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Petra Janecek (Recording): Ben, what the hell have you done? Do you have any idea how much insanity this is causing? I can't even - (speaking to an employee in the background) What are you doing? (mumbles) I know what they are... (mumbles) Why are you putting them in my face for the report?
Employee (Recording): I just thought that -
Janecek: Ben, hold on. I have to fire an idiot for cause!
Benjamin Giraud (Voiceover): This was the first I'd heard from Petra in a while.
Janecek (Recording): Ben, get your ass out of bed and call me now!
Giraud (Voiceover): And judging by the messages she'd left me overnight, something major was happening. I hit her back right away.
Janecek: Well, Ben, congratulations. You now have us all fully engulfed in flames. Would you like to explain why?
Giraud (Voiceover): I had no clue what was happening.
Janecek: Any time today, Ben.
Giraud (Voiceover): Petra picked up on that.
Giraud: I -
Giraud: What - Wha - Wha...
Janecek: You didn't do this.
Giraud: Wha - What do we even -
Janecek: *Sighs* I don't have time for this. Check your feed. Call me back.
Giraud (Voiceover): I did what she said - and the feed hit me with a tsunami of information unlike anything I'd ever seen. Every journalism outlet, every social hub, seemingly every person alive was buzzing about the same thing. The leak. The leak - it had hit the open network overnight and it was all about the Master Chief. I didn't understand. As far as the public was concerned, reports of Spartan activity had almost always been categorically unknowable. And now he was front page fodder? I skimmed the stories frantically - saw the same tags popping up over and over: "Collusion with the enemy", "Civilian casualties", "Abducting a hero", "Assassinating an icon".
Giraud: Oh no, oh my -
Giraud (Voiceover): The Master Chief...
Giraud (Voiceover): ...did that?
Giraud: What the hell is going on?
Giraud (Voiceover): Those were just the facts reported by journalists. The opinions of the public were far scarier. Like missiles firing wildly in every direction from every corner of inhabited space. This leak about the Master Chief... Whatever it said, had already begun deeply dividing people, sending ideologues on both sides scrambling to gain the moral high-ground. I needed to see the source material. It didn't take long to find. Everyone had the same file: A suppressed incident report from an embassy in the outskirts that had already been viewed almost been viewed almost a half a billion times. What it said was perfectly clear.