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August 28, 2008
Reclaimers ... of the Galaxy?
Mike emailed us a vicious (and by vicious, I mean REALLY vicious - it takes a lot of space on our page ;]) analysis which could easily be converted to a full-length article about a secondary meaning to "Reclaimer", and some speculation on the seeding of the Galaxy after the Forerunners were forever inscribed in the changing sands of history.
Deadguy71 (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Ok, so we know now that Forerunners were humans. This was explicitly explained in Halo 3.
Here's the next piece of the puzzle.. Humans are referred to as "Reclaimers" and the Forerunner locator device used by the Covenant in the novel (and Medicant Bias) "Contact: Harvest", also name them to be reclaimers.
Some speculation has been heard in the past to state that "reclaimers" get their name due to their "job" to reclaim the index from the library and use it to fire-up the rings. I think it's time we relooked at that now.
Why weren't humans simply referred to as "Forerunners" by ANYONE? Even "forerunner-descendants", or simply "humans"? Instead, they carry the name "Reclaimer". We know from Contact Harvest, why the Covenant would have avoided calling them forerunners, by why would the Monitors insist upon the name "Reclaimer"? Indeed, it was important to the Covenant's original "oracle" (Medicant Bias) to point out that it needed to assist the "Reclaimers" in finding the Ark. Not a ring, but the Ark.. this is an important distinction I'll mention again later.
Later, all monitors/oracles encountered in the stories/games were in War-mode where the Flood had been released and it was a time of war. The monitors knew that the only way to fight back, was to have a reclaimer use the index (and therefore use the rings). Perhaps this isn't the only purpose of Humans, and therefore it seems silly to name the species "reclaimers" in a time of peace if it only referred to reclaiming the index. Also odd of the (Medicant Bias) oracle to name them Reclaimers without any flood to
worry about, and with a perceptable urgency to get them to the Ark.
The rings had been fired in the past, with the intent of killing all sentient life in our galaxy to halt the flood. This SHOULD (and possibly did) create a time of peace. This time of peace would have been planned for... think of it, an entire galaxy, devoid of sentient life, ready to be claimed or "RECLAIMED" by the forerunners that had escaped to the ark (which
was proven to be located not on Earth, but outside of our galaxy entirely... all Earth had was a slipspace portal generator to allow passage to the Ark).
Here's the problem though. The forerunners didn't return, and I suggest that they didn't intend to return at all. Instead, they left their artifacts and
advanced technology behind for the "Reclaimers" to find while they themselves DID take a great journey to another galaxy (the one containing the Ark) and presumably stayed there.
This explains why the Covenant's AI (Medicant Bias) told the Prophets the story of the Great Journey, that the entire Covenant religeon is based upon.
The forerunners activated the rings as they left the galaxy, and this is the last thing that Medicant Bias would have known about them.
Part of the Forerunner's focus, prior to the flood outbreak in this galaxy, was to catalog and record lifeforms. The terminals even state that during
the last weeks of the conflict with the flood, some of them continued to catalog them and discovered Earth, even stating that they were stopping to "catalog" the humans they found there, despite knowing that the rings were going to be activated soon and there were too far away to flee to the safety of the Ark.
This tells us a few pertinent things:
Earthlings were within the galaxy as the rings fired, the Forerunners at that location died, unable to race back to the ark. The Earth must not have had the portal to the Ark installed at that time, otherwise those forerunners would have easily left that location with plenty of time to spare. The humans alive at that time would have died as well.
Earthlings were, at that point and time, extinct and indeed all humans within the galaxy died.
As I noted, the forerunners had left quite a bit of stuff behind, including an Ark that would rebuild the rings and somehow reposition them in the galaxy if they were ever destroyed (slipspace travel, I assume). Plus after the blast from the rings, sentinels were dispatched to Earth, to create a portal, perhaps in rememberance of the Forerunners that were there at the
location when the rings had been triggered. In the Halo comic's opening pages of the first issue, early humans witnessed the portal to the ark being
created by sentinels.
So here's the really interesting bit. After the universe was scoured clean of sentient life, it began to repopulate itself right?
Earth itself was chosen as a place to position a portal to the ark, in case humans should ever need it again. How was it known that humans would develop here? There's a significant clue right there on the opening page of the Beastarium. From memory, it states that no one is to create the lifeforms from this index without authorization. Species were catalogued and
apparently able to be recreated from their cataloged entries. (otherwise, why warn against doing just that?)
It's possible that the rings themselves, with their utopian landscapes and suchlike, might have even been designed that way in-order to raise the various species and allow them to form communities until they could be
transferred to planets that were deemed appropriate. This would increase their chances of survival, and might even, describe the "Garden of Eden", with a primative's distant memory of being on the Ring, and cared for until they could repopulate the Earth. Perhaps the bible story of Eden was all that was left of the true story of living on the Ring, and lost quite a bit of the specific story in it's retelling. Could sentinel beams be the "flaming swords" that block passage to Eden?
A little blasphemous, and perhaps an accidental comparison that I made, but interesting nonetheless.
The Forerunners knew the humans would be there in the future because they SEEDED them there. Humans were seeded, according to forerunner plan, to reclaim the galaxy that had also been seeded from the indexes carried by the rings (possibly each ring was responsible for reseeding it's own section of
the galaxy, explaining the need for libaries and indexes at each installation).
Humans are Reclaimers, not of the index, but of the galaxy that had been scoured clean for them.
I suppose the intent was to allow humans to develop on Earth without assistance, and then, when they reached a significant tier of industry, and had learned the lessons they needed to learn in terms of morality, they'd be able to travel the galaxy and reclaim the forerunner technology for themselves. All during a time of peace brought on by the lack of Flood.
Perhaps it was the Medicant Bias AI that was supposed to get them to the Ark, to teach the humans what they needed to know about what had transpired so that they could "set-up shop" in their newly cleaned galaxy... giving them full knowledge of forerunner technology and how/when to use it.
That would explain both, why Medicant Bias wanted to get reclaimers to the Ark prior to the floods release from containment, plus it explains how the installation monitors KNEW the humans were reclaimers, rather than
forerunners, but seemed confused that the reclaimers didn't know anything about protocols or even what the Halos were to be used for, how they worked, why they weren't wearing the proper protective gear, etc.
That part of the forerunner's plan failed, because even as Humans discovered the first ring, (with presumably only one previous artifact on Reach) the flood was released from containment. ONI knew a little about the
forerunners, but not to the level they would have, if the Forerunners plans had worked correctly.
Forerunners had left the monitors to continue study of the flood, with the extra precaution of several layers of containment protocols. Perhaps the initial samples were destroyed by the rings firing, and it was reseeded into containment centers like all the other sentient races were. The idea might have been that the monitor's continued study of the flood might have revealed new ways to deal with the flood threat, in case it ever appeared in this galaxy again. Properly informed reclaimers would, in theory, be ready for any such threat, should it appear, rather than be blind-sided by it as the Forerunners had been.
However, this was not the case.
Wow ... just wow. This is what I call an eyebuster! Now, if only I could find my Beastarium and look up all the research that was put into this. ;)
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