|Political and military information|
- "Doctor Mann is one of the foremost experts of Forerunner culture and language in the field. There's very little we've learned about their way of life that he's not familiar with."
- — Olympia Vale
Doctor Luther Mann is a human xenoanthropologist and xenoarchaeologist contracted by the UNSC Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence to aid with the research of various Forerunner artifacts and structures. Regarded as an expert in Forerunner and Sangheili languages and culture, Mann was responsible for the discovery of Installation 07. In 2555, he participated in a successful operation to stop the firing of the Halo Array on Installation 00.
Early life and academic career
Luther Mann was born on the human Outer Colony of Verent. His mother was a doctor and his father was a scientist. When he was four years old, Mann was forced to flee his homeworld, alongside his parents, when the Covenant arrived at Verent and attacked the planet. His father managed to convince a pilot to allow the Mann family aboard a ship that was fleeing the world. As the ship prepared to leave the system, Luther noted that the Covenant's glassing of Verent was "pretty", much to his mother's chagrin. The family relocated to the city of London on Earth, where Mann enrolled in school. He became fascinated with the Covenant and frequently studied the empire. In school, Mann got into arguments and fights with other children, and was known as the "alien lover" for believing peace could be maintained with the Covenant. The school administration attempted to have his parents convince him to stop voicing his opinions about the Covenant, though Mann's parents sided with their son and eventually pulled him out of school.
Homeschooled, Mann's mother taught him personally, although she refused to talk about the Covenant. However, on his fifteenth birthday, his mother committed suicide. Mann reluctantly returned to his school, though he ensured to no longer mention the Covenant. As a teenager, Mann's father often brought him to a local shooting range, where he learned basic gun training and instruction in marksmanship, much to his displeasure. After his father's death, Mann vowed to never use a gun again. Mann later resided in an apartment in Seattle, URNA, on Earth. Some time between 2545 and 2546, during his time in college, Mann would become the father of Theresa as the result of an intense six-week relationship with his classmate, Ramona. Unfortunately, he was unable to be a part of her life due to his work. During his academic career, Mann became a xenoanthropologist and xenoarchaeologist, having gained significant knowledge on Sangheili and Forerunner culture and language. Becoming a well-regarded scientist within his field, Mann served as a researcher on both Installations 03 and 05.
Zeta Halo project
- "First, allow me to say that I have utter confidence in Luther Mann. He lectured on his findings on Trevelyan over a year ago at Oxford. He's dedicated to his studies and knows what he's talking about, and there is simply no one who is more educated on the subject of the Forerunner culture or language than he is."
- — Doctor William Iqbal
On November 28, 2553, Luther was exploring the shield world Trevelyan when he found records stored deep within the world's vast information pathways. After a year, Mann finally deciphered the records and discovered the location of Installation 07. Although Mann had always been a respected scientist and one of the top minds in his field, his discovery of Installation 07 launched his academic career as he became known to many scientific publications and organizations. He had been invited to lecture at numerous universities—including the University of Oxford—and even summoned to HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6 by the United Nations Space Command to present a detailed report on the methods he had used to locate the Halo. In 2555, he was contracted by high-ranking individuals within the UNSC's Office of Naval Intelligence for Doctor Bob Casper's Zeta Halo project to research the installation with the help of Henry Lamb, a scientist of ONI's Xeno-Materials Exploitation Group.
On March 8, 2555, while exploring what they believed to be the ring's environment and atmosphere control room, Mann and Lamb discovered a console counting down from approximately three million—a process that would take approximately five standard weeks. After examining the countdown, the two scientists speculated that the installation was counting down to the activation of the entire Halo Array. Afterwards, Mann and Lamb reported their findings directly to Casper, who in turn reported the situation to ONI. After verifying that a countdown had appeared on the other Halo installations, Lamb traced the countdown's origins to Installation 07's control room and concluded that the countdown would indeed lead to the Halo Array's firing. Several days later, Casper met with a council of scientists and high-ranking UNSC officers—including Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood and Admiral Serin Osman. The council agreed that sending a team to Installation 00 to cancel the Array's firing was the best course of action, and Hood contacted the Swords of Sanghelios for assistance. Mann, Lamb, and numerous other scientists were sent to the slipspace portal at Voi, Kenya on Earth in an attempt to reactivate the portal that led to the Ark.
Operation: FAR STORM
- Luther Mann: "It is an incredible thing, this place. To explore everything around here. It's the stuff dreams are made of. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the UNSC's going to need to have some presence out here to safeguard this place. A research colony of some sort."
- Olympia Vale: "You volunteering, Doctor Mann?"
- Luther Mann: "I don't know about you, but I think it'll be a good little while before I come back to this place."
- — Luther Mann and Olympia Vale, following the mission
Mann and Lamb arrived at Research Center Alpha to aid in the reactivation of Voi's portal, with the efforts led by Captain Annabelle Richards. The Swords of Sanghelios soon arrived aboard corvette Mayhem, led by Commander N'tho 'Sraom and Usze 'Taham. With Olympia Vale serving as a liaison between the two factions, the Swords of Sanghelios and UNSC spent several days attempting to reactivate the portal, with their efforts now accelerated by the aid of Huragok Drifts Randomly. After several days of little success, Richards met with Mann and Lamb in her office and questioned them about the lack of progress. Just as Mann was in the middle of informing Richards of his devotion to the project, Vale informed them that Drifts Randomly had managed to activate the portal. Just as the portal opened, a Forerunner Retriever exited and began mining the Kenyan soil. The Retriever was destroyed by UNSC forces, and Mann later met with the other members of the expedition aboard Mayhem to discuss the next best course of action. When Richards insisted that the team needed ONI's permission before entering the portal, 'Sraom nonetheless moved the corvette towards the portal as he felt that they could not waste time waiting for administrative consent. Before they entered, Mayhem was attacked by another Retriever, though the corvette managed to destroyed the Sentinel. Mayhem entered the portal and, ultimately, the trip only took several hours rather than weeks; this was due to an increase in the portal's power by 000 Tragic Solitude, the monitor of Installation 00 who sought to repair the damaged Ark by extracting Earth's resources.
Upon exiting slipspace, Mayhem was attacked by dozens of heavily armed Retrievers. As the corvette's artificial gravity systems began to falter, Mann was tossed around the ship's bridge and knocked unconscious when a piece of the bridge's ceiling fell on his head, gaining a minor concussion. Mayhem was heavily damaged in the battle and crash-landed on the surface of the Ark, with Mann soon recovering from his injuries. The mission's team—Mann, Lamb, Vale, Richards, Spartan-IVs Frank Kodiak and Elias Holt, ten UNSC Marines, 'Sraom, 'Taham, Kola 'Baoth, Zon 'Vadum, and Drifts—left Mayhem and began venturing towards the Ark's Citadel to stop the Halo Array's activation. After encountering a pod of peaceful olfmeri, Mann was able to convince the group that the creatures were friendly and briefly managed to communicate with one before they departed. As they continued onwards, the group soon encountered a pack of blind wolves. Vale managed to initially use the creatures' blindness to their advantage, though the group was suddenly attacked by chaefka, which also attracted the attention of the blind wolves. During the ensuring fight, a blind wolf charged at Mann, though a Marine managed to kill the creature. While the Marine helped Mann recover, he was killed by another blind wolf. Furious, Mann picked up the Marine's rifle and began firing upon the attacking animals. After a long battle, the Sangheili and humans managed to ward the animals off. During the fight, Vale was captured by Tragic Solitude and Lamb, 'Taham, and Holt were promptly selected to find her. The rest of the group continued on towards the Citadel. However, as a snowstorm set in, Richards sprained her ankle after a fall. Richards and the surviving Marines returned to Mayhem to recover, while the others continued onwards. The group soon encountered a mammoth-like animal—actually under the influence of Tragic Solitude—that had the group climb aboard its back. Initially reluctant, the group climbed on top and the mammoth began moving towards the Citadel. While Mann determined that the installation's ancilla was likely responsible for the behavior of the animals, the group was attacked by a flying, bird-like creature. The animal picked up Mann in its talons, though he was saved when 'Sraom killed the creature with his energy sword and he was caught by Kodiak. When Lamb, 'Taham, and Holt were attacked by a carnivorous plant, Kodiak left the mammoth to aid them after they requested assistance.
Eventually, Mann, the Sangheili, and Drifts arrived at the Citadel. The group reluctantly proceeded across a light bridge into the Citadel where they regrouped with Lamb, Kodiak, 'Taham, and Holt. Arriving at the Citadel's center, Mann deactivated the Halo Array's firing sequence at the Citadel's primary console. However, the group was promptly attacked by armiger constructs. As the group soon became overwhelmed, Mann, Lamb, Drifts, 'Taham, and 'Baoth were cut off from the others and they retreated to an elevator. The five escaped down a small shaft in the elevator, while the others escaped by entered the armgiers' own portals. Now in the "undercarriage" of the Citadel, Mann had Drifts return power to the Citadel to allow them to access a map. While exploring the surrounding area, Lamb was attacked and mortally wounded by a Sentinel. Though Mann and 'Taham managed to kill the construct, Lamb died from blood loss shortly after. After mourning the loss of his friend, Drifts had restored power to the Citadel and Mann utilized the map to locate an exit. As the group traveled towards the exit, they came across a heavy, locked door blocking their path, with the Foundry's control suite on the other side, followed by the Citadel's exit. 'Taham and 'Baoth managed to lift the door, which allowed Mann and Drifts to slide through before the Sangheili lost their grip on the door and allowed it to close. 'Taham and 'Baoth were attacked by armigers, while Mann and Drifts, unaware of the Sangheili's situation, attempted to take away Tragic Solitude's control of the Ark and give it to Drifts instead. Meanwhile, the two noticed that the monitor had sent an army of Retrievers to Earth to mine away the planet's surface for materials to repair the Ark. Drifts then managed to take control of the Ark's systems and he opened the control suite's doors, where 'Taham and 'Baoth had just finished battling the armigers. Now aware of Tragic Solitude's intents, the four sought to regroup with the rest of their allies and stop the monitor. While Drifts maintained control of the Ark's systems, the Spartans, 'Sraom, and 'Vadum located Vale and engaged the monitor. After they managed to destroy Tragic Solitude, Mann, 'Taham, 'Baoth, and Drifts arrived and regrouped with the rest of the team. Afterwards, the team returned to Mayhem, only being threatened by a small pack of blind wolves along the way. Shortly afterwards, UNSC Witness entered Earth's slipspace portal and arrived at the Ark. Mayhem and its crew were brought aboard the UNSC carrier and returned to Earth. After the mission, Mann contemplated returning to the Ark as a researcher, but decided that he first needed to locate his daughter.
Personality and traits
- "She's nine. My little girl. Her name is Theresa. The result of an incredibly exciting six-week relationship with her mother in college. I've never held her, never spoken to her. Never touched her. But like any parent, I want the world, the sun, and the stars for her. And I will be damned, Captain, if I am going to let all sentient life in the galaxy end before she has a chance to live her own. Do you understand? I don't really give much of a damn what happens to me, but I am going to do it for her. I am not going to let Halo activate, and I need you to trust me on that."
- — Luther Mann to Captain Annabelle Richards
Luther Mann is a skilled xenoanthropologist and xenoarchaeologist, with particular knowledge on the Sangheili and Forerunners. He was a lifelong explorer and had studied the archaeology of nearly every major human civilization. However, he did not find the study of human archaeology nearly as engaging as that of the Forerunners or Sangheili. He largely gained his interest in the Forerunners after noticing that studies of both human and Covenant archaeology and anthropology eventually proved to have ties to the Forerunners. Mann is considered to be a walking database on the Forerunners, and is regarded as one of the leading experts in the field with most xenoarchaeological digs eventually requiring his presence. He is also an expert in Covenant languages, having spent years of his life studying nearly every dialect used by the Covenant's member species. Mann gained an interest in the Covenant, particularly the Sangheili, after watching the glassing of Verent from orbit. Mann is a major prodigy in numerous languages, being able to communicate complex messages effectively to Sangheili and Huragok, among others. He can also understand Forerunner glyphs to a far greater extent than most Sangheili. He was also able to communicate with olfmeri, having learned of the creatures' whistling by studying captured audio recorded by UNSC Forward Unto Dawn.
Mann is a cynical individual, believing that the end of the Human-Covenant War would only led to the continuation of the Insurrection, allowing humanity to engage in "their favorite pastime of blowing each other up." He was pleased that the Covenant War was responsible for uniting humanity against a common enemy, and was admittedly rather unhappy that the war's end would put a stop to the truce between the UNSC and the insurrectionists. However, Mann recognizes his cynicism and actively attempts to hold more positive views and opinions. Mann preferred quiet contemplation over conversation, though he still at least pretends to pay attention to those who spoke to him at a great length, as he finds it impolite to do otherwise. Mann disliked handling weapons and was annoyed by his father's insistence to train him in basic weapon skills. Though during Operation: FAR STORM, at the time of the group's first encounter with the chaefka and morolaath, Mann found it frustrating that he could not be of use to the soldiers in combat. After a UNSC Marine was killed while aiding him, Mann became furious and felt an immense amount of guilt as a result. He took the Marine's weapon and charged into the fight, despite the fact that he knew he had only limited combat experience and did not expect to last long in such a battle. Much to his surprise, Mann found enjoyment in the experience.
Mann claimed to have difficulty understanding the nature of women, though ultimately felt much the same way about men as well. He found his college classmate Ramona to be particularly mysterious, having formed an "exciting" six-week long relationship with her during a period of his life where he seldom had social or romantic success with women. The relationship was abruptly ended when Ramona was expelled; Mann offered to leave with her, but she recognized that he was too young and foolish to see the fault in the idea and declined. However, the relationship resulted in the birth of his child, Theresa. However, Ramona did not want to have a negative effect on Mann's life and did not present him the opportunity to become a part of his daughter's life. Regardless, Mann continuously attempted to locate his daughter to fulfill his wish of becoming a father. During his mission to avert the activation of the Halo Array, Mann's source of inspiration was Theresa, as he sought for his daughter to have the chance to live a full life. However, he formed a bond with Olympia Vale over similar subjects of interest and admired her professional demeanor. Mann formed a friendship with Henry Lamb, with the two also sharing similar interests. When Lamb was killed by a Sentinel on Installation 00, Mann was devastated and, upon the suggestion of Usze 'Taham, mourned his death and even prayed. After Kola 'Baoth inadvertently offended Mann by calling Lamb a fool for tampering with an unknown construct, Mann yelled at the Sangheili and insisted that his friend had died with honor trying to save the galaxy.
List of appearances
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark (First appearance)
- As the Covenant War started in 2525, Luther Mann had to be born after 2521 in order to be four by the time the Covenant glassed Verent.
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 11-18 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 25 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 92 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 45-52 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 178-190 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 24-28 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 46 (Google Play edition)
- Twitter: Today in Halo - 11/28/2553
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 38-42 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 354 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 87-97 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 115-118 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 131-133 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 139-143 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 120 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 311 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 149 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 166-174 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 196-206 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 224-228 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 247 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 257-267 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 282-289 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 292-295 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 317-320 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 341 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 355-358 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 362 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 117 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 32 (Google Play edition)
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 36 (Google Play edition)