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Captain Thomas J. Lasky (service number 98604-72690-TL) is a senior officer of the UNSC Navy who served throughout the Human-Covenant War and, in the postwar era, played a key role in the conflicts with Covenant remnants and Forerunner Promethean constructs. Since at least 2552, then-commander Lasky served as Captain Andrew Del Rio's executive officer aboard the UNSC Infinity. In July 2557, Del Rio was replaced as captain by Lasky just prior to the Didact's assault on Earth. Lasky was instrumental in helping the Master Chief stop the vengeful Forerunner and under his leadership the Infinity would play a key role in numerous important missions. When the Created seized power in late 2558, Lasky ordered a tactical retreat, resolving to fight only when a way to do so could be found.
Childhood and education
Thomas Lasky was born on August 15, 2510 to Colonel Audrey Lasky, his mother, in Tricode Village, Mare Erythraeum, Mars and grew up in New Harmony.[Note 2] During his childhood, he became friends with Petra Janecek. He began his officer training as a freshman cadet in Corbulo Academy of Military Science on Circinius IV sometime preceding spring 2526, months after hostilities between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant began. The existence of the aliens was covered up by the Office of Naval Intelligence at the time, however, and the cadets continued to train to fight human rebels. Organized into Hastati Squad, a freshman unit in the class of 2529, Lasky originally began as a team leader during field exercises.
During his time at the school, he regularly exchanged video messages with his brother Cadmon, a former student of Corbulo Academy then serving as an ODST fighting in the front lines of the Insurrection. Enjoying a close friendship with his brother, Thomas was deeply struck when Cadmon was killed, starting to express doubt about the sensibility of the UNSC waging war against the Insurrectionists and viewing his training with cynicism, failing to take the exercises seriously anymore. As there were no remains their mother felt Thomas should not leave school to attend his brother's funeral. Meanwhile, Lasky continued to replay his brother's messages in his spare time.
Lasky's reputation suffered at his constant disregard for the orders of his superiors and displaying a lack of proficient knowledge of infantry tactics. He was subsequently relieved of his duties as team leader, which then fell to squadmate Walter Vickers. Despite this, he continued to ignore orders and continued to lead Hastati in receiving low combat scores. Lasky's sympathy for the Insurrectionist cause earned him a great deal of denigration from the rest of the squad. Worse, his health declined rapidly during the school's mandatory acclimation to cryosleep; he suffered from large blisters and a persistent cough.
His classmates were unrelenting in their provocation of Thomas, affirming their distaste for the freshman who did not live up to the example set by his brother. Lasky's anti-UNSC views were frequently challenged by fellow Cadet Chyler Silva, a staunch UNSC supporter and keen Corbulo student, who attempted to convince Lasky about the value of their training. In spite of their opposing viewpoints, their conversations led to the formation of a friendship and eventually romance between the two. Days prior to the end of the 2525-2526 school year, Lasky and Vickers were singled out by their squad leader, Senior Cadet April Orenski, in response to Hastati's disciplinary physical training. Frustrated by the verbal and physical harassment he had received from Vickers, Lasky assaulted his squadmate in the school's mess hall. Senior cadets and underclassmen alike watched the altercation without intervening. Lasky mildly injured Vickers and stopped only to acknowledge Colonel Mehaffey's presence. The professor took advantage of this quarrel in her mentorship of Lasky, hoping he would embrace the warrior culture of the UNSC and inspire him to become a better leader.
Mehaffey's efforts dawned on the young cadet and he volunteered to lead Hastati moments prior to the start of their final combat exercise, a contest of Capture the Flag. While waiting for Zuma Squad to approach their flag's location, Lasky had organized Hastati into cover in a tight formation adjacent their flag, an apparently senseless maneuver. Lasky ordered his men to remove their helmets as they contained IFF transponders that were detectable by the enemy's motion sensors. With Zuma converging on Hastati's flag, Lasky positioned his squad in a formation reminiscent of the pincer movement, a tactic utilized to great effect by Hannibal at Cannae in 216 BCE, taught to the freshman cadets only a day before the exercise by Colonel Mehaffey. The enemy soon realized that Lasky had funneled them into a trap and they were swiftly dispatched by two sections of Hastati cadets. The two Hastati elements continued to press in on Zuma's flag with ease, eliminating or capturing all enemy cadets, suffering no casualties of their own in the process. An emboldened Lasky, charging towards Zuma's flag, finally succumbed to his ailing health and collapsed meters away from completing the objective.
Examination by Doctor Hughes of the academy's medical staff revealed that Lasky's condition was an allergic reaction to the cryo drug cytoprethaline. As cytoprethaline is vital for cryosleep to prevent damage to cells, Lasky was judged to be unfit for UNSC service and was given the option of a medical discharge. Cadet Chyler Silva approached Thomas about his decision to leave. Silva told Lasky that she would miss him and the two shared a kiss.
Before Lasky had decided whether he would accept his voluntary discharge, Circinius IV was attacked by the Covenant. The Covenant completely overwhelmed the academy's Marine garrison within minutes, forcing Lasky and his fellow cadets into combat. Much of Hastati Squad was killed early in the assault, with Lasky, Silva, Orenski, and Michael Sullivan eventually becoming among the only survivors on the entire planet. The attack on the academy prompted one of the first deployments of SPARTAN-II supersoldiers in the war; Blue Team, led by Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, rescued the cadets. John killed the Sangheili Zealot that had been pursuing the squad and escorted them outside to General Black's M12 Warthog to escape to a Pelican extraction point. Lasky drove the Warthog out of the combat zone.
During their escape on one of the academy's access roads, Silva was killed by a stray shot from a Kig-Yar's Type-33 Needler. Silva's death drove Lasky to despair, though he quickly became emboldened by her sacrifice. After the squad had run out of ammunition, the Spartan planned to distract a pursuing Mgalekgolo while the cadets escaped; however, Lasky sprinted ahead, drawing the Mgalekgolo's fire in an almost suicidal maneuver. John killed the Hunter while it focused on Lasky. After the group escaped on the Pelican, the Chief commended Lasky for his valor and gave him a shard of the Hunter's armor as a keepsake, which he wore on a chain for over thirty years along with Cadmon's and Chyler's dog tags.
Some time after the battle, Lasky was commissioned into the UNSC Navy and qualified himself as a Naval aviator, flying fighter craft. Lasky was later retrained as a ship warfare officer. During the Covenant's attack on Earth and the rest of the Sol system, Lasky demonstrated notable skill in flying a Type-26 Banshee in Ankara, Luna.[Note 3]
By the end of the war, Lasky had risen to the rank of commander and had been appointed as the executive officer of the UNSC Infinity, the most powerful vessel in the Fleet. This posting was partially arranged by Admiral Margaret Parangosky, who thought highly of Lasky. In January 2553, he gave a tour of the ship to Jun-A266 and four of the first SPARTAN-IVs, including Sarah Palmer. This was interrupted when Ilsa Zane and a group of Insurrectionists took control of the Infinity disguised as construction workers while Lasky and the Spartans were on Infinity's S-Deck. The insurgents were a part of the New Colonial Alliance and wished to steal the Infinity so they could use the vessel for their own ambitions. Zane and her rebels took Del Rio and the ship's bridge crew hostage and shut down Aine, the ship's temporary AI, leaving Lasky and the Spartans to end the raid. As Lasky and the Spartans make their way to the bridge, Zane decompressed S-Deck, ejecting several of the ship's crew members into space, with Lasky and Jun being saved by Palmer and Edward Davis. 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 and reactivated Aine. Meanwhile, Palmer and Davis made their way to the bridge along the exterior hull of the ship. When Zane attempted to have her insurgents attack Lasky and the other Spartans, Lasky closed a blast door between them. While Davis eliminated most of the rebels, Palmer ejected Zane into space. With the UNSC in control of the Infinity again, the remaining insurgents were captured and interrogated by the UNSC.
He was present aboard Infinity during Fleet Admiral Lord Hood and Admiral Parangosky's inspection of the ship and the subsequent trial deployment on Sanghelios to test the ship's capabilities in the guise of assisting Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and his forces in the ongoing Blooding Years in March 2553. With the help of the Infinity, the Arbiter was able to defeat the Servants of the Abiding Truth at Vadam.
Expedition on Requiem
When Infinity began its operations on Requiem, Lasky, along with Sarah Palmer, a few marines and SPARTAN-IVs went out to recon the area. When they were pinned down, he sent out a distress signal that was answered by the very same Spartan who had saved his life back on Circinius IV 31 years before: John-117, the Master Chief. After ridding the Infinity of Promethean and Jul 'Mdama's Covenant forces, Lasky briefed John and Cortana on the Infinity's mission to locate the other Halos. Lasky then led a "blowthrough op" to shut down the particle cannons protecting the gravity well generator that was preventing Infinity from escaping Requiem. Lasky commanded a Mammoth through the battlefield, but was ultimately left behind when the badly damaged Mammoth could go no further and the Master Chief decided to go on alone.
When Captain Del Rio decided to flee Requiem rather than trying to stop the Didact, Lasky supported the Chief in trying to convince him otherwise and only reluctantly tried to take Cortana when ordered to do so. Later, after the Master Chief defied Del Rio's orders to go after the Didact by himself, Lasky was ordered to stop him at all costs. Ostensibly in case the Chief had already left, Lasky had a Pelican gunship prepared for full combat pursuit, but really with the intention of giving it to the Master Chief. After informing him of the fact and wishing him good luck, Lasky left him be.
Upon return to Earth, Lasky passed on the Master Chief's warning and as a result of Del Rio's cowardice and Lasky's support of the Master Chief, Del Rio was removed from command and Lasky was promoted to Captain to replace him. When the Didact's ship, Mantle's Approach arrived, Lasky led the Home Fleet against the ship and was contacted by the Master Chief in a Broadsword fighter on the outer hull of the Didact's ship. After being informed that the fighter was equipped with a nuclear weapon, Lasky supported the Master Chief's efforts to board the ship, using Infinity's main gun battery to blast a hole in the enemy ship once the Chief took down Mantle's Approach's point-defense guns. After the Spartan destroyed the ship, Lasky dispatched a Pelican to search the wreckage for him. The Pelican rescued the Chief and Lasky tried unsuccessfully to console him over the death of Cortana.
Return to Requiem
Six months after the initial battle in Requiem, Lasky was sent to Requiem again as the Captain of Infinity to deploy and provide support to the ground forces sent onto the surface. Later, Fireteam Crimson brought a Forerunner artifact onboard which started draining power from the ship. After Commander Palmer managed to temporarily deactivate the artifact, Lasky joined Doctor Glassman and Palmer to inspect it. When the artifact suddenly began to absorb the doctor, Lasky attempted to save Glassman, but was getting pulled in as well. Commander Palmer tackled him, and they both watched as Glassman was disintegrated and pulled inside. Sometime later, Lasky brought in Dr. Catherine Halsey, matriarch of the SPARTAN-IIs and engineer of the Infinity's engines in order to study the artifact in Glassman's absence, much to Palmer's dismay.
Lasky went over a debriefing with Sarah Palmer about Fireteam Castle's demise at the hands of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant and found that their leader was on Requiem. He sent Crimson to take him down, only to fail, but they managed to retrieve a strange device that he was in possession of. An analysis by Dr. Halsey revealed the artifact to be the AI matrix of a Promethean Knight, filled with human memories. Lasky admitted to Halsey that the UNSC was aware of the Knights having been created from ancient humans; however, the memories in the device were far more recent, originating from a resident of New Phoenix Composed in the Didact's attack six months prior. Furthermore, the artifact retrieved by Crimson earlier on was somehow linked to the attack. Lasky and Palmer accompanied Halsey as she examined the artifact, but they became suspicious of who she was communicating with. After inspecting Halsey's data pad, Lasky ordered Palmer to take Halsey into custody.
Later, Halsey managed to override Roland's control and found out everything that was kept from her, including the return of John-117. Despite her fury, she contacted Jul 'Mdama and attempted to meet him, only for Roland to retake control of himself and contact Lasky. When he arrived, he decided to keep her in a cryo chamber rather than a cell. In response, Halsey slapped him, scolding him for not telling her that John was alive. The two were interrupted, however, when Promethean forces gained access to the interior of Infinity. Fending off the Prometheans with his Marines, Captain Lasky picked up Halsey and attempted to escort her to safety. As the attack on the Infinity dwindled down, he went to the bridge with Halsey and Palmer, where he attempted to get away from Requiem to prevent more Promethean forces from teleporting to the ship. At that moment, a Promethean Knight translocated above them, knocking Palmer down and swiftly capturing Halsey, taking her away and revealing the purpose of the intrusion aboard the Infinity.
After the incident, Lasky contacted Admiral Serin Osman, Commander-in-Chief of ONI. She told him that she had been recommended by her predecessor to keep Halsey imprisoned or have her executed; due to the doctor's recent actions, Osman chose the latter and ordered Lasky to have Doctor Halsey killed. However, Lasky did not see the execution of a civilian as necessary and ordered Palmer—who was gearing up to finish the job—to stand down but to no avail. In an attempt to thwart the assassination, Lasky requested the assistance of Fireteam Majestic to rescue Doctor Halsey from Copernicus Base. Both Majestic and Palmer ultimately failed in their respective missions, as Halsey was eventually abducted by Jul 'Mdama who took her with him as he left Requiem.
Later, Lasky was present as Dr. Glassman outlined a plan to free Infinity from the slipspace conduit system anchoring the ship to Requiem when multiple Covenant ships began to exit the shield world. Lasky quickly ordered the crew to battlestations, but Roland informed him that Jul 'Mdama's Covenant were not attacking—instead, they were leaving Requiem, which had been set on a collision course with the system's star by Jul 'Mdama, pulling the still anchored Infinity along with it. Fireteams Majestic and Crimson were dispatched to take out two artifacts keeping them attached to Requiem and eventually succeeded. Once the ship was free and Crimson and Majestic were aboard, Lasky ordered Lt. James to move Infinity away from Requiem. Infinity made an immediate jump into slipspace, narrowly escaping the supernova generated by Requiem's collision with its sun. After exiting slipspace, Lasky informed the crew they made it and congratulated them. Later, he discussed sending Majestic to rescue Halsey with Commander Palmer, which she saw as an attempt to stop her. They entered a lab where Dr. Glassman was studying the half of the Janus Key given to Thorne. Glassman informed them that while the artifact seemed inert, it was in fact incomplete and they were only seeing half of it.
Upon returning to Earth, Lasky was requested to appear before the UNSC Security Council at HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6. He and Palmer were debriefed about the Second Battle of Requiem. Admiral Serin Osman berated him regarding the complete destruction of Requiem and the failed assassination of Dr. Halsey. Palmer defended Lasky's actions in order to spare him of any ramifications. Shortly after, Lasky met with Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood who pulled Infinity away from the pursuit of 'Mdama in order for it to partake in a more pressing matter. Lasky accompanied Hood on a diplomatic mission to Ealen IV to provide security in peace talks between Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and Jiralhanae Chieftain Lydus. During the negotiations, Covenant mercenaries attacked the delegates. Lasky and the Spartan-IVs defended the delegation and evacuated them from the chamber. When their evacuation ship was destroyed, they proceeded to escort the delegates to a nearby parts depot. With communications to their ships having been blocked, they were left without any reinforcements.
Lasky ordered Palmer and the protection detail to escort the delegation to a fortified redoubt, while he would try to reestablish communications with the fleet orbiting Ealen IV. Palmer refused to let him go alone and tasked Spartan Ray of Fireteam Jackknife to escort the captain and utilize her SIGINT background. As they searched the facility, hoping to find the old Covenant network and utilize the facility's transponders to triangulate the source of a jammer, Lasky and Ray were attacked by a Sangheili Warrior. Upon eliminating the Elite, Ray discovered that the network itself was responsible for the jamming and informed Lasky that she could track the source of its power. After securing a pair of Banshees, they observed Covenant ships take off towards the redoubt.
Ray and Lasky attacked one of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant bases and destroyed the source of 'Mdama's Covenant jamming signal. Once the communications interference was cleared, Lasky contacted Infinity and told them about 'Mdama's Covenant attack. Commander Bradley informed him of the situation between the feuding Jiralhanae and Sangheili ships in orbit. Lasky told him to patch him through to the fleets and ordered them to cease their infighting and direct their ships to the planet in order to save the delegation.
Lasky then contacted Palmer and informed her of 'Mdama's Covenant cruisers en-route to their site. With reinforcements too far way to help, Lasky was forced to make a costly decision. He ordered Palmer to evacuate the delegates on a small transport craft while Paul DeMarco and Fireteam Bailey stayed back and operated an anti-aircraft cannon. DeMarco and his team provided cover long enough for the delegates to escape but were subsequently killed when their cannon was obliterated. Lasky later presided over a memorial service aboard Infinity where he commemorated their sacrifices.
Unearthing the mole
Days later, he and Lord Hood discussed the troubling prospect that the UNSC's hierarchy had been severely breached, as only someone in the upper echelon could have leaked the location of the negotiations. Both men agreed that the matter needed to be investigated off the books. Lasky sought to enlist the help of his childhood friend, the journalist Petra Janecek, although Hood was uneasy about this decision. Lasky departed Infinity along with Spartan Ray and arrived in Castiglione on Escala III on March 10. They met with Janecek who agreed to help Lasky root out the spy in return for information about the Master Chief's whereabouts.
Janecek, Lasky and Ray traveled to the Sangheili colony of Karava. Shortly after their arrival in the trade port of Kor Delban, a Sangheili called 'Lordan felt provoked by Ray's attitude and drew his energy sword. Lasky attempted to stop a fight from breaking out, but before he could intervene Petra shot and killed the Elite. The trio then entered a local bar, where they met Zef 'Trahl, Petra's contact. Zef informed them about Vata 'Gajat and his human collaborator, Captain Daniel Clayton, whereupon Lasky was surprised. Petra and Naiya asked him if he knew Clayton would betray the UNSC. Lasky confirmed their suspicions and revealed to them that Clayton was the illegitimate son of Captain James Cutter, commanding officer of the long-lost UNSC Spirit of Fire.
Three days later, Naiya and Lasky returned to Infinity near Oth Lodon. During their time away, Infinity had been lured into a trap by Captain Clayton and attacked by the New Colonial Alliance. Infinity was saved by the Spartans who captured Clayton and killed Vata 'Gajat. Arriving onboard the ship, Lasky was greeted by Palmer who apologized for her behavior following the events on Ealen IV. Lasky accepted her apology and expressed guilt for not uncovering Clayton's ploy fast enough. Palmer assured him he was not to blame as it was Lord Hood that had taken off without him, telling Lasky to just call it a rough day and move on.
Ven III incident
On May 9, 2558, Captain Lasky was tasked by Admiral Osman to investigate the unclaimed planet Ven III where a new bioweapon had broken out in a laboratory and killed several Kig-Yar. A single Sangheili, believed to be an agent of Jul 'Mdama, had exited the laboratory in possession of the bio-agent; Lasky was ordered to capture the Elite for interrogation before he could escape and the weapon could be used against humanity. Under strict orders to exercise extreme caution and use minimum force, Lasky chose to insert only two Spartans, Gabriel Thorne and Naiya Ray, on Ven III.
After the Spartans were deployed to Ven III's surface, they lost communications with Infinity due to a jamming field located inside the planet's cave systems. Roland alerted Lasky about the communications blackout and suggested for Infinity to change course toward Ven III to provide backup for the Spartans. Having been ordered to avoid direct engagement, Lasky instead conferred with Commander Palmer. He suggested to Palmer that they deploy another two-man Spartan team to provide backup for Ray and Thorne, but Palmer insisted that they either deploy an entire Spartan team or do nothing. After Thorne was captured by the Sangheili and Ray's signal was terminated after she was ambushed by a Kig-Yar, Lasky ordered Roland to carry out the proposed course change and to call all teams on deck. Upon arrival in the Ven system, Infinity engaged the Kig-Yar pirate queen's fleet over the planet headlong, while Palmer led Fireteam Majestic to the surface to rescue Ray and Thorne. After the fleet was destroyed and most of the pirates were killed, an ONI prowler arrived at the planet and simply led the unrestrained Sangheili aboard a prowler after Ray had captured him.
After the mission, Ray, Palmer, Thorne, and the rest of Majestic returned to Infinity and Lasky was debriefed by Admiral Osman. Despite the fact that Lasky turned a covert operation into a battle, Lasky noted that Osman was satisfied during the debriefing. After being told to drop the subject, Lasky managed to view a memo sent by an ONI analyst to HIGHCOM that concerned the growing number of Kig-Yar pirates on Ven III. Lasky realized that ONI intentionally had Infinity get involved so the pirates would be destroyed, after HIGHCOM failed to get involved. Additionally, Lasky realized that the Sangheili was just a mercenary and the bioweapon was part of the set-up. Lasky later discussed the mission's aftermath with Palmer and expressed his shock at the revelation. Lasky wondered which was worse: that ONI created a fake operation to kill Kig-Yar pirates or that they fell for the staged act.
The Janus Key
On July 16, 2558, Infinity was present over Oban when the colony was attacked by Jul 'Mdama's forces. After a short engagement, Jul 'Mdama's Covenant forces withdrew from the system. The next day, Lasky reprimanded Palmer for her reckless behavior on Oban; Lasky realized that Palmer was desperate to execute Halsey, even though he wishes to return her to UNSC custody. On July 18, Infinity entered slipspace to leave the Oban system, but was forced back into normal space and the vessel collided with an asteroid in an uncharted system. However, Infinity only suffered minor damages and Lasky ordered a second slipspace jump. However, the ship was again forced back into normal space, a quarter of a kilometer of her last position. Lasky met with Glassman and Palmer in the engine rooms of Infinity. Glassman discovered that something was overriding the engine controls of Infinity, while Roland reported an unusual energy reading coming from a nearby planet. Glassman and Lasky predicted that the source of the problem originated from the planet, and Palmer prepared to gather a team to send to the planet with Glassman. Meanwhile, 'Mdama and Halsey planned to intercept Infinity and retrieve the other half of the Janus Key. Using a Forerunner artifact to interfere with the engines of Infinity, Halsey believed that the crew would be willing to hand the Key over willingly.
Lasky had Fireteam Majestic and Palmer sent to the surface of the planet—Aktis IV. The Spartans discovered a Forerunner structure and Glassman was sent to investigate. After the doctor discovered a Forerunner artifact that was seemingly related to the Janus Key, Glassman requested Lasky to have the UNSC's half of the Janus Key to be brought to the planet's surface. Despite Roland's uncertainties about the decision, Lasky had a Pelican and Broadsword deliver the Janus Key half to Glassman. However, a rebel splinter group of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant shot down the aircraft and took the UNSC's half of the Janus Key for themselves. Jul 'Mdama's fleet, which had remained concealed below Aktis IV's foam ocean, subsequently engaged Infinity which remained locked in combat with 'Mdama's Covenant ships for the next seven hours. As the battle continued, Roland informed Lasky that Palmer had gone off on a mission of her own. Palmer intended to get revenge on Halsey, but the doctor managed to escape with the half of the Janus Key and Palmer was injured when she pursued. With both halves of the Key, Jul's fleet fled the system. Three days later, two ONI operatives arrive aboard Infinity to interrogate Palmer. While Roland stalled the agents, Lasky met with Palmer in an interrogation room on Infinity. Lasky asked Palmer to tell him what had happened. Palmer explained that she could not bring herself to kill Halsey, and this allowed her to escape and give Jul's Covenant both halves of the Janus Key.
The Absolute Record
On September 15, 2558, Admiral Osman organized a team consisting of Spartans Palmer, Thorne, Holly Tanaka, Dr. Glassman, and Ayit 'Sevi—the ONI-affiliated Sangheili mercenary Thorne and Ray had encountered on Ven III. Lasky briefed the team on Operation: ATHENA, a mission in which the team would enter 'Mdama's Covenant carrier Breath of Annihilation in a Phantom operated by 'Sevi, who had infiltrated 'Mdama's ranks. Once aboard, the team would wait until 'Mdama's fleet—including the carrier—arrived at the Absolute Record and then use a telemetry probe to transmit their location to the UNSC. Before the team departed on the mission, Lasky had concerns about Palmer's priorities due to her personal feud with Halsey, although Palmer felt she was fully up to the task.
On September 26, 2558, when the team returned, Cpt. Lasky had a mission debrief with Sarah Palmer. He considered the operation successful; even though they didn't acquire the Janus Key or any other Forerunner tech from the Absolute Record, they still managed to prevent Jul 'Mdama and Dr. Halsey from doing so as well.
During the battle on the former Forerunner world of Kamchatka in October 2558, Captain Lasky and Commander Palmer briefed Spartan-IV Fireteam Osiris on their mission to retrieve Dr. Catherine Halsey from Jul 'Mdama's Covenant forces after Halsey contacted the UNSC claiming to have information on several recent attacks on human colonies by unknown Forerunner entities. Following the successful retrieval of Halsey, Lasky was confronted by the doctor for taking so long to come for her, since she had sent him her position three weeks ago. Not wanting to discuss the matter in the hearing of Osiris or others in the Infinity's hangar, he told her that he would speak with her in private. On the bridge doctor Halsey briefed Cpt. Lasky, Palmer and Roland about Cortana's survival and her control of Forerunner artifacts through the Domain. Lasky in turn informed her that the Master Chief went AWOL in order to find Cortana after receiving a "message" from her. Lasky then tasked Fireteam Osiris with recovering the Blue Team on Meridian. After his return from Meridian, Jameson Locke reported that Cortana was activating the Guardians, enormous Forerunner constructs, which caused significant destruction and civilian casualties on human colonies and that the Master Chief traveled aboard the Guardian to an unknown location. When Dr. Halsey discovered yet another dormant Guardian was on the Elite homeworld of Sanghelios, Palmer suggested that they send a ground team down to the planet to access the Guardian in order to get to the Master Chief. Despite of brass being against any UNSC involvement in Arbiter's war, Cpt. Lasky managed to arrange for the Spartans to meet with the Arbiter. When Infinity arrived at Sanghelios' orbit Lasky greeted the Swords of Sanghelios' ambassador onboard Infinity. Before their departure Lasky reminded Locke about the secrecy of their mission and wished him luck. After the awakening of Sanghelios' Guardian, Lasky sent a message to Franklin Mendez, informing him of Cortana's involvement in recent events.
Cpt. Lasky then returned Infinity to Earth and stayed on its orbit. There he was caught by surprise when on the next day Infinity received multiple distress signals indicating AIs shutting down everything from Earth to the Outer Colonies. Then suddenly Infinity's bridge lights darkened and Cortana's hologram appeared. Immediately she called a Guardian to near Earth's space, and Lasky ordered for emergency slipspace jump. Infinity managed to escape right before Guardian's EMP attack knocked out the power of every ship, every starfighter, all the orbital defense platforms, and every city on the surface of Earth. Believing Cortana could track them Lasky ordered them to continue random jumps and steer clear of major settlements until they found a way to fight her. After the Subjugation of Earth, Lasky assigned Spartan 92738-61842-LC to track down the root cause of Cortana's state after she survived her supposed destruction on the Mantle's Approach.
Shortly after the Subjugation of Earth, Lasky brought the Infinity back to Sanghelios to pick up Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris. Spartan Edward Buck was approached by ONI Captain Veronica Dare to reunite Alpha-Nine for a top-secret mission regarding the United Rebel Front, a mission so top-secret that not even Locke knew about it. While considering his choices, Buck encountered Lasky on the observation deck, but refused to tell Lasky anymore than he was having a personnel issue that was below Lasky's pay grade. Lasky assumed that Buck wanted a way out of Fireteam Osiris and stated that they valued Buck as a leader as well as a Spartan and he could have his own fireteam again in a heartbeat if he wanted it. Buck admitted that he was being asked to work with someone who had once betrayed his trust and that while Lasky couldn't help him, he was right about the view helping to clear his head. As Lasky turned to leave, he suggested that Buck trust Dare's judgment in all matters, apparently aware of Buck's mission, which Buck promised to keep in mind. Buck's encounter with Lasky helped him to decide to accept the mission despite his own reservations.
After Alpha-Nine returned from their mission, Buck met with Lasky and Palmer in Lasky's main conference room about the mission. The two were surprised when Buck asked about what would happen with Mickey Crespo and advocated for keeping Mickey free to help with the Created conflict. Lasky was particularly surprised by Buck's words after he suffered such a personal betrayal, but Buck assured Lasky and Palmer that while he might be able to forgive Mickey, he would never forget what he did. Lasky dismissed Buck while he considered Buck's request after Buck stated that he could and would work with Mickey again if he was asked to do so.
Personality and traits
Lasky is characterized by his personal moral compass and tends to make decisions based on his own sound judgment. He detests bureaucracy and politics, although several decades of conflict have taken their toll on his formerly iconoclastic attitude and ideals. This has made him somewhat apathetic to underhanded schemes within the UNSC's organization, although there are still lines he is unwilling to cross. Lasky evidently cares about the lives of the soldiers serving under him. He attempted to comfort John-117 after Cortana was killed. When discussing a mole in the UNSC with Petra Janecek, he ordered Spartan Naiya Ray to leave to prevent incriminating her in the future. He even took responsibility for Dr. Halsey's actions during the Requiem campaign, believing that her kidnapping was his fault.
On several occasions throughout his career, Lasky has disregarded the orders of a superior if he feels that the order is either morally wrong or tactically incorrect, and will instead do what he feels is right. This actually got him promoted when he supported the Master Chief against his commanding officer. Similarly, he chose not to obey Admiral Osman's order to eliminate Dr. Halsey due to the moral issues with assassinating a civilian. At risk of being court-martialed, Lasky sent a Spartan team to rescue Halsey while Commander Palmer, ignoring Lasky's orders to stand down, had departed to carry out Osman's order. However, he is able to make "morally wrong" decisions when the mission absolutely calls for it. During the Battle of Ealen IV, Lasky reluctantly had Fireteam Bailey remain behind on Ealen IV, in order for Lord Hood, Sangheili, and Jiralhanae diplomats escape the planet to prevent their capture at the hands of Covenant mercenaries.
During his time at Corbulo Academy, he was known for his renegade attitude as an "Innie sympathizer" and was initially shunned universally by his squadmates and other classmates alike. Lasky was not hesitant whatsoever to express his views on the ongoing conflict with the colonies, even with the ardent anti-rebel stance held by the majority of Corbulo Academy's staff and cadet corps. This constant display of pacifism and sympathy towards the Insurrectionist cause did not hamper his enthusiasm to lead his team into combat; however, he preferred to use tactics that would force the enemy to capitulate rather than be killed. Many believed that Thomas would not live up to the level of excellence set by his brother Cadmon, by then a Marine junior officer in the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, nor the expectations of his estranged mother to, at the very least, graduate from the academy. At the conclusion of his freshman year from 2525 to 2526, however, lingering doubts about his competency as a future officer were alleviated.
As the growing Insurrection in the Outer Colonies demanded the effort of millions of military personnel, Lasky rarely saw his mother and their relationship faltered because of it. He still maintained a very close relation with his older brother Cadmon, even following in his footsteps with acceptance for schooling at Corbulo Academy. Thomas and his brother Cadmon, both seeming to be avid chess players, maintained an ongoing game, using empty shell casings and shotgun shells as pieces, through video messages while the two were at Corbulo and on Jericho VII, respectively.
The hawkish Walter Vickers aggressively despised Lasky, lashing out at him with verbal abuse and eventually resorting to public physical altercations. Junjie Chen, a Terran, blamed his failing scores in combat exercises on the incompetence of his classmate. Her parents both being very high ranking officers from Reach, Dimah Tchakova expressed her disdain for Lasky because of his pacifism and beliefs on the war. He was not without more tolerant contemporaries however. Michael Sullivan found common ground with Lasky, generally not caring for Lasky's reputation as he harbored no ill feelings towards the Insurrectionists and lacked any blind ambition within the UNSC. April Orenski, a senior cadet in the class of 2526, was Lasky's squad leader whom he seemingly viewed as an antagonistic figure. She led her subordinates with an austere style and instilled responsibility through reasonably harsh discipline; Orenski repeatedly shot Lasky at point blank range with training rounds for ignoring orders and made him give her his meal following a squad-wide punishment for their failures in quick response drills. Lasky was granted responsibility of leading Hastati upon request and though appearing to be reserved for a brief moment about his ability, she warmed up to the situation knowing that it would strengthen him. After he led Hastati Squad to victory in its last exercise of the 2526 term, his relationships with his classmates became much less strained.
Lasky ultimately found support at Corbulo in Chyler Silva, a colonist accustomed to the horrors of the war, attempting to influence her friend in becoming a successful cadet at the academy. This support and friendship eventually turned into romance. Lasky was devastated by her death in the Battle of Circinius IV, and kept her dog tags for over thirty years afterwards.
Academy professor Colonel K. L. Mehaffey, who had previously served under his mother, began to distantly mentor Lasky, motivating him relentlessly in becoming a successful soldier. Whilst he earned positive reinforcement by superior officers such as Mehaffey and Orenski, headmaster General Black held a mild bitterness towards the young Lasky. Black often singled him out and invariably used the example of his older brother, the well regarded Cadmon, to force Thomas to exceed his benchmarks set at Corbulo Academy.
Lasky is one of the few non-Spartans to have a form of personal connection with Master Chief John-117. He was strongly affected by his first encounter with the Spartan on Circinius IV, with the Chief's commendation of his actions serving as a major source of inspiration for the young cadet in his fledgling career. Over thirty years later, he teamed up with the Chief to defend Infinity from the Didact and his forces and to destroy the gravity well generator. When ordered to detain the Master Chief, Lasky refused the order and secretly and subtly supported the Chief by giving him a G79H-TC Pelican gunship to continue his efforts against the Didact. His support ended up getting him promoted to Captain of the Infinity and during the Didact's attack on Earth, while shocked that the Chief was there, he aided him in his efforts to stop the Didact directly by using the Infinity to help him enter the ship. Afterwards, he dispatched a Pelican to rescue him and arranged an honor guard of Marines and Spartans for his official return from being missing in action. After John-117 had defeated the Didact while losing his closest friend and companion Cortana, the two had a personal, though mostly one-sided, conversation about loss and the nature of being a soldier. What Lasky said about soldiers not being machines affected John as Cortana had once said something similar, ironically moments before Lasky interrupted them.
Lasky appears to maintain a close, if seemingly professional, relationship with Infinity Spartan complement commander, Sarah Palmer, as the two address each other largely informally and on a first-name basis. On occasion, the two have found themselves at odds over Lasky's tendency to weigh down orders based on his morals, while Palmer favors a more blunt and straightforward approach.
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