Spartan-IV training station
The UNSC's Spartan Operations uses an orbital station for training of its Spartan-IVs. The facility is considered top-secret. It orbits a barely remembered, dark, dwarf planet distant from its system's star.
In 2554, a number of newly augmented Spartan-IVs were transferred to the station in order to begin their training. On March 29 of that year, the corpse of a Spartan was discovered in the largest War Games chamber. Spartans Edward Buck, Kojo Agu, and Michael Crespo were consulted by Spartan Operations Chief of Staff Jun-A266 and Admiral Musa Ghanem in their quarters due to Jun having found a medallion belonging to Crespo on the body. The three insisted Mickey was not responsible for the murder and Jun and Musa decided to review security footage to see if someone had previously stolen the medallion from Mickey's locker. Security footage soon proved that Spartan Rudolf Schein was responsible for the act, and Jun, Musa, and Captain O'Day confronted him in the station's rec room. At this time, Schein attempted to blow up the station, having previously lain explosives throughout it, but only succeeded in causing the room's viewport to shatter, unintentionally ejecting himself and Jun into vacuum. Before he could do anything else, Musa deactivated the station's artificial gravity to prohibit Schein's bombs from working correctly. Drill instructors Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091, while in a state of confusion regarding the blast, suddenly noticed Jun and Schein outside the station. Jun was able to break free from Schein's grip and kick off from his chest, sending him deeper into space and Jun back towards the station. At Lucy's prompting, she and Tom entered an airlock. Attached to a tether and without a vacuum suit, Tom attempted to anticipate Jun's path and launched himself into space. He missed at first, but Lucy managed to correct his path by tugging on the tether. Jun eventually managed to get caught in the tether and Lucy was able to pull both him and Tom in, but not before both lost consciousness. Buck, Romeo, Mickey, and others had previously rushed toward the commotion upon hearing shots fired, only to witness O'Day being caught in the lone explosion triggered by a grenade swatted away from Schein's hand by Jun. The three Spartans attempted to take the wounded captain to safety, but she was killed when she impacted against Buck at a high speed in the zero-gee environment. The Spartans took shelter in an empty room, while Jun was rescued by Tom. Schein died in the vacuum of space. Jun, Tom, and Lucy received medical attention in the infirmary. Upon awakening, Tom and Lucy were both offered new positions at the Onyx United Research Project inside Sarcophagus, which they accepted.
In 2558, the station's AI Leonidas defected to the Created, but kept the truth about the Created conflict secret from the station's inhabitants as he had no way of joining his fellow AIs. However, Leonidas removed the oxygen from Jun-A266's room and left him unconscious so that Jun could not stop him, claiming that Jun was merely sleeping off exhaustion. With the station also acting as a secret prison for Spartans that had gone rogue, it was visited by the reformed Alpha-Nine in order to break out Mickey Crespo for a secret ONI mission. While on the station, the team decided to remove Leonidas in an effort to protect the station's inhabitants. Leonidas was able to declare Buck a rogue Spartan before Buck took him off-line with the help of Vergil just in time to prevent Leonidas from venting the station's atmosphere and killing its inhabitants. Chased by the Spartans who mistakenly believed Buck to be a traitor, Buck and Mickey received unexpected help from Taylor Miles and Gretchen Ketola who were on the station for their own Spartan training.
As Alpha-Nine escaped, Jun regained consciousness and retook control of the station. Jun contacted Buck who warned Jun that Leonidas may have sent a message to Cortana who would send Guardians after the station. Jun assured Buck that they were already making preparations to move and he would not forget Alpha-Nine's help in retaking the station.
The top-secret station is the size of a sprawling starship. It contains barracks, an infirmary with multiple bays, a mess hall, a recreation room, an armory, a central control area, and an office area for drill instructors. What comprises the majority of the onboard space, however, are the War Games chambers, used by the Spartan-IVs for training. The largest is larger than football fields commonly are. The station is run with the aid of an artificial intelligence, which has the ability to take necessary actions to ensure the safety of residents in emergency situations. In such an event, alarms will sound and lights in hallways will flash red.
The facility's barracks is comprised of individual rooms situated along one brightly-lit hallway surveilled by cameras. Each room can house up to three trainees. Beds typically frame the three walls without a door in the cramped space. The back of each door has a built-in viewscreen through which occupants can be contacted and occupants can also use to reach out when they need to. The doors to each room can be remotely sealed shut from elsewhere on the station. At one end of the barracks lies the recreation room, home to a massive viewport. Access to it is also capable of being sealed off.
Drill instructors share an open space comprised of personal offices. There is a window to empty space in this area through which Lucy and Tom were able to see Jun and Schein after they tumbled into vacuum from the rec room. Outside the door leading to the offices, there is a hallway which leads to a four-way junction. Each doorway and hallway can be remotely sealed shut in case of an emergency. The sealed doors have portholes that can be seen through. Right before one reaches the junction after leaving the office area, there is an airlock on the right side of the hall. It is equipped with an emergency tether behind a panel and a porthole in its outer door, in addition to a handle near this door. In Jun's office is a terminal which holds the data crystal chip containing the AI Leonidas.
The largest of the War Games chambers has one entrance by which one can come and go by. Cameras are installed in the walls and ceiling. Life-like terrain is generated through holography and pneumatic risers in this space. While Edward Buck and others in his class trained here, the map was made to appear as a lush jungle with a warren of twisting and turning tunnels beneath it. Many of these tunnels were so low that one would have to crawl through them, though there were taller areas where an exhausted Spartan could sit or stand while catching the breath. There were no cameras in the tunnels in order to give Spartans going up against automated weaponry and other foes a fighting chance at surprising them. This layout was used as a course through which trainees had to run while avoiding being shot with non-lethal rounds, sans armor.
Along with acting as a training location, the station featured a secret prison with cells locked by force fields that held Spartans who had gone rogue. The force fields presumably surrounded the walls, celling and floor of the cell along with acting as a door to prevent the incarcerated Spartans from breaking out. The cells were once barracks that were transformed once the need for a prison for rogue Spartans became obvious.
In 2558, this prison held Mickey Crespo who three years earlier had betrayed the UNSC to aid the United Rebel Front on Talitsa. The prison also held an unidentified male and female Spartan whose crimes were unknown. During Alpha-Nine's mission to the station, Mickey escaped when the power was knocked out by Vergil to help stop Leonidas and Mickey killed the other two prisoners. Mickey escaped the station with the help of the rest of Alpha-Nine who were on a secret mission from ONI.
List of Staff
- Captain Chu - central control
- Jun-A266 - acting Chief of Staff of Spartan Operations
- Admiral Musa Ghanem - founder of Spartan Operations
- Lucy-B091 - transferred to the Onyx United Research Project
- Captain O'Day - KIA on the station during a terror attack.
- Tom-B292 - transferred to the Onyx United Research Project