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- “Some of the old hands here know what you're in for. The rest of you: you're due an education.”— Palmer to the Spartan-IV initiates
Commander Sarah Palmer (SN: 65287-98303-SP) is a human senior officer of the SPARTAN-IV program serving in the post-war years. She has been augmented as part of the SPARTAN-IV program and currently served aboard the UNSC Infinity as the commander of the Spartan contingent. Palmer wears the Scout variant of the MJOLNIR GEN2 armor, in lieu of specialized communications models built specifically for Spartan officers.
Early life and career
Sarah Palmer was born on Luna on April 13, 2527. Despite their proximity to the home planet, her parents harbored a strong dislike of the UNSC. Palmer did not share her parents' view and would later join the Marines, eventually serving twelve tours on eight worlds as an ODST. Palmer was considered a great asset by ONI due to her physical prowess and innate leadership.
In October 2552, Palmer's squad was deployed on an unidentified UNSC colony to extract Admiral Kovalic. Palmer was the only one who landed close to the Admiral, who was under assault by a Jiralhanae Chieftain wielding a Gravity Hammer. Palmer swiftly incapacitated her opponent before running to the Admiral's protection as more Covenant converged on them. Kovalic revealed that he was carrying an AI too valuable to be destroyed or captured. At the same time, the Jiralhanae recovered. Palmer then managed to stun the Chieftain by crushing it with the Admiral's Warthog, sending the vehicle flying from the blast of a frag grenade. This temporarily disoriented the encroaching Covenant forces long enough for Palmer and the Admiral to clamber back into the crumpled Warthog, though not before Palmer received a Needler round to the upper chest. The injured ODST then finished off the Chieftain by running it over with the damaged Warthog, flooring the gas pedal and escaping the area with the Admiral alive and the AI intact.
- Main article: Raid on UNSC Infinity
Palmer's Spartan indoctrination was extensive, so much so she had to sign an extensive array of approval paperwork in order to consent to all the procedures undertaken (having never seen physical paper outside a museum). Upon receiving her Spartan-IV augmentations, Palmer was then put through an obstacle course with four other Spartan trainees to see if they could sprint to a red button under fire, outnumbered 10 to 1, and without their Mjolnir armor. Palmer did not wait for her team when pushing to the objective and was the only one to not get hit by a stun round when pushing the red button. Jun-A266 and Musa-096 came out of their course overview bunker to give a lecture to Palmer and the rest of the trainees on how to operate as a team and to not grab glory for themselves. Palmer and the Spartan-IV trainees were then taken to the UNSC Infinity to be shown where they would be stationed soon enough and to get them oriented with the Spartan Deck of the ship. Palmer and the Spartan-IV trainees were given a tour of the ship by Commander Lasky and Jun-A266. While their tour was taking place, a band of Insurrectionists disguised as engineers infiltrated the vessel, kidnapped the captain, Andrew Del Rio, and disconnected Aine, the ship's A.I. from the bridge console. Ilsa Zane, the Insurrectionist team leader, then broadcasted a message on the Infinity's ship intercom to tell the crew members that any actions taken to recover the bridge or repel the boarders would result in the entire ship being exposed to hard vacuum. On hearing the announcement, Palmer inquired of Lasky whether the armor bay was operational. Lasky informed her that the bay was operational but the armor selection was limited. Palmer used a portable manifest to requisition a set of Scout variant armor. Jun reminded Palmer that the Spartans were not yet cleared to receive their armor. Palmer reminded Jun that Musa had called them Spartans, and said that it was time they started acting like it. After the other Spartans suited up, Jun warned them that Ilsa Zane was far more dangerous than she appeared: she was the only survivor of the first class of Spartan-IVs.
Ilsa Zane noticed the small Spartan retaliation force, and depressurized the entire Spartan Deck. Commander Lasky and Jun were caught by Sarah Palmer and Edward Davis before they were dragged out into space. Holst then gave Jun and Lasky oxygen masks in the event of another depressurization. While the group was at one of Infinity's Security panels on S-Deck, Lasky claimed that he could blind the Insurrectionist group on the bridge from seeing any activity on the rest of the ship. Palmer and Davis then left the group to proceed with the next phase of Palmer's plan. As the two Spartans left, Andrew Del Rio was able to establish a link to Commander Lasky to determine the combat status of the ship. Lasky informed Del Rio that he had shut off the surveillance systems Ilsa Zane was using and that he still had three Spartans on board. When Del Rio inquired after the other two, Lasky told the captain of Palmer and Davis' plan to retake the bridge.
Palmer and Davis clambered onto Infinity's hull via the nearest airlock and began climbing the length of the warship. They reached the bridge and broke through the glass viewports, depressurizing the bridge in the process. Palmer engaged Ilsa Zane in hand-to-hand combat, destroying much of the bridge in the process, while Edward Davis swiftly took out the four henchmen. While the ensuing melee was carried out in the bridge, Jun, Lasky, and the three remaining Spartans were ambushed by a sub-team of Insurrectionists tasked with eliminating the ship's Spartan team. Yeong-Hao Holst saved Lasky from death while Jun and the remaining Spartans engaged the Insurrectionists. While Jun and the other Spartans held off the attackers, Lasky then proceeded to seal the corridor's blast-doors sealing the Insurrectionists inside. With the threat neutralized, they made their way to the bridge. Palmer and Ilsa Zane were still fighting with Palmer on the losing side. In a fit of psychotic rage, Zane sneered at Palmer (who relied on her MJOLNIR for most of her combat prowess) and prepared to finish the Spartan off when Del Rio reconnected Aine to the bridge console. Aine vented the atmosphere from the bridge dragging Palmer and Zane right to the brink of the vacuum beyond. Palmer loosed herself from Zane by punching the Insurrectionist in the face, knocking her out, and throwing her into the void beyond. Aine sealed the bridge's emergency containment shields and announced that all hostiles had been neutralized. Jun, Lasky, and the remaining Spartans then made it onto the bridge where they found the crew, Palmer, and Davis relatively unscathed.
Battle of Draetheus V
- Main article: Battle of Draetheus V
At some point after the Human-Covenant war, after 2552 and before 2557, a rogue Covenant fleet attacked the UNSC research colony Draetheus V. Palmer, along with the Spartan-IV Edward Davis, were stationed on X50, an Earth-like moon orbiting Draetheus V in the Draetheus system. When Merg Vol's fleet arrived in system, it headed straight for X50's north pole. Palmer then fought alongside the Marine garrison on the moon for several hours, until she fell back with a Marine fireteam to a landing pad which she used to reach the UNSC battlegroup in orbit and warn them. She then helped defend UNSC Faraday Base on the surface of Draetheus V, until Merg Vol managed to activate X50's Forerunner artifact.
The artifact was used by Forerunners to construct and disassemble entire worlds, and severely damaged Draetheus V before a combat engineer managed to shut it down. Nevertheless, Draetheus V's crust was caving in, and UNSC command was in chaos. Palmer took charge and began evacuating UNSC forces by means of stolen Spirit dropships. Once all friendly forces were off the planet, she commandeered Parg Vol's Phantom and returned to X50. Since her absence, Edward Davis and all other UNSC forces on the moon had been killed. Palmer landed the stolen Phantom and fought through a warren of canyons to Merg Vol, who waited at the base of the disabled artifact. After a tense duel in which Vol harnessed nearby Forerunner technology as weapons and shielding, Palmer finally managed to mortally injure Vol, executing him with her magnum once he collapsed on the ground. Palmer then returned to the Phantom and returned to what remained of the UNSC battle group.
First Battle of Requiem
- Main article: First Battle of Requiem
Palmer was assigned as a Commander on the UNSC Infinity, whose mission was to locate the remaining Halo rings to set up research bases for decommissioning. On Installation 03, a science team was vaporized by a Forerunner artifact that Infinity extracted from the ring. Coordinates from the artifact eventually led Infinity to a Shield World called Requiem, where it was scanned and pulled into the planet. After Infinity made a safe, if rough, landing, the ship was attacked by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant and Promethean forces, led by a surviving Forerunner known as the Didact. Palmer, along with Commander Lasky, was sent by Captain Del Rio to conduct recon. After their Pelican was shot down, they were rescued by John-117. Upon meeting, Palmer commented that she'd thought he'd be taller.
Once the attack was repelled, Palmer arrived on the bridge as Del Rio and Lasky were debriefing the Chief on Infinity's mission. Palmer informed Del Rio that Gypsy Company was ready to assault the gravity well keeping Infinity from escaping. Though the Chief insisted they pursue the Didact, Del Rio refused, concerned with getting Infinity out of Requiem.
After the successful destruction of the gravity well, Palmer was once again present on the bridge, as the Chief informed Del Rio of his encounter with The Librarian, who warned him that the Didact intends to escape Requiem to seek out the Forerunner device known as the Composer to turn all of humanity into Prometheans. A skeptical Del Rio dismissed the Chief's testimony as a hallucination and ordered Infinity to prepare for departure. Then suddenly, the Chief's AI, Cortana, suffered an episode of rampancy. Perceiving her as a threat to his ship, Del Rio ordered Lasky to take her AI chip for decommissioning. However, the Chief snatched it before he could. Del Rio demanded that the Spartan hand over Cortana, to which the latter defiantly refused. This incensed Del Rio, who ordered Palmer to arrest the Chief but she hesitated, as the Spartan departed the bridge.
After the Didact's defeat, Palmer was present on Infinity's Spartan deck as the Chief marched by to have his Mjolnir armor removed.
- Main article: Second Battle of Requiem
After Andrew Del Rio was relieved from command of the UNSC Infinity, Commander Palmer effectively became second-in-command behind Captain Thomas Lasky. Lasky may have chosen her due to her leadership and military knowledge, as well as her being the overall Commander of the SPARTAN-IV program aboard the Infinity.
Six months after the Didact's attack on New Phoenix, Infinity was to return to Requiem to clear out Jul 'Mdama's Covenant and Prometheans and set up research bases. Palmer personally greeted Fireteam Majestic upon their arrival. The team leader, Paul DeMarco, attempted to make a pass at her, unaware of her identity before she announced it. DeMarco quickly fell back in line and ordered his team to salute the superior officer.
After showing Majestic around, Palmer joined Lasky on the bridge to discuss the battle plan. She shares many of Lasky's ideas and goals, however she often believes her way may be best. This was seen when she openly questioned Lasky's order for the Spartan-IV's to be made ready immediately, whereas Palmer wanted them to spend more time in the War Games but was overruled. Soon after she rallied the Spartan-IVs and warned them of the dangers of Requiem just as the UNSC Infinity exited slipspace, sparking the Second Battle for Requiem between the UNSC, Jul 'Mdama's Covenant and Prometheans.
When Majestic returned after escaping a Promethean ambush, Palmer met the Fireteam as they disembarked. She asked DeMarco what happened to his teammate, Carlo Hoya, who was lying wounded on a stretcher. After DeMarco's brusque response, she ordered him to the armor bay, annoyed.
Nearby, a Forerunner artifact retrieved by Fireteam Crimson was being brought on board. The scientists barely got it a few meters off the Pelican before it spontaneously activated, causing disruption of the ship's systems, loss of artificial gravity and power to the engines. Palmer clung to the deck with magnetic boots and marched up to give a swift kick to the device, deactivating it and restoring Infinity's systems to normal. The artifact then became stuck to the floor, refusing to react from any further attempts of "physical persuasion." Dr. Henry Glassman attempted to inspect the artifact, only to be accidentally teleported to Requiem by it.
Lasky needed expert help in determining what the artifact was and summoned Doctor Catherine Halsey to Infinity. Palmer showed outright hostility towards the war criminal, reminding Lasky she was locked up for a reason. Halsey determined that the artifact was communing with Infinity's engines, the only Forerunner tech installed on the ship, several Human systems and something on Requiem.
Sometime later, Palmer informed Lasky that Fireteam Castle getting shot down on a supply run. The area they were in was the same place where Master Chief encountered the Librarian AI. Unfortunately, the place was occupied by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant leader, Jul 'Mdama.
Majestic was later dispatched to Requiem to retrieve a package. Upon bringing it to Halsey, she determined it to be similar to an AI matrix. Palmer and Majestic were observing the dissection before the device let out a flash of light and projected images of New Phoenix on the lab monitors. Halsey determined that this was from a Promethean's memories. This caused Palmer and Lasky to exchange worried looks. Halsey took notice and confronted Lasky, who confesses that the UNSC has been aware that the Prometheans were created from ancient Humans. She pointed out that this Promethean was once a human who lived in New Phoenix. As Lasky expressed confusion as to how these memories got to Requiem, Gabriel Thorne abruptly left the room. Halsey realized he was staring at an image of the artifact. Palmer and Lasky escorted her back to it. Palmer mocked Halsey for not having the answer to everything. Halsey retorted that she was excluded from information.
Palmer then became suspicious when she heard Halsey mutter the Librarian's name. She snatched the doctor's datapad and discovered a secret communique with an unknown individual, which she passed to Lasky.
Lasky then ordered Palmer to take Halsey into custody for withholding vital information. As they took her to Lasky's ready room, Halsey negatively compared the UNSC to children in a sandbox. Palmer coldly reminded her that the Office of Naval Intelligence would put her in something much smaller than a sandbox. The scientist defended that she didn't share information with her contact, whom she believed would benefit humanity and criticized Palmer for being too trigger-happy. Just then, Roland reported that Thorne had been detected alive on Requiem.
Some time afterward, Promethean Knights started manifesting through the artifact. As her guards were slaughtered one-by-one, Palmer was soon left to single-handedly hold off the Prometheans in the hangar as they began to spread throughout the ship. Palmer soon rendezvoused with Lasky and Halsey as they made their way to the bridge. Lasky ordered Infinity to move away from Requiem, but Roland informed him that the artifact is acting as a slipspace anchor locking them in place. Palmer expressed confusion, as slipspace isn't physical. Halsey remarked that there's still much they don't know about it. Palmer cut her off, criticizing her for failing to fix this. Then suddenly, a Promethean materialized on the bridge, knocking Palmer down and grabbing Halsey before disappearing. Getting back up, Palmer realized that the Prometheans came for her and slammed her fist on the star map, creating a dent in it.
Admiral Serin Osman of ONI ordered Halsey's termination for consorting with the enemy, a task that Palmer agreed to undertake. Lasky protested the decision, wanting to spare Halsey, but Palmer stated that she's doing this so that Lasky won't suffer a court-martial. Palmer journeyed to Requiem, stealthily killing a Covenant patrol with just a combat knife. As she entered the Librarian's shrine, she found Fireteam Majestic having joined the fight and Halsey in Jul's clutches. Palmer managed to shoot Halsey in the shoulder as Jul summoned Promethean Knights to protect him before teleporting away with Halsey. Angry that they got away, Palmer turned to Majestic, demanding to know why they were there. They answered that Lasky ordered them to rescue Halsey. When Palmer declared that she was a traitor, Thorne insisted that she wasn't, showing Palmer a piece of the Janus Key Halsey passed to him before she disappeared.
Halsey being in enemy hands was the least of their problems, for Jul had set Requiem to collide with the sun, and take Infinity with it. Dr. Glassman, who was rescued by Majestic, determined that there are two artifacts on the planet that, if deactivated, would free Infinity. Palmer worked with Majestic to take out one artifact while Crimson went after the other. Once their mission was complete, both Fireteams quickly made for Infinity and the vessel barely made it to slipspace as Requiem's collision caused the sun to go supernova.
As the crew rejoiced, Palmer later criticized Lasky for trying to thwart her. The Captain defended that he sent Majestic to rescue Halsey, not stop her, but she failed to see the difference. They then enter the lab where Glassman was examining the Janus Key. He determined that without the other half it is useless.
Battle of Ealen IV
- Main article: Battle of Ealen IV
While the Infinity was stationed at Earth, Sarah Palmer was engaged in an invasion War Games gametype, fighting off the covenant combat AI with Fireteam Jackknife. Upon leaving the War games room, Lasky tells Palmer that they were requested for a debriefing at HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6. During the debriefing, Lord Hood, Serin Osman, and other Admirals informally debrief Lasky on the 2nd campaign at Requiem. Lasky explains what happened at Requiem. Lasky hesitates to tell Serin Osman why Halsey wasn't assassinated, but before he can answer, Sarah Palmer covers for him by telling Osman that it was her fault for missing the shot, not Lasky's. Back on Infinity, Lord Hood tells Lasky that there's been an escalation in Jiralhanae raiding parties against the Sangheili throughout Joint-occupational zones. Lord Hood tells Lasky that he has arranged for a peace conference with the Arbiter and a Jiralhanae Chieftan on Ealen IV, with Palmer and Fireteam Jackknife as security. As the 3 parties are engaged in the peace conference, the meeting is ambushed by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. The Humans, Jiralhanae, and Arbiter are trapped on the planet with no way of contacting Infinity for reinforcements.
While Sarah Palmer, the Spartans, and the Delegates, are all trapped in a Plasma refinement facility, they begin to plan an attempt to escape and regain communications with Infinity and the other ships. Before they can execute their plans, Scruggs tells the group that they have dropships incoming. Lasky takes Spartan Ray and breaks off from the group to search for a way to contact Infinity for help. Meanwhile, Palmer and the others headed for a redoubt, not far from their location. While the group was making their way, they were confronted by a Lich. With nowhere to go, Palmer asks all available Spartans to place their grenades in her helmet, so she could throw her helmet into the Gravity lift of the Lich to destroy it. After all of the enemies from the Lich were killed, Palmer orders Fireteam Jackknife to go ahead to secure the redoubt, while Palmer and Lord Hood inspect a dead Sangheili for information, only to find a UNSC datapad, containing profiles of every human on Ealen IV. As Palmer and the group were beginning to head for the redoubt, only to discover from Jackknife that all of the Covenant forces on Ealen IV were heading to the redoubt. Palmer tries to contact Jackknife to obtain their status, only to have it drowned out by gunfire and static. After a pause, Vladimir Scruggs replied that the Redoubt was secure and it was safe to move up.
After Palmer, the Ambassadors, and Fireteam Bailey, reached the redoubt. They made their way westward into the redoubt, the group was then flanked by Scruggs who grabbed Lord Hood and placed a pistol up to his head. While Scruggs was trying to stall them until Gajat and his forces arrived, Palmer shoots Hood in the thigh. Scruggs was shocked by the action of her injuring the Admiral and left himself open, Palmer used this opportunity to tackle Scruggs through a window and onto the redoubt’s courtyard. Scruggs attempted to fire his pistol, but Palmer threw her combat knife through his wrist disabling his trigger hand. She then finished off her opponent by stabbing him in the throat. After Palmer defeated Scruggs and ensured Hood’s safety, Lasky informed her that ten heavy cruisers were bearing down on their position and that they should evacuate. Realizing that the only way off Ealen IV was a tiny Covenant Cargo Tug, Palmer was upset with the fact that she would have to leave Demarco and Fireteam Bailey behind in order to ensure that the Tug would not be followed by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant craft. She then confronted Demarco and told him what had to be done, Demarco and Fireteam Bailey accepted their order with great pride in who they were. While back on Infinity, Palmer grieved the sacrifice of her fellow Spartans who risked their lives to ensure that she and the Ambassadors would escape unharmed but came to the realization that, even if the peace talks were undisturbed, the ambassadors would never have agreed on anything.
Search for the Spirit of Fire
While aboard the Infinity, Roland gives Hood, Palmer, and Bradley his assessment on what he was able to discover about the Pilgrim’s Pride. Roland discovers that the ship was launched from the coordinates of a gas giant called Oth Lodon, in a Jiralhanae controlled system that is relatively close to Ealen IV. Hood decides it is time to tell Palmer and Bradley why it is his fault for Cutter going missing. He explains that he was unable to retrieve a log buoy that the Spirit of Fire left at Arcadia before it entered Slipspace, because he engaged the Covenant rather than try to retrieve the buoy stealthily. Palmer and Fireteam Majestic are then dispatched to search for the Spirit of Fire near Oth Lodon. However, they find a Covenant Space station instead, and bear witness to the Infinity being pierced by the station’s glassing beam. Palmer then led Fireteam Majestic into capturing the station, holding all the Insurrectionists, including Captain Daniel Clayton, the man who orchestrated the attack on the peace talks, before turning the glassing cannon on Vata 'Gajat's ship, destroying it.
As the UNSC secured the station, Lasky returned to Infinity, having gone undercover with Spartan Naiya Ray to uncover Clayton as the mole. While he lamented being too late to help, Palmer assured him that Hood was the one at fault for not waiting for him.
- During the level Infinity, Palmer says "I'd thought you'd be taller" to John-117. This may be a reference to the Marines in Halo: Combat Evolved who, when encountering the Master Chief, would sometimes say "he's taller than I'd imagined. Better looking, too."
- She is the first Spartan-IV to be seen dual-wielding.
- Her helmet appears to be fitted with the "Pioneer" visor.
- Palmer never appears during gameplay in Halo 4; she appears only in cutscenes.
- Palmer is one of two playable characters in Halo: Spartan Assault, along with Edward Davis.
- Palmer has a low opinion of the War Games AI.
- Palmer serves as the default announcer for Warzone simulations in Halo 5: Guardians, and can be replaced using the Voices of War REQ pack.
- Halo 4 (First appearance)
- Halo: Spartan Assault
- Halo: Initiation
- Halo: Escalation
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo: New Blood
- Halo: Bad Blood
- IMDB.com Vedette Lim
- Halowaypoint - Commander Sarah Palmer
- YouTube - Halo 4: Spartan Ops Gameplay
- Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 18
- Halo: Initiation – Issue #1
- Halo: Initiation – Issue #2
- Halo: Initiation - Issue 3
- Halo: Spartan Assault, Level Select Preview: "The northern continent of X50, Draetheus-V's moon..."
- YouTube - Spartan Ops Episode 1
- YouTube - Spartan Ops Episode 2
- YouTube - Spartan Ops Episode 3
- YouTube - Spartan Ops Episode 4
- YouTube - Spartan Ops Episode 5
- YouTube - Spartan Ops Episode 6: Scattered
- YouTube - Spartan Ops Episode 7: Invasion
- YouTube - Spartan Ops Episode 8: Expendable
- YouTube - Spartan Ops Episode 9: Key
- YouTube - Spartan Ops Episode 10: Exodus
- Halo: Escalation - Issue 1
- Halo: Escalation - Issue 2
- Halo: Escalation - Issue 3
- Halo: Escalation - Issue 5
- Halo: Escalation - Issue 1, Page 6