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Forced Betrayal (Chapter 6: Tears of Blood)
Posted By: CoLd BlooDed<sk8_4life7_@hotmail.com>
Date: 1 February 2004, 8:27 PM

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Forced Betrayal (Chapter 6: Tears of Blood)
Eighth Cycle, 27 Units (Covenant Battle Calendar)/Aboard the Covenant CCS Battleship Veracity, in the bridge.

      Covenant characters scrolled down the holographic panel, Ship Commander Ollas 'Poratalee examined them and softly tapped the panel, all the characters disappeared. They were in the Meridonis II system approximately 27 light-years from the Human home world Earth.
      'Poratalee turned around and looked up the ramp, the bridge—unlike other types of ships—was larger and was bright. Grunts in grey and blue armor pushed plasma crates and fuel tanks across the room while the Engineers floated uselessly. Several Elites stood by Ollas' side who were attending to the shimmering holo-displays.
      Ollas turned around again and walked to the view screen that showed everything aft of the battleship. What he saw amused him, a lone Covenant dropship wandered behind the Veracity; trailing a long line of plasma fluid.
Suddenly there was an explosion of static on the battlenet, Ollas tried to raise them when the voices came in clearly.

      "We have escaped the destruction of the -mp-or--," the last word was swallowed in static, "We need to board your battleship."

      "Not just yet," said 'Poratalee, "We need to know what's going on."

      "There is no time for that!" hotly replied the speaker, "We will explain once we get on your ship."
      "Fine," Ollas punched a few buttons on the holo-display to deactivate the shields around the launch bay. "You're clear for entry."

Eighth Cycle, 30 Units (Covenant Battle Calendar)/Aboard Damaged Seraph Fighter, heading through Slipspace.

      Polo and his team had made it back to their Seraphs and were already in Slipspace, heading back to Earth. The Grunt that was in his Seraph looked less stressed and checked on the storage and fuel, the Jackal was still angry but sat down in one of the seats.
      While 'Ralamee was looking at the displays, the blue effect on the surroundings snapped back to a ghostly black. He recoiled in confusion, "What happened?"

      "I don't know, anti-slipspace field?" replied 'Organalee over the communication system.
      'Ralamee tried to boot up the Slipspace generator again but it wouldn't activate. Then he looked at the display, and to his horror, Covenant cruisers, battleships and flagships dotted the blackness, momentarily illuminated by a nearby sun.

      "Pull back, everyone attempt a Slipspace jump." said 'Ralamee quietly, his voice bordering fear.

      "Unable to do so, Excellency, we'll have to stand our ground." replied 'Qoyalamee.
      Then another transmission came in from one of the battleships, he knew the voice, hatred started to bubble up in his stomach, but he continued to listen.

      "The tears of blood will soon be wiped clean off of the face of royalty, and you," the voice paused and added evilly, "are the tears."

      "Volna." whispered 'Ralamee to himself, the Grunt sat up in shock.
      One of the cruiser's gunports glowed dull red, the other Covenant ships in the system followed suit.

      "They're attempting to fire, all Seraph's evade!" 'Ralamee yelled over the communication transponder, his fear completely subsided and replaced with anger.
      The Seraphs broke up into a staggered formation, the first ray of plasma sizzled past where 'Rolatree's ship had been just a second ago. 'Ralamee shifted the thrusters so the Seraph started to turn vertically. Polo looked at the displays and saw all the other fighters intact, he sighed, and pushed his spacecraft forward.

      "You're proving to be most difficult, 'Ralamee," the voice of Volna echoed throughout the Seraph, "Surrender now and death will be swift."

      "Never." snarled 'Ralamee, "Never will you see me surrender."
      He banked his Seraph a hard right to avoid another stream of plasma fire, then returned fire at the flagship even though it was pointless. 'Ralamee quickly glanced at the port view screen and saw the other four Seraphs cutting through space beside him.

      "Very well then, Polo 'Ralamee, we will see to it that you die a horrible death," said Volna over the communication system, "A death only suitable for traitors such as yourself."
      With that 'Ralamee switched the battlenet off and activated a private channel to the other rebels. "We ought to get out of this vector, get the Engineer's to figure out a way to activate the Slipspace generators."
      'Ralamee called to an Engineer and ordered it to go and inspect the generator which was located in the rear of the spacecraft. The floating creature disappeared from sight as it rounded the corner.
      Polo refocused his attention to the displays and controls, not paying attention the hundreds of enemy Seraphs that were now pouring out of the Covenant ships.

      "Direct your attention on those fighters, but be aware of any plasma shots from the other ships." 'Ralamee ordered over the private channel.
      The first line of the adversary Seraphs came into view on the view screens, 'Ralamee fired the primary plasma weapons. They streaked towards the target and etched large holes on the armor without doing any real permanent damage.
      That was until the other renegade Seraphs opened fire. The target exploded, completely destroying the ship without sending any twisted chunks of metal into the black of space. The enemy fighters that had a good shot at the rebels opened fire; hundreds of blue plasma bolts streaks past without managing to land a hit.
      We still have a chance, thought 'Ralamee, we have to think fast. He ordered the other traitors to avoid any incoming fire, which meant weaving in and out of the Covenant lines. Polo fired the aft thrusters to 150%, and the Seraph's structure groaned in response.
      'Ralamee pulled up, banked left, dropped down, spun 180 degrees; and he was now in the middle of the horde of enemy Seraph fighters. 'Ralamee's ship was facing the rear of an enemy fighter; he fired the secondary weapon which was a purple plasma projectile. It homed in on the ship and exploded on contact, the back of the ship was torn away and the pilot got pulled into space.
      There were more explosions, and more roars of victory over the private channel on the battlenet. A Seraph approached the aft of 'Ralamee's Seraph which started to weave in and out of the Covenant formation, but Polo was unsuccessful when trying to shake him. The display showed the enemy fighter launch the white-hot purple projectile towards 'Ralamee's ship.
      He brought down the thrusters to 23% and pushed the nose of the Seraph down; then boosted the jets once again. The purple plasma shot streaked past 'Ralamee's ship and impacted into another Seraph. The fighter that had been trailing him was quickly shot down by one of the rebels.
      'Ralamee activated the battlenet and raised the ship that Volna had contacted him from, "This is our revolution, Volna, and not even you can stop our onslaught." He switched the channel off and turned it back to the private frequency for his team.
      There was a slow whine, and Polo looked down at one of the holo-screens to see that the Slipspace engines had been restored to full power.

      "Slipspace engines repaired! Report in once ready to get out of this vector!" 'Ralamee practically yelled over the channel.
      'Rolatree said his engines were repaired, then 'Tanosalee and then 'Organalee. There were more explosions as the blue plasma shots from the hundreds of enemy Seraphs dotted the blackness.

      "Raga! Are you Slipspace compatible yet?" asked 'Ralamee loudly.

      "Yes, Slipspace engines restored, where is our designation?" there was a sudden explosion in the background then 'Qoyalamee added with his voice edging with fear, "No! Engines shot out, can't... reactivate them!"
      There was an eerie silence and then 'Qoyalamee's voice echoed loudly into the Seraph with static breaking in every few words, "It has b--n an honor to w-rk w--h you, Excel---cy."

      "Raga, you're going to be fine, pull out!" 'Ralamee ordered over the private communication channel.

      "You're br--king up," then the tone of fear in 'Qoyalamee's voice disappeared and he added, "But I w-n't allow mys--f to die disho--rably."

      "Raga, you'll do nothing, pull out!" 'Ralamee yelled, "Raga!"
      The conversation was swallowed by static, 'Ralamee couldn't believe what happened, millions of thoughts raced through his mind. He glanced at one of the holo-displays and saw the lone Seraph guided by 'Qoyalamee with a long tail of flame.
      The doomed and damaged spacecraft first hit an enemy Seraph which had half of its hull ripped off. 'Qoyalamee's Seraph continued to streak forward and rocketed into another group of fighters, there was a massive explosion as the group of ships exploded along with Raga's. For a moment disbelief entered 'Ralamee's mind, but was quickly flooded with energy and wit when the light of the explosion caused the displays to flicker.

      "Trigger the Slipspace engines! Maintain course to Earth vector!" 'Ralamee ordered before activating the Slipspace generator, the other rebels followed suit.
      The displays one again showed the bluish surroundings, 'Ralamee roared, losing 'Qoyalamee wasn't worth it, he had been the one that saved Polo from certain death back on the Implorer.

      "That was too close." came the sad voice of 'Organalee.

Eighth Cycle, 34 Units (Covenant Battle Calendar)/Onboard the Covenant CCS Battleship Veracity, in the council chambers.

      "My apologies, Volna, but they managed to escape." said the Elite Roth 'Mantatee, his head lowered.
      Roth stood beside the Ship Master who also had his head bowed to the great Prophet, Volna's face wrinkled in anger.

      "Well, track them then! Where could they have possibly gone?" asked Volna, the expression of anger vanished and was replaced with an evil smirk, "Earth."
Roth and the Ship Master, 'Poratalee, exchanged glances, 'Mantatee broke into the Prophets sudden good mood, "How do you know that?"

      "We tagged their ships right before they went back into Slipspace, they're going to Earth!" the Prophet yelled, "We need a fleet on them. Hurry, we're wasting time!"

      "Don't you think that only one cruiser would be necessary?" inquired 'Poratalee.

      "No." Volna said immediately, "Polo is not foolish, how do you think he escaped in the first place?"
      With that they exited the Council Chambers with Volna hovering beside the two high-ranking Elites. The light in the room snapped off as the large door opened, casting it into sudden darkness.