Halo’s fictional universe is vast and detailed, with stories filling in the gaps between the games and more. In the build up for the series’ next release, Halo 5: Guardians, Microsoft and 343 Industries has once again taken to viral advertising to fill in more of these gaps. This time, using audio diaries and images, we are invited to join fictional reporter Benjamin Giraud as he recounts the history of Halo’s hero: The Master Chief. Join us as we examine Benjamin’s Hunt for the Truth.
Part 0: Primer
Episode 1: A Hairline Fracture
Episode 2: Bad Records
Episode 3: Critical Condition
Episode 4: Crossing the Black
Episode 5: Out of Time
Episode 6: Boxing Story
E pisode 7: Who’s Listening
Episode 8: Drip, Drip, Drip
Episode 9: Phantoms
– Spoiler Warning –
In order to properly frame the details of the Hunt the Truth campaign, I will have to divulge details that have been established in all aspects of the Halo Universe that have been revealed up to this point. I will try my best to limit what I discuss to the content of currently released games, but some of the back story revealed in some of the other expanded fiction may still need covered or explained. If you don’t want the games, books, movies, and other side stories spoiled, I recommend you don’t scroll down any further. You have been warned.
The first image Ben supplied us between episodes is a transcript of the police band during the incident Mashak had detailed for him. It describes the encounter a Spartan had with their flash clone, leading to what appeared to be suicide.
The second image depicts propaganda pushed by “Sapien Sunrise,” an anti-alien (and anti-UEG/UNSC) human organization. They clearly don’t want humans to continue their uneasy peace with the Sangheili (Elites). They appear to be heavily mobilized in the outer colonies at the time of Ben’s story.
The episode begins with a long description of Ben’s situation following his broadcast to the UEG Senate. He was in hiding, and every moment since was spent looking over his shoulder, waiting for someone from ONI coming to get him. Mashak was never heard from, and FERO had gone silent. Every sound spooked him, and caused him to sleep during the day so he could work and protect himself at night when the danger was greatest. His best hiding place was a small space under the floorboards of his hideout, where he got a few precious moments of sleep.
We then hear a speech from UEG Senator Andrew Del Rio, whom players may remember as the disgraced captain of the UNSC Infinity during the events of Halo 4. After clashing hard with the Master Chief on Requiem, resulting in Thomas Lasky taking command of Infinity, it seems embarrassment didn’t stop Del Rio from pursuing a political career. He clearly didn’t forget the trouble the Chief caused him either. He, like many other politicians, were taking the alleged actions of the Chief and using it as fuel for his own political motives.
He denounced the entire Spartan-II program, citing the Chief as a monster representative of it. He did, however, praise the Spartan-IV program, claiming to vouch for each IV personally. He wanted the Spartan-II destroyed, and claimed that if it was not, more Biko style massacres would occur. It was a long-winded speech, full of rhetoric, but also full of vitriol.
Ben admitted to not liking Del Rio, but also admitted that the video evidence against the Chief was hard to refute. It sure appeared like the Chief and a contingent of Sangheili ransacked the place, took Richard Sekibo, and left him in a field dead later. He expressed his wish for the Chief to turn himself in for the sake of due process. He still believed in the Chief, but needed to know what exactly happened on Biko.
It was at this point that one of Ben’s primitive trip alarms went off outside his hideout. Thankfully it was not ONI, but Ray Curzig visiting him. After some banter about Ben’s situation, he claimed to have no news about Mashak or the fallout from the Senate broadcast. He did, however, have news on Biko. Ray had followed in Mashak’s footsteps and scanned the slush of the open net, stumbling on some interesting information regarding the incident.
He discovered that the Sangheili delegation from the peace talks had contacted earth the day after things were leaked, claiming to have nothing to do with the massacre. (I will point out that during this point of the episode, a very brief snippet of voiceover from the Elites in the background sounded like it came from Keith David, the voice of the Arbiter in past games. Awesome mini-cameo, if I’m correct). The Sangheili also claimed that the Chief, whom they still called the Demon, was also not responsible. Very curious, as the elites had no reason to lie to Humanity. The UEG was pretty powerful both militarily and politically following the Covenant’s dissolution, while the Sangheili were in shambles in both areas. In fact, the Covenant races were so divided and disorganized after the war that it was simple for Humanity to rise to power as the dominant military power. (for now, at least).
Ray claimed that Biko’s current state was in turmoil, conflicting from the common idea that it was a peaceful place following the tragedy at Chief’s hands. Ray had a contact named Ravi who had been gathering facts on the colony while it had been cut off from the rest of human contact. Instead of relative peace, there were riots and marshal law. No government officials had actually commented on the peace talk event.
Here’s where things get strange. As it turns out, a total government and media gag-order was put in place by local magistrate Laurel Adams. No Biko officials had spoken about anything since Sekibo’s funeral. Privately, however, Sekibo’s camp, especially those working in the Biko embassy, wanted to clear the Sangheili of any wrongdoing.
Ben questioned how much power Adams actually had, but Ray countered immediately saying she was actually a puppet of Earth, who was covering their own hides. Turns out, Sekibo turned to Earth for support for many times while trying to stabilize the outer colonies, only to be meat by deaf ears. When he got not help, he took the initiative on his own, scheduling the peace talks without Earth’s support.
Ravi’s information suggested that the main point Biko was being gagged over involved the Sangheili not being the ones behind Sekibo’s assassination. Unfortunately, the timing of this point coincided with FERO’s leaks. The unrest that followed caused Biko officials to do their own investigation as to who really deserved the blame. They determined that it pointed to “Sapien Sunrise”, a seemingly disorganized group of anti-alien humans who were actually receiving lots of support in ways that would suggest they were actually a highly organized and well-funded terrorist group.
Ray said they did everything, which bothered Ben due to the conclusion being based on very little actual evidence. Ray claimed they wanted Sekibo dead and the peace talks sabotaged, and planned long and hard to get it done. They may have even gone as far as to loudly warn the local government they wanted the peace talks to be canceled. The gag order made Biko investigators even more frustrated when they discovered that numerous Saipan Sunrise associates were among the dead at the peace talks.
Every single one was killed by the Master Chief. Additionally, there was evidence to suggest that the Chief did not harm a single innocent at the talks, as shown in coroner reports and a second unreleased video of the incident. The gag order was keeping evidence that clears the Chief silent.
Ben now realized that Sekibo was trying to create a better situation in the outer colonies through peace among differing human organizations and the Sangheili. For whatever reason, this must not have agreed with the UEG’s plans, so when he asked for support, the only one to answer the call was the Master Chief, who made it there fast. Even local AI didn’t realize the Chief had entered the way. The Chief was there specifically to prevent the assassination, and made sure no single civilian was harmed in the process. That’s why he took Sekibo out of the room. Unfortunately, he could not keep Sekibo’s wounds from killing him, and all the video evidence in the Chief’s favor was not public.
Ben was thankful for Ray’s help. Ray wanted Ben’s help in return. Ray wanted to find his parents and keep them safe, but he was unable to find them amongst the communication black-outs going on. Ben wasn’t sure how he could help Ray in this area, but he agreed to try. He called Petra.
Petra, as it turns out, had a lead for Ben. She gave him coordinates to a location on the glassed world of Bliss, with a 72 hour window where nobody would be watching. She didn’t know what it was about, but gave him the coordinates anyway, claiming it was some sort of anomaly he needed to check out. Ben reluctantly agreed to go, despite not knowing exactly why. She booked him on a freighter headed that way, and suggested he bring lots of hard cash to deal with the people running it.
Ben needed to head back to his place to get the funds he needed. When he got there, though, he saw his whole apartment building had been vacated. It was condemned by the local government. He got in and saw that every unit had been opened, but nobody resided there anymore. His room was entirely cleared out. Gutted. Nothing was left. Flooring and plumbing had been ripped out. Windows removed. Everything was completely stripped.
It was clear that ONI had come for him.
It was cool to hear Del Rio again, if only to add to the feeling that Halo’s extra fiction and games are more connected than ever. Kind of hard to imagine a disgraced military leader ending up as ain influential senator though, especially when the UEG is described as drastically disconnected from the UNSC’s inner workings as a whole. Clearly he hates the Spartan II’s in Halo 4, and this only solidifies his agenda more. I wonder if we’ll see him in Halo 5 in some capacity, especially if the Chief is actually being pitted against the UNSC due to its manipulation of civilian life in such an apparent detrimental way.
This whole episode was about political turmoil, which I personally find very satisfying. Political aspects to Halo’s story come and go, and while always interesting, they sometimes leave fans of stories like this wanting more. I’m one of them. This episode also calls FERO’s motives into question a little bit more. I’m starting to think she may be part of the Sapien Sunrise group, or at the very least a little sympathetic to their cause.
Either way, its starting to look like there’s no real faction that comes out looking good here. The Chief is still potentially a hostile force to the UNSC, there’s now multiple sedition among the Humans both military and civilian, the Elites are suddenly thrown into the mix as peace-seekers, and Ben seems to be caught up with FERO’s gang, whose true motives are still very cloudy. The biggest part of this has to be the Elites, who can no doubt lash out with considerable force if things go even more south on them.
I have a feeling we are approaching a breaking point for one, if not all, of these groups. With the rumored finale being a 2-parter leading into E3, it seems we may be wrapping up here soon and getting actual story previews for Halo 5 proper. Time is short, folks. I’m excited.
Bunch of new entries this week, including confirmation on the Elites being the aliens involved. Check it all out!
Please note that these links may lead to articles that are more updated than this post may be, and may contain spoilers as a result.
- Laurel Adams
- Ellie Bloom
- Ray Curzig
- Senator Andrew Del Rio
- Vice Admiral Gabriella Dvořák
- Benjamin Giraud
- Deon Govender
- Petra Janecek
- John-117 / The Master Chief
- Katrina (no last name)
- Captain Thomas Lasky
- Jameson Locke
- Mashak Maradi
- Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez
- Anthony Petrosky
- Ravi (no last name)
- Richard Sekibo
- Michael Sullivan
- Thel ‘Vadam (The most recent Sangheili Arbiter)
- Jacob Walker
- Thomas Wu
- Corbulo Academy of Military Science
- Elysium City
- Eridanus II
- Outer Colonies
- Battle of Mombasa
- Colonial Administration Authority
- Flash Cloning
- Golden (Civilian) Warthog
- Insurrectionist Movement
- Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
- Sapien Sunrise
- Slipstream Space
- Spartan II Program
- Spartan III Program
- Spartan IV Program
- Unified Earth Government
- United Nations
- United Nations Space Command
- UNSC Army
- UNSC Navy
- Waypoint (Communication System/Device)
(Bold entries indicate new data for this week)
Keep an eye on LevelSave for coverage of upcoming episodes, and feel free to theorize further (or correct me) in the comments.