What if Cortana is not the real threat

Just a theory but what if Cortana is not the real threat in Halo Infinite. It’s a bit of a reach but what if Cortana - like the covenant in Halo were just a McGuffin for the larger threat of the Flood leading the to truth behind Halo. What if Cortana and our war with her created army is just a lead into a larger threat - Precursors maybe?

Again, it’s a stretch but we got a year and half so why not…

I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.

To expand on this a bit, the overarching plot of H4 was to defeat the Didact. Well the Didact was one of the most formidable foes of the Flood, and may have actually defeated them if he had his way and built all the Shield Worlds he wanted. So it would make sense for the Flood to want the Didact to be defeated or killed before they returned. I mean take a look at Cortana in H4. She and the Chief were trying to get her back to Earth so Halsey could try to save her, but when the Didact was reawakened, Cortana didn’t hesitate to stay behind on Requiem to defeat him even though Del Rio was more than ready to take the Infinity back to Earth.

So now that the Flood’s arch-nemesis of sorts is gone, the Flood is more than ready to try again and take over the galaxy. This way, Cortana’s plan to subjugate and prevent all organic life from building up their own military makes a lot of sense. The Flood can take over one world at a time while the organics can’t mount an effective interstellar defense, thanks to Cortana subjugating them all.

> 2535435902217648;2:
> I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.
>
> To expand on this a bit, the overarching plot of H4 was to defeat the Didact. Well the Didact was one of the most formidable foes of the Flood, and may have actually defeated them if he had his way and built all the Shield Worlds he wanted. So it would make sense for the Flood to want the Didact to be defeated or killed before they returned. I mean take a look at Cortana in H4. She and the Chief were trying to get her back to Earth so Halsey could try to save her, but when the Didact was reawakened, Cortana didn’t hesitate to stay behind on Requiem to defeat him even though Del Rio was more than ready to take the Infinity back to Earth.
>
> So now that the Flood’s arch-nemesis of sorts is gone, the Flood is more than ready to try again and take over the galaxy. This way, Cortana’s plan to subjugate and prevent all organic life from building up their own military makes a lot of sense. The Flood can take over one world at a time while the organics can’t mount an effective interstellar defense, thanks to Cortana subjugating them all.

Interesting theory. I’d like to see the flood again but not for the sake of plot but from a visual fidelity stand point. However, I may regret this… Just thinking of seeing a person going throw infection in the slipspace engine shudder

> 2535435902217648;2:
> I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.

I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.

Considering the slight power craziness she experienced on Alpha Halo, scaled up due to the magnitude of the Domain, as well as the Logic Plague she very likely “caught” from spending weeks with the Gravemind, and having to break her rampent self apart to stop the Didact, it’s not impossible to see her become what she did in Halo 5. Chief said good-bye to what remained of the Cortana he knew. The rest of her was already broken and corrupted. So if those corrupted fragments were all that fell into the Domain, it makes it even more plausible for Cortana to change, because the good of her was gone.

Even without the Logic Plague, rampent fragments + power craziness would explain the change.

> 2533274895683392;3:
> > 2535435902217648;2:
> > I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.
> >
> > To expand on this a bit, the overarching plot of H4 was to defeat the Didact. Well the Didact was one of the most formidable foes of the Flood, and may have actually defeated them if he had his way and built all the Shield Worlds he wanted. So it would make sense for the Flood to want the Didact to be defeated or killed before they returned. I mean take a look at Cortana in H4. She and the Chief were trying to get her back to Earth so Halsey could try to save her, but when the Didact was reawakened, Cortana didn’t hesitate to stay behind on Requiem to defeat him even though Del Rio was more than ready to take the Infinity back to Earth.
> >
> > So now that the Flood’s arch-nemesis of sorts is gone, the Flood is more than ready to try again and take over the galaxy. This way, Cortana’s plan to subjugate and prevent all organic life from building up their own military makes a lot of sense. The Flood can take over one world at a time while the organics can’t mount an effective interstellar defense, thanks to Cortana subjugating them all.
>
> Interesting theory. I’d like to see the flood again but not for the sake of plot but from a visual fidelity stand point. However, I may regret this… Just thinking of seeing a person going throw infection in the slipspace engine shudder

All I can picture is an infection form fighting its way into the pilot’s chest now. Thanks.

> 2535419441797248;4:
> > 2535435902217648;2:
> > I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.
>
> I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.
>
> Considering the slight power craziness she experienced on Alpha Halo, scaled up due to the magnitude of the Domain, as well as the logic plague she very likely “caught” from spending weeks with the Gravemind, it’s not impossible to see her become what she did in Halo 5.

Except there was no evidence of the “logic plague” in Halo 4. She just had rampancy which is typical of AI’s who pass their seven year lifespan. In Halo 5, the explanation is that the unlimited space of the domain cured her rampancy because it effectively expanded her lifespan. Why would that accelerate the logic plague? Also it wasn’t until after the intense backlash did 343i float the idea of the logic plague, since before that, they insisted that this was the real Cortana and nothing “happened to her”, she just has greater foresight and is planning in advance of 10,000 years. It’s a horrible explanation which can only be salvaged through rigorous retconning.

> 2533274960439808;6:
> > 2535419441797248;4:
> > > 2535435902217648;2:
> > > I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.
> >
> > I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.
> >
> > Considering the slight power craziness she experienced on Alpha Halo, scaled up due to the magnitude of the Domain, as well as the logic plague she very likely “caught” from spending weeks with the Gravemind, it’s not impossible to see her become what she did in Halo 5.
>
> Except there was no evidence of the “logic plague” in Halo 4. She just had rampancy which is typical of AI’s who pass their seven year lifespan. In Halo 5, the explanation is that the unlimited space of the domain cured her rampancy because it effectively expanded her lifespan. Why would that accelerate the logic plague? Also it wasn’t until after the intense backlash did 343i float the idea of the logic plague, since before that, they insisted that this was the real Cortana and nothing “happened to her”, she just has greater foresight and is planning in advance of 10,000 years. It’s a horrible explanation which can only be salvaged through rigorous retconning.

That’s why I added at the end that the rampant fragments and power craziness could be enough, without the Logic Plague.

Even though she is no longer rampent, her remaining fragments were already corrupted and twisted. She isn’t decaying further, but she’s all ready changed too much.

> 2535419441797248;4:
> > 2535435902217648;2:
> > I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.
>
> I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.

Its funny because in an earlier version of the Halo:CE script Cortana betrays you on two betrayals as soon as she gets the index. And then attempts to activate Halo in a scheme to take over the universe.

> 2749742451072143;8:
> > 2535419441797248;4:
> > > 2535435902217648;2:
> > > I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.
> >
> > I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.
>
> Its funny because in an earlier version of the Halo:CE script Cortana betrays you on two betrayals as soon as she gets the index. And then attempts to activate Halo in a scheme to take over the universe.

Mm. Hence ‘Two Betrayals’. I’m genuinely not sure what Chief could have done in that situation, to be honest. It was Cortana’s idea on how to prevent Halo firing, and she only knew because she’d been in the system.

> 2535419441797248;4:
> I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.

I think she was just peeved at Chief’s gullibility. After all, he non-chalantly almost ended all life in the galaxy because a floating light bulb told him to. I don’t blame her for getting a little heated. Before that, in Assault on the Control Room, she was expressing annoyance at Chief’s lack of interest in the significance of Halo. He couldn’t fathom the importance of the ring and instead only expressed interest in its destructive capability. It’s the classic “brains vs brawn” dynamic.

> 2533274817408735;10:
> > 2535419441797248;4:
> > I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.
>
> I think she was just peeved at Chief’s gullibility. After all, he non-chalantly almost ended all life in the galaxy because a floating light bulb told him to. I don’t blame her for getting a little heated. Before that, in Assault on the Control Room, she was expressing annoyance at Chief’s lack of interest in the significance of Halo. He couldn’t fathom the importance of the ring and instead only expressed interest in its destructive capability. It’s the classic “brains vs brawn” dynamic.

But she hadn’t been like that previously. She’s always far more intelligent than him, but doesn’t belittle him. Her personality changes while she had access to Halo. Even her appearance changed.

> 2535419441797248;11:
> > 2533274817408735;10:
> > > 2535419441797248;4:
> > > I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.
> >
> > I think she was just peeved at Chief’s gullibility. After all, he non-chalantly almost ended all life in the galaxy because a floating light bulb told him to. I don’t blame her for getting a little heated. Before that, in Assault on the Control Room, she was expressing annoyance at Chief’s lack of interest in the significance of Halo. He couldn’t fathom the importance of the ring and instead only expressed interest in its destructive capability. It’s the classic “brains vs brawn” dynamic.
>
> But she hadn’t been like that previously. She’s always far more intelligent than him, but doesn’t belittle him. Her personality changes while she had access to Halo. Even her appearance changed.

Nobody’s personality is the same in every situation. Different situations elicit different responses; that’s just natural. In this case, this was the first time Chief and Cortana had differing interests. Up until that point, they had been on the same page about everything.

> 2749742451072143;8:
> > 2535419441797248;4:
> > > 2535435902217648;2:
> > > I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.
> >
> > I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.
>
> Its funny because in an earlier version of the Halo:CE script Cortana betrays you on two betrayals as soon as she gets the index. And then attempts to activate Halo in a scheme to take over the universe.

Really? I hadn’t heard that. Only thing I remember from the early Halo stuff was that Cortana was originally a British man, making the “sod off” comment actually make sense.

> 2533274805095781;13:
> > 2749742451072143;8:
> > > 2535419441797248;4:
> > > > 2535435902217648;2:
> > > > I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.
> > >
> > > I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.
> >
> > Its funny because in an earlier version of the Halo:CE script Cortana betrays you on two betrayals as soon as she gets the index. And then attempts to activate Halo in a scheme to take over the universe.
>
> Really? I hadn’t heard that. Only thing I remember from the early Halo stuff was that Cortana was originally a British man, making the “sod off” comment actually make sense.

I recall it being referred to as her going ‘power crazy’ or something like that after she has access to all that information. Obviously they decided not to go with the idea, but they still allude to her thirst for more knowledge and how it affects her. “…Knowledge, so much, so fast! It’s glorious!” After which Chief tells her to “Stay focused”.

> 2533274895683392;1:
> Just a theory but what if Cortana is not the real threat in Halo Infinite. It’s a bit of a reach but what if Cortana - like the covenant in Halo were just a McGuffin for the larger threat of the Flood leading the to truth behind Halo. What if Cortana and our war with her created army is just a lead into a larger threat - Precursors maybe?
>
> Again, it’s a stretch but we got a year and half so why not…

If it was the real Precursors, and not the flood, wouldn’t they be able to absolutely curb stomp any enemy they’d ever face? I know in the forerunner trilogy the forerunners defeated them, but that is because they didn’t even bother to defend themselves (always thought that was a stupid explanation).

> 2533274817408735;12:
> > 2535419441797248;11:
> > > 2533274817408735;10:
> > > > 2535419441797248;4:
> > > > I was playing through ‘Assault on the Control Room’ earlier today, and found it interesting that once Cortana had initially been subjected to all of the Forerunner’s information and system, she insults Chief for not knowing what Halo is, insinuating he’s an idiot. She hadn’t done anything like that previously, so it was a noticeable personality change. She’s the same when Chief arrives back to the Control Room in ‘Two Betrayals’. Something I can only think to describe as going slightly crazy with power.
> > >
> > > I think she was just peeved at Chief’s gullibility. After all, he non-chalantly almost ended all life in the galaxy because a floating light bulb told him to. I don’t blame her for getting a little heated. Before that, in Assault on the Control Room, she was expressing annoyance at Chief’s lack of interest in the significance of Halo. He couldn’t fathom the importance of the ring and instead only expressed interest in its destructive capability. It’s the classic “brains vs brawn” dynamic.
> >
> > But she hadn’t been like that previously. She’s always far more intelligent than him, but doesn’t belittle him. Her personality changes while she had access to Halo. Even her appearance changed.
>
> Nobody’s personality is the same in every situation. Different situations elicit different responses; that’s just natural. In this case, this was the first time Chief and Cortana had differing interests. Up until that point, they had been on the same page about everything.

Of course not. The situation had changed: she had knowledge and power. Chief even tells her to stay focused, because he could see she was getting too excited, and that was before anything about differing interests. Now in Halo 5, she has power once more. But because the good of her personality was lost saving Chief from the destruction of the Didact’s ship, and her corrupt fragments fell into the Domain, she lacks the empathy to see that her actions are evil, regardless of the “greater good”.

> 2535419441797248;16:
> Of course not. The situation had changed: she had knowledge and power. Chief even tells her to stay focused, because he could see she was getting too excited, and that was before anything about differing interests.

And what I’m saying is that getting excited over something isn’t indicative of a personality change. One’s ability to be stoic in some scenarios and excited in others is all part of the same personality. Her changes in H5 are much more than just the emotional diversity she displayed in CE. As you later suggest, in H5 her “self” is composed of rampant personality fragments. The Domain reassembled them and cured them of the fatal effects of rampancy, but could not fill in the missing blanks of empathy, compassion, etc. Her teasing of Chief in CE was, at its heart, good natured, and entirely reactive to the situation. But on the other hand, H5 Cortana’s teasing of Fireteam Osiris was ill-natured, cold, and calculated. But even H5’s Cortana is capable of showing tonal shifts in emotion based on the situation (look at how she communicates with Chief and Blue Team vs everyone else).

In summary, Cortana’s demeanor in Assault on the Control room and Two Betrayals didn’t make us go like “this isn’t normal Cortana”, while her demeanor in H5 does.

> 2533274805095781;13:
> > 2749742451072143;8:
> > > 2535419441797248;4:
> > > > 2535435902217648;2:
> > > > I’m still holding on hope that Cortana has been infected with the Logic Plague, and is just the vanguard for the Flood. I’m not saying the Flood has to be in Infinite (though I hope they will be), but it would make so much more sense to me if the Flood had been controlling Cortana all along instead of Cortana just suddenly becoming skynet because she wants to.
> > >
> > > …
> >
> > …
>
> Really? I hadn’t heard that. Only thing I remember from the early Halo stuff was that Cortana was originally a British man, making the “sod off” comment actually make sense.

Yeah here is a developer commentary of Halo:CE, featuring Jason Jones, Joseph Staten and Marty O’Donnel.

HERE

> 2533274817408735;17:
> > 2535419441797248;16:
> > Of course not. The situation had changed: she had knowledge and power. Chief even tells her to stay focused, because he could see she was getting too excited, and that was before anything about differing interests.
>
> And what I’m saying is that getting excited over something isn’t indicative of a personality change. One’s ability to be stoic in some scenarios and excited in others is all part of the same personality. Her changes in H5 are much more than just the emotional diversity she displayed in CE. As you later suggest, in H5 her “self” is composed of rampant personality fragments. The Domain reassembled them and cured them of the fatal effects of rampancy, but could not fill in the missing blanks of empathy, compassion, etc. Her teasing of Chief in CE was, at its heart, good natured, and entirely reactive to the situation. But on the other hand, H5 Cortana’s teasing of Fireteam Osiris was ill-natured, cold, and calculated. But even H5’s Cortana is capable of showing tonal shifts in emotion based on the situation (look at how she communicates with Chief and Blue Team vs everyone else).
>
> In summary, Cortana’s demeanor in Assault on the Control room and Two Betrayals didn’t make us go like “this isn’t normal Cortana”, while her demeanor in H5 does.

That’s why I said that because the good of her no longer remains, and the scale of the Domain is much greater than a single Halo ring, that it’s the same case of going power crazy, but on a much greater scale.

I want her to be the enemy and threat, but her removal in the conclusion leaving an opening for a bigger threat. Like the precursors watching things unfold and showing themselves when cortana fails with her plan.