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|“||Everything can be traced back to Project Freelancer, a military organization gone horribly wrong. The men in charge were corrupt and the soldiers who followed them were blind. Guess which side I was on? Eventually it was the project's own creations that tore it to pieces and I was the one sent out to pick them up. I recovered weapons, armor, and A.I. fragments, all in an effort to keep the wrong people from getting them first; but I was too slow. Everyone fought over the remnants of Project Freelancer. I didn't think I could believe in anyone anymore. But then... I met the Reds and Blues.||„|
|~ Washington summing up his experience of Project Freelancer in a journal entry in One-Zero-One|
Freelancer Agent Washington, also known as Recovery One, Prisoner 619-B, real name David, or simply Wash for short, is the main protagonist in his eponymous mini-series and a main character in Red vs. Blue overall. First introduced in the series' second saga, the Recollections, Washington was once a Freelancer assigned to the Special Operations Recovery Unit, where he was charged with recovering the artificial constructs of dying Freelancers. He was the secondary antagonist of Revelations before he redeemed himself.
Before the Recollections, Washington was an easy-going soldier who, despite his high rank, acted like a rookie. However, after being implanted with the A.I. Epsilon, Washington witnessed The Director's crimes, the Alpha's torture, and possibly went insane due to the implantation. Washington is one of the most complex characters in the entire series. Although introduced as the main protagonist in Reconstruction, he later becomes an antagonist alongside The Meta in Revelation. Near the conclusion of Revelation, however, he helps defeat The Meta and becomes a member of the Blue Team after the Reds and Blues help him fake his death so that he can avoid life imprisonment and live a new life.
Role in Plot
The New Recruit
At a time, Washington was listed as the sixth ranked Freelancer. After a failed mission with C.T. Washington tries to console her, but she pushes him away. She then explains that the missions decide between the best and worst Freelancers and that Wash had better choose whose side he's on soon. Hours later, Agent North Dakota approaches Wash, worried that "Internals" had questioned the latter about his use of equipment on a mission. Wash tells him not to worry, but their conversation is interrupted when a group of soldiers head towards the training floor. Wash and North head there as well and witness Maine, Wyoming and York fighting Agent Texas.
After Maine and Wyoming begin using live ammunition and York is seriously injured by a grenade, Wash, Carolina, North, South, and C.T. rush down to his aid. The Director then enters and yells at the Freelancers. When Wash tries to defend himself, saying that Maine and Wyoming weren't following protocol, the Director angrily responds that the enemy won't follow protocol either.
Mission for the Sarcophagus
Wash is later seen in the briefing room with most of the other Freelancers, preparing for the mission to retrieve the Sarcophagus. He assigned to Team A, along with Maine, Carolina, and a recovered York. After infiltrating the building, Carolina gets the idea to send the Sarcophagus up a window washer lift by having Maine serve as a counter weight. As the Sarcophagus is being sent up the lift, a soldier with a flame thrower battles Carolina and Wash. Wash tries to kill the soldier with a Fuel Rod Cannon, but the beam bounces and explodes harmlessly behind the soldier. After Carolina defeats the soldier, the two regroup with York at the top of the building, where they unexpectedly confront Tex.
Suddenly, the four become surrounded by Insurrectionists, but are soon saved by the Mother of Invention which fires a MAC blast at their location. When the building begins to collapse, the Freelancers hop off the building and escape. During the freefall, Wash lands on the Sarcophagus and brings down a Hornet with his battle rifle. Afterwards, a Pelican picks him up, with the Sarcophagus in hand. After the mission, Wash spots C.T. talking with an Insurrectionist, forcing her to end the video chat, as a result of being interrupted. C.T. leaves and tells Washington to mind his own business.
In the UNSC Scrap Metal Recycling System in space, Wash is sent on a mission to infiltrate an Insurrectionist space station and capture its leader, alongside fellow Freelancers: North Dakota, South Dakota, C.T., and Carolina. Before they set off, Carolina tells them not to over use their jetpacks, or they'll end up like Georgia. This only makes Wash feel uneasy. During the mission he attempts to access the leader's location via a computer module in the space station's main hangar, while the other Freelancers fend off soldiers. However, he accidently disables the station's artificial gravity, due to his own frustration. Managing to re-activate it, Wash nearly gets killed by a falling Warthog. When the Freelancer team obtain new information on the leader's whereabouts, they prepare to depart to Bone Valley, until York crash lands inside the station's main hangar and joins them.
After they leave the station the Insurrectionists plant nukes in space, forcing the freelancers to make a speedy escape. This means they have to burn out their jetpacks in order to make it into the Pelican. Wash is the only one who doesn't do this out of fear of ending up like Georgia, but is saved when a frustrated Carolina locks onto his armor's cod piece with a grappling gun. After the mission, Wash and York are introduced to North's A.I., Theta, where Wash was concerned about the size of the AI. Wash and York witness the test that included North and Theta and are amazed by their success. Wash is then seen taking a class about A.I. theory with his fellow Freelancers. In the mess hall, Washington joins North Dakota and York on their discussion of the Alpha A.I. Wash asks many questions during the discussion, while eating a couple of snacks (through his helmet, to the amusement of his company) in the process.
Battle at Longshore Shipyards
Washington is soon sent on mission to obtain C.T.'s armor at the Longshore Shipyards, along with fellow Freelancers Carolina, York, South, and North Dakota. During their arrival at the Shipyards, the Freelancers quickly attack the Insurrectionists. Wash and York pair up and fight numerous Insurrectionists together. At one point, Wash activates his armor enhancement: an EMP unit that he uses to shut down two Warthogs before they hit him. Carolina then gives York and Wash a signal to eliminate an Insurrection sniper group firing at her. The two see the signal and begin firing at the snipers, but are forced to retreat when a nearby Warthog fires back at them. As a result, North eliminates the sniper group on his own. Suddenly Wash and York are attacked by the Sleeveless Insurrection Soldier. Wash manages to disarm the Sleeveless Insurrectionist, but is soon chased around by a Warthog. Taking cover, Wash activates a beacon, which sends down a drop pod containing Maine and Sigma.
As Wash and York watch Maine handle the Insurrectionists from behind cover, Sigma appears before them to speak with Delta. He soon dismisses himself afterwards and Wash, along with York, soon join Wyoming inside the Leader's bunker, but are pinned down by Twin Insurrectionist Chain Gunners. When Carolina arrives and begins to give orders, a cloaked Tex breaks through the Twin Gunners' line of fire and surpasses them. Carolina, enraged, charges after her. Still under fire from the Twin gunners, Agent Florida, who had recovered after being hit by a tomahawk to the chest, shoots a crane arm and sends the crate it was carrying at the Insurrectionist soldiers, splattering them underneath.
Back aboard the Mother of Invention, Washington was scheduled for A.I. implantation, along with South Dakota, for either the Eta or Iota A.I. Unfortunately, his schedule was pushed back by Carolina, who decided to take both A.I. for herself. While Carolina was being prepped for surgery, Wash, along with York, North, and South, is seen in the locker room, listening to South complain over Carolina's decision. She is further angered when Wash claims that he has been rescheduled for implantation sometime soon. Inside the recovery room, Washington and York visit Carolina after her surgery. They spot Maine being examined by a doctor, where Wash remarks that Maine has been having headaches. He questions York on the side-effects of implantation, in which York replies that the headaches passed away after some time. Carolina soon wakes up, and demands for a match.
Afterwards, he is seen along York, North, Wyoming and Maine in the observation room to watch the match between Texas and Carolina. As the training match begins, the Director suddenly comes in and questions why there is an unscheduled match going on before noticing that Tex herself is in the match. The Director yells out her name in concern, which sends all the A.I. in to a relapse, calling out "Allison" as a result. Carolina and the other Freelancers, except Wash, double over in pain in response to the A.I.'s screams. However, this quickly subsides, and the Freelancers recover, except for Carolina, whose A.I. have become unstable.
Several days later, Washington is assigned to be implanted with the Epsilon A.I. Immediately after the operation, Wash loses control, seeing numerous memories of Allison, which causes him severe pain. Wash is soon sedated and sent into Recovery. A few days after his implantation, Washington wakes up in Recovery center, with North and South standing by him. North tells him that the Director not only removed Epsilon, but began to remove all of the A.I. from the Freelancers. South, in response, yells at him for causing a halt to the implantations. Wash then questions Carolina's whereabouts, in which North reveals that the Director has been planning to send Carolina to go after Tex, who has recently gone rogue.
Some time after the events of the Freelancer break-in, Washington attains the new call sign, "Recovery One" and is charged to recover the Delta A.I., after Freelancer York is KIA. While recovering Delta, Washington plants an explosive onto York's armor; but is then attacked by Wyoming. As Wyoming corners Washington, he realizes that the explosive on York's armor is about to detonate and flees as a result. When Delta reminds Washington about the detonator, Washington takes Delta and manages to escape the explosion. He is then contacted by Recovery Command and is sent to answer a Priority One Distress Call.
Wash responds and finds the two Freelancer twins, North and South Dakota. North is KIA, but South was left alive. Upon questioning South, Wash discovers that North still had his A.I. construct, Theta, but is soon contacted by Command, and is ordered to kill South. Wash only pretends to kill her, later saying that he needs her help. He orders Delta to lie about South's death, much to South's disbelief. Wash and South go to a city, where Wash explains the situation to South: something is hunting down the Freelancers and stealing their armor enhancements and A.I. Wash plans to implant Delta into South for safekeeping, but South protests, saying that she isn't rated for implantation.
Nonetheless, South goes through with it. Wash and South are then attacked by The Meta, the entity that is hunting the Freelancers. In an effort to protect Delta, Wash suggests that South escape while he provides her cover. This turns out to be a severe mistake when South betrays Wash and shoots him in the back. South then confronts The Meta and convinces it to steal Wash's armor enhancement before the timed charge she allegedly placed on his armor detonates, giving her the time to escape with Delta. Washington is last seen lying on the ground motionless with The Meta looming over him.
Pursuit of The Meta
Washington makes his re-appearance in the very first episode of Reconstruction, having escaped The Meta from his last encounter simply by playing dead. Wash also reveals that he was able to survive South's betrayal because he had taken York's Healing Unit. Upon offering counsel to Recovery Command on the incident at Outpost 17-B: Valhalla, Wash is ordered to investigate the last known location of the Omega A.I.: Blood Gulch. When he arrives, he learns that all of the soldiers, with the exception of Sister, have been transferred, as their bases were rendered "obsolete", although Sarge is also present, having refused his reassignment orders. After a fruitless attempt at interrogating Sister, Wash questions Sarge, who shows him Caboose's reassignment orders as recorded by Lopez.
When he arrives at Caboose's new base at Outpost 28-A: Rat's Nest, he learns about Caboose's incredible stupidity the hard way. Shortly afterwards, Wash and Caboose manage to find Church at Outpost 48-A and persuade him to join them in hunting The Meta. After finding and re-activating Sheila at Valhalla, Washington's suspicions about The Meta are confirmed, but he is interrupted by a distress call from Delta, implying that South is under attack by The Meta. After a series of events leading up to South's death, Wash manages to track The Meta back to Zanzibar, only to have Sarge and the newly reformed Red Team show up and ruin their hopes of stopping The Meta. As a result, Wash manages to convince the Reds and Blues to work with him to stop The Meta.
After Wash assumes command of both teams, Church gives him a message that he received from Delta: "Memory is the key." Wash reveals that the message meant that the Alpha A.I. is the only thing that can stop The Meta, and that there is only one place where they can find it: Freelancer Command. After commandeering some vehicles at Valhalla, Wash, the Reds, and Blues sneak into Freelancer Command, where, Wash takes Church with him down into the A.I. Containment Facility where he begins to search the corridors. After some searching, Washington finally comes across the panel he was looking for, but instead of extracting the Alpha A.I. from it, he extracts his A.I.: Epsilon.
Church is furious that Wash lied to him, but Washington explains everything. He explains that all the other A.I. were never copied from the Alpha (because one cannot copy an A.I.), but instead fragments of it, created by torturing the Alpha until it began to split off parts of its personality in order to protect its sanity, which were then harvested for use. Finally, Washington provides Church with a jarring revelation - the reason why Church always agreed with everything Delta said, why he was assigned to Blood Gulch, why he can live without a body, and why he was unaffected when the Omega A.I. jumped into his head, is because Church himself, is the Alpha A.I.
Church refuses to accept Wash's explanation, and insists on leaving with the rest of the Blood Gulch crew despite Wash's appeal for help. Wash makes his way back down to a computer terminal in order to trigger Command's EMP, luring The Meta in behind him. The Counselor and the Director of Project Freelancer each plead with Wash not to go through with his plan, but when Wash refuses, they allow The Meta to attack him. When Wash is injured, Church appears and stalls The Meta long enough for Washington to activate the EMP, destroying the electronic facilities of Freelancer Command and The Meta's collection of A.I.
Washington's fate is revealed in Catching Up, where it is shown that he survived the gunshot wound, but had been stripped of his Agent status and imprisoned in a UNSC Maximum Security Detention Facility for his actions in Reconstruction. Caboose contacted him, requesting help for himself and Donut, but Wash stated that assistance from him would be unlikely; however, when approached by the Prison Guard, he claimed that he needed to see "the Commander," stating ambiguously that he had found "the missing piece to his puzzle." The commander is revealed to be the Chairman, who in turn makes a deal with Wash: Wash promised that in exchange for his freedom, he'll find and return the Epsilon unit to the UNSC.
Pursuit of Epsilon
In Think You Know Someone, Washington soon arrived at Valhalla to find Donut, Lopez, and Simmons trying to escape in The Meta's Warthog. Wash orders The Meta to stand down before demanding the Epsilon unit from the terrified Reds. Deeming Lopez and Donut to be useless to him, Wash shoots them both and holds Simmons prisoner back at Blue Base. Revealing that he's working with The Meta, he then forces Simmons to make a call for a medic, and results in Doc responding to the call. When Doc arrives, he is quickly subdued and held prisoner alongside Simmons.
After receiving a call from Sarge, Wash forces Simmons to reply with an all-clear message, hoping to lure the rest of the Blood Gulch squad with Epsilon in tow. However, Sarge and Grif return and overtake Wash with an unexpected plan and in the process, incapacitate him. The Reds then rescue only Simmons and reunite with Epsilon, who followed them back to Valhalla, until Wash reappears alongside The Meta in pursuit of them. He is forced to detour, however, when Epsilon blocks his progress by causing a wall to collapse. Forced to abandon his pursuit, Wash and The Meta attempt to free Doc from the wall, but only succeed in tearing away Doc's wall fragment. The two then question Doc, who replies that Simmons "mentioned something about sand."
They then tracked down a Recovery Beacon to the dig-site, where Washington forced The Meta to dig until he found the source of the beacon: C.T.'s helmet, surprising Wash. After Wash and The Meta free Doc from the wall by blasting it, they encounters the Aliens. Doc convinces them to draw a map to Epsilon for them, but humorously, the map turns out to be an insult to humans, leading The Meta and Wash to open fire on the Aliens. Wash then tries to get Doc to check if one of the Aliens had survived the attack and ordered The Meta to find something they could use to help track Epsilon.
The Meta tosses out an empty storage unit and Washington orders The Meta to modify it into a capture unit. While The Meta works on the storage unit, Doc asks Wash if they have any way to track the Reds, such as following their footprints, or looking for broken tree branches. Wash informs Doc that they are in the desert, and calls him an idiot. As Doc walks away, Wash asks The Meta if they can track the Reds, with The Meta telling Wash they are in the desert. After modifying the unit, The Meta manages to find a faint trail, and the three prepare to move out. Wash then gets a beacon, and he, The Meta, and Doc leave for Epsilon.
Battle at Sidewinder
Upon arrival at a snowy Freelancer base, they find the body of Epsilon lying in the snow, but Washington is reluctant to approach. Doc suggests that they would possibly be expected to remain in position by their would-be assailant, to which Wash scoffs at, but is quickly proven true when a ring of mines detonates around them, sending the three flying. Wash is soon subdued by Tex, who demands the Director's location. Shocked that Tex is alive, Wash expresses confusion at her question, when suddenly The Meta attacks. Wash then regains his weapon and joins the brawl. As Tex escapes from a falling cliff she detonated, Wash and The Meta run to safety, barely escaping the fall.
After the fight, The Meta captures Tex inside the capture unit and uses it to obtain Epsilon, betraying Wash. Wash manages to save Epsilon, at the cost of his own safety. As The Meta gets ready to kill him, Wash is saved by a close rescue from the Reds and Blues. He then finds Tex trapped in the memory unit and begins a short conversation with Epsilon over Tex's past until The Meta returns for a fight. After an intense battle with The Meta, Wash is badly wounded and gives Sarge the Warthog tow cable, which he uses to defeat The Meta. Afterwards, Sarge tells Doc to go help the wounded Washington, expressing doubt that he will survive.
Joining the Blue Team
When UNSC Police forces arrive, the Blues help Washington evade arrest by faking his death and giving him Epsilon's armor, now with a yellow trim. When Wash asked why they were helping him, Caboose told him that they were returning past favors, while Tucker said it was because they were one guy short. Nonetheless, Wash thanks them.
Originally, Washington was very kind, compassionate, and obedient. He interacted very well with the other Freelancers, specifically York, North and on occasion, Carolina, and his compassion and understanding led him to comfort others during times of trouble. When C.T. returned from a failed mission, Wash attempted to tell her that it wasn't entirely her fault, but was rebuked when she claimed he was just making excuses. Although he was quite naive and somewhat immature during his early career as a Freelancer, acting like a child towards anything that piqued his curiosity, Wash could be serious when the situation required it. He wasn't afraid to voice his opinions; an example of this is when he accused Maine and Wyoming of protocol violation after York's injury to the Director.
After the trauma he sustained from Epsilon's breakdown, Wash's personality took a drastic change. Now knowing about the horrors the Director inflicted on Alpha, Washington became cynical, jaded and somewhat cold-hearted. His interaction with other soldiers and A.I. units was cold and professional, limited only to tactical input and vital information about missions. He showed little remorse when he discovered his friends had been killed (Though he did attempt to comfort South for the loss of her brother, albeit barely letting her have any time with him).
Washington also has very little tolerance for disloyalty; a prime example was when he expressed his desire for retribution against South's betrayal, as well as threatening to kill Carolina if she hurt his friends. He was extremely ruthless in completing his objectives, whether it be revenge or freedom, unhesitatingly killing South, executing Lopez, and shooting Donut. Wash was also callous, killing the Alien survivors of C.T.'s dig team with The Meta out of mere annoyance and impatience. Alongside his grittier demeanor, Wash had also become cunning and charismatic, setting up plans to defeat The Meta and shut down Project Freelancer long before the events actually occurred.
He had his methods of keeping the Reds and Blues in line, from simple bargains to keeping them informed of possible consequences of them not following his orders. Though he was still capable of some kindness, such as helping the Reds and Blues escape from Command whilst telling them to be careful and treating Caboose with fatherly care, despite his immense stupidity. He eventually comes to care greatly for the Reds and the Blues, showing fierce loyalty towards them and seeing them as a new family and place to belong. After Carolina threatens Tucker with her rifle, Wash finally realizes that she had crossed the line and, in turn, threatens her at gunpoint. Washington feels responsible for the problems he caused them in the past and wants to prevent more from happening to them.
Skills and Abilities
Despite lacking the advantage of an A.I., Agent Washington demonstrates formidable combat ability in Recovery One, Reconstruction and Revelation. He held his own for a while against Agent Wyoming, managed to drive off The Meta, and managed to take down two Hornets single-handedly. Washington seems to have an incredible level of skill with firearms, being able to fire his Battle Rifle accurately in one hand while being run over by the Warthog and cock Sarge's shotgun one-handed in midair, and fire a Fuel Rod Cannon, despite having never seen it, let alone wielded it, before, and shooting a Rocket Launcher out of the Sleeveless Insurrection Soldier's hand while falling down.
A battle rifle is Washington's symbol on the Freelancer leader board and he has shown unmatched skill with it, being able to draw and fire it with his left hand faster than The Meta could lift his Brute Shot in n+1. He also appears to be adept at using knives, as seen when he greatly injured The Meta with Tex's Combat Knife in the same episode. Wash was also able to shoot a speeding Tex in the back during their battle. When the situation calls for it, Washington is also quite skilled at infiltration tactics. Washington also seems to be adept at hand to hand combat, as was seen in his fight against Agent Texas in Revelation, as he was able to trade several blows with her before being knocked back.
Washington has an almost extraordinary ability to survive fatal situations, whether being saved by his allies, circumstances or physical resilience and displays an indomitable will to achieve whatever he wants, whether it be revenge or freedom. He has also shown great patience, having harbored rebellious thoughts against Project Freelancer and the Director for many years before turning on them and is never shown to be frustrated during his hunt for Epsilon, despite the many setbacks.
Washington is shown to harness amazing memory, perhaps as a byproduct of Epsilon's breakdown, as he was able to remember all of the things that happened to the Alpha after all the years, and also keeps a record of the worst actions he has ever witnessed with that memory, as he comments on both Caboose and Doc's throws as being the worst and second "worst [throws] ever. . . Of all time" respectively. During Season 10, Wash was shown to have remembered the location of C.T.'s helmet, and in Reconciliation, Wash remembered what he was most known for during his time as a Freelancer: having a grappling hook stuck to his groin.
- Washington was in possession of York's healing unit during Reconstruction: Chapter 11 when he uses it to stabilize Caboose. This could be the reason for his remarkable survival skills, as most of his miraculous survivals occurred after finding York's dead body.
- Washington's original armor enhancement was revealed to be an EMP Unit, where he used it to disable two Warthogs in the episode Fall From Heaven. This explains his apparent knowledge of the pronunciation of EMP.
- In Reconstruction, Wash uses a particular armor enhancement: the 'BioCom,' which allows him to check on a teammate's vital signs during battle, as he used it in Chapter 10 (Although, it's possible this is just standard issue to all commanding officers or Recovery Agents, or even perhaps it is in all armor sets and, much like the megaphone/speech amplification, it is just not known by the Blood Gulch soldiers).
- It is also possible that his armor enhancement is the voice modulator that The Meta has at the end of Chapter 4. It has the symbol for Epsilon on the corner of it, which was Wash's A.I. It is possible that The Meta took this enhancement at the end of Recovery One.
- Washington's prisoner number (619-B) is a reference to the address of Rooster Teeth's office building which is 619 B Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701.
- According to Burnie Burns, Washington was the last Freelancer to be officially active, as his pursuit of Epsilon allowed him to get out of jail. All the Freelancers at that time other than Wash had been KIA, had gone rogue or punished after Project Freelancer was shut down.
- During What's the "I" Stand For?, Washington can be seen without his helmet at the Freelancer A.I. course, though his face is not visible. He appears to have spiky blonde hair.
- According to Wash in Reconciliation, he was most known for getting his balls stuck by a grappling hook during his time at Project Freelancer.
- Washington, along with Florida, is one of the few Freelancers who did not go rogue and disband from Project Freelancer. Rather, Wash was fired by the Director during Reconstruction: Chapter 19.