What could have been.

After much time pondering the very question many halo fans have questioned themselves, I feel this answer is worth a read. The problem 343i faced was deciding which direction Bungie was going in. Were the Human’s descendants of Forerunners? Or were they two separate species? While many halo fans were intrigued by the idea that the Human’s were descendants of the Forerunners, 343i needed a reason to make more games, thusly, the Human-Forerunner War was born. The concept is interesting, no doubt, but it loses that sense of mystery surrounding the Forerunners that players have had since the very beginning. After reading through various suggestions on “how Halo 4’s story should have gone” I believe what begins in the next paragraph is something you’ve never heard before, and something halo fans and 343i would have loved. So let’s begin.

Note: My idea doesn’t come out of thin air, but rather tweaks what is already in place for us. You will notice great similarities between the content we already have BUT you will notice how just a few changes makes it something you wish had come to fruition.

A long time ago, the Precursors created their first species (let’s call them The Fallen because I’d be here all day trying to think of a compelling name) in an attempt to find a species that could one day hold the Mantel. The Fallen were fast learners, innovative, and very proud of their species but relied heavily on their technology and cared little for those unlike themselves. The Precursors saw this, and believed that their self-righteousness was the final hurtle to holding the Mantel. Little did the Fallen know, the Precursors also created a second species, The Forerunner. They were creative, aware of others species not like themselves, and relied on the knowledge of the past and tradition in their growth as a race. The second born, the Forerunner, in no time became the Precursor’s favorite and were decided to one day be the holders of the Mantel. When The Fallen learned of this, their pride fueled their rage because their entire civilization and their entire existence was bent around becoming the holders of the Mantel (The Precursors had zero interaction of the Forerunner and the Forerunners didn’t even know they existed or what the Mantel was which was exactly what the Precursors wanted. On the other hand, the Precursors had interacted with The Fallen who learned about the Mantel because of this which drove their civilization. It is this reason why the Precursors believe they became so self-rightous). In this rage, The Fallen decide to wage war with the Precursors in an attempt to take the Mantel from them, which essentially means exterminating them (Their defense is, they must be eradicated to progress as a civilization across the known universe).

In the end, the Precursors have been chased to extinction but not before the last of them change themselves into a powder which would eventually spawn the first flood forms (Remember that a lot of these ideas come from content we already have and I’m just making a few changes). Much like the current story of Halo, in this new form, the Precursors are unstable and become the ravenous destructive, all consuming flood like we know them to be. Meanwhile, The Fallen have turned their search on for the Forerunners whose existence they only discovered when the final Precursor fell. When they finally find the Forerunners, the Forerunners are already fighting a battle against the flood (perhaps the flood went to the Forerunners because they knew that The Fallen would be searching for them). Not knowing what the flood was and still hell bent on exterminating the Forerunners, The Fallen engage them both and unknowingly usher in a new war (much like the Forerunner flood war from the books we already have, however instead of Forerunner they are The Fallen). The Forerunner are able to hold off the flood (like the Human’s were able to do in the books) but were heavily crippled but luckily the Flood was focusing now mainly on the force of The Fallen (sensing a greater threat and because the Flood still have the memories of the Precursors and remember what the Fallen had forced them to become in order to survive) and were driving them away from Forerunner Space (but they aren’t trying to protect the Forerunners they just are focusing on the bigger threat and will come back and finish off the Forerunners). In this time, the Forerunners decided to to build the Halo Rings (and pretty much all of the content from the Forerunner books can be inserted here but simply tweaked to reflect my story arch). For instance, they decide to build the Halo Rings, but the Didact is still fighting to build his shield worlds. He believes that they should hide from The Fallen and from the Flood while the Master Builder believes they should eradicate the two species once and for all. Ultimately, they decide to use the rings instead of the shield worlds. However, both the Flood and The Fallen learn of this (The Fallen learn of these rings a few years before their demise) and the Flood comes back to destroy the Forerunners who are betrayed by Mendicant Bias. Meanwhile, just before the flood completely consumes The Fallen, they hide away on the Forerunners shield worlds, imprisoning themselves until they are awoken again (which they know will be after the firing of the rings, because they know they have lost and there is nothing they can do to stop either the flood or the Forerunners at this point). At last, the Forerunner fire the rings and the rest is history. The Forerunners were afraid that with The Fallen defeated, they would be the most powerful species in the galaxy. Thusly, the decided to de-evolve themselves to prevent becoming like The Fallen. And of course, they started over on a little blue planet way away from anything else. A planet we call Earth. (The Forerunners weren’t aware that The Fallen had survived). The ancient Forerunners are gone completely and are replaced by the Humans. The ancient evil that waits for Master Chief on Requiem is The Fallen.

(I’m not going to create an entire script for Halo 4, 5, and 6 but I will give a generalization from here on out).

Halo 4 begins. Cortona wakes chief because there are covenant on board. Chief notices at first cortona isn’t okay in the opening cutscene but she says she’s just getting old but as long as they have each other they will be okay. Later in the mission you learn that the covenant know a spartan is onboard and are trying to kill it by Jul Madama orders (this idea comes from another post). But during the whole thing on the ship cortona and chief talk about how long she has. She says she isn’t sure but she is at the point were rampancy kicks in. She says she feels different, and is sensing the world differently… and suddenly she feels something. Deep in her data… there is someone else there. A leach, she calls it. She looks into it and goes quiet for a while. Near the end of the level she comes back and has no idea what. They make it outside and see the Forerunner shield world and the chief asked if this was a coincidence. She says she entered random jump coordinates but she senses maybe they weren’t completely random but passed through her data by the leach. They destroy the covenant cruiser about to destroy their ship with the missile and then like in the game, Requiem opens. The Chief intercepts a communication from Jul Madama that says something like “The Gods have heard out calling and open and have seen out tenacity and have willing let us in!”. Cortona wonders if he is referring to the Forerunners as Gods but is stopped short as they have to run just like before.

Eventually they meet with the monitor of Requium who greets them as Reclaimers. She mentions then says “Warning: Hostile species have occupied the installation. Please proceed with caution. The Chief and Cortona think she is talking about the Storm Faction and aid in her efforts to control the situation.

Little do they know, the monitor is actually talking about the Fallen.

And that little ping/leech Cortana feels? That is actually Mendicant Bias who hid himself away in her coding when she and the flood crashed on the Ark. He is the reason she hasn’t gone completely rampant yet.

Mendicant Bias doesn’t play an physical role in that you don’t hear him and you don’t see him. He is manipulating Cortana and it leaves the player to simply assume it is Mendicant Bias especially when at one point Cortana says “I’ve been doing a little digging into my coding and I keep finding the same Forerunner symbol over and over. I’m not sure what it could mean.” The symbol is displayed in Chiefs hud and anyone who knows the lore will know it is Medicant Bias symbol.

However, Mendicant Bias is now good (as he is in the expanded universe) and believes that the ancient Forerunners have hid themselves away on Requiem because before he betrayed him, he knew it was a possibly. He wants to awaken the Ancient Forerunners to help rebuild their civilization. However, none of them realize it is the Fallen except for the monitor who keeps saying “Warning, Hostile species have occupied the installation. We must be cautious”.

At some point the Infinity crashes onto Requiem but because the ship is a brand new ship and Master Chief and Cortona have been in space, it doesn’t recognize as a UNCS ship to them. Cortona simply says “I’ve just picked up something on the “Covenant” comm chatter… a super-carrier of unknown classification just entered the planets atmosphere without any warning and crashed into the surface”. Chief asks “More ‘covenant’?” Cortona responds that she doesn’t know because they are too far away but they need to keep moving to halt the “covenants” progress for whatever it is they are trying to find”. Eventually they catch up with a group of covenant and ambush them, killing them. They notice suddenly that they are carrying humans. One is alive but isn’t looking at the Chief. It’s Thomas Lasky who tells Chief that they were dragged from their crashed ship and were going to be used as sacrifices for something. It’s at that moment they here a commotion coming from another room farther on. Lasky finally looks to see who it is he’d been talking to and is speechless. “Chief says to wait where he is and call for backup. Cortona picked up information from Lasky’s neural implants and fills Chief in on what the ship is (the Infinity) and how it got there (“apparently they were keeping an eye on Jul Madama and followed him here”. Before they enter the other room, they hear screaming of the “covenant”. They enter and they’re all dead. (The next bit will feel like the introduction of the flood). The monitor comes floating in and displays and says “oh dear, oh dear. This is unacceptable!” Cortona asks what was released and just as the Monitor says the words “The Fallen-“ she is crushed into pieces. Something inside Cortona “pings” and she tells Chief to run! They run as far as they can (back out of the room towards Lasky but not actually running to go get him just in that direction) but The Fallen (just one of them) catches Chief and is about to kill him (and says something like “You’re ancestors were fools and unworthy of the Mantel. The same remains true for you!”) when Lasky comes out and saves Chief, ultimately sacrificing himself to save the Chief. Lasky says “Now we’re even. Warn the others!” And Chief goes and finds infinity but the Fallen (still just one of them on this planet) has taken control of Requiem now that it has destroyed the monitor and all of the defenses (sentinels and some interesting Forerunner tech that still hold to the mystery of who the Forerunner are, becomes animated and starts to hunt the Chief. At this point the “covenant” is trying to flee the planet as well but are still fighting the Humans in order to get back to their ships. Chief races to the Infinity and explains what is going on and says they have to stop that thing. Del Rio says they need to defend the ship until the can get it back in the air and this is when Chief meets the Spartan 4’s (however in this game we are going to call them something different because out of respect for the Spartan II’s and III’s who died saving humanity. And because the Spartan 4’s are trained and recruited completely different from the II’s and III’s.). Palmer shakes Chief’s hand and states “Spartan’s never die.” (and maybe she even says like “wow I never thought you’d be so tall”jk) Anyway, they defend the ship, get it operational. And this is when Cortona goes crazy because they have to stop The Fallen from escaping because deep in her data she has discovered something. Something bigger than all of them. Del Rio states that Cortona is broken and must be decommissioned and Chief is about to take the order when Cortona plays a hologram on that big hologram table in the center of the control room. It’s a hologram of when Captain Keyes handed Cortona to Chief on the Pillar of Autumn and his quote about keeping her safe above all else. And then she plays a hologram from halo 2 where Chief makes her a promise and him having to keep it, and finally a hologram of Johnson saying “Don’t let her go… Don’t EVER let her go.” And so Chief says “No”. And other people start to back him up stating that their lives as soldiers is to defend humanity at all cost. And so they go on with a plan to implode Requiem with The Fallen still on it. And that’s what they do (you can imagine an encounter here with the Fallen and yada yada yada). End of game.

Then Halo 5 focuses on the other shield worlds and because of the release of the Fallen on Requiem, the rest are being awoken as well. And these things called the guardians are being taken control of by the Fallen. With the guardians, the Fallen conquer Earth and it’s up to Chief and the crew of the Infinity to bring the down.

In Halo 6- The Infinity is taken to a distant galaxy where it is believe the Precursors came from (during this gameplay they will fight things they have never fought before since they are in a distant galaxy). However, they are all dead but what they find is “an answer”. At this point in time Cortona is so broken that she has shut herself down but still remains with the Chief, however Mendicant Bias is still there unknowingly perhaps and guiding them, as it is his promise to help rebuild the Forerunners. They find the “flood powder” and it is then that Mendicant Bias becomes more of a crucial element in the game. He comes before them and explains (seemingly with a voice that come through the walls of the ship, like that of a god) that if they release the flood on the Fallen, it will be a great enough distraction for them to get to the portal for the Ark on Earth (but this time the portal will be re-routed for the Greater Ark). So they do but it get’s out of hand very fast (After all this is the Ancient flood forms and they’re volatile beyond belief). The Infinity fights it’s way through the portal, through flood and the Fallen. Finally Mendicant Bias stays behind to close/destroy the portal so nothing get’s in behind them (but before going he states that he has repaired Cortona and has taught her how to defeat the rampancy. He has also informed he of what she needs to do from here on out). There is a quiet cinematic where the Infinity drifts towards the ark, and the crew disembarks for the control room. Before they enter, sentinels fly down and scan the entire crew one by one and they begin to disappear. In a somber voice, Cortona tells Chief to hold his fire “It will be a long time before anyone can inhabit the galaxy again. They’re being collected, and will be released when it’s safe to come out again. They make it to the control room and Chief stands before the controls. He thinks out loud… “Were were chosen to defend Earth and all of her colonies. To be the protectors of all mankind…” with each quote he moves closer to the controls. “To be the ultimate sacrifice, no matter the fight”. Cortona says, “Chief… it’s time”. Chief fires the rings and turns to Cortona and asks her, “If it were your decision, would you do it?” There’s a flash and the game goes mute as the screen fades to white. If you listen closely you can hear Cortona say sadly, “Spartan’s never die”.

Obviously there are more characters involved and plot points, ect. ect. but this is pretty good for the time that I had. Anyway thanks for reading and tell me what you think.

Oh and do you remember the terminal from Halo CE Anniversary about the mysterious crashed ship on the first Halo Ring? That was a Fallen ship.

Dude, this is AWESOME!!! Thanks for taking the time to write this. Its kind of sad that the Chief didn’t make it out in the end but he did save everyone. I liked it.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Halo 3 terminals include dialogue that took place during the Human-Forerunner war, or was it strictly during the Flood outbreak?