Energiser (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I've been going over this for quite some time, and finally believe that I have developed my theory as far as I can, so I'm putting it forward to see what others can add:
Firstly, the Covenant. They worship the Forerunners, use their technology, salvage artefacts, and even attempt to follow them into "the divine beyond" What if they also emulated them in terms of their government, their society? What if "The Covenant" are only copying their "Gods" when they assimilate yet another life form into their society.
Now, this "Forerunner Covenant", according to my idea, this would mean that it were comprised of multiple different species, possibly arranged in a similar fashion to "The Covenant" with one species being Warriors (Elites) one being cannon fodder (Grunts), heavy weapons (Hunters), Technological (Engineers). Now, also assuming that, similar to "The Covenant" the names of each species was practical, describing their position in the society, this would possibly mean that the Forerunner Species was the technologically minded race (similar to the Engineers) in that they designed the weapons, the buildings, the Ships, the Halos, and even the AI Constructs. This would explain why everything is described as having "Forerunner Architecture", and why Guilty spark referred to them as "My Creators".
The next idea has to do with "Reclaimers" and where they fit into this idea of mine, which, surprisingly enough, is right next to the Forerunners, as another member of the "Forerunner Covenant". Their purpose however, is unique among either Covenant, as "The Covenant" has not yet seen a need for ones to undertake this task. The purpose to the Reclaimers, I believe, is to reclaim the galaxy in the event that the Halos had to be fired. They would have spent their time almost exclusively on "The Ark", the only place in the galaxy which is safe from the Halos. I also think there was a second purpose to having them in the ark, and that was to fire the rings remotely (we know that this can be done from the ark) in the case that there was a flood outbreak, and it became impossible to activate the rings on-site.
We know that 343 Guilty Spark recognised both the Master Chief, and Miranda as "Reclaimers" this points to the fact that Humans are in fact, THE Reclaimers. Now that it is fairly obvious that the Ark is in fact on Earth, this stands to reason, since, if the rings were activated, and the Reclaimers survived in the Ark, they would emerge onto the planet, and begin their quest to reclaim the galaxy. Since the rest of the "Forerunner Covenant" was now extinct, the reclaimers basically had to start civilisation from scratch, since, without support from the other races, the old tecnology would have been semi-useless, with the Ark only having the ability to fire the rings, and nothing more.
Since the purpose of the reclaimers was to use the Halos to reclaim the galaxy, and defend it from the Flood, it only stands to reason that their instincts include the knowledge of how to use Forerunner Tech, such as the panels on Halo, since, not being able to understand would inhibit them from their purpose.
By this point I'm sure at least some people would think "But why are "The Covenant" attacking the Humans if we were a part of the purpose of their gods?". My answer, because they feel threatened by us. We were the one's chosen pick up from the "Forerunner Covenant" when it perished, rather than any of the other species which evolved in the Galaxy (such as the Prophets and Elites, etc). "The Covenant" want to activate the Halos, that much is obvious, but as Reclaimers, our purpose would forbid them from doing that, since it would involve the destruction of all sentient life yet again, sending us back to the dark age (or even causing Humans to become extinct in the case that the ark is no longer inhabited). As far as they are concerned, as long as they get to activate the Halos, we can perish, and the flood can claim the galaxy after we are gone.
Please note, this is just the basic backbone of the idea, I have more ideas that go hand-in-hand with this, but are too difficult to explain in such a general manner. I am sure that others will be able to expand upon this even further than I had ever thought possible.
But on another note - the caste system of the Covenant can only remain intact if there is something to fight. How many other species have faded into oblivion before they came to us?