|D.o.B / Age||Not known|
|B / W / H||Not known|
|Family||Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey (her "mother")|
|Background Info||Cortana is constructed from the cloned brain of Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey, the creator of the SPARTAN Project; Halsey's synaptic networks became the basis for Cortana's processors. According to the Halo novels, Cortana is classified as "smart", meaning that her creative matrix is allowed to expand, in contrast to the limited matrix of other "dumb" AI characters in the story. This allows Cortana to learn and adapt beyond her basic parameters, but at the cost of a limited "lifespan" of only seven years; eventually, she will literally "think herself to death".
Cortana is highly skilled and capable of hacking alien computer systems and decoding transmissions, and is occasionally smug about her abilities. In Halo: The Fall of Reach she hacks into Top Secret Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) documents out of boredom. Her intellect occasionally causes her to be loquacious to a fault; In The Fall of Reach, Halsey notes that if she were to let Cortana continue with her hypothesis, the AI would talk all day. The Doctor also sees Cortana as a teenage version of herself: smarter than her parents, always "talking, learning, and eager to share her knowledge." Cortana is also described as having a sardonic sense of humor; she often cracks jokes or comments wryly, even during combat. Her high spirits and lack of programming restrictions give her a set of behavioral "quirks" unique among most AI characters in the Halo universe. For example, she becomes irate and impatient when the Master Chief doubts her judgment in Halo: First Strike.
The origin of Cortana is not explained in the video games, but in the Halo novels. Her first chronological appearance in the story is in Halo: The Fall of Reach, a 2001 prequel to the first video game. Dr. Halsey allows Cortana to choose which SPARTAN-II soldier to accompany on an upcoming mission; Cortana picks the Master Chief, whom she believes is her best match. Cortana and the Spartans are assigned a near-suicidal mission: to take the cruiser Pillar of Autumn to the home world of the Covenant, an alliance of alien races, and capture one of their Prophets to force a truce. Before the mission, Cortana helps the Master Chief to survive the near-lethal exercises designed to test the Chief's MJOLNIR battle armor. Afterward, she plants incriminating evidence in the files of Colonel Ackerson, the ONI operative who nearly killed both of them, as revenge. When the Covenant attacks the planet Reach, the largest human habitation besides Earth, Cortana guides the Pillar of Autumn based on star charts on a Forerunner tablet, thus bringing them to Halo.
Cortana appears next in Halo 2, on the Earth defense platform Cairo, at an awards ceremony for the heroes of Halo: Combat Evolved. When a Covenant fleet arrives, Cortana takes control of the Cairo's Magnetic Accelerator Cannon to repel the invaders, and successfully deactivates a bomb that would have destroyed the station. Later, upon discovering Delta Halo, Cortana gives Commander Miranda Keyes access to all information on the original Halo, and provides intelligence to the Chief and UNSC Marines on the surface of the ring. When sent by the Flood leader, Gravemind, to the Covenant city of High Charity, Cortana stays there as the Master Chief follows the Prophet of Truth. She promises to detonate the crashed In Amber Clad's reactors to destroy the city and Halo if the ring is activated.The firing of Halo is averted by Keyes, the Arbiter, and Sergeant Major Avery Johnson, but Cortana is left with Gravemind, who has overrun High Charity.
Cortana returns in the final installment in the Halo trilogy, the 2007 Xbox 360 game Halo 3. During gameplay, Cortana appears to the player in broken transmissions, often reciting lines from Fall of Reach and earlier games. Cortana manages to send a message to the Master Chief on Earth, through a Flood-infected ship. In her message, she states that Gravemind is unaware of the portal opened by a Forerunner artifact on Earth. Cortana continues to appear to the Chief, who later recovers her Flood-controlled High Charity. Surprised that the Chief has against all odds rescued her (as promised), Cortana produces the original Halo's Index, which she has kept as a souvenir. With it, Cortana is able to activate a new ringworld being constructed. While the Flood are destroyed as planned, a slipspace portal collapses as the Master Chief, the Arbiter, and Cortana attempt to escape through it, thus stranding the Chief and Cortana. Cortana activates a distress beacon, but knows that it could be years before they are found. As the Master Chief prepares to go into cryonic sleep to await rescue, Cortana confides to him that she will miss him. He replies to wake him when she needs him. [Source: Wikipedia]
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