Lojak v. Halo-mount+, A Rewrite

Lojak

Member
I want to put my money where my mouth is! In the same vein as Nando v. Movies (Youtuber) I'm going to attempt a rewrite of Paramount's Halo Season 1 and 2, then pitch a season 3.

I'm not a script writer. I've never directed a film. Last time I was an actor was in elementary school. I do write sci-fi fiction, but I've never attempted to be published. So, what makes me qualified to do this? I'm a fan. And that's the only qualification anyone needs to give earnest, constructive, loving feedback.

The rules (more like guideline, Arrrr) are: I only get the same number of episodes. I need to stick with as many of the actor, sets, digital assets as the show would have had during principal photography. If they are paying for it, I'm using it. The helmet might just be on someone else.

This is still a distinct Silver Timeline story. So, I warn thee now, the helmet will come off and be off regularly. This seems important to the mandate of the show, and I want to honor that. But you know... do it better lol.

Again, this is all for fun (and for me to burn off this energy so I don't talk my co-works' ears off).

Here we go,

Season one will be about asking the question: "Is there a human in that armor?" The answer being "Somewhere in-between of my own making." I believe the show was trying to tackle this concept of humanizing and giving a character to MC. In the games he was vessel for the player to live the super soldier fantasy in. New medium, new Master Chief. He will need to be a full character with agency that is no longer provided by a joystick. However, instead of doing emotion pellets, I'm sticking with good old child soldier brainwashing. Yay!

If this is the question I want to ask, every episode should be driving closer to that answer of "Am I a human, or a war machine?" MC will need to definitively decide, and it needs to have massive implications. Everyone else will kind of be going through the same thing on a micro scale. And they should be pushing MC closer to the tipping point. For everyone, but mainly the MC, the season is about asking "Who am I?" This is so that in the coming seasons that follow closer to the games, we have a strong since of who everyone is and how these galactic events will affect them/how they will affect galactic events. For Silver Team it's: Are we rogues or soldiers? Halsey: Am I god or the devil? The Key's: Are we military or family? Kwan: Am I UNSC or Colonist? Makee: Am I Covenant or human? These don't have to resolve with no loose ends hanging, but they do need to be answered clearly.

You read those last two names right, BTW. I ain't ditching Kwan and Makee. They serve an important role and seem to be in the shows mandate, so they will be retooled, especially Kwan.

With the internal question asked, that leaves external question, which is: "How bad is humanity losing the war?" It needs to be apparent by the end of season one that humanity is on the brink of extension. Based on the show's timeline, the story is starting around late 2551, and I'll do the same. Reach and Earth are the last bastions of humanity, and they are only around still because the Covenant simply hasn't found them yet. This is the main environmental pressure on our characters, the internal conflicts of human society and covenant species will be teased and ready for when the time is right.

The A plot is Master Chief, the B plot is Makee/Covenant. We need to understand the Covenant as much as we understand the UNSC, so we need a "Watson" character in that space to help fill us in. Makee is also going to be MC's primary foil for this season. She will be losing her humanity, while MC gains his. This is to prepare MC for his true foil, the Arbiter.

The episode structure will be 3 three episode arcs centered on these mandates respectively: Meeting the heroes, villains, and conflict. The sacrifice, hard choices, and the scars of war. Pushed to the brink, John or 117? Each arc will have a central location for most of the scenes, not a lot of planet-hopping. The big locations will be Cote d'Azur, UNSC Pillar of Autumn, and Fumirole. Bonus locations of High Charity, Reach (Flashbacks), ONI HQ, and other ancillary locations like distant labs and ships.

There will be a limit on two types of action sequences, big ensemble Band of Brothers style set pieces (Probably only 2 or 3 of those) and tighter "hall" solo/squad fights. Feels like a duh, but if it's a big sequence the frame needs to be the whole team and tracking the battles progress, connecting the audience to the cause. The smaller John Wick action beats can zoom in on character, let every punch be felt personally in the watcher's body. The underlying goal is to limit the need for CGI to make Spartans and Covenant look right while moving. So, no Spartan sprinting/cliff climbing. Bigger emphasis real world CQB.

In the grand narrative, Season 1 needs to firmly establish the stakes (humanity is losing, MC has to find balance) and setting (This is the Covenant, this is UNSC, here are the rules of this sci-fi land) of the series, and hint at greater mysteries (What is a forerunner or Halo?). We didn't learn about every facet of the Halo universe in the first game, so same with the show.

To tease the next post, here are the first three episode titles that make up the Cote d'Azur arc:
MIA, Shipmaster, Hope in HAVOK
 
Love the idea you've got going mate. I like to do this all the time with shows, books, and movies. One thing I will say, though I've only seen the overview of season 1 and the fights/action scenes. The big nuisance for the show was that they used the emotion pellets. Like Cadet mentioned in another thread, the whole story of the spartans was they got the truth and used that separation to fuel a bond between their comrades. I like the way your thinking so far with this, thought I'd just ne the first to put my 2 cents in.
 
To quote Heath Ledger, Here. We. Go.

A warning, this post is long! I have never really put much effort into script and TV show writing, so I got a bit swept up in the enjoyment of writing a "script." In fact, this post is so long that I only included the first few scenes and will be attaching a PDF of the rest of the episode. What follows is not a true script but hopefully will be enough to get the general story across.

Dang this was really fun and really challenged me (also, had a great time pulling my spouse deeper into Halo and watching them get invested in something I've loved since middle school). As a writer, I've already grown from this exercise. When I started the outline for episode two - to be posted at a later date - I was shocked and proud at how fast I produced a tight, quality structure using what I've learned through this experience so far.

This is first/last draft, because boy howdy did this suck up so much more time and energy than I was originally allocating for it.

I hope you enjoy this pilot episode of Halo by Lojak Studios.

A key:
Script Notes
Commentary
Person Speaking (mood of dialogue) - action while speaking: Dialogue text.
"Text on Screen"

Episode 1: MIA​

Synopsis​

After a crash landing, humanity's greatest super soldier - Spartan 117, the Master Chief - must fight through the docks of Cote d'Azur to link back up with his team to discover why an elite company of warriors was sent by the alien Covenant to this out-of-the-way location, far from the main battle to control the planet.

Back on Earth, the brilliant scientist Dr. Halsey works feverishly to complete her latest breakthrough in AI technology, a breakthrough she believes could turn the tide of war, but doubt spurred on by her past ethically questionable methods has the leaders of the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) concerned. Do the ends justify the means?

1
Start with the title card and operatic Halo music. Switch to shot of passing through the stars

Every episode starts with a brief monologue, usually from Cortana.

Cortana Voiceover: They let me pick, did I ever tell you that? Choose whichever Spartan I wanted. You know me. I did my research, watched you become the soldier we needed you to be. Like the others you were strong, and swift, and brave. A natural leader.

Add muffled desperate radio traffic, gunshots, and plasma blasts.

Cortana: But you had something they didn’t, something no one saw but me. Can you guess? Luck. Was I wrong?

Match cut transition from stars to sparks flying off a bulwark. “Sigma Octanus IV, Cote d’Azur” on the bottom left of the screen. It fades to “April, 2551” A continuous tracking shot. A marine pokes up, lets out a burst of fire before a plasma bolt catches him in the helmet, dropping him. The camera follows the marine getting dragged behind cover, revealing the ragged remains of a UNSC Marine platoon.

Marine Private Smith: Why the hell are the alien bastards here?

Marine Lance Corporal Vladik: I don’t fu…

Marine Sgt.: Hingehead! Contact left and high!

The Sgt. shoots, then ducks down and sees a marine dazed on the ground.

Sgt: Corporal Kwan, pull yourself together marine!

The sergeant pulls Marine Corporal Kwan Ha to her feet, gets a gun in her hand before a plasma bolt takes him out.

Kwan hunkers down with the rest of her squad, trying to find the shooter, she scans the messy battlefield. First look at the Covenant Elites wrecking shop as marines desperately fight. Kwan lets out a few bursts and we watch them harmlessly bounce off the alien’s energy shields. She ducks down as plasma bolts scorch the bulwarks where she just was.

Kwan: Where's the L.T.?!

Private Rico: Dead!.

Private Bahar: And we will be too if we don’t get the hell out of here!

Kwan (desperate to find leadership): Staff Sergeant Lopez?

Marine Private Adun: MIA. Face it Kwan, you're in charge now. So what the hell are we doing?

Kwan takes in her handful of marines, they are scared, bloodied, and looking to her. With resolve she starts giving orders.

Kwan: Vladik, get those comms back up. Smith, make sure that soccer field… the freaking football field, you know what I mean, is ready for a dropship. Everyone else, keep shooting those damn hingeheads until a ride shows up.

Everyone springs to action, Adun leans in for a quiet conversation

Adun: We’re popping smoke?

Kwan - checking her weapon: Yeah, we’re retreating. Whatever the Covenant wants so bad in this back water, they can have it.

Adun: Kwan, aren't you from? I mean this place is…

Kwan (crushing any feelings for her home being destroyed): This place is useless, Adun. If the rest of the planet has already gone to ****, the UNSC won’t need some fishing docks. Doesn’t matter whose home it was.

Adun: It will always matter whose home it is.

Adun gives a battle cry before popping up to shoot.

Kwan is about to join him when Vladik rushes over with the radio.

Vladik: Corporal! Corporal! I think I got Command on the phone! They want… agh!

A sniper drops Vladik.

Kwan: Vladik! Damn it! - Kwan tugs on Adun - Grab Vladik!

Kwan picks up the radio.

Kwan: Command, this Cardinal-5, do you copy? Repeat, this is Corporal Kwan Ha of C-Company, 45th Regiment.

A stoic voice comes over the radio, the Master Chief John 117.

Chief: Copy Cardinal-5. What’s the situation on the ground?

Kwan: Hot garbage! Covenant are about to overrun my position. Lost contact with the rest of our Company thirty minutes ago. We are all alone… sir. It's bad. Can you get me and my people out of here.

Everyone not busy shooting hears this conversation.

Pause

Chief: You're not alone, Corporal. This is Sierra 1-1-7, you’ve got Spartan reinforcements inbound.

Kwan looks at faces of shock and hope.

Cut to opening credits.

The opening credits are fine, just lean more into Halo’s main musical themes.

2

Lots of vehicle in motion shots will follow the Interstellar/Halo: Reach philosophy as if they are from the perspective of onboard cameras looking down the length of craft and what not. Also there will be rarely if ever shots from inside the helmet looking out through the hud, looking in like Iron Man, or from the scope of a weapon. If a shot requires understanding where the weapon is pointing the camera view will be along the barrel or the side for the person's head. Sorry, this is the show Halo and not the video game, it needs to not blend the two types of storytelling immersion.

The Silver Team’s Pelican is flaming and rumbling unsteady in the air, some radio traffic between the team members before the ship breaks apart. The air is full of patrolling Phantoms. The front section holding Chief crashes nearly on top of Kwan and her marines. Hope suddenly crushed, the marines panic again, the sounds of Elites giving a war cry to rush their position.

The next exchange is small but important. The key to a great battle sequence is audience awareness (Unless the goal is to convey confusion and a sense of loss). The Battle of Helm's Deep in Two Towers is a paragon of battle sequence.

Who is where? Good guys on defense behind layers of walls, Bad guys are attackers in the army outside.

Where do the attackers want to go/accomplish? The orcs want to get in the walls and lay waste to everyone.

Where is the spot the Defenders are defending? The innermost sanctum of Helms Deep.

What obstacles do the attackers have to overcome? The clearly shown layers of walls.

There is a clear direction the battle is going to flow and how the loss of each defense position raises the stakes. This is why watching the crazy gunpowder orc run feels so monumental. There are lots of wide shots establishing where our characters are on the battlefield (with the help of land markers), which raises or lowers their danger level.


To apply this for this scene:

The marines scramble away from the crash, hope of escape is lost. Plasma bolts pepper their position winging one of the 7 marines left. (Kwan, Adun, Smith, Rico, Jackson, Bahar, Toye)

Adun: We can’t stay out in the open! We’ve got to make for the factory warehouses.

Kwan looks to where Adun is pointing.

This shot needs to establish three things: Where the factory is in relation to them - with insight on the other side of the open air railroad station. A memorable land marker that can be used to gauge progress - a patriotic statue of a soldier in the middle of train platforms. What obstacles are in the way - a mess of train cars being patrolled by Elites and Jackals, one Elite in extra fancy armor.

Kwan (fear of the challenge): That’s a no go! Everyone pack it up, we are making for the hills outside of town.

Adun: Where the Phantoms can…”

Adun is choked off by an Elite lifting him by his throat, giving an evil alien laugh.

Kwan and another marine will try and save Adun, but the Elite will just fend them off and “play with his food” He says something pious in alien (a translation appears if subtitles are on)

Elite (in alien): The Great Journey isn’t for worms like you.

The Elite slowly, confidently, dominantly puts the “barrel” of his plasma rifle to Adun’s chest, who is both panicking and finding resolve to fight. All Kwan can do is watch in horror as she scrambles for her lost gun. In the background, another Elite is jumping into their bulwark to help finish off the marines.

A burst of gunfire peppers the Elite holding Adun, who instinctively drops the marine to cover his face. A smoking bulkhead slams into the alien, breaking his energy shield and sending down hard.

Kwan looks at the source of the gunfire. From the smoke rubble of the Pelican emerges the Chief. Hopeful/victorious music motif hits.

Two things here. 1) The following action will be summarized as Chief kicks some alien booty without breaking a sweat. A plasma bolt or two will hit him, showing that he has an energy shield too. The Chief will punch hard, be direct, and when he can, use gunplay over kungfu. We need to learn he has shields, is super strong, and super heavy.

2) Music motifs are important! Halo has a great catalog of evocative music, so why not leverage it. When Chief steps from the smoke, That chord is hitting. You know the chord. It’s the chord that plays before he finishes the fight. It will be a variation to match the tempo of the moment, the motif of Finish the Fight will always signal heroic moments for the good guys, while Halo Theme/Mjolnir is reserved for Spartans. When Master Chief is being himself, he is that distorted rocking electric guitar.


Master Chief will pull the marines together and tell them he needs to link back up with his team, and asks if anyone knows the area. He isn’t there to pull them out, but needs to discover why the Covenant sent a Tier 1 task force to this area. Kwan shows a touch of distrust of the bigger UNSC institution, not wanting her squad to go die for ONI. However, Adun’s enthusiasm and Chief’s stoic persuasion that the mission is real and important convinces her.

A fly over of banshees, convinces them they need to get out of the open. Where to hide? The factory of course.


3

This action sequence will be fast, Daredevil/Tactical room clearing style.

As the marines and Chief move through the train cars two things need to be clear: The Chief is inspiring the marines, causing their tactical competence and confidence to rise. The other is that this dash to the factory couldn’t happen without Chief. He is clearing the way with big hits, accuracy, and clear orders.


At the halfway point, the statue of a UNSC soldier, they will get bogged down. Chief will take a big blow to the chest, laying him out. The statue will be symbolically blasted to bits over everyone's head. It's only a small dip in the action, just a one sec reminder of the danger. Chief will get back up, which rallies the stunned marines, showing how they are starting to feel invincible as long as the Master Chief is with them.

Kwan - signals the advance: The Chief is up! We’re Oscar Mike. Push to the warehouse!

Quick edit cuts, the heroes make it to the factory



4

Kwan insists the marines catch their breath. Rico and Bahar offer to check the perimeter. Just as the marines relax and a few take off their helmets, there is the sound of an energy sword igniting. Chief swings around and pulls the trigger, but the gun clicks out of ammo.

The marines still with Chief lay down a huge wall of fire, but this Elite is the special one seen before, and his shields are withstanding the small arms. However, he is limping and one arm is bloodied and mangled.

Smith: No good! We need something heavier to crack that freaking shield!

Adun: What the hell happened to him, anyway?

The Zealot Elite roars at the Chief who has pulled a knife and is ready to throw down.

Just as the Elite readies to run, a confident female voice yells out.

Daisy: I wasn’t done with you, Split Jaw.

Spartan Daisy blindsides and tackles the Elite, gets ahold of his energy sword, and slams it into his chest. His energy shield overtly breaks due to the sword, clearly a powerful weapon.

Daisy stands, keeping the alien weapon.

Daisy is Chief’s first foil in the series. While Chief is direct and has no tolerance for messing about, Daisy likes a curveball and barely adheres to the rules. Daisy is also outwardly expressing her readiness to be done with the Spartan life, while John is internalizing and suppressing his exhaustion.

For detail, Daisy is the combat engineer of Silver Team and will have gear that reflects her explosive nature and skill.


Everyone catches their breath. Chief and Daisy will step aside to chat. Daisy isn’t stoic like John and is ready to crack a joke. She is wearing a backpack she clearly found in the rubble of the city.

Chief: Where have you been?

Daisy: Sorry I’m late. I got blown up, or did you miss that part?

Chief stares silently, wanting the truth.

Daisy (cagey): I had a personal matter I needed to check in on.

Chief: Personal matter? Don’t tell me you went there, Petty Officer.

Daisy - walking away: Fine, I won’t tell you that.

Chief tries to grab Daisy, the backpack rips open and an old teddy bear falls out. The toll of war (Probably something sampled from Halo Reach’s Theme) motif plays as the child’s toy hits the ground.

Chief (A mix of somber and angry): Damn it, Daisy.

Kwan: Excuse me, I don’t know what you two are bickering about, but it sure as hell isn’t the mission. You dragged my marines deeper into this fight, there better be a good reason.

Chief nods, approving Daisy to talk freely-ish about their mission.

Daisy - points at dead elite: I watched this guy's friends ransacking a local museum the size of a shack.

Kwan: The covenant sent Tier 1 wet-work guys to grab some boring fishing town's old junk?

Daisy (nonchalant): Whatever it was, they didn’t seem to be happy about their findings.

Chief (to Daisy): Probably means they haven't found what they are after yet. That’s a good sign. (to Kwan – ignoring Daisy putting away the teddy bear) Corporal, is there any reason the Covenant would come to Cote d’Azur at all? Anything unique, special?

Kwan: Like I just said, sir, it’s a boring fishing town. The most interesting things around are the Grotto south of town, or ol’ Martin's rubber duck collection.

Chief: Grotto?

Daisy (simultaneously): Rubber ducks?

Kwan - looks between the two of them before deciding to answer Chief: Yeah… It’s a local make out spot a few clicks down the coast. Bunch of funny carvings that look like ancient Earth Egyptian Hieroglyphs, or at least what some artistic prankster thinks is a Hieroglyph.

Daisy: The boss lady did say to keep our eyes out for funny carvings.

Adun rushes over with Rico, back from his patrol.

Adun: I think we just found a gift from the good luck fairy, a pair of gifts. They will just need a little work to get running.

Kwan raises an eyebrow at all of them. Who could this mysterious boss lady be, and what has Adun come across?

Cut to Dr. Halsey in her lab


5

“Earth, Office of Naval Intelligence Sydney Australia”

Halsey is standing in the middle of a giant projection of thousands of twisting and turning lines. Most of the lines are blue-white, criss-crossing and interconnecting to other lines, but two are red and free-floating. Halsey touches one end of one red line and attempts to bring it over to the other. A small ping sounds and an error message pops up, as the lines don't connect. The pillar in the center of the room ejects a lifeless cartridge.

Halsey: Damn it.

Halsey paces around the hologram trying to figure out what went wrong.

Lab AI: Doctor Halsey, you have a meeting scheduled with Heads of Division Zero of the Office of Naval Intelligence in 5 minutes. Shall I start lab shut down procedures?

Halsey: No. Prepare for the next sequencing.

Lab AI: Yes, Ma’am. (Pause) Warning: this attempt will use the last of the components available. Procuring a new stock in time will be impossible.

Halsey: This is what it was meant for. Begin. Give me manual control of the 36th dendritic connection in the parietal lobe. Good. Now the 1,296th. Good. No, don’t quarantine neuro logic, allow for the logarithmic growth. The density needs to reach…

She steps off to the side to a monitor, types a few things, then drags the dialogue box over to one of the red lines. The box melds with the line, which begins to glow. Halsey again drags this line over to another red line. The lines join and turn blue-white. Halsey smiles, just slightly.

The brain map begins to grow new lines. These lines take organic shape as a face, a torso, legs and arms. Pixels add dimension to the shape as Halsey steps right up to it. It's the exact same height as her, this new person. And as she peers closely, a face forms - her own face. It smiles the same slight smile as Halsey.

Hair forms last, dark and straight instead of blond and wavy. Halsey cocks her head at this, and the new figure does the same. Halsey straightens as a dialogue box pops up: fully integrated.

Halsey: A singularity…Hello. Have you decided on a name yet?

Cortana: Hmm, not yet, Dr. Halsey. May I think about it?

Halsey: Of course. Are you ready to get to work?

Cortana: I think I was quite literally born ready, Doctor.

Halsey nods. She expected nothing less, but she chuckles to herself all the same.

Halsey: That you were. (She turns businesslike) Link up with the UNSC database. Download all files: Classified, Unclassified, all the dark secrets of ONI.

Cortana smiles at the challenge.

Cortana: Yes, Ma’am. Should I start anywhere in particular?

Pause.

Halsey: Personnel files, the Spartan II program.

Cut back to Spartans


6

Chief and Daisy are on watch in the factory while the Marines work on Rico’s discoveries. Daisy fiddles and adjusts her armor - it's taken a beating, and doesn't look to be in as good a shape as Chief's. Compared to her constant movements, however, Chief is still, observing in silence.

It's not until we see Daisy remove her helmet that we see Chief visibly react.

Chief: You good? (The implication being that no Spartan would remove their helmet unless something was seriously wrong.)

Daisy (chuckling): Yeah, just relaxing a bit before we need to get back to helping with grunts-n-crafts. A little air on the face.

When Chief stares at her blankly.

Daisy: Like my actual face. You have one of those, too. Or at least I vaguely remember you having one. Didn’t you have a cute little mole just under your…

Chief is uncomfortable with this direction of conversation. He attempts to steer it back to familiar ground: the mission.

Chief: If these are the carvings Halsey wanted us to look for, there's a chance we'll encounter a different kind of technology. We need to be prepared.

Daisy: How exactly do we prepare for that technology, when we never know exactly what it will do? (to herself) I’m starting to wonder if the Covenant do.

She rests her helmet next to her. Chief's helmeted gaze follows it.

Chief: By staying focused. Keeping our heads in the game.

Daisy: By keeping our heads in our helmets, you mean? Does it really bother you that much, John?"

It's the first time we've heard his name. John is the Human, Master Chief S117 is the Machine.

Chief (stiffens): This is a battlefield, Petty Officer (Avoids her name). Lives are at stake. Personal preferences aren't as important as getting the job done as efficiently as possible.

Chief starts to walk away, back to the assembled marines.

Daisy stands up.

Daisy (accusatory): And if I died being shot in the head right now, that would be inefficient.

Chief pauses in his stride. He turns back to face her.

Chief: Extremely.

Daisy: A waste of a good resource.

Chief (annoyed at her): Daisy (Pause, annoyed at himself for the slip) It would be. (refocuses) We're not easy to replace, Petty Officer.

Daisy (to Chief): We're impossible to replace.

Daisy looks at her reflection in her helmet visor before slamming it on. She brushes past him.

Daisy: And I don't mean because we're Spartans.

Chief watches her leave, then catches his reflection in a busted up window.

Cut to the marines elsewhere in the factory.

And here is the ad break. If you would like to read more, check the attachments below for the PDF of the rest of scene, I promise plenty of action and a bit of Grunt humor.

The goal of the episode is to clearly lay out what the Chief is capable of and what his internal struggle is. As we go into the rest of the season, we will see more of how tired the Chief is, he has been at war for decades now. He is wondering who he really is, what the UNSC and Halsey think of him? Is he even human at all? For the Chief to be the Chief we love in the games, he will need to find himself first. Makee and Cortana are going to help propel him to that person.

Discussing the role changes, the marine roles of Cardinal-5 can be filled out with extras since they really won't speak much this season. Daisy is really the only part that would need to be a new casting.

The set could be put together using sets from what is seen in Episode 1 of Halo-mount and their Reach City sets. Any sets on the UNSC ships can be repurposed Rubble and Reach City sets.

As I've written this and sketched out more of the narrative, I've really grown to like what Makee and Kwan have to offer. Makee, who we will see soon, is positioned to help explain who and what the Covenant want, while Kwan is in a place to ground the audience in a more realistic experience. Both are "Watsons" (someone to ask questions for the audience). I just want to use them in a way that fits better with the fabric and tone of Halo.

A few things have clearly changed in this multiverse of Halo. (1) Kwan is a marine! As well as Halsey's lab attendant Adun. (2) It is Daisy in the extra set of Spartan armor not Sorren, but don't worry he is still in the show and will be playing a major role in Kwan's story. (3) This show is much more of a war drama than a sci fi drama, there will be rarely any plot lines that follow non-military stories. (4) this season is focused around tell the Human-Covenant prior to the Fall of Reach, really expressing humanities desperation and heroism of a few in dark times.

Speaking of the season structure, I'll go ahead and lay out the rest.
Season 1 - Human Covenant War
Season 2 - The Fall of Reach (Halo Reach, Ghosts of Onyx)
Season 3 - Halo (Halo: CE)
Season 4 - The Great Journey (Halo 2, Halo 3: ODST)
Season 5 - Ark, the Final Fight (Halo 3)

Not every episode rewrite - honestly at this point it's an overhaul - will have full "scripts," I was just really enjoying the stretch in my skills this was provided. I'll probably do chunky scene outlines with some key dialogue or moments scripted out. The commentary provided really is to drive home some storytelling fundamental I want to use throughout the show.

Constructive feedback is welcome! If I'm critiquing their show, I need to be open for it as well. Just remember this all comes from a place of love and fun, enjoying our shared fandom.

Tune in next time for Episode 2 of Halo-jak, Shipmaster.
 

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Here is a TLDR of Episode 1: MIA of Halo-jak.

Alien forces called the Covenant have attacked a small fishing town named Cote d’Azur. Corporal Kwan Ha and what’s left of her marine platoon are pinned down, but soon rescued by Master Chief, a Spartan from Silver Team. With his help, they fight off the Covenant and try to figure out what the enemy would want in this tiny village. Along the way, they run into Daisy, another Spartan from Silver Team, and much more animated compared to Chief’s stoicism. Kwan suggests that the Covenant might be after strange rune markings she knows can be found in a local grotto, and the group goes to investigate.

Meanwhile, a scientist named Dr. Catherine Halsey is working in her lab with mixed results. She takes a call with the Commander in Chief of ONI, Admiral Perengosky, and they discuss why Halsey avoided their scheduled meeting, and the questionable ethics of some of Halsey’s past work. Halsey ends the call and continues to work, until she finally succeeds, causing a digital visage of her own face to manifest as an AI. The AI is named Cortana, and Halsey immediately puts her to work.
Chief, Daisy, and the marines rebuild some demolished warthogs. Chief imparts to Daisy the importance of staying focused on the mission, while Daisy expresses dissatisfaction with being a Spartan. Once the ScrapHogs are fixed, the marines insist on accompanying the two Spartans to the grotto. As they travel, remains are seen of dead local “militia”, some of whom Kwan recognizes. Daisy provides comfort to her, and admits she is also from this town.

The UNSC team plans an ambush against the Covenant at the grotto, which is successful at first, thanks to Kwan’s knowledge of the area, but ultimately leads to a counter ambush by the Covenant, who have located a glowing artifact in the middle of the caves.
Back on Earth, Halsey speaks with Jacob Keyes, captain of the Pillar of Autumn, and introduces Cortana as the new AI attached to his ship. Keyes is surprised at the likeness of Cortana to Halsey, but Halsey brushes off his questions. The two hint at a past together in their discussion, but the conversation is abruptly halted by Halsey’s announcement of her departure to consult on an artifact dig site, and she leaves Cortana with Keyes. Halsey leaves without a goodbye but a task for Cortana: Pick a Spartan partner. Cortana contemplates this, and remembers a conversation between herself and Halsey where Halsey coldly affirmed the Spartans as a weapon against the Covenant and nothing more.

Chief, Daisy, and the marines fight the counter ambush. An unidentified alien in strange armor grabs the artifact, and is tossed into a waiting Covenant tractor beam. The Covenant retreat, leaving a single warrior and volley of grenades to cover their escape. In the fight, Daisy attempts to pull a grenade off a marine and is mortally wounded. As she dies, she pleads with the Master Chief, John, to let her die as a human and not a Spartan, and he honors her request by leaving her face uncovered, and tucking a teddy bear she’d retrieved from her childhood home in her arms.

After this brief moment of mourning, they are able to get in touch with Commander Miranda Keyes, who announces the survival of the rest of Silver Team and the need to get Chief back in the fight.
 
Lojak, I've got Paramount on the phone, they'd like to discuss prices for your script....

Seriously dude, this is some awesome.e detail on the script. Well written mate. I like how you've written the characters so far, and you attention to their attitudes and behaviours in the lore side if things. I've only watched a summary of the show and some action scenes, but this is already looking better. A much better way to introduce Cortana as the ship's AI as well.

I will just nit pick here though, 1. Spartans are hyper lethal soldiers so they know exactly how much ammo and grenades etc. they've got. A cool scene to picture, but use it on a marine because that a little more realistic, the mountain scene in season 2, where the soldier clumsily tries to reload the shotgun.

2. Side note good idea to open our helpless marine getting pinned down. That's a great way to introduce Chief.


Love your work and keep it up mate!
 
Glad to share the next episode of my rewrite of the Halo TV series. This time there is less commentary and just abbreviations for each scene with a mix of key dialogue, action and setting description. Going forward this is how most of these episodes will look.

Episode 2: Shipmaster

Synopsis

A captured human Makee is the Covenant’s Holy Diviner, tasked with finding artifacts blessed by the alien’s gods. She is recruited by Shipmaster Thel ‘Vadaam to aid him in finding a Holy Relic that could finally lead the Covenant on its Great Journey to paradise.

Master Chief reunites with the other Spartans of Silver Team, but the reunion is cut short by a brutal Covenant attack. The human planet’s fate teeters on a knife edge as the Master Chief and his allies fight desperately to hold the last line of defense.

1

Cortana monologues over the smoldering remains of a battlefield then a debris cluster from a space battle over Sigma Octanus IV.

Cortana: When the Covenant first appeared in the orbit of Harvest… First Contact was meant to be a celebration, humanity no longer needed to drift the stars alone. It took days, not years for the war to start. It was first contact with the enemy. Humanity wasn’t prepared for the Covenant. But you were, we made sure of it. Gave you all the power we needed you to have.


The words start in an alien script then translate to English “Sigma Octanus IV, Enroute to Truth and Reconciliation”

A Phantom flies into view, and we cut to the Covenant raiding party inside the drop ship, they are loudly bickering. One figure in Jackal armor that clearly doesn’t fit on them is sitting in a jump seat dazed. During a clever panning shot, the language switches from alien to human, denoting that this is what the Covenant hears, not them switching speech.

A brute – Tartarus - is mad his brother is dead and wants to know how it happened. Anytime the figure in the chair – a human named Makee – attempts to speak, the brute shouts her down, calling her worm and hound – like hunting hound, not the other word. A backhanded slap from Tartarus removes her helmet, to reveal she is in fact a human. The Elite in gold armor – Thel ‘Vadaam – remains calm but focused on the holy relic in his hand and the dazed Makee.

Tartarus: The demons were there. How did they know of the Oracles location! This heathen species knows nothing of our gods. Yet, they were there!

Thel ‘Vadaam: It is possible they tracked us, or simply got lucky. Calm yourself.

Tatarus: Did the worm call them?

Makee: No… The Oracle called.. The Oracle…

Tartarus: I’ve had enough of your babbling - goes to crush her throat.

‘Vadaam: Wait! (to Makee) the Oracle spoke? What did it say, Diviner?

Makee (trying to focus): The Oracle…a weapon… Forgive me, my mind… It called. No… It asked me if I was a…

Opening credits

2

Alien to English “High Charity, Sanctum of the Hierarchs”

An unharmed – and a few days younger – Makee stands in front of the Prophet of Mercy reciting the prayer of the Great Journey. She wears religious regalia that looks similar to the Prophets. As she prays, flashes of her life in captivity play before her: beaten into submission, standing in front of strange objects with the Prophet watching over her, endless indoctrination lessons.

The Prophet calls her Diviner, as if this an honor titled, though he treats her like a pet. He informs her to spend her morning preparing, for today her “Holy Blessing” will be needed for its most important task yet. When her Brute jailer – Kakric – comes to escort her out, she glances at the Plasma Pistol on his belt.

Kakric (to Makee’s ear): Everyday you look at my gun, and everyday I watch your cowardice subdue you… and I smile, worm.

Makee looks away humiliated.

On her walk to her room, Covenant sneer at her. They call her hound, and Prophet Pet.

3

When the door closes on her chambers, Makee throws her religious crown at the door. A faint chuckle from Kakric is heard. In her room, Makee reminisces on her capture. She was a little girl playing in the forest creek with her friends. She didn’t know it but right then the Covenant were invading Arcadia. By sheer luck, Makee found a strange glyph on a stone face along the creek’s bank. Touching it made it glow. The light caught the attention of a nearby scout team of Elites. Seeing that this human child just activated Holy Technology, Makee is spared the massacre of her planet and captured.

Feeling helpless in her room, Makee touches the implant at the back of her neck, and a scar on her right shoulder. The glint of a sharp object on her desk catches her tear-filled eyes and she considers the final escape. Kakric opens the door to Makee’s room to find her standing ready in more practical clothes, sleeves all the way down to her wrists. Kakric notices the sharp paper weight has blood on the tip.

Kakric: Ha Ha, a coward through and through. So much like the rest of your species.

Makee: Just shut up and take me to whatever trinket the Prophets want confirmed for divine authenticity, already. I’ve had enough of your putrid breath in my face for today.

Thel ‘Vadaam – their first meeting: We seek something more than trinkets today Holy Diviner. Feel honored, for I surely do. Because, today you will help me find an Oracle. Today we will guide the Covenant one step closer to the Great Journey.

Cut to Master Chief on Sigma Octanus IV

4

“Sigma Octansu IV, Foxtrot Base”

Chief stands at the back of an open bay Pelican as it flies into land at Foxtrot Base. The slow fly over shows a busy base with lots of UNSC assets flowing in. Also, this shot should follow the Helm’s Deep rule (which I now dub it, refer to episode MIA commentary). There is a clear battlefront the UNSC are preparing, and a clear last point, in this case the Pelican landing zones. A second Pelican has landed just before Chief’s. From the two Pelican’s, the remains of Spartan Silver Team – Master Chief, Riz, Vannak, Kai, and Kwan’s squad – Kwan, Adun, Smith, Rico, Bahar, Jackson, Toye – reunite.

Vannak is the “gentle giant” archetype – for as much of that can be applied to a Spartan. Out of all the Spartans he is the quickest to connect with other military personnel. Most love him more than idolize him. He is also the team medic, so a few additional props and decals to hint at his role.

Vannak: I think I found something that belongs to you, Corporal – gestures at Smith supporting a limping but better looking Toye.

Kwan: Thank you…?

Vannak: Petty Officer Vannak S-134, but you can just call me Vannak.

Kwan: Thank you, sir. But do you think you could have washed them first?

Vannak: Washed? I thought this was what all marines looked and smelled like.

Adun: Man doesn’t know the first rule about borrowing someone’s marines, you always bring them back with a full tank and vacuumed.

The marines laugh and embrace. Kwan gives a more significant look and nod toward the new Spartans before leading her people away to find food and cots.

The Master Chief walks up to his team. The group is somber.

Riz is the anarchist of the team – for a Spartan. Daisy might have been a trouble maker, but Riz hates bureaucracy and those who think medals or stripes give them the authority to speak over her and the other elite Spartans. “You speak when you’ve earned the right to.” Riz is the communications specialist and CQC expert. She carries a breaching shotgun, but favors duel wielding her pistols.

Riz: Daisy?

Chief: Didn’t make it back.

Kai is about order and structure. She believes in the chain of command, trusting in the bigger picture – a lesson she learned early on the hard way. She does have a touch of vanity, marking on her armor how many high profile kills she has racked up. She is the team’s intel officer, sharpshooter, and advance scout.

Kai: Her body and equipment?

Vannak turns to look at Kai, body language displeased.

Chief (Pause): Unrecoverable.

Kai: ONI won’t like that.

Riz: Heaven forbid we piss off ONI, again.

Kai: We report to ONI, Riz. Or did you forget the chain of command again?

Chief: Lock it down, you two. We need to debrief with Commander Keyes.

The Team starts walking through the busy base, heavy fortifications going up as fast as possible.

Vannak: Didn’t Daisy think Cote d’Azur was her birth place?

Chief: She didn’t think. She knew.

Vannak: Knew? How? All our records are sealed so tight they could be at the bottom of an ocean and still be as dry as a desert.

Chief doesn’t answer.

As they walk, people stop and stare at them. As the team enters a portable structure, they don’t seem to notice the worship.

Riz: Alright, Everyone get your lies straight.

Vannak gives a faint chuckle, while Kai groans.

Cut to Kwan and marines.

5

In a mess tent, Kwan stands in front of a data board scrolling through a list titled Civilian Refugees. The other marines are seen scarfing down food and talking to other individuals. Kwan stops at an entry listing: Soren, Laera, and Kessler Bakrim. Kwan shutters and holds back tears of relief. Adun notices and walks over.

In the Silver Timeline 2.0, Soren is not a spartan but Kwan’s father – and Laera her step mother. He is still an insurrectionist and arms dealer.

Adun: Your family okay?

Kwan can only nod.

Adun: Good! Now where did they get squirreled off to? Hmm. Hey, this is great! They are in Silma. Most defended place on the planet.

Smith: Bad news and lots of it.

Adun (stern): Feeling better, Smith?

Smith: Yeah.

Adun: Don’t need another nap?

Smith: Not for another year, I think. And even if I did, I won’t be getting the chance. None of us will.

Kwan: What’s the word from the Underground, Lance Corporal?

All the marines gather round to listen.

Smith: Foxtrot-Bravo-Romeo. It wasn’t just our company that got wasted, it was the whole damn coastal front. Every company, battalion, and brigade. Guys, we don’t have a single freaking commanding officer between us and Division HQ at Ground Command. I don’t think anyone even knows we still exist.

Rico: Sounds like a good time to retire from the Corp. What?! I’m just saying. Jeez. Maybe a little RnR.

Smith: Rico might be right. The news gets worse. Command is expecting the Covenant ground offensive to march right up to Foxtrot Base some time tomorrow.

Adun: Explains all the manic Lego building going on around here.

Smith: Guys… I think we are losing the planet.

Toye: Damn, this is Arcadia all over again.

Bahar: Arcadia?! Nah, on Arcadia they actually put up a fight. This is Harvest! This is a massacre.

Kwan: Calm down. If the situation was that bad, they would have already called for a general evacuation. Besides, Silma still stands, and with all her Rail-Gun batteries we can keep back the Covenant fleet.

Adun: But for how long?

Cut to Silver Team.

6

Master Chief and Silver Team walk into a command room with only one other person standing at a holo-table, Commander Miranda Keyes. The Spartans salute, and she returns it. Riz and Vannak take off their helmets, quicker to relax than the other two Spartans.

Miranda is a young but confident ship commander, trying to come out from under the shadow of her father - and her secret mother. She knows these Spartans and has worked with them often on special missions. They have a good rapport.

Miranda: Welcome back, Spartans.

Riz: I’m surprised your boots are on the dirt, Commander.

Miranda: My ship is providing area fire support, so I figured I’d stretch my legs and check out the sweaty marines. I heard Mr. June is supposed to be around here somewhere.

Riz: I’ll let you know if I find him.

Miranda: Thanks, Riz. Okay, enough slacking - report, Silver Team. What the hell happened out there?

Chief gives a quick briefing of what he found in the grotto, identifying the location and artifact as Forerunner. He informs that he wasn’t able to retrieve the artifact, but recorded enough data on the golden Elite and strange alien that if those two pop up again they can be identified.

Miranda: And Spartan-023, Daisy?

Chief: Fought like hell. Saved my life and the lives of those marines.

Miranda: But wasn’t able to make it back?

Chief: Not this time.

Miranda (sighs): Well, I live by the old movie rule: No body, no death.

Reverently, Miranda opens up the Spartan Roster. Many names have “Active” next to them, and many have “MIA” (drop in all the fun easter eggs about the other Spartans and Blue Team). Next to Daisy’s name, “Active” is switched for “MIA”.

Riz: I’m sure the Spartan is giving them hell on the other side.

Chief doesn’t say anything, but his body language and musical cues denote he is remembering Daisy’s dying request to be a human and not a Spartan tool.

Miranda: On to new business.

Several holograms of other officer’s appear around the table, including General Vinsher Grath and Admiral Parangosky, followed by the base commander walking in to join. Grath is weaselly, and though he has general’s stars, he clearly hasn’t seen combat once. Admiral Parangosky is old, but everyone shuts up the second she starts talking. Riz openly despises them both, but for different reasons. They outline the battle. Ground forces are barely holding and everything is being rerouted back to Silma, as per the demand of General Grath. Miranda and the Spartans offer to strike at a weak point but the General denies them. He clearly wants the army (and Spartans) shielding him in Silma. Foxtrot is to hold out as long as possible, a sacrifice to buy time. Before the point could be argued, alarms blare and Chief opens the door to see Banshees flying over, attacking. The Covenant forces have arrived sooner than expected.

Cut to Thel’ Vadaam walking and talking with Makee in High Charity

7

Thel ‘Vadaam walks with Makee, Kakric following a few steps behind.

Ship Master Thel Vadaam isn’t the arbiter… yet. He is loyal to the great journey and his Sangheili brothers. He is direct and rarely cruel. He has faith, and it guides him righteously.

Thel ‘Vadaam: Tell me Diviner, does it bother you that your species must be exterminated?

Makee: It is the will of the Hierarchs, Shipmaster.

‘Vadaam: Is that your only response?

Makee (meek): It is what must be done. Humanity is unworthy of the gods, but I shall redeem the spirit of humanity through dutiful service to the Great Journey.

‘Vadaam: Are you so naive? A child can give such a response. We wage war against your people. Tell me why?

Makee (confused and scared to say the wrong thing): Because humanity is…

‘Vadaam: Because humans are profane!

Cut to a messy, confusing battle at Foxtrot Base with muted sound. The base is already overrun, the retreat is called.

‘Vadaam Voiceover: They are vulgar and sloppy. They trample over the gods’ holy sites and think themselves superior to them. Your species is like a mold that grows and corrupts every crevasse and dark place on a starship. It must be scrubbed clean…

A Covenant battlecruiser - the Purity of Spirit - in the distance is approaching, its powerful ventral beam igniting and scorching the earth.

‘Vadaam Voiceover: It must be burned away if necessary. If corruption is allowed to fester, it rots the fuel lines, weakens the hull, fowls the pumps. For a ship and its crew to survive, there must be nothing weakening it. For the galaxy to make the Great Journey, humanity must be cleansed, Diviner. This is the truth you must uphold, Holy One.

Silver Team and Kwan’s squad link back up - Vannak and Chief going out of their way to shepherd them onto their Pelican.

Cut to High Charity

‘Vadaam and Makee continue to talk, ‘Vadaam giving her the space to ask questions of her own. Glimpses of the Covenants inner workings are becoming clearer. When they reach ‘Vadaam’s cruiser “Truth and Reconciliation,” Makee is surprised to learn she would be going with the Shipmaster, leaving High Charity for the first time. Kakric is not happy about this, and that no one told him, but the appearance of his much older brother Tartarus calms him. Tartarus reassures him that this is for the best.

8

Makee is in a new uniform, and seemingly, exploring the ship freely. She continues to watch the Covenant species interact now that they are away from the stuffier class of people in High Charity. She even notices that Jackals secretly trade in Human technology and aren’t as devoted as they project around the rest of the Covenant, but even they do not show her any welcome.

A warning alarm spooks her; a space battle is about to commence as they arrive at Sigma Octanus IV. But the crew just laughs at her because the superior Covenant ship effortlessly dispatches the UNSC patrol. ‘Vadaam doesn’t laugh and just seems more disappointed in her timidity.

When ‘Vadaam gets his task force ready, Makee persuades the Shipmaster to take her along to identify human cultural landmarks and such. She sees it as her first real chance to escape in ages. Tartarus insists that she go and take Kakric to watch her.

Tartarus: What are you worried about Four-Jaw? It’s just some wormling! My brother shall keep her in line. Worse comes to worst, he crushes her if she tries to escape.

‘Vadaam: Firstly, my title is Shipmaster and you would do well to remember that, Brute. Secondly, our mission is to retrieve the relic and make sure it is the Oracle we seek. For that I will need the Holy Diviner alive. - Looks from Makee to Kakric and Tartarus - But upon reflection, keeping the Diviner under my constant watch seems to be the best way to accomplish that. Zuka, take the Diviner to the armory, see if any of the Kig-Yar armor will fit her.

Makee: Do I get a weapon? To defend myself?

‘Vadaam: Ha! I am trying to keep you alive, not let you suddenly figure out the results of letting a pistol critically overheat. Go. We are already wasting precious time debating. And there are those eager to begin the Cleansing.

Tartarus and Kakric share a significant glance behind ‘Vadaam’s back.

Cut to Pelican at night

9

“Sigma Octanus IV, Silma City”

Chief, Silver Team, and Kwan’s marines riding in the back of a Pelican at night. Distant cannon fire is heard, muffled through the hull of the ship. The cabin is tense and quiet, Chief is the only one standing, his hand over his other wrist clearly operating something.

Chief: Repeat, Commander.

Miranda (staticky and broken up, comes out through the PA in the cabin): Covenant forces have breached…. Silma. Railgun platforms are… dark… need them back up before the main assault… Silver Team is tasked… platform 6. Expect… and Hunters, according to Marine Recon. There will be no… Good luck, Spartans. Keyes out.

(an explosion is heard over the transmission before the speakers go silent)

Chief: Commander.

Riz - fiddles with something: Lines dead. Too much interference from that approaching ground attack.

Kai: Data packet made it through. - hesitates to show info in front of regular marines -

Chief: Go ahead. Something tells me we won't be doing this alone.

Kwan: Bet your ass we are coming.

Smith: I’m ready to get some revenge, but if all of you want to take a nap, I’ll just handle the ass kicking myself.

Rico: Hell, according to the Corp we are dead already, might as well make it official. Less paperwork.

Riz: Where they hell did you find these people, Chief?

Vannak: I don’t know and I don’t care, as long as there are more where they came from.

Smith: It’s called the Marine Corp, ass-hats.

All the Spartans slowly turn their heads to look at Smith.

Riz: Didn’t we drag your shaking ass out of a cozy warehouse?

Chief: Enough. Intel. Display. Now.

Kai pulls up a digital map of Silma with icons of several Rail Cannons circling the city and its space elevator. One nearest the oncoming Covenant assault labeled 6 is blinking red. Kai explains that a report from a missing Marine Recon team describes how small units of Covenant saboteurs have been spotted around the platforms.

Chief: Probably turning out the lights before a larger force arrives to completely disable them. Same thing they did on Arcadia.

Kwan: How long does the city last without those gun platforms?

Chief: Right now, they are the only real threat to that battlecruiser. With it gone, the city will be molten glass this time tomorrow.

Kai: Looks like all the platforms are currently being reinforced. Well, all the ones we still have control over.

Chief: Then let’s get Platform 6 back on that list. Silver Team, we move in squads of four. One Spartan in every squad. Sorry, Private but you still haven’t completely healed.

Toye: No way, not this time, sir. I’m coming with.

Chief: Corporal Ha? He’s your man.

Kwan: He is good, sir. We all are.

Chief: Okay. Prepare for a hot landing.

10

The Pelican lands and Silver Team+ rushes out into an eerily quiet industrial area, only the sounds of war faintly in the distance. Clearly visible and ahead, a large railgun sits above the rest of the surrounding buildings. The squads fan out, the story now mainly told between Chief’s squad (which has Adun and Rico) and Riz’s squad (That has Kwan and Smith in it). An over the shoulder shot will show one of the classic Halo marine eyepieces is displaying Halo 3: ODST style night vision, which is why no one is using flash lights.

Crank up the suspension, but move fairly quickly.

Eventually the Team makes it to the control center for the gun, finding a small Covenant Platoon guarding. They are quickly dispatched, Riz taking a minor and forgettable wound for Smith in the process and expressing frustration at him.

Chief: Commander Keyes. Commander?

Riz (over radio): Still no good Comms to the battle upstairs - points to space - but Mission Control should see Platform 6 go hot again once you flip the switch. And Chief.

Chief: What is it?

Cut to Riz and her squad.

Several Phantom drop ships begin to unload baddies nearby.

Riz: You were right about it being just like Arcadia.

Chief: Understood. Silver Team, protect this platform.

Cut to Makee and ‘Vadaam

11

Alien to English “Sigma Octanus IV, Cote d’Azure”

It’s daytime. Makee and ‘Vadaam’s task force sift through the wreckage of Cote d’Azure’s museum. She is wearing the strange armor Chief saw in the grotto, it’s made up of Jackal armor pieces that cover much of her face and something else. Kakric is unhappy they have found nothing at the place Makee led them to. Museums are supposed to have artifacts after all.

The Shipmaster of Purity of Spirit calls in eager to begin glassing the planet, but ‘Vadaam tells him he must wait until the Diviner locates all the Holy Sites on the planet to be preserved from cleansing fire.

Before ‘Vadaam can press Makee for a new idea. UNSC Marines spring an attack. In the chaos, Makee see’s her chance to escape when a Jackal is mortally wounded next to her. She reaches for his weapons, eventually fighting for the plasma pistol in its hand, half intentional/half accidentally discharging it and killing it.

A moment of shock keeps her from noticing the marine walking up on her, clearly seeing her discharge a Covenant Weapon in her hand. The marine levels and prepares to fire, while Makee uses broken nearly forgotten English to try and plead for help.

Kakric’s gravity hammer saves her life.

The fire fight is short lived and most of the task force is unscathed. Kakric informs ‘Vadaam that Makee killed a Jackal in an attempt to escape, and even talked in a human tongue with one of the attackers. He requests that she be executed at once for Heresy. Makee tries to lie her way out of it. ‘Vadaam reveals that the strange part of her chest armor is a Prisoner’s Harness which will destroy her if she doesn’t cooperate. He demands a clue to the location of the relic hidden amongst this profane human settlement, and if not…

Makee panics but sees a bench with a tourist ad about the local grotto. In the image showing all the local graffiti, she notices a rare forerunner glyph in the mix. This spares her life, for now.

Makee closes a pouch on two stolen plasma grenades.

Cut to Miranda and the bridge of In Amber Clad

12

“Sigma Octanus IV, UNSC In Amber Clad”

Miranda - pushing away a corpsman trying to bandage a head wound - is in a heated debate with fleet command, General Garth, and Parangosky. Miranda wants to get a strike squadron together to help aid the ground forces in Silma, but things are too risky, and they all need to prepare for the likelihood of a planet wide evacuation. When Parangosky wants to know why Spartan assets haven’t been evacuated yet, it is revealed that Garth wanted to keep them there to protect his own skin. This pisses off Parangosky and she greenlights Miranda to help, wanting to protect valuable assets like Spartans. However, Miranda is only allowed to pull volunteers from the 27th fleet, a very small one. Also, the loss of any ships will be reflected on Miranda directly, the UNSC can’t afford to lose ships at this stage in the war.

Cut to Makee and ‘Vadaam in grotto

13

Makee watches ‘Vadaam carefully searches the Forerunner site, frustrated that he hasn’t found what he is looking for. He asks Makee again if there is anything else she can sense. She points out that the only panel she hasn’t touched is the portion covered by the sediment layer. When Kakric offers to smash it with his hammer, ‘Vadaam snaps at him for risking Forerunner relics. Then he calls in a phantom to bring the proper tools.

Makee sees a chance to kill ‘Vadaam with his back turned to her - since he is the one controlling her vest. But when she tries to plant one of her grenades on him, Kakric grabs her arm and brings her close to whisper in her face.

Kakric: Breathing human air has made you bold, but no more stronger, little coward. I’ll enjoy chewing on your brittle bones, something I’ve been salivating over for years.

Before Kakric could break her wrist, Makee activates the grenade and sticks it to the brutes face. He panics, clawing at his face and backing up against the sediment covering more of the Forerunner site. ‘Vadaam turns and rushes toward Kakric. The explosion throws Makee and ‘Vadaam to the ground, and also blows away the rock covering the Oracle - a triangle like artifact.

Makee rushes for the artifact, last grenade in hand.

‘Vadaam: Halt, Holy Diviner. I will destroy you if I must.

Makee stops only feet away from the relic, ready to plant the grenade.

Makee: And risk the Oracle? No, you won’t. Either I leave, or you lose the relic.

‘Vadaam - lowers vest controller: Why, Diviner? Why do this?

Makee: Are you as simple as a child? I’m tired of this life and tired of animals like him - gestures to Kakric body. I just want to be free.

Gun fire distracts Makee. When she turns her attention back she sees ‘Vadaam rushing her. A childhood memory flashes in her mind, a different Elite rushing at her to capture her. Tears in her eyes, she gives out a wail of last defiance. Grenade activated, she goes to destroy the relic and herself.

When she grabs the relic it glows as bright as the object by the river. She is suddenly stunned, the only thing she and us can hear is a high pitched frequency. In the background we see a battle behind her, specifically Master Chief fighting toward her. Then ‘Vadaam appears, looming over her as she still fixates on the relic.

Cut to Makee in the dropship.

14

Alien to English “Sigma Octanus IV, Enroute to Truth and Reconciliation”

Makee listens through a daze and muffled ears. She is silently mumbling to herself, searching for a word. Occasionally she mumbles the words cleanse, ignite, and weapon. A heavy hand cracks her across the head, sending her helmet flying. The argument becomes audible. The scene mirrors the cold open but more from Makee’s lower, seated perspective.

Tartarus: The demons were there. How did they know of the Oracles location! This heathen species knows nothing of our gods. Yet, they were there!

Makee (mumbling): Must cleanse.

‘Vadaam: It is possible they tracked us, or simply got lucky. Calm yourself.

Makee (mumbling): Burn it away.

Tatarus: Did the worm call them?

Makee (louder, more coherent): No… The Oracle called.. The Oracle…

Tartarus: I’ve had enough of your babbling - goes to crush her throat.

‘Vadaam: Wait! (to Makee) the Oracle spoke? What did it say, Diviner?

Makee (trying to focus): The Oracle…a weapon… Forgive me, my mind… It called. No… It asked me if I was a… Damn, there isn’t a Sangheili word for it. But it wanted to know the disposition of the galaxy.

‘Vadaam: It asked about our faith?

Tatarus: This is blasphemy! Why would the messenger of our gods speak to a worm?

Makee tries to speak, but ‘Vadaam' silences her. He decides they must speak to the Hierarchs before anything else is done.

Cut to a room on the Truth and Reconciliation

A projection of the Prophet of Mercy and ‘Vadaam continue to interrogate Makee. She can’t tell them much more. Mercy decides that Makee was overwhelmed by the sinfulness of her species and it drove her mad. She should have never been permitted to be near them, and chastises ‘Vadaam for taking her to the planet's surface.

Mercy: Diviner, is there anything else to learn from this planet?

Makee: No. It didn’t reveal any more Holy Sites.

Mercy: So we risk nothing else being harmed?

Makee: No… You are free to cleanse the planet without offense to our gods. Let the Great Journey continue.

Mercy: You heard the Diviner, let the Great Journey continue, Shipmaster.

‘Vadaam: As you command. Contact the Purity of Spirit, tell them to begin the cleansing and to burn away that city by dawn. That should break their spirit.

Makee watches, with a manic fixation, as the relic is reveratly transported to a nearby room.

Cut to Silver Team+ fighting at the platform.


15

It is still night. Chief and Silver Team are doing their best to hold the line from the Covenant attack seeking to disable the Railgun Platform. The perspective is still mainly on Chief and Riz’s squad. The Spartans are clearly holding themselves back and putting themselves in harm's way to keep the marines safe. Smith takes a grave wound to one of his hands (permanently disabling it), but fiercely fights on after Vannak patches him up, impressing Riz who tried to bench him.

When a Hunter pair arrives, which is far more than the marines are equipped to handle, Kwan sees the writing on the wall - and what the camera work is showing. The Spartans are being held back by the Marines. Silver Team+ has been pushed all the way back together near the control center. Kwan insists that Chief and the Spartans do what they need to do, and let the marines handle their own fate.

Kwan: Chief, you can’t break this assault and watch over us. Take your Team and secure this platform!

Chief: Can you hold this line?

Kwan: Does it matter?

Chief: Can you hold?

Kwan: No, not for long, but that doesn’t matter. You Spartans will still be here. We will kill you if you stay.

Chief pauses, Kwan’s face reflecting in his visor.

Chief: Listen up! Marines, I need a wall of fire suppressing the enemy. Keep their heads down for as long as you can. Spartans, you’re with me.

Vannak (on a private channel): If we leave, they die.

Riz (private channel): Not if we’re fast.

Chief: Silver Team, go!

The marines give a war cry, several injured and bleeding, and lay down some suppressive fire while the Spartans rush off to flank the Covenant.

The Spartans finally get to go 100% and it’s action eye candy. Tight alleyway fighting that is smooth and coordinated. It isn’t easy, but the Spartans prove their billion dollar value. There are some great tag team moves that are used to take down the Hunters. The Master Chief theme music is in full rock. The assault is broken.

16

But the Spartans only take a breath before sprinting back to the control center.

Chief (breathless): Corporal Ha? Second squad? Do you copy?

Riz (breathless): Smith?

Kwan (exhausted): Yes, Chief?

The Spartans share a look of relief as they see all the marines alive and hunkered down. A few new injuries and bandages being applied. Some might be out of the fight for a while.

Smith (to Riz): Took you long enough. I thought I was going to have to go do your job for you.

Riz: Only if you can keep up, warrior.

Riz offers Smith a hand to stand back up. The other hand is covered in bandages.

Kai: I hate to ruin the mood, but this fight isn’t over.

Everyone who can jumps back to the firing line. Calls for low ammo go up. Some marines are picking up nearby alien weapons. The Covenant cruiser Purity of Spirit is visible in the dawn light along with other smaller escort ships, some of which are headed right toward them.

Kai: Chief, we can’t hold this position.

Rico (bandage over half his face, and out of the fight): Why aren’t the platforms opening up? Damn it! Fry the MF-ers already, you assholes! - he bangs on a metal panel.

Chief (to Kai): Why aren’t they firing on those ships?

Kai: I don’t know.

Chief takes in Silver Team+

Chief: Prepare to fall back. Kai, see if you can order us a ride out of here.

Everyone looks tired and defeated.

Adun: Why are those ships turning back? Are they going to… Whoa!

A rail dart not fired from the city's defenses punches through a Covenant ship, its shields rippling away before exploding in a bright blue fire. More rail darts from out of view take out another Covenant ship. Missiles race across the sky chasing dropships and attack craft.

It’s Miranda’s attack squadron. She radios in to check on the Chief as several UNSC ships come into view, their mighty MAC cannons thundering and shaking Silver Team+. The Marines cheer wildly as the Purity of Spirit pulls back and disappears into the smoke and clouds. The UNSC ships continue the hunt.

Miranda admits this is only a bandage for the situation, they caught them with their pants down. This counterattack should buy time to lock down the city defenses.

Everyone is relieved as all the space ships disappear and there is a calm. In the background one of the other railgun platforms explodes. Then two more go up in flames. The other defenders failed. Silver Team+ watches in horror as all their efforts and Miranda’s go up in smoke.

Cut to Makee on Truth and Reconciliation

17

Makee is being guarded by two Jackals fighting over a piece of human technology. She asks to leave, but they brush her off. Then she offers to show them how the technology works. They take the deal and Makee rushes to the chamber with the relic, sneaking past an Elite patrolling the hall.

Once inside she approaches the relic slowly, when her hand gets within a few inches, the relic glows and the high pitch frequency returns.

Makee (through pain): Slow down. I can’t understand. Slower!

There is a sudden spike in the frequency and Makee clutches at the implant in her neck. There is a pop like electronics breaking and Makee feels relief.

Makee: Yes, I understand you now. - she falls to her knees in worship.

We hear a one sided conversation.

Makee: Forgive me, Oracle. I only sought freedom when I attacked…

Makee: Yes, the planet is being cleansed of infestation as we speak.

At this point Makee’s face expresses confusion from how her gods are talking to her.

Makee: Other planets? Yes, your loyal servants are in the process of cleansing them too.

Makee: I’m glad I please you. If I may ask, what is that name you keep calling me? There is not a word for it in Sangheili.


Makee: Yes, that one. When you first spoke to me, Holy One, I saw images of great power attached to that title. It came with the ability to wield mighty weapons.

Makee (full of reserved hope): That is a blessing to hear. Are… Are Sangheili and the other Covenant species also this… this… Honored Caretaker? Do they also get this power, or is it just me?

Makee begins to smile wider and wider as the Oracle speaks to her.

Credits roll.

And there is episode two.

This episode is to introduce Makee, who will still be a pivotal character in this timeline, both to the wider narrative and to Master Chief himself. However, her journey is motivated by a desire to never be underpowered again. With this promise of weapons not even the Covenant can control, Makee is for the first time feeling empowered. But what will she do with her newfound blessing?

Also, there were some other familiar names like Tatarus (gasp). He won't be around much here in the beginning, but I wanted him in early to start creating the divide between Elites and Brutes. I also wanted to start laying the groundwork for other political schemes that are in the works amongst the Hierarchs themselves. I'll be doing this with other characters from the series. I want us to see how many characters evolve and change as the truth of the forerunners (and the Spartan programs) comes to light.

If you haven't picked up yet, our plucky marines are here to stay. We will see them grow throughout the series. This is by far my biggest change to the series and would require some actors to stick around a lot longer than their original contracts. They are here to provide grounding to the fantastical and characters for the audience to self-insert.

As to the relic, 'Vadaam is calling it an Oracle though it looks nothing like the Oracle from the games. Don't worry about that ;). However, this is where I want to keep in mind that not everyone tuning in is a Halo nut like me (or just about anyone who is visiting this website), and the mysteries from the games are still mysteries to them. Are their ancient gods the Covenant worship? What is a forerunner, are they even real? So for now, I want those mysteries to live. Is Makee truly talking to a god through the relic?

Constructive feedback is welcome! If I'm critiquing their show, I need to be open for it as well. Just remember this all comes from a place of love and fun, enjoying our shared fandom.

Tune in next time for Episode 3 of Halo-jak, Hope in HAVOK.

Can the Master Chief save the planet or is it truly doomed to suffer the righteous wrath of the Covenant? And how does Kwan know about a secret stash of UNSC heavy ordinance?
 

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