Dexter Grif

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Grif
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Real name Dexter Grif
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Aliases Just "Grif"; Staff Sergeant Grif; The One Drafted Man
Fandom Red vs. Blue
Location Blood Gulch, Gamma Sanguinus V ("Coagulation")
Occupation Businessman; adventurer; SPARTAN-II super-soldier; combat instructor; generally helpful guy

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Picture Base Brian Thompson

History


Early Life

Dexter Grif was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. There's not a whole lot that he remembers about his pre-military life (more on that later), but he does remember that his father wasn't around much — if at all — and that after his mother ran off to join the circus (as both the Bearded Lady and the Fat Lady), he had to take care of himself and his younger sister, Kaikaina. One thing Grif definitely does remember, though, is not having volunteered for the Army. Instead, when civil war broke out and the UNSC forces split up into Red and Blue, the first draft in 400 years was held… to cover a one-man discrepancy between the sides. Grif's was the not-so-lucky number.

He underwent the same SPARTAN-II modifications and training as all of the volunteer soldiers. In the years since SPARTAN-II was first developed, the UNSC scientists had managed to make marked strides in improving the safety and general compatibility of the treatments — for example, they no longer required candidates to be taken as children, and thus worked on Grif despite being in his early twenties; also, death, elephantiasis, etc. were almost nil — but there were still the occasional minor side effect, and in Grif's case, that primarily took the form of random, selective memory issues.

Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles

Stationed at Blood Gulch Outpost Number One (Red Base), on a world in what Grif tends to describe as “the ass-end of the galaxy,” UNSC Command hoped that he would quit — ostensibly so that they would get another draft pick — and gave orders for Sarge to make it happen. Quitting's not usually an option for a draftee, though, and not having been told he could, he began a campaign — if that could be considered the right word for it, since it was largely passive — of slack laziness, expressing cowardice and an open desire to be anywhere other than fighting in the war, hoping that he'd get court-martialed and shipped out. That Sarge never just told Grif he could quit could probably most readily be ascribed to the twin factors that Sarge was gung-ho for the war and didn't want to give the Blues any numerical advantage, and that he really didn't like Grif and wanted him to suffer.

That Grif managed to bear up under Sarge's constant abuse probably says something for him that he'd nonetheless find uncomfortable to hear, having grown accustomed to his self-deprecating image. This is not to say that he didn't find ways to assert himself: One of the ways he'd supported himself and his sister, back before the war, was to buy up a store's stock of hot toys and then sell them at tremendous markup to desperate parents making their last-minute Christmas purchases. Since he wouldn't be around to do that himself, he instead formed DG Enterprises, a business that would do the leg-work for him, while he organized activities across a number of subsidiaries on a few different worlds by remote, and took a share of the profits, some of which were sent home to Kaikaina.

A couple of years into the war, Sheila, the Blues' tank, ran Grif over. Even with the physical enhancements imparted by the SPARTAN process, and the protection of the MJOLNIR shielded power-armor all SPARTANs wear, this was nearly a fatal injury. Sarge, however, was already in the process of turning Private Dick Simmons into a cyborg, and used Simmons' leftover body parts to replace the ones that Grif had either injured or ruined with his poor dietary habits. Given that Sarge entirely lacks for medical training — and used a cow meat-cuts diagram in place of a human anatomy text — that Grif survived at all is little short of a miracle. What wouldn't become apparent for a few more years, however, was that it was really the life-support systems in his armor that filled in the gaps of Sarge's surgical "skills". Nonetheless, he proceeded to then treat his donor organs just as poorly as he had his originals, with excesses of food, booze, and cigarettes, even going so far as to devise means by which he could at least drink and smoke without removing his helmet.

Events in Blood Gulch led to both teams working together against a common foe: an AI code-named Omega, which had taken to calling itself O'Malley and had the ability to hop from armor to armor using radio signals, taking control of the armor and the person wearing it in a fashion akin to spiritual possession. The SPARTANs embarked through the teleporter, which had been modified to achieve interstellar transport, to chase after him.

Grif's first usage of this capability deposited him and Pvt. Church from Blue Squad on Sidewinder, where they were arrested for trespassing and thrown in jail. Though they were only in Sidewinder Red Base's brig for five hours before they were rescued, Grif will claim that being "on the inside," the experience "felt more like seven or eight" and that he's thus done "hard time" and is "all institutionalized and shit." Their incarceration also gave them a chance to trade notes on just what the fuck had been going on in Blood Gulch the whole time, and the question of just what the war was about, and whether there really was just one Command that gave orders to both sides. Since their captors had all been killed before they had a chance to transmit the trespassing charges to Command, Grif and Church technically retain clean criminal records.

Shortly after getting out of the Sidewinder brig, a combination of a massive bomb and a weather control system caused a space/time rift that threw Grif and his fellow SPARTANs into The Future (later determined to be approximately 800 years, or the 34th century), mysteriously upgrading their armor (everything is ''very shiny'' in The Future) and depositing them on what seemed like an unknown other world. They explored it for a while, and settled matters with the enemy who'd caused Red and Blue to have to band together, and then, following a distress signal, the Reds discovered… that they had arrived back at Blood Gulch. Grif's cries of despair went on for quite some time.

Nexus LOL

Early Days

Most of the crew from Blood Gulch found the Nexus more or less at about the same time, primarily through tinkering with the teleporters. No one really bothered to try using it to continue the civil war, but rather chose to keep to snarking at each other and the other random people of the multiverse.

One day, a message arrived in the Nexus from someone trapped in London on an Earth that had been otherwise entirely wiped out by zombies. He asked if someone could please get him out. Claire Redfield was game, and having recruited Tex (by pointing out that zombie Earths don't need all that money in their banks), they in turn roped in Caboose and Grif, who brought the Reds' jeep (the "Puma", as he calls it, despite Sarge's insistence that it's the "Warthog"). Their mission was successful in all respects: rescuing the man who'd asked for help, hitting a bank (which Tex had insisted on keeping the profits from, though she later split it with Claire), and some liquor stores (allowing Grif to exercise the recidivist tendencies he claimed to acquire from his time behind bars, but also providing him with a supply of booze, cigarettes, and junk food, which he has since maintained by performing similar runs into other zombie-ravaged worlds).

Other SPARTANs from Blood Gulch took advantage of the relative safety of the Nexus to occasionally visit unarmored to some degree. Grif, on the other hand, sometimes lounged around Red Base out of uniform, but always wore it in the Nexus. Part of this was some degree of sensitivity to the degree of deformity that he'd suffered from the tank and Sarge's surgery. The other reason stemmed from the realization that he was starting to suffer the occasional bout of malaise from being out of armor, and thus began wearing it more and more often.

Eventually, most of both Reds and Blues vanished off to parts unknown. Whether they went off into the Nexus to seek their fortune, or had been recalled to be redeployed elsewhere, or simply been devoured by something remains a mystery. All that remains are Caboose from the Blues and Grif himself, though he's seen a number of alternates of people he'd known from Blood Gulch as time goes on.

Recent Activities

With Red Base all to himself, Grif came to realize that he no longer had any requirements placed on him. Strangely enough, rather than using this opportunity to achieve his lifelong goal of doing nothing, he's become interested in improving himself and finding things to do with the skills he's had to learn that don't involve being forced to fight a senseless war. He was surprised to discover that not only did his business still exist after so many centuries, but that it'd grown and prospered into a corporation comfortably listed somewhere in the also-rans of galactic commerce, and that he was able to readily reacquire his control of it as sole owner, once he established his identity.

Not content to merely be reasonably well-off, Grif registered at the Nexus Clinics, in the hopes that something could be done about his past injuries. They, in turn, put him in touch with Eiko Takashima, whose promises seemed surprisingly good but whose work is also well-recommended in general. He'd also started reading, tinkering, and even training, apparently finding that he was more inclined to do things when they weren't required of him.

When O'Malley reawakened within Caboose's mind (the first member of either squad in Blood Gulch to be the victim of this possession — other than his original host, Tex, who was a freelancer — Caboose had either retained a backup of O'Malley's programming, or developed a second personality patterned after the crazy AI; it was never certain which, but since it had only ever surfaced once, and was put back to sleep, it'd never been much of a priority to analyze and eliminate it), Grif found himself in charge of organizing an effort, largely consisting of an alternate version of Tucker from Blue Squad, along with a couple of other SPARTANs they'd met in the nexus, to deal with the problem once and for all.

They were successful, but unbeknownst to Grif, the device he'd received in the Nexus to erase O'Malley from Caboose's mind had some glitches still to be worked out. After doing its job, it exploded in a fashion that opened a space/time rift which swallowed up Grif and Caboose. They were separated in transit, and Grif found himself in some sort of underground laboratory space that was in the midst of a major cataclysm. There was a man next to him, smaller and unaugmented, wearing a suit of armor of a very familiar orange color. The man was dead, though, crushed by rocks that his lighter suit couldn't protect him from.

The controller Grif had for Red Base's teleporter had burned out, leaving him without a way home, but he did manage to somehow retain a text communications channel to the Nexus, through which he was able to find out that the dead man was that world's version of Gordon Freeman, that the place he was in was called Black Mesa, and that Gordon Freeman was supposed to save the world from the alien invasion that was beginning at Black Mesa. It thus fell to Grif to do the job instead, with helpful information from the Gordon in the Nexus, and Gordon's friend Alyx Vance. He succeeded in stopping the threat, and found a way home in the bargain, after which Dr. Takashima was able to perform the rest of her reconstruction work, returning him to full health.

Something that Gordon and Alyx had neglected to mention, while Grif was busy running around Black Mesa, was that the incursion he was fighting was only the first wave of a much larger invasion, and that unless they found a way back to do something, that Earth was doomed. He wasn't exactly very happy to hear that, but has accepted it and the sense of responsibility he acquired for that world. Aided by the fact that time flows much more slowly within that universe (Grif was gone for several months, as far as the Nexus was concerned, but to Grif, it was only a few very busy days), they started working on plans to return and seal the borders between Earth and the aliens' dimension.

When not working on that, Grif runs his business — including a subsidiary, Jullun Industries, an electronics manufacturing firm which he acquired because it had its own R&D department that Grif can put to work on projects of his choosing — and traveling the Nexus, acquiring supplies and meeting people.

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