|Arkansas / "Ark"|
Arkansas / Ty
The Tryouts (Project Freelancer: Rebirth)
Bolt Action Sniper Rifle, SMG, Assault Rifle
Shoulder Mounted Jets, Overshields, Dark Matter Convertor
- "I'm not like most. I'm not arrogant, like Maine or North. I'm not a recluse like Caro. I don't depend on people for emotional support like Nev. What makes me different, is that I'm the one that they depend on. The shoulder they cry or lean on, the one who can get them out of a slump. That's why I'm different. That's why I'm here. That's the difference I make in this Program."
Agent Arkansas, real name Ty Griffin, nicknamed Ark by everyone else, and various girls names by Carolina, is a member of Project Freelancer: Rebirth. He is the grandson of a former Project Freelancer Agent, Joshua Griffin or California, and the great grandson of Leonard Church, the former director.
- "I was an orphan from the start. Didn't know who my parents were, what they did, why they left...I wondered why for a long...long time..."
- —Ark reminiscing after Nev asks him about his attitude.
John Reed, real name unknown, was born sometime in 2590 in England. He was presumably abandoned by his parents and taken in by the resident orphanage. He spent eighteen years there, becoming an "older brother" to the other kids living there. They would soon become known as "Innie Orphans".
John eventually became overly frustrated with the living conditions and uncaring attitude directed toward orphaned children. He eventually hears of the Insurrectionists and their cause and, seeing it as a way of striking out against those who kept him and his "siblings" under their boots, led the orphans to the rebels. There, he met and befriended numerous members of the Insurrection, amongst them being a prominent leader and know cheat, Elijah Gray.
John stood out amongst Elijah's troops due to his optimism, which in turn led to stronger morale amongst them, and because of his amazing aim. He soon became Elijah's number two, learning more and more about the rebels, their ultimate goals, and how his so called "friend" was twisting them.
He eventually became disillusioned with Elijah's goals, causing his "friend" to grow paranoid over John's position in the Insurrection. Choosing to cut his losses and prevent any kind of betrayal, he struck out first, knocking John unconscious and proceeding to beat him. After that was over, Elijah gloated about his "victory", and proceeded to shoot John point blank in the face, destroying his left eye and nearly killing him in the process. Surprisingly, he managed to survive, and was nursed back to health.
His tenure as a rebel came to a close after that. Keeping the fact he was one a secret, John joined the UNSC Marines. Passing training with ease, and spent time as a marine, he became an extremely gifted sniper. His team was renowned for their completion of multiple missions without any forms of casualties, whether it be team-wise or civilian-wise.
The Director of Project Freelancer would hear about the unique man and soon after sent an offering of membership in his program. John considered and accepted, unlike the rest of his team (much to their disappointment), completing his tests with ease. He was given the title of "Arkansas".
Project Freelancer: Rebirth
Arkansas makes his first appearance here, being mentioned as recruited at the same time as Nevada and South Dakota.
Unexpected Training Session
Arkansas appears in the observation deck with Nevada about half way through the training session, observing the match with the others. Due to this being before their backstories having been developed, it served as inspiration for their friendship and attraction.
The Director's Creation
A New Task
The New "Guy"
Arkansas' Darkside: The Price of Revenge
- "Worst mission, ever...of all time."
A day or so after York's death, Connecticut, Maine, and Arkansas were tasked with removing insurrectionist forces from a vital UNSC Oil Platform. During the briefing, the Director says to use any force necessary but to spare the workers if possible. As the other agents left, the Director asked Arkansas to stay. Then, he let it slip that Arkansas knew the man leading the insurrectionists, and hints that he nearly killed Arkansas in the past. Ark grows cold and nods before leaving.
Along the way to the planet, Maine and Arkansas bicker while CT looks on. He silently notes that Ark seems to have become more aggressive, nearly on par with Texas, since the Director asked him to stay. They land and make their way to the plant, eliminating any rebels along the way. Upon entering the general vicinity, the man leading the insurrectionists announces that they have company, and that he'll kill them himself should they retreat.
Arkansas decides that then is a good time to reveal a ten year secret. As the team neared a bridge, Ark tells them he needs to get something off his chest. Maine watches on silently as Ark says that the man in charge is named Elijah Gray, and that he and Ty (Ark) worked together a long time ago, having been leaders of a Insurrectionist force. They were best friends until Gray decided that they higher freshly released prisoners for "cheaper labor", but Ty refused, saying they were "bloody menaces". Upon John's refusal, Gray had Ty's personal guard restrain him while he beat him to a pulp. Gray then proceeded to shoot him in the head at point blank range.
CT voices skeptisism, distrust, and amazement that Arkansas - the apparently not-so-physically strong and happy-go-lucky sniper - survived a gunshot. Ty defends his hatred for Gray, and explains that the "most stubborn of people can survive anything...rage is a hell of an anesthetic."
The three proceed into the oil factory, where Gray appears and mocks Arkansas for going "good" despite his crimes. Ark reaches for his assault rifle, but Gray points out that he has height and numbers, and dares Ark to give him a reason to gun him down again. Ark darts forward, aiming for a gas pipe behind Marco. The rebel leader mocks the Freelancer's eye sight, before Ark says "fry, you son of a bitch!" and shoots the pipe. The pipe explodes, wounding Gray and killing off several rebels. Ark begins slamming the butt of his gun against the main gas line, causing a rupture and opening a way to catch up to Gray.
CT, enraged that Arkansas was being careless, berates him for risking the lives of the workers there, but the younger Freelancer dismisses his concerns and remains adament that his former partner dies. Maine proceeds to punch Ark in the face and a fight nearly breaks out before CT manages to extinguish the fire between them and they proceed on. CT's point is proven later on, as a worker who managed to escape appears on a catwalk above them, and requests help in shutting off the valves, as the flames have spread and risk the destruction of the entire plant.
Although Arkansas is open for leaving the civillians to die and going after his former partner, CT has Maine intimidate the younger agent into following them to turn off the valves, much to his displeasure. They succeed in saving the platform and reach the landing pad.
Arkansas, Connecticut and Maine arrive in time to see Gray escape in a dropship, mocking their decision and telling Ark he'd "see him in another ten years". Ark rushes to the edge of the platform, firing and shouting in anger. He runs out of ammuntion and ejects the still hot clip, unknowingly into a pool of oil. He then angrily turns on CT and Maine, claiming they "made [him] waste ten years of [his] life". The hot clip ignites the oil, which then causes an explosion.
CT and Maine manage to clear the blast radius, but Ark gets pinned under a metal bar, which nearly breaks his leg. The fire is spreading quickly, threatening his life. Maine mentions that they should just leave Ark to burn, but the sniper curses him out and points out the Director would have their heads. CT then reprimands Ark, stating that he put his own selfish wants in front of the mission. Ark angrily exclaims that he survived "this long" without anyone watching his back. CT proceeds to press one of his knives against his throat, saying that he's "apart of the team" now and that he needs to follow accordingly. Ark begrudgingly agrees and Maine frees Ark, and they call for evac.
Ark, after boarding the evac pelican, proceeds to remove the Nexus chip. He stares at it before looking at CT and Maine, the former nodding in approval. He then proceeds to step toward the back before it closes and tosses it out.
The Director, pleased at how the mission ended but also disappointed that Ark destroyed his chip, moves Arkansas up to number ten. In reality, the mission was the first testing of Nexus, a mind-control chip installed in the helmet of an agent. Arkansas proved that it could work, unknowingly performing the Director's orders without objection.
- "You can count on me."
Arkansas, along with Nevada, appears during the present section of the prologue, arriving to Carolina's room with Sharon Brown in tow. Ark exhibits surprise when Sharon uses Carolina's real name but waves it off. Ark reminded Carolina to introduce his friend and acknowledges Sharon as York's ex-wife. After Sharon tries to get Carolina to open up, Arkansas jokes that Maine, Texas, North, and Wash would look down on him for doing so. Ark turns when ordered to by Carolina as he prepares to remove his helmet, but takes a small peek out of the corner of his eye.
Later, Ark and Nev stand outside the base as Sharon prepares to leave, with Arkansas promising to make sure "Carolina doesn't do anything extreme" and that she can "count on him." He then proceeds to ignore the joking banter between the two women.
Arkansas is present during the fight between Carolina and the three agents from Project Valhalla. He venomously asks Tex why Carolina seems to have the fight, and later on exhibits shock that his friend isn't up to par in terms of fighting. After it's over, Ark and Nev rush to Caro's side. The agent asks Ark if he wants to "test out some weapons" later, confusing Ark.
Ark later comes by Caro's room to see how he's doing, and humorously asks him if his pressure pad for his door requires a full body slam. Ark offers some jokes on how to deal with York's death, even commenting that he'd seen a "scorpion tank run you over" and that all it did was "make [him] mad." They link up with Nev and they see him off on his two week vacation.
Ark and Nev are later seen commenting on Project Valhalla's weapon, which Ark openly hopes is a rifle, as he "is good with rifles." Nevada claims he's not much good at anything else, implying sexually when questioned just before walking off. Ark chases after her, trying to convince her of otherwise.
In his attempt to convince Nevada otherwise, Ark unintentionally angers her to the extent that she could be heard three doors away. Really confused, the sniper is grateful when Sharon knocks on the door, finding an excuse to get away from his angry friend. He opens it to discover Sharon on the other side, who then asks for both of their help after explaining what happened to Katie. She leads them to the hangar where they meet up with Carolina, and Ark questions where Project Valhalla was heading. He then expresses shock at the fact they're going to the planet Carolina had decimated. He joins his teammates and Sharon on the pelican as the widow takes them in pursuit.
When the pelican docks with Valhalla's ship, he and everyone else beside Carolina stay behind to guard it. Presumably, the women each kick Ark out of the ship and force him to stand guard outside while they chat inside. He took the worse end of Loki's arrival, dropping to the ground from the surprise of the message while uttering "God Dammit".
The Training Session
- "More like a massacre."
Sometime after York's Legacy and The Price of Revenge, Ark, alongside CT and Maine, volunteered for a simple training session against South Dakota in a three-on-one fight. The training session was impromptu, with everyone else learning about it after the first round started.
When mostly everyone arrived, the first round had began and it was melee oriented. As predicted, the team of three were decimated by South, who managed to secure Ark behind him with one of his pugel sticks. Ark was released and immediately knocked back to the ground, easily defeated by the more fit freelancer.
The next round became an unarmed round. The beginning was rocky for the three man team, with Maine often rushing ahead to try and score some hits. CT and Ark attempted coordination and began to attack at the same time, with Maine joining them after a while. South managed to gain the upper hand and knock CT and Maine out of the fight for some time. Ark, on the other hand, managed to keep up with the other man's moves and eventually went on the defensive.
Ark's defense irritated South enough to charge into him, slam him against the wall, and attempt to bash his face in with a single punch. Ark managed to move his head out of the way and knee South in the gut, just as Maine arrived to deliver a kick to his back. The three then joined up and went away at the disoriented South, scoring their own point. Officially, they were tied.
The weapons round begins afterward, with South easily dominating the trio once again. This brings Ark to remember the moments before the session, with the Director giving them live rounds and a grenade each to "win, no matter what". While he is hesitant to do so, he goes through with it and joins CT and Maine again to try and win.
Things don't go too well, with CT getting dominated easily while he took point, leaving Maine and Ark to try and win the round. Ark gives his remaining teammate his grenade and covers him while he goes on to engage South in one on one. Spinning around the pillar to shoot South in the back, he discovers Maine incapacitated, with his fist stuck against the pillar. South tries to get Ark to forfeit, but he denies and engages South alone.
Maine manages to break free and tries to knock South out by knocking the pillar CT is stuck in into him, but his target manages to dodge and Ark gets hit instead. South quickly beats Maine down, but not before he chucks his grenade at South. The other agent smoothly steps to the side, letting the grenade sail past and land right in front of Ark's face. It exploded, knocking Ark back.
He was immediately carted away by medical personnel.
Upon awakening and let to sit up, he is visited by Carolina and Nevada, who are relieved to see he is relatively fine but surprised to see that he is missing an eye and his entire face is bandaged. The sniper exhibits regret for going through with the Director's orders, and is angered when he discovers that he was moved to 6th on the board, replacing Texas.
When confronted by Carolina and Nevada, Ark admitted he was hesitant to go through with the orders, but did so anyways for unknown reasons. He still exhibits regret, and remains certain that he doesn't need to be reprimanded by his friends when he already has received "punishment" for his actions. He then requests them to leave so he can think.
Arkansas appears as the main protaganist of Sins of the Past.
Ark arrives on the level of his room and the main hangar of the Mother of Intervention before making his way there, greeting Arizona as she passes. He hesitates when he sees a familiar figure but keeps walking, meeting up with California in the process. They exchange a few words, hinting at a possible mission involving both and they board a pelican. Ark exhibits exhaustion and distress, which California notes.
He later awakens from a nap, while California piloted the pelican, to Tau "knocking" on his visor. They converse, and ends with the "female" AI teasing him about his relations with the various female members of Freelancer before Ark is called to the cockpit. He is then heard over the radio by Hades giving him a reason of why they should dock. The pair then meet Ares, Olympus' blood thirsty warrior, and Hades himself, the first lieutenant to Zeus and Poseidon. Managing to bargain with Hades, Ark reveals his trump card: Tau. They are then accepted into the program, given the titles 'Aphrodite' and 'Apollo'.
Soon afterward, Arkansas and California underwent the 'brain implants' issued to the other Olympus members. However, due to extreme malfunctions with their medical equipment, the medical staff gave up trying to implant Arkansas, as success would've ended with a major brain injury, or quite possibly death. After he awoke, it turned out that Tau, who was still in his possession, had been the one causing the malfunctions, at Ark's own request. He even goes so far as to say: "I'd rather be dead than a mindless thrall."
Ark is soon after caught in the crossfire of an apparent raid by Insurrectionist troops, who were purging the hospital of all staff and destroying information, which Tau confirmed to be connections between Olympus, the Hospital Staff and the Insurrectionists, though she wasn't able to discern who was leading the Innies. Arkansas manage to fight his way to the landing pad, where California had informed him she was waiting with evac. He climbed aboard, only to get blindsided and shot right in his right eye, his only good eye at the time. Bleeding out and woozy, he appeared to have been instantly killed, but was aware that California had removed Tau and left.
Presumably, Arkansas managed to scrape himself off the pavement and, barely, make his way to a safehouse that the Director had set up for both California and himself, in case their operation went downhill. From there, he managed to contact an informant of his within Olympus, and tell him that California had succumbed to the brain implant, and to send out the general S.O.S to Project Freelancer. He is attacked again after that, taking a high powered anti-personnel round to the shoulder. He quickly abandons the safehouse, on the move to stay alive.
Arkansas finally reveals himself after the team (primarily consisting of New Hampshire, Carolina, Virginia and Maine) sent by the Director links up with California at the City Center he falsely stated he'd be. Wounded and angry, Arkansas refuses to stand down as he points his weapon, an M6G, at California, exclaiming that Cal was the reason everything went downhill. Although the team is torn between with what it should do (Carolina and Virginia both believing Arkansas and Maine and New Hampshire not), Cal reveals her true colors when she tries to murder them all, before escaping. The five go in pursuit, but due to his injuries, Ark is forced to stay behind with Virginia as a medical transport is called in. The other three pursue Cal without Ark, and the ensuing fight ends with her death, just as the mind control gives out and Cal expresses regret with her actions.
After recovering from his injuries, and being outfitted with a second synthetic eye, Arkansas fully debriefs the Director on what occurred, and admits the whole thing was a failure. The Director agrees, but doesn't say it was Ark's own fault, and goes on to point out that in the process, the failure led to a lead. The lead meant the location of Olympus' frigate, the Underworld, and by extention, their main base of operations, Mount Olympus. He then announces plans to assault the frigate, then the base, and informs every agent to get some rest as the Mother of Intervention moved to attack.
The main battle plan for the assault meant two teams both landing in seperate hangars and causing as much mayhem as possible in order to distract everyone aboard, while Arkansas himself snuck into the bridge through a small airlock. Upon entering said bridge for the second time, he comes face to face with an old adversary: Elijah Grey. They have some harsh words, with it turning out Grey was 'Poseidon' and that his troops were the ones that assaulted the hospital at the time Ark was in it: "You were expendable then", Grey says before finally attacking. The fight went on for some time until Ark managed to use Grey's rage against him and blasted him out of one of the windows after puncturing his combat suit, presumably killing him.
Following the fight, Ark and Tau reunite, albeit briefly, as the Director announces the launching of an EMP to disable the ship and, hopefully, destroy the base in the process. Due to the fact that the doors were locked after Ark entered, and the windows were closed following decompression, Ark was effectively trapped in the bridge. The EMP wave hit the ship, obliterating Tau and sent the ship plummeting to the surface below, but hit the crossing between beach and ocean. Arkansas was knocked unconscious in the process.
Awakening amongst the ruins of the frigate, the Sniper manages to climb out and is recovered by a dropship with it's occupants consisting of Wyoming, and New Hampshire, who had picked up on his recovery beacon. As the dropship then goes off to link up with the other two who held the other agents, Ark is informed that a good half of Olympus died in the assault or when the frigate went down. Amongst the dead included Poseidon (whom Ark had personally killed), Hermes (who was decapitated by Nevada with his own blade), Hephaetus (who met his match when both Virginia and West went up against him), and both Hera and Dionysus, who were killed in the crash.
The three pelicans land just outside the base, and as for it's name, Olympus was placed on a high mountain. After some basic planning and looking over the overview of the base interior (thanks to Ark's informant), they agree to split into four groups of three, with Ark being partnered with Wyoming and Virginia. The assault began soon after.
Ark's team managed to enter without trouble, compared to their counterparts, and managed to make it half way up the mountain before they encountered Hades. Hades himself had his battle attire and angered at the death of Poseidon at Ark's hands, engaged them. Although Hades was a skilled fighter, one of the best, and used his cloak and life drain to their fullest, the trio managed to best him and kill him. After a check in with the other teams, they all made a combined push to the summit, where they confronted Zeus.
Zeus, excessively angered by Freelancer's presence and the destruction of his "family", went into a rant of how The Director's plan had failed, that kidnapping Griffin just to get Tau was too much, and that there was no guarantee California would kill Arkansas off. As it turned out, Joshua Griffin was kidnapped in order for Olympus to obtain both Tau and California, as Tau was able to get into any system, but as a fragment was able to be changed for a certain purpose, and California due to her lack of real personality making her easy to manipulate. In the end, California would destroy Freelancer from the inside.
Zeus then incapacitates a majority of the agents, planning on killing Arkansas last for ruining everything. However, Griffin manages to disarm and wound Zeus to the point where Arkansas can finish him off with a headshot. With the rest of Olympus dead, they are evacuated and Mount Olympus is destroyed by the Mother of Intervention's main gun.
Arkansas is present during a meeting between The Olympus Director and an ONI Official, defending Freelancer's claim against Olympus and demonstrating his firm belief in the validility of their destruction. The ONI official relents and grants Freelancer a pardon, much to the OD's disappointment and frustration.
The arc ends with Joshua Griffins' funeral, where the freelancers and the Director pay their respects.
- —South Carolina, giving the news to Nevada.
- "He's pretty cute."
Unlike the rest of the freelancers, Arkansas is unique in that, in each new version of Halo, his armor changes per engine.
In Halo 3, he wears a full set of Recon with silver coloration and steel accents.
In Halo: Reach, he wears a Recon Helmet with a Sniper left shoulder and a Recon right shoulder. He wears a Sniper chest plate with Grenadier knee pads and a Tactical/Hardcase on his left hip. His armor consists of the trademark silver coloration and a blue visor.In Halo 4, wears the GEN 2 MJOLNIR Armor primarily issued to Spartan-IV's. His armor consist of a Recon Helmet with "Frost" Visor, an Infiltrator Chest Piece, Scout Shoulder Pads, and Contoured Gauntlets and Grieves.
Arkansas is surprisingly tall, standing a total of six feet and three inches (taller than South Carolina, but shorter than Maine and Viriginia), and is lean, not muscular in any way, shape or form. He has the rather darker skin tone, which is rather obvious when placed next to either Carolina or Nevada, with sage green eyes and auburn hair, which is spiked up a little in the front while the rest is flat.
Outside of his armor, Ark tends to wear a t-shirt, camo pants and a combat boots with his dog tags around his neck. He doesn't wear his armor except for training sessions and missions, so it could be seen that Ark is more laid back then others. Following Utahs' death, Ark took his friends dogtags and began wearing them alongside his own, as a way to honor his deceased friend.
Arkansas' left eye is a prosthetic. It somehow helps increase his precision. Though the reasons around it are vague, he's dropped enough hints to piece together the possibility he was shot in the eye. Following the war with Olympus, Arkansas was given another fake eye after getting his last real one shot out.
- "He's too friendly for all the ways he knows how to kill people."
- —Washington being suspicious.
John tends to be happy-go-lucky, boisterous, and friendly to all but a few of the members of Rebirth. Due to growing up in an orphanage to no real relatives, John views everyone as a potential friend and, as such, often idly talks with them before, during and after missions to get to know them better. This has also made him a bit more perceptive, able to read most emotions and deduce why a certain person feels that way.
Ark is considered to be the most positive member of the Freelancer Program. As noted by Ark, his presence alone has given Texas a confidence boost, given Maine someone to speak with, and prevented Nevada from killing herself. Furthermore, Virginia has told Arkansas to never give up, as people can never lose hope. These comments have definitely given Arkansas his own confidence boost, as he values himself as much as he values his loved ones now.
Despite his overall positive attitude and friendliness, it doesn't mean Ark isn't prone to negative thinking. He is known to have self-confidence issues, ranging from things like his standing in the program or if his skills are up to par with everyone around him. It is noted by Carolina that Ark feels this way because "North and South are farther up on the board". He often hides his jealousy of his best friend, afraid that thoughts of such manner would threaten the bond. Instead, he tries to use it as fuel for his fire, so to speak, in order to become a stronger overall agent.
A notable trait of Ark's is his claustrophobia: it was gained due to the really small size of the orphanage he grew up in, as they were often forced to sleep right next to each other, and he often nearly suffocated due to someone moving on him. Because of this, Ark chose to live in one of the multiple hangars, due to the wide open space and no concern of bunking with anyone else. On top of that, Ark has several other phobias: a fear of spiders, bats, snakes, heights, and large bodies of water.
Throughout his appearances in Project Freelancer: Rebirth, Arkansas has always maintained an air of optimism about him. This comes hand in hand with a rather cheery and sanguine interaction.
Arkansas exhibits strong loyalty throughout the series toward those he is closest to, rather than who is his leader. This is shown a number of times where he chooses to side with Carolina and his affiliates instead of listening to the Director; e.i. in York's Legacy and Sins of the Past.
Skills and Abilities
- "I'm a lot tougher then I look."
Arkansas is a strong agent, but for different reasons than most. Amongst them are his agility, his skill with a sniper rifle, and almost inhuman focus. This has given him an even edge against more durable and more deadly opponents.
Arkansas maintains intense focus while looking through the scope of a sniper rifle, nearly to the point where it seems time slows down. This allows him to easily pick out numerous targets on a single battlefield and take down the most important ones, giving his teammates enough time to move up and flank the enemy. His situational awareness also applies to his immediate surroundings, allowing him to keep his eye on the scope and also keep an eye on his back.
Ark's weapon of choice for long ranged combat is a sniper rifle he built from spare parts. The scope has a variable zoom option and an extended magazine, increasing the clip size from four to eight. It also has various other attachments, as seen from Ark's workbench in his "quarters", which ranged from a taped-on second magazine, night vision scopes, silencers, FMJ rounds, and the list goes on.
Arkansas is, surprisingly, fluent in several languages. Due to Britain's proximity to both Germany and France, Ark knows how to fully speak both languages, and even dawn the required accent. He also speaks a tad of Spanish and Hungarian, but isn't as fluent in these languages as the other two. He also knows Sign Language.
A notable trait the sharpshooter possesses is his focus. They're most likely caused by the speed of his jet boosters, making him used to sudden spins in mid air and "from-the-hip" shooting. He also adapts these abilities to other tactics, often in training sessions to help him out-last most other freelancers. His focus lets him analyze a person's movements, allowing him to plan in advance.
Agility and Flexibility
Arkansas is incredible agile and flexible, moreso than any other male in the program. He is the best at evasion of physical attacks, and uses this to perform "tick bites" against his opponents. He can also perform flips and easily "phase" around his opponent to get away into breathing room. In fact, the only freelancer who can ultimately keep up with him and bring him down a vast majority of the time is Agent Carolina, or Agent Alaska. If he goes for one on one fights without his fighting style, most members can easily defeat him if they can keep up..
Ark is also amazingly skilled with mechanics, coming from years of being the odd one out to fix numerous "accidental wrecks" in the orphanage. Eventually, he took to lessons on how to fix and configure items, and became a one of a kind mechanic.
He often fixes certain items for other agents, going so far as fixing and recalibrating Maine's brute shots. He also has limited skill in fixing wrecked armor enhancements, and often fixes vehicles in his spare time. Because of this, he took up residence in the Mother of Intervetion's hangar instead of the basic rooms supplied to the agents.
His skill is not restricted to fixing items. Ark has constructed his own sniper rifle from the skeletal remains of one of the supplied rifles in the MOI's armory, going so far as increasing the zoom function, making it applicable with a silencer, increasing the amount of ammunition in a clip, adding a bolt and decreasing it's weight.
Due to Ark's own status as a freelancer, he has learned to survive long times on his own or with a partner, making him one of the better choices for long stakeouts. This seems to have leaked into other areas as well, essentially making him harder to kill, as seen at various points in both Project Freelancer: Rebirth and Sins of the Past, as well as upcoming ones.
Although not starting out as a stealth user, as he prefers to kick back and take enemies out from a distance, Ark becomes a master as a requirement of his lack of physical aggressiveness. Used in case he falls behind the line of his comrades, or opponents quickly swarm him, he can easily slip past them and find a better position to strike them from afar.
In addition, this grants him superiority in the areas of search and rescue, and retrieval, giving him a tactic he likes to call "eagle eye".
Arkansas is not the most physically strong Freelancer in the program, and is likely to be the weakest in terms of strength and durability. When it comes to most one on one fights, Ark is typically the one to lose.
Another weakness, but considerably his largest, is his intelligence. Ark has admitted he missed out on the standard education everyone else seemed to have received during their childhood. As a result, he is not adept with anything involving electronics or code, and depends on others to do so when he is present.
Arkansas' gear primarily stays the same through most missions, but does change enough to warrant a list. A total of five weapons, they came from the prototype armory supplied to Project Freelancer from the UNSC.
- MA6G Assault Rifle: Used in tandem with either the M410 DMR or the M7H Magnum.
- M7H Magnum: Standard issue sidearm used with all other four weapons.
- Sniper Rifle 100-S6 Anti-Material: Ark's signature weapon, often used when headshots are vital.
- M14/Caseless SMG: Ark's secondary signature, used primarily as a backup to the 100-S6 Sniper Rifle.
- M410 Designated Marksman Rifle: Used in tandem with the MA6G AR or the M7H M.
- "Heh, I bet this is how those spacemen felt back in the 20th century!"
- —Ark on his enhancement.
Arkansas' armor enhancement was, unlike other freelancers whom had their armor enhancement removable and mostly unseen, built into his armor and a very prominent feature. It was more specifically placed on the back of both shoulders and on the bottom of his boots. The enhancement itself is a Jet Boosters which enable Arkansas to fly and boost himself. The Jet Boosters were based off of old UNSC Jet Pack technology. Because of it's unique design, agents such as Maine and Virginia cannot capture this armor ability. The jets also make Arkansas the best choice for zero gravity missions or locations.
The enhancement itself has a unique feature: it's solar powered. While in direct sun exposure, the power decreases and increases simultaneously, meaning power at 100% stays there. While in the dark or at night, the power slowly goes down; at least 2% per minute. Ark often only works day missions, and often drops out of missions requiring darkness and stealth because of this.
Arkansas' second armor enhancement is an Advanced Medical Injector. They affectively prevent blood loss, able to stabilize the user with biofoam and other medical supplies. However, they can only heal small to semi-medium wounds, unable to heal larger wounds.
However, Ark has acquired, through unknown means, a Dark Matter Convertor, allowing a continuous collection of energy. The energy has been noted as used during night time operations, effectively compensating for Arks' dependance on back-up energy. In reality, because of the working relationship between South Carolina and Arkansas, South gave Ark a secondary generator.
After Agent New York's death, his will stated that Arkansas would receive his Overshields. The overshields itself, while proving to be quite an addition to Arkansas' arsenal, normally consumed a lot of suit power. However, due to the presence of a DMC and now Sigma's own addition to Arkansas' armor, the overshields have increased in both durability and have lowered power costs.
Arkansas himself is unique, as he possessed an AI long before the Director announced his plans for AI implantation. He managed to keep it hidden for an extended period of time, until the Director found out and helped start a series of events that resulted in it's destruction.
The AI itself was Tau, one of the last remaining Alpha fragments from the original program that had been given to Agent California. Tau represented the Alpha's strength, and was given as a gift to Ark from Cal. Tau managed to amplify the strength behind Ark's armor, and helped boost the overall strength of his overshields and the boosts caused by his jet boosters.
Afterward, after recovering from the events of SoTP, Arkansas was issued Sigma. They both ended up developing a strong relationship, with Sigma essentially doing the same boosts to his armor enhancements that Tau did.
Project Freelancer: Rebirth Members
Arkansas has many notable positive relationships, as well as some notable antagonistic relationships, with fellow agents and the head staff of Rebirth.
Although Ark admits the Director always seems to have something up his sleeve, he also believes that he does ultimately care for his agents, despite the clear distrust (borderline hate) between him and Carolina. However, by now, that belief is nonexistant due to his clear dislike for Utah and considering him a useless specimen, which caused Ark to openly question him.
Arkansas is surprisingly comfortable around the Counselor, admittedly sharing secrets that the couldn't share with anyone else with him. However, he starts to be suspicious of the Counselor due to his growing distrust of the Director, and of the Counselor's loyalty to said man.
Ark was overviewed by California when he was trying out for the program. Despite how she passed him, she proceeded to mock his rather slim and non-muscular physique, which resulted in a few broken chairs, and a black eye for both parties.
A friendship seemed to bloom out of that, alongside mutual respect. His relationship with Cal is often poked fun at, and rumors of a romantic relationship between the two exist. They both deny it, however, and no evidence to support the theory exists.
Following her death, it, alongside that of Utah's, Joshua Griffin's, and Tau's own deaths caused Arkansas to suffer a mental breakdown.
- "That was for Utah, you son of a bitch."
- —Ark on North after their battle.
North is the only other person Arkansas absolutely hates, which is odd since North respects him. Arkansas hates him because of his arrogance and the fact that the Director favors him above all others, and the fact that he hates his best friend, Carolina. North, on the other hand, respects Ark for his skill with a sniper rifle and his "standing out" amongst the other agents despite not being on the board.
Arkansas, through unknown means, discovered that Utah's death was caused by North. This led to an angry confrontation, ending in North's own death.
- "Fucking fishbowl..."
- —Ark insulting Maine before they became friends.
Both Ark and Maine hate each other to no end, sparking from a simple training session between the two. They continue to mock each other's skill, with Ark saying that Maine's a "bumbling brute with no maneuverability", while Maine calls Ark a "little chicken who can't face anyone in a fair, one on one fight". They both have nicknames for one another, "Annoying Little Prick" for Ark and "Fucking Fishbowl" for Maine.
Despite this, they never fight in any way, shape or form and, once, Ark knowingly repaired Maine's brute shots, and even tweaked them to give them an edge. This hints that Ark is a little bit of a softy and doesn't actually hate Maine. Maine is Ark's biggest rival.
The pair never do reconcile their rivalry before Arkansas' death.
Arkansas likes Connecticut because of his open and trustworthy personality. He often chats with CT before and after missions, and tries to mantain peace between CT, Carolina, and Maine. It hasn't been very successful so far.
The two knowingly butted heads numerous times over the course of a specific mission, to the point that CT openly assaulted Ark, but the two have repaired their relationship following it, though things are still a tad tense.
- "He's my brother, and I love him as such."
Unlike most of the other Agents who avoided South Carolina, Arkansas surprisingly took an interest instead of fear or hatred to the deadly warrior. It was this curiosity and persistence to know more that resulted in a strong bond and friendship over time. Arkansas even states at various points, when prompted, to say that Carolina is essentially like his older brother he never had.
Secretly, however, Arkansas holds Carolina's overall record and skill in contempt with jealousy, as seeing his friend perform overall better than him in most situations puts a damper on his already low self-confidence. Despite this, Ark refuses to let that cloud his judgement, and he has remained faithful and loyal to Carolina.
His loyalty is so prominent that, even when AIs are distributed and using one would definitely give him an edge, Ark refuses to use his in his training battles against Carolina.
South Carolina had a first hand witness of Arkansas' apparent and plausible death, and had to deliver the news firsthand to all of Arkansas' friends and Nevada.
Arkansas and Washington have had no long term interaction, with no conversation sustained for more than a minute.
Arkansas and Wyoming get along well, often joking back and forth with some 'very' creative ones off the top of their heads. He does, however, hate being a constant target for Nevada and Wyoming's antics, and personally asked both of them to leave him out of it.
Ark and South do not talk at all, for various reasons for each. This does not prevent them from working together well enough on missions.
- "I love her. With all my heart."
Initially, Nevada and Arkansas did not get along, primarily because the woman couldn't stand the other's attitude, and vice versa. However his otherwise generally boisterous and friendly persona eventually rubbed off on Nevada, who took to questioning Ark about his life. They developed a firm friendship, possibly borderline romance.
After a falling out over an unknown issue, their friendship seemed to fail and the two refused to speak to one another. Only through the efforts of a couple other friends have they managed to repair it, though things admittedly aren't the same.
Although the two have reconciled following their falling out, Arkansas is mildly conflicted about his past feelings for his female friend. Part of him wants to move on, while the other wants to stay with her. This has resulted in humorous and humiliating situations with him when she's around.
Eventually, Ark decided to apologize with words and a small gift. He approached Nev alone and gave her a small, gold locket of unknown origin and said "Will you forgive me for being the biggest idiot alive?" Even though she accepted, she pointed out that she was already seeing someone, though Ark is unsure of her being truthful or not, considering how she likes to mess with him.
Eventually, Arkansas comes clean with how he feels about her upfront. Fighting back his nerves, he admits that he still loves her and wants to be with her. This culminated in a passionate night, and an established romantic relationship.
Sadly, Arkansas was eventually (apparently) killed, and Nevada was the first to find out firsthand from South Carolina, who comforted her as she grieved.
- "Ever think Texas is a cannibal? I've never seen him eat anything...I'm sure no one would miss Maine at all..."
- —Ark openly mocking Maine and Texas.
Arkansas is notably wary around Texas. He is visibly disgusted by Texas' MO and confrontational personality. He does attempt to "play nice" around him, but often exhibits grated nerves from Texas' teasing toward the other members of the program he's on good terms with.
Ark was also shocked when Tex died, surprised that the tank of a man was overwhelmed. Like all the other deaths, Ark was visibly saddened and took a couple days to mourn.
- "Do you know why she hits me?"
- —Utah to Ark about Nev.
- "Nope. I'm still trying to figure out why she hits me."
- —Ark to Utah about Nev.
Ark considers Utah a good friend, which Utah thinks likewise. Ark is currently the only person who doesn't think degradingly of Utah, which he takes with immense gratitude. In reality, Ark is the object of Utah's affection, but most of his hints and advances go right over Ark's head, to Utah's annoyance and disappointment. They remain a good, steady friendship despite this.
Ark once admits that he and Utah are alike in more ways than one, and that he might be his best friend ever. Utah shared this sentiment.
Utah's death absolutely devasted Ark to the point of him shutting himself off from everyone. The Director (in an odd show of kindness), gave Ark time off to mourne the death of his friend. He spent much of the time curled up on his cot, eyes closed in remembrance of his good friend, and going over the fact that Utah loved him. Ultimately deciding Utah wouldn't want him to cry over his death, Ark managed to get over it and move on, though he still grows sad when anyone mentions him.
Utah's death, alongside that of California, Joshua Griffin, and Tau's own deaths resulted in Arkansas having a mental breakdown.
Although York and Ark haven't had any long term interaction, Ark respected the family man and found his friendship of Carolina "admirable" and his dedication to everything else "inspiring". He wasn't as devastated as Nevada or Carolina when he died, but he was saddened nonetheless.
Ark likes Virginia. He views her as a friend and often takes her advice to heart. He likes her to the point where he gave her his own little nickname, which really means a lot, even if it doesn't seem like it.
Ark admittedly doesn't like West. Although he initially tried to be friendly to West, the other agents' persistance to either stay away from Ark or attacking when getting too close eventually made him get fed up.
Arkansas, when initially hearing that she (a civillian) was allowed on the Mother of Intervention from time to time, was surprised and adament that she keep her distance from "his" hangar. His negative feelings eventually faded upon hearing praise and stories about her from both York and Carolina.
He physically met her after York's death, in which they both arrived at Caro's room to comfort him. Although they don't interact much, they are introduced to one another. Following this, Sharon makes sure both he and Nev promise to keep an eye on Caro and help when needed. He sincerely promises his support. Following this interaction, he admits to Nev that Sharon is immensely attractive.
Later on, his trust and friendship is demonstrated when he willingly goes along with Nev, Sharon and Caro to save Katie, Sharon's daughter.
When Ark begins to think of starting a relationship with Nevada, he willingly goes and asks Sharon for advice. Following the start of the relationship, Ark continues to talk with her to get tips on how to make sure the relationship works.
Arkansas hasn't physically met Katie, but hears stories about her from Caro, and think she's a cool kid. He willingly goes along with Caro and Nev to save her from Project Valhalla and it's Director.
Project Valhalla Members
Arkansas has yet to physically meet any Valhalla agents, but has heard of them and respects them for the work he's heard them perform.
Ark's only interaction with Loki so far was during the recent chapter of York's Legacy, where Loki actually knocks Ark over out of surprise when he uses a megaphone to get their attention. It is judged from his reaction that he finds Loki annoying. He doesn't seem to recognize Loki, despite the fact that Loki often mentions Arkansas.
Former PF Members
Although Arkansas met Griffin a short time before his death, and the fact the older veteran never could raise him himself, Arkansas loved and cared deeply for him. As he puts it, he's happy he "knows his roots". He was extremely saddened by Griffin's death, taking the blame for it all as he inadvertedly caused the events that led to it.
Ark discovers that he is the great grandson of Leonard Church through Joshua Griffin. He doesn't have any ill toward his predecessor, knowing he had no choice but to leave Griffin behind. He is, however, angry by the steps he took with his program, and it leaves Ark praying that the current Director won't go the same path.
Notes and Trivia
- Arkansas' skill with sharpshooting, and his height, are both references to the "Skill" attribute in the Fable games, where a large investment into 'Skill' would make you taller and increase your skill with projectile weaponry. His preference for rifles also comes from Fable.
- Arkansas' ethnicity is British, although many characters seem to not notice.
- Ark has a running gag: whenever Ark mentions he's british or a foreigner, whoever is listening at the time exhibits surprise, much to his annoyance.
- His relationship with the original California is the only blood relation to span two seperate, otherwise unconnected series.
- Arkansas has, apparently, never heard of or seen a chicken before, as evidenced by one of his quotes.
- Arkansas' ethnicity was inspired by an employee at RoosterTeeth, Gavin Free.
- Arkansas is the only freelancer, so far, that wears all three "current" Halo armor types: Halo 3 armor, Halo: Reach Armor and Halo 4 Era armor.
- Arkansas' attitude is vastly similar to that of Green Arrow, a Superhero Vigilante from DC Comics: both rather cocky yet hopeful, dependable and amazingly gifted with their weaponry (Sniper Rifle and Bow and Arrow respectively). Furthermore, in initial drafts, both were killed by an explosion.
- His quote about the Director mirrors that of the Epsilon AI from the previous Freelancer Project during the final episode of Season 10,Don't Say It.
- Furthermore, his quotes appear to represent several other Freelancers and a key trait they possess(ed); brilliant representing Carolina, trusted representing Utah, twisted and tortured representing California, lied representing North Dakota, and manipulated representing Nevada.
- Carolina is an extremely intelligent young man, Utah trusted his leadership before being backstabbed by them, California was notorious for being sadistic, North Dakota was renowned for his tendency to lie, and Nevada is known for being an expert in subterfuge.
- Furthermore, his quotes appear to represent several other Freelancers and a key trait they possess(ed); brilliant representing Carolina, trusted representing Utah, twisted and tortured representing California, lied representing North Dakota, and manipulated representing Nevada.
- Arkansas receiving the Overshield Armor Enhancement from York's will mirrors that of his grandfather, California receiving his own Overshield Enhancement from his then alive friend Utah.
- "So, he doesn't eat in public right? Maybe...heh, no one will miss Maine, right?"
- —Arkansas thinking of feeding Maine to Texas.
- "Yeah, you're right, Caro. I...I should've realized it sooner. What type of a person I was. How I benefited others...Heh, I seem so childish, making such a fuss. But it's alright...and I'm ready to embrace my way with zeal."
- —Arkansas coming to the realization of his specialty in the Program.
- "He was brilliant, and we trusted him! But he lied to us! He twisted, and tortured us! And used us! Manipulated us for his own purposes, and for what?! For this?! This...shadow?!"
- —Arkansas losing it upon discovering the Director's intentions.