"For better or for worse, people will know of my actions. I will be remembered for what I've done, not necessarily for the right reasons, but they will know of me. That alone is enough to keep me going."
Jonathan Jacowicz Ulan was a skilled pilot, working for the UNSC Air Force for some time before defecting to the United Rebel Front in his early twenties after becoming heavily disillusioned with the military due to their violent actions in suppressing a revolt on one of their colonies. From there, he slowly worked his way up the ladder of the Insurrection, preferring radical, violent action over other means of change, eventually coming under the command of severa; leading rebel figures. Ulan was killed in 2555 by Martin-A136 during an extensive rebel attack on Earth, dying as a martyr after a prolonged battle with the Spartan.
Born to an affluent family on Mars in 2526, Jonathan Ulan was the eldest child to two mid-level executives of Misriah Armory. As a child, he was noted for his relatively high performance and attentiveness in school, though his attitude towards others was something to be desired. This would improve over time, though he was known for his rather snobbish behaviour due to his family's wealth and position, earning him few friends. As it was expected in his family, he would join the UNSC military for some time before taking a position in the Misriah Armory company after a few tours.
After leaving school at the age of 18 he was enrolled into a prestigious officer's academy on Earth, with only a handful of decent grades. However, his parent's wealth and connections got him in with few problems. A few weeks in, his substandard performance was noted by the teachers there, who came down on him hard until he began to clean up his act. Ulan quickly redoubled his efforts, and soon became one of the top graded students in his group. He still had a great deal of trouble acquiring friends due to his rather cocky attitude. In 2547, Ulan graduated from the academy at the head of his class, joining the Air Force as a junior commissioned officer and being assigned to a battlegroup that would be sent to the frontlines.
Air Force and Defection
Over the next six years, Ulan participated in a number of battles against the Covenant, including the Siege of Paris IV and the Fall of Reach. Despite the high death toll among Longsword pilots, Ulan would survive every mission, no matter how tough. However, he found it difficult to make friends after losing so many wingmates and simply focused on mission after mission to keep himself going despite the sheer hopelessness of the late-war situation. Ulan was shot down for the first time during the Battle of Earth in 2552 a group of Seraph fighters managed to wing his ship over Rio de Janiero, forcing him to make a crash landing into the nearby ocean that almost killed him. He spent he final month of the war grounded in a field hospital, and was overjoyed to discover that the Covenant had been defeated by the end of the year.
Though the Human-Covenant War had ended, there was still a great deal of work that needed doing. Ulan was assigned to a new battlegroup led by the UNSC Grievous, a Destroyer under the command of Rear Admiral Joseph Harris. Due to a lack of serviceable Longsword fighters in this fleet, Ulan ended up learning to pilot the F-41 Broadsword fighter, and in the sparse combat with enemy forces managed to destroy dozens of Banshee and Seraph fighters. Ulan quickly became well-known among his new peers as an ace pilot and received the Bronze Star for his efforts.
Ulan's rise to prominence in the Air Force would not last long, however. In early 2554, after an outer colony world was found to be hostile to local UNSC forces, Ulan's fighter wing was ordered in to attack their foe. Though the meagre air forces did not stand up to their Longswords, the order soon came in to begin bombing runs on the enemy. Ulan did not think much of this at first, and carried out his orders diligently, until it was revealed that they were to bomb civilian targets as well in order to take out any hidden supply caches or AA guns. Ulan went along with this and completed his mission, but disliked what he had done. After being rebuked by his superior upon voicing his concerns, he began to lose faith in the UNSC's moral integrity and began to form a plan.
Several weeks later, their wing was ordered to bomb another civilian target that was merely suspected to have been helping the Insurrection. Ulan refused and immediately returned to their ship, ignoring his orders and the comments of his peers. Upon his return, he was immediately detained by military police and questioned for his insubordination. During the questioning, a fight broke out in which Ulan knocked out one of his interrogators before being restrained and put in a cell. It was revealed that he would be court-martialed for his actions.
Knowing that he would definitely be found guilty, Ulan was able to escape from his cell after feigning illness, knocking out a guard and making it back to his quarters, where he grabbed as much gear as he could before fleeing, leaving behind his Bronze Star medal. As the ship went to alert status, Ulan stole a Longsword and was able to put some distance between him and the ship before they could scramble their own fighters. Knowing he would become a fugitive, he was able to land the Longsword on a small colony world insystem, before making his way towards a nearby settlement.
As he was dressed in his Air Force uniform, he was instantly met with suspicion by the locals, who held him at gunpoint while he explained his predicament. Ulan was aware that it wouldn't be long before the Grievous located him, and so willingly gave his fighter to the locals in exchange for transport offworld. They accepted his offer, and stowed him away aboard a small transport freighter, which jumped into slipspace not long after leaving the planet's atmosphere.
Ulan would arrive on the independent colony world of Venezia several months later, having stopped en-route several times to lose any potential pursuers. He found the planet to be unlike the chaotic, war-torn hellhole that UNSC propaganda had claimed it to be, though there were unmistakable signs of conflict in some areas. The mixed population of Humans, Jiralhanae and Kig-Yar was another surprise, encountering a number of alien traders on his first day there. With only a little money taken in his escape, Ulan managed to rent a room in a Human-run motel while he debated what to do next. The following morning he encountered a large group of soldiers recruiting for the United Rebel Front in a marketplace. Though the organisation was thought to have been long-gone, Ulan signed up with them and was driven to a nearby warehouse with several others, where he was immediately knocked unconscious.
After waking up, Ulan and the others were interrogated by the soldiers in an attempt to root out any UNSC spies. The young man, still wearing the remnants of his Air Force gear, was beaten and kept in a cell for several days before they finally allowed him out. There, he met Mal Roberts, who like him had defected from the UNSC not long before. Though he had been on Venezia for less than a year, Roberts had amassed a surprising number of followers with a militant stance against Earth's superiority. Ulan explained his situation to the rebel leader and his skills as a pilot, and was quickly accepted into the group.
A few weeks later, Roberts' men announced that they were moving to Talitsa after a disagreement with some of the more powerful figures on Venezia. Before the trip, Ulan was able to return home to Mars only once for a brief meeting with his parents. As staunch supporters of the UNSC, they refused to keep him hidden and disowned him upon his return. He did discover that his younger brother, Ryan, had joined the UNSC Navy and had come under scrutiny for Jonathan's actions with the insurrection in spite of his skills there. Angry at his family for abandoning him, Ulan stole a large sum of money from his father's bank account before meeting up with his new comrades on Talitsa to continue his new life.
Ulan spent the next year on Talitsa, working for Roberts and his men as they gained a great deal of power and influence over the warring factions there. He found himself working with those he had been brought up to hate; Kig-Yar and Jiralhane pirates being frequently encountered on the planet, and found himself respecting some of them even after years of brutal conflict in the past. In December, Ulan joined Roberts in a secretive meeting at the Caucasus Station, an asteroid base outside of the UNSC's control. There, they met with other notable insurrectionist leaders such as Remi Marshall and John Verensky before being greeted by a man calling himself Magnus. The name was known to those as being one of the most feared individuals in the criminal underworld, and for good reason. One of Ulan's men was killed there simply to make a point, leaving him rather shaken as he returned home.
By this point, Roberts and Ulan were leading figures on the planet and ran most of Talitsa's rebel forces with an iron fist. This did not mean an end to the hostilities, as a number of powerful crime lords still remained on the planet and were a source of constant annoyance for their group. With the majority of their troops needed to run operations at home, Roberts authorised the recruitment of child soldiers from opposing groups into their ranks. Ulan was not present at the time, as he was accompanying a number of rebels in a raid on Fenwell Prison, a UNSC-run penitentiary built into an asteroid. There, he hijacked a Longsword fighter and single-handedly held off an entire enemy fighter wing to give his comrades time to rescue the prisoners there. In a single operation he took down nearly a dozen other ships, though he was forced to abandon the Longsword due to battle damage.
Returning to Talitsa as a hero, Ulan was shocked to find out about the child soldiers and confronted Roberts about it. While this went against all of his principles, he was assured that his was an act of desperation when faced with the prospect of defeat at the hands of their enemies. With Roberts' approval, Ulan began to train the children who had survived their first engagement in the arts of combat, not wishing to see them as cannon fodder. Ulan, while being a tough instructor on the children, was not sadistic towards the trainees. Some of them, like Winston Zhou, grew into competent killers under Ulan's instruction and led their own squads into battle.
NOVA Incident and Death
On September 14th, 2555, the rebels under John Verensky's command made their biggest and most dangerous move yet: attacking Earth. This was a result of years of planning and secretive movement, and was designed to cut off the head of their foe in a single day. Ulan would be one of several pilots transporting dozens of rebel soldiers disguised as UNSC Marines to a summit in New York between the UEG and the Sangheili. Two prominent Sangheil, Rol and Sur 'Ranak, would be accompanying their delegation with the intention of killing Thel 'Vadam, the Arbiter, while operatives of Project HAYABUSA would work on murdering UEG leaders. As a double agent in ONI, Verensky had managed to sway a number of the soldiers to his cause. To Ulan, this would be their greatest victory.
The operation started off well, Ulan successfully landing his contingent of troops after getting past the UNSC's security with stolen codes, and standing by for pickup. It was only minutes after the operation began that Ulan realised things were not going as planned. The SPARTAN-III Shrike Team had successfully fended off most of the would-be assassins and saved the most important figures in the confusion. Seeing the other Pelicans blown apart by the AA defences, Ulan took the offensive and began to attack the building with everything his Pelican had, destroying a number of guns and keeping many of the UEG delegates pinned down en route to their bunker. Ulan might have succeeded in his attack were it not for the Spartan leader, Martin-A136, who climbed onto the Pelican in an attempt to stop him.
Ulan panicked at the thought of their critical mission failing and his Spartan attacker, and attempted to flee into the heart of New York city, using the traffic and evasive moves to throw the super soldier off. Eventually, Martin was able to plant a grenade in the Pelican's left thruster, crippling the dropship and sending it crashing into a courtyard. Badly hurt and near death, Ulan dragged himself from the wreckage with only a combat knife as a weapon. To his own surprise, he was able to hold his own rather well against the injured Spartan for some time until a desperate slash broke his weapon on his foe's MJOLNIR suit. Losing his only advantage, Ulan was picked up by the throat by the SPARTAN-III, and slammed into the concrete, dying instantly.
After his death, Jonathan Ulan was known as one of the key individuals behind the NOVA incident and the subsequent massacre on Circumstance, and was reviled in the media as a mad terrorist who was stopped before he could cause any more damage. Those who had known him on Talitsa or in what remained of Verensky's group mourned his loss and hailed him as a martyr for their cause, though without him and Roberts present the various factions on the independent planet began to fight one another for control. His younger brother, Ryan, would often be brought under heavy scrutiny for Jonathan's actions over the years. However, he never actually hated him for joining the Insurrection and became a well-respected figure in the UNSC years later.
Skills and Abilities
Ulan's main skill that served him well over the years was his fantastic abilities as a pilot. While he was at his best while at the helm of a Longsword fighter, he would pilot a wide array of ships, from Pelican dropships to modified freighters like the Dynasty into hazardous situations and come out on top. He was renowned for stacking up a decent number of kills against UNSC craft over the years and had a bounty of more than 500,000 credits placed on him as the 'Innie Ace'.
In addition to his piloting skills, years on the ground had taught Ulan to fight well with a variety of weapons. Due to the scarcity of decent equipment in some parts of Talitsa, he became quite adept at using out of date weapons or creating new ones in order to gain victory. He was a very underhanded fighter and relied largely on tricks and ambushes to gain victory, knowing that he would not last long in a firefight against better-trained and equipped troops. In addition to his combat talents, Ulan could speak several languages; English, Polish and Portuguese, due to years spent on the culturally diverse planet of Talitsa.
"You're full of shit, Ulan. That's why I like you."
While the Insurrection was full of grim combat veterans and emotionally scarred soldiers, Ulan was known for keeping quite a cheery attitude even in the most dire of situations. He had something of a propensity for telling tall tales about his many supposed exploits to others, though they were rarely believed. In spite of this, he had many friends and was generally well-liked by those around him for his positive, if somewhat quirky, attitude. Ulan could be a competent leader if the situation demanded it, though his recklessness would often endanger the lives of those around him.
Ulan's rather friendly and unassuming nature did serve to hide his more serious side. He would sometimes show an alarming amount of awareness and intelligence in certain situations, and would sometimes harbour feelings of great mistrust to those he felt were hiding something from him. He also possessed a rather sentimental attitude in regard to history and would often state that he wanted nothing more than to be remembered for his actions in life rather than simply fade away like so many others after death.