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January 21, 2004

Ackerson's King Under the Mountain

Jesper ( writes:

Now there's one episode in the First Strike, where we really learn ONI Sector Three's mission. When tapping into the ONI complex's computers, Dr. Halsey meets the Colonel Ackerson's AI, Araqiel, apparently attempting to steal SPARTAN-II information according to Dr. Halsey. Anyway, she destroys the AI and begins to look through its files. There are two folders: "S-III" and "King Under the Mountain"...

The first folder very possibly stands for SPARTAN-III as already speculated [Note: Or merely Section III]. This just again reaffirms Ackerson and ONI Sector Three's interest in the SPARTAN project and maybe their own wish to take control of it and continue with it without Dr. Halsey involved.

But more importantly we got the "King Under the Mountain" folder. What does this stand for? Well, the office IS in a mountain, right? And what does Dr. Halsey find under the Mountain? The "holy of holies", the Holy Light, which is apparently of enourmous significance to the Covenant.
And what does this folder contain? First of all, a much larger blueprint of the CASTLE base than Dr. Halsey had ever seen! But the folderalso had detailed information on John-117's attack on Cte d' Azur, where he found the strange alien artifact (that eventually led to Halo if no one remembers). And also detailed information on the symbols found on the artifact!

But this just leads to new speculation. Dr. Halsey does in fact say, after discovering this, that Ackerson had kept a very dangerous secret. Does she mean that he actually knew Reach would be destroyed [or was at risk]? But how would you be able to know that just from some star coordinates on an alien artifact? And, how can it be Cortana and Dr. Halsey found two different coordinates on the same artifact [Halo and then Reach from ONI/Cortana's analyses and the signal captured by John's camera, respectively] and does that mean anything? Could the artifact hold all the different coordinates to the greatest Covenant holy places, and thereby also Earth? (If we consider Earth another place for an alien artifact since the Covenant does not seem to glass it!).

This is a confusing bit of the story thus far. The analysis of the rock from Sigma Octanus did lead Cortana to Halo (FoR p. 336, as mentioned above), but apparently the captured images made by John off of the same rock create the coordinates of Reach (Epsilon Eridani) itself (FS p.130). Bizarre, unless each rock contains several sets of markings... is there something we are missing?

ONI may have previously known of Halo, and a lot of other things, if this trail is followed a while. Ackerson has a folder entitled KING UNDER THE MOUNTAIN. There are Forerunner facilities (not all of which were necessarily seen by the Spartans and Halsey) beneath the ONI base on Reach. So, doesn't this imply that Ackerson (and ONI) may have been well aware of these caves on Reach, and through co-ordinates gleaned here and there, on other planets as well, for some time? If so, what have they been doing with this information? Waiting for the... mood to be right? :P

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