|Political and military information|
Ash was orphaned at a young age when the Covenant glassed his homeworld, and joined the SPARTAN-III program developed by Colonel James Ackerson at age six in order to avenge his family. Once on Onyx, he and the other SPARTAN-III candidates were trained by Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose and Senior Chief Petty Officer Mendez. Ash was assigned to lead Team Saber.
Battle of Onyx
When the human forces on Onyx came under attack by Sentinels, Gamma Company's teams Saber, Gladius and Katana were still competing for top honors, and Ash had nearly lost it for his team by walking into a trap set up by one of the other teams. In an effort to avoid additional traps, he took his team dangerously close to Zone 67 to avoid the other teams. There, the team spied what they assumed at the time to be a new kind of Covenant drone, as it was equipped with energy shields.
They decided to investigate, and the drones engaged. Ash dispatched scouts to reconnoiter and figure out the weak spots of the drones. He and the rest of the team hurled rocks at the drones and to their surprise, the robots' shields did not activate. Curiously enough, one drone responded to Ash's COM, and talked to him, first using an unknown language, then switching to Latin and finally to English, calling him "Reclaimer". However, after Ash failed to provide the proper counterresponse, the machine classified him and the other humans on Onyx as targets to be neutralized. Before the Sentinel could kill Ash, however, the rest of Team Saber ambushed and destroyed the machine, saving him.
Regrouping with UNSC forces
The team then moved to the armory of Camp Currahee to retrieve heavier weapons. Team Saber met up with Ambrose, Mendez, Tom-B292, and Lucy-B091, and the Spartans proceeded to use guerrilla tactics against the Sentinels. The team later met up with Kelly-087 and Dr. Catherine Halsey once they had landed aboard the Beatrice, escorting the two to a bombed-out bunker. In the bunker, Dr. Halsey revealed the origin of the Sentinels and what to do next.
Just as Team Saber was in the middle of battling the Sentinels, the Covenant destroyer Bloodied Spirit dropped out of slipspace over Onyx, carrying the remaining members of Blue Team: Frederic-104, Linda-058 and William-043. The ship crashed in the forest at the source of an E-Band signal that the UNSC forces on Onyx had sent. With the Sentinels increasing in number, Ash and the other survivors decided to regroup and retreat back to Zone 67.
By now, the team had figured out that the Sentinels only came after them in pairs, and there was always a third Sentinel that acted as an observer, recording the battles and reporting back to the others. This tactic made the Sentinels smarter after each battle; the only way to turn the tables would be for the teams to take out all three of the Sentinels, a strategy that they attempted and succeeded at. During the ambush, Ash ordered Team Saber to attack too soon and was notified of this by Kurt.
Retreat to Zone 67
After the team destroyed the trio of Sentinels, they moved into a Forerunner city in Zone 67. Once there, they discovered the map room and the location of Team Katana, which had dropped out of contact when heading into Zone 67 earlier in the battle. Meanwhile, a Covenant fleet led by Fleet Master Voro Nar 'Mantakree arrived at Onyx, dispatching forces after the Spartans. In looking in the map room and examining the Forerunner text, Dr. Halsey figured out how to utilize the Forerunners' slipspace translocation grid, similar to the one Cortana used on Installation 04.
Just before the team was about to jump to Team Katana, AI Endless Summer contacted Dr. Halsey and Kurt-051, telling them they need to destroy the Sentinel manufacturing facility in order to save Admiral Patterson's battle group in orbit. Halsey managed to get the teleportation grid working, and they all teleported to the Sentinel factory near the northern pole in Onyx. Ash came up with a plan to use the teleportation grid to their advantage, destroying three key structures in the facility and tricking Sentinels into firing on them in a line with the structures. Having destroyed the structures, they teleported away as the facility was destroyed.
Core room antechamber
Ash and the rest of the team then arrived at Team Katana's holding area to find them in slipspace field pods. Here, Dr. Halsey found out that there was a shelter known as a "shield world" in Onyx's core. However, the Covenant knew the location of the group and was on the way with an entire armada of troops to attempt to stop them.
Once in the core room of Onyx, Ash, along with the other Spartans, made a loose half-circle kill zone around the entrance to the shield world and picked off targets at range. They managed to defend the slipspace rift, although, it had come at some serious losses. Will, Dante, and Holly had already died at the hands of the Covenant. As there was little time left and the Covenant forces were closing in for the final kill, Kurt-051 ordered Ash to take his team through the rift, while he stayed behind to detonate two FENRIS nuclear warheads and deny the Covenant access to the shield world.
On the other side of the slipspace rift, Ash and the others found themselves inside a massive Dyson sphere contained within a slipspace bubble of compressed space-time in the core of Onyx. Soon after, Dr. Halsey and the surviving SPARTAN-IIs came through and lastly, Lucy, who came through with an unconscious Tom over her shoulder. The team waited for Kurt-051 to arrive, but he never came. Once the team was inside the Dyson sphere, they made gravestones for William, Dante, Kurt and Holly; and were accepted into Blue Team by Kelly-087, along with Olivia and Mark.
After Ash and the other survivors had explored the sphere for several days—over three months in normal space-time—Lucy discovered a group of Huragok which eventually helped the humans establish contact with the ONI ships outside the sphere and eventually bring the sphere into normal space. They were then taken aboard the UNSC Port Stanley and transported to Earth order to be debriefed in HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6.
Gao and later career
- Main article: Operation: JOVIAN WHISTLE
Ash and the two other survivors of Team Saber continued to serve with Blue Team and in May 2553, they were dispatched to escort the 717th Xeno-Materials Exploitation Battalion, which had been sent to recover a Forerunner ancilla on the human colony of Gao. In early July, they became mired in a major crisis after several Gao inhabitants were found murdered in the Montero Cave System. Veta Lopis, a Special Inspector of the Gao Ministry of Protection initially suspected the Spartans to be responsible for the murders, particularly after learning about Gamma Company's destabilizing augmentations. However, the killer eventually turned out to be the Forerunner AI the UNSC had been looking for, Intrepid Eye.
After the events at Gao, Admiral Margaret Parangosky decided to have Ash, Mark, and Olivia reassigned to a classified infiltrator unit nicknamed Ferrets, led by now-ONI agent Veta Lopis. To prevent knowledge of the dangers of their enhancement, Parangosky decided to publicly list Ash, Olivia and Mark as KIA, with Fred-104 personally deciding their false fates. By September 2553, Ash and the other members of Team Saber had their status changed to killed in action.
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Personality and traits
Lieutenant Commander Ambrose considered Ash to be one of the fiercest, smartest, and best leaders in Gamma Company. An enthusiastic and affable individual, Ash was able to understand and hone his team members' specialties into working together as a seamless unit; their extraordinary teamwork ultimately placed Team Saber among the top three teams of Gamma Company. His tactical intelligence was evident in his coming up with an effective plan to destroy Onyx's Sentinel manufacturing facility before the other Spartans, although he himself had major doubts whether the plan would work. At the time of the Battle of Onyx, Ash was still sometimes overeager to act during combat due to his inexperience. He has also been known to lapse in his adherence to military protocol, such as wearing his hair over regulation length or momentarily removing his helmet in potentially hostile territory, although he quickly put the helmet back on once Kurt noticed his mistake. After several months of active duty, he and the two other Gamma Spartans had come to perform without fault as part of Blue Team.
Ash has a very Spartan attitude to his duty as a soldier; he was remarkably calm when faced with almost certain death and affirmed his team that they had succeeded in their mission. He greatly respected Kurt and his other mentors; CPO Mendez, Lucy-B091 and Tom-B292. Before his augmentations, Ash told Kurt that in case he did not make it he would not have done anything differently. Ash cares deeply for his team, considering his teammates his brothers and sisters. He was also quick to accept the Spartan-IIs as fellow team members of his team and adapt to the new team dynamic. Out of Team Saber, Ash appears to have been particularly attached to Holly-G003; while escaping the destruction of Onyx's sentinel factory, Ash helped Holly up after she fell and continued to hold her hand as the Spartans were about to be crushed by machinery, though Dr. Halsey was able to teleport them away at the last moment. Upon being translocated to safety, Holly quickly detached her hand from his, seemingly embarrassed. Ash was deeply distraught at Holly's abrupt death, whereupon he fell on his knees where she had had been vaporized.
Ash has large, brown eyes and in 2553, Veta Lopis noted that he had gentle features and smooth (albeit scarred) skin that were indicative of his young age. Similar to the other Spartans, his athletic physique appeared to be that of a man in his late teens or early twenties, and while not as large as the Mjolnir-armored Fred-104, he was still taller than an ordinary person. Ash has wavy brown hair which he has been known to wear slightly over regulation length. On the day of Gamma Company's augmentations Kurt took note of this fact but deliberately overlooked it because of the occasion.
Ash is once addressed as a "private" in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx. This would imply his service branch is either the UNSC Army or the Marine Corps. However, since the Spartan-IIIs have been stated to be members of the UNSC Navy, his stated rank is considered a mistake. Even if Team Saber were assigned to a different branch, the junior enlisted rank of private would be out of place given Ash's role as Team Saber's leader.
List of appearances
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 401
- ^ a b c d e Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 100
- ^ a b Halo: Last Light, page 106 (Google Play edition)
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 109
- ^ Halo: Last Light, page 129 (Google Play edition)
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 117-119
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 133
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 170-176
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 230
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 254
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, pages 131-132
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 311
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, pages 313-324
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, pages 341-343
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, pages 360-362
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 365
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 372
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 378
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 382-389
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 401
- ^ Halo: Last Light
- ^ Halo: Last Light, pages 330-333 (Google Play edition)
- ^ Halo Waypoint: Catalog Interaction - Page 38
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 117
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 318
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 113
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 254
- ^ Halo: Last Light
- ^ a b Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 322-323
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 134
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 324
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 362
- ^ a b Halo: Last Light, page 123-125 (Google Play edition)
- ^ Halo: Last Light, page 93 (Google Play edition)
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 254, ("(Kurt) turned to Ash. 'Private'. 'Sir.' Ash said, and stood straighter".)
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 38