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UNSC Priority Transmission 00143A-23/CLAYTON TRANSMISSION B12

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UNSC Priority Transmission 00143A-23, subject CLAYTON TRANSMISSION B12, was a report sent by AI Peleg to Spartan 92738-61842-LC of Fireteam Apollo sometime during or after 2558. The report was sent in response to a request from Spartan 92738-61842-LC made as part of an investigation into the origins of the Created conflict. Attached to the report was an excerpt of the file "CLAYTON TRANSMISSION B12", which consisted of debriefs of Spartan Blue Team following Operation: FIRST STRIKE, conducted by Doctor Veronica Clayton on Cairo Station on October 19, 2552. In the excerpt, Clayton and Sergeant Major Avery Johnson discussed Cortana's contact with a hostile AI onboard the Ascendant Justice, with the concern that such contact inflicted personality matrix trauma upon her.[1]

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UNSC PRIORITY TRANSMISSION 00143A-23
ENCRYPTION CODE: UMBER
PUBLIC KEY: N/A
FROM: PELEG [PLG 3276-4]/SIGNALS
To: APOLLO SDM [92738-61842-LC]/SPARTANS
SUBJECT: CLAYTON TRANSMISSION B12
CLASSIFICATION: EYES ONLY TOP SECRET
You again?
I take it the data I gave you last time didn't prove as conclusive as you would have preferred?
This one will likely be no different.
You've requested the file 'CLAYTON TRANSMISSION B12' from INFINITY's SIGNALS archive. This file was transferred from OWP-142 hours prior to the Covenant's invasion of Earth.
When Blue Team returned from FIRST STRIKE, they were debriefed by Doctor Veronica Clayton, an internal investigator employed by Captain Damien Hogarth of Naval Intelligence. Hogarth worked closely with Colonel James Ackerson before his death and received approval from the Security Council to conduct full psyche evaluations on the returning Spartan-IIs to ensure the stability of the program.
For reasons not defined, Sergeant Major Avery Johnson was included in these sessions. You already know this, however, given your request.
Although she claimed they were largely unsuccessful, due to obfuscation and interference by Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood and his staff, her evaluations made it back down to B5D in Sydney.
The doctor's transport, however, did not. Her taxi ended up getting crushed in the grind that was the Covenant's first orbital wave. After Hogarth was terminated, his files were released to Fleet Security.
The clearence Captain Lasky gave you in accordance to Article 76.0.2 of the UNSC Emergency Communication Measures is just barely enough to grant you access.
Caution, Detective. If you continue to dig into secrets kept behind locked doors, you may not like what you find in the end.
OCTOBER 19, 2552 2351:23:57//CAIRO STATION
[CLAYTON] ...after the team acquired the Covenant asset. What did you say its name was? "Ascendant Justice"?
[JOHNSON] I didn't say, ma'am.
[CLAYTON] Other reports indicate that Sierra-117, the Master Chief, exposed the UNSC AI Cortana to a hostile intelligence on that ship, is that correct? That she interacted with a Covenant AI?
[JOHNSON] Wouldn't know. I was too busy killin' the flesh and blood aliens to keep track of what the Chief was doing.
[CLAYTON] I suggest you stick to the facts, Sergeant. We have helmet feeds of the entire operation.
[JOHNSON] Great, then we're done here?
[CLAYTON] Not by a long shot. Sit down. I need to know about the Spartan's operability. We're evaluating risk connected to them.
[JOHNSON] Risk? With the Spartans? [laughs] You may want to check your sources, ma'am. The only risk is that we don't have enough of 'em. You're ONI, right? Can't you folks crank out some more?
[CLAYTON] Sergeant, this is not a joking matter. There's a serious possibility that Cortana was exposed to a malicious AI and suffered personality matrix trauma from it. Smart AIs are expensive material. This one is worth more than the entire orbital defense platform you're sitting in right now.
[JOHNSON] She's not a cheap lady. I can appreciate that.
[CLAYTON] [sigh] Were there any problems with Cortana after she interacted with the Covenant flagship systems, Sergeant?
[JOHNSON] Don't know, ma'am. You should talk to the Chief. She spent most of the time in his armor. Be careful though, he's a chatty fellow.
[CLAYTON] What?
[JOHNSON] The Master Chief. He's a talker.
[CLAYTON] Sergeant Major, I get that you don't want to be answering these questions, but if you were more cooperative, this experience would be more significantly enjoyable for the both of us.
[JOHNSON] Are you trying to flirt with me, ma'am?

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