They're random, baby

The Halo Story

News Archive

December 28, 2003

jan clawson ( writes:

We now know how Sgt. Johnson survived the flood. He had a disease that scrambled his nervous system so that the flood could not infect him. That is what they do, infect things to make more of themselves...

Or kill the things they can't. They can't infect the sentinels, so they destroy them. It seems to me that if the flood could not infect Mr. Johnson, they would kill him. If he somehow made it of that room from hell, the flood warriors kill him. Why leave him alive?

Or, maybe they did infect him. Sgt. Johnson could be a ticking time bomb for the flood, much like the nuclear device Admiral Whitcomb gave up for the Covenant. Think of Sgt. Johnson as a flood carrier waiting to happen.

Now you're thinking, 'They checked the Sergent, he was clean of infection forms. The cells of the flood were dead in his bloodstream'. Now, the only way we know of the flood infecting is through an infection with an Infection Form. But, maybe that is just the fastest way of infection...maybe those "dead" flood cells in Johnson's bloodstream are dormat, waiting to grab hold of the body. This would also explain the flood changing the atmosphere. They put flood spores in the air, and the flood take over everyone. Of course, you need numbers to do that, and that is where the infection forms come into play.

Even if the atmosphere thing isn't true, the good Sergent might still be infected. Think of what would happen if his chest burst open and infection forms poured out...

So, we'd better keep an eye on that guy during Halo 2. I don't know if shooting him right off the bat will get rid of him, though. It sure didn't work that way in Halo 1.


permalink | Sergeant Johnson


Chris Barrett ( writes:

All this talk about Earth being an ancient Forerunner facility makes me wonder if Earth has it's own Forerunner AI running around...kind of scary, especially if he/she is as insane as 343 GS...

I think it's in Sweden somewhere.

Interesting idea, btw. ;-)

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Jim Rebholz ( writes:

I had read Fall of Reach, and First Strike, and a part of the Chief's armor caught my attention. According to the books, there's a kind of reactive gel sandwiched between the inner and outer layers of the suit. This gel is supposed to be both pressure and temperature sensitive, and able to adjust its properties on the fly. I had recently read a news article about a substance that does just this. It's called magnetorheological fluid. Essentially it's metal particles suspended in an oil or other liquid. When an electrical current is applied the viscosity of the fluid changes almost instantaneously. And it isn't science-fiction or even science-theory. It's in use, and you can find the stuff inside the shock absorbers on the 50th Anniversary Chevrolet Corvette. There it's used to provide a comfortable ride without losing any cornering capability. The military wants to use it to make a bulletproof body armor that's both flexible and impervious.

Yowza. For a little more on magnetorheological fluid properties, see here. The Halo universe gets closer every day...

permalink | SPARTAN


God_Holocaust ( writes:

Keyes seems to know more than he is letting on. "....force deployment, weapons research... Earth."As far as I can tell, the Covenant military research is far ahead of ours. Why should it matter if the Covenant learn about our researching, say, incendiary bullets (for example.) Does Keyes know about a secret project we don't - say the Spartan-IIIs?

Keyes was clued in to a lot of stuff over the length of his career. It wouldn't be too surprising to find he was involved in many things that took place behind the scenes. However, it'd be a shame if he was associated with Ackerson, because Keyes rocked! ;-)

permalink | Captain Keyes


Ellimist ( writes:

i was reading the post "On Slipstream Space and Really Big Explosions" and Toby Dillman said that Humans, the Covenent, and other alien races were carbon based life forms. I beleive this to be true,because we all seem to breath oxygen, which is vital to carbon based life forms. But could the flood be non carbon based?

There is only one other element, stable and abundant enough, that a life form can be based on...silicon.

343 GS says that the flood was changing the atmosphere, this is probably to hurt the other races on Halo 04, not because they need to breath something other than oxygen. They cont seem to mind what they breath.

This is because a silicon based lifeform does not require oxygen and hydrogen. This would mean that they can survive in open vacume, this could have lead to some getting off Halo 04

Interesting. If the Flood were solely a silicon-based lifeform, would they have some difficulty in the pre-atmosphere-adjusted, oxygen-rich environment of Halo as we knew it?

permalink | The Flood


Polygon ( writes:

Something hit me the other day while reading your posts. When Guilty Spark asks the question about "If I was in your position would I still do it, having plenty of time to think... et al." I think spark is referring to Motubo. Motubo might have asked that question. A long time to think in A.I. may not be very long in human standards.

Good point. Mobuto's story would definitely be interesting to know. It'd make a great short story, eh?

::nudging Nylund, et al, in the ribs::

permalink | UNSC Forces


Lamin "darklight" Ball ( writes:

How long does the flood live? If halo was supposedly vacant for over 100 thousand years plus activated once, what ?biomass? did the flood live off of for 100 thousand years after activation? And if it did some way find a way to live off something, who?s to say that it never evolved to a new type of flood that the forerunners never even seen. If you were to think of humans in a 100 thousand year period, you will see that is how long it took for modern man to evolve.

Who knows how long the Flood have existed? They may have evolved into their present state eons ago, perfecting whatever arcane mechanisms their biology employs long, long ago. As far as Flood cannibalism goes though, chew on this: The Military Form af the Vang (Isn't that familiar? As if from an old dream?) had slowly consumed itself as it floated in space through the millenia. If our Flood are modeled after that species, a hundred thousand years or so would be a piece of cake.

permalink | The Flood


Shane Meyer ( writes:

In "Halo: First Strike", Cortana, after studying the Covenant plasma weaponry aboard the flagship Ascendant Justice improves it.

Instead of using the standard method by selecting the charged plasma atoms with proper trajectory necessary to it a target and shunting them into a magnetic bubble and then discharging it and using subsequent pulse charges to herd the plasma to the target.

Cortana instead used EM pulses a priori to align the stochastic motions of the plasma atoms, herding their trajectories and eleven degrees of electron freedom into a laser-fine columnated beam within a microsecond.

To me, this new firing system, which is described as red laser-like beams, sounds awfully like the weapons used by the Sentinels. This would reinforce the fact that the Covies don't understand the technology that they have attained and since Cortana, as a human AI and using human knowledge, made an innovation through human technology, suggests a human-forerunner connection

Yet another Human-Forerunner connection suggested. It may be simply that Humans, exemplified by Cortana, are more innovative, more intelligent than the Covenant, though. Nevertheless, those connections keep adding up...

permalink | The Forerunner


December 7, 2003

Numbers, numbers everywhere and not a drop to drink...

419, say again, 419.

EaGLesAllThEwaY2 ( writes:

On page 266 of tFoR, 8th indent down, it says :

While the Master Chief had been on the obstacle course, she had commandeered SATCOM observation beacon 419 and rotated it to view them from orbit.

This was the part of the book when then Master Chief gets to test the real MJOLNIR armor and Cortana is "tying up loose ends". Notice that it is said beacon 419. In Halo (both Combat Evolved and The Flood) the pelican Foehammer pilot's is code named, Echo 419. I don't know what that has to do with anything or the number's signifigance, but I think it is more than a coinsedence.

Hat's Off to... who, exactly?

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Origins of 117...

Jon Glass ( writes:

I fear that the true story behind the name "John-117" may be more mundane than we expected...

While killing some time this weekend, I was wandering around the musty halls of the Marathon Story Page, I was reading the section "What's in a name", specifically the section on the secret net level "Hat's Off to 819." In it, we learn the truth about the number 117. It is, in fact 819 divided by 7!

What's so significant about that number? Well... That would be telling, wouldn't it?

Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Say no more, sir ;)

permalink | Rampant Speculation


John's name based on Roman history?

Giorgio Vassallo ( writes:

Would anybody believe that the Roman empire reached its height (militarily, economically, geographically and population) in the year.....

117 A.D.!?!!?

permalink | Rampant Speculation


On the forum front, chevan comes up with yet another possible basis for the name John, 117, and ambiguous missing individuals, this time based upon the history of the island of Roanoke. Quite a spooky situation, really.

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Then again, when it comes right down do it, there are other possibilities... ;)

gspawn ( writes:

*takes a moment to set up the scene*

Okay, so there's about 117 CD's on this spindle.
*trust me, it's there*

Now, I place it on the edge of my desk, and I push my math pook towards the edge...
*trust me, I'm doing it*

Oh, the spindle stopped the book.

Obviously, I represent the prophets, driving the Covenant to destroy mankind (fall off the desk and... onto... them....). The book represents the Covenant, and the Spindle, representing MC, saved mankind.

I argue that the entire story of Halo was based on someone videotaping my actions secretly and using a time machine to go back and inform Bungie of this event.

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Pelican Plurality

Marty ( writes:

I don't have TFoR handy because someone borrowed it from me, but I'm 99% sure I checked it out and saw that it mentioned the particular docking bay in which Captain Keyes was boarding the Pillar of Autumn in was the one that had three Pelicans ("several", p.275). It's talking about one particular bay, not the whole ship. There's at least 7 docking bays on the cruiser: "theres a longsword fighter still docked in launch bay 7." Though TFoR does mention that one launch bay is closed and patched with titanium. That means there could be some 18+ pelicans in the cruiser.

Approximately 3 pelicans per bay multiplied by however many launch bays a kilometre plus long ship could accommodate... It seems that there may have been Pelicans to our heart's content on board the Pillar of Autumn. Problem solved?

permalink | UNSC Forces


CPOMZ at the 512 with the S-III

TINA WARD ( writes:

After reading the Halo:First Strike, I found the file "S-III" that Dr. Halsey accessed in Colonel Ackerson's file quite interesting. I think it obviously stands for "Spartan-III" project, but more interesting is "CPOMZ." The "CPO" is an abbreviation used in the Navy for Chief Petty Officer, and it sure seems like "CPOMZ" is abbreviated for Chief Petty Officer Mendez. So he did go to train new spartans, and it would explain why Master Chief never saw Chief Mendez again on Reach; because the "512-character alphanumeric string" that follows "CPOMZ" is a "reference to a star chart" that is "not a destination to any location in UNSC-controlled space." (p130).

And I bet that is where Dr. Halsey headed off to with Kelly.

That Kelly and her altered DNA... what a prankster :P

Chief Petty Officer Mendez and SPARTAN III (or merely Section III) seem like good starting points for these acronyms (although it does seem strange that Mendez should be abbreviated "MZ"; perhaps it is just to spell it out a bit more?).

But questions remain. What does Ackerson have to do with this group and Mendez? Is he spying on them? Are the S-III's HIS project (Halsey seems unaware) or if it does stand for Section III, is this just to further hint at ONI's sly involvments? What could flash clone research portend: a revival of fallen comrades or an "attack of the clones"?

Good eye :)

permalink | SPARTAN


Flood as... well, you name it. In this case, as an Information gathering tool, etc.

Milkshake ( writes:

I have read 'The Flood' and a thought that I had was that, as the flood 'mind-rape' keyes, that they are simply doing what they do because they are in origin, a form of intelligence gathering, created by the Forerunner, in use against their foes and wars. Of course there is no question that they went rampant (in both senses of the word). That makes a little sense, right?

The thought of the Flood being used as an information gathering tool, scraping together records of the fallen's DNA, has been touched on before, but as they also seem to possess some of the most wicked, brutal, and efficient interrogation techniques imaginable, the idea deserves revisiting. However, considering that Captain Keyes can hide his thoughts within his neural lace (and the Flood seem incapable of touching him there), would the Flood be able to interface with any sort of cybernetic or mechanical alterations? To them directly, or in a host? The Flood can wield technology, but can they also integrate it?

Flood as a potential medicine or biological upgrade, Flood as a DNA sampling tool, Flood as a superfluous weapon, Flood as organic armour, Flood as food (bleh), Flood as a terra-forming tool, Flood as mutated Forerunner...

Whether or not the Flood were encountered and preserved for study, or created for a particular purpose, the list of possibilities is growing rather long...

permalink | The Flood


What's in a name?

Alexis J. Lojek ( writes:

I wonder if the name Tartarus has any significance.

From the final paragraph on :

"Tartarus becomes a place of punishment for sinners. It resembles Hell and is the opposite of Elysium, the afterlife for the blessed."

Tartarus the Brute seems as one who assigns punishment to those who have failed in a particular mission. His involvement in the Great Journey would seem to suggest that someone (humanity?) is being punished for some wrongdoing they did.

The Brutes are said to be Ceremonial Guards of things which the Covenant see to be sacred. Perhaps they are involved in the invasion of Earth because it is their duty to "protect" the Forerunner artifact on Earth?

Elysium, eh? Very astute.

permalink | Tartarus


A few transcript fixes and additions to the Vessels, Inconsistencies, and Character lists have also been completed. As much as we would like to claim infallibility, your input keeps these pages looking their best. Thanks for your help everyone :)

permalink |


December 4, 2003

Are you sitting comfortably? Well then, let's begin...

First Strike has supplied us with a wide variety of new fodder. Much has already been assimilated into the various sections around the HSP and lead to the formation of several new ones to boot. Resources, for example, catalogues quite a few commonly referenced sources in one easy to navigate page, in addition to using the new novel to fill out such pages as Characters, Vessels, and Inconsistencies.

But don't think we've exhausted it already; the book remains rife with clues and hooks for further story developments within Halo 2. The first wave of speculation has crashed upon our shores. Grab a copy of the book, a notepad to record your inevitable puzzlements, and help put the pieces together :)

permalink |


Miranda. The name certainly is growing on me. Much like I imagine an omni-parasitic organism would if given the chance.

Otto Mossberg ( writes:

And speaking of other Spartans, I would bet this "Miranda", is another Spartan. There are few I could think of that could strap anything on a Spartans back and shove them into any sort of hole. Unless the Spartan was already unconscious, in which case you'ld still need a fork lift to move thier half-ton bulk.

Also, James could have been picked up by a damaged ship without communications, either Covie or UNSC. On a Covie ship, he would no doubt have been studied for his armor and genetic/biological alterations. Without comm systems on a Covie ship, the Prophet in TF wouldn't have known about it, hence his saying that the rest are belived to be dead. Or the PoA would not find him on thier scans, and could be out of contact with a damaged UNSC ship that had found him.

With a relation to Ackerson's project, God_Holocaust ( adds,

This may explain the mysterious 'Miranda'. A super-soldier of Ackerson's clan would most certainly strap a bomb to the Master Chief's back and shove him down a hole if ordered. However, 'Miranda' isn't a namećI would give to a Persian - but then, a Spartan is unlikely to be called John.

As for James, there was some shock at the suggestion that the Chief and his MJOLNIR armour were superior to the Elites and their own. Would the Covenant have qualms about reverse-engineering and assimilating Human technology?

permalink | SPARTAN


Otto Mossberg (, this time about Slipstream's nasty undertow:

Awhile back, someone noted that it didn't seem to take long, according to H:TF, to get to the Halo system, in relation to the ammount of time it took to get from Sigma Octanus to Reach. I noticed this in the Halo storyline (found originally on the Microsoft Halo site, I believe):

"Scientists noted an odd "flexibility" to temporal flow while inside the Slipstream. Though no human scientist is sure why travel time between stars is not constant, many theorize that there are "eddies" or "currents" within the Slipstream-there is generally a five to ten percent variance in travel times between stars."

Whether or not that 5-10% is enough to put the Halo system outside of UNSC space, and beyond ONIs prying eyes, I don't know.

Maybe not... Does the Forerunner crystal from Reach merely exploit these currents or winds in some way? Adjust the sails, so to speak?

permalink | The Forerunner


The Flood as an enhancement, and the nines lives of Sgt. Johnson

Jason Krorhr ( and Kodos ( write:

The Flood are highly adaptive, able to survive almost anything. An immune system (or body in general) with the traits of the Flood would be very effective, almost incapable of being shut down. Being obviously interesting in biology, the Forerunners may have been trying to incorporate Flood DNA into their immune systems, at least the desireable aspects (I'm sure they didnt want to look like rotting corpses, no matter how tired they were of dying from sickness all the time).

Perhaps the Forerunner had reached a point where they saw no further advancement in Science and Technology possible, and thus, rather then improve their minds, and machines, they sought to improve themselves? Perhaps Halos function was to slowly allow Flood to "improve" the Forerunner? Or maybe to create some kind of lobatomized Flood that did not assume control of a host, but merely improved its DNA?

Perhaps. Enhanced physiology, eh? Flood as a cure? Seems like a great enough lure to store samples after the last catastrophic outbreak...

Even more pertinent, do the theoretical regenerative abilities possessed by Sgt. Johnson portend to the truth of this understanding of the Flood's former preservation and study?

permalink | Sergeant Johnson



Guy French ( writes:

The Brutes are far too... brutal. So maybe that's why they weren't allowed on the Halo's or on any ships that would spend time around them.

An interesting observation. The Brutes appear to be ceremonial temple guards (FS p.310), at least when they are not smacking the passengers from moving vehicles. As well, the Imperial Elite Protectors were surprised that Tartarus is allowed so close to a High One, especially the High Prophet of Truth (FS p.339). What is the history, and reputation of the Brutes? Do they too closely resemble the "filthy primates", Humans?

permalink | The Covenant


One of a Kind

God_Holocaust ( writes:

i had a bit of a brainwave a little while ago. why is the monitor so obsessed with recovering the index? and what is the significance of the 'alpha halo', which a bungie employee (i forget who) let slip? it hit me like a shotgun blast. its called the alpha halo because its the leader - like the alpha male in a pack of wolves - it's the first one to fire, which triggers the rest of them. and do you know WHY it is the first one to fire? because IT IS THE ONLY ONE WITH AN INDEX. that's why the monitor is so obsessed with getting it back. there is no beta halo, or delta etc. there is alpha halo, and the followers. trigger one, and the rest will follow suit.

Hmmm... The individual(s) in command of the Ascendant Justice had the title of "Guardian of the Luminous Key", not "Keys", after all...

But a key to what? Why must the Index not fall into the Flood's hands? Is it useful for far more than activating the Installation? All that trouble for the Crystal and it is referred to as a "trinket" (certainly it is not the Key, is it)?

A real bucket of worms, I tell ya ;)

permalink | Halo Installations


We should start looking for novels that have not inspired Halo; we would save time ;)

Bravehamster ( writes:

I just finished the Classic SF War Story "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards. Great book BTW. The basic plotline is of a recruit who spends a thousand years away from earth, while only living 5 years due to relativity. Vast changes await him at home. It was written during the Vietnam War and contains a lot of parallels to the experiences of soldiers returning from the conflict. During my reading I noticed several parallels to the Halo story, and I think this may be the origin of the order to avoid jumping straight to Earth. The relevant quote begins on page 175 of the most recent trade paperback edition. The "Heaven" they refer to is a Rest and Relaxation planet.

"It took 3 collapsar jumps to get to Heaven. No ship ever went there directly from a battle, even though the delay sometimes cost extra lives. It was the one place besides Earth that the Taurans could not be allowed to find."

Reading down a few more paragraphs, we find that the main characters land at the largest city in Heaven: Threshold. Does sound a bit familiar, doesn't it? There's a couple more similarities I found as the book went on. The characters also fight in mechanized suits similar to the Master Chiefs. Then I read the description of the starship:

"...reflected in the design: stolid, heavy, functional-looking. The only decoration was the name MASARYK II, stenciled in dull blue letters across the obsidian hull."

"...The ship was over a kilometer long (1036.5 meters, my latent memory said), and about a third that wide (319.4 meters)."

Well, I hope this information proves useful. I heartily recommend the book, although like most good classic SF it does contain a few anachronisms.

A mention of Threshold, ships that seem all too Covenant in both hue and scope, and a latent memory in your head telling you what's what... sounds a little familiar ;)

Good find :)

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Pertaining to the Covenant's usual orbital tactics and their deviations from them

Alexis J. Lojek ( writes:

As we have seen before, the Covenant glass most planets that Humanity inhabits. However, whenever a planet has Forerunner artifacts on it they either only partially glass it (as seen with Reach in First Strike), or invade it entirely (Reach and Sigma Octanus). Earth must have some type of Forerunner artifact on it. Funny that we haven't found it yet...

Or has someone? Dah dah dah ::cue spooky music::

permalink | Humans


The Covenant as Territorial Guardians

Unnamed ( writes:

We know that the Covenant worship Halo with 'deep religious significance.' We also know that Halo is Forerunner technology. Finally, we know that the Covenant want the humans dead because it is the will of their gods. So, if they regard Halo with deep religious significance, doesn't this point towards the Forerunner being thier gods?

Here's where it gets interesting; a possible answer as to why the Covenant's gods are so angry. Typically, the Covenant would get angry if a race happened to inhabit one of their god's creations, wouldn't they? 'But we haven't inhabited any of their creations,' you think. 'We never knew about the Halo ring.'

That's where you're wrong. There is actually very little evidence to support that the other Halos are rings at all. What if... Earth is a "Halo"?

The humans have inhabited Earth. Earth is Forerunner. The Forerunner are the Covenant's gods. So the Covenant would hate us for violating their religious land. That's why they hate us so much, thar's why they want Humanity destroyed. It is a Halo, and we are on it.

Considering that the Covenant were leery of firing at the Pillar of Autumn above Halo for fear of hitting the ring, it seems unlikely that they would scorch the Earth if it was such a facility.

Still, the Earth as a Forerunner installation, fortress world, or "Island" would be a very interesting scenario (and not a little convenient for Humanity either). Even if it turns out to not be as drastic as this, more than a few things can be inferred from the partial bombardment and ground skirmishes seen on Earth thus far.

permalink | The Covenant


A Miranda of a different colour wonders about Reach's abandoned ordinance

Marby Miranda ( writes:

im just wondering , i read the book "first strike" and admiral whitacomb talked about a nova bomb that he armed and was supposedly taken by the covenant that either took it to their homeworld or was quaratined at reach for reasearch. The admiral informed MC that its armed and "suppose" to detonate in 20 hours. After the escaping form reach together with the other spartans and the crystal obtained secured by dr.halsley, the author or the story never ever mentioned what happened to the powerful bomb that can destroy a whole planet. and it should have detonated well before MC destroyed unyealding heirophant. I know that the time table got mixed up during the "strang" slip stream, but further in the chapters, the date changed from sept 20 something to september 12. so what happened to the bomb?

Indeed. The clock still ticks away from the wee morning hours of September 12 to just around supper on the 13th. It would seem, even with all the anomalous time errors going on, that the Nova bomb should have gone off by the end of the novel; after all, once the dates are revised, more than 20 hours have still gone by. We may be in for a little wait to see whether it was disarmed, shipped back to a Covenant world (as Whitcomb intended), or merely ended up rendering Reach itself.

permalink | UNSC Forces


Monthly News

Dec 69 | Jan 02 | Feb 02 | Mar 02 | Apr 02 | May 02 | Jun 02
Jul 02 | Aug 02 | Sep 02 | Oct 02 | Nov 02 | Dec 02 | Jan 03
Feb 03 | Mar 03 | Apr 03 | May 03 | Jun 03 | Jul 03 | Aug 03
Sep 03 | Oct 03 | Nov 03 | Dec 03 | Jan 04 | Feb 04 | Mar 04
Apr 04 | Jun 04 | Jul 04 | Aug 04 | Sep 04 | Oct 04 | Dec 04
Jan 05 | Feb 05 | Mar 05 | Apr 05 | May 05 | Jun 05 | Jul 05
Sep 05 | Oct 05 | Nov 05 | Dec 05 | Jan 06 | Feb 06 | Mar 06
Apr 06 | May 06 | Jun 06 | Jul 06 | Aug 06 | Sep 06 | Oct 06
Nov 06 | Dec 06 | Jan 07 | Feb 07 | Apr 07 | Aug 07 | Sep 07
Nov 07 | Jan 08 | Apr 08 | May 08 | Jun 08 | Jul 08 | Aug 08
Sep 08 | Oct 08 | Dec 08 | Jan 09 | Feb 09 | Mar 09 | Apr 09
Sep 09 | May 10 | Jun 10 | Aug 10