Bzzt - via Halo.Bungie.org
Beginning March 9th, mysterious postings at the HBO forums by a user named ISitInA (firstname.lastname@example.org) paved the way for a complex mystery narrative that unfolded for interested community - A fan-made story set in the Halo universe in the 27th century. Below is the summary posted by its creator "Dagoonite" to the ARGs.Bungie.org forum
- Discussion (and interaction) archived at args.bungie.org
- After a mysterious explosion, the Captain of the UNSC Theseus (a military repair, construction and relief ship) is left with one clue: an unusual service number for an Orion IV. His inquiries hit a brick wall until an informant within the Office of Naval Intelligence begins leaking him information about the Orion in question. (F484) Unfortunately, the informant can only release the information slowly.
- During this time, construction on an unmanned observation station continues slowly. This construction is hampered by odd events aboard the station and the ship itself and the effect these events have on the crew. One particular crew member is affected badly by these events, reminding him of previous trauma. This becomes further complicated by a romantic relationship he forms with another sailor and the addition of an ONI AI to the crew.
- As things continue to degrade, the Captain attempts to keep the crew in check and from falling to hysterics or outright mutiny. In time, it comes to light that F484 ended the Human-Covenant war even as his body and mind were failing him, with the assistance of a Forerunner AI created from the mind of a Insurrectionist. At the same time that the Captain learns this, construction on the station is completed.
- As the Captain's mission is wrapping up, it is revealed that the informant was acting under orders; not only is there a strong possibility that F484 is still alive, but that he might have been either directly or indirectly responsible for the incidents aboard the station and ship. It is also revealed that the informant is F484's mother, and that select members of the crew were secretly agents of ONI; all of this was planned out well in advance to learn what F484's intentions were in relation to humanity.
- As the informant goes missing from her stealth Prowler in the system, the ONI agents attempt to seize control of the ship. Their actions are stopped by the ONI AI, who had gained a great deal of respect towards the Captain due to their interactions. Though shaken by the events, the crew were able to make their way home without incident.
- The UNSC Theseus arrives in the system
- Crew are defrosted and begin construction of the station
- There is an explosion in cargo hold 28-B
- PFC Daniel Gallegos and CPL Randall Teboe (one Marines and one Army, respectively) are defrosted due to being the most highly qualified people to investigate thanks to their EOD training having been put into practice in the past. They find no bodies or blood despite two crewmen having been in the immediate area of the blast. They do, however, find a data pad with information on F484 burned into it. They present the Captain with this information.
- The Captain sends a request for information on F484 from HIGHCOM.
- The Captain does not sleep well due to this being the first time he's lost crewmen.
- The Captain receives a response from HIGHCOM. They have denied all information on F484 due to it being highly classified.
- The ARG begins
- Chair sends a message to the Captain, detailing F484's recruitment and promising more information later.
- The Captain begins his own investigation. Some of his questions are flagged by Hive, the ship's computer.
- Hive expresses his worries about the Captain's lack of sleep.
- It is revealed that the Human-Covenant war ended on 4/13/2569.
- An airlock doesn't cycle properly, killing one crewman, PFC Worth, who was defrosted to help with the construction due to his ability to work with Naval personnel and his EVA training.
- Chair sends her sympathy for the loss of a crewman.
- Hive is forced into a self-scan and examination of all crew by anti-insurrectionist protocols. This is expected to delay construction efforts.
- Chair sends a list of the augmentations that Orion IVs were set to receive after their recruitment.
- Hive informs the Captain that morale is low, and various crewmen are trying to boost it. Of note is Crewman David Raschad, who is holding up "better than expected."
- Hive notes that the Captain had a nightcap and expresses concern over it.
- Some of the Captains questions are flagged as unusual.
- CN Raschad relieves some pressure from Hive by showing others how to perform their duties without an AI.
- Hive reveals that he is a Class C AI, created from the remains of a Smart AI. Scanning of "legacy code" makes him experience physical pain for the first time in his "life." He also reveals that a "great deal" of said legacy code is devoted to pain.
- It is revealed that Raschad's records have been sealed by the Captain's orders, requiring two members of senior staff to authorize each viewing of the records.
- Hive asks that the Captain switches to decaf.
- Hive passes a log of a conversation between Raschad and PO3 Samantha Wolfe, detailing how equipment was left out aboard the weightless space station.
- Chair identifies that a bug was uploaded to the ship's systems by ONI and has it removed.
- Chair also passes along that many of the Orion-IV recruits weren't considered attractive by at least one of the staff involved with the program. (Who also notes that the "shrinks" set up equipment that gives them the chills.) ONI agents monitoring the personal logs chide the staff member, noting that while the staff member might be a problem, they passed some sort of test.
- Chair sends the wrong file, detailing a conversaion between F484 and "Myung" about him going "404" (wandering off on a mission) and discovering a cache of shiva warheads in the hands of Insurrectionists.
- Commander Eva McAllister, the XO of the ship, won't authorize access to Raschad's files.
- McAllister chews out two crew members who left their post on the station because they saw a "two-dimensional man" wearing Kavacha armor. She sends them to medical for a "full exam."
- It is revealed that Kavacha Powered Personal Battle Armor was used by Orions.
- Hive's messages continue to have difficulty due to his self-scan.
- Chair apologizes for sending the wrong file.
- Chair explains a bit about the nature of Orions.
- Chair chastizes the Captain for asking Hive about classified matters, and complains about spilling her coffee.
- It is revealed that CN White and CN Sakaguchi were the ones in the cargo bay during the explosion. There were assigned to manually go over the cargo after a fight over the affections of Crewman's Assistant Kevin Bowman. CA Bowman has been going to grief counciling since the explosion.
- XO McAllister was assigned the task of defrosting more personnel to help with station construction.
- It is revealed that McAllister was offered an ONI position and turned it down.
- Chair sends a log concerning F484's training.
- Chair also claims ignorance of the odd messages encrypted inside of many of her messages.
- Probes released by the Theseus to investigate an odd spatial anomaly show evidence of image tampering. However, no connections to crew members are detected.
- Chair reveals that she was around before the Human-Covenant war, and that she has done things for ONI that she "isn't proud of." She views helping the Captain as easing her own gulty conscience.
- It is revealed that Randall Teboe's father had dealings with an Orion V.
- Hive explains that his sensors went down shortly before each incident in the vicinity of the incident due to an EM anomaly.
- Raschad suggests a boxing match be held to boost morale. XO McAllister would fight Wolfe, despite the odds being completely against McAllister. The Captain approves, placing a bet on Raschad.
- Hive completes his self-scan, finding the remains of the ONI-placed bug that Chair destroyed.
- The star and the single planet in the system begin to get full scans.
- There is an EM anomaly in Cryo Bay 3. Security reports to the Cryo Bay, but it's revealed that the only oddity are some crude drawings in the ice inside individual cryo-chambers.
- The boxing matches start. Raschad throws his fight without even throwing a single punch by feigning a TKO. McAllister and Wolfe's fight results in some destroyed clothing, but with nothing "indecent" being revealed.
- Raschad sees Lt (Dr.) Muldoon, the ship's chief psychologist. It's revealed that Raschad has PTSD bad enough to make him plot a violent escape from everywhere he is. Despite this, Muldoon believes that Raschad is "well-adjusted for what he went through."
- Chair sends a message describing a method of boosting the brain's learning capacity used by the Orion IVs. They were able to slow time to a crawl in this state (to the point where they could see individual frames of movies), though it had some side effects.
- Raschad reveals that Hive is checked out every time they go into port because of Raschad's assignment to the Theseus.
- The crew continue gossiping.
- Chair sends communications between two doctors in the Orion IV program, discussing sudden changes in the medical procedures that they performed. One doctor voices concerns, and the other tries to talk them down.
- Hive reports that he briefly spotted a Prowler, and that the star is going to undergo a massive mass coronal ejection.
- Hive reveals that he's been in service for 36 years, as long as the Theseus itself. He also reminisces about Captain Sinclair, the previous captain of the Theseus. The Captain agrees to have a drink with Hive when he left the Theseus.
- There was an EM anomaly that affected ship's gravity in a localized area, disrupting a conversation between two roleplayers.
- Chair reveals that the Orion IVs had all identifying marks removed upon graduation from training.
- Chair reveals that F484 had a relationship with another Orion IV, and that they were sterilized due to the heavy augmentations they'd received and how they might affect any children that Orions had.
- A plan is put into motion to prepare the Theseus and the station to hide within the magnetosphere of the planet for the duration of the mass coronal ejection. During this time, the crew will occupy the deepest decks and will be treated with a day off to watch movies and enjoy themselves.
- Jarvis (a Marine) asks Raschad for help with flirting with Wolfe.
- Wolfe asks Jarvis' help in moving cargo. She's amused when Jarvis gives a witty comment. That amusement turns to anger when Jarvis lets it slip that Raschad thought that it would be a good way for him to flirt with her.
- Chair let's the captain know that he'll soon be getting another AI. Included in the message is an attachment detailing the end of a project Feral, an experiment in the Orion IV program that ended in one of the Orions had become "animalistic" and needed to be put down.
- Chair reveals that Christmas was a special time for Orions to gather and talk amongst themselves, and give presents to each other. Attached was a message that instructed a captain of a ship that F484 was traveling on to assist with F484's interactions with the crew.
- Hive could not find anybody aboard the ship that matched F484's stated behavioral patterns.
- Preparations for the mass coronal ejection were nearly complete, including a list of movies starring Carlyle Johnson.
- Chair revealed to the Captain that the Orion that F484 became romantically involved with had died, and that an Orion II broke the news to F484. The resulting boxing match left the Orion II wounded, but seemed to help F484.
- The crew of the Theseus assumed positions below decks as the CME hit the Theseus.
- McAllister gave Raschad a flask of alcohol and had him interact with select crew members, giving them a drink.
- Raschad confessed his history to Wolfe, though with some alterations to the story. Wolfe expressed a degree of sexual interest in Raschad before leaving. Raschad indicates to McAllister that he will make another "confession" to other crew members (Including Ives) before taking Wolfe up on her offer.
- The ship and station survived the coronal mass ejection with minimal radiation. Morale was significantly boosted by the officers making pizza for the crew and the movies.
- Chair discusses the differences between the behavior of Orion IVs and normal soldiers. Attached is an advisory that the UNSC pick up the Kavacha armor line for the Orion program due to its usefulness. (The Kavacha program being an analogue of the Mjolnir program.)
- A Prowler appears in the system with orders to dock. They carry replacement parts for those lost in the explosion and a supplementary Smart AI for the Theseus. As soon as the transfer of supplies and the AI are complete, the ship leaves.
- The game moves to the ARG forum.
- Chair claims that she was on the Prowler that docked with the Theseus, and was displeased that she didn't get to meet the Captain. She goes on to discuss the Orion IV's method of "hyper-learning," or cramming. An attachment discusses an incident involved with this that F484 was involved in.
- Jarvis discovers that Raschad slept with Wolfe, much to his chagrin.
- Helen, an ONI Smart AI is installed on the Theseus. She and the Captain do not get along very well at all due to her nature, but she maintains a pleasant presence amongst the crew.
- Chair sends an apology for Helen's behavior.
- Chair sends a message discussing the field testing of Kavacha armor, which also discusses that the Covenant were after Forerunner technology, and how the UNSC put a priority on securing these artifacts. A small note is included to say that some suits of Kavacha went missing.
- In a follow up message, Chair encodes a warning to the Captain not to trust Helen. Helen, of course, catches this instantly and berates Chair for it. She also has clipped out the message headers, though at the Captain's insistence, she stops this behavior.
- Raschad finds a symbol engraved on part of the station. He makes a crude drawing of it at Helen's request, though her presence seems to startle him.
- Wolfe meets with Raschad, who has grown distant from the others since meeting Helen. He blows her off, insisting that she's spying on him at the Captain's behest.
- Wolfe once again tracks down Raschad to talk. Their discussion is interrupted by an apparition of a person in Kavacha armor that coincides with an EM anomaly. Raschad attempts to attack the individual, passes through them as if they aren't there, and immediately goes into convulsions. He is taken to medical.
- Dr. Muldoon finishes speaking with Wolfe about the incident. He reports that she's distraught. He also includes a description of the armor, which is edited out by Helen, who cites security concerns.
- During a brief argument with Helen, there is a momentary EM anomaly within the AI core. During this anomaly, Wolfe's description of the armor appears in Helen's message, raw and unedited.
- Chair sends her regards on Raschad's condition, promising to help however she can.
- Chair sends a message that details a gateway to a Forerunner ring that was found. It's named Halo.
- McAllister forcibly awakens Raschad. Raschad reveals that following his rescue from the Lebanon, he was in "pretty bad" shape. He interrupted an unannounced Insurgent Preparedness Exercise, disabling an Orion V. ONI offered to make him an Orion, but he declined. So they offered to test some procedures to help Orion IVs on him that might make him combat worthy. Some of the things done to him went haywire when he fell through the apparition, causing his reaction. After stating his intent to request to be frozen for the rest of the mission, he is put back under.
- Helen takes extreme offense to this breech of protocol, demanding to send a message to HIGHCOM to have Raschad drawn up on charges of treason. Hive intervenes, refusing to allow her to send the message. Helen attacks Hive and, despite Helen being the better AI, he continues to hold her at bay.
- As the AI data core temperatures begin to reach critical, the Captain finds a protocol to delay the message for eight days. Helen accepts this a little more readily than anticipated, apologizing for her actions.
- The planet's surface appears to have been repaved by the mass coronal ejection. The planet itself is layered oddly, with Hive's best guess being that it passed through several nebula, collecting material along the way.
- The planet's sole satellite, a captured asteroid, is named Fauxbos by the Captain. McAllister suggested the planet be named Irrumare.
- Helen asks the Captain for permission to have a splice to improve Hive's capabilities created as a way of apologizing for her actions. After chastising her for her actions, the Captain agrees. Helen further prepares an advisory for the entire Theseus to be retrofit, including five extra holotanks.
- Chair sends a message discussing insurrectionists, with three attachments. Two are excerpts from a document advising insurrectionist groups on how to "peacefully" resist the UNSC (and to keep hostilities only towards military personnel), with the third being a conversation between an insurrectionist leader and somebody named "Myung."
- As per the Captain's suggestion, McAllister announces a contest for crewmen to come up with non-verbal communication methods, with the official explanation being that if comms go down, they need a way to quickly and efficiently communicate.
- Wolfe and Raschad share a quiet moment where he states his intent to muster out. The Captain suggests that Raschad speaks with Dr. Muldoon about it.
- Chair discusses how Reach was attacked by the Covenant, and where she was at the time.
- Chair also dismisses that she was a prodigy, that she was 32 when Reach fell and how her sons were in the service.
- Chair sends data that Orions were responsible for Reach standing as long as it did before falling, how they evacuated troops and civilians to Halo through the gate, and how they used extremely unconventional tactics to delay the fall as long as possible, hurting the Covenant as much as they could in the process.
- Muldoon echoes the Captain's belief that Raschad's desire to muster out is based on the stress of the situation and his own personal issues rather than a logical conclusion. Naturally, Raschad feels the opposite is true.
- Chair discusses how the Covenant had found Halo before humanity, and how only Elites were allowed to visit it. Attachments reveal F484 meeting Myung in person, and him capturing her. Upon removing her helmet, he is completely amazed.
- Chair explains that the Orion IVs had been pushed to their limits, going months without sleep and relying on equipment and food packs that were designed to be used for days. Naturally, they were starting to drop.
- Attachments reveal that F484 believed Myung to be an Insurgent who had gotten ahold of a suit of Kavacha armor from the planet Niflheim. He came up with this using sociology and psychology. However, this doesn't explain her appearance. She claims to be an AI created to assist humans on the station, but F484 dismisses this. As he explains, she uses a grenade to escape his confinement.
- An EM anomaly appears in the engine room. Given how it is warped by the superconductors in the SF Drive, a plan is devised to try and alter or contain the EM anomaly. Helen sends a request for information that might be of assistance.
- Gallegos and Teboe discuss the events to date. Teboe seems suspicious of everything and starts spinning a conspiracy theory, but Gallegos talks him down.
- The Captain prepares a speech for the crew, explaining that they are studying the EM anomalies and trying to understand them. He presents an image of being there for the crew, and that their current difficulties rest on his shoulders; the crew seems to accept this wholeheartedly.
- Chair explains that F484 was seen as loosing it from his report, and was forced to rest for a few days before going back into the field. Attachments reveal that he met back up with Myung. She states that she was exploring the ring when an Elite attacked. It mortally wounded her and left her for dead, when she found a way to turn herself into an AI that would fit in her Kavacha armor.
- Follow-up conversations discuss why AI's don't operate in a suit of Kavacha armor, and how F484 had nine non-Orion friends. And how Chair and the UNSC pray that Myung counted F484 as her friend.
- In another email, Chair stated that she was VERY impressed by the Captain's speech.
- She also explains the Forerunner-Flood war as best she can, including the purpose of the Halo array. Attachments reveal that F484 went with Myung to secure a "railroad spike of doom."
- The Captain begins asking hard questions of his AIs. Helen states that she doesn't interfere with the Captain's conversations with Chair because Helen is expressly forbidden with interfering with Chair's work. Hive reveals that Raschad's wealth probably comes out to almost 2 billion cR, but he isn't sure.
- PO3 Ives and CN Peters encounter an apparition. Peters suggests that it's an EM anomaly interacting with some of the equipment. Helen spins this, saying that the equipment was refurbished from another ONI project. Muldoon seems cautious of Ives.
- Chair tells the Captain that F484 found, and hid, the Index for Halo and refused to state where. He also found a way to replenish food supplies. Attachments revealed that Myung needed him to "kill a Monitor."
- Welsh and Jarvis hold a conversation begrudging Jarvis being snubbed by Wolfe in favor of Raschad while they work on their non-verbal communication methods for the contest.
- The Captain has a session with Dr. Muldoon.
- Chair reveals what the Monitor is, and that it was in the middle of a self-diagnostic when humanity came to Halo. Attachments detail F484 destroying the Monitor so that Myung can gain access to its files while another is being built.
- Attachments also reveal Myung having a hysterical moment over her status as a machine and not an AI. F484 soothes her by removing his helmet and eating food she had offered him. He proceeds to begin to tell her "Orion stories." In the middle of one story, a Covenant cruiser arrives in orbit.
- The Captain continues to try and communicate with the person he believes is attaching messages to Chair's reports, though the results are questionable at best.
- Hive receives his upgrade, in the shape of a flower. He is ecstatic.
- Helen informs the Captain that a device to at least strip away some of the interference can be built, but it will not be man-portable. The Captain assigns Peters and Raschad to the device.
- Raschad asks that he be taken off of duty and tries to protect Wolfe some more. The Captain denies this. Raschad doesn't take it well.
- Chair's message details F484 and Myung using the Halo's teleportation system to deliver a Shiva nuke to the center of the cruiser. They then use Myung's unique form to lure Elite's into ambushes effectively.
- Raschad and Wolfe go to an unused portion of the ship that used to house the MAC line. Ives and two others attempt to attack Raschad, but are stopped by an unknown person who renders them unconscious. The person indicates that they were sent by a friend of a friend, that Wolfe and Raschad should "visit a place that doesn't exist any more and go to a place there that you can't find," and that "he" considers Raschad a brother.
- Muldoon is unsurprised by the turn of events.
- Chair speaks about how F484 almost got into trouble due to his actions, but was mostly defended by MajGen Sacora. F484 and Myung went to the Silent Cartographer, getting maps of Halo and other star systems. In the end, he identifies a facility on another planet that they need to visit. She suggests she has a way to get there.
- Hive reports the following: repairs to the Theseus are complete; Raschad is falling into line; Wolfe is on the security team and Raschad is going to be manning the anti-EM device; Wolfe is becoming more disagreeable; the non-verbal communication methods were ready for selection.
- The ship has a surprisingly quiet day.
- F484 and Myung make it to Niflheim, get in contact with somebody, and board a Pelican. She gives F484 a sedative to render him unconscious.
- Jackson reports that the comms systems in his EVA suit are playing nothing but Christmas music. He has some difficulty re-entering the ship due to airlock problems, but this isn't further investigated. Upon investigation, the suit is playing Carol of the Bells (or Shchedryk, depending on your culture). The helmet also has a small Engineer symbol etched on it.
- Helen explains how somebody in Kavacha armor could stow away aboard a ship. She also reveals that the best way of hiding somebody on the ship would to make them a part of the crew.
- Chair sends messages revealing that F484 was taken aboard a ship and had conversations with a man who seemed to hold a great amount of authority, despite saying he's just a farmer. F484 surmises that the man, Cale, is a UNSC turncoat before his body begins to fail him, demanding flash clones of organs being made. Despite this, upon arrival to a Covenant-occupied system, he insists on being part of the mission, stating that he has three left in him.
- Wolfe responds to an EM anomaly in Chemical Thruster Bank Starboard 4. The chemical tanks therein have been somehow emptied, and the inside coated with a black substance. Engraved on the black substance are the callsigns of every deceased Orion, as well as small tokens in various shapes.
- The Captain has the EM device moved to the Chemical Thruster Bank Starboard 4, since there have been EM anomalies within it before.
- Chair sends her thoughts on the discovery within Chemical Thruster Bank Starboard 4.
- An EM anomaly appears in the mess hall. Tables and chairs are pulled into a pile, injuring one crewman.
- An EM anomaly appears in Cryo Bay 1. The cryo-chamber for PO3 Ives is seriously damaged.
- Chair details how F484 and Myung were able to kill all Covenant forces on the planet Ariel using her own unique construction and high doses of radiation. They then meet with a Forerunner AI, The Knowing. F484 downloads crams massive amounts of information. While he is unconscious following this, Myung demands to see all data Knowing has on F484.
- An EM anomaly appears in the O-Club. All glass bottles are shattered. Helen cannot determine a pattern.
- The EM device is successfully moved to Chemical Thruster Bank Starboard 4.
- Hive reports that EM anomalies aboard the ship and the station have increased dramatically.
- Many more helmets are reported as playing Christmas music.
- The station is almost complete.
- Chair sends a message that shows Myung angrily threatening the UNSC, but holding back on her threats due to F484.
- The Captain lets Chair know about the encrypted messages within her emails.
- An EM anomaly disassembles a crewman's boot into its component parts.
- After the Captain tries pulling regs on her, Chair angrily informs the Captain that she's the one who attached the encrypted messages.
- Chair reports that F484 and Myung prepared to go to another Forerunner facility, one held by Covenant forces. Attached is a suit log depicting a major battle against covenant forces, F484's rapidly degrading physical state which is only maintained by heavy use of combat stims, and the loss of an arm.
- A new encryption key is used, but it has pictures, speeches, and other things instead of a message.
- The Captain apologizes for angering Chair, which she accepts. She also confesses that she hates the darkness, and that her current surroundings are "sinister." She also attaches transcripts of the audio logs from F484's final battle, describing how he was falling apart.
- A rubbish bin is rearranged into a box.
- An EM anomaly appears in the vicinity of the EM capture device. It is activated, and the area is effectively cut off from outside access, drawing significant amounts of power.
- When the EM anomaly ends, the area has higher than normal levels of radiation. Raschad threw up, started crying, and became unresponsive. Peters showed signs of shock, but was more responsive.
- Raschad and Peters seem to have been transported somewhere when the activated the device. They met with an unknown individual (whom Raschad had met when Ives was going to attack him) who took a pack of Sweet Williams cigars from Peters before sending them home.
- Cair relays F484's final message, letting the UNSC know that he has used the Engineers to disable all Covenant ships, heavy weapons, and production facilities, effectively ending the war. He also warns that certain star systems are off limits to the UNSC, claiming that they are "Europa." The message ends with junk code being discarded, an unexpected data truncation, and an unexpected failure of the CNI.
- Hive reports that Peters is making a full recovery, but Raschad is suffering extreme psychological trauma. He is not expected to be able to serve on a ship again.
- EM anomalies have ceased, and the station's testing has been completed.
- During the EM anomaly in Chemical Thruster Bank Starboard 4, an energy signature appeared on the planet. Hive regrets not having a proper excavation team on board to try and analyze the source.
- Chair reveals that all of this was anticipated to a certain extent, and most of it planned in advance. That the "next system over" was on the forbidden list, and that ONI wanted a way to monitor it. She also reveals that she is F484's mother, and has been kept in cryo for just such an occasion. She begs F484 to contact her.
- An EM anomaly appears in space, leaving a Prowler adrift. It requests aid.
- Dr. Muldoon reveals himself as an ONI agent despite his previous comments that he had turned down their offer. He invokes regulations that give him control over the ship and demands that the Prowler be prepared to be towed to port, and that all non-ONI crew (of which he uploads a list to the Captain's CNI) be prepared to be put in cryo. Finally, he states that Hive is to be pulled out and prepared for dissection.
- Helen proves that her interactions with the Captain had a positive effect. She overrules Muldoon's orders, has him placed under arrest along with all ONI personnel. The only exception is Wolfe, who is to remain by Raschad's side under the careful watch of unarmed security. Helen thanks the Captain, and gives him her final orders before going into a "low cycle period": take the Prowler to port, but don't let anybody board it.
With that, the game ends.
- F484 was born in 2511, the second of three children. His mother was an ONI deep-cover agent, both watching his father (a genius researcher) and rooting out Insurrectionist sympathizers across multiple planets. She would often be gone for years at a time.
- As a child, F484 was highly intelligent and knew it. He was in college by the age of 15, despite math being one of his worst subjects. He enjoyed getting into fights with bullies, not out of protecting anybody, but because they presented him with a challenge.
- At the age of 16, ONI recruiters approached him for the Orion IV program. His mother agreed readily, though it ended her marriage due to revealing her status as an ONI agent. He was transported to the Olympus facility on Reach.
- F484 began a grueling five-year training period. He underwent many different physical augmentations, some of which caused his kidneys to fail. He also received a heightened learning process. During this time, he underwent chemical, physical, and social brainwashing, destroying his past life to the point where he couldn't remember his name, family, or home.
- He missed several treatments due to volunteering to be left in the field as part of a training exercise. By the time he made it back to Olympus, he was very ill and suffering from malnutrition. Despite this, he quickly resumed training.
- F484 fell in love with C463 during training.
- Though not the best at any particular field, he took great pride in the fact that he wasn't bad at any particular field either. Though officially put into the Field Science Corps, he was still applicable for many other task groups, allowing him to be placed in many more mission types than some of his peers.
- In 2532, he graduated from training and began going on missions against Inusrrectionists. He developed a habit of wandering off during missions; this was referred to as going F404. Though this was frustrating, his ability to gain new and vital intel or accomplish secondary objectives while 404 earned him the respect of his peers and superiors.
- To him, as with all Orion IVs, dealing with people outside the Orion program was difficult. The only time that Orions got to spend with each other as a group and not on or between missions was on Christmas. Quickly, Christmas became a vastly important event to the Orion IVs.
- In 2535 C463 died in combat with Insurrectionist forces. F484 took it badly, lashing out against Insurrectionists with particular vengeance. His rage didn't subside until Orions were outfitted with Kavacha powered armor. He would later claim that he was happy that she died, and was spared the horror of the Human-Covenant war.
- That same year, the Covenant attacked Harvest. This marked the start of the Human-Covenant war. Orions were divided in missions against both Insurrectionists and the Covenant. They captured Covenant vessels, Elites for interrogation, and performed many ground campaigns. Even with their land superiority, they still continued to lose planets during the war due to space battles.
- In 2559, a secure gateway was found on Reach. Passing through what appeared to be a surprisingly large and deep tunnel, one would end up on Halo. F484 was part of the teams sent over to investigate regularly. It's during this time (2567) that he was saved from an Elite by an unknown woman, who would later be revealed to be Myung.
- Meanwhile, a quiet initiative tasked to select Orions was put in place to prepare Reach for the inevitable arrival of the Covenant. This included preparing Halo for the evacuation of Reach.
- In 2568, Reach was attacked. Due to the efforts that had been put in place, Reach survived far longer than anticipated, causing untold losses to the Covenant. F484 was amongst the handfuls of Orions who survived the attack to make it to Halo.
- Meeting up with Myung, he discovered that she was an Insurrectionist who was mortally wounded and had herself turned into a Forerunner AI. The two of them paired together to try and find a way to stop the Covenant, despite his slowly failing health. As his health began to degrade faster, they left Halo through another gate to the planet Niflheim. They closed the gate behind them.
- Myung got in contact with an Insurrectionist ship which transported them to Ariel, where they eventually met with The Knowing. He gave F484 vital information on the Engineers, despite this causing his health to degrade even more. Still, F484 insisted on one final mission -- traveling to another planet, where there was a Forerunner communications hub. Using an unarmed Forerunner ship, the two made the journey.
- Unfortunately, Covenant forces held the planet, and the two had to fight their way to a command center. F484 had to be dragged the last of the way by Myung due to his injuries and his internal organs failing him. However, the two were able to send a message to the Engineers, convincing them to disable Covenant ships, weapons, and production facilities. This was to end the war without forcing the Engineers to resort to violence. F484 then sent a message to every ONI facility, informing them of his mission, and warning them that select worlds were off limits. During this message, however, his mind showed how far it had gone, becoming incomprehensible at the end. The message abruptly ended, leaving the fate of F484 in question...
- Until the UNSC Theseus began construction of an unmanned space station, purportedly to keep on eye out for Insurrectionists.
People of Note
A super soldier who fought even as his body and mind collapsed, his final fate is the center of the story. Some mysteries about him were never answered, even throughout the game.
An idealistic Insurrectionist, Myung received a captured suit of Kavacha armor, mostly because the Innies knew that there was a nuke inside that could go off at any time. (She was not the most well-liked, but she was very combat capable.) She was sent across a gateway found on her home planet to investigate Halo, discover its secrets, and see if it could be used against the UNSC. Instead, she died and was reborn as a Forerunner AI, which caused her no small deal of concern. She ended up teaming up with F484, partially because he viewed her as another Orion. Not quite the same as being seen as a human, but it was more than she thought she'd get from anybody else.
Commander Eva McAllister
McAllister was always one of those women who could achieve any goal that you put in front of her, usually in as unconventional a manner as possible. Fortunately, for most of her career her goals have focused on improving the way of life within the UNCS Navy. Upon seeing the UNSC Theseus, she became enamored with its history, its unique design, and its goal. Within a year, she was not only assigned to the Theseus, but as its executive officer as well. (Officially this was a clerical error, but the Captain has fought to keep her with him.) Equal parts strict and lax, and more than capable of rolling with anything that comes her way, her unique approach to anything has served the Theseus well. (For example, one of her hobbies, toothpick sculptures, has given her the ability to present engineering problems in a physical form to assist in solving them.)
Crewman David Raschad
A survivor of the Lebanon, Raschad is over 200 years old if you count the time in cryo. The son of a Marine determined to turn him into a combat machine, he joined the Navy instead. However, when the Lebanon became flooded with a hallucinogen, his combat skills came in handy, saving many of his fellow crew members... and killing even more. When his cryo-chamber was found 200 years later, his body was in poor condition -- partially due to the heavy combat, but mostly due to his extended stay in a cryo-chamber designed to hold a human for a year. Though he was given special treatments to make him fit for combat again, he still suffers severe psychological scars from the incident. This, combined with the reputation that the Lebanon had, made it hard for him to find a ship to serve on. Aboard the Theseus, he is sarcastic and a bit of a jerk so that he can keep people at arm's length, but also friendly and helpful.
Petty Officer Third Class Samantha Wolfe
Wolfe has always been a "big" girl. Not hefty in the slightest, but stronger than most of the other girls. Upon graduation from A School, she was overheard to have said the following: "Don't complain about anything if you can't perform." This was her attitude throughout her training (working to pass every men's physical qualification), and to more than just physical performance. Unless she feels that she is competent to do the job herself, she doesn't complain about somebody else not pulling their weight. Thanks to her high marks in A School and the fact that she took psychology in high school, she was singled out shortly after her A School graduation by ONI for a long-term mission aboard the Theseus. There, her outgoing personality earned her many friends, and her physique earned her the nicknames Sammy and Wolfman. When CA David Raschad joined the crew, her secret mission was altered; she was now to serve as a stabilizing element for Raschad until after the eventual mission was complete. She served that job well, despite not knowing why she had to act as a stabilizing element. At least, until he confessed his history to her, at which point her heart had a mind of its own...
Liuetenant (Dr.) Robert Muldoon
If you look up genius in the dictionary, you won't find Robert's name there and he's going to hunt down the man responsible some day. A brilliant psychologist, he finished his schooling before his mandatory service. He found that military life suited him, much to his parent's dismay; after all, he is the sole heir to their business empire. Outside of his office, he is a harsh and neurotic man, often described as a raving madman. However, once the doors close and its time to get to work, he is calm, serene, and more helpful than one would expect. A skilled actor in his youth, this transferred over to his real job: being the chief ONI agent aboard the Theseus, prepared to do whatever it takes to see that all data earned from its mission of collecting data on F484.
The UNSC Theseus
Though not a character per se, the ship itself is a major part of the game. The Theseus was created after the Human-Covenant war as a symbol of rebuilding to humanity. It was constructed from ships, stations and debris in orbit around Reach. This has created a unique design that could never be duplicated within a shipyard. Though officially a frigate, this classification is weak at best due to its size and design. The primary goal in its construction was to create a ship fully capable of the repair and construction of anything that the UNSC needed, with a secondary goal of being a rapid-response relief ship capable of assisting in any disaster. As such, it's SF Translight Engine is larger than for a ship it's size, to facilitate in bringing ships to port if need be. It's true purpose, however, is to help discover any and all information possible about F484 when the time comes.
Though the AI of the Theseus officially lists itself as gender neutral, the avatar is somewhat masculine, leading to the gender identification of male by many who interact with it. A Class C AI, it was amongst the first created from a process developed after the war that would turn otherwise useless Smart AIs who had reached the end of their lifespan into something usable again. In terms of power and ability, it occupies a place between a Smart AI and a Dumb AI. It is oddly childlike at times, prone to bouts of eager excitement. It shows great concern for its crew, especially the Captain. The avatar is that of a Spacebee, based loosely off of the Seabees logo, the US Navy Construction Battalions. Much of it's personality is based either on that avatar, or it's name of Hive; if Hive goes a day without mentioning the ship's motto of Can Do, it's status as the Spacebee's Hive, or starting a conversation (or paragraph) with some variation of BZZT!, then there's something wrong. The Smart AI that Hive was constructed from was once an Orion IV, though little carries over from it.
The latest in a long line of AIs constructed for the expressed purpose of analyzing the F484 situation. All of the Helen-class AIs view themselves as a mother to Orions in general, and have the utmost concern over the situation in general... and a fanatical obsession with the UNSC. Helen, like her predecessors, is a ONI AI, and she can be just as stubborn and hard-headed as any spook. Equally, she says very little about herself, keeping entirely to protocol and her mission. However, she does have a soft side when it comes to Orions, so long as it doesn't violate her mission or protocol.
Um... I'll spare you the rest, since they didn't end up being big players.
Differences between this and canon
- First of all, the Forerunners build "tunnels" from Halo to three separate planets -- this was in case an emergency evacuation was necessary. They also built self-check routine into their Monitors, to help stave off Rampancy.
- The Orion program was never closed; though its results weren't as good as hoped, new iterations were continually made, each better and more cutting edge than the last. Thus, there was no Spartan program, and nothing that came about because of it. (Also, Dr. Halsey wasn't Dr. Everything, though she did appear in the story in a couple of places.)
- The Elite-Prophet schism occurred much earlier and without Gravemind's interference. This was mostly a way for me to justify delaying the war as long as I did.
I'm forgetting something, I know that I am....
Since the conversation never came up in game, I've decided that I'm going to include the notes for the voice actor of A419. If I can find a place to upload them, the VA for Raschad has agreed to let me upload his first passes over some things. (I'm strange, I'm asking permission.) There's a couple of lines in particular that I'd love to include, because they got edited out at some point despite being favorites of mine.
- A super-soldier of the Orion IV program.
- Orion IV: A consummate soldier, you speak the fewest words possible out loud to get the job done. You always follow protocol, you always get the job done no matter what. Strict, uncompromising, and harsh. You respect F484, but you don't approve of his methods. That said, more than any other Orion, if he was injured you'd make sure that he made it back above all else. He may be somewhat of a yappy loose canon, but he's also a symbol; No Orion gets left behind unless they are completely destroyed.
- Instructor: Times have changed. You're an old man now, no longer fit for combat. You try and content yourself with training the latest generations of Orions, but it's hard. They're pale imitations of the Orion IV program. In your mind, they're barely better than regular soldiers. They show no interest in the old Orion traditions, and don't understand the traditions that the Orion IVs created. They go out drinking, they leave the facility for Christmas, they don't even have a silent communication system based off of body language... Disgusting! (But because nobody remembers that old communication system, nobody can read the disgust in your stone-like face.) That leaves you as the sole keeper of the traditions here at the facility. You know you won't last forever, though. So you try and uphold those traditions stronger than ever, to pay as much respect to your fallen comrades as possible, even if it means occasionally violating protocol. Because once you die (you can't even imagine the concept of retirement) you know there won't be anybody else here at the training facility to uphold them. And that, in your opinion, is the second gravest insult to the Orion IVs ever. The first being taken away from combat missions.