Halo 3 Terminals Part 1

Halo 3 Terminals Part 1

Forerunner Communication


Follow-up report from the Primary Pioneer Group (hereafter: PPG) is [173 hours] delinquent. Report [G617a~k/g/post_landfall] seemed most promising: a planet capable of supporting life located within the near border region of the [galactic halo] with no indigenous sentient species. The section indicating no fauna of any kind shall be considered anomalous until verified by Advance Survey Team-Alpha (hereafter: AST-A) team leader [##_#[?]] If confirmed, that fact alone would justify the dispatch of an investigative group to [G617g]. If neither the PPG or AST-A have delivered a follow-up report within the next [333 hours] this office will have no choice but to send a medium intensity military exploratory detachment to determine the exact nature of the previously mentioned delinquency.


Observed extensive ground action on [LP 656-38 e]. 9,045 survivors barricaded within central government building. Structure's defenses inadequate to withstand extended siege by enemy ground forces (1,572,034,315+). Estimated position overrun in [173 hours].

846 smaller groups in less defensible structures; global distribution corresponding to [probability model zeta]. Estimated local position overrun in [9 hours] (average).

Observed local naval forces engage enemy irregular naval group near [DM-3-1123]. Enemy group consisted of 149 commercial shipping vessels, passenger ferries, and private recreational vehicles from neighboring system. Enemy losses were total. No damage was sustained by local naval vessels.

However, it was immediately apparent that the enemy group sought only to enter [DM-3-1123 b's] atmosphere and make landfall. In this they were partially successful.

Observed extensive ground action on [DM-3-1123 b]. Enemy forces lacked basic cohesion but quickly gained numerical superiority. [32 hours] after enemy landfall 83% of local naval forces advocated total [destruction of the biosphere] following the evacuation of unmolested population centers. Enemy losses were total.

Estimated number of citizens evacuated before commencement of orbital blanket bombardment: 1,318,797 civilian/42,669 military (.0006% of total population).



Non-combat personnel are required to wear [combat skin] with a minimum rating of at least [class 12] in non-restricted areas, once the fleet is underway. [Class 14] or lesser [combat skin] is acceptable in core areas. Combat personnel will only be permitted to wear [combat skin] rated below [class 8] in core areas, once operations begin.


All combat personnel have been issued combat skin rated at [class 4~1] or [class 6~1 battle harness] depending on military operational specialty. All weapon platform specialists are expected to wear their issued [platform interface skin] at all times to ensure peak [mind-machine synchronization]. All [equipment lockers] will remain sealed until post briefing gear distribution commences.


Those individuals that have yet to register their equipment [control key code] with Fleet Command should do so at their earliest opportunity. Compliance is not optional; noncompliance will result in {~}



I hope this message finds you well and helps you understand my decision. Today I leave the only world I have ever called home, not for glory or [the anomalous desire to end another's life[?]] as you have [indicted]; but to [travel the path of demons[?]] to spare the hands of [another Father's son].

"Had we acted sooner; had we acted more decisively..." Living in the past is a luxury none of us can afford. We must learn from it, but we cannot live there. It is impossible to plan for the [now]--the present is ever fleeting. [The future] is where we must live--[the future] is what we must plan for.

I do not look to trade my life in order to preserve our past, but to secure the future--and if not ours, then the future of some [culture] yet to come.

Isn't sacrifice in the interest of others what you always spoke of as being so noble? Should I have allowed another to bloody his hands while I remained safe behind a [shield of privilege]?

You raised me better than that.

[Filial Devotion]




L: Categorization has sped since the improvements were announced, but there are many hurdles. The indexing of sentient species may have irreversible effects on the surviving nonsentient species. We will have extinction events and irreparable environmental harm on at least 18 worlds. Current projections estimate post-archival cataclysm on as many as 31 worlds. The paucity of sentience has been a blessing in this regard.

D: How formal of you, Librarian. We're receiving shipments of indexed beings more frequently than communications. Don't compound scarcity with brevity. I know things beyond the [Maginot] line are harried. But I worry about you. I've asked you time and time again. Abandon your cataloging. Come back inside, where my fleets can keep you safe. Come home.

L: Would that it were my choice. I have committed to this course because it is the right thing to do. We no longer have the manpower or material to excise remedial measures at a planetary level. I certainly can't justify using the [transit measure] to save my own skin when there are still so many innocents to protect and index.

D: You know I oppose your mission, but you're exceeding its parameters anyway. You've put yourself in jeopardy. You've done enough. If you will not come to me, I will find my way to you.

L: We have no time to spare, Didact. Every vessel we can fill, we send to the Ark. I dare not cease the mission. Not now, not until I've done all I can. Each one of these souls is finite and precious. And I'm close. Close to saving them all.



L: I'm close to finishing the task. The indexing and the archival processes are as complete as I can hope for. If we wait longer, we risk catastrophe. The thing has already destroyed every colony on my side of the line. Please. Activate the Array.

D: No. Activation is murder. A genocide larger than [this galaxy] has ever known. We are sworn to protect life not destroy it! That is the Mantle we were given to carry.

L: The Mantle. You still hold to that [fairy tale] after all that has happened? After this thing has consumed a million worlds? Can't you see? Belief in the Mantle sealed our doom! Weakened our [protectorates], bred dependence and sloth. Our [so-called Guardianship] has stripped those we would keep safe of any capacity for self-defense! Were we such noble [Guardians] when we drew our line and abandoned billions to the parasite?

D: The Mantle has not failed! I've already razed scores of worlds - sterilized systems, routed and [disintegrated] the parasite! We're learning its tricks and strategies. We can halt this thing! And we can follow in Their footsteps! There are no unstoppable forces in this universe. There are no immovable objects. Everything gives if you push hard enough.

L: And what about us, Didact? We've been irresistible and immovable for too long. Maybe it's our turn to give.



D: We have the answer. We've built Mendicant Bias. It's a contender-class [AI] unlike anything we've ever achieved. And we've observed a pattern it can exploit. The parasite has formed a Compound Mind. When it reaches a certain mass, the Mind is able to recoil its disparate parts to create a [tactical shield]. This is a simple matter of mass preservation. The thing has no compunction about sacrificing parts of the whole. But when the core of the Mind is threatened, it reacts violently and quickly. This is the only time we see it retract or slow its growth. If we are to defeat it, the trick will be coordinating our forays against the [sprawling infection] while Mendicant Bias assaults the Mind's core. So far, we've been hesitant to use certain weapons because of the damage they cause surviving populations and environments. That protocol has been abandoned. Mendicant Bias will draw the Mind into battle outside the line, dealing with local biomass and other parts as best he can. The scale of the problem is vast, but the strategy is sound. It will require patience, materiel and an investment of energy unlike anything we have ever considered. It's a dangerous plan that carries more risk than the Array, but I believe it can work. Even if we simply force it to retreat--to retract--that will at least give us some respite. Some time to muster more resources...Some time to rescue you.

L: Are you insane? Would you risk every life in the galaxy for this transparently futile plan? Have you learned nothing in these last [300 years[?]]? The thing will laugh at your efforts! Do not let your concern for my welfare commit you to this suicidal scheme!



L: Something is wrong! It’s moving away! At night I can see it – flitting shadows – black against the stars. Thousands of ships! Not spiraling outward but heading for the line. This is the tipping, Didact. It’s no longer feeding. It’s coming for you.

L: I've remotely destroyed our Keyships. A security measure. Without them I cannot reach the Ark. But neither then can the thing. I'm trapped. On a beautiful, empty world. Its inhabitants have been safely indexed, every single one of them. They're special--well worth the effort it took to build one final gateway even at this late hour. This may be our last communication. I'm begging you. Fire the Array. Light the weapon, and let it be done.

D: We've confirmed your observations. Infected supraluminal ships are arrowing inward from several clusters. No more spiral growth. The thing is counterattacking. Suppression, Security and Emergency Circumstance fleets are all being recalled. Systems are evacuating. Mendicant Bias is no longer communicating with us. But now I can guess where you are.



L: My work is done. The portal is inactive, and I've begun the burial measures. Soon there'll be nothing but sand and rock and normal ferrite signatures. You should see the mountain that watches over it. A beautiful thing--a snowcapped sentinel. That's where I will spend what time is left to me. Did I tell you? I built a garden. The earth is so rich. A seed falls and a tree sprouts or a flower blooms. There's so much...potential. We knew this was a special place because of them, but unless you've been here, you can't know. It's [Eden]. I have to stop transmitting. The thing is listening. Its [thinking dead] are babbling--laughing through every channel they can find. Be proud. The Mind claims victory, yet it still doesn't suspect. You've outwitted it, my love. And now you can destroy it. But you cannot save me.



D: Proud? When I have failed you utterly, how can I feel anything but sorrow? Bias has come undone. He crossed the line this morning--brought the abomination with him--and destroyed your waiting rescue party. It's over. We're activating the [destruction arrayed matrix], our shameful last resort. I can picture you in your garden, surveying all you have created--surveying all you have preserved. And I curse the circumstance that keeps my finger on the trigger.

D: Of all the fates to befall us, this is the cruelest of all. My inaction and hesitation kept me here, on the wrong side of the line. And [300 years[?]] of our society's failure and miscalculation makes me your executioner. It's too much to bear.


D: Mendicant Bias is trying to prevent us from firing the Array. He speeds back to the Ark, but he won't succeed. Offensive Bias will stop him, and I will burn this stinking menace in your name. And then? I will begin our Great Journey without you, carrying this bitter record. Those who came after will know what we bought with this [false transcendence]--what you bought, and the price you paid.

Continue to Part 2

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