Trokono Gona Varin stood off to the side in the Control Room. He had no navigational duty, or any machines to watch over, but he served as one of the guards. Trokono paced back and forth in the Control Room of the Vigilant Reclamation , a DDS-class carrier.
The Shipmaster sailed the Vigilant Reclamation through slipspace. Their destination was a nearby moon base, where they would dock and outfit the ship with a stronger shielding system.
The silence of the room was broken by the sound of an incoming transmission.
The Shipmaster's control panel flared, and a holographic image of the new Prophetess of Obligation.
"To all Shipmasters of the Covenant Navy, the Unggoy have rejected the Hierarchs' divine placement of their race, and rebelled against the Great Journey. They seek to destroy our castes, and secede. Quell this rebellion with any means necessary."
The hologram disappeared. The Shipmaster looked up and gave a command: "Quarantine the Unggoy decks, and put any Unggoy, solitary or in groups, into the brig, until such time as they may be questioned. We cannot allow a mass revolt on this vessel. Imminent Transcendence, what is the status of these rebels on our ship?"
Another hologram, this time much larger, and in a pedestal in the center of the room, came alive. Instead of a physical creature, though, the apparition was a angular, symmetrical, geometrical design, with a passive, unblinking eyespot in the middle. It was colored shades of purple, pink, and blue, the colors of most things in the Covenant.
"I am at this moment cutting off access to all communication devices in the Unggoy deck, Shipmaster. There are small groups of Special Operations trying to splice through the circuitry, and without automated defensive initiative, I cannot take sufficient action. I recommend activation of automated defense systems and the deployment of Elite Special Operations teams to eliminate threats in undefended areas."
These words had been spoken with fluctuation in tone, like any normal being, but they still retained a hard, cold feeling, that only an AI could achieve.
"Very well. I shall detach Spec Ops teams one through three to deal with any inaccessible areas. Full control of the defense systems has been granted, Imminent Transcendence." With that, he gave the signal for the teams to go and deal with the Unggoy.
A few moments passed before the AI spoke again: "I have killed most of the teams splicing through, but the ones in inaccessible locations have gotten through. They are receiving orders to rebel and what to do if they take the ship. Shipmaster, I believe most, if not all, Unggoy have joined the dissidents. Do I have permission to engage any Unggoy at discretion?"
Yish was in his quarters aboard the Vigilant Reclamation, polishing his Type-31 Rifle to a sleek shine. Unfortunately, there wasn't much use for a sniper rifle while flying through space on a Covenant carrier. He eagerly and patiently (well...he had to admit that patience was not his greatest virtue) awaited the time that he would be deployed into the field to finally put his skills to use.
Through his excellent sharpshooting Yish had managed to establish himself among the Kig-yar snipers within the Covenant Army, avoiding the dreadful infantry position that Kig-yar recruits were usually given, but he was still new to the military and did not yet have the seniority or recognition needed to get himself on all the best missions. So here he was, cooped up inside a Navy carrier, busying himself with menial tasks and trying very desperately not to be driven completely insane by the rote of shipboard life.
"If I don't get some excitement soon, I'm going to stab someone in the throat," he muttered to himself.
Shipmaster Harvo 'Balozee nodded towards the hologram of Imminent Transcendence. "Yes. Any Unggoy found partaking in the rebellion will be shot on sight. Make sure all-" Harvo cut himself off upon noticing a flashing on one of the controls, and a sudden jerk in the ship. He grabbed onto one of the railings to prevent himself from falling. Upon inspection of the flashing console it revealed that the ship had exited slipspace. The Unggoy must be mobilizing faster than he thought and sabotaged their slipspace drive. Some of the other systems were also being shut offline, evidence that some of the Huragok might be aiding them.
"Alert the entire ship of the rebellion and instruct all crew to kill or detain any Unggoy. There are just as many, if not more of them than us. We cannot afford to underestimate them." The Shipmaster turned and addressed the Control Room, consisting of Trokono, a hunter pair, ten Sangheili, twenty Kig-yar, and a small number of Huragok. "Zoron!"
"Yes, Shipmaster?" the Sangheili asked.
"Take Trokono, four other Sangheili, and the Kig-yar to the reactor. Kill any Unggoy and secure it so we can begin repairs. I don't want us to be sitting here for too long."
"Aye, sir," Zoron replied. He picked out his battalion and they exited the control room. After they left Harvo locked the exits to the Control Room. The last thing he needed was control of the ship being usurped by the little heretics.
A general broadcast, in Imminent Transcendence's smooth, cold voice, was sent out to all decks and quarters of the Vigilant Reclamation:
"This is a general broadcast. The Unggoy have rejected the Great Journey and are attempting to overthrow the Hierarchs. A general call to arms has been issued: The Shipmaster has ordered all available members of the crew to kill or detain all Unggoy. Report to battle stations immediately. This is not a drill, I repeat, this is not a drill."
She kept watch on the strike team as it made its way to the engine room. She saw the Unggoy inside the room had set up plasma turrets and made redoubts from crates and other debris. To her own enjoyment, she had prevented reinforcements from reaching the engines by sealing the Unggoy off with blast doors and engaging auto-turrets. It was almost too easy, the Unggoy screaming and running around in terror before her plasma turrets eliminated them.
My programming for elimination of heresy comes with enjoyment simulators? The Hierarchs are most wise indeed, she thought, with great satisfaction.
Yish looked up from his rifle when he heard the general broadcast. He listened carefully and then said "Is this for real? Go kill all the Unggoy?" He grinned, showing off his sharp teeth to the empty room. "It must be my lucky day!" He grabbed his rifle, threw on his targeting headgear, and then left his quarters, searching for some Unggoy to shoot.
It took a bit of running around but eventually he found a bit of a fray taking place in one of the main corridors. A few energy shields had been put up for cover and Yish ducked behind one of them. He loaded his weapon, leaned out from behind the shield, zoomed in on the other end of the corridor, and started shooting Unggoy, taking them out one by one.
The group led by Zoron made their way forward towards the reactor room, which luckily was not too far away. After going through some hallways they came to a hangar. The Unggoy had set up a perimeter, reinforced with a few shades. As the group entered, the Unggoy had just killed a small group of Kig-yar and were cheering in celebration. They yelled about rebellion and improved standard of living.
"Kill them," Zoron growled. The Kig-yar in the group deployed shields and began to snipe them, while the Sangheili took cover and shot. The Unggoy turned their turrets towards the group and began to fire.
Trokono knew his place in this battle. With his shield in front of him he took aim at one of the shades and fired his assault cannon.
About twenty minutes after the general broadcast Special Operations Sangheili Minor Thum 'Zuramee crept through the Unggoy deck, active camouflage up, silently exterminating the traitorous creatures with swift jabs to the Methane tank, using a sharp piece of metal to puncture them. It was quick work, weaving his way through squadrons of Unggoy and picking them off individually. Elsewhere on the deck, Thum could here echoes of gunfire and the high pitched screams of the heretical bastards. It was going to be a fun night.
Transcendence overlooked the battle going on at least three decks. The fight in the engine room was pitched, the Unggoy were desperate to control it. The Mgalekgolo on board, Trokono Gona Varin, was performing classic tactics, with his shield raised and assault cannon firing. She wondered why hunters worked in pairs, since single units seemed to outperform so well on the individual level. He was at the moment single-handedly taking out a position with two shade turrets and a group of Unggoy Majors behind a crate wall. His weapon had been switched to beam form, and was decimating everything in its path. For Transcendence, it was a singularly enjoyable experience to watch.
At the same time, she particularly monitored the progress of a special operations sangheili that was assassinating groups of Unggoy on board their own deck. Though not as flashy or impressive as the Mgalekgolo's feats, he was good at what he did.
"Shipmaster, I believe I have found evidence that the Unggoy on board ship have organization, of sorts. They have several key leaders that are currently providing the coordination and moral to fight effectively. One is in the engine room, and should die shortly. There are around 3 more scattered throughout the ship, in various stages of defending positions or leading assaults. My analysis: assassination of these leaders should throw the revolt into chaos, allowing us to easily provide for the purging of the ship. My solution: Delegate special operations to infiltrate the Unggoy ranks and eliminate these threats at the soonest available moment.
The Shipmaster stood there, hand on his unactivated energy sword, and watched the battles on display. As expected, Trokono was doing a fantastic job at decimating the Unggoy foolish enough to oppose him and the group he as assigned to. He clicked his jaw and thoughtfully tapped on the railing.
"Your solution is a fine one. At this rate I suspect that a few of our Huragok have been coerced to their side." Harvo pointed to one display showing a corridor near the back of the ship, where the defense turrets had been turned onto a squad of Sangheili, cutting them down. "Zoron will soon gain control of the engines and begin repairs on the slipspace drive. Dispatch teams to find and eliminate the leaders. See what you can do about the Huragok who have betrayed us and joined the gas-suckers."
In no time the hangar was reclaimed. Trokono's Assault Cannon made quick work of the opposing shades; the exploding metal cracked some of the methane tanks and the Unggoy Majors suffocated. The Kig-yar's plasma rifles burned the soft flesh of the Unggoys and the cried in agony before falling. Once it was secure, Zoron contacted the Control Room. "This hangar is secure, Shipmaster. Shall we proceed to the engine room?"
There was no delay before he received his instructions. "Yes."
"Understood." Zoron surveyed the room. There were a few banshees in this hangar, and four DX-class Dropships. None of them had been tampered with. All hostiles had been eliminated, and with a small group of Kig-yar led by a Sangheili entered the room, Zoron was ready to proceed. "Guard this hangar. I'm proceeding to the engine room."
The Sanghelili chuckled. "With a Mgalekolo? They don't stand a chance."
Zoron pointed to the now-destroyed Unggoy outpost. "I am aware."
Zoron's squad proceeded to the engine room. There were two reactor cores here, and in the back of it was the slipspace drive. Before they opened the doors, Zoron laid out the battle plans.
"Trokono, you'll take the front and deflect their projectiles. The Kig-yar will snipe any Unggoy operating machinery, or any that may have picked up a Fuel Rod Cannon or a Plasma Rifle. The rest of you will follow me and we shall enter from one of the side doors." Zoron clicked on his cloaking device, and following his lead the other Sangheili diverged from the group. Trokono walked forward until the door opened and prepared himself for the Unggoy assault.
A message came in over Thum 'Zuramee's comlink, amounting to something along the lines of--find and destroy the Unggoy leaders.
Obviously, this excited Thum greatly. He had never been promoted, even though 4 years of service had elapsed, but perhaps if he killed a leader he would be rewarded with the title of SpecOps Major. Major! He hurried along towards a mass conglomerate of the little Heretics. Surely in such a large conflagration he could find a leader.
It didn't take long to clear out the corridor. "Just like target practice," Yish said, reloading his rifle. "Too easy." He got out from behind the cover of the shield and started walking towards the end of the hall that the Unggoy had been defending. He walked among the corpses, kicking one every now and then to make sure it was dead, while the Sangheili and other Kig-yar that had been in the fray continued on to find another position in need of defense. He lagged behind them a bit, knowing his strengths were in his range.
The doors opened to reveal the engine room. Far in the distance was the bright reactor core and stationed around it were a few battalions of Unggoy. Throughout the room were computer nodes connected to the ship's mainframe. However, many of these appeared to be offline, for in addition to Unggoy there were Huragok in the engine room. Their pink tendrils slid and prodded the terminals, redirecting control to them. The AI wouldn't be able to access anything in this room until the disruption was taken care of. This meant crushing the rebellion.
Trokono walked forward and kept his shield in front of him. He switched over to single blast on his Assault Cannon and fired across the room. The bolt soared half a mile and hit a group of three Unggoy. Their lifeless bodies flew a few feet before landing on another squad of Unggoy. Now that a threat had presented itself, the Hurakok stopped their work. The Unggoy aimed their weapons and soon battle was upon them. Trokono stood his ground and proved to be an impenetrable wall. The Kig-Yar behind him used him as cover and worked on snipping out the Unggoy. There were dozens of them - possibly even a hundred or two. They would be hear for awhile.
"Shipmaster, I have taken the liberty of streaming live battle visuals to the screens, for your enjoyment. We have a major battle ongoing in the engine room, and I am also monitoring the progress of our stealth teams. I have full confidence that the heretics shall perish soon, by fire and storm," she said with satisfaction hinted in her voice.
Transcendence was able to get a view of the engine room from a few cameras the Unggoy had been too stupid to disable. The glorious sight of Trokono and the vanguard smashing through the ranks filled her with pre-programmed artificial emotional response protocols of joy.
Though watching and coordinating response efforts across the ship, she closely followed events transpiring in every sector. Thus, she was troubled when a group of Unggoy gathered behind a large stack of crates in the engine room. Blue spheres were dealt out, and with cover from their allies, they charged out, heading straight for the immovable juggernaut plowing into their positions.
Suicide squads. Heretical dogs!
She had no other option but to broadcast into the engine room, as Mgalekgolo did not have transceivers: "Cover the Mgalekgolo! He must not fall!"
There were multiple gas-suckers running towards the group. Each of them held a plasma grenade in each of their hands. The AI's voice came out through the ship's PA system. "Cover the Mgalekgolo! He must not fall!" In response the Kig-yar snipers peered out from their defensive positions and took aim on the reckless Unggoy. As the first few went down, their grenades exploded and killed the other Unggoy near them.
Further in the engine room, Trokono could make out about thirty more of them, and they were manning a few shades. Their turrets turned to the lone Mgalekgolo and opened fired. Luckily he was able to hide behind wall and get cover. He would wait a few more moments for the snipers to de-man the turrets or for the Sangheili to appear and decimate them.
"Shipmaster, may I suggest adding an intercom to the Mgalekgolo battle armor in your detachment?"
The Shipmaster stared at the hologram for a few moments, before waving a hand at an aid to write it down. He returned his gaze to the screens.
A small group of special operations Unggoy blasted the final turret in their quarantined zone of the hallway. Using a laser cutter, they managed to break into the ship's gravlift loading dock bay. Since they were in space, it was sealed shut, with only crates, a few ghosts, and two wraiths, all offline. But the crack crew set to work hotwiring the wraiths and door panels immediately.
Through a hidden camera, Transcendence watched this take place. She was perturbed, this group breaking through her perfect trap was not foreseen. A glance at their scorched path through the hallways revealed that a larger group, led by one of the remaining heretical leaders, was on the way, and would soon reach the bay, with all of its heavy armaments. She couldn't stop them by herself, all defensive measures had been taken out by the special operations team. She made a tactical decision, and called on the best Kig-yar warriors on board to counter-attack the gravlift bay. Their shields would be more valuable than any other unit, other than a Mgalekgolo, of course, but he was needed elsewhere.
"Those receiving this message, cease current activity and counter-attack the gravlift bay. she broadcast to those she picked, in an instant going through all combat records of the surviving Kig-yar on ship.
She wasn't about to notify the Shipmaster, unless things rose out of control.
Soon enough, the snipers had taken out the turrets. With a renewed energy, Trokono charged forward. The others followed in suit. As they blasted them, the Sangheili appeared and began to cut the Unggoy forces to shreds. Plasma and blood went flying about the room. By the time Trokono had reached them, all the Unggoy had been defeated.
Scattered about the room were some Huragok. They were frozen; they feared for their lives. Trokono only half-paid attention, which is to say he understood Zoron gave orders for them to repair the slipspace drive and the other systems that they had started to deactivate. They immediately went to work.