|This article, Kimberly Ivy Blackburn, was written by RelentlessRecusant. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
Kimberly Ivy Blackburn was a paramilitary operations officer of the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence and the UNSC Special Operations Command. Born in 2543 as the daughter of Alexandria Clarissa Blackburn, Kimberly was the first human being known to be born as the result of a "human synthesis" approach, that is, the artificial instructive direction of human development. The product of the convergence of several clandestine initiatives, such as Project FORECAST, Project PATRIOT, and HUMANCONFIG, she was born with extensive physical and psychological birth defects as a result of intentional in utero exposure to the SCARLET teratogen, which elicited indelible Flood-like teratogenesis. After birth, Kimberly underwent further biochemical and surgical augmentations and underwent extensive training as a child soldier for the Office of Naval Intelligence. Shortly thereafter, she became the prized executrix of Section Three, prosecuting covert operations and attaining Title 9 status. Later in her career, Kimberly was re-assigned from the Office of Naval Intelligence and was instead attached as a senior noncommissioned adviser to the Advanced Special Operations Command on counterterrorism and low-visibility operations. In 2563, she honorably separated from the UNSC Defense Force at the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer after marrying August Plummer, irrevocably setting aside a childhood of cruel warfare and inhumane strife. Kimberly re-emerged in the wider scene of galactic affairs in 2572 when she was implicated in the thermonuclear bombing of Bellerophon, and shortly afterwards, she was designated as a "high-value target" by the Office of Naval Intelligence. Ever since the eruption of the Galactic War, Kimberly has been confirmed as being a senior officer within the Galactic Resistance, and she has been partially responsible for orchestrating the ongoing anti-UNSC insurgency raging on the occupied Covenant homeworlds.
- "A disaster in ethics. An abhorrent atrocity with no peer."
- ―Lieutenant Lauryn Alden
- "Director, I will state for the record that it is completely morally unacceptable to design human life for the sole purpose of experimentation, to assign numerical values to attributes such as strength and intelligence, and to research how to change those variables, how to manufacture a human being."
- ―Beah Schore to Rear Admiral Gibson
Talon was born in December 2554 at Asphodel Meadows Naval Special Warfare Center, Asphodel Meadows as the daughter of Alexandria Clarissa Blackburn, under the auspices of projects PATRIOT, FORECAST, and HUMANCONFIG.
In the Raid of Beryl in January 2554, UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence and UNSC Naval Special Warfare forces, in an arrangement with Acumen Science Laboratories, would attack the small and yonder Acumen colony of Nazareth, Beryl, raiding the town and its ten thousand human citizens. It would become a tragic bloodbath as the UNSC special warfare operators would savagely attack the unarmed colonists, and they would kill six thousand children, men, and the elderly, while tranquilizing and subduing most of the homestead's four thousand fertile women of young and middle age, taking them prisoner, including Talon's mother, Alexandria Clarissa Blackburn.
The premise for this hellish and spontaneous attack was PATRIOT—a joint Acumen Science Laboratories and UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence Department of Biological Warfare collaborative program that sought to interrogate Flood biology by the generation of a unified and verified Flood genome from the corpses of Flood combat forms and a targeted investigation into the Flood genome to dissect the functional significance of its specific genes. Acumen, after several months of intensive high-throughput sequencing, lentiviral cloning, high-throughput screening, and high-content analysis, would find twenty-three Flood genes; the "B3" and "GAMBLE" genomic families, that were cooperatively used by Flood infection forms to initiate the infestation of organic hosts and to induce their parasitization into Flood combat forms in the initial states of Flood infection and genomic reprogramming. In PEPPER, through high-throughput compound screening and in silico modeling and optimization, Acumen would later develop SCARLET, a mélange of small-molecule bioactive compounds whose combined activity mimicked the co-transduction of B3 proteins and GAMBLE genes in vitro in cultured cell lines and in vivo in primates, canines, felines, murines, rats, Drosophila, and other model organisms.
SCARLET was found to be a potent mutagen, teratogen, and cytotoxin; because it mimicked the early stages of Flood infection and parasitization into combat forms, it was extraordinarily mutagenic, and in primates and other model organisms, would induce sickening gross anatomical transformations and psychological transfigurations as the chemical mixture would imitate the early symptoms of Flood combat form transformation. SCARLET was found to have teratogenic activity—that it induced birth defects in developing embryos—and that it was also a lethal cytotoxin, cardiotoxin, nephrotoxin, hepatotoxin, and neurotoxin.
Artificial Impregnation and Induced Birth Defects
- "High-throughput teratogen and mutagen screening in the developing human embryo in utero, resulting in progressive embryonic diversification, and subsequent identification of leading positive augmentations. Employment of chemical genetics to dissect molecular mediators of in vivo phenotype."
- ―Commodore Cooke
Under FORECAST, Kimberly's mother, Alexandria Clarissa Blackburn, as well as the other thousands of fertile women enslaved in the FORECAST program, would be hormone-primed by intraperitoneal injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and pregnant mare's blood, jump-starting their menustrual cycle and inducing them to ovulate. They were then inseminated and artificially impregnated, and during the entire nine month span of pregnancy, the pregnant women would be continually perfused to saturating molar concentrations of the potent mutagen and teratogen SCARLET, the in vitro partial Flood reprogramming mimetic, a mutagen, and a teratogen—a compound known to induce birth defects in developing fetuses.
Cooke would order the administration of SCARLET to the pregnant women as a mutagen screen; he planned to use the teratogen at billionfold concentrations to induce tens of thousands of birth defects in the fetuses, and to analyze the birth defects in the growing embryos to screen for potential augmentory mutations that could be used to augment future human embryos. He willingly induced birth defects in the fetuses through saturating concentrations of SCARLET, without regard for the thousands of mutated human offspring that would be born.
FORECAST would end up being an atrocious disaster for the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence. While hormone priming and artificial impregnation were common clinical techniques to use on humans in IVF clinics, SCARLET, previously never tested in vivo with humans, much less developing fetuses, would turn the project into a sinister failure. Within one day of exposure to the teratogenic and mutagenic compounds, thousands of women died, beginning to grow hearts in their mouths, growing second heads from their chests, sprouting hands from their chins, developing extra legs and arms that would grow with superhuman speed. The fetuses would undergo even more severe defects, and some would even have hair growing from their eyes as the small-molecule compounds circulated in their blood, inducing the horrifying and atrocious physical mutations. By the end of the first day of chemical exposure, two thousand women would die, and by the next morning, most of the remaining women, with extra eyes and limbs developing from their skin, would be in such excruciating paroxysms of agony that they could hardly breathe, and Montgomery authorized their humane euthanization to alleviate their diabolical, satanic existence induced by the Flood reprogramming agent, SCARLET.
Only one of the human models — Alexandria Clarissa Blackburn would survive past a week. Commodore Cooke became principally responsible for this gigantic miscarriage — killing over four thousand women in a week by inducing the growth of extra limbs and body parts, for inhumanely slaughtering the women by usage of SCARLET, which had never before been tested in women. Admirals Gibson and Montgomery would severely chastise Cooke for this deplorable tragedy, and when Beah Schore found out, Cooke was at the risk of losing his command. Montgomery even requested to dissect the corpses of the mutated pregnant women to extract the fetuses for analysis of the birth defects, but even the highly immoral Section Three would put an end to Montgomery's infernal schemings.
Beah Schore and Montgomery would struggle and wrangle for Alexandria's survival, would watch as Alexandria would skirt the familiar borders of death as SCARLET would continue to mutate her body, attempting to reprogram the woman into a Flood combat form over weeks and months. Schore would order spectral profiling of SCARLET's mutations and the inhibition of the pathogenic processes through directed small-molecule inhibitors, and Montgomery and a team of dozens of ONI physicians would conserve Alex's tender clinging to life through dozens of pharmacologicals; Alex's life was more chemical than biological as the pregnant seventeen-year-old would struggle for life.
In December 2554, it was to everyone's consummate surprise when Alexandria would successfully reach to term and would give birth to a perfectly normal child, a female, Kimberly Ivy Blackburn. Although Alex was in paroxysms of agony and also metabolic failure from SCARLET, she would survive to give birth to Kimberly, and Alex was immediately put on BLUEBERRY, rescuing the mother from death from the combined mutagenic potential of SCARLET and the exertions of labor. After birth, Kimberly was immediately taken from Alex by the UNSC Department of Biological Warfare, who would claim Kim as their own, and rename her "Talon" in an attempt to destroy the daughter's knowledge of any of her heritage, forcing Kimberly to believe that she was born into the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence.
Although the Department of Biological Warfare and Section Three extensively hypothesized about how Talon's physical body would be ravaged, horribly mangled beyond any normal human being because of her exposure to ultrahigh concentrations of SCARLET in the womb, surprisingly, after several months, it became readily obvious that Talon was physically perfect, and far from being a defective child or some gruesome mutant, would be the exemplar of human health. This was corroborated when her mother, Alexandria Clarissa Blackburn, made a full and complete recovery from her exposure to the SCARLET agent, and certain Section Three members had detailed thoughts on Alexandria after her exposure. However, Kimberly's health and fitness were remarkable — in the highest percentiles of the SPARTAN-II children, or even exceeding them in many aspects, even outstripping certain SPARTANs such as John, Kelly, Sam, and Fred in particular characteristics.
Immediately, Cooke began to act on Talon — many Section Three officers would begin to construct legendary myths of Kimberly as the only child that survived after her fetus was exposed to saturating concentrations of SCARLET, a Flood mutagen mimetic. Many would hold her in even higher regard than the SPARTAN-IIs and the SPARTAN-IIIs, who had been exposed only to limited numbers of far less potent chemical and biological mutagens, and at much lower doses and for a far shorter timespan — and when they were twelve or thirteen, at the peak of their physical health, compared to Kimberly, who had to resist the teratogen as a developing fetus. Kimberly immediately began her education prematurely by hypno-imprinting, and several months after birth, during sleep, she would be hypnotically imprinted with key knowledge — how to read, how to speak — a technically biologically-accomplishable feat because of the extensive plasticity of the postnatal brain. Because of this hyperplasticity, Talon would learn this exceptionally well and quickly, her recently-born amorphous mind capable of absorbing and integrating knowledge with far more tenacity than any older child, who had less plastic neural hippocampal circuitry.
Genetic Heritage: A Legacy of SPARTANs
Kimberly would also become a legendary mythology in Section Three because of her bodily health and physical exceptionalness; something that had been deliberately designed through ethically- and morally-dubious "human synthesis".
After Alexandria would be captured on Nazareth, Beryl, Cooke would conduct genetic screening of all the women involved in the FORECAST program and would find that Alexandria had a peculiar genetic profile; she had the genetic flags associated with creativity and fitness, and a lack of the genetic markers that predisposed to illness, and upon further investigation, found that Alex well-fit Dr. Halsey's exacting criterion for the SPARTAN-IIs — that if Alex had been born thirty years earlier, she would have been a fine SPARTAN-II. Kimberly's mother was thus in supreme physical and mental health because of her genetics; something that would allow Alex to survive the exposure to SCARLET. Furthermore, Kimberly's father was renowned as well. While Section Three had always wanted to mate together SPARTANs to see whether or not SPARTAN traits were genetically inherited, this proved impossible because the SPARTAN augmentation protocol included virilization that diminished sexual drive. However, ONI was able to artificially derive sperm from the male SPARTAN-IIs through iPS reprogramming and germline differentiation — and they artificially impregnated the women of the FORECAST project with SPARTAN-117's sperm.
Thus, in an ethically-condemnable genetic breeding, Kimberly was the daughter of a father who was the most famous SPARTAN-II and also a mother who could potentially have been chosen as a SPARTAN-II.
ONI said that this was a significant proportion of the explanation of how Kimberly was physically superior and exceptional — while the SPARTAN-IIs had been peerless physically, an inbreeding between SPARTANs would give birth, in theory, the physically transcendent.
- "I was a living test bed, a "prototype biological model". As if I was a computer or a piece of software, they "upgraded" me with every biological augmentation there was, until my body was so non-human it fell into a coma and began rejecting its own organs."
- ―Kimberly Ivy Blackburn to August Plummer
Understanding that Kimberly had managed to survive intense exposure to SCARLET in utero, Cooke authorized that Kimberly undergo the SPARTAN surgical and biochemical at a young age, with a high chance of survival, and also the added benefit that at a younger age, the body would still be able to develop around and more fully integrate and incorporate these augmentations. Talon was subjected to some of the previous SPARTAN augmentations, as well several new experimental protocols.
- Superconductance of myelinated fibers: Talon was infused with a solubilized form of silver hexapotassium aurophosphate, a conjugated anti-myelin silver salt that selectively perfused myelinated nerve fibers in the central and peripheral nervous systems, an improved version of the nervous augmentation done to the SPARTAN-IIs to increase reflex times by superconducting nervous fibers, although this silver salt had the added benefit of being able to infuse into CNS myelinated tracks, and the phenotype effects of the non-specific targeting of higher cognitive functions was unexamined.
- Transplant of pancreatic islets: Purified human pancreatic islets were isolated and transplanted into Talon's pancreas, allowing for increased glucose tolerance and enhanced metabolism to allow for increased growth and basal energy.
- Encapsulation and cellular augmentation of skeletal muscle: Certain major skeletal muscles were encapsulated in an electrically-sensitive distensive membrane that contracted upon electrical stimulation; that is, nervous activation of muscles, effectively increasing contractive strength upon stimulation by bioengineering enhancement of contraction power. Skeletal muscle peripherals were also infused with FACS-purified skeletal muscle precursors (SMP), that were formerly shown by Harvard Stem Cell Institute in the 21st century to mediate muscle growth in mice, thus effectively increasing gross muscular growth in Talon. Muscles were also latently infused with (±)-Bay K 8644, a small molecule L-type Ca+2 channel agonist, inducing latent involuntary muscular contraction and subsequent growth.
- Cardiac expansion and perfusion: Kimberly's heart was surgically dilated and expanded, allowing for increased space for cardiac musculature growth. The heart was also infused with a small-molecule analog of FGF8, a cytokine shown to be necessary for cardiac muscle expansion and regeneration in zebrafish. This led to increased cardiac capacity (end-diastolic volume) and contractile force, more efficiently perfusing the body with oxygen.
- Pulmonary biological and mechanical expansion: Talon's lungs were locally infused with soluble Wnt5a and Wnt7b small-molecule analogs, cytokines shown to regulate lung size and epithelial / mesenchymal proliferation and branching in the developing lung. Wnt analog application led to hyperplastic lungs, increasing net lung size by distal expansion and also aveolar branching, increasing total lung capacity and forced vital capacity and also increasing the O2 / CO2 diffusion coefficient by increasing aveolar branching and mean blood interface surface area. The possible expansion size was increased by dilation of the pleural cavity.
- Hematopoietic expansion: Kimberly's long bone marrow were infused with small-molecule analogs of erythropoietin and interleukin-3, inducing hematopoetic stem cell and myeloid stem cell self-renewal and resevoir increase, and also targeted expansion of megakaryoctes, erthryoblasts, and granulocyte colony-forming units (CFU), leading to vastly increased erythryocyte (red blood cell), platelet, and granulocyte production, increasing oxygen-carrying blood capacity, wound coagulation, and also non-specific immunity.
- Pain tolerance: Talon's nociceptors were chemically ablated with titrated concentrations of diphtheria toxin A (DTA) conjugated to purified recombinant nociceptin, inducing irreversible apoptosis and of many peripheral nociceptors (pain receptors) and greatly increased pain tolerance.
- Synaptic plasticity and spatial memory: Activity-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1-CA3 Schaeffer collateral circuit in the hypothalamus has been shown to be integral in spatial memory, plausibly through a Ca+2-dependent mediated by the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) and possibly voltage-depnedent calcium channels (VDCC). The NMDAR agonist (1S,2S)-1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-(4-hydroxy-4-phenylpiperidin-1-yl)-1-propanol and Mg+2 celator EGTA were locally applied to the hippocampus, potentiating E-LTP and spatial memory.
- Auditory Augmentation: Talon exhibits enhanced and sensitized hearing, although not an expansion in the frequency of audible sounds that can be heard, because of an artificially-maintained hyperkalemic environment that alters the inward anionic current into cochlear hair cells, increasing the amplitude of all sounds heard, and also by microsurgical infusion of neurotrophin-3 (NT3) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) small-molecule analogs into the cochlear basilar membrane, encouraging the proliferation and expansion of hair cells as well as strengthening the innervation and excitable electrophysiological characteristics of spiral ganglia neurons.
- Skeletal Reinforcement: Kimberly underwent continuous, periodic skeletal reinforcement postnatally, after it became readily that Kimberly's uncontrolled growth and tissue hypertrophy was leading to the collapse of her metabolism and her homeostatic bodily regulation, including depletion of Ca+2 reserves and the diminish of osteoclastic activity, leading to the progressive weakening of her bones as her body would copiously drain Ca+2 from her bones to fuel other cellular growth processes. Kimberly would require periodic infusion of strontium carbide, a Ca+2 mimetic, in order to even maintain a non-disintegrating skeleton and to continue field operations.
- "Definitely not Flood ... but not quite entirely human, either."
- ―Lieutenant Lauryn Alden
- "I doubt we'll ever completely understand the partial Flood characteristics exhibited by Talon. SCARLET had always been a blind shot, and our understanding of human synthesis and human embryonic development currently can't even come close to understanding the effects of nonspecific mutations, especially in regards with xenobiology such as the Flood's."
- ―Rear Admiral Montgomery
During embryonic development in utero, Kim would be exposed to saturating concentrations of SCARLET in the womb; a small-molecule chemical cocktail that accurately in vitro replicated the phenotype of co-transduction of B3 transcription factors and the GAMBLE genetic sequences. The continual nine-month-long exposure of Kim to SCARLET, a potent teratogen, in the womb would lead to irreversible growth defects with an underlying Flood undertone due to the biological activity mimicked by SCARLET. SCARLET, which induced partial putative Flood-associated reprogramming in vitro in cultured cells, had never been tested in humans in vivo priorly, although the effects on the other four thousand women of the FORECAST project — horrible sprouting of extra limbs and body parts — made it obvious that the mutagen had disastrous effects for most humans exposed to the agent. Kimberly Blackburn, and her mother, Alexandria Blackburn, represent the two living human beings who have ever survived over a week of in vivo exposure to saturating concentrations of SCARLET. Thus, the Flood partial phenotype induced by SCARLET in utero exposure remains not well documented, with Kimberly acting as the first human to be fully characterized.
- Aberrant neurobiology: One of Kimberly's most peculiar birth defects compared to normally-born humans is a highly aberrant and eccentric central and peripheral nervous system, and this is manifested on the neuroanatomy, cytoarchitectonics, and neurophysiology and molecular levels.
- Neuroanatomy: Even upon gross examination, Talon's brain was abnormal with major neuroanatomical abnormalities mostly in the midbrain limbic circuit, with a greatly engrossed prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus, amygdala, tegmentum, and a noticeably diminished septal area. The hypothalamus and the amygdala are well-known for controlling emotion and the expression of emotion, particularly rage and fear. The prefrontal cortex has been associated with higher-level cognitive functions; "executive functions" that control highly sophisticated social behaviors such as morality, troubleshooting, and decision-making. Hyperexcitability in the tegmentum and ablations in the septal area, a nervous system necessary for pleasure and enjoyment, have been shown to induce "sham rage" - random outbursts of undirected aggression, in experimental animals.
- Neurophysiology: Furthermore, despite Kimberly's female sex, she has exceedingly high concentrations of the masculine steroid testosterone, as well as androgynous steroids corticosterone, epinephrine, and dehydroepiandrosterone — all compounds that induce short-term and long-term rapidly-acting aggression. Serotonin, a modulatory neurotransmitter that represses rage, also has markedly decreased levels in Talon's brain.
- Epileptic hyperexcitability: In the cortex, Talon's cytoarchitectonics are highly deviant, with hyper-innervation of almost all investigated neural circuits, with excessive numbers of axons and dendrites, with such abundance that even a small number do not synapse because of insufficient targets. Talon shows reinforcement of activating and inhibitory neural circuits because of excessive innervation, but the phenotypic consequence of this phenomenon is unknown, electrophysiological studies have shown that many of Talon's neurons are hyperexcitable, with a greatly increased basal electrical state and a decreased threshold to activation. This has lead to highly complex and never before observed normal electrophysiological brain activities, with proliferous spiking signals typically only seen in patients in an epileptic seizure. These seizure-like electroencephalogram (EEG) activities are reminiscent to the classically-defined "partial simple focal" epilepsy, and Talon exhibits regular seizure positive symptomatology, including uncontrolled muscle movement and uncontrolled auditory and visual hallucination.
- Pain tolerance and sensation: Talon, even without her biosurgical augmentations, shows endogenous excessively high pain tolerance, with markedly decreased endogenous concentrations of nociceptin (pain-activating neurotransmitter) and extraordinarily high levels of enkephalin and anandamide (natural biologically-occurring pain relievers), which combinatorially serve to decrease pain reception. Furthermore, Talon's thalamus shows suprathreshold afferent and efferent innervation, especially to the eye, ear, nose, and somatosensors, thus increasing the ability of her central nervous system to recieve and integrate external sensory stimuli.
- Nonspecific telomeric addition: A significant proportion of Kimberly's bodily cells, whether or not terminally-differentiated functional somatic cells or renewing stem cells, strongly express hTERT, the human telomerase gene. Telomerase protects against DNA degradation, thus greatly increasing cell lifespan; cellular in vitro experiments in the 20th century have shown that constitutively active telomerase "immortalizes" cells, making them capable of infinite divisions. While in the typical human, telomerase is only expressed in a very small number of stem cells to allow for limited regenerative capacity, in aging, eventually widespread cellular damage leads to the defeat of the protective telomerase expression by a small number of stem cells, leading to death. However, the fact that almost all of Talon's cells express telomerase means that any cells - not just a rare stem cells - are capable of dividing and regenerating in tissue damage, theoretically augmenting her regeneration and potentially greatly extending lifespan - two key traits of the Flood species.
- Muscular hyperplasia: Talon's muscles upon a gross and cellular examination are also markedly different; Kimberly exhibits unprecedented natural muscular growth regardless of age, nutritional, or metabolic status, and her mean muscular mass as well as muscular cross-section are superior even to the most fit of the SPARTAN-IIs, suggesting that a Flood mechanism in part or in whole underlies this peculiar phenotype. Kimberly also expresses extensive and continual neovascularization or her musculature and also increased mitochondrial proliferation, accelerating both short-duration and long-duration muscular contraction by capillary perfusion and readily available creatine phosphate. Kimberly also exhibits bizarre muscular cellular structure with highly irregular cell shape and size, almost tumorigenic in the poorness of differentiation, likely indicative of extensive muscular proliferation and perhaps a higher-order organizing Flood cellular biology.
- Cartilaginous symbiotes: Upon certain parts of her body, it appears that certain stem cell populations have migrated from their resident niches and aggregated into highly plastic cartilaginous networks that are highly fortified with hydroxyapatite, forming an increased structural network underneath Kimberly's skin, potentially for protective purposes, and also secrete significant concentrations of growth factors and cytokines that target a wide variety of tissues for hypertrophy and hyperplasia. This cartilaginous webbing has not been well defined, nor has its trophic support. This uncharacterized symbiotic structure would have a high mitotic index and almost metastatic activity, and has been continually renewing, expanding, and mobilizing to different parts of Kimberly's body, encapsulating more and more with every year.
Augumentations and Ectopic Puberty
- "At the age of two, I was sixteen."
- ―Kimberly Ivy Blackburn
- Main article: Kimberly Ivy Blackburn#Physical Augmentations
Kimberly would be born in 2554, and at the age of two at 2556, Cooke decided to alter the human synthesis protocol, and would order the biochemical and surgical augmentations, believing that if she could withstand the highly potent cytotoxin and mutagen for nine months as a fetus, she could withstand the limited medical procedures, and that, more importantly, if the augmentations were done at a younger age, that her body could incorporate the augmentations better, that it could adapt to it, and as it grew that could respond and more efficiently integrate the augmentations. While the surgical and biochemical augmentations described above were performed to increase her reflexes, her sense of hearing, her metabolism, her musculature, her heart capacity and heart beat, her lung capacity and oxygen perfusion, her blood capacity for oxygen and her nonspecific immunity, her pain tolerance, and her spatial memory.
Cooke would completely violate bioethics protocols and artificially induce puberty at the age of two with small-molecule chemical analogs of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), lutenizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, and estradiol. Kimberly's body was irreparably scarred but her Flood-induced regeneration would compensate for it, but at the age of two, Kimberly was extraordinarily close to death as her Flood-associated unstoppable musculature growth, combined with the accelerated growth of puberty, would nearly shatter her body and bring her close to a coma and metabolic failure and ketoacidosis. This artificial puberty would further disrupt her plastic, neonatal neurochemistry and bring out her rage. She would be continually be hypo-imprinted during sleep and indoctrinated with premature knowledge as well as hate.
Boot Camp: Cruelty and Sadism
- "We're not going back there—No more."
- ―Kimberly Ivy Blackburn
Kimberly would emerge from her haze of childhood amnesia and would begin her formal military training in 2558 at the age of four in Asphodel Meadows Naval Special Warfare Center in a bleak environment of hostility and constant fear. She would be addressed from birth as "Chief Petty Officer Talon", never knowing her true name, and never wanting to know beyond what she was told.
Even from her first day of training, it was evident to ONI that Kimberly's thoughts were a chaotic and entropic slur of primordial hatred. She would wake from her sleep every morning with a pallid scream, and would feel a deep pain every time she would break from her slumber into the realm of consciousness. She was incapable of having coherent, distinct thoughts, and would require a morning transfusion of antipsychotic medications in order to solidify her thoughts into whole thoughts, to control her personality, to shape her anger, to bring her back to reality.
First Day: Lovejoy and Execution
On the first day of training, she would meet Master Sergeant Lansing Lovejoy, a distinguished but savage ex-FORCE RECON special warfare operator chosen by ONI for his barbarous measures to be Kimberly's first primary instructor, in order to foster Talon's emerging inchoate rage and to craft her warfighting talent until she was finer than any of the SPARTANs that would precede her. Yet, even the brutish Lovejoy did not anticipate Kimberly's demented fury—Kimberly would attack Lovejoy, beating him and attempting to eat his hand, and she would need to be suppressed with medication. Afterwards, her personality would always "reset" into the preprogrammed military alternate persona that ONI had programmed into her through hypnotic sleep imprinting, and thus even at the age of four, she had been through four full years of hypnotic indoctrination, and without consciously knowing how, she would have a full technical knowledge of UNSC weaponry and would be familiar with UNSC military protocol, even at the age of four identifying Lovejoy's six golden chevrons as the device of a Master Sergeant and automatically identifying an M6 sidearm and loading it without hesitation.
- "Faster. Tighter shot grouping. Your accuracy was horrible for a whole magazine."
- ―Master Sergeant Lansing Lovejoy to Kimberly Ivy Blackburn, at the age of four, after her first kill
Her elemental bloodlust, likely the result of Flood teratogenesis in the embryo, would always shine out, regardless of her age or her mental or physical condition.
Even on her first day of training, when she was led into a room with handcuffed prisoners against a wall and was handed an M6 sidearm, she would reflexively shoot them, killing them without even being asked to.
Her first human kill was at the age of four, when she indiscriminately sprayed handgun fire at a kneeling prisoner, clipping him in the head and watching the prisoner's head explode like a gourd, with blood and brains running from his shattered, blown-out skull. It was then that ONI knew that she had been born inherently despotic and satanic. Lovejoy would reprimand her for her accuracy on her first day of training—that despite the fact that she was four years old, she required a full M6 cartridge to kill a stationary target, and he would order to to kill the remaining prisoners "faster". Kimberly would automatically reload her handgun and casually stomp in his skull by pushing her heel into the prisoner's collapsed skull, flattening it with a crustacean crunch. The executed prisoner's last vision was a young infant standing over him with a nightgown and a still-smoking M6 sidearm. Even the hardened and sadistic Lovejoy, a FORCE RECON special operator, would be disturbed by her keening urge and desire to kill and torture even when she was four. It was only later that Lovejoy would learn that this was resultant from the Flood teratogenesis.
Her continued training would further her physical talents as well as encourage bloodlust. Her Flood-induced avarice, coupled with her extraordinarily premature onset of puberty, would leave her as an uncontrollable flood of fury, and given a steady stream of prisoners, she would show an incredible creativity in killing people and an extraordinary cruelty, without apparently feeling even any emotion, the result of an ablated septal area, and even amongst the hardened special warfare operators that trained her, she was found to have no conscience; that she was simply incapable of feeling pity for those that she executed. She was severely physically tasked, and ONI would barbarically and horrifyingly offer her the reward of prisoners to be executed upon the completion of ridiculous, impossible tasks — twenty-mile runs, hundreds of push-ups. It was a testament to her animalness that she could be lured so easily to impossible tasks by simply dangling prisoners in front of her; almost as if training a dog, some ONI trainers would say. She would be found unconscious, destroyed after series of physical tribulations, and she would literally drive herself to the point of complete physical collapse again and again. However, her trainers would not that she did not care for "defending Earth and all her colonies"; she would train gruesomely and inhumanely simply to kill and also for the sheer drive of succeeding, without any true intent nor allegiance to the UNSC. This would raise significant concerns with her controllers, who worried that they would be breeding an uncontrolled force that could readily turn around and wreak significant damage to ONI.
For her fifth birthday, Talon would be engaged in a rigged practice wargame exercise with Gauntlet Company, an ODST company of the 2nd Orbital Special Warfare Battalion at the Tiber River Plains, Asphodel Meadows. She had previously fought against other 2nd Orbital Special Warfare Battalion detachments, defeating three ODST companies prior to Gauntlet. Her primary instructor, Sergeant Major Lansing Lovejoy would "celebrate" Kimberly's birthday by rigging her HEV insertion pod to fail (a 1:50,000 probability) twenty seconds right before planetary impact, and Talon would be forced to operate the twenty-two second recovery protocol fractions of a second before the pod smashed into the planet at terminal orbital velocity, although she was still able to barely make it, instead suffering only moderate skeletal injuries instead of being splattered against the planet. Despite suffering a potentially fatal impact, Kimberly was able to escape the wreckage of the smoldering capsule, downing the two snipers of ODST Recon Team Six with a suppressed M7 submachine gun before they could report her position.
Lovejoy would be cooperating with the ODSTs, installing a tracking chip in Kimberly's headset to allow the Gauntlet operators to find her more easily. However, Talon would reach the still bodies of Team Six before they could report her position, and she would find a still live microphone on the snipers, and would overhear Lovejoy announcing that he'd planted the tracking device, and that ODST Squad Five was vectoring in on her position through the chip. Kimberly would hurl her headset far into the forest, misleading the ODSTs, while picking up a high-power sniper rifle—the BR55 DMR—from one of the fallen ODST snipers, and would move into a high, defensible sniping position, tracking Squad Five from far above as they mistakenly chased her helmet in the forest, and she would surgically pick them off with the sniper rifle, slaughtering the defenseless and unaware ODST squad.
It was then that a two-man ODST patrol would ambush her, and she was so entranced in her sniper's telescopic sight that she barely heard the rustling of boots on leaves before an M6 sidearm—loaded with live, lethal ammunition—would fire almost right beside her, missing her brain by centimeters and instead drawing blood from her cheek. Kimberly would effortlessly pivot and grab the armored cheek of one of the ODSTs and would forcefully pull downwards, completely ripping the ODST's lower jaw from its socket and making the flesh rip like fabric as the blood poured from his gaping missing chin. Major Boltzmann, the company commander, along with Sergeant Major Lovejoy and Commodore Cooke, would watch from the first ODST's HUD as Kimberly would easily whirl and meet the second ODST's tackle, tripping the sniper before he could reach her. The second ODST would slam down against an onyx rock, his unhelmeted head splattering the rock with blood as he forcefully and unceremoniously fell.
Kimberly would proceed to seize the ODST's head and smash it against the rock like a baseball bat until the ODST's face caved in.
Commodore Cooke would coldly commend Lovejoy for his fostering of Kimberly's sadism and malevolence and for Kimberly's eventual victory against Gauntlet Company, despite having her HEV sabotaged and her helmet traceable by the ODST hunter-killers.
Kimberly would continue her merciless path of sadism; would relentlessly beat prisoners for hours on end, smearing their blood across her frail childlike body. Notably, later in her fifth year, she would straddle and choke a child of her same age before proceeding to begin to dissect apart his face with her nails. Events such as these horrified even the immoral Office of Naval Intelligence, and many would have serious doubts that she wasn't a Flood combat form in human form.
She would excel physically, however, and would develop a remarkable musculature, and would possess massive brute strength as well as endurance and agility. Her Flood-like phenotype would lead to the uncontrollable, nearly cancerous growth of her muscles, and this was fostered by her induction of masculinized feminine puberty as well as regular infusions of testosterone, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), muscle-inducing growth factors. She would receive exceptional military training from special warfare instructors, primarily drawn from the most decorated NAVSPECWAR and FORCE RECON operators, and would learn the arts of battlefield maneuvering, of navigation and tracking, of silent movement, as well as conventional firearms training, and as she grew older and more physically capable to handle larger and heavier weapons, would cross-train on many UNSC and Covenant infantry and vehicular weapons systems; it was intended that she would operate autonomously, alone, necessitating that she was proficient with many weapons in order to adapt herself to the combat situation at hand. While her trainers were impressed with her growing warcraft and weapons and vehicular proficiency, they would carry deep doubts about her psychological stability; that her unrestrained and undirected anger would consume fellow field operators.
These fears that Kimberly could be unleashed against the UNSC would soon be justified.
Sexual Abuse and Torture
She would, however, breed fear, antagonism, and even deep-straddled hatred in the special warfare teams she exercised against and defeated—in the wargame exercises, she would brutally execute the "OpFor" UNSCSOCOM operators, effortlessly torturing and slaughtering the UNSC commandos. This finally broke into an abominable and horrible climax.
Kimberly was immobilized by titrated concentrations of nerve gas during her sleep, placed in titanium-A bonds wrought of starship armor battleplate and chained to a chair, and would be tortured by NAVSPECWAR operators for hours on end with physical beatings that would let the blood run from her shattered body, for electrocutions that would bring her into tachycardia and near cardiac arrest. Special forces operators were allowed to vent their pent-up aggressions and hatred on her, abusing her body as a punching bag until she would fall limp against the chair, unable to even support her own posture and her bones were as broken as her body. It was a testament to her supernatural regenerative Flood-like capacities that for those long hours, that she could even cling onto life, a pre-teen began savagely tortured by NAVSPECWAR operators. They would hear her shrill scream for hours on end, yet none dared to interfere.
This torture would continue for weeks, and during the exercises during the daytime, she would become an unbridled storm of fury, and would liquidate and annihilate the opposing special warfare operators, and this would become a blood war where she would claim a few of their lives everyday, cruelly butchering their comrades while the survivors would mutilate her at night. Soon, even after exercises, she would begin to hunt down and kill UNSC personnel—ONI's worst fears, realized—tracking down and beating to death the NAVSPECWAR operators that had tortured and beat her, bringing judgment into her own hands.
- "Get down, bitch."
- ―Staff Sergeant Karl Avery to Kimberly Ivy Blackburn
Finally, this would reach its climax. On the night of her sixth birthday, she was gassed for a last time by the ODSTs of Squad Five, and when she awoke from her chemically-induced coma, would find herself chained in a bed, with the dozen ODST commandos of Squad Five standing over her. The ODST commander, SSgt. Karl Avery, would declare with a smile that they'd heard that she'd been artificially induced to puberty at the age of two—so that at the age of six, she had a sexual age of twenty and that they'd "celebrate her birthday" by spending the night with her.
She would be sexually abused and raped the entire night, and for the first time, she would feel true fear.
The next night, she would attack Asphodel Meadows Naval Special Warfare Center's chem-biol storehouse (chemical and biological WMD storage), killing the guards and stealing nonlethal nerve gas.
She would personally execute all the ODSTs that had raped her, first nerve gassing their room and rendering them unconscious, waiting before they had reawoken but were paralyzed before using pliers to methodically snap off each of their fingers with a sickening snap and spilling crimson blood all across the dormitory as they convulsed and seized in paroxysms of inhumane agony.
Afterwards, she would take a machete and would attempt to decapitate Karl Avery, but to the horror of the seizing ODSTs, the machete was sunken halfway into his neck, not slicing all the way through.
Kimberly would wriggle the machete in his neck until the staff sergeant's head fell off onto the ground, and then picked up his head, still pulsing with blood, and would gouge out the sergeant's eyeballs with her thumbs, screaming "Get down, bitch!" as she dug out his eyeballs onto the floor. After she was satisfied with Avery's decapitated, eyeless head, she then proceeded to beat the remaining wounded ODSTs to death, the soldiers that had raped her and dishonored her, watching the blood stream from their sliced-open hands and the rest of their bodies as they died.
Cooke realized that the situations had spiraled out of control. The personnel at Asphodel Meadows Naval Special Warfare Center began to fear her visibly in the hallways as words of her murders spread, and the FORECAST chief would demand order. Kimberly to date had been the most atrocious tragedy that ONI had experienced.
Commodore Cooke would call an emergency consult with Beah Schore, his assistant, Commander Lauryn Alden, Admiral Montgomery, the Director of Biological Warfare, and Director Gibson, the Chief of Section Three, and would admit that things had finally "gotten out of hand" with Kimberly and that emergency action was necessitated, lest ONI lose its vast investment in Kimberly and the extensive resources that they had spent impregnating, mutating, and augmenting her, as well as the hundreds of UNSCSOCOM operators that she had killed in her animalistic and primal training.
ONI's focus on her training was now decided to be a more formal military training, and that she had to be psychologically broken. Afterwards, her shards would be picked back up and molded into an effective fighting warrior. They decided that Sergeant Major Lansing Lovejoy would be retired from the FORECAST project, and when ONI suggested that a SPARTAN-II (a friend of Kimberly's father, ironically), Lauryn, seeing the chance, would suggest her friend, SPARTAN-091, as Kimberly's new trainer, the one would she would learn to fear.
The same day, Lovejoy would say his stoic goodbye to the six-year-old Kimberly, and though cool and sober about that fact that she had slaughtered hundreds of UNSCSOCOM field operators, many of whom had been his friends in FORCE RECON, he would say quietly that Kimberly was the finest soldier that he had ever fought alongside; that she was the most lethal and fatal warfighter that he'd ever met. He would, also, uncharacteristically, also leave her with a gift — the trademark exclusive black leather jacket worn by the elite operators of UNSCSOCOM, and on the front, he would sew on the unit patch of FORCE RECON, commemorating her murderous power.
The following day, SPARTAN-091 would meet her in her quarters in the morning, and without her typical waking dosage of antipsychotics and anticonvulsants, she would storm into her characteristic downpour of murderous rage and voraciousness, and without his MJOLNIR armor, SPARTAN-091 would surprisingly suffer several telling blows from the psychotic superhuman flurry before finally dealing a grievous lesson and physically defending himself, subduing the young Talon.
For the first time, Talon would learn that there was a fighter superior to her, and over time, after continual attempts to kill her newest trainer, would affix 091 with a warrior's respect for his battle prowess, and in his presence would act as a psychological stabilizer for her.
Although Kimberly would never lose her innate atrociousness and cruelty, would begin to meld into a professional warfighter as the SPARTAN-IIIs had; 091 would earn and demand Kimberly's respect, and horrified at the allowed tortures and rapings, would demand that UNSCSOCOM end its inhumane crimes against Section Three's most prized child. It was under SPARTAN-091 that Kimberly would become an expert at warfighting, and would finally ascend to a new level of expert marksmanship with weapons. She would learn discipline, with SPARTAN-091 the only card barely holding her in line from UNSC killing sprees again. 091 would maintain her Flood-like personality of boundless aggression into some shape, and Kimberly would finally be confirmed for field operations, with SPARTAN-091 and ONI psychologists carefully maintaining a diligent watch over her.
- "It’s your tenth birthday, Talon. You’re ten."
- ―SPARTAN-091 to Kimberly Ivy Blackburn, upon her tenth birthday
As per Section Three Directive 3-43, Kimberly was projected to be formally confirmed to full field operational capacity upon her tenth birthday. It was that morning, when SPARTAN-091 would stand by her bedside and wake her as the antipsychotic cocktail was administered to her, that the SPARTAN would perhaps feel a touch of empathy for the "prone, comatose child sprawled on the sheets"; on the day that they would part, perhaps permanently, he would have sympathy for her. That she was no SPARTAN; the SPARTANs fought for the UNSCs, even the psychologically-challenged SPARTAN-IIIs battled for the UNSC and for the death of the Covenant—but that Kimberly had slaughtered over one hundred UNSC Special Operations Command operators, far more than any single Covenant special forces group during the War; she wasn't a patriot, a soldier fighting for country, she was simply unbridled rage with no control. Yet, he knew that if the SPARTANs had been pressed through her training regimen, they would have all broken. He had never felt pity for his drill instructors (DIs) and gotten none in return, so it was uncharacteristic when he would brush her fair cheek, coaxing her to rise for her final day.
While Talon had expected combat training, marksmanship schooling, SPARTAN-091 would disappoint her and discomfit her by instead asking to enjoy one last walk with her. The two would walk together towards the Calypso Mountains, SPARTAN-091 setting the pace, for the first time enjoying the natural beauty of Asphodel Meadows; the sculpted, desolate hills and the snow-encrusted conifers. It was a tenous walk as SPARTAN and murderess walked together, SPARTAN-091 setting the pace and Talon quietly following, wary of an ambush on the unhewn dirt road, the two bathed in 47 Ursae Majoris's rising ambrosia starlight.
Finally, SPARTAN-091 would stop and regard her for a long time and a painful earnesty; enjoying the play of golden light off her jaw, her familiar but unplacable physical beauty, admiring her strength, the watchful intelligence in her eyes—yet horrified; she smouldered with bloodlust, and she was powerful, with almost effortless control over formless pure muscle, an exactingly-controlled and economic pure predator; he was in awe, but aghast at what they could have done to her.
- "For you, Talon, and that black suede jacket you like so much. For us—for you to remember us."
- ―SPARTAN-091's last words to Kimberly Ivy Blackburn
He would admit to her that it was her tenth birthday, that she was being commissioned—and finally, he would ask, almost shyly, whether or not she thought they would see each other again, and he found himself surprisingly crestfallen when she didn't care to answer. As a parting gift, he would offer her the SPARTAN unit match of a silver eagle clutching thunderbolts; trying to get through to her, to commemorate the years they'd spent together. An ONI Pelican Dropship would vector towards their position on a filgree of contrails, and SPARTAN-091 would take several steps back towards the base, turn as if to say something—and then would run off into the distance. Kimberly wouldn't care enough to follow him.
The two would not see each other again for decades.
After SPARTAN-091's departure, Kimberly would be ferried by the Pelican Dropship to the UNSC Speed of Sound, a fleet-footed corvette, and aboard, would be formally "activated" by Commodore Cooke, who would utter the six code words of Directive 3-43; "The forecast says there's a storm", thereby confirming Kimberly for field duty. Aboard the Speed of Sound, Kimberly would be introduced for the first time to a heartbroken man; Dr. Beah Schore. Schore would reveal her name to her — Kimberly Ivy Blackburn, and would almost plead with her, pleading for her to accept that she had a mother and a family — Alexandria Clarissa Blackburn — that she was a human being.
When Kimberly would impassively deny these revelations, Schore would be heartbroken, remembering how her mother had been mutated and poisoned, struggling in Section Three's hands to survive to give birth to her, how her grandmother, Melody Blackburn, had been killed when she grew another heart and nails grew in her eyes. Cooke, furious at Schore's attempt to humanize Kimberly, would usher CPO Talon away, where she was given her first field assignment; Operation: PAIR RULE, a targeted penetration operation to render Sesta 'Laram, an outspoken Sangheili progressive thinker. Kimberly would be briefed before some of the most distinguished officers of the UNSC Defense Force, including Master Gunnery Sergeant Wimbleton and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps (ret.) Arnold Lewis Junior, along with a dozen hand-picked ONI flag officers. It was in this prestigious audience that Cooke would detail her first operation—
—The field-testing of Section Three's most au courant, lethal and exacting weapon—
And he would vaguely outline Ship Master 'Laram as a firebrand and renegade of sorts in fairly uncertain and ambiguous terms, detailing his position on Tau Capricorni B (Absolution Court) and assuring Covenant Intelligence's willingness to diffuse any investigation into 'Laram's later whereabouts. There would be no questions, no hesitation.
Kimberly would be taken from Asphodel Meadows and the 47 Ursae Majoris System, the only home she had ever known, to the ONI Deep Space Naval Observatory, a classified Section One facility one light-year from Asphodel Meadows, where the stealth frigate UNSC Behind in Twilight awaited her to ferry her to Tau Capricorni B, where 'Laram and the first example of her devastating power would unfold before the ONI brass. Afterwards, Arnold Lewis would be perhaps unnerved by the demonstration of her graceful fury; that she was the alien, the next generation that had surpassed everything that his life had been. Wimbleton would later quietly inform SPARTAN-091 of the vague particulars of his friend, 'Laram—and his spontaneous death. SPARTAN-091 would be heartbroken when he would find that his pupil's first kill had been his closest friend in the Covenant, his longstanding ally and confident slain by a young girl he had taught with his very hands.
She would continue operations exemplarly, but many ONI officers were distraught about the worst possibility; that on the field, out of reach from her mood-stabilizing bipolar drugs and her ONI trainers and controllers, that she would again conflagration into a tornado of bloodlust. She was confirmed as a solo operator, typically sent in with little to no UNSC infantry support, in order to minimize any potential backlashes to the UNSC.
These fears were soon proven to be justified. On the field, she was a seamless and beautiful meld of muscle and grace but would prove almost incapable of executing covert operations, and always would spontaneously break out into prolonged periods of deep, undirected fury, wreaking havoc without direction and without reins nor attention to commanding officers and their directives. Soon, elite special warfare operator Master Gunnery Sergeant Hank J Wimbleton was called upon to break her and mold her into the ONI fold. While Kimberly and Wimbleton would enjoy a horrible interpersonal relationship, Kimberly would develop too a warrior's respect for the veteran SPARTAN-I, and the two would perform joint two-person operations for years until she was finally molded into an efficient and precise killing tool and to fulfill her intended role as Section Three's covert executor.
Talon would attain the rank of Chief Petty Officer (E-5) with the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence, would be known as the only UNSC serviceman protected by the infamous black operations legislature, Title 9, and given the exclusive right to use the highly coveted and feared call-sign of "Delta X-1". This granted her the protection, classification, and unrestricted area of operations (AOR) necessary to fufill her role as ONI's executrix and murderess.
She would become known to the highest UNSC Special Operations Command as one of UNSCSOCOM's most reliable and prodigious operators, striking with impunity, physically flawless, and negligent of the means; she was incapable of having a conscience, of listening to doubts, of asking questions, and superior even to the vaunted SPARTANs.
At the age of fifteen, Talon would later be assigned aboard the UNSC Meridian Rays, a UNSC carrier that would be used as a mobile staging platform for the most sensitive UNSCSOCOM and ONI black operations in the Outer Rim. She would first participate in Operation: ICEBREAKER on New Monmouth, Alpha Orionis System, and would be assigned to the operation, the live-fire inauguration of special forces group "Echo" and a targeted counterinsurgency operation against the People's Liberator Army and one of their hinge point individuals, Aaron Shaver.
Delta Team, an elite counterinsurgency team attached to UNSC Counterterrorism Activity Warfare Section, were put under the impression that they would command the operation, although it immediately became clear in the pre-op that things were far less placid and routine as they were. Delta Team would meet Talon, who was introduced as the "ONI field observer" who would be in the secure operations zone but would have a noncombatant role. The Delta Team members immediately became suspect, distrustful, and perhaps even intimidated by the young Kimberly, and Delta-Three would note her extraordinary age, her athleticism, and her piercing, predatory stare, as if examining the Delta operators for signs of weakness. When Delta-One, the team commander, began asking Commander Hayes pointed questions about Talon's true identity, Admiral Gibson, the Chief of Section Three, would pay a visit to demand an end to the incessant questioning, and it was at that point that Delta understood that something was afoot. This was exemplified and furthered by the agitation and foreboding of Hayes, typically an extraordinarily well-composed officer and commander. During the insertion onto New Monmouth, Delta-Three would note that Kimberly would destroy the atmosphere and voided all the light, warmth, camaraderie, and conversation and radiated a corona of darkness, of anger.
Delta Team would arrogantly order the inexperienced Echoes, as well as Talon, to stand off at a distant observation point and watch while the Deltas expertly executed and rendered the operation, which supposedly only curtailed the destruction of an insurgent convoy along with Shaver. It came as a shock at Kimberly, despite her intimidating posture and atmosphere of assured superiority, did not object, quietly shuffling away to the stand-off observation point.
The operation was indeed merely a façade displayed by higher echelons. Through Deep Cover, the PLA had been warned that this was a UNSCSOCOM trap, and the insurgents, sensing a chance to kill the special forces group that was efficaciously tracking and cauterizing rebel cells up and down the Outer Rim, threw insurmountable droves and multitudes down on the outnumbered fifteen-man UNSC special warfare team. Meanwhile, aboard the orbiting Meridian Rays, Hayes could only watch in abject dismay through the SEAGULL THREE reconnaissance satellite as hundreds and thousands of rebel guerrillas and droves of insurgent technicals would fall upon his forces, but under the order of three UNSC flag officers besides him; Admirals Gibson, Montgomery, and Cooke, Hayes would say nothing, and was even ordered to jam all long-range communications to ensure that the UNSC team on the ground would have no chance for immediate extraction.
While the Deltas initially fared well, their advantageous altitude and camouflaged positions reliable to fend off the PLA rebels until hostile mortars would bombard their position, the Echo squad would progress with less success, immediately beset by enemy technicals mounted with juxtaposed machine guns. When rebel vehicles would attack the Deltas, set on extinguishing the entrenched special forces riflemen and snipers, it was Kimberly who would save them; with an AS DAM anti-materiél (AM) rifle and a high and defensive position, she could pick off the rebel vehicles attacking the Delta position, laying waste to their armored column.
The battle, with the UNSC forces being harassed, outnumbered, and outflanked by superior enemy forces, would reach a critical turning point as Talon, under Title 9, would assume complete control over the situation under callsign "Delta X-1", which would grant her automatic control over all local UNSC forces under executive directives from UNSC Special Operations Command.
Kimberly would rally the UNSC special warfare team, and under her command, they would reorganize, regroup, and mount an effective defense. Talon, an unparalleled warfighter bred from SPARTANs and augmented by SCARLET's mutagenic effects, would unleash the full force of her fury, and the PLA forces would falter and dissolve underneath her untethered, unbridled power. After the collapse of the rebel offensive, Gibson would authorize the re-establishment of communications with the ground team, and Foray gunships were released to stage close air support (CAS) for the outnumbered UNSC commandos, and the release of chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMD) would be authorized, slaughtering the rebels in retreat. The team would be fully extracted to the Meridian Rays, and Kimberly would return, triumphant for her success in rallying the UNSC forces and her integral role in the complete rout of the rebel insurgents. The Deltas, who had been the first to shun her and despise her, would agonizingly grow a respect for the talented young woman who had saved their lives. All of the Delta and Echo personnel would return, with only moderate and severe individual injuries but no fatalities. Kimberly had escaped relatively unscathed.
- "Am I so ugly that no one ever loved me? Was I never human that I never had a mother's embrace? That no one will miss me when I'm gone, that no one will ever remember me?"
- ―Kimberly Ivy Blackburn to August Plummer
It was during these events that Delta-Three, Petty Officer August Plummer, would develop a deep respect for the young Kimberly; he was initially struck by her aura of effortless power, by her wilting, arrestive gaze. Plummer, who as a child, had watched human blood spread across the African plains as he was enlisted as a child soldier into the UNSC Marine Corps during the last-ditch defense in the Second Battle of Earth in late 2552, would never forget that his life at the highest cost; that it had been bought from human blood.
He would tentatively and gingerly approach the frigid and scathing Talon after the completion of ICEBREAKER, and would offer his compassionate thanks to the reclusive killer, who would coldly drive him away.
Kimberly would continue to serve with Delta and the Echoes during the prolonged counter-terror operations out on the distal Outer Rim, and Plummer would develop and nurture an immature but thoughtful, almost parental care for Kim, and despite their age difference, would feebly attempt to watch over the violent assassin and young, headstrong child during their brutal counterinsurgency campaign—in the absence of any family of his own, he would take upon himself a father figure responsibility for Talon, and despite Kimberly's fierce anger and her inhumane cruelty and depthless masochism to the prisoners they captured in their raids, it would be Plummer that would grow attracted to Blackburn—and would be one of the first to ever feel compassion for the horrible, mangled shell of a human that UNSCSOCOM knew as "Talon". Kimberly, however, in her senseless, wanton violence, would never feel August's kindness, always treating him distantly and vehemently as a subhuman subordinate beneath her contempt or notice.
- SPARTAN-091: "I offer an easy way out."
- Kimberly Ivy Blackburn: "Really? I've heard that before."
- Do you recognize this?: "M6C, 12.7x40mm M225 Semi-Armor Piercing High Explosive. Interesting."
- — Kimberly Ivy Blackburn and her imaginary hallucinated friends
Meanwhile Kimberly's psychological state would deteriorate. Her seizures would begin to increase in frequency even under the control of anticonvulsants, demonstrating pharmacological accommodation. Kimberly would also become increasingly addicted to drugs; the drugs she'd been fed since the age of four that had solidified her wanton violence, focused her violence, and allowed her to detach her consciousness from the atrocities she wrought. Becoming increasingly addicted, she would suffer a paranoid schizophrenia in order to obtain increasingly higher amounts of the drug prior to operations, beginning to become cocaine-dependent, and would get chronic tachycardia, arrhythmia, elevated fever, high blood pressure, and anxiety bursts. She would eventually even begin hallucinating during missions, and she would later collapse while off-duty, found shivering in a fetal ball as she underwent severe depressive crashes when levels of the drug in her blood would decline. These would later be followed by extreme bursts of unbridled aggression, capitalizing even upon her normal hyperaggressive psychological state.
Kimberly would eventually undergo severe psychological depression, culminating with suicidal thoughts induced by her chemical mind fuck. For hours she would gently cradle herself on her couch, with her M6 sidearm nestled warmly in her mouth, sucking its platinum barrel with her lips absently, the weapon covered with her saliva and sweat. August Plummer would find her one day in her quarters, enraptured in this spell as she conversed with her hallucinated imaginary friends.
- "Mom? I'm home."
- ―Last words of Halo: Vector's final act
Through a not clearly expounded series of fundamentally-altering events, Kimberly would eventually return to full operational capacity, and would serve with continued distinction as Section Three's dirty little secret and most exactingly-forged weapon, attaining a far higher standard of excellence than before, becoming a precisely-focused storm of fury, finally attaining the coveted rank of Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9).
Through unknown machinations, she would eventually be pardoned from the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence and die—
—Being rebirthed; born into a new brave new world, one of the likes she had never tasted, never glimpsed in her dream worlds, never seen in her hallucinations.
Never again would she cradle a weapon in her tender hands, strike down a human in anger, have her face brushed by crimson blood.
Beah Schore's orchestrations would lead to her acceptance as an undergraduate into Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the age of thirty, where she would graduate from the Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology (SCRB) Department, majoring in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology and later attending Harvard Graduate School in Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Many would suspect Beah Schore's puppeteering in the matter; by this time he had retired from Acumen Science Laboratories and would become an aging, elderly professor at Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences again near the terminus of his life. Others would suggest Flood-mimicking neuronal plasticity, which was previously observed in smaller Flood forms that attained increasingly higher levels of organization; combat forms merging into a brain form, various smaller intelligences fusing into a Gravemind. After completing a difficult four years in graduate school, Kimberly would earn a postdoctoral fellowship in Schore's laboratory, potentially because of nepotism, although none were daring enough to accuse Professor Schore of the charge. Later Kimberly would attain a junior fellowship at Harvard University, again, under Schore's mentorship. Kimberly would become discreetly wedded to August Plummer, who too would retire from ONI and UNSC Special Operations Command, a decorated veteran of the service.
Physical Appearance and Presence
Kimberly was striking in the UNSC Defense Force because of her exceptionally young age; Delta-Three would note that by 2570, when Talon was already operational as a covert field asset of the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence, that Kimberly was younger than twenty; at the time of Operation: ICEBREAKER, Kimberly was indeed only sixteen years of age, younger than the average recruit to the UNSC Marine Corps, and this would make her the target of many snide puns from fellow operators unaware of her skill, who would deride her with comments such as she was fit to be on the "high school soccer team" and similar immature jibes.
She was, however, memorably attractive by the standards of many, and had luscious black hair, striking viridian eyes, a strong jaw, thin cheekbones, and a slender, athletic figure that suggested regular exercise. SPARTAN-091 would note that her face had a particular physical beauty that he could distantly recall; this was the result of Kimberly's inheritance from SPARTAN-117. Beah Schore would note that Kimberly inherited her mother's face, who also had black hair, green eyes, and a trim figure.
However, Kimberly's appearance was instantly recognizable by her intense, arrestive stare, one that was said to be a penetrating, intrusive stare that burrowed through flesh and marrow. Her skin was abnormally blanched and pale, and her cheeks were drawn tight over thin cheekbones. Furthermore, most striking about her was her carriage. Her mere presence appeared to withdraw the ambient light and warmth, and her company was said to be dark, frigid, and bitter, and she would inspire fear with her fellow soldiers, not respect nor leadership. She could trigger an unnatural phobia even in the most highly-trained special forces operators, activating an instinctive urge and desire to kill, and would lead by terror, not leadership.
Talon would later reveal to August Plummer that not all her physical beauty was all that it seemed. Her skin was pale because of her significant, almost cancerous proliferation of type two "fast twitch muscles", the white-colored muscles that gave rodents their characteristic whiteish and transparent color; the result of the Flood-like excessive musculature growth induced by SCARLET. Her cheekbones were thin and attractive because of the failure of her body to maintain itself, diverting all resources from maintenance and bodily upkeep instead into muscular growth and organ expansion; Ca+2 reserves were nonexistent and osteoclastic activity, a biological maintenance process, would be completely expended because of its usage of energy, and because of that, her bones were brittle and on the risk of collapse and breakage, and she required regular infusions of strontium carbide solution in order to even maintain a skeletal system. Her trim and attractive body was the result of a hyperactive metabolism; how the Flood maintained their own bodily growth by possessing an exaggerated metabolism to quickly incorporate and integrate nutrients into biological growth. Her powerful and vigorous musculature was resultant of the almost tumorigenic and uncontrollable muscular growth induced by the Flood-like SCARLET teratogen, resulting in her sinewy frame. That her willowy feminine beauty had been induced by exposure to saturating concentrations of estradiol during the induction of ectopic puberty.
Kimberly often did not wear a dress or a service uniform because her rank, affiliation, decorations, and campaign ribbons were classified, and a wholly unmarked black dress uniform was likely to attract extensive attention from other UNSC service personnel. Rather, in all non-combat circumstances, she typically wore a jacket or a vest and full jeans, wearing a civilian garb that was more familiar to special warfare operators, and she was often notable by her clad in the black suede jacket that was the trademark of the most elite circles of UNSC Special Operations Command, given to her by FORCE RECON operator Lansing Lovejoy at the age of six. The jacket would have several notable patches sewn into it; the FORCE RECON insignia, the SPARTAN-II unit eagle patch, and a broken heart.
While Talon's exceptional physical stature and musculoskeletal system was peerless, definately capable of handling the formidable MJOLNIR power armor donned by the SPARTAN-IIs, she also typically forewent this because of the covert and abtruse nature of the special operations she typically handled, which did not require excessive firepower or armor, but rather, camouflage, care, and discrete. While the SPARTAN-III Semi-Powered Infiltration (SPI) armor system was familiar to her, with texturing field camouflage capabilities, she typically preferred a simple, tight-fitting black or blue-white environmental suit that offered little protection from enemy fire, but instead did not interfere with her considerable agility and dexterity, and protected her against the elements and also limited exposure to chem-biol WMDs (chemical and biological weapons). She typically also drew her long hair into a sinuous ponytail during field operations, and although typically wasn't garbed in a helmet, would have goggles and optics over her eyes, although her wear was highly heterogenous and variable, dependent on mission parameters.
Psychology and Personality
- "Mentally unfit for duty. Continual audiovisual hallucinations and epileptic-like cortical electric activity. Absent emotional control and uncontrollable, instinctive aggression and rage."
- ―UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence psychological assessment
Kimberly, while physically exemplary, was psychologically defective deficient, even to the state of psychologically pathological. Her psyche and personality was broken, shattered, presumably from the effects of the Flood-like teratogen, SCARLET, which as detailed above, had caused extensive changes to her neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, which notably included exceptional, gross enlargement of the amygdala, hippocampus, and the tegmentum. The amygdala and the hippocampus of the limbic system are the primary controllers of human emotion; of generation of emotion, of memory of emotion, and expression of emotion, and the amygdala specializes in the handling of primal emotions such as aggression and fear. While overenlargement of the amygdala has never been fully characterized in humans, Klüver-Bacy Syndrome in animals, the bilateral lesioning of the amygdala, has led to a pronounced nonaggressive state, and thus ONI has reasoned that conversely, excessive growth and activity of the amygdala may contribute to Talon's hyperaggressive state. Furthermore, artificial stimulation of the tegmentum has been previously shown to induce "sham rage", bursts of inexplicable aggression and fury, in animals.
Kimberly's natural personality is so abberant as to be defined as pathological, more animal than human, leading many ONI officers who meet her in person to conclude that the Flood-like mutagen treatment has led to excessive bodily and mental defects. At rest, Kimberly has an exaggerated, unperturbable, brooding state of constant, aggrieved, uncontrolled anger and fury. She is bloodthirsty, aggressive, lusting for blood and death in an uncomfortably impassionated state. Electropsychological studies have confirmed that Talon has continual visual and auditory hallucinations of screaming and bodily carnage. Often times, Kimberly's thoughts are discontinuous and shattered, filled by incochate anger and blind rage. This, though the midbrain limbic system, has physical manifestations; Delta-Three would note that her "skin was drawn taut over delicate cheekbones, and there was a pinched expression to her face, some unnatural intensity ... from the darkness, her verdant eyes scythed out. They smoldered with a lust, some fleshy hunger." Other UNSC personnel would be unnerved by her intense organic yearning and animalism for killing and cruelty, and her presence would create a negative space of empty hunger, and Delta-Three would describe her exuded sense of sadism and barbarism to portray her as a "chthonic archangel upon a throne of obsidian black ... a corporeal creature more of shadow than flesh". Kimberly would have a continuous frame of anger, as if preprogrammed — an unstoppable, continually-activated program of anger and fury.
Talon's hemorraging anger would lead to her unspeakable sadism and her inhumane cruelty. In line with her Flood-related voraciousness, she would move for the most inhumane ways of killing people—straddling and asphyxiating them, choking them with her bare hands, lighting them on fire—and during her training, she was given extensive "free time" where she had to release herself, and where she could unleash her indiscriminate aggression upon prisoners, attempting to empty herself of her rage. She reported that she heard continual, corybantic screaming, the auditory hallucinations, and would attempt to release the screaming and the darkness of her heart by sadistically killing others. This elemental rage, far more profound than the innate aggression of the SPARTAN-IIIs, would make her a dangerous asset to ONI, as while she exhibited intense fury towards the enemy in the field, she was at risk at randomly lashing out at fellow UNSC personnel. She was impossible to break during training, and while ONI would foster her rage, they would be unable to control it and break her and the Flood madness within her, and eventually Cooke would enlist SPARTAN-091 to beat Kimberly into some kind of directed fighting weapon. Yet, after intensive physical and psychological destruction, Kimberly would always exhibit hostility to UNSC personnel, often by her cold, dark presence, her blatant and open disrespect to rank and commanding officers, and her scathing, demolishing glare from her piercing viridian eyes. Despite this lack of adherence to military protocol, ONI would continue to feed her anger, and she was perpetually kept on pharmacologicals that served to artificially augument and intensify her anger and perpetuate her bloodlust.
It was after meeting August Plummer, an operator of the UNSC Special Operations Command, UNSC Counterterrorism Activity Warfare Section, at the age of sixteen that Kimberly would begin to recover from her utterly consumed abyss of a childhood and a young adulthood. August would unfathomably unlock some fundamental, formless lock within Kimberly by demonstrating care and emotional affection, and Kimberly would finally open her eyes to her atrocities, and while would always be psychologically damaged and drip with aggressiveness, would begin psychological recovery and have a personality that could be classified as human, beginning to feel sadness, despair, and depression and to open up to recieve a spectrum of previously unrecieved emotions, demonstrate (extremely limited) emotional control, and exhibit even possibly affection.
- "Perfect health, yet the broadest, most disastrous spectrum of pathological disorders known to mankind in a living being. Differential diagnosis indicates over fifteen diagnosed pathologies, including eight cancers. A medical disaster, a walking corpse."
- ―Beah Schore, MD, PhD
Kimberly's physique is exceptional and unparalleled, with a vigorous and athletic body that suggests extraordinary physical health. Her extensive infancy biochemical and mechanical augmentations, although at the time, nearly lethal, have gifted her with literally superhuman bodily health—she has a voluminous and extraordinarily muscled heart that has a huge end-diastolic volume (EDV) and an excessive cardiac output that allows her to circulate massive amounts of oxygenated blood across her body to perfuse her muscles and organs, with a cardiac capacity and cardiac strength far exceeding any SPARTAN because of her childhood application of FGF8 small-molecule analog and cardiosurgery, which surgically dilated and expanded her heart. Additionally, she has massive pulmonary alterations, which a grossly enlarged pulmonary vital capacity and forced vital capacity (twenty liters of air) due to the significant pulmonary alterations—neonatal pulmonary hyperplasia and hypertrophy, distal epithelial expansion, aveolar differentiation and branching—that allows her to imbue her body with oxygen even in extremely metabolically-taxing situations, granting expansion of aerobic muscular metabolism. This is further accentuated by chemical induction of hematopoietic and myeloid expansion with EPO and IL-3 small-molecule analogs that induce almost carcinogenic and pathological hematopoietic and myeloid progenitor pool expansion, specifically including granulocytes, megakaryocytes / platelets, and erythrocytes. Her tumorigenic erythrocyte (RBC) generation, along with her substantial cardiac, pulmonary, and muscular augmentations gives her a far longer acute physical endurance than any other human.
The perfusion of immunogenic skeletal muscle progenitors (SMP) into major skeletal muscles has given her a tremendous multiplication in gross muscle mass, as well as muscular growth and regeneration, and combined with the hyper-proliferation of myocytes induced by Flood teratogenesis, and also electrically-sensitive biomembranous encapsulation of muscles giving her a powerful body—extensive biological and bioengineering muscular modifications coupled with the atrocious brute force of a Flood combat form.
These significant revisions to her body have not been without tradeoffs; despite her paranormal strength and mythological endurance, even her enhanced pancreatic metabolism is not sufficient to maintain the almost cancerous growth of her body, muscles, and organs; her bodily maintenance and uptake has been completely shunted to physical growth, depleting Ca+2 reserves and leading to osteoporosis and osteopenia, and her skeleton is on the verge of disintegrating because of a lack of calcified strength, coupled with her exaggerated and powerful muscular movements, which are shattering her bones.
Notably, neurocytological studies have indicated that in reminscence to in vitro lentiviral Flood reprogramming, that Kimberly's central nervous system neurons have attained significant functional, cellular, and molecular modifications, beyond the alterations to her prefrontal cortex (PFC) and limbic circuitry, she has substantial evidence of mitotic neuronal activity and significant morphological and electrophysiological diversification in many cortical and subcortical pathways, and cultured biopsied neurons are capable of developing into highly complex geometric arrangements that eventually proliferate into elegant, statistically-significant arrays with highly heterogenous electrophysiological firing patterns and high expression of the calmodulin (CaM), Cav1.2 Ca+2 L-type VDCC, adenylate cyclase (AC), calmodulin-activated kinases (CaMK), and NMDAR mRNAs, lucratively suggesting an enhanced capacity for canonical calcium-mediated plasticity throughout her brain, importantly in the hippocampal perforant pathway and the Scaeffer collateral.
Physical Pathological Diagnosis
- "The probability that all these cancers could coincidentally occur within a human being is estimated at 1 x 1090, that is, one in nearly one google human beings. Etiology suggests coincidental carcinogenic induction."
- ―UNSC Medical Corps report
It was not unexpected after her extensive Flood-associated birth defects that she would have hyperproliferation across many bodily tissues; however, this rampant bodily growth and uncontrollable cellular division is cancerous because of their vast speed of division, especially in her musculoskeletal system. Surprisingly, it appears that the Flood physiology in the dissected corpses of Combat Forms parallels this (cancerous bodily growth to increase muscle and body mass increase and increased combat efficiency), and a symbiotic relation exists between the cancerously-growing tissues and the body that allows for the survival and enhancement of both—thus despite the extraordinary severity of all Kimberly's combined physical diseases, she is asymptomatic; these cancers are merely the excessive proliferation of specific targeted body tissues by bioaugmentation and teratogenesis. Extensive differential diagnosis has formally diagnosed the following pathologies in Kimberly:
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML): Myeloproliferative cancer of the bone marrow characterized by uncontrollable expansion of myeloid progenitors and the excessive generation of mature granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils). Kimberly has been diagnosed as a terminal blast crisis CML patient, with an estimated survival of under nine months in the normal human being. CML was artificially induced in Kimberly by application of IL-3 small-molecule analog, resulting in Kimberly's enhanced nonspecific immunity.
- Rhabdomyosarcoma: Proliferative cancer of skeletal muscle progenitors (SMP) characterized by uncontrollable expansion of embryonic muscle and infiltration of muscular growths into soft tissues. Rhabdomyosarcoma was artificially induced in Kimberly by peripheral SMP transplant into skeletal muscle, resulting in Kimberly's extraordinary physical stature.
- Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC): Malignant and aggressive epithelial cancer of the lung characterized by uncontrollable expansion of the lung epithelium. NSCLC was artificially induced in Kimberly by FGF8 small-molecule analog application and surgical agitation of pulmonary growth, resulting in Kimberly's dramatic pulmonary capacity increase.
- Polycythemia vera (PCV): Myeloproliferative cancer of the bone marrow characterized by the uncontrollable expansion of erythroblasts and production of mature erythrocytes (red blood cells), that is, erythremia. PCV was artificially induced in Kimberly by EPO and IL-3 small-molecule analogs, resulting in Kimberly's extraordinary erythrocyte content, blood hemoglobin content, and her phenomenal blood oxygen-carrying capacity and physical endurance.
- Essential thrombocytosis (ET): Myeloproliferative cancer of the bone marrow characterized by uncontrollable expansion of megakaryocyte precursors and generation of mature platelets. ET was artificially induced in Kimberly by EPO and IL-3 small-molecule analogs, resulting in Kimberly's substantially decreased clotting time and enhanced blood coagulation ability, assayed through blood platelet count, blood fibronectin content, and partial thromboplastin time (pTT).
- Adrenocortical adenoma (ACC): Aggressive neuroendocrine cancer of the adrenal cortex characterized by uncontrollable expansion of the zona glomerulosa, zona fasciculata, and zona reticularis. Kimberly's cancer has been diagnosed as with a primary origin of the zona reticularis, resulting in hypersecretion of male steroidal androgens (male sex hormones), notably including testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and Kimberly has been diagnosed with severe adenoma, with an expected survival expectancy of two years in normal human beings. ACC was artificially induced in Kimberly by directed genomic DNA mutagenesis by Flood teratogenesis in utero, resulting in acquisition of secondary male sex characteristics, most notably Kimberly's uncontrollable ruptures of undirected rage (and also slightly increasing muscular mass).
- Pheochromocytoma (PC): Aggressive neuroendocrine cancer of the adrenal medulla characterized by uncontrollable proliferation of chromaffin cells, leading to hypersecretion of catecholamines, including epinephrine and norepinephrine. Basal epinephrine secretion contributes to Kimberly's spasmodic primordial anger, but in times of stress ("flight-or-fight response"), this grants Kimberly bursts of superhuman strength.
- Insulinoma: Neuroendocrine cancer of the endocrine pancreas (pancreatic islets) characterized by uncontrollable proliferation of pancreatic β-cells without external proliferatory stimuli, leading to hypersecretion of insulin, substantial glucose metabolism, and thus, persistent hypoglycemia. Kimberly's insulinoma is of unknown etiology—although whole-islet transplant was performed in the infant, it is believed that the Flood teratogenesis induced islet proliferation to substantiate and support the hyperactive Flood metabolism and growth, thus supporting a combinatorial tumorigenesis of insulinoma in Kimberly.
- Osteoporosis / Osteopenia: Decreased bone mineral density (BMD) in Kimberly's skeletal system because of negative bone remodelling activity and body-wide Ca+2 depletion and shunting of metabolic resources to bodily growth and expansion, thus leading to diminished osteoblastic activity and vastly enhanced osteoclast function. Kimberly's skeleton is currently disintegrating and requires regular strontium carbide for Kimberly to even stand upright.
- "She ate my fucking hand the first time I met her, when she was four!"
- ―Master Sergeant Lansing Lovejoy, recounting his memories of Kimberly
Kimberly has profound psychological disorders, including psychosis—she is severely psychopathic and sociopathic, with a phenomenal and incredible primordial propensity for violence, torture, and pain, even from her youngest years of childhood. She is disconnected with reality, and has a carnivorous lust for violence—she requires regular psychological and emotional release by the inhuman torture, dismemberment, decapitation, and execution of prisoners even to remain as a functional member of the military.
She exhibits aggressive narcissism—Flood teratogenesis has led to the ablation of her midbrain septal area, making her incapable of feeling positive emotion and extensive remodeling to the midbrain limbic system with the amygdala and hypothalamus has removed her neurological seat to even feel guilt, or remorse. She is extraordinary in that she is able to perpetuate crimes against humanity and crimes against civilization because she simply is insensitive to feelings of remorse; she has a complete dissociation from the environment because guilt and answerability have been completely replaced by a longing, insatiable Flood lust to consume, destroy, and kill.
Talon maintains a "socially deviant lifestyle" by any psychological standards. On a regular basis, she disembowels prisoners and performs sprees of manslaughter during her training, requiring the extermination of human life in order to satisfy her Flood urges and hungers. Thus, psychopathic qualifiers such as "juvenile delinquency", "early behavior problems", and "poor behavioral control" are extraordinarily well justified (her first kill was at the age of four). Even in her adult life, she remains criminally versatile as the chosen executor of Section Three's black operations, and is incapable of questioning orders, prosecuting weapons of mass destruction (WMD) without remorse, as stated above.
Kimberly undergoes regular audiovisual hallucinations, mostly notably caterwauling satanic screams and demonic visions, many associated with human death, extensive blood, corporeal dark visions of supernatural creatures—these are all existent because of her Flood teratogenesis. Her nights are paralyzing rictuses of nightmares, and she always awakes screaming. Her psychological state because of these hallucinations is highly aggressive and volatile—killing provides a temporary release from these hallucinations as she performs the executions that she has seen in the hallucinations and hears her victims scream as her own mind did. She also has mental thought disorder, although interestingly mostly linguistically asymptomatic. Kimberly has discontinuous trains of thought, spontaneous, broken cognition, highly centered on unleashed aggression.
Kimberly also undergoes infrequent paroxysms of involuntary movement; notably with her hand, where her hand will spontaneously deflect and begin crawling and jerking without her conscious control. She also has whole-body epileptic seizures, believed to be resultant of highly abberant and epileptic cortical electroencephalogram (EEG) activity and teratogenic hyperinnervation of skeletal muscle, leading to extemporaneous continuous whole-body muscle contraction and seizing.
Later, after meeting August Plummer, Talon would begin to exhibit signs of bipolar disorder (Type I), with alternating cycles of clinically maniac and depressive behavior.
Psychological Pathological Diagnosis
- Delusional psychosis and Schizophrenia: Disabling perceptions of reality (moral dissociation, hallucinations) and severe social dysfunction, combined with regular and necessary pathological and sociopathic behaviors to sustain mental integrity.
- Audiovisual hallucinations: Heavily-afflictive satanic and malicious hallucinations that result in necessary psychopathic process to gain temporary release from hallucinations.
- Epileptic paroxysms and Psychomotor agitation: Basal partial (focal) epilepsy and seizure activity on cortical electroencephalogram (EEG) leading to bursts of uncontrollable muscle spasms, twitches, and full blown grand mal bodywide seizures.
- Formal thought disorder: Inability to form coherent thoughts or normal cognition without regular pharmacological administration.
- Multiple personality disorder: Subconscious hypnotic imprinting during neonatal life has led to reprogramming of a permanent alternate "military personality" / program into Kimberly's psychology, and pharmacological treatment can act as a molecular switch in the mesolimbic pathway to induce forced switching between Kimberly's animalistic and primal personality and a more proper minimally socially-functional personality.
Kimberly receives frequent and periodic pharmacological medication to maintain her grossly abnormal body and mind and to continue her field service with the UNSC Special Operations Command.
- Antipsychotics: Pharmacological cocktail of serotonin and dopamine receptor agonists necessary to "switch off" Kimberly's Flood-controlled animalistic personality and to induce activation of socially-functioning personality through advanced neuropharmacology, likely associated with mesolimbic dopamine signaling alteration, and also curbing sociopathic lusts and aggressive desires; counteracts multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, and psychosis.
- Anticonvulsants: Neuropharmacological Na+ channel antagonists with central nervous system specificity that control epileptic seizures, motor paroxysms, psychomotor agitation, and mood stabilization, the creation of a more permanent workable psychological state in Kimberly.
- Central Depressants: Barbiturate-family GABAA agonists that induce general central inhibitory nervous signaling, forcibly counteracting Kimberly's hyperactive and hyperaggressive state.
- Strontium carbide: Reinforcement of decaying and senescencing skeletal structure and maintenance of bodily posture and integrity.
- Intravenous Hyperglycemics: Emergency intravenous or intramuscular administration of glucagon and dextrose to counteract spontaneous hypoglycemia by hyperinsulinemic episodes induced by insulinoma to prevent comatose crashing state.
- Myogenic Growth Factors: Testosterone and related insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) injections to induce nuclear steroidal growth signaling through hormonal response elements (HRE), inducing GLUT4 translocation to the surface and increased glucose translocatory, glycolytic, and glucometabolic effects, and nuclear transcription factor signaling to induce cellular proliferation and hypertrophy.
Military Decorations and Occupation
Kimberly's status as ONI Section Three's private executrix and an elite Title 9 operator of the UNSC Special Operations Command have garnered her significant distinction and decoration from the UNSC Defense Force in her relatively brief period of six years of active covert field operations. However, almost all of these decorations are classified under Title 9 and are not publicly disclosed. A small number of known decorations are listed below:
- Bronze Star (Valor): Kimberly would be awarded the Bronze Star for merit and bravery in combat in Operation: ICEBREAKER on New Monmouth in 2570 for the rallying of UNSC Special Operations Command special warfare operators against inestimable thousands of People's Liberator Army insurgents, marshaling and mobilizing the outnumbered operators, leading them to hold out for hours against the rebels before air support, and finally, extraction. She is formally accredited for the rescue of the compromised operation by UNSCSOCOM.
Kimberly formally holds the rank of Chief Petty Officer (E-7) with the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence, a rank she has held since the age of four, and she has always been addressed by the title of "Chief Talon" throughout her training a child soldier and her brief, but distinguished, field operational history. She holds the rate of Chief Special Warfare Specialist (CSWS), according to the UNSC Navy's enlisted personnel classifications and personnel standards.
|Wright Blackburn||Melody Blackburn|
|Reece Blackburn||Alexandria Clarissa Blackburn|
|Kimberly Ivy Blackburn||August Plummer|
Behind the Scenes
- Kimberly Ivy Blackburn was partially named in homage to a particular Halo Fan Fiction Wikia administrator. The administration wishes to disclaim that none of its members are sociopathic half-Flood assassins such as the one described in this article and that any relation is "coincidental" and that any administrators suffering from excessive eye twitches, facial tics, animalistic barking and biting noises, and spontaneous aggressive trains are to be ignored.
- This article, as of December 2008, stands as the longest article on Halo Fan Fiction Wikia that is a legitimate article, discounting roleplays, novels, and lists.
- While Kimberly was originally created by RelentlessRecusant as a test of his own theoretical biology, Kimberly would later evolve into a stark warning against the horrific possibility of science unleashed without ethics or morals, and would later take guidance from Ishmael Beah's excellent book, A Long Way Gone, a national bestseller, accounting for the potential abject horror of the abuse of human rights., as well as extensive anti-war music and themes. This article finally stands as a depravity in the hopes that others can realize the necessity of human rights, of the possibility of human cruelty, and of ethics in the direction of science.
- Kimberly was born from the novel Halo: Vector, written by RelentlessRecusant and co-authored in part by SPARTAN-091, Rotaretilbo, and Subtank.
- Kimberly's birthday, December 23rd, is the birthday of the girlfriend of one of RelentlessRecusant's special friends. :)
What follows is an extensive list of references, mostly consisting of academic biological research publications, that I have used to support the various biologically-related propositions I make in this article. Few references are not biologically-related and instead cite selected portions of Halo: Vector.
- ↑ I. Tabansky (Harvard Stem Cell Institute), personal communication, December 2008
- ↑ Hanna, J. (2007). Treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia Mouse Model with iPS Cells Generated from Autologous Skin. Science (Advanced Online Publication).
- ↑ Wernig, M. (2008). Neurons derived from reprogrammed fibroblasts functionally integrate into the fetal brain and improve symptoms of rats with Parkinson’s disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (105): 5856–5861.
- ↑ Geijsen, N. and Daley, G.Q. (2006). Male Germ Cells. Methods in Enzymology (418): 307-314.
- ↑ West, J.A. et. al. In vitro generation of germ cells from murine embryonic stem cells. Nature Protocols (1): 2026-2036.
- ↑ Serup, P., Madsen, O.D., and Mandrup-Poulsen, T. (2001). Islet and stem cell transplantation for treating diabetes. BMJ (322): 29-32
- ↑ Cerletti, M. (2008). Highly Efficient, Functional Engraftment of Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells in Dystrophic Muscles. Cell (134): 37-47.
- ↑ Splawski, I. (2004). Calcium Channel Dysfunction Causes a Multisystem Disorder Including Arrhythmia and Autism. Cell (119): 19-31.
- ↑ Marques, S.R. (2008). Reiterative roles for FGF signaling in the establishment of size and proportion of the zebrafish heart. Developmental Biology (321): 376-406.
- ↑ Rajagopal, J. et. al (2008). Wnt7b stimulates embryonic lung growth by coordinately increasing the replication of epithelium and mesenchyme. Development (135): 1625-1634.
- ↑ Invitrogen Corporation (2007). Hematopoetic stem cell differentiation.
- ↑ Nir, T., Melton, D.A., and Dor, Y. (2007). Recovery from diabetes in mice by β cell regeneration. Journal of Clinical Investigation (117): 2553-2561.
- ↑ Neves, G., Cooke S.F., and Bliss T.V.P. (2008). Synaptic plasticity, memory and the hippocampus: a neural network approach to causality. Nature Reviews Neuroscience (9): 65-75.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Kandel, E.R., Schwartz, J.H., Jessel T.H. (2000). Principles of Neural Science, Fourth Edition. United States of America: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
- ↑ Davis, R.L. (2003). Gradients of Neurotrophins, Ion Channels, and Tuning in the Cochlea. Neuroscientist (9): 311-316.
- ↑ Zhou, Z., Liu, Q., and Davis, R.L. Complex Regulation of Spiral Ganglion Neuron Firing Patterns by Neurotrophin-3. The Journal of Neuroscience (25): 7558 –7566.
- ↑ Flores-Otero, J., Xue, H.Z., and Davis, R.L. Reciprocal Regulation of Presynaptic and Postsynaptic Proteins in Bipolar Spiral Ganglion Neurons by Neurotrophins. The Journal of Neuroscience (27): 14023–14034.
- ↑ Grey, M.R. and Spaeth, K.R. (2006). The Bioterrorism Sourcebook. United States of America: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division, Inc.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Blumenfeld, H. (2002). Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases. United States of America: Sinauer Associates, Inc.
- ↑ Zhang, W. and Linden, D.J. (2003). The Other Side of the Engram: Experience-Driven Changes in Neuronal Intrinsic Excitability. Nature Reviews Neuroscience (4): 886-900.
- ↑ Lee, K.M., Choi, K.H., and Ouellette, M.M. (2004). Use of exogenous hTERT to immortalize primary human cells. Cytotechnology (45): 33-38.
- ↑ Nature Genetics Editorial (1998). Be fruitful and immortalize. Nature Genetics (19): 103-104.
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 Halo: Vector, Chapter Five
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Halo: Vector, Chapter One
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Halo: Vector, We Part Our Ways
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 26.2 Halo: Vector, Chapter Three
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Halo: Vector, Epilogue
- ↑ Grey, M.R. and Spaeth, K.R. (2006). The Bioterrorism Sourcebook. United States of America: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division, Inc.
- ↑ Beah, Ishmael (2007). A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. New York: Sarah Crichton Books.
|Main Characters of the Galactic Era|
|Agent 2042 · Agent 2054 "Orion" · Agent 2994 "Apollo" · Agent 2995 "Artemis" · August Plummer · Carter · Cassandra-G006 · Courtney Archer West · David Wellesley · Diana · Douglas A. Davidson · Karen Elizabeth Wakes · Kawika Son · Kimberly Ivy Blackburn · Randall Ridenour · Redmond-M094 · Simon-G294|
|Source · Edit|
|UNSC Special Operations Command|
|Divisions||UNSC Army Forward Reconnaissance (FORCON/FARSIGHT) · UNSC Army Special Operations Group · UNSC Counterforce Task Force (CTF) · UNSC Marine Force Reconnaissance (FORCE RECON) · UNSC Marine Reconnaissance (UNSCMARCON) · UNSC Marine Orbital Incursion Group (MARORBGRU) · UNSC Naval Special Warfare (NAVSPECWAR) · UNSC Ranger Corps · UNSC Reconnaissance Aviation Expeditionary Force (RAVEN) · UNSC Special Warfare Group SPARTAN (SPECWAR SPARTAN)|
|Commands||UNSCSOCCEN (1st) · UNSCSOCCET (2nd) · UNSCSOCPRO (3rd) · UNSCSOCIND (4th) · UNSCSOCSAG (5th) · UNSCSOCPER (6th) · SOCSTRATCOM (10th) · PROGWARDIV (15th)|
|Formations||1st Force Reconnaissance Company · 10th Shock Troops Battalion · 105th ODST Division · 2nd Marine Reconnaissance Battalion · 2nd Orbital Special Warfare Battalion (OSW/B2) · 8th Irish Ranger Regiment · 38th Ranger Expeditionary Force (38 REDF) · 3-Gamma (3γ) · 5th Special Operations Wing (5th SOW) · Janelia Blue · Myrmidon Detachment · NAVSPECWAR Six · Task Force 51 (TF51) · UNSC Hostage Activity Group (HAG)|
|Detachments||Alpha Company (101BN/18U) · 38/1 Ranger Battalion · 38/6 Ranger Battalion · Black Team · Delta Squadron · Delta Troop|
|Operators||Alexis Lovejoy · Alexander Harris · Boltzmann · Chandler Danial · Delta-One · Delta-One · Delta-Three (August Plummer) · Delta-Four · Lee Francis Winslow · Hank J Wimbleton IV · Kimberly Ivy Blackburn · SPARTAN-G219 (Katie)|
|Vehicles||D72-TC King Penguin · AV-99 Foray Close Assault Gunship|
|Source · Edit|