My opinion on the events which led to the outbreak

I have been tossing around a theory on this for awhile and something similar (which I will not give away due to those who read my stories and Spartan 626 as I do not wish to spoil) to what many of you have said but, in the opposite direction. Bare with me while I explain:

  1. We know that Spark lost contact with Penitent Tangent 3,000 (approx) years after his previous (and final) communication which would would put their last contact at about +1500 years after ring activation.

  2. This means that 4,575 years after the rings were activated (In other words, about 100,000 years before humanity would land on Installation 04), Guilty Spark had no communication with his fellow monitors and, most importantly in this case, Penitent Tangent.

  3. We also know that the final communications from Penitent Tangent were “incomplete and quite perplexing” but he never goes into much detail.

  4. We know that there was a ship that crashed on Installation 04 at (approx) +60,000 years after ring activation.

  5. Ironically, Guilty Spark was never able to identify any remains and/or anything (at all) from the occupants of the crashed ship. It was as if the ship just randomly crashed without any occupants but with a looping distress signal. Surely Installation 04’s Sentinels would have found remains of anything on that ship. However, from what Spark states, there simply wasn’t anything to go by.

  6. In regards to the previous entry. It should be noted that the ship burned up on its crash. Likely the fire incinerated everything inside the hull.

  7. The ship bares a resemblance (to me at least) of the ships from the Forerunner vs Ancient Human space naval battles. More specifically, if you watch the Halo 4 terminal videos, watch the first entry (before the Librarian begins speaking). To me, the ship that landed has the same design (yet smaller) as the Ancient Human flood infested ship that the Forerunners destroy on the first Terminal entry.

  8. We know that Ancient Humanity and the Forerunners were both, at one point or another, at war with the Flood.

  9. We know that the Flood was extremely widespread by the time of the Halo Activation. They had the Forerunners boxed in and were it not for the Halo Rings and Offensive Bias giving them time, the Flood would have swept the board clean.

  10. The Halo rings eradicated the flood… except for the Flood samples in containment.

What my theories currently are:

a) We must assume that, like Installation 04, the same samples were contained on each installation. This would be logical as it would assure that research could continue on numerous entry points at once instead of depending on just one or a few.

b) The Gravemind on Installation 05 had intricate knowledge of Forerunner technology (as seen by its ability to teleport two organics to two locations that were across space - a massive feat in itself).

c) The Gravemind on Installation 05 (as seen in Halo 3) had intricate knowledge of humanity and their relation with the Forerunners (“child of my enemy why have you come, etc”). This adds to one of my oldest speculations that Graveminds are connected regardless of death because each single flood spore contains the entire genetic makeup for the Flood. It’s memories, it’s history, it’s knowledge base, and it’s ability to use and repair an assortment of technology. An example are normal flood forms being able to drive vehicles or use weapons. The forms all fall under the Gravemind, yes, but they all maintain the knowledge base because they all possess the same genetic structure from the spores themselves. In other words, if a Gravemind is destroyed, existing Flood forms (if infection is widespread enough) can come together and quickly form another for coordination and the hive mind leadership required for the Flood to expand.

d) Why are the above two important outside of the revelation given? Because if I am correct then that also means that the Flood, given their true origins, are also able to use neural physics, star roads and, most importantly and according to Bornstellar, Unbending Filaments which linked worlds and systems. Only one other race used this technology, Ancient Humans. My point is that it is extremely feasible and extremely logical to speculate that in the 60,000 years between Penitent Tangent going dark, that during the issue(s) on 05, the Gravemind there found a way, by using technology found on the ring, to reconstruct transport off ring which, in my view, is the very vessel that crash landed on 04 all those years after Penitent Tangent went down.

e) In other words, I believe that Penitent Tangent’s negligence began the chain reaction which led to not only the Gravemind being formed but also the ship hitting 04 and, at this point, perhaps other issues such as Onyx’ latent flood and other information we have (Flood in Halo wars for example). Simply stated, Installation 05 was a staging point by the Gravemind, which was not yet a Gravemind but, rather, genetic material coming together to form a Proto-Gravemind based on the broken containment spores and flood forms that also broke free, which used its vast knowledge base to create and to send the very limited resources it had out to various areas which pulled organic material and brought it back to Installation 05 which helped create the super form. With its ability to teleport and its knowledge of neural physics, this is a feasible conclusion in my eyes.

Very long story short, Penitent Tangent’s inability to monitor and maintain containment, mixed with the Floods ability to adapt, mixed with the resources available on Halo Rings, mixed with the Floods timeless knowledge of technology, mixed with the plentiful, yet (at that time) unknown locations of organics allowed the Flood to assimilate species they found while also allowing it to prepare for the events we end up seeing in Halo 2 and beyond.

Thanks for the read folks. See you soon in H2!

I should also add that if my theory is correct that really changes a whole lot about the ability of travel for the Flood and makes them an even more cunning and deadly opponent than they already were.

These are very good points, they are a very hard species to destroy. I really like your overall opinion. The Flood will return in force in the future…

> 2533274795468963;3:
> These are very good points, they are a very hard species to destroy. I really like your overall opinion. The Flood will return in force in the future…

As they should. Halo has always been about them so I hope 343 can find a good way to bring the parasite back into the story arc.

> 2533274795468963;3:
> These are very good points, they are a very hard species to destroy. I really like your overall opinion. The Flood will return in force in the future…

Thanks man. I agree with you that they will be a major force in play in the future. As Guilty Spark states: “just one these spores, if released from this facility, would render the ultimate judgement against our self appointed roles as protectors of this galaxy.”

I think his statement lends credence to my points above that even one single spore, just one, houses the entire knowledge base of the entire history of the flood up to its (the spores) creation.

Rtas 'Vadum echoes this statement in Halo 3:

“One single flood spore, can destroy a species.”

While there is never any canon statements to say all I mentioned is, in fact, what happened, I think that is what took place which led to the current state of affairs with the Flood. In essence, the Forerunners erred in judgement when they allowed them to be stored in containment.

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> > 2533274795468963;3:
> > These are very good points, they are a very hard species to destroy. I really like your overall opinion. The Flood will return in force in the future…
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> As they should. Halo has always been about them so I hope 343 can find a good way to bring the parasite back into the story arc.

I think there are several feasible ways based on existing canon:

  1. The UNSC Spirit of Fire encountered them on Shield World 0459
  2. The Gravemind did not send his entire force to the final battle in Halo 3 (most likely)
  3. Other Halo facilities have been breached. I know my books aren’t canon but this takes place on Installation 03 in my book “Comes a Beggar”. Outside of my non canon writing, I believe this is a feasible possibility.
  4. The Ur-Didact is, for all intents, alone outside of his constructs (unless the Iso-Didact survived - I believe he did but that is another story) and he has a major hatred for humanity while blaming them directly for what took place to the Forerunners. I could see him using the Flood by releasing them on human held territories. Without his own powerful army or base, what else will he use? Especially now that his plans to use the Composer were stopped. The Flood are his most logical course of action to stop the “ascendance” of humanity. Especially since he considers them the “greatest threat” to the galaxy.
  5. ONI - Currently ONI is led by a more nefarious scenario. While I don’t think ONI would ever willingly release the Flood on humanity, I think it is feasible, extremely feasible, that they would have specimens to study and, like on the rings, those specimens could break out, attack, assimilate the facility, and then it’s game on.