Sume ‘Vodall, Intallation-10, Library, 11/29/2558
‘Where were the Grunts? They have the heavy weapons.’ Occium snorted trying to start a conversation noticing how quiet things had gotten.
‘The cowards will pay if they have not met their deaths at the hands of the sentinels.’ His brother announced his voice bouncing off the walls as though he was trying to yell at the distant Unggoy (Grunts).
‘Silence!’ Sume said with equal ferocity in his voice.
They came to another door Sume ordered Occium to use his “Key” to open it. The door led to a labyrinth of Data servers with terminals attached to them. ‘Interesting.’ The former Zealot said.
‘Hand, what are we looking at?’ Infius said looking at the tall monoliths.
‘We are in a library. This must be where they kept their knowledge. There are also no openings in the walls it is safe here.’ Sume said calmly.
‘Safe? And here’s hoping we’d face a real challenge!’ Occium said disappointingly.
‘We will wait here for reinforcements to arrive. Occium your key?’ Sume said extending his hand, he will not let this opportunity to find out more about the Forerunners pass by him.
‘Yeah what of it?’ Occium said holding his mummified human hand.
‘May I use it? There is vast knowledge hidden within these halls, knowledge the Prophets would not have wanted us to see. I must know it!’ Sume said with a mixture curiosity and impatience.
‘Fine here, if you find any information about the riches stored here make sure to share it, Hand.’ Occium said handing his coveted hand over to Sume.
Infius taking notice of their conversation decided to look through the information with Sume. They found a terminal that had the same hologram found on the doors they used to get there. Sume swiped the hologram with the hand unlocking the terminal. The terminal seemed to use a multilingual system which text cycled through various languages as though it was waiting for the reader to say something to decide which language to use. ‘Stop.’ Sume said the terminal. It recorded and replayed the word and chose Sume’s language. ‘Impressive!’ Infius commented on the sophistication of the terminal.
‘What should we ask it?’ Infius said with excitement.
‘This question has plagued my faith even when I still revered them.’ He spoke to the terminal ‘How could such a race so advanced, considered gods by my people just vanish without a trace. Without a plan to reclaim the galaxy that was once theirs? Tell me what happened to the Forerunners before the Halos fired?’
The terminal decided to show the Elite a strange fleet of ships that were unknown to him they did not look like the Forerunner ships he had known about. The image was accompanied with a glyph of… The reclamation (The Covenant’s Holiest symbol) but here on this screen it was called the glyph of the reclaimers. Sume’s eyes widened when he saw this glyph Infius noticed the surprise in his commander’s eyes. ‘Brute, do you know what this means?’ Sume said with dread.
‘Uhhh. I didn’t care about the Covenant’s religion remind me what does that symbol mean?’ Infius said with confusion.
‘I forgot not everyone in the Covenant was not as invested as we were. That symbol is the glyph of the reclamation. The Hierarchs believed that they would be the reclaimers of the Forerunners place in the universe.’ Sume said looking to the floor.
‘So whoever these ships belong to are these “Reclaimers” the Prophets kept talking about.’ Infius said with curiosity.
‘Finally, it is time to see the truth behind our forefathers without Truth’s veil of lies clouding it. Terminal Who does that ship belong to?’ Sume said with anticipation.
The terminal loaded an image of a what looked like a human. No was human but how? The terminal showed more images of human weapons, ships and culture. They were more advanced than any of the pathetic ships and weapons he had seen when he was a Shipmaster. Infius couldn’t help but notice the dates with these images that were dated over hundreds of thousands of years ago. These images also included these humans fighting the forerunners. They were in conflict, but they still considered them their inheritors? This boggled the two readers minds.
A noise struck the Brutes ears. Infius looked to his right and saw Sume snickering. Occium got up and readied his weapon in case reading the ancient knowledge caused his leader to go mad. His snickering turned into fully audible giggling then after viewing the images again thunderous laughter. Sume’s faith was shattered by 511 but now his own sense was stomping on the shards. The forerunners and humans were rivals? This had to have been a joke, Did 511 tamper with this information? No, he couldn’t have the scout team were the first beings to enter this facility since before the firing. The religion he had spent most, of if not all his life revering had been a lie every holy proclamation was, yet another lie told by the Prophets in their idiocy.
Sume activated his sword Infius jumped back in fear as he slashed the terminal, then again and again and again until it no longer functioned. His mad laughter echoed off the walls of the archives. After some time, he turned his head to the two frightened Brutes when his gaze met theirs he dropped his sword deactivating it.
‘Hand?’ Occium said approaching the Elite
‘How? How far does the web of lies the Prophets spin reach? How much blood is on my hands for their crusade, for these lies?’ He bellowed ‘How much blood have you spilt for these lies?’ he addressed the Brutes in front of him.
‘None I never believed in them in the first place. We only knew one truth that Atriox was unstoppable, that we needed to join him and his Banished before the Covenant tossed us into oblivion. With Atriox there is only truth, only blood of our own merriment not for their pathetic “Great journey.”’ Infius said.
Sume and the rest notice the door to the room open and seven elites quickly secured the room two walked to Sume and bowed. One was the sniper Elite from earlier he seemed to have gotten his comrade to safety and did as Sume requested, the other Elite was in an Ultra harness and his helmet covered his face. ‘Hand, the halls are infested with sentinels, allow us the honour to assist you in pursuit your goal.’ Honour what did even mean to Sume anymore? Everything that was honourable was a lie like the “Great journey” would have ended in a pointless death instead of transcendence, the extermination of the Humans, hell he was slaying his gods inheritors and what of those gods that saved everyone else but where so idiotic as to not save themselves?
Sume snapped out of it and accepted the specialists help. Sume looked to his right and saw a hologram of the Halo’s activation index. This device was the key to firing the Halo wiping out all nearby sentient life within 25,000 light years and Sume’s main reason for coming to the Library, so he would have the means to wipe out this particular sector of the galaxy and loot the nearby worlds the only catch was he would need to capture one of these “reclaimers” a human. ‘The Index… the Icon must be recovered with it we can access more treasures within this ring and please Atriox.’ Sume said almost believing his own lie he felt he did not need to explain his plan yet, he has still yet to pitch it to Atriox.
‘Very well, we must not be far off from the centre of this facility.’ The specialist said.
‘There are at least one Warlord and honour guard still alive but injured.’ Sume said looking at the blood trail.
‘Then we must not waste any time. Let’s move!’ The specialist ordered is men forward before Sume followed he handed something to him ‘This one said the sentinels here are a nascence this will help you bring them down, Hand.’ The specialist handed Sume a needler a weapon that fires homing projectiles that super combine (Explode) when enough projectiles hit a target.
The Elite Specialists were in groups of three, two were clad in standard combat harnesses and duel welded plasma rifles like the one Sume threw away and one in an Ultra combat harness and carry plasma casters heavy weapons that exploding bolts of plasma. All the Elite’s harnesses were painted red to differentiate themselves from their time with the Covenant or it’s remnants.
The team came across another door one of the Elite was about to touch the lock which would flood the entrance with sentinels Sume stopped him and ordered Occium to use his key (which Sume had given back to him) as the door opened two of the Elites joked.
‘Maybe we should send these two in first, they should be used to being cannon fodder.’ One said to the other about the two Brutes in their party.
‘Maybe we should get them to ask humans for help, seems as their race is so friendly with them.’ Infius said to his brother chuckling. One of the Elites growled at the Brutes in response to the joke.
How Atriox could keep Brutes and Elites from killing each other was beyond Sume. ‘Silence! Where are here to rescue the scouting team that came here which had an honour guard’ He glared at the specialists ‘and a Warlord.’ Then glared at the Brute brothers ‘The least we can do to honour them is to show the same comradery they do bleeding while you bicker like children not the hardened mercenaries Atriox wanted!’
The door opened, they entered some sort of laboratory with holding cells. Sume looked around and found two fuel canons something dragged the Grunts to this place perhaps the scout team was here. ‘Over here!’ one of the specialists said. Sume rushed over the Elite was standing in front of one of the holding cells Sume thought he found the Warlord or Honour Guard. He was disappointed to find that he only found the Grunts.
‘Oh merciful hand please forgive us!’ one said
‘We’ll follow you, polish your boots please let us out! Flood is here big sentinel says so.’ The other one said in terror.
Sume remembered back to when he was stranded. He talked with the guardian of the ring 930-Truthul Psalm he told Sume all about the Halo it’s function that it would not transcend him to godhood but reduce him to atoms. How it was a weapon designed to wipe out the Flood’s food source, but halos are also made to contain and study the Flood should they reappear in the galaxy after the firing of the rings. Psalm told him the fact that flood was stored on the weapon made to destroy it and also make sure they don’t get eradicated was a ludicrous idea on his builder’s part and purged all flood samples long before 511 and the Brothers of Lament arrived.
Sume ordered Occium to unlock the hatch on the back of the cell.
‘This is it, he’s pissed.’ One Grunt said.
‘Before we die I want to say I love you but nah I kinda like you though.’ The other said in hysteria. The hatch opened and… nothing.
‘We live! Oh yeah, we Live oh happy days brother, were free!’ the first grunt said flinging his arms in the air.
‘But what about big needles? We only have so long to live?’ the second Grunt said wrapping his arms around himself scared.
‘Who cares about tomorrow today is today!’ the first Grunt said flinging his arms up again but this time there is a clear snapping noise as the Grunt’s arms dislocated.
‘What happened?’ Sume yelled his voice echoing through the glass.
‘Big robot grabbed me and yap loop, took us to cell and said, “Your sacrifice will be remembered when we defeat the parasite.” I ask, “What’s going on?” Robot says, “You will be infected with terminal non contagou… tagniuo… con… contagious viruses to test its reaction to the Flood.” And I say…’
‘Enough!’ Sume said interrupting his story.
‘No, I say…’ The Grunt wanted to finish his story.
‘If you wish to keep your tongue then be silent.’ Sume said menacingly. The Grunt gulped and went silent. ‘We must find the others, now! And prepare them for transport.’ Sume roared.
‘Understood, Team one secure this Grunts exit, you’ he pointed to the Sniper ‘Carry his partner.’ One of the Ultras said and three elites exited to cover the main hall. ‘Can you walk?’ the sniper said to the intact Grunt he shook his head like a traumatised child.
The team entered the next cell block a new noise struck their ears laughing a Brute and an Elite laughing it must be them. They found them in adjacent cells.
‘See I told you we were too valuable to just forget about.’ The warlord said his head dress completely ruined.
‘Shipmaster ‘Vodalee I am still not used to seeing you amongst us faithless’ The Honour guard said coughing blood his voice raspier than when he contacted him via holographic projection.
‘Infius? Occium? Here? Our pack must be running short if you two mongrels were sent to retrieve me?’ The warlord said to his lesser packmates.
‘What were you infected with?’ Sume asked them both.
‘I do not know, but it has stopped the bleeding.’ The honour guard said coughing.
‘Whatever it was I can still fight let me out, Hand!’ The Warlord said impatiently.
‘Occium.’ Sume ordered, Occium unlocked both cells
‘Much better, you two I order you to help me take down the one who cut my life short.’ The Warlord
commanded the brothers as he stomped into the other room to pick up the Grunt’s fuel rod canons.
‘We’ll retrieve the Icon then settle your score’ Sume ordered just before they continued down the hall to the Library’s core.
‘If you go I will also, I have a score of my own to settle.’ The Honour guard said igniting his energy sword which instead of glowing blue it glowed a shade of blood red.
‘An executioner’s blade? Who are you?’ Sume said with reverance.