Halo timeline: Sesa 'Refumee learns the truth about the Halo Arrays

In the last article, we saw how the Master Chief and his allies successfully managed to destroy Alpha Halo before it could be used to cleanse the galaxy of life.

Complete Halo timeline series

In this one, we'll go over a major event that precedes Halo 2: the discussion between the Sangheili Sesa 'Refumee and 343 Guilty Spark.

September 21, 2552 CE (Current Era): Guilty Spark flees

With his Halo Array destroyed and the Master Chief gone, there was ultimately no reason for 343 Guilty Spark to stay near the site of Alpha Halo. Knowing this, he chose to flee to the nearby gas giant Threshold, where a team of Covenant soldiers were currently securing a Forerunner gas mine. Hoping to ally with the Covenant and use their obsession with Forerunner technology as an advantage against his human enemies, he arrived with peaceful intent, and was greeted by Sesa 'Refumee, the Covenant team's leader.

'Refumee began to speak about the Great Journey, but Guilty Spark cut him off, explaining that the Halo rings were not gateways to paradise, but instead weapons of mass destruction. Speechless at this, 'Refumee chose to immediately sever communications with the nearby Covenant fleet until he had finished speaking with Spark.

An extensive history lesson

Wishing to understand the Covenant better, Spark asked 'Refumee to outline the history of the Covenant empire. One of the main areas that 'Refumee spoke about was how the mantle of Arbiter turned from a position of power and nobility to one of shame. The Arbiters were once the leaders of the Sangheili species on the field, but after one of them had dared to question the word of the San'Shyuum (Prophets) things changed.

Following this event, becoming an Arbiter meant that you were pledging yourself to taking on extremely dangerous tasks deemed critical to the Great Journey's success. The chance of death on these missions was high, but because they were important, Arbiters could regain the honor they lost (usually from challenging the word of the San'Shyuum) by dying attempting to complete them.

Deception exposed

After hearing of all this, Guilty Spark pointed out that the Arbiter system was being used by the San'Shyuum as a way to silence and shame Sangheili who questioned authority. Though the Sangheili are very intelligent, they didn't realize this themselves due to their extreme faith in the Covenant religion.

Realizing that Spark was right, 'Refumee conveyed this sentiment to the rest of his team at the gas mine. Afterwards, he began broadcasting a special transmission across all Covenant frequencies that said that the San'Shyuum were liars and that the Great Journey doesn't exist. Knowing that the Covenant would respond with military force, 'Refumee's last step was to start fortifying the gas mine with infantry positions and anti-air guns.

As expected, the Covenant did indeed respond — with a covert strike team led by a brand new Arbiter...

Your thoughts

What do you think about the history behind the title of Arbiter? Let me know. If you're looking to enjoy some Halo gaming content, make sure to check out the releases below.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.