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May 2, 2006
Oni HighCom on Earth connected to the Ark?
Dragonclaws certainly thinks so (and with good reason, I say).
The humans probably don't know what it is, IF it is, but the fact that ONI has apparently known of the Reach Forerunner installation for an indefinite amount of time should have set off a few more alarms than it did. For the Reach facility to have been built coincidentally over top of those caverns is just that: quite a coincidence. If ONI had some knowledge of Forerunner sites (stemming from an unknown source) it would make sense that their underground facilities would tie into them whenever possible.
Don't mind the forum flak; I think you're definitely onto something. The chances that Castle Base "struck Forerunnner" (Black Gold, Texas T...) accidentally is extremely unlikely. And no matter what, that ONI had known of these tunnels since some indefinite point in the past was a massive revelation in and of itself.
If Castle had been built atop the caverns unintentionally, you can bet that ONI's been scrounging around for more such locations on other worlds ever since (Coral?).
If Castle was strategically positioned on top of the Forerunner relics, this strongly implies that others had been found previously (in a similar fashion/location we might assume) to merit the search and eventual decision to build there.
As Regret said, Humanity has apparently been blocking access to sacred sights (though this doesn't seem to be the whole, real reason for the extermination of Mankind). Previous contact between ONI and the Covenant is looking more and more certain all the time...
UPDATE: With the Halo 3 announcement, and the nigh certainty that the Ark was merely lying beneath New Mombasa (and revealed by the explosion of Regret's Carrier's departure), we may wonder all the more why a city (and a massive space elevator operated by ???) would be built precisely there, of all places...
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