Sangheili - Elite
Unggoy - Grunt
Lekgolo - Hunter
Jiralhanae - Brute
Kig-Yar - Jackal
Yanme'e - Drone
Huragok - Engineer
Prophet - Prophet


"Rrrah!" Tartarus swung his hammer at him, missing by mere inches. The Arbiter ran backwards, shooting with both Jiralhanae-made plasma rifles. The red-colored plasma flowed harmlessly off the enhanced body shield. The rifles overheated, spilling out plasma. The Sangheili franticly held them away from his body, allowing the plasma to drop to the ground.

Tartarus, seizing his chance, smashed his hammer into the Arbiter's chest. The hammer blew through his body shield and crushed the ancient armor. Tartarus laughed as the Sangheili cried out in pain. "So here ends the mighty Arbiter!" He raised his hammer for the killing blow… and was hit in the back of the head by the Human's particle beam rifle!

The beam, instead of bouncing off the Jiralhanae's shield as the other weapons did, caused Tartarus to jerk in pain. A second shot made him lower his hammer. The third shot completely took out his shield! The Arbiter raised both rifles and shot plasma into the Jiralhanae. Tartarus roared as the plasma burned through his chest and with one last cry, he fell.

Without wasting any time, the Human Commander acted, jumping from platform to platform to finally land on the main level. She ran past him to the beam of energy, removing the Icon. The energy beam intensified, and then fired up through the ceiling. After a few seconds, the beam faded away and all was quiet. The Arbiter rose, ignoring the intense pain in his chest, to approach the Human Commander. He stopped, however, as the console shifted image, becoming a cloud of geometric shapes. The Human Commander studied it as the Oracle floated down to her, carrying the darker Human.

"What's that?" the Human Commander questioned the Oracle.

"A beacon," the Oracle answered simply. The dark Human dropped off onto the platform and joined his Commander.

"What's it doing?" she asked.

"Communicating," answered the Oracle, "At super-luminal speeds, with a frequency of-"

"Communicating with what?" the Human interrupted.

"The… other installations," the Oracle replied, as though surprised that the Human did not know.

"Show me," the Human commanded.

The Oracle turned to the hologram, interfacing with it. From a storm of geometric shapes, emerged the seven Sacred Rings. He moved in closer, noting that a small red note was attached to one of the Halos, likely noting it was destroyed by the Demon. The Oracle then spoke, breaking the Sangheili out of his thoughts.

"Fail-safe protocol. In the event of unexpected shut-down, the entire system will move to standby status. All remaining platforms are now ready for remote activation."

"Remote activation?" repeated the Human. "From here?"

"Don't be ridiculous," the Oracle said in a patronizing tone. The darker Human (Jahnsen, was it?) moved in angrily.

"Listen, Tinkerbelle," Jahnsen started, "Don't make me-"

The Human Commander quickly cut him off with a question to the Oracle, "Then where? Where would someone go to activate the other Rings?"

The Oracle looked at them both, apparently baffled at the question. "Why… the Ark… of course," the Oracle finally answered.

"And where, Oracle, is that?" he asked, stepping into the group. The Humans stared up at him, perhaps astonished that he had left them alive.

"Scanning," the Oracle intoned as it turned back to the console. The hologram soon changed into a depiction of the galaxy. "Ark detected," announced the Oracle. The holographic galaxy rose, and a holographic star system took its place. "On the third planet of a planetary system approximately 6,100 light-years from our position."

"My god," the Human Commander said in a quiet voice. "That's…"

"Earth," finished the other.

Earth? The Human planet attacked by the High Prophet of Regret? "Oracle," the Arbiter began, "Can the Ark be disabled from here?"

"Certainly not," the Oracle stated, "My creators specifically created the Ark to control the installations. Should there ever be a circumstance where the countdown sequence is disrupted; the Reclaimers would override such infraction from the Ark."

"What are Reclaimers?" the Human Commander asked, making the Oracle turn to stare at her. After a long moment, the Oracle spoke.

"Why… the Reclaimers…" The Oracle indicated the Humans. "You are the Reclaimers," the Oracle said, utterly bewildered.

"Say what!" cried Jahnsen.

The Oracle looked between the two of them, concerned. "Are you two perhaps… ill?"

"We're fine," the Human Commander began to say, but stopped as a party of Sangheili reinforcements entered the chamber.