They're Random, Baby!

Fan Fiction

Alien Brethren: Chapter 12: The Final Score
Posted By: Alex L (Greek Elite)<yoshi64y@aol.com>
Date: 7 December 2005, 11:29 pm

Read/Post Comments

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

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

Chapter 12: The Final Score

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Yes Baxter?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"WHAT!" Yelped the Corporal.

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


"Is it?"

"Shut up!"

"You like him."

"No I don't."

"Yes you do!"

"Shut up! I don't!"

"Just admit it!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"And Alei?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Did you have anything in mind then?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"How rude!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Everyone halt!" Ordered Betronus.

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

"Anyone see any Elite carcasses?" Betronus asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Real Marines use strategy," Baxter snapped.

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

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

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

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

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

The Brute with the blade to Johnson's neck chuckled and started a wager, "A day's ration says I do this in one cut."

"Two cuts at most," replied the Brute, restraining Johnson. Just as Johnson thought hard about all he lived for, just before his dieing seconds, he was relieved to hear a Brute cry out in agony followed by gun fire and chaos.

The blade moved away from Johnson's neck as the Brute turned to see what was going on, and Johnson made his move. He managed the energy to elbow the Brute behind him in the elbow and made a run for it, "GO! GO! GO!"

Following Johnson's cue, Woodword and Baxter also ran. They sought cover behind some large Covenant ammunition crates. It was there the two of them found their confiscated weapons. Both Marines decided instead of engaging, they let the Covenant grudge play out itself. The sound of Brute's falling to their demise and Swords searing through Brute flesh was music to Baxter's ears.

Baxter also recognized the familiar sounds of Hunters roaring and Fuel Rod Cannons firing off. He looked out from behind his crate and recognized the Tebo brothers immediately. Soon the Brutes were dead and everything was silent, except for the humming of the Scarab activating. Baxter and Woodword both came out of their cover and watched an Elite in ancient looking armor gawking up at the goliath Scarab.

"Listen, you don't like me and I sure as hell don't like you," Johnson began, using a speaker phone from inside the Scarab, "But if we don't do something Mr. Mohawk's gunna activate this ring, and we're all gunna die."

"Tartarus has locked himself inside the control room," replied Arbiter in a dismal tone.

"Well I just happen to have a key," Sergeant Johnson said, opening up the main firing cannon of the Scarab egotistically, "C'mon, grab a Banshee and give me some cover. He's going to know we're coming."

Then over the horizon appeared two banshees heading straight towards the Arbiter. The Arbiter began approaching them but was abruptly stopped as something grabbed his shoulder, "Excuse me." The Arbiter turned to meet face to face with Baxter.

"Sorry to keep you from proceeding with your mission but I was wondering if you came across a red Elite named Alei 'Limoto."

Arbiter took a few seconds to think and came with his answer, "I believe I did see him. I fought by his side. He's beyond the bridge through those doors," The Arbiter said, pointing to the doors he had come through, "He said he had something to take care of. A great warrior that one is."

"Thank you," Baxter said, nodding to the Arbiter respectively.

The Arbiter turned on his heel and headed over to a Banshee that had landed where its owner said, "Take my Banshee Arbiter." The Arbiter nodded as a curt thanks to the Banshee's owner and flew off in it.

The Tebo Brothers and Lieutenant gathered around Baxter where he brought forth his discovery, "Alei's here, the other Elite said so. I'm going to go find him."

"You mean we, Sergeant," Woodword corrected, preparing his Rocket Launcher.

"Permission to go alone, sir," John requested.

"What's your reasoning behind your request?" Woodword questioned.

"Because I'm his brother, sir," Baxter replied, that being his only reason he could think of.

Woodword took a moment to mull it over and came to a conclusion, "Permission granted. Me and the Hunters will stay here and wait for the Pelican. I'll be waiting for your return Sergeant, so don't do anything stupid."

Baxter cracked a smile, "I never do, sir."

Betronus trudged forward unwillingly as Alei prodded him ahead. "You're a fool Alei," Betronus said, noticing they were getting closer to the door that lead to the other room, "If I were you, I'd kill you right now."

"Where's the fun in that?" Alei asked, grinning.

"Spilling your filthy blood would give me enough pleasure with or without a fight, Alei," Betronus replied.

"Likewise," Alei noted, "But this is more honorable and lets me take pleasure seeing your last fighting stance."

The door opened in proximity and Betronus made his move, "See this."

Unable to react fast enough Alei felt Betronus' bulky elbow blow into his stomach, immobilizing him for a few seconds and giving Betronus the time to sneak around Alei and dive for his Brute shot.

Before Alei could turn to confront the cheap Brute he was sent off his feet by four shots of a Brute Shot. His body tumbled into the other room and off the ledge. Betronus heard the Elite's body hit the ground with a large, painful, cracking thud. He grimaced at the thud for a second and began to chuckle.

As he reloaded his Brute Shot, he headed into the other room and walked down the slope that lead to Alei's body, lying in a small puddle of his own blood. Betronus couldn't help to laugh hysterically at the corpse before him. His laughter echoed loudly through the room, his eyes watering from his laughter. The Brute began slapping his knee and his laughing ruckus soon became unbearable as Alei's eyes darted open.

Immediately the Elite leapt to his feet and plowed one fist into the Brute's stomach while with his other he threw an uppercut to the alien ape's jaw. Now disarmed and surprised Alei easily pinned Betronus against a wall, his one hand gripping tightly to the Brute's neck. He withdrew his right arm, in a punching stance, and thrust it forward once, twice, and at the third his eyes began to water from pain as his fist plunged into concrete; the Brute moved.

Alei turned and was met by a round house kick to his face. He fell to the ground from the Brute's hefty kick and responded quickly to Betronus' Brute Shot blade coming down at his face. He rolled over to his right avoiding the first attack and quickly anticipated and responded to the next strike as he rolled over to his left. Alei quickly reached for his sword and brought it up to his face, blocking the next strike of Betronus' Brute Shot.

They were in a deadlock between the magnificent cyan blade and the hefty Brute weapon. Both urged to succeed in the impasse but it was going no where. Desperately, Betronus reached for a Plasma grenade. Once Alei saw it ignite in Betronus' hand he tried his rolling tactic once again, dodging the grenade as it stuck where his head had been. It exploded, barely searing Betronus' fur. Betronus turned and the two opponents' eyes met and were locked, anticipating who would strike first.

Lib and his apprentice Jackal both marched through another set of doors coming to a bridge. "So what now? We keep walking? What about Betronus?" Lib's apprentice asked.

"Silence neophyte," Lib snapped, "Betronus ordered us to leave him and Alei to themselves. I'm sure he can handle himself, I have faith in my master…you also should have faith in YOUR master." Lib's apprentice drooped his head respectively to Lib's and that's when both came to an immediate stop in the middle of the bridge.

There was his old foe, Baxter.

Lib's eyes widened larger then usual and instinct told him to raise his energy shield for protection however his reflexes didn't match Baxter's, that he knew. He closed his eyes cowardly, as he anticipated an echoing bang from his devastating Sniper Rifle, but the only thing he heard was a disappointing click.

Lib opened one eye, checking to see if he was dead. He heard another three dismal clicks. The Sergeant began examining his rifle, checking why it would not fire. While the Sergeant did this both Jackals broke out in hysterical laughter, enjoying the sight of Baxter's own rifle pathetically backfiring on him in his time of need. Just as Lib was to cease his laughter and order his apprentice to finish the human there was a different sounding click followed by Baxter's pleasant voice.

"Sorry," Baxter apologized, "Forgot to turn off the safety."

Lib's laughter fell short, very short and his eyes bulged in shock as there was a deafening echo that immediately seized the other Jackal's laughter. Warm, sticky, purple blood splashed across the other Jackal's face and he tasted his master's blood.

"I'll give you three seconds to run," Baxter said, grinning widely, scoping at the Jackal's skull.

Alei's eyes narrowed, his grip on his Energy Sword was tight. The two stared down wondering who would strike first and how to go about the battle.

"Truly you're a fool Alei 'Limoto," Betronus snarled. Alei patiently waited for Betronus' reasoning, "You take too much pride in your so called honor, just like the rest of your egotistical race."

"At least my race isn't a bunch of backstabbing cowards," Alei replied.

"The Brutes were meant to serve at the Prophets' right hand."

"Now who's being egotistical?"

"Why don't you strike me down now?" Betronus asked, "What's stopping you from succeeding over me once again and trying to prove that you are better then me? What's stopping you Alei?"

"I think I should be asking that question Betronus since I'm the only one with honor here and you yet are holding your Brute Shot and could easily fire at me at any given time." Betronus was shocked. He was doing exactly what Alei wanted him to do, walk into a cease fire.

Betronus glared at Alei for humiliating him, Alei smiled. "So what's stopping you from shooting me right now, Betronus?"

The Brute snarled, "Nothing."

He pulled the trigger; one grenade was lobbed out of the weapon just as Alei jumped into the air. He squeezed the trigger three more times aiming for the airborne Elite as best he could. All three grenades missed and Betronus' perception began slowing down rapidly as he realized he walked right into Alei's trap.

He watched the Elite raise his sword, high above his head, his body slowly declining in mid-air. Betronus' life flashed before his eyes. Birth, growing up on his home world, moving to High Charity with his father, becoming of age as a warrior, being assigned to various different squads, meeting Lib, joining Alei 'Limoto's squad, their various different missions in which they fought side by side (Alei always succeeding over him), his jealousy, his joy in hearing the betrayal, his mission to Earth, meeting Alei once again, betraying him at the Library, and now this.

It was sudden, Alei's sword piercing through his bloated stomach, tearing through his intestines, boiling his blood, spilling his guts. Betronus felt himself drop like dead weight on the ground, impaled, immobilized, he could only look up. He only saw Alei's face and began to taste his own blood.

Alei hadn't instantly killed him, he was going to leave him, bleed to death. He felt his nerves screaming in pain, his blood seeping from his gut, and blood dribble form his gaping mouth. Alei stared into the Brute's eyes, the Brute's eyes staring back in pain and anger.

"You…" Betronus could only say. His words were lost, his mind clouded by hate. He wanted to say a thousand different things right then to the Elite but his gaping mouth failed him.

Alei backed away from the Brute's body, symbolically leaving his sword in Betronus' stomach, "This is your reward Betronus." Betronus' fingers and limbs began to twitch as he continued to slowly bleed himself to death. "This is how I felt when you betrayed me, when the Prophets betrayed me, when my own brother betrayed me, when the rings and this entire universe betrayed me." Alei began to walk away, his steps slow and thoughtful.

"Is that all?" Moaned Betronus. Alei turned to the pathetic, gory looking Brute.

Perhaps there was one more thing that he was obligated to tell the Brute, "No…there is one more thing Betronus." Betronus' jaw twitched in anger as he anticipated Alei's final words. "Go fuck yourself."

Betronus coughed up a pint of blood in disgust by the Elite. As Alei began walking up the slope he met Baxter face to face. Both just looked at each other, neither able to speak nor smile at the time. Baxter looked off to his right to see the slowly dieing Brute.

"Didn't even get to say goodbye," Baxter said, disappointed.

"There's still time," Alei said, almost cracking, what looked like a smile.

Baxter approached the pathetic looking alien, raised his rifle, and put a bullet in its skull.

"Where are they? Can't we go and look for them now?" Whelski whined, growing anxious and worried for Alei and John.

"I gave Baxter my word I'd wait here for him," Woodword replied, "And that's what we're going to do."

"LOOK!" Squeaked Kaskut, whom was sitting on the ramp of the parked Pelican. Emerging from the doors was a glorious sight. Two different species, walking side by side, blood stained and battle scarred.

"BAXTER! ALEI!" Shouted Samantha excitedly. She greeted both of them with a hug and kiss, holding both of them tightly, glad to see them alive.

Once Whelski was done with her greetings Woodword shook Baxter's hand and smiled approvingly at him while Kaskut managed to waddle over to Alei on his broken foot and hugged his leg.

"How splendid," chimed Remorseful Incentive, "It is good to see you two alive again."

"Surprisingly, Remorseful Incentive, it's good to see you too," Baxter said, happy to be back with his squad again.

"So what happened after Containment. Where'd you go off to? We were worried about you," Whelski said, interested in Alei's tale.

"It's a long story," Alei said, drooping his head remembering his corrupt brother and deformed father.

"Which involves an ass kicking that Betronus got, right?" Baxter said, nudging Alei in the side encouragingly.

"Yes I suppose," Alei said, grinning in victory.

"What about Lib?" Kaskut asked, sounding ferocious in his cute, Grunty way.

"I took care of him," Baxter said proudly.

"Well I'm sure Alei and Baxter can tell all about their journeys on the way home. I got a transmission from Captain Miranda Keyes; they prevented Halo from activating. Looks like we've got a vacation to look forward to," Woodword announced, boarding the Pelican.

"Vacation? Kaskut love vacation! Where?"

"Earth," Woodword replied, helping the Grunt onboard.

"Earth…home sweet home…just as long there won't be much fighting there," Baxter said, boarding the bird as well.

"Things have settled down a bit. We'll see how it is," Woodword said reassuringly.

Alei watched Whelski climb on board the Pelican and Alei cocked his head at her. "What's wrong?" Whelski asked.

"I thought your leg was injured and you couldn't walk," Alei said.

Whelski blushed, "Oh yea…um…I got better real fast."

Alei smirked and stepped on board the bird, "So I've seen."

And while something greater goes on above Halo's surface, the infamous quote of the horrendous yet true Gravemind echoes on through rock, and metal, and time… "Fate has made us meet as foes, but this ring shall make us brothers."