- Fabled Legendary Member
Well thank you. Here's part seven, it's nice and long. Enjoy, and please comment.
Part Seven - Covert Extraction
Sorran paced up and down the small room, stretching his ached legs. His jaw had swollen up, as a result of the 'interrogation', and his teeth dug into the lining of his puffed up gums. Luckily, Sangheili were quick healers, the wound would go down soon enough. That didn't stop it hurting at that moment though.
An ugly bruise had arisen on the side of his waist, from where he had been kicked. The humans truly were barbarians.
Two of the infidels stood posted outside the metal bars of the cell, each armed with one of their primitive weapons. Crude as they were though, they were still powerful enough to kill an unshielded soldier of the Covenant.
For the first time since being drafted into the legions of the Covenant forces, Sorran missed having a plasma rifle, or any weapon for that matter, at his side. The Sangheili felt defenceless, weak, vulnerable. Which, Sorran reflected, he was.
He looked closely at the two humans. One was dark skinned, with short hair and green eyes, the other fair skinned, with what seemed like hair to be growing on it's face, much in the same way of the Prophets, and Brutes. They seemed to both be male, quite young too, if Sorran's observations of human age were anything to go by.
The dark skinned one was at full attention it seemed, watching me with narrowed eyes, his finger perpetually resting on the trigger. As if he were a threat in this condition, hah!
The other human seemed to be sat on a chair of sorts, brow furrowed in concentration and eyes trained on an object in his hands, with human writing plastered all over it's papery surface. Sorran was intrigued.
"What is it that you are doing human?" The Elite asked softly, walking to the edge of the cell, so he was close to the barred, steel door. The human looked up from the object in his hand startled, with a questioning look upon his face. He then noticed that Sorran was looking at what he held in his left hand now, and comprehension dawned upon him.
"I'm ah...reading, Lord of the Rings." the human replied, confused by Sorran's interest.
This surprised Sorran. It was obvious, now that he thought about it, that some humans could read; despite how primitive they were in the Covenant's eyes, they still possessed some impressive technology. Naturally they would write instructions down.
"Can every human read?" Sorran asked, curiosity piqued.
"Well, yeah, basically everyone. We're not idiots you know."
This revelation shocked him; whilst it was true that most Sangheili and practically all the Prophets could read, the lower classes such as the Unggoy, Kig yar, and even the Jirahanae were taught but a few runes. Knowledge was power, and the higher races of the Covenant, especially the Sangheili did not want them to have power. That the humans considered it normal to read was an alien concept.
Before Sorran could reply with another question, the dark skinned human chose then to speak.
"Enough chit chat!" he barked at the battered Elite, who slunk away from the cell door, disappointed. The human then turned to the fair skinned one who had been reading, "come on man, you know what the Colonel said. 'No speaking to the Elite', I believe his words were."
"Yeah, I know. My bad."
"I didn't know you liked all that fantasy crap by the way."
"Crap? It's Tolkien man, it's a classic."
"It's like, six hundred years old!"
"So? It's still great."
So I wasn't to be spoken to? Sorran thought to himself. Interesting, although not surprising. Indeed, if he had held a human captive, he would have forbidden any but him to speak to it.
Despite the danger Sorran was in, he was growing extremely bored. He could not sleep, the pain in his jaw and side saw to that.
Units passed in the cell. What was it that the humans named units? Ah yes, 'hours.' Regardless of the name, they passed.
"The exit is barred Ahkrin!" Zharn hissed to his companion, who was behind him in the ventilation shaft. The two Sangheili had made it into the base where Sorran was held captive, yet they had run into a problem.
"That's a rather large thorn in our side." Ahkrin replied dryly, peering over Zharn's shoulder, "well noble Zharn Refun'ee, what is your plan?"
"I cannot break the bars hunched as I am. There is not enough room to apply real force. I could melt the bars with my rifle."
"No! That would not be wise, the humans would hear the shots. Here, use my energy blade." Ahkrin snapped back instantly, reaching his arm around Zharn, the inscribed hit of the plasma blade offered in his outstretched hand.
Zharn grimaced at the blade, and turned his head around to face Ahkrin.
"It is not permitted for one of my rank to use such a weapon my brother. The council, would have my head." the Sangheili Major lectured, pushing the hand holding the hilt away.
"Do not be foolish Zharn, the council need not know! Just cut the bars, and hand back the sword. I would do it myself, yet I cannot reach from where I am, nor can I move past you. Just take the blade." Ahkrin intoned, shoving the hilt of the sacred blade into Zharn's reluctant hand.
It was a strange custom, but none below the rank of Zealot were permitted to use the holy Energy Blade, designed by the Forerunners themselves. The only exclusion from this rule was that of the Stealth Sangheili's, and Spec Ops operatives needs. Which was why Ahkrin possessed such a weapon.
Heresy though it may be, Zharn took the weapon, and activated it. A sharp crack rung through the air as the plasma protruded, shaped by the magnetic boundaries around it. Had even this been witnessed by a councillor, Zharn would be in shackles.
The weapon sung of purity and honour, even as it was lowered by Zharn onto the metal bars of the grill excluding the two Sangheili from the confines of the base. It cut through easily, leaving the severed ends of the bars a searing mess. Zharn slightly pushed, and the grill opened enough for the two to fit through.
"Was that so hard brother? Come, pass me my blade back, and let us go on." Ahkrin said then, and for a moment Zharn felt a rush of irrational jealousy. Why should this sneaking, dishonourable bungler be allowed to use a weapon of the gods when he, Zharn, he who had won countless battles in the glorious Covenant's name was forbidden to even hold it?
The jealousy subsided after a moment, however, and Zharn was left feeling very foolish. Wordlessly, he passed the sword over to Ahkrin with no little reluctance, and moved through the exit of the shaft, dropping some eight feet to the ground below, with elegant grace. The Stealth Sangheili followed the Major's suit, surveying the room.
"And now?" Zharn demanded, looking helplessly around the small room they had dropped in. Human computers were stored in the corner, devoid of activity. A ornate clock hung in the room, it's pendulum rocking back and forth. A single human fan stood, blowing cold air into the small enclosure. It was all very mundane.
"I've infiltrated human bases before, they usually have their detention blocks on the ground floor. Follow my lead, and stay plastered to my tracks." Ahkrin intoned, bringing a small device out from his belt as he did so. Zharn recognised it as an Electronics jammer, used by stealth operatives. Once activated, it would send out a signal, knocking out all electronic surveillance items in the area.
Zharn engaged his active camouflage, as did Ahkrin. The humans may be able to detect it with a heat sensor, but it was still well worth using. Stealth at the expense of slightly weakened shields. The Sangheili Major approached the wooden door of the room's exit, and, grasping the small handle, opened it slightly ajar, to reveal an empty corridor.
"All is clear." Zharn whispered over a secure communications link, derived from Forerunner technology. His voice would be undetectable to all but Ahkrin.
"Then proceed brother, unless you consider yourself inept." Ahkrin mocked, amusement evident in his voice. Zharn scowled, and moved into the narrow stretch of corridor, wary of danger. Ahkrin followed up, sniffing the air before them.
"Humans have been here recently, and behold, fresh footprints scatter the floor. Hurry onward, this area is patrolled frequently." Ahkrin reported, and Zharn took the Stealth operatives advise, heading down a flight of stairs on the left.
The Sangheili Major suddenly paused when he heard murmuring -- human voices around the corner.
[Edited on 09.06.2009 3:33 PM PDT]