Tem'Bhetek

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Tem'Bhetek
TemTem.png
Biographical information

Birthplace:

High Charity[1]

Died:

Between August and December 2553[2][note 1]

Species:

San'Shyuum[3]

Gender:

Male[3]

Hair color:

Hairless[3]

Eye color:

Dark green/deep blue[3]

Political and military information

Affiliation:

Title:

Prelate[1]

 
"The spear was always in my back. I wish I'd felt it sooner."
—Tem'Bhetek to Rtas 'Vadum, acknowledging that his own kind had betrayed him[5]

Tem'Bhetek, commonly known simply as Tem, was a San'Shyuum Prelate of the Covenant's Ministry of Preparation. Serving directly under the Minister of Preparation, Tem was one of the most cunning warriors among the Prelates, furthering the High Prophet of Truth's plans to remove the Sangheili from the Covenant Empire. At the dawn of the Great Schism in November 2552, Tem and his fellow Prelates led Covenant forces against the Sangheili. However, the subsequent fall of High Charity resulted in the death of Tem's family and left him as the only surviving Prelate.[1]

After the Human-Covenant War, Tem and the Minister of Preparation sough revenge against the Swords of Sanghelios, whom he blamed for the death of his family, particularly Rtas 'Vadum who had led the Sangheili forces over High Charity.[6] Ultimately, Tem's pursuit for revenge left him betrayed by the Minister with the realization that 'Vadum was not responsible for his family's demise, leading to the Prelate sacrificing himself to aid 'Vadum and his allies.[2]

Biography

Early life and ministerial career

"We two are now three."
—Yalar'Otan'Elat's message to Tem'Bhetek, revealing her pregnancy[7]

Tem'Bhetek lived on High Charity, the holy city of the Covenant. Tem had been born to a bloodline that had grown too large due to overbreeding. Due to the San'Shyuum's limited population, Tem was placed on the Roll of Celibates to prevent his genes from being passed down. However, Tem was selected to become augmented as a Prelate supersoldier by the Ministry of Preparation. The Minister of Preparation, Boru'a'Neem, had Tem and fellow Prelates brought to the ministry's Sacred Promissory, where modified Forerunner machines altered the Prelates' genes and enhanced their mental and physical capabilities.[1] After the enhancements, Tem and the other Prelates underwent intense training at the Sacred Promissory, where they learned to control their augmentations.[8] Afterwards, Tem was able to petition for his removal from the Roll and he was even matched with a suitable female for reproduction: Yalar'Otan'Elat. The two fell in love and lived together in a tower in the lower districts. However, Tem's career as a Prelate often had him serving away from High Charity. Yalar eventually became pregnant with Tem's child.[1]

Upon the orders of the High Prophet of Truth, Tem and his fellow Prelates were assigned aboard older Covenant warships entrusted to particularly loyal Jiralhanae chieftains and their clans to aid in the emerging war with humanity in around 2525. Officially, the Prelates were to serve as technical advisers to the Jiralhanae to train them to use their newly acquired ships, though in reality they were tasked by Truth with refitting the surplus warships and training the Jiralhanae in preparation for the Hierarch's inevitable betrayal of the Sangheili.[9] Tem was assigned to the CRS-class light cruiser Spear of Light, where he spent many years training for battle against the Sangheili, often making trips to and from High Charity.[10] During one of the Prelate's many training missions, Spear of Light traveled to the Sangheili frontier colony of Duraan, where Duraan's unstable star emitted solar interference that caused the cruiser's energy shielding to deplete. The Prelate took note of this, and sought to apply it in the future.[11] Following the destruction of Halo Installation 04 in September 2552, the Sangheili were blamed for the loss of the holy ring and fell out of favor among the Covenant, leading to Tem and the other Prelates seemingly redoubling their efforts.[9]

Great Schism

Tem'Bhetek: "My family. Can they be saved?"
Minister of Preparation: "The Sacred Promissory is lost! Nothing lives inside the city now except the Flood! They're gone, Prelate! There is nothing you can do! Help me escape this place, and I swear, we will make the Sangheili pay for what they've done!"
—The Minister of Preparation lies to Tem'Bhetek to convince the Prelate to help him escape[12]

On November 3, 2552, when High Charity was in orbit over the Halo Installation 05, the Prophet of Truth gave the order for the Covenant to eliminate the Sangheili. At the time, Tem and other Prelates were aboard their ships and promptly engaged the Sangheili fleets in combat as the Great Schism began.[10] Just before the Great Schism began, Spear of Light was tasked with supporting the Sangheili-crewed CAS-class assault carrier Eternal Reward, along with two other Prelate-controlled cruisers and five Jiralhanae-crewed destroyers. Tem led the eight ships in attacking Eternal Reward; while the carrier was able to destroy all of its attackers with the exception of Spear of Light, Eternal Reward was badly damaged and its crew were forced to abandon the ship before the carrier was destroyed. Afterwards, Spear of Light was able to either destroy or disable six more Sangheili ships, two of which were cruisers of larger classes.[9] While the Prelates were successful in leading a surprise attack on the Sangheili, the Flood-infected frigate UNSC In Amber Clad suddenly entered High Charity and the Flood quickly began spreading throughout the city. Several Prelates retreated from the battle to aid in the evacuation of the San'Shyuum from the city as the Covenant was now forced onto the defensive.[10]

The evacuating San'Shyuum boarded ships and fled the battle and, initially, the Sangheili allowed the vessels to flee as they attempted to contain the Flood. However, as the Flood began to spread to High Charity's docking sector, Special Operations Commander Rtas 'Vadum of the assault carrier Shadow of Intent ordered for the destruction of all ships fleeing High Charity to prevent the Flood from spreading further. Shadow of Intent became the flagship of the Sangheili fleet and led High Charity's quarantine, preventing any San'Shyuum from escaping. Tem and the remaining Prelates devised a plan to engage and overwhelm the assault carrier with multiple cruisers as the carrier's accompanying ships had been dispatched elsewhere, though the Prelates did not have enough vessels in their fleet to accomplish this. As Tem began considering his family's status, he received the Minister of Preparation's call for rescue from High Charity. Spear of Light disengaged from the battle and the cruiser docked to High Charity. While he waited for the Minister to arrive, he contacted his family but received no response. Just as he considered abandoning his post to search for his family, the Minister and his Honor Guards arrived. Tem asked the Minister whether or not he had a chance to save his family; the Minister, seeking to escape High Charity to survive, lied to the Prelate and told Tem that the lower districts had been overrun by the Flood and no other San'Shyuum would have survived. In reality, Tem's family was likely still alive. Upon the Minister's insistence, they returned to Spear of Light and left the system,[10] breaking through the Sangheili blockade that had halted dozens of other San'Shyuum ships.[9] Spear of Light then rendezvoused with the surviving San'Shyuum, though Tem's family was not among them. In exchange for saving his life, the Minister promised to help Tem get revenge on the Sangheili, and on 'Vadum in particular as Tem blamed him for his family's death.[10]

Revenge against 'Vadum

Rtas 'Vadum: "If you want my ship, you'll need to be faster than that."
Tem'Bhetek: "As you wish."
—Rtas 'Vadum and Tem'Bhetek as they prepare to duel aboard Shadow of Intent[13]

With the end of the Human-Covenant War resulting in the collapse of the Covenant Empire, Tem and the Minister worked to get revenge on the Sangheili, along with the loyal Jiralhanae and Yanme'e crew of Spear of Light. Using coordinates gained at some point during the war from Truth, the two San'Shyuum departed from the rest of their species and were able to locate a Forerunner installation orbiting a rogue planet. Within the installation, they discovered a miniature, prototype Halo installation.[10] While Tem largely only sought revenge on 'Vadum, the Minister intended to capture and use Shadow of Intent to transport the ring to Sanghelios, where he would then utilize the carrier to power the ring to eradicate all life in the system.[14] Taking the Jiralhanae aboard Spear of Light, Tem traveled to the Sangheili frontier colony Rahnelo to attack the planet and gain the attention of the Swords of Sanghelios, which would lead to 'Vadum traveling to the planet to investigate. Upon arriving at the planet, Spear of Light orbitally bombarded the colony's spaceport and bastion compounds before the Prelate led Jiralhanae infantry to the planet's surface. While engaging the residents at Rahnelo's largest settlement, Tem captured Kaidon Tulum 'Juranai and his two eldest sons.[15]

Tem dueling 'Juran aboard Shadow of Intent

Bringing the captured Sangheili back to the installation, the Prelate witnessed the Minister test the Halo on the prisoners. The test proved successful and 'Juranai and his sons were disintegrated by the prototype Halo. After the test, the Minister had Tem move to capture 'Vadum and Shadow of Intent.[3] Returning to Duraan, Tem intended to use the interference emitted by the planet's dwarf star to disable Shadow of Intent's energy shielding, allowing Tem to enact his trap. Once in orbit over the planet, Spear of Light was spotted by Duraan's largely defenseless inhabitants. Tem allowed them to send distress signals to the Swords of Sanghelios to lead 'Vadum to the planet.[10] Three days later, Shadow of Intent arrived at Duraan. Spear of Light immediately destroyed the planet's largest settlement, leading to Shadow of Intent attacking to prevent further casualties. However, the carrier's energy shielding and plasma armaments were both rendered useless by solar interference. Spear of Light maneuvered towards Shadow of Intent and, when the cruiser passed closely by the carrier, Tem led the ship's complement of fifty Jiralhanae into escape pods. The escape pods abandoned Spear of Light and were directed towards a hangar bay of Shadow of Intent. Entering the carrier, Tem and his Jiralhanae engaged Sangheili forces. As the Prelate pressed on to engage 'Vadum at the bridge, he was attacked by Sangheili Rangers, Unggoy Ranger Stolt, and Tul 'Juran—the daughter of Tulum 'Juranai who intended to rescue her father and brothers after Tem had captured them. Tem had most of his Jiralhanae engage the Sangheili and Unggoy, while the rest followed him towards the carrier's bridge. Escaping the firefight, Tem and his remaining Jiralhanae soon encountered 'Vadum and Blademaster Vul 'Soran near the carrier's primary gravity lift. Before the Prelate could move towards 'Vadum, he was attacked by Stolt, 'Juran, and several Rangers. Tem became locked in a duel with 'Juran, where he revealed that her family had been killed. He managed to nearly kill 'Juran with her own energy lance, but his attack was blocked by 'Vadum. Overwhelmed by 'Vadum, Tem attempted to escape to the bridge, but he was knocked unconscious by 'Soran and Stolt.[8]

Tem was captured and placed in a holding cell on Shadow of Intent, while the remaining Jiralhanae were killed. The carrier's crew captured Spear of Light and analyzed its navigational database, where they discovered the coordinates to the Prelate's base of operations—the Forerunner installation. 'Vadum interrogated Tem in an effort to learn about the Prelate's intent. When Tem blamed 'Vadum for his family's death, the Sangheili insisted that the Minister of Preparation had lied to him and that his family was likely still alive by the time the Minister had Tem retreat from the city.[16] Deciding to travel to the coordinates to stop the San'Shyuum's plan, 'Vadum had only a small team remain aboard Shadow of Intent to carry out the operation. Arriving at the installation, 'Vadum and the team took two Type-52 Phantoms to travel to the installation, taking Tem along with them as a hostage under the watch of Stolt. However, as the dropships neared their destination, the installation released a pulse that damaged the Phantoms and injured several Sangheili. In the confusion, Tem stole a plasma pistol from an injured Sangheili Ranger and used the weapon to wound Stolt. Using the pistol to destroy the binds at his ankles, he then tricked 'Vadum into attacking with his energy sword which led to the Sangheili accidently cutting the binds around Tem's wrists. Using his armor's thrusters, Tem escaped the Phantom and traveled towards the installation.[17]

Betrayal and death

Tem'Bhetek: "You took my family from me."
Minister of Preparation: "You never would have had a family if not for me! I have listened to you endlessly mourn those two small deaths, but you have no idea how much value was lost!"
—Tem'Bhetek and the Minister of Preparation, after the Minister reveals that he had lied to the Prelate[18]

Pursued by 'Vadum and 'Juran, Tem managed to enter the installation's hangar, where he encountered the Minister and a group of Yanme'e. The Minister then stated that the installation was no longer stable and that another firing of the Halo could result in its destruction. However, the Minister revealed his plan to have Tem bring the Halo aboard Shadow of Intent to use at Sanghelios, which would result in his death. Tem, no longer certain of his trust in the Minister, requested the truth on his family's fate. The Minister admitted that he had lied and proceeded to argue that he had suffered a greater loss than the Prelate, having lost the Sacred Promissory. With the Prelate feeling defeated and empty, the Minister revealed that he had acquired more San'Shyuum willing to follow his orders. No longer having a need for Tem, the Minister ordered the Yanme'e to open fire on the Prelate. As Tem was heavily wounded by the Yanme'e, 'Vadum and 'Juran suddenly arrived at the installation, having heard part of the San'Shyuum's conversation, and mortally wounded the Minister. The Minister fled to safety and attempted to activate the Halo to kill all those nearby. While 'Vadum and 'Juran engaged the Yanme'e, Tem escaped from the fight.[4]

After most of the Yanme'e were killed and the survivors desperately sought shelter from the Halo's oncoming blast, the Sangheili searched for a way to end the Halo's activation. Meanwhile, Tem dragged himself to the shaft that led to the installation's power systems and had gathered a satchel of plasma grenades from a dead Yanme'e. 'Vadum and 'Juran encountered Tem, who admitted that he had been lied to and indicated his intention to destroy the installation. The two Sangheili fled the installation and Tem dropped the grenade satchel down the shaft. As the satchel's resulting detonation ensured in an explosion that destroyed the entire installation and all of its remaining occupants, Tem's last thoughts were of his wife and child.[2]

Personality and traits

"I don't know which one of us was the bigger fool—me for believing Truth's lies, or you for ignoring them."
—Rtas 'Vadum, to Tem'Bhetek[19]

Tem'Bhetek was a cunning tactician and a skilled warrior, aided by the augmentations to his mental and physical state provided by the Covenant Ministry of Preparation.[1] Every time Tem had made a miscalculation, he made a mental note of his error as a tool for self-improvement. This proved to be of use during his ambush at Duraan, where he used the knowledge and first-hand experience he had gained years earlier of the interference created by Duraan's sun to lure Shadow of Intent into a trap.[11] Tem was once a believer in the Covenant religion, though he lost his faith in the religion and its Great Journey sometime after the Human-Covenant War.[3] Upon the Covenant's destruction, the Minister of Preparation assured the Prelate that they were both equals. Despite this, Tem still found the need to kneel before him and was rarely as direct when speaking to the Minister.[20] Tem was also very careful and meticulous about choosing those who served directly under his command; in 2553, Tem had handpicked a pair of Jiralhanae to serve as his direct subordinates, having selected them for their strength and mental fortitude.[3] After Rtas 'Vadum informed Tem that all the Jiralhanae under the Prelate's command were killed after they refused to accept the Sangheili's terms of surrender, Tem claimed he would have killed the Jiralhanae himself had they done otherwise.[21]

Tem was deeply in love with his mate, Yalar'Otan'Elat. She had accepted that Tem's career caused him to be away more often than he was home, dishonest about his dealings with the Minister of Preparation, and uncertain whether or not that his augmentations would interfere with their chance to have a healthy child. Eventually, Yalar became pregnant with his child; the only reward Tem had wanted from his career as a Prelate was to have a complete family.[1] However, Tem was never able to even discover the gender of his child, as his entire family was lost when the Flood invaded High Charity. For the rest of his life, Tem regretted not being with his family at the time of their death, as he was unable to save them.[22] Believing his rage would prove useful in getting his revenge on the Sangheili,[4] the Minister of Preparation lied to Tem that Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum had created a pact with the Flood's Gravemind to attack High Charity, giving the Sangheili an excuse to destroy the San'Shyuum.[10] Just as the Minister had anticipated,[4] Tem developed a strong hatred for Sangheili, with 'Vadum in particular as he believed the shipmaster to be personally responsible for the deaths of his family. However, upon Tem's interrogation aboard Shadow of Intent, 'Vadum insisted that the Minister of Preparation had lied to Tem about his family's fate and claimed that it was likely his family was still alive while the Minister had said otherwise. After 'Vadum had sincerely apologized and showed genuine remorse for Tem's losses at High Charity, the Prelate began to question the Minister's motives and reflected that his personal matters no longer appeared black-and-white, but his anger was "growing stronger in the gray". After discovering the truth from the Minister, Tem felt empty and defeated, realizing he had the opportunity to save his family and confused as to why his apparent ally had lied to him despite the Prelate's continued loyalty.[4] Tem ultimately sought to redeem himself by sacrificing himself to destroy the Minister's Halo installation, while allowing 'Vadum and his allies to escape.[2]

After the Great Schism, he often suffered from nightmares of High Charity's fall—in which he would attempt to save his family from the Flood and rebelling Sangheili—though even in his dreams he could not succeed. Occasionally, his dreams involved 'Vadum or other Sangheili personally killing his family and taunting the Prelate. A common theme in his dreams involved Tem failing to discover the gender of his child.[22] As Tem became determined to get revenge on 'Vadum, he had memorized the entire layout of Shadow of Intent to the extent that he often found himself dreaming about sprinting through the carrier's corridors in pursuit of 'Vadum at the bridge.[8] Ultimately, Tem's last thoughts before his death were of his wife and child, and of the happiness, love, and contentment he once had attained.[2]

Skills and abilities

"We had their leader in our sights, but he moved too quickly—faster than anything I've ever seen. And then… he was gone."
—Tul 'Juran, referring to Tem'Bhetek[23]

Tem'Bhetek was an incredibly skilled and experienced combatant, atypical for a San'Shyuum. Tem was inducted into the Prelate order by the Ministry of Preparation, where he was physically, mentally, and genetically enhanced by the modified Forerunner machines of the ministry's Sacred Promissory.[1] Upon receiving his augmentations, Tem and his fellow Prelates experienced a long and hard training at the Sacred Promissory. Tem was able to "initiate" them while he was in combat as enhanced hormones surged through his body, enhancing his nervous system and musculature; Tem was able to efficiently fight in battle almost without thinking. However, Tem had learned to control his enhancements by ensuring that he did not "peak" too early or push the limits of his altered body, as the latter could result in sudden debilitating exhaustion, seizures, or rarely even death. Instead, Tem used his enhancements in short bursts when most needed.[8]

His enhancements were intended to allow him to defeat any foe in combat, including Sangheili and possibly even Spartan-II supersoldiers as the Minister of Preparation had hoped. Tem proved to be a skilled combatant against numerous Sangheili foes, managing to nearly kill Tul 'Juran and wounding Rtas 'Vadum in a duel, as well as having killed numerous Sangheili Rangers during his raid on Shadow of Intent[8] and many more Sangheili during his attack on Rahnelo.[15] His augmentations allowed him to move at high speeds and quickly charge opponents, while using his hard light shield to deflect accurate shots or his anti-gravity belt to avoid inaccurate ones.[8][15] In a close-quarters fight aboard a Phantom, Tem was able to escape despite being surrounded by several Sangheili warriors.[17] Tem was also an adept naval commander, and was successful in destroying or disabling CAS-class assault carrier Eternal Reward and six other Sangheili warships during the Great Schism over High Charity, having trained for the conflict for many years.[9]

Physical description

Tem'Bhetek was a hairless, slick-skinned San'Shyuum with eyes of two different colors, one dark green and the other deep blue. Once considered auspicious among San'Shyuum society, this genetic trait now marked Tem as a member of an overbred genetic line. Unwrinkled with pale gray skin, he was two decades younger than the Minister of Preparation.[3]

Equipment

As a Prelate, Tem'Bhetek donned vacuum-rated, battle armor created by the Ministry of Preparation's foundries. Equipped with personal energy shielding, the armor was composed of deep black plates that were light, though durable and strong. Interlocking bands of armor covered his neck and his helmet was smooth with a glazed, chevron visor.[10] The visor itself was equipped with low-level optics that allowed him to have some vision in dark environments and a motion tracker. Tem's armor had a reactive gel layer that provided protection from sudden acceleration.[8] The armor had thrusters that enabled him to move in zero-gravity environments with ease.[4] The armor featured self-repair systems that removed damage sustained by the armor within days.[10]

Tem armed himself with a Type-25 plasma rifle variant modified for Jiralhanae use.[10] In addition, he used a gauntlet that projected a bright blue, crescent-shaped hard light shield he could activate with the snap of his forearm after donning the gauntlet. The hard light shield was capable of also being used as a close-quarters weapon, as the shield's sharp, photonic edge was easily able to slice through armor and bone. To aid in maneuvering, Tem also equipped himself with an anti-gravity belt.[8]

List of appearances

Notes

  1. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent takes place in the year 2553, roughly a year after the Great Schism, placing the novella's setting in late 2553. Halo Mythos places the events of the novella on a timeline after the events that occurred in Halo: Last Light, which took place in July 2553. Furthermore, Shadow of Intent was occupied with missions from March to August 2553, meaning that the novella must take place no earlier than late August, but before the end of 2553.

Sources

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 28-30 (Google Play edition)
  2. ^ a b c d e Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 79-80 (Google Play edition)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 5-7 (Google Play edition)
  4. ^ a b c d e f Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 73-76 (Google Play edition)
  5. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 80 (Google Play edition)
  6. ^ Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Staten It Plainly
  7. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 29 (Google Play edition)
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 50-61 (Google Play edition)
  9. ^ a b c d e Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 44-46 (Google Play edition)
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 38-42 (Google Play edition)
  11. ^ a b Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 51 (Google Play edition)
  12. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 39 (Google Play edition)
  13. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 59 (Google Play edition)
  14. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 75 (Google Play edition)
  15. ^ a b c Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 19-21 (Google Play edition)
  16. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 63-65 (Google Play edition)
  17. ^ a b Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 70-71 (Google Play edition)
  18. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 76 (Google Play edition)
  19. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 63 (Google Play edition)
  20. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 10 (Google Play edition)
  21. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 62 (Google Play edition)
  22. ^ a b Halo: Shadow of Intent, pages 36-37 (Google Play edition)
  23. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 20 (Google Play edition)