Halo 5 fans wondering what The Arbiter has been up to since signing a peace treaty with Admiral Hood and returning to Sanghelios (the Elite homeworld) need look no further than the Halo novels. Imagine that after thousands of years of training an alien race for military positions, the system that required those positions collapses leaving the majority of those aliens jobless. Then imagine that as a result of that collapse, most of that race’s labor force, comprised of other alien races, dries up leaving no training manuals behind. So far not good right? Now imagine that these same aliens have been hard-core religious for thousands of years and they just found out their religion is bull. This sums up what has been happening with the Elites since the end of the Covenant war with the humans.
Since returning to his homeworld, The Arbiter has had the unpleasant task of meeting with Elite leadership to gather support for the treaty. This task is complicated by Elite distrust of the humans. Many Elites still cling their religious beliefs despite proof that the Forerunners were not gods. Told by the Prophets that humans are dishonorable and should be killed because they desecrated Forerunner ruins, Elites approached the duty of killing us with zeal during the war. Despite the Arbiter’s arguments that the war was started on false pretenses, many Elites wish to keep fighting the war against the humans as war is easier than facing the full scope of the Prophet’s lies. General anger and disillusionment have led to an Elite civil war with The Arbiter and his supporters fighting against a large Elite faction of religious zealots.
So why is all this important? Because another war could mean the end of the Elite race or the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Elites and humans. The Infinity was stealthily deployed by the UNSC to park in the atmosphere of Sanghelios. Easily visible from the ground, the Infinity was Admiral Hood’s show of support for the Arbiter. What else might the UNSC and ONI send if they perceive that the Arbiter’s side is in danger of losing the Elite civil war? Maybe some Spartan help in the form of John-117. As the situation on Sanghelios is extremely delicate and few humans are allowed to set foot on the Elite homeworld, Master Chief seems a good choice if the UNSC wants to send ground support. Some other possibilities for another epic team-up would include the Prometheans, the Pre-cursors and the Flood.
The Prometheans, a race that existed alongside the Forerunners and were composed by the Didact, were introduced in Halo 4. While Master Chief and Cortana may have killed the Didact and destroyed Requiem, the Prometheans numbered in the millions when the Didact composed them. Who knows where they spread to while the Didact was in stasis. It should also be mentioned that the Prometheans were willingly composed. They volunteered out of intense loyalty to the Didact and now that he’s dead, it seems likely that they will seek revenge. The Didact viewed the Composer much like the Pre-cursors viewed the Flood, a final solution to create the perfect race. Though the Didact welcomed Covenant aliens into his ranks, if he had succeeded in composing all of humanity, the Covenant would probably have been next. Should the Prometheans pick up where the Didact left off, the Covenant races are as much at risk of being composed as humanity.
Should the Prometheans feature as Halo 5‘s villains, there’s a good chance that we’ll see another Arbiter/Master Chief army of two. A mutual enemy would sway more Elites into supporting the peace treaty, well, that and the reality of their current circumstances. Elites depended on the Covenant for supplies, weapons, ships and the means to maintain them. Now cut-off from their supply line and struggling to rebuild their society without scientists, tech guys, doctors, lawyers, policemen, etc…Elites may have little choice but to lean on a friend for help. That friend could be the humans whose ranks have taken a heavy toll over the course of the Covenant war. Another war with another alien race could be mutually beneficial. Humans could help build infrastructure to stabilize the Elites while the Elites would provide humans with a highly trained army and access to any Covenant tech they still have.
Who is the other likely villain of Halo 5 if not the Prometheans? The Pre-cursors and their creations, the Flood. Though the Prometheans seem more likely as the bad guys of Halo 5 the Flood are prolific and infectious. If the extremely advanced and intelligent race of Forerunners were made extinct by the Flood, it’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of them. Another bout with the Flood or the Pre-cursors could also lead to a Master Chief/Arbiter team-up. It has before. The Arbiter is nearly as skilled, strong and intelligent as Master Chief making him one of the Elite’s best warriors and more likely to be sent on black ops missions against the Flood which are Master Chief’s specialty.
Would you like to see Master Chief and the Arbiter fight side by side once more? What are your thoughts about what you’d like to see in the next Halo 5? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.