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Part V: A Drastic Step
Posted By: DarkZipper<crayolaj@comcast.net>
Date: 9 November 2005, 2:27 am

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      One-Thousand new warriors! About five-hundred Grunts, and Elites, ten more phantoms, thirty more banshees, and so many weapons had been added to his army. Gnarlg's force was now so large that he had to spread them out through the whole facility, except of course the part of the installation that included the parasite.
      Gnarlg was actually quite surprised at how many warriors had come to him. These beings had been told lies for their entire lives, and all of those things had been washed away by a speech made by a former Covenant Architect. He supposed that they had never really believed the Prophet's tales deep down inside. Perhaps they merely had been waiting for a chance to know a different belief.
      A Grunt waddled up to The Heretic Leader with great urgency. "Heretic Boss, Heretic Boss! Me have big news!" the little thing cried out with enthusiasm. "Storm headed for facility! Big storm!" The Grunt was obviously very worried.
      Gnarlg activated his personal hologram communicator, and gave his orders. "Warriors, I want everyone inside of the facility. Lock the entrances, and hangar doors. A large storm is headed this way. We have a glorious mission to fulfill, and we cannot lose anyone to a simple storm!"

High Charity

      Why? Why had the council called him a Heretic? He had done all that he could to save the holy ring. He was a true believer that had never before faltered in his quest for salvation. These thoughts rushed through his mind as Tartarus and his lackeys dragged him to the Prophets of Truth and Mercy.
      Why are these imbeciles headed to the Mausoleum of the Arbiter? Do the Prophets plan to kill me as the souls of our heroes look down upon me in shame?
      It all happened so very fast. The Brutes dropped his almost limp body as he felt the horrible mark on his chest, as if he wanted to rip it off of him. They spoke for some time… the pod came down… the holy armor was his now. The Heretic that had caused Halo's destruction had been given the holiest of honors.
      "What would you have your Arbiter do?" he asked the holy ones. After quite a wait, he was on a phantom headed to Threshold. He was to destroy the 'true heretics' that were such a threat to the Covenant's ideals.

The Forerunner Facility on Threshold

      All of the heretic warriors were inside now. Gnarlg had placed most of them in his part of the installation. Now that he had sent that transmission, the Prophets would not hesitate in striking him down, and this storm left his tracking devices useless. He feared not only for his life, but for the lives of his troops. He fiddled with the sword in his hand.
      His hologram transmitter beeped wildly. Someone needed him. Gnarlg activated the device and listened.
      It was an Elite. He had been one of the last to venture inside the facility, so he had been posted by the entrance. "Holy Heretic Leader," his voice crackled quickly. "The Covenant has come and aims to destroy you. They will stop at nothing! They have even chosen a new Arbit-"
      He had been cut off. The last picture the hologram showed was a sword traveling through the warrior's chest. He had been the first to fall.
      He hadn't finished his sentence, but Gnarlg knew what he was about to say. The Covenant had chosen an Arbiter. They had chosen him for the sole purpose of destroying The Heretic Leader.
      Gnarlg felt his heart slowly beating. He had to stay alive. He did nothing but stand there as more reports came in about the Arbiter and his small group of blind warriors heading closer to him. If he didn't do something quickly, then they would reach him, and ultimately destroy him.
      "I want thirty of our best warriors standing beside me as fast as possible! I also want a phantom ready by the closest hanger bay!" he screamed. Everyone around him stopped dead in their tracks for an instant processing his orders, but afterwards ran chaotically with more vigor.
      Within ten minutes Gnarlg and thirty of the best warriors under his command were headed to another part of the installation. He decided that it was the time to tell his warriors his plan.
      "My brothers, we are traveling to the structure that contains the parasite. I do not believe that the Covenant will follow us there. It will be dangerous, but if we can find a safe place away from the Flood until the Covenant has departed, then we will be safe. We will also have the sentinels on our side. They will help protect us." He paused and thought for a moment. "This may be a drastic step, but we have to stay alive at all costs. If we stay close, and stay strong, then we will stay alive, and carry out the holy work that must be done."
      He had posted troops outside of the facilities, to battle the Covenant in case they decided to follow their suicidal path.
      They were landing. As they walked out and opened the door, fear tore at Gnarlg. He was no fighter. He could not show his fear to his men though. He holstered his plasma rifles and released the power of his sword. As it erupted from the small silver handle, the weapon of light glowed with passion of strength. This would have to be his source of courage. They carefully walked inside, and the door closed behind them.
      "Parasite!" An Elite opened fire on an infection form. As the others followed, the little abominations began to steadily grow in number. One of them attached itself to another Elite. He was quickly shot down by his own men.
      So is the horror of survival. Gnarlg sliced one in half and charged into the swarm.