A design seed was a piece of technology used by the Forerunners to encode data that would be used to quickly assemble a machine at the appropriate time.
Design and operation
Designed by a Forerunner "pattern-weaver" assisted by ancilla, a design seed contained the schematics for the piece of technology it was designed to craft, as well as the machinery required to convert the construction materials into the object under construction. When required, design seeds could be fed into assembler vats for mass-replication.In the absence of dedicated manufacturing facilities, the construction materials could be obtained from resources available on-site. According to 343 Guilty Spark, the seeds are codes that are drawn with hard light filaments and coded with quantum commands.
The Librarian acquired a design seed that was placed inside a mountain near the Didact's Cryptum on Erde-Tyrene, which then gave birth to a large ship for his escape. The machinery worked remarkably quickly; the mountain at the center of Djamonkin Crater was dismantled and reshaped into the core components within a single night. Once fully assembled, the seed had generated a large octagonal platform surrounded by eight curved pillars, each rising a thousand meters from the ground. When the machine was activated, these pillars began to rotate around the central platform. As they spun, they projected hard light components, which used the raw materials obtained on-site and reconstituted them into the alloys and components needed to build the ship. The construction process was extraordinarily rapid; the Didact's ship was approximately one kilometer long, and yet the entire vessel was materialized in a matter of minutes.
Design seeds were also placed on Installation 00 containing weapons, ships and other technology. In 29,823 BCE, 000 Tragic Solitude dismantled a Despair-class fighter, rendering it back into design seed form. Thousands of years later during the Second Ark Conflict in 2559, the Huragok Floats Low But Steady and its Sangheili handler Val 'Telram found this dismantled Despair-class fighter buried within the Ark. Within the span of a day, the huragok began to "talk" with the ship and the launching systems holding it, describing the concept of a design seed to the Sangheili. The ship began to regrow and rebuild itself under Banished supervision, with Colony eventually taking charge of the project and setting up a formidable defense of the site with the intention of using the Forerunner ship to destroy the UNSC Spirit of Fire in recompense for the destruction of Enduring Conviction. However, Operation: SPEARBREAKER led by Sunray 1-1 was able to beat back the Banished defence and destroy the partially-constructed ship before it could be used.
Forerunners were known to use a special type of design seed called an upgrade seed to upgrade the vessels of other races when proper resources were unavailable for design seeds to create a Forerunner vessel for them. A design seed containing the plans for a starship was known as a ship-seed. Ship-seed technology provides all the building blueprints needed to built a ship upon activation using on-site materials. Fully-assembled ships created using ship-seeds are capable of being dismantled and turned back into design seed form.
List of appearances
- Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Uncharted Waters
- Halo: Warfleet, p.90
- Halo: Cryptum, pages 88-89, 94
- Halo: Renegades, page 210
- Halo: Cryptum, page 98
- Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Log: A Tensed Bolt
- Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Log: Floats Low But Steady
- Halo Wars 2: Operation: SPEARBREAKER, campaign level Gatecrashers
- Halo Wars 2: Operation: SPEARBREAKER, campaign level Not on My Watch
- Halo: Renegades, page 178
- Halo: Cryptum, page 128
- Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Log: Forerunner Ship