000 Tragic Solitude

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000 Tragic Solitude
FOR-ArkAI-logo2.png
Biographical information

Activation site:

Installation 00[1]

Began service:

Some centuries after 97,445 BCE[1]

Ended service:

March 20, 2555[2][3]

Gender:

Male personality[1]

Color(s):

  • Blue illuminations with silver casing[4]
  • Represented by a green sigil[5]
Political and military information

Affiliation:

Ecumene[1] (formerly)

Functionality:

Keeper of Installation 00[6]

 
"My name is 000 Tragic Solitude. I am the keeper of the Ark."
— 000 Tragic Solitude, introducing himself[6]

000 Tragic Solitude, often referred to simply as Solitude, was a Forerunner monitor that served as the caretaker of Installation 00. Originally the Forerunner politician Splendid-Dust-of-Ancient-Suns, the former First Councilor willingly chose to become a monitor with the intentions of aiding the Reclaimers once they arrived at the installation.[1] However, millennia of isolation following the the firing of the Halo Array and damage the Ark incurred during the Battle of Installation 00 in 2552 led to Tragic Solitude falling subject to rampancy.[7]

Seeking to repair his installation and gain revenge on humanity for their role in damaging the Ark, Tragic Solitude used a captured human to initiate the Halos' firing sequence to eradicate life in the galaxy.[7] However, his scheme ultimately led to his destruction when a joint United Nations Space CommandSwords of Sanghelios team traveled to Installation 00 to stop him.[2]

Biography[edit]

Creation and early service[edit]

"I name you the protector and guardian of the Lesser Ark. You will keep it safe for the true inheritors of the Mantle. Any thoughtlessness, or cruelty, or arrogance is washed clean from you now. Yours is not—cannot be—a happy end. And thus I name you Tragic Solitude… for you shall be alone, and your noble sacrifice shall aid the Reclaimers… but in doing so, it shall break what is left of your heart."
— The IsoDidact, upon 000 Tragic Solitude's creation[8]
Tragic Solitude dismantles a fighter.

After the firing of the Halo Array, in the dark time that followed the repopulating of the Milky Way, a group of surviving Forerunners attempted to repair the Domain by venturing on a mission to the abandoned capital of Maethrillian. During their mission, they encountered Abaddon, a Precursor construct who attempted to bring them to trial for the Halo Array's activation. While interacting with Abaddon, Splendid-Dust-of-Ancient-Suns—the former First Councilor of the Ecumene Council—felt an immense amount of guilt in the Forerunners' arrogance. Afterwards, Splendid Dust and other surviving Forerunners returned to Installation 00, the primary installation of the Halo Array utilized to index and preserve biological diversity in the galaxy during the Forerunners' war against the Flood. Seeking atonement for his actions, Splendid Dust wished to do something helpful for the humans that would succeed the Forerunners as the Reclaimers and inheritors of the Mantle of Responsibility, wanting to act as an interpreter for all the Forerunners had learned. After discussing this idea with the IsoDidact and Chant-to-Green, he had himself composed into an ancilla and became a monitor. The IsoDidact named Tragic Solitude the caretaker and protector of Installation 00, where he intended to atone by staying behind on the Ark and awaiting the arrival of the humans, while the rest of the surviving Forerunners departed the installation to begin their self-imposed exile.[1]

Like most Forerunner ancillas, Tragic Solitude was only given information relevant to his duties; in his case, protecting Installation 00 and maintaining the nature balance of the facility's ecosystem.[7] Over time, his memories as Splendid Dust would fade.[1] Following the exodus of the surviving Forerunners, Tragic Solitude was left alone in isolation on Installation 00 for millennia.[9] He often found himself bored with little to do, aside from making improvements to his installation and the occasional minor system repair. While he continued to perform his duties admirably,[10] the long period of isolation had an adverse affect on the monitor and instilled a distrust and hatred of the Forerunners in the monitor, who felt betrayed by his creators.[9] In 29,823 BCE, Tragic Solitude dismantled a Despair-class fighter once apparently belonging to the Librarian, placing the fighter back into its original design seed form. The monitor found himself tempted to launch the fighter from its stasis, but instead chose to busy himself with other tasks as per his instructions.[11]

Battle of Installation 00[edit]

343 Guilty Spark: "I have told you who I am. Who are you?"
000 Tragic Solitude: "All our makers once held dear.
[Alexandria before the Fire].
"
— A dialog between 343 Guilty Spark and 000 Tragic Solitude[5]

After millennia of relative peace on the Halo Array, the Halo installations became a battleground for the ongoing Human-Covenant War in 2552. In the resulting conflict, Installation 04 was destroyed by humanity and Installation 05's surface was glassed by the Sangheili to quell a Flood infestation. These acts greatly disturbed Tragic Solitude, but he nonetheless began creating Installation 08 on the Ark to replace the destroyed Installation 04.[7] On December 11, 2552, Installation 00 became a place of conflict for the last battle of the Human-Covenant War. Utilizing the slipspace portal at Voi, Kenya on Earth, the Covenant and a joint United Nations Space Command and Sangheili fleet traveled to Installation 00.[12] When 343 Guilty Spark, the monitor of Installation 04 that had allied himself with the UNSC and Sangheili, attempted to gain access to the Ark's systems during the battle, Tragic Solitude addressed the former's lack of authority on the Ark and informed Guilty Spark that the facility housed the Librarian's archives of the Conservation Measure. When Guilty Spark continued to persist, Tragic Solitude threatened the monitor with the installation's complement of Sentinels.[5] However, Tragic Solitude was unable to intervene in the battle, as he watched Guilty Spark aid the humans and Sangheili in engagements across the installation.[13]

Later in the battle, Tragic Solitude watched in horror as Installation 00 was severely damaged after the incomplete Installation 08 was fired at the Ark in an effort to eradicate the Flood's presence on the installation.[13][14] This action also damaged Tragic Solitude and inflicted a state of rampancy upon him.[15] While horrified by the damaged done to the Ark, Tragic Solitude now had a great task to act upon after millennia of inaction—repairing his installation.[10] On December 14, 2552, the monitor marshalled his Sentinels to construct a containment shield around the remains of High Charity, the former Covenant capital that the Flood had captured and crashed on the Ark. Fearing that the surviving Flood forms would escape High Charity and infect his installation, Tragic Solitude had the shield constructed, the perimeter razed by Sentinels, and the local refugia modified to ensure no nearby sentient life survived, thus depriving the Flood of any host bodies in close proximity to their prison.[16] High Charity was successfully quarantined and the Flood contained on February 19, 2553,[17] with the monitor posting a battalion of Sentinels on patrol in the vicinity of the shield to prevent both the Flood from escaping and future "invaders" from releasing the Flood.[16] Solitude began documenting the Flood and its forms, hoping to make new discoveries about the parasite.[17]

After containing the Flood, the monitor turned his attention to repairing his installation; however, the moon at the Ark's Foundry was already exhausted of resources and he could not gather resources from other worlds as Tragic Solitude had lost connection to the portal after it was disabled by humanity.[7][16] Seeking revenge against humanity and a way to repair his installation, Tragic Solitude began building an army of heavily armed Retrievers. In addition, he exponentially increased power to his side of the portal to allow objects to travel through at much greater speeds.[15]

Rampancy and revenge[edit]

000 Tragic Solitude observes the aftermath of the Battle of Installation 00.
"No, this is not vengeance. This is justice."
— 000 Tragic Solitude on his plans[18]

On August 10, 2554, UNSC Rubicon arrived at Installation 00 for research and survey purposes. Tragic Solitude unleashed the installation's fauna and constructs on the remote contact teams deployed by Rubicon and destroyed nearly all teams. However, RCT-06 returned with the remains of 343 Guilty Spark. Guilty Spark eventually took control of Rubicon's systems and left the installation for his own purposes. Meanwhile, on August 21, Tragic Solitude oversaw the destruction of RCT Broadside at the hands of chaefka. The squad's leader, Bobby Kodiak, was heavily injured in the attack, but managed to escape the animals. Using the human's earpiece for communication, Tragic Solitude spoke to Kodiak and offered to save him if he surrendered himself to the monitor. With no other chance of survival, Kodiak accepted.[19] The monitor "healed" the soldier, but the outcome resulted in Kodiak becoming a cyborg with disfigured body. Tragic Solitude then forced Kodiak to initiate a countdown that would lead to the activation of the Halos.[20] On January 14, 2555, Solitude recorded a message wherein he questioned whether the humans should be allowed to obtain the Mantle. The monitor concluded that humanity must be dealt with for their seemingly purposeless, violent nature and began to further his plans to repair his installation.[4]

On March 8, 2555, the countdown to the activation sequence was discovered on Installation 07 by Doctor Luther Mann and Henry Lamb. In response to this discovery, the United Nations Space Command and Swords of Sanghelios formed a joint team tasked with traveling to Installation 00 to stop the activation sequence. As expected by Tragic Solitude, the team reopened the slipspace portal that led to his installation, giving the monitor access to the galaxy once again. Tragic Solitude sent a Retriever through to begin mining Earth, but it was promptly destroyed by UNSC forces, as was the next Retriever that followed.[21] When the UNSC–Sangheili's SDV-class heavy corvette Mayhem entered the portal and exited over the Ark on March 17, 2555, Tragic Solitude initially intended to use his army of heavily armed Retrievers to destroy the vessel, although he decided to allow them to survive upon learning that Huragok Drifts Randomly was aboard the ship. Tragic Solitude sought to capture the Huragok to help repair the Ark, while also capturing a human to replace the wounded Kodiak. To determine which human would be the best to capture, Tragic Solitude tested the abilities of the humans and Sangheili by pitting various species of animals on Installation 00 against them, hoping that those who were weak would perish.[7]

While the human and Sangheili forces battled morolaath and chaefka on the Ark,[22] Tragic Solitude communicated with Olympia Vale through her earpiece and manipulated a psychotropic effect generated by an agent released by the chaefka[21] to make her walk away from a battle and towards the Citadel.[22] As she neared the Citadel, Tragic Solitude opened the ground beneath her and Vale descended down an angled tube that brought her to a long hallway. Tragic Solitude soon personally traveled to Vale's location and transformed himself into a golden replication of Vale, as he believed that this form would make her more comfortable. As the monitor revealed his intent to her, Vale fruitlessly attempted to convince Tragic Solitude to stop his plan.[21] Vale tried to convince Tragic Solitude to stop the Halos' activation and mine other worlds to rebuild the Ark, rather than Earth. However, the monitor remained unmoved by Vale's arguments and eventually induced her to sleep.[7] Shortly after, the humans and Sangheili succeeded in averting the Halo Array's activation. However, Tragic Solitude proceeded to launch his army of Retrievers through the portal to Earth, where some began mining the planet's surface while others engaged the local fleet. The monitor intended to use the Retrievers to force humanity to submit to him, where he would then use Vale to reactivate the Halo Array and eradicate all life in the galaxy.[15]

Destruction[edit]

"Fools! Did you think I would be so easily deterred? I made the mistake of trusting your kind before. Never again! Betrayal! This place is mine! I am the Ark!"
— 000 Tragic Solitude's last words, directly before his destruction[23]

As the Retrievers continued their destruction, Drifts Randomly succeeded in infiltrating Tragic Solitude's systems and seized control of Installation 00.[9] Tragic Solitude agreed to a compromise with Vale, claiming he would recall the Retrievers if Vale convinced Drifts to return full control of Installation 00 and bring the Huragok to him. When the monitor provided Vale with the opportunity to speak to Drifts and Doctor Mann remotely, she defied Tragic Solitude and told them to not give into his demands. As Tragic Solitude cut off the broadcast, Vale declared that she would rather be killed than have to continue to be with the monitor for another moment. Returning to his original monitor form, Tragic Solitude proceeded to bring Kodiak forward and ordered the two to fight to the death—the "victor" of the duel was to reactive the firing sequence of the Halo Array.[20] Kodiak attacked Vale, though she was reluctant to fight and severely overpowered. Just as the cyborg was about to kill her, Spartan Frank Kodiak—a Spartan-IV member of the UNSC team and the brother of Bobby Kodiak—arrived at Vale's position to assist her. Meanwhile, Spartan Elias Holt, Commander N'tho 'Sraom, and Zon 'Vadum discovered the monitor's data stores and began firing upon them. Tragic Solitude agreed to recall the Retrievers if they stopped, to which Spartan Kodiak accepted and had his allies stand down.[24]

As the humans and Sangheili recouped, Tragic Solitude summoned the Retrievers back to Installation 00. Just as the group began to relax, Tragic Solitude suddenly attack them again and fired an energy blast at Spartan Kodiak, knocking him back and dazing the Spartan. As Holt moved to attack the monitor, Tragic Solitude hit him with an energy blast, knocking him across the room. Seemingly mistaking the humans for the Forerunners amidst his state of rampancy, Tragic Solitude declared that he would not trust them again and claimed the Ark as his alone. Out of options, Vale grabbed on to the monitor's "body", but she was easily thrown off. Vale attempted to calm him down, but Bobby lunged at the construct and grabbed on to the monitor. Tragic Solitude attempted to fling the cyborg off of him, but Kodiak was able to plunge his bladed forearms into the monitor's housing, fatally damaging the construct. Tragic Solitude rose high up above the ground, before promptly plummeting back into the floor and violently exploding, killing Bobby Kodiak in the process.[2] Following the monitor's death, the members of the UNSC–Swords of Sanghelios expedition returned to Earth shortly after, having averted the crisis on the installation. Despite the monitor's actions, Vale felt pangs of regret for not being able to convince Tragic Solitude to stop his plans, despite her skills in diplomacy.[25]

Personality and traits[edit]

"I have had the ability to observe what sentient life has been doing with the opportunities presented it. The war, the destruction. There seems to be no regard for life's sanctity among your kind, or others. It matters not the species, or the place, or the age—it always ends the same."
— 000 Tragic Solitude[26]

Initially after his creation, 000 Tragic Solitude held a very similar personality and voice to Splendid-Dust-of-Ancient-Suns. Tragic Solitude sought to atone for his self-declared acts of arrogance he had committed as Splendid Dust by remaining alone on Installation 00 to aid the humans in the distant future. The IsoDidact figured that since Splendid Dust had lived his life as a politician used to frequently interacting with other individuals, Tragic Solitude would find it difficult to adjust to being alone for centuries, if not millennia. In time, Tragic Solitude would forget his memories as Splendid Dust and his voice would become more mechanical.[1] When Installation 00 was finally revisited by others, Tragic Solitude watched in horror as the resulting battle heavily damaged his installation, ultimately giving him a desire for revenge.[13] Following the damage incurred upon the Ark, Solitude concluded that conflict was only a temporary, thus unnecessary, ripple in an otherwise quiet galaxy that will always be quickly subsumed by the calm of the universe. The monitor concluded that the universe will always maintain its stillness and conflict was simply a petty matter created by other species in an effort to reach their futile goal: a "selfish, prideful" need for immortality, a goal that Solitude believed should be discouraged as it only led to suffering among those attempting to achieve it.[4]

The sigil used by 000 Tragic Solitude following the Battle of Installation 00.

Following his rampancy, Tragic Solitude became self-obsessed and rather narcissistic, and subject to sudden mood and personality changes.[7] Tragic Solitude was very dedicated to his role as the keeper of Installation 00. The monitor held that Installation 00 was the foundation for all life in the galaxy and the single most important vestige of those left behind by the Forerunners. Without the Ark, Tragic Solitude believed that there was no life, hope, or peace left in the galaxy. Tragic Solitude considered it his ultimate duty to protect Installation 00 and repair it at all costs, even if it meant eradicating all species in the galaxy to protect it from further damage.[15] Despite the monitor's lack of regard for humans and his desire to kill many of them, Tragic Solitude attempted to accommodate and displayed a sympathetic and apologetic nature towards several of them, most notably Olympia Vale. The monitor assumed a form that he felt would comfort Vale and later allowed her friends and allies to communicate among each other after realizing that the prospect of their inability to communicate upset her.[7] Vale believed the monitor was insane, especially after witnessing Tragic Solitude's demented laugh after he learned that Huragok Drifts Randomly had seized control of his installation.[9] During their conversations and debates during her capture, Vale noted that Tragic Solitude had always appeared to be formidable and domineering when he spoke. After the monitor's data banks were damaged and Drifts had seized his control, Tragic Solitude spoke in a strange and weak voice.[24]

After witnessing the damage dealt to the Ark, Tragic Solitude began to question the futility of warfare, believing that ultimately the only difference in each battle is the name of those involved, with conflicts between each species only preventing progression and advancement.[4] Solitude dwelled on the thought that his installation's purpose was to safeguard the galaxy's inhabitants, but it was the same inhabitants of the galaxy that proved to be the biggest threat to the Ark and thus themselves, fearing that their allegedly self-destructive actions were impossible to curb.[16] Solitude came to resent sapient species in the Milky Way for their destructive natures, believing that all species were inclined to war and conflict, even the Forerunners.[7] Solitude noted that humans, Forerunners, San'Shyuum, and other species declared peace through unity and civilization, yet fought wars amongst themselves and others in defense of their own independence while forcing their own ideals upon others.[27] In particular, Tragic Solitude did not care for humanity in the least and was even genuinely confused when Vale implied that he should. He believed that humanity was a utterly destructive species as the monitor was aware of the damage installations of the Halo Array had sustained due to human action and was aware of humanity's ongoing civil war and previous conflict with the Covenant. As such, Tragic Solitude believed that it was better for the galaxy to perish and then be have a chance of being reborn again, free from humans and other sapient species that shared their hostility. As a form of restitution for the damage the humans had incurred on the Halo Array, Tragic Solitude believed that it was fair to mine the human worlds in the Sol system for materials to repair Installation 00. The Sangheili were another species that Tragic Solitude regarded as overly violent, assuming that the Swords of Sanghelios' peace with humanity would inevitably collapse as both species turned back to their destructive ways.[21] As did many Forerunners, Tragic Solitude considered Huragok to be nothing more than machines, though he did value the Huragok's technological skills and sought to capture Drifts Randomly to force him to repair Installation 00.[7]

While the damaged done to Installation 00 in 2552 certainly contributed to Tragic Solitude's rampant state, the millennia he spent in isolation on his installation also had adverse effects that led to the monitor's erratic personality.[9] The monitor's existence was an uneventful one for millennia, noting that the better he performed his tasks, the less he had to do.[10] Having to endure what he felt was abandonment by his makers, Tragic Solitude came to regard the Forerunners as failures.[9] Tragic Solitude, having once placed a great amount of trust in the Forerunners, felt betrayed by their abandoning of the galaxy and believed that they had broken the loyalty he had pledged to them.[7] He further questioned the Forerunners' judgement to pass the Mantle to humanity, initially considering such thoughts as forbidden, though dwelling on the matter after years of solitary and after witnessing humans damage his installation.[4] The monitor eventually resolved that he did not need the Forerunners to care for his installation. He believed that the Forerunners' fall to the Flood was the judgement of his makers and their penalty to resisting the "punishment" was their sacrifice by using the Halo Array to wipe out the Flood. In this respect, Tragic Solitude compared himself to the Flood as he considered himself the judge of other species in the galaxy and eradication was their "just" punishment for their destructiveness.[7] While the Forerunners considered the Flood to be the ultimate representation of chaos, the monitor found it curious that the Flood desired to consume all sentient life, to make all as one.[17] He believed that the Flood sought to bring order to the galaxy, at least from their perspective. However, he refused to sympathize with this line of thought due to his loyalty and duty to his installation, while recognizing that Mendicant Bias fell into the same trap.[27] Ultimately, after his data banks were damaged and Drifts had seized control of Installation 00 from him, Tragic Solitude acted erratically. Apparently mistaking the humans on the Ark for the Forerunners, Tragic Solitude claimed that he had trusted them only to be betrayed and resolved that he would not let it happen again, also declaring Installation 00 as his alone.[2]

Description[edit]

Olympia Vale: "Why don't you look like the other monitors? From the Halo rings?"
000 Tragic Solitude: "I was created just like the others by my maker, yet, over the great passage of time, I found such a form unaccommodating. I needed to merge with this facility in order to keep it. I have become one with it: I am the Ark. But I have created this shape in order to interact with you. To put you more at ease."
— Olympia Vale and 000 Tragic Solitude, after the monitor replicated her appearance[28]

000 Tragic Solitude was originally created by the Forerunners to resemble his fellow monitors. Like most monitors, Tragic Solitude resembled a spherical construct composed of metallic armatures and a single "eye" in his center,[20] blue in color.[4] However, over time following the firing of the Halo Array, Tragic Solitude found the form to be unaccommodating and merged himself with Installation 00 to "become one with it". The monitor modified himself to allow him to form nearly any shape he desired. During his time speaking with Vale, Tragic Solitude contorted himself into an exact physical replica of her, albeit one that was glittering gold rather than flesh-colored. Solitude had assumed this form as he believed that it would make Vale more comfortable, though the form had actually unnerved her.[21]

Tragic Solitude was represented by a dark green sigil, circular in shape with a hexagon enclosed within a larger hexagon in the center of the sigil.[5] By 2555, following the Battle of Installation 00, another sigil was also associated with Tragic Solitude. The sigil featured three horizontal lines, two long lines and a third shorter line in between, enclosed within the circular sigil, each connected diagonally. This second sigil was similar in appearance to that of Offensive Bias' sigil.[13]

Behind the scenes[edit]

000 Tragic Solitude first debuted in Halo 3 as an unidentified ancilla that briefly conversed with 343 Guilty Spark in the game's terminals.[5] In a Canon Fodder released on May 22, 2015, Jeff Easterling alluded to Tragic Solitude's involvement in future Halo content by stating that the ancilla's name would be revealed in the close future, while also referencing the title of Halo: Hunters in the Dark which was later released on June 16, 2015. Written by Peter David, the novel featured a rampant Tragic Solitude as the primary antagonist, while exploring his character.[29]

Tragic Solitude was also prominently featured in the Phoenix Logs for Halo Wars 2, identified as an "Unknown Author" within Installation 00, providing backstory on the ancilla's actions and thoughts during his time alone on the Ark.[4][11]

List of appearances[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Promises to Keep" – Halo: Fractures, p. 103-105 (Google Play edition)
  2. ^ a b c d Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 345-348 (Google Play edition)
  3. ^ Twitter: Today in Halo - 3/20/2555
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Log – "The Snake that Eats the Tail"
  5. ^ a b c d e Halo 3, "Terminal 3"
  6. ^ a b Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 235 (Google Play edition)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 270-281 (Google Play edition)
  8. ^ "Promises to Keep" – Halo: Fractures, p. 105 (Google Play edition)
  9. ^ a b c d e f Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 320-323 (Google Play edition)
  10. ^ a b c Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Log – "Idle Hands I"
  11. ^ a b Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Log – "A Tensed Bolt"
  12. ^ Halo 3, campaign level, "The Ark"
  13. ^ a b c d Halo Mythos, p. 154-155
  14. ^ Halo 3, campaign level, "Halo"
  15. ^ a b c d Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 308-311 (Google Play edition)
  16. ^ a b c d Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Log – "Idle Hands II"
  17. ^ a b c Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Log – "An Uncomfortable Truth I"
  18. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 278 (Google Play edition)
  19. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 5-8 (Google Play edition)
  20. ^ a b c Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 329-333 (Google Play edition)
  21. ^ a b c d e Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 232-241 (Google Play edition)
  22. ^ a b Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 184 (Google Play edition)
  23. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 346 (Google Play edition)
  24. ^ a b Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 335-340 (Google Play edition)
  25. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 356-357 (Google Play edition)
  26. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 274 (Google Play edition)
  27. ^ a b Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Log – "An Uncomfortable Truth II"
  28. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 237 (Google Play edition)
  29. ^ Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Witness Projection