Aboard the Palphazarè stealth ship, The Knight of Earth, Travis was finishing his book that he started when the mission began.
The book 's words were the most interesting thing that Travis could give his attention to at the moment. "... And out of the corner of Tom's eye, he saw the bloodied remains of his murdered wife. He turned and laughed, then looked down at his checklist. He checked off Martha and threw the bloodied list to the ground. He frowned realizing that his game was over. He then thought, it was time to start a new one."
The End, he thought.
He looked outside and started to wonder where the others were. He wondered about what could have happened but couldn't think for a second that they had died, there was no way. He then decided that since he was the only one in the control room, it was time to make a call. He dialed in a twelve digit code and waited.
"This is UNSC weapons and munitions factory Alpha 3-9, Sector 4. Who is this?" asked the operator.
"This is Travis Morrison. I request the Yellow Grenade with a 13-second fuse. Give it to Marco, twice."
"Oh, it's you
I'll put you through now." The operator said, accepting Travis' code.
Travis waited again.
"Yes Travis?" asked a man with a raspy voice.
"I believe my men have been captured by the enemy," Travis said, "They haven't responded to any of my messages, it's like their communicators have been taken or something. Can you identify their location for me Mr. Rawl-"
"What did I say about using my name?" said the voice.
"Sorry 'Director', I apologize." Travis replied.
"It is alright Travis. After all you've done for us, you can make a few slip ups, and as for their locations, remember, that's one of your favors on the line
" The Director warned.
"I understand 'Director'. I accept the terms." said Travis.
"Alright, they are being held in the Covenant city of Groaghes in underground holding cells. They're with our Operative, NCW54LY. Currently, they have four in one cell and a few others in different cells. Franklin's dead and so are a couple others. An 'interrogator' is on her way now, if you see her ship, you'll find Groaghes." Explained the Director.
"What sort of ship should I be looking for?" asked Travis.
"That isn't known for certain. Judging from this Elite's background, it'll be a very unique vessel." The Director said.
"Understood. Thank you 'Director'."
"Anything else?" asked the Director.
"Yes," said Travis.
"And what would that be?"
"Where's my wife?" asked Travis.
The communicator went silent for a minute. "I'm sorry Travis," The Director said, "I wish I could tell you, but you still haven't completed your assigned mission."
"What! I've done everything you told me to do; I even killed all the witnesses! I went above and beyond, as usual, and you still don't tell me?" Travis shouted, furious at the Director's ridiculous claim.
"I'm sorry Travis; they're telling me I can't tell you
I am genuinely sorry." The Director said.
"I was ONI's best and you leave me in the dark, why?" Travis demanded.
"Because, after almost twenty five years, we still don't understand the full extent of your abilities." answered the Director.
Back on Groaghes
He's alive? How? How'd he escape? How did he not get killed? How did my brother survive, I saw him stay. Lightning's thoughts were unrelenting in their questions.
"Lightning? Are you okay?" asked Vanessa, "You look like you've just seen a ghost."
"Yes, I'm fine." Lightning simply responded.
"What torturer?" asked Grubbs, still persistent on the subject.
"Just forget about it Grubbs." said Daniel.
Before Grubbs could continue, a big unconscious body was thrown into the cell. It was Aaron, one of the few heavy weapons specialists of The Bolt.
"Aaron!" exclaimed Grubbs.
What, where am I?" asked Aaron, dazedly.
"We're in a Covie prison." Grubbs answered in disgust.
"Damn, Covies. Those disgusting cretins couldn't have caught us, there's no way!" Aaron snapped.
"I know Aaron; I couldn't believe it at first either." Grubbs said.
"But really, the Covenant?" asked Aaron.
"Yep." Grubbs said in disappointment.
On an unknown Covenant controlled planet, Early 2545
The world's lush forest was too thick to bring vehicles through, so the Sniper had to trek through it on foot. He didn't mind though, this mission would be rewarding enough to where any inconvenience could be easily overlooked. He soon came to the tree line and found himself at the edge of an enormous canyon that held both more dense jungle, and the Sniper's objective.
He examined the area before setting up. The canyon was lightly patrolled by Jackals and had an Elite Zealot watching over everything. The Sniper then brought out his weapon, a specially modified sniper rifle, and took aim. The crosshairs slowly glided towards the Zealot's head.
The silence that surrounded everything soon ended when a bullet erupted from the rifle. The Zealot fell to the ground instantly. The Sniper then took aim again and dropped a Jackal.
"Too easy." He said. Suddenly, another Zealot flanked him and activated an energy sword. He took a swipe but the Sniper rolled out of the way and pressed a button on his rifle. The weapon quickly responded by collapsing into a high powered pistol. The Zealot lunged once more at the sniper but a bullet to his skull stopped him before he can make contact. His body then fell past his intended target and off of the cliff, into the canyon.
The Sniper soon jumped off of the cliff's edge towards the Elite's body, which was still falling to the canyon floor far below. He plummeted through the air faster, and faster towards his previous victim, he activated his thruster pack and fell even faster. He kept falling until he finally caught up to the Zealot. He grabbed the falling corpse and used his thruster pack to fly towards a nearby ridge on the side of the cliff. He landed and put the body on the ground.
The Sniper pressed a button on his gauntlet and a scanner opened on his wrist. It scanned the Zealot's body and determined the Elite's identity. After pressing a series of other buttons, the scanner produced a holographic image of the Zealot. He pressed the image of the Elite and an X crossed out its face.
Just as the image was crossed out, a call came through the Sniper's transceiver.
"How is your mission progressing?" asked a raspy voice.
"Very well, Sir." The Sniper answered.
"Good, are all the targets eliminated?"
"All but four, Director." replied the Sniper.
"Yes sir." The Sniper said.
The call ended and the Sniper scanned the Zealot once more. "Script as code A-12, Derrick." He said.
"Roger that sir." replied a voice from his helmet.
The Sniper slid down the last two hundred feet of cliff and reached the bottom of the canyon. The canyon's jungle floor was teeming with life, and Jackals. The Sniper flipped a switch on his pistol and it extended back into a sniper. He pressed another button on his rifle, making the barrel retract and the rate of fire switch to a 3-round burst. Ah, like a high power Battle Rifle. The Sniper mused. He then started stalking through the jungle
He spotted a squad of Jackals and stopped behind a tree. "Derrick," He whispered, "Initiate code, A-12."
"Yes sir." The Sniper's armor suddenly grew taller and slightly widened. The helmet nearly doubled in size. After about thirty seconds, the Sniper's armor is changed into that of an Elite Zealots'. In his new disguise, he walked out from behind the tree and started towards the Jackals.
"Lod," Said one of the Jackals, "does that Zealot look strange to you?"
"What do you mean, Yik?" Lod asked.
"Is that a bullet hole in his head?"
"it is!" replied Lod.
Just then, a small energy dagger pierced the Jackal's head.
Yik looked around and noticed that all the others in his squad had been killed by the same mysterious force. He looked around and realized an ominous blue glow behind him. He slowly turned around, only to be met with a cold hand grabbing his neck.
"Please, please, let me go! I'll give you anything, please!" The Jackal pleaded.
"Where are they?" The disguised Sniper demanded.
"Where is who? The Councilors?" asked Yik.
"Yes, you weak insect!" snapped the Sniper.
"They're in the hangar. Just please, let me live!" pleaded the puny Jackal.
"Alright, you worthless cretin, I'll allow you to live
If you can survive the fall." The Sniper said with an evil grin through his disguise.
The Sniper then threw the Jackal down into a nearby crevice. The Jackal fell, screaming for several seconds until there was finally a silencing thud. The Sniper sort of chuckled at how long it took the bird-brain to reach the bottom.
He knew his disguise was useless if an idiotic Jackal could see through it. He pressed a button on his gauntlet and his armor changed back to normal. He then opened up his checklist of targets and marked off Yik before continuing on his mission.
After what seemed like an hour of trudging through the jungle, the Sniper reached the Covenant outpost where the three Councilors, his targets, were convening. He then plotted a course through the outpost's security and made his approach.
"Close your jaws, Brucal!" One of the Councilors snapped at their youngest member, Zuka 'Brucal, "I will hear none of your so called 'innovations for our society'. Your keep is a disgrace to the Sangheili as well as the Covenant!"
"My keep and I only wish to improve our race," Zuka replied, unfazed by his peer's insults, "I suggest that you not judge us merely on the grounds that our society slightly differs from tradition."
"Your 'society' has deviated so far from tradition that it is to be debated if you all can even be referred to as 'Sangheili' anymore." The other Councilor said spitefully.
The third Councilor leaned back against a wall and sighed as he watched his brethren argue over the same meaningless issue that was typically brought up when Zuka had a proposal.
"I will not bicker with you over my keep's existence once again. You must learn to let go of your prejudice." Zuka said adamantly.
"You refuse to defend your keep's honor because you are a coward, Brucal!" The other Councilor shouted.
"And you refuse to accept my keep merely because you are afraid of change," Zuka said with a sigh, "I believe that makes you the coward."
"You insolent wretch!" The other Councilor said as he drew the hilt of his sword. Zuka put a hand on his modified human magnum.
The third Councilor stepped in between the two to intervene. "Calm yourselves, brothers. We need not shed each others blood and honor," He said before turning to the enraged Councilor, "sheathe your weapon."
The Councilor's sneer died down and he put his weapon away. "I am serious, Nar'ik. The Sangheili will only be dishonored if we stooped down to the human's level by augmenting our warriors like their wretched demons!"
"I honestly believe that we should be open to an opportunity to gain an asset that may aid us to exterminate the humans swifter our current pace." Nar'ik stated.
"Thank you, brother." Zuka said gratefully as he lowered his hand away from his gun.
"Yes well, I did not wish to see the two of you fight to the death," Nar'ik said indifferently, "I would much rather draw this meeting to a close and return to High Charity."
"Agreed, let's make our leave." Said the other Councilor with a sigh. The three of them then made their way to the hanger.
As they entered the Phantom's hanger, they were confronted by a returned scout, an Ultra. "Councilors, we must get you out of here immediately," The Ultra said, distressed, "several of our scouts have not reported back. The two Zealots were also found dead near the cliff. It is safe to say that there is an assassin among us."
"Than we mustn't waste our time." said the first Councilor. He raced ahead of Nar'ik and Zuka towards the Phantoms.
They soon caught up to him and were surprised when a human jumped out from behind the drop ship. The Councilors dove for cover as the human opened fire, his weapon sounding like a rapidly discharging cannon. Zuka pulled out his magnum and began to return fire as the human fled from the hanger, but to no avail.
"Hurry, we must leave before the imp returns!" The first Councilor said frantically.
"Indeed." Replied Zuka calmly.
They made their way to the nearest Phantom, the one that the human had jumped out from. Nar'ik threw his arm in front of Zuka and faintly shook his head at him. The first Councilor boarded the Phantom and looked back to them in confusion. "Come aboard my brothers, quickly!" He said, worried.
"I believe it would be wise if we each took a different vessel." Nar'ik replied.
The other Councilor mulled over the idea for a second. "Good idea." He said.
The doors of the Phantom then closed as it prepared to take off. Zuka looked to Nar'ik. "That is not the reason that we're not joining him." He pointed out.
"No, it isn't," Nar'ik replied, "I know how humans operate. That one could have taken us on, he ran because he knew that he didn't have to face us."
A Phantom soon took off from the hanger and began its ascent towards space. The Sniper soon got a call and knew what the news was, his targets, had escaped
Or so they thought.
"You missed the Councilors! You incompetent fool! They were the important targets and you let them go. What do you have to say for yourself?" The Director demanded.
"They're dead sir
" The Sniper simply said.
"Obviously they're not, they just got away!" The Director snapped. Just as he finished his statement there was an explosion in the air. The Covenant drop ship had blown up for some reason.
"I put pressure sensitive explosives on the drop ship, sir. I reached the hanger before them and found the Phantom that they arrived on. I had a feeling they'd try to escape on that so I got the drop on them before they could realize."
"How did you pull that off? Every time I send you on a mission, you amaze me in some way. How?" asked the Director.
"I guess because I act first and think later? I'm not really sure."
"All I know is that you're definitely something else, Travis." said the Director.
"Thank you, sir" replied Travis with a smirk.
Back on Groaghes
"Really, the Covenant? Those dumbasses?" asked Aaron, again.
"Yes, Aaron, for the thirty seventh time, yes!" yelled Lightning.
"So, what did Karen say about Nar'ik?" Vanessa whispered to Lightning.
"Just something about him being a part of ONI and a part of the Covenant," Lightning replied, "unfortunately there's not much more about him. Not even an age or anything about birth
"That explains how he knows about my past
" Vanessa said.
"Like what?" asked Lightning.
"Nothing, forget it
" Vanessa quickly answered. She turned away and started talking to Daniel.
After about five minutes of sitting there, a disturbance occurred at the front of the prison. About ten Brutes ran past the cell towards the front entrance. A lot of shouting could be heard in the direction of the disturbance before three Brutes went flying into a wall. The ten Brutes swiftly turned around and ran back from where they came from. A dark Sangheili with a sleek figure soon walked into view with a switch in her step. She laughed at the fleeing Brutes before snapping her gaze straight into Lightning's cell.
"That, Grubbs, is the torturer" Lightning stated.
Grubbs' jaw dropped. "No