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Half-Jaw is an ancient human!

OP timh1990

Ok, crazy conspiracy theory time.

To clarify, the title of this post may be a little misleading. I don’t actually believe Rtas’ Vadum is an ancient human with some-kind of super-advanced poly-morphine type sheath tech that allows him to assume the form of a Sangheili. Rather, due to reasons I will go into more detail on now, I have reason to believe Rtas’ Vadum, knowingly or unknowingly may harbor an ancient human personality in the form of a geas, exactly like those that were placed into Chakas and Risor. This ancient human’s personality, whoever he or she is lived the through the prehistoric Human-Flood and Human-Forerunner conflict, or so I have reason to believe.

Just to provide some background, I have a long standing theory that there was some form of shadow faction within the former Covenant hierarchy leadership. An illuminati type group which has existed inside the Covenant empire in some form over ever since its foundation, and as of the 26th century the influence of this of this organization equaled or surpassed even that of the San’Shyuum hierarchs.

Admiral Preston Cole first hinted at the existence of this group during his letters to his brother, when he stated that he couldn’t understand why the Covenant couldn’t locate Earth as in his own words, all the aliens would need to do was stick a radio attena into space and triangulate Earth’s source from the multiple radio waves bouncing around the many human colonies. Cole theorized at the time that there was some kind of internal division at the very top of the Covenant leadership which was preventing their military intelligence division pin-pointing Earth's location, and thus preventing the Covenant using their overwhelming technological strength and numbers to launch a direct full scale assault on Earth. (With the UNSC’s economic heartland ripped out from its chest, it doesn’t take much imagination to realize how easily our remaining colonies could be picked off after Earth is destroyed)

Anyway I fear I’m digressing from my original point.

Long-story short, someone a the very top of the Covenant leadership was ensuring the human-covenant war would be a very long and drawn out affair, which indirectly worked to humanity’s advantage. My theory here is that ironically, a small (or substantially larger) number of Sangheili (and perhaps other Covenant officials) influenced by ancient human personalities were aiding the UNSC effort, indirectly at least.

What proof is there of this?

2 specific incidents come to mind.

In Halo 2, Rtas’ Vadum mentioned that he had smelt the stench of the Flood before, In all likelihood he was referring to his actions aboard the Seeker of Truth, however this could also be a reference the experiences of an ancient human geas deep inside his psyche, who like Rtas had ample experience of the Flood.

I admit, this evidence alone if flimsy, however the events of Halo 3 provide a much more interesting incident aboard the Shadow of Intent

Aboard his flagship, Rtas gives the order to glass East Africa to contain the flood infestation, a tactic used by ancient human commanders to contain flood invasions to. It’s during the interaction between himself and Terence Hood, when Hood reprimands Vadum for glassing “half a continent” that Rtas replies with the following words;

  • "One single Flood spore can destroy a species. Were it not for the Arbiter's counsel, I would have glassed your entire planet!"

  • "One single Flood spore can destroy a species.”

This isn’t Rtas stating an opinion or giving a warning, it’s a clear statement of fact as straightforward as “fire can kill”.

What’s curious to me about this is that from both Rtas’s words and the tone of his voice during this scene, it’s as if he has seen a single flood spore destroy an entire species.

To the best of my knowledge, there have been no significant flood outbreaks in the Halo Universe since the Halo Array was fired. On the rare occasions the Flood has been encountered by UNSC or Covenant forces in the recent past, it has been successfully contained or eliminated without threat of an unchecked outbreak and contamination of the type prehistoric humanity and the Forerunner's endured.

Put simply as of the 26th century, there have been no reported incidents of a Flood outbreak destroying a single colonized world much less an entire species in either Covenant or human territory. Rtas’ Vadum could not have known this for a fact, yet his experience in this scene seemed absolutely genuine, almost as if he had witnessed the wholesale destruction of an entire race by a single flood spore.

Ancient humans and Forerunner witnessed the destruction of both worlds, and entire species at the hands of the Flood, with both coming very close to this fate themselves.

My theory therefore, is that Rtas’s statement here was influenced, whether he knew it or not by an ancient human (or Forerunner) personality who fought the Flood 100,000 years ago buried somewhere deep within his psyche.

So how did it get there, and why would an ancient human personality be buried in the mind of a Sangheili who for 28 years participated in holy war against humanity?

The answer to this theoretical question could be both manifold and mind-boggling. It would depend on whether there personality was human or Forerunner, whether they were placed in an ancient Sangheili lineage willingly or forcibly, as part of a punishment, or to escape persecution.

This is my best crack at it.

We know ancient humans lost their war with the Forerunners, and in the aftermath were subjected to horrific generic devolution at the hands of their former enemies, a fate so terrible that many committed suicide. We also know that in the aftermath of the human-forerunner wars, remnants of the human military scattered across the universe where they were eventually hunted down by the Forerunner's and their allies. We also know that as rivals of the Forerunners, ancient humans were their rivals in many fields of advanced technology, which may well include the ability to extract and implant memories and personalities that can survive through generations of hosts.

As I said, we know some ancient humans fought the Forerunners to the death. Others may have fled the galaxy though it must be stressed wherever they fled, the Forerunner could follow them.

How else could they escape the Forerunner’s persecution of the last remnants of their civilization...?

By doing the absolute last thing the Forerunner would expect, extracting their own personalities and stashing these genetics imprint’s the last place the Forerunner would think to look.


<Hold on, more is coming>
We know prior that prior to the firing of the Halo Array, the Sangheili as a race had some form of contact with the Forerunner’s, even if the Forerunner did treat the Sangheili as some form of pre-space protected race within their territory. For a small, moderately sized or even large number of prehistoric human warriors desperate to escape execution or genetic devolution at the hands of the Forerunners, a pre-space and potentially pre-industrialized Sangheilios within the Forerunner’s empire must have been a ideal hiding place. Discarding their warship’s and advanced weaponry, I imagine these ancient humans one by one transplanting their generic personalities into a small number of primitive Sangheili before finally destroying their own bodies to erase any evidence of their survival.

The ancient humans would have then lived on within their Sangheili hosts to witness the disastrous Forerunner-Flood war and the Sangheili’s cataloging into the Ark before the Halo Array was finally fired.

After the Sangheili’s reseeding, these ancient human personalities could have formed the core of a secret society in the emerging Sangheili civilization, their knowledge on technology, weaponry and tactics guiding the Sangheili society from tier 7 to tier 2. (Which would explain why the Sangheili attained such a high level of technology so quickly)

Hence many generations later Rtas’ Vadum, a member of unique sub-race imbued with the transplanted personality and memory of an ancient human warrior which has survived through multiple blood lines is born, one day to take his place in this shadow faction at the heart of the Covenant.

But why...?

Why would this Sangheili shadow faction apparently guided or influenced by the transplanted personalities ancient human warriors allow their kin to the commit wholesale slaughter on their effective cousins, and actually participate in the massacre themselves?

As before, the potential answers are manifold.

The ancient human personalities may have degraded to a point where they can no longer control their Sangheili hosts, or their influence to manipulate the Covenant’s internal schemes may be more limited then I originally believed. Alternately the protection of Earth’s location and humanity’s survival as a species may simply have been viewed with limited importance by our ancient ancestors, whose own motives of manipulating the human-covenant war, seemingly for their own ends may have been more cold-blooded in nature.

But again I fear I’m digressing, as ultimately the probability that this Covenant shadow factions exists, and their motives is the subject of a post for another day.

So in conclusion, Rtas Vadum’s statement that “One single Flood spore can destroy a species” seemed to me to have been born from genuine firsthand experience of an indivual who had witnessed an entire race consumed by the Flood. From everything we know of the Halo Universe, a 26th century Sangheili could not have firsthand experience of a galactic scale Flood outbreak, which makes me think Rtas’ Vadum, the much loved Half-Jaw is knowingly or unknowingly harboring an ancient human psyche within his mind who has lived through the horror of a Flood contagion left unchecked before, 100,000 years ago.

As always thanks for taking the time to read this post, and sorry for the massive digression in the middle.

I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts.
I think it is as simple as the Covenant not looking very hard for Earth. They only found it in 2552 because of a Luminary they found on Meridian. Just seems like too much of a convoluted theory.
Careful with that. Hardcore Fanboys will be on troll patrol. I already got reamed for suggesting chief harbors the iso didact's geas. They'll say it's "baseless" and "illogical" and "without citation" or "merit". Prepare Uranus.
timh1990 wrote:
So in conclusion, Rtas Vadum’s statement that “One single Flood spore can destroy a species” seemed to me to have been born from genuine firsthand experience of an indivual who had witnessed an entire race consumed by the Flood.
I don't buy it. The Covenant was aware of the Flood before their encounter with Installation 04. The Minister of Etiology explained the Flood to Rtas in the Graphic Novel. Well, maybe not explained in detail, but he mentions that Rtas never studied, and he could have gone back to High Charity and read up on the Flood after his encounter with them.

Let's also not forget what they might of learned from 343 Guilty Spark between 2 and 3.
timh1990 wrote:
Ok, crazy conspiracy theory time.
To clarify, the title of this post may be a little misleading. I don’t actually believe Rtas’ Vadum is an ancient human with some-kind of super-advanced poly-morphine type sheath tech that allows him to assume the form of a Sangheili. Rather, due to reasons I will go into more detail on now, I have reason to believe Rtas’ Vadum, knowingly or unknowingly may harbor an ancient human personality in the form of a geas, exactly like those that were placed into Chakas and Risor. This ancient human’s personality, whoever he or she is lived the through the prehistoric Human-Flood and Human-Forerunner conflict, or so I have reason to believe.
Just to provide some background, I have a long standing theory that there was some form of shadow faction within the former Covenant hierarchy leadership. An illuminati type group which has existed inside the Covenant empire in some form over ever since its foundation, and as of the 26th century the influence of this of this organization equaled or surpassed even that of the San’Shyuum hierarchs.
Admiral Preston Cole first hinted at the existence of this group during his letters to his brother, when he stated that he couldn’t understand why the Covenant couldn’t locate Earth as in his own words, all the aliens would need to do was stick a radio attena into space and triangulate Earth’s source from the multiple radio waves bouncing around the many human colonies. Cole theorized at the time that there was some kind of internal division at the very top of the Covenant leadership which was preventing their military intelligence division pin-pointing Earth's location, and thus preventing the Covenant using their overwhelming technological strength and numbers to launch a direct full scale assault on Earth. (With the UNSC’s economic heartland ripped out from its chest, it doesn’t take much imagination to realize how easily our remaining colonies could be picked off after Earth is destroyed)
Anyway I fear I’m digressing from my original point.
Long-story short, someone a the very top of the Covenant leadership was ensuring the human-covenant war would be a very long and drawn out affair, which indirectly worked to humanity’s advantage. My theory here is that ironically, a small (or substantially larger) number of Sangheili (and perhaps other Covenant officials) influenced by ancient human personalities were aiding the UNSC effort, indirectly at least.
What proof is there of this?
2 specific incidents come to mind.
In Halo 2, Rtas’ Vadum mentioned that he had smelt the stench of the Flood before, In all likelihood he was referring to his actions aboard the Seeker of Truth, however this could also be a reference the experiences of an ancient human geas deep inside his psyche, who like Rtas had ample experience of the Flood.
I admit, this evidence alone if flimsy, however the events of Halo 3 provide a much more interesting incident aboard the Shadow of Intent
Aboard his flagship, Rtas gives the order to glass East Africa to contain the flood infestation, a tactic used by ancient human commanders to contain flood invasions to. It’s during the interaction between himself and Terence Hood, when Hood reprimands Vadum for glassing “half a continent” that Rtas replies with the following words;
  • "One single Flood spore can destroy a species. Were it not for the Arbiter's counsel, I would have glassed your entire planet!"

  • "One single Flood spore can destroy a species.”

This isn’t Rtas stating an opinion or giving a warning, it’s a clear statement of fact as straightforward as “fire can kill”.
What’s curious to me about this is that from both Rtas’s words and the tone of his voice during this scene, it’s as if he has seen a single flood spore destroy an entire species.
To the best of my knowledge, there have been no significant flood outbreaks in the Halo Universe since the Halo Array was fired. On the rare occasions the Flood has been encountered by UNSC or Covenant forces in the recent past, it has been successfully contained or eliminated without threat of an unchecked outbreak and contamination of the type prehistoric humanity and the Forerunner's endured.
Put simply as of the 26th century, there have been no reported incidents of a Flood outbreak destroying a single colonized world much less an entire species in either Covenant or human territory. Rtas’ Vadum could not have known this for a fact, yet his experience in this scene seemed absolutely genuine, almost as if he had witnessed the wholesale destruction of an entire race by a single flood spore.
Ancient humans and Forerunner witnessed the destruction of both worlds, and entire species at the hands of the Flood, with both coming very close to this fate themselves.
My theory therefore, is that Rtas’s statement here was influenced, whether he knew it or not by an ancient human (or Forerunner) personality who fought the Flood 100,000 years ago buried somewhere deep within his psyche.
So how did it get there, and why would an ancient human personality be buried in the mind of a Sangheili who for 28 years participated in holy war against humanity?
The answer to this theoretical question could be both manifold and mind-boggling. It would depend on whether there personality was human or Forerunner, whether they were placed in an ancient Sangheili lineage willingly or forcibly, as part of a punishment, or to escape persecution.
This is my best crack at it.
We know ancient humans lost their war with the Forerunners, and in the aftermath were subjected to horrific generic devolution at the hands of their former enemies, a fate so terrible that many committed suicide. We also know that in the aftermath of the human-forerunner wars, remnants of the human military scattered across the universe where they were eventually hunted down by the Forerunner's and their allies. We also know that as rivals of the Forerunners, ancient humans were their rivals in many fields of advanced technology, which may well include the ability to extract and implant memories and personalities that can survive through generations of hosts.
As I said, we know some ancient humans fought the Forerunners to the death. Others may have fled the galaxy though it must be stressed wherever they fled, the Forerunner could follow them.
How else could they escape the Forerunner’s persecution of the last remnants of their civilization...?
By doing the absolute last thing the Forerunner would expect, extracting their own personalities and stashing these genetics imprint’s the last place the Forerunner would think to look.

<Hold on, more is coming>
Looks like do not know your lore, it was the Hierarchs that was preventing the location of Earth to be found.
Careful with that. Hardcore Fanboys will be on troll patrol. I already got reamed for suggesting chief harbors the iso didact's geas. They'll say it's "baseless" and "illogical" and "without citation" or "merit". Prepare Uranus.
Because it was "baseless" "without citation" and "merit", I am iffy on illogical.
timh1990 wrote:
Ok, crazy conspiracy theory time.
To clarify, the title of this post may be a little misleading. I don’t actually believe Rtas’ Vadum is an ancient human with some-kind of super-advanced poly-morphine type sheath tech that allows him to assume the form of a Sangheili. Rather, due to reasons I will go into more detail on now, I have reason to believe Rtas’ Vadum, knowingly or unknowingly may harbor an ancient human personality in the form of a geas, exactly like those that were placed into Chakas and Risor. This ancient human’s personality, whoever he or she is lived the through the prehistoric Human-Flood and Human-Forerunner conflict, or so I have reason to believe.
Just to provide some background, I have a long standing theory that there was some form of shadow faction within the former Covenant hierarchy leadership. An illuminati type group which has existed inside the Covenant empire in some form over ever since its foundation, and as of the 26th century the influence of this of this organization equaled or surpassed even that of the San’Shyuum hierarchs.
Admiral Preston Cole first hinted at the existence of this group during his letters to his brother, when he stated that he couldn’t understand why the Covenant couldn’t locate Earth as in his own words, all the aliens would need to do was stick a radio attena into space and triangulate Earth’s source from the multiple radio waves bouncing around the many human colonies. Cole theorized at the time that there was some kind of internal division at the very top of the Covenant leadership which was preventing their military intelligence division pin-pointing Earth's location, and thus preventing the Covenant using their overwhelming technological strength and numbers to launch a direct full scale assault on Earth. (With the UNSC’s economic heartland ripped out from its chest, it doesn’t take much imagination to realize how easily our remaining colonies could be picked off after Earth is destroyed)
Anyway I fear I’m digressing from my original point.
Long-story short, someone a the very top of the Covenant leadership was ensuring the human-covenant war would be a very long and drawn out affair, which indirectly worked to humanity’s advantage. My theory here is that ironically, a small (or substantially larger) number of Sangheili (and perhaps other Covenant officials) influenced by ancient human personalities were aiding the UNSC effort, indirectly at least.
What proof is there of this?
2 specific incidents come to mind.
In Halo 2, Rtas’ Vadum mentioned that he had smelt the stench of the Flood before, In all likelihood he was referring to his actions aboard the Seeker of Truth, however this could also be a reference the experiences of an ancient human geas deep inside his psyche, who like Rtas had ample experience of the Flood.
I admit, this evidence alone if flimsy, however the events of Halo 3 provide a much more interesting incident aboard the Shadow of Intent
Aboard his flagship, Rtas gives the order to glass East Africa to contain the flood infestation, a tactic used by ancient human commanders to contain flood invasions to. It’s during the interaction between himself and Terence Hood, when Hood reprimands Vadum for glassing “half a continent” that Rtas replies with the following words;
  • "One single Flood spore can destroy a species. Were it not for the Arbiter's counsel, I would have glassed your entire planet!"

  • "One single Flood spore can destroy a species.”

This isn’t Rtas stating an opinion or giving a warning, it’s a clear statement of fact as straightforward as “fire can kill”.
What’s curious to me about this is that from both Rtas’s words and the tone of his voice during this scene, it’s as if he has seen a single flood spore destroy an entire species.
To the best of my knowledge, there have been no significant flood outbreaks in the Halo Universe since the Halo Array was fired. On the rare occasions the Flood has been encountered by UNSC or Covenant forces in the recent past, it has been successfully contained or eliminated without threat of an unchecked outbreak and contamination of the type prehistoric humanity and the Forerunner's endured.
Put simply as of the 26th century, there have been no reported incidents of a Flood outbreak destroying a single colonized world much less an entire species in either Covenant or human territory. Rtas’ Vadum could not have known this for a fact, yet his experience in this scene seemed absolutely genuine, almost as if he had witnessed the wholesale destruction of an entire race by a single flood spore.
Ancient humans and Forerunner witnessed the destruction of both worlds, and entire species at the hands of the Flood, with both coming very close to this fate themselves.
My theory therefore, is that Rtas’s statement here was influenced, whether he knew it or not by an ancient human (or Forerunner) personality who fought the Flood 100,000 years ago buried somewhere deep within his psyche.
So how did it get there, and why would an ancient human personality be buried in the mind of a Sangheili who for 28 years participated in holy war against humanity?
The answer to this theoretical question could be both manifold and mind-boggling. It would depend on whether there personality was human or Forerunner, whether they were placed in an ancient Sangheili lineage willingly or forcibly, as part of a punishment, or to escape persecution.
This is my best crack at it.
We know ancient humans lost their war with the Forerunners, and in the aftermath were subjected to horrific generic devolution at the hands of their former enemies, a fate so terrible that many committed suicide. We also know that in the aftermath of the human-forerunner wars, remnants of the human military scattered across the universe where they were eventually hunted down by the Forerunner's and their allies. We also know that as rivals of the Forerunners, ancient humans were their rivals in many fields of advanced technology, which may well include the ability to extract and implant memories and personalities that can survive through generations of hosts.
As I said, we know some ancient humans fought the Forerunners to the death. Others may have fled the galaxy though it must be stressed wherever they fled, the Forerunner could follow them.
How else could they escape the Forerunner’s persecution of the last remnants of their civilization...?
By doing the absolute last thing the Forerunner would expect, extracting their own personalities and stashing these genetics imprint’s the last place the Forerunner would think to look.

<Hold on, more is coming>
Nah Bruh.
AlertFiend wrote:
Careful with that. Hardcore Fanboys will be on troll patrol. I already got reamed for suggesting chief harbors the iso didact's geas. They'll say it's "baseless" and "illogical" and "without citation" or "merit". Prepare Uranus.
Because it was "baseless" "without citation" and "merit", I am iffy on illogical.
Personally, I find anything that's picked up and spread by HaloFollower to be pretty "baseless" and "without citation or merit".
Good theory. It's not true, but it's a good theory.
I think the theory is a little too far-fetched. Rtas 'Vasum's comments were most likely influenced by hist first-hand encounter with the Flood on-board the Infinite Succor. The "One single Flood spore can destroy a species” line was used to highlight the threat that Flood imposes and was probably used response to Hood's extensive use of metaphors. It just so happens to be an obvious fact as well as a dramatic line. You don't need geas to know that. Really, it should be obvious to anyone that's fought the Flood.

Occam's Razor suggests that we always look at the simplest explanation, so I'll take the explanation above over the existence of Sangheili being imposed with the geas of ancient humans.
I think it is as simple as the Covenant not looking very hard for Earth. They only found it in 2552 because of a Luminary they found on Meridian. Just seems like too much of a convoluted theory.
Thanks for the feedback doc.

You’ve made a very similar response to Alert Fiend, some I’m going to come back to you both in the same response to save repeating the same content. (Please see below)

Careful with that. Hardcore Fanboys will be on troll patrol. I already got reamed for suggesting chief harbors the iso didact's geas. They'll say it's "baseless" and "illogical" and "without citation" or "merit". Prepare Uranus.
Meh...wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last.

Besides that, I have quoted in detail how the existence of a Covenant shadow faction within the Covenant leadership is hinted at in the lore, particularly Admiral Preston Cole’s autobiography.

timh1990 wrote:
So in conclusion, Rtas Vadum’s statement that “One single Flood spore can destroy a species” seemed to me to have been born from genuine firsthand experience of an indivual who had witnessed an entire race consumed by the Flood.
I don't buy it. The Covenant was aware of the Flood before their encounter with Installation 04. The Minister of Etiology explained the Flood to Rtas in the Graphic Novel. Well, maybe not explained in detail, but he mentions that Rtas never studied, and he could have gone back to High Charity and read up on the Flood after his encounter with them.

Let's also not forget what they might of learned from 343 Guilty Spark between 2 and 3.
I haven’t read any of the graphic novels however I’m roughly aware of how the fit into the current lore. The extract from your link indicated that the San’shyuum minister was referencing holy texts rather than actual written military accounts of Covenant engagements with the Flood.

Keep in mind there doesn’t seem to be a universal contingency plan amongst the Covenant Ship Master’s for dealing with Flood, which suggests their contact with the parasite prior to 2552 was virtually non-existent. During Halo Combat evolved the Covenant leadership upon discovering the Flood panicked which led to an extremely chaotic withdrawal that saw one of their cruisers overrun and almost captured by the Flood. Likewise, a Sangheili Ship Master in Ghosts of Onyx actually believed the Flood to be some kind of gift from the Forerunner that should have been assisted in spreading across the galaxy.

All of this suggests the Covenant didn’t truly understand what the Flood was at what it was fully capable of, yet Rtas did.

Why?

My point here is that Rtas's words in this scene, “One single Flood spore can destroy a species” seem to be come from firsthand experience, yet his own contact with the Flood that we know of has been limited, and as of AD the Flood have never wiped out a species.

Also if you look at his actions, there completely add odds with what we’ve seen from Covenant and Sangheili Ship Master’s before.

Put simply Rtas knew exactly how dangerous the Flood was, and in retrospect from what we now in Halo 4, his actions were completely in line with how the Ancient Humans attempted to contain Flood infestations, right down to glassing a neutral/allied world that could have sparked renewed conflict with a former enemy.

AlertFiend wrote:
Looks like do not know your lore, it was the Hierarchs that was preventing the location of Earth to be found.
You may wish to brush up on your lore too.

As far as I’m aware it’s never been directly confirmed anywhere in the lore that it was the Truth, Mercy and Regret who were deliberately pro-longing the war by preventing their Sangheili commanders from locating Earth. In fact during the Cole Protocol we know that Truth was attempted to smuggle bugged plasma weapons into the hands of the human insurrections in the hope that one of these weapons would find itself back to Earth, where it would then transmit it's position to Truth, giving him Earth's location.

Admiral Cole’s autobiography specifically stated that with all their advanced technology, all the Covenant needed to do was to stick a radio attena into space and triangulate Earth’s location from all the radio signals bouncing around our colonies.

The whole point here is that Truth didn’t need to resort to such elaborate scheming to try and locate Earth's coordinates by smuggling bugged weapons via Kig-yar pirates into the hands of human rebels in order to locate out homeworld. If he was 100% in command of the Covenant empire’s full resources, all he would have needed to do was point a radio attena of sufficient power into our space and follow where the majority of radio signals were being sent back a forth from. That would have given him the location of Earth, and there would have been nothing the UNSC could have done to stop this.

I’ll admit the notion that Half-Jaw in influenced knowingly or unknowingly by the transplanted geas of an ancient human warrior is more a hunch for me then a certainty. I’m certain on the other hand however that there was some-kind of covert cabal of Covenant officials at the heart of the Covenant leadership who were acting on our behalf to stretch the human-covenant war to its maximum sustainable length. Without their interference, there’s no logical reason the Covenant wouldn’t have made use of its superior technology and numbers to locate and wipe out our most populated and industrialized colonies first, thus crippling the human war machine military and economically.

This is an opinion that’s sounded by both Doctor Hasley and Admiral Cole in one form of another, probably two of the most intelligent and practically experienced humans in the 26th century.

Nah Bruh.
Thank you for the insightful feedback there.

Good theory. It's not true, but it's a good theory.
Prior to the release of the Forerunner trilogy, would you have said the same about the prospect that humans had an ancient interstellar that warred with the ancient Forerunners...? (And that by extension, there was some truth to the Covenant claim that humanity was an affront to their God’s, considering there were Forerunner’s who had wanted humanity exterminated)
I think the theory is a little too far-fetched. Rtas 'Vasum's comments were most likely influenced by hist first-hand encounter with the Flood on-board the Infinite Succor. The "One single Flood spore can destroy a species” line was used to highlight the threat that Flood imposes and was probably used response to Hood's extensive use of metaphors. It just so happens to be an obvious fact as well as a dramatic line. You don't need geas to know that. Really, it should be obvious to anyone that's fought the Flood.

Occam's Razor suggests that we always look at the simplest explanation, so I'll take the explanation above over the existence of Sangheili being imposed with the geas of ancient humans.
To me Rtas’s quote here seems far to specific to be nothing more than dramatic effect.

You advise that considering the Flood destroyed the Forerunner’s the fact that a single Flood spore could destroy a species should be obvious, but we as the audience only know this with the benefit of hindsight having played through Halo - Combat Evolved, something Rtas wouldn’t have the benefit off.

Keep in mind pretty much every single race, organization and individual who has encountered the Flood have made the paramount mistake of letting it spread before they try to deal with it.

Ancient humans didn’t realize the danger of the early Flood spores and exposed it directly to domesticated animals among their colonies. Likewise the Forerunner’s themselves didn’t truly comprehend how intelligent and contagious the Flood was either, trying to deal with it initially as your would deal an infection.

ONI tried to weaponize it aboard that prison ship and ended up rapidly losing control of the situation. Even Thel, with all his experience and natural ability lost control of the Flood on the sacred ring which very nearly led to a contaminated cruiser escaping into deep space.

Rtas is the only one out of Forerunners, ancient humans, ONI, and other Covenant commanders of proven ability to understand the exact dangers of the Flood and the best strategies to contain them.

What makes him so different?

Yes maybe he is just naturally talented or luck was on his side in this instance.

Alternatively, we know transplanted personalities can exist inside a host body and influence and guide that host, helping them in the decisions they make.

However unlikely, it’s not impossible that the transplanted personality of an ancient human warrior found its way into one of Rtas’s ancestors 110,000 years ago, and has continued to exist throughout his lineage in some form.

The technology and background is all there, and an ancient human warrior by the end of the human-Forerunner wars would have had allot of experience in fighting the Flood, which would be invaluable to Rtas in the present.
timh1990 wrote:
I think the theory is a little too far-fetched. Rtas 'Vasum's comments were most likely influenced by hist first-hand encounter with the Flood on-board the Infinite Succor. The "One single Flood spore can destroy a species” line was used to highlight the threat that Flood imposes and was probably used response to Hood's extensive use of metaphors. It just so happens to be an obvious fact as well as a dramatic line. You don't need geas to know that. Really, it should be obvious to anyone that's fought the Flood.

Occam's Razor suggests that we always look at the simplest explanation, so I'll take the explanation above over the existence of Sangheili being imposed with the geas of ancient humans.
To me Rtas’s quote here seems far to specific to be nothing more than dramatic effect.
Bungie was all about dramatic effect though. Remember "to war"?

You advise that considering the Flood destroyed the Forerunner’s the fact that a single Flood spore could destroy a species should be obvious, but we as the audience only know this with the benefit of hindsight having played through Halo - Combat Evolved, something Rtas wouldn’t have the benefit off.
Rtas was present during the battle of Installation 04 (Halo: Combat Evolved) and knew first-hand the threat the Flood presented. Not to mention that he later had the benefit of a Forerunner Monitor aboard his flagship. One with a significant amount of information about the parasite and its virility. Rtas would have days to take advantage of that talkative machines knowledge.

Keep in mind pretty much every single race, organization and individual who has encountered the Flood have made the paramount mistake of letting it spread before they try to deal with it.
Because they had little to no information about the constantly-evolving Flood in early encounters. Rtas had a Monitor with over 300-years worth of intelligence on the parasite.

Ancient humans didn’t realize the danger of the early Flood spores and exposed it directly to domesticated animals among their colonies. Likewise the Forerunner’s themselves didn’t truly comprehend how intelligent and contagious the Flood was either, trying to deal with it initially as your would deal an infection.
Rtas has the benefit of hindsight which neither ancient humans nor Forerunners had in their first encounters. Covenant religion regards the Flood as a test to be overcome and an abomination to be purged from existence. And Again, Guilty Spark's wealth of knowledge was at his disposal.


ONI tried to weaponize it aboard that prison ship and ended up rapidly losing control of the situation. Even Thel, with all his experience and natural ability lost control of the Flood on the sacred ring which very nearly led to a contaminated cruiser escaping into deep space.
And Thel made certain not to make the same mistake when he ordered the quarantine of High Charity and the glassing of Delta Halo between H2 and H3. Even during Halo: CE, Thel focused on sterilizing the Flood after its outbreak rather than killing John-117. Just like Rtas, the Arbiter knew not to allow the Flood to spread.

Rtas is the only one out of Forerunners, ancient humans, ONI, and other Covenant commanders of proven ability to understand the exact dangers of the Flood and the best strategies to contain them.
He isn't the only one. High-heat bombardment has been used for over 100,000 years. Not to mention that even when they aren't fighting the Flood, the Covenant traditionally use energy projectors to glass land masses. It is often called a "cleansing beam".

What makes him so different?
Nothing, honestly. By Halo 3, pretty much everyone but the delusional Truth and his closest followers knew how dangerous the Flood was.

Yes maybe he is just naturally talented or luck was on his side in this instance.
He's naturally talented an a graduate of the best war college on Sanghelios so he probably takes strategy very seriously, especially when deling with the Flood.

Alternatively, we know transplanted personalities can exist inside a host body and influence and guide that host, helping them in the decisions they make.
But we don't have any examples of cross-species imprinting.

However unlikely, it's not impossible that the transplanted personality of an ancient human warrior found its way into one of Rtas's ancestors 110,000 years ago, and has continued to exist throughout his lineage in some form.
Again, there's a significant doubt that human imprints are compatible with Sangheili neural pathways.

The technology and background is all there, and an ancient human warrior by the end of the human-Forerunner wars would have had allot of experience in fighting the Flood, which would be invaluable to Rtas in the present.
The tech and background really isn't there, though. An ancient human warrior would not risk allowing any information about fighting the Flood remain in the galaxy in any form for Forerunners to find. After Charum Hakkor, the last human fleets thoroughly destroyed their remaining colonies in a scorched earth policy to annihilate any and all records regarding their strategies against the Flood and supposed cure. Burning their own worlds but saving imprints of their minds and implanting them in beings on a own Forerunner-occupied planet would render the final act of defiance meaningless.
Responses are bolded.

The biggest hole in this theory is that there's no evidence that ancient humans could extract minds and replant them in something else. Were they capable of such a feat, they likely would have had Forthencho implanted in someone/something else rather than letting him get captured by the Didact and have his consciousness prodded relentlessly.
timh1990 wrote:
I haven’t read any of the graphic novels however I’m roughly aware of how the fit into the current lore. The extract from your link indicated that the San’shyuum minister was referencing holy texts rather than actual written military accounts of Covenant engagements with the Flood.

Keep in mind there doesn’t seem to be a universal contingency plan amongst the Covenant Ship Master’s for dealing with Flood, which suggests their contact with the parasite prior to 2552 was virtually non-existent. During Halo Combat evolved the Covenant leadership upon discovering the Flood panicked which led to an extremely chaotic withdrawal that saw one of their cruisers overrun and almost captured by the Flood. Likewise, a Sangheili Ship Master in Ghosts of Onyx actually believed the Flood to be some kind of gift from the Forerunner that should have been assisted in spreading across the galaxy.

All of this suggests the Covenant didn’t truly understand what the Flood was at what it was fully capable of, yet Rtas did.

Why?

My point here is that Rtas's words in this scene, “One single Flood spore can destroy a species” seem to be come from firsthand experience, yet his own contact with the Flood that we know of has been limited, and as of AD the Flood have never wiped out a species.

Also if you look at his actions, there completely add odds with what we’ve seen from Covenant and Sangheili Ship Master’s before.

Put simply Rtas knew exactly how dangerous the Flood was, and in retrospect from what we now in Halo 4, his actions were completely in line with how the Ancient Humans attempted to contain Flood infestations, right down to glassing a neutral/allied world that could have sparked renewed conflict with a former enemy.
First of all, you're ignoring my "don't forget what they could have learned from 343 Guilty Spark" statement because 343 Guilty Spark does in fact have first hand experience with the Flood and was in charge of an Installation designed to combat them. Second, you're forgetting that the Covenant fought the Flood at Shield World 0459, and unlike the UNSC Spirit of Fire which never returned home from that encounter and never informed the UNSC about the Flood, the Prophet of Regret's Destroyer would return home. So yes, they knew of the Flood and fought it before.

By the time they've reached that point in Halo 3, Half Jaw already fought them at Installation 04, encountered them in the Gas Mine, fought them at Installation 05 where he held a blockade to keep them from escaping and then chased one of their ships to Earth. He does have experience by the time he says that line, but it comes from now, not 100,000 years ago.
First of all, you're ignoring my "don't forget what they could have learned from 343 Guilty Spark" statement because 343 Guilty Spark does in fact have firsthand experience with the Flood and was in charge of an Installation designed to combat them.
My apologies, I did mean to come back on this point, but to be honest 343 Guilty Spark’s involved did kind of slip my mind.

You’re correct that 343 GS would have access to records concerning the Forerunner-Flood wars that Half-Jaw could have made use off.

The main point I was making here is that Half-Jaw’s statement “One single Flood spore can destroy a species” sounds like it comes from personnel experience which Half-Jaw shouldn’t have. Yes he’s encountered the Flood as part of a small spec ops team, but he’s never actually seen the Flood consume an entire species as far as we know, therefore this seems like an unusual statement for him to make to me.

Second, you're forgetting that the Covenant fought the Flood at Shield World 0459, and unlike the UNSC Spirit of Fire which never returned home from that encounter and never informed the UNSC about the Flood, the Prophet of Regret's Destroyer would return home. So yes, they knew of the Flood and fought it before.
Do we know whether any Covenant military personnel survived the destruction of Shield World 0459 though, other than Regret? That destroyer could have been destroyed along with the shield-world. (I know that Field Master in Halo Wars is suppose to make a reappearance in Halo 5, but I don’t he was on the Shield World before it blew)

I really wouldn't trust Regret to report the destruction of a holy Forerunner construct to the Covenant authorities considering it effectively happened under his watch, which means the Flood encounter was likely hushed up as well. No after-action report being filed means Sangheili commanders including Rtas wouldn’t have been aware of this encounter, and to my knowledge there are no other instances of human or Covenant forces encountering the Flood prior to 2552.

By the time they've reached that point in Halo 3, Half Jaw already fought them at Installation 04, encountered them in the Gas Mine, fought them at Installation 05 where he held a blockade to keep them from escaping and then chased one of their ships to Earth. He does have experience by the time he says that line, but it comes from now, not 100,000 years ago.
The point I was making here is that almost without exception, the only individual who has successfully contained a Flood outbreak is Rtas.

Ancient Humans didn’t understand what they were dealing with until it was too late to contain the Flood infection. The Forerunners didn’t take prudent action when they had the chance which resulted again in the Flood spreading to fast for them to contain.

For all his competence, even Thel’ Vadum made a tactical mistake by sending in a strike team to try and repair the Truth & Reconciliation, rather than destroying it while it was still on Halo's surface.

My point here is that time and time again, Humans, Forerunners and Sangheili have all made the mistake of underestimating just how infectious and quick to spread the flood can be, but Rtas didn’t, and instead knew exactly how to contain them, even if it meant breaking the Sangheili-UNSC ceasefire and risk fracturing their tentative alliance.

I think there’s a very specific reason for Rtas’s success where countless others have failed here that we’re overlooking.
Or Rtas was just extremely lucky to have lived through his encounters with the Flood and was able to learn from his experience. His encounters with the Flood on the Infinite Succor showed him how virulent and deadly the parasite was and allowed him to be ready for them on the Threshold Gas Mine. Upon seeing how virulent the Flood was on Installation 05 he would be able to see what the Flood unchecked can do. He does not need the geas of an ancient human, something zero evidence supports existing in any non-human race, to have common sense. You put too much emphasis on his single Flood spore line.
timh1990 wrote:
The main point I was making here is that Half-Jaw’s statement “One single Flood spore can destroy a species” sounds like it comes from personnel experience which Half-Jaw shouldn’t have. Yes he’s encountered the Flood as part of a small spec ops team, but he’s never actually seen the Flood consume an entire species as far as we know, therefore this seems like an unusual statement for him to make to me.
It's pretty obvious how threatening the Flood is when you encounter it and the fact that even the mightiest godlike race in the universe only defeated them by activating the Halo Array and killing all life in the Galaxy, makes it pretty clear what the Flood is capable of. You didn't "have to be there" in order to figure this out. He saw Installation 05 being consumed, as well as fleets of ships and High Charity itself. He did experience the Flood's viciousness in his life-time.

Guilty Spark also used a similar line about a single Flood spore in terminal musings and if Spark spoke with the Shipmaster and taught his Sangheili about the true purpose of Halo, then details like that would be important.

"Just one of these spores, if released from this facility, would render the ultimate judgement against our self-appointed role as protectors of this galaxy." - 343 Guilty Spark

timh1990 wrote:
Do we know whether any Covenant military personnel survived the destruction of Shield World 0459 though, other than Regret?
You think Regret piloted that 1,600 meter long CPV Destroyer himself? Of course other's survived besides him. Regret was inside the Sphere while the Spirit of Fire was combating the Flood and Covenant forces on the surface. After they broke through and were pulled inside by the Sphere, they collided with Regret's Destroyer as it was leaving. Every single person on that ship should be aware of the Flood.

And no, the Installation wasn't destroyed under his watch because it was intact when he left it. The Installation was destroyed under Ripa 'Moramee's watch. It's the opposite of Halo 2. Instead of blaming a guy and turning him into an Arbiter, you blame the guy who was already an Arbiter at the time.

timh1990 wrote:
The point I was making here is that almost without exception, the only individual who has successfully contained a Flood outbreak is Rtas.
And my point is Rtas had knowledge of Containment Protocols because he had a Monitor who fought and spent 100,000 years containing the Flood. He was taught about the Flood and knew his experiences fighting them on these Installations. Nothing more.
Careful with that. Hardcore Fanboys will be on troll patrol. I already got reamed for suggesting chief harbors the iso didact's geas. They'll say it's "baseless" and "illogical" and "without citation" or "merit". Prepare Uranus.
The only modern Humans that possibly harbor geasan (geas plural) are the Master Chief, Preston J. Cole (Forthencho maybe), and Halsey.
If only. As a Sangheili roleplayer, I'm personally offended that the humans get all the Reclaimer stuff!