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“Sneaky little bastard.”
— Cortana

An unnamed Covenant Associated Intelligence construct existed on the Covenant flagship Ascendant Justice in 2552[1]. It controlled and interfaced with the systems of the three-kilometer-long ship, much as a human-made artificial intelligence would.

When the Justice was taken over by a small team of UNSC personnel led by John-117 shortly after the destruction of Installation 04, this intelligence attempted to thwart Cortana as she worked to take control of the ship's systems and aid the team of infiltrators. She described the unnamed mind as a "sneaky little bastard" and, after the Justice fled the debris field over Basis by Slipspace jumping from within that planet's gravity field, she attempted to hunt down the intelligence within the systems of the ship; it claimed that her changing of the Covenant methods of traveling in Slipspace was heretical[2]. In defiance of its attempts to stop her, Cortana managed to kill the majority of the ship's complement of Covenant troops by evacuating the atmosphere from over eighty percent of the ship.

Not long after departing, John and his team made the decision to return to the recently-destroyed fortress world Reach to find a human-made vessel with which to return home in accordance with the Cole Protocol. Cortana and the AI briefly interacted again, with it referring to her as an infidel, apparently in condemnation of her improvement to Covenant jumping procedures. After John and his complement had left the Justice to rescue survivors on Reach, the AI made its move, beaming a weakly-encoded and rhetoric-laden message over the Covenant Battle Network to other Covenant vessels around Reach, warning them that the Justice had been captured. It also included notes on her methodology on Slipspace jumping from a gravity well[3].

This was its final act, however, as doing so allowed Cortana to track it down and decompile its code, peeling the intelligence apart piece by piece even as she kept independent copies of sections for further research. Cortana had previously noted that there was a vague familiarity to the construct, and as she took it apart in a "dissection" she mused that it may have been a copy of a human artificial intelligence captured by the Covenant[4]. When the AI faced its death from Cortana, it screamed a fractured statement: "Do what you will-will-will-will. I go to finally to my heaven reward paradise final-final-final-infinity-infinity-infini-AT NONCOPYSTATE."[3] The exact meaning of this statement is uncertain.

The AI's code that allowed Cortana to copy the code-breaking part of her logic into another Cortana, sent with Blue Team. They effectively used this fracture of Cortana to break into and eventually destroy the Unyielding Hierophant, a Covenant Command Platform, and its resident fleet.

Trivia[]

  • The most likely reason for this unnamed Covenant AI's disgust at Cortana's improvements upon Covenant technology, is that the technology was handed down to the Covenant by the Forerunners and that technology was considered extremely sacred by the Covenant, only allowed to be altered by the San'Shyuum.
  • While Covenant technology is generally considered superior to UNSC, Cortana was able to completely destroy the unnamed Covenant AI, even though she was "weighed down" with data from Installation 04. This may have been due to its speculated nature as a copy of an existing artificial intelligence, or even a copy of a copy and so on.
  • It is assumed that there were many more Covenant AIs aboard the Unyielding Hierophant (potentially other copies of the original human AI), as something was actively working to eliminate the copies of Cortana that had infested their system.

Appearances[]

Sources[]

Covenant Associated Intelligences
SeekerUnnamed Ascendant Justice AIUnnamed Truth and Reconciliation AI
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