Posted By: Nosolee<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 7 July 2005, 9:56 pm
I suggest you read my first series (incomplete) submitted two years ago before reading this, but it's not fully necessary in order to understand what's going on in this series. This is the link to the origional series, coply+paste it into your browser:
Covenant Holy City: High Charity, Ninth Age of Reclamation
"Noble hierarchs, surely you understand that once the parasite attacked
" The Elite's voice trailed off as the angered council members rose from their seats and roared at the hapless figure standing on the podium.
"There will be order in this council!" The Devine Prophet of Mercy pounded his chair, silencing the voices. The low, cool voice of Truth, however, asserted control of the chamber immediately.
"You were right to focus your attention on the flood," Truth said as his long neck shifted his small head to look at the right side of the council room, to the left, and then immediately at the Elite standing in the middle, "but this demon, this Master Chief
"By the time I learned the demon's intent
there was nothing I could do," the Elite desperately tried to explain his failure. The council would hear none of it. Their roars, shouts, and jeers were louder this time, voracious for the heretic's blood. One of the Elite council members, Nam 'Muri, turned toward Wkehu 'Delevi, nodding his heavy helmeted head as he whispered.
"The fool makes us look inept."
"A shame," 'Delevi responded as he nodded. Truth spoke again.
"You are one of our most treasured instruments, long have you lead your fleet with honor and distinction," the Elite listened with his head down, hoping that the Prophet would say something that would spare him the imminent dishonor. Alas, the piercing words came down like a sword: "But your inability to safeguard Halo was a colossal failure." Another hierarch rose from his seat, pumped his fist into the air and shouted.
"Aye! It was heresy!" And for the third time the council exploded.
"I will continue my campaign against the humans!" The Elite boomed in defiance of the council, silencing them.
"No! You will not. 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," two brutes approached the Elite and he was lead out of the chamber, followed by the brutes and their notorious chieftain. 'Delevi felt a pang of emotion for the Elite, now labeled as a heretic.
When the Elite emerged into the vast openness of High Charity there waited dozens of lower caste species. Grunts, Jackals, and Hunters alike all jeered and shouted at the heretic who proceeded to the edge of a plateau overlooking thousands more Covenant. 'Delevi and 'Muri stayed within the chamber, having already seen many other brandings of heretics.
"I wonder—was it better that my brother was lost on Ucundus rather than return dishonored?" 'Delevi asked 'Muri.
"Surely better for him to have died in battle. He is remember as a martyr of the Great Journey, not a heretic."
"Indeed." The council focused once again on the three Prophets hovering within the chamber.
"What do you suggest we do with this heretic?" Truth questioned the council.
"Execute him in front of the masses!" a seated council member shouted. Many of the lesser Prophets asserted his statement.
"What do the Elites think of such a fate?" Mercy gestured toward the Elite council members. They whispered for a few moments among themselves while the rest of the council waited. An Elite stood and relayed their ideas to the others.
"The incompetent led, as his Excellency Truth stated, with honor and distinction. The destruction of the sacred ring is an unforgivable loss. His failure, however, is not heresy. He did not purposefully allow Halo to be destroyed, he tried to prevent it. We believe he should be given
" the Elite council member was cut off by the shouts of others.
"Nonsense! He is a Heretic!" one shouted.
"Hang him by his entrails and parade the heretic's corpse through the city!" this claim was met with harmony from the other council members.
"I understand that you are all angered by the loss of Halo, but don't you think your claims for the disgraced's life is a little unreasonable. I will note your enthusiasm for his execution, but I will decide his fate. This meeting is over," Truth raised his arms to the sides, gesturing for the council to leave.
"I wonder what will become of the incompetent," 'Delevi asked.
"Who knows. Perhaps he will be executed, perhaps he will become an Arbiter," 'Muri responded.
"An Arbiter? Only when the Covenant is in danger of breaking is there a need for an Arbiter," 'Delevi asserted.
"Our Covenant is always in danger of breaking; there are always heretics, somewhere hiding. We just never know about them because they are silently and swiftly dealt with."
"H'm," was 'Delevi's only reaction.