For most users, the creation of a character comes first when they arrive here from the chaos that is the Internet. For a few, it’s a Marine, ODST, or Covenant character. But for most, it’s the SPARTAN.
It’s natural. The Spartans are the heroes of the Halo universe, stronger and faster than any other and with a just cause for fighting. They’re very appealing to first-time writers and the experienced ones that discover Halo. The problem that occurs for some, I think, is a numbers game.
Whenever you create a new Spartan character, it means one less slot in the unit, and in some universes, there aren’t enough to go around, especially in the Twos. If you want a SPARTAN-II character for the possibilities they have both during and post-Human/Covenant War, your chances of that character being accepted into an established expanded universe are slim, because you want your character to survive Reach because you have such a great idea for them after the war.
Whether this idea of yours really is good or not, you’ll run into problems trying to collaborate with others. To help alleviate this problem, I am taking a second look at the canon Spartans that, let’s face it, were mostly used as redshirts. Each is fitting for expansion and could have theoretically survived the end of the war. However, if you take on one of these as your Spartan, you’ll have to really explain how they survived the ordeal that should have killed them, or how they made it back to UNSC space after being Missing In Action for decades.
- Red Team – These three are a good place to start. They were supporting characters in Halo Wars, and were given more than a good starting point, being cryo-frozen aboard the UNSC Spirit of Fire in 2531 when the ship had no slipspace drive, and would take years, perhaps decades, to reach even the nearest remote outpost.
- Douglas-042 – A heavy weapons specialist, utilizing the rocket launcher, and if you choose to accept the gameplay appearance as canon, a four-tubed rocket launcher. Also seen wielding dual submachine guns with skill in hand-to-hand fighting. Apparently one of the gruff types, wears a Jolly Roger and black markings on his armor. Who wouldn’t want that?
- Jerome-092 – Red Team’s leader, a sniper by listing in unit menus, though obviously skilled in heavy weapons and close assault weapons. Was noted by Halsey as a potential leader of the entire Spartan-II class, and on Arcadia would have led a nine-man team. When it came time to detonate the slipspace drive in the Shield World, he volunteered for the sacrifice without hesitation.
- Alice-130 – Seen wielding a heavy machine gun and submachine guns, she clearly has a knack for automatic weapons, and hand-to-hand combat. Like many heavy weapons stereotypes, to become used to the weapon early she was probably one of the stronger candidates. Worth noting that there was speculation about her name and voice actress being related to Allison ‘Tex’ from Red vs. Blue.
- Gray Team – Again, an MIA group of three that have been so since the near the beginning of the war. All are excellent saboteurs, as Gray was tasked with taking out high-value targets outside of UNSC space. What happened to them behind enemy lines? Did they limp back, wounded after a vicious conflict, or find something they had to keep from Covenant and UNSC?
- Jai-006 – Selected as Gray Team’s leader, with a mind focused on the mission. When he was young, he and Adriana often attempted to escape, and nearly always succeeded, getting farther and farther each time. Realizing because of Halsey that he had nothing to go back to, stayed with the Spartans and worked with Jacob Keyes at the Rubble, and after it just went back to work. ONI top-secret is the usual for him and his team.
- Adriana-111 – Judging by the timeline, probably uses the XBR55 Battle Rifle prototype. Also has used submachine guns and a rocket launcher, and is familiar with orbital drops, computers, and medical skills. As mentioned above, escaped the Reach facilities almost nightly and was difficult to get back. It’s noted in Cole Protocol that Gray Team had a very large accumulation of weapons which she was fond of. Not to mention she used a flipping Mongoose as a hammer to take out an entire army of Grunts. It's tough to kill any Spartan, and she's a dang good example of exactly why you don't mess with them.
- Mike – Number is unknown, but it is known that he is a skilled pilot using anything with rockets strapped to it, even attempting to hijack a Pelican to escape training. He seems comfortable interacting with AIs, even an insane one like the Rubble’s Juliana. He shares Adriana’s unhealthy love of ordnance, noted to have their freighter stocked with a number of Shiva warheads and ‘just about everything else he could get his hands on’, and was the Spartans’ expert on computer systems.
- Li-008 and Anton-044 – These are going to sound like a stretch, but hear me out. At the time they were believed dead, they were fighting on the hull of a ship in a slipspace bubble where space and (possibly) time were distorted. Their bodies were never recovered after a plasma torpedo passed over them, nor Polaski and while the cockpit of her ship was gone, both arms of the dropship remained. It’s plausible to assume they were not killed, but rather teleported by the Forerunner artifact. This presents a second problem however: if they were transported to a random location in the universe, it’s more likely than not they’d be in a random position in space or within a planet or star, and die soon anyway. My own solution to this is some sort of Forerunner place that acted as a lightning rod, drawing them in, though to keep semi-plausible that hypothesis has them dropping through the planet’s atmosphere first, along with the Elite squad that disappeared and Polaski.
- Li-008 – It must be expensive to get Zero-G combat training, and given that Li was the top EVA combatant of the very expensive Spartans, he’s probably the best zero-gravity fighter anywhere. On a note as a character, when John sounded a warning for the incoming torpedo, Li didn’t even seek cover, maybe because he was close enough to recognize it as something else, maybe thought he had no chance, or was just brave to the point of near-stupidity.
- Anton-044 – At the other end of the spectrum, Anton is the ground-side specialist. Their best tracker and scout, Anton was able to lead his splinter team on Reach to secure Admiral Whitcomb and survive the planet’s fall when many others died. And after, began to wage a guerrilla war with occupying forces with a grand total of four people.
- Carris-137 – Only noted in the bonus material of Halo: Reach’s limited editions, very little is known about her other than that she was conscripted. Apparently very strong though unaware of it, hospitalized more than one of her classmates. She survived augmentations, but suffered a bout of depression after accidentally killing one of her trainers in hand-to-hand combat.
- Joshua-029 - Also noted for working with Pelicans and their electronics, Joshua led Red Team on Sigma Octanus, and during Bravo 001's freefall to Reach's surface made an effort to stabilize and land it. Unable to do that, he at least slowed it down enough for most Spartans to survive the drop. After he, Fred, and Kelly detonated a nuke inside a Covenant ship, Joshua's Banshee went down, though it's unknown if he even ended up crashing. Though Fred couldn't reach him on coms, it could be attributed to the nuke's electromagnetic fallout. If he was able to pull his Banshee out of a spiral, he could have survived.
- Soren-066 - This is a very interesting case. After being crippled in augmentations, Soren was denied the chance to serve with his siblings. Despite his malformed leg and arm, he would have been the strongest of them all. He grew to hate the UNSC for offering him a chance and then taking it away, and after being shot down in a stolen Longsword, disappeared into Reach's wilderness. While distrustful of the UNSC, when the Covenant attacked he would have found it necessary to rejoin humanity and get off planet. He'd make an interesting bounty hunter or some other just-outside-the-law mercenary type.
- James - Another with tag number unknown, he disappeared after a Jackal sent him into the void of space by breaking his T-Pack. John chose him for the mission on the ship Circumference because he'd never quit, and that makes his type hard to kill. The Pillar of Autumn scanned for him after the others of his team had been recovered, and the fact that they couldn't find him when he couldn't have been far leaves us with the very real possibility that someone picked him up.
There are others that have been expanded upon. Isaac, Vinh, Maria, and Fhajad are some examples. But these are completely open canvasses for expansions that don't need a way to fit the rosters and groups, because they're already there. More information on them is available at Halopedian. Good luck, and if you like, happy expanding.
That Damn Sniper