|This article, Foundations/Promotion, was written by UnggoyZealot. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|Date Published||April 13, 2018|
|Next Story||Cast Aside|
Promotion is a short story in the Foundations collection that focuses on the Unggoy Roopum, as his wish is fulfilled when Shipmaster Daga 'Quatomee promotes him. It is the second of six short stories that will be written for the series.
- Daga 'Quatomee
|65th Unit // Cycle 56 // Ninth Age of Reclamation
Location: Timeless Chorus
Roopum was hard at work, fixing the broken panel. The Sangheili Minor beside him watched patiently as he did his work. Everyone did. Since the ship did not have one of the creatures called Huragok, many relied on Roopum because of his brains, not his expendability. They also knew that the little Unggoy had experience. Because of this, he wasn't shunned around like his friends, Bugo and Fobe. Even the Kig-Yar respected him for his work, albeit not as much as others. I think I'm the most popular Unggoy on the ship! If you can say that popular is a thing here, that is. Roopum was grateful for his life compared to others. He had grown up as the very rare only son of a Deacon, and was set on a path for mild success.
He was put into the Deacon academy at the youngest possible age, and was ranked top of his class for religious knowledge. But something dreadful happened. Roopum hated the feeling he got when he looked back on it. It caused a bulge to grow in his throat, everytime. Just thinking about the feeling gave him that same feeling. It was dreadful, when the cold also shivered up his back. As Mama Temate always said, the universe works in strange ways. And that's how Roopum ended up here. He was now a Major, although assigned to no combat positions, for fear that he would easily die. And Roopum was also the only one that knew the ship schematics. It was the Timeless Chorus, a Ket-pattern CCS-class battlecruiser. He knew that from memory now. This ship was his home anyways. Better know it if you're gonna live in it.
"Well then, have you found the problem, Roopum?" Roopum snapped out of his mind and looked to the Minor. Another perk was that they called him by his real name instead of 'Unggoy'. "Not yet, your excellency."
The Minor nodded and stood around as Roopum got to work. He looked at the panel, a simple one compared to the Bridge's controls. It was just for locking and unlocking the armory, so Roopum knew it would be a breeze. He took off the screen to examine the components inside. There were three main cables, and it looked like one had snapped. Roopum sighed at this, and took out his cable adhesive. He applied the needed amount to it, stuck the thin wire back together, and double-knotted it with another cable to ensure it would not break next time. A job well done. Roopum closed the screen over it, gently pushing until a low hiss could be heard. Satisfied with his fixes, Roopum turned to the Sangheili. "All done now, your excellency. I wish you luck on your next glorious battle."
Now came the part of the job Roopum relished most. The Sangheili nodded in surprise at Roopum's choice of words, happy at the compliment and the fixed panel. "Thank you, Roopum. I am most gracious for this armor, and also for your skill. I accept your compliment with hope to have human blood taint my blade next battle."
Roopum nodded happily and trotted away as the Sangheili unlocked the armory doors and entered. This was the life. The Unggoy knew he could live like this forever. It may not be fit for a king, but it was for an Unggoy. Roopum opened the door to his dormitory, and settled in. He was allowed his own dorm for two reasons. One, the amount of troops on the ship was small compared to most. The Chorus fought more naval battles than ground. Two, Roopum was the best engineer on board the ship, and as such was given it for peace and quiet when working on solutions for the systems or fiddling with a new power composer. Roopum leaned into his comfy cot, starting to close his eyes, when the sound projector on the wall beeped loudly.
Roopum jumped out of his cot as fast as a Worktee pounced on it's prey and looked around startled. A voice projected through the device, and Roopum turned to face it, even though it was only a wall. "Hmm? Who is it, may I ask?"
The voice echoed through the chamber, resonating it's deep gravelly tone. "Shipmaster Daga 'Quamotee expects you on the bridge. Three deca-units is your time, Unggoy. He has very important news for you." The voice then clicked out. Roopum sighed. That would be a long walk. Must be important though if they called him 'Unggoy'. They would never have the leisure or will to call him his name.
Roopum hurried through the halls, as fast as his stubby legs could carry him. He got to the gravity lift as he finished counting down the first deca-unit. He jumped on with a pair of other Unggoy who instantly recognized him. As they ascended, one of them turned to him and meekly asked, "You Roopum?"
In a hurry still, Roopum nodded yes. "I am indeed Roopum. Nice to meet you."
As Roopum jumped off the gravity left when it reached the bridge level, he could see both Unggoy gawking at him out of the corner of his eye. I guess I am popular. With that, he ran to the entrance of the Bridge, waiting as the gates slid open. Once they did, Roopum walked in with a smug look on his face, unknown by any others looking, because of his usual Unggoy mask. He was here one point seven deca-units early. "I am here to see his excellency Shipmaster Daga 'Quatomee as requested."
The crew mainly kept to their stations, but a few Unggoy turned in awe before returning to their work. Roopum stepped up to the command throne and bowed, as the throne turned around. In it was a fair-sized Sangheili that looked like a role model for anyone. He was though, for he was Shipmaster Daga 'Quatomee. At the sight of Daga, many lowly creatures of the Chorus would bow down before him, but Roopum had privilege. Roopum rose, and beat his right fist on his chest, the same way a Sangheili would when addressing a superior officer. Roopum always took pride in this, feeling like he was truly part of the Covenant instead of one of it's many abused cannon fodder.
'Quamotee rose from his command throne, and marched in front of Roopum, towering over him with his golden Shipmaster's harness. The Shipmaster nodded to his Sangheili officer aide, who hurried off for some reason. 'Quatomee turned his attentions back to Roopum, and spoke in his deep, comforting tone. Any who heard it would be glad to take his orders. He was always calm. Always. "Roopum, I have been expecting you. As you know, we are currently waiting for our next assignment from the Hierarchs. And I see that you have been hard at work lately. Just a while ago, a Sangheili Minor reported to me of you fixing a broken panel, am I correct?"
Roopum blushed under his mask, not knowing that the Shipmaster of anyone would know about this. "Yes, your excellency. I try to do the best to help the holy Covenant Empire."
"Well then, I have noticed your feats, big and small, and have decided upon a tough subject. I have been listening to requests on behalf of your father, the Master-Deacon. He has verified permission with his Minister to give you a chance to go back to High Charity and start your teachings as a Deacon again."
Roopum breathed his methane in deeply at the thought of this prospect. A chance to go home and start anew! He could finally become a Deacon and fulfill his dream. And he would impress his father, no doubt. But something nagged Roopum at the back of his mind. He already had made many friends here, and was actually wanted. And he did his job here very well. But at the Deacon academy, he was only treated with respect by his peers. No one else. But it was still a promotion, and one that he was willing to take. Before Roopum could reply, however, 'Quatomee spoke again. "There is also another option for you. I have seen your progress as I have said, and was contemplating on giving you a promotion to Ultra on this ship. I think it would benefit you well, and also give you more access to the tools you need to fix my ship."
Roopum was surprised again, this time more so. An even harder decision! Roopum was contemplating this, while the Shipmaster gave several orders to the members of the Bridge crew. If Roopum rejoined the academy, he would have a better life and career, but he would lose his respect from other species. On the other hand, life as an Ultra would not be as safe as it would a Deacon. But he would still have the respect of the whole crew, maybe even more! Roopum couldn't think about anything else at the moment- only this promotion. After a moment, he had decided. "I know what I wish to do, Shipmaster."
The Shipmaster nodded and turned back to Roopum. "What is this decision then, Roopum?"
Roopum hesitated, knowing that this would be his final decision, before answering. "I wish to remain here as an Ultra. Life would be good as a Deacon, my excellency, and it would impress the Master-Deacon, but I feel that my true loyalties lie here, on the Timeless Chorus."
"Very well then. I thank you for your loyalty to me, Ultra." Daga looked at the gate behind Roopum, and mused as it opened, the Sangheili aide returning with two Unggoy this time, both lugging the harness of an Ultra. Roopum knew his father would be disappointed, but his destiny awaited on the Chorus. Nothing could change that. It was fate. Roopum waddled over to the Unggoy, and took the harness from them, putting it on gently over his shoulders. When it was on, Roopum felt a sudden surge of pride swell within him, more so than he had ever felt at the Deacon academy. Daga sat back in his throne, and spoke to the three Unggoy. "Now then, you are dismissed, Unggoy."
The two Unggoy bowed before exiting, but Roopum stayed just a bit longer before following them. when he returned to his dormitory, Roopum remained in his new Ultra armor, trying to get a feel for it. He eventually took it off and got on the cot, preparing to get some shuteye. Before he did, Roopum thought back to Mama Temate's teachings. The universe does indeed work in strange ways.