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Fan Fiction

Halo: Twisted Origin by Pinkuh

Halo: Twisted Origin: Chapter 1
Date: 16 May 2005, 7:07 PM

Chapter 1:Beginnings

Sometimes life is not everything that it seams. Some people will live out their lives completely untouched and ignored by the forces at work. However, some people are destined for great things .Often times the greatness of people is overlooked, they are singled out, leaving them alone and ridiculed. Yet these are the people that are truly strong. It is these people who will stand up. It is these people who will fight for everyone's freedom.

They are tough. They are proud. And they have no fear.

      Dust swam around the closed windows of the elementary school making the place full of children seem barren. The planet Lecithin was a long forgotten colony of earth, surviving somehow off of the meager crops it's poor soil produced. The people were poor, the land was poor, and the whole planet was over crowded. Children were left abandoned while their parents died. The war with the covenant was the graceful end all were looking for on this planet, no more suffering, and no more bringing children into a world that could not support them.

      However, what weighs in the mind of an adult, does not weigh in the mind of a child. Blue eyes darted across the dusty window smiling as she watched the dust clouds take the shapes of animals she had only read about. elephants, giraffes, foxes, and turtles danced across the dust causing the girl to grin and giggle.

      A sharp thwap on her desk brought her back to reality and caused her to glance up to the old teacher who was now hovering over her desk.

"Mrs. Hollingsworth, If you do not straiten up and pay attention your rations will be taken away." The teacher said angrily.

Anna scowled back at the long nosed teacher. All of them were always looking for a way to spread the rations further. She had watched one of the class clowns first loose his food because of his loudness, then to the fact that he could not keep awake. He got so gaunt, and so weak that he could no longer attend the classes anymore. He was gone forever, as were others. Starved away because of the facilities discipline. Anna herself was thin, way to thin for a five year old. When she stood still you could see her small ribs and rib line. Forgetting about the teacher, and about her probably going to be missed rations tonight she turned back to the window.

Her mind began forming shapes in the dust again, when she saw something. quickly she turned making sure the teacher wasn't looking. The teacher was scolding someone else who had fallen asleep at the desks. quickly Anna turned and watched as a small blue light came down, darted across the dusty playground and left.

"Misses Hollingsworth!" The teacher yelled causing Anna to spin around and sit back in her chair. "That is the second time, No rations for you tonight."

Anna grumbled and crossed her arm's angrily over her chest. She didn't care anymore, all she wanted was to get out of the school for her recess.

The clocked ticked along agonizingly slow, as it often does for those who are waiting, but soon the bell rang and the children went racing for the dust covered playground. Anna herself was tired, and hungry, so although she wanted out her feet dragged on the ground slowly. She made it to the swings and watched as the well fed kids with parents played a game of capture the flag. Anna watched as if in a daze as the kid with the red flag went darting across the pavement and onto the sand. Anna watched the sand as the wind began to pick up again, sending dust up into the air is great swirls.

She stared again, wondering what the little blue light was that had visited earlier was. Maybe she was hallucinating. Her child like mind thought about how nice it would be for the animals forming in the dust to be her play friends, To help her find fruits on the lush bushes that covered the ground. The dust began to pick up even more, sending sand into the mix and causing children and teachers alike to shield their eyes. Anna quickly held a hand to her face and looked up to the sky hoping that the speed of the sand would keep it momentarily out of her eyes. Blinking she stared Skyward and began to catch glimpses of the pale blue sky.

It was then she saw something, a small dot darker then the sky. The sand and dust continued to swirl, its pace quickening causing the projectile sand to start stinging. Anna quickly turned her head away from the wind her eyes aiming strait at the city.

A sudden burst of Air and light Knocked Anna over backwards and off the swing. The ground began to shake and rumble violently. The light had dissipated, but it had a source. Anna Struggled to right herself around her foot was caught in the swing she had just been sitting in. The Children around her began to scream, and the teachers began to join the course. Anna looked back to the city and saw something She had never expected to see. A Giant bluish white beam was centered on the city Everything that came into the path of the beam was gone after it had past. Something inside of the girl was screaming at her to run, to get away. But a calmer more logical part of her was cooing telling her that running now would be pointless.

Still sitting with her tangled leg Anna Glanced back up to the sky. The Air had begun to get hot, and several other white beams appeared in the distance. There was another rumbling and Anna Quickly reached up to cover her ears. The screaming became louder, somehow rising over the din, everyone was screaming to take shelter. The Small air sirens began to wail and call out a warning.

" Covenant Drop Ships have arrived, please Evacuate all essential personal into the safe Area's."

Drop ships? Anna Had read and had heard horror stories about billions of people glassed out of existence in a second, but never, had her small mind ever heard about the covenant landing on a planets surface. The din Still Roaring Anna untangled herself and sat up still covering her ears. That's when she noticed it. Out of the corner of her eye she saw movement, Movement in the sky. Quickly her ringing ears abandoned she stood and looked full onto a ship coming in her direction. With a start she ran towards the school, but stopped dead when the scene of panic hit her. People were forcing their way into and out of the school, crying hysterically, screaming, Pushing and pulling. Anna's eyes couldn't help but fall to the ground in front of the doors where children, to small to protect themselves had been trampled into the ground, their would be wet eyes stuck with dust, and their mouths open in what would have been their final Dieing Agony.

Death was in those doors, Especially for someone so small. Anna looked up at the ship which was beginning to descend slowly on the only open ground. Death also waited for her here, but the death here would be far less painful then dieing at the feet of her peers. Quietly she stood people still running around her. The Ship touched the ground and shadows began to flow silently out of it. The Ships Engines stopped their wining and the silence of the screams filled Anna's ears.

She heard them then, Yelling in their own tongue, there were cries, and answers back. A giant yell signaled the group to move and move they did. Anna Watched with dull eyes as the creatures, large and small made their way across the playground, and either into the school to kill the humans there, or kill the humans elsewhere. It was Then Anna noticed she was being watched. People were running around trying to escape from the long necked elites, but they were ignoring her. All accept for the two standing outside of the drop ship. They were talking to one another and motioning to her.... She strained her ears to try and hear them.

"<Hey look at that small one standing there.>" The black armored Elite said motioning towards the rather surly looking human child.

Honey brown eyes blinked and mandibles clicked in amusement. Tokuamalee was the commanding officer of this small group sent down to retrieve an artifact housed on this dusty planet. It was a small mission, but an important one, as all artifact missions were. His group had been specifically formed from thousands. Not all of his men were combat ready, allot of his men were comprised of scientists and low level warriors. All of them were in a word "Delicate" they would think before blasting something to hell and back, which could both be a blessing and a curse.

"<Hmmm, Strange.>" Tokuamalee said stepping forward. "< It doesn't run like the others.>"

The black ones energy sword activated with a sharp snap Hiss. Tokuamalee was curious as to why this small human hadn't moved yet but it would have been heresy for him to reach out and grab his brother in arms to prevent him from charging. He watched carefully as his brother in black armor charged forwards....

Anna was squinting hard, still trying to make out what they were saying, the language was alien, but she could just about make out some of the shorter words. She saw one of them tense, and then an energy sword burst to life. Faster then she could imagine the Elite was charging at her. Anna Braced herself and snarled at the approaching warrior.

"STOP IT MONSTERS GO AWAY!!!!" Anna screamed at the top of her lungs, causing the Elite charging for her to loose his footing, and the one behind him to start running forward.

Anna Shuddered as the Elite regained his footing and skidded to a halt right in front of her. The other approaching elite in the gold armor had slowed down and was watching. Anna was panicked but she held her ground. She managed to Find and capture the Elite's eyes causing him to falter yet again. Anna Cringed when he lowered himself and raised his sword.

"You monsters!" She cried out her voice remaining strong. "My teacher said you don't exist! So Don't exist anymore!!"

A single tear began to drift down Anna's face causing a clean streak in her dust covered visage.

"Please, don't exist...."

... The girl looked down and began to rub at her eyes, chocked sobs wracking her small frame. Tokuamalee approached his brother his hearts momentarily fluttering with thanks that he had spared this child.

"<I-It's strange.>" The Black armored Elite said the sword held low his head bowed. "<I can't bring myself to judge this one, She has a warriors eyes, but is only a child.>"

And the trouble with having thinkers on Tokuamalee's team reared it's ugly head.

"<Maybe her Human heresy has yet to take root,>" Tokuamalee said his thumbs kneading the hilt of his own sword. "<Maybe there is a chance for redemption in this one, a chance for her to atone for her sins.>"

Tokuamalee quickly made his way around the child to her back.

"<To speak such things, IS heresy.>" The black armored elite said his head bowing lower still.

"<Then my brother, you have not spoken, and I shall act on your behalf.>" Tokuamalee said motioning for some of the grunts to surround the girl.

Anna looked up confused and panicked. She didn't know what was happening. The nightmare wasn't going away.

"<Listen here Unggoy this human is to not be harmed.>" Tokuamalee said his commanding voice making some of the more squeamish Grunts jump.

Anna turned and looked to the tall elite standing behind her the last of hear tears wiped away leaving a dirty smear on her already dirty clothes.

"Come girl, if you want to live." Tokuamalee said reaching down with his double thumbed hand.

Anna was so confused, her brain had yet to catch up to the current situation, and when the Elite suddenly spoke her language her mind had begun to do flip-flops. Before she could think about what she was saying her mouth had answered for her.


Tokuamalee was also suppressed by the child's simple, yet bold statement. So surprised was he that he completely missed her backing up and beginning to wrestle with one of the grunts in an attempt to get his plasma pistol.

"<What in the rings?>" The black armored elite said reaching for the girl only to have her fall backwards with the Grunt's Plasma pistol in tow.

"D-don't move!" Anna said fumbling with the weapon to get it righted around. "I'll shoot!"

"Wait girl!" Tokuamalee said reaching for her again. "That's dangerous."

Anna didn't hear the warning. She quickly stood and began to grip with all her might on the weapon. Much to her surprise a green glowing ball began to form and the gun began to jerk violently.

"<Get a hold of her before she hurts herself!>" Tokuamalee shouted. Causing the bulk majority of the grunts to scatter. "Girl stop this nonsense."

Anna couldn't stop it, the ball just got bigger and bigger and it took all her strength to keep the crackling gun from jumping clean out of her hands.

"<Tokuamalee! What's going on?>" The group of Elites that had scattered out of the school grounds during the rush came running back with a small black box.

It was then that Anna lost control the gun blasting her onto her back and the bolt whizzing by Tokuamalee's head and into the oncoming men. The Elites scattered as the bolt went flying into the distance.

"<By the prophets! What is going on?>" One of the Elites that scattered said pulling himself up.

Tokuamalee quickly made sure the oncoming men were ok then turned back to the now dazed girl who was sitting on her rear shaking her head. Quickly Tokuamalee snatched the gun from her fingers and threw it onto the ground out of the girls reach.

"<What was the meaning of that? Who shot at us!>" Angry shouts came as Tokuamalee reached for the girl.

"<A human child.>" Tokuamalee said as the girl came out of her daze just to avoid being grabbed by his double thumbed hands. "<I was Struck by an Idea, and it would be a sin to the forunner for me not to explain it in the most holy manner to the prophets.>"

The group quickly approached as Tokuamalee made another grab only to have the child dart forward and slip through his tall legs. He felt a small fist make contact with his armor on his lower leg, no damage to him, but the small girl cried out in pain and went dancing around grabbing her fist. The others looked on in absolute horror, and amusement. In the moment of confusion Tokuamalee quickly reached over and grabbed the girl by the wrist which earned a yelp.

"<As feisty as this one is, she will make an excellent asset if properly trained.>" Tokuamalee glanced at the men his mandibles vibrating slightly in warning to those that may stand against his Idea. "<Any of you wish to disagree?>"

"<Sir, with all due respect...>" It was the black one that had gotten him into this mess in the first place, the girl had begun to whimper which made him grab her torso and support her on his chest armor. "<Even bringing a Human to the ship is going to be difficult, much less to the high charity. I see where your plan is going, And yes, if the prophets will see fit to listen and look past her Human heresy it will work, but getting her there will be tough. >"

The others murmured in agreement and began to talk about "the plan.". The girl had begun to struggle again and Tokuamalee tried to get her to sit still.

"Girl I am not going to kill you! Just hold... ARRRGHHHH"

Sharp human teeth had found their way to Tokuamalee's exposed hand. In an instant swords were drawn and weapons ready. Tokuamalee stood the Human held out from his chest her small arms gripping onto his large arm. Dark Purple blood began to drip down her chin and onto the dusty ground. Tokuamalee was about to grab her again when she suddenly dropped from his arm and hit the ground coughing and sputtering.

A sudden burst of laughter filtered through the ranks.

"<Prophets Be damned! You were drowning her in your blood!>" One of the members called causing more rough laughter.

Tokuamalee quickly reached down and slapped the girl hard across the face.

"You Girl, will never do that again unless ordered." The laughter become higher as the grunts began to join in at the girl's misfortune.

Quickly Tokuamalee scooped up the still coughing girl and began carrying her towards the drop ship. Just in time too, the small mic in his ear began to chirp for attention....

Anna was dazed as was revisiting what had led up to her being totted at the hip of this giant gold covered elite. He was jabbering away at a million miles a minute into a mic that she couldn't see. Her hands were free and her wrist was bruised. Her mouth tasted like rotten fruit and meat all blended into one fine sauce, her head hurt because she was slapped for biting the elite, and yet she wasn't dead. Her stomach hurt because of the lack of food, and her ribs hurt because of the way the elite was carrying her. She was in shock. Her 5 year old brain couldn't handle the days events, so she did the only thing she could do, and that was hang limp and want to go to sleep.

Try as she might the position she was in was just to uncomfortable to attempt to sleep in. Looking up she saw they were at the lip of the drop ship and had stopped moving. Craning her neck she looked up to the elite who was looking over his men as they filed into the small craft. Each one of them regarded her as they passed. Anna Watched her curious blue eyes meeting with the many that passed. Soon all were aboard and the aliens, both large and small began to strap in.

"Where am I going?" Anna asked her child like voice carrying an innocence to it.

The elite set her down roughly, his wounded hand had yet to stop bleeding. Anna realized then that she was being carried by the Elites wounded hand and his purple blood had soaked into her dusty dirty pink shirt. Anna looked up and stood still as the Elite strapped her in with care.

"You are going to the Heavens, where the prophets will decide if your sins can be atoned for." Tokuamalee said sitting back into his own seat and strapping in. "If you can not be cleansed, then you will die, if you can be cleansed of your human heresy you will be a great tool in the great journey."

Anna nodded, she knew what a sin was, but she was unaware that any sins had been committed, beyond not listening to her teacher and biting the Elites hand.

"Do you think I can be cleansed?" Anna said her small hand working at one of the small belts that strapped her in.

"We shall see, young one, we shall see."


About an hour later a very exhausted team of Elites arrived on one of the cruisers orbiting the now glassed planet. The Human girl had fallen asleep before the ship had even reached the atmosphere, and about a half hour into their flight Tokuamalee realized that he had hit the girl rather hard. The area surrounding the girls eye was swollen and red. Tokuamalee felt a pang of regret for the hit, but the girl had been unreasonable.

The whole trip up had been Tokuamalee thinking about what he was going to tell the ship captain about the small human girl in his possession. He had informed captain over the radio that he had some human cargo, but had not informed him of the age, or the purpose of the cargo. Just as the ship shuddered in the dock he had come up with what he was going to say to the captain. He was going to be able to side step telling the captain exactly why he had rescued the girl by using the same excuse he had used on the ground. A vision that only the prophets must hear. The others in his command agreed with him, especially the scientists in his group which were itching to study the human child's growth pattern. Dissect as many humans as they wanted, it was a rare treat to get a human fully intact, and a human that was so young it had not even gone through it's biggest growth cycle.

When the ship was given the all clear Tokuamalee and the others had exited. However, it took a moment for Tokuamalee to remember the small human. Quickly he went back inside the ship and un-strapped the human girl. The girl opened her one good eye for a moment and a momentary panic took her. But just as soon as it started it stopped when she recognized the elite in front of her. Her good eye drifted closed again and she had leaned forward into the kneeling elite. Had he not had his own child he would have probably thought it foolish for the girl to be doing such an action. But even the young of his kind made the same motions to adults, but only when there was a key feeling. Trust.

Tokuamalee quickly gathered the small child up and held her against his chest armor with one hand. The vivid ultra violet spectrum of the ships many signs filled his vision when he passed out of the ships hold. His men were waiting there, waiting for his command.

"<Brothers, today's mission was a complete success. We not only found the artifact in record time, but no one was injured, and no one greeted death.>" He said shifting the weight of the girl. "<We have also found a tool for the great journey, one that will help us along the path to paradise. Please, return to your quarters on this ship. I will De-brief you once we hit the convent city High Charity. I shall relay our glorious success to the ship captain. For those of you that are not military please go now and write in your logs. Be sure no detail goes unmissed, and the observations you made may bring light in this dark hour of war. For those of you that are military, please refrain from writing in your logs till we have reached High Charity. No one speak about this until you have been fully de-briefed. You are dismissed!>"

There was a bark of compliance and the elites and grunts turned to leave. Tokuamalee was slower, out of the docking bay doors there would be other Aliens to deal with. Other aliens that wouldn't take near as kindly to the girl as his crew did. Looking down to the girl she still had dust dried tears and his own blood caked around her mouth. lifting her slightly she also had his blood all over her neck and on her shirt and pants. She also seemed to have misplaced a shoe somewhere along the way. He sighed as he reached the doors. The girl was absolutely pathetic looking, even for a human.

The doors hissed open and a hallway expanded outward from the dock. Brutes, Grunts, Elites, jackals, and engineers were hustling about. Tokuamalee was walking like he knew what he was doing and most of the other aliens didn't even look hard enough to see the small human shaped package in his arms. Only a few times did they stop to look, but none of them dared stop Tokuamalee, he was one of three gold Lieutenants on that ship and outranked everyone onboard accept the ships captain.

He quickly made his way though the long hallways and to a lift that led to the bridge. As the lift rose the girl shifted and groaned putting the swollen part of her eye on the cold metal breastplate of Tokuamalee's armor. Tokuamalee stood stark still, fearing that the security on the ship would see him and accuse him of human Sympathy. When the lift reached the bridge dock and finally opened Tokuamalee held his breath. If anything could go wrong the second he made it to the bridge would be that moment. Quickly he stepped through the doors and two giant brutes saluted him. They were the bridge guards.

Tokuamalee quickly saluted back and watched as both Brutes tensed with they saw the child. Tokuamalee didn't falter though, He continued onward without so much as a look back. He knew he had to do this correctly otherwise both he and the Child would be dead before they got out of this room.

"<Tokuamalee,>" The voice startled Tokuamalee out of his thoughts and forced him to look up onto the bridge deck. "<Please get up here now.>"

It was the captain Sorgath Seiamee and he was looking over the edge at Tokuamalee with curious eyes. Quickly Tokuamalee got to the lift and rose up to the bridge itself. Sorgath Seiamee was there to meet him.

"< I want to commend you on job well done!>" He said momentarily forgetting the militaries protocol by forgetting to wait for Tokuamalee's salute. "<No men lost, and the artifact found in record time, your team is excellent! The planet has been glassed and we are going to be on our way within the next hours, It was a stunningly fast operation! The prophets will be pleased!> "

It was then that Tokuamalee quickly remembered to raise his hand in salute, and the captain equally as flustered at the blunder returned it in record time. It was then that the excited captain looked down to the small bundle in Tokuamalee's arm's. The small Bundle that had awakened during the loud outburst by the captain had been staring at him, and for a moment all the captain could do was sit there and stare back.

"<Captain, as I said in my transmission earlier I have a Human captive.>" Tokuamalee said noting as the child slid her fingers under his armor and seemed to pull herself closer to him. "< This is the Human Captive.>"

"<On the Bridge?!?>" The captain sputtered.

"<Yes, That planet gave me a strange vision to....>"

"<You Brought this Human heretic onto the Holist part of our ship!>" The captain said anger seeping into his voice.

"<Listen, I was given a Holy vision that couldn't have been from anyone but the forunner themselves.>" Tokuamalee said gripping the child closer. "<If I was to not share this information with the Prophets It would not only be a Sin onto myself, and yourself for not letting me speak, but it would be a sin to the whole covenant. This girl holds a Key to the great journey, one I can not explain to anyone but the prophets themselves, for the vision said if I share it to anyone but those who's ears are pure enough to hear it would be Hearsay on myself and my family. If you want to have this sin on your soul then strike myself and this Human down.>"

The bridge was Dead silent and the captain was mulling over the words very carefully.

"< If what you say is true then it is not in my power to strike you down.>" The captain said scowling caught in the girls eyes. "<However if you have deceived me in any way your soul will rot in the hells of eternity. You have been serving under me since you were young, never in your life have you done something so, brash as this. Your calm, levelheaded. More so then most. The Prophets have seen this as well, I hope they see things in your favor Tokuamalee, it would be a shame to loose you.>"

"<Sir, because of the sensitivity of this subject there is no way I can't do this without completely seeming as though I lost my mind.>" Tokuamalee said, earning a solemn nod from the captain.

"<Does she have a name?>" The captain said coming closer to inspect the girl up close.

"What is your name young one." Tokuamalee said causing the girl to swing her head to look at the elite.

"My name, is Anna," She said her voice cutting through conversations on the bridge and causing total silence. "I am five years old."

The captain regarded her with a wary eye.

"<5 years old....>" the captain said half to himself as an alarm started to go off. <"Keep her away from Prying eyes, I need to report to my commander, and he needs to report to the remaining chain of command. I can not assure your safety, lets call this a test.>"

"" Tokuamalee said following as the captain walked up to one of the transparent consoles.

"" The captain said turning slightly the ridge above one eye raising just slightly. "<If she is truly key, then fate will not hand her to the justice of our peers. Your dismissed, May the rings guide you.>"

Tokuamalee quickly nodded and raised his hand up in a salute. He knew that it was going to be an interesting period of time, and he sure hoped the girl was worth it.


Anna was scared, very scared. When they were walking through the hallways through her good eye she saw aliens she had never seen before. While none of them looked at her with any kind of malice, for the moment, she felt that if she made to much noise it would be a bad thing. As they had walked Anna gripped tightly around the lip of the Elites armor and squeezed her eyes shut again and drifted out.

When she had come to again she had awoken to the excited yelling of another elite. She couldn't help but stare at him. He was a little shorter then the one that had her now, and of all the elites she had seen he was the most flamboyant. The excited jabbering had continued till he had spotted her looking at him. Then The elite she was with spoke. It was little comfort however, because the Elite standing in front of them started to yell again, this time angrily and motioning towards little Anna.

Anna didn't know what she had done, but obviously whatever it was, was very very bad. She tried to pull herself closer to the elite she was with in attempts to get the fire off of her. It was then that she felt his arm tighten around her drawing her closer to him. comfort. Anna felt it, he was worried, protecting her. He began to speak in calm tones towards the other Elite. He was being slow, and deliberate with his words. Anna swiveled her head from the Elite she was with to the one standing in front, and watched as he visibly straitened and fidgeted.

The elite began speaking to Anna's Elite again and they both spoke together. Anna could feel the elite under her trying to not emphasize his points. little shifts in balance here and there. It was hard for the girl to keep still and not wiggle in attempt to let out her own nervous energy.  Again her eyes met the other elite's and they froze.

When he asked her age, Anna replied as monotone as she could. He seemed to mull it over, and then quicker then Anna thought should have happened her, and her elite were on their way back the way they had came. Anna was awake this time, and took in as much as her eyes could. The gravity lift they went on from the bridge scared her, and the lift that took them up to the crew quarters scared her even more.

"But if we step into that we are gonna fall!" Anna Exclaimed he fingers still wrapped tightly around the chest armor of the elite as she looked down the shoot.

"No we are not going to fall, it is going to take us to where we can sleep." Tokuamalee said exhausted. "Hold on."

Anna Didn't have a chance to protest before they were rocketed skyward. Anna was afraid at first, but then as it went on she just leaned her head back down. She watched as the hallways zoomed past from her perch and sighed as they finally reached their destination.

"Get up girl we are here." Tokuamalee said opening his door.

Anna sat upright in his arms and rubbed at her good eye in a sleepy gesture. When she looked around she was surprised the room, like the rest of the ship was brightly colored with purples blues and violets. the floor was a different texture, soft yet stable. Before she could look around to much more she was flopped unceremoniously on the ground.

"You girl are very lucky." The elite said fluffing her dirty hair as he walked over to what looked like a glass case. "No one even stopped us, no one asked any questions. I am really starting to Believe that maybe you do have something special. "

Anna quickly stood up and started exploring.

"I am not special." Anna said  crouching as she walked under the table that was supported by the same things that made the lifts work. "I didn't have a mom, or a dad, no one wanted me. I am unwanted."

The elite momentarily stopped opening the complicated case and looked at the girl as she went from the table over to the closet.

"What is your name?" Anna said hefting the heave closet door to the side and glancing inside before walking over to the other side of the room.

"My Name is Toku, Tokuamalee." The elite said still reeling from the matter of fact way she said she was unwanted.

"Tokuamalee," Anna repeated pressing along the bed as she passed it and walked towards the bathroom. "What does it mean?"

"Protector of the house of  glory." Tokuamalee said for some reason taking pride in his name at that moment. "It is a great honor to carry my name. It was given to me by my father, and to him from his father, for generations, back even before the prophets. I have in turn given it to my son. and he to his."

Tokuamalee watched as the girl disappeared into the bathroom and he heard her small feet, one still with a shoe on, the other bare flopping on the cool tiles.

"Wow your toilets don't look that much different from ours!" Came the startled explanation from the bathroom. "Wow! this is cool!"

Tokuamalee had to laugh.

"Yes, we both walk upright, it would make since for our bodies to  work in a similar way when it comes to ?toilet' matters." Tokuamalee said clicking his mandibles in amusement. "What about you little one? What does ?Anna Hoolingswod mean."

There was a sharp giggle from the bathroom and then a smiling face popped out from the door.

"No no, Anna Hollingsworth." She said annunciating her name correctly. "It means grace of the Holy land."

It was then that Tokuamalee's hands slipped and let go of his helmet and sent it crashing on the floor. It was also then that thousands of sayings came flooding into his head that had been taught to him since birth.

"the grace of the holy lands will come when we least expect it, leading us to the great journey. We must always be prepared and watch with open eyes and be warm and accepting when it comes. For those that shun the grace of the lands, they will be lead to the path of the heretics. It will come to us in the most unassuming package and will show us the correct path...."

His mind wouldn't stop regaling, everything he had been taught, the finding of the rings, the great journey, everything was beginning to move.

"To witness this, is beyond what any single Sangheili should have the rights to witness." Tokuamalee said his hands working in the air where his helmet should have been. "A child, this child. No, No one must know, they can't, they all have to see it for themselves... that's what the saying said....."

A small tug on his leg armor brought the flustered Elite back to reality. He looked down and what he saw was a little girl, still bloody around the mouth, holding up his helmet for him to take.

"I, I am sorry." Speaking was becoming a problem, he was to flustered. "Look, you are dirty, you need to clean up. Take a shower and take this."

Tokuamalee quickly reached into a small storage area near his armor and pulled out a gray shirt.

"It will be big on you, but it will cover you till proper adornments can be found." He said handing Anna the overly large shirt.

Anna quickly snatched the shirt and ran for the bathroom again. It took her several tries but she finally got the door to close leaving Tokuamalee to his own thoughts.

Anna quickly looked up at the tall controls and soon figured out how to work them. The water wasn't the water she was used to. No, it had a funny smell, like Sulfur. quickly she began to scrub at her skin with a cleaning sponge that had been left in the shower. Anna was so happy to be getting clean she began to hum in her merriment.


Tokuamalee quickly stripped the bulk of his armor off for cleaning. he left the lower part of his battle suit on and put one of the gray shirts on over his shoulders.  Everything happened for a reason, everything. But this was just to much for his mind to handle. Rubbing his head he walked over to the oversized bed and sat down his hands rubbing at his eyes. His thoughts were wondering to the little girl. Fate had indeed forced his brother in arms to spare her, and he in turn to spare her, and the captain, and every last alien on this ship to spare her. If the covenant would only spare her, the prophets. How the hell was he going to explain the meaning of her name, the meaning of everything.

"No, her name needs to remain unsaid." Tokuamalee said rubbing his bottom jaw.

The little strange butterflies that were building inside of him. Nothing he could think would make them go away.


Anna quickly exited the shower as soon as she felt she was clean enough. She had used public showers all her known life and even though she was only five she was more then able to get herself into and out of a shower without to much hassle. As quickly as she could she dried off and opened the bathroom door. She walked in and realized that the lights had been dimmed and the Elite had taken off his armor and was on the bed with his back toward her.

Anna couldn't help but feel suddenly very cold, and more alone then she had ever felt in her whole life. At least at the school she had other kids to interact with, but now, she had nothing but a scary alien who would probably kill her at a moments notice. Looking closer Anna saw that a pile of covers had been tossed off the bed and roughly onto the floor. Quickly and quietly Anna snuck over to the bed where the covers fell. She took them and dragged them over to the only true corner of the room near the closet and made herself a small nest to curl up in. climbing into the covers she watched as the Elites back rose and fell with his steady breathing.

It was then she felt the choke of all the held back tears. As quietly as she could she covered her face and sobbed into the welcoming blankets. She cried for the people that died on the planet that day, She cried because she was alone, She cried because she wanted to be loved, and she cried because the only thing that had shown her true kindness was an Alien. She Cried bitter tears for the humans that night, and soon she cried herself to sleep not caring what tomorrow would bring.


Tokuamalee heard the young child's crying, and wanted to hold her, to tell her it would be ok. He wanted to do everything in the world for her that moment, but it would have gone against every teaching he had learned. He waited till the girl had stopped crying and then let his mind slowly wander into the realm of sleep himself.

Halo: Twisted Origin: Chapter 2
Date: 18 May 2005, 6:21 PM

Chapter 2 Art

Chap 2: Down the Narrow path

A child is a child regardless of race, sex, or spices. Troublesome they may be they are often times full of wisdom and should not be ignored.

Anna had woken up in the middle of the night when she heard what only could have been called shivering from the elite Tokuamalee who had rescued her the day previous. When she quietly walked over to the bed she found out that was exactly what the Elite was doing. Had her mind been any older she would have blanched at the seemingly human action, but because she was still young she instead hauled the blankets she had curled up in back over to the bed and had tossed them as best as she could over the large elite. It was also then in her sleepy haze that she climbed up into the corner of the bed and curled back up and drifted back into her sleep.
Tokuamalee was not aware that he had fallen asleep before Anna had gotten out of the shower. In fact most of the events of the day before were hazy when he first got up. So his immediate reaction when one of his legs wouldn't move was that he was captured. Quickly scrambling out of the bed he stood up to his full height and pulled the covers off. Hissing he looked down to his bed only to find the Human child he had rescued still curled up sound asleep. It was then that the headache began to set in. It was also then that the Shift alarm went off causing the girl to bolt up right and scream.

Anna had much the same reaction that Tokuamalee had when he found out he couldn't move. However she had much less grace and in her hurry to get up and off the bed she fell and managed to twist herself into the sheets that Tokuamalee had just pulled off the bed. Blinking Anna looked up, only to be met by the honey brown slitted eyes, and for a moment there was no recognition there. Tokuamalee was just about to dive on top of her to prevent her from screaming when her eyes brightened and a smile crossed her face.

"I thought I was dreaming." Anna said carefully unwinding herself from the sheets. "You really do exist!"

Tokuamalee dropped the sheets and relaxed a bit. The details were coming back slowly, making his head pound worse.

"Yes, I do." Tokuamalee said turning towards the bathroom. "Stay here and sit on the bed, I will be right back."

Anna quickly scrambled up onto the bed again and sat kicking her feet off the ledge. The fear she had yesterday had all but disappeared. Anna heard the water turn on and sighed. Her brain wouldn't let her sit still and soon she had scrambled up onto one of the chairs at the table and was pretending her fingers were animals. It was then that the Elite stumbled out of the bathroom and walked over to the same glass case he put his armor in that night.

"So, what happens to me?" Anna said stopping him in the middle of grabbing his lower leg armor. "I mean, well, I don't really have any place to go."

Tokuamalee looked at the child his own eyes wide.

"That's right, we don't have any place for you, yet." He said feeling the strings of his heart tug when Anna's face fell. "Until we do, you will stay with me. Your going to have to stay close and keep up, if you get to far away from me others wont be so kind."

Mentally Tokuamalee was beating himself over the head singing a mantra of, 'I can't let this girl taint my views of humanity, she is different, all the rest need to die for their sins. She is different, she is different she is different...' It was then that a loud grumbling noise brought him out of his momentary meditation.

"Uh, heh, well, my stomach." Anna said looking down as she pulled her shirt up reveling her small ribs and hip bones. "I um, am hungry, I would like to eat, if that's ok with you?"

Tokuamalee just about knocked the girl over with a small energy bar.

"Here, here, yes eat!" He said cringing at how much her ribs stuck out, he had not been one to not study up on the human race, and he knew for damned sure that Anna was way underfed. "Did they not allow you to eat?"

Horrified at the thought of what Humans did to their young made the armor slide on faster then usual.

"Well they would, sometimes, they were mean, and if I so much as looked the wrong way they would take away my rations." Anna said greedily pealing away the wrapper and ingesting the flavorless energy bar like it was the finest cake. "they were mean, and because I didn't have rich parents I couldn't eat as much as the rest did."

Revolted by the images floating through his mind Tokuamalee's mandibles chattered and scraped against one another in agitation.

"Young one, so long as we are both living, I will make sure you will not go hungry." Tokuamalee said his hoofed foot slamming the floor in determination. "We are going to be dropping out of slip space here shortly, we should make it to the mess hall before that happens so we can get a good meal before we have to run the gauntlet."

"Should I go put on my clothes?" Anna said hopping off the chair and into the bathroom.

"No no! Tokuamalee said quickly thinking. "No, they have my blood on them, chances are they are ruined. And I don't want people to see us running around with me having a patched up hand, and you with my blood on your front. No I will call for some clothes. They wont fit great, but they will be enough to keep you covered."

Anna dashed back out of the bathroom and onto the bed, only to be motioned back into the bathroom again.

"No, Stay there, It is going to cause enough curiosity as is for be to be asking for a pair of jackal training clothes, and I don't need you floating around here to cause any more questions till we absolutely can't avoid coming out." Tokuamalee said shutting the door. I swear on the great journey that if we make it to high charity without injury that I will become a monk and swear my life to the prophets library.

Cursing as he went Tokuamalee went over to the com he pressed the button. Immediately there was a voice asking what he needed.

"< I need a jackals training outfit.>" Tokuamalee said he voice commanding and fierce.

There was a hesitant confirmation and then just about a minute later there was a small alarm signifying that his order had arrived. Tokuamalee opened the door only to be faced with a very nervous very green solder who must have just shipped out on this very mission. His blue armor was polished to the point where it reflected the hallways around him. To his credit as soon as the door fully slid open the elite stood in a salute, and the shaking almost stopped, almost. Tokuamalee returned the Salute.

"<Sir, I have your requested... gear.>" The blue elite said handing him the small set of clothing in a vacuumed bag. "<is there anything else you need?>"

"<No no, this is fine soldier.>" Tokuamalee said patting the soldier on the arm in a friendly gesture. "<Carry on.>"

The Soldier quickly saluted and Tokuamalee saluted back. The second he closed the door was the second Anna popped out of the bathroom. Her energy was astounding to the Elite.

"Listen, Anna I need to set you some ground rules." Tokuamalee said motioning for the girl to sit in front of the table. "This is not your planet, these are not your people, in fact, every single last person on here will KILL you at a moments notice."

Anna stopped and looked up to the elite with wide eyes.

"I am not going to fill you with the same delusions those humans did." Tokuamalee said watching as Anna climbed up onto the chair and set on a serious face. "What you experienced yesterday, everything you watched, and saw. Everything you felt when you first saw me. You need to feel that now. There are no friends beyond those doors, there are only enemies. Beyond those doors are people that hate you for simply existing, for being. They will not hesitate to kill you. You can not act out of line, and you can not go off on your own. I do not want out of hoofs range. There is no way for me to get you out of trouble if you get into it."

Anna flopped her elbows on the table and scowled for all she was worth.

"Its going to be no different then." Anna said her fingers tracing the package on the small table. "I am used to following orders."

"Only these orders ARE the difference between life and death here." Tokuamalee said emphasizing his words with his hands, a common human practice. "If you survive to see the prophets, then your life will be in their hands. Then you can breath. But your an Alien here now, Your a heretic, a sinner, and there are people who think it is their duty to judge you before the prophets can. That is why. If you can make it, if you follow my orders, your role in our covenant will be one of the most glorious. You will become our sister in arms. And there is no greater blessing any human can ask."

Anna sighed and looked at the clothing.

"Do you think they will want me?" Anna said taking the package a hopping off the chair.

"If they don't want you, then they will not want me as well." Tokuamalee said his own role in the play finally settling. "We, us, and our fates are tied together, your life is tied to mine, and mine to yours. They will want you, but we have to get you there first."

Anna nodded and went for the bathroom for the final time on the ship. Quickly she changed into the strange fitting outfit and came out. It was a deep blue and was defiantly to long for her, but it fit around the waist and that's all that mattered.

"Stand tall. We are skipping the mess hall, we took to much time in here" Tokuamalee said walking towards the door. "Keep close, look like you know what your doing. Watch around you, be aware, and do not show that you are afraid to anyone out there, is that clear?"

Anna shuddered but smiled.

"I am ready." She said her demeanor suddenly making her seem much older then her current age. "Lets go."

With that Tokuamalee opened the door and the two strayed out into the hallway.


It was Anna's first real chance to take in the ship with her own eyes. Never in her wildest dreams had she imagined a place as colorful, and as cheerful looking as this place. The floors were spotless the air smelled clean. Maintenance workers and floating beings littered the hallway checking and re-checking things as they walked. The hallway itself was open and Elites wearing all sorts of different colors were walking this way in that in a coordinated flurry of motion. Anna stuck so close to Tokuamalee that his hoof grazed her as they walked. There was a quiet din of sound as conversations floated down the hallway. More then once Tokuamalee stopped when one of his own solders saluted.

Anna hid behind Tokuamalee when they saluted and tried to keep herself out of view as much as possible. The site was so beautiful in Anna's eyes that she couldn't help staring as they passed through small lobbys filled with off duty elites.

"Where are the other ones, the grunts." Anna said looking around for a sign of anything other then Elite.

"Ah, We are in the Sangheili part of the ship," Tokuamalee said his own eyes darting around watching. "We are soon going to be passing into neutral territory."

More then one Elite swung his head around when they heard Tokuamalee speak in the human tongue causing Anna to keep even closer. However most of them just looked momentarily confused shook their heads, and walked away. Anna didn't know, but the idea of a human on a covenant ship was so out of the ordinary that the Elites that saw her would chastise themselves for even thinking such a ridiculous thing possible.

"Sgnignoleb ruoy fo dloh ekat esaelp, ecapsplis fo tuo gnippord era ew." A speaker bussed causing Anna to cringe.

"What did it say?" Anna said following suit as Tokuamalee and the other elites in the hallway fanned out to the edges and grabbed a hold of handholds along the wall.

"We are coming out of slip space, sometimes it is rough other times it is smooth , its a precaution to make sure we don't go flying if it is rough." Tokuamalee said looking down to Anna.

It was then the other Elites started to take real notice of Anna. Just about everyone in the hallway's eyes were on her.

"They see me." Anna said shrinking back to Tokuamalee's side. "What do I do?"

"Stand tall, look like you have done this all your life. Quick hold on." Tokuamalee said also glancing around and noticing the stares.

Anna quickly took a hold of one of the small holds that were at her level and cringed when a jolt ran through the ship. Tokuamalee quickly began to walk again, leaving behind a set of rather confused Elites. Anna didn't look back but instead looked forward to what looked like a huge opening.

"This walkway may look clear, but you will not fall through, follow me." Tokuamalee said approaching the open space.

Anna Gulped and looked to the open space. Tokuamalee stepped onto the clear looking platform, and Anna did the same. Then she looked down. Below was the mess hall, Aliens of all different shapes and sizes were sitting at tables, surrounding food dispensers, and eating at strange looking nipples. Anna wished she could have stopped. So many things in one place made her eyes boggle and made her young mind want to go down to explore. Along the platform there were others now, Big Aliens with shaggy fur, the small Grunts, Jackals, as well as some others. Each jackal they passed made an unholy racket when they saw Anna in their PT jumpsuit, but apparently it wasn't enough to call to much attention to them. However people were defiantly beginning to notice.

Aliens in the mess hall began to point skyward at the small human Trailing the Elite. Conversation began to flow, and people began to speculate. Tokuamalee was being smart and taking Anna strait through the most populated path to the departure docks. It would have looked more then suspicions for him to try and hide her, and sometimes the smaller more rocky path turned out to be the easiest to take.

Anna was just simply in awe of everything she saw. They were soon of the bridge yet this time they were in neutral territory.

"Ytirahc hgih ot hcaorppa no." The com said making Tokuamalee pick up his pace, and causing Anna to jog.

"Hurry child, we are on approach I need to be in front of my men," Tokuamalee said breaking into a jog, and causing Anna to sprint.

Quickly they made their way though the winding corridors and downwards. Anna felt like she was flying. Her lungs burned, her bare feet burned but as she ran she felt free. Aliens watched with interest as the odd pair slid their ways through the Hallway avoiding obstacles and aliens alike. When they finally reached the lift to the docking bay Anna felt like she was going to pass out. Into the open Air she jumped following after Tokuamalee. The lifts strange gravity grabbed a hold of her and sent her rocketing downwards. just as quickly as it started it slowed and Anna hopped off of the small white platform and onto the loading bay deck. Tokuamalee's full team was lined up from wall to wall and every one of the snapped to a salute when he walked around the platforms edge.

Anna Couldn't help but gawk. There was at least a thousand aliens in this room. Grunts, Elites, Hunters, everything. Blow on the deck men stood with their battalions and battalion commanders belittled the soldiers. Anna still stood close to Tokuamalee and waited, watching as the soldiers stood stark still and kept saluting. Still even at attention she was catching some of the soldiers looking at her. She didn't understand what Tokuamalee began to speak, but even she felt awed as his words danced through the ranks.

"<Attention!>" Tokuamalee shouted in his own tongue.

Even the battalion commanders spun around at attention. Tokuamalee grinned down at his men. It was only a small amount of the aliens he had under his command, but he felt proud of every single one of them. The Black armored battalion commander that had accompanied him down to the surface shifted uneasily until Tokuamalee returned the salute.

"<The future is upon us brothers.>" Tokuamalee said the quiet almost defining. "<A New era is beginning to form, and you are at that forefront. The most glorious Prophets are smiling down onto us, the great journey isupon us. The finding of the rings is at hand!>"

The dock was approaching slowly High Charity was within view.

"<You, my brothers, are the future, the past, and the now.>" Tokuamalee said motioning out to the ranks. "<Yesterday not just one, but two artifacts were found. One a simple stone, and the other in a package that the forerunners have put before us in a test. I have had a vision, a vision of the future, a vision that the forerunners said to relay to the prophets. The Grace of the holy land is standing with us this day. Speak loudly of this brothers, proclaim it, for it is you that found it and it is you who the prophets will praise. Your mission on the planet yesterday was an absolute success. I am proud of you. Even those of you that were on ship attending to business, I am proud of you. You serve the covenant well in this time of war.>"

It was rare for Tokuamalee to be giving praise so all the soldiers gave a cheer at the end of the little speech. The Spirits had risen. Tokuamalee wasn't the rank he was just for Any reason. He was a good commander, a solid soul, unmoving in his beliefs. Honor above all else, yet, where was the honor in killing Children? Tokuamalee kept his doubts to himself as the ship lurched slightly in dock.

"<Please head to debriefing from here, and may the Journey look well upon you!> " The soldiers all roared in unison.

"<Please head into debriefing, after this you are on shore leave till further announced.>" Tokuamalee said looking down at Anna.

Just as the shields went down the Captain of the ship quickly darted into the docking bay rushing towards Tokuamalee and scaring Anna in the process.

"<She survived?>" The captain asked his breathing somewhat hard. "<You have the whole ship in an uproar Tokuamalee, you know that?>"

Tokuamalee clicked his mandibles in amusement and shoved Anna in front of him.

"<The best place to hide something, is right out in the open.>" Tokuamalee said pointing Anna in the captains direction.

Anna fidgeted but stayed still watching the captain.

"Anna, this is captain Dervish, He is the one that runs this ship." Tokuamalee said down to the girl.

"Hello!" Anna said brightly. "How do you do?"

Anna stuck out her hand in a human gesture which confused the captain. Cocking his head he examined her hand.

"There is nothing wrong, why do you stick your hand out at me?" The captain said glancing from Tokuamalee back to the child again.

"No, put your hand out" Anna said motioning with her own. "See like this!"

The captain gingerly stuck his hand out only to have her small hand dart over to his and grab it. The fit was awkward but Anna figured out a comfortable way to grab it.

"And now, you shake it!" Anna said shaking the captains large double thumbed hand. "Its how.... we... say Hello."

The captain stood there stunned for a moment. Slowly he withdrew his hand, not sure what he wanted to do at that moment. Anna was smiling up at him.

"<She... touched me?>" The captain said rubbing his hand gingerly still confused as what his reaction was going to be.

"<Yes, she has touched me Multiple times.> " Tokuamalee said causing the captain to look up. "<Come, we have to get this ball rolling.>"

Tokuamalee quickly turned and shoved Anna into walking towards the lift down to the lower level.

"<No wait!>" The captain said stepping out of his stupor. "< I have arranged an escort for you.>"

Tokuamalee turned and Anna stopped. The captain sighed and clenched the hand that had been shaken.

She is affecting him too... Tokuamalee thought watching the captain.

"<Since she was on my ship, and I knew about her, My head is just as much on the line as yours. I radioed ahead, the chain of command has been set off.>" The captain said walking up beside Tokuamalee. "< I have put my faith in you, in her, and you better have not deceived me. It is unheard of, but everyone is so convinced by your record. Never once have you done anything to put you under public eye. You are the model Lieutenant with men who respect you. We are going to the delegation Chambers. Members of the hierarch are going to be there.>"

"<Lead me captain.>" Tokuamalee said motioning forward.

"What's going on where are we going?" Anna said pulling on Tokuamalee's armor. "What's going on?"

"Anna, we are going to go to the delegation chambers." Tokuamalee said as the Captain started to walk. "This will be the place where you see if your sins can be atoned for."

"<How much does she know?>" The Captain said looking back at the little girl following them.

"<As much as a child so young should know.>" Tokuamalee said fingering his sword.

"What do the prophets look like?" Anna said sneaking closer to the two elites.

"There are no words to describe them properly." Tokuamalee admitted. "I could describe them to you, but because our animals are different, you would not understand."

"They resemble the elderly of your race." The captain said. "They are the single most holy beings in the covenant, they are the words of the forerunners."

"What's a forunner?" Anna asked curiously as they approached the lift that would take them down.

"The Forunner are GODS." Tokuamalee said solemnly. "They were the ones that invented all the technology you see here. Yes we have improved upon it, but the base technology is theirs."

Anna contemplated this as she followed the Elites down the lift. Down at the bottom there was a small squad of aliens made up of the worm like hunters, Elites, several grunts, several jackals, and two giant brutes. All of which recoiled visibly when Anna came into view.

"<Listen up scum.>" The captain said approaching the group with a wary eye. "< We are to escort Tokuamalee and this Human child to the delegation chambers. No shooting, no fighting. We are to protect them till they get there, and if the council believes that they are heretics then we shall let them Deal with it in their own terms.>"

There was momentary surprise but every last one of them straitened.

"Come we must hurry." Tokuamalee said guiding Anna into the center of the guard.

Anna did as was told and looked up at the tall aliens surrounding her. One of the Brutes glanced down and snarled quietly causing Anna to recoil close to Tokuamalee. The group started to move and Anna began to think. Any other human looking up at an Elite would have thought them the scariest thing in the universe. But Anna was starting to see them with unclouded eyes. As they walked Anna began to realize that the Elites, at least the ones she was with, were no different then the textbook version of the human soldiers she read about.

As they walked out of the docking bay Anna watched as a whole world unfolded before her. They were in the Military docks aliens were running every which way swiftly dodging out of the way of the group that was traveling. The ground here was ancient, Anna could feel the worn earth under her feet. It was a mass of Metal and earth, a Giant constructed planet with no true Sky above. Anna watched as they stepped from the military docks into the streets. These streets were suspended, with no railings, hundreds of feet up above giant fields and constructs full of things Anna could only dream about. Small personal flying craft sped this way and that their whine filling the air. Anna could only see bits and pieces of the city around her through the tall guards.

Silence road between Anna and the others until they reached the lift that would take them to the center of High Charity. That's when the crowd split and Anna got to look forward. She couldn't believe how massive this place was. Low Clouds hovered down below where they stood. The air was clean, and at the same time hid a haze. The city itself was nothing like the ship, Its colors were muted as a small layer of dust covered them. Anna watched ahead of herself and noticed a disk shooting towards their location. It's path was marked by circles phasing into and out of view.

"Wow," Anna said her eyes growing large.

"This, little one is High Charity," Tokuamalee said motioning out to the city that lay below them. "This is our headquarters, our home. The whole of the covenant starts and ends here."

Tokuamalee felt a small swell of Pride as he motioned out to the city. It was beautiful in his eyes, it was the true mark of everything the covenant was. Yet his mind wandered down the ill fated path of what if and a small tug made him almost sad that this may be his last time taking in this view.

As they were standing there waiting for the lift aliens had begun to gather and talk, pointing to the small human walking freely. The brutes had shifted to the back of the crowd and the elites stood behind them, minus Tokuamalee, and the captain. Angry voices began to rise. Aliens began to push and shove.

"Girl, be prepared, they are getting ready to fight." Tokuamalee said clutching at his energy sword.

"Fight? Why?" Anna said Distancing herself from Tokuamalee and causing the crowd to Roar as she came into full view on the platform.

Voices began to raise and Anna stood just as she had before on the playground. Some of the Aliens Froze, others still were yelling. The crowd became bigger. People were in motion, The brutes. They were swinging their massive hands and wrestling the crowd backwards. The Elite guard that surrounded Anna and the crew drew their energy swords. Tokuamalee and the Captain did the same, and the small grunts began to change their Pistols.

"<heretics!>" "<Betrayers!>" "Human!" "<Kill them! Kill them all!>" "<A Plague! A sign of the end times! Destroy it destroy it!>"

Tokuamalee cursed under his breath and watched with one eye as Anna Stood tall. His Sword out and burning he was ready to fight, The captain he was with had also drawn his sword and glanced over to Tokuamalee with a smile on his face.

A shot went through the crowd. A needle weapon. Anna looked up to see it coming and Tried to move. It was trained on her, she moved left, it moved left, she moved right, it moved right. Anna ducked just as an elite's hand shot out and deflected the needle with a shielded hand.

"<CALM DOWN!>" The captain yelled so loudly it made Anna and a few of the grunts over their ears. "<Listen once and listen closely, We are on our way to the prophets, they want to see us, and if you sit here and destroy is now there will be a curse so fierce that not only will you die, your family's will as well. Stand down heathen lest you be accused of a heresy so great that the great journey will turn into your hell!>"

The crowd Halted and mummers began to filter through it. Anna looked around and noticed something coming. Quickly she tugged on Tokuamalee's armor and pointed toward one of the bridges connecting the lift port to the other main area's.

"Anna quickly, get between myself and the captain, make yourself as non visible as you can." Tokuamalee said backing up. "The lift is here. Wait, are those....."

"<Honor Guard.>" The captain said Deactivating his sword. "They have sent the Honor Guard here."

Anna leaned around Tokuamalee's legs to look at the Intimidating Elites that marched towards the lift. The Aliens around the honor guard were clearing out of the way. Anna watched her eyes large. Tokuamalee Deactivated his sword as well as the Guard approached.

"<Everyone, carry on with your business, this lift is off limits.>" The Commander of this particular unit said. "<These men are under the protection of the prophets, stand down. If you do not, you will be arrested and brought before the prophets themselves for judgment. >"

Quickly the crowd began to scatter and the Strangely armored elites took up post.

"<You there ship captain, lieutenant, you get on the lift and go, your guard will be dispersed.>" The Commander said. "Another set of guards will Escort you to the Delegation chambers. You are damned fools for trying to pull something like this, I hope the prophets take no mercy on your souls."

Tokuamalee recoiled and the captain scowled. Anna Remained hidden behind Tokuamalee as the guard spoke, but knew by his tone things were not going to go well. Tokuamalee nearly stepped on Anna as he backed onto the left. Anna quickly took the queue and kept hidden behind his legs. The Captain followed soon after grumbling to himself. Anna jumped as the translucent disk they were on slowly began to rise and then slowly began to start off down the path lit by the small circles.

"Things, are going to be rough." Tokuamalee said turning around and being careful to make Anna as not visible as possible. "I can only imagine what they have waiting for us behind those doors."

"You fool look what you have gotten us into!" The captain said rubbing a finger underneath the ridge of his helmet. "We are going to be Judged to the death for sure. I can't believe I came with you, I should have stayed back at my ship."

"You didn't half to you know." Tokuamalee said scowling towards the captain. "We are Arguing in Human, maybe we should take this into our language."

"Yeah, I didn't." The captain said his shoulders falling. "But my mate would never have forgiven me if I hadn't done this. And Why should we not argue in Human, The girl at least deserves to understand a little of what's going on."

Anna had lowered herself to all fours and was watching over the edge as the Disk hovered over the city Traveling to the other side and to the Delegation chambers.

"Your mate?" Tokuamalee said looking up from Anna and tilting his head to the side. "But she is dead?"

Anna sat up and looked at the captain.

"Dead she may be, Hearsay has stained my name, and a son I do not have." The captain said his eyes burning with fire. "My mate was fascinated by the humans, their culture, their lifestyle. To not have helped a Human child when it just fell into my lap would have betrayed her memory, and I would rather meet her in Hell then continue onto the great journey without her memory saved."

Tokuamalee stood up straighter.

"You know, just because you want to honor your dead wife, shouldn't mean that you have sinned, that's silly." Anna said her arms now draped over the edge. "I guess rules are rules, but I don't think the forunner would send her to hell for being curious, and I don't think they will send you to hell for helping me."

A pure true contemplative silence was struck between the three on the lift. Tokuamalee was stunned to hear those words out of a human, the same words that had been passed in secret for many years between the Elites. The Captain was secretly thanking his mate for taking the full charges for him. And Anna, was contemplating the last few minutes of her life, and how ironic that she saw more of the whole covenant's inner workings then the UNSC could ever dream of seeing, all in one days time. Scowling her mind went back to her school, to the fat happy fed children, the strict teachers instructed to starve those that couldn't take care of themselves. She snorted.

"I would have given my soul to hell to be born an Elite." Anna said sour venom filling her voice. "Stupid humans. I am glad you took me. I may still be hungry, but at least I know that you two actually care enough for me that if this didn't happen I would get food."

Tokuamalee laughed and laughed hard for the first time in ages. Anna quickly sat up and looked at him, and the captain just about tipped off the circular platform in surprise. Both of them looked at Tokuamalee with confusion in their eyes.

"What is so funny?" The captain said stabling himself more in the center of the platform.

Tokuamalee just smiled and chuckled. The rest of the trip was spent in silence as Tokuamalee prepared his mind for what he knew was going to be the trail of a lifetime.

Anna couldn't help but wonder about what had been running through Tokuamalee's head, but she left it as it was. She had resolved herself to dieing yesterday, so delaying it for a day was not going to change her spirits any. She hoped she would live, hoped beyond reasoning she would live, but if she died she died, and that would be that.

She quickly stood when she saw the platform approaching. Tokuamalee stepped forward and the captain stepped behind him. Anna took the middle hoping to avoid eyes. Peering around Tokuamalee she saw more of the Honor Guard at the ready. When they reached the platform the Honor guard shuffled them off through a set of Giant double doors, and into a waiting area. Anna shifted nervously as People passed the large group of guards. There was allot of talking, and yet Anna couldn't understand any of it. Beings she hadn't seen before floated by and Elites with strange armor also went by in passing. To a lesser extent she noticed all of them had an air of nervousness around them.

Unintentionally Anna bumped into Tokuamalee's leg causing him to look down and give his equivalent of a smile. The captain reached over and Elbowed Tokuamalee causing him to look back up again. Anna wanted to speak, so badly, she wanted to tell Tokuamalee what this meant for her, but for the life of her she couldn't.

Tokuamalee looked up and stood to his full height as the last of the stragglers made it into the chamber. There was a moment of silence and then the ball dropped.

"<Enter the chamber with the would be Heretics.>" A voice blared.

"Oh they have already reached their verdict!" The captain said with mock cheer in his voice.

Anna's breath hitched as she walked between the two aliens. The chamber was huge! on either side there were aliens. and in front, was another set of the guards, and then three figures. Anna hid Behind Tokuamalee. There was a gasp in the crowd as the guards parted and Anna came into view for part of the audience, but they remained silent. Something wasn't right, and Anna was getting more and more antsy by the minute. Peeking out from Tokuamalee's legs she could just make out one of the strange prophets, and it was the Prophet that spoke first.

"<We are here today because of a strange circumstance that has taken place on an outing to retrieve a holy forunner artifact.>" The prophet said his voice singing in Anna's ears. "<I, The high Prophet of mercy will be preceding over this discussion, with the help of the Lesser prophets, Pity and Wisdom. Normally when something this unorthodox happens in High Charity Truth's wisdom would be warranted, but he is away on his own journey and I have taken his place for the time being.>"

Anna Had begun to sway back and fourth in the rhythmic Ballet of the older prophets voice. It was nearly hypnotizing to her.

"< Toku Amalee, Dervish, You two have been brought here because of a special circumstance have you not.>" The prophet said earning a murmur from the crowd. < Dervish, your hand is in this just as much as Tokuamalee's is, and because of your previous fraternizations with human liking, your opinion will be null unless otherwise warranted Do you understand?>"

"<Yes your holy Hierarch, I understand and will bow my head in shame until your verdict is reached.>" The captain said stepping back from Tokuamalee and crouching.

<"Good,>" The prophet said turning towards Tokuamalee. "Tokuamalee, Your record goes beyond all hopes for any of our warriors, your battles have been many, the foes you have faced have fallen quickly, and the men you have lead regard you with the highest praise. Your a gift to the great journey and a gift to us, so your words will be considered very carefully.>"

"Dear prophet!" Tokuamalee said bowing his head and working his hands in nervousness. "I am not worthy of such praise! Please do not spare such wonderful words on someone like me.>"

Anna watched carefully of the reactions on the faces of those around her. The prophet seemed to smirk slightly at what Tokuamalee said, and she assumed that was a good thing. Beside her the Captain was nervously working his upper mandibles as he tried his hardest to keep his eyes glued to the floor.

"<A strange rumor has been brought to us by the captain of your ship>" Regret said his pedestal bobbing back and fourth with his words. "<You have acquired a human on your journey. My guards have confirmed this. Why, may I ask, Did you think it would be wise to bring a human back to high Charity.>"

Tokuamalee stood there for a moment working his mandibles and thinking. It was now or never but the words were failing him.

"<You see....>" Tokuamalee started his breath hitching. "I need you to... I mean I want... I think there is something important for you to know.>"

Tokuamalee sat and Mentally berated himself at his failings of words. He couldn't get himself to sit still, there was so much he wanted to say, but it wasn't coming out.

"<Yes?>" The prophet said tapping his two fingers on his chair arm rest.

Tokuamalee fell on one knee and squinted his eyes closed. Blocking out everything else he just began to speak.

"Noble prophet, I was given a vision, one, I can not myself explain,>" Tokuamalee said shifting as he heard the rest of the chamber suddenly erupt with harsh gasps. "<The planet, it must have had a strong forunner presence. The vision I received told me to seek out this Child, and to bring her to you. I can not say more because anything I could or would say would damn myself, and those who's ears are not pure enough to hear it.>"

The prophet himself gasped when Anna came into view.

"<Please, you have to believe me." Tokuamalee said Finally looking back up. "<They said it was for your ears only, I am just a messenger and I can not Decipher what has been given to me. Please I beg of you.>"

"<You Brought a Human onto the most Holy City, and into the most Holy room, and you expect me to believe your story?!?>" The prophet bellowed causing Anna and the rest of the council to cringe.

Tokuamalee cursed to himself. This indeed was not going to be his day.

Halo: Twisted Origin: Capter 3
Date: 20 July 2005, 7:31 pm

Chapter 3: A means to an end.

To accept one's self is going to die makes one able to find calm. To want to live, means that one has strength. Finding strength and finding calm is a task most men will never complete. However the man that finds it can have the world at his fingertips.

Tokuamalee blanched when Regret waved his hand signaling the guards to come up and grab him, and grab the Captain.

"< Bring the Human to me. >" Regret said his floating chair hovering closer.

Anna watched as the guards grabbed Tokuamalee, and came to grab her. She didn't know what to do, she couldn't tell if the Prophet was angry, happy, sad. His sing song voice masked what he was saying. She didn't understand. When the Elite guard grabbed her by her sore wrist it took all her strength not to call out in pain. His grip was tight and she could feel her bones grinding painfully together. Twisting around she could see that the Captain had looked up and Tokuamalee was panicked. Scowling she decided that now was the time to be strong.

"< Set her down. >" Regret said waving to the guard.

Anna was momentarily airborne. The Elite guard threw her like she was a bag of grain. It was so fast Anna could only just barley catch herself as her nose made contact with the floor. Pain seared across her face, causing her to curl up momentarily and grab her nose. She couldn't breath through it. Blood welled up in her nose and she gagged as it began sliding down her throat. With a gasp she went to pull herself up only to be grabbed by her ankle and hoisted into the air. Anna snorted, sending some of the blood clear from her nose and apparently onto the Prophet's chair.

"< This Human heretic has no right to be here!" > Regret said igniting a small blade of plasma.

"< She has disgraced our home! >" Wisdom said. "< She is a sin that can't be atoned for. >"

"< She has no right to live." > Pity said siding up beside Regret. < "However, the Heretic standing before us does have the right to plead his case." >

Anna looked up at her feet and then to the Prophet, who in turn lanced his blade closer to her skin. She could feel it where her shirt fell, it wasn't actually touching her, but the energy blade was hot enough to start burning her skin. Blood had begun to flow out of her nose and dripped down towards her eyes. She quickly squeezed her eyes shut

Tokuamalee saw the blade creeping too close to her skin. He had expected it to be bad, but not anything like this. Anger built up. Pure rage began to course its way through his veins.

"How dare you." Tokuamalee seethed, switching over to the Human language. "You have no idea the gift you hold in your hands. The gift whose face is broken now, and who's Belly is being burned by the blade of your dagger."

Murmurs began to go through the crowd questioning this gift, and Tokuamalee's sanity. Quickly Regret withdrew his blade but still had it at the ready.

"< What are you talking about? Speak heretic! >" Wisdom sneered.

"What I speak of, if a gift given to you by none other than the Forerunners themselves." Tokuamalee snarled shrugging off the stunned guards. "You stand there and tell me she isn't worth it. You say she is a Human Heretic. Had the gods not had something planned for her she would have been long dead, by my own hand, or by the Covenant's arm."

"< What makes you think you have the right to speak of such things. >" Wisdom said his eyes narrowing.

"What right?!?" Tokuamalee growled as he approached the stage and left the stunned guards behind. "Do you realize this girl followed me through my ship without my aid? Do you realize that never once have I held her to guide her, each step she has taken here she has taken alone with no more assistance than I?"

The Crowd was stunned Silent and Tokuamalee worked his mandibles in agitation. Anna had cleared the still flowing blood from her face and had opened her eyes to watch the Elite.

"I owe my life, my being, my soul to you, holy Prophets." Tokuamalee said turning towards Regret. "I believe you, everything you stand for, everything I have fought for. This is my home, my life, my dream. There is nothing more I want to do then to serve you. And By the Forerunners I will serve you. And if you strike me down, if you strike this girl down, your Great Journey will be null, because the weight of the sin alone will take you, me, and the whole of the Covenant into the darkest depths of despair."

Tokuamalee was now mere feet away from the Prophet and he still held Anna. His burning eyes met the Prophet's and held them, causing the Prophet to shudder. Anna couldn't believe her ears and was so dumb founded that tears began to streak upwards with the flowing blood from her nose.

"You have yet to give me any proof of your words, Sangheili." The Prophet said, slipping into the human language. "What proof do you have?"

Tokuamalee watched as the knife fell, still activated on the floor. In the small moment he saw the Prophet's hands were shaking.

"You have your ways." Tokuamalee growled through grated teeth. "I have seen you do it with others."

The crowd flew into an uproar, both supporting and denouncing Tokuamalee. The Captain still bowed low, but his eyes were forward. Tokuamalee's heart was in his throat. He felt like he was going to be ill yet he had not had anything to eat. Every spare ounce of his will was aimed toward the images he was conjuring, hoping that it would be enough. When Regret waved his hand everything slowly fell silent.

"< Sangheili you realize the weight of your words correct? >" Regret said motioning for a set of guards. "< You can not turn back from your argument if you commit to this. >"

Tokuamalee looked down at Anna, who was looking up to him with her bright blue eyes capturing his own. A sudden wash of comfort washed over him when her eyes met his. Time came to a stand still while he was lost in those orbs. Every thanks that needed to be said was received in that instance.

"I have nothing to fear." Tokuamalee said standing up straight as the guards approached. "You will see."

The guards quickly surrounded him and the Prophet. Two stood at Tokuamalee's shoulders and held him, while the two others stood behind the Prophet. The Prophet himself lowered Anna to the ground. The moment she made contact she began to choke on the unreleased blood. Sputtering and coughing she looked up one last time to Tokuamalee. Tokuamalee stared forward into the Prophet's gaze.

"< Lean forward Sangheili. >"Regret said raising slightly and outstretching his hands.

Tokuamalee complied and bent his neck forward. With care the Prophet pulled his gold and black helmet from his head and let it rest on his lap. The crowd was murmuring excitedly and the guards shifted nervously. Tokuamalee could feel the Prophet's fingers floating over the back of his skull and neck just above the surface of his skin.

"< Be prepared Sangheili, >" Regret whispered coldly. "< Any story you think you could have conjured up will fail, as it has failed thousands of times. >"

Tokuamalee didn't have a chance to think on those words when suddenly he was pulled into darkness.


Darkness consumed him. He was aware, yet, not. A cold feeling swept over him causing him to immediately want to cover up. But there was nothing there… or was there?

Suddenly lights, colorful lights, sounds, shapes, feelings, tastes, pains, and memories began to flash by. Each moment was relived, each piece out of order. From moments ago to long past memories stored for safekeeping, he could not stop the flow or curve it.

"Shhhh, quit your mind." Regret's voice filtered through the memories lazily. "You are seeing what I am seeing and you have no control."

Thousands of memories filtered by in moments lining themselves up in the correct order. When the last memory was in place Regret began to blast through them all in record time. The images only paused momentarily if something of importance to the situation was discovered and it was moved for safekeeping. It felt like years, and yet milliseconds when the memories stopped and slowed to the start of his journey for this artifact. It was then Tokuamalee began to conjure his own images.

He felt Regret's slight confusion as the images appeared. Snapshots of the girl as the ship landed on the surface, then surprise from Tokuamalee as he saw her. The regret at not being able to do anything as his brother charged. Then suddenly a crack where the new "Memories" filtered in, small and non detailed they seemed with the true memories of his mind. The girl fighting, watching, learning, and working for the Covenant. Then a series of black.

"Do not force those thoughts on me, I can see through them." Regret said his voice pounding through Tokuamalee's mind. "If you have lied.... wait... what's this?"

Suddenly Tokuamalee jerked both in the spiritual and physical plane. Tokuamalee could feel something rushing towards Regret - something in his mind. Something made him want to stop it, but he was insignificant to its magnitude.

"What's this? What's going... ARGHHHH."


The audience began to cry in panic as both Regret and Tokuamalee jerked and began to yell as if in pain. Anna jumped up and grabbed onto Tokuamalee's leg in attempt to get him to stop. Panic began to rise, and all Anna could think about was getting Tokuamalee out of that trance. Blue waves of light began to filter over the three causing the guards to back up and the Counsel to go into an uproar. This was like nothing anyone had ever seen before.


The black filtered in and knocked both Tokuamalee and Regret back to back as though they suddenly had bodies. It was then that it started.

Through a door they were thrown, it was intricately carved and well fortified. Out into the universe they flew watching as suddenly true universal memories began to float in. The girl was standing, growling at an Elite, working, pushing, striving. Training - hard training - and a series of celebrations. Death. Thousands of talks and delegations. The girl was a tool. Striving further into the universe. Pain and suffering, and a key. An Oracle humming, Halo's bursting into flames. The girl grown up facing a shadow. Humans and Covenant. And words. Single words slung into the mire.

"To you, a gift, a single gift, for you to treasure."

Over and over again making Tokuamalee want to scream out.

"Take her take her."

The Prophet was trying to pull out to break the wave. One final image stood. It was the girl, grown, and incased in strange armor. To her left were Elites, Grunts and hunters. To her right were humans, all dressed in their battle gear. However, facing Anna, with his shadow touching both the Elites and Humans was something that made Tokuamalee recoil in fear.



Just as suddenly as the screaming started it stopped, and with a sudden burst of energy Tokuamalee Anna and the Prophet were blown apart from one another. The Council gasped and quieted. The guards quickly rushed over to Regret, making sure he was ok.

All Tokuamalee could do was sit there and attempt to not cry in front of the council. He didn't expect anything to be there. He expected to die. But those images, they were the gifts from the Forerunners. They scared him however. The war was far from over.

"Guards, take them to my chamber." Regret said his voice obviously carrying a shake to it. "We will reconvene in the first hour of tomorrow."

The din began to grow louder as guards began to usher people out of the chamber. Regret was clamoring back into his chair with the help of the two guards who were at his back. Wisdom and Pity were hovering near Regret. The Captain had stood up and was helping a very dazed Tokuamalee up. And Anna was laying on the ground crying.

Anna didn't know what had happened, she had been brought into the same visions Tokuamalee and Regret were seeing when she had latched onto Tokuamalee. Confusion and pain wracked her body. Her head was throbbing, her wrist felt broken, her nose was broken, and now her butt and back hurt because of the sudden launch across the room. Anna decided that this wasn't her day in the slightest and just started crying because she needed too.

It didn't take long for Tokuamalee to snap out of his daze and realize that Anna was on the ground hurt. Without thinking he quickly rushed over to her and was about to pick her up when Regrets voice stopped him.

"< Tokuamalee, what are you doing? >" Regret said floating towards Anna's prone form.

"< Holy Prophet, she is hurt, hungry, and just a child. >" Tokuamalee said reaching down and scooping Anna up. "< She needs to get help, she needs to eat, and she needs to not go through this same trauma twice. Any other Human would have cracked, tried to attack, but she, she is different. You saw it. >"

Anna realized they were talking about her again and she began to wiggle to get down from Tokuamalee.

"I can walk." Anna spat through the throbbing pain and choked sobs. "Let me down!"

"< She can walk? >" Regret said curiously watching as Tokuamalee bent down to let the girl go.

"< Astoundingly versatile these humans are, for such weak appearing beings. >" Wisdom said approaching the group formed. "< Had you taken any one of our children before training and had them go through the same ordeal this girl has, they would have swallowed their own tongues in fear. >"

Anna wobbled on unsteady feet, her ankle throbbing. Now that she was upright blood again began to flow freely from her nose. Through her swollen eyes she glanced at the Captain who had remained in the bowing position. While the others talked above her she skirted through Tokuamalee's legs and hobbled over to the still bowing Captain. Without hesitation she sat on her haunches and looked at the Captain dead in the eye.

"You girl are very brave, I am proud of you." He said causing Anna to smile in spite of herself. "I don't know what the future holds for you, but you are defiantly special."

"< Captain, please rise and follow us. >" Regret called his voice still shaken. "< Wisdom, pity, retire to your chambers, I need to speak with this group alone. >"

"< But... >" Pity started but stopped suddenly when Regret's burning eyes landed on him.

"< Come with me. >" Regret said turning to Tokuamalee.

When the Captain quickly stood up Anna couldn't help but watch as he walked. He was graceful, in fact all of the Elites were graceful. Standing again she began to hobble after the Captain and watched as the two ousted Prophets took their guard and left through side doors. She quickly caught up with the Captain and the group began to walk in silence through a set of doors. As they were lead down the hallway Anna watched the intricate patterns on the walls as they weaved their way around. Soon they had reached a set of doors and they swung open to an airy hallway with plant life and waterfalls.

"These are my chambers." Regret said falling into the human language. "My office is at the end of this hallway. We have much to discuss."

"What about the girl? She is hurt, and hungry." Tokuamalee said his own stomach growling in response. "Surely you don't plan to keep us here long, she needs medical attention."

"I shall keep you here as long as I please Sangheili." The Prophet said his chair turning to face the elite. "However I have the proper care waiting, and fresh food waiting for you two, and for her."

Anna couldn't help but squeak at the prospect of food. Her step became automatically more animated and her limp became less visible. Quickly she caught up with Regret and Tokuamalee and stood between them.

"What kind of food?" Anna asked as her hands rubbed together in anticipation.

"Hopefully something you can eat." Regret said rather honestly. "We are used to feeding Human prisoners, but you are not a prisoner. We give them what they need to survive, we have no idea what will and will not taste good to you."

Anna squeaked again in giddiness and bounced.

"< She has been starved your holiness. >" Tokuamalee said, causing the Prophet to just about tip out of his chair. "< The humans refused to feed her and she was wasting away. >"

"< That is odd. >" Regret said watching as the girl clutched happily to her front. "< Humans are not known for their cruelty.... >"

Tokuamalee blanched and looked at the Prophet with wide eyes. The Prophet realized too late that he had slipped and stuttered to cover it up.

"< I mean to their own kind. >" Regret said the shake returning to his voice.

Tokuamalee nodded carefully and acted as through he didn't catch the slipup.

"Girl," Tokuamalee said causing Anna to turn up toward him. "Show him your ribs."

Anna complied with quickness and lifted her shirt.

"By the rings!" The Prophet said somewhat taken aback. "Her ribs are more pronounced then those of your young! Humans are supposed to have ribs hidden in flesh!"

Score one for the home team. Tokuamalee thought to himself.

The door opened of its own accord and the small assembled group stepped in. Inside a small banquet had been set up on a table, and a group of strangely dressed Elites were waiting. Anna took notice and despite her stomach she wandered over to the strange Elites.

"These ones are different!" She exclaimed causing the small group to jump and back up. "Why are they different Tokuamalee?"

Tokuamalee laughed and smiled his mandibles clicking in amusement.

"Those are females." He said. "They are nurses, they are here to help."

"< Get to it ladies, >" Regret said his voice carrying a slight mirth. "< I need you to patch her up, give her the necessary things so that you can get out and we can talk. >"

Anna stood still when the females hesitated and waited as one of the girls gingerly bent down and picked her up. They set her on a tall chair and began to unceremoniously strip her of her clothing.

"Tokuamalee, why were there no females on the ship?" Anna said half of her question muffled as her barrowed shirt came up over her head.

"Females aren't meant for space battles. They are trained here, or at the home planet to handle things such as medical needs, food preparation, and child rearing. They handle everything we can't while we war with the Humans." Tokuamalee said watching with a vague disinterest as the girls began to bath Anna to get all the blood off.

Anna noticed they were touching her very softly as if they were afraid she would break. The sponge just barely floated over her skin.

"Hey, You can press harder." Anna said addressing the female elite with the sponge. "I won't fall apart or anything."

The female looked distressed and glanced at her sisters who were setting up clean bandages and sterile instruments. Obviously flustered the Elite tried to address Anna but Anna couldn't understand a word she was saying.

"Anna, they don't know your language." Tokuamalee said, watching as Regret floated over to the girls.

"< She says you can bath her like a normal child. >" Regret said scowling at the heap of messed up clothing on the floor. "< Hurry up. >"

Suddenly Anna was caught up in a flurry of movement. The sponge was harsh but felt good, but before she could really enjoy anything she was laid down onto her back and fingers began to poke and prod her checking for broken bones and painful areas. The touches were harsh and when the poor females hit a spot that hurt Anna would grind her teeth and confirm that it was painful to the touch. Soon small self-regulating bandages came, and much to Anna's dismay her nose was re-broken and set correctly. Bandages wrapped over one side of her head covering one eye, and another set was bridged over her nose. Her wrist where both Tokuamalee and the rough guards had grabbed it was also bandaged and her shoulder had a small device placed on the skin. Soon her ankle was wrapped and her small bumps and scrapes cleaned and bandaged. Nothing was broken outside of her nose. Then Anna was stuck in a simple set of clothing, gray in tone. The legs were much too long for her, and nearest she could tell they were Elites clothing.

Anna was still attempting to sniff through her nose even though gauze had been shoved up it to keep it from bleeding all over the place. Her head was throbbing. But seemingly just as fast as it had started it ended and the females began to pack and gather their supplies. Anna noted how smooth and vibrant their skin seemed. Everything on them was less pronounced, even their teeth. They were far more graceful than their opposite gender. And unlike the males their hooves were exposed and shined an earthy brown color. Anna was almost sad to see them go.

"Good, now that they are out of the way, come let us eat and discuss." Regret said motioning Anna over to a table where the Captain and Tokuamalee had already taken a seat.

Anna didn't need to be told twice and she quickly darted over to the table. But before she approached one of the tall chairs she stopped at the foot of the Prophet's hovering chair. Her one exposed curious blue eye caught his and caused him to lean down. Her hands crept carefully up the platform and she stretched as tall as she could manage. Standing on the tip of her toes, she looked at the Prophet and the Prophet looked back, both momentarily caught in the curiosity, which were the other spices.

"I am sorry." Anna said her voice barley above a whisper. "I know I have sinned, I don't know what I did, but I promise that I won't do it again."

The Captain, Tokuamalee, and the Prophet all sat there stunned. Smiling the Prophet leaned down so that his head was nearly touching hers.

"Under my eye it will be impossible for you to commit the same sin." Regret said. "So do not let it trouble your young mind. Please, eat."

The next fifteen minutes were spent with Anna devouring anything and everything she could. She tasted just about everything on the table, and most of it she ate without thought. Tokuamalee watched in amazement as Anna began to dig in, his own bites were taking twice as long as they should have been. However his observations were cut short when Regret began to talk.

"< There is no word for how utterly surprised I am right now. >" Regret said taking a chalice of wine and downing it. < "I don't have the slightest Idea what to do really, this situation is indeed beyond the ears of the impure, and the fact that the Forerunners chose you to deliver this message carries a great value. >"

"< Surly such praise does not belong on my shoulders, I was only.... >"

"< To hell with all that talk, >" Regret snarled, causing both the Captain and Tokuamalee to flinch. "< You two are gifts from the Divine, there is no explanation, and no acceptation."

Tokuamalee looked down and tried to swallow the strip of meat he was holding in his mouth. The Captain fidgeted and kept his eyes averted.

"< Dervish!" > Regret called startling the nervous Captain. "< Your name is not unknown to any of us, your belated wife's antics are what lost you your name, but I am wondering now if we made a bad call. >"

Bad call?!? Tokuamalee's mind screamed. Has he lost all sense of himself? For the rings, I need to keep silent....

"< You and your family are Gifts! Gifts indeed! >" Regret said pouring a chalice of wine for the two startled elites. "< You shall be given your name back!"

The force at which the Captain stood up caused Tokuamalee to just about tip backwards in his chair and it caused Anna to drop her utensils on the floor with a crash.

"< Noble Prophet! >" The Captain said his thumbs working together on his fingers furiously. "< I do not wish to have my name back, all I wish is to go back to my ship and lead the crew like I have before. It's all I ask, it's all I want. My ship is my life, and I want nothing else. >"

No, no, don't force his name back on him! Tokuamalee thought glancing over to Anna, who had clamored down off her chair and gathered her fallen eating tools. It would arouse suspicion, his name back, and a Human on high charity, Regret would be hung by his neck!

"< A fleet then. >" Regret said setting the glasses in front of both elites.

"< A fleet? >" The Captain said tilting his head to the side.

"< There is no other way I can think to repay you for this gift. >" Regret said, this time taking a simple sip of the wine.

Tokuamalee took a sip of his glass as well and watched as Anna slowed down a little in her eating and began actually tasting the food. He watched her, the way her hands moved. She was meticulous, already showing signs of a warrior through her movements.

"< What about the girl, what are we to do with her? >" Tokuamalee asked quietly, his statement bringing the heat off the Captain's shoulders.

"< She is a gift beyond all our hopes, Tokuamalee. I still need to speak to Truth about this in order to gather his wisdom, but he will surly agree with me on this matter. >" Regret said solemnly. "< We have been suffering losses, tremendous losses, ones that are beginning to get harder and harder to recover from. We caught the Humans off guard in the beginning, but now, now we are having trouble matching their patterns blow for blow. Humans have brought their diseases, and sicknesses to us. Things that they are immune to, that we are not. They are also not very pattern oriented, they are able to change their tactics on the fly, leading to devastation, life loss despite the battle victories. >"

Tokuamalee nodded and turned back to Regret to meet him eye to eye. He was disappointed however when Regret's eyes were trained on the now almost nodding off Anna.

"< You see the vision told me we are to use her as our own. >" Regret said with his eyes trained on Anna in a way that made Tokuamalee's skin crawl. "< The vision also told me, that you are the one that is to take care of her - it is written in the stars. She shall be given a warrior's name, she will take your name, and carry your family's honor with her. You will be given a short time of leave to oversee her training. She will live on the training campus in private quarters adjacent to your own. She is to be trained with the next wave of rookies, no mercy, after the period of rookie training, she will be handed over to a special teacher who will teach her the art of stealth and sabotage. >"

Tokuamalee gasped and looked over to the girl, who had fallen asleep in her half full plate of food.

"< She is to become a human spy for us? >" Tokuamalee asked his eyes wide. "< She is so young! >"

"< Precisely, Sangheili, precisely. >" Regret said, and taking yet another sip of wine. "< No human fool would expect a child as young as her to be working for our Covenant. She is generic, a little tall for her age, but generic and it would be easy to slip in and out of Human bases. She can get to places no Elite, grunt, jackal, brute or hunter can get, she can get to and manipulate one of the things none of us could ever manipulate, the human's ultimate weakness. >"

Tokuamalee felt the skin on the back of his neck prickle and he turned slowly again to face Regret's full gaze.

"< What is their weakness noble Hierarch? >" Tokuamalee asked, a shiver creeping into his voice.

"< Their hearts. >"

Tokuamalee couldn't help but choke back down what little food he ate. His eyes immediately flashed over to the silently sleeping form of Anna and his heart skipped a beat.

What have I damned this girl too.

"I will put you, the Captain, and the girl in private quarters until I have spoken to Truth." Regret said, pushing away from the table and glancing to the still standing Captain. "I assume this will give you enough time to decide on weather or not to take my gift Captain?"

"< Yes, my noble Prophet, >" The Captain sputtered through clenched teeth. "< I will reach a decision by the morning. >"

"< Good, >" Regret said nodding in accomplishment. "< I will lead you out, and the guards will lead you to your chambers for tonight. >"


When Anna woke up she was in the midst of a flurry of activity. Scowling, she realized one of her eyes was still covered and her mouth was dry from breathing through it all night. Voices were barking quickly and aliens were running this way and across the open door Anna could see beyond her bed.



Anna quickly sat up and pulled the gauze from her nose. It was tender still, but the bleeding didn't start again. Quickly she looked over to the door only to see a tall half dressed Elite quickly skid into the room and punch the door controls.

"So it wasn't a dream." Anna said catching the Elites eyes.

"No, no, it wasn't." Anna could tell by the voice that it was the Captain. "Listen, I have heard from the river that I am being re-assigned. Whether or not I take the fleet, Truth has seen to it that you, me, and Tokuamalee are as far away from each other as possible. For that I am disappointed."

Anna nodded and pulled her warm sheets up closer. The Captain sighed and walked over to the large bed. His hoofs were exposed and make a soft clicking on the floor as he walked. Anna watched as he sat down on the bed and slumped his shoulders forward.

"I have never been good with words young one," The Captain said working his hands together. "I have seen so many of your kind staring at me from cells, young ones like you, all cowering in fear. You, even when faced with pain, brutality, and death, you only looked at me that way once, and then you looked at me like a brother. I am only sorry that our story together will end today. It would be an honor to travel with you, but it seems the Great Journey says otherwise."

Anna smiled and turned herself towards the Captain who was looking at her through the corner of his eye, unable to bring his face to bear towards hers.

"Don't worry." Anna said happily. "Even if we never see each other again, I will remember you here."

Anna motioned toward her heart.

"From the books we have you would think that all Elites are scary man eating monsters." Anna said smiling. "Man eating maybe, but scary? No."

The Captain laughed, just as the door slid open.

"Well at least you got him out of the way." The booming voice of Tokuamalee said as the sliding the door closed after he came into the room. He was fully clad in armor, except with his helmet in hand. "Captain, not to be insubordinate, but you should be getting dressed. The ceremony is in less then a standard unit."

The Captain nodded and stood up, taking one last look at Anna.

There is so much I want to do right now. The Captain's thought. I want to hug her like my own son. Her humanity stops me, and I will never be worthy of the Great Journey until I can shed this weight.

With a sigh he turned and exited through the door.

Anna watched and scowled as he left, and earned her a strange look from Tokuamalee.

"Truth sounds like a butthead." She snorted pulling her covers up around her again.

"Do NOT say such things!" Tokuamalee said, darting over to her side and quieting his voice. "Look, again, we are not in the Human world anymore, and if you speak of the Prophets with such an attitude against them you WILL be punished, if not put to death for blasphemy! The fact that you are a human relic is not going to change the rules. Let me bring you up to speed."

Anna nodded and began to struggle out of the blankets.

"Regret was stupefied by you last night. So stupefied that he drank himself drunk." Tokuamalee said, sitting down on the bed. "From today onward you are an honorary member of the Covenant, and starting right after the ceremony you will not hear another Human word uttered by me, unless away from the public eye, or when I am teaching you things about the language you do not know. Orders have been relayed down from Truth, apparently he is highly skeptical of you, but because of the vision that was shared by myself and Regret he can not just throw either of us out. This ceremony is going to be small with only the Council and a few key members of our Covenant society special enough to attend such events. Others will watch from screens around High Charity."

Anna nodded and walked across the bed, looking through the window, which offered a rather spectacular view of High Charity. The city was teeming with life, even more so now. The lights seemed brighter and vehicles raced this way and that with a higher frequency than the last time she saw.

"The ceremony will be performed in both Humanity's English, and in the Prophet's own language." Tokuamalee said, watching as Anna's eyes darted around the city. "After today we have exactly 7 full units to get you prepared for Basic Training. Stand up strait and take my lead in front of the Prophets."

With that the door opened and a group of servants rushed in. There was a small guard and then more Female Elites. These servants were dressed more practically than the nurses were. They were in grey jumpsuits of simplicity and effectiveness, not holding any ceremonious value. They wore grey boots that covered their hooves and they carried several sets of clothing with them.

Tokuamalee about jumped straight onto his hooves when one of the female Elites came in. Both locked eyes and stared at each other for quite a considerable length of time before each Elite returned to a casual disposition. Anna turned around when she felt his weight leave the bed and his attention directed elsewhere. Tokuamalee's eyes were locked with one of the female Elites, and after exchanging some talk in conversation, spun around to Anna.

"You must get ready. Stand up, quickly." Tokuamalee said. "The armor you are going to wear is called Jolacnarl. It is made for children, and it is made for a specific ceremony amongst Sangheili. It's a Naming Ceremony. No child has a name until they reach a certain age. If they survive. in our society we do not get our final name until we enlist in the services of the Prophets. Today, you will officially be receiving both. There is no human in existence that will get this privilege. From here on out you will no longer be called human, you are now going to be known as Shiroqui, or "welcomed outsider". This is important because that's what the Prophets are going to be calling you today."

The females began to move after the explanation. Anna again was stripped of her clothing and began to get even stranger clothing as a replacement. Her dressing included first an undergarment, then an undershirt, followed by a strange fitting shirt, and finally an even stranger armor. It didn't match up with any of the solid sleek armor that Tokuamalee had worn. No, this was leather, leather with metal embedded on the edges. The leather itself was a deep rich purple in color, leaving Anna to imagine what creature it had come from.

"What are they going to be naming me today?" Anna said watching as individual pieces were snapped into place. "Why can't I keep my own name?"

"Your name, your human name will be yours and yours alone to keep. Don't loose it, ever." Tokuamalee said shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "We are going to be keeping your first human name, to make things easier to keep track of, however your last name will change, and you will take my family's name since I am in charge of your keep."
"Oh cool!" Anna exclaimed as the women momentarily stepped away. "I'll be Ann…. Mph!"

Quicker than she could finish Tokuamalee had raced over and stuck his large bandaged hand over her mouth.

"No, Do not speak it till the Prophets do. It will give you a curse if you give yourself an unofficial, false name before the ceremony," Tokuamalee said sternly with his hand still over Anna's mouth. "You're already an exception - we can't let you break the unspoken oath that children can not know their name."

"Not really unspoken now is it?" Anna said watching as the females suddenly went into a fuss about the shoes she was supposed to wear.

"< Ladies, calm down, there is no way we could have found shoes for her at this late a time. She can walk barefoot. >" Tokuamalee said, lifting his helmet just slightly to rub at his brow.

There was no more fuss after Tokuamalee spoke, but the female Elite he had caught eyes with earlier stared daggers at him. Anna couldn't help but notice and curiously wondered why the female was so adamant about not liking Tokuamalee. She didn't get time to ask however before the last piece of the armor she could fit was placed on her head. It was a helmet. When the mirror was brought over Anna couldn't help but giggle excitedly. Compared to the rest of the strange fitting armor the helmet was the most simple piece. It flared up in the back and rested at a point, allowing her bangs to be seen. Anna smiled and for a moment felt almost sad that her Humanity was being swept away, but at the same time her curiosity making her feel more a part of anything then she had ever in her life.

"Anna you are ready. Come, let's walk." Tokuamalee said, motioning Anna toward the door. "From now on, you may ask questions in Human, but I will have to answer in Sangheili, I will try and help you as best as I can but we need to curb your language as fast as possible."

Anna nodded and walked towards the door. Much like the first time Tokuamalee pressed the button, and walked out first. And much like the last time she followed in his wake. Only this time there were aliens who knew exactly what she was, and were fighting every fiber of their being to not sit there and destroy her on the spot. Anna snorted to herself and stood up strait.

Let them sit and hate me, let them despise me. Anna thought. One day I will do something that will affect each and every one of them, and they will feel bad for thinking these thoughts.

Anna watched as they made their way through an ornate hallway and watched the Aliens whisper amongst themselves about her passing. This time the walk through High charity was without a guard and the only thing saving Anna was the fact that orders had been sent out to not kill her under any circumstances. The armor she was wearing was heavy and was making her tired fast. Lucky for her the ride to High Charity's ceremonial hall was just a lift away.

Tokuamalee watched around him as they walked, his thumbs fingering the sword at his side. When they reached the lift Anna needed no coaxing to step inside this time. She followed him quietly yet stood tall as if she was his son. This scared Tokuamalee, but at the same time excited him.

When they arrived at the ceremonial hall Truth and Regret's guards were there to meet them.

"Tokuamalee?" Anna said looking up to the tall Elite. "Thank you."

Tokuamalee clicked his mandibles in a quiet laugh.

"< You're welcome. >" He said, keeping his promise to not speak in the human language.

The guards around them started shifting, and the final call was made out to summon the bothinto the chambers.

Anna quickly straitened up and looked around. Looking down she began to study Tokuamalee's covered hooves. Without too much thought she raised herself up onto her tiptoes and stood with her knees slightly bent, like all the Elites walked. When they started walking towards the chambers she continued to mimic how their actions, just as much as she could without loosing her dignity. When they walked in the guards parted and both Anna and Tokuamalee could see the Dias where the Prophets of Truth and Regret stood, waiting with the Captain already in front of them. Risking a glance, Anna saw that the same Counsel the previous night was there and she stiffened further. Now was not the time to make a misstep.

Everything was dead silent as they approached the Dias. Tokuamalee stopped beside the Captain, and Anna herself had nestled herself in-between them. Anna looked up to Tokuamalee, then the Captain and noticed that both stared forward, eyes unmoving. Anna quickly did the same and stood as still as she could possibly stand. The only sound that was heard was the slight whine as Truth and Regret approached the group.

"I have been told of the acts done yesterday." Truth said, causing Anna to cringe internally. "And it has turned out that a gift indeed was brought to us yesterday."

Anna breathed a sigh of relief, but still held as still as possible.

"A Human, untainted by humanity." Truth said addressing the whole Counsel. "A Human she is no longer. She is now a Shiroqui, a welcomed guest within these walls. She is a gift to be used with great care, something we cannot ignore. I said earlier this morning that I would have this meeting broadcasted, however, the gods have spoken to me and have refused to let them watch this. This female will be known in shadows. She will have a name. However, before we name her I have a gift meant to be given."

The audience murmured as Truth shifted over to the Captain. Truth was rushing the ceremony, skipping important words and sayings. This set Tokuamalee on edge. Taking a risk he glanced over to Regret, who looked absolutely worse for the wear. Somehow, something had changed between the talk last night and the ceremony happening today. What, Tokuamalee didn't know, but he was sure that when he found out he wouldn't like it.

"Dervish, you were the one that set up the guard for this girl when she arrived, were you not?" Truth said causing the Captain to visibly flinch.

"Yes, I am responsible." He said his voice still unwavering despite his appearance.

"You have done this Covenant a great honor by standing up for this girl when others would not." Truth said eyeing the audience. "Because of this outstanding gesture, I have one of my own. Would you be willing to Captain the glassing fleet?"

There was a large murmur in the crowd and the Captain momentarily lost his cool and looked like he was going to rip Truth's head off. The flash was gone in an instant, replaced with the Captain's mask. This time it was Anna's turn to flinch. Learning what she had learned about the Captain, and his soft spot for humans, she knew that this would go against every fiber of his being. Something inside of Anna was begging the Captain to take the job, but why she didn't know.

"My noble Prophet Truth," The Captain said taking one knee. "Such an honor this one does not deserve."

The crowd got silent and tensed, even Truth tensed as the Captain looked up.

"However, it would mean the deepest of honors to me if you actually think me worthy of such a noble task." The Captain's words rolled off of his tongue like silk.

It was Truth's turn to flinch. The words that followed were forced and stuttered.

"Yes, It would… Honor me… for you to lead this fleet." He said spitting out the last part almost like rotten food.

"Then noble Hierarch, it shall be done with honor and grace." The Captain said, looking down again.

Tokuamalee about bit clean through his tongue in his battle to be silent. The Captain was inadvertently challenging Truth. However, to everyone else in the room who didn't know the Captain, it seemed like a very humble acceptance. Grinding his teeth together he looked over to Anna, who was looking over to the Captain with a worried look. Some how he felt she knew the weight of the words just thrown. How she would know, being so young, was beyond him.

"Now onto you little one." Truth said turning towards little Anna and lowering. "This ceremony is for this girl. She is joining the ranks of our military as of today. Because of this she will be given both her honorary name, and her title. It is only a humble gift compared to her value to our Covenant, and it shames me that I cannot do more. As most of you know Humans name their children from birth. So to honor her, she shall keep her Human first name. Please step forward."

The crowd momentarily gasped and Anna quickly did as told.

"Regret," Truth said, causing the other to float over holding a small box.

Truth carefully reached over and opened the box revealing a dagger and several small little items that looked like trinkets.

"Here in my hand I hold the most primitive of our weapons." Truth said lowering closer to Anna. "It is our protector, this knife is not meant for combat, it is a symbol of our survival. This knife was used for traps that can hold you down, it can act as a valuable tool in a desperate time of need, it is like our souls, wielded sharp and sturdy. I offer this to you not as a weapon, but as a tool: may it help you out of harms way like it has for thousands of generations before it."

Truth reached down and Anna stretched up to take hold of the small dagger and its sheath.

"In here, I hold a box of symbols." Regret said, leaning down towards Anna as Truth backed away. "Your name will be burned into the memory of this symbol, so choose wisely."

Anna peered into the box and looked at all the small Holo's of symbols. Looking through them, nothing really caught her fancy until she looked at one hidden by the others. Three hexagons side to side. Anna gingerly picked it up and handed it to the waiting Truth.

"She has chosen the Trinity." Truth said causing a small set of encouraging claps to make the rounds through the audience. "Power, wisdom and courage. This symbol represents the balance of the universe at whole. You need courage to act, wisdom to lead, and power to be able to survive. If you have too much of one, you will fail. However if you can find the balance you will succeed. In these trying times the Trinity needs to be our guide."

There was another murmur of approval as the Trinity began to be projected up above Anna.

"Now then, your name." Truth said. "Your name represents who you are and where you are from. What is your given Human name girl?"

Anna quickly stood up strait and spoke with such force that it about startled Truth out of his seat.

"My name is Anna! Mister, Hierarch sir!" a slight moment of quiet laughter wound its way through the audience, and even Truth himself seemed to smile, if only a little.

Tokuamalee smiled, he was damned proud of the girl. No child had ever been that fearless in the face of the Prophets ever. It was a good start in Tokuamalee's mind. Even Truth's shadiness couldn't damper the child's spirits.

"Anna, this shall be your first name, for now, and for forever, do you accept this gift?" Truth said, getting caught in the girls gaze.

"Yes sir, I do." She said not quite as forceful this time, but with the same amount of confidence.

"Then Anna, do you accept the responsibility that is going to be bestowed upon you as soon as you enter this military?" Truth said breaking away from her gaze and shaking slightly. "Do you accept to give up your life for our cause, to live amongst men, to make them your brothers? To bring down the traitors of the Holy Rings so long as you walk this life? Do you swear your allegiance to the Covenant, no matter what befalls you?"

Tokuamalee watched as Truth's hands began to shake slightly.

She has an effect on him too… Tokuamalee thought as he watched Truth cover his shaking hands.

"Yes, I do, for forever, as long as I shall live." Anna said with a curt nod.

Truth smiled. And Anna just about recoiled. The way he smiled set her teeth on edge. Much like the dagger she still held in her hands she could tell that smile was a two edged blade.

"From hence forth you shall now be known as a member of our Covenant," Truth said, more addressing the audience then he was her. "You shall be known by the name your adopted father has been given, and his father before him. You will carry this name with pride, and defend it to your end, is that clear?"

"Yes Prophet Truth, it is clear." Anna said a small bubble of pride beginning to weave its way into her being.

Truth smiled again and opened his arms.

"From here on out you shall be accepted by our Covenant! You shall be our sister in arms. You shall fight under our flag!"

Anna smiled and closed her eyes.

"From here on out, Anna," Truth said a cheer beginning in the audience. The world began to spin as Anna finally began to feel accepted, somewhere anywhere. For once she didn't feel like a burden, she didn't fret over her next meal. She was finally home…

"You shall be known as…."

"Anna Amallee."

Halo: Twisted Origin Chapter 4
Date: 18 September 2006, 9:58 am

Chapter 4: Twisting fate

      A few more words were said by Truth to the counsel, and every last word was in his own tongue. Anna watched patiently and swayed to the strange music that rumbled from Truth's throat. She was nearly asleep standing when Truth's singsong voice changed back and dismissed the counsel in Elite. Her toes were hurting and she had long ago gone back to resting on her heals. Anna could hear voices behind her as the guards stepped up to surround her, Tokuamalee, and the now newly pronounced fleet commander. Unlike yesterday people were filtering out at their leisure and none of the guards was forcing them from their seats. Anna kept her eyes focused on the bottom part of Truth's floating chair.

      "Dervish?" Truth said drifting over to the three standing on the small platform. "Your flagship and fleet await. You are going to be given relatively small assignments till you are comfortable with controlling the fleet. Are you sure you want to take this assignment, as it seems to me to be a little out of your league...?"

      "Noble Hierarch," the captain said, his tone almost offended. "I have been waiting for a chance like this for a long time. I need to prove myself to you. I will bring you many glorious victories in your name. I will prove myself worthy to you."

      "Good then." Truth said stroking his chin thoughtfully. "Guards, escort the captain to the armory and get him outfitted. I have several tasks that will be waiting for you as soon as you take your place. May the Great Journey favor your decision, and may you bring honor to this covenant."

      Anna quickly whirled around to face the captain. The Guards were already surrounding him. Anna looked over to Tokuamalee who also had a surprised look on his face. They were rushing him out. The captain looked at Tokuamalee, then at Anna. His mandibles quivered and a noise so low that Anna could barley hear it echoed through the room. Anna felt her body moving on its own, she was raising her hand out towards him has he turned with the guards. Anna watched as he left feeling rather choked up about the fact that he wasn't allowed to say goodbye. When the door finally shut behind the small entourage Anna turned to face truth again. Sniffling she stood back up on her toes and looked straight forward.

      When she felt eyes boring into her she ventured a glance up. Her eyes locked onto Truth's and she scowled in spite of herself. Keeping her eyes locked she startled Truth by sniffing as loud and as long as she possibly could earning a sour look of distaste from the Prophet.

      "Ugh..." Was all he could spit out before turning and motioning to Regret. "<Come, you two, follow me.>"

      Anna began to follow on Tokuamalee's heals again as he moved. It would be a while before Anna could understand what was being said, so as the future of her being was discussed she went into her own imaginary world with the animals that she adored.

      Tokuamalee glanced behind him and noticed little Anna was trailing him. At this point he was just going to let her follow. From the way Truth's hands worked themselves, there was a lot of information to be passed, and Tokuamalee sure wasn't going to deny the Prophet his outlet. Somewhere in the back of Tokuamalee's mind he realized that he was only a lieutenant and that he shouldn't be thinking about talking to the Prophets about any matter that wasn't ceremonial, but something about the way Truth looked at Anna, and something about the way Truth's lips moved as he mouthed silent words, made Tokuamalee's curiosity peak.

      Tokuamalee watched Truth's every move, just like Truth's guards watched his. Truth's eyes darted back to Anna again and a look of pure disgust crossed his face. Tokuamalee turned so he was facing forward yet kept his eye on Truth. Truth had reached around the underside of his robes and had pulled out a small plasma blade not unlike the one Regret had used on Anna's stomach the day previous. He was fingering the activation switch as he watched Anna walk.

      "<There are many reasons that I should have had you both killed, Sangheili.>" Truth said his singsong voice taking a cold turn. "< In fact I should have you killed now for what Regret spoke to you of in confidence.>"

      Tokuamalee stiffened his walk unintentionally. He kept his eyes forward and his breathing under control.

      "<By all means, if the Forerunner have brought you a conflicting message, please don't hesitate to do away with me. I still don't know why I am even permitted to walk beside you.>" Tokuamalee said rather earnestly.

      Truth turned and put the blade back into his robes with a sigh. "<The Forerunner have not brought me such a message.>" Truth said, the disappointment dripping through his voice. "< It is fortunate timing to say the least, however. The Forerunner may have indeed given you that message. We have been dealing with rather... strange rumors. Demons, spirits, and things we have not dealt with since the rebellions of the previous ages.>"

      Tokuamalee nodded sagely as he noticed they were approaching a Gemini. Quickly he looked down to Truth. "<Surely you don't want to take me into there.>" Tokuamalee said, panicking. "<Only the most pure can enter!>"

      "< I think because the Forerunner chose you to deliver this message, you and the girl shall be safe from the security measures.>" Truth said speeding forward. "< I have a meal in there waiting, as well as an entourage to fit the girl with proper clothing. She is going to wind up being more trouble then her apparent worth.>"

      The doors opened and the guards stopped. Tokuamalee continued walking forward with Anna following without any complaints so far. The doors opened to a hallway and then they closed. Truth pressed his hand against a wall and the floor began to move upward. Anna started and gripped onto Tokuamalee's leg, startling Tokuamalee.
"Where are we going?" Anna asked.

      "<To the Prophets' Gemini.>" Tokuamalee said, looking down and watching as her face scrunched up.

      "Stehporp....." Anna said releasing the Elites leg and pointing over to Truth. " Him? Prophet? Stehporp?"

      Tokuamalee nodded, his mandibles clicking together. Anna began to think very hard, her face scrunching up in concentration. Truth scowled down to her.

      "<Why aren't you answering her in her own tongue?>" Truth said, his expression changing slightly to include curiosity.

      "<She has no need of that foul language.>" Tokuamalee said, with a rather truthful disgust. "< I myself hated learning it, it is so harsh and unnerving, the only reason I put myself to my studies in it was to please the Hierarchs. >" Truth's expression softened and he chuckled a little, making Tokuamalee tense up.

      "<As truthful as that is, Sangheili, her retention of the Human languages is going to be key to her tasks.>" Truth said as the floor slid to a stop.


      "<We have learned things, Sangheili.>" Truth said, the door sliding open into another hallway. "<Because of your position right now as caretaker of the girl I am going to tell you exactly what's going on.>"

      Tokuamalee didn't like the tone Truth was taking. As they walked through the short brightly lit hallway to the area beyond Tokuamalee started to get the inkling that Truth was only playing hardball with him right now because he needed to keep up his appearance. Tokuamalee quickly looked back down at Anna who in turn looked back up at him and smiled. Something in the way her eyes were shimmering told him that right at the moment she was picking up more then should have been possible.

      The small group stopped and made Tokuamalee realize that they were now in a rather large atrium with a rather imposing statue of a prophet holding a Halo above his head. Tokuamalee was momentarily awed. Everything in the room was perfect; he could even hear the small calls of the tiny flying creatures that liked to nest in High Charity's highest walls. However his momentary awe was lost when he looked down at the base of the statue and found several female Elites as well as several female Soraths basking and bathing in the pond at the statue's feet.

      Soraths were a luxury few could afford, their numbers were dwindling due to disease that ran rampant through their ranks. It was a weak species that was originally added to the Covenant ranks solely for their physical appearance and their "abilities" to attract and please the Prophets in ways that Tokuamalee didn't dare think about. Tokuamalee held back a sneer as he watched the Elite females try and tend to the vain creatures. It was disgusting. For an Elite female, watching the Soraths was a task that many loathed, and often times females were completely ostracized from the group simply for their dealing with such wretched creatures.

      "< It's amazing!>" Tokuamalee said attempting to ignore the Soraths as they pranced and splashed through the water, acting like nuisances.

      "<Yes, it is.>" Truth said, watching the girls in the water almost hungrily. "<A true sight to behold.>"

      Yeah, right. The Prophets' big "meditation area" is a giant whorehouse, Tokuamalee thought bitterly.

      "<Come, we are taking lunch on the Balcony,>" Truth said, turning away from the pond and floating up a ramp that lead up to another lobby with a giant knobby tree.

      "<Lunch... food?>"

      Tokuamalee and the prophet both spun around to face Anna with wide eyes. Anna stared back suddenly surprised at their quick movements.

      "yrros..... yrr.... Sorry..." She said putting her hands up defensively. "I didn't mean... to offend..."

      "<No, no offense, little one.>" Tokuamalee said, turning back around to face the bewildered Truth.

      Truth glanced at Tokuamalee, raising a brow. Both of them looked back to Anna who was now staring directly at Tokuamalee, but with that same face she had before.

      "<She is learning,>" Truth said shaking his head and continuing to a set of doors that led out to the balcony. "<This is part of the reason why she is staying here.>"

      Tokuamalee nodded as they reached a table and chairs. There were Grunts holding up small silver trays, each one of them had a band across their eyes and ears. There was another group of female Elites waiting, their heads bowed and eyes lowered. Tokuamalee waited for Truth to get situated at the head of the table.

      "<May I be frank with you, Hierarch?>" Tokuamalee said, waving a hand to Anna, stopping her from climbing onto the chair.

      "<Yes, you may, but I have the right to refuse to answer.>" Truth said, motioning for the three to sit.

      "<Sir, I was curious, what do you think the Forerunner had in mind for this child?>" Tokuamalee said, taking a seat. <"The vision, it was a blur to me, so much hit me at one time that I couldn't decipher it in the least.>"

      "<Ah, yes,>" Truth said motioning one of the servants over to fill his glass. "<Their messages are often cryptic, and hard to decipher. However, this one was the single clearest messages we have gotten from them.>"

      Tokuamalee didn't need to be surprised at this. He had truthfully formed his own conclusions about the vision over the course of the night. He knew Anna was the catalyst for something big, one final cog in a giant mechanism. He knew she would be the winning point for the Covenant, if they kept her long enough. However, he knew better then to voice his opinions. The more innocent he seemed, the more ignorant he was, the less likely he was to die an untimely death.

      "< In order to understand what they want for her, I am going to tell you a small little secret I have learned on my latest journey,>" Truth said taking a sip of the wine in his glass. "<As her caretaker you should be informed of what she is going to be used for.>"

      Tokuamalee cringed internally, he didn't like the wording of that last sentence.
"<There have been rumors floating around the ranks, I am sure you have heard them, and you yourself have had to quell your soldiers fears about a new human menace that has begun to take aim at our covenant.>" Truth said motioning for the servants to begin filling Tokuamalee's and Anna's plates. "<Demons, Wraiths, bringers of death. We have suffered our first true defeats in these recent months. I am sure you have heard about Jolanathee group.>"

      Tokuamalee nodded understandingly. It was common knowledge amongst the higher ranked men that Jolanathee, another Elite with the same job as Tokuamalee, was killed in battle, and only two members of his battalion survived. There were many rumors floating around those soldiers, both who had been committed. They had seen demons. Human men with scars running down their bodies, bloody looks in their eyes, a group of humans that cut through the Elite group like a sharp knife. However they were discredited and ignored. Even people in Tokuamalee's battalion made jokes on the sly about the veterans who had returned. It was common thought that they had lost it.

      "<They were telling the truth.>" Truth said seriously causing Tokuamalee to sit up strait. "< I had made it my personal goal to discredit the rumors of these Human Demons. However, I fear that I only wound up proving that they do indeed exist. These demons have names. They are called 'Spartans'. They are Human super soldiers, built from the ground up. To be frank with you they make the Elite ranks look silly and disorganized. Right now they have been the single reason we have hesitated in our campaign. If we start losing troops will start losing faith in the covenant. The Forerunner will see this through to the end, however the common being will see hard times and rebel, just like they have before.>"

      Tokuamalee had begun to partake in the food, slipping a delicately cut piece of meat in his mandibles as neatly as he could. His mind was whirring along at top speed as he swallowed his food and listened to Truth.

      "<Lucky for us the Humans have sent a transmission detailing every process these Demons have gone through.>" Truth said taking a tiny bite of his food. "<To attempt to prevent too much damage from them, I have decided that I am going to do the same to 150 of our young. I am going to put them through the Spartan training to a point. They are going to be the Covenant's secret weapon. They are going to get training beyond that which any other soldier has ever gotten.>"

      "<Sir!>" Tokuamalee croaked before he could catch himself.

      "<What, Sangheili? Speak your mind.>" Truth said momentarily watching Anna as she Ate.

      "<The suicide rate in our first training sessions is astronomical as is!>" Tokuamalee practically yelled. "<Sending children, especially those who are just barely out of the survival stage, into training like this would yield bad results. The morale falling alone about children getting military training would...>"

      Truth held up his hand and smiled ever so slightly, making Tokuamalee feel momentarily like an uneducated child himself.

      "<The morale won't fall, be there a success or a failure.>" Truth said his hands moving to clasp one another. <"The Humans, if they knew their children were being kidnapped and tampered with they would have warred against one another. No, these children are not going to be missed. The humans had an idea that was wonderfully simple. Flash clones.>"

       "<But, Truth, the Covenant! Human techniques! Since when have we ever had to lower ourselves like that?>" Tokuamalee couldn't help but momentarily cower when Truth's fist made contact on the table so loud that even the servants jumped.

      "<Confound it Sangheili!>" Truth roared. "<The only Aliens in this Covenant that know about this is myself, and now you. If any word of this project were to get out, it would be all your doing. Do you not think I know how much the masses despise Humans? I despise them most of all! But you as a military leader should know to take and digest tactics in order to improve. The humans have devised a smart tactic, we in turn will digest it and counterattack accordingly.>"

      Tokuamalee was momentarily stupefied before the cogs in his brain began to click.

      "<That is.... wow,>" was all he could get out, causing Truth to suddenly laugh.

      "< I thought so too!>" Truth said sipping a little more of his wine. "< I had this plan all worked out before I had even touched the ground here. Anna there was unexpected, but we can use her as a control. 150 of our children against one Human. Your scientists would love to watch over and dictate the goings on of such an adventure, wouldn't they?>"

      "<Yes, yes they would!>" Tokuamalee said taking a drink of his wine. "<They would indeed.>"

      Tokuamalee's mind was doing flip-flops to the point where he could barely keep what was in his stomach down. He quickly looked over to Anna who was currently feasting on a blood melon leaving drippy stains on her cheeks and chin. How was he going to get her through this mess? He cursed silently until Truth's words came back on him.

      "<Wait, my scientists?>" Tokuamalee said, looking quickly back up to truth. "<You mean I am going to be put in charge of the project?>"

      "< In a way yes, your people are going to be involved, and you yourself are going to play a key roll in the children's education.>" Truth said. "<However I have already decided a set of Trainers, three of which are higher ranked then you are. You will have two other equals and you three will split the underlings. You will all have your own groups, though yours will be the largest. I want no part of this experiment to go un-cataloged. Since you are also the caretaker of the girl, I suggest that you start training her in your species' ways every chance you get when she is not busy with training. Of everyone in the experiment we need her to survive the most, watching a human grow and learn is invaluable to us. We can exploit her growth and survival for our own purposes.>"

      "< I see...>" Tokuamalee said rubbing the bottom of a mandible. "< I would need Engineers with me, they would help my men along greatly.>"

      Tokuamalee turned to Anna again, who looked like she finished and was wiping her mouth with one of the clean rags provided.

      "<Not only that but we could train them to heal her, so that the Humans we do capture and interrogate will live longer.>"

      "<Oh that's a splendid idea!>" Truth said, the giddiness not hidden in his voice. "<Come Sangheili we have much to discuss, we shall leave the girl here, my servants will fit her for clothes.>"
Tokuamalee looked at Anna, who looked back up and smiled slightly.

      "<Girl, I am leaving with the Prophet, these servants will take you and fit you with the proper clothing,>" Tokuamalee said watching again as her face scrunched up in concentration.

      "Tokuamalee, eko," She said still confounding him and the prophet. "adoogh ebeh llaw eya."

      "<How long again has she been with your crew?>" Truth asked, floating up to the little girl.

      "<This is the second full day,>" Tokuamalee said glancing nervously over to her and dropping into his own species common tongue. "Truth, there is something beyond special about this girl, her mind is as sharp as a tack, the Forerunner sure as hell knew what they were doing when they chose her, she is going to be hard to match. If the Humans got a hold of her..."

      "<Chances are they would have done something similar,>" Truth said falling into the high registry of the Prophets' native language. "<She is a fast learner, we must be careful what we speak around her, who knows what she has learned from out conversation alone.>"

      Tokuamalee secretly gave a little cheer when Anna replied back to him. The fact that she was a fast learner meant that it would be easy for her to catch on and keep up. Scared for his life at the moment Tokuamalee was playing it overly cool with the Prophet, hoping that his uneasiness could he hidden. Quickly he stood up and waved to Anna.

      "< I will be back in short order, follow the women, they will help you,>" he said, turning to leave.

      "<Ladies, keep good care of this young girl and bring her down to the armory.>" Truth said earning a solemn nod from one of the head mistresses. "<Fit her with training clothes, ten sets, fit her with children's training armor three sets, and outfit her with the proper weapons.>"

      The Ladies gave a murmur and a nod.

      Anna quickly stood and walked towards them, causing Tokuamalee to cheer yet again. Whether or not it was her being brave, or her not realizing the danger, she was deeply impressing him and the Prophet with her fearlessness. Tokuamalee smiled to himself as he followed the prophet out of the room....

      Anna quickly walked up to the tall females, her mind reeling. She didn't know what to expect from them. Turning around she watched as Tokuamalee and Truth went through a small teleporter and disappeared. The Servants went into motion just about faster then Anna could track. Anna watched, analyzing them as they moved. Each girl knew exactly what they were doing, and in no time flat the table had been cleared, the only thing left a peach-sized fruit that had made its way to the floor. Without thinking too much about it Anna scooped it up, brushed it off, and stuck it in her sleeve for later....

      She had to shift some of the other food she had stored too. While the Prophet and Tokuamalee were talking Anna took careful pains to grab and eat as much as she could as well as stash as much as she could without being caught. She also took careful pains to start digesting and finding patterns in the language they spoke. Her mind was so active she had forgotten where she was and nearly had forgotten what had happened that led up to her being here with the rushing females.

      One of the females stood beside her silently and regarded her with a curious eye. Anna decided that these were the best ones to practice on, since they weren't of any status, so they wouldn't care if she botched the language.

      "S....so," Anna said tripping over the pronunciation. "Who... what wilil wee bee doingmh?"

      The female regarded her again this time with surprise written over her face. The others began to form up around her and began whispering quietly. No one answered Anna.

      "Y... You can... Talch." Anna said turning so she was facing the female with her neck craned upwards. "I amnoth itportant. You can talch."

      "Little one..." The female's still, deep voice said. "How long have you been here in the presence of the lieutenant?"

      Anna thought about it for a moment before holding up two fingers to the Female.

      "Two daises, Humanh," Anna said nodding and assuring herself.

      "How long have you been studying our language?" Another slightly higher pitched voice perked up.

      Anna scrunched her face up as she tore apart the words in her mind and re-organized them into something understandable. The girls shifted impatiently as Anna thought.

      "Fooreh aboot a...." Anna said searching and scrambling to produce the right words. "Day, or... soah... Not teh goot yet....."

      "A Human child, only on High Charity for a single day, has already started to learn the language." The lead female said. "It is a frightening situation for us now, come girl, follow us."

      Follow seemed to be one of those words used often, so Anna caught on without having to think to hard on it. The women began to talk fast, leaving Anna in her own little world. She watched as they began to walk out the same way they had entered. She watched as their graceful legs moved inside the loose fabric of their pants. As the fabric would lift Anna got to see their feet, which were glossed and painted with intricate designs. The hooves made hard contact with the ground, causing Anna to shudder involuntarily as she imagined her tiny bare toes under the gigantic hoof. The fact that she somehow managed to work her way into the center of the group made her jumpy for her feet. As the females walked they became more animated, and seemed to almost forget where she was.

      That was until one of the Soraths came prancing up to the party.

      Immediately the females surrounded Anna and danced around her, as the Sorath attempted to gain access to the girl. Anna scowled and gripped onto one of the female's legs, causing the female to squeak, but to hold steady.

      "Come on, I just want to see her." The Sorath said, her voice so sickeningly sweet that it reminded Anna of some of the caretakers at her school.

      Between everything that had happened, Anna didn't want to deal with the sickeningly sweet female attempting to gain access to her. She snorted in thought before something hit her.

      "I have no need to be pestered by the likes of you," Anna said speaking as clearly as she could. "Be off with your kin and leave us be."

      Anna let go of the female's legs and began to walk forward. The females quickly followed. The Sorath continued to pester them, but the females bottled up.

      "Oh come on, I just want to see her," The Sorath whined.

      "Listen," The lead female Elite seethed, coming inches from the Sorath's face. "I have no need for your stupid games, and right now your bruises will be a mark the Prophets will forgive me for. So you and your kin clear out of our way or face our wrath!"

      The Sorath jumped back, but not enough to avoid the Female elite's strong punch. There was a bone crunching wet thud, and then a loud splash as the Sorath landed in the shallow pool at the base of the statue. The Female Elite made a loud clicking noise and a Hoot. The other Sorath cowered.

      Anna watched as the Elite momentarily raged then turned and motioned for the others to follow her. Anna quickly followed them out the door of the Gemini and into the hallway. The guards regarded them and nodded if only slightly to the lead female in the group.

      Silent whispers were being passed between the guards and the women as they walked. Anna knew there was more going on here then meets the eye.