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The Mind and the Master Part 6-The Master
Posted By: Cthulhu117<spartan_eric_271@yahoo.com>
Date: 25 November 2005, 3:14 pm

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Section 9-- Seen and Unseen

The Master stayed around for a hundred millennia, and more. Occasionally, 343 Guilty Spark showed up to speak to the human, but was repelled time after time until, around 75600 BC, he stopped coming, much to the Master's relief.

The Master often thought he should have given himself a new name. He wasn't 'master' of anything now. But he didn't. He never could remember names. Besides, all the languages he knew had probably disappeared by now.

After ninety thousand years of boredom, the Master started to observe the races he had painstakingly prolonged the existence of. He noticed that the Sangheili were on the same planet as the Prophets, but the Sangheili had been thrown into a vast range of mountains that spanned a full 30% of the planet's surface area. To cope with this, they had evolved interestingly. Their piercing claws had become blunted, and they had adapted a second thumb. The Master was most interested.

The Huragok were completely unchanged. That was just like the Huragok. The Unggoy were even stupider than before, he noted. The Kig-Yar's wings had finally atrophied on their inhospitable desert planet. The Lek'golo roamed free on their homeworld. The Yanme'e lived on a cold, airless planet where they could fly more freely than in any atmosphere. He watched with interest as new races evolved on their worlds, such as a huge, brutal mob of apes in a jungle that he was sure the Prophets would call the Jiralhavag. When he thought of the name, he realized that 'big, furry monster' was hardly a wise thing to call such a deadly creature, but he knew that the Prophets would dream up some variation of the name. He became a sort of naturalist. At least, the Halo-bound half of him did. The piece within the shard had no ability to perceive beyond its own area.

His race were in many ways the most intriguing. They constantly fought among themselves, killing each other with no regard for their species such as the Reclaimers had had. Still, they were his descendants. He was bound to them.

And then, of course, there was the day that the Sangheili and the Prophets encountered each other. Contrary to the Master's expectations, they immediately started killing each other. The Master didn't really care, but he hoped that they wouldn't wipe each other out completely.

Soon after that, he observed the formation of the Covenant between the Sangheili and the Prophets. They believed in a mode of worship of apparently non-existent gods and belief that the Forerunners were, to quote a Prophet, 'holy bringers of the truth'. Upon his investigations of the 'truth', he discovered that the Covenant planned to activate a 'sacred ring' wherever they found one. Now the Master was disgusted. Were these fools really ready to kill everyone again? He watched as they slowly spread throughout the galaxy, incorporating first the Huragok, then the Unggoy, then the Kig-Yar, then the Lek'golo, then the Yanme'e, and finally the Jiralhanae (much to the Master's amusement, they had chosen a name that meant 'big, furry champion') into their Covenant.

In life, he had walked among men and angels for all three thousand years of his existence. Now, time had no end...no beginning...no purpose. He had wandered the galaxy, seeking revenge for his horrible crimes. He lived to see death and destruction over the light, but the light could not be extinguished.

Now he was in a prison of his own demise.

Now he was lost in time...

Section 10- The Master (Chief)

By the year 250 AD, the Master was almost desperate to be found. The Covenant would utterly eliminate all life in the galaxy if given half a chance, and this time, the Master wouldn't be able to help. The thing was, he was fairly sure that the Monitors would not allow the activation of any Halo without a Reclaimer who had the Index in hand. 343 Guilty Spark he wasn't so sure about, but he thought that even an insane Monitor would still insist on rigid adherence to protocol.

Finally, he watched his own race extend into space, expanding their borders. He watched with great surprise as the SPARTANs were trained. The training program was quite similar to the one he had gone through as a child. One of them he liked in particular. The soldier they called Samuel-034 reminded him of himself at that age. The one called Kelly-087 was almost as fast as he had been without his armor. The one called Linda-058 was an even better shot than he had been. But their leader, their 'Master' the one they looked to when they were losing, was called John-117. He was like the Master in every way.

Then, of course, the Covenant had to come and attack the humans. It perplexed him that they should do so. They usually incorporated a race, or at least tried to, before they destroyed it.

The MJOLNIR Mark V armor really surprised him. Stolen from Covenant technology, it was so much like his own armor that he started to reconsider his skeptical ideas on genetic memory. Of course, it was so much more primitive that he almost laughed at it. It was heavy, lightly shielded, and didn't have much in the way of simple protection value, but it was better than anything that the Covenant had ever thought of.

Then, exactly 101,217 years after he'd fired Halo, the shard containing him was retrieved. As far as he knew, it had been put in a museum, and then two Lek'golo had attempted to remove it. As he wondered what they wanted with the shard, he was picked up first by SPARTAN 087, and then by- unbelievably- SPARTAN 117. These days, they even called him a Master. Well, a Master Chief. The rank conveyed nothing to the Master.

And the Master perceived, in the few seconds that John held him, his time to leave the shard had come. If he entered John's MJOLNIR armor, he could hide in the liquid-crystal layer, and John would never notice.

That was what he did.

No one ever detected him in the crystal. Soon he moved into John's nervous system. He liked to be able to tell what the SPARTAN was thinking. Besides, in John's mind, even Cortana couldn't detect him. He stayed with John all through the incident on Sigma Octanus IV. He stayed with him all through the Epsilon Eridani system. And then he realized that, despite the supposedly random slipspace jump, they were headed back to Alpha Halo. It seemed very much to the Master that, against all odds, the two pieces of his mind might be reunited.

He just hoped that John didn't have to encounter Guilty Spark as well. John had more self-control than the Master had had, but a completely insane Monitor might be enough to send the Master Chief on a killing rampage.

Although, frankly, it wouldn't piss off the Master much to see 343 Guilty Spark torn to bits.