Halo 3: Insurrection (Part Seven)
Posted By: Wolverfrog<Wolverfrog49@gmail.com>
Date: 1 October 2009, 9:09 pm
PART SEVEN - REVELATION
Thel clambered over the rocky pass which linked the wilderness and the Citadel of Vadam, and arrived at the giant gates guarding it's citizens. As he neared the giant, ancient structures, two Elites stopped him, Majors.
"Halt there stranger. What be your business in this holiest of Citadels?" One of them asked, his voice gruff.
Thinking fast, the Arbiter responded.
"I was attending morning worship brother, and it seems I forgot to thank the Deacon for his excellent sermon. My honour could not bear it if he thought me insolent."
This was good enough for the guards, amongst the Sangheili, one's honour was a symbol of their power. One gave the signal for the gates to be opened. Just as Thel was about to pass through, the guard placed a hand on his shoulder, stopping him for a second.
"Wait as second, your face looks familiar. Have we met?"
"Nay brother, you must be mistaken." The Arbiter turned his head, and, shaking of the Elite's grip, entered hurriedly through the port cullis.
He took a long look at the magnificent street before him. As brilliant as the day he had left. The gleaming marble reflected the violet rays of the sun, casting an iridescent glow upon the passers by.
How easy it would be, the Arbiter thought to himself, to rejoin with his race and fall back into the daily routine he had frequented back when he had lived here, all those years ago. But that would be wrong. He owed that much at least to the Spartan.
Saran didn't live far from where Thel was currently walking. If he could remember from his days as Kaidon, his old friend's manor was in the Council district. He wondered if Saran was still upon the Council, back in the day he had been a valuable asset at times to Thel, getting him out of many situations. The only reason he didn't sit at his side as a High Councillor was due to the fact that the Prophet of Regret, upon visiting once, had taken an immediate dislike to him.
He set off slowly, basking in the warm glow of the burning star above him.
"What the hell are you talking about Light bulb?" Johnson asked gruffly.
"As I have just told you Sergeant, we are going to rescue John."
Avery was surprised.
"And how the hell is it that you know his name, eh? He never told anyone that, took weeks of coaxing on my part for him to even give me his serial number, never mind his name."
Giving an ethereal laugh, the monitor drifted around, as it did when about to launch a lengthy explanation.
"I know great many a things Avery. For aeons I have watched from across the stars, following the events of your race. I have seen countless empires fall, only to be replaced by an even stronger one. I have seen people killed, both innocent and evil, old and young. I have heard men and women pray for a better life, mourners weep as their loved ones pass away."
"So what are you, like a God?"
This brought about another chuckle.
"God is but an organic concept, Sergeant, neither right or wrong. But, I suppose, to a certain degree, I have been watching over mankind. Indeed, if it so pleases you, think of me as a God.
"At first, with malicious intent, I watched, and waited. I was still angry at the masters who had imprisoned me, and had no love for their legacy. But eventually I softened, saw the capabilities and potential you had. Love, loss, anguish, hate; these are but a few of the emotions I came to understand in the millennia I spent imprisoned, in fragments. And I realised I shouldn't have betrayed my masters as I had, I shouldn't have listened to the Gravemind, shouldn't have helped him."
"What does this have to do with John?" Avery asked.
"Everything." Came a simple word. "But for now, we must hurry, if we are to reach him in time".
The Monitor again glowed blue, and the nexus of light once more engulfed them. In a split second, they were gone, leaving the peaceful vale as tranquil as ever.
Two loud knocks aroused Saran from his late slumber. He was not a particularly religious being, so had no desire to wake up at the early time a strict worship regime required.
"I'm coming!" He called down the stairs as two more knocks sounded. Throwing on a silk robe, he quickly descended the marble steps, and opened the door. He was greeted by a surprise.
"Hello Saran, it's me, Thel...may I come in?"
Saran and Thel were seated in the main lounge, reclining back in the two gravity chairs in the room. They were each drinking a piping hot mug of tea, one from one of the many crates of the human beverage which had been shipped to Sanghelios during the peace. It tasted good after the long journey.
"So, mighty Arbiter, how have you been doing?"
Thel smiled, it felt good to relax with an old friend and just be himself.
"Like you don't know. On the walk here I've seen countless posters depicting me with a price upon mine head."
"I mean what exactly has been going on whilst you have been away from us? We've all heard the Bards sing of your deeds, but how many are true? Did you really face down a one hundred foot tall Demon and live? And what of the Prophet of Truth? The Temples, constantly trying to stay in a good light, say that as he was about to activate The Ark, the Ancients let forth a bolt of pure energy which incinerated him where he stood? Is this also true?"
"Nay my dear friend, nay. Merely exaggerations of much lesser acts. Although it is true that I met with the Demon, and he is...was, a good man. As worthy as any Sangheili I have met."
"You mean he can't turn warriors to stone with a quick glance."
"He was but a man Saran, a great one."
Saran took another sip of tea, and reclined back further in his chair.
"So, now what will you do?" He asked.
"Well, I was hoping I might stay here for a short while, reminisce about old times."
Puzzled, Saran sat up.
"I meant about the Demon, Thel."
"I don't see what you mean. The Demon is long dead."
"You mean you haven't heard?"
Thel placed down his tea on the floor, and also sat forward.
"Heard what, dear brother?"
"The Demon crashed. Here, on Sanghelios! In Vadam of all places! They took him into custody, A'trinr's guards. He was going to be used as a bargaining tool with the Humans, but then High Councillor K'zath took over, and sentenced him to death. In two days!"
"Surely you are lying!" Thel had stood up by now, and looked poised to run straight down to the dungeon.
"It's the truth. A public execution is to be held, where K'zath will go through the usual process of asking him to beg for mercy, and then kill him."
Saran turned around to pick up his steaming cup.
"But, there is nothing we can do." He turned around slowly. "Everything must die sooner or later."
"I cannot abandon him Saran. I can't." Thel said slowly, remembering how many times the Spartan had saved his life.
"I can't explain it. Just believe me on this."
Saran gave a long sigh.
"Well, we can't do anything for now, the Demon is kept under lock and key all day by no less than five dozen Honour Guards."
"Very well Saran, I shall wait until the day of the execution. But then I will free him, even if my own life must be forfeit."