- "We make our own luck."
- —John-117 whenever called him "lucky".
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John-117 is a SPARTAN-II commando of the UNSC Naval Special Warfare Command. He served as one of the most important figures of the Human-Covenant War. With nearly 30 years of active duty, he is one of the most decorated war veterans in the United Nations Space Command and has earned every known medal in the UNSC except the Prisoner of War Medallion, only one other SPARTAN is known to have attained such a high status. In 2553, John-117 went missing in action after the Battle of Installation 00, when he and the current Arbiter, Thel 'Vadam, fired Installation 04B.
SPARTAN-117 was reunited with members of Blue Team, including childhood friend David-010, during the Battle of Earth, where Blue Team was reconnected after all those years. Blue Team along with John-117, led an offense against the invading forces, destroying a , exposing corruption in the , and destroying a network of highly rampant Forerunner that have been guiding the decisions of humanity since the 2300's.
- "What if you miss?"
- "I won't."
Battle of EarthEdit
After a series of firefights, captures and escapes, John exited the Dreadnought and crash-landed on Earth, where he was found by Sergeant Johnson, the Arbiter, and the rest of their squad. Johnson believed the Chief to be dead, and requested heavy lifting gear in order to recover the Spartan's body. However, John awoke to battle-ready condition only moments later. He attempted to attack the Arbiter, believing that the Elites were still the enemy. Johnson informed him that the two races were now allies, as the disillusioned Arbiter and the Sangheili had defected from the Covenant.
John and the Marines traveled through the jungle, searching for evacuation to a nearby military base. Johnson and his team split up from John and the Arbiter; the sergeant and his squad were soon captured by loyalist Covenant Brutes, although they were rescued by John and 'Vadam. After taking heavy fire from Phantoms, a Pelican dropship evacuated the team to a UNSC base known as Crow's Nest.
The base soon came under attack, but not before Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood told John his plan. Lieutenant Commander Keyes decided to evacuate all forces, many of whom were injured. John, Thel and the remaining UNSC Marines defended the base during its evacuation, planting a massive bomb to destroy the base along with the invading Covenant forces. The Master Chief fought his way through many Brutes, escaping the explosion in an elevator. He met up with several Marine survivors underground, and they escaped the base and headed for the city of Voi along Tsavo Highway, crushing Covenant resistance on their way.
At the Battle of Tsavo, John pushed through many Loyalist forces as he made his way to what was believed to be the Ark. Rather, this turned out to be a device that opened a portal to the Ark. With Marine support, John and Thel 'Vadam destroyed three Anti-Air Wraiths, a Scarab, and a Covenant anti-aircraft battery, allowing Lord Hood's remaining frigates to fire upon Truth's Dreadnought, with little effect. Truth then activated and fled through the Portal with his remaining Loyalist forces, while the UNSC remained behind to determine their next move.
Just as the battle seemed finished, a Flood-infested Covenant warship crash-landed in Voi. John, 'Vadam, and the remaining Marines fought to contain the Flood infection, learning that the only way to contain the Flood was to destroy the warship. During the battle, Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum came to aid the UNSC. He deployed a Special Operations Sangheili strike team through Orbital Insertion Pods, assisting John as he was sent to retrieve Cortana from the cruiser, as it was believed that she was on board. Aided by 343 Guilty Spark, John retrieved a damaged data device and was brought aboard 'Vadum's flagship, Shadow of Intent. This data turned out to be only a message, rather than Cortana herself. The Sangheili were able to stop the Flood infestation by glassing the city and its surroundings, much to Hood's displeasure.
The Sangheili and the UNSC watched Cortana's recording, which contained a warning that High Charity, now overwhelmed and controlled by the Gravemind, was heading for Earth. However, she offered hope, with information of a way to stop the Halos from firing and neutralize the Flood threat. Convinced of the reliability of Cortana's message, John resolved to journey to the Ark, while Hood mobilized remaining UNSC forces on Earth. John accompanied a joint UNSC-Sangheili task force through the portal aboard the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn to the Ark.
Finishing the FightEdit
John-117 was later discovered in a slipspace field deep beneath the Earth's crust by LCDR David-010 about a month after he had left after Truth. John and Cortana were rescued by him and later he was reunited with Blue Team. John-117 assisted David and Blue Team in spearheading an assault on a Flood controlled UNSC Frigate. He, , and then focused on disabling the Frigate's engines and overloading them, while David and centered their attention on wiping out enemy opposition on the bridge. John gave Cortana to David so that he could put her into the ship. After the trio had accomplished their objective, they rendezvoused with the others to find them under attack by a corrupted Cody-033. John later aided David in fighting him while the rest of Blue Team escaped. All three were killed in the ensuing explosion.
- "You know me, when I make a promise..."
- "You...keep it."
John is generally stoic and taciturn, but not devoid of a sense of humor. He often makes dry remarks about the situation in hand; however, this seems to be more frequent when interacting with Cortana than anyone else, such as the other Spartans. He does not see himself as a superior being and fears for the lives of others before his own, putting himself in harm's way for the safety of civilians, and fellow soldiers, and does not judge others.
John is known to show an exceptional care for soldiers under his command. An example of this is during the Battle of Installation 04. When searching for the survivors of the Pillar of Autumn's crash, Fitzgerald was wounded by an Unggoy Needler. John-117 retrieved a first aid kit and "expertly" treated the wound, before asking the Marine if he was okay. This, and his reaction to Johnson's death on Installation 04B show that he does have a degree of care and sympathy for soldiers under his command, even if he does do a good job of concealing his feelings.
One thing that was noted is that John tends to keep his word when he gives it to someone. As he was forced to leave Cortana behind on High Charity, John promised to come back for her after dealing with the Prophet of Truth, but Cortana told him not to make a promise like that when he knew he could not keep it. However, John did keep his promise, pointing out that he always did to Cortana saying "You know me: when I make a promise..." causing Cortana to respond "You keep it," which seemed to give her strength as she gathered herself quickly when before she was somewhat depressed and hopeless while talking to him.
John greatly dislikes being kept in the dark. He dislikes secrets, and he dislikes ambushes, all in all, he doesn't dislike fighting, but knows when it is appropriate not to. One example is when he was cornered by three large ODST in a gym whilst working out. He did his best to try to call them off and avoid a fight, but in the end they kept pushing him to fight, and in the end, he was forced to defend himself. John knows when it is appropriate to fight, and when inappropriate, and has great control over his emotions and having a clear state of mind. Due to his augmentations, he thinks much faster than an average human, and sees things moving and happening much more slowly as a result. It is almost a clairvoyant state of mind, and as a result of this, has an acute intuitive insight and perception of any situation combat or non-combat.
John possesses a deep friendship with the AI Cortana who was assigned to him for his mission to capture the Covenant Prophets. Despite some initial hesitation towards working with an AI out of fear of conflicting directives, John and Cortana quickly formed a formidable team and John realized quickly that Cortana would be a great help instead of a liability. The two's relationship evolved from a partnership to a close friendship over the course of the Halo: Combat Evolved, probably due in part to all of the time the two spent with each other. During their adventures, John showed absolute trust in Cortana, believing in her when even Lord Hood was unsure of her reliability, even willing to trust her enough to risk Earth on her word that she had a way to stop the Flood. The two also had similar personalities in some areas: they both had a penchant for blowing things up with John commenting at one point he wasn't sure which one of them was better at it and also tended to come up with crazy plans. After Cortana told John his plan to use a Covenant bomb to blow up a Covenant Carrier was crazy, he offered her to remain behind, but she simply responded with "Unfortunately for us both, I like crazy" and during the series, was shown to have some pretty "crazy" plans of her own.
John is known to be cautious and observative, only making changes in his plans if they are of the utmost necessity, if at all. He does not open easily to strangers. Friendships are made for life, however -- once given, his trust is forever, one example being Cortana, whom he once told to not get any funny ideas, upon being paired with his MJOLNIR Mk V armor, but in the end they formed a relationship that transcended the battlefield. Doctor Catherine Elizabeth Halsey, whom he considered a mother-like figure, the SPARTANs he grew up with as a child, such as Samuel-034, and Kelly-087, were very important to him. When feeling self-confident, he can be gentle, giving and protective of the needs of others. Because of many years of intense training and combat, and many years of loss and constant fighting he has grown numb to many emotions, he began to not be effected as emotionally by defeat or the loss of a squadmate, it isn't that he doesn't care, but he has grown more accustomed to combat that most, even other SPARTANS, would consider 'emotionally challenging', and is known to be quite literal about the situation at hand.
Because of his many years of constant combat, he is not as emotional or sensitive as he once was, but still has an understanding of many emotions, such as fear, but he has learned how to overcome it in situations such as the Fall of Reach. John realizes his duty as a SPARTAN is to serve and help those in need, and unlike ODST can work expertly with anyone he is sent into battle with. The SPARTANS in his past, Cortana, and Dr Halsey, being the only family he really ever had, assume a larger-than-life importance for John-117. He has been known to have vivid and long-enduring memories of the past, such as in dreams, in particular the beginning of Halo: The Flood. No matter how well adjusted he is, however, John always seems to need to have a quiet place away from crowds after a battle in order to feel at peace.