Trident Team was a group of eight ORION operatives active in the late 25th and early 26th centuries. The team was well known within the ORION project for it's lethality and ruthlessness while on missions. Following Operation: CHARLEMAGNE in 2496 the group was deployed in several dozen engagements against the growing Insurrectionist movement throughout the outer colonies, coming out with an unparalleled success rate, even among the other augmented soldiers in the program. Trident was noted for it's efficiency, though collateral damage and brutality always seemed to be an issue with some of its members and was the cause of many arguments within the group.
The unit was initially led by Anton LaMarche, one of the project's best soldiers and field commanders until the heavily classified Heimdall Incident of 2499, which left several members of Trident dead and was seemingly the beginning of the end for the ORION project as a whole. After operating for several more years into the early 26th century with its surviving members continuing the fight against the Insurrection, Trident Team was finally disbanded in 2506 along with the entire ORION Project. Most of its surviving members were transferred into other units or chose to retire after this, passing their skills down to newer generations of soldiers.
Trident Team was formed from a group of ORION volunteers in 2495, being comprised of some of the best and brightest candidates within the program. After their intense training and augmentations, which made them stronger, faster and more perceptive than average humans. The eight members, who were among the original 65 ORION candidates, were grouped together several months before Operation: CHARLEMAGNE in early 2496, operating effectively as a unit. Anton LaMarche, who had served in both the police and military forces before joining the project, was placed in charge of the team.
The Operation was a huge success for the UNSC. Though four destroyers had been lost to rebel forces during the early stages of the engagement, the ORION operatives (who numbered over two hundred at this point) were able to effectively crush the rebels swiftly, taking only one casualty as they did so. This marked the beginning of a series of classified operations for both Trident and ORION as a whole.
Over the next two and a half years, Trident was deployed multiple times against Insurrectionist forces on various human colonies. CHARLEMAGNE was the only time the entire ORION force had been used, the unit splitting up into dozens of teams following the operation. Trident was first deployed on Mamore, a colony with a long history of violence and rebellion. A large group of Insurrectionists had taken over a Misriah Armoury factory on the planet, and had seized a large amount of weapons and vehicles, with the intent to sell them on the black market.
Shortly after being deployed, Trident Team was able to swiftly move in on the factory. John Ackton and Harold Redford remained atop a tall building several streets away, providing long-range sniper cover as the rest of the team infiltrated the facility. Using high powered, silenced rifles, the pair eliminated many of the guards patrolling the factory walls. Anton LaMarche, the team leader, ordered Richard Mack, Marion Hollister and Tobias Crowley to breach the outer wall while he led Steven Hawkins and Frederick King to free the factory workers who had been taken hostage. The group stormed the factory, taking the rebels inside by surprise and massacring those who opposed them.
Steven Hawkins, the team's interrogation specialist, was first to discover the hostages, one of whom was being used as a human shield by one of the rebels. Rather than risk a potential standoff, Hawkins immediately fired, killing both the hostage and the enemy soldier. There were no other casualties among the workers, though this was the first instance of the extreme tendencies carried out by the unit. In addition, large amounts of expensive equipment within the factory was destroyed in the fighting, including several recently developed 'Cobra' tanks, one of which was commandeered by Richard Mack and used to wipe out most of the surviving rebels. The Operation on Mamore was often seen as a great success, despite the collateral damage caused by the operatives.
The camaraderie among the members of Trident kept them operating very efficiently for several years, developing strong bonds within battle. Though their otherwise perfect record was slightly marred by large amounts of collateral damage and a string of innocent deaths (largely hostages and/or bystanders), the ORION team completed every mission they were assigned without loss or great injury. In late 2498, while assaulting an Insurrectionist-held factory within the dense rainforests of an outer colony world, the team was ambushed by a patrol. Frederick King was hit several times in the leg and lower body, incapacitating him and cutting him off from the rest of the team. Defying LaMarche's order to retreat and leave the wounded soldier to fend for himself, Richard Mack and John Ackton raced to save their comrade. They succeeded, driving back the Insurrectionist soldiers and getting King to safety.
LaMarche, the unit commander, reprimanded the two for their rash actions, sparking an intense argument within the group. The rest of the mission was completed, albeit with King remaining behind with Ackton to wait for a dropship. The decision whether to leave a soldier behind or not became a regular topic within Trident, and subsequently was one of the main reasons behind it's eventual fracturing. While LaMarche maintained his view of the 'ends justifying the means', Mack, who had long been his close friend and protégé, disagreed with him entirely, the two of them not seeing eye-to-eye for several months following the incident.
Deep divisions began to form within Trident after this. While Mack, along with Ackton, Hollister, Redford and King began to call into question their actions in the field, LaMarche, Crowley and Hawkins were noted for their increasing brutality in the field. The ORION Project may have been top-secret, with only major victory reports being made public, but the sheer amount of destruction and collateral damage inflicted was becoming difficult to hide. In late October of 2499, Mack, King, Redford and Ackton on an assassination mission targeting the leader of an Insurrectionist cell, while the rest of Trident was dispatched to an ONI-run scientific facility known as the Ouroboros Station on the remote colony world of Heimdall to assist with weapons testing.
Not long after LaMarche's section of Trident arrived at the Ouroboros Station, the Captain had secretly gotten into contact with Oleg Lombardi, an Insurrectionist leader whom he had spared on a mission months beforehand. After working with Hawkins and Crowley to deactivate the base's defences, LaMarche allowed a large rebel force to land and take over the facility after imprisoning Hollister and several of the scientists. The takeover resulted in the executions of all scientists and security personnel save one, and as the Ouroboros Station went dark it was discovered that the facility's Smart AI, Alexander, may have even assisted the traitors. The Office of Naval Intelligence swiftly rounded up the remainder of Trident Team on Reach for questioning on November 4th. Once it was ascertained that they had no prior knowledge of LaMarche's betrayal, the decision was made by Admiral Konrad Volkov to deploy them under Mack's command with orders to retake the base and to either eliminate or arrest LaMarche and his followers.
While the decision to send in the remaining members of Trident to foil LaMarche's takeover in favour of conventional special forces units was a controversial one, it would also serve to prove their loyalty to the UNSC. A support team lead by Commander Margaret Parangosky was quickly assembled aboard a prowler, which transported the team to Heimdall. Mack, King, Ackton and Redford were outfitted with suits of advanced semi-powered armour and inserted from low orbit, using parafoils to slow their descent towards the base. While every precaution had been taken to shield them from detection, the rebels within the Ouroboros Station discovered the four commandos and used an experimental EMP cannon to cut them off from Volkov's prowler in orbit, frying most of their electronics in the process. Though they survived the drop, the commandos had scattered to avoid gunfire and landed very far apart in the snowfields around the base. After linking up with a wounded Redford, Mack was able to gun down a rebel patrol and disguised himself as one to gain access to the station, fooling the terrorists into letting him bring his comrade to the medical bay.
After re-establishing communications with Captain Parangosky, Mack learned that Ackton had landed many miles off-course and would not reach them for several hours while King had been captured by the enemy. With Redford's broken leg rendering him unable to fight until it was fixed, Mack continued the infiltration alone, killing several rebels before running into the sole living scientist in the facility: Calvin Roe. Having been forced to work for the treacherous members of Trident, Roe assisted Mack in recovering the base's secondary AI, Leonard. However, the pair were ambushed and Mack temporarily captured by Crowley and Hawkins shortly after, bringing the mission dangerously close towards failure. It was during this time that Admiral Volkov, unwilling to allow Heimdall's secrets to fall into rebel hands offworld, gave the orders for a UNSC destroyer to prepare for a nuclear strike on the Ouroboros Station if Trident were unable to complete their mission in time.
Mack was freed from captivity by Roe, who had hidden Leonard's chip on his person and used the AI to take over many of the base's sub-systems. He was reunited with Marion Hollister immediately after exiting his cell, confirming that she had not gone along with LaMarche's rebellion before meeting up with King. The timely arrival of John Ackton served to distract most of the rebel forces, leaving the trio to split up to take down LaMarche and retrieve Redford respectively. En-route to the medical bay King and Hollister were challenged by Steven Hawkins, who had commandeered the prototype HAUBERK powered suit. Though unable to beat him in a head-on fight, the pair used diversionary tactics to distract the traitor before severing his suit's power cable, giving them a chance to badly injure and pursue him through the base. Following a brief hostage situation with Redford, King finally put down the unrepentant Hawkins.
After meeting with Ackton, Mack led an assault on Ouroboros Station's control building, only to be attacked by Oleg Lombardi and Tobias Crowley as they crossed the bridge connecting it to the central facility. While Lombardi - who was piloting a stolen Hornet - had them massively outgunned and sent Crowley in to detain the two, Ackton was able to fool the rebel leader and downed the aircraft with a well-placed grenade. Believing Lombardi to be dead, Ackton arrested an injured Crowley and took his unconscious body back to the rest of the team, leaving Mack to confront LaMarche alone. After a brief discussion with Alexander the facility's near-rampant AI Mack engaged and defeated his former leader before shutting down the facility's long-range communications, ending the threat of ONI's secrets escaping the planet. After a broken LaMarche managed to escape the room, Leonard warned Mack that a dying Lombardi had triggered a countdown on one of the base's nuclear weapons in an attempt to kill Trident Team.
Defying orders from Admiral Volkov, who insisted that they remain and disable the nuke - an impossible task - Mack and the rest of Trident fled the facility, with most of the team escaping in a rebel truck while Mack and Calvin Roe fled through an emergency tunnel that went through a nearby mountain. Though they were set to escape with plenty of time before the base was consumed by nuclear fire, LaMarche returned and pursued the pair through the tunnel, eventually disabling their vehicle as they escaped. The rogue ORION would have killed a helpless Mack were it not for Roe, who shot LaMarche dead and ended his rebellion. Commander Parangosky then extracted the pair in a dropship, taking LaMarche's corpse with them and escaping minutes before the Ouroboros Station was destroyed.
With two members dead and one in custody, the Heimdall Incident would be the defining moment of Trident Team's existence. After a tribunal decreed that Admiral Volkov's actions during the incident were unreasonable, Trident's members were exonerated of all suspicion and praised for their success, even if it cost ONI a valuable research base. Tobias Crowley would be imprisoned for thirty years - considered a very lenient sentence - while LaMarche's corpse was preserved as a potential candidate for AI development, which culminated in his brain being used for creation of a unique 'wetware' intelligence named Odin.
Richard Mack assumed command of Trident Team following the Heimdall Incident, and was publicly lauded as the incident's sole hero after the others refused to take any credit. While they continued to operate as a conventional special forces team for several years, Trident's effectiveness as a group had dwindled somewhat and its members began to drift apart. Following King's reassignment to Naval Intelligence, both Mack and Hollister began to suffer from mental issues related to post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues induced by their chemical augmentations; while Mack recovered, Hollister was ultimately given a medical discharge in 2504.
By 2505, Trident remained a team in name only, with its few remaining members operating in entirely different systems for a time as advisors for different groups within the military. The following year saw the eventual shutdown of the ORION project itself, which saw Trident officially disbanded along with it. Mack and Ackton would remain in the Marine Corps, while Harold Redford retired to work a civilian job close to his family. Due to the secretive nature of almost every single one of their missions and of the ORION project itself, few would know of the legendary Trident Team's exploits until many years later.
At the time of its formation, Trident Team consisted of eight members who were assigned to different roles according to their speciality in the field. This list is accurate as of 2506, and the official dissolution of both Trident and the ORION Project.