-The light you see at the end of a tunnel is the front of an oncoming train. -David Lee Roth
Captain R'Lamee stood rigid as Fleet Commander Vadamee circled him with something akin to a predatory challenge freely dancing within amber irises that threatened to swallow a pinpoint pupil whole. A sharp feeling of bitter curiosity tumbled off of Rdvas. He was interested in what the Fleet Commander wanted to do to him at that moment, no matter how malicious. Vadamee, currently, already dealt with scrutiny not only from other Shipmasters within his fleet, but most importantly, from the holy Prophets. Humans were able to break through his defenses despite his best efforts and touch the purity of Halo with their deceptive footprints. This failure of completing to do his job most definitely would ensure his inability to go on the Great Journey. Irritation and a slice of dread seemed to be his ever constant expression. Rdvas knew to take caution for this particular meaning. Any more failures would result instant death.
"A kaidon, Fleet Commander" The commander paused in his circling to face one of his many captains head on. Rivas lifted his chin a fraction, letting his mandibles part in stubbornness. Body language usually reserved for younger children, it meant that he was sure of his words and would accept any challenge brought against them. Vadamee observed Rdvas with scrutiny.
Shoulders stretched behind him, Rdvas spoke with a steady voice of reasoning, "This female demon, Fleet Commander, is what I believe to be of some valued significance to the Heretics. Through my observations I have found that this demon possesses some variation of leadership. The Forerunners themselves have spoke of the word. Further interrogation of other humans support my theories, Fleet Commander."
Vadamee tilted his head away from the captain. He was so sure of this, that he would take any challenge that Vadamee could present. Such a thing wasn't unusual in general, but when dealing with humans it is. The Commander tilted his head back towards the one who stood accused. "You believe this demon to be a Kaidon. You have claimed that the gods, the Forerunners, spoke to your mind. Yet, you have let another demon tread God Halo again with his filthy footsteps. That aircraft should have been obliterated!"
"My Lekgolo troops-"
"Managed to disgrace our gods further with their failure." Vadamee growled, low and guttural, "And because of these failures, you will not walk the Great Journey." Rdvas' head jerked upwards in sharp fury, pupils narrowing to slits as he glared at the Kaidon before him.
"Speaking with such sureness, Fleet Commander?" Rdvas hissed. "Do not be so smug. You will stand along with me, as the Prophets and all of those worthy take to the Great Journey, to achieve all that is sacred and holy. Brothers always, are we not?"
An echoing snarl and the crack of sturdy connected with tender flesh. Rdvas choked, instantly hitting the floor. Mandibles quivered delicately, then parted to release several teeth. The captain held his mouth, the searing pain unbearable. Fleet Commander Vadamee towered about the gold armored elite, mandibles still outstretched from his cry of outrage. "The only reason you bear your head, Rdvas, is I, myself. Were it not for my interference, the Jiralhanae would gnaw on your bones." Rdvas shuddered; once, twice. Repressing his emotions pulled the searing into a full-blown fire.
"This council is not to discuss the festivities of our father and your near-death as result. I have been called here by you to review the matters of this 'Kaidon Yassa' you spoke so surely of. Was I not?" Vadamee regained his composure as he regarded his half-brother, steadily inhaling and exhaling through his nostrils.
Rdvas, on his knees like a stumpy Kig'Yar, saluting his twenty years wiser brother. "You were, Shipmaster."
Thel scanned the male one last time. Offered his hand. Rdvas keened in apology, taking it at once. On his feet again, he attempted to close his mandibles to which Vadamee protested, "Suffer this. Otherwise, you will not learn your lesson." R'Lamee restrained sounds of distress, letting his mandibles loosely drift beside his jaw. Fresh blood oozed, gathered at the tips and splatter on indigo tile. Fleet Commander Thel'Vadamee merciless gazed his half-blood sibling in cobalt irises glimmering with a brooding emotion. Cobalt. 'Like mother..'
Those thoughts diminished. Memories could surface when the Kig'Yar screeched melancholy noise they dared to title 'music'. His pride and merciless rein as Fleet Commander proved to be something more significant. "This Council, called upon by Captain Rdvas R'Lamee, has drew their judgement."
"Honourable Council," the younger brother recited in a tone of vague distress. "I accept any judgement passed with grateful hands. Forever I will serve. Praise the ground, do not forget my name- no consequence shall ever change my devotion. What judgement do you pass, High Council?"
"Your reasonings, despite your inability to shut your trap when told, are sound otherwise. Do not fail your brothers. Your homeland. Take the Highest Regard and march forth."
Rdvas trembled, keened in gratitude. "I accept your Highest Regard. My blood will spill for the might of Sanghelios- of the Covenant. March on, I will." The younger male spun on his heel, leaving the room at once. Two webbed toes on each leg of Captain Rdvas R'Lamee swept over tiled floors, out of the quarters reserved for high ranking officials.
. . .
Two, young Sangheli males sprinted across open plain, kicking up grain grown by hired Kig'Yar. Said Kig'Yar barked in obvious protest as the males mockingly laughed in response. Shorter than the other, Rdvas closed the distance between himself and an approaching tree. Growls of challenge danced along the harmless breeze.
Amble feet bounced from one trunk to the next until a hand with three double-jointed digits coiled around a twisted piece of frozen greenery. Young Rdvas gleefully laughed at his companion on the ground, propelling himself so he his other hand could grasp the branch.
"I guess that makes me the better-suited Kaidon, Thelmacus!" Thel narrowed amber orbs in clear disapproval. He may have been the elder brother, the wiser brother but he did not have to stand for this... instability.
And yet, he accepted such a challenge from Rdvas. Young males would always be young males. Hunting for some sense of honour on a planet soon to be distraught with war weighing heavily on each child.
Do not fret.. Never fret... Mother could whisk pain out of existence...
Mother remained always.
. . .
Panels parted in stale grace to display the standard Covenant loading bay. Captain R'Lamee shuffled in, checking the soldier of some worthless Sangheli lower in rank than himself. The younger officer bristled. Clenched his teeth in silence as the Captain continued on without remorse. Now is the time for Rdvas to rise, to show that he too could be worthy.
And finally prove to his brother that he could be worthy of kinship.
That he could be worthy of their mother's blood.
A seemingly unstoppable creature, vibrated in deep anguish and hatred, jostling as its shield sunk into the sand. Its armored enemy balanced on his toes, knees bent just slightly as he observed the Hunter through his visor. John took a risk drawing away the Hunter's attention like he did. Though his effort went towards an unconscious Stacker, along with the recently injured Valor, tucked behind the downed 'Hog. If he could somehow make the beast turn around..
Air crackled under the intense heat the Hunter's cannon emitted. The Spartan had just moments- if he screwed this up, this stunt would surely guarantee his death. Charged, surging and rattling with the force of the fuel rod, the cannon released the neon green projectile as it screamed another battle cry. John dodged two seconds early. Early enough and yet at the same time, much too late. He danced around the tangerine wormed parasites exposed in gap of the creature's back. Leveling the M41, he took several steps back. The Hunter twisted its massive torso around, recharging the fuel rod cannon as John pulled the trigger.
Somehow through the splattering of blood in its death the bastard managed to discharge that damned projectile. Cortana could barely finish her warning before it impacted the Master Chief. Odd, how a substance so luminescent, glowing in nature could send him flying five yards down the beach. Blood painted his desert dry lips. Pain laced along his shoulder. "I don't suppose this will be the end of your stunts?"
John choked on his wry chuckle, specks of blood staining the inside of his helmet, "And why would I want to do that?" Cortana remained silent; she did not feel it necessary to argue with him over this. However there happened to be a sassy retort diving off of the tip of her tongue-
Radio feed filtered in through his helmet. "Sierra three-twelve, Alpha reporting in." Chief stalked over the Warthog, trailed his gaze along the belly, then pulled it back onto its four wheels. He listened intently for this particular conversation. The Lieutenant reporting in piqued his interest. 'I doubt anything truly catches her attention, let alone surprises her. There's a first time for everything, though,' John's noisy conscience trailed along like an unsuspecting fog.
"Go ahead Alpha," Captain Keyes' brusk voice settled into the white noise of the radio. The manner in which he spoke those words stirred an emotion of perplex in John. Somehow, he felt as if there was a private treasure chest laying just beneath the Captain's feet. And he didn't want to budge.
Slow, cautionary breathing drowned out the white noise. Then words again. "We've reached the designated destination. Or- Damn it. Charles-!" Sounds of gunfire then the whirring of machinery, what seemed to be large objects shifting. "Orders, sir?"Keyes remained silent for quite awhile. Whether he contemplated his options or happened to be dishing out work for soldiers to hop to, neither Spartan could tell you. However, when his voice filtered through once more, it changed from the brusk undertone of Arizona heat to persistent prickling of pine in winter.
"Hold ground, three-twelve. Reinforcements will arrive soon enough. Omega party?"
Cortana jumped, "Captain?"
"Have you found the Control Center?"
"Negative, sir. We have found the Cartographer. It is a matter of getting inside that presents difficulty." Keyes exhaled an amused huffed at her snarky comment. "Good. Tread steady, Omega. Alpha party, I'm sending in reinforcements to your location now," the Captain checked around with all the other groups stationed on the field. Each one seemed to be holding its ground for the most part, so he signed off with a wish of good luck for everyone.
John had been busily aiding Valor, restitching some of his wounds he received on the Truth and Reconciliation. Afterward, he managed to get awake the Sergeant, who glared at the sky in his blurry daze. The Spartan provided something to boost his psychedelic state, dressing the gash just above his brow. Each soldier took their previous seats from before, Valor sitting slightly more rigid than before the Hunter ambush. Once the Captain signed off, he settled into his state of mind where he calculated, plotted, patiently waited.
That eerie, serene voice speaking directly to him caused his eyes to close in an attempt to gather his thoughts. Too calm. Now that wasn't really her, right? Oh, but it was her, as she muttered over their private radio connection stretching unimaginable distance: "I know how to get you to the Cartographer. Keep treading along like you are now. You'll get here in no time."
Off. Yes, had a piece of her been chipped? Her tone hissed in icy tones, making him shiver away from the undercurrent of the frozen flame. When his mouth opened, it spoke for him. And he couldn't' really grasp the understanding of why he said what said to her.
Words tumbled onto the floor like children dropping dated toys.
"Humor me," he retorted.
Then, and only then, did the world stop.
As if someone pressed the stop button on a recording, paused the movie, halted the traffic. Everything stilled. Everyone held their breath. Every piece of technology on Halo glitched; once, twice, shimmering with that familiar crimson glow.
Awakening the melodic beast.
A/N: So, I am slowly coming back. Please don't expect me to be posting very often because I'm rewriting lost material and I want it to be absolutely perfect for you guys who have been so patient with me. Thank you to all the people who have reviewed! ( My lovely 16 supporters! :DD ) I reread each comment which inspired me to post this chapter. Again, without the support of those who follow, like, fave, review both me and my story- I would be nothing. Dust. Much love to all of you guys!