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opogjijijp

6/1/2009 4:40:41 AM
Ah, it has been a long while since I've wrote something this long. Or crazy. Or improbable. Have fun :-) A large portion of The Fall of Reach is devoted to the Covenant attack on Sigma Octanus IV. The purpose of the attack was to recover the information stored on rock in the Sigma Octanus museum of natural history. There was some speculation about the attack on Sigma Octanus and the artifact that was discovered there a few years ago, but I think that it is worth revisiting in light of certain information from Halo 3. Cortana provides some information about the artifact. Most interestingly, it came from offworld, and arrived ~60,000 years before 2552. [quote] Forty years ago a geological survey team on Sigma Octanus Four found several with similar--though not identical--anomalous compositions. UNSC geologists believe these samples were introduced onto the planet via meteorite impacts--they typically are found in long eroded impact craters on the planets surface. Isotopic dating of the site place those impacts craters at present minus sixty thousand years [/quote] [quote] I have also, um...coordinated with UNSC's astrophysics department and discovered some interesting bits archived in their long-range observation databases. There is a black hole located approximately forty thousand light years from the Sigma Octanus System. An extremely powerful pulse-laser transmission back-scattered the matter in the accretion disc-essentially trapped this signal as this matter accelerated toward the speed of light. From our perspective, according to special relativity, this essentially froze the residue of this information in the event horizon." "I'll take your word for it," Dr. Halsey said. "This 'frozen signal' contains information that matches the sample from Sigma Octanus Four." Cortana sighed and her shoulders slumped. "Unfortunately, all my attempts at translating the code have failed...so far." [/quote] At the end of The Fall of Reach, we discover what the information on the Sigma Octanus IV artifact was. It was star chart, and it points to Alpha Halo. Later on, in First Strike, Dr. Halsey discovers that Colonel Ackerson has been interested in the Sigma Octanus IV artifact, and that he too had discovered it was a star map. According to Colonel Ackerson's notes, it pointed Reach. When Eric Nylund was asked if there were multiple coordinates on it, his reply was: [quote] "YES. It's an interesting little chunk of stone" [/quote] The Sigma Octanus IV artifact is clearly a map to important Forerunner objects. I'm going to say that the Sigma Octanus IV artifact started its journey to Sigma Octanus from somewhere near the black hole, 100,000(60,000+40,000) years ago. It flew away from the black hole at near lightspeed, traveling 40,000 years before crashing into Sigma Octanus IV 60,000 years ago. So what happened 100,000 years ago? [url=http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Forerunner-Flood_War]Oh, yes, there is that,[/url] but I was thinking of something a bit more specific. Take a look at the penultimate Terminal, telling to the story of the final battle in the Forerunner-Flood war, the fight between Mendicant Bias and Offensive Bias. [quote] [12:H 20:M 00:S] I begin this report with no illusions that it will ever be seen by its intended readers. In all likelihood they have already committed [species-wide suicide] with the goal of preserving biological diversity in this galaxy. I must ensure that this information reaches those who must come after. If I fail in this, how can they not regard my creators' sacrifice as anything by [a crime without measure]? [12:H 19:M 59:S] Contender AI 05-032 Mendicant Bias is returning and has the capacity to bring the enemy through the [Maginot] sphere. The crews of my task force are aware of the opposing fleet's size; All data indicated that they have prepared themselves - but with biologicals anything is possible. I will make sure that [malfunctioning equipment] does no further damage. Perhaps its current failure will finally allow it to succeed at the task it was originally created for. [11:H 15:M 48:S] Mendicant has burrowed through the sphere exactly where I expected - a direct path from initial rampancy to final retribution. Rage has made it predictable. If the fate of the crew of my auxiliary fleet were not already a forgone conclusion I would rate their chance of survival at [1:1,960,000]. Even though 05-032's declaration of hostilities simplified strategic preparations; I do not expect an easy fight - just one I cannot lose. [11:H 12:M 09:S] 05-032 was right about one thing: there is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to visit utter annihilations on it. If the galaxy must be [rendered temporarily life-less], so be it. As Mendicant stated in its report [50,078:H 48:M 12:S ago]: half measures will not suffice. [09:H 45:M 18:S] In support of 05-032's original 1000 core vessels is a fleet numbering 4,802,019; though only 1.8 percent are warships - and only 2.4 percent of that number are capital ships - I am outnumbered [436.6:1]. I expect my losses will be near total, but overwhelming force has its own peculiar drawbacks. Such a press of arms invites many opportunities for unintentional fratricide. [07:H 36:M 41:S] My auxiliaries are momentarily stunned by Mendicant's opening move - 1,784,305 leisure craft ranging from [45 ~ 5769 tonnes] advance in hopes of overwhelming my comparatively tiny force. I do not have enough [weapon systems] to target them all. It is a mathematical certainty that some of them will get through and attempt to board. There isn't a single warship with this first wave. It seems my opponent's rage has left no room for respect. [04:H 01:M 55:S] I could have countered its move if I had released my fighters. They are ready but idle; making their base vessels more attractive prizes than targets. Now the first of many waves of commercial vessels mixed with single ships and assault craft surge forward. The first ship from my fleet to be boarded break formation and races into the oncoming vessels - striking one amidships. The cargo vessel's hull splits open and out of it explodes not the expected consumer goods but 31,850 dying warriors. [00:H 19:M 02:S] The seventh and final wave of container ships, barges, tankers, and military vessels engage my fleet; another 214,320 ships, many in excess of [50,000 tonnes], engage my seemingly disrupted vanguard. I continue to fight just well enough to seem lucky. Mendicant, or the enemy, has been sending a small percentage of its fleet elsewhere. Good. Let them believe they can seize a foothold somewhere inside the sphere. [00:H 00:M 11:S] Despite all its faults, 05-032 has fought remarkably well. My auxiliaries lay in tatters - more that half of them are now part of the enemy fleet. But just as I had predicted, 05-032 concentrated on them like they were the sole key to victory. Its desire to punish our creators blinded it to the true purpose of my [feints]. I have reduced the combat effectiveness of its core fleet to 79.96 percent. Surely now it must realize that something is amiss. [00:H 00:M 00:S] The [Halo effect] strikes our combined fleets. All ships piloted by biologicals are now [adrift]. I can trade Mendicant ship for ship now and still prevail. [00:H 00:M 01:S] Of my ships that had been captured, 11.3 percent of them are close enough to Mendicant's core fleet that they can be used offensively - either by initiating their self-destruct sequences, or by opening unrestricted ruptures into [slipstream space]. It is best that our crews perished now; because the battle that is about to ensue would have driven them mad. [00:H 00:M 02:S] I throw away all the rules of acceptable conduct during battle; near the ruptures I throw away all the accepted ideas of how the natural world is supposed to behave. I toss around [37,654 tonne] dreadnoughts like they were fighters; dimly aware of the former crews being crushed to liquescence. For now all my concentration is focused on inertial control and navigation. Targeting isn't even a consideration - I will be engaging my enemy at arm's length. [00:H 01:M 14:S] 05-032 abandoned the tactic of using derelict ships as cover after [72:S] - It seems that 52 core vessels lost to the ruptured fuel cells of derelict ships was lesson enough. Add another 508 lost to collision, point fire, structural failure due to inertial manipulation, and [slipstream space] induced discoherence and I now outnumber Mendicant [6:1]. [00:H 03:M 00:S] Mendicant was able to postpone its inevitable annihilation for [106:S] with its attempt to flee. But the last of its core vessels hangs before me now; crippled and defeated but still sensate. I could spare it; carve out what is left of its [personality construct array] and deliver it to [Installation Zero] for study. I doubt it would have extended the same courtesy to me. [/quote] I believe that the key to understanding to the mystery of the Sigma Octanus IV artifact lies in the battle between Mendicant Bias and Offensive. Seven hours into the battle, less than thirty minutes before the Halo Array is activated, Offensive Bias notes that Mendicant Bias has been sending a small percentage of his fleet elsewhere, presumably to establish a foothold somewhere else inside the [maginot] sphere. I believe that by sending part of the fleet away, Mendicant Bias was enacting a fail safe, so that if he lost, he would not be destroyed. [Edited on 05.31.2009 8:42 PM PDT]

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