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Vadam Legacies: Deep Secrets

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40px-Terminal.png This article, Vadam Legacies: Deep Secrets, was written by Sonasaurus. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.
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Vadam Legacies: Deep Secrets
It is a dark time for the Interspecies Union. Once again, Autel 'Vadam must repress a threat that no one must know about. And this time, he is on his own.
Protagonist Autel 'Vadam
Author Sonasaurus
Date Published September 20, 2010
Length Unknown (Incomplete)
Author's Rating Unknown (Incomplete)
Previous Story Peril on Sanghelios
Next Story Last Stand
Story Series Vadam Legacies
Soundtrack
[Source]

Story

Prologue

Time 5:14:72 (Accuracy 1/10 to that of Forerunner), twenty-sixth sunrise shift of the fourth month (Sanghelios Time Unit), 2nd Age of Amelioration (Covenant Time Unit, based on Forerunner Time Unit)

Location: State of Vadam, Yermo, Sanghelios

1400 Hours, May 12, 2596 (UNSC Military Calendar)


In the distance, far from the State, a volcanic mountain's peak glowed in the still-dark sky of the dawn. It was not enough to cast light on the land below it, but the hot air from the mountain had made valiant attempts to warm the chilly morning air. Even in the early hour, there were numerous Sangheili up and about in the streets, attending their various tasks or taking long hikes into the Kolaar mountain range on the edge of the State.

Not even the more sharp-eyed residents spotted someone dashing through the back alleys. He was a large being, but moved with surprising silence and agility. His figure made it easy to see that he was not Sangheili.

After making his way carefully out of the State and up the Kolaar mountains, the alien double-checked that he wasn't being followed. Only then did he allow himself to slow down. He sat down on a boulder to catch his breath. Looking up the mountain, he observed his surroundings. He was on one of the lee-side sierras, and the slope was barren with rock, and the occasional plant and wildlife. The Vadam Keep was hidden away somewhere in the Kolaar, but it seemed that few knew of its exact location. The only ones to have successfully intrude on the Keep were the Fallen, but they had been defeated during the mid-Age of Amendment (as the Sangheili called it) and eliminated, by a certain team of Spartans...

As the first rays of sunlight broke over the horizon, the dark blue of the sky began to warm in colour. Light swept over the State below, and he could even see the Sangheili walking around it, looking like tiny grubs. He was surprised by the sense of well-being he felt here. It was mainly because the temperature on Sanghelios was around the same as his home planet's, if not warmer. But one usually didn't have time to take in things like that when they were in constant danger of discovery. And here, he was an enemy to everyone who knew he was here.

Almost everyone. I hope. It had not been an easy decision to come here, and he had spent many nights mulling it over, but he decided that the potential benefit would be worth the risk. He hadn't informed anyone, but either way, by the time the rest of his species found out about his trip, he would have carried out his task, or he would be dead.

Every once in a while, doubt would enter his mind, and be set back by his own uncertainty, which still lingered whenever he thought about it. He had tried to ignore it, and keep pushing himself forward, and now that he was here, on the Kolaar mountain and in one of his rare moments of peace, he still couldn't believe he had made it this far.

What was I expecting? Was I hoping to be caught, and killed as I convinced myself that I tried? Die with the illusion that I had wanted this so much? He closed his eyes, taking deep breaths and feeling the warmth of the sun, which now hovered high in the sky.

Answers. I need answers.

He opened his eyes, and stood up. Turning to face the uphill slope, he was about to continue his journey when he felt blunt metal jab into his back.

"Jiralhanae. Don't move. You are coming with me."



Chapter 1

Time 9:08:31 (Accuracy 1/10 to that of Forerunner), twenty-sixth sunrise shift of the fourth month (Sanghelios Time Unit), 2nd Age of Amelioration (Covenant Time Unit, based on Forerunner Time Unit)

Location: State of Vadam, Yermo, Sanghelios

1630 Hours, May 12, 2596 (UNSC Military Calendar)


"I need to talk to the Supreme Commander," the Brute said immediately.

The gun lowered slightly, but raised again. Involuntary movement. "What trickery are you up to?" The Sangheili's voice carried the same sharp tone, but there was a slight hesitation in it.

"You never were good at hiding your emotions, Kysa 'Vadam," the alien replied calmly.

"Do not test me. My squad will be here soon, and then we will deal with you."

"Call your squad, if you must. But hear me out at the very least."

"You are under no condition to bargain," Kysa said.

"If you take me to the Supreme Commander, you can kill me if what I have to say is of no interest to him. But your Sangheili honour dictates that you cannot kill someone who is unarmed and seeks counsel with your leader."

"You are not bound by such honour, Jiralhanae. You could be up to anything."

"I know you are interested to hear what I have to say. And you have nothing to lose."

Kysa hesitated again. At that moment, half a dozen Sangheili approached them from the rock cluster. "What is this barbarian doing here?" one of them asked.

"He wishes to talk to the Supreme Commander."

"That's ridiculous," a Major domo snorted. "Should we kill him, Field Master?"

"No. We will take him to the Commander."

"What?" the Major looked surprised.

"Do as I say."

The Jiralhanae's face didn't betray any expression, but he allowed himself a small smile inside. The first victory is mine, then.


The squad led him down the mountain again, but out of sight from the Sangheili in the State. "You are not taking me to the Keep?" the alien inquired.

"Do you think we are foolish enough to take you into our Keep?" Kysa asked. "In any case, the Supreme Commander is in Yermo."

So my efforts to go up the mountain were wasted. But it was a small price to pay, if this endeavour was to be successful.

The team brought him into a building set into a backstreet on the outskirts of the city. He was led into a fair-sized room, empty save one Sangheili.

"I need to see the Supreme Commander," Kysa said. The former looked slightly curious, but didn't say anything as he led the Jiralhanae out of the room, with the Field Master close behind.

They walked down a brightly lit hall and into a much larger room. There were four guards inside, two of them beside the door, and two of them standing on either side of another Sangheili, who was sitting behind a desk and reading a holographic diagram intently. He was older than them, but not enough to look aged yet. His skin was extremely pale, and was wearing silver armour trimmed with dark red.

They approached the desk, and Kysa bowed his head. "Commander Autel 'Vadam."

The Sangheili looked up. Spotting the Brute, his expression tensed slightly around his eyes, which were almost as pale as his skin, with just a hint of red in them. "What is it, Field Master?"

"This Jiralhanae wants to speak with you. He claims that it is important."

Autel didn't say anything for a moment. "Guards, leave us. And do not say a word of this to anyone." When they were alone, he said, "What do you want, Jiralhanae?"

"There is something I must tell you. I had discovered it a month ago when—"

"Get to the point," the Commander snapped.

"There is a secret I have found out, and your kind is in great danger. As are the humans."

"Tell me."

The Jiralhanae glanced briefly at Kysa. "It is for you to hear only. And the Imperial Admiral. Only later can this be disclosed to others—"

"I trust the Field Master enough with this secret you claim to have. Now spit it out before I lose my patience."

"The years have been hard for you, Autel. This war has made you bitter."

Autel looked away from him, the contempt clear on his face. "You are wasting my time, Jiralhanae. Tell me what you came here for, before I have Kysa take you out of my sight and have you executed."

The latter, not intimidated in the least, said, "It concerns your old friend...SPARTAN-D339."

The albino turned sharply towards him again. "What did you say?"

"He was the one who found this out, long ago. I did not know it until recently. And I came to you with all haste."

Autel's fist clenched. Letting out a long breath, he asked, "Who are you?"

"My name is Damenus. You may wonder why I am trying to help you. It is because of a Spartan who changed me, long ago. SPARTAN-D683, also known as—"

"Quantum Prime," the Supreme Commander finished, looking angry again. "He is no friend of ours."

"Those are the words of the Arbiter you are repeating. Once upon a time, you had disagreed with them."

"Some things are unforgivable. Now do not fuck around with me any longer. Tell me D339's secret."

Damenus thought back to the memory, trying to decide where to start. "It had happened like this..."


Time 15:27:61 (Accuracy 1/10 to that of Forerunner), fifty-eighth sunrise shift of the twelfth month (Sanghelios Time Unit), 10th Age of Amendment (Covenant Time Unit, based on Forerunner Time Unit)

Location: [CLASSIFIED]

1100 Hours, July 15, 2588 (UNSC Military Calendar) (8 years ago)


"Spartan!"

Wings-D339 turned towards the sound of the voice. He saw a Brute standing not far off, looking slightly nervous. For a split second, the Lieutenant Commander was tempted to raise his gun and fire at the alien. But he noted the urgency in the latter's voice. Sure, being in the presence of a Spartan was hazardous if you were part of the Covenant. But if the alien intended to kill him, he wouldn't have called out. And if he was trying to trick him (which the Spartan very much doubted), he could easily overpower the Brute.

Wings put on a sharp tone nonetheless. "Speak quickly, Jiralhanae. I've got a mission to complete today. And there are a lot of your friends I'm planning to kill."

The Brute's eyes flickered. "Are we alone?"

The Spartan paused. "Ocean?"

In response, all doors in the room hissed shut. "We are now," the AI replied, sounding slightly wary.

"Seeing as you're in such a hurry, we'll skip over how you got in here," D339 continued. "What do you want to tell me?"

"You are planning killing the Judicator." The alien said this not as a question but as a fact.

"So I am."

"The Covenant believe that this war is going to be over soon."

Wings didn't say anything, simply nodded in a way that showed neither his agreement or disagreement.

"Quantum Prime told me something, long ago. Something about the Prophet of Intuition."

"I know what it is. You don't need to worry about that, we've dealt with it already."

"But—"

"Let's just say that at the moment, we know a lot more about what's going on than the Covenant does. I'm guessing that you're Damenus."

The Brute nodded.

"Well, there's something I need you to do for me, then." Accessing his armour storage unit, the Spartan drew out a small, device that glowed a dim orange. It was perfectly spherical, and there was a single symbol etched on it. Wings held it out to Damenus, who took it and carefully stored it in his armour. "What do you want me to do with this?"

Before he could blink, Wings raised his rifle and knocked the Brute out. He stared down at the unconscious form of the alien. He hadn't actually expected to run into him, but it was very convenient. Of course, he could have given the sphere to Vena, but it would be less risky this way. And now he finally made sure that everything would work out, in case the Covenant did manage to surprise them in the upcoming battle. The only problem now was how to send Damenus back quietly. "Ocean, open the doors. And make sure there's no one in the halls." When she gave him the all-clear, he dragged the alien to an empty medical facility. He called Itzia via the COM, and waited.

She entered the room, and froze at the sight of Damenus sprawled on a bed. "What's going on, sir?"

"I need you to give him a memory agent," the Lieutenant Commander said. "Something that'll hide his most recent memories for a few years. By then it'll be safe."

Itzia frowned. "I'll see what I can do, sir. But I don't often administer stuff like that to Brutes."

"Do your best. If there's brain damage, I can live with that. But I can't risk having him interfere with our mission. And he'll do that as long as he remembers what just happened, whether he's aware of it or not." Wings decided not to mention the sphere.

The Spartan medic nodded, asking no questions. She knew that he would tell her what had happened if he felt that he needed to.

Gunnery Sergeant Zaitsev called Wings on his COM. "Sir? The Sangheili fleet just arrived. Commander Autel 'Vadam's on his way down."

"Acknowledged. I'll be out in a bit."

When Itiza was finished, she said, "Guess we'll just leave him somewhere to wake up?"

"Let's make it quick. The Covenant is going to be on top of us in a few hours." The two Spartans hauled Damenus by the arms and legs, and took him out of the medical facility.


Chapter 2

Time 13:26:51 (Accuracy 1/10 to that of Forerunner), twenty-ninth sunrise shift of the fourth month (Sanghelios Time Unit), 2nd Age of Amelioration (Covenant Time Unit, based on Forerunner Time Unit)

Location: aboard the Sangheili supercarrier Phenomenon, in orbit around Sanghelios

090 Hours, May 13, 2596 (UNSC Military Calendar)


"I am coming with you!" Vena insisted.

"I cannot allow that," Autel said. "It is far too dangerous, and I will not put you in danger."

"Father, I am hardly a child," she said. "I can look after myself."

"No, I will never forgive myself if you die," the Supreme Commander. "There is too much at risk."

"But that's why I must go! I know Wings as well as you do, and if he were here right now, he would know it is the right choice."

The albino sighed, and turned slowly to look into his daughter's eyes. His expression was filled with pain. "Vena, I have lost too many over the years. Fira is gone because I was not there beside him. Your brother Adra died in front of my eyes because I was not fast enough. Ryas was killed because I had a sliver of doubt despite his accomplishments. And that space bombardment gave us victory only because—"

"Father, this is important! And you are letting Kysa go."

Autel closed his eyes, letting out a long breath. Before he spoke, Special Operations Officer Dorod 'Koidam entered the room. "Excellency, you are needed at the control centre."

The Supreme Commander opened his eyes. "Thank you, Dorod. Please escort Vena...to her quarters."

At these words, Vena gave a slight smile, which was tinged with sadness, and left with the officer. They walked down the hall in silence, bypassing several other Sangheili attending to their various tasks. Her posture did not relax until she entered her quarters. The door slid shut between her and Dorod.

To her surprise, she saw that someone was waiting for her. It was Kopa 'Refum, her mate. He smiled and gestured at a nearby hoverstool, and she sat, beckoning for him to do the same. "What are you doing here?"

"The Supreme Commander invited me," he said. "He had a feeling you might want to come."

"Really? He seemed very reluctant to let me come along," she said.

"I can see that." His tone of voice suggested that he would rather have her stay behind too. Vena didn't miss it.

"I couldn't let him deal with this by himself," she said. "And I'd worry about my brother. And you."

Kopa tried to smile, but there was worry in his face as well. "It'll be a while before we return. And I do not know how many of us will return."

Vena stared blankly at the floor, thinking. "I wish..."

"You wish we had Spartans to help us."

She nodded.

"Maybe there will be. We will see."

Another nod, although she was thinking about a Spartan in particular. Not wanting to dwell on her thoughts, she asked, "How is Tuka?"

"Good. He is growing up strong, and the elders at the Keep say he holds great promise."

I hope so. Although Vena wished it didn't have to be so, she knew that her son would have to join the military when he became old enough. She would constantly worry about him, no matter how skilled he would be. One of the few things that marked him with a similarity to her were his eyes. They were almost pure white, with a hint of red in them. At times, he would see something in the future, although he couldn't discern what that would be. Vena didn't know whether Tuka's inherited trait was a blessing or a curse.

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