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The Halo Story

Captain Keyes

Keyes was a member of the UNSC Navy for much of his life, slowly working his way through the ranks until finally becoming a Captain in the Battle of Sigma Octanus and going on to command the Pillar of Autumn.

At some point early in his military career, when he was still an Ensign, Keyes was nearly killed when a captain of his decided to try out his new method of FTL transfer and the experiment went horribly awry. Keyes learned during the trial of the captain to keep his mouth shut - something that Dr. Halsey, the Spartan II project, and no doubt, ONI, valued greatly. As such, Keyes was involved in the initial exfiltration of the then young Spartans to be, beginning with John-117, the one day Master Chief. With his experience, it was no surprise he was chosen to lead the Pillar of Autumn on its Spartan insertion operation.

When the PoA reached Halo, Keyes was in command of what was possibly the last group of human soldiers from Reach. If he failed, and Halo was lost to the whims of the Covenant, Reach would certainly not be the last planet to fall, and Earth's imminent discovery and siege would be hastened. When an already dismal situation went further awry, only his steadfast will and resolve prevented the location of Earth from falling into the hands of a foe more threatening than even the Covenant: the omni-parisitic, sentient xenoform known as The Flood. His interrogation and eventual death, though slow and horrific, was consistently fought with the courage and tactical skill his life and command had become known for.

Daniel Yuan ( writes:

In another e-mail, Alan Wu asked "what is [Mutated-Flood] Keyes doing on the [Covenant] ship?" My theory is that the Flood were planning on using him to pilot the ship. There are several reasons I speculate this:

1) Keyes is located on the bridge of the cruiser

2) Keyes form is very different from any previous Flood form encountered

3) Keyes is probablly the human who's most knowledgeable about Covenent technology.

The main gap in this theory is, 'why didn't the Flood infect a Covenent commander?'. Oh well, it's a start.

Do the Flood have enough intelligence to try to use Keyes to spread themselves? To borrow a line from an old movie: "Who ARE those guys?"



Ever wonder why the Flood-form of Captain Keyes is so different from the Flood versions of other races?

craZy ( writes:

...the Captain Keyes blob has around two other pairs of legs sticking out of it. That means that more then just Keyes was pulled into the thing.

On a related note, Mark Levin ( notes in this HBO forum post (which was a response to this post by Spartan III) the following:

Look at the blob behind Keyes, the second pair of legs is unmistakably Covenant.

So my question is this: What is included in the "Keyes blob?" Why?



In regards to a previous post about the "Keyes Blob", Fletcher came up with this.

Fletcher Johnston (FLETCHER.JOHNSTON@FIN.GOV.ON.CA) writes:

Isn't it possible that the flood figured that they should combine Keyes (with his immense skill as a captain) with the commander of the covenant cruiser? That way, they'd get the best of both worlds... a blob with Keyes' smarts, and the covenant commander's knowledge of the ship and covenant technology...

While it's easy to think of the Flood as mindless spores, infesting and mutating seemingly at random, perhaps it's not that simple. Do they have intelligence? The Forerunner did decide to retain the Flood, setting up 343 Guilty Spark and the "weapon" features of the Halo itself as a part of the failsafe system should the Flood escape. Which brings us back to the same old question: Why keep the Flood, yet maintain the ability to destroy all organic life in the galaxy should the Flood get out?



We too have received mail speculating on the medals adorning Keezz's chest. Fortunately, Tsuranaku's forum post on the subject caught the attention of the ever benevolent Brannon Boren, who buoyantly benefited all with a detailed response outlining their, at least contemporary, meanings.

Visit their posts for a more detailed rundown.



Johann 'Weasle' Ortiz ( writes:

A note. Captain Keyes, a Navy officer (O-6), is wearing Captain's bars (O-3). That would be a Lieutenant in the Navy.

Gah! Perhaps Bungie will chime in here with something about this...

Or does anyone else have anything to add? (You know you do, I can feel it...)



And the Bungie fans come through (at least, one fan does). Less than four hours later, we've got a comprehensive (if a tad opinionated ;-)) description of military rank and insignia.

Alex Maggard ( writes:

Just had a few comments in response to Weasle's post on the HSP on Nov. 7.† I've never noticed that Keyes is wearing two silver bars in game.† Technically, the rank insignia would be correct if the Halo Universe was using Army, Air Force, or Marine rank structure.† In TFoR,† however, Admiral Stanforth gives Keyes the four stripes and a star of a Naval Captain.† The Admiral is also sporting admiral's stars later on in the book.

The way it works in today's military is just how Weasle had it in his post.† In everything but the Navy (and Coast Guard), rank goes 2nd Lt. (O-1), 1st Lt. (O-2), and Captain (O-3) which is two silver bars.† In the Navy, you have to start as an Ensign, then up Lt. (junior grade, or J.G.), full Lieutenant (which is also two silver bars), Lt. Commander, Commander, then Captain (O-6).†

Having more sense than the Navy, the other service branches (including the Air Force ;) ) only have the one group of rank insignia.† The Navy has those goofy gold stripes in attempt to confuse the otherwise brilliant civilians at Bungie.† Those stripes go on dress uniforms, and are what Stanforth gave to Keyes on the Iroquois at Sigma Octanus.† The more common insignia of gold and silver bars, oak leaves, eagles, and stars are used by everyone else, hence the minor screwup I've spent too much time talking about.†

Too conclude, Captain Keyes should have a little silver eagle on the shoulders of his flight suit to designate Captain.† But Bungie blew it.† Not a big deal.† It all goes to show they should have asked me how Halo should have been done before they went and did it all by themselves.

Here's a visual breakdown of today's rank insignia.† Go here.

Well, I don't know if I'd classify it as "blowing it." I'm sure it can be chalked up to "creative differences." ;-)

Nice job, Alex!



God_Holocaust ( writes:

Keyes seems to know more than he is letting on. "....force deployment, weapons research... Earth."As far as I can tell, the Covenant military research is far ahead of ours. Why should it matter if the Covenant learn about our researching, say, incendiary bullets (for example.) Does Keyes know about a secret project we don't - say the Spartan-IIIs?

Keyes was clued in to a lot of stuff over the length of his career. It wouldn't be too surprising to find he was involved in many things that took place behind the scenes. However, it'd be a shame if he was associated with Ackerson, because Keyes rocked! ;-)


permalink ( writes:

Ok so everyone knows that there is something interesting about Captain Keyes last name- its kind of obvious. I like how mnemesis responded to a particular article in the "The Flood" section. Mnemesis said, "Very interesting possibilty. It would explain the need to keep the Flood alive, yet be able to "neutralize" them by destroying their food source. If so, then it would seem that there would need to be some sort of a counterpart to the "Reclaimer", who would release the Flood rather than set off the Halo. Hmm...." This made me concoct an interesting idea.

What if Keyes was a counterpart of MC? Maybe Keyes was the "key" to the flood's escape from Halo. Masterchief is the reclaimer while Keyes is the key. It kinda makes sense. It would explain why the flood didn't just turn keyes into another flood warrior like all the other humans. They mixed him in with a big blob of flood stuff and possibly some other lifeforms. This would still fit in with the theory posted in the "Captain Keyes" section by Fletcher Johnston-

"Isn't it possible that the flood figured that they should combine Keyes (with his immense skill as a captain) with the commander of the covenant cruiser? That way, they'd get the best of both worlds... a blob with Keyes' smarts, and the covenant commander's knowledge of the ship and covenant technology..."

The theory I have proposed would fix just one problem in Fletchers theory. If the flood have a covenant commander, why would they need Captain Keyes? I think the covenant commanders know how to fly their own ships. maybe keyes was need for another reason, possibly to serve as the "key" that i proposed earlier. Just something to think about.

We must remember that rarely do things acquire a name for no reason at all. Sure, some game companies might just make up random names for characters in their games, but most Bungie names have some meaning behind them. French swords, for instance, seem to be strangely attractive to the folks at Bungie. ;-)

Maybe Captain Keyes is the key. Or was. Was the key.



"Captain" Keyes

Lee Andrew MacNeill ( writes:

We, who are all deeply concerned about the issue of Keyes' rank insignia, I think I have an Out for us.

You know the OOG reason, is that Bungie screwed up, and the guy responsible for drawing Keyes' chest drew a USMC O-3 (Captain) insignia, traintracks, instead of the USN O-6 (Captain) insignia, the eagle, and it was one of those little mistakes that just plain slipped through the cracks at Bungie possibly glossed over because the Release Date was too close.

But here's my IG reason:

1. Keyes is a sentimental, and slightly deranged man. He was expecting the tail end of the SPARTAN mission to be his last, something told him that his luck was about to run out, so he wanted his traintracks, the insignia he won when he was successful in his mission the first time he met Dr Halsey; his introduction to the SPARTAN II program. Or perhaps he was a lot more worried than he let on about the mission's chance for success and wanted his O-3 insigne for good luck's sake. This possibly was a move to reassure his bridgecrew more than himself.

2. Keyes is was and always will be a a Scorpio a sneaky, sneaky man. Perhaps he was fully expecting to be boarded by Stealth Elites i.e. Covenant Intelligence operatives, and that they would possibly seek out the Autumn's "shipmaster"... but if all they found on the bridge was an O-3, a Lieutennant, they might kill him or ignore him, believing that the ship's CO (the real "shipmaster") was dead, and the best they could do by way of surviving command crew was this lowly O-3. Once again, Keyes sees his options through the lens of the Cole Protocol. And Keyes know that this insigne change would not confuse the crew of the Autumn, because:

the naval officers all know Keyes intimately, having been handpicked by Keyes for that mission, trained up in the UNSC Navy by him, and are not going to be fooled by his O-3 insigne, they know damn well who he is, and:

the Marines, who I'm guessing rotate from ship to naval installation to ship, are going to take one look at the traintracks and think "Captain", traintracks being the Marine O-3 "Captain" insignia. But after years in the corps, I'm sure the average marine immediately translates what he thinks the rank is based on what it is in the Corps, to it's Naval equivalent, in this case, an O-3 Lieutennant-- but the first word that jumped to mind was the Marine word for O-3, Captain, and they can clearly see the word Keyes emblazoned on this supposed O-3's chest, so the Marine clues in that it's Jacob Keyes, the CO of the Pillar Of Autumn, who is in fact a UNSC Naval Captain, an O-6, wearing the wrong rank on purpose.

And with that in mind, I hope and pray that this message is seen by someone at Bungie with the stern admonition that WE DO ACTUALLY CARE, AND WE CHECK SHIT LIKE THIS (WE CAN'T HELP IT) †SO PLEASE BE CAREFUL NEXT TIME because we Love Bungie, we LOVE Halo, and some of us don't just want it to be perfect, we NEED it to be.

Take care, and HBO pwnz! :-)

He he. Indeed ;)