Zan 'Socromee walked down the long, purple hallways of High Charity, heading toward the Council Chamber. Today was a special day. The incompetent Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice has finally been brought before the High Prophets of Truth, Mercy, and Regret. Zan was to be there as the Supreme Commander's fate was to be decided. Zan knew, deep down, that the Supreme Commander was going to be given death. He was the one responsible for the destruction of the Sacred Ring, after all. Even though Zan had fought beside him before, he knew that the High Prophets would not see the strength and intelligence of the Supreme Commander. Zan was quite disappointed that an Elite with such strength would be just put to death, after all he had done. It truly was a pity.
As Zan turned the tight corner at the end of hall, he saw his good friend, Toro 'Admaree. Both Zan and Toro were Elite High Councilors, and were to be present at the hearing. Zan looked at Toro when he came close to him. Toro slowly nodded his head, and turned around and walked with Zan down the hallway, passing a pair of Hunters. As they walked, Zan looked at Toro.
"Toro, do you truly think that the Supreme Commander truly deserves a fate of death?" Zan inquired.
"Do not jump to conclusions, my friend. This is only the hearing, not his execution," Toro replied, confident that no blood would be spilt this day.
Zan looked away "if you say so, friend."
As they finally reached the council chamber, they walked up the stairs to their seat, which was near the middle. Zan went in first, followed closely by Toro.
"Seems we are not late. The hearing has not started," Zan said, looking around the chamber, specifically at the Prophets on the opposite side.
"Yes, just our luck, is it not?" Toro joked.
Zan sat down next to another Elite Councilor who was preoccupied by the Councilor beside him. Toro sat down beside Zan. Zan put his feet against the railing, leaned back, and crossed his arms. Toro sat quite straight beside him. They watched the floor below them, waiting for the starting of the hearing.
"What could be taking them so long? Surely they know that many of us have busy schedules," Zan asked, quite annoyed.
"Do not question the Prophets, Zan, you know that holy work must come before all else," Toro informatively replied.
Zan turned his head away from Toro "Yes, I am sure their work is quite holy…"
"What was that?" Asked Toro.
"Nothing, my friend. Just the rantings of an old, tired Councilor," Zan replied, quite calmly.
"Yes, many of us are getting quite old, friend. But we must continue our holy campaign against the humans," Toro explained.
"Right, my friend. Holy campaign…" Zan trailed off, staring at the purple ceiling above them.
After a minute of silence, a large sound (similar to that of a drum) rung through the Council Chamber which silenced every Elite and Prophet in the chamber. Everyone turned their attention to the head of the Chamber, where the landing slowly raised up to the surface, with the Prophet of Mercy, and a hologram of the Prophet of Regret. Mercy raised his arms and spoke, in a loud, old voice.
"Let the hearing… BEGIN!"
All remained silent as the door opened at the bottom of the chamber opened. In walked an Elite clad in golden Zealot armor, followed closely by two Brutes and Tartarus, and his Fist of Rukt, behind them. They walked forward, toward the Prophets of Mercy and Regret and walked past the rows of Elite Honor Guards, stopping in front of the Prophets. All four knelt, and then rose. Mercy waved his hand, and the Brutes stepped back, while Tartarus stood off to the side, leaving the lone Elite standing in front of the Prophets.
"You know why you are here. Speak, warrior," Mercy motioned to the Elite.
The Elite slowly nodded, "Yes, I suppose I am to blame for the destruction of the Sacred Ring, but there was only one ship."
Regret eyed the Elite "One? Are you sure?"
The Elite nodded "Yes. They called it… Pillar of Autumn."
The council muttered amongst themselves for a moment, and Zan looked at Toro, who nodded.
"Why was it not destroyed, with the rest of their fleet?!" Mercy questioned.
The Elite continued to look at the Prophets "They fled, as we set fire to their planet. But I followed with all the ships in my command."
There was a short silence, and then Regret broke the silence "When you first saw Halo, were you blinded by its majesty?"
The Elite looked at Regret strangely "Blinded?"
Regret seemed almost shocked at this answer "Paralyzed? Dumbstruck?"
The Elite shook his head "No."
Regret thought for a moment "Yet the humans were able to evade your ships, land of the Sacred Ring!" the anger in his voice raised considerably, "and desecrate it with their filthy footsteps!"
The Elite, feeling regretful for what he just said, tried to restate his position.
"Noble Hierarchs, surely you understand that once the parasite attacked-"
He was cut off as the level of volume in the Council Chamber quickly rose from the council members that objected. The Elite looked around him, who seemed to be worried.
"There will be order in this Council!" Mercy bellowed.
Then, The Prophet of Truth put his hand in front of Mercy, and Regret and Mercy separated, which allowed Truth to come between and in front of them. The entire Council Chamber quickly silenced itself as he hovered forward.
"You were right to focus your attention on the Flood. [I]But[/I] this demon, this "Master Chief"…" Truth slowly and calmly talked to the Elite.
The Elite looked up at Truth "By the time I learned the demon's intent, there was nothing I could do."
The Council quickly began another uproar. Zan got Toro's attention then raised one of his fingers. Toro nodded in reply, the two remained quite silent.
Regret quietly moved toward Truth and spoke to him, quietly "Noble Prophet of Truth, this has gone on long enough. Make an example of this bungler, the Council demands it."
Truth thought for a moment then raised his hand to silence Regret.
"You are one of our most treasured instruments. Long have you lead your fleet with honor and distinction. But your inability to safeguard Halo was a [I]colossal failure![/I]
Just then, one of the Prophet Councilors stood on his feet and shook his fist, and spoke his mind.
"Nay, it was heresy!" He bellowed, ensuring to be heard.
The councilors began to yell amongst each other, while Zan and Toro remained silent. Zan shook his head. The Elite looked between both sides of the Council then spoke his mind.
"I will continue my campaign against the humans!" He stated.
"No! You will not." Truth firmly told him, which shattered the Elite's position.
Truth promptly turned to Tartarus, who nodded, and barked a command to the two Brutes behind the Elite. They walked up to the Elite, and attempted to grab him, but he shrugged them off. Instead, they escorted the Elite out of the Council Chamber.
"Soon the Great Journey shall begin… But when it does, the weight of your heresy will stay your feet, and you shall be left behind." Truth explained, calmly, as the battered Elite walked out.
Zan turned to Toro and looked him straight in the eye, as the Council Chamber's volume quickly rose to a dull roar as the Prophet's small pad lowered it self into the ground and the top moved over top of it.
"Toro, I do not believe the Prophets were being fair in their decision," Zan complained.
"Well, my friend, if you wish to complain to the Prophets, I'm sure they would be more than willing to cut your head off," Toro replied, looking back at Zan, almost smiling.
"Now is not the time for jokes, a great warrior has just been sentenced to death, there must be something we can do," Zan thought to himself for a moment.
"Nothing can be done, friend, he is going to be executed for his heresy," Toro said with a profound tone to his voice.
"He truly fought with honor. He shall be missed," Zan said, lowered his head, put his feet on the ground, uncrossed his arms, and brought himself forward.
"Yes, friend, he will be missed," said Toro with a slow nod, "Now, shall we go about our duties?"
Zan nodded slowly. Toro stood up quietly while the rest of the Councilors began to rise and leave aswell. Zan stood and followed Toro out of the Council Chamber. When the last Councilor had left, the entire Chamber was silent, which was uncommon for the Chamber, as there was usually always something going on.
Outside, Toro patted Zan on the back, who nodded, feeling rather down at the loss that the Covenant were about to endure.
"Toro, may I ask you a rather serious question?" Zan asked, as Toro turned to walk down the hall. Toro slowly turned back.
"Yes, my friend, what is it you wish to inquire about?" Toro asked, trying to sound friendly, but over doing it quite heavily.
"About the Prophets. I do not think that their decision on putting the Brutes at such high levels is such a good idea," Zan looked up at Toro, "What do you think?"
Toro thought for a moment "It is really not our place to say, the Prophet's decisions are final. The Brutes will aid us in our fight against the humans."
With that, Toro turned around, tired of Zan's distrust of the Prophets, and walked down the hall, turning the corner at the end. Zan watched him as he left.
"Fool. How can he be so blind? The Brutes are going to turn on us, I know it. And when they do…"
Zan looked around the hallway to make sure it was empty before grabbing his plasma sword and turning it on, standing in a combat stance.
"I will behead Tartarus and all his minions along with him, and I will do it by myself if I have too…" Zan then turned off his sword, placing it back on his belt, and turning and walking down the hall in the opposite direction Toro went.