On October 21st, 2010, I sent this email to four of our forum members:
> Basically I’m gathering the four of you here because each of you stand out to me as the exact type of forum member I appreciate. Active and positive while not being afraid to speak your mind. Plus, I get the sense you care about our community just as much as I do. I’m toying with the idea of starting a lead member group, and I’d like your opinions on that. It wouldn’t be something that would add privileges but more would set you apart from other members so hopefully peers would look up to you and respond to you in a similar way as they do administrators. I was thinking about a special avatar perhaps, something similar to what our moderating team uses. I’d also like to be more available to each of you should you ever want to bounce ideas off me. I know Ninja Orca recently started official forum festivities, and I want to be able to assist and guide (if needed) in whatever you’d like to do.
> Let me know what you think about the lead member group thing, and any ideas you have for possibly expanding upon that idea. I’ll leave you with a thank you for everything you do, and of course a LOLcat picture that reminded me of the four of you!!
Those four people were SirPwn4g3, II The Bouk II, UNSC Warhead, and Ninja Orca. I was amazed at their passion, their love for the game, and their involvement on the forums. I’m sorry to relay the news that Ninja Orca was killed in an auto accident on July 6th. The impact he made on me, and these forums, will not be forgotten. Among other things, he started the Waypoint Community Carnage Night, which we will continue in his honor. As we’ve grown and nurtured this community, he’s been there every step of the way, coming up with new ideas, helping new members, and assisting in every way he could. From his service:
> Conrad was born on November 9, 1990 in Enid, and died July 6, 2011. He graduated from Ringwood High School in 2009. He was very active in the high school scholastic and drama teams. He attended one year at Hawaii Pacific University - Honolulu and last year at the University of Central Oklahoma where he was majoring in English/Creative Writing. Conrad has always been an inquisitive person, to a point where he was more interested in documentaries instead of cartoons. He was interested in everything that had to do with Nature. He had a wonderful network of friends on the internet. There was nothing that Conrad enjoyed more than being able to play Xbox 360 with his dad.
He loved Halo, and he adored the friends he made along the way. Should you leave kind words, a favorite memory, or something you’ll always remember about him, I’ll pass it along to his family. But for now, I’ll leave you with something he wrote for The Age of Gratitude:
> The first time I played Halo was a holiday at my grandparents’. It was either Easter or Christmas, because it was then that my cousins brought their video games and we would play together. Usually we played Goldeneye. But this time they brought their new Xbox and one game, Halo: Combat Evolved. We played it all day. It was instantly my new favorite.
> Every opportunity after that, I did my best to find a way to play Halo. This was tough. My family wasn’t well off at that time in terms of money, so I couldn’t get an Xbox for Christmas or anything. I would just play with friends whenever I could. Even when Halo 2 came out I did not own a Xbox. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I was able to get enough money to buy one. By that time, the 3 pack of Halo, Halo 2, and the DLC maps had been released. I bought it as soon as I could. At last, I owned the games, and I could get into the campaigns.
> I found myself taken in by the universe, which I had only heard bits and pieces of before. The idea of humanity struggling against the seemingly unstoppable force of the Covenant war machine caught my attention. I played the campaigns over and over again, becoming familiar with the setting more and more as time went on. Soon I bought a few of the books, and before I knew it I was a Halo fan.
> And, really, there are quite a few things in my life that can be traced back to my interest in the Halo franchise. The tons of fun I had playing it with others, my cousins at first, then with my friends at LAN parties. There are a lot of good memories there, well spent time with people I cared about. There’s my interest in storytelling. It was when I was getting into the universe that I told myself “I’d like to write a story like this”. And while I’m not writing a story quite like that of Halo, I can’t deny its influence upon my desire to write in the first place.
> So, all in all, Halo has been a bit influential in my life. As such, I’m pretty grateful to it for coming along, and I plan on keeping up with it as long as it’s around.
> -Ninja Orca