Prisoner of war
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A prisoner of war (POW, PoW, or PW) is a combatant who is imprisoned by an enemy force during or immediately after an armed conflict.
Even in the 26th Century, the UNSC continues to take prisoners of war in their conflict against the Covenant, often using them as manual labor to construct fortifications for defending against Covenant attack and digging graves for Covenant and UNSC dead. In general, however, UNSC Marines appear to maintain a "policy" of leaving no Covenant alive. After the destruction of Alpha Halo, multiple Sangheili were recovered in their lifepods by a UNSC-requisitioned prison ship, the Mona Lisa and experimented on by an Office of Naval Intelligence medical officer seeking ways to harness the Flood, either to find a "cure" or to use it as a weapon against the Covenant. The last survivor of these, "Henry", assisted the other human prisoners on the ship and was one of only two survivors, with him and Patrick Rimmer joining a UNSC Marine squad to try and escape. For much of the war, the Covenant refused to take prisoners, executing any human personnel who were captured or who surrendered. After the discovery that only human "Reclaimers" could activate Forerunner artifacts, the Covenant kept them alive for such a purpose. After the ascension of the Jiralhanae to the positions formerly held by the Sangheili, UNSC PoWs were routinely captured and butchered for food for the Jiralhanae.
PoWs in the Halo games
Though the Covenant have repeatedly been stated to never take prisoners, the games depict UNSC captives in Covenant custody multiple times.
- Halo Wars
- Relic Approach - A number of Warthogs are trapped behind Covenant energy shields, guarded by infantry and Ghosts.
- Anders' Signal - Professor Ellen Anders is captured by the Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee, and imprisoned within a stasis field on a discovered Forerunner Shield World because of her ability to activate Forerunner technology.
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Halo 2
- Gravemind - several Marines are rescued from prisoner cells by the Master Chief, as he rampages through High Charity, following the Prophet of Truth. They are either killed by the Covenant, or infected by the Flood when it infects the holy city.
- The Great Journey - A handful of Sangheili Councilors are held captive in prisoner cells by the Brutes. They are rescued when Thel 'Vadam fights to stop Tartarus from activating the rings.
- Halo 3
- Sierra 117 - Sergeant Major Avery Johnson and three other Marines are captured by Jiralhanae-led Covenant forces during the UNSC's extraction of the Master Chief, and used as bait to draw the Spartan into a trap. They are rescued, and manage to fend off a Covenant counter-attack.
- Crow's Nest - Marine prisoners are tied up in the barracks of Crow's Nest. They were killed and tortured until the Master Chief managed to save them.
- Halo 4
- Spartan Ops - Fireteam Crimson were captured and held prisoner by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant after being surrounded by an insurmountable amount of forces. They successfully escaped the Covenant detention facility they were being held at by hijacking a Phantom.
- Spartan Ops - Sometime during the Requiem campaign Lieutenant TJ Murphy, as well as a Marine squad known as Icebreaker were captured by Covenant forces and held at the same detention facility as Fireteam Crimson. Icebreaker squad were rescued by Crimson and together they managed to escape.
- Spartan Ops - Henry Glassman was translocated to Requiem where he was captured by the Covenant, they used him in order to activate a shrine where they believed they could come in contact with the Librarian AI. As the Sangheili were distracted by the activated shrine, Dr. Glassman made his escape.
- Spartan Ops - Fireteam Switchback, minus Cara Costabile, were captured and held at Warrens. They were eventually rescued by Fireteams Crimson and Lancer.
List of appearances
- Halo: Combat Evolved (First appearance)
- Halo: First Strike
- Halo 2
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo Uprising
- Halo 3
- Halo Wars
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
- Halo 4
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Envoy
- Wikipedia Prisoner of war
- Halo: The Flood, page 187
- Halo: The Flood, page 234
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Mona Lisa", pages 262, 269
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Mona Lisa"
- Halo: The Flood, page 74
- Halo Wars
- Halo: The Flood, page 97
- Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level, The Truth and Reconciliation
- Halo 3, campaign level, Crow's Nest
- Halo 2, campaign level, Gravemind
- Halo 3, campaign level Sierra 117