At the start of Two Betrayals, Chief quite pointedly calls Spark a “friend”.
Not “ally”, or any sort of neutral word that implies more of a function than an emotion.
He calls him a friend…
That’s a really fascinating word choice for Chief, which Cortana chastises him for - so it’s not just a word picked without thought on the part of the writers, there is intent in that.
Chief has what is literally one of the most traumatic experiences of his life in encountering the Flood, escapes into a swamp, then meets this floating glowy orb who teleports him to hell in order to retrieve the key to a doomsday weapon, and Chief is like “he’s my friend now, he’s our friend, Cortana!”
Well, I don’t care if it’s God’s own anti-son-of-a-bitch machine, or a giant hula hoop, we’re not gonna let ‘em have it! What we will let 'em have is a belly full of lead, and a pool of their own blood to drown in!
Ripa ‘Moramee was a Sangheili Commander of the Covenant Armyduring the Harvest Campaign and other Outer Colony campaigns until his demise in 2531. After being punished for leading a coup against his clan leadership and failing on Decided Heart, he was named the seventeenth Arbiter in the Immaculate Line of Succession by the Hierarchs, mainly at the urging of the Prophet of Regret.
In his new role, he led the Covenant attack on Harvest and the excavations of a Forerunner artifact on the planet’s surface. Shortly afterward, he assisted the Prophet of Regret in an attempt to reactivate a dormant Forerunner fleet on Shield 0459, for which purpose he kidnapped the human scientist Ellen Anders on Arcadia. This led to a series of violent engagements against forces led by Captain Cutter of the UNSC Spirit of Fire, and the eventual death of ‘Moramee at the hands of Sergeant Forge during the Covenant assault on SPARTAN Red Team, who were attempting to destroy the artificial planet with the Spirit of Fire’s removed FTL Reactor.
Ripa 'Moramee’s first known military action was the suppression of the Sixteenth Unggoy Disobedience and ending the heretical reign of a Kig-Yar Pirate Prince. Later, he attempted a coup within his clan on Decided Heart; the coup failed, and he was imprisoned in the Weeping Shadows of Sorrow penitentiary, for both his insubordination and failure. 'Moramee would have died in the prison had it not been for the intervention of the Hierarchs - specifically the Prophet of Regret - who appointed him as the Arbiter, and tasked him with conducting the war of extermination against humanity and uncovering Forerunner artifacts. It was a decision that led to concerned mumblings amongst the Prophets’ Honor Guards, who had no prior knowledge of this plan. He was not selected just for his combat record alone; the Covenant leaders believed that he, as the new Arbiter, would not ask politically inconvenient questions (an important factor given the secret status of humanity as Forerunner-designated Reclaimers). The creation of a new Arbiter caused a split in the Covenant: an ever-growing faction of Sangheili, who were opposed to the new Prophets, seized control of several Forerunner relics, including one that supposedly contained a “key” of some sort. The Arbiter was sent by the Hierarchs to end this rebellion, resulting in a vicious battle that raged for days which ended with the destruction of many heretics. The mysterious key, however, was never found.
'Moramee was present at the Harvest Campaign in 2531. The UNSC was aware of his presence but was unable to gather more than cursory intelligence on him. Ripa 'Moramee oversaw the excavation of a Forerunner site in the planet’s northern polar region. The installation’s entrance was uncovered by Field MasterRe'gish Wamik, and the area was quickly investigated by Covenant forces.
Despite concerns by Field Master Wamik that the humans would “defile” the installation, 'Moramee pressed on due to the impatience and pressure of the Hierarchs. With the UNSC closing in, the Prophet of Regret ordered him to destroy the installation and return to the Covenant with the information he had gathered. Ripa 'Moramee was reluctant to destroy the Forerunner construction but complied nonetheless upon the continued insistence of the Prophet. The attempt to destroy the relic failed when the demolition teams were thwarted by UNSC ground forces deployed from the orbiting Spirit of Fire.
The Shield World:
The information from the Forerunner structure on Harvest led the Covenant to Arcadia, where a collection of Forerunner ruins was discovered. These ruins, in turn, revealed the location of a Forerunner Shield World, which 'Moramee and the Prophet of Regret immediately traveled to.
Ripa 'Moramee was involved in a Covenant attempt to activate a dormant fleet of Forerunner ships from the Shield World. However, 'Moramee was concerned about why he was not fulfilling his task of destroying humanity, when he should command all their forces for a frontal assault; Regret stated that they need the Forerunner ships to increase the size of their fleets, so that the Covenant won’t have to dedicate all their forces for the war effort and thus leave themselves defenseless. After Covenant attempts to interface with the Forerunner technology failed, 'Moramee was sent on a mission to capture Ellen Anders after the First Battle of Arcadia by the Prophet of Regret, as it was believed she would have information and knowledge of how to interface with Forerunner structures that the Covenant did not. The Arbiter successfully captured her despite Sergeant John Forge’s intervention and escaped in a Spirit to an awaiting ship.
The UNSC Spirit of Fire pursued them through Slipspace, deeming Anders’s capture to be a “significant security breach. 'Moramee reached the Shield World first, brought Anders to the the Apex site, and forced her to interface with the Forerunner controls and begin activating the Forerunner fleet. Soon afterward the UNSC Spirit of Fire arrived on station over the artificial planet surface and began to organize a rescue mission.
Death and Legacy:
Anders managed to escape from 'Moramee through the Apex’s teleportation system and alerted the UNSC of the Covenant’s intentions. Sergeant Forge and Spartan Red Team were quickly dispatched to Apex site with orders to destroy the Shield World using the Spirit of Fire’s removed FTL Reactor by causing its core to overheat, thereby causing the Shield World’s internal sun to go supernova. An engagement ensued in which Red Team held off the Sangheili Honor Guard assault and Forge engaged 'Moramee, who had used his cloak to ambush and kill the Marine officer in charge of opening the Apex’s entrance. In the beginning, Forge managed to disarm his opponent despite the physical disparity between himself and the Arbiter, relying on combat skill rather than raw strength. However, 'Moramee quickly fought off Forge and proceeded to taunt him and injure him with a punch to the stomach. Feigning defeat, Forge challenged 'Moramee to look him in the eye before killing him. The Arbiter complied and lifted the sergeant by his neck while unwittingly bringing his own neck within the reach of his opponent. Forge drove his combat knife, “Lucy,” into his adversary’s neck, then used the incapacitated Arbiter’s dropped Energy Sword to stab him through the chest. Ripa 'Moramee’s corpse was rolled off the platform by Alice-130 of Red Team shortly before the FTL Reactor overheated and destroyed the Shield World.
I miss the Bungie-era of Halo so much. I have so many epic memories of thousands of hours spent with close friends and siblings playing these games. I was 14 years old when Halo: Combat Evolve game out and ever since I played the first mission on the campaign, I was hooked. Thank you Bungie for making one of the most beloved video game franchises of gaming history.