"And it's simply NOT believable that Halsey could have created 75 full human clones without that being very obvious in the records."
Halsey is a genious, she has hacked other personel's systems many times before. That being said its not hard to see her effectively hiding the records atleast for a short time.
"Why WOULD she tell her the truth?"
Parangosky states mid way through Glasslands that she will "cearing house", she is intending on revealing many of her past projects, despite what it may do to others credibility. She being that far into her career even life would see no reason to lie. Also Parangosky mentions Dente's Inferno, everyones personel hell, the excess of your favorite activity. She sends Dr. Halsey into her own hell. She kills her on paper (which even now is effectivly death). And locks her away in cell where she can only to reserch, nothing more. After time it would become her own personel hell. Parangosky had taut Serin, If your going to kill someone you mite as well get some use out of them.
Spartan III's were cheaper just because of the lack of MJOLNIR armor (whit each suit costing as much as a UNSC Battlegroup), they were more efficiently trained (their training included captured Covenant tech as well as a more rigorous schedule and more emphasis in teamwork than the Spartan II's) and their augmentations were better (went from a 56% survival rate to a 100%) seeing how the Spartan II's served as guinea pigs eleven years before the Alpha Company recruits were augmented.
The only reason they were massacred was because they faced overwhelming odds that not even the Spartan II's could have achieved (Alpha held off Covenant forces for seven days until the Covenant amassed a huge battlegroup and cut them off of their exfiltration craft and Beta had the bad luck of attacking a Covenant refinery while three Battlecruisers were being refurbished and so, got bombarded by said Battlecruisers). Gamma Company still has 315 missing members (the only Spartan III's at Onyx during the book were three teams of 5 competing for top honors, the rest were deployed elsewhere).
And no, the first two companies were not wiped out in their first missions, they had several prior missions before both Operation: PROMETHEUS and TORPEDO respectively, Kat-B320 was able to be withdrawn from Beta due to being injured in another Operation after all.
actually if you look in the books, coudln't tell you which, they were designed to be disposibal hero's. Throwen into situtaions that were "benith the notice of Spartans but too dangrous for normal ODST" (that was a quote from Glasslands which am very proud of my self for using :-) ) Alpha and Beta were both more or less wiped out beta only having 2 survivors (one male and the female that could talk anymore) I did forget about gamma though (see Ghost of Onex).
As for Spartans III vs Spartans II, again in the books it points out how the Spartan II are faster,stronger and able to do a lot more even without there armour which you were right is more expensive then Spartan II. I can't say about the team work part, that is possible to be true but in the first book they pointed out how the John and Kelly (Spartan II's) grew up as a team and having to survive that way.
Lastly the survival rates for augmaentaions were better, but then I belave the augmentations where diffrent, I know they fed the Saprtan iii growth hormones and mutated there brains to help survive shock, but made them "twitchy". They never say anythign about teh survival rate of the training program though, that I can remember anyway.
Again, Spartan II's were stronger and faster because of the fact that they had years to get accustomed to their augmentations (which Chief Mendez said would become better with time) Spartan III's had no time to grow on them and rather, were thrown at the Covenant and Insurrection right after training. I don't think you're grasping the concept of better, just because they were "disposable" (something that only Colonel Ackerson thought) doesn't mean they were worse, if anything, they were better than Spartan II's, by the time they were 10 they were massacring Covenant.
Also, there's the instance where Holy (a 10-12 year old) was evenly matched against Kelly (whom was 41 and using MJOLNIR which amplifies speed and strength) for some moments. And again, I most must put emphasis in Alpha and Beta's massacres, those were overwhelming odds, not even Spartan II's could have accomplished that, and even then, they accomplished their missions (Kurt said that if Alpha had failed, all of the colonies at the Orion constellation would have been destroyed by the Covenant).
Even Chief Mendez and Kurt both thought of them as disposable at first it wasn't till MUCH later that they stopped that (again that was a bit in Glasslands) they weren't meant to be as well trained, or to have had as much money spent on them aka disposable. Through out history real or fiction disposable troops are just that disposable one use, and they never get the training of people who are suppsoed to come back to do it again. In Glasslands even some of the Spartan 3's see one of the 2's run off at 60kpm and made it seem that hey were surprised at that and that they coudln't follow suit Admitadly I don't remember the Holy vs Kelly fight so I can't comment on that. other then both use MJOLNIR armor just diffrent versions of it. As for Alpha and Beta missions all I can remember is Kurt watching the group die from a video screen or somthing...where two of the kids who used to bully each other where fighting as s team and ended up dieing....can't remeber the rest in enough detail to make an argument. as for the beta all I can remember is there comments on what the mission was like as they did it and "enter mute girls name here" said her last words in the water.
Of course alot of these arguments are impressions I get from reading the books and the games and such. Being complete fiction there are no facts to bakc up any of it, heck even the books are knows to have HUGE continuity issues. Take it as you will either way.
Fortunately for both of you, I have Ghosts of Onyx here with me and I shall provide quotes.
In the issue of the overall concept:
Parangosky scrolled ahead. "And you are proposing ah, a SPARTAN-III program?" Her cast-iron expression didn't betray a hint of emotion. "Consider the SPARTAN-IIs a proof-of-concept prototype," Ackerson explained. "Now it is time to shift into production mode. Make the units better with new technology. Make more of them. And make them cheaper."
Kurt watched the incoming Pelicans. The blocky jet-powered craft were so distant they were only specks against the setting sun. He hit the magnification on his faceplate and saw lines of fire tracing their reentry vectors. They would touch down in three minutes. In the last six months he had developed a training regime tougher than the original SPARTAN program. He had created obstacle courses, firing ranges, classrooms, mess halls, and dormitories from what had been jungle and scrub plain. He had received every piece of equipment he had requested from NavSpecWep Section Three. Guns, ammunition, dropships, tankseven samples of Covenant technology and weaponry had appeared as if by sleight of hand. All personnel were accounted for: six dozen handpicked drill instructors, physical therapists, doctors, nurses, psychologists, and the all-important cooks all here except the most critical person, who was now on the incoming transports: Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez, Mendez had, a dozen years ago, trained Kurt and every other Spartan. He would be invaluable in preparing the new breed of SPARTAN-III, but he wasn't going to be the solution to all Kurt's problems. About Holy vs Kelly:
There was motion in Kelly's peripheral vision, a blur. She spun and saw a ghostly figure, moving toward her faster than any human could move. Kelly sidestepped, grabbed the arm, twisted. Her opponent reverse-twisted and countered the lock. Whatever it was, it wasn't human; otherwise Kelly would have ripped its human arm from the socket. Her opponent twisted her wrist and escaped from Kelly's grip. Kelly was still faster her other hand lashed out, palm flat, and impacted the solar plexus.The other figure flew back two meters, hit a tree, and slumped.
Now, Holly was 12 years old (She was part of Gamma Company which would put her between 10-12 years old due to them being trained in 2546), wearing SPI (Which as stated above, does not enhance the user's abilities) and facing Kelly (whom was 41, using MJOLNIR and is considered the fastest human in the Halo Universe).
And, about speed...
Tom-B292 ran at 30kph during Operation: TORPEDO, it is not as much as the Spartan II's, but it is known that Kelly's top speed in MJOLNIR is 62kph, now, take in mind that Tom was not using MJOLNIR and he was barely 12 while doing so.
All very true and well qouted but here is where the issue of bad continuity comes in, while yes Kelly was knowen to go 62kph when she was younger...17 I think (it was in the first spartan book at least) in Glass lands it shows another (again can't remember his name) going 60 kph when he was tracking some thing. So he was actually half distracted, could kelly have done it faster probabley but she was in a diffrent part of the inner sphere at the time. As for your quote (very good job finding it btw i had a bugger of a time doing it) it shows Holly moving very fast but Kelly won and reflexasive combat training i think was a big part of why it ended up the way it did on Hollys part. not sure it matters at this point but while the gammas where according to the callender 10 or 12 they had all taken growth hormones and where I think bascally 17 or 18 (that part sorta grosses me out to be honest) phiscally I did some reading last night and after awhile I came to a conclusion about this whoel thing. While both Spartan II and III where augmented humans they both were trained to fight diffrent ways. II through small unit tactics and superiour equipment, and III's through numbers and more like battalion lvl tactics. For the most part anyway, Noble team and Head hunters were the exceptiot. Sort of a compairison to the U.S Navy SEALS vs Army Rangers, while they could do the same job they do it very diffrently
Not sure a person would ever change my mind though about disposable troops.
The funny bit it this whole thing boils down to experiance vs training ( a very popular movie theme) if you watch the movie "Solider" i think that would be a good example of what I mean and how an encounter between a Spartan II and III would be. As for the IV...well only time will tell (when we finlly get to see them) but if you spend your whole life from when you were 6 training one would have a pretty good head start to a person who volentters when they are much older in my book anyway.
So I just reread Glasslands this week and I noticed somethings that are interesting and relevant to recent events. The next Karen Traviss Halo book was announced recently, it is called The Thursday War. On page 422, BB is talking to Serin about Infinity and says that she'll get "on a Thursday war". I think this means that The Thursday War will involve the Spartan-Fours. We'll see this October, a month before Halo 4.
The Spartan 4's wont be as good as the Spartan 2's. It seems to me that they have made the Spartans worse and worse. The Spartan 3's were just a cheap version of Spartan 2's and the Spartan 4's are better trained then Spartan 3's, However, they dont have the training or experience of the Spartan 2's. Chief= 45 (in halo 4) Spartan 4's= 20-35 guessing