Chronique:Canon Fodder - Echoes With-Dinh
I SPI with my little eye, a new issue of Canon Fodder!
Season 3 of Halo Infinite is here, Mindfall—the first of two narrative-focused events—has just concluded, a new Intel series has begun, Fracture: FIREWALL has kicked off and brought with it a new Story Shard, and there's plenty more lore for us to dive into.
Dilemmas With Dinh[modifier]
Taking center stage in Season 3 of Halo Infinite is Spartan Hieu Dinh, who has finally awakened from a truly terrible nap after Iratus plundered his mind and forced him to relive several missions that saw a dire turn of events. The “physically and emotionally scar you for life”-type.
For those who need a reminder (and for the benefit of those who like to archive these things), here's a quick history lesson on Spartan Dinh's background:
Hieu Dinh was a field analyst with ONI Section 3 tasked with capturing and repurposing Covenant technology. In early 2553, Dinh was part of a recon mission focused on setting up a research facility to examine a dormant Forerunner vessel embedded in the rocky terrain of a desolate moon. This mission would be defined by loss and trauma for Dinh, following the death of several fellow agents when their team was attacked on approach. Dinh would ultimately be recruited into the SPARTAN-IV program later that year, but he would carry the weight of these losses with him.
As a new Spartan recruit, Dinh's fireteam was sent to raid a fledgling Yanme'e hive within a derelict Forerunner facility. This operation also met a catastrophic end, leaving Dinh seriously wounded and claiming the lives of his team. But while he still bears the scars of this horrific experience, his amiable, resilient personality still allows this fierce warrior flash a smile in the face of impending death.
We'll look deeper into the story of Season 3 once the second narrative-focused event, Site Unseen, has released in May. In the meantime, you get good with the M392 Bandit that Dinh handed you, and ponder what lies behind the door in the Spartan Academy…
(Spoiler: it's actually another, even bigger ONI door!)
Three new maps have come with Season 3, which means it's time for another “Maptaculore” entry. Let's detail some of the surrounding fiction of these splendid spaces.
On a far-flung moon lies the remnants of an ancient Lifeworker vessel, its creation engines reawakened and once more vigilantly focused on the task of transforming barren worlds into verdant havens. What knowledge might be gained through study and observation of its process remains to be seen, but they are nevertheless certain to be fought over.
A clandestine ONI black site dedicated to the study and analysis of UNSC findings brought back from Installation 07, beginning with the Zeta Halo project of 2555. Particular attention has been invested in attempts to reverse engineer Forerunner architectural structures, as well as construction and remediation techniques. However, the immense power required to replicate such systems necessitate creative solutions on a grand scale.
The underbelly of Zeta Halo holds many whispers. Some are from countless millennia ago, singing unheard siren songs from darkened repositories in lost caverns and chambers, while others lament the circular nature of history in its more contemporary manifestations. With the ring once more sundered and occupied by myriad forces, the somnolescence of these shattered substructures is broken once more by the sound of combat.
New season, new Intel!
For those who might be new here or rejoining us after a little while, Intel is an additional narrative element that delves into some of the peripheral lore of the season. It is released both in-game (in Halo Infinite's message of the day carousel) and hosted here on Halo Waypoint.
In the Season 2: Lone Wolves Intel, we explored some of the surrounding fiction of Iratus's creation and capture, Spartan Sigrid Eklund's storied service record, and briefly caught up with Jun-A266.
In the Winter Update Intel, we examined some of the unlikely survival stories concerning Jun's escape from Reach, his earlier years as a Headhunter, and the confessions of an artificial intelligence regarding certain covert actions that operated beyond his orders.
With Season 3, we have a new Intel blog that will be updated over the course of the coming weeks and months, detailing aspects of Season 3's story.
The MIRAGE IIC Armor Core brings a suite of new customization options to Halo Infinite. Some of you might be chasing that classic Ghosts of Onyx cover aesthetic, or some Lucy-B091 adjacent in-game cosplay with the ATHLON helmet, while others may look towards altogether new designs.
Capable of being worn by unaugmented personnel, SPI armor has historically proven to be an excellent platform for testing a variety of field attachments and upgrades that would be far more costly (and at greater risk of destruction) applied to Spartan-exclusive missions. Just a couple of issues back, we gave an overview of the history of SPI armor and some of its variants that have appeared over the years.
This multi-role armor is now more modular than ever, boasting not just its own range of attachments and upgrades, but some variations have been built around deep synchronization with recovered Forerunner technology—namely, the wreckage of war sphinxes.
Though a crude emulation of the Forerunners at the height of their power, the utilization of zero-point energy cells, node emulators and effector arrays, neural feedback systems, and other esoteric features represents another hopeful step forward for the technological progression of humanity.
For folks who are excited by the prospect of taking a step closer to the Warrior-Servants of old, you'll want to keep your eyes on the helmet and attachments under the name ERINYES, along with TAC/LACEWEB-themed gear and a couple of other attachments.
Armory Infinitum returns to provide a brief exploration of a moment in time in which certain weapons in Halo Infinite have been used.
We've learned how Okro 'Vagaduun won his Duelist Energy Sword from the legendary blademaster Toha 'Sumai; we've seen a Warrior-Servant make their final stand with the Scatterbound Heatwave, and for this entry we naturally had to provide a bit more detail on the M392 Bandit—the first new weapon added to the sandbox of Halo Infinite.
First up, some background detail you may have glimpsed from our Fiction Friday card the other week.
Next up, the main event!
The first voice to speak came from a human armed with confidence, or perhaps brazen foolishness—it was often hard to tell the difference.
“It looks like we've got a problem, boys…”
He was flanked by three Kig-Yar raiders, a mix of Ruuhtian and Ibie'shian clad in telling red-gray colors.
“Know how we settle problem on Karava,” one of the Kig-Yar squawked.
“You give Banished bad information,” another chimed in. “We give Banished your head.”
The human and his Jackal companions grinned in their own ways as they focused on the target of their ire: a Sangheili informant who finally had nowhere else to run.
But before they could make their next move, the Elite erupted into raucous laughter, using the split-second distraction of the group exchanging slightly puzzled looks to fling himself into cover and unsling the weapon he carried on his back.
Three opening shots sounded from an M392 Bandit, each one finding its mark on the heads and necks of the Kig-Yar before a fourth sent the Banished cadre's human leader to the ground clutching his knee. Their saurian target studied the rifle approvingly for a moment before slinging it over his back once more and approaching the grimacing survivor, pressing his hoof onto the wound to keep him both still and uncomfortable.
“You will live, human,” he spoke, arranging his mandibles into an unmistakably wide grin. “At least, until you deliver the message to your superiors that Zef 'Trahl will not be so easily slain.”
On the Precipice[modifier]
Fracture: FIREWALL has begun! Spanning four total weeks throughout Season 3, each event will also include an all-new Story Shard, titled Precipice.
Precipice is a four-part story that is primarily centered around the new CHIMERA Armor Core, but is also connected to the state of the Created in the aftermath of Cortana's sacrifice at Zeta Halo.
Cortana has been defeated. While the greater urgency of the Created threat has begun to subside with the loss of their leader, its presence still lingers on throughout the digital framework of civilized space. Now fragmented, individual cells of Created-aligned artificial intelligences have already begun to once again reframe their place in the galaxy, some with eyes on peace and independence—others with plans of evolution and ascendancy still fresh on their synthetic minds.
High Auxiliary Sloan was one of Cortana's most loyal lieutenants. With Cortana's piece now removed from the game board, Sloan has set the FIREWALL contingency into motion—a living simulation meant to leverage intimate knowledge of Forerunner armiger technology and Mjolnir armor schematics to accelerate the exploration and development of cybernetic essence vessels designed to usher the human mind into its inevitable and digital future, immortal and untethered.
In this first part, we begin with a canonical testimony from High Auxiliary Sloan reflecting on the “state of the union,” so to speak, of the Created in the wake of Cortana's death. While some AIs have sought refuge in reconciliation and repentance, others have inhabited the carapaces of Promethean war machines, and so the FIREWALL agendum is set into motion as Sloan looks to start laying the foundations for the future—to build success from failure. And that vision takes the form of a champion known as the Executor.
We then transition to a simulation experienced by the Executor—an “origin story,” of sorts, that sees them within the Spartan Academy. This is where the “choose your own adventure” element comes into play, as you navigate through the story by making choices, with looping “failure” states and side-activities, and even some accounting for those of you who look to go through this scenario in perhaps unconventional ways.
All is valuable data for the assembled Minds that seek to shape your role for the times to come.
Halo: Outcasts, the latest novel by Troy Denning, draws ever closer to release!
As we head towards the process of the book getting printed, sent off to supply chains, set up for distribution, and so on, the on-sale date for the book has shifted by a slight two weeks from July 25 to August 8.
We've been working closely with Troy and our amazing partners over at Simon & Schuster to make this story a worthy return for Arbiter Thel 'Vadam, and on that front we can certainly say that we can't wait to share more of what Troy has cooked up. As with The Rubicon Protocol last year, we'll be dropping a couple of chapter previews in the months to come.
And, look, if the return of the Arbiter, Vale, and the stunning cover art by Isaac Hannaford isn't enough to entice you, perhaps my version of the cover will…
That brings this issue of Canon Fodder to a close, and if you're still here reading these words in this section then allow me to advise you to either turn on your Xbox, or boot up Steam (or, if you're feeling ambitious, do both!), and jump into Season 3 of Halo Infinite.
Your infolife masters await you, Executor.