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The Arbiter: Subduing of the Rebels
Posted By: SeverianofUrth
Date: 7 February 2005, 3:16 PM

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      He is on the ground, inside the arena, watched by all the councilors, naked, bleeding from a dozen wounds. He is dazed- but not so dazed as to be unable to discern the babble around him. Dishonor.
      The councilors are screaming for his death. There are those among the councilors that he had once considered allies, if not brethren- but they all scream anyways, their supposed friendships broken at once in the light of his failure. He hears them all, and at once feels hot anger rise within him, but that disappears after a moment. He knows he is dead.
      "Coward." A rough, ugly voice spits out.
      The former commander of the Covenant fleet looks over at his opponent. The beast grins, and pats his weapon- a long, black staff topped with a plasma blade. The Brute is personally unknown to him, and he again wonders why the Hierarchs could not grant him a fitting executioner.
      "Is that all, commander?" The word 'commander' is spoken with irony and scorn. The beast laughs, and then goes on. "I had hoped for a great battle."
      The yells and the cries of the councilors beat on his senses. Their voices all merge into one, and become a single chant- "Kill, Kill, Kill." He hears the Brute's words distantly, as if it came from a room away.
      He tries to get up. The sounds grow louder. He sees, from the corner of his eyes, the Brute smile, and readies its staff. He is resigned, now, to his fate- but is determined to die standing, at the very least.
      Then there is silence.
      He looks up, and sees the councilors sitting still, frozen, surprise etched in their features. The Brute looks uncertain.
      the once-commander looks at where everyone else is looking.
      The Prophet of Truth, on his floating throne, has come in through the gate to the arena. A Elite in white armor follows him. A great roar comes from the councilors; they recognize the SpecOps commander's white armor, and the sigil engraved upon it. They all believe that he is to be the executioner.
      The Prophet of Truth raises his hand, motioning for silence. The councilors settle quiet quickly. Then he speaks, to the prone figure on the ground.
      "The former commander of our fleets is dead."
      Another roar of approval issues forth from the councilors. But the Prophet is not done speaking; he again motions for them to quiet.
      He speaks when they all settle down. "And thus is the Arbiter born."
      There is no roar this time. All are stunned; the Brute opens his mouth angrily, and-
      "Silence, beast." The SpecOps leader says. He has already drawn his blade.
      The Prophet motions for the SpecOps leader to halt, and faces the Brute. "Would you defy my will, Choronzon?"
      The Brute looks away in anger, snorting. Then after a final contemptious glance towards the newly-made Arbiter, who has by now managed to stand, he leaves the arena.
      "I shall deal with his impudence later," the Prophet says. He turns, his floating throne now turning around to face the gate from which he had come. "Rise, Arbiter. Come to my chamber when you are ready."

      "Ready, Arbiter?"
      The Arbiter nodded. "Let's get on with it."
      "Are you eager to prove yourself once again?"
      "I have nothing to prove."
      "Or so you think." The pilot of the Phantom laughed. "The grunts do not fear you, Arbiter. They have outwitted you once, and they believe they shall do so again."
      The Arbiter made no reply. He instead stared down at the first of the grunt strongholds to be attacked- the Cera'ch Ralmee.
      The grunt city was teeming with life. A warren, he had called it once; and he would have used the same word to describe it again. The city was neither tall nor beautiful; it was simply a place where the grunts lived, small buildings stacked against each other, most of the habitats dug underground. A giant wall surrounded it against natural predators and invading armies.
      The Arbiter stared back at his troops- rows of solemn Elites in camouflage armor all stared back at him. They didn't trust him. He didn't blame them.
      The Grunt rebellion, after all, had lasted so long mainly because of his failings- his weakness had led to the destruction of half the fleet by the rebellious little vermin. His weakness in allowing them mercy.

      "Destroy them, if it comes to that." The Prophet says. "Kill, destroy, burn out their warrens and scourge their planet if needs demand it- as long as the Covenant is preserved, no price is too great."
      The Arbiter nods. His armor gleams, and the intricate patterns, carved into the extraordinarily hard steel, seemingly shift as he moves. "I understand, Noble One."
      "Good." The Prophet waves for him to leave. "Go, Arbiter. You have my blessings."