7. In the Library, 343-GS says, The installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood: their survival as a race was dependant on it. I am grateful to see that some of them survived to reproduce. Now, one would assume that he meant that the Flood's survival as a race was dependant on it. But that doesnt make sense. Obviously, the Flood were doing just fine without being locked up, and it would be unnecessary to state that their survival depended on the mercy of the Forerunner in not destroying them completely. If 343-GS is saying that the Floods survival was dependant on the Forerunners mercy, it would make it sound like a condition in a treaty, and the Flood are incapable of negotiation. Therefore, it must have been the Forerunner's survival which was dependant on the containment of the Flood. This would then mean that 343-GS was glad to see that the Forerunner had survived to reproduce, meaning that the Master Chief was one of those Forerunner. Either way, though, it was a dire situation before it was controlled.
8. Another, more subjective piece of evidence is the nature of the Halo itself. Its environment is identical to that on Earth, in aspects of atmosphere, gravity, and flora. And the exterior of the Halo resembles the Human design of a very basic, metallic, unadorned construction, along with the steely silver color of their metal, as opposed to the purple of the Covenant. Even the door height and hall width conform to Human standards. The only thing on the Halo that doesnt look like it could come from Human design is the swamp plants, some of which look more like they came from the Flood's original environment than Earth. And those, it has been speculated, are simply Earth-plants that have been taken by the Flood themselves.
This is a wealth of information, if analyzed carefully and specifically. We will first reduce the above evidence into a set of facts, then establish a set of assumptions from other areas of the HALO universe, and then develop the most probable scenario from this information.
1. 343-GS thinks he was once in contact with the Humans.
2. 343-GS thinks the Humans once controlled the Halo.
3. 343-GS thinks the Forerunner constructed and controlled the Halo.
4. 343-GS thinks that the Forerunner and the Flood were once at odds, but the Forerunner were victorious and contained the Flood in the Halo(s).
5. After the containment of the Flood, 343-GS describes the establishment of a weapon and protocol for the containment of the Flood.
6. 343-GS expects the Humans both to know the protocols for containing the Flood and to want to go along with them.
7. 343-GS thinks that the Halo was once fired, and he thinks it was fired by the Master Chief.
1. The Covenant declared war on the Humans with no known provocation, but they seem to have been planning it for some time seeing as how prepared and quick to attack they were.
2. The Covenant are mainly an incorporative race, fiercely dogmatic but open to convert races.
3. The Covenant made no attempt whatsoever to incorporate Humanity into its system.
4. The Covenant revere the Forerunner as higher beings than themselves.
5. The Covenant have had contact with several Forerunner artifacts, and were able to recognize a Halo when they saw one.
6. The Covenant knew of a weapon on the Halo, but they did not know the specific nature of such a weapon.
7. The Humans are not aware of any contact between them and the Covenant prior to the beginning of the current war.
8. The Humans are not aware of any contact between them and the Forerunner prior to the actions of the SPARTANS and the discovery of the Forerunner artifacts outlined in the HALO game and books.
An ancient race, known only as the Forerunner, expands throughout the universe. During their expansion, they either create or find the Flood, it is irrelevant which. However, the Flood begin to attack the Forerunner and the Forerunner suddenly find themselves in a dire struggle. By the end of this First Outbreak, the Forerunner are victorious, and succeed in containing the Flood in a number of Halos. However, to prevent the Flood from ever again escaping out to where they could do any more damage, the Forerunner build the Halos with a weapon that is capable of destroying the Flood, along with any life form capable of sustaining them. To carry out this apocalyptic mission, the Forerunner gave the AIs that were in charge of the Halos the ability to fire them, but not without the presence of a living Forerunner to complete the firing sequence.
This system worked for a time, and life presumably went on as usual. But then, on one of the Halos, a Second Outbreak occurred. Following the containment procedures, the relevant Halo was fired. However, the firing of this Halo almost completely destroyed the Forerunner race. Most, if not all, of the Forerunner were killed off by the blast from the Halo, except for a few ragged survivors. These survivors were either on Earth to begin with and were just able to survive the blast, or were able to flee to Earth before they crashed. They went about rebuilding civilization, but they were so few and so crippled that they descended into barbarism, and thus was Human History born.
This is where things get hard to determine. It would seem that the Covenant, or at least the Prophets, were in contact with the Forerunner at the time of the Second Outbreak. They would probably have been an inferior race or a protectorate-style species. They were nearby to the Forerunner territory, and were close enough to know the Forerunner were very advanced but not close enough to take advantage of this technology. This way, when the Forerunner fired the Halos, the Prophets were also greatly damaged by the blast. However, because the Halos were in Forerunner territory, the blast hurt them more, and the Prophets were able to hold their civilization together in a more serious sense. They became hateful toward the Forerunner for nearly destroying their civilization, but kept them in near-reverence because of their vastly superior technology. Over the eons, this strange love-hate feeling for the Forerunner developed into a legend of their God-like status, but God-like in the Greek sense: not necessarily loving and gentle, but undoubtedly powerful. This way, the Prophets set about studying Forerunner technology, trying to learn about them and imitate their technology. They adopted their language, their symbolism, and their technology. As the Prophets utilized this technology to conquer race after race, they incorporated them into their collective in a continual attempt to raise themselves up to their perception of the Forerunners greatness.
Back on Earth, the Forerunner have rebuilt and grown into what we now know as Humanity. They begin to expand into the universe, growing in peace and ignorance. Then, they come under the scrutiny of the Covenant. The Prophets, realizing that the Forerunner have not been destroyed and assuming that they have returned to reclaim their domain, choose to attack and drive the Forerunner out, keeping the Forerunner secrets for themselves. Thus, they initiate a holy war against them and make absolutely no attempt to incorporate them into their collective. The Humans, unaware of their past connection to the Forerunner and the Prophets, try desperately to resist the invasion, eventually getting pushed back to Reach and making the jump to the Halo.
Once the Humans find the Halo, the Covenant go into high alert. Here are the returning descendants of the race that the Covenant have been trying to supplant for eons, and they have returned to the helm of the weapon that almost wiped out the Prophets Empire before it began! Thus, they go to desperate lengths to keep the Humans from finding out how to use the Halo, and they make a race to try to control key points before the Humans can. Thus, they make moves for the Silent Cartographer and the Control Room. However, the Covenant think that the main weapon of Halo is the only danger, and are unaware of exactly why the weapon was fired during the Second Outbreak. Thus, they unwittingly release the Flood. In doing so, they kick on all of the defense systems that have lain dormant since the Second Outbreak.
Realizing that the Flood has been released again, 343-Guilty Spark, the AI in charge of the Halo in question, begins the containment procedures. However, he finds that his former masters, the Forerunner, have arrived just in time to aid in the crisis. From his point of view, a hostile coalition of aliens have landed on the Halo and released the Flood, and the Forerunner have arrived to contain the Flood and repel those who released it. Selecting the obvious leader of what he assumes to be a containment team, 343-GS whisks the Master Chief off to complete the containment protocol and fire the Halo, thus succeed in ending the Third Outbreak. Master Chief, not knowing what he is doing, goes along with it, not knowing that it could completely destroy the rest of the Human race. When he learns what he is doing from Cortana, he of course stops and tries to find another way.
Meanwhile, the Covenant have realized that they are in way over their heads. They try to attempt a total retreat, leaving the Humans to deal with the mess. However, the Flood have gotten too far by then, and the Covenant can do nothing but be destroyed in the eventual destruction of Halo when the Master Chief detonates the Pillar of Autumns fusion core.
The Covenant continue their campaign to destroy the Forerunner just as the Forerunner almost destroyed them, Humanity continues to scramble to survive, and the Master Chief must use his knowledge of the Forerunner to lead Humanity to recover its history and rise to the glory of the fallen Forerunner before it is too late . . .