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Deep-Space Artifact: Misc

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Up to date as of February 08, 2010

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The Deep-Space Artifact is a Forerunner artifact that was discovered by the UNSC Apocalypso in late 2552, while it was on patrol deep in Covenant space.[1]

Contents

Physical Description

The artifact is a squat cylinder, roughly the size of a tire or suitcase, with Braille-like triangles, lines and dots set in the metal in an ordered, yet non-repeating, pattern running around the rim, similar to a tire tread. On the top center is a raised square approximately the size of a Human palm. Some of the artifact is made of Osmium while the rest of the material was unidentifiable by the crew of Apocalypso but it is known to be denser than Osmium.[2]

Prior to its activation, it was letting off very faint, but complex, magnetic fields.[2] After its activation, it let out one massive EMP, strong enough to temporarily knock out all the communications equipment within the Solar System for seven seconds before changing into a series of oscillating pulses that grew steadily weaker; it was speculated to be a countdown controlling the Halos. After deactivation it let out one more massive pulse before quieting.

Use

The object is activated by touching all the triangles, then all the lines, and then the dots, in that particular sequence.[3] Its deactivation sequence is the exact opposite: dots, lines, triangles.[4]

History

After a brief study of the artifact, Captain Greene feared that the Covenant had done something to their AI, Melissa, and the ship headed back to Earth. Melissa was indeed affected by a hostile Covenant AI called the Seeker which desired any and all Forerunner-related data. The foreign AI used Melissa to influence a crew member named MacKaskill to fiddle with the artifact. When they exited Slipspace, the artifact let out an enormous electromagnetic pulse that neutralized all communications in the Solar system for seven seconds, caused the ship to crash in Lunar orbit, sent Nassau Station along with SPARTAN-458 into the 21st century, and shattered their AI into fragments which went through Slipspace channels. One piece of the AI, landed in Jersey Morelli's home computer, and the other was also thrown back in time to the early 21st century.

The artifact was taken to Chawla Base in Boston, MA, for study. An ambitious Major Standish believed it to be the latest in Covenant technology and decided to take the glory and had the surviving crew hunted down and killed. This was noticed by one of Melissa's fragments, now named Durga, who was looking in on the Apocalypso's destruction. Durga led a vigilante group that broke into Chawla Base and turned off the artifact, using information acquired by her other fragment. The artifact let out another massive pulse, which closed the temporal anomaly and reunited the fragments. Unfortunately, this attracted the Covenant's attention.

Trivia

  • This artifact and device greatly resembles the "weapons" used by the Pfhor in the original Marathon, which have a squat cylindrical shape. in addition, Pfhor technology was known to include sets of triangles made with dots, which can be interpreted as Braille-like in shape and texture. Its use as a weapon was also a connection to the Marathon series, as an EMP fired inside of a ship such as Marathon would disable most, if not all of its resources, especially considering the weapon's location in engineering. A hit to the core would shut down the ship completely. Though a connection has not been confirmed, the resemblance between the devices is noteworthy.
  • The name of the ship that discovered the artifact, Apocalypso, is ironic considering the catastrophe almost caused by this device.

Sources

  1. artifact.ogg
  2. 2.0 2.1 Phase 3 Memories
  3. the_truth.ogg
  4. lockdown_lab.ogg
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This article uses material from the "Deep-Space Artifact" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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