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- "I’m thrilled to return to the Halo universe for a fun-sized tale. My story in Halo: Fractures illuminates a particularly action-packed scene from Halo: New Blood from an all-new angle, and then it brings us back to a familiar location and opens the door for all sorts of stories to take place there in the future."
- — Matt Forbeck
Lessons Learned is one of several short stories featured in Halo: Fractures: Extraordinary Tales from the Halo Canon. The short story was written by Matt Forbeck and has narrative connections to Halo: Legacy of Onyx. It follows Spartan-IIIs Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091 at the time of Rudolf Schein's attack on the Spartan training station during the events of Halo: New Blood and their subsequent reassignment to Trevelyan.
On March 29, 2554, Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091, assigned as instructors for the SPARTAN-IV program, are reviewing the performance of the new Spartan-IV class in their office on the Spartan-IV training station when an explosion rocks the station, causing the area to lose gravity. Tom contacts Captain Chu to find out what happened; the captain informs him of a rupture in the rec room where Commander Musa-096 had been interrogating someone about a homicide. With Tom unaware of the homicide and asking for clarification, Lucy brings his attention to the window where they see two men fighting outside in space. Tom recognizes one as Rudolf Schein, a Spartan-IV recruit, and the other as Jun-A266. Jun is able to break from Schein's grip and kick off from Schein's chest, sending Schein deeper into space and Jun towards the station. At Lucy's prompting, the two enter an airlock. Attached to a tether and without a vacuum suit, Tom attempts to anticipate Jun's path and launches himself out the airlock. He misses at first, but Lucy manages to correct his path by tugging on the tether. Jun eventually manages to get caught in the tether and Lucy manages to pull both him and Tom in, but not before both Tom and Jun lose consciousness.
Tom later awakens in the infirmary and is informed by Musa that both Lucy and Jun are recovering, as well as what happened; Schein had killed Hideo Wakahisa, a fellow Spartan-IV recruit, and had torn out Wakahisa's locator implant. Musa and Jun conducted an investigation which led them to Schein. As Musa and Jun confronted him, Schein detonated a hidden grenade which killed Captain Marisa O'Day. Tom and Lucy having recovered from the incident, after several days, Musa and Jun visit them in their office. After a discussion concerning Schein's betrayal, Musa offers the two Beta Company survivors a new job working as security at the Onyx United Research Project on Trevelyan, the shield world at the former site of Onyx. While surprised to discover that the research efforts are being conducted with the aid of the Sangheili and initially reluctant due to the alien presence, Tom and Lucy eventually accept.
Upon arrival at the shield world, Tom and Lucy are greeted by Franklin Mendez, who has been assigned as the project's head of security. Soon after they are joined by Kasha 'Hilot, a female Sangheili working as Mendez's second-in-command. While Lucy is hostile toward the Sangheili, Tom is more restrained while Mendez attempts to keep the situation from escalating. Mendez takes Lucy to find transportation while Tom converses with Kasha for a while about matters such as the war and the Sangheili's personal history. However, a nearby UNSC soldier overhears their conversation and approaches the Sangheili aggressively, accusing her of detracting the Master Chief and the Spartans and blaming her for the Covenant's genocide of humanity. Tom attempts to calm the soldier down but he is only angered further, poking Kasha in the chest. She grabs the soldier's finger, in Tom's opinion showing great restraint, at which point the soldier head-butts Kasha, knocking her down. The soldier then attempts to stab the Sangheili but is stopped by Tom, who takes several punches in Kasha's defense. Tom picks up the soldier and throws him into the latter's group of cohorts, who are standing nearby.
At this point Mendez and Lucy return, with the former firing his pistol into the air and harshly reprimanding the soldiers, informing them they will be leaving the shield world. Kasha thanks them for teaching the soldiers a lesson, expressing comfort in the knowledge that not all humans want to kill the Sangheili, while Tom looks forward to the work ahead of them.
Technology and Equipment
- The story erroneously identifies Jun-A266 as a member of the SPARTAN-III Beta Company.
- It is stated that Tom and Lucy had "gone through countless hours in zero-G, both in training and in combat, but they’d usually been wearing Mjolnir armor while doing so." While it is likely that the two would have trained in Mjolnir armor following their assignment to the Spartan branch, the story implies that they had been serving solely as instructors following the events of Halo: Last Light, and does not otherwise mention them participating in combat after the mission on Gao, during which they still wore SPI armor.
- The Spartan-IVs' electronic locator implant is called a "translocator"; translocation actually refers to slipspace-based teleportation, making this use of the term distinctly out of place.