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Rise To Honor - Background
Posted By: Shadow<Shadowolf16@aol.com>
Date: 11 June 2002, 6:45 pm

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NOTE: This first part doesn't have much to do with Halo or the Covenant, and really only serves as a background, but hang with me, it'll get closer to the storyline later.

The city lights were bright and powerful. The would-be pitch-black sky was illuminated by the city lights and bustling. Hover cars zoomed about in the sky highways above the ground level of the city. The city was mostly vertical, where there were many levels of streets. 1st street would be grounded, while Second Street would be suspended a few hundred feet above. Bars were inhabited by the worse kind of scum that ever roamed the planet. The apartment buildings always littered the area, and police sirens would constantly go off. One could see many military vehicles going about, searching for something, or just traveling through the city to reach somewhere else in the world. Pelican transports could be seen zooming past the other hover cars, sometimes recklessly. What was this place? New York City during the time of a great crisis. People walked to and fro on their personal accounts, doing their own thing, sometimes without a worry in a world. Even in the dark shadow looming over the entire planet, threatening to attack and destroy them all, the people constantly strived to keep their everyday lives normal. What was going on? One word. Covenant. They were the ones that had attacked the colonies, and the Earth. The SPARTANS were said to be the saviors, the ones that would save Earth from invasion and complete destruction. They failed. It is rumored that one or two had survived the initial impact of attacks from the Covenant, but most people dismissed them as myths, and others dismissed the SPARTANS as failures. The Covenant had taken about 2/3 of the world now. Millions, even billions had been slaughtered, all on a religious account. The Covenant's religion played the biggest role in their intent on destroying all life on Earth. Seemed kind of random and stupid, but hey, whatever works for them. Most of the military had been crushed, and only a few remnants were left in the world. The government drove many out. Consumed by their greed in politics, they had organized their own group to replace the somewhat renegade military. Imagine that, the government troops replacing the mainstay of the Earth's military might. One might guess what happened. The military didn't listen to the government, and it became their downfall, for the government wasn't going to take such crap. That's why they had the military disbanded. The military fought back, and while the two groups were busy fighting each other, the Earth was apparently left wide open for attack. The Covenant, being intelligent beings decided to take advantage of this. To counter this problem, seeing the fate of the Earth ahead of time, the government decided to join forces with the Covenant. So, now the beaten military lead by one man had to fight both the Covenant and the traitorous government to defend the lives of all the civilians on Earth. One could predict the outcome. Now Earth was struggling to hold their last 1/3 of the planet, and they weren't going a very good job.

So what does any of this have to do with the city scene? Well, the one man that leads the military wouldn't be here if it wasn't for one mysterious man that had helped fight against the Covenant. He wasn't a mercenary, and he wasn't part of the military...just a renegade that fought without a purpose. He had disappeared in the later half of the war, but now this man has returned, for a second bout with the Covenant.

There was a bar on the corner of 4th street. It was dark and gloomy, and didn't get the best business, but it was great for those that didn't want to be seen or revealed. Whether it was to hide from the police, or an AWOL soldier, it was just a great place to get away from the rest of the world.

Unknown, melancholy music was played in the background, fitting the feel of the bar very perfectly, and even contributed to the dark feel. The bartender was leaning back on a stool, looking about, apparently bored. There were 4 people at the tables, 2 of them playing cards, and the other watching while drinking his ale. The fourth one leaned in a dark corner of the bar, staring out at them. He was barely visible, but a silhouette of his figure could be vaguely seen. His jet-black eyes darted around, searching the place, always on alert. Two other men walked in the bar, the electronic bell ringing as the broken door creaked open. The bell was useless, and it was a wonder that the bartender didn't just take it down and sell it, for the creak of the door was loud enough to tell that someone was coming in. The two figures that walked in were dressed in complete black, and masks were thrown over their faces. The bartender knew what they wanted, and didn't even twitch a muscle. The one of the left began to speak.

"I want all the money you have right now!"

The robber held up a large pistol, custom fitted without a scope. He held it to the bartender's head, and clicked back the hammer.

"Yes. Give us the money, or I'll blow your brains out!"

The bartender was about to get the money when two loud shots were fired. The sounds were in tandem, fired in perfect unison, one right after the other. The instant the sounds came, the two robbers lost their heads. One head went flying out the window, making a loud crash, while the other just flopped down and rolled on the ground. The bodies both merely crumpled to the ground. Blood splurted all over the place as the robbers lost their heads and lives. The fear-stricken bartender returned to his senses and slowly got up, blood spots all over his shirt and face. Where had the shots come from? Back in the dark corner, the silhouette of the figure leaning there had a gun still pointed out at where the fools had fallen. The gun was still smoking. He slowly lowered it, and holstered it again. A second later, the electronic bell rang again and another person came in. He was dressed in a dull green shirt, and puke yellow pants. He ran over to the corner, looking to the fallen bodies for a second, but overall, ignoring them. It seemed he was used to that type of thing. He handed a small, square disk to the figure in the shadows, and left without a word between them. The bell sounded again as he opened the door to leave, and walked out.

The dark figure placed the disk into a slot in a device attached to his arm. A screen lit up, and a message scrolled down as the disk was put in. The figure carefully read it, and then turned it off, pulling the disk out and putting it into his pocket. He slowly walked out of the shadows, and the light illuminated the figure that was hidden in the shadows the entire time. He was a little short, but very strong. He was Chinese, not that ethnicity mattered anymore in the great scheme of things. What with the covenant and all, bigotism shifted from interracial to interspecies. It was strange how the human species always needed something to generalize against. He wore baggy, black jeans. They were real, not synthetic, as most clothes were these days. He wore a black, sleeve shirt, with a picture of a white wolf on its back. He had two straps over his shoulder, crossing over each other at his chest. One strap held a normal assault rifle, with a silenced muzzle. The other strap held a long sniper rifle, a rare prototype that most didn't see in the city. He had a pistol strapped to his left thigh, and a small pack that undoubtedly held electronics and explosives. He slowly began to head to the door, his jet-black eyes continuing in the wariness. The other men sitting at the tables stared at him, as if he was Kroeger himself or something. The bartender had fully recovered from the shock, and spoke up.

"You have another job?"
"Yes, this time it's the mayor."
"Alright, I won't tell anyone, as always."

In response to the bartender's last comment, he nodded and left the building, heading towards his small hovercraft.