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Zahra-G098, call sign Dagger Two, is a member of NAVSPECWAR Unconventional Warfare Operations Binary 7, a two-person Spartan "Headhunter" unit tasked with sabotage and assassination of high-profile targets in support of conventional forces in conjunction with rest of Battlegroup Endymion's Marine/Navy Special Warfare component. Whereas the team leader Flynn-G228 is primarily a sniper, G098 fulfills the duties of an all-rounder, demolitions expert and saboteur. Her loadout includes an MA5K-S assault carbine (a suppressed and photoreactive-shrouded variant of the MA5K carbine), an M6C-S PDWS sidearm, M-44 PADS deployable sentry turret, grenades, detonation charges and mines, and one or more rocket launcher(s). She's a bit of a flippant, devil-may-care type, something that a close brush with death earlier on has only made more pronounced and which stands in stark contrast to Flynn's more analytical and reflective outlook.

She's the last one (that I've shown publicly) of the six Gammas in my narrative who are still active by the "primary" setting of my works in 2557-2558. There are others I have names and basic ideas for (basically the remaining members of Team Macuahuitl) but I probably won't go into any detail about them other than as backstory. Like Flynn, Zahra's a much newer character than the members of Team Halberd, and came about when I was fleshing out Flynn's backstory. I decided to contrive a situation where Flynn was the last active member of his team as of the time the RP I basically created him for is set, but I didn't want to kill off all of the others to avoid making Flynn too gloomy. So I contrived a situation where Zahra's in a coma as of early 2553, but gets better a few months later and gets assigned into a Headhunter team with Flynn. I then tied this into the Fireteam Halberd/Battlegroup Endymion and Ghost PIA narratives I'd been working on, and got a pair of S-IIIs testing out the Ghost suits and operating from the same ship as Halberd. My original idea was to have even more Spartans on the Endymion, but I realized that kind of diluted the importance of the ones I had, made focusing on individual characters more difficult, and in general served no purpose other than letting me experiment with a few more armor permutations (which I can do without extra characters). So I stuck with just these six Spartans (Halberd + Headhunters), and decided to start fleshing out the attached ODST/Naval Special Warfare units instead. More on those later.

For those not familiar with my previous work, the armor is not exactly SPI, though it might as well be. More on the details here and here. When drawing SPI (or Ghost) suits I've gone back and forth between the classic, more curved and organic aesthetics and more angular, Reach-style design. I went with the more curvy style this time around, trying to capture some of the feel of some of the early MJOLNIR concepts by Bungie's Shi Kai Wang.

I've toyed around with having her left shoulder be something special, but I think I'll just roll with the default SPI shoulder since I couldn't figure out a good reason for it to be different. I chose to eliminate the chest straps and go for a more ODST-style chest plate attachment. The straps are pretty iconic for the SPI armor, but I think this makes more sense and is more economical considering the camouflage. I also streamlined the gauntlets (from my prior versions) and I think they look pretty good now. All of the pouches and gear are designed to be as smooth as possible because they're camouflaged like the suit. When inert, Zahra's suit is a borderline gray olive drab while Flynn's is more clearly green-ish.


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Swatson3rd's avatar
Did you drop the cybernetic limb for her or am I thinking of a different character?
The-Chronothaur's avatar
No, I was at one point toying around with the idea of giving her one but I ultimately didn't end up using it. She actually does have quite a lot of spare parts but they're pretty much all organic and internal (ie. organ replacements due to shock-related damage).
Swatson3rd's avatar
Ok that's a cool idea. like syntheticly grown organs?
I was wondering how the members of halberd and dagger team interact and get along.
Do they often work together as you put them in the same battlegroup?
The-Chronothaur's avatar
Yeah. It's the same idea as the flash-cloned organ replacements that have been mentioned in Halo lore. It's hard to come up with trauma that would hospitalize you for months in the Haloverse but not kill you when you have tech that can replace organs or resuscitate clinically dead people in a matter of hours, in field conditions (ref. Linda in First Strike). In Zahra's case, she took a gravity hammer blow in her midsection which broke quite a few bones and turned her innards into mush. The Gamma Company mutagen is probably the only thing that kept her alive (or at least recoverable) long enough to receive medical attention.

They work together but usually not directly due to their different roles. Dagger Team isn't quite as isolated as traditional Headhunter teams and they are deployed in the same theaters as other special forces, but they still tend to operate fairly independently because of the kinds of objectives they're given. Halberd is a lot closer in role to the likes of Noble Team or the Chief in the games where they regularly work with other forces, usually ODSTs from the same command they're in. But they do stay in contact where necessary, and there may be some missions where members of either team are assigned to more overlapping roles.

Outside the field, they tend to tag along whenever they can. They don't get to see other remaining Gamma Company members (or any Spartans) much so they're pretty tight-knit, with the sort of friendly rivalry/back-and-forth one might expect. Hopefully I get around to writing my story someday so I can properly flesh these things out.
Galatteus's avatar
You are getting really REALLY good at this. I'm impressed to see the progress on your work. 
The-Chronothaur's avatar
Thank you. I've been consciously trying to improve my skills so I'm glad if it's showing.
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