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Petty Officer, First Class Linda-058, phonetic callsign "Sierra 058", born Linda Pravdin, is a SPARTAN-II supersoldier. She is one of the few known surviving Spartan-IIs, and is best known for her skill with the sniper rifle. Linda often served as the primary sniper and scout of Blue Team. By 2558, she had engaged in a total of 189 military operations (of which 174 were full campaigns), most of them during the Human-Covenant War. As of most recent knowledge, Linda continues to serve alongside Blue Team in highly classified operations.
Childhood and conscription
Linda Pravdin was born on March 19, 2511 on the outer colony world of Verent. There, she was taken care of by her mother. As a child, Linda engineered her own intelligence network at school to spy on the teachers. She was the very first child identified as a candidate for Project: SPARTAN-II. Ultimately, she was numbered the fifty-eighth of one-hundred and fifty children of similar age that had been selected based on specific genetic markers for inclusion in the Spartan-II program, which only had facilities and funding for half that number. She was screened by members of Doctor Catherine Halsey's team at some point between July and September of 2517 and by September 23 of that year she had been abducted by the Office of Naval Intelligence, rushed through slipspace to Reach. She was stolen from her bed while she had been sleeping and a flash clone was used to take her place. Once awoken from cryostasis shortly before 2300 hours on September 23, Linda and seventy-four other children were led into an amphitheater through four sets of double doors, each accompanied by a naval drill instructor. There, at around 2300 hours, far below the ground within a FLEETCOM military complex, Catherine Halsey informed them that per Naval Code 45812, they were thereby conscripted into SPARTAN-II. She explained that they had been called upon to serve and that they would be the protectors of Earth and all its colonies. Halsey told them they could not return to their parents and that from this moment on, the complex on Reach would be their home and their fellow trainees would be their family. And through the training that lay ahead of them would be difficult, she expressed her full confidence in their ability to overcome it. With that said, she told them to rest and that they would begin the next day. Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez had the children escorted to their barracks, fed, and put to bed.
At around 0530 hours the next morning Linda and the other children were roused awake by Chief Mendez and dozens of other drill instructors. Mendez addressed them all, saying they were to shower at the barracks aft and then return to their cots to dress. Linda stripped down and joined the other children on a conveyor to be washed in lukewarm soapy water and then rinsed in an icy cold spray. A trunk at the foot of her cot held underwear, thick socks, combat boots, and a matching set of gray sweats with "LINDA-058" stenciled on the chest. Once everyone was clothed, Mendez marched them outside and had them form five rows of fifteen children each. From there, they were ordered through a series of calisthenics which included one-hundred each of jumping jacks, sit-ups, deep squats, knee bends, and leg lifts. After the leg lifts the kids were finally given a respite in the form of water. Following the short break, Mendez ordered them to join him on a run. They jogged through the military compound, past more barracks, along a river, and over a bridge, finally coming to a stop in the courtyard of a naval officers' academy. There Linda and the others met Déjà, a so-called "dumb" A.I. who had been given the job of continuing the trainees' formal education. Within the building, Linda and the others were served crackers and milk and treated to a history lesson concerning the Battle of Thermopylae. After the lesson the trainees were told they were heading for the playground, but this turned into a two-mile run to a forest of twenty-meter-tall wooden poles, rope cargo nets and bridges, knotted climbing ropes, pulleys, and baskets. Mendez had them form three lines and declared that each row of three would be a team. Chief Mendez explained that they would be playing a game called "Ring the Bell" in which the objective was for every member of each team to ring a brass bell that hung from a slide pole next to the tallest wooden pole. Linda's team managed to avoid finishing last, and so she avoided being penalized with missing out on that night's dinner of roast turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, brownies, and ice cream served in the mess hall.
The second day of training, September 25, began just like the first. The trainees spent the morning doing calisthenics and in the afternoon reported to Déjà to learn. This day, she taught them about the hunting strategies of wolves and emphasized the importance of the pack over the individual in accomplishing a challenge, such as taking down a moose. When it came time for the "playground" again, Mendez declared that they were to keep the same teams they had the prior day. The teams had a brief moment to strategize, as the course had been made more complicated as compared to before. Three days later, on September 28, all the trainees were given haircuts. On May 24, 2518, the children were forced at 0920 hours to run through a course while being shot at with paint pellet guns. Each trainee that was hit was made to do an exorbitant amount of push-ups. During the first few years of training, Déjà taught Linda and the others algebra, trigonometry, and the history of numerous battles and the rulers they happened at the direction of. By mid-2519, Linda had been taught how to string a trip line, fire a rifle, and treat a chest wound. Much of the Spartans' early training took place at Military Reservation 01478-B, known as "Painland" to the soldiers made to endure exercises there. Linda and the others regularly made covert treks to Camp Hathcock in the Highland Mountains to pilfer food and supplies. Training in the Highlands Mountains was split between Painland, facilities within CASTLE Base, and another location. At these locations, Linda and the others began to be tested against a company of orbital drop shock troopers in jungle maneuvers. Amazingly, the children, who averaged around eight years old, often won. At some point during their training, Linda and the others accompanied Mendez to the colony of Emerald Cove, where they were given a mission that involved spending time underwater. Mendez sabotaged half the air tanks provided to the trainees, and in response they ended up stealing his. Afterwards, they all ditched the Chief for a whole week while they camped on an island with nothing to do but light bonfires, eat clams and calamari, and surf.
On July 12, 2519, all seventy-five children were transported, via D96-TCE Albatross, to a military wilderness training preserve in the Highland Mountains. While en route, Chief Mendez explained that each trainee would be dropped off alone in different locations throughout the preserve with only a piece of various maps provided to them. Their goal was simply to reconvene at a designated extraction point, but the last one to arrive would be forced to walk back to base. John-117 sighted a lake and the river which fed it and had Samuel-034 let the others know to use it to meet back up with one another. Dressed in fatigues, a heavy parka, and boots, Linda was dropped off like the rest within a snow-covered forest. Linda soon met up with John, Sam, Kelly-087, and Frederic-104. Sam decided to carve a mark into a tree that they could remember the location by for years to come. They soon after gathered everyone else together in one place. John told Sam to pick three others to help him scout the area and Linda was chosen, along with James-005 and Fhajad-084. The four of them took off together into the brush and only returned after John whistled to signify they were ready to move out as one group again, the extraction point's location having been pinpointed as a full day's hike away. At noon the children stopped to stretch and eat berries they had gathered along their journey. It was near sundown when they finally came upon their destination in a meadow where another Albatross dropship sat. This one was guarded by six men without any uniforms. John was certain that the men wouldn't just let them board peaceably, so he devised a plan wherein the men would be lured into a trap. Once one man had been tricked into chasing after Kelly to where Sam was feigning an injury, Linda hit him in the head with a stone before he could use a humbler stun device on him, knocking the man to the ground. She then dropped down from where she had been perched in a tree as the rest of the children continued to pelt the man. Their efforts left Sam's would-be aggressor bloody and barely conscious. This basic strategy was repeated, but the second time the remaining five men were set upon at once by the trainees, who assaulted them with rocks, fists, and boots. John opened a link to Déjà within the dropship and asked if she could teach him to fly it. Déjà responded by saying he was in no way authorized to do so, but that she could take control of it herself if he gave her access. One all seventy-four others were aboard, Déjà lifted them off the ground and returned them home.
In the third year of training in 2520, Linda and the others began physics courses, which included the study of classical mechanics. On September 20 of that year, the candidates experienced their first casualty in the form of a handler that was accidentally killed by Carris-137. Memorial services were held and all of the trainees attended. Following the loss, Halsey had Déjà emphasize that throughout the history of military training lethal force had often been employed and that deaths were an inherent risk. After Linda turned ten years old in 2521, she and the other children began to learn counterinterrogation techniques, in particular that of of seizing the initiative. At some point during the training, the Spartans went through a fleet tactics course wherein they were taught a particular planetary assault doctrine.
Facing Tango Company
As the years of training proceeded, the children were routinely matched up as teams against one another. By 2523 the trainees had begun to be matched up in exercises against Tango Company, a unit of UNSC marines. On July 12 of that year, four years to the day since the exercise in which the trainees had been left to fend for themselves in the Highland Mountains, Linda found herself facing the company for the seventh time as part of a team which was led by John and also included Fred, Kelly, Sam, and Fhajad. They hadn't lost yet. Their objective on this date was to capture their opponents' flag and exfiltrate with it. On the twelfth they managed to capture a sniper-spotter team that had been tasked with hunting them down. From them they learned that Tango's captain had given orders to win no matter what, even if it meant bloodying some of the kids this time. During the evening of the next day, they stole shards of mirror from Tango Company's latrine. In addition, they hunted a squirrels, which Fred combined with unripe berries and the antibacterial ointment in their first-aid kits to make a paste to poison the marines' dogs. On July 14, the game was still ongoing. By 1002 hours Linda and Fred were sitting within a hollowed-out cedar stump in order to muffle their conversations and insulate them from Tango's thermal goggles. The others soon gathered together with them and John told Linda and Fred to do a weapons check. Each was armed with a SRS99C-S2 sniper rifle they had liberated from the sniper-spotter team two days prior. Fhajad had modified the rifles' 114mm APFSDS rounds so that their deadly armor-piercing tips were replaced with narq-dart capsules. Linda had test-fired the non-lethal ammunition and was confident she could be accurate with it up to one hundred meters. Though it was only a little after 1000 hours then, the trainees planned to spring their attack at 0500 the next day. John split the six trainees up so that Linda and Fred would form Blue Team, with Linda as its leader and sniper and Fred her spotter. She assured John that the guys guarding the flag would be taken down before Red Team, comprised of the four others, could capture it. When the time came to split up, she whispered a final warning to John to be careful. At 0500 hours on July 15, from a distance closer to two hundred meters than one hundred, Linda dropped one of the marines near Tango Company's flagpole with a dart in his neck. She landed a second shot right in the back of another's skull just as he had begun to fire his weapon at John. A third she hit once in one of his thighs and then again in his chest. By 0545 hours Red Team had made it to their designated extraction landing zone, where Linda and Fred had also been instructed to rendezvous at. For their part, however, they posted in the treetops to provide any necessary cover for Red. At 6010 hours a Pelican landed at the zone, but given that Mendez was not supposed to extract them until 0700 hours, only John showed himself while everyone else remained hidden. Suspicions were proven true when the Pelican was revealed to be carrying members of Tango Company, four of whom surrounded John. After one landed a punch to his gut, the air was suddenly filled with a hail of darts fired by Linda and the others, taking all the marines out. Even then, they did not come out of hiding until John gave the all-clear signal: a singsong six-note melody. Linda and Fred then dropped from the tree branch they'd been perched on and ran across the clearing to join John.
On August 22, 2524, the Spartan-II candidates were rerouted during a training exercise to the opposite side of Reach from which they normally trained. This was done at the behest of interested parties in ONI who wished to observe them firsthand. At some point after the trainees had began to physically mature, an incident in which one of them, Margaret-053, was blinded during a beating meted out by four other teens, caused Chief Mendez to replace everyone's mess hall time with a period of fasting until the perpetrators were identified. It was not uncommon at this time for two trainees to spar one another with pugil sticks while trying to balance on floating logs while the rest watched. On March 9 of 2525 Linda and the other Spartan-II candidates were transported to Medical Facility Endurance in orbit over Reach in order to undergo a series of invasive procedures designed to physically, chemically, and genetically augment their bodies. The procedures began with the administration of an intravenous sedative and the lasering of incision vectors onto each teen's body. The various augmentations, under the purview of Project: ASTER, were carried out the following day. With the assistance of surgeons, biotechnicians, and automated robotic machinery, the surgical procedures Linda endured included occipital capillary reversals, the carbide ceramic ossification of her bones, the insertion of a catalytic thyroid implant, injections to enhance muscle strength and endurance, and the fibrification of neural dendrites to make them superconductive. She also was treated with gene therapy and underwent transgenic hybridization. When the procedures had been completed, only thirty-three of the teenagers had ostensibly been augmented successfully. As far as Linda was made aware, twelve others had been injured during the operations so severely that they would be unfit to be Spartans and the remaining thirty had died. The truth, conversely, was that those pronounced dead were in fact cryogenically preserved in the hopes that they could be revived later, and some of those that were crippled would go on to be rehabilitated and join the ranks of Spartan-IIs in the future. But at midnight at the start of March 30, Linda had been made to believe that forty-two of her fellow trainees had become casualties. The thirty-three to have officially come through the procedures unharmed and the twelve to have been grievously injured both gathered together at that point within the missile launch bays of the UNSC Atlas, an Epoch-class heavy carrier heading for the Lambda Serpentis system. Adorned in black dress uniforms, they bid farewell to what they thought were twenty-nine of their lost brothers and sisters as stainless steel canisters were ejected into space. Linda and the others saluted in unison. Chief Mendez then commanded two full days of bed rest to be followed by microgravity physical therapy aboard the Atlas until they had all fully recovered. In the days ahead Déjà also planned to run the teens through some dropship pilot simulations and to cover some more organic chemistry and complex algebra, as long as they were up to the challenge. For the next three weeks, Linda and the others were put through a routine of stretching, isometric exercises, and light sparring. They were also under orders to consume five high-protein meals per day, each followed by mineral and vitamin injections in the ship's medical bay. By April 22, the Atlas was still patrolling the Lambda Serpentis system.
Once the Spartans were returned to Reach, it became evident that the facilities they had used up until that point would no longer be suitable for training. On the first day back, three trainers were killed during hand-to-hand exercises. On September 10 Linda and the thirty-two others were relocated to a titanium mine that had been used to store Mark I powered exoskeletons. The teens were put through a number of exercises against trainers who now wore the exoskeletons for their safety. And though they hadn't left the cavernous room they'd been dropped into, by the next day they had somehow acquired a length of rope and black suits that made completing their objectives easier. In addition, they continually managed to locate hidden cameras to disable them. Halsey visited on the eleventh to observe their progress and got to witness a game of Capture the Flag.
Linda was chosen for the SPARTAN-IIs' first mission in the Eridanus system; at this point, the Spartans did not yet have their later-trademark MJOLNIR armor. She, along with John-117, Fred-104, Sam-034, and Kelly-087 boarded the Laden and traveled to the insurgent asteroid base Eridanus Secundus, where they infiltrated the facility and captured Colonel Robert Watts, the then-leader of the Eridanus rebels.
The Pioneer did not return to Reach until November 2 of 2525. John rode a Pelican to the military complex on the surface with the other members of Blue Team and was met by Chief Mendez, who told them they were to assemble in the amphitheater with haste. There, at 0600 hours all thirty-three Spartans gathered, in their dress uniforms, to hear from Vice Admiral Michael Stanforth. All the Spartans rose and stood at attention when Mendez entered and remained standing until Stanforth gave them permission to be seated. The Admiral informed the teenagers that the Outer Colony of Harvest had been annihilated some time ago by what appeared to be alien attackers. The adversary responsible called itself "the Covenant" and had broadcast a message announcing that the destruction of humanity was the will of its gods. Stanforth told them that the UNSC had been ordered to full alert and that the largest fleet action in human history was being mobilized in response. And because of the UNSC-wide mobilization, the Spartans' training was to be accelerated to its final phase: Project MJOLNIR. The briefing on the new threat and the UNSC's reaction to it concluded, Stanforth then let them all know that Mendez would be leaving them to begin the training of a second class of Spartans. John called for everyone to stand and salute the Chief a final time.
By November 6, all the Spartans had departed Reach aboard the Paris-class heavy frigate UNSC Commonwealth. The next three weeks were spent handling a variety of minor missions under the guidance of Doctor Halsey on their way out to Chi Ceti IV on the edge of UNSC-controlled space. All of the Spartans worked together to put down multiple insurrectionist factions on Jericho VII and also to remove a black market bazaar near the Roosevelt military base. During the final of these deployments in which Blue Team worked together as a singular unit, Linda and John were both severely injured, with Linda being hurt worse than he was. It was at 1750 hours on November 27 that the Commonwealth finally emerged in real space in the Chi Ceti system. John was summoned to the bridge but told Sam to get the others in the bunkroom ready in case they were needed soon. Soon enough, they were informed that they would be taking the frigate's dropship to Chi Ceti IV's surface in order to get to Project MJOLNIR at the Damascus Materials Testing Facility in Vhalkem and that all should be mustered in Bay Alpha with a Pelican ready for drop in fifteen minutes.
After landing, it took around fifteen minutes for a freight elevator to carry Halsey and the Spartans down into the depths of Chi Ceti IV, finally depositing them in an underground hangar at around 1845 hours. There, the doctor introduced them to Project MJOLNIR, an initiative to outfit each of them with the most advanced armor ever created by humans in the modern era. Halsey walked the teenagers through the various ways Mjolnir armor would improve their abilities in combat but also made sure they each understood the risk they would be taking by agreeing to use it. Tests with unaugmented volunteers given the armor had ended catastrophically and computer modeling for the Spartans had been insufficient, meaning that whether their enhancements would actually allow them to use the armor was still an unknown. Despite the risk, each one of them volunteered at once to be the first to try Mjolnir, but Halsey ultimately decided on John being the one to demonstrate it first. After fifteen minutes, John could walk, run, and jump almost without thinking about the difference the powered armor made to his movements. Doctor Halsey directed him to try running through a nearby obstacle course with the armor while the remainder of the Spartans were fitted with theirs. Linda and the others soon ran through the course as well, experiencing somewhat of a lack of coordination in their movements. Unbeknownst to them, however, each had been given subliminal training to prepare them during their last trip through slipspace in cryostasis. For this reason, Halsey was confident that all would adapt to the armor quickly. The Spartans spent thirty minutes drilling in Mjolnir before Captain Wallace of the Commonwealth contacted them to say that the they had made contact once again with a Covenant ship which had accosted the frigate once already. Though the alien ship's slipspace capability was evidently damaged from the previous engagement, it was moving toward them through normal space. Wallace offered to try to draw the enemy away to buy them more time, but Halsey decided the time had come to fight instead.
By 2037 hours all Spartans, Halsey, the three technicians from at the Damascus facility, and twelve spare suits of Mjolnir were together in the modified Pelican as it moved through the exit burn of its orbital path. The UNSC Commonwealth's last known position was ten million kilometers in system from their previous rendezvous point, and it was this to this location that they were headed. The Covenant ship was three million kilometers from the Commonwealth but closing that distance with every second. John devised a plan to board the enemy ship using thruster packs and while carrying HE Anvil-II missiles attached to their armor. John went over the plan with Linda and the rest, emphasizing that their target was a hole the Commonwealth had already put in the ship. He said that if anyone missed then they should power down and wait to be retrieved. The Spartans rocketed toward the enemy vessel at around one hundred kilometers per hour. Unfortunately, only John, Kelly, and Sam found purchase on its hull. Linda, like the twenty-nine others, did not make it aboard and so she powered down and waited to be rescued in accordance with the plan. Linda and all the other Spartans made it back aboard the Commonwealth, save for Sam, who was killed during the boarding action. On December 1, the Halcyon-class light cruiser UNSC Persian Gate appeared in the Chi Ceti system and took Halsey and the Spartans from the Commonwealth. On the Persian Gate, Halsey led a funeral service for Sam wherein an empty casket was ejected into space around Chi Ceti IV.
Alpha Corvi II
On December 3, 2525, a substantial Covenant force emerged from slipspace near Alpha Corvi and proceeded to began an attack on the system's second planet. It was at this point that the four remaining Spartan-II warriors of Blue Team whom had participated in Operation: TALON were briefed on the attack while already en route to the system. Lieutenant Commander Yao told Linda and the others that they would be dropping on the outskirts of Jamshid and engaging the Covenant from the rear. Their objective was to lessen the pressure on the main UNSC garrison within the city so that a proper counterattack could be prepared. It was also imperative, they were told, that they operate independently of Ground Command and refrain from having any contact with anyone from the Marine Corps whatsoever. Upon arrival at the planet, Blue Team was redirected to the mining settlement of Black Reef and ordered to neutralize the invaders there and discover why it was being targeted. During their insertion via a D77-TC Pelican, Nora, an A.I. on the Persian Gate, introduced the Spartans to various scouting and reconnaissance enhancements their armor was outfitted with for this mission, including prototype active camouflage technology. Linda and Fred were also provided with forearm-housed carbon-fiber blades and Linda was additionally given an individual propulsion system. Blue Team was set down in a ground vehicle on the beach and immediately began taking fire from United Rebel Front troops encamped a short distance away. John opted to activate his active camouflage and creep up on the small band. After revealing himself, he convinced the URF troops to assist the Spartans in fighting against their common enemy. The rebels drove Covenant forces toward Blue Team's position and they unloaded on the aliens with BR55 battle rifles when the distance between them closed. Linda questioned the necessity of working with the rebels so John reminded her that Halsey hoped they could gather intelligence regarding what the Covenant was doing on the planet, and that the humans who lived there could help with that. The Sangheili and Kig-Yar that remained escaped into the mouth of a tunnel that led deep into the mines beneath the reef's bedrock. John was determined to pursue them. Whitaker, the insurrectionist forces' commander, informed him that though the mine was an expansive mess of tunnels, it only had the one entry and exit, meaning the enemy was trapped within it. Yao soon let Blue Team know that a host of new dropships were inbound. Most of them were heading for Jamshid, but three Spirits would reach Black Reef in just three minutes. Whitaker volunteered to hold the mine entrance with his people so the Spartans could pursue the Covenant forces that had vanished within. Linda again questioned John's willingness to trust their newfound allies, and this time he stressed that they had every reason to continue aiding them, given that it was their planet under attack.
The passageway traversed by Blue Team took them more than thirty meters below sea level. The Spartans activated their Active camouflage just before a group of Sangheili, Kig-Yar, and Unggoy encircled them from multiple side tunnels. Unfortunately, the Spartans were still possible to make out, so they decided to drop the camo as they engaged the enemy. After disposing of their ambushers, John led them through one of the passages they had come from until they came into a large chamber filled with enemy forces led by a Field Marshal. A skirmish erupted but was interrupted when the insurrectionists above triggered used satchel charges and an M41 SPNKR to collapse the entrance to the mine. the resulting blast triggered a flood of water to rush into the chamber where the Spartans were fighting, carrying Linda to another subterranean chamber and cutting her off from the rest of her team. She attempted to hail them but got no responses. When she finally emerged from the water she found herself face-to-face with approximately one hundred hostiles. Forced to defend herself right away, Linda continued to hail her teammates for assistance. By the time she finally got in contact with the rest of Blue Team she had taken out twenty of the aliens attacking her. She was taking fire, however, and desperate for backup. The three others eventually got to her by blasting a hole through a cave wall with an MX-8 explosive coupled to a Type-1 plasma grenade. Once all the Covenant were dead, Blue Team could focus its attention on escaping the rapidly flooding tunnels. Fred revealed that his armor had been breached by a cut from the Field Marshal's energy sword, but since their only way out would involve going underwater, John told him to just hold his breath and assured him they would make sure he got out. John had the team wait until the chamber they were in filled up completely and then led them out of the submerged mine toward the shore, with Kelly and Linda bringing up the rear to make sure Fred was okay.
After emerging from beneath the waves, Nora made contact with the Spartans and informed them that the ground action in their immediate area was making it impossible for the Pelican Tango 807 to extract them safely. In clearing a spot for it to land, Blue Team suddenly found themselves aided by Whitaker and a small group of other surviving rebels, with a few of them having even managed to hijack Blue Team's ground vehicle and now bring it to bear against the Covenant. The Spartans and URF allies all made their way to Tango 807 once it landed in order to escape the doomed planet, but only Linda, John, Kelly, and Fred were permitted aboard. Once they were back aboard the Persian Gate John confronted Lieutenant Commander Yao about abandoning Whitaker and the others. He was incensed that though the rebels had fought for them, they had not done the same for them. Yao told him that was enough and stormed off. Halsey reminded John that keeping his team alive was all that had mattered in the end, and also then asked him if he had been able to see what the Covenant had been looking for under Black Reef. The Persian Gate soon slipped away from Alpha Corvi II before it could be destroyed along with it.
On March 5, 2526, Linda and Blue Team, along with Gold Team and Green Team, were aboard the Razor-class prowler UNSC Starry Night as it orbited Netherop. They were there as part of an operation that had the goal of capturing a Covenant vessel for ONI to examine. The three Spartan teams went EVA and used a flight of Type-27 Banshees for cover as they approached the frigate Radiant Arrow. Once they boarded the vessel via its underslung hangar, they eliminated the aliens within and prepared to move deeper into the frigate, all without the rest of crew realizing they had been boarded. Blue Team spearheaded the assault, clearing rooms along the ship's main corridor. As they stealthily continued on, a sensor operator aboard one of the prowlers "accidentally" broadcast a transmission on the Spartans' SQUADCOM, revealing their presence to the rest of the frigate's crew. Unbeknownst to them, this crewman's apparent mistake was actually part of an insurrectionist plot designed by Hector Nyeto, intending to get the Spartans killed. With their presence now known, Blue Team rushed deeper into ship, where they assumed the bridge would be located. The fighting soon took them into a gravity lift tube where they were attacked by Sangheili warriors. To keep the Spartans from reaching the bridge, the crew reversed the direction of the lift, pulling Fred, Kelly, and Linda rapidly downward; John, however, managed to grab onto a maintenance ladder. Linda, Fred, and Kelly laid in a pile at the bottom of the tube, their armors locked up to protect them from being injured by the fall. However, Linda and Fred had both landed on top of Kelly, giving her a compound rib facture. John ordered them to extract Kelly and rendezvous with Green Team while he secured the bridge alone. Linda objected, saying that Fred could take Kelly back to the others and she could assist John in capturing the bridge, which was surely heavily guarded. Despite John ordering her to go with Fred and Kelly, Linda persisted until it was found that the vessel's shipmaster had prepared the Radiant Arrow to self-destruct. John then ordered Linda and the rest of the Spartans to immediately abandon ship. They all made it clear just before it detonated.
Shortly after the attempt at capturing the Radiant Arrow, Blue, Gold, and Green Teams were selected to participate in an operation to thin the Covenant navy through similar boarding tactics. For this mission, the Spartans would be attached to Task Force Yama and deployed alongside the veteran ODSTs of the 21st Space Assault Battalion, also known as the "Black Daggers." Because of its proximity to the front, an ice quarry on Biko's third moon, Seoba, was selected as the staging ground for this operation.
During the ten-day voyage through slipspace, Linda and the others trained with the ODSTs in the UNSC Vanishing Point's mission preparation hold. The Spartans made short work of the veteran marines in each exercise until Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson taught them unorthodox strategies that proved to be much more effective against the supersoldiers. After four days of training, Colonel Marmon Crowther had them all gather in the ship's drop hangar to be briefed on the specifics of the operation. Despite their exemplary performance against his ODSTs, Crowther was still skeptical about deploying the Spartans to the front lines due to their inexperience on the battlefield, as well as their apparent young age, much to their frustration.
When the task force arrived in-system on March 18, it was discovered that insurrectionist forces had holed up in the quarry and the UNSC would need to uproot them before the Covenant arrived. Linda and the rest of Blue Team followed John as he disobeyed orders and leapt from the deployment bay of the UNSC Ghost Song while under fire. During the insertion, one of the prowlers managed to damage the insurrectionist base's communications relay, severing its connection with any potential reinforcements. However, the rest of Ghost Flight had to withdraw when the UNSC Ghost Star was shot down. The Spartans regrouped in the quarry's abandoned docks to discuss how they would destroy the Civet convoy travelling up the side of the quarry to fix the relay. With approval from Captain Zelos Cuvier and Lieutenant Nelly Hamm, they formulated a plan to travel up the tube of a derelict mass driver rising five kilometers up and out of the quarry, using thruster packs to outpace the convoy. As the accelerator tube was mostly full of ice, Fred worried that they wouldn't be able to advance quickly enough without a larger flamethrower and more time. He also suggested the possibility that the Spartans were simply being used as a diversion to allow Hamm and her troopers to eliminate the convoy. Nevertheless, they went forward with the plan, having Linda stay back to cover them with her MA5B assault rifle and to watch for any hint that the insurrectionists had discovered what they were doing. John led the way, with Fred and then Kelly trailing behind. Linda noted that the vibrations of her teammates bumping into the tube was launching ice crystals into the sky. Despite their ongoing firefight with the Black Daggers, the insurgents soon discovered the Spartans' plan and began sweeping a portion of the tube ahead of them with M41 Vulcan fire. To distract the gunners, John and Fred rigged their thermite-carbon cord and I-JeT to explode as they moved past the Vulcan fire. Linda began slowly working her way up up the quarry, quietly eliminating insurgents as she went. Shortly thereafter, Blue Team discovered that Fred was right and that Hamm's men had intercepted the convoy via a prowler drop while the enemy was distracted by the Spartans. The ODSTs had also planted explosives on the communications relay by the time Blue Team exited the tube. John expressed his team's misgivings to Hamm about being lied to and used as bait, but she dismissed him, saying that this was what happens when he disobeys orders.
The next day, Captain Halima Ascot, commander of Task Force Yama and captain of the Starry Night, held a meeting to discuss the events of the previous day's battle. John was reprimanded for his maverick actions at the start of the battle, and his Spartans' experience was called into question once more. Due to some of Nyeto's sly comments, the truth about their young ages was revealed to the few personnel present at the meeting. Learning this disturbing fact, Colonel Crowther refused to send the Spartans into battle again, instead ordering them to guard the insurrectionists captured during the fighting and prepare them to be sent to Biko to be processed. While this meeting was being held, a Covenant flotilla was detected as it arrived in-system and began heading for Seoba.
As the rest of Task Force Yama mobilized to meet the alien vessels, Linda and the other Spartans were sent to Subsurface Maintenance Grotto 6M430 where they would direct the captured insurgents onto a transport. While the line of roughly 300 prisoners marched onto the vessel, John noticed that a group of them were hiding the presence of an officer, General Harper Garvin of the United Rebel Front. He ordered the officer to step forward, but another rebel presented herself instead, trying to stall for Garvin by flirting with John. To show that he meant business, John grabbed the woman by her tunic lapels and threatened her with summary execution for interfering with a guard while on the field of combat, as per the UNSC Military Code of Conduct. John's plan worked and General Garvin presented himself. He began trying to pry information out of John, but this effort was interrupted when a situation with Captain Ascot's flagship was relayed over the task force's command channel. The Starry Night had been shot down on takeoff, crash-landing back into the quarry. Crowther was unable to send a unit of his Black Daggers to search for survivors without putting more prowlers at risk. Since they were the only unit available to assist, John decided that he and his Spartans would go for the Starry Night once the transport was loaded. After sending Garvin back to his people and ordering the transport pilot to launch, John had his Spartans move out, much to the concern of Joshua-029 and Kurt-051. Not only would they be disobeying a direct order from Crowther, operating without the support of the task force in such a situation would be very risky.
Linda and the others proceeded to the grotto's access vestibule and entered its airlock, sealing the inner hatch. With that, they stepped out into the dense sublimation fog enshrouding the floor of the ice quarry. Visibility was so poor that each of them could barely see the end of their rifles, but the bright flashes of plasma bolts could be seen dancing through the clouds above. John accessed the command channel once more and requested a waypoint leading to the downed prowler. Crowther responded by asking what he thought he was doing. John stated that they were checking on the status of the Starry Night as they were the only unit that could do so at the moment, carefully choosing his words so that Crowther could deflect blame onto the Spartan if need be. This would make it more likely for Crowther to not stand in the way of their self-assigned mission. While John waited for a response, he signaled Joshua and Kurt to spread out their teams in a hundred-meter-wide search line. Green Team spaced out on the left of the more tightly-gathered Blue Team, and Gold Team spaced out on the right. By doing this, the Spartans would be more likely to find any debris from the Starry Night that might have otherwise been missed in the fog. John also ordered them to advance at a trotting speed, leading them away from the dockyards where they had engaged insurgents the day before. When Crowther still had not responded, John added over the command channel that they would take a look at the crash site and report.
Finally, Crowther replied and acknowledged John's plan, but ordered him to not take action unless immediately warranted. He also informed him of Biko's naval response to the alien bombardment of Seoba and that Nyeto believed that the small Covenant flotilla would either be in full retreat or destroyed within the hour by the approaching overwhelming force. An inexact waypoint was placed on each of the Spartans' HUDs, and John had them adjust course to match. At this point, Linda and the rest of Blue Team were arrayed in a diamond formation with only five meters between them, with only their motion trackers revealing the locations of their teammates. John ordered them all to advance at a full run while keeping their eyes on their feet, since that was all they could see anyway. As they ran, the Emmeline departed the grotto and flew over the Spartans, churning up the fog and allowing a brief moment of visibility. Through the haze, they could see five Covenant vessels fire towards the transport as it crested the horizon.
Nearing the provided waypoint, the fog had lowered to shoulder-height, allowing the Spartans to discover that the Starry Night was largely intact, but sat atop a large avalanche about seven hundred meters up the quarry wall. Also, they spotted an intrusion corvette moving into position over the prowler, seemingly preparing to recover it for study. Realizing the danger, John declared to his teammates that the mission was no longer a rescue mission. Their primary objective was now to deny the Covenant from recovering the prowler and the data stored within. Then, John opened the command channel again and relayed this information to Crowther, who echoed John's concerns and insisted that they could not let the Covenant take possession of the Starry Night. The vessel's navigation computer and other onboard data devices could reveal the locations of UNSC outposts, entire force deployments, or worse. Crowther asked Nyeto if there was any way that the prowler's nuclear self-destruct system could be remotely activated, to which the lieutenant commander responded in the affirmative. However, there were only three positions that had access to that ability. The first two were the flight commander and wing commander, both of which were roles held by Captain Ascot, who was either dead or unable to be reached aboard the Starry Night. The final person with the ability to remotely detonate the prowler was the captain of the Vanishing Point, which was holding station two planetary orbits out from Seoba. At that distance, it would take nearly an hour for the request to be sent to the cruiser and for the return signal to arrive. By then, the Covenant might already have retrieved sensitive data from the wrecked prowler. Crowther began to reluctantly order the Spartans to prevent the Starry Night's capture, but John cut him off, assuring him that they would not fail. The Spartan requested that Task Force Yama assist them by keeping the assaulting corvettes off their backs. Nyeto began to say that their prowlers were not designed for ship-to-ship combat when Crowther interrupted him, promising that they would find a way. Crowther started to tell John to standby for instructions on how to manually activate the prowler's self-destruct, but he reassured the colonel that his Spartans already knew how to activate a nuke.
Just then, a Ghost appeared on John's motion tracker, firing at him through the fog. Once it showed itself, he killed its Jiralhanae driver with his MA5B's underbarrel grenade launcher. Shortly after that was handled, more Ghosts entered the quarry, so John ordered Green and Gold Teams to deal with them as Blue Team followed him. At this point, the looming intrusion corvette had begun deploying EVA-equipped Sangheili, Jiralhanae, and Kig-Yar warriors via gravity lift, with the first already looking for a way inside the ship. Another corvette crested the edge of the quarry, firing its main cannon on the Spartans. Grace-093 took a hit, and John requested an ETA on Nyeto's support. The lieutenant commander told him not to worry, as it was nearly set up. However, John realized it would be too late for that and he ordered Fred, Kelly, and Linda to simultaneously fire on the avalanche just below the Starry Night with their grenade launchers to cause the vessel to fall to quarry floor and prevent the Covenant from gaining entrance. The volley of grenades worked a bit too well, bringing the avalanche down on top of the Spartans, but successfully delaying the Covenant in their boarding attempt.
Half of the twelve-Spartan squad was buried under the avalanche, prompting John to give Fred command of the six mobile Spartans, ordering them to board and destroy the Starry Night as he dug his way out of the ice. Fred gathered Linda and Malcolm-059 as they prepared to board the vessel through the massive breach in its bow. Meanwhile, John was once again demanding Nyeto's support over the command channel, and the available members of Gold and Green Teams were dealing with even more approaching enemy ground vehicles. Once within the Starry Night, Fred's team found five survivors: four ODSTs and a concussed Staff Sergeant Johnson. As Linda got to work manually arming the prowler's Fury tactical nuclear weapon, Fred reported the situation to John, who told Linda to take her time, but warned of an enemy squad preparing to board. She was surprised that he would tell her to take her time with hostiles approaching, but John explained that he did not want to pressure her. Nyeto's support finally arrived in the form of prowler strafing runs which destroyed two nearby intrusion corvettes, but spared the one that was still attempting to recover the Starry Night. When the Covenant boarding party made their move, Fred and the others repelled them with explosive weapons as John distracted the rest outside the ship. Linda had just finished arming the nuke and began dragging Johnson into the Starry Night's escape pod when John ordered her to initiate its thirty-second timer immediately. The looming corvette had activated its gravity lift system and was trying to draw the prowler up into its hangar. Linda followed the order and John warned all local Spartans to evacuate the area immediately. Linda, Fred, Malcolm, Johnson, and the ODSTs boarded the prowler's escape pod and launched through Seoba's low gravity while under fire from the corvette's surprised gunners. John informed Crowther and Nyeto of the escape pod and the imminent nuclear explosion. All of the Spartans made it to safety before the detonation, which destroyed both the Starry Night and the intrusion corvette. Crowther sent prowlers to recover them and the other survivors after the nuke's electromagnetic pulse had dissipated. Some of the Spartans also assisted in the recovery of a Covenant starholo from the wreckage of the intrusion corvette. They and the starholo were transported back to the Vanishing Point.
On March 20, John-117 and five other Spartans who were not confined to the infirmary attended a funeral service for the two-hundred-and-three men and women who lost their lives at Seoba. Held in the command hangar of the Vanishing Point as it sat in a high parabolic orbit around Biko, the ceremony included an honor company of a hundred-and-one enlisted personnel in their dress blues, including the six Spartans and Avery Johnson. After the service, Lieutenant Commander Nyeto—the de facto commander of Task Force Yama after Ascot's death—approached John, who asked if he'd reconsider sidelining them. Nyeto promised that the Spartans would be seeing all the action they could handle for the rest of the operation. However, Crowther again contested this on the basis of them being too young, forcing the lieutenant commander to back down by threatening him with a report to a UNSC board of inquiry. The Black Daggers would board the incoming fleet alone. As everyone left the hangar, Crowther revealed to Johnson that he did not trust Nyeto. He believed that the Spartans were combat-ready, and he was instead sending them on a mission to disrupt Covenant supply lines at Etalan.
Fighting two wars
During the first decade of the war, Blue Team fought on dozens of besieged worlds, buying time for orderly UNSC withdrawals and civilian evacuations and leading strikes deep into the heart of enemy forces to destroy key ships and eliminate Covenant commanders. During these first ten years a handful of victories were secured by Spartans even after orbital superiority was lost at colonies under attack.
Prior to the Covenant's glassing of Eridanus II in 2530, Linda assisted with operations RED ROOM and BLUE MOON. Details regarding Operation: RED ROOM are highly classified. Operation: BLUE MOON was set into motion sometime following the conclusion of RED ROOM and saw Linda deployed to Eridanus II in order to provide cover fire for an ODST team conducting a sweep and clear mission at an Insurrection base there.
In mid-2530, Linda and the three other members of Blue Team successfully assaulted the United Rebel Front's Station Jefferson in the Eridanus asteroid belt. They dealt another blow to the rebels at some point between then and the last few months of the year when they boarded the URF destroyer Origami and completed a mission which removed the ship from the Front's possession. This campaign against the Front then led to Linda, John, Kelly, and Fred carrying out a mission to halt the manufacturing of highly-powerful explosives at one of its dedicated facilities in October or November of 2530. At two points between then and the advent of May in 2531, the four-Spartan team deployed against pockets of the URF that existed on two of the UEG's core worlds: Earth and Reach. On Earth, they were deployed to deal with a rebel element in Micronesia, and on Reach, they put an end to a saboteur cell.
At some point during the course of the war against the Covenant, Blue Team boarded a Covenant vessel called Perpetual Devotion. Once aboard, the Spartans overloaded the ship's reactor and made it off just before it exploded. At another point, Linda deployed to the Jiralhanae outpost world of Odenli'sh for Operation: HORN AND HIDE. There, she assassinated a vital San'Shyuum missionary. HORN AND HIDE stands alongside 2552's Operation: FIRST STRIKE as one of Linda's most noteworthy combat successes. Operation: OCTAGON, another highly classified mission which employed Linda's talents, was confuted at some point following Operation: BLUE MOON but prior to Operation: JOVIAN WHISTLE in 2553.
Camp New Hope
On May 1, 2531, Blue Team, then consisting of Linda, Kelly, Fred, John, and Kurt-051, had infiltrated a URF military base on Victoria, Camp New Hope. However, the Insurrectionists successfully ambushed Linda, Kelly, Fred, and John using an antigravity plate which disabled the Spartans. Before the rebels could interrogate the Spartans, Kurt freed Blue Team using an M12 Warthog and Asteroidea anti-personnel mines. However, the rescue resulted in the death of the high-ranking rebel leader General Howard Graves.
On January 10, 2545, the Covenant began a brutal assault on the colony world of Draco III. Its defenses were overwhelmed in a short amount of time and the Covenant began to land forces on the surface. The majority of the Spartan-IIs, including Linda and John-117, were directed to reinforce the colonists. Before arriving, the Spartans were shown footage of a massacre on the surface which had been relayed to them via satellite linkup. Linda and the others could only watch as humans were herded together and then torn apart by ravenous Unggoy and Kig-Yar. By the time the Spartans finally made it to Draco III, there was nobody left to rescue. Despite being too late to save the victims, Linda and the others made sure that they were avenged. Their retaliation resulted in the deaths of every Covenant soldier on the planet and footage of it was broadcast to the public in order to boost morale.
She was also at Sigma Octanus IV during the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV. She was designated as Green-One, leading SPARTAN-II Green Team into the suburbs around Côte d'Azur. Her team scouted out the residential section of the city and found no survivors. Green Team helped escort the twenty civilian survivors that Red Team (led by Joshua-029) had found and was able to successfully evacuate them before Blue Team detonated a HAVOK nuclear warhead in the heart of the city, destroying tens of thousands of Covenant forces stationed there. Linda was given strategic control of the evacuation. Linda and her team then dusted off in a D77-TC Pelican which docked with the UNSC Leviathan and returned to Reach for debriefing.
Fall of Reach
Linda was aboard the UNSC Pillar of Autumn for a short time until the Fall of Reach began. She was designated as Blue-Three, part of John-117's team to Reach Station Gamma to destroy the unsecured NAV database of the Office of Naval Intelligence's UNSC Circumference. John had chosen Linda for the mission due to her omnipotent abilities with a sniper rifle, figuring the space dock they were about to board would be large enough that her skills would be a tremendous asset. During that mission, James-005 was out of commission and presumed KIA when his thruster pack was damaged by a Needler, causing him to spin out of control. Linda and John were forced to enter the station, which was filled with Sangheili and Kig-Yar Rangers. She found the bay and assisted Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson's squad in holding off the Covenant forces long enough to escape. However, as they jumped out of their Pelican to open the bay doors, she was hit by several overcharged bolts from plasma pistols and plasma rifles, which penetrated her armor and flesh all the way to the bone. One of the globules of plasma hit her in the back of the skull. Linda was recovered by a horrified John, but her vitals flatlined, and she was presumed dead.
John-117, disheartened over the death of his close teammate, took her to the cryo facilities where they immediately froze Linda's body in a cryo chamber. The UNSC Pillar of Autumn then jumped to Installation 04. As the ship was shot down by Covenant forces, most of the cryo chambers, including Linda's, were ejected as per standard UNSC procedure. She floated above the Halo for several days until after the destruction of the installation. Linda was then detected by Cortana and John, who were in a Longsword fighter. They picked her and two other cryo pods up, but both of the other occupants had died when their chambers failed.
When John-117, SSgt. Avery Johnson, Corporal Locklear, Lieutenant Elias Haverson, and PO2 Shiela Polaski captured the Covenant DDS-class carrier flagship Ascendant Justice, Linda, still in her cryo chamber, was brought aboard. Due to the extent of her injuries, she was left frozen until certified medical staff was available. She stayed on the Ascendant Justice until Dr. Halsey was rescued from Reach along with Fred-104 and the survivors of his team. Dr. Halsey revived Linda aboard the UNSC Gettysburg. Doctor Halsey ended up performing surgery on Linda, transplanting her with newly flash-cloned kidneys and a liver which needed to be replaced due to her injuries. The operation was successful and Linda survived, but Doctor Halsey said it would be at least a week before she should even get out of bed; however, Linda disregarded this due to the imminent threat to Earth, and seemed to recover at least enough to go on a mission within a few days.
Operation: FIRST STRIKE
Linda was then geared up and made ready for battle, but did not exhibit her exceptional skills until Operation: FIRST STRIKE. Linda was one of the Spartans who infiltrated Unyielding Hierophant, in the Tau Ceti system, in a Type-25 Spirit, providing cover for John-117, Fred-104, William-043, and Grace-093 with an SRS99C-S2 AM sniper rifle. She made sure the Spartans made it to the vessel's fusion reactors and allowed their overload by the team.
As John, Will, and Fred evacuated, Linda, with some of her best and potent shooting skills, managed to shoot seven Sangheili pilots right out of their airborne Type-26 Banshee fliers one-handed and hanging upside-down from a cable. She refused to give up her position to make sure her three comrades got out alive, even at the expense of her own life, until John ordered her to let him rescue her over the COM. She then sent the Spartan-derived Oly Oly Oxen Free over the COM and uploaded a NAV marker with her location to John's HUD. It turned out that she was actually hiding in broad daylight, but angled so that the sun would not reflect off of her suit, thus providing an undetectable cover from which she eliminated the Banshees.
After the Spartans flew their captured Banshees to a Covenant dropship, John ordered Linda to direct the dropship behind a nearby moon. The Spartans later retreated to the Gettysburg and Linda took control of the ship's navigations. As the Unyielding Hierophant and the massive Covenant fleet were destroyed, the Gettysburg returned to Earth. Linda and Fred were assigned by the Master Chief to partake in a debriefing by an ONI council concerning Operation: FIRST STRIKE.
Battle of Earth
Following her return to Earth, Linda, as well as Fred-104 and Will-043, were called upon to perform a number of operations during the Battle of Earth up until November 3, 2552. These operations included numerous operations in orbit around Earth, such as stopping a Covenant invasion on Mount Erebus in Antarctica with a HAVOK tactical nuke, and destroying Covenant excavation forces on the sea floor off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
Following these operations, they were deployed to the Centennial Orbital Elevator (also known as Tallo Negro del Maiz) in Havana, Cuba to stop Covenant forces that had gathered there. Linda discovered that all UNSC forces in the area were killed by a Scarab and Jiralhanae infantry. As Will destroyed the Scarab, Linda and Fred killed most of the Jiralhanae. Linda, along with Blue Team, stopped the Covenant forces that had captured multiple nuclear warheads. While fighting Covenant forces, Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood relayed a message to the Spartans from Doctor Catherine Halsey on Onyx who asked for the support of Spartans to retrieve Forerunner artifacts. Hood had the UNSC Pony Express to pick up the Spartans, but Fred decided to use a Covenant ship instead to reach the Zeta Doradus system quicker. The Spartans ascended the orbital elevator and destroyed one of the Covenant destroyers at the top. When the Covenant sent dropships to retrieve the warheads, the Spartans hid under the hull of one of them and waited as the dropships returned to the Bloodied Spirit, another destroyer. To eliminate the Covenant forces in the ship, the Spartans depressurized the entire vessel. As the Spartans prepared to jump to slipspace for the Onyx system, Linda armed the nukes and destroyed the space elevator.
Using the Bloodied Spirit, Linda and the other SPARTAN-IIs traveled to the planet Onyx at the request of Dr. Catherine Halsey. Linda arrived with Fred-104 and Will-043 in a crash landing on the surface. There, she met Kelly-087, Dr. Halsey, Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose (a Spartan she had thought dead for twenty-one years) and many Spartan-IIIs — most notably Holly, Ash, and Dante. There they were assaulted by multiple Onyx Sentinels. The Sentinels attacked in groups of three, one watching and reporting Spartan tactics to the other Sentinels at three thousand meters in the air, and the other two attacking at close range. Linda was able to shoot the overwatch Sentinel out of the sky with aid from two M41 rocket launchers.
Linda then accompanied the rest of the human survivors as they used one of Bloodied Spirit's Type-25 Spirits to reach a massive underground Forerunner city within Zone 67 on Onyx. Once they had located Onyx's map room, Endless Summer assigned them on a mission to destroy a Sentinel factory, in which they succeeded.
Translocating to another section of Onyx, they found Spartan-III Team Katana, who were trapped in Forerunner slipspace field pods. As such, the Spartans were unable to resuscitate them and fled to a chamber within Onyx's core, taking Team Katana with them, whilst being pursued by a Covenant army under command of Fleet Master Voro Nar 'Mantakree. The Covenant forces assaulted the small group of Spartan-IIs and Spartan-IIIs, who were holding their ground at a slipspace portal in the center of the core room. Linda was able to kill many Sangheili and Unggoy, but they were quickly being overwhelmed, and Kurt ordered a retreat into the slipspace rift while he stayed behind to make sure the Covenant did not follow them inside. Linda's final act during that battle was to shoot two Sangheili out of their Banshees before retreating through.
On the other side of the slipspace rift, the human survivors found themselves inside a massive micro Dyson sphere contained within a compressed slipspace bubble in the heart of Onyx. After Linda and the rest of the human survivors had explored the sphere for several days—over three months in normal spacetime—they discovered a group of Huragok which helped them establish contact with the outside and eventually bring the sphere back into normal space. They were then recovered by the ONI team Kilo-Five and taken to a debriefing in HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6 aboard the UNSC Port Stanley.
Conflict on Gao
In May of 2553, the Office of Naval Intelligence learned of a Forerunner structure host to an ancilla located within the Montero Cave System on the human Outer Colony of Gao in the Cordoba system. Linda and the rest of Blue Team—Fred, Kelly, Tom-B292, Lucy-B091, Ash-G099, Olivia-G291, and Mark-G313—were attached to ONI's 717th Xeno-Materials Exploitation Battalion, a research battalion charged with recovering the AI. Meanwhile, a string of murders had been occurring in the cave systems; the UNSC forces on Gao agreed to help the Gao Ministry of Protection with the murders while they covertly located the AI, both parties unaware that the murders were caused by the ancilla.
After another victim had been discovered in the caves, Linda, Kelly, Tom, and Lucy were tasked with escorting the GMoP team and the bagged victim back to the village of Wendosa, while the rest of Blue Team continued to search for the ancilla. Upon arriving at Wendosa on July 4, 2553, the Spartans attempted to deliver the victim to a Pelican dropship for extraction. However, the four Spartans were spotted by members of the Keepers of the One Freedom, a radical Covenant sect that had traveled to Gao in search for the ancilla. The cult's Jiralhanae leader, Castor, believed that the bagged victim aboard the Pelican was actually the ancilla and ordered his forces to attack Wendosa to retrieve the AI. As the Keepers of the One Freedom attacked the village, Linda and the other Spartans helped Charlie Company defend the rest of the research battalion. While the company took a defensive position in Hotel Wendosa, Linda and the Spartans formed a skirmish ring around the hotel, attempting to disrupt enemy formations and prevent a Jiralhanae charge.
Fred, the rest of Blue Team, and Special Inspector Veta Lopis arrived at the village with the captured ancilla to aid the company. Linda and Kelly fired explosives at the Keepers from the Wendosa rooftops. When the Jiralhanae attempted to charge at the village, all Spartans of Blue Team worked together to thin their numbers. During the attack, Fred was ordered to return the captured ancilla to Commander Murtag Nelson at the Montero Vitality Clinic. However, while leaving Wendosa in a Falcon, the aircraft was shot down by Keeper fire. The rest of Blue Team regrouped and, with Lopis, traveled to the Falcon's crash site to locate Fred and the AI. The team was assaulted by the Keepers, but they were eventually able to defeat the charging Jiralhanae with the help of the battalion's Alpha Company. Having recovered Fred and the ancilla, the team returned to the Montero Vitality Clinic. However, recently elected President of Gao Arlo Casille declared war on the UNSC forces on the planet and Gao battle-jumpers and Wyverns were ordered to engage the battalion's remaining forces.
As the rest of the unit began retreating from the planet, the Spartans and Lopis traveled to the Well of Echoes to detonate a HAVOK tactical nuclear weapon inside to destroy the Forerunner installation within the Montero Caves, denying the anti-UNSC president access to the installation. Once they retrieved the ancilla and the nuke, Blue Team and Lopis regrouped in the Montero Jungle and headed for the Well of Echoes. Upon arriving at the Well of Echoes, the team boarded a nearby ONI Owl dropship with Rear Admiral Serin Osman aboard. Mark-G313 dropped the nuke into the Well of Echoes and the Owl left the planet as the HAVOK detonated and destroyed the Forerunner installation.
In the post-war years to follow, Blue Team—comprising Linda, Fred and Kelly—was redeployed to the outer edges of human space to eliminate remaining pockets of hostile Covenant resistance. These operations were highly classified and under ONI's direct oversight. One such operation, codenamed Operation: BRONZE COBRA, saw Linda deployed to Venezia to aid in the escort of a UNSC diplomatic team and the elimination of a Kig-Yar raiding party.
Mission to Sephune III
In late 2553, Linda was tasked with infiltrating the world of Sephune III held by a Covenant remnant faction in order to eliminate the traitorous Doctor Chen. Unknown to her, ONI had tasked the Smart AI Athos with additional mission parameters, to retrieve his fellow Smart AI, Gabriela, who was thought to have been lost with the UNSC Promise of Dawn during the Fall of Reach. This superseded the original mission, as Gabriela was the only AI known to contain a complete record of human history. The Spartan assisted the survivors in fighting off a Covenant remnant attack, before attempting to convince Chen's followers to leave, which they refused. With the threat of another Covenant raid, Linda took Chen to the Promise to find Gabriela, and a nav unit to allow the survivors to escape the planet. When Chen realized that his attempts to convince the Spartan to abandon the UNSC and join him would fail, he attempted to betray her and take the AI for himself. Linda overcame the ambush while Chen extracted both Athos and Gabriela from the Promise and fought him briefly before gaining the upper hand. Rather than kill him, as her orders stated, she disabled him. Linda rescued the last survivors, and they left the world, completing her mission by returning Gabriela to ONI, with Athos offering a positive review of her performance.
On July 26, 2557, Linda, Kelly, and Fred were reunited with John for a mission to Installation 03 to investigate a recent attack on a UNSC science team as well as Spartan-II Black Team on the ring. Soon after their arrival Linda found tracks left by a Promethean Crawler. Fred and Linda found the bodies of Team Black while John and Kelly found the scientists. Shortly after they left the camp they were attacked by Promethean Knights, but managed to fend them off. They continued following the Crawlers' tracks and came to where the Composer was originally located. They soon found the Composer's Abyss where they entered a portal.
The portal transported the Spartans into a deserted Forerunner city, where they soon found the Composer's Forge and six intact Composers housed therein. Blue Team was then confronted by the Forerunner Warrior-Servant known as the Didact, who summoned an army of Promethean constructs to attack the Spartans. While Linda and the other Spartans battled the Prometheans, the Didact departed toward the portal, now in the possession of a new Composer and Installation 03—moved over the Forge by the monitor 859 Static Carillon—which he planned to use against Earth. Blue Team pursued the Forerunner through the portal back to Gamma Halo. Upon their return to the surface, the Didact attacked the Spartans, intending to kill them personally. Before he could kill John, Linda and Kelly attacked the Didact, forcing him to throw John aside. The Didact easily overpowered the Spartans, blasting Kelly backwards and tackling Linda to the ground. However, before the Didact could finish them off, Static Carillon (who turned on the Didact after the latter broke an agreement between them) appeared behind the Forerunner and disabled him with his laser beam. The monitor then teleported the Didact to Gamma Halo's control room to prevent him from killing the Spartans. While John went to pursue the Didact, Linda and the rest of Blue Team returned to their Longsword. After John succeeded in "containing" the Didact, Static Carillon teleported himself and John into Blue Team's Longsword. The monitor left to repair the ring while Blue Team returned to Earth.
Mission after mission
Returning to Earth, John was debriefed by Hood, where the fleet admiral gave orders for Blue Team to have some rest after years of combat. However, the rest of the team instead left to take on new missions, all of them highly classified. These operations included diplomatic escorts through hostile territory, counter-piracy efforts against salvagers, and strikes against Covenant outposts. At one point in 2558, the team was stationed at the construction site for a new ONI research facility, awaiting orders. Without warning, explosions signaled an attack from fanatical ex-Covenant. During the fighting that followed, the hostiles managed to capture an M510 Mammoth, disable its governor, and drive it down a steep hillside toward the site's main fusion reactor. Blue Team followed in pursuit in an M12 Chaingun Warthog. With only about a minute left before it impacted the reactor, John, Kelly, and Linda ejected from the Warthog when it was close enough to the Mammoth. The three of them just narrowly managed to wrest control of the hulking vehicle from its Kig-Yar and Sangheili hijackers. Kelly discovered scientists hiding inside the Mammoth and relayed this to John, who was driving. Their presence meant he couldn't just drive it off a cliff, as doing so would almost certainly kill them. Instead, he steered it away from the reactor at the last second, but the near miss still resulted in the destruction of a decent amount of fabricated material that had been constructed. The manager in charge of the construction project rushed over to Linda and the other Spartans after the smoke cleared and demanded to know who he should blame for the damage. John, who had taken the Mammoth's controls, took responsibility. The incredulous man accused the Master Chief of thinking he could get away with anything because of his status as a hero. At this moment, Fred jumped in to reprimand the thankless individual they had all just saved, finding it difficult to maintain an easy demeanor in the face of such disrespect. John kept a cooler head and directed the team to return to a nearby airstrip, as their mission orders had come in.
At some point, Linda and the three others returned to the glassed remains of Reach, where they recalled their past and paid their respects to Sam, who had died so many years ago.
On October 23, 2558, Linda and the rest of Blue Team were deployed from the UNSC Infinity on a mission to find and secure Argent Moon, an ONI research vessel that had been missing for nineteen months. Departing from a Pelican, Blue Team managed to infiltrate the Argent Moon by shooting out one of the windows, subsequently causing many Sangheili of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant faction to be sucked out into the vacuum. Ascertaining that there were no human survivors aboard, Linda and the others fought towards central control, where they planned to disable the gravity and life support systems on the ship in order to kill off the rest of the Covenant. During the mission, John experienced a vision from Cortana telling him that the Domain was open, that Meridian was next, and that the Reclamation was about to begin. Upon coming to, he told Blue Team what he had seen. Resolving to deal with it later, they continued onwards according to their original plan. Upon witnessing Covenant vessels exiting slipspace all around the Argent Moon, however, the plan changed to asset denial and it was decided that the Argent Moon must be destroyed. Blue Team fought to the ship's reactor and disabled its safeties so that it would begin to overheat and detonate. However, the Argent Moon responded with automatic safeties, moving the reactor to a cooling center where it could be contained. Needing to ensure its overload, Blue Team followed the reactor to the cooling center in vacuum, using Banshees to destroy its coolant pipes. With their interference, the cooling system failed and the reactor began overheating, prepping Argent Moon's destruction. Blue Team needed to escape, but their Banshees would not escape the explosion in time and their arrival Pelican appeared to have been destroyed. John thus ordered them to the hangar where they could take a Winter-class prowler and escape into slipspace. Arriving at a hangar, the Spartans found the parked prowler ONI Acrisius, but needed to recharge its fuel cells. Many more Covenant attacked them while Blue Team defended themselves, waiting for the prowler to prep for launch. With the hangar cleared and the Acrisius ready, John-117 radioed the UNSC Infinity and informed them that he would be sending Blue Team to Meridian. However, Infinity was already aware of Cortana's return and ordered Blue Team back to them while another Spartan team was sent to deal with her. Rejecting their orders, Blue Team chose to go AWOL and evacuated aboard the Acrisius, leaving the Argent Moon as it exploded.
Absent without leave
The very next day, the UNSC declared Linda-058 and the other members of Blue Team AWOL. Fireteam Osiris, a Spartan-IV unit led by Spartan Jameson Locke, was tasked with recovering Blue Team and the Acrisius. Upon arriving at Meridian, Blue Team landed at Apogee Station and proceeded to make their way downwards to where the dormant Guardian lay buried. Their arrival on-planet was witnessed by multiple colonists, who were wholly unaware of their intentions. Also unbeknownst to the people of Meridian was the fact that their own Governor Sloan purposefully ensured nobody tried to stop them, as he was already serving Cortana at that point. Blue Team encountered no resistance from the Warden Eternal or any mechanical Prometheans. Fireteam Osiris caught up to Blue Team as they were entering the Guardian. Linda, Kelly, and Fred, proceeded to enter the Guardian while John lingered and had an altercation with Locke. Once John had dealt with him and resumed boarding, the Guardian began to awaken. Fireteam Osiris scrambled to escape the collapsing chamber it had been held in as it rose out of the ground. The Guardian caused massive amounts of destruction as it took to the air, both from the very fact that it was emerging from beneath the surface and from electromagnetic shockwaves it sent out continually. During this time, many mechanical Promethean forces were deployed from the Guardian to engage Fireteam Osiris as they tried to escape the destruction in their Pelican. The Guardian jumped to slipspace on a course for Genesis, taking Blue Team with it.
Upon landing on Genesis, Blue Team came across a series of computer consoles sounding musical tunes of Oly Oly Oxen Free. Following the path unlocked by interacting with those consoles, Blue Team battled through stranded Covenant forces before meeting the Warden Eternal. Shortly after learning of the Warden Eternal's role as Cortana's defender, John demanded to meet her, only for the Warden Eternal to refuse and commence hostilities. Shortly after Blue Team's defeat of the Warden Eternal in battle, Cortana finally revealed herself to them, expressing relief that they made it to Genesis. Upon questioning Cortana on the circumstances of her survival, they learned that the Domain had saved her; Cortana referred to it as the "fountain of youth" for AIs. Suspicious of Cortana's desire to reunite with them, Blue Team proceeded further into the planet in order to physically locate her. Shortly afterward, Fireteam Osiris caught up with Blue Team. Before the two Spartan teams could team up, Cortana separated them. Blue Team fought an uphill battle through Promethean forces and multiple bodies of the Warden Eternal before physically meeting Cortana. There she revealed to them her plan to use the Guardians as a means of enforcing a forced peace upon the galaxy. Rejecting Cortana's plan, John ordered her to stand down and return to Earth with the team. Cortana refused and sealed Blue Team in a Cryptum, intending to keep them in stasis for 10,000 years. With the aid of Exuberant Witness, Fireteam Osiris narrowly managed to free Blue Team from the Cryptum.
Following Cortana’s departure, both Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris together fought their way through hordes of Promethean constructs as Linda provided cover fire. Eventually, they commandeered a D79-TC Pelican that had previously arrived on the planet via a Guardian’s Slipspace entry. Based on Osiris' recommendation, they agreed to return to Sanghelios; the joint team requested Witness’ help, who opened a Slipspace portal for them.
It only took a few minutes to traverse the portal through slipspace. When the Pelican emerged, the Spartans found themselves flying through a cavernous cave, which they exited to be faced with a deep Sanghelios night. Locke was determined to get back to the UNSC Infinity, and Linda was surprised when he mentioned that Commander Sarah Palmer might still be on the planet. John apologized for everything that had recently happened but Linda responded by putting a hand on his arm and saying he had only done what he thought was right. She additionally pointed out that he had been backed up by she, Kelly, and Fred every step of the way and that they would do it again if they had to. Locke soon mentioned that if they could get back to the Infinity, Halsey might be able to work out a solution, which caught Linda and the other Spartan-IIs by surprise. Both Locke and Buck explained that they had rescued the doctor from Jul 'Mdama and brought her back to the Infinity and that she had subsequently insisted on accompanying them to Sanghelios.
The portal had deposited them relatively near the Sangheili city of Sunaion off the coast of Qivro. Olympia Vale guessed that the Swords of Sanghelios were likely still camped in Nuusra where they had recently staged an attack on Jul 'Mdama's Covenant from just days prior. Linda was skeptical of their chances at finding anyone, but before long fires were spotted that indicated the location of a Sangheili encampment where they expected the Swords to be. Soon enough the leaders of each respective team were being met at the bottom of the Pelican's ramp by the Arbiter, Commander Sarah Palmer, and Doctor Halsey. After everyone had disembarked they were welcomed by the Arbiter, Thel 'Vadam, and John introduced him to Linda, Kelly, and Fred. 'Vadam invited them all to join in a celebratory meal commemorating their victory over the last of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. Halsey revealed that she had gotten a message from Roland on the Infinity and that it would be appearing off of the far side of Suban the following day at 1800 hours. Now that they had transportation, they could be there waiting for it when it showed. Linda and the others then took off their helmets and joined the Sangheili in dining on colo and kuscatu. During the meal Linda, Kelly, Fred, John, and Halsey went off on their own for a time to talk.
Everyone was awake around an hour before sunrise and all the humans piled into the Pelican. Then they were off, soaring through and past the planet's atmosphere on a trip that took them just a few hours. With about twenty minutes until the Infinity's projected arrival, Fireteam Osiris broke out a game of Hearts, but Linda and the others declined playing. When Infinity finally did show up, Kelly landed India 127 in its fifth portside bay. The Spartans were met there by a lieutenant who announced that Halsey, Locke, Palmer, and John were wanted on the bridge. Palmer instructed the rest of them to get cleaned up and to decompress for a bit and soon a team of engineers was scanning and getting readings from their armor. The engineers brought Linda and the others to the ship's assemblage bay so they could then have it removed. The Spartan-IIs had to be taken to a different section than Buck, Tanaka, and Vale due to having slightly different frames.[Note 1]
Raid on CASTLE Base
In late October of 2559 Linda and the rest of Blue Team departed the Infinity for a covert insertion onto the surface of Reach in the Epsilon Eridani system. The team's mission concerned the penetration of the rubble-filled ruins of CASTLE Base and the recovery of top-secret assets locked away in Doctor Halsey's abandoned laboratory there. It was hoped that the assets in question could prove useful against Cortana. The presence of an occupying alien force on the planet, however, soon turned what should have been a simple retrieval operation into a full-blown crisis.
Personality and description
Linda is notorious for her unparalleled abilities with the sniper rifle; John-117 and Frederic-104 have noted on several occasions that she makes sniping seem like an art. She never requires a spotter, and her accuracy allows her to pull off remarkable shots: on one occasion, she was able to take out two Covenant Banshees in mid-flight by shooting the pilots. In addition, she once eliminated two targets so quickly that even the Master Chief couldn't tell who she had targeted first. She is notably the quietest member of Blue Team, excluding John, and has been labeled as a "lone wolf". John once described her as the emotionally "strongest" Spartan, as she does not rely on other members of her squad for advocating support on or off the battlefield. She is also a practitioner of Zen.
Linda is very pale, with blood-red hair and emerald green eyes. These traits made her appearance notably distinctive among her SPARTAN-II peers.
As of 2558, Linda wears the Argus variant of Mjolnir GEN2 armor, which is specifically tailored for her role as a sniper. Her Spartan tag 058 is written in Braille on the left side of her armor chest. By 2558 her preferred weapon loadout is her custom-crafted SRS99-S5 AM sniper rifle, Nornfang, and an M6H2 magnum sidearm.
List of appearances