|This article, Merlin-D032, was written by Distant Tide. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "I'm not the ideal Spartan. People like to remind me of that. Good for them."
- ― Merlin-D032 lamenting his performance reputation.
Merlin-D032, born Merlin Ljang-Boyd, is a Delta Company commando and significant other of Andra-D054. Described as a mid-level performer compared to Spartans of similar capability, his personnel file appears unremarkable but notes his high emotional intelligence and specialization in support/intelligence roles as point man, scout, and spotter for Spartan Team Boson.
The orphaned son of civilian contractors, Merlin grew up in a sheltered home, later orphanage, and missed the horrors of the Covenant War. He graduated from Spartan training with average scores before being fashioned as a Internal Investigations Unit 419, he participated in several high-profile missions in North and South America. Following the desertion of two teammates, he and Andra-D054 were reorganized into the assassination unit, VIOLET-III during the border war with the Imperium of Clarity, and Operation: RUNIT DOME, an failed investigation into superweapons ending with his mysterious disappearance.. Stationed on Earth in support of
Career Service Vitae
- Main article: RP:Imperium
Beginning with the Montak Incident, the arrival of naval forces belonging to the Imperium of Clarity in the UEG-occupied star system and a formal declaration of war by their head of state, Imperial Admiral Toru 'Makhan, the UNSC found itself locked in battle with the post-Covenant polity by mid-August 2558. Team Boson, now only formed by Andra and Merlin, was assigned to the fight after a period of probation. The duo first arrived at the staging point on New Syracuse, in the care of Lieutenant Commander Frendsen as a part of VIOLET-III. With the sacking of Major Duceppe, Team Boson was reassigned from Ferret deployments to Headhunter support operations, particularly for Team Boson's old mentors: Amy-G094 and Joshua-G024. The reunion was short-lived as Team Boson was assigned Headhunter-in-training, Shizuko-D081, as its temporary leader to replace the rogue Daniele-D003.
Due to Shizuko's trauma from losing her prior Spartan team, her compatibility proved an underlying issue for Team Boson, characterized by Andra's confrontations and Shizuko's scarceness. Upon meeting the Imperium in battle on Montak, Team Boson's mission to protect UNSC Army landing sites went sideways as Imperium anti-aircraft emplacements brought down their troop carrier, knocking Andra unconscious. Team Boson regrouped at the crash site, holding the position against Imperium scouting elements until a UNSC Army armor unit arrived to assist, including a Mammoth siege vehicle.
Andra lost her helmet and received a concussion from the crash-landing leading Merlin to acquire her another from recovered UNSC casualties. It was also discovered that Imperium ground forces deployed an extensive shielding dome, trapping coalition ground forces within the Imperium fortifications while the opposing fleets duked it out in orbit. The Army armor unit, battered by their landing, decided to regroup with remnants of the 101st Shock Troops Battalion, an ODST unit that included an embedded Team Xiphos. The 101st was already engaged with a downed element from the 'Mdama Covenant Remnant's Kru'desh Legion, sent to support the Imperium of Clarity's incursion into human territory while serving as an emissary in their mission to find allies in their own campaign against the UNSC.
Team Boson, alongside Army Rangers and Cyclops-mechanized walkers, almost overran the Kru'desh crash site when part of the shield dome came down thanks to the timely work by other UNSC elements, led by Cain-131 and Aleksandra Zaytseva. However, the loss of overhead security also presented itself in the form of Kru'desh aerial reinforcements led by Simon-G294. Merlin attempted to kill one Kru'desh squad leader, the young Tuka 'Refum, but retreated upon realizing his team was in danger.
Andra caught up to Simon near the Mammoth and attempted to kill him, however, Simon claimed the upper hand due to his close-in superiority and greater experience in fighting Spartans. Because Andra was so focused on Simon, she failed to account for his Sangheili personal guard who captured her, waiting for Simon's kill order. He never got the chance however as coordination between Amy and Shizuko managed to pull Andra to safety. Forced to retreat and abandon the Mammoth siege vehicle, the combined Army-Marine force moved closer to the edge of the shielding dome and away from the alien defensive emplacements. Upon realizing that it was Simon-G294 who tried killing Andra, the conditioned hatred for Simon caught the entire Spartan-Delta team in a frenzy. They abandoned their defensive position and commandeered a Mastodon to chase after the Kru'desh Legion, last seen heading towards the inland refineries.
By daylight, Team Boson crossed into the refinery valley only to witness Swords of Sanghelios forces battering against the Imperium command element on a desert flat. Merlin designated his team's stealth satellite to fall on Simon's stolen Mammoth in hopes of killing him with a kinetic strike, however, the assassination attempt failed to kill Simon and his command element including Shinsu 'Refum, Simon's direct superior in the Covenant Remnant. The attack did damage the Mammoth's controls, forcing Simon's forces to guide the Mammoth into the refinery's safety, clear of further attacks due to the presence of civilians. Slipping between the shifting battle tides, the UNSC frigate Grand National flew in to give the Sangheili forces some air support, bringing along another combined-generation Spartan support unit, Team Harrier, of which included two more graduates of Delta Company, Sven-D340, and Oliver-D030. Relieved of their cliff overlook by Team Harrier, Team Boson took heavy weapons and descended towards the refineries with the intent of killing Simon for themselves.
After fighting their way through the refinery, between civilians and aliens, the team came just short of Simon's escape via an Imperium teleporter, unknowingly with the satellite module in hand. Retasking themselves to civilian evacuations, Team Boson witnessed the arrival of Simon's CCS battlecruiser Soul Ascension as it glassed the plains of Montak, incinerating both Sword and Imperium forces. Team Boson negotiated with a freelance freighter pilot, Elena Zaytseva, to take civilians and the Spartans into orbit, free from the Covenant Remnant's onslaught.
Once reunited with UNSC forces and the Battle of Montak won, the UNSC pushed the offensive into Imperium territory, targeting the Unggoy colony of Bineb II. Regrouping with the UNSC Maya and Lieutenant Commander Frendsen, Team Boson was subjected to a verbal rant regarding how bad the unit performed more than their marginal successes during the Battle of Montak. Frustrated but patient, Frendsen informed the team that they were being temporarily transferred out of VIOLET-III command into the services of Fireteam Stallion, led by Cody-B042, as Joshua-G024 informed Frendsen his team could not be responsible for Boson during Team Xiphos's deep strike deployments.
With Stallion, Team Boson assisted Cody's unit in defending hallways and hangars aboard the UNSC Maya when Imperium boarding parties attacked the ship. Catching the attention of Rear Admiral Hawkins, the naval officer requested a conference with the young Delta Company unit and ordered them on a risky operation. Their orders were to detonate a HAVOK tactical nuke inside the Unggoy civilian settlement on Bineb II in an attempt to force the local government to surrender and weaken the resolve of the Imperium military forces. Acceptant of their duties, Team Boson deployed to the planet's surface by way of stealthy Owl gunship and proceeded to fight their way in and out of the Unggoy city, pursued by heavy Unggoy resistance. Unable to escape the city in a timely manner, the Spartans went ahead and detonated the weapon while they were still in the kill zone. They were thrown about by hurricane-level winds but survived the detonation unharmed, eventually regrouping with their ride outside city limits.
The Unggoy civilian government subsequently surrendered, leaving Imperium forces to retreat from the now-lost colony. However, Team Boson's newly-assigned Smart AI, Althea, was unknowing aboard the Soul Ascension as part of the ONI satellite module. After managing to gain temporary cyberwarfare dominance over the Soul Ascension, she disabled the alien warship and sent out a rescue request to the UNSC logistical convoy that Simon-G294 preyed upon. Receiving the distress signal, Merlin negotiated with Rear Admiral Hawkins for permission to go after the Smart AI in an attempt to right a mistake he made days before.
With Hawkin's hesitant support, Team Boson boarded the disabled Soul Ascension. Fighting deck to deck, they tracked their AI's distress signal only to get caught in a trap laid by Simon-G294. While Amber-G330, a fellow rogue SPARTAN-III under Simon's command, attempted to capture the invasive Smart AI, Simon went to confront the invading Spartan team only for everyone to converge at the Smart AI's prison. In a standoff, the assistance of UNSC warships outside firing into the disabled Soul Ascension allowed Team Boson to gain the upper hand in the battle frenzy.
Andra and Shizuko fought against Amber, Tuka, and their warship defenders while Merlin gave chase after Simon into the depths of the Soul Ascension. In a protracted one-on-one fight, Simon managed to get the upper hand by throwing the AI module at Merlin. Merlin caught the container but was forced to surrender when Simon held a gun to his head. However, distracted conversation with Merlin about his actions, Simon accidentally let Andra catch up to them. She dislodged Simon's prosthetic arm and freed Merlin only for Simon to again retreat, leaving the Spartan pair and their AI in the Soul Ascension's hangar bay. Vented out into space, the pair were eventually rescued by Shizuko in a commandeered Kru'desh space Banshee. Simon's forces regained control over their damaged starship and escaped the battlespace.
Upon regrouping with the UNSC Maya, Team Boson and the rest of the battlegroup received no opportunity for rest and recollection. Instead, a surprise arrival of forty-strong Imperium naval battlegroup appeared in the Bineb system and the Maya-led force could do little more than retreat from the system in haste. Instead of running back to human space, they pressed inward towards the Imperium's capital world, Iradu. Following conclusions made by Admiral Lin Zhi, the remnants of the UNSC Sixth Fleet sought to gamble their force's continued survival on an all-out naval assault in hopes that it would force Toru 'Makhan to negotiate for peace.
With Shizuko and Merlin shook by their near-pass with Simon-G294 and his lot, Team Boson agreed to go under stasis while Andra was attended to in the medical ward after extent complications brought on by an untreated concussion mixed with battlefield fatigue. Althea, the recovered Smart AI, was handed off to Commander Frendsen. At the turn of August into September 2558, the UNSC Sixth Fleet and their Swords of Sanghelios allies converged on the final target.
Sixth Fleet Spartan forces deployed from the UNSC Maya-led battlegroup aboard Pelican gunships with Broadsword escort into the capital city to secure a perimeter around Toru 'Mahkan's palace. A secretive ONI Security-ODST task unit led by Prowlers Corps commander Rear Admiral Ryan Samson discretely entered the palace using an orbital translocation terminal. With gunfire support from the UNSC Grand National and the Broadsword attack runs, defensive guns were destroyed the Spartan forces including Team Stallion, Harrier, and Boson landed on the palace's western approach.