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The Philosophy of Halo and Unanswered Questions


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#1 Postmortem

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:22 AM

Science fiction is filled to the brim with many new concepts and ideas, realities that never existed and likely never will, and things that stretch our imaginations. The best part about science fiction is that it allows us to look at something that isn't real, and view it as if it were. That's half the magic of it, and half the fun. For me, science fiction has long been the basis for much of my philosophical questioning, starting with concepts explored in novels, games, and movies, and extended into the rest of my life where applicable. Now, I'm taking a philosophy class because of my interest in it, and oddly enough hearing the ancient philosopher's words makes me return once again to science fiction, to where philosophy ultimately began for me. In Halo there are a lot of concepts issued, many of them seen before in science fiction, but many others sitting open in front of people's eyes, all the while begging to be explored and discussed... and yet no one does. What I'm hoping to do is start some discussion into the meaning of some of these larger questions, and persuade people to come up with some of their own. God knows I can't see all facets of the Halo universe and think about all their implications. But I'm hoping this will get other people thinking so that they can post some of their own. To me, most philosophy in Halo ultimately begins with the most interesting creation of Bungie, the Gravemind. And so I'll start simply with that. If we think about the Gravemind, we have to realize first for this line of thinking that it is a single being, not a collection of multiple organisms. Each organism comprises a part of the whole. Due to the nature in which it absorbs its prey, and subsequently their minds and memories, one can assume that its consciousness could represent the sum intellect and wisdom of all the species it's absorbed, correct? So, is the Gravemind's nature part of an overriding instinct, which permeates through all the consciousnesses? Or does the Gravemind itself represent the will of all the absorbed species and individuals in this galaxy and the galaxy it came from? Perhaps it represents those from outside our galaxy more than those inside, since it theoretically already consumed that entire galaxy before moving on to ours. And who knows how many galaxies it's absorbed in the past? Perhaps the Gravemind represents the sum of all the wills of the universe? That last one's a stretch, the universe being as big as it is, but worth throwing out there. In the end, I find all these questions really thought provoking. What if the Gravemind, the creature we've fought tooth and nail to prevent from consuming everything, is ultimately the one creature which could allow us to unlock the secrets of the universe? Also, how did the Flood begin? Looking at it from an evolutionary standpoint, it's hard to imagine a creature as complex as this coming into being through natural selection. But that also raises another question... which came first? The Gravemind, or The Flood? Quoting Vociferous: "Did the Flood give way to the Gravemind or did the Gravemind birth the Flood?" His answer, while satisfactory to suit the purpose of the article, doesn't quite cut it when we look at it from this perspective. Where did the Gravemind and the Flood truly begin? Can we possibly imagine a small creature such as the infection form, carrying out a life cycle simply for its own spread and reproduction? Infection form, straight to carrier form, and then back to more infection forms? If so, then where did the Gravemind come into it, and what allowed it to evolve? Reversely, if the Gravemind was a creature before The Flood, what form did it exist in? Perhaps its life cycle was less complex as well, with its consciousness existing outside of an infectious form, and through its control of its own cells, created the cycle we know now? Did it, at some point, will the Flood into being, as we know it is capable of doing with pure FSC? That would be an interesting plot twist... that the Flood was not birthed by crazed alien scientists or strange natural selection, but by its own will and intellect, or perhaps poor choices. Or perhaps it truly did evolve from a single celled infectious organism, in a life cycle so drastically altered over the course of time it is just too hard to comprehend as being natural? Perhaps there's another answer? Other than the Gravemind, I get a kick out of thinking about the story of the Forerunners, and of the creation of AIs, actual beings which are created by another and exist within a digital world. What would this be like, to live out a life for another person? Is it moral for us to create such a powerful creature, and then doom it to a limited lifespan? How much power do they really hold? If we think about rampancy, we instantly see it as an AI becoming mentally unstable. But what if this isn't the case? What if the AI actually becomes so intelligent that we simply cannot comprehend its intellect anymore, and instead view it as insane? This question may be a moot point, as the same could be argued of any man or woman who's gone insane, but I still find it an interesting challenge to think about. Is the creation of an AI truly moral? That's one I won't touch upon. Other than philosophical musings, simple questions are important to ask as well. There's a lot of unanswered questions in Halo, and I think that those fall well into this category of things that need to be openly discussed and thought about, even if their implications aren't as vast as those listed above. For example, why did 343 Guilty Spark say to John "Last time you asked me, if it were my choice would I do it? Having had considerable time to ponder your question, my answer has not changed." Was it simply the AI slipping into rampancy, as has been taken to be the simple explanation for this? Or is it something more? We know that time manipulation is a part of Halo. Like it or not, that's been solidified in the canon through the use of Forerunner technology. Perhaps at some point in the future, John does indeed go back to the Halo at a point in the past? I know it sounds ridiculous when stated like that, but consider the statement made by GS, and then just ask yourself what this might mean if the statement wasn't a result of pending insanity? On Delta Halo, Cortana says "Odd, they built these new structures around the old one, to protect them... honor them." How? If the Halo was built at the time of the Forerunners, how could anything have existed on them before then if they hadn't existed before at all? When we look at these structures though, they're made of stone, rather than the unyielding Forerunner metal. They seem old and ruined, which is unimaginable for a Forerunner construction. So then who built them, how did they get on the Halo, and why are they honored? I have not yet heard of anyone asking these questions. Same goes for the lake the structures rest in: "This lake is not a natural formation, which means that it was either built this way on purpose or created by some other cataclysmic event." But you were probably too busy trying to kill something at this point to think twice about that statement as well. :P But really, what could that mean? There's a lot of mysteries surrounding the Forerunner still, even though we know so much about their history, we still know so little about them. For example, the Forerunner's religion. In various parts of Origins, we see the same Forerunner building before and after the Forerunner-Flood War. At the end, when it is lying in ruins, we finally get a glimpse of the inside. What is seen is a row of Forerunner chairs, with an aisle down the center, sitting in a vast hall facing a cross-like construction. It is clearly, to me, a Forerunner church. But what sort of religion would a race of beings as advanced as the Forerunners have? Likely it involves the Mantle, and the legacy of the Precursors... and just who are the Precursors anyway? Still not enough information to answer that one yet... although I'm eagerly waiting for more. One last thing I'll throw out, although this one should be obvious to anyone who has seen Legends and made connections between that collection and Evolutions. In The Babysitter, who built the strangely human-like ruins reflecting architectural qualities of different cultures across Earth at one time, and why? Was it the Forerunners, or someone else? Remember the giant stairs? We know the Forerunners aren't that large. Was this an important reference to the size of the creators, or was it a reflection on the architecture of some South American cultures at the time? I hope this thread will provide some worthwhile discussion and will give people a place to ask those questions that have been lingering around in the back of their minds for a while.

Edited by Postmortem, 08 September 2010 - 05:53 PM.

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#2 Drew

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:58 PM

Wow. Okay, so, let's start from the top. Note that almost all of this is going to be opinion, so don't take anything to heart.

My personal belief is the Flood came first. They started out as a small, simple infectious parasite, much like Toxoplasma or Ophiocordyceps unilateralis from our world. Granted the latter is a fungus and really has no effect on anything bigger than ants, Toxoplasma is the scary one. They're protozoan and actually take over a rat's brain, causing them to become attracted to cat urine, in order to better spread to their feline hosts. Even scarier is that it may affect humans as well, causing high levels of stress, insecurity, depression, and in some cases dementia. While it isn't exactly mind-control, it's still screwing with out heads. I think that the Flood evolved from a similar organism, simply growing in size until they became what we know as infection forms. As more and more combat forms were created, they started organizing, and eventually we end up with the Gravemind.

I could probably write a book on the subject of artificial intelligence. It fascinates me, to say the least. Morality is a huge topic among the AI-enthusiast community, and you can almost never have a conversation without it being brought up at least once. Everyone has a slightly different opinion, you find, and nobody really agrees on any of the specifics. Personally, if something is sentient and self-aware, capable of feeling and thinking and formulating opinions, I believe that it is a mind, and a mind should have rights, physical or not. Remove a person's mind, and you remove the person. A body is just that, a carcass. It lets us use our mind to communicate. A body is merely a tool. Without the brain, a body is useless, but a brain on its own, can still think and remember, body or not (assuming, of course you could supply it with the nutrients of life, or, in this case, put it on a digital medium of some sort). If we create an artificial creature, mind, existence, it is just as we are. Alive, aware, thinking. It deserves the same rights we do.

As for whether or not the act of creating a life itself is moral, that's entirely up to your own personal philosophy. Is it right to play God? That's something that I probably won't have to deal with in my lifetime, but you can bet that the next generation is going to be asking that very question. Where do we draw the line? Is the creation of AI acceptable, because it is "digital"? Are we fine as long as we don't tinker with "organic" life? What IS the line? Can one exist? When do, living, thinking, minds become "organic"? Are we to judge them based solely upon the media in which they reside? Personally I think the creation of any life is a-okay, so long as we go about the process properly and don't enslave our creations, I think that it might even be beneficial. That's as much as I'll say on that, because I'm sure that everyone else has a completely different opinion.

As for the whole 343 thing, honestly I believe he was mistaking John as merely another Forerunner, or perhaps addressing the Forerunners in general. Time travel (or, at least, dilation) has been proven to exists in the Halo universe, so I won't rule your suggestion out, but I think it might be pushing it a little. Obviously, if anyone is capable of time travel, it was the Forerunners, so you do have a point. It could, of course, be a by-product of rampancy, but to be honest 343 doesn't start showing signs up that until Halo 3, really. Up until that point it's all about containment, he's just following protocol.

The whole Delta Halo thing is a mess, just like the rest of Halo 2's campaign, so I really don't know about that. Maybe the Flood built the monuments or something, before they died off from starvation? I know it sounds completely retarded, but that's the only rational explanation I can come up with. Perhaps an ancient, pre-Covenant species briefly rose up and then for some reason either disappeared or moved on. Who knows. The lake, however, is definitely purpose-built by the Forerunner. Obviously to hold/protect the structure built at the center of it, which is definitely Forerunner in origin.

Can't comment on the rest because I'm apparently way further behind on the fiction that I thought I was. Last book I read was Contact Harvest. I should probably get on that.

Edited by Drew, 27 August 2010 - 11:58 PM.


#3 Postmortem

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 08:21 AM

The whole Delta Halo thing is a mess, just like the rest of Halo 2's campaign, so I really don't know about that. Maybe the Flood built the monuments or something, before they died off from starvation? I know it sounds completely retarded, but that's the only rational explanation I can come up with. Perhaps an ancient, pre-Covenant species briefly rose up and then for some reason either disappeared or moved on. Who knows. The lake, however, is definitely purpose-built by the Forerunner. Obviously to hold/protect the structure built at the center of it, which is definitely Forerunner in origin.

Can't comment on the rest because I'm apparently way further behind on the fiction that I thought I was. Last book I read was Contact Harvest. I should probably get on that.


Evolutions is definitely a must read, and a must own for anyone interested in Halo. The stories in it are fun, and some are important to the future of the fiction.

Since most of what you said is opinion and can't really be commented on either way, I'll just skip to what resonated most with me. You said that another race could have built the ruins on the lake. That leads me to believe that maybe I was misinterpreting something. I thought the new structures were the ones that... well, looked newer, and I assumed that the Forerunners built those structures around older ones which were already there. I get now that my understanding of that whole line was a little off. When she said that the new structures were built around the old, I assumed that the old were the ones that looked older, IE the crumbling granite-like structures. It does make more sense however that the newer ones would be built by a race that came after the Forerunners, since their technology wouldn't have been as good as the Forerunners and their architecture would have decayed faster than the Forerunner metals. Perhaps its the race that built these, then, which consequently unlocked the Flood on Delta Halo, getting consumed by it and leaving their architecture behind?

I'm surprised I didn't think of that sooner, since it seems glaringly obvious now. But thanks for helping me realize that. :)

What I'm really wondering now though is if there was a race on DH after the Forerunners which allowed the Gravemind to be formed there... then how come they didn't have any ships with them which the Gravemind used to spread? Or did he, and they're still out there in space somewhere? I'm sure this race, whatever it is, has a unique story about their time on Delta Halo, or possibly even the destruction of their race at the hands of the Flood. There's lots of possibilities here. Surprised it hasn't been explored more.

This really makes me want to go back and play Delta Halo and look around... Really need a new copy of H2 where more than just multiplayer works...

Edited by Postmortem, 28 August 2010 - 08:24 AM.

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#4 Postmortem

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:41 AM

Just double-checked the quote on wikia: "You know, I think the Forerunners built these new structures around the old, to protect them, to honor them. Pure speculation, mind you. I'd need to make a thorough survey to be sure."
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#5 DangerousDave

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 01:58 PM

It's all a matter of time. We know the precise sequence of a lot of events in the Forerunner saga, but not the lengths of time. The Halos were conceived as final solutions, to be sure, but the amount of time that they waited for fire could have been a long time--long enough for new structures to be built. Or perhaps the old structures were copied from Precursor ruins or something similar. The fact that Installation 05 looks so different from Installation 04 suggests different makers and different timeframes.

#6 UltimateDogg

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 03:12 PM

If we think about the Gravemind, we have to realize first for this line of thinking that it is a single being, not a collection of multiple organisms. Each organism comprises a part of the whole. Due to the nature in which it absorbs its prey, and subsequently their minds and memories, one can assume that its consciousness could represent the sum intellect and wisdom of all the species it's absorbed, correct? So, is the Gravemind's nature part of an overriding instinct, which permeates through all the consciousnesses? Or does the Gravemind itself represent the will of all the absorbed species and individuals in this galaxy and the galaxy it came from? Perhaps it represents those from outside our galaxy more than those inside, since it theoretically already consumed that entire galaxy before moving on to ours. And who knows how many galaxies it's absorbed in the past? Perhaps the Gravemind represents the sum of all the wills of the universe? That last one's a stretch, the universe being as big as it is, but worth throwing out there. In the end, I find all these questions really thought provoking. What if the Gravemind, the creature we've fought tooth and nail to prevent from consuming everything, is ultimately the one creature which could allow us to unlock the secrets of the universe?

The halo encyclopedia is again helpful, but details about this are also mentioned passively during the experiences of keyes in Halo: The Flood. I think its been shown that no, the gravemind is not the minds and memories of all the creatures its absorbed. The long answer is only useful knowledge is kept by the flood, and the rest is destroyed. Memories are not useful unless they are about how to use something usually. When a creature is assimilated into the Flood, its knowledge is transferred directly to the Gravemind, and the remainder of its mind is destroyed. Its not even shown if combat forms have any of their memories preserved.

As for being able to unlock the secrets of the universe, the flood do no research on their own. They dont care about science and manufacturing. They make nothing of their own, only convert it from other species. Without other species that were able to unlock the power of the universe, the flood would be unable to unlock them.
I will absolutely agree however that the flood are the most interesting pieces of the halo lore.

It's all a matter of time. We know the precise sequence of a lot of events in the Forerunner saga, but not the lengths of time. The Halos were conceived as final solutions, to be sure, but the amount of time that they waited for fire could have been a long time--long enough for new structures to be built.

the halo encyclopedia is helpful with this, but does not give super exact times. Still, it gives pretty good approximations
The Mantle adopted (approx.) 150000 BC
First contact with the Flood (approx.) 100300 BC on G617 g1
Forerunners create Mendicant Bias (approx.) 100043 BC
The Librarian finds Earth (approx.) 100043 BC on Earth
Mendicant Bias goes Rampant (approx.) 100000 BC
Halo Array fired (approx.) 100000 BC in Milky Way Galaxy

The encyclopedia does note that the arrays and shield worlds are created AFTER the fist contact with the flood though.

Or perhaps the old structures were copied from Precursor ruins or something similar.

The old ruins could have been copied or transplanted from precursor ruins. Theres no hard reference made to what was found of the precursors, other then "examples" in the halo beastiarium.

here is the relavant text from Halo 2 (already quoted by postmortem):

You know, I think the Forerunners built these new structures around the old, to protect them, to honor them. Pure speculation, mind you. I'd need to make a thorough survey to be sure.


it doesn't say if they were made by them or not. However cortana also mentions this part

This lake couldn't have been created by volcanic action, which means it was either built this way on purpose, or was created by some other cataclysmic event... Sorry, were you trying to kill something?


who knows what the cataclysmic event could be, maybe the war with the flood the first time. Perhaps they rebuilt delta halo after the first firing. Maybe like postmortem said below (which is a very fresh perspective i didnt think of before)

You said that another race could have built the ruins on the lake. That leads me to believe that maybe I was misinterpreting something. I thought the new structures were the ones that... well, looked newer, and I assumed that the Forerunners built those structures around older ones which were already there. I get now that my understanding of that whole line was a little off. When she said that the new structures were built around the old, I assumed that the old were the ones that looked older, IE the crumbling granite-like structures. It does make more sense however that the newer ones would be built by a race that came after the Forerunners, since their technology wouldn't have been as good as the Forerunners and their architecture would have decayed faster than the Forerunner metals. Perhaps its the race that built these, then, which consequently unlocked the Flood on Delta Halo, getting consumed by it and leaving their architecture behind?

I'm surprised I didn't think of that sooner, since it seems glaringly obvious now. But thanks for helping me realize that. :)

What I'm really wondering now though is if there was a race on DH after the Forerunners which allowed the Gravemind to be formed there... then how come they didn't have any ships with them which the Gravemind used to spread? Or did he, and they're still out there in space somewhere? I'm sure this race, whatever it is, has a unique story about their time on Delta Halo, or possibly even the destruction of their race at the hands of the Flood. There's lots of possibilities here. Surprised it hasn't been explored more.


it was another race that came after the first firing and allowed the gravemind to be formed. The fact that he is already formed by the time you land lends some credibility to that idea. However the stuff bungie released prior to the release of cold storage (which you can read here: http://halo.wikia.co...i/Cold_Storage) seems to support that the flood were already well established before the arrival of regrets carrier. Maybe it was both - another race lived there and the flood were released earlier.

The fact that Installation 05 looks so different from Installation 04 suggests different makers and different timeframes.

well each one of them looked different as far as terrain goes. It is unknown if alpha halo had temples similiar to delta halo, maybe we just didnt get to visit them


awesome thread overall and some good discussion!

#7 Postmortem

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 05:51 PM

The long answer is only useful knowledge is kept by the flood, and the rest is destroyed. Memories are not useful unless they are about how to use something usually. When a creature is assimilated into the Flood, its knowledge is transferred directly to the Gravemind, and the remainder of its mind is destroyed.


Quoted from Halo Evolutions: Human Weakness:

"But then I have memories of many poets far beyond your limited human culture."

I think its been shown that no, the gravemind is not the minds and memories of all the creatures its absorbed.


And again:

That's not just an analysis of air composition. I haven't got the right sensors on this station. And... I can really smell it. I shouldn't be able to smell, not like an organic, not this sense of...
Smell.
It was something she'd never experienced before, even though she knew exactly what it was. She could run diagnostic tests on air samples if she had a link to filters and a gas chromatograph. But that just told her what was in the air in stark chemical terms, and that wasn't the same as what she was experiencing now. This was emotional and unfathomable. The smell tugged at memories. It was a flesh-and-blood thing. She felt the world as if she was in another body, and organic body.
"That is from the memory of creatures who lived in this forest," the Gravemind said soothingly. "This is what they sensed. They still exist in me, as will you, and all the organics you serve - and who have abandoned you."


it was another race that came after the first firing and allowed the gravemind to be formed. The fact that he is already formed by the time you land lends some credibility to that idea. However the stuff bungie released prior to the release of cold storage (which you can read here: http://halo.wikia.co...i/Cold_Storage) seems to support that the flood were already well established before the arrival of regrets carrier. Maybe it was both - another race lived there and the flood were released earlier.


I checked out halopedia, and this is what I found, clearly pointing to outside interference:

LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] has experienced a security breach via emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits. Emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits have been placed in recursive mode to contain unauthorized hostile life forms. Request emergency security detail. Still waiting for primary maintenance and security detail. [2512332 hours, 14 minutes, 6 seconds] elapsed since initial request.

As no [outside agent] has accessed [delta site] in the past [874068942 hours, 4 minutes, 46 seconds]—[allowing for a 61360 hour, 54 minute, 2 second margin of error]—sabotage would seem unlikely.

LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits have been accessed by unauthorized parties.


If we factor this data into the known timeline, I wonder if it would give us a large enough margin for ruins to be built around the older Forerunner structures.


Also, another thing which I just thought of while looking at that information from the Forerunner logs... The Flood is designated as LF.Xx.3273. As in, Life Form #3273 (not sure what the Xx means).

Does this mean that the Forerunners had designated 3272 life forms prior to their encounter with the Flood? And does that make us LF.Xx.3274 or something like that? (this would be assuming that they didn't discover any other species during their war with the Flood, which sounds like a bad assumption to me)

That doesn't necessarily mean sentient life forms, but it still gives us an idea of just how vast life in the Halo universe really is...

Edited by Postmortem, 08 September 2010 - 05:54 PM.

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#8 UltimateDogg

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 11:18 AM

Quoted from Halo Evolutions: Human Weakness:

"But then I have memories of many poets far beyond your limited human culture."

And again:

That's not just an analysis of air composition. I haven't got the right sensors on this station. And... I can really smell it. I shouldn't be able to smell, not like an organic, not this sense of...
Smell.
It was something she'd never experienced before, even though she knew exactly what it was. She could run diagnostic tests on air samples if she had a link to filters and a gas chromatograph. But that just told her what was in the air in stark chemical terms, and that wasn't the same as what she was experiencing now. This was emotional and unfathomable. The smell tugged at memories. It was a flesh-and-blood thing. She felt the world as if she was in another body, and organic body.
"That is from the memory of creatures who lived in this forest," the Gravemind said soothingly. "This is what they sensed. They still exist in me, as will you, and all the organics you serve - and who have abandoned you."

i admit to not having read the evolutions book in a deep analytical context yet. You do provide some interesting evidence in support of some memories being retained though. On the other hand, gravemind could be lying (as he has been known to do). Still, the flood lacks the fine motor controls required to do many things, so id say even if you got all the memories, would you be able to use all the knowledge?


I checked out halopedia, and this is what I found, clearly pointing to outside interference:

LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] has experienced a security breach via emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits. Emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits have been placed in recursive mode to contain unauthorized hostile life forms. Request emergency security detail. Still waiting for primary maintenance and security detail. [2512332 hours, 14 minutes, 6 seconds] elapsed since initial request.

As no [outside agent] has accessed [delta site] in the past [874068942 hours, 4 minutes, 46 seconds]?[allowing for a 61360 hour, 54 minute, 2 second margin of error]?sabotage would seem unlikely.

LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits have been accessed by unauthorized parties.


If we factor this data into the known timeline, I wonder if it would give us a large enough margin for ruins to be built around the older Forerunner structures.


here is the whole thing in proper order. Each event generates 1 report and 1 log. This all relates to cold storage.


"REPORT: CONTAINMENT FAILURE
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] has experienced catastrophic specimen containment failure. All apertures into facility will be locked until further notice. Atmosphere evacuation and [reduction of ambient temperature] protocols have already been enacted. Request maintenance and security detail [at earliest opportunity]. [8 minutes] elapsed since initial containment failure.

LOG: QUERIED ADJACENT FACILITIES
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility [alpha, beta, gamma, epsilon, zeta, and kappa sites] have all replied [systems normal] within expected constraints. This would tend to signify that the containment failure was purely mechanical in nature; perhaps a manufacturing flaw. As no [outside agent] has accessed [delta site] in the past [874068942 hours, 4 minutes, 46 seconds]?[allowing for a 61360 hour, 54 minute, 2 second margin of error]?sabotage would seem unlikely.

its been 99779.5 years (give or take 7 years) since anyone ever set foot on delta halo, so this was very long after the end of the Flood-Forerunner war. The place is sealed off and the room frozen (it is cold storage after all :) )


REPORT: CONTAINMENT FAILURE
Waiting for maintenance and security detail. [32 minutes, 9 seconds] elapsed since request.

LOG: REQUEST UNANSWERED
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] is currently being held at [.01 atm] / [184K]. Local maintenance and security hubs have failed to reply within expected constraints. [Bumping maintenance and security request up] to [quadrant oversight].

-128.47 degrees Fahrenheit is pretty cold.


REPORT: CONTAINMENT FAILURE
Still waiting for maintenance and security detail. [24 hours] elapsed since request.

LOG: REQUEST UNANSWERED
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] is currently being held at [1 atm] / [278K] as atmospheric seals were showing signs of stress. [Quadrant oversight] has failed to reply within expected constraints. [Bumping maintenance and security request all the way up] to 2401 [PENITENT TANGENT].


REPORT: SECURITY BREACH
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] has experienced a security breach via emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits. Emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits have been placed in recursive mode to contain unauthorized hostile life forms. Request emergency security detail. Still waiting for primary maintenance and security detail. [2512332 hours, 14 minutes, 6 seconds] elapsed since initial request.

LOG: UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO FACILITIES
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits have been accessed by unauthorized parties.

286.75 years since the orginal error, and 100,066 years since the flood forerunner war. Since this is cold storage, emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits to me means the transport system on the halos (like the ones used by 343 guilty spark and 2401 pentinant tangent) or perhaps even the teleporters in cold storage (which may be the same technology as the ones the monitors use). Its worth noting that recursive mode implies that they go to themselves, and indeed in cold storage all the telporters go to other places on the level :D

REPORT: DERELICTION OF DUTY
2401 Penitent Tangent has been lax in the areas of maintenance and security."

LOG: FILED COMPLAINT TO INSTALLATION 00
2401 [PENITENT TANGENT], monitor of Installation 05, has been lax in the areas of maintenance and security. Requests for aid in said areas have gone unanswered by both 2401 and [subservient] systems well beyond expected constraints.


over all this seems to give the flood about 500 years since they escaped cold storage to have established something on delta halo. This becomes plausible even more so when you conisder the fact that another race may have been on the halo before they escaped.

Also, another thing which I just thought of while looking at that information from the Forerunner logs... The Flood is designated as LF.Xx.3273. As in, Life Form #3273 (not sure what the Xx means).

Does this mean that the Forerunners had designated 3272 life forms prior to their encounter with the Flood? And does that make us LF.Xx.3274 or something like that? (this would be assuming that they didn't discover any other species during their war with the Flood, which sounds like a bad assumption to me)

That doesn't necessarily mean sentient life forms, but it still gives us an idea of just how vast life in the Halo universe really is...

an interesting thought, and I think it helps to show you how much work the forerunners would have had to have done when they fired the halos. I don't think its non sentient species though, since there are hundreds of thousands of species on earth alone, I doubt that they only found 3273 :D

#9 Postmortem

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 03:03 PM

On the other hand, gravemind could be lying (as he has been known to do).


I think that, really, is the heart of the problem. Ultimately, it could go either way. He could be lying about everything, or he could be telling the truth and his horrible nature tends to make up our minds for us anyway. The BIGGEST question that needs to be answered if we want to understand the Gravemind and the Flood, is if it's lying or telling the truth. But how would we go about answering this question? That's part of the problem, because every other bit of data you bring up to support one side could be completely relative and also support the other.

I think it's important to answer, but I'm not sure how the hell we're supposed to do that.

over all this seems to give the flood about 500 years since they escaped cold storage to have established something on delta halo. This becomes plausible even more so when you conisder the fact that another race may have been on the halo before they escaped.


Now I just want to know the story of this race, who they were, and what happened to cause them to unleash the Flood. Maybe the steps they had to take to neutralize their space faring capabilities to leave the Flood on the ring. It would make an interesting story.

an interesting thought, and I think it helps to show you how much work the forerunners would have had to have done when they fired the halos. I don't think its non sentient species though, since there are hundreds of thousands of species on earth alone, I doubt that they only found 3273 :D


That was my original thought, but then I realized that if there were truly that many sentient life forms in the galaxy we would have to have run into a few more by this point. The Covenant encountered species faster than we did in their history, so does this maybe mean that we have somehow been sheltered? Or perhaps there's another meaning to this. Perhaps it's not just sentient species, and there's another prerequisite to be included in the Forerunner's list of life forms. I don't know. Lots of possibilities here...
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#10 UltimateDogg

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 05:20 PM

I think that, really, is the heart of the problem. Ultimately, it could go either way. He could be lying about everything, or he could be telling the truth and his horrible nature tends to make up our minds for us anyway. The BIGGEST question that needs to be answered if we want to understand the Gravemind and the Flood, is if it's lying or telling the truth. But how would we go about answering this question? That's part of the problem, because every other bit of data you bring up to support one side could be completely relative and also support the other.

I think it's important to answer, but I'm not sure how the hell we're supposed to do that.

I agree, bungie confirmation is probably the only way youd get it.

Now I just want to know the story of this race, who they were, and what happened to cause them to unleash the Flood. Maybe the steps they had to take to neutralize their space faring capabilities to leave the Flood on the ring. It would make an interesting story.

yeah, suprised they havent expanded on it, it sounds like it has the making of a good book or comic.

That was my original thought, but then I realized that if there were truly that many sentient life forms in the galaxy we would have to have run into a few more by this point. The Covenant encountered species faster than we did in their history, so does this maybe mean that we have somehow been sheltered? Or perhaps there's another meaning to this. Perhaps it's not just sentient species, and there's another prerequisite to be included in the Forerunner's list of life forms. I don't know. Lots of possibilities here...

hopefully the books set 100000 yerars ago will shed some light on that

#11 Postmortem

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 05:51 PM

yeah, suprised they havent expanded on it, it sounds like it has the making of a good book or comic.

Game?

Part of what I'm looking forward to in the future is some more Halo games which stray from the tradition we've had set in stone by Bungie. When 343 starts announcing their games, I'll be more than happy if it's a complete change from the formula we've come to love, because new and creative ideas in the Halo universe are ultimately what's going to keep it going, not repetition of the same stuff until we get completely sick of it. :P

Edit: No disrespect.

Edited by Postmortem, 09 September 2010 - 06:05 PM.

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#12 UltimateDogg

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 07:05 PM

Game?

Part of what I'm looking forward to in the future is some more Halo games which stray from the tradition we've had set in stone by Bungie. When 343 starts announcing their games, I'll be more than happy if it's a complete change from the formula we've come to love, because new and creative ideas in the Halo universe are ultimately what's going to keep it going, not repetition of the same stuff until we get completely sick of it. :P

Edit: No disrespect.

not so sure i trust Microsoft. The stuff we have seen helmed by them (halo wars, halo legends) has been alright, but not the level of other stuff. 343 industries is good, there stuff has been nice, but they dont usually do the full games

#13 Postmortem

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 07:52 PM

not so sure i trust Microsoft. The stuff we have seen helmed by them (halo wars, halo legends) has been alright, but not the level of other stuff. 343 industries is good, there stuff has been nice, but they dont usually do the full games


I'm withholding judgement until there's something to judge, I guess.
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#14 UltimateDogg

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 08:14 PM

I'm withholding judgement until there's something to judge, I guess.

fair enough :D

#15 Postmortem

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 12:01 PM

I was thinking about the different Forerunner architectural materials (metal and stone), and I had an idea. What if some of the Forerunner actually survived the Halo event long enough to built a temporary society with their now limited understanding of the past Forerunner's achievements? A post-apocalyptic style Forerunner civilization, if you will. Which would explain why the Forerunners built these new structures around the old ones, and why the technology wasn't good enough to sustain them, and why they're already crumbling and falling apart, while the older architecture remains. Just an idea. It would only hold true if we find out that some Forerunner did actually survive somehow... perhaps through the shield worlds or being on the Halo or the Ark when it was fired.
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#16 DangerousDave

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 08:41 PM

I agree, bungie confirmation is probably the only way youd get it.


yeah, suprised they havent expanded on it, it sounds like it has the making of a good book or comic.


hopefully the books set 100000 yerars ago will shed some light on that



I was thinking about the different Forerunner architectural materials (metal and stone), and I had an idea. What if some of the Forerunner actually survived the Halo event long enough to built a temporary society with their now limited understanding of the past Forerunner's achievements? A post-apocalyptic style Forerunner civilization, if you will. Which would explain why the Forerunners built these new structures around the old ones, and why the technology wasn't good enough to sustain them, and why they're already crumbling and falling apart, while the older architecture remains.

Just an idea. It would only hold true if we find out that some Forerunner did actually survive somehow... perhaps through the shield worlds or being on the Halo or the Ark when it was fired.


I think I like the idea of another race, because A) it seems like more interesting storytelling, and B) I want there to be other aliens besides us and the Covenant out there.

I think a really interesting Evolutions-like story would be a race deciding to settle on Delta halo, building these structures and slowly getting an understanding of their technology--then the Flood appear, and in part because they've made Halo their home, as well as recognizing that the Flood can't be allowed off they destroy their means of escape and decide to fight to the end.

#17 Postmortem

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:37 PM

I think I like the idea of another race, because A) it seems like more interesting storytelling, and B) I want there to be other aliens besides us and the Covenant out there.

I think a really interesting Evolutions-like story would be a race deciding to settle on Delta halo, building these structures and slowly getting an understanding of their technology--then the Flood appear, and in part because they've made Halo their home, as well as recognizing that the Flood can't be allowed off they destroy their means of escape and decide to fight to the end.


I could lean either way really. A post-apocalyptic Forerunner society would have a lot of cool moral implications behind their story, while another race would be interesting to learn about and would be another drama to tell. Another race makes the most sense however, what with the Flood being unleashed.
I hope some of the 343 team is keeping an eye on this... ;)

Edited by Postmortem, 06 October 2010 - 09:37 PM.

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#18 UltimateDogg

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 01:00 PM

I could lean either way really. A post-apocalyptic Forerunner society would have a lot of cool moral implications behind their story, while another race would be interesting to learn about and would be another drama to tell. Another race makes the most sense however, what with the Flood being unleashed.
I hope some of the 343 team is keeping an eye on this... ;)

i know they just announced the first of the forerunner books is coming out in 2011, so who knows what those will shed some light on.


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