Posted By: pest/swingamajig<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 6 April 2006, 11:36 am
I'd firstly like to say thank you for the modest reviews I received last time, bearing in mind, I created it off the top of my head and it was a first time :D
Eager to witness the grand arrival, a golden-shielded Jackal sprinted through the mausoleum of the Arbiter. Knowing full well the Elite watcher would punish him for neglecting his guard duty, he had abandoned his corridor to watch what was in his eyes, the most exciting thing that had happened in weeks. His long legs and wide feet made him a perfectly nimble being and that showed as he sprinted past a group of Brutes, knocking over a stray grunt with his shield in the process.
Spotting his commander up on the level to the right, he quickly darted to the left and around the central pillar, thankful that his hawk-like eyesight had saved him yet again. Only yesterday, he had narrowly avoided a couple of jousting Brutes that almost knocked him to the floor and crushed him.
Harak peered around the corner and noticed his commander had also neglected his post to see the arrival, as he was leisurely strolling to the landing zone, chatting to an Elite with white armour. Unfortunately, it seemed his commanding Elite had seen him, but unusually gave a respectful nod in his direction. Apparently, he too thought this was more important than guard duty and with a toothy grin back, Harak jogged down the final path to the Grav-lift that would take him to his destination
Harak soon joined the congregation of Covenant that jostled for a good position on the platform, until the low murmuring of Phantoms could be heard. The grand lights of High Charity flickered to life, as one Phantom settled on a landing spot and dropped off its cargo a few dozen yards away from the mass of Covenant.
The Jackals pushed their way to the fronts of the ranks, shunting the Grunts backward and limiting their view of the scene that was already mostly excluded by a pair of Hunters. Harak saw from the corner of his eye a pair of Grunts standing behind him, one on top of the other. The stout Grunt stood tall on its companion but still struggled to see over.
"What you see?" asked the Grunt underneath.
"Me see pair of stinky Brutes holding Gold Elite. They're walking him to the holy Prophet, swords everywhere brother!"
Harak heard the legs of the Grunt give way and the one on top fell, hitting the floor with a dull thud. They began arguing and pushing; Harak wished just one would 'accidentally' get pushed off this landing platform for once. As much as he enjoyed a Grunt's company in the battlefield because he could fight better than they could, he found they usually got annoying.
Putting aside his grizzly thoughts, and blanking out the screaming of two Grunts, he struggled to hear what the Golden Elite and the Prophet of Truth were talking about.
"Why was it not destroyed before it fled, I would have thought all your ships could manage to spot a single Halogen class frigate." The Prophet remarked angrily.
"Please understand, holy one, their ground teams were more than occupying our troops with some new kind of enemy, we did not think to check the sky."
"Save it for the trial, scum", a Brute restraining him shouted. With a clenched fist he hit the Elite square in the stomach and he feel back, winded.
"Your trial shall be fair, Commander, until then, I leave you in the capable hands of these Brutes and a prison cell." And with that, he was led away from the landing zone.
The congregation soon dispersed at the lack of activity, and Harak went back to his duty after discussing the day's events with his fellow Jackals. He headed up the Grav-lift and back into the Mausoleum. His mind wandered as he strolled down the steps into the great hall, it was fairly empty apart from a couple of Brutes and an Elite. He wondered how many more Arbiters would be laid to rest in this place before the war with the humans was over. He didn't like the humans but respected their tactics and team respect in battle. No one human would ever order his troops in on massacre, and they fought until their last breath or they were overrun. He respected that, because time and time again he had been part of a group sent to engage the enemy, while their cowardly leader hung back. It was only as he stopped daydreaming that he noticed the group in front of him brawling.
In his absent-mindedness, he had failed to realise it was the Golden Elite commander and his jail escorts just in front. He witnessed the larger Brute fall to the floor as the Elite clobbered him in the back. The smaller Brute swiped the attacker across the face with his Plasma Rifle and he stumbled, but the shield absorbed most of the impact. Harak witnessed the Brute then carelessly drop the Rifle in the process, only to be picked up by the Elite, by now, Harak had no idea who he should help. The Plasma Rifle fired, unleashing its deadly stream of death towards the Brute, but it quickly overheated so the Elite shoved it in the Brute's face. Screaming with pain, he rammed the Elite in a desperate attempt to disarm him but he missed. The Elite simply dodged the blinded creature.
Harak knew that if he didn't act now, the Brute would certainly be killed, so he charged the Plasma Pistol in his right hand and fired. The shot negated the Elite's shields and in shock rather than the impact, jumped backwards. Seeing the attacker, he let loose the Plasma Rifle which had cooled off by now. Harak quickly raised his shield and felt the vibration as the shots hit his shield. One managed to hit his leg and knelt down in pain to protect it. No sooner had he done that, the shield deactivated, under the constant fire and Harak became like a Grunt on encountering a Spartan; he had no chance.
He fired back his Pistol in a desperate attempt to do some damage to him, but the shields, that were already recharging, absorbed the shots. He braced for death but it did not come. The Brute who's face had been badly burnt charged the commander and he collided with the side of his target's ribs. It cut straight through his shield, and the Brute continued to ram his target until he pinned it against an object. His ribs cracked, the Elite slumped against the wall, his Plasma Rifle knocked away from him.
Silence filled the large room, and Harak stood up to see two warriors immobile against the wall, the Elite clutching his ribs and breathing heavily, whilst the Brute appeared lifeless. His pre-damaged face had been crushed against the wall with the force of the impact. Harak picked up the Plasma Rifle in his hand that usually wielded the shield and pointed it at the Elite's face. He only knew one word in his language.
"Halt Jackal", came a low growling voice from behind him. "As much as I would like his face to be permanently disfigured, the Prophets need him for questioning", the larger Brute said, as he appeared from behind him, evidently unhurt from his attack. Much less could be said for his counterpart. "I see this scum has killed one of my best men", he menacingly remarked to the Jackal, as if it was his fault he had died.
Harak stayed transfixed on the Elite, his finger lingered over the trigger of his weapon. For a split second, he thought he had helped the wrong side, as he smelt the disgusting breath of the Brute entering his nostrils at the end of his long nose. Letting go of the trigger, he retracted his arm a little, but still kept watch on the Elite commander. Finally backing away as he could not feel the Brute breathing on him anymore, he turned to seehim dumping the dead Brute down the hole in the centre of the room.
"No-one looks down there" the Elite murmured as he shut his eyes with pain, his hands still holding his ribs tightly. "Tartarus knows this". Harak turned back and threatened him not talk again in the best way he knew. He brought up both his weapons and pointed them at his head.
"Follow me, Jackal, and not a word to the Elites" the brute evidently called Tartarus ordered, as he picked up the Elite and threw him over his shoulder.
It took them a good ten minutes to reach the prison cells and by then the Elite looked even worse for wear, his breathing became wheezy, and his eyes were not in focus. It occurred to him to get the Elite some help, but thought better of it as the Brute was regularly checking over his shoulder to see if Harak was still there.
They opened the doors into the detention block hallway and saw many Jackals locked in one cell, their mouths frothing. A single Heretic Elite stood behind them, not making any attempt to escape He knew his fate. Harak wished he could release them just once to cause the Brutes a bit of bother. He was so busy looking at this group of Covenant renegades that Harak walked straight into the side of the Brute. He received a whack over the head for his mistake.
"Open this cell, you!" Tartarus ordered, with a little grin on his face. He obviously was not grateful for him helping to capture the Elite. Without him, Tartarus would have been severely reprimanded by the Prophets, either that or the Elite would have finished him off before leaving. With the back of his neck aching from the whack, Harak opened an empty cell and Tartarus threw in his luggage. It landed with a dull thud, his eyes closed and body lifeless apart from a slow beat exerting from his chest. Harak knew the Elite should get some help soon, only to be executed later, but all the same, he wanted him to get better. He had been through enough.
"In", a voice said from behind Harak and he felt himself being pushed into the cell. His feeble physical strength couldn't resist and he fell flat on his front. Fuming, Harak turned over to see Tartarus calmly walking away, chuckling at the Jackal now lying on the prison cell floor. The cage doors closed with a grinding click and all went dark.