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- "God bless Humanity..."
- ―Baluyut during the Battle of Voi, November, 2552
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (Ret.), Abhidi Baluyut (UNSC Service Number: 03678-3518-AB), was a well renowned member of the UNSC Air Force best known for his actions while piloting Sparrowhawks and Hornets throughout the course of the Human-Covenant War. He was awarded several medals for his actions, most notably during the Outer Colony Campaigns.
Baluyut was born to an Indian family living in the city of Kolkata at the dawn of the 26th Century. His father was a former Master Sergeant in the UNSC Army during the early stages of the Insurrection, serving during missions on Far Isle and Eridanus II. His father had continued an active career in the UNSC during Abhidi's childhood, serving as a worker in the Army Corps of Engineers. His father's work in the military led Abhidi to strive to become a soldier as well, and on November 1, 2521 he enlisted in the Air Force.
Although he would play a very minor role during the Insurrection, Baluyut would ultimately become one of the most important pilots in UNSC history. This became evident during the early stages of the Human-Covenant War, where he would complete many aviation missions, most which were conducted behind enemy lines.
Towards the end of the war, Baluyut was recruited by the Air Force Special Operations Command to conduct numerous classified projects. Unfortunately this led to the pilot being groundside during the Fall of Reach, where he would ultimately become one of the few survivors of the battle, narrowly escaping the battle by Pelican Dropship. Upon his return to Earth, Baluyut was promoted to Senior Master Sergeant and would participate in some of the war's most influential battles during the Earth defensive.
Following the end of the Human-Covenant War in 2553, Baluyut would continue his career in the Unified Earth armed forces, serving in various "clean-up" missions throughout the Rebuild Era. On October 24, 2554 Baluyut was selected to hold a memorial service for several fallen soldiers who served throughout the Great War. At the end of this ceremony, Air Force Chief of Staff Achak Clark chose Abhidi Baluyut to serve as the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, the highest and most honorable rank in the UNSC Air Force.
In 2562, after over forty-one years of service in the Air Force Baluyut retired alongside longtime companion Marcille Stacker, a former commissioned officer in the UNSC Marine Corps and the sister to Special Warfare Operator Pete Stacker. The couple married two years later and moved to a small cabin outside Seattle, Washington, where they currently reside alongside their infant son Randall.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Rebuild Era
- 3 Personality
- 4 Preferred Aircraft and Weaponry
- 5 Awards and Decorations
- 6 Trivia
Abhidi Baluyut was born on November 18, 2503 in the Indian city of Kolkata to parents Waahid and Baisakhi Baluyut, an Army Engineer and school teacher, respectively. Abhidi grew up in a lower-middle class household that he shared mainly with his mother. Due to the fact that his father was often away on combat tours and that he lacked any siblings, he grew very close to his mother, sending her letters when he was away all the way up to her death in 2555.
During the periodic times his father would return home, Abhidi would constantly ask him about his experiences in the Insurrection. Although he would not admit it, his father was greatly traumatized by his past career, having served in brutal conflicts such as the Far Isle Rebellion. His father would typically try to avoid these questions, in hopes that his son would lose interest in the subject. However, his efforts failed and Baluyut would ultimately enlist in the UNSC Air Force.
After a tough basic training at Treman Air Force Base on Cyrus VII, Baluyut was deployed to Eridanus II as a part of the Unified Earth Government's anti-terrorism campaigns. Although restricted from flying, he continued to hold interest in the local forces, often venturing off base to learn more about the conflict.
During his time on Eridanus II, Baluyut acted in his cold, isolated personality. It wasn't until he met a fellow recruit, Alyx Cori, that he began to open up. Although the two were vastly different in personality and background, they became close friends, vowing to protect one another. On their free time, they'd socialize with one another at the local clubs. While there, Alyx would not drink as it was against her Mormon beliefs, but would rather keep an eye on her friend. Unfortunately their friendship came to end towards the beginning of the Human-Covenant War, when Alyx was killed by an insurgent landmine.
Baluyut now at the rank of Senior Airman, was chosen as the lead pilot of a Sparrowhawk, Echo 304. In the latter half of the Second Battle of Harvest, he was deployed groundside alongside crewman Bao Chung and a squad of Sparrowhawks. They successfully cleared several miles of Covenant forces, but failed to approach the site referred to as "The Relic". Finally, after several days of fighting, Marine ground forces retook Harvest and Abhidi was redeployed to Arcadia to fly a Hornet alongside Marine forces from the UNSC Spirit of Fire.
Upon arrival in Pirth City, Baluyut and his crewman Bao Chung were tasked with flying an AV-14 Attack VTOL alongside the Arcadian Patrol and the UNSC Marines, of which whom being led by Sergeant John Forge. The squad of Hornets fought well, allowing time for civilian evacuation and suffering only minimal causalities. With Pirth City citizens successfully outside of the combat zone, Baluyut joined the UNSC forces retreating to jungles on the outsides of town. It was here that he was tasked with protecting several Pelican dropships holding precious cargo, including the Spartan-II Red Team. Abhidi managed to allow for two of the Pelicans to escape, but his Hornet was shot down by Covenant AA fire half way through the mission. A Marine Force Reconnaissance team discovered the crash site and Baluyut was ferried out to Reach to receive the medical care he needed.
Following his near-fatal injuries during the Arcadia conflict, Abhidi was forced to remain bedside at a UNSC medical facility on Reach. Despite his disability, he continued his aviation career, jumping at every opportunity to help the Air Force. After a year of designing and testing aircraft, Abhidi was awarded the Outstanding Airmen of the Year Ribbon for his contributions and leadership during the Harvest and Arcadia Campaigns. By 2533, the pilot was ready to return to active service.
Baluyut was among several dozen Air Force and Navy pilots chosen to participate in Operation: EAGLE GLACIER, a large mission to take out United Rebel Front and Kig-yar asteroid-based refueling stations in the GJ 1214 system. Baluyut was assigned to the Shortsword bomber Knife 34, part of the main Shortsword task force being led by Second Lieutenant Paul Nguyen.
Staff Sergeant Baluyut was part of the first assault, a hit and run bombing on a Rebel refueling station. The initial mission was a success, destroying the majority of the station at the cost of four Shortswords.
He would also participate in the latter half of the operation, escorting several damaged UNSC ships out of system.
He would then participate in the follow up mission, Operation: GO FETCH in which Air Force forces were redeployed to the GJ 1214 System to mop up remaining forces and eliminate any possible threats. Upon arrival all things went as planned, with the Air Force units facing only minor resistance. However, things soon took a change for the worse as a Covenant destroyer arrived in system.
Abhidi took control of the two other Longsword fighters alongside him and utilized his Shiva-class warhead to help take out the Destroyer. After eliminating the ship's shields, the UNSC Stalingard destroyed the ship with a heavy MAC round. Soon afterward Baluyut would be awarded his second Outstanding Airmen of the Year Ribbon for his actions in the two operations.
Siege of the Inner Colonies
After nearly ten years of service in the UNSC, the Sparrowhawk was scrapped due to maintenance problems. Wishing to continue to fly a similar craft, Abhidi requested to be transferred to a Hornet squadron alongside his good friend Bao Chung. His request was accepted and the two men were transferred to the UNSC destroyer Resolute. Almost instantly the destroyer was ordered to head to Jericho VII to boost up defenses. Upon arrival in the system they learned of the Covenant invasion and Baluyut was quickly deployed to the planet's surface.
Abhidi was part of the main UNSC assault on Covenant ground forces on the planet. He provided cover fire for the Marine and Spartan forces on the ground and attacked the Banshees harassing the UNSC ground personnel. After two days of vicious fighting, the Covenant broke through orbital grid and Abhidi was forced to retreat.
With the siege of the Inner Colonies already on the way, Abhidi and the remaining units aboard the Resolute were deployed to the colony Łosośniki, on the very edges of the Inner Colonies. Within two months of arrival, a Covenant battlegroup arrived at the colony and began deploying troops to the surface.
The initial UNSC Army assault was almost completely wiped out, save a few fireteams. As a result UNSC commanders sent in the Air Force and Marine forces on the planet to succeed where the Army had failed. Abhidi was in charge of the lead Hornet squadron attacking the Covenant forces. Despite inflicting heavy wounds on the Covenant forces, they lost the battle due to the Covenant's far superior numeral advantage.
Following a large defeat at Łosośniki IV, Baluyut was reassigned to serve aboard the UNSC Gettysburg. Following a Covenant led siege of the Atlas Moon, UNSC forces were cut off from reinforcements and forced to fight with all they had. Abhidi was given control of all air units ground side, while Admiral Stanforth raged a battle in space. Once again facing a far superior enemy, Abhid was forced to sacrifice several of his airmen in order to evacuate civilians being cutoff by the Covenant. The plan was successful as several thousand civilians managed to bypass Covenant forces and reach outbound freighters. Despite the successful mission, Abhidi felt regret for the pilots he sent to die.
The Siege would continue and Baluyut was forced to command his exhausted pilots in a battle against the Covenant occupiers. Finally after two long weeks the battle ended at the cost of two thirds of Baluyuts men.
Following the deadly incident at the Atlas Moons, Baluyut was reassigned to a Marine Aviation group en route to New Isle. Upon arrival, the entire Marine Platoon was annihilated by an already victorious Covenant force. Abhidi was among the few pilots to escape the attack, however how he managed to do so is unknown.
During this attack, war photographer Jake Courage captured a picture of Abhidi Baluyut. The picture was included in Courage's exhibit, Dead on Arrival.
In 2539, Baluyut was stationed aboard the joint Air Force/Navy carrier, UNSC Autumn Red when it was ambushed by Covenant forces during a routine mission in Abhidi stayed on board the ship, fighting off the alien invaders with only an M90 he had picked up. After an hour of repelling the boarders, they succeeded in killing the invaders and retreated from the system, likely resulting in the glassing of the colonies situated there.
Two years later, Baluyut would be present during the Covenant invasion of Bonita Falls, a once popular resort colony. In the opening courses of the battle, Abhidi evacuated unarmed civilians aboard his hornet. Afterwords, he lead a group of Spartans (referred to as "Gray Team") into battle and deployed them behind Covenant territory. After dropping the squad off into the chilling night time, he hid amongst the deep forests of the colony.
After several hours, the Spartans completed their mission and called in for extraction. Baluyut arrived at the extraction point relatively unnoticed. However, upon arrival he was ambushed by two Banshees of which had followed him to the location of the Spartans. He quickly attempted take off but was shot several times by the craft. Just as he began to crash, one of the Spartans fired four SPNKr missiles and sent the Banshees into a massive fireball of debris and plasma. Having completed his mission, Baluyut returned to the UNSC fleet in orbit.
Several months later, Abhidi would participate in his first non-combat mission in nearly 20 years. He was responsible for leading air units during the full scale evacuation of Holetown, a major metropolitan area on the colony of Emerald Cove. The mission was a quick success and Abhidi was reassigned to the UNSC destroyer, Seattle.
Abhidi Baluyut then arrived at the colony of Falaknuma, one of the few outer colonies still in UNSC hands. Within several months, a lone Covenant destroyer arrived in system. While it was quickly destroyed by the UNSC battlegroup in orbit, the Destroyer managed to deploy 12 dropships to the surface of the planet. Ground forces proceeded to protect civilians in the refugee camps that covered the colony, while Baluyut led VTOL Air Force units against the incoming drop ships.
Out gunned and out numbered, Baluyut used a mixture of pure luck and tactical genius to destroy eight of the ships. Despite the victory, nearly all the Air Force personnel had died attacking the enemy dropships.
In 2544, Baluyut participated in the massive Battle of Miridem. During the opening actions of the battle, Abhidi was transferred to a Shortsword bomber tasked with eliminating the massive Covenant presence in the colony's capital, Mountainside. Within minutes of arrival then-Private Maria Deved radioed in the Shortsword requesting an air strike on a large group of Jackals. The strike was a quick succes, with nearly all the Jackal forces killed.
Afterwords, Baluyut helped in the carpet bombing of an ONI facility being overrun by Covenant forces. While preventing the capture of vital information, the attack resulted in the death of fourteen allied personel, including the Spartan Sheila.
Not long after, Baluyut would be part of a massive task force sent into reinforce UNSC forces on the Inner Colony of Sahamandrevo II. The colony had turned into a massive Covenant archeological dig with the remaining UNSC forces on the planet participating in Guerrilla Warfare with the Covenant.
His actions in the battle are currently classified NOVEMBER BLACK by the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence.
Return to Reach
Following Abhidi's heroic actions during the Sahamandrevo II campaign, he would be recruited by the UNSC Air Force Special Operations Command to participate in several projects being conducted by the UNSC Test and Evaluation Corps. During these projects Baluyut served as the main senior non-commissioned officer and was in charge of conducting and evaluating tests of the new air craft. For the next seven years, Baluyut's rank and respect would skyrocket as he showed his intelligence while working projects such as WARHAMMER, SKY LIMIT, and PEGASUS. However, this would all change when the Covenant discovered the planet.
Fall of Reach
In August of 2552, the Covenant led a massive invasion of Reach. Abhidi and all remaining Air Force personnel were tasked with defending the orbital generators on the planet. Baluyut met up with fellow pilot, Bao Chung as they fought thousands of Covenant forces invading there air strip. Finally, after several hours they received a distress call from HIGHCOM ordering them to carpet bomb Covenant and UNSC troops defending the stations. They followed these orders much to their dismay.
Afterward, Abhidi met up with two rogue Air Force pilots who had stolen a Marine Pelican and were planning to escape Reach aboard it. Regretfully, Baluyut joined them and radioed into Bao Chung and several Army personnel, telling them to meet them at the top of Langston Tower in Manassas. Bao Chung and three Army troopers fought through forty five stories of Covenant forces before reaching the top. As soon as Chung reached the top of the building, Baluyut's Pelican came under heavy Banshee fire as a Covenant cruiser moved into glass the abandoned city. In a desperate attempt to save his friend, Baluyut forced the pilot to move the Pelican closer to the building, allowing for Bao Chung to reach it. Chung managed to jump and grab on to the edge but lost hold as the vehicle accelerated. Abhidi could only stand and watch as his friend fell hundreds of feet to the glassed land below him.
Afterward, Baluyut and the two other Air Force personnel escaped the planet with knowledge that millions of their brothers and sisters had died and that Covenant would soon be victorious.
Battle of Earth
Two weeks later, they arrived at Earth with the knowledge of incident at Reach. Within the first days, Abhidi and the few survivors were questioned on the battle and then relocated to the few remaining UNSC bases. For the next few weeks, gloom swept Earth as the UNSC went public with the loss of Reach. Prior to the discovery of Spartan-117's victory at "Halo", Abhidi had lost all hope in winning the war. But as the Spartan made his highly publicized return to Earth, Baluyut was filled with a new found courage. This however, was short lived, as the Covenant had found Earth.
Abhidi Baluyut was among the first UNSC forces to respond to the Covenant attack. He lead a sqaud of several Hornets deployed from nearby seaborne naval vessels against Covenant Banshees that moved into attack Old Mombasa. His actions in this battle were short lived as less than three hours into the conflict, he was ordered to evacuate the injured Colonel leading operations in the city.
Shortly after, Baluyut was deployed to the Cuban city of Havana, with orders to provide aerial support to Army and Marine forces below. While engaging a flight of Banshees near the Centennial Orbital Elevator, Abhidi noticed an unusual occurrence among the Covenant foes. The Brutes and Elites were engaging one another, rather than fighting together. Baluyut utilized this event in order to boost his fighting effectiveness, drawing the enemies onto each other.
Baluyut's AV-14 Hornet suffered serious damage during the collapse of the Centennial Orbital Elevator at the end of the battle and crashed landed on Havana's northern beaches. He suffered serious damage to his lower rib cage and was rushed to the UNSC Hopeful upon being retrieved by Naval pilots of the UNSC Seventh Fleet. He ignored the pleas of the doctors and requested to transfer to the 3rd Air Wing in Cleveland, Ohio. Due to the lack of UNSC personnel during the late invasion of Earth, his transfer was accepted.
During his short stay in Cleveland, Baluyut was transferred back to the Air Force Special Operations Command as per the request of Special Forces Sergeant Mark Twyker. This transfer was made in order to have Baluyut provide infiltration missions for a local Shock Trooper Battalion during the Battle of Cleveland. After receiving knowledge of the civilian hostage situation at the former Jacob's Field, Abhidi led a Shock Infantry team into the stadium and successfully saved the hostages at nearly no casualties. Even though this minor mission proved to be a victory, Covenant forces managed to regain control of the remaining city. Abhidi fell back with remaining UNSC forces to an underground base in the Old Cleveland district of the city. After the sacrifice of Ruwan Ackerson, the surviving UNSC forces were transferred to East Africa for an important supposedly final mission.
- "Soldiers, the Prophet of Truth doesn't know it yet, but he's about to get kicked right off his throne. You will take our city back. And drive our enemy into the grave they've been so happily digging. One final effort is all that remains."
- ―Fleet Admiral Terrance Hood to UNSC troops during the Battle of Voi
Abhidi and several other pilots then met up at the UNSC base codenamed "Crow's Nest" in order to receive commands for their next mission. Baluyut and several other of the UNSC's remaining pilots were to launch an assault on the Covenant air presence over Voi, crush there resistance, and then provide aerial support for Naval Air Squadron that would then attack what was believed to be the "Ark".
Baluyut was assigned to a flight of Hornets ordered to provide air support for the ground forces fighting in Voi. He and his fellow pilots fought vigorously, knowing that the entire survival of the human race was depending on their effort. After the arrival of the Flood via an infected Covenant ship, Baluyut and Darrell Mac assisted in the retrieval of trapped UNSC forces. Many lives were saved due to their actions, an event that helped heal Abhidi's extremely depressed state of mind. During the events following the Battle of Voi, Baluyut stayed behind on Earth with most of the remaining Air Force and Army forces, caring for the survivors of the epic struggle.
Ceremony of 2554
On October 24, 2553 Baluyut was invited to take part in a ceremony commemorating the service of Air Force personnel during the Human-Covenant War. The ceremony was held at the surrounding parks outside the Memorial of the Airman in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Among the other speakers at the ceremony were the General of the Air Force Achak Clark and highly-decorated special forces operator Darrell Mac. After his speech recognizing the sacrifices and stories of his many fellow airmen. As he moved unto his next speech, his voice became quieter and his eyes began dripping tears. Emotionally, he spoke of his remarkable friendship with fellow pilot Bao Chung. After his dramatic speech, Baluyut walked off stage and was greeted by an elderly woman of an Asian background. The woman turned out to be Jordan Chung, the widowed mother of Bao. Although the two talked for several hours about Bao, what Abhidi said remains unknown, but had finally ended the year long emotional depression of the woman.
Towards the end of the ceremony, Baluyut was once again called to the stage, this time by General Clark. After a gun ceremony for the fallen soldiers, Baluyut was selected to become the 122nd Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. With the weight of his friend's death off his shoulders, Baluyut left the ceremony with a sense of happiness he had not felt in nearly 30 years.
On January 12, 2562, Abhidi resigned from his duties as Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, ending his forty-one years of service for the UNSC Defense Force]]. Although his later career remained fairly calm, with the main duties consisting of simple desk work and publicity campaigns, Baluyut told LSNBC News that he had simply "grown tired of the service" and had "wished to finally settle down and raise my family". Several days afterward, Abhidi and his spouse Marcille finally settled down in their summer home in rural country outside Seattle, Washington.
- "You see, people like me can get around and survive out here, 'cause we know whats going on. Now, people like you, Earth-raised, watching cartoons every sunday-kinda people, don't know shit about this war, which is why you're not exactly welcomed here. So I suggest you keep quite, roll with me, and get used to seeing some dead bodies."
- ―Fellow pilot and friend Bao Chung discussing Baluyut's Earth-based lifestyle.
Throughout most his childhood and later life, Abhidi was a lone wolf while among large groups of people. He typically was silent and followed orders without questioning anything during his early career, though he would occasionally converse with his superiors during his later career.
Despite his actions while around large groups of people, Baluyut was quite social with his fellow soldiers when they had personal conversations. During his early career, he would meet fellow pilot and Mamore-native Bao Chung and the two would form a close friendship. Abhidi would serve alongside his friend, until Chung's death in 2552. The pilot was also close friends with Marine Corps officer Marcille Stacker. The two met early on during the Sahamandrevo II Campaign of the late 2540's. The two would later form a close relationship and would marry shortly after the war.
Baluyut was also known by his fellow airmen to be one of the most supportive soldiers during times of tragedy. Even after the death of such large numbers of friendly troops, Baluyut continued to strive to help his fellow men and women. This led to Abhidi keeping his many problems to himself and as a result he attempted to wash them away with alcohol and narcotics. This ultimately led to him unsuccessfully attempting suicide while hospitalized in the early 2530's.
Baluyut was raised Hindu, but would commonly question his faith after witnessing the horrors of war. This led to him fighting the urge to lose his faith, adding to the stress that came with the interstellar war. He finally converted to Christianity after the war, following the marriage between him and Marcille.
Preferred Aircraft and Weaponry
Throughout his military career, Abhidi preferred flying VTOL Gunships such as Hornet or Sparrowhawks, over standard fighters or bombers. This was considered an odd rarity in the Air Force as the majority of those aircraft were utilized by the Marine Corps and Navy. Nonetheless, Abhidi would earn respect for his skillful flying alongside his Marine allies. When in a high altitude or zero-g location, Baluyut preferred the Shortsword Interceptor over any other form of Aerospace craft. The reasoning behind this was the strength and effectiveness that the Longsword offered.
Abhidi's infantry weapon of choice was the M6G sidearm. In over 30 years of service, Abhidi has held on to the same sidearm his father gave to him upon enlistment, even once risking his life to save the weapon.
Awards and Decorations
- Outstanding Defense Superior Service Medal (2554)
- Outstanding Airmen of the Year Ribbon x2 (2532, 2534)
- Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (2533)
- Harvest Campaign Service Medal (2531)
- Purple Heart x3 (2531, 2533, 2552)
- Outer Colony Service Medal (2535)
- Earth Service Medal (2552)
- Air Force Training Ribbon (2522)
- Air Force Longevity Service Award (2554)
- Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2544)
- Colonial Cross (2562)
- Baluyut's picture is actually that of Indian Air Force Marshal Subroto Mukerjee, who is considered by many to be the "Father of the Indian Air Force".