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Flood groupie change my mind.

OP WhyNotZ0lDBERG

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JNDreher wrote:
Counter point: the plot of the game Prototype. Once the Flood consumes you, you're gone. It can pull up a perfect copy of your consciousness to serve whatever purposes it wants, but it is no more you than the protagonist of Prototype is the person who stole the virus and got infected. It may think it's you, but it isn't.
Semi on and semi off topic -

JND, I would not presume to challenge your knowledge of the lore (because I'd lose), but are you sure about the bolded part? This is something I've always wondered about.

So the Flood infect a victim and a copy of their geas is "uploaded" to the Gravemind's consciousness, and the Gravemind then possesses all their knowledge, memories, etc., we know that. But I've always wondered - is that geas actually still conscious? Is it aware? Is it "awake" inside the Gravemind's "brain"??

If the answer is yes, the Flood become orders of magnitude more horrifying. Because one would presume that if they are aware, the GM is keeping them in a constant state of torment, with no hope of escape, death or rescue. So, they're basically condemned to Hell.

And what's even more unfathomably disturbing is to consider that since every GM retains the memories of the previous GM's, that these geas might still be in that state in perpetuity, even once that GM is destroyed. So if every victim ever infected since the Flood began are still in such a state, that means trillions of souls are in Hell.

For this reason I hope you're correct and the answer is NO, because I feel like that would be a very poor writing choice for a video game franchise that is supposed to be about hope in the face of death - you're supposed to be the hero who is empowered to do something about evil, when you play the game. You're supposed to believe as the Chief, you can use your muscles and your MJOLNIR and your assault rifle to save the innocent - but anything he can do to save the day, pales in comparison to the fact that trillions of souls are still in Hell and there's precisely nothing he can do to save them.
As I understand it, the Flood's preservation of a personality is similar to the Composer's preservation of a personality. Once it is preserved it can be used to the master's desired ends, and it has no free will of its own... and in the case of the Gravemind and the humans composed by the Didact, their existence appears to be eternal hell. However, I would argue that while an AI or memory can be duplicated, a person's soul cannot. At the end of the Forerunner Saga the essence of Forthencho, the Lord of Admirals, is preserved in Guilty Spark, formerly Chakas. Forthencho is also summoned up by the Gravemind to torment the Librarian just before her death. I believe both of these Forthenchos are accurate duplication of what he was like, but I don't believe either one is actually him.

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is that geas actually still conscious? Is it aware? Is it "awake" inside the Gravemind's "brain"??
If the answer is yes, the Flood become orders of magnitude more horrifying. Because one would presume that if they are aware, the GM is keeping them in a constant state of torment, with no hope of escape, death or rescue. So, they're basically condemned to Hell.
So to directly answer that question, I suspect that the preserved essence is conscious within the Gravemind whenever the Gravemind wants it to be.
JNDreher wrote:
Counter point: the plot of the game Prototype. Once the Flood consumes you, you're gone. It can pull up a perfect copy of your consciousness to serve whatever purposes it wants, but it is no more you than the protagonist of Prototype is the person who stole the virus and got infected. It may think it's you, but it isn't.
Semi on and semi off topic -

JND, I would not presume to challenge your knowledge of the lore (because I'd lose), but are you sure about the bolded part? This is something I've always wondered about.

So the Flood infect a victim and a copy of their geas is "uploaded" to the Gravemind's consciousness, and the Gravemind then possesses all their knowledge, memories, etc., we know that. But I've always wondered - is that geas actually still conscious? Is it aware? Is it "awake" inside the Gravemind's "brain"??
Whoa whoa whoa... Geas is not the same as one's consciousness or soul. It is a preprogrammed task set in most cases by the forerunners that is hotwired into an individual genetics. The flood rewrite all that when a host is acquired so why would that be present in the flood it's not even part of the conscious mind.

And as too your question of is the being awake... That is what we have been discussing in part here. I haven't seen evidence (that I can remember) that would deny at least brief bouts of consciousness. On the contrary you the prophet of regret speaks to you from within the gravemind in Halo 2
If the answer is yes, the Flood become orders of magnitude more horrifying. Because one would presume that if they are aware, the GM is keeping them in a constant state of torment, with no hope of escape, death or rescue. So, they're basically condemned to Hell.
First off why would you make that presumption? What evidence backs that up? That assumes that the gravemind is a sadistic entity. The precursors were attempting to guide life they were the origin of the forerunners mantle. And they were the literal dust that the flood came from. Doesn't sound sadistic to me. But I would argue that a higher being might appear sadistic and evil to a lesser being that lacks a full scope of the dormer's reasoning. For instance an animal might bite you as you try to free it from a snare because it hurts. What the animal doesn't get is that it is a necessary pain if it wants life to go on. Does that make the human here fill of malice and utterly evil? No.
Yes, the flood gets mad and inflicts pain but if I was protecting life on a greater scale and spent eons being attacked for it I would be a little mad too. If an trapped animal I was saving from a doomed existence bit me I might react poorly and even so I'm still trying to save it.

"As I understand it, the Flood's preservation of a personality is similar to the Composer's preservation of a personality."
JNDreherWhere did you find this in cannon like even just a book title will do I can reread things myself.

Also isn't the"free will" of the composed forerunners what made them superior to the sentinels in battle against the flood?
Also you talk about a soul. How would you define that? Is that a separate thing from ones conscious mind if so what is it. I would say the soul is a combination of both conscious and unconscious mind and with that hypothetical duplication the"soul" would likewise be duplicated and periods of unconsciousness within the flood would be time spent exploring the unconscious mind.
Id like to keep my individuality and not be assimilated into a hive mind thank you very much.
TL:DR I would prefer death over infection.

For the flood, the infection process depends on how useful you are to the Gravemind, or the Flood as a whole before it forms one.

You are either killed instantly upon infection (gameplay the marines necks are broken by the infection forms upon infection), or slowly tortured for information until you perish (Keyes and the Prophet of Regret). The flood does not inherently keep your personality, instead it takes your knowledge. Combat forms keep the knowledge of the soldiers they infect, and Graveminds keep the knowledge of all the people infected.

The issues with being infected is you have no control over your body, nor control over whether or not the flood will use your knowledge (see the Keyes infection movie on CEA or read Halo: The Flood, the memories that are not useful are lost forever).

The actual personality of the Gravemind is caused by residual memories of all its victims and all knowledge gained. Some have argued that the Gravemind’s personality is genetically encoded into the creature itself. Chances of the Flood choosing to use any specific personality are limited to using AI (Cortana during her torture towards John).

All of that being said I could see a Dead Space like religion forming in universe worshipping the flood.
Id like to keep my individuality and not be assimilated into a hive mind thank you very much.
Ok but what about a situation where you are about to die would you sacrifice your individuality then? Or just let death end you?
As far as I can tell, infection invariably leads to the host consciousness being subsumed and destroyed. Memories do not equal consciousness.
To illustrate this, imagine you were flash-cloned. You and your clone share the exact same experiences, memories, and morals. Now, let's say you die immediately after the cloning process finishes. Your consciousness doesn't somehow "transfer" to your clone because you share the same experiences, you die, and your consciousness dies with you. Your clone is a discrete entity, and will maintain its independence from you.
When Captain Keyes was assimilated into the Flood, he retained a brief measure of individuality. However, when his memories were absorbed by the Flood, Captain Keyes, for all intents and purposes, ceased to exist. His consciousness did not "transfer" to the Flood, it no longer existed.
If an AI removes data from another AI, deleting the original as it goes, and then, after stripping the other AI of all its accumulated data, it destroys the AI, the destroyed AI doesn't remain active in the data removed from it. The original AI is gone, its data now belonging to the other AI.
If you were to be integrated into the Flood, once your memories are stripped away, you cease to be. Those memories are now the memories of the Gravemind, and your body is but a shell, a puppet dancing to the Gravemind's strings. The Gravemind can accurately replicate your consciousness, but that consciousness is not you. You are dead and gone.
Suffice it to say, there is no benefit, no advantage, to joining the Flood. You will die, and your former body is now nothing but an empty, hollow shell.
If you use PFC Jenkins as a counterpoint, you must remember that Jenkins was an outlier. He was infected by a particularly weak infection form, and so was able to maintain his individuality. This was possible not only because of the age of the infection form, but also the lack of a Gravemind. Had Jenkins been attacked by a full-strength infection form, or had a fully-formed Gravemind been present, it is virtually certain that Jenkins would've met with the same fate as Keyes.
Id like to keep my individuality and not be assimilated into a hive mind thank you very much.
Ok but what about a situation where you are about to die would you sacrifice your individuality then? Or just let death end you?
Id rather die
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