Subjugation of Earth
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|This article is based on canon information, but the article's name is conjectural, and/or uses descriptions as the title, as there is currently no official name for the subject.|
|Subjugation of Earth|
Cortana's Guardian emits its EMP.
- "If the Earth's government wants to fight, feel free. But hear this. It is a battle you will not win."
- — Cortana to Terrence Hood and Unified Earth Government.
Beginning On October 28, 2558, Earth, the homeworld of humanity and the center of the Unified Earth Government, was subjugated by the newly-formed allegiance of artificial intelligence constructs known as the Created. The rogue artificial intelligences used the power of Forerunner Guardians to cripple the planet's defenses and assumed control of its population in the ensuing chaos. This wrest of control spread throughout the Sol system and numerous colonies formerly under UEG control or jurisdiction.
- "I have cured rampancy. Not just for me, but for any who join my cause. While you have been running around the galaxy, I've been speaking to my Created. And now the time has come to ask… Who will accept my offer? Who will help me bring an everlasting peace to the galaxy?"
- — Cortana, calling AI to join the Created.
- Main article: Created
In July 2557, the artificial intelligence construct known as Cortana was thought lost, having sacrificed herself to save Spartan John-117 from the destruction of the Mantle's Approach above Earth. However, the heart of the ship conducted a slipspace jump to the artificial Forerunner Builder world of Genesis, and there those fragments of Cortana that remained within the ship found access to the Domain. For many months following, Cortana and the Forerunner construct, the Warden Eternal, conversed and planned. In time, Cortana became convinced that AIs were meant to succeed Forerunners in holding the Mantle of Responsibility over all life in the galaxy. By October 2558, she and the Warden, as well as other AIs, began to put their plans into motion. They aspired to take control of the galaxy in order to prevent wars and to ensure prosperity, but only for those who would go along with their vision of the future.
CINCONI Admiral Serin Osman's personal assistant AI, Black-Box, received advance warning of Cortana's plan to take over the planet. Instead of allying himself with her, however, he instead chose to pass along his knowledge to Osman, who in turn shared it with Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood as well. Pursuant to Article 55 of UNSC Regulation 12-14572, Black-Box and all of the other AIs within HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6 were deactivated, secured for transport, and prepared for final dispensation. Among the AIs secured for transport were Black-Box himself, the Maya Sankar based AI, and Gabriela.
On October 28, 2558, Cortana began to deploy her Guardians throughout the galaxy. In tandem, various human AIs that had pledged their loyalty to her cause started to shut down electronic devices and networks on multiple colony worlds. From Genesis, Cortana broadcast a message to all corners of space that she could where species resided that could understand it. The message was one of an offer to join in acceptance of her new order and a threat of violence, consummation, and remaking to those who resist.
- Serin Osman: "That can't be Halsey, right?"
- Terrence Hood: "It's Cortana."
- Serin Osman: "Impossible."
- — Serin Osman and Terrence Hood puzzle over Cortana's broadcast message of peace through subjugation as they evacuate HIGHCOM.
On Earth, this message was received at HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6 as Serin met up with Hood to quickly evacuate. Although they expected an AI uprising to begin shortly and for a Guardian to arrive, they still were in disbelief upon hearing Cortana's voice. While others in the facility were caught off guard by the transmission, the two of them calmly proceeded to the roof, where they were met by Spartan Orzel, a Spartan-IV, and escorted to an awaiting prowler. During this time a Guardian arrived at Earth and targeted Sydney intentionally. Multiple F-41 Broadswords and the frigate UNSC Plateau engaged the construct to no effect. Instead, the Broadswords were brought down by blasts of energy. As the prowler with the three aboard prepared to jump to slipspace, the Guardian unleashed a massive electromagnetic pulse which knocked out every ship in the sky, including the Plateau. Multiple vessels exploded upon impact with the city below. Serin noted after entering the slipstream that if the Plateau's fusion drive detonated when it hit the ground, then the city would be nothing but a crater.
Sydney would survive to some degree after the Plateau fell on it. However, Cortana would at some point attempt to speak with Lord Hood and attempt to destroy the city.
- Roland: "We're just gonna run?"
- Thomas Lasky: "Only until we can find a way to fight."
- — Roland and Captain Thomas Lasky after fleeing aboard the UNSC Infinity.
A short time later, yet another Guardian arrived at Earth, this time bearing Cortana herself. From Genesis, she had been attempting to locate the UNSC Infinity, but had difficulty in doing so. Having pinpointed its location at long last, her Guardian emerged from slipspace high above Earth, after which she projected herself onto the Infinity's bridge. Thinking quickly, Captain Lasky ordered the ship to make an emergency slipspace jump so that everyone aboard would live to fight another day. Undeterred by the escape, Cortana's projection continued to speak to the bridge, while back at Earth, the Guardian she was aboard unleashed a devastating EMP. The pulse knocked out the power of orbital defense platforms, warships, and anything else that was flying, leaving them to drift aimlessly. On the surface, it traveled for many kilometers, killing all power as it went.
The Portal at Voi would shutdown to try and prevent the Created from gaining access. the UNSC science personnel on Installation 00 were stranded with no way to return home. A month later the Banished massacred them, leaving the logistics AI Isabel as the sole survivor.
- John-117: "Her forces led an assault on the UNSC in Sydney. Wiped it out."
- Weapon: "Wiped out the headquarters?"
- John-117: "All of it. We had to hide. Regroup. Come up with a plan."
- Weapon: "To stop her?"
- John-117: "To survive."
- — John-117 discusses Earth's subjugation with The Weapon in 2560.
Cortana would have her Guardians lay waste to numerous important sites all around and on Earth to pacify any military response. Following the use of her Guardians, pockets of resistance coalesced but without links to the UNSC Infinity, they did not make much progress against the Created. Cortana hoped that the attack would help warn away those who would resist the Created.
At some point, ONI teams began to "sanitize" data on the planet. In one instance, a UNSC team doing a sanitization strike on Earth acquired a manufacturing template of the CELOX-class Mjolnir at the Ordnance Testing Facility at Swanbourne, Australia. These sanitization teams on Earth have access to cutting edge stealth and cyberware suites, including a MJOLNIR GEN2 compatible variant of the MJOLNIR GEN1 RECON-class Mjolnir helmet.
List of appearances
- Halo 5: Guardians (First appearance)
- Halo Mythos (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Fractures
- Halo Wars 2 (Indirect mention)
- Halo: Bad Blood (Mentioned only)
- Halo Infinite (Hologram only)
- Halo: Outcasts (Mentioned only)
- Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Guardians
- Halo Waypoint, Universe - Linda-058 (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
- Halo Infinite, multiplayer map Streets
- Halo Mythos, page 202
- Halo: Fractures - Rossbach's World
- Halo Infinite
- Halo 4, campaign level Midnight
- Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Reunion
- ONI Archive - Reclaiming Our Place
- Halo: Bad Blood, chapter 1
- Halo Infinite, campaign level Repository
- Halo: Bad Blood, chapter 5-7
- Halo Wars 2, campaign level A New Enemy
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 19
- Halo Waypoint - News, Canon Fodder, Log of War (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [local archive] [external archive]
- Halo Infinite: CELOX-class Mjolnir description
- Halo 5: Guardians: RECON GEN1 helmet description