Author Topic: Halo Array Operations  (Read 12697 times)

Halo Array Operations
« on: February 07, 2012, 08:16:10 AM »

Capac Amaru

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A lot of people seem confused about how Halos actually function vs. the Flood and other life forms when the array is fired.

This will be my attempt to convey MY understanding of how the rings work, and contains spoilers up to and including Primordium as well as a Great Wall of Text. I will frame everything in the present tense, describing the network as it was originally envisioned by the Forerunners. (I am not at all claiming this is 100% accurate, any and all comments welcome.)

*Ahem*

The Halo Array is a network of 14 installations fitting into 4 different types. One each of large and  small type Arks (Installations 0 and 00), which each produce large and small Halo rings respectively (if required, large ring installations can shed mass, reducing to the size of a smaller installation).

The array has 7 primary functions.

1. Eliminate the current Flood infestation of the galaxy.
2. Prevent the resurgence of the Flood post-activation by eliminating biomass capable of supporting Flood infection.
3. Provide safe harbor for the species that can be indexed before activation.
4. Maintain samples of the Flood for study once the Array has been Reclaimed (the installations have been programmed to carry out some limited automated research into the Flood whilst awaiting Reclamation).
5. Re-seed the galaxy with the indexed species upon confirmation that galaxy is clear of potential re-infestation.
6. Provide further localized or galaxy wide containment.
7. Maintain itself.

Of these functions, only 3, 5, and 7 apply to the Greater and Lesser Arks (0 and 00)

From this point I will focus on functions 1 and 6.

An individual small installation, when activated, will wipe out all sentient life within 25000 ly.

An Array comprised of 7 small installations will eliminate all sentient life with 175000 ly. With the array distributed evenly throughout the galaxy, this means an end to all sentient life with 3 radii of the galactic center.

[extrapolation: assuming large installations have the same radius and firing characteristics as smaller ones, the full network of 12 rings would have destroyed all intelligent life within 300000 ly of the galactic center, this radius includes the extra-galactic Installations 0 and 00, located at 2^18 (exactly 262,144) ly from galactic center]

When activated the ring installations send out radiation, targeting certain cells in the nervous system, which include, but are not limited to, neurons, by harmonizing all neurological frequencies, causing a rapid build up of energy resulting in disintegration of the affected life-form.

Since the Flood is composed entirely of advanced neuronal tissue all Flood biomass is destroyed leaving only inert materials, hence the preservation of samples for study.

Creatures of insufficient biomass and/or insufficient neuronal advancement to sustain Flood infection are unaffected.

It is possible that a species sufficiently alien as to be incompatible with Flood biology [lekgolo] may not be affected by the firing of the Array.

By eliminating potential intelligent hosts, and destroying existing Flood biomass, snowballing growth of the infection is halted.

The remaining Flood 'powder' is far less infectious in it's inert/dormant state, seeming to require a fair amount of time and exposure before becoming a threat.  Without access to guiding intelligence and more direct delivery methods, the fragments of Flood infection are relatively easily overcome by the immune systems of surviving unintelligent species. The vast majority of Flood 'powder' would be destroyed through physical and chemical processes before life sufficient to sustain it reappeared, and protocols are in place to ensure that the galaxy is free from infestation before re-seeding takes place.

It is important to note that functions 1 and 6 do not impact on function 3. The rings [extrapolation: and presumably the Arks] include safeguards to protect any preserved species living on the surface of the ring, which also serves to protect Flood research samples. ["something terrible that came out of the hub and the center of the wheel - something that gave us fits and hurt the soul" H:P pg. 66]

Thus concludes my analysis of Halo's purpose, and the mechanics and reasoning behind a firing event, compiled to the best of my ability from my memory, with a little nudging from Halo: Primordium and http://halo.wikia.com


[On a side note, it occurred to me recently that as the lekgolo once consumed some aspect of Forerunner Technology as food, and form a hive-mind/gestalt entity, they may be the result of Precursor research into creating the Flood, a kind of prototype.]



Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 08:58:01 AM »

Slightly Live

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The exact role of the 30,000 KM Haloes and the other Ark are unknown. Primordium really throws a curve ball at us with this new information but I think you've pretty much summed up what the current thoughts are regarding how the Haloes actually deal with the Flood.

That the Precursor technology, from what little we know, is suspectable to the Halo effect adds an interesting dualogy and nice catch about the Lekgolo theory. I never thought about them in that way before.

Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 09:01:54 AM »

Capac Amaru

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The exact role of the 30,000 KM Haloes and the other Ark are unknown. Primordium really throws a curve ball at us with this new information but I think you've pretty much summed up what the current thoughts are regarding how the Haloes actually deal with the Flood.

That the Precursor technology, from what little we know, is suspectable to the Halo effect adds an interesting dualogy and nice catch about the Lekgolo theory. I never thought about them in that way before.

That the prison was opened by the Halo firing implies a neurological component to Precursor technology... just thought of that when I read your reply.

Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2012, 01:57:25 PM »

Tar Alacrin

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I mean... I am of the assumption that precurser and flood are the same... Or at least the flood is a degeneration and corruption of the original precursers.

The lekgolo theory is interresting though, i never thought about that before.

As for the surface of the rings being protected... I doubt it... I think that there may be some reserch centers and pods and things that would have the ability to detatch into slipspace or something and be protected. But the idea that anything on the surface of the rings would be protected... Seems ridiculous... Cause then all the flood would have to do is get on one of the rings... And then they are safe...
However, this is probably the case for the arks...

As for the range; I didnt seem to catch if you mention how the rings will amplify each other's effects, and we end up with a resulting range that is greater than the ranges of both of the others combined.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 02:03:49 PM by Tar Alacrin »
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Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2012, 02:59:00 PM »

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I mean... I am of the assumption that precurser and flood are the same... Or at least the flood is a degeneration and corruption of the original precursers.

The lekgolo theory is interresting though, i never thought about that before.

As for the surface of the rings being protected... I doubt it... I think that there may be some reserch centers and pods and things that would have the ability to detatch into slipspace or something and be protected. But the idea that anything on the surface of the rings would be protected... Seems ridiculous... Cause then all the flood would have to do is get on one of the rings... And then they are safe...
However, this is probably the case for the arks...

As for the range; I didnt seem to catch if you mention how the rings will amplify each other's effects, and we end up with a resulting range that is greater than the ranges of both of the others combined.

In Primordium the humans are on board a Halo installation, just walking on its surface when it presumably fires. Unless that was supposed to indicate something else...

Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2012, 03:03:46 PM »

DangerousDave

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Someone in replying to my Prophet topic on HBO mentioned that he/she thought that the rings were protected from the firing by slipspace bubbles, and that's why Regret could jump to the Ark in safety... I don't buy that theory in general, and I don't think that weapon limitation makes sense. The Flood had slipspace capable ships, so the Forerunner would have been fools to allow them a possible escape. The nature of the Onyx shield world goes beyond what we've usually seen of slipspace--so I think it makes sense why it was likely to be spared.

I do think that there might be a way to protect a ring from the Halo effect, given that Bias can do the same with the weapons levelled at the capital while protecting the humans onboard--although whether he actually fires the main weapon is up to debate. That would explain why the Flood were kept alive while in stasis--once again, I don't think the Forerunner would spare any.

Of course, this would not be normal operation in case of fail-safes. It's clear from Spark that firing Halo would have taken all the Flood on its surface with it. That was the entire point. So the Halos *can* hit their occupants just as hard if necessary.

Cool thought about the Lekgolo.

Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 04:52:37 PM »

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I mean... I am of the assumption that precurser and flood are the same... Or at least the flood is a degeneration and corruption of the original precursers.

The lekgolo theory is interresting though, i never thought about that before.

As for the surface of the rings being protected... I doubt it... I think that there may be some reserch centers and pods and things that would have the ability to detatch into slipspace or something and be protected. But the idea that anything on the surface of the rings would be protected... Seems ridiculous... Cause then all the flood would have to do is get on one of the rings... And then they are safe...
However, this is probably the case for the arks...

As for the range; I didnt seem to catch if you mention how the rings will amplify each other's effects, and we end up with a resulting range that is greater than the ranges of both of the others combined.

In Primordium the humans are on board a Halo installation, just walking on its surface when it presumably fires. Unless that was supposed to indicate something else...

This is what I always took the "Great fire in the sky" to be in Primordium; the firing of this halo. If that is true, than that is evidence enough that the ring itself and those on it are protected from the blast. But alas, we do not know exactly what this great fire was, but I'm sticking to my belief that it was the firing of the halo until I am told otherwise.

Also, while it may not have been a full blast, or even one at all, when Delta halo misfires in Halo 2, and we see what looks like the "radiation blast" beginning to build and then dissipate, everyone on that halo was alive. But again, maybe it wasn't a blast at all, but it should be kept in mind.
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Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2012, 09:17:03 PM »

Capac Amaru

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There were two Halo firings, Charum Hakkor and the test on the San Shyuum, so the two 'sickness' events seem to tie in there.

Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 03:44:18 PM »

Tar Alacrin

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Someone in replying to my Prophet topic on HBO mentioned that he/she thought that the rings were protected from the firing by slipspace bubbles, and that's why Regret could jump to the Ark in safety... I don't buy that theory in general, and I don't think that weapon limitation makes sense. The Flood had slipspace capable ships, so the Forerunner would have been fools to allow them a possible escape. The nature of the Onyx shield world goes beyond what we've usually seen of slipspace--so I think it makes sense why it was likely to be spared.

Yeah, onyx was weird, cause it had slipspace bubblues inside of the slipspace bubble they were already in... there is also the possibility that e forerunner didnt quite fully understand exactly how the rings would work, and so they just had a ton of failsaifs and stuff, and just hoped that one would work
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Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2012, 04:14:23 AM »

Capac Amaru

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I don't get he impression that the Halo Array was a huge stab in the dark.

Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 12:26:48 PM »

Capac Amaru

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The Halo Array has multiple redundant failsafe systems. Major incidents like Flood infestation can trigger emergency protocols.

Such protocols include:

If an Installation is determined to have been compromised in transit, safety protocols will set a collision course with an appropriate celestial object.

Premature cancellation of an Installation activation event will set the entire network on standby mode. Since it can be assumed that an interrupted firing process is due to Flood infestation interfering with the process, it can be surmised that an outbreak is occuring that requires large scale sterilisation efforts. In standby mode, the entire Array can be accessed remotely from Ark installations.


Access to the Arks will be restricted to Keyships, using portals designed for this purpose. Keyships will also be used to reseed the galaxy with indexed life after sterilisation.

[Speculation: the Arks can also use the portals to acquire buildig materials for their foundries in the form of planets, moons, planetoids and asteroids.]

The Ark installations have the manufacturing capability to reproduce Ring installations as needed in the event of damage that exceeds operational tolerances. The Arks can also manufacture replacement Monitors if required.

[Speculation: If Installation 4b started construction when Installation 4 was destroyed, then in only 80 days (sep 22 to dec 11) it was mostly complete, implying a complete construction cycle of no more than 160 days. If the Ark was programmed to build one as a ready standby, it implies that the manufacturing time is longer, but that another Installation had relatively recently been replaced.]

Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2012, 09:48:13 PM »

DangerousDave

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Well, the Ark is massive and thus presumably has potentially billions or tens of billions of Sentinels. That's a hell of a cheap labor force.

Your idea about the Arks bringing in materials is an interesting one. I think the Art of Halo 3 insinuated it was in fact build around a planetoid for parts, but one would imagine that there's only so much in one planet that is usable...

Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2012, 10:12:20 PM »

Tar Alacrin

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[Speculation: If Installation 4b started construction when Installation 4 was destroyed, in  only 80 days (sep 22 to dec 11) it was mostly complete, implying a complete construction cycle of no more than 160 days. If the Ark was programmed to build one as a ready standby, it implies that the manufacturing time is longer, but that another Installation had relatively recently been replaced.]
First off, Good points about the replacement production of the rings. I didn't think of that.

[quote author =Capac Amaru] [Speculation: the Arks can also use the portals to acquire buildig materials for their foundries in the form of planets, moons, planetoids and asteroids.][/quote]
Well, the Ark is massive and thus presumably has potentially billions or tens of billions of Sentinels. That's a hell of a cheap labor force.

Your idea about the Arks bringing in materials is an interesting one. I think the Art of Halo 3 insinuated it was in fact build around a planetoid for parts, but one would imagine that there's only so much in one planet that is usable...

I doubt that the ark would be able to actively use the portals for the acquiring of new materials.     
   Firstly, because I don't know how they create portals in the first place, seeing as they aren't measly slipspace ruptures, but I think that there may have to be something built on the both sides. Like the artifact at voi would link to something on the ark, thus we have a portal. The arks may not have the ability to open portals to just wherever.
   Secondly, opening a massive portal to some planet, then sucking it in, and then pulling it back to the ark... That's a sure way to accidentally pick up the flood and then bring them to the Ark... Which doesn't seem like something that the forerunner seem keen to risk...

That being said, they probably did have a resource planet, if only in the beginning. And, given that the ark is way off in the middle of nowhere, that planet probably had to be shipped in from the galaxy by the forerunners in the beginning. In which case, they probably chose a planet that every part of it could be used for resources...
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Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 12:02:35 AM »

Capac Amaru

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It doesn't make sense to me that they wouldn't be able to acquire building materials. I think the Forerunners would have taken into account that the length of time the Array was required may outlast the resources of a single planetoid. It also seems as though the Forerunners must have reliable methods of detecting a Flood presence, otherwise they would not have been able to safely re-seed the galaxy.

Oh... actually, I just did some figures... they are pretty rough, but here you go...

Assuming a Halo masses 9.22337203685e+15 kg (outer diameter 10000km, thickness 2, height[width] 30, made of titanium, and assuming a planet identical to earth is used with a 1:1 materials ratio, one planet could produce 6.476590e+8  installations.

That is a pretty large number.

I think the portals are only restricted in one direction though. The remnants of Forward Unto Dawn reappeared in earth orbit instead of at the portal.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 12:07:12 AM by Capac Amaru »

Re: Halo Array Operations
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 12:12:37 AM »

Capac Amaru

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The sphere currently at the ark only masses 1.81513875437E+014 kg, therefore if the Ark cannot acquire more materials, then it can produce no more Halos.