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Fan Fiction

A Looming Threat by Polamee

A Looming Threat
Date: 23 December 2009, 2:20 am

Chapter 1

1545 hours, November 17 2552
Elite homeworld Sanghelios

The red-clad Elite Trino 'Idamee moved stealthily through the thick forest on his home planet, slicing his way through the impenetrable undergrowth with his sword. In the air, he could smell the familiar scent of his home planet – the air was a foul, acidic smell due to the planet's particularly harsh volcanic activity. The warrior had hazy memories of being here as a youngster, but the rest of his life had been spent aboard Covenant vessels in service of the vile Covenant Prophets. It was a part of his life he was trying best to forget.

But now he was a free fighter. He had joined the Covenant Separatist movement against the Prophets and their barbaric servants, the Jiralhanae, or as they were commonly referred to as, "Brutes".

In the months preceding that, the Covenant had suffered heavy defeats. First, all was proceeding as predicted as the Covenant fleet glassed the human world, Reach. But then the unexpected arrival of the demon on Installation 04 spelled trouble. The actions of the Covenant on the ringworld unleashed the Flood, and the ringworld was destroyed by the Spartan. An attempt by an immense Covenant fleet led by the Unyielding Hierophant to attack Earth for a Forerunner structure had failed, destroying hundreds of ships. Worse, the efforts made by the High Prophet of Regret to secure the human homeworld resulted in failure and the prophet's death.

Nor had the Flood been sleeping through all this. In their endless mission to rid the universe of sentient life, they were striking at the Covenant at any opportunity possible. With the Covenant Empire so badly shaken already, the rebellion of the Elites had been disastrous to the Prophets and the elaborate illusion they believed in.

The Elites emerged for the better, defeating the Covenant numerous times. Now was the apex of their epic battle, what could be called the final battle. However, the Elite fleet Masters had underestimated their enemy. Even as the Elite fleet engaged the Loyalist ships and Flood around High Charity and the second ringworld, the Loyalists had sent a small fleet to Sanghelios to defeat their limited orbital defences. They had dispatched infantry on the surface of the planet that wrecked mayhem on the cities. After a day of slaughter, murder, and violence, the newly elected Imperial Admiral Ursa 'Varamee had finally ordered reinforcements to be sent to the planet. Even in the forested area, he could see a large amount of Spirits, Phantoms, Vampires, Harbingers and Seraphs all flying towards the nearby city.

'Idamee was an Elite Major, and he had been sent to help operations in the nearby city, with his unit consisting of 3 Minor Elites. The route there had to take him through an unpleasant forest that was no doubt teeming with Brute invaders. He stopped and halted his unit. He could have sworn he had seen movement through the dense undergrowth in front of them. He signalled the Minor Elite to his right to scout ahead, and the one to his left to guard the rear.

The first Minor Elite walked slowly through the forest, keeping a lookout for Brutes. He had been ordered to scout ahead, and he had no intention of getting ambushed by their enemy. The Minor checked his motion tracker, and he was shocked to discover that there were enemy contacts all around him, yet he saw none. Panicked, he raised his dual plasma rifles and swept the area. He saw no Brutes, but he noticed a round, smooth object on the ground emitting red light. Creeping closer, the Blue – clad Elite identified it as a radar jammer. That explained why his motion tracker was going haywire. But who had thrown it? The Elite knew Radar Jammers expired after a minute or two, so its owner would still be around.

Absorbed in pondering about and examining the device, the Elite never noticed the camouflaged Brute sneaking up behind him. When he did, it was too late. Much too late.

The Minor guarding the rear knew nothing of this. He slowly turned around - and saw the distorted image of a Brute using active camoflauge in front of him. He fumbled for his Plasma Pistol, just as the Brute dropped a firebomb grenade at his feet. The Brute then grabbed its Spiker Carbine and firedat the Elite until the unfortunate warrior's energy shield was depleted, and watched as the flames engulfed the Elite before he could scream.

'Idamee stopped. Unaware of the fate of his two subordinates, he stopped beside a stream and signalled the remaining Minor Elite to move ahead. The Minor walked forward, Covenant Carbine at ready - turning right past a tree - only to find himself facing two rippled forms of camoflauged Brutes. He opened fire with his Carbine, but a third Brute appeared behind him, and ripped the weapon from his hands. The Brute lifted the struggling Elite up into the air - higher and higher, and slammed him on the ground. Before he could react, the Brute had trampled on him, reducing him to a pile of mangled purple flesh on the ground.

'Idamee watched as the transparent water of the stream turned purple with Elite blood. Something had obviously happened to one of his men. He hailed the first Elite over the radio channel. His acknowledgement light stayed dark. The second and third Elites did not respond either.

The Elite Major was alarmed. It was against the honor code for Elites to run, but faced with the disappearance of three of his unit in a matter of seconds, 'Idamee was perfectly willing to walk very, very quickly.

1600 hours, November 17 2552
In orbit around Elite homeworld Sanghelios
Altitude 40000 Kilometers

Imperial Admiral Usra 'Varamee stood on the bridge of his Separatist Supercarrier, christened Sublime Transcendence II and brooded over the fate of the planet. Their armies were being scattered by the attacks of the Brutes. No less than fifty units had been lost in the past hour on the ground; two frigates and a destroyer had been badly damaged by Jiralhanae attack forces as well. It was mainly a seesaw battle, with neither side winning, and with each passing minute, more damage being done to the cities on the planet surface and their fleet in orbit.

If we are to emerge victorious, he thought, we will need allies. And a damn lot of them.

He had considered that point countless times before, and it was easier said than done. He had sent an agent to the Kig-Yar planet of Eayn and its surrounding system to see if the Sangheili could bribe the Kig-Yar "Jackals" into joining forces with them. If they offered a better reward than the Prophets, the birdlike Kig-Yar would surely join forces with them, since few actually believed in the Great Journey.

Their shortage of troops stemmed from the same reason on why he had been elected to Imperial Admiral. Xytan 'Jar Wattinree, the former Imperial Admiral of the Joyous Exultation colony, had summoned the Sangheili fleet to that planet in order to discuss plans against their newly formed Jiralhanae adversaries. However, in a method that was still under investigation, either the humans or Jiralhanae had planted a powerful explosive in the center of their fleet. When set off, the bomb decimated Joyous Exultation and two-thirds of the Sangheili fleet.

In desperation, the Sangheili clan and military leaders had joined together to vote for a new Admiral. The first individual that came to their minds, was, naturally, the Supreme Commander of the former first Fleet of Homogenous Clarity, Varamee, for his bravery and success in ordering what remained of his fleet to quarantine the second forerunner ringworld in order to stop the Parasite from spreading.

Now in command of a large percentage of the Sangheili's naval forces, 'Varamee felt a great burden on his shoulders. He had to live up to the expectations of the Sangheili…to be like the former Admiral Wattinree, and more importantly, live up to the expectations of his clan.

His Sangheili name could be broken up into 4 parts: "Usra" was his given name, "Va" was an attribute assigned to him by his clan elders. "Ram" was his family name, and "ee" was an honorific to show that he was in the military – an honorific many Elites had dropped after they joined the Separatist movement.

His family had a long history of brave and proud warriors – in fact, his late relatives, Bako 'Ikaporamee and Ripa 'Moramee, were councilor and Arbiter respectively.

I will not dishonour their memory, Wattinree's, or the memories of any Sangehili warrior that has died with glory thought Varamee. I will vow to exact vengeance on our enemies…and their deaths shall not be in vain.

In fact, he had named his supercarrier after Wattinree's former ship that had been atomized in the explosion. Another way of honoring the dead Admiral.

Now looking at the batttered planet of Sanghelios, which defenses were now in his command, he wondered if he would be forced to break his vow.

November 18 2552
Cairo, Egypt

Daniel West into the hard seat of the pelican, stunned. He replayed the scene of some Marines being killed - not by Covenant - in his mind over and over again, until he was more or less sure of what he saw.

Daniel West was an immigrant from the USA who lived in Voi. That was, of course, until the Covenant attacked the area and began glassing Mombasa and the surrounding savannah, clearly searching for something.

He had waited for almost a week before the UNSC finally evacuated him – and the last surviving civilian group – from the place. They had held out in the city sewers, surviving on limited supplies and avoiding detection from their enemies.

After 5 days, and when they were sure all hope was lost (some of their group even attempted suicide), they felt two horrific shockwaves. Emerging from the sewer network, they had realized that all Covenant presence had seemed to be gone from the devastated city.

Suddenly, a UNSC pelican had flown overhead – they signaled for it and it landed on the street near them. Two Marines ran out and secured the area

That was when the things attacked. Podlike, small, tentacled organisms. Two moved towards the Marines as they were shooting down the others, and infected , actually infected the Marines. The civilians had made a dash for the pelican and got on board just as the infected Marines rose, now in a mutated, contorted and horrifying version of their original selves.

The pilot had taken off immediately, evading the threat. All the civilians were pretty shaken, but none more than Daniel. It was not because of the sheer horror of the event – but of what it meant…and what this could mean in the future. Yes. He definitely knew what those things were.

His mind drifted back to events that had happened when he was a child, living on a UNSC frontier world and about to make a huge discovery…