Halo: True Sangheili by Wolverfrog
Halo: True Sangheili (Prologue and Part One)
Date: 11 August 2009, 8:45 pm
My first ever Covenant fan fiction, so it may not seem too brilliant. But I'd love feedback, especially since I'm unsure about writing like this.
Edict of the Most High Prophet of Truth, 9th Age of Reclamation.
By the authority of the noble Prophets of Truth, Regret, and Mercy.
Henceforth, any and all battle worthy Sangheili are to be transferred from any idle posts in High Charity and/or upon any Covenant held world/ship into the active combat. Those amongst the excused are the Honour Guard, the Councillors, and the mentally ill, physically unfit, and the old. Female Sangheili are, as always, prohibited from taking part in any military action.
Any Sangheili engaged in a guard post, other than the Honour Guard, will be replaced by the Jiralhanae until such a time as the High Council deems otherwise. Any Jiralhanae in question of where they now stand shall direct all enquiries to Tartarus, Chieftain of the Jirahanae.
Failure to adhere to this edict will result in death. No exceptions. These are trying times, my brothers. The Human infidels persist in resisting the might of the Covenant. Rest assured, this 'war' as some are calling it, will be over soon -- to be forgotten and dismissed as an insignificant event in Covenant history.
PART ONE - SORRAN
Sorran cursed his bad luck. After centuries of peace, a war had to break out in his lifetime. And this wasn't the kind of war the Covenant was used to -- a rebellion, or a species to be absolved into their empire. The humans were smart, ruthless, and mighty warriors. Whilst the may use old technology, it was effective. Many a Covenant soldier had died at the hands of a crude human projectile.
The High Council had realised the threat these humans posed to the Covenant, and so every battle worthy Sangheili had been drafted into the Covenant. Sorran missed the days as a scribe in the Great Library of High Charity. A job usually reserved for the Prophets, it had taken much study on his part to finally be accepted into the library. And now all this.
Sorran looked down at the Plasma Rifle he held within a long hand with disgust. He'd never a fired a weapon in his life, never expressed a desire to do so. Yet here he was now, garbed in the traditional blue armour of a Sangheili Elite minor. He looked into a puddle at his feet, and was surprised by how warrior-like he looked.
Then again, every Sangheili was like that. Even before the days of the Covenant, theirs had been a militaristic society. Little had changed. Sorran looked every part the noble Sangheili he was supposed to be -- a little over eight foot tall, with narrow eyes and sharp teeth upon his mandibles. He resented that.
He brought up a hand to admire the way his energy shield flared ever so slightly as the patter of heavy rain fall bounced off it. At least that was a bonus of being a Sangheili in this war, Sorran mused as he looked over at a huddle of Grunts, desperately trying to gather what little warmth they could from the small, flickering fire. One Grunt was getting a little too close to the flames...
"Careful there!" Sorran called over, "Methane is a flammable gas, and your mask is a little too close to that flame Unggoy."
The five diminutive figures instantly all drew away from the fire, suddenly eyeing it as if were a deadly predator. A few moments later however, they shrugged and drew up to the flame again, in just as much of a precarious position as before. Sorran sighed, and turned away. He walked over to his superior, a Sangheili Major, who had been observing the Grunts with amusement.
"You waste your words on them my brother; Unggoy are notorious for being extremely dim witted." The Major remarked, crossing his arms smugly.
"Perhaps. Yet they are under our command, and we should strive to keep them safe, no matter how futile the endeavour may be." Sorran replied, disliking the way the crimson coloured Sangheili talked about them as if they were dogs.
The major cocked his head to one side, and looked at Sorran in an evaluating manner.
"I don't think I've seen you around these parts before brother. Are you new?" The major asked, as if he personally knew every Sangheili which roamed the outpost. Which, Sorran thought, he probably did.
"Yes, I'm new. Until a few weeks ago, I was a scribe in the Great Library of High Charity. Suddenly, I'm drafted and sent out here. My name's Sorran." He said, holding out a hand. The major looked uncertain for a moment, then grabbed Sorran's hand in a firm grip and shook it, once.
"Zharn." The major said simply. Sorran assumed it was the major's name. "So, the Great Library. You must not have seen much combat action there." It was a statement, no a question.
Sorran nodded in agreement.
"That's right. I've never fired a weapon in my life. Never planned to."
"Well then, we shall have to remedy that. We can't have the Unngoy outstripping you in combat. But for now, we shall eat, and we shall talk. Now tell me, is High Charity truly as wondrous as they claim it is? I have always wished to visit."
"Ah, it is a truly wondrous sight Zharn. I am not usually a very religious person; I believe in the Great Journey, don't get me wrong. To suggest otherwise would be blasphemy. But I prefer the solid facts my scrolls give me. Yet when I behold the Forerunner Dreadnought in the morning as I walk though the holy city, it makes me want to get down on my knees and pray." Sorran replied eagerly, glad that they both had a point of interest.
"I was once going to embark upon a pilgrimage to High Charity once." Zharn remarked, staring into the Unngoy's fire in the distance. The rain echoed, distorting his words. "But my father fell ill, and so I had to tend to him back on Sangheilios. He died, soon after. The Covenant didn't give me much time to grieve though. I was called back into duty a day afterwards."
Sorran hesitated a moment, then placed a consoling hand upon Zharn's shoulder.
"I'm sorry for you loss." The Sangheili Minor said. "I too know what's it's like to lose a family member to an illness. My dear sister, Forerunners preserve her soul, died but a year back."
Zharn grunted, and shook off his hand.
"Let us dispel these melancholy thoughts brother. Come, we should eat. I hear the Kig-yar have been cooking up a stew. I'd better be there to make sure an offensive Unggoy doesn't become part of it. "
Sorran laughed at what he thought to be a joke, and followed after the Major. Zharn didn't laugh. Perhaps he wasn't joking after all.
Halo: True Sangheili (Part Two)
Date: 1 October 2009, 9:08 pm
PART TWO - WARRIOR
"That plasma rifle at your belt, Sorran. Bring it out." Zharn commanded, and Sorran obeyed, grasping to delicate looking blue handle.
"Excellent." Zharn congratulated as if the Sangheili Minor had actually accomplished something. "Now, I'm sure you know how the plasma is channelled, being a Scribe."
"Magnetic coils embedded within either side of the weapon direct the plasma into a desired path." Sorran recited from a text he had read once in a book about Covenant weapons.
"Good." Zharn simply said, and strode over to Sorran, looking at the way he held the rifle. He nodded appreciatively. "Now, the plasma rifle is capable of sustained fire, but the hotter it comes, the more inaccurate it is too. Keep that it mind. The most talented warriors fire short bursts, then take cover whilst it cools down."
"I understand Major." Sorran replied, inclining his head.
"I would certainly hope so. Now, look forward. I have set up deployable shield barriers in the distance. Your challenge for today is to bring every shield down with your rifle. Should one pop up before you are finished, you must start again. Begin."
Sorran brought the plasma rifle up at arms length, took aim, and fired. There was no recoil whatsoever as three super heated bolts of plasma surged out of the tip of the rifle, and crashed into the foremost shield. The shield rippled, and turned a deep red. The Sangheili Minor fired again, and the shield depleted.
"Well done." Zharn said. "Now you must take down the other nine, before the first can pop up again.
Sorran concentrated, and managed to take down a further five. But just as soon he took the sixth down, the first one popped up again. Sorran swore, and Zharn chuckled. The Minor waited a minute for them to all pop up again, and once they had, attempted the challenge again. He got seven this time, but once again, the first regenerated.
"This is impossible!" Sorran cried after the seventh try.
Zharn laughed now, openly.
"Yes Sorran, it is impossible. With one plasma rifle anyway. This task was so you would learn to efficiently use the rifle, rather than accomplishing it."
Sorran looked at the crimson Sangheili, shook his head, and lowered the rifle to his side.
"You've had me waste my time and temper upon an impossible task?" The Minor asked in disbelief. "That's low Zharn."
The Major merely laughed once again, and told Sorran to holster his rifle. Zharn drew out from his person two sharp, steel blades. Sorran recognised them as holding the shape of the Energy Sword, reserved usually for only the highest ranking Sangheili. Zharn passed one over to him.
"Zharn, I don't think I'm allowed to use this." Sorran protested, holding out the blade as if it were a deadly plague. Zharn looked puzzled for a second, then his face displayed recognition.
"Nay, do not worry Sorran. What you are holding now is not a pure energy blade, but a metallic representation of it, crafted with the same element we use to create Hunter shields. Even the lower ranking Sangheili are permitted to use it. Whilst you may be hard pressed to cut through shields with it, it is most effective against anything else. I will teach you how to handle it."
Over the next few hours thus, Sorran learnt the correct usage for the blade, uppercuts, lunges, parries, and as the sun began to set, he felt he had become a lot more proficient at fighting.
"You've made remarkable progress today." Zharn praised, nodding as he did. "Of course, it is never too hard to train a Sangheili to fight: deep within every one of them is a warrior. But yes Sorran, you have exceeded my expectations. Tonight, the Deacon of this outpost is holding a sermon. I usually attend them. Will you be coming?"
Sorran thought for few moments, then nodded.
"I'd be glad to Zharn. But first, is there anywhere we can get food for our bellies? I have not eaten all day."
Zharn chuckled, and beckoned for Sorran to follow him.
"I think we can find something brother."
"Praise be the Forerunners, divine as they are!" The Unggoy Deacon leading the sermon called, and the assembled group repeated the line.
Sorran took a quick look around the room. Nearly everyone on the outpost was here, be them Unggoy, Kig-Yar, Sangheili, or Brute.
Sorran didn't like the Brutes. Very few Sangheili did. They felt that their position was being usurped by the savages, and the the Prophets showed them more favour than they should. They were a lot like a pack of the wolves native to Sangheilios, in that they worked together to kill, and constantly relayed information to one another. They were more like animals than people.
As we were all praying on our knees, Sorran felt closer to the Gods than he had ever felt before. He never usually attended sermons, except when a friend would drag him along, and so this was a new experience to him.
As the Deacon was handing out bread from a basket, a religious custom for which the meaning escaped me, the doors to the makeshift chapel burst open, and everyone turned to see a black armoured Sangheili stand in the door way, dripping wet from rain. He must have not had his shields active.
Zharn stood up, and addressed the Sangheili.
"Ahkrin! I did not expect you to be back so soon, what news have you for us?"
Ahkrin as he was called strode down the red, gilded carpet in the chapel, wheezing as he did so.
"Forgive me my brother, I have just ran over sixty miles without rest. Allow me a moment to catch my breath."
A single phrase was being muttered around the room -- Stealth Sangheili.
Sorran had heard of the Stealth Sangheili before; they had a vital, but reluctant task. Rather than fight in battle, their jobs were to observe the enemy, and report back. Many Sangheili thought this to be a task without honour. Even so though, it was needed.
Ahkrin grabbed onto a nearby pole, and breathed short and shallow for a few moments, then stood up.
"Humans are on the way here. With an army to rival ours." Ahkrin relayed to Zharn, prompting much chatter, especially amongst the Grunts.
"Then we shall crush them like the bugs they are!" Zharn cried inspiringly, clenching his fist as he did so. Ahkrin shook his head.
"You speak too soon brother." The black armoured Sangheili replied. "This is not just a normal human attack; I spied Demons with the army too."
The clamouring escalated, and even the Sangheili were exchanging nervous looks now. Sorran knew why, he had heard tales of these Human Demons back when he lived upon High Charity. Apparently, they were over 10 foot tall and could smite a Sangheili with a single touch. They were supposedly invincible.
"Enough!" Zharn shouted, and the room was instantly silent. "We shall not flee from these infidels, nor the Demons they collaborate with! We shall stand, and fight, and win. How long will they take to arrive?" The Major once again directed at Ahkrin.
"I cannot say for sure brother, but they had tanks with them, as well as larger, even slower vehicles. I think we have a few days to prepare ourselves." Ahkrin replied.
"Then prepare ourselves we shall! I shall contact the Immortal Repentance, asking for reinforcements. The rest of you, suit up, and be ready for a fight."
Halo: True Sangheili (Part Three + Four)
Date: 8 October 2009, 10:43 pm
Part Three isn't too brilliant, I admit, but to change it now would affect the rest of the story. Part Four onwards is where it gets good.
PART THREE - BESIEGED
"Sorran! We need to destroy their turrets! Lead a squad of Unggoy and destroy them, quickly!" Zharn shouted down at me from the rooftop, where he was currently engaged fighting three humans in black armour, with blue mirrored visors. Sorran nodded, and ran over to a squad of Grunts, signalling for them to follow him.
The humans were cunning, Sorran had to admit. Whilst they had all thought that the human army was still a few hours off, as their scouts relayed, the scum had dropped in these armoured soldiers via metal pods which fell from the sky. It had surprised everyone, and the humans had the advantage, for now.
Sorran ran down a side passage which would emerge on the other side of the heavy turrets which were pinning the other Covenant forces down. The Unggoy followed, armed with needler rifles.
As the Sangheili Minor ran, he encountered two humans, who quickly shouted unintelligible words in response to his appearance. Before the first could draw out his weapon, Sorran fired four rounds from his plasma rifle into the humans head, and the soldier fell to the ground
Sorran's shields flared as the other human had drawn out his weapon, and fired. Bursts of fire echoed from behind the Sangheili's back, as the Unggoy sprang into action. The human cried out in pain as the thin, crystalline shards of a needler punctured through his skin. A moment later, the shards exploded, splitting the armoured soldier into multiple sections.
Sorran looked down at the bodies with melancholia, so much life, wasted. His first kill too. Whilst most Sangheili remarked that the first kill was always the most exhilarating, Sorran only felt sick. What right did he have to judge whether or not another living creature should live. He would have stayed there all day, contemplating this terrible act, had the lead Unggoy not spoken.
"Noble one, we must take out those turrets or many shall fall!" It squeaked, and Sorran looked up, nodding. Yes, he had a duty to the Covenant. Grief was not an option.
"Yes, you are right of course. Come, we must hurry on." Sorran replied, taking care not to step on the bodies as he moved through the tunnel. The Grunts had no such inhibitions, and happily trampled over the still corpses.
They emerged out of the tunnel a moment later, into the bright light. gunfire echoed in Sorran's ears, and he looked up to see four humans operating turrets. Sorran signalled to the three Unggoy, and they began firing. The humans swore in shock and clambered off the turrets, firing. One round caught a Grunt before he knew what hit him, and he went sprawling to the ground. It made Sorran angry; a warrior had died under his command. Sorran drew out his metal blade, and leaped onto the ledge, stabbing the sword into the nearest human. It fell to to floor, convulsing.
The rest of the humans panicked and began firing upon Sorran, but the rounds simply bounced off his shields. Sorran brought the blade down on the neck of another human, and the head hit the ground, accompanied shortly after by the limp body. The other two were drawing back now, and one tripped over. Sorran quickly pounced on the screaming savage, and ended it's life.
The final soldier threw down it's weapon, and began to run. Sorran wasn't about to let it escape. He drew back the blade, and then threw. The sword arced towards the human, and lodged in it's back. The black armoured figure fell, and Sorran walked over and picked up his sword.
A voice sounded in the Sangheili Minor's ear, and he recognised it as belonging to Zharn.
"Excellent work Sorran! You have struck a mighty blow! These humans were no match for our warriors, we are disposing of the rest with ease. Come, return to the --Forerunners above, what is that?"
I felt it too. A tremor in the ground. The Grunts below squeaked in terror and looked at the ground. What was it? An Earthquake? No, there was a noise too. Turning slowly, Sorran looked out towards the horizon. What he saw terrified him.
"Tanks!" Zharn shouted over the intercom. "By the prophets, get down Sorran!"
Sorran tried to run. But there wasn't enough time. He was standing on the very edge of the outpost, and so he was targeted first. Before he could even open his mouth to cry out, an explosion smashed into the ground beside him, fired from one of the tanks in the distance. His shields were of no use, as the heavy round punched straight through them. The blast sent him flying, down to the rough ground below, ten metres from the Outpost gates.
His vision flickered, and he realised with dread he was blacking out. Zharn was calling faintly in his ear.
The world went quiet as Sorran's hearing gave out, and his eyes shut close.
He opened them in what seemed like only a few moments, but already human soldiers were within the walls of the outpost. The world went black again.
Sorran's sight restored, blurry and fuzzy. This time, the buildings in the distance were in flames. Sorran tried to move his head, but couldn't. In the corner of his eye a figure caught his attention. This human stood taller than the rest, garbed in green, full body armour.
"Demon..." Sorran managed to whisper, before he blacked out for the final time.
PART FOUR - INTO CUSTODY
Pain. Intolerable, inescapable pain was all Sorran Mahaf'ee felt, as he lay in the darkness. Was he dead? No, he can't have been. It looked nothing like the Great Journey. A dark void, devoid of light and sound, only his muddled thoughts present.
Panic gripped him: what if there was no Great Journey? What if the Prophet's had lied? Was he doomed to spend all of eternity drifting in the darkness, with heavy footfall echoing around him?
Wait; footfall? Yes, the unmistakable sound of feet meeting ground was distinguishable. Perhaps he wasn't dead after all!
His suspicions were furthered as he heard voices, tiny and distant. At first, it was like a whisper, drone like. The voices grew louder though, and Sorran realised with dread that they weren't Sangheili, nor belonging to any other species of the Covenant. They were human!
Sorran wished he could see, perhaps if he could, then he wouldn't be so afraid. But he couldn't, his eyes were shut tight. Or, he suddenly thought with horror, maybe he was blind! He put those dreadful thoughts out of his mind for the time being, and concentrated on the two voices.
"I don't think there are any survivors sir." The first said, deep and echoing, as if the human was wearing a helmet.
"Well if you find one son, don't kill it. We don't have much Intel on what the Covenant are doing on Eridanus II, so if we can capture one of the higher ranking soldiers, then we can interrogate it." The other, older sounding voice spoke.
"Roger that." The first voice replied.
Sorran tried to stay still, realising that these humans were looking for survivors, in other words, him.
Slowly, Sorran's vision restored, to his relief. He could see directly in front of him now, and nearly jumped up there and then in disgust.
A mutilated Sangheili was before him; right before him, the dead warrior's ripped open, bloody chest mere centimetres from Sorran's face.
Instinctively, Sorran shifted a fraction away from the body. A mistake, as he felt a new rush of pain as he did so, through his leg. It must have been broken. Sorran couldn't help it, he yowled in agony, and sensed the two humans turn their heads towards him, even though they were behind him.
"I guess it's your lucky day sir, here's one of their so called Elite Warriors, alive and kicking." The first human said, and Sorran felt a figure come up behind him.
Sorran braced his arm, and prepared to punch the human behind him. Humans were laughably weak, and Sorran knew that even in his decrepit, weakened state, he could probably knock it out, and perhaps level the weapon it likely held at the other human before it could react.
Gritting his jaw, Sorran ignored the pain and spun around, his fist an iron club. He felt his ragged flesh smash into the human's chestplate with a ping, but it didn't have the desired effect. The human merely laughed. It didn't even fall to the ground. Impossible. More curious than afraid, Sorran lifted his head so he could actually see the human he just tried to take out, and shirked away in fear.
Looking down at him, emotionless, was a mirrored, golden visor. Sorran knew that behind that mask burned the very fires of hell.
"D-d-d-demon!" Sorran shrieked, and attempted to rise off the floor. He managed to do so, yet before he could take a single step his legs gave out underneath him, and his face smashed into the rock below, cutting his face; displaying that his shields were damaged. The Demon bent down, and scooped up Sorran like he weighed nothing.
"Yeah, you'd better be afraid." The Demon threatened, driving an armoured fist into Sorran's gut. Sorran cried out, and coughed up blood. He felt himself being slung over the Demon's shoulder, and didn't resist. There was no way he could fight something like that. Even Hunters were afraid of the Demons.
"No trouble zero-seven-eight?" The second human asked, and Sorran looked at him. This one wasn't a Demon, but seemed to be in command.
"It tried to prick me with it's sting Lieutenant, but I've got it under control. I'd knock it out, but we don't want to run the risk of brain damage. Should we get back to the Pelican sir?" The Demon asked, and the Lieutenant nodded.
"Lead on zero-seven-eight, out work here is done."
Sorran's head was swimming, and he was only vaguely aware of what was happening. He felt himself being lead out of the outpost, and the next thing he knew, he was being slung into the back of one of the humans air transports. Sorran coughed, and looked up. There were other humans in the transport, and they seemed to be afraid of Sorran. They looked at each other nervously.
The Demon got on board, and slung Sorran into a seat. He felt his head smash against the metal interior of the 'Pelican', and his hand came away from the back of his head warm and sticky with purple blood.
"You try anything, and I will break you like a twig." The Demon said, tying Sorran's hands together, as well as his legs. It was a crude material, the humans hadn't even worked out how to use energy as a means to bind someone. Still, the rough rope did the job, and Sorran couldn't move in his pitiful state. All he could do was cower in fear.
What were these humans going to do to him? His thoughts were drowned out as the human transport lifted off the ground, and it sailed off into the distance. Sorran thought about trying to jump out, the hatch was open, and he could probably survive the fall. But there was the Demon to think about, it would either grab him or shoot him before he could reach the ground. Sorran sighed, and wished he was still in his Library, back before all of this mess had begun.
Far below in the outpost, Zharn Refun'ee disengaged his active camouflage, and watched the humans leave with Sorran. At least he'd managed to slip a tracker onto the drop ship before it had left. He hadn't dared to do more, the Demon was more than a match for him.
Kicking the ground in frustration, Zharn once again activated his camouflage, and set off in pursuit of the glowing beacon on his display.
He would rescue his warrior, no matter the danger.