|Affiliations:|| Drake Lancer|
|First Appearance:||Quid Hic Sumus|
|Armor Color(s):||Blue with Red circtuits|
|Relative(s):||Dr. Halsey (Base)|
|Voice Actor:||Jen Taylor|
- "There are worse things for me to endure, Drake. A lot worse."
- —Cortana to Drake Lancer, Accidit Mundi
Cortana is a major character in the story Why I'm Here, and the partner of the Pathfinder, Drake Lancer. She was also previously the AI companion of Petty Officer Master Chief, as well as the instigator behind the Reclamation.
Cortana, as an AI, has a somewhat transparent form, and colored light blue. She has circuits running through her body, which are colored red, as well as her eyes. She also has chin-length black hair. Similar to Church, she can adjust her size to match a human being.
Cortana's mentality is questionable at best. At first, she acts to how she was when she was fully functional and not suffering from Rampancy, being witty and sarcastic and often making jabs at Drake whenever she has the chance, as well as teasing him. She is noticeably more casual and softer around him, given that he is virtually an untrained soldier (which is an understatement, as before he met the Librarian, he was a mere college student), but sometimes project John onto him due to sentimentally. However, she sometimes shows signs of mental instability, as well as her cold nature when she enacted the Reclamation, such as brutalizing VIC's data to retrieve the information about the soldiers of Blood Gulch, as well as her increasing hostility towards the UNSC; particularly those involved in Project Freelancer, due to them experimenting with AI.
That said, Cortana has not lost her compassionate side. She often helps Drake, both physically and mentally, acting as a sort of moral compass when his emotions threaten to make him do things that he would surely regret in the future. She also forms a steady, and easy relationship with the Reds and Blues, likening them to kids that you can't bring yourself to hate.
However, it is implied that Cortana has been in commission even after the unknown events that led to the conclusion of the Reclamation. At some point, she shows hysterical fear at the prospect of being locked up again when Agent Washington, when working with the Meta, demands that Drake hand Cortana over. This may explain why she's so willing to stay with Drake; it's not just to help him in whatever the Librarian has planned, its for her own sanity.
The artificial intelligence that was developed on planet Reach, and based after the mind of ONI Researcher Halsey. After she was delivered to the Pillar of Autumn by Noble Six, she would be partnered with Spartan Soldier S-117, Petty Officer Master Chief, and help him through his adventures. However, sometime afterwards, she began to undergo rampancy, and was believed to have been destroyed in order to defeat the DiDact. In reality, however, she was repaired, and began the Reclamation, a period that is otherwise unknown in present day.
Cortana was originally hostile towards humans during the Reclamation, but when she is tasked by the Librarian to become Drake Lancer's personal AI unit, as she is the only one capable of helping him utilize his new abilities, her hate for humanity appears to be limited only towards the more corrupt members of the UNSC, and to those involved with Project Freelancer.
- Cortana is capable of translating every known language, even alien dialects. However, she prefers to not translate Lopez's dialogue, if only because she finds it humorous.
- Cortana's appearance may represent her nature as an AI that underwent rampancy, and achieved metastability, signified by the red circuits and her eyes.
- Due to having achieved the highest state of rampancy where an AI can be considered human, Sigma, and by extension, the Meta, are quite eager to take her.