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Epitaph of Destruction, Chapter II: Encounter
Posted By: Insomnia<karsinogen@gmail.com>
Date: 7 July 2005, 1:26 am

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Chapter II: Encounter

Ninth Age of Reclamation, The Epsilon of Silence On Planet Esymarco, Inner Meditation Chamber

      Black Field Marshal Zurr 'Xafomee let everything he had done in the past one hundred and twenty eight cycles float away. His mind was bent inward, and meditating, praying to the gods that he would be able to fight again for the sake of the Covenant, and the let everything unravel, right then and there. His sucesses earned him a promotion from Black Field Master to Black Field Marshal, and one hundred and twenty units of time in the sacred meditation chamber reserved normally only for the highest rankind beings in the Covenant caste.

      The High Prophet of Truth directing the High Charity division of the Covenant had attacked on Earth bodly, without any prerequisites. Truth had not been reporting his actions to the High Priest of Salvation, except once, letting them know the location of Earth, which they had already found out before hand.

      After the cataclysm of Unyielding Heirophant, Overseer 'Omnamamee amassed eight hundred ships, and stormed the Human homeworld, to exterminate them. What they found was a Civil war splitting the sacred bond of the Covenant in two in the division of High Charity. 'Omnamamee vaporized the Ark, which was the Forerunner ship, and destroyed every Jiralhanae controlled ship in the vicinity. Lately, the Covenant fleet had glassed the Jiralhanae homeworld, and had vaporized High Charity, killed the Demon, and had restored the second sacred ring to its original state.

      'Xafomee stood up. His leg ached and burned like a hot coal in his lower tendon, but the miracle of techology was allowing his skin to be regrown back to its original state. Dressing covered the wound in triple layers, and the wounded hero of "Earth" was not lightly forgotten.

      He stood out on the outer deck of the meditation chamber, watching the ocean as its waves broke against the sandy shore. Prophets walked upon the beach in robes, chattering to eachother, as well as Sangheili commanders and councilors in the upper echelons of Covenant society. 'Omnamamee liked the peaceful scene. He was war-driven and action thirsty like other Sangheili, yes, but he enjoyed peaceful scenes like these with the breeze blowing against him, the golden yellow sun, the Covenant warships in orbit, and the Silk robes brushing his tissue. Scenes not commonly found in the Covenant Empire.

      The doors behind 'Xafomee warbled once and opened silently, revealing Overseer 'Omnamamee in Platinum armor, with white trimming. His face was calm, yet very serious.

      "So 'Xafomee, are you enjoying your break from war?"

      "Of course excellency. Was there something you needed to see me for?"

      'Omnamamee's faced turned to stone. "We need to talk."

Ninth Age of Reclamation, Sacred Patrol Route In Patrol Route in Tau Ceti System Edge, Tau Ceti System, Sixty Eight Cycles Ago

      True night was impossible in the inner regions of the Covenant Empire. Stars clustered together so closely together that even the backest regions of space were a symphony of stellar flames and ionized gases clumped in regions once considered uninhabitable.

      Three sleek craft glided through that space that made up the inner Empire, three destroyers lined up in flanking positions slid through space soundlessly, watching for any hosilte actions that could break the current peace.

      Ship Master 'Aragnomee walked erect and alone, soundlessly clicking his mandibles as he strode down the upper platform of the Bridge of the Indisputable Valor. His hands were clasped tightly behind his back, brushing against the solid golden armor that he wore with absolute pride. He watched the lesser Sangheili on the different holographic consoles as they monitored the status of the ship.

      A slight detection of fear was noticed by 'Aragnomee as he walked past the navigational console. The officer stationed at it muttered something incomprehensible and then spoke out loud.

      "Excellency, somthing is moving in, fast, but it is not slipspace."

      'Aragnomee wanted a better view of what was happening. "Aft cameras," He barked. The holographic view screen in front of him blinked into exsistence, clustered space- and a appearence of something 'Aragnomee did not bargain for. A spherical shape sat in the center of a heavily distorted space, not even space at all. The sphere was solid, rocky, and had a supreme organic look to its green hide. Long tentacles sprouted from this center, and the ships circumfrence was around the size of three Covenant carriers.

      The Sangheili commander was awestruck, and frantically began barking orders. "Warm up our Plasma Torpedoes and Pulse Lasers. Get the Incomprehensible and the Refined Justice into position, and order them to do the same thing. Come about forty degrees on mark one three seven. Boost engines to seventy percent."

      A series of "Yes Excellency," followed the order as the Indisputable Valor's engines rumbled tens of decks underneath. The hull strained with the abrupt change of course, making the Commander have to solidify the muscles in his knees to keep him from losing balance.

      The alien ship that had just appeared out of "Slipspace" was gathering something on its starboard tentacle. 'Aragnomee was alerted immediatly, and barked orders at the officers. "Raise forward shields to full power. Divert all power from the engines to the weapons capacitors to make them charge quicker."

      Since the incident upon Ascendant Justice, Plasma Torpedo technology had been greatly increased thanks to a hostile AI running the captured Flagship. The plasma tropedoes glowed a hellish red as they awaited the command of 'Aragnomee. The thing gathering at the starboard tentacle grew into a cloud of unidentifiable organic material. Three charges fired from the aliens ships inner sphere.

      The charges imacted upon the prow of the Incomprehensible. It's blue engine core blackened. The ship floated dead in space. It had lost power.

      "Fire all turrets and pulse lasers! Continue to raise shield strength!" The Ship Master roared. Superheated vapor escaped the ships turrets as it headed and adjusted its course for the hostile ship. The liquid frothed in ununified patterns as it straighted out its course for the ship.

      The black spot that had been gathering at the base of the alien ship fired-
and hit the dead Incomprehensible in the center of the ship, The black orb spread out into smaller, individual objects and rocked back and forth as it kept itself on the top of the ship.

      The Plasma neared the alien ship, and a black gaping hole appeared in the plasma's trajectory. It ate the superheated gas whole.

      The objects on the Incomprehensible buried into the ships hull. 'Aragnomee cut off the comm channel, knowing he would hear screams of death and pleas for help on it. 'Aragnomee was dumbfounded at the sight when the ion beam hit the ship that 'Aragnomee piloted. The lights went out, and all power except for emergency life support remained. Red lights flooded the bridge with an eerie glow.

      'Aragnomee's pride had dematerialized right then and there. The Golden armor he wore might as well had been rust. The end of his reign as Ship Master, was at hand.

      "Intensify foward pulse lasers! I don't want anything to get close to my ship!" 'Aragnomee screamed. He knew this order was futile against the new alien threat.

      The objects clustered at the starboard tentacle hit the Indisputable Valor. A screeching sound was heard as the hull was pulled apart by the objects, parasites at that. 'Aragnomee could not do anything but wait for death.

      The screeching came closer. The Unggoy on the bridge panicked, muffled yelping emanating from their breath masks.

      The bridge tore open, and 'Aragnomee, screaming was torn apart by the ensuing vacuum that ripped through his body, destroying the oxygen in his lungs, and shredding his armor like paper in a paper shredder. The parasite ripped through everything. Sangheili and Unggoy were bisected and shredded like moldy paper as the parasite made its way towards the engines.

      Ten units later and three clouds of Ionized vapor that had once been great Covenant Warships filled the outer rim of the Tau Ceti system as the alien ship jumped into their personal "slipspace."

      The covenant had found a new enemy...