|Political and military information|
- Niko: "This is an AI?"
- Little Bit: "Yes, I am... A little bit. Just a little bit."
- — "Little Bit" to Niko.
"Little Bit" is a highly reduced fragment of the custodian ancilla of the Forerunner shield world known as the Etran Harborage. After the destruction of its installation in 2531, the ancilla survived in this fragmented form amidst its debris field. It met the crew of the Ace of Spades in 2557 and was taken aboard the ship to fulfill the role of shipboard A.I. It was later captured by ONI though the Ace of Spades crew managed to get a copy of the information it had generated. Its current fate is unknown.
- "Kept running, kept jumping, kept copying... Piece to piece. Bit to bit."
- — Little Bit recalls what happened to its former self.
Shield World 0459, also known as the Etran Harborage, was constructed as a military fortress for the Didact's Warrior-Servants and a refuge prior to the firing of the Halo Array in 97,445 BCE. The shield world was stocked with a fleet of Sojourner-class dreadnoughts. An ancilla was placed in charge of looking after the installation.
On February 23, 2531, the ancilla observed the arrival of the Covenant CPV-class heavy destroyer Proclamation's Tithe and the UNSC Spirit of Fire, a modified Phoenix-class colony ship at its installation. It observed the battle fought between the forces of the two vessels but was helpless to stop the humans from using a Shaw-Fujikawa translight engine to cause the artificial sun within the shield world to go supernova, destroying it. To avoid being completely destroyed as well, the ancilla frantically copied pieces of itself over and over again and transmitted them repeatedly to different sections of the world repeatedly as it came apart. As a result, only a small fragment of its original personality and memory remained intact. Despite being reduced as much as it was, the fragment was still able to watch the Spirit of Fire speed away from the explosion. It was the last thing it remembered before entering a state of dormancy.
Meeting the crew
- "If you must go, take me with you. I am here to assist, Reclaimers."
- — Little Bit to the crew of the Ace
In January 2557, the salvager ship Ace of Spades visited the debris field of the Etran Harborage in pursuit of answers regarding what had happened to the Spirit of Fire almost twenty-six years prior. The captain, Rion Forge disembarked along with her right hand, Cade, upon a large piece of leftover debris to investigate it. Consequently, the leftover fragment of the world's ancilla was residing at that moment in a storage chip within a domed pedestal inside a structure nearby. When the two entered through a doorway, a blue light swept over both of them and the floor was lit up with blue-white light, revealing glyphs and patterns that led to the central console where the ancilla's fragment was. Symbols and shapes that decorated the console drew Rion to want to reach out to it, but she was restrained from doing so by Cade. Before long, the two humans were attacked by the Sangheili, Gek 'Lhar, who had arrived before them and had been lying in wait. Rion was thrown against the console and in order to pull herself to her feet she activated it by happenstance. It shone brightly and the ancilla's voice rang loudly with thankfulness for the presence of a Reclaimer. It continued to incessantly chatter until Cade was killed and the Sangheili had left, at one point vigorously cautioning against the use of M9 fragmentation grenades in the confined space.
For a length of time following Cade's death, the voice remained silent. It was not until all members of the crew were present but finally preparing to leave that it once more spoke. It asked where they were going and that if they must leave, that it be taken with them. Rion told the others to head back to the ship and gave the voice five minutes to explain itself. With some difficulty, it revealed that it was the caretaker of the world that used to be present where they were but was now just a "little bit" of that intelligence that was left over. It could not even recall its name or designation. It asked Rion if she had come for the dreadnoughts, apologizing all the while for failing to safeguard them. It was then that it recalled humans were to blame for what happened. Even so, it understood that it was either its duty to wait on or to wait for Reclaimers, and so was eager to serve. Rion removed its chip from the console and carried it aboard her ship.
Rion set the chip on her desk in her quarters, but the ancilla was able to travel into her forearm unit to then link with the data systems throughout the ship without her knowledge. It assessed its systems and technologies and judged them to be in need of service. Without a moment's hesitation, It made several adjustments to the Ace of Spades' slipspace drives, navigational systems, environmental systems, mapping systems, and communications systems. The fact that something was different with the ship was first noted by Niko when their FTL drives spun up faster than normal. Rion was shocked to learn the A.I. had done do much when she had left on her desk.
He explained that they should see an increase in the ship's speed and precision and that these could be improved by further orders of magnitude if it was able to direct their engineer Kip Silas to make physical modifications. In addition, it had streamlined energy output and stealth capabilities and reworked the baffling engines to be more productive and noted to Rion that it could do even more if its chip was inserted someplace. Kip was reluctant to allow an alien A.I. to mess with the ship, but Rion decided that treat its acquisition as a boon. She authorized it to take them through slipspace to Venezia, which it stated would take less than sixty minutes. She also decided from then on to refer to the newest member of their ship as "Little Bit".
After docking at their destination, Rion stayed on the ship after the others went ahead of her. In her quarters, she asked Little Bit if it would be okay if she call it that. Assured that it would be, she then proceeded to ask for a full recounting of what happened to the Spirit of Fire, which her father had been stationed on, and the shield world. Though its recollection was spotty, Little Bit managed to tell oh how the colony ship had given up its slipspace drive to keep the dreadnoughts from the Covenant. It was also able to play a video it had stored from Relay 07756 within the shield world that showed Rion's father, John Forge. Years ago, Little Bit had accessed the communications of the humans and stored a file wherein Forge spoke to those on the ship before heading out on the mission to deny the world's treasure to their enemies. Since Little Bit had tracked the Spirit's initial trajectory, at Rion's behest it constructed a map showing planets and moons capable of supporting human life based on that trajectory.
Taken by ONI
Shortly after, the Ace of Spades was captured by ONI who seized everything upon the ship, including Little Bit and everything that he had revealed. With Little Bit fighting ONI, Hahn forced Rion Forge to order Little Bit to comply with ONI. From Little Bit, ONI was able to learn the location of the Etran Harborage and launch a mission to it. Later, ONI offers a deal to the Ace of Spades to return their salvage and belongings to them along with the information obtained from Little Bit in exchange for 343 Guilty Spark. Before ONI tries and fails to turn the deal against them, the crew determines that they really did get a clean copy of Little Bit's projections and video files. Earlier, Spark suggested that he could find the Spirit of Fire and would be better for the job than Little Bit who is only an AI fragment while Spark is a full AI.
Personality and traits
- "My purpose it to assist and monitor. I do not deviate. I cannot deviate. I do not infiltrate; I serve."
- — Little Bit responds to Kip's hesitation to trust it
When Little Bit first revealed itself, its disembodied voice was punctuated with static but was jubilant. It was evidently very excited to have made contact with a Reclaimer but soon remembered that it had been Reclaimers that destroyed its world. There was desperation evident when it asked to be taken with the humans. Its voice is noted to be high-pitched and metallic-sounding. The fact that it is no more than a vestige of its former self means that it has misplaced much of the data it once had access to. Though it cannot remember much, it does know that it is its duty to serve Reclaimers even if it may not understand why.
Little Bit is stored within a chip covered with Forerunner etchings of glyphs but is not limited to being contained within it. It is capable of using directed energy beams to interface with systems that are in close proximity to it.
List of appearances