Chapter 1 : Shunned, Scorned & Scared
The elegant Covenant ship glided swiftly through the cosmos towards its next target. Ship Master Ruis Basamme stood in the centre of the bridge looking over the expanse of holo-screens showing him the stars beyond the purple walls. The small planet they were headed for now filled the centre expanse of monitors. It was… unique, the prophets had said. The mighty Forerunner had given specific co-ordinates to this holy land, and Ruis had been given the honourable task of locating anything of importance. He was excited, for not only was this his chance to shine in the eyes of the mighty Gods and Prophets, but his third son was to accompany the warriors sent in. His son had failed combat school, something that deeply annoyed Ruis. He had been ridiculed by others, but now he had a chance to help his son reclaim some honour.
Deep below in the belly of the ship Trak Basamme was resting on his hard mat cleaning his new blue armour. Trak deeply resented his father, but even worse he resented the society he was born into. He did not like the way of the Covenant, he wanted his own destiny, his own choices in life. He did not want to be like his father, a mindless slave to the Prophets. But to speak his views out loud meant certain death, the volume determining the pain he would be put through before the final slice.
He was an anomaly, born with defects at birth and shunned ever since. His arms were much shorter than any of his brothers, yet considering his whole body was smaller than usual this did not matter. He was already approaching the age of becoming a true warrior and yet he was only six feet tall. The most shocking 'defect' though was his mind. He did not carry the violent, senseless psyche of his kind. Trak was a careful thinker, more closely related to the scribes of Aribus than the Warriors of Sangheili. He did not care though; he knew his Great Journey lay outside of that of his brothers.
The orders came. The drop would be in twenty units. Trak followed his contingent into one of the many phantoms and awaited the battles to come. He held his plasma rifle in hand, his long fingers gently running over the smooth lines. His pistol was safely secured to his armour, next to a small box that held personal items. His team members gave him scornful faces as they secured themselves in next to him. Trak knew why they hated him so; they were a close nit team and he had been forced on them by his father.
The phantom rose from the deck. The others looked excited, Baj Lhib looked out over his troops. His eyes lingered for a moment on Trak and the lower mandibles twitched in annoyance. But he let his gaze continue and took a seat up on the opposite side to Trak.
The small vessel suddenly became weightless as it left the artificial gravity of the main craft, but soon the sheer velocity took over the strain. Trak felt his body being pushed against the cold metal suit. He did not like drops, even the training ones had resulted in him expelling his intestinal content. The ship became warm, then hot. The atmosphere of the planet whistled past, the sound violent, almost like a hundred souls screaming at death. Trak clutched at his stomach, the move jerky in the tight confines of the transport. The elite next to him turned his head and snarled at Trak.
After what seemed like an eternity the phantom levelled out and normal gravity returned. Trak breathed a sigh of relief, but he knew the battle had not even begun yet.