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"The Meeting" /// A Foreword (Fan Creations)

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, November 09, 2020, 23:00 (1297 days ago)
edited by INSANEdrive, Monday, November 09, 2020, 23:10

Over three years ago, at the eve of Destiny 2’s release, I wrote a story of sorts involving my Guardians. A glimpse of my efforts to add seasoning to the often impersonal nature of a game where we are supposed to become “Legend”. I tell you now, it was of the muses that made me make such a thing. Made me make? Heh. A voice I had to write down, which than became a discussion, which than became what you can see here. It was a lot of effort for me to make so casually, but I enjoyed the exercise. I said to myself that maybe when Destiny 3 happens I’ll make another one.

When it became clear that Destiny 2: Beyond Light was ostensibly a Destiny 3, which occurred around the very start of September this year, I than very sporadically began to write. A little here. A little there. Unlike last time, I was the one who prompted this start, and I did so with a question. A Question of… reaction. Something that seemed very odd to me that no one else seemed to be asking at the time. So than of course after that the ideas flowed, and some things were added and some were cut until I found myself with something possibly (at times) quite good. Well, for someone who isn’t a professional writer anyway. Apparently we may have one of those here? Would love the input all the same regardless. I put a lot of effort in this sucker, for some dinky little fan-fiction with a few elapsed hours here and there. Please let me know what you think! I let this marinate as much as I could, but when you have a hard deadline, sometimes you can still get dry meat. Call it out! Or is this worthy of being official cannon (there is a Cody joke in there somewhere), say so!

Admittedly, if I had the time, I would have liked to break this up abit more, much like real lore is. Unless you’re engrossed within the events and conversations I’ve written up, it may feel like the story goes on forever. Yet, despite those flaws that I perceive, I think the merits of what I was able to bring together outweigh the bad. In fact, I think I’ve really outdone myself this time folks, and I’m not just speaking about the (at this point expected) sea of words I’m about to pop out of the oven.

Over 73,800 characters. That’s over 13,500 words.

My plan was always to post this upon this evening after the servers were turned off but, after seeing what we saw at Season 11 close, I kind of wish I posted it sooner. You’ll under stand why once you get to the end, should you dare survive this whole thing. I made the final finishing touches to this just yesterday! Spent the last hour or so formatting.

In any amount, what I have made is layered. You know, like an onion. I’m curious to see if y'all can pick up on the different notes I’ve written in. Mimicked, called out, and memed, but also done what I could to keep it as true to Destiny as I could. For a while there, I had no idea how to end this, even though I already “knew” what I wanted to do, which I suppose is par for the course in writing. But, again, after seeing what I saw this evening, I think I may have actually pulled it off! My Warlock got exactly what he asked for!

[image]

On that note, the Guardians of my Story, quite literally “My Guardians”, now have names as if felt it needed such for me to tell this story. Plus, I wanted to try and make this with minimal formatting tricks to help you know who was saying what, which at some times was very difficult to pull off. A word of warning… things get very oppressively bleak at some point in this story. If you are effected by such things, well, again here’s the warning.

Anything else? Um... shame this is too big to post on Reddit. And the last place this place needs is a Reddit hug of death.

Oh well.

Enjoy! :D

~INSANEdrive
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PART 1 ~ PART 2 ~ PART 3

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"The Meeting" /// PART 1

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, November 09, 2020, 23:00 (1297 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

[image]

“The Meeting”

Click. Tick. Click. Tick. Click. Tick. Click. Tick…

A rhythm of Newton's cradle. Its unnaturally steady clicking and ticking was... oddly soothing, matched against the melodies in electric warbled ambiances which otherwise prevailed in Zavala's Office. With eyes closed, if you focused on the clicking and ticking, it could help let the world melt away. Than ultimately, one could bring about some focus to all the myriad of thoughts to contemplate. There are... many things to contemplate today. There is always something of course, but when social interactions get involved, it always seemed to act has some sort of force multiplier. Especially when said social interactions were anticipated to bring about discussion upon such... troubled times. Times where long contemplated questions show that the greatest fear can be an answer. No longer hypothetical. Or perhaps the modifier is “no longer the illusion of” would be best? Were they not always going to return? Were they not always going to affect, as they did before?

… and how will all this effect my Fireteam?

Upon such questions, suddenly there are even more questions; Do I really want to ask my true question? It’s conclusion is so obvious, but… what do I say in its inevitable response? How will I effect my Fireteam? If my question proves true, can I do it? Even if I could, should I? In doing so, would I be betraying the Traveler? Would I even be able to show my face, or shall I wish to change it entirely? How will my question effect my Fireteam? Well, I know Wally isn’t going to like it. Nope. Not one bit. It’s going to get ugly, that much is certain. Ah, who am I kidding… I already know the answer upon the both of ‘em, I just don’t know what to do with it.

With a glance to the left, of eyes reopened, these thoughts were once again ebbed from the rhythm of Newton's cradle. It had occurred to the Warlock known as Wendell, that for it to click and tick at such an absolute and steady rhythm, Zavala must have had something done to it with the light. It could click and tick forever at a constant rate unless physically stopped. Heh, such an irony. Newton may have never of approved.

Wendell suddenly found himself ever so gradually looking up. Up to the Traveler, but how could you not? A shattered yet whole sphere hovering as it always did over the city built beneath it. A city bundled tightly around its glowing shadow. A leg to hide behind and we the children whom would seek its comfort. Wendell chuckled in contemplation. “In all the things we can do..” he said out loud to himself, the electric hum of an Exo intertwined in his voice, “...we are just trying to figure out what to do with time”.

He mused a little more, silently contemplating some self existential thoughts, and looked back up through the tall windows of Zavala's Office. It didn’t really matter where in the city you were; be you at street level by the Schnell Crater, where the size of the Traveler seemed swallow part of the sky, or by the very top of the walls which surround The Last City; the scope and size of the Traveler always seemed to bring some sense of awe. It never got old. “Well, I suppose that makes two of us” said Wendell, once again speaking – primarily – to himself.

As the feelings of ease built in the moment receded away, it was replaced once again by the questions. By… darker questions. The burdens of guilt in consideration. The considerations of fear a great burden. Fortunately, such darkness in fears was nothing new for a Warlock. Fear is part of what you sign up for when you seek knowledge. Seek new unknowns and old histories. Skills, abilities, or techniques; alone or in a group. It all requires some starting fear to dare walk that mirrors edge between brilliance and madness. Indeed, the sheerness in scope of what is to be learned can be the cause for fear its self. There is so so much, that even with a seeming infinitude of time, fear is an unavoidable cost that must be paid as you walk step by step and stone by stone into that… that howling unknown. And even if you succeed and you solve old fears, you inevitably learn of some new ones. Everything has a cost, and some folks just don’t know how to pay for it without breaking something.

This is what scares me the most, that some upon my fireteam will reject any consideration I propose. On top of that… I just can’t seem to think straight to be able to speak for what it needs. All I can seem to find by and large are more questions! Why is that? I’ve been feeling “off” for weeks.

So… ever since I finished my mission… what was it called? The code? Inference? Interferon? … no no… Interference! That’s it… and something in me had changed. Was different. Was it something done by… what was that name? The Necromancer? The Supplicant to Savathûn? Ahhhh... the name is of no consequence… no no its just a pawn. Just another deathless thing dying! Yet, after I defeated it, something is now different? But what?

Wendell searched and searched his mind, but could find nothing to salve an explanation of this splinter “thought”. It felt like a memory rediscovered, lost at the tip of the so called tongue. Something he knew, but with out any of the substance as to why. A knowing without knowing… eating at him. An incorporeal digging. “Maddness”, Wendell said aloud. “There is so much noise in my head today. Maybe it’s just a loose wire. Maybe it’s nothing. No no no… something is different! Rrrrrr... lets figure this out! I can feel it!”

In speaking this, Wendell looked to his hands, where there was the long lingering tingeing sensation upon his fingers. Cold, but from the inside. That’s what he thought he was feeling, anyway. He balled up his hand than stretched them out far and looked to the back of them. Nothing seems a matter on the surface level. Systems check after systems check came up clear, and even his ghost from past casual scans, general scans couldn’t find anything to cause such a sensation of cold. Of… difference. Like the inside his finger tips were feeling some distant space somewhere else.

The cold winds were howling outside, the blustered haze quick and the flurries of snow dancing about around him. Wait… snow? With a gasp and a glancing quickness, Wendell looked up from his hands.

Click. Tick. Click. Tick. Click. Tick. Click. Tick…

Relative silence. It was a beautiful, seasonally warm evening upon a wholly new month. The Sun emerged, piercing through a tuft of clouds, starting yet another evening in paintings with light. A shading upon the evening air with its bright tapestry of colors. It… felt good shining through. The light. And suddenly it was a moment of joyful contemplation. Once again, Wendell spoke out loud, a tear of lubricant drawing from his eye duct; “It’s truly amazing how light can change the room. How simple it all is. The splendor of it all.”

The splendor of it all? Hmmm.

Wendell glanced around Zavala's Office, and found himself thinking upon the room. This vast hall. It really is quite nice. It was adorned in such a way that was warm, yet precise. An all too rare glimpse of what just felt right. It wasn’t dissolute, a destruction stripping off the bare bones of how things were once built, nor was it some obtuse festering wealth above all. A fetishisticly gaudy mess, and you can’t buy taste. Indeed, even in comparing this office to a land of dreams, it was all far more real then any wishes could be.

Zavala's Office was stone and wood and undoubtedly made with care. The room its self was segmented with subtle depths through its number steps and stages. The tall concrete slabbed walls contrasted from the rich dark wood and white marble of the floor. There were in-built bookcases by the rooms entrance and a green plant or two, well tended by the tall windows soaked in ebbing sunlight. Not even sure where he got the wall fountain idea at the entrance hall to the office. The red flags hanging on the inside wall of the office entrance was a nice contrast too. A burst of color. All in all a very simple, but fine office, and to the Titans credit… yes… I think everything has a space. Memorials, awards, books, a place to knit and crochet, it was… now no longer surprised… orderly. It was exactly what it needed to be and nothing else. All in all, Wendell imagined ultimately that this is how things might have been at some point in the Golden Age. Simple, and fine, yet to add for it being an idea of the Golden Age, advanced and true. And finally, so so easy to take for granted… Oh! Look at that. The built in Vanguard symbol is a nice touch too!

Vanguard.

The Warlocks thoughts stopped for the briefest of a moment. Always a sad thing to see, but it was sadness that had stopped his thoughts for a moment. The rumored upcoming ban from the Vanguard means, if true, I’m not going to be able to go to the farm any more. That’s so sad. It was such a nice respite. On top of that, with all that happened to Sloan and Ash…

*SIGH*

The outward sigh forces the thoughts of the Warlock back into Zavala's Office.

A room like this is all too rare a gem nowadays. Especially for a Guardian like myself, though perhaps the city too. Than again… I don’t know do I? I’ve never actually been down to the city, as Guardians are banned on City travel. Been that way at least since the “mite” incident back on the old tower, as I recall. Still, I really hope I could go and see… I… maybe someday. There is just too much to do. Pluck planetary materials, shoot and vaporize an endless stream of foes who wish to subdue us, dance in random places at random times, dismantle “rare” kit… again… and again… and again… and again, and again, and again, and again and again and again. Kill a god or two to pass the time. I’m booked! In fact, the only time I think I’d be able to do it is if I had an office just like this. Or an apartment or something! Some nice place that wasn't within the confines of a ship or the rawness of the lost worlds… or at least… the raw worlds that have yet to be stolen from us. Again.

Again.

Click. Tick. Click. Tick. Click. Tick. Click. Tick…

No no no no… my information is still incomplete! There will just be more questions!! Wait… is that bad? Of course not of course not, no no… it… it’s just not time yet for those thoughts, they aren't here yet. Let’s... keep… thinking about... this... office. Yeah, yeah. The Sun still feels good, and the Traveler, this great shattered sphere, “awake” but still silent… still hovers above the last city. Why? No no… the office the office.

Wendell pivoted his head and looked around. He knew if he had his way, there would be far more books… everywhere. Rugs on the wall to hide the tall concrete walls and a few more pillows in a corner or two, to rest or read from. Maybe a little of both, intermittently. And in some other corner, a place to make some nice tea. Darjeeling, Chai, or Chamomile. That would be nice. Just reading of the worlds and histories, trying to figure where to explore next, what mystery needed to be solved, all while immersed in pillows and a fine pot of tea at the ready. The Warlock shook his head… now he was over doing it. Far too much of a dream. And then the wood flooring caught his eye. Was it walnut? Birch?… no birch is far more blond in hue. Zebrawood? Mahogany? The Warlock sighed privately realizing he didn’t know much about wood when it came to aesthetics in designed construction. He never needed such a known.

How sad. I’ll have to think about that. Maybe if I ask the Cryptarchs if they have anything from the Golden Age about...

“Ay now! Get off Zavalas desk Wendell! What are you doing! Desks are not for sitting!” gently boomed the Titan, known as Wally, out from comparative silence. His soft yet strong, confident voice breaking the forced ebb in wondering thoughts of the Warlock. “For a bunch of know it all's, certainly you should know how to properly use a desk!”

Wendell wryly glanced behind himself, than looked to the Suns position in the sky; “Good evening Wally. It’s nice to see you too. Punctual as always I see.”

“Yea yeah, get off it!”

On the whim, Wendell jumped from the desk with his knees, his arc clearing over two adjacent neglected chairs. Upon landing into the center circular indent of the room, he turned about face towards the room entrance, where Wally was now settling himself for a long chat by leaning against the supporting beam by right door sill, careful not to knock the flag off the wall. Wendell stood straight, adjusting his posture and inquisitively folded his hands at rest into his back, and approached with a question.

“Well if you are here, where is Wataru (渡る)?”

“What do I look like?! I’m not his keeper.”

“Now now… no need to be so cross.”

“Wendell, you darn well know there is plenty of reason to be ‘cross’. To start, I may have lost a fellow Titan-Sister, and even with that I can give you four reasons why time is no longer on our side; Mercury, Mars, Io, and…*sigh* … the ironically named Titan.”

“Ironically?”

“IF IT WAS A TRUE TITAN IT WOULD...!”

“Woah woah, Wally Wally! Brother, please. It’s not gone, we’ve just been recalled from it. It’s a just momentary reprieve.”

“Hmph. Fine. So, where is that Hunter? So help me, if that blasted Hunter went and blew this off I’m going to have to punch something. In fact do you know what I punched the other day…”

The Titans voice faded away for a moment as Wendell thought to himself “How am I to ask about the Darkness with him like this? … I wonder where in this room that trouble prone Hunter is hiding now?”

The Titans voice faded back into attention.

“… that’s why we even have permission to even use Zavala's Office as a semi-private place to meet! Which reminds me! You should not have been on Zavalas desk like that. This is HIS office! We are guests here and we should take great care not to touch anything! We shouldn't be going around and touching any of his...”

Suddenly from atop a bookcase, Shaax Voice blares into the room. A start into music with a deep thumping bass tune.

“Think of it as training Guardian. You can only get stronger from this!”

“Ahhhh!”

A disembodied surprised yell follows with a Hunter, who is now falling from atop the book case to the floor, appearing from seemingly out of nowhere upon landing on his butt with an *oof*, removing his invisibility.

“Ohhhh, so that’s what that’s what the button... uh oh.”

Wally easily picks up the Hunter by the shoulder with his right hand, only to find the Drifter smirking at him. Wally rips off the Hunters outdated paper “Festival Of The Lost” helm and tosses it aside, where it dissolves away moments after. Wally brushes a tuft of the Hunters bright colorless white hair and intensely looks at him straight in his one good human eye.

With gritted teeth, Wallys usually gentle tone turns to a growl.

“… His. Personal. Thinggss… Wataru.”

“And now it’s worse”, thought Wendell.

In a huff and without even a glance, the Titan with a tempered quickness taps the adjacent wall to his left with his fist… the music stops. He than releases Wataru, only to raise his finger at him with response.

“You KNOW that invisibility is against protocol while at the Tower. Knock it off! And I just want to let you know, I really want to punch you right now.”

“Yeah yeah, but, how did you do that? I can’t do that. Why can’t I do that?” Wataru sporadically knocks at the recently tapped wall, his cape flailing about. Nothing but the sound of knocking occurs, during which Wendell asks; “Were you waiting up there the entire time Wataru? ‘Cause that entrance timing was really suspect-”

“Never mind!” interrupts the Wally with a quick hand wave. “Now that you are OFFICIALLY here Wataru, let’s get this started NOW. What all this means for us and… by the Traveler! There is so much. Let’s get this fire team meeting started already.”

The Titan reaches for his helm and with a press and turn in the right place, the seal hisses fourth. No need to be fancy about it. As the helm is lifted off the Titans Head, an Awoken face is revealed. A face of pure bleached white with similarly shaded white hair, and eyes glowing a bright white. Totally pure, sans for a few streaks of black… what appeared to be painted lines upon his face.

“Wendell, please take your helm off. It’s so rare that we’re able to meet face to face, so let’s see ‘em.”

“Very well.” The Warlock does so.

With a wave of his hand the White “Kairos” Shaded CODA Helm dematterised, revealing the full features of the Exo Warlock.

The first thing you would see in any condition upon his face is an obvious intense brightness. The glow of the Exos piercing blue eyes. Then the deep gash braking the silhouette from atop the gray frontal plate, which had been marbled into a Rorschach pattern. And if the light was just right... a difference in sheen from between the dried red smear splashed upon gold colored plating. Everything else was just parts… all brought together into an image of a face that had known many things. Perhaps too much.

The Titan than starts to speak once more, his controlled voice subtly shifting its tone, revealing intense emotion behind the calm and strength. “I admit, in my fever to get here on time, I didn’t consider where we are to start with all of this nastiness...”

...and after a moment of hesitant consideration behind breaths...

“...lets start with... Sloan, if we could please. And then… if we could, lets ease our way into the heart of what brings us here today. You apparently have something to say Wendell? Yes? Some major question? Maybe if we get the chance we could also talk about Eris Morn. These messages she has found in the tasks we’ve been assigned these many weeks I’ve found very troubling. I could use some of your wisdom, Warlock. But first let’s speak of the ones we have lost contact with, and speak our respects toward the honorable sacrifices of…”

Wataru blindly interjects; “Yo hey, um, cool and all but shouldn’t we talk about-the-pressing-changing-stuff-first? Respect-is-cool-but-it’s-done, right! If wer’re-out-of-time-than-dnagit-let’s-use-the-time-we-have! What-dirt-did-the-chick-with-da-rock-find? Do-we-know-how-we-defeat-the-darkness, or-don’t-we? But really if-we’re-going-to-go-to-the-effort-to-make-a face-to-face-talk-then-let’s-just-talk-about-the-threats-or-whatever-so-we-can-go-and-shoot-it! Yeah? YEAH?! Anyone?!”

Both the Warlock and the Titan stare blankly at the Hunter. Unrealized to Wataru, he spoke so animatedly and quickly that his lack of proper pronunciation blurred his words together.

“W-What?” Uttered the Warlock. The Titan rolled his eyes.

“Wataru, please, this is serious stuff. We’ll deal with… whatever you just babbled about in a moment. Respects, must, be paid.”

“Oh… bother.” The defeated Hunter shrugs to the ceiling with a sigh. He knew this was going to be some flipping therapy session.

“So…” starts Wendell, turning back to the Titan and trying to find the right words. “It’s interesting you mentioned Deputy Commander Sloane. Did you see anything amiss while you were there?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, apparently, after you left some reports state that Sloan took some joyride in a wearable Golden Age weapon. Reports state that she was fighting off a flood of hive in it, and that said weapon ripped and shattered them apart like one would fragile glass. One report states that this wearable weapon was green? Or was it brown or something? Ah... it’s such an erroneous detail, it’s probably best to ignore it, but it is thought that she made a last stand so that others could escape The Pyramids new found reach on Titan. As I understand it, she is currently listed as Missing in Action. So, while you were there, did you see anything? Anything to corroborate these reports?”

“Hmm. A True Titan.”, Wally rumbled to himself. He then faced Wendell, and looked the Warlock in the eyes as he spoke. “I don’t recall seeing anything different than what I had seen in the past. Certainly no golden age wearable, fun as it sounds, I don’t know what such a thing would look like. Didn’t know I should have been looking for one.”

“Yeah.” The Warlock pauses for a moment, once again leaving the hum of the room to sing in the moments silence. It occurred to Wendell why they don’t do this often. His fireteam was not much for conversation or talking in general.

The Warlock Continued; “Well she seemed like a solid commander. I hope the reports are true.”

“Thank you Wendell. So uh… how’s the Ash-hole?”

The Warlock gives a look of bewilderment. “Excuse me?”

“OH! How very improper of me… Sorry, right, how embarrassing eh… it’s a pet name… eh, what is that official name… Asher Mir? Asher Mir. You know, the really smarty pants Io guy. I know you saw him last. Has his arm run way from his inscrutable nonsense yet?”

“Um… last report states he went into the Pyramidion to stop the Pyramids from studying it and hasn't been seen since. I don’t know anything else, annoyingly enough. It’s interesting… isn’t it? I wonder if those Pyramidion shapes mean some implication with the Vex? Hmm… I’ll have to think about that. That said, I understand he’s very direct, and yes… his exclusive use of jargon can be fraying at times, but I would have expected as a Titan you’d enjoy his particular brand of directness.”

“If that’s what you call direct, than it is most convoluted method of it.”

“Hm! Interesting. I’ll have to think about that.”

They both look to the Hunter, who is in progress of feeling behind the flag on the wall, trying to find a hidden button or sensor, seismograph… something. Anything. Why has the room become so quiet?

His fire team speaks in unison; “Wataru!”

The Hunter jumps back like frighted cat. “What?! What!”

“Brother Vance” asks Wendell. “You saw him last. What did he say? Do you have anything to add from your… sparse report?”

“You kidding? That ‘ol kook? I have no idea. He sent me to do a thing, hoo’d n haw’d about Osiris this and Fractaline that. Or was that some other time? Anyway at first I thought he was holding back so I acted like I left. Heard ’im talking about some song in the Trials, or something?! But… look, he’s freaking weirdo. The only song in Trails are salt, snipers and revives. It’s probably nothing… so whatever.” Condescendingly “Ok? We good now? Everyone feel better? Can we talk about the freek’n ships now?”

“Not so fast Wataru, there is something else I want to speak about first. A report I found concerning. I just want to know if it is true you are now Titled as a so called ‘Dredgen’ now?”

“What?!” A shocked grimace formed upon Wallys face.

Wendell continues; “Yeah, according to scuttlebutt, Wataru is a Dredgen by Title now.”

“YOU WHAT?!”

Wendell didn’t think eyes could be as wide as the Wallys were now. Oh well, this question is proving to be a solid litmus test. Best continue. The Warlock looks to the Hunter and asks;“Do you know why such rumors would say such?”

All eyes are now on Wataru, a Hunter whose voice is how buried in his throat.

“Uhhhhhh…”

In a flashback of memory, the Hunter considers the question.

~FLASH~

Drifter: “Hey, hey. Let's be straight with each other. I know the Vanguard's watching me. Probably wants you to snitch, am I right? [laughs] If you're considering, I get it. Ol' Drifter likes to play both sides, too. But think about it. You stand with them, you're a dead man walking. Gambit's pissed off a whole lotta dangerous people. You stand with me, I got your back. Trust. So what'll it be?”

The Drifter says something about... I don't know whatever. Wasn’t listening. I say out loud “Sure. Whatever.” Wasn't worth paying attention anyway. Just shut up and show me the Bounties old man, I’ve got stuff to shoot. Go go go go go.

Drifter:“Hahaha! You got grit, kid. I admire a man willing to risk the trust of everyone who's ever been kind to him/her. But lemme set the record straight - you're choosin' to walk with a monster. Monsters survive. Trust. ...”

~/FLASH~

The flashback of memory ends, and now the Hunter must confront reality.

“...Uhhhhhhhhhhhh…Nope! No Idea. Not a clue.”

Watarus eyes shift left and right, as if they were trying to dislodge and escape the moment. And Wendell is reading them as if he would a book.

“You signed something with out reading it didn’t you?”

“Well… uh… I don’t know… but but WHATEVER! What what… what do you expect, eh?! You see?...” -Wataru points to his blind eye- “...it don’t work. I get to spend the rest of eternity as a flippen’ cyclops! So… yeah, I’m a Dredgen in Title now, so what? It’s just a freek’n title. It meaningless! Are you a Savor? Are you actually Almighty? Shit No! It’s nothing! It’s why the Drifter made it up in the first place! So how ‘bout this! If it really bothers you, how bout you call me… A-ahem- EXECUTIVE GUARDIAN SUPER PLUS PLUS SUCK MY ...”

“You DARE turn your back on the Vanguard? Are you without Honor?!” Roars the Titan. “YOU DARE WALK THE PATH OF Dredgen Yor!!!?”

“Woah woah woah woah… don’t get your baby cape in a bunch. Wataru is still doing the Vangardy stuff… and… and look! Now if Mr. Drifty Shifty helps me I can help y'all too, everyone wins! Right?! Heh ha, there is no problem.” Wataru starts to progressively yell louder. “Everything, is fine. Oh wait… except for the freaking ships, of freek’n Darkness, FREEK’N pulle’n a BLASTED flybuy over OUR WORLDS and STEALING em’ suckers… FROM. US! JUST PULLED ON UP AND CALLED US A BITCH, an’ we can’ do shit! CAN WE PLEASE TALK about them POINTY SHITS now!?”

Watarus rant finishing with “See’n as they’n a gosh darned pain in my ass” under his breath.

Wally returns a reply in a humph. “We’re not done with this, you can count on it, but for once… yeah, let’s get to it.”

“Aye yai yai yai yai … Finally! So, we’ve all done what three eyes has been barking about right?”

“Three eyes?” Wally furrows his brow.

Wataru clarifies; “The chick with the flaming bone stone?”

“Excuse me?” queries Wendell.

“Eris Morn? Hello?! Goodness ya’ll are slow.”

The Warlock and Titan look at one another. Wally Speaks: “It... is correct that we have agreed to speak about this topic of Eris Morn, but… and I’m almost afraid to ask; bone stone?”

“Her glowy rock thing that she always has, it’s CLEARLY an Ahamkara bone. We all know that right?”

The Warlock and Titan look at one another again. The Warlock asks: “...and do you have any evidence of this?”

“What?! NO, man! Do you not see it? Just, just look at it! It’s SO OBVIOUS! I mean, I just know it man!”

“Well than…” concludes Wendell, “You really have a way with words Wataru. Well, I guess I’ll take that into consideration next time I get a chance to speak with her… but to the topic at hand? The Messages she has translated for us. I have a few theories and...”

“Right!” interrupts Wataru once again. Seems like Hunters just can’t wait for a thought to be finished. “The vision! The message in the room of Statues. What do you all think it all means?”

Wally crosses his arms, his shoulders unrestricted from a the usual pauldrons of a Titan. “Well, isn’t it obvious. It right well told us. It means we’re going to yet another moon, that’s what it means. It’s clearly a dare.“

Wendell squints as far as his Exo face will allow. It is unusual for a Warlock to find himself without any hint of knowledge to which his peers speak of.

“What? What moon? There was no hint about a moon?...”

The Hunter and Titan look at one another in surprise.

“I do recall, I think… yes… a room of statues, all laying on the floor. Discarded. Used. Some of them in pods…”

“No…” interrupted again by the Hunter. “It clearly mentioned *shhhshshest*. It’s no doubt the next place it intends to steal from us.”

Wendell's senses jolted from the momentary and unexpected soft static.

“I’m sorry… I missed that… what?”

The Hunter speaks again… but it’s selectively muffled.

“Ya know, one of the moons swinging around the, the really big one. I really want to know what you two think could be on it? The pointy darkness ominously seems to really want us to go, which means of course it’s totally a trap.”

“For once I’m in agreement with you Hunter, and I too have this question. I’m looking forward to seeing if you have any incite on this Warlock.”

A piercing fear strikes through Wendell. A moment of thought “I… I don’t know anything”. He then speaks aloud; “Well than… I’m’m sorry… I’ve not been my self as of late. What was the question?”

“What’s do y'all think is on Eooooopha?” Asks the Hunter.

Wendells sensors must be having a slight malfunction. Oh why now?

“What?”

The Hunter yells to the ceiling. “Oh my goodness!”

He jumps slightly, animatedly positioning himself to look straight at Wendell once again, who in a muffle hears him say; “Eooooopha... Eu_pa... E_rop... _uropa... Europa! Europa! Europa!”

The Warlocks head SPARKS from his head gash, jolting his head back alarmingly fast! Wendell gasps and falls crumpling to the ground and begins to seize.

Wataru speaks in shock, as Wally commands an action upon unison.

“What in the!”

“GHOST! GET OUT HEREa!”

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Avatar

"The Meeting" /// PART 2

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, November 09, 2020, 23:03 (1297 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

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“Odd. I have no recollection of anything involving a place called Europa. I wonder how I could miss such a thing? Such seems far more a sloppy error than even casually I would allow. Is there a moon by Saturn or Jupiter called Europa that requires our attention?”

There was no response. Curious… nothing was moving particularly quick. To look around in a moment was to see that everything seemed to slow towards a stop. And stop it did until the eyes of the world shifted to start spinning dramatically around Wendell, and Wendell alone, slowly looking at him directly into his face.

“Hey… you guys ok? Whats… whats going on? Am I ok?”

Wendell places his hand on his head, which suddenly felt… light. The equilibrium of things felt… off. And then came the voices. The voices whom seemed ignorant to Wendells question and responding to their devices alone. Echoed tones and differing volumes in whispers surrounded Wendell. These were clearly not from his fireteam.

“Out here in the wild...”

“A side should always be taken, Little Light… even if it's the wrong side.”

“Dismantle Mines, yessssss? Or... you die.” followed by the same voice bleeding into the echo… “send Send SEND help-p-p-p.” “DARK Dark darkness walks among us.”

“The Great Machine Shall FINALLY KNOW OUR PAIN!”

Colors faded. Halved. Harvested. The air grew dark. Everything suddenly felt… small.

Wendell rubbed at his eyes, if only for the outdated act of doing so. There was too much sudden unaccounted for stimuli. It was as if his sensors were all suddenly going sideways.

“What-is-when-is-why is… what?” With a question uttered, Wendell's light headed and bewildering feeling cleared, but only to give-in to a sudden dread. A sudden calm, and Wendell knew the storm was here.

“No!” he whispered.

Wendell turned to look at the Newton's cradle. Nothing. Even if it had run out of energy properly through entropy, it wouldn’t be this still. Wendell's breath grew louder, but he wasn’t changing the pattern of his breath. It was just... becoming… louder. And louder! Are his ears malfunctioning still? Is this a cascading error? Wendell looked to his arm to see if the chill he felt was from hairs standing on end, only to realize that this idea was only out from some out dated instinct he no longer needed. As an Exo, he has no hair. No goosebumps here either, but there should be. Suddenly everything is wrong.

He looks again to his fire team. They are frozen in place, surrounded by purplish blue crystals. Wendell already knew that. He knows he is alone. His eyes glint back behind him once more, not to the Newton's cradle, but through the tall windows to which he could gaze towards The Traveler.

His whisper becomes a gradual scream. His relaxed hands fists, swung to his side!

“No No! No! NO NO NO… NOOOO!!”

The Traveler… was Gone. The Traveler was Gone! Replaced with a legion dark obsidian pyramids. A sky filled of skewed black shark teeth swallowing the sky. Jaws closing to eclipse all light and swallow it whole. And where the Traveler once was known, is by far the largest pyramid of them all.

Wendell was pressed right next to the windows looking up, hands pressed hard against the glass, but had no recollection of moving from across the room. He was just there now, in full attendance to the pyramids dark splendor. All ships that were once in the air, fall, the bodies within them ejecting and ultimately joining the same fate. Wendell could see that even the clouds were either being pushed away, or made anew in their image. Nothing could ignore the ultimate fate. The sun eclipsed seemed to fade into continually gentler shades of purple and red. And the stars far away? They dare for now show themselves in a sky for whom an hour should know none but one. These stars had no right to show them selves now. An easy remedy to fix… it will take but a moment. Less than that. Moments no longer matter.

In an instant, the largest pyramid ship emits a brass sepia pulse of… something… which reverberates across all matter, like fingers strumming a guitar. For a moment it’s as if Wendell's stomach is in his head, and his feet would make more use pointing up. But… where is up?! WHERE IS UP!? There is NO UP! IT’S ONLY DOWN! DOWN! Down. down. Wendell grasps his head once more and digs into his torso low, trying to keep himself together. The glass explodes, shattering angrily with purpose. The winds howl through and waft in the smell of wet earth and boiling shadow; an announcement that everything was fluid and changing at once and for all in grand finality. Wendell shields his eyes, again out of some sort of outdated instinct. His eyes were not of flesh nor water, and the deathless need not fear any damage, but it did not stop the impulse. The message that he should be (but wasn’t) crying. Weeping. A sorrow reaping at his soul, demanding the respect of his screams. Demanding that death knows his anguish at its required task.

As Wendell lowers his protective arm, it was as if this arm was the difference between the before and after from the grace of his former glance. There is no sun. There are no stars, but still somehow sight. All color and shape was red and black and wiggled as worms with an occasional sepia hue. The air felt warm and stale among its bluster. A low infra-pulse sound was the beat among all matter. There is nothing but teeth screeching at the glass window of his mind. His breath was sounding panicked, but that's not right. He was breathing normally.

With the stage now set, Wendell is greeted with a new form of devilry. From beneath the unending howling of the cooling winds, they carry with them a new, awful message. Splintering quakes among screams. Ferocious, unrepentant, unyielding screams. A vicious veracious effort of shocking humbling speed, requiring one to catch ones breath or lose it all at once. It is an echo far too close and Wendell is far too far. Helplessly he watches The Last City shimmer and grow dead. A stillness among the inky black. Wendell watches as portions of the great walls surrounding, fall... like brittle pottery. A heaving of their mass as if a melting iceberg. Ruin and calamity. It was all so easy. Wendells mind issues a question; are these the shadows of things that yet shall be, or will be? Or even… has been? Of this question, there is no recognition. The sound of nature its self is changing and its laws are forfeit in full. A judge has put its writers in contempt.

Then those sounds are dulled once more into ominous whispers and onto the stage a new act is made. Wendell turns, maybe he can free his fire team. His fire team is gone, and Zavallas office has been completely destroyed. Dissolute, a destruction stripping off the bare bones of how things were once built. It is as if there has been a thousand years of neglect with a thousand more to come. As if the whole world has ceased to be tended. All color has faded. Gone, only to be mixed with the increasing cold and snow and the dire silence of the air, where to sing is to be only of mourning. Crys lost in an eternal winter. It is increasingly impossible to see the city now. Mixing with the inky black is a thick white soupy fog wafted about in the winds. All luster, hardly a shade. It is only flat contrasts where depth ebbs in and out from the world.

Then came the finality, and song in-between this transition. Where upon all sudden senses Wendell could hear was the ethereal sound of distant sirens, making a nameless call to him. Wendells breath grew colder still, his every pore a dragons fog anticipating its next meal. Fluid leaked from his eyes. The jaws frothed with fluid. Smoke begin to emanate from his mouth and eyes and ears and every part of him was a light in flame alone in the darkness. And then his body was gone too, and he was just a weighed down pulse of light. An eternal flame, slowly being frozen up too.

He felt as small as the Traveler truly was. All the truth. All of the truth. Every atom of every moment was known to him, and it was all insignificant. These things were worthy of only disdain and nothing. He felt an unquenchable urge to join it. The cold. He was so tired. SO tired. He wanted to join its call and be beyond all creation. No he didn’t! Yes! Yes he did. No. NO! He was paste being harvested and he could feel his fears being squeezed. But soon there would be no more fear! If there was a self, it was worthy of only disdain and nothing and it would all be so soon. A falling down down down.

Silence.

Calm.

The winds calmly whisper in gradated tones a notice; a sweet release. In fact, all Wendell could hear… was his breath. And the calm. And the winds. Up. Up up up. Wendell could breath again. He was of form again. And then… for a moment, there is a sound. A beautiful beautiful sound. A thousand Mozarts, and even a Vivaldi in spring. It was simple, just a bi-tonal harmonious call bathed in among an echo. A call of some distant bird, ethereal. But Wendell does not see any bird. There is nothing… nothing but the snow. Yet, if there is anything out there… Wendell stands tall and stretches out his arm, his hand, and for a slow instant. A brief slow moment, there is a bird of light acting to land upon Wendell's arm. His hand. And just as its about to make contact, in a motion so slow that each moment can be appreciated, it sings its beautiful call again.

Wendell is on the ground and cocooned in light fluffy snow. “Wasn’t I standing?”

With simple gradual action, he rises back to his feet, dusting off the clinging snow. It appears he has risen into a snowstorm, the wind is howling granting only about a meter or two of distance.

“Hello?”, his voice echos.

The wind responds, thinning the white foggy haze and bringing forth delight to the errant ice crystals which dance, swirling about. As the haze clears away, and the colors returned true, Wendell was now standing in snow surrounded by deep icy crevasses and an endless sky line at dusk. And upon that distant sky, a sudden contrast from the skyline haze of gray blues, purples and pinks; a black, tall, unevenly rhombic pyramid. Wendell thought he could see fractal shapes warped beneath it, etching into the snow, and that’s when it happened. Wendell could not speak, but he realized what was going on; “Who are you? Who slips into my robot body and whispers to my ghost?”

Then the lone pyramid slowly and evenly whispers into his mind;

It seems your makers didn’t want you to come home, Exo. Here. Yet another gift. One of many, once you return home.

The Warlock gasps and falls unto all fours to splash upon snowy ground. Europa! Eramis!? Your power!? Me!? The Crypt! The mind, fluid into darkness!! N-no!!! The Warlock manages to stand on his knees and begins to cry a dry sob into the sky. He can speak now. More than he ever wanted to in one moment. In a whisper Wendell says... “Tried to stop me? You knew the risks, didn’t you? How could you not? Did you care? Did it please you to see me keep coming back? To not being broken when all others would be? The Horrors you inflicted? I will tell the world what Braytech has done if I must! The truth about Clovis Bray! What you did to your own Grand Daughter?!”

Wendell feels… nothing but fear. And pain. And anguish. Things forgotten but not removed, be they needed or wanted, and Wendell remembers everything now. Everything, and even a little bit of hope. Some of the memories though were odd. Some of this stuff… he shouldn't even remember. Between so long ago and it hasn’t happened yet. But… there it was. In the memory.

The Pyramid whispers to his mind once more. Slowly and evenly.

“Don’t you see the failure of the light? Such suffering? Why do you want to be afraid? Is it because fear is what once gave you life? Kept your life? Do you really want peace? We are willing to give it to you. We are your salvation. What say you… Exo?”

“I say… how… unexpected.”

Wendell wasn’t much for words… and he has never spoken to what was, ostensibly a god before. Usually it was just shoot first ask questions later, as much as Wendell would prefer to have it the other way around. But… if Wendell was to speak, it would be the light of all the truths which he had worked so hard to understand as a Warlock. And even… before.

Wendell stood back up from his knees and brushed the snow off them. He opened his mouth, took a deep breath and with unexpected giggle, of warmth within him, a beating in his chest. He spoke forth;

“Before I speak in full, I know that I do not know, and this is folly. That you are humoring me in this opportunity. Testing. With this said, here is what I see for now… thing. To follow you alone and to embrace your gospel alone, no matter how sweet, would be a fools gambit. You are but a mono optic shade. Power limited to its self yet built only from others and thus why, however oddly, you fear death. As an entity absolute, your are lost in the struggle of your recklessness in absolute. An end within its self. You can see only nothing but what you are, and for that in all your power I pity you. That in all your omnipotence, you are lost in a rigid frame and can be nothing else. That is why primarily I have followed the light, that which I admit, is why I am even able to speak in this now. For it is this spectrum of living, and pain, and yes… death and failure, that I am able to exceed far far beyond your blackest stone. Your coldest night. Your greatest challenges. YOU WILL FAIL, because I will fail! Again! And AGAIN! You are a trap, a fearless continence towards a living death, built with only no room but for one thought of you! Of your shape! And your song! You are the creator of plucked flowers, beautiful in its moments, yet doomed. For the flower feels admired, but in truth it has become lost in isolation, no longer rooted to the ground. Salvation? Ha! At minimum a Moral victory requires freedom, and I’d bet that’s not something you understand. All you know are tools to your end, and tools alone. That’s what makes this so funny. With these knives you shall soon so eagerly gift as evidence to your perceived slice of truth, I shall teach at you the empathy of sacrifice. Show you birth from your decay. Again and again and again as I must and I can and I will. And while in this joining I shall be YOUR salvation, THING! As all light must have its shadow, and than we shall be whole. And you can trust that I shall cast your shadow far far away. You may have fooled others, but do not think me a fool, calmed by pleated plethora of gifts. My name is Wendell-777 and all this is my quietest whisper to you.”

Wendell spits in motion alone, and ends with… “Zero is still an even number”.

The ship is silent and still. Then the winds pick up once more and all distance becomes blinded. The snow blows away from Wendell's feet, revealing a rich dark wood flooring. It is upon this sudden mist, the ship calmly whispers its concluding words;

“Your conflict is needless. Foolish. You need not fight an endless war. You need not worry of friends or enemies. We are your salvation and we shall see you soon, Exo.  All of you... soon. And there are so many more gifts here on Europa to share with you.”

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Avatar

"The Meeting" /// PART 3

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, November 09, 2020, 23:05 (1297 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

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“Europa! Europa! Europa!”

The Warlocks head SPARKS from his head gash, jolting his head back alarmingly fast! Wendell gasps and falls crumpling to the ground and begins to seize.

Wataru speaks in shock, as Wally commands an action upon unison.

“What in the!”

“GHOST! GET OUT HEREa!”

Both the Hunters Ghost (with the Eris Morn Shell) & the Titans Ghost (with the Saintly Shell) appear, but Wendell's is not to be found.

“What did you do this time?” Nags the Eris Morn Shell.

“What are you talking about, I know you saw what just happened… fix it! Fix it fix it!”

“Hasty hunter, be silent now. We are not this guardians ghost.” The Saintly Shell than looks to speak to his Titan.

“This Warlocks breath sounds panicked. What data would you like me to find Guardian?”

“Anything! Quickly now.”

“One moment, I suppose… as an Exo, it’s just another lock right?”

The Saintly Shell makes a quick scan, than again, and then... perplexed… scans one more time.

“Talk to me.” Commands Wally, his voice strict and forward.

“Guardian, at first I detected some results that reminded me of the Vex, and then I’m detecting some sort of connection that reminds me of anomalous signals I detected during your Crucible practices on Luna in the Mare Cognitum Sector… but different. And then again I scanned and… I in fact… I’m detecting a myriad of signals and disruptions throughout this Guardians physical systems. I’m detecting a fair number of binary and quantum pulses, both forming and breaking down and… though I’m not sure, I’m your ghost not his, It’s like…”

The Ghost attempts to pause for a moment, but Wally doesn’t allow it.

“Ghost, my Fireteam member is down, and his ghost seems unresponsive. Speak!”

“I’m sorry, my specialty is more on the Awoken, on you… you’re my Guardian. I brought you back, not this one. I don’t know, but it seems like different programs are running. And it looks like… and this can’t be right… it looks like some of them are being re-written WHILE it’s running. I don’t know if I can trust this reading, this can’t be right. Guardian I’m too unfamiliar with some of this data I am reading, and I don’t wish to do any harm to a fellow Guardian. It’s like his light is being possessed or infiltrated by something. Whatever is going on is effecting him to the… ghost level!?! Guardian I recommend…”

Eris Morn Shell chimes in sarcastically; “Oh! Let me guess! Have you tried punching it Titan?”

The Saintly Shell isn’t amused. “What? No no! Could you just for once try to be helpful?! Plus, in particularly rare fashion, that’s actually a terrible Idea. If my Titan punches him in this state, for all we know he’ll actually kill ‘im. His ghost is non-responsive… Guardian I recommend we must notify the Vanguard for further instruction.”

Eris Morn Shell: “And what are they going to do? Punch him?”

“They have experiences we do not. Guardian… let’s move.” The Titan begins to jog out of the room only to be stopped mid-fountain hall by the Eris Morn Shell blocking their path.

Eris Morn Shell: “Or we could… I don’t know, punch him now?”

“Are you sure you're my ghost?” Asks Wataru, peeking around the corner.

"Whose else would I be? Will someone please punch this Exo contraption! Guardian, could you please be so kind? I want to see what happens, like the wall. And if that doesn’t work, THAN Titan you can go!”

The Hunter Shrugs.

“Ah fine! I’ll do it.”

The Hunter Punches the Warlock in the Jaw, still seizing, but slower. His vocal programming activates with the Warlock whispering; “I was rejected 776 times. I was told it was impossible, that 20 was the limit a mind could take. But I wasn’t going to die today, there was still so much to learn.” The Whisper than abruptly became a scream. “DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND! IT WAS WRONG! IT WAS ALL WRONG!!!!! The mind wants to be free despite its lack for freedom! The mouth wishes to screeeeeeeeeam, but there is no mouth! NO MOUTH! NO MOUTH!! It just looks like one!”

Fluid leaked from his eyes. The jaws frothed with fluid. Smoke begin to emanate from his mouth and eyes and ears and every part of him. Whatever was going on was just too much.

“Why does a war machine need the ability to make tears? Why does a war machine have emotions? Why should a war machine have a digestion system? Why does a war machine need to eat? My does a war machine need to breath? Why does a War machine need a heart beat? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY!? WHY! WHY!!! WHY!!!!!! WHYYYYYY!!!!!”

Than in the loudest burst… “I will tell the world what Braytech has done! The truth about Clovis Bra-!”

The Hunter Punches him again. Wendell stops speaking, and in fact stops seizing all together.

“Well that didn’t work. I wonder if this is the work of the witch queen?”

“You’re asking the wrong titan… but you have actually given me an idea.”

“Oh! Well, my dairy will be so thrilled. I’ll even scribble it in crayon in your honor.”

As the Titan approached, he noticed that Wendell had grown eerily still. If he didn’t know any better, he would have said that this Guardian was gone, much like Cayde-6.

The Titan, with precision… strongly tapped at the bottom of Wendell's Exo jaw with quickness, giving it an open palmed strike twice. Nothing. He than moved his hands into different positions, acting with knuckle, wrist, and side palm as needed. He tapped twice the top of the Exos head. Nothing. Juggled his motions between his head twice with strong taps left and right. Tapped his back at different places twice. Nothing. Holy shit. Is he… is he dead? With a sigh… and an escalation of anger, the Titan had one last trick. He balled up his fist and with a SLAM, hit the Exo has hard as he could in the chest. And then suddenly… Wendell seemed to start. Seeing this reaction, the Titan punched the Exo chest with a rhythm like a drum. “Come on! Come on!” One minute becomes two, and the Titan keeps the rhythm until... the glow from the Warlocks eyes flutters for a moment. The Titan stops as the lights from the Exo eyes than blinks back on solidly and Wendell says out loud: “Than I shall be the best of fools!”

The snow was gone. All of it. All sight was met with the slanted stone of the ceiling and rigidity of its squared and centered beams. Wendell groggily sits up and looks around, bewildered.

“I was standing? Where did all the snow go? Why am I on the floor?… My Fireteam! Are you, are all ok!?” A shocked look twitches on Wendell's face and in quickness he turns to look out the window, an action matched by his fireteam. They turn their heads casually to glancing in the same direction, without knowing what to look for. All the same, Wendell breaths a deep sigh. The Traveler is still there.

With the crisis averted, the two ghosts return from whence they came. Their moment of exposition done. Wally looks to Wendell to help him back to his feet. He extends his hand; “Don’t mind us, we’re fine. It is you who gave us quite the curious scare. What happened? Are YOU OK?

Wendell responds, his warbled voice now received and timid; “I… I don’t know. I...”

“Well Wendell, tell us the last thing you remember? That may help us understand what happened."

With half voice and half whisper; “What happened? What happened?! What happ… NO no… not important… it’s fading! It’s fading! Um um… We need-to wear-something uh uh warm on our legs, at least, as we approach a World of Ice. Do you hear me! The cold is everywhere! Every-where. And it’s only the beginning! And Eris morn has embraced the… and … the Vex are infecting like digital ants and oh and Clovis Bray! OH that monster! The Vanity! He killed his own … um… someone. It was all so clear. Everything was so clear. So so clear. The faces were long with broad rabbit ears above the draped cloak of embrace… or they looked like it… was that the past? And the speed of them all! Meticulous and… narrow. *Sigh*... I knew everything, and even then I knew nothing. I knew no choice at all.

… No choice at all.”

Wendell begins to lay back and turns to dry sob to the floor as his senses return to him.

“I don’t remember. I don’t remember ANYTHING.”

“Should I go get the Vanguard?”

“No… that’s… if I could still remember, than yes, but I can’t so… no. No.”

“You’re… bumming me out here. Give me something to work with. Please Wendell. I don’t know what to do. Well, unless you need me to give ya a good punch.”

Wendell sits up again and lifts his defeated shoulders. He looks up to the Titan, to his fire team brother, his hand still extended and solid. Ever at the ready. With yet another deep sigh, Wendell forces himself to come together. There are questions to be answered, and still more questions to be asked.

“I’m not ready to stand yet, thank you Wally.”

The Titan returns his extended hand to rest.

“Well, as I recall, the last thing I experienced before my systems went sideways was… I seemed to have issue with description and understanding with the word…”

*The mental image of the Pyramid on Europa flashes before him for a moment.*

[image]

Wendell shivers.

“What?”

“It’s nothing. Never mind what happened. I’ve had a vision, or a dream.”

The Warlock whences his eyes and shakes his head. He suddenly felt like he was going to throw up, but wasn’t sure if it was because of what he saw, or what it took for him to be forced to see it.

With a whisper Wendell utters “… why? Why why why”, and is clearly still not all there. Zavala's Office is allowed to echo its ambiance for a moment, and then… finally, Wataru breaks the silence.

“Sure doesn’t sound like nothin’. Like it doesn’t matter. Ya look like shit, and its clear you need more time, but if your memory is fading just push and tell us what exactly did you see? What dream? What Vision?! Come on!”

Wendell Screams.

“EVERYTHING!” … gasps a few shots of air … “Nothing. It could have been nothing but lies, or… every truth at once. I’m still… processing a lot of it. What I can still remember, anyway.”

Wendells eyes close. Contemplating. Thinking. He puts his hand on his head and feels the loss of friction on his skullplate.

“Hey guys, can I… get something to wipe off this new crud on my face?”

The Titan without hesitation rips off his Xenosilver Coronation mark.

“I’ve got plenty of extras. Don’t worry about it.”

“Thanks.”

Wataru stares at Wendell, intensely. This was something new, and Warlocks aren't the only ones who can make calculated considerations.

Watching my Warlock brother, as he wipes off the oily residue it is obvious in motion that he is notably exhausted. What ever happened took a number, and finally made call on it. And man… I’ve been around the block before, so it’s totally like some of his thoughts are still elsewhere. Like his action and speech was just a buffer for time, while trying to figure out what to do with the time. What choices to make. Which fork of the river to push towards, and let the river do the rest. I didn’t tell him this of course. I’ve got a hard built reputation to keep. Last thing I need is folks com’n to me to cry on my shoulder, that ain’t my bag. But I’m worried for him. Ah shit. Got to say something. Ah… why does that Titan have to be here now, that honor crap is so fake. But with Wendell down like this, there ain’t anything I can say to make him leave his side right now. Ah well.

“Hey man, don’t read into this too much. Don’t… um… don’t let it get to ya. You’re here with us, brother. I mean, don’t get USED to this, but can I get ya some Ramen or something?

Wally turns his head, shocked. “A selfless act?! Who are you and where have you stashed the real Wataru?”

(Ah Crap.) “What are ya talken about? I’m always real. I uh… Warlocks are good for Intel, you know! I mean, I COULD do it, but why when we already have someone who enjoys doing that stuff. It’s about ME man! Yah!”

The Titan shakes his head disappointed. “I suppose I should expect nothing less from a Thorn user.”

“Hey man, ya got to deal with some thorns if ya want the rose! Ha ha! And hey! You’re one to talk…”

“Guys?” The Warlock could hardly speak… he just felt, so wiped out.

“… isn’t Crimson banned by the Vanguard to use Mr. High-And-Mighty-Vanguard Guy”

“What?”

“That’s right… I know! Ain’t keep’n no secrets from me!”

“I have no idea what you are talking about. According to official Vanguard policy, this weapon you speak of does not exist.”

“Guys.”

Watarus tone escalates. “Yeah yeah, but only an idiot believes only the Official policy. And I ain’t-”

“Oh well fantastic, it’s settled then. Shut up.”

“Don’t interrupt me! You Shut up!”

Wendell then pushes out in a pained shilled yell; “GUYYYSS!!”

The bickering stops in an instant, and all attention is back on the Warlock, who after his yell is once again measuring his breaths. Then after one last gulp of air, he then speaks. “Technically you get Rose first before you get Thorn.” The words echo in the Exos hears, and for a sudden moment, everything makes sense again. Wendell speaks to himself, “Roses? And Thorns” than returns to a moment of internal monologue. “You get Roses first… is the Traveler a rose?” In an instant, his eyes return to full brightness, and Wendell looks to his fire team directly and says: “Help me up.”

Wally with anticipation steps forward in an instant, followed quickly by Wataru who matches the motion. Wendell grabs both hands, and is back on his feet. Then Wendell looks to his own hands for but a moment in realization and moves them about. The feeling of cold is gone.

“I needed to reassess my barrings and… sensations. I want to sincerely apologize for the scare you may have just witnessed.”

“You ain't kiddn’. The Titan didn’t even know what to do.”

Wally turns his head, unamused. He then brings his attention back to Wendell.

“Well, I’m glad you are finally back with us. It looked like you went too far into the deep there man, it’s like all of you dropped dead. Are you sure you are ok?”

“Again, I thank you for the concern, but I… don’t yet know how to explain what I just experienced. There is too much. And I… shoot. I don't even have time to explain why I don't have time to explain.”

The Hunter facepalms both hands on to his head.

“Enough already! He’s ok Wally! Stop asking if he is ok! The answer isn’t going to change!”

“Well…”

“Oh… don’t do that. You just told us a DOZEN times that ya don’t know and you need time. I was about to tell you that I’m VERY willing to leave to give you that time. And now… What? WHAT!”

“There is something I remember. Something that… I didn’t remember before. I’m not sure If I even knew it before.”

The room grows silent.

Wendell then ebbs closer to the group. His voice quieter, but not yet a whisper.

“What do you know about the Deep Stone Crypt?”

The room is silent, only to be broken by Watarus exclamation of...

“Holy Shit.”

“Well… should I take that as you knowing something there Wataru?”

“Hey hey, I don’t know, but what I do know was started when Cayde died. When I went to Titan to collect some of his hidden stash, his… contingencies, one of them mentioned something about a Deep Stone Crypt. It sounded pretty serious, but I didn’t really give it much thought even though…

… well I was still pretty numb then. I just. I didn’t expect to hear it again so soon. Does this have something to do with… what did he call it? Long. Sly… no… slow?! Yeah, slow whisper. Long Slow Whisper?”

“I recall there is a connection to that, but… I don’t know why, nor what it is. It’s so strange. Titan, what do you know about the Deep Stone Crypt?”

“I think there was something about it on one of my marks back in the day. It was in my vault I think before the old tower got ambushed into rubble by those Cabal cowards. That’s about it. Why? Is it important we know what it is?”

“It will be.”

“It will be?!” Wallys face contorts. “Wendell, I’m going to be quite frank here, I have no idea what is going on right now. Nothing to what you have said is connecting with me at all. You have provided nothing but riddles, and honestly, even though that’s kind of the ever-obnoxious Warlock style, you leave my patience thinned here. So let me just ask this directly; do you suspect a threat to the city?”

“No. No… nothing immediate for the city. Nothing as blunt as the Red War, but … I suppose eventually it may come to be.” There is a momentary pause. “I hope not… and yet the Darkness seems to dwell upon our cosmological door step now, so such an idea is not too far to consider in what there is to say. So, I suppose the proper answer is no, not yet… but Darkness, or at least our little understanding of it is definitely involved.

“Alright. I understood that. Carry on then. Is there anything else?”

There was a moment of silence as Wendell built the words in his throat. “Well”, he thought, “here it goes”. There is a moment of motion, in visible hesitation, but finally Wendell finds his resolve to speak.

“The question I’m about to ask was the original reason I had us come together today. I admit, this meeting has been far more exciting that I originally intended, or could intend, but even with that in mind, the need of this question...”

The Wataru interjects, “Get on with it all ready!”

“… has weighed heavily on my mind.”

Wendell looks to Wataru, than walks over to the window and looks out. Give him self some space before he asks. It’s dark now, but fortunately its only on the terms of night time. A far kinder darkness in comparison. The Traveler looms above, glowing as it does.

Click. Tick. Click. Tick. Click. Tick. Click. Tick.

“It is now obvious that we will all be forced to answer this question soon, weather we want to or not.”

Wendell than asked a question no one was ready for. The Question he dreaded to ask his fire team was now.

“If we can wield the Darkness, should we?”

“W-What!?” Replied the Titan in disgust.

“If we, we three…” he points to himself and directs his hand as called “… Wendell, Wataru, and yes even you Wally, can wield the Darkness... should we?

“BLASphemy!”

Wataru rolls his eyes.

“Oh stuff it, yah resolute tight ass!

Man, of course we should. Of COURSE! If we can wield whatever tricks 'darkness' has than shit, than wield it! Could we not use this Darkness, this weapon of the enemy, to than use it against them as one would black diamond against its self? Power is power! Especially when nature doesn’t get its say!”

“What is this foolishness?! What blasphemous noise am I hearing?! Fool! We are built from light! Isn’t it obvious that we could not wield such what-ifs without being utterly destroyed?! None of us can. Darkness answers to its own goals alone. It has no other master. Plus to do this would be a total betrayal the Traveler, and an utter corruption of every, sacred, tenet…”

“And what would a Titan know of this matter? Go take your rigid dogma somewhere else! Why don’t you go and stand on your wall, color in the lines and chew on a coloring book ya babbling brick!”

“DON’T YOU DARE BRING MY COLORING BOOK INTO THIS!”

As his fire team bickers about… somehow… about the Titan and his coloring book, Wendell can’t help but feel a touch bemused. “Well...” he thinks to himself “… this is just as bad as I thought it was going to be. And how will it effect my Fireteam indeed.” With a strong whistle, the bickering stops. Attention returns towards the Warlock, who returns to the conversational circle.

“As we both know, Wataru, doing such a thing would be a terrible use of a coloring book. Well, unless we can get some spicy ramen to go with it.” Wendell winks to Wally.

“Perhaps it was unfair of me to ask this question straight and outright. There is a lot to consider here, and I knew how controversial this was going to be among us. So if I may let me say this, yes! I do realize the magnitude of the question I ask. So let us try this again. Let me tell you why I have come to ask myself this question, as hopefully that will help. I’ve been wondering to my self if we would still be Guardians if we could wield the energies of, for lack of a better term, the “light” of the darkness? I had, originally, been asking myself if the Traveler can in its final effort bring us back… why couldn't the darkness do the same as well at full strength? Why was it the light that brought us back? Make us Guardians as it sees fit in it’s preferred image. It’s only logical right? If the darkness can infiltrate our ghosts, and have it speak for them, the very things that bring us back from the netherworld of death, the dispersal of our thoughts and being, than what else could it do to us? How venerable are we to the dark? And could it make, what we know as, Ghosts? Like… our ghosts but not ghosts. Something else?

It has been this that I have been questioning through out these last few months. Tireless research, not only with Eris, but on my own accord as well. Hands on research. Lots of time on the moon for example. And on top of my experience tonight… I now think what was once a thought experiment may soon be far more real than we know. That it’s going to happen sooner than we know. …”

“THAN WE’LL FIGHT IT!” Shouts Wally

“shhhh shh... And I fear that we won’t be ready when it does happen. This is why I’ve brought this question before you all tonight, so we can prepare ourselves for when it happens. And I think I know the answer too. What we need to…”

“What you ask…” growls Wally, his face crunched, “is impossible. Impossible. Everything you just said is utterly ridiculous. The darkness are destroyers, not creators! That’s why it was the light, AND ONLY THE LIGHT, that could bring us back! The Darkness hates creation, and it borrows and corrupts from it. Wendell, this is madness! I can simply not sanction this! What you propose in possibility, in even simple consideration is no little evil made for greater good Warlock! This is about the end. The. END. A Second Collapse!! An event I’ve sworn through the Vanguard to protect us from. And you, you DARE even hint, to even recommend us to embrace this foe with its corruption? To sit back and watch it drown our light and all things we hold dear to protect? To… drown in the dark?! No! NO! A thousand times NO!

Wendell waves his hand in a gesture of easing the rant.

“My dear friend, my dear battle brother, you misunderstand. Um, you have become so latched to your wall that you think its potential falling is an end to everything. But it’s not. I’m… I’m trying to give you a different perspective to understand how we can survive this, WITH OUR SELVES INTACT! Please. You have to listen to me. Please.”

“NO! NO! NO! YOU FOOL! YOU PROPOSE DOOM! ARE YOU SO—mmf!”

With quickness, Wendell places his hand upon Wallys mouth and looks the Titan straight in his glowing white Awoken eyes. Sternly and softly Wendell speaks; “Wally… look at me. Look. At-me. Please. Have I ever lead you astray before? You might not like it, but you must trust me as you have MANY times before. There are larger things at work here, and there really is not enough time to explain it all.”

Wendell steps back, his hand placed back to it’s original rest.

“Well… correction, it’s not a larger… it’s more a… a multitude of works. Both built in our past AND in our future. A thousand thousand different prerogatives, all aiming at one point… this so called end. And in fact… ”

“Wendell” sighs Wataru.

“… I know I know, I’m digressing but… each one of them is so SURE that they are right that they ignore all other possibilities! It’s as if it’s been concluded that all has been pre-written. And perhaps… some of it all is. Perhaps those discordant seeds or further silver leaves have already been planted unknown to us. If we have an apple tree, it will always be the provider of apples, we just don’t know what kind of tree it is yet. Or what kind of apples they shall be. Yet there has already been so much sacrifice and strife to afford us an opportunity to… to have a choice. To figure out what to do next, to… to… have the ability to create new causes for new effects. And everything I understand now points to this possibility of eventually wielding the Dark. Shoot, even some of the things I don’t understand frustratingly seem to weve this way.”

Wataru slowly facepalms and shakes his head. Wally meanwhile is grinding his fist into his hand. And then the Titan speaks.

“Remember when we mentioned Asher Mir earlier? Well this is the shit I hate. I hate it, I hate it so MUCH! All these gosh darned riddles and half spoken truths! Just say it! Don’t allude, JUST SAY IT! All this lip juggling and blasphemous nonsense is giving me a headache.”

“So… you want me to do? How would you like me to tell you casually all of existence?”

“What does everything you just said mean Wendell?” interjects the Hunter, who is so done with this shit.

“It means, we must embrace the darkness, but not give in to the darkness. That… we have a choice. Perhaps even more than those squishy types we protect. Even if we fail, we can come back and make a new choice. That’s why we should not fear what is to come, we just must make sure that… we don’t give in to...”

The Warlock paused for a moment.

“… words with more than one meaning. I know what I’m talking about, best I can. This is… this this is how we can do it. We can choose.”

Wally throws his arms up in a huff, and walks towards Zavalas desk. He grabs a chair by the desk, drags it to the window, and sits in his flustered boil. He sits there, and stares at the Traveler, and the moon lit sky.

“Well, isn’t he all flowers and mashed potatoes.” quips Wataru

“What?”

“It was something I read in the wild. A diary, I think.”

“Wataru, no one says that.”

“Well clearly not now. But I’m working on it! Just you wait, I’m going to get Zavala to say it someday. You’ll see!”

“In all of the para-causal visions, and everything I know of him, I can tell you out right that such a thing is statically not respectably possible.”

“Well than it’s a good thing I don’t know a darn thing about statistics! Haha hahah haha, oh… I’m so awesome.”

Wendell rolls his eyes.

“But now that you mention it it…” the Hunters voice grows (surprisingly) to a whisper “...those visions of yours explain why you dropped when you did when I said… um…”

Wataru suddenly looked very uncomfortable. Wendell surmises why.

“Its OK.”

“Europ...a?”

“You see. It’s all good. It was nothing you did directly, and nothing you could have known. You’re fine.”

“Ah! I mean, of course I am. I’m… um just… wondering if… ehhh, in this vision of yours, does all of this ‘what if’ start at Europa?”

“Well, it’s already started, but… yeah. With whatever secrets Europa holds, we must go to it.”

“Hmm. Well. Guess I better dress warm then.”

“Heh, ohhhh yea.”

“Alright.” Wally stands. He turns to his fireteam and quickly slaps Zavalas desk with his fist. *BAM*. The Newtons Cradle stops. “Alright!… I trust you Wendell. And your instincts have been pretty good in the past. I still only have a vague idea of what all this means and don’t make a mistake, I still hate every thing about this. But if killing this monster means we need to crawl into its paracausal gut and pretend to be food to slaughter its heart, than so be it. Shoot, it’s not like we haven’t done it before, right?

Wendell gives a sigh or relief. “Fantastic. Though I don’t expect there will be any crawling, more…"

“Wendell shut up.” interjects Wataru yet again, but to his surprise, the Warlock does so. Wataru continues. “So is that it? Is that the answer to my question? We are just… going to let the Pyramid ships do whatever they please unless the Vanguard or who knows whatever else prompts otherwise?

“Not exactly, you see…”

Wataru glares. The Wendell gets the hint.

“… um, basically. Yea. Sure.”

“Great! Well, lets forgo all other questions, because folks I’m done. I’m checked out! I’m so glad I joined in on the evenings excitement, cause boy, what a waste of time. This entire evening is pointless!”

“Well…”

“No! DON’T YOU DO THAT! I’m OUT! Where is that cloaking mine?" The Hunter frantically pats at his waste. "Shit, must fallen off in the fall, shit shit shit.” The Hunter falls to his knees and crawls about the room.

“I think you should know that soon you shall meet Crow!”

“Oh! Look at that it rhymes! How nice!… (Where in the blasted is it!?)… Oh, goody Warlock I’ll make sure I stay away from pies then! Oh… HA HA! FOUND IT!” -Beep- Poof!

“I’M FREE!!!!!!!”

“WAIT! I still have more to tell you!”

Wally pats Wendell on the back.

“I know, that Hunter can be so trying sometimes. That cloak is against regulation while at the tower. So what is it Wendell. What did you also see?”

“I think… I think I saw… our Destiny too.”

“For all three of us?”

“Na, just two of us, or so I recall. Seems there is a half life to the memory.”

“Ha. Goodnight Wendell.”

“Goodnight Wally.”

Wally brings out his ghost and evaporates in a sparking dust of light. And now Wendell is free. It is just him and the ambiance of the room. Wendell goes and puts Zavalas chair back where it was. He turns to the window, and looks up once again to the Traveler. He looks down to his hand and raises it up as if feeling a tall breeze and presses his fingers against the glass, only to then set it all back to rest. “You were never truly asleep were you?”

The room replies with the silence of ambiance.

“Well, in any case… I made my choice, what is yours?”

A large section of the Traveler floats by. The room replies with the silence of ambiance.

“Ghost.”

A Ghost with in an “Awakened” shell appears. It’s snoring.

“Ghost!?”

“Hmm? OH! Hello Guardian, can I help you with something?”

“You were asleep.”

“I was? No… I don’t need sleep. Why would I be asleep? Where is your Fireteam? Didn’t you have a meeting? “

“You could say that, but in any case it’s done.”

“Oh?! I have no recollection of… You… didn’t cheat me out and bring Sagira in here again did you?”

“What? No. And… you know what, it’s been a long day Ghost. We can think about this later. Lets get back to the ship. I need to prepare for...”

“For what?”

Wendell begins to evaporate in a sparking dust of light. “Home.”

Zavala's Office is now empty, it’s only audience the Traveler.

[image]

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