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Halo: The Fall of Reach
- "We must be near Eridanus." - Halsey's first words to Keyes after exiting her cryotube.
- "I’m fine, Lieutenant. Get cleaned up and dressed. Hurry. We have important work to do.” - After Keyes offers his help in getting dressed and to work.
- “Welcome, Lieutenant. Please have a seat at the communication station and monitor the channels when we enter normal space. If there’s so much as a squeak on nonstandard frequencies, I want to know instantly.”
- “Toran? Give me astrogation maps of the system. Are there any planets currently aligned with our entry trajectory and Eridanus Two? I want to pick up a gravitational boost so we can move in-system ASAP. And can we have some music? Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto Number Three, I think. And start a preburn warm-up cycle for the fusion engines. And stop spinning theHan ’s central carousel section. We may need the power.” - To the Han's AI Toran.
- “Yes, Lieutenant? You have a question?”
- “A fairly accurate assumption and analysis, Lieutenant. This is a reconnaissance mission... of sorts. We are here to observe a child. The first of many, I hope.” - When Keyes asks why they've been sent to survey this system.
- “A six-year-old male, to be precise. It may help if you think of this purely as a UNSC-funded physiological study. Which is precisely what you are to tell anyone who asks. Is that understood, Lieutenant?”
- "I hate cryo sleep. It leaves one so cramped.”
- “Oh yes, I know how dangerous this system is. It has a colorful history: rebel insurrection in 2494, beaten down by the UNSC two years later at the cost of four destroyers. I don’t believe the Office of Naval Intelligence ever found their base in the asteroid field. And since there have been organized raids and scattered pirate activity nearby, one might conclude—as ONI clearly has—that the remnants of the original rebel faction are still active. Is that that[sic] what you were worried about?” - When Keyes protests that this system is dangerous for just the two of them.
- “Speaking of pirates, weren’t you supposed to be monitoring communication channels for illegal signals? Just in case someone takes undue interest in a lone, unescorted, diplomatic shuttle?”
- "Continue to monitor them, please."
- “You don’t need my permission. By all means, speak candidly, Lieutenant. You’ve been doing a fine job so far.” - When Keyes asks to voice his opinion.
- “Then, Lieutenant, I shall be equally candid. You are here because Vice Admiral Stanforth, head of Section Three of UNSC Military Intelligence Division, refused to lend me this shuttle without at least one UNSC officer aboard—even though he knows damn well that I can pilot this bucket by myself. So I picked one UNSC officer. You. You see, I’ve read your file, Lieutenant. All of it.” - When Keyes expresses that he feels he's less qualified for this mission.
- “You do know what I’m talking about. You don’t lie well. Don’t insult me by trying again.” - When Keyes denies knowing what she's referring to.
- “I chose you precisely because of your record—because of the incident in your second year at OCS. Fourteen ensigns killed. You were wounded and spent two months in rehabilitation. Plasma burns are particularly painful, I understand. The Lieutenant responsible was your CO on that training mission. You refused to testify against him despite overwhelming evidence and the testimony of his fellow officers . . . and friends. They told the board of review the secret the Lieutenant had entrusted to you all—that he was going to test his new theory to make Slipspace jumps more accurate. He was wrong, and you all paid for his eagerness and poor mathematics. Despite continuing pressure, you never testified. They threatened to demote you, charge you with insubordination and refusing a direct order—even discharge you from the Navy. Your fellow officer candidates testified, though. The review board had all the evidence they needed to court-martial your CO. They put you on report and dropped all further disciplinary actions. That is why you are here, Lieutenant—because you have an ability that is exceedingly rare in the military. You can keep a secret. You may have to keep many secrets after this mission is over.”
- “I think that you would rather be on the Magellan . Fighting and dying on the frontier.”
- “Indeed, Lieutenant, ever since we left Earth’s gravity, well, we’ve been fighting one another for every cubic centimeter of vacuum—from Mars to the Jovian Moons to the Hydra System Massacres and on to the hundred brushfire wars in the Outer Colonies. It has always been on the brink of falling apart. That’s why we’re here.”
- “This child could be more useful to the UNSC than a fleet of destroyers, a thousand Junior Grade Lieutenants—or even me . In the end, the child may be the only thing that makes any difference.” - When Keyes asks what difference could the one child make.
- “It’s nice here. This colony doesn’t know how good they’ve got it. Rural lifestyle. No pollution. No crowding. Climate-controlled weather.” - Halsey regarding Eridanus II.
- "Relax. We’re supposed to be parents inspecting the school for our little girl." - To Keyes, who is uncomfortable in a civilian suit.
- Number 117 had all the genetic markers she had flagged in her original study—he was as close to a perfect subject for her purposes as science could determine. But Dr. Halsey knew it would take more than theoretical perfection to make this project work. People were more than the sum of their genes. There were environmental factors, mutations, learned ethics, and a hundred other factors that could make this candidate unacceptable. - Halsey's thoughts in John as a subject.
- “You like games. So do I.” - Halsey to John when meeting him after his King of the Hill winning streak.
- “I have a different game I want you to try. Look. People used coins like this for currency a long time ago, when Earth was the only planet we lived on.” Each side is different. Do you see? One has the face of a man with long hair. The other side has a bird, called an eagle, and it’s holding—”
- “We’ll use this coin in our game. If you win you can keep it.”
- “It’s very simple. I toss the coin like this. Next time, though, before it lands, I want you to tell me if it will fall with the face of the man showing or with the eagle holding the arrows.”
- Was it possible that he saw which side was up when he grabbed it . . . or more improbably, could have picked which side he wanted? - Halsey's thoughts on John correctly guessing the right side.
- She shouldn’t have used his name. That was a bad sign. She couldn’t afford the luxury of liking her test subjects. She mentally stepped away from her feelings. She had to maintain a professional distance. She had to... because in a few months Number 117 might not be alive.
- “We screen these subjects for certain genetic markers. Strength, agility, even predispositions for aggression and intellect. But we couldn’t remote test for everything. We don’t test for luck.” - When Keyes asked why she tested John with a coin.
- “Of course not. But we have one hundred and fifty test subjects to consider, and facilities and funding for only half that number. It’s a simple mathematical elimination, Lieutenant. That child was one of the lucky ones—either that or he is extraordinarily fast. Either way, he’s in.” - When Keyes asks if she believes in luck.
- “I hope that continues, Lieutenant. For your sake, I hope you never understand what we’re doing.”
- Dr. Halsey knew what she had to do. Her duty. It was for the greater good. All humanity would be served... even if a tiny handful of them had to suffer for it. Still, when she turned inward and faced her complicity in this—she was revolted by what she saw.
- “I’m forgoing your recommendations, Déjà. I’m going to tell them the truth.” - When Déjà's psychological evaluations tell Halsey that it'd be better to lie to the children why they've been taken.
- “So do lies. Any story fabricated to motivate the children—claiming their parents were taken and killed by pirates, or by a plague that devastated their planet—if they learned the truth later, they would turn against us.” - When Déjà tells Halsey that the truth has risks.
- “A memory loss that may leak into other parts of the brain. No, this will be dangerous enough for them even with intact minds.” - When Déjà suggests wiping the children's memories of their parents.
- “They’ll adapt. Or they won’t, and they will be untrainable and unsuitable for the project. Either way I just want to get this over with.”
- “As per Naval Code 45812, you are hereby conscripted into the UNSC Special Project, codenamed SPARTAN II. You have been called upon to serve. You will be trained . . . and you will become the best we can make of you. You will be the protectors of Earth and all her colonies. This will be hard to understand, but you cannot return to your parents. This place will become your home. Your fellow trainees will be your family now. The training will be difficult. There will be a great deal of hardship on the road ahead, but I know you will all make it. Rest now. We begin tomorrow.”
- “Keep them busy tomorrow. Keep them from thinking about what we’ve just done to them.” - To Mendez and Déjà.
- “Do? I think that’s obvious, Chief. Make him a Squad Leader.” - To Mendez, after hearing John's testimony about why he ordered his Spartans to attack the men guarding the Pelican.
- “I want that transmission decoded now.” - Referring to the encrypted messaged sent to her by Admiral Ysionris Jeromi.
- “On my glasses, please, Déjà.” - Halsey's glasses scan her retinas to allow her access to classified documents.
- She winced at the veiled rebuke in the Admiral’s communiqué. He had never approved of her decision to work with the Office of Naval Intelligence, and made his disappointment with his star pupil evident every time she visited Hopeful. It was hard enough to justify the morality of the course she was about to embark upon. Jeromi’s disapproval only made her decision more difficult.
- “I have doubts, Déjà. I thought the reasons so compelling when we first started project SPARTAN. Now? I... I just don’t know.” - After seeing Jeromi's calculations for the augmentation surgery's risks of failure.
- “Only if they survive to fulfill that mission. We should delay the procedures. More research needs to be done. We could use the time to work on MJOLNIR. We need time to—” - After Déjà reminds her of the predicted climaxing of the Insurrection.
- “I hate this. And sometimes, Déjà, I hate you, too.” - After Déjà warns that ONI might replace Halsey with someone with fewer moral qualms.
- “I’ll tell you how to win, John. You have to survive.” - To John during his surgery, as he asks how to pass this "mission".
- “Our situation has changed. Where are my Spartans? They are not in their barracks, nor on any of the ranges.”
- “Maybe you should explain that statement, Chief.” - When Mendex tells her the Spartans have had to train elsewhere.
- “I presume you do not have my Spartans taking inventory today, Chief?” - When Mendez tells her they're now in an abandoned titanium mine.
- “I’m not sure I see the connection between this place, my Spartans, and the exoskeleton projects, but I’ll play along a bit further. Yes, I know all about the Mark I prototypes. We had to scrap the concept and redesign battle armor from the ground up for the MJOLNIR project. The Mark Is consumed enormous energy. Either they had to be plugged into a generator or use inefficient broadcast power—neither option is practical on a battlefield. They used the units that weren’t scrapped as dock loaders to move heavy equipment. Or might they have been dumped in a place like this?” - When Mendez asks her if she knows about the MJOLNIR Mark I.
- “You haven’t put my Spartans in some of those antiques?”
- “Then they are faster and stronger than we anticipated?” - After Mendez tells her three trainers were accidentally killed by the Spartans.
- “Capture the flag? Past all that heavy armor?” - When witnessing their new training field.
- “Where are the Spartans?”
- “He’s at point blank range! Even stun rounds can kill at that distance!” - When seeing John attack one of the Mark Is.
- “Show me that again. You recorded all that, didn’t you?”
- “They should not be performing so well. There must be unexplained synergistic effects brought on by the combined modifications. What are their reaction times?” - After Mendez tells her the Spartans run at an average of 55 mph.
- “Any physiological or mental instabilities?”
- “They might as well have been killed. But can the Spartans kill, Chief? Kill on purpose? Are they ready for real combat?” - Regarding the trainers' inability to get out of their armor.
- “Something has happened, Chief. Something ONI and the Admiralty never expected. The brass wants to deploy the Spartans. They want to test them in a real combat mission.”
- “Your rumors are out-of-date, Chief. There’s no more fighting at Harvest. There is no more Harvest.” - When Mendez says he's heard rumors of the fighting at Harvest.
- “Get them out of this hole. I want them ready to muster at 0400. We have a briefing at 0600 tomorrow aboard the Pioneer. We’re taking them on a mission ONI has been saving for the right crew and the right time. This is it.
- “Tomorrow we see if all the pain they’ve been through has been worth it.”
- “Good morning, Spartans. I have good news for you. The word has come down. Command has decided to test your unique abilities. You have a new mission: an insurgent base in the Eridanus System.”
- “In 2513, an armed insurrection in this system was suppressed by the UNSC force—Operation: TREBUCHET. The insurrection was put down. However, elements of the rebel forces escaped and regrouped in the local asteroid belt. Billions of rocks, where they hid from our forces... and continue to hide to this day. For some time ONI believed that the rebels were disorganized, and were lacking in leadership. That appears to have changed. We believe that one of these asteroids has been hollowed out, and that a formidable base has been constructed within. UNSC explorations into the belt have met either with no contact or with an ambush by superior forces. The Office of Naval Intelligence has also confirmed that FLEETCOM has discovered a security breach within their organization—a rebel sympathizer leaking information to these forces. This is their leader, Colonel Robert Watts. The original photo was taken after Operation: TREBUCHET and has been computer aged. Your mission is to infiltrate the rebel base, capture Watts, and return him—alive and unharmed—to UNSC-controlled space. This will deprive the rebels of their new leadership. And it will provide ONI a chance to interrogate Watts and root out traitors within FLEETCOM.”
- “Spartan-117. Report to the bridge immediately.”
- “We haven’t let this be widely known, but when the aliens were first detected at Harvest, they appeared at extreme range... and then they were suddenly much closer.” Revealing that Covenant ships are capable of intra-system slipspace jumps.
- “Correctly surmised, Spartan.” - When John answers her statement.
- “You mean we cannot navigate with that kind of accuracy.” - When Captain Wallace denies that slipspace can be navigated through that accurately.
- “We’ll be using the Commonwealth’s dropship to go to the testing facility on Chi Ceti Four. We have to get to Project MJOLNIR. Before they do. So get the others ready.”
- "A Covenant ship." - When the Unyielding arrives to attack the Commonwealth.
- “Energy shields. Even ships this small have energy shielding.” - When the Unyielding emerges completely undamaged from the Archer missile barrage.
- “No. Evasive maneuvers, Captain. Now!” - After Wallace gives the order to finish off the Unyielding.
- “Respectfully, Captain, I suggest that you alert the crew to get on respirator packs. Give them thirty seconds then vent the atmosphere on all decks, except the bridge.” - After the Commonwealth's armor is destroyed, and most of its decks breached.
- “Plasma. But not any plasma we know... they can actually guide its trajectory through space, without any detectable mechanism. Amazing.” - When asked what the Commonwealth was shot with.
- “Not quite. The Commonwealth carries three nuclear missiles, correct, Captain?”
- “The Longsword interceptors?” - When John suggest giving the Covenant ship another target to engage.
- “We don’t know if our weapons can destroy them. But at least we know we can slow them down.” - After the Unyielding survives a nuclear missile.
- “Captain? A flyby?” - After Wallace orders the Commonwealth to head to the Damascus Facility to drop off Halsey and the Spartans.
- “We need to hurry. We don’t have much time—and there is a great deal I need to show the Spartans.”
- “Project MJOLNIR. “The armor’s shell is a multilayer alloy of remarkable strength. We recently added a refractive coating to disperse incoming energy weapon attacks—to counter our new enemies. Each battlesuit also has a gel-filled layer to regulate temperature; this layer can reactively change in density. Against the skin of the operator, there is a moisture-absorbing cloth suit, and biomonitors that constantly adjust the suit’s temperature and fit. There’s also an onboard computer that interfaces with your standard-issue neural implant.”
- “Most importantly, the armor’s inner structure is composed of a new reactive metal liquid crystal. It is amorphous, yet fractally scales and amplifies force. In simplified terms, the armor doubles the wearer’s strength, and enhances the reaction speed of a normal human by a factor of five. There is one problem, however. This system is so reactive that our previous tests with unaugmented volunteers ended in... failure.”
- “Normal humans don’t have the reaction time or strength required to drive this system. You do. Your enhanced musculature and the metal and ceramic layers that have been bonded to your skeleton should be enough to allow you to harness the armor’s power. There has been... insufficient computer modeling, however. There will be some risk. You’ll have to move very slowly and deliberately until you get a feel for the armor and how it works. It cannot be powered down, nor can the response be scaled back. Do you understand?”
- “Right now. Volunteers?” - When John asks when they'll try them on.
- “You’ve always been lucky, John. Let’s go.” - Choosing John to test the armor first.
- “Listen carefully to me, John. I just want you to think, and only think, about moving your arm up to chest level. Stay relaxed.”
- “Petty Officer, run through the obstacle course. We will proceed to fit the other Spartans. We don’t have a great deal of time left.”
- “Carefully, Petty Officer. Very carefully, please."
- “It will come to you soon enough. You’ve already received some subliminal training during your last cryo sleep; now all you need is time to get used to the suits.”
- “Spartans, so far so good. If anyone is experiencing difficulties with the suit or its controls, please report in.”
- “You’re the only ones who can use them, Petty Officer. Who else could we give them to?" - When John asks if they're keeping the armor.
- “No, Captain. We’re going to have to fight them... and this time we have to win.” - When the Commonwealth offers to sacrifice itself to draw the Covenant ship away for longer.
- “Captain Wallace may be trying to use Chi Ceti’s magnetic field to deflect the Covenant’s plasma weapon. Try and catch up, Petty Officer.”
- “Covenant ship to port. Three million kilometers and closing on the Commonwealth.”
- “Of course. It was one of our first design considerations. The suit can recycle air for ninety minutes. It’s shielded against radiation and EMP as well.” - When John asks if their MJOLNIR suits can operate in vacuum.
- “May I ask what you have in mind, Squad Leader?”
- “Most certainly not,” she said. “If a warship like the Commonwealth couldn’t destroy it, a Pelican is certainly no match for them.” - When John asks for he and the other Spartans to engage the Unyielding.
- “How will you get onboard?” - When John suggests a boarding operation.
- “One slight error in your trajectory, and you could miss by kilometers.”
- "They have reflective shields."
- “It’s a tremendous risk.”
- “Very well. Go. And blow the hell out of them.”
- “Covenant ship approaching. I’m pumping out your atmosphere to avoid explosive decompression when I drop the back hatch.”
- “I hope they treated you well... or at least decently.” - After John's debriefing at Camp Hathcock.
- “How are you, Master Chief?”
- “Indeed it was. How would you like to have another victory? The biggest we’ve ever had?”
- “I was counting on you to say that, Master Chief. We’ll be speaking soon.”
- “Open these damn doors, soldier. Let’s get this over with.”
- “I’ll be speaking to you and the other Spartans, soon.”
- “Blame security, Déjà. “ONI’s precautions here are becoming increasingly ridiculous.” - When Déjà tells Halsey she's arrived 14 minutes later than usual.
- None of that really mattered. It was just a means to an end for Dr. Halsey... a means to getting Project MJOLNIR back on track. - When reminiscing on her fame from the Spartans' success.
- She reached for her coffee cup and knocked a stack of papers off her desk. They fell, scattered onto the floor, and she didn’t bother to retrieve them. She examined the mud-brown dregs in the bottom of the mug; it was several days old.
- The office of the most important scientist in the military was not the antiseptic clean-room environment most people expected. Classified files and papers littered the floor. The holographic projector overhead painted the ceiling with a field of stars. Rich maple paneling covered the walls and hanging there were framed photographs of her SPARTAN IIs, receiving awards, and the plethora of articles about them that appeared when the Admiralty had made the project public three years ago. They had been called the UNSC’s “super soldiers.” The military brass had assured her that the boost to morale was worth the compromised security.
- At first she had protested. But ironically, the publicity had proved convenient. With all the attention on the Spartans’ heroics, no one had thought to question their true purpose—or their origin. If the truth ever came to light—abducted children, replaced by fast-grown clones; the risky, experimental surgeries and biochemical augmentations—public opinion would turn against the SPARTAN project overnight.
- “Déjà. The spooks are nervous. I need to power you down, or ONI won’t give me access to the files.” - After finding she can't access her classified documents with Déjà present.
- “—which was classified as Top Secret, Eyes Only.” - When Cortana appears and tells Halsey she's read the report.
- “I assume you have examined the classified data brought back from Sigma Octanus Four?”
- “I am aware of that. One of those opportunities is Project MJOLNIR.” - When Cortana says the Covenant might be scavenging another species' technology, which could lead to new opportunities for the UNSC.
- “Is it possible, Cortana, that I know something you don’t?” - When Cortana expresses surprise that MJOLNIR Mark V was approved.
- Cortana reminded Dr. Halsey of herself when she had been an adolescent: smarter than her parents, always reading, talking, learning, and eager to share her knowledge with anyone who would listen. Of course, there was a very good reason why Cortana reminded Dr. Halsey of herself.
- “Soon. There are a few final modifications that need to be made in the systems.” - When Cortana asks if she'll be reassigned for RED FLAG.
- “Which one do you want?” - When Cortana asks which Spartan she'll be assigned to.
- “Perhaps it would be best if you picked another—” - After Cortana immediately gravitates to John-117.
- “It was a question, Cortana. I did not give you carte blanche to select your ‘carrier.’ There are compatibility issues to consider.” - When Cortana responds that Halsey said she could choose.
- Why was she hesitating? The match was superb. But was Cortana’s predilection for Spartan 117 a result of him being Dr. Halsey’s favorite? And did it matter? Who better to protect him?
- “He was awarded this Legion of Honor medallion because he dove into a bunker of Covenant soldiers. He took out twenty by himself and saved a platoon of Marines who were pinned down by a stationary energy weapon emplacement. I’ve read the report, but I’m still not sure how he managed to do it.”
- “You’ve read his CSV?”
- “Then you know he is neither the smartest nor the fastest nor the strongest of the Spartans. But he is the bravest—and quite possibly the luckiest. And in my opinion, he is the best.”
- “Could you sacrifice him if you had to? If it meant completing the mission? Could you watch him die?”
- “Good. Then you can have him.” - After Cortana confirms that mission completion comes first, and John's survival second.
- “Now. Show me your pick of our ship candidates for the mission.”
- “Perfect. I concur with your final selection recommendation. We will start the refit operations at once.”
- “Ah yes, the Captain. I have the perfect man for the job. He’s a tactical genius. I’ll forward you his CSV, and you can see for yourself.”
- “Besides, he has the most important qualification for this job. The man can keep a secret.”
- “Good evening, Spartans. Please take your seats. Assembled here tonight,” she said, “are all surviving Spartans save three, who are otherwise engaged on fields of combat too distant to be easily recalled. In the last decade of combat there have only been three KIAs and one Spartan too wounded to continue active duty. You are to be commended for having the best operational record of any unit in the fleet. It is very good to see you all again.”
- “Admiral Stanforth has asked me to brief you on the upcoming mission. Due to its complexity and unusual nature, please disregard your normal protocol and ask any questions you have during my presentation. Now, on to the business at hand: the Covenant.”
- “The Covenant are still largely unknown to us. Their motivations and thought processes remain a mystery—though our best analysis points to some compelling hypotheses. The following information is, naturally, classified."
- “We know that the Covenant—our translation of their name for themselves—are a conglomerate of a number of different alien species. We believe that they exist in some kind of caste structure, though to date the exact nature of that structure remains unknown. Our best guess is that the Covenant conquer and ‘absorb’ a species, and adapt its strengths into their own. The Covenant’s science is imitative rather then innovative, a by-product of this societal ‘absorption,’ ”
- “This is not to say that they are lacking intelligence, however. During our first encounter they gathered computer and network components from our destroyed ships... and they learned at an astonishing pace. By the time Admiral Cole’s fleet arrived at Harvest, the Covenant initiated a communications link and attempted a primitive software infiltration of our ship AIs. In a matter of weeks, they had learned the rudiments of our computer systems and our language. Our own attempts to decipher Covenant computer systems have only been partially successful, despite our best efforts and decades of time.
- “Since then they have made increasingly successful forays into our computer networks. That is why the Cole Protocol is so important and carries the punishment of treason for failure to comply. The Covenant may one day not need to capture a ship to steal the information within its navigational databanks.”
- “As I stated earlier, the Covenant are a collection of genetically distinct groups in what we believe is a rigid caste system. These are most likely part of their military or warrior caste—not the highest ranking caste, either, given how many are sacrificed during ground operations. We believe there is a ‘race’ of field commanders, which we are currently calling ‘Elites.’ ”
- “We believe these are their scientists.” Referring the Huragok.
- “This was recorded on Sigma Octanus Four. A heavily armored warrior superior to either Grunts or Jackals.”
- “ONI hypothesizes at least two additional castes. A warrior capable of commanding ground forces and possibly piloting their ships, and a leadership caste. We have deciphered a handful of Covenant transmissions that refer to— Ah, yes. ‘Prophets.’ We believe that these Prophets are in fact the leadership caste, and that they are viewed by the Covenant rank and file with an almost religious reverence.”
- “This is where you come in. Your mission will involve these so-called Prophets, and will be executed in four phases. “Phase one. You will engage the Covenant and sufficiently disable, but not destroy, one of their ships. I leave that in the capable hands of Captain Keyes and his newly refitted ship, the Pillar of Autumn.”
- “Phase two. Spartans will board the disabled Covenant ship—neutralize the crew, and crack their navigation database. We will do precisely what they have been trying to do to us: find the location of their home world.”
- “In a manner of speaking. I will come to that point in a moment. Let me assure you, however, that these specialists will cause you no serious complications during this phase. In fact, they will prove rather useful in combat. Shortly, you shall have a demonstration.” - After John asks if they'll receive a specialist to help them decipher the Covenant computers.
- “Phase three will consist of taking the captured Covenant ship to their homeworld. Phase four will be to infiltrate and capture the Covenant leadership and return with them to UNSC-controlled space.”
- “Correct. Our profile of Covenant society indicates that if you were to kill one of their leader caste, this war could actually escalate. Your orders are to preserve any captured Covenant leaders at all costs. You will bring them back to UNSC headquarters, where we will then use them to broker a truce, possibly even negotiate a peace treaty with the Covenant.” - After John asks to confirm that she said to capture, not kill, a Prophet.
- “Some of you already suspect this, but I shall state it anyway for emphasis. It is my opinion, and that of many others, that the war is not going well... despite our recent victories. What is not widely known is how badly it is going for us. ONI predicts that we have months, perhaps as much as a standard year, before the Covenant locates and destroys our remaining Inner Colonies... and then moves against Earth.”
- “We will meet with you individually within a few days to continue your briefing. I will show you how you will get our computer experts on board the Covenant vessel... and I will show you the one thing that will let you get through this mission in one piece: MJOLNIR.”
- “This will just take a moment, Master Chief. We’re going to upgrade a few components in your standard-issue neural interface. Lie back and remain still, please.”
- “Good... the procedure is complete. Please follow me.”
- “This is the real MJOLNIR. What you have been using was only a fraction of what the armor should be. This— is everything I had always dreamed it could be. Please put the suit on.”
- “We’ve made hundreds of minor technical improvements. I’ll have the specifications sent to you later. Two of those changes, however, are rather serious modifications to the system. It may take... some getting used to.”
- “First, we have replicated, and I might add, improved upon the energy shield the Covenant Jackals have been using against us to great effect.”
- “It provides full coverage and dissipates energy far more efficiently than the Covenant shields the Spartans have recovered, though the shield is concentrated on your arms, head, legs, chest, and back. The energy field tapers down to a hair under a millimeter so you don’t lose the ability to hold or manipulate items with your hands.”
- “That is what you will learn here today, Master Chief. I think you’ll find that we have several challenges in store for you to see how much punishment the suit can take.” - When John asks how much damage the shields can take.
- “Yes, of course. I doubt you’ve ever seen one of these before. It is the memory-processor core of an AI.” - After John notes she mentioned his suit had two improvements.
- “Yes, like your former teacher. But this AI is slightly different. I’d like to introduce you to Cortana.”
- “There is a new layer sandwiched between the reactive circuits and the inner biolayers of your armor. It is a weave of additional memory-processor super-conductor.”
- “Yes. An accurate analysis. Your armor will carry Cortana. The MJOLNIR system has the nearly the same capacity as a ship-borne AI system. Cortana will interface between you and the suit and provide tactical and strategic information for you in the field.”
- “Cortana has been programmed with every ONI computer insurgency routine. And she has a talent for modifying them on the fly. She has our best Covenant-language-translation software as well. Her primary purpose is to infiltrate their computer and communications systems. She will intercept and decode point-to-point Covenant transmissions and give you updated intelligence in the field.”
- “Yes... and more. Her presence will allow you to utilize the suit more effectively.” - When John deduces Cortana's the specialist for RED FLAG.
- “No. Cortana resides in the interface between your mind and the suit, Master Chief. You will find your reaction time greatly improved. She will be translating the impulses in your motor cortex directly into motion—she can’t make you send those impulses.” - When John asks if Cortana can control his mind.
- “That is the question, isn’t it?” Halsey replied. “I can’t answer that, Master Chief. Not scientifically.”
- "What is the mind, really? Intuition, reason, emotion—we acknowledge they exist, but we still don’t know what makes the human mind work. We model AIs on human neural networks—on electrical signals in the brain—because we just know that the human brain works... but not how, or why. Cortana resides ‘between’ your mind and the suit, interpreting the electrochemical messages in your brain and transferring them to the suit via your neural implant. So, for lack of a better term, yes, Cortana will be ‘inside’ your mind.”
- “There is no need to worry, Master Chief. Cortana has the same mission parameters as you do. She will do anything necessary to make sure that your mission is accomplished. Even if that means sacrificing herself—or you—to accomplish it.”
- “Now, please kneel down. It’s time to insert her memory-processor matrix into the socket at the base of your neck.”
- “You must forgive Cortana, Master Chief. She is somewhat high-spirited. You may have to allow for behavioral quirks.”
- “I think we should begin the test straightaway. There’s no better way for the two of you to get acquainted than in simulated combat.”
- “The ONI brass have arranged a test for you and the new MJOLNIR system. There are some that believe you two are not up to our proposed mission.”
- “I know you are, Master Chief. Others... require proof. You hardly need a reminder to be prepared for anything... but stay on your guard, just the same.”
- “I think some of the ONI brass would prefer to see you fail this test, Master Chief. And they may have arranged to make sure you do—regardless of your performance.”
- “I know you won’t.” - When John tells her he won't fail.
- “Master Chief, you are ordered to count to ten after I leave. After that, make your way to the obstacle course. At the far end is a bell. Your goal will be to ring it. You are authorized to neutralize any threats in order to achieve this objective.”
- “Be careful, Master Chief.”
Halo: First Strike
- "Come in. And hurry. From the sounds of things upstairs we haven't much time." - After the remaining Spartan arrive at CASTLE Base.
- "It's good to see you, Fred."
- She knew this annoyed them all—how she was always able to tell who they were despite the MJOLNIR armor. She had grown up with them, knew their every gesture and their individual walks. She could have never called them by their number designations.
- "We have access to Aqua, Scarlet, and Lavender Levels," she told them. "Follow me to the medical wing." She proceeded down a concrete hallway with a high arched ceiling, recessed lights, and security cameras. "I know the Covenant entered the Epsilon Eridani system at approximately oh-five-hundred hours. ONI Section Three staff evacuated this facility at oh-five-thirty hours. I assume you're not here to let me know it's safe to come out?"
- "I see. And Captain Keyes? John?" - After Fred tells her that the Covenant have overwhelmed all their defenses.
- "I'm sure they accomplished their mission and escaped. John has never lost." - After Fred tells they've lost contact with Keyes and John.
- "Granted. I don't stand on ceremony, particularly given the circumstances. Speak your mind." - When Fred asks permission to speak freely.
- "Curious," Dr. Halsey said. "They've never taken an interest in any human or human technologies—" - After Fred points out that the Covenant have unusually left the north pole of Reach alone.
- " 'I shall do no harm.' " - The password to CASTLE's medical wing.
- "Very good. Continue to track seismic activity overhead. Interface with the Spartans' biomonitors and patch the output to the display on bay three." - To Kalmiya.
- "Give me a spotlight here, prepare a sterilization field, and lower the ambient lighting by forty percent. And a little Mahler, please. Symphony number two."
- "Fred, you have a torn Achilles tendon and three cracked ribs. Both kidneys have moderate contusions. ...you're fine."
- "William, you have a cracked tibia and some internal bleeding. Get some biofoam into that wound and avoid strenuous motions for the next day."
- "You two are in the best shape. I want you to go to Level Aqua, Section Lambda, and retrieve a few things."
- Dr. Halsey was only a civilian, but the Spartans had always accepted her authority. Perhaps because she had acted as an equal among the Fleet Admirals and Generals who were constantly trying to co-opt her work. Or maybe it was more than that. She wondered if the Spartans viewed her as some sort of mother figure. As much as this notion amused her, she doubted that they viewed anyone outside their team as family. Not even her.
- "New weapons arrived for field-testing last week, as well as parts for the MJOLNIR Mark Five armor system. We'll swap them out for your damaged components. Kalmiya, show them the way, please, and give them access to the restricted areas."
- "Vinh, you have a torn deltoid muscle, three broken fingers, and a herniated disk. Isaac, internal contusions and both shoulders have been dislocated and reinserted incorrectly, which is pinching off the blood vessels. I'll get you both fixed up in a moment, but first I want you to survey the route we took here and suggest further perimeter defenses."
- "As I said, they evacuated. On the table, please. I'm going to perform some minor repairs." - After Kelly asks where the rest of CASTLE's personnel are.
- "I volunteered to be the fail-safe option. In the lower levels of these caverns are enough high explosives to level the facility—in case we were ever overrun by the enemy. I'm here to make sure no one gets access to our technology." - Explaining why she remained behind.
- "Kalmiya, prep the flash clone facility and retrieve Kelly's DNA sequence from the archives. I'd like to get a new liver and right lung started for her.
- "You're fine for now. I just want to get replacements made for you, in case we're down here for a long time." - Halsey's lies to Kelly about her health to keep her calm.
- Dr. Halsey wondered if she did—if Kelly understood that getting shot and burned and having your internal organs traumatized wasn't supposed to happen to you every day... unless you were a Spartan. She wished the war were over. She wished her Spartans had some measure of peace.
- "Rest. Down. Doctor's orders."
- "Let's have it, Kalmiya."
- "Araqiel? That's Ackerson's watchdog, isn't it?" - After Kalmiya tells her that his routing code was detected in Kelly's medical file.
- "Can you trace the request?"
- "They can come and arrest me, then. Do as I have instructed, Kalmiya. Override your ethics center subroutine four-alpha. Nullification code: 'Whateverittakes.' " - After Kalmiya warns that breaking into the file is punishable as treason.
- "This data cluster here. Spike that and backfill with a neutralizing pulse."
- "Araqiel. Did your master leave you behind when he was reassigned? Don't you have anything better to do than steal data from my SPARTAN program?"
- "I'm the only authority left here, Araqiel. For a 'smart AT you are extremely thick."
- "These commands were invented, refined, and then discarded and forgotten long before even the first functional dumb AI went online. I learned them when I was fifteen, working on my second doctoral thesis." - When Araqiel doesn't recognize the line commands she's brought up.
- "Antiquated? Obsolete? Really? Let's test your hypothesis, Araqiel. I supervised the creation of the template for every third-generation smart AI on this planet. I know everything there is to know about you, including your borderline disregard for human life. Maybe that's why you and Ackerson always got along so well."
- "To answer your original question, this is the nexus of your being. Your code directory, the center through which all impulses in your mind flow. And this is the code that activates your personal fail-safe. It generates a pulse beam of high-frequency UV light in your Riemann cycling-thought matrix, clearing your high thought functions. It will effectively erase you."
- "A waste of memory crystal." - After deleting Araqiel.
- "Kalmiya, please retrieve the data file and show me the contents of Colonel Ackerson's directory."
- "They are not implanted in every AI." - After Kalmiya asks if every AI has a fail-safe like Araqiel.
- Kalmiya would undoubtedly stress-analyze her vocal patterns, so she told her the truth. It was always a game of chess with smart AIs—move and countermove. It was a constant challenge to earn and keep their respect. That's why she preferred their company to humans—they were so deliciously complex.
- "Filter by proper names. Let's not waste our time with Ackerson's petty blackmails. Also remove any files dated before the SPARTAN-IIs went online, and any not accessed more than a dozen times. I want to see what black ops topped his list." - After accessing Ackerson's files.
- "What the hell was he up to?" - After seeing he has records on every SPARTAN-II.
- "That is only a fragment. It had been erased, but I managed to reconstruct it from trace ionization in the memory crystal."
- "I'll have to deal with this later. Let's see what else the good Colonel was up to." - After spotting the word CPOMZ.
- "I'll be God damned." - After examining the star chart Ackerson deciphered.
- "What am I looking at, Kalmiya?"
- "I wonder if they used the natural passages to help build the mines, and later this facility? No... if it was as simple as that, why would Ackerson be interested? And why then classify this data as level X-ray? How does this connect to the alien artifact on Cote d'Azur?"
- "Yes, yes. I'll consider that later. Right now we should concentrate—"
- "They're coming. Get back to the lab ASAP. I might have a way out!"
- "I'm fine. Really." - After the Spartans find her on the ground after a support beam collapsed.
- "Down. We have to go lower."
- "Down the elevator shaft in Section Sigma. We'll seal it behind us. We can't let them follow."
- "Those satchels, over there. Medical supplies. Food and water. We'll need them, too."
- "Just a few more things. We can't let them get into ONI's records. Begin Operation White Glove. Irradiate all computer memory crystal. Code file access Beta-Foxtrot-99874."
- "Not all AIs have the fail-safe option, my dear Kalmiya... just the ones that matter." - After ordering Kalmiya to delete herself.
- "The pleasure has been mine, Kalmiya. Fail-safe override access: 'Ragnarok.' Give us a three-minute countdown."
- "I've activated the explosives cache under this base, which will level the complex. We have to get below, to the original titanium mine tunnels."
- "There should be an air vent. There. "It leads to the old mine tunnels, and more, I hope."
- "There's more to this place. This is only the beginning. We have to—"
- "The most important discovery of the millennium." - When asked what she expects to find in the tunnels
- "I'm a scientist, not a soothsayer." - When further asked what that discovery is.
- "Yes. Don't move, Fred. And don't touch anything. Excellent work. Kelly, Isaac, Vinh, Will— meet me at Fred's location." - After Fred informs Halsey that he may have found the artifact site.
- "Yes. Yes, this must be it—what Ackerson was searching for. And most likely what they are looking for, too, I imagine."
- "Hurry. I fear we've set something in motion, and our visitors upstairs might know it, too."
- "Semisolid holography. No visible emitters. Interesting. We should investigate this later. If there's time."
- "I don't like it. The Covenant aren't known for giving up on anything they start. We'd better continue." - After the sound of the Covenant's digging ceases.
- "If only we had the time." - After seeing Forerunner tiles with writing on them.
- "There must be another way." - When finding they can't walk any closer to the artifact due to the spatial distortion.
- "We must take this with us. Study it. Or destroy it if necessary to keep the Covenant from getting it."
- "Is it safe now?"
- "No time for debate. Neutrino radiation will penetrate the rock between us and the surface." - After the crystal gives off a burst of radiation from being held.
- "Admiral Whitcomb, a pleasure to see you again. My thanks for the rescue. It was far timelier than you could imagine."
- Or is it you I have to thank for this daring operation, John?"
- "The crystal. They're after the crystal."
- "She's alive ... barely. She needs help." - After Kelly is struck by a Hunter's plasma blast.
- "How very odd." - When seeing the crystal floats rather than lying on the ground.
- "Gravity. This thing warped space when we first approached. It apparently has an effect on artificial gravity fields as well. I can't wait to get this into a lab."
- "Yes and no. We jumped. But not to the Slipspace we know." - When Haverson asks if they've jumped into slipspace.
- "Whatever it is, it warps space. When we first approached it in the great room, space curled around the crystal. And again in the grav beam, it dispersed that field potential."
- "Normally, they can't. If they can fire, then logically, we're not in Slipspace. And wherever we are, the rules have changed." - When seeing Covenant ships firing in slipspace.
- "No, Sergeant. We're all in the same mess." - When Johnson declares the Covenant's own plasma will be destroying them.
- "I'd guess the alien artifact we've brought with us into Slipspace has expanded the region. Physicists believe Slipstream space is a highly compressed version of normal space, layered over and under itself, like a ball of yarn. Now, imagine that our ball of yarn is looped and knotted. These threads are not solid, however; plasma, light, and matter jump from one thread to another given the slightest quantum fluctuation."
- "Because of the mass of this ship. Imagine a rumpled sheet that represents this space. If you set a heavy mass upon that sheet, it draws it taut, smooths it out."- When asked why the ship too isn't tangled up.
- "Don't do that! A drop back to normal space has us facing a dozen or more cruisers. And if you destroy the crystal, the expanded Slipspace bubble we're in would instantly collapse. Every separate mass in the bubble will compact into a single mass. We wouldn't survive the transition." - When Lockear suggests destroying the crystal.
- "I see you are ignoring sound medical advice by moving before you have fully healed."
- "John—I've never known you to tell an outright lie. I'm picking up telemetry from your armor, right now." She swiveled one of the monitors on her chair so he could see erratic biosigns pulsing on the screen. "What with the burns, contusions, fractures, and internal bleeding, you should be in shock. The only sleep you've gotten in a week was unconsciousness brought on by your wounds. And you say you're 'fine'?"
- "Very well. I suppose you know your limitations better than anyone else." She turned the display back around. "I wanted to speak about your report on the alien construct—Halo. I've pieced together a bit of the story based on Admiral Whitcomb's recounting of your adventures, Cortana's debriefing, and the mission logs of Locklear, Johnson... and the curious partial mission log of one PFC Wallace Jenkins."
- "There are inconsistencies that I must resolve before we get back to Earth." She pushed her glasses higher onto the bridge of her nose. "One of them is Sergeant Johnson. Please step closer, John. I want you to see this with me."
- "The Sergeant survived. The only human to have direct exposure to the Flood meta-organism and walk away."
- "That's the simple part. See, here? He was diagnosed with Boren's Syndrome."
- "I'm not surprised. It's caused by exposure to high-yield plasma. Like the burst released by a Covenant plasma grenade. We don't see many cases—people usually die from the direct effects of those weapons long before these secondary symptoms manifest.
- "Apparently, the Sergeant captured a crate of plasma grenades from the Covenant during the Siege of Paris IV He used them all—received a commendation for bravery ... and a twelve-hundred-rad cumulative dose of radiation as an unanticipated bonus."
- "Boren's Syndrome is characterized by migraines, amnesia, and brain tumors... and without the proper treatment, death. It disrupts the electrical signals in a person's nervous system."
- "Yes, but it requires thirty weeks of intensive chemotherapy. Which brings me to this. The Sergeant did not wait thirty weeks to get back and fight."
- "I've deconvoluted the biosigns of the soldiers overtaken by the Flood. The parasite interfaces with a host by forcing a resonant frequency match to each host's neural system."
- "Correct. Further blood tests show his system bearing traces of Flood DNA—very much dead and noninfectious, but some gene fragments are intact. I believe this is proof of a failed attempt to possess him. It also appears to have imparted him with some curious regenerative abilities, although I cannot yet fully confirm this side effect."
- "Discovering how he survived is not what I wanted to discuss. It's what happens next to Sergeant Avery Johnson."
- "I've prepared two separate reports on this for ONI Section Three. The first has all relevant data on my analysis and the possible technology to counter an initial Flood infestation. The second includes the source material: Private Jenkins's and Sergeant Johnson's mission logs and the Sergeant's medical files. I leave it up to you which to deliver to Lieutenant Haverson."
- "For a long time I had thought that we had to sacrifice a few for the good of the entire human race. I have killed and maimed and caused a great deal of suffering to many people—all in the name of self-preservation. But now I'm not sure that philosophy has worked out too well. I should have been trying to save every single human life—no matter what it cost."
- "If you give ONI the first report, they may be able to find a countermeasure for the Flood. Maybe. They would have a slightly better chance, however, if you give them the second report."
- "Which will murder Sergeant Johnson. ONI will not be satisfied to take a sample of blood. They will dissect him to find out how he resisted the Flood. It will be a billion-to-one shot that they'll ever replicate his unique medical conditions—but they'll do it anyway. They will kill him because the trade-off is worth it to them. Is it worth it to you, John?"
- "One last lesson. I'm trying to teach you something it's taken me all my life to realize. I'm giving you the chance to make the decision that I thought I couldn't make."
- "I'm sorry. Linda is almost prepped for surgery, and I have several things I must accomplish before then. You should go."
- She hoped she saw John again before she did what she had to do, but she might not. Would the thought she had planted within him take hold? The gesture might be the only thing she could do to atone for what she'd done to him and the other Spartans.
- "Lock the door. Boost counter-intrusion measures to level seven."
- "Give me access to your core coordinates four-four-seven."
- "I'm tired of sacrificing others for the 'greater good,' It never stops, Cortana ... and we're running out of people to sacrifice."
- "I'm erasing your files on this matter. I'm sorry, Cortana, but with this, I cannot trust even you."
- "Cortana, give me an update on your core memory."
- "I'm afraid that's all we dare risk. The Halo and Covenant AI data could become corrupted if I do more. And there is no place safe enough to store that information."
- "Are you done with the temporal analysis of these logs?"
- "I'm disappointed, Cortana. That's a guess... and an incorrect one at that." - After Cortana speculates why the timestamps of the past events are off by three weeks.
- "Do you have any data from your subsequent gravity-influenced translation to correlate?"
- "As I suspected. Plot the temporal irregularities on a space-time surface. Then call up my file on the spatial distortion generated by the alien artifact."
- "That thing not only bends space, but bends time as well."
- "Don't think of it as physical distance. You and John were on an event path intersecting the crystal. You had to be there at that place and time to recover us and remove the crystal—time and space warped to make that event occur."
- "And it fits the known data. I see now why the Covenant are so interested in this object. They mustn't be allowed to get their hands on it. Not them, and certainly not Section Three, either." - After Cortana retorts that Halsey's using circular logic.
- "Give me an update on SPARTAN-058's condition, Cortana."
- "Very good. Prep and move the flash-cloned liver and kidneys from storage and ready surgical bay three."
- "No KIAs? Sam is listed as missing in action. Why would that be? He died in 2525."
- "Spartans never die? If only that were true."
- There was so much to do and so little time left for her, the Spartans, and the human race. She could do something, though. She'd save them one person at a time, starting with Linda, then Kelly, and then a handful of very important others. Of course, it meant betraying everyone who trusted her—but if that was the only way Dr. Halsey could save herself, and her soul, then she'd do it.
- "It's perfectly safe as long as we're in normal space." - Referring to the Forerunner crystal.
- "Lie down please, Kelly. Just a few more injections and we're done with your burn therapy."
- "Keep doing your physical therapy, and the dermacortic steroids will remove most of the scarring and restore your full mobility within another week."
- "No, Kelly. You're not going on the Chief's mission. You're going on mine."
- "Locate Corporal Locklear and have him report immediately, please."
- "Thank you, Cortana. That will be all. ...take good care of them all for me."
- "Whatever you're doing this is more important. I need your help getting SPARTAN-087 to the launch bay."
- "She's fine, but I have to transfer her to the asteroid base. They have a piece of equipment necessary to complete her treatment."
- "She's fine. Just sedated. This procedure is... unpleasant, even for a Spartan."
- "This is what the Covenant so desperately want. They tore up Reach to get it. They followed us into Slipspace. And Polaski died protecting this thing."
- "Keep it safe. Guard it with your life, because if the Covenant ever get it, they'll be able to jump through Slipspace a hundred times faster than they can now. Do you understand?"
- " 'My' Spartans could be ordered to hand it over to Lieutenant Haverson. And he'd risk getting it back to ONI Section Three—even if he had to gamble that the Covenant might get it." - When asked why Halsey doesn't ask one of her Spartans to protect the crystal.
- "Almost. But the moment you jump, this crystal emits radiation like a signal flare. The Covenant will find this ship ... and maybe this time they'll win the battle in Slipspace."
- "So I know you'll do whatever it takes to prevent this object from falling into enemy hands."
- "Not even Cortana could crack their crypto, indeed." - Referring back to Whitcomb's comment that Chiroptera ships are impossible to hack.
ONI: Sword Base
- "I requested your assistance, Commander, and do not need a report on events that occur on my own doorstep. What I do require is a detailed account of your previous engagement-"
- "Jorge. It's been too long."
- "What have you done with my armor?"
- "Indeed. Visegrad Relay. Its data center was home to one of my xeno-archaeologists, Professor Laszlo Sorvad. Perhaps you could shed some light on his death."
- "Irrelevant. The Elites. Tell me more about them."
- "Zealots? You're certain?"
- "Your primary objective? Commander, are you a puppet or a Spartan?"
- "There are those at ONI, myself included, who believe the Covenant dispatch Elite advance teams to hunt down artifacts of value to their religion. Survivor accounts suggest such teams are small, nimble, and almost always Zealot-class. No doubt they came to the station for the abundance of ONI excavation data stored there. And you let them get away."
- "Professor Sorvad's final entry in his field notes made reference to a "latchkey discovery". Latchkey... not a word he would use lightly. So let's hope that the data module your Lieutenant Commander stole contains it."
- "Before you ask, I was alerted the moment you attempted to access its contents. As I am with any unauthorized tap. That data is classified Tier One... I could send you to the brig for interfering with my work."
- "Are you threatening me, Commander?"
- "That... will be all, Jorge."
- "Apologies for the unusual security measures, Commander, but the stakes demand it."
- "Yes, well, as they say...news of my death has been greatly exaggerated. I only wish the same could be said of the rest of Noble Team."
- "It may please you to learn the data module Noble Two procured from the Visegrád station contained precisely what my scientist promised: a latchkey discovery. It has unlocked, at last, the secrets of this excavation."
- "Your orders were a pretext to bring you to me, and have been overridden. You are here, Team Noble, to assure the delivery of this vital data to a secure location."
- "Others will handle the demolition."
- "Colonel Holland will be briefed. You belong to ONI now."
- "Before you is an alien artifact neither Human nor Covenant in origin. Advanced beyond our comprehension...until now. Thanks to Noble Two, the decryption of its data is nearly complete."
- "The decrypting process is still underway..."
- "Bury any of it, and you bury mankind's best chance of survival! Commander, you've been wondering what your Spartans died for? They died for this. Please. Buy me all the time you can."
- "Spartans, you cannot allow the Covenant to break through the door to my lab."
- "I need more time. Whatever you need to do, do it."
- "Package is almost ready. Just a little more."
- "Well done, Spartans! I'm opening the laboratory door."
- "Knowledge. A birthright from an ancient civilization. This AI is its custodian, and she has chosen you as her couriers."
- "By this AI, yes. Her measure of you carries as much weight as my own..."
- "...Perhaps more. You are to take her to the UNSC ship-breaking yards in Asźod. There, you will find a Halcyon-class cruiser waiting to get her off-planet."
- "Do you? Mankind is outmatched. When Reach falls - and it will fall - our annihilation is all but certain. Unless...we can glean from this artifact a defense against the Covenant. A game-changer. On the level of the conical bullet in the nineteenth century, or faster-than-light travel in the twenty-third."
- "An apt question, if there were somewhere else to place our hope. There is not."
- "Take it, Lieutenant... She has made her choice."
- "Do you have it?"
- "Say the words, please."
- "I require no escort, Commander-"
- "It didn't take long for Reach to fall. Our enemy was ruthless. Efficient. But they weren't nearly fast enough. For you had already passed the torch. And because of you, we found Halo, unlocked its secrets, shattered our enemy's resolve. Our victory - your victory - was so close... I wish you could have lived to see it. But you belong to Reach. Your body, your armor - all burned and turned to glass. Everything...except your courage. That, you gave to us. And with it, we can rebuild."
ViDoc: A Spartan Will Rise
- "We knew this day would come. They have found our fortress among the stars. The Covenant are on Reach. They will burn this planet, kill millions, and when Reach falls - and fall it will - there will be nothing left to stand between them and Earth. Yet, even in our darkest hour, hope remains. Now, who will protect it? Show me Noble Team."
- "Carter, Noble One. Born leader. He turned Noble into more than just a collection of SPARTANs. They will need him now more than ever."
- "Kat, Noble Two. She is brilliant. There are no technical hurdles she can't overcome. But her curiosity borders on insubordination."
- "Jun, Noble Three. As a sniper, his skills are unmatched. On this mission, distance may be a luxury he can't afford."
- "Emile, Noble Four. Is he bold enough? Without question. But we need courage and patience in equal measure. We may require a more delicate approach."
- "Jorge, Noble Five. It's good to see him home again. But the Fall of Reach will weigh heavily upon him, and this mission will test every last ounce of his strength."
- "Noble Six. The team's most recent addition. My, my. So much black ink. Six has made entire militia groups disappear. Curious. Hyper-lethal. There's only one other SPARTAN with that rating."
- "Yes, Noble Team will do. Yet only one of them can carry our last hope. Only one will hold our fate in their hands."
- "So, you've made your choice? Yes, well... great minds do think alike."
- "You already know everything." - When Halsey's interrogator orders her to tell him about the SPARTAN-II children.
- "Children's minds are more easily accepting of indoctrination, their bodies more adaptable to augmentation. The result was the ultimate soldier. And because of our success, when the Covenant invaded, we were ready."
- "When one human world after another fell, when my Spartans were all that stood between humanity and extinction, nobody was concerned over why they were originally built." - When the interrogator accuses her of glossing over the Spartans' original reason for creation.
- "My work saved the human race."
- "What are you after? The others before you were Naval Intelligence but you - you're something else."
- "The records show efficient behavior operating in hazardous situations. I supplied the tools to maintain that efficiency." - When the interrogator cites records of Spartans being sociopathic.
- "What does John have to do with this? ...you want to replace him." - When the interrogator accuses John of being a "broken" human.
- "His file reads 'missing in action'." - When told Master Chief is dead.
- "Your mistake is seeing Spartans as military hardware. My Spartans are humanity's next step, our destiny as a species. Do not underestimate them. But most of all, do not underestimate... him."
- (Terminal) "The interesting factor here isn't that H-1 disabled the viral termination code I implanted in her matrix. These metrics imply its success wasn't just unlikely, but that even the accepted seven-year life cycle estimates may not apply. Thus far, I've determined that the unique circumstances of her creation have triggered what I can only refer to as a recessive variant in the AI seed. As her architect, I'm currently at a loss as to the origin of this rogue element. Very...curious."
- (Terminal) "Catherine Halsey, personal observations - December 15, 2554. While the survey crews examining Gamma Halo may be what pass for experts at ONI now, they are woefully out of their league for a task of this scale. There has been one startling discovery, however. One of the teams stumbled upon a device remarkably similar to the AI Matrix Compiler currently in use by the UNSC. Seeing as how I designed that particular compiler, this finding, needless to say, has piqued my curiosity."
Spartan Ops/Halo: Infinity
- "I'm not walking around the ship I built with my hands cuffed." - When brought aboard the UNSC Infinity under arrest.
- "Show me the artifact."
- "I'm not Henry Glassman, Captain." - When Lasky expresses caution about her touching it.
- "Yes, and I see you've decided I rate three of the new model." - Referring to Lasky having her surrounded by three SPARTAN-IVs.
- "First, we taught them how to be silent. Then we taught them how to be Spartans." - When DeMarco asks Madsen about what Halsey did to the kidnapped children.
- "The artifact, Forerunner, is talking to your engines, also Forerunner. But it is also communicating with these other systems as well."
- "Indeed, but the artifact is reaching out to them. And it and your engines are transmitting..."
- "You came here to study the planet. Instead, something on the planet is studying you."
- "Yes. Have they reached the location of interest?" - When asked to study the structure at Two Giants.
- "Their armor sees enough. I'm watching the environment scans."
- "There. That location. I need a closer look." - Referring to the south tower.
- "It's either the source of the signal we're tracking, or it's the destination. I suggest activating it and finding out."
- "Oh my! I'll need some of Roland's cycles for translating, but it looks like navigation data. Communications protocols. This is going to take some time to sort through." - After the tower fires a signal into the sky.
- "You knock at least. Most people don't." - When Gabriel Thorne greets her at her cell.
- "I'm afraid it's all still quite classified." - When Thorne asks about the SPARTAN-II Program.
- "I did what was required."
- "Why do you think?" - When Thorne asks why she used children.
- "There were many reasons behind the choices we had to make. Psychological and physiological."
- "Perhaps some of you are closer than others." - When Thorne asks if she thinks the S-IVs are incapable being proper Spartans.
- "So, Mister Thorne, what interest is my research to you, specifically?"
- "Does it help you—help your grief—being here on Requiem, shooting at... what do they call them? Prometheans?" - After hearing Thorne's testimony about why he signed up to become a Spartan.
- "Prometheus stole fire from the gods, and gave it to humanity. I'm simply curious what gifts, if any, the Promethean lifeforms have to offer."
- "Taking a reading. Oh my..." - When examining the Didact's Gift.
- "A moment please. Intriguing."
- "Yes. It's very similar to an A.I. Matrix. But we expected that..." - When Roland remarks that its structure looks familiar.
- "Roland, freeze all monitors!" - When the Didact's Gift begins displaying images on the screens.
- "Not pictures...memories. An alien A.I. full of human memories."
- "You knew this, didn't you, Captain Lasky?"
- "That is not ancient. That is the attack on Earth from six months ago." - When Lasky says he's aware that Promethean Knights were made from ancient humans.
- "I suspect we misunderstood the artifact's true purpose." - After seeing an image of the translocation artifact in New Phoenix.
- "Enough has been kept from me. I've decided to start questioning all my prior assumptions."
- "I suspect that's a lie, Captain." - When Lasky denies lying to her about the Prometheans.
- "Life is too short, I will never learn all that exist in our tiny galaxy let alone the rest of the universe. And I so desperately want to know...everything. But the UNSC acts like children at play in a sandbox. Mistaking its edges for the limits of the world."
- "Why? I shared no information. The intelligence already knew my name, my task, and offered data that might advance our research by years. This is a research mission after all...even if you treat it like a live fire war game." - When Palmer taunts that the UNSC might jail her for good now.
- "Yes, his hospitality speaks wonders." - When Roland tells her Captain Lasky put a lot of faith in her.
- "What is hidden can be useful." - When Roland asks what keeping secrets ever gained her.
- "Such as the phrase 'undid-iridium'." - Activating the hidden backdoor in Roland's programming.
- "Roland, tell the guards outside that Captain Lasky has requested my presence in his ready room and block all further communications."
- "Roland, give me full access to this terminal."
- "The Didact's Hand. If people would just share things with me I could solve all the world's problems. Send everything the UNSC has on the Librarian to my data pad." - When viewing Infinity's classified information.
- "This is all my own research! I need new information. Anything that has been kept from me."
- "John?! I... Roland, prep a Pelican for immediate launch. And patch this terminal into the comm systems infiltrated by the artifact." - When Roland reveals that John-117 is alive.
- "We have played your game quite long enough and we are both out of time. In our previous conversation you mentioned 'assistance'." - When contacting Jul 'Mdama.
- "Who but the Didact's Hand could offer me a Promethean soul?" - When 'Mdama asks how she knew he was messaging her.
- "What we both want, Jul: Librarian. A powerful name for me as well as you. Librarian was very fond of humans. Did you know that?"
- "John's alive! He was here, on this ship. Nobody told me he was alive!" - To Lasky, when he arrests her.
- "Captain, the Prometheans-" - During the Prometheans' attack on Infinity.
- "There's still a great many things that we don't know about slipspace." - When Palmer expresses denial that slipspace could be anchoring their ship.
- "I'm sorry, Captain!" - When a Promethean Knight kidnaps her.
- "I think it is power you seek." - When meeting Jul 'Mdama in person.
- "Knowledge is power."
- "...Glassman did this?" - When examining the partially activated shrine.
- "I wouldn't be so sure. The protective shield is emanating from the structure itself. And if I'm right-" - When Jul declares Glassman created its shield to deceive him.
- "-access requires a more human touch." - After the shrine activates.
- "You...You are Librarian. Wife of Didact. There is a Covenant cultist leader outside. He thinks you have something valuable." - When meeting the Librarian inside the shrine.
- "Why give this to me?" - When the Librarian gives her the Janus Key.
- "Thorne, take the key!" - When Gabriel Thorne arrives to rescue her.
- "That was before I knew my compatriots were a hit squad, not a rescue team." - When 'Mdama rebukes her for throwing half of the key to the Spartans.
- "Not that I fared much better in your care." - Referring to her amputated arm.
- "The UNSC just tried to execute me. So you'll need to offer something other than idle threats if you want me to help you."
- "That's easy, Jul. I want revenge." - When Jul asks Halsey what she wants him to give her.
- "The key to our future lies in our past. Luckily, those who came before us--the ones we call Forerunners--have provided us a passport into this previous impenetrable world. The remnants of their civilization are not mere monuments to the greatest intelligence to ever inhabit the universe. They are gifts. Objects of astounding complexity and elegant simplicity. Unlocking the potential of these artifacts could change our conception of life itself."
- "And though I may indulge in a certain awe when considering the limitless possibilities of tomorrow's world, I harbor no illusions as to our current reality. I've seen far too much of what is has to offer. The aggregation of power for its own sake. Inane superstition coupled with a self-fulfilling prophecy of annihilation. Our confrontation with this animal brutality left us with very few options."
- "It's become quite... fashionable to condemn the unsavory origins of my now-notorious SPARTAN-II project. But without that program - and the contribution of one Spartan in particular - humanity would've been completely wiped from existence. The hypocrites who run the UNSC know this. Their reliance on poor copies of my work is proof of its value."
- "As proud as I am of that contribution, I now know it was only a step toward something much larger. An opportunity I never even imagined... Until I came face to face with one of the ancients. A Forerunner known as Librarian. She knew my name and spoke of my destiny... an impending journey to a place called the Absolute Record. Waiting for me there--a map, unlike any other, providing the real-time location of every piece of Forerunner technology hidden throughout the universe. Then she entrusted me with the Janus Key - the artifact that unlocks the Record. The artifact that grants access to all others."
- "At the moment, I'm experiencing a slight delay in my journey to the Record. For that, I have only myself to blame. Yes, the circumstances were extreme, but my actions were rash. I made the error of mistaking an enemy for an ally. I no longer think in such simplistic terms. Now there is only the objective: Reuniting the Key. Fulfilling the Librarian's instructions."
- "I was once asked what I wanted out of life, and I replied: 'To know everything'. Looking back, it's always seemed a rather dramatic emotional response. But as I stand here now, after everything I've suffered... I think it's a perfect answer."
- "This artifact you extracted from Requiem has proven itself to be of great value, Jul. It's enabled me to communicate directly with the Infinity's Forerunner components and scramble the ship's slipspace coordinates."
- "We had to make a bold move against the UNSC. It was the only way to draw Infinity close enough for me to establish the initial link between the artifact and those engines. A sacrifice more than justified by our current position."
- "Now we don't have to chance a direct attack on Infinity. We'll simply wait for them to take their half of the Key off the ship, and deliver it directly to us." - Halsey explains her plan to strand the Infinity to Jul 'Mdama.
- "Glassman's taking the bait. The decoy artifact we cobbled together certainly served its purpose."
- "What have you done?! I told you to wait until the artifact was off the ship!"
- Halsey: "Where are you taking me? Did Queen Osman change her mind again, realize she needs slave labor for another project?"
- Palmer: "First, I work for the UNSC, not Osman. Second, keep your mouth shut. I'm tempted enough as it is to toss you down a gorge."
- Halsey: "You already took my arm. That wasn't good enough for you?"
- Palmer: "After your defection, public execution might not even cut it."
- Halsey: "It was hardly a defection. I simply embraced the party that wasn't actively trying to murder me. Under the circumstances, I'd expect you to do the same."
- Palmer: "It's one rationalization after another with you. You're a traitor and a war criminal. That's all there is to it."
- Halsey: "It's awfully convenient for you to think of me that way - isn't it, Palmer? You can't be that naive. You really think I could have pulled off everything I've been accused of without the full support of ONI? Of the entire UNSC? Consider the resources. The budgets. You think those decisions were made unilaterally? Whether it was a signed form or a wink — they approved it all."
- Palmer: "This armor — this job — has been soiled because of you!"
- Halsey: "Soiled? I'm the only reason that armor even exists! You can't have it both ways, Commander. Unless, of course, you find the perfect scapegoat. Then spend years rewriting history. Which brings us full circle, back to your master, Osman."
- Palmer: "I told you, she's not my— Hey!"
- —An argument between Palmer and Halsey before the latter escapes on Aktis IV
Halo 5: Guardians
- "Spartan Locke. I have spent enough years with ONI to know the truth. Once this is over, after all I have done... they'll order you... to kill us both."
- "Hmm, there are several. Would you like to discuss the finer points of casual reconciliation?"
- "So you have learned something from me."
- "And I can. However, I did not claim to be able to access it instantaneously."
- "Mmmm, seems your fingers are in open rebellion, Hand."
- "This location does not serve my needs. When she makes another transmission, I must triangulate—"
- "It took you long enough."
- "The signal is consistent with previous, I hesitate to call them, messages; that implies communication. This is more like, echolocation. A signal bouncing off Forerunner objects. Mapping! Searching for something. But what? What could she think to find?"
- "We have penetrated the structure that was a focal point for the last signal. I have yet to gain access to anything informative. Jul's people are more concerned with ceremony than allowing me to do my work."
- "Attained scans of new Forerunner glyphs. One is completely new. Running the other through the system revealed it contains a similar design to an ancient Sangheili symbol. This symbol referred to a demon who sleeps in the ground and must not wake. How this relates to the signal I am unsure."
- "All of the readings I would expect from a Forerunner structure of this scale are erratic at best. I am beginning to wonder if the signal is in fact bouncing off these locations as I theorized or if she is trying to access them directly, and failing."
- "Captain Lasky, I sent you my position three weeks ago! I told you this was happening!"
- "What has she done? How far has it already gone?"
- "I tried to warn you this was happening! Cortana is no longer an asset, Captain. She is a danger. She has accessed the Forerunner Domain, a galaxy-spanning network that allows her to control whatever devices caused this damage."
- "What? No. John must not speak to her."
- "You let him go?"
- "John is not equipped emotionally to deal with her as a threat-"
- "But not this one. Not yet. Sunaion. A pre-Covenant religious site on Sanghelios."
Swords of Sanghelios
- "I'll have a briefing for you by the time we reach Sanghelios."
- "It's Cortana. She touched every networked device in the camp. She knows the Guardian is here."
- "Locke, I have a briefing prepared. Given Cortana's show of power, I am reluctant to discuss it over open channels."
- "Over here, Osiris. I have located a means to activate the Guardian."
- "This is a Constructor, a Forerunner tool I can use to interface with the Guardian. Constructors were ubiquitous in Forerunner facilities. These hills are riddled with support stations for the Sanghelios Guardian. Palmer has the coordinates to one such station. Finding a Constructor there should be simple."
- "Catherine Halsey, status update. I'm playing along with your protocol here, Thel. If the Four's bring me an active Constructor, I can interface with the Guardian. It will receive Cortana's signal the moment it activates and initiates slipspace, but I think I can make sure it leaves the sea before it jumps. I'll get it in the skies over Sunaion, like you asked. In return, send me some assistants with brains in their heads. And loosen this damn security! I'm not going anywhere."
Before the Storm
- "Spartans, the Constructor seems to working as planned, but it could take some time. Palmer was looking for you."
- "Osiris? Come look at this! I'm using this structure to upload the recording from Meridian into the Constructor. Make sure you're ready to go when I give the signal."
- "Get comfortable. It could be hours before- I take it back! It's headed for Sunaion! It's moving toward the Guardian!"
- "You know what I did to create the Spartans. All in the name of the greater good."
- "Cortana is built from a matrix of my own mind. The Domain gives her incredible power."
- "Spartan Locke! Stop her. But please. Bring John home to me."
- "You talk a great deal about how little you need me, Thel. That you could take Sunaion with or without the Guardian, that uniting this whole planet is within your grasp. Go ahead, be as stubborn as you like. But do not ignore the past, and do not forget who I represent. You talk constantly of respect. It's time you showed some. Consider this my final mandatory status update."
- "It took you long enough."
Quotes about Halsey
Halo: First Strike
- "Doctor Halsey and her Spartans deserve the utmost respect, Colonel. And if you wish to keep your newly acquired position on the Security Council, you will show them that respect, or I will personally kick you from here to Melbourne. Those 'freaks' have more confirmed kills than any three divisions of ODSTs and have garnered every major citation the UNSC awards. Those 'freaks' have personally saved my life twice, as well as the lives of most of the senior staff here at HighCom. Keep your bigotry in check, Colonel. Do you understand?" - Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood to Colonel James Ackerson after the latter makes particularly spiteful comments about the SPARTAN-IIs.
Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- "And for God's sake, Catherine Halsey must never know. Her bleeding-heart sympathies for the Spartans have won her too many admirers at CENTCOM. If that woman wasn't so vital to the war we would have had her retired decades ago." - Vice Admiral Margaret Parangosky concerning the secrecy of the SPARTAN-III program.
- "Why mention Halsey here? She hated me and I hated her." - Ellen Anders