Ripa observed Neerg as he moved to engage the oncoming platoon. He had potential, but was still, for the most part, a space-pup. His failure's were expected, of course, as the Arbiter knew full well how resourceful these Human's could be. To add into the equation was how Neerg was relatively . . . new, to ground combat. Sangheili were meant to embrace such a concept, yet Neerg seemed to shun it and condemn it. He also followed every protocol to the letter, which showed he either lacked creativity, or the wisdom to use it.
He was profficient with an energy blade, true enough, but he did not wield it to any great standard of quality. Or maybe rage simply overcame him. The latter was a good-bad omen, as Ripa knew how to and when to utilize his emotion's. Primal fury was a great aspect of the Arbiter, but he kept it on a short leash to say the least. The Arbiter decided to leave Neerg to himself and see if he was worthy of his rank, or not. The Arbiter to start with had been a normal Sangheili, but upon ataining his rank he quickly found his epic skill's and strategy.
In space, the Convenant easily dominated, but on the ground Humanity seemed to have some sort of edge. They were far more intelligent and creative than the Convenant gave them credit for and this was obviously the biggest flaw in their thinking. He knew how two Human's and a 'Warthog' were more than a match for a Type-47 Heavy Weapon's Platform and how a single Human could easily defeat a squad of Grunt's. The Convenant was too strick and freestanding, they needed to utilize more advanced strategem's and to be more flexible.
The Arbiter was successful because he stood apart from the majority of the Convenant in that respect, but whilst he could order unit's where and when, he could not get the message across on how to operate once they arrived. They simply stood in a line or used cover and fired. No flanking, no basic strategy, just head on combat. No Sangheili could ever best a Spartan and even the Arbiter was only their equal. He was awakened from his thought's as a plasma bolt whizzed past his head.
He whirled on his heel to face three Marine's all in a spread formation. One was equipped with a Plasma Carbine, whilst the other's utilized standard battle rifle's. A nearby Kig-Yar jumped to aid the Arbiter, only to be shot in the head. The Arbiter cought his wrist-shield and attatched it to his wrist, activating it just in time to defend against another salvo. He drew an energy pike from a nearby weapon dispenser, which had only moment's before landed from space and advanced. He held the pike out from the indent in the side of the shield, ready to deal with the Human's.
Suddenly a small beep echoed in the Arbiter's ear's as a small metallic dish on the ground radiated a fierce crimson. He cursed aloud as the shockwave struck him, sending him flying into a nearby stack of crate's. The shield offered no protection as the explosion sheared through it's defensive layer. Upon impact the Arbiter backflipped and landed on his knee and foot, then lurched forward anew. He drew two Spiker's from his waist harness and leapt over the Human's, front flipping as he went. As soon as he faced down upon them he extended his arm's and open fired, sending them to the floor.
One survived and drew a Sidearm, firing it profusely at the Arbiter as he hit the ground. The small pellet's threw him off balance, giving the Human enough time to recover and grab the fallen Plasma Carbine. A quick salvo to the Arbiter's chest was more than enough to enrage him, as he advanced upon the lone Human. The shield's pulsed as he came closer, unarmed, to the Human. The Carbine fell uselessly from the Human's grip as he sank backward's, desperate to find some salvation in a nearby fallen weapon. He found none, as the Arbiter's gloved hand closed around his neck and drew him from the floor.
He applied pressure to the Soldier's neck, until he heard a satisfying click. The body fell limp and lifeless, eye's still contorted in terror and mouth open as if in a silent scream. He cast the body from the rooftop and watched as the form shrunk from his view. A small blast of smoke signified the bodies crash as the Arbiter cocked his head uneasily. Ripa quickly turned and leapt from the rooftop onto a huge meadow outside the village. As he moved away from the battle he cast a look one last time at Neerg, shook his head and departed.
Grand Admiral of the Imperial Remnant.
"This one is constantly thinking, analyzing, strategizing. He showed no fear, but was curious, studying me in turn."
"All thoughts are worth listening to, whether later judged to be of value or not."
"I have no qualms about accepting a useful idea merely because it wasn't my own."
"Butů it was so artistically done."
―Thrawn's last words