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August 26, 2004

And from our own mailbag o' treasures: Moorcock and destiny (cont)

Spongecake ( writes:


Just a little thought regarding the recurring question of the Mjolnir IV cyborg from Marathon and his possible relevance to the world of Halo. I may well be way off-base, but I just thought I'd run this up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes. At the final screen†of the (staggeringly trippy) Marathon:Infinity, the text†reads;

"We've watched while the stars burned out, and creation played in reverse. The universe freezing in half light. Once I thought to escape. To end the end a master, step out of the path of collapse. Escape would make us God."

**This is the A.I.†Durandal contemplating the Big Crunch, which he has unsuccessfully†sought to evade.

"Yet I cannot help†remember one enigma. A hybrid, elusive destroyer. This is the only mystery I have not solved. The only element unaccounted for."

**†Hybrid... destroyer = man/machine hybrid = cyborg. No prizes for that one. He makes a Marathon reference which I shall skip, then continues:

"But you were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won. A man long dead, grafted to machines your builders did not understand. You follow the path, fitting into an infinite pattern."

** The first time he says 'dead' it's figurative, as in there was seemingly†no way to come out of those situations alive. 'Hopeless encounters successfully won' is starting to sound like our boy the MC now, until the reminder that the Mjolnir IV is a man 'long dead' (Gherrit White?) -†FoR†shows us that the Spartans are certainly not hotwired corpses.†But what really makes me sit up is... 'grafted to machines your builders did not understand'... are we looking at humans dicking around with Forerunner artifacts here? Slapping together something they think will be a better fighting machine without the faintest idea what they might really be starting?

'You follow the path, fitting into an infinite pattern'? Which path is this? This is strongly redolent of the 'Eternal Champion' in Michael Moorcock's novels, a kind of constant figure existing across numerous incarnations in multiple parallel universes whose fate is always to fight courageously against staggering odds, often†bringing tragedy†to themself and those around them, to maintain a kind of cosmic balance between Law and Chaos†even at the cost of their own destruction ("Two forces in balance/ancient endless balance/then nothing" - Aye Mak Sicur terminal 2).†Maybe Durandal's just getting†flaky in his old age - and by this point he's been around for aeons - but then you don't get that old without learning a thing or two.

"Yours to manipulate, to destroy and rebuild."

** Manipulate destroy and rebuild what exactly? The 'pattern' again? I can only assume this means the pattern of events as they happen.†Has the Mjolnir IV somehow independently gained the ability to move through time/between alternative timelines†after†we leave him at the end of†Marathon:Infinity? Did dormant Forerunner technology 'your builders did not understand' unexpectedly grant this cyborg the capacity to change history, and if so, to what extent did he use it? What motivates a dead man fused to a mass of cryptic hardware? Did the technology return to its makers the Forerunner, taking the Mjolnir IV with them, or did he escape the Big Crunch by†somehow using it to move backward through time? Most importantly, was it the Mjolnir IV that Guilty Spark 343 met before and mistook the Master Chief for?

"Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time.

"I know who you are.

"You are Destiny."

** For a hard-headed AI to come over all metaphysical, you know something big's afoot.

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