Violet-B039 was a SPARTAN-III commando of Beta Company and later one of the overseers of the reformed Headhunters program as part of Spartan Operations. One of very few Beta Company members left alive following the costly Operation: TORPEDO, Violet would spend the remainder of the Human-Covenant War working alone under the Office of Naval Intelligence's Delta-6 Division and participated in numerous covert operations before returning to fight in the Battle of Earth. After the war's conclusion, she would be transferred into the newly-formed Spartan branch and would take on a command role in its Headhunter division in spite of her relatively young age.
Violet would continue to work infrequently in the field until late 2557, when she was partnered up with BRUTUS agent Jill Urbach as part of the experimental 'Defender Initiative'. After months of successful work, Violet was eventually dragged into the centre of an internal conflict within ONI as she worked to uncover a conspiracy within the organisation. Briefly branded as a traitor, she would play a role in bringing down the Red Cell group alongside her partner.
Violet Engel was born on the Outer Colony world of Jericho VII in 2532. By the time of her birth, the planet had already been attacked by the Covenant, prompting a massive exodus of most of its populace towards safer systems. Too stubborn to move and steadfast in their belief that the UNSC could fend off any further invasions, Violet's family were among those who remained on the planet until a larger engagement in 2535 culminated in the planet's glassing. During the attack, Violet's parents were both killed while she was in the care of a babysitter, who took her to an evacuation craft before it fled the system. Unwilling to take care of a three year-old girl, the babysitter abandoned Violet outside an orphanage shortly after their arrival on Falaknuma.
After being taken in by the overpopulated facility, Violet found it very difficult to adjust to her new environment. Her life as an only child and residual trauma from the attack on Jericho VII made it very difficult to connect with others, making Violet unruly and hard to control. By the age of five, she had a reputation for getting into fights with other orphans and was often kept away from others by the orphanage's staff. Overworked and understaffed, her carers never bothered to have Violet or any of the other refugees from Covenant attacks seen by psychologists, allowing emotional issues to fester. When agents from the Office of Naval Intelligence visited the facility with the intent of interviewing these supposedly disturbed children, Violet became properly responsive for the first time in several years. Unlike many others, it did not take much to convince Violet to take up arms against the Covenant; her eagerness to kill the creatures responsible for the loss of her parents even shocked her ONI recruiter. Violet was soon taken away from Falaknuma alongside several others to be trained as a SPARTAN-III supersoldier.
After arriving on the hidden world of Onyx, Violet - now Violet-B039 - began an absolutely brutal training regime alongside the other recruits. While she adapted much quicker than many of the other children as they were drilled in military tactics alongside physical exercises, she outright refused to interact with any of her peers, which became a serious issue once Beta Company's teams were formed. As a member of Team India, Violet was harshly scolded by her drill instructors for a lack of cooperation in their first few weeks together, which dragged the group's test scores down. She would soon work much harder to get along with her team, though this was more due to a fear of punishment than any genuine desire to befriend the other trainees. While she never stood out from her peers as far as combat skills went, Violet's talent for information-gathering and infiltration became apparent; her quiet nature and occasional late-night wanderings around Camp Currahee, for which she was never caught, made her perfect for India's scouting roles.
As time went by, Violet's conscious efforts to distance herself from her peers faded and she would eventually become slightly more sociable as training dragged on. While she could be vicious at times, the young Spartan acquired a rather dark sense of humour and her once-frequent outbursts of violence were replaced with a remarkably sharp tongue aimed at any who crossed her. This would come at a price, as she found herself in hot water more than once after making sarcastic remarks within earshot of Chief Mendez. Nonetheless, Team India became a very effective team and by the time their training came to an end, Violet truly felt like she belonged in the little group. After going through her augmentation procedures and the subsequent recovery period, Violet and the rest of Beta Company left Onyx for good to join the fight against the Covenant.
Like most in Beta, Violet was overjoyed when their first deployment against the Covenant was announced. The SPARTAN-III's performed excellently in their first operation, Team India acting as a vanguard in an assault against a Covenant supply station that ONI's deep space probes had discovered. When she came face-to-face with her first real enemy - a startled Sangheili guard - Violet surprised herself with her own restraint as she quickly and efficiently killed the alien instead of launching into the frenzied attack she had imagined repeatedly over the last few years. While momentarily confused, she quickly dismissed it as a result of her instincts from training taking hold and continued with the mission. Instead of a sense of revenge that she had dreamed of since the day she decided to join the SPARTAN-III Program, Violet found herself feeling oddly detached - even disappointed - with the number of Covenant she ended up killing on future operations, though she felt unable to confide in her closest comrades about this situation after seeing their own happiness over finally being seeing proper combat.
In 2545, Violet took part in Operation: CARTWHEEL alongside most of Beta Company. Acting as Team India's usual scout, she helped to lead several SPARTAN-III teams into a Covenant-held listening post being used to guard a massive helium-3 mining operation on a remote moon. Deployed via LRSOIP, they took the enemy by surprise with a vicious assault, during which Violet personally eliminated a pair of Mgalekgolo with a crate of stolen plasma grenades. While the battle went in their favour early on, the SPARTAN-III's experienced a great deal of resistance as a secondary Covenant force attempted to retake the fortress. Bombarded with plasma artillery from Wraith tanks, Violet and the others attempted to fall back through the drainage tunnel they had infiltrated the base through. En-route, a Seraph bombing run struck the outer wall close to where she was fighting as Team India's rearguard, nearly killing Violet in the subsequent explosion. Though her Semi-Powered Infiltration armour gave her partial protection from the plasma charge, the force and heat of the blast sent her flying into a nearby wall, fracturing a number of her reinforced bones and inflicting heavy burns across the right side of her torso and legs. Seeing their comrade horribly wounded, the rest of India fell back and carried Violet's unconscious body away while another section of Beta Company moved to flank and wipe out the Covenant counter-attack. Kept barely alive by what first aid her team could provide en-route to the extraction site, Violet was immediately rushed to a medical suite aboard their pickup vessel following operation's the success and underwent emergency surgery.
Unconscious for eight days after CARTWHEEL, Violet awoke in a private room aboard the UNSC Hopeful, having been moved there the moment her condition was deemed stable. Heavily bandaged and unable to move properly, her interactions with the doctors there were very brief, and none could tell her of Beta Company's current status or whereabouts. While not as severe as they had been when she was initially brought in, Violet's injuries would take some time for fully heal, confining her to her room for almost a month with little to do but wait and read what limited materials were provided. On July 7th, she received a surprise visit from Colonel James Ackerson, the man behind the SPARTAN-III Program. Ackerson informed Violet that Beta Company had been deployed on Operation: TORPEDO, an incredibly dangerous mission with the goal of destroying an important Covenant refinery. While the mission had been successful, all but two participating Spartans had been killed in the attack, including her team. While she had been conditioned to deal with loss, the utter destruction of Beta Company shook Violet to the core as she had little time to process how everyone she knew was dead. Shortly afterwards, Ackerson informed her that there were a few other Spartans who had been reassigned either shortly after training or during Beta's period as an active force and put to work for the Office of Naval Intelligence. Not wanting to see Violet's talents wasted, he arranged to have her transferred to the Delta-6 Division, who would put her to better use against both the Covenant and any extant Insurrectionist groups plaguing the colonies.
Violet took some time to adjust to Beta Company's demise, and though she performed well in her first solo operation against a group of black market arms dealers on Meridian she professed her dislike for operating alone to her superiors and missed the company of her fellow Spartans. Unable to team the then-thirteen year old Violet with regular Special Forces personnel for fear of exposing her age and potentially leaking details of the SPARTAN-III program to outsiders, ONI would arrange for her transfer into the Headhunters unit. She would soon be matched up with Leandra-B031, another Beta Company alumni who had been removed shortly after training. Though she was glad to be fighting alongside a fellow Spartan, Violet was taken aback by Leandra's stubborn individualism and dismissive treatment of her, which went against the team-focused training that had been drilled into them years earlier. During their first mission to destroy a Covenant listening post, the pair got into an argument and went their separate ways, engaging the enemy alone and eventually completing the operation after a series of dangerous firefights. For this, they were harshly rebuked by their handlers and ordered to improve their teamwork under threat of being declared unfit for combat.
In spite of their very different personalities, Violet and Leandra established a professional relationship that while cold at first, soon developed into a proper friendship as they saved each other's lives on more than one mission. Violet learned that while haughty and aggressive, the other Spartan valued loyalty and possessed a surprising sentimental streak, believing that every successful mission they carried out would save precious human lives. However, Leandra showed little interest in Violet's own musings due to her self-centred nature, something that she simply learned to put up with for fear of damaging their coordination in the field by complaining. They would continue to operate successfully as a pair for several years, though the Headhunter Program's dwindling numbers by 2551 and a dire need for Spartans in the field due to the failing war effort led to their eventual separation. Violet departed on good terms with Leandra in spite of everything, and was attached to one of ONI's quick-response teams stationed in the Inner Colonies.
By 2552, Violet was among the first group of SPARTAN-III's to receive a suit of MJOLNIR armour, which she customised for use in close-quarters combat. With most of the Inner Colonies either glassed by the Covenant or militarily irrelevant, Violet found herself stationed on Reach from March to June while her superiors continued to run stress tests on her suit's systems in preparation for the second-generation Mark V armour's unveiling later in the year. While she understood the need for such tests, having been told in confidence that the military intended to field Spartans en-masse for some secret operation against the Covenant, Violet hated being away from the frontlines and spent her free time learning how to properly maintain the vehicles kept in her base's motor pool until she received her next mission.
Skills and Abilities
Personality and Traits
As with all SPARTAN-III's, Violet had to contend with the trauma of losing her family and homeworld at a young age, and was a selfish, vicious child by the time of her recruitment. While her intense military training diminished the former trait, she found it difficult to properly bond with others and remained emotionally distant, hiding any perceived weaknesses behind a mask of sarcasm and crudeness. This attitude would soften somewhat when it came to her teammates, though Violet did not realise just how much she had come to care for them until she learned of their deaths during Operation: TORPEDO. Violet would eventually come to cope with the horrors she had witnessed better than most, though she did develop a tic early on of clicking her tongue involuntarily while mentally processing information.
While many of her comrades maintained a sense of loyalty towards the UNSC due to their training, Violet never felt much affection for the organisation itself and believed that the Spartans were tools built for a specific purpose; in her case, getting revenge on the Covenant by killing as many of them as possible. She had nothing but contempt for the alien races of the Covenant, even post-war as interspecies relations gradually improved. Though she openly flaunted her selfish reasons for becoming a Spartan and occasionally boasted about being one of the few surviving members of Beta Company, these were mostly deflection tactics on her part to avoid the topic of her fallen brethren. Even among those precious few she deemed friends, it was not a topic for discussion with her.
Outside of her training company, Violet often found interacting with others difficult for prolonged periods, preferring military orders to casual conversation. However, she had a tendency to grow attached to those she worked with for long periods, as was the case with Leandra-B031 and later Jill Urbach, her BRUTUS partner. With another person to focus her attention on and work alongside, Violet tended to grow lively and even cheerful, though her usual irreverence would often resurface.
List of Appearances