House of Reckoning
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|“||Confront Escharum at the House of Reckoning.||”|
|House of Reckoning|
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|“||Chief and the Weapon reach the House of Reckoning and confront mighty Escharum, who has eagerly anticipated their arrival — an opportunity to truly test his foe. A brutal battle ensues, and though the Chief emerges victorious, Escharum musters a final breath to assure his enemy that his death will only inspire further conflict. Escharum dies and the Pilot is freed, but one loose end remains: The Harbinger. Chief and the Weapon head for the Silent Auditorium.||”|
Level begins inside the House of Reckoning where the previous level left off.
- John-117: "Where is he?"
- The Weapon: "Unknown. There's an unusual signal up ahead. Maybe that's him."
The Chief enters an observation room. A hologram of Escharum appears in front of him.
- Escharum (hologram): "I thought perhaps that I had misjudged you. That you would allow your cohort to die for... the greater good. I pity you that I was correct. (rasps heavily) The House of Reckoning. Such an appropriate name. Many of your kind have entered this arena. None have left. Come. Look upon my work. Understand why we won."
The hologram deactivates.
The Chief stares through the energy barrier at the arena below. There are numerous UNSC weapons, equipment, vehicles, and structures assembled together on a raised platform to create an artificial battlefield. With nowhere else to go, the Chief heads downstairs and steps inside the arena.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "It is no accident that the Banished were able to win so decisively. Arm yourself, Master Chief. Scavenge this battlefield. Know that each item you find is a remnant of their sacrifice and a testament to our strength!"
The Chief grabs the necessary weapons.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "Now start this fight!"
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "More!"
A second wave of Banished troops attacks.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "Hunt him down!"
The fighting continues as more Banished troops arrive to replace the ones the Chief has killed.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "Do not let up! Break him!"
Brutes now join the fray.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "Know in your bones. You won't leave this place alive."
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "This is my choice to fight you. Find the others and face me!"
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "Your presence here has given me renewed purpose."
Finally, no more enemies appear.
- Weapon: "I think that's it. We should keep moving."
Upon exiting the arena, the Chief is met by another hologram of Escharum.
- Escharum (hologram): "Your Created. The false god Cortana destroyed my world. My home! But she could not kill the fire that burns in the heart of the Banished. It made us stronger! (rasping) Can you say the same?"
The Chief enters an elevator and rides it up to the next level.
- Weapon: "Why is he telling you all this?"
- John-117: "Death changes people. It forces you to look at yourself and make a choice."
- Weapon: "And what did he choose?"
- John-117: "Same as I would. Fight."
The elevator arrives at another observation room and the Chief steps off. Escharum appears via hologram once again.
- Escharum (hologram): "Do you recall the siege of Palghanar? One settlement held out against my forces for nineteen days. They fought well. To the end. But their fate was sealed from the start."
Looking through the energy barrier, the Chief sees another artificial battlefield constructed from the remnants of UNSC forces on the Ring. The Chief heads downstairs and enters the second arena.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "This was never about ceremony but about observing choice. Reactions. Fear. Gather what you need, Spartan. A storm approaches beyond these walls. Each misstep you make is the ammunition I need to dismantle your spirit. Prepare yourself for the end!"
Alarms blare again and a group of Banished troops, consisting of Grunts, Jackals, and Skirmishers, attacks. The Chief eliminates the majority of the first wave.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "Another test awaits you."
Multiple Jiralhanae Berserkers attack. The Chief defeats the second wave as well.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "I've prepared for you some of our best and brightest."
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "Well done. What comes next will destroy all hope."
A third wave, led by an Ardent Mgalekgolo pair, attacks.
The fighting continues.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "Search every corner. They're there. Waiting."
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "I'm impressed! But this is only a prelude to our main event."
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "You were never a match for Atriox. Deep down you still know that, don't you?"
The Chief finally kills the Hunters and any other remaining enemies.
- Weapon: "We did it! Well, you did it."
The Chief exits the second arena, and finds another hologram of Escharum waiting for him outside.
- Escharum (hologram): "This world. Looping. Repeating... forever. Is it a symbol of life or a cruel joke by the Forerunners? (rasping noise)"
The hologram vanishes. The Chief enters an elevator and rides it to the third level. He arrives at yet another observation room. Escharum reappears before him.
- Escharum (hologram): "You were there when we struck the Infinity. The first dreadnought came from the side. In the chaos that followed, you hardly had time to notice the other three bear down upon you. Do you know how long it took us to neutralize your greatest ship? Four minutes. In four minutes, the Infinity, mankind's finest achievement, became a memory. (chuckles)"
The arena outside of this observation room consists of a single structure.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "The end approaches... But first... a last surprise."
As he approaches the structure, the Chief hears the recorded voices of the Pilot's family coming from within. He enters the dark, claustrophobic structure and finds the Pilot's recording device lying on the floor.
Master Chief's POV: He kneels down and picks up the holorecorder.
- Child (recording): "I miss you."
- Mother (recording): "And "I love you"?"
- Child (recording): "I love you, Daddy."
- Jega 'Rdomnai: (off-screen, mockingly) "So sad..."
- Child (recording): "So big!"
- Jega 'Rdomnai: (off-screen) "He's broken."
The Chief looks around for the unseen enemy.
- Mother (recording): "Good, and can you sing?"
A barrel suddenly rolls away as an invisible force pushes it aside.
- Jega 'Rdomnai: (off-screen) "You'll break too."
- Child (recording): (voice distorted) "Mary had a little lamb..."
The Chief turns his gaze to the right, following the sound of footsteps. A sandbag is knocked over. An energy blade is heard igniting. The invisible blade slices through the metal grating in the floor, before cutting into the ceiling and slicing several pipes open.
- Jega 'Rdomnai: "And soon... you'll meet your end."
- Child (recording): "-can't wait to see you again."
- Mother (recording): "Okay now say "bye-bye"."
Jega decloaks, revealing himself to the Chief.
- Jega 'Rdomnai: "Say goodbye."
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "Blademaster. Show him why I chose you!"
An energy barrier is erected over the structure, preventing the combatants from leaving.
Jega 'Rdomnai is one of the deadliest, most cunning Sangheili the Master Chief has ever faced. The Blademaster strikes from the shadows at every opportunity, while constantly taunting the Spartan. The Chief uses his own combat instincts, as well as his Threat Sensor to detect Jega's movements. After an intense battle, the Chief finally strikes a fatal blow. As Jega falls, his body seemingly vanishes into thin air, leaving only Bloodbane behind.
The energy barrier around the structure deactivates.
- Escharum (loudspeaker): "He wanted to kill your friend. But I promised him a sweeter kill. Or a warrior's death."
That business having been concluded, the Chief leaves the structure. As he continues onward, Escharum appears before him via hologram one final time.
- Escharum (hologram): "Whatever the outcome, know this: the Banished control this Ring. We came for war. A thousand legions occupy this world. The Auditorium will give up its secrets. Your interference is just...(coughs) an irritation. Fleeting."
The hologram disappears.
The Chief steps into an elevator and takes it to the fourth floor.
- Weapon: "I'm getting a read on Echo-216. He's right above us."
- Weapon: "There he is! We need to get him out of that thing."
The Chief steps off the elevator and hurries past a pair of giant Atriox holograms to reach the Pilot.
The Chief deploys the Weapon onto the torture machine's control terminal.
- Pilot: (in agony) "Chief... you shouldn't... have come for me. I'm-"
He lets out a tortured scream.
- Weapon: "Micro gravity wells are putting enormous stress on his body."
- Escharum: (off-screen) "I told you that I would not kill him."
The Chief turns around, but no one's there.
- Pilot: "Leave me. Run!"
- John-117: "We'll get you out of here."
- Escharum: (off-screen) "No... you will try."
- Weapon: "Chief? He's here."
- Escharum: (off-screen) "He knows I'm here. This was never a trap. It is a test of mettle. Our battle ends here."
The Chief turns to the Weapon.
- John-117: "Get him out of there."
- Weapon: "On it."
She starts hacking the terminal.
Scene moves right, away from them, before panning upward as Escharum jumps down from a ledge to confront the Spartan. The Brute War Chief is fully armored and holding a Grenflekt Workshop Scrap Cannon.
Scene focuses on Escharum's face.
- Escharum: "Bear witness! Our story will become legend. Told by those that survive you."
He lets out a roar and the battle begins.
The two battle-hardened warriors clash, neither one willing to give an inch. As the Chief begins inflicting damage on Escharum, the machinery around the chamber sends out beams of energy, forming a shield around Escharum. The Chief tries to penetrate the shield with whatever weapons are available but to no effect. In the meantime, the Pilot begins screaming in pain again.
- Weapon: "The machine is connected to Escharum's shield. Any damage you inflict on Escharum is transferred to Echo-216. The power's transmitted via a series of relays around the room. Let's see if I can... Got it! Relay's exposed - destroy it!"
If the Chief stalls:
- Weapon: "Shield's still up! Get the relay!"
- Weapon: "Careful, Chief! His shield's still active!"
- Weapon: "I don't know how much more he can take!"
The Chief destroys the first relay.
- Weapon: "Relay's down... and so's his shield!"
The Chief attacks the now-vulnerable Escharum, inflicting as much damage as he can on the War Chief before a second relay activates. The shield is restored and the Pilot's screams begin anew.
- John-117: "Escharum's shield reactivated. Expose the relay!"
- Weapon: "Got it! Go!"
The Chief destroys the second relay.
- Weapon: "The shield's down! Now's your chance!"
Again, the Chief uses the opportunity to deal as much damage to Escharum as he can until a third relay activates and restores Escharum's shield.
- Weapon: "Next relay's exposed! Take it out!"
The Chief destroys the third relay.
- Weapon: "And it's down. You know what to do."
The Chief hits Escharum as hard as possible until the shield is reactivated.
- Weapon: "Final relay's exposed! Destroy it!"
The Chief destroys the fourth and final relay, permanently disabling Escharum's shield.
- Escharum: (enraged roar) "You'll pay for interfering in my plans!"
- Escharum: (enraged roar) "You will not defy me! None defy me!"
- Escharum: "Petulant Demon! You will submit to my will!"
- Weapon: "That's it! Last relay destroyed! Echo-216 is safe, Chief. Escharum wants you to prove your legend? Time to prove it."
Neither the Master Chief nor Escharum holds back in this final phase of the battle. The two combatants go back-and-forth, exchanging blows, and throwing everything they have at each other. Finally, Escharum goes down.
- Weapon: "You did it! Help me get him out."
The victorious Master Chief returns to the terminal.
The Weapon finishes hacking the terminal.
- Weapon: "Okay."
The machine deactivates. The Pilot falls out into the Chief's arms.
- Pilot: (still in pain) "I can't... I can't believe you came for me." (grunts and winces) "So we're done now, right?"
- Escharum: "Spartan!"
The Banished War Chief staggers into the chamber, still alive but barely.
- Escharum: "Fight me!"
- John-117: "It's over."
- Escharum: "Nothing..."
Escharum loses what little strength he has left and collapses. The Master Chief catches him as he falls.
- Escharum: "Nothing ends."
Scene focuses on the dying Escharum's face.
- Escharum: "My death will inspire a thousand others..."
He lets out a final rasp and looks up at the Chief.
- Escharum: "Tell them... I died well."
The Chief watches as Escharum finally dies.
- Pilot: "I don't understand... You showed him respect. He was a monster!"
- John-117: "Yes. But at the end he was just a soldier."
The Chief stands back up. He continues staring down at Escharum's body.
- John-117: "Hoping he'd done the right thing. Questioning his choices."
He turns and removes the Weapon from the terminal, before walking past the Pilot.
- Pilot: "I... So, is it over? Their leader's dead, right?"
Scene shifts to the Chief and the Weapon.
- Pilot: "What? What are you talking about?"
- John-117: "There will be consequences. There always are."
- Pilot: "What could be worse?"
The Chief takes a step towards him.
- John-117: "We need to move. The Harbinger's at the Auditorium. Whatever she's planning-"
- Pilot: "Is worse. I get it. Okay, then. I have one question before we leave."
- John-117: "What is it?"
- Pilot: "Has anyone seen a Pelican?" (grunts in pain)
Neither the Chief nor the Weapon replies. The Chief withdraws the Weapon into his armor and turns to leave the chamber.
- Pilot: "What? What?!"
He starts following the Chief.
Fade to black.
- Pilot: (voice only) "I'm just- I had a lot going on. I was busy!"
The following achievements can be unlocked on House of Reckoning across the all editions of Halo Infinite.
|Legends||At the end he was just a soldier. Hoping he'd done the right thing.|
- Audio logs (3): Escharum's Testimony 08 - Victory, Escharum's Testimony 09 - Legacy, The Prisoner 07 - 42410-02214-LB
Jega 'Rdomnai battles the Chief inside the third arena.