Control Room (Installation 04)
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The Control Room was the site that controlled all of Installation 04's operations.
The control room is located in an immensely deep gorge below the surface of Installation 04. The facility was built directly into a giant artificial cavern and protected by several sets of massive, presumed blast-proof, doors.
Inside there was a large circular bridge that lacked supports. The bridge ended in a circular walkway. Both the bridge and walkway were made out of a reflective, transparent material. In the center of the walkway there was a hologram of Threshold, Basis, and the ring between the two. On the outside of the walkway there was a model of the Halo ring itself. The model displayed a detailed map of the terrain and slowly rotated.
The chamber contained the Core, a holographic computer terminal where the Activation Index could be inserted to activate the rings. The terminal also reported the weather, rate of spin, information on the machines keeping the ring running, and information on the outbreak of the Flood.
The control room for the replacement Alpha Halo constructed at the Ark is a nearly identical copy of the original ring's counterpart. The temple structure has the same basic triangular shape as Installation 04's control room, with a long support beam running from the ground to the top of the structure. There are minor aesthetic differences, including the walkways on each level being more narrow, as well as the tower at the top being replaced by a large flat landing.
Inside the control room, the corridors and doorways are reminiscent of Installation 04, while offering minimal changes. The actual control room and control panel is scarcely different from the original. The large dome-shaped room still shows a holographic image of the Halo ring, although Threshold is missing from this image (as the ring has not been moved to that point).
The differences in design from the original Alpha Halo may be due to the ring's incomplete state, as suggested by Cortana's observation, "Halo. It's so new...unfinished."
For thousands of years, the ring and its control room were completely derelict. In 2552, after the UNSC Halcyon-class cruiser UNSC Pillar of Autumn crash-landed on the ring, Covenant scouts came across the control room, possibly through use of the Silent Cartographer.
When Master Chief John-117 came across the control room, he integrated Cortana into the Core. Absorbing the wealth of knowledge, she informed him of a terrible secret and sent the Chief after Captain Keyes and his squad who were going after supposed a Covenant weapons cache, in reality a Flood containment facility.
Later, Halo's Monitor, 343 Guilty Spark, brought the Chief back to the control room in order to activate the ring. When he learned what the ring's true function was, the Chief yanked Cortana out of the panel and raced to stop the activation process.
In the months after Installation 04's destruction, Installation 00, the Ark, began constructing a replacement for the ring. During the raid on Installation 08 in the immediate wake of the destruction of the Covenant, John-117, Arbiter Thel 'Vadam, Sergeant Johnson and 343 Guilty Spark entered the control room of the replacement Installation 04, intending to activate the ring and sterilize the Flood outbreak at the Ark. Despite the Gravemind's attempts to stop them from reaching the control center by deploying copious amounts of Flood forms in the area via dispersal pods, the group eventually made it inside. However, 343 Guilty Spark, infuriated by Sergeant Johnson's attempt to fire the ring while still in an unfinished state, turned on the trio and killed Johnson. The Master Chief soon destroyed the monitor and inserted Cortana to the Core. She used the previous Installation 04's Activation Index to initiate the firing process of the unfinished Halo, which began to rapidly demolish the control room and prompted John-117 and the Arbiter to escape.
When viewed from the top, the main console room resembles the Marathon logo.
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