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A Conversation: Part Uen
Posted By: Delta-034<the.king.under.the.mountain@hotmail.com>
Date: 20 April 2006, 10:36 pm

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Jehnahasen Star Cluster
Ninth Age of Reclamation
On Board Assault Carrier Rightful Trepidation

      The smooth halls of the ship's corridors glistened in the low violet lighting. The vessels complement of unggoy and kig-yar going about their business keeping the carrier in an ever ready state, though they did this more out of conditioning than actual necessity. Fleet Master Nem Halremee marched down the ship's halls, his booted feet making a steady clank-clanking sound. He breathed in the cool air, and wondered for the nth time when the gracious Hierarchs would see it fit to pull him and his fleet to the front line. Almost thirty units into this war and he had yet to engage a Human, flesh to flesh and blood to blood. Nearing the private sanctum of the Prophet assigned to this fleet, Halremee stopped to brush invisible flecks of dust from his spotless golden armor. Before he took another step the door blinked and opened with a soft bell-like tone.

"You may enter Fleet Master." The raspy and genial voice called from the warm depths of the room. Halremee took several steps into the sanctum and bowed, his knee scraping the floor.

"Come, come, there is no need for that, you know this by now." Nem got to his feet and continued into the room. Coming up beside the Prophet of Reunion and looking at the screen the prophet had been reading up to that point.

"Yes, I do, but you also know that it is the duty as your protector to show the proper respect." Halremee said gently.

"Ha! Protection from what? There's nothing out here but us." The prophet smiled up at the towering Sangheili. Most prophets would have adjusted their hover-thrones to bring them up to eye level, but not Reunion. He had long ago accustomed himself to the disillusionment that was the Great Journey. Not that he didn't believe in it, he just knew that true salvation would not be found in his lifetime. Likewise, he personally saw the difference between the Sangheili and the Prophets a foolish code of behavior.

"You again are correct in your observations, esteemed Hierarch." Said Halremee "There is no one out here but us."

"Eh? Yes, that is actually why I asked you to join me. Have you finished reading the screen yet?"

"Yes, the scanning of the gas cloud in-system. Why are you concerned with this?"

"No readily identifiable reason, it is just that the chemical composition of the cloud reminded me of something. Something I had read earlier." Nem leaned in closer towards the screen, re-reading the relevant portions.

"Hmm, perhaps the curious nature of the gas cloud? It looks to be nearly sixty-five percent methane."

"Ah! Yes you've found it! That must have been what I noticed. I remember reading of complaints from the Unggoy commanders that some of the methane recyclers were offline. Do we have the capacity of harvesting that cloud?"

"I believe we do. Hmm, it would seem that at least one of the gods looks favorably on us."

"Yes, so it would appear."

      Spartan 060, Jimm, scanned the orders packet one last time. It still read that they needed one Covenant ship to capture one Prophet. If he interpreted those last Covenant communiqués correctly, he should have both soon.
He turned to the Longswords controls and prepped for engagement.

       The Prophet of Reunion felt the deck shift as the massive vessel started on its way toward the cloud. He looked on as Halremee switched off the comm. system he had just issued the order through. His mind wandered around what might or might not be happening on the home front against the Humans. As Nem re-joined him he asked.

"What do you think about this war, Fleet Master?"

"I believe it is the holy will of the gods. Why do you ask prophet?"

"I ask because I am curious. What do you think of your role in this war?"

"I serve the gods as detailed by the prophets. I am content in my duty."

"Are you really Halremee? Do you find this 'duty' to be rewarding? Could you not better serve the Covenant somewhere else? Someplace that actually has fighting to be done?" At this Halremee quickly looked away, he couldn't understand where Reunion was going with this line of thought. He served the gods and the Covenant with all his heart and life. Was this a test? To seek out what initiative he had. What gumption he possessed for real battle? He new he was ready for this new foe. But did the prophets doubt his willingness? He carefully weighed his next words before replying.

"Prophet, you know my heart. I will faithfully serve wherever the Covenant needs me. Personal preference of duty has never influenced my willingness. But you must understand how my blood boils at the mention of the front campaign. How I long to fight and bleed with my brothers, to break this new enemy with my own hands." He looked away. "But it is not my place to question the Hierarchs, so I will not." Reunion looked closely at his view screen and tapped a few icons. Turning back toward Halremee he looked him square in the eyes and said:

"Look at this."

       Confused, Halremee looked at what Reunion was specifying, a small un-natural looking object on the view screen. He peered closer, and was about to speak but Reunion cut of his thoughts. "It is not part of the asteroids or space rock out here. And it is definitely not of Covenant origin. That means it is one of two things Fleet Master. Either an artifact left from the Forerunners to aid us in our 'Great Journey' or a Human construction. And since we are so very far from any Human space you and I both know what this probably is."

"A holy relic! Prophet this is of great magnitude! I will alert the collection craft to be especially careful in the retrieving of this sacred piece."

"Yes, yes do that."

       Nem Halremee, Master of the Fleet of Blessed Calm, left the quarters of the Prophet of Reunion and made his way to the bridge. Yes truly, he thought, the gods must be looking favorably on him for the first time. He picked up his pace, he would oversee the collection himself.

       060 re-checked all the fighters systems, ensuring that they were hair-trigger sensitive for a quick launch. His eyes wandered over the view screens and he fingered the smooth metal cylinder he held in his gauntleted hands. It would all be over soon. And then what? For him and the other Spartans there would be nothing. No more battles to fight, no more engagements to be won. No more friends to lose. Like all impediments to the task at hand Jimm pushed this one from his mind and ignored the lingering doubts.

*authors note: This is my first piece of fan-fiction, so if you have any input or constructive criticism please feel free to let me know. Any help would be greatly appreciated.