Rachael raised herself slowly from the small sofa in her small home. Beside her Adam rested his head softly on the arm, his chest rising and falling gently. He was four years old now, Cain had never even seen him, unable to get time off from the UNSC. Stroking his blonde hair Rachael moved over to the armchair and carefully removed the comic book from Andrews’ hands. The twins were as different in life as they were in looks. Adam was a boisterous ball, constantly on the go. Andrew was the more mature of the two though, when Rachael looked in his eyes she could tell that he knew his father was gone and might not come back. Yet he never said it, he always held her hand and gave her a kiss everyday.
The small TV was near silent, the volume turned almost the entire way down. All it showed nowadays was the Covenant and the death they brought. Sighing she bent down and picked up Adam, he stirred in her arms murmuring ‘just a bit longer mummy’, but his protests were in vain. Carrying him to his room she plonked him on the top bunk bed before leaving and returning with Andrew. Turning on the small night light she cast the room in an ocean blue glow, then carefully pulling the door too, leaving a small crack Rachael walked to her room next door.
Sitting on the double bed Rachael smoothed her hand over the place where Cain used to sleep, a single Polaroid of him resting on the pillow. Removing her clothes she lay back on the back on the bed, giving a final kiss to her husbands’ image she turned off the lights and let darkness embrace her.
The shouts came in the early hours. Jolting upright in bed Rachael looked around, her eyes becoming accustomed to the gloom. From the boys room another shout broke out. Great Rachael muttered, if it isn’t her having nightmares, it’s them.
Pulling on a warm nightgown Rachael opened her door and stepped out into the hallway. She stopped dead. A breeze ruffled the bottom of her gown, slowly moving her head to look to the right she saw the front door was no longer there, it lay upon the floor, the hinges still attached.
Running in a blind panic she smashed into her children’s room only to see them crouched in the far corner next to the night-light. “Mm m m…mommy,” Andrew whimpered raising his finger to point over her shoulder.
Stepping out of the darkness Trak looked down over, there was no emotion on the cold alien face.
“Leave my children alone you monster!” Rachael screamed at the approaching elite.
“Only four years and now I am a monster?” Trak enquired quizzically.
“But… but,” Rachael stammered looking at the creature before her.
Drawing out his small blade Trak showed the first signs of emotion, a grin flickered across his face, before he lunged forwards.
Major Harrison looked over the skies with his binoculars. This planet was not one of the technologically advanced, it did not have the most advanced machines, or mega-metropolises. No, this planet was and always would be a quiet peaceful place for people to come and live.
“But not tonight,” Harrison said looking out at the approaching phantoms.
“Sir, a UNSC ship just arrived in the system, they’re sending reinforcements sir! They’re here to save us,” an excitable subordinate announced to the command room.
“Let’s just hope they bring a Spartan,” Harrison whispered once more to the skies.
Omabi’s phantom descended quickly through the planets atmosphere, the transponder on his brothers’, the heretics’ ship guided them towards its resting place. Behind him in the cramped compartments, six of his finest warriors stood waiting, each running over their armour, weapons and other objects to ensure nothing would fail them in battle.
They each also knew of Omabi’s position, they knew it was his brother they were after, but Omabi had vowed the final kill must come from him. The silence was oppressing, as though each knew something was going to happen on this mission, yet none spoke out.
“We will set down next to the heretics craft, I want him found quickly. Lok’ you take point and search for tracks,” Omabi said with his heart half in it.
As the phantom came to a rest above the clearing the side doors swung open to reveal a lush forest. Jumping the three feet from the craft to the ground Omabi waved the group forwards. Behind them the phantom rose and disappeared into the night.
Following a dirt trail on the ground Omabi and his squad were soon on their way towards a small dwelling of humans. He could tell his warriors hungered for blood.
Behind them Aukni’, the rear guard, stopped in the darkness. His ears had heard a twig crack and now he was trying to decipher where the noise had come from. As he slowly moved on the spot two hands reached down from the darkened branches above. As one pulled his lower jaw upwards the other drew a small blade across his throat. He died silently, the blood spilling from his open neck. Dragging the body Trak looked ahead where the rest of the search part was still moving. He had circled back as he knew if he was tracked this is where they would start. Wiping his blade on the grass he moved on.
Crouching in the tall grass Trak threw a small rock at the back of one of the elites. He spun looking for the source of the attack. Picking up another stone Trak threw it in the bush opposite him. The elite moved towards it silently, as he readied his plasma rifle Trak leapt out from behind, dragging the dying elite back into the long grass.
Up ahead Omabi stopped and turned around. “Where are Aukni’ and Jytya?” he questioned suddenly. The warrior now at the back turned around and squinted into the darkness for his two comrades. Turning back he whispered, “I don’t know sir, they were right here.”
As he said this a small ball of blue light streamed out from the darkness and landed upon the speaking elites armour. He looked down upon it, by the time his eyes widened in shock the grenade detonated, tearing the elite into a thousand pieces of flesh, bone and metal.
Cursing, Omabi swept low into a crouched position. He was down to four warriors already. Signalling with his hands, two of his men moved off around the flanks to circle behind the attacker, one in either direction.
Renkla moved along the right flank, constantly scanning for any sign of movement. As he reached the point opposite where he had started he looked ahead. There in the distant light he could see the attacker crouched and waiting to attack. Raising his rifle Renkla took aim and let forth a barrage of plasma.
Dropping to the floor in a sudden movement Trak narrowly avoided the plasma which flew over his head and impacted the other flanking warrior. Both had fired and both had hit, only not their intended target. Two more down, two left Trak thought.
Lukna moved forwards, by the light from the town he could make out the form of an elite. Moving closer and closer Lukna looked at the elite, until he was right on top of him. The swinging corpse looked grotesque hanging from the branches, suspended by vine. Lukna immediately recognised the form as Aukni’.
From behind him Trak moved closer. Kicking the young elite in the back of the knees Lukna dropped to the ground, his eyes still on his dead comrade. The blank eyes stared back at him, but Lukna did not worry, soon he would be like that too. The blade came swiftly and Lukna was granted his wish.
Omabi spun on the spot, his entire squad had vanished. Moments ago plasma fire erupted, then silence resumed. What had happened he wondered. Twirling once more Omabi heard a voice he had wanted and dreaded for so long.
Looking upwards Omabi looked into the face of his brother, hanging from the branches.
“They sent you to kill me?” Trak enquired, his voice trembling.
“You know heretics are taken back to the Holy city to be punished,” Omabi said, almost matter-of-factly, but failing, the tremor in his own voice giving him away.
“Are you? Are you going to take me back?” Trak asked quietly, even though he knew the answer.
“My allegiance is to the Cov… Covenant first,” Omabi said, his voice faltering as he attempted to hold back his emotions.
“You know I cannot go back,” Trak replied, looking at his brother with sad eyes.
“Then I must, I must make you. Brother.” Omabi stepped back and assumed a crouched fighting stance.
“I will not fight you Omabi,” Trak said, dropping from the branches, “You know that.”
“Then you will be beaten easily,” Omabi replied, seeming to gain his confidence again.
“You leave me no choice then,” Trak sighed, taking up the same stance.
Omabi rushed forwards, his first blow to Traks head was immediately followed by a jab to the abdomen. Trak staggered backwards, but regained composure quickly. Omabi came at him again. His first right hook was blocked easily by Trak who returned an upwards blow to Omabi’s chin.
“I never wanted to fight you,” Trak shouted at his fallen brother who was gingerly getting back to his feet, “But now I will beat you.”
Trak shot forwards, his open palm hitting Omabi’s chest dead on. Before he could even recover Trak struck again, a blow to the side of the head, a swinging kick against the knees. As Omabi fell to his knees he grabbed one of Trak’s feet and swung it upwards. Dropping onto his back Trak tried to roll, but Omabi still held his foot. Kicking with his other foot Trak spun and lashed out at the same time. Omabi’s head flew backwards, cracking against the ground. Trak stood slowly and walked over to his brother.
As Trak looked down over his brother the sky suddenly erupted in flame. The Covenant cruiser was falling, plunging through the atmosphere at incredible speed. Trak watched in horror as it fell towards the town, he didn’t even notice Omabi kneeling next to him watching with the same look in his eyes.
“Father,” Omabi whispered at first, then screamed into the night, turning on Trak his eyes burst alight with flame. Utter hatred blazed in those twin orbs. “You killed our father! DIE!” Pulling his legs back at first Omabi slammed his hoofed feet into Trak’s stomach sending him flying back into a tree.
Blood trickling from his mouth Trak felt his ribs snap, pain flaring with each agonising breath. Across from him Omabi stood and stared at his brother. Moving forwards with powerful strides he reached down for Trak and brought him up by his neck, just like his father had done only an hour before it seemed.
Suddenly a crack echoed across the forest. Omabi’s shields flickered then died. He fell to the ground, motionless. Dropping next to his brother Trak rolled him over and saw blood gushing from a wound in Omabi’s side. Voices could be heard now, alien voices.
Rolling around behind the large tree against which Omabi had thrown him, Trak waited to see who had shot. A voice rang out across the night, it seemed even louder than the gunshot.
“Find the other one, I want ‘em both dead and laid out in five minutes.”
Trak’s heart sank, the man he wanted most of all turned up now, just when he didn’t want him! Silently Trak cursed to himself. Slowly turning Trak pulled himself up into the tree branches above him once more. Moving like a cat Trak soon found himself above Cain. As he lay there, looking down over a thick branch Trak suddenly began thinking about all the reasons why he had wanted to kill Cain. The man had only ever had good intentions towards him. Now it was all gone. Trak had lost track of time before the branch begin to groan. Quickly looking behind him Trak heard the bark splinter, felt the wood give and then he was falling. Swiftly standing upright Trak took a quick glance at Cain before sprinting off into the dark forest.
Standing there Cain just watched as the elite ran off. It was him, it must have been he thought to himself silently. What other elite would fight another and then leave humans alone? The reasons sounded ludicrous even to him, but Cain didn’t care. Suddenly, as his men began to appear from the trees a thought struck Cain, Trak would have been on that ship, he would have been responsible for the death of his family. On the Triumphant Glory Cain had made a promise and now he had to live up to it. Trak had taken everything from him, not he would do the same.