The Great Schism Part III
Posted By: Jack Lang<Molotovsniper@hotmail.co.uk>
Date: 4 August 2009, 6:30 pm
The titanic vessel loomed overhead, casting the flights of Phantoms into shadow.
Teil sat near the front of the dropship. He pulled at a bullet with a pair of forceps, twisting it around. It pulled free from the wound with a spurt of blood. Unggoy watched the bizarre ritual, awe-struck.
The bullet joined its brothers in a pouch on Teil's waist. He now turned his attention to the blade that had cut him. It was sharp and well made, the Sangheili decided to keep it. It would make a good trophy and serve as a reminder of his brushes with death.
He blinked,weary. The pain was growing.
'Naamanee got to his feet and walked into the cockpit.
The Zealot was standing over the pilots, gazing at the image of the Carrier. He turned as Teil entered and nodded in greeting before turning back to the screen.
They were entering the cargo bay of the Assault Carrier and the screens showed that it was bustling with activity. The ship was readying to depart, its objective complete.
Snatches of a speech came in over the speakers.
"The glory that is a Sacred Ring
prophecy of seven is confirmed
leave at once to herald the final stage. The Great Journey shall begin!"
A screen lit up to Teil's right. It showed a real-time feed from one of the rearward cameras on the Carrier's hull.
Engine flare lit up the bottom of the screen, while the top half showed the angular form of the approaching human vessel.
Teil's fists closed in anger, the impudence of the humans, if the Prophet had not already ordered the retreat they would have swatted the vessel aside like a fly.
Teil drooped visibly. The adrenaline that had sustained him was wearing off. His vision tunnelled and then failed.
He collapsed to the floor.
The bright light faded and Teil looked around him. A figure became visible.
His brother ran forward and stood before him.
'Naamanee pulled his brother close and closed his eyes.
"Teil." The voice came again, harsh and cold. He opened his eyes and looked at
The demon stood in his brother's place, the relaxed hug now a vice like grip, Teil struggled but the grip was iron. Dots appeared on his vision as he gasped for air
The Black clad Sangheili was caught by surprise, the sleeping form before him leapt up and bowled him over, in a flash his plasma rifle was in the hands of his assailant and pressed against his mandibles.
"Teil! Stop!" The voice snapped him back to reality, 'Naamanee relaxed his grip and eased back onto his haunches.
"Forgive me Adar, I dishonour you."
He extended a hand, which the other accepted.
"What troubles you?" Adar 'Mibharee asked.
"Demons haunt my dreams."
Adar grunted "as do they mine, do not dwell upon it."
He beckoned Teil to follow and they left the room.
"How long was I unconscious?"
"The entire slipspace jump, you are lucky, the physicians said that you would die."
Teil recoiled, his terror evident.
"You let a doctor touch me!"
Adar raised a hand in reassurance.
"Fear not, I would never dishonour you so."
He clapped the hand on Teil's shoulder. "Your blood proves itself, you have defied death-a good omen."
"Tell me what has happened."
"We have arrived, your feet tread upon a Sacred Ring."
As Adar spoke a door slid open and Teil could see that this was so.
He had been moved to a field hospital while he slumbered, probably at Adar's insistence.
The air was crisp and clean. Teil breathed in deeply, savouring the first fresh air since his departure from Sangheilos, above his head the ring tapered up into a thin line against the clear blue sky.
"Is it not all the prophets said it would be?" Adar exclaimed. And indeed it was, the scale of it all was breathtaking. Surely even High Charity, capital of the entire Covenant was a bauble compared to this structure of the gods.
The Phantoms accelerated as they passed from the shadow of an imposing cliff face. The structure was just ahead.
'Naamanee adjusted the straps of his armour and checked his weapons yet again.
The slung Carbine was secure, his Energy Sword was within easy reach and his Plasma Rifle was displaying a full battery.
His warrior necklace glittered, the fresh bullets shining in the light.
He felt refreshed after his long sleep, the pain had faded and his mind was clear.
He was a perfectly honed killing machine once more.
His triumph over death had replenished the confidence his lance had lost with the retreat from the human world. The members of his lance stood taller and the chatter of the Unggoy was excited.
Of course the discovery of another Sacred Ring had helped wash away the humiliation that had followed the destruction of the first.
Then the pilot's voice cut through them all, his horror palpable.
"We must divert immediately
the Demon is attacking the Prophet of Regret!"
Teil sprang up and entered the cockpit.
"Overheat the engines, we must reach him it in time."
"It is already done."
Spray whipped up around the curved surfaces as the Phantom sped low over the lake, the pilot pushing his vehicle as fast as it would go.
With maximum magnification Teil could just make out the green figure that walked up the steps and into the entrance of the temple