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Halo: Twisted Origin: Chapter 2
Posted By: Pinkuh<Pinkuh@gmail.com>
Date: 18 May 2005, 6:21 PM

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Chapter 2 Art

Chap 2: Down the Narrow path

A child is a child regardless of race, sex, or spices. Troublesome they may be they are often times full of wisdom and should not be ignored.

Anna had woken up in the middle of the night when she heard what only could have been called shivering from the elite Tokuamalee who had rescued her the day previous. When she quietly walked over to the bed she found out that was exactly what the Elite was doing. Had her mind been any older she would have blanched at the seemingly human action, but because she was still young she instead hauled the blankets she had curled up in back over to the bed and had tossed them as best as she could over the large elite. It was also then in her sleepy haze that she climbed up into the corner of the bed and curled back up and drifted back into her sleep.
Tokuamalee was not aware that he had fallen asleep before Anna had gotten out of the shower. In fact most of the events of the day before were hazy when he first got up. So his immediate reaction when one of his legs wouldn't move was that he was captured. Quickly scrambling out of the bed he stood up to his full height and pulled the covers off. Hissing he looked down to his bed only to find the Human child he had rescued still curled up sound asleep. It was then that the headache began to set in. It was also then that the Shift alarm went off causing the girl to bolt up right and scream.

Anna had much the same reaction that Tokuamalee had when he found out he couldn't move. However she had much less grace and in her hurry to get up and off the bed she fell and managed to twist herself into the sheets that Tokuamalee had just pulled off the bed. Blinking Anna looked up, only to be met by the honey brown slitted eyes, and for a moment there was no recognition there. Tokuamalee was just about to dive on top of her to prevent her from screaming when her eyes brightened and a smile crossed her face.

"I thought I was dreaming." Anna said carefully unwinding herself from the sheets. "You really do exist!"

Tokuamalee dropped the sheets and relaxed a bit. The details were coming back slowly, making his head pound worse.

"Yes, I do." Tokuamalee said turning towards the bathroom. "Stay here and sit on the bed, I will be right back."

Anna quickly scrambled up onto the bed again and sat kicking her feet off the ledge. The fear she had yesterday had all but disappeared. Anna heard the water turn on and sighed. Her brain wouldn't let her sit still and soon she had scrambled up onto one of the chairs at the table and was pretending her fingers were animals. It was then that the Elite stumbled out of the bathroom and walked over to the same glass case he put his armor in that night.

"So, what happens to me?" Anna said stopping him in the middle of grabbing his lower leg armor. "I mean, well, I don't really have any place to go."

Tokuamalee looked at the child his own eyes wide.

"That's right, we don't have any place for you, yet." He said feeling the strings of his heart tug when Anna's face fell. "Until we do, you will stay with me. Your going to have to stay close and keep up, if you get to far away from me others wont be so kind."

Mentally Tokuamalee was beating himself over the head singing a mantra of, 'I can't let this girl taint my views of humanity, she is different, all the rest need to die for their sins. She is different, she is different she is different...' It was then that a loud grumbling noise brought him out of his momentary meditation.

"Uh, heh, well, my stomach." Anna said looking down as she pulled her shirt up reveling her small ribs and hip bones. "I um, am hungry, I would like to eat, if that's ok with you?"

Tokuamalee just about knocked the girl over with a small energy bar.

"Here, here, yes eat!" He said cringing at how much her ribs stuck out, he had not been one to not study up on the human race, and he knew for damned sure that Anna was way underfed. "Did they not allow you to eat?"

Horrified at the thought of what Humans did to their young made the armor slide on faster then usual.

"Well they would, sometimes, they were mean, and if I so much as looked the wrong way they would take away my rations." Anna said greedily pealing away the wrapper and ingesting the flavorless energy bar like it was the finest cake. "they were mean, and because I didn't have rich parents I couldn't eat as much as the rest did."

Revolted by the images floating through his mind Tokuamalee's mandibles chattered and scraped against one another in agitation.

"Young one, so long as we are both living, I will make sure you will not go hungry." Tokuamalee said his hoofed foot slamming the floor in determination. "We are going to be dropping out of slip space here shortly, we should make it to the mess hall before that happens so we can get a good meal before we have to run the gauntlet."

"Should I go put on my clothes?" Anna said hopping off the chair and into the bathroom.

"No no! Tokuamalee said quickly thinking. "No, they have my blood on them, chances are they are ruined. And I don't want people to see us running around with me having a patched up hand, and you with my blood on your front. No I will call for some clothes. They wont fit great, but they will be enough to keep you covered."

Anna dashed back out of the bathroom and onto the bed, only to be motioned back into the bathroom again.

"No, Stay there, It is going to cause enough curiosity as is for be to be asking for a pair of jackal training clothes, and I don't need you floating around here to cause any more questions till we absolutely can't avoid coming out." Tokuamalee said shutting the door. I swear on the great journey that if we make it to high charity without injury that I will become a monk and swear my life to the prophets library.

Cursing as he went Tokuamalee went over to the com he pressed the button. Immediately there was a voice asking what he needed.

"< I need a jackals training outfit.>" Tokuamalee said he voice commanding and fierce.

There was a hesitant confirmation and then just about a minute later there was a small alarm signifying that his order had arrived. Tokuamalee opened the door only to be faced with a very nervous very green solder who must have just shipped out on this very mission. His blue armor was polished to the point where it reflected the hallways around him. To his credit as soon as the door fully slid open the elite stood in a salute, and the shaking almost stopped, almost. Tokuamalee returned the Salute.

"<Sir, I have your requested... gear.>" The blue elite said handing him the small set of clothing in a vacuumed bag. "<is there anything else you need?>"

"<No no, this is fine soldier.>" Tokuamalee said patting the soldier on the arm in a friendly gesture. "<Carry on.>"

The Soldier quickly saluted and Tokuamalee saluted back. The second he closed the door was the second Anna popped out of the bathroom. Her energy was astounding to the Elite.

"Listen, Anna I need to set you some ground rules." Tokuamalee said motioning for the girl to sit in front of the table. "This is not your planet, these are not your people, in fact, every single last person on here will KILL you at a moments notice."

Anna stopped and looked up to the elite with wide eyes.

"I am not going to fill you with the same delusions those humans did." Tokuamalee said watching as Anna climbed up onto the chair and set on a serious face. "What you experienced yesterday, everything you watched, and saw. Everything you felt when you first saw me. You need to feel that now. There are no friends beyond those doors, there are only enemies. Beyond those doors are people that hate you for simply existing, for being. They will not hesitate to kill you. You can not act out of line, and you can not go off on your own. I do not want out of hoofs range. There is no way for me to get you out of trouble if you get into it."

Anna flopped her elbows on the table and scowled for all she was worth.

"Its going to be no different then." Anna said her fingers tracing the package on the small table. "I am used to following orders."

"Only these orders ARE the difference between life and death here." Tokuamalee said emphasizing his words with his hands, a common human practice. "If you survive to see the prophets, then your life will be in their hands. Then you can breath. But your an Alien here now, Your a heretic, a sinner, and there are people who think it is their duty to judge you before the prophets can. That is why. If you can make it, if you follow my orders, your role in our covenant will be one of the most glorious. You will become our sister in arms. And there is no greater blessing any human can ask."

Anna sighed and looked at the clothing.

"Do you think they will want me?" Anna said taking the package a hopping off the chair.

"If they don't want you, then they will not want me as well." Tokuamalee said his own role in the play finally settling. "We, us, and our fates are tied together, your life is tied to mine, and mine to yours. They will want you, but we have to get you there first."

Anna nodded and went for the bathroom for the final time on the ship. Quickly she changed into the strange fitting outfit and came out. It was a deep blue and was defiantly to long for her, but it fit around the waist and that's all that mattered.

"Stand tall. We are skipping the mess hall, we took to much time in here" Tokuamalee said walking towards the door. "Keep close, look like you know what your doing. Watch around you, be aware, and do not show that you are afraid to anyone out there, is that clear?"

Anna shuddered but smiled.

"I am ready." She said her demeanor suddenly making her seem much older then her current age. "Lets go."

With that Tokuamalee opened the door and the two strayed out into the hallway.


It was Anna's first real chance to take in the ship with her own eyes. Never in her wildest dreams had she imagined a place as colorful, and as cheerful looking as this place. The floors were spotless the air smelled clean. Maintenance workers and floating beings littered the hallway checking and re-checking things as they walked. The hallway itself was open and Elites wearing all sorts of different colors were walking this way in that in a coordinated flurry of motion. Anna stuck so close to Tokuamalee that his hoof grazed her as they walked. There was a quiet din of sound as conversations floated down the hallway. More then once Tokuamalee stopped when one of his own solders saluted.

Anna hid behind Tokuamalee when they saluted and tried to keep herself out of view as much as possible. The site was so beautiful in Anna's eyes that she couldn't help staring as they passed through small lobbys filled with off duty elites.

"Where are the other ones, the grunts." Anna said looking around for a sign of anything other then Elite.

"Ah, We are in the Sangheili part of the ship," Tokuamalee said his own eyes darting around watching. "We are soon going to be passing into neutral territory."

More then one Elite swung his head around when they heard Tokuamalee speak in the human tongue causing Anna to keep even closer. However most of them just looked momentarily confused shook their heads, and walked away. Anna didn't know, but the idea of a human on a covenant ship was so out of the ordinary that the Elites that saw her would chastise themselves for even thinking such a ridiculous thing possible.

"Sgnignoleb ruoy fo dloh ekat esaelp, ecapsplis fo tuo gnippord era ew." A speaker bussed causing Anna to cringe.

"What did it say?" Anna said following suit as Tokuamalee and the other elites in the hallway fanned out to the edges and grabbed a hold of handholds along the wall.

"We are coming out of slip space, sometimes it is rough other times it is smooth , its a precaution to make sure we don't go flying if it is rough." Tokuamalee said looking down to Anna.

It was then the other Elites started to take real notice of Anna. Just about everyone in the hallway's eyes were on her.

"They see me." Anna said shrinking back to Tokuamalee's side. "What do I do?"

"Stand tall, look like you have done this all your life. Quick hold on." Tokuamalee said also glancing around and noticing the stares.

Anna quickly took a hold of one of the small holds that were at her level and cringed when a jolt ran through the ship. Tokuamalee quickly began to walk again, leaving behind a set of rather confused Elites. Anna didn't look back but instead looked forward to what looked like a huge opening.

"This walkway may look clear, but you will not fall through, follow me." Tokuamalee said approaching the open space.

Anna Gulped and looked to the open space. Tokuamalee stepped onto the clear looking platform, and Anna did the same. Then she looked down. Below was the mess hall, Aliens of all different shapes and sizes were sitting at tables, surrounding food dispensers, and eating at strange looking nipples. Anna wished she could have stopped. So many things in one place made her eyes boggle and made her young mind want to go down to explore. Along the platform there were others now, Big Aliens with shaggy fur, the small Grunts, Jackals, as well as some others. Each jackal they passed made an unholy racket when they saw Anna in their PT jumpsuit, but apparently it wasn't enough to call to much attention to them. However people were defiantly beginning to notice.

Aliens in the mess hall began to point skyward at the small human Trailing the Elite. Conversation began to flow, and people began to speculate. Tokuamalee was being smart and taking Anna strait through the most populated path to the departure docks. It would have looked more then suspicions for him to try and hide her, and sometimes the smaller more rocky path turned out to be the easiest to take.

Anna was just simply in awe of everything she saw. They were soon of the bridge yet this time they were in neutral territory.

"Ytirahc hgih ot hcaorppa no." The com said making Tokuamalee pick up his pace, and causing Anna to jog.

"Hurry child, we are on approach I need to be in front of my men," Tokuamalee said breaking into a jog, and causing Anna to sprint.

Quickly they made their way though the winding corridors and downwards. Anna felt like she was flying. Her lungs burned, her bare feet burned but as she ran she felt free. Aliens watched with interest as the odd pair slid their ways through the Hallway avoiding obstacles and aliens alike. When they finally reached the lift to the docking bay Anna felt like she was going to pass out. Into the open Air she jumped following after Tokuamalee. The lifts strange gravity grabbed a hold of her and sent her rocketing downwards. just as quickly as it started it slowed and Anna hopped off of the small white platform and onto the loading bay deck. Tokuamalee's full team was lined up from wall to wall and every one of the snapped to a salute when he walked around the platforms edge.

Anna Couldn't help but gawk. There was at least a thousand aliens in this room. Grunts, Elites, Hunters, everything. Blow on the deck men stood with their battalions and battalion commanders belittled the soldiers. Anna still stood close to Tokuamalee and waited, watching as the soldiers stood stark still and kept saluting. Still even at attention she was catching some of the soldiers looking at her. She didn't understand what Tokuamalee began to speak, but even she felt awed as his words danced through the ranks.

"<Attention!>" Tokuamalee shouted in his own tongue.

Even the battalion commanders spun around at attention. Tokuamalee grinned down at his men. It was only a small amount of the aliens he had under his command, but he felt proud of every single one of them. The Black armored battalion commander that had accompanied him down to the surface shifted uneasily until Tokuamalee returned the salute.

"<The future is upon us brothers.>" Tokuamalee said the quiet almost defining. "<A New era is beginning to form, and you are at that forefront. The most glorious Prophets are smiling down onto us, the great journey isupon us. The finding of the rings is at hand!>"

The dock was approaching slowly High Charity was within view.

"<You, my brothers, are the future, the past, and the now.>" Tokuamalee said motioning out to the ranks. "<Yesterday not just one, but two artifacts were found. One a simple stone, and the other in a package that the forerunners have put before us in a test. I have had a vision, a vision of the future, a vision that the forerunners said to relay to the prophets. The Grace of the holy land is standing with us this day. Speak loudly of this brothers, proclaim it, for it is you that found it and it is you who the prophets will praise. Your mission on the planet yesterday was an absolute success. I am proud of you. Even those of you that were on ship attending to business, I am proud of you. You serve the covenant well in this time of war.>"

It was rare for Tokuamalee to be giving praise so all the soldiers gave a cheer at the end of the little speech. The Spirits had risen. Tokuamalee wasn't the rank he was just for Any reason. He was a good commander, a solid soul, unmoving in his beliefs. Honor above all else, yet, where was the honor in killing Children? Tokuamalee kept his doubts to himself as the ship lurched slightly in dock.

"<Please head to debriefing from here, and may the Journey look well upon you!> " The soldiers all roared in unison.

"<Please head into debriefing, after this you are on shore leave till further announced.>" Tokuamalee said looking down at Anna.

Just as the shields went down the Captain of the ship quickly darted into the docking bay rushing towards Tokuamalee and scaring Anna in the process.

"<She survived?>" The captain asked his breathing somewhat hard. "<You have the whole ship in an uproar Tokuamalee, you know that?>"

Tokuamalee clicked his mandibles in amusement and shoved Anna in front of him.

"<The best place to hide something, is right out in the open.>" Tokuamalee said pointing Anna in the captains direction.

Anna fidgeted but stayed still watching the captain.

"Anna, this is captain Dervish, He is the one that runs this ship." Tokuamalee said down to the girl.

"Hello!" Anna said brightly. "How do you do?"

Anna stuck out her hand in a human gesture which confused the captain. Cocking his head he examined her hand.

"There is nothing wrong, why do you stick your hand out at me?" The captain said glancing from Tokuamalee back to the child again.

"No, put your hand out" Anna said motioning with her own. "See like this!"

The captain gingerly stuck his hand out only to have her small hand dart over to his and grab it. The fit was awkward but Anna figured out a comfortable way to grab it.

"And now, you shake it!" Anna said shaking the captains large double thumbed hand. "Its how.... we... say Hello."

The captain stood there stunned for a moment. Slowly he withdrew his hand, not sure what he wanted to do at that moment. Anna was smiling up at him.

"<She... touched me?>" The captain said rubbing his hand gingerly still confused as what his reaction was going to be.

"<Yes, she has touched me Multiple times.> " Tokuamalee said causing the captain to look up. "<Come, we have to get this ball rolling.>"

Tokuamalee quickly turned and shoved Anna into walking towards the lift down to the lower level.

"<No wait!>" The captain said stepping out of his stupor. "< I have arranged an escort for you.>"

Tokuamalee turned and Anna stopped. The captain sighed and clenched the hand that had been shaken.

She is affecting him too... Tokuamalee thought watching the captain.

"<Since she was on my ship, and I knew about her, My head is just as much on the line as yours. I radioed ahead, the chain of command has been set off.>" The captain said walking up beside Tokuamalee. "< I have put my faith in you, in her, and you better have not deceived me. It is unheard of, but everyone is so convinced by your record. Never once have you done anything to put you under public eye. You are the model Lieutenant with men who respect you. We are going to the delegation Chambers. Members of the hierarch are going to be there.>"

"<Lead me captain.>" Tokuamalee said motioning forward.

"What's going on where are we going?" Anna said pulling on Tokuamalee's armor. "What's going on?"

"Anna, we are going to go to the delegation chambers." Tokuamalee said as the Captain started to walk. "This will be the place where you see if your sins can be atoned for."

"<How much does she know?>" The Captain said looking back at the little girl following them.

"<As much as a child so young should know.>" Tokuamalee said fingering his sword.

"What do the prophets look like?" Anna said sneaking closer to the two elites.

"There are no words to describe them properly." Tokuamalee admitted. "I could describe them to you, but because our animals are different, you would not understand."

"They resemble the elderly of your race." The captain said. "They are the single most holy beings in the covenant, they are the words of the forerunners."

"What's a forunner?" Anna asked curiously as they approached the lift that would take them down.

"The Forunner are GODS." Tokuamalee said solemnly. "They were the ones that invented all the technology you see here. Yes we have improved upon it, but the base technology is theirs."

Anna contemplated this as she followed the Elites down the lift. Down at the bottom there was a small squad of aliens made up of the worm like hunters, Elites, several grunts, several jackals, and two giant brutes. All of which recoiled visibly when Anna came into view.

"<Listen up scum.>" The captain said approaching the group with a wary eye. "< We are to escort Tokuamalee and this Human child to the delegation chambers. No shooting, no fighting. We are to protect them till they get there, and if the council believes that they are heretics then we shall let them Deal with it in their own terms.>"

There was momentary surprise but every last one of them straitened.

"Come we must hurry." Tokuamalee said guiding Anna into the center of the guard.

Anna did as was told and looked up at the tall aliens surrounding her. One of the Brutes glanced down and snarled quietly causing Anna to recoil close to Tokuamalee. The group started to move and Anna began to think. Any other human looking up at an Elite would have thought them the scariest thing in the universe. But Anna was starting to see them with unclouded eyes. As they walked Anna began to realize that the Elites, at least the ones she was with, were no different then the textbook version of the human soldiers she read about.

As they walked out of the docking bay Anna watched as a whole world unfolded before her. They were in the Military docks aliens were running every which way swiftly dodging out of the way of the group that was traveling. The ground here was ancient, Anna could feel the worn earth under her feet. It was a mass of Metal and earth, a Giant constructed planet with no true Sky above. Anna watched as they stepped from the military docks into the streets. These streets were suspended, with no railings, hundreds of feet up above giant fields and constructs full of things Anna could only dream about. Small personal flying craft sped this way and that their whine filling the air. Anna could only see bits and pieces of the city around her through the tall guards.

Silence road between Anna and the others until they reached the lift that would take them to the center of High Charity. That's when the crowd split and Anna got to look forward. She couldn't believe how massive this place was. Low Clouds hovered down below where they stood. The air was clean, and at the same time hid a haze. The city itself was nothing like the ship, Its colors were muted as a small layer of dust covered them. Anna watched ahead of herself and noticed a disk shooting towards their location. It's path was marked by circles phasing into and out of view.

"Wow," Anna said her eyes growing large.

"This, little one is High Charity," Tokuamalee said motioning out to the city that lay below them. "This is our headquarters, our home. The whole of the covenant starts and ends here."

Tokuamalee felt a small swell of Pride as he motioned out to the city. It was beautiful in his eyes, it was the true mark of everything the covenant was. Yet his mind wandered down the ill fated path of what if and a small tug made him almost sad that this may be his last time taking in this view.

As they were standing there waiting for the lift aliens had begun to gather and talk, pointing to the small human walking freely. The brutes had shifted to the back of the crowd and the elites stood behind them, minus Tokuamalee, and the captain. Angry voices began to rise. Aliens began to push and shove.

"Girl, be prepared, they are getting ready to fight." Tokuamalee said clutching at his energy sword.

"Fight? Why?" Anna said Distancing herself from Tokuamalee and causing the crowd to Roar as she came into full view on the platform.

Voices began to raise and Anna stood just as she had before on the playground. Some of the Aliens Froze, others still were yelling. The crowd became bigger. People were in motion, The brutes. They were swinging their massive hands and wrestling the crowd backwards. The Elite guard that surrounded Anna and the crew drew their energy swords. Tokuamalee and the Captain did the same, and the small grunts began to change their Pistols.

"<heretics!>" "<Betrayers!>" "Human!" "<Kill them! Kill them all!>" "<A Plague! A sign of the end times! Destroy it destroy it!>"

Tokuamalee cursed under his breath and watched with one eye as Anna Stood tall. His Sword out and burning he was ready to fight, The captain he was with had also drawn his sword and glanced over to Tokuamalee with a smile on his face.

A shot went through the crowd. A needle weapon. Anna looked up to see it coming and Tried to move. It was trained on her, she moved left, it moved left, she moved right, it moved right. Anna ducked just as an elite's hand shot out and deflected the needle with a shielded hand.

"<CALM DOWN!>" The captain yelled so loudly it made Anna and a few of the grunts over their ears. "<Listen once and listen closely, We are on our way to the prophets, they want to see us, and if you sit here and destroy is now there will be a curse so fierce that not only will you die, your family's will as well. Stand down heathen lest you be accused of a heresy so great that the great journey will turn into your hell!>"

The crowd Halted and mummers began to filter through it. Anna looked around and noticed something coming. Quickly she tugged on Tokuamalee's armor and pointed toward one of the bridges connecting the lift port to the other main area's.

"Anna quickly, get between myself and the captain, make yourself as non visible as you can." Tokuamalee said backing up. "The lift is here. Wait, are those....."

"<Honor Guard.>" The captain said Deactivating his sword. "They have sent the Honor Guard here."

Anna leaned around Tokuamalee's legs to look at the Intimidating Elites that marched towards the lift. The Aliens around the honor guard were clearing out of the way. Anna watched her eyes large. Tokuamalee Deactivated his sword as well as the Guard approached.

"<Everyone, carry on with your business, this lift is off limits.>" The Commander of this particular unit said. "<These men are under the protection of the prophets, stand down. If you do not, you will be arrested and brought before the prophets themselves for judgment. >"

Quickly the crowd began to scatter and the Strangely armored elites took up post.

"<You there ship captain, lieutenant, you get on the lift and go, your guard will be dispersed.>" The Commander said. "Another set of guards will Escort you to the Delegation chambers. You are damned fools for trying to pull something like this, I hope the prophets take no mercy on your souls."

Tokuamalee recoiled and the captain scowled. Anna Remained hidden behind Tokuamalee as the guard spoke, but knew by his tone things were not going to go well. Tokuamalee nearly stepped on Anna as he backed onto the left. Anna quickly took the queue and kept hidden behind his legs. The Captain followed soon after grumbling to himself. Anna jumped as the translucent disk they were on slowly began to rise and then slowly began to start off down the path lit by the small circles.

"Things, are going to be rough." Tokuamalee said turning around and being careful to make Anna as not visible as possible. "I can only imagine what they have waiting for us behind those doors."

"You fool look what you have gotten us into!" The captain said rubbing a finger underneath the ridge of his helmet. "We are going to be Judged to the death for sure. I can't believe I came with you, I should have stayed back at my ship."

"You didn't half to you know." Tokuamalee said scowling towards the captain. "We are Arguing in Human, maybe we should take this into our language."

"Yeah, I didn't." The captain said his shoulders falling. "But my mate would never have forgiven me if I hadn't done this. And Why should we not argue in Human, The girl at least deserves to understand a little of what's going on."

Anna had lowered herself to all fours and was watching over the edge as the Disk hovered over the city Traveling to the other side and to the Delegation chambers.

"Your mate?" Tokuamalee said looking up from Anna and tilting his head to the side. "But she is dead?"

Anna sat up and looked at the captain.

"Dead she may be, Hearsay has stained my name, and a son I do not have." The captain said his eyes burning with fire. "My mate was fascinated by the humans, their culture, their lifestyle. To not have helped a Human child when it just fell into my lap would have betrayed her memory, and I would rather meet her in Hell then continue onto the great journey without her memory saved."

Tokuamalee stood up straighter.

"You know, just because you want to honor your dead wife, shouldn't mean that you have sinned, that's silly." Anna said her arms now draped over the edge. "I guess rules are rules, but I don't think the forunner would send her to hell for being curious, and I don't think they will send you to hell for helping me."

A pure true contemplative silence was struck between the three on the lift. Tokuamalee was stunned to hear those words out of a human, the same words that had been passed in secret for many years between the Elites. The Captain was secretly thanking his mate for taking the full charges for him. And Anna, was contemplating the last few minutes of her life, and how ironic that she saw more of the whole covenant's inner workings then the UNSC could ever dream of seeing, all in one days time. Scowling her mind went back to her school, to the fat happy fed children, the strict teachers instructed to starve those that couldn't take care of themselves. She snorted.

"I would have given my soul to hell to be born an Elite." Anna said sour venom filling her voice. "Stupid humans. I am glad you took me. I may still be hungry, but at least I know that you two actually care enough for me that if this didn't happen I would get food."

Tokuamalee laughed and laughed hard for the first time in ages. Anna quickly sat up and looked at him, and the captain just about tipped off the circular platform in surprise. Both of them looked at Tokuamalee with confusion in their eyes.

"What is so funny?" The captain said stabling himself more in the center of the platform.

Tokuamalee just smiled and chuckled. The rest of the trip was spent in silence as Tokuamalee prepared his mind for what he knew was going to be the trail of a lifetime.

Anna couldn't help but wonder about what had been running through Tokuamalee's head, but she left it as it was. She had resolved herself to dieing yesterday, so delaying it for a day was not going to change her spirits any. She hoped she would live, hoped beyond reasoning she would live, but if she died she died, and that would be that.

She quickly stood when she saw the platform approaching. Tokuamalee stepped forward and the captain stepped behind him. Anna took the middle hoping to avoid eyes. Peering around Tokuamalee she saw more of the Honor Guard at the ready. When they reached the platform the Honor guard shuffled them off through a set of Giant double doors, and into a waiting area. Anna shifted nervously as People passed the large group of guards. There was allot of talking, and yet Anna couldn't understand any of it. Beings she hadn't seen before floated by and Elites with strange armor also went by in passing. To a lesser extent she noticed all of them had an air of nervousness around them.

Unintentionally Anna bumped into Tokuamalee's leg causing him to look down and give his equivalent of a smile. The captain reached over and Elbowed Tokuamalee causing him to look back up again. Anna wanted to speak, so badly, she wanted to tell Tokuamalee what this meant for her, but for the life of her she couldn't.

Tokuamalee looked up and stood to his full height as the last of the stragglers made it into the chamber. There was a moment of silence and then the ball dropped.

"<Enter the chamber with the would be Heretics.>" A voice blared.

"Oh they have already reached their verdict!" The captain said with mock cheer in his voice.

Anna's breath hitched as she walked between the two aliens. The chamber was huge! on either side there were aliens. and in front, was another set of the guards, and then three figures. Anna hid Behind Tokuamalee. There was a gasp in the crowd as the guards parted and Anna came into view for part of the audience, but they remained silent. Something wasn't right, and Anna was getting more and more antsy by the minute. Peeking out from Tokuamalee's legs she could just make out one of the strange prophets, and it was the Prophet that spoke first.

"<We are here today because of a strange circumstance that has taken place on an outing to retrieve a holy forunner artifact.>" The prophet said his voice singing in Anna's ears. "<I, The high Prophet of mercy will be preceding over this discussion, with the help of the Lesser prophets, Pity and Wisdom. Normally when something this unorthodox happens in High Charity Truth's wisdom would be warranted, but he is away on his own journey and I have taken his place for the time being.>"

Anna Had begun to sway back and fourth in the rhythmic Ballet of the older prophets voice. It was nearly hypnotizing to her.

"< Toku Amalee, Dervish, You two have been brought here because of a special circumstance have you not.>" The prophet said earning a murmur from the crowd. < Dervish, your hand is in this just as much as Tokuamalee's is, and because of your previous fraternizations with human liking, your opinion will be null unless otherwise warranted Do you understand?>"

"<Yes your holy Hierarch, I understand and will bow my head in shame until your verdict is reached.>" The captain said stepping back from Tokuamalee and crouching.

<"Good,>" The prophet said turning towards Tokuamalee. "Tokuamalee, Your record goes beyond all hopes for any of our warriors, your battles have been many, the foes you have faced have fallen quickly, and the men you have lead regard you with the highest praise. Your a gift to the great journey and a gift to us, so your words will be considered very carefully.>"

"Dear prophet!" Tokuamalee said bowing his head and working his hands in nervousness. "I am not worthy of such praise! Please do not spare such wonderful words on someone like me.>"

Anna watched carefully of the reactions on the faces of those around her. The prophet seemed to smirk slightly at what Tokuamalee said, and she assumed that was a good thing. Beside her the Captain was nervously working his upper mandibles as he tried his hardest to keep his eyes glued to the floor.

"<A strange rumor has been brought to us by the captain of your ship>" Regret said his pedestal bobbing back and fourth with his words. "<You have acquired a human on your journey. My guards have confirmed this. Why, may I ask, Did you think it would be wise to bring a human back to high Charity.>"

Tokuamalee stood there for a moment working his mandibles and thinking. It was now or never but the words were failing him.

"<You see....>" Tokuamalee started his breath hitching. "I need you to... I mean I want... I think there is something important for you to know.>"

Tokuamalee sat and Mentally berated himself at his failings of words. He couldn't get himself to sit still, there was so much he wanted to say, but it wasn't coming out.

"<Yes?>" The prophet said tapping his two fingers on his chair arm rest.

Tokuamalee fell on one knee and squinted his eyes closed. Blocking out everything else he just began to speak.

"Noble prophet, I was given a vision, one, I can not myself explain,>" Tokuamalee said shifting as he heard the rest of the chamber suddenly erupt with harsh gasps. "<The planet, it must have had a strong forunner presence. The vision I received told me to seek out this Child, and to bring her to you. I can not say more because anything I could or would say would damn myself, and those who's ears are not pure enough to hear it.>"

The prophet himself gasped when Anna came into view.

"<Please, you have to believe me." Tokuamalee said Finally looking back up. "<They said it was for your ears only, I am just a messenger and I can not Decipher what has been given to me. Please I beg of you.>"

"<You Brought a Human onto the most Holy City, and into the most Holy room, and you expect me to believe your story?!?>" The prophet bellowed causing Anna and the rest of the council to cringe.

Tokuamalee cursed to himself. This indeed was not going to be his day.