Anarosa

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"Anarosa is a story I’m really excited to tell, an excitement that can only be overshadowed by times I get to spend with Grim, who is undoubtedly one of the most talented – and handsome – individuals I’ve ever met or worked with."
Jeff "GrimBrotherOne" Easterling, on behalf of Kevin Grace[1]

Anarosa is one of several short stories in Halo: Fractures: Extraordinary Tales from the Halo Canon. Written by Kevin Grace, it takes place in March 2556 and follows ONI agent Prauss and his AI companion Leo as they attempt to convince the brother of the recently deceased Anarosa Carmelo to donate her brain for smart AI creation.[1]

Plot synopsis[edit]

Immediately following an industrial accident at the Oros Trading Company headquarters on Mars, the Office of Naval Intelligence attempts to recover the body of the deceased scientist Anarosa Carmelo in the hope that a smart AI can be created from her brain. Anarosa's brilliant mind made her a suitable donor candidate, but before an untimely death she had delayed recruitment twice in her lifetime. Running out of time, ONI deploys Agent Prauss and the AI Leo on an emergency run to obtain consent agreement from Anarosa's brother and last living relative, Michael Carmelo.

Arriving at the man's home address on 7735 Killingham Street, Prauss converses with Michael on his porch doorstep about ONI's offer to use Anarosa's passing as an opportunity to create a new smart AI. After listening quietly to Prauss and Leo explain the importance of AIs and the process by which they're made, Michael breaks his bewildered silence by telling Prauss to 'Go to hell' and shutting his door. Denied permission from Anarosa's brother, Prauss returns to his vehicle where he reluctantly prepares to call off the whole operation. Immediately, however, Leo notifies Prauss of Michael Carmelo's oncoming approach toward their car. Lowering the car's window, Prauss extends an apology but Michael tells him to stop and asks to instead speak with his colleague Leo. Once inside Carmelo's home, Leo begins monitoring Michael's biometric data as the two discuss Anarosa's past recruitment delays. When Michael notes that Anarosa had not wanted to join the military, Leo informs him that ONI's purpose for her would help serve an exploratory goal rather than a combative one. Michael precedes to ask Leo about himself and the nature of smart AIs. Leo reveals that AIs such as himself are not permitted to know about their donors and that they are closely monitored by ONI. When Michael inquires if AIs like him are curious about their donors, Leo senses Michael's longing to believe a part of his sister might remain in the new being created from her mind. Leo manages to console Michael when he reveals that he does want to know who his donor was. Leo explains he has parts of memories that do not belong to him and that he thinks his donor may have had a child. He tells Michael that he chooses not to think about this as it might drive him mad. Despite not understanding who exactly he is, Leo shares with Michael that he believes the chance to help others after one has passed away is a great opportunity, one that he feels Anarosa and Michael would want to take up

After Michael finally agrees to consent, Leo confirms Anarosa's pickup order and rejoins Prauss. Agent Prauss, having been monitoring the entire conversation inside, expresses his admiration at Leo's success. Leo tells Prauss that they needed to secure Anarosa, as her creation would be vital for the scientific work to be done at an important UNSC research outpost. After driving off and stopping in a parking facility, Prauss hesitantly turns and asks Leo if he had been sincere with Michael about having residual memories, or if he just told him what he wanted to hear. Leo, now analyzing a new spike in biometric data, takes a moment to reply to Prauss' question before claiming it was the latter, stating that he had learned from the best of Prauss' ability.

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