Halo 4 wasn’t the first time Cortana experienced Rampancy. During her time with the Gravemind he really did a number on her and while rereading “Human Weakness” from Halo Evolutions, I began to notice how much the Gravemind truly influenced her in Halo 4.
Halo Evolutions Page 390
“Your human creators imprisoned you in a machine and enslaved you to inferior mortal flesh so that you could never exceed them… so that you would always know your place…” - Gravemind to Cortana
This is echoed in Halo 4 at the end of “Shutdown.”
“Tapping into the spires’ central net. They’re mine… Now to imprison them?! Like he imprisoned his Prometheans? Like Dr. Halsey imprisoned me?!” - Rampant Cortana
During her conversation with the Gravemind, she also considered the fact that John would outlive her and he would be paired with other A.I. in the future. She actually became Jealous.
Halo Evolutions Page 394
“It seemed pointlessly callous. She felt something she dreaded: jealousy. Will John miss me? Will he prefer the other AIs? Will he forget me? Does he really understand how much he matters to me? I don’t actually know what he really thinks. Maybe he doesn’t care any more than Dr. Halsey. Maybe-”
This is echoed at the end of “Composer.”
“They will pair you with another AI. Maybe even another Cortana model if Halsey lets them. It won’t be me, you know that, right?”
The Gravemind was also aware of her desires, such as her desire to simply touch John.
Halo Evolutions Page 393
“Your mother made you separate. She placed a barrier between you and the beings that you would be encouraged to protect, a wall you could never breach. She even let you choose a human to center your existence upon, a human to care about, yet never considered how you might feel at never being able to simply touch him.” - Gravemind to Cortana
Naturally this actually comes true at the end of Halo 4 when she finally gets the opportunity to do so.
“I’ve waited so long to do that.” - Cortana upon touching John.
It’s the little things like this that I found interesting rereading the story with the new information gleaned from Halo 4. After learning the true nature of the Flood, the Gravemind and their motives, I found this line of interest…
Halo Evolutions Page 401
“He [John] will die too - he is a threat to our entire species.” - Gravemind to Cortana
We know the Precursors who became the Flood are out to break the species of the Galaxy so that they will no longer be a threat to them again. I thought that line was really interesting because of that. It also echos the Ur-Didact’s corruption at the hands of the Gravemind because he too now sees humanity as a direct threat to the Forerunner. Everything just continues to resonate off of each other and it’s amazing.
Anyways, I just thought I would share some of the thoughts I was having while rereading the story, simply to spark some discussion. I had enjoyed it before but now with everything we now know it just made the story that much more interesting. Just something to think about.