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Rise To Honor - Part 4: The Delay
Posted By: Shadow<Shadowolf16@aol.com>
Date: 28 June 2002, 4:54 pm

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Shadow was leaning in his deactivated hoverbike as it hovered a few inches above a building on 8th street. A good night's sleep would be the best for him. But the assassination was this night, and he'd only have a few hours of sleep before he'd have to start the mission. The hoverbike slowly bobbed up and down, a smooth movement that could put anyone to sleep, except Shadow. He was very worried about the upcoming mission. Things would get very hot, and he had no solution as to how to avoid it. Pulling out of the mission was not an option, and assassinating all the bounty hunters without alerting the Covenant and blowing the mission would be utterly impossible. So what was he to do? Do as he always did. Keep cool, and play his cards as they came down on the table.

He continued to lean in his hoverbike, but sleep never came to him. He just looked straight up into the light polluted sky. Even with the lights of the city all around him, a few stars in the sky were still visible. Always there, and always unmoving. Never changing their position, always the same for all eternity. So unlike him. He was changing his position in life, changing his principles as they best suited him. He had changed so much since his first military encounters with Kroeger and his elite squads. He had become harder, more callous, and ruthless. He was once honorable, protecting humans wherever possible, and slaughtering Covenant in the name of helping Earth. But he wasn't a star; he was quite the opposite. After the event on the colony, he had gone through an enormous metamorphosis of personality, leaving honor and pride behind, and picking up revenge and anger. He hated what he had become. He had become the scum of the Earth, something he fought against in his past life. Now he had become what he most hated, and he thought it despicable. He needed to change, but he had already dug his grave too deep. He was too far off to return to his old ways.

He sighed and sat up. He pulled up the screen on his arm device, and looked at the time. He nodded. 2:30 AM. It was time. He activated his hoverbike while opening up a com channel between Travion using his arm device.

Open Service Channel:
Class: Public
Command: revert 5428491
Reverted: Private Class 5428491
Accessing Private Channel:
System Password required: ********
Password cleared, entering Private Class Channel 5428491

Travion here.

Hey Travion, it's Shadow. I'm coming up to my position right now. Are your boys ready to take down those shields?

Sure am, and the other 4 bounty hunters are on the street you requested.

Alright, I'm heading to Tartif Street now. Is this a private channel?


Good. I need to tell you that I'm suspicious about the other assassins. I don't trust them.

Well, you don't trust anyone, what makes this one different?

Well, I'm pretty sure that these are actually going to try something.

Well, you never can trust bounty hunters. Just stay frosty, and I'll give you cover if they turn on you.

You better.

Shadow closed the channel, and the video and audio link disconnected with Travion's channel. He deactivated his device, and turned back to the controls on his hoverbike. 3:00. He was going to be late at this rate. He needed to be halfway across the city before 3:45, and with this traffic, he'd never make it in time. He sighed and pulled up on the stick, and the hoverbike went straight up above the hover street. As soon as he was a few feet above the other cars, he pushed the throttle to full, and zoomed by all the other cars, hovering closely above them. The police would probably try to stop him, so he'd have to have some daring moves ready. And as predicted, two police hovercars popped out from the regular traffic and began to pursue him on an intercepting trajectory. He slowly pulled back on the throttle, and he slowed down, little by little. The police cars came closer and closer, and then the hoverbike disappeared. They looked around, and thought he had disappeared into thin air. He smiled as he had actually evaded them by pulling full speed downward towards the ground level of the city, evading their visuals and sensory equipment. The good news: he had evaded the police pretty easily. The bad news: he was moving downwards straight into multiple layers of horizontal hovercar traffic. He gripped the stick tightly, and jerked left and right to avoid the beeping cars as he sped past them, narrowly missing a crash at each level. At each layer of traffic he zoom past, he zoomed by another street. At 3rd street, his right wing was clipped right off by a passing taxi. Flames began pouring out of the gaping hole where the wing was once attached. Smoke came next, clogging up his vision as he hurtling faster and faster towards the ground level of the city, blindly flying past more layers of horizontal traffic. The fumes choked him, and he felt he couldn't breathe. It was all a fiery hell to him, but he kept his cool, and bailed out of the bike. As he jumped out, he breathed in fresh air, and he could see the bright lights of the city as clear as day. He looked to his left, and saw his hoverbike smoking like crazy as it flew out of control. He looked to his right, and saw those two police cars coming again. It seemed like the fire caught their eye. Well duh. He waited a few more seconds as he headed for the crazy traffic of 1st street. He'd never get by without being smacked by one of those cars. He reached for his pistol, and took aim with the sight. On each street, there were floating, rectangular steel shapes that were suspended every 1000 feet or so. They were generally used as lamp posts and devices to show where the street turned and curved. These horizontal shapes were what he aimed for. He flipped a switch on the pistol, and the pistol changed from attack mode to grappling hook mode. He fired, and a dart was shot right into the rectangle lamp. The dart was attached to a wire, which was attached to the gun. He held tightly as he swung faster and faster, suspended right above the zooming cars. As he swung, he saw his uncontrolled hoverbike slam right into one of the skyscrapers that rose high above 1st street. There was no explosion, but there was a loud crashing sound as it collided with the building. He looked back to the traffic on 1st street, and waited for a slow moving car to pass. He pressed the pistol trigger again. The wire detached from the pistol, and he landed right on the car with a thud. He looked up and the police cars were following close behind, looking for which car he had landed on. Lights flashed on and off extremely quick as the rectangular lamp posts whizzed by, each making a whirring sound as the car drove on. He switched his pistol back to attack mode, and popped off a few rounds from his pistol at the left car. The first bullets bounced off, but the last shot landed a hit on one of the hover generators. The generator began to smoke, and soon burst into flames, consuming the car in the immense heat. What was left of the car smashed right into the street, blowing up a few cars with it and leaving a small crater where it had slammed. He holstered his pistol, and took out his sniper rifle. Fortunately, the second car wouldn't be able to fire with him sitting right on top of a civilian car. He took aim, and fired. The sniper shot flung a bullet right through the car as it exploded in midair.

"This is unit 6, I've found the trouble maker. Civilian casualties are unknown. I'm on first street, following a car with an ID of - SHIT..."
"Unit 6, what was the ID? Unit 6! Report in! This is station 7, where the hell are you?"

As the civilian car began to slow down, he jumped off the side, landing in a small alley.

"What took you so long?"
"Shadow, It's 4:00. Weren't you the one to tell us not to be late?"

Shadow was quite confused for a few seconds before he could reorient himself. He was surprised that he had jumped off at the exact right alley.

"Uh, I ran into some trouble with the cops."
"Did they follow you?"
"No, they're space dust now."
"Alright, Travion is already in the midst of taking out the shields. We'll come in on the ground floor, and you give us support from the top of the building. When things start getting rough, as we expect, you should come down to give us some help."
"Fine, but I need a way to get up and down on this building quickly. I lost my hoverbike in the police car attack."
"We have one in the second alley on this street."

Shadow nodded and began to jog out of the alley towards the other alley holding the hoverbike. He came to it soon enough, and inspected it for any detonation implants, or some other way to blow him up while he was on this thing. He even did a full status scan of the thing. There was nothing strange about it. Didn't seem to be sabotaged in any way, but he was still suspicious. It was an old T-56 model, but it was good enough. He jumped on, and boosted up to the top of the building at the end of 1st street, careful not to cause too much attention. He landed it at the edge of the building, and leaned over, watching the unaware Covenant below. Two sets of patrols walked about the perimeter of the area, while the main base was infested with quite a few of them. There were 4 parked Ghosts, no Banshees, and one Covenant tank. He could take those out quickly enough. It seemed like quite a straightforward mission, but it was the other bounty hunters that worried him. He looked down, and saw them huddled, undoubtedly plotting how they would kill him. He turned back to the Covenant just in time to see the shields go out. The shields became dim, and then flickered for a few seconds before completely shutting down. Some grunts looked around confused, while other ran to take cover knowing that danger was amiss. The elites became alert and looked around, careful to maintain their position, while the grunts ran screaming a mix of human and alien language. He targeted the head of one of the golden elites, and fired.