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The Flood (Inferi Redivivusnote )
A parasitic species believed to have developed from beyond the Milky Way galaxy, the Flood battled the Forerunners one hundred thousand years ago but were defeated when the Forerunners activated the Halo Array, killing all life, Flood and non-Flood, in the galaxy. However, some were preserved in stasis aboard the Halo Array. See Precursor
- Action Bomb: Carrier Forms.
- Infection Forms are a weaker form of this; if they come into contact with energy shields, they pop and deal minor damage to it. Fortunately, their foes can use this fragility against them; they'll also pop if another Infection Form pops right next to them, resulting in a chain reaction if they're clustered close enough together.
- Alien Kudzu: The Flood will basically do this to any environment they take over, to the point where even simply breathing in the air will render one susceptible to infection.
- Arch-Enemy: The Forerunners and the Humans. They consider the Covenant, however, to be little more than additional biomass to be consumed.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Gravemind doesn't seem too clear on why people mind being consumed and transformed into parasitized zombies.
- Body Horror: Infectees get their entire bodies mutated to better fit their role within the Flood (to the point where even their DNA is completely rewritten), and once an outbreak has reached a certain point, their bodies are broken down into building blocks for even more gruesome "Pure" Forms.
- Combat Tentacles: A standard mutation for Combat Forms.
- Eldritch Abomination: See "Precursor."
- Explosive Breeder: A key component to any successful Flood infestation are the countless numbers of Infection Forms and airborne spores they can throw at the enemy.
- Flesh Golem: The Forerunner Saga showcases several Flood forms which are basically just a bunch of bodies being mashed together.
- The Pure Forms count to a lesser degree, being made up of the broken-down biomass of previous infectees.
- Genetic Memory: Their collective intelligence is apparently backed up in every form down to the last spore, though they can seemingly only access it once they've amassed enough biomass to build a Gravemind.
- Glass Cannon: The Combat Forms pack a punch even without guns, but Halo 3 nerfed their durability to the point where just a solid punch can make them fly apart (unlike the previous games, where they were highly resistant to plasma and melee).
- Hive Mind: Individual forms may not seem too bright, but the collective intelligence they operate under is anything but dumb.
- Meat Moss: Will inevitably form on ships, space stations, etc. that get overtaken by the Flood.
- Night of the Living Mooks
- Precursor Killers: Who, ironically, are also the Precursors that the Forerunners killed initially.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Combat forms are not only strong, fast, and jumpy (indeed, more so than their host bodies originally were), but fully capable of using guns and vehicles.
- Parasite Zombie: Courtesy of the small squid-like Infection Forms and even smaller airborne spores.
- In fact, the original form of the Flood was simply dust which slowly infected anything that came into contact with it.
- Secret Test of Character: The Flood were created originally to unite humans and Forerunner through biological assimilation, but the Timeless One claims in Halo: Primordium that they decided instead to test humanity's mettle to see if they're worthy of the Mantle. Humanity succeeds, but this does not help, and instead the Forerunners try to kill every Precursor in retaliation for not being chosen and being slated for extermination, resulting in their Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Shapeshifting: Pure Forms can change between different forms depending on the combat situation.
- Spawn Broodling: When the Carrier Forms explode, they'll also release a crap-ton of Infection Forms. Tank Forms can also spawn Infection Forms.
- Spike Shooter: Ranged Forms.
- Transformation Horror: Particularly in Halo 3, where the player gets to see any NPC who falls prey to an infection form being forcibly and painfully transformed before their very eyes.
- The Virus
- Zombie Apocalypse: Have likely consumed at least one other galaxy already before ever setting foot in ours.
The Gravemind/The Timeless One
The controlling intelligence of the Flood, the Gravemind manifests as large biomasses of Flood organisms filled with the bodies of countless infected individuals. It attempts to lead the Flood in a consumption of the entire galaxy in Halo 2
and Halo 3
, just as it tried to do in the time of the Forerunners.
Following the destruction of Installation 04, 343 Guilty Spark came across Sesa 'Refumee and his forces investigating a Forerunner gas mine on the nearby gas giant Threshold. Spark informed the surprised Elite of Halo's true purpose; Sesa and the Elites and Grunts under his command afterward severed their allegiance with the Prophets, and tried to inform their brethren of the truth. However, the High Prophets became aware of this, and sent the newly dubbed Arbiter Thel 'Vadam to quell them.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Heretics wear brown and gold armour to distinguish themselves from their Covenant counterparts, though the Anniversary terminals imply that their seemingly unique equipment is actually standard for certain types of Covenant expeditionary units.
- Gas Mask Mooks: Heretic Elites have a breathing apparatus jammed between their mandibles, which is justified by the fact that their original mission involved spending a lot of time investigating a gas mine.
- Hero Antagonist: They're the main enemy for the first half of the Arbiter's campaign.
- La Résistance: Broke off from the Covenant after finding the truth about the Halos.
- Took a Level in Badass: Heretic Grunts do not retreat when an Elite dies and are more efficient with their weapons.
Former leader of one of the Fleet of Particular Justice
's artifact retrieval groups, he found 343 Guilty Spark after Alpha Halo's destruction and learned the truth about the Halos and the Forerunners. He then became the leader of the group of heretics that attempted to enlighten other members of the Covenant to the Prophets' deception, but was killed by the Arbiter.
Voiced By: Masasa MoyoThe Protagonist
of "Sadie's Story
", Sadie is a denizen of New Mombasa and daughter of one of the scientists responsible for managing its Superintendent AI.
An officer in the New Mombasa Police Department at the time of the Covenant invasion, he takes up the responsibility of saving Sadie from the city.
Voiced By: John Patrick Lowrie
Police commissioner of New Mombasa during the invasion, he proves to be a very antagonistic presence for Sadie.
Voiced By: Richard Zeman
An 800 pound man who is selling kebabs to passing refugees as they try to escape New Mombasa.
Dr. Daniel Endesha
Doctor Daniel Endesha
Sadie's father, who is largely responsible for maintaining New Mombasa's Superintendent AI, and created its Vergil subroutines to protect her.
Voiced By: Dennis Bateman
A salesman in New Mombasa during the invasion, he tries to negotiate with a Wraith driver, knowing that some species of the Covenant were friendly, and it was a "down market". Considering the only species that was friendly was the normally non-driving Huragok, this went about as well as you'd expect
Voiced By: Gavin Cummins
An ex-cop who was fired from the New Mombasa Police Department, he went crazy at the time of the Covenant invasion and began killing his former coworkers.
Voiced By: Don Brady
A New Mombasa Police Department public service announcer who lies to his listeners. He's just trying to keep hope alive.
Voiced By: Ken Boynton
A New Mombasa police officer who is killed by the crazed Marshall Glick.
Voiced By: Laura Kenny
An old woman who tries to steal money from an ATM during the invasion of New Mombasa, and takes Sadie hostage.
Communication Duties Officer
New Mombasa Police Department Communication Duties Officer
Voiced By: Carol Roscoe
A sarcastic, female communications officer in NMPDHQ.
A freelance war journalist famous for her coverage of the Human-Covenant War, particularly regarding the exploits of the SPARTAN-IIs.
Prior to the war with the Covenant, the Unified Earth Government suffered from widespread rebellion by its more farflung colonies, who believed they should be allowed to secede from the UEG's alleged oppressivness. These "Innies
" soon turned to terrorist tactics, and would have started a disasterous civil war had not the Covenant attacked. Since of the planets they were based in were glassed, the Innnies have been scattered and disorganized, some aiding in the war against the Covenant, while some simply wish to stay out of it. Following the end of the war, many Insurrectionists are rearming and making alliances with former Covenant members, preparing for another bid for freedom.
- Enemy Mine: With the UNSC during the Battle of the Rubble and the Battle of Psi Serpentis.
- Ironic Nickname: Insurrectionists were called "Innies" by the UNSC, despite desperately wanting "out" of the UNSC.
- Never My Fault: Very few characters associated with the Insurrection, if any, have ever acknowledged the colonies' part in instigating the near-civil war.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Eric Nylund has gone on record as saying that the Insurrection conflict was in retrospect fortunate for the UNSC. As the Insurrection became more extreme, the UNSC was forced to escalate in kind. The arms race resulted in a UNSC military much stronger than it would have been otherwise, and that strength was necessary (though still almost insufficient) to holding back the Covenant.
- Pet the Dog: They helped evacuate a lot of the colonists from Madrigal prior to its glassing.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: There was a lot of sympathy for the planets wanting autonomy from Earth and the UNSC, but extremists eventually started employing terrorist tactics, destroying their standing.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters
Captain Lyrenne Castilla
A high-ranking Insurrectionist who captained the Bellicose
and took a particular interest in then-Captain Preston J. Cole.
- Action Girl
- The Cavalry: At the Battle of Psi Serpentis, her Insurrectionist fleet shows up in the nick of time to allow the remaining UNSC ships to fully disengage while Admiral Cole enacts the final part of his plan.
- The Captain
- Dating The Insurrectionist: When she's undercover, she quickly hits it off with Cole, despite the fact that she knows he's the captain of a ship that's already fought hers thrice; they become married and even have a child together, though they are forced to separate after her true identity is discovered.
- Faking the Dead: She was believed to have been killed by UNSC Battle Group Tango until she showed up nearly four decades later to reinforce Cole's fleet.
- Retired Badass: Seems to have settled somewhere outside of UNSC and Covenant space alongside Cole.
- Worthy Opponent: Feels this way about Cole. The feeling is mutual.
Colonel Robert Watts
A former Marine who led a major rebellion in the Eridanus system.
The leader of the Insurrectionists at the Eridanus Secundus base after Watts's capture
- Alliterative Name
- Enemy Mine: With the Reach/Halo survivors against the Covenant, though he and his fellow rebels are left to their doom when it's clear that they can't win.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: He invites the bridge crew and Spartans of the Gettysburg-Ascendant Justice to refreshments while they discuss receiving repairs for their vessel. Also From My Own Personal Garden as Jiles comments about the asteroid's hydroponic gardens.
A shipper who resides in the Rubble, Ignatio was evacuated from Madrigal by Insurrectionists as a child when the Covenant glassed the planet. While sympathizing with the Innies, he is not one himself. He mistrusts the Jackals who work with the humans of the Rubble, and volunteers to protect the last of the navigation data in the Rubble to prevent it from falling into their hands.
A member of the Rubble Security Council, Diego is a retired Insurrectionist who used to plant bombs on spaceships. When Madrigal was glassed by the Covenant, he helped rescue its inhabitants, including his sister Maria and her friend Ignatio.
A sister of Diego Esquival who moved to the Rubble after Madrigal was glassed. Though not officially an Insurrectionist, she shares some of her brother's anti-UNSC views.
- Doomed Hometown: Madrigal.
- Jerkass: Not normally, but when she is dealing with the captured UNSC personnel she is extremely rude and condescending to them.
A Insurrectionist smuggler who bought his way onto the Rubble Security Council, Bonifacio is working with the Jackals to get them the navigation data to Earth, hoping to buy his way into the Covenant and destroy Earth.
Creation date: Unknown
A "Smart" AI used by the inhabitants of the Rubble, Juliana has gone rampant
, but maintains her loyalty to humanity.
A New Colonial Alliance agent tasked with hijacking the UNSC Infinity
before the UNSC can launch it, Zane was one of ten candidates selected for the first phase of the SPARTAN-IV program, with the intent of producing unarmored soldiers that were capable of producing the same feats as a fully armored Spartan-II. She was the only survivor, and went insane from the augmentations, eventually defecting to the New Colonial Alliance.
Birthdate: c. 100,200 BCE
A human of the "chamanush", or Florian, variety, who lived on Erde-Tyrene in the city of Marontik. Following a geas placed upon his kind, he and Chakas unknowingly led the young Forerunner Bornstellar to the Ur-Didact's cryptum. He was part of the group that accompanied the Ur-Didact on his mission, but shortly afterward was marooned on Halo Installation-07 with Chakas. Following this, he was put into the Librarian's care on the Ark.
- Brain Uploading: The Librarian imprints him with the personality and memories of Yprin Yprikushma.
- 343 Guilty Sparks thinks Riser's own mind might have been imprinted into future generations.
- Deadpan Snarker: Takes an amusingly dry approach to the larger-than-life event around him.
- Eloquent In My Native Tongue: His simplistic manner of speech comes other languages lacking the unique mannerisms and gestures that accompany Florian speech.
- Fun Size: Thanks being a Florian, better known today as "hobbits" or Homo floresiensis.
- Genetic Memory: The Librarian implanted a "geas" in his DNA that influences his actions, and Florians naturally retain memories from their ancestors. It's also hinted he can see into the future, when he tells Chakas he will live as long as the Forerunners.
- Interspecies Friendship: With Bornstellar.
- The Napoleon: Chants-To-Green notes he compensates for short height by being aggressive, though not as mean as the trope usually demands.
- Overly Long Name: His full name is "Day-Chaser Makes Paths Long-stretch Morning Riser".
- Plucky Comic Relief
- Really 700 Years Old: 200 years old and still a youngster, since chamanush can live long lives.
- Those Two Guys: With Chakas, a homo sapien.
A young human of the "hamanush" (homo sapien) variety who lived on Erde-Tyrene in the city of Marontik. Along with his friend Riser, he led Bornstellar to the Ur-Didact's cryptum, and was whisked away to briefly serve him and awaken his implanted geas. He was marooned on Installation-07, where the personality of Forthenco, Lord of Admirals, fully awakened within him.
Following an attempt by Forthenco and Mendicant Bias to turn the ring against the Forerunners, he was reunited with the Bornstellar-Didact, who used the Composer to convert Chakas's damanged body into a series of AIs, most notably 343 Guilty Spark.
- Brain Uploading: The Librarian uploads the memories and personality of Forthencho into his head. Then his own mind was uploaded into a Monitor body, where he became 343 Guilty Spark.
- The Bully: In his childhood he was the town bully.
- Disappeared Dad: His dad was killed fighting a baron's thugs.
- Fat and Skinny: He and Riser are partners, and Riser is only four feet tall while he's at least five.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Bornstellar. Likewise the Forerunner gains a greater respect for humans despite having memories of fighting against them in battle as the Didact.
- Genetic Memory: The Librarian gave him genetic commands during his infancy that gave him dreams of meeting a Forerunner. They also told him and Riser the instructions of how to guide that treasure-hunting Forerunner to the Didact's Cryptum.
- Interspecies Friendship: With Bornstellar.
- Sour Supporter: Initially of Bornstellar when he's forced to tag along on his adventures, since initially he planned to rob the guy.
- Those Two Guys: With Riser in Halo: Cryptum. Less so in Halo: Primordium, where he's the protagonist.
- The Resenter: As memories from his ancestors began to manifest, he starts to share their resentment of Forerunners. But that starts to diminish from his alliance with Bornstellar.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: How's nearly being killed but having been uploaded into a robotic body, gone insane from guarding an ancient artifact for hundreds of thousands of years, then being shot to pieces with a Spartan Laser before being left for dead upon an alien space station that's about to be destroyed, only to be recovered half from death after more years alone to take a starship to a place where you guess Vinnevra might be if she's still alive after several hundred millennia for unresolved?
Homeworld: Installation 07
A young "hamanush" woman who grew up on Installation 07 instead of Earth.
- Flat Earth Atheist: She denies the existence of "old spirits" telling memories to Chakas and co., or their Halo traveling, insisting the new stars being just the same sun changing color.
- Genetic Memory: Although she too has to deal with subconscious genetic commands, she does not have memories of former humans, and wishes she did.
- Chakas believes her spirit may have been transferred to later humans.
- I Know Your True Name:: Vinnevra is not her real name, but her mother's. Only her mentor Gamelpar knows her real name, and tells it to Chakas when he passes caring for her over to him.
- Mentor Ship: Not with Gamelpar but with Chakas when the role is passed to him.
- The Pollyanna: Despite her hard life she keeps up an energetic attitude.
An old human who raised Vinnevra. He too grew up on Installation 07.
Forthencho, the Lord of Admirals
The last military commander of the ancient human civilization. He's long dead by the time of The Forerunner Saga
, though his personality was preserved in data form by the Composer.
- Ambiguously Brown
- Brain Uploading: His archived personality gets uploaded into Chakas. His consciousness also resides within 343 Guilty Spark.
- Compensating for Something: Chakas notices he wears a "more then a little exaggerated" codpiece.
- Defiant to the End: Despite their best effort, the Forerunners couldn't get any useful information from him.
- Facial Markings
- Four-Star Badass: Under his command, the defenders of Charum Hakkor, despite their inferior technology and numbers, managed to beat back the continuous assaults of the Forerunner fleet under the command of the Didact himself for several years. Eventually, the Forerunners were forced to use a brute force approach, taking devastating losses when they finally took the planet.
- I Did What I Had to Do: While fighting the Flood, he came across a Forerunner planet which had been partially infected. Instead of warning the Forerunners and possibly giving the infection time to spread beyond the planet, he instead had the entire planet of 2 billion cleansed. He was clearly reluctant over doing so, but it seems he had to make this decision many times.
- The Rival: To Yprin Yprikushma.
- Revenge Before Reason: For all his respect for the Warrior-Servants, he would do everything to bring down the Forerunners at any cost; he even advocated drawing the Flood back into the galaxy! Long after his death, he's still perfectly willing to aid a Flood-aligned Mendicant Bias just to destroy his old foes.
- The Strategist: Good enough to consistently hand the Forerunners their tails despite them holding every possible advantage.
- Worthy Opponent: Warrior-Servants as a whole and especially the Didact. The feeling is actually mutual.
The Political and Morale Commander of prehistoric humanity's interstellar empire. She's long dead by the time of The Forerunner Saga
, with her personality being archived by the Composer.
- Alliterative Name
- Badass Bookworm: Led a special force of 7,000 warriors and 70 ships during the siege of Charum Hakkor.
- Brain Uploading: Her archived personality gets uploaded into Riser. It's later removed and put into a Monitor shell.
- Curiosity Is a Crapshoot: Forthencho believes her decision to interrogate the Timeless One was a mistake, and that it only demoralized humanity.
- Graceful Loser: Even while facing her execution, she was still hoping to warn the Forerunners about the Flood in order to ensure the safety of the rest of the galaxy.
- The Rival: To Forthenco.
- The Smart Girl: Led the science team that discovered the Timeless One, traced humanity's origins to Erde-Tyrene (Earth), and was the main figure behind humanity's research of Forerunner technology and tactics.
- The Strategist
Not a human, but an ape living aboard Installation 07.
- The Big Gal
- Largely Normal Animal: Despite being mostly ape-like in her mannerisms, she and the rest of her kind are definitely intelligent; she's even able to converse with Riser, whose ancestral memories allow him to understand her language back from when his people still had contact with hers. In fact, she's the one who tells Riser to have everyone call her Mara.
- Last of Her Kind: Specifically, the last Gigantopithecus, though they called themselves "Shakyanusho".
- Team Pet: Follows Chakas and co. across the Halo.
An even more ancient race of star travelers who were held in reverence by the Forerunners, who supposedly formulated the "Mantle of Responsibility" for all life in the galaxy before passing it onto the Forerunners. They were only the theorized Tier 0 race (Transentient
), and so little was known about them that many thought them to be legend. In truth, they've been seen since Halo: Combat Evolved—as the Flood.
- Abusive Precursors: They created or evolved thousands of sentient species, but occasionally "culled" the ones they didn't like. The Forerunners were the last ones they tried this on, but for the first time in history it didn't work out the way they wanted...
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: What was theorized to have become of them. This appears to not be true of those who became the Flood.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Vengeance against the Forerunner for genocide? How dare you suggest something so primitive? The Timeless One just wants to unify all the life in the galaxy, including the Forerunners and humanity!
- Broken Pedestal: For the Forerunners, because of learning how horrific their creators really were.
- Came Back Wrong: Remember that weird powder humanity discovered that become the Flood? Turns out that was actually mummified Precursors, who were going to keep themselves preserved in that state until it was safe to return to physical forms. Unfortunately, the wait was so long that the powder eventually began deteriorating, and then started mutating whatever lifeforms it got put into...
- Gone Horribly Right: Those that observed the horror their brethren brought to the galaxy found it satisfying. The Forerunners really pissed them off.
- Didn't See That Coming: In all their existence, they never, not once, imagined that one of the races they created would rise up and attack them. They were so shocked when the Forerunners did this that they didn't even fight back, which, given what we see of Precursor technology in Silentium, is probably the only reason that the Forerunners won.
- Dystopia Justifies the Means
"Our urge to create is immutable; we must create. But the beings we create shall never again reach out in strength against us. All that is created will suffer. All will be born in suffering, endless greyness shall be their lot. All creation will tailor to failure and pain, and never again shall the offspring of the eternal Fount rise up against their creators. No more will, no more freedom. Nothing but agonizing death, and never good shall come of it. We are the last of those who gave you breath and shape and form, millions of years ago. We are the last of those your kind defied and ruthlessly destroyed. We are the last Precursors. And now we are legion."
- Eldritch Abomination: Nothing like knowing that the creators of every species, and maybe even the universe, were cosmic horror incarnate.
- Foreshadowing: Its title as the Timeless One is a clue that it's really a Flood Gravemind, echoing the main Gravemind's line about how its voice is "Timeless Chorus"
- Not only that, they existed before time itself.
- Genocide Backfire: Their attempt to wipe out the Forerunners ended in their own destruction... mostly. Now they get to return the favor.
- God Is Evil: The Librarian outright says that the Primordial is as a close to a God as the Forerunners can understand it. And after reading Silentium, it's hard to argue that they aren't evil.
- Hive Mind: The Timeless One is a Gravemind. Didact suspected that it was specifically designed by the Flood to mimic a true Precursor. It's a bit unclear, but later evidence suggests they may have been Flood-like in their biology themselves to begin with.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Whenever you fought the Flood, you were fighting Precursors.
- Last of His Kind: The Timeless One, who reveals at the end of Cryptum that he is the last Precursor. But he turns out to be a Flood Gravemind, yet that may hint at their similar biochemistry.
- Ragnarok-Proofing: Even more so than the Forerunner's stuff. Their stuff lasts for millions of years, and are just as indestructible as when they were first built, being completely resistant to not just almost every Forerunner weapon, but stuff like having plate tectonics cycling them inside planetary crusts. However, it turns out there's one thing that can break/annihilate their stuff: a Halo's main weapon. There's a reason why Precursor artifacts have not been encountered in the "current" time, after all.
- Recursive Precursors: The Forerunners are the precursors to humanity. But these Precursors are even more ancient.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A particularly nightmarish and horrific one. To say the Forerunners pissed them off is an Understatement.
Gravemind: All that is created will suffer... All creation will tailor to failure and pain... Nothing new but agonizing death and never good shall come of it.
- Sentient Cosmic Force: The Precursors believed (knew?) that the entire universe was living (though not in a way biological organisms could comprehend), and based all of their technology off of this concept of "neural physics". While this allowed their technology to be insanely resilient and self-adjusting with no outside maintenance for millions of years and made it way more advanced than anything even the Forerunners had (who lacked the understanding to even activate Precursor artifacts), it gave them a major weakness to the Halos, which specifically targeted neural systems, of any kind.
- Starfish Aliens: The Timeless One is over 10 meters tall, has brown-grey skin, a wide flat arthropodic head with compound eyes, multiple jaws and mandibles, with many jointed appendages and a stinger tail (the Precursors are said to be related to sea scorpions) And the real kicker? It's a Flood Gravemind! Didact suspects that the Timeless One may have been assembled to mimic the appearance of the Precursors, but there's no evidence given for or against that idea until their discovery that the Precursors became the Flood.
- As it turns out, Precursors can change form pretty radically. The dust humanity found? Precursor. The Flood? Precursor.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: To the Forerunners, which are pretty Sufficiently Advanced themselves.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: After the Forerunner-Precursor war, they decided that if their creations are going to try and cause them pain and suffering, then they will cause their creations unparalleled pain and suffering in turn.
- There Can Be Only One: They tried to wipe out the Forerunners because they decided they weren't worthy of the Mantle. The fact that humanity claimed the Mantle instead ignited the Human-Forerunner war.
- Time Abyss: The Timeless One was imprisoned for millions of years. Cryptum states that Precursor artifacts can be so old that tectonic shifts on planets unearth them after millions of years. Precursors themselves are possibly older than the universe itself.
- Tomato Surprise: Didact is rather shocked to find out that the Timeless One is actually a Gravemind. The creature's dialogue is very cryptic, but it seems that it is not a true Precursor. When Didact asks what happened to the Precursors, it tells him that those that the Forerunner defeated fled or survived in hiding, referring to them as something apart from itself, perhaps because they transformed.
- Walking Spoiler: Let's just say we eventually find out more about the Precursors than ever thought possible. And we didn't like what we saw.