"We never had any, nor plan on starting up any fancy supersoldier programs. What's the point? We have a Colonel Harrigan, don't we?"
-(Then) Chancellor Derrick Zane, bluntly refuting a reporter's inquiries on a Frenkish supersoldier program after it was reported that Harrigan had eliminated 7 Mechanocratic C-Class hypersoldiers on Hokkaido, 2141
Colonel Fred Harrigan (born "Fred-62") is the Orkish commanding officer of the Vanguard Control Battalion, former Black Guardsman, and the "enforcer" of the New Frenco Empire. Being the closest that the NFE has to a "supersoldier", Harrigan's primary task is to "erase" threats that are thought to either be too risky or too inhumane (if not both) for standard forces. He is also tasked with "hunting" the supersoldiers of rival world powers, his intent being to remove the threat they pose to the Empire. For example, his unit is known for killing more Mecharussian C-Class soldiers than any other, with Harrigan himself dealing the majority of the killing blows. He has been considered one of the primary reasons the Final Thirteen has been whittled down to it's current numbers, and it's likely that he is at the top of their hit lists.
Though Harrigan's background is seemingly a mystery, pulling away the black tape reveals he was among the first Frenks produced via in vitro production and one of (of not the) first to be bred solely for the "Project Black" supersoldier program. By all means a prototype of a human being, Harrigan's early life was plagued with uncertainty. With errors in his genetic code, he never adapted well to the life of a Black Guardsman, who behaved more like attack dogs than thinking people. What accounts survive suggest Harrigan was actually a sweet, peaceful child who wished harm on no one, but was often pushed to do so by Project Black's cruel trainers. He took comfort in his assigned "watcher", Molly Harrigan, a former nun who was abducted and enslaved by Zealots in her outland monastery and handed over to the government for their experimentation within the project. However, once he was around sixteen years old, Project Black's handlers (eager to conclude Harrigan's training and make him a Guard) ordered Harrigan to rape and murder her, utilizing his intense brainwashing to the state to ensure he completed the task and tested true in his loyalty to the Emperor. While he did do the deed, he suffered from an intense emotional breakdown, began a hysterical laughing fit, and had to be forcibly removed from the room.
His service in the Black Guard lasted only a few months, but those few months sealed his reputation of brutality and excessiveness. After a would-be intruder to the Imperial Tower (who was actually planning a lawful pro-Outland integration demonstration) was found strung up by his own insides in a utility closet, it was determined that Harrigan was unfit. Instead of dismissal or euthanasia, however, the project leads deemed Harrigan's training and prowess too great of a waste, and motioned for his transfer to a conventional military unit, be it the Rangers or the Vanguards. They settled on Vanguards, and organized officer training. However, without thinking, when asked for a name on his first day of training, the young Fred gave them the name "Fred Harrigan", an obvious reference to his old "mother" figure whom he had grown to despise for fostering his former "weakness".
As a Vanguard officer, Harrigan proved to be just as cruel and unpredictable as he always was. During Outland patrols, entire villages suspected of anti-Imperial sentiment would be discovered razed to the ground, with what few inhabitants that could be found being nothing more than charred remains. When Harrigan's commanding officer caught wind of his methods and confronted him over it, he was never heard from again, and declared "missing in action". It is believed that Harrigan murdered him for "obstruction of the mission" and dumped his body in the Mojave desert.
Though it is commonly thought to have came later with his transformation into an Ork, It was during this time that Harrigan earned the nickname "The Green Death" among Outland tribals and superstitious wastelanders, referencing the green tint of the M1 Bobcat powered-armor worn by he and other Vanguards at the time. The name tended to spread more widely after he turned, however.
With the outbreak of the Canal War in 2123, Harrigan was among the first to be sent to the front lines. After his troops proved monumental in shattering the Darién Gap Blockade via destruction of key fortifications, he was back under the view of the upper echelons of Imperial society. Many noted him for his martial prowess and competent (if crude) tactical mind, but also conceded that, as a soldier, he was far too dangerous and unpredictable for his own good. A testing group, headed by (then) Whip of Science and Progress and OSI Head Trey Goodman proposed a new project for the Imperial Military keeping Harrigan in mind. While the Black Guard specialized in protection and unconventional warfare, the Empire lacked a suitable supersoldier program for head-on, conventional war scenarios. Looking to the mutant Orks as a "prefect candidate" due to their extreme strength, vitality, and endurance among other traits, the Ork was used as the frame of reference for such a project. After several months of testing, Harrigan was ordered to the OSI's laboratories.
After undergoing a strict regimen of enhanced FEV injections and baths in water laced with performance-enhancing drugs, Harrigan began to mutate. Ten feet tall, green skin, and almost half a ton of muscle mass, Harrigan exhibited all the favorable traits of an Ork. Most importantly, however, his mind survived the process, giving Goodman an easily controllable frame blending the strength of an Ork and the intelligence of a human. Harrigan was unveiled to top military figures, and speculations were made on how an "army of Fred Harrigans" would finish off the South Americans and tip the balance in favor of the Empire against the Mechanocracy. However, once Goodman revealed to the crowd his plan to abduct "useless" children from the YDCs and replicate the same training patterns Harrigan underwent (which had ceased to exist within the Black Guard by this time due to advances in cloning) before mutating them into "Alpha Orks", the Ork snapped and ripped Goodman's head clean off in front of the crowd before destroying the laboratories.
After fleeing to the Outlands, Harrigan evaded Ranger squads dispatched to arrest him, eventually eliminating one wholesale. A week after this incident, Harrigan was approached by a lone holographic projector drone controlled by none other than Joseph Hightower himself. After easily defeating the Ork with his psychic capability, Hightower asked the Ork to return, stating that he knew the Ork's true intent behind killing Goodman and destroying the labs; to spare anyone else the horrors he went through as a child. Though Harrigan denied this, Hightower pressed on, and eventually applauded him, saying that "even the cruelest of brutes have their sensitive sides, it seems." After personally pardoning him of his crimes, he tasked Harrigan with winning the support of as many Outland Orks possible for another "special project" he had in mind.
Harrigan journeyed to the McCullough mountain range near New Vegas, where hundreds (if not thousands) of rare Generation One Orks were rumored to call home. After discovering the largest Ork encampment ever before witnessed at the top of Black Mountain, Harrigan entered, and murdered the Chieftain (a heavily-built GenOne Overlord named Dorousca) for control of the tribe. After easily killing him while the other Orks witnessed, he proved his supremacy, and conscripted all of them into the Empire, single-handedly killing any few who resisted.
When Harrigan returned to the Empire with an army of Orks behind him, the Vanguards organized their fiercest, most effective combat units into a single battalion, integrating them alongside the Orks (making this the first and so far only integrated human-mutant combat unit in the Imperial Military). After organizing the unit, forming a clear chain of command (with almost all of the Orks serving under human officers and NCOs. Some exceptions were made for Orks that had the intellectual capacity for officer training), and developing equipment befitting the new elite shock troops (with the humans being issued more advanced gear than the standard Vanguards and the Orks being fitted for power-armor to complement their already formidable strength and vitality), the 50th Vanguard Control Battalion (which would often be shortened to "Control Corps" and it's soldiers called "Dragoons", though the latter wasn't prevalent until the 10YW) was activated in January 2125 under the command of Harrigan (a hefty promotion to Major, considering his former rank of Lieutenant).
At this point in the war, the Imperial Military were already carving their way through Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, and had established complete dominance at sea, but had almost hit a stalemate on land due to the vicious nature of guerrilla warfare in the Amazonian jungles. The Control Corps' baptism by fire took place in March, when Harrigan suggested that he along with the majority of his new troops be dropped behind enemy lines in the middle of enemy-controlled jungle. Though skeptical of Harrigan's strategic competence, high command eventually approved of the operation and arranged for transport and logistical support. From then until April of 2126 (the war's end), Harrigan and his troops had killed tens of thousands of South Americans (combatant and civilian alike), and carved an extremely wide swath of destruction and bloodshed throughout a hundred thousand miles of the Amazon rainforest and the various settlements throughout, creating a wide opening for the advancing field armies.
Testimonies from the units traveling in the so-called "Harrigan's Highway" recalled nothing but horror; hundreds of corpses hanging from the tree branches in various states of disfigurement, burned remnants of buildings with the charred remains of terrorized people inside, and even small handfuls of prisoners, tortured and starved, but still clinging to life (albeit usually only long enough to beg the advancing Frenkish soldiers to put them out of their misery). Demands were made from the officers who followed for Harrigan to be court-martialed for excessive cruelty against questionable targets and putting the Empire in a negative light should the scenes ever be discovered, but since Harrigan proved instrumental in securing a quick victory, higher command praised him for his campaign.
To this day, the wide, remote location that Harrigan desolated during his campaign remains unsettled. Reports indicate that most wildlife in the area have abandoned it, and what few creatures remain act extremely strangely. Many locals claim the area is haunted by the thousands upon thousands of tormented souls, and the superstitious avoid it of fear for the Despoiler.
After the end of the Canal War in 2126, Harrigan was (once again) noted for his cold competence in the field. Almost immediately after the war, the 50th was transferred to South Africa, were it would help bolster the colony's defense against raider attacks within it's borders, and even lead the occasional attack against known raider and slaver strongholds in the lawless African center. Though often traveling to and from Africa with small amounts of troops when the upper echelons needed his "unique skillset", he remained headquartered in Africa until 2137. It was during this time that Harrigan killed his first Chthonian; a pacifistic young man named Asklepiy that possessed advanced nano-healing technologies. Accompanying a group of populists on a goodwill/propaganda mission to spread the Mechanocratic ideology to the primitive natives of the African heartland (which would, in theory, easily turn them towards Mechanocracy when the Chthonian demonstrated his healing technologies on their sick and wounded). After a patrol led by Harrigan had a chance encounter with Asklepiy's convoy in the Congo in 2135, a brief fight ensued. After easily eliminating the populists' meager security detail, Harrigan took all of the populists captive, including Asklepiy (who peacefully surrendered on the grounds of violence not being "his style").
After a brief interrogation with Asklepiy, Harrigan inquired on the strange armor and devices he utilized, with the former giving him the truth; that he was a supersoldier recently "activated" for the Mechanocratic military, fresh from the killing fields of the Salvagings. After giving him a few details about the Chthonians, including the fact that he, along with most others, were taken from a very young age and subjected to cruel training methods to develop the most dangerous men and women alive, with Asklepiy jokingly admitting he was more of a "hyperdoctor" than a "hypersoldier" in comparison. When hearing about the existence of something that brought back bad memories, Harrigan entered into a rage and mindlessly killed the Chthonian, despite Harrigan's earlier plan to ship him back to the Empire. Seeing the error he committed once calming down, he decided to cut his losses and free the imprisoned populists (all roughed up and some raped by Harrigan's human soldiers, but all alive) and send the disfigured body of Asklepiy back with them, telling them to send a warning to the Mechanocracy regarding the Chthonians; "don't get too attached to them."
Ten Years' War
Main Article - Hokkaido Campaign
Utannic Invasion of Sol/Global Crusade
Pan-Terran Imperium and Hightower's Disappearance
As with any American-breed of Ork, Harrigan has dark green skin, measures over ten feet in height (though compensated by the Ork's signature hunch that reduces it to about eight feet), and is completely covered in thick, rock-hard muscle mass (weighing in at almost half a ton). Outside of these shared Orkish traits (though Harrigan is taller and stronger than the average Ork), not much else is known about Harrigan's post-mutation appearance. He never appears outside of his power armor, as his dependence on the performance-enhancing drugs it is constantly feeding him would kill him should he ever try to remove it. His helmet, however, can be removed at will (though he rarely goes without one, as he defines his appearance more on his custom helmet's menacing appearance than his actual face). He is never seen without it, though a brief pre-canon description reveals he is one of the few Orks who possesses protruding fangs, which is a trait shared by only one other notable Ork; Pandemonium. Before his mutation, he had ebony skin, a strong build, and a handsome face, stemming from his status of being one of the first children bred through Frenkish Eugenics.
In combat, Harrigan is a presumed "unstoppable force" due to his brute strength and surprising agility. His reflexes are top-notch, to the point where he can perform almost unreal acrobatic acts (for a creature of his size, at least) fairly easily. As his huge size would suggest, he prefers heavy weaponry, and is known for his usage of a customized quad-barreled X56 plasma caster variant, which he shows surprising accuracy with. Although rarely used, he also carries a pair of DGPs with enlarged grips for use as sidearms. Though used by conventional forces as anti-armor weapons, Harrigan's strength is more than capable of compensating for the great recoil. His armor also features a built-in plasma thrower and micro-missile launcher. However, Harrigan is considered to be at his deadliest when using his simplest weapons; the dull blades adorning his armor's gauntlets. With a flick, he can ignite these blades in a super-heated plasma coating, giving them unsurpassed power against any blade or armor he comes across. Though not familiar with any sort of sophisticated martial arts, Harrigan relies on his own styles to fight with these weapons, capable of fending off and fighting back against multiple trained melee combatants at once.
At first glance, Harrigan's personality seems pretty clear-cut. Harrigan expresses socipathic (and borderline psychotic) tendencies, capable of releasing in extreme bouts of bloodshed and cruelty. This is made that much more intimidating with the fact that all of Harrigan's movements are carefully calculated, and it is uncommon (though not unheard of) for Harrigan to ever "lose his cool" and act irrationally.
Deep down, however, Harrigan is a conflicted individual. His hatred of Chthonians and other supersoldiers stems from his own cruel upbringing as a hypersoldier himself. Growing up as a child, he never understood why things had to happen the way they did, and it was only after he was "broken" by being forced to end Molly Harrigan's life that he morphed into the monster he is today. While it's very rare for Harrigan to express anything more than violence, intimidation, and loyalty, Harrigan does (in his own way) express "goodness" from time to time, such as his execution of Trey Goodman and the destruction of his work on Harrigan, which Hightower revealed to be Harrigan's method of saving others from the fate he suffered. His hatred for Chthonians could also stem from this, as he only began waging his personal war on them after learning of the similarities between him. Hightower, who has been keeping an eye on the Ork's psyche, believes that Harrigan might be genuinely trying to "put them all out of their misery", as he knows that (with few exceptions) the Chthonians were morphed into tools of the state against their will, he could believe the "Song of Experience" is a brainwashing technique to keep them loyal, and expresses disgust at the Chthonians' noted camaraderie, possibly disregarding it as a "coping mechanism" to keep them in line. It's unknown if Hightower's theories have any real basis in fact, as Harrigan's inner thoughts are extremely hard to predict.
It is also shown that Harrigan carries a blatant disregard for authority of all kinds, and despite his unquestionable loyalty towards the Empire, he rarely listens to those that lead it. The one exception to this rule is Harrigan's odd attachment to Chancellor McKenzy Tandi, daughter of Hightower, who Harrigan respects...and even fears under certain circumstances. It is unknown why this bond exists, though it's more than likely an "imprint" left by Hightower.
Despite Orks possessing low intellect, Harrigan is shown to be quite intelligent (even if he utilizes this intelligence in crude methodology) due to his stringent mental engineering as a Black Guard. He has a keen understanding of tactics and strategy, and is shown many times to be a competent commander (it is, for instance, because of his intervention on Hokkaido that the Imperial Military defeated the tightly dug-in and superior Mecharussian foe).
Due to Harrigan's nature as one of the most violent characters in the Frencoverse, you can find a detailed kill count on a dedicated article.
The list contains 21 Chthonian supersoldiers, notably.
- Fred Harrigan is an obvious reference to Frank Horrigan, antagonist and end boss of Fallout 2. Like Horrigan, Harrigan has a fierce loyalty to his government, possessed many psychological problems even when still human, and was a former elite bodyguard to the ruling executive before being mutated. Although unlike Horrigan, Harrigan is of generally high intelligence, is a military commander, has no real disdain of mutants (instead seeing them as a weapon he can use to great effect) and was purposely mutated by his nation.
- His personal mission to rid the world of hostile supersoldiers and serve as a counter to forces such as the Chthonians, J-class, and the various Nexus programs stems from Call of Duty: Ghosts antagonist Rorke (though Harrigan's Chthonian protege Ephialtes has more in common with that particular character).
- Another inspiration for the character is Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane from A Song of Ice and Fire. Both are cruel, sociopathic giants with a penchant for brutality and both lead elite shock troops in the armies of their respective nations (or House, in Clegane's case); the New Frenco Empire and the armies of House Lannister.
- As evidenced in dialogue between McKenzy Tandi and Joseph Hightower, Harrigan is constantly being "improved" to match the capability of his foes, further suggesting his status as a "walking nuke".
- Jonathon Rollins jokingly claims to be Harrigan's "brother" due to the fact that they were born about the same time, had similar appearances before mutation (with Rollins, ironically enough, also becoming a mutant later in life), and were birthed from the same hatchery. This has some basis in fact, as the same basic DNA batch (BLACK, MALE, STRAND ONE) was used in their construction (though a more accurate estimation based on blood ties would be second or third cousins, as early in-vitro subjects were purposely distanced in relation in case sterility measures failed and resulted in accidental breeding between subjects).