They're Random, Baby!

Fan Fiction

Halo: Alien Brethren by Alex L (Greek Elite)

Halo: Alien Brethren Chapter 1
Date: 22 September 2005, 1:56 am

I'd like to thank many people in addition to submitting this story. My parents, for encouraging and believing in my writing talents. My friends (John, Kyle, the twins and that's about all of my gamer friends) for improving my Halo skills so that I may become the professional of who I am today (mostly the work of John). Amy A, wherever you are Amy I miss you and regret not telling you how I feel. This website and everyone whom reads the fan fiction. And of course (saving the best for last), God for giving me my talents and blessed life. Without further a due I give you Halo: Alien Brethren

"Good to see you Master Chief," a marine said as he snapped to attention and saluted the Spartan. Sergeant Baxter, along with many other marines, were relived to see the super soldier finish off the rest of the grunts and elites that had them pinned down at Hotel Zanzibar. "What's your status?" Spartan 117 asked. "We've got two wounded, the rest of us are operational. There's enemy contacts up ahead through that hallway but when we heard you were on your way we decided to wait up for you," Baxter answered. "You," Master Chief said referring to Baxter, "will stay here then and watch over your wounded. Everyone else heads out with me." "Understood sir," Baxter said nodding briskly as the Spartan headed out with his battle rifle in hand while the other marines tailed behind with shotguns, SMG's, and a few battle rifles. Sergeant John Baxter watched them head into the dark hallway beyond and readied his Sniper Rifle that he put away. He watched the area diligently while he listened to the human gunfire tear through Covenant opposition beyond. He chuckled as he heard the occasional sound of "WORT WORT WORT!" of cocky Elites or the squeaky voices of various Grunts. Distant noises of phantoms, warthogs, and ghosts could be barely heard on the other side of the hotel and things so far were mildly boring and quiet where Baxter stood. "Ugh, I'm thirsty," moaned a marine whom had taken a series of it's in the leg by a Needler. Baxter looked over to his right and saw a broken down vending machine. He used the butt of his sniper rifle to hammer the vending machine in a blunt way, which caused a few sodas to come out. He threw one to each of the wounded marines and drank one himself. Watching over Hotel Zanzibar, keeping watch with a sniper rifle, and drinking a Cola. "Yep, nothing gets better then this," Baxter said half relaxed half annoyed.

"The demon and his minions have arrived!" Cried a crimson armored elite to his brethren Elites whom had just stepped out of their pods, as did he. A human four wheeled car just came into view over a jump and it splashed through the coastline and headed straight for them. The demon was driving the primitive vehicle while the two humans took offensive measures in the vehicle. Projectiles came barraging the newly arrived elites and it didn't help that the vehicle was rampaging straight for them. The crimson elite, Alei 'Limoto, jumped out of the way just in time as the car came right in his direction. One of his fellow elites wasn't so lucky as he took a hard hitting from the vehicle's mounted weapon. The other elite avenged the dead elite with a heavy barrage of plasma into the side of the human vehicle. It took a great beating and by Alei's guess the demon was taken surprise of this attack and drove as fast as he could away from the pods and into a farther off tunnel. "Look at the coward run," Alei 'Limoto commented to his fellow Elite. "The demon will have much difficulty getting passed the ghosts and sniper Jackel up ahead," growled the other elite pleasantly. "Let us check out that building. I see much human ammunition for us to confiscate up there," Alei 'Limoto said referring to a primitive building off to his right. The two of them headed over to the building and found a primitive escalating tool to reach the top of the building. It was a series of bars leading to an opening to the top of the structure which Alei 'Limoto assumed was used to climb up. "How do you suppose the humans use this to excel upwards?" The other elite questioned. "I suppose they climb up in some sort of barbaric, ape like way," Alei 'Limoto implied. Then there was the noise of footsteps above and then some sort of ping! "DEMON FLAIR!" Alei 'Limoto roared as he leapt out of the way. He leapt quite a distance, enough to keep him safe from the blast, however his fellow elite didn't fancy so well as he heard him yelp out, "HWAAAAAAA!" Alei 'Limoto turned to see a puddle of blue sticky fluid smeared across the walls and all over the elite's body. Alei 'Limoto knelt down to check on his brethren. The elite was shaking with immense pain and seemed to be using his final strength to hand Alei something. It was a Energy Sword and four grenades. "Use it to smite our enemy," the elite said in a soft shaky voice and then he fell silent and motionless. Alei equipped himself with the new weapon, discarding his needler, and put away his grenades. He bowed his head towards the elite in a way of gratitude and said to the dead elite softly, "I shall see you in the great journey brother."

"Everyone's loaded up!" Baxter said as he handed the last injured marine to another marine on a pelican that had lowered near the entrance of Hotel Zanzibar. Sergeant John Baxter hopped on the Pelican himself and stood throughout the whole flight behind the turret. The pelican lifted off above the hotel and passed overhead. "STOP!" Hollered Baxter as they came over a largely Covenant populated spot. Beyond the beach there was a building and a Covenant Sniping Tower. Beyond that there was a large tunnel. In the whole scene he saw dead elites and grunts along with some destroyed ghosts. "Hah, Chief must have been here, but he did a sloppy job," Baxter said. "So why'd you want to stop?" Asked the pilot over his comm. link. "Because I want to make sure that these bastards know who they're dealing with," Baxter said raising his Sniper Rifle and scooping in on the heavily swarmed area, near the Sniping tower. BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! He reloaded his sniper rifle after taking out a sniper Jackel, a grunt, an elite, and another elite that struggled to get into his ghost.

Alei 'Limoto heard firing in the distance and made haste for vengeance. He turned on his active camoflauge and gave his sword a swing which emitted the powerful energy blade. He climbed up the primitive ladder and saw the marine above was now firing at a swarmed area by the sniping tower. He used some sort of scoped weapon that could shoot in sustained, accurate bursts. It resembled a Carbine in Alei's opinion. He sneaked up behind the human and tapped him on the shoulder. The human turned and Alei 'Limoto quickly sliced off one of the human's hands and it dropped the rifle it carried. The human cried in pain and Alei kicked it's gun off the building out of reach. Alei reappeared before the human and looked at it pathetically. It was such a worthless creature but Alei failed to see the reason why the Prophets considered them so much a threat and refused on countless of times to take them as prisoners except on a few occasions. "Will you go quietly?" Alei 'Limoto offered. "You can kiss my ASS!" Hollered the human as he grabbed something from his belt, a demon flair. Alei quickly dove at the human with his sword, killing it off before it could detonate the spherical danger. Blood poured from the human's neck and Alei 'Limoto began to ponder much about the human. Alei was known for finding much interest in the humans but his faith and trust in the Covenant caused him to despise the vile race. Though he did ponder much on what they believed in and how powerful they really were. He also pondered about Heretics. His pondering came to an end as he heard several more echoing shots and saw blurs through the air. He looked above and saw a human drop ship shooting off noisy projectiles and quick blurs at his fellow Covenant brothers afar. Alei 'Limoto growled in disgust at the drop ship and then an answer on how to eliminate the threat came to mind as he saw scattered ammunition on the building he stood on. He recognized a very large, blunt looking weapon next to him that was known as a 'Rocket Launcher' to humans. He recalled many elites, mainly those in vehicles, perishing to the monstrous weapon. He swapped his side weapon (plasma rifle) for the large weapon and aimed it at the flying human craft. He steadied his arm, and pulled the trigger.

Thanks for reading this part of Halo: Alien Brethren. If you have comments, questions, or concerns please e-mail me or AIM me at Yoshi64y@aol.com or AIM (preferably) @ Yoshi64y. I'll keep trying to put up more Chapters for this story as long as you keep on commenting me on it! Thanks and rock on Halo fans!

Alien Brethren: Chapter 2: Clash Of Fates
Date: 23 September 2005, 10:06 pm

If you didn't read Chapter 1 of Alien Brethren i suggest you do so...NOW! you can always come back to this one. If you enjoyed this chapter and my previous one, please e-mail me i love feedback. ENJOY!
FYI: Chapter 1's name was Two Soldiers, forgot to include that

WHOOSH! POW! "WHAT THE HELL!" Baxter cried out as he quickly grabbed onto something in the Pelican. He felt the aircraft spin uncontrollably and felt a unpleasant feeling of demise within his stomach.

"WORT, WORT, WORT!" cried out Alei 'Limoto, in victory as his successful rocket launcher hit the cockpit of the drop ship successfully. This caused the ship to go down with a bang. He examined the rocket launcher that he held, "This will come in handy." He used the scoop of the rocket to examine the crash site and saw three humans still alive, two whom exited and carried the large rifles which resembled a Carbine and the other one whom was reloading an elongated rifle. The two human immediately started shooting Alei and he jumped off the building to attack the vile creatures.

"Stupid Rocket," Baxter grumbled as he tended to his sniper rifle and once he was done reloading and had finished shaking off the impact of the crash he looked through the scope of his sniper rifle. He saw the marine on the chain gun and another functional marine whom was inside the Pelican both charge at the elite with their battle rifles. Baxter thought this move was rather risky but decided to watch from a far to see the results. The Crimson alien bastard put away his Rocket Launcher and whipped out an Energy Sword. The marines had already gotten the elite's shields down half way and it was still charging at them, as were the marines. John was impressed how confident and brave the elite was to face off between two marines when it's shields were being depleted. As the energy shield of the elite dropped the elite flung itself forward at one marine with his sword, slashing him in the leg. The marine dropped his gun and fell to the ground in pain. The elite grabbed the wounded marine and tossed him at the other sending them both on their backs. Baxter was confused why the Elite didn't just kill them both when he had the chance. Too involved with watching the scene, Baxter's mind wasn't on the Sniper Rifle's trigger. The Elite seemed to speak to the two marines and after they exchanged words the Elite activated and dropped a plasma grenade on one of the marines and simply walked away from them as they both blew up in a blue, fuzzy explosion. Once the marines were sent across the beach seemed to have his attention now on Baxter. Baxter was too shocked to do anything when he saw the Elite look straight at him. He didn't pull the trigger yet, but merely waited. The Elite pulled out and activated another plasma grenade and hurled it into the air and it whizzed by Baxter's head. He quickly jumped for cover as the grenade exploded. He was impressed. An elite had the strength and accuracy to come very near to killing him.

Alei growled in disappointment, seeing his grenade missed. Now he would have to do things the hard way. Alei began to dash for the human and the human merely raised his rifle at Alei. This didn't surprise nor frighten Alei, he was an Elite, one of the best, and one of the bravest. As he got closer to the human within attacking distances he saw the human's finger move toward the trigger of the gun. Alei jumped into the air for a better attacking position so he may beat down the human with his mighty sword. As he came down for the kill he felt a great deal of pain in his shoulder as his recharging energy shield immediately faded away. Then without being able to respond to the fired shot in his shoulder he felt the rifle hit him in the head with a blunt THWACK!

Baxter looked down at the knocked out alien. It was an amazing, powerful creature. It was a shame that no marine had ever taken one of these things as hostage and questioned it. Sergeant John Baxter then began to ponder the possibilities of having such a well-trained and mighty warrior as an ally. He thought that doing this may prove to be impossible but it was worth a try. Baxter confiscated the elite's weapons and said, "Well, now I have to heave you and these guns all the way back to the Energy Turbine Facility at Zanzibar." Then Baxter discarded his secondary weapon (a SMG) and slung the Rocket Launcher as his secondary. He attached the sword to his belt, grabbed the elite by it's leg and dragged him across the beach in an excruciating walk back to the Windmill to Zanzibar.

Alien Brethren: Chapter 3 Life Debt
Date: 25 September 2005, 8:44 pm

I apologize for the last 2 chapters not having paragraphing except for scene changes. Hope you enjoy Chapter 3 and keep interest in Alien Brethren!
PS: This Chapter may not have as much action as the last two but wait for Chapter 4, it's filled with things that go BOOM!

Chapter 3: Life Debt
Alei 'Limoto's mind cleared up now and he began to recover his vision. Everything was blurry yet he was thankful he could see. He heard the sound of the wind blowing through the breeze, the tide washing up against the beach, different alien types of machinery at work, and human noises.

He shook his head and discovered his legs were tied together with a restraint, as were his hands behind his back. He felt something hard behind him, a wall. He looked around and saw that there was some sort of entry off to his left to a facility and to his left there was a narrow pathway. He struggled to gain his freedom but his attempts were futile. He then heard the sudden roaring of a human vehicle's motor. It was familiar and it grew louder. Suddenly around the corner a four-wheel human vehicle came spinning around the corner. Alei 'Limoto glared at the vehicle and the humans inside.

"Look what we got here fella's," said a deluded marine whom got out of the driver seat and walked towards Alei crookedly.

"We got ourselves a hog tied red bastard!" Spat the human in the Alei's face.

The two other marine's laughed at the elite as he growled and struggled to slay the filthy aliens.

"Look at him he's trying to get you, Schafer," snickered another human.

"How do you think such a worthless sack of scum got here?" Asked another human.

"Who cares, let's have fun with him," the human named Schafer said.

The humans grabbed the elite and dragged him feet first through the sand on the beach and Alei grunted as he was being dragged and tried to gain back his freedom and dignity. They stopped dragging him and left him in the sand as the two marines went back to the vehicle and one other marine set up a box right next to the Alei.

"Don't flinch, or you might get splattered," warned the human as he slapped him in the back of the head.

Alei would have done anything to acquire four plasma grenades, a fuel rod cannon, and five minutes with the humans to teach them a lesson at that time. Once the third human hopped into the vehicle the motor roared and the driver honked some sort of irritating horn that made Alei wince. Then he heard the human vehicle drive straight at him and he closed his eyes not wanting to witness his own fate.

Then just when Alei though he would be put out of his misery and prepare for the great journey the vehicle had drove over the box that acted like a ramp and went airborne right over him. It landed in the tide and splashed Alei. He growled and shook himself off as best as he could from being splashed. Then the humans let out an annoying torturous laugh as they drove back onto the beach and then all surrounded him.

"It's scared out of his mind, look at it!" One human said pointing and laughing at Alei.

"Hey let's get practice on our Warthog killing skills!" Schafer suggested.

"How so?"

"We untie him, let him run around and we mess around with him in the hog," Schafer said.

The rest of the humans cheered in glee at the idea and untied the Alei. Once Alei was untied he jumped to his feet and went to strike the closest human but he was knocked to his feet by another marine and they all laughed at him. As Alei 'Limoto got to his feet again they were already in the vehicle known as the 'warthog' and it came charging at Alei. Alei quickly jumped out of the way of the rampaging vehicle, his head covered in sand from diving head first into it.

The warthog turned to face the poor elite and Schafer ordered the human with the mounted turret, "This time try shooting at him a little bit just to rattle him up."

Then the warthog came charging at Alei 'Limoto again and he jumped out of the way, barely making it in time as he felt sharp human projectiles pierce into his back. He roared in pain and heard the cackling of the humans once more. Alei 'Limoto returned to his feet again and then was knocked off his feet by the passenger of the warthog whom shot him with a human rifle. They began to laugh harder in a very deluded way and Alei 'Limoto found himself lying in his own puddle of blood.

He got to his feet again, never giving up. The warthog game rampaging toward him again, this time the large mounted gun on the human vehicle came firing at him before the vehicle passed him, which made it harder to jump out of the way. The warthog hit him hard in the leg and he was thrown into the tide by the vehicle's impact. Alei 'Limoto felt weak now but as he got to his feet he realized that vengeance is what kept him getting back up on his feet. Though he was unarmed he'd have to try something crafty, something the deluded humans wouldn't expect.

The vehicle came rampaging forward at him and as the mounted gun began pelting projectiles at him he leapt into the air and landed on top of the mounted gun. He knocked the human off the turret and then proceeded to scooping the driver out of his seat. With the driver and the gunner off the evil human vehicle he was free to take care of the rest by his own strength. He kicked the passenger out leaving nobody let inside the vehicle and leapt on top of Schafer.

Alei 'Limoto glared into his scared, pathetic eyes and picked him up by the scruff of his uniform and raised him to Alei's eye level.

"You will bow to me human," snarled Alei 'Limoto.

Alei then smashed his skull into Schafer's doing more damage to Schafer then himself. Alei would have proceeded to attacking Schafer some more but he felt a burst of bullets piece into his back. He roared in pain and fell to the ground in immense pain.

Alei didn't know how much more of this he could take. The human's surrounded him and Schafer took one of the other's humans' guns.

"Say good night you son of a…" but Schafer was cut off by a echoing BANG through the air. The humans and Alei turned to see whom it was. It was Sergeant Baxter, sniper rifle in hand. He had shot his rifle into the air to get their attention.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Baxter scolded.

"We're teaching this piece of sack of crap a lesson," Schafer replied simply.

"He's my hostage Schafer. Don't think I can't have you demoted to private along with your friends," Baxter threatened right in Schafer's face.

"Lighten up Baxter will ya?"

"That's Sergeant John Baxter to you Corporal," he replied with a very grim face.

John examined Schafer's eyes and saw that they were very shaky, glassy, and drunk.

"Have you and your friends been drinking again Corporal?" Baxter asked.

Schafer merely belched in Baxter's face as a reply and in a split second Baxter took Schafer down with the stock of his sniper rifle to Schafer's face, shattering his nose. Blood poured from Schafer's nostrils.

Baxter gave the other marines a quick glance and they hurried off cowardly. Baxter stepped on Schafer's chest to walk over to his hostage elite, Alei 'Limoto. Alei looked up at Baxter wondering what to make of this human. John extended his hand towards the elite. He cocked his head wondering what the human was doing and assumed that Baxter was trying to help him up. Alei welcomed this and he put his four-gingered hand into Baxter's pale five-fingered hand as he helped him up to his feet.

Baxter examined the bullet holes in Alei 'Limoto and knew instantly that they were from Schafer and his posse.

"I apologize for the hostility that one of my fellow marines treated you with," Baxter said.

"You are lucky you already punished him or he would have already been drowned by my hands," Alei 'Limoto replied.

Baxter decided to laugh at the elite's remark to show peace towards him.

"Follow me," Baxter said as they headed toward a large facility near an even larger windmill.

"I am in your debt human," Alei said.

"Excuse me?" Baxter asked confused.

"They surely would have killed me had you not come along. I am grateful. Perhaps you are not like the other filthy humans," Alei 'Limoto replied.

Baxter decided not to take offense against Alei's remark about 'filthy humans' so that everybody was happy. "There are a few pig heads out there I admit," Baxter said.

They had just turned the corner of the windmill when Alei saw many warthogs parked everywhere and many humans looking at him strangely. Alei decided to ignore their staring and murmuring and continued onto another subject, "You are very good with that weapon that you wield."

"What, this?" John asked pulling out his Sniper Rifle.

"Yes. What is it called?"

"It's a SRS9…um…let's just call it a Sniper Rifle," Baxter said, stopping himself from introducing it by it's proper, longer name.

"And what is it that they call you, human?" Alei asked as they entered the facility.

"Baxter…Sergeant John Baxter. Sergeant is just my rank though, John is my first name. What about you?"

"My name is Alei 'Limoto," Alei said proudly.

"That's a…erm…unique name," John said trying to find the right words so that he wouldn't offend the alien.

"And…Surgeent John Bastard is also a unique name," Alei replied, trying his best to pronounce Baxter's name.

"It's Baxter! Sergeant Baxter. Not bastard, Baxter!" John corrected.

"Baxter…" Alei said to himself, pronouncing it a lot better then before. Once inside Alei looked around amazed at the human facility finding much interest in it's structure. Many marines gave weird, confused glances at the unarmed elite and he felt very out of place.

A question aroused, "Sergeant Baxter, why is it you kept me alive?"

"Two reasons. The main reason is because you seemed like a good ally and I was hoping to convince you somehow to join human forces. The way you slain your enemies was incredible but at the same time you showed mercy to my fellow marines. You seemed like the perfect elite to try and convince to join me," Baxter explained.

"And the other reason?"

Baxter let out a sigh as Alei's curiosity for the other reason arose. "Because few marines have ever captured a elite. I thought if I captured you and you refused to join I'd still have a hefty reward, no offense to you," Baxter explained. Alei just looked at him.

"So why exactly does the Covenant hate us?" Baxter asked trying to be more formal and social with his new alien friend.

"Because you oppose the Covenant goal," Alei said simply.

"And what is that exactly?"

"The Great Journey," Alei Limoto said with great pride.

"Great Journey…never heard of it, but how have we been opposing it," Baxter asked.

"The Prophets believe that you humans are too intelligent and too risky for the Covenant and would oppose our beliefs in the Great Journey. Not only that but you have destroyed our sacred ring."

"Sacred ring? You mean Halo?" Baxter asked, "So let me get this straight, you're upset that we blew up your ring even though that ring could destroy multiple galaxies? Don't you know that Halo is a weapon?"

"It is not a weapon," Alei snarled, "It is an artifact built by the Forerunners used so that every member of the Covenant shall achieve peace and glory on the Great Journey."

"You and your Prophets are wrong," Baxter said. Alei took a few steps toward Sergeant Baxter and was now face to face with him and looked at him in a threatening way.

"What do you think you're doing?" Baxter asked. Then before any more could be said a marine came running inside the facility looking frantic, "Sir there's two enemy Phantom on the other side of the coastline wall. They're sending Covenant troops!"

Baxter looked at the other marine and ordered, "Tell everyone to assume defensive positions around this facility."

The marine gave a curt nod and headed off to give the other marines their orders. Baxter looked back at Alei whom was still glaring at him. "I'm going to need your help," Baxter said.

"You want me to help kill off my brothers, even after how you insulted my people and my beliefs?" Alei asked as though Baxter were mad.

"I'm not apologizing for what I said, your so called Great Journey is a lie. I can prove it to you as well," Baxter said.


Baxter sighed and retrieved something sitting on a table in a corner that lay with ammunition and broken devices. He held a spherical device that had a large light in the center. The light was damaged and its framework was in bad conditioning.

Immediately Alei recognized what it was, "The oracle!"

"If that's what you call them yes, but we call them monitors. These monitors are said to watch over Halo and supposedly contain much information on your so-called 'sacred ring'. One of our expedition teams found it on a planet called Threshold and brought it back to us. However it's broken and we don't know how to fix it. It'll tell you the truth about Halo," Baxter explained.

"I may know someone who knows how to fix it," Alei said thinking about his Covenant brothers that he missed.

"So once you get it fixed, and you hear what it has to say do you promise to fight along the human cause and ditch your Prophets?" Alei thought about this and nodded. "Good," Baxter said and he handed Alei his energy sword that he had confiscated from the alien, "Now will you help us out with our problem at hand?"

Alei took his energy sword and examined it. "I will do what I can," Alei replied.

Alein Brethren: Chapter 4: Assault on Zanzibar
Date: 1 October 2005, 12:29 am

Sorry for taking so long to post this chapter guys. School work tends to preoccupy my writing and Alien Brethren isn't the only thing that i'm typing. With that i hope you enjoy this next chapter of Alien Brethren. PS: KEEP THOSE COMMENTS COMING! THEY'RE USEFUL! (:

Chapter 4: Assault on Zanzibar

Baxter had gone left through the facility gate and up a ramp to a sniping position where he found more rounds for his beloved sniper rifle. He scoped in on the opening of the coastline wall and watched for Covenant troops to come.

He heard Elites barking orders in the distance and then POW! Baxter's trigger finger pulled the trigger as if it were primal instance once he saw sights on a grunt coming through the opening. If there were any remorse he felt for killing one type of Covenant species, it'd be grunts. He knew they had potential of being dangerous but at the same time he thought they were cute in a weird sort of way. He made sure his thoughts didn't distract him from his sniping as Elites, Jackals, and Grunts came pouring out of the opening and he shot down one running Jackal with a marvelous headshot.

This attracted attention by one Elite in particular as the rest of the Covenant began opening fire on other Marines they spotted. The elite that spotted him had blue armor and a Covenant Carbine. It used the scope on the gun and began suppressing fire against John. He took one hit in the shoulder as the rest missed. He quickly backed behind cover and lay low avoiding any more shots of fire and reloaded his sniper rifle.

Alei came out from one entrance to the facility and saw two marines boarding a parked warthog, which had a different gun on the back. It looked more powerful yet slower then the other chain gun he saw on the other warthog. The warthog had already contained a driver and a passenger but no other marine was willing or able to take the gunner position for they were taking fire and engaging against the Covenant that proceeded through the windmill or the other route which lead towards the facility.

The driver honked the Warthog's annoying horn many times, trying to get any marine's attention so that they might take the gunner position, however none assumed the position. Alei approached the vehicle and the humans inside gave him a weird look.

"Do you need a backseat driver human?" Alei asked. The passenger looked shocked at what the elite was suggesting but the driver didn't care who it was that entered and said, "Sure, hop in the back."

Alei lifted himself onto the back of the jeep and grabbed hold of the large mounted gun.

"Do you know how to use it?" Asked the driver.

Alei swerved the turret off to his left where he saw Jackals pelting a small group of marines whom were trapped near the windmill. He felt around for something that made the gun work and found a set of buttons on it and pressed them. The gun shook with immense force as it let off a loud BANG! The gun was so powerful it obliterated the Jackals' shields and splattered their blood everywhere.

"Oh yea he's a natural," commented the passenger. The warthog sped off, around a corner, and met the enemy head on where the jeep bounced as it crunched and splattered many Covenant. Alei 'Limoto began firing heavily against his own kind keeping his mind on the human he owed, Baxter, rather disappointing the prophets by using friendly fire against his own.

After a body count of about a dozen or so more Covenant came pouring out and to Alei's surprise a Wraith appeared from the opening in the wall. Many marines fell to suppressive of needlers, plasma rifles, and carbines as the new fleet arrived and large groups of marines were scattered about to the bluish blob of plasma that the Wraith hurled into the air.

Alei immediately began firing at the large alien tank and unfortunately, this got its attention. "INCOMING!" Hollered the passenger as he jumped out of the warthog seeing a large bluish blob of energy come hurtling towards the jeep.

The driver and Alei however weren't so lucky. The warthog did multiple flips through the air and landed on its side with both Alei and the other marine on their backs.

Alei's energy shield was now down and his body ached. He managed to get to his feet and watched as the driver collected a nearby Carbine and hide behind the totaled Warthog. Alei peeked out from the Warthog and saw the Wraith positioning it's large cannon correctly and Alei knew it's intent on making sure no one survived. Alei grabbed the human by the shoulder and ran, dragging the marine as he did, and five seconds after he began sprinting with the human the Warthog did another set of flips and was scattered into pieces from the second mortar fire.

Alei threw the human behind some cover at the corner, which separated the battle from the facility. The passenger that had exited already was now back peddling and firing to their position. Alei 'Limoto examined the human to see if it was all right.

This human was different from the passenger and from Baxter. Its chest armor seemed to be padded more and its eyes were different somehow. Another difference was that the lips of this human were different from the passenger and Baxter. Was there a some sort of sub species in the human race, Alei 'Limoto wondered.

He kept this in the back of his mind and asked, "Are you alright human?"

"My leg is pretty banged up but otherwise I'm still alive. Thanks for saving me. Is there any way of repaying you?" The marine replied.

Alei immediately thought of a way for the human to repay its debts to him and said, "The carbine."

The human willingly handed over the Covenant Carbine to Alei. The Carbine was a favorite of his as a primary weapon when he wasn't using his standard Needler and Plasma Rifle combo. Alei headed off around the corner for a better vantage point on the situation.

Baxter just knocked off three Jackals and an Elite with his sniper rifle when he noticed Alei 'Limoto run off with a Carbine that he took from a marine below his position. His attention immediately shifted over to the Wraith as he heard a frightful sound of mortar firing off.

Knowing some how that it was coming in his direction he jumped off the sniping platform and thankfully for his instinct he had jus avoided being obliterated by the giant plasma mortar. He landed next to two Marines, one being the one that gave Alei the Carbine, Corporal Samantha Whelski.

"Nice of you to drop in Sergeant," said the other Marine.

The other Marine was Private Jack Parker. He held firmly in his hands a battle rifle.

"Likewise Parker," Baxter said giving a brief nod to the Private and turned to the Corporal, "Without a weapon, and a injured leg you're in no condition to fight Corporal."

"I would be in worse condition if it weren't for that red elite. What kind of army is this anyway? I thought we were made up of humans only," Whelski replied.

"Yea well, times change and I figure if we have an ally who was once our enemy it could give us a number of possibilities and advantages. Now enough talking. Parker, get Whelski to the facility and tend to her wound, I've got to find another sniping position."

Alei shot off his Carbine with precision and power as he gathered a body count of one elite, four grunts, and seven Jackals. He sidestepped to his left as he shot it off, hardly taking any response fire since the Covenant seemed to be more interested in Marine's that were on higher ground near the Windmill and those trying to sneak their way past the corner.

Alei found a ramp leading up to a post and decided it'd be a good place to hang out for a while. Once Alei arrived at the post he watched the battle go on as numbers of Covenant fell to the Marine's heavy fire yet Marines took casualties as well from the mighty Wraith or impressive Covenant firepower.

A group of four Marines swarmed near the windmill where they gave a huddle of Jackals amazing suppressive fire but their shots were futile because of the Jackals' shields. Alei decided to help out as he tossed a plasma grenade down at the flock of Jackals. It landed on one's head and it scurried around in a panicky way. Once it detonated it killed off most of the other Jackals near by it, injuring the rest, which gave the Marines the opportunity to finish off the rest of them.

Alei then raised his Carbine and scoped the battlefield for only easy targets, which it only took one shot to finish them so that his position wouldn't be jeopardized. His plan succeeded for some time until he heard Covenant forces succeeding near his position off to his left. He activated his active camo and waited silently and he saw one white elite, two Red elites, three blue elites, and a vast number of Grunts proceed to his post. He flattened himself against a wall so he wouldn't be noticed and noticed one grunt, a green one, carry a large, spherical object. From Alei's judgment it was a bomb.

He let the forces pass barely until he threw a grenade and opened fire, giving away his position. The grenade landed on the white elite and it hollered in anguish as it exploded along with the others. Alei made it out in time before the grenade consumed the whole post in a blue blast of energy.

POW! POW! Baxter had made haste to get on top of the Windmill where he was sniping ground forces on a bridge that connected the windmill to another post. He had taken out an Elite and a Jackal with his sniper rifle and he reloaded. He had heard the sound of a grenade exploding below.

After reloading he looked downward to see what it was and saw Alei standing on a ledge that connected to the coastline wall.

"ALEI!" Baxter hollered as the crimson Elite looked upward to find his sniping friend, "What's all the commotion down there?" Baxter asked.

"I vanquished a squad that came by my position. A Grunt was holding something resembling a bomb," Alei reported.

"A bomb?" Baxter asked surprised.

A mortar flew several meters over John's head and he took cover and threw a Frag down at the Wraith hoping it'd keep it off his back for the moment.

"More forces are coming John," Alei hollered to him, "Let me take care of the Wraith, you make sure the bomb doesn't exceed any further."

"ALRIGHT!" Baxter hollered as he glimpsed to see if the Wraith had lost interest of him yet. It was now concentrating on Marines that attempted to ambush the Wraith around the corner and its front turrets went to work to take out the small threats.

Alei was correct about more troops coming as they walked up a ruble like staircase. Baxter took care to sniping off as many as he could until he realized, he was out of Sniper Rifle rounds. The Covenant group proceeded to where the bomb left off and John wouldn't dare let them precede with it any further. He pulled out his SMG and jumped down to the Covenant's position near the post. He lobbed a Frag grenade at the enemy taking out half of the troops and fired off his SMG.

This took the aliens by surprise and made them run rather then fight as if they had more important things to do then waste their time with one human. John proceeded cautiously and saw two Elites covering three Grunts' back and two Jackals and one Elite covering the Grunts' fronts. They were all headed toward the facility and were making good time as they did so. John picked up a plasma pistol near a dead grunt and wielded it in his left hand.

Something fell on the back of an Elite's ghost that had just emerged from the opening in the wall. The Elite riding the speedy vehicle turned his head to see what it was and saw a angry, crimson Elite clung to the back of the vehicle.

The Elite sped forward desperately as if a final attempt to get Alei 'Limoto off but this failed as the crimson Elite kicked the other Elite out of the vehicle. The Elite that was driving the ghost immediately grabbed his Plasma Rifle and roared in anger at Alei as it shot furiously at him.

The plasma managed to take out half of Alei's shield but at that point Alei had already whipped out his energy sword and slain the other Elite. Alei made haste to quickly commandeer the abandoned Ghost and spun it around now facing the goliath, Covenant tank.

The Wraith fired a blue mortar into the air at Alei as Alei sped straight for the Wraith. The mortar hit the ground with a loud WHAM missing the Ghost completely thanks to the Ghost's boosting system. Alei continued his daring boost straight toward the Wraith till the two vehicles were a matter of feet away from each other. Alei leaned back causing the Ghost to do what looked like a wheelie and it skimmed over the Wraith. He jumped off the Ghost as it skimmed over and managed to get a grasp on the tank.

He found the opening to the Wraith and used his bare hands to beat off the top that protected the driver. Once it shattered by the crimson Elite's might he chucked one of his plasma grenades into the driver seat and jumped off the Wraith just as it detonated.

Alei proceeded forward through the opening of the coastline wall. There he saw two Phantom hovering above the tide, one sending down more troops. Alei Limoto had a plan now to deceive the others into thinking it was a human that had caused so many kills and destroyed the Wraith. Alei faked a concern look on his face as he met a White Elite, the leader of the new crew coming down.

"What's the status?" The leader asked Alei.

"They've been slaughtered by the humans, even the Wraith. My group managed to make it past the windmill and plant the bomb. They told me to go back and tell you that they may not come back alive once they planted the bomb," Alei lied, the best to his abilities.

"And the Oracle that was seek? Did they find it?" Asked the leader.

"I did see it but the Oracle was already destroyed by the vile humans," Alei lied again this time emphasizing much disgust in his voice.

"The Oracle was a main priority," the leader snarled.

"Not all is a loss," Alei reassured, "The troops inside the human base are planting the bomb as we speak. I suggest leave, but leave me a Phantom, I must speak with the pilot."

The leader Elite decided to place his trust in all of what Alei said and obeyed his request. The rest of the troops went back to their phantom while Alei went up another Phantom's lift. He felt himself being lifted off the sandy ground and being thrown upward into the Phantom by its gravity lift. Alei whipped out his sword silently hoping to take the pilot by surprise if needed so that he may steal the Phantom. He planned on taking control of the Phantom for Baxter and his own purpose.

Once he reached the cockpit of the Phantom he saw a large, hairy Brute at the controls. The Brute turned to see who was behind him and Alei paused shocked to see whom it was.

"Betronus," Alei muttered.

"LOOK! ENEMY HERE!" Squealed a grunt.

The leader of the troop, a red elite, saw in a corner were two humans, both unarmed.

"Hands up humans!" The red elite demanded as he and his two other brethren, blue Elites raised their weapons at the humans. The humans obeyed not wanting to be killed and raised their hands above their hands.

The red Elite nodded towards the Grunt with the bomb that it was time to set up the bomb. It scurried to the center of the facility and placed the bomb in a set position and began arming it. The Jackals and Elites scavenged around the facility while the Grunt was arming the bomb when a grunt said, "Me find oracle!"

The red Elite immediately turned to the grunt who spoke and saw the Grunt attempt to carry the monitor yet it was too big for him but the red Elite lifted it with his four fingers and examined it with no problem.

"The Holy Oracle that the vile humans stole from us," muttered the red Elite.

The Jackals lowered and cocked their heads at the Oracle. "Leader the Oracle does not speak nor does it light up. Perhaps it is broken," growled a blue Elite.

"It appears so but still," the red Elite said admiring the spherical, 'holy' object, "Once it is repaired it will guarantee me a reward from the Prophets."

Then his admiring came to an abrupt end as he felt something burning splash against his back, which took out his energy shield and was followed by a series of bullets puncturing his skin until he fell to his demise.

"HE GOT ELITE!" A grunt squealed as the grunts ran around cowardly except for the one arming the bomb.

Sergeant Baxter discarded the plasma pistol and threw his last two Frag grenades. One landed right behind the Grunt arming the bomb, the other landed near a patch of Jackals and Elites. Both exploded causing leaving only one elite and one grunt standing. He bashed the Elite's skull with a great force, using his SMG, and took out the Grunt by knocking him bluntly in the back, with his SMG as well.

He walked over to see if Parker and Whelski were all right, both were unharmed. Everything was quiet until the sound of a Phantom closed in and Baxter immediately got ready. He placed the bomb on the table full of ammunition and other junk, retrieved some rounds for his Sniper Rifle and went outside, Sniper Rifle fully loaded, for his enemies.

Surprisingly only a familiar, crimson Elite came down the gravity lift to greet him. "Mind pointing that somewhere else Sergeant?" Alei asked.

Baxter pointed his gun elsewhere and greeted Alei with a smile. "I'm assuming you took care of the situation then?" Baxter asked.

"I cleared out the rest of the troops," Alei said proudly, "How about the bomb?"

"Why don't you see for yourself?" Baxter suggested nodding over to the table that held the bomb and the other junk. "Good, then we'll be on our way then," Alei said.

Baxter nodded and said, "Wait up I need to get something."

Alei waited in the Phantom while Baxter retrieved the monitor. "You think you guys can mange the place from here?" Baxter asked the Corporal and the Private. "We can manage. What should we tell everyone else when we find them?" Parker asked.

"Tell them highest in command is in charge because I'm gone," Baxter said with a smile as he went up the gravity lift wondering if he'd ever see Zanzibar or Earth again. Once inside the Phantom he felt weird standing in such an awkward alien drop ship.

"I see you've brought the Oracle," Alei said.

"Wouldn't leave without it. It's the only thing that'll convince you to join us humans," Baxter said.

"What? I hear a vile creature on my vessel!" Roared someone, or something in the cockpit of the Phantom. Out came a large, hairy Brute from the cockpit, it's eyes glaring at the human.

"You let this sack of scum on my ship!" The brute roared at Alei.

"Easy Betronus he's a friend as are you," Alei said stepping in between Baxter and the Brute named Betronus so no blood was shed, "I told you that what we would be doing may be against the Covenant."

"You never said anything about a filthy, smelly human," growled Betronus. "You're not so fresh smelling yourself you big ape," Baxter countered.

"WHO ARE YOU CALLING AN APE!" Roared Betronus. Alei now pulled out his sword incase anything drastic was done.

"ENOUGH!" He roared, "You both will tolerate each other and will work together as a team." Betronus gave a displeasing grunt as he headed back to the cockpit.

"Ignore Betronus' occasional rudeness. At times he may be discourteous but he is a good fighter and pilot nonetheless," Alei said.

"Whatever," Baxter said examining his Sniper Rifle.

Alien Brethren: Chapter 5: Rallying up the gang
Date: 6 October 2005, 8:57 pm

Here's the newest Chapter of Alien Brethren. I appreciate your input, comments, and encouragement. Just glad that I can entertain you with my writing and i'd like to make a random shout out to Amy A once again just because she could have made today a lot better then what it was. Thanks and ENJOY!

Chapter 5: Rallying up the gang

Once the Phantom had docked inside of the Covenant ship, containing the Prophet of Regret, they waited out ride through slip space. Alei, Betronus, and Sergeant Baxter were still on board the Phantom figuring out their next plan of action.
"You found the Oracle, yet it is broken," growled Betronus whom looked at the motionless monitor that lay on the Phantom's deck.
"John says they found him that way. Supposedly his fellow 'marines' found it on Threshold," Alei explained.
"No doubt they found it on Threshold from the Heretics," snarled the Brute.
"There are Heretics on Threshold?" Alei asked finding this a bit shocking.
"Yes. There is a small camp there known as Burial Mounds. It was reported they had an oracle so we sent a team to go in, wipe out the camp, and steal the oracle," Betronus said.
"Whoa back up," Baxter said confused, "What are Heretics?"
"Those who oppose the Great Journey and the Prophets," Alei explained.
"And we may soon be classified as one too since you say that our mission may be against the Covenant," Betronus added.
"I must know the truth. I owe Baxter my life for saving me from his savage race and he asks that I see the truth; the oracle is the only way," Alei said.
"And what truth do you expect to find in something that's broken?" Questioned Betronus.
"Kaskut, he knows how to fix things," Alei suggested.
"Kaskut? That pipsqueak? Bah! He was part of the troop that went to Burial Mounds. They never made it back but I assume the Heretics are taking him and any other coward like Covenant hostage," Betronus said.
"Then we'll have to confirm he's alive and have him fix the Oracle for us," Alei said.
"Why don't we just have someone more convenient fix it instead of going to Threshold and have some sort of conflict with these heretics," Baxter suggested.
"No other Covenant with mechanical skills can be trusted but Kaskut. Besides he's an essential Grunt and I don't want him to be left behind with a bunch of Heretics," Alei replied, "Was there anyone else on the mission that I know of?"
"Lib the Jackal, no one else you know," the Brute replied.
"Where do you suppose Ralna Tebo and Kalno Tebo are?" Alei asked.
"The Hunters? Guarding Regret I assume," Betronus said.
"Can I trust you to safely take Baxter to Threshold and bring him back to me in one piece?" Alei questioned.
"WHAT!" Baxter cried out as if Alei was nuts.
"Take the human to Threshold? He could be torn apart by the Heretics," Betronus snorted.
"By himself maybe, that's why I want you to help him. Together you both stand a great chance of surviving and infiltrating the Heretic camp on Threshold," Alei replied.
"Why can't you come along?" Sergeant Baxter asked.
"I have obligations with two other friends of mine," Alei said.
"The Hunters aren't worth your time Alei! What would you need them for anyway?" The Brute asked.
"Extra firepower. If what Baxter says is true then we'll have two Hunters on our team, a very nice advantage. Once you complete your mission on Threshold meet me near the Prophet of Regret so that we may form up," Alei said and with the understanding of the full mission now he went down the gravity lift of the Phantom leaving Betronus and Baxter in the Phantom.
"Looks like we have to work together now," Betronus snorted as he went back to the cockpit.
"Fun," Baxter replied sarcastically.

Alei walked through the large Covenant ship wondering where Regret was so that he may find his Hunter friends. He came across a gold Elite as he ventured through the ship. "Do you know where the Prophet of Regret is?" Alei asked.
"He and his guards are near the ship's main gravity lift. They're landing on another Halo so that he may present his sermon," said the gold Elite. Once Alei heard this his determination to find the Hunters grew and he started sprinting towards the gravity lift.
After passing through many rooms and sections through the ship he finally came to the Gravity lift where countless numbers of Covenant glided downward to a structure surrounded by water. He caught a glimpse of a Hunter's head as it went down the gravity lift. He guessed it was Ralna's or Kalno's.
He approached the gravity lift after a platoon of Grunts and Jackals had went down the lift. He descended downward to the structure and saw the Covenant that descended split up. The higher ranked Covenant went inside the structure while the lower ranked, less important Covenant went over the waters by means of a Forerunner tram.
He noticed Phantoms taking off from the ship as well as a faster way of sending lower ranked Covenant over the waters. He ignored those going over water and entered the structure hoping to find his large Covenant friends.

"Sergeant Bastard we are cl…"
"MY NAME IS BAXTER!" Hollered Sergeant John Baxter as he entered the cockpit of the Phantom.
"As I was saying," Betronus snarled, "We are closing in on the Heretic camp. Prepare for drop."
A few minutes passed by when the Phantom came to a halt. Baxter guessed they were at the destination. Betronus came out from the cockpit, "We're at a safe location, southwest of the Heretic command base. I have the Phantom on auto-hover right now so we'll both go."
Baxter nodded and watched the Brute grab for his plasma rifle and different weapon Baxter never saw before. The other weapon looked as if it were a heavy cannon and melee tool in one. It was too awkward looking to be a rifle of any sort and it had a strange muzzle eliminating the possibilities of a plasma weapon.
Baxter also noticed the plasma rifle was red instead of the usual blue ones that he saw. "What are you staring at?" Betronus growled.
Baxter shook his head, "Nothing."
"Then let's get going," the Brute barked, "You're keeping us up!" Baxter gave the Brute a quick glare as he went down the gravity lift, Betronus following behind.
Baxter looked around his horizons, it was a very apocalyptic looking place and he could hardly believe anyone would be located on such a deserted looking area. Sand and debris filled the area and the only sound to be heard was the eerie whispers of the wind.
"Since I don't know much about who these damn Heretics are or what this place is we're going to be doing things as quietly and cautiously as possible," Baxter said.
"Bah! I'll do things how I want to," Betronus argued. The Brute headed down a canyon like slope while Baxter shrugged at Betronus' ignorance and went up a slope to his left.
Beyond the slope he could see a pile of wreckage that looked like a tunnel or giant rib cage. Inside this 'giant rib cage' was a series of elites on patrol but they wore armor that Baxter had never seen before. The armor was orange and red and had many other differences between the regular Covenant armor. He assumed this is what Heretic's looked like and took action against his discovered foes. He leveled his sniper rifle, scoped in on one and pulled the trigger.

Alei entered the structure where he saw many blue elites gathered and chattering amongst each other while Grunts and Jackals bickered and playfully fought each other. Ahead was a large door leading to the room where Regret was going to make his sermon no doubt.
He approached the doors when a blue elite behind him called out, "Where do you think you're going?"
Alei turned to look at the elite and simply said, "Inside."
"Red elite no able to go through doors," a Grunt squealed.
"Who's going to stop me?"
"The honor guards you fool!" Another blue elite shouted.
"I must go inside," Alei replied and he approached the doors. They opened before him and inside he found two honor guards standing by the doorway.
"HALT! You are not worthy enough to enter the holy one's altar," a honor guard growled.
"I'm only here to find two Hunters. I must speak with them," Alei replied calmly.
"Ralko Tebo Laku and Kalno Tebo Jamu are currently on duty to guard the holy one. You are not authorized to enter. Leave before we must take actions," the other honor guard replied. Both took out their energy swords ready for the lower ranked Elite.
Alei took out his Carbine said, "I will kill you two if you do not let me through peacefully."
"We shall see who will die," the honor guard replied as they both engaged on Alei.
As they both approached him, Alei activated his active camo, disappearing from the two Elites' sights. The pair of honor guards looked around cautiously for the Elite. "Where'd he go?" Questioned one honor guard and just as he finished speaking he felt something blunt hit him in the back of the head.
Alei reappeared behind the one Elite with his Carbine. The other honor guard immediately swung at Alei whom had just ducked in time. Alei pulled out his own Energy Sword and the two began to spar with their glowing blades.
After a moment's of sparring Alei decided to end the battle quickly by throwing a plasma grenade on the honor guard's sword. The honor guard threw his energy sword away just before it blew up.
Alei now had his sword against the honor guard's throat and asked, "Do I have clearance now?" The honor guard looked into Alei's persistent eyes in fear. A red Elite, defeating a honor guard, how? The honor guard was confused from by his defeat and wondered who this Elite really was.
He ignored all the questions in his mind and recalled his duty, to keep guard. What would the Prophet of Regret do if this Red Elite had gotten by? He couldn't let him pass, but his own life was at risk. The honor guard came to a conclusion to let Elite pass as he nodded. He proceeded through the large room.
"How could we just let him pass?" Snarled the other Elite whom was rubbing the back of his head in pain. "He won't be ignored for long. We shall see to his death in due time," the other honor guard said picking up his Energy Sword again and standing guard.

SHOOMF SHOOMF SHOOMF SHOOMF! POW POW POW POW! Baxter cringed as he heard the sounds of grenades being lobbed out of Betronus' grenade launcher and making contact with the enemy.
Betronus had gathered a hefty body count with his grenade launcher weapon but Baxter thought it was inefficient and very noisy. While he was bent on pegging off the Heretics quietly, Betronus was making a ruckus somewhere off to his right in the canyon like path. BAM! BAM! BAM!
The sound of his own Sniper Rifle going off was relaxing to him. The sudden familiar kick back of the rifle hitting his shoulder and blood spurting from his enemies' head felt strangely pleasing to him. He admitted that Betronus did gather a bigger body count then him but Baxter felt his style of being more silent and taking out higher priorities with his scoped weapon was more efficient.
He realized however the enemy was catching on to his position. He had moved behind one of the 'ribs' of the large rib cage that he had picked as his sniping spot. A squad of Heretics (in front were Grunts while Elites covered their backs) came rushing towards his position. He finished off the last round inside his rifle, knocking off an Elite.
He switched weapons quickly to his SMG sidearm not wanting to take any risks of being caught off guard while reloading. Before firing off his small yet efficient gun he lobbed a grenade in the center of the squad. Some Elite and Grunts jumped aside in hindsight of the grenade, while the others were sent to their demise by the shrapnel.
With a fraction of the squad dead, he took out those whom got out of the way with a stream of fire from his SMG. He had taken a few Needles from a grunt in his leg but shook it off and proceeded on.
Defensive troops were sent to guard the perimeter of the base where turrets were already planted and Heretics ready for the enemy. He quickly picked up a nearby Needler from a dead Grunt nearby and started reducing the Heretic reinforcements. Grunts squealed and Elites cried out as they felt the bombarding of bullets from his SMG and the immense, irritating pain of his dual wielded Needler.
Now with a body count of about five or so he began taking heavy fire from a Grunt whom had a stationed Plasma Cannon in a window by the base. Baxter took evasive maneuvers and ran towards a large pillar like object. He hid behind the pillar and discarded the Needler.
As he went to reach for his Sniper Rifle he heard the battle cry of a nearby Elite whom was firing at him from his left. Before Baxter could respond to the fire and use his trusty Sniper Rifle the Elite was suddenly mauled by a brown, hairy blur.
"I could have handled him by myself," Baxter said confidently to Betronus.
"Don't get cocky human," Betronus said taking out a Red Plasma Rifle. The Brute joined Baxter against the pillar as they heard the irritating sound of a plasma cannon firing. Baxter loaded his Sniper Rifle and the Brute spoke, "Do you think you can take care of the turret by yourself?"
Baxter glimpsed around the pillar at the turret, raised his rifle, set the sights on the Grunt's head and said, "Oh yea. I got it."

Alei 'Limoto quietly walked through the 'altar' near the right wall on the second floor. He watched the level below him, looking for his large blue friends. He saw occasional high ranked Grunts, Honor Guards, the holy Prophet of Regret and his heart rose as he saw his Hunter friends.
Ralna Tebo Laku and Kalno Tebo Jamu. Alei could somehow always tell the two of them apart from the other hunters. There was something about the two of them that made them different. Perhaps it was their sluggish like stance or childish like actions. Ralna and Kalno were more pleasant Hunters to be around since they were always playfully fighting with each other and obeyed orders without hesitating. As of now they both looked very bored standing guard for Regret.
Alei jumped down to the ground floor and hid near a corner so that the Prophet would not see him. Ironically it was the Prophet that Alei feared more then the honor guards and the Hunters. When Alei thought about it all the Covenant races were pawns of the Prophets' galactic game of chess. If Regret spotted him, intruding on his sermon, he feared what consequences there would be.
He made sure he hid himself from the Prophet's sight by barely visible to the Hunters. "Psssst! PSSSST!" Alei tried desperately to get the Hunters' attention but they apparently were zoning out and unable to hear Alei. Alei sighed and desperately thought of different ways how he'd get their attention.

POW! POW! Baxter had just shot off two more rounds of his Sniper Rifle eliminating one Grunt with a Fuel Rod Cannon and an Elite. Baxter and Betronus were vigorously at work trying to reduce the Heretic reinforcements and their success was showing.
Fewer Heretics came out from the base they were surrounding and their opposition was growing weaker.
Baxter put away his Sniper again and equipped himself with his sidearm. "Time to ambush while they're weak!" Baxter said and the two of them went charging at the base firing off their weapons.
The two had worked well together and developed a nice strategy. Betronus fired sustained bursts at Elites' shields while Baxter finished them off with his SMG and occasionally tore through the small amounts of Grunt's that hopelessly attacked them. This strategy proved to be very effective as they were able to proceed further and their enemies fell faster.
They had reached an entrance to the base and neither of them had taken too many hits. Two ramps led to the main part of the base but Heretic opposition heavily guarded both entrances. Both of them tossed a grenade at the barricade of Heretics wiping them out swiftly. The two of them tore through the rest of the Heretics easily and proceeded up the ramps. Once they were up the ramp and in the main area of the base they were surprised to see all the remaining Heretics surrender and drop their weapons.
"BAH! Such an easy opponent! Let us show no mercy!" Betronus said pulling out his grenade launcher and got ready to use the blade part of it against the surrendering Heretics.
"WAIT!" Baxter exclaimed, "They're useful to us right now and there's no need for killing them."
"The only good Heretic is a dead one!" Betronus argued.
"They're staying alive," Baxter said, his Sniper Rifle out and pointed at Betronus, "And that's final." Betronus snarled and cursed under his breath. "Where are your prisoners?" Baxter asked the unarmed Heretics.
"Follow," a Heretic Elite said as he lead Betronus and Baxter to a tunnel connected to the base. Sure enough inside the tunnel were two unarmed, normal looking Covenant. One was a short, orange Grunt that Baxter immediately took a liking too as he found it's cute figure and innocent cowering very likeable. The other was an astute, shady looking Jackal whom Betronus seemed to know already.
"You're hear! It's about time," the Jackal hissed to the Brute.
"We be rescued?" Squeaked the Grunt in a confused by the situation.
"Are you Kaskut?" Baxter asked the petite Grunt.
"The one and only," the Grunt named Kaskut said happily.
"Good, you're needed."
"Heretics are setting us free? What's the catch?"
"A friend of yours, Alei 'Limoto, needs your help fixing something," Baxter replied.
"Alei, sent a human to rescue me. What joy!" Kuskut squealed.
"What about me?" Snarled the Jackal.
"What's your name?" Baxter asked.
"His name's lib," Betronus said.
"You know him?"
"Of course. Lib and Alei always rode in my Phantoms and occasionally I fought with them. Lib's one of the cleverest Jackals I ever met. He's essential and Alei would want him as well as Kaskut."
Baxter took a moment to examine the Jackal and stared into its large keen pink eyes sensing lots of talent but also some distrust in the creature. Lib may indeed be very essential to the team but Baxter couldn't shake this hunch that the Jackal may be more twisted and sinister then he appeared.
Baxter reminded himself that Betronus did say Alei would appreciate Lib on the team so he shrugged and the four of them headed back to the Phantom, eager to meet Alei and whoever he was trying to gather.

Some hours later
"I shall light this holy ring, release it's cleansing flame, and burn a path into the divine beyond!" Exclaimed Regret.
Alei noticed the Prophet was really getting into his sermon and was acting very dramatic. Perhaps this could give Alei a chance to sneak by the Prophet and give himself the chance to talk to his Hunter friends.
Alei crouched and quickly ran up to the giant like Hunters, using as much stealth as possible. Kalno cocked his head at Alei and made a weird noise of confusion.
"Silence Kalno," Alei whispered, "It's me, Alei, Alei 'Limoto!"
Kalno gave a quiet chuckle of joy as if he was glad to see the crimson Elite. Ralna cocked his head finally realizing who Kalno was talking to and let out a cry of excitement. Kalno quickly prodded his bond brother with his giant shield as if telling him to be quiet.
Both attentively waited for Alei to speak. "I require both of your assistance," Alei said.
Kalno let out a soft protesting gurgle and motioned to the Prophet of Regret who was very overzealous as he continued with his sermon.
"I know you are serving the holy Prophet but you must hear me out my friends, this conflict may be more important then the Prophets," Alei replied. Ralna gave an odd noise resembling a sort of gasp. "I know what I say may seem odd at first but you must trust me. I'm in debt to another and we have found the oracle! The one I'm in debt to says the oracle has truths about Halo that the Prophets do not know. I'm asking you to accompany me because you are two of my most trusted friends besides Kaskut. We have all been through equal hardships together for better and for worse so I ask that you accompany me on my journeys."
Alei hoped desperately that his words went to heart for the two Hunters. The response took a while for the Hunters to think about but in the end both nodded. "Thank you my friends. Now, we must leave," Alei said.
The Hunters left as quickly and quietly as possible and Alei made sure to keep himself in front of one of the Hunters behind him so that the Prophet of Regret wouldn't spot him. They left the altar without the Prophet noticing their departure and boarded a familiar Phantom that waited for them outside, however, the Phantom that contained the three Covenant wouldn't be getting off so easily.

Alien Brethren: Chapter 6: Remorseful Incentive
Date: 7 October 2005, 11:52 pm

I know how you guys are excited to read the next chapter so here it is. Keep on the look out for Chapter 7 as well, it's tailing Chapter 6 fairly quickly. In any case another quick thanks to those who comment and read Alien Brethren and there's two more things i'd like to say. First off, and most importantly Happy Birthday to my friend John (AKA General Banks). Without him I wouldn't be typing Alien Brethren nor would I be the good Halo player that I am. Also, i'd like to say thank you to whomever posted the various oracle names in one of the boards for Bungie.org. Thank you to whomever made that post! And with that, enjoy:

Chapter 6: Remorseful Incentive

"How's it coming with the light bulb?" John asked the hard-working Grunt who was trying his best to repair the oracle.
"Almost ready!" Squeaked the Grunt excitedly. The Phantom that was carrying the six Covenant and Baxter was now hovering over the ruins of Halo that were located nearby the Forerunner tram. Alei had told him to keep a steady speed around the area since he did not know what their next destination would be.
"The sooner the better Kaskut but take your time. The oracle is vital and if it should malfunction then all my planning and gathering will have been pointless," Alei said.
Alei 'Limoto looked around and saw diversity among the contents of the Phantom: two loyal and very powerful Hunters, a crafty Jackal, an essential and ferocious Brute, a reliable and handy Grunt, and a brave, deadeye human.
He was glad that he had Baxter on his team and he remembered it really wasn't his team any more, it was John's. John had saved his life from the other Marines and had spared him. He hoped one day he would do John a favor or save his life so that they were equal. He began to wonder what it'd be like, in his past journeys if Baxter were part of his squad.
Alei recalled the many battles and expeditions he had went on when Kaskut, Betronus, Lib, Ralna, and Kalno accompanied him. Betronus was the pilot and occasionally fought by Alei's side, Lib was the scout and devious one of the group, Ralna and Kalno were the main heavy fire of the group, and Kaskut was the mechanic and Alei's sidekick.
He remembered how Betronus would always berserk when the humans were pelting Lib or himself with heavy fire. Betronus had always had a friendly rivalry against Alei where they both competed to see who got the most kills and who saved whose life the most. Lib and Betronus however were more then just acquaintances.
From Alei 'Limoto's memory Lib was once surrounded by two Warthogs with nobody else with him to fend off the humans. Right when Lib had lost faith Betronus arrived with a Phantom from nowhere and single handedly defeated all the opposing human vehicles with the barrage of plasma fire from the Phantom's turrets. From that day forwards Lib was forever in debt to Betronus and the two of them were the best buddies. This reminded Alei of his debt to Baxter.
Alei kept the memories flowing through his mind as he recalled the first day he met Kaskut. His armor wasn't red back then and Kaskut had just joined the Covenant. He recalled Kaskut being a nervous breakdown when he first met him since he'd never been in battle before. Surprisingly however Kaskut had been the Grunt in his squad with the most kills. Alei was impressed with Kaskut from that day forward and the two of them had been good buddies ever since.
Then he recalled first meeting Ralna and Kalno. It was Alei's first mission when he had inherited his red armor. Ralna and Kalno were recruited to his team (which already consisted of Betronus, Lib, and Kaskut). The two of them had a disgraceful history as they served higher ranking Elites before but failed them. As punishment the two Hunters were recruited to Alei's squad and with Alei's leadership the Hunters were more promising then ever. Alei racked his memory trying to recall when the Covenant had been split up and sent on various different missions. It was some time shortly before Alei was sent on a mission to Earth.
Alei treasured the memories he had with his squad and then he recalled a few missions before he met any of his current team members, when he was a blue elite. He remembered one of his missions when he was quite young; his entire squad was his family, literally. It consisted of his father and his brothers. Alei had enjoyed being part of the squad and enjoyed the missions they went on but as his memory recalled more details of that mission he quickly shook his head not wanting to witness in his mind what had happened again.
"All done!" Kaskut cheered apparently having completed his work on the oracle. Everyone was so excited at Kaskut's accomplishment that even Betronus had come out of the cockpit to witness it himself as he put the Phantom on autopilot.
Everyone watched it in silence then Lib spoke, "Are you sure you fixed it?"
"Why didn't we just find an Engineer and have him fix it?" Betronus asked glaring at Alei.
"We could not have trusted an Engineer with the oracle. They would have notified the Prophets," Alei argued.
"Me fix, ME FIX!" Shouted Kaskut and he gave the oracle a good kick with his odd shaped foot. Kaskut yelped in pain and he began swearing in his native tongue, grabbing his foot while the oracle's center light began to flicker on and off and slowly began to hover. Everyone watched in awe as the spherical artifact began hover and its light slowly turned green. By judging the way it moved and acted Baxter figured it was broken or out of use for a long time.
Then a cheerful and somewhat charming voice emitted from it, "Greetings, I am 16807 Remorseful Incentive. I am…"
Betronus had grown eager to hear what truths the oracle had to speak and interrupted it, "You are the oracle and you will do as we say and answer our questions. Got it?"
"Just let the thing talk, fuzz ball," retorted John who gave Betronus a nasty glare.
"Ah! A reclaimer! How pleasant! I have long waited for your return. Thank you for repairing me," the sphere said, happy to see Baxter.
"Whoa buddy, I didn't fix you and what's a reclaimer?" Baxter replied.
"I fixed you holy oracle!" Kaskut said proudly.
"None of this is important! Can we please get on with the questioning?" Lib growled.
"I grow impatient, 'Limoto!" Betronus snarled.
"Then keep quiet and I shall ask," Alei said growing agitated by the impatience and bickering on the Phantom, "Holy Oracle, we have repaired you and activated you in hopes of finding a truth that we all seek."
"You may then ask. I am entitled to answer any and all of your questions," Remorseful Incentive chimed.
"We seek the truth about Halo and the Great Journey. What can you tell us?"
"Well, my data banks contain nothing pertaining to what you call 'the Great Journey' but I have what you seek about the rings. The rings built by the Forerunners were used to contain an outbreak of a parasite known as the flood. Should protocol for containing the parasite be ignored and an outbreak occur a Reclaimer is issued to go to Halo's Library and recover a key."
Ralna roared in excitement as if recalling something the oracle had said. "Yes Ralna, he means the Sacred Icon," Alei replied.
"The icon? Haven't the Prophets spoken of it before?" Betronus asked.
"Yes, it appears to be the key to the Great Journey," Alei replied.
"This Great Journey you speak of has no relevance to the key. Once the key is used to activate the rings the Flood will be rendered helpless to the ring's power," 16807 Remorseful Incentive continued.
John recognized this part. He had heard the story from another marine whom asked the Master Chief about his mission on Halo. To clarify things for the other Covenant on board he asked, "And how does the ring render the Flood helpless exactly?"
"Surely you already know the cause and effect of Halo reclaimer," 16807 Remorseful Incentive said nervously.
"I know plenty well what it does. Why don't you enlighten them?" Baxter replied with a smirk on his face as he nodded to the other Covenant on board.
"Well…" 16807 Remorseful Incentive began nervously but stopped as the Phantom abruptly began to shake vigorously. The rumbling of impact on the Phantom threw everyone but the Hunters off their feet.
"What was that?" Lib asked cocking his head in all directions.
"I believe we're under attack. Betronus, go to the cockpit and…" Alei began but was cut off by Baxter. "NO! Nobody's doing anything until the light bulb talks!"
"You crazy?" Kaskut asked, frightened at the scenario.
"Baxter we can find out…" Alei began to speak but was once again cut off by the Sergeant.
"NO! That thing's talking now! What did Halo do? What happened to the Forerunners?"
"They…They…" The Phantom was pelted again by something strong and very hot and a rush of adrenaline flowed through everyone's blood. Then finally the oracle screamed "THEY DIED!"

Alien Brethren: Chapter 7: The Honor Guards' Revenge
Date: 11 October 2005, 2:06 am

Well i'm not getting as much feedback as I thought i'd be getting. I really like hearing what you say about the story so keep your comments coming! BTW: I'm getting a NEW BETTER computer this Thursday which means maybe my typing will be getting a little better and there might be a gap between Chapter 7 and 8 so you may need to wait for Chapter 8 a bit longer then you might expect. Also, random shout out to Amy again! ENJOY!
PS: It's a bit lengthy!

Chapter 7: The Honor Guards' Revenge

"WHAT THE HELL DID YOU SAY?" Roared a furious man.
"I said I'm joining the marines!" Barked back what looked like a younger version of John. He was in the kitchen of his house. There was a strange feeling of home sweet home in his heart but his initial emotion was actually hate.
"YOU IGNORANT BASTARD!" The man bellowed.
In a matter of seconds the man was in John's face and he felt something hard strike him across the face. John recognized the abstract pain he felt, his drunken father's fury.
"You've been drinking again, haven't you dad?" John asked as he looked into his dad's furious, blood shot eyes.
"So what if I have?" Growled the beast that he was now face to face with.
Hate seemed to intoxicate John's body as anger flowed through his blood and nerves. He clenched his fist and he heard his mother weeping in the other room. "Why do you care if I leave or not?" John asked.
"Because you're part of this family and your mother needs you," growled his dad through clenched teeth.
"Bull shit!" John said and he felt the same pain strike him again. He looked into his father's raging eyes and said, "If you think that I'm going to stay here and be your punching bag for the rest of your life then you're wrong."
Something struck him again and his father's words were more painful then his drunken fury, "YOU WORTHLESS BASTARD! YOU ARE NOT WORTH THE ARMY'S TIME AND YOU'D BE A SAD ASS EXCUSE FOR A MARINE!"
John unleashed all his rage to the point where his father was on the ground bleeding and quivering by his feet. He knelt down to the menacing man and whispered in his ear, "You know what dad, you're right about something. I am a bastard. You abused mom and left her before I was born, and I still don't know why till this very day. And before I go I want you to know that the happiest time of my life was when I never met you and never knew your name."
"I came back to her didn't I?" Wheezed the pathetic man.
"Freshman year. Worst year of my life," John replied softly.
John began to walk off but before he left home he stopped as he heard his father's last request, "Could you at least help your old man up?"
John turned to look at his pathetic father on the floor, his face in his own puddle of blood. John decided it was the least he could do so he got the man back on his feet; a mistake.
His father grasped him by the neck fiercely and began to choke him. John began to panic and struggled to get out of his father's grasp but he couldn't. Then with the remaining rage and energy left in his body he punched him in the stomach and smashed his skull into his father's.
His father let out a cry of defeat that sounded like the cry of an Elite. Baxter's eyes opened immediately and he found himself badly bruised on a beach similar to Zanzibar but looked more alien like. In front of him was a blue armored Elite whom Baxter apparently head butted in his sleep.
It was just a nightmare, he reminded himself, but in truth it was his past. He got to his feet and examined the situation. Behind him was a smoking, badly damaged Phantom. Scattered near the phantom was Kaskut, the Hunters, Betronus, Lib, and Alei 'Limoto.
Beyond the Phantom was a recognizable Human drop ship known as an Albatross.
He walked over to Alei's motionless body and began slapping him across the face to get him to wake up.
Alei's eyes opened and his eyes met Baxter's. Baxter smiled, happy to see the Elite was alive and awake. Then at that moment Baxter felt something white-hot and agonizing pelt him in the back.

Alei watched Baxter fall in pain by another Elite's plasma rifle. He could feel the heat coming from the blue plasma that splashed against Baxter's back. The Elite began to close in on him.
The Elite's plasma rifle was pointed square at Alei's head and the Elite gave out a hearty laugh. "The Honor Guards send their regards," the Elite growled.
Alei knew at that moment the Elite would finish Alei but with lightening speed Alei whipped out his Energy Sword, gave it a crack to activate it, and in a split second his sword had impaled the other Elite. Blue blood spurted from the other Elite's chest and the alien staggered.
"Tell the honor guards they can come and kill me by themselves next time," Alei said as he retreated his sword form the Elite's chest and it toppled over.
Alei looked over at Baxter who tried desperately to get up and helped him to his feet. "Thanks," Baxter said cringing as he felt the burnt spot on his back, "But next time you send someone to their deaths you might consider telling them to go fuck themselves."
"Go fuck themselves?" Alei asked.
"Never mind, we'll work on it later," Baxter said equipping himself with his Sniper Rifle.
"Are you able to fight?" Alei questioned.
"I've felt worse," Baxter said as a vision from his nightmare flashed before his eyes.
"Then let's wake up the others and find out what's going on," Alei said.

"How long has it been Sarge?"
A group of marines were in a dark, round room below a Forerunner Relic. There were a total of four able Marines and three wounded. Most of the marines were Corporals and Privates. The highest of command was a man named Sergeant Stackers.
"Two days Corporal," Stackers said who was lying down with his back up against the wall. Stackers glimpsed around at his unarmed Marines who tried their best to tend to the wounded or tried to get some sleep.
Sleep wasn't an easy thing though when three Elites were watching you day in and day out. They were all prisoners ever since they were taken from their crashed Albatross that lay somewhere along the beach. Stackers glared into one of the Elite's cold, emotionless eyes. He would do anything for a Battle Rifle right now or for a measly pistol.
"Sergeant could you check out Billy's wound over here? It looks pretty bad," asked a Marine.
"You've been trained in first-aid soldier, you can handle it," Stackers said in a weary manner.
"Sir, we really need you to check out his wound," the Marine said hinting his best to Stackers that the matter was vital.
Stackers glanced over at the Marine. His eyes had a great deal of hope and urgency in them. Stackers glanced back over at the Elites who continued to watch them.
The Sergeant got to his feet and walked over to the Marine.
"What the hell is it Corporal?" Stackers asked in a hushed voice.
"Billy's picking up a signal on his comm. device. It's got to be another Marine or something, but the batteries in his comm. device are running out so if we want to make contact with whoever is out there then we've got to do it fast!"
Stackers looked down at the wounded Marine whom seemed to be looking more hopeful than hurt. Stackers glanced over his shoulder and said, "Yea it looks like a pretty bad wound. I should be able to patch it up within a few seconds."
Billy and the other Marines managed to crack a smile at Stackers' playing the Elites out as idiots. Stackers took the comm. device from Billy and tried making contact with the outside signal in a hushed voice.

"Oh dear, our current situation is most unfavorable," Remorseful Incentive said examining the debris from the severely damaged Phantom in a confused manner.
"No kidding. Where's my plasma pistol?" Lib asked scavenging around the debris.
"You mean my plasma pistol?" Kaskut said waving a plasma pistol in his hand tauntingly at Lib.
Lib bared his teeth and hissed at Kaskut angrily when Baxter stepped in between the two of them, "Stop it! We need to all calm down and figure out our…" Baxter was cut off by a loud static coming from his comm. device.
"What that?" Kaskut asked.
"It's…my comm. device. There must be someone nearby," Baxter said trying to tune into the signal that was trying to reach him.
"Try to make contact with whoever it is. Perhaps whoever it is can tell us where we are and aid our us with our current situation," Alei said as Baxter messed around with his comm. link until he got a better signal.
The static slowly turned to a hushed crackling voice and slowly became clearer.
"Th…ss…ker…an…one…er…me…ver?" Kalno made a confused humming sound at the crackling sound.
"Quiet it's getting clearer!" Betronus growled.
"Re…eat th…is Serge…tackers…an…anyon…hear me?"
"Hello? HELLO? This is Sergeant J. Baxter, do you read me? Hello?"
"Sergeant…Baxter? I vaguely…ear you. This is Serg…Stackers. Do you re…me?"
"I read you Stackers. What's your position?"
"Me and…arines are prisoners in some sort of…Relic like struc…re. We've got seven Marines total, three wounded. There's thr…Elites guarding us ri…now. I'm assuming ther…ore Covenant above us. What's your position?"
"Me and my…squad crashed here. I'm guessing you're the owner of the lovely Albatross."
"Yes! Listen Baxter, your squad is close to our…osition. The structure we're in has a…pillar that you can hardly miss. The pil…is part of the base that the Cove… are guarding. Could you and your…uad spring us free?"
"No problem. We'll be there ASAP, hang tight!" After that he heard endless static and he turned off his comm. device.
"So what's the plan human?" Betronus asked.
"May I suggest we use this?" Alei suggested. Alei was nowhere in sight but his voice came from behind the Phantom, near the Albatross. They all went to see what he was talking about.
The crimson Elite was examining a Warthog that was parked near the Albatross. It had a few dents in it and looked like it had taken a decent beating but was still in a drivable state.
"Shotgun," Baxter called as he hopped in the driver seat. Alei hopped in the back where the turret was. He recalled being in the back seat last time and doing a fairly decent job, however this turret looked strangely different.
It was not as large as the last turret and had a different shape to it. Alei found a nearby rock to test out the gun. Instead of there being a loud bang and a force that shook the vehicle the shots coming out of the turret were suppressing, rapid, and less powerful. He remembered that this was the mounted turret used against him when the humans attacked him on the beach.
"There's room for one more," Baxter noted.
Alei looked at the others, trying to decide who should take the side seat. "Lib has too much potential on the ground and the Hunters would be too large," Alei speculated. He looked at his last two choices and came to a decision, "Betronus will do. Should we ever have to bail the vehicle, Betronus would be able to drive. Kaskut, you are in charge of Ralna, Kalno, and Lib."
"Me be good leader," Kaskut said confidently.
"Shall I assist in any way?" Remorseful Incentive questioned.
"Stay with them. Do not mess anything up," Betronus warned as he climbed into the Warthog, his grenade launcher ready.
With that the Warthog took off leaving the Hunters, Lib, and the oracle all awaiting Kaskut's orders. "So, who has plan?" Kaskut asked looking around at the others for suggestions.

The Warthog rolled across the bumpy, sandy turf at high speeds. They closed in on the large, forerunner Relic where they saw many different Covenant guarding and scouting around it. Baxter closed in on the structure to give Betronus and Alei a better shot at the Covenant around the area.
Alei's whole body began to vibrate uncomfortably as he shot suppressing lines of fire at the enemy. Betronus gathered a much smaller body count with his sluggish and inaccurate Covenant grenade launcher.
The way the enemy had fallen and how slow they reacted to them indicated that their assault was taken as a surprise to the enemy. The enemy seemed confused and unaware to what was going on. Baxter wondered how long it would take them to fully react to them and continued to drive along the Relic.

"Hurg…RA!" The revolting sound of Elite bones breaking followed the sound of a Hunter's battle roar. The commotion attracted a Jackal whom stood guard in a Covenant Sniping Tower. He carried with him a Particle Beam Rifle. The Jackal cocked its head and looked below to see what was going on. He watched the Hunter trample over two Jackals below and fling a Grunt into the ocean with his mighty shield. The Hunter looked up at the Jackal.
The Sniper above took aim at the Hunter's revealed weak spot and then felt something painful hit the back of its skull and was knocked out cold. Lib had went up the Sniping tower secretly while Kalno Tebo Jamu attacked below. Once Kalno distracted the other Jackal, Lib struck and stole the Sniper.
"Your job here is done. Go join your brother now," Lib ordered having no more use for the Hunter.

Two immense green lights flashed brightly near rock formations off the East side of the Relic. A Grunt flew through mid air having been hit by Ralna Tebo Laku's fuel rod cannon and orange blood spurted from Ralna. Ralna merely grunted in pain having being hit by the other Grunt's fuel rod cannon.
Once it was safe to come out from hiding behind the large Hunter, Kaskut scurried to the place where the other Grunt had been and picked up its Fuel Rod Cannon with joy.
"Me got big boom stick!" Kaskut squealed.
Kaskut turned towards the Relic, found multiple enemies, and shot multiple green globs towards them. The green plasma like projectile exploded on contact in a messy green massacre. Ralna followed Kaskut's aggressive action and fired off a green beam of energy at the enemy as well.
Kalno joined the two of them momentarily and the three of them turned into a menacing fuel rod platoon as they wiped out all weak and inferior Covenant that tried to counter attack them.

The Warthog rolled alongside various rock formations blocking off a small cliff that lead to the coastline. Covenant opposition was weak and scattered but had slowly become more threatening to the hog.
After examining Betronus' impressive shooting Baxter had to know what weapon he'd be using, "What kind of gun is that?"
"It's called a Brute shot. Specialized Covenant weapon only for Brutes. Why are you interested in it's power human?" Betronus replied feeling a small bit of pride knowing Baxter was interested in his mighty grenade launcher.
Betronus was not the only Brute using the Brute shot, for something hit the back of the Warthog hard and exploded causing Alei to fly from the back of the Warthog and his momentum kept him rolling painfully down the cliff into the sandy coastline. The familiar feeling of his head being covered with rough, irritating sand reminded him of the time he was attacked at Zanzibar by the vile humans. He shook his head in displeasure as he began to curse in his native tongue.
His luck however immediately changed as he found a large familiar human weapon lying next to a dead human. The dreaded Rocket Launcher. He discarded his carbine and heaved the large weapon over his shoulder. He bowed in gratitude to the dead marine, "Your death shall not go unpunished, human."

Baxter slammed his foot against the brake once he realized Alei was no longer manning the turret. In the distance he heard the other Brute cry in agony as Betronus' Brute shot pelted the hairy Covenant in vengeance. Baxter hopped out of the Warthog and looked around to try and find where Alei was.
His concern for his alien friend immediately came to a halt as something green whizzed by his head. He ducked behind the Warthog and glanced quickly to see what it was. In the distance, on top of the Relic structure were four Elites with Covenant Carbines. He took out his Sniper Rifle, loaded it, and peeked out from the side of the hog.
With speed and precision he knocked off one by one the group of Elites. Betronus accompanied Baxter behind the vehicle as he began reloading his favorite weapon as well.
Once both the Sergeant and the Brute had finished loading their weapons they heard a ominous hissing behind them. Both turned to see a blue and white fizzing sphere like object behind the warthog. Both immediately dove forward as the fizzing grenade exploded and sent the warthog flipping through the air and over the cliff.
It landed perfectly on its wheels looking battered and charred from the plasma grenade's blast. Plasma soared at their position as a group of Grunts and a few blue Elites evaded on their position.
The enemy's heated assault was cut off as a familiar Elite entered the fray in glory. Alie 'Limoto stood proudly in front of John and Betronus with the mighty jackhammer. He fired one then two rockets at the enemy. Grunts and Elites were airborne from the explosion.
"You're starting to like those aren't you?" Baxter asked recalling Alei using the Rocket Launcher against the Pelican he was in on Earth.
"I admit, some of your weapons are effective," Alei replied as he put away the Rocket Launcher and took out his energy sword, "But I prefer the Covenant Blade."

Kaskut unloaded his Fuel Rod Cannon on another patch of Covenant opposition and quickly reloaded. Even without the Hunters' protection (whom had went up a ramp to fight the enemy at a better position), he did not fear fighting alone or reloading. Lib proved to be remarkable cover fire for Kaskut. He hadn't taken any hits yet because of Lib's sharp shooting.
Kaskut quickly reloaded and watched the Hunter trample over Covenant opposition on top of the Relic. He noticed however two green Grunts coming from the pillar point of the Relic, mounting plasma cannons. Kaskut took aim and fired a load at them, sending them into oblivion.
After barking and dancing in victory he noticed a tunnel leading to some sort of chamber inside the north part of the Relic. He headed into the chamber and found three Elites guarding a group of unarmed humans. Kaskut figured the humans were those that Baxter was talking to on his communication device and knew that this would be his time to be a hero.
"FREEZE!" Barked Kaskut, whose large cannon was aimed directly at the Elites. The Elites turned towards the puny yet threatening Grunt. "Drop your weapons or you going to get it!" Kaskut warned.
The Elites stood exactly where they were, as they feared the wrath of the Fuel Rod Cannon. Kaskut decided to end the confrontation right then and pulled the trigger. The petite Grunt was disappointed when he saw no green blob of plasma spurt out from the Fuel Rod Cannon. He pulled the trigger some more desperate for it to fire off. Nothing.
The Grunt quivered as the Elite's laughed hysterically at the puny Grunt's gun backfiring on it the moment it was to be feared. They all pulled out their energy swords and slowly closed in on Kaskut.
The puny Grunt trembled more then it ever had in its entire life for this was the end. But when all seemed doomed there was two loud, deafening shots and the sickening noise of an energy sword slicing through its victim. The Grunt stopped trembling as he saw the three Elites fall to the ground, dead. In their wake was Baxter and Alei.
"Me glad to see you guys!" Squeaked Kaskut.
"You had a Fuel Rod Cannon?" Alei said amazed at what Kaskut had found.
"Why didn't you use it against them?" Baxter questioned.
"It run out of ammo," Kaskut said simply, discarding the large cannon.
Stackers, and the other three able Marines collected the dead Elites' weapons, Alei handed over his rocket launcher to one of the Marines whom lucked out on getting pick at the weapons.
Stackers and the other Marines found the scenario awkward that they were getting help from a Grunt and Elite. They shot odd looks at the two other Covenant whom accompanied Baxter. Baxter took note of their confusion and said reassuringly, "Don't worry, they're on our side."
"Hell, as long as they're shooting at the people who're shooting us," Stackers said with a shrug. Joining the group of Marines and Baxter's squad was a humming, floating sphere.
"You even got your own floating light bulb? Now I've seen everything," Stackers said amused by the monitor.
"More reclaimers? How exciting! I wish to meet all of your acquaintances but there is another issue at hand," rambled Remorseful Incentive, "Our two walking tank friends have been successful in wiping out the enemy with the help of the Jackal and the large primate. However reinforcements have arrived outside by a Covenant drop ship. I suggest you go outside and take immediate action to the new come opposition."
"Let's hope this is the last of them. I grow tired of our persistent target," Alei growled.
"My men can help if you'd like," Stackers suggested.
"Appreciated but me, Alei, and the rest of us can handle them. Instead I want you four to patch up and aid your wounded, and if you've got time, try to get a Pelican here on the double," Baxter replied.
Kaskut, Alei 'Limoto, Sergeant John Baxter, and 16807 headed back outside, met the Hunters on top of the Relic base and watched the Phantom slowly come to a stop near the Relic and began pelting them all with the Phantom's plasma turrets.
"Ralna, Kalno, concentrate fire on the turrets. Everyone else take defensive position by the rocks," Alei ordered.
While the Hunter brothers charged up their Fuel Rod Cannons the rest of them headed down to the rocks for a defensive position. Green beams of energy hit the Phantom with immense power while the purple like plasma bursts from the Phantom splashed against the Hunters' powerful armor. Occasional orange blood spurted from the openings in the armor but they didn't seem to mind the plasma that much.
Baxter readied his Sniper Rifle and Alei gripped on tight to his sword. Covenant troops came hovering down the gravity lift of the Phantom and immediately fired upon the rocks. Baxter had taken out four Covenant troops as they came down the gravity lift. He went to grab for some more ammo to reload but he came to the shocking reality that he was out of Sniper Rifle rounds.
Baxter swore under his breath as he switched to his SMG. While Baxter became familiar with his SMG once more, Alei lobbed a plasma grenade through the air and it stuck an Elite right in the chest. It gave a final howl of demise and exploded in a blue frenzy; killing a Jackal and two Grunts who were near the Elite.
The enemy kept on coming out of the Phantom and charged at the rocks. Lib had been a nice contributor to the fight as he supported a good sniping vantage from the Covenant Sniping Tower. Alei charged at the oncoming enemy while taking cover by anything he could after striking with his mighty sword.
Baxter began giving suppressive fire to a white Elite but its shield proved to be remarkably strong. He quickly dove behind the rocks as the white Elite returned with plasma fire at him. Kaskut too was hiding, now holding a puny plasma pistol.
Baxter examined the puny Covenant weapon and remembered something about the plasma pistol's power. While the plasma pistol hardly packed a punch, when it was overcharged it had the capability of taking out a energy shield with ease. "Kaskut I need your help," Baxter said.
Kaskut looked up at Baxter hopefully, "Me? Be help?"
"Yes. I need you overcharge your plasma pistol and take out the nearest Elite's shield, got it?" Kaskut nodded and the both of them jumped out from hiding, the white Elite charging on their position.
In a matter of seconds Kaskut's plasma pistol was pulsating a bright green light. Kaskut released the trigger and the green plasma splashed against and took out the Elite's shielding device. Baxter took aim and fired a sustained burst into the Elite's chest taking it down with ease.
"An Interesting combination," Baxter said pleased by the results.
Then, totally unexpected to Baxter, Kaskut climbed up Baxter's leg, up his back, and swung his arm around Baxter's neck. While ensuring his latch onto Baxter's back with his one arm, he raised his plasma pistol over Baxter's shoulder, ready to fire at the enemy.
"What are you doing?" Baxter asked feeling a bit awkward that Kaskut was riding on his back.
"Me be sidekick! I take out shield, you do rest!" Squeaked the Grunt.
Baxter chuckled at the Grunt's idea but didn't mind having the alien on his back. Who wouldn't want a cute little Grunt on their back as cover fire, he thought.
He proceeded, taking out multiple Elites with the effective combo of an overcharging plasma pistol, followed by a sustained burst from his SMG. The two of them however were met with a challenge of a squad of Jackals charging at them from the front.
Baxter back peddled the best he could while giving off suppressive yet ineffective fire with his SMG. Baxter took a few hits of plasma in the leg, shoulder, and abdomen.
Just as the Jackals thought they had Baxter and Kaskut where they wanted them they were all flattened as Ralna and Kalno came crashing down on the squad of Jackals, from atop of the Relic base. The two Hunters roared in victory but their victory celebration was cut off as the Phantom unloaded the last of its troops.
As they began to charge at Baxter, the Hunters, and Alei, their attack was foiled as Betronus came speeding through with the Warthog, splattering a number of Covenant. Lib and Alei cleaned up the rest of them.
With nowhere else to go and nothing else to do the Phantom cowardly flew off. Alei, the Hunters, and Betronus roared in victory while Lib and Kaskut went over to join them in their moments of celebrating. Baxter couldn't help to smile feeling pride in their victory as well. While Baxter's alien friends celebrated Stackers and his men came out to meet Baxter.
"I told you we could handle it," Baxter said still smiling.
"Never doubted you Baxter," Stackers said urging a smile as well, "By the way we managed to reach another platoon of Marines on our comm. links. We've been reassigned, and by we I mean my able men and yours as well."
"Let's here it," Baxter said interested in what he'd be assigned to.
"A large platoon of Marines are escorting Captain Miranda Keyes to some place called the Library. She's looking for something called the Index, and she could use all the help she can get. Three Pelicans are on their way as we speak. One will be used to distribute ammunition to us and pick up our wounded, the other two are going to be used for our transportation to Miranda's position."
"Sounds easy enough," Baxter replied with a shrug.
"If you think racing a platoon of Covenant, fighting off Sentinels, and protecting your own ass from the Flood is easy," Stackers said, shaking his head and walking off, disbelieving Baxter's confidence now.
Baxter stared blankly out into the tranquil ocean that surrounded the Relic.
"The flood?"
He'd never had experience against this enemy but he heard horrific stories about them. He prayed they'd be nothing different from the Covenant.

Alien Brethren: Chapter 8: The Nightmare Returns
Date: 21 October 2005, 12:01 am

Ok, few things before I get to the story (as always). First off, you'll notice there are hard indents in this story. Well after not knowing what the heck 'the code' has to say about hard indenting i decided to do it like this (since i didn't like the format of my other stories which dont have hard indenting). So until anyone complains, this should be how my next coming up stories WILL look. Second of all, I aplogize it took a while to get out Chapter 8 but I was planning on sending this Chapter with Chapter 9 (Which i'm currently typing but have difficulties as far as actually getting to the typing). I'm hoping that Chapter 9 WILL be submitted before the end of next week. The reason why I wanted to send Chapter 8 with 9 is because they both revlovle around the same mission, just that i decided to split the mission into 2 chapters. Another thing i'd like to say is you should start reading "Arbiter" work. I personnaly recomend his stories since they are outstanding. He's my fan fiction buddy so I reccomend you start reading some of his work IF you haven't so far. Last of all, shout out to my love Amy A. I'm feeling awesome this week because I got to see her beautiful face again! But I digress...ENJOY!

Chapter 8: The Nightmare Returns

"Do you mind going over our mission again?" Alei asked, examining his Carbine thoroughly.

Alei, Baxter, and Kaskut, accompanied by some other Marines were sitting restlessly inside a Pelican. In the Pelican that trailed behind them there was Betronus, Lib, the monitor, Sergeant Stackers, and some other Marines.

"Alright," Baxter said taking in a deep breath to explain the mission again, "Miranda Keyes is leading an operation to retrieve something called the index. This index supposedly is the key to activating this Halo. If we get this index, your Prophets won't be able to activate Halo and we'll all still be alive. Now this index is heavily guarded by machines called Sentinels. These Sentinels will do whatever it takes to stop us from getting this icon, and to add onto that we're positive the Covenant will be on our backs, racing for the index as well. So far it sounds like we've got a head start, however these Sentinels and your Covenant friends aren't the only things we'll encounter."

"The Flood as well?" Alei asked in horror.

"Yes. To get to the icon we'll need to push through the Sentinel forces and in doing so we'll be threatened by the Flood. Have you ever dealt with them before?"

Frightening and disturbing images flashed through Alei's mind of his past experience and conflicts with the Flood. He shuddered at the memories that resided inside his mind and shook away the pain he felt. "Yes I have unfortunately."

"Good, then you'll know what to expect from them, as for me, I'm clueless to how they fight. Any way's, while proceeding through Flood infested grounds and pushing through Sentinel forces we'll be heading as a group to our destination. The name of the game is to protect the convoy of Marines that will be defending Miranda. We have countless amounts of Marines on this mission so defeat is not an option. Do whatever you can to keep Miranda alive, stick together, and try your best to defend the other Marines as well, and most importantly keep up. Once the Flood attack, it's going to be hell. Any questions?"

"Yes one," Alei said as he felt the Pelican nervously shake and rock, "Are Kalno Tebo and Ralna Tebo going to be alright?"

Baxter gave out a chuckle at Alei's concern as the Pelican rocked some more. Alei had refused to leave the Tebo Hunter brothers behind at the Relic, and Baxter had come up with a solution. On the tail of the Pelican, where vehicles or ammunition pods were carried, was where the Hunters clung to the ship.

Their giant shields had been strapped tight to tail of the Pelican while their bodies dangled as the Pelican soared through the winds. Not only was this the most efficient way to travel with the Hunters, but it provided the Pelican with much supporting fire as the Hunters were still able to use their Fuel Rod Cannon arms to attack any opposition of the Pelican.

"Don't worry about them Alei, they'll be fine," Baxter reassured.

"And what about us? Are you sure this vehicle can support both their weight?" Alei questioned, skeptical of Baxter's plan.

"Alei, this bird can hold one of our tanks easily along with a squad of Marines. I'm pretty sure it can support your two buddies," Baxter said resting his head against the Pelican.

Alei activated his comm. link and tuned into the two Hunters to check up on them, "How are you two doing?"

The Hunters gave out a eerie frightened moan of sickness. He suspected the Hunters would be feeling nauseous, but by the looks of it the flight would be ending soon.

The two Pelicans began to slow down and the sound of gun fire echoed through the air. Alei peered out from where he was in the Pelican to see hundreds of marines planted into the quarantine zone below. They were fighting off the floating wonders, the Sentinels. The smaller ones seemed to be easy cannon fodder against the humans however the larger ones, Sentinel Enforcers, were more of a challenge and managed a decent body count.

Below were two human vehicles, a goliath tank and the trusty Warthog. Alei remembered that the second Pelican was carrying an additional Warthog for the extra support. He was amazed to see how determined the humans were for this operation.

As the two Pelicans came to a halt and hovered above the battlegrounds, Alei watched the humans suffer against two Sentinel Enforcers. The Scorpion Tank and Warthog were avoiding the machines at all costs but the humans willingly and desperately fought off the monstrosity machines.

Just when he felt that the humans had little to no hope of defeating them quick enough he felt the Pelican rock and saw two large green beams shoot at the Enforcers. The green beams hit them in their unguarded region where their shields had no protection from the heavy assault. One green beam made a critical hit and the one Enforcer came crashing down. The other turned towards the Pelican and began firing upon it, its last mistake. The humans took advantage of its back turned and easily finished it off.

With both Enforcers down the Pelicans were able to land safely and the Warthog was dispatched, and the troops gathered with the others. The other Marines' first reaction to the Hunters and other Covenant on board the Pelicans was a shock and confusion, though they quickly adjusted to them and came to the conclusion that they were an ally, not an enemy. Alei stuck close to Baxter, feeling lost and alone amongst the huge amounts of Marines. Kaskut jumped on Baxter's back not wanting to have to walk excruciating miles through the snowy region.

It was a gloomy, dark region where there was a faint snow fall. The wind's eerie whispers made everyone uneasy and on their toes, wondering when they might find their greatest nightmare. Alei, Baxter, and Kaskut now joined up with Lib, Betronus, and the Tebo brothers. They were near the center, where a large Scorpion was and a female human sat on top of it. The female sitting on top the Scorpion motioned for Baxter. Alei and the rest of the Covenant followed Baxter, feeling lost without him.

"Good to see you Sergeant. Mind telling me who your friends are?" Miranda asked.

Baxter turned to his Covenant friends behind him and said, "They're all trust worthy and all skilled. Alei, the Elite in red is the first I met, everyone else is under his command." Alei bowed slightly to Miranda as a symbol of peace and greetings.

"The more firepower the better", Miranda admitted, "Just make sure they don't friendly fire. Alright Sergeant?" Before Baxter could acknowledge, the sinister humming and whirring of Sentinels echoed through the quarantine zone.

"Clear out those Sentinels!" Ordered Miranda, her voice echoing through the quarantine zone. The marines and squad of Covenant fired instantly on command at the new threat. They went down gracefully by the large amount of gunfire, until the Enforcers entered the fray. The Scorpion's main cannon turned toward the Enforcer and fired suppressing machine gun fire and delivered an awesome blow to the Enforcer's frontal shield. The shields disappeared and the Hunters sandwiched the enforcer from the front and back with their deadly Fuel Rod Cannons.

"Nice work, now let's go! We can't waste any time," Miranda said to her massive squad, "I want one Warthog leading the squad ahead and another Warthog tailing behind. All troops assume a circular formation around the tank."

They all obeyed command with haste and proceeded towards an object marking a wall that opened by proximity. They were shudder like doors which lead into a large dimly lit hallway. The Warthogs rolled at slow speeds to keep with the Scorpion and the other Marines.

Alei and many others found the hallway eerie as noises creaked and groaned at the walls of the tunnel. There was an odd odor that few recognized before. It struck Alei's senses hard and he felt a chill go up his spine. As they continued to proceed there was a sudden bone chilling scream that came from the rear of the squad.

"AHHH! SOMEBODY HELP! AHHHHHHHHH!" Screamed a Marine in hysteria. Everyone turned toward the Marine and tried desperately to help him with something latched onto his leg then there was another sudden cry of madness, and another. Soon more Marines began to panic and many began to fire.

Alei searched around looking for the nightmare he assumed had closed in on the squad. He saw something skitter before him and he began engaging. Yellow and white fluids popped from whatever it was and more skittered. Alei kept firing off his Carbine at the crawling enemy, killing as many as possible.

Another patch of them came about, firing echoed off the walls of the tunnel. The sound of Marine's dieing and zombie like screams filled the tunnel. It turned into utter chaos, the tunnel was now a giant trap. Baxter began firing sustaining shots with his SMG at the squirming creatures, and Kaskut fired his pistol occasionally in fear of the enemy. Betronus was not resorting to weapons however, feeling overconfident to use them, and began using his giant fists and feet to exterminate the parasites. Lib was cowering near the tank with his shield next to the monitor.

"Oh dear, the parasite are present, this is most unpleasant," Remorseful Incentive chimed.

Alei found his Carbine was a poor choice against the new enemy and immediately switched to his sword and heard Miranda call out something, "Everyone proceed and-"

Alei 'Limoto did not hear the rest of what the female human was saying because there was a immense piercing pain that struck the back of his head. He was immobilized by pain and blacked out and a vision appeared before his eyes.

"Alei!" Alei 'Limoto immediately snapped out of a trance he was in, pondering about the humans. He saw it was his father who'd call his name.

"Yes father?" Alei asked.

His father wore noble, white armor showing much power and authority in his armor. Alei wore standard blue armor, the most basic armor used for mediocre ranked Elites. Alei had recently a few weeks ago sworn into the Covenant along with his other brothers who stood among him; Ebak, Palo, and Nifa. His other brothers too wore blue armor like him and were on the same mission as he was.

They were all standing on a Covenant ship used for research purposes, they were the vigilant guards of the ship. His father formed a smile at his youngest son with his mandibles, proud to see him in the Covenant, "You should be prepared, Alei. We are carrying out a very important mission for the Prophets and your mind seems distracted. One false error could cause failure."

"I'm sorry father. Next time I shall be more alert and aware to my objectives," Alei apologized, hanging his head in disappointment. Alei always seemed to day dream and ponder the most among his brothers. His thoughts mostly on mysteries that the Prophets refused to explain like the Great Journey, the Forerunners, and the Humans.

"It is all right my son. I know this mission may seem tiring at the moment but I must remind you that it is extremely important and extremely risky," his father reminded them.

"Father," Palo, the second oldest and wisest of the brothers said, "Why exactly are we doing this again? Why are we researching and delivering these worthless parasites?"

"Questioning the Prophets is a risky matter Palo, though I respect your thirst for knowledge," their father replied, "I know what the Prophets intend with this mission. They wish to understand these creatures as the Forerunners have. The Flood is mysterious and dangerous. Should we find out more about then we may fight and survive against their power, perhaps even use their power. Our mission is to secure this ship that contains this parasite, and protect it so that the others may research."

"Why do we not simply wipe out the entire Vernon? The Covenant can crush these parasites easily, and I thirst for victory!" Cried out the eldest, most blood thirsty of the brothers, Ebak.

"Not all victories can be accomplished by means of power, Ebak. We must protect this ship, it is our duty given to us by the wise Prophets," His father replied simply.

"But who would want to attack or interfere with us?" Questioned the second youngest, and most loyal to the Covenant, Nifa.

"The Humans. Their intensions or plans are unknown to us. I also suspect that the Prophets are worried of some sort of rebellion in the future and that friendly fire may be an issue."

The mention of the humans made Alei's mind race more about the mysterious race and he had to ask the question that had floated through his mind for so long, "Why didn't the Prophets offer the humans to join the Covenant?" Everyone stared at Alei awkwardly wondering what he had just said. Alei felt a lump in his throat but was not ready to discard his question yet, "The Humans could be misunderstood for all we know. Why didn't we offer them a place in the Covenant?"

Before anyone could speak an alarm sounded off and the ship shook. "WE HAVE A FLOOD BREACH! EVERYONE ASSUME EXTERMINATION AND STERALIZATION ACTIONS!" Yelled an Elite's voice over the PA.

The family of Elites readied their plasma rifles and their father led them through the ship to the research area where the Flood breach would be.

"Be diligent my sons and stay together. We shall overcome this conflict," their father reassured as he opened the door leading to the heart of the research station. They headed inside the dimly lit room where plasma fire came from all ends of the area.

Alei's nervousness must have been obvious because his brother, Ebak, turned to reassure him, "Don't worry Alei, we will overcome this and soon we may have the chance to be shipped off to Halo so that we may fight the true enemy, side by side." His confident, warrior born brother's words calmed Alei a bit but still found the sickness of going against an unknown, parasitic enemy.

Dozens and dozens of yellowish, whitish blobs with tentacles scurried across the surface of the floor searching for its victims. Alei's father was the first to fire at the parasites, leading his brood into combat as well. The burning plasma obliterated the Flood easily but the more the Elites fought, the more determined the Vernon became.

They all proceeded in further into the research facility where dozens and dozens of the parasites had resigned and swarmed. Alei saw other Elites in the research facility as well, giving their all to eliminate the threat. He then saw a pack of infection forms swarm towards him, hungry for his fresh flesh. Alei back peddled and started firing but his plasma fire was only good enough to wipe out half of the pack once his gun overheated. As they closed in more, Ebak shot furiously to wipe out the rest of the enemy that engaged his brother. Alei gave a curt nod to his brother as thanks and they continued to fight.

Alei moved over towards his father's position, who now had two plasma rifles in hand and seemed to be the most violent and skilled warrior in the room. Alei helped his father wipe out another swarm of parasites easily and then turned to see his brother, Nifa, struggling to destroy a pack towards him. Alei immediately assisted him and the two wiped out the parasites.

Then there was an agonizing, horrific scream that echoed through the chaotic room. Alei, the only one of his family whom wasn't dealing with a swarm of Flood at the moment, turned to see what had happened. He saw one of the infection forms latched onto the back of another Elite's head. The Elite desperately tried to get the infection off its head, with another Elite desperately trying to help it as well.

The Flood grew hungrier and their hunger made them even more persistent and powerful. His father activated his comm. device to reach the other parts of the ship and shouted, "WE NEED MORE ASSISTANCE!"

Alei knew, and assumed his father knew as well, the ship didn't have many Elites on board. The prophets had sent a small amount of Elites to carry out this task, and there were only a few left that could assist, those being the pilots.

In a matter of minutes, Gold Elites now appeared in the scene, with magnificent, glowing Energy Swords in hand. They tore through the Flood like they were nothing, but the Flood seemed to sense the amount of power the Gold Elites had, and targeted them more. He watched the Gold Elites tear through the Flood as more of them swarmed towards them. The Gold Elites were persistent, but so were the Flood, and the Flood was hungry. The Gold Elites soon seemed overworked and more stressed as they fought now that the Flood was literally flooding on their position.

The Gold Elites soon showed weakness and weariness in their battle and then a large swarm of Flood leapt and showered the Gold Elites with a magnificent attack, completely overwhelming them. Alei could barely make out the Gold Elites now that they were covered by the infection forms, and then he saw another swarm of Flood coming towards him.

Blue plasma splashed the hungry parasites and they began popping from Alei's suppressive fire. The once mildly tranquil research facility was now a living hell as more hideous cries of Elites echoed in the room, and the enemy was uncontrollable. He saw flashes of Elites slowly being engulfed by the parasites and transforming into the spawn of hell. Alei backpedaled nervously from the terrifying scenes he witnessed and then the worst had finally come.

Then the Infection forms began swarming on his family. Palo had an infection form planted on his skull, Nifa had one scraping its tentacles into his back, Ebak was struggling to get one off his shoulder. The worst was seeing his dad's misery; a infection form dug its sharp tentacles into his chest and his blue blood began to spray from his chest in a messy manner. His father's face was horrifying and seeing him in pain nearly killed Alei. His painful looking eyes stared into Alei's.

"Alei…" His father groaned as the infection drove deeper into his chest. His father was in too much pain to speak anymore and Alei didn't know what his father wanted him to do. Did he want him to stay here and fight of the rest like his family, assist him by trying his best to get rid of the infection form that tried desperately to infect his father, or save his own skin since dieing here like this wasn't worth it.

Alei didn't know exactly how to read his father's thoughts at that chaotic, nightmarish moment but Alei's instinct of survival told him to leave. Alei ran towards the door leading to his escape and sealed it behind him. He panted heavily and the hellish images flashed before his eyes at lightning speeds again and he was no longer the young, cowardice Elite anymore.

Alei let out a final cry and all the pain had gone away and he was back in the tunnel where the large amount of Marines fought to survive and to protect Miranda.

He rubbed the back of his head. He felt a slight trickle of blood drip from a small yet precise hole in the back of his head. He figured it wasn't that serious and the miracle was that the Vernon was off of him.

He turned to see Baxter grabbing the Flood infection squirming around desperately in his hand. It popped after a few seconds and Baxter smiled seeing his Alien friend was alright.

"Once again, I am in debt to you," Alei said giving Baxter a curt bow and they returned to their fight on repelling the Flood.

Alien Brethren: Chapter 9: Split Ends: Part 1
Date: 3 November 2005, 3:53 am

I feel like i'm feeding a pack of hungry dogs spoiled meat! MWAHAHAHA! Only one part to the EXCRUTIATING Chapter 9: Split Ends! Don't worry, Part 2 and Part 3 are finished, so you'll just have to wait for the editing in those two chapters and for me to finish up in Part 4 (or maybe i'll just combine Part 4 with part 3...You'll find out when i'm done). Anyways, Sorry it took so long you fans of Alien Brethren but I have been quite buisy! Long list of crap keeping me from typing but I'm getting it done slowly but surely. Just be patient for the upcoming chapters and enjoy this, look for the next parts of Chapter 9 that are coming up. Also, if you are DYING to hear more about Alei and Baxter, start reading some of "Arbiter's" Heretic series, he's featuring some of my charecters from Alien Brethren and it sounds like it'll be a VERY interesting series. With that i give you Chapter 9: Part1...

Chapter 9: Split Ends: Part 1

The squad had taken a hard beating and lost lots of men, but the Scorpion and those whom followed it made it out of the gruesome tunnel. Their squad was cut in half by Flood victims and from a group of Marines whom retreated from the tunnel to seek cover back in the Sentinel like fort. The Marines and Miranda however didn't see any problem with part of their fleet retreating; it'd slow down their opposition significantly.

They had easily proceeded through the next area; an elevated complex swarming with Sentinels. The only losses they had were loosing two Warthogs and a Marine carrying a large supply of ammunition (including a jackhammer). The Scorpion was now coming out from another tunnel, not as infested with Flood. The path the Scorpion had to take was a straight path that later on turned into a spiraling helix downward.

Two giant beams of plasma shot out at opening shudders in the wall that confined them. Immediately one Sentinel Enforcer went down without a problem and more individual Sentinels began pouring out. Alei jumped and swung his blade at one of the floating machines. It exploded with a large bang that took down his shields and he quickly activated his active camouflage to make sure no other Sentinels could take advantage of his vulnerability.

Baxter and Lib were doing exceptionally well with sniping the Sentinels and were the ones whom gathered the largest kill count. The area was secure for the moment and the large squad continued on hastily. They passed through another small tunnel and came to a magnificent snowy canyon. Baxter felt Kaskut, on his back, begin to shiver from the blizzard like situations.

Beyond the canyon were three Phantoms heading into the area, shooting their plasma turrets at opposing Flood and Sentinels. The Phantoms carried three large Wraiths. "Two enemies, each fighting each other?" The monitor stated and began to ponder, "May I suggest that a forceful action not to be taken? Perhaps our enemies will be preoccupied with each other, therefore letting us easily proceed onward."

Miranda seemed interested in what 16807 had suggested, "Do you have a plan then?"

"Well, from my readings ahead of this quarantine zone is a wall that has no activity going on at the moment. The area around the wall is very vacant and spacious. I suggest we slip our troops by in limited numbers to that particular point as a rendezvous. The aircrafts you used previous seem acceptable to land, and pick us up and lift us directly to a gondola leading to the Library."

"You know exactly where the Library is?" Miranda asked, shocked by the machine's intelligence.

"Of course, I am a genius!"

"Then why didn't you tell us that in first place!" Barked a dark skinned Sergeant named Johnson.

"I was never questioned by you reclaimers to inform you its location," the monitor simply replied.

"Then that's what we'll do. Johnson, Baxter, gather a squad and lets get to this rendezvous point. Stackers, your in command of this fleet. Do your best to take out as many of the enemy you can and keep them from proceeding. While we head out forward I want you to notify the Pelicans that we need an extract up ahead," Keyes ordered.

Johnson assembled 4 of his Marines to come with while Baxter choose Alei, Kaskut, Ralna and Kalno to come along. Betronus and Lib watched the seven humans, four Covenant, and the monitor head on forward, doing their best to slip by the enemy forces. Betronus gave a growl of disgust as he watched them trail off and he glared at the other Marines old converse with one another on what they should do. Betronus began to walk off and said, "Come Lib, we shall have no part in this, we have a job to do."

"Enemy engaging our position. All troops ready for evacuation!" Shouted a voice over the PA of a human ship just above Halo. Private J. Parker and Corporal S. Whelski both hurried through the ship to the hangar. In the hangar they found a Pelican that was partially filled with Marines, ready to evacuate.

"Do you guys have a pilot?" Whelski asked.

"No but we could use one," replied an onboard Marine. Private Parker looked over at Whelski with hopeful eyes.

Whelski looked at Parker and shook her head, "No way Jack, I've been revoked from flying any more birds."

"Samantha this ship's going down who knows when! We need a pilot, now! Damn anyone who says you can't fly this thing, we need you!" Parker replied.

Whelski recalled the situation before she arrived at Zanzibar that caused her to be revoked. It was a stupid mistake; she should have pulled up earlier.

"Well…" Parker said impatiently. Whelski took in a deep breath and entered the Pelican and sat herself in a seat in the cockpit. She made herself familiar with the controls again and Parker took a seat.

"You weren't waiting for anyone else to get on board right?" Parker asked another Marine next to him.

"Actually they were," said a voice heading towards the Pelican. It was a tall Marine whom had short, light hair, a rugged beard, and a scar on his left arm. The man carried loads of ammunition in both hands and in his utility pack. There was a sense of power about him. He heaved the ammunition and weaponry inside the Pelican for the Marines to scavenge and use while he made himself familiar with a Shotgun and Rocket Launcher.

The tail of the Pelican closed behind him as he entered and he went immediately to the cockpit. "Who was that guy?" Whispered Parker to the Marine next to him.

"Lieutenant K. Woodword, a real bad ass," the other Marine replied.

"I heard he strangled two Brutes to death with both his arms at the same time," another Marine said.

"I heard he ripped out the guts of a Hunter," another marine rumored.

"I heard he snapped off an Elite's head with one jab of his shotgun," said another.

"I heard he corpse humps dead Grunts and Jackels just for fun," another Marine said. Everyone looked at the Marine awkwardly from what he had just said. There was an uncomfortable silence followed by a female marine who commented, "That's hot."

Alien Brethren: Split Ends: Part 2
Date: 7 November 2005, 1:13 am

I hope you still have Chapter 9: Split Ends: Part 1 fresh in your mind because Part 2 starts off exactly from the spot where Part 1 left off. In order to get a full grasp on Chapter 9, you're going to have to keep these Parts of the chapter fresh in your mind. I apolgize if some of you are groaning and hurting because I had to break Chapter 9 into various parts but Quarentine Zone is a decently large level/mission.
Just another thing before you read: There was a meeting of the minds over XBox Live with me and Skyler (Author name known as Gammamee). There was lots of discussion on fan fiction. We discussed primarily Alien Brethren, Heretic Hero, and a new story that may begin called "Seeds of Revenge" or something like that. It's going to be hush-hush from now on and now I give you PART 2...of Chapter 9...Alien Brethren

Chapter 9: Split Ends: Part 2

Two Pelicans had descended to the rendezvous area where Keyes, Alei, Kaskut, the Hunters, Baxter, and a number of other Marines waited for it patiently. One Pelican had dropped a Scorpion in the area.

"Why'd they send a tank?" Baxter asked.

"In case any of the other Marines make it this far, hell they might not even choose to proceed this far," Johnson said.

Miranda Keyes, Johnson, and a group of Marines got on board one of the birds while Alei, Baxter, Kaskut, and the monitor got on another. The Hunters were attached to the bottom of each Pelicans to be carried to the gondola. The monitor went into the cockpit to inform the pilots where to go while Baxter rested his trusty Sniper Rifle in his lap and slid his helmet over his eyes.

"What are you doing?" Alei asked.

"Sleeping, ever heard of it?" Baxter replied with a smirk.

"Sounds like good idea for Kaskut!" Kaskut squeaked to himself and then curled up against Baxter's leg and fell asleep.

"How can you rest on such a mission?" Alei asked.

"Why don't you sleep? Nothing's stopping you," Baxter replied. Little did Baxter know, there was something stopping Alei from sleeping, and it was a nightmare he feared he'd have to dream about. The fear of having to witness the massacre on the research ship was enough to keep Alei from sleeping now.

Baxter easily went to sleep and began to dream about home, Earth that was, not the painful life that he endured with his father. He dreamt about all his friends whom signed up with him to join the Marines. Whelski, Parker, Muller, Harley, and Foster. He hadn't seen Muller, Harley, and Foster for a while however. Whelski and Parker were his true friends that he'd seen a lot. He remembered they'd used to go paintball shooting and played video games before they signed up. Then there was Hailey. He missed her so much and hadn't heard from her ever since he departed to Zanzibar. It felt like an eternity since he last read one of her letters. He could still smell her sweet fragrance perfume and shampoo, in vision her soft blonde hair, and feel her warmth.

He snapped out of his dream and became wide awake as the Pelican abruptly shook. The sound of Fuel Rod Cannons firing off thundered through the chilled air. Baxter peeked through the tail of the Pelican to see what was going on.

A squadron of multiple Sentinels had been engaging the birds. The next thing Baxter heard was the sound of a turret shooting off suppressing fire from another Pelican. Guessing this was a Marine that was engaging with the Pelican's turret, Baxter assumed the position of the turret on his bird. He began suppressing fire at the persistent machines, taking down a number of Sentinels.

The hellfire continued on and the enemy continued to engage the enemy as if there was an infinite amount of them. "This is bullshit!" Hollered Sergeant Johnson over the radio, his voice muffled by the turret he manned, "Pilots settle down on the gondola below. We're going in now and that's final!"

The Pelican descended towards a large, deserted gondola below, Sentinels still following and engaging. The Marines and Covenant allies all departed the Pelicans and took defensive positions on the gondola. Once everyone was on the Gondola, Miranda Keyes barked an order to the pilots, "I want one of you pilots to start this thing and the other to leave ASAP. Once whoever is done starting the gondola, I'll want you to retreat as well."

"Aye, aye Mam!" Both pilots acknowledged simultaneously, and flew off in different paths. The Enforcer began pelting the Marines with explosive mortars on their position, they all scattered for cover.

Alei quickly engaged his active camo, not having to hide now. He looked off to his right and saw Baxter hiding behind a structure, SMG in hand. Baxter was in place for Alei's quick attack. He lobbed a plasma grenade onto the Enforcer. His active camo depleted and the grenade hissed menacingly. It exploded in a frenzy, taking out other, smaller Sentinels that were nearby the goliath machine.

The enforcer followed Alei on it's sensors as he took off for cover. Alei knew his grenade and running was only a distraction for what would happen next. Baxter quickly jumped from his hiding spot and used suppressive fire on the enemy. Confused and bewildered, the machine twitched and buzzed in demise and soon it fell in defeat. As it fell in defeat the gondola shook nervously before his feet and proceeded forward. As the gondola crawled forward, a couple more enforcers and a flock of minor Sentinels engaged.

Baxter took notice of the Tebo Hunter brothers were goofing off and kicking around a minor, damaged Sentinel that beeped and whirred in pain. "Kalno, Ralna, concentrate fire on the bigger Sentinels," Baxter ordered.

Both of the walking tanks turned, shields and Fuel Rod Cannons raised now. As the enforcers began closing in and began shooting redish, pink darts at the Hunters shield's, the Hunters struck back with immense beams of energy into their shields. Now with the Hunters concentrating with the larger threat, he could easily peg off the smaller machines.

He raised his Sniper Rifle and began pegging off the laughably weak Sentinels. Though the machines weren't concentrating on quality, they were now using quantity. Baxter had to fire faster and become more precise in addition to reloading faster. He felt the pressure that the Sentinels were putting on him, knowing that in numbers he was weak.

BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! After taking down four of them he reloaded and heard buzzing of more Sentinels behind him. However he couldn't turn and leave the pack of Sentinels alone that were going to engage him from the front. Before the Sentinels from the rear could fire, the sound of a Covenant Carbine made him feel much safer.

Alei 'Limoto back peddled to Baxter's position, firing upon the Sentinels coming at his rear. The sound of a few Sentinels falling from the Carbine bursts was music to Baxter's ears. "Do you need a hand?" Alei questioned rhetorically. Baxter smirked, "Any help from you, Alei, is much appreciated."

"What's our destination pilot?" Questioned Lieutenant K. Woodword.

"Well sir, I received two incoming transmissions," Whelski began, "The first transmission received was from Miranda Keyes. Sounds like she's going to find something called the index. By the looks if it she's got lots of men with her, but may need some help. The other transmission I heard was coming from a fairly large squad of Marines whom landed on some snowy canyon. They're currently on a base they designated as red base. They were supposed to overthrow and capture another base run by the Covenant, designated as blue base, but by the sounds of it, the Flood already did that for them. It would be a nice place to land and lend a helping hand."

"Then that's where we're headed. Set course for this red base and inform them of our arrival." Whelski began setting a course for the base while Woodword headed into the tail of the Pelican where a bunch of Marines were talking amongst themselves. They all became dead silent when they realized Woodword had joined them in the tail, and he took a seat next to Parker. He began to examine his Rocket Launcher and informed the crew of their destination.

"ME KILL ONE! YOU SEE? YOU SEE?" Squeaked Kaskut in victory as his plasma pistol hissed from overheating plasma and the remains of a Sentinel lie before the Grunt. His celebrating was quickly interrupted as a team of Sentinels began engaging on him and shooting their extremely hot beams into his armor. He staggered and twitched from the beams and let out a howl in pain.

As he ran around in a cowardly manner, three Marines, Mackenzie, LaDash, and Johnson began engaging on the team of Sentinels and took them out fairly easily. Baxter had just finished taking down two other minor Sentinels while one blew up off to his near right from Alei's sword. The impact of the sword caused an explosion to take out his shield, and he quickly activated his active camo and waited for his shields to return.

"How much further is the Library?" Alei asked, feeling a bit irritated at the moment.

"We're very close, just keep holding your ground!" Miranda hollered as she finished taking down a Sentinel with another Marine's help, Corporal Parez.

The Hunters were having no trouble at all with the Enforcers. Their explosive, minor mortars were inefficient to their immense armor and their irritating red like needles were easily deflected off their giant shields. The only trouble the Hunter Tebo brothers ran into were individual Sentinels that struck from behind, at their weak spots. Kaskut and the Marines tended to watch for the sneaky Sentinels that did strike from behind the Hunters, knowing that if they protected the Hunters, the Hunters would eagerly protect them.

Alei 'Limoto's shields came back and his active camo depleted. He switched to his Carbine and both Baxter and the Elite teamed up against a fairly large squadron of Sentinels.

"How unfortunate to see my mechanical brothers go down. You must understand, reclaimers, that they only do what they're programmed to do," Remorseful Incentive said as he hovered past Baxter's shoulder.

"Gee, that sounds reasonable. Hey guys, maybe we should just stop fighting because, you know, they're ONLY programmed to kill us," Baxter said with utter most sarcasm.

Baxter and Alei were giving their all to defend the gondola and for that they had acquired the highest kill count. With Baxter's deadly Sniping abilities, and Alei's fierce combat tactics, the two were unstoppable.

The machines had little chance of surviving or wiping out the soldier and warrior. Both had taken limited damage that was easily forgotten as they continued fighting. As the gondola proceeded onward, the Sentinels slowly grew less aggressive and hesitated on attacking those on the gondola. Alei found this very odd and began wondering why the Sentinels would become less persistent in eliminating them.

The Elite's pondering was interrupted unexpectedly when Kaskut came running towards Baxter, leapt onto his back, and held on tightly to the Sergeant.

"What's wrong Kaskut?" Alei asked, finding the Grunt's shivering very alarming.

"They here! THEY HERE!" The Grunt squeaked nervously.

"Slow down, buddy. Who's here?" John asked, wondering what could make Kaskut shiver so much.

Then the answer became quite obvious as a hideous roaring moan sounded the gondola and everything went into a raging hellfire. The nightmarish howl was unmistakable to Alei.

"WARRIORS, PREPARE FOR THE FLOOD!" Cried out Alei who now pulled out his Energy Sword.

His warning came late to one Marine whom was pinned down by a Flood Human Combat form that pounced on top of him and began lashing at him with its tentacle like arm. With speed and grace, Alei sprinted to the pinned down Marine, took aim at the hideous beast, and plunged himself at it. The Combat Form's was turned into remnants by Alei's mighty blade, and more Flood came to challenge those onboard the gondola.

Alien Brethren: Chapter 9: Split Ends: Part 3
Date: 8 November 2005, 12:37 am

Ok guys, BEAR WITH ME! This IS probobly the longest Part of Chapter 9, but hopefully you guys can stomach it. Your probobly wondering why I didn't split this up into a part 4, well primarily because I got sick of splitting up Chapter 9 and figured you guys were probobly antsy to get to the end of this grueling chapter as well. So with that I give you Chapter 9 of Alien Brethren...WITH A DRAMATIC CONCLUSION.

Chapter 9: Split Ends: Part 3

"LIB! KEEP YOUR SHIELD UP! THAT SNIPER RIFLE WONT HELP YOU AGAINST THIS VERNON!" Roared Betronus over the blizzard and over the chaos the two were enduring.

They were both doing their best to defend themselves against the flood and tried proceeding toward a nearby Phantom. "I don't have any other weapon besides this," replied the Jackal.

The large, hairy brute just got done wiping out a swarm of infections with his Brute Shot and then he reached for his Brute Plasma Rifle and handed it to the Jackal. "Use this then."

As Betronus gave away his Plasma Rifle something hit him hard in the back and he felt the muscles and nerves in his body twitch and spasm. His vision grew blurred and he fell down, his face covered in the frigid snow and memories began pouring into his mind.

Betronus sat uncomfortably against a hard wall, limbs tied together alongside his companion Lib. He vaguely remembered how he ended up locked up in this human prison but all he was concerned about was escape. He found the humans' ways confusing. They had been spared, been offered their filthy food, and were locked up in a human prison with primitive borders. It was iron bars that confined the Jackal and the Brute.

On the other side of the jail were four humans, keeping guard. Betronus would have killed to get his hands on the pathetic creatures across the bars. He grumbled to himself and shot a glance over at Lib. He was gnawing at his restraints even though his teeth were no match for the restraints.

"Do you really think that vulture can bite his way out of that?" Asked one of the humans standing guard.

"Don't be ridiculous. It's just a Jackal," said another human chuckling at the captured Covenant.

Lib hissed distastefully at the humans, and their laughter was cut short. A translucent blur dashed at the humans. No more then a few seconds were three of the humans on the floor, their necks pouring out blood. The last human, stood there bewildered at what just happened. He raised his battle rifle nervously and fired in a baffled fashion. His firing ceased as he felt painful needles stab into his back and back of his neck. They exploded in a messy fashion and the last fell to the floor, with its other dead comrades.

Betronus blinked a few times, making sure what he saw had just happened. Then, to his delight, he saw on the other side of the bars a familiar Grunt and Elite.

"Kaskut! Alei!" Betronus said both shocked and pleased to see his squad.

"Surprised?" Alei asked as he began sawing at the bars with his sparkling, Covenant Energy Sword.

"I thought the Prophets would have left us here to rot in the confines of this filthy human prison," Betronus said as he watched Alei 'Limoto saw off the bars of the cell.

"They would have," Alei said as he finished sawing off a bar, "So I decided to come and rescue you two." The final bar soon collapsed from the crimson Elite's blade and Alei began to untie his captured crew.

"Me got present for you," Kaskut said, handing over a Plasma Rifle and a Jackal Shield Wrist Band to Lib. Lib snatched the two presents and merely snarled at the Grunt in his native tongue.

"Stupid, ungrateful Jackal," Kaskut grunted to himself.

Alei helped Betronus to his feet and handed him a Brute Shot that he carried as a side weapon. The Brute made himself familiar with his favorite weapon and stared at Alei in a distrustful way, "You came and rescued us just to complete the mission we failed to carry on, didn't you?"

"Not entirely," Alei said, turning away from the Brute and heading out of the cell, "But I would like to know where the bomb is."

"The humans confiscated it. It's probably well guarded," Betronus said, also leaving the cell with Lib and Kaskut following behind.

"What are you saying?" Alei asked.

"I'm suggesting we get some extra firepower," Betronus snarled.

There was a loud set of explosions coming from outside the base that interrupted their conversation. "What was that?" Lib asked, raising his shield.

"The extra firepower," Alie said as he lead his squad outside. It was amazing to see the human camp nearly flattened when the only Covenant in the fray fighting were a set of Hunters.

The Tebo Hunter brothers, Ralna Tebo Laku and Kalno Tebo Jamu, had a squad of Marines pinned down at a small barricade, 50 yards from their position. The humans cowardly fired their primitive rifles at the Hunters, but their giant shields made the projectiles insufficient against the walking tanks. The only notable threat was a loud, stationary machine gun that was firing suppressive rounds at the Hunters.

Alei activated a plasma grenade and lobbed it at the fixed gun placement. It hissed through the air and stuck perfectly on the turret. It fizzled menacingly and exploded in a sinister blue haze. Human bodies flew in all directions that were stationed by the barricade.

"WORT WORT WORT!" Roared Alei in triumph.

More humans came pouring towards the Covenant squad and an annoying human alarm sounded. It was a loud, grueling battle that the humans could barely keep up with. The Hunters concentrated on any large threats that came along, Kaskut, Lib, and Betronus engaged on the weaker, standard humans, and Alei snuck behind the humans and slain them one by one.

The humans were persistent but weak against the Covenant squad. It was quality over quantity. As Betronus began to reload his Brute Shot something whizzed over his head causing Kaskut and Lib to cower behind Kalno and Ralna.

He looked up to see a human with a large, menacing Rocket Launcher. The human fired again, this time aiming for the Hunters. It hit Kalno's shield with a large explosion. Orange blood oozed from his weak spots and the walking tank staggered on its large feet but regained its stance. The human took a few seconds to reload and fired another. Ralna had stepped in to take the blow this time, its shield taking the most damage.

Betronus had enough with this pesky human and before he could fire another dangerous blow at his squad he dropped his weapon, got on all fours, and began charging at the human. The human watched the berserking Brute with horrified eyes and quickly dropped his Rocket Launcher, and desperately took out his pistol.

Betronus felt the small yet piercing rounds tear into his hide but didn't care for his rage overcome his pain. Then he had the pleasure of mauling the human; breaking his bones in every single furious swipe he delivered. Then there was a squeal of cowardice coming from Kaskut from behind. Betronus turned and saw the cowardly Grunt running away from a pair of humans, rifles in hand and firing at Lib and Kaskut. Lib slowly back peddled while firing at one human while the other human used sustaining bursts against the Jackal's shields.

Betronus targeted his new foes and began to charge. He ran at great speeds, leapt over the Jackal, and pounced on top of one of the humans and plowed his fist into his chest, destroying his rib cage in a brutal way. The other human began firing upon Betronus and his rage leapt once again. He brutally grabbed the human's weapon and instead of firing the human with it, he used it as a melee weapon and bashed the human's skull in over and over.

The Brute's fun was abruptly ended as something very painful pierced into his back at a high velocity. He roared in pain and turned to see a sniper aiming at him. This was it, he thought. There was no way he could reach the sniper in time before the final blow was made. As Betronus glared at the human, waiting for his demise, he felt something push him to the ground and saw Alei pounce on top of him out of the way of the next shot.

The crimson Elite then glanced at the human with fierce eyes, raised his Energy Sword into the air and threw it, as if it were a javelin. The Covenant Blade cut through the air at great speeds with a magnificent glow and decapitated the sniper, as it cut through the human's feeble neck. Alei helped Betronus to his feet and the rest of the memory was a blur as the painful feeling left his body and he regained his vision.

He was lying in the snow, surrounded by figures. A muscular, hairy arm helped him to his feet and he looked up to see who it was. "Tartarus," mumbled Betronus in a humble manner.

"You were pinned down by this parasite," Tartarus growled, showing the wriggling infection form to Betronus. He gave the Flood a squeeze and it popped easily. Also surrounding him was Lib and other lower ranked Brutes that he didn't know.

"I am sorry for not reporting back to you Chieftain after my flight at the Zanzibar base," Betronus apologized, now kneeling before the Brute leader.

"Your failure to report back is not important right now," Tartarus replied, turning to the gravity lift of the Phantom, "What is important is the betrayal."

"Flood coming from the starboard side of the gondola!" Warned Sergeant Johnson.

Alei and Baxter both turned immediately and instinctively threw a grenade at the oncoming, zombie like opponents. The bodies and limbs of various different combat forms flew astray.

"Johnson! Mackenzie! Baxter! Concentrate fire on the flood! Everyone else concentrate on the Sentinels!" Ordered Miranda over the chaos.

"You heard the lady guys. Let's give them hell," Baxter said to Kaskut and Alei.

While the Hunters, Miranda, and the other concentrated on the less terrifying Sentinels, everyone else kept the infesting monsters busy.

Alei and Baxter, side by side, bravely engaged the flood in close combat while the Marines watched their backs at a distance. Baxter and Kaskut concentrated on two engaging combat forms that charged towards them. Baxter's SMG proved to be mildly proficient against the Flood as he took down one by unloading his entire SMG on it. Kaskut's plasma pistol however was useless against them and seemed to only make the Flood more agitated and even more persistent to kill them. The second one engaged swiftly with a Needler in hand.

While Baxter was reloading he felt a stinging pain lash across his chest and a few Needlers brush over his shoulder. As the Combat form went to lash at him again with its whip like tentacles a red blur came into view and obliterated the infested zombie with a glorious cyan, shimmering blade. Baxter gave his Alien friend a brisk nod of thanks. Alei continued to his Flood slaying while Baxter confiscated Kaskut's pathetic plasma pistol.

"What you doing Baxter?" The Grunt whined in his ear.

The Sergeant picked up the discarded Needler that the Flood had dropped and gave it to his back buddy. "Me be grateful," Kaskut squeaked, feeling more powerful with his new weapon.

The two of them sent out a barrage of different projectiles. Both weapons tore into the Flood with ease and dismembered their fragile limbs. The Grunt and Sergeant began tearing through opposing Flood easily as Alei 'Limoto killed a few other savage Flood as well with his mighty blade. The irritating buzzing and humming of Sentinels swarming sounded in Baxter's ears. Before he could take offensive maneuvers, the sound of exploding machinery from a mighty Fuel Rod Cannon sounded and he continued with his slaying.

Just as Kaskut and Baxter both tore apart a pack of infection forms and a squad of combat forms, two carriers fell out of nowhere. One carrier headed over Alei, whom was preoccupied with a swarm of hungry Infection forms, the other one waddled over to Baxter and Kaskut.

Kaskut desperately shot off his Needler at the giant Flood glob while Baxter began reloading his SMG. The large, grotesque Carrier merely staggered for a few seconds and stood stationary. Baxter reloaded and waited to see what it would do next. The carrier stood still for a few more seconds and then tumbled towards the duo and began to inflate. It grew more bloated and grew larger in a constipated way and finally burst, knocking Baxter off his feat.

He felt lightheaded from the sudden burst and quickly shook off his pain and confusion as Infection forms began scurry over to the human and Grunt. John quickly began shooting sustaining fire at the parasites but they were coming from all angles and from all directions. Then the sudden cry of his Grunt buddy noted that one of the parasites flanked them. He grabbed for the Grunt's methane container on his back and tossed the Grunt off his back, in front of him. He pinned Kaskut down with one hand to keep the struggling Grunt from moving while he searched the alien's body with his SMG.

"GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!" Cried Kaskut in pain.

"HOLD STILL!" Baxter hollered, over the commotion. He flipped Kaskut over on his backside to see the infection form was tearing into his arm, searching for his chest. He aimed at the disgusting parasite and used a small, sustained burst to pop the parasite.

"YOWEE!" Howled Kaskut, as he began flapping his bloody arm about in pain.

"Don't worry, you'll survive buddy," Baxter reassured.

As Baxter tried getting the Grunt back on his feet, a Covenant Combat Form leapt through the air towards the duo. Reacting quickly, Baxter discarded his SMG, pulled out his Sniper, jabbed it into the Flood's chest and fired off four rounds. The chest cavity of the Combat Form shattered and a white like foam liquid spurted out of its chest after each shot.

John turned to hear Alei roar his battle cry and saw a sudden blue flash. The Carrier that had been waddling toward Alei now had a plasma grenade stuck on its tentacle. It waved its tentacle franticly, trying to discard the stuck plasma grenade, but it was too late. The Carrier exploded in such an extraordinary explosion that it sent the Flood off the gondola, to fall forever.

Baxter smirked at Alei's magnificent kill and helped Kaskut on his back again. As he picked up his discarded SMG he heard the annoying humming of the monitor as it hovered by his shoulder. "Excuse my Reclaimer, I have been ordered to notify you that the ones called 'Johnson' and 'Keyes' are inside the Library, searching for the Index."

Baxter hadn't even noticed they had arrived at the Library. He saw that indeed the Gondola had come to a stop. "Who else did they take?" Asked the Sergeant.

"Two other Reclaimers. I believe their names were Rafton and LaDash," the monitor replied.

"What about Mackenzie and Parez?" Questioned Baxter.

"We're right here sir," the other two Marines replied, approaching the Sergeant.

"Let us not interfere with their work then," Alei said, "Let us repel the Flood from reaching the one you call Keyes and Johnson instead."

"All Marines on board, prepare for landing and establishment of base!" Ordered Corporal Samantha Whelski.

Woodword did his final analysis on his Rocket Launcher, and then pulled out his Shotgun. He watched the Pelican slowly descend and got out until it had properly landed. All the other Marines inside poured out quickly and found their way to the center of the base where the other Marines were already located. Most of the Marines at the base carried Battle Rifles and occasional SMGs.

"Who's in charge here?" Woodword asked the already stationed Marines.

"I am," said a blood stained Marine.

"And who are you?"

"Staff Sergeant Jayber," said the other Marine with a hint of pride.

"Lieutenant K Woodword," Woodword said with a hint of dominance in his voice. Jayber immediately snapped to attention and saluted.

"At ease soldier," Woodword said carelessly inspecting the base, Jayber following behind, "What's your status?"

"We lost a few men when we attacked the other base. I decided to have everyone at a defensive position since my men could use some rest and reinforcements."

Woodword was now inspecting the top level of the base where Marines were scoping out the perimeter of the base with Battle Rifles. "So you're only supplied with Battle Rifles?" Woodword questioned.

"That, some SMGs, and a few Frags," Jayber replied in a disappointed manner.

"No Snipers…Snipers would be more helpful and essential to both offensive and defensive needs," Woodword said thoughtfully.

"Unfortunately we don't have any nor do we know where to get any," Jayber said.

"I gathered that much Sergeant," Woodword snapped, feeling a bit agitated at the moment. He looked out at the frigid canyon in deep thought.

"What was your original solution to the enemy base?" Woodword questioned.

"Our first plan was to overthrow and capture it from Covenant forces but the Flood infested it before we could do anything and now it's impossible to get rid of those zombie bastards with our own weapons, so we had another plan in mind."

"And what would that be Staff Sergeant?"

"Planting a bomb in the base. We figured that should be enough to wipe them out from the base and gain control of this canyon and any weapons in the other base."

"And I'm guessing you failed?"

"No sir, we haven't tried it yet. The Flood are very defensive and hostile on the mid point of the canyon. Those who made it to the other base never came back. Like I said, my men need rest and reinforcements," Jayber explained.

"My men might be up to it, but it's risky without some extra arms on the team. Like I said, a Sniper would be nice." Woodword began devising a plan and began praying for a miracle to come along the team. A miracle Sniper. One he worked with before, Sergeant John Baxter.

POW! POW! POW! Baxter panted heavily as he stared down at the Combat Form that shred one of his fellow Marines apart, Mackenzie. In Anger he unloaded his last bullet on the immobile Flood's chest and reloaded.

"He has been avenged," Alei said reassuringly, and put his hand on Baxter's shoulder.

"Have you ever lost someone to the Flood before?" Baxter asked. As Baxter turned for Alei's response, he saw the crimson Elite walk in another direction, Energy Sword hanging loosely in his hands.

"Touchy topic I guess…" Baxter said, following the Elite.

The Sergeant, Elite, Grunt, and Two Hunters circled the inside of the Library, making sure there was no Flood to interfere with Johnson and Miranda. There was an eerie silence among the Library. The squad proceeded with caution and as quietly as possible. Their footsteps echoed through the large Forerunner building. The silence was interrupted by the sound of echoing dual-wielded SMG's firing off.

"Sounds like Miranda's in trouble," Baxter said, as he lead the way to the source of the commotion. They all began to sprint around the large Forerunner building as fast as they could, turning around series of corners to reach their destination. As they got nearer Alei heard an unmistakable set of voices.

"Arbiter. Tartarus," Alei 'Limoto said in a shocked tone and he began sprinting faster then everyone in his squad.

"Slow down Alei!" Panted Baxter, trying to keep up with the crimson Elite.

"If we do not hurry, both of them could slaughter your friends!" Alei replied, keeping his speedy pace. He reached a passageway that lead into the room where the voices came from. Inside the large room he saw the Arbiter, Tartarus, and a gang of his Brutes along with him. Tartarus and his Brutes were nearing in on the Aribter, as if they were cornering him. Alei was confused and appalled at the same time and he heard his friends finally catch up to him. Before Baxter or anyone else could utter a word, Alei raised his hand in the air for silence and stealth. He and his squad began to listen to what was going on.

"A bloody fate awaits you and the rest of your incompetent race, and I Tartarus, Chieftan of the Brutes will send it to you!" Tartarus said.

Alei's heart stopped for a moment from hearing these words coming from the Chieftan's mouth. He clenched his Energy Sword tightly in anger. Then he saw a familiar Brute, Betronus, drag Johnson off towards the side. What was going on? What were those backstabbing apes doing?

"When the Prophets learn of this, they will have your head!" The Arbiter snarled.

The Brutes chuckled to themselves, hearing the Arbiter's words and Tartarus spoke again, "Fool, they ordered me to do it."

A great heave of anger and confusion filled Alei and watched the Arbiter's terrifying demise as Tartarus raised his war hammer and discharged it. The impact sent the heroic yet shamed Arbiter into void of nothingness.

The betrayal impaled Alei's heart like a pristine Energy Sword. Anger rushed through his limbs, primarily his finger tips which held his magnificent weapon. He, and he alone entered the room, exposing himself to the backstabbing Brutes. His eyes bore into not Tartarus' but Betronus'.

"What? Another Elite! Do you wish to die like your pathetic Arbiter?" Tartarus asked, raising his war hammer.

"Betronus…" Alei muttered.

Before Tartarus could discharge his hammer Betronus stepped in front of Tartarus, as a way of saying it was his conflict, his fight. They both stared into each other's eyes.

"Why?" Asked the crimson Elite.

"Why does it matter? The fact is that you and your fame-whoring-race get what they deserve! You are pathetic and it is high time the Prophets put us in charge!" Betronus barked back.

"Fame-whoring? Never have I fought for attention or for the Prophet's recognition!" Alei bellowed back.

"Always you sought to exceed my abilities! On every mission, you treated me as your chauffer, your sidekick, your slave!"

"YOU ARE BLIND BETRONUS! I ALWAYS TREATED YOU AS A BROTHER!" Alei's echoing words slowly faded and the room was dead silent.

"Your Brother?" Snarled Betronus in confusion.

"YES! I NEVER SOUGHT TO BECOME BETTER THAN YOU OR FOR YOU TO RESPECT ME HIGHLY! YOU WERE PART OF MY TEAM, PART OF MY SQUAD, AND ONE OF MY MOST TRUSTED COMPANIONS! I LOOKED OUT FOR YOU AS A BROTHER!" Alei began to pant in exhaustion from his yelling and then spoke once again, "Do you not remember that one mission? The mission that you had failed but I redeemed you, I rescued you! I did not return to find you so that I may finish your mission and hog the glory so the Prophets would award me. I sought to find and rescue you because I trusted you and could not bear the idea of me letting a brother die in a human cell! I returned, against all my orders, I returned to save you and Lib so that we could become one squad again." There was another dead silence. Betronus merely stared into Alei's raging eyes, not knowing what to say. "And now you want to kill me, betray me, Betronus."

Alei waited for Betronus' reply in the dead silence. Betronus stepped forward, raised his Brute Shot, and swallowed any emotions he had and reminded himself of his duty, his pride, and his greed. "Yes Alei. That is what I want to do," Betronus said simply, "You had brothers at once, and they all pathetically died, by the Flood. An Elite, and Brute, brothers? Hah, you sicken me with your emotions. I am not your brother Alei, you are too weak to be my brother. You are without any brothers, and you will die."

As Betronus readied his finger on the trigger of his weapon something knocked the Brute Shot at a high velocity, out of the Brute's hands.

"Wrong fuzzball," said Baxter, whom had a Sniper Rifle in hand, standing a few feet behind Alei now, "He's still got one brother, and that's me!"

Filled with anger and impatience, Tartarus swept Betronus out of the way and gave his Brute's the order to attack. A barrage of Brute Shot Grenades and Red Plasma came sweeping in Alei and Baxter's direction. Baxter tugged Alei on his shoulder, as a way of saying to retreat while the Tebo Hunter brothers gave cover fire for the two Alien Brethren to escape. Once Sergeant Baxter and Alei 'Limoto retreated successfully, Kaskut, the Tebo Brothers, and 16807 Remorseful Incentive followed them behind and found an escape route leading outside the Library.

Alien Brethren: Chapter 10: Reunited
Date: 26 November 2005, 8:49 pm

Alien Brethren: Chapter 10

Sorry for taking a while with Chapter 10 guys but I've been kind of busy with a mixture of stuff over the past few days/weeks. I'm sure you're all really excited about Chapter 10 after reading Chapter 9's exciting end. Before I say anymore for any of you new to this series don't feel intimidated or scared just because I'm at Chapter: 10. I STRONGLY recommend any new readers to this series to start from Chapter 1 and read up to Chapter 10. Don't feel like you've got to be a stranger or that you're too late to start reading this series. Please, read Chapter 1 and see how you like it. And please don't start out this series by reading Chapter 10 or you'll most likely feel lost throughout the story. Just wanted to say that much so new readers are welcome to become fans of Alien Brethren. Also if you have any questions about the series just comment on any of them or personal message me at Greek Elite. Also, there should be two chapters after this where the plotline of Alien Brethren will stray from Halo 2's plotline and I'm going to have to improvise the rest. Fun! That's all I guess. And with that I give you the next installment of Alien Brethren: Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Reunited

"When do we rest, Alei?" Whined the endearing Grunt that clung to Baxter's back, "Me Tired!"

"You're tired? I've been giving you a piggy back the whole time!" Baxter replied, finding Kaskut's whining laughable yet agitating.

"You want Kaskut to walk then?" Kaskut asked in an apologetic tone.

Baxter sighed, "No that's alright you can stay on my back." Kaskut's weight was unnoticeable to Sergeant Baxter so he really didn't mind the Grunt clinging to his back. The truth was Baxter enjoyed Kaskut's company. His squeaky voice, laughable bravery, and miniature size made him a likeable, alien friend. However his trust was 100% towards Alei. Ever since Baxter had rescued Alei from a near death on Zanzibar from his drunk comrades, he could tell Alei had potential and knew this Elite was more then a valuable ally, but a true friend. However Alei hadn't spoken much ever since the betrayal. He wondered if Alei was still shocked at what the lousy Brute had done.

Baxter began to ponder on what Betronus had said. His family, dieing by the Flood. That was the most probable reason why Alei had become dead silent when he mentioned loosing someone to the Flood. He lost one soldier, but Alei lost more then one soldier, he lost his family. The crimson Elite stopped in his tracks and stared into the enormous, snowy canyon before them.

The canyon was a bit brighter and less snowier then the quarantine zone. It was, however, very similar to the quarantine zone as it had battle scarred relics and forerunner structures. It was quiet and docile, for the moment.

"Oracle, where are we?" Questioned Alei.

"We are at one of the prime strongholds of this installation which was built to contain the Flood. It is known as Containment. By protocol, the Flood are to be contained in a dormant state in this area, however, it appears the Containment has been breached by an outer force," Remorseful Incentive rambled.

"Is that why we have already encountered the Flood in the Quarantine Zone?" Alei questioned.

"A logical hypothesis would conclude that this Containment facility was opened later then the Flood's escape. There are many Containment facilities on this installation. Whatever it was that breached the Containment of the Flood in this facility, by my hypothesis, is not responsible by the original Flood outbreak. My natural instinct is that your careless race has released the parasite on this installation through another Containment facility, but I have reason to believe something else was the cause of the Flood outbreak in this facility. It is a mystery why anyone would want to release such a tedious foe," the monitor explained. Then there was a familiar, hideous howl that echoed through the chasms and canyons of the Containment facility. "Oh dear, it seems the parasite is now aware of our presence," Remorseful Incentive said.

Alei readied his sword and barked to his squad, "Everyone, prepare for combat!" As Sergeant John Baxter went to put away Sniper Rifle and reach for his SMG he was blind sighted from a Flood Combat form that leapt out of no where on top of him. Baxter toppled over on the frigid ground while Kaskut was knocked off the Marine's back and sought protection behind Ralna.

Alei immediately turned and targeted his foe that was mauling his human ally. He lunged forward at the parasite and split the beast in half with one precise swing of his Energy Sword. The Flood sensed Baxter's weakness and were on him like vultures on carrion. Infection forms and Combat Forms lunged themselves forward at Baxter, whom was immobilized on the ground.

Alei's persistence warded off the parasites efficiently but he could tell the Flood were multiplying and growing more persistent as well. He could hear and feel the Hunters' giant shields make a great impact on the ground, as they smashed dozens of infection forms into oblivion. He saw occasional purple needles swarm groups of Floods, tearing away their diseased, rotting flesh. The Flood were swarming him. It began too much to handle.

Alei's head spun, he was dazed and confused by Flood from every direction. Their stench made him lightheaded. He grew weary, hurt, and his vision was blurred. He continued to try and fight, still grasping onto his Energy Sword for his life. The last thing the crimson Elite heard, before blacking out, was a large explosion and a combat form's tentacle lashing across the back of his head.

Baxter's vision slowly returned and everything was dizzy, confusing, and disorientated. His vision slowly cleared and he saw the silhouette of a face. A familiar face. The face grew clearer and clearer until he could make it out.

"Samantha," Baxter said in a puzzled manner.

She smiled sweetly at him and stroked his head with her gentle hand, "Miss me Sergeant?"

"Where? What? Ugh, I feel like I've got a hangover!"

"It's all right, just rest," Corporal Whelski reassured. Then the last of Baxter's memory poured in. Alei shouted out something about combat and then he put away his Sniper Rifle, and got mauled by a repulsive combat form. That was all he remembered. He snapped directly up in a sitting position in horror, "Where's Alei? Where's Kaskut? What happened to my squad?"

"Me still here!" Squeaked a familiar and pleasant voice. Baxter looked to see Kaskut sitting right by his feet, staring at him happily.

"Kaskut! Where's Alei? What happened?" Baxter asked worriedly.

"You got knocked out! Alei got knocked out! Me and Hunters only ones who stand!" Kaskut chimed proudly.

"Don't worry about it," Whelski reassured, ignoring the Grunt as best as she could, "You need to rest and clear your mind John."

Baxter felt his back, the place where the combat form had lashed at and mauled him. It was patched up in a very professional manner. "You patched me up?" Baxter asked the female Marine. She nodded proudly. He smirked, "A medic, a pilot. What can't you do Corporal?"

"I can do anything you want me to do Sergeant," she said in a sweet tone, and she began running her fingers through his hair. He gently grabbed her hand and brought it away from him. He gave her a displeasing look. She frowned, "Your still obedient to Hailey, huh?"

"Can't you respect that?" Baxter asked.

"I respect Hailey and I respect you too Sergeant, but it's been how long since you've seen her? How long has it been since you saw another woman? Don't you get lonely out here in the heart of war and wish you could feel a woman's touch again?"

"It's not lonely out here when you've got friends," Baxter replied simply.

"Baxter, ever since you left Zanzibar you worried me. I thought you'd die when you left with that Elite on that Phantom. Please don't tell me you're committing yourself to a couple of Covenant."

"I'm not committing to them. In a way, Alei is committing to me. He and I trust each other with our lives. Alei, Kaskut, the Tebo Hunter brothers, all of them are against the Covenant now and we're all working as one now." There was a moment of silence. Whelski didn't know what to say or how to compel Baxter. Baxter was beginning to see the truth now. "It's not me your worried about is it?" Baxter asked. Whelski looked at him with sorrowful eyes. "You're the one who's lonely. Aren't you Samantha?"

Samantha chocked hearing these words and fought back her tears. "Parker just wants to be friends, Harley is married, Muller died, Foster I never see anymore and now you…you're still attached to Hailey."

"And I always will be," Baxter replied softly, "Because I know she'll always be with me no matter how many millions of miles apart we are."

Whelski said nothing. Kaskut watched both of them in an interested way, amused by the conversation. John knew that in times of war, soldiers could go mentally crazy and broken by many factors. In this case, it was loneliness.

"So can we please move on and stay friends?" Baxter asked. Whelski discarded her forlorn emotions and nodded sheepishly. Baxter gave her a comforting hug, as a way of saying everything was all right. Kaskut joined in the hug, also trying to ease the conflict and be part of their friendship.

Alei 'Limoto felt an aching pain in the back of his head and his back grew sore as he found himself lying against something hard and uncomfortable. He shook off his pain and realized he was lying against a cold wall and was inside a large base. It was then he also noticed that there was a shotgun, readied at him. He looked up to see who the owner of the shotgun was. It was a large, muscular human.

"Greetings human," Alei said simply, feeling that this was truly and awkward greetings.

"I don't know who you are or what you were doing with that Marine but the only thing keeping me from pulling this trigger is the fact that you nearly died over the Marine," the human said in a plain and simple fashion.

"Then perhaps I should explain myself. I am Alei 'Limoto. And the other Marine you speak of is…"

"Sergeant Baxter," the other human said before Alei could finish.

"Yes, Sergeant Baxter. As I was saying…"

"Just tell me why the hell you were protecting him and why he isn't dead yet around you Covenant," the human snapped.

"I am not part of the Covenant any longer," growled Alei.

"WHY were you protecting him?" Demanded the human.

Alei's patience was winding down, but his life was in jeopardy so he decided to play cool. "Because I'm in debt to him."

"In debt to him?"

"Yes. We now fight along side each other," Alei said calmly. The human just stared at him. Alei then began asking a few question of his own, "Now where am I? Who in my squad survived? And what happened?"

"Your in red base of a Containment zone. Everyone that was with you survived, even the Hunters as you can see," the human explained and Alei peered over the humans shoulder. Sure enough, the Tebo brothers, Ralna Tebo Laku and Kalno Tebo Jamu, were some feet away looking as alive as ever. They both waved their giant shields at Alei and Alei raised his hand up in acknowledgment. "As far as what happened, you and Baxter were knocked out by the Flood, which I'm sure you gathered by now. Me and my men fortunately heard the attack from the beginning and fortunately you and your squad weren't far from the base. We hurried over as fast as we could. We eliminated the Flood, with the help of your friends, and returned to base. Now you're all here, everyone's safe."

"Including your beloved monitor," chimed 16807.

"And he's starting to get on our nerves," growled the human, "Does he have an off button?"

"Turning him off by any means is out of the question, but yes I agree he is a bit frustrating at times. Nevertheless, he is an asset to our team," Alei replied.

"Alei! YOU SAFE! YOU SAFE!" Squeaked a familiar voice. Kaskut, ran over excitedly towards Alei and hugged him, feeling joyful for his safety.

"It is good to see you too Kaskut," Alei said, patting his trustworthy Grunt on the head.

"Don't forget about me," said another familiar voice. Alei looked up and saw Baxter, also in good condition. He helped Alei up on his feet and managed a smile, "Thanks for saving me back there buddy."

"You did the same for me. Think nothing of it," Alei replied.

"Good to see you Sergeant Baxter," the other human said finally cracking a smile. Baxter's face lit up seeing the other human and snapped into a salute.

"Lieutenant Woodword," Baxter acknowledged.

"At ease Baxter. No formality required when you're an ace marksmen," Woodword replied.

Baxter looked from the Lieutenant to his alien friends and began to introduce them, "Lieutenant, these are my teammates. The two Hunters are Ralna and Kalno, or just Tebo brothers for short. The Grunt's name is Kaskut, one hell of a mechanic and sidekick. And the Elite…my most trusted ally, is Alei 'Limoto."

Woodword gave a curt nod to Baxter's new allies and a group of Marines approached the Lieutenant in an urgent manner. Two of the Marines were Private Parker and Staff Sergeant Jayber. Parker gave a brief nod to Baxter as a quick hello while Jayber spoke, "Sir, the Flood are increasing in numbers and are growing more persistent."

"We're afraid they'll soon learn how to open red base's gates," Parker added.

"Then right now is as good a time to blow up those zombie bastards as ever. And now that we've got Baxter…and a few of his other friends, we should be able to do this with no problem."

"Mind filling us in then?" Baxter asked, interested in their next operation.

"Gladly," said Woodword with a smile on his face, "This Containment zone is outfitted with two bases. This is the designated red base and on the other side of the canyon is known as blue base. The original plan was to control the whole canyon for ammunition, a means of a camping zone, and so that the Covenant couldn't get their grubby little hands on this land. The Covenant had already begun establishing blue base but for some reason their establishment was unfortunately cut short when the Flood were released in this area. Just as they began to attack they begun taking over blue base and managed to claim it fairly quickly. As you may know already, the Flood are more bothersome and peskier then the Covenant so taking over that base isn't an option as of now; so we decided why not send them all to hell instead? Jayber has informed me that we are outfitted with a very powerful bomb, capable of sending a big enough shockwave and impact to annihilate all Flood inside the base. Once they're all wiped out, we can start getting organized."

"How many men do we have?" Baxter asked.

"I've counted a total of 46," Parker answered.

"You mean 42," Jayber corrected.

"You forgot to count the aliens," Parker said, defending his new allies.

"They're not men, they're aliens. They don't count. Besides, who says they'll be part of this mission? How can we trust them?"

"I would have been dead if it weren't for them," Baxter said.

"If I remember correctly, it was the Lieutenant Woodword, me, and our Marines that ensured your safety," Jayber argued.

"I trust Alei with my life. I'd sooner face the Flood by myself then choose your protection over Alei's," Baxter shouted back in Staff Sergeant Jayber's face.

"Watch who you're yelling at Baxter. You're a Sergeant, I'm a Staff Sergeant."

"And I'm a Lieutenant!" interjected Woodword, now having both Marine's attention, "And I say the aliens tag along. We'll need some experienced fighters on this mission. Now let's get organized. We have two Warthogs and a Tank that are operational. Baxter, Whelski, and Parker; you three are going to take one Hog. Jayber; find two other Marines that'll take ride the second Hog with you. Corporal Kane; you're driving the Scorpion and I'll be monitoring our platoon on top of the tank so avoid inclines. Then I want eight other volunteer Marines whom will follow the assault on foot. Elite…" Alei's head perked up to see what Woodword wanted with him. "Do you know how to fly a Banshee?"

Alei nodded. "Good, because we found one not that far outside the base. We'll also need you to open the gate so that our vehicles can move out. There's a button near the outside of the base."

"Sir, who will be the designated bomb carrier?" Parker questioned.

"Kaskut can help!" Chimed the willing Grunt as he waved his arm to volunteer.

"Then it's settled, the Grunt's going to carry the bomb. Baxter, find room for Kaskut in your Warthog. Anyone who isn't volunteering to go on foot or who I haven't assigned a role is on duty to guard this base. Everyone clear on their duties?"

The group nodded and everyone headed to their stations. Baxter, Whelski, Parker, and Kaskut all headed over to one Warthog. While the corporal started up the hog's engine, Baxter lifted Kaskut into the passenger seat with him, where he sat comfortably on his lap. Kaskut held onto the bomb for dear life, making sure not to drop it. Whelski waited for Jayber and his Marines to get situated at their hog and for Kane and Woodword to assume their position at the Scorpion. As the Scorpion and other Warthog revved up their engines, the eight other Marines and Hunter Tebo brothers, gathered by the fleet of human vehicles.

Alei quickly sprinted through a passage leading outside the base and ran immediately towards the button for the gate. He pressed the palm of his hand against the hologram and there was an eerie alarm that went off. He turned to see the gate slowly lower and immediately went to search for the Banshee.

Just as Woodword said, the Banshee wasn't far from the base, though it did not appear to be in the best condition. The vehicle was flipped over and had a number of dents and bullet holes in it and was covered in ash and snow. It sparked occasionally but Alei decided it was still well enough to drive. The crimson Elite managed to flip the vehicle over properly.

"All right Marines, the bridges down. Now let's move out!" Barked Woodword, standing in a noble leading position on top of the goliath, human tank.

The Warthogs lead the way while the Tank and Marines on foot covered the rear. Baxter looked around the giant canyon to see the formidable fleet that he was apart of now but knew that there would be bloodshed once they encountered the Flood and trampling over the parasites wouldn't be easy. He found the slightly bumpy yet exhilarating ride in the Warthog enjoyable while Kaskut remained curled up in his lap, cowering with his bomb.

The Warthog turned to circle around the Scorpion, so that they ensured no Flood were around and to keep their pace even with the tanks. Baxter got a better view of the canyon and saw a slightly damaged Banshee take flight into the air. The banshee circled above the ground squad defensively as the ground forces proceeded onward.

They had come to a bridge where there was again the unmistakable and very familiar howl of the parasites. Baxter raised his Sniper in search of targets. Battle rifles fired into the air and the Banshee did a barrel roll. Baxter knew instantly that the Flood were engaging now and found a squad of the parasites head towards the human platoon.

The bumpy ride of the Warthog made Sniping a bit more challenging however Baxter managed to get in his head shots. He swore as he unloaded four shots on two combat forms in the head. Their heads were more crooked and disorientated now however their persistence did not dwindle.

Whelski swerved past the two Combat forms and did a power slide on the other side of the bridge. The two combat forms sprinted towards them, Parker suppressing fire on one of the two. Baxter reloaded and saw three more combat forms come off to their right. He slapped in another clip and raised the rifle. He took two head shots at each Flood and swore as he found both shots were useless.

"FIRE AT THEIR CHEST CAVITIES!" Whelski hollered over the gunfire and chaos. Baxter decided to test the Corporal's suggestion and targeted their chests. POW! POW!

The innards of two of the combat forms spurted from their chests in a sickening way and the two zombie creatures fell over motionless. Baxter smirked knowing now that his trusty sniper was indeed useful against the Flood. He tossed a grenade at the remaining Flood and reloaded as the Warthog took off again.

The tank's treads were the most lethal weapon against most of the pathetic infection forms as they were crushed into oblivion. Woodword had taken the opportunity to crush any lucky infection forms that boarded the tank with his large combat boots. The tank had gotten surprisingly far in good time. They already reached the bridge that indicated the midpoint of the canyon and he could barely make out the misty silhouette of the other base.

Over the tank's gunfire, Kyle Woodword could hear the very faint sound of Marine shouting. He turned to see a group of four Marines back peddle as a large pack of Flood came swarming towards them. Woodword raised his rocket and fired. The missile hit the center of the pack and all different species of Flood were either blown to pieces, thrown across the canyon or annihilated by the Lieutenant's mighty rocket.

He then noticed, in due time, a smaller pack of Flood flank the tank from the left side. He shot off his second rocket, killing off the majority of the parasites. One combat form managed to board the tank and lashed it's tentacles at the Lieutenant. He grabbed a hold of the tentacles that had been lashed at him and ripped them off the combat form's body, though the parasite was still hungry for his fresh, human flesh. The monster threw its entire body at Woodword, knocking him onto the cold, dirt ground. The combat form constantly bashed at Woodword's skull with its able arm.

Woodword found it extremely difficult to lift the monster off his body but was inspired to do so as he saw a pack of hungry infection forms scurry towards him. The Lieutenant managed to throw the Flood off his body and immediately got to his feet. Quickly he reached for his shotgun and blasted large holes into the ground where the infection forms had scurried. With the smaller threats taken care of he was able to respond to the ever so persistent combat form.

As it charged at the Lieutenant he kicked the parasite in the chest and followed through with three shotgun blasts into the monster's chest. Once he reloaded his shotgun he began searching around in the snow for his beloved Rocket Launcher. He found it after a moment of searching but saw that he was falling behind his squad. As he began sprinting back towards his squad and reloaded his Rocket Launcher he was cut off by a herd of Flood, blocking his path at the bridge.

"You zombie bastards," Woodword swore, under his breath. And just as he thought he wad doomed he heard a sound of relief in the form of plasma fire. The Elite had began firing upon the Flood and they went down swiftly by his Banshee's main firing mechanism. The parasites began focusing their attention on the new threat now and fired upon the Banshee but their efforts were cut short as three Fuel Rod Cannons fired off into the herd of parasites. Now covering the bridge were the two, immense Covenant knights, the hunters. The banshee flew elsewhere, figuring the Hunters could handle it from here, and Woodword was escorted back to his fleet, now feeling a bit grateful that Baxter's new friends was on his side.

"Weee! Kill them pesky parasite!" Kaskut cheered as Baxter unloaded his Rifle on four other combat forms.

"Whelski, follow Jayber's hog. I think they want us to form up," Baxter said, taking notice of Jayber's hog circling just in front of the base in the distance.

Whelski power slid the hog around and slammed her foot on the accelerator. The vehicle plunged forward. The area of the canyon that lead to the base had been clear at first until two carrier forms waddled in front of the hog's path. Before the Corporal could either brake or power slide to avoid the threat the two Flood had already began bubbling up and exploded as the Warthog reached them.

The Warthog flipped over three times before landing on its side, scattering the three Marines and Grunt. Baxter hadn't fall far from the Warthog fortunately. He got to his feet and looked around at his disorientated surroundings. The Warthog was flipped over and smoking menacingly. It was then Baxter noticed Kaskut, squirming pathetically by the vehicle.

His left foot was caught underneath the Warthog. He desperately tried to pluck his own foot from underneath the heavy vehicle but all his attempts were futile. The Sergeant hurried over to the hog and tried to lift the vehicle off Kaskut's foot, his attempts were also futile, though he didn't give up. He was sweating bullets from his attempts of lifting the Warthog and his arms grew sore. Just as he went to lift it again he felt something heavy tap him on the shoulder.

He turned to see Ralna Tebo Laku and Kalno Tebo Jamu standing behind him. Baxter stepped aside, reading their minds. They scraped their iron boots against the snowy grounds and readied their shields. Then with a thundering charge, and a mighty blow from both their shields, the Warthog went flying through the snowy canyon. The Hunters roared in victory while Baxter checked on Kaskut's leg.

"How's leg?" Kaskut whimpered in pain.

"I'm not sure, Whelski is more trained in the medical field. If anything's broken, she'll fix it for you," reassured Baxter, as he picked up the Grunt and heaved him onto his back.

"What about bomb, Baxter?" Kaskut whined.

"I'll take care of it," said the Lieutenant, whom carried the bomb in one hand, and his trusty rockets in the other, "Let's take refuge over by Jayber's squad. We need to regroup and strategize."

Alei 'Limoto began circling around the Scorpion who shot in all directions in a confused manner. The crimson Elite, piloting the Banshee, tried his best to defend the Scorpion as it began to get lost and stray from the platoon. He fired off his fuel rod cannon, blowing up a small squad of Flood that tried assaulting the goliath tank from the rear.

Alei circled again and shot a stream of plasma at oncoming Flood from the right of the Scorpion. The Banshee circled upwards and began to circle the Scorpion again. As Alei went to spiral downward to form a defensive circling maneuver around the tank he saw something bright come flying his way in a hurry. His natural reaction was to quickly swerve out of the way and then there was a loud BAM that shook the Banshee's left menacingly and took out his shields. He felt the left wing shatter from the body of the vehicle, and the Covenant air vehicle plunged downward.

Whelski had just gotten done shooting two combat forms in the chest, when she heard a loud crash come from her right. She quickly looked to see what it was and saw a Banshee plunge downward into the snow. She slowly proceed toward the crashed Banshee with a limp in her right leg.

She had taken quite a tumble from the carrier that exploded the Warthog, and now she guessed her right leg was either sprained or fractured. The Corporal abruptly stopped when she heard the grunts and moans of the Flood. She turned and saw two Combat forms, slowly creeping up behind her.

She back peddled as they approached her and she stumbled on her bad leg onto the ground. Once she was defenseless on the ground the Flood immediately charged towards her, sensing her helplessness. Just when Whelski thought it was all over a magnificent blue object soared through the air and impaled the Flood, severing his lower torso from his upper. The remaining combat form took a series of green hits in the chest. Whelski turned to see the familiar Elite, Alei 'Limoto, standing behind her, Carbine in hand.

Once the second Flood fell he picked up his Energy Sword again and knelt down by the Marine. She stared into his mysterious, alien eyes.

"Are you all right?" Alei asked.

"I don't think so. My leg, it's injured badly. Probably sprained, possibly broken," Whelski replied, recoiling in pain.

"I take it you can't walk then," Alei replied and deactivated his mighty blade, and scooped the human up within his arms. She was fairly light in his opinion. Whelski wrapped her arms around Alei's neck for support. Alei felt a bit awkward by this but began walking off before any more Flood decided to attack.

"Jayber, what's our status?" Woodword barked, Kaskut and Baxter following behind their lead commander.

"A few wounded, a few dead. I didn't get the chance to take an exact body count but we REALLY need to bomb the base before the Flood get organized again," Jayber reported.

"Then I'm going in," Woodword said looking at the large, sickening base.

"ALONE! Are you nuts?" Baxter shouted.

"You'll give me cover fire as I head in. Who's going to open the gate for me?" Woodword said, ready to get going.

"You'll be torn apart in there if you don't take someone along with you," Baxter replied.

"Then who's going to escort me?" The Lieutenant asked, growing impatient.

"I will," said a familiar voice. All turned to see the noble, crimson Elite walking towards the group of Marines, heaving a Marine over his shoulder. Alei gently put Whelski into the passenger seat of the able Warthog and stood by Woodword's side. Before Baxter or any other Marine could question what happened Alei spoke, "I found her injured, she'll need medical attention when our mission is complete. Now let's go."

"Are you sure you'll be fine? Shouldn't you guys take the Hunters?" Baxter asked.

"I appreciate your concern brother," Alei said, walking off with Woodword, "But the Hunters will need to protect your group of men. We will be fine." They continued to walk off and Baxter didn't question anymore and assumed a sniping position for cover fire.

"What was that about?" Woodword asked, heaving both the bomb and Rocket towards the main gate of the base.

"What was what about?" Alei replied, confused by what the human meant.

"Brother? Have you seen what species you are?"

"It's a long story," Alei replied, smirking.

As they grew closer to the gate, Flood began leaping from the base and engaged. A barrage of sniper shots and battle rifle rounds fired from behind them at the parasitic enemy. Alei had little work to do because the Marines were giving them such great cover fire. They nearly reached the bridge a familiar, deafening alarm sounded and the bridge slowly lowered.

"Get ready," Woodword said in a grim tone, hanging onto both explosive devices for his life. Alei grasped his sword tighter then ever, awaiting the army of parasites at the other side of the gate. It had finally lowered and they encountered the Flood. Woodword unloaded two rockets on the fleet of Flood and Alei instantaneously vanquished the stragglers.

They both proceeded quickly when they found the center of the base, the perfect spot to plant the bomb. However the Flood were stationed on the exact spot where the bomb was to be placed. Alei got to work. He started off by throwing a plasma grenade at a combat form's demented looking head. It growled in confusion and exploded, taking out a small group of infections, a few combat forms, and one carrier along with it. Alei took out the two remaining combat forms, only taking a few Carbine hits in the back, and tore open a carrier form, spilling out a dozen of infection forms.

He back peddled as they engaged and tossed a grenade into the group of them. They exploded and Woodword got to work. He dropped the bomb at the spot and reloaded his rocket, just incase. Alei circled Woodword like a vulture as he began arming it.

"Just a few more seconds…and…done! Bomb armed. We've got five minutes to evacuate."

"Good, then let's…" Alei began but was interrupted as a combat form lunged itself at Alei, knocking him over. Woodword immediately reacted and fired two shots into the combat form. Alei got to his feet and looked at the parasite's remains and gave a curt nod of thanks to Kyle.

Both Alei and Woodword began backpedaling to their escape while a team of Flood began to march towards them. Woodword fired off a rocket and blew them into oblivion. They kept heading over to the exit when they found themselves surrounded by Flood now. The circle of parasites slowly closed in on them; snarling, growling, moaning. The eerie alarm sounded again, indicating the gate was about to close.

"FIRE A ROCKET AND LEAVE! I'LL DEAL WITH THEM!" Alei roared over the alarm.

"NO, WE NEED…" Woodword began but suddenly became silent as he saw Alei glaring into his eyes, Energy Sword to his neck.

"Leave or die," Alei snarled. Woodword found the Elite's intimidating and drastic words intimidating and abnormal. He was being threatened to save his own life so that the Elite could be his decoy. Beyond the alien's eyes were the answers why he had taken such drastic actions to make Woodword obey and leave, Kyle saw through those dazzling eyes. Feeling his rank and the chain of command was being seriously violated, he unwillingly turned and fired his rocket for his escape.

The rocket took out a small portion of the blockade of parasites, which gave the Lieutenant the opportunity to sprint for the exit. The gate began sliding up but the athletic Marine managed to hurtle over the gate and sprinted for the Warthog. Woodword felt pathetic and weak, taking orders from an alien but knew that the Elite had threatened him to save his life. He felt cheated yet thankful towards Alei 'Limoto.

Alei's angry eyes scanned over the hideous, sickening, nightmarish enemy. In reality, he was fighting the slaves of his true enemy. Humans, Covenant, both were enslaved by the parasites. His remorse for them quickly turned into rage as the first enemy lunged forward at him, unloading its SMG as well.

Alei sliced through the first, shields cut down by half. Just then he felt the rest of his shields deplete and a painful blast from the backside as a carrier form detonated. He was welcomed by more pain and let out a roar of anguish as 3 battle rifle rounds tore into his left side. He turned and quickly took out the Flood with a single swipe of his sword and turned to take out two more combat forms before they could attack.

Alei stared at the remaining Flood closing in on him. A pit of demise and hopelessness formed in the bottom of his stomach. He didn't know how he could win, but he had so much to live for that he didn't want to give up now, but how would he survive? He waited for the onslaught so that he could counter strike but just before he could strike the closest combat form to him a thin blue beam of energy shot just over his shoulder and hit one combat form right in its chest cavity.

The Flood's chest exploded and it fell. Alei recognized the weapon. A Particle Beam Rifle. He only knew one person who would use such a weapon, Lib. But wouldn't Lib have shot him by now?

Before he could strike at another combat form, its chest exploded by the same sort of fire. The Flood slowly began dropping one by one and he quickly began slaughtering the straggler parasites. Once they were all finished off Alei turned towards where he believed the sniper shots had come from. Then his heart nearly stopped, his mandibles gaped open in disbelief, and he dropped his sword.

"Ebak," Alei murmured.

"Everyone ready to go?" Woodword asked as he planted himself at the turret of the Warthog.

Baxter was in charge of driving it while Whelski was seated in the passenger seat, Kaskut sitting in her lap. The remaining Marines had boarded the Tank as their means of transportation and the Hunters covered the rear.

"Why can't we wait for Alei?" Baxter asked.

"He told me to leave. I'm sure he'll be fine," Woodword replied.

"I hope he will," Whelski said softly, petting Kaskut's cold, smooth head.

"What was that?" Baxter asked, wondering what Whelski had just said.

"Nothing," she said hastily, "Let's go."

Baxter stared into Whelski's worried eyes for a few seconds and started the engine of the hog.

"A shame if he should parish by the Flood," chimed the monitor, "I was beginning to grow fond of the one called Alei."

"Shut up and keep up," snapped Baxter, and he but his foot on the accelerator and the hog plunged forward and headed for red base.

"Surprised?" Asked a familiar voice.

Alei couldn't believe his eyes or ears. Standing before him was a tall, muscular, war scarred looking Elite. It was his brother, Ebak, however he looked different. He wore a different kind of armor that was colored Green and he had a nasty looking scar on his shoulder. His armor did not protect the scar on his shoulder, probably for the sake of pride in his mark of war.

"How…" Alei muttered but Ebak had cut him off, "I can explain later. Now pick up your sword and help me control the parasite."

"There's no time," Alei growled, "A bomb has been planted in this base. We must leave immediately."

"WHAT!" Roared Ebak in anger and confusion.

"There's no time! I'll explain when we're safe."

"Then follow me. I have a Phantom and Banshee on the other side of the base," Ebak said, heading off across the base. Alei followed faithfully, still shaken from seeing his brother once again.

Alien Brethren: Chapter 11: Family Get Together
Date: 27 November 2005, 9:43 pm

Chapter 11: Family Get Together

AN: I hope you Alien Brethren fans got done reading Chapter 10 thuroly because Chapter 11 is a shocker to the ending of Chapter 10! If you didn't read Chapter 10 yet (I don't know why you wouldn't allready) then immiedietly press Back on your toolbar and get reading! Well you already know that a charecter has returned from Alei's past and this next chapter is all about a time of uniting between the Elite brethren (i'm sure you allready gathered that much by looking at the title though). Suprisingly I started and finished typing Chapter 11 right after I was done submitting Chapter 10, and tpying this chapter didn't take that long (like my other chapters that take 2-7 days). Also, if you liked Chapter 6 then you shouldn't be too disappointed with this chapter. Watch out for Chapter 12, for it shall be the conclusion to Alien Brethren's following plot on Halo 2, and I guarentee it will be glorious (I hope). Before I let you read I HAVE TO say thank you to John G (Fleet Admiral Banks) for helping out with this chapter. He really contributed nicely to this piece of Alien Brethren. And with that I give you Chapter 11: Family Get Together

Alei 'Limoto landed his banshee in a desolate marshy area where his brother's Phantom had halted in mid-air. The crimson Elite deactivated and exited his vehicles and waited for his brother to come down the lift. He watched his magnificent, green armored brethren descended from his personal drop ship. The two of them embraced, in a brotherly way and Alei spoke first, "It's been a while."

"But here we are. Brothers united," Ebak said, forming his mandibles into a smile.

There was a moment of silence, a shortage of words between the Elite brethren. Time and memories separated the two of them for what felt like an eternity for both of them.

"Odd," Ebak said.


"How we haven't seen each other for so long and now neither of us knows where to start."

Alei frowned and looked down at the grainy ground that he could barely stand on. His knees were weak from everything. Betrayal, new allies, fighting the Flood, and finding his lost brother. "I suppose we should start where we left off," Alei said, starting to regret what he had just said.

The last thing Alei wanted to discuss was the mission that scarred Alei's thoughts; however his curiosity once again controlled his thoughts. "The mission," Ebak said thoughtfully, closing his eyes and recalling the mission that split the two brothers apart, "Our separation."

"How…how did you survive?" Alei asked.

"Well as you recall the whole room was a hellfire, everything doused in chaos and peril. The Flood used their most common strategy, overwhelming. I had grouped with our brothers, Palo and Nifa, whom weren't far from father. I thought Palo was guarding my right flank but he was already attacked by an infection form. One leapt onto my shoulder," Ebak said, pointing to his scarred shoulder, "I slowly grew deaf and my senses were slowly numbing. It felt like I was fighting to stay conscience for an eternity and when I finally managed to slam shoulder against a nearby wall I regained control of my nerves and senses. While I crushed the infection form that was digging into me, I also shattered many bones in my shoulder; however I was rid of the filthy parasite. I searched the room for you, you were gone. Our brothers were already transforming into monsters but father…"

Alei waited patiently for Ebak to continue with the story. Ebak grinned victoriously and continued on, "Father was fighting. He seemed to still be all right however the infection form dug itself into him. So I decided to leave, leave with father. I managed to heave him out of the room and got to the bridge of the ship. I couldn't bear the thought, leaving our brothers there to suffer by the Flood's slavery. I initiated the self destruct sequence of the ship and quickly got me and father into that same Phantom." Ebak nodded over to the Phantom in which he used as his means of transportation.

Alei's heart raced as he began to gather what Ebak's story. Was it possible that his father was still alive? Was he inside the Phantom? "And then what?" Alei asked hesitantly.

"Then I returned to High Charity," Ebak said in a grim tone.

Alei could sense hatred and vengeance pour into his brother's body, recalling some sort of memory that Alei needed to know. "What happened at High Charity?" Alei asked.

Ebak took a deep breath in and exhaled, "I returned to High Charity, to inform the Prophets on what had happened. I hoped they'd show mercy on me and father. I sought the holy ones and found Truth, but stumbled in on a conversation with Tartarus and Truth…a conversation about betrayal…"

"The betrayal has already occurred," Alei growled, remembering how Betronus had backstabbed him, "I watched Tartarus finish off the Arbiter…and Betronus…the backstabbing brute…"

"I vaguely remember Betronus," Ebak said trying to recall the Brute's name, "Anyways the Brutes, Jackals, and Prophets are no longer to be trusted Alei. We only have each other…and a few others that I have gathered on my journey."

"I too have gathered troops on my journeys. Perhaps we should join up," Alei said, feeling excitement in this soon merge of forces.

"Which leads me to my question, Alei," Ebak said in dismal, "Why were you with that human?"


"Don't be foolish, Alei, the human! You were with a human at the containment zone. I saw you fight the Flood with him inside of my base and then you put your sword to his throat and let him leave while you faced off the Flood by yourself."

"His name is Woodword. He's a friend. And what do you mean your base?"

"No human is a friend Alei!" Growled Ebak.

"Those humans were," Alei said defensively.

"THOSE!" Roared Ebak. Alei turned, not being able to look into his brother's furious eyes any longer. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN THOSE HUMANS ALEI?" Ebak demanded.

"STOP SHOUTING!" Alei demanded, turning towards his brother once again, glaring into his eyes. He cleared his throat and began to explain, "I was recently sent to be dispatched into the Human's planet, Earth. I was sent down in a pod at a place known as Zahnzeebah. I was dispatched on one of their beaches. I killed a few humans on the beach and found one of their weapons, a Rocket Launcher. I used it to take down one of their aircrafts and that's when I met one of my 'human friends'. His name is Sergeant John Baxter and he spared my life on that beach and saved me from his fellow, crazed humans from killing me. Not only that but he taught me the truth of Halo."

"And what truth might that be, brother?" Growled Ebak.

"There is no Great Journey."

"What?" Snarled Ebak in disbelief.

"The so called Great Journey is a suicidal event that destroys everything for rendering the Flood powerless. The Forerunners all died because of the cursed rings."

"Who taught you these lies?"

"The Oracle."

"There are things about Halo that even the Sacred Oracles don't even understand. Now will you stop this nonsense and…" Ebak was cut off as Alei put his hand over Ebak's mouth for silence.

"You still haven't answered my question, brother."

Alei took his hand away from his brother's mandibles and his brother spoke, "And what was your question?"

"You referred to the one base at Containment your base," Alei said.

Ebak smirked and said, "I never finished the rest of my story did I?" Alei waited for his brother to continue, knowing the rest of his story wouldn't be something he'd want to hear. "Once I had learned that the Prophets and Brutes were planning on betraying us Elites I felt lost. I returned to the Phantom and plotted a new life, a new cause. I did not want to go join the Heretics since they imperiled the Great Journey so I needed to start my own resistance. I would need to gather stray, trustworthy Elites, Grunts, and Hunters. With my new makeshift army we would seek vengeance onto the Covenant and find salvation through the Sacred Rings, and leave the Covenant behind. If you have gathered now, this plan isn't exactly foolproof or well thought out. The Covenant have large numbers and vast power, we would need the same. So as I thought of this perfect plan, in the Phantom, I looked forward to find the solution."

Alei cocked his head in confusion, "What solution?"

Ebak formed, what looked like, a rather sinister smile and replied simply, "Let me show you."

He turned towards the Phantom and ascended up the gravity lift. Alei waited in the marshy area, his head spinning on what Ebak's solution could be. After a few moments of waiting he heard Ebak coming down the lift and his head jerked towards the Phantom.

Alei felt a sickening pain impale his heart and his knees almost gave in. He felt his eyes water and he turned away, for the sight was too hideous, too painful, too unimaginable. "No," Alei said in disbelief.

"What's wrong Alei? Can't you at least say hello to father?" Ebak said, smirking.

"You're…You're sick…You're the one who is corrupt!" Alei growled in disgust.

"Greet him…Greet your noble father," Ebak ordered.

"He is no longer noble in that state. He is…disgraced," Alei said, as a tear rolled from his shut eyes.

"Turn, Alei," Ebak demanded.

"No," wept Alei.

Then there was a violent grasp on Alei's shoulder and he felt his brother turn him around to face his father, "I SAID TURN TO SEE YOUR FATHER!"

Alei made the mistake of opening his eyes. His eyes poured with tears as he saw the horrific sight. It was indeed his father, but he was not as Alei remembered, he was a monster.

His father's appearance was transformed into a moldy, decomposed exterior covered in a soggy, grotesque substance that came in a puke-like yellow-green color. His once strong, pure hands were now demented looking, as his left hand came in the form of long, whip like tentacles. The Sensory Stalk (located in the chest cavity) felt around the damp air freely. The only distinct look Alei's flood father had from any other Covenant Flood was his head. His father's head was not bent back like the typical combat form; however it dangled freely and occasionally bobbed. His father's demented, sorrowful eyes were too painful to look into.

Alei dropped to his knees and wept, seeing his father in this state. "Stop your crying, Alei," demanded his brother, whom looked down at his brother pathetically, "You should be thankful our father is still alive! I saved him!"

"You're torturing him!" Sobbed Alei.

"Would you rather I left him alone, with our brothers whom were already infected?" Ebak asked.

"I'd rather he found peace and not be disgraced by remaining in this form," Alei said, contemplating whether he should ignite his Sword and bring his father peace. Ebak continued to watch his brother sob before their infected father. After a moment of crying Alei managed to speak again, "Why hasn't he attacked us? I thought the parasites manipulate their hosts."

"Restraints," Ebak said, pointing out two glowing, cyan colored bands on his father's arms. The two bands locked his father's tentacle arm and other arm in place.

"And why isn't his head bent backwards like all the other Flood Elites," Alei questioned.

"A rare case in which the host is able to resist some of the infection form's mutations," Ebak answered.

"And this is your solution to the Covenant?"

"If you mean Father, no. He is merely an emblem, a mascot if you will of my new army. Father shows the pain that my new army has to endure, and shows the mutation that betrayal has on our race. He also shows that we can stay strong and overcome the parasites. I want to study and learn the ways of the Flood so that I may use them against my foes. To get back to your question, when I indicated the base on Containment was my base, it was because I was studying the Flood at that base. I released the Flood in Containment. I was studying them, trying to figure out how I can I find their weakness, how I can have immunity to them, how can I control them. So now brother, I ask, on my knees," Ebak said, now level with Alei whom was already on his knees, "Will you join me? Will you join my cause?"

Alei glared into his brother's selfish eyes and gave his answer, "No."

Ebak frowned, got to his feet, and turned, "Then you are not my brother. You have no brother, you have no family, you have nothing, you fool."

Before Ebak and his infected father went up the Phantom Alei spoke, "I have a brother." Ebak and his father stopped in their tracks, confused by what Alei meant. "His name is John Baxter."

Ebak chuckled at what he thought was Alei's deluded logic, "Whatever you say, Alei 'Limoto." Before Ebak took his final step into the gravity lift he left Alei with one last word, "We do share a common enemy however, Alei. Do us both a favor and stop the Covenant and Tartarus from activating this ring. I wish to acquire the glory of igniting Halo's pure flame and you have business to take care of with your Brute friends. You'll find them in the Control Room."

"Thank you, Ebak," Alei said, as his final words to his ex-brother.

Ebak merely snorted and replied, "My army does not know me as Ebak. My new name is Champion." It was then Alei noticed the gold star upon 'Champion's' green armor, the emblem of his new army.

Alien Brethren: Chapter 12: The Final Score
Date: 7 December 2005, 11:29 pm

WAHOO! CHAPTER 12 IS DONE AND I'M HAPPY! I bet all you Alien Brethren fans are excited about this! I hope you are; this Chapter took a while to type! No I'm not splitting it up like I did with Chapter 9, I figure you guys are sick enough with that stuff. Anyways, this is Chapter 12, one of the best Chapters I think you'll ever read in Alien Brethren. This could be considered the end of the series or the start of a new beginning…who knows? I have many ideas still but we'll find out where Alien Brethren takes me. Just before I let you read I apologize for past vulgarity in the story if any of you are offended by reading it, and there is still occasional swearing in this story…however I feel it's necessary and ties in with a previous chapter. ENJOY!

BTW: I decided to use the horizontal bar for this story ( :

Chapter 12: The Final Score

"I still don't think leaving Jayber in charge of the rest of the Marines was a good idea," Baxter said, examining his trusty rifle.

Woodword held onto the side of the Pelican tightly, Rocket Launcher in his other hand, looking out from the ramp of the Pelican at the moving ground beneath. "I hope you're not challenging my judgment Sergeant Baxter," Woodword said calmly.

"Of course not sir," Baxter said apologetically, "But Jayber has a reputation to be irrational, short tempered, and…"

"An asshole?" Baxter gave a chuckle hearing his Lieutenant give his own input on the Staff Sergeant. Woodword turned towards the Sergeant and began his explanation, "I would have much rather you, me,…hell, even your friend Elite would be better to watch over those Marines rather Jayber, but you are essential to this operation, I'm leading this operation, and Alei…well…I wish he were here right now. Jayber is the next highest ranked man that we had, and that leaves him the responsibility of watching over the Containment area. Let's not get to involved with this matter of leaving Jayber in charge, we need to stay focuses. Johnson and Miranda's lives are in our hands."

"Where are we heading off to again?" Baxter asked, slapping in a fresh clip into his Sniper.

Woodword took a seat across from Baxter, "Some place called the Control Room. If you recall, Whelski picked up a distress signal from Johnson's position. She plotted a course to his estimated position. I don't know much about the Control Room however."

"Fortunately you have me to assist you with any questions about any installation," the monitor chimed.

"Get back to helping Whelski and Kaskut with navigating before I decide to toss you out of this bird," Woodword threatened.

The floating, mechanical orb hummed as it returned to the cockpit of the Pelican, Baxter then formed another question, "Sir?"

"Yes Baxter?"

"What did Alei say before you left? What happened?"

Woodword let out a sigh and looked at Baxter. Woodword could tell that Baxter was worried and really wanted to know what happened to the Elite, "Once we armed the thing, we went to exit the base. That's when the Flood began swarming and surrounding us. They were blocking off all exits. If we were to escape we needed a distraction. So he told me to leave. I hesitated for a moment but he put his sword up to my neck and demanded that I leave. I knew what he meant, he was protecting me, wanted to make sure I made it out all right. I mean, you don't have many options when a sword is up to your neck."

"HRAA!" Bellowed Alei as he swung his sword diagonally at one Brute with its back turned. It staggered and stumbled to the ground helplessly. Before the second Brute could react Alei had already made a quick incision through the other Brute's back. He retreated his impaled sword and let the hairy alien's guts spill and watched it fall before him.

"WORT! WORT! WORT!" Roared Alei, in victory.

Then there was a sudden shock that turned the crimson Elite's celebration into a quick sickness. Two, large, and mighty Hunters stood there, watching him. Alei gulped, wondering whether the Hunters and Brutes were conversing, peacefully, and wondering whether the Hunters were still on the Brute's side.

They growled in confusion and Alei quickly knelt, humbly before the giants, "Great, powerful Hunters, a civil war has brewed up. The Elites have been betrayed, and I humbly ask you to fight on for us Elites."

Alei glanced up to see the Hunter's response and both beat their chest with their mighty shields. Alei took this action as an affirmative and smiled at the Alien Knights, "Thank you. Now follow me, before…" Alei's words were cut short by the menacing howl of a Phantoms flying above.

The plasma cannons on the drop ship searched the ground for targets and Alei knew it was time to seek shelter. He glanced around to find beyond some large rocks and some trees was the entrance to a large Forerunner building.

"Let's seek refuge there! Come!" Ordered the crimson Elite, as he and the Hunters sprinted for the doorway. The doors opened at proximity and inside they found a small group of Brutes, securing the interior. Immediately the Hunters raised their shields and swung violently. Brute bones shattering was music to Alei's ears. Alei helped the Hunters exterminate the Brute problem with his sword.

The doors closed behind the three alien rebels once there was no Brute left standing. Alei heard the humming of the Phantom outside the doorway, dropping off vehicles and soldiers. "Help me set up a barricade," Alei said, putting away his noble sword and taking interest in the two fully loaded Needlers, "We must prepare ourselves."

"Hey Kaskut, how's your legs?" Asked Baxter, curious to how his petite ally was doing.

"Hurt when me walk on them," sighed the Grunt.

"They're fractured from what I could tell, they should recover quickly though," Whelski added.

"And what about your legs? That Elite had to pick you up and put you in the passenger seat of the hog," Woodword said.

"They're just sprained Lieutenant…and I got myself into the bird without any help didn't I?"

"So you actually could walk when Alei was carrying you?" Baxter asked.

"Um…I'm not sure…maybe," Whelski said hesitantly.

"Why does that sound very strange?" Baxter asked beginning to speculate what was going on in Whelski's mind.

"What do you mean? Is it so wrong that I let him carry me over to the hog when my leg was hurt?" Whelski asked defensively.

"You're a Marine! You should have been able to help yourself up if your leg wasn't broken," Baxter replied. And then it struck Baxter, "You…you like him don't you?"

"WHAT!" Yelped the Corporal.

"You were saying how lonely you were and now Alei comes and finds you, all heroically and now you like him!"


"Is it?"

"Shut up!"

"You like him."

"No I don't."

"Yes you do!"

"Shut up! I don't!"

"Just admit it!"

"SHUT UP!" And then the Pelican began shaking wildly followed by the menacing sound of plasma thrashing down on the bird.

"Phantom attacking!" Woodword said, peeking out from the tail of the Pelican.

"ME SCARED!" Shrieked Kaskut, hugging onto Whelski's leg for comfort.

"Quickly Corporal, fly down towards that landing by the Scarab!" The Pelican dove down at the platform, Baxter and Woodword moved closer towards the ramp of the Pelican ready to jump.

Suddenly the plasma became more severe and rocked the Pelican violently. Both Marines lost their footing and fell out of the Pelican. They hit the platform with a thud, Baxter cringed in pain. Then Baxter's eyes grew wide and he quickly rolled several feet away from underneath the bird as the Hunters came crashing down right where he had been.

With the two Marines and two Hunters out of the Pelican, the Pelican soared away, dodging plasma as it went. The Pelican attracted one Phantom as it retreated, two were left at the Scarab. Two Rockets launched at one Phantom, taking out two of its turrets, the other Phantom fired at the menacing rocket threat.

Woodword turned and began to run but the plasma splashed across his back fiercely. He hollered in agonizing pain and immediately Baxter and the Hunters helped the Lieutenant with cover fire. One Phantom seized fire while the other one started firing on the Hunters. Plasma slammed against their giant shields and occasionally got through to unprotected areas, causing orange blood to spurt out.

While the Hunters did an efficient job of supporting as covering fire and a distraction, Baxter ran over to Kyle Woodword and checked to see if he was all right. As he knelt down to check his injuries the Lieutenant yelled out, "Baxter behind you!"

Just as Baxter turned to respond he was mauled down by a hairy monster. He felt the alien ape's giant paw beat down on his chest and his hot, smelly breath breathe onto his face.

"Take them all alive!" Ordered a familiar voice.

Baxter was thankful for the order, even though he recognized the alien voice that came from a Brute. The Brute on top of him gripped him by his arm tightly while another Brute gripped his other arm and they dragged him over to the Brute that spoke. Baxter looked up to see a familiar foe. "Well, well, well, if it isn't smelly," Baxter said, recognizing the untamed brown fur and displeasing stench that only came from Betronus. Baxter noticed a red flag on his shoulder, and a brand new Brute Shot that he was carrying.

"You!" Betronus growled, enraged. He felt Betronus' hand close around his neck and was lifted off his feet. "I should have killed you long before when I had the chance," Betronus snarled, tightening his grip on Baxter's neck.

"Too bad you didn't," Baxter said, smirking at the Brute.

"Kill him boss! Drain his blood," chanted a familiar, sinister voice. Baxter looked to see over at Betronus' right was Lib. Lib seemed to be wearing a different kind of armor and his energy shield had a orange glow to it.

"Say that to my face you cowardly vulture!" Baxter snapped. Betronus looked around him. Woodword was being restrained by but one Brute, the Hunters were being restrained by four, but something was missing.

"The Grunt…and Alei," Betronus mumbled and then glared back into Baxter's eyes, "Where are they?"

"Kaskut? Just missed him. He was in the Pelican."

"And Alei?"

Baxter just smiled at Betronus, despite the fact that the Brute could break his neck right now. His grip tightened even more, "WHERE THE HELL IS ALEI?"

Baxter cringed in pain and desperately tried to take in a breath. He managed to clear his throat.

"He's…He's coming," Betronus' eyes widened in horror, "He's coming for you."

Betronus dropped the Sergeant in shock, immediately two other Brutes restrained him from doing anything drastic. Baxter looked over at the paranoid Brute. Baxter took great satisfaction in scaring Betronus with his lie, however he prayed that Alei was all right and was seeking out him and Betronus right now.

"Confiscate their weapons," Betronus ordered, "Keep them restrained till I return. I'll be searching the ground level for any opposition. Make sure to secure the Hunters with the other captives" Betronus and Lib walked over to another Phantom and it took off.

Baxter and Woodword were both thrown down before the Brutes, a circle of the hairy creatures surrounded them. Menacing Brute shots and Brute Plasma Rifles aimed at them. Baxter turned to see a familiar face, Sergeant Johnson.

"You got guts kid. Back talking that Brute while you could have died."

"Thanks," Baxter said, watching the Hunters being taken away by a small group of Brutes.

"Listen up," Johnson whispered in Baxter's ear, "I don't want to die today so I was thinking we split, grab some guns, and get the hell out of here."

"Sounds like a nice plan," Baxter said, "But it's risky."

"Did you have anything in mind then?"

Baxter took a second to think, "I'm anticipating that help will arrive fairly shortly. Once we get the chance we scatter. Someone should head for the Scarab."

"I'll take the Scarab. Now you tell your friend over there the plan." Baxter nodded and whispered the plan to Woodword.

Alei kept his crouched position behind the makeshift barricade that he and the Hunters had made. The Hunters were as crouched and low as they could ever have been, though their bodies still were plainly obvious to see behind the barricades.

The sound of mortars firing off, Brutes howling out war cries, and plasma and Brute Shot firing was enough to keep Alei ever vigilant. His shaky hands grasped his twin Needlers fiercely; sweat dripping from his palms. He knew he shouldn't be scared, but whatever was outside that door was a powerful force, a force he'd have to confront and get vengeance on. His heart leapt and his eyes narrowed as he began to visualize Betronus standing outside those doors.

"Stand firm warriors," Alei murmured to his Hunter allies. Then there was silence beyond the doors. The eerie void of silence made created an annoying ringing in Alei's head. He gritted his mandibles together, anticipating whatever would come next. He felt his fingers slowly move towards the trigger of the two weapons. He hunched himself behind the barricades a bit more, preparing for the strike.

Finally the doors opened, and Alei was ready. Before his fingers squeezed the triggers his heart leapt and his mind was clear of thoughts of vengeance. It was not the one he sought to kill, it was not even an enemy Brute, it was a shocker at what he saw.

"The Arbiter," murmured Alei 'Limoto in awe to the Hunters, "I thought he was dead." Before the Hunters could fire instinctly Alei stepped forth and leapt onto the barricade, "Hold your fire!" He ordered the Hunters and turned back to the supposedly dead hero, "The Hunter's have come to our aid Arbiter; they will fight by our side."

"Then let's go. There's a Scarab farther ahead. I must get to it," Arbiter replied, advancing forward.

The four of them went forward hastily through a small corridor where there was a stack of Particle Beam Rifles on a Covenant Ammo Crate. The Arbiter discarded his side weapon, a plasma pistol and confiscated one for himself.

Alei lead the three others through the door where they were greeted by plasma and Brute Shot grenades. There was a line of Brutes shooting downward upon the four new threats from a ledge above. Alei quickly sidestepped out of the way of the door so the Hunters could squeeze through, following his Needler barrage. Dozens of pink Needles drove into one Brute captain's neck. The Brute's neck was nearly torn off as the needles detonated, spraying mauve, sticky blood everywhere.

As the crimson Elite engaged another target the Hunters' cannons ignited a magnificent green and wiped out the plasma turret and a whole line of other hairy enemies. Before Alei could take the glory of killing the last Brute standing, two purple beams of energy shot from behind the Hunters, knocking off the Brute's helmet and pegging him in the face. Arbiter squeezed in between the two Hunters, his Sniper rifle overheating.

"Onward brothers," the noble one said. The Hunters took the lead up the slope, leading to the next level, Alei following directly behind the giants. Alei walked into one of them as they both came to an immediate halt. Alei began to wonder why they stopped and then heard the sound of another door opening and more Brute soldiers flooding out. The twin aliens obtained their footing and fired their Fuel Rod Cannons. The cries of Brute anguish echoed through the room and Alei could smell the scent of seared Brute blood.

The two other Elites squeezed their way through the Hunters for their share of the kills. The flooding Brutes were now met with torrent of Needles and lightning-fast, purple beams. They fell quickly by the raging Elites and only one Brute was left.

It discarded it's scarlet Plasma Rifle and got on all fours, resorting to its final means of offense. The berserkering enemy howled his war cry and Alei replied with a, "WORT! WORT! WORT!"

The two clashed in combat, the Brute's claws bashing against Alei's armor while the Elite's Needlers pierced and ripped open the flesh on the Covenant ape's back. The pain of the needles, driving in and tearing the Brute's hairy flesh caused a rush of adrenaline through the Brute's veins, and the beast easily tackled his foe. Alei went crashing to the ground, now unarmed and helpless to the Brute's mauling.

Before Alei's shields depleted completely from the blows of the Brute's giant fists, the Arbiter had taken two shots at the Brute. Its mauve blood oozed from its gaped open mouth onto Alei's armor. The noble Arbiter helped Alei remove the dead Brute off of him and handed him his Particle Beam Rifle.

"The Arbiter's feeling generous!" Alei said with glee, examining the rifle. He hadn't used a Particle Beam Rifle in a while and receiving such a powerful weapon from the Arbiter was indeed an honor. He made himself familiar with the weapon while the Arbiter confiscated a fully loaded Brute Shot that lay next to a Brute's corpse. He reloaded and cocked it before proceeding through the next set of doors.

The Pelican swerved, bounced, and bobbed uncomfortably for the passengers inside. Whelski did her best to keep the controls steady but the engines were malfunctioning from the plasma hits. She came to the conclusion that staying airborne was not an option, and that landing (crashing) safely was the plan.

She pulled up the nose of the bird and slowly let it decline and dive into the grainy ground below. Dirt and gravel spurted as the nose made contact with the ground and the aircraft slowly skid along the surface. After a few seconds of slewing, the Pelican was still and silent.

Whelski began panting heavily from exhaustion and shock, "Everybody all right?"

"Me fine," squeaked Kaskut, blinking widely a few times, surprised he was still alive.

"Well…my current operational status is…" Remorseful Incentive began rambling but was cut short by the Corporal, "Save it!"

"Oh my," the monitor said, taken back by what he had just heard, "Your stress levels seem to be rising reclaimer. Why are you so short tempered?"

"We just crashed, we're separated from the others, and I don't know how to get this heap of shit," Whelski exclaimed, kicking the controls angrily, "Off the ground!"

"Kaskut can help!" The eager Grunt squealed proudly.

As the Corporal reached for her Battle Rifle she glanced down at the Grunt, "You…you can get this thing working again?"

"Kaskut can fix. Me mechanic. Me built annoying light bulb."

"How rude!"

"Good, then get started. I'll secure the Pelican's perimeter and make sure we don't have any company," she said, and the Corporal left the Grunt to his work while she went outside Battle Rifle in hand.

Everything was desolate and calm even though there was another battle going on. She rested against the side of the Pelican and looked up at the sky. The cloudy, dimly lit sky made it a gloomy scene. She reached underneath her Marine armor and felt around for something hanging around her neck. She recognized the cold, square shaped dog tag that she was wearing and searched for something else. It was then she felt her fingers find what she was looking for. She yanked it from underneath her undershirt and armor and pulled it out. It was a golden crucifix hanging from her neck along with her dog tag. She held it tightly, looked up at the heavens of the ring and prayed, "God, please have them be all right."

"GRAHHHHHHHH!" Howled a Brute in demise as three Brute Shot grenades exploded against a berserking Brute. The Arbiter reloaded his confiscated, Brute weapon while the Hunters and Alei took their positions at one end of the ravine.

The four were now in a large, damp, and dimly lit cavern. The cavern was split by a fairly distant ravine and connected, off to the east side, by a bridge. Brutes and Jackals began appearing on the other side and lined up at the other end of the ravine, ready to fire upon Alei and the Hunters.

Alei zoomed in with his Covenant Sniper and scoped out a Brute. Two sharp beams of energy blew off one Brute's head and started the fire fight. Alei waited for his rifle to finish overheating while the Brute and Hunters shot across the gapped canyon. Orange blood occasionally spurted from the Hunters' unprotected areas and they'd moan in pain. In return the Hunters would send off larger douses of their Fuel Rod Cannons killing off more Brutes.

Alei scoped out another Brute and fired quickly. It pierced through it's neck, sending the beast off his feat. "WORT! WORT! WORT!" Cried Alei in victory.

Alei's celebrating was put to an end quickly as a familiar blue flash pierced through the canyon. Alei recognized it instantly as a Covenant Sniper shot and it was followed by the anguish, mournful cry of a Hunter. Alei turned to see one Hunter fall to his giant knees and topple over. He looked over the other side and saw a Jackal holding an overheating Particle Beam Rifle, the killer.

Alei 'Limoto heard the dead Hunter's bond brother roar in vengeance as it began charging towards the bridge, Alei following behind. The remaining Hunter and Alei noticed a demolished turret and Brute corpse on the bridge and both stepped over it, shamefully. The two of them sprinted down the bridge, eager to meet their foes in combat.

Ahead they saw the Arbiter toss a plasma grenade into the crowd of enemies along with two shots of his Brute Shot. He was returned with a barrage of fire and immediately turned on his Active Camo and sought cover. The Brute Shot injured a few targets while the plasma grenade had a larger effect. A blue explosion scattered a fraction of the enemies over the ravine.

The Hunter searched the crowd of Brutes and Jackals for the one whom killed his bond brother. It was unmistakable to the Hunter as he found the target in which he sought vengeance from. The Hunter's roar echoed through the cavern and it began charging. Brute shots, plasma, sniper shots, all bombarded the raging Hunter but none were able to stop its wrath. As the Hunter met its target it swung its mighty shield, flattening and splattering many of its foes, including the Jackal that killed its brother. Two Brutes remained.

Alei aimed for one's head and unloaded two shots. It fell causing the other one to berserk, targeting Alei. Alei quickly back peddled, waiting for his Sniper to cool down. As the Brute was in mauling distance it toppled forward to Alei's feet, bleeding severely by its spine. Alei looked up to see the Arbiter standing, no longer cloaked, holding his Brute Shot, the blade of the gun dripping Brute blood.

Alei gave a curt nod of thanks and the remaining three proceeded forward through a narrow path to another door. It was a very short hallway which contained another door. Arbiter eagerly headed forward, the door opened in proximity. The door lead to an elongated, suspended bridge.

The Arbiter turned seeing if his allies would join him but Alei stood still and silent. "Coming?" Questioned the Arbiter.

Alei raised his hand, motioning for him to go, "You proceed forward. I have business to take care of here."

Unwillingly the Arbiter proceeded through the bridge, leaving his allies behind. Once the door closed Alei closed his eyes and continued to listen to the familiar voice that he sought to get vengeance on.

"Betronus," Alei said musically, "It is time to settle this fight."

"Arg, how much longer much longer must we wait for Betronus' orders? I want to get on with killing the three," growled one of the irritable Brutes.

"Stop your whining," barked another Brute, "We will wait until the Captain or the Chieftain has given us our orders. We do not know if the humans have any significant value as of yet."

"Well, your so called distraction hasn't arrived yet. So how long are we supped to wait? I DO NOT want to end up as ape fodder," The Sergeant said, growing impatient.

"If we try to run now, we'll most likely all end up dead. Just give it some time," Baxter replied. Baxter looked over at Woodword, he still looked pretty beaten up. "How are you holding up?" Baxter asked.

"I'm fine…I'll be even better when these Brutes are dead," Woodword replied.

Baxter looked skyward, "C'mon Alei. Where are you?"

"Everyone halt!" Ordered Betronus.

His two Jackals and three other Brutes all stopped in their tracks immediately. The Captain Brute barely made out scattered bodies on the other side of the ravine. Blood was splattered everywhere on the other side, and a few puddles of orange blood could be seen on their side of the cavern.

"Anyone see any Elite carcasses?" Betronus asked.

"Only a Hunter carcass," reported a Brute, whom knelt down to the immense corpse. Just as the Brute finished his sentence a bright, cyan figure impaled through his chest and quickly retreated.

"HE'S USING ACTIVE CAMO! GET HIM!" Betronus howled in anger.

Lib raised his energy shield and Plasma Rifle while his apprentice Jackal raised his old Particle Beam Rifle. Betronus scanned the area with his Brute shot while his two cohort Brutes watched vigilantly, Brute Plasma Rifles raised.

It was then Betronus wasn't any longer concerned with the cloaked Elite as the cavern grounds shook beneath him. He looked over at the bridge to see a stampeding Hunter, fuel rod cannon glowing. Before the jade blast was emitted Betronus, Lib, and the other Jackal quickly dove out of the way while the remaining two Brutes were annihilated by the Fuel Rod cannon's force.

The Hunter felt fulfilled, his pride was now immortal, and his final seconds were well spent beating his chest with his giant shield. Betronus and the other Jackal finished off the Hunter by a Sniper shot and Brute Shot. It fell not in shame but in glory.

"Foolish Hunter. His pride was the death of itself," Betronus spat.

"He died for another cause however," said a grim, familiar voice that Betronus instantly recognized, causing his fur to stand straight up on his back.

He felt the warmth of a brilliant Energy Sword, ready to slit his throat. His eyes widened, his knees felt weak he dropped his weapon in fear, "No…no, IMPOSSIBLE!"

"That Hunter died in glory knowing he'd be united with his avenged brother and knowing his life would mean by success."

The Jackals chattered amongst each other and the Sniper Jackal raising his weapon towards the crimson Elite. "Shoot me and I'll still have the glory of spilling your Captain's blood," warned Alei.

The Jackals cocked their head and looked towards Betronus for an order. "Do as he says," Betronus ordered.

"Leave us. Move on and do not come back," Alei ordered the Jackals.

Lib and his apprentice followed Alei's orders unwillingly and he waited till they were out of sight.

"So, Lib got promoted to Major," Alei said thoughtfully, "And you…" Alei made a quick slash at the red flag that once was perched upon Betronus' shoulder, "You are now a Captain are you? And these ranks were from what deed? Watching the Arbiter fall to his demise and trying to kill me as well?" Alei chortled, "You failed that night Betronus. The Arbiter still lives."

Betronus could not believe what he was hearing. The Arbiter, still alive? "Impossible!" Growled the Brute.

"You don't believe me? Do you see the pile of bodies of your fellow race and of your filthy companions, the shifty Jackals? All dead. Not by my hands, no I cannot take all credit. I shared the blood spill along with two Hunters and the Arbiter, himself."

"Damn you and your pathetic race Alei," Betronus snarled.

"Damn me to what? To not be saved by your Great Journey? You and your race are blind by the Prophets' false words. You are a fool Betronus...and now I have the chance to enjoy spilling your blood, right now."

"Then what's stopping you from doing so?" Betronus asked, wondering why Alei hadn't killed him yet.

"Honor," Alei said, pushing Betronus forward, Sword prodding his spine, "Go forward."

Kalno Tebo Jamu let out a howl of sorrow, feeling he had failed to protect his new ally, Baxter. Ralna joined in the chorus, howling out in sorrow as well. Their eerie howling was enough to get on the nerves of one Brute, standing guard.

The brute slammed his fits against the energy prison, violently, "SILENCE YOU WORTHLESS CAN OF WORMS!"

It was enough to shut up the Tebo brothers for a few seconds but everything soon turned to utter chaos as Ralna Tebo Laku noticed a blue, fizzing orb soar through the air and stick a Brute captain.

"WHAT THE…" The alarmed captain's words were cut short by an extravagant explosion of blue smoke. Immediately plasma began to fire and the guarding Jackals and Brutes began to scatter.

"Be vigilant! The Arbiter is near!" Warned an edgy Brute, as a Particle Beam shot whizzed by the Brute's head. The shot intentionally missed the Brute's skull as it shattered the energy prison's generator. The purple shield went down, releasing a couple of white armored, Honor guards. Their large headpieces masked their raging eyes but they let their swords release all their hatred against the Brutes.

The Tebo brothers watched the Elites begin to slay the Brutes, dumbstruck. They watched in amusement, passed the Brute that stood by their prison. The Brute guarding their cell was too afraid to leave his post and even more afraid to join the brawl of Sword Elites.

Then there was a brilliant, blue spark and an Energy Sword appeared out of no where, impaling the Brute from behind. The Brute fell and the owner of the Energy Sword was soon revealed as it's camo depleted. It was the Arbiter. The Hunters cocked their head, wondering if what they saw was true. The Arbiter, alive?

Without wasting time the Arbiter made a quick slash at the Energy Prison's generators for the Tebo brothers' cell. The shields vanished and the Arbiter gave his order to the Hunters, "Deal with the Brutes while I release the others."

The Tebo brothers obeyed the highly regarded Elite and charged into combat. Both Hunters' cannons ignited sinisterly and discharged upon the group of Brutes, aiding the Sword Elites very much so. While the Honor Guard Elites finished off the surviving few, a door off to the Hunters' left opened and they were welcomed by a small platoon of Brutes.

The Hunters took immediate fire and in return fired back. Their shots singed a few or completely missed as Brute Shot grenades exploded in their faces, reducing their aim. The Honor guards (including the ones that were now free by the Arbiter) leapt into battle as they began tearing through the Brutes. Two Elite's fell by a combination of plasma and Brute Shots.

The Hunters began charging forward, while the Elite's backed up, and they swung their goliath shields at the group of foes. Brutes scattered and bones shattered by their immense power but just as soon as they attacked they were hit by a heavy return fire by the ever so persistent Brutes. Orange blood spilled across the room.

As the Tebo brothers began taking many of the hits Particle Beam shots filled the room again, pegging off a few of the remaining Brutes.

"WORT! WORT! WORT!" Roared an Elite as he plunged forward at the last Brute that stood, decapitating his most hated foe. Feeling a bit disappointed in having a squad restricted to close combat the Arbiter passed off his Sniper to one of the white armored Elites and took his sword. "Use it to smite our enemies," The other Elite chimed.

"I'm getting a little worried here Baxter," said Johnson, getting agitated.

"They'll slaughter us right here, right now if we try anything," Baxter replied.

"Well at least we can try to fight, like real Marines!"

"Real Marines use strategy," Baxter snapped.

"Back in my day, we didn't have no fancy, well planned out strategy. It was, if it moves, it dies!"

"SILENCE HUMANS!" Barked a Brute whom was using his Covenant comm. device to communicate with another source. "Repeat that again Chieftain. What about the humans?" Questioned the Brute.

"Mine will do…kill the others," said the muffled voice of Tartarus.

"Yes Chieftain!" Obeyed the other Brute, as he turned to Johnson and readied his blade near the Marine's throat. Before Johnson could back off from the Brute he found himself restrained by a Brute behind him.

Baxter and Woodword saw Brutes closing in on them too, knowing they'd be the next to go. "God, please don't have us die like this," Baxter prayed, cursing himself for anticipating this and for having faith in Alei of coming to the rescue.

The Brute with the blade to Johnson's neck chuckled and started a wager, "A day's ration says I do this in one cut."

"Two cuts at most," replied the Brute, restraining Johnson. Just as Johnson thought hard about all he lived for, just before his dieing seconds, he was relieved to hear a Brute cry out in agony followed by gun fire and chaos.

The blade moved away from Johnson's neck as the Brute turned to see what was going on, and Johnson made his move. He managed the energy to elbow the Brute behind him in the elbow and made a run for it, "GO! GO! GO!"

Following Johnson's cue, Woodword and Baxter also ran. They sought cover behind some large Covenant ammunition crates. It was there the two of them found their confiscated weapons. Both Marines decided instead of engaging, they let the Covenant grudge play out itself. The sound of Brute's falling to their demise and Swords searing through Brute flesh was music to Baxter's ears.

Baxter also recognized the familiar sounds of Hunters roaring and Fuel Rod Cannons firing off. He looked out from behind his crate and recognized the Tebo brothers immediately. Soon the Brutes were dead and everything was silent, except for the humming of the Scarab activating. Baxter and Woodword both came out of their cover and watched an Elite in ancient looking armor gawking up at the goliath Scarab.

"Listen, you don't like me and I sure as hell don't like you," Johnson began, using a speaker phone from inside the Scarab, "But if we don't do something Mr. Mohawk's gunna activate this ring, and we're all gunna die."

"Tartarus has locked himself inside the control room," replied Arbiter in a dismal tone.

"Well I just happen to have a key," Sergeant Johnson said, opening up the main firing cannon of the Scarab egotistically, "C'mon, grab a Banshee and give me some cover. He's going to know we're coming."

Then over the horizon appeared two banshees heading straight towards the Arbiter. The Arbiter began approaching them but was abruptly stopped as something grabbed his shoulder, "Excuse me." The Arbiter turned to meet face to face with Baxter.

"Sorry to keep you from proceeding with your mission but I was wondering if you came across a red Elite named Alei 'Limoto."

Arbiter took a few seconds to think and came with his answer, "I believe I did see him. I fought by his side. He's beyond the bridge through those doors," The Arbiter said, pointing to the doors he had come through, "He said he had something to take care of. A great warrior that one is."

"Thank you," Baxter said, nodding to the Arbiter respectively.

The Arbiter turned on his heel and headed over to a Banshee that had landed where its owner said, "Take my Banshee Arbiter." The Arbiter nodded as a curt thanks to the Banshee's owner and flew off in it.

The Tebo Brothers and Lieutenant gathered around Baxter where he brought forth his discovery, "Alei's here, the other Elite said so. I'm going to go find him."

"You mean we, Sergeant," Woodword corrected, preparing his Rocket Launcher.

"Permission to go alone, sir," John requested.

"What's your reasoning behind your request?" Woodword questioned.

"Because I'm his brother, sir," Baxter replied, that being his only reason he could think of.

Woodword took a moment to mull it over and came to a conclusion, "Permission granted. Me and the Hunters will stay here and wait for the Pelican. I'll be waiting for your return Sergeant, so don't do anything stupid."

Baxter cracked a smile, "I never do, sir."

Betronus trudged forward unwillingly as Alei prodded him ahead. "You're a fool Alei," Betronus said, noticing they were getting closer to the door that lead to the other room, "If I were you, I'd kill you right now."

"Where's the fun in that?" Alei asked, grinning.

"Spilling your filthy blood would give me enough pleasure with or without a fight, Alei," Betronus replied.

"Likewise," Alei noted, "But this is more honorable and lets me take pleasure seeing your last fighting stance."

The door opened in proximity and Betronus made his move, "See this."

Unable to react fast enough Alei felt Betronus' bulky elbow blow into his stomach, immobilizing him for a few seconds and giving Betronus the time to sneak around Alei and dive for his Brute shot.

Before Alei could turn to confront the cheap Brute he was sent off his feet by four shots of a Brute Shot. His body tumbled into the other room and off the ledge. Betronus heard the Elite's body hit the ground with a large, painful, cracking thud. He grimaced at the thud for a second and began to chuckle.

As he reloaded his Brute Shot, he headed into the other room and walked down the slope that lead to Alei's body, lying in a small puddle of his own blood. Betronus couldn't help to laugh hysterically at the corpse before him. His laughter echoed loudly through the room, his eyes watering from his laughter. The Brute began slapping his knee and his laughing ruckus soon became unbearable as Alei's eyes darted open.

Immediately the Elite leapt to his feet and plowed one fist into the Brute's stomach while with his other he threw an uppercut to the alien ape's jaw. Now disarmed and surprised Alei easily pinned Betronus against a wall, his one hand gripping tightly to the Brute's neck. He withdrew his right arm, in a punching stance, and thrust it forward once, twice, and at the third his eyes began to water from pain as his fist plunged into concrete; the Brute moved.

Alei turned and was met by a round house kick to his face. He fell to the ground from the Brute's hefty kick and responded quickly to Betronus' Brute Shot blade coming down at his face. He rolled over to his right avoiding the first attack and quickly anticipated and responded to the next strike as he rolled over to his left. Alei quickly reached for his sword and brought it up to his face, blocking the next strike of Betronus' Brute Shot.

They were in a deadlock between the magnificent cyan blade and the hefty Brute weapon. Both urged to succeed in the impasse but it was going no where. Desperately, Betronus reached for a Plasma grenade. Once Alei saw it ignite in Betronus' hand he tried his rolling tactic once again, dodging the grenade as it stuck where his head had been. It exploded, barely searing Betronus' fur. Betronus turned and the two opponents' eyes met and were locked, anticipating who would strike first.

Lib and his apprentice Jackal both marched through another set of doors coming to a bridge. "So what now? We keep walking? What about Betronus?" Lib's apprentice asked.

"Silence neophyte," Lib snapped, "Betronus ordered us to leave him and Alei to themselves. I'm sure he can handle himself, I have faith in my master…you also should have faith in YOUR master." Lib's apprentice drooped his head respectively to Lib's and that's when both came to an immediate stop in the middle of the bridge.

There was his old foe, Baxter.

Lib's eyes widened larger then usual and instinct told him to raise his energy shield for protection however his reflexes didn't match Baxter's, that he knew. He closed his eyes cowardly, as he anticipated an echoing bang from his devastating Sniper Rifle, but the only thing he heard was a disappointing click.

Lib opened one eye, checking to see if he was dead. He heard another three dismal clicks. The Sergeant began examining his rifle, checking why it would not fire. While the Sergeant did this both Jackals broke out in hysterical laughter, enjoying the sight of Baxter's own rifle pathetically backfiring on him in his time of need. Just as Lib was to cease his laughter and order his apprentice to finish the human there was a different sounding click followed by Baxter's pleasant voice.

"Sorry," Baxter apologized, "Forgot to turn off the safety."

Lib's laughter fell short, very short and his eyes bulged in shock as there was a deafening echo that immediately seized the other Jackal's laughter. Warm, sticky, purple blood splashed across the other Jackal's face and he tasted his master's blood.

"I'll give you three seconds to run," Baxter said, grinning widely, scoping at the Jackal's skull.

Alei's eyes narrowed, his grip on his Energy Sword was tight. The two stared down wondering who would strike first and how to go about the battle.

"Truly you're a fool Alei 'Limoto," Betronus snarled. Alei patiently waited for Betronus' reasoning, "You take too much pride in your so called honor, just like the rest of your egotistical race."

"At least my race isn't a bunch of backstabbing cowards," Alei replied.

"The Brutes were meant to serve at the Prophets' right hand."

"Now who's being egotistical?"

"Why don't you strike me down now?" Betronus asked, "What's stopping you from succeeding over me once again and trying to prove that you are better then me? What's stopping you Alei?"

"I think I should be asking that question Betronus since I'm the only one with honor here and you yet are holding your Brute Shot and could easily fire at me at any given time." Betronus was shocked. He was doing exactly what Alei wanted him to do, walk into a cease fire.

Betronus glared at Alei for humiliating him, Alei smiled. "So what's stopping you from shooting me right now, Betronus?"

The Brute snarled, "Nothing."

He pulled the trigger; one grenade was lobbed out of the weapon just as Alei jumped into the air. He squeezed the trigger three more times aiming for the airborne Elite as best he could. All three grenades missed and Betronus' perception began slowing down rapidly as he realized he walked right into Alei's trap.

He watched the Elite raise his sword, high above his head, his body slowly declining in mid-air. Betronus' life flashed before his eyes. Birth, growing up on his home world, moving to High Charity with his father, becoming of age as a warrior, being assigned to various different squads, meeting Lib, joining Alei 'Limoto's squad, their various different missions in which they fought side by side (Alei always succeeding over him), his jealousy, his joy in hearing the betrayal, his mission to Earth, meeting Alei once again, betraying him at the Library, and now this.

It was sudden, Alei's sword piercing through his bloated stomach, tearing through his intestines, boiling his blood, spilling his guts. Betronus felt himself drop like dead weight on the ground, impaled, immobilized, he could only look up. He only saw Alei's face and began to taste his own blood.

Alei hadn't instantly killed him, he was going to leave him, bleed to death. He felt his nerves screaming in pain, his blood seeping from his gut, and blood dribble form his gaping mouth. Alei stared into the Brute's eyes, the Brute's eyes staring back in pain and anger.

"You…" Betronus could only say. His words were lost, his mind clouded by hate. He wanted to say a thousand different things right then to the Elite but his gaping mouth failed him.

Alei backed away from the Brute's body, symbolically leaving his sword in Betronus' stomach, "This is your reward Betronus." Betronus' fingers and limbs began to twitch as he continued to slowly bleed himself to death. "This is how I felt when you betrayed me, when the Prophets betrayed me, when my own brother betrayed me, when the rings and this entire universe betrayed me." Alei began to walk away, his steps slow and thoughtful.

"Is that all?" Moaned Betronus. Alei turned to the pathetic, gory looking Brute.

Perhaps there was one more thing that he was obligated to tell the Brute, "No…there is one more thing Betronus." Betronus' jaw twitched in anger as he anticipated Alei's final words. "Go fuck yourself."

Betronus coughed up a pint of blood in disgust by the Elite. As Alei began walking up the slope he met Baxter face to face. Both just looked at each other, neither able to speak nor smile at the time. Baxter looked off to his right to see the slowly dieing Brute.

"Didn't even get to say goodbye," Baxter said, disappointed.

"There's still time," Alei said, almost cracking, what looked like a smile.

Baxter approached the pathetic looking alien, raised his rifle, and put a bullet in its skull.

"Where are they? Can't we go and look for them now?" Whelski whined, growing anxious and worried for Alei and John.

"I gave Baxter my word I'd wait here for him," Woodword replied, "And that's what we're going to do."

"LOOK!" Squeaked Kaskut, whom was sitting on the ramp of the parked Pelican. Emerging from the doors was a glorious sight. Two different species, walking side by side, blood stained and battle scarred.

"BAXTER! ALEI!" Shouted Samantha excitedly. She greeted both of them with a hug and kiss, holding both of them tightly, glad to see them alive.

Once Whelski was done with her greetings Woodword shook Baxter's hand and smiled approvingly at him while Kaskut managed to waddle over to Alei on his broken foot and hugged his leg.

"How splendid," chimed Remorseful Incentive, "It is good to see you two alive again."

"Surprisingly, Remorseful Incentive, it's good to see you too," Baxter said, happy to be back with his squad again.

"So what happened after Containment. Where'd you go off to? We were worried about you," Whelski said, interested in Alei's tale.

"It's a long story," Alei said, drooping his head remembering his corrupt brother and deformed father.

"Which involves an ass kicking that Betronus got, right?" Baxter said, nudging Alei in the side encouragingly.

"Yes I suppose," Alei said, grinning in victory.

"What about Lib?" Kaskut asked, sounding ferocious in his cute, Grunty way.

"I took care of him," Baxter said proudly.

"Well I'm sure Alei and Baxter can tell all about their journeys on the way home. I got a transmission from Captain Miranda Keyes; they prevented Halo from activating. Looks like we've got a vacation to look forward to," Woodword announced, boarding the Pelican.

"Vacation? Kaskut love vacation! Where?"

"Earth," Woodword replied, helping the Grunt onboard.

"Earth…home sweet home…just as long there won't be much fighting there," Baxter said, boarding the bird as well.

"Things have settled down a bit. We'll see how it is," Woodword said reassuringly.

Alei watched Whelski climb on board the Pelican and Alei cocked his head at her. "What's wrong?" Whelski asked.

"I thought your leg was injured and you couldn't walk," Alei said.

Whelski blushed, "Oh yea…um…I got better real fast."

Alei smirked and stepped on board the bird, "So I've seen."

And while something greater goes on above Halo's surface, the infamous quote of the horrendous yet true Gravemind echoes on through rock, and metal, and time… "Fate has made us meet as foes, but this ring shall make us brothers."

Alien Brethren: Chapter 13: Homecoming of Heroes
Date: 17 December 2005, 8:09 pm

Chapter 13: Homecoming of Heroes

Alright, be honest, who thought Chapter 12 was THE END of Alien Brethren? Who did I fool? You guys thought I'd just leave you hanging at Chapter 12, what would be a VERY climactic ending for Alien Brethren. No, I decided to have Alien Brethren come back with avengeance! I hope you're all pumped for this because this Chapter is the start of something new and big for Alien Brethren...

Before I let you read though...I MUST thank all whom read Alien Brethren and are constantly commenting and constantly clinging onto my chapters after every submit. Once again, you are the fuel to this story and as long as you guys are here Alien Brethren should live on...

Blood seeped from a minor gash upon a Sergeant's face. The Marine wiped it off his face as it began to dribble downward into his eye, almost ruining his most important aspect of combat, his vision.

He brought his SRS99C-S2 AM Sniper Rifle scope up to his eye. The back of a ugly Brute's head was perfectly in view. Without hesitation he pulled the trigger. A short fountain of blue blood spurted from the alien's skull as it fell into a heap.

The Sniping Marine slapped in a fresh clip and was startled as he heard the roar of a very angry Brute. Before he could turn to engage, there was a gushing, sickening, yet beautiful sound of searing energy tearing through a tough, hairy hide. The Sergeant turned to see a fallen, gory Brute lying at the feet of a tall, blood drenched, crimson Elite.

The blue blood of the Brute dripped from his armor, helmet, and mandibles. He shook off his soaked arm and sword and with his less drenched arm he wiped off his face. There the two stood, in the half demolished battlegrounds of an Earth street, gushing with Covenant troops and with a loss of resistance.

A pack of Jackals scattered into view while a flock of Buggers began flying into the scene. "I'll get the Jackals, you take out the Buggers," the Sergeant said.

"Baxter…" The Elite snarled, feeling his orders were unfair.

"What, Alei?" Sergeant John Baxter asked.

"Why can't you deal with the Buggers while I get the Jackals?" Alei questioned, plasma and needles soaring over their shoulders as they bickered on the topic at hand.

"Because I said so," Baxter said with a smirk.

"I think a Sniper is more suited for Buggers," Alei argued.

"Paper, rock, scissors?" Baxter asked, holding out his hand to decipher who would take care of which enemy, chaos still brewing in the background.

The Elite sighed, and extended his hand, "Fine."

Both dueled with their fists while Baxter counted, "Once, twice…"

"SHOOT!" Cried out Alei whom instantly raised his Carbine and got a head shot of a Sniper Jackal.

Baxter unloaded four shots on four airborne Buggers and then slapped in a new clip, both turned on their heels, switching off enemies. Alei took out a few more Buggers with his raging Carbine while Baxter unloaded another four rounds on the pack of Jackals. Baxter laughed as his enemies went down swiftly and how he had taken little to no hits. Alei had dropped all of the Buggers in no time and reloaded after his job well done…or what he thought to be a job well done.

He heard the humming of a single Bugger's wings vibrating in his ears and he quickly turned to see one perch on Baxter's shoulder, ready to slit his throat with its jagged claws. Alei quickly dropped his Carbine and grabbed the insect by its wings and pinned it down to the ground. With his hoof crippling the Bugger's body he was able to ignite his Energy Sword and make a quick, lethal incision. Baxter looked over his shoulder and gave a curt nod of thanks to his Alien Brethren.

Baxter turned back to the fray, Alei standing by his side, Sword glowing magnificently in hand. Alei noticed the nice job John had done. A neat pile of Jackals were several feet from them and all that remained was a cowardly Jackal, shield raised.

"Bet you a plasma grenade I can get this one in one shot," Baxter wagered.

Alei chortled and took out a spare grenade, "I'll take that bet, human."

Baxter smiled and raised his rifle. He scoped and aimed at his target with such precision and such delicateness that it could be considered an art. This art only took however about one second and he pulled the trigger. Surprisingly the shot had found an unprotected part of the alien's head. Blood spurted and the last Jackal fell.

Baxter held out his hand, awaiting his reward and felt the Covenant grenade plop into his hand. "Banshee from behind," warned Alei.

Baxter turned immediately to the eerie shrieking of a Covenant Banshee, approaching with speed. As it began engaging with its plasma cannons Baxter readied the plasma grenade and once the Banshee was in throwing range he tossed it into the air. It stuck the Banshee easily, let off a grim hissing and dismembered the once airborne vehicle in a blue explosion.

All was silent for the moment but Baxter's paranoia caused him to spin around and quickly scope out the other end of the street. He quickly lowered his rifle and rubbed his eyes, not being able to comprehend what he was seeing.

"Hailey," Baxter mumbled in shock. Her beauty controlled his thoughts once again. She looked frightened, confused, and alone. She ran towards the Sergeant, teary eyed and quickly embraced him. She rubbed her wet face in his blood stained chest.

"Hailey," Baxter said, embracing her tightly, "Hailey what's wrong?"

She looked up, into his brave yet astounded eyes and spoke in a high pitched, laughable voice, "Baxter? You be sleep talking again? Who Hailey? Me be Kaskut!"

Quickly Baxter's eyes snapped wide open to reality and his dream was shut away in the back of his head. He looked at his surroundings and recalled that he and his crew had taken an Albatross after docking their old Pelican inside a UNSC ship.

On the other side of the Albatross was the muscular, cold blooded Lieutenant, Kyle Woodword. In the center of the Albatross were two living alien tanks, the mighty Tebo Hunter brothers; Ralna Tebo Laku and Kalno Tebo Jamu. The two prodded each other with their giant shields and chattered in their strange, native tongue. Hovering around the giant alien allies was an artifact of one of the Halos; the intellectual yet bothersome 16807 Remorseful Incentive. The monitor began blinking its green light while humming a catchy tune. Off to Baxter's right was Baxter's most trusted. Alei 'Limoto had turned into Baxter's most trusted ally after once being Baxter's most exceptional enemy on Zanzibar.

The Elite was once a loyal and highly regarded member of the Covenant as an Elite Major, but once Alei discovered the truth about Halo and had seen the virtues in mankind (especially the possibilities of alien alliances with humans that was shown through Sergeant Baxter). The crimson Elite was a scarred warrior whom held the values of honor and brethren very highly.

Baxter looked down and met face to face with the most loved and warm hearted of the crew; the loveable Grunt Kaskut. Kaskut was usually a good sidekick and ally when it came to war, but he was an even better mechanic and friend off the battlefront.

"You be awake now Baxter?" Kaskut asked, cocking his cute head at the Sergeant.

"Yes Kaskut," Alei answered on behalf of the groggy Sergeant, "He is awake and was merely dreaming."

"Dreaming about what?" Kaskut asked excitedly.

"About Earth. About fighting. About…" Baxter said, stopping before he said the name of his love. Kaskut waited patiently for Baxter's next input. "About kicking that sorry Jackal's ass with my Sniper Rifle!" Baxter said, egotistically, using that as an alternative to Hailey.

"We already heard your story on how you killed Lib, Sergeant. I don't think we need to hear it again," Woodword said, cracking a smile at Baxter's pride in killing the Jackal. Kaskut crawled off Baxter's lap and took a seat next to the Sergeant as he began to stretch. "So where are we right now?" Baxter asked.

"You'll have to ask the pilot," Woodword said, motioning towards the cockpit of the Albatross. He set down his Rifle next to Kaskut, for him to admire, as he went off to the cockpit. Inside the front of the Albatross sat a female Marine at the controls.

"How'd you sleep Sergeant?" Asked the pilot.

"Fairly well, Corporal," replied Baxter to Corporal Samantha Whelski. Baxter noticed Whelski's tired eyes, her dirty mangled hair that was getting longer then UNSC haircut standards, and her slightly bruised cheek. Baxter knew the Corporal could use some sleep and a shower. Baxter's heart warmed as he saw a beautiful sight outside the view port.

"Earth," he said smiling widely, looking out at the beautiful blue oceans and green lush continents.

"We'll be entering atmosphere soon," Whelski reported.

"What's our destination?" Baxter asked.

"You tell me," Whelski replied, looking up at the Sergeant.

Baxter looked at Whelski in disbelief, "I get to choose?" She nodded. "Anywhere?"

"Nobody else specified a place to rest," Whelski said. Baxter took a few seconds to think; where would he want some R & R for him and his troops? And then he had his answer, "Chicago."

Overthrowing the eerie whispers of the frigid air was the chanting, stomping, and clapping of anticipating followers of a new cause. Hundreds, possibly thousands were gathered on an elevated, frigid, mid-air cradle for their inspiration, their leader, their Champion.

Lead by two sage colored Elites and trailed by four identical Elites and one Covenant Flood Combat Form was a proud, battle born Elite. His custom made armor was jade and had a unique style to it that commanded respect from all that stood in its presence. A bold gold star was imprinted on his armor with glory and power. A chunk of armor was missing from his shoulder where marked upon the Elite's skin was a nasty looking battle scar that he regarded with pride rather shame.

The glorious, jade leader continued up the cradle with his personal guards where on the way there a few saluted as he passed. After so many grueling slopes up the cradle he finally came to his speaking platform where he had a full view of his audience. He was dazed to see the number of followers below him, all standing, waiting for him. He raised his arms in triumph and the crowd roared in glory and power.

The crowd consisted of mainly Elites, Grunts, and Hunters all looking very different from both Covenant and Heretics. The Elite's mainly wore sage green armor varying in hues among ranks, occasionally some seen with bright yellow armor. The majority of the Grunts wore golden armor while a few had brilliant, beaming emerald armor. The Hunters armor had a more royal yet terrifying look to them. Their colors were limited to a glorious golden touch or a sinister black tint. Each species did not wear their former Covenant styled armor, rather a new style to the new army.

All cheered out for the one Elite as if they were their savior or protector. The Elite closed his eyes, his followers' cheers was music to his ears. He let out a deep battle cry that echoed through the snowy atmosphere and the cheers inclined even more. Soon the hundreds began chanting a name, a title, an honor, "Champion".

Champion looked off to his right to see two guards watching over the Flood Combat form, shackles confining its limbs to keep it from attacking. "You see what I've done father? Are you not proud of me?" Ebak asked the combat form.

Its head bobbed gently and a low growl came from its infected lungs. The Champion turned back to his crowd and lowered his hands for silence, and his crowd gave their attentiveness.

"We have been betrayed my brothers," Champion began, in a grim tone, "The Prophets, the Brutes, and all that follow them, have betrayed us. Blood has been shed, blood of our brothers. The Covenant has been torn as have our hearts. Why would the Prophets deny us of our glory, of our salvation? Because they are afraid! Afraid of our true power!"

The crowd cried out at the Champion's glorified words and again he motioned for silence so he could speak, "The Prophets are stubborn fools and the Brutes have always been our enemies; this leads us to the one choice of seeking salvation for ourselves. It is OUR duty to have the power of the Great Journey, to be propelled among our saints, the forerunners. This universe belongs to the holy, divine, and powerful. The Prophets are weak, feeble, and pathetic. All they do is speak and give orders and philosophize while they have others do their dirty work. The Brutes are pig headed, mindless, and dirty. The Jackals are cowards, feeble, and backstabbing. Do any of these species have the right or cleanliness of the Great Journey, my brothers?"

"Neigh!" Shouted the crowd.

"CORRECT! The Covenant show all the characteristics of foolishness, weakness, and cowardice. Truly the Forerunners shall not look upon them, glorified enough to have eternal glory of the universe. The Covenant itself is a sin. Anyone who chooses to fight and join the Covenant has been immediately damned to oblivion where they shall not receive the blessing of the Forerunner's Great Journey. But who…who is worthy of the Great Journey?"

Champion looked out at his crowd thoughtfully as a low murmur ran through the crowd, "What about the Elites; strong, noble, born warriors?" The Elites growled and 'Worted' to each other proudly at Champion's words.

"What about the Grunts; loyal, hard-working, and trustworthy?" There was a content chatter among the Grunts whom found much praise in their leader's words.

"And what about the Hunters?" The Hunters immediately roared out in glory and their battle cries echoed through the frigid air. Ebak chuckled, glad to see the Hunters' pride, "Yes, you Hunters should be proud for what you are, for your power. And so I come back to my original question, who is worthy of the Great Journey?"

His crowd hung onto his words again, waiting for him to continue with his powerful speech, "Those whom have the eternal determination of finding the key to the Great Journey and fulfilling their brother's goals by activating Halo. Do you all have the determination to live, fight, and die for you and your fellow brothers' salvation of the Great Journey?"

All cried out affirmatively.

Champion raised his arm and pointed to the hundreds, "THEN ALL OF YOU ARE WORTHY OF THE GREAT JOURNEY!"

There was an even greater roar among Champion's followers. The celebrating cries of the crowd nearly shook the cradle from all the excitement. Ebak smiled at his follower's determination and held up his hand, ready to speak again, "However, not all Elites are worthy." There was a disappointed murmur among the Elites as Champion spoke, "Not all Grunts are worthy, and not all Hunters are worthy."

Before the murmur turned into a close outrage Ebak spoke again for his devote people, "A perfect example of this can be described by one individual." The crowd all waited patiently for Champion to go on. The frigid cradle became so awkwardly quiet that the whispers of the chilly wind could be easily heard. Champion took a deep breath of the icy air and went on, "Alei 'Limoto, the traitor." Champion spoke again, before a noisy muttering could stir about in the crowd, "Yes many of you may know this Elite. A once highly regarded Elite in the Covenant if I am correct. However he did disband from the Covenant some time before the betrayal if my information is not at fault. Despite his turn on the Covenant he is blind and pig headed. He is one of the few whom do not believe in the Great Journey. He is not the only one that turned on the Covenant yet does not believe in the Great Journey…there are many more along with him, siding with the humans. Brothers, what do we call these vermin that are to impure and sinful to see the glory in the Great Journey?"

"HERETICS!" Cried out the crowd in rebellion.

"This proving that every Elite, every Grunt, and every Hunter may not be worthy enough for the Great Journey. So my brothers, my followers that stand before me, you must accept something. Accept the fact that your cause will involve killing, slaughtering, and annihilating any who imperil the Great Journey. The Heretics and Humans are as sinful as the Covenant. So let us stand together, rejoice, and honor your fellow brethren before you, and share your similarities in virtue with honor! For we are the truth, we are the betrayed, we are the Forerunner's followers, we are salvation, we are…"

"THE DERELICT!" All roared, honoring their new title with a quaking, thundering force that the cradle began to shake in fear of the power.

"What is this place called again?" Alei 'Limoto questioned, looking around at the towering, claustrophobic buildings.

"Chicago," Baxter replied, happily.

"Is it always this cold and deserted?" Alei asked, noticing no life on the streets.

"Today is a special day for us humans Alei," Baxter said with a smile.

Alei did seem to notice a sense of celebrating among the city. Various houses were lit up with colorful lights, joyful singing could be heard in occasional homes, and sweet scents lingered from various doorways into the streets.

"The Covenant have waged war onto Earth, yet you humans seem to be celebrating. What is the significance of this special day for you humans, Baxter?" Alei asked.

"It's called Christmas," Baxter said with a broad smile.

"This day, Kreesmas, would stop your race from worrying about the Covenant threat?" Alei asked.

"I've heard reports that ever since Regret left Earth through slip space the Covenant haven't been attacking Earth that much. However I think we can expect the Covenant to strike Earth fairly quickly," Woodword explained.

Alei shivered as a cold wind passed by.

"Getting cold big guy?" Whelski asked, noticing Alei shudder from the cold.

"I've been walking through snow for how many days now?" Alei said, irritated at the cold climate.

"Sergeant, where exactly are you leading us?" Woodword said, starting to get a bit irritated in walking through the snow as well.

"Here," Baxter said, stopping instantly.

They all stopped and examined their destination. It was a white, snow covered, two story house with smoke coming from the chimney. All the lights were on and a delightful smell wafted from the windows and doors.

As Baxter approached the house he quickly turned to his squad, "Sorry guys you'll need to stay out here for a few minutes. I don't want Hailey freaking out or anything."

"Understood," Alei said, speaking for the others as Baxter entered the house without knocking. The Sergeant took great care in trying to be as silent as possible when entering, trying to keep his presence a surprise.

He quietly shut the door behind him. He examined the living room; it was warm, quiet, and exactly as Baxter had remembered it. He quietly proceeded into the kitchen where there he saw her. She was slaving over the stove, preparing her Christmas dinner.


She turned, looking shocked from the familiar voice.

"John!" She ran over to her soldier and hugged the life out of him. The two embraced and John could feel her tears wash the blood off his uniform.

"John I missed you so much," she whispered in his ear.

"So did I," John said, "So did I."

Alei and the rest waited in the frigid streets of Chicago, wondering what to do. Alei stared absently at the snow white house when he felt something tug on his leg. Alei looked down to see Kaskut tugging on his leg, doing a funny little dance.

Alei chuckled, "What is it Kaskut?"

"Me gotta go!"

"Go? Go where?"

"Go pee!"

Alei's eyes widened hearing this, "Now? Can't it wait, Kaskut?"

"NO! ME NEED GO NOW!" Kaskut squeaked, his dance becoming more ridicules then ever.

Alei looked back at the house. He couldn't let his sidekick be humiliated to pee himself in the human streets. He sighed and took the Grunt by the hand and escorted him into the house like a teacher escorting a kindergartener.

The couple kissed and examined each other, seeing the changes that time had on each other.

"You look different," John said, noticing her shorter dyed hair. Not only had her hair looked different but her figure had changed by a few pounds but Baxter discarded the small physical change in appearance and embraced her true, eternal beauty.

"Really? Not too different, right?" She asked, playing with her new hair style.

"You'll always look beautiful to me," Baxter said smiling.

There was a moment of silence that was quickly cut short by a pleasant barking that Baxter recognized instantly. "Jasper!" Baxter said, as a golden lab came sprinting into the kitchen looking happier then ever. The golden lab pounced and took down Baxter easily and immediately drenched the Sergeant's face with love filled saliva.

"He looks really happy to see you," Hailey said, laughing at the two.

"No kidding. What have you been feeding him? He's gotten big!" Baxter managed to wrestle the dog off and got back to his feet. "I remember the look on your face when I first brought him home," Baxter said, stroking the dog's furry head.

"It was my birthday," Hailey said, recalling the past, "May 3rd, the day you left me."

"But I made it back for the holidays," Baxter said, glad to be in his love's presence once again.

"I was worried sick about you John," Hailey said softly.

"And I missed you so much," Baxter replied. There was another moment of silence and Baxter could tell there was something on Hailey's mind, "What's up?"

Hailey sighed and failed to meet eye contact with her love. "John, there's something you need to know…"

Baxter clung to her words, waiting to hear what she had to say. Then there was an abrupt slamming of the front door and both turned immediately towards the living room. Hailey shrieked seeing the sight of two aliens walk into her living room.

"Don't panic," John said reassuringly, "Don't worry, they're friends."

"Friends?" Hailey asked, terror in her voice.

"Excuse our presences," Alei said, bowing in courtesy, "But Kaskut needs to use your latrine."

"Second door down that hallway on the right," Baxter said pointing down a hallway, having memorized his girlfriend's house by heart.

Kaskut dashed towards the given destination while Alei was left in the awkward presence of a frightened human.

"Hailey, this is my friend…my brother, Alei 'Limoto."

"Brother?" Hailey asked now confused and frightened.

"How do you do?" Alei said, bowing humbly to the female human.

Hailey continued to look puzzled and scared. "Hailey, don't worry, he's not part of the Covenant any more. He's sworn to never hurt another human again. And if it weren't for Alei, I'm not sure I'd still be standing here right now."

Hailey took another look at the crimson armored Elite and couldn't find any reason to fear the alien. If the Elite had contributed to Baxter's life then he was to be trusted. "Well…I suppose I could set up a few more plates for your friends," Hailey said.

"Speaking of friends; me, Alei, and Kaskut aren't the only ones who came back to visit," Baxter said, remembering the rest of his squad, still waiting outside.

"Your speech really compelled the audience, Champion," commented one of Ebak's guards, escorting him into a more private area.

"So it did," Champion said, closing his eyes and feeling the mighty presence of his loyal followers, "The Derelict will prosper quickly I should hope. All we need is a few strikes of vengeance on the Covenant, a few more recruiting campaigns, and of course the studying of our secret weapons."

"Choosing the Flood as a pawn and weapon in your plan was a very wise decision, Champion," said the guard, examining the restrained Flood.

"He is but a mere symbol," Champion said, noticing his guard's amusement in his Flood father, "A symbol of how loyalty, dignity, and honor keeps us all alive even when we suffer. I thank you father for your sacrifice to the Derelict and I hope to one day find a remedy for your infection."

All Ebak's guards were dead silent as their Champion gazed at his Flood infested father. Champion turned back to his guards and spoke, "Leave me and my father in peace and carry out orders assigned by my appointed officers. The Derelict's time to unfold and react to this new age of this war is now."

"Kaskut why don't you sit at the table and eat with the rest of us?" Alei asked, looking down at the Grunt whom was plopped on the floor near a bowl.

"That food smelly, this food better!" Kaskut said, occasionally taking off his mask to dig his hand into the bowl of odd food and shoving it in his mouth.

"Er…Kaskut, that's not regular food. That's do…" Baxter began but Alei put his hand on Baxter's shoulder and shook his head, not wanting to spoil Kaskut's meal.

Everyone watched the Grunt feast on dog food. Jasper quickly ran over to his bowl defensively and tackled the Grunt playfully. The two began to wrestle and everyone began laughing at their entertainment for the night.

"I guess Jasper didn't want to share his meal," Hailey said, wiping tears of laughter from her eyes. After the laughter had settled everyone began eating their Christmas meal.

"You know, I kind of sorry for the Hunters…" Woodword brought up at the table as he swallowed.

Hailey dearly dropped her fork, "You…you brought Hunters too?"

"Relax, Hailey," Baxter said, placing his hand on her arm reassuringly.

"Don't worry, they'll be fine outside," Alei said, remembering the Tebo brothers had to stay outside since they could never fit through the human doorways.

"I think Alei might be right," Whelski said, putting away her dirtied dishes in the kitchen sink, and looking out the window. Through the window she could see the Hunters playing with children outside whom tossed snowballs at the Hunters' giant shields and rode on the goliath aliens while the Hunters in return roared in laughter at the amused children.

"Do you mind if I use your bathroom Hailey? I haven't showered since departure," Whelski asked.

"Go ahead. You can use the bathroom upstairs," Hailey replied.

Woodword and Alei finished their meals not long after Whelski had,s and both were offered guest rooms upstairs. Baxter and Hailey were left, eating their dinner together in private and in silence. Both gazed into each other's eyes that they had missed for so long.

"So now that we have some privacy…" Hailey began but was stopped by Baxter. Baxter turned to find Kaskut and Remorseful Incentive staring awkwardly at the couple.

"Um…do you mind?" Kaskut merely blinked perplexedly at Baxter. "Could you leave us two in privacy?"

"Where we go to then?" Kaskut asked.

"I don't know…go bug Woodword," Baxter said, getting a bit impatient with the two.

Kaskut waddled up stairs, the monitor tailing behind the Grunt.

"As you were saying…" Baxter said, getting back to what Hailey had to say.

She blushed and took a few seconds to think over what she had to say, "John there's something I have to tell you."

"Go on. I'm listening," Baxter said, staring into Hailey's luminous eyes.

She took a deep breath and looked back at the Sergeant, "John," she began, Baxter anticipating her words, "I'm pregnant."

Alei dropped like dead weight onto the surprisingly soft and comfortable human bed. He ran his fingers across the comforter taking great pleasure in how soft the human's kept their beds.

He sat upright and felt an aching pain that he had been suffering throughout his journey. His back and entire body was tired and limp from fighting and from wearing his armor constantly. He tried to recall the last time he took off his heavy armor; it had been possibly months.

He began with his leg attachments and worked upwards to his torso and helmet. He sighed in relief having the burden of his armor relieved. Then there was a faint, musical humming that became noticeable to Alei instantly. He turned to discover that the bedroom he was in had another door, where the humming had originated.

The door opened and steam plunged from the bathroom leaving only a silhouette of someone barely visible. Alei squinted trying to make out the figure when he could identify who it was.

"Alei!" Whelski said in a jumpy manner.

The Corporal was no longer in her combat uniform, rather draped in a fluffy, white towel. Her hair was drenched and strained, her face was moist and clear, and her skin was wet and pale.

Samantha held onto her towel defensively, still shocked to see Alei in her in only a towel. Alei too felt awkward without his combat dressing. Both were at a loss of words, having mutual feelings of the current circumstances.

"Excuse me," Alei said, feeling his presence was disturbing Whelski's privacy, "I shall leave you in private."

Just as he began gathering his armor Whelski spoke, "Alei wait!"

Alei turned and saw Whelski slowly approaching him. He stood there, wondering what Whelski was doing. She was now close to him, very close. The two stared into each others' eyes and Alei was shocked to be experiencing such a sacred feeling for her.

Alei was shocked to now see beauty in the human that stood before him and he felt a mutual feeling for her. But how could this be, Alei thought. Feelings for a human? Sure a bond of friendship easily built up between Baxter and Alei, but one of the most sacred feelings to the Elites, love, with a human. Alei could feel it but couldn't believe it. He tried speaking but everything came out as jumbled stuttering.

Whelski could tell what Alei was feeling just by hearing his nervous babbling. She put a finger to her lips for silence and placed both hands on each side of the Elite's head. Alei closed his eyes, taking comfort in her smooth palms and felt something wet make contact with his forehead. He opened his eyes and saw Whelski blushing and smiling.


Whelski chuckled and explained, "It's called a kiss. It's what humans do to say I love you."

Alei stood their dumbstruck, at a lack of words now. Then he felt Whelski's warm arms wrap around his waist and her damp head rest against his chest. "And this?" Alei asked.

"A Hug," replied Whelski softly.

Alei looked at his own hands, wondering what to do with them and decided to copy what Whelski was doing. He placed his arms Whelski as well and did an act of affection that Elites do when they're in love.

Whelski began laughing softly as she felt Alei's mandibles tickle her neck. "What are you doing?" Whelski asked, still laughing softly.

"It's what Elites do to say I love you," Alei replied.

The two then both plopped onto the bed and the two both broke the barriers of love between alien species and for that night alone Earth was the peaceful place it was so long ago…

Alien Brethren: Chapter 14: Back to the Bloodshed
Date: 20 January 2006, 6:47 pm

AN: WOW! Typing this chapter was...excrutiating yet I hope writing this chapter was worth it to my readers. I know it's been a while since my last submit, and I apologize. Things have been slow for me ever since I joined Drama Club (at School) and inherited the understudy of Arbiter (not the one we all know and love) in the play.
But I digress...
Just a few things. One, don't expect my submits for Alien Brethren to come out sooner then you expect. My writing has been going slowly and I'm considering of doing other personal creative writings soon. So if you're a die hard Alien Brethren fan you'll have to give me your patience and I'll try to get you another exciting Chapter of this series ASAP. Also, in this Chapter I find that for some reason my graphical violence has been...more intense and graphical (in my opinion I guess). I had to say that because in one scene this may be true so you've been warned...And just one last thing: Please stop with the Alei & Whelski gossip! I'm sure the topic will end after you've read this Chapter. And without further adu...

Chapter 14: Back to the Bloodshed

A crack of light shone through the window and beamed onto the Corporal's face. She sighed heavily, and felt her warm hand glide across something cool and leathery. She opened her sleepy eyes and saw her alien love, sound asleep next to her. Then a sudden knock on the door abruptly woke the two up to their full senses and the door opened.

Woodword peaked in, "Hey, Hailey made breakfast. You'd better get downsta…" He stopped in the middle of his sentence as he noticed that there wasn't just one body in the bed, but two: Alei 'Limoto and Samantha Whelski.

Woodword felt awkward for barging in with the two in bed. "Err…I'll leave you two alone then," he said, departing with much haste.

The couple looked at each other for a moment. "You don't think, he thought that we…" Whelski began as Alei merely cocked his head at her in confusion. "I mean…we didn't do…anything last night…right?"

"We hugged, we kissed, we slept…that is all I can remember. Why?"

"Well I thought that…you know somehow we…you know," Whelski said, hesitating to say it.

"You mean mating?" Alei asked as if she was crazy.

"Sort of…" Whelski said, sounding foolish for asking.

"Of course not!" Alei said, hardly believing what Whelski was suggesting, "I know nothing on how your species multiplies. You're a human, and I am an Elite. How could we have?"

"I don't know," Whelski said blushing, "Stupid question I suppose."

"Amusing though," Alei said getting out of bed and suiting up in his armor once again, "We should gather downstairs for the morning feast."

Whelski got out of bed as well and planted another kiss on her alien love and they both hurried to suit up and eat.

A series of plates were set neatly in the dining room where the hypnotizing smell of pancakes, eggs, and bacon lured the occupants of the house downstairs. They all took their seats and indulged.

It was mostly quiet throughout breakfast until Baxter brought up something, "So…I heard you and Alei slept with each other last night."

"It's not like that," Whelski said, half defensively.

Kaskut nearly choked on the dog food he was pleasantly eating hearing this, "Alei? Sleep with human?"

"We just slept Kaskut," Alei said reassuringly, "It is impossible for a Human and Elite to partake in any sort of sexual mating. We just…love."

"Quite intriguing actually," piped Remorseful Incentive, "An Elite and Reclaimer having feelings for one another. I had no idea each of your species could develop a sort of relationship."

"Well I think it's sweet," Hailey commented, as she seized Alei and Baxter's empty plates away from them and taking them to the kitchen sink.

"Alei can I see you in the other room for a second?" Baxter requested.

Alei got from his seat and followed the Sergeant into the decorated living room. "Yes, Baxter?"

The Sergeant reached for a box wrapped in colorful and decorative green and red wrapping paper underneath the Christmas Tree and held it out in front of the crimson Elite. "This is from me. Think of it as a thank you gift for staying loyal and fighting by my side."

Alei looked at Baxter for a second in confusion.

"Go on, take it," Baxter said shoving it into the Elite's arms.

Alei looked down at the box and felt around for an edge of the wrapping paper to tear it off. Once he had removed the paper he was able to open the box and inside he saw a very familiar device.

"Lib's Energy Shield," Alei said in amazement.

"Do you like it? I ripped the thing off the Jackals arm after I pegged him in the head. I thought you'd like some sort of trophy to remind you of the little backstabber."

Alei put it on his arm and activated it. A large orange shield appeared out in front of him. He smiled impressively and said, "My shielding technology has been getting rather faulty. I thank you Baxter. How can I repay you?"

"You've done enough for me, buddy. It's my turn to repay you for watching my back and joining me," Baxter replied.

Then the peaceful, silent morning that all enjoyed abruptly was ruined by the horrid sound of war and havoc; the Covenant had return to Earth.

"Major," barked a voice as the jade colored Champion entered a room where a group of high ranked Elites were discussing, planning, and coordinating attacks and such.

"Mighty Champion," replied the addressed Elite, bowing his head humbly as his fellow Elites did the same in respect.

"At ease warriors," Champion replied, "Major I'd like a status report on what you've gathered so far and how our fleets are doing."

"Our Fleets are doing exceptionally well, sir. I've heard reports of our fleets finding a Covenant ship known as the Call of Hope. They're trailing the ship, undetected and have reports from our spies that there are the two newly elected Prophets onboard."

"The Prophet of Trust and the Prophet of Patience, correct?"

"Yes sir, how'd you know?"

"I foresighted their promotion should anything happen to the original Prophets. What other good news do you have for me?"

"Well sir, another group of our fleets have stumbled across a miracle of the Forerunners."

"Another sacred ring?" Champion said excited to hear this.

"Indeed, sir. Our fleets are inspecting the ring and setting up camps on the installation as we speak."

The Champion grinned, "Very good. I wish to depart and join my fleets on this new Halo. What installation did you say it was?"

"Installation 03, sir. Before I forget sir, what did you want our fleets to do about the Flood? Should they be released immediately?"

"I would prefer they waited until I ordered my plague released."

"Yes, sir," the major said with a salute.

"Your new orders, major, are to ready all troops still located in this facility to move out to Installation 03. I too need an escort to this new Halo. Locate my father on the same ship as me with the usual security and restraints."

"Yes Champion!"

"What the hell was that?" Cried Whelski whom rushed into the living room, followed by the rest.

"The Covenant," Alei 'Limoto replied, cracking the hilt of his Energy Sword and igniting it brightly.

"Then let's give 'em hell!" Woodword roared, readying his Rocket Launcher. Alei lead the team outward where Baxter went to bring up the rear of the squad when something pulled him back, ceasing him to advance. He turned to see his divine Hailey, giving him a worried look.

"I have to go Hailey," Baxter said, feeling pain from her sad eyes, "I have to fight. It's my duty."

"What about me? What about us?" Hailey asked.

"I…I…" Baxter said, not really sure how to answer the question.

"BAXTER!" Barked Woodword whom was standing in the open doorway, behind him a battle raging. "ARE YOU COMING OR NOT?"

Baxter sighed and turned to his love. He gave her a kiss goodbye, "Wait here…be safe."

The Sergeant and Lieutenant joined the others in combat as the Covenant began dispatching from their Phantoms, and Marines began flooding out of alleys, buildings, and Pelicans. The once desolate city of Chicago was now a giant complex of war, gunfire, and blood.

Baxter was quickly taken back to reality of the Covenant war as the images before him reminded him of Zanzibar. He examined the local area, there were kids on the streets along with his team. Their eyes were doused in fear and confusion as the Covenant invaded through all parts of the city. They sought cover behind the goliath Hunters who made it their sole purpose to protect the innocent children. Baxter assumed a defensive position next to his most trusted, Alei 'Limoto.

"They're coming," Alei murmured, taking in the unmistakable hums of Phantoms flooding into the city. The humming became more deafening when one soared overhead and circled at the far side of the street. It's direction shifted towards the team and slowly approached, engaging and dropping off troops as it went.

Plasma splashed at the squad. Everyone scattered but the Hunter Tebo Brothers, whom stood their ground, their fuel rod cannons glowing sinisterly. The plasma pounded against their large shields, non-stop. The whimpering and cries of the children behind them was motivation to stand their ground, and targeted the airborne Covenant craft. It neared dropping off troops until the Hunters released all their power onto the Phantom, enraged.

The Phantom staggered menacingly and thrust forward, down the street, quickly loosing altitude. As it dove down the street, Covenant dispatched from the gravity lift; desperate to get off the doomed craft. The Phantom's nose hit ground with immense impact, flipping the Phantom a number of times as it rolled uncontrollably until it exploded in a purple frenzy. With the Phantom no longer a problem, Baxter immediately got to work.

He raised his rifle and found a duo of Brutes with their custom plasma rifles, and pegging them both in the skull. Their craniums exploded in a fountain of gushing, purple blood. The sound of gunfire engulfed the street in chaos as everyone began engaging.

Alei had been concentrating on a pack of Jackals, shields raised. His carbine was very effective against their shields and a plasma grenade managed to break up the group and scatter the pack in various directions. Baxter searched for a contact and a shiver went down his spine as the irritating hum of Buggers sounded.

They flocked towards Woodword whom was taking out squads of Brutes and Jackals. Baxter raised his rifle and pegged off two in mid air. They dropped dead beside Woodword and he caught on to the Buggers' attack. The Lieutenant grabbed for his Shotgun and quickly backpedaled as the enemy began clawing and firing plasma at him.

Five shots went off and five fell. One swooped over head and hit him twice in the shoulder with its plasma pistol. He strafed avoiding two others. They circled at him and the first one that charged straight for him had its wing crunched in the immense hands of Lieutenant Woodword. Woodword slammed the insect to the ground, shattering the frail bones in its body and two Sniper shots finished off the others.

"KILL THE SNIPER!" Roared a gruff voice.

Baxter turned to see five Brutes, two of them engaging on him. He was met by red plasma and brute shot grenades which he easily dodged. He returned the favor with two Sniper Shots at the Brute with the Brute Shot. The remaining Brute tossed an ignited grenade in his direction. He dove, inches away from being doomed by the sticky orb.

When he got up he was met by something he never encountered before. One of the Brutes in the enemy squad carried no weapons in hand, but held something else in each hand…chains. Baxter then looked to see what was at the end of each chain and eyes widened seeing the new predator of the Covenant.

Its scaly skin was covered in untamed brown and black fur that covered its dog sized body. Its eyes were narrow and full of hunger. Its jaws resembled those of a crocodilian, and the shape of its head was a mix between a K-9 and reptile. It stood as a quadruped, its legs those of an agile animal's. They snapped fiercely in the direction of the Sergeant, trying to break free from their restraints. The Brute holding the two beasts gave them their wish and released them.

They charged with the agility of a cheetah. Their lower torso did not agree with its upper as they ran, more so speedily waddling towards their enemy, indicating an alien backbone structure. They snapped the air in front of them, ready to tear the Marine to shreds. Before Baxter could decide whether to attempt to reload his rifle or pull out his SMG one of the monsters had lunged into the air and taken down the Sergeant. Its claws ripped at Baxter's limbs while its jaws attempted to snap his neck but Baxter had grabbed a hold of the monster's skull and managed to restrain any lethal strikes of its gator like jaws.

While he managed with the one beast, the second one dug its jaws into Baxter's foot and began thrashing and whipping it around like a rag doll. John yelped in pain as the second beast's jaws began crushing his foot with unmerciful force. Just before the monster's jaws could shatter the bones in the Sergeant's foot something tackled the creature with a reckoning force.

Baxter sighed in relief, thankful his foot was free from the unbearable clamp, however the other beast was still trying its best to strike the Sergeant. Baxter did not give up nor thought of the idea of loosing grip of the monster's skull. He did his best to keep the creatures jaws away from his head and found relief when a glowing, cyan figure moved in around the beast's neck and tore it open. Blood oozed onto the Marine's chest and its skull was no longer persistent. The corpse of the monster was flung off John by his crimson friend.

"Nice job with those two…whatever they were," Baxter commented, getting back to his feet. "There were two Doberman Gators?" Alei asked, cocking his head.

"What? If you didn't get the other one, then who…" Baxter's words were drained to nothing as he saw the other 'Doberman Gator' wrestling a blood stained Jasper.

"JASPER!" Baxter hollared, franticly trying to reload his sniper rifle. Just as he found and slapped in a new clip it was too late. Baxter had to watch the beast tear a chunk of his furry friend and finish off the helpless pup by taking its skull in its immense jaws and obliterating it in one forceful crunch.

"NOOOOO!" He cried in anguish, scarred by the vision of Jasper's head cracked into peaces and watching the monster feast on his cranium and blood drip from its disgusting mouth. The beast stared at Baxter with vicious eyes, not being able to understand the pure hate within Baxter's pupils. Baxter slowly, raised his rifle and scoped for the ugly cur's skull.

"Die you ugly son of a bitch," Baxter said in a grim tone as he pulled the trigger with utmost satisfaction. It dropped dead, blood seeping from its gaped mouth. Baxter approached the hideous animal and looked down at it in rage. He raised his rifle to the cur and unloaded three more shots into it, avenging Jasper. The Sergeant continued to look down at the dead, ugly, beast. His hunger for revenge was satiated but he still felt the pit of his stomach churn in disgust knowing his dog was mutilated.

Baxter felt something touch his shoulder in comfort and heard Alei's voice following the motion in a sympathetic tone, "I know what you feel Baxter, and I send my condolences. However we must carry on our task, we must continue to fight."

Baxter took a few seconds to take in his alien brethren's words in as he looked down at his massacred dog. He turned and slapped in a fresh new clip for his Sniper, "Let's kill 'em." Alei raised his Carbine and the two went back to fighting.

The entire ship shook, nearly knocking Ebak off his feet as they completed their journey through slip space. Flasks, test tubes, and other scientific utensils nearly crashed off the lab table from the sudden whiplash of the ship. Champion cursed in his native toungue and resumed with his experiments.

There was another abrupt interruption that nearly made Champion jump, nearly jeopardizing his experiment once again. "Can I not have peace and tranquility for…!" Champion began roaring until he turned to see who it was. In front of him was a female Elite, wearing the traditional Derelict handmaiden robes. She was carrying a load of things in her fragile arms.

She seemed frightened by Champion's sudden outburst and quickly turned to exit until Champion barked, "Halt handmaiden!"

The handmaiden stopped, her knees shaking. She slowly turned, her eyes failing to meet her, assumed to be, enraged leader. "State your name," Champion ordered in a more calm voice, examining the Elite.

"Kami, Kami 'Bezammee," she said, hiding her fear with the pride of her own name.

"Well, Kami, I apologize for my harsh welcoming. I was just in the middle of a critical experiment, but I can make time for whatever it is your here for," Champion said, showing as much courtesy as possible to the handmaiden.

"I am here, mighty Champion…" She began but was cut off by her leader.

"Please, call me Ebak."

"Ebak?" She asked, confused by her leader dropping formality.

"Yes, my name is Ebak. Champion is merely a title."

"Yes Cham…Ebak. I came to bring you these," Kami said, lowering her head respectively and holding it out to her leader.

Ebak examined what she held out for him. A black, velvet cape was draped over some sort of glass container. He admired the cape for a moment and set it on the lab table and examined the other item.

"Very good timing. I was worried it wouldn't be delivered soon enough," Champion said taking the glass container from the handmaiden and admiring the contents.

A Flood infection form was scurrying around the container franticly, trying to feel for an escape, trying to find life to breed in. Kami watched the Champion's amused gaze at the parasite. "Isn't it a fine specimen?" Champion asked dreamily.

"Uh…yes, yes it is sir," Kami agreed, not wanting to upset her leader.

"This…this is the key to the Derelict's cause…the Flood," Champion said, placing the container on the lab table, "The Forerunners were thought to have feared these creatures…but I disagree. The Forerunners feared nothing, not even the Flood. Rather they built special containment measurements to confine them from attacking and to study them. There are so many research facilities on the sacred rings, what else could they have been doing with them? They wanted to use the Flood, they wanted to learn about their power…and I…I want to continue their research and fulfill their fantasies."

Ebak looked over at Kami with hazy eyes. "Kami," Champion said, taking a step close to her, kneeling, and holding out his hand to her, "Will you help me fulfill my dreams? Will you become my personal handmaiden?"

Kami didn't know what to say. Personal handmaiden, for her Champion? She knew that her duty as his personal Handmaiden wouldn't mean just standing by his side and taking his personal, most trusted orders, but swear her life to him. She was flattered, and couldn't resist his offer. "I will, my Champion," she replied kneeling to him now with most highest respect.

Champion smiled and got back to his feet, looking down at his personal handmaiden. He grabbed his velvet cape and draped it around him. His jade armor and black cape added to his look of sinister power.

"Now my handmaiden," Champion said, beckoning his personal assistant, "Arise and assist me in my experiment that shall breathe immortality into the Derelict."

"BWARRRRR!" Roared a group of Brutes in demise as a Rocket scattered them across the streets.

Two Sniper Shots whizzed by Woodword's shoulder as he began reloading his Rocket Launcher. Two of the hairy, K-9, reptilians fell by Baxter's weapon of choice. As the Sergeant began to reload, a barrage of Plasma soared toward his back. Rather it searing his back the plasma was dismissed as it hit a radiant orange shield.

Alei had activated his gift and it gave off a bright orange glow as the plasma splashed across it. Before the shield could be overpowered by the Jackals' plasma rifles, Alei searched for a grenade, activated it and tossed it into the group of them. Before they could react and scatter they were blown apart by the explosion.

"WORT! WORT! WORT!" Alei cried in victory.

"GRAAW!" Replied a raging war cry of a Brute. Alei turned and quickly backpedaled as he saw a berserking Brute, trampling his way. The Brute leapt into the air, and came down with his rock hard fists. Quickly Alei reacted and brought up his Orange Energy Shield. The blow made the shield flash violently and Alei could feel it slowly loose power.

Before it went out, Alei impaled the Brute's vulnerable stomach, spilling his intestines before him. The Brute collapsed and Alei was blind sighted as something struck his left. He was tackled to the ground and witnessed a harsh beating from another raging Brute.

His shield was down, his sword had fell from his hands, he was defenseless and bleeding. The abuse of the Brute's constant bashing against Alei's chest was getting too much and didn't know how much he'd take. Finally he felt relief as he heard the glorious echo of a Sniper Rifle. The Brute coughed blood onto the blood drenched Elite and fell over.

Alei got to his feet and saw the muzzle of Baxter's sniper smoking. Alei grabbed his Sword and regrouped with the Sergeant. The two watched as Whelski and Kaskut took out a squad of Buggers with ease.

The street was quiet until the roaring of Warthog engines sounded around the corner, flying down the street. They stopped in front of the squad. The two drivers of each hog looked at the entire street, the mess of Covenant carcasses.

"Wow. You guys did all this?" Asked the one driver.

"All dead, by our hands," Alei said, gripping his sword in glory.

In the midst of the city, chaos and battle could be heard. "The Covenant are really giving this place hell," said the other driver in dismay.

"I don't know…some of these attacks can't just be blamed on the Covenant. I think there's something else fighting. Anyways, we could use your help," the other driver said.

"We'd gladly accept a ride. Everyone pick a seat in a hog and let's get moving!" Lieutenant Woodword ordered. Everyone hopped on a Hog. Baxter and Kaskut shared the passenger seat on one while Whelski managed the turret. Woodword took shotgun on the other hog with Alei manning the turret. Alei looked over at the Hunters and oracle, vigilantly watching over the scared children.

"Hold your ground here, Ralna and Kalno. We'll return for you later. The same goes for you, oracle," Alei 'Limoto ordered.

"I anticipate your arrival," chimed Remorseful Incentive.

The engines roared and the vehicles took off. The ride for the two hogs was surprisingly smooth and easy. The patch of the city they were driving in was untouched for the moment. Up ahead they could hear the Covenant waging war against what little resilience the humans had. Everyone knew that a victory here was highly unlikely, but they had a duty to defend humanity. The two hogs turned onto another street where the sound of war was more deafening.

As the continued to drive there was a thundering beat that slowly grew louder and louder. Alei could feel the ground tremble beneath the hog as the thundering grew louder. Then out of nowhere a house shattered up ahead, scattering bricks and other debris onto the road. In place of the house stepped a gargantuan golem, that bellowed an ear shattering roar.

"WHAT THE HELL!" Woodword shouted, bewildered.

"THE DRINOL!" Alei cried out in awe.

The rock like beast stood to be as tall as a two story house, and its body size was immense. The beast's arms were oddly shaped but looked as though they were used primarily for smashing.

Both Whelski and Alei fired upon the golem with suppressing turret fire. It had small effects that mainly added to the monster's frenzying rage. It bellowed again and headed for the hogs. Baxter's hog had fortunately sped past it in time, however the second hog wasn't as lucky. It stepped out in front of the hog's path and reared back its one arm, readying to total the machine.

Woodword foresighted its next move and quickly lunged himself out of the passenger seat as the Drinol's fist devastated the Warthog. The beast roared in triumph and began searching for more things to crush. It choose its next target, the Lieutenant.

It slowly approached the Marine as Kyle Woodword franticly began readying his Rocket Launcher. It lifted its foot, ready to crush him into oblivion. Woodword clutched his rocket tightly, aimed, and then felt relief as the familiar sound of a Warthog engine roared by followed by its chain gun. The Drinol seized its attack and turned to meet its pesky foe.

Baxter's hog sped off, continuing to shoot at the monster; the monster followed the bait. Woodword sighed and then heard a faint moaning off to his left. He saw Alei 'Limoto, alive yet ravaged. Woodword got to his feet and went to check up on his alien ally.

"Alei…Alei, are you all right?"

"Arg…I can't feel my legs…or arms…" Alei replied weakly.

"Are you going to make it?"

"I…I think so."

"Good," Woodword said, now examining his surroundings. Next to the totaled Warthog was an imploded Marine carcass. Woodword winced at the horrible sight of what the golem's true nature could do.

"Poor son of a bitch. You were a good kid," Woodword said under his breath and he turned to his critical ally, "Let's get the hell out of here."

"KEEP FIRING AT IT WHELSKI!" Baxter hollered, over the strident chain gun.

"I THINK IT'S GETTING REALLY PISSED OFF!" Samantha replied, starting to get worried to see the golem now go into a thundering stride.

"ME BE SCARED BAXTER! MAKE BIG SCARY THING GO AWAY!" Whined the terrified Kaskut whom was shaking violently. Baxter didn't know what would stop it. If a chain gun couldn't stop the thing, what could?

Then there was a loud, menacing roar that soared overhead. He watched two magnificent low-flying Longsword Fighters swoop over head. That was it, he thought.

"Driver, can you access other UNSC troops with your communications?" Baxter asked.

"Yes, sir," replied the Marine.

"Good. I need you to call in for an assault by means of two Longswords," Baxter ordered, "And while you're doing that, keep this hog at a slower pace yet fast enough so it can't catch up to us. For the time being I want it to think it'll catch us."

"Got it, Sergeant," the driver said as he began ordering in the assault. Baxter turned. The Golem was slowly catching up on them with its persistent strides. Each stride powered by every ounce of rage in its body. Baxter's heart was pounding and pounding in fear of this colossus beast.

Finally the driver got a reply to the requested assault, "Roger that. Longsword's inbound."

Baxter looked out ahead of them in the distance to see two faint objects slowly gaining speed in their direction.

"Good, now punch it!" Baxter ordered as the Warthog jerked forward quickly.

The Drinol hadn't expected the sudden acceleration in its enemy's speed and was no longer concerned with catching it as an eerie roar slowly approached. It looked up into the sky to see the two Longswords, closing in fast and all it could do was let out a roar of total anger. Baxter watched the glorious scene of each bomb taking immense chunks out of the creature until it was nothing more than a giant junkyard of flesh, blood, and bones. Baxter cheered as well as Whelski.

However their cheers were cut short by a the driver's terrified voice, "OH SHIT!"

Baxter turned to see what was going on and saw some alien creature's skull come out of nowhere and take a chunk out of the Warthog's armor with its immense jaws.

"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!" Whelski asked, shaken from whatever had happened. Baxter turned to see what had attacked them.

It was a bipedal creature resembling somewhat to a prehistoric reptile. Its head was bulky and eyeless however the main attraction was its immense jaws. Its two bottoms canines were bigger then Baxter's head and overlapped its top jaws. Its powerful, limber legs made up for its lack of forearms and its balance was evened out by a powerful tail that swung gently as it stood.

Baxter noticed something else unusual about the alien beast, something was mounted atop it. By guess it was an Elite but Baxter had never seen an Elite in green, foreign looking armor. The Elite gave the beast a kick with its hooves and readied his Carbine. Another beast appeared, commanded by another Elite in similar armor. He too readied his Carbine and grouped with the other. They began charging.

"Go! Go! GO!" Baxter ordered as the Warthog jolted forward and swung around an intersection.

Woodword continued to heave his alien ally and his own weaponry down the desolate street. He sighed with each step, painfully continuing on.

"You know…you're kind of heavy…for an alien," Woodword admitted.

"I could possibly manage to continue on my own," Alei said faintly.

Woodword didn't answer as he saw something heading down the street in the distance. He squinted and made out what was heading their way.

"What is it Woodword?" Alei asked in a heavy voice.

"Looks like…a Warthog…and I think Baxter's in it…and something's following them…I haven't seen anything like it…"

"Set me down," Alei ordered as he was gently put onto the street. He managed himself on his weak knees and looked outward.

"Blind Wolves? Impossible?" Alei spoke.

"Blind what?"

"They are a species that roams the sacred rings freely. It is assumed the Forerunners placed them there so they may make the Halos as a sanctuary for them. But the Covenant was always stingy on taming them."

Woodword squinted again as they came even closer. "It doesn't look the Covenant's been taming them. Looks like Elites mounted on those sons of bitches."

"Elites?" Alei said in shock. He began to think for a moment and came up with the answer, "Ebak…Champion…his army!"

"What the hell are you talking about? Don't you come with subtitles?" Woodword asked frustrated.

"There's no time," Alei said trying to get up but it only took more energy out of him.

"No, you're not fighting this one 'Braveheart', you're out of shape," Woodword said, forcing the Elite down and reading his Rocket Launcher, "You stay there while Woodword takes care of all of this."

Alei sighed and began feeling dizzy as he rested his head against the hard pavement of the street.

Woodword grasped his favored weapon tightly, scoping one of the 'blind wolves'. The Warthog was closing in fast, with the two creatures following in hot pursuit, right behind. Then once Woodword was confident enough he fired. The rocket hit the creature's chest with a satisfying explosion, scattering the commanding Elite elsewhere.

The Warthog swerved right past Woodword and the Lieutenant began staggering from a series of Carbine shots. He saw the second beast rushing him quickly, opening its immense jaws. Woodword quickly discarded his Rocket, and whipped out his sidearm.

He leveled his Shotgun in a hurry and blasted the Blind Wolf dead center in the chest. Its graceful sprinting was converted into a stagger that followed into it tripping over its feet, skidding across the street. The Elite riding it too skid across the Street, merely wounded.

The persistent warrior jumped to his feet and discarded his Carbine and ignited his Sword. Woodword cursed under his breath seeing the majestic sword. He had never faced off against an Energy Sword, and he had known only a few that saw it in battles. Those few that he knew however were minus an arm or a leg.

Woodword tried his best to anticipate the strike but his worrying had come to an end as a relieving Sniper Shot echoed through the street. The Elite's legs buckled and it fell dead. Baxter, Whelski, Kaskut, and the other Marine gathered around the Lieutenant.

"You all right?" Baxter asked.

"I'm fine…I don't know about Alei though," Woodword replied. Baxter looked down at his labored, beaten Alien Brethren.

"We need to get out of here before..." Baxter said and was cut short as he turned and was face to face with a Brute Plasma Rifle.

"You're not going anywhere pesky human," the Brute said.

Woodword raised his shotgun but felt uneasy to his actions as he heard several other Brutes raise there's as well. He examined the Covenant numbers surrounding them and said, "Awe shit."

"I will only say this once...surrender or die."

"Surrender?" Alei moaned, confused.

"I thought the Covenant never take prisoners," Baxter said suspiciously.

"As much as I want to spill all of your blood now I have my orders to keep you all alive. You have significant use to the higher authority. But I will not hesitate to order your blood spilled right now if you do anything stupid."

Baxter didn't know what to do. Surrendering to the Covenant meant being vulnerable to all sorts of torture and putting up with them as prisoners. He clutched his Sniper Rifle tightly, not wanting to go down without a fight. The Brute sensed Baxter's persistence and resolve and motioned to another Brute to bring something out. Another Brute approached with a human in his possession...but it wasn't just any human.

"HAILEY!" Baxter cried out in anger.

The Brute pressed his plasma rifle into Hailey's neck threateningly. Baxter nearly raised his Sniper defensively but knew if he did she'd be dead and so would he. He gritted his teeth in anger.

"So what say you human...?" The Brute asked. Baxter sighed and glared into the Brute's eyes. He dropped his Sniper, discarded his SMG, and stripped himself of all his grenades. Another Brute confronted Woodword as he began giving up his possessions. The rest of the team gave up there's just as willingly to live, except for Alei whom was too weak to hand over anything. Baxter assisted his dazed, barely conscience brother to his feet and they were all escorted out by the Brutes.

"Watch for us at the Grav lift and ready for departure," Ordered the Brute over his communication device, "We have captured some humans and the one whom has caused us much trouble. Our plaguing of this city is over and we've all had enough of these pesky Derelict. Our business here is over."

On their way to their unwanted fate they had suffered, seeing the gruesome sight of the Tebo Hunter brothers trying to defend an innocent group of children whom were slowly being slaughtered by heartless, unmerciful Brutes and Jackals. Baxter felt the Hunter's mutual pain and rage. The Tebos didn't give up the fight with the surrounding Brutes, having hearts filled of rage to avenge the innocent children's blood. Baxter was prodded along as he stopped to watch the Hunters fight.

"Get moving human. I don't think you wish to watch the Keelbugs' clean up this wretched city of yours." Baxter looked around to see many insect like creatures swarm into the city, about the size of his head, collecting around bodies and puddles of blood. "It's a shame the Covenant didn't get their hands on them before the Derelict recruited them. We could use their labor," The Brute commented, prodding along the Sergeant.

Baxter and his team continued their disgraceful walk out of the city and into the enemy's abode.

Alien Brethren: Chapter 15: Part 1: An Exile, a Soldier, and a Warlord
Date: 2 March 2006, 11:57 pm

I just want to thank Alex or the Greek Elite for letting me conduct this chapter. His ideas and story were and are justly remarkable to work with. And I apologize for the long extent of time it took to make this chapter. Chapter 15 will be devised into parts, because it hints a foreshadowing mystery that I want to lure into Alien Brethren. So here is Chapter 15 part 1, enjoy…

Alien Brethren Chapter 15
Part 1-An Exile, a Soldier, and a Warlord

"Come, traitor the Covenant craves your torture…"

The lingering words of the Brute called to Alei 'Limoto. The Elite held his sides with a repugnant pain; he savored the everlasting blood, trickling in and out of his mandibles.
His squadmates were restrained by energy cuffs, and they were being guided by the loyalists, the beasts of Brutes that made his very life a living hell…

"These despicable Heretics know nothing of pain!" A Brute spat angrily at them. They steadily limped through tiers of streets and ramps through the screaming Chicago streets.

Alei traced crowds of people being ushered by Covenant forces into stable-like prisons. Crossfire could be seen from the many silver rooftops, the once lustrous and dazzling boulevards were lost in tatters of blood-drenched snow and ribbons of broken machines.
Longsword Fighters could be seen streaming the sapphire skies, they gave emits of smoke and fired garlands of missiles into mortar emplacements.

The battle that was cruelly fought by the unprepared armies lay scarred and lost. Everything looked hopeless and lost…

"Into the gravity lift! BAH!" The Brute Chieftain sputtered angrily, pushing Alei into the lift.

Alei staggered through the snow, gasping to the cold on his fresh wounds. He groaned softly, his pain far surpassed everything he felt before. He ducked in and out of life; he gripped to his spark of essence for as long as he could before he lost his footing and tumbled to the ground.
He saw his companions being trudged away…Baxter, Kaskut…the Oracle…a bright light echoed his ears and he fell into nothingness.

"Alei!" Baxter screamed, elbowing his Brute escort in the chest, the Brute keeled backward as the Marine Sergeant sprinted for his alien brethren.
"GET BACK HERE!!" The Brute Captain spat, raising his Brute Shot to the Human. "Baxter!" The Grunt, Kaskut chirped up as a Jackal companion of the Brute elevated a burst plasma bolt. John turned and ducked in time to see the stray bolt hit the snow, in a flutter of melted snow where the plasma strung he sloshed away toward his friend.
The Brute by the Elite turned and saw an enraged Marine sprint forward.

The vicious spitfire of the Plasma Rifles pelted the white patches of snow into liquefied froth. Baxter danced backward to avoid the showers of plasma greeting him. He dived at Alei's side, grinding his teeth to the impact.
"Stay with me…it will be ok"
All Alei could see was white, the dissolving pain melted into his ribs and he felt the very evil they were fighting, touch his heart.
Baxter grunted in short pain as a Brute hammered his fist into his midriff. "Ugh!" His mumbles and groans of pain were replaced by the sharp scream from a familiar voice.

"ONE MORE, HUMAN AND SHE GETS IT!" The Brute Chieftain shrieked, he sidestepped to reveal his loving wife, Hailey being bested by a towering Brute.
Baxter got up, raising his hands to withdrawing tenderness.
"Don't hurt her…I swear I won't do anything…just please don't hurt her" He sobbed tearfully. The burning love he felt for her dropped from his eyes into the worst tear he ever shed.
The haunting melody of her screams echoed to a beyond…into the very depth into his spirit…Earth…Alei…Their baby…

Baxter gazed onto his companion with tearful eyes, the Elite looked horrible. His red armor that symbolized the warrior that saved so many was now replaced with a grim smoking luster. His eyes…were now replaced with sockets of white, blinking steadily to the sorrowing snowflakes that pecked his mandibles.
Yet, even in the sadness of this time, John felt a hint of hope growing…it was so faint he could've given up on it…but after all miracles were his specialty…

* * *


The Derelict screamed a dismissive howl from the void and metallic canyons below their Champion. The Elites, Grunts and Hunters released hollers of prideful gasps. They looked onto a shadow of a being clinging to their fiery, victorious yells.
The Champion lived to be a leader…he was meant to do this…for the Derelict, for his father…
His alien-green armor sparked a look of terror to all his supporters. The warlord…the victor was a rally of every meek and arrogant rogue that crossed his path.

The Champion held grudges and respects for the greatest and evilest of all his foes. The Covenant…Heretics…Humans…and above all enemies…the Flood.
His distasteful anger and foul aversion toward the Flood blasted away. They were extraordinary beasts...they weren't animals as the Covenant laded in their gospel…they were smart and passive beings that deserved recognition and camaraderie.
He devoted these notions to his studies and experiments on them. All of the bloody ruins and gaudy battles lying under the Flood he studied…and for the better he consumed their weaknesses and advantages. Something the Forerunner's strived to do for generations and generations…and failed.

"The Derelict will be victorious...we will march upon our brother's bastions and claim them for our own!" The crowd below screamed to the virtuous leader aloft. "And with our new allies we have formed…we will surely crush them!" He pointed to the defenses embedded into his armies. Whereas the Hunters and Elites and Grunts formed their own postures and shapes, these shapes gave an eerie, scary appearance.

"Behold, my brothers! The Disciples! Once a ravaged and brutal race conquered by an Arbiter long ago they are now a respected race among the Derelict!" The Disciples beat their enormous cuirasses to their alloyed chests in a yell. Their buzzing and dark voices echoing beyond the walls.

'Yes…this was his time to glow…their time…'

"Now go…find the Covenant, the Heretics and the Humans and smite their corpses from this systematic relic!"

* * *

Two by two the squad and the alien brethren stepped into the holding cells. They were all held in a single cubicle, with enclosing purple barriers keeping them within.
Baxter let himself fall on a square seat, held by broken tiles and energy braces.
Alei 'Limoto was cast inside by Kaskut; he collapsed to the stripes of the floor but breathed in short dismissive blasts.
The Brutes circling the cages were whispering in slavering exhales, growling in hoarse and hushed murmurs.

Ignoring them, Baxter went straight for his brother. At some the Elite looked better…he was slowly regaining a peaceful stasis, groaning a bristle of pain but looking the more well. Another Marine, Samantha Whelski carefully stroked the Elite's wounds with her nimble fingers. The gore that depleted from Alei was drawing a near close and his black scales were gaining life.
"You have stirred the Covenant; human…the Prophet of Truth is offering compensation for the death of all of you. Especially you two…" The Brute grunted to the Alien Brethren, shouldering his Brute Shot with utter disgust and loathing. "The Covenant is calling you the Outlaw, Human…" He mumbled to Baxter. "And your friend is designated as the Exile, the traitor who turned before this pointless war"

Baxter ignored the sneering teases from the Brutes; he turned toward them with fiery eyes. "Where is Hailey?"
The pair of Brutes looked gleefully evil; they snorted mocks at him and bowed their hairy and matted backs to them.
"WHERE IS HAILEY?!" He demanded, his anger reaching its zenith.
The Brutes looked taken aback, their jaws perked in sneering jowls. "She is with the Prophet of Trust and Patience…and as soon as your friend wakes up you will have a little chat with them, and if you refuse…you will lose your son…"
Baxter shook his head angrily, he ignored the obsolete fact that the Covenant knew the gender of his unborn child, what flared his mind were the threats…

"Ignore them, Sergeant…they are trying to get to you" Whelski whispered from the holographic cot where Alei lay immobile.
Baxter nodded his head, and limped over to Alei, Kaskut and Whelski. "How is he?" He asked Whelski, not letting go of Hailey's fate. She gazed over his body, and took careful strokes at his wounds with gauze. "Good, he seems to be recovering quickly"

Baxter took his palms and rubbed them over his face, the cold sweat that beaded down his cheeks hinted a shadow of life. His smoking breathes exhaled through his lips and he relaxed them to the bond of nerve he still held intact…

* * *

The Derelict marched throughout the inlet quay, blasting their weapons during the silent of night. The Champion sat on his headship throne, declaring his urgent battle-strategy to the Handmaiden at his side.
"We will release the Flood onto whoever sets base on this ring, as you can see from the skies" He pointed upward toward the heavens, the space battles from the Covenant and Heretic forces were raging onward. "And as that battle reaches its extent, and they set foundation here, they will soon recognize the name…Champion" He hissed, shuddering to his pristine glory.

And as he discussed the greater aspects with his mate, the Exile finally woke…

Alien Brethren: Chapter 16: Call of Hope
Date: 30 May 2006, 1:05 am

That's right, I'm back again. I hope many of you are glad to see the return of this thought to be dead series. I know many of you may be disapointed in me turning the series over to another author (Chapter 15) but that author had to resign from the series as well so I'm back to finish Alien Brethren. Now, I know this chapter appears to be fairly short but remember I'm getting back into the series so it'll be a somewhat slow return and I want to get you all hungry for this series all over again so please enjoy despite the length.

For those of you whom can't seem to remember what happened last I recomend you skim over the last couple of chapters. For the other batch of you just being introduced to the series I recomend you start with Chapter 1. I know it's a lot of chapters but hopefully the reading will be worth it.

One last thing:
-There's been a change from Chapter 15 to 16. If you notice in Chapter 15 Champion (Ebak) calls upon a race known as Disciples in the Call of Hope. Now that I'm back I can't continue with that idea of new species since I'm not their creator and cannot see a definate fit with them into Champion's army so please excuse that minor detail and please enjoy this chapter...

Chapter 16:


The echoing pacing of the Sergeant's feet made all the cell mates tense and dreary. Baxter did not stop for a moment in his pacing. He was not hungry. He was not tired. He was not in pain. He was worried. He glanced over at his crimson brother to see his body rattle in unhealthy, deep sighs while the Corporal, Samantha, tended to the Elite.

He continued in his unnerving pacing thinking much about his brother, his woman, his coming child. He was mad, confused, depressed, alone, troubled, and stressed. Nothing could put these emotions or thoughts at rest. Nothing could put his aching mind to sleep. He had smelled too much blood, endured too much war, and seen too less of his wife.

"Have a seat, Sergeant," Woodword said, breaking the ominous silent. Baxter shot a glare over to his Lieutenant; his eyes tearing into the hefty soldier's. "We're all tired, and you could use some rest."

His thoughts of rage and pain immediately sighted on the Lieutenant as he recalled why they were here in the first place. He was merciless in his speech, "What a fucking great idea it was too vacation here. Dragging our sorry asses down to that miserable fucking rock that YOU call home! We should have stayed on that other damned ring where we would NOT HAVE THIS SHIT!"

Then Kaskut spoke, "B-but, then you no see girlfriend, then."

"SHUT THE HELL UP YOU WORTHLESS, PATHETIC ALIEN SCUM!" Baxter bellowed at the innocent Grunt.

Kaskut curled up his body in fear of the enraged Sergeant, whimpering and weeping to himself quietly.

"HEY!" Whelski blurted, now stepping up to the monster's wrath, "Leave the poor guy alone! He's just…"

There was a blunt slap that marked the side of the Corporal's face as the Sergeant's wrath smote its feeble obstacle. The Corporal fell uneasy to the ground, being weak-kneed and full of terror and sorrow. "GO BACK TO YOUR LOVER AND DON'T SPEAK!" Baxter hollered.

But she didn't. She remained on all floors, on the ground, her body trembling.

Whispered tears and faint sobs quietly echoed through the cell. Baxter continued to watch the pain stricken Corporal, his rage seeking no end. The Corporal finally collapsed, buried her head in her arms and let out her drowning cries.

John took in shallow breaths of absolute loathing. His anger still had not subsided as his guilt now added to his frenzy for what he had done. Instantly, he turned, dashed, and slammed his fist into the nearest metallic wall, hollering at the top of his lungs.

He retreated his fist finding it now bruised and bleeding, yet had left a dent in the bulkhead. His shallow breaths of anger slowly turned to pathetic tears as he too collapsed in exhaustion.

"What a sight…"

The Emerald Champion trailed off as he gazed out at the divine ring from his personal quarters.

"Isn't it absolutely beautiful?" Champion asked his handmaiden.

"It truly is, Ebak," Kami cooed as she looked out upon the glorious ring next to her leader.

"But like most beautiful things it is what the shell holds within that gives it true meaning, true holiness, true magnificence, true beauty," Ebak ranted as he continued to gaze out at Installation 03, "The Flood…what a magnificent force they are. A truly unique species and advisory. I salute their power, hoping one day I may unlock their secrets…just as the Forerunners had tried to do."

He turned back to his Handmaiden. "Do you dream about the Forerunners, Kami?" He asked, running a finger across her cheek.

"I dream about many of the universe's secrets," Kami whispered, closing her eyes as Ebak's smooth finger ran across her cold skin.

Ebak continued to run a finger across her neck, just near her mandibles. He admired her elegant body and feminine attraction. She was divine to him. "Is it possible that you may be one of the universe's secrets, Kami Bezammee?"

Before she could speak the door to Ebak's quarters opened, and there standing was an Officer Elite of the Derelict.

"On what purpose do you rudely come barging into my quarters, major?" Barked Champion.

"I apologize, sir," the Elite said bowing to his leader, "But I was told to inform you that our troops have successfully been deployed to the Ring. They've released the Flood."

"Very good, major," Champion complimented, his aggression for the interruption subsiding, "Order the pilots to break atmosphere with the ring. I wish to deploy at most half our infantry to begin the search of the Control Room."

"Yes, my Champion," The officer said as he bowed and departed.

Baxter remained in a heap on the floor, panting heavily. His cries had stopped however the sound of Whelski's chokes and sobs still lingered in his mind. His anger still had not subsided yet things had remained peacefully quite for some time.

The silence was broken as the humming of doors echoed through the Covenant prison. Baxter turned to the prison shield.

There standing were two Brutes, armed with Brute shots, escorting an Elite in a ragged, beaten cloak.

The Elite looked oddly different from every other Elite John had seen, yet looked so familiar at the same time. By guess from the Elite's different, slender shape, it was a female Elite. The female had been carrying something as well. A tray of repulsive looking organic material that Baxter had unfortunately guessed was their meal, along with a blue phial.

"Hurry your work, heathen. Do not keep the Prophets waiting," growled a Brute, as one pushed the Elite forward to the energy prison.

The Elite gave a depressing glance back at the Brutes, hung her head low, and activated a control from the outside which deactivated the shield.

The Brutes raised their weapons as she entered the cell. The Elite walked with humility and shame. Baxter watched her carefully as she knelt down by his alien brethren and set down the tray politely.

She rolled Alei over, onto his back, exposing his lax mandibles and closed eyes. The female Elite took a long moment to gaze at the crimson warrior. Her long stare resulted in a Brute growling impatiently, cueing her to hurry up.

Quickly she grabbed the blue phial and uncorked it.

"What are you doing?" Baxter asked as she drew the phial close to the Elite's mouth.

She did not seem to notice nor care about the Sergeant as she began dripping the phial to his mouth.

"I SAID, WHAT THE HELL ARE…" Baxter repeated, roaring in anger but was trusted violently against the bulkhead of the prison by Kyle Woodword.

His lieutenant gave him a sickening glare and spat, "Don't push me Sergeant. I'm just one step away from breaking your neck."

Baxter's eyes of rage bore into Woodword's tired, infuriated ones. Baxter was seething while Woodword had enough of the monster the Sergeant had become.

Ignoring his restraints, John looked over Woodword's shoulder to see what the Elite was doing.

The female continued to empty the phial into Alei's mouth until it was completely dry. She then corked the bottle and set it on the tray of food.

"He's ready," the female called to the other two Brutes, outside the cell.

The energy cell opened and both Brutes entered, their weapons raised. One brute heaved the Elite over his shoulder violently.

"What about the other?" Grunted the second Brute.

The Brute whom carried Alei turned to his comrade, "The human girl?"

The Brute nodded.

"Take her as well. She should be kept with the other female."

The second Brute yanked Samantha by the arm and immediately the Corporal responded to the violent tug.

"LET ME GO!" The Corporal cried, wriggling and fighting her way from the Brute's grasp.

Baxter gritted his teeth and urged in pursuit of the Brutes as he hollered, "LET HER GO!"

He felt Woodword's force again, restraining him.

"Shut the hell up," Woodword whispered angrily into the Sergeant's ear, "Make a move, and we both die."

The Brute holding Samantha threw her forward and was the last to exit the cell. He activated the force field again and placed the nozzle of his Brute Shot against her back.

"No more struggling, human. Or things will get messy."

Samantha gave the Brute a quick glare before complying and followed the Female Elite and Brute out of the cell room.

Baxter crashed to the ground, having been slugged by his Lieutenant.

"What the hell was that for," the Sergeant snarled, rubbing his aching jaw as he got back to his feet.

"Pay back," Woodword replied, "For Whelski."

Baxter glanced at Kaskut, whom was still quivering on the ground then back at Woodword whom gave him a long stare of disappointment.

"What the hell has gotten into you Sergeant?" His Lieutenant asked.

"I don't know sir…I just know I'm sick of all this shit. I want Alei, I want Hailey, I want to get the hell out of here."

"Likewise," Woodword agreed, taking a seat on one of the prison benches.

Baxter paced for a brief moment and finally broke from the habit, not wanting to repeat previous actions. He had a seat next to his fellow brother in arms feeling his anger slowly die.

"So how do we get out of here?" John asked.

"How did we get ourselves out of the predicament back at the Scarab and Control Room?"

There was a pause until Baxter had the answer.

"We didn't."

Alien Brethren: Chapter 17: Crimson No More
Date: 3 June 2006, 9:16 pm

First off, thanks to all whom are slowly reentering the series. I know it's been a while and I've had my share of bad chapters but I've got some new stuff in store that I hope you'll all like. Starting with this Chapter, I think you'll all be seeing lots of twists and conflicts arise in the series (conflicts within the plot that is) which will hopefully raise your interest. Anyways, like I said before, I hope you all enjoy Chapter 17 and hope it makes up for my shorter, less involved Chapter 16.


Chapter 17: Crimson No More


The crimson warrior moaned in grief as his senses slowly returned to him. His blurred vision quickly exposed the hairy back and feet of Alei's hated species and a moving ground beneath.

He felt his lax body strapped by something large, muscular, and hairy. Alei shook his head and cocked it about to see where he was exactly.

Compiling the rest of his scenery and senses together he gathered that he was being carried over the shoulder by a Brute; to where he did not know.


There was a violent shake that rattled Alei's tender body from the Brute's arm. "Quiet exile."

Alei groaned in pain and aggravation as he passively attended the trip to wherever he was being taken.

After a few moments more of being hefted by the Covenant loyalist there was the familiar hum of a Covenant door opening which lead into a larger, darker, room which seemed to be more decorated and had a whimsical appearance about it. The Brute continued to carry the recovering Elite further into the room, while Alei looked around his new surroundings seeing Brute Honor Guards standing guard near the circle and entrance.

Finally the Elite was thrown to the silver ground and felt the weight of the same Brute's arm keep him pinned to the ground. It was then he felt something warm shakle around his wrists, restraining them behind his back and unable to use.

"Energy cuffs," snarled Alei, "Why not just keep me in the cell?"

"They are for all safety purposes of us, Alei. I hope you are not too offended," said a calm, delicate, and almost ominously ancient voice.

The Brute gripped the Elite by the shoulder and propped him up to his feet where Alei could see the one who spoke.

"The Prophet of Patience…" Alei said in a grim tone, glaring at the fair faced and goggle eyed, age faced Prophet.

"And let us not forget the noble Trust either, Alei," spoke a more bold and strong-headed voice as a second Prophet hovered next to Patience in his hovering throne. Trust's form stood taller then Patience and had more glaring, intimidating eyes then the suave and calm Patience.

"You do remember your own Fathers of the Covenant, don't you, Alei?" Patience queried, cocking his slender neck in Alei's direction.

"I remember you two," Alei admitted, "But you are not my Fathers. I do not belong to the Covenant any longer."

"You should not hold such grudges, exile," spoke Trust, "Truth had more say in the betrayal then us lesser Prophets. But perhaps the exchange of hats was for the best."

"Let the Brutes be your guardians. I embrace all the Covenant's damnation anyways," Alei remarked, harshly.

"Damnation being a matter of religious opinion foolish, Alei," cooed Patience, "The Covenant stands and prospers for the ascension that the holy Forerunners had offered us through the sacred rings. In the eyes of the Covenant, and true eyes of the Forerunners, you are the one to be damned."

"You call me foolish, pig-headed prophets, yet you do not have the will to listen to the wise and holy oracles to know the truth of the rings and their creators," the crimson one snapped back.

"There is a reason why you Elites were placed as warriors and us Prophets were elected as leaders," Trust butted in showing aggression in his tone, "We, the Prophets, can see past faulty lies of the Forerunner's obstacles and make true judgment of what is right and just."

"Say what you want and let your ego rise, but it will never change the truth," Alei growled, his tolerance for the Prophets' words growing shorter every second, "But you must have summoned me to your quarters for more purpose then have me stand judgment to your jowl flapping."

Trust began glowering at the Elite and headed forward with his throne at the exile before Patience waved a hand to his brother in leadership as a sign for their to be peace and self-restraint.

"I admire your persistence, Alei. No time for small-talk, always sights set on the target…admirable yet displeasing," Patience spoke, stroking his chin with his nimble forefingers, "Do you know where we are headed, exile?"

Alei remained quiet, expecting their ego to show again as to providing him with the answer.

"Patience and I were advised by Truth himself to go and explore the other holy rings. Our purpose is as a safeguard to ensure the Great Journey may be fulfilled and to divert both the Humans and this new faction that has appeared…the so called 'Derelict', so the Covenant may be fully successful."

"However we've noticed some…lacking in our own fleet. With the resign of the Elites, Grunts, and Hunters," Alei grimaced at the term resign that was used as Patience continued, "We've found our abilities to come short of full potential."

Truth spoke next finishing Patient's thoughts, "The Brutes, though they are superior to your race and prove to be better guardians, lack in speed, grace, and nobility that the Elites had provided once before. A similar grief for the loss of our Hunters whom choose to side with your race…however no regrets are placed for the loss of the Grunts…"

"Kaskut will be displeased to hear such," Alei muttered under his breath.

"…we have confidence in our own and find the Brutes' abilities to be more then suitable, it's just the matter of not having a formidable warrior species to handle certain tasks…such as one of your renown brethren, Orna Fulsamee."

"His works as the latest Arbiter proved to be more then astounding," Patience said, Alei finding their switching off to be symoblic yet annoying, "Having crushed the Heretic's leader, which in return scattered and disorganized their faction completely, plummeted through the Sentinel Wall, and retrieved for us the Sacred Icon; he was truly valuable to the Covenant cause…yet inferior to the other members of the Covenant."

"If he was inferior, then how do you explain the fact that he defied the betrayal and survived all scarring events?" Alei questioned.

"Reasons beyond your comprehension, feeble-minded Alei," Patience said whimsically.

Alei took the response as, once again, their so called 'holy' ego arising again.

"But you Alei, you were a promising warrior," Truth complimented, "Countless of missions you partook in on behalf of the Covenant. We were proud of you. Your efforts could almost be described as great as Orna, the Arbiter himself…though such a title is now disgraced upon his Mark of Shame."

"I still am a warrior and I still have all my will and might…and Orna is rightful for all pride he possesses. For there is high honor regarded among the Elites, the Grunts, the Hunters of the title Arbiter."

Patience's lips curled into a conniving smile, "This is good to hear…"

"They are complete then, doctor?"

Champion was now pacing back and forth in a top security bio lab as his ship neared closer and closer to Installation 03. Inside the room stood his handmaiden, Kami, and an Elite dressed not in battle armor but a silver cloak.

"Yes, my Champion," the Elite in silver said proudly, "They are complete."

Ebak paced over to the lab table that the other Elite was laboring over to see his creation.

"Beautiful…" muttered Ebak, "Simply beautiful…"

On the table were five aquariums, each holding what appeared to be a Flood Infection form…but none like Ebak had ever seen. They were all a ripe, blood red color and slightly larger then the traditional ones. Ebak also noticed some of their extra tentacle like appendages which also seemed to be more robust then the ones Ebak had seen.

Champion glanced over at the doctor, "You will surely be repaid for such fine work, doctor. I'll see to it that you have your own bodyguards as long as your experiments work."

"Thank you for your humble appraise, my Champion," the Doctor said bowing respectively to his leader, "But I would have achieved nothing without your studies, inspiration, and wisdom. I simply brought the experiment to life…but rest assured, your envisioned plan will turn out a marvelous success. All that's left to this project of yours is to subject the specimens to their hosts"

"Then let my mind and wisdom continue to work with your sciences and crafts in biology so we may proceed with our Flood manipulation projects. Be ready for my next notes on further Flood experiments…the faster our production the faster we succeed. In the mean time, we shall depart, as we are coming within atmosphere fairly soon."

Champion gave a curt nod to the handmaiden as a signal for them to depart, "See to it, doctor, that these specimen reach the cargo hold quickly and safely. The hosts should be ready in no time."

Alei's stomach turned sensing a devious plan or scheme that the Prophets had been devising. Whatever it was, Alei knew instantly it was bad news…the Prophets were always known to bring dismay and grief upon Elites like him.

"Speak your tainted words, unmerciful Prophets and I shall greave each one," Alei spoke, having slight interest in why they had actually summoned Alei here.

"Tainted words, Alei?" Questioned Patience, "Surely the title Arbiter is not tainted…or so it seems to your honor-monger race."

Alei's eyes glittered in awe and confusion. He could almost put the pieces together what the Prophets were saying. He didn't know if it were truth. Were they asking him what he thought they were asking him?

"What…" Alei began, stumbling for words but found his lack of words be fulfilled as Trust spoke.

"We need an Arbiter, Alei. You have been elected as the next Arbiter of the covenant. We've found no other to be able to fulfill the Arbiter's duties and we need a skilled, brave Elite whom would be able to be sent on some number of death-defying, suicidal missions. You have been choosen…"

Alei felt shocked yet angered hearing this. The title of Arbiter was an honor, a renown of ultimate glory. Yet accepting the title meant serving the Covenant once again…

"Surely you foolish Prophets had anticipated my denial of such a position. Why would an exile warrior, betrayed by the same whom offer such a glorious title accept this tainted gift?" Alei's words were harsh.

"We Prophets are not foolish, exile," Patience said in a calm, flowing tone, "And indeed we did anticipate your possible refusal for the position on behalf of some…strong held grudges."

"But we have insured that you would accept the title and responsibilities…willingly or not," Trust spoke, his words more grim and hostile then Patience's.

"What do you mean?" Alei inquired feeling a sinking feeling grow in the pit of his stomach.

"You see, Alei, there's multiple reasons why we kept your human friends alive," Patience continued on, "Not only are they, unfortunately, the chosen species of the Forerunners to activate the divine Halo and propel the Covenant into the Divine Beyond, but they serve as a element of sympathy to a certain warrior whom clearly holds dire ties to their lives."

"Baxter…" Alei said in a voice of concern and mild-anger.

"The Sniper?" Trust said, laughing at the thought, "It would not be as an effective loss. We note your ties with the human but we know that there are others whom has a stronger influence and will have a more definite effect should their lives be spent."

Alei cocked his head for a moment, wondering whom the Prophets were implying exactly.

"The females, Alei," Trust said, releasing the truth as bluntly as possible.

Alei's heart felt like it sunk into the deep depths of his churning, upset stomach when the words hit him like a ton of bricks. It was almost like blackmail, except with someone else's safety on the line.

"Whelski…" Alei murmured, feeling his cold heart loose a few beats in a moment's stop.

"…and the other pregnant human, let us not forget," Patience reminded in a grim tone.

"We've noted your sickening sympathy and weakness to the humans' well-beings," Truth commented, "And by closer examination of your relationship with the one human makes it all the more better for us…for your motivation. So, Alei, you may choose to decline such a privilege we Prophets are awarding you and we will give you the other privilege of having you watch the one you are affectionate for and the pregnant one have their blood spilled…right in front of you. Could you imagine such an image of that, exile? Loosing the filthy human you love, right before your eyes, knowing you could prevent it while also bearing the guilt of a tender fertile woman and her innocent child's life."

Alei's chest heaved in agony and grief. It was such a heavy responsibility and grief that he collapsed on his legs, under the weight of what the Prophets were asking him to do and telling him what would happen should he decline. He stared at the floor, trying to block out the words that flowed into him and began picking himself apart.

"But," Patience started in a less morbid and vigor voice, "You may rest assure their lives will be spared and no harm will come to either female, nor the child, if you accept the job we are asking of you…provided you do not turn on the Covenant once again and abide by every command we give to you."

Alei felt tears well up in his eyes. The thought of serving under the Prophets again was sickening…degrading…disgraceful. Yet the thought of loosing, and being held responsible for the lives of his beloved Samantha Whelski and his alien brethren's wife and child was a thought he wished not to dwell on; it could have destroyed him.

His head still staring towards the ground, fighting back the tears, he asked, "If I accept you swear on the name of the Forerunners you'd never harm either of the females, and the child?"

"Upon the rings and highest of Forerunners," Trust spoke highly with zealous.

"…and you'd agree to set free my friends?" Alei added.

Patience hardly took a second to think about it, feeling Alei's allegiance to the Covenant stir back and responded out of mercy, "We would free the two other male humans as well as your personal minion, Kaskut. However releasing the great Tebo brothers and female humans is out of the question."

"What about the oracle?" Alei suggested.

"Is it the holy keeper of the ring we are to arrive at?" Trust inquired.

"It is…not," Alei said hesitantly, trying his best to cover the lie.

Trust took a long moment of staring at the Elite until finally speaking, "Granted then, exile. You have heard all the words we have promised you. Now then…"

Trust snapped his fingers and both Prophets' chairs hovered away from the center of the room as two Brutes came heaving in, through the center, a large hovering mauve crate. Once it was positioned in the center of the spacious room it descended to the floor, humming and hissing.

The Prophets neared the crate slowly and Trust gave a curt nod to the Brutes. Both dug their paws into the front of the crate and pulled on it slightly. The ominous crate's front panel budged and a extreme white light emitted from the cracks and openings while a white mist flowed from the crate in a ghostly manner.

Alei turned his head as the Brutes completely removed the front panel of the centerpiece, the white that it had emitted was unbearable. Slowly it dimmed and Alei was ushered to his feet by a Brute behind him.

Forward the Elite stepped as he was escorted to the, what had seemed to be, holy shrine. Alei stopped as he was near enough to it and he gazed its contents in awe.

Inside was the Arbiter's armor. Oddly enough Alei had never seen this kind of design for the Arbiter's battle armor, but he could sense the power, glory, and vibrating essence of justice being emitted from the suit.

The armor was clearly a more modernized, and technologically advanced version of the old, orthodox Arbiter armor. The previous model's primitive metals and dull and ancient look was no longer visible as it was replaced by a shimmering white glare of justice, having advanced, cutting edge plating to the suit. In some appendages of the armor, overlapping the holy whiteness was replaced by a solemn yet respectable blue coating giving it all the more holy, justly, and arbitrary look. Yet Alei had noticed a major similarity in both old and new models: the headpiece.

Though its pronged sideburns, nose piece, and crest had been more elongated it completely resembled the old design that Alei had noted from his highly regarded fellow Elite; Orna the Arbiter. Besides the extended curves and elongations on the features of the helmet, it was coated with the same gleaming, holy whiteness with the back-crest the noble shade of blue.

Its design, in Alei's opinion, was flawless and perfect in every way having combined a modern, intimidating, cutting-edge look with its old, ancient, and highly regarded design, not to mention the justice screaming color scheme that nearly stole Alei's vision from its greatness. It was then Alei noticed the other two accessories that added to Alei's anticipated heart attack of bewilderment and awe.

Placed near the armor was a magnificently glowing Energy Blade that Alei had never seen, nor other Elite for that matter, in his life nor dreams. It was a shimmering Red Energy Blade that lusted for bloodshed and smiting while it glowed violently in a morbid, intimidating way. Though it resembled much like Alei's old Energy Sword it seemed so exotic, alien, and invincible for that matter; its glow and mightiness seduced the warrior.

The third article of the Arbiter symbol and its greatness was a cape. Hung so its full spread was visible, Alei noticed the delicate craftwork involved in producing it. It was made of a very fine yet very durable material of a dark navy blue that Alei could not identify but it amazed him none the less. By closer judgment, Alei noted its durability could withstand heavy fire; that had comforted him.

The crimson exile turned, glancing at each Prophet for a moment whose eyes were unsettlingly fixed upon him. The Brute guarding him then finally released his energy cuffs, yet remained behind him at a nervous distance. Alei took in a deep breath, swallowed the lump in his throat, as he felt the Brutes huge paws ripping and removing off his old shell he felt his name, honor, and past memories being picked away, painfully.

It was only when his blood-red helmet was removed that he felt the last bit of his past disappear completely. He was stripped of everything he once had: his name, his armor, his past, his rank, his friends, his allies, his freedom…his everything.

Alei glanced down at the floor and gazed with great sorrow at the heap of red metal that once protected his leathery flesh. He tore his vision away from the pile of memories and stepped forward, never looking back, as he embraced his new title; draping himself in his cape, crowning himself with his new helmet, and arming himself with his new, vibrant, blood-red Energy Sword. He saw to his other articles of the Arbiter's attire for later and turned to the prophets, disgracefully bowing to those he had become a puppet and slave to before.

"I am ready to serve…" Alei spoke, nearly choking as he forced himself to their proper title, "… Holy ones."

Alien Brethren: Chapter 18: Revelations
Date: 6 June 2006, 12:24 am

Chapter 18: Revelations

"Up humans," snarled a Brute whom had just entered the cell room where Kaskut, Woodword, and Baxter were resting in.

The prison shield shimmered and faded out as three brutes entered the cell, Brute Shots readied.

The Sergeant sighed, "Is this the part where we die? Because if it is, I'd just like to say fuck you, to you all."

"Quiet, scum," barked the Brute, "Your death is not at hand. Rather your release has been decided."

"Our release?" Woodword asked, finding it impossible to believe.

"Yes…now move!"

"Not until we get Alei, Whelski, and Hailey back," Baxter snapped.

"Their fate and decision of release is not in your hands, human. Now get moving before I decide to kill you myself."

Baxter looked over at his lieutenant. He said nothing, rather sense the stubbornness and persistence in his Sergeant's eyes.

"Let's just follow along, Sergeant," Woodword murmured to his fellow Marine, "As long as we're alive we'll still have the opportunity to save them later."

Baxter just stared at Woodword for a moment before finally getting up, unwillingly, and followed the Brutes.

"This was so fucking stupid," cried a human, imprisoned in a more primitive yet still alien barred, cage. He wept tears of insanity and fear as he moaned and whined of his troubles. "Why the hell did I join up with those damn Marines on Earth?"

"Would you shut up you ignorant human!" Barked a Brute whom was also captive inside his own cage not too far away from the human.

"Hey, I'm having a rough patch in my life because of you fucking aliens!" The human shouted back.

"You mean the Derelict," the Brute corrected, "They are the reason why you are here right now."

"You damn aliens are all alike! I don't care what the hell you are, you all can kiss my…"

"ALL SILENCE FOR THE CHAMPION!" Roared an Elite whom had just entered the large, spacious room, leading a large group of Elites.

Both captives went dead silence as the Champion stepped forward, eyeing both of them.

"What do you want with the other three captives, sir?" Asked an Elite behind him whom lead three other Elites that restrained a Jackal, a Bugger, and an Elite whom bared the colors of a Heretic.

"In the other three cells for now," Champion said, nodding to three other empty cages.

They were in the cargo bay of Champion's ship, located near the hangar. It was large and mostly barren, save for a handful of scattered boxes. Champion's pacing footsteps echoed flowingly through the cargo bay as the three other captives were urged to their prisons.

He eyed up the human carefully for a moment and turned to one of the officer Elites, "You claim this human is the outlaw named Baxter?"

"It is, great one," confirmed the officer.

Champion examined the human carefully once more, "Unfixed eyes, unshaven face, pathetic stance…are you sure this is the Sniper I called for?"

Two officers murmured silently to one another before the one had replied, "He had no Sniper along with him. We confiscated merely a Human Shotgun with a few of their grenades…no Sniper at all."

"Then this is the wrong captive!" The Champion growled ferociously, pointing at the misfortunate human.

"But, Great Champion, he is indeed the one called Baxter. He responded to such title and his military necklace reads his name," pleaded the Elite officer.

Champion turned back to the Human and glowered at him; speaking to him in a low tone, "Are you the one called Baxter?"

"W-Why? A-are you going to kill me if I am?" The human's voice was filled with terror.

"If you're the one we're looking for you'd be far too valuable to waste," Ebak growled.

"Y-yes. My name is Baxter…Sean Baxter," the man confirmed nervously.

"Sean Baxter…" Ebak said, echoing the name in his mind, "Why is it you were not armed with your signature weapon of choice?"

"I just recently tagged along with my platoon, your highness ," Sean said, adding on the humble title for a few sympathetic points, "They don't award newcomers with Sniper Rifles right away…"

"Then you are not the Sniper?" Champion questioned.

"N-no…why are you going to kill me now?" Asked Sean whose voice was full of fear again.

"I'll kill you myself if you don't answer my questions!" Barked the Champion, "Now who the hell is this Sniper and why do you have his name?"

"He…he's my son," Sean squealed, "John Baxter is my son. Last I heard he was a Marine Marksman…which is probably the Sniper you're looking for."

"Most likely he is," Champion concluded, thoughts rattling his mind once more. He glanced over at his officers whom seemed frightened when he met his glance. "This John Baxter shall be presumed to be alive. Though you have brought me the wrong Baxter I'm not entirely disappointed."

Ebak's eyes dug into Sean's for a moment with a grim, sickening gleam, "He shall still be an appropriate specimen to our…experiment"

With that Champion waved in the doctor, whom carted in a hovering lab table. Resting upon the table were five jars, each containing an abnormal looking Flood Infection form. Each red, dwarf sized parasite, scurried around in their captivity, urging to feed…urging for freedom.

"W-WAIT!" Yelped Sean, "I-I thought you said you were going to let me live!"

The Champion let out a mighty chortle before saying in glee, "The Flood don't kill, human…they consume the living."




"Oh, how rude!"

Baxter, Woodword, Kaskut, and the chipper Oracle (16807 Remorseful Incentive) all plummeted towards the sandy ground from where they had been dropped off by a Phantom, which soared out through towards the horizon.

Behind the four allies were two armed Brutes and a Jackal.

"Gee…thanks a lot…Covie bastards," Baxter groaned, getting to his feet and brushing the sand off his pants.

"Ugh…Kaskut, just be happy to be off smelly ship! Beach be much more brighter," Kaskut chimed, admiring the vast ocean off to the East side.

"Admire your surroundings while you may, Grunt," growled a Brute from behind whom caressed a Brute Shot in his hands.

"The Prophets merely told us to release you," spoke the other whom was armed with a crimson Plasma Rifle, "They said nothing about not being able to kill you."


"We'll give you five seconds to run," the Brute carrying the Covenant grenade launcher offered, "Just for the sport."

Woodword's fist clenched dangerously, his eyes narrowed, and his lips pursed, "I'll give you just 2…"

And in the blink of an eye Woodword sprinted forward to the Brute with the Brute shot and in less then two seconds he made his attack at the grizzly alien: one fist to the jaw, and a single, graceful movement of his arm around the Brute's neck, giving it a violent snap.

As the second Brute reacted to such a daring move Baxter quickly looked around for a means of seizing the attack. Desperate for any sort of weaponry, Baxter took hold onto Remorseful Incentive whom buzzed and hummed defiantly.

"HEY UGLY!" Baxter called out, getting the second Brute's attention, "THINK FAST!"

With that, John hurtled the monitor at the Brute's head, making a juicy thud as they both collided. The Brute fell with a concussion as the monitor swiveled up in a helix movement, sputtering sparks and flashes of green light.


Woodword felt a hot, heavy impact to his shoulder from the remaining Jackal's Covenant Sniper whom took the opportune moment to fire. In a fury of rage, Woodword sprinted for the vulture resembling alien and tackled it to the ground. Having been disarmed, the Jackal began clawing furiously at the Lieutenant with its feeble claws. Kyle Woodword showed little reaction to the feeble attack as he reached for both the Jackal's bottom and top jaw, and with one swift motion he forced them both apart, snapping them with the satisfying sound of bone cracking.

The Lieutenant turned back to the Grunt and Sergeant, covered in both his own and the Jackal's blood. He gathered all the weapons and tossed Baxter the Particle Beam Rifle, and Kaskut the Brute Plasma Rifle, while he made himself familiar with the hefty Brute Shot.

"Everyone Ok?" He asked.

"Me be fine," squeaked the Grunt.

"I'm good," Baxter said, feeling a small ping of glee having a powerful and ranged weapon to manage again.

"I am simply wonderful," chimed the monitor, whom began hovering around the three. The floating AI gazed around at its surroundings and blinked joyfully, "Ah…home sweet home."

"Home?" Baxter asked.

"Yes, reclaimer. We are currently on Installation 03, where I was constructed and ordered to monitor. Oh so much I must catch up and report on. Oh how much I've missed…so very disappointing."

"You're not ditching us, are you?" Woodword asked.

"Well…for the time being I may accompany you reclaimers, but once your business is finished on this installation I should return to my duties."

"Good to hear," Woodword chimed, "We'd have it no other way."

Just then a roaring filled the air as a fiery, smoking object came soaring through the sky, tailed by several Phantoms.

"A Pelican!" Baxter exclaimed.

It soared past them, declining dangerously into the far distance; the Phantoms tailing dangerously behind.

"We're not alone any more," Baxter noted, "The UNSC followed the Call of Hope's path!"

"If there be good humans, there sure to be heretics too!" Kaskut peeped happily.

"Monitor," Woodword said, turning to the floating AI, "Can you get the coordinates on that Pelican's crash site?"

"I am deploying a grid of the area as we speak, reclaimer. How fortunate you all are to have a native monitor to this installation. Oh joy, how much I may do now!"

"Arg! We're taking heavy returning fire from the human ship!" Roared a Brute from the cockpit of one of the Phantoms over the COM link and to his captain.

"We're going to break from formation," the captain announced to his crew and over the COM link as well, "We're going to head into the forestry where Derelict and Heretic forces have been spotted."

"But sir, that's a human bird!" Argued the pilot, "They're crammed with readied patrols, a human vehicle, and will probably order in reinforcements. We should see to their extermination immied…"

"What we need to see to is our own survival…as well as other reported Covenant forces in the forestry. The Derelict have already destroyed and captured numbers of our forces and began their release on the flood. That is our main priority, do you understand?"

"Yes captain," grunted the pilot obediently.

"The Derelicts have already settled on the installation?" Questioned a voice from the infantry hold of the Phantom.

"Yes, exile," snarled the captain, "Now silence!"

"My name is Arbiter," Alei growled from the hold, igniting his violently glowing Red Energy Sword, "Not exile…"

"The infestation went well, did it not doctor?"

"Yes, Champion, it was a complete success," the doctor replied, whom was strolling down the halls of Champion's ship casually.

"How long did you say it would take for the complete transformation to occur?" Champion asked.

"A few hours. Don't worry, the troops you sent to disperse the specimen will have enough time to plant them on the installation without having to witness the wrath of the transformation," The Doctor reassured.

"You truly are a genius, Doctor," Champion complimented.

"I am nothing compared to you, my Champion," the doctor replied humbly, bowing respectfully to his leader.

Finally the two had come to a decorated door, guarded by two brightly yellow armored Elites whom saluted as their Champion passed through the door.

Inside the guarded room was a familiar, flood corpse; more or less a corpse.

"Father…" Champion acknowledged his flood father whom was held captive by chains attached to the walls and ceilings. At the sight of prey, his father forced himself against his restraints, only to be seized so far away from the Doctor and Champion.

"A true specimen he is, my Champion," the doctor commented, "I can still sense the ties between you and your father."

"Yes…" Ebak said, heaving a sigh and taking much thought on the doctor's words. "Could you leave me and my father for a moment?"

"Yes sir," the doctor complied with a respectful bow, "I shall begin on your other two requested projects in the mean time."

"I acknowledge your labor," replied Ebak.

A moment of silence echoed through the room before someone else had entered upon the room.

"My apologies if I have disturbed you, my Champion," apologized a soft, familiar voice.

"You did not intrude, Kami," Ebak reassured turning to his handmaiden, "In fact I am glad you're here at the moment. There's something I need to say…"

"I am listening."

"I have thought much about my plans, my leadership, and my reign. All is fair and seems yet complete yet there is still so much that is empty. Besides my goal with the flood, besides my feelings for my unfortunate father, besides the wrath I wish to unleash upon Alei…there is something else."

"What is it, Ebak?"

"Kami…" Ebak said, his eyes completely connected with hers, "In front of my own father I ask for your acceptance of…Queen of the Derelict."

Kami seemed overwhelmed; her eyes saucer sized and almost teary. Champion's eyes also shimmered with nears of passions for the other Elite. She gazed at the floor for a moment, then at Ebak's father, that into his eyes once more and the answer rushed through her in absoluteness.

"Yes, Ebak…I accept."

"Agh! Back off!" Snapped the Corporal as she was violently shoved to the ground, before a highly secured door.

"Keep your whining for the holding center, human," the brute growled, thrusting her to her feet and prodding her to the secured door way which was guarded by two honor guard Brutes.

"Open it," grunted the Brute.

The doors opened responsively to the Brute's command as an honor guard had waved his hands over the door lock panel.

Whelski felt a final shove as she was flung into the room, the door closing tightly behind her. She got back to her feet and joy overwhelmed her pain and sorrow as she heard a familiar voice, "Samantha?"

She looked up to see Hailey, lying on a alien looking cot, accompanied by the female Elite Whelski had seen before. She dashed over to her dear friend and wrapper her arms around her and felt Hailey's do the same.

"Oh, it's so good to see you. I'm glad you're ok," Samantha cooed, "Everyone was worried about you."

"How's Baxter?" Hailey asked.

"He…misses you…a lot."

"And what about everyone else? Woodword? The Grunt? Alei?"

"I'm…not sure. They just took me and Alei out of the cell. They first took me to a decontamination station but I'm alright…it's just Alei I'm worried about."

"I'm sure he's fine," Hailey reassured.

"He comes from a sacred bloodline," commented the female Elite whom was dampening Hailey's forehead with a wet sponge, "He should manage himself…if his new title does not get himself killed."

"What new title? Exile?" Hailey asked.


"Arbiter?" Whelski asked, amazed.

The female Elite nodded.

There was a moment of silence that echoed throughout the locked in room. Whelski admired her surroundings: it was fairly large and decorative which nearly masked the fact that it was a prisoner hold.

"So where are we exactly?"

"My unofficial nursery," Hailey sighed, "But I like to call it a VIP prison."

"We're VIP?" Whelski asked.

"Very Important Prisoners," Hailey explained with a smug smile on her face.

"Why do you suppose we weren't just killed?" Samantha inquired.

"The Prophets need a human to activate Halo," responded the Elite.

Whelski sighed. She began pacing the room as thoughts wandered through her mind: The Call of Hope, The Prophets, Halo, Baxter, Woodword, Kaskut…

"This is driving me crazy!" Whelski shouted.

"What is it?" Hailey asked.

"It's…Alei! He's the Prophets' Arbiter now! And I know it seems weird that I have feelings for some guy whose not even my own species…but I'm so worried for him! What if he died in his duties? What if he turned on us? And the Heretics? I need to talk to him again! I need to see him again!"

"You're not alone," muttered the servant Elite.

"What do you mean?"

"I've known Alei longer then you have," she explained, "And I've always worried about his well-being in combat."

"You know him?" Hailey asked, astonished.

"How?" Wondered Samantha.

The servant looked away from the humans and curled her mandibles into what seemed like a depressing smile as she closed her eyes before a tear could shed, "I'm his mother."