It has now been 2 years since I originally started work on “Two Hundred And Four Reasons” – and so as an addendum to my essay series chronicling the development of John-117 and Kelly-087′s relationship throughout Halo canon, I’ve decided to examine a few additional pieces of media featuring SPARTAN-II Blue Team that were released in the wake of 2015′s ‘Halo 5: Guardians’. I think both 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.
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 ongoing adventures. 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.
After the fall of Reach, and the events that unfolded on Installation 04, the Master Chief was thought to be the last surviving Spartan-II. John-117 wasn’t willing to give up on his teammates so easily however; and after risking everything to rescue them, he was soon reunited with the remnants of his family. Unfortunately the Master Chief’s legendary luck could only stretch so far – as his closest friend and most stalwart right-hand, Kelly-087, was separated from him yet again soon after. In the weeks that followed the two would face extraordinary challenges that would test the limits of even the greatest super-soldier. But no matter how far apart John and Kelly were physically, they never seemed to stray very far from each other’s thoughts.
It’s late August, 2552. Humanity will not survive much longer against the Covenant onslaught. And so a plan is put in motion to send the Spartan-IIs on an extremely high-risk operation in a last-ditch attempt to force a truce with the aliens. After receiving new MJOLNIR Armor and a uniquely created smart AI, 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.
In the wake of the loss of their mutual best friend and teammate Samuel-034, John-117 and Kelly-087 continued to operate as the foundation on which SPARTAN-II Blue Team would be built. Over the next 27 years, and the team’s various roster changes, John and Kelly remained nigh inseparable. Whether combating the aliens or human insurrectionists, John’s proclivity for leadership coupled with Kelly’s invaluable support skills stood the test of time and trial by fire. And through both victories and defeats, Blue Team achieved almost legendary status within the UNSC, the ranks of their fellow Spartans, and even among their enemies.
After their successful first mission to capture an Insurrectionist Colonel, the Spartan-IIs seem ready to take on any challenge put to them next. However, a new threat soon manifests itself, and could prove to be exponentially more detrimental to humanity than a burgeoning civil war.
Over the course of their training, the young Spartan-IIs forged powerful bonds of friendship and came to see each other as family – particularly within Blue Team’s triumvirate: consisting of John-117, Kelly-087, and Samuel-034. Which in turn created a level of unit cohesion and efficiency that had never before been seen in the UNSC. This was a primary goal of the program, and subsequently helped maintain the Spartans’ psychological and emotional health throughout their lives. And would soon serve them well on their first officially sanctioned mission.