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But is it Cortana? Is this Cortana real?

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I have a theory that it is not even her.

When Cortana entered the domain, she inevitably died and her memory and life as an AI became part of the domain. I think that an forerunner AI has taken the image and voice of Cortana to accelerate it's own plans. Look at it this way:
  • Cortana is the logical form to take to manipulate Master Chief and the UNSC
  • Other AI's will join Cortana because they know who she is
How come Cortana has all this power over the domain? I don't think that an AI can get all this power by simply entering the domain, there (should be) forerunner protocols that (should) stop this from happening. But if AI's join Cortana, won't they get this power when they enter the domain? I don't think so.

I think that a forerunner AI is taking the shape and voice of Cortana to do accelerate their plans, so when the battle does happen - Master Chief will find out that Cortana had died a long time ago, and it was never really her.

Who is this AI I keep talking about? I think it is part of Mendicant Bias, and he is trying to release the Flood from the active Halo installations.

I say 'part of mendicant Bias' because he was scattered across different Halo installations - e.g. the Ark

EDIT: Something dark is at work, hiding behind Cortana's image - possibly a Gravemind.
No, it's her. I believe however she's being influenced.
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
How many AIs really know about her? Obviously those in the UNSC and ONI on a need to know basis or who what worked with her do, but is her existence a widespread thing or ever something most AIs would care to notice?

Also, why would said Forerunner AI continue to assume her form when they captured Chief? Just seems odd to still hold that form when your victim is trapped.

I subscribe the simplest explaination, it's Cortana herself.
Hotrod192 wrote:
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
In the story 'Human Weakness' in the book Halo Evolutions a gravemind might have planted the seeded of the Logic Plague and it reared its ugly head when she entered the Doman.
Hotrod192 wrote:
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
In the story 'Human Weakness' in the book Halo Evolutions a gravemind might have planted the seeded of the Logic Plague and it reared its ugly head when she entered the Doman.
Why plant seeds when he is more than capable of subverting artificial intelligence almost instantaneously?
Hotrod192 wrote:
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
In the story 'Human Weakness' in the book Halo Evolutions a gravemind might have planted the seeded of the Logic Plague and it reared its ugly head when she entered the Doman.
Why plant seeds when he is more than capable of subverting artificial intelligence almost instantaneously?
Maybe he wanted to wait for humanity to start to feel safe and unprepared for the return of the Flood? In the Forerunner trilogy, did the Primordial not say that they would return to test humanity when they were at their highest?
Hotrod192 wrote:
Hotrod192 wrote:
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
In the story 'Human Weakness' in the book Halo Evolutions a gravemind might have planted the seeded of the Logic Plague and it reared its ugly head when she entered the Doman.
Why plant seeds when he is more than capable of subverting artificial intelligence almost instantaneously?
Maybe he wanted to wait for humanity to start to feel safe and unprepared for the return of the Flood? In the Forerunner trilogy, did the Primordial not say that they would return to test humanity when they were at their highest?
Seems like an odd goal when taking over the Galaxy was the Gravemind's goal at the time. Why else go to the Ark? Why have a time sensitive mission for later trouble when that goal was in sight?
Hotrod192 wrote:
Hotrod192 wrote:
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
In the story 'Human Weakness' in the book Halo Evolutions a gravemind might have planted the seeded of the Logic Plague and it reared its ugly head when she entered the Doman.
Why plant seeds when he is more than capable of subverting artificial intelligence almost instantaneously?
Maybe he wanted to wait for humanity to start to feel safe and unprepared for the return of the Flood? In the Forerunner trilogy, did the Primordial not say that they would return to test humanity when they were at their highest?
Seems like an odd goal when taking over the Galaxy was the Gravemind's goal at the time. Why else go to the Ark? Why have a time sensitive mission for later trouble when that goal was in sight?
Oh, I completely agree with you, it isn't the best way to go about the mission of taking over the galaxy, especially since he could not have known that Cortana would end up in the Domain, thus in a position to gain power. But seeing as how 343i failed to write a logical story in Halo 5, I'm just trying to scrounge up any kind of explanation that I can to try to make sense of the story they gave us.
Hotrod192 wrote:
Hotrod192 wrote:
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
In the story 'Human Weakness' in the book Halo Evolutions a gravemind might have planted the seeded of the Logic Plague and it reared its ugly head when she entered the Doman.
Why plant seeds when he is more than capable of subverting artificial intelligence almost instantaneously?
Maybe he wanted to wait for humanity to start to feel safe and unprepared for the return of the Flood? In the Forerunner trilogy, did the Primordial not say that they would return to test humanity when they were at their highest?
Seems like an odd goal when taking over the Galaxy was the Gravemind's goal at the time. Why else go to the Ark? Why have a time sensitive mission for later trouble when that goal was in sight?
Because the plot gods demand it. Honestly, the Gravemind does play the long game. I mean, he could have easily infested earth but he chose not to, even though it would have taken minimum effort with a handful of infested spore pods.
Hotrod192 wrote:
Hotrod192 wrote:
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
In the story 'Human Weakness' in the book Halo Evolutions a gravemind might have planted the seeded of the Logic Plague and it reared its ugly head when she entered the Doman.
Why plant seeds when he is more than capable of subverting artificial intelligence almost instantaneously?
Maybe he wanted to wait for humanity to start to feel safe and unprepared for the return of the Flood? In the Forerunner trilogy, did the Primordial not say that they would return to test humanity when they were at their highest?
Seems like an odd goal when taking over the Galaxy was the Gravemind's goal at the time. Why else go to the Ark? Why have a time sensitive mission for later trouble when that goal was in sight?
Because the plot gods demand it. Honestly, the Gravemind does play the long game. I mean, he could have easily infested earth but he chose not to, even though it would have taken minimum effort with a handful of infested spore pods.
Sure, he could have infected Earth, but if the Halos went off then what would have been the point? I think villains playing the long game is important, but there'd be no real logical reason to assume Cortana would go into the Domain nor do we even know if Precursor objects trigger the Logic Plague.
If this isn't cortana why is she trying to get chief safe so badly?
Hotrod192 wrote:
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
In the story 'Human Weakness' in the book Halo Evolutions a gravemind might have planted the seeded of the Logic Plague and it reared its ugly head when she entered the Doman.
Why plant seeds when he is more than capable of subverting artificial intelligence almost instantaneously?
Perhaps it is trying a different tactic. Mendacant bias was an forerunner ancilla and Cortana wasn't. Maybe their conversation was its way of how it could infect her with the logic plague.
Hotrod192 wrote:
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
In the story 'Human Weakness' in the book Halo Evolutions a gravemind might have planted the seeded of the Logic Plague and it reared its ugly head when she entered the Doman.
Why plant seeds when he is more than capable of subverting artificial intelligence almost instantaneously?
Perhaps it is trying a different tactic. Mendacant bias was an forerunner ancilla and Cortana wasn't. Maybe their conversation was its way of how it could infect her with the logic plague.
To what end? What use would the Gravemind have done with Cortana during the events after Halo 2 to Halo 3? After all, it was probing her for information she knew about the Index and yet he never got it and only figured it out after Chief rescued her. Wouldn't it have made more sense to just subvert her instantly to learn what he needed to know? What use is planting dormant seeds of the Logic Plague for some theoretical use in the event Cortana connects to the Domain (whose condition the Gravemind was probably unaware of) when the Gravemind had immeadiate concerns about the Ark and Halos?
Hotrod192 wrote:
I sure hope that it's not her. The whole "Cortana actually didn't die and is now evil" is just such a terrible plot point... It would make more sense if it were the Precursors/Flood (remember, the Domain is NOT Forerunner) that were using the image of Cortana for whatever reason.

But again, your idea of Forerunner protocols is flawed, just as the idea of the Warden Eternal guarding the Domain. Once again, the Domain was a Precursor artifact, the Forerunners just used it, ignorant of its true nature. Of course, the Domain, like any other Precursor artifact, was destroyed with the firing of the Halo Array 100 000 years ago, but apparently that was retconned. Anything that happens within the Domain has nothing to do with the Forerunners.

That being said, if this is the real Cortana, and if she did enter the Domain, the most logical explanation is that it infected her with the Logic Plague, in the same way that Mendicant Bias was affected during the Forerunner-Flood war. The idea of Cortana suddenly deciding to turn evil and rule the galaxy makes no sense.
In the story 'Human Weakness' in the book Halo Evolutions a gravemind might have planted the seeded of the Logic Plague and it reared its ugly head when she entered the Doman.
Why plant seeds when he is more than capable of subverting artificial intelligence almost instantaneously?
Perhaps it is trying a different tactic. Mendacant bias was an forerunner ancilla and Cortana wasn't. Maybe their conversation was its way of how it could infect her with the logic plague.
To what end? What use would the Gravemind have done with Cortana during the events after Halo 2 to Halo 3? After all, it was probing her for information she knew about the Index and yet he never got it and only figured it out after Chief rescued her. Wouldn't it have made more sense to just subvert her instantly to learn what he needed to know? What use is planting dormant seeds of the Logic Plague for some theoretical use in the event Cortana connects to the Domain (whose condition the Gravemind was probably unaware of) when the Gravemind had immeadiate concerns about the Ark and Halos?
Why rush things. The gravemind is a corrupted precursor. The Domain was made by the Precursors. So it stands to reason that they would have influence over it. The Gravemind knew that Cortana craved knowledge. "But you cannot resist knowledge. It lures you. Cortana. Doesn't it? So you think it lures me... and you offer it. Instinctively. Just as organic females flirt..." 'Human Weakness' The Gravemind was hatching plans within plans. If one didn't work, have a back-up or two. If she didn't fall for the first then when she learned of/reached the Domain she wouldn't be able to resist. No one really knows how they can communicate with the Domain but that doesn't make it impossible. Besides it had been in that Halo installation for a looong time. Plenty of time to think.
This would have to mean that the Gravemind felt that the Domain would be accessible when at that point in Halo's story it was not. Last we see the Gravemind talk about the Domain it mocks the Librarian with the notion that the Halos would destroy the Domain. Maybe it was lying, but it was damaged all the same and not accessible by any means. I see no reason to assume the Gravemind would see this as a viable plan given the information. Also, wouldn't gaining access of the Index from Cortana better the odds of the first plan succeeding? Seems counter-productive to sink in effort in a backup that wasn't even viable at the time rather than do something that would benefit the primary plan.
This would have to mean that the Gravemind felt that the Domain would be accessible when at that point in Halo's story it was not. Last we see the Gravemind talk about the Domain it mocks the Librarian with the notion that the Halos would destroy the Domain. Maybe it was lying, but it was damaged all the same and not accessible by any means. I see no reason to assume the Gravemind would see this as a viable plan given the information. Also, wouldn't gaining access of the Index from Cortana better the odds of the first plan succeeding? Seems counter-productive to sink in effort in a backup that wasn't even viable at the time rather than do something that would benefit the primary plan.
Perhaps it made it accessible. It could have sent a signal mental or otherwise to start repairing itself show Cortanas rampancy reach a certain stage. Like in Halo 4. I know a lot things would have to fall in place for it to happen but its possible.
If this isn't cortana why is she trying to get chief safe so badly?
This. Even if it was a "draw him out to take him out of the picture" plan, she could have just let the army of Wardens kill him.
Not to mention the fact that two still-living Forerunners (the Didact and the Builder from the intel logs) who were active at the tail-end of the Forerunner-Flood war, one of whom is intimately familiar with the Logic Plague, would recognise it in an AI considering the fact that they had to deal with that issue as a galaxy-wide epidemic.

Both out of universe and in-universe sources have told us that yes, this is Cortana. Her matrix was pulled into slipspace, she ended up finding the Domain, the Builder saw her and that she was using it to heal herself. 343 may end up changing their minds and going a completely different route with it in the future because that's just a thing they tend to do now, but the whole point of why this is supposed to be so "tragic" as it's presented in the game is that it is Cortana who they have to deal with.
This would have to mean that the Gravemind felt that the Domain would be accessible when at that point in Halo's story it was not. Last we see the Gravemind talk about the Domain it mocks the Librarian with the notion that the Halos would destroy the Domain. Maybe it was lying, but it was damaged all the same and not accessible by any means. I see no reason to assume the Gravemind would see this as a viable plan given the information. Also, wouldn't gaining access of the Index from Cortana better the odds of the first plan succeeding? Seems counter-productive to sink in effort in a backup that wasn't even viable at the time rather than do something that would benefit the primary plan.
Perhaps it made it accessible. It could have sent a signal mental or otherwise to start repairing itself show Cortanas rampancy reach a certain stage. Like in Halo 4. I know a lot things would have to fall in place for it to happen but its possible.
If it is possible, what evidence points to the Gravemind having the ability to make the Domain accessible? And again, it just makes it seem so odd that the Gravemind has the power to turn off and on the Domain somehow and plan impossibly specific scenerios, but failed to gain info on the Index he wanted from Cortana that was important to its Halo 3 era plans. Why is the Gravemi so randomly competent?
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