Sea of Steel: Part 9
Posted By: Omniscient<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 19 August 2001, 7:09 am
Location: Covenant God ship, en route to Halo.
The God ship, the flag ship of the Covenant fleet, was leading the rest of the strike force away from Earth and toward Halo. The fleet moved smoothly and precisely, yet faster then any human vessels could travel, save for IT. The Covenant, as of yet, had no idea of the humans' success with IT. Never the less, they had received reports from the Covenant officers fighting on Halo. However unlikely it may seem, they were, according the reports, out manned and out gunned. Human reinforcements seemed to have arrived from nowhere.
And, coincidentally, the commander of the God ship was Tsheac's brother, Klesk. Klesk was older than Tsheac by about twenty human years, though for Reds, that really is not very long. Klesk and Tsheac had gone different ways when they decided to join the Covenant. Klesk was older, and he obviously chose the relatively clean life of a fleet officer. Tsheac, on the other hand, despised his brother and joined the infantry just to avoid being under Klesk's command. The two brothers had not spoken to each other since they had joined the Covenant. But that was about to change.
"Captain Klesk, incoming message on priority frequency. Shall I put it through?" asked a grunt seated in the communications seat near the rear of the bridge.
"Sir, I think it is of private matters."
"Augh! You incompetent-" He paused. "I will take in my quarters, now." The grunt nodded as Klesk paced out through a doorway that lead directly into his personal quarters. His brother's face awaited him on the view screen inside.
"Tsheac! How dare you disgrace me by showing your face!"
"Brother, please," began Tsheac in his classic, sarcastic tone of trying to sound soothing and relaxed. "I know I have not talked with you for a long time, brother. Everything is fine." Of course Klesk knew that everything was not fine, because if it was, Tsheac would have been content to have not contacted him at all. Tsheac went on, "Oh, and how is Tyshea? Any little Klesk Juniors running around that star ship penthouse of yours?"
"Your sarcasm gets you no where, swine. What do you want? And don't you ever mention my wife again."
"Brother, please, don't sound so upset. Really, everything is fine. Except, well . . ."
"Go on! Fast! I have not got all day!"
"Fine!" Tsheac removed his mask of calmness fully now. "You want to know what my problem is? Well good, because you can just sit up there in your petty little Godess-ship, sipping the best field wine and relaxing on your pillow bed while numerous grunts hurry about to do your every bidding! You have no idea! No, no idea at all, brother! What it is like for me, stuck here on this measly, barren ring-world! Oh, you get all the glory for blowing up one pitiful planet that didn't even rate on the industrial scale! And you know what's more? It wasn't even you! You just ordered one of your slave ships to sacrifice its entire crew for 'the good of the fleet, and the Covenant Cause,'" said Tsheac, imitating Klesk's voice. He began again, after taking in much needed air. "Oh, brother, you have no idea what is it like to be surrounded by dirty elites and half-witted grunts who eat too much and do too little. Oh yes, and then their are the Humans. Have you ever seen one, face to face, I mean? They're actually quite hairy. Yes, much as our own people were back in our stone age. I thought we had them for good! Damn the gods, Klesk! Damn this planet I'm on, damn the humans! Damn their cursing!" He paused to breathe again. "Brother, excuse me. It would seem that I have picked up on a few human customs. As you know, before I could eliminate them, human reinforcements arrived. We have no idea from where. And just today, brother, three human aircraft, the likes of which we have never before seen, destroyed all of our land-based air monitoring stations! These humans have evolved! I need your assistance now. I need more troops. And, most of all, honorable brother, I need to know where the 'secret' is."
"You're mad," said Klesk. "There is no 'secret'. That is all folk lore."
"It must be here. The humans know it, too. We must find it first, brother. I know you know."
"Tsheac, you are completely out of your mind. And you are losing. Losing to that scum of a species that we have both vowed to eliminate. And I've done my part! You failed in yours! And that's why I have direct orders to completely destroy Halo!"
"You see, Tsheac, brother, friend; Halo is now only a threat. And we can not allow that. But I will let you on something, since you have been so stubborn. Yes, their is a secret! And I don't know what it is! It is rumored that one of the founding races of the Covenant installed it on Halo shortly after that world was constructed. That race is now extinct, and we don't know where or what the secret is! But what we do know, is that it can not be allowed to fall into human hands. The Covenant would sooner destroy it, and all of your soldiers left on that world."
"Now you are mad! You can not destroy this world! And if you did, you would have to evacuate the Covenant that are here! That is law!"
"Sorry, Tsheac, good brother, but it appears that High Command thinks time is running short. We will not be able to get within shuttle range. We will merely bombard Halo with long range plasma rockets until it is - DESTROYED!" Klesk yelled into the screen in front of him. "So, dear brother, say your last good byes to the humans and your comrades in arms. Farewell."
"Damn you to-" Before Tsheac could fully reply, Klesk casually reached over and terminated the connection. He leaned back and drummed his claws on his desk for a minute, smiling a little. Tsheac would have made a good ship's officer, he thought. "But what in the order of the gods to I care about him now! He is a failure! Disgracing the entire Covenant and the Cause!" He was yelling now, yelling at Tsheac even though the connection was long since lost. Yelling across space, yelling to the gods. "You tried to cleanse the human infection, brother, but it seems that they have only soiled you! And now you must pay for your mistakes with your own life life. No, I am not sorry." He collapsed forward, holding his face in his hands. If he had had tear ducts, he might have cried. But not for Tsheac. No, definitely not for his brother. He would have cried for everything. For the war, for Halo, for the secret, for the Covenant Cause, and for his wife.
Just then, the side door to his room opened almost silently. Klesk turned and looked up. It was Tyshea, his wife.
"Klesk," she started.
"Klesk," she repeated.
"Klesk," third time's the charm.
"I have some important news."
"Oh yeah? Well, me too. And I just had a lovely conversation with my brother, so I am not really in the mood for talking."
"Klesk, you don't have to say anything. Just listen."
"What is it, then?"
Tyshea spoke, timidly, "It's a 'who'." Klesk didn't reply. "A . . . 'Klesk Junior'. Klesk, I am pregnant." She smiled, hoping he would lighten up. He definitely did not.
"DAMN YOU TSHEAC!"