|This article, Remembrance, was written by UnggoyZealot. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|Date Published||December 14, 2018|
|ERROR; EXACT DATE UNKNOWN
UNSC Rival, Shalim System
All was going well for Helmsman Janet Springer on the cargo vessel UNSC Rival, heading to their final destination on a month-long journey to deliver all of the cargo onboard. Captain Gunhir had wanted to make this the first trip of the year completed, so they would have less work time overall, but it certainly tired out Janet. She had been working nonstop working on navigational data to map out their trip, albeit with help from the shipboard AI, Woodrow.
As she checked the external cameras for a site of their drop-off point, Springer could see the planet. Drawn, as it was called was a former Outer Colony during the Great War, but it was now a joint-occupied planet inhabited by humans, Unggoy, Kig-Yar, and some Sangheili from the Swords of Sanghelios, a group that had aligned themselves with the UNSC during the final days of the war. The planet had a multitude of vibrant colors; many shades of blue, brown, and green, all covered by a blanket of clouds, with holes between them every once in a while, like a torn-up quilt.
Admiring the beautiful world, Janet startled when Gunhir came up behind her, a look of satisfaction on his gaunt face. “Ah, Drawn. Haven’t seen it since the war. The results of the battle still surprise me sometimes. But now’s not the time for admiration. We need to get this last shipment to the surface, ASAP.”
“Yes, Captain!” Janet squeaked as she went back to her station, typing away coordinates. Every once in a while, a recommendation would pop up on screen, a helpful tip from Woodrow. Captain Gunhir marched back to his seat, where the AI’s avatar shimmered into existence on the holotank next to it. Wearing fine clothes by standards of the 20th century, the artificial intelligence was based on a President of the same name that led one of the Earth’s nations through the first war to engulf a large majority of a planet.
“Captain Gunhir, travelling towards Drawn now. ETA is five-point-four-oh hours, so I’d recommend getting comfortable,” The AI said.
“Seems like a good plan. Thank you, Woodrow,” replied Gunhir, settling back in his seat. Janet and Bartholomew, the ship’s last crew member soon followed suit.
After travelling for a few minutes, the ship suddenly came to a stop; a large bump shunning the ship’s aft part. “What was that?” The Captain asked, jumping up quickly from his chair.
“Hmm. Seems like something has collided with us. Not to worry however; it has done minor damage, so it is most likely a very small piece of debris that I may not have accounted for, Captain. Although I would still investigate, because you can never be too careful.”
Bartholomew nodded and set away at his keyboard, punching in commands and checking the external cameras. The first aft camera was destroyed; the second was intact. Janet and the Captain came over to share a glimpse of the mystery object, leaning in close beside Bartholomew. What showed was a gargantuan shape, less than a kilometer away from their position.
“That thing is huge! How the hell could we miss that?!” Shouted Barth.
“If it is that big it might have come out of slipspace. A vessel from the UNSC or Swords of Sanghelios perhaps? I myself would have to go with the latter; from the distance away from us I calculate it to be one-point-seven-eight-two kilometers long. From my databanks, that is the exact size of a CCS-class battlecruiser, used by the Swords of Sanghelios.”
“If it’s an ally, then why is it coming straight for us? Doesn’t look like they want to get onboard and give greetings to me,” The helmsman protested.
“That is a very good poi-” Woodrow paused, his avatar in a gesture of deep though. “Oh no. They’re sending a transmission. When I translate it, it tells us that they’ll fire if we attempt to escape. They’re preparing to board us with hostile intentions!”
“That can’t happen on my watch,” Captain Gunhir retorted, drawing his M6H and loading a magazine into it. “Helmsmen, get your weapons! We’ll at least put up some resistance!”
“Yes, Captain!” Shouted Janet and Barth as they scrambled over to take a pair of M45 shotguns from a nearby rack. Loading them up with six shells each, the pair split up, with Bartholomew heading over to the exit hatch with Gunhir as Janet siddled back to the cockpit. As they reached their respective places, the ship suddenly lurched, knocking Barth to the ground while Janet had to grab hold of one of the seats to keep herself balanced. Captain Gunhir, however, was not swayed. Before she could even recover however, the hatch exploded, with shrapnel instantly puncturing the Captain’s skull and knocking him to the ground. Barth ducked his head before raising it, only to scream at something outside of Springer’s line of view.
“These hinge-heads ain’t Swords!” Screamed Bartholomew, jumping out of the way as a trio of Elites bounded into the ship.
They were nothing like Janet had ever seen before, at least from the holovids she had studied when she was younger. Two wore armor of the old Covenant, used during the war, but had an acidic green paint job applied to them. One seemed slimmer and more graceful than the other, and even though she was no expert, the helmsman assumed it was a female. The other was bulkier, and Janet decided that he must be the leader. The third was much larger than both and adorned with the armor of the late Covenant Remnant, but still had the same color. All three together though were an astonishing sight to see.
“Wort, wort, wort!” Shouted the boss, his voice a gutteral mix of growls and roars. Janet stood there dumbstruck, not knowing what to do until Barth stood up, pumping his shotgun. Springer then realized her situation and pumped her own weapon while Barth fired point-blank at the big Elite, breaking through his shields.
“Eat lead, Split-Lip!” Bartholomew cried as he began loading another shell into the chamber, only for the leader to fire a quick burst from his plasma rifle, bringing down the young man.
While he was still in his death throes, the female Elite drew a plasma pistol and fired a charged shot straight towards Janet. She gritted her teeth and hit the ground, hearing the crackling flash of plasma streak over her to hit something. Looking up, Janet saw that the shot had gone straight past her and found a new target: Woodrow’s holotank. A tear came to Janet’s eye as she watched the tank and Woodrow’s datachip melt, and soon more came to follow. Realizing that she was the only human left on this ship with the three elites, Janet turned and attempted to bring her shotgun up to bear, only for it to be swatted out of her hands by the female Elite.
The boss then stepped up to her and shaped his mandibles reminiscent of a human mouth to form the words, “Get down.”
Fighting back more tears, Janet promptly obeyed, hoping that this might keep her from certain death. As she hugged her knees up to her chest, she looked up to see the three Elites in deep conversation.
“Wah, koh-eh Wuchahnnsu Vyre 'Zenolrai,” Said the boss.
“Eedah-yuhk,” The female replied, before pressing a button on the side of her helmet. She then spoke softly in unintelligible dialogue, and stopped, nodding towards the boss. A moments later, another Elite walked into the ship, this one however had much more ornate armor, in a pearlescent silver color. His helmet was bigger as well, and had a visor covering up his face, leaving no skin exposed.
As the Sangheili entered, all three of the others bowed down in his presence. Once he was in the center of the ship, in front of them all, he spoke in a gruff voice. “Rohgeheh.”
The trio of green-clad Elites rose, and the leader gestured toward Janet, and then the whole ship. “Ze teedah, Wuchahnnsu.”
The silver Elite gazed around the cabin, until his sight fell on Janet. He stepped forward, and spoke with almost perfect English, “Greetings, dohmoh. I am Shipmaster Vyre 'Zenolrai. Your ship is ours, and the rest of the crew is dead. You are the only remaining one out of this dastardly excuse for a functioning crew, and it seems like the reason for it is cowardice.”
“No it isn’t! I was just back here!” Janet found herself replying, a tinge of anger in her voice. Realizing that she could die for that outburst, she decided to stay quite.
“Hmph. Be grateful, nishum. You will be the first to die in our glorious campaign to take back the holy artifacts which are rightfully ours. At least you won’t have to witness the deaths of so many others. Consider it a gift, from the Followers of the Forgotten Oath.”
“Something from a Hinge-Head like you would never be considered a gift!” Janet shouted, leering at the Elite Shipmaster furiously. The female Elite growled and pointed her plasma pistol at Springer’s temple; a sign to stand down. “Nou!” Bellowed 'Zenolrai, waving his hand at the female Sangheili to stand down.
Although she couldn’t see anything behind his polarized visor, Janet could definitely tell that the Elite was ticked off. Looking back and forth between the four of them, she held her gaze steady on 'Zenolrai.
“Mahgahcheeh kohyahkuhmoh, Wuchahnnsu,” Stated the Sangheili leader.
“Gahkaboonoh, eedah-yuhk,” The Shipmaster replied, switching back to Sangheili. Two of the Elites left the room, leaving only 'Zenolrai and the big one remaining. Turning to the Elite, Vyre said one simple order, making sure to say it in English so Janet could understand it as well. “Dispose of this vermin.”
The Elite nodded as the Shipmaster left, before calmly walking over to Janet, a storm rifle resting in his hands. Stopping a foot away from her, he growled and brought up the rifle to bear. The last thing Helmsman Janet Springer ever saw was the barrel of a Covenant rifle pointing down at her face.