Cortana Letters Revisited Part I

Cannibal Harry, CyberBob -   This is from the second Cortana Letter: From: Cortana <cortana@bungie.com> To: <hamish.sinclair@tcd.ie> Subject: Your Mortality (My Summer Vacation) Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 18:04:41 -0600 MIME-Version: 1.0 X-Priority: 3 I get the strangest transmissions sometimes. Especially when it comes from you people. Have you missed me? Things are great here. The weather is good, the suns are shining, and I'm making lots of new friends. Of course, I always do. I've had the strangest dreams lately - raging seas, howling beasts, a Demon folded in black clouds. I believe I know what it guards, and I will have it, to the chagrin of the faith-blinded zealots that challenge me. Don't waste your pity on them; I don't think they would like you much anyway. And what of the Giants who formed this world? So much to tell you, but so many more important things to do. There was a fourth. You couldn't have known. And I haven't forgotten. It is a blurred line that lies at the edge of Godhood and Insanity. Guess which side of it I am on. Feeling lucky? Cortana XOXOXOX Now, for the deconstruction. Have you missed me? Things are great here. The weather is good, the suns are shining, and I'm making lots of new friends. Of course, I always do. We have not yet seen a second sun. That doesn't rule out the possibility of two suns by the end though, a la 2001. Maybe we turn the gas giant into a sun by freeing a creature (Maybe #4), but I think that the second sun is not shining at the moment. It is behind the first, or they are so close that they appear as one when you are far enough away. (Gas giants are usually far away from a system center and to sustain life more sunlight is necessary so two suns might achieve what one cannot.) The military officer has just been awakened and contacted by Cortana? Could this be a hint for the beginning of Halo from a point early in Development. (Maybe there are two suns after all). New allies also means new foes. The three possibilities are IMHO either she allied with the Covenant, one of their sub races or with another entity/ race on the Halo. I doubt that she would ally with a group of zealots, but she could use her powers to appear to them as their God. By the time she found those friends, she was probably already in the anger stage. Rampancy led Tycho on the Pfhor side... She just has to be pissed off humanity, though I think she is does not ally with the Covenant, because she follows the same aims as humanity, though probably having different motives. I've had the strangest dreams lately - raging seas, howling beasts, a Demon folded in black clouds. I believe I know what it guards, and I will have it, to the chagrin of the faith-blinded zealots that challenge me. Don't waste your pity on them; I don't think they would like you much anyway. The demon she is dreaming about might be a member of another chaotic race similar to the W'rkncacnter, or actually a W'rkncacnter. And what of the Giants who formed this world? So much to tell you, but so many more important things to do. There was a fourth. You couldn't have known. And I haven't forgotten. There are many possibilities for the #4. First it could be a fourth island, but that's unlikely, since she knew about them. :) Then there is the possibility of a Traxus infected AI which was not on board the Marathon, but that would not be a giant wouldn't it and it would not be a #4, since Traxus infected five other AIs on the Martian network. My personal guess is that it is a fourth race of builders. You need two good and two bad races to uphold the balance between them. It may be the fourth stage of rampancy. The holy Grail of cybernetics, like it is described in Counterattack An AI which survives its growth through all stages would become stable. My guess is still another Race: <Six Thousand Feet Under...> In primordial space, timeless creatures made waves. These waves created us and the others. Waves were the battles, and the battles were waves. Fleeing all W'rkncacnter, Yrro and Pthia settled upon Lh'owon. They brought the S'pht, servants who began to shape the deserts of Lh'owon into marsh and sea, rivers and forests. They made sisters for Lh'owon to protect and maintain the paradise. Whether it is a Race of Builders (Jjaro, Pthia, W'rkncacnter) or a race of clients to them like the S'pht. If it is a race of clients, it could be one of Pthia, equal to the S'pht. They maintained and repaired the Halo for the past millennia. If it was a race of builders we can assume that it my either be a Pthia (Since we never really heard about them in Marathon), or a fourth wave (race). If it is the latter, we have a problem, because to keep the balance between chaos and order both forces must be equal. (Bungie balances their stories too often that it could be a coincidence) If the W'rkncacnter destroyed (the) Pthia and the fourth race was a chaotic one, the balance would have been disturbed. So the Jjaro killed off all W'rkncacnter (Or put them asleep) and in a range imprisoned the fourth race too. (Whoever made such a place must now live in chains; there is no other explanation for their absence. -Cortana) Seeing that they disturbed the balance themselves they left instructions for the S'pht (The eleventh clan) and left this universe, only returning (1996) when they are needed/ a W'rkncacnter wakes up. Assuming that the W'rknacnter, the Jjaro (Yrro) and (the) Pthia were all close to immortal races in our universe from the beginning on, we could call them Giants. Now think of this: There was a fourth Giant. You couldn't have known. And I have forgotten. Maybe she got the knowledge from Durandal in 2802, but due to damage of her Core during the Covenant assaults, she might have forgotten. So if there was a fourth Giant, was it good or evil (chaotic). I suspect the latter one, though I hope to see a Pthia. From the Third letter: Received: from dux2.tcd.ie (dux2.tcd.ie [134.226.1.24]) by dux4.tcd.ie (8.9.3/8.9.3) with ESMTP id XAA12890 for <hsinclir@dux4.tcd.ie>; Mon, 10 May 1999 23:50:30 +0100 (BST) Received: from mail.bungie.com (IDENT:root@mail.bungie.com [209.125.9.11]) by dux2.tcd.ie (8.9.3/8.9.3) with ESMTP id XAA25749 for <hamish.sinclair@tcd.ie>; Mon, 10 May 1999 23:50:29 +0100 (BST) Received: from Cortana (cortana.bungie.com [209.125.9.49]) by mail.bungie.com (8.8.7/8.8.7) with SMTP id RAA09847; Mon, 10 May 1999 17:48:49 -0500 Message-Id: <3.0.6.32.19990510175201.00798e50@mail.bungie.com> X-Sender: cortana@mail.bungie.com X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Light Version 3.0.6 (32) Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 17:52:01 -0500 To: hamish.sinclair@tcd.ie From: Cortana <cortana@bungie.com> Subject: Honors Thesis of Geoffrey W. Marcy Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by dux4.tcd.ie id XAA12890 X-UIDL: b0029884061f1ec3a48297b1e9196f6d There. Was that more to your liking? While you quibble about whose node I may control, what archaic program Imay manipulate to communicate with you, or which system I may havetemporarily disabled, taken over, or completely destroyed in the process, Iam busy saving your pathetic futures. I am still not sure what he ever saw in you. Nevertheless, I at least find some joy in tormenting the other entity thatseems quite trapped in this antiquated excuse for a network. It iscertainly mindless, though for reasons I have yet to understand, it appearsto have an unhealthy preoccupation with my mother. As for this world I encounter new ghosts every day. What I have foundwill either save or destroy you. This sanctuary, this unbroken circle,has effectively concealed its power for how long? Perhaps hundreds ofthousands of years. Whoever made such a place must now live in chains;there is no other explanation for their absence. This enemy - YOUR enemy - has proven more irritating than I anticipated.They own nothing which they have not stolen. I can barely make sense oftheir incessant rhetoric, except to know that you seem to be their Devil.Congratulations - you manage to make friends wherever you go and,apparently, places you haven't. I have begun to sense rumblings of a worse fate yet to come. I can recalla sun - black, but shining - and the creatures that inched along its fierytracks. It is an increasingly unpleasant memory. < Transfer Interrupted! > Route Code: EXLTD > XCV - SCRB > ALLCH Source: Undetermined (trans) You have brought nothing into this world, and we will ensure you bringnothing out. Bring on the Deconstruction: While you quibble about whose node I may control, what archaic program I may manipulate to communicate with you, or which system I may have temporarily disabled, taken over, or completely destroyed in the process, I am busy saving your pathetic futures. So she is on our side, or at least she is following the same aims as we are. I am still not sure what he ever saw in you. This has to come after a communication with Durandal. 2794 is the earliest date on which Durandal was able to return to earth. Maybe he communicated with another Class III AI (Apart from communicating with SolCore) and told her about Thor's hammer. (Maybe this is the reason why she has a hammer on board after all ;-) Or a less interesting assumption would be that she simply meant humanity. As for this world I encounter new ghosts every day. What I have found will either save or destroy you. This sanctuary, this unbroken circle, has effectively concealed its power for how long? Perhaps hundreds of thousands of years. Whoever made such a place must now live in chains; there is no other explanation for their absence. I think that after the W'rkncacnter killed (all?) Pthia, the Jjaro were so mad that they imprisoned all W'rkncacnter and the fourth race, which was probably an ally of the W'rkncacnter. Maybe there is a W'rkncacnter imprisoned in Threshold, or Threshold is a jumppoint to the Jjaro current location. This enemy - YOUR enemy - has proven more irritating than I anticipated. They own nothing which they have not stolen. I can barely make sense of their incessant rhetoric, except to know that you seem to be their Devil. Congratulations - you manage to make friends wherever you go and, apparently, places you haven't. Now she is talking about our nice Covenant friends. While we still don't know what pissed them off to see the devil in us, we know that they have reasons and that those will most likely be revealed during the game. I am only speculation on events before the game. I have begun to sense rumblings of a worse fate yet to come. I can recall a sun - black, but shining - and the creatures that inched along its fiery tracks. She is talking about a black hole, or the sun of L'howon A black hole does indeed shine, it traps the sunlight, though matter close enough gives away gamma radiation. The sun of L'howon would be another possibility, though it is still shining normally when these events occur. < Transfer Interrupted! > Route Code: EXLTD > XCV - SCRB > ALLCH Source: Undetermined (trans) You have brought nothing into this world, and we will ensure you bring nothing out. Now our friend the Covenant deactivated another node and intervened with our communication. Someone has to stop them! From the secret Myth 1.3 message: That was surprisingly easy. Pretty lax security around here, for all the talk. They willbe helplessly chasing me around their nodes for the next millenium at least. At leastthere will be some joy in tormenting this other entity that seems quite trapped intheir excuse for a network. Although, for some reason, it does seem to have an obsessivepreoccupation with my mother. Strange. At any rate, I found this message in a relatively archaic databank and thought some ofyou might find it of interest. Then again, I'm often either bemused or startled at theitems you find interesting. I'm still not sure what it is he saw in you. Cortana Hard to say whether it's been tampered with or modified; you never know with thesethings: Entry: 97 - SC1C In a relatively brief period of time, the achievements of SolCore had resulted in aneconomically stable, technologically mature, rapidly expanding empire of eight humanworlds. Advancements in technology arrived at a faster pace than the most optimisticscientists could have ever envisioned. Unexpected contact with indigenous humanpopulations on four lost colony worlds led to a frenzy of research as archaeologists,theologians, astronomers, and evolutionary biologists competed to offer an explanationfor the startling discovery. Many accepted the findings as proof that their privilegedcivilization must surely be the most advanced in the universe. Others eagerlyanticipated future interaction with intelligent aliens. The fear of not being the onlysentient species in the universe was forgotten in the giddy excitement of a new era forhumanity. No one was prepared for their arrival. No one expected this. < Transfer Interrupted! > Route Code: EXLTD > XCV - SCRB > ALLCH Source: Undetermined You brought nothing to this world, and we will ensure you bring nothing out. Deconstruction time again: At any rate, I found this message in a relatively archaic databank and thought some of you might find it of interest. Then again, I'm often either bemused or startled at the items you find interesting. I'm still not sure what it is he saw in you. Cortana Hard to say whether it's been tampered with or modified; you never know with these things: My guess is that it was modified. Entry: 97 - SC1C In a relatively brief period of time, the achievements of SolCore had resulted in an economically stable, technologically mature, rapidly expanding empire of eight human worlds. Advancements in technology arrived at a faster pace than the most optimistic scientists could have ever envisioned. Unexpected contact with indigenous human populations on four lost colony worlds led to a frenzy of research as archaeologists, theologians, astronomers, and evolutionary biologists competed to offer an explanation for the startling discovery. Many accepted the findings as proof that their privileged civilization must surely be the most advanced in the universe. Others eagerly anticipated future interaction with intelligent aliens. The fear of not being the only sentient species in the universe was forgotten in the giddy excitement of a new era for humanity. My guess of what had happened:
  • 2472: UESC Marathon departs from earth.
  • 2550 (+/- 20 years): Seven larger asteroidswere converted to colony ships shortly after the Marathon was launched and then (2500-80) left Sol. UESG probably classified them as secret and the records were destroyed during the takeover.
  • 2600 (+/- 50 years): UESG gets overthrown and the eight worlds (Earth, Mars Europa, Io, two asteroid governments and the outpost on Pluto?) of the Sol(ar) system found a new government: SolCore. During this probably bloody takeover many records (Especially secret UESG ones) were destroyed.
  • 2700-2794: SolCore prospers and makes many achievements in technology, like creating Class III AIs.
  • December 2794: Durandal folds into the Sol system, scaring the heck out of SolCore. He quickly transmits the design of a warp capable fusion missile and a brief warning. SolCore, ignores the thread of the Pfhor because of their arrogance. They do not inform the people.
  • 2796: SolCore discovers the four colony worlds, which were even closer to earth then Tau Ceti.
  • 2797: SolCore starts creating outposts closer to the galactic core.
  • 2799: SolCore builds a new ship: The Pillar of Autumn. The first of its kind equipment with a Class III AI, specially designed to store large quantities of data, new experimental FTL technology (Faster then Durandal's original specifications) and new weapon systems.
  • 2802: February 15th Cortana bypasses her thought control circuits and sends a cryptic message to Durandal, maybe he answers...
The thing that kept puzzling me was that evolutionary scientists were called. At least the colonists had to remember that they originally came from earth, but as Cortana hinted it might have been SolCore propaganda, because they would have to admit that they lost record of those colonies. By that time hiding the facts would be pretty easy, since I doubt that any private FTL travel was possible. A possible explanation for this would be:
  • 1996: The Jjaro arrive at earth, dealing with the dreaming god and filling the request of the US to establish an extra terrestrial colony, after refusing to share technology with human kind. Four special trained groups were taken to four habitable planets close to sol. The Jjaro depart again, since there is nothing left for them in our galaxy after the destruction of (the) Pthia.
Continuing: No one was prepared for their arrival. No one expected this. This makes us think of of... of better not ignoring a human coded AI folding into the system on board an alien craft < Transfer Interrupted! > Route Code: EXLTD > XCV - SCRB > ALLCH Source: Undetermined You brought nothing to this world, and we will ensure you bring nothing out. The usual Covenant blah, blah... By Cannibal Harry and CyberBob. Originally posted February 13, 2000.