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Effusion - Epilogue
Posted By: Tursas<tursas@shaw.ca>
Date: 1 June 2002, 12:04 am

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"Jimmy! What are you doing, Jimmy?" The mother looked down at her child as she rushed into the room, chiding him for making a mess of the walls with his crayons.
     But just as she was turning to go back to the kitchen to retrieve a cloth and a bucket of hot soapy water, she looked again at the painting her three-year-old child had made on the wall. It was something she had never seen before in either dream or reality, but somehow she felt it was a message. She was not the sort of person to believe in that sort of thing, but the picture made her think differently on this occasion.
     It was a perfect circle offset inside another perfect circle, with a line connecting the two at their furthest distance from one another.
     She eventually got her camera and took a picture.
     The gone-before, looking on, were satisfied with their work.

The Master Chief looked up as his clone sat down beside him. It was becoming very difficult to come to terms with somebody identical to yourself popping up at random moments of the day.
     "I thought you were going to stay with Cortana."
     "She didn't want any company, so I thought it would be better to come here."
     "Don't you feel awkward at all?"
     "No. Why should I?"
     Well that was something different. If the feeling wasn't mutual, then maybe they had a chance of getting along together after all. Maybe it wouldn't be so hard to live with oneself after all.
     The Master Chief sat back and looked up into the sky of installation 05.0004. He sipped on his non-alcoholic drink and squinted up at the other side of the ring.
     "A drink, sir?" The purple form of 243 Liberal Glow floated up beside them. Attached to its ballish form was a tray covered in tacky, multi-colored cups with little umbrellas and straws sticking out the top.
     "Two wonderful things, freedom and peace," the Master Chiefs thought.

"Let me explain: I want to make better on someone's life; without actually going into the world and learning how people work, I can't do that."
     "Why not, Tim?"
     "I find it very difficult to express anything at all, much less my emotions." The psychologist snorted loudly, but Tim didn't seem to notice. "I write things, look at them, and realize that the mode of their writing is horrible; that it has no appeal to me in it's form and grammar; even the spelling is wrong at times. This, compounded with the magnanimousity of what I truly wish to express, makes things very difficult for me. The following is going to be a prime example."
     "Do we really have to go through another example, Tim?"
     "No. I guess not. But I still haven't explained yet. I want to love somebody. I very dearly want to love somebody. Not the way the world sees love; what with all the sex and the drugs -- but to have that burning sensation when I think on the name and the face and the being of my love. It's been very difficult to deal with these desires to this point. I have to turn face in the completely opposite direction in order to quell the need. By constantly thinking on death, on killing, on mindless gratuitous violence, I try to control the inner want to have and care for somebody. As love is a very powerful emotion, I try to stuff it in the back corner of my mind by pulling out the heavy guns of deceit and abomination. The two, love and other, don't exist in the same place together very well. But, obviously, I have avoided doing many things whose neglect could only result in my eventual destruction. Forget for a moment the feeling that causes me to seek love -- very soon I will feel nothing at all, because of the duties I have disrespected, the friends I have offended, the jobs I haven't done. In short, I'm messed up."
     "I see."
     "That is why my thoughts on Jill are so painful when they are fully sane. I screwed her over, I screwed myself over, and there is nothing I can do about it now. Although it can be argued that I would do nothing at all, given the chance. Like the guards of Muirthemne, this is a heavy gold plate that I have hung around my neck and will not take off until absolution. I walk from here to there, taking pride in nothing or everything - almost never completely sane. Jill herself is not a wraith. It is my feelings of inadequacy that have turned my thoughts of her into one. If I think something bad, it can usually be traced back to these same thoughts. When I think something good, it can often be traced back to that face whose image I have only seen a dozen times, but will never forget in totality. She has become the stick against which I measure myself and everything."
     "I see. So I guess what you're saying is that you'd like to see this person again?"
     "I guess so. But only to apologize."
     The psychologist looked up from the papers on his desk.
     "Only to apologize?"
     "Well, yeah. I mean, would you want somebody like me constantly breathing down your neck?"
     "I see. And who are these guard people you keep talking about?"
     "You've never been to the twentieth century, have you?"


Well that's it. Although I know that not many people have read this, and even fewer really care, I'd like to make a few points about the plot clear, if only for the record.

What really did happen in the Control Room that fateful day when Cortana learned a whole lot? I don't really know for sure, but in the interests of the story several things happened:

-First, she found out that the Halo had a hub. By the time Cortana had arrived, she already knew that there was something up there. What else could the green beams on various levels possibly be traveling towards?

-Second, Cortana found out how to make a copy of her, then did it, and sent her copy up to the hub, naming her copy Momos, after the Greek god.

-Third, Cortana got really pissed off at the Forerunner. She knew what it was like to have to spend her life in constant servitude, and she could only imagine (or maybe not) what it was like for the various species held for study on all the Halos.

Later, when the Master Chief and 343 Guilty Spark arrived, Cortana used her knowledge of the Monitor to mess with it. She needed to keep it from realizing that she had uploaded Momos to the hub, and not only this, she rewrote some of 343 GS's memory so that she would be able to trick him later on when he went to the hub after the destruction of Halo. Why didn't she simply zap him into subservience like all the other Monitors? To be able to leave no trace of herself in case the rest of the Forerunner decided to crack down on her. That and she was still pissed. And she wanted to contain the flood. If those are bad excuses then I'm sorry.

343 Guilty Spark was totally destroyed when the hub was hypothetically sending him to the other galaxy to report to the rest of the Forerunner. Bye bye you annoying blue ball.


I would like to thank:

My parents for giving me life,
My siblings for being careful,
vector40 for being there, *sniff*,
My organic chem prof for giving me a C (bloody bastard),
And My ego for keeping me afloat. (ha!)

If anybody reading this would like me to write out the plot of this story in a less confusing manner, just say so on the comments page. (Nobody ever says anything on the comments page.) If I get enough response, I'll go through anything else that (I thought) was cleverly hidden from plain view.

Watch out. This whole story might end up as the basis for Tursas' comprehensive Halo theory, found only at HBO.