Terminal/Halo 4

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"This node is caught in a loop trying to access something it's calling "the Domain", an offworld data repository of some kind, though I'm only able to extract bits and pieces of the complete exchange."
Cortana
A Terminal seen in Halo 4.

The terminals in Halo 4 are Forerunner terminals accessible to the player over the course of the game's campaign. Like the terminals in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the Halo 4 terminals feature animated and voiced cinematics similar to motion comics. Fictionally, the terminals are presented as fragments of information from the Domain, a mysterious store of knowledge once used by the Forerunners.[1][2]

Finding a terminal awards the player the Contact the Domain achievement, while finding all the terminals in the campaign unlocks the the Terminus achievement.[2]

The Terminals[edit]

Prologue

Jul 'Mdama[edit]

Note: All dialogue in this terminal is spoken in Sangheili, and translated into English.


Jul 'Mdama arrives at Requiem.

Location Unknown

Several Covenant assault carriers speed through space. A Sangheili Commander strides down a passage. The door opens before him, revealing a large hangar and Jul 'Mdama.

  • Sangheili: "Shipmaster 'Mdama... It is where you said it would be."
  • Jul 'Mdama: "No, my loyal friend. The planet is where the Forerunners promised us it would be."

The camera focuses on a holographic image of Requiem for a second.

  • Jul 'Mdama: "Find us a way inside."

Jul's assault carrier approaches the planet.

  • Jul 'Mdama: "Requiem's treasures shall be ours."

3 Years Later

Jul's ship glides through space. A fleet of other ships drop out of slipspace around him, and take up a low orbit over Requiem.

  • Sangheili Storm: "Shipmaster 'Mdama! The raiding parties have returned. They bring supplies and news of a human ship!"
  • Jul 'Mdama: "Human? Did it follow them?"
  • Sangheili Storm: "No. Different approach vector."

The fleet approaches the ruined aft section of the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn.

  • Jul 'Mdama: "Prepare boarding parties! Keep the humans away from Requiem!"
Terminal One

War[edit]

Walkthrough: In the level Requiem, after entering the terminus tower, one will enter a room where the structures hanging from the ceiling will retract into the walls on the side. At the far end of the room is a staircase that leads to the elevator which is the objective. The terminal is located under the staircase.


Invaders ravage Forerunner territory and must be dealt with.

A ship coasts through space, approaching a fleet of human ships. A small craft scans the ship, which shows signs of Flood infection, and leaves. The main ship of the fleet charges its main gun and fires on the enemy ship, destroying it. Fade to the Ecumene Council chambers. The ship being destroyed is shown in holographic form.

  • Librarian: "Our enemies move deeper into our territory with abandon. They must be eradicated."
  • Didact: "Shall we take revenge? Abandon the Mantle and all that its philosophy has given us these thousand generations?"
  • Librarian: "All our plans have been torn asunder."
  • Didact: "More reason not to abandon our beliefs. The Mantle is our guide-post in times such as these. We must not falter in following its teachings."

The audience in the chamber cheer and applaud.

  • Didact: "The enemy must be sent home, and taught to stand with the galaxy, rather than rail against us, and take what they desire! The Mantle shelters all."

The audience cheer and applaud louder.

  • Faber: "Didact, you make a fair - if uncomfortable - point. You have my support. Librarian, will you likewise follow the Mantle as the Didact suggests?"

Fade to the Didact and Librarian stand on a ledge overlooking the Capital.

  • Didact: "You're not angry at me?"
  • Librarian: "We had this discussion a century ago."
  • Didact: "Ah, so you are angry at me."
  • Librarian: "In the chambers, yes. But not now. You'll depart for Requiem soon?"
  • Librarian: "Already there? You knew the Master Builder would side with you."

The two embrace.

  • Didact: "Should we step back inside the Council chamber?"
  • Librarian: "No. I would rather we spend our night out here. There will be fighting enough in the days ahead."
Terminal Two

Lord of Admirals[edit]

H4-Forerunner-Terminal.jpg

Walkthrough: In the level Forerunner, during the journey to the first pylon, the player will reach a symmetrical platform. After clearing the Prometheans in that area, John's HUD will be distorted, which prompts him to ask, "What's that distortion?" Under the door leading to the next area is the Terminal.


Humanity's war plans are revealed.

A Forerunner fleet orbits a Forerunner planet. A shuttle enters one of the planet's portals. The scene switches to a shot of many tall towers.

  • Didact: "My love. Put fear from your heart."
  • Librarian: "War is your realm, Didact. Not mine."

View of a large room with a holographic table in the middle. Lifeworkers float across the room, doing various tasks.

  • Librarian: "And you march to this war, facing foes that, while always aggressive, were never so aggressive as they are now."

The Librarian turns to face the Didact.

  • Didact: "Your fears are unfounded. The enemy will be turned, and I shall stand by your side once more."
  • Librarian: "Promise me that."
  • Didact: "I promise you. Nothing will stand between us."

Outer space, over a Forerunner planet. Several human starships drop out of slipspace and approach the planet. Lord of Admirals Forthencho stands on the bridge, looking expectant.

  • Bridge Officer 1: "Lord of Admirals. We are in position over the Forerunner planet."
  • Forthencho: "Show me."

A holographic image of the planet appears in front of him. He manipulates the image with his hands.

  • Bridge Officer 2: "Population numbering over two billion. Forerunner ships on alert and inbound."
  • Forthencho: "Is it possible? Have we gotten ahead of it?"

The image of the planet turns red in several places.

  • Bridge Officer 2: "Flood infestation detected, My Lord."
  • Forthencho: "Damnit!"
  • Bridge Officer 2: "My Lord? The infestation is in a remote locale. Perhaps if we warn the Forerunners...?"
  • Forthencho: "If we warn them, we give the Flood time to spread. You know we have no choice. Cleanse the planet."

Flood biomass spreads across a Forerunner structure. The camera pans to the sky, and the scene rapidly flashes to white as the orbital bombardment begins.

Terminal Three

Flood[edit]

Halo4-Terminal3.jpg

Walkthrough: On the level Infinity, after meeting Lasky and Palmer and being told to find an LZ, look behind the Chief and the terminal is seen at the end of the corridor.

Note: Halo Waypoint names Terminal Three as "Charum Hakkor" and Terminal Four as "Flood". The subject matter of each terminal makes it clear that these titles were erroneously swapped at some point in the game's production. The article restores the titles in accordance with 343 Industries' original intent.


The Forerunner war with humanity comes to an end.

Shot of a Halo installation. On the surface, a village of regressed humans carries on with their lives, as the Didact narrates.

  • Didact: "The humans' actions threatened the galaxy, yet we have treated them as the Mantle required. Their punishment is just."

As human children play games, the camera pans to where the Didact and the Librarian watch the village.

  • Didact: "They are closer now to the animals they behaved as."
  • Librarian: "If not for their encounter with the Flood, their gene-plan could have surpassed our own. They could have someday held the Mantle of Responsibility."

A pair of hunters return to the village, carrying their catch. They present it to a woman.

  • Didact: "The humans were not meant to protect others. The Mantle of Responsibility for all things is ours, and ours alone."
  • Librarian: "Yes, the Mantle is ours, and we hold it so tight, that even in death we shall hold it still."

Space, on a collection of infected ships. Forerunner Warrior-Servants stand before a door, weapons trained on it. Bangs and growls can be heard beyond the door. The door explodes inwards, and the Forerunners are consumed in a bright flash. They are then seen being converted to Flood.

Terminal Four

Charum Hakkor[edit]

Walkthrough: During the level Reclaimer after the Librarian cutscene. Exit the Librarian's chamber like you normally would, but instead of heading straight for the elevator, take a detour down the corridor on the right. The Terminal should be in plain view.

Note: Halo Waypoint names Terminal Three as "Charum Hakkor" and Terminal Four as "Flood". The subject matter of each terminal makes it clear that these titles were erroneously swapped at some point in the game's production. The article restores the titles in accordance with 343 Industries' original intent.


Humanity defeated, the Forerunners now face a new foe.

Forthencho, now aged after decades of war with the Forerunners, lies in a bed.

  • Didact: "Lord of Admirals. So very many years have we battled."

Shot of a door. The door explodes inward, and Forerunner Warrior-Servants storm the room beyond. They proceed to destroy the defending human forces, as the Didact narrates.

  • Didact: "My finest opponent, the Mantle accepts all who live fiercely, who defend their young, who build and struggle and grow, and even those who dominate - as humans have dominated; cruelly, without wisdom."

Shot of a large Forerunner fleet in orbit around Charum Hakkor. The camera pans right, revealing the wreckage of human ships and stations. The Didact strides down a passage. Warrior-Servants float to the sides, and human bodies litter the floor. Didact enters the bridge, where the final human resistance shelters behind energy barriers, rifles pointed at the door. Front and center stands Forthencho and one other soldier.

  • Didact: "But for all of us, there is a time like this..."

Didact's troops train their weapons on the humans. Forthencho places a hand on the gun of the soldier next to him, and forces the barrel downward. The camera pans down across the vast cityscape of Charum Hakkor, and then to a bunker below ground, where row upon row of human wounded and dead are laid out on beds. Forerunner machines float between rows.

  • Didact: "...And for you, that time is now. Know this, relentless enemy, killer of our children. Lord of Admirals. Soon we will face the enemy you have faced, and we are afraid."

Didact enters a research lab. The Librarian is there, looking at a stored Pod infector.

  • Librarian: "My Lifeworkers are investigating, but I believe the humans were never attacking us."
  • Didact: "Tell that to the millions of dead."
  • Librarian: "The humans were acting as caretakers, pruning away planets so that this infection would not spread."
  • Didact: "They took the Mantle of Responsibility upon themselves, and in so doing, they brought the sickness to our shores."

The Didact leaves the room.

  • Librarian: "Husband..."
Terminal Five

Knights[edit]

Walkthrough: In the level Shutdown in the third spire. Get to the central platform with multiple light bridges. Cross the light bridge to the left of the bridge you would normally cross to reach your objective. This leads to a platform guarded by Jackals. The Terminal is located behind the platform's central column.


Forerunner Prometheans make the ultimate sacrifice to save the galaxy.

In a chamber with a holographic map of the Milky Way galaxy, red centers representing systems overtaken by the Flood.

  • Faber: "The Flood cover more of our galaxy with each passing day. They feast on the essence of life itself. The only way to stop their advance is to remove that life upon which they feast."

A simulation of firing the Halos is run and the red systems fade out.

  • Librarian: "My Lifeworkers have made plans for the reseeding of humanity, and of all life after the Halos are fired."
  • Faber: "So you agree that Halos are our only solution."
  • Librarian: "I do."
  • Faber: "And your husband?"
  • Librarian: "My husband has a different opinion on what steps to take against the Flood."

Shot of Requiem. In a Forerunner structure, the Didact falls to his knees, in anticipation. He has performed experiments on himself that have given him a much more sinister appearance

  • Didact: "Did it work? Run the simulation."

A holograph of Didact appears. A simulation of Flood infection is run and the form does not pass, turning red.

  • Didact: "The procedure is a failure. I am still susceptible to Flood infection."

An armoured Promethean Warrior floats forward.

  • Didact: "It will not work on my new form."
  • Promethean Warrior: "Then you will lead us, as always."
  • Didact: "You would submit to such sacrifice?"
  • Promethean Warrior: "Didact, if the Composer is our final hope to defeat the Flood, no Promethean would resist."

On the surface of Requiem.

  • Didact: "I have led you, my Prometheans, for thousands of years, and I shall continue to lead you."

The Prometheans, now digitized and changed into mechanized Knights, appear and surround him.

  • Didact: "Rise! Rise and protect the Forerunners! Rise and protect the galaxy!"

Camera pans back to reveal legions of Knights on Requiem.

Terminal Six

Justice[edit]

Walkthrough: During the level Composer, outside the station. The Terminal is located within a cluster of rocks under the Atrium.


As the Flood advance, a terrible plan is enacted.

Flood-infested ships hover above a planet as the Mantle's Approach drops out of slipspace. A door on the bottom of the Mantle's Approach opens and multiple Knights fly out to attack the infested ships. A Knight lands on one of the ships and cuts an entrance into the ship, allowing it to go inside. Soon thereafter, the ship, along with two others explode from the inside. The Didact watches from his flagship.

  • Didact: "The Flood is still too strong. Perhaps if I had greater numbers..."

He looks at a holographic representation of a Halo installation. On its surface, the humans go about their daily activities.

  • Didact: "Humans, your kind brought the Flood to our shores."

The Mantle's Approach hovers over the human village.

  • Didact: "Now you will aid in ending its threat."

The Composer activates, digitizing everyone in the village. Cut to black and then fade in to show the ashes of the human remains touching the Librarian's hand.

  • Librarian: "They were to be safe here. I ensured they would rise once more; better than before."

Two Lifeworkers survey the area where the humans were digitized. The Librarian turns to face the holographic representation of the Didact.

  • Didact: "Your pets have a nobler purpose ahead of them."
  • Librarian: "You do not face me in person after your deceit!"
  • Didact: "I have an army to build from the raw materials harvested this day. The citizens of this Halo are my first conscripts and with them in my thrall, the Flood will meet its defeat."

On the surface of Requiem, the Didact is talking to the holographic representation of the Librarian while he is surrounded by Knights.

  • Didact: "Humanity's loss of its biological form will serve as final payment for their crimes. It is a kindness they do not deserve."

Cut to black and then fade in back to the Librarian.

  • Lifeworker: "What will be done?"
  • Librarian: "Move the other humans to safety. Ensure the security of their index samples; they must finish what we have failed to do."

The Librarian proceeds to walk away.

  • Lifeworker: "Librarian, where are you going?"
  • Librarian: "To stop my husband's madness."
Terminal Seven

Cryptum[edit]

Walkthrough: During the level Midnight, shortly after boarding the Mantle's Approach. Get to the third room with enemies in it. There should be no Knights here. The Terminal is located in this room's central structure.


A wife's love for her husband dooms the galaxy.

The Mantle's Approach flies through a nebula. On the bridge, the Didact, lacking his outer armor, is steering the ship as the Librarian appears behind him, wielding a Binary rifle. The Didact turns around to face her.

  • Librarian (voiceover): "My dear husband... I know your crimes; I have found forgiveness. I know your reasons; I understand them. I know you, perhaps better than you could ever hope to know yourself. I ask you... forgive my transgressions."

The Librarian fires a shot at the Didact's chest and he falls on a knee. He looks at the Librarian, who hesitates for a moment, then fires another shot. The Didact falls on the deck, motionless.

  • Librarian (voiceover): "Like yourself, all I have done, I have done for the greater good."

Cut to one of Requiem's access portals, then a series of spires inside the shield world.

  • Librarian (voiceover): "Our time as the galaxy's caretakers is passed. The Flood have overrun us. In the days to come, the Halo rings will fire, eradicating the Flood - and all other life, for a time."

The Librarian observes as the spires retract into the bowels of Requiem, then floats away along a hallway.

  • Librarian (voiceover): "I have worked hard to index all species in known space. When the time comes, these indexes will open, and once more, the galaxy will breathe and grow... Blood will pump, life will claw its way out of the oceans and through the mud. Babes will be born, grow old under the warmth of a thousand suns..."

The Librarian enters a room where the still-unconscious Didact lies. Caught in an anti-gravity field, his body begins to rise from the floor.

  • Librarian (voiceover): "Civilizations will rise in our stead, and our job as caretakers will at last bear fruit. Until then, I leave you here, my love. The only living thing in this galaxy, sealed safely away."

The Librarian observes as a series of pillars descend around the platform housing the Didact's Cryptum.

  • Librarian (voiceover): "Spend these ages ahead of you in meditation on your choices. When you wake, you will find the humans."

The Librarian activates a holographic panel, then turns around as numerous Promethean Knights teleport behind her.

  • Librarian (voiceover): "I have ensured that they will grow strong and vibrant... They will be our rightful heirs."

The Librarian calmly puts her hands around the head of one of the Knights, and its orange lighting turns blue.

  • Librarian (voiceover): "Their gene plan dictates that the galaxy will be theirs to care for by then. I beg of you..."

A small platform transports the unconscious Didact into his Cryptum.

  • Librarian (voiceover): "Find the strength to help them learn from our mistakes. And my husband? Let them teach you something. Please."

The Librarian floats away amidst the rows of now blue-lit Promethean Knights. Cut to a view outside Requiem as the shield world's access portals seal off.

Changes in Halo: The Master Chief Collection[edit]

Each Terminal has its own achievement for accessing it, named after the Terminal itself. There is also an achievement for finding all of the terminals. [3]

It appears that the discrepancy noted in the names of Terminals Three and Four was not an error in the names, but an error in the videos themselves. When accessing Terminal Three in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the Terminal video is named 'Charum Hakkor' but the video is the one previously associated with Terminal Four. This implies that Terminal Three was always intended to be named 'Charum Hakkor' and have the video from Terminal Four. This is also more chronologically consistent, showing the end of the war between the Humans and Forerunners prior to their forced regression, rather than the other way around.[4]

This is further supported by the text descriptions and order of the Terminal videos on the Halo Channel, which describes 'Charum Hakkor', Terminal Three, as the defeat of the Humans, and 'Flood', Terminal Four, as their punishment. However due to an error, both terminal videos play the video of Terminal 3 (Formerly Four) in which Humanity is defeated.[5]

Appearances[edit]


Behind the scenes[edit]

The terminals do not appear in-game after they are acquired for the first time, nor does Cortana's unique line regarding the second level's terminal. The only way to avert this is to clear all Halo 4 data from the Xbox 360's system cache. Unlike the terminals in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the first ten of which are available in-game, Halo 4's terminal videos can be accessed only through the player's Halo 4 Service Record on Halo Waypoint.

Relation to The Forerunner Saga[edit]

"The terminal dialogs may themselves be questionable, in light of this new testimony."
— A science team leader, regarding the terminals and the contradicting discoveries.[6]

There are a number of discrepancies between the terminals and Greg Bear's Forerunner Saga, in particular the third and final novel, Halo: Silentium. The most direct inconsistencies lay with terminals 5, 6, and 7, which are adapted as part of the climax of Silentium. Some plot elements are changed slightly, while others are altered quite drastically; the dialog varies completely in each case. These discrepancies are largely the result of deliberate production decisions; according to 343 Industries Franchise Writer Jeremy Patenaude, the the terminals are meant to present a condensed version of the story of the Didact and the Librarian with the main consideration of weaving the narrative with that of the game proper while conveying the basics of the story to a wider audience within the confines of the limited length of the terminal videos.[7] Thus the narrative of the terminals lacks much of the nuance and broader context present in the novels, and many elements of the greater story arc are simplified, abstracted or omitted altogether. From an in-universe perspective, it should be noted that the terminals are hosted by the Domain, (which is known to alter data without explanation and had lain un-accessed for 100,000 years following the firing of the Halos), which could explain any perceived incongruities. Meanwhile, the narrative of Silentium is a series of eyewitness accounts collated from the memory stores of the carapace of a Catalog and a monitor as opposed to the more unreliable Domain, and as such can be considered a more accurate recounting of the events.[8]

A number of major story elements from Silentium and the Forerunner Saga as a whole are absent in the terminals; the most significant ones being the Ur-Didact's thousand-year exile in a Cryptum preceding the final years of the Flood war, the existence of the IsoDidact and the conflict between him and the Ur-Didact, or the Ur-Didact's traumatizing encounter with the Gravemind which acts as the catalyst for his transformation as a character. The Primordial, a major character in the novels, is likewise omitted. The Master Builder and his strife with the Didact—a major part of the novels—is only briefly touched on in the terminals, which focus on the growing drift between the Didact and the Librarian.

Terminal 3 depicts the Didact and the Librarian having a conversation on Omega Halo, in the same human village that the Didact later composes in Terminal 6. The exchange could not have occurred in this location for a number of reasons; while the events of the terminal are implied to have occurred almost immediately after the fall of the ancient human empire, the Ur-Didact went to exile before the Halos were constructed and did not reunite with his wife until after his transformation. Additionally, humans were not brought to Omega Halo until moments before the Flood attack on the greater Ark and the Ur-Didact's betrayal. Within the simplified context of the terminals, the backdrop of the Halo and the human village can be understood as setting up a recognizable location for the events of the sixth terminal; in any case, with the main focus of the scene being on the characters of the Didact and the Librarian, the setting is of little importance outside the aforementioned connection within the narrative of the terminals themselves.

The Didact's monologue to the Lord of Admirals in Terminal 4 is taken nearly verbatim from Halo: Primordium, albeit abridged. The circumstances of the Lord of Admirals' surrender differ from Primordium; in his recounting, Forthencho states that he spent the final hours of the battle for Charum Hakkor in a Precursor citadel on the planet's surface, as opposed to personally capitulating to the Didact aboard his flagship as seen in the terminal.[9]

The events of Terminal 5 are not depicted directly in Silentium, though they are implied to have occurred between the Didact's recovery near Uthera Midgeerrd and his return to Nomdagro (a four-year span).[10] In Silentium, the conversion of the organic Prometheans into mechanical Knights is not addressed until much later. The Didact's physiological changes wrought by his self-experimentation are never mentioned in the novel; rather, it is implied that his face has become haggard due to the psychological stress he endured during his interrogation by the Gravemind.

The Didact's attack on Omega Halo from Terminal 6 is adjusted to take place during the siege of the greater Ark, rather than what appears to a lull in the war after the Halo has been deployed. In addition, both Terminals 3 and 6 depict the Halo as orbiting a large rocky planet surrounded by several moons, while the novel places the ring over the greater Ark in extragalactic space by the time of the events of Terminal 6. In the book the Librarian witnesses the humans' composition firsthand rather than arriving after the incident. Likewise, in Silentium, the Librarian only learns of the Didact's plans with the Promethean Knights once she makes her way to Requiem in pursuit of the Didact, whereas in the terminal, the Didact communicates his scheme to her in a holographic exchange before she leaves to confront her husband. In the novel, the pair also do not confront one another until much later, as both are attempting to flee the Ark before its destruction, the latter with some of the last known survivors of humanity.

The events of Terminal 7 are not heavily changed, though they are greatly expanded. The most notable difference is the involvement of Endurance-of-Will, the Didact's lover before his marriage to the Librarian. Additionally, the terminal depicts Mantle's Approach hovering over a mountain range with stars visible in the sky, whereas in the novel, the ship remains docked within the interior of Requiem when the Librarian comes aboard to confront her husband. In the novel, the Librarian and the Didact briefly converse on the bridge of Mantle's Approach before the former shoots the latter. Though the Librarian touches a Promethean Knight as she leaves the Cryptum chamber, there is no indication that this overrides the Promethean constructs' loyalty to the Didact; instead, this is implied to occur when she leaves her memory imprint with Endurance. However, 343 Industries has clarified that the particular Knight the Librarian encounters in the terminal is Endurance, who composes herself after the Librarian's final conversation with her;[8] this is heavily implied, although not directly described, in Silentium.[11]

Curiously, the Librarian states that the Didact, locked in his Cryptum, will be the "only living thing in this galaxy", even though live specimens of the various species indexed in the Conservation Measure were stored on numerous shield worlds (particularly the conservation spheres), along with the samples of the Flood held aboard the Halo installations.

The very nature of the terminal narrative being drawn from the Domain is suspect in light of Silentium's revelation that the Domain would be destroyed by the firing of the Halos, along with all Precursor architecture.[12] In the Halo 4 level Requiem, Cortana notes that a terminal is "caught in a loop" trying to access the Domain, suggesting that the Domain may truly have been unavailable and the terminal videos are in fact locally-hosted copies of the information. Regardless, the name of the achievement "Contact the Domain" implies a connection to the Domain itself.

Notes[edit]

The terminals re-use model assets at certain points throughout them. For example, the human and Forerunner ships seen at the beginning of Terminal One and in are re-used throughout Terminal Two for both human and Forerunner ships and later Terminal Six as stand-ins for Forerunners vessels. If one examines the ships throughout the Terminals they are clearly identical in appearance to the design of the prehistoric human ships seen in Halo 4 concept art.

Gallery[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Halo Waypoint: Halo 4 Terminal: Jul 'Mdama
  2. ^ a b Halo Waypoint: The Halo Bulletin: 8.22.12
  3. ^ List of Achievements for Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  4. ^ Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  5. ^ Halo Channel
  6. ^ Halo: Primordium:, page 340
  7. ^ Halo Waypoint: 343 Sparkast 017
  8. ^ a b Halo Waypoint: The Halo Bulletin 5.14.14
  9. ^ Halo: Primordium, pages 240-241
  10. ^ Halo: Silentium, pages 28, 197
  11. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 300
  12. ^ Halo: Silentium, pages 322-323