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This article is about the Marine. For the gameplay mode, see Forge.
Sergeant John Forge (service number 63292-94758-JF) was a veteran non-commissioned officer in Foxtrot Company, 13th Battalion, in an unknown regiment of the UNSC Marine Corps. Although he excelled in tactics and combat, Forge's repeated acts of insubordination caused him to receive three demotions, with infractions such as fighting with an officer, which resulted in 2.4 years in jail time, and striking a superior officer.
Early life and military career
Born on Earth on May 29, 2501, Forge's life revolved around the military. His family lineage had been a part of the military for generations, dating as far back as World War II. He joined boot camp at the minimum age of 16, where his superiors remarked there was "something special" about him. Forge's wife, Laine, gave birth to a daughter, Lucy Orion "Rion" Forge, around 2525. Although John's marriage was strained even before the birth of his child, he and Rion would always remain on good terms.
Forge worked a stint as a military policeman on Mars and did some "grunt work" on Epsilon Eridani IV during the Insurrection. However, he hated policing and jumped at the chance to be assigned to Fort Marshall.
Forge was arrested twice during his service. His first arrest was for directly disobeying orders and disorderly conduct. Even though his actions saved four members of his squad, Forge spent a total of 2.4 years in prison, an infraction that removed any chance of moving through Officer Candidate School or even progressing beyond the rank of sergeant.
His second arrest occurred around August 17, 2530. Forge's then-five-year-old daughter, Rion, and her aunt Jillian were waiting for John in a bar when Lieutenant Prosser started making sexual advances on Jillian. When the lieutenant made a suggestive comment toward Rion, Jillian struck Prosser, prompting him to shove her against a wall. At this point John arrived and confronted the lieutenant. They engaged in a fist fight, with charges brought upon the sergeant. However, Rion proclaimed her father as a hero and all charges were dropped, where he was later reassigned to the UNSC Spirit of Fire by Admiral Preston Cole himself. Spirit of Fire's commanding officer, Captain James Cutter, came to trust Forge so thoroughly that he granted the sergeant a degree of authority significantly exceeding that afforded by his rank.
Reclamation of Harvest
In February 2531, Spirit of Fire was sent to assist the crippled Marathon-class heavy cruiser UNSC Prophecy in the Epsilon Indi system. Captain Cutter ordered the Prophecy's navigation database and survivors to be recovered, sending Forge and multiple Marine fireteams on board the vessel while Spirit of Fire engaged several Covenant ships. Forge's Pelican dropship was hit by enemy fire and crash landed on the Prophecy's hull. Forge and Team Lima breached and boarded the Prophecy by deploying a "soft-seal", whereupon they were attacked by Kig-Yar Rangers. Forge's ankle was broken during the engagement. With the guidance of Serina, Spirit of Fire's AI, he was able to find the a terminal to recover the ship's black box and wipe its navigation core while the rest of Team Lima rescued the ship's survivors. Serina warned Forge that the Prophecy's AI may "act peculiar" due to high radiation levels.
Upon scanning his retina to gain access to the terminal, Forge was halted by the ship's AI, FitzGibbon, who explained he could not allow him to enter due to the latter's poor service record. Forge reminded the AI of the Cole Protocol, stating that he was aboard the vessel to ensure the protocol would not to be violated. FitzGibbon then reluctantly allowed Forge into the terminal room and enabled radiation repair routines. Forge purged the navigation database and returned to the Pelicans as FitzGibbon activated Prophecy's self-destruct sequence, which soon scuttled the ship. After the Marines and Forge escaped with the survivors, they were taken to Spirit of Fire's medical bay. When Forge asked how the survivors were doing, Serina told him that they would all soon die due to all of them suffering extensive radiation poisoning. Forge was angered by the AI's indifference towards the survivors and comforted them in their final moments, believing that even if they would soon be dead, they were still people and so deserved better.
Forge was sent to the surface of Harvest on his first mission to scout out Covenant activity in the northern polar region of the planet. He drove through Quadrant 4 to find a battalion of Sangheili that an AV-14 Hornet squadron had spotted earlier. Reporting the Covenant activity to his superiors, as to how the aliens had found a a Forerunner structure buried within the ice, he returned to the overrun UNSC Alpha Base, and helped organize scattered Marine units along the way. Forge and his rag-tag assault force were able to retake Alpha Base a short-time later. Before the Relic was demolished by the Covenant, the Forerunner site is captured by Forge and Marine forces. Professor Ellen Anders was then sent to the planet's surface to personally investigate the relic, and Forge reluctantly escorted her inside. He was present when Anders activated a Forerunner holographic projection of a star map, and protected her when they were ambushed by a team of Sangheili warriors. Spirit of Fire then evacuated most of her ground troops, including Forge, and set course for Arcadia, a UNSC colony planet to which the star map had pointed.
After arriving at Arcadia, Forge was among the first UNSC troops to set foot in the besieged capital of Pirth City, where he aided the evacuation of civilians aboard three cargo vessels. When the civilian transports took off, Forge and his men abandoned the besieged city and fell back to the outskirts. There, he took part in the destruction of a nearby Covenant base, assisted by Spartan teams Red and Omega. He also participated in the battle to destroy a Covenant energy dome which was protecting an unfinished Type-29 Scarab. After a short battle, the UNSC forces succeeded in destroying the Scarab. While he and Anders were surveying the area, Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee ambushed them. Forge was swiftly defeated and was about to be killed, until Anders stopped the Arbiter by agreeing to go with him without incident. After Spartan Red Team's unsuccessful attempt to stop the Arbiter from escaping, they immediately retreated back to the Spirit of Fire. Spirit of Fire then made a slipspace jump in pursuit of 'Moramee's retreating vessel.
After Spartan Jerome-092 recommended destroying 'Moramee's ship and killing Anders rather than let classified information fall into Covenant hands, Forge confronted the Spartan. The altercation resulted in a broken chair, a seal malfunction on a bulkhead and a stern interruption from Serina. From then on, Forge and Jerome always ate together in the mess hall.[Note 1]
Upon arriving at a mysterious planet, Forge was sent to the planet's surface, where he and his forces encountered the Flood. Forge aided Red Team in killing the Proto-Gravemind that commanded all of the Flood forces. It was soon discovered that the world was not a planet at all, but a Forerunner shield world. Immediately following this revelation, Forge was put in charge of the evacuation of the Spirit's ground troops and the decontamination of Flood from the ship's dorsal surface. He then led teams in protecting the ship from Covenant forces during repairs to the power core after it collided with the CPV-class heavy destroyer Proclamation's Tithe.
Shortly after arriving in the shield world's interior, Forge located Anders who had managed to escape by teleporting from the Apex Site. Forge saved Anders from three Flood infection forms and escorted Anders to a Pelican for evac. Under Cutter's orders, Forge proceeded to destroy four Covenant citadels and build firebases in their stead, establishing a beachhead in the shield world's interior.
Following Anders' rescue, she revealed that the Covenant had used her to activate a fleet of Forerunner Sojourner-class dreadnoughts. To stop the Covenant from using the ships, Anders decided that they must destroy Etran Harborage by using the reactor from the Spirit of Fire's Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine to induce a supernova in the shield world's artificial sun. To this end, Forge was assigned to escort the reactor to the Apex Site where an elevator existed that led into the sun. After two Pelicans were shot down while carrying the reactor, Forge was ordered to escort the reactor up a series of ramps using an M312 Elephant to tow the reactor to the Apex Base Site. Forge's target was a teleporter pad that could send the reactor to the Apex Site. Despite heavy resistance from Covenant and Flood forces, Forge succeeded in sending the reactor to the Apex Site.
Joined by a Marine lieutenant and Red Team, Forge attempted to move the reactor onto the elevator only to come under attack by the Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee and several Stealth Sangheili. Forge ordered Red Team to take care of the other Sanghelli while he dealt with the Arbiter himself. Forge put up a good fight, but lost his weapons and was ultimately defeated by the Arbiter. Forge challenged the Arbiter to kill him face to face and once the Arbiter picked him up, Forge stabbed the Sangheili in the neck with his prized combat knife, "Lucy." With the Arbiter stunned by the attack, Forge impaled the Arbiter through the stomach with the Arbiter's own energy sword, killing him. His body was then rolled off the platform by Alice-130.
After the death of the Arbiter, Forge and Jerome-092 discovered that the reactor had been damaged and would need to be manually detonated. Forge chose to undertake the suicide mission himself, stating that he believed they would need all the SPARTANs they could get before the war was over. After exchanging a nod of respect with Jerome, Forge ascended in the elevator. Forge would then contact Captain Cutter to state his estimate of thirty minutes until he reached the detonation site. After getting into the sun, Forge reported that he would give the Spirit of Fire ten minutes to escape before detonating the reactor.
After being informed that the Spirit of Fire had succeeded in opening the exit portal, Forge detonated the reactor, sacrificing himself but causing the shield world's sun to go supernova. While the Spirit of Fire managed to escape, Forge's sacrifice destroyed Etran Harborage, all Covenant and Flood forces upon it and the Forerunner ships, thus depriving the Covenant of a major advantage in the ongoing war.
Spirit of Fire was declared lost with all hands on February 10, 2534, though many bereaved family members refused to accept the official statement. On his deathbed, Forge's father encouraged Rion to keep up the search for the truth regarding the ship's disappearance. Rion spent the ensuing years seeking closure for her father's disappearance, eventually becoming a scavenger. In January 2557, she followed a series of leads that pointed to the log buoy Spirit of Fire had dropped at Arcadia, which in turn took her to the remains of the Etran Harborage. There she encountered what remained of the former caretaker of the facility, a fragmentary ancilla she later dubbed "Little Bit", which provided her the trajectory Spirit of Fire had followed when escaping the shield world.
Rion eventually discovered the truth about her father's demise from 343 Guilty Spark who revealed that Forge had left a message for Rion that Serina and Cutter had promised to leave behind in the Spirit of Fire's preprogramed maintenance sheds and data drops that the ship left behind in hopes of leaving a trail. Having gained access to the message during his time with the UNSC, Spark was able to provide the message to Rion and explain her father's sacrifice to her. Despite knowing the truth about Forge's death and holding a funeral for him on Earth, Rion and her crew decided to continue the search for the Spirit of Fire and all of the people Forge had saved when he sacrificed himself. With Little Bit's projections, the fully functional Spark and the upgraded Ace of Spades, the crew believed that they could complete their mission.
Personality and traits
Although not particularly physically gifted, Forge was strong for his size and weight. He displayed desire and toughness in nearly everything he did and was incredibly competitive and driven to succeed. These qualities made him a lifetime member of the Marine Corps. His training and discipline had left him with a "unique" personality and method of getting things done. Those under his command trusted him greatly, despite the fact that he failed his last psychological exam.
Forge was a born warrior but had difficulty coping with life outside the military. Though his wife remained a distant shadow in his mind while he was on deployment, his daughter Rion never gave up on him. Forge was decorated numerous times for valor and gallantry on the battlefield, though he received just as many demerits for insubordination, conduct unbecoming, and striking a superior officer.
In combat, Forge appreciated a strong ground force able to turn a messy situation around, and had a special fondness for the M850 Grizzly tank. In what Serina described as his "pet project", Forge arranged for an unusually high number of Grizzlies to be added to the Spirit of Fire's complement. The means by which he accomplished this were convoluted and known only to Forge himself. During engagements, he would insist that Grizzly tanks be requested when M808B Scorpions fall short, and a supply of HRUNTING Mark III Cyclopses be available via any command center for demolition of enemy structures. Forge was also fond of the M12G1 Gauss Warthog, and frequently operated one during his operations to the point that he kept his own personal vehicle out of the motor pool circulation so he could tinker and upgrade as needed.
When faced with Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee, Forge showed himself to be a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, holding his own briefly against the skilled warlord in their first fight before being taken down, 'Moramee having had the advantage of energy shields and cloaking. In their second fight, Forge proved capable of holding his own even longer, utilizing a combination of his weapons and hand-to-hand. Notably, Forge detected the cloaked Arbiter's initial attack and was able to dodge it and even landed a few hits on the Arbiter, tackling him to the ground at one point and using his pistol to disarm the Arbiter by firing into his right hand. Afterwards, 'Moramee would wield the energy sword that was once in his right hand with his left hand instead, suggesting that Forge succeeded in damaging his right hand beyond use. Though Forge was ultimately outmatched, he won by challenging the Arbiter to look him in the eyes as he killed Forge and then taking the opportunity to stab 'Moramee in the neck with "Lucy" before finishing him off with the Arbiter's own energy sword and taunted that he would've won the first time had Anders not intervened.
Forge wore an Ace of Spades playing card (which Rion insisted he take with him after a game of War) on his left shoulder pauldron. He also carried a combat knife which he called "Lucy", presumably after his daughter's given name. His breastplate was painted with nine Sangheili skulls arranged with combat knives in a skull-and-crossbones motif.
Assigned to protect Professor Ellen Anders, Forge was often exasperated by her desire to be on the front lines and the fact that he was essentially a glorified babysitter, something that Anders took pleasure in taunting him with at times. However, Forge did genuinely care for Anders and advocated chasing after Anders to rescue Anders when Ripa 'Moramee kidnapped her on Arcadia and was already waiting in a Pelican for Cutter's command to go when the Spirit of Fire arrived at the Etran Harborage. Additionally, Forge reacted badly to Jerome-092's suggestion that they eliminate Anders rather than rescue her. After rescuing Anders from three Flood infection forms following her escape from the Covenant, Forge took the opportunity to tease her about the rescue and her lack of initial thanks.
In the earliest stages of the development of Halo Wars, Sergeant Forge was originally meant to be a Spartan, before he was changed into a Marine Corps NCO. Lead writer Graeme Devine also outlined some thoughts for a potential Halo Wars sequel, in which it would be revealed that Forge had survived the events of the shield world; The core of Shield World 0459 transported Forge to another location, thus saving him from the shield world's destruction. Anders, who had programmed to release herself from her cryo chamber shortly after Cutter entered cryostasis, followed Forge's signal and directed Spirit of Fire to his location. After three years and 107 days, Cutter was awakened by Serina, Anders, and Forge.
List of appearances