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Fan Fic / Project Freelancer Phase One: Genesis

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A Red vs. Blue Fan Fic by multiple authors, collectively called the Freelancer Collaboration, found here at Fan Fiction Dot Net. This collaboration charts the beginning of Project Freelancer from the points of view of the Director, Ace Pilot Four Seven Niner, Medic Killian Jay, and of course, the Freelancers themselves. The story rotates between narrators that include canon characters and Original Characters as the agents train and begin going on missions against the Insurrectionists and Covenant from the Halo canon as well as the simulation troopers. Alliances and rivalries build between the agents as they scramble for the top of the leader-board and attempt to chart the reason why they were here.


This work contains examples of:

  • The Ace - Carolina tends to stay at the top of the leader-board for a reason.
  • Ace Pilot - Four Seven Niner and her associate, Three Four Threer.
  • Action Girl - All the female Freelancers, as a matter of course. It comes with the job.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation - In-universe example: as all the chapters take place from various points of view, it's common to see how different characters view the rest.
  • Always Someone Better - The more competitive Freelancers view Carolina as this.
  • Amazon Chaser - York admires Carolina for her skill, but the ultimate might be Georgia, who inverts One Head Taller in his crush on South.
  • Bad Dreams - Florida begins to seek sleeping aids by the end of Phase One.
  • Badass in Distress - During the first mission against the Insurrection.
  • Beware the Silly Ones - Cal and Wyoming are generally Pungeon Masters, but you don't want to catch them in a bad mood. Florida and Georgia are hard to take seriously, but carry explosives.
    • The ultimate Lethal Joke Character may be in the sequel, however: Utah was written as a joke and acts The Ditz of a Dumb Muscle, emphasis on the muscle and determination. His middle name, Jesus, rhymes with his last.
  • The Berserker - Penn breaks a man in half because he can.
  • Big Brother Instinct - North is the poster boy for this trope, applying his protective tendencies not only towards his sister, but his whole team. Minnesota also becomes protective of Michigan when she's under stress, saying he grew up with a little sister. Virginia displays a big sister instinct towards Massa and West. Despite their status as only children, York and Carolina show something similar when the team's in trouble.
  • Big Brother Mentor - York is the most likely to take the gang out for drinks and encourage them to party, but he's that very rare nice, sane guy who will listen to the others' problems and try to help them from the first batch of Freelancers.
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  • Big Eater - Virginia knows that regular meals aren't guaranteed in her line of work, so when she gets one, she makes it a good one.
  • The Big Guy - Penn, Maine, and Alaska play this up in nearly every sense.
    • Gentle Giant - Utah isn't the most graceful, but is kind towards his fellow agents. Surprisingly, Maine can come off as a gruff version of this as well, to those on his good side.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality - There are good people on both sides of the Insurrection vs. UNSC war, if both have members who are willing to take their good intentions to awful extremes or didn't have that great a set of moral codes to begin with... and then there are the Scary Dogmatic Aliens of the Covenant.
  • Black and Nerdy - Seems to be a running theme between the Counselor, Ark, Georgia, and Nevada. Chances are that if a Freelancer's melanin count is higher than average, they can mess up your day with nothing but a datapad and wifi access.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word - Wyoming is not part of a hit team, he is on the precision removal unit.
  • Blood Knight - Pennsylvania, primarily, but Alaska shows shades of this, as well.
  • Body Double - The Insurrectionist leader General Allen pulls this.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer - Alaska carries on long conversations with the ship. He also is a master at the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique. Florida may not appear to take much seriously, but he is an effective fighter.
  • Can't Catch Up - How Virginia and Penn often feel in regards to Carolina.
  • Code Name - All the Freelancers and pilots have them, and the only real names revealed so far in-story have been Butch Flowers, Leonard Church, and Reginald. Later chapters reveal Darren, Jason Shaw, Hannah Steele, and Kimberly Britton, the lattermost last name added in the sequel. Phase Two also adds R. Cass, Jennie Rogers, Ramona Cassidy and Curt Bonomo to the list.
  • Cold Sniper - Wyoming and Virginia can both come off this way. Sota acts as this rather literally.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture - Alaksa's been on both ends of this, along with a few others.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Landers Minder - Ark gets adopted as the local nut's anchor of sanity pretty much upon landing. Jersey takes over in the sequel for Kent, especially.
  • Combat Medic - Massa.
  • Companion Cube - Alaska hears the Mother of Invention talk to him. No one else does.
  • Deadly Training Area - The Sim Troopers are issued live rounds.
  • Decoy Getaway - Allen makes use of this late in Phase One.
  • Defeat Means Friendship - for Alaska and Florida. Maybe.
  • Disability Superpower - New Jersey lost an arm in battle before joining the project. She now has a full-on battle-arm that can punch dents in armor, crush sidearms in its grasp, and even power her Armor Ability.
  • Dr. Jerk - Killian can come across as this, but generally has his reasons, if you look at the patients...
  • Drowning My Sorrows - Cal and Florida during the beginning arc of Phase Two.
    • To Absent Friends - when they at last straighten up enough to meet at a bar and discuss Michigan's memory.
  • Dying as Yourself - Massa and Mich's real names are revealed during their death scenes.
  • Dysfunction Junction: In the words of the Counselor: "Amongst the symptoms observed, I detected characteristics of post-traumatic stress, extreme narcissism, obsession and possible bipolarism. That was just Agent California, and he is one of the least worrying of the group."
  • Early-Bird Cameo - Georgia mentions a UNSC Helljumper who he used to build ramshackle prototype robots with at his last assignment... a one-shot reveals that the Director offered to transfer "S-Dog" in order to make up for stealing Georgia for Project Freelancer.
  • Empty Chair Memorial - When the Freelancers get Grifball tickets in Phase Two, York buys sixteen. They only needed seven.
  • Enemy Mine - When faced with a sudden wave of Charon "Insurrectionists" and Scary Dogmatic Aliens aboard an abandoned station in the sequel, the Freelancers team up with Ark's Crimson Sun.
    • Later, Virginia, Washington and Connecticut must ally with Ark, Athena and Goliath in order to escape the Soul of Tranquility's crash site and outrun the Charon security forces. Subverted when the Freelancers double-cross Ark and are shot down by his forces in turn.
  • Ensemble Cast - Each character gets a chapter focus (some in first, some in third,) per Story Arc, written by different authors.
    • Non-P.O.V. Protagonist - Except the Counselor, and Four Seven Niner has only had one, so far. The only other Mauve Shirt to not really get his own chapters but keep showing up has been Three Four Threer.
  • Epic Battle Boredom - When South and Virginia are presented with more mooks than they can easily clear to get to Harper, they tend to consider it more a chore than a serious problem.
  • Epigraph - Every chapter starts with a famous quote or journal entry from the Project staff.
  • Everyone Can See It - Even Penn has taken notice of the chemistry between York and Carolina.
  • Fallen Princess - Hints about their past suggest that the Dakota twins grew up in an affluent family, but South rebelled and joined the military when it became clear that she was The Unfavorite. Her brother, of course, followed in her wake.
  • Feel No Pain - Maine.
  • Fictional Sport - York is a big fan of Grifball. Most of the other Freelancers of his wave have never heard of it.
  • Five-Man Band - In the sequel, during the Grifball match:
  • Friendly Sniper - North is one of the top shots, and also one of the kindest.
  • Genki Girl - Nevada and West are very enthusiastic to join the project in the sequel... as well as everything else they do.
    • Keet - Kent is Keetucky when he's playing with his toys, and Georgia can give him a run for his money for sheer energy.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy - The simulation troopers in the training missions are from the bottom of the UNSC barrel. They aren't very bright.
  • Great Escape- the Crimson Sun members pull one off during Phase Two, complete with a Prison Riot.
  • Guile Hero - York's initial run-through of paint-training was one of the fastest timed. He offered to buy the simulation troopers a round for letting him take them all down without a struggle.
  • Guest Star Collaborator - Martienne has only one chapter in Phase One, but it hits hard.
  • Guns Akimbo - Alaska and Carolina are especially known for this; Alaska with a pair of DMRs, Carolina combining pistols with serious agility and Gun Kata.
  • Head Desk - Killian's reaction to the new additions to the team. *thump*
  • Heel–Face Turn - Though there could be some argument that they were justified, certain Freelancers abandon the project well before Texas shows up and join up with some shifty characters.
  • Heroic BSoD - Alaska, during the fight with the Covenant.
  • Ignored Epiphany - Ark gets called out several times, and begins to recognize some truth in it by the sequel. He doesn't change his behavior.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle - Georgia Cannot Spit It Out, South's a grade A Tsundere with her default mood set to "maim," and Ark very rarely allows anything past his mask of Deadpan Snarker-y. When Ark saves South during a mission, Georgia suspects a Slap-Slap-Kiss Rescue Romance, though Ark assures him that nothing's been going on. Meanwhile, other members of the team are seeing Ho Yay between the two of them.
  • It's All About Me - Penn shows hints of this until his wake-up call.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters - There are around fifty Freelancers (not all of which have been introduced), plus the Director, Counselor and other personnel.
  • Loophole Abuse - The Freelancers' weapons are equipped with non-lethal lockdown ammo for most of their training sessions. This hasn't stopped Penn and Sota from finding some potentially (or actually) deadly workarounds.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident - Implied for the destruction of Ark's Doomed Hometown, by the UNSC as well as the deaths of Georgia and Vosine and Utah's traumatic equipment failure, stemming from the Director.
  • Manipulative Bastard - The Director is a Chessmaster's chessmaster, and often manipulates everyone from Penn to the Counselor - not too shabby of an emotional puppeteer himself - into doing what he needs done on sheer force of personality and the right word in the right place.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane - The avatar of the ship that Alaska talks to is all in his head... except that one of his nurses bears a striking resemblance...
  • The Medic - Dr. Killian Jay and Massa.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate - Dr. Church, full stop.
  • Necromantic Dr. Church building the Tex AI and Ark trying to create an AI of Georgia both have shades of this.
  • Never Found the Body - until they do, the savvier agents know better than to count an enemy dead.
  • New Meat - While many of the Freelancers come from military backgrounds, the high stakes and lack of history means that they all go through this stage, especially the second batch of agents to join the team.
  • No Kill Like Overkill - Penn likes to have enough weapons on hand that even Alaska is taken aback. And Penn's best weapons are his own two hands.
  • No Medication for Me - Al would rather remain of questionable sanity than give up on the idea of Moi.
  • No Social Skills - Maine and Georgia come off this way in particular, but Penn is in no hurry to make friends, either.
  • O.C. Stand-in - Georgia, by canon, is a Noodle Incident that the more senior agents won't elaborate on. In the fic, his characterization stems from his inevitable Last Words: "Hey, y'all! Watch this."
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You - Harper and Cal definitely give off this vibe. While there are several competing for the honor of breaking Penn, he has claimed dibs on taking down or killing Carolina, Maine, and Alaska.
  • The Other Darrin - Certain characters have had a second writer do a chapter from their particular POV, due to time constraints.
  • Pity the Kidnapper - Wyoming is "held captive" by the Red Team during a simulation mission. They probably go through less stress after the other Freelancers arrive to "knock-knock" them out.
  • Poisonous Friend - Played with: South is definitely willing to do what she can to protect her brother's idealism, but Georgia thinks he's protecting Ark's ethics, when it's really Arkansas's stronger sense of right and wrong that drives him to becoming a Knight Templar, in part to protect Georgia's boundless optimism.
  • The Pollyanna - Florida maintains a front of cheery kindness, but has simply pushed the loss of his family to the back of his psyche.
  • Pungeon Master - It's not so much that Cal and Wyoming have horrible senses of humor as that the Hurricane of Puns and knock-knock jokes just keeps spinning between them.
  • Precision F-Strike - While many of the Freelancers swear as a matter of course, when Butch Flowers curses out loud, the rest of the agents take notice.
  • The Quiet One - Maine takes this almost to Silent Bob levels.
  • Quirky Mini Boss Squad - Harper and Penn get these in the sequel.
  • Real Men Wear Pink - Though Georgia was iffy about his secondary color at first and Arkansas is quick to clarify that his armor is coral, Georgia has embraced the need to go "balls out if one wanted anything resembling dignity."
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni - In reverse of their armor colors, Alaska acts as the blue ONI agent to the more cheerful and outgoing Florida and bloodthirsty Penn.
  • Reverse Mole - Nevada in the Crimson Sun.
  • Rival Turned Evil - Penn, for certain. Ark's motives are slightly more sympathetic.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge - a strong motivating factor for most of the Freelancers to survive Phase One, particularly Ark and Cal.
  • Sailor Earth - Massa, Virginia, Al, Penn, Cal, Sota, Ark, and Mich are all named after states that don't get more than a shoutout in "On Your Knees" at most by canon.
  • Scars Are Forever - Cal sports a burn scar from an encounter with the man who killed his brother.
  • Shout-Out - A number of Red vs. Blue soundtrack lyrics get worked into the conversations, Florida's a fan of Johnny Cash, Alaska arrives precisely when he means to, Wyoming clears out Dresden Street, various Halo alien species are discussed well before they appear, Dr. Church does not want to detain you, and Georgia has chicken. He also mishears Al's Companion Cube as something from a musical...
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! - Alaska subscribes to this theory, whereas his roommate Florida believes that cynicism is what will bring them down.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun - Michigan is the physically smallest of the Freelancers. She's a heavy weapons specialist.
  • Split Personality - Cal generally keeps his other side under control, but exposure to Harper and the death of Mich have loosened that rein by the end of Phase One.
  • Super Soldier
  • Stuff Blowing Up
  • Taking the Bullet - Florida takes bodyguarding to extreme levels.
  • Team Mom - Massa tries to be a Cool Big Sis to the other agents.
    • Team Dad - Florida, although his nature fits more to a gender-inverted Team Mom.
    • Going the other way on gender inversion, Carolina doesn't have time for sparing your fragile little emotions, but she leads by example and will certainly do all she can to protect her team.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork - Penn and Carolina, in particular, have a tendency to butt heads with other Freelancers.
    • Almost nobody on the Mother of Invention is happy when the Director has to ask Ian Harper for help.
  • Terms of Endangerment - When Harper starts calling California "Jay," it's not something Cal wanted to share.
  • Tragic Bromance - With Ark and Georgia.
  • Traumatic Haircut - While a few of the girls go through ill-planned drunken makeovers and Connie is forced to Dye or Die, Kentucky experiences an explosion that takes part of his face and scalp along with his hair.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds / Friendly Enemy - Al and Penn tend towards this with anyone they even remotely consider a friend, especially each other. As Penn once put it: "It's weird. I hated this guy… I mean really hated this guy. But he always seemed to understand me… and vice versa. Anyone walking in would've seen me and Alaska, holding beers, conversing with each other… like we were best friends."
    • Rado and Jersey adopt the former dynamic in the sequel, as well.
  • Walking Techbane - Utah tends to inadvertently destroy any delicate electronics in his vicinity, which hardly pleases his Gadgeteer Genius roommate.
  • Warrior Therapist - Florida can happily dispense life wisdom or asskickings. Sometimes he gives out both. Carolina and Alaska can also figure out a good deal about their opponents by watching them fight, but tend to use it more to break brains as well as heads.
  • Weapon of Choice - While most of the Freelancers are trained in various weapons, many of the agents stray towards specific loadouts.
  • We Used to Be Friends - Cal and Harper, long before Cal joined up, were even more. When Arkansas and Penn leave the project, Georgia is devastated as much by the fact that Ark would do something like that as by Michigan's murder itself.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask - Carolina has had to be the best and toughest for most of her life. She's not good at showing anything but her Iron Lady shell, even when she's nervous and with people who would bond with her.
  • World of Snark - Just about everybody gets a few lines.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair - Virginia received the nickname "Bluestreak" in her old unit due to her black and blue dye job.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters - The Insurrection has its fair share of psychopaths, but it also has young kids joining up to stand up against UNSC war crimes.


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