They're Random, Baby!

Fan Fiction

Halo: Twisted Origin: Capter 3
Posted By: Pinkuh<Pinkuh@gmail.com>
Date: 20 July 2005, 7:31 pm

Read/Post Comments

Chapter 3: A means to an end.

To accept one's self is going to die makes one able to find calm. To want to live, means that one has strength. Finding strength and finding calm is a task most men will never complete. However the man that finds it can have the world at his fingertips.

Tokuamalee blanched when Regret waved his hand signaling the guards to come up and grab him, and grab the Captain.

"< Bring the Human to me. >" Regret said his floating chair hovering closer.

Anna watched as the guards grabbed Tokuamalee, and came to grab her. She didn't know what to do, she couldn't tell if the Prophet was angry, happy, sad. His sing song voice masked what he was saying. She didn't understand. When the Elite guard grabbed her by her sore wrist it took all her strength not to call out in pain. His grip was tight and she could feel her bones grinding painfully together. Twisting around she could see that the Captain had looked up and Tokuamalee was panicked. Scowling she decided that now was the time to be strong.

"< Set her down. >" Regret said waving to the guard.

Anna was momentarily airborne. The Elite guard threw her like she was a bag of grain. It was so fast Anna could only just barley catch herself as her nose made contact with the floor. Pain seared across her face, causing her to curl up momentarily and grab her nose. She couldn't breath through it. Blood welled up in her nose and she gagged as it began sliding down her throat. With a gasp she went to pull herself up only to be grabbed by her ankle and hoisted into the air. Anna snorted, sending some of the blood clear from her nose and apparently onto the Prophet's chair.

"< This Human heretic has no right to be here!" > Regret said igniting a small blade of plasma.

"< She has disgraced our home! >" Wisdom said. "< She is a sin that can't be atoned for. >"

"< She has no right to live." > Pity said siding up beside Regret. < "However, the Heretic standing before us does have the right to plead his case." >

Anna looked up at her feet and then to the Prophet, who in turn lanced his blade closer to her skin. She could feel it where her shirt fell, it wasn't actually touching her, but the energy blade was hot enough to start burning her skin. Blood had begun to flow out of her nose and dripped down towards her eyes. She quickly squeezed her eyes shut

Tokuamalee saw the blade creeping too close to her skin. He had expected it to be bad, but not anything like this. Anger built up. Pure rage began to course its way through his veins.

"How dare you." Tokuamalee seethed, switching over to the Human language. "You have no idea the gift you hold in your hands. The gift whose face is broken now, and who's Belly is being burned by the blade of your dagger."

Murmurs began to go through the crowd questioning this gift, and Tokuamalee's sanity. Quickly Regret withdrew his blade but still had it at the ready.

"< What are you talking about? Speak heretic! >" Wisdom sneered.

"What I speak of, if a gift given to you by none other than the Forerunners themselves." Tokuamalee snarled shrugging off the stunned guards. "You stand there and tell me she isn't worth it. You say she is a Human Heretic. Had the gods not had something planned for her she would have been long dead, by my own hand, or by the Covenant's arm."

"< What makes you think you have the right to speak of such things. >" Wisdom said his eyes narrowing.

"What right?!?" Tokuamalee growled as he approached the stage and left the stunned guards behind. "Do you realize this girl followed me through my ship without my aid? Do you realize that never once have I held her to guide her, each step she has taken here she has taken alone with no more assistance than I?"

The Crowd was stunned Silent and Tokuamalee worked his mandibles in agitation. Anna had cleared the still flowing blood from her face and had opened her eyes to watch the Elite.

"I owe my life, my being, my soul to you, holy Prophets." Tokuamalee said turning towards Regret. "I believe you, everything you stand for, everything I have fought for. This is my home, my life, my dream. There is nothing more I want to do then to serve you. And By the Forerunners I will serve you. And if you strike me down, if you strike this girl down, your Great Journey will be null, because the weight of the sin alone will take you, me, and the whole of the Covenant into the darkest depths of despair."

Tokuamalee was now mere feet away from the Prophet and he still held Anna. His burning eyes met the Prophet's and held them, causing the Prophet to shudder. Anna couldn't believe her ears and was so dumb founded that tears began to streak upwards with the flowing blood from her nose.

"You have yet to give me any proof of your words, Sangheili." The Prophet said, slipping into the human language. "What proof do you have?"

Tokuamalee watched as the knife fell, still activated on the floor. In the small moment he saw the Prophet's hands were shaking.

"You have your ways." Tokuamalee growled through grated teeth. "I have seen you do it with others."

The crowd flew into an uproar, both supporting and denouncing Tokuamalee. The Captain still bowed low, but his eyes were forward. Tokuamalee's heart was in his throat. He felt like he was going to be ill yet he had not had anything to eat. Every spare ounce of his will was aimed toward the images he was conjuring, hoping that it would be enough. When Regret waved his hand everything slowly fell silent.

"< Sangheili you realize the weight of your words correct? >" Regret said motioning for a set of guards. "< You can not turn back from your argument if you commit to this. >"

Tokuamalee looked down at Anna, who was looking up to him with her bright blue eyes capturing his own. A sudden wash of comfort washed over him when her eyes met his. Time came to a stand still while he was lost in those orbs. Every thanks that needed to be said was received in that instance.

"I have nothing to fear." Tokuamalee said standing up straight as the guards approached. "You will see."

The guards quickly surrounded him and the Prophet. Two stood at Tokuamalee's shoulders and held him, while the two others stood behind the Prophet. The Prophet himself lowered Anna to the ground. The moment she made contact she began to choke on the unreleased blood. Sputtering and coughing she looked up one last time to Tokuamalee. Tokuamalee stared forward into the Prophet's gaze.

"< Lean forward Sangheili. >"Regret said raising slightly and outstretching his hands.

Tokuamalee complied and bent his neck forward. With care the Prophet pulled his gold and black helmet from his head and let it rest on his lap. The crowd was murmuring excitedly and the guards shifted nervously. Tokuamalee could feel the Prophet's fingers floating over the back of his skull and neck just above the surface of his skin.

"< Be prepared Sangheili, >" Regret whispered coldly. "< Any story you think you could have conjured up will fail, as it has failed thousands of times. >"

Tokuamalee didn't have a chance to think on those words when suddenly he was pulled into darkness.


Darkness consumed him. He was aware, yet, not. A cold feeling swept over him causing him to immediately want to cover up. But there was nothing there… or was there?

Suddenly lights, colorful lights, sounds, shapes, feelings, tastes, pains, and memories began to flash by. Each moment was relived, each piece out of order. From moments ago to long past memories stored for safekeeping, he could not stop the flow or curve it.

"Shhhh, quit your mind." Regret's voice filtered through the memories lazily. "You are seeing what I am seeing and you have no control."

Thousands of memories filtered by in moments lining themselves up in the correct order. When the last memory was in place Regret began to blast through them all in record time. The images only paused momentarily if something of importance to the situation was discovered and it was moved for safekeeping. It felt like years, and yet milliseconds when the memories stopped and slowed to the start of his journey for this artifact. It was then Tokuamalee began to conjure his own images.

He felt Regret's slight confusion as the images appeared. Snapshots of the girl as the ship landed on the surface, then surprise from Tokuamalee as he saw her. The regret at not being able to do anything as his brother charged. Then suddenly a crack where the new "Memories" filtered in, small and non detailed they seemed with the true memories of his mind. The girl fighting, watching, learning, and working for the Covenant. Then a series of black.

"Do not force those thoughts on me, I can see through them." Regret said his voice pounding through Tokuamalee's mind. "If you have lied.... wait... what's this?"

Suddenly Tokuamalee jerked both in the spiritual and physical plane. Tokuamalee could feel something rushing towards Regret - something in his mind. Something made him want to stop it, but he was insignificant to its magnitude.

"What's this? What's going... ARGHHHH."


The audience began to cry in panic as both Regret and Tokuamalee jerked and began to yell as if in pain. Anna jumped up and grabbed onto Tokuamalee's leg in attempt to get him to stop. Panic began to rise, and all Anna could think about was getting Tokuamalee out of that trance. Blue waves of light began to filter over the three causing the guards to back up and the Counsel to go into an uproar. This was like nothing anyone had ever seen before.


The black filtered in and knocked both Tokuamalee and Regret back to back as though they suddenly had bodies. It was then that it started.

Through a door they were thrown, it was intricately carved and well fortified. Out into the universe they flew watching as suddenly true universal memories began to float in. The girl was standing, growling at an Elite, working, pushing, striving. Training - hard training - and a series of celebrations. Death. Thousands of talks and delegations. The girl was a tool. Striving further into the universe. Pain and suffering, and a key. An Oracle humming, Halo's bursting into flames. The girl grown up facing a shadow. Humans and Covenant. And words. Single words slung into the mire.

"To you, a gift, a single gift, for you to treasure."

Over and over again making Tokuamalee want to scream out.

"Take her take her."

The Prophet was trying to pull out to break the wave. One final image stood. It was the girl, grown, and incased in strange armor. To her left were Elites, Grunts and hunters. To her right were humans, all dressed in their battle gear. However, facing Anna, with his shadow touching both the Elites and Humans was something that made Tokuamalee recoil in fear.



Just as suddenly as the screaming started it stopped, and with a sudden burst of energy Tokuamalee Anna and the Prophet were blown apart from one another. The Council gasped and quieted. The guards quickly rushed over to Regret, making sure he was ok.

All Tokuamalee could do was sit there and attempt to not cry in front of the council. He didn't expect anything to be there. He expected to die. But those images, they were the gifts from the Forerunners. They scared him however. The war was far from over.

"Guards, take them to my chamber." Regret said his voice obviously carrying a shake to it. "We will reconvene in the first hour of tomorrow."

The din began to grow louder as guards began to usher people out of the chamber. Regret was clamoring back into his chair with the help of the two guards who were at his back. Wisdom and Pity were hovering near Regret. The Captain had stood up and was helping a very dazed Tokuamalee up. And Anna was laying on the ground crying.

Anna didn't know what had happened, she had been brought into the same visions Tokuamalee and Regret were seeing when she had latched onto Tokuamalee. Confusion and pain wracked her body. Her head was throbbing, her wrist felt broken, her nose was broken, and now her butt and back hurt because of the sudden launch across the room. Anna decided that this wasn't her day in the slightest and just started crying because she needed too.

It didn't take long for Tokuamalee to snap out of his daze and realize that Anna was on the ground hurt. Without thinking he quickly rushed over to her and was about to pick her up when Regrets voice stopped him.

"< Tokuamalee, what are you doing? >" Regret said floating towards Anna's prone form.

"< Holy Prophet, she is hurt, hungry, and just a child. >" Tokuamalee said reaching down and scooping Anna up. "< She needs to get help, she needs to eat, and she needs to not go through this same trauma twice. Any other Human would have cracked, tried to attack, but she, she is different. You saw it. >"

Anna realized they were talking about her again and she began to wiggle to get down from Tokuamalee.

"I can walk." Anna spat through the throbbing pain and choked sobs. "Let me down!"

"< She can walk? >" Regret said curiously watching as Tokuamalee bent down to let the girl go.

"< Astoundingly versatile these humans are, for such weak appearing beings. >" Wisdom said approaching the group formed. "< Had you taken any one of our children before training and had them go through the same ordeal this girl has, they would have swallowed their own tongues in fear. >"

Anna wobbled on unsteady feet, her ankle throbbing. Now that she was upright blood again began to flow freely from her nose. Through her swollen eyes she glanced at the Captain who had remained in the bowing position. While the others talked above her she skirted through Tokuamalee's legs and hobbled over to the still bowing Captain. Without hesitation she sat on her haunches and looked at the Captain dead in the eye.

"You girl are very brave, I am proud of you." He said causing Anna to smile in spite of herself. "I don't know what the future holds for you, but you are defiantly special."

"< Captain, please rise and follow us. >" Regret called his voice still shaken. "< Wisdom, pity, retire to your chambers, I need to speak with this group alone. >"

"< But... >" Pity started but stopped suddenly when Regret's burning eyes landed on him.

"< Come with me. >" Regret said turning to Tokuamalee.

When the Captain quickly stood up Anna couldn't help but watch as he walked. He was graceful, in fact all of the Elites were graceful. Standing again she began to hobble after the Captain and watched as the two ousted Prophets took their guard and left through side doors. She quickly caught up with the Captain and the group began to walk in silence through a set of doors. As they were lead down the hallway Anna watched the intricate patterns on the walls as they weaved their way around. Soon they had reached a set of doors and they swung open to an airy hallway with plant life and waterfalls.

"These are my chambers." Regret said falling into the human language. "My office is at the end of this hallway. We have much to discuss."

"What about the girl? She is hurt, and hungry." Tokuamalee said his own stomach growling in response. "Surely you don't plan to keep us here long, she needs medical attention."

"I shall keep you here as long as I please Sangheili." The Prophet said his chair turning to face the elite. "However I have the proper care waiting, and fresh food waiting for you two, and for her."

Anna couldn't help but squeak at the prospect of food. Her step became automatically more animated and her limp became less visible. Quickly she caught up with Regret and Tokuamalee and stood between them.

"What kind of food?" Anna asked as her hands rubbed together in anticipation.

"Hopefully something you can eat." Regret said rather honestly. "We are used to feeding Human prisoners, but you are not a prisoner. We give them what they need to survive, we have no idea what will and will not taste good to you."

Anna squeaked again in giddiness and bounced.

"< She has been starved your holiness. >" Tokuamalee said, causing the Prophet to just about tip out of his chair. "< The humans refused to feed her and she was wasting away. >"

"< That is odd. >" Regret said watching as the girl clutched happily to her front. "< Humans are not known for their cruelty.... >"

Tokuamalee blanched and looked at the Prophet with wide eyes. The Prophet realized too late that he had slipped and stuttered to cover it up.

"< I mean to their own kind. >" Regret said the shake returning to his voice.

Tokuamalee nodded carefully and acted as through he didn't catch the slipup.

"Girl," Tokuamalee said causing Anna to turn up toward him. "Show him your ribs."

Anna complied with quickness and lifted her shirt.

"By the rings!" The Prophet said somewhat taken aback. "Her ribs are more pronounced then those of your young! Humans are supposed to have ribs hidden in flesh!"

Score one for the home team. Tokuamalee thought to himself.

The door opened of its own accord and the small assembled group stepped in. Inside a small banquet had been set up on a table, and a group of strangely dressed Elites were waiting. Anna took notice and despite her stomach she wandered over to the strange Elites.

"These ones are different!" She exclaimed causing the small group to jump and back up. "Why are they different Tokuamalee?"

Tokuamalee laughed and smiled his mandibles clicking in amusement.

"Those are females." He said. "They are nurses, they are here to help."

"< Get to it ladies, >" Regret said his voice carrying a slight mirth. "< I need you to patch her up, give her the necessary things so that you can get out and we can talk. >"

Anna stood still when the females hesitated and waited as one of the girls gingerly bent down and picked her up. They set her on a tall chair and began to unceremoniously strip her of her clothing.

"Tokuamalee, why were there no females on the ship?" Anna said half of her question muffled as her barrowed shirt came up over her head.

"Females aren't meant for space battles. They are trained here, or at the home planet to handle things such as medical needs, food preparation, and child rearing. They handle everything we can't while we war with the Humans." Tokuamalee said watching with a vague disinterest as the girls began to bath Anna to get all the blood off.

Anna noticed they were touching her very softly as if they were afraid she would break. The sponge just barely floated over her skin.

"Hey, You can press harder." Anna said addressing the female elite with the sponge. "I won't fall apart or anything."

The female looked distressed and glanced at her sisters who were setting up clean bandages and sterile instruments. Obviously flustered the Elite tried to address Anna but Anna couldn't understand a word she was saying.

"Anna, they don't know your language." Tokuamalee said, watching as Regret floated over to the girls.

"< She says you can bath her like a normal child. >" Regret said scowling at the heap of messed up clothing on the floor. "< Hurry up. >"

Suddenly Anna was caught up in a flurry of movement. The sponge was harsh but felt good, but before she could really enjoy anything she was laid down onto her back and fingers began to poke and prod her checking for broken bones and painful areas. The touches were harsh and when the poor females hit a spot that hurt Anna would grind her teeth and confirm that it was painful to the touch. Soon small self-regulating bandages came, and much to Anna's dismay her nose was re-broken and set correctly. Bandages wrapped over one side of her head covering one eye, and another set was bridged over her nose. Her wrist where both Tokuamalee and the rough guards had grabbed it was also bandaged and her shoulder had a small device placed on the skin. Soon her ankle was wrapped and her small bumps and scrapes cleaned and bandaged. Nothing was broken outside of her nose. Then Anna was stuck in a simple set of clothing, gray in tone. The legs were much too long for her, and nearest she could tell they were Elites clothing.

Anna was still attempting to sniff through her nose even though gauze had been shoved up it to keep it from bleeding all over the place. Her head was throbbing. But seemingly just as fast as it had started it ended and the females began to pack and gather their supplies. Anna noted how smooth and vibrant their skin seemed. Everything on them was less pronounced, even their teeth. They were far more graceful than their opposite gender. And unlike the males their hooves were exposed and shined an earthy brown color. Anna was almost sad to see them go.

"Good, now that they are out of the way, come let us eat and discuss." Regret said motioning Anna over to a table where the Captain and Tokuamalee had already taken a seat.

Anna didn't need to be told twice and she quickly darted over to the table. But before she approached one of the tall chairs she stopped at the foot of the Prophet's hovering chair. Her one exposed curious blue eye caught his and caused him to lean down. Her hands crept carefully up the platform and she stretched as tall as she could manage. Standing on the tip of her toes, she looked at the Prophet and the Prophet looked back, both momentarily caught in the curiosity, which were the other spices.

"I am sorry." Anna said her voice barley above a whisper. "I know I have sinned, I don't know what I did, but I promise that I won't do it again."

The Captain, Tokuamalee, and the Prophet all sat there stunned. Smiling the Prophet leaned down so that his head was nearly touching hers.

"Under my eye it will be impossible for you to commit the same sin." Regret said. "So do not let it trouble your young mind. Please, eat."

The next fifteen minutes were spent with Anna devouring anything and everything she could. She tasted just about everything on the table, and most of it she ate without thought. Tokuamalee watched in amazement as Anna began to dig in, his own bites were taking twice as long as they should have been. However his observations were cut short when Regret began to talk.

"< There is no word for how utterly surprised I am right now. >" Regret said taking a chalice of wine and downing it. < "I don't have the slightest Idea what to do really, this situation is indeed beyond the ears of the impure, and the fact that the Forerunners chose you to deliver this message carries a great value. >"

"< Surly such praise does not belong on my shoulders, I was only.... >"

"< To hell with all that talk, >" Regret snarled, causing both the Captain and Tokuamalee to flinch. "< You two are gifts from the Divine, there is no explanation, and no acceptation."

Tokuamalee looked down and tried to swallow the strip of meat he was holding in his mouth. The Captain fidgeted and kept his eyes averted.

"< Dervish!" > Regret called startling the nervous Captain. "< Your name is not unknown to any of us, your belated wife's antics are what lost you your name, but I am wondering now if we made a bad call. >"

Bad call?!? Tokuamalee's mind screamed. Has he lost all sense of himself? For the rings, I need to keep silent....

"< You and your family are Gifts! Gifts indeed! >" Regret said pouring a chalice of wine for the two startled elites. "< You shall be given your name back!"

The force at which the Captain stood up caused Tokuamalee to just about tip backwards in his chair and it caused Anna to drop her utensils on the floor with a crash.

"< Noble Prophet! >" The Captain said his thumbs working together on his fingers furiously. "< I do not wish to have my name back, all I wish is to go back to my ship and lead the crew like I have before. It's all I ask, it's all I want. My ship is my life, and I want nothing else. >"

No, no, don't force his name back on him! Tokuamalee thought glancing over to Anna, who had clamored down off her chair and gathered her fallen eating tools. It would arouse suspicion, his name back, and a Human on high charity, Regret would be hung by his neck!

"< A fleet then. >" Regret said setting the glasses in front of both elites.

"< A fleet? >" The Captain said tilting his head to the side.

"< There is no other way I can think to repay you for this gift. >" Regret said, this time taking a simple sip of the wine.

Tokuamalee took a sip of his glass as well and watched as Anna slowed down a little in her eating and began actually tasting the food. He watched her, the way her hands moved. She was meticulous, already showing signs of a warrior through her movements.

"< What about the girl, what are we to do with her? >" Tokuamalee asked quietly, his statement bringing the heat off the Captain's shoulders.

"< She is a gift beyond all our hopes, Tokuamalee. I still need to speak to Truth about this in order to gather his wisdom, but he will surly agree with me on this matter. >" Regret said solemnly. "< We have been suffering losses, tremendous losses, ones that are beginning to get harder and harder to recover from. We caught the Humans off guard in the beginning, but now, now we are having trouble matching their patterns blow for blow. Humans have brought their diseases, and sicknesses to us. Things that they are immune to, that we are not. They are also not very pattern oriented, they are able to change their tactics on the fly, leading to devastation, life loss despite the battle victories. >"

Tokuamalee nodded and turned back to Regret to meet him eye to eye. He was disappointed however when Regret's eyes were trained on the now almost nodding off Anna.

"< You see the vision told me we are to use her as our own. >" Regret said with his eyes trained on Anna in a way that made Tokuamalee's skin crawl. "< The vision also told me, that you are the one that is to take care of her - it is written in the stars. She shall be given a warrior's name, she will take your name, and carry your family's honor with her. You will be given a short time of leave to oversee her training. She will live on the training campus in private quarters adjacent to your own. She is to be trained with the next wave of rookies, no mercy, after the period of rookie training, she will be handed over to a special teacher who will teach her the art of stealth and sabotage. >"

Tokuamalee gasped and looked over to the girl, who had fallen asleep in her half full plate of food.

"< She is to become a human spy for us? >" Tokuamalee asked his eyes wide. "< She is so young! >"

"< Precisely, Sangheili, precisely. >" Regret said, and taking yet another sip of wine. "< No human fool would expect a child as young as her to be working for our Covenant. She is generic, a little tall for her age, but generic and it would be easy to slip in and out of Human bases. She can get to places no Elite, grunt, jackal, brute or hunter can get, she can get to and manipulate one of the things none of us could ever manipulate, the human's ultimate weakness. >"

Tokuamalee felt the skin on the back of his neck prickle and he turned slowly again to face Regret's full gaze.

"< What is their weakness noble Hierarch? >" Tokuamalee asked, a shiver creeping into his voice.

"< Their hearts. >"

Tokuamalee couldn't help but choke back down what little food he ate. His eyes immediately flashed over to the silently sleeping form of Anna and his heart skipped a beat.

What have I damned this girl too.

"I will put you, the Captain, and the girl in private quarters until I have spoken to Truth." Regret said, pushing away from the table and glancing to the still standing Captain. "I assume this will give you enough time to decide on weather or not to take my gift Captain?"

"< Yes, my noble Prophet, >" The Captain sputtered through clenched teeth. "< I will reach a decision by the morning. >"

"< Good, >" Regret said nodding in accomplishment. "< I will lead you out, and the guards will lead you to your chambers for tonight. >"


When Anna woke up she was in the midst of a flurry of activity. Scowling, she realized one of her eyes was still covered and her mouth was dry from breathing through it all night. Voices were barking quickly and aliens were running this way and across the open door Anna could see beyond her bed.



Anna quickly sat up and pulled the gauze from her nose. It was tender still, but the bleeding didn't start again. Quickly she looked over to the door only to see a tall half dressed Elite quickly skid into the room and punch the door controls.

"So it wasn't a dream." Anna said catching the Elites eyes.

"No, no, it wasn't." Anna could tell by the voice that it was the Captain. "Listen, I have heard from the river that I am being re-assigned. Whether or not I take the fleet, Truth has seen to it that you, me, and Tokuamalee are as far away from each other as possible. For that I am disappointed."

Anna nodded and pulled her warm sheets up closer. The Captain sighed and walked over to the large bed. His hoofs were exposed and make a soft clicking on the floor as he walked. Anna watched as he sat down on the bed and slumped his shoulders forward.

"I have never been good with words young one," The Captain said working his hands together. "I have seen so many of your kind staring at me from cells, young ones like you, all cowering in fear. You, even when faced with pain, brutality, and death, you only looked at me that way once, and then you looked at me like a brother. I am only sorry that our story together will end today. It would be an honor to travel with you, but it seems the Great Journey says otherwise."

Anna smiled and turned herself towards the Captain who was looking at her through the corner of his eye, unable to bring his face to bear towards hers.

"Don't worry." Anna said happily. "Even if we never see each other again, I will remember you here."

Anna motioned toward her heart.

"From the books we have you would think that all Elites are scary man eating monsters." Anna said smiling. "Man eating maybe, but scary? No."

The Captain laughed, just as the door slid open.

"Well at least you got him out of the way." The booming voice of Tokuamalee said as the sliding the door closed after he came into the room. He was fully clad in armor, except with his helmet in hand. "Captain, not to be insubordinate, but you should be getting dressed. The ceremony is in less then a standard unit."

The Captain nodded and stood up, taking one last look at Anna.

There is so much I want to do right now. The Captain's thought. I want to hug her like my own son. Her humanity stops me, and I will never be worthy of the Great Journey until I can shed this weight.

With a sigh he turned and exited through the door.

Anna watched and scowled as he left, and earned her a strange look from Tokuamalee.

"Truth sounds like a butthead." She snorted pulling her covers up around her again.

"Do NOT say such things!" Tokuamalee said, darting over to her side and quieting his voice. "Look, again, we are not in the Human world anymore, and if you speak of the Prophets with such an attitude against them you WILL be punished, if not put to death for blasphemy! The fact that you are a human relic is not going to change the rules. Let me bring you up to speed."

Anna nodded and began to struggle out of the blankets.

"Regret was stupefied by you last night. So stupefied that he drank himself drunk." Tokuamalee said, sitting down on the bed. "From today onward you are an honorary member of the Covenant, and starting right after the ceremony you will not hear another Human word uttered by me, unless away from the public eye, or when I am teaching you things about the language you do not know. Orders have been relayed down from Truth, apparently he is highly skeptical of you, but because of the vision that was shared by myself and Regret he can not just throw either of us out. This ceremony is going to be small with only the Council and a few key members of our Covenant society special enough to attend such events. Others will watch from screens around High Charity."

Anna nodded and walked across the bed, looking through the window, which offered a rather spectacular view of High Charity. The city was teeming with life, even more so now. The lights seemed brighter and vehicles raced this way and that with a higher frequency than the last time she saw.

"The ceremony will be performed in both Humanity's English, and in the Prophet's own language." Tokuamalee said, watching as Anna's eyes darted around the city. "After today we have exactly 7 full units to get you prepared for Basic Training. Stand up strait and take my lead in front of the Prophets."

With that the door opened and a group of servants rushed in. There was a small guard and then more Female Elites. These servants were dressed more practically than the nurses were. They were in grey jumpsuits of simplicity and effectiveness, not holding any ceremonious value. They wore grey boots that covered their hooves and they carried several sets of clothing with them.

Tokuamalee about jumped straight onto his hooves when one of the female Elites came in. Both locked eyes and stared at each other for quite a considerable length of time before each Elite returned to a casual disposition. Anna turned around when she felt his weight leave the bed and his attention directed elsewhere. Tokuamalee's eyes were locked with one of the female Elites, and after exchanging some talk in conversation, spun around to Anna.

"You must get ready. Stand up, quickly." Tokuamalee said. "The armor you are going to wear is called Jolacnarl. It is made for children, and it is made for a specific ceremony amongst Sangheili. It's a Naming Ceremony. No child has a name until they reach a certain age. If they survive. in our society we do not get our final name until we enlist in the services of the Prophets. Today, you will officially be receiving both. There is no human in existence that will get this privilege. From here on out you will no longer be called human, you are now going to be known as Shiroqui, or "welcomed outsider". This is important because that's what the Prophets are going to be calling you today."

The females began to move after the explanation. Anna again was stripped of her clothing and began to get even stranger clothing as a replacement. Her dressing included first an undergarment, then an undershirt, followed by a strange fitting shirt, and finally an even stranger armor. It didn't match up with any of the solid sleek armor that Tokuamalee had worn. No, this was leather, leather with metal embedded on the edges. The leather itself was a deep rich purple in color, leaving Anna to imagine what creature it had come from.

"What are they going to be naming me today?" Anna said watching as individual pieces were snapped into place. "Why can't I keep my own name?"

"Your name, your human name will be yours and yours alone to keep. Don't loose it, ever." Tokuamalee said shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "We are going to be keeping your first human name, to make things easier to keep track of, however your last name will change, and you will take my family's name since I am in charge of your keep."
"Oh cool!" Anna exclaimed as the women momentarily stepped away. "I'll be Ann…. Mph!"

Quicker than she could finish Tokuamalee had raced over and stuck his large bandaged hand over her mouth.

"No, Do not speak it till the Prophets do. It will give you a curse if you give yourself an unofficial, false name before the ceremony," Tokuamalee said sternly with his hand still over Anna's mouth. "You're already an exception - we can't let you break the unspoken oath that children can not know their name."

"Not really unspoken now is it?" Anna said watching as the females suddenly went into a fuss about the shoes she was supposed to wear.

"< Ladies, calm down, there is no way we could have found shoes for her at this late a time. She can walk barefoot. >" Tokuamalee said, lifting his helmet just slightly to rub at his brow.

There was no more fuss after Tokuamalee spoke, but the female Elite he had caught eyes with earlier stared daggers at him. Anna couldn't help but notice and curiously wondered why the female was so adamant about not liking Tokuamalee. She didn't get time to ask however before the last piece of the armor she could fit was placed on her head. It was a helmet. When the mirror was brought over Anna couldn't help but giggle excitedly. Compared to the rest of the strange fitting armor the helmet was the most simple piece. It flared up in the back and rested at a point, allowing her bangs to be seen. Anna smiled and for a moment felt almost sad that her Humanity was being swept away, but at the same time her curiosity making her feel more a part of anything then she had ever in her life.

"Anna you are ready. Come, let's walk." Tokuamalee said, motioning Anna toward the door. "From now on, you may ask questions in Human, but I will have to answer in Sangheili, I will try and help you as best as I can but we need to curb your language as fast as possible."

Anna nodded and walked towards the door. Much like the first time Tokuamalee pressed the button, and walked out first. And much like the last time she followed in his wake. Only this time there were aliens who knew exactly what she was, and were fighting every fiber of their being to not sit there and destroy her on the spot. Anna snorted to herself and stood up strait.

Let them sit and hate me, let them despise me. Anna thought. One day I will do something that will affect each and every one of them, and they will feel bad for thinking these thoughts.

Anna watched as they made their way through an ornate hallway and watched the Aliens whisper amongst themselves about her passing. This time the walk through High charity was without a guard and the only thing saving Anna was the fact that orders had been sent out to not kill her under any circumstances. The armor she was wearing was heavy and was making her tired fast. Lucky for her the ride to High Charity's ceremonial hall was just a lift away.

Tokuamalee watched around him as they walked, his thumbs fingering the sword at his side. When they reached the lift Anna needed no coaxing to step inside this time. She followed him quietly yet stood tall as if she was his son. This scared Tokuamalee, but at the same time excited him.

When they arrived at the ceremonial hall Truth and Regret's guards were there to meet them.

"Tokuamalee?" Anna said looking up to the tall Elite. "Thank you."

Tokuamalee clicked his mandibles in a quiet laugh.

"< You're welcome. >" He said, keeping his promise to not speak in the human language.

The guards around them started shifting, and the final call was made out to summon the bothinto the chambers.

Anna quickly straitened up and looked around. Looking down she began to study Tokuamalee's covered hooves. Without too much thought she raised herself up onto her tiptoes and stood with her knees slightly bent, like all the Elites walked. When they started walking towards the chambers she continued to mimic how their actions, just as much as she could without loosing her dignity. When they walked in the guards parted and both Anna and Tokuamalee could see the Dias where the Prophets of Truth and Regret stood, waiting with the Captain already in front of them. Risking a glance, Anna saw that the same Counsel the previous night was there and she stiffened further. Now was not the time to make a misstep.

Everything was dead silent as they approached the Dias. Tokuamalee stopped beside the Captain, and Anna herself had nestled herself in-between them. Anna looked up to Tokuamalee, then the Captain and noticed that both stared forward, eyes unmoving. Anna quickly did the same and stood as still as she could possibly stand. The only sound that was heard was the slight whine as Truth and Regret approached the group.

"I have been told of the acts done yesterday." Truth said, causing Anna to cringe internally. "And it has turned out that a gift indeed was brought to us yesterday."

Anna breathed a sigh of relief, but still held as still as possible.

"A Human, untainted by humanity." Truth said addressing the whole Counsel. "A Human she is no longer. She is now a Shiroqui, a welcomed guest within these walls. She is a gift to be used with great care, something we cannot ignore. I said earlier this morning that I would have this meeting broadcasted, however, the gods have spoken to me and have refused to let them watch this. This female will be known in shadows. She will have a name. However, before we name her I have a gift meant to be given."

The audience murmured as Truth shifted over to the Captain. Truth was rushing the ceremony, skipping important words and sayings. This set Tokuamalee on edge. Taking a risk he glanced over to Regret, who looked absolutely worse for the wear. Somehow, something had changed between the talk last night and the ceremony happening today. What, Tokuamalee didn't know, but he was sure that when he found out he wouldn't like it.

"Dervish, you were the one that set up the guard for this girl when she arrived, were you not?" Truth said causing the Captain to visibly flinch.

"Yes, I am responsible." He said his voice still unwavering despite his appearance.

"You have done this Covenant a great honor by standing up for this girl when others would not." Truth said eyeing the audience. "Because of this outstanding gesture, I have one of my own. Would you be willing to Captain the glassing fleet?"

There was a large murmur in the crowd and the Captain momentarily lost his cool and looked like he was going to rip Truth's head off. The flash was gone in an instant, replaced with the Captain's mask. This time it was Anna's turn to flinch. Learning what she had learned about the Captain, and his soft spot for humans, she knew that this would go against every fiber of his being. Something inside of Anna was begging the Captain to take the job, but why she didn't know.

"My noble Prophet Truth," The Captain said taking one knee. "Such an honor this one does not deserve."

The crowd got silent and tensed, even Truth tensed as the Captain looked up.

"However, it would mean the deepest of honors to me if you actually think me worthy of such a noble task." The Captain's words rolled off of his tongue like silk.

It was Truth's turn to flinch. The words that followed were forced and stuttered.

"Yes, It would… Honor me… for you to lead this fleet." He said spitting out the last part almost like rotten food.

"Then noble Hierarch, it shall be done with honor and grace." The Captain said, looking down again.

Tokuamalee about bit clean through his tongue in his battle to be silent. The Captain was inadvertently challenging Truth. However, to everyone else in the room who didn't know the Captain, it seemed like a very humble acceptance. Grinding his teeth together he looked over to Anna, who was looking over to the Captain with a worried look. Some how he felt she knew the weight of the words just thrown. How she would know, being so young, was beyond him.

"Now onto you little one." Truth said turning towards little Anna and lowering. "This ceremony is for this girl. She is joining the ranks of our military as of today. Because of this she will be given both her honorary name, and her title. It is only a humble gift compared to her value to our Covenant, and it shames me that I cannot do more. As most of you know Humans name their children from birth. So to honor her, she shall keep her Human first name. Please step forward."

The crowd momentarily gasped and Anna quickly did as told.

"Regret," Truth said, causing the other to float over holding a small box.

Truth carefully reached over and opened the box revealing a dagger and several small little items that looked like trinkets.

"Here in my hand I hold the most primitive of our weapons." Truth said lowering closer to Anna. "It is our protector, this knife is not meant for combat, it is a symbol of our survival. This knife was used for traps that can hold you down, it can act as a valuable tool in a desperate time of need, it is like our souls, wielded sharp and sturdy. I offer this to you not as a weapon, but as a tool: may it help you out of harms way like it has for thousands of generations before it."

Truth reached down and Anna stretched up to take hold of the small dagger and its sheath.

"In here, I hold a box of symbols." Regret said, leaning down towards Anna as Truth backed away. "Your name will be burned into the memory of this symbol, so choose wisely."

Anna peered into the box and looked at all the small Holo's of symbols. Looking through them, nothing really caught her fancy until she looked at one hidden by the others. Three hexagons side to side. Anna gingerly picked it up and handed it to the waiting Truth.

"She has chosen the Trinity." Truth said causing a small set of encouraging claps to make the rounds through the audience. "Power, wisdom and courage. This symbol represents the balance of the universe at whole. You need courage to act, wisdom to lead, and power to be able to survive. If you have too much of one, you will fail. However if you can find the balance you will succeed. In these trying times the Trinity needs to be our guide."

There was another murmur of approval as the Trinity began to be projected up above Anna.

"Now then, your name." Truth said. "Your name represents who you are and where you are from. What is your given Human name girl?"

Anna quickly stood up strait and spoke with such force that it about startled Truth out of his seat.

"My name is Anna! Mister, Hierarch sir!" a slight moment of quiet laughter wound its way through the audience, and even Truth himself seemed to smile, if only a little.

Tokuamalee smiled, he was damned proud of the girl. No child had ever been that fearless in the face of the Prophets ever. It was a good start in Tokuamalee's mind. Even Truth's shadiness couldn't damper the child's spirits.

"Anna, this shall be your first name, for now, and for forever, do you accept this gift?" Truth said, getting caught in the girls gaze.

"Yes sir, I do." She said not quite as forceful this time, but with the same amount of confidence.

"Then Anna, do you accept the responsibility that is going to be bestowed upon you as soon as you enter this military?" Truth said breaking away from her gaze and shaking slightly. "Do you accept to give up your life for our cause, to live amongst men, to make them your brothers? To bring down the traitors of the Holy Rings so long as you walk this life? Do you swear your allegiance to the Covenant, no matter what befalls you?"

Tokuamalee watched as Truth's hands began to shake slightly.

She has an effect on him too… Tokuamalee thought as he watched Truth cover his shaking hands.

"Yes, I do, for forever, as long as I shall live." Anna said with a curt nod.

Truth smiled. And Anna just about recoiled. The way he smiled set her teeth on edge. Much like the dagger she still held in her hands she could tell that smile was a two edged blade.

"From hence forth you shall now be known as a member of our Covenant," Truth said, more addressing the audience then he was her. "You shall be known by the name your adopted father has been given, and his father before him. You will carry this name with pride, and defend it to your end, is that clear?"

"Yes Prophet Truth, it is clear." Anna said a small bubble of pride beginning to weave its way into her being.

Truth smiled again and opened his arms.

"From here on out you shall be accepted by our Covenant! You shall be our sister in arms. You shall fight under our flag!"

Anna smiled and closed her eyes.

"From here on out, Anna," Truth said a cheer beginning in the audience. The world began to spin as Anna finally began to feel accepted, somewhere anywhere. For once she didn't feel like a burden, she didn't fret over her next meal. She was finally home…

"You shall be known as…."

"Anna Amallee."