Fan Fic: The Last Spartan
The Last Spartan
is an Alternate Universe Halo
crossover Fusion Fic
. After the prologue, a novelization of Halo 3's ending, a turian patrol discovers the remains of the Forward Unto Dawn
floating in deep space...131 years after the events of the last game. In a historic moment, the Master Chief
is thawed out of his Cryo Pod and awakens to a whole new galaxy
, one where humanity has not only made peace with most of the former Covenant races, but has since joined The Citadel Council
While initially nonplussed about some decisions humanity has made about joining the Citadel races, Spartan-117 and Cortana both overcome their culture shock while the former grudgingly overcomes decades of wartime xenophobia to secure humanity's place in the galaxy...by becoming a Spectre.
But all is not well in the galaxy, for Saren Arterius
launches an assault on the human colony of Eden Prime in search of a powerful artifact, and while the Master Chief is unable to prevent him from using it
nonetheless finds himself on a manhunt across the galaxy.
The simplest way to describe this crossover is Master Chief put in Commander Shepard's boots
, and for such a simple premise, it is awesome.
It has also spawned two Spinoff fanfics, Desperate Measures
and Last of An Ancient Breed: A Side Story to The Last Spartan
. Tropes for them go at the bottom of the page.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: While walking around in a Marine uniform, the Chief introduces himself to Charles Saraccino as "Petty Officer Steven Downes," which happens to be the name of his voice actor.
- Adaptational Badass: In the game, Miranda is a Glass Cannon who though competent in a fight has some of the lowest health of all the party members. Here, she takes The Arbiter, and by herself no less.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the games, Miranda, though being a part of Cerberus, and having both a few Kick the Dog moments and an frosty exterior, is still a good person deep down and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who at the end of 2 leaves Cerberus after at last seeing that they go too far. This version on the other hand, is a full-blown Knight Templar and just another evil Cerberus agent, as well as something of a Smug Snake. To be fair though, it could be said that it's Miranda pre Character Development. The author's admitting to not liking Miranda may have also influenced his approach to the character.
- Adorkable: Liara; she can't even order food without Cortana's help when she visits a human restaurant.
- Ain't No Rule: While Hackett admits the idea of putting a revived Master Chief forward as a Spectre candidate is ridiculous on paper (in a manner of speaking), he immediately and eagerly Hand Waves the issue by citing this trope. The Chief hasn't even been thawed by the time he gets behind the idea.
- Alien Arts Are Appreciated:
- Standard for Mass Effect, but N'tho takes it to a whole new level, him being a "Squidhead," someone who appreciates human culture. He loves human poetry, songs, and books.
- On a more species-wide scale, according to N'tho, after the Human-Covenant war, the entire sangheli species fell in love with burritos. Apparently, their tube shape is perfect for the oddly-shaped mouths of the sangheli.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: Chapter 33 leaves the Normandy and follows The Arbiter on his hunt for Cerberus on Omega instead. The chapter even shares a title with the Trope Namer. This trend continues into Chapter 34, following two Chekhov's Gunmen OGs.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: This is how the team sees N'tho most of the time.
- Arc Number: True to form, variants of the number seven appear throughout the story. For example, some of the "named" Geth troopers have serial numbers divisible by seven, and not counting the Chief himself, there are seven members of the Normandy ground team.
- And when the author read this page and noticed the above entry, expressed glee when someone noticed, saying: "Yes! Finally! Someone picked up on that!" Count how many words are in that phrase.
- Funnily enough, Liara mentions that seven is bad luck in Asari cultures.
- Arc Words: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." The Chief and Cortana find themselves trying to unlock the secrets of an alien Artifact of Doom once again, for starters.
- Art Evolution: Slyly referenced in the scene where Garrus finds out Cortana is still alive. He admits to recognizing her from depictions in documentaries, but says he thought her hair would be shorter.
- After the events of the above, Cortana decides to update her appearance with longer hair, a dress and the color pink, but the Chief is so dumbstruck by it that she said that she'll revert to her previous appearance when they're alone.
- Artistic License – Biology:
- The story claims that Mgalekgolo (Hunters) eat dextro-amino acid based food, like the Turians and Quarians. As revealed in the book "Contact Harvest," they eat rocks and metals.
- The author later handwaved this by saying that while they can eat rocks and metals, they also won't swell up and die if they were to consume dextro biological matter.
- In-story, this is part of the reason several characters don't believe Master Chief really is the Master Chief. Cryogenics aren't supposed to be able to keep someone alive that long.
- Ascended Fanboy:
- Ashley Williams, who studied Spartan maneuvers, tactics, read the stories, and even watched the cartoon show... and now fights alongside her idol.
- N'tho is an Ascended Fanboy of the Chief's, but to a much lesser extent than Ashley.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Wrex teaches this aspect of Krogan culture to N'tho, via headbutt during the battle against the Thorian, after N'tho had been particularly mouthy to him.
- Author Appeal: "So yeah. I just invented Mgalekgolo Vanguards. Why? Fuck you, that's why."
- Badass Grandpa:
- The Arbiter. Even for a species as long-lived as Sangheili, he admits he's in the Twilight of his life. However, he still singlehandedly assaults a mercenary compound, and even after reuniting with Chief and Garrus, continues to hold his own and sends enemies fleeing in terror.
- Technically, the Chief counts as this as well, but Cryo-freezing has a lot to do with it. Even counting that, he's still pushing fifty.
- Badass Normal: According to Tali, Kal'Reegar came back from his Pilgrimage with a suit full of injuries and a gravity hammer. His answer to the obvious question ("How did Kal'Reegar get it?") was simply, "It wasn't easy."
- Berserk Button:
- John doesn't appreciate Saren calling him by his real name.
- A meta example is the author launching into a rant over how he's angry the Jackals don't have their signature beaks in Halo4.
- While the Master Chief is a good soldier, he's not Shepard. He's not Paragon, he's not Renegade. He doesn't know how to deal with people. In chapter 37, he openly admits that he feels that the Council made a massive mistake choosing him as a Spectre. In short, while he's completely awesome in many ways, the ability to rip out a charging Jirlhanae's spine doesn't necessarily translate well to being able to deal with politicians, or former enemies. Shepard (in the games) was able to walk that line- he knew the galaxy well. For Chief, it was just last week that the same unggoy that sells him his grenades with a half-off discount for saving the galaxy... was charging at him insanely, screaming oaths to his god with two plasma grenades primed, ready to sell his life to stop "the Demon."
- The "Proud Warrior Race Guy" attitude is deconstructed as well. At least one member of the political party "Slip To The Future," says that they believe that the Kig-Yar (Jackals) will likely have the next council seat after the humans get a seat, instead of the Sangheli. While the Sangheli are prominent leaders and proud warriors (especially in the Halo Games proper), they focus a lot of their energy on their military... and don't place nearly enough on other pursuits. On the other hand, the Jackals, while weaker than the Sangheli, still have a military that is strong for its size, and a booming economy, which would be far more advantageous to the Council.
- Further deconstructed when N'Tho mentions that part of what the Sangheili had to re-learn after breaking from the Covenant was agriculture, plumbing and building and maintaining infrastructure and how they were so focused on being the Proud Warrior Race that their society was essentially non-functional without the Unggoy and other species supporting their society.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Master Chief to the Normandy crew, before his Kick the Dog moments start coming and then he freezes solid again. He starts thawing out again after a bit of soul-searching.
- Degraded Boss: Cortana lampshades how fighting Geth juggernauts used to be hard.
- Disastrous Demonstration: The first Turian slipspace-capable ship (which the Alliance helped construct) was lost in an effort by the Alliance to validate slipspace as a viable form of FTL travel, explaining why slipspace is illegal.
- The Dragon: Benezia to Saren of course. And Saren to Sovereign, obviously.
- Dramatic Gun Cock: Chief does with a shotgun in Chapter 5.
Chief: Don't worry. *shotgun pump* This wouldn't be the first time I stopped the Darkness of Eternity.
- Dramatic Irony: This line:
Nihlus: Not the most glamorous assignment I've ever had. But no less important than any other I've been given. Besides, I've learned a long time ago that you never know when a boring assignment might turn interesting.
- Drives Like Crazy: The Chief. N'tho is a lesser example, but he still makes his passengers plead for their lives.
- Droit du Seigneur: one of N'thos siblings was sired by a wandering swordsman; who are not allowed to marry but are instead expected to sow their oats far and wide. A rare example of everyone being on-board with the idea; it's a great honour to bear and/or raise a swordsman's child.
- Earlybird Cameo:
- Although it's only in mention and not presence, The Councilors mention assigning Jondum Bau to search for Halo in Chapter 32.
- He makes a proper appearance at the end of Chapter 33, and so does Miranda, who has a rivalry with The Arbiter.
- The Illusive Man, Kai Leng, and Diana Allers (not in that order, nor, in the latter's case, during the same scene) all show up in Chapter 34.
- Enemy Mine: Miranda suggests this to the Arbiter and the Illusive Man concerning an alliance with the Elites against the Reapers, but is rejected by both.
- The Engineer: Tali obviously qualifies, with Chief becoming a surprising addition with his new drone and support courtesy of his new armor.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even with Adaptational Villainy Miranda is still disgusted by Kai Leng
- Evil Lawyer Joke: Apparently many Kig-Yar have become lawyers.
- Exact Words:
- "I can categorically say no, the place did not explode." Chief, in chapter 31. the Forerunner facility self-destructs by sucking everything into slipspace, similar to the method used to destroy the Long Night of Solace supercarrier in Halo Reach. That, if anything, was an implosion, where it collapses in on itself.
- And again when N'tho, Kaiden, and Chief are discussing Chief's love life (or lack thereof):
John: "Whatever happened to 'didn't want to pry into my personal life behind my back?'"
N'tho: "I'm not prying into your personal life behind your back, I'm doing it right in front of you."
- When Jondam Bau requests the aid of the Arbiter, he specifies that they should only take one ship to search for Halo. The Arbiter responds by indeed only taking one ship. The type of ship, however, is the same class of supercarrier that was used in Halo: Reach, namely, a twenty-seven kilometer long supercarrier which has enough soldiers and firepower to subjugate an entire planet.
- Fangirl / Fanboy:
- Ashley and Jenkins towards the Master Chief, his historic influence being part of their inspiration to join the Alliance military.
- The Biotic Terrorist Leader immediately surrenders after seeing the Master Chief in person, he and his followers having seen him as a hero as well. It helps that at Kaidan's suggestion, Chief attempted to negotiate with them instead of depressurizing their ship and suffocating them as initially planned.
- Fantastic Racism: Plenty to go around of course. Master Chief himself has this problem initially, but it's justifiable, seeing as how before he was frozen, all aliens wanted to destroy his entire species. Initially, the only reason he took aliens with him was because they were useful, and was planning on getting rid of them at the first opportunity, simply because they weren't human.
- Fantastic Slur: The former Covenant races regard their old nicknames as this and it's considered politically incorrect to refer to them as such. "Squidhead" doubles as N-Word Privileges for young elites.
- Foreshadowing: After destroying a geth transmitter in the tunnels under Zhu's Hope, Wrex discovers that the three Krogan they killed to get to it were all adolescents, something he points out to the Chief is very unlikely.
- For Want of a Nail: Because the Monster of Torfan killed all the Batarians long before his unit showed up, Major Kyle was never traumatized by the loss of his men, and never became a cult leader.
- In Spite of a Nail: Instead, he becomes a catholic priest and winds up being called "Father Kyle" anyway.
- Four Is Death:
- Zig-zagged, Wrex mentions that four is considered a lucky number...on Tuchanka.
- Garrus plays it slightly straighter, four is simply unlucky to turians. He offers to trade his call sign (Blue Four) with Wrex, but gets shot down by the Chief.
- Gas Leak Cover-Up:
- Halo's ability to destroy all sentient life in the galaxy has been dismissed as a conspiracy theory. The Chief, understanding the panic this could cause, goes along with it when N'tho asks.
- The Councilors, however, admit to having been briefed on Halo's true purpose shortly after First Contact and take it seriously enough to send a Spectre looking for it once The Chief discovers Saren wants it.
- Genre Savvy - Mixes with Combat Pragmatist, Ustrina the AI pulls out all the stops against Chief and his team, including: rigging omni-tools with deadman triggers to prevent hacking, installing cyanide gas tanks throughout the ship, cutting off the team's communications, and even simply holds off Cortana by choosing to erect powerful firewalls around her rather than face her directly.
- Gilligan Cut: The Author loves to prove how wrong the characters are.
- Good Counterpart: "Slip to the Future" is this for the Terra Firma party. It's an inclusive party comprised of many non-humans that nonetheless advocates Slipspace technology, an FTL technology (and humanity's primary method of FTL travel pre-Citadel) that the Council has banned. Mostly the same agenda, but none of the Fantastic Racism.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: While fighting Geth inside the Therum excavation site, The Chief picks up a freshly killed Geth Juggernaut and starts running, using it as both a shield and battering ram to knock over other Geth.
- Hannibal Lecture:
- Though just as emotionless as ever, the geth runtimes Cortana holds hostage and tries to interrogate remind her of her mortality as a smart AI made from flash-cloned brain tissue and her organic shortcomings. She's able to maintain her composure before destroying them, but it leaves her quite rattled.
- In Chapter 30, Saren gives a caustic review of Master Chief's leadership skills, pointing out how many Marines died at his side despite seeing him as a Messianic Archetype and especially how a sizable number of Spartans died under his command. You'd think this would be suicide when it does work. Instead, Saren nearly Curb Stomps the Chief when he chooses blind rage over his normally clinical tactics.
- The effect of the Hannibal Lecture is somewhat lessened when you've read enough of the EU to know that very few Spartans have died under the Chief's command. Most of them died under Fred's command.
- Have I Mentioned That I Hate Synthetic Life Today: Ever since Cortana was revealed, Tali has been hit with this hard. Any attempt at Cortana trying to form any sort of bond with Tali is viewed with extreme suspicion, and she will frequently take any slight sign of betrayal as proof that the AI specifically designed to protect mankind, with a proven track record of doing so, is about to kill them all.
- Heel Realization: Master Chief has something of one in regards to his being a Jerkass in Chapter 32.
- Hero of Another Story: The Arbiter has been investigating Cerberus for at least a month before The Chief's miraculous discovery and even performed several in-game sidequests related to them.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: The Sangheli way of dealing with teenagers apparently involves sending them off to fight battles for the empire, figuring that a few near-death experiences will make them less uppity.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Invoked with the Arbiter, but also lampshaded and deconstructed by Miranda when she uses it to her advantage in her fight against him.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Garrus kills Dr. Saleon by locking him in a test chamber with one of the Flood infection forms he was experimenting on.
- Hidden Depths: N'tho 'Sraom: Ascended Fanboy of the Master Chief, irreverant mid-battle singer, conspiracy theorist (of sorts)...and Warrior Poet (knowing human poetry—in N'tho's case, Shakespeare—is practically mandatory if you want to call yourself a Squidhead with a straight face). He's also written several thesis papers about alien cultures, and is able to hold a relatively sophisticated conversation about the sociological ramifications of the end of the Human-Covenant War, how it affected his species, and similar parallels in other races.
- Hypocritical Humor: After The Chief is captured by Dr. Saleon, a turian guard falls for The Master Chief's "pretending to be passed out in jail" trick and gets close enough for him to drop the guy to the floor and snap his neck. The Chief then reads an email on the guad's omni-tool where he called a coworker a moron for wanting to try on the Spartan's armor.
- Idiot Hero: N'tho. He's also explicitly called an idiot a couple times.
- Interestingly, also averted. He might not be too smart on the battlefield, but it's also clear that he's plenty smart in other ways. For example, he's working on an essay comparing asari writings to his own culture.
- The Illuminati: Subverted. As per Halo canon, The Assembly helps guide humanity, but doesn't seek to rule them.
- I'm Standing Right Here: Chief says this to Wrex in Chapter 14, when Wrex says he could beat him in a fight.
- Innocently Insensitive: The Guardian on Eletania "helpfully" warns Wrex that he's suffering genetic corruption because of the genophage and should probably seek medical help or be unable to breed.
- Insistent Terminology: Tali refers to Cortana as 'it' instead of 'she' once she learns she's an AI.
- The Internet Is for Porn: Cortana mentions porn repeatedly in her descriptions of what could be found on the extranet.
- Interservice Rivalry: Between the Illusive Man's Co-Dragons Miranda and Kai Leng.
- Jerk Ass:
- Chief is starting to show a very socially-aggressive side. His treatment of the Normandy crew is becoming increasingly cruel, even by his standards. See Kick the Dog entry below. He seems to be realizing this as of Chapter 32.
- Fai Dan is still one. As is Saren
- Miranda and Kai Leng
- Jumped at the Call: N'tho in spades.
- Knight Templar: Saren and Cerberus as always. Notably this version of Miranda is even more of one here than in the actual game
- Master Chief himself becomes a mild case of this thanks to his Kick the Dog moments.
- Lampshade Hanging: All. The. Time. The big twist of the Halo games plot is criticized repeatedly as being like "something out of a bad video game"
- Last of His Kind: Hell, it's right in the title. And even if he isn't, he's still the last of the SPARTAN-II soldiers.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: N'tho tells Kaidan how it almost felt like it took 4 months for the Normandy to land on Noveria despite it only being a few days since their last mission, referring to the author taking that long to update from the last chapter.
- Love Dodecahedron:
- N'tho speculates one is afoot with the Chief at its center, pointing out rumors that the Chief is dating either Liara or Ashley, speculating that Kaidan may have a crush on him, and that even Tali might see something in him. The Chief and Kaidan insist otherwise.
- Although Kaidan has admitted to "Admiring" the Chief from time to time, but says that it's purely from an artistic standpoint.
- N'tho, as revealed in the same section, has read several articles on how quarian reproduction works...
- Magic Knight: We have Vanguard Hunters in Chapter 33. Huge dudes, massively honorable, decked out in full-body armor plating, and with the ability to utilize biotics, they definitely count.
- Meaningful Name: "Ustrina" is the ancient Roman name for the site of a funeral pyre. An AI of the same name tries to kill The Chief's ground team by activating a Self Destruct Sequence on board the ship they're on. Before that, she helped Horridus program a nuclear bomb and several trap mechanisms to fool Cortana into getting The Chief's team killed. Furthermore, her avatar is wreathed in flames.
- The Mole: Cortana winds up becoming one of these for the Assembly, much to her chagrin.
- Mundane Utility: A Yanma'e (drone) is seen using her flight powers... to deliver pizza.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Chief meets an entire political movement of these, the "Slip to the Future" party. They're a salarian-founded group with many non-human members advocating lifting bans on Slipspace technology, which is a solely human invention.
- For the Salarians, it's less of this, since their government voted against the Slipspace ban, but were outvoted by the Asari and Turians. Any Asari or Turian members are a straighter examples of this.
- Mythology Gag:
- The Chief hates riding in elevators, they take too long.
- A lot of characters have similar thoughts about elevators throughout the entire series.
- The Love Dodecahedron mentioned up above has Chief's possible romantic interests include Liara and Ashley as the prime contenders, with Tali as a possible one, and Kaidan as another possible LI. Liara and Ashley were the romantic interests for Male Shepard in the first Mass Effect game, Tali is one of the most popular choices for romancing in the second Mass Effect game, and Kaidan is a love interest for the third game.
- The name of Spartan B-312 (Noble Six) is the same as the name for the default Female Shepard (Jane).
- Spartan 051, Kurt, is described as having many of Male Shepard's characteristics, including the infamous trait of saying "I should go."
- ODST Vanderloo suggests that Chief punch al-Jilani if she tries to interview him again, similar to how Shepard could in canon.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: Invoked and deconstructed in Chapter 24, when the return trip down the Prothean skyway sees N'tho about to "challenge" a geth hovercraft to a race/ramming run. Tali cuts N'tho's attempt to ram it off the skyway short by firing a needler into its pilot and tells N'tho point blank that she didn't want him to stoop to such antics.
- Never Found the Body: N'tho mentions the Sangheili insurrection against the Arbiter in Chapter 39, and how it ended with an orbital bombardment of Jul 'Mdama's last known location. 'Mdama was never found and presumed dead, but prolonged discussion about rumors of his survival all but hit you over the head with the probability that he will show up somewhere down the road.
- Noble Bigot:
- Chief himself at the start of the story, on the basis that all the aliens he's encountered before then have been trying to shoot him. Ashley of course also has shades of this, but after a conversation with some of the other crew members seems to mediate her views a little bit.
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: Master Chief also expresses discomfort at the idea of taking orders from aliens before and after becoming a Spectre.
- Noble Six Is A Girl: In Chapter 38, Noble Six is identified by the name Jane-B312.
- No, Except Yes: At the beginning of Chapter 42, the author announces that the Chief will finally meet Shepard...sort of. It turns out he meant The Chief contacts an ODST Lieutenant named Mark Vanderloo, who's named after the Dutch underwear model on whom Male!Shepard's default appearance is based. He does allude to some of Shepard's more memetically famous attributes as well.
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Captain Anderson mentions offhandedly that one of reasons no more Spartans have been made since the end of the Human-Covenant War was because all the data pertaining to their creation were destroyed with Castle Base during the events of Halo: First Strike.
- Noodle Incident: The Arbiter's fight with Miranda in Chapter 33 is their third encounter during his hunt for Cerberus.
- Kal'Reegar came back from his pilgrimage covered in blood, badly injured, with a suit that was ripped to shreds, and carrying a Gravity Hammer. When asked how he got said hammer, he simply responded "It wasn't easy."
- Wrex got into some trouble on the planet Sanves once and had to biotically manipulate a corpse to get out of it.
- Not His Sled:
- Fai Dan is lucky that the Chief has such good aim.
- The ruins on Eletania aren't of Prothean origin. They're Forerunner.
- Parasini isn't with Noveria Internal Affairs. She's an undercover ONI agent.
- Not So Different: After reaching the Exo Geni building and clearing it of Geth, the Chief muses on how much his otherwise rag-tag party has in common with his wartime squadmates.
- Not So Stoic:
- When they argue about whether or not to reveal Cortana's continued existence to the crew in Chapter 26, the Chief loses his infamously laconic composure and tells Garrus that Cortana is all he has left. One of his lines even has an exclamation point!
- He also give N'tho a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how the Elites view the Forerunners when N'tho wants to stay in the Registry.
- Nothing Is Scarier: For the first third or so of Chapter 45, Peak 15 is silent and empty, making the team nervous and wary.
- N-Word Privileges: "Squidhead," a Fantastic Slur from the Halo era, has since been adopted by a Sangheili youth counterculture as a badge of pride.
- Obfuscating Stupidity:
- Cortana pretends to be a VI when Garrus examines her storage chip on his Omni-tool. He eventually sees right through it, having seen enough documentaries on the Human-Covenant War to put two and two together.
- She tries again at a later chapter on the whole team. Let's just say the bluff failed not even 5 minutes in; It is a VERY bad idea to do so in front of someone who's race's Hat is "AIs."
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: While initially friendly towards the Master Chief due to his role in destroying the Covenant's hold over the Kig-Yar, Administrator Chok still blocks Chief's desire to head up to Peak 15 during the Noveria mission.
- Of Corpse He's Alive: Chief's team uses a dead brute to fool a dropship pilot.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Chief gets one in chapter 41. Just before the narrative cuts over to his crew, he's being tossed around like a ragdoll by a biotic Jiralhanae Chieftain (naturally). When his crew later reaches his location, they simply find him standing over the chieftain's corpse cleaning blood off his knife.
- Oh, Crap: Dr. Saleon has frozen samples of The Flood in his lab on The Citadel.
- Old Soldier: Averted with Master Chief, who is the same age as he was in Halo 3 despite chronologically being 172 years old. Played straight with The Arbiter.
- Pardon My Klingon: "Wort wort wort" is a well known Memetic Mutation in the Halo franchise. The way N'tho uses the word in the story implies that it is actually Sangheili curse word. It makes sense in that context.
- Pay Evil unto Evil:
- How Garrus chooses to deal with Doctor Saelon. He even refers to it as "poetic justice"
- Miranda also seems to have this mentality, believing that it's okay to perform unethical experiments on people if they're violent criminals that no one will miss.
- Percussive Maintenance: Inverted. Wrex smashes one of the nuke's hard points just in time to stop the detonation. He then refers to this trope as "Krogan Engineering."
- Pet the Dog: Once he has some time to think about it and cool down, Chief starts making up for all his Kick the Dog moments, starting with giving Tali information on Slipspace technology for her pilgrimage.
- Planet of Hats:
- In true Mass Effect fashion, these hats come off quite often, and with the Covenant races to boot. Most prominent is N'tho, a Sangheili Spec Ops warrior who acts unusually informal and Crazy Awesome compared to the Elites we've seen in Halo canon. Likewise, while the few other hats have come off prominently, Kig-Yar, the Goddamned Bats of the Halo franchise, have settled into more benign mercantile professions...such as lawyers.
- When Chief first gets to the Presidium, he notices a Drone/Bugger/Yanme'e flying through the air... delivering pizza with an advertisement for her workplace draped over her.
- When Ashley calls Wrex out for not identifying the Rachnai on Noveria, saying that the Krogan were the ones to wipe them out, Wrex turns it back on her by saying that while, yes, they did, it was two thousand years ago, and Krogan written records aren't all that impressive to begin with, so he had no idea what they looked like other than "Bugs," helpfully inverting a few of the Warrior Race tropes.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Possibly The Arbiter. He doesn't approve of Kaidon Tyrannai's training Vorcha to be proper soldiers, but it's unclear if it's because of Fantastic Racism or a more pragmatic reason.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Miranda, in contrast to the more Ax-Crazy Kai Leng
- Ramming Always Works:
- While driving the Mako across Therum, the Chief follows an old rule in vehicle combat from the previous games: "Don't brake for nobody."
- It's partly for this reason (among many, many other reasons) that Tali forbids N'tho from ever driving anything ever again.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Chief gives N'tho a scathing one about the Elites in Chapter 29:
Master Chief: The Forerunners are not gods. They did not ascend to a higher plane of existence. They were wiped out by the Flood. They didn't want you worshiping them or the broken toys they left lying around, and they sure as hell didn't think your species was somehow unique from the others. You know how the Forerunners really saw your species? You know what they really saw when they looked at you split-jaws a hundred thousand years ago? They didn't see the beginnings of a noble race of warriors. They saw a race of savages who were still trying to get the hang of making fire, and didn't stand a chance against the Flood. They didn't ennoble you with some kind of divine destiny. They took pity on you. Now, we're on a high-profile mission to track down a rogue Spectre and bring him to justice, which means we don't have time to entertain an ancient squidhead fairy tale. Are we clear on that?
- Retcon: There was a period of time when the author couldn't decide how to mingle the two timelines together. At first, the Halo verse was bumped up a few centuries, with the story taking place in ME time. Then the story was in 2683, for no reason. Then bumped to earlier, with the author justifying it by pointing out how the technology present in Halo would be more along the 2100's. Then finally, it seemed to settle on 2683, because it would be impossible to colonize 800 planets in 70 years, and instead moved the Mass Effect universe up 500 years.
- The Rival/Arch-Enemy: Saren to Master Chief and Miranda and Arbiter with each other
- Running Gag: The Chief mentioning not knowing about something, and people asking where he's been in the last few years. Given that he was literally taken out of a freezer less than a year ago...
- Rule of Cool: Vanguard Hunters, according to the author's notes. Justified because it's a giant alien monster the size of a truck that decides that something over there really needs to die, and then BAM, he's slamming into that something at unbelievable velocity. It's a terrifying combination.
- Space Jews: In addition to the Volus, any Kig-Yar who haven't gotten jobs in the military or piracy fall under this trope, having become shrewd businessmen and lawyers in the last century. Some Unggoy are said to fall under this trope as well, but the majority can be considered Space Mexicans, as they are a source of cheap labor.
- Start of Darkness: Explicitly referred to as such in the author's notes for Chapter 19. When Garrus corners Dr. Saleon in his lab (after seeing footage of a turian being turned into a combat form and catching him over a dead Asari he did the same to), he locks him in a testing chamber and lets a Flood Infection form loose in it.
- Stealth Pun:
- In chapter 10, the Chief comes across Garrus fiddling with the Mako. When pressed, Garrus said he thought the Mako's suspension was off and needed adjustment...another word for calibration.
- According to The Guardian, The Forerunners classified the Turians as "Species Delta-702" and the Krogans as "Species Delta-1404," implying that Krogans are basically twice the creature a Turian is.
- Summon Bigger Fish: Of the "instantly backfires" variety. In chapter 28, a group of mercs release a Flood Tank Form from containment to have it deal with Chief and company. Liara tosses it across the room, to have it deal with the mercs.
- Suspiciously Apropos Music: Cortana plays Hell Ain't Hot Enough For Me and We Wanna Wreck Here by The Meteors back to back during the rescue of Master Chief and their subsequent fight against the momentarily united forces of Saren's goons, The Flood, and Prometheans respectively. The latter song's lyrics fit the characters and their actions surprisingly well.
- Tempting Fate:
- Tali decides to drive with the Chief, thinking he can't be as bad as N'tho. It doesn't work.
- See the "Drives Like Crazy," entry for more details.
- N'tho invokes this on Noveria by thinking that the team won't encounter any monsters, twisted experiments or anything like that. Made even worse when he adds "probably" after that list.
- Terms of Endangerment: Of a sort. It's worth noting that, thus far, Saren is the only character in the fanfic to consistently refer to the Master Chief as simply "John." Partially because Saren refuses to give a heroic honorific like "Master Chief" to a Human, partially because Saren knows that it gets under the Chief's skin.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: The attitude that Ustrina has in regards to the Council's distrust of AIs. Chapter 41's codex entry also implies that other AIs in the Terminus carry this attitude as well.
- Time Bomb: Chief's team is almost killed by a nuke on a timer.
- Title Drop: Twice so far. First when The Chief visits a memorial to his fellow Spartans and realizes he's the last one. A second one comes when Sha'ira advises him to open up more to his crew, telling him that by doing so (read: acting like a proper Western RPG protagonist) he will "no longer feel like the Last Spartan."
- Token Evil Teammate: Invoked by Miranda when speaking to Kai Leng, asking him if all of the ODS Ts were as bad as him or if he was just an exception
- Took a Level in Jerkass:
- Tranquil Fury:
- The Chief manages to remain outwardly composed when Saren addresses him, condescendingly, by his real name, John. He ends up quietly breaking off and bending a piece of guardrail afterwards.
- He descends into this again when talking down to N'tho after his attempts to distract the Thresher Maw made fighting it harder and nearly gets them all killed.
- Garrus's attitude when he gives Dr. Saleon some "poetic justice"
- The Voiceless:
- Averted unlike the Halo series. Since Master Chief is filling in for Commander Shepard, he's spoken more in his first two chapters than he has in the Halo Trilogy. Played for Laughs as he still uses short, blunt sentences where Shepard used charismatic lines, and complains silently about how sore and raspy his throat is becoming.
- Althought technically this was subverted in the series itself- Chief actually did speak in the series... it's just that he didn't do it all that often, and was usually in short, to-the-point sentences.
- Warrior Poet: We already know Ashley's one, but both she and Master Chief are surprised when N'tho shows off his knowledge of Tennyson and Shakespeare. He reveals that it's practically a requirement for the Squidhead subculture.
- We ARE Struggling Together: The leadup to the Eletania mission, as well as the mission itself, sees the Chief alienating more and more members of his squad.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Assembly has shades of this, preferring to set off the incident that banned AIs rather than risk a major war with the Citadel Races against the Systems Alliance.
- Wham Episode:
- Chapter 18. Chief has been kidnapped on what he now learns are orders of Saren. The Arbiter is launching a rescue mission with Garrus. Cortana is missing. And to top it all off, Saleon is working on the Flood.
- Chapter 48. Chief goes through the wringer over whether or not to kill the Rachni Queen, while the ONI brass is having a good, hard conversation on exactly what a Spartan-II is - a Shell Shocked Child Soldier. "And you can't trust a broken man to make the right choice." Cue the chief "typing in a command and hitting execute."
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
- Miranda mocks the Arbiter of this when they fight in chapter 33, how despite him having guns he still relies on his sword. Averted the very next instant, as the Arbiter then opens fire on her with said guns, forcing her to take cover.
- He then reveals that he was deliberately not using it until she suggested it or pulled out her own gun, as that wouldn't be honorable. It's at this point that Miranda plays this trope straight and pulls out her own gun.
- Won the War, Lost the Peace:
- The Human/Former Covenant Alliance defeated the Turians at Shanxi and eventually joined The Citadel as in one half of the source material, but were eventually forced to reduce the size of their fleets and give up Artificial Intelligence and Slipspace technology in the process, as their new peers thought them too dangerous.
- In practice however, they're still fighting "the peace." They're exponentially more aggressive in their efforts to become a Council race in TLS, with the stated goal of re-introducing AI and Slipspace once they gain the Council seat(which coincidentally would permit them to triple their fleet size.).
- It's also noted that human colonies outside of Citadel Space do use AI's and slipspace drives, because they are not ruled over by the Citadel Council.
- Worthy Opponent:
- Though initially just as dismissive and contemptuous of The Chief as he is of any other human, Saren starts developing a fascination with him after watching a video-recording of his actions on Therum.
- Miranda also sees Arbiter this way, referring to him (albeit somewhat condescendingly) as her "favorite sparring partner"
- You Remind Me of X: As far as Cortana's concerned, Admiral Mikhailovich is just like Colonel Ackerson.
- Your Costume Needs Work:
- Although no one says it to the Chief himself, Harkin and Saren (understandably) don't think John is the real McCoy, and is just an unusually tall soldier they put in similar armor as a publicity stunt.
- Ethan Jeong is unimpressed when the Chief states he swore an oath to protect Earth and its colonies, and unlike the above two examples, openly calls the Chief a phony. The Chief's response puts him in his place though.
Desperate Measures Contains Examples of
Last of An Ancient Breed Contains Examples Of
- Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Not so much art as a whole culture, but a Mormon Church features at least one Sangheili and one Elcor in its congregation.
- Always Someone Better: Lieutenant Nolan is a bit put out when The Master Chief effortlessly breaks his previously unbeaten record on the firing range, and loses sleep trying to reclaim it.
- Ascended Extra: The Marines that thawed out the Chief in Chapter Two of the original fic? We get to see what they did before and after too.
- Odd Name Out: Kyle Nolan and Corporal Timothy Michaels (the latter of whom was the only Marine named in the original fanfic) are the only (purely) anglophone names among a Badass Crew with names like Tu'uta Tangilanu, Julianne Engelbrektsson and Asha Beckett.
- P.O.V. Sequel: Chapters 3-6 are actually the second and third chapters of The Last Spartan from the point of view of the Marines who personally thawed out The Master Chief.
- Reporting Names: During the First Contact War, Turians were initially dubbed "Raptors" though a few other Marines came up with names of their own, such as "boneheads" due to their skull-like faces. The former name has since become a Fantastic Slur.
- Shrouded in Myth: One of the soldiers recounts their grandfather believing til the day he died that Spartans were actually robots.
- War Fic: The first two chapters feature Kyle's first hours on Shanxi during the attempt to reclaim it.