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Fire Withstanding – Archive Beacon – March 26th, 2017

Fire Withstanding – Archive Beacon – March 26th, 2017

Light the Beacon


Introduction

A new day, a new Beacon arrives at our doorstep! A very fiery one to be precise. Hello again from your beloved – or hated – kinda usual typist here; HaruspexOfHell a much more seasoned new guy here, now and as always I only hope that this issue is of the best quality for you all as I hope you have been enjoying my presence here as much as I have been enjoying typing all of these out! Though, without further a due, let’s begin! And let the fires be ever, withstanding.


Main Section

Lieutenant Colonel, Morgan Kinsano, leader of Firestorm Battlegroup and possible head of the Hellbringers, she’s a ruthless leader specialising in fire equipment, she’ll burn whatever steps in front of her and go out the other way unscathed like a vixen on the fire. She’ll bring down hell upon her enemies like a goddess of fire.

She’ll bring down the skies and burn down the forests of the Ark with her ways, the former Insurrectionists turned her sights from other humans only to land face first towards an enemy that humanity had never seen before. But the tip of her flamethrower would always be ready and leaking fuel and fire as her steps are heavy. 

This is who we’re dealing with here. One of the new leaders incoming for Halo Wars 2! Sorry for all the fanfare, but I had to write out something that would be fitting after that video, and I hope it encapsulated everything that she is, perfectly! Though, without more delay, we shall get to the good stuff. . . The details!

And, I shall start with the Lore. As expected to some, not so expected to others, haha.

 

Lore:

 

Kinsano’s Phoenix Log:
Insurrectionist firebrand turned UNSC leader.
Kinsano specializes in flame—based attacks, with an emphasis on destruction
and area denial. Her arsenal includes a Flame Cyclops suit that she can use as a
Hero in the field, and a specially—adapted Warthog equipped with a white—
burning anti—armor flamer.
Morgan Kinsano was a key insurrectionist leader in the outer colonies when the
Covenant attacked, sparking the Human-Covenant war, and she saw fellow
fighters and family members alike cut down by the unstoppable Covenant war
machine.
The Covenant war scattered the insurrection movement and she signed up to
join the UNSC, realizing that if the Covenant killed everyone she wouldn’t have
an insurrection to come back to. Her politics and approach to combat might be
unusual for the UNSC, but her ruthless fighting style and unorthodox tactics
have saved many lives.

So, from what we can see here, she is not just you average UNSC jockey, she’s an innie, outer colony. It’ll interesting to see what kind of repercussions her presence would bring or how her relationship with anything UNSC is, of course, in other posts it has been noted that she cares about the crew of the Spirit of Fire so it remains to be seen, one thing is for certain, though, her presence in Operation: SPEARBREAKER is certainly welcome and I am excited to see what kind of combat dialogue she has, the Innie bravado is grand and for an innie leader, I am highly interested to see what her reactions may be in the future as the NCA could still be out there.

Will she choose duty, or will she choose to go against the machine once more? Hopefully, in the future, something like this is tackled upon.

 

Gameplay:

So, what can we expect from Kinsano in the game? Well, her new units, abilities, etc! And her new units are as follows!

  • Kinsano’s Cyclops – Her very own, modified cyclops without a covered cockpit or glass. The arms are modified to hold two M7057/Defoliant Projectors. It also has the special ability called flamewall which does as much as the name suggests, creates a wall of fire, incinerating everything in its path and wreaking havoc around it. 
  • Flame Warthog – This AMG Transports Dynamics’ M12 Force Application Vehicle, better known as the ‘Warthog’ has been retrofitted with a flamethrower instead of an M46 LAAG or ‘Vulcan’, and it will wreak havoc amongst even the bravest Covenant soldiers. This version of the warthog also holds twice the strength of a standard M12 FAV and specialises in close range rather than long.
  • Veteran Flame ‘Hog – This version of the Flame Warthog is a slightly more expensive one, which changes the flamethrower that the Flame ‘Hog holds for a grenade launcher, with ready-to-fire incendiary rounds.
  • Veteran Hellbringers – These units are more resilient, tougher and stronger than their counterpart, they will deal with anything and everything on the field.

Now, that’ll be all for the new units, though, now we move on to the good stuff! Abilities.

Abilities

  • Helldrop – The Helldrop takes the classic ODST drop to the next level as drop pods rain down from the sky, explode in a blast of fire and unleash a squad of flame-throwing Hellbringers to burn down any enemies left standing.
  • Hellcharge – Kinsano is fierce and ruthless on the front lines and when the need arises, can inspire her troops to new heights with special abilities such as the Hellcharge. When activated, this ability provides a status buff to friendly units to briefly increase their speed, damage output and cause them to explode if they die while under its effect.
  • Napalm Missiles – Sometimes a more direct approach is needed to deal with serious threats and when Kinsano’s units or friendly buffs won’t do, she can call down a Napalm Missile strike to annihilate anything caught in its path.
  • Inferno – Kinsano can call upon her ultimate offensive power – the Inferno. This ability is expensive to use but unleashes a massive blast of fire leaving behind a long-lasting burning effect to anything caught in its large radius.
  • Redline  – A Tier 2 ability that provides a speed and damage boost to newly-spawned units for a limited time.
  • Heat of Battle – This Tier 3 ability offers a unique ally buff that empowers friendly units with increased damage resistance and damage output whenever they gain a kill.
  • Flame Warthog Drop – A mid-priced, Tier 3 ability that deploys three Veteran Flame Hogs to the battlefield.
  • Firestorm Battlegroup – An expensive, ultimate ability that calls down a squad of Hellbringers, a Scorpion and two Hornets while also buffing the drop zone with max-level Hellcharge.

And that’ll be all for this one, as not a lot of news are out there spiralling about this time sadly! Though, of course, as you may have seen she’s already out so I hope to see you all on the battlefield, and testing out all these abilities in amazing ways. Makes sure to call hell down on bases as well, they deserve it.

UNSC. Today, Tomorrow, Forever!


On-Topic

Off-Topic


Announcements

I apologise for not getting this Beacon out any sooner. Jones here for more announcements to be said from the Archive!

Not much has been going on overall, mostly just an “off” time for us all with this time of the semester/year. But things are in the works.

Just as an easy recap for you all on what we have planned and currently in the works, I will list each separately.

IN-PROGRESS:

 Pictorial Hand – This new project of ours will be another blog! But not another blog about the lore in Halo. But more about the art, the fan art. The Pictorial Hand will showcase all works of art, whether it be writing, drawing, or music, that come from the Halo community. More on this project will be told to the public before release, but if you have any questions on it, feel free to ask me or HaruspexofHell.

Badges – We have a few new badges already in place and some coming up! Some new ones already in place are the Community Leader badge, which is given to those who served as a Juridical or Community Manager but have stepped down for any number of reasons. Another badge, that will tie in with Pictorial Hand, is the Artist badge. Made by our member lizking a while back. Will be given to those who are featured in the Pictorial Hand.

Some badges that are coming up, either during this beacon or after are the (long awaited for) Discord badge, we have a discord for use when the site is down or for just small talk and gamedays with SheSangheili for Cards Against Halo (Humanity). The badge will be given to those who are on our discord server. The second and final badge (so far) is the Indirect Achievement badge. To “tip our hat” to a special member and Ambassador of ours, Indirect. His channel on YouTube is filled with the best “Top Ten” videos on almost any game possible for it. Especially Halo. So if you are ever featured in one or more of his videos, you will be awarded with this badge.

Gamedays – So these things are going on still. Keep en eye out for our twitter and our club on Xbox for notifications on our gamedays!

 

That is the majority of what has been going on so far in the Archive. More of course behind curtains, but not ready for the world to see, just yet.

Last but not least. We are still looking for Constructors and Content Writers!

Constructors are the backbone of the site, they help keep it running in all forms. But currently we have very few who are able to help out, but we thank them nonetheless for their service. Want to out your CS skills to good use? Join the Constructors and help build, improve and construct the Halo Archive.

Content Writers are those who work on our blog(s). Like this one! Or even ones like DilDevs, CloneBoyOllie, HurryingCandy, HaruspexofHell and others!

If you are interested in either position above please PM me, Adv Jones, saying your interest as well as a small portfolio of what your plan to do as well as past work.


Maturations

000 Tragic Solitude – Builder

Captain Ruse – Miner

Cybermat47 – Lifeworker

Dances Through Air – Builder

Dismantler – Builder

Il Nin – Builder


Featured

This week in our featured, from our very talented friends will be the following! – although with the usual.. plug of my own. wink wink, nudge nudge. 

First, from our dearest and closest Haruspis!

From your very own, HaruspexOfHell

 

Synth Samurai

Full Circle

Desperate Decade – A Breakdown Of Halo’s Narrative Cohesion

 

Podcast Evolved

Episode 116 – Banished Loot Crate

 

Halo Canon

 

Indirect

 

Halo Team Assemble

 

Termacious Trickocity

 

HiddenXperia


Staff-Comments

“With new games, stories, and events around us and on the horizon, things are looking good for the Archive!”

– Cognitive Bias

 

“Memes are like pizza. They’re not healthy in large quantities. Sometimes they burn you and you get those bubbles on the roof of mouth and then they pop and you have those little bits of skin hanging down and it’s all raw and nasty. Or the crust is too hard and it stabs your mouth. Sometimes they get ruined by adding weird content like pineapple & green pepper, like, at the same time, who the hell does that? But if they’re done just right, at the perfect temperature, subject matter, toppings (extra mozzarella), punch line spot on, and consumed in moderation, they can be goddamn delightful. I’m hungry.

Also, thanks for hanging out on Halo Archive with us.”

– Mr Martini

 

 

I implore all of you to post about the lack of staff comments on the Beacons, here. Be sure to tag those accountable 😉


Conclusion

And that is all everyone, we apologise for the delay for this one and hope that you all pardon our dust. Between in real-life situations and a small lack of information our work became mostly halted, we promise the next one will be right on schedule like always! – hopefully at least. . . – anyhow, be sure to check out our forums, create an account, pass through the countless posts and engage in discussions! You’ll be sure to find good friends and a good time!

Also, if you feel like you have what it takes – which of course you all do, we’re all wonderful, talented people on this platform that we choose to call home! – and you want to join the Content Team or help the blogs thrive more, be sure to go towards any and all staff members of the Archive and they’ll point you in the right direction! Everyone is welcome!

HaruspexOfHell and Adv Jones, the two hooligans who WANT YOUR FEEDBACK ON THESE BEACONS! (too blunt?).

Posted by HaruspexOfHell in Archive Beacons, Blog, 0 comments
We’ve Got Contacts Incoming! – Archive Beacon – February 24th, 2017

We’ve Got Contacts Incoming! – Archive Beacon – February 24th, 2017

Light the Beacon


Introduction

Welcome to another issue of the Archive Beacon guys! Yes, this is me, HaruspexOfHell again! Hold out your cheers – or potential booing. – we’ve got ourselves a packed Beacon transmission on this day, this time coming directly from the Ark systems, so hold on to your seats and remain calm, we’ve got contacts incoming, and lots of ’em!


Main Section

By now, I’m sure most of you have gotten your hands on Halo Wars 2, especially since it released properly for all 3 days ago! If so, I hope you’re enjoying every aspect of it, the Phoenix Logs, the Campaign, Cutscenes, Skirmish, whatever your cup of tea may be, this one is a game to be cherished that will continue on longer than just what we got at vanilla.

Yes, we’re talking about the update details and the season pass’ today! And more, of course.

With Halo Wars 2 released, comes the goodies. And here’s what you can expect from the following months! First of all, I will get the fact that Welcome to the Ark is a connecting asset so that you can unlock the upcoming DLC, as per described by Grim. “There is no “Ark DLC”, that item is just an entitlement piece to help connect with DLC content overall”, I will also remind you all that if you participated in the Twitter DM game about a few months ago, keep the code you obtained handy and cash that bad boy in!

As for the Season Pass, you can expect it to bring you everything, from Campaign DLC to new Leaders. And from what we can see from recent data tampering of the game files, there’ll be seven new leaders! – At least from those that are already planned – Two of which we already know of, Morgan Kinsano and Sergeant. John Forge, John is available as Pre-Order Content, Kinsano – A Pyrotechnical Operator, Hellbringer Commander possibly, – will be part of the first month’s new content.

What we can expect from Kinsano is a lot of fire, as her abilities consist of such things, both named Flamewall and Inferno. There’s not much else known at the moment besides that.

Something else we might have to keep our eyes open to is the ability to obtain the beloved Sergeant Major. Avery Junior Johnson as teased in an early ViDoc with a suit that resembles an HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark I ADS, possibly a concurrent design, Mark II, perhaps.

It should also be noted that the return of dead characters does not mean they’re still alive in-canon, we might get canonical new leaders that are present in the Ark right now, but there’ll be those like John Forge and Johnson that are not canon.

As for the new content, we can expect new content to be released every third Wednesday of a month, every month, in that we can expect to get new maps and leaders every single month, Maps will be free for everyone, regardless of whether you own the Season Pass or not; as for the new leaders and Campaign DLC, you’d have to own the Season Pass to obtain this content. We can expect to have new Campaign missions to be part of Operation: SPEARBREAKER, which would be the concurrent Operation at the Ark, and from the same tampering of the in-game files we’ve discovered that we have a ‘Banished Campaign’ coming in soon as well as a ‘UNSC Mini Campaign’, we have no more news regarding the rest of the Campaign DLCs or whether or not there’ll be more after this.

As for some of the discrepancies in the Phoenix Logs, they will be fixed and cleared up anytime soon.


On-Topic

Off-Topic


Announcements

Hello there all! Adv Jones, here. The Archive is always going through changes either in staff or even the site. Only a few years, I think maybe 2 at most, we only had this new forum area. But due to recent attacks on WordPress sites, 1.5 million to be exact. We got caught in the crossfire. Our entire site went down, literally everything. If any of you even tried to get to this site it was seen with some juicy info on where stuff is stored, but quickly our Constructors were able to get it all handled and under control. (We are still open for new Constructors, we can never have too many at this point in time).

And that brings up the first, actual, announcement! We plan to move the forums! No not due to the recent attack, but instead due to the services we are provided currently. We want to find a more reliable host along with the price point we need. To help with this we plan to do some possible fundraisers soon, but feel free to donate anytime you want, of course.

Second on the announcements is the Halo Wars 2 Story Contest we had going on had ended the day the Ultimate Edition released. The winner was our member StellarStateLogic! Out of the 4 submissions from her, TR-8R, She Sangheili and Ghost of War. All of the stories were fantastic. Stellar even went so far ahead to make a nice, enjoyable, readable PDF version for you all to read!

 

Halo Archives 2017_HaloWars2ReciprocalTales (0221)

 

DOWNLOAD LINK

From those stories, the authors would like to share their thoughts and inspiration to their creations.

 

When the contest was first announced, I figured writing as Serina would be a good choice in exploring some of the hidden information implied within the Tales from Slipspace. Prior to this contest, I’ve built some knowledge and headcanons on the possible effects to synthetic neural systems of the Flood from academic literature on neurology and psychology as I was writing my Forerunner stories. Also, from personal experience, I have a way in writing characters with mental disabilities and so writing a Smart-AI slowly going rampant (who is not Cortana) is something I’ve always wanted to try out. Once that’s set, I’ve then taken a few more weeks researching on the lore of Halo Wars and UNSC AI techs to try to make sure that I would be able to write as one.

Writing isn’t a linear process for me and I don’t normally start writing from the beginning. For “The Mouser and The Sea”, I began with a sketch of the final paragraph to set down the overall tone of the story and worked closely with canonical information and facts to put the pieces together and make it lore-coherent. I took visual inspirations from the cutscenes of Halo Wars and turned them into something more symbolic. Such as the beginning of every paragraph where Serina said “The other night…” was mainly because she was always shown to be standing in dimmed spaces. After her rampancy began to show, she began the recounts with “The other day…”, this is because, from canonical reference, we can be confident to say that AIs and Ancillae can experience a stage similar to “enlightenment”, a concept similar to attaining higher spirituality and transcendence where light is used a strong visual element, which is why I used it as an indicator. What gets ironic is that AIs are objectively thinking to their own death as they are subjectively experiencing this exponential omniscience. In the end of the story, it’s implied that Serina has become something sentient beyond her AI core and has treated the entire Spirit of Fire as her body (ref: \/skeleton\/) which is also an element of irony because figuratively she has become a “phoenix” (as implied by the SoF emblem and ship name) yet would choose to terminate herself and never to be reborn.

Another subject that was on my focus was the that one Flood infection form that has managed to hide around enough. I took logical evidence and inspiration from Roland, Black Box, and EDI from Mass Effect — all powerful AIs and/or managing over a vessel, and figured that it was very unlikely for such AIs to leave a stone unturned. I suppose Serina would most certainly notice the Flood Infection Form, and there left a space for my creativity to explore the “Why hasn’t she done something prematurely when she already knew that Flood is off-limits”. The answer to this question is provided in the piece written, where I’ve hypothesized that the Infection Form could be influencing her perception, or her rampancy has been working towards its advantages.

The title, “The Mouser and the Sea”, is a reference to Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”. Also, for the casual fun of RNG, my current forum signature is complementary to the story. ;)

Lastly, I promise some love from a no-man’s land somewhere outside the Milky Way galaxy will be delivered to Adv Jones‘s door for hosting the contest cos I heard that’s what a particular space quantum biologist has promised to us a few millennia ago.

– StellarStateLogic

 

My motivation was just the sudden changes in the units and the appearance of the characters. It was initially going to be a serious piece, you can probably tell by the whole ensign having a marine girlfriend that got infected with the flood bit, but then the jokes started popping into my head and yeah…

Also part of my reasoning was the fact that there seems to be a lack of humorous pieces when it comes to Halo, which I get, it’s supposed to be a universe that is engulfed in war, but there is always room for humor, as Marvel has taught me.

– TR-8R

 

I love the Halo universe and feel that any and every story can be scrutinized and fleshed out in full detail, no matter how simple it may seem. The Haloverse is so vast and filled to the brim with stories and lore that you can pull from anything and get something juicy and tender to sink your teeth into, one such story is Halo Wars. For many, Halo Wars is a story of the Spirit of Fire fighting , but for me, Halo Wars is a story about two opposing sides, the Covenant and Humanity, and in Halo Wars 2 this changes to The Banished and The Spirit of Fire.

I chose to tackle the foremost in it’s ending battle, the ultimate resolution to the first story in which the Flood, UNSC and Covenant were all at odds fighting in one space, everything was at stake and they had everything to lose. I wanted to try a dual perspective with this story, blending both sides together at points and contrasting them at others. For all intents and purposes, the warriors of the Covenant and the soldiers of the UNSC are one in the same, fighting for their beliefs and for their own lives. In The Doorbell, (Which was named as a cheek-in-tongue reference to an achievement from the 15th mission) I wanted to have two soldiers on opposing sides doing what you did best in Halo Wars, fighting all out with two groups until only one is left standing. Other than names, you won’t get back-story from these soldiers, they are dime-a-dozen members of an overall battle that are simply doing their part in the overall scheme, and this story is only one of the hundreds from just that battle alone.

I wanted to showcase the grit of the quick and dirty skirmishes featured in the game, what would be a five minute encounter between units on a more grounded and in-the-action perspective. In Halo Wars, you will always see your units from the sky, but in this story I wanted to be right there next to them, right in the thick of it. It’s short, sweet and to the point, and hopefully will provide a quick and exciting feast for your eyes as you read through it. I enjoyed tackling a story in the Halo Universe that was smaller in scale and scope, but allowed just enough room for detail, and am thankful for the competition that took place that gave me the opportunity to do so!

– Ghost of War

 

I just put it on repeat. Though I watched the music video as well and it spoke to me in a strange way as there were people praying and dancing which went from jerky to other extreme of close and intimate dancing. And from there it slowly built up into an idea.

I was going to stop after the fight with the humans but it spiraled into what I wrote when I tried to stop the song was in sync with my thoughts about stopping as there would be a lyric that would spark another idea in my head or the song would restart again sparking an idea in my head. The song starts in that “mournful” tone as how the song starts with her trying to come to terms with everything. I wanted to focus on the whole idea of her having a crisis of faith but I already have a few shorts between her and Ripa and so like how the song changes into a faster pace that spark lit that inferno of an idea.

The second half when she starts dancing is when I couldn’t stop myself from occasionally getting up from my laptop and start dancing around my room. As the beat of the song picks up and goes from mournful sounding to the lighter beat. Which fits with the music video as when the beat picks up the dancing becomes closer which is around the time in the story when Ripa shows up. The lyric of a Different kind of Danger that’s repeated quite frequently really helped the idea evolve the story from just Re’gish having a crisis of faith to it being a crisis of her realizing that she’s been flirting back with a madman. Which leads to the dancing as I just have a headcanon, which can also be seen in many of my shorts involving Sangheili, of it being part of their evolution as many animals have display rituals and maybe they lost the other parts that helped during that display ritual but dancing is something that is important to the Sangheili.

I feel like this was the story I originally wanted to write. But I was missing the song and well I was reluctant to write a short that danced that edge of smut for a contest. But I’m glad I stuck to my guns of what I like to write xD

– She Sangheili

Last but not least, is our gamedays. We have been trying to get them in a consistent time frame so then everyone has the ability to join in on with a week day or weekend day. So if you are on during Wednesday and Friday at 5 PM EST or after and see either I (GT: Adv Jones), Preston Cole (GT: HA PrestonCole) or Logan (GT: Sith Venator) online, send us a message and we will get you in as soon as possible. We tend to play customs, but open to branch out into others along with other Halo games. Join us tonight and next week for some gameday fun!


Maturations

Timeless OneBuilder


Featured

This week coming straight from our affiliates and colleagues we’ve got these awesome things!

I’ll start with the posts, like last time, our dear friend Chronarch has written these two posts that are quite amazing reads.

Haruspis

HaruspexOfHell

As some of you may know, I have been writing a story about the UNSC Roman Blue, that is being hosted right here in the Archive! A multi-chapter story called A Roman In Blue.

The rest of the chapters shall come in due time! Remember to check this blog post out for updates on my work!

 

Indirect

 

Halo Team Assemble

 

343i Community

 

Termacious Trickocity


Staff-Comments

 

I guess I am the only one doing a comment…you all should PM the rest of Staff and tell them how horrible they are for not making a comment for this Beacon.

– Adv Jones


Conclusion

And that will be it for this issue, and now, the time has arrived to bring this one to a close, I know, I know, I probably missed something, I perhaps didn’t! Hopefully, you’ve found this one to be quite appetizing and filled to the brim with delicious information to keep you going! As always, though, remember to go to the forums, create an account, engage in discussions, you’ll be sure to find good friends and surely you’ll find a discussion just as good!

And as a tiny reminder, we still need writers to help us keep the site lively and filled with all the amazing content we may bring, you can always send any and all staff a private message regarding the Content Team! Knocking on the door is not entering, but I can assure you, you’ll have some fun!

And that brings it to a close! Hope you all are doing good, and that you have a good weekend! Oh and play a lot of Halo Wars 2!

HaruspexOfHell and Adv Jones, the two hooligans who seem to blow up the site with every Beacon.

Posted by HaruspexOfHell in Archive Beacons, Blog, 0 comments
Halo’s Place in Science Fiction – Smoke and Shadow

Halo’s Place in Science Fiction – Smoke and Shadow

Usually my reading journals are split into three sections: the style of the novel, its place in the science fiction genre, and how it connects to the expanded universe of Halo. Any deviation from that format is usually when one section is so broad and deep that it overwhelms the others, such as the discussion of AI personhood for Saint’s Testimony or human trafficking for Mortal Dictata.

Smoke and Shadow by Kelly Gay, however, is a different case. There will be no division between style, genre, and EU because this book makes it impossible to discuss one without the other; it’s all connected under the umbrella of fanservice.

Fanservice is the inclusion of material in a story with the intent to please the fanbase. When it is usually talked of, fanservice refers to the framing of a character in a manner that objectifies and sexualizes them with the purpose of titillation. This subset of fanservice has my contempt and will not be talked about further in this piece.

The fanservice I wish to discuss is that of intertextual references, in appealing to fan knowledge of the content. Every piece of Halo fiction has this sort of fanservice, but none abides in it as fully as Smoke and Shadow. Even more impressive: Smoke and Shadow avoids many of the major pitfalls that can happen when a story relies on fanservice.

One pitfall of fanservice use is that it may end up making the universe seem smaller than it is. Too many people know each other; there’s not enough mystery left to the universe.  Film critic Steven D. Greydanus calls this the “Shrinking World Syndrome” (Decent Films):

“As a franchise plays out, very often, the more the mythology expands, the smaller the universe gets. Previously unconnected characters and events that gave the fictional universe a certain expansiveness are increasingly tied together for dramatic effect, until the whole story is about a small group of closely connected individuals.”

This is not inherently a bad thing. Darwyn Cooke “shrinks” the world of the DC universe in the Eisner-winning The New Frontier by moving J’onn J’onzz from his initial origins in Middletown to Gotham, where he encounters Batman on a number of occasions. This allows for the two detectives to play off each other and highlight the flaws in the world they occupy.


Fun fact: This version of J’onn was voiced by Sesa ‘Refumee.

However, when it is done poorly, aspects of the universe begin feeling contrived. Yoda going to Kashyyyk at the end of the Clone Wars was no issue. Yoda having a friendship with Chewbacca was a stretch. It had no narrative echo from the originals, and it didn’t give another layer of meaning to either character. It simply made the grand scale feel smaller. If it was an attempt to “ground” the film, then Yoda was the wrong choice of character for that connection. Both Yoda and Chewbacca are too large a part of the Skywalker legacy, and in radically different ways, that tying them together feels forced.

In Smoke and Shadow, it’s precisely because of Gay’s choice of characters that the novel is able to inhabit this grey area of connective tissue between Spartan Ops, Escalation, Kilo-Five, and Halo Wars. As the main cast is a group of scavengers, they can go multiple places and connect with a variety of individuals. There is more than simple or contrived coincidence bringing these characters together; there are internal motivations driving each of them.

It also helps that many of the characters Rion connects with are secondary players in the other stories: Sav Fel’s wife, Hood’s successor, Jul’s second-in-command. They are important people that we’ve seen before, but Gay avoids placing her new characters in competition with the sort of grand scale we find in the games. She is trying to tell a small, personal story and so selects her supporting cast appropriately.

As a result, the one connection to a major character is allowed to be given significant weight, and here’s where Gay’s fanservice utterly shines. She takes small moments scattered throughout Halo Wars and its guidebook and gives them meaning, adding emotional weight to John Forge’s words and actions that we’ve already had in front of us for years.

His flip comment to Professor Anders about “one for the scrapbook” suddenly has a sweet quality about it. He’s sincere about collecting memorabilia for his daughter. The ace on his shoulder is a way of carrying his daughter with him throughout the war. And his altercation with the superior officer…


The Forges have luck in spades.

This is a point in John Forge’s history that has been reiterated thrice over before Smoke and Shadow, a single panel mention in Genesis and two different accounts in the guidebook. This act of defending a woman from unwanted advances already is a positive aspect to his character, but secondhand accounts do little justice to the perspective of Rion and the vision of Forge appearing like an “avenging angel” to protect his family.

This scene is also a testament to how much thought Gay put into Smoke and Shadow. She took two somewhat conflicting stories: Forge defending his daughter in an officer’s bar, and a grown woman being assaulted by said officer. After all John Forge being 29 gives little wiggle room in terms of his daughter’s age. What Gay does then is crafts a scene that completes both accounts into one whole:

I was wondering if anyone would bring up the guide… that took some rethinking to merge conflicting accounts about the bar fight, Rion’s age, and the assault, so enter Jillian, the “woman,” and assault and Rion still being there.
…Love the guides, too. Really tried to reconcile things in a way that wouldn’t make any previous accounts wrong, just perhaps incomplete in terms of details.
…And this way we still get the physical assault (as well as a verbal toss at Rion) and one p-ssed off daddy.
(Kelly Gay’s “Tweets and replies,” 30th November 2016, minor edits for readability from Twitter-speak (I have more than 140 characters to work with here))

Gay may rely on fan knowledge for the reveal of Rion’s last name to carry the appropriate shock value, but she doesn’t rely on the love that fans already had for John Forge to carry the heartbeat of the father-daughter relationship. She put in the work herself, and as a result, she has converted a number of Halo fans, myself included, who hadn’t found John Forge to be an engaging character into fans who were invested in the legacy he left behind.

I say none of this to thumb my nose at Halo Wars; I hold it to be one of my top four, if not top three, Halo games in terms of story. It did a phenomenal job of creating memorable characters. But this is what an expanded universe can do: expand the characters, the setting, the universe. Gay certainly seizes upon that opportunity.

It’s not just Forge that gets fleshed out, but Gay’s selected supporting cast does as well. We see what happened to Sav Fel’s wife after Kilo-Five’s stint on Venezia, and we get to see what sort of personality she has beyond a shrieking Kig-Yar matriarch. We get the backstory behind Gek’s scar and a glimpse of what he was doing before Requiem. Even Hood gets a small treatment as we learn what sort of discipline he faced after losing The Spirit of Fire.


Sadmiral Hood

We also get a poignant expansion on the Mgalekgolo. In The Flood, we learned that the pairs they always come in are bonded, and when one is lost, the other is overwhelmed with grief. In The Ghosts of Onyx, we learn that the Hunters can communicate with the other races, but it’s on a different level, in which their intentions and words are more felt than heard. When Rion is cornered by the lone Hunter on the Covenant ship, the moments from both of those novels tie into the Hunter sharing its grief with her through those subsonic vibrations.

No matter whether it’s a character or a race, Gay wastes not a single moment to draw from or add to the existing universe.

Smoke and Shadow’s original characters are hardly given the short end of the stick either, and that’s another way that Gay dodges a pitfall: a reliance on fanservice to carry the story.

This is ultimately what held back the Star Trek novel Provenance of Shadows, which is halfway to being a masterpiece. In the portions of the story that diverge from the main timeline, the story and characters sing like the best that science fiction has to offer. In the portion that adheres to the main timeline, it feels like the author is just listing off events, hoping that our familiarity with the episode or movie will carry the emotional punch for us. As a result, moments as poignant as Spock’s sacrifice during Wrath of Kahn are treated as dull rote.

Another way this pitfall can occur is a reliance on aesthetic. One of the complaints I saw leveled against Forward Unto Dawn while it was still airing was the fact that we had to spend the greater portion of it following the cadets about, and it wasn’t until the final part that it truly “felt” like Halo. Now this I will thumb my nose at. While Halo is a very action-heavy franchise, it’s not the action that makes Halo. Halo is at its best when it shows meaningful connections between characters, and those connections are what make the action meaningful. Forward Unto Dawn would have been a far lesser movie if it chose to accentuate the Halo aesthetic over the character development. By choosing the reversal and saving the fanservice (in all its “spray and pray” glory) for the final part, Forward Unto Dawn made the fanservice mean something. Not just to long term fans, but to newcomers, and especially to the characters we had been following for the entire movie.


You either die a lovable cadet, or live long enough to see yourself become an insufferable ONI man.

The cast of Smoke and Shadow get the same treatment that Forward Unto Dawn gave to the Hastati cadets. Each one of them is given distinct personalities and motivations, both small and large. Kip has his mission from ONI. Cade, like Rion, is running from loss. Lessa and Niko have their own, smaller, more personal motives: Lessa wants to be parented; Niko wants a raise. All these internal desires play off each other, crafting a dynamic that is unique to these characters.

Of course, this set-up of a crew of scavengers is going to garner comparisons to Firefly, but such comparisons are not inaccurate. What made the crew of the Serenity feel like family were the small scenes between the action and plot points. The small breaths of characters connecting. The Ace of Spades’ crew is no different. Whether it’s Lessa internally struggling on how to open up to Rion, Cade and Rion having multiple heart-to-hearts, or a moment of playfulness between Rion, Cade, and the siblings, Smoke and Shadow gives a heart to this crew the same way Forward Unto Dawn did for the cadets.

As Smoke and Shadow is far more embedded in what we known of the Halo Universe than Forward Unto Dawn, Gay does not have to wait to the final act to let swing wide ye fanservicey gates. In addition to all the characters she brings in, there are little threads here and there across the book, referencing both common and obscure knowledge in the lore.


Glassed planets. They’re known for one thing…

And even with all these little pieces, she avoids yet a third pitfall: fanservice pulling the audience out of the story.

In Star Wars, Obi-Wan disarms an assailant in a seedy bar. This scene in Attack of the Clones is an homage to A New Hope, but even though it’s a little on the nose, it’s not distracting. It doesn’t force the viewer out of the moment because A New Hope doesn’t need to exist for the scene to make sense in Attack of the Clones. It lives in its own context and then operates on a different layer as fanservice. Other moments in Star Wars work less well, such as Finn activating the chess set on the Falcon or C-3P0 and R2’s cameo in Rouge One. These moments serve little else other than to remind the viewer of that one thing that happened that one time in canon.

Like Obi-Wan and his bar fights, Smoke and Shadow’s moments of fanservice are clear but not distracting, because they make sense as story pieces first and as fanservice second.

  • “Boren’s Syndrome,” which was first established in First Strike is the ailment that causes the death of Rion’s grandfather, which leaves her an orphan and gives her the impetus she needs to head for the stars.
  • As the crew gets frustrated digging for information, Rion explains their problems by blaming the records of glassed planets, though Ben Giraud could have told them as much.
  • The ace of spades that John Forge carries with him, as I mentioned before, also provides meaning to the name of Rion’s ship.
  • Kip’s origins as an ONI man comes from the bioweapon attack on Sedra in Nightfall, and as someone who had a hard time distinguishing between Locke’s three subordinates in the first two episodes, the description of the ONI recruiters as “three identical men” certainly got a chuckle from me.
  • The Banished get a shout out as well, in Rion’s recall of the other salvagers, pirates, and worse that she’s come across over the years.
  • And in my favorite callback moment, Rion interacts with Forerunner technology in the exact same manner that John-117 did back in The Flood by William C. Dietz.


Buttons! I love buttons!

The Flood was written long before the franchise had established the Librarian-imparted geas, but the way Dietz wrote that moment –

He stopped at the source of the light, a pair of small, glowing orbs hung suspended above a roughly rectangular frame of blue matte metal. Floating within the frame were a series of pulsing, shifting displays – semitransparent, like Cortana’s holographic appearance, though there was no visible projection device. The display’s shimmering geometric patterns nagged at him, as if he should recognize them somehow. Even with his enhanced memory, he couldn’t place where he’d seen them before. They just seemed…familiar.

He reached a finger to one of the symbols, a blue-green circle. The Spartan expected his finger to pass through nothing more than air. He was surprised when his finger met resistance – and the panel lights began to pulse more quickly.

“What did you do?’ Cortana asked, her voice alarmed. “I’m detecting an energy spike.”

“I… don’t know,” the Spartan admitted. He wasn’t sure why he touched the “button” on display. He just knew it felt right.

[Cortana asked], “How did you know what control to push?”

“I didn’t. Let’s get the hell out of here.” (The Flood, pg 84-85)

– still holds up as an accurate model of how a character unfamiliar with the geas present in all humans might interpret its effects. And Rion, who has been entirely removed from the in-canon reveals of the Forerunner legacy, apes John’s reaction with an added touch of Ellen Anders to boot:

The room was smaller than she imagined, a circular space with a massive central column and two corridors leading off into darkness on either side. But it was the console that drew her. It was clearly made for a being taller than the average human. The display contained more strange symbols and shapes, pulsing blue and oddly hypnotizing.

Her attention snagged on a domed pad with the outline of what looked like a hand. Her fingers twitched. She reached up.

Cade grabbed her wrist. “What are you doing?”

His grip was firm and unyielding. For just the briefest of moments, she wanted to fight him, to jerk her arm away and slap her hand on that pad. “I don’t know.” What was she doing? The sensation passed, leaving her curious and a little shaken. She searched Cade’s face, trying to ascertain if he was similarly affected. “You don’t want to touch it?” (Smoke and Shadow, pp 1712-1713 on Kindle)

There are countless more connections, many which I left off this list for the sake of space, and very likely many that I missed. And as much as each piece of fanservice enriches the story, Smoke and Shadow stands on its own, to the point that it easily feels like the start to a new series.

The conclusion does carry a sense of closure – Niko got his raise, Lessa got parented, Rion saw her father’s face for the first time in years – but this also seems like a launch point. The ONI plot was introduced, but hardly concluded, Little Bit was introduced, and while Rion now holds the first solid evidence she ever had with finding her father, it is merely another bread crumb. What’s more is that Gay has proven that these characters stand on their own merit. She used the universe around them not as a means to prop up a weak story, but to embed a good one into the very heartbeat of the franchise. I will gladly step back aboard the Ace of Spades for as long as she’ll fly.


DilDev has a WORDPRESS and a HALO-FOCUSED TUMBLR. She also is on PATREON for Halo and other video-game analyses.



Posted by Dildev in Blog, The Library, 0 comments
A Roman In Blue; Chapter 3 – A Halo Short Story

A Roman In Blue; Chapter 3 – A Halo Short Story

CHAPTER 3

Above a Home

JULY 15TH, 2531

13:50 HOURS

ARRIVING ON DESTINATION ECTANUS 45

Aiken stood on the bridge, waiting for the captain as he ran a few orders through his subordinates. He was first on the bridge as always, he loved this ship as any captain of a ship would, that is, if he was indeed a captain. So the Lieutenant made sure to have it running and purring like a kitten. He stood in front of the glass panel in the room, staring at the information it gave him.

 

“Turn twenty degrees starboard. I want this ship docking with Station Delta as soon as possible and standing at the ready for the remaining repairs.” Aiken spoke, his arms clasped across his chest as he stepped away from the panel and towards the window.

He looked out into the void black beyond for a few seconds before turning to MeHaffey and McConnel down in the pilot’s area beside him. “Be as gentle as you can with this bird,”

MeHaffey looked up at him with a smile. “Have we ever been rough with her, sir?” She retorted with a snort, getting her attention back to her controls.

Normally the Lt would say something back, to put her in line after her little joke, but these weren’t normal times. The Lt knew this, so he allowed her the levity of the joke as he gave a chuckle. The Captain came through the doors, making his way down the side of the small hall littered with consoles and people working at their posts.

He gave his good mornings and greetings to the crew and stopped right by a coffee machine where he would obtain his favourite morning drink and pour himself a cup from the small dispenser they had set up on the bridge for the sake of commodity and allowance to be right then and there for when duty calls.

 

“Captain has the con!” Aiken called out, looking at the man who quickly approached. “Good morning, sir,”

Aiken said his arms wrapping behind his back as he remained tidy in front of the Captain, Webb was also a very tidy man himself, worn, but the man still found a way to look like he was apt to regulations.

 

“Morning, Lt,” Webb said, a pause to drink his coffee as he stared out into the black. “Status?” Webb asked Aiken as he looked straight at the man beside him.

“All systems are nominal, sir, we’re running a course to Station Delta right now,”

Aiken said, as he looked out the window, the planet, which looked just like a twin of Earth, but a perfect Earth. At least in his eyes, it laid there in front of them getting closer by the second.

 

“We’ve already been greeted by the Halberd-class UNSC Sprint in Flight’s captain, on wide FLEETCOM broadcast, sir.” Webb nodded, his arm behind his back as he stared at the incoming planet.

“Very good,” he said before turning around, looking at the man beside him taking a quick drink from his cup. “I want you to go with a small party to the surface, greet them in person and provide them with the cargo that we carry for them.”

To which Aiken stared at him for a few seconds, he thought it’d be Webb himself going down there, nevertheless, he nodded. “Yes, sir.” He turned his gaze away enough to see the planet, and it wasn’t long before they were docking with Station Delta.

Once docking procedures were done and the ship gave a light rock as it came to a halt and docked with the station, Aiken turned away and headed out of the bridge, straight for the hangar deck-7, on the way recruiting two Marines in basic olive drab cammies and brown kevlar ponchos over their battle fatigues, who followed the Lt immediately towards the hangar bays.

 

“No weapons, just standard issue handguns.” Private Chance and Akintola both acknowledged the order quickly as they came upon the hangar bays, to see an airman waiting straight outside their cab.

The marines would instantly strap themselves with a pair of M6 pistols from the nearest cache to the pelican, yellow jackets would still be loading the last few crates into the bird’s cargo bay and on their way out they would acknowledge their XO with subtle a ‘sir’ before they would head for their next task. The hangar deck was full of life, marines running PT on the sidelines being escorted by their first officers, technicians doing repairs, pelicans being having the care they deserve to offer the fidelity they always showed.

 

The D77-TC Pelican, purring like a kitten already just waiting as per captain’s orders. “Took your time, sir.” the pilot said with an incredibly thick german accent, it was the Second Lieutenant. Fredrick Müller, he was a pain in the ass, but he was the best.

“Have anything better to do, tonight, Fredrick?” He gestured the two marines inside, and he followed suit only to be followed by Fredrick shortly after. “No, sir,” he responded. “Then let’s get to it,”

Fredrick headed into the cockpit picking up his helmet on the way inside that rested on one of the many littered crates inside, hopping on and sitting down on his seat and began preparations for liftoff as Aiken and the marines sat down and strapped in. There were quite a few crates inside, Aiken counted 9 large crates all either labelled with ONI markings, UEG’s or UNSC, a simple cargo run.

 

“You ready?” Fredrick called from the cockpit peeking his head from the pilot’s seat to the cargo hold area and Aiken gave him the ok.

“We’re ready. Do your thing, airman,” Aiken said, albeit jokingly with the Second Lieutenant, he quickly responded with a short laugh and the cargo hold’s ramp began closing as one of the Privates punched the button beside him as he sat on the last seat row.

“Roger that, sir.”

As the ramp slowly began to close shut, there was a light hiss of air as the light was shut out of the pelican’s cargo hold area, leaving only the dim red lights inside it. The engine began to purr louder and louder as Aiken’s stomach twisted at the unnerving feeling of taking off. It threw him off every time as he felt his feet levitate from the ground, but in reality, he didn’t levitate, the vehicle did.

He felt the ship rock to the side as Fredrick began departing from the hangar bay, heading downstairs, once it was safe enough to stand, and he wouldn’t lose his footing and land face first on the thick, titanium plating, Aiken stood and headed directly for the cockpit, making sure to look out the cockpit to the planet below as he supported himself with the corners of the doorway.

 

“Enjoying the view, sir?”

Fredrick said as he shook in his chair, the atmosphere slowly starting to phase the aircraft as they cut through it like a bullet, fire engulfing outside the cockpit as it descended into the planet’s surface, fire that would die out after a few seconds and would allow Aiken to see the planet below in all its beauty.

 

Fredrick corrected their approach and vector towards the base. “Quite so,” Aiken said.

He turned away to approach the console beside the cockpit outside of it and began tapping on the screen, reading diagnostics of the ship, Fredrick was always impressive in his flying, the Pelican was barely suffering.

 

“Akintola, open the ramp.” He ordered the Marine as he turned to see him and gestured at the button beside him. Inside the cockpit, the second lieutenant would instantly sound off the COMs “This is Tango-Two-Three, Camp Guarnere, we’re approaching your vector in less than two mikes,”

“Yes sir,” Akintola replied as he reached the button once again and punched it, the ramp began to lower and the Aiken approached it as he stared out into the horizon as they flew past the ravines and mountains, holding himself with a support on the side of the Pelican.

The Pelican began to slow down, decreasing its thrust as it descended, arriving at their destination, and not long enough, they were touching down on one of the many landing pads in the base> There was a marine in full gear directing the descent with two green glow sticks in his hands directing them to their designated landing area, once the aircraft touched down, the man turned away, enough to let the air wisp by him as the engines lifted all the dirt from the ground

Aiken stepped down the ramp as the pelican began to power down, and an officer in pure black overalls approached him with three marines, the marines walking directly past him to gather up the crates that were brought straight from Reach. Aiken eyed the woman carefully while she approached him, his hand stretched out to shake her own.

 

“Lieutenant Commander. Richards Aiken, ma’am.” the woman in black grabbed the hand and shook it as she stared inside the pelican’s cargo hold to see the crates being lifted and carried out. “Careful!”

She called out to the men, as she then focused back on the man in front of him. “My apologies, Lieutenant, Captain. Maya Rey. Nice to meet you, Lieutenant,” she said as she stared directly into his eyes unwavering almost as if she was testing his resolve just with a look.

“Nice to meet you too, ma’am” The Lt nodded as he looked inside the pelican to see the last few crates being carried out, he then looked back at the officer before him.

 

“Captain Webb would be here himself, but he stayed to monitor the repairs that are left, ma’am.” She nodded and gave a smile to the man, Aiken thought it was incredibly forced, or fake, ONI always was very much a mix of those two things.

“I’m sure there’ll be enough time for us to greet, just focus on protecting this planet and its inhabitants, Lieutenant. It is a home, for research and for all of us.”

Aiken looked at her for a few seconds and proceeded to nod. A home. Certainly looked like it to him. “Will do, Captain.”

 

“Good, now come, we must discuss the safekeeping procedures,” she said turning around and started for the nearest building from the landing marking. Before doing so, he gestured to the Marines to stay put.

She began to head down towards a small headquarter to which Aiken followed, heading inside through an open doorway which inside would reside a holo table and a couple of officers and COM technicians at the ready listening to every transmission in and out to every active unit. Some of which were garbled, others even had gunfire which peaked the Lieutenant’s interest.

 

“We’ve been dealing with Innie uprising ever since a larger contingent of UNSC forces arrived here back in ‘28 replacing what little CMA presence there was. There was a small rebel contingent which has since grown, we’ve been running constant patrols in every city and town on this planet.” She gestured at the holo table, showing a map of the region.

“Outpost Two-One-Alpha, Cape Vernillo, Base Anders and us, we’re all green, they haven’t reached these sectors yet.” She pointed it out on the map, before swiping left and the map moved to the nearest region.

“Outposts Korengal, Riddick, Ancilla and Lasair City, these are hot zones,” she leant back from the table just enough to look at Aiken. “We need the reinforcements that your ship arrived with to help secure these zones.”

He rubbed his chin in thought, a frown visible in his features as he thought to himself that it wasn’t enough to fight an alien aggressor that hoped to kill us all, but we’d also have to fight our own. His train of thought was quickly interrupted by an agonising moan in pain of a man that was issuing artillery orders and was cut off, possibly by enemy fire.

 

“Well, seems you’re gonna be in good hands, ma’am.” He gave a nod. “We’ll protect this home from land and above.”

Pleased by this, the Captain nodded, “Let’s get to it, then, root out these rats.”


CHAPTER 2 ← → Chapter 4

Posted by HaruspexOfHell in Ascendance, Blog, 2 comments
We Have Lift Off – Archive Beacon – February 3rd, 2017

We Have Lift Off – Archive Beacon – February 3rd, 2017

Light the Beacon.


Introduction

Hello again! *crickets* Glad to see so many of you back! This Beacon we have a ton of new Halo news for you from our affiliates and from us as well! From us, the Staff team has decided on a new structure for the former Rater Leader system and how the Prefects are chosen and perform. Our affiliates, well theirs is the most fun of all. So let’s dive into the rabbit hole!


Main Section

Halo Wars 2 is almost here! Have you seen our contest to win a copy? A few members have already submitted their stories and so far so good! They’re really entertaining in all aspects! They will be shared in the next Beacon for you all to enjoy.

How did you all do on the Blitz Beta? Did you dominate every match? Destroy all of their weak, sniveling, worthless troops and vehicles? Or did you not do very well? Thankfully, Creative Assembly came up with a few tips and tricks to ease the pain away.

 

Well, if you haven’t read it yet, Grim came out with a new Canon Fodder this week too. Including new info on Halo Wars 2 and it’s Phoenix Logs, that are…logs, of info for lore aficionados. Like us!

Also included are several new helmets coming to Halo 5. A total of 9 helmets,, coming from Halo 3 and Reach. All look fantastic and I can’t wait to get my hands on all of them!

I’m going to end it for this, right here. Click the link above to get more juicy details that have come in the Canon Fodder!

On-Topic

Off-Topic


Announcements

Here is the run-down for the new Prefect Team structure and roles:

Each team will come up with any and all ideas they want to submit to the Staff team (CM’s, Admins, Metarchs and Mods). The Staff team will then decide on which projects the Archive needs at the time being. So don’t think we don’t plan on your idea if it is shot down the first time, keep it in a bank (aka thread). Each Prefect team should have threads started for the discussion of ideas, best to keep it at a monthly discussion so then it can be easier for storage when having to look back. Or if the idea is really something to keep fruitful then make it’s own thread, probably best for large and extreme projects.

Each Prefect member will in charge of any part in the project they are currently working in, as long as it isn’t taken already. The point is to find projects that will grow the Archive, but obtain the growth from it’s members who want the best for the Archive as well for them in this experience.

The Rate Leader position has been taken down for the Prefect Teams. But the title has not, it is now obtained via post count.

Any questions or comments on this change from the Rate Leaders to Prefect Teams, please PM any or all Staff.

 

Our recent Community Manager, JSA343 (Now, Cognitive Bias) and Anton (once a Metarch) have been promoted to their next rate, Administrator. Bringing our Admin count to 3, including Gob.

The Metarch rate has also changed its form.

Metarchs are senior and founding members who lurk and help when and where needed, or when called upon to serve. They’ve put in the hours and paid their dues, and we are forever indebted to them. True Legends.

Positions held by Mendicant Bias and Media Bias

.


Maturations

None.


Featured

Check out the latest and greatest from our members and affiliates!

 

343i Community Forum

 

Halo Team Assemble

 

IndirectsAchievements

 

Termacious Trickocity

 


Staff Comments

*ERROR* TRANSMISSIONS NOT RECEIVED


Conclusion

This was a sort of short but full one. :brother:

Hopefully the next will be more entertaining! This one, I admit, was a little rushed! We all had a bunch of RL stuff going on and trying to get this Prefect thing together along with the comfyness that HaruspexOfHell gave us when helping out with the past few Beacons. But I promise the next will be more filling.

Love, The Brother (we merged into one),

Adv Jones

Posted by Adv Jones in Archive Beacons, Blog, 0 comments
A Roman In Blue; Chapter 2 – A Halo Short Story

A Roman In Blue; Chapter 2 – A Halo Short Story

CHAPTER 2

Vortexes

MAY 20TH, 2531

04:00 HOURS

SLIPSPACE VORTEX; DESTINATION ECTANUS 45.

There was a sharp breath, the hiss of compressed, cold air in the background as the Specialist fell from her cryo pod. Coughing out the last of the cryogenic gel in her system as she struggled to breathe. The man beside her looking at her worriedly as he stepped out of his own cryo pod, it was a usual occurrence with the petty officer, of which the man stepped by her crouching down and placing a hand on her back. The room darkened with the exception of a yellow light illuminating the room darkly.

“Calm it, Iz. . .” He said, “It will pass like always.” His voice was like a sweet to her ears, Specialist. Azila Bastila turned enough to take the man in her eyes and proceeded to speak through choked breaths as the effects of her allergy to cryo were ever present. “You know it doesn’t pass. . . It only gets easier to get used to.” She coughed as she leant back, trying to take as much air as she could as her lungs felt compressed.

His voice was like a sweet to her ears, Specialist. Azila Bastila turned enough to take the man in her eyes and proceeded to speak through choked breaths as the effects of her allergy to cryo were ever present. “You know it doesn’t pass. . . It only gets easier to get used to.” She coughed as she leant back, trying to take as much air as she could as her lungs felt compressed.

“You know it doesn’t pass. . . It only gets easier to get used to.” She coughed as she leant back, trying to take as much air as she could as her lungs felt compressed.

“Yeah, well. I still see you breathing, that’s always a good sign.” He said with a smirk, short of mockery. 

This was met with a punch to his shoulder and she spoke once more. “Asshole.”

Specialist Gavin Jameson stood, with an everlasting grin before lending a hand to the woman which she proceeded to take it. was obvious they both had feelings for each other, but they kept it strictly work whenever things went down on the ship, she pulled away those thoughts as she stared into his eyes, then looked at the hand on her own, and pulled herself off the ground as she reached down to grasp the latex, thin clothing that covered her body under her uniform overalls and pulled at it looking inside to see the rash in her body before she looked to her side and saw Lady standing on her data tank.

“Done smooching?” Lady said with a smile, Azi was always creeped out by those blindfolds, that even when it covered her face, she always managed to look straight at them.

“What do you need us for, Lady?” Azi asked looking at the AI in her tank, Gavin stepping directly behind her.

“We’ve got a few decks that need calibration on the systems, Specialist Gavin, that’s you. Specialist Azila, I’ll need you to run diagnostics on the core. After your tasks are done, report back to cryo deck and step back into your pods.”

Lady said with a smile, then a pair of dim lights illuminated the floor, one in green the other in blue. “Please get ready and report to your posts.” Lady then dimmed away from the tank and left the room alone, at least, in essence, she was everywhere in the ship. She was the ship.

Azi looked at Gavin then shrugged, though, it wasn’t long before they were ready and heading to their divided directions, Azi was deep in thought, a data pad in hand as she monitored the older diagnostics on the go from most systems as they slowly updated with new information from Lady, some duties required a human hand, she knew this. Though, Azi didn’t think that Lady liked to admit it that often that she couldn’t do everything on the ship.

Azi was led straight towards the core room of this old horse, nevertheless, it was state of the art with its honeycomb structure and bulky build. She looked around the empty, big room, there were a few cables littered on the ground still, repair tools placed on the desks from the engineers that ran repairs in the middle of the slipstream vortex, even if the ship was asleep Lady would still run people, giving them jobs as necessary throughout the duration of the trip.

Azi stepped closer to one of the many consoles in the room and plugged her datapad as she began coordinating the diagnostics from it and spoke. “Lady, can you tell the engineers to not leave so many cables littered around in this room, please?”

Lady spawned in a tank nearby her and looked at the woman working on the console. “Of course, though, I don’t think they really were all that attentive towards that aspect.”

Azi rolled her eyes, taking a deep breath that was still very ragged as result of her allergies and she coughed quickly. “Well, I know the lead technician likes making me irate. Either knowingly or not, it does.”

Lady stared at the woman before smiling. “I’m sure it is not on purpose, how are the diagnostics?”

“All systems seem to be running nominally, still running a few more checks just to be certain. I’ll check on the engines after.” She said, tapping on the data pad, a recognised pattern if anything, she then unplugged the pad and headed straight for the console beside her to do the same, only to check on the engines.

It was a quick run down of information. Everything was running normally as she proceeded to unplug the pad, and looked towards a room to her left, the blast door closed, but she approached it anyway; the Shaw-Fujikawa Slipstream-Drive room, she thought to herself as she opened the door and stepped in, the drive was purring like a kitten, pulsating almost, Lady appeared on the nearest tank to her as Azi stood there staring at it.

“How long till arrival?” Azi asked, rubbing her cheek as she did, then, fixing her hair into a bun. “57 days, tops.” Azi lifted her eyebrows and sighed audibly. “I hate these damn vortexes. Such a claustrophobic feeling.”

Lady smiled, of course, this damn thing was a coffin in the middle of a black void. “At least you’re not in the smallest room in the ship.” Lady joked.

Azi turned her head towards the AI, staring directly into the piece of cloth that blindfolded her eyes, the AI had taken the figure of that of the Lady Justice. She always thought it interesting, and creepy at the same time as her blindfolded eyes seemed to follow her everywhere she went, she didn’t know the reasons for her appearance, but she thought one of them was so that she could scare the living fuck out of people.

Azi then felt that of her allergies creeping up on her and she coughed, it slowly became difficult to breathe again as she placed her hand on her chest with a grimace. “Fuck being allergic to war,” she muttered lowly, but of course the AI beside her heard her.

“Do you need assistance?” She said, concerned of the woman beside her as her features became a frown, although, mostly hidden by the blindfold, the purse of the digitally generated lips wasn’t hard to see.

Azi waved her off okay, and coughed her way out of the room and back towards the engine room, through difficult breaths, but it would pass, didn’t stop her from hating it as she went back to the exit of the large engine room making her way back to Cryo. ‘Report back to cryo once the job is done’ Lady had said, she did so hesitantly she hated cryogenics. Azi would remain awake for the rest of the trip if it was up to her. But that wasn’t practical, conventional travel would be even worse, she guessed she should be thankful of this, but she wasn’t thankful for the tightness of her chest. 

In her musings, she didn’t realise when she was getting closer to the cryo deck and she didn’t realise she was itching at her entire torso, scratching at it, her chest would feel just as tight as before.

“You’re gonna rip out your clothes.” Gavin pitched in, entering the room, he had seen her on the hall scratching at her chest, near her neck and proceeded to take a Cytoprethaline injector and approached her as she spoke in return. “I fucking hate this.”

She protested as she rolled her sleeve back, revealing the tight latex-like suit below and Gavin would take her forearm in his hand, holding in gently as he approached the needle of the injector and stared at her for a few seconds, there were a few blisters in her wrist that he noted below the sleeve.

“You shouldn’t be around here in these conditions, Iz.” He spoke, concern clear in her voice as he squinted his eyes staring at her. “I don’t have a choice,” she hated the war, she hated cryo and what it did to her. But she hated the Covenant more and what they had done to her. “Not until this war is over.” 

Gavin sighed, but, he understood. “Please, report back to your chambers.” Came a voice suddenly, insisting them to get back into the pods.

Lady blossomed to life as her yellow light illuminated their faces and she stood there in her data tank staring at the crewmembers and Gavin proceeded to push the needle of the Cytoprethaline injector into the antecubital space of Azila’s arm, puncturing the suit just enough in the area so it would go through her flesh as well and injected the drugs into her system.

She grimaced at this but shrugged it off as she raised her arm and placed her free hand against the space and applied little pressure against it. Her pod opened, and she began to step towards it as Gavin watched her briefly then returned to getting himself ready for cryo. Azila stared at her pod before stepping on it and laying down against the gel bed and saw the pod’s door close down on her and her eyes finally closed as she drifted into the deep, elongated sleep. 

She wouldn’t know anything else after this point until awakened again.


CHAPTER 3

Above A Home

Chapter 1 ← → Chapter 3

Posted by HaruspexOfHell in Ascendance, Blog, 3 comments
A Roman In Blue; Chapter 1 – A Halo Short Story

A Roman In Blue; Chapter 1 – A Halo Short Story

Would like to take a moment before I start, to provide thanks to those who helped, provided inspiration and made this story a reality for me.

WulfwoodSins on Twitter for helping me out greatly with the aspect of the Navy and his experience in it.

Adopter Of Knowledge and HurryingCandy for helping me write, revise and keep it as close to canon as possible.

And Kelly Gay for writing HALO: Smoke and Shadow and providing me with advice and some help!

Without further a due, enjoy Chapter 1 of A Roman in Blue – A Halo Story about the UNSC Roman Blue 


CHAPTER 1

Captain’s Log

MARCH 10nd, 2531

22:00 HOURS

REACH, STATIONARY ORBIT

 

William Webb, paced around the Captain quarters, a slim man, tired expression. His eyes gaunt and lines running across his forehead, an arm remained behind his back, he walked back and forth in the Captain’s Quarters with a slow pacing, collecting his thoughts, his free, unoccupied hand was placed on his chin as he rubbed it gently.

He proceeded to walk closer to his desk but he pulled the chair back first and proceeded to sit down, followed by a gentle sigh and his hand carefully going through his face, before he stared into the Console before him and tapped in the screen gently to record. His hair light, yet greying already, a fatalistic look in his expression as the weariness of the war had obviously gotten to him at this point. He then proceeded to speak.

 

“Captain’s Log, 0532, March 10th, 2531. Commander. William Webb, Captain of the UNSC Roman Blue, identification number 55436-01235-WW. . . At 0600 Hours, the crew woke up, normally, attended the mess hall and proceeded to their respective shops, all system ran nominally, repairs would still underway.” There was a short pause, looking into the screen albeit, he squinted softly for a few seconds prior to looking back at the camera in front of him.

“From 0800 to 0900 Hours, the crew proceeded to clean the ship and then go back to their respective duties, however, at 0950 Hours there was an accident on the Engineering deck and Petty Officer Third Class. Chad Collins Jr, broke his leg falling from the catwalk. . .”

 

And an audible sigh is what followed escaping past his lips, the man looked into the screen thoughtfully, yet his expression remained as fatalistic as ever.

 

“. . . A month of repairs before we can return to the fleet. Captain. Hood has been reassigned to the frigate Burlington in a fleet-support role for the time being as I take command of the ship. I’m sure he’ll make his way back to the front lines soon. God knows we need all the talent we can get. The admiral insisted I stay and witness the dressing down he gave the captain. It was . . . harsh, but deserved.” 

Webb proceeded to shake his head, troubled by the whole ordeal as he began to speak once more. “Disobeying orders and engaging the Radiant Perception near Arcadia was reckless and foolish. He had no chance of defeating that destroyer. If Hood had picked up that log buoy and returned as ordered. . .” His shoulder began to sank a little as the weight of the world seemed to fall on him all of a sudden.

 

“That buoy is out there somewhere, lost, picked up by the destroyer . . . .” He sighed deeply, the weight of the war and the world became more and more apparent. “Godspeed to the folks on the Spirit of Fire. May they find their way home. . .”

Webb, sighed once more and proceeded to tap the button on the screen again as it ceased the recording he stood from his chair, tidily placing it back where it was. “Godspeed. . .”

 

He repeated quietly, tapping his chair and then he started for the door that departs his quarters, he tapped a button on the wall and the blast door proceeded to slid open. And he stepped outside of his personal quarters and went straight to the lift, walking past several groups of sailors some of whom remained on their duties cleaning, repairing the walls, while those who walked past him heading to their destination instantly snapped a crisp salute to the man in the grey uniform, without stopping, walking past him and directly towards their duties with destination to their respective shops.

 

He came towards the lift, tapped the button and the blast doors opened almost instantly and the elevator lights flickered slightly; the power surged over the ship briefly in a hiccup of the machinery, however, he shrugged it off with the knowledge of it being just a hiccup, possibly from the men in engineering and stepped into the elevator and tapped the lowest deck before his arms clasped together behind his back and he stared up at the deck counter, the door closed before him, and not long passed until the elevator was already at its destination several decks down, the doors opened wide and he stepped outside it, heading directly to the bridge to attend his own duties as this ship’s captain, it may be docked for repairs, but it remains operational.

 

This ship was their home, a big home like all the Halcyon-class light cruisers were. Of course, this one was fitted with a certain structure, the popular honeycomb which was a waste of money but made the ship ten times more sturdy and durable, it was a welcome sight rather than a deterrence. It also made this ship as trusty as a 1967 GT Mustang, his father had one of those old hogs, he loved the damn thing. Guess one could say like father like son, they both drove a relic. 

 

He came to a halt in the middle of the way as he gave a glance at one of the portside blast windows, and looked outside at the constant operation and movement of ships in the deep black with the beautiful sight of the green planet below, wide and taking up the entire horizon before it got eaten by the deep black, he was caught looking at it for way too long as his XO tried contacting him through the COM chatter piece he always had in his ear.

 

“Captain?” Said the Lt. Richards Aiken, insistently, wasn’t long before his voice was heard once more. “Captain,” he said, his voice growing more insistent by the second, “Yes, lieutenant?” Webb starting towards the bridge which wasn’t far. “Sir, we’ve got a transmission coming from the line. . . Seems they’re ordering us to get back into the fight,” Aiken said, and Webb’s face features twisted into an uncertain frown. “The repairs?”

“Nowhere close to being done, sir, but most of what’s needed to operate nominally is sufficiently functional.” Webb remained silent for a bit before he casts one last glance from this view at the deeply green planet, “I’m on my way,” this was reponded to, with a quick ‘Aye, aye’ before Webb started for the Bridge again, not being far.

 

Webb, tapped at the blast door controls that led straight to the bridge and stepped inside as they opened both ways leaving them open, a crewmember in red overalls snapping a crisp salute once he saw him walk by him, though, he quickly returned at ease and carried on, once Aiken had the Captain in sight, he called out.

 

“Captain has the con!” And turned to him from the operational glass panel by the observation windows in the front of the structure, Webb grabbed himself a cup of Coffee.

“Commo, would you be so kind as to put the transmission on the screen?”

 

Lieutenant Junior. Evelyn Meyer nodded quickly, and placed the transmission on the nearest screen to Webb while he took a sip from the cup, he stepped closer to the screen and squinted his eyes when he caught a glance of Preston Cole on the screen before him, the transmission freezed.

 

“Play it,” he said which was immediately obeyed by Meyer with a subsequent ‘aye, Captain’ and Webb’s free arm was behind his back, Aiken stepped closer to the man as the transmission began playing.

 

The man in the screen was weary, yet entirely resolute, his shoulders high and stiff while he stared at the screen, his jaw locking in a certain position of frustration, the conflict had gotten very weary these years, for all of us. Webb could see it was getting to Cole as well, but yet, he found himself believing that it didn’t, Cole was the bright mind we deserved and needed.

 

“Let me cut this short. . . The UNSC Roman Blue is being redirected to the Ectanus 45 system with a small contingent of three ships, with the objective of safeguarding of an important UNSC installation, effective immediately. Your repairs will continue on the Orbit of the moon of Eiro, there’s a station there that will supply you with all the repairs necessary.” There was a brief pause, his hand carefully rubbed against his chin in thought.

“Have it so, that if it seems that the installation is about to fall into enemy hands, destroy it from orbit. You have your orders, Captain. Over and Out.” Cole reached forth and closed the transmission and the screen went black as the prerecorded transmission was pulled, and once again the screen showed a layer of information and stats.

There was a short sigh from Webb before he took a long sip from his coffee and turned to Aiken. “Begin preparations, close off any and all decks that can be exposed to vacuum in case of malfunction.” Aiken stared at him for a few seconds before he gave a certain answer “Yes sir,”

 

Webb moved away and stood in front of the AI data tank and the screen before him and the AI slowly fluttered to life, her avatar projected on the data tank and stared up at the man, a slender, yellow woman, long hair and a small piece of cloth covering her eyes; LDY 2235-5, better known as Lady.

 

“Lady, status report?” She looked from him to the glass panel and brought up schematics of the ship, overlaying the areas that could be exposed to vacuum in a bright red.

“If the plating gives out during a Slipstream jump, we could lose these sectors, not many, though, only four.” Webb nodded and proceeded to speak in return. “Evacuate any personnel from those areas, close them off. Pilots, start uncoupling procedures,”

He pressed a button on the below the glass panel, keying in the ship’s intercoms “This is your Captain, we’re departing Reach, any and all personnel man your stations, weekend passes are revoked as of this point.”

 

There was a short pause and he looked outside the main window bow, seeing the two pilots; Rebecca MeHaffey and Derek McConnel jumping down to the ladders and sat down at their respective controls, but beyond, laid Reach in all its beauty, both of them began tapping their screens and preparing this old bird for departure, engaging the engines not long after.

 

“We’re going back out into the deep black, all nonessential personnel report to Cryo stations. I repeat, all nonessential personnel report to Cryo stations.” He let go of the button, and Lady continued relaying the respective messages on the intercom.

“Are we ready?” He asked and he turned to Aiken, to which he responded with a nod. “All personnel accounted for, engines keyed and ready, all systems seem to be running nominally.” Webb nodded back then placed his cup in the panel and clasped his arms behind his back.

 

“Initiate uncoupling procedure, and key in the coordinates for Ectanus 45, Nav.” The navigation’s officer acknowledged the order with a quick ‘aye aye, sir.’ and he began the calculations on his screen being quickly taken over by Lady as she spoke. “Wow, I can do this in less than a second, officer.”

With a little snarky tone, which brought a smile to the weary man, Webb turned away from the screen, taking the coffee in his hand and looked at his crew.

 

“Get us out of here.”

 

Webb turned and stared at the planet in front of them, voices all around him while they prepared to leave dock, Commo relaying a message about their departure waiting for approval, Webb remained staring at Reach, taking in all its beauty one last time, his thoughts remained with his wife and kid, a hand being placed in his chest. Where an image would rest below his officer jacket and took a sip from his coffee and turned away from it, after he reached for that cup of coffee he had set before him and began walking down the bridge to check on the rest of his crew. A gentle rock could be felt as he moved and the ship began moving, leaving Gamma Station after their departure was approved, his balance never wavering in the meantime, walking down the small areas in the bridge. 

 

“As soon as we’re away from Reach’s gravitational vector; jump,” Webb spoke, directing the orders to his crew,  his arm clasped behind his back, his mind leaving Reach behind and focusing solely on his duty to the men and women of the Roman Blue as he sipped his coffee, dark and grim, bitter just like he liked it. . .

 


CHAPTER 2

Vortexes

Chapter 2

Posted by HaruspexOfHell in Ascendance, Blog, 4 comments
Looking Ahead: A New Year – Archive Beacon – January 13th, 2017

Looking Ahead: A New Year – Archive Beacon – January 13th, 2017

Light the Beacon.


Introduction

And so, 2016 comes to an end. For Halo, it’s been a pretty big year, with much of its hype and focus continuing on into 2017. But here, I’d like to talk about the Archive. It’s been a pretty big year for us as well, and we’re all so happy to see how this community has grown. We made some significant advances throughout the year, especially in the last few months. Now, we look forward towards the new year ahead of us.

Have you all made your New Year’s resolutions yet? A collection of desires and goals for the upcoming year, things to change and improve, things to start and continue. Well, the Archive’s staff have made some resolutions. And we’d like to share some with you, along with a few general updates and plans.


Main Section

With 2016 leaving and 2017 coming ahead, everyone is still on holiday time it seems. Not much in the Halo world of news. But be sure to check out all of our Affiliates/Ambassador/Partnership content! Some will be posted below, but only their newest content.

I guess the real fun is for the next update with the return of some favoured armour. Some original armour from Halo 3!

 

But the little news we’ve got around the place are pretty exciting, to say the least, though, with a modicum of disappointment, with a new release comes new messes in pre-order privileges and such, Halo Wars 2 is right around the corner, just barely 6 weeks away now and in the following I shall be spreading the knowledge that should be rightfully spread.

Also, no, we’re not getting steel books, at least not anyone outside of Australia which is their exclusive pre-order piece in EBGames. The Atriox Edition.

So let’s get this going, shall we? Okay.

 

  • Through the Microsoft Store, we’ll get an exclusive Isabel Blitz Pack so it seems, as well with the basic, Welcome To The Ark content, Season Pass, Halo Wars Definitive Edition and of course, Halo Wars 2.
  • Through Gamestop, you shall receive a pin pack including five Halo Wars 2 themed pins, as well as the aforementioned content in the game.
  • At GAME, you shall receive two Blitz starter packs, one Atriox themed and the other Let ‘Volir theme. And of course, all the Halo Wars 2: UE content.
  • If you bought it with Amazon.com, you shall receive a Captain. Cutter Blitz starter pack.
  • At EBGames, you’ll be preordering the Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Atriox Edition; which contains 2 exclusive pins, the steel book, Atriox and Let ‘Volir Blitz Starter Pack as well as all the privileges and content of the Ultimate Edition.
  • And last but not least; Best Buy, you’ll again get the same content in the Ultimate Edition as well as the Decimus Blitz Starter pack and an Atriox Statue.

That concludes the pre-orders, at least what we have right now, let’s move on towards the next two topics now!

 

So, we’ve recently got news that the latest Loot Crate will be Atriox Themed! We don’t have much information on what it will bring but we’re sure it will be awesome! ..I, myself, I just want my hands on those files.

 

And last but not least, the Cancellation of Project Haggar, a Halo Mega Bloks game that surfaced not long ago being developed by a group called N-Space, you will be able to watch the video below.

 

As well as the last batch of news coming in recently about Halo Wars 2, first.

The open Beta will be available from January 20th to the 30th. If you played the first build of the beta back a few months ago, you can redownload the client now on your Xbox and get ready in advance for the beta! If your weapon of choice will, however, be the PC, you can download it through the Windows 10 Store

And last but not least, the Twitter Account ISA1307-2 has surfaced not so long ago and she only has one Tweet in the account dictating the following date:

01\ 17\ 2017

Could be some kind of anagram for the tag 117 that we know and love, but something is certain, the fact that there’s something coming on the 17th, now, we have a few theories which I will list below.

  1. This will lead towards an ARG (Which is what I personally believe.)
  2. This will be something Text transmission fragments. Something akin to BioWare’s tweets when they were marketing ME2 and ME3 DLC.
  3. A new audio drama much like ILB or HTT, which will run for the following five weeks up until the release of Halo Wars 2 in February the 20th.

So, that will be all, Spartans. This is all the news I have for you guys today!


On-Topic

Halo Shipping

Halo: Fleet Battles Discussion

Halo Wars 2

Off-Topic

Star Wars

OBAMACARE: AMEND, REPEAL, AND REPLACE?

Yugioh


Announcement

Remember to submit your stories to Adv Jones before February the 14th, to enter the giveaway for Halo Wars 2! And remember that you must at least be a Manipular on our forums to enter. 

More information on how to win it, rules, etc will be left on this linky link!

Housekeeping:

    • You may have noticed a notable site slowdown in performance over the last few months before we made a major effort to resolve the issues. Our initial trials and tests proved encouraging, but some complications may prevent us from implementing our solutions in full. Still, we continue to search for and discuss ways to keep the site running smoothly and quickly, for the convenience of all of us.

 

    • As we work on the technical side of things, we are still in the process of moving through some internal work too. As such, we will continue to delete and merge old, cluttered threads throughout the forum. This aims to increase site performance (the original chat thread was over one thousand pages long!), and also reduce clutter in the larger and older sections and subsections around the forum. If there are any older topics you want to be saved or remembered, be sure to save/record them yourselves or PM an active staff member to temporarily preserve it.

 

    • We use a pinning system and a featured system to highlight important and valuable topics around the forum. It’s become apparent, however, that we’re not very good at maintaining their use. Thus, we have sections with an entire page full of pinned topics, and now irrelevant featured topics. Early on in the New Year, we will reevaluate all the pinned and featured threads to reduce clutter and allow the truly important topics to remain at the top. Be aware that this may result in some threads changing position in the thread list.

 

    • The World Events board has received an update in regards to its specific rules and guidelines. This policy aims to improve discussion across the board. Be sure to review the revised rules and guidelines before jumping into discussion.

Blog:

        • WE WANT WRITERS – PM an active staff member to inquire about publishing on the Archive’s blog. Join our content team and write about Halo! Reviews, analyses, theories, discussions, ideas, connections, etc. We’ve got some room for activity.
        • We plan to continue scheduled Archive Beacons and other staff updates.

Staff:

        • We will review applications and appoint a new Community Manager. (Applications are no longer accepted, atm)
        • WE NEED CONSTRUCTORS – PM an active staff member to inquire about being a part of the Archive’s Constructor rank, a group that focuses on the technical side of the site and forum. If you have technical computer skills and web design skills (CSS, HTML, PHP…) and are interested in helping to maintain our website, we’d be very happy to hear from you!

General Community:

        • We hope to employ a variety of community-building events and ideas throughout the year. PM Community Managers with ideas and suggestions on ways to get involved, particularly on the side of community game nights and ideas. Specifics to come in time, as they’re finalised.
        • Reclaimer Membership – The Archive has many hopes and goals, but we do need money to make that happen. If you’d like to support the Archive, consider joining the Reclaimers for special forum tools and benefits. This includes coloured text, exclusive fonts, no PM storage limit, Reclaimer title and badge, a custom title, larger signatures, allowed a display name change once every 30 days, the Reclaimer forum section, and you will not see ads. Also, Reclaimer benefits can receive updates and improvements when our Constructors get bored. View specifications HERE.

Maturations

None  for this Beacon… C’mon! It’s only 30 posts!


Featured

 

Man have our YouTube Affiliates been working hard to keep up the flow of great content! Here are some videos that we recommend you all to watch.

 

HiddenXperia here with his first video for 2017!

 

One video here from our friends at 343i Community Forum (343iCF)! They have been doing videos on XCOM 2, but with Spartans! Check out their latest episode:

 

Halo Canon starts his new year off with some more of “Let’s Lore”

 

And last but not least is our boy, Indirect. Coming in with some hot “no scopes” for our eyes.


Staff Comments

 

Happy New Year!  Two things:

The search for a new Community Manager is ongoing.  We expect to have made a decision in the near future so stay tuned for who earns the spot!

Also, the Content Team is putting together several projects for in the near future.  Keep an eye out for details.

 – Preston Cole

 

Happy New Year!

Hope this year we all have more fun with this universe of ours and encourage positive change throughout it! 

 – Adv Jones

 

It’s been a great year, and I eagerly look forward what the Archive can accomplish in this next year. Our staff is working hard to maintain a positive and constructive environment for discussion and community interaction, and we can’t wait for some of the things to come!

– JSA343

 


Conclusion

So, that brings this issue of the Archive Beacon to a close!

Though, as usual, I shall remind you all to make sure to make an account on our forums and join the discussions! And if you are savvy in the computer science sector, please contact any and all Staff if you would like to help, and be part of the Constructor Team for the forums. Help create the forum new additions, along with maintaining it along the way!

I’d also make sure to pass by the forums, engage in discussions, create posts and engage on healthy debacles with our many members in our community!

And one last thing before we bring this to a close properly, remember that we are looking for writers! Anyone is welcome to help keep the torch in our midst alive thriving with content, doesn’t matter what you’re looking to write, articles, analysis, theories, reviews, etc, etc. Just contact anyone in the Staff and they’ll brief you through the detail! It’s all good fun, though, working on your own posts can prove to be quite exciting!

Until next time, however, see you all on February, 3rd!

JSA343HARUSPEXOFHELL and ADV JONES.

Posted by JSA343 in Archive Beacons, Blog, 0 comments
A Heavy Price Paid – A Halo Poem

A Heavy Price Paid – A Halo Poem

A Heavy Price Paid – A Poem Dedicated to those who Survived the Flood.


Shaky breaths, over and over, as the sounds of agony, filled his mind,

Oh, thou, broken fellow whom survived the greatest peril.

A flood lay waste to his brothers and sisters in arms.

His mind shattered like glass, as the sounds of agony filled his thoughts.

 

Here lie thy in peril, shaking in the midst of night.

Alone in the dark, sidearm in hand.

Oh, thou, who survived great terror.

Whom would you be if that flood returns?

 

Shaky breaths, the agony that will never leave.

A cold barrel pressed against thy sweaty forehead.

But courage lacks, to complete the deed.

Oh, thou, who survived insurmountable terror.

 

Lie in fright as the night cripples you.

Oh, thou, poor heavy soul who survived a flood.

Thy heart, heavy and weary, thine mind shattered.

How long will thy soul persist in this dance with thou desires?

How long will this elegy of a flood of death, persevere in thy shattered mind?

 

Oh, thou… Who persevere through great peril and agony.

When will thou nightmares cease, prolonging such pain in thine heavy heart?

Oh, thou, who live on and suffer thy horrors every day and every dusk, hearing voices and cries of agony.

Whom survived a flood of rotten flesh and death.

Posted by HaruspexOfHell in Ascendance, Blog, 0 comments
Wars Reminiscent – Archive Beacon – December 23rd,  2016

Wars Reminiscent – Archive Beacon – December 23rd, 2016

Light the Beacon. 


Introduction

Hello, everyone! The FNG here speaking; HaruspexOfHell, accompanied by Jones! It’s been three weeks since the last Beacon and my last contribution to it, though it does seem like these are gonna be on schedule again! So let us rejoice for that.

 

I’d probably guess this is my time to introduce myself into the Beacons, mostly since of course many of you might not know who even am I or why am I writing this, well, in the interest of time I shall tell you the in-a-nutshell of this; I am a writer, amateur at least, aspiring of countless things of course, I am a guy living in a little hole called Venezuela too, I also host the ProgressiveHalo podcasts with my good friends Adopter, Metal and Reiku!

 

Well, that is enough talk about me, let’s plot a course and jump away right into the Beacons! This week’s Beacon shall be as always a compilation of all the information released in the past two weeks, so let’s not waste too much time and jump right into it, shall we?


Main Section

Okay! First things first, have you seen the new trailer for Halo Wars 2?! If so what are you doing with your life!

 

 

Now let’s tackle it briefly, okay, LOOK AT ALL OF THAT. LOOK AT IT I SAY, LOOK AT HOW BADASS ATRIOX IS, HIS HAND JUST GOT CUT LIKE BUTTER BY THE BLADE AND HE TREATED IT LIKE NOTHING, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, LOOK AT ISABEL AND CUTTER, LOOK AT JEROME, LOOK AT–– Okay, I’m getting too carried away.

There have been a few things here and there, obviously, the Halo Wars 2 trailer and the ability to play Halo Wars Definitive Edition early with the pre-order of Halo Wars 2’s Ultimate Edition, if you haven’t Pre-Ordered it, what are you waiting for? Two awesome games and the season pass? Get on that now!

If you haven’t pre-ordered your Ultimate Edition before the 14th, your code will take somewhat longer to arrive at your Xbox Live Message inbox. If it hasn’t arrived still be patient, it will arrive! I got mine already, so I hope to see you all on the battleground!

Did you also see the newest update to Halo 5? If not, let us begin with this juicy goldmine of entirely new stuff, okay. Are you with me? Take a deep breath, inhale, exhale… 

 

Monitor’s Bounty:

 

 

Okay, let’s start with the basics. Remember the last post, I was speaking about the M319 Grenade Launcher from reach coming back? I called it the Pro pipe. Well, about that, it seems we’ve got our very own Pro Pipe! I guess I can say I called it? Yeah? Okay! We’ve also got both variants now, such a great addition, however, it seems that one REQ variant is missing too if the leaks are anything to go by. Possibly coming with the next update as they did run out of space with this update.

And we’ve got two new beautiful maps; Barren and Depths, both amazing, both going to be the fruition of many great ideas and who even thought of an underwater map? Because I didn’t know I needed it in my life until I stepped foot in that map, such a beautiful view.

 

Oh! We’ve also got a beautiful pair of Wasps coming straight out of the bakery, the REQ bakery! Welcome, ONI Wasp ‘Duskdevils’ & Hannibal Wasp one which I will dub the ‘Blue Devil’. Will it catch on, though? I doubt it, ha. I think it is extremely fitting, though.

Let me remind you also, that we’ve got ourselves the AA Wraith completely playable for the first time (Not as a glitch in Halo 3, mind you.) Available to us in the sandbox of Halo 5: Guardians.

 

Now, this brings us to the more extreme changes, okay, let’s see what’s ahead of us. Yes, you know that thing called a custom browser? Well, it is AMAZING, we’ve hosted a couple of matches just on the first day and we’ve got over 20 people in one match once, it was nuts, nuts enough that it almost crashed my Xbox, and is that a good thing? YES.

The most fun I’ve ever had in the Halo Sandbox for sure, surely, expect more game nights from. . . Relatively everyone! 

 

Now let’s move on to Forge! 

The changes are just immense, from Sangheili architecture pieces to equipment, to flags, hell, the phantom has individual pieces you can delete! Am I excited for that mundane little aspect, though? Heck yes! And, it’s not mundane, retract that!

Oh! And of course, we’ve got some crazy new scripts which, if you didn’t know the Japanese part of the community is going crazy with! Crazy enough to build a bloody calculator! Can we just appreciate all the work of our favourite Bearded Forge Magician Tom French?  Okay, here’s a small list!

  • Action Target
  • Multiple Actions
  • Script Options
  • Script Disabling
  • Enhanced Scripts
  • New Conditions
  • New Actions

Let us also cherish the fact that Race and King of the Hill are coming back! Along with a new mode called Battle Gold which I’ll surely be trying out! I’m sure Ducain is very happy thanks to this! And so am I, being a huge advocate for King of the Hill, I almost peed myself of excitement hearing about it… But those are enough details. Let’s forget that happened…

 

Moving on! Warzone!

One thing, Heroic Warzone Firefight, which in my opinion is way too easy, but I’m sure many of you might appreciate this change of pacing in the game modes, especially those who struggled in the basic Warzone FF, we’ll now have Legendary and Heroic, accompanied by Mythic Firefight! Which will feature the return of the skull activation per round! Here’s the layout which I may or may not have copy pasted but. . . Look past that fact!

  • Round 1: Tough Luck
  • Round 2: Tough Luck – Blackeye
  • Round 3: Tough Luck – Blackeye – Thunderstorm
  • Round 4: Tough Luck – Blackeye – Thunderstorm – Catch
  • Round 5: Tough Luck –Blackeye – Thunderstorm – Catch – Mythic

Are you excited? Are you feeling it yet, Mr. Krabs!? Because I sure am and I am going to be playing on it all the time, I always enjoy a challenge! Oh, and I guess I should say… You know the Unggoy Goblins? Yeah, those lil shi– Uh, those funny little guys… Yup, I meant that, yeah they’re giving them a variant with a Scarab Beam! We’re going to have so much fun!

Also, Temple and Prospect will also be added to the Firefight rotation! Which I am happy about, I wanted those maps in the rotation so bad. But we shall move on now! Because we’ve got more people!

 

Arena!

OK! They’ve separated Arena into two playlists! Ranked and Social! Finally, I’d say, been waiting for this kind of separation for so long! So as you would’ve guessed we’re getting different playlists on each side, so here, I’ll list them out below, and I think that’ll be it. I THINK. 

Social Playlists:

Team Skirmish. Action Sack, Super Fiesta, Triple Team, Infection, Shotty Snipers, Grifball & Big Team Battle.

Ranked Playlists:

Team Arena, Slayer, FFA, Doubles, Team Snipers, SWAT & Breakout.

And I believe that brings all of this to a close, oh dear all of this hurt to write in one go, my handsamputate them! Just kidding, don’t. No, don’t put the hatchet in the pyre, no wait STOP– Okay, enough about that, I also want to plug in the fact that they’ve fixed the aiming in the game, seems way smoother and seems ghosts melees are gone too, so rejoice!

 

Also, on a last note as I forgot all about this, we all would’ve received a free giftable gold REQ Pack, so go ahead and send those now! Send them to those in need of REQ progression, though, and a word of advice ask first if they need them, there’s been plenty of people who have the REQ progression complete and have unlocked everything who have received god know how many REQs! Also if you don’t know who to send it to.. You could always, y’know, help a brother out, gift it to me! 😀 Just kidding, haha.

And we’ll see you all on the battlefield!

Also, remember to be hyped about the new update, because we may or may not be getting some of these amazing helmets!


On-Topic

Halo: Smoke & Shadow

Halo Wars 2

Halo: Tales From Slipspace

Off-Topic

The Last of Us

Mass Effect

MUSIC SHARING AND DISCUSSION THREAD


Announcement

Our dearest staff and member Ellisrael will be leaving us to venture on to new experiences in life towards success and happiness. Everyone from the  Archive wishe him the best and hope he comes and drops in from time to time. So don’t be a stranger, Elli! We’ll supply you an infinite amount of thig– I mean…”joy”.

With that a position is open and Preston Cole has created a post asking any and all members to apply. Here is the link to it, please submit everything required by him to be considered.

 

Along with that open position, the Rate Advisors will be getting some new fresh meat for some of the Rates!

Congratulate Adopter of Knowledge and Phenotype in being the new Rate Advisors for the Builders!

And congratulate TR-8R to being a new Rate Advisor for the Lifeworkers!

 

Remember the Prefects? Well, we have finally decided on their “image” and thus a badge was made. So now all Prefects will be back into their respected Rate, but now with a shiny new badge to educate other members of their time of staff service and/or large helpful contributions to the site. Yes, they are still considered to be community leader figures and support for when no staff or mod is around.

 

Ambassadors and Affiliates also now are a little more refined in their role and how to obtain that role.

Check it out here for all the details on the requirements to becoming an Affiliate/Ambassador with us!

 

 

Maturations

A Lazy ShisnoBuilder


Featured

We’ve got some exciting stuff coming our way, here’s all we’ll have featured in the site and affiliates! For starters, will be the series of posts that Synth Samurai has brought us from his project, Full Circle!

 

Have you read these amazing new posts by our nearest and dearest Chronarch yet? No? What the heck are you doing?! Cmon get that bum over there and read them!

Haruspis

 

Yours truly, HaruspexOfHell

 

I’ll also like to plug this one here ’cause y’know, it’s awesome!

 

From our member and fellow YouTuber Indirect, we’ve got ourselves his newest Halo 5: Guardians Top Ten video!

 

Our fellow friends at ProgressiveHalo have started posting the I Love Bees phenomenon that shook us all during the marketing of Halo 2 back when, if you haven’t listened to them and don’t know where to listen to it as the chapters and positioning of the tracks is quite tricky, well, you can listen to them now here!

 

We’ve also set up a ProgressiveHalo Discord for everyone to join! You can join here!

Discord

 

Podcast EvolvedEpisode 108: David in the Big City!


Staff Comments

Happy Holidays friends!  I hope you all enjoy your time with friends and family.  It was a strong year for the Archive, and 2017 is shaping up to be even better.  Thank you for a fantastic year!

Best,

-Prenald J. Jcole.

 

Hope you all have a good holiday season! We will see you next year 😉

-Adv Jones

 

The new year nearly upon us. It’s been a great one for the Archive, and I eagerly await the trouble fun we’ll get into in the next year. Let’s make this new year a worthy successor to the Archive’s success!

-JSA343

 

Conclusion

Again, here we are at the end of the post, these are a lot of fun to make and for sure I’ll probably be helping make more of these in the future myself, though we do need help on this end, so if you feel qualified to help out with these and perhaps do more of your own stuff if you’d like, just shoot a PM to any of the CMs with a detailed outline/resume as to why you feel fit for the role!

It’s good fun, so if my word is anything to go by – maybe a little biased myself, but who knows? Haha – If you feel like you’re a good fit but you’re uncertain about it, just try it out, PM any of the CMs, ask for any details and get a feel for it, we’re always taking applications and more hands on deck is always a good thing! Besides, like I said, it is damn fun to write and do your own things!

Oh! Before we bring this to a close, make sure to make an account on our forums and join the discussions! And if you are savvy in the computer science sector, please contact any and all Staff if you would like to help be part of the Constructor Team for the forums. Help create the forum new additions along with maintaining it along the way!

That’ll be all for this one! Make sure to pass by the forums, engage in discussions and keep the fire going! Until next time! See you all on January 13th!

HaruspexOfHell and Adv Jones, formerly Brother Jones, who is now trapped in my basement, eating old moldy cheese.

Posted by HaruspexOfHell in Archive Beacons, Blog, 0 comments