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February 3, 2004

Key words from The Fall of Reach just begging to be speculated on...

Infininja ( writes:

I was recently re-reading the Fall of Reach, then stopped to read First Strike, and I picked it up where I left off, quite near the end. I must've started around pg. 281, because that transmission really caught my eye.

Based on the location, it seems to be from humans (I started out thinking maybe there could have been a section of Covenant, or for all we know, Forerunner, working with ONI) but it's the codenames that really caught my eye. COALMINER, of course, brings me back to the Forerunner facilities deep underground Reach, as described in First Strike. SURGEON and HYPODERMIC almost make me think of a splinter faction, or at least, a special group such as ONI slipping into and out of things.

Now, this is all me just speculating wildly (people say rampant too much ;)), but with all the intelligence ONI is supposed to have, it seems stupid for them to put a ship out there, which no one is supposed to know about, with NAV data intact. They had counterintrusion software put in, was that just to stop the AI from detecting them, or were they possibly expecting Covenant and trying to stop them from gathering the data?

And with that, was the first Covenant 'AI' really heard from in First Strike? Perhaps those data invasion packets on page 302 were actually just parts of a much larger 'being.'

A "transient AI" was detected... Cortana/UNSC AI, or the Covenant scoping out their prey from the system's edge as is their custom?

Also, who would this ONI ship be planning on tailing, or inserting for that matter? Are they following the Spartans in, planting their own agent, or could this be a rival mission?

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