The Halo Effect

Sangheili Adopted Time

March 3, 2553

Shadow of Intent

The Arbiter enters the bridge of the Shadow of Intent, to see that Ship master R'tas Vadum is looking at the holographic image of Earth. He looks up to see the Arbiter then says, "Things look different without the Prophet's lies clouding out vision."

Looking at R'tas, the Arbiter responds, "Fear not, Brother, for we have made it."

R'tas continues, "But I would like to see our home. Just to know it is safe."

The Arbiter walks to a gravity throne and takes a seat. R'tas salutes by placing his right arm across his chest and said, "By your word, Arbiter."

The Arbiter says in his authoritative voice, "Take us home."

R'tas looked at the Arbiter and said questioningly, "Would you like to address the fleet before we enter slip space?"

The Arbiter thinks for a moment then said, "Yes, I would. Our warriors need words of encouragement. It has been a long war. Everyone must be tired and weary."

A few moments later, a channel was opened to all of the ships of the fleet. The Arbiter spoke, "My fellow warriors. The war is over! There are a few stragglers left. They will be dealt with as they show their mongrel hides. There shall be peace. The Humans will not attack us. And we will not attack them. There will be talks of trade between our two worlds. We are going home. The Humans are rebuilding their home world. We shall send a small fleet of Sangheili builders and Huragrok to help them upon our return to Sangheilios. I am sure there is some rebuilding, that will need to be done on Sangheilios. Our eyes are open! Let them never close again!"

All the Sangheili let out a roar of agreement. The whole fleet of Sangheili was glad to be going home. Some of them hadn't seen their home in many years.

The Arbiter turned to the navigation specialist; a seasoned veteran named Mi'rand Saram and said, "Enter slip space now."

Mi'rand checked the settings on the screen then said, "Excellency, according to my calculation, we will be in Sangheilian space in twenty-four hours."

The Arbiter replied, "That is satisfactory."

The Arbiter looks at Ship master R'tas and says, "Come let us go rest. Mi'rand let us know if there is any trouble."

Twelve hours into the journey, Mi'rand gets on the intercom and says, "Arbiter and Ship master, you must report to the control room, now!"

A few moments later, R'tas and the Arbiter enter the bridge and looked at the view screen. The Arbiter was the first to break the silence, "What am I looking at?"

Mi'rand replied, a subspace storm. It came out of nowhere. It is engulfing the entire fleet. I am not sure if it will alter our course. We won't know until we exit."

Citadel time

March 4, 2183

Citadel Tower

"Sir, we have a large number of unidentified alien vessels approaching Citadel space," Joe Campbell, one of the traffic controllers, gulped nervously.

"Try to make contact," the supervisor replied with a worried look on his face.

"Citadel tower hailing unidentified fleet. Please respond," Joe said trying not to sound nervous.

Shadow of Intent

"Ship master, there is a large object coming on the radar!" the radar specialist, a red armored major named Na'she Shadol yelled.

"On screen," replied R'tas Vadum.

The view screen flickered to life with an image that made both R'tas and the Arbiter's mandibles drop. The Arbiter was the first to speak, "Is that another Ark? By the Gods! Let us pray the Covenant doesn't find it. How far are we from Sangheilian space?"

Na'she replied, "Unsure. We came out of slip space soon than planned. We could have been thrown off course due to the storm. Calculating star charts as we speak."

The communications specialist, young Sangheili named Ilb Gatram, nearly leaped out of his seat and said, "Arbiter, Ship master, we are being hailed!"

"Let's hear it," replied the Arbiter calmly.

"Citadel tower hailing unidentified fleet. Please respond," the voice said.

"Who do you think it is? It doesn't sound like any Covenant. In fact the voice sounds Human. Answer them! I would prefer not to be blown out of the sky," the Arbiter said nervously.

"Yes, Arbiter," Ilb turned to his control panel and pushed a few holographic buttons and said, "This is the Sangheilian Fleet of the Arbiter's Justice, we come in peace."

Citadel Tower

Joe Campbell couldn't believe what he was hearing and said, "Sir, we have a response. They said they come in peace. But it is a new species. They call themselves, and I hope I'm pronouncing it right, Sang- hei- li."

The supervisor quickly replied, "Get all the Council on the wire! Tell the fleet to come to an all stop until we contact them again. Also, get Commander Shepherd on the line, we may need his help."

Twenty minutes later, "I trust this is important to have a meeting like this," the Salarian Councilman responded.

Councilman Anderson said calmly, "What has the tower control in such distress?"

The tower supervisor replied, "An alien fleet approaches."

The Asari Councilman replied as calmly as she could, "Is it the Reapers?"

"They said they come in peace. They have technology unlike ours. They didn't need to use the relays for Faster Than Light Speeds," the supervisor said almost frantic.

The Turian Councilman said, "I think we should allow a delegation party of three to land on the Citadel. Let's meet these so-called Sangheili. There will be armed guards. Commander Shepherd, I want you and your team there. We can't be too careful."

"I'll gather my team together. We'll be there," replied Commander Shepherd.

Shadow of Intent

The tower controller had transmitted the Council's message to the Sangheilian fleet. The Arbiter responded by saying, "I agree to your terms. I will prepare a delegation party."

The Arbiter turned to his most trusted friend and said, "You will come with me. I would also like N'tho Sraom to accompany us."

The Arbiter and his party attached their hooded capes to their armor then boarded a Phantom. The pilot was told to stay on board and keep a channel open in case there is trouble.

The Phantom docked at one of the many docking bays on the Citadel. The Arbiter and his companions were met by the first Human Spectre, Commander John Shepherd. There were armed C-sec guards posted near the Phantom. The Arbiter quietly said, "Is this necessary? I said before, Human, we come in peace. As a matter of fact we are allies."

Commander Shepherd replied, with a hint of confusion in his voice, "Just a precaution."

Commander Shepherd escorted the Sangheili delegates to the Citadel Tower, where the Council had set up a conference room. The Sangheili looked in awe at the surroundings of the Citadel. It had the environment similar to Earth and Sangheilios but it also had similarities to the Ark. All three Sangheili kept an eye out for flood and sentinels. R'tas leaned over and in the Sangheilian language said quietly, "Etisarap eht sah ecalp siht kniht uoy od? Ereh si ti kniht od?"

The Arbiter replied in a calm formal voice, "Wonk ton odi. Nepo seye ruo peek stel. Od ot tahw wonk uoy elbuort fo ngis tsrif."

Commander R'tas gave a quick chest salute and replied, "Drow ruoy yb."

Commander shepherd opened the door to the conference room and announced the Sangheili delegates to the Council. Councilman Anderson stood alongside the rest of the Council. He proceeded to greet then introduce the Councilors to the Sangheili delegates, "Greetings noble Sangheili. To my right is the Asari Councilor Linara. To her right is the Salarian Councilor Kinat. And finally to my left is the Turian Councilor Rauss. I am Councilman Anderson, Councilor for Humanity."

Commander R'tas looked at the Arbiter and whispered, "Retibra, fo eltit sa llew sa eman laer ruoy evig dluohs uoy knithi."

The Arbiter shakes his head in acknowledgment and all three Sangheili bow in respect to the Council.

The Arbiter looks at the Council and gestures to his right and in a formal tone that has a touch of bass to his voice, and with unbroken English said, "To my right is my second in command, Ship master of the Shadow of Intent, and Spec Op Supreme Commander R'tas Vadum. And to my left is one of our Spec Op Commanders, N'tho Sraom. And I am the Arbiter of the Sangheili and Supreme Commander of the Fleet of the Arbiter's Justice, Thel Vadam." All three Sangheili bowed in a gesture of respect and courtesy.

The Turian Councilor was the first to speak, "What is a fleet the size you have doing this far from your home world if it was not for invasion?"

Before the Arbiter could speak R'tas looked at the wall behind the Council and saw the date. He looked at the Arbiter and said nervously, "Retibra, thgir eb t'nac siht. Llaw rieht no ti syas 2183, tub eht raey si 2552. Etagitsevni ew litnu yas uoy tahw hctaw."

The Arbiter looked at the wall, thought for a moment. He nodded to R'tas then said, "Seilla erew ew dais inehw noisufnoc fo kool S'namuh eht nialpxe dluow taht," he turned to the Council and continued, "We were traveling to a nearby star system when we were caught in a subspace storm. When we came out of Faster Than Light Speed, we were here. We said before, we come in peace."

The Council looked at each other in confusion. Councilman Anderson, taking into account the wars that Humanity has fought and the up coming war with the Reapers, said in a voice that had a hint of hope, "Maybe we could forge an alliance without bloodshed."

The Arbiter replied, "I think that would be possible. Yes, we are a warrior race, but I think an alliance would benefit us all. Not just with numbers against our enemies, but the sharing of technology."

The Citadel Council looked at each other and all nodded in agreement. Councilman Anderson said, "As do I."

The Turian Councilman looked at the Arbiter and said, "Welcome to the Citadel."