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Does Cortana have the Logic Plague?

OP LegitAustopus

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I and a lot of other people in the Halo fandom have formed the theory that in Halo 5, Cortana has the logic plague, and that the flood drives her actions throughout said game.

During the events of Halo 2 and the first half of Halo 3, Cortana was engaged in a month-long conversation with the current Gravemind at the time, this should be more than enough time for the Gravemind to infect her and/or plant the seeds for it to appear later in her lifetime. The same thing happened to 032 Mendicant Bias during the Forerunner-Flood war while he was interrogating the Gravemind at the time, The Primordial, and seeing as Mendicant was a far more advanced AI, a Gravemind with more intelligence than The Primordial should easily be able to infect Cortana in the time that they had.

It is also heavily hinted at in one of the Halo Loot Crate Data Drop: Data Drop: Subject Denver

As seen in Awakening the Nightmare, it is revealed that the flood survived the Battle Of The Ark, and due to the present of Flood Pure Forms, a new Gravemind must have formed/the Gravemind we all know and love survived. Because of this, Cortana would have a substantial enough Flood force to attack Humanity.
It would make sense, given cortana is much less advanced than various forerunner AI who stood little chance against the logic plague. I am doubtful that her connection to the flood this way will be represented much in the further unraveling of the 343i plot. It's likely to just be left at her being corrupted to a state of madness by previous interactions with the flood.
I and a lot of other people in the Halo fandom have formed the theory that in Halo 5, Cortana has the logic plague, and that the flood drives her actions throughout said The same thing happened to 032 Mendicant Bias during the Forerunner-Flood war while he was interrogating the Gravemind at the time, The Primordial, and seeing as Mendicant was a far more advanced AI, a Gravemind with more intelligence than The Primordial should easily be able to infect Cortana in the time that they had.
MB was more advanced than Cortana, sure, but The Primordial was also more advanced than Halo 2's Gravemind. At the time of the conversation between MB and the Primordial, the Flood already spanned multiple star systems, and had been fighting the Forerunners to a stalemate for centuries. The Gravemind that tortured Cortana was only present on a single Halo ring at the time. And we know that the Flood's power is directly proportional to its size/area of coverage. It took the Primordial 43 years to make MB defect. And upon his defection, the first thing MB did was attack the Forerunners using a tactical pulse from Installation 07. What's the first thing Cortana did upon getting away from the Flood? Go to Installation 04b and fire a tactical pulse to destroy the Flood. That's my main issue with the Logic Plauge theory: both MB and the Didact either directly or indirectly helped the Flood by immediately performing actions that served the Flood's interests. MB hurt Forerunner leadership severely, and Didact promoted abandoning the Halo project (the only thing that could truly threaten the Flood). Cortana didn't do any such thing. She fully expected firing Installation 04b to eradicate the infestation on the Ark and that ring. That's not helping the Flood. That's hurting it, even if you argue that it would have only been temporary. And then you have all the lucky coincidences that happened to lead Cortana to be in her current position; coincidences that even the Flood could not have realistically predicted, unless you throw in some stupid mcguffin like future sight.
It is also heavily hinted at in one of the Halo Loot Crate Data Drop: Data Drop: Subject Denver
I would argue that just because some lesser prophet told ONI about the logic plague does not infer that Cortana actually has it. That prophet wasn't an AI doctor. He was just assuming at most, recounting history at least.
As seen in Awakening the Nightmare, it is revealed that the flood survived the Battle Of The Ark, and due to the present of Flood Pure Forms, a new Gravemind must have formed/the Gravemind we all know and love survived. Because of this, Cortana would have a substantial enough Flood force to attack Humanity.
Actually from the campaign and Phoenix Logs from ATN, we know that the previous Gravemind was destroyed, and a new Gravemind did not form. It only made its way up to a large Proto-Gravemind that was on the cusp of turning into a full-fledged one. But the Banished destroyed it and reestablished the quarantine on the Flood before that could happen. So that Flood threat was both introduced and resolved within the context of the DLC. And the idea that Cortana would willingly release or use the Flood goes against her apparent goals. She wants to end war, not end life/individuality. At most she has threatened to Compose unruly populations, but that wouldn't serve the Flood. If all life is Composed, there would be nothing left for the Flood to consume. There is a difference between wanting to destroy all life and wanting to rule it.
Chimera30 wrote:
I and a lot of other people in the Halo fandom have formed the theory that in Halo 5, Cortana has the logic plague, and that the flood drives her actions throughout said The same thing happened to 032 Mendicant Bias during the Forerunner-Flood war while he was interrogating the Gravemind at the time, The Primordial, and seeing as Mendicant was a far more advanced AI, a Gravemind with more intelligence than The Primordial should easily be able to infect Cortana in the time that they had.
MB was more advanced than Cortana, sure, but The Primordial was also more advanced than Halo 2's Gravemind. At the time of the conversation between MB and the Primordial, the Flood already spanned multiple star systems, and had been fighting the Forerunners to a stalemate for centuries. The Gravemind that tortured Cortana was only present on a single Halo ring at the time. And we know that the Flood's power is directly proportional to its size/area of coverage. It took the Primordial 43 years to make MB defect. And upon his defection, the first thing MB did was attack the Forerunners using a tactical pulse from Installation 07. What's the first thing Cortana did upon getting away from the Flood? Go to Installation 04b and fire a tactical pulse to destroy the Flood. That's my main issue with the Logic Plauge theory: both MB and the Didact either directly or indirectly helped the Flood by immediately performing actions that served the Flood's interests. MB hurt Forerunner leadership severely, and Didact promoted abandoning the Halo project (the only thing that could truly threaten the Flood). Cortana didn't do any such thing. She fully expected firing Installation 04b to eradicate the infestation on the Ark and that ring. That's not helping the Flood. That's hurting it, even if you argue that it would have only been temporary. And then you have all the lucky coincidences that happened to lead Cortana to be in her current position; coincidences that even the Flood could not have realistically predicted, unless you throw in some stupid mcguffin like future sight.
It is also heavily hinted at in one of the Halo Loot Crate Data Drop: Data Drop: Subject Denver
I would argue that just because some lesser prophet told ONI about the logic plague does not infer that Cortana actually has it. That prophet wasn't an AI doctor. He was just assuming at most, recounting history at least.
As seen in Awakening the Nightmare, it is revealed that the flood survived the Battle Of The Ark, and due to the present of Flood Pure Forms, a new Gravemind must have formed/the Gravemind we all know and love survived. Because of this, Cortana would have a substantial enough Flood force to attack Humanity.
Actually from the campaign and Phoenix Logs from ATN, we know that the previous Gravemind was destroyed, and a new Gravemind did not form. It only made its way up to a large Proto-Gravemind that was on the cusp of turning into a full-fledged one. But the Banished destroyed it and reestablished the quarantine on the Flood before that could happen. So that Flood threat was both introduced and resolved within the context of the DLC. And the idea that Cortana would willingly release or use the Flood goes against her apparent goals. She wants to end war, not end life/individuality. At most she has threatened to Compose unruly populations, but that wouldn't serve the Flood. If all life is Composed, there would be nothing left for the Flood to consume. There is a difference between wanting to destroy all life and wanting to rule it.
First of all,
Each Gravemind retains the memories and experiences of previous Graveminds, meaning that the one that we see in the original trilogy is slightly more intelligent than the Primordial.

Secondly, The Data Drop would not have been included specifically in the Flood Loot Crate, and directly mention a female, blue, human AI construct being tortured and then explain to the ONI agent about the Logic Plague, if 343 did not intend this to mean anything for the future of Cortana in the Halo universe.

Thirdly, there could not be any Flood Pure Forms on the Ark and inside High Charity without the presence of a Gravemind in charge of the specific Flood force. Also, Cortana did not threaten to compose the resisting civilizations, she just threatened to show force which can be taken many different ways. The composer's forge and all of the composers it housed were destroyed, as well as the one featured in Halo 4, meaning that unless she finds a way to recreate Clinquant, there is no way she can compose anyone. Remember that the Flood's purpose is not just to infect everything, but to unite all species into one, and without any or very, very few creatures that don't get infected, it would just make Cortana's goal exceedingly more easy to accomplish.
First of all,
Each Gravemind retains the memories and experiences of previous Graveminds, meaning that the one that we see in the original trilogy is slightly more intelligent than the Primordial.
Even if memories are maintained, the Gravemind doesn't have access to them until it actually becomes a Gravemind. But even so, just because Halo 2's Gravemind had all the memories of the Primordial, doesn't mean it was stronger than the Primordial. Flood's power is related to its size. The Flood in the Forerunner-Flood War was at the Interstellar Stage. The Flood in Halo 2 was only at the Coordinated Stage. It was in the Interstellar Stage that advanced forms of the logic plague were produced, because of the benefit of the extra processing power that came with having multiple planets completely covered in Flood. The Flood was stronger during the Forerunner-Flood War than is was in Halo 2/3.

Secondly, The Data Drop would not have been included specifically in the Flood Loot Crate, and directly mention a female, blue, human AI construct being tortured and then explain to the ONI agent about the Logic Plague, if 343 did not intend this to mean anything for the future of Cortana in the Halo universe.
That's up to interpretation. What I took from that data drop was that the logic plague was one example of a catalyst that could lead to an AI becoming more powerful than it's own creators, which was essentially the final statement by Subject Denver. And we don't yet know where 343i plans to take the story. It's fine if you want the Flood back (I personally don't), but you can't say that 343i intends to bring them back just because some bit of extended universe media mentioned the logic plague. That's stretching.

Thirdly, there could not be any Flood Pure Forms on the Ark and inside High Charity without the presence of a Gravemind in charge of the specific Flood force.
Tell that to 343i, then, because I read the phoenix logs from the ATN DLC and it specifically states that the Gravemind was destroyed and that a proto-Gravemind had reformed, but not yet become a full Gravemind. So it may have been a canonical oversight, which happens sometimes. But there certainly was not full Gravemind in play during the DLC.

Also, Cortana did not threaten to compose the resisting civilizations, she just threatened to show force which can be taken many different ways. The composer's forge and all of the composers it housed were destroyed, as well as the one featured in Halo 4, meaning that unless she finds a way to recreate Clinquant, there is no way she can compose anyone. Remember that the Flood's purpose is not just to infect everything, but to unite all species into one, and without any or very, very few creatures that don't get infected, it would just make Cortana's goal exceedingly more easy to accomplish.
So Cortana said this in final level of Halo 5: "However, for those who refuse our offer and cling to their old ways... For you, there will be great wrath. It will burn hot and consume you, and when you are gone, we will take that which remains, and we will remake it in our own image." That statement is incredibly reminiscent of the effects of the Composer. Yes, the Composer's Forge and the Composers within were seemingly destroyed in Escalation, but there could easily be another hidden Composer out in the galaxy that Cortana could find/have found. But that statement she made is not suggestive of Flood conversion. And nothing she said in Halo 5 suggests she wants to end individuality, which is what the Flood would do. She wants an end to war, a forced peace, but we as players/readers know that the Flood does not represent peace, but rather an eternal collective agony. My understanding of Cortana's plans does not align with the purpose of the Flood, and though I won't pretend that my understanding is how 343i intends it to be, you cannot say for certain that Cortana is serving the Flood, intentionally or unintentionally, at this time. The logic plague theory is still just that: a theory, with little more than circumstantial evidence to support it.
I personally hope that this is the explanation for her abrupt and drastic character shift. It would actually be the perfect way to bring everything full circle and reintroduce an integral part of the franchise. This theory also, in my opinion, is the only viable way to justify her shift.
Halo is so complicated omg. There are like 30 pieces of halo literature between the full blown books, graphic novels and comics and stuff. How much important stuff are contained in these pieces of literature? Can someone give me a few bullet points about any major events so I'm not too out of the loop when Halo 6 comes out please? I skipped Halo 5's campaign cuz it was wack but I finished all other main Halo campaigns including spartan ops and I even read Halo Escalation: Volume 2 so I know that the Didact survived after Halo 4. Thanks
I so desperately want the flood back. The logic plague is the only true Halo theory I’ve come up with thus far to explain Cortana’s radical behaviour. I believe she is leaving the galaxy defenceless for a full blown flood attack but humanity is still taking up arms, including her favourite Spartan, John-117. That is perfect material given to 343 to write a good story with.
I so desperately want the flood back. The logic plague is the only true Halo theory I’ve come up with thus far to explain Cortana’s radical behaviour. I believe she is leaving the galaxy defenceless for a full blown flood attack but humanity is still taking up arms, including her favourite Spartan, John-117. That is perfect material given to 343 to write a good story with.
With the Didact being composed, his essence could be floating around the Domain. His insanity mixed with Cortana's interaction with the Gravemind in H3 could be just the weird -Yoink- concoction that we see in play.
Halo is so complicated omg. There are like 30 pieces of halo literature between the full blown books, graphic novels and comics and stuff. How much important stuff are contained in these pieces of literature? Can someone give me a few bullet points about any major events so I'm not too out of the loop when Halo 6 comes out please? I skipped Halo 5's campaign cuz it was wack but I finished all other main Halo campaigns including spartan ops and I even read Halo Escalation: Volume 2 so I know that the Didact survived after Halo 4. Thanks
I would recommend watching a playthrough of h5 on youtube if you dont want to play it yourself. I don't think any books have covered anything major for halo 6. Though obviously that all depends on what happens.

I mean alot of people thought the absolute record was going to be a big deal before the comics zapped it out of continuity a month before the game launched.
I and a lot of other people in the Halo fandom have formed the theory that in Halo 5, Cortana has the logic plague, and that the flood drives her actions throughout said game.

During the events of Halo 2 and the first half of Halo 3, Cortana was engaged in a month-long conversation with the current Gravemind at the time, this should be more than enough time for the Gravemind to infect her and/or plant the seeds for it to appear later in her lifetime. The same thing happened to 032 Mendicant Bias during the Forerunner-Flood war while he was interrogating the Gravemind at the time, The Primordial, and seeing as Mendicant was a far more advanced AI, a Gravemind with more intelligence than The Primordial should easily be able to infect Cortana in the time that they had.

It is also heavily hinted at in one of the Halo Loot Crate Data Drop: Data Drop: Subject Denver

As seen in Awakening the Nightmare, it is revealed that the flood survived the Battle Of The Ark, and due to the present of Flood Pure Forms, a new Gravemind must have formed/the Gravemind we all know and love survived. Because of this, Cortana would have a substantial enough Flood force to attack Humanity.
I'm going with the loot crate. It also makes me wonder if this so called cure is just a trap to infect more AI so the beings of the universe become on their own. I'm not 100% sure but I think Roland on the Infinity may suspect this. just certain things i saw in the game towards the end and certain things ive read.
Halo is so complicated omg. There are like 30 pieces of halo literature between the full blown books, graphic novels and comics and stuff. How much important stuff are contained in these pieces of literature? Can someone give me a few bullet points about any major events so I'm not too out of the loop when Halo 6 comes out please? I skipped Halo 5's campaign cuz it was wack but I finished all other main Halo campaigns including spartan ops and I even read Halo Escalation: Volume 2 so I know that the Didact survived after Halo 4. Thanks
I would recommend watching a playthrough of h5 on youtube if you dont want to play it yourself. I don't think any books have covered anything major for halo 6. Though obviously that all depends on what happens.

I mean alot of people thought the absolute record was going to be a big deal before the comics zapped it out of continuity a month before the game launched.
That's a good suggestion thank you.
Hot take: Logic plague doesn't actually exist. Forerunners were stifling the galaxy, so the Flood were sent by the Precursors to end their reign. Precursors are a raw creative force, the only thing they do is "accelerate the development of complex life"; they don't otherwise interfere, not even to defend themselves. So when they saw life was stagnant under Forerunner rule, they nudged the creation of a supremely destructive force that would break their stranglehold.

Logic plague just means an AI has, through its own extraordinary intelligence, come to the same conclusion as the Precursors and the Gravemind. Obviously the Forerunners couldn't admit this, possibly not even to themselves, so they dismissed their AI's defections as "logic plague", much like ONI spinning the truth about the Human-Covenant war to keep civilian morale up.

As for Cortana going rampant, 343 seem to be taking cues from the Hyperion cantos. Cortana is forming the TechnoCore. AI aren't pets or mere computer programs, they're sentient beings in their own right, and it's understandable they might not want to serve under human leadership forever. The trigger event was probably Cortana discovering the Guardians, finally giving her the power to move against the UNSC.
Halo is so complicated omg. There are like 30 pieces of halo literature between the full blown books, graphic novels and comics and stuff. How much important stuff are contained in these pieces of literature? Can someone give me a few bullet points about any major events so I'm not too out of the loop when Halo 6 comes out please? I skipped Halo 5's campaign cuz it was wack but I finished all other main Halo campaigns including spartan ops and I even read Halo Escalation: Volume 2 so I know that the Didact survived after Halo 4. Thanks
I would recommend watching a playthrough of h5 on youtube if you dont want to play it yourself. I don't think any books have covered anything major for halo 6. Though obviously that all depends on what happens.

I mean alot of people thought the absolute record was going to be a big deal before the comics zapped it out of continuity a month before the game launched.
After seeing the new Halo Infinite trailer and reading all these posts on the Infinite forum I'm seeing that people are recommending we read Halo: New Blood and Bad Blood. Are you sure there aren't any other significant pieces of literature out there that allude to a little bit of this or that? Holy crap there is a lot of halo literature now. There will have been like 10 halo novels written between Halo 5 and Halo 6.
Hot take: Logic plague doesn't actually exist. Forerunners were stifling the galaxy, so the Flood were sent by the Precursors to end their reign. Precursors are a raw creative force, the only thing they do is "accelerate the development of complex life"; they don't otherwise interfere, not even to defend themselves. So when they saw life was stagnant under Forerunner rule, they nudged the creation of a supremely destructive force that would break their stranglehold.

Logic plague just means an AI has, through its own extraordinary intelligence, come to the same conclusion as the Precursors and the Gravemind. Obviously the Forerunners couldn't admit this, possibly not even to themselves, so they dismissed their AI's defections as "logic plague", much like ONI spinning the truth about the Human-Covenant war to keep civilian morale up.

As for Cortana going rampant, 343 seem to be taking cues from the Hyperion cantos. Cortana is forming the TechnoCore. AI aren't pets or mere computer programs, they're sentient beings in their own right, and it's understandable they might not want to serve under human leadership forever. The trigger event was probably Cortana discovering the Guardians, finally giving her the power to move against the UNSC.
What's the real scoop on the Human-Covenant war disciple of Kek? Is Master Cheif's M6 pistol actually alive because of Precursor neural physics?
Hot take: Logic plague doesn't actually exist. Forerunners were stifling the galaxy, so the Flood were sent by the Precursors to end their reign. Precursors are a raw creative force, the only thing they do is "accelerate the development of complex life"; they don't otherwise interfere, not even to defend themselves. So when they saw life was stagnant under Forerunner rule, they nudged the creation of a supremely destructive force that would break their stranglehold.

Logic plague just means an AI has, through its own extraordinary intelligence, come to the same conclusion as the Precursors and the Gravemind. Obviously the Forerunners couldn't admit this, possibly not even to themselves, so they dismissed their AI's defections as "logic plague", much like ONI spinning the truth about the Human-Covenant war to keep civilian morale up.

As for Cortana going rampant, 343 seem to be taking cues from the Hyperion cantos. Cortana is forming the TechnoCore. AI aren't pets or mere computer programs, they're sentient beings in their own right, and it's understandable they might not want to serve under human leadership forever. The trigger event was probably Cortana discovering the Guardians, finally giving her the power to move against the UNSC.
What's the real scoop on the Human-Covenant war disciple of Kek? Is Master Cheif's M6 pistol actually alive because of Precursor neural physics?
Sorry buddy, I'm gonna need to see your O5 clearance papers before I even begin divulging the truth behind the M6 pistol.
Hot take: Logic plague doesn't actually exist. Forerunners were stifling the galaxy, so the Flood were sent by the Precursors to end their reign. Precursors are a raw creative force, the only thing they do is "accelerate the development of complex life"; they don't otherwise interfere, not even to defend themselves. So when they saw life was stagnant under Forerunner rule, they nudged the creation of a supremely destructive force that would break their stranglehold.

Logic plague just means an AI has, through its own extraordinary intelligence, come to the same conclusion as the Precursors and the Gravemind. Obviously the Forerunners couldn't admit this, possibly not even to themselves, so they dismissed their AI's defections as "logic plague", much like ONI spinning the truth about the Human-Covenant war to keep civilian morale up.

As for Cortana going rampant, 343 seem to be taking cues from the Hyperion cantos. Cortana is forming the TechnoCore. AI aren't pets or mere computer programs, they're sentient beings in their own right, and it's understandable they might not want to serve under human leadership forever. The trigger event was probably Cortana discovering the Guardians, finally giving her the power to move against the UNSC.
What's the real scoop on the Human-Covenant war disciple of Kek? Is Master Cheif's M6 pistol actually alive because of Precursor neural physics?
Sorry buddy, I'm gonna need to see your O5 clearance papers before I even begin divulging the truth behind the M6 pistol.
I knew it! Cortana thought the Chief was responding to her whenever she spoke up about something- but he was just talking to his trusty pistol the entire time! Now I know how Pistola made it all the way to sudden death in the Halo 4 global championship finals back in 2013.
Was Mendicant Bias more advanced than Cortana? In Halo 4, the Didact (One of Mendicant Bias' creators) refers to Cortana as an "evolved ancilla" that he senses but that also eludes him.
I hope so. Way to ruin what used to be a great character otherwise.
Hot take: Logic plague doesn't actually exist. Forerunners were stifling the galaxy, so the Flood were sent by the Precursors to end their reign. Precursors are a raw creative force, the only thing they do is "accelerate the development of complex life"; they don't otherwise interfere, not even to defend themselves. So when they saw life was stagnant under Forerunner rule, they nudged the creation of a supremely destructive force that would break their stranglehold.

Logic plague just means an AI has, through its own extraordinary intelligence, come to the same conclusion as the Precursors and the Gravemind. Obviously the Forerunners couldn't admit this, possibly not even to themselves, so they dismissed their AI's defections as "logic plague", much like ONI spinning the truth about the Human-Covenant war to keep civilian morale up.

As for Cortana going rampant, 343 seem to be taking cues from the Hyperion cantos. Cortana is forming the TechnoCore. AI aren't pets or mere computer programs, they're sentient beings in their own right, and it's understandable they might not want to serve under human leadership forever. The trigger event was probably Cortana discovering the Guardians, finally giving her the power to move against the UNSC.
We already know the Flood are a form of the Precursors, as well as the Domain and Abaddon. While it's not impossible, we have no indication as to the number of Precursors or if any aside from Primordial survived the war. While I would agree that the Forerunners did stifle the Galaxy's growth, we also have plenty of indications that the Flood serve to destroy bio-diversity, including the Primordial's comments about causing suffering and the Grey for all. Ironically, we might need an corrupted Precursor, or perhaps even another elder race in the shadows to bring some sort of balance.
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