Sometime from 2553 to 2557.
Questioning of Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey
Catherine Halsey is interrogated deep within a secret ONI facility.
Open on a line of beds. They are made of plastic, with no sheets, and are enclosed by glass walls. Children inside them are sleeping. Pan to a boy sitting on one of the beds. His head is shaved and he wears a grey uniform that reads "John." He looks up at his viewer, his eyes showing fear and want of sympathy.
Fade in to a closeup of Halsey's eyes. She seems tired and grave.
- Interrogator: "Tell me about the children."
The interrogator, who is framed in shadow, sits at the other end of their table.
- Interrogator: "Dr. Halsey?"
Halsey looks at her speaker defiantly. He is framed in shadow.
- Doctor Catherine Halsey: "You already know everything."
- Interrogator: "You kidnapped them."
Cut to John-117, now wearing a breath mask, lying down on the bed as machines prepare to operate on him.
- Halsey (voiceover): "Children's minds are more easily accepting of indoctrination, their bodies more adaptable to augmentation. The result was the ultimate soldier."
Cut to a SPARTAN-II, now fully armored and being inspected by technicians. He towers over all of them.
- Halsey: "And because of our success, when the Covenant invaded, we were ready."
Cut to a CAS-class assault carrier hovering over a human city. Hundreds of aircraft fly out of its launch bay.
Cut back to the interrogation.
- Interrogator: "Dr. Halsey, you're bending history in your favor and you know it. You developed the Spartans to crush human rebellion, not to fight the Covenant."
- Halsey (voiceover): "When one human world after another fell…"
- Halsey (voiceover): "... when my Spartans were all that stood between humanity and extinction…"
From up in the sky, a dozen Spartans drop from Pelicans, using their thruster packs to slow their descent.
- Halsey (voiceover): "... nobody was concerned over why they were originally built."
The Spartans land. An Elite snarls aggressively at them. The Spartans take cover and shoot down some of the Sangheili who return fire, flaring the shields on the Spartans' armor, while the lead Elite calmly steps forward and fires back. Cut to the Spartans moving forward, still firing.
- Interrogator (voiceover): "So you feel in the end that your choices were justified."
Cut to Halsey, who sits forward calmly, clasping her hands.
- Halsey: "My work saved the human race."
- Interrogator: "Do you think the Spartans' lack of basic humanity helped?"
Halsey looks at him worriedly, as the interrogator, now standing, backs away from the table.
- Halsey: "What are you after? The others before you were Naval Intelligence, but you… you're something else."
Cut to a Spartan sitting alone in a hangar. His head is drooped and he is speaking to no one. Marines walk past him.
- Interrogator (voiceover): "Records show Spartans routinely exhibited mildly sociopathic tendencies, difficulty with socialization. Further…"
Cut to a Spartan fighting a Jiralhanae Chieftain. He leaps agilely, dodging its every blow. Dead Sangheili cover the ground around them.
- Halsey (voiceover): "The records show efficient behavior operating in hazardous situations. I supplied the tools to maintain that efficiency."
Cut back to the interrogation.
- Interrogator: "Do you believe the Master Chief succeeded because he was, at his core, broken?"
- Halsey: "What does John have to do with this? You want to replace him."
- Interrogator: "The Master Chief is dead."
- Halsey: "His file reads 'missing in action.'"
- Interrogator: Catherine, 'Spartans never die'?
Cut to a Spartan's foot stepping down on a puddle. The Spartan leads a crowd of military personnel. The fighting has stopped but the city is clouded in smoke.
- Halsey: "Your mistake is seeing Spartans as military hardware. My Spartans are humanity's next step."
Halsey stands up from her chair in determination.
- Halsey: "Our destiny as a species. Do not underestimate them. But most of all, do not underestimate him."
Cut to black.
- In this cutscene, the SPARTAN-IIs in Mark VI armor wear the same armor that John-117 wears during Halo 4, which is canonically incorrect. This is because 343 Industries did not have enough time to build the correct armor for the cutscene.