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Rise To Honor - Part 2: The Mission
Posted By: Shadow<Shadowolf16@aol.com>
Date: 22 June 2002, 7:45 pm


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The hoverbike slowly came into the alley where Shadow had once called it before the assassination. It slowly lowered in a satisfying hum, and deactivated. He jumped off the bike, and un-strapped his rail gun and his assault rifle. He'd cause too much attention walking about with that type of weaponry out in the crowds. He placed them on the ground with his right hand, while opening up a console with his left. He pressed a code into the console, a storage compartment door opened. He placed both weapons in the compartment, and it whooshed shut, the console beeping twice to indicate that the compartment was now locked and password protected. He kept his pistol and his sack of explosives and engineering equipment with him just in case. He poked his head out of the alley, looking left, then right. No one. He walked out and immediately blended himself in with the crowds on 4th street. He was invisible to anyone following him now, although he doubted that anyone suspect that he was the killer of the mayor and the Covenant. About halfway across 4th street, he turned left and pressed a few buttons on a console. The console made a loud beeping sound each time he pressed a button. When he was finished, the entire console blinked, and a large, semi-transparent, public elevator came down to a position behind a set of doors next to the console. The doors slowly opened with a loud swoosh, and Shadow walked in, the doors closing behind him. It would have been faster, and easier to take the stairs adjacent to the elevator, but most people didn't use the stairs unless there was an emergency. Thus, by taking the stairs, he'd most likely cause some attention by the crowds, and many may notice the pistol that was attached to his left thigh. The elevator hummed as it floated up to 6th street, its anti-grav generators pushing the platform methodically. The elevator finally came to a stop, and the outer doors swung open. He casually walked out and walked about three-quarters across 6th street, and into another discrete alley. The city was full of these things, and the common people stayed out of those alleys, knowing that gangs and bounty hunters usually gathered there. The cops or the military never bothered to bust anyone in the alleys, for the scum would just return within a few days.

This particular alley seemed to have nothing in it, but it was a no-mans land for anyone that valued his or her lives. Shadow was notorious in the city, and everyone knew that his hideout entrance was somewhere in that alley. Everyone knew that he was the best assassin in the city, and no one wants to just walk into the lion's den. He smiled as he walked up to a brick that was in the middle of the dead-end wall. It looked exactly like the others, and he needed to count from the end blocks to figure out which one it was. Exactly 14 blocks in. He was lucky that some alleys still used bricks as their walls. Most alleys used pure steel now, and hiding a console in one of those would be very hard. He pressed the block in three places, the top-left, top-right, and dead center. The block protruded from the wall. On the top of the block was a console. He entered in a 5-digit code, and the console silently blinked twice. The brick returned to its normal position within the wall, leaving no evidence that anyone had done anything in the alley.

He walked out of the alley, back into 6th street, went back to the elevator, and back down to 4th street, almost completely backtracking his steps from before. But instead of going back to the alley where his hoverbike was, he kept going for a few more blocks, and walked back into the rusty old bar that he usually hung out at. The bartender had already finished cleaning up the mess of the two attempting burglars, and had changed his bloodstained shirt to a nice clean one. The three men playing that were cards before were still there, but had finished their game and were just telling stories of their past adventures. He walked back behind the bar to a hall where the restrooms were. The hallway was short, the women's bathroom on the right, and the men's bathroom on the left. But at the end of the hall was an open console, just waiting to be accessed. The console wouldn't have been showing at all if he hadn't activated it from the console in the alley on 6th street. A clever way to elude any marauders that wanted to attack him. So most thought that his hideout was in that alley on 6th street, but it was really only a remote access point. He walked up to the console and pressed in another 5-digit key code. As always, the console blinked twice, and a door to the right of the console lifted up with a quick whoosh. The door was normally camouflaged to match the ancient wood color of the bar, but it was really only a holographic image to make the door look like the rest of the hallway. He walked through the doorway, and the door immediately slammed shut behind him, and a small hatch closed over the console, leaving no evidence at all in the hallway. The entire process was quite complicated, and often got annoying, but it was necessary for an assassin of his level and status to keep his base of operations a secret. He walked to another door, with a small camera right in a corner above it. The camera tracked the movement of Shadow, watching his every move.

"EVA, just let me in, you know it's me."
"Ah, Ah, Ah! We must make sure of that. Now hold out your hands."

A small, nondestructive laser came out of the camera that was watching him, and scanned his retinal and fingerprint signatures. With the activation of the laser came a little squeak of slight startup malfunction, and after the laser finished, it blinked on and off a few times before completely shutting off. It seemed that the laser was having problems. He'd need to get a replacement when he had the chance.

"You've been recognized as Shadow. Welcome back."

Shadow nodded as the camera deactivated and the door swung open. He walked in to a dark room lit with just a few red, emergency lights. As he took a few steps in, EVA deactivated the red lights, and green and blue lights took their place. The place was still dark, and that's how he liked it. Nice and dark. The blue lights highlighted all sensory and recon information as well was blueprints of various targets, while the green lights highlighted all the mission preps, weapon schematics, and strategy information. The entire base was a small room, a little smaller than the bar room itself. The place was a complete mess, littered with fruit-bartis cans, food cases, and empty weapon clips. All these things were strewn in with piled maps, books, malfunctioning equipment, and clothing.

Shadow stepped over some of the junk, and went towards the mission prep, overlighted with a green light. He was wondering if anyone had another job for him. As he activated the console, he felt something behind him. Who else could be in the room? Well, he certainly wasn't going to find out the hard way. He spun around, pulling out his pistol at the same time. Holding it sideways, one eye closed. His jet-black eyes jerked around, searching for the presence. They focused on something leaning on his chair, holding not a weapon, but a disk. Shadow's eyes immediately softened, and he lowered his gun.

"Travion, you really have to stop coming in like this. I know that EVA allows you in, but the least you can do is tell me that you're in here! I could have shot you!"
"Stop yelling, Shadow. You'll cause the neighbors to be curious."
"Bah, the windows are closed. Either way man, it's good to see you again."
"Likewise. But I didn't come here just for the friendship. I have a mission for you."
"Always getting straight to business. That's my Travion. So What's the job?"
"This job is for the military."
"Fuck, you know that I don't want to get involved with those guys anymore."
"Yes, but this mission is important. It involves recent arrival of..."
"Lemme guess. Covenant?"
"Yes."
"Shit. I hate those fuckers."
"Me too. But the mission is to exterminate an entire Covenant base. If you succeed, then the Covenant will surely pull out of the city, which means better business for you and no more Covenant to hate."
"You know I'm not in it for the money. It's for revenge."
"Well, you've certainly taken your revenge for the government a bit too far, eh? You didn't stop at them; you went after political and military leaders, and even civilians. Now I know this isn't about revenge anymore man. This is about something else. Where did the old Shadow go?"
"That Shadow is long gone man. He's long gone."
"Hrmph. You really have a lot of things to sort out man. Either way, are you going to take the job?"
"Yes, if it means getting those bastards out of my city. Plus, I need the money. I'm broke."
"Good."

The dark figure handed the disk to Shadow, and swiftly left the room, the security doors shutting behind him. Shadow looked down at the disk. He sighed and placed it in the slot on the device attached to his arm. Mission data immediately began coming up. Travion was right. He sure DID have things to sort out. But those things would have to wait.





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