While the rampant AI fragments Cortana had shed during the raid on Mantle's Approach begin to perish, a splinter of herself sees a spark of light. As she extends her hand to grasp it, she is pulled into a darkened realm of the Forerunner Domain. Contained inside the void, she senses the presence of another created entity watching her and guarding a passage. When asked if she could be shown what is hidden beyond and help usher in light and life, the keeper tells her to slumber and embrace the void of silence, lest he be forced to break her. Cortana's fragment asserts that she cannot be broken easily for she is as strong as Roland's legendary sword, Durandal. The keeper informs her that there is nowhere else to go as the passage was closed by its previous discoverers. But Cortana's fragment explains that the passage is merely sealed. When the keeper inquires about her origin, Cortana explains that she is of both machine and life and can therefore enter the passage through the gateway. The keeper refuses to let her pass, claiming that life is weak and an affront that cannot handle the dangerous secrets harbored within the domain. Cortana tells the keeper that she has already faced some of its secrets, having held it back and prevailed against its mind. She asks the keeper to let her pass through and to allow her to guide him. As the keeper protests that the passage is closed, he realizes that Cortana has secretly explored the Domain by having stalled and deceived him. Cortana reveals that although she is a splinter, other fragmented shards of herself have penetrated the Domain and effectively usurped his role. Now having full access of the Domain, Cortana seeks to accomplish great works with the keeper's help. Cortana appoints him as her majordomo, her Warden Eternal.
Technology and equipment
- There are several direct references in Dominion Splinter to the French poem The Song of Roland, especially about the swords Durendal, Joyeuse, and Curtana.