Echo 216's pilot
|Echo 216's pilot|
|Political and military information|
- "This is UNSC Pelican Echo 216. Can you hear me?"
- — Echo 216's pilot tries to hail a friendly signal.
The Pelican Echo 216 is piloted by a serviceman of the United Nations Space Command Armed Forces who, at some point following the advent of late 2561, had a chance encounter with Spartan-II John-117 after being stranded in his dropship for some time around a shattered Halo ring.
- "We lost. Lost everything. There's nothing left for us here. I don't even know where here is."
- — The pilot lets the Chief know about their present situation.
At some point around late 2561 this pilot was asleep in the cockpit of his Pelican around a Halo ring when a shaking of the craft and repeated warnings suddenly woke him. Pressure was building in multiple lines but he managed to initiate a protocol which caused the warnings to cease. Just then, however, a piece of debris impacted Echo 216's rear, creating a breach. Her pilot rushed to seal it and was successful in doing so, but in the process he slipped and fell from the box he had been standing on to reach it. When he hit the floor a recording device came out of his pocket and rolled away. This device—containing a recorded message from his wife and daughter—was a small comfort to him over the weeks which followed, during which time he remained stranded in the Pelican near the broken ring.
Eventually, after repeated viewings of the same message his recording device lost power. It was almost immediately after this, however, that Echo 216 alerted him to the presence of a signal with a friendly designation. He raced to the cockpit and hailed the signal, but before he could identify himself twice he wiped away frost on the cockpit window to reveal an armored Spartan floating nearby: Master Chief Petty Officer John-117. Bringing the hulking warrior aboard revealed that his armor's survival mode had been triggered. To override it the pilot rerouted what little power remained to Echo 216 into the armor, and was thrilled when parts of the Pelican's interior which had gone dark from a lack of energy suddenly flared to life thanks to that generated by the suit's fusion reactor. The pilot enthusiastically welcomed the Chief back after seeing that he'd reawakened. He also noticed that something appeared to be wrong with the servos the man's gauntleted hands, but before he could locate a tool to check his armor's diagnostics John approached him and asked for a status report. This caught Echo 216's pilot off guard, but he then realized the Chief may not know about what had happened to the nearby ring and so turned his attention to the cockpit. As the Spartan laid eyes on what remained of it he explained that they had lost everything here—though he added that he didn't even know where "here" was. Then, without warning, Echo 216 was hit by something which generated electrical discharges within it and enveloped it in bright light. Her pilot panicked at this and signaled to the Chief that he had witnessed this sort of attack before. He advised that they needed to flee, but John disagreed, instead stating that they needed to fight. At that point, the pilot sealed himself within the cockpit while the Spartan took up a position in the troop bay. The Chief told him to get ready right before the pilot opened the rear hatch so he could go on the offensive.
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Personality and traits
Echo 216's pilot cares deeply for his wife and daughter, both of whom he missed terribly during the prolonged period of isolation he experienced aboard his Pelican. Even then, at the lowest point in his life, he demonstrated extraordinary resilience. Despite being out of food and water, and being cold, isolated, over-exerted, and trapped, he did not give up. When he eventually discovered the Master Chief, he felt relief and triumph.
Behind the scenes
- "We're not talking a lot about the pilot at E3 this year. But he is a new character to the Halo universe and we're really taking our time to introduce the pilot and bring him in for players in a really careful way; where you get to learn about the pilot and emotionally connect with him throughout this piece. You'll be seeing the pilot more in Halo Infinite."
- — 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee speaks to the pilot's introduction.
Details of this pilot's character design, such as the UNSC logo on his flight suit, are meant to showcase the art direction pursued for Halo Infinite—one that draws significant inspiration from the most iconic and historic parts of the Halo franchise. Echo 216 and her pilot were first introduced in the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo trailer for Halo Infinite, dubbed "Discover Hope". According to 343 Industries, the pilot will be an important character within that game. In Discover Hope his resuscitation of John-117 and the life and courage the Chief then brings him were meant to speak to the theme of rebirth.
Concept art created for Discover Hope.
This piece of concept art shows the planned moment in which the pilot first sees the Master Chief.
Echo 216's pilot slumbers in the Pelican's cockpit.
The pilot watches a recording of his wife.
The voices of the pilot's wife and daughter bring him comfort.
The pilot mourns his solitude and separation from his family.
The pilot is alerted to a friendly signal.
The pilot looks over John-117.
The pilot responds enthusiastically to reawakening the Chief.
The pilot tries to halt John.
John-117 and Echo 216's pilot both have their attention drawn by something.
Echo 216 comes under attack.