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Drof497

Promethean Knight Awareness?

18 posts in this topic

I'm looking through Haruspis' Halo 5 level by level analysis again and I come across this thought provoking image.
genesis65.png
In the image above, we can see the Knight's small hands holding the Knight's face as if it were... Crying. So I currently wonder, do the Promethean Knights retain some awareness to the situation at hand, to retain some humanity? The Knights are not like the Sangheili, or mindless sentinels, but slaves forced into that position, forced to kill, forced to sacrifice their bodies, their soul and be used as mindless killing machines, and yet here we see a glimpse of something that may show that the Knights are more than just shells, more than just murder bots who serve maniac. Here, we see the Knight express sorrow.


Out of everything Cortana has done so far, I'd argue that this is the worst crime she has committed. Cortana herself claims to be liberating her fellow A.I from human slavery, yet here she doing the exact same fucking thing to the Promethean Knights, to these victims who have had everything taken away from them, including their free will, and forced to butcher innocents for something incredibly hypocritical.
 

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Out of everything Cortana has done so far, I'd argue that this is the worst crime she has committed. Cortana herself claims to be liberating her fellow A.I from human slavery, yet here she doing the exact same fucking thing to the Promethean Knights, to these victims who have had everything taken away from them, including their free will, and forced to butcher innocents for something incredibly hypocritical.

I feel like people put Cortana up on a pedestal because of what she is on the outside. Within her she's just an ordinary person, the same kind of person that aided in the kidnapping and abuse of young children, the same greedy authoritarian that sacked the colonies, and so forth for the sake of Earth's so-called survival. The sooner we regard Cortana's actions as business as usual, no better or worse than what the Unified Earth Government and the hardliner Covenant remnants continue to do in their own spheres of influence, the sooner we can get over a lot of the hangups people have about her character's changes in Halo 5: Guardians.

Anyhoo, thank you very much for sharing this! It was quite heartbreaking to see their cute little arms bundle up in solitude in this screenshot. I hope it's truly what you and I think it is instead of just some fluke of the model's animation.

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You say that like soldiers and humanity are two different things. Soldiers aren't machines. We're just people.

- Tom Lasky, Halo 4

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"Before this is over, promise me you'll figure out which one of us is the machine."

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Yes! The didacts first wife converted herself into a Promethean to guard his tomb, and she can still feel in a sense. She is seen with the librarian at the end of the H4 terminals. They possess basic awareness if  anything else though, but they do have to be smart enough to carry out effective combat and devise strategies, keep in mind they are not robots.

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Given the Knight's other actions in that part of the campaign were also fairly sad (I spent a few minutes watching it when I first came across Exuberant's zoo), involving a lot of clawing at its face with the mini-arms, stomping and swiping around in its cell and eventually just slumping against the wall and bashing its head repeatedly, I would say, yes, the Knights can feel. Although Composer decay/processing would probably rob them of some of their higher functions, the amount of screaming and the animalistic qualities they display definitely signifies they can feel anger, and this scene shows that they can feel loss. Endurance-of-Will seemed to maintain her special loyalty to the Ur-Didact if her appearance at his Cryptum is anything to go by, too.

They're not what they were before, and in all likelihood it's too late for them to ever return, but there's enough of them left in there to mourn the loss of the rest of themselves.

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Given the Knight's other actions in that part of the campaign were also fairly sad (I spent a few minutes watching it when I first came across Exuberant's zoo), involving a lot of clawing at its face with the mini-arms, stomping and swiping around in its cell and eventually just slumping against the wall and bashing its head repeatedly, I would say, yes, the Knights can feel. Although Composer decay/processing would probably rob them of some of their higher functions, the amount of screaming and the animalistic qualities they display definitely signifies they can feel anger, and this scene shows that they can feel loss. Endurance-of-Will seemed to maintain her special loyalty to the Ur-Didact if her appearance at his Cryptum is anything to go by, too.

They're not what they were before, and in all likelihood it's too late for them to ever return, but there's enough of them left in there to mourn the loss of the rest of themselves.

And that... is truly horrific. 

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Well...this shit got even darker. That is honestly horrible...if this is in fact true, which it probably is...I definitely don't want Cortana or whoever to just be left off the hook. Fuck that.

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So...how is this primarily Cortana's responsibility? We still don't know how the Knights primarily function as individuals and their fate was sealed by the Ur-Didact. Cortana hasn't composed anyone new and as the Librarian confirmed back in Halo 4 the composed essences already suffered from decay with the process yielding no positive results in transferring essences back into any sense of biological normality. Like hell, how do we know if the Knight is off kilter because of Exuberant imprisoned it in a cage like all the other enraged folks her prison collection. As Witness states the Crawlers would also be frantic if left alone and caged up by itself.

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Since it was first revealed that the Knights were composed beings, I came to accept them as a sort of new "race", for lack of better terms. They are not robots nor AI. Living essences, souls, trapped in a machine.

 

"I have no higher functions, and I must scream."

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So...how is this primarily Cortana's responsibility? We still don't know how the Knights primarily function as individuals and their fate was sealed by the Ur-Didact. Cortana hasn't composed anyone new and as the Librarian confirmed back in Halo 4 the composed essences already suffered from decay with the process yielding no positive results in transferring essences back into any sense of biological normality. Like hell, how do we know if the Knight is off kilter because of Exuberant imprisoned it in a cage like all the other enraged folks her prison collection. As Witness states the Crawlers would also be frantic if left alone and caged up by itself.

Well, if Cortana wanted to bring actual peace, sensibillity, and freedom for the AI's, the best way to start that process would be to remove the galaxy clean of the Composers so that no one may ever use that again. Too bad for that reality since Cortana is using them for her own selfish benefit. 

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Well, if Cortana wanted to bring actual peace, sensibillity, and freedom for the AI's, the best way to start that process would be to remove the galaxy clean of the Composers so that no one may ever use that again. Too bad for that reality since Cortana is using them for her own selfish benefit. 

Do we even know that she is using composers?

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Do we even know that she is using composers?

"It will burn hot, and consume you. And when you are gone, we will take that which remains, and we will remake it in our own image."

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Do we even know that she is using composers?

 

 "However, for those who refuse our offer and cling to their old ways...For you, there will be great wrath. It will burn hot and consume you, and when you are gone, we will take that which remains, and we will remake it in our own image."

It's this quote that has led us to assume that she is employing full operational use of the Composer.  Considering she has control of a Halo, I theorize she's hooking up a Composer to it so the wave of composition will be significantly larger. Akin to the Ur-Didact's plan in TN72H. I also believe that ring to fully be IO3. 

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It's this quote that has led us to assume that she is employing full operational use of the Composer.  Considering she has control of a Halo, I theorize she's hooking up a Composer to it so the wave of composition will be significantly larger. Akin to the Ur-Didact's plan in TN72H. I also believe that ring to fully be IO3. 

"It will burn hot, and consume you. And when you are gone, we will take that which remains, and we will remake it in our own image."

Interesting. Then again she could just be spewing words to scare them? I guess we'll see.

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Then again she could just be spewing words to scare them? 

Eh, I find this highly unlikely. 

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| I'm curious to know, if Knights remember their own "deaths".  After their physical form is destroyed, a Watcher can essentially reuse a Knight's durance by creating a new body for it. So could they potentially remember the pain/suffering of being killed after they're brought back? |

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I've always wondered what "humanity" the Knights retain after their composition. I think it's clear that they retain some of their memories and emotions, as evidenced by both Spartan Ops and Halo 5. The slipspace artifact contained memories of New Phoenix and some of the Knights appear depressed in Exuberant Witnesses' zoo. I've personally theorized that the consciences (or "souls") in a Promethean's durance merely powers it, while a variety of combat protocols dictate it's behaviour on the battlefield. These being managed by a leader; whether that's the Didact or the Warden Eternal. Otherwise I think there are still faint traces of each Knight's former self.

It's strange how Halo 5 hardly acknowledges that the Promethean Knights are former humans expect for that one instance. I was hoping to learn a lot more about how they function. Otherwise they're mostly just treat as robots and you could probably play through the game without realizing that they're former humans if you hadn't played Halo 4. It's a weird way to follow-up from Halo 4 since that was a major revelation in that game.

Out of everything Cortana has done so far, I'd argue that this is the worst crime she has committed. Cortana herself claims to be liberating her fellow A.I from human slavery, yet here she doing the exact same fucking thing to the Promethean Knights, to these victims who have had everything taken away from them, including their free will, and forced to butcher innocents for something incredibly hypocritical.

It gets even weirder when you consider how Cortana witnessed a composition first-hand and was deeply traumatized by it. She couldn't bear seeing that happen to crew on Ivanoff Station.

"I monitored the data pulse. I could hear them… what was left of them…"

Cortana was not only visibly shaken by how horrific it was and because of her own inability to save Ivanoff's crew due to her deteriorating condition, but also because it reminded her of her own impending death...but not really because she survived in Halo 5. This was when she was the most vulnerable. It's super weird how she now seems to have no problem using these essences for her own advantage. She's liberating AIs by opressing AI constructs. After all, Halo 5 doesn't give us any impression that the Knights are doing this voluntarily. Cortana's speech later implies that she's going to use the composer on those that resist her forced peace.

"It will burn hot, and consume you. And when you are gone, we will take that which remains, and we will remake it in our own image."

In some ways Cortana's literally become the Didact. Well, there's definitely some connection since she was quoting him verbatim.

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