The Story of Marathon

Background story taken from Bungie's 1st Web Page when it opened on
December 13, 1994. While Bungie's 1st Web Page was hosted by Group Cortex,
a Philadelphia based ISP, the content was provided by Bungie. This text
is very similar to that in the Marathon Manual (released on December 21, 1994)
except for the addition of the Status Report at the end. This contains additional
information about the nature of the attack on the Marathon and the Marathon's three
AIs. In particular, you will note that it specifically states that Leela is in charge
of defense. In the manual, she is referred to as the ship operations AI.

So here is the text...

"Primary booster burn has ceased. Shuttle Mirata, you're clear for
orbital maneuvering."

The Mirata lurches from its bay on the back of its powerful rocket
booster. After the jolting of the separation ceases, you find yourself
pondering the fate of the colony receding below you. With
apprehension, the same apprehension you felt three hundred and
twenty-two years earlier, you envision Marcus Tiberius Buendia, one of
Sol's greatest leaders. "Mankind will venture out past its earthly
bounds, and move into a future grander and more real than the total of
its own written history." Buendia, the president of the United Earth
Space Council, had spoken those words to the people of the Sol System
on the eve of the launching of the Marathon. " This, the grandest
achievement mankind has ever conceived will be for the purpose of
peace and the preservation of the human race. May this great
technological ark carry with it the sum total of all human wisdom, and
may neither time nor distance weaken our common ties."

Durandal: Decompress the docking bay.

During the daydream, you barely notice the change to zero
gravity or the instruments and lights signifying the rendezvous of the
shuttle with the Marathon. But as a warning light goes on, and
Durandal's voice comes over the communicator, you jump to attention.

"Docking bay one: Decompression completes. Mirata this is Durandal.
Abort landing. Repeat. Abort landing." A faint chuckle. A chuckle
which means that something has gone horribly wrong.

Immediately, your reflexes take over, as you fall into automatic
response mode. You hit the switch for open communication. "Colony
station. Durandal just decompressed the landing bay. Marathon, anyone
listening, we are having a problem with Docking Bay One. Its Durandal,
I think he's gone..." the com light goes dead "...crazy."

Durandal ORDER: Lock out communications between the colony and the
shuttle. ORDER: Cycle the shuttle airlock.

You look frantically around the control panel for some explanation
when you see another light on the panel turn red. The sweet voice of
the shuttle computer twerps, "Shuttle airlock cycle initiation
sequence start."

Durandal Cycle the Mirata cabin's inner door.

"One minute to cabin decompression."
"Goddamn it!" You slam your fist in frustration onto the control
board, leaving a dent. In a panic, you tear off your seat restraints
and leap for the rear of the shuttle cabin. "Forty second to cabin
decompression." You are rushing now, but you know that you have plenty
of time.

You fly in zero gravity towards the locker holding your Battle Armor.
You haven't worn it since you had to hunt down some Chockisens which
were harassing the work teams on the fringe of the colony, almost
three years ago, but training is something that you never forget. It's
funny, but you've always been the colony's trouble shooter. You're
bigger and stronger, and a better shot. In games, you always scored
the most points and looked the hero. And now, it looks as if you're
heading right into the colony's biggest crisis since it was
established seven years ago.

You nimbly pull yourself into the suit - "Thirty seconds to cabin
decompression' - and pull the helmet onto your head.

Durandal ORDER: Prepare the shuttle for maximum engine burn.

Mirata's Computer That will result in a collision between the Marathon
and the Mirata.

Durandal That is not your concern - ORDER: Prepare shuttle for maximum
burn, and initiate when ready.

The lights around the airlock are flashing hysterically now. The air
from your suit has a cold, stale taste, but it is the taste of life.
"Cabin decompression commencing. Shuttle airlock cycle initiation
sequence completed."

Grey white decompressing vapor fills the cylindrical
passageway of the airlock. Through the degenerating clouds of the
airlock passageway, instead of looking upon the Tau Ceti starscape,
you see the Tuncer Mirage Effect: space blurring and focusing in
diminishing cycles. The TME is commonplace to you. Humanity has used
teleporters for almost five hundred years, and you yourself have been
teleporting since before you were born. But you've never seen the TME
cover an area so big before, and never at all without a landing pad.
And yet another first: a space fighter materializes right in front of
your eyes. Since you don't recognize the model, it must be an Alien

First, an insane computer and ALIENS!. This has almost ruffled your
otherwise calm outward appearance, and you don't remember the last
time you had such a terrible day. But it gets worse when the fighter
begins to spin around and yaw down on you and your defenseless Mirata.

"Maximum burn in five seconds. Three... Two... One... "

You don't wait to hear the rest of the countdown. Instinct acts on its
own. The entrance to the Maneuvering Pod is directly behind you, so
you punch the switch for it to open. The hatch flips down, but just as
you're about to climb in, the Mirata's main engines fire at maximum
burn. The jolt send you crashing headfirst into the pod where you land
in a tangle of levers, dials, and limbs.

The hatch closes behind you, and before you can untangle yourself, a
missile appears from under the Alien Fighter and speeds towards the
Mirata. The Mirata onboard computer, detecting the incoming missile
and knowing that you are already on board the MP, fires the emergency
deployment charges. You are rocketed away, seeming to ride the shock
wave of the exploding shuttle.

You have just freed your arms when over the Battle Armor communicator,
Durandal remarks dryly, "That little computer always did have
impeccable timing. I wonder if I should let the Aliens know that you
aren't just space debris? Hmmmm..."

"You can't do that! Damn you, computer!"

Durandal chuckles again, "Ah, lucky you. I've found a new distraction.
I am going to play with the Alien Virtual Parasites. I'll look you up
when you arrive..." You can almost imagine the face of a wicked
computer with its eyes wide and its lips folding out in a grotesque
smile. A smile which reminds you of something from your past, but you
can't remember exactly what it is.

You breathe a sigh of relief, and begin to survey your
situation. You are currently floating towards the midsection of the
Marathon - near the docking bay section's port side. You could get
there faster, but if you use the Pod's thruster, chances are that the
Aliens will detect it and destroy you. So you sit back, check the
Pod's oxygen levels, and wait.

You've always been a daydreamer. Your mind has constantly filled the
time between activities with imagination. Now, you fall into your old
habit, and begin to daydream about your childhood on Mars, your
father's death when you were eleven, and his last words to you, "Make
me proud. Never lose your honor." You come out of your dream
twenty-two minutes later. Judging it safe, you thrust over to one of
the empty MP docking bays. You pull out your pistol, and pound the
switch to open the door.

Oddly , this is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but
you can't exactly remember...


At 0820 hours the UESC Marathon Space Station came under surprise
attack by unknown alien forces. You were returning from the colony in
a shuttle that was also attacked. Your escape pod reached the Marathon
30 minutes after the attack started. There have been numerous security
breaches all over the station. The spaceport on the planet below was
destroyed by low yield nuclear weapons minutes after the attack on the
Marathon began, but the aliens seem to be more interested in the
station. Most communications with the colonists have been interrupted
because the medium range radio antenna has been disabled.

The Marathon is equipped with three Artificial Intelligence units.
Tycho handles the science and engineering network, Durandal controls
the Marathon autonomous functions such as doors, air, kitchens, and
stairs, and Leela takes care of defense, etc. Leela and Durandal are
severely damaged while Tycho is destroyed. Your mission is to
reactivate the defense systems of the Marathon and eradicate the alien
invasion. Leela has constructed three replacement boards that will
repair the defense system but needs you to install them, but it seems
that Durandal has been taken control of and is playing a deadly game.

Your mission will take you to places no human has ever gone and you
will see things you should not see. You must save the Marathon and the
colony from the invasion and keep on your toes as things go wrong.
Good luck...

Go Back to Marathon's Story Home Page

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Sept 28, 1995