"So, my name is Gunner, and I lead the military squad that has been sent to stop the Covenant in this city."
"My name is Shadow."
The soldier's eyes widened with surprise.
"What? You mean THE Shadow? The famous assa..."
"But, but, but..."
"Look, I just need an escape vehicle and I'll be on my way."
"Well, we have nothing to do with the police and why they're after you, and I'm guessing you're the guy that saved our asses at the mayor's place. So, we'll provide you with a warthog. We can't spare the hover warthogs, for we'll need those to take out the Covenant reinforcements that will soon be arriving. Plus you'll need the extra armor it has over the hover warthog if you want to get out of here alive."
The APC continued to zoom across 1st street, heading towards the military HQ. He was suspicious about these guys. Although Gunner seemed pretty convincing, they could just be lying, and be waiting to turn him over to the police as soon as they had him. But on the other hand, he needed these guys to get out of this place. He could always go back to his base to get his backup hoverbike, but Travion and his thugs would be waiting for him there. Yea, now that he thought about it, going back to the base was totally out of the question. That reminded him of something. He raised his arm, and activated the device.
Shadow? With all the news on the network, I was beginning to think that you were killed. I was getting ready to scuttle the base to make sure no evidence was left.
Good, we're going to do that anyway. When you're finished destroying everything, I want you to download yourself to this device. You know the code and access sequence. Good luck.
As he was speaking with EVA, he realized that Gunner and the other marines were listening the entire time. He looked up at Gunner, who immediately turned his head away from him. Well, they were certainly as suspicious of him as he was of them. He looked away and deactivated his arm device. A sudden jolt and a slowing down of the APC made him realize that they were almost at their destination. His muscles tightened, ready for a confrontation. He felt the APC spinning around, and lowering to the ground. The hum of the APC engines slowly died down, and the bay door swung up. The marines and Shadow slowly jumped out of the APC and began walking to the debriefing room. The hangar was a bit dark for a military hangar, but it seemed to suffice. Large stands lined the upper wall and consisted of shotguns, assault rifles, pistols, sniper rifles, tank punchers, slice bombs, fragmentation grenades, and a Covenant plasma rifle. Interesting. He turned to the right wall, and saw two small tables lining it. The left one was a deactivated blueprint table, and the right one had a list of all the parameters of that mission. Interesting yet again. The left wall held the APC, and the back wall was the opening of the garage door. He looked left and followed the others through a small door on the left wall. Two levels of stairs stood right at the entrance of the door, and he trudged up with the marines as they went up the stairs and through the second door on the right. He wondered if he should follow them in, but Gunner motioned that he accompany them. He sighed and followed in.
The room held a large projector where all aspects of the mission could be broken down, and 6 rows of chairs took up most of the room. He found a nice dark corner in the back, and decided to lean there instead of sitting down with the rest of the marines. After all, he wasn't one of them, he was the outcast of the situation. Gunner didn't bother to sit down, and instead walked to the projector and brought up a 3-D digital map of the Covenant base as it looked before the attack.
"As you can see, on our earlier excursions, the Covenant base was quite well defended. But the forces that we encountered tonight were very small and weak. My only guess is that Shadow and the other assassins had already taken out most of the forces by the time we had arrived. Is that true my friend?""Yes."
One of the marines in the ranks turned around to the corner where Shadow stood.
"Out of curiosity, why were you attacking the Covenant base anyway?"
Gunner pressed a button on a small device next to him on a table. The image of the perfect Covenant base was replaced by the war-torn version.
"As you can see, the Covenant tanks were blown up, and we see a few mercenary bodies lying on the ground. The main base was mostly intact, and all the Covenant troops were extinguished. No doubt though, they'll have reinforcements coming in before we can say 'shoot'. Now since Shadow has graciously covered all possible casualties for us by taking out the mercenaries for us, we'll keep his cover and just say that it was a very well planned and a very successful attack without any casualties. I DON'T want any talking about this, or it'll get back to the Lieutenant James. Got it?"
Shadow watched as all the troops slowly began to file out of the narrow doorway. Shadow watched patiently as they all left the room, and then he got off his leaning position to walk out the door as well. Before he could get out, Gunner called over to him from the projection table.
"Hey, I need to speak with you."
Shadow nodded and followed Gunner closely as they exited the debriefing room. They took a left and walked slowly through the bright-lit hallway. The bright lights were quite a change from the old dank lights of the hangar and the debriefing room. Gas and energy pipes lined the ceiling, and dorms and other rooms lined the left and right walls. He could hear loud chatter from the relaxing marines and some talking between the commanders and top officers. As they neared the end of the hallway, they walked through the second to last door on the left, and walked into a pitch-black room. He thought it was a trap and immediately grabbed for his sniper rifle. His hand held tightly onto the handle of the weapon, but immediately eased when the lights flicked on and no one but he and Gunner were in the hangar. Two War-Pelicans and two Warthogs were in the hangar, the Warthogs piled around the left side, while the War-Pelicans were neatly lined up on the right. One of the Warthogs was missing an axle and the chain gun at the top. One of the wheels was gone, and the windshield was smashed. It seemed pretty banged up, but the other one seemed to be in perfect condition.
"Does it work?"
He got in the warthog, and turned it on, watching the old familiar screens come up.
Gunner opened the hangar doors, Shadow revved the Warthog and blew out of the hangar. The military sergeant watched quietly as the assassin left without saying a goodbye. He smiled and pressed a button on the side wall of the hangar, and the hangar door slowly closed.