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April 6, 2005

Mercy's Dying Words

Michael  ( writes:

Something always struck me as odd about the Prophet of Mercy's dying words in the cutscene at the beginning of High Charity. He says the Covenant are heading to Earth, "to finish what we started...and this time none of you will be left behind." At first, I thought this simply meant that they were heading to Earth to complete the destruction of humanity, but lately I've been thinking that he means something else.

The wording just doesn't seem to imply our destruction, at least by a Covenant fleet. The phrase "none of you shall be left behind" is the same wording as the Covenant use when talking about the Great Journey. For example, at the end of the Heretic cutscene, Truth says to the (soon to be) Arbiter, "Soon the Great Journey shall begin. But when it does, the weight of your heresy will stay your feet and you shall be left behind."

Does this mean that the Prophets plan on inviting humanity along for the Great Journey? Yes and no. I think it's been fairly clearly established that Truth (and probably Mercy) didn't really believe in the Covenant religion, and have some plans of their own (Truth lets Mercy die because he knows too much, or something to that effect [Regret's demise could also have occurred under similar sentiments]). The Prophets absolutely despise humanity (for reasons unknown except to themselves) and would not be interested in letting them into "the Divine Beyond". The Prophets know what the Halos do and are willing to use them to get rid of humanity.

Here's where it gets crazy. What if "to finish what we started" is a reference to the first activation of the Halos over 100,000 years ago? Could a Prophet/Human (civil?) war have led to this? Remember that the 343 Guilty Spark was glad to see that some of us "survived to reproduce" in the Library...what if the Prophets messed up last time and some humans escaped the activation (by using the Ark?), but "THIS time" none of us will make it. A 100,000 year-old grudge would certainly explain why the Prophets hate us so much.

So, Covenant religion just a cover for the Prophets to hunt down the remnants of humanity that survived the rings' activation? How do the Flood fit into this? Speculate/shoot down away.

Excellent. No matter what the details of it turn out to be (whether it be a war gone by, revenge for eradicating their species at the same time as the Flood, a past subjugation, etc.), the fact that the Prophets have kept their motivations for the Human Campaign to themselves is not only mysteriously eery, but also a strong implication of a conspiracy of sorts. "100 000 Year's War" indeed.

UPDATE: Wado SG slightly refines and adds to the idea.

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