Second Sunrise Over New Mombasa
Second Sunrise Over New Mombasa is the fourth and last story in the Halo Graphic Novel. Written by Brett Lewis and illustrated by Jean "Moebius" Giraud, the visual style of the comic is heavily stylized, deviating excessively from the common aesthetics of the Halo games.
The entire story is a flashback told after the initial Covenant invasion on the city of New Mombasa during the Battle of Earth on October 20, 2552, before the arrival of UNSC reinforcements later in the day.
The journalist Benjamin Giraud travels on a monorail train arriving at New Mombasa. He explains that his job is to edit and manipulate images coming from all over UNSC space and make them more "digestible" for the public to watch. He says his employers are making him rich, though he doesn't even know who he is working for. He feels both proud and guilty, because he is helping to hide the truth about how mankind is losing the war against the Covenant. He describes Mombasa as a cosmopolitan city before the Covenant attack. He remembers when his friends and families thought he was working on a new campaign for the Civilian Warthog, but in reality was being put under pressure by his employers and his job was getting harder and harder, due to the continuous UNSC defeats. Then, he talks about when the Covenant found Earth: the war always seemed a distant problem to the planet's inhabitants, but soon after it was very present. The train on which he is traveling homebound gets hit by space-falling debris.
Giraud then awakes in a hospital when the enemy's ground assault has already begun. During the fight, he manages to translate a Sangheili's message saying "We need to clear this area before we can secure access to the Ark". He is then told to get the recording out of the city to the UNSC High Command. Arriving at the waterfront he finds the whole city's population trying to leave aboard "anything that floats": he realizes that the recording is too important and that he has to get on one of the remaining boats. In the end he gives the recording to a child who otherwise would've remained on the shore lonely, and hopes she will make it.
Giraud's fate is left ambiguous, as in the end he is seen in a monitoring room, with numerous screens surrounding him, while the Covenant overrun the city. The last words he says are: "What will it matter? This is the first day of the end of the world".
Technology and equipment
- Second Sunrise Over New Mombasa's protagonist remains unnamed in the story proper. He was identified as Benjamin Giraud in honor of the comic's illustrator, Jean "Moebius" Giraud, who passed away in 2012, when the character was reintroduced in the Hunt the Truth promotional campaign for Halo 5: Guardians.
- Several background characters depicted in the story are seemingly based on concept art for the Halo games. A number of Sangheili seen in the comic incorporate element from early Halo: Combat Evolved concept and and on page 93, a human soldier shot by an Elite can be seen wearing an armor suit strikingly similar to an early design for the MJOLNIR armor by Shi Kai Wang.