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Burial Mounds
Posted By: Noah Elkins<noah.elkins@gmail.com>
Date: 11 February 2010, 3:25 pm

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A heretic left behind on Threshold, running for cover as pieces of Installation 04 come crashing down.

The red gas giant rotated slowly in the black, misty void. It was quiet, after the one enormous explosion shook the very surface of Basis and the San 'Shyuum's 'holy ring' broke apart into pieces, an immeasurable surge of energy ripping through all that the Covenant ever believed in. Runu 'Taramee knew that his brothers had fulfilled their duties to reveal the truth about the Halo Array.
But not all had been a success, because one of the other 'heretics' was left behind. 'Taramee remembered how their leader, Sesa 'Refumee, had said that when morning broke, the campaign against the Prophets would wait for nobody. 'Taramee's severely broken leg enabled him powerless, and he was stranded on the desolate surface. Alone.
Through the orange gas, 'Taramee could see the remains of Halo drifting through space. It was no opinion that the ring was beautiful. When he had first seen it, out the window of his ore-mining vessel, he was stricken with awe. Halo was not named 'Halo' simply because of its ring shape. It was named 'Halo' because its majesty matched only that of angels.
'Taramee wanted his last sight to be Halo. If he was going to die out here on Threshold with nothing else as company but the barren landscape, it was the only good thing left. Even the shattered remains, broken apart like shards of glass, were amazing.
He still remembered the day that his view on the 'Great Journey' changed forever. It was a day on Threshold, but with all of his fellow miners there with him. Their job was to retrieve Forerunner artifacts, but on discovering 343 Guilty Spark, the 'Oracle', it revealed the true nature of Halo's existence. The Oracle spoke of an unimaginable power, destroying everything in an entire galaxy, lying deep within Halo. They believed in what the Oracle said, and fought against the San 'Shyuum to defend the rest of the Covenant. It was not that their 'heresy' led to evil, they were all just trying to do what was right. And what was right was the destruction of Halo.
Some remains of the ring had already fallen down to the ground. Most of it was still floating adrift in the red afternoon sky. But a few, as 'Taramee could easily see around the thick cloud, were hurtling straight towards him, smashing through the atmosphere, flaming as they fell.
'Taramee ran as fast as he could in the opposite direction, but his broken leg slowed him down. A piece of halo a mile long collided with the ground only a few feet away from where he had once been. An earthquake shook the ground immediately after the impact, and it split Threshold's surface into two, a jagged crack running through the sand. 'Taramee couldn't move fast enough; he was thrown down, falling towards the core. But his armor caught on to a piece of rock, jutting out from the inside of the chasm, and now he was suspended by his shoulder blade protector. He hung there for a brief moment, breathing, and then he hauled himself up, supporting his weight on his good leg. He grabbed the top of the chasm, and pulled himself back up to the orange surface.
He limped over to the piece of Halo. It stretched to the right farther than his eyes could see, and it was unable to be seen over. There was technology coating the outer layer, some on fire, some only sparking. It was the inner mechanisms themselves. He was looking at what Halo was made of. "How could the Forerunners have possibly…" 'Taramee trailed off, as his eyes found a way to climb up to the top. It was a makeshift foothold, and with his good foot, he climbed.
It took minutes before he actually scaled the immense piece of the artificial world. He looked into it from the top. He saw green grass, grey boulders, rivers of water. It was the most amazing thing 'Taramee had ever seen.
But then, his sightseeing was cut short. His air tank, the only thing that kept him alive while on Threshold was going out. In only a few seconds, 'Taramee ran out of breathable air and collapsed on the artificial ground.

(This story is submitted by Noah Elkins. If anyone wants to comment, shoot me an email at noah.elkins@gmail.com. I'll write you back as soon as i can :) )