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Fanfic: Halo The Art Of War
Halo: the Art of War is a Halo fanfic by Havoc-legionnaire.

In this Alternate Universe Fic, the Covenant probe attached to the UNSC Iroquois never managed to transmit Reach's location to the Covenant, setting back the battle for Reach. The SPARTAN-IIs embark on Operation Red Flag, the mission to capture a Prophet that was shelved in canon when the Covenant came for Reach. In this, they will be aided by the crew and ODSTs of the Pillar of Autumn, as well as two later-generation SPARTAN teams, one of which is Noble Team.

This fanfic contains examples of the following:

  • Ace Pilot: The author has declared that he wants to make more use of this aspect of Six's than we saw in canon.
  • Adaptational Badass: The Prophet of Mercy has a Last Stand, killing at least one SPARTAN, and pulls a Taking You with Me via plasma grenade when another tries to restrain him.
  • Actual Pacifist: The huragok, to John's annoyance.
  • Ax-Crazy: Wa in combat.
  • Bang Bang BANG: The Augmented Helical Rail Rifle is loud even by conventional standards and extra loud considering rail and coil weapons usually are not.
  • Berserk Button: John, who was trying to hold back against Silva, loses it when the ODST compares him to Wa. Parodied when Steven gives an Elite a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown for destroying his cigar.
  • BFG: The Spartan Combat Rifle and Augmented Helical Rail Rifle use 12.7mm. Wa carries a 20mm autocannon and pulse energy cannon. Steven's Loudenboomer is also 20mm and a successor to a .950 rifle meant for hunting Gueta.
  • Big Bulky Bomb: Anything Jonathan makes, even the stick grenades, the blasts of which feel like an 81mm mortar shell.
  • The Big Guy: Wa dwarfs even Jorge.
  • Blade on a Stick: John fights an Honor Guard who has a plasma pike supposedly a direct recreation of a Forerunner weapon. It does have the disintegration abilities of such.
  • Blood Knight: Spearhead as a whole.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Linda diagnoses Spearhead as having some moral standard, but a bizarre one.
  • Bond One-Liner: Deconstructed. Spearhead's constant quip-throwing during combat emphasizes the fact that they have Issues, especially compared to the professionalism of the other Spartans.
  • Boring, but Practical: The "bureaucrat" type of commander.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Most of Spearhead has issues, but they are very good at what they do. Nicole compares them to the Flying Tigers.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Nicole is utterly nonplussed by Spearhead's antics.
  • The Chains of Commanding:
    Things had been so much simpler when he was just a Master Chief.
  • Continuity Nod: Halsey saying that "Six is just like John" and Six telling John that Carter had already brought up the lone wolf business.
  • Destructive Saviour: Spearhead considers itself this.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Wa's state outside combat, most of the time.
  • Everyone Has Standards: For all Colonel Yang's eccentricities and willingness to be lenient with Spearhead, even he thinks Serena is far too nuts to be augmented, and he also had Thom-293 taken off Noble for pushing his luck too many times.
  • Expy: Given his "Mediterranean" appearance and his aptitude for Le Parkour, Richard also appears to be an Expy of Ezio.
  • Face Palm: John does this when he realises why Steven is taking so long in the shower. Lampshaded as "a spectacular display of emotion by Spartan standards".
  • Flaw Exploitation: The Spartans make ample use of taking cover near Covenant holy relics in order to minimise their enemy's use of artillery and heavy weapons.
  • For Want of a Nail: In The Fall Of Reach, a Covenant probe was attached to a UNSC ship, allowing the Covvies to find Reach. This interrupted the special mission of John and the other SPARTAN-IIs to capture a Prophet. Here, the probe fails to return to Covenant space when its Slipspace jump misses. Meaning the SPARTAN-IIs get to proceed as planned, along with the assistance of Spearhead and Noble Teams. The new tech and weapons, however, are simply Rule of Cool and Reality Ensues.
  • Friendly Sniper: Steven, with emphasis on the "friendly", although he's more of a squad marksman than a "sneak around, take very long shots" sniper... sniper.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Dr. Marilyn Thatcher does this.
  • Genetic Engineering is the New Nuke: One of the things done to the Shock Trooper candidates was genetic alteration to regress their physical capabilities to Neanderthal levels. However that works.
  • Genius Bruiser: Maybe not genius per se, but Wa is still intelligent under the rage. He knows his fallacies and quotes Machiavelli.
  • Healing Factor: One of the abilities granted to the Shock Troopers. Or, more accurately, Shock Trooper; Wa is the only survivor.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Ackerson, who started the Shock Trooper programme, is torn apart by Wa, its sole survivor.
  • Hot Scientist: Dr. Marilyn Thatcher. Gorgeous brunette in scandalous red. Excessively flirtatious. Second best Slipspace physicist in the UNDF.
  • Hulk's Cooldown Hug Corollary: Kelly nearly manages to calm Wa down, but John continues the fight.
  • I Have Your Wife: How Ackerson tried to prevent the Shock Trooper candidates from killing him - sweeper teams that would kill their families.
  • Implacable Man: Wa. Knife to the eye driven further in? Barely slows him down. Knife to the throat? Stopped by a weave that needs multiple stabs or a BFG. Bullet to the head just bounces off.
  • Infodump: The author tries to weave them into briefings and dialogue, which helps make them seem less cumbersome.
  • Invisibility Cloak: This story's version of the MJOLNIR Mk VI comes with active camo that includes thermal masking.
  • It's Personal: Silva's beef with John, over and above the standard Interservice Rivalry, comes from the Helljumpers John killed on the Atlas years back being Silva's men.
  • Just Following Orders: Silva accuses John of this.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Wa, who well outdoes the already impressive standard SPARTANs in offensive and defensive strength while still being as fast as them.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: One of Wa's pieces of equipment is, literally, a large shield.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: What the sweeper teams did to the Shock Trooper candidates' families.
  • Moe Greene Special: John knifes Wa in the right eye and Kelly kicks it in even further, to seemingly no avail.
  • My Greatest Failure: Wa snapping and killing Ackerson, which led to his family getting killed.
  • Mythology Gag: The Spartans end up commandeering the Truth and Reconciliation anyway.
    • Colonel Yang laments under his breath that he couldn't have gotten Dare for the ODST complement instead.
    • Admiral Stanforth's canon command, the Leviathan, shows up, though in a different fashion.
  • The Napoleon: Richard.
  • Noodle Implements: Some of Jonathan's more... creative IED ideas.
    Jonathan (When Spearhead is forced to peel potatoes): Give me two cans of C8, some iron files, a wheel from warthog, an onion, a grapefruit, and a goat and we could be done with this entire pile in twenty minutes. And you don't want to know what the onion is for.
  • Noodle Incident: The Spearheads have some.
  • The Nothing After Death: What Wa says the afterlife is.
  • Nuclear Option: The Autumn's MAC rounds are equipped with nuclear charges that are initiated by the impulse of the kinetic impact.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Six literally doesn't have a proper name as Colonel Yang took him in straight from the orphanage.
  • Only Sane Man: Nicole is the only member of Spearhead that does not have some kind of mental disorder. Wa was also the most in control of the Shock Trooper candidates.
  • Point Defenseless: The Autumn's 50mm cannons are replaced with laser turrets, hoping to defy this.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The incident with Wa could possibly have been avoided if Nicole had told John just how psycho Wa gets in his killing rages. She says that she preferred Wa tell him.
  • Punch a Wall: John does this after Spearhead and Noble defy him for Wa.
  • Punch Clock Hero: John fears that the other troops will be this, following orders without believing in them.
  • Pyromaniac: Jonathan is pretty much a Demoman Expy, while Richard favours a flamethrower.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Spearhead is described as this, in contrast to the more conventionally disciplined and ordered Noble.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Mendicant Bias gets destroyed by Tartarus after having disabled the Covenant slipspace disruption and denied them some Forerunner technology.
  • See the Whites of Their Eyes: Discussed and defied; the Covenant's omnidirectional firepower and superior maneuverability makes them better in a close fight than the UNSC, which is why the latter wants to stay at range as long as possible.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Thom-293, thanks to Spearhead.
  • Stealth in Space: One of the new upgrades to the Autumn is a set of ECM pods. In "cold" mode EM-absorbing cold plasma, combined with powering off unessential systems and hiding, makes for a difficult target, though as Colonel Yang warns Captain Keyes, "Even I can't turn a cruiser into a prowler. You can't hide right in front of [the Covenant] in the open". In "hot" mode it broadcasts ghost returns and falsifies the Autumn's exact location and velocity, though "They still can lock on to you once they get close enough."
  • Stop Helping Me!: Miranda's In-Universe reaction to Kalmiya, though the latter is genuinely trying to be helpful.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Jonathan's entire shtick. One of his more noticeable accomplishments is that he took what was basically a German Model 24 "potato masher" grenade", and then switched out the handle for a pipe bomb. Yes, that's right, he put a grenade on another grenade.
  • Super Soldier: All the SPARTANs, of course, but Wa and the Shock Trooper project of which he's the sole survivor take the enhancements Up to Eleven, closer to Adeptus Astartes levels. The story postulates that, in this AU, the SPARTAN-III programme was shut down after the destruction of Beta Company and a new SPARTAN-IV programme set up, with Noble now coming from the IVs.
  • Taking You with Me: The Prophet of Mercy does this, sticking a plasma grenade on himself as a SPARTAN tries to capture him.
  • Technology Porn: Here and there, especially Colonel Yang's rundown of the Autumn's new capabilities.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Captain Keyes has a minor one when he is told that the Autumn has been reclassified as a battlecruiser.
  • Trash Talk: Major Silva does this against John in the boxing ring.
  • Uncanny Valley: This is John's In-Universe view on Noble Team and the IVs they represent - they are so similar to his own IIs and yet different enough to be unnerving.
  • Warrior Poet: Linda does this.
  • Wham Line:
    • "Admiral Preston Jeremiah Cole is still alive!"
    • Followed very shortly after by 'My name is Medicant Bias and your victory shall be my redemption, reclaimer'.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Wa, Wa, Wa. Where the other SPARTANs are commandos, he is The Berserker, a battering ram - and both powerful and survivable enough to act as such in a straight-up fight against the Covenant. However, this comes at the cost of bloodthirsty rampages where he cannot tell friend from foe.
  • Yellow Peril: Sort of - Wa, the most overtly Oriental of the characters, is also the craziest.
  • You Didn't Ask: Colonel Yang says this of Spearhead and Wa when John broaches the subject. John calls him out on it.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Colonel Yang to Six on some of Steven and Richard's insanity.
  • You're Not My Father: Miranda to Halsey.

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