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The Interlude [H&R Finale]
Posted By: Jillybean<jbean_gotmuse@yahoo.co.uk>
Date: 2 November 2003, 6:36 PM

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Halos and Rings

Author: Jillybean
AN: The end!

The Interlude

The Forerunners returned to their galaxy. I should say - galaxies. They had colonized six to be exact.

In ours - their seventh attempt, they had accidentally created the Flood. They had tried to create something that would help them get rid of any unwanted bio-matter. Well it worked, the Flood were too good. Plan B was the Halos - the Halos that activated and destroyed our . . . my galaxy.

So now John and I are one of the few humans left in the universe. There are far fewer of us than any Covenant. So many of us went mad at the thought of all the loss. Of those of us that are left - well, I should say those of the specimens that are left, they must endure Forerunner questions about life in their galaxy.
Perhaps if you hadn't destroyed it - you might have experienced it yourselves.

The Covenant thought we were the Flood their Gods had warned them about. And I guess, in a way, we were. After all, we had decided to destroy the galaxy too - just not the secluded parts that had our people in it.
The Covenant left us no choice. I still believe that, even today.

That same, feared enemy, is dying out. There are no females in their group. They know their days are numbered. I can see it every time I walk down a long Forerunner corridor and find an Elite standing, staring, at nothing. He is thinking about his destroyed home and I almost feel sorry for him. But I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself.

John and I are unsuitable specimens. We are polluted through Forerunner intervention. The Forerunners have no interest in us, though they are mildly concerned about John. After all - he is interesting - but not a true representation of the now extinguished human life. The Forerunners do not understand the difference between a specimen and the real thing. They feel they have saved humans - because they have a paltry few in their museums.

Cortana is slowing down. The Forerunners have already extended her lifespan - she has now lived seven years and we expect her to live more. But she is slowing down, thinking herself to death. I think it was the Covenant planet that did it to her. Still, she is so much smarter now than she was. She hacks into the Forerunners worlds and she learns things.
Things we shouldn't know.

We live in a museum. Oh it is not a museum as such - they call it a memorial. They call it a sanctuary. But Forerunners come here to ogle at the way we keep our quarters - to stare at us as we eat in the kitchens. They watch the footage the last grunts as they died - no methane left you see, the Forerunners would not supply any. The Forerunners believed it would be 'tampering'.
Their specimens must be kept pure.
I tried to obtain some methane - I couldn't hear the screaming agony one more time. But I failed. John didn't understand when I cried, they were still the enemy to him. The Elites did not understand. None of the other humans understood either. The Hunters, Prophets and sole Engineer all thought I was mad. But I couldn't sit by as the last grunt suffocated to death. I couldn't do that.
Cortana understood. Though she never says so.

If I sit up at night with John's arms pinning me to the mattress, clinging to me for fear that I may disappear along with everything else in his life, then I swear I can hear my sister laughing. She would be pleased for us, pleased for John now that he has found a release from the UNSC. Pleased for me because I have him now.
I only hear her when I try to hear her. I think. I know. Humans have somehow survived. I am sure that somewhere in our galaxy, maybe on the colonized Halo or maybe in the deep Siberian bunkers of Earth.
There are humans in the world and my sister is alive.

John knows it too. His arm tightens around me because he knows that we are not at peace. Not yet. We will return to Galaxy 07 one day. And then the fighting will begin again.
The Elite standing in the corridor knows it too.

I pass one today, he is clad in scarlet armour. He waits until I pass before slipping me something small. It is a plasma pistol. A precious gift, I thought we had none left. I hide it in my robe and continue onward. A Forerunner nods to me good day. The Elite smiles, it's a strange expression, yet I recognize it.
We are not finished.
Cortana is not finished.
John is not finished.

I am not finished.