343's "lost time" and inquisitiveness during The Maw seen in a fascinating new light...
Leigh Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
"Cortana had to finally admit to herself that she didn't have the power to contend with a possible enemy artificial construct. She had absorbed a tremendous volume of data from halos systems: eons' worth of records on halos engineering and maintenance, the xenobiology of the flood and every scrap of information on the mysterious "forerunners" the covenant revered so much. The information would take her a week of non-stop processing to examine, collate, codify? let alone understand." -First Strike P65 lines 24 - 31
Once Cortana downloaded all the data from Halo's core, she stored it for investigation later. This download bloated her, and slowed down her operations. She had not herself however collated this data, which she stored.
When, however, 343GS probed her in The Maw:
343 GUILTY SPARK: "Ridiculous! That you would imbue a warship's AI with such a wealth of knowledge! Weren't you worried it might be captured? Or destroyed?"
CORTANA: "He's in my data arrays, a local tap!"
343 GUILTY SPARK: "You can't imagine how exciting this is! To have a record of all of our lost time! Human history, is it? Fascinating." ... "Oh how I will enjoy every moment of its categorization! And to think that you would destroy this installation. As well as this record. I am shocked. Almost too shocked for words."
343GS appeared to have collated some of this data contained within Cortana. What is interesting is that maybe Guilty Spark have never had the pleasure of perusing the Halo's vast database: "Protocol does not allow units with my classification to? perform a task as important as the reunification of the index with the core."
After all, he is disgusted when he discovers Cortana in the core: "A construct?! In the core?! That is absolutely unacceptable!"
This was his first time he could put all of the pieces together. He is shocked. Why? Has he realised that Humans are indeed somehow related to the Forerunner in some way, he understands the Chiefs apparent irrational behaviour; i.e. why he has poor weapons to combat the flood and only has a class 2 battle skin, and to top it off; that the reclaimer is about to destroy the installation along with the original record of the lost time.
By the end of Halo the only person to fully understand what's going on is indeed 343 Guilty Spark.
A truly impressive interpretation of these events; that the data 343 was viewing were the very Forerunner records he was not able to access in all his years of monitoring Installation 04 and its shrouded and ever revered Core. What other conclusions has he come to I wonder? Excellent thinking :)