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|Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...|
|Posted By: Eindrachen <email@example.com>||Date: 6/5/05 3:38 a.m.|
Naturally, as of late, with the Xbox 360 on the horizon, my thoughts have turned to the storyline of Halo, and how it might go in the third game. I have lately been reading up on Marathon (and cursing that I never got a chance to play it), and the "Cortana letters" section, and after a day of contemplation, I struck on a curious thought.
In the official books and throughout both games, Cortana indicates a great deal of knowledge about the Forerunners. The books seem to indicate she might have had access to some interesting data on some Forerunner technology before the attack on Reach. Even if she didn't, when she was loaded into the Alpha Halo's system, she would have instantly had all the knowledge she needed, and in fact displayed such knowledge repeatedly thereafter (i.e. after a moment's thought, she fearfully commands Master Chief to try and stop the Covenant's release of the Flood).
Which brings me to the "Cortana letters".
Aside from the fact that it was a publicity stunt, let's take them into serious consideration in the overall Halo setting. In the letters, she speaks very cryptically, and one might even think she was either transmitting from a point not only future to our modern time, but in fact from after the events of the main Halo stroyline. Also, I considered the possibility that maybe the letters were somehow reversed in order (maybe because of the nature of how Cortana sent messages backwards through time).
Breaking it down by letter...
Letter #5: Seems to be an account of the first contact with the Covenant, maybe during the strife among the various human factions. Could be a warning of things to come. The line "I'm still not sure what it is he saw in you." might refer to Captain Keyes; the books and some lines in the first game seem to indicate admiration and/or respect for Keyes devotion to Earth itself. (The flaw here is that, by my reckoning, she'd be speaking of Keyes after his... "demise" to the Flood.)
Letter #4: If you read the Marathon story page, you note that Lyca is a 7-year-old girl who is sheltered by a lion in a "palace" where nothing violent harms them. Since Cortana will only live 7 years, perhaps she is approaching her termination date, and while she isn't obviously "rampant", like any living, thinking being, she probably wants to find her own "palace" to protect her. Naturally, she might not think about her own mortality until after the fall of Reach, with the Covenant capable of finding and destroying her if they find the Pillar of Autumn.
(I strongly, strongly urge a full reading of the William Blake poems related to this topic. They are HEAVY with metaphor for Cortana's predicament at the end of Halo 2, and might hold the clues to what is in store in Halo 3.)
Letter #3: Maybe she is again waxing philosophical about Keyes with that line "I am still not sure what he ever saw in you.", or not. The paragraph after that would refer to Halo, and from what she says, I believe the "ghosts" she refers to are the one haunting legacy of the Forerunner that lingers: the Flood. Second paragraph is, fairly obviously, the Covenant.
But the third paragraph is interesting. While I'm sure that the creatures she refers to are the Flood, what of the "sun - black, but shining" whose "fiery
My speculation? It's High Charity (which might be seen from an angle as a dark "sun" with glittering "fiery" lights on it), during the demise of the Forerunners, when it contained the Ark. The Flood, being not-dumb, probably figured out the whole scheme with the Halos and the Ark, and promptly decided to assault the Ark before the Halos were activated. There certainly may be flaws with this theory, but it seems possible to me.
Letter #2: The suns (plural) stumps me, so I can't speak with anything resembling authority. My own intuitions are telling me that this one was written at the time she gets to the next Halo, but perhaps it was somewhere else. As for the "fourth", I strongly believe that it is the Flood (aside from humanity, the Covenant [whom she has consistantly considered more of a whole than as individual species], and the Forerunners).
That line about godhood and insanity makes me think that perhaps she knows some way to escape her 7-year lifespan, but that it might require some... questionably-sane action on her part.
Letter #1: Unlike all the other letters, this one is the most cryptic, and poetic. It darn near sounds like our old friend, the Gravemind (whom Cortana meets and, apparently, spends a lot of time with after the end of Halo). I'd like to take each line one at a time on this one.
"I have governed the unwilling."
"I have witnessed countless empires break before me."
"I have seen the most courageous soldiers fall away in fear."
"[I was there with the Angel at the tomb]"
"I have seen your future."
"And I have learned."
"There will be no more Sadness. No more Anger. No more Envy."
"I HAVE WON."
"Oh, and your poet Eliot had it all wrong:
All these ideas certainly are flawed in various ways, and I'm sure that one piece of logic or other could fall apart under even the briefest scrutiny. But then again, perhaps it will introduce new lines of thought to the Halo community, and maybe someone with more knowledge or sense than my poor self can find some new theory that holds even more weight.
Have fun discussing (or ignoring) this to your heart's content...
|Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||Eindrachen||6/5/05 3:38 a.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||Jillybean||6/5/05 6:24 a.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||Eindrachen||6/5/05 6:52 a.m.|
|All good, except...||58||6/5/05 6:36 a.m.|
|Re: All good, except...||Eindrachen||6/5/05 6:51 a.m.|
|Re: All good, except...||58||6/5/05 12:49 p.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||Crudeoyle||6/5/05 10:32 a.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||7he grunt w/a plasma pistol||6/5/05 7:58 p.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||deadmonkey||6/5/05 10:59 a.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||Psychophan7||6/5/05 12:36 p.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||rhinohumper||6/5/05 4:04 p.m.|
|Little Help Please||Tyce||6/14/05 10:19 p.m.|
|Re: Little Help Please||Simpsons Rule||6/14/05 10:52 p.m.|
|Re: Little Help Please||gspawn||6/15/05 1:53 a.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||SniperExtraordinaire||6/15/05 2:07 a.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||SniperExtraordinaire||6/15/05 2:08 a.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||UrsusArctos||6/15/05 5:24 a.m.|
|Re: Best laid schemes of mice and AIs...||jman571||6/28/05 4:04 p.m.|
|Letter #5 and a bit of Letter #1's ending||SpecialNewb||7/4/05 3:27 p.m.|
|Letter 1's fuzzy logic...||Cipher||7/20/05 6:38 p.m.|
|Re: Letter 1's fuzzy logic...||Steve||7/20/05 6:57 p.m.|
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