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Rise To Honor - Part 10: Reunion
Posted By: Shadow<Shadowolf16@aol.com>
Date: 19 July 2002, 3:14 am

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He could hear his heart beat five hundred times harder and louder in his panging head. His chest was boiling, steaming in a red hot color. His head felt like it was about to explode. Everything was black, he couldn't see a thing. All of a sudden, at the thump of one of his heartbeats, an image of the Spartans came to him. They came running at him, guns blazing. The image slowly faded back to black. At the second image, he saw the face of Travion, laughing in a broken down apartment. It too faded out before he could make anything of it. Again, his heart thumped, and another image appeared before him. It was the face of 5 children, one of them being him. They were playing king of the mountain. He was at the top, pushing the other four down to the bottom, laughing and playing. The heart thumped again, but the image did not disappear this time. Instead, a female scientist could be seen, walking up to him with a gun. He shot them all dead, including himself. His mind screamed even more in pain as he saw himself fall in a large puddle of hot red blood. He screamed out to his fallen body, pain rising up within him.


He rose up immediately. He was panting heavily, everything was a blur. Everything was dark, but the light from the moon coming in the from the window illuminated the situation a bit. He looked about him. He was in a bed, a familiar one...a familiar look, a familiar scent. His clothes were thoroughly soaked through in sweat, beads of the stuff still rolling down his face and arms. He looked around his bed. There on the wall to his left was a door ajar, more diminutive light flooding into the room. On the right wall were two posters suspended halfway up. One of a wolf's head with a dark gray pelt, dark black eyes, staring mysteriously back at him. The other was of two wolf, caught in the midst of running side by side, snow flying up behind them. The front wall was completely blank, except for his grappling pistol and his custom sniper rifle. A flash of recognition ran through him, and his mind once again zoomed back to his childhood days. He and 4 others were once again playing king of the hill. But this time, a military soldier took them all to a far away base. He sighed. He knew where he was.

He swiveled his hips, and brought his legs down to the ground. The carpet felt soft under his callous feet, warm and cuddly. But stood up, and realized that he was only in his baggy pants. His wolf shirt was gone, and all his equipment had disappeared. He was so used to the weapons on his back that moving through the room felt like floating on clouds. Everything felt so light. Even then, his back still screamed out in immense pain, and he had a slight limp in his walk.

He walked out of his room. Immediately, bright light flashed at him. He was momentarily blinded, and he brought up his right arm to stop the light from hurting his eyes. His arm immediately felt like it had fallen off, and he dropped it back down. Looks like he still had the wounds from the recent battle. Wait, was it recent at all? How long had he been in this safe haven? He had questions to be answered, and he had old friends to meet again. He limped through the hall. He could hear loud laughter from the room up ahead. He slowly limped through the hallway, looking around. Everything was the same...always the same. He smiled and walked into the room. The laughing and loud talking faded away, and all four of the people at the table stared at him. Az, Jan, Cal, and Geb.

First, there was Az. She was a hard, tough assassin. She was quiet and always wore black. He always had one hand on the handle of her pistol, ready to strike at anyone to attack her or her comrades. She was much like him, the warrior type, the type that always kept cool. She sat in the back, and stared blankly at him, as she didn't even know him. She was cold on the outside, but once you got to know her, she was quite the caring person for those she was friends with.

Then there was Cal. He was the normal cynical type of guy. He was a pilot, and one hell of a crack one at that. He could drive anything from a full-fledged battlecruiser to the smallest fighter without any transition problems. But the problem was that he looked at everything in the worse possible case scenario. If the ship ran out of ammo for one of its guns, he'd think that the ship would blow up that second. If he was shot in the leg, he would think that there was no chance of survival. If he crashed in one of his ships and managed to pull out of it alive, then he'd give up any chances of being rescued. But hey, he made some great jokes in his cynicism.

There was Jan, a loud one. She was the mechanic of them. She was so good at that stuff that she could wire a Covenant ship to blow up using a mere COM communicator. That's how good she was. During the days before he had left the team, she would normally spend most of her time in the launch bay, working on tweaks for the ships and vehicles. Man, with the proper tools and equipment, she could get a 12 meter scanner to project an EMP blast across an entire city. He had seen it before, and had been there when it happened. She was also a crack hacker. She could hack through any system within the given amount of time she had. You give her a quadruple coded, military frequency, a triple H.A.C.K-RTS Firewall, and even a computer counterattack hacking system, she could get through it within five minutes. She was a bit odd and quite jumpy though.

Then there was Geb. He was the normal type of guy. He didn't talk too much, but he wasn't as quite as Az or Shadow. He was sort of the leader of the group once they got together, and it wasn't self proclaimed. No, he was quite the humble guy, but his leadership skills, and his great planning enabled him to lead the team in and out flawlessly. Nobody really argued with his judgement except Shadow on a few occasions, one being the reason for his leaving. Really, he was the best planner, the greatest leader, and a cool guy.

And him? He, of course, was the sniper of the group. His description is pretty much self explanatory throughout the recent events. Well, how did all these guys get so good at what they did? One word, and one number. Spartan III. They were all part of the Spartan III project, the project that was supposed to succeed the original project in sending out crack troops to stop the Covenant in their tracks. But the government got sloppy and recruited a few bad apples, the 5 here to be more explicit. They were the best at what they did. No one could outmatch them, but they always kept to themselves. All of them. None of the other trainees liked them. They were both jealous and scared of them. After a few ensuing events, they decided to stick together. Even though they had made their own group, they were still the rogues of the entire project. Besides, they all hated authority, and thought that anarchy brought out the best in soldiers. So before all the soldiers went through cybernetic enhancements like the first batch of Spartans, the 5 were able to break out. All the others died from the experiments, and the Spartan III project was considered a major failure in scientific and military attempts to help mankind. But the 5 survived, and created their own way of profit: they became mercenaries, known as the Black Wolves. They worked for whoever was willing to pay for them, and they were the best group of soldiers saved for the few original Spartans to make it out. But by far, the 5 were more talented, being faster, stronger and more intelligent than the first Spartans. But they lacked the fine-tuned training, the drug and cyber enhancements, and the MJOLNIR armor. Even then, though their abilities and team work seemed to be up to par with the Spartans. How could this be measured? Well, they often did many jobs for the government before it took its break and defected to the Covenant side. Even then, they kept their escape a secret, otherwise, they'd be locked up forever. So they fought side-by-side with the Spartans, fighting to stop the Covenant, and eventually the Government as well. All was going well until Shadow and Geb got into an enormous argument about authority. Geb tried bossing Shadow around, and Shadow wasn't going to have any of it, being the rogue of even their mercenary group. Without going into much detail, Shadow left the group and came up with his own assassin job, alone. The fight wasn't really all that serious, but even small things tend to escalate and separate a group. But feelings were mutually friendly now, and the group was apparently back together now. Cal finally broke the eerie silence with a slightly humorous comment.

"So, how's it going sleeping beauty?"
"Fuck off before I blow your head off."
"Haha! Still the moody Shadow," Cal responded.

Az decided to intervene before things went from bad to worse again.

"So, how are the wounds?"
"I don't know, you tell me."
"Well, from our care of yours, you had quite a few heavy caliber bullets in your back, shrapnel wounds to you arm, and your leg there got shot up a few times. All things considering, you did a great job. I can even walk now without collapsing on the ground."

He smirked a little. Technology these days had greatly accelerated to accommodate the healing of the nearly dead soldiers that fell in battle. Good thing they were still highly paid mercenaries, or he'd be dead now. He had heard of their continuing success throughout the underground cities and stuff like that.

"So, where's my wolf shirt?"

Cal responded in an equally dark voice.

"Well, it got shredded up completely. Want one of ours?

He really didn't want it, but it was better than nothing. Plus, they had saved his ass...the least he could do was be a bit gracious to them. All of a sudden, Jan chimed in.

"Why are you guys talking about SHIRTS? I mean, isn't that supposed to be a girl thing?"

Cal smiled and held up a plate with a nice slice of pie on it.

"Yes. Thank you. Thank you all. I'm grateful that you came to save my ass."
"Hehe...you've saved ours enough times, it was time that we repay our debt."

He smiled, Geb was right. All of a sudden, a beep came on Jan's COM system. She jumped off he chair, and frantically pressed a few buttons on her system as if the world's fate depended on it. Yup, the same old hyper Jan. She pointed the vid screen towards a larger screen suspended above the table, and a screen of John-117 came up.

"Hello Dark Wolves. It seems you guys are back together again."
"Geb, I've killed our tracing TTS's, so those fuckers can't track us."
"No no. I don't want Shadow. He's fine where he is. He's helped us out numberous times, to put a bounty on his head would be improper. Well, since the team is back together, I was wondering if you guys could do another job for us.

Geb returned a say.

"Times have changed fuck head. But I'll listen to what you have to say."
"Well, the military has lost many bases and ways of financial and other support. Recently, the government, along with the Covenant has taken New York City. We had many factories and other forms of support there. It would mean a great deal to us if you guys made a return to the battlefield for Man's survival, and help us destroy a few key government leaders."
"How much?"
"5 bil."

Shadow nodded to the others as they looked to him to see if he agreed. He was, after all, back with the group again. He smiled and turned back to the Spartan.

"Fine. Upload info to us about when we do this, where we meet before the strike, full blueprints of every structure in city, as well as blueprints of the city itself. I also want exact specifications of what the mission parameters will be."

The Spartan looked down on-screen, and a few beeps could be heard from his side of the transmission.

"Done. Pleasure working with you guys again."

Shadow watched as the screen flicked off. Working with the Spartans again...what fun....