Truth had died. Finally, he had actually done something truthful. His death marked the single greatest loss of the Covenant in their entire history. The Empire quickly dissolved into nothing more than a small fraction of colonies that still remained loyal. They didn't prove to be a problem, and the opposing forces found no real reason to finish them off, they were too weak to fight. The Unggoy quickly surrendered to the Sangheili, and agreed to serve under them with loyalty. They were however, still rather cowardice, and mostly used as laborers. The Humans and the Sangheili signed an agreement that both species would remain loyal to their truce. With this agreement, embassies were set up on all planets that were controlled by the alliance. Including a Sangheili embassy on the city of Boston, and an embassy controlled by the Humans on Sanghelios, in the City-State of Vadam. There, a hundred Army soldiers, a hundred Navy units, and two hundred Marines were stationed in bases located on Sanghelios to help improve relations. One hundred and ten Marines and ninety Army soldiers were located to the Embassy, "just in case" as the politicians had said. This is where a young boy by the name of Joseph "the Rookie" Carmine comes in. He had just enlisted, at the age of twenty, to find purpose in his life. The war had just ended when he enlisted, which seemed like a good thing, since he wouldn't be out on the front lines dying.

Joseph, casually known as Joey, was born and raised in "the good parts" of Boston, born to a privileged family. However, his opinions often differed from his peers, and as a result, he was an outcast his entire life. He only had a few friends, all of which joined up directly out of high-school. Joseph, finding absolutely nothing else to do with his initially meaningless life, joined the Marines for excitement, adventure, and to do something that mattered. Unfortunately, he found the opposite of that. He was assigned to the Sanghelios embassy, with nothing but uppity politicians, and angry drill sergeants.

"Ashley, go help the Rookie. Poor kid can't tell his ass from his elbow." Sergeant Harry said, padding Ashley on the back.

"Alright Sarge." Ashley replied.

Sergeant Harry was a tall, imposing figure. Broad shouldered, and he had a loud voice that travels. Legend around base has it that Sarge yelled at his crew on a cruiser, and the Covenant could hear it. Sergeant had a shaved head, as did every other male Marine. He wore a patrol cap, and a dark brown fatigue outfit.

Ashley scanned the area for a moment, before she found the Rookie across the courtyard, polishing his combat helmet. He was sitting by a small group of Elites, who were all simply watching him. They seemed to be confused as to why he was polishing his helmet.

"Why would you do this?" An Elite asked.

"What? Polish my helmet? Because I want it to be nice and shiny for the brass." Joey replied. Joey, or Joseph Carmine, was only slightly taller than the other male recruits, though it was hardly noticeable. His head was shaved, and he preferred to wear his combat armor on base instead of his fatigues. For unknown reasons (even to Joey), he carried an excessive amount of combat knives, carrying at least three at all times. The most blades he's ever carried before was counted to nine, strapped along his legs, arms, and a few on his chest.

"Your kind confuses me."

Ashley shook her head. The Sangheili never really got the idea of cleaning armor. They preferred to leave their armor scarred from battles, to show how close to death they have come, without actually dying. Such things apparently call for respect among their kind. Ashley stood at 5'8, and wore light combat armor on base, and on missions. She had short-cut brown hair, just above her shoulders. Her most noticeable feature was definitely her bright green eyes.

On her way to the Rookie, Ashley bumped into Rico. Rico was the group's meathead. He constantly pushed around people of lower rank, hit on every woman on base, and offended every other species out there.

"Hey, you lookin for a date tonight?" Rico asked, leaving all forms of regret behind. Rico was a tall, tanned man. He played football in high-school, and in junior high. Unlike most Marines, he has short cut hair, not flat-out shaved like others. His hair is dark brown with small amounts of red mixed in.

"Get lost Rico." Ashley snapped.

"Whatever. You know you want me babe." Rico walked away.

Ashley shot Rico the finger as she continued towards the Rookie. She bumped into Doc Andrews on the way there, however. Doctor Samantha Andrews was the resident Combat Medic, with quite a history in the medical field, beginning when she was merely fifteen, but that's another story. Doc Andrews had shoulder length blonde hair, and always wore her Combat Medic uniform, a dark grey fatigue outfit with a small red cross on the left arm.

"Hey, have you seen Ryan lately?" Doc Andrews asked, staring own at her clipboard.

"No. Why?" Ashley replied.

"He needs a physical… send me a shout if you see him." Samantha walked away a few moments later.

This time, Ashley was dedicated to get to Rookie before anyone else interrupted her. She needed to get him straightened out so the elites didn't end up carving him like a holiday ham. She tended to baby the Rookie a bit, but he could handle himself in most situations. Ashley snatched the helmet out of the Rookie's hands.

"What do we have here? I thought Sarge told you to stop polishing this thing? It makes it too noticeable." Ashley mumbled, reaching down for a handful of dirt. She smeared the dirt onto the helmet, and handed it back to the Rookie.

A few moments later, the door of the Embassy opened. It was more like a gate actually, and it only led to the courtyard. The actual Embassy was inside the walls, approximately ten feet underground. Ten Sangheili walked into the courtyard, all of which had on elaborate armor. Except for one, who had a long, flowing pink and red robe. She/he also wore a small, but elaborate headpiece.

"Form up maggots! We got company!" almost all of the sergeant's barked.

All soldiers in the courtyard formed a line, one after another. They stood at attention, staring directly ahead. A few moments later, the Human Ambassador emerged from the undergrounds. He shook hands with the most decorated Sangheili.

"It's an honor to finally meet you Taro 'Vadam. I'm Edward Udina, and we'll be working together a lot." The Ambassador greeted.

"Yes, an honor my friend. I must introduce my daughter, Tara 'Vadam. And, I must look over your warriors."

Tara, the Sangheili in the robe, nodded towards the Ambassador. Meanwhile, Taro looked over the large line of Human soldiers. He also nodded towards his fellow Sangheili warriors. Taro stopped in front of the Rookie.

"This one is young… but the fire of a warrior burns in his eyes." Taro thought aloud.

"Might I ask why you must examine our men Taro?" the Ambassador asked.

"I would like to conscript a few of your men to watch over my daughter. I value her over everything else, and I need her to be protected. I am sure that your men, and my daughter, would all benefit from this. Do you agree?"

The Ambassador slapped himself across the face. It was a rather ingenious idea actually. Entrust his own flesh and blood in the hands of strangers. IT was an ultimate sing of trust and respect.

"I… of course. It's actually a great idea."

Taro walked along the line of soldiers again. He paced up and down the line at least three to four times, before he stopped in front of Joey.

"This one. He will make a good guard, I believe. Do you have arrangements for my daughter?" Taro turned to the Ambassador.

"Uh, arrangements?"

"Housing. A room, food, you should know of what I speak."

"Oh, of course she can stay here. We have plenty of Ambassador rooms, she can take her pick."

"Good… I wouldn't suggest my daughter staying here, but Humans out in the open this early might cause panic. I'm sure you understand."

"Of course Taro. Don't worry; she'll be safe with us."

"I would hope so. Make sure that the guards I picked stays with her whenever she is in the open. I will leave some of my guards to assist in this task."

Taro took a few steps back, and exchanged words with his guards. They nodded, saluted, and stood next to the Rookie. Taro exchanged silent words with Tara, before the two hugged, and Tara kissed her father on the side of the head. Taro nodded to his remaining guards, and they proceeded to the exit. Sergeant Harry and the Ambassador approached Joseph. The Sergeant padded him on the back.

"Congrats Rookie, you've just been promoted. Show the little lady to her quarters." The Sergeant said with a chuckle.