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|“||You must remember that Agent Maine and The Meta are two distinctly different psyches. The Meta was the result of the Sigma A.I. manipulating Maine. His sole objective was perfection. When the A.I. fragments were destroyed by Agent Washington, The Meta was destroyed along with them, leaving behind a damaged shell of a man. Unlike Sigma, his only remaining goal was to obtain power. His actions were more reckless. His behavior, more sporadic.||„|
|~ Aiden Price, also known as The Counselor, to Locus during a counseling session.|
The Meta, formerly known as Freelancer Agent Maine, is a rogue Freelancer agent with goals to obtain armor enhancements and artificial intelligence to increase his power. He became mute after a severe throat injury and could only speak through growls. He serves as the main antagonist of the Recollections Trilogy, a main character turned antagonist of the Project Freelancer Saga and a minor mentioned character for the rest of the series.
Before he was The Meta, Agent Maine was a brutal Freelancer who strived to become the best. When he was given the A.I. Sigma to communicate after losing his voice, Maine slowly fell under Sigma's influence and became a monster who betrayed Project Freelancer for two new goals: the acquisition of all armor enhancements and A.I. to become the most powerful being, and to reach "Metastability", taking the name "Meta" to represent his objective. His actions have threatened Project Freelancer, UNSC, the public, and the Reds and Blues.
Role in Plot
The New Recruit
The Meta was conscripted to Project Freelancer under the assigned codename: Agent Maine. Shortly after, Maine, along with Wyoming and York, faced a new recruit to the Project Freelancer, Agent Texas. Throughout the match, York attempts to coordinate their attacks against Tex, but both Maine and Wyoming refuse to listen to him and repeatedly attack Tex head on, only to be paralyzed every time. In the ninth round of combat, Wyoming and Maine switch their guns' ammunition with live pistol rounds. Together, they try to kill Tex, but both Freelancers are eventually immobilized.
Maine manages to break free temporarily and attacks again, ramming a column towards Tex. After Tex neutralizes him again, Maine attempts a final attack by throwing a hand grenade at her, which misses and lands next to York. Tex, in an attempt to save York, shoots York multiple times with the paralyzing paint, which absorbs part of the explosion and protects him from some of the fragmentation. A medic is later seen attempting to assist Maine but he refuses the help by pushing the medic aside with his arm; saying, "Get off me!" in a deep, throaty voice.
Mission for the Sarcophagus
Maine was later seen in the meeting room in the episode Planning the Heist, waiting to be briefed on an upcoming mission to recover the Sarcophagus. He is assigned to Team A with Wash, Carolina, and York, who are to infiltrate the building the Sarcophagus is being held in. During the mission, Maine, looking around the vault, finds a Brute Shot and decides to keep it as his own weapon. Carolina, in an attempt to get the package off the roof, kicks Maine out a window and uses his weight to balance the Sarcophagus up to the roof. When the Package reaches the roof, he lands on a ledge of a parking garage and fights the soldiers down there.
Maine then acquires a Warthog afterwards and saves Carolina and York in the warthog, after they secure the package. Team A then goes to an overpass in order to get a briefcase from Rhee Sebiel. When Rhee drives under the overpass, Maine jumps on his car and kills him with his newly acquired Brute Shot. Maine acquires the briefcase and gets into the Warthog with the rest of Team A. They are then pursued by several Insurrectionists where Maine is shot by a sniper. After he recovers, Maine joins Carolina in battling the enemies, but is outmatched by the faster female opponent he engages.
Maine then switches opponents with Carolina, securing the briefcase on his back. He engages the Sleeveless Insurrection Soldier, where the two seemed evenly matched. After Carolina stabs the female trooper with the Brute Shot, the latter throws her pistol to Maine's opponent and he is shot in the throat several times. Still capable of fighting despite his wounds, Maine picks up his Brute Shot and attempts to kill the two soldiers, but accidentally fires his Brute Shot at the truck's rear, causing it to swerve. The truck then hits a car, sending them all flying off of it. Maine, unfortunately, gets hit by a truck and is knocked off the freeway.
Becoming The Meta
Much time after his injuries, Carolina gave Maine her assigned A.I., Sigma, in order for him to communicate with the other Freelancers. Later, Maine attends a class about A.I. along with Freelancers South, Carolina, North, York, Washington, and Wyoming. Maine later participated in the mission to find C.T. at the Longshore Shipyards, but appeared to be used only as a last resort. Washington throws a small transmitter, on which Maine lands in a pod directly. Sigma reminds Maine that the Sleeveless Insurrectionist was the one that shot him in the throat, and tells him to "sic 'em."
After easily dealing with the soldier, Maine proceeds to help Carolina with her own battle with the Demo Man and Girlie. In the process, Maine slices off the Demo Man's robotic arm and defeats Girlie by forcing her off the roof of a building. Maine is later seen with North and South watching the Insurrectionist Leader's ship escape the Longshore Base. Following the mission at the Longshore Shipyards, Maine is seen loading his Brute Shot inside a Freelancer locker room with Wyoming. Both of their A.I., Sigma and Gamma, converse with Carolina about the significance of Agent Texas and Omega. During their conversation with Carolina, Maine is seen to have an immediate pain in his head, suggesting that Sigma has some form of greater influence over him.
Maine is later seen in the Recovery station, receiving treatment for the headaches continuing to plague him, which is considered unusual by the other Freelancers as York states his headaches only lasted a few weeks. During Carolina's match with Tex, Maine observes the fight in a nearby observation canopy with the other Freelancers. When The Director bursts in and shouts "Allison!", due to his concern over Tex, all of the A.I. go rampant, sending everyone into severe pain and causing Maine to roar out in agony.
Sometime after, Maine sharpens his Brute Shot and loads up his armor, for unknown reasons, in the Freelancer locker room. After the Mother of Invention lands forcibly on a frozen planet, Maine takes advantage of Carolina's weakened state, who had fought against Tex, and steals her two A.I., Eta and Iota. Maine then proceeds to throw Carolina off of a cliff. Maine's A.I., Sigma, then follows up with the idea of gathering up all the necessary A.I. fragments in order to recreate the Alpha. Because of this, Maine, now known as The Meta, continued hunting down the remaining Freelancer agents in the field, stealing their A.I. and armor enhancements.
Over a period of time, The Meta had killed four Freelancer agents, stripping them of their equipment and A.I. However, the multiple A.I. gathered in The Meta's head began to deteriorate his mental status. Most of the priority one recovery signals Agent Washington received during this time were a result of The Meta's actions. However, there was one signal that was not triggered by The Meta: Agent New York, who was killed in action by Agent Wyoming. York's A.I. Delta was recovered by Washington, which prompted The Meta to begin hunting down Washington. The Meta killed Agent North Dakota, stealing his A.I. Theta and enhancement, both to benefit himself, and to bring Washington into his sights. The Meta spared North's sister South Dakota however, simply knocking her unconscious after she put her brother in a position to be killed.
Washington, after faking South's death in order for her to help him fight The Meta, who's identity was not yet known at that point, set out to a remote industrial area to wait for his attacker. When The Meta began his attack, Washington implanted Delta into Agent South, but South turned on him, shooting him in the back in order to save herself. South addressed The Meta directly, lying that she had placed a timed charge on Washington's body, and that he could either go after her or strip Wash of his enhancement and find them another day. The Meta opted for the latter, and South escaped, now on the run from both The Meta and Project Freelancer.
Not long after this, a Pelican piloted by Agent Texas crash landed in Freelancer Simulation Outpost 17-B. The Meta had tracked the ship to its crash site, and scavenged the Blue Base, acquiring cloaking from Agent Texas' body, and capturing the A.I. Gamma. The Meta then attacked Red Base and acquired Omega and Tex herself, leaving only one survivor. The Meta and his captured A.I. then scrawled a cryptic message on the walls of Red Base; "We are The Meta", establishing themselves as a single entity. In response, Recovery Agents Six and Nine were sent to investigate and document the carnage, but The Meta attacked the two agents and killed them.
After manipulating a recorded radio transmission to trick Sarge into eliminating Washington and attacking South Dakota, The Meta uses Wyoming's time distortion unit to escape from Wash. However, he is wounded in a battle with Agent Washington, Church, and Caboose when he attempted to kill South. The Meta is later seen at Zanzibar attempting to recharge his power supplies. Although he is nearly defeated, the Reds interfere at the last minute, allowing The Meta to acquire Delta.
Afterwards, The Meta attacks both Washington's team and the reassembled Reds. Washington eventually rips off a turret and chases him away after inflicting several wounds. Eventually, The Meta climbs on the back of a tank driven by the Reds, Blues, and Wash to infiltrate command. He then reveals himself at command, as a cloaked figure and the command soldiers attack him. The Meta later follows Washington and Church and wounds the former, but is stopped from killing him as the Alpha (Church) jumps into his head. The Meta begins to de-stabilize due to the presence of Alpha in his head, but is spared when the EMP destroys all the A.I.
Pursuit for Epsilon
At some point after the events of Reconstruction, the UNSC release The Meta, along with Washington, so he can capture the Epsilon A.I. by orders from The Chairman. Appearing at Blue Base, The Meta surprises Donut, who thinks that The Meta is a new Blue sent to the base. Donut tries to move Tex's body, and assumes The Meta's attempts to shoot or melee kill him are just acts of helpfulness. As he has Donut at gunpoint, Simmons arrives with news of the wrecked Mongoose but runs off when he sees The Meta. The Meta chases Simmons across Valhalla, shooting at him with the Brute Shot.
Simmons warns Lopez about the imminent danger, so Lopez runs in the base to get weapons and Simmons gets the rocket launcher, as The Meta comes over the hill. Simmons fires at The Meta and misses, instead hitting the Mongoose. The Meta prepares to return fire on Simmons, but Lopez hits him with two shots from a Missile Pod, forcing him to retreat. The Meta attacks the Red base several times, eventually forcing the Reds to use all their ammunition. He later walks down the river after the Reds, while they attempt to start his jeep to escape. As he approaches them, Washington intervenes and tells The Meta to stand down. Wash then shoots Lopez and Donut and, now working with Wash, the two hold Simmons as their prisoner.
When Doc arrives at Valhalla, he is knocked out by The Meta and taken prisoner, along with Simmons. The Meta is next seen having problems with his armor enhancements, to which Washington advises he stop using ever since his A.I. were destroyed in the EMP, but The Meta is shown to still desire more. Later, as Wash confronts Sarge out in the canyon, The Meta is ordered to kill Doc and Simmons if Sarge gives Wash any trouble. Moments later, The Meta sees an explosion out in the distance and, sensing trouble, charges Doc and Simmons, but not before Doc charges his medical scanner.
After Doc shoots The Meta, he suddenly slows down due to damage to his time distortion unit. As he slowly attempts to punch Doc, he eventually regains control, chases the fleeing Simmons, and destroys the Reds' Warthog. He becomes distracted by the arrival of Epsilon, who leads him away so that the Reds can escape. After the Reds escape with Epsilon in hand, Washington and The Meta interrogate Doc.
After Doc explains that Simmons mentioned something about sand, Wash brings The Meta and Doc along to the desert, following a recovery beacon. The group dig up C.T.'s body and suddenly find themselves surrounded by the Aliens. After the Aliens trick Wash and The Meta with a promise of a map, the two kill them. The Meta is later ordered by Washington to search the camp for any clues of Epsilon. Although The Meta complains about doing so, he relents and goes down to the camp, where he finds the Epsilon unit. Afterwards, Wash orders The Meta to modify the empty unit into a capture unit. The Meta does so and the group successfully find a faint trail of the Reds and, soon after, hear a recovery beacon and prepare to leave and track it down.
The beacon leads the group to Sidewinder, where they see Epsilon unconscious on the ground. Unfortunately, they get caught in a trap of mines set up by Epsilon-Tex. The mines explode, destroying the Warthog, and sending Wash, The Meta and Doc flying. As Wash begins to recover, Tex confronts him about The Director's location, but Wash claims not to know. Suddenly, The Meta engages Tex in combat, in which Tex uses a chaingun to fight him off. The Meta runs for cover as she fires at him, where Wash, having fully recovered, attempts to use a spike in the capture unit to neutralize her; but fails and nearly loses it over a cliff. As the fight ensues, Tex activates another detonator to cause the cliff itself to collapse. The Meta escapes by reclaiming his Brute Shot and stabs the ice with the blade to secure himself. He then engages Tex in melee and, despite Wash protests at the matter, grabs Tex and stabs her in the face with the capture unit, trapping her inside.
While Wash tries to get Epsilon to cooperate, he asks The Meta to give him the memory unit, but The Meta, tempted by the chance to regain his lost power, instead attaches the unit to his back. Using Tex to monitor his equipment, The Meta turns invisible, melees Wash, and fires at Epsilon and Doc. Wash tries to hold him, but The Meta knocks him down and corners him. However, he soon trails off when he sees a damaged Pelican, operated by the Reds and Blues, flying rapidly towards them. During the landing, the others regroup towards the memory unit in the snow. When everyone leaves, Epsilon and Wash discuss Tex's origins. The surprised duo then see the unit rising out of the snow with The Meta still attached to it.
The Meta attacks them and Wash battles with The Meta in close combat. After The Meta incapacitates Wash, Sarge, Simmons, Grif, and Tucker suddenly return and begin their assault. The Meta activates a domed energy shield enhancement, deflecting all of their shots. Jumping high in the air, The Meta leaves his domed shield and attacks, slicing Simmons' rocket launcher as he lands. The Meta then proceeds to battle the four soldiers, dispatching all of their oncoming attacks. Grif, however, manages to grab The Meta's Brute Shot during the fight. Eventually, Sarge begins to slowly approach The Meta while firing his shotgun. As the two get closer, The Meta dispatches the shotgun out of Sarge's hand and chokes him.
Sarge then connects the tow-hook of the Warthog, given to him by Washington earlier, to The Meta's chest plate while Grif and Simmons push the Warthog over the edge of the cliff. Sarge disconnects the capture unit from The Meta's back and The Meta is dragged down the cliff by the tow cable. The Meta flails wildly as he approaches the edge and, in one last effort, tries to kill Grif by grabbing his leg, intending to pull him down as well. However, Simmons grabs hold onto Grif, temporarily keeping him from falling, causing The Meta to lose his hold on the latter. The Meta then yells in rage and falls off the cliff. It is later confirmed The Meta perished from asphyxiation by drowning in the water below.
Much later, The Meta's armor was placed inside a crate and put aboard a UNSC Ship containing the Reds and Blues. However, after the ship crashes on the planet Chorus, Locus retrieves the crate and delivers it to The Chairman aboard the Staff of Charon. The suit of armor, bearing multiple armor enhancements, was put to use by Malcom Hargrove; whose studying of The Meta's enhancements led to the creation of new ones utilized by the Space Pirates that did not require an A.I. to run properly.
Additionally, Malcom intends to replicate The Meta's armor and it's ability to use more than one enhancement; but upgraded to the point where only one A.I. is required. He would later use the theoretical armor as a bargaining chip to Locus and Felix if they completed their mission successfully.
While infiltrating the Staff of Charon, the Reds and Blues seize control of Hargrove's trophy room, where Tucker dons The Meta's upgraded Hephaestus armor and Epsilon fractures himself into the memories of the other A.I. fragments to effectively run the suit for their last stand against Hargrove's forces.
Though he had some honorable qualities during his time as a Freelancer, including saving Carolina's life by taking a sniper round aimed at her spine, The Meta was nevertheless aggressive, blameworthy, traitorous, amoral, unethical, and somewhat sociopathic. During his match with Tex, he, along with Wyoming had no qualms about killing her with live ammo. He was also extremely violent when angered. An example of this was when Sigma reminded him about the soldier who shot him in the throat, Maine was furious, eager to kill him for revenge.
Unlike Omega, who was obstreperous, impolite, brash, and loud, The Meta was a stoic and imperturbable man of few words who let his actions speak for him. He said very little when he was capable of speaking and was very proud of his power. He was also not above taunting his enemies with his strength, such as when he allowed the Sleeveless Insurrectionist to deal the first blow, then catching it and sadistically twisted his arm, forcing the soldier to his knees and killing him with a single punch. Complimenting his vicious and temperamental nature, The Meta's fighting style was very destructive, relying on power, brute strength and wrestling attacks. However, this combat form was unrefined, and against more skilled fighters, such as Tex, The Meta was at a disadvantage.
Despite his somewhat brutish, loathsome, and insensitive personality, The Meta was also very manipulative devious, manipulating the Reds into attacking the Blues and using Washington and South as pawns to obtain A.I. for his own possession. As The Meta, Maine had become a predator. Whether it was his own volition or the A.I.'s will to do so, he slaughtered everyone (including his former comrades) who got in his way. He was nothing short of a monster, willing to increase his power at the cost of countless lives. Even after losing all of his A.I., The Meta only aided The Chairman and Washington in order to steal the missing A.I. from them to regain some of his power.
Skills and Abilities
WeaponryThe Meta is skilled with multiple weapons, but prefers to use his Brute Shot (known to Donut as the "Kick-Ass Broom") as his signature weapon, and has used its grenade launching abilities and blade to deadly effect. The Meta also wields a magnum pistol as a sidearm and has tried to kill Wash with it many times and used one to try and kill Tex during training in Introductions. In Chapters 10 and 11 of Reconstruction, The Meta threw a Warthog and several other large objects at Grif and the Reds. The Meta, being as powerful as he is, could be considered a weapon himself.
The Meta is one of the series' most lethal Freelancers and characters overall. During his time as a Freelancer, Agent Maine possessed an impressive level of physical strength, durability, stamina, and athleticism. He fought through multiple Insurrectionists in The Sarcophagus, and fought evenly with an Insurrectionist soldier after a sniper rifle round to the chest during Spiral. Maine was also the only agent shown capable of moving (and fighting) after being hit by rounds of paralyzing paint, a testament to his amount of sheer brute strength. He even managed to disarm Tex while painted, and it required a headshot to completely paralyze him.
Maine has been revealed to be quite heavy, capable of counter-balancing the Sarcophagus, and smashing a Warthog's hood and sending the occupants flying by simply by landing on it. In his rematch with the Sleeveless Insurrectionist, he effortlessly killed the soldier with one punch. He is possibly the physically strongest and most resilient known Freelancer agent.
Shortly before the events of Recovery One, The Meta had killed four other Freelancers who were (according to Delta) better fighters than Wash. Later, when Wash confronted The Meta at the Zanzibar power plant, despite not being able to use his abilities due to insufficient power, The Meta still managed to defeat Washington. The Meta is most likely (with it's several armor enhancements) a more deadly and capable fighter than Tex. For example, when the Reds ask what he is, Church describes The Meta as being "like eight of her.".
Durability and Strength
The Meta is also very durable, being able to survive around 10 Trip Mine explosions along with the subsequent explosion of a Warthog, both without taking an injury. He was capable of sustaining a few Chaingun rounds, getting physically beaten multiple times, receiving 5 knife related wounds, 2 embedded in the chest and back, a point blank explosion from his own Brute Shot, take 4 close range shotgun blasts, and even getting Tucker's Energy Sword driven through his chest, all without any time to heal in between and still be able to move with his usual agility and strength without any sign of struggle despite these injuries.
Additionally, he is revealed to have incredible strength, as shown in Reconstruction Chapter 10 when he lifts a Warthog over his head and throws it at Grif with very little effort, and later is shown to have thrown much more at Grif. Whether this is due to one of the many armor enhancements The Meta had obtained at that point, or simply his own sheer brute strength is unknown. His strength was later shown at the end of Introductions, as he launched a large stone block at Tex with simply a punch. In Season 10, Maine was able to stop a Warthog in its tracks when it attempted to run him over and destroyed it by easily tearing its tow hooks off and kicking it back with no visible effort.
- The Meta is one of the few characters to have his own theme music: "(When) Your Middle Name is Danger" by Trocadero. The music played for The Meta is the same music that is played in the Reconstruction Trailer and has been played in every chapter of Reconstruction The Meta has appeared in with the exception of Chapter 11.
- Out of all the characters in the series, The Meta has the most shown/confirmed kills at 30+ kills.
- The Meta's death is likely poetic justice as it's very similar to Carolina's "death," his first victim when he became The Meta, as the two were both thrown off a cliff at Sidewinder and his death was caused by the Reds, who he originally used for his own benefit when tricking them to stop Washington in Reconstruction.
- Sigma saying "We are The Meta" may be a reference to the character Venom's quote "We are Venom" in the Spiderman comic book series.
- The Meta speaks only three times in the series, with the first being in the episode Lifting the Veil, where he yells "Get off me!" at a medic. He speaks two more times in The Sarcophagus and in Spiral.
- He appeared on ScrewAttack's DEATH BATTLE series to fight Agent Carolina and was defeated by her.