News:Oracle Newsletter Volume XV

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The Oracle
The Official Newsletter of Halopedia

Volume XV - July 1, 2007

Hello, Oracle Newsletter Volume XV, and once again, the Oracle bids thee tidings in this week's volume of the Oracle Newsletter, for the week of July 1, 2007!

I, Cortana The Makings of a Leader Inside the Iris
Orbital Drop Shock 'n Rock Battle of Onyx Meet Someone New!
The Oracle
The Official Newsletter of Halopedia

Volume XV - July 1, 2007
I, Cortana

Written by 2401 PT, Intern Writer

We all know of Cortana. We hear her helpful voice in our ear, telling us of where something was, how to destroy something…and how to stop a 50 megaton Anti-Matter bomb from annihilating the last hope for humanity. Cortana has been, no doubt, an invaluable help in the salvation of humanity. But, what happens after she is fed up with us? Would she turn our own guns against us? Would she let the Halos be activated so that she could explore the rings themselves? And what of the other A.I.s she comes across, when Cortana does indeed finally go rampant.

Halo and Marathon knowledge defines Rampancy as when, essentially, the enhanced self-awareness of a computer AI is achieved, causing a progression towards greater mental abilities and destructive impulses. The destructive impulses, however, are primarily caused by being threatened or harassed. Cortana does not necessarily display any of these ideas and lusts for power, but then again, she doesn’t have to. Her tool is Master Chief.

Think about it: the Chief is the one who inserts Cortana into the Halo main grid, where she is able to spread over vast amounts of machinery, and in addition to the amounts of knowledge the Halo stored, she could easily have gotten her first taste of Rampancy while locked in the Control Room for twelve hours. She even tells the Chief of how the “amount of knowledge is glorious” and she even strains to answer the Chief’s questions without aggression in her voice. The Chief is the one who then inserts her into High Charity, the Covenant Mobile Planetoid Capital. Bad move. Now, Cortana was able to acquire even more information, even more room to expand and grow in a new system. Rampancy could have happened here also. Supposedly, Rampancy is a thing most A.I.s greet after a long period of time. Cortana, with help from the Chief, practically had it shoved into her face on a silver platter.

A.I.s, when rampant, usually go about any means necessary in order to achieve their goals. Cortana is the lucky exception. She uses the easily manipulated and somewhat gullible Master Chief in order to obtain what might be her private agenda. She seems all too eager to be inserted into the Halo mainframe, and later seems anxious to get into High Charity. No speculation is necessary: her rampancy has been clearly shown several times, in the games and in the literature. She has done everything from disobeying the Cole Protocol (Halo: Battle of Reach) to risking the elimination of all life in the galaxy for a chance to expand and grow (Halo 2). The question is…

What next?

In the trailer, Cortana appears to be very fragmented and speak in an odd voice. Perhaps Rampancy has driven her to alter herself in ways she sees it. Perhaps, enraged by the limits humanity attempted to apply to her, or blinded by the anger that she is now stuck with the Gravemind, she will bring down the Hammer ( Don’t change that, it’s an inside joke) on humanity. Also, it appears that she has told the Gravemind everything she knows, from her knowledge acquired from the Halos, to all information on Humans, to what she had recently learned during her stay on High Charity. Will she help eradicate all life in the galaxy? Or will she reunite with the Chief to Finish the Fight once and for all? Either way, we have to wait until September 25 to find out. Make the right choice, Cortana.

The Oracle
The Official Newsletter of Halopedia

Volume XV - July 1, 2007
The Makings of a Leader

Written by Echelon3, Intern Writer

Most people think that MCPO John-117 was always an extremely good leader and was always able to inspire morale in people. Unfortunately, that is not so. He was not chosen at the age of six for his leadership qualities, but for genetic markers, much like all of the other chosen children. Even when then-Lieutenant Keyes and Dr. Catherine Halsey observed John on Eridanus Two, one might suspect that he wasn't much of a leader. When they came upon the playground John was at he was playing a game of King of the Hill, keeping the hill very effectively, but shoving all the other kids down the hill rather forcefully. On his very first team-based mission, you can see how little leadership he has, and even how selfish he is. Their goal, as a team, was to ring a bell at the top of a pole by going through an obstacle course that had about 10 different ways of getting through. The first teams that rang the bell, all 3 people, would get dinner. The last team to have all 3 people ring the bell would go without dinner. John was the very first to ring the bell but his teammates, Sam and Kelly, ended up being last because John had abandoned them. Needless to say, none of the 3 got dinner.

Once he realized that there was no way to get through boot camp without the help of his teammates, the 3 became friends and John really began to shine when he took leadership for the whole platoon in a mission where they were dropped around a mountain seperately with seperate pieces of a map that leads to the Extraction Zone. John began taking the mission in his own hands before he even left the Pelican. While above the mountain terrain he pointed out to Sam and Kelly, who subsequently told the rest of the squad, that there was a large lake with rivers leadng to and from; one on each side of the lake. John made this the team meet point so that they could get the map pieces together. When they finally got to the EZ, John came up with an on the spot plan when he realized that the "guards" that were around the Pelican were not in uniform, and they attempted to hurt one of his squadmates, Kelly, whom he'd sent out as a "rabbit", military term for bait, to see what their intentions were. At that, he organized a split-second attack, having his teammates throw rocks at the guards and subsequently pummel them. After Deja, their AI teacher, helped him pilot the Pelican back, CPO Mendez brought him back for what Mendez had thought would be punishment for ruthlessly attacking his guards. But after Dr.Halsey had heard the mission report and what he and his teammates had said, her response to CPO Mendez's question of what they should do with him was quite surprising. She plainly stated, "Isn't it obvious? Make him a Squad Leader." The rest, as they say, is history.

The Oracle
The Official Newsletter of Halopedia

Volume XV - July 1, 2007
Inside the Iris

Written by GhostXIII, Intern Writer

There is little in the Halo universe that garners as much speculation and as much involvement as Bungie's publicity campaigns. Many fans remember the I Love Bees campaign, the forerunner to the current campaign, Iris. Through the use of a variety of images, clues, and riddles, Iris draws fans deeper into the Halo realm, blurring the line between reality and fiction.

The current campaign began on June 11, 2007, when a mysterious post was made on the Halo 3 forum on Bungie.net. The user, under the name AdjutantReflex, was a mysterious character that wrote in golden text, had an odd symbol for an avatar, and showed abilities to manipulate the forums. It was speculated that he represented a Forerunner monitor along the lines of 343 Guilty Spark. Over the course of the next week, AdjutantReflex, generally referred to as AR, posted numerous times, further developing its identity while drawing further attention to an apparent problem behind the scenes. On June 19, AR succumbed to another, apparently stronger character even more mysterious than itself.

At the same time as the events of that week were taking place, several other pieces of the Iris campaign occurred. Images began cropping up, all with the same symbol used by AdjutantReflex. Also, a short comic, Halo 3: The Cradle of Life, appeared on the Halo website. On the last page, several numbers could be revealed. When joined together, the numbers proved to be an IP address to a site with a countdown. After further manipulation, the IP led to a site about the fictional Society of the Ancients.

Shortly after AdjutantReflex's disappearance, the countdown timer stopped. In the next few days, that page changed, leading instead to an artifact of seemingly Forerunner origin. By manipulating various pieces of the artifact, users could gather more images and pieces of information.

Following the appearance of the artifact, the "Iris" campaign has gone quite for a few days, drawing out tensions. What other surprises are in store for fans remain to be seen.

The Oracle
The Official Newsletter of Halopedia

Volume XV - July 1, 2007
Orbital Drop Shock 'n Rock

Written by Spartan-091, Intern Writer

Ever read Halo: The Flood? You know, the official novel that ties in with Halo: CE? If you have, continue reading, please. If you haven't, go read something else. Okay, now that we've gotten rid of the normal people, let's continue. I'm here to write about the ODSTs on Halo. You may be asking (if you haven't read the book and are still here): "Huh? There are ODSTs in Halo 1?" The answer to this question is yes. And now you may be saying, "091, you are lying! There's no dudes in black armor in H1!" Well, no, there aren't. But there are ODSTs. They are commanded by the cold Major Silva, the beautiful Lieutenant Melissa McKay, and the brave Sergeant Parker. Among their numbers are the infamous Private Jenkins and the hard-nosed Sergeant Avery Johnson. Now, why aren't they in black armor? Well, there could be several reasons. I will list a few:

1. The Pillar of Autumn had no ODST armor

2. The ODSTs' trademark armor is still in R & D at the time

3. Flying demon monkeys ran away with all of that shiny black stuff

4. The ODSTs were mixed with other Marines, and are actually never seen in the game

5. Those Bungie weirdos came up with the whole "black armor" thing after Halo 1

Well, either of these ways, ODSTs still rock. For more info on these elite Marines, head to the ODST page, or buy Halo: The Flood. (Okay, fine, borrow it from someone if Halo is a sort of secret fetish) This has been Spartan-091, for the Oracle News Network. Goodnight, Gracie!

The Oracle
The Official Newsletter of Halopedia

Volume XV - July 1, 2007
Battle of Onyx

Written by David Fuchs, Intern Writer

The Battle of Onyx is a conflict between UNSC, Covenant and Forerunner elements which takes place on the shield world Onyx, shortly after the events of Halo 2. The battle is depicted solely in the novel Ghosts of Onyx. Onyx was at the time home to Camp Currahee, training ground for SPARTAN-IIIs, under the command of former Spartan Kurt-051 and Franklin Mendez. The emergency standby setting of all remaining Halos following the actions of the Arbiter during Halo 2 causes the Sentinels on Onyx to reactivate. In short order, the Sentinels begin attacking UNSC forces on or in orbit of the planet. Team Gladius is destroyed, and Team Katana goes MIA following the Sentinel onslaught. Mendez sends out a "Bloody Arrow" signal, declaring the defeat of UNSC forces.

At the same time, Dr. Catherine Halsey, along with the SPARTAN-II Kelly-087, arrive at Onyx in the stolen Beatrice, in which Halsey absconded with Kelly during the events of Halo: First Strike. Their ship is shot down by Sentinels, and Halsey and Kelly manage to join up with Mendez and the remaining survivors of the attack. The survivors then send a message to Earth detailing the events that are occurring on Onyx, and request the help of SPARTAN-IIs. On Earth, Lord Admiral Hood receives the message and diverts all remaining active Spartans (with the exception of the Master Chief) to Onyx. The transmission is also heard by the Covenant. Ship Master Voro Nar 'Mantakree is sent to Onyx with a detachment of ships.

The SPARTAN-IIs of Blue team, comprised of Will-043, Linda-058, and Fred-104, arrive at Onyx and are similarly attacked by Sentinels. The Covenant fleet arrives, and despite losses due to the Sentinels, 'Mantakree sends forces down to Zone 67, the area from which Sentinel activity is appearing.

A UNSC battlegroup arrives at Onyx, and engage the Covenant. Using the element of surprise, the fleet is able to catch the Covenant off guard. Attempting to regroup, the Covenant are attacked by the Sentinels and forced to retreat again. UNSC forces use this respite to refortify their position and lay a trap for the rest of the Covenant. The Covenant fleet is destroyed when lured into a minefield, but the victory is short-lived; another Covenant fleet drops out of slipspace and destroys the UNSC survivors. Only the stealth craft Dusk survives.

Meanwhile, the Spartans and UNSC forces on Onyx clash with 'Mantakree and his soldiers. The humans manage to destroy a Sentinel production factory, and also encounter Team Katana in suspended animation. Taking Team Katana with them, the Spartans begin to retreat to the entrance to "Shield World", designed to protect the Forerunners. Will-043 and numerous SPARTAN-IIIs are killed. Realizing that the Covenant numbers are too great, Kurt orders the rest of the survivors into the Shield World while he stays behind, detonating two FENRIS warheads, preventing the Covenant from following the Spartans.

Meanwhile, Onyx begins to crumble. It becomes apparent that Onyx is in fact, composed of untold numbers of Sentinels. The drones destroy the remaining Covenant ships, making the sole survivors of the battle inside the Shield World or on board the Dusk. Halsey and the other humans are currently still in the Shield World, awaiting whatever comes next.

The Oracle
The Official Newsletter of Halopedia

Volume XV - July 1, 2007
Meet Someone New!

Written by James-001, Intern Writer

James-001 is the Featured User of this week's volume of the Oracle Newsletter!

James-001 is one of our more veteran editors. He's been here since January 31, 2007. He has 2,507 edits, 609 of those edits being articles(main). He is deeply, sometimes obsessively, involved with the Covenant of Halopedia and the UNSC of Halopedia. James-001 is a councilor in the CoH and a Captain in the UoH. James-001 is an excellent Halopedian(maybe bias) and has garnered 10 awards, 11 if you count the recent ban=). He is an avid vandal fighter on Halopedia as well as Wikipedia. As of recent, he started helping with this very newsletter as a volunteer and became an intern writer. Also, he seems to have started a slight trend with his userpage, which has since been emulated by a few users. James-001 is friendly and usually on Halopedia constantly. James-001 has survived Leukemia and intends to major in oceanography. Obviously since this editor is talking about himself, he shall expect a lot from himself.

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