"I was born during the beginning of the 'halo wars', as these humans call them. I was raised to be proud warrior, fighting towards salvation for the glory of the covenant and the honor of the Sangheili. However, when I am actually brought into army, it is revealed that the prophet of Truth was an insane liar, the halos were weapons designed to eradicate every sentient creature, and a brute uprising means we now fight alongside the humans! Gah. What a waste."
Aven muttered constantly as he stared at the racks of weapons. After the 'altercations' with those two infernal humans, he had been relegated to watching the weapons stockroom. Apparently it had been reported that plasma rifles and machine guns had 'disappeared' according to the guards who took stock, and the cameras had been acting up. Aven personally thought the humans had simply miscounted. But Rtas had insisted that it be looked into, and of course, troublesome Aven was 'volunteered' for the duty.
Still, insulted as he was, he didn't sleep on the job, watching and listening carefully for anything amiss. Discipline dictated that he do what he was assigned, whether or not he enjoyed it. The Sangheili walked through the racks again, watching closely, muttering sullenly but listening carefully.
"Next time I see that dinmaker and the little swordsman…" Aven rubbed the bandaged part of his face, "I will cut them both down…the female with that instrument and the swordsman with his own sword. If that thing could block my blade he cannot defend himself against it now, can he? Pity they're the Arbiter's pets. If it was not for…"
Aven stopped in the middle of his tirade. A noise that definately not him came from the other side of the stockroom. The elite silenced himself, grabbed a plasma pistol from the rack and went closer to investigate.
Someone was rustling through the racks rather carelessly. The rattling and clunking of the weapons gave away the burglar. This was not a professional, and whoever it was didn't know they weren't alone. Aven kept up that illusion as he crept closer.
A handful of plasma turrets were kept in the stockroom with the covenant weapons. That was where the rustling was coming from. Aven could not see who or what it was because of the racks of weapons blocking his view. He guessed the burglar couldn't see him either. He was getting close…
Then he brushed against a carbine rifle and it rattled, making a noise.
A very small "Uh-oh." told Aven he had been detected. He decided to throw stealth to the winds now. "That was an understatement." he threatened as he ran around one of the racks to confront the burglar head-on.
He only had time to register that the burglar was a very small human standing beside a plasma turret before it let out a shriek of fright and fired something at the overhead lights. The electric lights brightened to a blinding flash, and then went out, casting Aven and the burglar in darkness. Aven laughed, "You cannot hide from me!" before clicking on the flashlight he carried with him for situations like this.
The beam of light spotlighted the tiny burglar doing… something with the turret. The burglar scuttled away from the light as Aven approached, his gun ready.
Unexpectedly the turret came alive, shooting a ball of plasma at the Sangheili. Aven barely had time to yelp "WHAT?" before being hit in the chest with the blast. His shield held, but it still knocked him back, causing him to drop the flashlight. The turret began charging up another shot and Aven ducked behind a rack of shotguns for cover. The turret kept firing at where it saw the elite go, plasma blasts illuminating the darkness.
Aven gave his shield a moment to recharge, then whirled around and fired a charged shot of his own at the turret. The turret had no shield, and it disintegrated on impact. Aven grabbed his flashlight and began searching for the vanished delinquent.
The light sweeped the racks of weapons, finding no small burglar. Aven guessed that whoever or whatever it was, it was scared now. The place was eerily silent except for Aven's footfalls, which echoed around the room. Aven crept as quietly as he could through the stockroom.
Suddenly something hit his face with a SPLAT, like a wet fruit. Aven touched his face and found a luminous blue gunk on his hand and face. Aven whirled around to where the projectile had come from, and saw two yellow eyes in the darkness disappear.
Aven gave chase when he heard a mechanical whistling. Two ramshackle robots with helicopter blades and machine guns came out of nowhere and began firing at him. The Sangheili snarled and shot at them, but they were faster than they looked, dodging and weaving away from his flashlight beam and plasma shots. They never seemed to stop firing at him. His shield couldn't take much more.
Luckily, Aven managed to bring one down with a good shot. The other one was more evasive however, and Aven felt bullets penetrating his thick skin now. He bellowed in pain and managed to blast the robot down. Gasping for breath and holding the wounded part of his chest, Aven ran in the direction he had last seen the mysterious intruder run towards.
He came across what appeared to be a metal flower in the wall. It took him a moment to figure out this was one of the vents in Rapture, and the burglar had gone through it, meaning he couldn't follow. Aven cursed aloud. Sighing, he activated his commlink. "Mario?"
"Lights have gone out in the weapons stockroom. Do whatever it is that you do and get them back on immediately."
"Right-o! I'll get-a to it. The weapons stockroom, room number 14, correct?"
"Yes." It was a short sentence, but the leagues handyman had such a thick accent that Aven had difficulty understanding most of what he said. It was worse over the commlinks.
There was a pause before Mario's cheerful voice came on the air again. "Found the problem! Blown fuse, some sort of electrical overload. Should only take a second…There!"
The lights flashed on, and Aven saw what had become of the stockroom in the clash with this burglar. Scattered plasma bursts had hit several firearms, rendering them unusable. Holes in the wall were numerous, giving it the appearance of Swiss cheese in places.
Aven groaned. The damage was minor, but Rtas would not be pleased.
"Mister Arbiter Sir, we have something of a problem. In order to properly get all the water out of Rapture's flooded areas, we need the pumping stations in workable condition. And number five, the one by Dionysius Park is…flooded. Completely. I could fix the pumps, no problemo, but I can't hold my breath for very long. Not to mention the pressure…we're going to have to draw out that water if we need to use that pumping station. Other than that, repairs are going smoothly and we should have everything else working by the time the first arrivals show up."
Snake drew his gun out at this Odolwa warrior and fired a clean headshot. Unfortunately, the colossal warrior lifted his shield at the precise moment and blocked the bullet. Then it lunged at Snake with its huge sword.
Snake leapt aside, only to be slammed by the brunt of the blade as Odolwa swung again. Snake rolled and fired his gun again, but missed. Odolwa began to chant oddly, and before Snakes eyes, moths of some sort erupted out of the mask's mouth. The moths swarmed the soldier, causing him to lose sight of the opponent. Unable to fire a clean shot with the swarm batting around him, Snake cursed and lit a flare. Throwing it aside, he watched the bugs follow the burning stick and saw Odolwa raise his sword…
Snake would've been cut in half if he had been slower.
The commlink buzzed alive. "Snake, what's happening?"
"My way's blocked by some…giant with a sword. Leader called him Odolwa. I can't get to the stone or the leader!" Snake gasped between dodging Odolwa's sword.
"We are moving in. Lara, cover Snake. McCloud and I will go after the leader."
"I can handle 'Odolwa' myself!" The huge sword hit the ground near Snake, just a little to slow to catch the operative...
"Famous last words, Snake." Lara's voice replaced Arbiter's.
Snake groaned. Odolwa began chanting his 'moth song' again. Snake took the opportunity to shoot the creature in the head. He hit, but instead of dying, the giant stumbled back and covered his mask in his hands. His mask must've absorbed the bullet.
Snake was preparing another shot when Odolwa suddenly recovered and readied his sword. Then Lara smashed in through one of the temple windows, hanging onto one of her climbing ropes. Her aim was dead-on, kicking Odolwa in the head and causing him to stagger backwards in shock. She backflipped gracefully and landed on her feet. Lara turned to Snake and smirked.
"Show-off." Snake muttered.
Lara's smirk got bigger as the two operatives turned back to the recovering Odolwa.
McCloud and Arbiter were having a tough time getting to the leader. Several of the more fanatical redrobes had regained their initiative after the chaos, and were fighting against their progress ferociously. Arbiter felt some pity for the misled fanatics, but it didn't stop him from bringing down whoever got in his way. The masked redrobes pounded at him from all sides, slowing his progress down.
McCloud was having more luck. The fox was more nimble than the powerful Arbiter, and easily leapt over a group of the redrobes before they could harm him. Finding himself in the clear, McCloud ran towards the leader.
The leader stopped his chanting for a moment. "Almost finished…Stop him!"
McCloud was surprised from behind, a hulking redrobe holding his arms in a lock. The leader continued chanting as McCloud struggled to get out of the redrobe's hold, Arbiter bulled his way through the masses of fanatics, and Snake and Lara continued to dodge and attack Odolwa in the blazing ring of fire.
Suddenly, the Anubis Stone began to glow like a beacon. The surprise caused a lull in the fighting as everyone stared in stunned silence at what was happening with the leader and the corpse.
Which was ironic, began no-one could really see what was happening there. An inexplicable black mist had appeared around the table where the corpse laid, surrounding the leader. The mist was too thick for anyone to see. There was a sound of surprise, a THUNK, and then silence.
The mist vanished, revealing a strange sight. The table where the corpse had laid was bare, the cloth cast to the side, and the leader lay beside the Anubis stone, dead.
Once the shock wore off, Odolwa swung at Lara and Snake again. Snake fired at it again, prompting it to block the bullet with its shield. However, Lara had ducked around behind him, and fired a shot of her own at the unprotected back of Odolwa's head. The warrior staggered in surprise, and then fell to the ground, its sword and shield clattering loudly on the floor. The fire field that had hemmed them in vanished.
The sight of their leader and their warrior dead took all the fight out of the redrobes. Many just sat down in shock. The one holding McCloud was more hesitant, so McCloud gave him a kick to convince him to let go.
Arbiter, McCloud and Lara walked towards the altar, while Snake herded the dispirited cultists off to see they didn't cause more problems. McCloud glanced at the empty table. "You don't think…" he remarked.
Lara shrugged. "I've seen weirder things."
Arbiter was more business-minded. "Hmph. So much for getting the leader alive." The Sangheili picked up the stone. "Regardless. We have the target now. We will place these cultists with the proper authorities and then return to base. Mission complete."