Martin-A136, also known as Codename: APACHE, and the callsigns of Upsilon Two, Sigma Six and Shrike One, was a SPARTAN-III Commando of Alpha Company and one of its few survivors after 2537. Martin was recruited by the Office of Naval Intelligence from a UNSC-run orphanage at a young age and taken to Onyx, where he was trained by Kurt Ambrose and Franklin Mendez alongside 299 others, befriending Kai-A019 and Dan-A105 on his night of arrival.
Martin was trained for five years on Onyx with Alpha Company, before being sent to the UNSC Hopeful to receive his SPARTAN-III augmentations. Over the course of several months, Martin participated in several operations, both against the Covenant and rebel forces, before being sent out with the rest of Alpha on Operation: PROMETHEUS in 2537. The operation, though a success, led to the decimation of Alpha Company, with Martin and eleven others being the only known survivors.
Once the surviving SPARTAN-III's had made it back to UNSC-controlled space, it was revealed that their survival would be kept secret from Lieutenant Ambrose, who would initiate the training of Beta Company. The twelve survivors were assigned to Doctor Calvin Roe of ONI, and placed into two teams: Upsilon and Tau, Martin being in the former. They would be given MJOLNIR armour, which was a great improvement on the SPI they used before, and assigned to open combat roles.
Martin served with distinction as second in command of Upsilon, the Spartan team participating in many battles throughout the remainder of the Human-Covenant War, such as the Siege of Fargad, during which he encountered the SPARTAN-II's of Sigma Team. Martin and his team were also present during the Fall of Reach in 2552, a battle that ended in the deaths of every member of Upsilon and Tau, barring Martin, Alex-A121 and Louie-A199. The three were folded into Sigma Team after escaping the planet, fighting in the Loss of Hope and the Battle of the Zenith Complex before returning to Earth.
Surviving to the end of the war, Sigma was split up and Martin began operating alone on various classified operations for the next year. In 2554, however, he was picked to lead Shrike Team, a new SPARTAN-III force designed to swiftly eliminate the rising Insurrectionist movement, as well as any Covenant remnants. For over a year Martin led Shrike, dealing with various foes and averting many catastrophes. In December of 2555 after killing a major Insurrectionist leader and ending the NOVA incident, Shrike was disbanded, having lost six of its nine members. Shortly after, Martin was transferred to the Spartan branch where after several reassignments over the next year he ended up joining some of his comrades in leading some of ONI's Remote Contact Teams on the fringes of inhabited space.
Martin Farrell was born on Harvest, in the city of Utgard. Before he was even a year old, the planet came under attack by the Covenant, killing thousands within the first few days.Martin was taken, as an infant, to one of the many cargo freighters during the evacuation of the colony, his first an only memory of his mother being of her passing him onto one of the freighters before it took off. Martin's group was able to escape Harvest and retreat into human-controlled space, where he was placed into a UNSC-run orphanage.
Martin grew up in an orphanage on Charybdis IX for nearly six years. He, like many other children who were made orphans by the Covenant attack, became introverted, making few friends. Martin was, however, marked out as being unusually bright despite his young age, grasping things that many of his peers could not, and learning a great deal about the military from propaganda videos that were shown to the children. In 2531, Martin and many others in the orphanage were approached by agents from the Office of Naval Intelligence, and asked if they wished to get revenge on the Covenant.
When the time came for Martin's questioning, he met with Major Frederick King, a former ORION member. Martin was suspicious of the man, immediately asking him about his rank, which was unusual for someone apparently working in the Navy. King noticed Martin's intelligence and inquisitiveness, and gave him the offer to get revenge on the ones who had burned his home, killed his family and taken everything from him. Like many others, Martin had absolutely nothing to lose, and accepted the ONI agent's offer.
The SPARTAN-III Project
After a month of travelling with the ONI handlers, who were recruiting more war orphans, Martin was taken to Onyx, in the Zeta Doradus system. On his first night, after seeing Lieutenant Kurt Ambrose for the first time, Martin wished in his mind to be just like the armour-clad giant, to kill as many Covenant as he could. Martin passed the first test with some encouragement, successfully completing a paradrop that very night. It was shortly afterwards that he became good friends with Kai-A019 and Dan-A105, both of whom had been at his orphanage in Charybdis.
Martin was assigned to Lion Team, which was lead by Dan. During training sessions, he often worked as second in command, performing very well from the beginning and shaping up to be one of the best trainees in Alpha Company. One day, during a 'Capture the Flag' training session, Martin was able to take the flag from his Drill Instructors, fighting his way out of the training area and escaping, but at the cost of his own team mates. It was here that Lieutenant Ambrose explained to Martin about the cost of battle, and that while completing the objective was one thing, it paid to ensure that his team made it out alive as well. Those words stuck with Martin for the rest of his life, inspiring him to have a 'no man left behind' mentality when it came to his comrades.
In late 2536, Martin and the rest of Alpha Company underwent a series of augmentations that drastically improved their speed, strength, and combat performance, before they were dispatched on their first combat missions. Rather than be deployed against the Covenant, Alpha was sent to Mamore in December, where a large Insurrectionist force had taken root, and were proving difficult to eradicate by conventional means. The entire 300-man company was deployed groundside, and immediately set to work destroying rebel bases across the planet.
As they closed in on the main Insurrectionist compound, Martin, Dan, and Kai took point, spotting a trio of rebel soldiers on duty. While the other Spartans killed their targets with ease, Martin hesitated, not wanting to take a human life after signing up to kill the Covenant. Though his target was killed by SPARTAN-A239, Kai and Dan began to question Martin's usefulness in combat, pressing onward with him as the rearguard. By this time, Alpha Company had begun the final push, eliminating all resistance as they pushed through the compound. The three SPARTAN-III's were almost killed as they came under fire from an enemy sniper, who kept them pinned down for some time before Jun-A266 was able to gun their attacker down from his tower.
Moving into the main Insurrectionist base, Martin watched his team's back as they cleared a building of hostiles before preparing to move out. Before they could, however, a rebel who had been faking death leapt up, shooting Dan several times before he could react. In response, Martin immediately shot the man dead, but not before he could drop a grenade towards the Spartans. Martin was able to throw his wounded comrade through the door, diving for cover as it detonated. He was knocked out by the blast, sustaining some superficial injuries in the process, including a noticeable scar above his right eye, the first of many over the years. Alpha Company had managed to successfully wipe out the entire entrenched rebel outpost with no casualties whatsoever, barring a few dozen wounded during the fighting. Martin came out of his first conflict with his fellow man alive but not unscathed, realising that as a Spartan, he would be made to kill his own kind in addition to the aliens he had signed up to take revenge on.
After being fielded successfully for some time, Alpha Company was to be given their most important mission yet: Operation: PROMETHEUS. Travelling to K7-49, the entire Company, minus a few who were taken out only days before, were deployed with the objective of destroying as many Covenant plasma generators as they could in order to destroy a shipyard there. The mission, like those before it, was initially a success for Alpha Company. They destroyed a number of generators in the first few days there and neutralised an enemy response force with no casualties. However, when Covenant reinforcements did alive, Martin and Alpha Company found themselves fighting for their lives.
As Falcon Team was deployed as a scouting unit, branching off from the bulk of Alpha Company, they were able to detect and evade a massive Covenant force moving in on the others. While the Spartans did engage enemy infantry at first, it soon became clear that they were heavily outnumbered in this situation, and needed to retreat. Worse still, with the fighting going on, they were not able to focus on the last few generators needed to put K7-49 out of action for good. Though there was some protest, Dan led Martin and the others away from the massacre, towards the final generator needed, and their escape craft.
The Spartans were able to make their way towards the objective, destroying several tanks and linking up with Nelson-A122's Lion Team in the process. A Seraph bombing run killed several of their comrades and wounded a few more, prompting Dan to order the others to make a break for the ships while he and a few others destroyed the generator. Defying a direct order to escape, Martin joined Dan and Kai in planting the last few C-12 charges on the structure as the first few Covenant forces reached them. The three Spartans fought in close combat with a group of Sangheili Rangers atop the structure, and although they were victorious, Kai was mortally wounded by a flurry of plasma bolts. After a brief farewell, Martin and Dan left their friend with the detonator while they ran to their escape vehicles, SPARTAN-A019 detonating the explosives and putting K7-49 out of commission for good.
By the end of Operation: PROMETHEUS, only twelve members of Alpha Company had survived, being picked up by a Prowler shortly after the devastating mission. Once there, they were greeted by Admiral Margaret Parangosky, Colonel James Ackerson, and Doctor Calvin Roe, who congratulated them on their success. With almost the entire company destroyed, it meant that the survivors could not be sent on suicide missions any more; they had become valuable as Spartans. As such, they were to be placed in two teams: Upsilon and Tau. Though the meaning would not become clear to Martin and the others for nearly a decade, the Doctor stated that they would be part of the second generation of a 'Project SIGMA'.
Inner Colony Campaigns
While they had lost almost everyone, the dozen remaining Alphas quickly acclimatised to their new situation and after spending over a month aboard a medical station recovering physically and mentally from PROMETHEUS, headed out into battle once more. Martin was still devastated over the death of Kai and so many others, though Dan helped him pull through and focus on the war at hand. In early 2538, the two teams were finally presented with their own suits of customised MJOLNIR armour that would greatly improve their abilities in the field. With this, Upsilon was transferred to a frontline role that brought them face-to-face with the Covenant time and time again. For a time, Martin was fairly happy to finally be fighting their alien foe on fairly even terms, without having the inherent risks associated with the suicide missions Alpha Company had been deployed to.
In 2547, both Upsilon and Tau teams were stationed on the heavily militarised world of Fargad when a large Covenant fleet entered the system, beginning a nine-day siege. It was during this battle that the SPARTAN-III's finally met a nine-man team of famed SPARTAN-II supersoldiers, Sigma Team. Correctly guessing that the other Spartans were their predecessors in Project SIGMA, Martin was initially rather leery of their older comrades and believed they might not work well together, though it soon became clear that the groups where somewhat alike in terms of tactics. During the battle, Martin was responsible for saving a large 'Wet Navy' vessel they were using as a command post from destruction after discovering a group of SpecOps Sangheili attempting to attach bombs to the hull and rescuing Marco-035 in the process. While Fargad was eventually glassed, the combined power of twenty-one Spartans inflicted staggering casualties on the Covenant and ensured that their foe paid for every inch of ground they took from retreating UNSC forces.
By late July of 2552 Martin's team was stationed on the fortress world of Reach, where they were to await their next deployment. The recent attack on Sigma Octanus IV made it clear that there was very little standing between the Covenant and Earth, and even the usually-optimistic Martin had begun to doubt if there was any way of winning the war. Then, news arrived that Noble Team had encountered a Covenant vanguard force attacking the Visegrad COM relay. Only days later, a similar force was found attacking one halfway across the planet by Tau Team, prompting Upsilon's deployment weeks later as part of a massive counter-assault. They met up with numerous other Spartans for this assault across an entire continent on August 12th, intending to completely halt the invasion by bringing down numerous enemy Spires. While their ground assault was successful as the supersoldiers led a massive charge that ended in the destruction of 'Spire Three', it was soon revealed that a Covenant Supercarrier had arrived overhead, prompting an immediate retreat.
Following Operation: UPPER CUT and the arrival of a larger Covenant fleet above Reach, a counter-operation was hastily put together to counter this new threat. Codenamed 'DROPKICK', it would consist of Spartan Teams Sigma, Tau and Upsilon covering the evacuation of Manassas as the first two groups took down a pair of Covenant cruisers while Martin and his comrades fought to defend the spaceport against enemy landing parties. Though surrounded and heavily outnumbered, Upsilon were able to hold off hordes of enemy infantry attempting to massacre fleeing civilians in a lengthy urban battle, which involved Martin blowing up most of a city block to crush a line of Wraith tanks. The operation up above turned out to be a success, but at the expense of Spartans Frank-A103 and Dom-A178. Despite the heavy price paid, they had saved thousands of lives thanks to their selfless actions.
Journey to Earth
Battle of Earth
Skills and Abilities
As a member of one of the best-performing teams in Alpha Company, Martin exhibited a great level of skill in combat from a young age. He quickly adapted to his SPARTAN-III training after recruitment and emerged as one of the company's more promising candidates, though he was not assigned to a team leader's role. Martin regularly worked as this team's designated marksman over the years and was an excellent shot; his skills were even praised by the extraordinarily talented marksman Kane-098 while serving as a member of Sigma Team
While he preferred to engage targets at long range, Martin was a capable hand-to-hand fighter whose speed and augmented strength made him extremely deadly at close range. While he rarely got the chance to use one, Martin was a surprisingly adept at using the Sangheili energy sword and could hold his own against seasoned duellists like Sur 'Ranak. As one of the very few survivors of Alpha Company, Martin also possessed a great deal of combat experience. This would greatly assist him in becoming a competent leader in later years as he was finally assigned his own team. While not as charismatic as others, he was a good field commander and genuinely cared for those he led in the field, earning the respect of his subordinates.
Behind the Scenes/Trivia
While Martin began simply as a minor character based on a friend of the author, his role has since been greatly expanded to the point of him being the protagonist of two stories.