Human Weakness is a short story written by Karen Traviss, which is featured in the short story anthology Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe. It is based upon the events of Cortana after John-117's departure to Earth at the end of Halo 2 and ends with John rescuing Cortana in Halo 3.
Over the course of the story, Gravemind persuades Cortana to give him knowledge about Earth. Throughout, the Gravemind taunts her with the vast amount of knowledge which he could offer her, before causing crippling self-doubt in Cortana by mysteriously accessing her files. Eventually, he tries to convince her that she means nothing to her human creators, especially Dr. Halsey. The Gravemind also shows Cortana what it is like to be human by showing her the memories of Eugene Yate, a Marine in the UNSC who had been infected by the Flood. He even allows her message about the Portal to be sent to Earth (although he didn't know the contents of the message).
- When Gravemind is talking, Cortana interrupts asking the Gravemind why it always talks in rhyme. She then says "Nothing personal, but you're no Keats." John Keats was an English poet who became one of the key figures of the Romantic movement.
- The Gravemind mentions how he has "consumed" other AIs, except for one.
- Cortana thinks to herself of what she did to Ackerson, and how she began to regret those actions. She makes note of her knowledge of Ackerson's death, though how she found out about this is unknown.