Halo: Escalation Issue 23
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On September 18, 2558 , Dr. Catherine Halsey enters the central chamber of the Absolute Record while many Phantoms protect the entrance. She encounters a hologram of the Librarian, who tells her that the answers she seeks are inside the chamber, containing everything Halsey needs "to begin their work".
Outside the central chamber, Spartans Sarah Palmer and Holly Tanaka fight off Ibie'shan Kig-Yar and protect Dr. Glassman, then are assaulted by a Lich. The humans flee but are cornered by two Sangheili Zealots. However, an Aggressor Sentinel kill both Zealots then speaks in the voice of the Custodian of the Absolute Record. After Halsey shut down its main body and took control of the Record, a failsafe activated that put a fragment of the custodian in the mind of a local Sentinel. Asking their help to restore it to its body, the Sentinel leads the humans to a secure location.
Meanwhile aboard the Breath of Annihilation, which is parked on a moon of the Record for repairs, Sali 'Nyon mobilizes his rebellion aboard the ship. He takes Ayit 'Sevi's advice to raid Jul's vault in the ship full of Forerunner artifacts from Requiem. His followers cause panic aboard the ship, and Jul's forces on the Breath call for their field scouts at the moon's swamps to return to the ship to help them. However, the surviving Kig-Yar of the two that Thorne fought refuses to return, instead out to hunt the Spartan for the death of his friend. Thorne opens fire on the Jackal but gets stuck in the swamp, almost allowing the Jackal to kill him. He manages to shoot its head, but it falls on him and he continues to sink the swamp.
Back at the Record, Halsey listens to the Librarian's hologram as it informs her of the many dormant artifacts across the galaxy that Halsey could choose to awaken. It suggests an unknown planet surrounded by twelve moons, which contains design seeds that, when activated, will begin harvesting the surrounding solar system to construct a new facility. One of the moons also stores numerous Forerunner dreadnoughts, available for automated control. Through them Halsey will be able to begin the next step in humanity's evolution.
Thorne manages to pull himself out of the swamp, but he is badly wounded. He calls Ayit for help, but he is too occupied with the rebellion onboard the Breath, currently in the middle of overwhelming Jul's followers. Ayit advises him to stay off the ship, but Thorne insists on returning because of his urgent wounds. He takes flight in a vacant Banshee and tells Ayit to meet him at the ship, over the Elite's protests.
Inside the Record Jul's forces occupy most of the facility, too many for the humans to battle through. They wait outside the central chamber for Halsey, Jul expressing misgivings at her eagerness to command these Forerunner sites. He orders his Zealots to detain Halsey once she exits, as a reminder that she is under his command. Through the Record's communications, Halsey overhears his conversation and remarks that she had another matter to attend to: terminating their alliance. With the Record's controls, Halsey orders the Sentinels to attack Jul and his warriors.