Cheryl Sasaki (佐々木・チリル, Sasaki Chiriru), service number 78854-85648-CS, is a lance corporal and an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper serving in the UNSC Marine Corps. She is one of the primary protagonists of The Unsung War as a member of the featured squad, Three-Alpha-Six, where she serves as pilot, radio operator, and occasional medic. Due to her pilot training and her expert medical field knowledge, it is believed that she has the highest intelligence in the squad, but on occasion has lapses of common sense that prompt the 'Baka Pink' nickname shared by her ancestor, Makie Sasaki. She is often seen quoting obscure trivia or correcting her squadmates on misused turns of phrase.
Cheryl was born on Earth's natural satellite to a high-class family that owned the mining conglomerate on Luna. Though her parents sought to keep her insulated from the outside world, she grew up watching holonews reports of the Human-Covenant War and felt compelled to do whatever she could to help. During her school years, she organized a number of fundraisers, support drives, and care packages for UNSC Marines, becoming something of a local celebrity for her patriotism. Other academic requirements prevented her from joining her high school JROTC, but she nonetheless enlisted into the Marines straight out of high school, filled with idealistic determination to do her part.
Service in the UNSCEdit
On Reach, her naive attitude and exuberant idealism made her a favorite target of "shark attacks" by her drill instructors, and though frequently reduced to tears, her spirit remained eternally unshaken and she never faltered on her path to the future. Her idealism and determination served as inspiration for her fellow trainees, and many of them credit her attitude for giving them the extra boost they needed to make it to graduation. On the day of graduation, her primary drill instructor took her aside and spoke glowingly of his respect for her personality, wishing her the highest successes in life and his hope that the war with the Covenant would not tarnish her shining spirit.
Proceeding to technical training, Cheryl elected to become a pilot, entering into training as a Pelican pilot, a course which normally requires two and a half years of dedicated training. Demonstrating her prodigy-level of intelligence and learning ability, she completed the necessary training in a year.
Freshly-graduated as a Pelican pilot, though not yet qualified for solo flight, Cheryl was folded into the relief forces attached to the UNSC Spirit of Fire, whose mission it was to reinforce the Harvest system before the Covenant could stage another attack. As part of this task force, she flew Pelicans in ground support and transport operations during the Third Battle of Harvest and the Battle of Arcadia. She survived five such sorties during the two battles, a major accomplishment for any Pelican pilot, and was afterwards selected for cross-training as an ODST. Her first ground combat came as part of the 105th Drop Jet Platoon at the Battle of Jericho VII, where she alone survived the decimation of the unit at the hands of a massive force of Unggoy. Following the battle, medics feared that she would suffer catastrophic post-traumatic stress disorder, and so she was cryofrozen and removed from active duty.
Joining The SquadEdit
Evangeline A.K. McDowell, in her role as commander of the Third Marine Special Operations Division, scouted Cheryl early in her life for her bloodline, and as the Covenant attacked Earth in October of 2552, Evangeline had Cheryl reactivated and assigned to Three-Bravo-Six, the last member of the squad, dubbed the rookie due to her single combat tour on the ground. The fresh trauma of the Battle of Jericho VII, combined with the dire state of affairs for humanity, threatened to overwhelm the young woman, who maintained her sanity only by applying herself to her training under Evangeline.
Training and the Second Battle of EarthEdit
Along with the rest of her team, Cheryl entered Evangeline's magical recreation of Mahora for 168 days of 'hell-training' to unlock the latent power of her magical heritage, training under a magic-generated clone of her ancestor to increase her speed and agility, as well as learning magic directly from Evangeline herself and a copy of Negi Springfield. It was discovered by Evangeline that Cheryl had a unique talent for magic in that she had no specific elemental affinity, which allows her to cast spells of any element without significant loss of spell strength.
As the squad prepared to deploy in support of The Liberation of Mahora, Cheryl noticed that Lucy appeared tentative concerning her first combat in which use of her native magic was not only authorized, but explicitly encouraged. During the combat deployment, she saved the life of a fellow trooper by casting a heat-absorbing shield around his damaged pod during the atmospheric descent.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Intellectual Ability: Over the course of the series, Cheryl has demonstrated that she is proficient as a combat medic, and her original career field in the UNSC Marine Corps was that of a Pelican pilot. Both tasks require substantial intellectual training to master, and combined with the fact that she is often quoting obscure trivia or correcting the misused idioms of her squad, it is inferred that Cheryl possesses the highest IQ of Three-Alpha-Six.
- Magical Prowess: Trained by Evangeline and a clone of Negi Springfield, Cheryl has learned a large number of spells, and possesses the unique trait of not having any single magic affinity. While this removes the boost in strength spells of an inherent element would give her, it also removes the reduction in power to elements not of her affinity. The exact list of her spells is currently unknown, though it can be assumed that she learned many of Negi's favored and original spells.
- Physical Ability: The natural talent for agility in her bloodline was greatly enhanced from her training in Evangeline's resort with her ancestor, though it is as yet unseen exactly how this improved ability will benefit her.
Cheryl in Other MediaEdit
Along with the rest of 3/A-6, Cheryl appears in the forum-based alternate universe Halo role-play Project: MYTHOS that follows the basic storyline of the Human-Covenant War while adding mecha technology from Full Metal Panic and the various Gundam series. With the exception of magic not existing in the MYTHOS universe, the history of Cheryl is essentially the same.