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Bite-sized Backstory 18: Majestic Battles and Waves (Destiny)

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Texas, Monday, January 02, 2017, 22:18 (52 days ago)
edited by Ragashingo, Monday, January 02, 2017, 22:33

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After defeating the Taishibethi, Oryx returns to his throne world and makes preparations to have his first direct meeting with the Deep. He creates a special alter for the Deep and prepares an unborn ogre for it to possess. We’ve seen unborn ogres several times in Destiny. You might know them better as Tomb Husks.

When he is ready, Oryx calls out to the deep saying:

I can see you in the sky. You are the waves, which are battles, and the battles are the waves. Come into this vessel I have prepared for you.

This call might seem trivial, or just a fancy greeting, but at the very least Oryx's words here are a clever call back to one of Bungie’s earliest game series. In 1996’s Marathon Infinity, we learn of a creature or creatures called W'rkncacnter. They are described like this:

In primordial space, timeless creatures
made waves. These waves created us and the
others. Waves were the battles, and the
battles were waves.

Later one or more of these W'rkncacnter attack a powerful race called the Jjaro, killing one of them. After this, a second Jjaro somehow flings these powerful ancient beings into a star where they are trapped by the intense gravity and burned by the star’s heat but somehow survive and wait to somehow be released to once again cause chaos.

Part of last game in the Marathon series, Marathon Infinity, involves jumping across timelines in an effort to prevent the W’rkncacnter from being released when a militant race tries to detonate the star they are trapped on.

It’s also worth nothing that in an even earlier Bungie game called Pathways Into Darkness you are a member of a strike force tasked with using a nuclear weapon to temporarily stun an enormous, ancient, mostly dead god-like alien long enough for the Jjaro to arrive and help remove it from the Earth. The opening to Pathways Into Darkness describes the alien and situation like so:

Sixty-four million years ago, a large extra-terrestrial object struck the Earth in what would later be called the Yucatan Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico. The dust and rock thrown up by the resulting explosion caused enormous climactic changes in the ensuing years, and many of the Earth's species became extinct during the long winter that followed.

The object itself was buried thousands of feet below ground, its nearly two kilometer length remarkably intact. It remained there, motionless, for thousands of years before it finally began to stir- and to dream. It was a member of a race whose history began when the Milky Way was still a formless collection of dust and gas- a powerful race of immortals which had quickly grown bored of their tiny universe and nearly exterminated themselves in war.

This particular being, whose name no human throat will ever learn to pronounce, was part of the cataclysmic battle that formed Magellanic Clouds, billions of years ago. It died there, or it came as close to dying as these things can, and drifted aimlessly for millions of light years before striking the Earth.

The heat of impact liquefied the rock around it, which later cooled and encased the dead god's huge body far below ground. As it began to dream, it wrought unintentional changes in its environment. Locked deep beneath the Earth, strange and unbelievable things faded in and out of reality. Vast caverns and landscapes bubbled to life within the rock, populated by horrible manifestations of the dead god's dream.

There’s a few Destiny links here:

When the Deep arrives at Oryx’s alter it possesses the Ogre he prepared for it and speaks to him. Mostly the Deep repeats the philosophy we’ve heard from the worm gods, but interestingly, it does so with a lot more… or at least different… personality. The way it talks is much more conversational that the worm gods distant and almost haughty style of speech. It even refers to Oryx as a friend at one point.

One of the interesting things that it tells Oryx is that if life is going to survive past the end of all things it will have to do so not by kindness or with a smile but by violence and sword. In time, we’ll see at least one other major power in Destiny express a desire to survive past the end of the universe.

In the end, the Deep tells Oryx that two sides pitting themselves against the other until one prevails is the way the universe figures itself out. And it says that this process is not barbaric or evil but is actually majestic. Could it be right? When viewed on on a long enough timeline, is what the Hive and Deep are doing actually beautiful and majestic, even if it causes some suffering along the way?

Sources:
XXXI battle made waves
XXXII Majestic. Majestic.
W’rkncacnter section of the Marathon.Bungie.Org Story Page
PID.Bungie.Org Transcript of the Pathways Into Darkness manual

Previous: 17: The End of an Age
Next: 19: Betrayal & Dreams of Teeth


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