- "This war...it will be the end of us all. Not even the Gods themselves have the power to stop them."
- ―Matt Saren
- "I'm not a person. I'm not even a soldier. I'm just a fact. I don't change, I don't adapt, I just watch. I watch people come and go but I'm left behind, destined never to follow. I envy you, who will one day die, will one day be free. But not me. I'll be here at the end of the universe, the only one left. Do you think the Gods will forgive me for the sins of existence?"
- ―Matt Saren
Matt Saren was born during a battle between a band of rebels and the Allegiance Marines. Surprisingly, his mother and father were on the side of the Rebels. As escaped members of the Lazarus Project, the Allegiance made it a priority to track down and eliminate them in order to cover up the disastrous project. Saren's father was mortally wounded, and he elected to stay behind and cover the Rebels and his newborn child as they evacuated. His father was eventually killed by Jen Aura, a Tracker and assassin hired by the Allegiance, and herself an Immortal, unknown to the Allegiance.
It is unknown what happened to Matt's mother, as Matt himself was put into an orphanage. It can be assumed that she died of the side-effects caused by the Lazarus Project, as it is unlikely she was one of the small percentage of those who survived.
As the son of two Lazarus Project participants, it can be said that Matt Saren was a unique human- so few candidates from the project survived that no other children of candidates were documented. No one, not even the Allegiance, knew what Matt truly was, if they did, he would have been 'eliminated' like his father. Even if it had been known that there was a child of Immortals, no one knew what this would result in.
After Matt was old enough to leave the orphanage, he joined the Allegiance Army. In 2156, When Matt was twenty one, he was almost killed an accidental explosion at his barracks. What he did not know was that this should have killed him- Matt was an Immortal, the only success of the lazarus Project. Matt seemed to not notice his invulnerability until he was shot by a gang while deployed in an anti-riot operation. He fell over from the shear shock of being shot, but, a few minutes later, after the gang had left, he looked down at the gap in his armour where he had been shot and there was a hole in his body suit- but no blood or wound. At the time he put it down to being lucky-maybe the semi-protective body suit had deflected the bullet. He did not notice the deformed and blood-stained bullet on the ground. It was not until a few years later when Matt began to think about his strange 'lack of dying'.
Matt eventually realised that he could not die and, after overhearing his superiors conversing about Project Lazarus in passing, he realised what he was- an Immortal. Realising that in the Army, he was going to get noticed, he left the armed forces and became a freelance bounty hunter. It was this that gave Matt his extraordinary piloting skills.
After no more than a few months in his new career, an assassin in the employ of the Allegiance called Jen Aura tracked Matt down and told him that she, too, was an Immortal, and offered him a choice- to join the Armed Forces and stay there, or be killed. She advised him to choose death, for staying stationary and immobile in a moving world was in her words, the ultimate curse. Matt chose an eternity of servitude, a decision he later reflected on as the wrong one.
Matt's Military career, in his eyes, went through a series of cycles. He started off at a low rank, worked his way up to become a Fleet Commander or Field Commander, then would get reassigned and demoted again after his 'lifespan' to avoid attention. As such, Matt Saren was certainly the most experienced soldier in the galaxy, having lived for hundreds of years in the Armed Forces and having been too many different roles to name. For example, he has been a ship commander, Tank gunner, Dropship pilot, sniper, and many other posts both low and high ranking. Some might say that Matt got the best of the Wars- but he certainly go the worst. Sometimes he wondered if his commanders purposely gave him impossible missions in the knowledge that he could not fail- but the other low-ranking soldiers could not know. His salvation finally came when he assisted in saving the Queen's life. She inquired how long he had served in the Military- he replied with five hundred and fifteen years. Eventually he became the Queen's most trusted aide, as well as her senior personal bodyguard- something which drew him thankfully away from front-line combat. The two shared an extraordinary friendship, made so by the odd circumstances of both of them. After telling the Queen of his constant reassignment, the Queen made it so that he would never be reassigned away from being a Royal Guard.
A lonely person, Matt had never really grown close to anyone in his centuries of life- they would grow old and grey while he stayed young and trapped, a situation Matt feared more than isolation. However, Matt felt closer to the Queen than he had done to anyone. A few years later, the two had an illegitimate relationship- but they both vowed to keep it under wraps. If the citizens found out that the queen had had a relationship with a common soldier, they would permanently lose their faith in her. What was more, Matt would be put to death, and, after the discovery of his immortality, he would be quietly thrown out of an airlock in close proximity to a star.
Nine months later, the Queen gave birth to a baby, a girl. The Queen died in childbirth at the age of 29- ironic that now Matt never did see her grow old. Matt always thought the child was his- officially it was with a 'secret' young member of Parliament who preferred privacy- though strange how he 'vanished' shortly after the baby's birth. The girl grew up to become the 'orphan Queen'- 'orphan' was something Matt to was often referred to, and a reason for Matt to be involved in the new Queen's life. Matt was referred to as an orphan too- his parents were both dead and, although he was over five hundred years old, he looked about twenty two. Matt felt responsible for the Queen's predicament, being her true father but abandoning her for the sake of the Allegiance and the Royal Family. It seemed like the story of Matt's life, abandoning people for the greater good. He became like a father figure to her anyway, even to her dying days. The day before her death, at the age of one hundred and eighty two, Matt told her that he was her father, to which she replied with "I know. I've always known."
As Matt saw more and more Queens come and go, he began to see the frailty of humanity, of life itself, and eventually came to the conclusion that death was natural- death was life, and he did not fit into the grand scheme of life set out by the Gods. He took care not to get too close to anyone around him- because he knew in a few decades they would be gone and he would be alone again. This was a particularly hard feat, condidering closeness was necessary for soldiers to function properly. He was grateful that he was in a position where he would no longer have to go into battle or be in situations where his immortality might come to light.
Apart from a few minor, small-scale conflicts and rebellions, the Allegiance was relatively conflict-free for the first three hundred and fifty years of Matt's life. However, in 2417, the Reformation War began, a large chain of conflicts that threatened to rip the Allegiance apart. The wars ended in 2422, but lasting damage was done. Even in 2552, the Allegiance's Navy had still not been renumerated to previous levels, and war-time taxes were still being payed by the citizens. Matt racked up over one one thousand kills during the years of war, including the incredible feat of shooting down a low-flying fighter with a well-placed grenade launcher shot. Eventually Matt rose to the rank of Colonel, commanding a Regiment of over four thousand troops. When he had held this position for six years, he was demoted and reassigned to a converted waste tug patrolling deep space.
Matt was a Marine Corporal on board the HMS Hope, a cruiser that was part of the Allegiance Battlegroup sent to Earth, as envoys of the Allegiance. He later participated in numerous battles against the Covenant, now made up of just Brutes, Prophets, Jackals and a small number of Grunts. During the Allegiance's Covenant campaign Matt scored a total of about seventy kills, including countersniping five Jackals on seperate occasions and killing a charging Brute in hand-to-hand combat. Following the defeat of the Brutes at Doisac, the majority of the Allegiance forces were withdrawn back the Allegiance space. Unfortunately Matt's batallion was stationed on an Orbital Defence Platform orbiting Earth, an assignment Matt considered 'the most boring in the history of the universe'.
In 2733 when the Swarm War erupted, Matt was in command of an elite AL-56 Flashfighter squadron called Sierra Squadron. It was stationed on the HMS Watchman, which was on a patrol searching for a missing passenger liner. The Watchman, along with two other Triton-class Heavy Destroyers, found and engaged a hostile group of ships which had destroyed an Allegiance scounting drone. The starfighters were severely outnumbered, and the three other Flashfighter squadrons were lost. Sierra Squadron scored a total of thirty kills on the Swarm fighters with three losses out of the twelve Flashfighters, with Matt personally scoring nine kills. After the battle turned sour Sierra Squadron was ordered to retreat to the last surviving ship, the Watchman. They crash-landed on the flight deck just in time to jump away.