Trak moved quickly across the smooth floor leading to the Prophets chambers. Gone was his arrogant power, his self-confidence, he had failed the Prophets again. He could only hope for a swift and honourable death.
Thinking back to the small planet Trak cursed himself for not anticipating the humans. His order had been simple, to eliminate the humans and retrieve their AI intact; giving them the location of the humans home world.
Trak had lead the assault, sending a few of his men down to the abandoned control room while he kept watch above; mainly to stay in radio contact with the other forces.
When the shots came Trak reacted on instinct, ordering his best men to the shaft they began to descend. From below another round of explosions had taken out more of his warriors; the humans would pay Trak had thought angrily.
And then it happened; Trak saw the face that came to him at night when he lay awake in his small quarters. Cain.
For a fleeting moment Trak wasn’t sure whether he was hallucinating, he hadn’t seen Cain for over two years. But then a voice carried down towards Trak, a silent whispering audible only by his acute hearing; his name. Cain had called out his name to the silent shaft.
By the time he returned to the main floor a seen of devastation awaited him. The human, Cain, had activated some sort of emergency self-defence system; brethren lay dead upon the ground. Their lungs starved of the precious oxygen needed for life. The grunts told stories of a crazy human who strode through, his face obscured by mask and rage.
Looking up at the grand doors to the Prophets chambers Trak seethed inside. Cain had killed his brothers. What was the expression Cain had always told him; don’t get mad, get even. As Trak passed the honour guards he swore there and then, by the great Gods he would have his revenge.
The room was large. Massive. Trak felt insignificant standing inside these hallowed walls. All around him the honour guards stood, their ceremonial blades glinting next to their ornate armour. Ahead the Prophet of Mercy sat in his seat, hovering above the immaculate floor.
“You may rise,” the Prophet said with a commanding voice.
Trak rose at once, keeping his head lowered, not daring to look at the Prophet.
“Tell me Sangheili, do you like the humans.”
“No, your Excellency,” was all Trak could say in reply. He knew his fate was decided long ago.
“Then why do you persist in aiding them,” Mercy stated more than asked, “Many said we were lenient allowing a warrior back into our casts after what he had done. They said he would be weakened by his time with the humans, their thoughts poisoning his own. Now I see they were right,” the Prophet finished.
Trak held his tongue, he knew enough to only speak when asked to. Mercy sensed this looking down at the elite, what an interesting life it had lead. What a short life it had lead.
“You know our great Covenant does not tolerate failure. You also know your punishment. May the Gods forgive you young one. Guards, take him away.”
Trak let his head hang lower, two guards in red armour moved over to him quickly, as they grabbed his arms Trak looked up into the Prophets eyes.
“I will not leave my fate to the Gods,” Trak whispered quietly. Mercy’s eyes widened as he heard, the crown upon his bony head slipping slightly.
“What did you say,” he asked raising a long finger at Trak.
“I know who killed my brethren, if I am to die, let me die with honour, let me kill this human.” The Prophet stared at Trak for a long time before speaking again, quietly, as if it pained him to do so.
“You have failed the Gods twice before, you cannot succeed. Take him, take him away now!” Mercy almost screamed at the guards. Gripping Trak’s arms they lead him away from the Prophet in silence.
As they walked down the hallways Trak thought about what had passed, his current predicament, but also what was to come. Suddenly he stopped, the guards who were merely steering him jerking to a halt at his sides.
“What are you doing weakling, move!” the lead guard growled.
“You call me weak,” Trak replied turning to face the speaker, his voice cold and arrogant. The guard behind him pushed Trak to the ground with a laugh. The two other guards merely watched with grins on their face.
“I think that proves it,” the first guard said bending down until his face was mere inches from Traks own. Suddenly, without warning Trak spun on the ground, his legs swinging around and dropping the guard to the floor. Leaping over him Trak planted a solid hoof in the guards’ throat while slipping out the inactive plasma sword all royal guards carried. The other two elites stepped back in shock, each reaching for their own plasma sword as the commander struggled to breath on the ground.
Flicking the small recessed switch on the hilt of the sword a beautiful and deadly ark of plasma shot outwards. In the dim hallway the eerie glow threw Trak’s features into harsh relief. He looked psychotic.
One of the elites rushed forwards, Trak raised the blade and blocked his swipe, immediately countering with a low slice. The guard twisted his body and avoided the blow, moving off to the other side so that Trak was in the middle of the two elites.
Trak rotated slowly on the spot; the dying commander, angry guards, deserted corridor. Turning to face the guard who had kicked him in the back Trak’s smile widened. He ran forwards, sword held in front of him. The guard raised his sword instinctively ready to block the attack. Without warning Trak spun and ran as fast as he could the other way. The second guard had been charging up behind Trak, the sudden move caught him by surprise. Traks’ blade cleanly severed the guards’ head as he rushed past.
The lone guard looked down at the tumbling corpse, the neck sizzling from the heat of the blade. He looked down at his own sword, then the heretic elite.
“You will pay,” he said with an ominous growl.
“We all do, in the end,” Trak said holding his stance next to the body. Turning around he began to walk down the corridor, the plasma reflecting off the walls. Twisting his head slightly more Trak saw the reflection of the elite, his sword hanging low. Then it happened, in a blur. The reflection jerked, running as fast it could towards Traks own reflection.
Spinning with a violent force Trak spun completely on the spot, his sword flying out of his hand halfway with a deadly velocity. Turning leisurely Trak looked at the warrior. The plasma sword was stuck firmly in his chest, the blade burning away at his insides. As he fell to his knees Trak looked into his solemn face, “We all do,” he whispered returning to his walk.
Trak was jogging now, he had to hurry, he wouldn’t be missed long. He could see the docks ahead, the assortment of ships awaiting his presence. Behind him he could hear heavy footsteps, a lot of footsteps. Picking up the pace Trak entered the first air lock he came to. Cycling through the narrow passage he boarded the small craft.
Sealing the door Trak looked at the myriad of controls. It was his brothers who were good pilots Trak thought ironically. From the aft of the ship the door shook with many immense poundings. Grabbing hold of the single manual flight control Trak gently nudged it forwards. All around him the ship shook, a holo panel to his right lit up; “Warning, docking clamps not disengaged.” Trak scanned the panels and eventually hit a button marked “docking clamps”. A moment later the blinking message vanished.
Pushing the stick with more force Trak felt the ship lurch forwards. Banking to the right he looked through the large view port towards High Charity. Trak looked across the control board once more but could not find what he needed. Taking a wild guess he hit an unlit holo panel. It sprang to life instantly and displayed the text Trak wanted most of all, Slipspace drive. Feeling a rush of relief Trak began inputting co-ordinates to his next destination.
Suddenly the whole ship jerked forwards with a massive explosion, the main display panel flashed up a new warning, “Enemy fire, suggest emergency manoeuvres.” Great Trak thought, first time flying and he’s in a dogfight. Leaving the Slipspace panel for a moment Trak placed both hands on the small stick and pushed it as far forwards as it would go. The ship shot through space, the immense surface of High Charity rushing by next to the small craft. A screen recessed into the main board showed Traks ship and the pursuers. Rolling to the right he came dangerously close to the city. Throttling back on the speed he piloted the ship closer to the metal skin of High Charity. Behind him the fighter craft stopped firing for fear of hitting their beloved home. Seeing a circular shaft up ahead in the walls Trak had less a second to decide. Plunging into the inner workings of the city he put on a burst of speed, rolling and banking around in an effort to avoid the strange structures criss-crossing the tunnel. The radar screen pinged, contact lost. Trak’s mind screamed in celebration, one down, three to go. Entering a clear section of tunnel Trak started tapping in more co-ordinates to the Slipspace drive. As he finished the panel beeped for a few seconds before becoming silent. Trak looked back at the view port and held his breath as he dropped just below a particularly large piece of metal. Behind him one of the fighters was not so lucky.
Shooting out of the tunnel Trak pointed the ship star wards and engaged the slip drive. The feeling of intense speed came over him once more, but this time he was getting away from danger.
Breathing for the first time in five minutes Trak fell back against the cool seat, blissful sleep overcoming him.
“We all pay,” his mind whispered before embracing darkness.
Entering the expansive room Omabi stood erect before the Prophet of Mercy.
“Your Excellency, I came with haste at your call,” he spoke proudly.
“Yes, yes,” the Prophet muttered before looking up at the elite, “The great Covenant needs your services Basamme. Are you prepared to fight for us?”
Omabi was shocked; the Prophet had spoken to him by name and offered him a very special mission. It was honour beyond anything he could have imagined.
“Excellency, I am prepared to die for you.”
“Good, a heretic has escaped justice, we have selected you to hunt him down and kill him. Go, you shall be given your orders outside.”
With that the Prophet turned and entered his inner sanctum. Leaving with a head as big as High Charity itself Omabi faced the Gold clad commander waiting outside.
“You are Basamme?” he questioned, staring intently at Omabi.
“Yes Sir,” he replied quickly.
“Here is your mission, docking bay 27, you leave in twenty units,” the elite said before walking away. Omabi looked down at the data pad, he read through it quickly.
Escaped heretic, hunt, kill, report back. Then his eyes fell upon the name of the condemned. Omabi looked up into the Prophets Chambers; they wanted him to kill his own brother.