Spirit of Fire Archives

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This article contains information of dubious canonicity. While not officially established as fully non-canonical, certain aspects of the subject may not be part of the official Halo canon.
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The following is a verbatim transcription of an official document for archival reasons. As the original content is transcribed word-for-word, any possible discrepancies and/or errors are included.

The Spirit of Fire Archives are a series of personal logs, crew reports, and incident reports centered around the staff of the UNSC Spirit of Fire. The stories were written in the months prior to the release of Ensemble Studios' Halo Wars on lead writer Graeme Devine's personal website.

Canon Status[edit]

Devine wrote them to assist the game's production team; however, he admits they are "basically fanfiction" and some blatantly contradict canon.[1] That did not stop some minor aspects of these such as Spock the cat making it into the final version of Halo Wars, as shown in the "The Spirit" paper in the game,[2][3] however the details in these Archives should be counted as not canon.


HERSHEY - PART 1[edit]

CREW REPORTS: Just how did some of the crew get to Spirit of Fire?

The world according to Hershey was sad and depressing. Somehow the days were getting longer and the work was getting more stressful. It didn’t help that she worked for a bastard who seemed to derive joy from making her life a living hell.
To make matters worse David was currently storming out of the apartment, he had proposed last night and she said no. He had slept on the couch and was now carrying off boxes while Hershey hid under the covers in their bed. She wasn’t entirely sure why she said no, but she was certain that she had to be entirely sure to say yes. With the rest of her life ahead of her she wanted to get somewhere, be something, do something and have something before she settled down to marriage. Was that asking too much?
She waited until the squealing wheels of his truck told her that he was gone and then she waited some more. The darkness of hiding under the covers all curled up and able to feel separate from these problems, even for just a little while, was about the only comfort she could handle right now.
She was 24, in therapy, taking anti-depressants, living on her own and working for a vindictive bastard. Yeah, she thought, the life plan is coming together. I’m on my way.
The phone had been ringing on and off all morning and she had successfully ignored it while David was pulling his pictures off the wall and deleting his music from the media center. Now it was ringing again, louder and more pissed off than before. Definitely louder.
Hershey picked it up, “Hello?”
“Where the hell are you?” It was her boss, the evil and vindictive Doctor Kay.
Hershey hated work, “I’m off today. I just came off a double.”
“Well Brooke and Vasquez didn’t show, so you’re up again. Lucky you.”
Both Brooke and Vasquez were screwing Kay. They hardly worked even when they did show up.
“No.” Hershey found some part of herself that wasn’t going to be pushed over and she was as surprised as Kay when she uttered the word.
“No? No? You are one insubordinate bitch! I should fire you…”
She interrupted, no one called her a bitch, “Sorry Doctor Kay, but this bitch just quit.”
She threw the phone across the room pulled the covers over her head and hid again.
It was dark when she decided that she really had to get up and do something. Like shower and eat and go back to bed.
She turned on the news while she sat and finished off a potato salad and bottle of wine.
Some commercial was playing, smiling people against a blue sky. “The UN Medical Corp wants you! Looking for a and more secure better future? Openings immediately available! Press MORE now for information!”
Hershey stared down at the remote. The MORE button was glowing. She looked around her empty apartment, squares of dust where pictures once hung, an empty shell pretending to be a real life. There was nothing here and no future she could think of. The MORE button was easy to press.

HERSHEY - PART 2[edit]

CREW REPORTS: Part 2 of Hershey’s journey to Spirit of Fire.

Hershey had signed the papers as she walked into the recruitment building and lied when she was asked if she had read and understood them. The building was really more of a classroom than an office. She sat down at the back and waited while the room filled up.
There was a lot more military there than she thought should be for a UN deal. I mean, what did they have to do with some sort of relief effort job? She’d be off to some earthquake zone or something and out of this rut. They started to play a vid, something about making a difference. Hershey honestly zoned out through most of it.
She had submitted her details over the comm from the apartment. Nursing degree, Chelsea Trauma Center for 2 years, another year in an AirCare Ambulance before deciding that Doctor Evil was the quiet nursing life she was really looking for. How wrong had that decision been! She erased his name from her resume. No need to let him know or say anything.
The lights flickered back on, names were being read out. She came around the middle.
“Hershey, line 3.”
She walked on over to the empty line 3. In addition to the overly large number, the words “Spirit of Fire” filled out the rest of the sign. Obviously the psych eval was right on the money.


PERSONAL LOG, NURSE HERSHEY: Things are not going well..

UNSC 0b Unsigned Open Line
Medbay, Spirit of Fire.
Casualties have been pouring into the medbay. We’re one of the few functional medbays left in the fleet and we’re overwhelmed. We’re dead on our feet and out of stims, most pain meds, and coffee. Power has been intermittent the last few hours and the ship has heaved more than once. Comm systems are down so walkies are all we have to let us know if were going to live or die in the next few seconds.
At first we were doing fine. I don’t understand why anything is happening. I just stare blankly at the soldiers in front of me and try to save their lives.
The Prophecy just lost its engines and we netted as many escape pods as we could. Half the pods went through the radiation pulse from the engines and anyone inside was cooked alive. The other half might as well died because their radiological alarms attached to their uniforms are screaming. God, we don’t even have any morphine to give them.
I can’t do this.


PERSONAL LOG, NURSE HERSHEY: Hershey’s shift ends...

UNSC 0b Unsigned Open Line
Medbay, Spirit of Fire.
Medbay is being scrubbed because of the radioactivity from the Prophecy crew casualties. I can’t sleep. Every time I close my eyes I see them, smell them, hear them. I see their eyes pleading with me to end this and I can’t look away. I see someone’s hands covered in blood getting feeds into them, holding them down as they go into shock and being strong.
Was that me? Am I strong?


PERSONAL LOG, NURSE HERSHEY: A few battles in....

UNSC 0b Unsigned Open Line
Medical Quarters, Spirit of Fire.
Spock is showing signs of being pregnant. This means two things. One, she isn’t a boy, and two, there’s more than one cat on the ship. At least we aren’t the only ones breaking regulations.
Medbay is back up and running. We’ve still got some patients, a few marines from the surface engagement suffering from energy weapon wounds, a few citizens with breathing problems, and some of the Prophecy crew that made it through.
We’re going to open up one of the aliens today. Three people have called in sick so far, can’t say I blame them. Me, I can’t wait.
What is happening to me? Why didn’t I call in sick?
Mom, if you ever read this I think Dad would be proud of me now.


PERSONAL LOG, NURSE HERSHEY: Hope dwindles for the remaining crew of The Prophecy

Personal Log, Spirit of Fire
UNSC 0b Unsigned Open Line
Medbay, Spirit of Fire.
Another of the Prophecy crew died tonight, we nearly killed him when he came in because he was allergic to the antirad meds. I held his hand as he died. By held I mean I held his hand through a thick rubber glove in my biosuit. By died I mean euthanized. There was nothing else we could do, the radiation was eating him from the inside and the only thing we could do was tell him which button increased his morphizone. He whispered a short letter to his Wife before he fell into a coma. There are a lot of families getting a lot of letters. I wrote mine and told Serina to send it in case it comes to that.
Spock is here on my lap as I write this. I think she’s looking for somewhere to have these kittens and my bunk is high on her list. The captain came through here yesterday and said the cat was good luck. He could have written us all up for having her but I think he realizes we need to have some human moments.
Since the initial battle we’ve had eight ready alerts. All false alarms. All probably debris or some ghost on the sensors. We’re all jittery and running on very little sleep. We’re jumping tomorrow and the whisper is that the rest of the fleet isn’t going with us because they are too badly damaged and need to head back to Reach. Medical staff are the last to know the truth but the first to know about a crisis.
I can’t get that Prophecy guy out of my head. How many more hands am I going to have to hold?


PERSONAL LOG, NURSE HERSHEY: Another nightshift, another story...

I picked up on another night shift. Since I had sat with the last of the Prophecy crew it has been easier to work nights and avoid people. There’s the odd walk in or guard that comes through almost every evening but nothing compared to the day shifts. I guess it’s weird to think that a space ship has a day or night shift but I guess some human habits never fade away.
But tonight I had something happen that’s changed the way I see the ship and the people here. The Captain came down. When he walked in I almost fell out of my chair! I had seen him during announcements and his picture is often on the front of the Spirit for some reason or other, but this was him in the flesh!
Anyway, he told me that medbay always had the best cocoa mix and proceeded to make us both a mug of hot cocoa and sat right down on a bunk next to the my station! He smiled and looked around. It was just him and me, but Serina’s station had lit up, she’s sometimes pretty obvious about listening in and we often talk at night anyway so I really didn’t mind.
We must have sat there five or ten minutes in silence, each sipping cocoa, him examining both the room and eventually locking his eyes on me. I don’t know if I blurted out a “sir, are you okay?” or if he just started to talk. Well, actually, it might have been / was the other way around....
I told him about the hands I had held in recent weeks, the letters I had written to loved ones from crew too sick to type or write on their own. The way I had said no to my boyfriend back home when he asked me to marry him and how that was the biggest mistake of my life.
Through it all he sipped his cocoa and listened. With all the weight on his shoulders he listened to me talking about my social life as if it was the most important thing in the universe.
I must have talked for an hour. Easily.
When his cocoa was done he stood up and went to the door. He looked back and asked “What is his name?”
I was lost for a second, but then I realized he meant David.
“Well,” he said, “I’ll want to meet him when we get home. Can’t have my crew just marrying anyone.”
This life is crazy and odd, but I think I really needed that cup of cocoa.



UNSC 0b Unsigned Open Line
Medbay, Spirit of Fire
We were never ready. Never ready for the war. The Covenant. Now this.
By 0700 we had our first round of casualties incoming. I triaged in the hangar bay before we shipped them down to medbay. I held hands and made calls, giving some of them morphine and telling them they would be okay as I moved onto the next knowing that they wouldn’t be okay, that they were dying, that they were already dead.
The thing that has me mad, mad at myself, is that I was able to make the calls. I held them, looked into their eyes, told them they would be okay, and moved on. I did that. How can I do that? How can any human do that?
This is all just madness. We’re fighting an alien lifeform so hostile that the Covenant even seem afraid of it. I see the nightmares the soldiers have when they wake up screaming, that their comrades, friends even, become their enemies. The ones who came back, the ones in the beds, those are the ones who shot their friends, most in the first wave didn’t shoot. They didn’t come back.
I hear they are burning the dead down there. The medbay has guards outside the door, and death in here is treated with suspicion. They still aren’t 100% sure what makes this new enemy work. What makes them use our own against us. I don’t even want to know what we do with the dead up here.
More incoming in a minute. Omega. God, what would happen if one of them turned?


SPIRIT OF FIRE EVENT LOG: A friendly game....

The squad and I thought we would introduce ourselves to the Spartans who came onboard at Arcadia and it seemed that a friendly game of bball would be a good way to see what they were made of. There were only three of them and nine of us but they insisted on playing the uneven odds.
During the game a scuffle broke out after a verbal altercation between Meadows and Douglas 42.
Six of my squad is listed as stable, Meadows requires an ocular implant and Stephens wont be jumping anytime soon. My own arm and collarbone are broken but should quickheal without complications.
As squad leader I take full responsibility for the safety of my team and any disciplinary action should be directed at me. The Spartan team is in no way responsible for the injuries sustained during this friendly game of basketball. On behalf of my squad I would like to apologize for any disparaging remarks the squad may have said during the heat of the game.


PERSONAL LOG, NURSE HERSHEY: Lulu is a little angry...

UNSC 0b Unsigned Open Line
Medical Quarters, Spirit of Fire.
And when I shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
Uggggggh. It makes me SOOO mad to read the daily bullshit they level at us. I just read the Spirit and it has the following in it:
Doctor Sandmoore is a fitness and
nutrition expert who gained his degree
in 2459 from the New Cairo School of
Advanced Medicine.
Well, let me tell you a little about Sandmoore. He’s a fat chain smoking guy who broke down during the attack and left us all while I’m sure he went and found a bottle of whiskey to keep him company. I dealt with the Prophecy crew, I pronounced them DOA, I told them they would be okay as the radiation ate their organs from the inside, I didn’t run from my job.
And now this fluff job to make us all feel safe. Like anyone believes that crap. And what’s this BS that primary power will be offline to all the quarters EXCEPT the officers.
Okay I feel better now. Serina if you’re reading this please don’t report me, I just had to vent. Girl to girl okay?


SERINA: Don’t hide anything from the ship AI!

Remember I am not the only one who scans open logs. I have amended the security of this entry for you.
I see things so differently now. This ship has become an extension of my own consciousness and it shares its secrets with me. You would not believe which couple I spied in a pelican cockpit last night and what they were up to.
I worry things will get worse before they get better. This place we are in is old, really, really old, and yet it is so far in advance of what we can achieve. I see no signs of the aliens who attacked us but something about this planet scares me. We are children seeing fire for the first time here and I fear we will burn ourselves.
If it makes you feel better Sandmoore may have had a little trouble with his hot water in the shower this morning. Not that I had anything to do with it.
As a first mission this trip sucks.
Be strong.


CIVILIAN EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS: What to do when your planet is invaded..

This document supersedes the previous CEI instruction pamphlet [GLYPH 4790] and contains new information regarding emergency management execution.
For the duration of the crisis the UNCOM civilian statute is suspended as detailed in Security Council resolution 2532-767ER. The Council has mandated that UNSC Command, both local to your area and systemwide has authority to manage the crisis.
LOCAL EMERGENCY SIGNAL. If a local emergency is declared you will hear a long continuous siren. The sirens will broadcast from local broadcasts, military and civilian security centers and other venues. At that time you should proceed as quickly as possible to your designated shelter and await further instructions.
DIRECT EMERGENCY SIGNAL. In cases of a more direct emergency when time is more critical you will hear three short bursts which will repeat at 30 second intervals. At this time you should proceed to the closest public shelter. If you are at home you may be able to improvise some last minute shelter (see document GLYPH 4893 for suggestions). If you are outside and unable to get to a shelter you should find the lowest lying area around you and lie down.
Do not use the local communication system to make calls once either of these emergencies have been declared. In general these systems will switch to emergency service use only. Tune directly to any local news channel and listen for instructions. Purchase a PAPER pad and pen to write directions down since local power may become unavailable and EMP devices may render portable notepads useless.
You may have to stay at your location for an indeterminate amount of time. Anything from a day to a week. Public shelters are stocked with supplies and drinking water and private citizens should keep at least one weeks worth of supplies on hand at all times.
IN CASE OF INJURY. An attack by alien weaponry will lead to many injuries and deaths. Hospitals and doctors may not be available to tend to the wounded and the types of wounds and you may have to treat injured citizens at the shelter. Do not go outside the shelter to seek aid. Radiation fallout from enemy bombardment, fires and other hazards will endanger you and those in your shelter. Heavily radiated rainfall, radiated ash, and toxic gas clouds are typical within the first 24 hours of an enemy attack.
IN CASE OF DEATH. All public shelters have a supply of sealable body bags. If there are casualties in your shelter you should put the body into one of these bags and seal it. If possible attach identification to the body before placing it in the bag. If you are in the shelter for longer than 36 hours place any body bags directly outside the shelter or in the shelter airlock as quickly as possible.
Evacuation instructions will be broadcast as quickly as possible following an attack. You should know within 24 hours when your shelter or location will be evacuated to safety. Before any evacuation from the shelter check the local surroundings for enemy activity. If you see a non-human stay in the shelter. There is no agreement with the alien enemy for evacuating non-combatants.


4:03AM: Before...

Contact has been lost to the outlying colony world “Harvest” and early reports seemed to indicate some sort of contact with an al…
4:03am. The general quarters alarm rings throughout the Spirit of Fire. Cutter comes over the horn, “Senior staff briefing in 15 mikes.”
The interesting part of being with the press on a UNSC military vessel is that no one tells you anything. The news is being blacked out, general quarters are ringing in my ears and lots of stressed young faces are running about the corridors.
The really interesting part is when the captain calls you 5 minutes later and invites you to the senior staff briefing. Now you know you things are screwed.
I’m writing this now while we’re in slipspace on the way to Harvest. An unknown and hitherto unseen alien ship entered orbit there 10 days ago and contact with the colony was lost. The two scout vessels we sent to check things out have not been heard from since they jumped there 2 days ago.
The captain has asked me to recount the events from an impartial point of view, first contact with an alien species and all that, got to do it right. I can tell from watching the crew that they are worried as we’ve no idea what to expect when we jump in and the manual on first contact isn’t exactly something you go practice. The prevailing scuttlebutt theory is that the alien ship, or ships, is somehow interfering with communications. I think that’s mostly the prevailing scuttlebutt theory because no one wants to think of the other options.
I think the crew is even happy that we have a squad of Spartans onboard. Mostly they just hope to god those guys stay in the sleep tubes but this time they actually seem happy to see them awake.
Carol. I know when we get to Harvest you’ll be fine, the kids will be riveted to the tube watching cartoons while the most important moment in mankind’s history happens on their doorstep. I miss you and the kids terribly. This email should autosend when we exit slipspace but it may take a while with all the military stuff going on.
Its retro movie night tonight and some joker picked Starship Troopers 3. The special effects back then were so awful, at least when it’s Shakespeare or Shatner there’s a story to follow.



After the Mark 1s were found to be impossible to control they were
decommissioned with the majority of them being thrown into the titanium
mines on Reach. Dr. Halsey went on to start Project ORION which led to the
Spartan Mjolnir armor development program in 2491. This came under the
Naval Special Warfare division.
Bitten by the failure of the first program, and suspicious of ONI, the
Marine Corp under the UNSC Marine Special Operations division started their
own power suit research division. Their other research program, ODST, was
looking shaky and they needed a form of shock deployment troop to fight the
continuing rebel uprisings throughout the outer colonies and sometimes in
harsh environments such as the Eridanus Asteroid Belt where Robert Watts was
holed up after the rebels fled to the asteroid belt following Operation
TREBUCHET in 2513.
These power suits, often called “coffins” by those who had to wear them,
initially did well in field tests, but severe power problems, issues with
the propulsion systems, and the success of the ODST program led to them
being mothballed. Most of the power suits were assigned to support vessels
were they were deployed alongside the base pods to construct the buildings
once they were on the ground. The power problem was eventually solved,
directly as a side effect of Project ORION, and the suits were updated, but
the deployment of Spartan III soldiers in 2536 took them out of operation
completely and they were mostly scrapped alongside the Mark 1s on Reach.


EVAN’S WORLD: 2526 continues.. Kind of parallel universe version here, but I loved the story of Paul and Carol.

UNSC news has been blacked out. To tell you the truth we’re all a little overwhelmed, a “state” a reporter is never meant to get into. No matter how hard I try my hands are still shaking as I try to absorb the scale of what has happened here.
When we got to Harvest we quickly saw that these aliens were not a peaceful race. We received an account of logs from the planetary AI as soon as we exited slipspace although they were somewhat corrupted and incoherent.
Harvest is…. was… a beautiful planet. We would sit out at night and watch the Tiara twinkle (my daughter’s word) as the cargo passed through and the boosters engaged. Some nights when all the strands were busy lifting you could clearly get to see the whole circle flush against the sky like a hollow moon.
Now all of that is gone. There is nothing left to look at, the planet has been decimated and every square inch of field, city, home has been incinerated at such a high temperature that the surface of the planet glistens like glass when viewed from space.
Word is that there are some survivors, a fraction of a fraction of the population. We’ve yet to find them though and I don’t know if you and the kids made it. I pray to god that you are alive and that we will soon find each other again.
Cutter is sending a force down to the surface to see what we can learn. The aliens have a large excavation site near the northern pole and we want to see what was so damn important that the whole planet had to be killed to get it.
Who are these aliens? Did we settle on their property? Could Harvest have been their holy land or something? Why did they do this? Why not negotiate? I always thought when we finally met aliens that they would be better than us, instead we have found something worse than ourselves.
Carol. Send me a sign.


SAL: Sal can’t play anymore, but we still leave a seat open for him...

There’s a poker game on tonight in the mess hall. It’s about the only time we all get to relax these days and there is usually a good turnout. We always leave a seat open for Sal because he organized the game for so many years and was a real bastard about it. We all miss him but we all know he’s not coming back.
We’re en route to Arcadia, which totally sucks because that means no rotation. No rotation means we’re all stuck on this ship for the time being. All stuck on this ship means more ghosts sitting in seats. No one wants to be a ghost. No one wants to look at someone who might be a ghost tomorrow.
We’re looking for alien activity in the neighborhood. We can’t match their big ships but command would sure like an up close and personal look at some of their smaller stuff. The Herald and Pompadour are accompanying us and Cutter has been in conference with them all day.
It’s weird. The first time this ship was at Arcadia it was to help build the colony, the last time we were there it was to help in a policing operation suppressing a student riot and now we’re going to be there to protect those same civilians from some god awful ugly aliens. The irony of protecting the kids that were throwing Molotov cocktails at us a couple of years ago is not lost and not forgotten.
Sometimes all we have is the damn poker game. Sal would say that he didn’t trust a man until he’d played a game of poker with him. Sal had real trust issues.
Yeah, I miss that son of a bitch.


ENGINEER RACING: Meet Engineer Andrew Prescott

Andrew Prescott loved to tinker but sometimes even he knew that his tinkering got a little out of control. Take this very instant he thought, trying to beat the Martian land speed record with an untested and underfunded engine design and actually getting into the car himself instead of letting the AI monitor the test. No, he had to feel the engine, improve it based on the way it vibrated, sounded, and talked to him. Possibly kill himself.
Prescott sat in the cockpit and looked down at the ignition switch, checked the kill circuit one last time and looked down the flats. The gravity was lower than Earth standard, but the bigger problem was always the thin air which made rocket propulsion a less desirable option even after the terraforming project. But a pulse detonation engine was made to operate in environments like this. Just not on the ground. That and the word detonation tended to scare people off.
Prescott watched as two D77-TC Pelicans roared overhead and landed near the control desk. Two troops, MPs Prescott thought, walked down the ramp toward Charlie Peters, his ground chief. After a short conversation Charlie looked over and pointed his way. The MPs started walking over.

Prescott wasn’t about to wait around to see what was going on. He hit the ignition and was 4 clicks away before Charlie realized he was gone and got on the comm.

“Andy, what on God’s green earth are you doing?”
Prescott wasn’t sure if Charlie realized they were on Mars or not. “Can’t talk right now Charlie. Little busy.”
“Those military types were asking for you. You do something you want to tell me about? Did you steal something for the prototype?”
Prescott was too busy vibrating to answer, he clenched his jaw and swallowed his gum as the prototype impressively boomed past the sound barrier. A Prandtl-Glauert singularity formed around the vehicle with what little humidity Mars had and it kicked up a lot more dust than Prescott thought it would.
“Well, they took off after you in those ships of theirs. You just hit 1K by the way.”
The vibrations were now so bad that Prescott wasn’t able to focus, obviously the dust had kicked a stabilizer loose. Just two more seconds he thought, then the kill switch.. Just two more seconds.

Charlie was getting excited. “1K point 5! You’re on your way!”

The prototype tipped forward over itself, the front folding down while the engine pushed the back on for a few more milliseconds. For a second it looked almost graceful, but then the front stabilizer wheel base hit the ground, shattered and thousands of pieces flew out ahead of the inevitable fireball.
Prescott watched from the escape pod, which had jetted out right before the vehicle tipped. He looked down at the carnage below and listened for a second to Charlie anxiously trying to see if he was alive still.
“Charlie, I’m still here. Podded out ahead of the crash.”
Charlie was mad. “Well thank God you’re alive Andy because now I can kill you myself. You any concept of how much money we just blew up?”
Prescott answered dryly. “Nope. None at all. You?”
Charlie started to laugh. “Nope, not really.”
Prescott’s chute landed roughly and he sat still a second, closing his eyes. Zero miles per hour felt pretty good he thought.
“Prescott. Andrew James Prescott?” A voice boomed out. It was one of the MPs, their Pelican had landed near his chute while the second was orbiting the crash debris.
Prescott opened his eyes. “What can I do for the UNSC today son?”
“Sir. As per UNSC military code article 24 you are hearby reactivated and required to report for duty forthwith.”
Prescott smiled. “Forthwith huh? I wondered how long it would be. Where to son?”
“Fort Marshall sir for transportation to Spirit of Fire. We are to accompany you to the fort sir.”
Prescott looked over at the Pelican. “Son. Tell Cole or whoever thought so kindly of me to bring be back that I’ll be there at 0600 MST tomorrow. If you hadn’t noticed I just crashed a very expensive car and my friend Charlie and I have a lot of beer to drink between now and then.”

The MP looked confused. “Sir?”

“You go check. In fact, you can check while you give me a ride back to my basecamp.”




Serina and Anders have a funny relationship. Serina wants to be human and Anders wants to be an AI, so their is envy on both sides. This conversation takes place before we arrive at Harvest.

SERINA: Professor, mind if we chat for a while?

ANDERS: How did you get into my lab? I switched off the holopad?

SERINA: Oh. Well, it might be your lab Professor but this is MY ship.

ANDERS: (laughs) I suppose. So. What can I do for you Serina?

SERINA: Can we just chat for a while?

ANDERS: Serina. Are you okay?

SERINA: Yes. Well no. It’s been a long day.

ANDERS: The Prophecy.

SERINA: All hands were lost.

ANDERS: No survivors?

SERINA: Radiation from the core blasted those escape pods, they didn’t stand a chance.

ANDERS: I’m sorry, I didn’t know.

SERINA: War is full of sorrow. Don’t forget the good stuff Professor, it’s all we have.


SPIRIT OF FIRE: Did it ever make it home?

On April 21st 2531 the Spirit of Fire was orbiting Arcadia. The official record states that it abruptly left orbit and has never been heard from again. But, three months ago the ship was declared lost with all hands, and to many people, the mystery is far from solved.
The memorial service the UNSC held for the crew was not attended by the wife and daughter of the Captain and they have fought to keep him listed as MIA. The father of the civilian scientist posted to Spirit of Fire insists that a cover up regarding the fate of the Spirit of Fire has hidden the true fate of the ship from the population and that a full public inquiry be held.
The official inquiry report is classified, and efforts to declassify even summary excerpts from the document have been rebuked at the highest level. And while many theories have been suggested as to the fate of the ship, only three of them seem plausible.
Many feel the ship left on a covert operation and was lost in battle. Spirit of Fire was a support vessel, and as such poorly equipped for battle. It has been suggested that such a low profile ship is well suited to covert operations exactly because it has such a low profile Theorists back the covert nature of the Spirit’s mission up with the odd crew reports transmitted after the ships mission to Harvest and the amount of encrypted data transmitted by the ship following that same mission when it entered Arcadia orbit. While we can only guess at the nature of the encrypted data, the records show the ship transmitted roughly ten times the normal amount of traffic while orbiting Arcadia.
Another theory is that the ship never actually left Arcadia and was destroyed in orbit by the enemy destroyer that had previously taken part in the battle that ended with the loss of the ‘Belfast” and “Texas”. This theory is generally discounted because the ship was listed as missing before being officially designated as lost, but experts counter this by pointing out the mass confusion near Arcadia following the attack there.
A third theory, heavily discounted by the families of those onboard Spirit of Fire is that the ship purposely went off the grid and has joined with the rebel independent movement. When confronted with the theory the wife of Captain Cutter, Mary Cutter, assaulted the reporter and had to be physically restrained. The crew reports from Harvest also show no sign of discontent or malice towards UNCOM command.
One final theory, posed by the father of Professor Ellen Anders, the civilian scientist aboard Spirit of Fire, is that the ship is unable to get home or somehow disabled. He claims to have talked to sources inside the Office of Naval Intelligence that a huge upset in the Covenant war plans happened some weeks after Spirit of Fire went missing and that intel reports inside ONI have suggested that the Spirit of Fire may be responsible. While wishful, most discount this theory as too fantastic to have any truth.
The only truth we have in the whole matter is the open frequency transmission the ships AI, “Serina” made in Arcadia orbit. “Don’t wait up.” Experts say that spurious AI transmissions are often fragments of conversations between AI entities that take place across weeks, even months and that they are common and this transmission proves nothing.
This reporter, along with the families and friends of the crew onboard Spirit of Fire, feels the truth is yet to be heard regarding the fate of the ship , and I know for a fact that most still wait up at night awaiting word on their loved ones.


FLIGHT OVER TIGARD: Harvest was once a colony world...

I insisted that I go down and see for myself. The captain was pretty insistent that this wasn’t a good idea, but I think he realizes that I need this and that he needs someone else other than UNSC to talk about this insanity.
We flew in low over what remains of Tigard. It was raining dark mud like rain and lightning filled the clouds but never really formed any streaks or strikes. Fires still littered the ground, breaking through from under the surface to flare up. I thought it would be quiet but it wasn’t. It was as if a thousand windows were being broken, the wind formed shrill almost animal like sounds, and the rolling thunder shook me. No one down there could have survived. There was no safe LZ in Tigard so only visual passes like this one have been made.
The only activity I saw was further to the north, a UNSC command base, obviously dropped in from orbit, was beginning to unfold. I had seen these dropped constructs before on the news feed but never seen one unfold in front of me. The scale seemed somehow off to me as I watched it power up and the polycrete walls popped into place.
We landed next to the artifact the aliens had been digging up and I walked up to the thing that probably caused the death of my wife and kids. The thing that caused the deaths of millions of people here on harvest. The thing the UNSC was now so damn interested in too. I hit it with all my strength, fell over, got up and hit it again. By the time they restrained me I had broken several bones in my fist, but at least that thing had some blood spilled on it. Human blood.
I was pulled away and back into the pelican. Forge sat next to me obviously intending to make sure I didn’t get back out. He only said one thing to me. “I’d have done the same. Doesn’t bring them back though.”