Erik Bender

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Erik Bender
Personal details





Political and military information


UNSC Navy[1]


Erik Bender is a retail services specialist and a barber assigned to the UNSC Infinity.[1][2] He is later a part of the boat crew during the Battle for Zeta Halo.[3]


Battle for Zeta Halo[edit]

Main article: Battle for Zeta Halo

On December 12, 2559, Erik Bender was aboard the UNSC Infinity when it was ambushed by Banished forces upon arrival at Installation 07. As the Infinity fell to the Banished assault, Bender, along with Gavin Jo, was evacuated onboard an RLT-85 shuttlepod. Pursued by a Phantom, the shuttlepod landed against a rocky hillside in an area south of the Silent Auditorium, where the Banished deployed three anti-air artilleries. The survivors were attacked by a Banshee as they exited the shuttlepod, but they were rescued by Spartan Nina Kovan, who had just intercepted the pursuing Phantom and then destroyed the Banshee with two rounds fired from her SRS99-S7 AM sniper rifle. Kovan then instructed the survivors to gather the weapons, rations, and supplies from the shuttle; she handed her M11 combat knife to Bender when he identified himself as a retail specialist and a barber.[1] Over the next six days, Bender and other survivors travelled across the region with Spartan Kovan. They eventually rendezvoused with another group of survivors led by Spartan Bonita Stone. Bender and Jo bonded with another non-combatant from Stone's group, Lucas Browning, who was a marine combat medic. The combined group became the "boat crew".[3] Led by Stone and Kovan, they travelled to the UNSC stronghold at the wreckage of the UNSC Mortal Reverie;[2] they arrived on December 19.[4] In the stronghold, Bender worked as a barber and a mechanic, servicing the small number of Warthogs, Mongooses, and battle tanks that had survived the crash.[5]

Bender participated in the defense of the Reverie when the Banished launched an assault on the wreckage on January 31, 2560. Along with other members of the boat crew, he was stationed at the secondary barricade.[6] On February 2, as the UNSC defenses fell to the Banished assault, Browning and Jo were attacked by a Sangheili Enforcer. While Jo was impaled by the Sangheili's energy sword, Browning was saved by Spartan Kovan. Bender and Murphy tried to carry Jo to cover so Browning could tend to Jo's injury, but Jo begged them to leave as more Banished troops approached. Bender and Browning reluctantly left Jo lying on the ground, then fled along with other UNSC survivors.[7] Bender and the rest of the boat crew—minus Browning, who drew Banished away from the group and was captured—hid in a cave from the Banished; they waited until Kovan returned with supplies, then set off on the morning of February 5.[8]

Over the next month, Bender and the rest of the boat crew travelled across the region with Kovan; with the enactment of the Rubicon Protocol, the group was resolved to deter the Banished's efforts.[9] Led by Kovan, the boat crew carried out numerous guerilla operations against the Banished.[10] On April 18, they reunited with Spartan Stone.[11] The group noticed the increased air traffic towards the Reverie—now a Banished outpost named after the Chieftain who led the assault on the wreckage—and decided to investigate. Arriving at the area on 22 April, while Kovan and Stone investigated the newly-constructed outpost,[12] Bender and the rest of the boat crew made a supply run to scavenge from a ledge that caught some of the supplies the Banished had thrown into the chasm below the outpost. They linked up with only Kovan at the camp.[13]

On April 27, Murphy confronted Kovan—questioning why Stone had not rejoined the group at the camp and why Kovan refused to divulge why—and it was revealed that Stone had entered the Forerunner subterranean structure underneath the outpost to investigate the Banished excavation. More importantly, Browning was alive, and the Spartans kept that a secret, knowing the rest of the boat crew would want to launch a rescue. At Murphy's decision, the boat crew followed Kovan back to Outpost Tremonius to track down Stone. They snuck into the outpost and took the Banished elevator into the Forerunner subterranean structure underneath. There, they discovered Stone's lifeless body and recovered a data chip Stone had hidden away from her killer. with the Banished taking the elevator down, the boat crew was forced to escape by venturing deeper into the facility. Hours later, while they were resting, the boat crew was approached by submonitor 091 Adjutant Veridity, who revealed Stone's data chip contained data the Banished had stolen from the ring's Conspectus network, including the ring's galactic coordinates. The boat crew realized they could transmit the data to the UNSC to summon reinforcements, but doing so required the Installation's monitor 117649 Despondent Pyre's support to decrypt the data. Under Veridity's guidance, the boat crew set out to the monitor's facility, the Conservatory, to free Pyre from Cortana's lockdown.[13]

On May 3, while en route to the Conservatory, the boat crew linked up with Spartan Tomas Horvath, who was separated from UNSC forces since the ring fractured nearly six months ago.[14] That evening, Bender and the rest of the crew caught up with Horvath. They decided to use one of ring's beacon towers as a supraluminal communications array to broadcast the ring's location to UNSC space and summon reinforcements. In order to access the beacon tower, however, they still needed to release Despondent Pyre.[15]

On May 9, the team arrived at the Conservatory's main chamber, Pyre's Cradle. Pyre, along with a number of submonitors, were sequestered by Cortana within an energy barrier. As a human and thus, a Reclaimer, Horvath was able to deactivate the barrier and awaken the monitors. Although Pyre was initially uninterested in offering any assistance, upon hearing news of the Harbinger being released, the monitor granted access to the beacon towers. She also gave the humans a data key that they must insert into the central plinth of a beacon tower in order to transmit the ring's location and data to human-occupied space. However, Pyre ordered Veridity to remain with her to counter the Harbinger, leaving Bender and the other humans to travel to the beacon tower without Veridity’s presence.[16]

On May 14, the team translocated to the vicinity of a beacon tower near the Conservatory. Bender and Murphy followed Kovan into the tower to transmit the ring's data; while Kovan protected the control plinth and interfaced with its panel, Bender and Murphy defended the chamber entrance from two Sangheili Enforcers that were guarding the tower. After Bender ran out of ammo, his chestplate was hit by a plasma round, forcing him to discard the armor before the plasma burnt through to his skin. While Bender was occupied, it left an opening for the Sangheili to fire at the plinth, but Murphy jumped in and blocked the bolts with his body. Kovan then killed the Sangheili while Bender slid to Murphy's aid, only to watch the lieutenant passed with a smile on his face.[17]

Upon exiting the tower, Bender tossed an energy sword hilt—taken from a dead Sangheili Enforcer—to Horvath; his grim expression told Horvath that Murphy had died. In the ensuing battle, Horvath used the energy sword to kill Gorian, a Jiralhanae Bloodstar in the Banished,[18] but since his duel with Gorian left him on a translocation pad, he was teleported away before a Thrasher missile destroyed the pad.[19] At around the same time, Bender scrambled from Kovan to the aid of Robin Dimik, who had taken a plasma round from Banished forces while running to rejoin the two.[18] As the Banished surrounded the trio, they were rescued by Veridity, who flew in and fired her focus beam at the Banished, then teleported the survivors to another location before disappearing. The three spent the next four days treating their wounds and repairing equipment; Bender had a stab wound to his side, a broken nose, and a couple of cracked ribs. As the three rested and contemplated their wins and losses at the beacon tower, they agreed their next step would be rescuing Browning from the Tower.[20]

Personality and traits[edit]

Lucas Browning: "What about you, Bender? How'd you end up being a barber?"
Erik Bender: "That's a long-ass story involving a class-three reprimand, a bottle of Tier 7 tequila, a pro wrestler from Actium named Betty Bites the Bullet, and losing one very, very important wager."
— Bender's response to Browning as they made conversation at a camp.

Bender is a witty man known to crack jokes and bring levity to those around him,[21] so much so that when he became angry and disappointed at Kovan—for not telling others that Browning had survived—his reaction caught the rest of the boat crew by surprise.[13] Bender is chatty, often initiating conversation with his fellow survivors on Installation 07.[3]

Even before he saw combat on Installation 07, Bender was described by Murphy as a big and strong man.[3] Later during the conflict on Installation 07, Bender had become a capable guerilla fighter, having packed on more muscle mass,[13] and according to Horvath, had the looks of an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper who seemed at home in his skin.[14] Bender is apparently someone unaffected by the nauseating sensation from translocation.[17]


Nina Kovan: "Let's just say they don't appreciate my bluntness... except that odd one... Bender, doesn’t seem to mind."
Bonita Stone: "Never should have given him your knife."
Nina Kovan: "Mmm. That’s what Murphy says."
— Kovan and Stone joking about Bender’s attachment to Kovan after she gave her combat knife to Bender.[1]

During the Battle for Zeta Halo, Bender often used rifles.[1][14] When he first exited the shuttlepod and identified himself as a barber, Bender was given Kovan’s M11 combat knife;[1] the knife became much-lauded and precious in Bender's words and mind.[3]

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 2
  2. ^ a b Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 8
  3. ^ a b c d e Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 7
  4. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 9
  5. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 13
  6. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 16
  7. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 17
  8. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 19
  9. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 21
  10. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 23
  11. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 24
  12. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 26
  13. ^ a b c d Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 30
  14. ^ a b c Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 31
  15. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 32
  16. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 34
  17. ^ a b Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 35
  18. ^ a b Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 36
  19. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 38
  20. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 39
  21. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 27