Ilsa Zane is a human insurrectionist leader within the New Colonial Alliance who led an attack on UNSC Infinity. After being the sole survivor of the first phase of the SPARTAN-IV program, she defected to the NCA after her augmentations made her mentally unstable.
Zane was originally chosen for the first phase of the SPARTAN-IV program. The additional augmentations she underwent were meant to make armor unnecessary, however, they crippled or killed nine others and made Zane unstable. Because of her instability, Zane was discharged and assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence, but subsequently escaped and defected to Mattius Drake's New Colonial Alliance.
Attack on the UNSC Infinity
At some point, members of the New Colonial Alliance managed to steal plans of Infinity, which was undergoing construction in the Sol system's Oort cloud. Wanting to take the ship for themselves before the United Nations Space Command could use it, Zane led an attack group in January 2553 to commandeer the ship. They sneaked on board, disguised as a construction crew, and took Captain Andrew Del Rio hostage. They immediately went to the bridge where she was instantly recognized by Aine, the ship's temporary AI. Zane quickly took Aine offline and proceeded to take control of the ship.
A small group of crew and Spartan-IVs led by Spartan Sarah Palmer and Commander Thomas Lasky foiled Zane's plans. With the Spartans' help, Lasky was able to reach a security panel and input override codes, which gave Del Rio and the other officers access to the bridge. Having made their way to Infinity's bridge from outside the ship, Palmer and Edward Davis reached Zane. As they breached Infinity's bridge, Ilsa Zane fought Palmer one-on-one. In the ensuing fight, Del Rio brought Aine back online, who then activated the ship's containment doors. Palmer then knocked Zane out a containment door and into space. However, due to her physical augmentations, Zane survived and was later recovered by an unidentified NCA prowler. Upon awakening, she was met by an unknown individual, whom she recognized and was surprised to see.
After her recovery, Zane was sent to the remote world of Conrad's Point, where the undisciplined NCA rebels and mercenaries on the world were being poorly commanded by an unidentified colonel. After relieving the colonel of command, Zane organized the insurgents into a more formidable force. As commander of NCA forces on the world, Zane operated ruthlessly and killed any individual that did not carry their weight. Afterward, she began preparing the NCA forces on Conrad's Point for war with the Unified Earth Government and had accumulated a large amount of nuclear weapons. In 2558, after Conrad's Point was attacked by a Forerunner Guardian, Zane had all NCA forces move to the Guardian's attack site and secure the crater it left behind. Making camp in a nearby compound, the NCA sought to search the ruins of a city destroyed by the construct for clues on the Guardian's next site of attack. Not wanting the Guardian site to fall under rebel control, ONI sent Commander Maya Sankar—who operated with the insurrectionists under the codename "FERO"—and smart AI Black-Box to infiltrate the faction and rendezvous with operative Ari Rezneck, who had already infiltrated the New Colonial Alliance.
When Sankar, Black-Box, and Reznek arrived at the NCA compound, Zane arrived shortly after. She congratulated the NCA soldiers for being useful to the cause and working together effectively. Zane informed them of the apparent death of Spartan-II John-117 and encouraged her soldiers to celebrate the death of the UNSC's "poster boy". Meanwhile, the UNSC was informed of Zane's current location and planned to kill her by bombing the compound. As Sankar and Reznek moved to leave the compound, Zane approached them before the other insurgents and recalled that "FERO" wished for the New Colonial Alliance to stop combating the UNSC and protest peacefully instead. Zane mocked "FERO" for believing that negotiations with the UNSC were a viable plan to gain colonial independence and questioned what use she had to the NCA. When Reznek defended her, Zane killed him with her sidearm and revealed that she knew that he was an ONI operative. As Reznek vouched for her, Zane concluded that Sankar was also an ONI operative. However, before Zane could kill her, Sankar's friend within the NCA—Bostwick—raised a knife to Zane's throat and insisted that "FERO" was not a spy. Zane attacked Bostwick, but Sankar revealed that she was an ONI operative by informing her that a UNSC airstrike was incoming. Before anyone could react, the compound was bombed by UNSC aircraft. Sankar fled the compound with the injured Bostwick, while Zane pursued. The two escaped the area on an M274 Mongoose and eventually escaped the world aboard Sankar's prison ship. Furious, Zane continued to futilely fire upon the vessel as it left Conrad's Point.
Zane and the NCA later tracked Maya's group to Laika III, intent on killing them and securing the planet's Guardian before it activated. She forced their ship down, and later pursued them away from a Triad camp where they had taken refuge. A detachment of ONI troops, also pursuing the renegades engaged the rebels in combat as the Guardian began to rise. Zane was last seen engaging UNSC troops in hand to hand combat.
List of appearances