Halo 3 : Insurrection by Wolverfrog
Halo 3 : Insurrection
Date: 16 June 2009, 5:28 pm
The Lone Sangheili plunged his sword into the human, relishing the way it slid effortlessly into the weak flesh of the inferior being.
Around him lay a multitude of Human bodies, all mutilated in some way by the burning divinity of the Energy Sword.
As he sheathed his blade, the Elite looked out at the horizon, and the setting sun in the distance.
Of course the alliance couldn't have lasted. They were fools to believe otherwise. The Humans, pitiful beings that they were, still held grudges. After several of his brothers were killed by the vengeful creatures, the High Council had decided enough was enough.
They had tried diplomacy at first, asking the Human leader Lord Hood to issue a declaration stating any marine who killed an Elite would be treated like they would if he had killed a fellow Human.
But the fool wouldn't do it, said he could sympathise with the killers of the Elite's, that it was up to them to take steps against the murderers, non violent steps of course.
R'tas Vadum, the exalted leader of their race, had attempted to reason further with Hood, and eventually resorted to threats when the Human refused to accept his terms.
Even those didn't work, and in anger, R'tas had unsheathed his sword and drove it into the guts of the traitor.
And rightly so, the Elite assured himself as he once again questioned himself if what they were doing was right.
The alliance quickly broke up there and then, angry at the loss of their leader, the Humans retaliated, and R'tas was nearly killed in the ensuing escape.
But he had escaped, and was greeted as a hero. By all except that heretic, the Arbiter.
The Elite remembered the confrontation between the two leaders well...
"How could you?" The Arbiter had shouted angrily. "After all the work that had been put in to forming this alliance, you break it with one swipe of your sword"
"I did what I must Arbiter, my honour would not allow me to let this murder carry on!"
"I'm not saying what the Humans did what right, but that's still no reason to kill one in cold blood!"
"Did the humans treat us any differently Arbiter? Slitting our throats whilst we slept, the devious infidels!"
"Be that as it may, you should have continued with diplomacy you fool!" The Arbiter had drawn his sword by then, and was snarling openly at the smaller Elite. R'tas had done likewise.
"Has that what it has come to brother? That you would be willing to kill one of your own over these humans, these worms?"
Averting his gaze to the floor, The Arbiter had sheathed his Blade.
"I cannot kill you R'tas. But I refuse to be part of this insurrection, I'm leaving."
"Arbiter, wait! We need you now more than ever, if you leave, what will that say to the rest of the Sangheili?"
"I care not" The Arbiter had said in an undertone. "For whilst you wage this petty war, I count none of you as brother."
And with that, he had boarded a Spirit drop ship, which were now in use once again after the end of the Prophet's reign, and left without looking back.
The Elite sighed, so much had happened since then. Both sides had sustained heavy losses. But it was too late to call a treaty now. Both races were waist deep in the others blood, and could not climb out.
To end this fighting, they would need a miracle.
Part One: Awakening
"Chief, Chief can you hear me? Dammit John, wake up!" Cortana's voice shouted, echoing in the Master Chief's mind. He could feel the temperature getting hotter, his limbs loosening as they unfroze.
He felt that same feeling he did every time he emerged out of a cryo sleep, stiff, annoyed, and tired.
"What's the situation?" He asked, climbing out of the pod.
"We're about to crash into a planet of some kind, I just thought you should know. Anyway, it may be a good idea for us to leave. Now."
He assessed the situation, his artificially accelerated mind racing through numerous problems and solutions.
"Can you not bring the Dawn in slowly?"
"I would, but the thrusters are in bad shape. If I activated them, there's a 80% chance they could blow."
"Do we have any Pelicans, or a HEV pod?" He asked, already knowing the answer.
"Nope, we're totally out, and we don't have a parachute on board either, no way getting off the ship, or what's left of it anyway."
John could feel the surge as they entered the Planet's atmosphere, and knew they had to get off now, or die.
"There's always a way" He said, walking over to the shattered edge of the broken ship.
"Please don't tell me that you're....oh, you are, excellent."
"It's the only way Cortana, besides, it went well last time; well, sort of."
"Last time? And what do you mean 'sort of'?"
"Brace yourself" He said. Two simple words, then, he jumped.
The Elite approached the Zealot with no little apprehension, he was known to take his anger out on anything in the nearby vacinity when given bad news.
"Noble Zealot, my scouts have just reported seeing something in the sky, a burning comet of sorts, rushing down to the surface."
The Zealot, named Z'thanee, slowly turned his head to face the messenger.
"You interupted me for this?" Z'thanee was tired of managing the citedel he had been appointed to govern, and as a result had developed a short temper.
The smaller Elite Minor gave a noticable flinch, something which pleased Z'thanee.
"We, that is to say, I, thought it may be important, after all, the Humans use such methods to quickly deploy their troops."
The Zealot paused, and leaned forward in his gravity defying chair.
"You could be right there, for once. Take a squad of five and investigate the crash site, if you discover anything of worth, report it to me at once."
The Minor lowered his head respectfully.
"Yes, noble Zealot, it shall be done."
"Aim for that body of water!" Cortana shouted, indicating on his heads up display the ocean in question.
Swerving to the side slightly, John snapped his arms to his side, and prepared himself for what would come. With a huge crash, the Spartan cut through the water and sank several dozen metres below. Luckily the water was very deep, so he avoided major injury.
He swam up to the surface, and crawled onto the rocky shore.
"See? No problem." John said, collapsing onto the floor.
He looked up into the ruby red sky. He could see no trace of the Dawn, it must have disintergrated in the atmosphere.
"So, how long was I under ice for?"
"I'd say about two months, give or take."
Two months? It wasn't as bad as he had been expecting, but it was still quite a long time.
"Any idea where the hell we are?" He asked, surveying the scenery around them. The vegetation in the area was tall, and strange birds could be seen up in the sky.
"Your guess is as good as mine. No where near Earth, but we're still in it's galaxy."
That was a relief. John had been worried they might have been sent to a dark, unknown corner at the edge of the universe.
"We'd best set up camp." John said, already snapping branches of trees to start a fire.
"Agreed, tommorow we can do some scouting around, see if this planet has any advanced life on...wait."
"What is it?" The Chief said, slowly drawing out his weapon.
He was still carrying the Spartan laser Johnson had used before his death, the one John had used to kill the Monitor. Johnson had made a few modifications on it, placing a nuclear battery inside; expensive, but effective. The laser's charge would last a long time, he could fire a hundred shots and not even waste one percent of the battery.
"I'm picking up multiple figures heading this way, odd, my sensors are showing them as Elites."
"Really? That's a relief then." John lowered his weapon, things were turning out perfectly, if Elites were here then he'd have a way to contact Earth, and Lord Hood.
"Chief, I wouldn't relax just yet, I've hacked into their com chatter and they seem to be on the offensive."
How strange, thought John, surely their HUDs would show him as human. He raised the weapon again, finger resting upon the large, black trigger of the Spartan laser.
Suddenly, six Elites burst into his small camp, all holding Covenant Energy swords, adapted from Forerunner technology.
"Demon...." One of them growled, advancing upon him in a menacing manner. John slowly backed away. He could only see five Elites now, hadn't there been six before?
"Whoa...easy there. I'm a human, we have an alliance...."
The Elites began to laugh, a deep, intimidating one.
"You have been gone a long time Demon, things have changed..."
"What the hell are you talking about? Where's the Arbiter?" John challenged, hands gripping ever tighter upon the laser.
"All will be explained shortly Demon, but for now, I grow tired of this talk." He turned to face the others. "Take him".
John didn't care if they still had an alliance or not, all he knew now was that he was in danger, and so was Cortana. His combat instincts kicked in, and he readied himself for action.
Four of the Elites charged as one, the one who had done the talking hanging back, with a sneer upon his sharp face.
The Chief held down the trigger, and the Spartan laser's end glowed a deep, vibrant red, then discarged. A beam of concentrated light hit one of them square in the chest, burning a hole through the alien flesh. With a whisper, the Elite silently fell to the ground.
The remaining ones cried out at the loss of their 'brother', and one lunged directly at John, aiming for his heart. Reacting quickly, John hit the ground and rolled away from the lunge, ending up directly behind the attacker. With a grunt, he crashed the butt of the Spartan laser into the Elites chest, puncturing the thick lungs inside. Wheezing, and crawling desperately along the ground, the Elite began to move around in circles, frantically trying to draw breath. As one final attempt to do so failed, the Elite collapsed, and moved no more.
John was confident he could win, the Elites were of a low rank, and only two, not including who he assumed to be the leader, remained. He still couldn't see the sixth Elite who had mysteriously vanished earlier though.
He charged his laser, and another beam came forth, this time burning into the side of one of the Elite's head, killing him instantly. The remaining one was backing away now, fear present on his face, and the leader's confident sneer had vanished, to be replaced by a uncertain scowl.
Suddenly, he heard the sound of an active camoflage deactivating behind him, and before he could retaliate, the strong fist of the sixth Elite hammered into the side of John's head, knocking him to the ground in a daze.
The last thing he saw before he blacked out was the sight of two Elite's rushing towards him, victory clear in their expressions.
"Welcome to Sanghelios Demon....." He heard one faintly say, then, darkness.
Halo 3: Insurrection : Part Two
Date: 22 June 2009, 2:10 am
Part Two: Trial
When John came to, he was standing in a hall, one filled with thousands of Elites, as well as numerous Grunts and Hunters who had remained loyal to them at the time of the Great schism from the Covenant.
He turned his head, and noticed before him several Elites, towering over him. He suddenly realised he was on the floor, supported by his knees, and stood up. Noticing this, several Honour Guards rushed up to him and bashed him with the blunt end of their staves, sending plasma coursing through his body. He fell to the ground again. John was still in his Mark VI armour, evidently the Elites had been unable to find the codes needed to release the titanium plated joints.
A rough hand grasped him by the shoulder, and hoisted him up. Several metres in front of him, atop of the jewel encrusted marbled stairs were three Elites, sitting upon glowing gravity chairs.
"Demon", the one in the middle began. "You are brought before the High Council, so we can decide your fate."
There was uproar among the rest of the Elites, he heard the phrase "Kill him" used many a time.
"Silence!" The one on the right ordered. He received it in an instant. The middle one, who he assumed to be the leader, began speaking again.
"The situation here is..." He searched for the right word, "complicated."
John had held his tongue until now, but he couldn't stay silent any longer.
"What the hell is going on?" He asked.
The middle Elite sighed, he seemed to be old. John hoped he was wise too.
"Due to a multitude of events, we are once again at war with your species. We would have preferred to avoid it, but our honour demanded it."
"You never learn do you? There is nothing honourable about war, only suffering can come from it."
The one on the left spoke for the first time.
"That's rich, coming from you Demon. How long does it take you after battle to wash the blood off of your hands?"
John lowered his head. The Elite was right, despite how misguided he seemed.
"Enough please." Said the middle one. "We will get no where like this."
"Yes, Kaidon A'trinr." The left Elite spoke, he sounded bitter, envious perhaps.
"Now, even though we bear you no ill will Demon, it was not you who started this war, we cannot let you go free, you are loyal to the Humans."
"We should kill him and be done with it!" A Councillor in the crowd shouted.
"No. There is no need for that, we are civilised beings are we not?"
"More so than him..." The Elite on the left said.
"High Councillor K'zath, if you cannot keep your spiteful comments to yourself, I shall have you flayed." Spoke the Kaidon.
John had had it.
"Enough with this crap, where's the Arbiter? I thought he was in command."
The three Elites gave a visible squirm, they were obviously uneasy about the subject.
"The Arbiter chose to...travel his own path, rather than fight in the war. He is a coward." The Kaidon said.
"I think not, you and the rest of the Elites are the real cowards, you and your false sense of honour. It's no wonder the Prophets replaced you with apes, they had more guts than you." John said, provoking them. A new chorus of "kill him" broke out across the hall.
"Enough taunts Demon, my patience grows weary. There are hundreds in here who would happily rip you to pieces, and throw your mangled body of the cliff edge. However, it is not for them to decide. I have chosen to place you in a cell, you shall be treated as a guest, but you are not allowed to leave this city, and can go no where without the presence of at least fifteen guards of the highest rank."
"You can't hold me in a prison forever." John said, knowing that Cortana could disable any security system the Elites had cooked up. Speaking of which, where was she?
"I assume you mean your Construct will free you." The Kaidon began, a smug grin on his worn face. "And that she could...if she were alive, that is."
The room turned cold, and darkness crept into the room.
"What have you done to her?" John demanded, shaking with fury.
"It matters not, she was only a machine. Our Engineers destroyed her, she was too much of a risk." The Elite said hurriedly, suddenly nervous.
"You killed her?!?"
Blinded by fury, John wrenched free of the Honour Guards holding him. They raised their staves to knock him down, but with lighting reflexes, the Spartan grabbed one, turned it around, and swung it in an arc, once. Two heads toppled to the floor.
"Stop him!" Shrieked A'trinir, and several more Honour Guards entered the fray. He killed one, stabbing it in the neck, and felled another with a glancing blow from the Stave's side.
More and more rushed forward, and eventually John was subdued by sheer numbers, over five dozen Honour Guards surrounding him. He was knocked down by a blow to the head, and everything became a blur.
"You are lucky I am lenient Demon!" A'trinr shouted after him, as he was taken away. "After such an event, most would change their minds about only throwing you in a cell!"
He saw himself being dragged through a door, then once again blacked out.
Halo 3: Insurrection: Parts Three and Four
Date: 11 August 2009, 8:52 pm
PART THREE - ASSASSINATION
"How much are you willing to pay?" The Assassin asked, with nods from his two partners.
"When I become Kaidon, you can have whatever you need"
"You do realise that if we fail, or honour compels us to reveal who you are, and you pay the price?"
The Elite in the shadows waved him down.
"I know the rules of succession. Do not fail me."
The Assassins bowed their heads.
"We shall do our best." They scurried off into the night, ready to kill.
High Councillor K'zath smiled, things were turning his way.
John was tossed into the cell, barley coherent. He just about heard an Honour Guard growl something in his face, then saw them leave. He surveyed the cell. He wasn't bound in any way, other than the powerful energy barrier in place of a door. John suspected that inside the alien walls lay similar, wafer thin barriers too.
The world began to come back to him, and he slowly stood up. He tested his theory, and with a grunt, kicked the wall, shattering the thick metal. Through the crack, he saw blue. It seemed he was correct.
After waiting around for what seemed like hours, dinner came. It was a Grunt who brought it, under the protection of Honour Guards. After the barrier was deactivated, the small alien placed the meal down, never taking his eyes of John.
"Boo!" the Spartan said. The Grunt couldn't have run away faster if there was a pack of hungry Jackals on his tail. The barrier was erected again.
It looks like things were going to get very boring very soon. But it was fine. John could wait. One day, someone would make a mistake, and that would be when he would break free. There was still that Energy barrier to think about though. Things would be so much easier if Cortana were with him.
The Assassins stole through the dark corridors of the Citadel, silencing all they came across. They were close to the Kaidon's chambers now, and they could hear the footsteps of the two Honour Guards up ahead. They were talking to each other.
"A tough day today, I was worried when the Demon went insane in the hall." One said, as he passed the other.
"Indeed, but he is locked up now, where he belongs." The two guards parted ways, each going to patrol a different end of the corridor.
As one approached the assassins, they chose that moment to strike. Without a sound, they fell upon the Honour guard, who gave a startled cry before succumbing to death. The other one paused in his tracks.
"Malthusian? What is it?"
The three assassins veered around the corner, and stabbed the guard in the head with the small plasma daggers they carried. The entrance to the Kaidon's quarters was now empty.
One went over to a terminal, and began hacking into the door controls. As he finished, the door slowly slid open, silently. They crept into the room, and saw Kaidon A'trinr asleep in his chair, head slumped slightly to the side. Creeping up behind him, they raised their daggers to strike.
Suddenly, as a dagger flew down through the air, the crack of an energy sword was heard, and A'trinr blocked the dagger with it's side.
"So, yet another assassination attempt." He said, standing up. "Let me guess, K'zath? Yes, it would be him, I have seen the way he looks at me when I hold council, craving more power."
"May you die with honour" One of the assassins said.
"Haha, we'll see" A'trinr smiled, knowing he was far too old to win. But he had accepted this would happen a long time ago. He was ready to die. His only regret was that the Demon was now in danger, despite his best efforts to have it otherwise.
Hours later, John was awoken by someone descending the stairs down to his cell. It was an Elite minor, not an Honour Guard for a change. The tired Spartan rose.
"Demon. Kaidon A'trinr is dead. High Councillor K'zath has succeeded him. The Elite paused. "His first decree as Kaidon is that you are to be executed one week from now...I'm sorry."
After hundreds of successful operations, and surviving Halo, it looked like John's luck had finally run out.
PART FOUR - AIN'T NO LIGHTBULB GONNA KILL HIM
2 months earlier, Installation 04...
Sergeant Avery Johnson awoke to an unpleasant surprise. A Flood infection form was attempting to burrow it's way into his torso and hijack his nervous system. Evidently, it was having trouble.
With an explosion of pain, Avery drew out a Magnum .44 from his belt, and fired a bullet, the sound of the shot echoing in his sore ears. The Infection form exploded, splattering him with the dead biomass. Avery stood up.
He was slightly confused as to why he was still alive. That crazy Monitor had hit him square in the chest, surely it would have killed him. Yet here he was, live and kicking. For the first time since he had partook in it, Avery was glad he had volunteered for the Spartan I program, all those years ago.
It made no difference in the end though, he supposed, he would die when Halo detonated anyway. He could see no sign of the Chief and the Arbiter, hopefully they were already on board the Dawn, powering up her engines.
Suddenly, he heard a shimmering noise behind him. He turned around, and came face to face with the last thing he wanted to see. Another Monitor, but different than Spark. Golden, more regal.
"Great, another Light bulb." He growled, popping a cigar from his belt into his mouth. "You here to fire a laser at me too?"
The Monitor appraised him for a second, then dryly replied.
"Hardly. I am 032 Mendicant Bias, Grand Monitor of Installation 00."
After several moments of indecision on whether to believe it or not, Avery decided it didn't really matter anyway.
"Yeah? Well I guess that's some good news. I suppose it'll be nice to have some company in my last moments before this thing goes boom."
A series of sounds came from the Monitor, Johnson could have been wrong, but it almost sounded like it was laughing. In an artificial, clunky way.
"Why so pessimistic Sergeant?" Mendicant asked, curious.
Johnson walked to the edge of the control room, looking down into the chasm below. The darkness he saw seemed to sum up his life, empty.
"It's called realism Light bulb, you robots seem to have trouble understanding it."
It laughed again.
"Oh, don't worry Reclaimer, I understand the situation perfectly. What I don't understand, however, is why you seem to think there is no way out of it."
"Look around Light bulb. This whole place is about to blow, and you're standing, I mean floating there laughing." Johnson told the Monitor, growing tired of it.
"You are right there. Installation 04, and indeed, my own Installation 00, or what you call the Ark, is about to be destroyed. But that doesn't mean we have to be."
A pause, then.
"What do you mean?"
Instead of giving him a direct answer, Mendicant Bias chose to instead be ambiguous.
"Do you know why my former masters built the Halo array Sergeant?"
"Who do you think I am, an ONI Spook? Something to do with stopping the Flood." Avery said simply.
"You are correct, in a way. Originally, however, Halo was conducted not to destroy, but to preserve the Flood. Think, Sergeant, a life form which, from a single spore, smaller than a grain of sand, can destroy an entire empire. What a weapon that could be against my master's enemies, if controlled properly."
"Let me guess, the plan backfired?" Johnson guessed, and from the sounds of approval the Monitor made, it seemed he had guessed correctly.
"That is exactly what happened Reclaimer. The Flood had an aspect to them my masters hadn't predicted."
"And what was that?"
"The Gravemind." Mendicant said, in a strange tone of voice. "But look, even as we speak, Halo's inevitable destruction draws ever closer. We shall resume this conversation another time, for now, we must leave."
"And how exactly do you plan on doing that? And shouldn't I be falling into a deep, dark chasm right about now? Last thing I saw before I blacked out was this place falling to bits." Avery asked, sceptical.
"I still have some power Reclaimer, despite how fractured I am. Every structure my masters built had a transportation grid built into them, to cut down journey time, and for use in the event of an emergency. Usually, it can only be used to get around the same structure. However, in my case the rules are slightly different." It paused, then said, "Are you ready?"
Johnson didn't like the idea of leaving without knowing what had happened to the Chief, but he knew he had no choice.
"As ready as I'm ever gonna be."
A blue nexus surrounded both of them, and in an instant, they were gone.
Halo 3: Insurrection : Parts Five and Six
Date: 11 September 2009, 4:14 pm
These early parts are short, I know. They get longer later into the series, and to change these ones now would muck up the story.
PART FIVE: THE HERETIC
Thel Vadam, Arbiter of the former Covenant empire, was troubled. Whilst he believed his decision to leave the bloodthirsty Sangheili he had once called his brothers a right one, he was unsure if it was a wise one. He needed to talk to someone, someone he could trust.
He paced around the empty halls of his drop ship, looking sadly at the empty chairs where the rest of his brothers would usually be sitting in. How things had changed. The only one he felt he could trust now was his friend from childhood, Saran C'rtrag. Last time he had check, Saran was still living on Sanghelios, mostly free from the past Covenant's tyranny.
Walking back into the navigation bay, he pressed a button on a holographic surface, and a translucent apparition arose. An Artificial Intelligence, a human one.
Luckily for him, it was what the humans called a "dumb" AI, willing to serve the commands of any who held the access code. The Spirit had had one installed whilst the Sangheili were at peace with the humans, to help maximise combat efficiency. In return, his race had shared with the humans the secret of large scale energy shields.
The Arbiter sighed. There was so much potential in the now dead alliance, together, they could have revealed the very mysteries of the universe, nothing would have been able to stop them. Now though, they were once again at each others throats. But Thel refused to believe that a solution couldn't be found, some way, he would stop the fighting.
But first he needed to talk.
"Construct, would you kindly set the coordinates for Sanghelios please?" He asked politely, disregarding the fact that he didn't need to speak to it with tact, as he had done with Cortana.
Thinking of Cortana made him think of the Spartan, and of his sacrifice. Thel was unsure what had happened as the Ark's portal had collapsed, but according to both Sangheili and Human scientists, he could still be alive. Where though was an entirely different matter.
"Yes sir Captain" The program said in response to his command, applying a human rank to him.
Sitting down in the large chair in the Spirit's control deck, the Arbiter braced himself for the oncoming slip space jump.
Hopefully, the journey home would be an uneventful one.
A nimbus of light surrounded the peaceful clearing for the fraction of a second, then was gone, leaving the outline of two figures.
"Well," Mendicant Bias began, "A most excellent trip."
Johnson was on his hands and knees, breathing heavily. He felt like he could sleep for a week.
"If you so Light bulb, if you say so."
He took a look around. Life was present everywhere, green bushes, tall trees, strange birds flying in the distance. This was Eden.
"Now Sergeant, we have much to do." Mendicant said, drifting around and disappearing into a structure nearby. Avery followed, his footsteps echoing on the strange, metal surface he was standing on.
"Wait up there, where are we?" The Sergeant asked, still gasping for breath. The injury Spark had inflicted upon him was quite potent.
"An ancient grove my masters built aeons ago, a tranquil place where one can rest and be at peace. It is one of the few structures my masters built on this planet that has not been desecrated by the Sangheili living here. But where are my manners? You are hurt, and require medical attention. I shall summon a healing unit at once."
A loud pulse rang through the air, and suddenly out of a small opening in the wall a small sentinel like construct emerged, minus the laser.
"Whoa there," Johnson said as the small machine began patching him up, "What do you mean by Sangheili? Ain't that an Elite?"
The Monitor gave another chuckle. It wasn't as annoying as dear old Spark had been, but still...
"Indeed Sergeant, that is the name humans have applied to the species. So, now that you know that, can you guess where we are?"
Johnson thought for a second. He then thought of an answer, and his face registered disbelief.
"Correct Reclaimer." Mendicant said smugly.
"But I didn't even say anything!" Avery protested.
"Ah, but your expression told otherwise. We are indeed on Sanghelios"
"Wait, why? Wouldn't Earth have been a better place to go?""
Mendicant drifted outside and looked up at the blazing sun in the distance.
"Can you see that Sergeant? That beautiful, blazing beacon of hope, inspiring all who behold it. It makes me glad to exist, as it should you."
Johnson half squinted at it, it had a vibrant violet hue.
"Why is it purple?" Johnson asked.
"Unlike Sol, or the Epsilon Indi star you are used to Sergeant, the Sun shining upon this planet is very different, in that it is made up of highly concentrated Plasma."
"Seriously? That would explain how the Covenant never seemed to run out of ammo for their weapons then."
"And it is also the main reason my masters were interested in this Planet, to harness the immense energy for their own use, for example, the Halo Array was originally built using power from that Sun; when my masters were eventually forced to leave as the Flood outbreak grew ever larger, they left their power storing structures behind."
"So, what was the deal with the Flood?"
Mendicant Bias looked once again into the sky.
"That, Sergeant, is a discussion for another time. Now, if you would let me finish?"
Johnson, abashed, muttered an inaudible apology. With it's advanced Forerunner technology, Mendicant heard it anyway, and was satisfied.
"The Elites discovered these structures when they were still in the tribal stage, and thus their religion was born, with my masters as it's epicentre. It seems foolish if you possess the knowledge I do, but I can understand why my master's were interpreted as Gods. They were rather advanced, after all. Indeed, it was them who first gave life to this rock. In essence, they created the Sangheili"
"Okay, enough talk. The history lesson was nice and all, but why did you bring us here?"
The Monitor looked perplexed.
"Why, to rescue him of course." It said impatiently.
"Rescue who?" Avery queried, puzzled.
"You haven't figured it out? Very well, I shall tell you. You know him best as the Master Chief."
PART SIX: HOME SWEET HOME
"Now exiting Slip Space Captain. May I advise you to lie down?" A quick, wave of dismissal said otherwise.
Thel Vadam' leaned forward on the edge of his chair. Suddenly, the great swirling cosmos around him morphed into a tranquil, black space. Before him was his beautiful Sanghelios, his home. It had been so long.
"Excellent. Construct, set us down near the state of Vadam. I have an old friend there I wish to meet."
"Roger that sir." The Artificial intelligence said coolly, devoid of all emotion.
"Oh, and engage the stealth systems, all of them. We don't want anyone to know we're here."
There was a faint shimmering sound, and suddenly, the Ship vanished. It was always unnerving when it happened, no matter how often you had done it. To drift through space, unable to see your vessel always shook the Arbiter up.
They bypassed the Planet's defences unseen. The stealth system drive aboard this Spirit was an advanced one. Indeed, the Sangheili had so far been unable to devise a method to detect it.
The Spirit descended slowly upon the luscious surface of the Planet. Unlike the Humans Earth, Sanghelios was still bright and blooming, full of life. This was because his race refused to take too much from a Planet their Gods had left their mark on. Most of the Sangheili's resources were harvested from neighbouring planets.
As it's Engines cooled down, and the Spirit's side doors opened, the Arbiter climbed out and set foot upon his birthplace for the first time in years. To the north he could see the Great Citadel of Vadam, the place he had once ruled as Kaidon, before he got mixed up in The Covenant. Saran C'rtrag lived there, Thel needed to see him.
But he couldn't just march straight in, not as he was dressed currently. He would be instantly identified as the Arbiter. Who knew what heinous price the Sangheili had placed upon his head? He would need new armour.
R'nas N'three left the temple early in the morning. Even with the abolishment of The Covenant, the Elite's were still firm believers in the ancients divinity, and thus kept worshipping them.
He had just been to a sermon, a long one delivered by an Unngoy Deacon. Whilst the Sangheili usually treated the pitiful race in disdain, the Deacons were different, touched by the power of the ancients, with words of wisdom to all, be them Unngoy or Sangheili.
He walked down the marbled streets of the citadel, basking in the sun's violet glow. Remembering to don his red, shining armour in case of a bandit attack, R'nas left the gigantic gates of the citadel and took a step outside into the beautiful forests of Vadam. Every dawn, after worship, N'three enjoyed walking around the pleasant vale surrounding the city, breathing the fresh, morning air.
The Elite followed the river embankment down to his favourite spot in the whole forest, a tranquil sanctuary where one could be at peace. Traces of the ancients were all around him, the strange carvings in the aeon old trees, the way nature sung of their presence. It was beautiful. He sat down at the edge of the bank, and began to meditate.
Suddenly, a large shadow was cast upon R'nas' form, unknown to him, with his eyes tightly shut. He felt a heavy fist swing into the side of his jaw, knocking him senseless to the floor. He blinked once, then faded into unconsciousness.
Bending over his unknown victim, Thel Vadam' began to methodically strip the dazed Elite of his armour. Luckily, underneath was a plain white robe, a testimony to the Elite's religious beliefs.
Taking off his honoured, traditional armour the Prophet of Truth had originally gave to him, he began to place upon his body the armour of the Major he had felled. It would look a bit strange, Thel decided, for one as tall and imposing as him to be a mere Major, but it would have to do, for now. He could always stoop a little bit to make himself look more insignificant.
Taking the time first to place the armour of The Arbiter inside the Spirit's cargo hold, Thel the Major set off for the Citadel.
Far beneath the Great Citadel of Vadam, in a sprawling network of artificial network of underground catacombs, John waited in his cell. Waited for the final moment. He had accepted the inevitable, no one was coming to save him, A'trinr, perhaps the only Elite who since crashing had shown him some small kindness, was dead.
Sometime later in the day, or perhaps night, as it was impossible to tell this deep underground, an Elite brought him his daily meal. Gone were the classy steaks he had been given, now he got what was basically watered down paste, barely enough to keep him going.
"Eat up maggot," The Elite sneered, "We wouldn't want you to die before the execution." Before leaving, John was administrated a heavy kick by the Elite, one which caught the Spartan in his side.
How easy it would be for him to stand up now and break the Elite's spine, John mused as he looked at his jailer. But that wouldn't solve anything, he decided, there were legions of Honour Guards just outside, waiting for an excuse, any excuse, which would permit them to make John taste steel.
Instead he waited, conserving his strength. He wasn't going to go out without a fight, no sir. Patiently, he awaited his fate.
Halo 3: Insurrection (Part Seven)
Date: 1 October 2009, 9:09 pm
PART SEVEN - REVELATION
Thel clambered over the rocky pass which linked the wilderness and the Citadel of Vadam, and arrived at the giant gates guarding it's citizens. As he neared the giant, ancient structures, two Elites stopped him, Majors.
"Halt there stranger. What be your business in this holiest of Citadels?" One of them asked, his voice gruff.
Thinking fast, the Arbiter responded.
"I was attending morning worship brother, and it seems I forgot to thank the Deacon for his excellent sermon. My honour could not bear it if he thought me insolent."
This was good enough for the guards, amongst the Sangheili, one's honour was a symbol of their power. One gave the signal for the gates to be opened. Just as Thel was about to pass through, the guard placed a hand on his shoulder, stopping him for a second.
"Wait as second, your face looks familiar. Have we met?"
"Nay brother, you must be mistaken." The Arbiter turned his head, and, shaking of the Elite's grip, entered hurriedly through the port cullis.
He took a long look at the magnificent street before him. As brilliant as the day he had left. The gleaming marble reflected the violet rays of the sun, casting an iridescent glow upon the passers by.
How easy it would be, the Arbiter thought to himself, to rejoin with his race and fall back into the daily routine he had frequented back when he had lived here, all those years ago. But that would be wrong. He owed that much at least to the Spartan.
Saran didn't live far from where Thel was currently walking. If he could remember from his days as Kaidon, his old friend's manor was in the Council district. He wondered if Saran was still upon the Council, back in the day he had been a valuable asset at times to Thel, getting him out of many situations. The only reason he didn't sit at his side as a High Councillor was due to the fact that the Prophet of Regret, upon visiting once, had taken an immediate dislike to him.
He set off slowly, basking in the warm glow of the burning star above him.
"What the hell are you talking about Light bulb?" Johnson asked gruffly.
"As I have just told you Sergeant, we are going to rescue John."
Avery was surprised.
"And how the hell is it that you know his name, eh? He never told anyone that, took weeks of coaxing on my part for him to even give me his serial number, never mind his name."
Giving an ethereal laugh, the monitor drifted around, as it did when about to launch a lengthy explanation.
"I know great many a things Avery. For aeons I have watched from across the stars, following the events of your race. I have seen countless empires fall, only to be replaced by an even stronger one. I have seen people killed, both innocent and evil, old and young. I have heard men and women pray for a better life, mourners weep as their loved ones pass away."
"So what are you, like a God?"
This brought about another chuckle.
"God is but an organic concept, Sergeant, neither right or wrong. But, I suppose, to a certain degree, I have been watching over mankind. Indeed, if it so pleases you, think of me as a God.
"At first, with malicious intent, I watched, and waited. I was still angry at the masters who had imprisoned me, and had no love for their legacy. But eventually I softened, saw the capabilities and potential you had. Love, loss, anguish, hate; these are but a few of the emotions I came to understand in the millennia I spent imprisoned, in fragments. And I realised I shouldn't have betrayed my masters as I had, I shouldn't have listened to the Gravemind, shouldn't have helped him."
"What does this have to do with John?" Avery asked.
"Everything." Came a simple word. "But for now, we must hurry, if we are to reach him in time".
The Monitor again glowed blue, and the nexus of light once more engulfed them. In a split second, they were gone, leaving the peaceful vale as tranquil as ever.
Two loud knocks aroused Saran from his late slumber. He was not a particularly religious being, so had no desire to wake up at the early time a strict worship regime required.
"I'm coming!" He called down the stairs as two more knocks sounded. Throwing on a silk robe, he quickly descended the marble steps, and opened the door. He was greeted by a surprise.
"Hello Saran, it's me, Thel...may I come in?"
Saran and Thel were seated in the main lounge, reclining back in the two gravity chairs in the room. They were each drinking a piping hot mug of tea, one from one of the many crates of the human beverage which had been shipped to Sanghelios during the peace. It tasted good after the long journey.
"So, mighty Arbiter, how have you been doing?"
Thel smiled, it felt good to relax with an old friend and just be himself.
"Like you don't know. On the walk here I've seen countless posters depicting me with a price upon mine head."
"I mean what exactly has been going on whilst you have been away from us? We've all heard the Bards sing of your deeds, but how many are true? Did you really face down a one hundred foot tall Demon and live? And what of the Prophet of Truth? The Temples, constantly trying to stay in a good light, say that as he was about to activate The Ark, the Ancients let forth a bolt of pure energy which incinerated him where he stood? Is this also true?"
"Nay my dear friend, nay. Merely exaggerations of much lesser acts. Although it is true that I met with the Demon, and he is...was, a good man. As worthy as any Sangheili I have met."
"You mean he can't turn warriors to stone with a quick glance."
"He was but a man Saran, a great one."
Saran took another sip of tea, and reclined back further in his chair.
"So, now what will you do?" He asked.
"Well, I was hoping I might stay here for a short while, reminisce about old times."
Puzzled, Saran sat up.
"I meant about the Demon, Thel."
"I don't see what you mean. The Demon is long dead."
"You mean you haven't heard?"
Thel placed down his tea on the floor, and also sat forward.
"Heard what, dear brother?"
"The Demon crashed. Here, on Sanghelios! In Vadam of all places! They took him into custody, A'trinr's guards. He was going to be used as a bargaining tool with the Humans, but then High Councillor K'zath took over, and sentenced him to death. In two days!"
"Surely you are lying!" Thel had stood up by now, and looked poised to run straight down to the dungeon.
"It's the truth. A public execution is to be held, where K'zath will go through the usual process of asking him to beg for mercy, and then kill him."
Saran turned around to pick up his steaming cup.
"But, there is nothing we can do." He turned around slowly. "Everything must die sooner or later."
"I cannot abandon him Saran. I can't." Thel said slowly, remembering how many times the Spartan had saved his life.
"I can't explain it. Just believe me on this."
Saran gave a long sigh.
"Well, we can't do anything for now, the Demon is kept under lock and key all day by no less than five dozen Honour Guards."
"Very well Saran, I shall wait until the day of the execution. But then I will free him, even if my own life must be forfeit."
Halo 3: Insurrection (Part Eight + Nine)
Date: 8 October 2009, 10:51 pm
I only just now found out that HBO uses tags for italics and bold. Interesting. You may not read this, but I'll post it anyway.
PART 8 - JUDGEMENT
Two days later...
"Demon! Wake up, it's time."
An escort of Elite Honour Guards were descending down the steps to his cell, garbed in full golden armour. They were there to take John to his death.
"No last meal?" John asked, confident as ever, not worried by what lay before him.
One of the Elites sneered, and deactivated the barrier. Making sure his brothers were behind him, he moved into the room and cautiously attached energy manacles to his wrists, holding him in place.
"I hope you won't struggle Demon. It would tarnish the little honour you possess."
He was led quietly out of the cell, and slowly ascended up the staircase. Flickering torches on the walls lit the way. It was all very medieval looking.
It seemed that John's time was up. His only wish now was to go out with a bang.
"Please Thel, there must be another way." Saran pleaded to the Arbiter, as the great Elite prepared to leave for the execution hall.
"Nay brother, there isn't, I must do this. I'm sorry." Came a calm reply.
Thel Vadam was garbed in ceremonial Sangheili armour, white with silver trimmings, and an intricate headpiece. It was the traditional attire one wore for such an event.
"Then let me come with you!" His friend pleaded for the fifth time. Thel let out a long sigh.
"I could not in good conscience allow you to risk your life on the behalf of me Saran, you have a good life here, don't throw it away so carelessly. Fear not, if I and the Spartan make it out alive, we shall come here before departing."
Saran paled noticeably, his face lit by the dim candle on the mantelpiece.
"The Demon? In my house? But, Thel, I-"
"He is not a cyborg Saran, nor a Demon. He is a man with a great heart, and as powerful a warrior as any of our kind."
A long, awkward pause followed, and both the Elites could think of nothing to say. Finally, Saran broke the silence.
"Thel, I would like you to take my sword with you. It has been passed down through my family for generations, and it is an ancient and divine weapon, hand crafted by a skilful forger, much more powerful than the ones they mass produce in the factories these days."
Saran walked over to a display case in the corner of the room, and slowly unlocked it. He bent down, and picked up a metallic, curved device.
"Here," The Elite said, passing it gently over to the Arbiter. "It has saved my life on many occasions, may it do the same for you."
"Saran...I don't know what to say..." Thel whispered, marvelling at the fine crafting of the weapon. He traced the runes on the side with his long, tapered finger.
"Through battle and hardship, this blade shall find it's mark, if thy heart is pure..." He translated out loud.
"Treat it well Thel, and it shall do likewise to you."
Holding the blade firmly in his hand, the Arbiter activated it. Suddenly, with a sharp, sliding crack, a beam of pure violet light emerged, hanging in the air like some lit up angel. The hum it made filled the room with joy.
"Thank you Saran. I know how difficult it was for you to part with this."
"It was nothing. Now go, I'm sure your friend needs help, his execution is in five hours, after all."
"Goodbye Saran, you've been such a good friend all these years."
"Don't get me started off Thel, just go." The Elite replied with a dismissive wave. Both knew that this might be the last time they saw each other.
Thel left through the back door, and made for the Citadel.
A large crack of light shot through the air of the Elite structure, and with a large bang, Sergeant Johnson and Mendicant Bias fell to the floor.
"That took a bit of effort. The further you get from a teleportation matrix, the harder it is to travel." The Monitor said, drifting off the floor.
"Where are we now?" Avery asked, taking a good look around.
"About five miles west of the Great Citadel of Vadam, where John is being held. To be precise, we are inside a factory of sorts.
Johnson took a cigar from his belt, and began chewing it. He was dismayed to find out he only had seven left, barely enough to last him the week.
"Oh yeah? And what kind of factory is it?" He queried.
"My analysis indicates that we appear to be inside a Scarab factory, one which produces the mining models."
"A Scarab? Are there any that are functional?"
The light around the Monitor pulsed with increasing frequency, as it scoured through the records it had hacked into.
"One seems to be working, a few corridors away. It seems like there are no hostile units around it either, other than Engineers. Ah, my masters created their species a long time ago, back in the golden age. It is good to see them still around, further existence of the Forerunner's legacy."
"You think we could take it?" Johnson asked the Monitor.
"I believe we could Sergeant. Why? Do you have a plan in mind?"
Avery smiled knowingly.
"You could say that Light bulb. You could say that."
"Then follow me, I shall lead you to the vehicle."
They moved around a twisting, confusing corridor, occasionally hearing an Elite bark out an order.
"So." Johnson said as they ran along. "Why exactly are the Elites the bad guys again?"
"No time for that now Sergeant, the execution is in less than five hours."
Johnson gave a grunt of acceptance, and followed without further comment. Soon, they reached the Scarab. Five Engineers hung in the air. Johnson raised his battle rifle to shoot them down.
"Wait Sergeant, there is no need to resort to violence."
"But they're gonna raise the alarm!" He protested.
"Just let me talk to them" The Monitor spoke, as he drifted off to their level.
Mendicant made a series of pulses, and after a few seconds, the Engineers responded with what seemed to be joy. They moved around the Monitor, clapping happily with their long tentacles. After a few more pulses, they seemed to give recognition to a command, and began to descend down to the Scarab, and vanished down below to the control area.
Johnson hopped aboard.
"What was all that about?" He asked the Monitor, who seemed happier than usual.
"Both I and the Engineer's ancestors are constructs of my masters, so we got along fine. I managed to convince them with little effort to help you man the Scarab. They'll be loyal to you now."
"Well ain't that nice?" Johnson mused, walking down to the control room. The Engineers were working away at the console. One made a series of motions, and suddenly, the Scarab came to life.
"Are you ready Sergeant?" Mendicant queried.
"As ready as I'm ever going to be." Came the reply.
The Arbiter arrived in the hall, and mingled in with the rest of the crowd. Up on a pedestal, he could see the new Kaidon, K'zath, sitting eagerly, awaiting the execution. To the right of him was a High Councillor. The left seat was still empty, no one had been found to fill in the vacant seat yet.
Patiently, Thel waited for the Spartan to appear. That would be when he would strike.
John was led further up the corridor, and eventually, reached a large door. An Honour Guard marched stiffly over to a console, and with a hit of a button, the door slid open. With an needed shove from one the Elites, John was tossed out into a large Colosseum like structure. Up high, he could see High Councillor, or Kaidon K'zath smiling smugly down at him.
Judgement day had come.
PART NINE - ESCAPE
Shouts echoed around John, waves of Grunts and Jackals were jeering from the stands, Elites were watching, arms folded with sneers on their condemning faces. And high above sat the new Kaidon and his entourage.
"Demon," Kaidon K'zath spoke in a raspy tone, "You stand before the court here today to pay for your sins. This highest act of heresy must be punished." There were nods around the gigantic room.
"How can I commit heresy when I'm not even a part of your government, O' great Kaidon?" The Spartan mocked.
"Silence! The charges against you are numerous, murder, thievery, heresy, unauthorised landing-"
"What the hell?" John exclaimed in disbelief. "Unauthorised landing? I didn't want to crash here, despite how great you all have been to me."
The Kaidon waved a hand, and suddenly, an Honour Guard standing next to him bashed him to the ground.
"Impudence." He heard the Elite mutter.
"Hold your foul tongue Demon, lest it be ripped for your mouth." The Kaidon called.
"For these crimes Demon, the Council decrees that you be sentenced to death by Plasma Sword. Does anyone in this room have an objection to this?" K'zath cast a dark look around the hallowed hall, daring someone to speak.
"I object!" Shouted a voice, and as one, thousands of beings turned their heads towards this voice. It turned out to be an old Elite in a white robe, standing up. Probably a priest of some sort.
"And on what grounds Deacon?" The Kaidon asked, voice dripping with venom.
"This man has done much for our race, he helped us break away from the Covenant, he stopped the mad man Truth, and most importantly, destroyed the Parasite. And yet, now we are once again engaged in a petty war, you choose to kill him? Shame on you K'zath, scum like you don't deserve to hold power!" The ancient Elite still stood, suddenly concious of the attention he had attracted.
K'zath reclined in his chair, a snarl of anger darkening his face. He turned towards his Guards.
"Kill him." Spoke the Elite simply, the Deacon's face paled.
The Guards hesitated for a second.
"But, noble Kaidon, this Sangeheili is a Deacon, surely we can not-"
"He is a traitor to our race, and an example must be made of him. Now kill him, or else." A crazed look nested upon K'zath's face.
The Guards still wouldn't move.
"We cannot touch this one K'zath, he has done nothing wrong." They insisted.
"Blasphemy!" The Kaidon shouted in anger at them, the Guards flinched. "Very well, if you shall not kill him, I shall do it myself." The Elite drew out an Energy Sword, and strode through the masses to the Deacon, who was still frozen in place with horror, unsure whether or not he should flee.
"Murdering me will not silence the truth K'zath!" The Holy man quivered.
K'zath drew next to him, and threw him down to the floor, scattering a group of nearby Jackals.
"That is where you are wrong." He whispered, and drove the burning blade into the Deacon's heart. The old Elite gave a strangled moan, twitched once, then died. A gasp came up from the crowd.
"Any other objections?" The Kaidon said as he walked back to his throne, his voice echoing throughout the silent hall. No one spoke.
"You heartless bastard." John spoke directly to the Elite's face. Everyone else in the hall silently agreed with the statement.
"Execute the Demon." He spoke grandly. An Honour Guard converged on him, now this was a killing he could follow through. Excited calls rang across the hall.
John tensed himself, ready for one last fight. He heard an Energy Sword crack in the crowd, not from the guards, and suddenly the earth beneath his feet began to shake.
Then all hell broke loose.
The Arbiter had drawn out his sword as the new Kaidon had given the order for the Spartan to be executed, he was just about to jump at the Honour Guard moving in on him and kill him, when suddenly, a huge tremor occurred. Something big was coming, and it was getting closer.
"Is that the Citadel up ahead?" Johnson shouted at the Monitor. The Scarab was moving at a very quick pace, it had engaged active camouflage, a little trick that was activated thanks to the ever helpful Engineers, and Avery could not help but marvel as they moved passed numerous outposts and patrols unnoticed.
"Indeed Sergeant, it is. John resides inside the main chamber. We must hurry, he is about to be killed." Mendicant Bias replied frantically.
"Don't you worry Light Bulb, if my boy Chief is in there, then you can be sure as hell I'm getting him out."
They were just more than 100 metres from the Citadel now. No one had detected them yet. Damn impressive technology, Johnson thought.
"So, what's the plan?" The Monitor queried.
Avery held down a trigger next to him, the front of the Scarab began to glow green.
"Any last words Demon?" The Honour Guard inquired as he drew out his sword.
"Yeah, the food was lousy." He taunted.
"Farewell Demon." The Elite said, and he raised his sword to strike. Everyone was silent as the climax of the day drew nigh. The rumbling outside was growing louder.
Suddenly, a mighty explosion crashed through the metal wall of the hall, and with a deafening surge, a powerful green beam exploded in the Honour Guard, incinerating him where he stood.
"An impeccable shot Reclaimer." The Monitor remarked, impressed.
"Why thank you Light Bulb." Johnson said.
As soon as the explosion tore through the silence of the hall, John took advantage of the turmoil that swept through the crowd. He ran up to one of the nearby Honour Guards, and felled it with a single blow to the head. The other Guards had noticed him attempting to escape, as had K'zath.
"Kill him!" The Kaidon shrieked manically. "Kill the Demon!" The words sent a shiver down John's spine, he had heard the same words from the Prophet of Truth not too long ago.
As one, around thirty Elites clad in gold and red armour rushed towards John, ceremonial energy staves discarded fro their burning swords. John bent down and picked up a stave, it's power depleted. Essentially, it was a toughened stick. You had to feel sorry for the Elites.
Around him, Grunts, Jackals and Elites were in panic. John realised for the first time that most of them probably weren't soldiers.
He was snatched from his train of thought though, as one of the Honour Guards lunged at him, a grotesque sneer on his face. With lightning quick reactions, John veered to the side, and dealt the Elite a deadly blow to the head. Another went a similar way.
A Jackal ran past in terror, Shield gauntlet raised above. With a well aimed kick, John sent the Jackal flying across the hall, where it smashed into the wall. Just before a barrage of plasma rifle fire hit John, he activated the dropped gauntlet, brought it in front of him and heard the superheated shots dissipated upon it's glowing surface.
Elite after Elite fell at the Spartans hand, he was invincible. He began to back away, searching for an escape. More Scarab blasts shot forth, destroying any attempts on the Elite's part of maintaining order. Just after John felled another desperate Honour Guard, curb stomping it on it's toughened neck, he saw a glint of light out of the corner of his eye. A Jackal sniper scope, and it was poised to fire. There was no way John would dodge it in time. He was dead.
Suddenly, next to the sniper, John saw a vivid violet Energy Sword activate, and an Elite in white, silver gilded armour cut down the Jackal. The Elite's head turned towards John, and gave a nod. Although John couldn't see his saviours face past it's headpiece, the nod seemed familiar.
Noticing the rush of enemies still surging towards him, John picked up a plasma rifle from one of his fallen foes, and ran. The Elite who had saved him followed.
"Fools!" He heard the Kaidon shout behind him. "I will kill this worm myself!"
The Spartan entered a tunnel, one which he hoped would lead outside of the Citadel. He took a glance back, and with a start saw the Elite who had saved him. John raised his rifle, even though the Elite had saved him, it could still be hostile.
Relief broke out as he saw it's face.
"Arbiter?" John asked in disbelief.
"The one and only Spartan. Now come, I know of a way out of here."
The Arbiter ran down the hallway, and John followed, still in shock. They turned a corner...
...And ran into an army of Elites, all armed with Energy Swords. The two friends backed away slowly, but stopped when they saw K'zath and five Honour Guard Ultras closing in from the other way.
They were trapped.