ONI Candidate Assessment Program V5.02A

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Alpha-Nine as depicted in the program's boot screen

ONI Candidate Assessment Program V5.02A is a viral campaign for Halo 3: ODST, based on the live-action "The Life" trailer.[1] It contains video footage of Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck interviewing prospective members for Alpha-Nine: Corporal Taylor Miles, Lance Corporal Kojo Agu, and Private First Class Michael Crespo.

Description[edit]

The principal characters and numerous extras are filmed in live-action. The squad members are portrayed by different actors than their in-game counterparts, even Buck, despite his appearance being modeled on his voice actor, Nathan Fillion. The interviews are set in a soundproof room in which a neural marker is used to monitor the applicant's thoughts during the course of the interview. In the beginning, the applicant is asked to think about a certain subject, such as a bird, river or a flower, the association of which will be the "baseline image" of the interview.

The program consists of a panel with video screens on the left and right, a search bar with multiple key words related to the interview, and various monitors of the applicant's status. The video of the interview itself is shown on the left side of the panel, while the screen on the right side shows the current thoughts of the applicant. Below the screens, interviews of the three Marines can be selected. A part of each interview is "Classified", requiring a hidden code in order to be unlocked. These clips open up in a new window, and can be viewed from different angles by click-and-dragging the mouse.

Interviews[edit]

Dutch

Dutch Interview[edit]

{Dutch enters the room}

Buck: Corporal.

Dutch: Need a baseline image? How about a bird?

{Dutch's thoughts: a Pelican Dropship taking off}

Buck: That'll work.

Buck: Name and Rank?

Dutch: Corporal Taylor H. Miles, everyone calls me Dutch. Buck, you really need to get in my head for this?

{Dutch's thoughts: Shadow of a soldier performing a salute}

Buck: Office of Naval Intelligence wants to be thorough.

Dutch: ONI's running this?

Buck: Yes, ONI's running this.

Buck: What led you to the ODST?

{Dutch's thoughts: Marines in dress uniforms, standing to attention, with MA5Cs}

Dutch: Honor.

{Dutch's thoughts: ODST Flag}

Buck: What experience do you have with close-quarters combat?

{Dutch's thoughts: Engaging a Brute in close-quarters combat}

Dutch: Experience with close-quarters combat is extensive. You've got detailed accounts on engagements for Ariel, Jericho Space Elevator, and Coral asteroid belt in my file.

{Dutch's thoughts: Fighting in various battlefields with other ODSTs}

Buck: As an ODST?

Dutch: Yeah, I've succesfully engaged - you know, this should all be in my general file, Buck.

Buck: I need to ask. You just need to answer. So?

{Dutch's thoughts: Dropping in a HEV}

Dutch: As an ODST, I've succesfully engaged the enemy under various conditions, before and after orbital drop.

Buck: We're looking at a textbook shipboard mission. An orbital drop to some Covenant Cruiser over New Mombasa. Nothing you haven't seen before.

{Dutch's thoughts: A sign reading "Welcome to Tribute" in a devastated environment}

Dutch: Really? Like Tribute? Like Reach?

{Video interrupted}

Buck: Corporal, do you feel you'll be able to operate at maximum effectiveness on this standard orbital drop mission?

Dutch: Yes. One hundred percent, sir.

Buck: Thank you.

Buck: So how's Gretchen?

{Dutch's thoughts: Gretchen. Helmet on with visor unpolarized, face mostly obscured}

{Pause}

Dutch: She's better.

Buck: What do they say?

{Dutch's thoughts: A shoulder of an ODST, reading "UNSC MED REF", and blood type A-}

Dutch: If it was up to her, she'd be coming on this drop - but they say she's done. Maybe something behind a desk, but I don't know.

{Dutch's thoughts: Gretchen's face}

Buck: Well, I don't see her typing up reports.

Dutch: No. Me neither.

Buck: You were a trucker for a while, right?

{Dutch's thoughts: A truck}

Dutch: I try not to think that far back.

{Dutch's thoughts: Walking to a truck's door, opening it}

Buck: Can you still handle a rig?

{Dutch's thoughts: Driving a truck}

Dutch: It's been a while, but I guess I could. You're trying to tell me I'm going to have to drive a truck into that Covenant bird?

{Dutch's thoughts: Driving a truck in an industrial area. Covenant Battlecruisers in the sky}

Buck: You will get the details of the mission at briefing.

{Pause}

Buck: Now the fifth man on this op is going to be a rookie. Transfer from the 26th MEF.

Dutch: Cygnus? Didn't think there were any survivors.

{Dutch's thoughts: A battlefield. Ground burning}

Buck: Me either.

Dutch: He might be a little shook up. Can't we get someone else? What about Bhasin?

{Dutch's thoughts: Walking to another ODST, presumably Bhasin}

Buck: Bhasin? You haven't heard. An HEV drop over Sigma. Chute panels got compromised during entry burn - he couldn't slow down.

{Dutch's thoughts: ODST funeral}

Dutch: Yeah, hell - a rookie - Why not? Why not?

{Dutch's thoughts: Numerous body bags on the ground}

{Classified clip}

Buck: We're headed towards Earth.

Dutch: Earth. Okay... Now I know why ONI's involved.

Buck: Last time you were there?

Dutch: A long time ago. Weekend pass. The last thing I did before I applied for ODST.

Buck: Do you understand what's at stake?

Dutch: Hm. This is about more than some Covenant ship, isn't it?

{Classified clip end}

Buck: You spent some time at university, right?

Dutch: A little. I was two years in when I got drafted. Pulled shifts on rigs to pay tuition.

{Dutch's thoughts: Candles in the dark}

Buck: You studied a little philosophy, religion?

Dutch: Actually, yes. Yeah. Sort of why I went.

Buck: How's that?

{Dutch's thoughts: Shadowy figures of Marines advancing, against a bright background. Fires everywhere}

Dutch: I don't know - I guess at the time I had a lot of questions.

Buck: You ever get into end of the world stuff?

{Dutch's thoughts: Brief flash of Reach being glassed}

Dutch: Yeah, sure.

{Dutch's thoughts: Running to a wounded ODST}

Buck: And?

Dutch: Everybody's got a different take on what's it about. It kinda depends on who you're asking.

Buck: I'm asking you.

{Dutch's thoughts: Reach being glassed}

Dutch: It's inevitable. Nobody can save the world, Buck.

Buck: Good to see you, Dutch.

{Dutch leaves the room}

Romeo

Romeo Interview[edit]

{Romeo enters the room}

Buck: Did you get lost Corporal? Have a seat. Under the table. Marker on your right temple, please.

{Romeo sits down, puts the Neural Marker on}

Buck: Let me get a baseline image. Think of a flower.

{Romeo's thoughts: An image of a flower tattooed on a woman's breast.}

Buck: That's nice. What is your name and rank?

Romeo: I usually know who I'm talking to before I start getting friendly.

Buck: Your superior officer.

Romeo: The magic words.

Buck: The magic words, what?

Romeo: The magic words - sir. Lance Corporal Kojo Agu. Service number: 14606-85099-KA.

{Romeo's thoughts: A hand writing the service number on a whiteboard.}

Romeo: Now, maybe you want to tell me why I'm here, sir?

Buck: Actually, Corporal, you're going to tell me. I know you volunteered for this mission - doesn't mean you'll get it. I need to know I've got the right men for this job, that my people are mission-effective. So, why are you here? Why are you ODST?

Romeo: I guess I just had enthusiastic support from the right people.

Buck: Meaning?

Romeo: Meaning I was fast-tracked.

{Romeo's thoughts: a woman and a man standing outdoors, talking to each other}

Romeo: The Governor of the colony at Castra knew a Colonel somewhere who knew somebody else and boom, I'm at ODST training a couple days later.

Buck: You can not pull favors to get into ODST training.

{Romeo's thoughts: In bed with a woman. Is pulled away from the bed.}

Romeo: Apparently you can when the governor wants to keep you away from his wife. Before that, I thought I only had one great talent.

Buck: So, you a born killer, corporal?

{Romeo's thoughts: View through sniper rifle scope: Shooting Brutes. Brief flashes of ODSTs.}

Romeo: If I wasn't born to do this, I don't know who is.

Buck: I'm not looking for cocky. I'm looking for talent.

Romeo: Lucky for you, you landed both, sir.

Buck: Do you know the difference between a mission that you can make up stories about when you're chasing tail in a bar, and a mission where there are no stories. One you carry out and you never mention again?

Romeo: What kind?

{Romeo's thoughts: Going into position in an industrial complex, observes two men wearing suits, through sniper rifle scope. A woman with a child is present, child runs to other man, who Romeo presumably assassinates.}

Buck: Kind of mission that you don't get to ask questions about.

Romeo: Yeah, I think I can handle that, sir. But what does this have to do with the mission? A drop to a Covenant ship isn't exactly top secret.

{Romeo's thoughts: Brief flash of a woman.}

Buck: Just a few more questions, corporal. And I'll ask them.

{Classified clip}

Buck: From looking over your records. I see you've been part of a covert extraction.

Romeo: Yeah, I guess you could say that. I know gettin' in and out without anybody seeing you is a special talent. I can get you a few more references at once without it necessary, sir.

Buck: Coral.

Romeo: Yeah.

Buck: Mamore.

Romeo: Mm-hm.

Buck: New Jerusalem.

Romeo: Heh. Yeah.

Buck: Beta Gabriel. {Pause} That's a lot of action. And a hundred-percent kill rate. How'd you manage that, corporal?

Romeo: Well... When you love what you do, it's easy. The real question, sir, is why are we talking covert extraction for a sting-to-ship infiltration mission.

Buck: I told you. I'll ask the questions.

{Classified clip end}

Romeo: Depends on what you mean, sir.

{Romeo's thoughts: Flash of Earth, then from surface of another planet}

Buck: I mean, have you ever been to your home planet or are you just one of those colony kid who doesn't know where they came from?

{Romeo's thoughts: A desert with a sandstorm and some buildings. Flashes in the distance.}

Romeo: I have a home planet, sir, and Earth isn't it. I know where I came from. I am a colony kid and the only Earth experience I ever needed was seeing it through a transport window, and that was more than enough. {Pause} There's a reason people moved off that rock, sir.

Buck: Colonial pride notwithstanding, I think you know what we're fighting for. There are some things we can't afford to lose.

{Romeo's thoughts: Flash of a woman wearing a dress}

Romeo: Maybe. But to me, it's just another place with wind variants, gravitational pull and things to kill, sir.

Buck: Last slot on this team is going to be filled by a rookie. Before we make drop, I need to know if you have a problem with that.

Romeo: He or she?

Buck: He.

Romeo: He a sniper?

Buck: No.

Romeo: Then what the hell do I care, sir?

Buck: Don't be late next time.

Romeo: Sir.

Buck: You're dismissed.

{Romeo takes the marker off his temple, gets off his chair, stops to the door}

Buck: Corporal. Nice flower.

Romeo: Thank you, sir.

{Romeo leaves the room}

Mickey

Mickey Interview[edit]

{Mickey enters the room}

Buck: Private, grab a seat.

{Mickey sits}

Buck: Under the table is a marker. Apply it to your right temple please.

Buck: Now, we're gonna think of a base line image, a river.

{Mickey's thoughts: A large river in the middle of a forest.}

Buck: That'll work.

{Mickey's thoughts: A blue ball bouncing on a floor and a toy robot.}

Mickey tries to adjust the marker.

Buck: State your name and rank. Private don't, don't touch the marker.

Buck: Son? Name and rank?

Mickey: My name's Mick- Michael Crespo; Private First Class.

Buck: Why are you here?

Mickey: Well sir, you've got something that needs flying or you need somebody to do some topside zero-g operations. I've done 3 HEV drops - nothing in the "big black". I aced EVA training - top nineteenth percentile of my class and before that I was a Crew Chief on a Pelican. So I have-

Buck interrupts

Buck: That's fine. But that's not exactly what I meant.

Buck: Your file says that you were a mandatory enlistment at 18 years old. Why mandatory?

{Mickey's thoughts: A locker room, all the lockers are marked with Roman Numerals, than focuses on locker #120.}

Mickey: When I turned 18, mandatory military service was a condition of release from foster care.

{Mickey's thoughts: A person putting down a lunch tray.}

Buck: What happened to your parents?

Mickey: They died when I was pretty young.

Buck: What happened to them?

Mickey: They died in an explosion, sir. They were trying to wire a bomb to a government building.

{Mickey's thoughts: A woman in a kitchen, she disappears, than the inside of a bomb.}

Buck: Your parents were Insurrectionists? Traitors?

Mickey: Yes sir, they were traitors. That's what I was told. No, I don't remember them. I was very young.

{Mickey's thoughts: Mickey running towards his parents.}

Buck: Now, after your two years of mandatory service, you could have gotten a job flyin' civi shuttles, earn good money, but you reenlisted? And then you put in for ODST? Why?

{Mickey's thoughts: A group of ODSTs putting on their gear.}

Mickey: I don't need much, sir. The corps takes pretty good care of me. If I'm gonna be fighting anyway, I want to be fighting with guys I know can cover my six. ODST is home.

{Classified Clip}

Buck: You ever been to Earth?

Mickey: I saw it through a window, on a training mission, sir.

Buck: Well you're about to see a little more of it.

Mickey: Covenant ship.

Buck: That's right. Now, how would you handle a covert extraction?

Mickey: Well, from a demo POV, I could probably be supplying the entrance or exit. Using a shaped charge perhaps, away from venting ducts, you know it echoes. Unless it's a ship then you'd use a plasma torch, but you’d have to watch out for decompression. I can work for you, but I guess it really depends on whether this is just a grab and run, sure.

Buck: Now what about precision demolition. You know, the kind they use in archaeological digs.

Mickey: Sir, why would we be using arc' demo on the Covenant?

{Classified Clip ends}

Buck: You've been the new guy with most of the squads you've operated with.

Mickey: Yes sir.

{Mickey's thoughts: Two men, one hits Mickey.}

Buck: Last pod in the drop's going to be a Rookie. Someone who's seen action, but I need somebody to keep an eye on him.

Mickey: Sir.

Buck: That's not a promotion. But you're not the new kid in school anymore.

Mickey: Sir.

Buck: In your file, you've got the standard personality indicators for a pilot your age: high creativity, risk-taker, daredevil pathology.

{Mickey's thoughts: A bomb which is quickly disarmed.}

Mickey: Yes, sir. I mean, I haven't seen my file, but I'd agree with all that.

Buck: That you all the way through?

Mickey: I run the missions, sir. As ordered.

Buck: That's good, private. That's very good. But, we need a little of that creativity before we're done.

Mickey: Yes sir, of course. Whatever you need.

Buck: Thank you, private. Are you educated, private?

{Mickey's thoughts: An empty classroom.}

Mickey: Yes, sir. There were courses at the facility.

Buck: What kind?

Mickey: Everything, sir. Work productivity tech. UNSC History.

Buck: What philosophers did you study?

Mickey: Sir?

Buck: Philosophers. Thinkers.

Mickey: There were speeches. Recordings from famous leaders.

Buck: Have these leaders ever talk about what comes after?

Mickey: Sir? After?

{Mickey's thoughts: An open door with a man behind it, as the door is approached the man shuts it.}

Buck: Private, can I assume that, were you put in the position to save the lives of every human being drawing breath today, you would do so?

{Mickey's thoughts: His mother in the kitchen again, speaking to him.}

Mickey: Yes, sir. Of course. Who wouldn't do that?

Buck: Dismissed. Take off the marker.

{Mickey takes the marker off his temple, gets up, and leaves the room}

Hidden codes[edit]

There are four hidden codes located throughout the interviews, each of which unlocks a brief clip.

  • Dutch: Found in the live-action trailer The Life during the drop scene - 12-485-TA.
  • Romeo: Found on Buck's display during Dutch's interview - 15-926-PI.
  • Mickey: Found on Buck's display during Romeo's interview - 47-074-SN.
  • Wallpaper: To receive five screenshots from the We Are ODST short - 06-078-TI.

Behind the scenes[edit]

Several of the memory scenes were filmed at the same location as The Life. Special effects where done by Matthew Law.[2]

Trivia[edit]

  • The part of Romeo's interview where he remembers an assassination mission is likely filmed in the same place that hosted K. Stark's funeral in The Life. The set is actually the interior of a Hungarian nuclear power plant's cooling tower. Several other filming locations appear to be the same as well.[3]
  • Buck erroneously refers to Solemn Penance as a cruiser in Dutch's interview.
  • At 01:38:49, a brief clip of Halo 3: ODST's intro cinematic is used to represent Dutch's memory of a combat drop. While the image is slightly whited out, certain details such as the New Mombasa Orbital Elevator can be seen from the pod's windows.

Gallery[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Backup link of original site
  2. ^ matthews blog
  3. ^ Youtube: Halo ODST TV Ad: Behind the Scenes