Destiny: The Librarian.

*Disclaimer. I do not own Destiny. That would be Bungie*

Merric lumbered down the crowded street, trying not to knock over any of the passing crowd bustling around him. Cursing his stupidity for choosing ‘Market day’ to deliver his message, he pushed forward, listening to the mass of people buzzing with activity. His bulky armor was not helping the situation at all, causing some civilians to bump against his thick silver plating.

“Apologies,” He would mutter to those passing by, his voice sounding more electronic coming from his angular helmet. The only advantage of his Titan armor in this situation was the hight boost it gave him, now able to look over the heads of the crowd, searching for his goal. He stopped, if only for a moment, looking left and right. He spotted a nearby side-street. His destination.

His heavy boots clapped against the smooth street, making his way towards the alley. Thankfully, this narrow space between the tall buildings was empty. Merric made his way through, turning slightly as to not drag his shoulders against the narrow walls. Near the end of the passageway, he spotted a door with a simple holographic sign hovering over its head, flickering slightly in the noonday sun. Merric reached out with his heavy gauntlet, pressing the call button near the bulkhead. A soft buzz emitted from the heavy metal and a hidden speaker crackled to life.

“Greetings.” A voice slipped through, soft and low.

Merric straightened slightly, putting on a courteous attitude. “Greetings. I am here to deliver a message to a Bartolomeu Graham. Is he present?”

After a few moments of silence, the lock on the door clicked, causing the heavy door to slide apart. Merric had to duck to keep from knocking his helmet against the doorframe, making his way into the building. Instantly, his ears were filled with the sound of violins, cello and harpsichord. Music from an age long gone and almost forgotten. His training quickly kicked in, studying his surroundings. It was a long metal room, lined with tall, slightly tinted windows, allowing for some sunlight to make its way inside. Along the length of the floor were tall bookshelves, filled with ancient volumes of knowledge and tales. Merric couldn’t help but be awestruck by the sight. Books were a rare commodity and a necessity for understanding the old ways. He thought the only early tomes were found inside the Archives. Was this Graham smuggling or hoarding this precious commodity illegally?

A new sound filled the air, accompanying the soothing music. The sound of boots, echoing across the curved ceilings, slow and approaching. From around the corner of one of the nearby bookshelves, a man appeared, tall and graceful. He was adorned in lighter black armor, covered in a dark red robe, a symbol of a Warlock. His face was soft, covered in a salt and pepper stubble. His messy dark hair was standing up. Despite his disheveled look, Graham gave a warm smile to his guest.

“Salutations,” he chimed, bowing slightly. “I am Bartolomeu Graham.”

Merric returned the courtesy. “Lieutenant Vincent Merric. I was sent here to deliver this to you, sir.” He pulled out a small data pad, holding it out towards his host.

Graham did not reach for it though. He turned, waving slightly. “Come.”

Standing there, dumbfounded, Merric hesitantly followed the Warlock down one of the many isles of this strange library. They came upon a long metal table, cutting down the middle of the room. Nothing was adorned on it’s surface, save for a simple kettle and two cups. Graham pulled one of the chairs out, motioning for the Titan to sit.

Merric stiffened. “Uh, no thank you, sir. I think i’ll stand.”

“Suit yourself.” The warlock walked around to the other side of the table, taking a seat and grabbing the kettle from its resting point. Merric made note of the light red circle that had been keeping the pot warm slowly disappear into the tables original color. Graham nodded towards the simple silver kettle. “Tea?”
“No thank you, sir.”

After dispensing a bit of hot, crimson liquid into one of the cups, Graham leaned back into his chair, staring at Merric’s helmet. “Before we begin, I would like to inform you that you are free to speak anything that comes to your mind here. I am by no means your superior, nor am I here to judge any feelings you have on any topic.”

Merric shifted nervously inside of his suit. He thought this was just a simple delivery of a message. Was this some kind of a test?

“That being said, It has been some time since I have received any visitors,” Graham smiled again, taking a sip of his tea. “So, pray tell me, why they have sent a Titan to deliver a message and not just some squire or courier?”

Merric felt the crease of his brow tighten. “I-I don’t know, sir.”

“Bah, of course you do,” The older man waved off the comment. “You know as well as I do what is on that data-pad and why they would send the security of a Titan to guard it. Although I do not see the need for such security.”

Graham pointed at the small message still resting in the clutches of the Titan’s gauntlet. “The information contained there has already been on the lips of this city for quite some time. I may be a recluse, but I still hear the whispers coursing through the streets.”

Merric stood there in silence for a moment before setting the pad down on the table. “Maybe you should read it, sir. I am here only to deliver.”

A long sigh slipped through the Warlock’s lips before grasping the data-pad. It automatically scanned his fingertips, confirming that it was the right pair of eyes that should be reading the message. Graham sat there, looking over the contents of the file, his smile never unwavering. After looking it over, he closed the file and set the chip back onto the table. He leaned back into his chair, looking pleased.

“So. It is finally happening.”

Merric nodded slowly. “Yes, sir.”

“In about a years time?”

“I can not disclose that information, sir.”

“I see,” Graham began to chew on the inside of his cheek, thinking to himself. “And why do you think those higher up would give such information to a lowly librarian as myself?”

The Titan shrugged. “Its not my place to think, sir.”

“Oh, please,” He waved off the comment again. “I want to talk about these things. We are living in extraordinary times. Who else am I going to gossip with if not my guest? Please, tell me what you think.”

Merric shook his head, trying to comprehend how he got sucked into this job. “Well, from looking around here, it seems you like books. Maybe they need someone with knowledge to research some . . . things.”

“Very well put, my young Titan.” Another sip of tea. “But they have top men for that up in the tower. Men more learned than I. Why wouldn’t the council send them?”

“I don’t know, sir.” Merric replied, wishing he knew what all this was for.

The Warlock’s smile disappeared. “My boy, we are about to send millions of men and women back out into the abyss. Whatever they have told you is very different from the truth.”

Graham motioned towards the data-pad, sitting lonely on the table. “They may be calling this a mass-exploratory mission back into the stars, but in all honesty, we as a species are preparing for the biggest invasion in our history. We are taking back what is ours, with both gun and ship.”

The hairs on the back of Merric’s neck bristled. He hadn’t thought of it like that before.

“It was inevitable though,” The librarian continued, slowly rising out of his chair and walking over to a nearby bookshelf. “History has taught us how we as humans act. Being cooped up inside the walls of this grand city is enough to drive even the lowest of wanderers mad. Don’t get me wrong. The safety underneath the Traveler is a necessity. But man always needs to expand. It is in our blood.”

Merric stood silently, hanging onto every word. “So you feel as this grand undertaking is a mistake?”

The grin returned. “Of course not. The world outside the safety of the Traveler is extremely dangerous. Filled with creatures that are hell bent on destroying the last remnants of humanity. If we don’t strike first, these monsters will eventually come and eradicate us. Might as well make the first move.”

“I see.”

“I believe we are ready though. This city is burning for the chance to reclaim our former glory. The rumor of our reclamation into the solar system has sparked the passion of thousands. You can feel it in the air, can you not?”

Merric had to admit, he was anxious to be a part of the event to protect his people. It was to be a massive undertaking. The will of thousands finally making their way back to lost planets and colonies. It was both exciting and terrifying at the same moment.

“But, I ask you again. Why do you think the council would choose to inform me of this development,” Graham inquired, looking a little too proud of himself.

“I-I don’t know.”

The Warlock leaned over the table, resting his knuckles onto the cold metal. “Like I said, it is a dangerous horizon that we move towards. Muscle and guns are all well and good, but they will not keep the hordes at bay. You see all these books? I have nearly spent a lifetime collecting these from outside smugglers and adventurers. People who have braved the stars and forgotten cities for treasure and knowledge. I myself have been outside the city walls. I have seen the enemy. And I have returned with my hands filled with Lore and blood. I crave it. Always needing to dig up our past in order to protect our future.

“If we are to survive the coming storm, we as the human race need to know what happened before the Traveler came so that we can learn from our mistakes. And that is where I come in.”

Merric nodded. “So, you are one of those Lore Hounds I’ve been hearing about.”

The smile on Graham’s face widened. “I would believe so, yes. Those men up in Archives have not been outside the walls. Nor would they know what to look for.” Graham suddenly reached underneath the table, pulling a small wooden box out and setting it down. He opened it. Merric tensed as the Warlock pulled a hand cannon from the box. It was a beautiful weapon, adorned with gold filigree along its massive silver barrel. Merric instantly deduced that the revolver could be loaded with heavy lock-rounds, which had the capacity to rip through his own armor like soft butter. “Nor could they protect themselves if the darkness made it’s presence known.”

“Beautiful weapon,” Merric breathed, trying to keep his jealousy at bay.

“Thank you. I call it the Withered Page. Found this beauty near the swamps of Old Chicago. But, I am trying to make a point. This mission for the masses. It is going to require the bravery and fortitude of every human, Exo and Awoken within these walls. But we also need knowledge. Intelligence is mandatory for every war, wouldn’t you agree?”

Merric nodded. “Of course.”

“Good lad. Which is why, I implore you. If you find anything within your travels that I would find interesting. Please let me know. I have a network of,” He chuckled. “‘Lore Hounds’ that work for me. They will come and decide if your find will help us as a species.”

And there was the pitch. The old Warlock was recruiting, collecting resources in the form of eyes to spot potential troves of Lore. But Merric understood why and believed in the cause. “I will. You can count on me, Lord Graham.” He outstretched his hand.

Graham took his gauntlet, clasping them firmly together and shaking. “Thank you, Titan. I hope to see you amongst the stars.”

With that, Merric turned, heading towards the exit. The books he passed seemed different now. He did not see them as merely artifacts, but weapons filled with knowledge for defeating the enemy.

“Oh, and, young man . . .”

The Titan turned back.

“. . . Be Brave.”

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4 Responses to Destiny: The Librarian.

  1. Jim Stitzel April 5, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    I know I said this on the forum when you originally posted it there, but this is a very nice piece. It’s the start of a very interesting relationship, and I hope it’s a foundation you choose to expand upon.

    • Austin Douglas Ford April 5, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      I loved the story. It gives very great details. I did have some feedback as to the Titan. I felt that he was a little too clumsy or not intelligent enough. I might just be knit picking but still, that’s my feedback!

  2. Poetic Escape April 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Amazing work, really captures the feelings I get when thinking about the City, or Destiny in general.

  3. Ragashingo May 8, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Very nice. Setting a story just before Humanity heads back to the stars is something that had not occurred to me and you pulled it off very well.

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