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It may be time ... (Destiny)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Sunday, April 07, 2024, 14:39 (105 days ago) @ INSANEdrive
edited by Kermit, Sunday, April 07, 2024, 14:58

A certain teenage titan named Helen-2, affectionately nicknamed "Hellion" by her family, has been offline since the beginning of the Red War. It was the combination of the increased danger during the invasion, and a possibly imagined case of Dissociative Exomind Rejection that led her mother, a beautiful and lethal human hunter, and her husband, a stoic Awoken warlock, to make the decision to flip the switch. When doing so they realized that a kind of weight had been lifted. Not being able conceive themselves, they dearly loved their adopted daughter, but the worry she caused them with her recklessness was its own burden, and they spent many a sleepless night while she was out on patrol. Whether it was dancing mere feet from Oryx, or insisting on wearing bright pink armor on the battlefield, they didn't trust her judgment. Although they were proud of the engrams she had brought back to Rahool after her adventures, they noticed the way her fireteam members would sheepishly look away when they asked how often she had needed to be revived.

The original plan was to wake her up after Ghaul was defeated, but as the seasons passed, there always seem to be a new, more dangerous threat on the horizon. The longer they went, the more they tried not to think about what they had done. Unfortunately, it was also true that each thought that the other's greater wish was for their daughter to stay offline. They each grieved her absence, but they denied that to each other, for fear of offending. This denial was the unacknowledged and unconscious wheel behind the wheel that powered every argument, every cross word between them, every resentment, and fed every pet peeve that grew larger over the years until, sadly, their marriage had become a hollow, cold thing.

Then one night recently, the wife found her husband weeping. To say that this was shocking was an understatement. He was well known as a rock. It was not uncommon for him to be stopped in the City and told he looked like Zavala in warlock armor. And it was more than a physical resemblance—it was about the way he carried himself. Solid. Unbreakable. And here he was, with his face wet. He had been reading, as he often did late into the evening. When she approached him, he pulled away from her. He stood, inhaled deeply, and walked out of the room. She went to the open book on the desk and read. It was a history, of the time before the Golden Age—nothing particularly noteworthy. Then she got to a quote, from an ancient wayfarer: “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

She stopped. For the first time in a long time, she saw her husband as he was, and realized he had not become someone else, as she habitually imagined. He was her husband, but he was also a father, and she a mother. The fear that went hand in hand with that was eternal, and the foolish pact they had made to try and mitigate that fear was now broken. Her breath quickened, struck by the magnitude of her selfishness. The City or the solar system would never be safe enough. The Witness could steal their light and shatter their ghosts, but if there’s a good chance that they’re all going to die forever, should they not all die fighting for the chance they won’t? To ask the question was to answer it.


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