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(Contains: violence/gore)
Name: Zireid 'Jar Takhai.

Species: Sangheili

Planet of origin: Sangheilios

Rank: Imperial Admiral

Current status: Unknown, presumed KIA.

Born into the small Takh family, Zireid was in love with the thrill of combat at a very young age. Sangheili females were never discouraged from fighting. They had to know how to defend themselves should their home come under attack. Zireid, on the other hand, was never content with the meagre training her sisters received.

She actively fought with and alongside her blood brothers during their training. The clan elders protested at first but her male siblings understood her better than they did. She was a warrior, just like them, and a strong one too. They were proud to have a sister fighter in their bloodline.

When Zireid was finally allowed to use her first practice sword, the elders told her and her brothers how much of an honour it would be to one day wield the noble Energy Sword; but more importantly, it was honour itself that gave a warrior purpose and direction.

Zireid took these words to heart. While the rest of her species worshipped the Forerunners, she worshipped honour above all else.

When the war with the humans broke out, her brothers were eager to sign up and prove their worth as warriors. Zireid was left behind, but this didn't bother her too much. She resumed her training and spent years refining her skill with the blade.

When word reached her home that her brothers were killed in combat, almost everyone was devastated. The elders were afraid there would be no male leader to uphold the family name. Zireid, on the other hand, took the news a different way. She believed her brothers were blessed to have found opponents strong enough to defeat them. This meant there were worthy adversaries out there, beyond Sangheilios, and she was eager to face them.

She redoubled her training and, more importantly, her studies. She drank in the knowledge of Sangheili politics to further her agenda.

Once her skill with the blade had reached a certain level, she was rewarded with the "ai" suffix in her name, given only to masters of the sword. When word spread about her prominence with the blade, Sangheili from all over came to her home in hopes that she would bear their offspring. Surely there would be a greater chance of passing along what they believed to be the swordsman gene if both parents had the skill.

Zireid was counting on this, but she had conditions. The suitors were to challenge her in single combat and, if she deemed them worthy, then she would have their child. Also, since Sangheili males were never allowed to know the identity of their fathers, her children would remain under her roof and carry her name. The fathers and their families would also pledge their allegiance to her clan.

If the terms were accepted, she drew her blade and her opponent would draw his. She had never lost a battle, but there were times when the fights ended in very close draws.

What she sought for in the fathers of her children wasn't skill with a blade, but honour. If her challengers accepted the outcome of the battle with dignity and showed her respect, then she would find them worthy, even to those she had defeated easily. If her challengers raged over the fact they couldn't defeat a female and treated her discourteously, then she would send them away or have them killed, depending on how honourless their bloodlines were.

As her influence and the number of her children grew, Zireid was able to gain enough power to join the Covenant military, despite the biases of her people.

When she had touched down on a human colony under siege for the first time, her enemies were not the strong warriors she imagined them to be. They were small, weak and their technology was primitive by the Covenant standards. Regardless, she fought and killed each solder she encountered.

When she saw human civilians running away or hiding wherever they could, she let them live. There was no glory to gain by killing the defenceless. She enforced that notion on the Unggoy and Kig-yar she was assigned. They didn't mind too much and they satisfied themselves with taking knickknacks and souvenirs from human homes. Whenever a Marine killed a member of her lance, she was honour bound to hunt down and avenge her fallen ally.

When her rank increased and she was assigned to fight alongside her fellow Sangheili, she began to question the views of her brothers.

During a campaign on a different human colony, she watched her brothers slaughter humans whether they were solders or not. She demanded to know where was the honour to gain by killing the weak and defenceless.

They told her that the honour was in serving the Prophets' will. Humanity was an unclean scourge that had to be eliminated from the galaxy. They were filth that stood in the way of the Path and had to be removed.

Zireid couldn't believe what she was hearing and she accused her brothers of compromising their integrity as warriors for the sake of religious belief. This created conflict among them as her words sank in. Her superior then told her that compromises were necessary for the Great Journey.

From that point on, she chose to fight alone.

During a campaign on another planet, she was tasked with locating a rallying point for the humans. Expecting a great battle, she used active camouflage to keep herself hidden as she tracked her prey. When Zireid found their camp among a series of ruined buildings, she saw a single squad of Marines standing guard. She revealed herself, activated her Energy Sword and sprang into battle.

She cut down the humans effortlessly and as she turned on the last Marine, he fired his Assault Rifle on her but her blade sliced through the weapon. The human dropped the rifle with one hand and pulled out a knife with the other but she cut through the primitive blade as well. She palm thrusted the solder into the wall. As he slid down, he grabbed his pistol and fired round after round at her but each bullet vanished as she blocked them with her Energy Sword. Moving closer to her adversary, she saw his other hand grab something from his belt and pull out a pin. She realized it was a grenade and dive rolled backward just as it exploded. The blade took a massive chunk out of her shield and if she hadn't dodged at the last second, she wasn't sure if she could have survived.

As her shield recharged, she stared at the corpse of her adversary for awhile before she engaged her active camouflage and resumed her mission. When she found the rallying point, she realized their intelligence was in error.

There was only wounded solders and frightened civilians. Medics, nurses and doctors were treating them as best they could with the limited supplies they had.

There was no fight to be had here. She turned back the way she came and found herself back at the site of the battle with the Marines. She looked down at the body of the solder who gave his life to protect them. It would be dishonourable if she didn't respect the sacrifice he made. She placed her hand on his head and vowed that his noble act will not be in vain.

She hoped that the lives she spared will recover from their wounds, grow stronger and become worthy adversaries.

Once she was taken off planet and back to one of the ships in orbit, she decided to gaze at the world through the holographic screens. Normally, she didn't look back on the planets the Covenant conquered. She usually returned to her quarters to meditate and discipline herself for the next battle. Now she wished to have one last look at the planet before they jumped to Slipspace.

Instead, she watched as her ship generated energy and shot a cleansing beam down to the surface. Other Covenant vessels in the fleet shot down beams as well. The glassing of a planet was something she had heard of but never seen with her own eyes. She was appalled as the orbital bombardment scorched the life on the planet. Anything that was down there had no chance of fighting back, including the lives she spared.

Is this what her species has come to? Where they truly warriors now or butchers for the Prophets?

She returned to her quarters and prayed to the Forerunners. She wasn't very religious but she did pray. On normal days, she thanked the gods for granting her the bravery and skill to become a strong female warrior and fight for the honour of her family. During the glassing, she asked the Forerunners if serving them was to act without honour.

If she was going to kill humans in large numbers, then she would do so when they could fight back. It took years but she was finally given her own ship. It was a simple frigate but she was content with it due to the lack of a cleansing beam on her vessel. She did not want to put herself in the position where she'd be obligated to glass a planet.

Zireid scored several naval victories, enough so that her ship was recalled to High Charity and join the fleets escorting the holy city to its destination: Halo.

Surely, this had to be a great honour, she told herself. Her crew members agreed and reminded her that the Great Journey was about to begin. When they arrived at the gas giant, Threshold, they found the sacred ring in pieces.

She heard that the one who destroyed it was a single Demon. She had heard rumours about the demons over the years. Most of the stories were exaggerated to the point of ridiculous but one thing they all had in common was that they were the most fearsome solders the humans had at their disposal. If one Demon could shatter the most holy relic in the Covenant religion, then the demons had to be the worthy opponents she had been searching for since she joined the war.

Aboard the bridge of her vessel, she was ordered to watch the viewing screens as they displayed the punishment of the Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice, the one who failed to protect Halo.

She stared in fascination and fear as the Jiralhanae stripped him of his armour and branded him with the Mark of Shame. She did her best to hide it, but she was terrified. Thel 'Vadamee had it all: Honour, respect and power. With one colossal failure, they were all taken away from him.

She was afraid that despite her years of service and hard work, all of it could amount to nothing if she failed as well. She thought of her children and the gruesome fate that would await them if they had the stink of failure in their blood.

Not long after they arrived at the remains of Halo, her ship picked up a transmission from an Elite named Sesa 'Refumee. Everything he said was heresy. The Prophets were false and they would use the faith of their forefathers to bring ruin to them all.

Zireid's crew members were outraged by his accusations but his words got her thinking. The Prophets certainly didn't seem to appreciate the Sangheili code of honour. Was there a hint of truth in this Heretic Leader's broadcasts or was he only trying to cause trouble?

High Charity and its fleets eventually left the ruins of the sacred ring and found themselves at another Halo. Almost immediately after they arrived, word had reached them that the High Prophet of Regret was assassinated by the very Demon who destroyed the first gateway to the Great Journey.

Then things went from bad to worse.

The Changing of the Guard had begun. The loyal and devout protectors of the Prophets were being replaced by Brutes. It wasn't just the Elite Honour Guards who were being usurped. All Sangheili aboard three fleets escorting High Charity were to be replaced by the Jiralhanae as well.

Zireid was beyond furious when her ship's new crew had boarded. She confronted the Brute command crew when they entered her bridge and she demanded to know the reason for this trespass.

The Brutes snickered and told her that it was a direct order from the High Prophet of Truth. They didn't question it, they were simply grateful for his blessing.

Talking slowly, Zireid told them that she had served the Covenant honourably for years. Was that to account for anything? They shook their heads and told her no. She and her crew were going to be assigned other duties but the ship was no longer hers.

Zireid reached for her sword and was about to slaughter the usurpers when she received a blow to the back of her head. It was her second-in-command who knocked her out. She regained consciousness in brief moments, this gave her enough time to learn that her crew members were afraid of the Prophets' wrath, of being left behind on the Great Journey.

The Brutes chuckled and pulled out Spikers to kill her but her crew told them not to harm her. They would take her away. The new Shipmaster didn't care in the slightest what happened to his predecessor. He simply wanted her off of his ship.

When she fully regained consciousness, she found herself on a shuttle headed for Sangheilios. Zireid wished she hadn't woken up. She should have been killed for disobeying the orders of a Hierarch. Her crew thought they were being merciful; but instead, they condemned her to a fate worse than death.

She was being sent home in disgrace and forced to live with her shame. Everything she had worked for was gone. The gods only know what this could mean for her family. She was a blight on her bloodline.

If she still had her sword, she would brand her arms with the Mark of Disobedience. The lines would be criss-crossed along the length of her arms so that all could see them and know her for what she is.

After losing all hope, the door to her quarters opened and she found her own navigation officer on the other side, telling his Shipmistress to come to the shuttle's cockpit. She reluctantly followed him and noticed her astrogation officer at the ship's controls. They had volunteered to bring her home.

They activated the shuttle's comm systems and showed her transmissions from High Charity and Delta Halo. The Sangheili Councillors were being slaughtered. Elite and Brute ships were engaging each other in space. The Jiralhanae were clearly attempting to eliminate their Sangheili rivals once and for all.

Zireid orders the shuttle to be brought out of Slipspace, turn around and return to the fleets so they may aid their brothers.

However, before they had arrived, they pick up another broadcast. This time, it's from the Arbiter. Zireid was shocked to find out this was Thel 'Vadamee, the former Supreme Commander who received the Mark of Shame. The Arbiter reveals to everyone who would listen that the Prophets had betrayed and lied to them all. He had proof from an Oracle that the Great Journey was a lie and that Halo was meant to be used as a weapon against the Flood, designed to wipe out all life in the galaxy. Not only that, but the Jiralhanae's attack was done with the Prophets' blessing.

The two officers aboard her shuttle roared in outrage at this revelation. Zireid, on the other hand, was silent. Something inside her had snapped. Rage was building up as her gaze fell on her brothers. They had betrayed her for nothing. These dishonourable cowards let the Brutes take away her ship out of religious fear. A fear that was groundless.

She grabbed a Plasma Rifle from the thigh of her astrogation officer, brought it up to his upper jaw and fired a burst that melted the top of his head. Her navigation officer was caught off guard by her attack. She aimed her weapon at him and fired until his shield was depleted. Shock and guilt made him weak and he was too slow to bring his own weapon up. Zireid easily disarmed him and knocked her former brother to the floor. He stared up at her in terror when he saw the hatred in her eyes.

She spread her mandibles and roared before sinking her teeth into his flesh and tearing him apart.

When her work was done, she looked up at the shuttle's controls with gore and dishonourable blood dripping from her mandibles. She stopped the ship and turned it around once again, bringing it back on its original course. She wanted nothing more to do with the Covenant. They could all die for all she cared. She was going home.

After arriving on Sangheilios and returning to her clan's estate, they were in near panic after hearing about the Great Schism. Initially, they wanted her council but when they saw her, her family quickly realized this was a different Zireid 'Takhai than the one they knew. She barely spoke to them and the hatred never left her eyes.

She tried to occupy herself with training or studying in the clan library, but her thoughts were always elsewhere.

Zireid used to believe her people were a strong, proud and honourable warrior race. Strong not only in body, but in will. Now, she realizes how foolish and naive she was. The Elites had allowed the San 'Shyuum to twist their minds and their concept of honour into a means that would only serve them. Her people became servants… No, pets. They were the pets of the Prophets. They did as they were told and grovelled for the approval of their masters.

Her distaste for her own species grew in the aftermath of the Great Schism. Many of the client races decided to leave Sangheilios, leaving the Elites to fend for themselves. She watched as her family and others struggled to get by. They didn't know how to farm, tinker with machinery or any other menial task they had taken for granted and let the other races do for them.

All they knew was how to fight, but for what? She had never questioned the purpose of combat before, but now as she watched her children train, she realized there was no true honour or glory to fight without a purpose.

Her species continued to seek out reasons to fight. They justifiably sought revenge against the Jiralhanae and the San 'Shyuum, but many wished to continue the war with the humans.

She had been there among the many gatherings and meetings around the planet and watched how disgraceful her people have become. Some wanted to eradicate the humans out of fear of them. Others wanted to continue fighting because the war was all they knew.

Such weak-willed cretins, she thought to herself. Letting fear and bias compel them to fight. Where was the honour in that?

That wasn't the end of her disappointments.

She had contacts among the many parties that were formed after the Covenant had shattered. Some of them had informed her that several Sangheili had become mercenaries. She felt sick to her stomach after hearing this news. Of all the things to fight for, they did so out of sheer greed? For money? How did her brothers not fall on their swords from the shame of it? They were now on the same level as the Kig-Yar.

She has also heard of splinter cells of the Covenant who are still in search of Forerunner artifacts, even if that means the destruction of human colonies. There were also factions on Sangheilios who declared war on the Arbiter for denouncing the Forerunners as gods.

Greed, power and false religion. Zireid felt ashamed to be Sangheili after seeing how far her brothers have fallen from grace, or whatever pedestal she had in her mind when she still believed there was honour in her race.

She had enough. Working quietly, she began to regain her power and authority.

Then something unexpected happened. The Prophet of Compassion, the Brute Army Commander and the Arbiter were able to bring a small part of the Covenant back together. Not for war, but for peace.

Afterwards, the Arbiter had shed his armour and took up the rank of Minor. Zireid understood that the mantle of Arbiter was essentially a death sentence, and to remove the mantle was the equivalent of starting his life anew, hence donning the blue armour.

She couldn't believe it at first. Thel 'Vadam proved his sense of honour and responsibility time and time again. Was there some hope left for her race?

She wanted to think so; but in her hearts, she knew this fragile peace wasn't going to last.

She silently recruited fanatics for what she had in mind. It was distasteful to her how easy it was to manipulate the Zealots. No wonder the San 'Shyuum had stayed in power for so long.

It wasn't long before she heard of Jul 'Mdama's activities. A planet with a living Forerunner inside. The thought of her brothers kneeling before another species was revolting, even one as revered as the Forerunners. Hadn't her kind learned anything from their slavery to the San 'Shyuum? Once again, they were willing to be the pets of some presumed higher power and let him dictate what is right and wrong, honour be damned.

When the Jiralhanae Alpha Male was killed, she was disappointed but not surprised when the Elites on the new council didn't try to reason with the outraged Brutes. They just fought their longtime rivals because they wanted to. It was the Great Schism all over again.

Her brothers couldn't be bothered to honour the peace Thel 'Vadam tried to create. That was the last straw. She was all but certain that her species was without honour, pride and nobility. Zireid began her endgame and announced that she was the new Imperial Admiral. Her followers didn't realize it, but she was going to drive her own race to extinction. If they wanted war and to die on the battlefield, then let them. They will die without purpose or honour.

But she wanted to speak with the former Arbiter and test his resolve. She wanted him to see the futility of his noble efforts.

In the chaos of this new schism, she tracked down 'Vadam's followers and learned they were going to find him. She had the Zealots follow their ship to wherever the former Arbiter might be with the orders of bringing him back alive.

Thel 'Vadam was the only hope left in her species. If Zireid was going to obliterate her own kind, she was at least going to give them a fighting chance.

It was the honourable thing to do.
OC Bio: Zireid 'Jar Takhai
I honestly don't have any plans to use her again, but I feel like she deserved to have her own story be told. I did give it a whole lot of thought.
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: violence/gore)
- Forsaken Voyage -

- Jiralhanae Alpha Male's quarters -

- November 3rd 2555 -

A tall Brute clad in red armour walks through the hallway leading to his quarters. On his back is the legendary Fist of Rukt, the most powerful Gravity Hammer ever made. The Brute Army Commander feels satisfied after a delicious meal of thorn beast, but he still feels tense.

He had heard of Thel 'Vadam leaving on an obscure mission. Then the Prophet of Compassion confided in the Brute that he and his guards were embarking on a personal pilgrimage to Delta Halo, to visit the site of his brother, Foresight's, death.

The Brute knows that leaves it up to him to keep the peace between the various races, especially between his own species and the Sangheili. Diplomacy and politics were never his strong suit but he gave the Prophet his word and he vowed to keep it.

As the door opens for him, he's suddenly hit by a smell that is all too familiar to him. The scent of death. The Brute cautiously enters his quarters and follows the stench to its source. Crumpled in the corner of the room is a Commando Sangheili with an Energy Sword by his side.

The Alpha Male takes another whiff and determines that the body had been dead for a day at least. Someone must have killed the Elite, broke into his quarters and dumped the body here. He reaches over his shoulder and grabs the Fist of Rukt, then spins around to face the rest of his room.

Hunting trophies, souvenirs from Doisac and memorabilia from the war decorate the interior of his chambers. The Brute Army Commander inhales through his nose and seeks out the scent of whoever brought the dead Elite into his quarters. He sniffs out a smell that's unfamiliar to him, but what troubles him is that he can not pick out a scent that's familiar to him, the scent of fear.

A red laser is fired from across the room and penetrates the armour covering his right arm. Furious, the Chieftain charges in the direction the laser came from and raises his hammer. He catches a glimpse of something small moving away before he brings the Fist down and smashes the floor.

He turns around and carefully scans the room but he can't see anything, but his nose tells him that his prey is close.

"Where are you?!" he shouts.

The Brute patrols his quarters and tosses furniture aside while seeking out his adversary. He hears something and turn around to face the doorway, where he sees a creature he's never seen before. It has a red exoskeleton, sharp appendages and a floating head with no neck and a single eye in the centre.

The Kriken bounty hunter known as Trace.

The Chieftain's shock upon meeting an unknown entity causes him to hesitate and give Trace the first strike. He starts to vanish before firing his Imperialist again, this time penetrating the armour covering the Brute's left arm. The angered Jiralhanae roars and aims the head of the hammer where the Kriken was last seen and fires a pulse of gravity energy. He makes a direct hit and sends Trace hurling into the wall.

Grinning now, the Brute activates the Fist of Rukt again and manipulates gravity to pull the Kriken towards him. As he prepares to smash the bounty hunter out of the air, Trace morphs into a small three-legged creature and the Chieftain narrowly misses his target.

The Triskelion latches onto the Brute and stabs the Chieftain with sharp limbs. He repeatedly impales the Jiralhanae's arms through the weak spots in the armour he created, tearing through veins, nerves, muscle tissue and bones.

The Brute goes berserk and drops the hammer before grabbing the Kriken and tossing him away. Trace lands and rolls on the floor before righting himself on his three limbs. The Triskelion crawls towards the dead Sangheili while the Chieftain struggles to lift up the Fist of Rukt. Only the adrenaline given off by his berserker state gives him the strength to pick it up but his injuries slow him down and the hammer is unwieldy in his grasp.

Trace changes back to his bipedal form as the Brute charges him with hammer raised. The Chieftain can see his prey pick something up using both arms but he doesn't care. The Brute just wants to see his red limbs splattered all over the place.

His wounds cost him dearly as they slow him down too much. Trace activates the Energy Sword, kicks off from the ground towards the Brute and stabs him in the chest. The Chieftan drops the hammer again, grabs Trace and headbutts him before he spots the dead Elite out of the corner of his eye.

The horrific implications of what the bounty hunter has done becomes clear to him. He looks down at the Energy Sword planted in his chest and realizes that the Master Packs will believe this was the work of a Sangheili assassin.

Trace frees himself from the Jiralhanae's weakening grip and admires his handiwork.

The Chieftan sinks to his knees and glares at Trace with all the hatred in his soul. With one act of murder and misunderstanding, the Kriken will undo all that he, Compassion and the Arbiter have tried to rebuild. Any hope he had for his pack brothers to know peace and progress has been shattered. They will sink into anarchy again, as they always have.

With one last growl, the Brute lunges for Trace but the hunter steps back and watches the Commander fall on his face. The Alpha Male gives in to despair and death.

Satisfaction fills the Kriken seeing how his plans and premeditation have paid off. Now to go back through the portal, return home and alert the Kriken Empire that a galaxy, drowned in chaos and war, is ripe for the taking.

He changes into the Triskelion form and prepares to leave, but he changes his mind as he approaches the door. He decides to crawl into a corner of the chambers and become invisible. Better to make sure his plan worked and witness the ensuing bloodbath himself.
Scent of Death
Back when I read The Return, in Halo: Evolution, I knew I had to dissolve this fragile reformation of the Covenant someday.

No one will ever know what really happened and very few will care.

- Planet M-2 -

- Mining shaft -

- December 2555 -

Deep within the Space Pirate fortress, an industrial-grade mining drill spins rapidly through the shaft, widening it, tearing off chunks of valuable ore and providing enough noise to lower the chances of being overheard.

Inside the control room, Weavel approaches the Pirate in charge and tells him that he'll take over his shift. The Zebesian snaps his pincers gratefully before departing. The bounty hunter operates the drill while waiting inside the reinforced glass room sticking out of the wall.

The door opens behind him and an Alpha Jackal enters the room. Dras keeps his hands close to his cutlasses as he approaches Weavel. The Kig-Yar is very nervous around the bounty hunter but he grimaces as soon as the drill starts up again.

"Turn that damn thing off!" he yells.

"Enhanced hearing comes with increased sensitivity, it seems," Weavel muses. "The drill stays on, Dras,"

"Fine!" The Jackal grumbles. "What do you want? You said something before about missing items?"

"Stolen items," Weavel corrects him. "I need to know what your people have taken and what you didn't,"

"Why would I tell you that? Why give you more dirt on me that you already have? I could just kill you right now and nobody would care,"

"I have nothing to gain by selling you out,"

"Am I supposed to take your word for it?"

Weavel takes out a datapad and thrusts it in Dras's hands.

"Take a look at this list and you tell me if you're the problem or not,"

The Jackal shoots him a look full of daggers before he starts reading through the list of missing items.

"How do you misplace a Scarab?!" He suddenly yells.

"That's a good question,"

Dras grumbles before he resumes reading. He sighs when he's almost finished.

"Ok, look. We may have sold crates full of Covenant weaponry, as well as a few vehicles, to some of the clans,"

Dras stops himself before he says where. They've traded with the clans on outposts like Ven III or those working for a four-jaws named 'Mdama. The Kig-Yar have flaws, but they would never betray their own kind to another species.

"Did you sell Locusts?" Weavel asks.

"No. Our buyers are more interested in Ghosts and Wraiths. They want weapons but Locusts are too impractical in combat,"

Weavel takes the datapad back and crosses out the items that Dras mentioned.

"Locusts have another use," he mentions.

Dras thinks for a moment before he says, "Yes, mining, but what's that… Wait, so's a Scarab,"

"Exactly. Several Shaktools have gone missing as well,"

"You think that someone is trying to mine by themselves through this rock?"

"Which brings me to my last order of business: The Huragok,"

"What about them?"

"Did you sell the Engineers as well?"

"I wish! Those gas sacs are worth a fortune. Unfortunately, it's not easy to pull them away from their jobs and they make a lot of noise when you try,"

"When was the last time you saw one?"

"On my way here, fixing the ventilation system,"

Weavel is silent for a moment as he thinks about what he should tell Dras. The Jackal senses his hesitation and grunts.

"Now you're just wasting my time,"

"Listen to me. When we first started capturing Huragok, most of the raw materials we steal are used so the Engineers can mass-produce themselves. Many of them were destroyed when the Mother Ship exploded, but we quickly brought their numbers back up with the resources we've acquired during our raids. If it weren't for them, we would never have built this place so quickly,"

"What's your point?"

"We had thousands of Huragok on this rock. Nowadays, we only see an Engineer once or twice a day. Where's the rest of them?"

It takes Dras a few moments to realize what Weavel is implying. He takes the datapad back from the hunter and looks over the list of missing items. Now, the Kig-Yar starts to get worried.

"Why haven't you gone to Ridley with this?"

"I don't have anything substantial to present him with. Besides, he doesn't trust me,"

"Is there anybody he does trust?"

"He trusted Kraid and the lizard is now a crater on Basis,"

"What about leads? Do you have any?"

Weavel glances at the rotating drilling machine while he thinks.

"Not really, but I have a hunch as to what I can look for next,"

"What do you need me to do?"

"You can stop stealing from us, for one thing. Don't tell anyone about this until I have had time to look through our computer records. I need to see if my hunch pays off,"

Dras doesn't like the idea that something could be wrong in his very own home. Outside threats are one thing, but inside? What's more, whoever's doing this is subtle.

"I'll try and see if I can find the Huragok or any newly excavated tunnels," he says.

"Now that, you can do," Weavel says before shutting down the drill. "Come on, let's go,"

Dras's claws remain close to his cutlass as they walk out of the control room together.
Haloid Part IV, Chapter 36
Sometimes it's the small things that go unnoticed that will have the biggest impact.

If you need help picturing the environment in this chapter, think about the mining station in the Agon Wastes in Metroid Prime 2, the one where you find the Darkburst.

I'm still trying to think about and organize the next chapter. My biggest problem is the issue of the timeline. How to determine the length of time between events in my story.

I recently learned that an upcoming Halo novel will not only take place in 2555, but on the ruins of the Ark, which means I'm screwed as far as trying to make this story as authentic as I possibly can. Anything taking place after the events of Halo 3 has always made me less than enthusiastic. Maybe that's why I'm not looking forward to Halo 5: Guardians as much as everyone else is. The reason for that is cause I'm worried about conflict between my story and the official canon. I love the canon but I also love my story. I want them to get along and not fight. :(

Expect a short story tomorrow. I'm still working on the OC bio of the new Imperial Admiral.
When I finished the latest chapter of Haloid, I realized it was a lot shorter than I initially expected, but it said what I needed to say.

So, I decided to work on a Haloid short story next and am currently working on an OC bio.

They should all be ready before the month is up.
  • Mood: Daily Needs
  • Reading: Alien: Sea of Sorrows
  • Watching: Achievement Hunter
  • Playing: Hyrule Warriors
  • Eating: Breakfast.
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(Contains: violence/gore)

- In orbit around Sangheilios -

- CSO Supercarrier, Purity of Thought -

- December 2555 -

Aside from brief moments of consciousness, Thel 'Vadam hasn't been awake in some time. Memories come in slowly, then pick up speed. He remembers fighting alongside his human ally, the Spartan, inside the Cartographer. They had found the map room, located the Library, then they were ambushed by Zealots. He was knocked unconscious and the thought of being left in such a vulnerable state angers him.

Before opening his eyes, he uses his other senses to analyze his environment. He appears to be standing, with his arms locked to his sides, much like he was when he received the Mark of Shame. He can feel the subtle vibrations of a ship's heartbeat beneath his hooves, indicating that he's no longer on the surface anymore.

The first thing he notices upon opening his eyes is the armour he's wearing. Thel 'Vadam is no longer wearing the blue armour of a Minor, but the armour of the Arbiter. Despite the new gold color of the suit, it feels exactly the same as it did when he last wore it.

He lifts his head and he finds himself in the middle of a circular room with a staircase at the far end leading up to a throne. Sitting on the grand chair is a female Sangheili clad in sophisticated armour with a cape.

Imperial Admiral Zireid 'Jar Takhai.

"Welcome, Arbiter," she finally says. "It is good to see you out of the role of the lowly Minor and back in your rightful armour."

Her expression reveals admiration, contempt and something else Thel could not identify.

Zireid sighs and shakes her head. "There was a time when I would have believed that the union of our bloodlines would have produced the next great hero of Sangheilios, but such days are past us now,"

She presses a button on the arm of her throne and the hovering shackles around Thel's wrists deactivate. The Arbiter brings his arms down and notices there's an Energy Sword holstered to his thigh.

"What is the meaning of this?" he demands. "Why have you brought me here?"

"You are truly something of an oddity among our species, Arbiter. How can someone who has fought the humans for as long as you have wish for peace with them? And why would you wish to reunite the Covenant after what the San 'Shyuum and the Jiralhanae have done to us?"

Thel wonders why his captor left him with a weapon, but he answers her question anyway.

"Because ceaseless war would only lead to mutually assured destruction,"

The Imperial Admiral opens her mandibles and laughs.

"And that is what makes you so strange! You want to avoid destruction through peace. Our brothers, on the other hand, wish for nothing but destruction and death for anyone they wish,"

She stops laughing and asks him,

"Do you know of what happened at Forsaken Voyage?"

The Arbiter hesitates as he recalls the pieces of information he's gleamed from his comrades and the Space Pirate prisoner.

"The Jiralhanae Alpha Male was killed,"


"Was he assassinated by Sangheili?"

Zireid cocks her head and thinks.

"So the Jiralhanae claim, but they were too busy squabbling over themselves trying to take possession of the Fist of Rukt and attacking our brothers to go into much detail. My point, however, is that the Sangheili on the council didn't try to reason or pacify the Brutes. When the Jiralhanae attacked, our brothers simply reached for their weapons and fought back. It was like the final days of High Charity all over again,"

Thel processes this information. The former Brute Army Commander had fought against the Space Pirates, learned of the San 'Shyuum's lies and approached him with a sincere offer to stop his pack brothers from enforcing the will of the Prophet of Foresight. Together with the Prophet of Compassion, they tried to rebuild the Covenant.

"What of the Prophet of Compassion? Where was he?"

"He and his personal guards went missing just before the Alpha Male was killed,"

He points his finger at the Imperial Admiral.

"Was it you who ordered his assassination?!"

"Why would I sabotage one of our only chances for peace? Despite its futility, it was a noble effort nonetheless,"

Thel can not get a good read on this female. Her intentions are completely unknown to him. She speaks as if peace was a noble effort and yet Usze 'Taham told him that she was opposed to peace with the humans.

Zireid resumes speaking.

"To answer your question, Arbiter, I had no involvement in his assassination. It could have been anybody. You are mistaken if you believe that I have control over all Sangheili fleets. There are dozens of warlords throughout space who lead the jagged pieces of the Covenant. I am merely one of them,"

"Then do not waste my time with talk, Imperial Admiral," Thel says as he turns his back on her and makes for the exit, only to find that the door is locked.

"Would you prefer to speak with swords instead, Arbiter?"

Growing frustrated, Thel turns to face her again and demands, "What is it that you seek? Why bring me here? Why declare war on the humans?"

Zireid laughs humourlessly, "Would it comfort you to know that I have no personal quarrel with the humans? Why would I hate the species whose destruction brought so much honour and glory for myself and my clan? I was grateful for their existence,"

The Arbiter grows more confused by the second. Zireid looks away for a moment and shakes her head.

"It is our brothers who continue to despise and loath the humans. I have merely come to terms with the true state of our race,"

"And what state is that?"

She looks at him again and the look in her eyes unsettles him.

"After the Great Schism, my eyes were opened in more ways than one. I saw how pitiful we were without the Covenant. Our people are warriors, but nothing else. From the moment we can walk, we are trained to fight, kill and die. All for what? Too few of our race knows how to farm, build, tinker with machinery or any other menial task. We have left these matters in the hands of the other species. We were too preoccupied with being the Prophets' warriors, following their every command until death,"

"The war has also corrupted the minds of our brothers. We have been fighting the humans for too long and there are too few left who remember the days of peace that came before it. Nobody wishes for peace. Our brothers only wish to do what they've always known and that is to fight,"

"You make us sound like warmongering barbarians!" accuses Thel.

"And that is exactly what we are! There are Sangheili who have broken the peace treaty and continue to raze human colonies in search of Forerunner artifacts. There are those who have sunk so low as to hire themselves out as mercenaries. Don't you see? Our brothers care nothing for honour, family and nobility. They choose to fight only for greed and power,"

"There is still honour left in our race!"

Zireid leans forwards in her throne and laughs.

"Honour, ha! Whatever honour we had was lost millennia ago when we surrendered to the San 'Shyuum. We have allowed them to bend and twist our concept of honour for their own benefit, just like they did to the badge of Arbiter."

She leans back against her chair and smirks at Thel.

"Tell me, was it honourable to slaughter the weak and the defenceless? That is what we did. We killed humans without discrimination, even the children and those who chose not to fight. We burned them from orbit where they had no means of fighting back. We did it all for the Prophets' favour. They made us believe that humans were unclean, faithless and desecrators of all that is holy. Honour meant nothing. We let our rage fuel us and we killed them without pity,"

Thel bristles at her words. During the war, he tried to preserve his sense of honour. He led more ground engagements than orbital bombardments. He gave the human solders a chance to reach for their weapons before he fought them.

"Don't you see, Arbiter? Our honour is as worthless as the Mantle!"


Thel takes his sword in hand and activates it. He can not stand listening to this madwoman any longer.

"If it is a fight you seek, come down from your throne so we may exchange blades. I will not listen to you insult our race any longer,"

Zireid snorts in derision at him.

"How predictable. Letting battle decide everything. That is another thing we have in common with the Jiralhanae. Like them, we cannot resist fighting. Like them, we devour our enemies, especially when they're alive. Like them, we fought over the Prophets' favour,"

Thel steps towards the throne and hesitates. He's still not certain what her intentions are, or whether she's goading him on. Zireid 'Jar Takhai stands up and removes her cape before climbing down the stairs. She doesn't appear eager to do battle. Her face shows disappointment, even a touch of boredom.

The Arbter steels himself. Even though she's female, he knows for a fact that she's a master of the sword, hence the "ai" suffix in her name.

"Have you no faith left in your race?" Thel asks her.

"All my faith was lost during the Great Schism. My brothers betrayed me. The San 'Shyuum and Jiralhanae betrayed us. That's when I realized what fools we have always been. Blind, deluded and battle-hungry fools,"

She smiles and the two Elites circle each other in the ring. She hasn't even drawn her weapon yet.

"I wish to see how far our pathetic species will go before realizing their mistakes, if we ever do. I will lead our fleets on a Great Journey to wipe out all of our enemies, starting with the humans,"

Thel almost attacks her at that very moment, but he can tell by her stance that she would be ready to counter in the time it would take for him to close the distance.

"Reigniting the war will serve nothing,"

Zireid laughs again.

"I agree, Arbiter, but it will satisfy the bloodlust of our race. We will finish the job of eradicating the humans or die trying. Once they're eliminated, we will focus our attention on the Jiralhanae and what's left of the San 'Shyuum. Then we'll destroy the Kig-Yar and the wretched Space Pirates. With our primary enemies eliminated, I'll have us destroy the Yanme'e, the Unggoy and the Lekgolo for their betrayals during the Great Schism,"

The Arbiter cannot believe what he's hearing.

"Once we have cleansed the galaxy, we will no doubt turn on each other, or perhaps during our crusade. It makes no difference. Our race is doomed to extinction or disgrace, one way or another. Our colonies will be destroyed. Sangheilios and her people will be reduced to-"

"This is madness! How can you condemn our people to this cursed path? I will not allow it!"

Zireid smiles wickedly at him.

"And that is what makes you special. You are the only one who thinks he can make a difference. The only one deluded enough to believe our people can know peace. You have fought the humans for as long as any of us. You were there when we were betrayed by the Jiralhanae and the San 'Shyuum and yet you still wish for an end to the fighting. You chose to shed the armour of Arbiter and don the rank of Minor to prove yourself all over again. Not one single Sangheili would have ever done that, but nobody can deny that it was the honourable choice,"

"Is that why you brought me here? To return me to my former rank and stop you?" The Arbiter asks.

The Imperial Admiral shakes her head. She wants to see if she can break him.

She swiftly grabs her sword, activates it and feints a charge before turning invisible. Thel had prepared to block her attack but then he sees her disappear. Luckily, his armour retains its active camo and he vanishes from sight as well.

"Would you endanger the children of Sangheilios? Even your children?" Thel's voice speaks from somewhere in the room.

Now Zireid's voice sounds angry.

"Since when have our people cared for life at all? The lives of children mean nothing to the clans! They are slaughtered without pity or mercy if even a single relative shows the slightest sign of weakness. As for my children, I once watched with pride as they trained hard, but now I see them as training to fight and die for some worthless cause like the rest of us,"

A blur of movement in the corner of the room and two swords clash against each other, followed by an energy dagger slicing through nothing before the air becomes still again.

"Killing me would accomplish nothing, Arbiter! Our brothers will continue to slaughter whomever they wish. Your attempt at reuniting the Covenant has only proven how little we care for peace. The Sangheili care nothing for honour and I would rather see us all die before we sink any lower!"

"Lower?" Thel's voice is enraged but curious. "I didn't think it possible for you to think less of our race,"

The Imperial Admiral deactivates her camouflage and turns off her energy sword. Her eyes show nothing but disdain, contempt and despair.

"If Jul has found what he claims, then there is no hope left for our species,"

"Jul?" The Arbiter reveals himself as well. "Jul 'Mdama? What has he found?"

"Requiem. He believes it is the resting place of the last Forerunner,"

Thel blinks in surprise. The Oracle told him that all Forerunners had died.

Zireid shakes her head. "If he succeeds in awakening this 'Didact', as he calls it, then our brothers will once again become the slaves of a false god,"

"Where is this Requiem?"

"He only shares its location with his most trusted followers. Their numbers grow by the day and soon many of my more zealous brothers will join him,"

The Arbiter remembers to keep his guard up while processing what he's heard. A living Forerunner. An Imperial Admiral leading her brothers to slaughter and self-extinction. Is there no end to this madness?

Zireid turns her back on him and returns to her throne.

"You tell me, Arbiter. Which is the least honourable course? Dying as savages or dying for a lie?"

Thel dislikes seeing his opponent turn her back on him. It's almost asking him to run his energy sword through her twin hearts, but is that what she expects?

"It doesn't have to be either way. Honour is not lost to us,"

Zireid laughs humourlessly as she sits back down.

"You are the only truly honourable Sangheili left and there are too few like you to make a difference. The number of human sympathizers is small and insufficient. Your followers may be loyal to you but not your ideals,"

An explosion is heard outside the doors to the throne room. Thel looks over his shoulder while Zireid smiles.

"It seems the mutiny has started sooner than I expected,"

"What is the meaning of this?!" Thel is confused and afraid. This madwoman keeps throwing one surprise after another.

"My fleet has been listening and watching all of this. Now they have come for my head,"

As the mutineers try to break through the sturdy doors, Thel wraps his own head around everything that she's said. Zireid leaves her throne and walks past the Arbiter.

"Do not try to help or hinder me or I will kill you too, 'Vadam. I do not expect to survive this; but if I do, I will not stop until our brothers realize what fools they are for mindlessly seeking battle and for being the honour-less wretches we have allowed ourselves to become. If that means driving our race to extinction, then so be it,"

The Imperial Admiral activates her sword as the doors are blown inward. The Arbiter merely watches in the background as she charges into battle, deflecting plasma bolts as she leaves the throne room.

Thel 'Vadam glances at the empty throne, then down the corridor where she left. Energy blasts, explosions, alarms and the cries of dying Sangheili fill the ship. The Arbiter realizes that these noises bring no joy to him. No exhilaration or anticipation of battle. Instead, those sounds seem hollow and meaningless.
Haloid Part IV, Chapter 35
I've been thinking about this chapter for years.

I had more things to write about, more about Sangheili culture and all that, but I think this is enough.

I was inspired by the state of Sangheilios after the war in the novel Halo: Glasslands.

I'm tempted to write an OC bio of Zireid 'Jar Takhai so you can understand her motivations and the root of her hatred for her own people.

I'm also thinking about writing another short story detailing the truth behind the death of the Brute Army Commander.


Current Residence: Canada
Favourite genre of music: Video game music.
Operating System: My brain.
Shell of choice: Sniper or Shotgun.
Skin of choice: The kind I was born with.
Favourite cartoon character: Ruby Rose
Personal Quote: We all live in a glorified insane asylum we call Life.
When I finished the latest chapter of Haloid, I realized it was a lot shorter than I initially expected, but it said what I needed to say.

So, I decided to work on a Haloid short story next and am currently working on an OC bio.

They should all be ready before the month is up.
  • Mood: Daily Needs
  • Reading: Alien: Sea of Sorrows
  • Watching: Achievement Hunter
  • Playing: Hyrule Warriors
  • Eating: Breakfast.
  • Drinking: Beverage

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speedracerdude511 Featured By Owner Edited Feb 6, 2015  Hobbyist
Thanks very much for the fav, it means a lot
KiraiMirai Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the favourite on R.I.P Monty Oum (1981 - 2015)
Llama jump Here's a Llama, special for you!

Nitroraptor Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aqua311 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015
Nitroraptor Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like your stories
Aqua311 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2015
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoy them. :)
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JCPencilz Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, thanks for the continued support, man! Really means the world to me!:D
Aqua311 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015
You're welcome. :)
Nin10dohgirl Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014
Hey, Aqua! Long time no see:D
Aqua311 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014
Yeah, I guess.
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