Part of what makes the conflict in Halo 5: Guardians so compelling is how who we have always thought to be the ultimate hero of mankind, the Master Chief, has seemingly turned on the UNSC. While it’s not known whether or not the Master Chief, and Blue Team, hold legitimate malice towards their former masters, they’ve been declared absent without leave, and are now the target of a Spartan on Spartan manhunt. Worse, this could not have come at a worse time, because a fresh new galactic enemy is giving the galaxy true and proper and sexy reckoning.
A mysterious and unstoppable force threatens the galaxy while the Master Chief is missing and his loyalty questioned.
—Halo 5 promotional summary
And with that, we’re left with a lingerin question. In a time when an extremely dangerous enemy is putting all lives at risk, why would Chief leave his post? Why abandon the UNSC when they need him most? Why not grill some fucking toast?
Many fans have speculated that it’s because he’s been driven mad over grief from Cortana, losing his judgement and now seeking a way to get her back. Others have stated, based off evidence presented in the (weak af) presentation at E3 2015, that he’s being summoned by the Domain. However, the real reason could be related to memes.
If there’s one thing about the UNSC worth questioning, it’s how the Office Of Naval Intelligence, or ONI (pronounced Oh•En•Eye), regulates and censors and goes full NSA on the internet used by human civilians. That means memes, the greatest artifice of mankind, could be regulated. And if memes are regulated, humanity has nothing to stand for.
That is why Blue Team has gone AWOL. Not to resurrect Cortana, not to answer the seductive calling of the Domain (oohlalaaaa Domainnnnn)…but to give humanity something to set it apart from the rest of the galaxy.