A Shield World or Shield Installation is a Forerunner installation that is designed to be a shelter from the activation of the Halo Array.
A Shield World or Shield Installation is a Forerunner installation that is designed to be a shelter from the activation of the Halo Array. Each Shield World encountered to date has had significant differences in their design. Presumably each was constructed for different purposes. Access to Shield Worlds is only possible upon the imminent activation of the Halo Array but have been known to open on other occasions such as a Reclaimer being present.
Each Shield World is different in design, but they all share some common features. They have a planet-sized exterior shell, often with some amount of terraforming, presumably to act as camouflage. They all have Sentinel systems for protecting and maintaining the facility. Finally, each serves the same basic purpose: as a "bomb shelter" from the Halo installations.
The Shield Worlds were built by the Forerunners in their vast empire, as refuges from the Halo Array's pulse. However, the betrayal by the Forerunner AI 032 Mendicant Bias and its defection to the Flood forced the Forerunners to abandon their plans to evacuate into the shield installations, as Mendicant Bias revealed the locations of the Shield Worlds to the Flood.
Caches of Technology
All Shield Worlds act as "bomb shelters." Some Shield Worlds act as a sort of protected armory, rather than as living quarters. For instance, Shield 0459 contains Forerunner starships, among other pieces of technology.
The Covenant owes their rapid technological advancement to the discovery of a small number of these worlds, discovered earlier in their history and stripped of useful resources. The fate of these worlds, and whether they were abandoned or inhabited by the Covenant, is unknown.
Known Shield Worlds
Trevelyan (Onyx/Shield 0006)
The main component of the Shield World is a Micro Dyson Sphere, named The Sharpened Shield, which is located within a Slipspace bubble of compressed space-time. In normal space, the bubble has a diameter of only a few meters. The only way to access the bubble is a small portal in real-space, the Core Room Antechamber. It is located at the center of the artificial planet.
The Dyson Sphere within the slipspace rift is two astronomical units, i.e. 300 million kilometers in diameter, and its inner surface is entirely terraformed and capable of supporting life. In the center is a (presumably) artificial star.
It was renamed Trevelyan in honor of SPARTAN Kurt-051, who sacrificed his life so others could enter the shield world, by request of Chief Mendez. Trevelyan was Kurt's surname before he was abducted for the SPARTAN program.
It was called the "Sarcophagus" by the Forerunners.
The artificial planet is hollow, with an interior diameter of approximately 3000 kilometers. Inside is a miniature artificial sun. Its appears to function as a housing for a fleet of Forerunner Ships and other technologies in addition to being a shelter from the Halo Array's pulse.
Requiem (Shield 0001)
“Instead of surrounding a star, the massive exterior shell of Requiem encases a planet - a variation on a Forerunner Shield World.”
— Halo Waypoint description
Seen in multiple trailers of Halo 4 and the legendary ending of Halo 3, the interior has been terraformed, complete with clouds and greenery and was one of the first Shield Worlds built prior to the Human-Forerunner war. The entrance portal shown is also evidently not overly secure, with the UNSC Infinity, the remains of the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn and Covenant forces able to pass through and deploy ground forces. Requiem is also inhabited by various Forerunner AI, which, unlike Sentinels, seem to be combat specific. Such AI include the Promethean Knight, Promethean Crawler and Promethean Watcher. While Sentinels no longer act as the main guards, they are seen on Requiem in various chambers, performing repair duties.
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