Sergeant John Forge (Service Number 63492-94758-JF) was a veteran non-commissioned officer and an infantryman in the UNSC Marine Corps. Although he excelled in tactics and combat, his repeated acts of insubordination caused him to receive three demotions, with infractions such as fighting with an officer, (which resulted in 2.4 years in jail time), and striking a superior officer. He sported an ace of spades playing card attached to his left shoulder pauldron, and also carried a combat knife he named “Lucy.”
Born on Earth on May 29, 2501, Forge’s life revolved around the military. His family lineage had been a part of the military for generations, dating as far back as World War II. He joined boot camp at the minimum age 16, where his superiors remarked there was “something special” about him. Forge and his wife fathered a daughter, Lucy Orion “Rion” Forge, around 2525. Although John’s marriage was strained even before the birth of his child, he and Rion would always remain on good terms.
Forge worked a stint as a military policeman on Mars and did some “grunt work” on Epsilon Eridani IV during the Insurrection. However, he hated policing and jumped at the chance to be assigned to Fort Marshall.
Forge was arrested twice during his service. His first arrest was for directly disobeying orders and disorderly conduct. Even though his actions saved four members of his squad, Forge spent a total of 2.4 years in prison, an infraction that removed any chance of moving through Officer Candidate School or even progressing beyond the rank of sergeant.
His second arrest occurred around August 17, 2530. Forge’s then-five-year-old daughter, Rion, and her aunt Jillian were waiting for John in a bar when Lieutenant Prosser started making sexual advances on Jillian. When the lieutenant made a suggestive comment toward Rion, Jillian struck Prosser, prompting him to shove her against a wall. At this point John arrived and confronted the lieutenant. They engaged in a fist fight, with charges brought upon the sergeant. However, Rion proclaimed her father as a hero and all charges were dropped, where he was later reassigned to the UNSC Spirit of Fire by Admiral Preston Cole himself. Spirit of Fire’s commanding officer, Captain James Cutter, came to trust Forge so thoroughly that he granted the sergeant a degree of authority significantly exceeding that afforded by his rank.
Reclamation of Harvest:
In February 2531, Spirit of Fire was sent to assist the crippled Marathon-class heavy cruiser UNSC Prophecy in the Epsilon Indi system. Captain Cutter ordered the Prophecy’s navigation database and survivors to be recovered, sending Forge and multiple Marine fireteams on board the vessel while Spirit of Fire engaged several Covenant ships. Forge’s Pelican dropship was hit by enemy fire and crash landed on the Prophecy’s hull. Forge and Team Lima breached and boarded the Prophecy, whereupon they were attacked by Kig-Yar Rangers. Forge’s ankle was broken during the engagement. With the guidance of Serina, Spirit of Fire’s AI, he was able to find the a terminal to recover the ship’s black box and wipe its navigation core while the rest of Team Lima rescued the ship’s survivors. Serina warned Forge that the Prophecy’s AI may “act peculiar” due to high radiation levels.
Upon scanning his retina to gain access to the terminal, Forge was halted by the ship’s AI, FitzGibbon, who explained he could not allow him to enter due to the latter’s poor service record. Forge reminded the AI of the Cole Protocol, stating that he was aboard the vessel to ensure the protocol would not to be violated. FitzGibbon then reluctantly allowed Forge into the terminal room and enabled radiation repair routines. Forge purged the navigation database and returned to the Pelicans as FitzGibbon activated Prophecy’s self-destruct sequence, which soon scuttled the ship. After the Marines and Forge escaped with the survivors, they were taken to Spirit of Fire’s medical bay. When Forge asked how the survivors were doing, Serina told him that they would all soon die due to all of them suffering extensive radiation poisoning. Forge was angered by the AI’s indifference towards the survivors and comforted them in their final moments, believing that even if they would soon be dead, they were still people and so deserved better.
Forge was sent to the surface of Harvest on his first mission to scout out Covenant activity in the northern polar region of the planet. He drove through Quadrant 4 to find a battalion of Sangheili that an AV-14 Hornet squadron had spotted earlier. Reporting the Covenant activity to his superiors, as to how the aliens had found a a Forerunner structure buried within the ice, he returned to the overrun UNSC Alpha Base, and helped organize scattered Marine units along the way. Forge and his rag-tag assault force were able to retake Alpha Base a short-time later. Before the Relic was demolished by the Covenant, the Forerunner site is captured by Forge and Marine forces. Professor Ellen Anders was then sent to the planet’s surface to personally investigate the relic, and Forge reluctantly escorted her inside. He was present when Anders activated a Forerunner holographic projection of a star map, and protected her when they were ambushed by a team of Sangheili warriors. Spirit of Fire then evacuated most of her ground troops, including Forge, and set course for Arcadia, a UNSC colony planet to which the star map had pointed.
After arriving at Arcadia, Forge was among the first UNSC troops to set foot in the besieged capital of Pirth City, where he aided the evacuation of civilians aboard three cargo vessels. When the civilian transports took off, Forge and his men abandoned the besieged city and fell back to the outskirts. There, he took part in the destruction of a nearby Covenant base, assisted by Spartan teams Red and Omega. He also participated in the battle to destroy a Covenant energy dome which was protecting an unfinished Type-29 Scarab. After a short battle, the UNSC forces succeeded in destroying the Scarab. While he and Anders were surveying the area, Arbiter Ripa ‘Moramee ambushed them. Forge was swiftly defeated and was about to be killed, until Anders stopped the Arbiter by agreeing to go with him without incident. After Spartan Red Team’s unsuccessful attempt to stop the Arbiter from escaping, they immediately retreated back to the Spirit of Fire. Spirit of Fire then made a slipspace jump in pursuit of 'Moramee’s retreating vessel.
After Spartan Jerome-092 recommended destroying 'Moramee’s ship and killing Anders rather than let classified information fall into Covenant hands, Forge confronted the Spartan. The altercation resulted in a broken chair, a seal malfunction on a bulkhead and a stern interruption from Serina. From then on, Forge and Jerome always ate together in the mess hall.
Upon arriving at a mysterious planet, Forge was sent to the planet’s surface, where he and his forces encountered the Flood. It was soon discovered that the world was not a planet at all, but a Forerunner shield world. Immediately following this revelation, Forge was put in charge of the evacuation of the Spirit’s ground troops and the decontamination of Flood from the ship’s dorsal surface. By chance, he came upon the recently escaped Ellen Anders in the shield world’s interior and escorted her back to the Spirit of Fire.
Forge was then put in charge of the strike team that would deliver the Spirit’s Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine to the Apex Site; the SFTE had been rigged as a bomb to destroy the shield world and deny its armada of Forerunner dreadnoughts to the Covenant. Atop the Apex, he once again faced 'Moramee in battle, while the Spartans of Red Team eliminated the Arbiter’s comrades. Although Forge was nearly killed, he overcame his foe at the last minute by tricking the Arbiter to look him in the eye, and then stabbing him in the neck with his prized combat knife, “Lucy”. He then picked up the Arbiter’s energy sword and drove it through the Sangheili’s stomach, killing him. As Alice-130 rolled the Arbiter’s corpse off the platform, Jerome examined the engine, realizing that it had been damaged in the fight.
When it became clear that the damaged slipspace drive would have to be detonated manually, Forge realized that the Spartans would play a far greater role in the war than he ever could. He volunteered to take the FTL drive into the shield world’s artificial star. Forge gave the Spirit’s crew the time they needed to escape the hollow planet and then detonated the drive, sacrificing his own life, but dealing the Covenant a massive blow in the process.
Spirit of Fire was declared lost with all hands on February 10, 2534, though many bereaved family members refused to accept the official statement. On his deathbed, Forge’s father encouraged Rion to keep up the search for the truth regarding the ship’s disappearance. Rion spent the ensuing years seeking closure for her father’s disappearance, eventually becoming a scavenger. In January 2557, she followed a series of leads that pointed to the log buoy Spirit of Fire had dropped at Arcadia, which in turn took her to the remains of Shield World 0459. There she encountered what remained of the former caretaker of the facility, a fragmentary ancilla she later dubbed “Little Bit”, which provided her the trajectory Spirit of Fire had followed when escaping the shield world.
JAMES ROBINSON (W) • LEONARD KIRK (A) Cover by ALEX GARNER BLUR and THUNDRA may be the prisoners of JIM HAMMOND and S.H.I.E.L.D., but their rescue seems imminent when NIGHTHAWK reappears to free them. But how will the resurrection of NAMOR affect their bid for freedom? Will he be friend or foe to the SQUADRON SUPREME? Plus: HYPERION and DOCTOR SPECTRUM each make decisions about their futures with the Squadron. And as one hero returns from the dead, will another fall? The startling fate of Jim Hammond. 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Fighter Squadron 14 (VF-14) F-14A Tomcat aircraft fly over the French aircraft carrier FOCH (R 99) during a joint exercise in which the FOCH and the aircraft carrier USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) are taking part
An MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopter attached to the Chargers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14 performs plane guard operations near the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). The ships comprising the John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) are participating in a group sail exercise designed to develop coordinated capabilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ignacio D. Perez/Released)
An MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopter attached to the Chargers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14 performs plane guard operations near the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis. A plane guard is tasked to recover the aircrew of planes or helicopters which ditch or crash in the water during aircraft carrier flight operations.
NAMEST AIR BASE, Czech Republic – Members of the 81st Aircraft Maintenance Unit discuss repairs for an A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 81st Fighter Squadron Sept. 14, during Ramstein Rover 2012 here. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Natasha Stannard/ Released)