/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// HALO2: SCRIPT GUIDE /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Copyright Information, Credit, and Legal Garbage =============================================================================== Halo2 is trademarked property of Microsoft Corporation and Bungie Studios, with all that entails. This guide is unauthorized and done without the knowledge or consent of the owning parties. I'm sure the voice actors don't have any right to their work in this, but they should. Without their phenomenal work, this game would only be a dumb shooter. Double that for the writer: Joseph Staten. The scene descriptions are entirely my fault, and should probably be copyrighted, so here goes: Copyright 2004 Rachel Maille Under the whole "Information desires to be free" philosophy, this document may be reproduced in physical and/or electronic form. This is provided that no money is made from that reproduction and that the work is reproduced in its entirety including this section. For my own amusement, drop me a line if you decide to put this on your site. Comments, corrections, criticisms, &c are also welcome. Please don't send attached files; I'm paranoid about viruses. email: email@example.com =============================================================================== Notes =============================================================================== This guide is meant to be a compilation of the cut scene and in-game dialogue. This guide is not a novelization, although if it gets any longer, it just might be. This guide also does not, with a few notable exceptions, include the random dialogue spouted by the Marines, Covenant, Cortana, &c. That's for someone else to compile. I've tried to use a minimum of scene descriptions. You be judge. There are sections where someone (usually Cortana) will make running comments every few rooms. For readability, these are seperated. There are also a few sections later on in the game where I couldn't make out the dialogue. These are marked as "(missing data)". If anyone can make these parts out, I'd appreciate it greatly if you could email me. Also, if anyone knows the name of the Elite Commander that keeps popping up, I'd like to know. Lastly, this is tentatively being labeled version 1.0. I still need to confirm a few scene descriptions and check to see if there are any more level dependent differences. =============================================================================== Special Thanks Truc87: For the correction to Johnson's speach in The Armory Rick: For the correction to Hood's line in Field Expedient Daniel: For the [missing data] fill in for Gravemind's line during Please Make Yourself at Home. Michael: For the correction in The Armory. The "chilly hole" comment appears to be random and has nothing to do with the difficulty setting. =============================================================================== UPDATES: Please check to make sure you have the most current edition before sending corrections. =============================================================================== December 23,2004- Made dozens of minor changes to spelling, punctuation, and certain inacurate words. Changes cover up to "Uncomfortable Silence" =============================================================================== Contents =============================================================================== Heretic Armory ---One Size Fits All Cairo Station ---Home Field Advantage ---Authorized Personnel Only ---Return to Sender Outskirts ---They'll Regret That Too ---A Day At the Beach ---Speed Zone Ahead Metropolis ---Ladies Like Armor Plating (level dependent) ---This Town Ain't Big Enough For the Both of Us ---Field Expedient Arbiter ---A Whisper in the Storm ---To the Hunt Oracle ---Juggernaut ---Hey, Watch This ---Dead or Alive...Actually Just Dead Delta Halo ---Helljumpers ---You Break It, You Buy It ---Off the Rock, Through the Bush, Nothing But Jackal Regret ---Testament ---One-Way Ticket ---Sorry, Were You in the Middle of Something? Sacred Icon ---Uncomfortable Silence ---Buyer's Remorse ---100,000 Year's War Quarantine Zone ---Objects in Mirror are Larger Than They Appear ---Healthy Competition ---Shooting Gallery ---That Old, Familiar Feeling Gravemind ---Inside Job Uprising ---Oh, So That's How it Is ---Step Aside, Let the Man Go Through ---Fight Club High Charity ---Cross-purposes ---Please, Make Yourself at Home ---Sanctified ---Once More, With Feeling The Great Journey ---You Ass, My Size-24 Hoof ---Backseat Driver ---Delusions and Grandeur Credits Epilogue /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// And now, on with the show. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// =============== Chapter 1: Heretic =============== [The game opens on a wide shot of space. Large sections of the destroyed Halo float through there. Several Covenant ships move among the wreckage. In orbit above the planet is what looks to be a half-destroyed moon...or a very large city. Hundreds of Covenant ships are in position around it.] Covenant Holy City, High Charity Ninth Age of Reclemation Voice: There was only one ship. [Cut to an interior shot of the Covenant council chambers. An Elite stands in the center of the room speaking to threefloating Prophets, one of which is a hologram, as a squad of Brutes and a gallery full of council members watch.] Prophet of Regret: One? Are you sure? Elite: Yes. They called it...Pillar of Autumn. Prophet of Mercy: Why was it not destroyed with the rest of their fleet? Elite: It fled as we set fire to their planet. But I followed with all the ships in my command. Regret: When you first saw Halo, were you blinded by its majesty? Elite: Blinded? Regret: Paralyzed? Dumstruck? Elite: No! Regret: Yet the humans were able to evade your ships, land on the Sacred Ring, and desecrate it with their filthy footsteps! Elite: Noble Hierarchs, surely you understand that once the parasite attack- [He is drowned out by angry shouts from the gallery. The Brute leader watches all this with amusement] Mercy: There will be order in this council! Prothet of Truth: You were right to focus your intention on the flood. But this demon...this 'Master Chief'... Elite: By the time I learned the demon's intent, there was nothing I could do. [Indignant clamoring] Regret: Noble Prophet of Truth, this has gone on long enough. Make an example of this bungler! The Council demands it! Truth: You are one of our most treasured instruments. Long have you led your fleet with honour and distinction, but your inability to safeguard Halo was a colossal failure... Council Member: Nay, it was heresy! [The chamber erupts in an enraged uproar] Elite: I will continue my campaign against the humans! Truth: No! You will not! Soon the Great Journey shall begin. But when it does, the weight of your heresy will stay your feet...and you shall be left behind. =============== Chapter 2: The Armory =============== [Establishing shot of Earth. Orbital MAC stations and dozens of UNSC ships can be seen.] Earth Defense Platform, Cairo 10.20.2552 (Military Callender) [Cut to interior bay] Master Gun: The plating was about to fail. There's viscocity throughout the gel layer. Optics? Totally fried. And let's not even talk about the power supply. You know how expensive this gear is son? Master Chief: Tell that to the Covenant. -----One Size Fits All----- Gun: Well, I guess it was all obsolete anyway. Your new suit's a Mark VI-just came up from Sondheim this morning. Try and take it easy until you get used to the upgrades. Everything checks out. Standby, I'm gonna offline the inhibitors. Move around a little. Get a feel for it. When you're ready meet me by the zapper. Pay attention 'cause I'm only going over this once. This station will test your recharging energy shields. Step on in and I'll show you. Your new armour's shields are extremely resilient. Very efficient...much better than the Covenant tech we used on the Mark V. Bingo! As you can see they recharge a lot faster. If your shields go down, find some cover. Wait for the meter to read fully charged. Sergeant Johnson: That or he can hide behind me. You done with my boy here Master Guns? I don't see any training wheels. Gun: His armour's working fine Johnson, so shut your chilly hole. You're free to go son. Just remember, take things slow. Johnson: Don't worry. I'll hold his hand. Gun: So Johnson, when you gonna tell me how you made it back home in one piece? Johnson: Sorry Guns, it's classified. Gun: Huh, my ass! Well you can forget about those adjustments to your A2 scope...[fades off] Johnson: Well he's in a particularly fine mood. Maybe Lord Hood didn't give him an invitation. [The Chief and Johnson step into a lift] Johnson: Earth. I haven't seen it in years. When I shipped out for basic, the Orbital Defense Grid was all theory and politics. Now look. The Cairo's just one of three hundred Geo-sync platforms. That MAC gun could put a round clean through a Covenant capital ship. Coordinated fire from the Athens and the Malta. Nothin's gettin past this battle cluster in one piece. Ships've been arrivin all mornin. Nobody's sayin much, but I bet something big's about to happen. =============== Chapter 3: Cairo Station =============== [The Master Chief and Johnson step off the lift into a windowed bay. UNSC officers and crew stand by in formal uniform applauding. Automated cameras float above the crowd. Johnson is in full dress uniform with a purple heart on his chest. The Chief, as usual is in his armour.] Chief: You told me there wouldn't be any cameras. Johnson: And you told me you were gonna wear something nice. Folks need heroes Chief. Gives 'em hope. So smile will ya? While we still got something to smile about. [Scene cut to High Charity. Brutes are dragging the Elite from the council chambers into the center of an ampitheter. Thousands of Covenant line the stands.] Grunts[chanting]: Her-e-tic! Her-e-tic! Tartarus: You've drawn quite a crowd. [The Elite is placed upright in the center with bands of energy circling each wrist] Elite: If they've come to hear me beg, they will be disappointed. Tartarus: Are you sure? [Energy arcs down to the wrist restraints, and from there to the Elite himself] [Cut back to the Cairo. An older man of obvious rank and an aide waits for the Chief and Johnson to approach. There are other officers lined up nearby. The two salute the man.] Lord Hood: Gentlemen. We're lucky to have you back... [An aid whispers something to Lord Hood who turns to a holo-platform.] Hood: Go ahead Cortana. [Cortana appears on the platform. She's now a uniform blue-white and has longer hair.] Cortana: Another whisper, sir, near Io. We have probes enroute. Hood: I apologize, but we're going to have to make this short. Cortana: You look nice. Chief and Johnson: Thanks-------Thank you! Hood: Sergeant Major, the Colonial Cross is awarded for acts of singular daring and devotion. For a soldier of the United Earth Space Corp- Tartartus:-there can be no greater heresy. Let him be an example for all who would break our Covenant! [Wild cheers from the crowd. Brute guards strip the smoking armour from the Elite.] Hood: Commander Miranda Keyes. Your father's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service. His bravery in the face of impossible odds reflects great credit upon himself and the UNSC. The Navy has lost one of its best. [The now naked Elite dangles from his restraints. A long, twisted, spiky object rises near Tartarus. He pulls it out to reveal a roughly circular end that's glowing hot. He walks up to the Elite and presses it against his chest. There is the sound of searing flesh and agonized screams.] [An alert sounds on the Cairo] Cortana: Slipspace ruptures, directly off our battle cluster. Hood: Show me. Cortana: Fifteen Covenant capital ships holding position just outside the kill zone. Admiral Harper: This is Fleet Admiral Harper. We are engaging the enemy. Hood: Negative Admiral. Form a defensive perimeter around the cluster! Commander, get to your ship. Link up with the fleet. Commander Miranda Keyes: Yes sir! Hood: You have the MAC gun Cortana. As soon as they come in range, open up. Cortana: Gladly. Hood: Something's not right...the fleet that destroyed Reach was fifty times this size. Officer: Sir! Additional contacts! Boarding craft...and lots of 'em. Hood: They're going to try and take our MAC guns offline...give their capital ships a straight shot to Earth. Master Chief...defend this station. Chief: Yes sir. [turns to Johnson] I need a weapon. Johnson: Right this way. Intercom: All hands report to battle stations. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill! Johnson: How's it going Malta? Malta: Stand-by...they're latched! Check your targets and watch your crossfire They're in standard formation: little bastards up front big ones in back. Good luck Cairo. Johnson: Field of fire on that bulkhead. As soon as that door opens, let'em have it. -----Home Field Advantage----- /*This is all radio chatter as the Chief moves through the Cairo*/ Malta: Find the borders' point of entry Chief. Cut them off at the source. Cortana: Malta, what's your status? Over. Malta: I don't believe it! They're retreating! We won! [Outside the hanger windows, the Malta explodes.] Marine: This is bad...real bad. Marine: Uh oh, I think they're leaving the Athens. [The Athens explodes.] Hood: Cortana, assessment. Cortana: That explosion came from inside the Athens-same as the Malta. The Covenant must have brought something with them. A bomb. Hood: Then they sure as hell brought one here. Chief, find it. -----Priority Shift----- Gun: Get the hell out my armory split-li-ahhh God! Johnson: Come on Chief. This way. Keyes: I was almost on board when they showed up. Johnson: Don't worry ma'am. We're on it. Keyes: Thanks Chief. I owe you one. -----Authorized Personnel Only----- Cortana: Sir! Boarders have breached the firing control center. They have a bomb. Hood: Can you defuse it? Cortana: Yes, but I'll need the Chief's help to make contact with the detonator Hood: Chief, get to the bomb...double time. Cortana, prioritize targets and fire at will. Harper: First echelon, you're with me. Blanket those cruisers. Take 'em out one by one. Second echelon, keep those carriers busy. Cortana: Registering all hostile vessels inside the kill zone. Thirteen cruisers, two assault carriers...I'm going loud! [Little aside if the Chief takes his sweet time getting to fire control] Cortana: Ask yourself this question: "Is what I'm doing right now helping Cortana keep this station from exploding into tiny, tiny bits?" Harper: The carriers are breaking through sir. They're heading straight for the Cairo. Hood: Cortana, concentrate your fire on the first carrier. Admiral, do what you can against the second. Harper: Everyone form up. Follow my lead. Cortana: The first carrier completely ignored us sir, blew straight through the Malta's debris field, and headed straight for Earth. Cortana: Just so you know...there are quite a few Elites guarding the bomb. You may need to get creative. -----Return to Sender----- [After the Chief clears out the Covenant guards, Cortana appears.] Cortana: Me. Inside your head. Now! [The Chief touches Cortana's hologram, and she dissapears into his glove. He places his hand over the glowing detonator on the bomb. After a few seconds of insistent beeping, the device goes silent.] Chief: How much time was left? Cortana: You don't want to know. [Commander Keyes and Johnson have finally made it onto In Amber Clad and joined the fleet.] Keyes: Cairo, this is In Amber Clad. The carrier's shield is down. I'm in position and ready for immediate assault. Hood: Negative Commander. Not against a ship that size. Chief: Sir, permission to leave the ship. Hood: For what purpose Chief? Chief: To give the Covenant back their bomb. Hood: ...Permission granted. Cortana: I know what you're thinking, and it's crazy. Chief: So, stay here. Cortana: Unfortunately us both...I like crazy. [The Master Chief checks the positioning of the bomb and grabs ahold of the lever that opens the hanger doors.] Cortana: Just one question. What if you miss? Chief: I won't. [He opens the hanger doors. The venting atmosphere drags the bomb out with it. As it passes the Chief, he grabs on to one of the protruding spikes and rides it out. He drops behind the engine of an exploding UNSC ship, aiming straight for the carrier. An explosion rips into a section of the hull, and the Chief takes the convenient opening. He drops into the huge, cavernous expanse that is the carrier's engine core. Around the midpoint, he climbs up the spikes, resets the detonator, and pushes off in a graceful arc torwards open space. The carrier goes up in a series of explosions, as the Chief falls torwards Earth. Suddenly, In Amber Clad floats beneath him, and he land on it with a loud thud.] Johnson: For a brick, he flew pretty good. Keyes: Chief. Get inside-gear up. We're taking this fight to the surface. =============== Chapter 4: Outskirts =============== [In Amber Clad hovers over the city while three Pelican dropships launch.] Cortana: The message just repeats: Regret. Regret. Regret. Keyes: Catchy. Any idea what it means? Johnson: Dear humanity, we regret being alien bastards, we regret coming to Earth, and we most definitely regret the Corps just blew up our raggedy-ass fleet! Pilots: Hoorah! Cortana: Regret is a name Sergeant. The name of one of the Covenant's religous leaders-a Prophet. He's on that carrier, and he's calling for help. [The Pelicans pass over a group of Warthogs headed down the street. A sniper team is running lookout on a nearby rooftop.] Spotter: Immediate: grid kilo-two-three is hot. Recommend mission abort. Pilot: Roger recon. It's your call Sarge. Johnson: We're going in. Get tactical Marines! Hood: Master Chief? Get aboard that carrier secure the Prophet of Regret. This is the only place on Earth the Covenant decided to land. That Prophet is going to tell us why. Pilot: Thirty seconds out. Stand-by...whoa... [A Covenant Scarab stomps into view. Its jaws open, and it fires a plasma beam at the approaching Pelicans. The one holding the Chief goes down hard.] Cortana: You alright Chief? [easy] Hey Chief! Wake up! [normal] Talk to me. Should I start CPR? What's going on? [heroic] Blink if you can hear me Chief. [legendary] Johnson: Shake it off Marines! Clear the crash site. Go! Go! Go! -----They'll Regret That Too----- Pilot: My girl's a little too big for that courtyard Sarge. I see a good LZ on the other side of these buildings. Meet you there. Over? Johnson: Copy that. Someone get a satchel on the gates. Cortana: Hunters! Johnson: Stand back Marines! Let the Chief show you how it's done. Cortana: Second squad, this is Cortana. What's your status? Over. Squad Leader: We're operational ma'am...barely. Our pilots didn't make it. Cortana: Find a hole and stay put. We'll come to you. [After a while a Pelican lands.] Keyes: Sergeant, I need you on that bird. Johnson: Ma'am? Keyes: My Pelicans are gonna start airlifting armour and reinforcements into the vicinity. They'll need an escort that isn't afraid of a little hostile ground fire. Johnson: Understood! I'll keep an eye on 'em. Chief? Good luck. Squad Leader: Chief? Glad you could make it. Crash site's on the other side of this hotel Chief. Covenant are crawling all over it. Follow me. -----A Day at the Beach----- Cortana: The highest concentration of Covenant troops is directly below the carrier. I don't think they want you to get onboard. That bridge is the most direct route to the city's center. -----Speed Zone Ahead----- Cortana: I've been analyzing the Covenant tactical chatter. They're surprised ...confused. I don't think they expected us to be here. Not you and me. All of us...humanity...on Earth. Odd, I know, but it does help explain why they came here with such a small fleet. =============== Chapter 5: Metropolis =============== [The Master Chief walks up to a barricade at the foot of the bridge. Two Marines are hiding behind it watching the Scarab head unoposed up the bridge.] Marine1: It blew right through us. 50 cal, rockets...didn't do a thing. [A Pelican hovers down and drops off a Scorpion tank and Sergeant Johnson.] Johnson: Where's the rest of your platoon? Marine1: Wasted Sarge! Marine2: And we will be too, sir, if we don't get the hell out of here! Johnson: You hit Marine? Marine2: N-No sir. Johnson: Then listen up! [easy] You had your chance to be afraid before you joined my beloved Corps. But to guide you back to the true path, I've brought you this motivational device. Our big green style cannot be defeated! [normal] The Chief is gonna jump in this tank, roll across the bridge, and blow up any inhuman son-of-a-bitch dumb enough to get between him and the Prophet of Regret! Pull yourself together. 'Cause you're going with him. [heroic] When I joined the Corps, we didn't have any fancy-schmancy tanks. We had sticks-two sticks...and a rock for the whole Platoon. And we had to share the rock! Buck-up boy! You're one very lucky Marine. [legendary] Usually, the good Lord works in mysterious ways. But not today! This here's sixty-six tons of straight up, HE-spewing dee-vine intervention. If God is love, you can call me Cupid. Marine1: What about that Scarab? Johnson: We've all run the simulation. They're tough, but they ain't invincible. Stay with the Master Chief. He'll know what to do. Marine1: Yes sir! Sergeant! Cortana: Thanks for the tank. He never gets me anything. Johnson: Oh I know what the ladies like. -----Ladies Like Armour Plating-----[easy/normal] -----Ladies Like Grinding Treads-----[heroic] -----Ladies Like Superior Firepower-----[legendary] Cortana: That's quite a welcome party. -----This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us----- Cortana: There are a number of Marines trapped in that building Chief. Concentrate on the Wraiths. They're the biggest threat. Corporal Perez: Sir! Corporal Perez, A Company CP's this way. The Lieutenant got hit as soon as we dropped in. Cortana: Who's in charge now Corporal? Perez: Sergeant Banks ma'am. He's up top. Come on. I'll show you. -----Field Expidition----- Sergeant Banks: When I asked for reinforcements, I didn't think they'd send a Spartan. [In the courtyard below, the Scarab blows up a Scorpion] Marine: See this look? It's terror! Banks: Marine, did I give you permission to bitch? I don't think it's stopping -get your heads down! Marines, time to kill us a Scarab! Cortana: They can't go any further this way. We have them trapped. Chief, you're going to have to board that Scarab. [cut scene] [The Master Chief walks down the ramp of the now defunct Scarab. The carrier overhead turns and starts heading out.] Johnson: That's right you mothers! Run! Keyes: Not if we can help it Sergeant. Extract the Chief and return to In Amber Clad! Johnson: Roger that! Hood: Status. Keyes: Sir! The Prophet's bugging out. Request permission to engage. Hood: Negative Commander. I'll vector two heavies for starside intercept. Tactical: Ma'am! Slipspace rupture off the starboard bow. It's gonna jump inside the city! Keyes: There's no time sir! Hood: Green light! Green light to engage! Keyes: Punch it! Get close! Nav: Ma'am? Without a destination solution... Keyes: We are not losing that ship. [In Amber Clad roars after the carrier. They manage to slide inside its Slipspace field just as it jumps out. The backwash of energy vaporizes the city.] =============== Chapter 6: The Arbiter =============== [Blurry view at a floor and the lower legs of an Elite as seen through the eyes of said Elite. He looks up to see Tartarus striding down the corridor in front of him. There are two other Brutes half-carrying, half-dragging him along.] Brute1: How much further must we heft this baggage? Any cell will do. Why not toss him in with this lot? [Gestures torwards a cell full of jackals] They could use the meat. Brute2: Them? What about us? My belly aches. And his flesh is seared just the way I like it. Tartarus: Quiet! You two whimper like Grunts fresh off the teat. He's not meant for the jails. The Hierarchs have something special in mind. [They step onto a gravlift and descend into a large open area. A bridge connects to a structure in the middle. Lining the bridge are Elite honor guards armed with spears and dressed in red and gold armour. The group enters the structure to find Truth and Mercy in the center. On the inside walls, metallic grids, like doors, march up the walls at regular intervals. Tartarus and the Brutes approach the two Prophets and drop to one knee.] Tartarus: Noble Prophets of Truth and Mercy, I have brought the incompetent. Truth: You may leave Tartarus. Tartarus: But I thought- Truth: And take your Brutes with you. Tartarus: Release the prisoner. [They drop the Elite and walk out sullenly] Truth: The Council decided to have you hanged by your entrails and your corpse paraded through the city. But ultimately the terms of your execution are up to me. Elite: I am already dead. Truth: Indeed. Do you know where we are? Elite: The Masoleum of the Arbiter. Truth: Quite so. Here rests the vanguard of the Great Journey. Every Arbiter from first to last. Each created and consumed in times of extraordinary crisis. Mercy: The Taming of the Hunters, the Grunt Rebellion-were it not for the Arbiters the Covenant would have broken long ago! Elite: Even on my knees I do not belong in their presence. Truth: Halo's destruction was you error, and you rightly bear the blame. But the Council was...overzealous. We know you are no heretic. This is the true face of heresy. One who would subvert our faith and encite rebellion against the High Council. [Truth motions and a small hologram of an Elite appears.] Holo: Our prophets are false! Open your eyes my brothers! They would use the faith of our forefathers to bring ruin to us all. The Great Journey is- Truth: This heretic and those who follow him must be silenced. Mercy: Their slander offends all who walk the path. Elite: What use am I? I can no longer command ships or lead troops into battle. Truth: Not as you are. But become the Arbiter, and you shall be set loose against this heresy with our blessing. [An oversized pod floats down and hovers a few feet above the floor. The door swings out and down like a ramp to reveal a set of blue armour arranged inside. It has an old feel to it. The Elite gives it a long look.] Elite: What of the Council? Mercy: The tasks you must undertake as the Arbiter are perilous-suicidal. You will die as each Arbiter has before you. The Council will have their corpse. [The Elite approaches the armour and stares reverently at it for a few seconds more. Finally, he reaches in, takes the helmet, and places it on his head.] Arbiter: What would you have your Arbiter do? [Three Phantom dropships descend torwards the planet. Inside the lead ship, an Elite Commander paces between the lines of troops.] Commander: When we joined the Covenant, we took an oath. All: According to our station. All without exception. Commander: On the blood of our fathers. On the blood of our sons-we swore to uphold the Covenant. All: Even to our dying breath. Commander: Those who would break this oath are heretics. Worthy of neither pity nor mercy. Even now they use our Lords' creation to broadcast their lies. All: We shall grind them to dust! /*Added in the subtitles,"And scrape them like excrement from our boots!"*/ Commander: And continue our march to Glorious Salvation! [Afterwards, the battle leader corners the Arbiter] Commander: This armour suits you, but it can not hide that mark. Arbiter: Nothing ever will. Commander: You are the Arbiter. The will of the Prophets. But these are my Elites. Their lives matter to me. Yours does not. Arbiter: That makes two of us. Commander: Mmmmm. [The Phantoms descend towards a large mining facility above the surface. A huge dust storm is blowing up nearby.] Pilot: Leader...there is no doubt. The storm will strike the facility. Commander: We'll be long gone before it arrives. Warriors, prepare for combat. We are the arm of the Prophets, Arbiter. And you are the blade. Be silent and swift, and we shall quell this heresy without incident. -----A Whisper in the Storm----- Commander: The storm has masked our approach, and it should have their local battlenet in disarray. We have the element of surprise...for now. Commander: Arbiter, clear the hanger and open its doors so that I may drop a second batch. [The heretic leader can be seen outside boarding a Banshee.] Heretic: Deal with him my brothers! I will defend the Oracle! -----To the Hunt----- Commander: The heretics are mobilizing their airforces, Arbiter. Get after them, but watch your back! I'm sending one of our Phantoms to support you. Phantom: The heretics have weapons placed all over the facility, Arbiter. We'll take them out one-by-one until we find their leader. Commander: We've tracked the heretic leader to this part of the station. Clear that landing zone and get inside. =============== Chapter 7: The Oracle =============== [The Arbiter, Commander, and squad head into the facility. The Commander stops and sniffs the air.] Arbiter: What is it? Commander: That stench...I've smelled it before -----Juggernaut----- [The group enters a room and fans out. The sound of fighting comes from the previous room. After a few seconds, the Heretic leader appears in mid-air wearing a jetpack.] Grunt: See? Heretic! [Several squad members fire on the figure only to have their shots go through and ricochet off the walls.] Commander: Hold your fire. Hold your fire! Heretic: I wondered who the Prophets would send to silence me. An Arbiter... I'm flattered. Commander: He's using a holodrone. He must be close. Come out so we may kill you. Heretic: Ha, ha, ha. Get in line. [The holodrone drops to the floor. After a moment, Flood start appearing.] Commander: Heretic fools! What have they done? Go Arbiter! I'll follow when our reinforcements have arrived. Pilot: Leader! The storm is about to hit. We cannot maintain our position. Commander: Bring the Phantoms close to the mine. We're not leaving until the leader of these Heretics is dead. Commander: Arbiter, the Flood have spread throughout the station. We don't have enough troops to manage such a large infestation. Find the leader of these heretics. Kill him now! [The Arbiter chases the Heretic leader into a room with a ramp spiraling up into the darkness. The Heretic is making for a door at the far side of the room.] Heretic: This will save me from the storm...but you will be consumed. Commander: Arbiter, where is he? Stinking Flood-bait boxed himself in tight. Arbiter: We will force him out. Commander: How? Arbiter: The cable. I'm going to cut it. Get everyone back to the ships. Commander: Warriors, get everyone back to the ships. The Arbiter will continue upward, cut this station loose, and scare the Heretic from his hole. -----Hey, Watch This!----- Commander: All my Phantoms are in the air Arbiter. Go ahead! Cut the cable! [After the first cable is cut] Commander: That's one. By the Prophets, look at the station list! [After cutting second] Commander: One final cable, Arbiter. [After cutting the third, the station groans for a few seconds then drops out from under the Arbiter's feet.] Commander: That did it! The station is in freefall. Commander: The Heretic Leader is on the move. Do not let him escape! We'll stay with you as long as we can. Commander: Are you still alive Arbiter? We're keeping pace as best we can. [The Arbiter runs out onto a platform where a Banshee is parked. Another Banshee is already airborne. The Arbiter ducks back behind the door as it fires on his position. He fires back before jumping into the Banshee and pursuing.] Commander: What lunacy! He'll never escape this maelstrom in a Banshee. Wait, the hanger! There was a Seraph fighter inside. Arbiter, you know what to do. [Hotly pursued by a pack of Banshees, the Arbiter makes for a small ledge, crashing into it in an almost exact replay of Master Chief's manuever from Halo:CE.] -----Dead of Alive...Actually Just Dead----- [The Arbiter corners the Herectic leader in the hanger] Arbiter: Turn Heretic! Heretic: Arbiter, I would rather die by your hand than have the Prophets lead me to slaughter. Arbiter: Who has taught you these lies? [On cue, a metallic object floats in humming annoyingly] Arbiter: The Oracle? 343: Hello, I am three-four-three Guilty Spark. I am the monitor of installation zero-four. Heretic: Ask the Oracle about Halo. How they would sacrifice us all for nothing. 343: More questions? Splendid! I would be happy to assist. [The Heretic leader takes advantage of the distraction to fire a few shots at the Arbiter. He then uses his jetpack to get some air and activates a couple of holodrones, making perfect replicas of himself.] Heretic: The Elites are blind Arbiter, but I will make them see... [After defeating the Heretic, the Arbiter drags him across the hanger.] 343: Unfortunate. His edification was most enjoyable. Arbiter: I had no choice Holy Oracle. This Heretic imperiled the Great Journey. 343: Oracle? Sacred Journey? Why do you meddlers insist on using such inept verbiage? Oh my! [Tartarus has arrived. He uses some kind of gravity generator in his hammer to draw the monitor to him.] Arbiter: That is the Oracle. [Tartarus peels 343 from the end of his hammer and tosses it casually into a waiting ship.] Tartarus: Hmmmm, so it is. Come. We are leaving this system. =============== Chapter 8: Delta Halo =============== [Exit Slipspace: one Covenant carrier, a dozen ruined buildings, and In Amber Clad. The ship lurches hard as it decelerates.] Keyes: Uhn. Report! Nav: Both engines cores have spun to zero! We're drifting. Tactical: Archer pods are cold. I'll need to rekey the system. Keyes: Do it! And find out where we are. [Down below, Sergeant Johnson is emerging from a pod.] Keyes: Sorry for the quick jump Sergeant. You in one piece? Johnson: I'm good. Chief? Cortana: We're fine. Nav: Ma'am...there's an object. Coming into view now. [Outside the ship is a blue-green planet, and in orbit is a large ring. There is a moment of dead silence.] Keyes: Cortana? What exactly am I looking at? Cortana: That...is another Halo. Johnson:[spits] Say what? Keyes: So this is what my father found...I thought Halo was some sort of superweapon? Cortana: It is. If activated, this ring will cause destruction on a galactic scale. Keyes: I want all the information you've got on the first Halo...Schematics, topography, whatever...I don't care if I have the clearance or not. Cortana: Yes ma'am. Keyes: Where's our target? Tactical: The enemy ship has stopped above the ring ma'am...we're going to pass\ right over it. Keyes: Perfect. Given what we know about the ring, it's even more important that we capture the Prophet of Regret-Find out why he came to Earth. Why he came here. Chief, take first platoon...hard-drop. Secure a landing zone. Sergeant, load up two flights of Pelicans and follow them in. Johnson: Aye, aye ma'am. Keyes: Until I can move and fight I'm going to keep a low profile. Once you leave the ship, you're on your own. Chief: Understood. Tactical: Over the target in 5... Cortana: Hang onto your helmet. [A half dozen pods drop from the ship. Parachutes deploy for a few seconds to slow their descent through the atmosphere then snap loose.] Cortana: Mind the bump. [Groundside is a beach with lush, green jungle vegetation growing down to it. There's a Forerunner ruin built into the hillside above the beach, and around it is a Covenant encampment. A jackal looks up, spots the pods dropping like flaming meteors, and shrieks an alarm. A Grunt huffs over to a turret gun, slips, stumbles, grabs onto the seat, starts to step up, slips again, finally makes it up, and starts firing steadily. Unsurprisingly, he fails to hit anything. The pods hit the beach hard. ODSTs kick their way out. The Master Chief is right behind them.] Cortana: Could we possibly make any more noise? [The Chief reaches back into his pod and halls out a Jackhammer launcher helpfully inscribed with a "Hold Like This" decal above the grip.] Cortana:...I guess so. -----Helljumpers----- /*Note: Some lines in this section will be spoken by Marines/ODSTs when present or by Cortana if they are not present.*/ ODST: Sir, we need to take out those cannons! Cortana: Artillery disabled Sergeant. Landing zone secure...for the moment. Johnson: I hear ya. Starting our approach. Hang tight. Cortana: Easier said than done. Inbound Phantoms Chief. Cortana: Hold here until the Pelican arrives Chief. Cortana: Here comes our ride. Johnson: I got a good view comin in. There's a big building in the middle of this island's lake. Cortana: I saw it too. It looks like a temple. If I were a megalomaniac...and I'm not...that's where I'd be. ODST: Dear Sarge, kicking ass in outer space. Wish you were here. Johnson: I heard that! Jackass... Cortana: The Covenant have control of the bridge ahead. They're going to try and bottle us up on this side of the gorge. The controls to extend the bridge should be inside this structure. Cortana: Good, the bridge is down. Now about those Wraiths... Johnson: Roger that. Armour's on the way. -----You Break It, You Buy It----- Cortana: Pelican inbound. Let's clear a landing zone. [There's a lot of chanting from a hologram of the Prophet of Regret.] Cortana: Transcendence huh? More like mass suicide. -----Off the Rock, Through the Bush, Nothing But Jackal----- Cortana: Good. Still no word about In Amber Clad on the Covenant battlenet. It's odd. The Covenant know we made landfall. But they don't seem to consider us a very serious threat. Boy are they in for a big surprise. This tower cluster should connect to the structure further out in the lake. Let's get inside. =============== Chapter 9: Regret =============== [Another holo of Regret floats in the center of the room chanting,] Cortana: Wait! Go back! That's what I thought he said. The Prophet of Regret is planning to activate Halo! Chief: Are you sure? [Cortana snaps her finger at the holo, activating a translation algorithm.] Regret: I shall light this Holy Ring-release its cleansing flame, and burn a path into the Divine Beyond! Cortana: Pretty much. Chief: Commander? We've got a problem. Keyes: So I hear. But from what I understand, the Prophet will need an object ...the Index...to activate the ring. I've located a library similar to the one you found on the first Halo. If the rings work the same way, the Index should be inside. Johnson: I'll bet the Covenant are thinking the exact same thing. Keyes: Then we better beat them to it, Sergeant. Extract your men and meet me at the Library. Johnson: Yes ma'am! Keyes: I'll secure the Index, Chief. You take out the Prophet. He's given us all the intel we need. -----Testament----- Cortana: You know, I think the Forerunners built these new structures around the old to protect them-honour them. Pure speculation mind you. I'd need to make a thourough survey to be sure. Keyes: Cortana? The Covenant's getting nosy. I don't want to give away my position, so I'm rerouting a few stragglers back to you. I apologize. These Pelicans are all the support you're going to get. Cortana: Understood ma'am. The gondolas are launching from the far tower. Big surprise, it's full of Covenant reinforcements. Well they were nice enought to bring us a ride. -----One-Way Ticket----- Cortana: This lake couldn't have been formed by volcanic action which means it was either built this way on purpose or was created by some other cataclysm. Sorry...were you trying to kill something? Cortana: Ahhh now I see...there's a submerged section that connects these towers to the outlying structures. Looks like we're going down...unless you'd prefer to swim. Cortana: I've intercepted a secure transmission from Regret's carrier to something called "High Charity". It seems to be a formal apology to the Prophets of Truth and Mercy. Apparently, Regret jumped the gun when he attacked Earth. He's asking the other Prophets to forgive his premature arrival, arguing that no human presence was foretold. That explains why so few ships were in his fleet. But it's odd a Prophet would have such bad intel about his enemy's homeworld. Cortana: Regret's carrier just received a response from High Charity-a very well encrypted message from the Prophet of Truth. Listen to this: "Your haste has jeopardized the fulfillment of our Covenant, threatened our Grand Design, that you should be spared a public display of our contempt is thanks only to Mercy and his wise counsel." Truth. Mercy. Regret. Three Covenant Hierarchs. Killing Regret should shake up the Covenant leadership. But frankly, it sounds like you might be doing Truth a favor. (Holo)Regret: Every member of the Covenant shall walk the Path. None will be left behind when the Great Journey begins! That is the Prophets' age old promise, and it shall be fulfilled! Cortana: Great Journey? Doesn't he know what these rings do? Pilot: This is my last run Chief. I'm almost out of fuel. We've secured the first tower cluster. I'll set down there. Call when you're ready for evac. Cortana: There-another gondola. It looks like it leads straight to the main temple. Not much further now. Keyes: How's it going you two? Cortana: So far so good. We're approaching the main temple now. Keyes: Roger that. I'm as close to the Library as I can get. There's some sort of barrier. We're trying to find a way around it. I'll keep you posted. [The Chief looks up to see hundreds of Covenant ships appearing out of Slipspace.] Cortana: That's the largest Covenant fleet I've ever seen...the largest anyone's ever seen. Get inside the temple and kill Regret before it can stop us. -----Sorry, Were You in the Middle of Something?----- [All through this sectio, Cortana spams the Master Chief with warnings of imminent death and destruction.] Regret: Incompetents! I'll kill them myself. Cortana: There's the target! Take him out! Cortana: Bad news. The Phantoms are turning around-preparing to fire on our position. We need to get out of here. [The Master Chief to see a very low flying Phantom preparing to fire on the temple. He takes off running torward the lake. The ship fires, and the Chief is hurled into the lake. Unconscious, he sinks deeper into the lake. Then a tentacle snakes up from below and wrap around his waist.] Gravemind: This is not your grave...But you are welcome in it. =============== Chapter 10: Sacred Icon =============== Covenant Holy City, High Charity Sanctum of the Hierarchs [The Arbiter walks torwards the sanctum. All around him, Brutes are stripping the armour and weapons from Elite honour guards. The Brutes fight it out with the Elites and each other for choice pieces of armour. The Arbiter enters the sanctum. The Prophets of Truth and Mercy are holding an audience with the Commander from the Heretic mission and two of his lieutenants.] Commander: This is unprecedented. Unacceptable. Truth: A Hierarch is dead Commander. Commander: His murderer was within our grasp! If you had not withdrawn our Phantoms- Truth: Are you questioning my decision? Commander: No, Holy One. I only want to express my concern that the Brutes- Truth: Recommissioning the guards was a radical step. But recent events have made it abundantly clear that the Elites can no longer guarantee our safety. Commander:I shall relay your decision to the Council. [The Commander and his lieutenants leave, giving the Arbiter a respectful nod on the way out.] Truth: Politics. How tiresome. Do you know, Arbiter, the Elites have threatended to resign? To quit the High Council? Because of this...exchange of hats? Arbiter: We have always been your protectors. Truth: These are trying times-for all of us. Mercy: Even as the humans' annihalation filled us with satisfation, the loss of one of the Sacred Rings wracked our hearts with grief! Truth: Putting aside our sorrow, we renewed our faith in the prophecy that other rings would be found. And see how our faith has been rewarded! Mercy: Halo...It's divine wind will rush through the stars, propelling all who are worthy along the path to Salvation! Truth: But how to start this process? For ages we searched for one who might unlock the secrets of the ring-an Oracle. And with your help, we found it! Mercy: With appropriate humility, we plied the Oracle with our questions, and it with clarity and grace has shown us the key. Truth: You will journey to the surface of the ring and retrieve this Sacred Icon. With it we shall fulfill our promise. Mercy: Salvation for all! Truth: And begin the Great Journey! [Several Phantoms drop torwards Halo.] Tartarus: Once the shield is down...we will head straight for the Library. I do not wish to keep the Hierarchs waiting. Arbiter: The human who killed the Prophet of Regret. Who was it? Tartarus: Who do you think? Arbiter: The demon is here? Tartarus: Why? Looking for a little payback? Arbiter: Retrieving the Icon is my only concern. Tartarus: Of course. [They drop the Arbiter off on an outcropping outside the Library. Behind him rises an Enforcer. The Phantom fires on it.] Tartarus: Lower the shield Arbiter! I'll pick you up when you finish. -----Uncomfortable Silence----- Tartarus: You're getting close to the shield generators. Many Brutes have fallen attempting to take it down. Let's see if you fare better. Tartarus: You've reached the shield's power source Arbiter. Overload the locks holding it in place. Release the power source. Now find a way to remove it from its cradle. -----Buyer's Remorse----- Tartarus: Our path to the Library is clear. We'll pick you up on the ledge ahead. Ahhhh! Blasted machines! Make your own way through the wall Arbiter. UNSC Marine radio: Proceed with the objective. We'll hold out as long as we can. [Screams] Get'er off me! Suppressive fire! Suppressive fire! Negative ma'am, they're not Covenant. Cover that door! -----100,000 Year's War----- Commander: Arbiter, what are you doing here? We must hold this camp until reinforcements arrive. =============== Chapter 11: Quarantine Zone =============== Arbiter: In the center of this zone is a Sacred Icon critical to the Great Journey. I must find it. Commander: We shall cut into the heart of this infestation, retrieve the Icon, and burn any Flood that stand in our way. [The Elite platoon gives a loud roar of agreement.] Commander: The Parisite is not the to be trifled with. I hope you know what you are doing. -----Objects in Mirror are Larger Than They Appear----- Commander: Forward warriors! And fear not pain or death! Go, Arbiter, I'll follow when our reinforcements arrive. commander: Keep moving! I'm on my way. -----Healthy Competition----- [The Commander and Arbiter head up onto a gondola. They turn to see another ferry moving off.] Commander: More humans? They must be after the Icon. On your way Arbiter! I'll deal with these beasts. Tartarus: I see that coward didn't join you. I'll do what I can to keep the Flood off your back. -----Shooting Gallery----- Tartarus: We cannot let the humans capture the Icon! The Hierarchs do not look kindly on failure. Elite: Look! Up ahead-the parasite gather for an attack. Tartarus(?): I'll thin their ranks. Elite: What courage! Nice and safe in his Phantom. Tartarus(?): The humans are already inside Arbiter. After them! I'll watch the perimeter. -----That Old, Familiar Feeling----- [Commander Keyes reaches the Index room. There are obvious signs of a big fight. The wreckage of several Enforcers litters the floor, and their's a large hole in the floor. The Index floats above it. Keyes grabs a broken tentacle wrapped around an Enforcer, leans our over and grabs the Index.] Keyes: Gotcha! [Her anchor slides free. Before she can fall too far, the tentacle is grabbed by Sergeant Johnson.] Johnson: You know, your father never asked me for help either. Keyes: The Index is secure. Johnson: McKenzie? Perez? How's our exit? You hear me Marines? We got trouble. [Johnson fires on a shadow.] Johnson: Damn! [The shadow resolves into the Arbiter. He knocks Johnson's rifle aside and grabs him.] Johnson: How ya doin? [The Arbiter headbutts Johnson, knocking him out. Keyes pulls out SMGs and unloads on the room.] Keyes: Sergeant stay down! Johnson you alright? Johnson! [The Arbiter knocks down Keyes.} [Tartarus shows up with reinforcements and draws Keyes and the Index to him with his grav-hammer.] Tartarus: Excellent work Arbiter. The Hierarchs will be pleased. Arbiter: The Icon...is my responsibility. Tartarus: Was your responsibility. Now it is mine. A bloody fate awaits you and your incompetent race. And I, Tartarus, Chieftain of the Brutes, will send you to it. Arbiter: When the Prophets learn of this they will have your head. Tartarus: When they learn? Fool. They ordered me to do it. [Tartarus knocks the Arbiter into the shaft the Index was floating over.] =============== Chapter 12: Gravemind =============== [A hazy view of an underground area and a circle of red lights. The Master Chief comes fully awake to see himself held by a tentacle. It's attached to a creature that seems to be entirely head, neck, and tentacles. The eyeless head bears a strong resemblance to the mouth structure of an Elite.] Cortana: What...is that? Gravemind: I? I am a monument to all your sins. [Two more tentacles descend holding a struggling Arbiter.] Chief: Relax. I'd rather not piss this thing off. Arbiter: Demon! Gravemind: This one is machine and nerve, and has its mind concluded. This one is but flesh and faith, and is the more deluded. Arbiter: Kill me or release me parasite! But do not waste my time with talk. Gravemind: There is much talk. And I have listened. Through rock and metal and time. Now I shall talk, and you shall listen. [Another tentacle comes into view, wrapped around a monitor with a red eye.] 2401: Greetings! I am twenty-four-oh-one Penitent Tangent. I am the monitor of installation zero-five. [Yet another tentacle. This one is merged with a half-Flood Regret.] Regret: And I am the Prophet of Regret...counciler most high...Hierarch of the Covenant! 2401: A Reclaimer? Here? At last! We have much to do. This facility must be activated if we are to control this outbreak! Regret: Stay were you are! Nothing can be done until my sermon is complete! 2401: Not true. This installation has a successful utilization record of one- point-two trillion simulated and one actual. It is ready to fire on demand. Regret: Of all the objects our Lords left behind, there are none so worthless as these Oracles! They know nothing of the Great Journey! 2401: And you know nothing about containment! You have demonstrated complete disregard for even the most basic of protocols! Gravemind: This one's containment...and this one's Great Journey are the same. Your Prophets have promised you freedom from a doomed existence. But you will find no salvation on this ring. Those who built this place knew what they wrought. Do not mistake their intent, or all will perish as they did before. Chief: This thing is right. Halo is a weapon. Your Prophets are making a big mistake. Arbiter: Your ignorance already destroyed one of the Sacred Rings demon. It shall not harm another. Gravemind: If you will not hear the truth, then I will show it to you. There is still time to keep the key from turning. But first, it must be found. You will search one likely spot, and you will search another. Fate had us meet as foes, but this ring will make us brothers! [High Charity is floating between the planet and Halo. A battle rages around it as Covenant ships fight each other. Inside, the city isn't better. Brute guards in their new red and gold armour stand in front of the Council chambers. A mob of Grunts and Jackals cover the stairs and literally climb the walls. The Brutes use their spears to smash anyone who gets within range. Inside the chamber, Truth and Mercy are broadcasting to the Covenant fleet.] Truth: We are, all of us, greatly concerned...the release of the parisite was unexpected, unfortunate. But there is no need to panic...In truth, this is a time to rejoice! A moment that all the Covenant should savor! For the Sacred Icon has been found. With it, our path is clear-our entry into the Divine Beyond guaranteed! The Great Journey is nigh, and nothing, not even the Flood, can stop it! [A swirling yellow light appears. The Chief steps out of it to the amazement of a Grunt.] Chief: Boo. [The Grunt runs screaming, helpfully dropping a needler.] Truth: Kill the demon! -----Inside Job----- /*Note: sections with a '*' after the name are being broadcast overhead*/ Cortana: Brutes! The faster you can kill these Brutes the better. They don't have shield generators, but take them out before...it's berserking! Tartarus*: Intruder in the Council chamber! Protect the Hierarchs! Seal the exits. Cortana: Oh I don't think so. Put me down on one of the pedestals near the door. Cortana: That Prophet...Truth, he has the Index. You've got to take it from him. Let me get these doors. Go! It will be easier to track Truth if I stay in the network. Don't worry. You can pick me up later. Cortana: Truth is moving through the lower levels of the tower. I'll reverse this gravlift. Drop down. Try to cut him off. It's safe really-just step in. Tartarus*: Reinforce all approaches to the holding pens. Slay the demon on sight. Cortana: They're beefing up their patrols. Stay sharp. Cortana: Wait a minute! I'm reading Marine IFF transponders. The signals are originating somewhere below your position. Cortana: There are two groups of Marines in this detention block. I'll zero their locations. You neutralize the guards...quietly. Cortana: Come to the middle level Chief. The Marines are just inside. Careful of the guards. Cortana: Chief, come to the lower level. The Marines are just inside. Careful of the guards. Cortana: Listen up Marines! The Chief's hunting a Prophet, and you're gonna help him kill it. Marine: Affirmative! Cortana: One more group of Marines to go Chief. Come to the middle level. Cortana: That's all the Marines Chief. Good work! We'll get out of here the same way we came in-the central gravlift. Cortana: Hostile reinforcements coming down the lift! /*Not a plot point but there seems to be a bug here. Sometimes the second wave of Covenant come down the lift and splatter on impact. Maybe one of the Grunts forgot to turn it on...*/ Truth(broadcast): Fear not my brothers! The Sacred Icon is secure. It was Tartarus and his Brutes who took the Icon from the Flood, and for that they have our thanks. Cortana: Excellent! Truth is broadcasting on the move. It'll make it much easier to track. Truth*: The Elites have failed to protect the Prophets, and in doing so, have put all our lives at risk. Let no warrior forget his oath: "Thou, in faith, shall keep us safe, whilst we find the Path." Cortana: I've got a fix on Truth-just outside this tower Chief. There's an exit nearby...hurry! Truth*: With my blessing, the Brutes now lead the (defenses?). They ask for your allegiance, and you shall give it. Cortana: You wouldn't believe the numner of killsystems the Covenant are throwing down around me. Not to worry. It's pretty sloppy stuff. I guess they never expected a hostile intelligence to penetrate the network from the inside. Cortana: The Covenant just destroyed two of their own ships, and I'm hearing reports of small arms fire throughout the fleet. Truth*: Creatures of the Covenant! The Path is broad, and we shall walk it side-by-side. Truth*: Be glad! For the Great Journey...sacrifices to the here-after. Cortana: Slipspace rupture! It's In Amber Clad! Hailing...no response. She's crashed into another tower ahead of our position. I'll keep trying to make contact, but I'm not registering any human vital signs. Truth*: At this moment, the Council is gathered on Halo to see the Icon safely placed. Tartarus*: Rise pack brothers! Cast down the Elites! Truth*: There are those who said this day would never come. What are they to say now? Tartarus*: Once the towers are clear, we'll drive them from the lower district. Truth*: I have listened to the Oracle, and confirmed our duties to it. The Great Journey begins here. Tartarus*: The Elites are falling back to the Masoleum. Fools! Their Arbiter can do nothing for them now! Truth*: Who would doubt the Prophets? What have they foretold that has not come to pass? Cortana: If we're going to catch Truth, we'll need to take a shortcut straight through the Masoleum. Look at the bright side...for now they seem much more interested in killing each other. Cortana: Hang on! I'm picking up two more transponders. It's the Commander and Johnson! They're closing on Truth's position Chief. They'll need you help. Cortana: This isn't good. I am getting confirmed reports of Flood leaving In Amber Clad's wreckage. Let's get the Index and find a way out of here-before things get really ugly. [Tartarus and a squad of Brutes lead Keyes and Johnson onto a dock area.] Tartarus: Split them up. One in each Phantom. Truth: The hopes of all the Covenant rest on you Chieftain. Tartarus: My faith is strong! I will not fail! [Flood infection forms swarm over the dock. The Brutes jump in, smashing and kicking as many as they can. One gets through and attaches itself to Mercy.] Truth: Let him be! The Great Journey waits for no one brother...Not even you. =============== Chapter 13: Uprising =============== -----Oh, So That's How It Is?----- [The Arbiter is dropped on a section of Halo.] Dying Elite: The Brutes have betrayed us. They murdered the Council. Elite: By the Prophets! What have these Brutes done? They have shed our blood, and for that, they must die! -----Step Aside, Let the Man Go Through----- [No significant plot points.] -----Fight Club----- [The Elite Commander arrives] Commander: By the rings! Arbiter? The Council...are they? Arbiter: Murdered by the Brutes. Commander: Vile beasts! The Prophets were fools to trust them. [Cuts to Tartarus leading his group into a structure. He stops and sniffs.] =============== Chapter 14: High Charity =============== [The Master Chief drops down to the dock in time to watch the Phantoms fly off. he walks over to Mercy, still fighting the parasite.] Chief: Your pal, where's he going? Mercy: Earth...to finish what we started. And this time...none of you will be left behind. Cortana: That structure in the center of the city...It's a forerunner ship! And Truth is heading straight for it! If he leads the Covenant fleet to Earth, they won't stand a chance! You have to stop him! Chief: That Brute has the Index and Miranda and Johnson. He can activate the ring. Cortana: If he does, I'll detonate In Amber Clad's reactor just like we did the Autumn's. The blast will destroy this city and the ring. Not a very original plan, but we know it will work. [Master Chief reaches out to collect Cortana.} Cortana: No! I don't want to chance a remote detonation. I need to stay here. -----Cross-Purposes----- Cortana: Flood controlled dropships are touching down all over the city! That creature beneath the Library...that Gravemind...used us. We were just a diversion. In Amber Clad was always its intended vector. There's a conduit connecting this tower to the ship. Head back inside. I'll lead you to it. Cortana: We don't have time for this Chief. Truth's Phantom is nearing the Forerunner's ship. Cortana: I'll disable this lift once you reach the top. That'll slow them down...I hope. Truth*: Shall we let the Flood consume our holy city? Turn High Charity into another of their wretched hives? No enemy has ever withstood our might. The Flood too shall fail. Cortana: I'll do what I can to slow the launch sequence. There's something inside the ship...a presence that's fighting back! For a Covenant construct it's unusually formidable. No time to admire the view. Truth's Phantom has reached the Forerunner ship. -----Please, Make Yourself at Home----- Truth*: The parasite did not defeat the Forerunners, and it shall not defeat us. Gravemind*: Arrogant creature! Your death will be instantaneous, while we suffer the progress of infinity. Cortana: The security systems in this part of the tower are particularly robust. Truth*: Whosoever is ruled by fear, take head. I am the Prophet of Truth, and I am not afraid. Noble Mercy is here at my side. His wise counsel is ever at my aide. Gravemind*: We exist together now? Two corpses in one grave. Cortana: Apparently, these are the Prophet Hierarchs' private quarters-their inner sanctum. -----Sanctified----- Truth*: This crisis cannot be the end of us. It is but one path to fulfill the journey to salvation! Cortana: Brute and Elite ships are engaging one another all around High Charity. I'm running out of options Chief! I can't stall the launch sequence much longer. The next lift will take you up to the conduit. Hurry! -----Once More, With Feeling----- Cortana: I knew the Covenant was good at repurposing Forerunner technology, but this is amazing! They've been using the Forerunner ship's engines as an energy source for the city. The ship isn't so much launching, as it is disengaging- uncoupling itself from High Charity's power grid. Stopping Truth! That's all that matters! Truth*: Now is the time of our unworlding. The moment we shall all become as gods. Cortana: You know the plan! You've got to stop Truth. I've got to handle the Index. Go! [Master Chief steps into the conduit and shoots off to the Forerunner ship.] Cortana: Chief, when you get to Earth...good luck. Chief: After I'm through with Truth... Cortana: Don't make a girl a promise...if you know you can't keep it. =============== Chapter 15: The Great Journey =============== [The Arbiter and Commander are scoping a facility ahead.] Arbiter: What is that place? Commander: Where the Councilors were meant to watch the consecration of the Icon-the start of the Great Journey. Gravemind: There is still time to stop the key from turning. Arbiter: I must get inside. Commander: Then mount up Arbiter. I know a way to break those doors. -----Your Ass, My Size-24 Hoof----- Commander: There Arbiter! That Scarab's main weapon will break the control room's doors. At the far end of the beach there's a passage into the cliff. It'll take you up to the Scarab. Commander: The Brutes control the cruiser Arbiter. I'll remain here-make sure no reinforcements get in behind you. Then, I'm going to take the cruiser back! Elite: The Arbiter? I thought he was dead! Hold you fire. The Hunters have come to our aid Arbiter. They will fight by our side. Tartarus*: Mind those two. Kill the others. Brute: Yes Chieftain! [The Arbiter comes out onto the platform where the Scarab is docked. Johnson and a couple of Marines are fighting it out with the Brutes. Johnson makes it into the Scarab.] Johnson: Listen. You don't like me, and I sure as hell don't like you. But if we don't do something, Mr. Mohawk's gonna activate the ring. And we're all gonna die. Arbiter: Tartarus has locked himself inside the control room. Johnson: Well I just happen to have a key. Come on! Grab a Banshee and give me some cover. 'Gonna know we're commin'. -----Backseat Driver----- Johnson: Ha, how do you like it? Johnson: Stay clear of the doors. Hey bastards! Knock knock. -----Delusions and Grandeur----- [Tartarus is at the center of the control room. He's holding Commander Keys physically trying to get her to insert the Index. A brute squad stands by. One of them holds 343 Guilty Spark.] Tartarus: Come human, it is easy. Take the Icon in your hands...and do as you are told! 343: Please! Use caution! This Reclaimer is delicate! Tartarus: One more word, Oracle, and I'll rip your eye from its socket! Keyes: Nnnn! Tartarus: Which is nothing compared to what I will do to you. Arbiter: Tartarus. Stop! Tartarus: Impossible! Arbiter: Put down the Icon. Tartarus: Put it down? And disobey the Hierarchs? Arbiter: There are things about Halo even the Hierarchs do not understand. Tartarus: Take care Arbiter. What you say is heresy. Arbiter: Is it? Oracle, what is Halo's purpose? 343: Collectively, the seven- Tartarus: Not-another-word- [Sergeant Johnson shows up.] Johnson: Please...don't shake the light-bulb. If you want to keep your brains in your head, I'd tell those boys to chill. Go ahead. Do your thing. Arbiter: The sacred rings, what are they? 343: Weapons of last resort built by the Forerunners to eliminate potential Flood hosts, thereby rendering the parasite harmless. Arbiter: And those who made the rings? What happened to the Forerunners? 343: After exausting every other strategic option, my creators activated the rings. They and all additional sentient life in three radii of the galactic center died...as planned. Would you like to see the relevant data? Arbiter: Tartarus, the Prophets have betrayed us... [Tartarus hesitates for a minute. Then he goes berserk, grabs Commander Keyes' hand, and uses her to shove the Index into place.] Tartarus: No Arbiter! The Great Journey has begun! And the Brutes, not the Elites, shall be the Prophets' escort. 343: Charging sequence initiated. Primary generators coming on line. Keyes: Well shut them down! 343: Apology. Protocol does not allow me to interfere with any aspect of the sequence. Keyes: Then how do I stop it? 343: Well...it will take some time to go over the proper procedures. I- Keyes: Quit stalling! 343: Under more controlled circumstances, I would suggest the Reclaimer simply remove the Index. Keyes: That's it? Johnson! I'm on it! Johnson: Hang tight ma'am! Not until that Brute is dead. 343: Second generators charging. All systems performing well within operational paramenters. 343: Power generation phase complete. The installation is ready to fire. Starting final countdown. Johnson: Come on Arbiter! Kick that guy's ass! [Commander Keyes jumps and ducks across rotating platforms until she gets an opening to jump onto the central structure. Running across it, she snatches the Index. The whole complex shudders. A bolt of energy fires from the top. It heads straight to the center of the ring and collides with a ball of energy that's been growing there. There is a large explosion. When it clears, Halo and everything around it is intact and unharmed. Inside the control center, Keyes is looking at a new hologram that's appeared where the Index had been.] Keyes: What's that? 343: A beacon. Keyes: What's it doing? 343: Communicating at super-luminal speeds with a frequency of- Keyes: Communicating with what? 343: The other installations. Keyes: Show me. [A hologram appears of multiple halo rings moving into a formation.] 343: Fail-safe protocol: In the event of an unexpected shutdown, the entire system will move to standby status. All remaining platforms are now waiting for remote detonation. Keyes: Remote detonation? From here? 343: Don't be ridiculous! Johnson: Listen Tinkerbell, don't make me- Keyes: Then where would someone go to activate the rings. 343: Why the Ark of course! Arbiter: And where, Oracle, is that? [Master Chief is riding the outside of the Forerunner ship as it exits Slipspace near Earth.] Officer: We've got a new contact. It doesn't match any known profiles. Hood: It's not one of ours. Take it out. Chief: This is Spartan one-one-seven. Can anyone hear me? Over. Hood: Isolate that signal! Master Chief, you mind telling me what you're doing on that ship? Chief: Sir. Finishing this fight. =============== Roll Credits =============== [High Charity: The city is very much the worse for wear. Gravemind's tentacles can be seen all over the place.] Gravemind: Silence fills the empty grave, now that I am gone. But my mind is not at rest, for questions linger on. I will ask, and you will answer. [Tentacles reach out torwards a holopanel. Cortana appears on it. She raises one hand, and the tentacles veer off.] Cortana: All right. Shoot.