|“||I feel I must remind you, that it is an undeniable, and may I say a fundamental quality of man, that when faced with extinction, every alternative is preferable!||„|
|~ Director Leonard Church|
Dr. Leonard Church is the former Director of Project Freelancer, until he became a wanted criminal of the UNSC and was placed under arrest by them for numerous protocol violations, as stated in the beginning of Reconstruction: Chapter 19. He then went into hiding at a secret location, where he would later be confronted by Carolina and Epsilon. He is the secondary antagonist of Reconstruction and the primary antagonist of the Project Freelancer Saga, as well as one of the main antagonists of the series overall.
Prior to becoming the Director of Project Freelancer, Leonard Church was in a relationship with a woman named Allison and the two had a daughter; who would later become the Freelancer Agent Carolina. However, after Allison was called to duty to fight in the Great War, she was listed K.I.A. and Leonard Church went into a deep depression. Seeking to bring her back and do his 'duty', Leonard Church became the Director of his self-started Special Operations program: Project Freelancer and created a smart A.I. codenamed Alpha. As time passed, The Director became more and more focused in resurrecting his lover, willingly committing major crimes and risking the lives of others to succeed in this goal. Although he doesn't physically appear until Season 9, The Director has, arguably, the largest impact in the series, as he's responsible for several events that occur throughout the series.
Role in the Plot
Battling the Insurrection
The Director is first seen overlooking South and North Dakota's mission of retrieving data at the Bjørndal Cryogenics Research Facility. He then gives clearance for Agent Carolina to aid North and South when they become surrounded at the helipad. He briefs North, South, and Carolina after they return from their mission. He has The Counselor change the boards, placing North ahead of South. This angers South causing her to question him. He tells her that stealth was one of the mission objectives, something South failed to follow, and, as a result, made their next mission more difficult.
In Case File 01.045, C.T. believes The Director is selecting the Freelancers to see who the best of the best are; which in reality will only make them divided. In Introductions, Washington tells the other Freelancer agents to call The Director as Maine and Wyoming began using live rounds on the training course. C.T., with her negative outlook on The Director, replies to Wash, "Who do you think gave them the ammo?"; implying The Director supplied Wyoming and Maine with the ammo. He then comes down to the training floor after York is injured with a grenade. He says he will not punish Maine or Wyoming as they were being inventive. When talked back to by Wash, he yells at him saying that the enemy will not follow protocol either; and leaves the room.
During the mission to recover the Sarcophagus, he prepares to fire the MAC at the 110 story building to destroy it. However, he is advised by The Counselor to wait until the Agents are away. He ignores this warning, telling The Counselor to shut up, and fires. Later when F.I.L.S.S. refuses to drop a pod for Agent Texas due to safety protocols, The Director has her fire it anyway. In the mission, Tex recovers the briefcase and contacts The Director. The Director applauds her for her work. Later on, he welcomes the newly born Delta, telling him that together they will do incredible things. During the season finale, The Director tells Carolina that she will partake in more missions that will require her to do questionable things, in which Carolina agrees nonetheless, saying she will do anything for The Director.
Later on he contacts York, who is on a mission, about the mission's status. He is pleased until Delta mentions remote alarms being sounded. He tries to get York to abandon the mission, but York continues to try and work at the lock. He is aboard the Mother of Invention when it comes under attack from Insurrectionist ships, however, they are able to deal with these. Once the Staff of Charon comes out of the rubble, it attacks the Mother of Invention and gains the upper hand, but it leaves. When the team returns to the Pelican, he asks of their status, to which they say they have everyone but C.T. who is gone. He asks them to define gone.
With C.T. gone, The Director puts North Dakota in a simulation test with his A.I. Theta. With the help of Theta, the two succeed in eliminating the enemy turrets and impressing The Director. The Director, along with The Counselor, holds a Freelancer lecture class about A.I. theory but gets interrupted by an angry South, who acknowledges that she has no business being there, due to the fact that The Director didn't give her an A.I. Soon after, Maine's A.I., Sigma, asks about the fourth stage of A.I. rampancy: metastability. He also brings up the fact that The Director always says that one should have ambition. The Director agrees and dismisses the class.
Meanwhile, The Director tells The Counselor that he has just harvested a new A.I. program and orders him to find the A.I. a match. After locating C.T., The Director sends Carolina on a mission to retrieve her armor. When Carolina asks if anyone else will be accompanying them on the mission, The Director snaps at her saying that he will take care of Freelancer personnel. With the mission completed, The Director began to push the number of A.I. implantations. During one of Tex's training sessions after her implantations, Carolina storms into the training field and demands The Director implant her with an A.I. Frustrated with Carolina's sudden desire, The Director lets Carolina choose between two A.I., Eta or Iota, who are both are scheduled to be implanted into either Washington or South Dakota and her choosing would push back their schedules. When Carolina demanded for both A.I., The Director told her that she couldn't have both; but she retaliated by reminding him that the A.I. is simple fragments and their suits could handle it. The Director then told The Counselor to prep Carolina for surgery and stormed off with a Freelancer infantry soldier.
After Carolina's surgery, The Director is reported of a match going on in the arena. When he finds Tex being involved in the match, he yells out, "No, Allison!" to her; triggering the other A.I. to mutter the same thing. This causes the Freelancers to react in agony. The Counselor suggests sedating Carolina due to the damage two A.I.s would have, but The Director denied it; stating that she wanted two and she would live with the consequences. As he stormed off, he looked back at the other Freelancers and dismissed them.
A few days later, The Director was present with The Counselor, Sigma, Gamma and Omega in the torturing of the Alpha A.I., telling him a failure in his security schematics caused the deaths of agents Washington and Texas, which sent Alpha into a state of remorse. After dismissing the three A.I., unaware that Sigma secretly watched from a nearby security camera, The Director and The Counselor brought in the Sarcophagus, which contained a tentacle-like floating creature. The Director persuaded the creature to repair a memory unit that was used during the torturing process. After the process was complete, The Director welcomed the newly born Epsilon A.I. into the world; claiming "Today is your birthday."
Afterward, The Director began Washington's implantation of Epsilon. However, after Epsilon was implanted into Wash, he began to scream in pain; by the cause of getting memory flashes of Allison. The Director ordered the medical staff to sedate Washington and then ordered The Counselor to inform him when Wash woke up. The Counselor complied, he asked what Washington meant about goodbyes. The Director, however, did not give a response. It was after this incident that The Director decided to pull the plug on A.I. experimentation altogether, and began the process of deleting them; resulting in a heated argument with Carolina as a result of her not wanting to give up on her two A.I. despite the Epsilon incident.
When Tex begins an attack aboard the Mother of Invention, The Director and The Counselor leave the ship's bridge after ordering Carolina to capture Tex. In the A.I. lab, The Director and The Counselor feel the tremors caused by York's "distraction": the ship's missiles firing upon itself. After Carolina and Tex battle, the ship crash lands on a frozen planet where The Director, clutching a memory unit, witnesses Maine steal Carolina's two A.I. and throw her off a cliff.
After the break-in, The Director and The Counselor decide to hide the Alpha at a secret location. The two instruct Agent Florida to secure and protect Alpha and then proceed to create a tragic story of Florida's disappearance. The Director then asks The Counselor where they can hide Alpha in anonymity; to which The Counselor suggests that he knows a place: Blood Gulch.
Messaging the Chairman
Throughout the events of Reconstruction, The Director exchanges a number of transmissions with The Chairman, each one revealing more about The Director's personality and views, as well as slowly revealing the tensions he and The Chairman share toward each other. Through the various transmissions and through the information provided by Agent Washington in numerous episodes, it is eventually revealed that The Director and his Freelancer Project was given a single, "smart AI" to experiment with in his soldiers, known as the Alpha. In a severe abuse of power and protocol, The Director has the Alpha AI split into fragments to be copied; this was done by subjecting it too highly stressful scenarios to the point where it detaches portions of itself to maintain its sanity and survive. When The Chairman discovers this after looking into his personal files, The Director has immediately issued a warrant of arrest, and at the beginning of Chapter 19, he is notified that law enforcement members are on their way to detain him.
During Chapter 19, he speaks to Wash, who has infiltrated the base with The Meta following close behind. When negotiations with Wash fail, and Wash reveals he's known everything since Epsilon was implanted in his head, The Director orders The Meta to kill him; revealing he still had some level of control over Agent Maine (although this could be due to his bribing The Meta with the location of the Alpha, which it demanded). When Private Church (Alpha) appeared and entered The Meta's mind, incapacitating it and giving Washington time to activate the EMP, The Director attempts one final desperate plea to cooperate with Wash; who staunchly refuses before activating the EMP and disabling the entire base.
One last transmission was sent to The Chairman of the Oversight Sub-Committee during the Epilogue; with The Director sounding far more subdued and weary than he previously was. Revealing that he never had the chance to participate or sacrifice himself for the war and that he has been haunted with the memory of his loved one who he lost long ago, he ends the transmission saying that he would come quietly and hope that the court would see things from his perspective. He also stated his belief that the courts would not be able to convict him because though there are many laws against hurting and terrorizing others, he maintains that there are no laws against tormenting one's own self.
He then closes his transmission by stating his name: Dr. Leonard Church; revealing that Private Church/Alpha was in fact designed by The Director's own personality and memories. (Tex is later revealed in Reunion to be a by-product of the process and that she was what he remembered of his loved one, Allison, which may explain why he favored Tex during the course of Project Freelancer, while also shedding some light on Church's relationship with Tex.)
Current Location and Death
|“||You were my greatest creation.||„|
|~ The Director to Carolina before she leaves him for the last time|
Despite the implication of being arrested, Epsilon and Carolina discover where The Director is hiding: one of several old Freelancer facilities. Upon arriving at one of the locations: the Freelancer Offsite Storage Facility, Epsilon, and Carolina get confirmation that The Director is inside. The two load up with weapons and enter a room via teleporter, only to come face to face with an army of robotic Texs. Epsilon realizes The Director is once again trying to bring back Allison, much to his and Carolina's horror. After Carolina defeats the Tex robots with the help of the other Reds and Blues, she and Epsilon journey to The Director's private chamber.
There, they find The Director watching video clips of Allison; frequently telling F.I.L.S.S. to replay them over and over. Carolina tells The Director that the authorities will come to detain him but he says that he still wants more time watching the video. Epsilon angrily yells at him that he had his time and that he should pay for all the things he has done to Alpha, the AI units, and the other freelancers. The Director removes his glasses and stares at Carolina who also removes her helmet. Carolina sees The Director's weary and exhausted face, kisses him on the forehead, and tells Epsilon that he needs to let go and that the past does not affect who you are in the present.
As Carolina and Epsilon leave, The Director stops her and asks for her pistol which Carolina hands over. All alone, The Director orders F.I.L.S.S. to shut down the facility and delete all the files including herself except the video of Allison. Before F.I.L.S.S. does all this, she asks The Director if Project Freelancer was a success and if he found what he was looking for. The Director said no but he believed he was very close. With the facility closing down and life support cut off, The Director committed suicide with Carolina's pistol as he watched the video of his beloved Allison.
Despite the fact that Church is based off The Director, the two show little similarities in terms of personality. The Director is shown to be a calm, deceptive and calculating man who seeks to achieve his goals no matter what the cost, which often shows his dark and unmoving side. He keeps a consistent tone throughout the series but it has been shown that The Director can easily be infuriated in several instances, such as his messages to The Chairman in Reconstruction, as he was originally calm at first but became annoyed as time moved on. However, deep down, The Director was a tortured soul, who sought to do his "duty" but was so blinded by his depression he became a shell of his former self, having lost all hope and any connection to his daughter.
Powers and Abilities
Being the Director of Project Freelancer, Leonard Church showed immense skill in leading operations that aided his agents. Such examples include: stealing the Sarcophagus, battling against the Insurrection in space, and tracking C.T. This skill would later explain the Alpha's own leadership, who would later lead the Blue Team.
Throughout the series, The Director shows a great degree of knowledge; not only in using A.I. units, but also strategic planning and possibilities. The Director has used this skill to commit several crimes that were unnoticed for years. It's often hinted that The Director does many experiments (each varying greatly) to predict the possibilities and outcomes of certain situations.
- The Director speaks in a subtle southern accent. Specifically, a Georgian accent.
- It is revealed in Don't Say It that Carolina is The Director's daughter, due to the fact that they have the same eye color and The Director states Carolina as his "greatest creation."
- The machine The Director and Counselor communicate with Wash and The Meta through is actually the Cold Storage Monitor from Halo 3, which is located in the map Cold Storage.
- The Director makes his first physical appearance in the Season 9 Trailer, giving access to the Pelican trying to board Angel On My Shoulder, in order to get medical aid for Agent Maine.
- Ironically, his first vocal appearance was in the Reconstruction Trailer, making his first "appearances" in trailers.
- The Director's face resembles John Marshall Reed, his voice actor.
- Dr. Leonard Church is based on a character from the Halo canon called Dr. Endesha.
- According to Burnie Burns, originally he was going to voice The Director, but after hearing John Marshall Reed speak he offered him the role.