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Literature / Halo: Mortal Dictata

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Halo: Mortal Dictata is a 2014 novel set in the Halo universe, and the third and final part of Karen Traviss's Kilo-Five Trilogy. Following the events on Sanghelios, the Kilo-Five squad has gone to the Insurrectionist controlled planet Venezia to deal with Naomi's father, Staffan Sentzke, only to discover that he has taken a Covenant warship with the intent to attack Earth.

Contains Examples Of:

  • Author Tract: Karen Traviss doesn't make her hatred of Catherine Halsey any less obvious in this book than prior ones.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: After Steffan shows consideration towards Forerunner ruins while testing out the ventral beam on his new battlecruiser, Sometimes Sinks becomes loyal only to him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Mal and Vaz are captured by Venezian militia, Naomi and Lian come to their rescue, with Naomi literally crashing through a roof to save Mal.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Steffan finds out the truth about his daughter, briefly reunites with her, and (with help from BB) manages to fake his death to avoid spending his remaining days in ONI custody. But although he manages to let Naomi know he's still alive, he can never see her again. For the rest of Kilo-Five, while they have completed their mission and neutralised Pious Inquisitor, threats to Earth are still out there in the form of Jul 'Mdama, Avu 'Telcam, possibly Chol Von and also Sometimes Sinks, an unstable and potentially rogue Huragok.
  • Continuity Snarl: When BB is unlocking Naomi's memories of her early days in the SPARTAN-II program through video documents, Dr. Halsey told Naomi that her father willingly approved of her conscription and wasn't expecting her to come home. This is contrast to Halo: The Fall of Reach where Halsey refused to lie to the children due to the risks of what may happen if they were to find out the truth.
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  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Mal and Vaz comment how scientists like Halsey never see the big picture of things, yet neither really wondered about how bad the Insurrection was in the first place that it was felt that the creation of the Spartans was considered an absolute necessity. Nor have they wondered how the war against the Covenant, although an unforeseen event by the time the program started, might have gone if the SPARTAN-IIs were never created in the first place.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Steffan Sentze was just another law abiding citizen until ONI kidnapped his daughter and replaced her with a flash-clone, which didn't fool him for a second. His subsequent search across the galaxy to find her led him to Andy Remo, another grieving father who just happened to be the head of the biggest crime syndicate on the colony world Herschel. From there on out, he became the biggest arms dealer on Venezia and even managed to gain access to a Covenant battlecruiser, with the intention of attacking Earth.
  • Mommy's Little Villain: Vaz and Mal view Cortana as being just as bad as Halsey, even blatantly calling her a creepy stalker (even though they never even met Cortana), as they discuss how smart A.I.s can take on the traits of their human donor.
  • The Reveal: Black-Box's human donor is revealed to be Doctor Graham Alban, a close friend of Parangosky, who committed suicide due to the unethical procedures of the SPARTAN-II program.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: None of the plot points of the civil war Kilo-Five started among the Sangheili nor Parangosky's plan to have all of Sanghelios starve with genetically altered crops have been brought up outside of brief mentions.
    • Additionally, Skirmisher Chol Von, the only major non-human character in the novel, gets her subplot completely dropped towards the end, to the point where we don't even know if she's still alive.
  • You Monster!: Dr. Graham Alban viewed Halsey as this, stating in his suicide note that he believed that she had no sense of morality and any guilt she had over the SPARTAN program was fake.