITY OF INSTANCES OF FRATERNIZATION WITH FELLOW SIERRA [S-B256].
Promotions and Decorations
Quotes & conversations
- "The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone."
- ―Jane, after being commended for her impressive CSV.
- "I never liked this part!"
- ―Jane, after being surrounded by enemies.
- "My bruises form a pretty pattern!"
- ―Jane making a joking remark about her various scars and bruises.
- "Apparently people seem to think that a war against a fanatic alien empire is the perfect time to start killing each other. Curious, really."
- ―Jane, during a mission against rebels.
- "Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other."
- ―Jane, once again quoting Euripides.
- "A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker."
- ―Jane, quoting Buddha, during a discussion regarding politicians.
- Jane: "Is it just me, or do spartans seem to be popping out of nowhere a lot these days?"
- Nessa: "ONI have a reputation for being secretive. Maybe they hid a lot of facts about the SPARTAN projects?"
- ―Jane and Nessa during a discussion about Spartans.
- Salomon Martin: "We need a victory, you two; so make sure to give it to me."
- Jane: "Served hot or cold, sir?"
- ―Jane and her CO, Captain Salomon Martin.
- Jane: "How odd that they would build a facility for Covenant prisoners in the middle of nowhere, and then make it look like a giant d-"
- Nessa: "Jane!"
- Jane: "What? It does."
- — Jane and Nessa, during a mission to contain an outbreak of Covenant prisoners.
- Though homosexual, Jane isn't above occasionally acting flirtatiously around men. This is mostly an act, an attempt to draw away attention from the fact she is a lesbian, so as to keep her relationship with Nessa hidden.
- Jane is one of the older Beta Company trainees, being seven years old (also a seven reference) upon recruitment in 2539. However, Kat-B320 is even older at nine years when she was recruited.
- Along with Noble Team, she and Nessa number among the few SPARTAN-IIIs to wear MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor. They were also given the armor in a similar fashion; Noble Team received them upon reassignment to the Army Special Warfare Command (SPECWARCOM), Jane and Nessa when they were reassigned to the Naval Special Warfare Group (NAVSPECWAR).
- Among other similarities with the members of Noble Team, Jane and Nessa didn't die at PROMETHEUS or TORPEDO despite hailing from one of the companies that were supposedly fully wiped out in the latter operation. The reason that Jane and Nessa survived was because they, as Headhunters, were a secret even to their peers and were thus not accounted for when TORPEDO was launched, in turn allowing them to avoid the battle.
- However, unlike the Noble Team members, Jane, Nessa and the other members of Herald Team remain with the Navy, while the Noble Team members have been transferred to Army command instead.
Behind the scenes
- The character is one of the few homosexual characters in the Haloverse, canon or fanon, as well as the only/first homosexual Spartan (as far as the author is aware).
- The character's surname, Novikova, is Russian, derived from the word 'novik', which means a teenager of noble, boyar or Cossack origin serving in the military during the 16th-18th centuries. This is similar to her own status as a SPARTAN-III, where she went into battle when still a teenager. It's also one of the most common surnames in Russia.
- The given name (Jane), on the other hand, is a popular given name in English-speaking nations and is translated to 'Yahweh (the name of God in the Hebrew Bible) is gracious'. It's also the female counterpart of the male name John, which is the true name of Master Chief. This was what the author had in mind when choosing a name for the character. In addition to Master Chief, the name is also a tribute to Mass Effect, where a female Shepard's default name is Jane (for males, it's John).
- Her homeworld, Rurik, is also the name of the first pre-Empire Russian dynasty, said to have been founded by the descendents of Rurik, a Viking sailing through the Russian lands.
- In addition, the Kappa Opiuchi System – where the planet Rurik resides – is an actual star system in the Opiuchi constellation, 92 light-years from Earth.
- The images representing the character out of armor were taken from screenshots of Alicia Claus, the protagonist of the Xbox 360 video game Bullet Witch.
- Her personality and overall behavior resembles the Action Girl and Girls With Guns tropes. She also has some traits similar to the Little Miss Snarker trope, in that she is smart, perceptive and good at pointing out facts others want to keep concealed.
- Herald Team
- Herald Logs
- Salomon Martin
- NAVSPECWAR Group Four
- UNSC Naval Command (Matt-256)
- Gentry Team
- Priory of Regret
- Asro 'Tamas
- ↑ This is a reference to a discussion on the IRC, where we talked about hair-length regulations and came to the conclusion that many Halo characters in the military breaks these.
- ↑ This an inside joke about how more and more Spartan character articles are made where the Spartans in question are taken away from the others of their class/company. Notable examples include the author's own The Leonidans (co-owned with two others) and Herald Team, but also Noble Team and Black Team from canon and Gentry Team and Royal Team by other users. It is also a small nod to how popular Spartan articles are on the wiki.
- ↑ Their first names are also names held by monarchs; Fyodor I, the last russian ruler of the Rurik dynasty, and Elizabeth II, the current monarch in Britain, respectively. The mother's maiden name is also the name of the royal house which Elizabeth II belong to.
- ↑ This is, perhaps quite obviously, a tribute to the author, as it is his name in real life
- ↑ The name is identical to that of one of the author's past teachers.
- ↑ This is a reference to Butch DeLoria, leader of a gang in Fallout 3. Coincidentally, he's also of Hispanic descent.
- ↑ This is a reference to the recently made movie "The A-Team" (which the author liked watching a lot), where the main antagonist is a CIA agent who calls himself "Lynch" (like some other CIA agents referenced in the movie).
- ↑ This is a tribute to Team Wakizashi, one of the author's first articles on the site (but now deleted due to fail writing). Oliver and Belle are also names held by members of that team.
- ↑ This is an actual star system, which experts claim to have potential for hosting habitable Earth-like planets
- ↑ A tribute to the siege of a Spanish town with the same name during the Napoleonic Wars.
- ↑ An obvious reference to the Persian kings called Xerxes
- ↑ This is a Greek variation of the name Cyrus, after which the planet is named
- ↑ A tribute to a line spoken by Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during the episode "Good Genes, Part 2" of the 2003 Animated Series.
- ↑ A quote spoken by Thane Krios, a character in Mass Effect 2.
- ↑ A slightly altered quote by Morrigan, a major character in Dragon Age: Origins.
- ↑ A tribute to Operation: VORAUSSICHT, an article made by Specops306, a contributor on the site whose articles I absolutely love. It is also an inside joke regarding the popularity of SPARTAN-based articles on Halo Fanon.
- ↑ Based on another quote spoken by the Dragon Age: Origins character Morrigan.
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