Trak Basamme looked out over the city. It was nothing like home. No glittering skylines, beautiful structures and crystal lakes. No, this was a desolate place. The citizens had fled, all that remade was fear and those brave enough to stand and fight. The place was called Cote d’ Azur by the humans.

Lhib moved forwards silently along the street. Each of his team taking up defensive positions around him. The goal was a large building in the centre of the city. Trak didn’t even know why it was so important, he doubted if even his commander knew. Trak was pulled from his thoughts when a shot flew past his skull. A lone human fighter was holed up in a small building, firing wildly at the approaching enemies. Lhib turned to face Trak and motioned for him to move up, he wanted Trak to prove himself. Or die trying.

Trak cautiously began his approach, keeping to the side, out of the humans’ field of fire. Bending his knees Trak moved below the small opening the human was using, he made a soft chirping sound. The human quickly stuck his head out to see what had made the sound, it was all Trak needed. Grabbing the humans throat and pulling with all his might, Trak wrenched the human from the window and threw him to the floor. The male looked up at his assailant and for one fleeting second looked like he was about to beg for mercy. Instead he screamed at Trak and was quickly silenced. The young elite looked down at what he had done, the others coming forwards to secure the area. Lhib stepped up to Trak and laid one clawed hand on his shoulder. He had gained respect, but at what cost. Trak felt something stir deep within himself, he had never killed before and even though these humans were classed as infidels he still didn’t feel right cleansing the galaxy of them.

The pale stoned building was up ahead. The wide empty plaza created the perfect kill zone for enemy soldiers. Trak watched as the spotter came back, his report filled with details concerning possible cover, enemy placements and anything else of note. It sounded as if the humans were using this place as their base of operations. They held it tight and everyone in the part knew they would not give it up without a fight. Lhib was thinking the same thing, a change of tactics was in order. The orders came quickly and for once Trak had confidence in his leader, this could work.

The unit powered up their invisibility systems and made their way across the plaza. They spread out and quickly entered the shadow of the huge structure. The humans were clearly visible through the windows. Loc Na and Turok made it to the wall first and silently began to ascend towards one of the numerous windows. The rest of the unit followed behind, almost all of them eager to let the human blood flow freely.

The hallway they entered was small compared to covenant standards, barely reaching ten feet. The camouflage suits began to fade and eventually the team flickered back into existence. Faint voices could be heard, alien dialects, they sounded agitated, stressed, fearful. Lhib took point and proceeded carefully down the narrow path. Plasma rifles were put away, stealth would keep them alive much longer than reckless heroics. Lhib looked curiously at the large wooden door, it did not open automatically for him and there was no control panel nearby, but then he remembered how primitive these humans were and looked at the crude handle bolted to the chunk of wood. He flicked his hand up motioned left, then right. The team took up flanking positions either side of the hallway using whatever lay around for cover. Lhib clicked his mandibles once, then silently turned the handle and slid open the door. Two humans stood inside, conversing in harsh tones, they had not even noticed the elite watching them from the side. Lhib gestured to Trak and Loc Na then drew one clawed finger across his neck, the meaning was simple. Loc Na moved up to the door first and withdrew a small metal blade, Trak doing the same behind. With a simple nod they both activated their recharged invisibility suits and crept into the room. Trak moved to the right side of the room, Loc Na took the other flank and tripped on the ornate rug. The human facing that direction looked up, a slight movement detected behind his colleague. It was now or never. Trak moved forwards simultaneously moving his blade across the curious mans throat, the warm red blood spraying free of its veins. He crumpled to the ground in a heap at the feet of his started companion. Loc Na was still on the ground, so Trak jumped forwards and embedded the knife in the mans throat, right up to the hilt. He felt the man gurgle in pain before pulling the blade free. Loc Na came up in front of him surveying his work, expressions played across his face, embarrassment, shame and then finally gratitude. “You do the work of the Gods well for an anomaly,” Loc Na finally said. Trak hung his head looking at his kill with his own eyes. He had killed three humans so far, more than any other member of his team. He had killed three humans so far, all in cold blood.

Lhib entered and smiled at Loc Na, “Good work Loc Na” he said in his cold voice. Loc Na simply bowed his head before looking up towards Trak.

“The honour was not mine Sir.”

“Then… Trak, you have shown true skill this day. I commend you brother,” replied the commander. He leaned forwards and knocked his helmet against Traks, a sign of friendship. Loc Na too came up and gave the gesture. Trak felt distraught. For so many years he had thought of been a Warrior as barbaric, but now he had made three kills without even thinking. And the people who had rejected him since birth were now accepting him with open arms. He had become what he hated most.

They proceeded through the rest of the upper story without any casualties. Trak held back and followed the rest of the group. He had been treated like an outsider since he was born and yet now, when he was treated like a brother, he felt the most alien. Lhib returned from the next door, it lead to the main hall below. The humans were numerous and spread out below. And it was not only military figures. Families inhabited the room. Lhib could not hold back his glee, there was much blood to be shed today. Trak glanced at his hands, they were dry, devoid of the usual slick lining. He was scared, not of the humans or his team, but of what he would have to do to stay alive.

The unit moved forwards, the camouflage once again concealing their movements. Trak hung back, he just could not bring himself to do this. The humans below started to fall, shouts and screams filled the air along with the trails of plasma. Trak stared down over the railings at the carnage below. It was mayhem, soldiers didn’t know which way to fire, innocent civilians ran to protect their children and the laughter of the elites reigned over it all. Trak had finally had enough. With a strength he didn’t know he had he launched himself over the metal bars and fell the full twelve feet onto one of his team members. Their cry was stifled as Traks hoofed foot punctured the skull. Lhib turned to face Trak, his mandibles twitching wildly. Trak flicked his blade into his hand and threw it as hard as he could towards his commander. The blade ripped through Lhibs’ lower mandibles and punctured the spinal column at the base of the head. He was dead before he hit the ground, his blood flowing freely from both the front and back of his skull.

Loc Na turned, stunned at what his new brother had done. Swinging his rifle around he opened up a barrage of super heated plasma. Trak dived but the plasma lashed against his side, searing away at metal and skin alike. He turned and unloaded his charged pistol at Loc Na. The impact burned through Loc Na, effectively vaporizing him in a heartbeat. By now the other elites had stopped their fighting to watch, but this gave the marines a chance to open fire. Armour piercing rounds tore through the elites, they slumped to the ground, there bodies still coming under fire. Eventually only Trak was left. He did a slow 360 degrees turn and took in the situation. Over thirty humans still remained with weapons trained on him, their fingers itching to unleash death. Trak fell down to his knees and put his face in his hands.

He had committed mutiny. He had murdered his entire squad and brought shame to his family name. He would be captured, tortured and eventually executed to make an example of him. He was doomed. He had no future with the Covenant.

He was finally free.

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