1150: A New Covenant – Chapter Six and Seven

Title: A New Covenant
Author: Half-Jaw
Media:  Video Games
Topic: Halo
Genre:  Adventure/Sci-Fi
URL: Chapters Five and Six
Critiqued by AdmiralSakai and Gul

Hello once again, my fair patrons, and welcome back to another chapter of A New Covenant!

Is it too late yet to go back to the old Covenant?”

… yes. Anyway, last time this Halo ‘fic almost had some actual soldiering happen, when the humans and Elites launched a simultaneous two-pronged attack on the Forerunner Ark and the Prophet of Truth. Unfortunately, this resulted in the Ark team just sort of walking into the supposed last bastion of the Forerunners and running through a completely meaningless recap, while the assassination team dicked around with an annoyingly alliterative army for a while until Truth got bored and left.

Also, Truth got raked over the coals by a whole shadow Council of stupidly evil Prophets, who apparently have access to multiple High Charity space colonies and are willing to hand them out to everybody like lobbyists with commemorative watches. That was the boring part. The next three chapters are the increasingly-uncomfortable part.

You might think this is a good thing, that nothing could be worse than the daybook firefights. I tell you again, you are wrong.”

Chapter 6 is called “Things Cool Down For Now”-

– and if this ‘fic got any more placid, it would be at absolute zero.”

Sadly, we are still located in the vaguely non-Euclidean “Sol System Earth Orbit”, and “Reclamation” is still misspelled.

Anyway, we get more rehashing with this of how terribly contrite the Sangheili are about nearly genociding their “brothers”…

It’s of course necessary to give a little moral ground to make an alliance like this stick, but the Arbiter is really overplaying that angle here. Not only will constantly bending over to the human narrative of the war make an alliance impossible to sell to the nationalistic elements back home, but it’s gotten to the point where the humans are continuously reminded of what the Sangheili did, making an alliance with them seem more risky! This is why you downplay whatever your armies did to each other during conflict, and preferably pin as much of it as you can onto some third party.”

… and the entire party wanders into Lord Hood’s ready room, which apparently now also includes that Zealot Darsadee guy they met in the agonizingly alliterative ambush.

The debriefing was short considering there was not much in the way of reporting combat.

… boy, have they got that right.

When the meeting was adjourned a black armored Sangheili , named Marlie’ Chesewee , came in and told the Arbiter he had a message from Commander Pharr.

My god, another interchangeable Sangheili OC! How many does this even make?

Well, let’s see. N’tas ‘Mormesee is the Arbiter’s useless nephew, Pharr ‘Eojadee does what Rtas is supposed to be doing, ‘Simyaldee is an inferior copy of another author’s character, Klein ‘Darsadee infodumps during firefights, Marlie’ ‘Chesewee delivers pointless messages, Lockheed builds the satellite… wait, I think that last one might have been something else.”

So anyway, the canonical characters wander off to the hangar bay to catch a ride to their flagship, and instead of melting back into the Void like every other failed OC before him, ‘Chesewee decides it’s time for a spot of lunch.

Marlie’ Chesewee met up with two Sangheili warriors who were headed to the Mess Hall. Marlie’ looked at Sole’ Sagotee, a friend he has had since he was a fledgling,

Kind of a strange term since I doubt Sangheili ever possess feathers, but since infants of my own species are often called ‘chicks’, I’m willing to let it pass.”

and said, “I’ll get us some fruit. You grab us some water.”

Sole’ responded, “That sounds fair..” then looked at Shata’ Resmesee and added, “You find us a table away from everyone.”

Please!

Marlie’ was walking to the table Shata’ picked for them when he came upon a female Human who was having some trouble out of a group of male Humans.

Uh oh… hang on to your teeth, people…”

“Sit with me pretty thing,” one of the Marines said as he shoved the female toward his table.

Marlie’ looked toward the commotion. The Marine harassing the female said, “What you looking at freak?”

Marlie’ replied, “The female might be more willing if you would just ask properly.”

The Marine taking that as an insult replied, “Back off alien. This is none of your business,” the Marine looked at the blonde female and continued, “Tell him sweetie. You’re mine.”

Good show, man!”

What?

I’m assuming this unnamed Marine is trying to speedrun a dishonorable discharge. If so, he’s doing a damn good job.”

The female said, “I belong to no one. Further more I’d rather go with this Elite than you.”

Ok, it seems like there’s a good insult hidden somewhere in there, “I’d just as soon fuck an Elite” or something, but… this isn’t it.

The Marine tried to smack the female and Marlie’ caught his hand and said, “You should show your females more respect. They are more fragile than you. She even shows more honor.”

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr………………..

All right, I’m starting the record. Once for the bizarre interlude involving female combat troops in Chapter 1, once for whatever that unfortunate Marine was trying to accomplish, and once for the above slight:”

Stupid Sexist Sangheili counter: 3

The Marine said angrily, “Let go of me you filth. You shouldn’t even be here.”

He’s right, you know.”

The female Marine spoke up, “Stop it!” she looked at the Marine and said, “I thought prejudice and racism died out three hundred years ago. So stuff it.”

Seriously??? Who talks like that?????

The Marine looked at the female and said, “Have you forgot about the thirty years of war? Have you forgot that up until a week ago they were killing us off?”

… Why is the one-dimensional pickup artist the most sensible character in the ‘fic?

The female replied, “No. but they want peace. And I’m sure they feel like they have to look over their shoulders. I’m sure they look for us to betray them too.”

And that’s because they’re insane.

The Marine looked at his buddies and said, “Come on let’s go. The air in here reeks.”

You know, a Marine said almost exactly the same thing while dining with Sangheili in that Christmas ‘fic. I bet their breath is terrible.”

The female looked at the eight foot tall Elite, smiled and said, “Thank you for coming to my rescue.”

Marlie’ looked at the female warrior and said, “You’re welcome. Would you like to join me at my table?”

The female Marine smiled and said, “I would like that.”

Hmh. I guess she must just have no sense of smell, then.”

Also, this is getting very damselly very quickly.

Stupid Sexist Sangheili Counter: 4

The two walked to where Sole’ and Shata’ were sitting. The Sangheili pulled out a chair for the female to sit then said something in his native tongue. The other two Sangheili nodded in agreement. The female Marine looked at the Elite and said, “Thank you. By the way my name is Shenandoah Gibson. But you can call me Shae for short. What is your name?”

Ok, that’s… kind of a weird name, but sometimes people in the real world have weird names, and it’s not like she’s named Benevolence Kitsune Sapphire Cole Didact Johnson ‘Wattinree 117 Halsey or something, so I really have nothing to complain about. She even has a reasonable nickname that would probably be applied to someone with a clunkier-than-average first name.

The Sangheili was taken back by the question. No Human has ever asked for his name before.

Maybe because you have never, until now, been able to interact with one in a manner that did not involve plasma fire!”

Since the alliance, most have been cruel, teased him, or ignored him altogether, which angered him.

Ohh, boo fucking hoo!

But here was a Human wanting to know him. He looked at her clicked his mandibles in what would be a smile then said, “My name is Marlie’ Chesewee. These are my Sangheili brothers Sole’ Sagotee and Shata’ Resmesee,”

I wonder if, somewhere out there, there is in fact a Sangheili named ‘Renesmee.”

twilight-animatronic-baby

Dear god I hope not.

the two Sangheili nodded to the Shae, then stood as she took her seat.

And then, with no warning at all, we are suddenly dragged back to the canonical Elites as they take a shuttle back to the Seeker of Light and engage in yet another pointless meeting. The command staff dines on three bowls of stew worms, three large fish, sweet flat bread, and a large pitcher of water (and yes, we are told this despite having no idea where the meeting is even being held), and it is then revealed that the main military force on “Sangheil” is committing an unbelievable one-hundred-and fifty cruisers to the defense of Earth, as though the fleet that was already there wasn’t overpowered enough already. Then, without warning, it’s back to the loving couple in the mess hall.”

Marlie’ took a seat next to Shae.

Shae lifted the lid from her tray.

Sole’ asked, “Where did you get that meat?”

I want them to shut up and eat.

Shae looking surprised said, “In the lunch line. It is called a steak. Did any one tell you about the kitchen? Would you like me to take you to where it is?”

Are these Elites really so dense as to not notice the central fixture of the cafeteria?”

Well, to quote Halo Reach: Unfortunately, they don’t make prosthetic situational awareness.

The trio of Elites said, “Yes,” simultaneously and followed Shae to the chow line. They each got a steak, a slab of fish, and a rotisserie chicken.

That is quite a lot of food!

I wish the cooks at boot camp had given us a whole rotisserie chicken with each meal…”

Gul, if you tried to eat a whole rotisserie chicken you would immediately develop severe chirality poisoning and die.

Still…”

They all walked back to their table for their meal. the three Elites clicked their mandibles into a smile. Shata’ said, “Now this is a meal,” then looked at Shae and said, “We thank you. Would you like some fruit?”

Shae said as she began to eat, “I would, thank you.”

Because we really need to know the minutae of their dinner conversation. What next, the amount of time each one of them spent chewing?

The four of them sat there and enjoyed their meal. they talked about everything.

Really? Did they remember to cover deterministic finite-state machines, the Pliny’s Natural History, and dialectic materialism?

Shae looked at Marlie’ and said, “Would you like for me to show you where the gym is? I know you said you could use some exercise.”

Marlie’ said, “I would be honored.”

Sole’ and Shata’ told Marlie’ they were going to the firing range. They could use some practice with some of the Human weapons. Then said, “Would you like to join us?”

Marlie’ replied, “No, my brothers. Shae is going to show me where the gym is.”

Oh dear. First the firing range, then the gym… it’s another setup that belongs in the introduction to a particularly contrived porn movie.”

Turian porn is weird.

Shae and Marlie’ made their way to the gym. Both were talking about how much they like the war between them being over. After both had a very rigorous work out. Marlie’ asked, “Where are the showers? When Sangheili sweat we loose blood. I need to clean up.”

Wha?? Sangheili sweat blood? And this is considered a normal thing?!

To be fair, the ‘fic just states that they lose blood while in the process of sweating.”

Think about this for a moment, Gul. Where else could it possibly go?

“However you look at it, it’s disgusting.”

Shae told him, “Turn right then on your right. Would you like me to wait for you? I don’t have to report for duty for about two hours. Not to mention I’m enjoying the company.”

Bow chicka bow wow…

Marlie’ had to stop for a moment. His head was spinning in one revolution

One revolution per unit, perhaps?”

What, so he pulled a Doc from New Vegas?

That’s fucking Lovecraftian.

he had a Human want to know his name, sit and talk to him, eat with him, and wants to continue to have his company. He looked at Shae and said, “I would like that. I’m enjoying the company also. Maybe we could go to the observation deck sit and look at the stars.”

Maybe you should go to Hell!

Shae said, “Yes, let’s do that. I’ll be right here.”

Marlie’ went and bathed. It was the quickest he ever took a shower.

That sentence still strikes me as vaguely lewd.”

When he came out Shae was still there waiting for him. They proceeded to walk to the observation deck. They chatted all the way. To the Elite this was the longest he went having a good time with a Human.

I doubt it, you people used to play-hunt captured Marines for days on end before finally finishing the poor bastards off.”

As they entered the observation deck Marlie’ noticed a beautiful red flower. He picked it and gave it to Shae.

Shae said as she looked at the rose, “Thank you. It’s beautiful. Would you like to know what kind of flower it is?”

Marlie’ replied, “I would.”

Shae said as she looked up at the Elite, “A rose.”

NO SHIT, SHERLOCK!

As Marlie walked Shae to her quarters he said, “I have enjoyed myself today. Especially the company.” At the door the Elite was looking at his hooves as he moved one back and forth

You’ve had those hooves your entire life. They can’t be that interesting.”

then said, “Would you like to do this again sometime?”

Shae replied, “Yes, I would. I enjoyed your company also.” She gave the Elite a piece of paper that had her personal com frequency on it and told him to call her anytime. Then she turned to walk into her quarters.

As the Sangheili walked away he started humming a tune his father used to hum when he was with his mother.

Ok, this Marlie’ Elite is officially heading into serial killer territory.

He also was thinking about how much he enjoyed today and began to wonder if a Sangheili could really have feelings for a human.

Dear GOD, I hope not.

All he knew is he didn’t want to loose the feeling he had.

Shae went to her closet to get a fresh uniform. She let her mind wonder to the events of the last few hours. She thought to herself, “No man has ever treated me with such kindness and respect.”

“Spirits, you must have had a terrible childhood. And basic training. And deployment history.”

Anyway, Rtas and Simyaldee talk with that guy they sent to contact the Heretics, who are not only still alive and willing to buddy up with their Covenant friends, but also able to contribute another 150 cruisers to the defense of Earth because apparently HJ does not know about any other class of ship. Then, Lord Hood shows up and promises 100 human cruisers to the fight, meaning that probably the entire military might of the UNSC and Sangheili, and then some, is concentrated at Earth and Truth can just go around glassing core colonies as he sees fit. Also, the alliance is still being called the “Forerunner Society”, like it’s some kind of xenoarchaeological social group or something.

Lord Hood said in a commanding tone, “Let them know not to fire on the Covenant ships that are here.

It disturbs me to no end that the powers that be seem to be handing out these orders on a ship-by-ship basis, as opposed to just informing the entire fleet of the cease-fire.”

Tell them the Elites, Grunts, and Hunters have joined us.”

Despite everything actually being done by your precious Elites.

Officer Messer said, “Yes, Sir.”

Lord Hood got on his com link and said, “Master Chief come to my ready room. Bring Commander Keyes and Sergeant Johnson with you. We need to discuss battle strategy.

Because that’s really what we need. Another. Fucking. MEETING.

This is going to be a long battle if our reinforcements don’t arrive.

Meaning that it may take up to three whole sentences!”

And I want little causalities.”

So if you see any chicks or midgets, fire at will.”

Lord Hood and the three Elites took a seat at the conference table.

To Be Continued …

… in a chapter called “The Fight For Peace And A Few Other Things”, which would be a reasonably clever title if 1) the ‘fic hadn’t been trying to be deadly serious until now and 2) the recent bout of Sangheili-stroking didn’t give the “other things” vaguely lewd implications.

We open, as usual, with an interminable senior staff meeting. Human military intelligence is undersold yet again as it is indicated that only the Brutes have managed to identify the “weak spots” on Covenant vessels, and instead of falling back and letting the UNSC’s own massively overpowered fleet manage the front lines, the Arbiter simply decides to “hit them quick”.

Then it’s time to make nonsensical hardware upgrades to the fleet as Cortana suggests “combining shield technology” and “adding a few turrets” to the ex-Covenant vessels. All of these major and heavily ambiguous modifications are expected to be complete in two hours. All thanks to the brave and highly skilled employees of Rillek Heavy Industries, your system’s first line of defense against alien assault-”

Gul?

Oh. Right. Sorry.”

Three hours later the Humans and Sangheili were in Lord Hood’s ready room discussing battle tactics when Commander Pharr broke in on the com and said, “Arbiter, long range scans have picked up multiple slip space ruptures near the asteroid belt. they will be within the kill zone in three units.”

Commander R’tas said, “I suggest we send Simyaldee in the Shadow of Ascension to check to see if it is the Brutes, since it is a cloak enabled cruiser.”

Lord Hood said, “I agree.”

Ok, I’m actually willing to ignore for a moment the pronoun problem that may have given the Brutes‘ ships cloaking, and the fact that with the fleet all bunched up around Earth and the Covenant fleet out at the asteroid belt, the colonists on Mars and Io may as well just get to the point and glass themselves. Because we might actually get some action in here! Halleluiah!

Simyaldee stood accepted his mission then said, “I’ll take the four cloaked frigates along. We will come from behind as they strike,” then he turned to face Commander R’tas then said, “If we fly in formation our cloaking field expands. We could cloak another twenty-seven frigates within our formation without breaking cloak. I would suggest thirteen Sangheili and fourteen Human all with support craft within. The Covenant wouldn’t know what hit them.”

Boy have you got that right. Still, I’m so hungry for something to happen even a curb-stomp battle would be an improvement.

Commander R’tas clocked his mandibles into a smile and said, “I like it. Make it so. However, I want the Solemn Justice as part of the attack fleet.”

Simyaldee saluted and said, “For the Honor of the Forerunner.”

Commander R’tas and the Arbiter stood and said, “For the Honor of the Forerunner.”

For the capital-‘H’ Honor of a single, solitary Forerunner. Somewhere.”

Simyaldee walked out of the ready room. His mandibles clicking into a smile at the thought of killing the Covenant scum.

Lord Hood said, “Now, we have three hundred MAC super cannon platforms, a fleet of Human and Elite ships that number greater than two thousand five hundred all with support craft. This should be a short battle.”

Wrongo.

You have your defense platforms (there are indeed around 300 over Earth), but you only have around 100 human and 300 Covenant cruisers. That’s still an insanely large number of ships, but nowhere near 2,500, to say nothing of the additional support craft that would be required for all of this.

The Master Chief said, “Yes and if we are lucky we will kill a Prophet.”

The Arbiter replied as he clicked his mandibles into a smile, “Yes, my brother, killing a Prophet would make for a great day.”

Sergeant Johnson said loudly, “Hey, no taking all the fun you two.”

Commander R’tas looked at Lord Hood and said seriously, “With the combined shields and weaponry the Covenant will fall.”

Just then the radar specialist, Major Kerry Judd,

Hey, what happened to the old generic forgettable sensor specialist?!

came on the intercom and said, “Sirs, we have multiple hostile contacts closing in fast. ETA forty-five minutes.”

Lord Hood said, “Now is the moment of truth,” then he gets on the com with all the ships and said,

All hands, brace for a tense shift?”

Sadly, no.

“Go to formation as planned. Everyone has a copy of the battle plan.

Well, I should certainly hope so!”

Have ant boarding parties ready.

I’ll admit, the little fellows have discipline, but once they’re on the enemy vessel I doubt the unit can hold up against heavy Brute stomping.”

Have all support craft fly in a tight formation, let nothing come through.

This seems like a terrible idea, but the setup of this fight is so vague it might very well work.”

Let’s send a Prophet a message. We will not be exterminated.”

Commander R’tas and the Arbiter both said, “To victory.”

Everyone went to their posts. Outside there were Longswords and Seraphs flying in formation around an array of super cruisers, super carriers, and battle cruisers, all awaiting communication from Simyaldee’s battle cruiser, Forsaken Promise. The tension on the bridge of the Cairo was so thick one could cut it with a knife.

This… isn’t as bad! Sure, it’s terribly phrased and we still have no idea what is actually going on, but it almost sort of feels like the buildup to a major naval engagement if you squint your eyes hard enough.

There was a crack on the com link,

Well, you’d better replace the casing then, you wouldn’t want the internals getting liquid spilled on them or something.”

Bridge Officer Messer answered with a start, “This is the Cairo,” then said, “Lord Hood and Commander R’tas the signal is from the Forsaken Promise.”

Commander R’tas said, “Put it on screen.”

Simyaldee said, “Commander, I have a report on the ships that have exited slip space. They are indeed hostile. There are about seven hundred fifty ships total.

Merciful ancestors, the entire Covenant Navy is inside the Earth defense perimeter!”

That is with support craft.

Oh.”

Our fleet can destroy them. We will hang back and attack from the rear while you attack from the front.”

Commander R’tas said, “Very good. We will meet you in the middle.”

So, basically, they will move forward from wherever it is they happen to be at the moment, and attack things that get near them.”

Unknown to the cloaked vessels the new Covenant planetoid was hanging just in slip space awaiting the fleet to attack. The Prophet of Truth said to the other two Prophets, Fear and Grace, “We shall wait here. Our ships should destroy the Humans and Sangheili ships in no time. Then we can go to the Ark and destroy it with our virus. The universe will then be ours.”

Step 1: Destroy the massively more powerful allied fleet without the assistance of your heavily-armed planetoid fortress.

Step 2: Use a computer virus (?) to destroy a small Forerunner structure of largely sentimental value, thereby depriving yourself of a means of activating a powerful weapons system.

Step 3: Rule the universe with an iron claw. Truly, I could not think of a better plan myself.”

The trio of Prophets commenced to laugh.

Requesting authorization to commence laughter, code Alpha-Whiskey-Kilo-Whiskey-Alpha-Romeo-Delta!

I think we engaged that response seven chapters ago.”

Then the Prophet of Truth said to one of the Brute captains, “Show the battle on the view screen. I want to bask in the glory of this victory.”

The hostile cruisers were almost in firing range. The Seraph fighters were given the word to proceed with their attack. They were told to take out all support craft. The Longswords were told to maneuver to a position to take out any support craft that manage to get through. Lord Hood said, “Seraphs and Longswords do not engage the cruisers leave them to our battle cruisers and our MAC stations. Victory shall be ours.”

The voice of Shade’ Koepkee commander of the Sangheili super cruiser Solemn Justice came over the com link, “All cruisers engage enemy. Let none live for they have taken our Brother’s lives.”

Multiple com links opened with the Sangheili giving their war cry. The Humans couldn’t help joining in cheering. All were ready for battle.

My god, are things… actually getting ready to happen?!

The Brutes were the first to fire the first shot. However, the new shields that all the Forerunners had were holding. Cortana took control of the new MAC guns. The upgrades were effective. The first blast knocked out the Brutes’ shields then the plasma blast destroyed the ship.

The three Prophets sat and watched as their fleet was being destroyed.

Ok, now I’m torn between celebrating the fact that we got a whole paragraph of pure curbstomping, and bemoaning the fact that we got a whole paragraph of pure curbstomping.

The Prophet of Truth said, “Captain Tantus launch a boarding party on their main station. That is where the Arbiter is. Destroy him and the Sangheili will have no leader.”

Tantus replied, “Yes, Nobel Hierarch.”

01

Presumably, he won that prize for something other than peace.

On the Seeker of Light the radar specialist, Onno Rjosee, said, “Commander Pharr, the Covenant has sent out a boarding party. It is headed for the Cairo.”

Oyho Guasee, the communications specialist, was monitoring the Covenant battle net added, “Commander, they are going to try to assassinate the Arbiter. The boarding party has orders from Truth to kill the Arbiter. We must do something.”

You know, you could try to shoot the boarding craft down…”

Commander Pharr slams his fist on the railing and said, “Damn the Covenant scum. Those honorless beasts will pay. Get me the Cairo. Now!”

The Arbiter and Commander R’tas were on the bridge of the Cairo when the communications officer said, “Sir, we are being hailed by the Seeker of Light.”

The Arbiter says, “On screen.”

Tick tock, tick tock, that transport isn’t getting any easier to hit…”

Commander Pharr’s face comes on the view screen and said, “Arbiter, your life is in danger. The Prophet of Truth has launched a boarding party and their target is you. Truth has ordered your death.”

Commander R’tas said, “I want a squad of Seraph fighters and a squad of Longsword fighters on that boarding craft and I want it now!” then he looks at the Arbiter and continues, “It will not be your blood that is spilled today, my Brother.”

Finally.”

Lord Hood gets on the intercom and said, “Antiboarding parties be on alert. Boarding craft inbound.”

The Prophet of Fear said, “Truth recall your ships. We will wait to see if Captain Tantus is successful before going any further.”

The Prophet of Truth done as Fear had said.

And by golly, he done good.

The Brute ships, rather what was left of them considering they had lost six hundred fifty ships to the Forerunner assault, were recalled into slip space.

Unbelievable.”

On the UNSC Marathon class cruiser the Armageddon the tactical officer looked at the Captain and said, “Sir, they are retreating. Thanks to the help from the Elites we’ve won.”

Ummm, helloooooo? Boarding parties? Still around? Ready to murder countless good men and women deckside unless you shoot their transport down?

Be quiet. If we don’t call attention to them, they might make it through, and we might get something resembling small-unit combat, and maybe, just maybe it will all add up to the equivalent of a single decent action sequence the way your human quarters add up to dollars.”

The Captain looked at the view screen and said, “Get me Admiral Hood.”

Lord Hood went to the communications room to receive his secure message, he said, “Yes Captain.”

The Captain said, “The Covenant have retreated.”

Well, that’s certainly a big secret right there…

Lord Hood said, “I don’t trust it. The Covenant has launched a boarding party to try and assassinate the Arbiter. We need to destroy that boarding craft.”

Just then an array of Seraphs and Longswords came barreling down upon the single boarding craft. The hull on the boarding craft began to buckle under the assault of plasma and small MAC rounds. Finally the craft exploded killing all who were on board. The pilots of the Longswords and the Seraphs cheered.

… Well that was… something, at least? It was unbalanced, it was short, it was beige, and it was a second-order Idiot Plot on the part of the commanders, but something did happen? Right?

Truth was watching as Tantus failed to board the Human’s main station. “Damn the Forerunners,” he said, “WE shall regroup at the last known coordinates of High Charity.

You mean Delta Halo? Where the Flood are or… well, were? Other than the center of a star or the audience pit of a krogan political rally, I can’t think of a more unsafe location to regroup and lick your wounds.”

We are going to need more reinforcements if we are going to take down the Forerunner blockade. We must reach the Ark.”

Marlie’ disengaged his active camouflage when the all clear was issued.

Wait, the brave, honorable Elite’s been hiding on the station this entire fight?

And you used to call me a chickenhawk.”

He had to find Shae. He didn’t quote understand why but he needed to know if she was alright.

Well, he’s in good company. I don’t, quote, ‘understand’ why, either.”

He went to the hanger to see if he could see her when she got off the Longsword she was stationed upon. It bothered him when he learned she was one of the three gunners upon the Longsword.

*whap* *whap* *whap* The Longsword fighter has an absolute maximum of four crew stations, period, and only one of those could be considered a gunner.

Also, Longsword personnel are Navy, while this ‘Shae’ person was previously stated to be a Marine.”

And, hmm, I’m calling it. It doesn’t sound like he’s concerned for her safety, but just that she is firing guns in some capacity.

Stupid Sexist Sangheili counter: 5

He kept saying, to himself, “I hope she is alright.”

The report that came over the intercom was some causalities were suffered but no fatalities.

Of course. Because fighting off the largest Covenant fleet in the history of basically anything is just that goddamn easy.

Marlie’ was relieved when he saw Shae exit her Longsword. The Sangheili warrior walked up to Shae and said, “Could you join me in the Mess Hall after you give report,” then looked at her arm and said, “You’re hurt!”

Shae told the Elite, who was now almost beside himself, “I’ll be fine. It’s just a minor burn. I’m going to have it taken care of when I’m done here. And yes we could have some coffee.”

Marlie’ said, as he was calming himself, “What is coffee?”

Hopefully, deadly poison to Elites.”

Shae smiled as she looked at the worried Elite then said, “I’ll show you. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes or a quarter unit in your time.”

Marlie’ said , still trying to calm his nerves

Marlie’ said what??

You know, ‘ ‘. That almost-sound that humans make when they’re choking on something. I guess I was right about coffee being extremely poisonous to Elites after all…”

and not quite understanding why they were in knots, “I’ll meet you there.”

Shae was relieved to see Marlie’ was unharmed. She thought to herself, she didn’t know what she would have done if he had been hurt or worse.

Maybe move on with her life and find some other poor alien to grope?

Then she remembered the worried look and his tone when he saw her burn. “Could he have feelings for me?” she asked herself. Although she wasn’t sure but the thought made her smile.

Shae gave her report then went to the medical bay to have her burn checked. When she was done she proceeded to go to the Mess Hall.

Thrill as we follow the daily itinerary of random UNSC soldiers!

Marlie’ was already there at the table they sat at for lunch. She grabbed a tray and put two cups of coffee on it with packets of cream and sugar. She also grabbed two glazed donuts and two chocolate chip cookies. Then went to the table where Marlie’ sat.

I cannot wait to see how a Sangheili attempts to eat a human doughnut.”

I am imagining him holding it horizontally between his mandibles and slowly juggling it around like a turntable record while he licked off the glaze.

Marlie’ stood and pulled a chair out for Shae to sit. Then he took his seat. Marlie’ was the first to speak. He said, “How is your wound?”

Shae said, “It doesn’t hurt. But the medic wants me to wear this dressing for a few days.” Shae thought for a moment then added, “Marlie’ I was worried that it would be you that would get hurt. I didn’t want those Brutes getting on the Cairo.

Well, you did a piss-poor job of getting around to stopping them…”

I didn’t want them getting to you. Marlie’ I know we just met a few days ago. But that doesn’t matter. I feel I’ve known you longer. I’m starting to have feelings for you. Let’s finish our coffee and go somewhere a little more private so we can really talk.”

Marlie’ ate the rest of his sweet delicate bread, the Humans call a donut, and downed the rest of his coffee. They walked to Shae’s private quarters.

Oh dear.”

Once inside Shae told Marlie’ to have a seat. She said, “I want to talk,” she sat beside him and continued, “Marlie’ I know we are from two different species. Now I want to finish before you speak I just hope you don’t find me silly.”

Oh, we crossed that point a long, loooooooooong time ago…

Marlie’ unable to resist speaking said, “I would never think you silly.”

Shae continued as if Marlie’ had never said a word, “Marlie’ I have feelings for you. We come from two different worlds. I know we could never be together physically but I don’t want that.

…”

Ok.

Wow.”

Where to begin?

Let’s start with the basics. As my doughy friend has mentioned in previous sporks, xenophilia in the Halo universe is going to be somewhat difficult because the various species are physiologically quite different.

Obviously in the case of something like a Mgalekgolo you can discount any sort of compatibility, but even though they’re at least vaguely turianoid Elites probably possess scales in any number of uncomfortable places, judging by the beginning of Halo 2 keep their sensitive bits largely internal as opposed to the frankly rather ridiculous setup your kind seems to prefer, and are also simply much stronger than humans.

That said, in my experience sapient beings tend to be fairly good at finding ways to make horribly incompatible pairings work, so (especially if both partners were actually… errrm… ‘cooperative‘) I could see something happening. This seems like the author is giving himself an easy out so that he doesn’t have to write about lubricants or transcloacal chirality poisoning.”

Which makes the fact that people would actually do this all the more strange. I’ll admit that, not having any appreciable sexual orientation myself, I don’t really have a good handle on how these sorts of things work, but considering that marriages can fall apart over an inability to couple properly I don’t think most humans would consider this sort of relationship particularly appealing.

On the Elite end, we never get a detailed study of their sex lives in canon (for which I am immensely grateful), but it certainly seems like they view mating as a strictly procreational activity- Shae can’t lay eggs by default, so this Marley guy opting not to get physical with her makes a warped sort of sense, but why a conservative, up-and-coming Elite Spec Ops soldier would ever even get to this point is a complete mystery to me.

I haven’t stopped thinking of you since you left here today. All I could think of was when I’d see you again. I know I wouldn’t be able to go on if something ever happened to you,” tears were swelling in her eyes as she continued, “To me love is sacred it is to be given as well as returned. I just hope you will return it. Marlie’ I love you.”

Marlie’ was shocked at the beauty of Shae as she sat beside him. So venerable.

Huh.

Having the theocratic Elites use ‘venerable’ as an expression of beauty does make a sort of sense, but somehow I don’t think that Half-Jaw was trying to type it here. And in that case…”

Stupid Sexist Sangheili counter: 6

Could he be feeling the most sacred of Sangheili feelings, love, for this Human? Marlie’ could feel it no matter how much he tried to deny it. He tried to speak but began to stutter. He said to himself, “Get it together. She just told you her feelings. Now is the time to tell her yours.”

That you feel her blood-and-viscera-splattered armor would make a fine trophy?

Marlie’ said softly, “Shae, I know we could never mate. But I believe a Mate is more than just the physical act. There is a bond. The most sacred feelings for a Sangheili is love. Some go their whole life without feeling it for another. They take a mate but it is a loveless existence.

In fact, I’d even go so far as to say it’s the norm for your miserable species.”

And I when I was younger I’d never bond without love.

An unfortunately mangled sentence implying that young Marlie’ ‘Chesewee really got around.

My parents were some of the few to find love. My father when he was with my mother hummed a tune he called his ‘love tune’. I find myself humming the same tune now.”

And that’s still rather creepy. And now vaguely oedipal as well.

Shae looked at the Elite as she moved closer to him on the sofa and took his hand in hers. Marlie’ continued, “Shae, I love you. When I heard you were out there on a Longsword my heart sank. I didn’t want to loose you now that I have found you. When a Sangheili loves it’s for life. You will be my only love until I take my last breath.”

Well, discounting any other ‘wives’ he feels like acquiring in the interim, of course.”

Shae stood and took Marlie’ by the hand. She closed her eyes and kissed Marlie’ on the forehead. Marlie’ stood then asked, “What did you do?”

“Oh, I just implanted a parasitic embryo that will gradually take over your central nervous system, force you to eat tons of raw meat and cookie dough, then burst out of your skull in a shower of gore and feast on your still-twitching body.

What, you told me you didn’t know how human reproduction works?

You do now.

Shae replied, “A kiss. We do that to say I love you.”

Marlie’ bent down and wiggled his mandibles on the back of her neck. Shae squirmed and said, “What is that you are doing?”

“That is what we do to show and say I love you,” Marlie’ whispered in her ear.

Bleh. I can sort of see this working with a human, but oddly I don’t think the angles work out for, you know, another Elite.

Still, at least among my people a little mandible play is a great way to get an evening started off right. Just a suggestion.”

Wow, Gul, I could have spent my entire life in perfect contentment not knowing that.

Shae and Marlie’ spent the evening talking and expressing their love for each other.

Which would sound euphemistic except for the fact that, given what we know now, it just sounds like they did alternating gestures of mild affection for three and a half hours.

Marlie’ said, “In my culture the female chooses their life mate. How do you do it?”

Shae smiled and kissed the Elite on the head then said, “Why break a good tradition. Will you be my life mate?”

Marlie’ looked at Shae, picked her up, and said, “Yes, I would be honored.”

Marlie’ wiggled his mandibles on Shae’s neck once more, sat her down then turned to the door and said, “Shae, my love, we must speak with the Arbiter.”

No, you idiot. Shae is over there. Just because that rectangular piece of metal has “Private Gibson” written on it doesn’t mean it’s your *gags* mate-to-be.”

Actually, that brings up an interesting point as to why a lowly Marine has private quarters. The UNSC is usually pretty stingy with them.

To Be Continued …

And we’ll see just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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21 Comments on “1150: A New Covenant – Chapter Six and Seven”

  1. "Lyle" says:

    Ah, yes. Nothing like the stale romance of two physically incompatible species to start the morning. *sips her tea* I just don’t see the draw of that pairing to begin with, especially when the author spends less time on it than a morning bowel movement.

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      Well, let me tell you there is a lot of human-Elite shipping in the Halo fanverse, probably because 1)the Elites are actually one of the most humanoid of the Halo species (I personally think only the Brutes look more similar) and 2) they are the only alien species that during the main plot eventually stop shooting at us. I don’t currently have on hand a recommendation for a ‘fic featuring good human-Elite shipping, but I’m sure they exist. (I’ve heard War, Peace, and other Galactic Customs features some kind of shipping element, but as that author’s grasp of pacing, plot, and realism drastically exceeds his/her grasp of the actual structure of English sentences I never made it that far.)

  2. neji7hyuga says:

    Took a look, there’s only two more chapters left. Which is both good and horrifying at the same time. Good because this is almost over. Horrifying because of what the ending might entail. *reads through snarking and sees some squicky stuff and hides behind Neji Hyūga* Ugh! Some of the stuff…can’t go on. Can you look through the rest please…I’ll have bad dreams if I keep going on.

    Neji- I’ll try. *reads through snarking* Ughhh…*shudders and looks a bit sick to his stomach* This…is disgusting to put it simply. The squick…if I wasn’t a ninja…

    I know, even though I am an Elite fan too, I never did something like…this…

    Neji- True. What happened in your crossovers which involved Halo quite a bit, which you made the good move of not posting them on the internet considering the army of trolls waiting to send various insults of varying levels at you for writing them, were good attempts at writing clean fics. Even if the quality was lacking.

    Indeed. Writing action fics was more my kind of thing. And if one were to look through the really old ones that I will never post anywhere on the internet, one would find out I am a huge Neji fan, and I still am.

    • "Lyle" says:

      You know, while I don’t see the appeal of an inter-species relationship between a human and an elite, at least he’s not tying to have them physically couple. And that said, if he had taken his time with this, shown scenes of them having potential feelings for each other (reactions, not internal monologue), have some serious character development , I would be less likely to want to smack the author. Developing true feelings for someone takes longer than one chapter.

      • neji7hyuga says:

        True. It could have been worse, a lot worse.

        And true, things would be muchbetter I there was development of characters and basically everything else.

      • The sad thing is that, when looking at actual characters and not cardboard cutouts, the physical portion of a human-Elite pairing is probably the easier one: without going into too much detail, sapient beings seem to be capable of finding gratification in all sorts of bizarre things, so I’m sure a pair or two could figure something out.

        Possibly the bigger problem is that humans and most of the Covenant species have radically different concepts of culture, romance, friendship, and sexuality. Their approach is often so, well, alien that even if a human were physically attracted to Elites or vice versa (half of FF.net certainly seems to be, anyway, so it can’t be that hard…), as soon as they actually sat down and started a conversation I could see either or both partners getting weirded out extremely quickly.

  3. neji7hyuga says:

    Xenophilia in the Halo universe? It is, as you said, somewhat difficult, and complicated. At least in Mass Effect, the way the stuff is set up, one can include it in their fics in a well done way more easily. The Asari provide a good example of that.

    Neji- Though I can imagine one would run into squick like this fic if one is not careful.

    Too true, the fanfic section can be a dangerous place.

    Neji- And considering some peoples’ lack of judgment regarding ratings…

    Sad, but true. I imagine there’s squicky stuff hiding like ninja in the E-rated fics.

  4. agigabyte says:

    Klein ‘Darsadee

    agig: Wait a sec. Klein? An Elite named Klein? Fucking KLEIN?!

    • Half-Jaw’s Elite names aren’t TERRIBLE, and I imagine you would get one that was meaningful to humans by pure coincidence sooner or later.

      I’m more worried about his tendency to discuss pointless information while his men are being incinerated.

  5. Colonel deFraug says:

    I can’t help replace loverboy-Elite’s name with Bob Marley. It makes it all the funnier.

    And yeah, this is a pretty piss-poor attempt at xenophilia. Hell, it’s a piss-poor romance discounting the whole ‘different species ‘thing. Both of the characters are flat as hell, arguably loathsome, and there’s NO build-up whatsoever. What a crock.

  6. TacoMagic says:

    The Brutes were the first to fire the first shot.

    Oh cra-

    *Taco is chloroformed and dragged from the lobby*

  7. Tie Dye Mage says:

    “I’m assuming this unnamed Marine is trying to speedrun a dishonorable discharge. If so, he’s doing a damn good job.”

    A space marine who’s insubordinate? Holy crap, it’s Doomguy!

  8. Tie Dye Mage says:

    Since the alliance, most have been cruel, teased him, or ignored him altogether, which angered him.

    Ohh, boo fucking hoo!

    *brings out a tiny violin*

    Got any requests?


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