Argyn felt odd getting out of his ship in the lower hangar in the Academy. It was going to be the last time he’d ever be there and he was going to miss it. It had been his home away from home for the last seven years. He had trained here, chosen a class here, and became a Guardian here. If nothing else, he felt the need to protect this academy.
“Argyn! ARGYN!” The metallic voice was very familiar. He turned around to see his friend, Kiltross. He was an Exo and was the friendliest one Argyn had ever met. Kiltross stood at over nine feet tall and was as broad as an truck. Kiltross grabbed a hold of Argyn and squeezed him to his chest, picking him up with ease. Argyn could hear the hydraulics in Kiltross’ chest as they flexed and released. “Are you excited, Brother? Today, the power of the Traveler will be placed into us as we ready ourselves for adventure into the great unknown! Exciting, isn’t it, Argyn?” Argyn looked out to the entrance of the hangar. He was waiting for someone or something, he didn’t know which. That troubled him.
“Come, Argyn, the ceremony will be starting soon.”
They exited the hallway into the massive dome of the old coliseum that must have been used as a sports stadium in the Golden Age. The dome came up into a near perfect semi-circle, opening at the very top. the view, however, was anything but open.
Hovering up above the coliseum was the Traveler. The bottom of which was exposed, left open by something that had cracked it during the Final Stand of the Great War. Standing in the center of the decorated concrete floor was a small platform. Atop this platform stood an old man in great red robes. in the center of his chest, below his reaching beard, sat the crest of the Academy; a sword, a rifle, and the Traveler sphere behind the two crossing in the center. The crowd was cheering and it was making Argyn’s adrenaline rush through his veins. He needed a reason for people to be making all of this noise. Something to really give the crowd a reason to scream in such a way.
The group of graduates lined up, with Argyn at the front; Valedictorian was not something people took lightly. He straightened himself up and let out a heavy sigh. He was nervous. He didn’t like large crowds of people.
The old, wise man lifted his hands up in a swift motion, much quicker than Argyn thought he’d be able to, He must be over a hundred years old, he thought. The crowd hushed as The Forger leaned forward and began to speak into the microphone
“Citizens, Guardians, People of this great City!” A burst of applause, “Today, we celebrate the graduation of a new generation of Guardians!
“As is tradition, we shall begin with the Academy’s Valedictorian, Argyn Founder!” Another burst of cries and cheers. One of the guards pushed Argyn out of the small shack the was the entrance to the coliseum floor. Argyn saw a camera fly up to his helmet and remarked in the glory of the gold visor of his helmet in the view screen. He knew his Father was watching and was proud.
“Please young man, make your way to me, The Traveler awaits you!” Argyn straightened out and marched, knees high and proud, to the stage. He climbed the steps and it creaked and adjusted to the weight of the armor. “You have proven your self worth over everyone at the academy. Showing exemplary talent on the battlefield and off. Young Guardian, you deserve that visor you don so well. NOW,” he belched it out to the crowd, “We shall Forge the power of the Traveler into your very soul!” He raised his hands and two circles rotated about his wrists, first red, then orange, then a bright blue color. Beams came out of the bottom of the Traveler and meet a meter above the Forger’s head. He looked through the visor and into Argyn’s eyes and even deeper into his soul.
“YOUR GUARDIAN, GREAT TRAVELER, IS READY FOR YOUR POWER! I VEST IT IN HIM THROUGH YOU!!!” He brought his hands down so they faced the young Guardian and the beams evaporated from the trail of the Traveler. All was quiet. The Forger’s hands began to glow and the beams blasted out of his hands and into Argyn’s chest, the magnitude of which lifted him into the air. Higher and higher he went, far above the stadium and into the underbelly of the Traveler. Argyn’s feet settled gently on the metal floor of the giant sphere and he looked around to find a panel flickering. He toed over to it and removed his glove. He pressed his hand against the panel and it lit up the entirety of the inside of the Traveler. He had great visions and heard a voice:
<What is your name young human?>
“Argyn. Argyn Founder.”
<Son to Captain Founder and Grendala Founder>
“Yes, who are you?”
<I am the Traveler>
“Can you tell me where I am?” Argyn looked around but saw only blue and purple.
<You are in my memory center>
<Yes, this is where all that I am is stored and archived>
“Why am I here? Is this normal for academy graduation?” He heard a laugh of sorts.
<No young human, this is just for you, as it was for the one before you.>
“The One before me?”
<Yes, did they not tell you of the one they call the Prophet?>
“Yes,” he began to recite the old scripture, “‘The Great Prophet was touched by the Traveler and was all powerful, he channelled the powers of the Traveler unlike any other. The Prophet was the Son of the Traveler and was the ultimate Guardian of the System.”
<This that you say is very true, young Argyn. The Prophet was the original Guardian. The one you all strive to be, but without my touch, you cannot unlock that potential>
“Are you saying that I’m going to be a Prophet?”
<You are wise, young Argyn>
“What does that mean?”
<It means that you must bear a burden. You must see what I see and convey a message for me, as well>
“What have you seen that I must see?”
<Words do not describe well enough, young human, let me show you>
The vision Argyn observed was horrific. It was that of death and plague and also that of beauty and wonder and exploration. He was the first man in space to the beginning of the Golden Age to the fall of Humanity to Argyn being lifted into the belly of the Traveler. He didn’t want to see these images. He watched as generations of humans and awoken and Exo and many others were slain and picked off. They made him hate the very idea of space and the planets and even himself.
<You must tell your people of only that there is a danger coming back into the System. That the Guardians must be ready to fight for their City if they want to survive. Can you do that for me?>
“What if I say no?”
<Then I drop you from fifteen thousand feet and you die and I chose a new Guardian. It’s up to you>
“Alright, I’ll do it. Who do I tell?” Before he could get an answer, he woke up in a crater in the floor of the stadium with people crowded around him. He picked himself up and crawled out of the hole in the ground. He stood and looked about at the men and women and androids with strange faces of wonder and fear. He looked down at the hand he had ungloved to touch the panel and saw that there was a glove on it. Was it a dream? He took it off and the Mark Of The Prophet was branded on his hand and everyone gasped. He looked up to see the Forger staring at him from the stage still and leaned into the microphone,
“Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our new Prophet Of The Traveler!”