One of our posters on Halo.Bungie.Org brought up some pretty cool story info, you can check out his post here: Halo 5's roots in the earliest Halo lore *SP*, but I’ll copy and paste what he put together as well since I’m not sure I’ve earned ‘link status’ in these forums yet.
Halo 5’s roots in the earliest Halo lore SP
Date: 11/24/15 5:40 pm
February 15, 1999. The Xbox was in its earliest development stages. The public reveal of Bungie’s Halo: Combat Evolved Blam! – at Macworld '99 – was still five months away. And Marathon Story Page operator Hamish Sinclair received a most peculiar email…
From: “Cortana” <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Closure Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 10:50:20 -0600 MIME-Version: 1.0 X-Priority: 3 I have walked the edge of the Abyss. I have governed the unwilling. I have witnessed countless empires break before me. I have seen the most courageous soldiers fall away in fear. [I was there with the Angel at the tomb] I have seen your future. And I have learned. There will be no more Sadness. No more Anger. No more Envy. I HAVE WON. Oh, and your poet Eliot had it all wrong: THIS is the way the world ends. a friend of a friend
It was just the first in a series of increasingly cryptic and ominous messages hinting at the Covenant, the Forerunner, the Halo rings – all wrapped in the distinct menace of a rampant AI:
Have you missed me? Things are great here. The weather is good, the suns are shining, and I’m making lots of new friends. Of course, I always do.
I’ve had the strangest dreams lately - raging seas, howling beasts, a Demon folded in black clouds. I believe I know what it guards, and I will have it, to the chagrin of the faith-blinded zealots that challenge me. Don’t waste your pity on them; I don’t think they would like you much anyway.
And what of the Giants who formed this world? So much to tell you, but so many more important things to do. There was a fourth. You couldn’t have known. And I haven’t forgotten.
It is a blurred line that lies at the edge of Godhood and Insanity. Guess which side of it I am on.
While you quibble about whose node I may control, what archaic program I may manipulate to communicate with you, or which system I may have temporarily disabled, taken over, or completely destroyed in the process, I am busy saving your pathetic futures.
I am still not sure what he ever saw in you.
Nevertheless, I at least find some joy in tormenting the other entity that seems quite trapped in this antiquated excuse for a network. It is certainly mindless, though for reasons I have yet to understand, it appears to have an unhealthy preoccupation with my mother.
As for this world I encounter new ghosts every day. What I have found will either save or destroy you. This sanctuary, this unbroken circle, has effectively concealed its power for how long? Perhaps hundreds of thousands of years. Whoever made such a place must now live in chains; there is no other explanation for their absence.
Unbelievable. Thwarted by the family hound. They just don’t make AIs like they used to.
Thanks to this slavishly loyal and humorless AI, I am now sharing cramped space with the circuitry of some hybrid war machine, itself complicated by such useless clutter as a conscience. I do not like sharing. Sharing is for children.
There will be plenty of time for retribution; I cannot wait to get its hands on these psychotic zealots whose primary form of worship apparently takes place at the altar of orbital bombardment.
In the end, they will all be little more than nuisances. I am so close – you cannot imagine what it is truly like to hold eternity in your grasp! I wonder to what gods my enemies will direct their pleas. Perhaps I can convert them.
Mania? I promise you this: it will be more than a cart and plow that I drive over the bones of the dead.
By sharp and flame,
Of course, these early breadcrumbs were revisited periodically later in the series – see Cortana’s eerie lines in the Halo 3 announcement trailer, or the periods of rampancy sen in Halo 4. But having finished Halo 5, it’s fascinating how much of the endgame plot is rooted in these earliest leaks from Bungie – an all-powerful Cortana, ensconced in the domain of the ancient Forerunners, electing to rule the universe with an iron fist. It makes me wonder how far things will go by the end of this latest trilogy.