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Chapter 1 - Sanghelios

1315 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Urs Fied Joori System''

The moons Qikost and Suban disappeared from the view of the crew of the Shadow of Intent. The mighty ship was in Sanghelios's orbit, the red planet's appearance making the crew relaxed. Rtas'Vadum, the Shipmaster of the Shadow of Intent, was the most relaxed out of all the crew. Minutes earlier, he had let out a sigh of relief and laid back in his metal seat upon seeing Sanghelios. Rtas had not said anything for several minutes, still savouring the moment. Thel'Vadam, the 20th and current Arbiter of the Sangheili, was not so relaxed. He had his arm against the wall and his hand on his head. His head was filled with thoughts, thoughts about what his people would think of him becoming Arbiter. He had to be disgraced in order to achieve such a high rank in Sangheili society. All he could think about when he saw Sanghelios was his past. The time he suffered an injury and had a doctor visit him and the time when he failed to protect Installation 04. What will they think of me? As an Arbiter, or as a disgrace? Thel asked himself in his head. A Sangheili crewman, Haru'Teku, placed his right hand on Thel's armoured shoulder, which was the colour of copper and bronze. Thel turned his head to his right to see Haru.

"Arbiter, what is the matter?" asked Haru. Haru wore a red Sangheili Combat Harness and carried a Type-25 Directed Energy Pistol.

"I fear that my people will reject my presence." answered Thel, a tone of sadness in his voice.

"There is nothing to fear, Arbiter. We have accepted you, why won't your people?" questioned Haru, taking his hand away from Thel's shoulder. Rtas sat forward upon hearing a female Sangheili say that they have entered Sanghelios's atmosphere.

"Everybody, take a seat and hold on to something! We are entering the atmosphere!" he exclaimed to his crew. Rtas wore a white Combat Harness. Before Thel could answer, Haru walked away to take a seat. Thel walked over to Rtas and placed a hand on his seat.

"It is good to finally see Sanghelios in all its glory." Rtas said to Thel. Thel remained silent as the continent of Yermo appeared past the clouds that the Shadow of Intent had to pass through. He could see the continent on a holographic screen which provided visusal for him. Yermo was slightly smaller than Europe on Earth, but still had a large population. The Shadow of Intent was approaching the Iruiru Region, where the State of Vadam resided. Within the State of Vadam was the famous War College where young and teenaged Sangheili train to become fierce warriors. The Shadow of Intent cast a shadow over the several buildings in the State of Vadam, catching attention from the Sangheili below. They all cheered as the flagship past over them. Students at the War College ran out and joined the crowd, cheering for the Shadow of Intent. Not far away was a multi-peaked mountain with a castle-like structure attached to it. This was Kolaar Mountain, Thel's birthplace. The crowds, who knew of Thel's heroic deeds against the Flood and Covenant Loyalists, cheered and was soon followed by joyous chanting. Thel looked at the holographic screen to see the Sangheili people chanting his name.

The buildings of the State of Vadam were tall and beautiful in design, meant to honour Sanghelios and its people. The Shadow of Intent approached Kolaar Mountain, sparking memories in Thel's head. Thel was a young one when he heard the death of the 18th Arbiter, Ripa'Moramee. As a child, Thel always thought of Ripa as a role model, but recently, he had lost interest in Ripa for he was dedicated to serving the Hierarchs. The Shadow of Intent flew over the castle-like structure, which was the Vadam Keep. The ship attracted attention from the residents inside, who rushed out onto a large balcony to witness the ship overhead. Thel looked at the holographic screen and saw several familiar faces. His uncle, Rosh, his mother, Lidna, and his nephew, Tiza. He then glanced at the thing in Lidna's arms, a small Sangheili youngling. While Thel was the Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice, his mother has had a baby. Thel let out a small tear and a small smile upon seeing his new sibling. Thel's family waved as the ship disappeared from view, out of politeness and respect, and Thel watched as the Kolaar Mountain disappeared from his.

The Shadow of Intent was now flying over another part of the Iruiru Region, a part that had no buildings or Sangheili, but just red and gold sand for miles. The ship started to slow down as it neared the ground for landing. When it touched the ground, the crew experienced a sudden jolt that unbalanced them. Thel tripped and fell backwards, smacking his head against Rtas's metal seat. Thel was dazed, while Rtas experienced a sudden loss of breath as he was pushed nearly out of his seat. The ship slowed and eventually stopped, giving the crew a chance to recover.

Chapter 2 - The Ambush

1321, 16th April, 2552, Kolaar Mountain, State of Vadam, Sanghelios

Thel stepped off the Shadow of Intent and inhaled a breath of Sangheili air. The air was like that on Earth, it consisted of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Also, it had a reddish colour, possibly indicating that there was traces of iron in the air. The air tasted slightly different to that on Earth, but to Thel, it was completely different, as it was the air his ancestors had breathed. He exhaled loudly before turning to Rtas. "It is good to be home." Thel said to him before placing his hand on his head. Thel was still slightly dazed from the impact. Rtas breathed in the air and exhaled, sensing the same difference as Thel.

"At last, I can rest!" exclaimed Rtas gladly. The crew stepped off and looked around. "Where are we?" asked a female Sangheili, Sei'Tavanu. She wore a pink Assault Harness and carried a Type-51 Directed Energy Rifle/Improved, or simply a Plasma Repeater.

"We are somewhere near Kolaar Mountain. The geography of this place makes it impossible for us to get the Shadow of Intent off the ground." answered Haru.

"Why could we not just have used our Slipspace Drive?" Thel questioned Shina'Jorka, the female pilot of the flagship.

"We were low on fuel. I had to shorten our destination otherwise we would have collapsed onto the city." she answered, fear in her voice. Suddenly, they all heard an all too familiar noise. Thel turned and looked into the distance. What they heard was the grunting and roaring of several Jiralhanae, consisting of one Captain and a group of Minors and Majors. The Captain carried a large Jiralhanae Combat Knife, with its blade looking sharper as the sun shone on its blade. He outstretched his knife-weilding arm and let out a loud roar, meaning that he had seen the Sangheili land.

"What the hell are they doing here?!" exclaimed a crewman, Kalo'Jiga, who wore a black Combat Harness. Several of the Jiralhanae got out Type-3 Antipersonnel/Antimatériel Incendiary Grenades and launched them at the Sangheili. Kalo placed his arm on Rtas's shoulder before pushing past him and leaping forward. A grenade landed into his hands as he dropped to the ground. However, the other grenades hit the sand around Kalo, bursting into flames. As Kalo's body burned from the explosions, he threw the caught Firebomb at the Jiralhanae. The grenade flew through the air, only exploding into fire upon impacting into the torso of the Jiralhanae captain. The extreme heat incinerated the Captain and the Jiralhanae by his side. The other Jiralhanae leaped or fell backwards, trying to avoid being burned to death.

Kalo has been burning for several seconds now, yet his legs have already turned to liquid. Kalo fell to the ground, trying to crawl back to his comrades. Thel watched as Kalo's body melted before him. It was a sad death, watching a member of your own crew burn into iquid before your eyes. Rtas had known Kalo for a while, he knew he was prone to getting himself in trouble. Rtas had met Kalo's family a while ago, before the Great Schism. Rtas shed a tear in each eye before unleashing a huge roar of anger and charged at the Jiralhanae. Rtas got out his Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle, or Plasma Rifle, and leaped forward. In a fit of rage, he unleashed a barrage of shots from the weapon. For the Jiralhanae, it was like hundreds of heated energy droplets falling onto you at the speed of sound.

Blood splattered onto the hot sand. Rtas had killed several Jiralhanae before he landed. When he did land, it was on top of a living Jiralhanae Minor. The Jiralhanae looked up in fear at Rtas, who was still incredibly angry. Rtas placed the Plasma Rifle up against the Jiralhanae's left eye and fired, blinding the Jiralhanae and causing severe pain. Rtas then put away his Plasma Rifle and got out his Type-1 Energy Weapon/Sword, or Energy Sword. He activated the superheated energy blade and dove it through the Jiralhanae's eyes, burning his skull from the inside. The desert was filled with unbearable screaming for several seconds, until silence occured again. The Jiralhanae's eye sockets smoked as Rtas pulled out the Energy Sword. Rtas deactivated the blade and put away the Energy Sword. Blood was everywhere, including on Rtas's armour and face. He exhaled loudly before turning to his right, towards Kolaar Mountain. "Everybody," he said, "follow me."

Chapter 3 - Forced Work

1328 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Vadam Keep, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Rosh'Vadam was pushed up against a stone wall within the Vadam Keep by the muscular and large hand of a Jiralhanae. The Jiralhanae that was holding Rosh was known as Titus. Titus was larger and stronger than most other Jiralhanae, this was what made him the new Chieftain of the Jiralhanae in the place of the previous one, who was killed during the Battle of Earth, along with the Prophet of Truth. Titus placed his face near Rosh's, making sure Rosh sees how serious Titus is. "Please, what do you want?!" gasped Rosh, starting to choke from the pressure on his neck.

"I want you to bring me your nephew, the Arbiter! I want Thel!" exclaimed Titus. His hand started to put more pressure on Thel, who started to cough up Sangheili blood. "Do you understand?!" Titus exclaimed, spitting in Rosh's face. Rosh barely nodded, but Titus knew he was saying yes. Titus removed his hand away from Rosh's throat. Rosh fell to his knees and rubbed his neck.

"Do not worry, Titus, you will get to see Thel soon..." Rosh was cut short by Titus.

"I do not want to just see him, I want to annihalate him!!" Titus shouted, slamming his Gravity Hammer into the floor, slightly startling his Jiralhanae bodyguards. But not Gaius. Gaius was a Jiralhanae Stalker, and a strong one at that. Gaius has survived the Flood, UNSC and Covenant Separatists. Gaius walked past Titus and grabbed Rosh's throat.

"You'd better get him here, otherwise you are Kig-Yar meat!" threatened Gaius before releasing Rosh. Titus turned his head towards Gaius.

"I want you to find Rtas'Vadum, Gaius. Find him and destroy him." ordered Titus sternly.

"Search and destroy," said Gaius, pounding his fists together, "my favourite kind of mission." He turned round to the other Jiralhanae. However, he was not paying attention to them. Instead, he whistled. A small group of Kig-Yar burst into the room, armed with Plasma Pistols and Plasma Rifles. They growled viciously and wildly, disturbing the nearby Jiralhanae. Their screeches made Gaius smile slightly before he gave out his order. "Kig-Yar, we have been assigned to find and eliminate the Sangheili known as Rtas'Vadum. You should know of him, he is the Shipmaster of the Shadow of Intent!" ordered Gaius, his voice booming through the Vadam Keep. The Kig-Yar screeched at Gaius, but he knew it was their way of answering his order. They would do as he said, otherwise they would pay the consequence of death or torture. Around a nearby wall, Tiza and Lidna overheard everything.

"Will Rosh be all right?" asked Tiza, you could tell his voice was soft even though it was a mere whisper. Lidna looked down at the young Sangheili, not knowing what to say.

"I-I don't know." she answered, a tone of uncertainty in her voice. Both Tiza and Lidna were stunned by Titus's size, reminding Lidna of the late Ripa'Moramee due to his massive size. Lidna peeked around the corner, trying to get spotted. She saw as Gaius and his mob of Kig-Yar leap out the nearby window, beginning their search. She then saw Titus's bodyguards leave the room before Titus turned and left himself.

Rosh exhaled, holding his breath ever since the Kig-Yar entered. He placed his left hand against the wall and turned his head to see Lidna and young Tiza standing in the door way. His hand moved down the wall and his head looked down in shame. Lidna shook her head before walking away from the doorway, and away from Rosh. Tiza simply stood there, waiting for something to be said. Silence. Nobody said a word, until Rosh opened his mouth and said "I'm sorry."

Tiza, a look of disappointment on his face, turned his back to Rosh before walking out of the doorway. What do I do now? thought Rosh before placing his hands over his eyes and sighing. Meanwhile, one of the Kig-Yar has gotten into slight trouble. He had lost his balance while running and has fallen, a sharp rock impaling his right shoulder and a heavy rock behind his head. He was knocked unconscious. Gaius was bent over, holding a Kig-Yar in his left hand, while holding a stable rock with his right. The Kig-Yar he was holding, a female, was holding a male Kig-Yar in her left hand, while that Kig-Yar held another male in his left hand. The lowest Kig-Yar wrapped his fingers around his comrade's armoured torso before being hauled up. Gaius took the Kig-Yar into his arms and looked at the damage. There was a lot of blood coming from the back of the head and mouth, while his right arm has become filled with dirt and sand. It would be near impossible to clean his wound, but Gaius was already certain that the Kig-Yar died from the head impact. He lay the Kig-Yar on the ground in a sorrowful manner.

"This planet has claimed one of your own," he said, "another reason why we must destroy it!" Gaius turned and ran, his Kig-Yar mob joining him. A male Kig-Yar at the back placed his hand on the shoulder of the female ahead of him. They both stopped and faced each other.

"What is it?" asked Ter, the female Kig-Yar.

"I do not see why we work for this ape! I wish we could get back to Eayn!" exclaimed Kor, the male.

"Eayn is under the control of the Covenant, they will not allow us to return until our missions are complete." explained Ter, placing a hand on Kor's shoulder.

"Hurry up!" screeched Fal, a cocky and young Kig-Yar male. Ter and Kor soon caught up with the mob as the Shadow of Intent was in sight.

Chapter 4 - Wild

1410 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Kolaar Mountain Base, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

The Sangeili had walked several miles already, exhausted and in need of liquid. Thel ignored his own needs, as he was trained to. He would think about it when the time is right, but not now. A large hole in a wall caught their attention. It was pitch black inside, although the smell of meat indicated that there was something inside. Rtas and two more Sangheili ran beside the hole, weapons drawn and ready. "Whatever we find will most probably be hostile, so keep your weapons ready and your wits about you." ordered Rtas, peeking into the dark hole. The smell of meat inside would make most people careless, but not Rtas. Rtas was trained to go without for days. But he still needed food, as that was what he was doing a few days ago. Rtas took out his Energy Sword and activated the burning hot energy blade, which lit up the hole slightly. He then threw in a flare, going off and filling the hole with light. Inside, they saw a large pile of raw meat.

However, they also saw Kurjir, a type of vicious Sangheili animal. The three Kurjir inside the hole came roaring out. They were bigger than Sangheili, standing at two feet taller than most average. The Kurjir had dark, tough skin which helped them when fighting amongst other Kurjir occur. Their eyes were reptilian and had small black slit-like pupils. Their arms were strong, filled with muscles. And their five claws on each hand were perhaps their deadliest weapon they had, if it weren't for their sharp jaws. Thel drew his Energy Sword and activated the blade calmly, trying not to startle these incredibly powerful carnivores. There was a moment of silence, with Thel slowly moving during that moment, as if he was about to engage in combat.

The moment ended when one of the Kurjir charged towards Thel. Thel quickly ran towards the Kurjir and rolled into a ball. His Energy Sword stuck out when Thel rolled underneath the Kurjir, the Energy Sword slicing through the Kurjir's tough skin and penetrating its torso. Thel stopped rolling and jumped into his normal stance. The Kurjir collapsed into a pile of heated blood. Thel looked down at his kill before turning his head to the other Kurjir. Another Kurjir ran towards Thel, roaring over the loss of its sibling. Thel gripped his Energy Sword and ran towards the charging Kurjir, a cry of battle escaping his lungs. Thel pulled his sword-carrying arm back as he ran. The Kurjir's roar flew past Thel as they ran. Thel was only a foot away from the Kurjir when it swung its arm at him. Thel kept running and dodged the swing by bending downwards. Thel then sprung his arm forward, the Energy Sword impaling the Kurjir's stomach. The Kurjir unleashed a roar of pain as the sword penetrated its toughskin. Thel pushed the sword further into the Kurjir's stomach, burning and melting the Kurjir's stomach. After several seconds, the Kurjir remained alive. Thel pulled out the sword and twisted in a circle, the sword piercing the Kurjir's back. The Kurjir roared again, standing on its toes. Thel pushed the blade through the beasts's back, finally killing it. The Kurjir's arms dropped and its head fell back as its life was ended in an instant. Thel pulled out the sword, leaving the bloodied corpse of the Kurjir to fall onto its back.

The last Kurjir was bigger than the other two, darker in colour and, after witnessing its comrades fall to Thel, presumably the most annoyed. The Kurjir unleashed a petrifying roar before launching itself out of the hole and landing on top of Thel. The Energy Sword was knocked out of Thel's hand and sent flying away from him. Thel grunted as he was knocked to the floor, but remained silent when he saw the grotesque and scarred face of the Kurjir on top of him. Their eyes locked, not looking away from each other. The Kurjir growled viciously, its saliva falling onto Thel's bloodied armour. The Kurjir then opened its mouth, revealing to Thel its sharp jaws and blood-red tongue. Thel roared as he kicked the Kurjir's stomach, preventing it from ripping his head off. However, Thel did not count on the beasts's extraordinary arms. It lifted its right arm into the air, about to crush Thel's head beneath it. Suddenly, an Energy Sword's superheated blade cut through the arm with ease. The Kurjir let out a long roar before the Energy Blade impaled its neck. A Sangheili hand grabbed the Kurjir's upper jaw and threw the corpse onto its back. Thel looked up to see Rtas putting away his Energy Sword. The Sangheili now had food to eat, but it would be useless without water.

Chapter 5 - The Grunt

1414 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Mount Kolaar Base, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Meanwhile, on the Shadow of Intent, there was little noise, excluding the breathing of an Unggoy. The Unggoy was Mimim, a Special Operations Unggoy who had been hiding on the flagship for several days. He had been stealing leftover Sangheili food and eating it and using water leaks on the ship as a source of water. Mimim wandered around the ship, wondering where everybody has gone. "Where everybody go? Mimim lonely..." he said as he passed a weapons room. Mimim then spotted the holographic screen and looked at it intently. Mimim's instincts made him look at the red sand and look for footprints. "Yes, yes! Mimim find tracks!" he exclaimed happily.

A minute later, he stepped out of the Shadow of Intent, feeling the heat on his skin. Mimim was armed with a Plasma Pistol and several Plasma Grenades. Mimim stretched his arms looked around. He saw the the Kolaar Mountain to his right, which was where the footprints of the Sangheili led to. It would take Mimim ages to catch up with the Sangheili. However, there was one thing the Sangheili forgot about when they left the ship. Mimim had seen a Type-32 Rapid Assault Vehicle in construction inside the ship. It took another several minutes to get the Ghost started and ready for its journey. Mimim laughed as the Ghost, now outside the flagship, lifted off the ground. However, in his amusement, the Ghost speeded forward. Mimim gasped and quickly turned the Ghost to his right. Sand flew against his mask, making an irritating clattering noise.

Mimim blocked the sand with his right hand, but the sand still managed to beat against his mask. So, he used his left arm to block the sand. And at the moment he did that, he rolled backwards, out of the seat, gripping onto the edge of the seat with his left arm. He screamed as the Ghost unbalanced and hit a rock, sending it flying through the air. Mimim let go, falling onto the ground head-first. The Ghost was about to land, until a Gravity Hammer batted it the other way. Mimim sat up and rubbed his head, until he saw the Jiralhanae Chieftain with the Gravity Hammer. He let out a long, distressed cry. "Mimim in danger! Mimim in danger!" he cried, getting up and running. He ran past the Jiralhanae Chieftain just as it threw its Gravity Hammer down on the Unggoy.

Mimim, starting to cry, looked back and saw the Chieftain run after him. Luckily, he could see the Sangheili ahead. He charged his Plasma Pistol, and released a ball of sickly green energy at them. It took a minute or so for the ball to fly straight in front of Rtas'Vadum. Rtas turned his head and saw the distressed Unggoy. He also saw the strong Chieftain. Rtas let out a long battle cry, catching the attention of the Chieftain. The Jiralhanae grunted and ran towards the Sangheili. Mimim saw the Chieftain run off and stopped crying. "Fear Mimim! Fear Mimim!" the Unggoy cheered. Rtas and the Jiralhanae ran towards each other, Energy Sword about to clash with Gravity Hammer. Then it happened.

The Energy Sword bounced off the Gravity Hammer, but Rtas simply swung in a circle and cut the Chieftain's cheek. Jiralhanae blood splattered across the Chieftain's right side on his face. Rtas, thinking on his feet, quickly tried to impale the Chieftain underneath his head, but the Jiralhanae moved his body backwards before Rtas could strike. The Chieftain swung his Gravity Hammer towards Rtas's head, but the Sangheili ducked and cut the Chieftain's right hip. The Chieftain did not feel this pain and instead rammed Rtas. Rtas was knocked to the ground and the Chieftain was about to drop his Gravity Hammer onto his body at full strength, but a small, green ball hit the Chieftain's right cheek, the one that was cut by Rtas's Energy Sword. The Chieftain let out a long roar, expressing the pain. Rtas grabbed his Plasma Rifle and fired at the Chieftain. The Jiralhanae leaped back, trying not to suffer more pain. Rtas leaped to his feet, disgusted by the Chieftain's sudden cowardice. "Come on, fight me!" shouted Rtas, picking his Energy Sword up from the sand. The Chieftain ran out of Rtas's view.

"Mimim thanks you for saving Mimim!" exclaimed the Unggoy to Rtas. Rtas chuckled slightly before turning away and going back to his group.

Chapter 6 - The Heretic

1416 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Council Tower, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Gura'Durskam of the Sangheili Council stared at his comrades. Gura was the highest ranking Sangheili in the Council, also being the oldest. Gura wore white armour, to show that he was the highest ranking. His brilliant crested helmet also displayed his importance. One member of the Council was his son, Dao'Misham. Gura carries an Energy Sword at his side, thus he is not allowed to marry, but had impregnated a female who got married to another Sangheili later that year. Dao was brought up by his mother's brother, Yuna'Misham. Dao wore a crested helmet that was dwarfed by the others. His armour was also a cobalt colour, again displaying his low rank in the Council. Gura and his comrades sat in a circle on seats made from stone, carved by their ancestors.

"This war is getting out of hand. The Jiralhanae have taken most of Yermo, and now they wait outside this city. It is only a matter of time before they breach and take this place of ancestry as well." explained Gura. The next highest ranking Councilor, Bor'Octom, spoke.

"We should launch an assault on the Jiralhanae! We should burn their planet until it is glass!" exclaimed Bor, banging his fist against the arm of his chair, "You saw what they did to Te, Gura! They will do it here unless we destroy their home planet first!" The Sangheili Council stayed silent for several minutes, until suddenly a hologram materialised in the centre of the room. The hologram glowed a light blue, the hologram being the head of a San'Shyuum.

"Are you enjoying this? Are you enjoying the sight of your home world being conquered by a superior enemy? Sangheili, there is nothing you can do to stop us. The Covenant Loyalists will turn your planet into another Jiralhanae colony and Earth will be converted to glass!" exclaimed the hologram.

"Who are you? Identify yourself!" demanded Dao, clenching his fist and leaning forward.

"I am the High Prophet of Restraint. I became a Hierarch after your Arbiter murdered the High Prophet of Truth and prevented us from transcending into gods!" answered the San'Shyuum. Gura leaned forward, as if slightly annoyed.

"He was going to activate Halo and destroy all sentient life in this galaxy. He would have killed us all if the Arbiter had not slew him." explained Gura.

"Nonsense! Halo was going to make us gods, and we would've destroyed the Flood. But instead, you deactivate Halo and destroy the Flood yourselves. The Forerunners did not want it this way..." Restrain explained, trying to convince the Council he was telling the truth. "...I was ursurped by the Vice Minister of Tranquility, or as he was known when he was a Hierarch, the High Prophet of Regret. It was a mistake. I was on the Roll of Celibates, a list where the San'Shyuum who possessed recessive genes were recorded and forbidden to ever reproduce. However, I impregnated a young San'Shyuum female, and I decided that my offspring shall be saved from abortion. The Minister of Fortitude promised me that if I step down, he would cover up this scandal. In my place was the High Prophet of Regret."

"But now that they are dead, I have reclaimed my place as a Hierarch, as has the High Prophet of Tolerance. However, the High Prophetess of Obligation could not reclaim her place, as she is now, sadly, deceased. In her place, however, is the High Prophetess of Release. Now that the Hierarchs are restored, the Covenant shall be rebuilt as a stronger empire!" explained Restraint, deactivating the hologram at the end of his speech. Tai'Vushkom, a Councilor underneath Bor's rank, closed his eyes in deep thought. He chanted several words before falling silent.

"How did they know our frequency?" questioned Gura.

"Nobody could've told them. Unless, there is a traitor amongst us." answered Bor.

"Do not jump to conclusions, Bor. You always think something is the fault of Heretics within our nation." said Groda'Lusham, who was a rank beneath Tai. Tai opened his eyes, attracting the attention of the Council.

"What is it, Tai?" questioned Dao suspiciously.

" a Heretic within this Council. We must kill him!" Tai spoke viciously, his voice filled with anger and rage. Bor stood, drew his Energy Sword, and activated the superheated blade.

Chapter 7 - The Feast

1832 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Mount Kolaar Base, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Gaius and the Kig-Yar approached the Sangheili group, who now have an Unggoy to look after. They were feasting on the food Thel so honourably fought for. The Unggoy, Mimim, had his mask off while he ate. However, after a few seconds, he would place the mask near his face so that he could get a breath of his own air. He ate small portions of meat, which was all he could manage to fit into his greedy mouth. The Sangheili next to him, Dochai'Marichum, was disgusted by the way the Unggoy ate and punched his hard shoulder, making Mimim choke and pull his mask up to his face. This caused Rtas to warn the Sangheili. "Dochai! Why did you do that?" Rtas questioned Dochai.

"His eating habits disgust me, doesn't it disgust you?" asked Dochai. The Sangheili wore a red Combat Harness.

"Yes, it disgusts me. But we must not joke abour or disrespect the habits of other species, as it is racist, a crime almost as bad as heresy." explained Rtas sternly to Dochai. Dochai stood up onto his long and powerful legs.

"I would like to be alone." requested the Sangheili, slightly annoyed.

"Granted." replied an annoyed Rtas'Vadum. Dochai turned and walked away from them, giving Mimim a look of anger. Mimim simply stuck his middle finger up. The Unggoy and Sangheili have been studying Earth languages long enough to know what that meant. Dochai roared before disappearing from sight. Thel had finished his portions and stood up. Night was beginning to fall onto the desert, and that was the time when deadly nocturnal hunters appeared. Dochai was out of sight, getting ever closer to the Kig-Yar.

"Can we attack him now?" Ter asked Kor, who rested beside her.

"No, we must be patient. He still has his Plasma Rifle. We must disarm him and then we can torture him." answered Kor. Next to Kor, saliva leaked from Fal's bird-like mouth and dribbled onto the ground. Fal was hungry, he had not eaten for three days.

"I say we strike now!" exclaimed Fal, leaping from his position. Howevever, Gaius grabbed the Kig-Yar by his neck and threw him back. Ter couldn't help but chuckle. Gaius's lying position turned into a crouching position before finally turning into a jump position. He leaped, his body flying through the air. Dochai turned and could only see Gaius's massive body fall onto him. Dochai was knocked to the ground, his weapon falling onto the sand. Ter, Kor and their comrades leaped and dived onto the helpless Sangheili.

Dochai's body could not move because of the sudden impact from Gaius. Ter's jaws plunged into Dochai's stomach, blood spraying out onto both her and her comrades. She tore out a chunk of his stomach before swallowing it down whole and diving back in. Dochai let out a roar of agony, pain and despair as he was eaten alive. But soon that roar was silenced by Kor, who wrapped his jaws around Dochai's neck and bit into it. Blood sprayed out of Dochai's mouth as he was eaten, until finally dying. His corpse became Kig-Yar food.

Fal leaped onto the corpse and started digging into the corpse's left leg. Ter moved her way up to the Sangheili's chest, where she saw Kor devour his neck. Ter, covered in blood, leaped onto Kor. He opened his mouth in surprise and Ter stole the bloody piece of meat from inside it before eating it herself. Gaius, who watched as the Kig-Yar fed, was disgusted and spat onto the sand. Several minutes later, the Sangheili was no more, just a bloody skeleton that will soon be consumed by the sand. The Kig-Yar enjoyed their feast and let out a loud shrieking sound to express their joy. Ter eyed Kor before jumping on top of him. Their eyes met and Kor thought he was going to get lucky tonight. However, Ter shrieked into his face in pain several seconds later. Kor looked over her and saw that her left leg had been charred by plasma weaponry. He turned his head and saw Mimim, who was trying to hide behind a rock.

Chapter 8 - The Fight

1418 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Council Tower, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

"Heretic, show yourself!" demanded Bor, his Energy Sword sizzling. Dao stood up, although he was not going to admit being a Heretic, as he was loyal to the Sangheili. "Bor, this is getting out of hand. Please, sit and calm down." ordered Dao. Bor turned to Dao with angry eyes.

"How do I know you are not the Heretic?!" exclaimed Bor, getting ready to kill his fellow Councilor.

"Bor, this is immature. Sit down!" demanded Dao angrily. Bor did not answer his order or co-operate with him, instead slowly walking towards him. Dao grabbed his Energy Sword and activated the blade. Gura shook his head.

"Now that you have drawn your swords, they demand blood. One of you must die." explained Tai, his eyes opening to watch the fight. Bor was known for his aggressive outbursts, although none quite like this. Gura, being the highest ranking Councilor, was not permitted to choose a favourite member of the Sangheili Council, although he was secretly rooting for Dao to win, as he was tired with Bor. A cry of war escaped from Bor's lungs and launched out through his mandibles. This war cry only slightly disturbed Dao, but not enough to scare him. Bor then ran towards Dao and their Energy Swords clashed in a spectacular display of light.

Dao was the quickest of the two, but Bor was stronger and had better armour. Dao stared into Bor's angry eyes before seperating their Energy Swords and going in for another strike. Bor went in for a stab to the head, but Dao's Energy Sword blocked the attack. However, the sizzling blade's edge ran down Dao's helmet and across his right eye, just missing his eyeball. Dao threw Bor off him and went in for a circular slice. Bor jumped back before the Energy Sword could cut into him. "For a Heretic, you are a good fighter!" panted Bor.

"I am not a Heretic!" insisted Dao. Bor ignored Dao and charged at him. Dao ducked as Bor went in to slice Dao's chest. Dao, now right underneath Bor's Energy Sword, jabbed his own Energy Sword into Bor's right knee. Bor let out a painful screech before leaping backwards. Dao stood up, Energy Sword at the ready. "How do I know that you are not the Heretic?" Dao questioned Bor curiously. Bor did not answer, instead grabbing a large Energy Sword hilt off the wall. He activated it, a large and extremely hot blade of plasma erupting from the hilt.

"You will die, your heresy is your downfall!" Bor exclaimed, wielding the large Energy Sword with two hands, as the weight of the sword weighed him down. Groda stood up, tired of the fighting around him.

"Enough! There is no Heretic!" Groda exclaimed to the Council. However, he was soon silenced as the large Energy Sword cut through his waist with ease. Groda dropped to the ground and tried to crawl away, fearing for his life. He lifted his hand towards Gura, but a swift stab from the Energy Sword quickly ended his life. Bor turned to Dao, the huge Energy Sword sizzling viciously. Dao sood no chance with his own Energy Sword, so he had to think of a plan. A plan that would save both his life and the lives of the rest of the Council.

Bor swung the huge blade towards Dao, who evaded it with little difficulty. Bor, now in a state of extreme anger and rage, swung the blade again, more viciously than before. However, Dao slid behind Bor and grabbed his right arm. He pulled the arm back, along with the large Energy Sword. Suddenly, with a swift push, Bor's arm drove the large Energy Sword through his own torso, sizzling and burning his insides. A roar of agony and pain filled the room, but Dao ignored it and pushed Bor near the window that resided nearby. With a powerful kick, Bor was sent flying through the glass-like material that made the window, falling to the street below.

Dao watched as Bor hit the ground, the large Energy Sword broke and Bor looked like a bloody armoured doll. Dao nodded slightly before turning and facing his Council members. "There was no Heretic. It was all a plan by Restraint. He successfully killed two members of our Council. He drove Bor mad, and Bor killed Groda. I was forced to kill Bor for your safety." explained Dao. Dao then turned away from the Council and watched as the suns finally went down.

Chapter 9 - The Meeting

1426 Hours, 16th April, 2553, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

A dark figure stood before the three Hierarchs, the location unknown. However, the surrounding area was beautiful. There were many waterfalls that plummeted for miles and there were huge claff faces. The platform the figure stood on was made from metal and was supported by several poles that were connected to the closest cliff face. The figure was a Sangheili that wore long, dark robes and a black Combat Harness. This Sangheili was thinner than most and slightly smaller. "What do you want, Sangheili?" Restraint questioned the Sangheili.

"Two members of the Sangheili Council are dead. They were Groda'Lusham and Bor'Octom. The rest still live." answered the Sangheili, its head looking downwards.

"The rest must be killed!" exclaimed Tolerance, banging his fist against his Gravity Throne.

"I do not control their fates, I only watch." the Sangheili told Tolerance. Tolerance floated towards the Sangheili and grabbed it by the throat. They looked into each other's eyes, not looking away. The Sangheili could easily kill Tolerance, but it was a loyal subject to the Hierarchs.

"I want you to kill them all! They must all die!" Tolerance spat into the Sangheili's face. Tolerance released the Sangheili's throat, allowing it to breath. The Sangheili rubbed its throat.

"I will try, but they are strong. They could easily kill a Jiralhanae Chieftain with ease." explained the Sangheili to the Hierarchs, attracting attention from nearby Jiralhanae Bodyguards.

"You dare belittle us?!" exclaimed one of the Bodyguards. Release placed her hand in front of her, indicating she wanted no interruption from the Jiralhanae.

"You will meet me in my quartres later. I need a private word with you." ordered Restraint, attracting looks of concern from Tolerance and Release.

"What do you have in mind?" Tolerance questioned Restraint.

"As I said, a private talk." answered Restraint.

"We know of what you have done in the past." said Release, starting to look angry. Restraint banged his fist against his own throne.

"You have not the right to tell me what I have done. I know what I did was wrong at the time, but the Roll of Celibates is gone!" Restraint shouted at Release. Release still had a look of anger on her face, although she decided to say no more. She sat back into her Gravity Throne and looked back at the Sangheili. Restraint also looked back at the Sangheili, smiling to himself. The Sangheili glanced up towards Restraint, wishing to grab its Energy Sword and slice through the Prophet.

"I will attend." the Sangheili replied to Restraint, knowing it was helpless with two Jiralhanae Bodyguards behind it. The Sangheili looked down at the ground, its armoured toes peeking out of its robes.

"Very good. Now, you may leave." ordered Restraint, smiling to himself. The Sangheili turned and walked away from its superiors, accompanied by the Jiralhanae Bodyguards. They walked inside the cliff face that the platform was attached to. Inside the face were metal pillars and Jiralhanae Honour Guards. Also, there was Titus. Titus walked forward towards the Sangheili, a Gravity Hammer of high importance. The Fist of Rukt was retrieved by Covenant Loyalists after the Flood was destroyed. Coincidentally, it was this Sangheili that did so. Titus stepped in front of the Sangheili, a grin on his face.

"Consider yourself humiliated." Titus said eerily before releasing a hearty laugh. The Sangheili looked up at Titus, as if it knew Titus had some kind of deal with the Hierarchs.

"Curb your tongue, Jiralhanae, while you still have it." threatened the Sangheili. Titus only laughed again, pushing the Sangheili aside with his hip. He was huge, bigger than any Jiralhanae that ever lived. The Sangheili looked back and was filled with a deep hatred inside. However, before it could do anything, it noticed its exposed left shoulder. It was curved and rounded, unlike most other Sangheili warriors. It placed it robes over its shoulder and carried on walking.

Chapter 10 - Rtas and Gaius

1836 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Mount Kolaar Base, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Rtas, crouched upon a rock, turned his head to his left. There was no sight of Dochai. Rtas turned his head the other way, still no sight. He was starting to get worried, as the disappearance of a Sangheili in this desert would mean he or she has gone insane. Rtas leaped from the rock upon hearing sounds of struggle. He ran forwards, the sounds getting louder. Rtas grabbed his Energy Sword and activated it, in case it was a masquerade. He threw his body behind a rock upon seeing where the struggling was coming from. A group of several Kig-Yar punched and kicked a lone Unggoy, Mimim. Mimim's weapon lay to his left, but he was occupied with the Kig-Yar. Rtas leaped from the rock and, with a quick and powerful slash, decapitated a Kig-Yar. The creatures threw themselves back and screeched, Gaius walking out in front of them. His Gravity Hammer resided on his back. "Rtas'Vadum, today you will fall to my power and the sands will consume your bones, while the Kig-Yar will devour your flesh." explained Gaius, taking the Gravity Hammer off his back.

"Who are you? Identify yourself!!" demanded Rtas, taking on a combat stance.

"I am Gaius, Chieftain Titus's top assassin and one of the most powerful Jiralhanae!" boasted Gaius, beating his chest with his left hand. Rtas threw his right arm, his sword-wielding arm, back and threw himself forward. The Energy Blade was deflected by a swift bash from the Gravity Hammer. Rtas went in for a jab, but Gaius placed his Gravity Hammer in front of him, blocking the jab.

"You are quick..." said Rtas, "...for a Jiralhanae." The two clashed once more, although this time the Gravity Hammer attacked. It threw Rtas back, but the Sangheili landed on his feet. Gaius panted, he had to pull two defensive maneuvers and an offensive strike. Rtas, however, was in perfect shape, his weapon was light and was easy to hold. The Gravity Hammer, on the other hand, has to be held with two hands and cannot move quickly without the user unbalancing and falling. Gaius shrugged off the weight of the Gravity Hammer and swung it with a single hand. This would be hard for any Jiralhanae, but when they enter a state of rage in battle, adrenaline pumps all around the Jiralhanaes' bodies and they are not effected by pain, instead simply shrugging it off. Gaius swung the Hammer over his head, the energy weapon crashing into the rocks behind Rtas. The rocks were obliterated easily. Rtas turned and went in for a strike, but the Hammer again deflected. Rtas stepped back as Gaius lifted the Hammer over his head and brought it crashing down towards Rtas.

The Sangheili leaped to his side and watched the Hammer smash into the ground. Sand and air rippled as the Hammer crashed down, proving how strong Gaius was and how dangerous the Hammer can be. Gaius suffered from this attack; after crashing the Hammer into the ground, his rage had disappeared and now he was extremely tired. Rtas heard his panting, but he also heard the screeching of the Kig-Yar. They were the spectators of this fight, Gaius and Rtas were the combatants. Rtas deactivated his Energy Sword and leaned against a rock, waiting for Gaius to catch his breath. Rtas would not fight an unready foe in one-on-one combat. A smile escaped from Gaius's lips as he lifted up the Hammer, and swung it to his side.

Rtas did not expect Gaius to recover so quickly, and could not stop the Hammer. The mighty weapon crashed into Rtas's waist, sending him crashing through the rocks and into the sand. Rtas watched as Gaius leaped into the air, the Hammer held above his head. If Rtas was struck by this again, he would die instantly. Rtas spun to his left, but he was still effected by the Hammer. As it crashed down, it send large ripples through the air and sand, sending Rtas flying. Rtas flew for about a metre until he impacted on the sand, vulnerable to attack. But luck was on his side. The Hammer had ran out of energy, and needed to be charged. At this rate, he could survive two smashings from it, but Gaius was certain to make it a quick death.

Chapter 11 - A Mistake

1841 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Mount Kolaar Base, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Rtas tried to move, but his body would not allow it. His stomach was severely beaten and he was bleeding from his mouth and body. He was even having trouble breathing. Gaius walked over, a powerless Hammer in his hand. "I will make you eat it!" exclaimed Gaius, gripping his weapon tightly. Rtas flipped onto his stomach and tried to stand. If he was allowed time, he would be able to. However, Gaius grabbed Rtas's harness before he could stand and the Jiralhanae pressed him against a wall. Rtas gasped for air as he was smashed against the wall, but Gaius would not allow it. "I shall make you suffer! You will not die quick and you will not be granted an honourable death!" exclaimed Gaius, pushing a weak Rtas to the ground. Rtas's head landed next to something hot, very hot. He opened his eyes and turned his head to see the sparkling blade of his Energy Sword. He was about to wrap his fingers around the hilt, until Gaius grabbed Rtas by his legs and hauled him away, Rtas quickly managed to grabe the sword and turned to see Gaius's armoured back. Rtas's sight cleared and now he could focus. He threw his right arm back before hurtling the Energy Sword at Gaius.

The sword spun in several 360 circles before piercing into Gaius's back, blood squirting out and landing on Rtas. Rtas grabbed Gaius's wrists and pulled him back, with his right leg pushed against the hilt of the Energy Sword. Gaius screamed as the superheated blade cut through and burned his organs. It was as if he was on fire from the inside. Rtas pushed the blade further in, causing Gaius to fall further back. The Jiralhanae's screams were drowned with blood escaping from his mouth and falling onto his torso. The only sound Gaius made now was a gurgling noise that horrified the Kig-Yar.

Ter looked away, her leg still damaged. She wrapped her arms around Kor and cried for Gaius. Soon, the gurgling stopped and Rtas pushed the body forwards. Gaius landed on his front, the Energy Sword still slightly poking out of his back. Rtas stood up and walked over before reaching down and pulling the Energy Sword out from Gaius's corpse. Rtas smiled before turning to the Kig-Yar mob. "Will you feast on your dead master, or will you go hungry until your next victim arrives?" Rtas questioned them. The Kig-Yar could not resist meat, but feasting on their leader does not seem right. The Kig-Yar turned and ran after Fal screeches a command. Before he ran off with the mob, Kor cursed at Rtas in his native language. Rtas deactivated the Energy Sword and placed the hilt back on his harness. Rtas then spotted what remained of Dochai, a partially sand-covered skeleton. Rtas walked over and knelt down beside it.

"May he be delivered to the Forerunners, who will find him peace." he prayed before standing up and walking away. Rtas was tired and weak, but he would live. He saw the group, including Mimim, not far away and walked towards them, albeit slowly. "Rtas lives! Rtas lives!" cried Mimim happily. Rtas knelt down beside a nearby rock and rested his head on it. He closed his and bloked everything out. The group had made a fire from some vegetation they found in the whole, where the Kurjir had been. They managed to set it on fire and keep it burning. Its yellow glow warmed the group, including Rtas. It was a comfortable warmth, a warmth that young Sangheili would sleep in. Thel'Vadam turned to Rtas in worry. "Are you okay? Are you hurt?" Thel questioned Rtas, a tone of concern in his voice. Rtas simply smiled before answering.

"Most of this blood is not mine." answered Rtas before closing his eyes again and waiting to drop off. He would feel fine in the morning, but scars from the battle would still remain. Watching from above was Kor, a hint of anger in his eyes.

"They will all die!" he screeched before turning and running towards Ter.

"How do you plan to get equal?" Ter questioned Kor. Ter was being carried by Fal, back to back. Kor did not answer her, deep in thought. Ter did not ask again in fear he would be annoyed with her.

Chapter 12 - Dao's Heresy Part 1

1909 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Council Tower, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Dao removed his Energy Sword from the chest of his fellow Council member, Yadun'Losham. Yadun was a rank above Dao, but that did not matter any more. Dao let Yadun's bloodied body drop. Dao looked down at the corpse before turning round to see a young Councilor-in-training, Mehazu'Drokam. Mehazu was with Gura, both witnessing the battle. Night had fallen on the city, including the Council Tower. The Tower was where the Sangheili Council resided, along with graduates from the War College. The Tower was perfectly cylindrical and has been that way for thousands of years. The three of them were at the top, which had no ceiling and gave a perfect upwards view of space. The stars shone on them, although Dao had not come to watch the stars. That was Yadun's intention before he was slaughtered by Dao without mercy. "What have you done?" Gura questioned Dao, sadness in his voice.

"We were born to serve the Covenant! Don't you see? It was our destiny!" answered Dao, hoping to convert Gura and Mehazu. Mehazu shook his head while Gura grabbed the hilts of his twin Energy Swords.

"I did not want it to be this way. Now that I have drawn my swords, I must fight and kill you." explained Gura, going into a combat stance. Dao growled and grabbed Yadun's Energy Sword.

"I thought you would've realised by now that we are meant to serve the Hierarchs and their holy cause. I shall transcend into a god, but you shall plunge into the depths of the Underworld! The Forerunners are dead, now the Covenant rule." Dao explained to Gura, who was not falling for Dao's heresy.

"You are a Heretic....thus you must be destroyed." Gura told Dao, a tear dropping from his eye.

"I'd like to see you try, Gura! I am younger and more agile." Dao boasted, his Energy Sword glowing a ghostly blue colour, while Yadun's Energy Sword stayed a plasma blue colour. Gura charged towards Dao, the swords clashing in a flash of spectacular light. Dao stared into Gura's eyes, sensing betrayel within them. "I am no traitor, I am a follower of the Great Journey!" exclaimed Dao, lifting his Energy Sword above Gura's head.

"The Journey is a lie, Dao! Do you not know that?!" questioned Gura, leaping away from Dao. Dao charged towards Gura and tried to slash at him, but the sword missed and Gura leaped back again. Dao remained where he was and opened his arms.

"The Great Journey shall bring us to godhood!" cried Dao. With that, several Sangheili in black Commando Harnesses beamed down from a Covenant ship above them, which was well cloaked amongst the stars. Also beaming down were two Mgalekgolo, extremely dangerous and armed with Assault Cannons.

"Dao, you are a fool. You will die a Heretic, just as you have lived as one." Gura told Dao, charging towards him. A Sangheili Commando leaped in front of Gura and fired its Type-33 Guided Munitions Launcher, or Needler. Gura stepped to his side, evading the purple shards, before stepping back in front of the Commando and jabbing it in the chest, splattering its blood onto Gura. The Commando fell back, dead. The Mgalekgolo unleashed bellowing roars and charged their Assault Cannons. Gura turned and ran towards Dao again. Dao's swords clashed with Gura's, until one of the Mgalekgolo unleashed a green glowing blast towards Gura. Gura leaped above the blasts and towards the Mgalekgolo. He landed behind the behemoths and lept onto the back of one. He drove one of his swords into the Mgalekgolo's back, making it roar out in sheer agony.

The other Mgalekgolo placed its Assault Cannon near Gura's crested helmet and charging it, its unearthly humming piercing Gura's ear. Gura quickly turned and his Energy Sword easily slashed through the Assault Cannon. THe Mgalekgolo then lifted its other, secondary weapon and tried to melee Gura. Gura evaded and struck his sword through the Mgalekgolo's neck. The blood of the behemoths had splattered all over Gura, the Lekgolo worms that made the Mgalekgolo now wiggling on the ground. The Sangheili Commandos unleashed another round of gunfire, Gura deflecting the shots with his swords. He moved gracefully in combat, not one scratch on his armour. Gura released several panting noises before slicing into two more Commandos, killing them instantly. Dao watched as Gura killed his forces with ease, not even slightly worried.

Chapter 13 - Dao's Heresy Part 2

1913 Hours, 16th April, 2553, Council Tower, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Upon the collapse of the last Sangheili Commando, Gura exhaled deeply. He was tired and old, which could cost him this battle. Dao stepped forward, the ghostly blade of his Energy Sword attracting Gura's attention. Dao was silent, but the humming of his sword could be heard. Gura stood, preparing himself. Rain fell upon them, soaking their armour and increasing the lethality of the Energy Swords. Gura breathed in and out because of exhaustion, indicating to Dao he was weak. Dao let a laugh escape his mandibles before going back into a combat stance. "Why do you bother to keep fighting? Your death is inevitable. I you think it is something to do with honour, you are wrong! Honour can only come from serving the Covenant and its Hierarchs!" exclaimed Dao, pointing his Energy Sword upwards and putting his left leg back. Gura looked down at his own Energy Swords before deactivating their blades and dropping their hilts. Dao watched as Gura fell to his knees and bent his head downwards.

"You finally accept your fate. I will deal the final blow, father." said Dao, walking towards Gura. Gura looked up and saw Dao's face. Dao's eyes were blood-red, his skin a dark shade of grey. Gura remained silent before looking back down. "You brought me into this world, but I shall take you out." explained Dao, the ghostly Energy Sword nearing Gura's neck. Dao stepped behind Gura, his left hand on his chest.

"I expected more from you, Dao. I thought you would save me until last. Your way of doing things is....questionable." explained Gura, a tone of disappointment in his voice. Dao's smile turned emotionless and cold as he aimed for the back of Gura's neck.

"If you had not refused my offer to join me, you would not be in this situation." said Dao, savouring the moment. Gura let a tiny smile come upon his mandibles without Dao noticing. "The way of the Covenant is the only way. Your death shall take us one step further along the Great Journey." smirked Dao, starting to lose track of things. He was caught up in the moment, the moment when he would reign superior to all other Sangheili. Power filled his head with heresy, his desires corrupting him.

"The Journey is all a lie!" exclaimed Gura, regaining his strength. Dao laughed before pulling his right arm back, the arm with the Energy Sword. Dao's mandibles twitched and he roared before throwing his arm forward. Gura leaped backwards in a spectacular backwards flip, landing behind Dao. Dao threw himself to his right and tried to slash Gura, but the old Sangheili grabbed Dao's wrist. Dao and Gura grunted as they tried to kill each other. Gura looked towards Dao and smiled at him.

"Why do yo smile?!" exclaimed Dao angrily, his eyes now filled with anger.

"I smile because you have been a worthy opponent. However, I doubt you will be my last!" answered Gura, starting to crush Dao's wrist. Dao, however, did not flinch or even show signs of pain, as adrenaline pumped through his systems. Dao grunted and panted before beginning to cry and exhale. Tears ran from his eyes as the adrenaline stopped pumping and he started feeling the pressure on his wrist. Gura lifted his right leg and kicked Dao's stomach, sending him into a nearby wall. The Energy Sword flew upwards before falling towards Gura. Gura caught the Energy Sword's hilt and ran towards Dao. Gura placed a hand on Dao's shoulder, making the angheili look up at him. Dao saw Gura with his Energy Sword and released a large, unbearable shout. Gura quickly punched the Energy Sword through Dao's neck, incinerating his voice box and destroying his neck bones.

The Energy Sword was now drove into the wall and Dao was left to burn. Gura watched as Jiralhanae soldiers broke through the city's defences and fought the countless Sangheili that resided here. Gura exhaled and shed several tears as he saw a wave of Sangheili wiped out by just a few Jiralhanae.

Chapter 14 - Restraint

0019 Hours, 17th April, 2553, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

The robed Sangheili was alone in Restraint's chamber. It was a huge room with inscriptions and pictures of famous battles and characters from history. The walls, floor and ceiling gave off a slight blue light. The robed Sangheili removed its robes and revealed the rest of its Combat Harness. It was a female. She heard doors open behind her, she knew it was the Hierarch that requested to see her. Restraint was not at all surprised by the Sangheili's gender. "So, you kept your word." he said, his voice dull.

"Yes, I came. Did you expect me to not arrive?" she questioned the Prophet.

"I will keep to my promise. But first, remove your helmet." requested Restraint. She unclipped and took off her helmet, doing as she was told. She placed it at her feet. Restraint felt more comfortable now that she had removed the fiersome helmet. He sat back in his Gravity Throne. "Good. I have a mission for you." said Restraint, looking at the Sangheili in the eyes. "I want you to find and annihalate the High Prophet of Tolerance. He has sinned against the Covenant Empire, speaking words of heresy. After his death, find and kill the High Prophetess of Release." explained Restraint, his voice getting louder, although it did not escape beyond the walls.

"I understand, Hierarch. I shall do as you command." replied the Sangheili female, picking up her helmet. She placed it onto her head and clipped it on. Restraint watched as she turned and walked away. However, he clicked his fingers.

"For now, you will stay here!" he commanded with a smile. The Sangheili stopped and turned. "If you want your brother to live, you will stay here." he explained. Suddenly, a holographic screen appeared in front of Restraint. On the screen, a Sangheili male fought against a large Kurjir without an Energy Sword. He had been fighting for several days and this was his second foe. The female Sangheili, anger in her heart, turned and grabbed her Energy Sword.

"Give me a reason why I should not kill you now?!" demanded the Sangheili, activating the superheated energy blade. Restraint sat back and smiled.

"If you kill me, the rest of the Covenant shall know and your brother will die." answered Restraint, placing his hand outwards. "Now, come here!" he demanded angrily. The female Sangheili ran towards a now angry Restraint. She leaped into the air and threw her sword-wielding arm ahead of her. The Energy Sword pierced through Restraint's chest, the heat incinerating and obliterating his organs. Restraint let out gurgling noises before falling to his side and out of the Gravity Throne, which fell to the ground. The female Sangheili landed on her feet and ran towards the doors.

She stopped upon hearing a sound behind her. She turned and saw that one of the walls had opened. Inside the wall was an ancient relic, a relic that was older than even the Sangheili themselves. It was a Forerunner helmet, kept perfectly balanced on a white pedestal. Her eyes widened as the helmet shined as if newly constructed. She approached it, passing Restraint's body. She stared at the helmet's dark visor. She went to pick it up, but however, something was not right. She could feel something in her stomach that told her not to touch it. However, she wrapped her fingers around the helmet and lifted it. Underneath the helmet was a small clear cube. Inside this cube were several dark green spores.

Chapter 15 - The Spores

0024 Hours, 17th April, 2553, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

The female Sangheili placed the helmet at her feet before observing the tiny spores within the cube. They were perfectly preserved, and the Sangheili knew where the spores were from. She wrapped her fingers around the cube and held it to her face. The spores glowed from dark green to light green and back to dark green. Why would a Hierarch possess this? she asked herself. The mystery deepened for her, but she would have to leave soon, otherwise her brother would die at the hands of the Covenant. She focussed on the cube and looked closer at its surface. She saw tiny inscriptions on the cube's flat surfaces.

She turned and knelt down to Restraint's body. She grabbed her Energy Sword with her right hand, holding the cube in her left. She stood and ran out of the room. The doors closed behind her and she ran through the corridor. Titus walked around the corner, the Fist of Rukt in his hands. "Where do you think you're going?" questioned Titus, gripping his Gravity Hammer. The Sangheili stopped and looked up at him.

"Please, we've got to move. Do you know what these are?" she questioned Titus, not expecting an answer. She lifted the cube up for Titus to see. Titus simply groaned and grabbed the cube, his grip pushing down on it. The Sangheili ran past Titus, who still had the cube. He grunted as he tried to break the small object. Suddenly, he heard a noise that was similiar to glass smashing. He looked at his hand and saw pieces of the broken cube. After several seconds, his arm went numb. He groaned in pain and dropped the Fist of Rukt. The numbness spread to his torso, his other arm, and his legs. Suddenly, extreme pain occured all over Titus's body. He let out a roar, but soon it was silenced by a familiar groaning.

Out of his mouth erupted several tentacles and blood. His fur shed quickly and his body started to rip. The groaning got louder as the pain intensified. Eventually, a minute later, his body exploded in a burst of Jiralhanae blood. What was left was the large and bulging body of a Flood Carrier Form. Tentacles waved about in the air and the Carrier groaned. It heard footsteps running down the corridor. It turned, seeing two incredibly confused Jiralhanae. "What in the name of Rukt is that doing here?!" exclaimed one of them. Suddenly, the Carrier exploded, releasing many Flood Infection Forms. These small but annoying creatures leaped onto the Jiralhanae and wrestled with them. They whipped them with their tentacles before forcing themselves in through the Jiralhanaes' mouths. The blood of the Carrier was splattered onto the walls, which were quickly being replaced by Flood mass.

The female Sangheili leaped into the arena where her brother fought the huge Kurjir. The mighty beast was on top of him, about to deal a killing blow. However, the female Sangheili ran over and jumped onto the Kurjir's back. She struggled to keep on, but then stabbed the creature through the back of its skull with her Energy Sword. The Kurjir dropped dead and the Sangheili jumped off. She turned to the male, who stood back on his feet. "Ghida, you returned." said the male Sangheili happily. Ghida smiled at her brother.

"Turesh, I would not let you fall to these tyrants." Ghida said to him, running over and wrapping her arms around him. They hugged for a minute or so before pulling away upon hearing a noise. They turned, and Ghida's face had an expression of fear come upon it when she saw the reanimated body of Restraint, possessed by the Flood.

Chapter 16 - Dawn and War

0912 Hours, 17th April, 2553, Kolaar Mountain Base, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Thel yawned as he saw two of Sanghelios's suns rise over him and his group. He opened his eyes and witnessed Mimim sleeping on his legs. Thel kicked Mimim off, waking him. "Huh? You make Mimim wake!" scowled the Unggoy upon landing onto the sand. The other Sangheili started to awake. Thel stood and stretched his body. Mimim grabbed his weapon before putting a new battery into it.

"My brothers, it is a new day on Sanghelios. But our goal is the same. We must return to the city and greet our people." Thel explained to them before walking several steps forward. His group joined him, along with Rtas. The suns heated the sand underneath the Sangheili's feet, slowly cooking them to death. However, Sangheili can endure a lot of pain and hardship. It was what they evolved for. Mimim, however, was not. In one hand was his Plasma Pistol, in the other hand was a sharp rock. Mimim was hoping to find something to use as a substitute for Scrub Grubs, which he often hunted and smashed on Covenant ships. He panted as he walked, until he sensed something, something small and quick. He stopped, the Sangheili ignoring him. Mimim turned and hopped onto a bunch of rocks before climbing over then. These rocks were pitch black and had small chunks of them nibbled away by erosion and the small organisms Mimim sensed. He heard scuttling and nibbling nearby.

He placed his arm over a rock and hauled himself up. He grunted sorely. He fell and sighed before getting back on his feet. He looked around and saw where the noises were coming from. Small, blue, woodlice-like bugs scuttled over the black rocks, nibbling on them. Nearby, a large cave entrance. Mimim did not care for it, instead using his sharp rock to try and smash these bugs. He laughed happily upon smashing one. Nearby, hiding in the darkness of the cave entrance, was Kor and Fal. "He is an Unggoy traitor. We must eliminate him!" exclaimed Fal, preparing to fight Mimim. Kor just stood, weary. He was not one to fall into traps or situations easily. Fal leaped forward through the cave entrance, screeching at Mimim. The Unggoy turned and, in a moment of confusion, launched the sharp rock at Fal. The rock sped against Fal's right arm, cutting deep into his skin. Fal fell to the ground, grasping his arm in pain. Mimim walked over the Fal and kicked him in the stomach. Kor then launched himself at Mimim, leaping on top of him.

"I will make you suffer, Unggoy!" screeched Kor, scratching Mimim's mask. Mimim, now angry, threw a punch, whacking Kor's head. However, Kor was unfazed and simply threw a punch at Mimim's chest. Mimim fell back, landing on some heated sand. Kor jumped onto Mimim and repeatedly scratched at Mimim's mask. He was trying to detach it from Mimim's face.

"You not take Mimim down, Kig-Yar!" exclaimed Mimim, headbutting the Kig-Yar. Kor fell onto his back, but was still in a mood to fight. Kor and Mimim raced to their feet and launched themselves at each other. Mimim's right arm wrapped around Kor's neck, and Kor's right claws pushed against Mimim's head. They landed, in a grapple of death. Mimim kept tightening on Kor's neck, while Kor kept straining Mimim's head. Mimim choked while Kor coughed up blood, spilling it onto Mimim's arm. Mimim and Kor spluttered until one of them fell silent. Blood covered Mimim's arm, while Kor was covered in his own blood. Mimim released his arm, letting Kor drop, dead. Mimim panted, exhausted from the fight. Fal stood and screeched, but as he did, the superheated blade of an Energy Sword easily cut through the back of his skull. Thel pulled the Energy Sword away from Fal, whose lifeless body dropped.

The Sangheili had noticed the large cave entrance and saw Mimim and the Kig-Yar by chance. Thel knew this place well, as he had come here before. It sparked a flashback within his mind. He was fighting an elderly Sangheili in the running stream within the cave, which was lit by fire. He remembered fighting this Sangheili for an hour before the Sangheili eventually fell to his knees and Thel decapitated him. Thel gasped upon seeing the Sangheili's face in the flashback. This was the cave where he and the Sangheili Elder, Koida'Vadam, fought. He remembered that after the fight he threatened Koida's lineage to leave the State of Vadam or die. "Arbiter, what shall we do now?" Rtas questioned Thel.

"We shall journey onwards into the cave." answered Thel, his flashback fading away.

Chapter 17 - The Duo

0032 Hours, 17th April, 2553, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Ghida and Turesh stepped back from the Flood. Restraint's body as grotesque, with tentacles potruding from its neck and torso. Its skin was a brownish yellow, and it look horrible. Ghida took another step back before releasing a cry of battle and ran towards the Flood. She spun in a circle as she reached them, slicing them with her Energy Sword. As she sliced the Flood, a Jiralhanae Combat Form landed behind Turesh, who had heard it grunt as it landed. Turesh turned and grabbed the Combat Form's head before swiftly pulling it away from the body. This came of no use. Instead, the Combat Form simply grabbed Turesh before throwing him into the ground. Ghida ran over and drove the superheated blade into the Flood's torso. For the Flood, this was extremely painful.

A mixture of Jiralhanae blood and Flood liquids poured out of the wound as the Combat Form fell to its knees. Ghida spun again, slicing the Flood in half. "I thought these things were dead!" exclaimed Turesh, who searched the Flood corpses for weaponry.

"Restraint had spores from the Parasite hidden behind a wall within his room, in a cube that was placed underneath the helmet of a Forerunner." Ghida explained to Turesh, who was now activating an Energy Sword he had stolen from one of the bodies. Ghida turned to Turesh and smiled at him. The siblings were ready to fight the Flood. At that moment, a figure dropped from the ceiling. It was not Flood, but a Sangheili. It wore a purple Assault Harness and was carrying a Type-50 SRS in its hands, with a Type-51 Carbine on its back. This was Usze'Taham. He was a Covenant Separatist, like Turesh and now Ghida.

"So, it seems that you have unleashed another wave of parasites." Usze said to Ghida, his voice sounding deeper when spoken in the Assault Harness. Turesh and Ghida prepared to fight Usze, as they did not know his identity. Then they all heard the familiar sound of gunfire. They all turned to see a Sangheili in a light blue Combat Harness. He was firing at several Infection and Combat Forms. This was N'tho'Sraom. He was attacking with his Plasma Rifle, which did almost nothing to the Flood.

"Die, parasites! If you get up, I shall kill you again!" exclaimed N'tho, pulling harder on the trigger. The Flood screech and growl in pain, but keep coming at him. Usze held the Particle Beam Rifle up to his eyes and aimed towards the Flood. He activated the beam, which came out as a lengthly lightning blue line of energy. The beam went straight through the torso of a Jiralhanae Combat Form, making it screech out in agony. N'tho leaped backwards and joined the four of them.

"N'tho, destroy them with a Plasma Grenade!" ordered Usze. N'tho nodded and grabbed one of the Plasma Grenades on his belt before throwing it at the Flood. It exploded in a spectacular blast of white light, disintegrating and blowing the Flood to pieces. They all sighed in the knowledge that they are safe for now.

"Who are you?" Turesh questioned Usze and N'tho suspiciously. He gripped his Energy Sword tightly before spreading his mandibles to their sides in a slow manner, which is the Sangheili equivalent of putting the middle finger up to somebody. N'tho stepped towards Turesh, but Usze placed his arm out before N'tho could do any harm.

"I am Usze'Taham, a Covenant Separatist. This is my partner, N'tho'Sraom. We are here to investigate your presence here and assassinate Titus, the Jiralhanae leader." explained Usze calmly, moving his arm away from N'tho.

"Titus is dead. The parasite consumed him shortly after their release. He became the host for more parasites." explained Ghida, tears in her eyes as she told them due to witnessing Titus's gruesome death earlier. "I came here because the Hierarchs captured my brother, Turesh, and threatened to kill him. I had to join and do the Hierarchs' work in order to keep him alive." she explained further. Turesh hugged his sister, who hugged him back.

"We must leave this place immediatley," said N'tho, "before the parasite overwhelms and consumes us all."

Chapter 18 - Defend and Protect

1941 Hours, 16th April, 2553, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Gura was amongst the crowds hoping to push back the Jiralhanae. He pushed past his people, trying not to hurt them. He saw the flying bodies of Sangheili citizens landed both in front and behind him. Blood splattered onto his armour, but he was unfazed and kept on moving. Students from the War College were part of the massacre, using all they could against the attackers. However, the Sangheili were up against more than Jiralhanae. Several Mgalekgolo and three Type-26 Assault Gun Carriages, or Wraiths, were on the Covenant's side. Also, waiting behind the attackers were loyal Yanme'e soldiers, ready for battle. Gura witnessed one of the Wraith charging a powerful blast. As the blast was released, Gura evaded as it exploded into a large ball of white energy. He was lucky, as the charred and burned bodies of Sangheili warriors lay scattered after the blast.

Gura watched as the Yanme'e flew into the air and brought green, sickly fire upon the Sangheili below. The blasts killed some, while others were protected by their armour. Gura zoned out, the noise fading and his vision sharpening. His instinct was controlling him. He had examined the battlefield and saw, near the back of the frontline, was a Jiralhanae holding a Particle Beam Rifle. Time seemed to slow down as he saw it. Suddenly, he zoned back in and gasped as the beam was shot. He quickly evaded, leaping to his left. He landed on the ground with a hard thud. He opened his eyes and looked up to see the huge body of Titus staring down at him. Gura kicked his right leg into Titus's stomach, but he seemed unfazed. Titus grabbed Gura's leg and lifted him off the ground. Gura was swung in circles and screamed in agony as his leg felt as if it would just be pulled out of its socket. Then, Titus let go, throwing Gura into a wall.

Gura was knocked almost into unconsciousness, but he could still see what was going on around him. His hearing was impaired for several seconds before returning. He tried to get onto his feet, but stopped when he saw that the Covenant had already slaughtered many Sangheili. The Wraiths were soon to be destroyed, however. They were being swarmed by warriors, and one Wraith had its drivers beheaded within seconds. Gura tried to smile, his mandibles aching. Suddenly, his throat felt as if a clamp had crushed it with a sudden jolt. Titus's hand was wrapped around Gura's neck. Gura started to cough up blood before spitting it into Titus's face. Gura was thrown to the floor, blood leaking from his torso and head. Titus laughed as he drew the Fist of Rukt that resided on his back. It started charging with blood-red energy, heating the blade attachments. Gura turned onto his back and stared into Titus's crazed eyes. Titus let out a roar of triumph as he brought the Gravity Hammer down on Gura.

Gura's blood drenched Titus's coat as the Fist of Rukt crushed Gura's body under extreme force. Titus continually beat Gura's body, ripping off limbs and throwing out organs. Titus roared angrily before exhaling deeply. He calmed himself before turning around and walking towards the Assault Carrier behind him. It was airborne, so Titus was beamed up in a blue glow. Meanwhile, the Sangheili had ran out of most of their options. However, flying in from above were three Type-26 Ground Support Aircraft, or Banshees, equipped with two glowing devices on each. The pilots were suicide bombers and the devices were the explosives. The Banshees flew downwards towards the attackers. The Sangheili crowd stopped swarming and immediately backed off or ran. The Banshees hit the ground, causing three massive explosions to consume the Wraiths, Jiralhanae, Yanme'e, and unlucky Sangheili.

The Assault Carrier, known as the Light of the Darkness, lifted away, firing on the city as it did. Buildings were left in ruins, many lives were lost, and the Sangheili Council's leader was dead. Sangheilios was falling to the Covenant more quickly than expected. The only thing that delays Sangheilios's conquering are the battles in Sangheilios's atmosphere that are fought between the Covenant and Sangheili.

Chapter 19 - Resurrection

0914 Hours, 17th April, 2553, Kolaar Mountain Cave, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Flood mass intoxicated the air with spores. The walls glowed a light green amongst dark green crust. The mass has even grown within the water, infecting those who would drink it. Next to the source of the water contamination, which was a large ball of Flood mass, was a familiar skeleton, a skull laying at its feet. The skeleton wore tattered and bloodied robes. The skeleton was of a Sangheili. It was an Elder, decapitated by an Energy Sword. A Flood tentacle reached out from the darkness, a growling sound coming from behind. The tentacle wrapped itself around the skeleton before releasing a gas filled with Flood spores which layered the bones. Then another tentacle came out from the darkness and grabbed the Sangheili skull before they both dropped the skeleton and the corpse into the Flood mass ball in the water.

The group ran through the cave, weapons at the ready. They had smelt the presence of the Flood and noticed the subtle changes in the water. Thel was leading. "The Parasite is back! We must destroy it before another outbreak occurs!" ordered Thel, his Energy Sword glowing brightly. Thel was not wrong. Nearby, Infection Forms hid in the crevices in the cave walls. It all happened too fast to remember. One of Rtas's men was jumped on by an Infection Form, quickly being killed and morphing into a Combat Form. Rtas shifted his head to his left, witnessing the transformation.

"On your guard!" demanded Rtas, turning and lifting up his Plasma Rifle. Multiple shots were fired, but the Combat Form was unaffected. Instead, it detected the group and ran towards them. Rtas kept firing, determined to finish it off. However, he only shot off its left arm. He fired several more times before placing his hand on his Energy Sword and swirling in a circle. In mid-swirl, he activated the Energy Sword, which easily sliced through the Combat Form. Green liquids fell out of its gaping wound before it fell to the ground, dead. Rtas panted for several seconds before hearing a swarm of Flood heading their way.

"We cannot just sit and let them take us. We must do something they will not expect." Thel said to the group before looking at Rtas. A devious smile crossed Rtas's mandibles before both he and Thel turned their attention on the incoming Flood. There was more Combat Forms than Carrier and Infection Forms, but they would still need to be careful. Inhaling a deep breath, Thel and Rtas let out a loud war cry while they ran towards the enemy.

The onslaught lasted for two minutes. Flood liquid splattered onto the walls, with the Sangheili causing their deaths. Thel lifted his knee before stomping on an Infection Form. "If you see the Parasite, do not hesitate to kill." Thel ordered, recieving a nod from Rtas and his soldiers.

"We acknowledge your command, Arbiter." replied one of Rtas's soldiers. Meanwhile, nobody had noticed Mimim has vanished. However, he was not far. Wrapped around his body was a dark tentacle. Mimim kepts grasping onto his mask, to avoid the oxygen, which was filled with Flood spores, giving the air a green tint. Mimim was also holding his Energy Pistol in the other hand, but he did not have the flexibility to turn onto his back and fire at the tentacle. Instead, he was forced to watch as hope got further and further away, and impending doom got closer.

Chapter 20 - Sacrifice

0102 Hours, 17th April, 2553, State of Vadam, Sangheilios

Turesh punched a Combat Form with his strong, bony fists. They easily smashed through the decomposing being's skull. The Combat Form let out a painful screech before being shot in the stomach by Usze with his Carbine. The being spluttered and gurgled for several seconds before falling to its knees and dying. N'tho repeatedly shot at an incoming Combat Form with his Plasma Rifle, shooting off its left arm. But the Combat Form still had its powerful right arm. The creature was about to unleash a powerful slash that would've surely killed N'tho, but before it could, Ghida's Energy Sword sliced through it at the shoulder. Ghida then spun in a circle and sliced the creature in half at the torso. N'tho and Ghida stared at each before nodding. Turesh was used to fighting opponents without a weapon, but he would use one whenever he gets the chance.

"These Parasites expect us to die," Turesh growled, "but they are unaware that we will fight to the end against them! We will not die easily!" The Sangheili were now near the centre of the base. Not far away, a large sphere of Covenant origin was producing energy for the base to run on. N'tho kicked through a Combat Form before noticing the energy core.

"We could use that against the Parasites! If we are able to get it to overload and explode, it will destroy them!" N'tho exclaimed. Usze blasted through the head of another Flood before turning to N'tho.

"Fool! The Parasite will follow us! One of us needs to create a diversion." replied Usze, reloading the Carbine. Ghida paused upon hearing Usze's words. Turesh had to take down the Flood coming at her. Ghida was in a daze, but soon, upon hearing the sound of a massive wave of Flood, she came back into reality.

"I'll do it." Ghida said. The Sangheili turned to her. "I am of no use to you. I wanted to free my brother, even if I have to die to accomplish that." she carried on. Turesh walked over and growled with a tone of anger.

"Get out of here, Ghida! As long as you carry a weapon, you are of use! Just go and escape these Parasites!" he exclaimed, placing his hands on her shoulders. Ghida put her hands around Turesh's arms and pushed them away from her.

"Brother, I will not have you die! You are free, I want you to enjoy it!" she said, tears forming in her eyes. Turesh ignored Ghida and grabbed one of N'tho's Plasma Grenades. He threw it at the energy core, with it being soon to explode.

"Now, run! Before we all die!" he shouted. Usze and N'tho nodded to Turesh and ran. Ghida was not prepared to run. "Ghida, go! Now!" Turesh ordered. Ghida glared at her brother for one last time before turning back and running with the other Sangheili. Turesh watched as she ran before turning to the incoming Flood horde. "I will not die in vain!" he declared before running towards the horde, using just his fists as his weapons. The Sangheili who were running had found a wevicle storage room. Usze pointed towards several Banshees.

"Quickly, we do not have much time!" he announced. Ghida and N'tho grabbed two Banshees adjecent to one another. Then Usze quicklyy got into a third Banshee. The Plasma Grenade exploded. Turesh unleashed a single, eternal war cry before the blast disintegrated his body and many Flood. The Banshees flew quickly around the base that was soon to be rubble. Ghid knew that Turesh was dead, but that his sacrifice was not in vain. However, it seemed like that the three of them would be consumed by the blast. They continued upwards, where they saw a light.

"Just one last push!" exclaimed N'tho, a tone of determination in his voice. They continued upwards.