The Vociferous Voyager was an expeditionary light-cruiser, only 300 metres, dispatched by the Ministry of Tranquility to search the edges of Covenant space for habitable worlds, new sapient lifeforms, and most importantly Forerunner relics. It was currently in a distant orbit above an inhabited planet, one that the Luminary shows as scattered with hundreds of thousands of Forerunner relics. Of more immediate interest to the ship's Jiralhanae shipmaster, though, was the number of relics on an evidently cloaked space vessel in geostationary orbit above the planet.

A first contact package had been sent to the cloaked vessel, along with demands to relinquish the Forerunner relics. After hours of waiting, the Vociferous Voyager received its response in the form of lasers and subsequently destroyed the offending ship. Moments later, one of the bridge's Unggoy monitoring communications alerted Shipmaster Thrakkus to the reception of a first contact package from one of the largest population centers on the planet. Between the various Unggoy assigned to communications and the ship's machine intelligence, a basic translation matrix was available in an hour, and with it came Thrakkus' response to this "Mr. House", demanding that he give over all Forerunner relics in his possession and submit to the glory of the Covenant. The response came in the form of dozens of nuclear missiles. The Vociferous Voyager made for the source of these missiles, seeking to obliterate this threat, but was forced into a crash landing.

The ship was under attack, stuff was on fire, we were going to crash, and I was terrified. I hid in one of the maintenance tunnels the Huragok and Yanme'e use, hoping that maybe I might survive the crash onto the planet below. I was even terrified of surviving the crash landing, though. The planet below was uninhabitable, at least for my kind. I just hope I can find some source of methane down there.

It had all started so normally. My name is Yipyik, an Unggoy, and I had been monitoring for communications as usual. I'm a linguist and cryptanalyst, an integral part of the functioning of this ship and the Covenant itself, not that most Sangheili and certainly not the Jiralhanae would admit that. If only I were on a Sangheili ship. They aren't great, but there's a few good ones, and they're honorable. I don't much like honor myself, but I appreciate when other people abide by it. It makes them more predictable, less dangerous to me. The Jiralhanae, the brutes, they can be violently unpredictable, and have no appreciation for my work. Sometimes I think they deride it because they know it is beyond them.

I know I'd never done anything wrong to deserve this posting, and I prayed to the Forerunners for deliverance, but how likely was it that they'd act for a lowly Unggoy like myself? Well, now I just wish the gods' deliverance of this lowly Unggoy was less terrifying, and not in the form of some unknown new species. The thing caught us by surprise. We retaliated, or at least tried to, but that doesn't alleviate our own ship exploding and being on fire. Something must have gone wrong with the shields, obviously. There's no way they should have been so effective against us, especially considering how they seem to have almost entirely blown themselves up. Well, maybe they're just that good at blowing stuff up? Oh, if only I'd been assigned to a Sangheili vessel. The Sangheili would definitely have been able to overcome this new species. Whatever. Not like any of it matters now.

Well, ship crashed. I'm alive, I guess. I expected to be in more pain, but I'm hardly going to complain about that. Now I just need to gather up however many methane tanks I can carry and get out of this wreck before something else explodes.

Yipyik frantically scrambled out of the maintenance tunnel, into the badly lit corridor filled with exposed flaming electronics and the occasional corpse, and made his way to one of the Unggoy habitats without much hassle. From the looks of things, the habitat had been breached and it had exploded, killing all the Unggoy inside. He hoped he wasn't the only surviving Unggoy. He figured a fair number of the Jiralhanae had survived, but the ship was just a small scout vessel and had a relatively small crew. The few Kig-Yar aboard hopefully got crushed or smashed to death, with their fragile hollow bones that should so obviously make them inferior to the Unggoy in the eyes of the Prophets, but they were crafty and conniving, so at least one had probably survived to ruin his day even more.

He sighed as he looked around the ruined habitat some more, before leaving dejectedly and heading instead to one of the methane refueling stations scattered throughout the hallways. On his way, he pilfered spare methane tanks from the Unggoy corpses he came across and jury-rigged a carrying harness out of the bits of armor. Now he just had to make it out of the ship and find some relatively safe place to settle down, hopefully not too far away, given that the ship was his only known supply of methane. Who knew, maybe there was even life on this barren rock!

Finally finding a way outside the ship, Yipyik began to question whether he even wanted to leave. He also began to question his own sanity in previously hoping for life here. There was, indeed, life here. It was also shooting at Jiralhanae. Yet more questions, then. Were these aliens shooting at the Jiralhanae because they were giant, mean, stinky stupid brutes? Did the Jiralhanae antagonize these aliens? Stupid question, of course they did. Would the aliens shoot at him too? Could they be reasoned with? They were clearly intelligent, and might even have encountered holy relics given that they were using energy weapons, but beyond that Yipyik had no ideas.

Okay, new plan! Hide in one of the rations storage rooms! Wait, no, that was boring. But it was safe. But boring. But SAFE! No shooty aliens in there, and plenty of food, and the ship had enough methane to last him for years. But those shooty aliens would come into the ship, and there seemed to be a lot of them, and surely they would find him! Would he be safer inside the ship, or out in that wasteland? Ship, probably. But what about long term? Wait, the shooting stopped, and it looked like all the shooty aliens were dead, and the Jiralhanae were returning to the ship. Should he try to find safety with the Jiralhanae? No. Would be safer by himself. Hiding. YES! That's it! When in doubt, hide! Great idea. Brilliant idea!

Knight Captain Jerome was prepared to knock the door down, with Knights Cohen and Laramy stacked up outside the door to the shack. Laramy had said he'd seen one of the little crablike aliens scurry inside, and after sending the info up the Chain, it was decided that this was an invaluable chance to gain crucial intelligence on this new alien threat.

"Ready?" asked Jerome quietly into his helmet's radio pickup.

"Ready." came the responses from his two Knights.

With a swift servo-assisted kick, the door blew in off its hinges and Jerome rushed in, followed by Cohen and Laramy. They carefully swept the room, until all that was left was the area behind the counter. Cohen watched the counter, Laramy the door, as Jerome vaulted the counter and, quickly ascertained the alien's position. Then he did a double-take. The alien was there, but it was sitting on its ass with its hands in the air.

"WAIT! NO SHOOT!" it said.

"What." said Jerome.

"The thing speaks English?," said Cohen.

"Obviously" said Laramy.

"Must've learned it from studying us or something." said Jerome.

"You think it could be dangerous?" asked Cohen.

"We're in power armor, and we have plasma weapons" said Jerome. Then, putting his rifle away on the mag plate on his back, he made a 'come here' motion with his right hand, directing the alien to follow him, then made his way around the counter.

With Jerome leading, alien directly behind, and Cohen and Laramy covering Jerome, the team made its way uneventfully back to the bunker.