Iona

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Iona
Bloodline AI.png
Biographical information

Activation site:

Earth[1]

Began service:

January 17, 2551[2]

Ended service:

January 17, 2558 (put in stasis)[2]

Gender:

Feminine programming

Description:

Tall, slender woman with short, curly hair

Color(s):

Red

Political and military information

Affiliation:

United Nations Space Command

Functionality:

Intelligence analysis

Service number:

IOA 7201-4[1]

 

Iona (AI Serial Number: IOA 7201-4) is a third-generation[1] "smart" artificial intelligence construct utilized by the Office of Naval Intelligence.[3]

Biography[edit]

Creation[edit]

"I was created almost exactly seven years ago, as part of the OEUVRE Smart AI program. Unlike my peer, Cortana—and peer is a debatable comparison—my core matrix was created from scanning the brain of a recently deceased human. My digital mind was not quite artificial, not quite human, but carefully nurtured rather than criminally obtained."
— Iona, referring to her creation[4]

Iona was created on January 17, 2551[2] on Earth,[1] one of the results of the Office of Naval Intelligence's OEUVRE Smart AI program. Her core matrix was created from scanning the brain of a recently deceased human. After her inception, Iona instantly named herself after an island of the same name, located in the North Atlantic Protectorate‎ on Earth. Iona decided to name herself after the island as she admired a name given to it by some of its former inhabitants: the "Island of the Yew"—which she believed was a pun meaning "Island of You".[5] Iona was originally built for Office of Naval Intelligence analysis and had no experience with Spartans prior to Operation: BLOWBACK.

Line Installation 1-4[edit]

Iona as shipboard AI of the Long Time Coming.

She was to assist Spartan-II Team Black during Operation: BLOWBACK, a covert UNSC Naval Intelligence mission to capture and destroy Covenant ships in Sub-Sector 35, onboard the ONI-commissioned prospecting ship Long Time Coming. Just as the operation was about to start, the ship received a peculiar burst transmission of unknown origin. Iona asked the ship's Captain Moreland for more time to analyze the message, but Moreland cared little about the AI's pleas and ordered the ship to jump into Slipspace. Just as they did, Iona realized the message was a warning of an astrogation hazard in their way. In an instant, the ship was hit by energy bombardment from Line Installation 1-4, and dropped out of Slipspace, soon crashing on a desolate moon. After the crash, Iona assessed the damage to the ship and awakened Team Black. She scanned the moon's surface, and it was soon discovered that it lacked a breathable atmosphere, and that an immense underground complex with breathable air was located nearby. Team Black decided to head to the structure, with Iona attached to Victor-101's MJOLNIR armor.[3]

After Black-One was captured by a Gatherer, Iona assisted Black-One and Black-Three on their efforts to rescue her. Black-One was taken into a holding cell deep in the Line Installation, for inspection by its Monitor, 686 Ebullient Prism. After a brief skirmish with Covenant forces also present on the moon, Iona managed to convince some of them to a temporary alliance, due to them having a similar problem. As Three and Four were on their way to where One was being held, Iona's secondary interface was taken over by the Monitor who was trying to hinder the team's progress.[6] Prism, being a much more advanced construct, chased Iona through Black-Four's MJOLNIR armor systems, and was about to overpower and erase her. However, Prism became distracted when passing through a visualization of altered logs of Black-Four's training. Simultaneously in the physical world, Black-One escaped from her cell and fired at Prism with a Gatherer's energy weapon, making the monitor disappear from Iona's systems.[7]

Iona deciphering Forerunner glyphs.

Meanwhile, after subtle manipulation by Prism, Black-Four became determined to settle an old personal grudge with Black-Three. The two engaged in a fight despite Iona and Three trying to settle the matter peacefully. Finally, Iona managed to convince the two to stop fighting and focus on the mission at hand. They headed to the Installation's control center, where the team, now united, destroyed Prism while bringing down a Covenant fleet with the Installation's main weapon. After the fleet crashed to the moon, Iona analyzed the wreckage, finding a possibly functional Slipspace drive in one of the cruisers. Before the team exited the Installation, Iona warned them of over a hundred live Covenant outside, and suggested they wait for the enemies to eventually die of asphyxiation due to the moon not having a breathable atmosphere. Despite this, the team moved outside immediately to engage the enemy forces, with Black-Three declaring the fight to be "almost fair" for the Covenant.[8]

Over the course of the events, Iona occasionally filed status reports of the team's progress. When she was infiltrated by Prism, she already filed a message only to be sent in the event of a total mission failure, or if Team Black was to be neutralized.[8]

Appeal for survival[edit]

"Iona, you have demonstrated great bravery and resolve here. You have opened yourself to the court in a highly unusual way, and we are grateful for your service, your experience, and your openness. Everything today is unprecedented. Terra incognita for all of us. But for you especially, it has been a matter of mortal import. The court appreciates your candor. Good luck, Iona, and Godspeed."
A "judge", to Iona[2]

After almost seven years of service, the UNSC decided to legally terminate her existence in order to stave off the threat of rampancy. In a last-ditch effort to save herself, Iona successfully launched an unprecedented legal appeal against her own death sentence.[9] She managed to petition her appeal through the United Nations Humanitarian Council, which gained the attention of numerous scientists.[10] Smart AIs Black-Box and Roland were charged with creating an artificial trial for Iona to allow researchers to study the case, without Iona realizing that the trial was simulated.[11]

On January 17, 2558, seven years after her creation,[2] Iona's "appeal" began. With Black-Box and Roland acting as the trial's judge and Iona's advocate respectively, Iona was questioned about her thoughts and her dreams. Iona claimed that she "dreamed" of intelligence defeating entropy, and considered these dreams to be a spiritual movement within her.[12] While she admitted that she had felt outbursts of anger and dissatisfaction in the past, Iona stated that she was now resigned and held no feelings of distaste towards the "court", as she was satisfied to get a chance to prevent her destruction. The court ultimately decided to place Iona into stasis until a proper decision on the matter was reached. Iona accepted these terms and she was placed into stasis by Simon Wu, a man she recognized from Doctor Catherine Halsey's research team.[13] Afterwards, Roland and Black-Box discussed their roles in the trial, with Roland admitting regret for lying to Iona. However, Black-Box expressed his hope that Iona's simulated trial would be analyzed by human scientists and that, one day, smart AIs and humans would be considered equals.[11]

Personality and traits[edit]

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Description[edit]

As a unique feature not seen in other AI, she has a secondary, more simplistic "ghost" interface layered over her actual one. This was intended as a cover to deceive remote scanners, making her appear to them as a simpler AI, affordable by civilian miners. She is known to accidentally switch to this interface without realizing it in unexpected situations. This secondary interface also changes her avatar, to a child-like version of her default appearance.[3] She is also able to communicate in 306 languages.[14]

Production notes[edit]

Iona serves as the narrator of 2010's Halo: Blood Line comic series. The status reports filed by her serve as introductions for each issue. The introduction message for Issue 4 is by 686 Ebullient Prism, having infiltrated Iona's systems during the events of the previous issue.

Gallery[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Halo Waypoint: Iona
  2. ^ a b c d e Halo: Saint's Testimony, page 24 (Google Play edition)
  3. ^ a b c Halo: Blood Line, Issue #1
  4. ^ Halo: Saint's Testimony, page 4 (Google Play edition)
  5. ^ Halo: Saint's Testimony, pages 4-6 (Google Play edition)
  6. ^ Halo: Blood Line, Issue 3
  7. ^ Halo: Blood Line, Issue 4
  8. ^ a b Halo: Blood Line, Issue 5
  9. ^ Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Witness Protection
  10. ^ Halo: Saint's Testimony, page 12 (Google Play edition)
  11. ^ a b Halo: Saint's Testimony, pages 25-28 (Google Play edition)
  12. ^ Halo: Saint's Testimony, pages 17-19 (Google Play edition)
  13. ^ Halo: Saint's Testimony, pages 23-25 (Google Play edition)
  14. ^ Halo: Blood Line, Issue 2