Rise To Honor - Part 20: Making Choices
Posted By: Shadow<Shadowolf16@aol.com>
Date: 26 August 2002, 6:50 pm
Geb looked through the house's window when he heard the loud engines of Jan's modified Pelican, which she named the 'Night Wolf'. He grunted and sat back in the table. He could hear and feel the table rumble as the ship landed on the platform above the garage. The cup of Yavoi that was drinking suddenly began to rock on the table, and spilled to the ground. Seeing his lack of hindsight, Jan and Cal held onto their drinks to prevent them from breaking on the ground. He could hear the engines die out, and the platform lowering to the garage level. He nodded to the others and continued to sit in his place. The door to the garage burst open, with Shadow and Az silently walking in.
"We have weapons."
"We don't want weapons. Jan, Cal and me have all agreed that fighting isn't doing anything for us anymore. It pays well, but our lives could be shot to hell in the process. None of us want to make such a sacrifice. Only you and Az seem to be the ones that can't let go of that lifestyle. If you're going to keep up like this, the rest of us will have no part in fighting any longer. You know that Cal and Jan were never fans of fighting in the first place, and you know that I fear for all our lives. I don't want to lose any of you in the heat of battle. There are plenty of ways to make money and a living."
Az and Shadow looked to each other and then back to Geb. Shadow nodded to Geb and walked past the table and into the hall. As always, the hallway was dimly lit, but when he opened the door to his room, everything seemed even darker. He pressed a button on his shoulder straps and they fell down to the rug floor, taking the laser rifle and his rail gun with them. He sat down on the ground, staring out into the starlit sky through his window.
Maybe Geb was right. Fighthing like this had only done one thing to him. It made him lose his honor. It caused him to lose his honor as a warrior that fought for justice and pride. He only fought for money, and honor used to be on top of his priority list. He must have gotten so mixed up with all of this that he failed to realize it earlier. The thrill of fighting had just taken over him. All he wanted to do was fight, and its consequences, physical, mental, or spiritual had become too severe. No. Fighting was no longer to be his way of life, regardless of how much liked it and how good he was at it.
The door slowly creaked open, and Az came over and sat down next to him. They both began to say something.
"I was thinking..."
They both paused, and then Shadow decided to go first.
"I've been thinking. You remember me before we became assassins. All I cared about was helping other people. To help them survive. That was the honorable and brave thing to do. To help those that were in need. To destroy the Covenant. But when I became an assassin, I think my priorities fell apart. I lost my honor. I lost my selflessness. Geb is right. We should stop fighting. But not because our lives are at stake, it's because we've become selfish and greedy. All we do now is fight. We fight without a purpose. Not a good one anyway."
Az nodded and responded.
"That's what I was going to say. We both lost our nobility when we went into this business. I thought it would somehow satisfy me. But now that I think about it, none of us have the coldness or the greed to fully be satisfied with this job we're at."
"And to think that we were helping the world by killing off our own species. And to think that we thought we were content with this lifestyle. Well, I think it's no more."
The both stood up and walked out of Shadow's room and walked back to the main room.
"Geb, you're right. Fighting is getting us nowhere in the morality scale. Our morals have gone to nothing. Az and me are finished with this job as well. No more hired guns."
"I knew that old respectful Shadow was in your heart somewhere."
Shadow nodded and turned around to go back to his room, but before he could take a step, a beep flashed on Jan's COM screen. She jumped out of her seat so powerfully and energetically that it flung the thing right into the stereo, making a big dent. But she didn't care. The news must have been something big.
"Look at this!"
She adjusted the screen a bit, and transferred the information to the main screen of the kitchen. The screen blipped up from its black repose to a brightly colored news report.
***And this is channel 6 YNS News. Urgent information has told us that an enormous Covenant army has marched its way towards the main military base of Ignatious 5. Information tells us that they've already turned on the turncoat government and decimated most of their standing forces. Casualties are 10,000 and up. The Covenant force has numbers of at least 30,000 and have stationed a makeshift base a few miles outside of Ignatious 5. The military and the government have made a truce, but still only have a force of 20,000. As it stands, this battle will determine whether the human race will survive or not. Many are already preparing for evacuation. Information is not available on how the Covenant pressed through the planetary I-Shields developed by a secret military organization, but news is if the military loses this battle, enemy Covenant destroyers may very well be able to get through as well to "glass" Earth. This is channel 6 YNS news."
All throughout the report, the women making it was shaking almost uncontrollably, and her voice was extremely nervous. Shadow's blood boiled in his vessels. He wanted so much to take those Covenant out, and help save humankind. But he would die. But when had that ever stopped him from doing something before? It didn't matter. He realized that this would be the only way he could completely restore his honor was to go into battle and save the ones he was trying so hard to kill. The humans. He turned around and faced the others.
"We need to go there and fight alongside our brothers."
Geb's eyes opened wide in surprise.
"I thought you said no more fighting! You're being a fucking hypocrite! We are not going to fight! We will all die!"
"Geb, for honor. For respect. For the GODAMN RACE! What is wrong with you! Are you AFRAID or something?"
"Shadow, we could easily leave this planet and move to that hidden colony where there are already some civilians there. We don't have to die here! You're an assassin, your life is what you fight for."
"You're a fucking coward Geb! You don't get it do you? I don't care about my life anymore! I've gone through a change here. I am going to fight with my brothers, my allies!"
"Fine. You can go. But the rest of us are staying. We are all staying here. Right guys?"
Jan leaned on the table, apparently debating her decision. Az was quick to respond.
"No. Shadow's right. The only reason we've stopped fighting as mercenaries was because we felt that the only reason to fight was to fight for honor and survival. I'm with him all the way."
Jan nodded and stood straight.
"I'm with them. They're both right. We've done too much wrong as mercenaries. It's time to set it all right."
Geb leaned his head down.
"We can all survive. We can all run from this. But if it's what the team wants, I'm not going to debate it any longer. We're a team, and I'm not going to break it up...again."
Az looked to Cal.
Cal had his head on the table. One could tell that he really didn't want to do this.
"Well. You guys need a pilot to get over there, right? What the hell. We're all going to die anyway. Might as well be in the heat of battle. We're so going to lose this war."
"I never lose."