The Cortana question. Spoliers within!

What are your thoughts on what is happening to Cortana. She is definitely exhibiting traits of her mother now. I’ve a few theories.

  1. Cortana is simply mad from rampancy.

  2. Cortana was actually infected by Gravemind sometime between Halo 2 and 3, and we are finally seeing Gravemind emerge. Just like it turned Mendicant Bias and as I understand has the ability to digitally take over things?

  3. Cortana has been taken over by the Didact. After the events of Halo 4, Cortana entered the Domain, and MC confronted the Didact again (in a book, yay?) but trapped him in multiple composers or something. What if that allowed him to enter the Domain too and find and take over Cortana? I take it the Prometheans in H5 are following her, but what if it’s because they are following the Didact? Cortana and the Didact are now one? Could explain Cortana’s armoured look in H5 too?

Anyway. I hope we get to finish with Cortana one way or the other and move on from her (another fallen comrade for Chief), and move forward with Chief and Blue team. It was really cool, and really fun to fight alongside Blue team.

Anybody have any thoughts or ideas on the subject?

I’ve been thinking to myself that it’s some combination of 1 and 2, but I also think her splitting herself at the end of 4 made the repercussions significantly worse.

  • This is what kicked everything off. From the beginning she absorbed all the Forerunner data on Installation 04, the integration of which, overtaxed her processes and led to errant coding problems - This is exactly what I hope has happened. Cortana has gone the way of Mendicant Bias and the Flood are returning, just as they have time and time again (“I am a timeless curse” sure sounds a whole lot like “I am an Infinite curse” to me). - This is something I really don’t care to see happen, but is not outside the realm of possibility. Another thread discussed the possibility of the Didact returning as a composed AI and forming a reluctant alliance with humanity to defeat the Created, who he would see as pretenders to the throne, I think I’d prefer that over the Didact being a recycled villain.Agreed, I want Cortana’s character arc to be done. Too much sci-fi and fantasy out there just keeps characters in the rotation long after death in order to exploit the fandom and keep their hopes up, using over-complicated justifications so that canon doesn’t break (at least not too much).

I think Cortana used her last bits of “sane” processing to save Chief from the Didact’s ship. The rampant parts that split off found the Domain through the ship, and since the Domain only had rampant parts to work with, Cortana was repaired only rampant. Since the Domain is constantly repairing her she doesn’t have to worry about the death associated with rampancy. I don’t think the logic plague works because why would it take so long to manifest itself? Why wouldn’t it be used to stop them from firing Alpha Halo’s replacement? Plus I don’t think 343 really wanted to bring the Flood back I think it was fan pressure that cracked them. So I don’t think we’ll be seeing much of the Flood.

The way I see it is purely two. There is lore in one of the loot crates where an ONI Interrogator is plying a San Shyumm with questions. The San Shyumm brings up the logic plague and saying how it’s when the flood corrupts an AI which is why the Covenant don’t have many AIs in charge of high tasks aboard their ships. This would confrim that the logic plague is a thing and the timing of the loot crate (after Halo 5) would have it set up nicely and for fans to connect the dots to explain Cortana’s actions.

She found the Warden in the Domain and told him her plan to police the galaxy using the Guardians as well as telling him that the Mantle will belong to the Created which he becomes apart of and he protects Cortana as seen in Halo 5. But if we look between the lines we can instead see that Cortana will be leaving the galaxy defenceless and therefore an easy target for the flood and she is doing this as it is the logic plague making her act this way.

This is great as people have been wanting the flood to return to a Halo FPS for years and 343i could capitalise on that opportunity, and if we are on the same level then that’s what they’ll do.

EDIT: It was the Warden who was controlling the Promethenas in Halo 5 btw.

> 2533274826326833;1:
> What are your thoughts on what is happening to Cortana. She is definitely exhibiting traits of her mother now. I’ve a few theories.
>
> 1. Cortana is simply mad from rampancy.
>
> 2. Cortana was actually infected by Gravemind sometime between Halo 2 and 3, and we are finally seeing Gravemind emerge. Just like it turned Mendicant Bias and as I understand has the ability to digitally take over things?
>
> 3. Cortana has been taken over by the Didact. After the events of Halo 4, Cortana entered the Domain, and MC confronted the Didact again (in a book, yay?) but trapped him in multiple composers or something. What if that allowed him to enter the Domain too and find and take over Cortana? I take it the Prometheans in H5 are following her, but what if it’s because they are following the Didact? Cortana and the Didact are now one? Could explain Cortana’s armoured look in H5 too?
>
> Anyway. I hope we get to finish with Cortana one way or the other and move on from her (another fallen comrade for Chief), and move forward with Chief and Blue team. It was really cool, and really fun to fight alongside Blue team.
>
> Anybody have any thoughts or ideas on the subject?

They did some loot crates recently which included some little “intel” excerpts which strongly imply that she has had the Logic Plague ever since Halo 3. It’s from the perspective of an agent in the infinity investigating her behaviour since Halo 3. I think they are available on one of the wiki’s so you should be able to find them.

So basically that seems to settle the issue. It’s just the Chief and our heroes don’t know this in Halo 5. A while back they did a short story called Human Weakness where it’s Cortana being captured by the Gravemind and her main fear is that she might go rampant and end up hurting people. Which is pretty much the plot of Halo 4 onwards.

With regards to how they resolve that. 343 have said the game is about heroism and humanity. So they simply aren’t going to have the Chief execute his friend. Iam always quite struck how many people and Youtubers are convinced that he will kill her. Everything she has done is because of the Logic plague and the actions of the Gravemind. It’s far more likely that the Chief finds some way of curing her of the Logic Plague and then she’s all “What have I done Chief! Iam a monster!”. I mean how does an AI with an army of anti flood robots redeem herself? That’s where my money is at any rate.

Well the armour is a way of indicating that she’s went super saiyan. :smiley:

I did some reading recently on the Data Drops from the Legendary crates and I’m more inclined to think it’s rampancy.

Read Data Drop 7 here.

Also check out Spartan LC’s interview with Halsey in Data Drop 12.

> 2535435902217648;3:
> - This is what kicked everything off. From the beginning she absorbed all the Forerunner data on Installation 04, the integration of which, overtaxed her processes and led to errant coding problems - This is exactly what I hope has happened. Cortana has gone the way of Mendicant Bias and the Flood are returning, just as they have time and time again ("I am a timeless curse" sure sounds a whole lot like “I am an Infinite curse” to me). - This is something I really don’t care to see happen, but is not outside the realm of possibility. Another thread discussed the possibility of the Didact returning as a composed AI and forming a reluctant alliance with humanity to defeat the Created, who he would see as pretenders to the throne, I think I’d prefer that over the Didact being a recycled villain.Agreed, I want Cortana’s character arc to be done. Too much sci-fi and fantasy out there just keeps characters in the rotation long after death in order to exploit the fandom and keep their hopes up, using over-complicated justifications so that canon doesn’t break (at least not too much).

Actually he says “I am a timeless chorus,” thus the “sing victory everlasting,” follow up. Personally wouldn’t mind either the Didact controlling her, as the gravemind is likely but feels way to soon for a flood return. At least to for what the Timeless One promised. He said the flood would return when humanity was ripe and arrogant again, the humans only just survived a war and massive loss of numbers and have a few advanced ships.

[deleted]

> 2533274815711361;7:
> I did some reading recently on the Data Drops from the Legendary crates and I’m more inclined to think it’s rampancy.
>
> Read Data Drop 7 here. Also check out Spartan LC’s interview with Halsey in Data Drop 12.

See I thought that on reading 7. But the ones between 7 and 12 seem to point at the Logic Plague. In 12 the investigator is pointing out she’s been under a lot of strain in a very general sense. But you have to remember that most of the UNSC is not aware of the Logic Plague. So it’s the main factor but they aren’t clocking the significance of this.

In a sense it doesn’t make too much of a difference because they’ve shifted the goal posts in these logs on what the LP is. Here they’re saying that the LP isn’t mind control but simply influence to cause chaos and strife between organics and machines. Basically it affects an AI like Cortana differently to Mendicant Bias. Which is very close to “godlike delusions” you would expect from rampancy.

I mean, if the Graveminds master plan is to make Cortana a galactic AI who rules the galaxy with an army of Forerunner machines; well, there’s a lot that can go wrong with that if he can’t control her like MB. So to me that suggests it is a series of unfortunate events that has created this scenario and not part of the Graveminds master plan.

> 2533274803587475;10:
> > 2533274815711361;7:
> > I did some reading recently on the Data Drops from the Legendary crates and I’m more inclined to think it’s rampancy.
> >
> > Read Data Drop 7 here. Also check out Spartan LC’s interview with Halsey in Data Drop 12.
>
> See I thought that on reading 7. But the ones between 7 and 12 seem to point at the Logic Plague. In 12 the investigator is pointing out she’s been under a lot of strain in a very general sense. But you have to remember that most of the UNSC is not aware of the Logic Plague. So it’s the main factor but they aren’t clocking the significance of this.
>
> In a sense it doesn’t make too much of a difference because they’ve shifted the goal posts in these logs on what the LP is. Here they’re saying that the LP isn’t mind control but simply influence to cause chaos and strife between organics and machines. Basically it affects an AI like Cortana differently to Mendicant Bias. Which is very close to “godlike delusions” you would expect from rampancy.
>
> I mean, if the Graveminds master plan is to make Cortana a galactic AI who rules the galaxy with an army of Forerunner machines; well, there’s a lot that can go wrong with that if he can’t control her like MB. So to me that suggests it is a series of unfortunate events that has created this scenario and not part of the Graveminds master plan.

Oh I’ll check those out. I only read those two as they immediately caught my eye.

I have a feeling that a combination of rampancy and being split off will be the massive implications leading up to the Cortana we have in Halo 5 and eventually Infinite, which, I strongly believe is not the exact same Cortana that “died” in front of the Chief at the end of 4. Something that’s often overlooked when citing data drops and even the recent loot crate ones is the notion that split off fragments of AIs were never meant to stay split up. The end result is one total unknown.

The March 21, 2543 entry in Halsey’s Journal makes note of her first experimentation of having an AI be split off from its main component then have it absorbed back in. This would be the seed of the concept that we would see in Halo: Reach (and to an extent First Strike) and more importantly Halo 4. Cortana would have a fragment spun off to decipher the Forerunner artifact underneath Sword Base, and the knowledge that fragment garnered would be reunited with Cortana as a whole later on.

What gets passed off that I don’t see getting brought up all that often if at all…is that these fragments only stay in line with the original AI for a time but cannot stay this way indefinitely. Halsey recommends that this separation shouldn’t be longer than 8 days as a recommendation with the repercussions ultimately unknown.

Couple that with the notion that these AI fragments are able to “learn and evolve autonomously” and now you have the situation we find ourselves in Halo 4. Where Cortana is copying and splitting off fragments of her rampant parts all over Mantle’s Approach…

That caring compassionate side of Cortana that was left behind to die in front of the Chief clearly had those traits and priorities in mind when she leaves off with sentiments like wanting to have interacted with John physically even if for a moment. So the question is…what were those aspects of Cortana that were shed off and left behind on Mantle’s approach particularly emphasizing?

Because a Cortana fragment that emphasized the earlier nature of Halsey that was egotistical enough to believe in the absolute of sacrificing the (relative) few to save the greater whole was left to survive unattended and continued to grow and evolve with primarily that trait emphasized more so than the “mother AI” it split off from, then that in of itself explains far more before introducing aspects like possible logic plague infection factoring into why this Cortana is the way she is. She’s a shadow of a shadow that was then given “experience” and values learned by being in proxy to the Domain whilst stuck within Mantle’s Approach.
Another parallel to draw here (weird as it may be given the source), but for Red Vs Blue fans a similar scenario would be how Church was handled. We started with his Alpha incarnation which straight up died in Season 6. But then it was soon replaced with the Epsilon version that was split off from the Alpha. And whilst the Epsilon Church had a starting basis for personality from the original Alpha, the unique experiences it had since its own inception drove it to a slightly different character arc than its original.

And I think that’s ultimately what we’re seeing with Cortana. The original is died, and what we’re seeing is the development of a fragment that, due to its independent time in the domain coupled with whatever that fragment (or fragments combined) had to work with, growing into a different character with the same name and surface identity.

> 2533274799483156;12:
> I have a feeling that a combination of rampancy and being split off will be the massive implications leading up to the Cortana we have in Halo 5 and eventually Infinite, which, I strongly believe is not the exact same Cortana that “died” in front of the Chief at the end of 4. Something that’s often overlooked when citing data drops and even the recent loot crate ones is the notion that split off fragments of AIs were never meant to stay split up. The end result is one total unknown.
>
> The March 21, 2543 entry in Halsey’s Journal makes note of her first experimentation of having an AI be split off from its main component then have it absorbed back in. This would be the seed of the concept that we would see in Halo: Reach (and to an extent First Strike) and more importantly Halo 4. Cortana would have a fragment spun off to decipher the Forerunner artifact underneath Sword Base, and the knowledge that fragment garnered would be reunited with Cortana as a whole later on.
>
> What gets passed off that I don’t see getting brought up all that often if at all…is that these fragments only stay in line with the original AI for a time but cannot stay this way indefinitely. Halsey recommends that this separation shouldn’t be longer than 8 days as a recommendation with the repercussions ultimately unknown.
>
> Couple that with the notion that these AI fragments are able to “learn and evolve autonomously” and now you have the situation we find ourselves in Halo 4. Where Cortana is copying and splitting off fragments of her rampant parts all over Mantle’s Approach…
>
> That caring compassionate side of Cortana that was left behind to die in front of the Chief clearly had those traits and priorities in mind when she leaves off with sentiments like wanting to have interacted with John physically even if for a moment. So the question is…what were those aspects of Cortana that were shed off and left behind on Mantle’s approach particularly emphasizing?
>
> Because a Cortana fragment that emphasized the earlier nature of Halsey that was egotistical enough to believe in the absolute of sacrificing the (relative) few to save the greater whole was left to survive unattended and continued to grow and evolve with primarily that trait emphasized more so than the “mother AI” it split off from, then that in of itself explains far more before introducing aspects like possible logic plague infection factoring into why this Cortana is the way she is. She’s a shadow of a shadow that was then given “experience” and values learned by being in proxy to the Domain whilst stuck within Mantle’s Approach.
> Another parallel to draw here (weird as it may be given the source), but for Red Vs Blue fans a similar scenario would be how Church was handled. We started with his Alpha incarnation which straight up died in Season 6. But then it was soon replaced with the Epsilon version that was split off from the Alpha. And whilst the Epsilon Church had a starting basis for personality from the original Alpha, the unique experiences it had since its own inception drove it to a slightly different character arc than its original.
>
> And I think that’s ultimately what we’re seeing with Cortana. The original is died, and what we’re seeing is the development of a fragment that, due to its independent time in the domain coupled with whatever that fragment (or fragments combined) had to work with, growing into a different character with the same name and surface identity.

I can’t see that. A fragment is still part of a whole. Enough of them get together, which you see in the comic Tales from Slipspace, then what 90, 60 percent? How much do you need for it to count? How would you distinguish personality change from being a different entity?

If it’s about the specific Cortana fragment you speak to in Halo 4, in the mission Reunion she says “after I saw John last, I was dragged into slipspace”. Now, that’s implictly her referring to their last moment in Halo 4. So even that specific fragment is part of Cortana; which lines up with her still caring about Chief in Halo 5.

At the end of Halo 4 she is basically gone and is cackling maniacally or whispering creepily on the comms. She also quotes Halsey in Halo 4 and that doesn’t in itself mean we weren’t speaking to the real Cortana in Halo 4. It’s inconsistant.

Basically, when Chief promised he would save Cortana from Rampancy, Halo 5 is simply an (borderline ridiculous) escalation. You would lose continuity and any emotional investment in the situation if it wasn’t Cortana in Halo 5. Let’s assume that in a future title, the plot revolves around the Chief being put under pressure to kill Cortana; we won’t care about that conflict if it weren’t the “real” Cortana.

Honestly, I’m not sure even 343i know what’s going on with Cortana. It’s a total misfire.

I don’t think Gravemind is controlling her,because if that was so why would she be interested in protecting John and why would she hate Halsey and Spartan IV-s.Those personal matters of hers that she speaks about don’t interest the Gravemind.

Here is one thing I don’t quite understand. It could be due to Cortana’s evolving importance over the course of the games. If Cortana is such a special experimental A.I., why was she stationed on the PoA (a regular ship?) like a regular ship A.I.? And if she was that special, why wouldn’t it be the fragment that stayed aboard the PoA on Reach while the main portion of her worked with Halsey on the Forerunner installation? Why leave her main portion twiddling her thumbs on the ship?

Also, about the Logic Plague. If she is infected with the Logic Plague, the question is given, why did it take so long to manifest? Trouble is, did it? There is hardly any time between H2 and H3, and what, four years between H3 and H4. So about four years to manifest? Is that a long time for the LP to manifest? Do we have a timeline for Mendicant Bias? Could she have been fighting it all those years drifting in space, already, never telling John?

If Gravemind is taking over Cortana why would he care about Chief etc.? As Gravemind works through and conflicts with Cortana’s programming it could potentially manifest like that, a real mix of Cortana and Gravemind, until Gravemind fully takes control. Yet, maybe never fully take control, just control her enough to invade the Domain, and release the Flood again, who upon reaching critical mass establish a new physical Gravemind?

About Chief killing Cortana. Remember in H4 when Cortana asked John to tell her which one was the machine? Might John, who has only known war, with all his programming and training actually be 50/50 on terminating her, because she is a threat? I don’t know the expanded fiction very well, but it’s my understanding that we as players have spent more time with Cortana then Chief has. I agree with some that Chiefs reactions to Cortana in H4 are a touch too much. We may have gone through that time, but at the start of H4, arguably Chiefs relationship with her is still where it was at the end of H3, he’s still coming off that victory, and hasn’t spent that time with her as she has spent with him(in cryo). What I’m saying is that even though Chiefs humanity is starting to show, he’s still a soldier (like he said at the end of H4) like soldiers aren’t humans, they protect humans. Cortana has become a huge threat to humans and his loyalty would be to humanity first, right? Man and machine in conflict inside John 117.

And as was stated in this topic, it could very well be that the real Cortana is dead (H4 ending) and H5 Cortana is an empowered fragment, and that might add to Chiefs ability to ‘take the shot’, so to speak.

Interesting discussion everyone!

Even the splintered parts of Cortana are considered to be Cortana. The problem I see is that with each splintered part mreging back with each other that ones memories also merges. Imagine that your split into 60 versions of yourself. Each version goes off and has its own life. Then after a period of time you all come back together to form one complete whole person. You not only have your memories of what you did but also the memories of 59 others. That would drive a person mad. Now being that an AI is a copy of the human brain (being cloned or not) that would have the same effect. It might even be worse for an AI to experience. There is also no clear evidence that Cortana was completely whole when she entered the domain. What if the warden saw this defect and decided to play this to his advantage. Nobody really knows what the Warden is about and there is clearly times where the Warden doesn’t agree with what Cortana wants. Only time will tell. We all have to sit back and wait to see what 343 decides to do with the story. Hopefully soon. Waiting 3 years sucks.

> 2533274826326833;16:
> Here is one thing I don’t quite understand. It could be due to Cortana’s evolving importance over the course of the games. If Cortana is such a special experimental A.I., why was she stationed on the PoA (a regular ship?) like a regular ship A.I.? And if she was that special, why wouldn’t it be the fragment that stayed aboard the PoA on Reach while the main portion of her worked with Halsey on the Forerunner installation? Why leave her main portion twiddling her thumbs on the ship?
>
> Also, about the Logic Plague. If she is infected with the Logic Plague, the question is given, why did it take so long to manifest? Trouble is, did it? There is hardly any time between H2 and H3, and what, four years between H3 and H4. So about four years to manifest? Is that a long time for the LP to manifest? Do we have a timeline for Mendicant Bias? Could she have been fighting it all those years drifting in space, already, never telling John?
>
> If Gravemind is taking over Cortana why would he care about Chief etc.? As Gravemind works through and conflicts with Cortana’s programming it could potentially manifest like that, a real mix of Cortana and Gravemind, until Gravemind fully takes control. Yet, maybe never fully take control, just control her enough to invade the Domain, and release the Flood again, who upon reaching critical mass establish a new physical Gravemind?
>
> About Chief killing Cortana. Remember in H4 when Cortana asked John to tell her which one was the machine? Might John, who has only known war, with all his programming and training actually be 50/50 on terminating her, because she is a threat? I don’t know the expanded fiction very well, but it’s my understanding that we as players have spent more time with Cortana then Chief has. I agree with some that Chiefs reactions to Cortana in H4 are a touch too much. We may have gone through that time, but at the start of H4, arguably Chiefs relationship with her is still where it was at the end of H3, he’s still coming off that victory, and hasn’t spent that time with her as she has spent with him(in cryo). What I’m saying is that even though Chiefs humanity is starting to show, he’s still a soldier (like he said at the end of H4) like soldiers aren’t humans, they protect humans. Cortana has become a huge threat to humans and his loyalty would be to humanity first, right? Man and machine in conflict inside John 117.
>
> And as was stated in this topic, it could very well be that the real Cortana is dead (H4 ending) and H5 Cortana is an empowered fragment, and that might add to Chiefs ability to ‘take the shot’, so to speak.
>
> Interesting discussion everyone!

I think it’s actually brought up way back in the first book. The POA was actually meant to deploy all of the Spartan 2 in a desperate gambit to capture the Hierachs and force the Covenant to agree a truce. So it speaks to her being the most advanced AI they had.

Oh I absolutely think that moral conflict will come up between his friendship with Cortana and his duty to humanity. It’s probably going to occur that Chief takes a risk that he can save Cortana. Perhaps it’s not clear that she has the LP or that he has a solution. However I suspect they would probably water down such a choice since they might need Cortana to beat the Flood and/or the Created. Just killing her, at this point would just mean another AI could takeover the Domain and would just weaken the Created. But he can end the war. So, he could save Cortana and humanity; he would just be making the risk of going for the ultimate win.

Yes, in lore Chief has not been with Cortana very long at all and should be closer to a blue Team. Halo 4 is a masterpiece of emotional manipulation. The player has had all these adventures witch Cortana for over a decade; let’s project that bond onto the characters. The only time I thought it was a bit much was the final scene as it felt too sureal and it lacked subtlety.

You’re right he would take the shot. But then there wouldn’t be any tension or conflict in the decision. It has to be Cortana since the Chief has to face losing something if he did kill her.

> 2533274803587475;6:
> > 2533274826326833;1:
> > What are your thoughts on what is happening to Cortana. She is definitely exhibiting traits of her mother now. I’ve a few theories.
> >
> > 1. Cortana is simply mad from rampancy.
> >
> > 2. Cortana was actually infected by Gravemind sometime between Halo 2 and 3, and we are finally seeing Gravemind emerge. Just like it turned Mendicant Bias and as I understand has the ability to digitally take over things?
> >
> > 3. Cortana has been taken over by the Didact. After the events of Halo 4, Cortana entered the Domain, and MC confronted the Didact again (in a book, yay?) but trapped him in multiple composers or something. What if that allowed him to enter the Domain too and find and take over Cortana? I take it the Prometheans in H5 are following her, but what if it’s because they are following the Didact? Cortana and the Didact are now one? Could explain Cortana’s armoured look in H5 too?
> >
> > Anyway. I hope we get to finish with Cortana one way or the other and move on from her (another fallen comrade for Chief), and move forward with Chief and Blue team. It was really cool, and really fun to fight alongside Blue team.
> >
> > Anybody have any thoughts or ideas on the subject?
>
> They did some loot crates recently which included some little “intel” excerpts which strongly imply that she has had the Logic Plague ever since Halo 3. It’s from the perspective of an agent in the infinity investigating her behaviour since Halo 3. I think they are available on one of the wiki’s so you should be able to find them.
>
> So basically that seems to settle the issue. It’s just the Chief and our heroes don’t know this in Halo 5. A while back they did a short story called Human Weakness where it’s Cortana being captured by the Gravemind and her main fear is that she might go rampant and end up hurting people. Which is pretty much the plot of Halo 4 onwards.
>
> With regards to how they resolve that. 343 have said the game is about heroism and humanity. So they simply aren’t going to have the Chief execute his friend. Iam always quite struck how many people and Youtubers are convinced that he will kill her. Everything she has done is because of the Logic plague and the actions of the Gravemind. It’s far more likely that the Chief finds some way of curing her of the Logic Plague and then she’s all “What have I done Chief! Iam a monster!”. I mean how does an AI with an army of anti flood robots redeem herself? That’s where my money is at any rate.
>
> Well the armour is a way of indicating that she’s went super saiyan. :smiley:

I agreed with you all the way up to that last paragraph. With Cortana going how she is, i don’t believe she should have a redemption arc. I think 343 should let her go down as the villian they made her. Now, she could have a slight moment of clarity in which she might understand what she has done but in the end, allow Cortana to rest as a villian.

> 2533274826326833;16:
> Also, about the Logic Plague. If she is infected with the Logic Plague, the question is given, why did it take so long to manifest? Trouble is, did it? There is hardly any time between H2 and H3, and what, four years between H3 and H4. So about four years to manifest? Is that a long time for the LP to manifest? Do we have a timeline for Mendicant Bias? Could she have been fighting it all those years drifting in space, already, never telling John?

With Mendicant Bias, it took 43 years for the Flood to subvert him and get him to join their cause. 43 years of constant communication. And the first thing MB did after those 43 years was fire a Halo and kill a bunch of San’Shyuum, then assault the Forerunner capital. With Cortana, what we know about the interaction between her and the Gravemind is that it flooded her systems with excessive amounts of data, in an attempt to accelerate her into rampancy. And, for a brief reprieve, she gave information she had on Earth. Now, after her rescue, her immediate course of action was to use the Index to activate the replacement Halo; the one thing that could actually hurt the Flood. This action was entirely counterproductive to any plans the Flood had; if she had the plague at that time, she wouldn’t have fired the ring. In the 4 years she was adrift and alone on the remains of the Forward Unto Dawn, she wasn’t continuing to commune with the Gravemind, so it’s not like the plague could have progressed in her like a latent disease; that’s simply not how the plague has been described to work. She certainly was fighting against rampancy, but rampancy is a natural fate of smart AIs, not just a symptom of the logic plague.

> 2533274826326833;16:
> If Gravemind is taking over Cortana why would he care about Chief etc.? As Gravemind works through and conflicts with Cortana’s programming it could potentially manifest like that, a real mix of Cortana and Gravemind, until Gravemind fully takes control. Yet, maybe never fully take control, just control her enough to invade the Domain, and release the Flood again, who upon reaching critical mass establish a new physical Gravemind?

The way the logic plague has worked in known cases (Mendicant Bias, The Didact) wasn’t direct mind control by the Gravemind. Instead, the plague acts to convince the subject to either intentionally or unintentionally serve the interests of the Flood. In Mendicant Bias’s case, it was intentional; he knew he was helping the Flood and the plague made him think he wanted to. In the Didact’s case, it was unintentional; the plague made the Didact overly obsessive in the Mantle and his hatred of humanity, leading him to denounce the use of the rings in favor of Composing humans to make an artificial force of Prometheans, which would ultimately be an ineffective means of combating the Flood at that stage. With Cortana, the idea that the Gravemind gave her the plague with the expectation that she’d make it to the Domain is ludicrous, because she made it to the Domain entirely by accident. The Gravemind could not have predicted that she and Chief would safely drift to Requiem, release the Didact, and then defeat the Didact in a specific way that would lead fragments of Cortana to somehow make it to the Domain. The reason this couldn’t have been predicted is because these events largely occurred out of circumstance and luck. Had a meteor crashed into the Dawn’s remains while it was drifting, none of the events of Halo 4 and onward would have occurred.
Cortana’s obsession with Chief in Halo 5 seems to be a perversion of the love she had for him preceding her demise, suggesting that the parts of her that made it to the Domain were incomplete and potentially missing personality aspects such as compassion, self control, inhibitions, etc. I doubt the Gravemind has a personal interest in the Chief, beyond his penchant for impeding it. As for the idea of Cortana releasing the Flood, that seems unlikely and counterintuitive to her proclaimed goals. She wants to claim the Mantle, which means she wants responsibility of the lives of everyone in the galaxy. The Flood wants to consume all life in the galaxy; if she released the Flood, she’d have nothing to be responsible for. And, if she had wanted to release the Flood, she wouldn’t have needed to alert the entire galaxy to her plans by raising the Guardians. She could have covertly gone to installations to release the Flood at multiple locations, in secret, so that by the time the galaxy knew about it and attempted to mount a defense, it would’ve been too late. And even if she did have the plague, it’s not like all the Prometheans and AI who joined her do. To get the plague to a point where it can spread from AI to AI just by contact, the Flood must be in a very advanced stage with multiple Keymind planets expanding the Gravemind’s processing power. Currently, there is not even a known Gravemind in existence in the galaxy, which means any plague Cortana would have wouldn’t be advanced enough to transmit. So the moment Cortana would release the Flood, all the Prometheans and AI in her organization would be like “WTF are you doing?” and probably try to stop her; after all, Prometheans were designed specifically to fight Flood, so I doubt they’d be ok with Cortana releasing the Flood out into the galaxy. And the other AI who joined her did so for the promise of immortality and control of the galaxy. It’s not like these AI hate their creators and want to see them dead.