/// "The Vision" /// (Fan Creations)
The chirping of crickets. The gentle hum of generators. The wind, ever whispering, telling the warm lights to swing, the chimes to ting, and the cloth roof of the New Monarchy Bazaar to rustle about. It was yet another beautiful night atop the tower, and a fine reprieve to all the everything a Guardian knows in an "average" everyday. You know. For a Guardian.
After all, as effortless as it may seem, fighting what essentially amounted to distilled essences of reality warping demi-gods (or greater) was tiring work. And sometimes... sometimes the most difficult part of it all was deciding when to jump into the fray. And so to do nothing? Nothing was... it was...
It was... ...kinda nice. Just... ...nothing. Nothing but the sound of crickets... and everything else in between one's thoughts.Just sitting about and being somewhere because, well... here I am. That's where Wendell was, because even Warlocks like to turn the spigot of their thoughts down a notch now and then.So nice it was that Wendell's Exo eyes started to fade, his head ever heavy, and he lulled himself to rest against the bag of grain on the right of 'im.
It was all so nice.
He woke up. Did he? Everything was tinted red. Smells of wet earth. The air was warm, but somehow also stale. And it was too quiet. Except for the humming. He got to his feet, and in the corner of his eye, he quickly switched his gaze to the sky. But he couldn't see the sky, just the third person view of his face looking to the sky. The shock, to sorrow, to pain to...
*BANG BLAM POP POP*
HE SEES HIS FACE SCREEMING! LOUDER AND LOUDER! AAAAA! AAAAAAAAA! ANGUISH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaa...
Wendell awoke with a hard *GASP*, feeling a small wimpier die in his mechanical throat, and drenched in the condensation of the cool night sky fresh on his Exo form. In a wild switching of his gaze, he looked around the New Monarchy Balcony, saw fireworks in the sky and then, in standing for an unblocked view, to the Traveler.
"It's still there."
What did I just say? He thought to himself. "Of course it's still there; why wouldn't..."
The Warlock considered his own question and then considered the root of why he even asked the question at all.
It had been years since that dream. That nightmare. That specter thought, all too real when Europa was about to reveal its secrets,
"That... vision?" He recollects.
The Traveler, Gone. Replaced with a legion of dark obsidian pyramids. The skewed black shark teeth circling its pray, swallowing the sky...
... and where the Traveler once was known, was by far the largest pyramid of them all.
Wendell comes back from his recall. It's a lovely night, with a gentle breeze and the gentle song that the night will bring. And try as he did, he just couldn't drink it in. When he opened his heart to the moment, all he could taste was fear. Fear that other beautiful nights like this would soon be gone. A second time.
"What am I doing? It was nothing. NOTHING! And all the things I knew this year was because I'm, um... AN EXO. My machine body could predict those sorts of things!"
Didn't work. Wendell knew he was lying to himself, that it was all more than that. And he just wanted to cry. He just... didn't want to be afraid anymore. Or, at least, not like this.
Wendell looked up at the Traveler, and sighed a gasping sigh. And he asked, as ever redundantly... more to himself than for any response—in a whisper, "Why can't I forget"?
Wendell turned to his left, finding in his newfound attention the legs of a very nosey Hunter.
"Wataru, how long have you been there?"
"What do you want me to say? Long enough? I only just got here? That I witnessed your deepest sorrows and..."
Wendell switched his expression, showing little in amusement.
"...hey, I don't know, ok? Really. I've just been here, and, hey, what do you know, you're here too! In the TOWER!...
And with great sarcasm in his voice,
"...WHAT ARE THE ODDS!"
Wendell, still unimpressed, rolls his eyes with a sigh.
"What do you want, Wataru?"
"Why do I have to want something!? Can't a guy who isn't *out there*, have some quality time with his fellow fireteam member *in here*, among these walls, this city, and a giant ball?"
"Do you mean The Traveler?" asks the Warlock.
"No no, the ball. Didn't you see the fireworks?!
A pained expression jumps onto Wendell's face before he can catch it. He puts his left hand on his face and feels his fingers scratch along every bump and jagged edge on the surface. He quickly turns to face the traveler, only so that his face can be turned away from the hunter.
"Yeah, yeah, I did—you know man, right now isn't the best time, can you... can you just give me some space?"
Watarus' eyes flick with movement and realization. And, in an unusual fashion, his voice grows calm and measured.
"I've been around long enough to know that those are the words of someone who doesn't want to talk about something, but really wants to. I'm... going to get some spicy ramen. If you have something on your mind, I'll be there."
Wendell says nothing. Hardly moves. Stoic, even for a Warlock.
Wataru heads off but then stops, and turns his head for one more verse.
"Do you know how I'm able to go out there, weeks at a time, on my own? It's because I have somewhere else to come back to. Just don't forget... you're not alone, man. Er... Exo. whatever."
Wendell moves his head, and gazes upon the sky as Wataru walks away. Then, in the most natural, even, and straightforward tone...
The Hunter stops.
The two then come to sit under the cloth roof of the New Monarchy Bazaar, which rustles about. Among the chirping of crickets and the gentle hum of generators. The wind, ever whispering, telling the warm lights to swing and the chimes to ting. And the tangles of pain and fear were traced and untangled, made bare. The Warlock cried, and the Hunter listened. It really was a beautiful night.
-"You've kept this all for a year?"
-"I'm not even sure anymore; it all feels so long go, this yesterday?"
... ... ...
-"And then the Traveler isn't there!"
-"Look, I get it, but why does the Traveler not being where you expect it to be matter?"
-"Are you serious?""
-"Hey, hear me out! You don't need the Traveler in your sight-line when you're out there among the jovians, nor satellites, nor whatever corner of this rock we call home, do ya? It's not some babe bird in a nest, man; it's why we're here again. And if the darn thing moves by whatever force, we'll do whatever it takes when it happens."
-"You know, I've not thought about it like that."
-"Yeah, yeah, it's... like... it's all connected, man, and you're the smarty pants, you should know that. All this complicated whodahada or whatever.
-"It's...it's all connected. Hmmmm."
... ... ...
-"Where is that Ol'Titan anyway? I haven't seen Wally in a while?"
-"What's that? Do I know something the Warlock doesn't know?" "-ha ha ha, where is he?"
-"Oh, he's been taking some of Zavalas crocheting classes, but he's all touchy about it, so don't tell 'im I tolds ya."
-"Crocheting? I didn't think of him as the type of character to aim for such a thing."
-"Hey, the world's full of surprises, yeah? But you can bet on this: you'll never see me going for all the stringy, strandy nonsense. It's just not my bag"
-"Don't you still owe me from the last time you said something about a 'bet'?"
-"HEY now, that was all a misunder-standing, I said, 'I'm going to take that set," because... eh, the cards I had looked SET, right? I told ya. ...I told ya."
... ... ...
"So what do you think is going to happen if my visions from a year ago play out?
"If they even are, but sure... I mean, look, that kind of thing ain't my thing, man; that's y'all in the Warlock department. I guess it depends on what Ana and Rasputin come up with. All I know is..."
The Hunter chuckles. He gets up and walks out, looking up at the Traveler, with the Warlock joining him in the action.
"...Guardians make their own fate."
"Perhaps some of this is predestined, perhaps we are doomed, perhaps the end has only just begun and we are too naive or young to see it, but... we'll do it man, whatever it is."
"You really think so?"
"Hey man, I'm a Hunter, don't use such big words for me," says Wataru, playfully elbowing the Warlock in his side.
"No thoughts are required. The idea that we're all just going to die without a fight just seems... *really* boring to me. Geeze, wouldn't that be the worst? NOW I'M going to awake in a sweat."
The Warlock squints with consideration.
"How long... WERE you sitting up there?"
The Hunter smiles... "long enough". He looks the Warlock in the eyes, then quickly retreats his eyes back toward the Traveler, unable to hide his wide smirk. But before Wendell can say anything...
"WELL! That's been more talking than I've done in a while, WOO! Getting all raspy." The Hunter starts to move out.
"Get well soon, and best wishes with your flu."
"We're Guardians; we don't get the flu." states Wendel matter-of-factly.
And then, suddenly, the Hunter was gone... it was all quiet again. Except for The chirping of crickets. The gentle hum of generators. The wind, ever whispering, telling the warm lights to swing, the chimes to ting, and the cloth roof of the New Monarchy Bazaar to rustle about. And, a far more at ease Warlock doing as they do... thinking.
"It's all connected."
"Guardians make their own fate."
"...Guardians, make their own fate."
"Guardians make. Their own fate."
And then... it all clicks. And of this fear Wendell is not afraid any more. He looks down at the city.
"Alright... I'm ready."
He turns to leave and stops with-in the frame of the New Monarchy doorway. He looks up, to the Traveler.
"So, when all this hits the fan, and the inevitable happens, what are you going to do?"
There is no reply. Nothing but the chirping of crickets... the gentle hum of generators, and the wind, ever whispering.
Link to Full Album of Images | Story Number 2 | Story Number 1