- "They always said that legends never died, that heroes live on forever. That the little light in the dark never lost it's little spark... They were right... "
- ―Varine 'Zembenee
Chapter 1: Awakening Edit
High Charity opened its dump ports. Slowly millions and millions of gallons of trash flew out. It was slowly passing a large gray-colored planet. It all drifted into the planet and took fire in the atmosphere. Not a peep was heard in the deep abyss of space as the tons of garbage hit the planet. On the planet though, it sounded like an earthquake that could be heard for miles around. High Charity loomed past the planet as its final stream of trash came out. It closed its ports and flew off into the blackness of space, leaving the planet oddly quiet.
All around were scraps of food, metal, plastics, broken tools, pieces of destroyed ships, even a broken banshee. The worst thing was: there were dead bodies in the trash as well. Prisoners, solders, civilians. All were human bodies though… all but one.
It was completely silent; you could hear a pin drop. Suddenly that silence was broken. There was a faint scrape as a sheet of metal lifted up. Under it was a hand, not the hand of a human, but the hand of an Elite. Slowly the hand pushed the metal over and the rest of the hand rose from the rubble. It was an Elite. He wore the armor of an Arbiter, it was none other than Varine. His armor was black, rusty, and charred. Varine looked around, wondering where he was. He felt something squish underneath his foot and he lifted it with haste. Varine looked down and almost screamed as he saw he had his foot placed on the head of a human. He shuffled backwards and fell over in the pile of trash. Varine tossed his head to the side and threw up. He panted and crawled to his feet. He felt his back and hips for weapons and was surprised that he had nothing. He felt an urge to have a weapon and began searching in the rubble. He held his stomach as he pushed away the filth. To Varine’s delight, he found a plasma rifle. He pulled the trigger, nothing. The rifle’s lights didn’t even come on. Varine threw it over his shoulder and continued to search. He found half of what used to be the barrel on a covenant carbine, an energy sword with a depleted battery, and a few fuel rod cells. He was eager to keep the fuel rod ammo. He searched and searched and finally found the body of a marine. Varine pulled him out of the debris and searched him. He had a dirty, but functioning pistol on him and two magazines. It wasn’t much but Varine was happy to have it.
Varine stopped searching and began to walk aimlessly through the trash. Suddenly he stopped, remembering why he was here. Varine remembered the execution, the flash of light as he died, the death of Jeremy. “Am I dead?” he asked himself. Varine cried as he thought of Jeremy more. His tears dropped into the metal and blue liquid saturated into the ground. Varine looked up into the green-colored sky and whispered, “why am I still here?” Varine took off his rusty, damaged helmet and stared at it. He was disgusted at what the electricity did to it. It was no longer silver but more of a brown, rusty color. He slid it back on. Varine was still shocked that he survived the execution. Then he sat down on a large stone. Varine thought for hours of how he would get off this planet, but nothing came to him. There wasn't a working vehicle in sight, much less a vehicle that was able to run in space. Varine couldn’t cry anymore, he was out of tears. He simply lay down and slept on the rock.
Chapter 2: A Voice in the Dark Edit
Varine slept a deep sleep. No dreams, no disturbance, just long peaceful sleep. Suddenly a faint sob echoed in his head. It was a soft, hopeless weeping. Varine opened his eyes. He was still in that damned wasteland. But oddly the sobbing could still be heard. It was coming from his far left. Varine stumbled through the trash, following the sound. He stepped through cans, food scraps, liquids, and all other sorts of disgusting things. He walked further and further and the sound grew louder and louder.
Varine stopped, the sound was right in front of him, under a sheet of plastic. Varine slowly lifted it. To his astonishment, it was a small human child. Only about five years old. It was just a little girl, dirty, cold, and alone... but alive. Varine grabbed her by the back of her pink sweater and lifted her with one arm high enough to look her in the eyes. The girl saw him and became frightened, she cried harder. Varine wanted to help the child, but she would only be a burden on his long journey. Perhaps I should kill it, Varine thought to himself. He pulled out his pistol and gently put it to the child's head, then he remembered Jeremy, what would the SPARTAN do? Varine asked himself. Varine already knew what Jeremy would do. He put away his gun slung the crying girl over his shoulder and marched on.
He marched for hours and by then, the girl's sobbing had turned into screams of anger as she beat Varine's back with her fists. Varine barely felt it as he walked on, but he knew the girl wasn't happy. Varine marched and marched, and soon he found a nice cave. Varine had gathered a multitude of liquids in a few jars he found and had two pieces of sharp metal.
He walked into the cave and found it to be somewhat small, more like a shallow cove than a cave. Varine sat on a rock and put the girl down. She scrambled to the other side of the cave. Varine shook his head. He placed a large pile of twigs in front of him, most were moist but it's all he could get. He had a small bit of cotton-like material that he had pulled out of a broken ship, he placed it on top of the pile of twigs. Varine held the two pieces of metal one in each hand. He began to strike them together, trying to make a spark. He struck once, failure. He struck again, still nothing. Varine struck the shards of metal together at least twelve more times. He was angry now that it still hadn't worked. Varine slashed the pieces of metal together in a fury of anger and finally a small spark darted from the clash. Varine leaped to the ground and gently blew on the ember. It got brighter and brighter and suddenly a small bit of smoke rose from the pile, and a fire was going. Varine looked to the corner, the child was still there. Varine felt bad. He got up and walked over to the child, "why don't you come over to the fire and get warm?" he asked it. The girl didn't do anything. Varine was getting annoyed, "look, you want fire or not?" He reached out to the child but she backed away. Varine eased back, realizing he was probably being to threatening. "Okay, okay," Varine said as he took a seat on the rock once again. He shook his head seeing the child in the corner still shaking. Maybe it's hungry, Varine thought; but Varine knew there was no food to be had. He felt hopeless, it seemed there was no way off the planet. No way to survive. Varine wondered why he didn't die, wondered why he was given that second chance, wondered if he had a true purpose.
Varine lay down, and slept once again.
Chapter 3: A Little AccidentEdit
Varine awoke. It was quiet again, the air smelled of oil, metal, and blood. Varine groaned as he stood to his feet, he began to pat his head, noticing his helmet was gone. He looked around nervously, his eyes darted from one corner of the cave to another until they settled on the little girl. She slept in the corner... and she was wearing his helmet. Varine chuckled a bit, it was too big to fit her. Varine slowly stepped forward to the girl. He extended his arm and slowly slid the helmet off the girl.
He backed away and put his helmet back on, "hmph, annoying child. Ugh... my helmet smells like human, sickening. Bah, not like it smelled good to begin with... "
Varine took in a deep breath and let it out slowly as he stared out of the mouth of the cave and into the wasteland. He had hit a wall, there was nothing to do, no idea of escape crossed his mind. Varine turned around and saw that the child was stirring. The girl stood up and walked towards him, Varine was confused... even a bit afraid. He stood and watched as the girl came closer and closer. She came up to his side and extended her arm to touch his hand. Varine was startled and jerked away. The girl stood motionless.
Varine spoke again, "can you talk?"
The child was silent.
Varine was getting annoyed, "hello... ? Forget it."
Varine walked up and slung the girl over his back. He walked out of the cave and into the wasteland. Varine wasn't going anywhere, no plans, no way out. He just aimlessly walked along. He probably walked for four hours, it wasn't hot though. It wasn't cold. There was no sun visible. It was blocked out by the blue-green clouds. The temperature was similar to that on Earth during a rainy day. Varine marched on, his feet crunching metal, plastic, and squashing as they pushed into the wet ground. The girl was asleep the whole time. Varine could hear her snoring on his back, it was actually quite annoying. But he didn't mind... he was a patient person. Having tolerance for even the most annoying of things. Varine was too busy thinking anyway... he thought about poor Jeremy. All he could remember was the cracking sound as Truth stabbed him in the back. It was a horrible thing to think, but it wouldn't leave his head. It would probably be with him for the rest of his life.
Varine marched on, ignoring his sore feet. He found a few interesting things on his way. Another piece of a carbine, a plasma pistol with a depleted battery, four plasma rifles... all depleted of energy. There was nothing in this wasteland, nothing useful. Suddenly Varine stubbed his toe on something. He looked down to find a brute shot. Varine picked it up, the blade was dull, but it had eight shots in it. Varine sat down and gently put the girl on the ground without waking her up. Varine looked around to find the dead body of a human. He stood up and lifted the dead human into the air. It was an ODST, apparently a very dead one. His armor was torn apart and there was a large hole in his visor where Varine could see that a carbine shot entered his skull. Varine patted the ODST down, looking for anything valuable. He was delighted to find a fragmentation grenade and a confiscated brute spiker. Varine threw the body aside and sat down with all his weapons. Varine pushed away the trash and made a clear spot for him to lay out all his weapons and ammo. He began to check all his weapons status and ammo. He had a spiker with half a clip left, a pistol with two spare magazines, a grenade, a brute shot with eight shots, and he had four fuel rod cells. Varine felt like a rich person looking at all his weapons. Varine picked up his ammo and put it away, he put the pistol and the spiker at his hips, and laid the brute shot down on a large stone. Varine took a sharp blue piece of metal from a pile of scraps next to him. He placed it on the blade of the brute shot and slowly drug the bit of metal along the blade. Yellow sparks flew about wildly as Varine sharpened the brute shot's blade. Varine made three more strokes and suddenly the bit of metal he was using broke on the brute shot's sharp blade. Varine grabbed another piece of metal and began to sharpen the other side of the blade. His arms grew tired as he scraped the blade, but Varine pushed on.
The little girl was awake, she noticed the pistol's gleam on Varine's hip. She saw that the monster was busy so she slowly stumbled up and took the pistol from his hip. She held it by the barrel and stared down the barrel. She flipped it around and fumbled with it. She slowly moved her finger to the trigger and noticed that it was movable. She smiled and pulled down on it. The gun fired and hit Varine in the lower leg.
Varine spun around and accidentally cut his arm on the brute shot blade. Varine looked at his leg and saw a small bullet hole in it. His energy shields were fried. Varine began to shout as the pain seeped in, "Gah! Damnit! Son of a bitch! What the hell is wrong with you!? You don't play with guns!" Varine swiftly snatched the pistol from the cowering girl. He put it back on his hip and moaned in pain.
"Sorry," the girl squeaked.
Varine was surprised that she finally spoke, he looked at her, "It's fine. Just go get a small, thin, piece of metal. And please try to find a clean one."
"Okay," the girl said as she trotted off to get Varine's bit of metal. Varine yelped in pain as he sat down. A jolt of pain went through his body. "Oh come on! Why does it always have to be so hard!?" Varine heard the girl approach him. She had just what he needed. "Give it to me," Varine said. The girl obeyed, handing the piece of thin metal to Varine.
Varine took a thicker piece from next to him and held it in his other hand. He positioned his leg so that he could reach it. Varine took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled. He looked down and got to work. He slowly opened the wound with the large piece of metal. He then slowly stuck the small, thin piece inside. Varine roared in pain as he felt it scrape his tender flesh. He pushed it inside further and found the bullet, it wasn't inside too deep. He slowly poked around and began to dislodge it. Varine's body tensed up as pain shot all through him. He kept on though, he slowly began to pull the bullet out, inch by inch. Suddenly the small bullet came out of his leg. Varine instantly dropped his tools. He got up and began to look for the body of the ODST. He watched as his blood leaked onto the ground, then he found the ODST's body. He took it and ripped a patch of cloth off his arm. Varine wrapped it tightly around his wound and the bleeding slowly stopped.
Varine looked at the child and spoke, "don't ever do that again."
The girl shook her head and allowed Varine to carry her as he marched on into the wasteland...
Chapter 4: One Man's Trash... A Heroes' Treasure... Edit
Varine walked for days and days, rarely stopping to sleep or so simply rest. He pushed on through the cold, uncaring wasteland, ignoring all pain. The child slept on his back most of the way, he snoring occasionally annoyed Varine, but he was patient, always finding a way to ignore her.
Varine suddenly stopped, the pain in his legs was tremendous. He couldn't take it anymore. He sat against a rock and leaned his head back, closing his eyes to take a break. It felt so peaceful as the cool wind gently stroked his face. He suddenly felt a bit of a drizzle. Varine opened his eyes to find that the clouds had turned a dark blue color and that lighting was striking in the distance. Varine got up quickly and put the child over his shoulder again. He then proceeded to run to a nearby phantom. It was broken and useless, but it still was big enough to make a good shelter. Varine stumbled inside and put down the girl as gently as he could. Suddenly the sound of raindrops droned through the wasteland. An endless tapping could be heard as the rain hit the canvass of the phantom. The temperature had dropped horribly. Varine noticed that the girl was becoming pale and started to shiver in her sleep. Varine was strangely unnerved by this, he wondered how he could make the poor creature warm again. He looked around for something to put the child in. There was absolutely nothing of use in this damned phantom. Varine wondered what was outside, he was afraid of the rain though. It wasn't normal for water to fall from the sky where he came from. Varine slowly stuck his hand outside. Within a few seconds, his hand was covered in little raindrops. Varine moved outside more, the rain felt cool as it fell upon him. He went outside and stretched out his arms, allowing the rain to fall all over him. Varine suddenly remembered the girl, he stopped and rummaged through the trash, looking for anything of value. He found nothing to keep the girl warm, but he was pleased to find a plasma pistol with 89 shots in it. Varine ran back to the phantom. The girl was still shaking. Varine slowly laid down and wrapped the girl in his arms. It didn't feel comfortable, but it was the only way to keep the girl alive. Varine was shocked as he felt how cold her skin was. The child began to suck his thumb. Varine was disgusted, he pulled his finger out of the girl's mouth only to have her take it back. He rolled his eyes in annoyance. He didn't know how much longer he could put up with this. But Varine began to forget his worries as he slowly fell into a deep sleep.
Here he slept for about six more hours until a sudden, loud noise pierced the vast silence of the wasteland. Varine's eyes snapped open, he heard something all too familiar... it was a radio. Varine took the girl and began to run through the wasteland, sprinting towards the beautiful static of the radio. Varine saw it in the distance, he ran faster towards it. Varine slowly set the girl down and picked up the radio, it was a human one, but it was a way off this planet. Varine felt like jumping for joy.
He pushed a small red button and spoke into the radio, "Hello!? Does anyone hear this?" Varine prayed that there would be a response. He waited and waited.
Suddenly the sounds of a radio being picked up was heard on it, then a voice came through, "SPARTAN, is that you!? We've been looking for you for days! Where the hell were you!?"
Varine hoped the humans would be friendly to him, "This is not a SPARTAN. I am Varine 'Zembenee, and I'm stuck on a distant planet. I need your help, please..."
The radio was silent for a few seconds, then Varine heard the man on the other end speak softly as he moved his face away from the radio, "Get the commander down here ASAP."
Varine spoke again, "Hello?"
The man responded, "Heh, alien scum. You know how many of our kind have died to you!?"
Varine became more desperate, "I'm not like the rest! They betrayed me, please! I need your help or I'm going to die..."
"Then you will die," the man said. Then he put down the radio.
Varine lost all hope, he slumped down in the rubble and felt like crying. Then he saw the child... she was awake, staring at him strangely. This gave Varine a wonderful idea. He picked up the radio and deepened his voice to a low growl, "Okay, filthy human, I tried to be nice about this but you leave me no choice... "
The man on the other end began to laugh, "Okay, okay. You know what? Give me one reason I should send someone out to that disgusting green planet to save your scaly ass."
"Because," Varine said, "I need some motivation to keep myself from breaking this little girl's pathetic neck... " Varine picked up the girl and viciously shook her, she began to cry and Varine held her close to the radio for the man to hear. "Give me a fucking reason, not to kill this little worm! I expect you on this planet by this time tomorrow, or I swear I'll wipe this things guts all over this wasteland!"
The man on the other end was silent.
Varine spoke again, "You sending help, or do I have to kill her right now!?"
"No, please, don't hurt her. We're sending a pelican right now, just please don't hurt that poor little girl."
"Good, now we know who's in charge," Varine said.
He put down the radio and looked towards the child who was cowering from him in a pile of trash. Varine felt bad for what he had done, "Sorry little one, you know I'd never hurt you... I'll make it up to you. I promise." The girl stopped shaking. She slowly crawled up to Varine and took his hand. Varine spoke once more, "I promise we'll make it. I promise... "