The Story of the Moniter's Prize (Part One of Five)
Posted By: Alpha Halo Writer<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 15 May 2006, 2:32 pm
CHAPTER ONE -----------------------------------------------
FORNGUTH 'RENEEMIT STEPPED THROUGH THE BOG. He was a high-ranking elite, in steel armor. His troops followed behind him, four grunts, two elites, and three jackals. Fornguth, or, Guith, had led his troops all the way from High Charity to Delta Halo 05's life-swelling bogs. He was, with his troops, stuck in the middle of one, unable to move their transports. Guith was an honorable elite, leading his troops to the very center of battle, to the very turning point of danger, to the very middle of death. But, he had not faced it. Death was always at hand with Guith.
At that, he heard a strange humming sound.
"Hark," Hulfit, an elite, said, "an unknown life form spreads and dwells among us!"
"Remain your ground," said Guith; "the time is nay to run. Hold your ground!"
"Aagghh!" Foofweel, a grunt, yelled. "Nononono! Menno wantah bee eety! Nononono!"
"Shush, men." Guith raised his carbine. "I sense great desturbance," he whispered to himself.
"AH, RECLAIMERS. FINALLY! THERE IS MUCH TO BE DONE!" a voice said out of the fog.
"Who is there?" Hulfit asked.
"OH, YOU DO NOT KNOW WHO I AM? WELL, SENTIENT BEINGS, I AM 2401 PENITENT TANGENT."
The voice was cycled in Guith's mind. Penitent Tangent? Hmm...
"Ayayaya! Peenyneet Teeneetin goins too have uss for dinner! Ayayaya!" Bemoty, another grunt, yelled.
"Nononono!" Foofweel yelled.
"Keep your mouth closed, grunt!" Guith yelled. To Tangent: "You...what are you?"
"OH, NOBLE PROSPECTOR, I AM MONITER OF HALO INSTALLATION OH-FIVE."
"By the rings," Guith wondered; "the Oracle!"
"I DO NOT KNOW OF WHAT YOU SPEAK OF. I AM NO 'ORACLE,' I AM MERELY A MACHINE THAT SERVES MY MASTERS, THE FORUNNERS."
"So, it is true," Hulfit siad; "the Oracle!"
It came to Guith that his troopers were disappearing. Hulfit, Foofweel, and Bemoty, were the only ones left.
"Oracle," Guith said; "have you watched my men?"
"I DO NOT KNOW OF WHAT YOU SPEAK OF. THERE IS MUCH TO DO, SO--"
"What has happened?" Guith cut in.
"THEY WERE...GONE. NOW, RECLAIMER,--"
"I am no reclaimer, or of what you speak of. Where are my men! Tell me what happened."
"YOU, RECLAIMER, DO NOT UNDERSTAND EVEN THE SIMPILEST OF PROTOCL. I--I--"
Tangent paused for a second.
"IT SEEMS THEY WERE HANDELED BY A TENTACLE."
"What?!?" said Guith, now frusterated.
"YES, THEY WERE TAKEN BY...THE FLOOD."
KAKIN 'NOREMON WAS ENTIRELY ENGULFED BY THE TENTACLE. He struggled to gain freedom, for the tentacle was crushing him. Finally, it dropped him. Kakil came falling to the ground.
"What--where--how--why--?" Kakil stammered.
One of the grunts, Pallapalla, was beside hims, too. He then noticed the jackals.
"Looloolooloo! Werr are wee?" Palla asked.
"Fra krat, chooomeyy! Struy bachloo!" a jackal said.
"The jackal is right. We donno where we are." Kakil sighed. He wished he was back at High Charity. He hated Fornguth 'Reneemit as a leader. They were always where all the fighting was.
It seemed they were in a cave. A tower rised above them.
GUITH WAS ASTONISHED. The Flood wasn't supposed to be here! It...it was destroyed on Installation 04! Why--how?
"IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG, RECLAIMER?"
"Do not call me that. My name is 'Reneem." (That was what he told to different beings of which he did not know.) "And, yes, Oracle."
"DO NOT CALL ME OF THAT NAME! I AM CALLED 2401 PENITENT TANGENT. AND...WHAT IS YOUR...PROBLEM?"
"I though the Flood was extinct."
"EXTINCT?! YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND, DO YOU? YOU SEE, THE FLOOD IS MANUALLY ON EACH INSTALLATION."
"Ah, Orac--Tangent. That makes much more sense..." Besides that Guith was dumb-strucken. What? The Flood? How can this be?
"I AM GLAD I CAN BE OF SERVICE, RECLAI--'RENEEM."
Just for luck, the Flood was lingering towards them at that moment.
THE FLOOD MADE A LOUD GROWLING SOUND. Plasma ripped from Guith's carbine.
"OH! I SAY, THERE THEY ARE NOW!"
Hulfit exclaimed at Tangent: "Oracle, call on your ring-defenders!"
"HO! THIS IS YOUR FIGHT, NOT MINE."
"Do it now, Oracle!" Guith shouted.
For a moment, sentinels where nowhere to be found. Foofweel and Bemoty where firing rapid shots at the Flood. Hulfit slashed with his sword. And Guith blasted Flood to the ground.
At that moment, sentinels came charging from the the fog. But, they were firing at them.
KAKIL LOOKED AT THE TOWER. "Ah," it said; "victims."
"Who are you?" Kakil questioned.
"I? I am Gravemind."
"Gravemind...and, what are you?"
"Why, I lead the...Infection to victory."
"The..the..." Kakil was breathless.
Finally, he muttered these wors: "Gravemind...Flood."
Gravemind stuck his tentacles in Kakil, and they were at work.