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{Cutscene}

A blurry camera shot focused on the floor, before clearing and focusing on the back of Tartarus. The shot then changes to show Tartarus walking down a hallway in High Charity, two Brutes behind him, carrying Thel 'Vadamee on their shoulders. They are walking through a prison.

  • Brute 1: "How much further must we heft this baggage? Any cell will do."
  • Brute 2: "Why not toss him in with this lot?"

The Brutes pass a cell containing three hungry Jackals, which hiss and growl as they reach out through the bars at the Brutes passing by.

  • Brute 2: "They could use the meat."
  • Brute 1: "Them? What about us? My belly aches - and his flesh is seared, just the way I like it."
  • Tartarus: "Quiet! You two whimper like Grunts fresh off the teat. He's not meant for the jails. The Hierarchs have something special in mind."

The Brutes and their cargo move out onto a platform overlooking the Mausoleum of the Arbiter. They ride a Gravity Lift down to the walkway leading up to it and pass dozens of Elite Honor Guards standing at attention, staves ready. They enter the Mausoleum, where the Prophets of Truth and Mercy await. The Brutes and Tartarus bow.

  • Tartarus: "Noble Prophets of Truth and Mercy. I have brought the incompetent."

Close-up on the Prophet of Truth's lower jaw.

  • Prophet of Truth: "You may leave, Tartarus."

Tartarus looks up, surprised.

  • Tartarus: "But...I thought—"
  • Prophet of Truth: "And take your Brutes with you."

Tartarus hesitates, and then bows again.

  • Tartarus: "Release the prisoner."

The Brutes drop 'Vadamee to his knees and rise, leaving the room. The Sangheili touches the Mark of Shame on his chest.

  • Prophet of Truth: "The Council decided to have you hung by your entrails and your corpse paraded through the city. But ultimately, the terms of your execution are up to me."
  • Thel 'Vadamee: "I am already dead."
  • Prophet of Truth: "Indeed. Do you know where we are?"
  • Thel 'Vadamee: "The Mausoleum of the Arbiter."
  • Prophet of Truth: "Quite so. Here rests the vanguard of the Great Journey. Every Arbiter, from first to last. Each one created and consumed in times of extraordinary crisis."
  • Thel 'Vadamee: "Even on my knees, I do not belong in their presence."
  • Prophet of Truth: "Halo's destruction was your error, and you rightly bear the blame. But the Council was... overzealous. We know you are no heretic. This is the true face of heresy, one who would subvert our faith and incite rebellion against the High Council."

Truth presses a button on his chair and a miniature hologram of an Elite in abnormal equipment appears.

  • Sesa 'Refumee (Hologram): "Our Prophets are false! Open your eyes, my brothers! They would use the faith of our forefathers to bring ruin to us all! The Great Journey is a-"

Truth cuts off the hologram.

  • Prophet of Truth: "This heretic, and those who follow him, must be silenced."
  • Prophet of Mercy: "Their slander offends all who walk the Path!"
  • Thel 'Vadamee: "What use am I? I can no longer command ships, lead troops into battle-"
  • Prophet of Truth: "Not as you are, no. But become the Arbiter...and you shall be set loose against this heresy with our blessing."

A large pod floats into the center of the room, opening to reveal a suit of ancient armor surrounded by white light. 'Vadamee stares at this for a moment, before turning back to Truth.

  • Thel 'Vadamee: "What of the Council?"
  • Prophet of Mercy: "The tasks you must undertake as the Arbiter are perilous, suicidal. You will die, as each Arbiter has before you. The Council will have their corpse."

Thel 'Vadamee rises and walks toward the armor. He pauses before it, and looks to the pods containing the bodies of the Arbiters who fell before him. He reaches up and takes the helmet of the Arbiter, and places it upon his head. He turns to the Hierarchs.

  • Thel 'Vadamee: "What would you have your Arbiter do?"

The scene changes to show the outside of High Charity, the fleet surrounding it. Three Phantoms fly past the camera and swoop past the ruins of Halo, a large piece of it still intact and with landscape and clouds still visible. As it flies, the voice of Rtas 'Vadumee can be heard.

  • Rtas 'Vadumee: "When we joined the Covenant, we took an oath!"

The scene cuts to the inside of the center Phantom, where Special Ops Elites, along with the new Arbiter, line the walls, with a line of Special Ops Grunts in the center. An Ultra Elite, the SpecOps Leader Rtas 'Vadumee, walks among them.

  • SpecOps Elites: "According to our station! All without exception!"
  • Rtas 'Vadumee: "On the blood of our fathers, on the blood of our sons...we swore to uphold the Covenant!"
  • SpecOps Elites: "Even to our dying breath!"
  • Rtas 'Vadumee: "Those who would break this oath are Heretics, worthy of neither pity, nor mercy! Even now they use our lords' creations to broadcast their lies!"

A Grunt fumbles with the methane tank of another Grunt. Some air is released, and the second Grunt mutters angrily at the first.

  • SpecOps Elites: "We shall grind them into dust!"

Note: the Hidden Subtitle appears here. It is "Scrape them as excrement from our boots!"

'Vadumee turns his head to face the camera, revealing he is missing the mandibles on the left side of his head.

  • Rtas 'Vadumee: "And continue our march to glorious salvation!"

The Phantoms enter Threshold's atmosphere and come upon a large Forerunner platform.

Scene fades back to inside lead Phantom. The Spec Ops Leader approaches 'Vadamee. They stare each other down.

  • Rtas 'Vadumee: "This armor suits you. But it cannot hide that mark."
  • Thel 'Vadamee: "Nothing ever will."
  • Rtas 'Vadumee: "You are the Arbiter, the will of the Prophets. But these are my Elites. Their lives matter to me. Yours does not."
  • Thel 'Vadamee: "That makes two of us."
  • Rtas 'Vadumee: (respectful) "Hmmm...."

The Phantoms fly over the Forerunner platform and descend toward another structure dangling below it on a long cable, a Gas Mine. An intense storm swirls below the structure.

  • Phantom Pilot: "Leader, there is no doubt: the storm will strike the facility!"
  • Rtas 'Vadumee: "We'll be long gone before it arrives."

The Phantoms fly lower, near the top of one of several towers sticking out from the center of the main structure. One deposits a group of Grunts and an Elite, followed by a second one that drops two Elites and 'Vadamee.

  • Rtas 'Vadumee: "Warriors, prepare for combat!"

'Vadamee ignites his Energy Sword and looks at it.

{Gameplay}

A Whisper in the StormEdit

  • Rtas 'Vadumee (COM): "We are the arm of the Prophets, Arbiter, and you are the blade. Be silent and swift, and we shall quell this heresy without incident."

As 'Vadumee approaches the doors where the rest of the team is waiting to enter

  • Rtas 'Vadumee (COM): "The storm has masked our approach, and it should have their local Battle-net in disarray. We have the element of surprise... for now."

'Vadumee enters the airlock beyond, with a team of SpecOps Grunts and SpecOps Elites.

  • SpecOps Elite: "Engage Active Camouflage! Reveal yourselves only after the Arbiter has joined battle with the enemy!"

The Grunts and Elites fade into their surroundings as their Active Camouflage is engaged.

  • Rtas 'Vadumee: "You may wish to do the same, Arbiter, but take heed: your armor's system is not as...new as ours. Your camouflage will not last forever."

The team enters the next room. If you wait without being seen for a moment, the two Heretic Elites in this room will talk to one another.

  • Heretic Elite 1: "Any word on our missing brothers?"
  • Heretic Elite 2: "Still nothing. Given what we have learned, I fear they are lost."
  • Heretic Elite 1: "Maybe the Oracle will protect us..."
  • Heretic Elite 2: "Perhaps. But his Sentinels are too few. Better we protect ourselves!"

Later, the team enters an elevator and descends into a hangar containing a Seraph. A new enemy appears: the familiar Sentinels.

  • SpecOps Elite: "Sentinels, the holy warriors of the Sacred Rings. Why have they sided with these Heretics?"

During the battle in the hangar:

  • Phantom Pilot (COM): "Arbiter, clear the hangar and open this door, so I may drop the second Lance!"

'Vadamee opens the door.

  • Phantom Pilot (COM): "Hold position, I am making my approach."

'Vadamee descends through the facility eventually entering a room featuring a window looking out onto a landing pad with three Heretic Banshees. The Heretic Leader, Sesa 'Refumee appears.

  • Sesa 'Refumee: "Deal with him, my brothers! I will defend the Oracle."

He hops onto a Heretic Banshee and flies off.

  • Heretic Elite 3: "His truth must not be silenced!"

To The HuntEdit

  • Rtas 'Vadumee (COM): "The Heretics are mobilizing their air forces, Arbiter. Get after their leader, but watch your back. I'm sending one of our Phantoms to support you."

After the first wave of Banshees is eliminated.

  • Phantom Pilot (COM): "The Heretics have weapons emplacements all over the facility, Arbiter. We'll take them out, one by one, until we find the Heretic Leader."

If you take too long to head for the final emplacement.

  • Rtas 'Vadumee (COM): "No sign of the Heretic Leader or his Banshee. We must keep searching!"

Alternately:

  • Phantom Pilot (COM): "That was the last of them - but there are more ahead."

'Vadamee nears the final emplacement.

  • Rtas 'Vadumee (COM): "We've tracked the leader to this part of the station. Clear that landing zone and get inside."

The Arbiter clears the platform and arrives at the door. Fades to white.

Level ends.

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