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Halo 3: Mission 1: Cortana (Pt.1 of the mission.)
Posted By: Zack Wilder<zackwilder118@aol.com>
Date: 29 May 2005, 5:46 AM

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"Ain't a Party Till I'm There."
Mission Objective: Clear the area of Brutes.

      A Brute Captain was standing guard on a huge platform. Defeating the Flood had been easy, but very tiring. There was no need to be standing here guarding anymore. The Brute yawned, oblivious to what was happening behind him.
      The air was distorted, rings of golden light coming up from the ground and disappearing about 8 feet above the ground. An Elite appeared, wearing the traditional Arbiter armor. The Elite, also known as Arbiter, floated above the ground while the golden rings continued to appear. In his hand was an Energy Sword. As the golden light disappeared, he dropped down to the ground.
      The Brute Captain immediately swung around, Brute Shot ready. He was too slow. Arbiter swung his Energy Sword at the Brute's neck. It connected firmly and sliced the Brute's head off cleanly. The head rolled a few feet away, while the body crumpled to its knees and fell forward.
      Arbiter looked around, getting his first good look at his surroundings. Around him were crashed Pelicans, strewn across the place, as if someone had tossed a handful of them like breadcrumbs. Flood bodies, Covenant bodies, all were as plentiful as flowers in an acre-large flower field.
      "Captain?" A Brute grunted, from far away. The Pelicans hid him, but Arbiter knew he was close. Arbiter immediately kicked the Brute Captain's head far away into a pile of bodies and picked up the Brute Captain's body. With much more effort, he tossed it behind a Pelican. The Brute's footsteps were getting closer. Flicking off the Energy Sword, he turned on his Active Camo.
      "Captain?" the Brute grunted again, coming into view from behind a Pelican. He was holding a Brute Plasma Rifle. Almost immediately, he noticed that the Brute Captain was not there. The Brute raised his Brute Plasma Rifle, sweeping the area. Arbiter looked at his Active Camo meter. It was nearly empty. He ran behind the Brute and flicked on his Energy Sword. He reappeared and cupped the Brute's mouth. With a brutal hack, he sliced off the Brute's hand that was holding the Brute Plasma Rifle. Then drove his Energy Sword deep into the Brute. The two points of the Energy Sword stuck out of the Brute's chest. The Brute struggled, trying to break out of Arbiter's grip. Brutes had enormous strength and almost broke free from Arbiter, but he was too weakened from the blade still inside him. Arbiter pulled out the Energy Sword and skewered the Brute again.
      As the Brute's struggles died down, Arbiter dropped him. The Brute tried to crawl away, but he was dying fast and wouldn't be able to do anything. Off in the distance, Arbiter could hear other Brutes grunting. They knew something was wrong when their comrade suddenly stopped talking. They stopped their chattering, straining to hear something that would tell them either it was all right or tell them to call in backup.
      A violet beam slashed across the air, piercing a Brute's skull. The Brute crumpled, alerting the other Brutes someone was out to kill them. They immediately fired their weapons at the spot that they had seen the beam coming from. Arbiter continued dropping Brutes with his Particle Beam Rifle. None of the Brutes had any sense to run for backup or get closer to Arbiter. In a matter of seconds, the Brutes were all down on the ground, dead as doorknobs.
      As Arbiter scanned the area, searching for other Brutes, he suddenly realized where he was. He dropped the Particle Beam Rifle and looked around again. There was no mistake. He was at High Charity.
      "Why did Gravemind send me here?" Arbiter muttered. But I know someone who can help you. Gravemind had said. Who was here that could help Arbiter find the Ark? Certainly not the Brutes.
      "Arbiter!" An Elite shouted through Arbiter's radio. "The Brutes are taking all Covenant structures!"
      "What?" Arbiter yelled. "Where are you?"
      "High Charity." The Elite replied. "Along with me are the last of the remaining Elites in High Charity. We'll be fighting to reclaim High Charity."
      "Wait for me." Arbiter said. "Don't start without me."
      And certainly not the Elites either.

New Mission Objective: Link up with the remaining Elites. Reclaim High Charity.

      Arbiter ran to the entrance of High Charity. He needed to get in quickly. The Elites were waiting. As he passed a Carbine on the ground next to a Brute, he picked it up. Reloading it, he ran faster. As he got to the entrance, the door slid open. Arbiter ran in. He was in a long corridor. A quick look told him he was only in the section that looked like High Charity. This part would lead him straight him to the Phantom platform taking him to the real High Charity.
      Arbiter looked around. On top of the raised ledges, he saw two glowing green shields. Jackals. Arbiter switched on his Active Camo and ran over the Jackals. They never noticed the distorted air in front of them with the shape of an Elite in the dim lighting. Arbiter slammed the butt of the Carbine into the head of one of the Jackals. The shield disintegrated and crackled as the Jackal died. The other Jackal yelled, although its yell was pathetic, someone only 30 yards away would not have been able to hear it. Arbiter killed the other Jackal in the same manner, a swift powerful butt to the head.
      Arbiter headed to the door at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, there wouldn't be any more Brutes in this area. Just to be safe, he waited until his Active Camo recharged. Then, he activated it and headed to the door. The door slid open and Arbiter ran through. In the hall, were multiple Brutes. All of them were armed with Brute Shots. Arbiter immediately primed a plasma grenade and hurled it at a Brute. The grenade arced through the air and landed on the Brute. The plasma grenade identified the Brute and adhered.
      With a roar, the Brute ran straight at where the grenade had come from. Straight at Arbiter. The Elite leapt up to the raised ledges, but was nonetheless caught in the explosion. He reappeared with nearly depleted shields. The remaining five Brutes immediately fired their Brute Shots at the Arbiter. Rolling out of the way again, he managed to dodge the grenades. Hiding behind a column, Arbiter watched his shields regenerate. He couldn't risk a plasma grenade again. He took one of the frag grenades that he had picked up from the Flood earlier and primed it. Throwing it out from behind the column on the left side, he leapt out from the right side. The grenade landed silently at the feet of the Brutes. The gorilla-like aliens only saw the Arbiter. Turning to fire, the frag grenade exploded. Shrapnel showered the Brutes, killing them.
      Arbiter breathed a sigh of relief. The grenade, as he had planned, had killed the Brutes before they could fire. The corridor was now clear and he ran to the end. First, he grabbed a Brute Shot and loaded it. With his weapon leading the way, he headed for the door at the end of the corridor. As the door slid open, he leapt up onto one of the ledges. Then Arbiter scanned the corridor. No enemies on his motion tracker, no enemies in his peripheral vision. He leapt down from the ledge and ran down to the door at the end of the hall. Suddenly, the door began to slide open.
      Arbiter shot like a spear onto one of the ledges and activated his Active Camo. As the door completed opening, a Brute came through. Arbiter immediately noticed something odd about the Brute. In his hands was no standard weapon Arbiter had ever seen. He had only seen the weapon a few times and less than 15 minutes ago. It was the Gravity Hammer.
      With his zoom, he could see that the Brute was not Tartarus, not even a Brute Captain. Arbiter flicked on his Energy Sword and jumped down behind the Brute as he passed. As he did with the first Brute he had met earlier here in High Charity, Arbiter sliced off the Brute's head with ease.
      Only interested in the Gravity Hammer, Arbiter ignored the dead Brute's body. He picked up the Gravity Hammer. Why had Tartarus trusted such a low-ranked Brute with what seemed to be his most precious possession? It made no sense. Arbiter didn't care. He dropped his Brute Shot, despite only having picked it up for a little while.

      This part is only the first part of the first mission. In the second part, the Gravity Hammer Arbiter has will be explained, and the mission will be concluded.