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Two Hundred And Four Reasons

Spartan-117 & Spartan-087

[Preface] // [Part 1] // [Part 2] // [Part 3] // [Part 4] // [Part 5] // [Part 6] // [Part 7]

With this past month marking the 4-year anniversary of this blog, I was somewhat at a loss as to what to do to commemorate the occasion…until I remembered there was one more thing I could post as an addendum to my essay series chronicling the development of John-117 and Kelly-087′s relationship throughout Halo canon. There were a few additional pieces of media featuring SPARTAN-II Blue Team that were released in the wake of 2015′s ‘Halo 5: Guardians’ that I think are worth taking a quick look at in regards to how they carry on the tradition of highlighting the bond between a certain Blue-One and Blue-Two.

Through All These Years

The first of the two is an animated miniseries (though more akin to a motion-comic) that loosely adapts the content of both the novel ‘The Fall of Reach’ and its comic book counterpart (which I’ve previously discussed). Like the comic before it though, this miniseries includes a few minor details that differ from the original source text in interesting ways.

The second is a short story from the comic anthology ‘Tales From Slipspace’, called “On The Brink”, and features some panels and dialogue that I feel are very relevant to the content I’ve analyzed so far in regards to Kelly-087′s character and her dynamic with John-117.

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Kelly angled away from the drone, toward a tree just to its right.
She jumped, hit the trunk three meters up—pushed off, flipped, propelling herself through the air straight at the hovering machine.
No shields to stop her.
She grabbed the port and starboard booms and swung both legs onto the bottom spar.
Its central metal eye fixed her and heated to white-hot intensity.
She let go and braced as best as she could on the slippery bottom boom, balled her hands into fists, and then hit the thing as hard as she could—impacting the eye dead center. Her shields flared as it repelled the intense heat.
The sphere dented and spun backward.
The drone spun as well from the momentum, and Kelly scrambled to regain purchase.
She drew back once more, and before the thing could recover and blast her—she again struck a hammer blow.

I posted a rough sketch of this one on @117–087‘s blog a while back. While I always intended to finish the piece later, I went a bit further with it than I originally planned.

metalace223  asked:

Is it just the armor making them look bigger or has Kelly got some real thunder thighs going on there? She looks like she can give Chun Li a run for the money!

Yeah, you’re not the first person to mention that…part of it is probably the armor, but when looking at her compared to the other ladies I think it’s pretty clear that Kelly-087′s character model was specifically designed to have some powerful running apparatuses. And that’s really cool.

The thing is though, I love that Kelly-087 has legs like an Olympic sprinter. I love that Linda-058 is kind of leaner all around, I love that Vale is curvy at the waist and slim at the arms and calves, I love that Tanaka is built like a tank.

I LOVE SEEING A VARIETY OF FEMALE SPARTAN BODY TYPES! :D

Two Hundred And Four Reasons

Spartan-117 & Spartan-087

[Preface] // [Part 1] // [Part 2] // [Part 3] // [Part 4] // [Part 5] // [Part 6] // [Part 7]

Though most of John-117 and Kelly-087′s time together as both teammates and friends has been chronicled in the official novels, I’d still like to take a look at some of the fiction that exists in-tandem with these pieces of Halo canon. Specifically the comics - some of which offer a slightly different perspective on certain events from the books, while others contain relevant plot details and set the stage for Blue Team’s adventures in ‘Halo 5: Guardians’. But no matter how different they are in style, all of them serve to supplement what has long been established about Blue-One and Blue-Two, and the strong bond they share.

It’s in the Subtext

In the comic book adaptation of ‘The Fall of Reach’, obviously much of the story of the original novel is condensed (and some events are omitted entirely) in order to fit everything into twelve issues. However, interestingly enough, a lot of attention is still given to John and Kelly’s partnership and how they’ve stayed side by side practically their entire lives. Even to the extent that a few moments and details that aren’t present in the source text were added to the comic that emphasize the closeness of their relationship.

(Throughout the comics there are many panels like the ones above that depict isolated moments between John-117 and Kelly-087. I’ve chosen the ones that I thought were the most significant and relevant to this series of writings, but there are indeed more. So I definitely recommend checking out the whole comic books for additional context.)

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anonymous asked:

So we now know the name of Kelly's shotgun(s): "Oathsworn" You can find 343's little tid-bit about it in their latest community update: "Building your REQ collection part 1"

Awesome! I haven’t really looked through the new articles on ‘Halo 5′s Requisition System yet, so thank you for pointing this out to me.

It gives two excellent descriptions for Kelly-087’s shotgun, the first reads thusly:

SPARTAN-II’s are drilled to be clinical, efficient, and detached from the chaos of battle. Weapons are simply tools to be used and discarded as the tactical and logistical equation changes, without any sentimentality or emotion. Spartans are expected to use their extensive experience and the resources available to them through NAVSPECWARCOM to personalize their weapons only enough to maximize lethality and ergonomics, with no wasted time or materials.

At least for the first few years of the Covenant War this attitude prevailed, but it was not long before Spartans began to pay more personal attention to their wargear, making small, unapproved modifications and adding charms that reflected the idiosyncrasies of their personality and mementos dedicated to dead comrades and burning worlds. Subtle at first, these were the first signs that the horrors of the Covenant War were eroding the supposedly unbreakable indoctrination that had forged the SPARTAN-II candidates into super-soldiers who strode the battlefields of the 26th century like war-born demigods.

Oathsworn is one example of these personalized implements of death and destruction. The current Oathsworn was not the first, nor will it be the last. Many Oathsworn’s have been abandoned on various battlefields over the years, only to be rebuilt for another battle - another mission. Each one is subtly different, though the markings have remained the same for years. The words whispered while it is carefully rebuilt and tuned change each time, but not the intent.

The second summary is what will show on the weapon’s in-game REQ-Card:

Memories of loss and dreams of vengeance, sealed in steel and composites. Mythic Shotgun with increased damage, accuracy, and rate of fire. The user’s movement speed is also increased while Oathsworn is equipped.

I absolutely love both these passages, they’re very poetic. Also I love the idea that Kelly-087 not only modified her guns to fire faster in order to better serve her enhanced reflexes, but also with a custom paint job reflecting her ‘Rabbit’ moniker - and later a “Remember Reach” in honor of all that happened when her adopted homeworld fell.

Two Hundred And Four Reasons

Spartan-117 & Spartan-087

[Preface] // [Part 1] // [Part 2] // [Part 3] // [Part 4] // [Part 5] // [Part 6] // [Part 7]

It’s late August, 2552. After their victory at Sigma Octanus IV, Blue Team is called to return to their old stomping grounds on Reach. All the remaining Spartan-IIs that are not entrenched in deep-cover ops are summoned as well. Once gathered, they meet with Dr. Halsey who doesn’t hesitate to tell them all the grim truth: in spite of the UNSC’s bravado, humanity will not survive much longer against the Covenant onslaught. And so Operation: RED FLAG is outlined - a plan to send the Spartans to capture a Covenant ship and take it deep into enemy space, then kidnap any an all Prophets they can locate in a last-ditch attempt to broker a truce with the aliens. All the Spartans willingly volunteer for the mission, and Dr. Halsey is able to provide them with some new equipment that just might give them the edge they need. Including Mk. V MJOLNIR Armor that now comes with personal energy shielding technology, and a uniquely created smart AI meant to specialize in infiltration, called Cortana. After testing both these systems and experiencing the impressive results first-hand, the Master Chief is confident that the Spartans just might be able to bring an end to the Human-Covenant War. The series of events that followed would change John-117 and Kelly-087′s lives forever, more than anything either of them had endured before.

Before Anyone Else

After receiving their upgraded armor and their orders, the Spartan-IIs depart Reach aboard Captain Keyes’ vessel Pillar of Autumn, but their trip is cut incredibly short (‘The Fall of Reach’, chapter thirty-two):

Something was wrong.
John felt it in his stomach first: a slight lateral acceleration - that became a spin strong enough that he had to brace his legs. The Pillar of Autumn was turning. Every other Spartan in the storage bay felt it as well; they paused as they unloaded equipment from crates and readied the cryo tubes for their journey.
The lateral motion slowed and stopped. The Pillar of Autumn’s engines rumbled like thunder through the hull of the ship.
Kelly approached him. “Sir? I thought we were accelerating to enter slipspace?”
“So did I. Have Fred and Joshua continue to prep the tubes. Have Linda get a team and secure our gear. I’ll find out what’s going on.”
“Aye, sir.”

Naturally Kelly-087 is the first to conference with John-117, and without missing a beat he issues her the task of delegating orders to the rest of their squad. Captain Keyes soon arrives on deck to deliver the reason for their change of course himself. The Covenant have attacked Reach, and both the Autumn and the Spartan-IIs are being reassigned to defend the planet.

Unwilling to give up on RED FLAG so soon, John then explains to the Captain how he and his team might just be able to secure a Covenant ship during the battle and still continue with their previous mission. After dismissing Fred-104 and Linda-058 to do some prep-work, John approaches Kelly with another important task; and the two share another thoughtful moment amid the uncertainty of this new development:

The Master Chief approached Kelly. On a private COM channel, he told her, “Crate thirteen on the manifest has three HAVOK nuclear mines. Get them. I have the arming cards. Ready them for transport.”
“Affirmative.” She paused.
The Master Chief couldn’t see her face past the reflective shield of her helmet, but he knew her well enough to know that the tiny slump of her shoulders meant that she was worried.
“Sir?” she said. “I know this mission will be tough, but…do you ever get the feeling that this is like one of Chief Mendez’s missions? Like there’s a trick…some twist that we’ve overlooked?”
“Yes,” he replied. “And I’m waiting for it.”

The ability to read the cues in body language is something pretty much all the Spartans share as a result of their training, and with regard to the long years they’ve spent together the Spartans know the subtler signs that can be seen between themselves as well. Still, I like how the text here takes the time to emphasize that John knows Kelly’s own signals well enough that her worry is clearly evident to him even without her face being visible.

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Hey friends, followers, and fellow Halo fans!

Just wanted to make an announcement that this upcoming Wednesday, September 21st, is Kelly-087′s birthday! And something that I thought might be fun to do to celebrate (aside from me simply making some gifsets or edits) would be to open the blog up for Asks and Submissions from you fine people as to what it is you like about Blue Team’s most magnificent Rabbit.

Kelly-087 means a lot to me for so many reasons…mostly though it boils down to how she inspires me to never give up, stay true to myself, and be a good person even in the face of overwhelming adversity. And while I don’t always succeed in those things, the fact that she’s still around motivates me to keep trying. And I would like to think that some of you feel the same way - or at least just think she’s really cool. ;)

So feel free to send me anything you want; be it simple notes about Kelly-087 via ask, or maybe some art or writing in a submission. I’ll be reblogging this post again over the next few days and save everything that’s sent in to be published on the 21st (and afterward, if there is more than enough). Let’s show one of the best characters in the Halo Universe some love!

coolman229  asked:

I'm reading First Strike and I just got to the part where Kelly does the Spartan Smile on John's helmet and all he wanted to do was return it!

‘First Strike’ is such a good book and one of my favorites, but this little moment right here is definitely a part of why that is…

We’ve known since ‘The Fall of Reach’ the unique intricacies of Spartan-to-Spartan communication; how significant certain gestures, signals, and instances of physical contact are to them. And just prior to John-117 and Kelly-087’s reunion in the tunnels below Reach’s charred surface, we are told that the ‘Spartan Smile’ is the closest most Spartans will get to having an “emotional outburst” when in the field. It’s a simple and subtle expression but has a depth of meaning that only they can understand. Which is why Kelly’s unique touch to John’s faceplate is so interesting - because we’ve never seen this variation of the smile gesture done between Spartans before or since. Plus the fact that her reaching out to him and making contact is, by Spartan-II standards, not subtle at all.

This moment is clearly indicative of the particular closeness these two share (as had been built up since the first Halo novel), in tandem with the extreme relief that would naturally come with finding out your best friend is still alive after being separated under dire circumstances. Nor would I doubt that Kelly was also partially reaffirming through touch that John was really standing there in front of her, and that this wasn’t some hallucination caused by her still-healing internal injuries. Suffice to say there is definitely a lot of subtext that can be inferred from this split-second scene, and it’s one of the many reasons why I appreciate Eric Nylund’s writing for the Spartan-IIs so much.

And while it is a little sad that John doesn’t have the chance to return Kelly’s smile before they are interrupted, he still goes on to prove just how much she means to him not long afterward…