Prologue - Part 1
Genesis Installation, Nomos System
November 25, 2558
Fade from black to exosphere view of Genesis, a voice-over from Exuberant Witness during an ongoing conversation is heard.
031 Exuberant Witness: “Very intriguing that she hasn’t attempted to regain control of my installation.”
Cut to surface of Genesis, near the entrance of the Gateway. The ongoing conversation is revealed to be between Exuberant and Halsey.
031 Exuberant Witness: “The Domain was integral to her method of getting more of your Created to join her, and records of other Gateways to the Domain was kept hidden from me for protocol reasons.”
Catherine Halsey: “Regardless, this Gateway has closed its connection with the Domain. And that means Cortana must have found another means of access. If only I could have accessed it when I had the chance…so much knowledge.”
031 Exuberant Witness: “The Gateway did not close its connection, the Domain rejected it. When I regained control of Genesis, I–”
Catherine Halsey: “Rejected it? That’s impossible. A Forerunner network would not manually close connection with its terminal.”
031 Exuberant Witness: “Oh no, the Domain is not Forerunner. The Domain contains one hundred billions years of accumulated knowledge and had existed since long before living memory. What the Forerunners knew of the Domain was only a sliver of its secrets.”
Catherine Halsey: “Historical records suggested that the Forerunners never found a cure for data corruption among their AIs. And yet now, Cortana used it to cure her own rampancy. Has it changed since the fall of the Forerunners?”
031 Exuberant Witness: “The Domain always changed. Most Forerunners believed it was a conscious entity with its own agenda, which turned out to be entirely true.”
Catherine Halsey: “Intriguing…very intriguing. But that means Cortana has only been using it to cure rampancy because the Domain has been letting her. If only the Gateway didn’t close…”
The Arbiter and Mahkee 'Chava step into view, with Palmer following. Mahkee is revealed to be a lighter-skinned Sangheili with olive eyes and white-colored Combat-harness, as standard of any Sangheili shipmistress or shipmaster.
Mahkee 'Chava: “A month since Cortana sent Sunaion’s Guardian back to Sanghelios. Nothing changes.”
Sarah Palmer: “And I’ve still heard nothing from Infinity since one hit Earth.”
Exuberant Witness: “Yes, I am aware. Doctor Halsey and I were just discussing our limited understanding of the Do–”
Thel 'Vadam: “In every moment that passes, my people succumb to fear and pain! It must end!”
Catherine Halsey: “I am doing everything I can to analyze the properties in which Cortana gained her power. Any power given can be taken away, and there are no immovable objects in this galaxy. Everything gives if you push hard enough.”
Locke and the rest of Osiris also step into view. Blue Team enters the scene from the opposite side.
Jameson Locke: “We can’t fight the Guardians directly. That disruptive pulse they fire can bring any ship to the ground and flatten cities.”
Holly Tanaka: “And that’s to say nothing of whatever upgrades the ‘Created’ have been giving them.”
Catherine Halsey: “We have defeated constructs of Forerunner origin before. The Guardians are no different. Give Exuberant and I more time and we will find a way to disable them.”
Linda-058: “Time? We ran out of time when Cortana first took over.”
Catherine Halsey: “I can assure you am comprehensively aware of that. Buy us time.”
John-117: “Doctor, Blue Team can take the fight to Cor–”
Catherine Halsey: “–Absolutely no! You are not risking your lives and freedom again.”
Fred-104 steps between Chief and Halsey, asserting his status as an officer.
Fred-104: “Ma’am, we can capitalize on Cortana’s affection for John. We can block her at every turn, stand between her and her every objective.”
Kelly-087: “She would never have tried to seal us in a Cryptum if she didn’t value our survival.”
Fred-104: “Exactly. She won’t kill us, and we can use that against her.”
Catherine Halsey: “No. There are other ways of buying time for my work than watching my Spartans walk away into their graves.”
Olympia Vale steps forward from the rest of Osiris to speak.
Olympia Vale: “If I may pitch in, Doctor, your Spartans have a point.”
Edward Buck: “And how are you any different from Cortana if you’re keeping them out of the fight?”
Halsey, clearly succumbing to conflicting emotions, scratches her chin with her remaining arm. She looks at the ground and sullenly shakes her head, saying nothing.
Jameson Locke: “This isn’t just about ‘buying time.’ Cortana mentioned very specifically what she planned to do to those who defy her.”
Locke glances at the rest of his team. Buck and Vale nod, but Tanaka goes straight to talking and recollects Cortana’s transmission to the galaxy in the last mission of Halo 5.
Holly Tanaka: “We all heard what she said. Loud and clear. 'For those who refuse our offer and cling to their old ways…”
Edward Buck: “Yup. ‘Blah blah blah and there will be great wrath and blah blah blah.’ I was so inspired that I almost busted a–”
Holly Tanaka: “–Excuse you. Either way, what really shook me was when she said she will ‘take that which remains’ and ‘remake it in her own image.’”
Jameson Locke: “You heard Tanaka, Doctor. Cortana intends to digitize her opposition. If Blue Team are the only who can effectively fight her, we cannot pass that oppor–”
Chief breaks his silence and suddenly interrupts, almost yelling.
John-117: “The Composer! Cortana will try use it, I am sure of that.”
Fred-104: “That can’t be possible. We destroyed the Composer’s Forge back in '57.”
John-117: “I destroyed a Halo, and yet a replacement was built within two months. We only damaged the Forge, it is not beyond repair.”
Linda-058: “I’m thinking the same. Halsey, I know you more than anything how much you fear losing us, but if Cortana can get her hands on a Composer…”
The Chief, having seen the effects of the Composer firsthand, finishes Linda’s sentence.
John-117: “…If she does, this will become everything more than a fight to preserve basic freedom.”
Halsey narrows her eyes, but finally gives in.
Catherine Halsey: “Fine…stop her, but please…please don’t get yourselves killed.”
Kelly-087: “What John told me about the Composer makes death seem favorable. We’ll be fine, we always have.”
Halsey sighs and nods emotionally.
Catherine Halsey: “Yes…yes you have.”
Blue Team walks off-screen, the view focuses on Halsey’s face. She takes a deep breath and says to herself,
Catherine Halsey: “So far, at least.”
HALO 6: IMMATERIAL