Petty Officer, Second Class Tom-B292 is a SPARTAN-III supersoldier of Beta Company and one of the two sole survivors of Operation: TORPEDO along with Lucy-B091. Tom and Lucy served as Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose's senior NCOs and helped train Gamma Company up until the Onyx Conflict in late 2552. After a stint of service in the field as members of Blue Team, Tom and Lucy took up instructor duties in the new Spartan Operations branch, before moving on to serve as security for the Trevelyan research facility in 2554.
Childhood and training
Orphaned by the Covenant when his homeworld was glassed, Tom joined the SPARTAN-III program at age six around 2539 in order to get revenge. He was trained by Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose and Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez for six years. Tom became the leader of Team Foxtrot, one of the organized Beta Company combat teams comprised of Lucy-B091, Adam-B004 and Min-B174. On August 24, 2541, Tom and the rest of Team Foxtrot partook in one of a series of exercises designed to filter out extra candidates the program lacked funds to further train and augment. After most of Foxtrot were incapacitated, leaving only Tom and Lucy, he engineered a plan to appropriate the automated M202 XP machine guns pinning them down and complete the training mission. After they were successful in their designated objective, Tom, Lucy and the rest of the Spartans continued to ambush several waves of their instructors before being forced to stand down by Chief Mendez and Lieutenant Ambrose. However, Ambrose commended Tom and his team for their actions and they were accepted for further phases of training and eventually physical augmentation.
When they were only 12 years old, the young Spartans were sent to destroy a Covenant refinery on Pegasi Delta in 2545. As the Spartans faced superior enemy forces, they were wiped out, but Fireteam Foxtrot managed to reach the inside of the refinery. Only Lucy-B091 and Tom-B292 survived the fight, as they jumped out of the facility into a nearby ocean just before its core went critical.
Despite Colonel Ackerson's wish to have Tom for his own private operations, Kurt managed to have him and Lucy assigned to help him train the SPARTAN-III Gamma Company on Onyx alongside himself and Chief Mendez. Tom and Lucy subsequently became Kurt's top adjutants and were instrumental in Gamma Company's training. By early 2551, both held the rank of Petty Officer Second Class. In February 2551 they accompanied Kurt aboard UNSC Hopeful to oversee Gamma Company's augmentations. By this time they had spent significant time in microgravity which was apparent from their gaits.
When the Onyx Conflict broke out in 2552 and the planet's Sentinels attacked the local UNSC forces, Tom and Lucy were stationed at Camp Currahee. They managed to destroy one of the Forerunner drones before Lieutenant Commander Ambrose and Chief Mendez arrived. After retrieving ordnance and equipment they moved on to El Morro Point and, following several days of guerrilla warfare against the Sentinels, met with Dr. Catherine Halsey and the SPARTAN-IIs of Blue Team. Tom and Lucy subsequently coordinated with Linda-058 to destroy a Sentinel monitoring the area, before the group pushed deeper into the restricted Zone 67, eventually arriving in a massive Forerunner city. Pursued by Covenant forces, they were redirected to destroy a Sentinel manufacturing facility by Zone 67's ONI AI Endless Summer. Operating as an advance team, Tom and Lucy completed a crucial part of the operation, coordinated by Dr. Halsey via the use of local translocation pads and they successfully destroyed the factory.
The Spartans eventually made a stand at the entrance to the shield world in the core room antechamber to prevent the incoming Covenant army from entering the shield world. When ordered by Lieutenant Commander Ambrose to enter the rift to the shield world, he and Lucy refused to leave Kurt's side, with Tom saying that he would be court-martialed before he would leave. Kurt then knocked him out with a blow to the underside of his helmet and ordered Lucy to take the unconscious Spartan with her into the shield world. He and Lucy were the last Spartans to leave the battle, surviving through Kurt's sacrifice.
Shield world and later career
After recovering from Kurt's blow, which left him with a bruise on his chin, Tom joined the rest of the survivors in reconnaissance of the shield world. He accompanied Kelly-087, Olivia-G291, Dr. Halsey and Chief Mendez in surveying the area close to the now-inert entrance portal. Later, while Mendez and Halsey were having a discussion about the Spartans, a small Forerunner drone suddenly swooped down on them. Tom was nearest to Halsey and tackled her to the ground to protect her. Before anyone could catch the drone, it flew off.
Shortly afterward, Lucy-B091 disappeared inside a Forerunner structure, and eventually returned with a group of Huragok, which helped the human survivors open communications with the ONI ships outside the shield world. The Huragok also brought the sphere into normal space from its compressed slipspace bubble. The few days the survivors had spent in the shield world amounted for over three months in normal space-time; though they entered the slipspace bubble in early November 2552, they would exit in February 2553. Tom and the other survivors were then taken aboard the UNSC Port Stanley by the ONI team Kilo-Five, and headed to Earth for a debriefing in HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6.
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. Tom and the rest of Blue Team—Fred, Kelly, Linda, Lucy, Ash, Olivia, and Mark—were attached to ONI's 717th Xeno-Materials Exploitation Battalion, a research battalion charged with recovering the AI. During their search for the AI, a string of murders began occurring in the cave systems; in July 2553, the UNSC forces on Gao agreed to help Gao's 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, Tom, Lucy, Kelly, and Linda 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, Tom and the other Spartans helped Charlie Company defend the rest of the research battalion. While the company took a defensive position in Hotel Wendosa, Tom 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. Meanwhile, while Kelly and Linda fired explosives at the Keepers from the Wendosa rooftops, Tom and Lucy—armed with heavy machine guns—were helping force the cult's forces back into retreat. 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. Tom and Lucy both drove the two Warthogs, with the rest of the team aboard, to the Well of Echoes. Upon arriving at the Well of Echoes, the team boarded a nearby ONI Owl with Rear Admiral Serin Osman aboard. Mark dropped the nuke into the Well of Echoes and the Owl left the planet as the HAVOK detonated and destroyed the Forerunner installation. As the Owl traveled to the UNSC task force in Gao's orbit, Osman revealed that the Gamma Company Spartan-IIIs were to be reassigned to classified infiltration teams. Despite their initial reluctance to the plan, the Beta Company survivors and the rest of Blue Team gave their "permission", although Tom openly protested to ONI's decision.
Training the Spartan-IVs
Tom and Lucy left Blue Team to serve as instructors in the recently-established Spartan Operations branch in August 2553. They were subsequently assigned under Commander Musa-096, and trained Spartan-IV recruits onboard the program's top-secret training station.
On March 29, 2554, Tom and Lucy were in their office reviewing the performance of the new Spartan-IV class when an explosion rocked the station, causing a loss of gravity. Tom contacted Captain Chu to find out what happened; the captain informed him of a rupture in the rec room where Commander Musa had been interrogating someone about a homicide. With Tom unaware that a homicide had taken place and asking for clarification, Lucy brought his attention to the window where they saw two men fighting outside in space: Rudolf Schein, a Spartan-IV recruit, and Jun-A266. Soon Jun was able to break from Schein's grip and kick off from Schein's chest, sending Schein deeper into space and Jun towards the station. At Lucy's prompting, the two entered an airlock. With a tether and without a vacuum suit, Tom attempted to anticipate Jun's path and shot himself out the airlock. He missed at first, and when the tether went taut he attempted to correct himself when he realized Lucy was helping him. Jun managed to get caught in Tom's tether and Lucy was able to pull the both of them in, but not before both he and Jun lost consciousness. Commander Musa later visited Tom in the infirmary and informed him of what had happened. Schein had killed Hideo Wakahisa, a fellow Spartan-IV recruit, and had torn out Wakahisa's locator implant. Musa and Jun conducted an investigation which led them to Schein. While interrogating him, Schein detonated a hidden grenade which killed Captain O'Day.
Return to Onyx
After Tom and Lucy had recovered from the incident, Musa visited them in their office with Jun and offered them a job working as security at the Onyx United Research Project on Trevelyan. While initially reluctant due to the Sangheili presence there, they eventually accepted.
Upon arriving back at Trevelyan Tom and Lucy met Franklin Mendez, who they learned was assigned as head of security for the research settlements. Soon after they were joined by Kasha 'Hilot, a female Sangheili who was working as Mendez's second-in-command of security. While Lucy was hostile toward the Sangheili, Tom attempted to keep things from going too far. While Mendez took Lucy to find transportation, Tom conversed with Kasha for a while about matters such as the war and the Sangheili. However, a UNSC soldier overheard her talking about John-117 and became hostile towards Kasha. The soldier blamed Kasha for the Covenant's genocide of humanity, claiming she had been part of the system that enabled the Sangheili males to go off and fight. Tom tried to calm the soldier down but he only got angrier at Kasha and began poking her in the chest. She grabbed the soldier's finger, in Tom's opinion showing great restraint, but the soldier head-butted Kasha, knocking her down. The soldier then attempted to stab her but Tom stopped him, taking several punches in Kasha's defense. Tom then picked up the soldier and threw him into the latter's group of friends. Mendez arrived firing his pistol into the air and informed the soldiers they would be leaving the shield world. Kasha thanked them for teaching the soldiers a lesson, and was comforted knowing that not all humans there wanted to kill the Sangheili.
Second Onyx conflict
Personality and traits
Tom is a collected and good-natured individual with a strong sense of duty and loyalty; for example refusing to leave Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose behind at the end of the Battle of Onyx, or saving Jun-A266's life not out of a desire to be a hero, but rather merely viewing it as something he had been trained to do. Lieutenant Commander Ambrose considered Tom and Lucy-B091 highly competent, and implicitly trusted in their abilities in any situation. Tom was highly protective of the Gamma Company Spartans he had helped train, and maintained a casual, friendly relationship with the former members of Team Saber when they were assigned to Blue Team together.
Tom enjoys challenges and mastering new skills. He showed great tenacity and tactical aptitude during Beta Company's training, and him and Lucy were singled out by CPO Mendez for their toughness. As the leader of Team Foxtrot, Tom was committed to his team and felt immensely fulfilled when they succeeded in their mission. During Operation: TORPEDO, he was determined to complete the objective despite the declaration of the universal "panic code", Omega three, and the unexpected appearance of Covenant reinforcements. While he was close friends with all of his teammates Tom was still able to accept Adam-B004's and Min-B174's deaths and go on without hesitation; conversely, he stubbornly refused to leave Kurt Ambrose's side years later, prompting Kurt to knock him out. Tom later reaffirmed that he would never have let Kurt to fend off the Covenant army on his own and even then he wanted to hold on to the hope that he may have survived.
As with all Spartan-IIIs, Tom was initially motivated to become a Spartan by the rage he felt against the Covenant for destroying his homeworld and killing his parents, and he had long struggled with himself to let go of the anger. While he did not enjoy the prospect of fighting other humans, something that had increased in frequency after the Human-Covenant War, he still considered insurrectionists "ungrateful traitors" for wanting to destroy what the Spartans had sacrificed so much to preserve. Upon learning of Rudolf Schein's betrayal he was revolted that a Spartan would turn on another. Although he had major reservations about working with the Sangheili on Trevelyan, he was quick to adapt to the new state of affairs, not only recognizing it as his duty to help keep all inhabitants of the shield world safe but also genuinely looking forward to the new responsibilities and challenges of his new post. He consequently attempted to dispel the tension between Lucy and Kasha 'Hilot, and ended up siding with the Sangheili against a UNSC soldier harassing her.
Tom-B292 shares a close bond with Lucy-B091 because of their shared experiences; the two Spartans are virtually always assigned to the same duties, and tend to establish a common understanding before making significant decisions, with Tom often deferring to Lucy's intuition. This unusual rapport became more pronounced after Operation: TORPEDO; while Tom was affected by Beta Company's demise he was not as thoroughly traumatized as Lucy, who was rendered mute by the shock of her friends dying. Tom continued to reflect on Lucy's last words—"How are you sure we're alive?"—for years to come. Although Lucy would remain silent, Tom had little difficulty communicating with her, the two having developed an intricate sign language based on the Spartan signals over the years. Because of Lucy's inability to speak Tom would often be the one to carry out more complex conversations whenever the two interacted with others, such as making reports or communicating over COM. Even after Lucy overcame her disability, this was often the case, with the pair lapsing back to their old habit, although Tom enjoyed not having to speculate as to her intent anymore when it came to critical situations.
Like most Spartan-IIIs, Tom-B292 wore Semi-Powered Infiltration armor for most of his career up until mid-2553. During Gamma Company's training, he and Lucy spent so much time in their SPI armor that Kurt recognized them better with the suits on. Following his assignment to the Spartan branch, he and Lucy were issued Mjolnir armor, with which they would subsequently train extensively. By 2558, Tom wore the helmet of the Cypher variant of the MJOLNIR GEN2 armor with Shinobi shoulder pads, Mark IV forearms, and Athlon legs and torso.
List of appearances