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Minas is a Jiralhanae chieftain who formerly served within the Covenant military. He was assigned with tracking down Atriox and his Banished during the Human-Covenant War. However, Minas would instead join the renegade faction. In midst of a conflict on the Ark in the summer of 2559, Minas was sent to lead a mission to the Anodyne Spirit, the Forerunner Keyship that had once served as the centerpiece of High Charity.
The hunt for Atriox
Sometime after Atriox first rebelled from the Covenant, Chieftain Minas had been tasked by the High Council with hunting down and destroying the Banished, and bringing the rogue Jiralhanae to justice. Despite failing to see the wisdom in wasting time and resources searching for such an insignificant rebelling faction, Minas followed the orders of the councilors without question. He would lead a legion in a protracted campaign, chasing the Banished as they raided world after world. Eventually, Minas came face-to-face with Atriox and had a brief opportunity to strike a fatal blow to both the warmaster himself and the rebellion that he led.
However, as Minas prepared to deliver the death blow, Atriox told him that everyone must die for something. It is a cost that no one can escape, so someone might as well die for something that they truly believe in—something that they are willing to give their life for. At that moment, Minas decided that he could no longer endure the lies and hypocrisy that he sensed from the Prophets and the High Council. He resolved to die on his own terms. And so, Minas enlisted with the very faction he was sent to destroy.
Chieftain Minas served the Banished even after the Covenant's war with the humans came to a close. At some point after the Great Schism, he made his way to Warial, one of the moons of the Jiralhanae homeworld Doisac. Here he found Choros in the brimstone-dockyards of Ividar Rux, repairing damaged warships. Minas learned that the younger Jiralhanae had worked closely with the Prophets aboard the Forerunner Dreadnought until their lies were revealed for all to see. Recruiting Choros into the Banished, the two of them would serve together for years to come, even being selected by Atriox to accompany him to the Ark in 2558.
While the Banished continued to battle the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire for control of the installation, Atriox decided that he must return to the galaxy to deal with an unknown situation. To do so, he would need a Forerunner slipspace flake to open a portal to a facility rumored to be hidden on Reach, a human colony that had been glassed by the Covenant nearly seven years earlier. Thankfully, the Anodyne Spirit—the keyship that the Prophet of Truth had used to reach the Ark—had been found in an uncontested region that the Banished had dubbed Mahsko. Like all Forerunner starships, its slipspace drive was powered by one of these crystals. And so, Atriox assembled a strike force to infiltrate the Keyship and retrieve the crystal. Minas was assigned to lead the expedition.
The raid on Anodyne Spirit
In June or July 2559, three Phantoms approached the Keyship. It stood among a Forerunner city atop a massive basalt column that rose out of the sea. Minas rode in one dropship with Choros and a third of the strike force while Blademaster Okro 'Vagaduun and Captain Zeretus rode in the other two with their own teams. As the leader of this mission, Minas had each Phantom approach the vessel from a different angle to eliminate the possibility that they could all be destroyed in a single blast, assuming the Keyship's defenses were still active. When its weapons were deemed inactive, he had his Phantom's pilot—Bomarus—approach the vessel's central crux and tell other two dropships to do the same. The pilots stayed with their ships as the three strike teams regrouped at the designated access port. Minas set the Kig-Yar Itka to work opening the port. The weaponsmith had an unusual talent for hacking Forerunner devices.
As the Kig-Yar weaponsmith worked his magic, Minas thought about the previous occasions when a team of armed warriors had forced their way into the Anodyne Spirit. The first time had been during the conflict between the San'Shyuum Reformists and Stoics. The former had broken into the Keyship and used it to escape their homeworld. The second time had been toward the end of the violent war between the San'Shyuum and the Sangheili that ultimately resulted in the formation of the Covenant. Desperate to find a way to combat the seemingly unbeatable Keyship, a team of Sangheili managed to infiltrate the vessel and slaughter a sizable portion of its crew. This event was partly responsible for the eventual truce between the two species. Minas considered the possibility that he might be staring at the very same access point used in both pivotal events.
Itka informed the Chieftain that he was encountering both old and new security measures similar to those used by the Covenant. However, the Kig-Yar bypassed these easily and the access port rumbled open to reveal a dark interior. The strike force cautiously entered the Keyship, finding themselves in a long, empty corridor that went on for over a kilometer. As they trudged on through the darkness, they came to the conclusion that the ship was indeed abandoned. However, 'Vagaduun warned that they should not become too comfortable; the vessel still held many secrets, many of them likely very dangerous. Minas noted that while there may not be any living being aboard, the Forerunners were the masters of autonomous machines. Choros, who had served the Prophets for some time aboard this very vessel, led them deeper in the darkness until they came upon a wall with several doorways. The young Captain led them through the fourth doorway from the left. The force followed a small, dimly-lit corridor into an expansive chamber that held vaulting walkways, all meeting at a lift in the center of the room. Hundreds of transport cylinders sat waiting at the lift to be used to launch personnel up toward the bow of the vessel. Minas found a cylinder that could accommodate all three strike teams. Using a special code from records recently found amidst the debris field of High Charity, Itka activated the lift and the strike force soared upward.
The lift stopped suddenly and the door opened to reveal a vast arcade filled with overgrown flora. Various catwalks arched through the air, connecting delicate platforms and once-opulent common spaces. Flocks of exotic birds could be seen flying among the dense, unchecked foliage that climbed all the way up to the chamber's distant ceilings. Minas led the strike force off of the lift as Choros explained the purpose of the chamber to 'Vagaduun.
Just then, the young Captain was knocked to the floor by a plasma blast, his armor taking the brunt of the damage. Everyone else dove for the nearest cover and Minas dragged the stunned Choros behind a nearby stone barrier while under fire by plasma bolts and carbine rounds. The Chieftain realized that they were under assault by distinctly Covenant weapons; Sentinels were not the ones attacking them. Rousing Choros and ordering him to follow, Minas dashed for the veritable jungle ahead of them. As they moved, he glimpsed a trio of silhouettes firing on them from a rafter high above. Choros raised his weapon to return fire and Minas did the same with his pulse carbine, forcing their attackers to seek cover. He could hear Zeretus yelling in the distance, followed by the crash of his gravity hammer and the surprisingly Jiralhanae-like cry of Zeretus' victim. Choros finished off their three attackers with a shot from his skewer and the two of them pushed deeper into the arcade. The neared a doorway through which they could see a group of Covenant Jiralhanae who launched a salvo of plasma right back at them. Taking cover on either side of the portico, Choros and Minas shared their disbelief that members of the Covenant were still occupying the Keyship after all this time. Putting their shock aside, the two experienced warriors silently signaled to each other their next move. Simultaneously, they wheeled around their cover, unleashing a torrent of plasma at their assailants. Only two Jiralhanae survived and tried to flee out of the overgrown portico. Okro 'Vagaduun emerged from the shadows to decapitate one Jiralhanae and drive his sword into the back of the other in a single elegant motion.
Noticing that the weapons fire had ceased throughout the arcade, the remaining Banished troops regrouped to discuss what had happened. Minas asked Choros and 'Vagaduun what they thought. The Jiralhane Captain theorized that these Covenant had been ordered by the High Prophet to stay behind and protect the ship from intruders. They must have never given up their duty, living off of the vast stores of supplies the ship held. Zeretus joined them, the face of his hammer filled with bits of armor and flesh. After discussing the situation a bit further, Minas refocused them on the task at hand and had Choros continue to lead the group to where the crystal was held—the Adytum.
As they continued on, Minas contacted Bomarus back at the Phantoms, informing him to be wary as they now knew there were enemies aboard and telling him to prepare for a swift extraction. Fifteen Banished warriors had been lost in the firefight, mostly Kig-Yar and Unggoy. Leaving the arcade, the group came to a walkway that ended in three doorways. Choros led them through the rightmost door into a narrow transparent hallway suspended within the largest interior chamber yet. As they filed through the dimly-lit corridor, Minas could make out innumerable receptacles sitting in the gloomy depths below. They held specimens that would have been used to reseed worlds with life after the Halo Array's activation. Taken aback by the shear magnificence and power of the Forerunners and their technology, Minas admitted to himself that it was no wonder the Covenant had considered them gods. The corridor terminated at a well-lit circular balcony that held a small lift leading to the Keyship's drive controls—and the Adytum—suspended in the darkness hundreds of meters above them. Examining the lift platform, Minas realized that it was far too small to transport their entire force in a single trip, meaning that they would need to split up. Zeretus observed that the top of the lift would make for a perfect ambush location, with the Covenant loyalists knowing that the entire Banished force could not fit on the lift. Minas agreed but knew that they had no other choice. His team would ascend first and send the lift back for the next team when they knew the upper platform was clear.
Minas, Choros, and the remainder of his team stepped onto the lift and Itka activated its anti-gravity systems. As the platform gently accelerated upwards, Minas put a hand on Choros's shoulder saying, "We do this together, brother." His captain responded with a confident "Together." Minas resolved himself, knowing that if they died, it would be for a greater purpose. Before the lift came to a stop, his remaining warriors readied themselves to launch a fusillade of spikes and plasma bolts at whatever enemies surely awaited them. However, they only found an empty balcony much like the one they had just left. A single sealed door sat on the far wall of the balcony. The strike team stepped off of the lift and it immediately began its trip back to the lower balcony. Minas considered the possibility that they had destroyed all of the remaining Covenant during their skirmish in the arcade. Choros informed them that the sealed door led to the Adytum, their destination. Itka worked the door controls and the team took position, preparing for the ambush that surely must be waiting for them inside the last chamber.
In a few seconds, the door slid open to reveal a room equally devoid of Covenant. The well-lit spherical chamber was filled by tiered platforms lining its rounded walls. Each platform held terminals presumably used to perform all manner of duties. At the center of the room was the Adytum, an oblong bronze monolith that fell just short of touching both the floor and ceiling. Terminals and interfaces covered its exterior, accessible from the platforms resting along the room's walls. Choros and Itka immediately began the process of extracting the shards they sought from within the Adytum. Minas was beginning to believe that the threat had actually passed when the distinctive sound of impulse drives filled the room. Peering outside, the Chieftain was shocked to see two Covenant Phantom dropships approaching their position. Okro 'Vagaduun, nearing the top of the lift with his team, noticed it too and contacted Minas, assuring him that they would be there to assist. As the two dropships stopped at the platform and began offloading Jiralhanae and Kig-Yar troops, Minas contacted Zeretus and hold him to stay where he was and secure the bottom of the lift so that they could escape swiftly. Two more Phantoms could be seen approaching the platform as well. He then told Choros to hurry Itka along with the extraction of the crystal shards because they had Covenant incoming. Meanwhile, Minas had the rest of his team prepare to defend the chamber.
The first of the Covenant to enter the room was a team of Kig-Yar. Before they could process what they were seeing in the room, they were all cut down by a Banished barrage. Infuriated by the violent attack, the Covenant Jiralhanae charged into the room. The first few were easily dealt with, but as more and more streamed into the room it started to look bleak for Minas and his crew. Three Banished Jiralhanae dropped after being pierced by superheated spikes while two of the enemies lunged at Minas himself. Too close to use his pulse carbine efficiently, he smashed the weapon into the face of the first Jiralhanae, irreparably crumpling both the rifle and the head of the assailant. Moving around his fallen companion, the second attacker found Minas's shoulder lowered and forcibly planted into his midsection. The Chieftain could feel some of his attacker's bones breaking as he lifted him into the air and forced the twin bayonets of the Covenant soldier's own spiker into his throat. With a kick, Minas sent the bloody and limp warrior tumbling to the ground. He retrieved a plasma rifle from the floor and looked around to find that the fight within the Adytum chamber had slowed. He could only see two of his men still standing—Burekos and Sopruuz—and scavenging for weapons after the costly brawl. Minas could not see Choros or Itka in the room that was now filled with a haze of ballistic smoke and plasma gas.
He called out for Choros and eventually found him kneeling beside the body of Itka, who had been pinned to the wall by a series of hot spikes. The captain seemed to be paying homage to his lost companion. Minas was momentarily pleased that he would not have to perform a similar ritual for Choros. Looking out of the door at the lift platform, he could see 'Vagaduun and his Sangheili warriors battling the enemy Phantoms and ground troops. As he looked on, one of the dropships was struck by a Ravager blast, sending the vehicle careening into the murky depths below. Choros came up to him carrying a small onyx box and informed him that they had successfully retrieved the crystal. He opened the case to reveal three shards, each glowing with an intense blue light. However, the captain was more focused on the bodies of his fallen companions that littered the floor. Hoping to gain some wisdom, Choros asked Minas what it was that Atriox had told him when they first met. The Chieftain relayed what Atriox had said, telling his captain that everyone should die on their own terms for something that they truly believe in. He contemplated this until Minas closed the onyx case and pushed it back to Choros, telling him that they must hurry back to the lift before the blademaster's forces were overrun. Choros handed the case back to Minas, insisting that he be the one to deliver it to Atriox. Then, they ventured out onto the platform to regroup with the Sangheili.
By this time, only two enemy Phantoms remained and many of 'Vagaduun's men had fallen. The blademaster stood defiantly in the open, unleashing a torrent of plasma from the rifles he held in each hand. As Minas and his men made their way back to the lift, they could see six more dropships approaching in the hazy distance. Minas was stunned that so many Covenant remained on the Keyship. Choros used his skewer to eliminate one of the two Phantoms that were still assaulting the balcony. The team reached the lift platform and Choros began working at the controls. Just then, Minas heard a noise behind him. He turned to find a massive Jiralhanae carrying an immense gravity hammer. With a single swing, the bodies of Burekos and Sopruuz were flung from the platform. Minas fired his rifle at the Jiralhanae with little effect. The last three Sangheili warriors ignited their energy swords and lunged at the creature, prepared to sacrifice themselves so that the others could escape with the crystal. 'Vagaduun pulled Minas onto the lift just as Choros stepped off of it. Minas and the blademaster urged him to come back to the lift so that they could leave, but Choros refused. He realized that the incoming Phantoms would easily track the lift's descent and pick them off. Minas and 'Vagaduun would need a distraction. Before the Chieftain could respond, Choros slammed his fist onto lift's release, sending the two of them speeding back to the clerestory below.
As the platform above quickly shrank from their sight range, Minas and "Vagaduun could see plasma fire being exchanged between the six dropships and whatever Banished forces were still alive. At the bottom, Zeretus was shocked that only the two of them had returned. Contemplating the selfless sacrifices of Choros and the other warriors they had lost, Minas and the remaining strike team immediately rushed back the way they had came and out of the Anodyne Spirit. Presumably, Minas and the rest of the strike force made it back to their Phantoms without incident and delivered the crystal to Atriox, who would use the shards return to the galaxy in October 2559.
List of appearances