builder-of-bears

5

Halo | Forerunners

One hundred thousand years ago, the galaxy was populated by a great variety of beings. But one species—eons beyond all the others in both technology and knowledge—achieved dominance.

They ruled in peace but met opposition with quick and brutal effectiveness. They were the Forerunners—the keepers of the Mantle, the next stage of life in the universe’s Living Time.

And then they vanished.

2

The Master Builder doubled back and stopped before the Didact. “Promethean, hear me,” he said. “You have one last chance to redeem yourself. I have had this planet searched high and low by my special intelligence forces. All who might confirm what you claim exists are assembled here—preserved even in their treason. Their families are dead, the resistance completely crushed. Surely now they will reveal what they have concealed for so long—or so you’ve claimed, all these thousands of years.”

The Didact looked wearily among them. “You’ve picked and preserved… in error.”

The Master Builder’s cold fury built until I thought he would raise his arm yet again and call for pain projectors to surround us all.

Then, he pulled back his anger. Looking upon his face, I wondered what resources he had acquired upon his rise from Manipular to first-form—or second-, or third-. He did not seem wiser for all that, only more powerful, more cruel.

By comparison, the Didact was the gentler Forerunner—a complete contradiction to my former understanding.

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