Dr. Miranda Keyes is a brilliant scientist with a headstrong nature. She is commander at FLEETCOM, in charge of testing and evaluation in Lab Kappa. She is later promoted to the leader of Spartan research.
Miranda is the daughter of UNSC Captain Jacob Keyes and Dr. Catherine Halsey, though her parents romantic relationship ended. Miranda grew up with her father and, as such, had an estranged relationship with her mother, who cared more for her work then her daughter. Halsey is in the inventor of the Spartan Program and held no maternal instincts, which drove a wedge between her and Miranda. Miranda became a scientist like her mother, but held a specialty in Covenant ethos including their language and artifacts.
Examining the Artifact
The planet of Madrigal is attacked by Covenant forces, with the Spartans intervening to defeat the aliens. Only one person survived the attack on the outpost, a girl named Kwan Ha. On the flight to Reach, a panicked Kwan is propositioned by Dr. Miranda Keyes to give a speech on how the Spartans saved her people from the Covenant. Kwan threatens to lie that the Spartans killed everyone if Keyes doesn't convince the UNSC to give freedom to Madrigal. After Miranda disconnects the uplink, she returns to her lab where she speaks with her father, Captain Jacob Keyes. He tells her that Kwan was wounded in the battle of Madrigal and died of her injuries, though Miranda knows this is a lie as she just saw Kwan and she was unharmed. She realizes that an Article 72 has been delivered and is disgusted by the UNSC's willingness to kill an innocent child. Captain Keyes tries to remind her that sacrifices have to be made to save humanity, and her willingness to lie about the Spartans jeopardizes their mission. She can't see the point in saving humanity if they're going to lose their own in the process.
As Master Chief continues to be AWOL, the UNSC plans to locate him and the mysterious alien artifact that he discovered. Miranda hears about the object and confronts Admiral Parangosky about not having heard of the artifact sooner, as she is in charge of alien artifacts and research, not Halsey. She presses that she has made the advances in shielding, active camo, and slipspace navigation, yet Halsey retains all the funds. She is also making great strides in comprehending the Sangheili language - the language of the Covenant. Despite this, Parangosky is unwavering in her stance that Halsey will receive the artifact first. She reminds Miranda that Halsey didn't want Miranda to know about the artifact at all.
Parangosky ultimately shows Miranda a hologram of the artifact in secret. Miranda is fascinated by it, including its built-in technology and ancient origins. Parangosky tasks her with leading a team in analyzing the artifact independently from Dr. Halsey. She wants to be less reliant on Halsey in the future, something Miranda supports. In the meantime, Miranda tries to decrypt a Covenant broadcast from a hijacked UNSC ship, assuring Captain Keyes that she'll look into translating it more. He tells Miranda that Halsey is about leave for a mission, and if she wants to examine the artifact, she has finally has an opening.
Miranda begins her studies by recruiting the rest of Silver Team to make contact with the artifact to determine if they share a similar reaction to Master Chief's. She is disappointed when none of the Spartans can activate the artifact, but does gain insight into the Spartan mentality from Kai-125, who lists the expertise of each Spartan. While performing more tests in her lab, Miranda admits that she thought her mother kept her from the Spartans because they were more fun, but she now she doesn't believe fun was part of their training. Kai corrects that they did have fun, as they each had pets growing up and would play hunter and hunted in the woods. The loser then eliminated their pet. Vannak-134 never lost a match, though Halsey executed his pet to teach them that Spartans should only form attachments to one another.
Miranda is mortified at the display of apathy, but the story doesn't affect Kai, Vannak, or Riz-028. Kai excitedly picks up a Needler, a Covenant weapon, and reveals Riz-028's knowledge of the Shangeheli language. In fact, the Spartans have spent the most time with the Covenant and know much of their language, something Miranda is remiss over not realizing sooner. Miranda sits with Kai as they review the distress call sent from the hijacked UNSC ship. Kai translates one of the words as "keystone", another as "sacred ring", and notices the ring that appears around the Madrigal keystone. She and Miranda realize that the sacred ring is the ring projected from the Madrigal artifact. Miranda asks Kai to keep their discoveries a secret, and Kai obliges, though she asks for Miranda's honest opinion on her grease-dyed hair. Miranda thinks she dyed it out of rebellion, which might be a glitch in her programming, but warns that Halsey doesn't cope well when her creations act out of the normative.
Miranda heads to Eridanus II where the UNSC is excavating the larger artifact. She hears the audible emission when Adun breaks the crystal substrate. She marvels at the technology and what it could mean. Jacob joins her as she revels in the ideas of what to do next with the artifacts. Jacob tells her that she's been removed from the artifact studies effective immediately, which deeply upsets her. She clarifies that it's an order so she leaves him. The Covenant attack so the Spartans struggle to get the artifact to Miranda's ship when it explodes, with Miranda narrowly escaping. Ultimately, the Covenant cease the artifact and vanish from the planet, leaving behind only a human prisoner.
On the flight back to Reach, Miranda does an initial assessment on the human dispatched by the Covenant, learning that her name is Makee. She was kidnapped by the Covenant as a child and escaped them. She passes out again, so Miranda records her Shangheili mumblings.
Halsey has a meeting with a representative from the Judge Advocate General that Master Chief interrupts. Jacob and Parangosky listen in on the meeting using technology that allows them to be in the room without anyone noticing. Miranda sees them in the resting room and joins their projection. Jacob scolds her for being where she's not permitted, but Parangosky shushes him. Halsey explains to John that she created the Spartans to protect humanity from itself. He wants to skip to the part where she kidnapped them. She needed children, no older than six, so their training and augmentation could be carried out properly.
They were too young to volunteer and parents don't give up their children very easily. The thing she replaced him with was a genetically compromised clone that began exhibiting signs of illness before passing away. It allowed the parents to properly grieve the loss of their child and give them closure. She views this as a reasonable, a statement he throws back at her. She lied to them for years while they fought and killed for her. She corrects that it wasn't for her. He asks who knew about the truth so she covers up for her partners by saying everyone looked the other way. She thinks it was worth it to unlock the mystery's of the artifact. Miranda realizes that Jacob knew and disconnects herself. Jacob tries to reason with her but she runs out where she sees John. She apologizes to him as she didn't know, but he quickly gives her another task and brushes off her concern.
Miranda draws blood from Makee and asks if she can translate a message she received from the Gladius ship that was hijacked. Makee agrees to confirming the translation when it's done. She leaves to give John and Makee some space, and subsequently, learns of Halsey's excommunication by the UNSC. Miranda has earned the promotion to Halsey's former station and enters her new lab which has been altered to her specifications. She asks for an update on Makee's blood but is denied access. She sees a message from Halsey on the monitor saying to "see" her. Despite the dramatics, Miranda visits her mother at her living quarters.
Miranda sees through Halsey's manipulations of a goodbye tea. Halsey relents that Miranda can't conduct studies on the artifact without her. Miranda lashes out over her mothers attempts at concern. Halsey tries to appeal as a scientist, but Miranda retorts that she kidnapped, mutilated, and murdered dozens of children. Even if it was to save billions others, she tried to save humanity at the cost of her own. Halsey apologizes for letting her daughter live with such anger for so long. She doesn't believe in the concept of family but should have explained herself to her daughter when she was old enough. It was never her intention to hurt Miranda, becoming emotional over the admittance. She's had enough emotional baring and walks across the room. Miranda leaves shortly after, unaware the entire thing was a rouse for Halsey and Adun to obtain Miranda's biometric identity via a contact lens. Miranda gets the results of Makee's blood work back.
Miranda eagerly calls to John to her lab to explain her findings. He and Makee have an identical genetic match and an anomaly that Miranda believes contributes to their connection to the artifact. This anomaly occurs twice in a billion. John recruits Miranda's help in reconnecting with the smaller artifact.
In the testing room, she remarks that she's been in charge a day and already has broken a dozen rules. There's more Halsey in her then she cares to admit. He thinks that's true for everyone. She asks him not to die before he connects with the smaller artifact when he has a visceral reaction, seemingly killing him. Makee mimics these symptoms on the other side of the FLEETCOM. Miranda begs John to let go of the artifact but he can't hear her. Finally, his vitals return to normal as he wakes up. Miranda remarks they almost lost him there and asks where he went.
As John comes to terms with his visions, Miranda turns her focus back to the Gladius recording. Jacob visits her and expresses an interest in her work, so she explains that the Covenant voice is different than others she's heard before. It has an accent or impediment that she can't quite isolate yet as the frequencies are improperly balanced. She continues to work on it throughout the day, and when the transmissions become clearer, she is both horrified and surprised at the news. She tries to call Jacob but learns that systems are down, which she immediately equates to being Halsey's doing.
She sprints through the UNSC to reach Parangosky, Jacob, Makee, and an MP in the secure testing room. Miranda rushes in shouting for them to keep Makee away from the artifact as it was Makee's voice on the Gladius recording. Makee tries to explain that she had no choice but an MP grabs her. As she struggles, he uses an electric rod to shock her. Makee calls out to the keystone in Shangheili, jarring the guards enough to where she can break free of their grasp. She steps forward and touches the keystone, making it emit an energy blast that knocks everyone in FLEETCOM to the ground and disrupting the technology in the vicinity.
Master Chief rushes into the room a few minutes later to find a guard burnt by Makee's activation of the artifact. Miranda tells Master Chief that Makee escaped with the artifact. He hurries out of the room but is blocked in the hall by Riz and Vannak. Riz has a gun to Kai's head while Vannak points his at John's. Miranda and Jacob arrive in the midst of the conversation, but hear John trying to reason with the Spartans by telling them the truth of Halsey's horrendous actions. They don't believe him until Jacob admits to being privy to the activities and helping to plan their kidnappings. Miranda silently listens. The Spartans each make a plan and rush off, leaving Jacob to attempt an explanation to Miranda, who walks off without any interest in speaking to him.
After Makee escapes with the keystone, Master Chief, Parangosky, and Miranda attempted to locate the Covenant's holy planet. Master Chief believes that Makee hadn't lied about everything. He recalls the Covenant's prophecy - the Halo is meant to be revealed with the stars sparkle like glass. He believes it's a clue and through Cortana the trio learns that the planet would appear as fragments - or shards of glass. Miranda reasons that they can't be sure the planet is out there, but Silver Team has to try. After the Spartans leave, Halsey is captured by marines after crash landing in a forest. Miranda asks Jacob if she's said anything yet but she hasn't. He tries again to explain but she refuses to listen.
Miranda enters the interrogation room where a silent Halsey is waiting. Miranda updates her mother on the situation regarding her outcome. She's already been tried by a private military tribunal and found guilty of treason, kidnapping, and a myriad of other crimes. The UNSC has deemed her to dangerous for exile or imprisonment, a sentiment that Miranda can barely believe. In an ironic twist of fate, an Article 72 has been issued against Halsey. She subject to execution first thing the next day, something Miranda requested to tell her. After an interlude of silence, Miranda says goodbye to her mother.
Later, Halsey begins to seize and medics attempt to save her life as her body shakes, her nose bleeds, and she is visibly dying. Miranda is initially overcome with emotion over her mother dying, but then remembers Halsey's descriptions of the flash clones dying. She pushes past the medics to scream at the clone where she is, but gets no response. The medics assure Miranda they will try to save Halsey, and Miranda relays that the thing on the table isn't her mother. The clone flat lines, leaving the real Dr. Catherine Halsey the UNSC's most wanted fugitive.
Dr. Miranda Keyes is a brilliant UNSC Commander who is dedicated to understanding the technology, language and culture of the Covenant, but she'll have to learn to navigate the politics of the UNSC to get what she wants.
Behind the scenes
- Halo: The Television Series
- Halo: The Television Series - Season One - Contact
- Halo: The Television Series - Season One - Unbound
- Halo: The Television Series - Season One - Emergence
- Halo: The Television Series - Season One - Homecoming
- Halo: The Television Series - Season One - Reckoning
- Halo: The Television Series - Season One - Solace
- Halo: The Television Series - Season One - Allegiance
- Halo: The Television Series - Season One - Transcendence