The massive green orb of Venus came closer and closer into view. It’s green forests materializing in Argyn’s pupils. He loved thinking of Venus as a child. He would often imagine climbing the Ancient Trees that rested at over six hundred feet high. He thought up adventures that he would never get to take going into the lost tombs with his father. He thought of his dead father and cringed. He had always hoped of making a fortune and giving his father legs and lungs again. He wanted to travel to Saturn’s moons and back with him. He wanted to hold up the Founder name. Well, he thought, At least I’ve made a name for myself. The Founder name would most likely be forgotten and put in it’s place would be that of the Prophet Argyn. How droll.
The ship’s shield strength increased to accommodate the increasing atmosphere it was entering. “Well, Prophet Argyn, welcome to Venus.” He pulled the ship around for several miles before deciding to land on a small patch of grassy plain, the perfect open spot incase something got a little too fun. Argyn opened the cockpit and slid himself out, slowly, trying to assess his surroundings. He jumped off the right wing and landed in the soft Venus grass. He opened the small blue hatch at the bottom of the ship to arm himself. He looked at the weapons – some of them his own, some his father had been stowing away in the ship for safe keeping. From Just Relax to Be Happy. Kicker and Grounded. Argyn finally decided on using his pistol Frequent Abuse and his three burst semi-automatic rifle, Operator. He loaded the ammunition into the guns, then into his belts and other containers strapped all around his person. He looked up and around one last time – surprises were something young Argyn was not a fan of. Argyn pressed his hands around his father’s Warlock helmet. He put it on, slowly and with the utmost care. He wanted to be sure he did his father well. He looked into the reflection of the lower glass body of the Henry and admired how well the darker gold paint of the helmet with the hidden visor looked over the maroon of his armor plates and silver of it’s trim. A fitting match for the young Prophet.
Argyn ran fifty meters to the nearest stretch of trees. He felt comfortable in them, he always loved the jungles that reached out far from his now derelict home. He stretched out his arms and heard a twig break. He reached for Operator and crouched, leveling the rifle with no discretion. Out from behind a massive mossy tree poked a squirrel. An unusual looking squirrel. It was an odd orange and green color with a tail that split an inch out of it’s rear end. It had six arms and was the size of a small dog. Argyn straightened out to admire the creature. He had never been to any planet other than Earth. Never witnessed these alien squirrels. He reached out for it and it scurried up the large tree. Argyn smiled under his helmet. He saw pink on the HUD’s radar and swung around only to see a Vex patrol unit slowly walking over to his ship, “Time to go to work,” He leveled his rifle and began walking over to the plane of grass again. He looked down the Operator’s scope and lined up what would have been a perfectly good shot in one of it’s eyes. He tried to pull the trigger but as he did an enormous beast bursted out of the tree line on the other side. It was a massive creature of ferocity. It’s gray horns extruding from it’s dark yellow fur. At the size of an elephant, it was terrifying to the young Prophet – and the Vex too.
The Vex teleported to be on top of the beast, a technique used by the Vex to travel short distances in time, and shot the beast in the back until the lasers blasted down through it and made it drop with a thudding vibration that Argyn could feel dozens of meters away. He panicked and turned to run into the forest, only to have a Vex faze in front of him and reach for Operator. Argyn allowed the Vex to take it, Odd, The Vex wasn’t being hostile, What’s going on?
<They want you to go with them>
“How can you tell?”
<If they wanted you dead, they would’ve killed you by now> The Vex took the Operator and put it on it’s magnetic back. It then took Argyn’s arm and walked him out from behind the tree he had been leaning against just a moment before. Argyn felt cold, saw a flash of light and blinked to expel the blinding light, only to open his eyes and see he was deep inside the Citadel. The inner workings were very dark and damp and cold – the fitting environment for these ruthless machines.
The Vex that teleported touched Argyn’s back with it’s hand and guided him towards a large metal door. Creaking and moaning while it slid open, the door seemed to be extremely heavy. Once open, Argyn could see a larger, more complex looking version of one of the Vex. It had a small label on it’s lower body reading: DOYEN. The Vex set Argyn’s rifle down and spun around and left the room. The door slid shut again and Argyn was left standing there in a silent room ringing with emptiness. Argyn turned around to pick up Operator and then the Doyen spoke.
“Why do you come here, Prophet? Have you returned for what you left?”
“What do you mean?”
“The sphere. The answers to the universe that your Traveler gave to you. You left it here many many years ago. Have you come to claim it?”
“Yes, I have come for the Eye.”
“Why now? Why did you not come back sooner? I am to understand that the sphere is more than just a prized artifact, or am I mistaken?”
“I do not know,” the Doyen’s head cocked a bit.
“What do you mean, Prophet?”
“I honestly do not know what it is that the Eye does. I’ve only heard of it before in texts and by word. I have never touched it or seen it for myself.” The Doyen twitched a bit and called, “Bring it to me!” Argyn’s vision blurred a bit and the Doyen was holding it, rotating it in his hand under the blue light of the room.
“Is this the one you seek?” Argyn looked at it and could feel the Traveler’s power surge through him
<Yes it is>
“Yes it is.”
“Then why do you not come and take it from me, Prophet?” Argyn took two steps towards the Doyen and the orb disappeared in a fit of blurred vision. It was gone as quickly as it appeared. “That is, if you can find it.”
“<Give me the Orb!>” The Traveler spoke through Argyn, his voice became an echo with an underlying grumblesome roar. It was frightening.
“I will make you a deal, Prophet. If you can find it you can have it, but if you cannot find it then I will keep it. then maybe you can come back in another forty years or so.”
“Fine. We’ll play it your way, Doyen. Where might it be?”
“A clue? Alright, Prophet, it is here in my Citadel. you must look through nine hundred stories of this place to try to find it. Good luck, Prophet.” The Doyen vanished, as though he had never been there, leaving Argyn in a low lit room.
“Do you know where to look for it, Traveler?”
<I do not know for certain, but perhaps it is in the room the Doyen stores himself in. It is worth a look> The young Prophet looked down at the ammo counter on the Operator. 30, perfect. He walked out of the room and took a step to the right, moving down the hallway to the lift. Three more steps and a Vex appeared out of thin air and leveled his arm cannon at Argyn. He locked on and fired repeatedly at the Prophet. Argyn jumped and rolled out of the way, firing at the Vex with Operator. Three direct hits in it’s red eye and it dropped. Six more Vex appeared and started charging at Argyn. He swung Operator around to his back and threw his hands down, level pointing out at his sides and yelled, sending a blast of bright yellow and blue fire from his hands, blowing the Vex into pieces. <Impressive. Not a lot of people can master the abilities I grant them so quickly>
“They don’t have you inside their head.” Argyn ran to the lift and hit the massive button labeled UP. The lift doors swung open and he climbed inside. The elevator began to chug up a bit but stopped for a moment and began to fall at a plummeting rate. <Hold on, Argyn> There was a blinding white light as Argyn closed his eyes hard. Argyn opened his eyes again to see that he was standing in the elevator shaft. He tried to take a step but his foot was met with no floor. He looked down to see he was floating several meters above the bottom of the shaft. “Traveler, am I levitating?”
<Yes, but only temporarily. This takes much of my power to do> Argyn began to rise up faster and faster until he was at the very top of the Citadel. He placed his feet gently on in the door was of the lift and began walking.
“Thank you, Traveler.”
<Do not thank me, I do not know how long it will be before you can summon my powers again>
“I understand,” Argyn said nodding his head.
<I am feeling the same energy I had when the Doyen possessed the Eye, Argyn. I believe we are close> Argyn looked up into the new hallway. It was much cleaner up here and there was no sign of any Vex. No grease on the floor or any dents in the floor.
“I think we’ve hit a dead end.” Argyn sighed with a shrug.
<Do not be so sure, young Prophet, that at the end of the hall, is a door> Argyn walked over to in and knocked on it, rubbing his free hand over it looking for a handle or a button.
“I don’t think that is so.” Argyn hit his gloved fist hard on the door. It slid up slowly as Argyn took the Operator off his back and leveled it yet again. “Final stretch.”
Argyn took a step into the room, the door sliding closed behind him. The room was similar to the one he had met the Doyen in. The blue incandescent lights flickering on and off, yellow floor lights just below the grated flooring guiding the way to a large opening at the end of the hall. <Be careful, Argyn, I do not know what we will find at the end of this hall>
“I know,” Argyn treaded down to the end of the way and entered the large spherical room, only to find a large supercomputer taking up most of the room. In the center of the computer was a small force field like bubble, inside was the Eye of the Prophet.
Argyn took a step towards it, as his foot hit the ground, his vision blurred and there now stood the Doyen, towering over Argyn in it’s steel gray, not bronze, body armor.
“So, you’ve found your prize, Prophet.”
“It wasn’t too difficult, you put it in the first room I thought to look in, Doyen.” The Doyen let out a hysterical chuckle.
“Oh? And has this turned into a game of wits? I was unaware!” He laughed his mechanical laugh again.
“I do not understand Doyen, I thought you did not want me to find the Eye.”
“No, Prophet, I simply did not want you to leave with it.” The Doyen raised his arms up into the air and they transformed into a chain gun on his left and a rocket launcher on his right. “Are you ready to die, Prophet?” The Doyen began firing on Argyn, who rolled under the Doyen’s legs. He jumped up and pulled the Operator up and began firing burst after burst into the Doyen’s steel armor. Argyn began running at the Doyen, who successfully knocked the operator out of Argyn’s hands with the chain gun. Argyn rammed his shoulder into the massive robot, knocking them both to the ground. Argyn sat up on the neck of the beast and pulled out Frequent Abuse and began unloading round after round into the cyborg’s head, until the red light atop the headdress began to fade out.
“You have won nothing, Prophet. You might get your Eye, but my Vex will not be discouraged by my defeat.” The eye faded out and the hydraulics loosened and the arms of the Doyen dropped to the floor. Argyn stood up and walked over to the Eye of the Prophet. “Will it hurt me to put my hand in this field?”
<There is only one way to find out> Argyn raised his hand slowly to the force field and quickly reached for it. As hand touched the orb he felt a rush go through his head down to his stomach. He opened his eyes and saw that he was sitting in the cockpit of the Henry IV. He was at the hangar, with all of the citizens standing around his ship and the Dignitary waving at him. Hw was no longer wearing his helmet and his weapons were both gone. He looked down at his hand, feeling something heavy. It was the Eye. “Who can you trust?” Argyn said, then made a face, thinking.
<You can trust Me>
“Wait, what did you just say, Traveler?” Argyn was lost in his thought and had a pounding headache.
<Argyn, I think…> Argyn smiled and heard the Traveler laugh inside his head.
“Traveler, did we just…”
<Argyn, I believe we just experienced time travel>