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Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the Sangheili
Posted By: Marius Hamilton <>Date: 12/9/04 9:16 p.m.

For my first post, I will first come out of the closet so-to-speak, perhaps forever marking myself as something of a zoo animal when held up next to the vast majority of Halo fan-boys (and the occasional fan-girl, may the Forerunners bless you and keep your souls dear to their hearts for all eternity), I must confess:

I am a late-comer to the Halo scene as I have only been playing for perhaps six or seven months. I have never played Halo vs. another human being either on XBL or in a LAN party of any kind. I take great pleasure in playing co-op with a friend…I don’t care that much of a shit for FPS’s in general, I love Halo because of the story and ONLY because of the story. Some pride in me (I don’t really understand it) is driving me to continue tinkering with Legendary on Halo2. I feel like I can’t say that I’m any good at this game until I can play and do reasonably well, beating the game on Legendary without dying more than half a dozen times per level. After all, who doesn't wish to be good at those things that they enjoy?

I resent those things in Legendary that adversely affect my suspension of disbelief and thus my enjoyment of the story ie; An Elite can kill me with a plasma rifle melee in one hit but I can’t do the same to him even with the mighty plasma sword. Or the Jackals being able to snipe me dead with one shot, ME, the feared legend, John117…but my marine buddies can be shot two or three times before they go down…etc. etc.

But this post isn’t about my troubles with Legendary, this post is about the story. I think about the story a lot and I’ve got to thinking about what is forthcoming and about the absolutely critical role that the Sangheili must play in the resolution of the story arc in Halo3. As a side note, we had Halo: Combat Evolved, now we have Halo2: Strategy Evolved. Why not Halo3: Victory Evolved? Anyway, I digress, onwards then, to the Crisis of the Sangheilli:

Part One, The Arbiter and Commander Half-Jaw
May the Forerunners have mercy upon the Arbiter for his task his herculean. Other than what is surely a heroic destiny, he has but one great blessing, the earned loyalty of Half-Jaw. But think of what sort of problems face the Arbiter right now…right at the end of the Halo2 chapter that we have just played through and enjoyed.

Halo2 ends. Mere minutes before, the Arbiter has defeated Tartarus, the mighty chieftain of the now bitterly hated Jiralhanae, a feat that will surely earn him a complete pardon in the eyes of the Sangheili public. Truly has he redeemed himself in their eyes and is worthy of regaining his name (if the Prophets stripped him of it) and whatever status he may have had as a fleet admiral. God, I wish I knew the Arbiter’s name. BUT, (and the news will surely get out considering its enormous import and sheer novelty) the Sangheili were not alone, another can rightfully claim his warrior’s share of the Arbiter’s triumph, right along side of the other Sangheili who fought Tartarus and died for their bravery. Holy Forerunners Batman, did I hear that right? A HUMAN?! Who is this Avery Johnson? Who is this Amanda Keyes?

I am going to assume (because the assumption serves to further the story in a favourable way) that the Elite/Brute space battle in and around the now evacuated High Charity is won by the Elites. Assuming that the newly freed Sangheili Heirarchs/High Councilors who had been imprisoned on Installation 05 are willing to play along with the likely decision by the Arbiter and Half-Jaw to continue the truce and working relationship with the human faction on Installation 05, one of the first tasks that faces the Arbiter is to convince the highest ranking living Sangheili naval officer in the immediate vicinity of High Charity and Installation 05 that the truce with the humans is a thing to be respected.

Within the first hour or two after Halo2 ends, the Arbiter and Halfjaw have to complete the following tasks:
1. Regroup and reorganize the remainder of the Spec-Ops cadre present on Installation 05.
2. Coordinate a defense with the remaining humans against any remaining Jiralhanae and allies still lurking about to say nothing of any nearby Flood.
3. Establish some sort of working relationship with the newly freed Sangheili heirarchs/councilors formerly serving on the Covenant council of heirarchs. It is here that it is most likely that a legitimate Sangheilli successor government that opposes the Covenant can and probably must be established.
4. Contact and coordinate with whatever remaining Sangheili naval forces remain in-system after the battle of High Charity
5. Convince a majority of ranking officers of said forces that A. the authority of the remaining Sangheili heirarchs and the Arbiter is legitimate and B. that the truce with the humans on installation 05 is to be not just honoured for honour’s sake but respected. At this juncture in the story, it seems critical that the Sangheili stop hating humanity and vice versa, otherwise, all is lost…ALL, is lost.
6. Get the hell off of Installation 05 and decide what to do about the humans that are there. Take them along? Give them a ship? What?…

Good God, what a bunch of tasks, and in such a horribly short amount of time. Thank the Forerunners that the Arbiter has Half-Jaw at his side. Half-Jaw, who has displayed nearly every noble character trait that one could possibly want from him. A Spec-Ops commander, silent, invisible, used to working behind the scenes while those in Gold Armour receive glory. On at least one and probably more occasions during the events of Halo2, Half-Jaw guards the back of the Arbiter, willingly sacrificing a position in the vanguard where glory is found that he might guard the life of he who has won his loyalty. Half-Jaw the humble Sangheili, who’d have thought??? But one must be a great follower to be a great leader. Half-Jaw has also displayed a clear sense of value for the lives of those who serve under him, an officer who values his men. Further, more than just about any other of the Sangheili, and certainly more than the gold armoured ship masters and heirarchs, Half-Jaw has been in close, probably within arm’s reach of humans. Half-Jaw, behind the secrecy of his cloaking device, has probably listened to the speech of humans for long periods of time, listened to their conversations with each other, their jokes, their dreams, their fears. Then he killed them haha! BUT, my guess is that Half-Jaw and those like him, make up those portions of the Sangheili military machine that have grown to respect humanity and have begun to understand the potential that humans have as allies or even, someday, friends. In the labours ahead, the Arbiter will have no greater asset than Commander Half-Jaw who by all rights should wear the gold.
The Arbiter and Half-Jaw can and must convince the living heirarchs that peace with Humanity is the way to go. But what of the Heirarchs? Forerunners have mercy on them in this dark midnight of their souls. What do they know as of now?

Part 2: The Heirarchs, the Sangheili as a whole, and those loyal to them
1. The Covenant is broken. Force has been used against them and they have been cast down by the Prophets using the strength of the Jiralhanae. They have been purged. The mates and children of every Sangheili warrior may be in mortal danger, their outer world is in chaos and in peril.
2. Due to the testimony of 343GS and the duplicity of the prophets, the veracity of their religion, THE religion of the entire Covenant is cast into GRAVE doubt. The state of their VERY SOULS is in danger and truth, for the first time since the founding of the Covenant is unknown. Not only does the spiritual ship of the Sangheili threaten to break upon the stormy seas, but they must now find a way to keep the ships of the Unggoy and the Lekgolo from likewise breaking. These are people who’s entire existence day-to-day is based on faith and now that faith has been crippled, perhaps mortally. Not only is their outer world in chaos and peril, so is their inner world. Who will they be, the Sangheili? What is the nature of their future?
3. Some humans, the blasphemers, the infidels, the worthless dogs have earned a place of honour. Surely without them, the Arbiter would never have triumphed over Tartarus, surely the Rings would have unleashed their fire and brought an end to the galaxy and all of the Sangheili. How can this be? How can each and every Sangheili acknowledge that in a very real way, they owe a life-debt of honour to these enemies of their faith and race? A faith that may be a lie? Woah, shit, that might be just too much to even think about all at once? A more immediate question might be, can/should/will the Sangheili extend the courtesy of honour to humanity as a whole, or just this small grouping of humans on Installation05? What of the feared demon, the “MasterChief”, human hero and mortal enemy of all Sangheili? Do the Sangheili pardon him as well? Is he even a demon? Are there such things as demons? Why do the Oracles (a title they reject) favour the humans? What’s so damned special about the humans!? ARRRRRGH!

Once the heirarchs figure out how to deal with all of this super-heavy stuff, (and they better damn-well do it mighty quick) then they have to convince everybody else as well: All of the remaining Admirals, warriors, mates and children as well as the Lekgolo and the Unggoy. If not all of them, then enough of them to keep the others from rebeling.
How is this going to happen? How long have humans and the various races of the Covenant been killing each other sparing nothing, giving no mercy, no quarter and taking virtually no prisoners? How much hatred has accumulated? How much blood and how many tears have been spilled? Where is forgiveness and understanding? Where is peace and at what price?

Seriously, can any of us who haven’t seriously contemplated suicide ever imagine how f’d up things are for the Elites right now? The fabric of their reality has fallen apart.

Bungie could potentially exploit a very powerful (mythic, one might say) story hook at the end of Halo3 by having the Master Chief and the Arbiter die fighting side by side as heroes of their respective races in such a way that peace and forgiveness can begin to bloom between humanity and their former enemies. When heroes become martyrs for peace, they become truly legendary and their stories become a thousandfold more powerful.

Message Index


Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheiliMarius Hamilton 12/9/04 9:16 p.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the Sanghefrost707 12/9/04 9:55 p.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the Sanghegspawn 12/9/04 10:02 p.m.
           Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheiliMarius Hamilton 12/9/04 11:02 p.m.
                 Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheMikeMan445 12/10/04 4:23 a.m.
                       Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheLouis Wu 12/10/04 9:29 a.m.
                             Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheMikeMan445 12/11/04 3:29 a.m.
                                   Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheLouis Wu 12/11/04 8:58 a.m.
                                   Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheNarcogen 12/14/04 10:34 p.m.
           There are....yakaman 12/10/04 1:09 p.m.
           Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the Sanghemnemesis 12/10/04 2:59 p.m.
           Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheNeon 12/12/04 10:16 a.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheKnifeyMcShanker 12/9/04 10:37 p.m.
           Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheYapok 12/9/04 10:51 p.m.
     dude what were you...Ash3r 12/9/04 10:58 p.m.
           Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheiliMarius Hamilton 12/9/04 11:05 p.m.
                 Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the Sangheuran8er 12/9/04 11:38 p.m.
     favorite story post yet :)oddworld 12/10/04 2:28 a.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheDjof 12/10/04 3:11 a.m.
           Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheKhaim 12/10/04 12:27 p.m.
           Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheiliMarius Hamilton 12/10/04 12:29 p.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the Sanghemnemesis 12/10/04 1:44 p.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheKing_Slug 12/11/04 9:20 a.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SanghePeptuck 12/12/04 1:37 a.m.
           Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheNeon 12/12/04 7:27 a.m.
                 thanks Peptuck and Neon...Marius Hamilton 12/12/04 12:19 p.m.
                       Re: thanks Peptuck and Neon...Peptuck 12/13/04 1:14 a.m.
                       Re: thanks Peptuck and Neon...MastaCMB 12/13/04 1:00 p.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheAnthony 12/12/04 11:52 a.m.
     I <3 Your Brain *NM*SirTejicus 12/13/04 7:45 p.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheMasterViper15 12/15/04 12:09 a.m.
           Pitstop at HC...Marius Hamilton 12/15/04 1:11 p.m.
                 Pitstop at HC...Marius Hamilton 12/15/04 1:12 p.m.
                 Re: Pitstop at HC...MastaCMB 12/16/04 11:19 a.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the SangheBlaarg 12/17/04 4:16 p.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the Sanghehtd 12/22/04 10:36 p.m.
     Re: Spec Thoughts Part I: The Crisis of the Sanghenioz 12/31/04 5:13 a.m.

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