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Most users ever online was 29 on October 1st 2013, 12:09 am

    To the Stars (Destiny)

    Database Director

    Posts : 1242
    Join date : 2013-01-16
    Age : 24

    To the Stars (Destiny) - Page 4 Empty Re: To the Stars (Destiny)

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 4:43 pm

    "Good afternoon, Guardians." Tyra smiled upon the groups arrival. "Have you any engrams that need decoding? After all, Master Rahool did learn from the best."

    "Sorry, Tyra, we're actually here with something better than engrams." Drake said. "Arianna, give her the records we found."

    "Oh my goodness." Tyra said, her attention turning to the datapad in her hands. "This is quite the document. However, this will help us understand just how much of SIVA the Fallen drones have discovered. This will regrettably take me some time."

    "Shiro-4 and the Vanguard likely could use some help with the Fallen Splicer threat taking over the Cosmodrome, your best bet would be to talk to him while I decipher and cross reference this." Tyra smiled. "Oh, and for the Titan who is wearing that ratty old armor."

    Tyra produced a handful of small, hand sized boxes, placing them gently in Lance's hands.

    "If you are going to be helping the Iron Lords, you might as well look the part." she smiled. "Now please, I'll need my space."


    "It seems my number of ready and willing Guardians has doubled almost instantaneously." Shiro folded his hands together. "Lillian Evergreen, it's a pleasure to see my old teacher again."

    "You have been doing well for yourself Shiro-2, I'm proud of you."

    "Heh-heh. Not well enough I guess." Shiro rubbed the back of his neck. "I'm actually Shiro-4 now. Don't worry about it though, it was nothing and will continue to be nothing so long as I have the Light by my side. Anyways, you guys are in no doubt looking for some work, eh?"

    "Sounds about right." Drake nodded.

    "I like that." Shiro smirked. "Well, reports of Sepiks Prime returning to the Devil's hideout have been popping up. I guess a group of you could go take him out... again."

    "There is also some discussions on a large, menacing Fallen that has been seen ravaging the Plaguelands. The Hive are all riled up, the Fallen are getting too big for their britches, and this one Fallen seems to be orchestrating it."

    "Before we get to work on the Hive epidemic, because I'm sure you've seen enough of those slimy bastards for a life-time or three, I would suggest taking out this Fallen leader. I'll give Lillian dibs on which she wants."

    "Sorry Drake, but I'm about done with the Hive. I can take Amethyst and Tina and go take out Sepiks. With Fireteam Vanguard, we can't really go wrong."

    Drake nodded respectfully, as three of the females returned to their ships and went off to go deal with a Fallen Machine-god. Shrugging, Drake turned to Lance and Chelsea, who nodded. It had been a while since it was just the three of them, so there was no harm in going.

    "Alright, where was this Fallen leader last seen?"


    "I see you're doing very well for yourself Lance." Drake smirked. "I'm glad I decided to endorse you after all."

    "Thank you." Lance replied. "It's never a dull moment hanging out with you. Kinda makes me regret hating you for half my life."

    "I was in that same position after I lost Lillian." Drake said. "Though, I suppose you witnessed that first hand."

    Lance nodded as the three Guardians stood on a cliff overlooking the Fallen occupied Forge. Lava pooled out from the middle of the rocky terrace they stood on, joining a flowing river at the bottom. The river itself fed directly into the Forge, underground.

    "According to Shiro's reports, that large Fallen should be arriving any moment now. Keep your eyes peeled." Drake said. "Hold on, movement ahead."

    Surely enough, some large, menacing Fallen stomped around in the field ahead. It grunted, it's massive head shaking at the slacking Dregs and Vandals that were neither patrolling or contributing to the lava flow machines. It paused for a moment, sniffing the air. The Guardians crept low to avoid detection, just as it turned around.

    Within a moment, however, the massive Fallen beast disappeared in a veil of black and red SIVA nanites. Lance and Drake took a moment to look at each other, as Chelsea gave them a confused look.

    "Guess Sepiks isn't the only one back from the dead." Drake sighed.

    "Don't tell me that was who I thought it was?" Lance grimaced.

    "Sorry to say so, but it's true."

    "Who the hell are you guys talking about?"

    "Kraxsis, the Archon Priest of the House of Devils." Drake sighed. "Ripped the bastard in half a few days after I resurrected a few years back."

    "He was the one that killed Drake two hundred years ago." Lance said.

    There was a loud fizzling noise, followed by a deep, earthly growl. Drake stood and turned around, Raze Lighter immediately igniting at his command.

    "You do remember me, I'm flattered." Drake smirked, charging at the Archon Perfected.

    Swinging Raze Lighter against one of Kraxsis' new metallic legs, Drake's eyes widened as the fiery blade within shattered completely. Dumbstruck, Drake couldn't believe what he had just witnessed. His father's Legendary Solar sword, that which borrowed his family's Light, broke to a mere metal leg?

    "Graghahaha." Kraxsis Perfected snickered, wrapping it's massive bottom left hand around Drake's throat. "It'sh your time, OOMAN!"

    "Fuck you." Drake spat.

    Throwing Drake with all of his might, Kraxsis launched the veteran Titan down into the field below, where an army of Fallen Splicers awaited him. Drake groaned as he slowly began to stand, clutching his left arm. It wasn't the first time a bone had broken, however, it had been a very long time since it had happened.

    "Alright." Drake smirked. "Now it's a fair fight."

    Pulling his Hand-Cannon off of his hip, Drake began to open fire on the Dregs in his immediate vicinity. His gaze, however, went back up to Chelsea and Lance. They were having a rough time keeping up with his augments, but they were still alive.

    Dodging backwards from a SIVA infused sphere of explosive energy, Drake returned fire on the Dreg that threw the bomb, killing it instantly. His headshot, however, was rewarded with a giant red cloud of SIVA nanites, homing in towards him like a Warlock's axion dart.

    Drake screamed in pain as a Splicer Captain's arms struck him in his left arm, the force of the blow causing him to roll across the ground. Drake dropped his Hand Cannon, grasping desperately with his right hand for something to grip onto.


    "Ladies, how is your hunt going?" Shiro asked.

    "Splicers had laser defense grids up on the door of the base. My Ghost ripped through them, but it's extremely time consuming." Lillian replied.

    "Shiro, why would the Fallen bring back Sepiks?" Tina asked. "Don't they already have SIVA?"

    "My guess? It's a tactical ploy to the Devils that aren't committed? Maybe the other Houses as a bargaining chip? You know, like 'In SIVA we Trust?', or 'With SIVA, ALL things are possible?'? We won't know until you get in there." Shiro replied. "Show them that their 'God' is nothing but scrap metal and false hope, held together by some super advanced duct tape."

    "What about Drake's group?"

    "Well, that's what's kind of worrying me. I overheard them confirming the Fallen Leader's appearance, but then the comms. were jammed."

    "Damn." Amethyst growled. "We need to hurry and get there to help them!"

    "Agreed." Lillian nodded.


    "Aaauuugh, AAAUUUUGH!" Drake screamed, his lower half of his body submerged in the flow of lava.

    "DRAKE!" Chelsea called from over the cliff. "HOLD ON!"

    Gritting his teeth, Drake tried to pull himself out of the river bed, and while he felt it was extremely easy to do so, it didn't hurt any less. He didn't even dare to look behind him, in fact, his vision was starting to get insanely blurry. He witnessed as a pair of Fallen Splicer Captains converged on his location, likely to finish him off.

    "RAAAGH!" Lance roared above them.

    With what little vision Drake had remaining, he watched as Lance struck the lava flow machine's wall extremely hard. Thankfully, the young Titan fell just outside of the lava, so as not to suffer a similar fate.

    "I'm working on a resurrection Drake, I- H-HEY HEY LET ME GO!"

    Drake's eyes flicked up towards Kraxsis, who stood over Drake, with Arianna firmly in one of his hands. Arianna, in an act of defiance, began to glow a bright blue. With a pulse of Light, Drake felt like a fresh new man. His vision returned, his lower half had returned to him, and his inner Light was practically exploding.

    His eyes widened, however, as he heard metallic crunch, and his heard skipped a major beat. He felt as if someone had stabbed him directly in his heart. With a cough, Drake felt something liquid splash up, spraying onto his hand. It was blood, only this time, the sight of it frightened him more than anything.

    Drake stared as Kraxsis tossed his Ghost away like useless junk. The Titan sprang to his feet, as he fumed as badly as the lava pooling behind him. His left eye twitched, as he grit his teeth.  He planted his feet wide, before stomping his right foot down into the Earth. The ground beneath his feet quaked, as Drake became engulfed in flames. Unlike the lava behind him, however, this fire did not hurt him.

    Without a single word, Drake formed a V shape with his fingers, inhaling the largest breath he could muster. The lava behind Drake bubbled as he did this, splashing up and onto the snow covered ground around them like a plume of a volcano. With the influence of the Light, the lava behind Drake began to funnel into a tube over his shoulder.

    When he exhaled, the molten metal and earth splashed over Kraxsis' cybernetic midsection, melting the Archon Priest into a torso where it sat. Ether poured heavily out of it's lower half, spreading over the snow like fog on a cool autumn morning. Panting, Drake felt as his life-force was practically drained from himself, and worst yet, he felt the worst he had ever felt in his entire life.

    It was as if he was a hollow husk, with just enough Light inside to illuminate him, but for only so long. Kraxsis squirmed, but found itself unable to move besides it's two remaining arms. Drake stumbled forward, attempting to steady himself. Lance ran over, having recovered from his nasty hit.

    He too was covered in flames, such as Drake was, only the Iron Axe had appeared in his hands. When he reached Kraxsis, he swung the blade of the Axe upwards, lodging it in Kraxsis' throat, which had been connected with wires to the body. Kraxsis panicked, grasping at his throat as Lance jumped behind it, using his strength to not only strangle, but decapitate the Fallen Priest.

    As Lance was doing this, Drake stumbled his way over towards Arianna's position. The small rubiks cube shaped robot, and his first friend in this brave new world, flickered and sparked. Her red shell was crumpled, and her pink eye light flickered back and forth between blue, pink, and red.

    "Stay with me." Drake said. "What's your name?

    "I-I am a Ghost... I- I am your Ghost." she said, some unknown fluid leaking out of the lens in her core.

    "That's right." Drake said. "Do you remember your name?"

    "Ghosts don't have n-names."

    "Arianna. Please." Drake said. "After all we've been through together, don't go. Please, don't go."

    "Systems malfunction. Error, error. Connection to Traveler failing."

    "No, no no no." Drake shook, as he cradled Arianna in his hands. "Don't go Arianna, don't go."

    "Drake?" Arianna said, her eye looking up at him inquisitively.

    "Yes, yes that's right!" Drake smiled. "Come on, we have to go to the others now. We have to help everyone, remember?"

    "I-I'm sorry ERROR, I-I've failed you."

    "No, no you didn't." Drake said, tears spilling down his cheek. "No you didn't."

    "Of all of the different kinds of Guardians I could have been paired with... I'm glad it was a Titan." Arianna said, a distinct sobbing in her voice. "It's getting dark, why, oh why did it have to be dark?"

    "Because if it wasn't." Drake said, shaking from every inch of his body. "There would be no point in me being a Guardian of the Light."

    Arianna's core nodded gently in his hands, before the light in her lens flickered into nothing. His shoulders slouched as he slowly began to stand. Lance began to approach, as Chelsea slowly walked up behind him.

    "Oh no." Lance said. "Chelsea, our Light!"

    "She's already gone." Drake shook his head. "I failed her."

    "Jesus fucking CHRIST!" Lance growled. "Let's see him revive after THIS!"

    Lance grabbed Kraxsis' decapitated head, tossing it maliciously into the river of lava. It lit on fire first, the smell of roasting flesh filling the immediate area, before the head melted completely.

    "We can't revive her." Chelsea said. "However, we can return her to the Light, just like we did with any dead Ghosts we found in our travels."

    "She was always afraid of the Dark." Drake nodded. "Do what you can."

    Chelsea held out her hand, as a small pulse of Light erupted out of her hand in a ring. The tiny form of Arianna began to glow for a moment, raising out of Drake's hand and disappearing in a puff of Light.

    "She's still gone, but at least she's not in the dark." Drake sighed. "Let's head back to Shiro. This should back up the Splicers long enough for us to move on the replication chamber and beyond."

    As Lance and Chelsea were pulling out their Ghosts, Drake pondered it for a second. Surely enough, in the distance he saw a crimson streak flash across the sky, approaching their position. With a wince, he watched as his ship crashed into one of the nearby mountains, no Ghost to maintain it remotely.

    "You can ride with me." Lance said.

    "Yeah." Drake nodded. "Hey, you two?"

    The two younger Guardians turned silently to Drake, who stood there, defeated.

    "You must'n't tell Lillian. Promise me this."


    "Oh good, you guys are back." Shiro nodded. "With that Fallen Archon Priest out of the way, it should put the Splicers in a scramble for a good while. Plenty of time for you to attack the replication chamber."

    "Lillian, Lance, Amethyst and I will go to the replication chamber." Drake said. "You guys should stay here and see if Saladin needs any help elsewhere."

    "I can go in your stead, you look pretty tired still." Lillian said. "Don't overwork yourself again, it'll get you killed."

    "Heh." Drake chuckled. "If it's this last one, I'll be fine. You can have the next one."

    "I'm glad you are all back. Tyra has informed me of the levels of control the Fallen have on SIVA. It is how we imagined, they have very basic knowledge on it's functions." Saladin said. "Shiro?"

    "Yes." Shiro nodded. "Plain and simple, we'll be borrowing a play from the Splicer's handbook. They took out our sensor grid, you're going to take out there's."

    "There is an old industrial oil tanker that beached near the Archon's Forge, right around where you guys just were. That's where there sensor grid is. If you can manipulate it, it'll be over before dinner."

    "My eternity long vigil is almost at it's end." Saladin said. "I have you all to thank for it. Finish this, and I'll be forever in your debt."


    "So what does taking down the sensor grid accomplish?" Lance asked.

    "If this data is correct, and I'm certain it is, destroying the sensor grid should temporarily disable all SIVA related functions. Giving you an open access to SITE 6."

    "This is where my fellow Iron Lords sacrificed their lives. You must halt the flow of SIVA, now and forever."

    "Don't worry Saladin, it'll be done." Drake nodded. "Come on Lance, Amethyst, let's do this."

    "Say, why don't you have your ship? Amethyst asked.

    "It malfunctioned and crashed. I'll have to order a new one from Amanda."

    Drake grunted as he took his ornate helmet off of his head. He leaned forward, so that he could whisper into Lance's ear.

    "You will need to cover me. I don't have much Light left to heal myself, and without Arianna refueling that supply, I can't risk taking too many bullets."

    "I'll do my best."

    Upon landing, the three Titans stumbled in the snow. Drake hated standing in this very area, but he knew that this time it was for payback.

    "Amethyst, do you think you can handle the engine room by yourself?" Drake asked, as Amethyst turned to him.

    "Probably, why?"

    "I want to keep an eye on the Fallen, last time we were here, they were acting strange." Drake lied. "If I notice anything different, Lance and I will come to assist you, okay?"

    "Sounds fair. What's Lance going to do?"

    "Clear a path through the forgery so that we can move immediately from the sensor grid inside." Drake nodded.


    "Am I mistaken?" Lord Saladin asked. "Did Drake not seem... off to you?"

    "Yeah, come to think of it, it was rather strange." Tina frowned. "He left with Lance, but I didn't see Arianna."

    "Did something happen, Chelsea?" Lillian asked, looking over to Chelsea.

    "No?" Chelsea asked, accusingly. "Kraxsis came back from the dead, and Drake and Lance killed him. End of story. I'm going to go read the archives of the Iron Lords if that's okay.

    Lillian crossed her arms as she, Shiro, Tina, and Saladin watched the Warlock walk away. With Drake and the other two Titans working on the Replication chamber, there was little else they could do until they knew the results of the mission.


    "Busy right now, what's up Lady?"

    "Chelsea and you are acting strange. Did something happen last mission?"

    "Besides the fact I burned to death in lava? No, not much else."

    "How about Arianna?"

    "She's alright, she's busy picking this tricky lock though. Can't talk, firefight."


    Drake growled at his stupid choice of fire-team members. He should have known he was acting strange at the Temple, and Chelsea likely clammed up when she realized what this meant for Drake. Sighing, Drake, Amethyst and himself had worked their ways through the catacomb beneath the forge and into SITE 6 itself.

    "I forgot to mention. The Iron Lord's original plan was to destroy the replicator. Jolder's explosion must have only damaged it, so when you reach the chamber, a high catalyst explosion like that should be sufficient in doing the job.

    "Understood." Drake nodded. "Tadpole, watch our backs."

    "Gotcha." Amethyst said, stepping out of the door to the replication chamber.

    There were three grotesque figures hanging from the ceiling, SIVA tendrils connecting to them like both a webbing, and an auxillary charger or something to that degree. One of them had the Iron Axe planted firmly in it's hand.

    Pulling his helmet off, Drake stepped towards Lance, holding it out to him. Lance stared down at the Knight's helmet, before glancing up at Drake with misty eyes.

    "No." Lance shook his head.

    "Listen. SIVA must be stopped, and I'm doomed anyways." Drake said. "I'd rather go out on my own terms than constantly be afraid of my own shadow. That's no way for a Titan to go down."

    "You were a Risen, you lived without a Ghost, you had plenty of Light before." Lance said.

    "I WAS, but then I was resurrected." Drake said. "If you want to help ensure the bomb is planted, fine. I don't want any hesitation when you have to go."

    "Listen." Drake continued. "Tadpole will resist, you will likely have to drag her. Give this to your Ghost, and keep it to remember me by, okay?"

    "You're not doing this." Lance said.

    "Dammit boy, do as I say!" Drake growled. "Remember that day we fought that horde of Fallen in the broken Ketch? Do you remember how you clammed up in the face of impossible odds?"

    "It is impossible that I will fight another battle and survive anyways. Do I fear what's on the other side? Sure, I do. However, if my sacrifice means you stand a better chance at having the future you and your generation deserve?" Drake said. "I'll gladly do it. I wasn't there for my own son, or my grandson, and the past couple of years with you have been nothing short of interesting."

    "Let me do this, to atone for what I did to Nathan, to Caldwell, and to you. Let me go out as a hero one last time, and remember me as I was." Drake said. "Can you do this for me?"

    "Yes." Lance nodded.

    "Good. Your Ghost will need to access that terminal, that's where the Iron Lords planted the bomb." Drake continued. "I want it to arm the bomb, and then I want you and Amethyst to high tail it out."

    Lance nodded, pulling out his Ghost. The small white robot hovered down to the console in front of the two Titans, flickering it's beam of Light over it. As the Ghost did so, Drake and Lance looked around, it was odd that there were no SIVA Spliced Fallen inside, nor any sign of the Iron Lord's existence.

    Well, with one exception. Drake nearly stumbled over something in the middle of the room. Reaching down, he found a helmet with it's face completely broken, completely defeating the purpose of it. It was a helmet he knew somewhat well. Jolder, she was beauty, she was grace, she would punch a dude in the face. Not only that, she was his cousin twice removed and his best pupil when he was a Vanguard, with Saladin as her training partner.

    "Lance, check this out." Drake said, as Lance shambled over. "Stop your damn moping, you're like a kid whose losing his dog."

    "Asshole." Lance shook his head. "What's this?"

    "Jolder's helmet." Drake said. "Bring this to Lord Saladin, tell him you found it."

    "You guys are going to want to see this." the Ghost said. "These figures on the ceiling, they have trace amounts of DNA. They're... oh my... they're Human!"

    As if on cue, one of the figures was dragged up to the ceiling by the SIVA tendrils connected to it. Shortly afterwards, the other two floated up as well. Lance and Drake stared at each other, both having heard a woman screaming in protest as a result.

    "How's the status on that Self-Destruct?" Drake asked.

    "Not good, Jolder's Thermite explosion all those years ago damaged the bomb irreparably. The missions a bust."

    "Could anything set it off?"

    "A very large explosion to set it off." the Ghost shrugged it's form. "Much larger than what a Thermite or any other Grenade could manage. I don't even think a Nova Bomb from a Master Warlock would count. A Rift rupture wouldn't-"

    "Ghost, you've made your point." Drake said. "Lance. You and Tadpole get moving. I know one way I can conserve my Light to cover you as you leave, and a means to detonate the explosive."

    Lance nodded silently as he summoned his Ghost back. Running for the door, Drake watched as Lance ran past Amethyst, who in turn ran with him, believing that the explosion was going to happen. Drake sighed as he walked to the door, found the emergency seal button.

    "Yes indeed." Drake nodded with a smirk. "A fine Titan he will be."

    Behind Drake, he could hear the clatter of a metal weapon strike the ground. Turning, he found the Iron Axe laying on the floor, raising it, fires danced over his arms, his body, and the weapon itself.

    "Come on then!" Drake taunted as the trio of SIVA infested Iron Lords stood. "Do you know who I am?! I'm DRAKE STRATUS, THE LUMINOUS SON!"

    As he yelled this, his entire body erupted into flames, covering him completely from head to toe in Solar Light. As the inferno branched outwards, it licked at the Infested Humans. Charging at them with the Axe, Drake swung time after time, expertly using his swordsman skills to keep on the offensive against the SIVA infused creatures.

    They screamed as the intense fire licked against their mutated skin, Drake's attention falling to the small security monitor he had managed to spot during his scouting. He saw Amethyst resisting Lance's tugging, just outside of the chamber door. Turning his attention back to the Infested Humans, he realized they weren't alone either.

    More Splicers piled into the room to assist SIVA in staying active. With one last glance at the monitor, Drake sighed, as he jumped upwards, using his boosters to gain impressive air.

    "I. AM. FIRE!" Drake yelled, allowing his Supernova ability to take hold.

    All of his inner Light, or what remained of it welled up in one mighty flurry. With the Stratus Family Light, the once dark replication chamber lit up as if a miniature Sun had been brought into it. Holding the Axe straight up and down, he closed his eyes as the hilt of the weapon struck the ground.



    "NOOOO!" Amethyst yelled as her fists struck mightily against the hard metal door. "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!"

    Lance had no words, as he shook his head, avoiding her gaze. Stomping over, Amethyst's gloves grabbed Lance's shoulders, turning him to face her.

    "Do you think this was a game?" Amethyst growled. "WELL, DO YOU?"

    "NO GOD DAMMIT!" Lance spat. "Arianna died in the last mission! So Drake asked me to cover him long enough so that he could destroy SIVA with the last of his Light."

    "We'll all miss him." Lance said. "I was just like you, I tried to fight him, but-"


    "He wouldn't let me help him. He said he would stand there until the SIVA creatures killed him, with or without my leaving."

    "You've done it, Young Wolves!" Saladin cheered. "SIVA is done for and the Iron Lords are all at peace. Come back to the Temple, you've earned yourself a reward."

    "I don't feel like it." Lance shook his head, walking away. "Come on, Amethyst, he wouldn't want us sitting here."

    "You didn't know him like I did."

    "Well he's not here, is he?" Lance said. "Come on. One way or another, I'm leaving this fucking place. With, or without you."


    Lance silently trudged up the courtyard to Lillian, Chelsea, and Tina, who stood with Shiro, awaiting their arrival. Behind him, he could tell Amethyst was lagging behind. Surely, the fireteam would all feel the sting of his loss, but Lance was certain to remember him.

    "Welcome back." Shiro nodded. "Saladin is waiting for you and Drake in the Temple. The others were already rewarded."

    "We won't spoil it for you." Tina winked, before stopping. "W-where's Drake?"

    Lance stood there for a moment as tears began to form in his eyes. With a light shake of his head, he summoned his Ghost. His Ghost nodded solemnly, placing two objects in his hands. Lillian screamed as she saw the helmet, while Amethyst burst out into tears at the sight of the Defender's mark.

    Slowly Lance walked up to Lillian, ceremoniously handing her the helmet. Lillian sobbed as she slowly took the helmet, before hesitating and denying it altogether.

    "He's going to be right behind you." Lillian said. "He's going to be behind you, and this is some fucked up prank."

    "I'm sorry." Lance said, his voice cracking. "It's not. He'd want you to have-"

    "I don't want it." Lillian said, brushing past him. "I don't want it, any of it."

    "This is why Hunters don't get emotionally attached." Shiro frowned, as Lillian discarded all of her 'rewards' from Saladin, walking down the mountain to the landing zone. "Drake Stratus was a good man, shall I inform the Vanguard?"

    "No." Lance shook his head. "I want to be the one to do it."

    "I understand." Shiro nodded solemnly. "My condolences, Guardians."

    Lance took the mark and the helmet, returning them to his Ghost. With a sigh, he looked towards the open Iron Temple. He knew that Saladin was much chipper than he had been for the past half of a day they had been in contact. This news was not likely news Saladin would want to hear.

    Hesitantly, Lance slowly began to walk up the stairs to the front door. He sighed as he remembered standing here earlier this morning, remembering how Drake would be proud of him. Shaking the thought from his head, he removed his own helmet, which had been in one of the miniature boxes Tyra had given him. It looked like a viking's helm, with a pair of horns pointing outwards.

    Looking it over, Lance nodded respectfully before offering it to his Ghost, which returned the helmet with the broken one Drake had found. Lance's boots echoed through the silent Temple, as Tyra Karn herself smiled warmly at his presence. He managed a light nod in respect, as he passed her by.

    On the other side of the lit brazier, Saladin stood with his fists proudly resting on his hips and his chest puffed out. It reminded Lance of when he would see Saladin on the Tower for the Iron Banner tournament from time to time. This was the Saladin Lance had known.

    Saladin stood beneath the Iron Tree, which sprouted well above the statues of the fallen Iron Lords. As he stepped forward, Saladin turned to face him.

    "As you know." Lance started, nearly unable to speak. "The Siva Replicator was destroyed. We found this near it."

    Holding out the damaged helmet, Saladin stepped forward and graciously took it. Looking it over, Saladin had one last somber look on his face.

    "I heard everything that happened in there." Saladin said. "If Jolder knew a member of the Stratus family had retrieved this... she would be honored. Any of us would have. Thank you. If I may, I wish to commemorate his sacrifice here as well. He was an honorary Iron Lord, after all."

    Lance nodded, as his Ghost produced the Knight helmet that Drake had once worn. Saladin looked over both, before slowly stepping up to a small alter beneath the Iron Tree. There was just enough room on it to hold both, Saladin carefully placing both down.

    "My Brothers and Sisters... my Mentor." Saladin said, gazing up at the statues. "I will see you all again... someday."

    Turning towards Lance with a slight grin and a nod, Saladin smirked.

    "You've given them back to me." Saladin said, turning back towards the alter.

    Running his hand along the two helmets, his eyes fell upon a sword that was held on the alter. Ceremoniously lifting the sword by the blade and the hilt sideways, Saladin turned to Lance. With the gruffest expression Saladin could muster, he glared at the younger Titan.

    "Approach." Lance slowly stepped forward, as he and Saladin looked down at the brand new sword. "There once was a time when only Iron Lords would carry these blades."

    Saladin smiled, sneaking a peak at Lance.

    "There are many like it in our Armory. However, this one is new." Saladin nodded. "I have dubbed it the Young Wolf's Howl, in your honor. It is yours, Drake Stratus' Young Wolf. You are the first of a new Generation."

    Lance looked over the blade as it was handed to him. Looking up at Saladin, the gruff man nodded with a smirk, placing his hands boldly on his hips.

    "Take your rightful place.... as an Iron Lord."

    Lance smiled like a fool at the masterfully crafted sword. Turning on his boots, as he had seen in many images regarding the Iron Lords, he held the sword's tip down to the ground, his head held high, and his hands resting on the hilt. He felt spiritually rejuvinated, as if Drake had been standing there right behind him, posing with Lord Saladin in pride.

    "Lance Stratus, I mean, Lord Stratus." Lord Saladin said. "The loss of Drake Stratus will be felt far and wide by the people that knew him. As a new Iron Lord, you are acknowledged to go and do whatever you see fit to keep the Last City safe."

    "Thank you, Lord Saladin." Lance nodded.

    "Take great pride in where you have come." Saladin placed a hand endearingly on his shoulder. "Drake was a fine teacher. Jolder and I held him very near and dear to our hearts."

    "Lady Evergreen will one day come around, I am certain." Lord Saladin said. "She will just require time. As we all will."

    "In Drake's honor, I thank your Fireteam for lifting this great burden off of my shoulders." Saladin said. "The SIVA crisis is far from over, but we have bought enough time for us to regroup and plan for the future."

    "Yeah." Lance nodded. "I'm sorry, Lord Saladin. I need to-"

    "Inform the Vanguard, I understand." Lord Saladin said. "Fair well, Young Wolf. I will see you soon."


    Lance flashed down, landing on the Tower. Shiny Lights twinkled in an array above his head, as Guardians were running around wearing masks. Lance didn't know what the occasion was, but decided to start with Master Rahool.

    "Good Evening Titan." Rahool said. "What stories do you have to share today?"

    "None good, Master Rahool." Lance shook his head.

    "Lance Stratus, I almost didn't recognize you in that armor." Rahool said. "Judging by it's design, I can safely assume it's from the Iron Banner?"

    "Sort of." Lance said. "I've become an Iron Lord."

    "Oh my." Rahool said. "That's call for celebration, Guardian."

    "Drake's... dead." Lance said, rubbing his shoulder.

    "Surely he can just resurrect." Rahool said with a smirk. "He's done it many times before."

    "His Ghost was destroyed." Lance said, as Rahool's eyes opened wide, his face narrowing with sorrow.

    "Traveler." Rahool sighed. "My condolences Titan, he was a pleasure to discuss the Golden Age with, and an even better story teller for the children."

    "Please tell Amanda Holliday for me, I couldn't stand to tell her in person." Lance shook his head.

    "Yes, yes I will." Rahool said. "Take care, Lance."


    "I sense a powerful sense of despair." Eris Morn said.

    "Will you knock off that racket already?" Lord Shaxx growled. "Crucible interested Guardians keep running off because of your hosh posh."

    "Drake Stratus." Eris shook her head. "He has passed."

    Shaxx removed his fists from his hips, long enough to stare at her. As he did this, he noticed an ornate Titan walking down the stairs beside Eris.

    "You are Lance Stratus." Eris said. "His passing is disheartening, but for what it is worth, you have my condolences."

    "Don't say it's true, Guardian." Shaxx said. "He's really gone?"

    Lance nodded silently as he walked past the giant Titan, who crossed his arms. As Lance drew near the Vanguard hall, he hesitated to open it for only a moment, before taking a deep breath and walking inside.

    "Ah, Shiro told us to expect you." Zavala said. "Despite all that's going on, Happy Festival of the Lost."

    "Indeed." Ikora nodded. "How can the Vanguard help you Guardian?"

    "There is no need for help."

    "Lance?" Zavala stepped forward. "My my, you're dressed up well."

    "I've become and Iron Lord." Lance nodded, as Cayde, Ikora, and Zavala all stared at him.

    "Congrats kiddo, you've made it to the big time." Cayde nodded, folding his hands together. "I'm sure Drake is very proud of you.."

    "Me too." Lance said, as Ikora and Cayde's faces noticeably softened.

    "Please tell me this is a Festival of the Lost trick?" Ikora asked, as Lance solemnly shook his head.

    "Someone's cutting an onion in here, and I don't like it."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 5:30 pm

    "Shiro did imply that something was off." Zavala nodded his head. "I did not expect it to be this severe."

    "As if you cared." Lance clenched his fists, Zavala staring at him with confusion. "Chelsea told me of your plans to excommunicate him, which is the exact same as tearing him painfully from the Light."

    "Drake would have understood my standings." Zavala sighed. "My main concern has and always will be the City. I can't have unstable Guardians jeopardizing everything we've worked hard to protect."

    "That's where you're wrong." Lance said. "Despite his teachings, Drake was always thinking outside of the box. He didn't follow the book, because sometimes the enemy wouldn't give you the chance to."

    "You never got our report from the Vault of Glass, did you?" Lance continued, gritting his teeth. "The Vex were preparing to let loose their time-controlling technology outside of the Vault, and wipe every scrap of Humanity left."

    "Kabr Stratus sent his warning, because he knew that Drake would get the job done." Lance growled. "Yet you opposed, because the Wall was your only priority. You have no respect for him, nor my family."

    "That's enough." Zavala's fist struck the table. "I took the role of Commander because there were none more fitting to take his place!"

    "No, you did it to make amends for your COWARDICE!" Lance pointed accusingly at Zavala. "Lord Shaxx, Lord Saladin, hell, even Amethyst did the majority of the fighting during Six Fronts and Twilight Gap. You, on the other hand, you managed to be 'absent' during the two most notorious Titan headed missions in Guardian history."

    "By all rights, Amethyst should be standing where you are." Lance shook his head. "It's her birth-right. However, she is serving a better purpose as a fellow Lord of Iron."

    The Vanguard hall remained mostly quiet for a time, as Ikora turned her gaze towards Zavala. Cayde-6 dipped his head, the lights that formed his eyes dimmed slightly as a sign of his mood. Zavala's face glared heavily at Lance, who clenched his fists.

    "All of us that actually went to Saladin's side are Iron Lords now." Lance said. "Because you were too stingy to send in extra reinforcements, save a handful of Hawks."

    "Drake might still be alive, had you actually focused on the SIVA crisis as a whole and not just the ancient Wall finally crumbling." Lance turned his back. "If you truly regret Drake's passing, you will permit more patrols into the Plaguelands, to help keep the Splicers at bay while the Iron Lords gather our thoughts and make motions to end it once and for all."

    There was silence for a moment, before Lance began to walk out of the hall and into the Crucible lobby. Shaxx bowed his head in mutual respect as Lance walked past, Lance offered a curt nod in response as he passed.

    "I am aware of the pain that you must be feeling." Eris stepped forward, a rare frown formed upon her face. "To lose someone so close to you, especially to the Darkness. Drake Stratus was a hero to myself and the Fireteam that descended into the Hellmouth with me."

    "They will keep his company, and thank him for his sacrifices." Eris said. "I never properly thanked him for ending Oryx's tyranny of suffering and pain. However, I know he did not accomplish the task alone. You have my thanks, Titan. May the Light continue to illuminate you."

    "Thanks Eris." Lance nodded. "I'm sure he would have appreciated it."


    "It is much too cold to be standing up here." Lord Saladin's gravely voice said from behind Amethyst.

    She had been standing on the very peak of Felwinter's Peak, overlooking the Last City, the Traveler, and the Cosmodrome beyond. Her Ghost had kindly placed her helmet in it's digital storage, allowing her to breath some fresh air.

    "I just- I need some time, Lord Saladin." Amethyst sighed.

    "I understand your pain." Lord Saladin stepped forward, placing a hand gently on her shoulder. "The work your family has done has majorly impacted the lives of myself and countless others."

    "It's more than that. I lost him once, when I didn't know of Ghosts and resurrection." Amethyst said, wiping a nearly frozen tear from her eye. "I know biologically we weren't related, but he was still my brother."

    "I held no blood relation to the Iron Lords, either." Lord Saladin said, offering for the both of them to sit. "I spent the past hundred years maintaining my Vigil for the return of SIVA. Each of those countless days, I expected to see the beaming, composed smile of Jolder, or even hear one of Felwinter's occasional witty remarks."

    "In those days, I had actually touched the inner Darkness within all of us. I felt the emptiness that came with hopelessness." Saladin shook his head. "I felt like I was a shell of my former self. I have no doubts that you feel the same way, with Drake's passing."

    "That's... exactly how I feel." Amethyst sighed, sitting beside Saladin, wrapping her arms around her legs. "I'm a Titan, I should feel strong; proud that I knew him. That I was related to him in more ways than just blood and name."

    "Then you should do as I did." Saladin stood with a grunt, offering her a hand. "You must continue to carry on, if it is in his name, and do what he would want you to do."

    "I did not know my mentor as closely as you have, but I do know that he always had the City and the people beyond's best interests in mind." Saladin continued. "You are an Iron Lord now, you have the power and right to do what you think is necessary for the safety of Humankind as a whole."

    "Yeah." Amethyst sighed, accepting his hand. "We should check with Shiro, see if he has anything about the Splicers we can dig up."

    "I agree." Saladin nodded. "First, you should step into the Temple, you're freezing."


    "Lance!" Chelsea said, breaking off from Tina and Tyra Karn. "Where did you go?"

    "I-" Lance paused. "I had to report to the Vanguard, tell them that we're Iron Lords now. Any sign of Lillian?"

    "No." Chelsea frowned. "After you and Amethyst came back, and broke the news, there has been no trace of her."

    "Lady Evergreen, if I know anything about Hunters, will wish to be alone for some time." Tyra said with a frown. "There is a reason why Hunters are considered Lone Wolves, as they do not tend to roll with a crowd."

    "Hunters keep primarily to themselves to prevent becoming heavily attached to others, on the off chance they die out in the Wilderness." Tyra shook her head. "I was in the City the day the Moon was taken from us by Crota. I had overheard that she, Drake, and the Warlock Jeremy had been killed."

    "The bond that Lillian and Drake had forged, though visually flawed, was quite unbreakable." Tyra bowed her head. "From what I understand, they had known each other since they were very little."

    "If Lillian cares about you Guardians, she will return... one day."

    Chelsea and Lance took a moment to look at each other. Behind them, the door to the Temple opened once more, with Lord Saladin and Amethyst by his side. Amethyst remained silent as they passed, making their way towards the inner sanctum. Chelsea and Lance nodded respectfully towards Tyra Karn, before following the other's suits.

    "I see you've returned." Amethyst said, not turning to face Lance. "How was your trip to the Tower?"

    "Not good." Lance said. "Zavala didn't even show a scrap of remorse. So I laid into him. Cayde-6 and Ikora Rey send their deepest condolences."

    "No surprise. A Titan that hasn't mastered all three Titan techniques shouldn't have been the Titan Vanguard in my brother's place." Amethyst shook her head. "Let alone a coward like him."

    "I argued with Commander Zavala about that for many many years since the fall of the Moon." Saladin growled. "My disdain for Zavala is about as potent as it is for 'Lord' Shaxx."

    "Wait." Tina said, approaching from beneath the Iron Tree. "Lord Shaxx isn't an Iron Lord? I had assumed he was for years."

    "Where that egotistical bastard got the title of 'Lord', I will never understand." Saladin growled. "He is no Iron Lord, and if I had it my way, he never would be."

    "He was as bad as Zavala in Twilight Gap. While Drake lead the defense of the Northern Wall, where the Tower overlooks, Shaxx took a legion of my Pillars that Drake had assigned to me, and lead a daring mission to flank the Fallen's location." Saladin clenched his fists.

    "It cost me at least half of my men, if not more. Shaxx has always been reckless and headstrong, and while my Mentor had his moments, he at least thought tactically before throwing his weight around."

    "Even though Shaxx commentates the Iron Banner tournament, he is not involved with the affairs of Iron." Saladin sighed. "I fear that I will not be returning to the Tower, not with the imminent threat of SIVA looming about. I would not ask you who are not experienced enough to host such an event."

    "We should probably wait anyways." Lance said. "As much as the Iron Banner is a good training regiment for upcoming Guardians that want to prove their worth, we need to focus on SIVA and ensuring the City is somewhat safe before we hold it again."

    "You sound like Silimar." Saladin smirked. "You are right, Young Wolf. Has anyone heard from Shiro?"

    "Right here." Shiro said, stepping through the Iron Temple doors and into the Inner Sanctum. "I've gotten a strange reading from out in the Cosmodrome, the Hive are in an all out war with the Splicers."

    "Lance." Shiro turned to the young Titan. "You and Drake have handled the Fallen Devils on numerous occasions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Fallen aren't usually ones to start full blown wars. They usually pick their battles and attack from the shadows, right?"

    "Yeah." Lance said. "Well, that was until we attacked their hideout in Siberia. Kraxsis, the bastard Archon Priest for the Devils, he lead a kill team numbering in the hundreds, just to hunt Lillian, Drake, and I down."

    "So I was partially right." Shiro rubbed his chin. "The Devil Splicers are getting cocky, as they did with Kraxsis leading them back then. However, you and Drake killed their revived version of him, so that means.... there might be another pulling the strings."

    "I thought a Kell or Prime Servitor was higher than a Archon Priest?" Tina asked.

    "So do many people. In all actuality, there is one more rank just below a Kell that a Fallen can hold; Archon Prime." Shiro said. "I'd bet my glimmer that there is a Devil Archon Prime in the Plaguelands calling the shots in the absence of a Kell."

    "If he's the leader of the Devils for now, though, that means he'll be insanely difficult to get to. Especially if he is where all the SIVA has been coming from." Saladin nodded.

    "Some of my scouts began patrolling the old refinery above SITE 6." Shiro said, as the fireteam winced at the name of Drake's final resting place. "The Fallen use it as a place called the Archon's Forge. Apparently, the Splicers and normal Devils have been going there, presenting offerings of SIVA as a rite of passage."

    "The SIVA offerings were then transported to a location just between the Cosmodrome and the Plagueland's Wall breaches." Shiro continued. "However, there has been an insane number of Splicers in the area, so many that I couldn't risk my scouts lives. I'm willing to bet that if we were to distract them long enough, you and some other Guardians could find out what secrets could be found there."

    "So... we're going to help the Hive?" Chelsea asked.

    "Hell no." Lance shook his head. "I wouldn't help those worms in a million years."

    "No, but you guys can examine what they've been up to. See why they are at war with the Fallen." Shiro said. "I know you guys have more experience with the bugs than I do. They usually don't get this riled up unless something very major is happening."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 5:40 pm

    "You'll understand if I'm not immediately ready to jump back into dealing with the Hive." Tina said. "Good luck, if you need me for anything else, I'll be with Tyra Karn overlooking the Archives."

    Lance and Chelsea nodded as Tina began to walk away, the fire in the braziers igniting as Amethyst stood there, fists clenched. Saladin and Shiro turned to the Titan as she glared at Tina.

    "Warlocks, just as useless as ever." Amethyst snarled.

    Chelsea was about to speak up, as Lance placed a hand on her shoulder, shaking his head silently. Amethyst picked up on this, turning to face Chelsea.

    "I didn't mean you, kiddo." Amethyst sighed. "You I like. A Warlock with the heart of a Titan."

    Amethyst turned to Lance, pulling her helmet off of her head, before resting it under her arm. Cracking her neck with a slight roll, her eyes were sullen and puffy, though he couldn't say he blamed her. Drake was a great influence on his life as of late, but he was her brother.

    "You coming with us?" Lance asked, as Amethyst took on a devilish grin, nodding curtly.

    "Hell yeah." Amethyst grinned, gently punching him on the shoulder. "I could cave some heads in."

    "Hey, as long as it ain't mine, I don't care." Lance shrugged. "We'll let you know what we find, Shiro."


    "So we picked up the heaviest of recent Hive activity at the broken Tanker you used to disrupt the Splicers." Shiro reported. "I'd recommend you head out that way and see why these guys are at each other's throats."

    Lance nodded, sweeping the snow covered field in front of them with his Auto Rifle. They weren't far from the Archon's Forge, where they had just fought and re-killed Kraxsis. Chelsea was knelt beside him, gazing down the scope of her Pulse Rifle.

    "It's the Hive, they hate literally anyone but themselves." Chelsea chuckled. "We know this first hand."

    "Still. The Fallen have been stepping on some toes recently, and the Hive especially don't like their toes stepped on." Lance shrugged. "Doesn't matter to me one way or another. We just shoot to kill, not even bothering to ask them what's up."

    "You two have been fighting them fairly recently." Amethyst piped in. "The Fallen we're facing now is at least a thousand times weaker than the Fallen we fought at Twilight Gap."

    Lance and Chelsea remained silent as Amethyst stepped forward, pumping a new shell into her shotgun. Splicers in the field before them en route to the Tanker chittered to themselves, patrolling around and inspecting the massive red SIVA tendrils sprouting out of the Earth.

    "Can't say much about the old Hive. I never fought them. Drake or Lillian knew what that was like." Amethyst sighed. "Nonetheless, I do know that the Fallen are very territorial, but so are the Hive. It's very likely that this is some territorial dispute."

    "That may be, but I can't shake the feeling there is something more to this." Chelsea shook her head, before standing to face Amethyst. "I mean, when Drake killed Crota in the Hellmouth, he didn't just kill Oryx's son. He invaded Hive territory and killed their God. The Taken War, if anything, was a sign of how Hive handle trespassing."

    "I agree. The Hive can be arguably more defensive than any of the minions of Darkness we know. However, this activity is more like a full-on assault." Shiro reported. "Their chatter is more aggressive; angry. The Hive are definitely after something, and the Fallen either know what it is or have it in their possession."

    As the three Guardians watched the Splicers in their patrol, they watched as a lone Hive Boomer round struck the ground beneath a Splicer Dreg's feet, blasting him into a shower of Ether, Chitin, and machine parts.

    The three Guardians approached slowly, turning the corner to find a better angle. What they saw was enough to make even the proudest of Titans whimper in fright. An army of Hive easily surpassing anything they had ever witnessed stood on the bottom of the rocky overpass the Fallen occupied.

    At the top of the cliff was an astonishing number of Fallen Sniper Shanks and Turret Shanks opening fire on them, with a legion of Dregs, Vandals, and even Captains supporting them.

    "This is definitely not territorial." Lance shook his head. "This is an all-out war."

    "Kill as many as you want Guardians, but if you want my advice? Find the Fallen Leader and take him out."

    "Easier said than done." Chelsea shook her head. "How the hell are we going to locate them?"

    "Large, four arms, smell like dirt and crap." Amethyst shook her head. "Or we could just kill every Fallen on the ridge?"

    "There is an idea I could get behind." Lance nodded.

    "Definitely wouldn't recommend it though, something's happening at the top of the ridge. The sensors are going of the scale with SIVA readings."


    "Don't step any closer." the Hunter said to themselves, staring down the scope of the sniper rifle. "There are battles you can win, and others that you can't."

    The two Titans shifted in their boots. She knew their kind well, they were very headstrong, not afraid to put everything they were on the line if it meant they could protect others. In her opinion, fighting with reckless abandon was some lame excuse to die quickly.

    Hunters on the other hand, they were cunning and sly. They fought from the shadows, stalking their way in Darkness territory to better serve the Light. They knew how to destroy their enemies from the inside out, before they even knew what hit them.

    The lone Warlock in the trio was another story, however, as she stood with a similar stance to a Titan. It was very peculiar to see a Warlock outside of the Tower. In the Hunter's experience, she had only seen them isolated within the Vanguard's archives, leaving the Tower or Inner City only for the express purpose of following patrols and gathering knowledge from the Hunters.

    Of course, she should have known better when it came to these three. She knew who each and every one of them were. She had never met them all personally, but she had heard their stories, what they had accomplished together. To her, they were nothing but faux elite assholes looking for nothing but glory.

    "Did you find what we were looking for?" a gruff voice said from behind her.

    "Not entirely." the Huntress spoke with a hint of annoyance. "I can't do my job with your hot breath on my neck."

    "Listen, I want retribution as much as you do." the Titan crossed his arms. "We'll never get the chance if we don't make our move."

    "A Hawk will spend several hours circling above it's prey before it finally devours the mouse." the Huntress sneered. "We will move when the time is right and not a second more."

    Turning her attention back to the sniper scope, she watched as the trio killed one of the Fallen Baron's on the cliff. They picked up some red machinery component, and jumped up and out of her line of sight.

    "Soon. Drake Stratus." the Hunter hissed. "Soon."


    "Just as I thought." Lance's ghost nodded it's form. "That thing you just picked up? It's a coded relay from the Splicer's High Priest."

    "So they got another Archon Priest on top of Kraxsis?" Amethyst said. "Great."

    "There's more to it than that." the Ghost replied. "It's hinting at the Hive. Either the Splicer's High Priest is keeping something from the Hive or it's taken something extremely important from them."

    "I just got the data. According to this, whatever you're looking for are in those shipping containers in front of you. Can't miss them, they have the SIVA symbol crudely painted on them?"

    The Fireteam pushed up through the horde of Fallen Dregs and Vandals, the precision shots from Chelsea and Amethyst's Pulse Rifles easily cleaned through the heads of their enemies, clearing the area, or at least for a moment.

    "Something's not right here." Chelsea said as they stepped in front of one of the crates. "There's a very dark presence here. I don't like it."

    Lance walked up to the shipping container and gently placed his helmet to the door. Inside, he could hear the gnashing of Hive teeth on bones, and the occasional shriek of a Thrall banging on the side of the container. Lastly, he heard the ominous sound of a Cursed Thrall approaching the door of the container.

    "GET AWAY!" Lance said ducking to the side as Amethyst and Chelsea ducked out of the way.

    The door to the shipping container exploded, as the Cursed Thrall were known to do. Out swarmed a handful of normal Thrall and a pair of Knights. Lance pulled out his newly acquired sword, swinging up and into a Knight's midsection. The Knight growled, before disintegrating into a pile of chitin and black ooze.

    At the death of it's partner, the other Knight rushed Lance, swinging it's sword in a downward arch towards Lance's face. Lance swung upwards, blocking the sword and clashing with the Knight. Pitching his boots into the snow, Lance growled as he thrust his sword up, staggering the Knight long enough for him to jab his sword forward, impaling the Knight.

    With a few quick precision bursts from his teammate's weapons, the Fireteam was finally clear. Lance knelt down to the Knight he had been fighting's chitin chunks on the floor. His Ghost appeared for a moment to scan over them, before disappearing again.

    "The Splicer's High Priest is corralling the Thrall and Knights." the Ghost reported.

    "That explains why the Hive are on the warpath." Shiro said. "Any relation to the Fallen's experimentation with SIVA?"

    "There were heavy SIVA readings on each of the Thrall, and one of the Knights." the Ghost reported. "Along with a very strange heat signature."

    "There has to be more to this than just the Fallen are displacing the Hive." Chelsea shook her head.

    "Every Fallen house has a group of Splicers. They act like the houses' mad scientists."

    "Like a Warlock?" Lance smirked, as Chelsea slapped him on the back of the head.

    "Sure, I just didn't want to be the one who said it. Shiro replied. "The point is they are the big brains. We've seen the extent of their limited knowledge with SIVA. They've force-fed their own evolution... so."

    "You think they're trying to do the same with the Hive?" Chelsea said with a shudder.

    "If that were true, the Fallen could control them... or worse."

    "You're going to want to see this." Amethyst said, kicking one of the Knight's chitin chunks aside. "That's little SIVA nanites clung to the helm of the Knight, and some of the Thrall we killed are showing the same."

    "Then it's the worst case scenario." Lance said. "The Fallen are experimenting on the Hive."

    "This is bad. If the Splicer's High Priest is going to these lengths, he's either gone mad with power... or is taking orders from someone who has." Shiro said. "Thankfully, I've got a lead on the High Priest's location, thanks to your data. I'll need you to head there next."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 8:16 pm

    "Our reports are suggesting the Splicer's High Priest is in fact making a large scale mobilization against a Hive Nest, not to far from the Golden Age bunker you three cleared earlier."

    "Hive controlled by the Splicers?" Chelsea shook her head. "That'd be the end of the Cosmodrome, even Old Russia."

    "Could very well be the end of everything. These Splicers are evolving, and we need you three to stop 'em." Shiro replied.

    The Guardians summoned their sparrows, straddling the long, narrow hovercrafts. Upon boarding, Lance pointed forward, the three Guardians initiated their boosts on his command, flying through the Plaguelands and en route to the old Nuclear Silo just across the nearest pass.

    A small snow storm began to whir up around them, lowering the visibility slightly for the Guardians. Thankfully, they had located a lone bridge connecting one part of the Plaguelands to the other, the bridge itself constructed above a giant, menacing chasm. One fall down there, regardless of a Ghost, was liable to mean the end of a Guardian.

    "Head's up guys, the place is teeming with Hive and Fallen." Shiro said. "That's bizarre, I had a pair of Guardians set to patrol the area and help clear some of the congestion for you. I'll try to hail them. Keep moving, I need to check their status."

    As the Silo came into view, so did the small battalion that Shiro had warned them about. Fallen Splicers continued to fire on the doors leading into the facility, while a handful of fearless Hive Thrall, Acolytes, and even Knights held the line. Lance nodded to the others, before boosting further ahead of them. Pulling his auto rifle off of his back, Lance jumped off of the Sparrow.

    The vehicle slammed into the side of one Splicer Captain, the sharpened prong on the front of the vehicle impaling the Fallen creature. Ether spewed out of the wounds in it's abdomen, the Fallen Captain pierced to the wall. Using his momentum while in the air, Lance fired down on one of the Knights, the heavy rounds piercing the hardened carapace of the Knight, reducing it to ash in mere seconds.

    Planting his feet firmly in the ground, Lance pitched all of his weight into a heavy right shoulder check, knocking one Knight back and into Amethyst's Sparrow. Chelsea's Sparrow whizzed behind Lance, the sickening crack of a Fallen Dreg being run through by the vehicle caused Lance to turn.

    Chelsea fluttered down to Lance's side, as he, Amethyst, and Chelsea stood back to back, firing in a triangle around themselves. Dregs, Vandals, Thralls, Acolytes, Knights and even Captains were no match to the hail of bullets. Still, more Fallen began to pour out of the security bunker on the side of the canyon, their purpose clear.

    Thankfully, the Guardian's luck held out and the door to the Nuclear Silo began to open. More Thrall began to pour out like a sea of gnashing teethed, long claw wielding piranhas. Together they moved towards the door, their weapons thudding against their shoulders as the Thrall began to break away into nothing.

    "Shiro, we've made it inside." Lance said as the Guardians walked further into the complex. "It's not pretty. The Splicers have already gotten in and seem to have made a mess of the place."

    "I shouldn't need to tell you what you'll need to do if you find any Splicers down there. Hive either, for that matter. Shiro replied. "No response from the other two either. If you find them, please let me know."

    Stepping further into the facility, the Guardians were met with a once occupied nuclear missile. The weapon had long since been dismantled, but the husk of the missile itself remained to rust, a symbol of Humanity's lack of presence in the area. Lance frowned at the idea that the missile had been there far longer than he had been alive, and that Drake wasn't there to help them reachieve it anymore.

    "Got some bad news." Lance's Ghost spoke up through the comms. "It's apparent that the Splicers have taken what appears to be a Hive hatchery, located further below us. It's faint, but there are SIVA micro-bursts scattered everywhere."

    "From someone that has very little, the least I have is pity for the Hive." Shiro replied.

    The Guardians paused however, as a pain filled roar filled the Silo, ringing heavily off of the sturdy metal walls. The Guardians flinched at this noise, trying their hardest to get the booming pain out of their ears.

    "That wasn't Fallen, and it certainly wasn't a Guardian." Chelsea said. "Almost sounded like... an Ogre?"

    "Oh good." Amethyst shook her head. "Something big to put my fist through. Here I was hoping for a Fallen Baron."

    The Guardians winced as once again, the roar boomed throughout the Silo. Scaling their way down the circular catwalk, the source of the roar was drawing nearer. Approaching the open door into the next adjacent Silo, Lance stepped forward, a look of shock befalling his hidden face.

    "Sweet Traveler." Lance said.

    "Did you find the High Priest?"

    "More like his science project." Lance said. "It's an Ogre all right."

    The Ogre's pained expression told the entire story of what had occurred here. The beast's head snapped backwards, it's maw opening wide with pain and torment, swinging it's head back and forth, like a mourning person on their knees with their head tilted backwards. Most disturbing to Lance and the others, however, was the lack of eye.

    Hive Ogres were notorious for their ability to fire Void energy from their eyeballs, of which an Ogre only had one. This one, chained to the ground with SIVA tethers, had only a metal brace holding the head of the beast together, encasing the blatant hole where the eye should have been.

    "It's eye has been removed by the Splicers, no doubt." Lance said, as he heard Amethyst gag behind him. "This is some sick, demented shit right here."

    "Makes you wonder what they're willing to do to us?" Chelsea said, appalled by the sight.

    "You're going to ensure that doesn't happen, Guardians." Shiro said. "Our sensors suggest the High Priest is near."

    As if on cue, the Splicer High Priest roared as he teleported into view just behind the Ogre. Stomping it's right foot, the Splicer Archon Priest held up it's unique weapon in it's hands.

    "That's not a Scorch Cannon or even a Shrapnel Launcher." Chelsea said.

    "Oh my god, ew." Amethyst shook her head. "It's using the Ogre's eye as a gun."

    Surely enough, the front of the Priest's gun was a spherical orb of squishy flesh. Growling at the Guardians above him, Kovik opened fire on them, a lashing beam of void energy splashing the grating beneath their feet. The Guardians plummeted to the floor, before activating their thrusters or Glide abilities to slow their descent.

    The three of them began to open fire on the High Priest, the Fallen Archon Priest grunting as the bullets pierced it's many SIVA augmentations on it's torso. Despite the penetration of their bullets, no ether seemed to flow out of the monstrosity

    "Bullets seem to be useless against him." Lance growled, pulling his new sword off of his back. "Let's see how slicing works!"

    Charging at the Fallen scientist, Lance narrowly avoided a swing from the Ogre's massive hand. Dodging to the left to avoid it, Lance grunted as a few bursts from Kovik's eye gun struck him in the torso. Staring up at the now blind Ogre, Lance shook his head in disbelief.

    "Are you fucking kidding me?! This fucker steals your eye, and you STILL go after me?!" Lance jumped backwards to avoid a follow up from the Ogre. "Go after him, HE has what you want."

    Hovik chittered at this in a fashion that was oddly reminiscent of laughter. Lance watched as the eye cannon was pointed at him again and activated. Dodging out of the ways of the rounds, Lance did happen to notice that the Ogre seemed to locate him very easily.

    "I get it." Lance nodded. "Guys! It's the eye gun, the Ogre is being controlled by the gun! If he's pointing it at you, the Ogre can 'see' you!"

    "Right!" Amethyst nodded. "I'll distract them, you get your hands on that gun!"

    "We've got company!" Chelsea called out, as a swarm of Fallen Dregs began to pour out of the Hatchery behind Kovik. "I'll try to keep them at bay as best as I can!"

    Jumping into the air, Chelsea unleashed a Nova Bomb, which descended upon the Dregs and Kovik himself. Kovik shrugged off the otherwise powerful Void Bomb, while a handful of the Dregs disappeared, dragged mercilessly into the void between.

    Sprinting at Kovik himself, Lance used the Ogre's back (the owner of which was distracted by Amethyst) as a spring board. Lighting energy coursed across his body, as he neared Kovik's face. Smashing his lightning covered knee into Kovik's face, the Archon Priest stumbled backwards, staggered by the blow.

    Wrapping his arms around the weapon, Lance planted his boot on Kovik's chest, before pulling it out of the Archon Priest's grasp with all of his might. Pointing it at Kovik, the Archon Priest began to move towards him with malice, before a pair of mighty, oversized fists struck down on his back.

    The Ogre beat it's chest, before continuing to smash Kovik's prone form. There were sickening crunches, cracks of metal, and the pitiful screams of the Fallen Priest trying to break free of the endless assault. With a final roar and a laugh, Kovik began to glow a deep red, SIVA nanite swarming around him and the Ogre. Instead of teleporting, however, they began to flash with light.

    Chelsea and Amethyst gathered on Lance, as he spread his arms wide, forming a Ward of Dawn around them. Kovik roared once more, before detonating himself and taking the Ogre down with him. The Ward around the three Guardians, despite claims that it was supposed to be impenetrable, dissolved into nothing as the swarm struck it.

    Safe, the Guardians approached the detonation site, where literally nothing of the Archon Priest nor the Ogre remained. Lance knelt down, the cannon in his hand crumbling into absolutely nothing but dust. Even the eye at the end dissolved into a black good, before splashing onto the floor.

    "What a mess." Chelsea shook her head. "Shiro, the High Priest wasn't looking for a Hive Slave army. He was just taking their body parts to be infused with SIVA."

    "Bio-engineering has become the Splicer's main M-O. You three did well to stop him before he could perfect his experiments. It makes one wonder what other perversions of nature the Splicers are cooking up though." Shiro sighed. "Any luck on finding-"

    "Come again?" Lance said. "You're breaking up."

    "Comms. (bzzt) jammed. Get (bzzt) there!" Shiro tried to reply, but cut completely dark before he could finish his sentence.

    "That's not good." Amethyst said. "We need to hurry back."

    "I-" Chelsea started, before a loud crack filled the air.

    A single round penetrated Chelsea's helmet, as her body crashed to the floor. Lance watched as the event happened, before his eyes snapped to the one responsible. High above them, a Huntress in extremely form fitting armor leaned lazily against the wall leading into the Silo, smoke rising from the barrel of her sniper.

    Before Lance could react, however, he watched as Chelsea's Ghost appeared, ready for revival. He made a motion, as he felt the heat of a laser sight appear on his own head.

    "Oh, I wouldn't do that if I were you sweetie." the Huntress mocked. "Fetch."

    Lance growled as he watched what appeared to be a wisp of air grab Chelsea's Ghost. With a pop, a bulky Titan with foreign armor appeared, Chelsea's Ghost firmly in his grasp.

    "Stop squirmin' little Light, or I'll crush you without remorse and kill bof you and your Guardian." he grunted.

    "You're the two Shiro sent, aren't you?"

    "Observant, aren't you." the Huntress called. "When we heard we'd be working closely with the great Drake Stratus, we couldn't turn up the offer."

    Amethyst's material in her gloves rubbed together as her fists tightened. Lance could feel her anger at her brother's name in excess.   The Titan also seemed to notice this, as he approached Amethyst. With Chelsea's Ghost firmly in his left hand, he braced her back, before bringing his knee impressively hard against her spine. Lance heard a sickening snap, as she fell to the ground, unable to move.

    "That's one less pest to worry about, love."

    "Excellent work, Henry." the Huntress said. "Leave this one. We need answers, and he's going to give them to us... or we'll permanently kill everyone he's known and loved."

    "What the hell do you want?!" Lance growled. "What did we do to you?!"

    "Oh, you've done nothing to us." the Huntress called. "Firstly, I feel we should get to know each other. I'm Beatrice, the big guy is Henry."

    "Lance, the one whose gonna enjoy snapping your-"

    "Keep that empty fret to yourself mate." Henry growled, his grip on the Ghost tightening. "We need some information from you, and then we'll leave you blokes alone, right?"

    "As I was saying, you've done nothing to us." Beatrice said. "Besides being in relation to Drake Stratus. He is the one we're after."

    "Why?" Lance said. "What do you want him for?"

    "We bof got issues with 'im." Henry said. "Now, where is 'e?"

    "I want to know what he did to you, first." Lance said.

    "I'm afraid that's not how this is going to work, kiddo." the Huntress said. "You tell us where Drake is, and we'll let you and your friends go... after we've dealt with him."

    "However, I guess it's only fair that we tell you what he did." the Huntress sighed. "Not many people know me, but they know my sister. I'm sure if you were in proximity with Drake, you'd have met her. Name is Lillian?"

    "Wait." Lance said. "You're Lillian's sister? I didn't know she had one."

    "Like I said, not very well known. Thanks to Drake Stratus, my rightful place as the Vanguards woman for the Hunters was seized by my younger sister."

    "Being the son of the 'great' Kabr Stratus, and from the lineage of the first Titans gave Drake the head of the Vanguard when he came of age." Beatrice continued. "So he got the right to choose his replacements of the descendants, so long as there were siblings present."

    "Despite my complete mastery of all three Hunter techniques, the son of a bitch took my less experienced sister to give her the position." Beatrice snarled. "I worked my ass off to impress my mother and take my rightful place, but I was left to suffer. All of my accomplishments, my accolades, they were gone in a flash."

    "He wanted someone that could get the job done." Amethyst grunted. "Not some bitch that was overly full of herself!"


    "Say no more, love."

    Standing eerily close to Amethyst, Henry stomped his left boot down on her right shoulder blade. Amethyst screamed at the pain, despite not being able to move her body. Henry braced her right arm, before planting his boot forcefully down on her elbow. With a sickening snap, Lance watched as Amethyst's right arm broke completely, a bone jutting savagely out of her arm.

    "Aaaaaaaaaaaugh!" Amethyst screamed, as Henry knelt down, wrapping his mighty right arm around her neck.

    "What's the matter, bitch?" Henry smirked beneath his helmet. "Feeling the pressure against an obviously superior force?"

    "What the hell did Drake do to you then?" Lance asked, glaring at him.

    "His family is a fraud. My great great great grandfather was the first man to encounter the Traveler on Mars." Henry snarled. "His relative, however, killed my relative so that he could keep the discovery to himself."

    "I know that armor, I saw you on the Tower earlier." Henry growled. "Parading around that you were Lance Stratus. That Warpath technique your family takes for granted? That should have been MINE!"

    Lance felt the fire in his stomach begin to flare, just as it had in the Vault. It was his warrior's spirit mixing with the Light in an effort to prove himself. As the fire crescendo'd, so did his rage. Gritting his teeth, Lance pitched his body at Henry.

    "You want it so bad?!" Lance snarled, his shoulder ramming into Henry's chest, staggering the Titan. In his hands, a massive fiery greataxe formed. Swinging it into Henry's chest, Lance roared. "THEN HERE YOU GO!"

    The force of the blow knocked Henry back a few feet, but the Titan maintained his balance. As for the Ghost in his hand, however, it was set free, quickly nodded to Lance, and disappeared. Standing there at the ready, Lance watched as Henry stood, before the Titan laughed, his armor hardly scratched.

    "Without that technique, your family is weak!" Henry snarled, bashing his shoulder into Lance.

    Lance stumbled back, as Henry brought his boot heavily down on Amethyst's helmet, killing her instantly. Lance knew Amethyst's Ghost would be wise enough to hide itself, however, he also knew if he waited too long, the Guardians wouldn't be able to revive, as the Ghosts would use all of their Light to keep their spirits alive.

    "I crafted this armor myself, call it the Solar Breacher set." Henry smirked beneath his helmet. "Nullifies Solar Light completely, you can keep swinging that fancy weapon at me as much as you'd like, but you won't amount to shite, mate."

    "Now what are you going to do?" Beatrice called. "I've still got a bead on your pretty little helmet, but if you don't hurry, your friends won't be able to revive."

    "Stop being a cunt and just tell us where he's at, mate." the cockney British of the Titan's accent annoying Lance with every word. "We promise we won't tell 'im you sold him out."

    Lance fell to his knees, feeling an inescapably painful feeling in his chest. Clenching his right fist, the fire resonating on Lance's body simmered to nothing, the axe itself disappearing into the nothing. They wouldn't believe him if he told them the truth, but he also couldn't just sit idly by and risk the others.

    "Rrrgh." Lance grit his teeth, smashing his right fist into the ground beneath him.

    The Hive biologically made environment crackled under his fist, as lightning crackled out of it. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck begin to stand up, the feeling in his limbs numbing like jelly. His back of his eyes flared with an unspeakable pain, as he dipped his head.

    "Did I strike a nerve there?" Henry said, approaching. "I'm sorry it's a known fact. You Stratus cunts are all emotion and no action."

    "That's not true." Lance shook his head. "We killed Oryx and Crota, what have YOU done with your life?!"

    Henry snarled, grabbing Lance by the throat, the massive hand clenching his air ducts intensely.

    "Keeping my head down and NOT sucking on the teat of fame that comes from doing what literally ANYONE could have done." Henry growled, before bringing his knee into Lance's helmet. "I want answers. Now."

    "Hrrk." Lance growled, the pain encompassing his entire form. "You'll not get a word out of me."

    "Fine." Henry sighed. "Sorry love, we're doing this MY way now."

    Henry charged at Lance, planting the roof of his boot firmly up and under Lance's ribs, the force of the blow launching Lance into one of the pillars holding the Silo together.

    "All you had to do was give up that fraud, and I'd forgive you for your pathetic, miserable family's existence." Henry marched after him. "Oh, what's this then?"

    Henry knelt down, his hand gently going over the Striker Mark on Lance's hip. The gift Drake had presented to him after their bout in the Vault of Glass. Henry lifted the cloth for a moment, glancing it over.

    "So your family was pathetic enough to willingly hand this out to it's own members." Henry tisked, shaking his head. "As if you'd ever deserve to be known as true Titans. I'll be taking this."

    Lance's eyes widened as he heard the cloth of the Striker's Mark shred. Along with the excruciating pain overtaking his body, the pain behind his eyes intensified as his left eye twitched in rage. The suffering Lance felt intensified almost a hundred fold, before disappearing into nothing.

    With the handicap out of the way, and his rage at it's maximum tolerance, Lance swung his left boot up and under Henry's chin. The force of the blow knocked the mighty Titan off of Lance and several feet away. Lance took a mighty step forward, as the chitin covered floor beneath his right boot crunched and cracked.

    His eyes rolled to the back of his head as he blindly marched forwards towards Henry. The only noises emanating from Lance were unintelligible snarls and groans. Reaching his right arm out for Henry, Lance felt a warm sensation on the right side of his head for merely a moment, before utter darkness.

    Henry sighed as he crossed his arm, staring up at Beatrice, smoke raising up from her sniper. Glancing at the corpse of the Titan, Henry made a spitting noise, before turning his back. There was a loud pop behind him, however, as he felt a considerable level of heat. Turning back, he witnessed Lance standing there, his entire body as a luminous sun, with fiery wings sprouting from his shoulder blades.

    "What?!" Beatrice yelled. "That's a Sunsinger ability! What the hell is a Titan doing using THAT?!"

    Lance roared as he whipped a Fusion grenade at Beatrice's position. The speedy Huntress jumped out of the way, as the grenade molded to the metallic wall from it's heat. In a violent explosion unseen in a Fusion Grenade, Beatrice screamed as the fire licked at her, blasting her back into the other room and sealing the door behind her.

    "Here we are again, just you and me, right?" Lance growled, his voice unnatural. "With your tactics and shiny armor? You'd better be prepared because soon..."

    Lance snarled as he pointed at Henry's helmet. "Your last hour strikes!"

    "How?! HOW?!" Henry growled, clenching his fists. "How are you using a Warlock technique?!"

    "We Risen weren't labeled as Titans, Hunters, or Warlocks." Lance replied coldly, stepping slowly after Henry. "We served the Light in any way we could, utilizing anything at our disposal to serve the Traveler and Humanity in their dying moments."

    "What purpose have you used your Light to serve?" Lance asked, cracking his neck. "Besides your own selfish desires for glory? A true Titan, if you could call yourself one, would treat all Titans as their kin. They wouldn't alienate one because of foolish PRIDE!"

    Throwing one of the enhanced Fusion grenades at Henry's feet, the Titan hopped backwards, narrowly avoiding the larger blast radius of the already deadly grenade.

    "My family was chosen by the Traveler to lead the brave new world back into the Light." Lance growled. "Your family only wanted to rule a broken society, write your name in History as the sole inheritors of Humanity's future."

    "The proof of this was the death of your relative, he was murdered for the sake of Humanity, because my relative KNEW what injustices your family would commit." Lance snarled, continuing his approach. "If you really must know why I know the Sunsinger technique, it is because my Mother was a Warlock, but she died after having me, because my father was just. like. YOU."

    "That's not all I've learned though." Lance smirked wildly, crouching low. "Allow me to show you, before I kill you were you stand!"

    The fire enveloping Lance once again extinguished, as electricity sparked over his form. Thrusting his right arm out with the knife he held on his belt, the blade elongated, charged heavily by the Arc energy held within.

    "That bitch you were smooching up to?" Lance said, holding the blade up to his helmet. "She's my great great great Aunt, so I also have Hunter Light in my family."

    "I'm not just a Warpath Titan, nor am I a Striker, or a Defender, or even a Sunbreaker." Lance said. "I'm a Warmonger Titan. Jack of ALL Light, master of none. The first and ONLY of my kind."

    Clenching his spare hand, Lance appeared just before Henry using the Blink technique. With one fluid motion, Lance brought the Arc Blade across Henry's neck, slashing his throat, before plunging the knife into his adversary's skull. Henry's body spasmed for a moment, his arms involuntarily reaching for the point of impact.

    Falling to his knees, Henry's mouth bubbled as he began to sway. Despite the puncture to his head, the blow wasn't entirely fatal, though to any other normal human it would have been. As Henry was slowly dying, however, Lance dispelled the arc from his knife and sheathed it.

    "More importantly, I'm an Iron Lord." Lance growled as Henry's life force finally drained, his hand reaching out for Henry's Ghost. "Don't fuck with us."

    With little effort, the Ghost in Lance's hand crunched, pure Light flowing like a wisp up and into the air around him. Beside him, Amethyst and Chelsea's Ghosts waited for him. Hurriedly, he used the remainder of his pent up Light to resuscitate the two of them. Chelsea and Amethyst appeared, both new and fresh, as if the last ten minutes had thankfully never happened.

    "Lance!" Chelsea said, as she wrapped her arms around him. "Thank goodness you're okay! I saw everything through my Ghost's perspective!"

    "That was... fucking cool." Amethyst nodded. "You Stratus' really are something else. Thank you."

    "We tell no-one of this, okay?" Lance said. "It hurt like hell just to do it this time, and I'm not in the mood to keep doing it time and time again."

    "Where'd that bitch go?" Amethyst asked, cracking her knuckles. "I'll cave her skull in with my pinky finger."

    "She and I got separated," Lance sighed. "I was too emotionally invested in permanently killing that fucking Titan that I didn't think before sealing the door out. Who knows where she could be?"

    "I have an idea." Lillian's familiar voice appeared on comms. "When I saw her and that numbskull Titan friend of hers patrolling the area, I knew they would likely run into you."

    "You knew they were out for Drake?" Lance asked.

    "Don't say his name." Lillian growled. "Yes, I had fought the two once before. My sister is a tremendous bitch, and my mother had always told me that she'd never consider Beatrice for the Vanguard."

    "You know another way out of this place?" Chelsea asked. "We're kinda trapped in here."

    "What's the point of the missile launchers on a ship if I can't use them? Head's up Guardians."

    The three ducked into the Hatchery for a moment as the roof of the Silo above them collapsed inwards. With sunlight pouring in, their Ghosts were allowed to teleport their Guardians into their respective ships.

    "Thank you, Lillian." Lance said. "Hopefully the High Priest's data that we managed to gather can help us get into their hideout."

    "I already have a lead, on both Beatrice and the hideout. Of course, you'll understand if I prioritize SIVA over some revenge minded sibling rivalry?" Shiro replied. "Sorry about the fuss, Guardians, I had no idea that two of my best scouts had it out for you. The only way I can think of repaying you is offering you these coordinates. Tina is on her way with a good friend of mine."



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    To the Stars (Destiny) - Page 4 Empty Re: To the Stars (Destiny)

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 8:17 pm

    Nightfall had settled over the Last City. Sparks of Light floated throughout the air, the largest congregation located nearest to the Traveler. In his workshop overlooking the City, the Speaker stared at the stockpile of candy by his side.

    Being the Festival of the Lost, a celebration that honored the defenders of Humanity and the Traveler, the Speaker kept a large stockpile of sweet and sour treats for children or Guardians looking to participate in the event.

    Not to long ago, the Festivals had paused for a moment, as the Traveler itself had pulsed a wave of golden Light. One of the City Consensus had witnessed the event, making his way down from the Roost to see what had transpired.

    "Chancellor Wilhelm. A pleasure it is to see you. If I might steal a guess as to why you are here? the Speaker nodded, turning to the squat man behind him. "You've come because of the recent Traveler activity?"

    "You know the Traveler more than anyone, Speaker." Wilhelm bowed with respect. "I did indeed come to inquire about that pulse of Light."

    "The Traveler once spoke of it's first encounter with Humanity, on the Planet Mars." the Speaker said. "In the moment it first laid it's vision upon the three Astronauts that discovered it, the Traveler saw grand potential in them."

    "The three Astronauts were granted immeasurable power. The first became known as the first Risen. He controlled the power of the Sun, harnessing Solar energy to form weapons of Light." the Speaker turned to face the Traveler. "The second of them harnessed the power of the Void, using her accurate aim to suppress the Darkness and keep the others in check."

    "The third of them was granted the power over the Storm, using his intelligence to channel lightning from his fingertips." the Speaker continued.

    "Yes, the first Titan, Hunter, and Warlock." Wilhelm nodded.

    "Golden Light pulsed from the Traveler to grant them this raw, relentless power. This is much different than the normal white-blue wisps of Light we see in Guardians of today." the Speaker turned to Wilhelm. "They were Risen. Chosen by the Traveler to protect Humanity in a time most critical. They were different to the Guardians, as they were not bound to a single technique branch of the Light."

    "You mean... a Hunter that could launch Nova Bombs?"

    "If they were trained in the ways, yes." the Speaker nodded. "Of every thousand Guardians, the chance of a Risen being formed among them is very slim, a point zero five percent chance."

    "So that pulse... that was-?"

    "The Risen harnessing the full extent of their power. Pulled directly from the Traveler." the Speaker sighed. "The last known Risen was a Warlock... Osiris. He knew of the Warlock techniques, but was able to harness the Light of Titans and Hunters. He was the first Warlock in history to actually replicate a Sunbreaker Titan's Hammer of Sol."

    "Osiris?!" Wilhelm took a step back. "He was excommunicated!"

    "No, he was banished." the Speaker shook his head. "The decision was first implemented by his mentor, Jeremy Cloud."

    "I find it amusing, however, though I agreed to Osiris' excommunication, I still permitted the Stratus family to coexist with the City."

    "That family of Titans that originated from the first Titan?" Wilhelm shook his head. "They were Risen?"

    "They were the relative of one, yes. However, Drake Stratus and his partner Lillian Evergreen, they are not Risen. They are Guardians, who believed they were Risen. There is, however, a Risen in their family. the Speaker smirked, taking a glance at the candy beside him. "I sensed it in him the day Drake Stratus was first resurrected, when his great great grandson was formally introduced to me."

    "That upcoming Titan, Lance Stratus?" Wilhelm asked. "He is a Risen?"

    "It is my belief that, yes, Lance Stratus is the latest Risen to ascend. This latest pulse of Golden Light was him tapping into his latent power." the Speaker turned to the Traveler with a sigh. "The power he possesses is too chaotic. Should he fall victim to it's addictive traits, he would be a tremendous threat to the City."

    "I will spread the word, then." Wilhelm nodded. "Lance Stratus is hereby banished from the Tower and the Last City."



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    To the Stars (Destiny) - Page 4 Empty Re: To the Stars (Destiny)

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 8:18 pm

    "Everyone, I personally thank you for this gathering." Zavala said, standing at his usual spot at the end of the Vanguard Hall table. "The meeting of the City Consensus is now in session."

    Cayde, Ikora, Lord Shaxx, the Speaker, Arach Jalaal of Dead Orbit, Executor Hideo of New Monarchy, and Lakshmi-2 of the Future War Cult joined Commander Zavala at the long table. Chancellor Willhelm and the Speaker himself stood at the far end of the table, directly opposite of the Titan Vanguard.

    "Ikora, if you would be so kind as to list off today's topic of discussions."

    All eyes fell upon the Warlock Vanguard, while she gently shuffled the books in front of her. A small ornate Ghost encrusted with the Vanguard insignia emblazoned on it's shell floated over her shoulder. With a beam of light, a series of still images appeared in front of Ikora, each of a different incident and issue directly inflicting the City.

    "There is the matter of the Taken War and it's inevitable end, as well as the crisis taking place in the Old Russia Plaguelands." Ikora said, her eyes scanning over the other Consensus folks. "We also would like to discuss the fate of the Vault of Glass, and discuss the idea of... banishment?"

    Cayde's eyes flashed a bright blue for a moment to signify his shock, turning his head towards Ikora. Along with him, the three Faction representatives shifted in discomfort. It was rare that the Tower would purposefully banish someone, especially ever since the Consensus was formed.

    "Cayde," Ikora said. "Perhaps you would like to speak to the Counsel about the end of the Taken War?"

    "Damned proud to." Cayde nodded. "With efforts from a currently unknown, yet extremely handsome Exo, and a magnificent fireteam of Guardians, an assault was planned on the Hive Dreadnaught seen orbiting Jupiter."

    "I had heard the rumors." Lakshmi-2 stood boldly beside Ikora, arms folded gently behind her back. "It is also my understanding that the Dead Orbit's fleet, along with the Awoken's were demolished by the Dreadnaught?"

    "It is true that we lost a few ships." Arach Jalaal sneered, pressing his hands to the table. "Though our firepower alone was enough to eradicate all of the Dreadnaught's escort ships. Of course, the Queen's ship herself cleaned up the rest as we tactically retreated."

    "So you're a coward?" Executor Hideo scoffed, arms crossed.

    "Enough." the Speaker said, holding up a hand. "We are not here to belittle each other, but rather discuss the end of the War. Please continue, Hunter Vanguard."

    "Er- yes." Cayde nodded. "The strike force of Guardians was headed by the Titan Drake Stratus and his fireteam."

    "When a beachhead was formed on the Dreadnaught, the Fireteam in question was immediately sent to Oryx's Court." Zavala said, puffing his chest out. "There, Drake Stratus himself managed to defeat Oryx in battle. However, the Taken King had fled to his Alternate World for sanctuary."

    "Drake and his team infiltrated this world and cut Oryx and his faithful servants down. The Legend and their fireteam has been hunting down any traces of Taken leadership still in the system to great effect. The Taken are still present, but they are no longer an immediate threat."

    There was chatter from all ends of the room as they discussed the formal end of the Taken War and what it had cost them all. When that had ended, Ikora shifted in her boots for a moment, cleared her throat, and began to speak up.

    "There is a new threat looming, however." Ikora said. "Councillor Wilhelm, you are a member of Owl Sector, are you not?"

    "Indeed, I am." Wilhelm nodded. "There was an outbreak that recently overtook the Tower and many Guardians around the area. However, a cure was immediately distributed and the threat of it reaching the City halted."

    "Beside that outbreak, there was another in the Plaguelands. Something much more sinister; SIVA." Ikora said. "A virulent strand of nanite technology capable of self replicating and generation. The same Titan, Drake Stratus and his Fireteam took to the Plaguelands to assist Lord Saladin in stopping the outbreak from branching out too far."

    "SIVA is dangerous." Wilhelm said, turning to the other members. "From the limited data we have on Clovis Bray's research, SIVA was meant to help Human colonization during the Golden Age, but was not perfected. Worse was that it was susceptible to corruption that could cause it to spiral out of control."

    "Thankfully, the replication chamber has been destroyed." Zavala announced. "Drake Stratus ensured this for-"

    The group shuddered for a moment as a gloved fist struck the table. An echo of the thud echoed throughout the room, as Cayde raised his fist and returned it to his side.

    "You all talk so highly of him, despite the last time we stood in this very room, you spoke of banishing him." Cayde shook his head. "You haven't told the full story either.

    As Cayde spoke, his attention turned towards the Speaker, Wilhelm, and the three Faction representatives. Resting both of his hands on the table, Cayde took a deep breath in, before standing up straight.

    "Drake Stratus is dead. His Ghost was killed during the assault against a SIVA infected Archon Priest; Kraxsis Perfected." Cayde said. "Drake himself used his Super Nova to incinerate the Replication Chamber for SIVA, effectively disabling the nanites the ability to replicate and spread endlessly."


    "No, shut the fuck up Zavala." Cayde turned to the Titan. "Drake Stratus was a far superior Titan Vanguard than you could ever hope to be. He was brave, an example of how Titans are supposed to follow. You never respected him, his family, or his final wishes after the Moon fell."

    "If this is in discussion about my position, the consensus agreed that I was a much better fit for-"

    "This Consensus accepted your glimmerfor the title. Amehtyst Stratus was supposed to stand where you do, but you found a way to screw her over as well."

    "This discussion can wait until the meeting has concluded, Cayde." Zavala warned.

    "Not if you're going to continue to disrespect a true hero and talk as if you had always had belief in Drake." Cayde crossed his arms. The old Titan Vanguard is dead, and no-one knows about it, save the people his great grandson Lance told."

    "Please." the Speaker said softly. "Drake Stratus' passing has indeed impacted everyone in their own way. This is not the time to lash out, however, it is the time to focus on what we can use his sacrifice to do."

    The Speaker slowly meandered his way around the table, borrowing Zavala's place at the head of the table. Crossing his arms behind his back, the Speaker turned his masked face towards all of the Consensus, before he spoke.

    "It is true the threat of SIVA is still ever present, as is the Taken. We cannot lose hope in this time, however, no matter who passes, we must honor them by continuing to serve the Light." the Speaker said. "However, it is with a heavy heart that I announce that another Risen has been identified. I would bring it up to vote, but as I have final say on all decisions, I am making the executive decision to banish this Risen from the City and the Tower."

    "Should this Risen land on the Tower or in the City... they are to be killed immediately, and their Ghost destroyed." the Speaker gently shook his head. "Lance Stratus is hereby forbidden on the Tower and in the City."

    "You can't be serious. Am I the only sane person in this room?!" Cayde shook his head. "I'm an Exo, not technically a person. The Stratus family has done a considerable amount of work to ensure the safety of the City and the Tower. Am I the only one that notices this?!"

    "No Cayde, you are not." Ikora shook her head. "However, Lance has not only the power of all four known Titan techniques at his disposal. He can also utilize the powers of Warlocks, and even Hunters. If he ever decided to go rogue, he could be a bigger threat to everything we're sworn to protect than the things we are fighting against."

    "This Consensus was formed to prevent Civil Wars, not start witch hunts on uber powerful Guardians." Cayde scoffed, folding his arms. "Osiris was a zealot against the Traveler, this much I can agree to. However, Lance has done everything he could to protect this City and the Tower, and now you plan to banish him because he has even more tools on his belt?! You're a Warlock, where the hell is the logic in that?"

    "I will have you all know right now that Lance Stratus is in the Plaguelands with all of the Guardians from the same fireteam that killed Oryx, and he's going to end whoever is in charge of the SIVA outbreak." Cayde said. "Anyone with a functional brain can tell you that this is the act of a hero, not a traitor."

    "I am sorry." the Speaker sighed. "My decision has been made. As for the passing of Drake Stratus, the Dawning celebration is coming up in a few months. We will celebrate him and his successes then. For now, I must adjourn this meeting. We will resume this at another time."



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    To the Stars (Destiny) - Page 4 Empty Re: To the Stars (Destiny)

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 8:24 pm

    "Lance, can you hear me?" the young Titan huffed as he wrested himself from his slumber.

    His weary eyes trailed the blinding white light of a seemingly endless abyss. Unlike the abyss of space he had long sense been accustomed to, however, there was only pure Light all around him. The crippling whiteness dulled to a bearable level, as Lance, who had found himself lying on his back, hoisted himself into an upright position.

    "Who's there?" Lance's voice echoed for some time, despite no physical walls to reverberate off of.

    "It's been what? Five days since I last saw you?" the feminine voice chuckled, the noise appeared to come from everywhere and no-where simultaneously. "I guess I wasn't entirely wrong when I said you Titans were dense sometimes. Though, I wouldn't have had it any other way."

    "Arianna?" Lance rubbed his eyes, quickly standing to his feet. His eyes widened, as he realized that he was only in his armor, no helmet or weapons on his person to speak of. Not even his own Ghost could be summoned. "I thought, but you-?!"

    "My physical form was destroyed, yes. However, thanks to the efforts of both you and Chelsea, I was returned to the light before I truly died." Arianna's voice echoed in subtle, gigglish laughter. "You must have many questions?"

    "Too many." Lance frowned, his eyes scanning the blank nothing beneath his boots. "Where are we right now?"

    "Oh right~!" Arianna continued to laugh subtly, as the nothingness around him began to mold and take shape. Pristine towers of both metal and stone erected around him. Those that were formed of stone began to sprout flora, moss, and other such vegetation to help give the growing area life. "There is something you should know, come, walk the path in front of you. All will be explained in due time."

    In front of Lance, among the now floating spires of metal and stone, a trail in the vegetation growing on the floating slabs of stone beneath his feet dwindled off for some distance. Around him, just far outside of his immediate area, he could witness the plateaus and dunes of Mars, a planet he had very rarely visited. Deciding to follow her instruction, Lance pushed himself forward.

    As he walked, he heard a slithering sound at both his sides. Shooting a glance at the floating pillars, tendrils of vines surged up each pillar as he passed. With the new vines, the occasional roses would bloom in a wide variety of colors, ranging from the pink of Arianna's eye to the deepest violet of Chelsea's eyes.

    "If you're still alive, does this mean that Drake can come back again?" Lance asked. "The old bastard has people that care about him left."

    "Drake and I had a talk while we were on the Tower, shortly before joining all of you in our fight against Kraxsis Perfected." Arianna's voice trailed around him, as if she was still floating over his shoulder. "He regretted constantly coming back to you all. Seeing what his constant death and rebirth did to you, Chelsea, Lillian, and the folks on the Tower. He came to the idea that the next time he was severed from the Light, he wouldn't leave a trace of himself to be revived again."

    "Lillian..." Lance shook his head, clenching his right fist. "He gifted her the Light she had lent him back."

    "Do not show contempt to Drake or his sacrifice. He severed his connection to any of you because he didn't want you to always worry about the day he was or wasn't coming back. He wanted his death to mean something." Arianna's voice stifled for a moment. "He promised to one day help you reclaim the world lost to time. In his sacrifice to stop SIVA's spread, he built the platform for which you and the rest of your fireteam could stand upon. A foundation for a new hope."

    As Lance continued to walk, though his steps were much more sluggish with the news, he found himself no longer walking on stone and metal, but rather the soft, squishy, yet oddly firm crimson sand of Mars. Lance found himself at the bottom of a steep incline, and while his Titan training left him well prepared for the climb, it was still a bit of a chore.

    At one point, the shifty sand gave way to a crag of countless rocky outcrops. Beneath his feet, he felt one of the rocks give way, and instinctively retracted the leg, backing a step away. In an instant, a sharpness in the back of his eyes, much like a heated knife, jabbed into his head as he took notice of three humanoids in white suits. They wore bulky helmets with a golden visor to them.

    "There were three of them." Arianna said. "Three that walked across the barren red planet in search of an answer to Humanity's then constant problem. If you can imagine, Earth once held enough Humans on it's surface that there was no space to move, and hostilities ran rampant."

    As quickly as the sharp pain had arrived, it subsided. However, as it subsided, Lance felt something against the top of his head. Raising his hand to feel the point of impact, all he felt was moisture. Glancing up, he nearly flinched as a drop of water smacked him square on the chin. That rain drop, followed by countless millions, became a torrential downpour, as Lance found himself briskly climbing the rest of the mountaintop.

    As he breached the apex of the climb, his hands fell upon his knees for merely a moment. His sloppy wet black hair splashed into his face, as he slowly stood back to his full height. In the distance, the rumbling of thunder brought his attention to the only thing in view; a colossal sphere of white. Rain clouds both dark and white surrounded the sphere, and yet, despite the clouds, light and Light began to emanate gently off of it.

    Even being cold with the dampness of the rain and the solemness in his heart, the view of the pristine Traveler in all of it's glory seemed to warm him from the heart. Lance couldn't help but smile brightly at the sight of the Traveler, the power of hope that seemingly pulsed off of the white sphere's surface filled him with the most joy he had ever truly felt in his life.

    "They found me." Arianna's voice cooed through the valley, her voice now localized to one single location. At this, Lance's heart skipped a beat, as he felt a chill run down his spine.

    "Yes Lance, I am the Traveler." Arianna's voice echoed through the valley, in a way that mentally represented itself as a shy smile. "Drake's grandfather and his two companions were the ones that discovered me on Mars all of those years ago."

    "I saw great wisdom and raw energy within one of the astronauts. The other held much of herself in the shadows of doubt, but her keen eye saw the world for what it was, and what it could become. It was the last of the three, Drake's grandfather, who had always stood out to me." Arianna's voice rang out like bells into his ears. "Where one held great wisdom and energy, and the other practicality and a vision. Your ancestor held the key to a strong foundation, a willingness to protect others before himself. He held the most potential of the three."

    "Unlike many of your fellow Humans, your ancestor did not hold the regard to fight wantonly, to destroy another's life for his own benefit. He believed in holding a strong moral foundation with which Humanity as a whole could prosper under." Arianna continued. "For the man of wisdom and energy, I granted him the power of the Void, to see into my inner most Darkness. For the woman of clarity and vision, I granted her the power of Sol at her trigger. -And for the noble man of rapport and morality, I granted him the fist that could call upon the Storm to bring justice upon those that would dare shatter the foundation of Humanity."

    "I'm so confused." Lance's hand went to his face to wipe the soggy hair out of his vision, though his hand stayed clasped there for a time, his right eye peering through the gap between his fingers. "You were a Ghost, not the Traveler."

    "All Ghosts are a part of me." Arianna's laughter dispersed the clouds surrounding the sphere, emboldening the sunlight peering through. "As such, I am a part of them. I, Arianna, however, am the central personality of the Traveler."

    "Tell me, didn't you find it odd when the Light of the Traveler, to which Oryx boasted could not reach his Dreadnaught, seemed to do so anyways?" Arianna's voice, once again, mentally displayed itself as a sheepish smile. "When Drake once asked me to change his name, to strip himself of his old legend and start fresh. He would have had to have worked considerably harder to bring his techniques back."

    "I could have erased the memory of the Stratus family from the minds of everyone. However, I knew of your father and his treatment of you. I needed Drake to have his closure with those he loved and left behind, and to give you the solid father figure you always deserved."

    Lance took a moment to soak this information in. He wasn't sure if it was the raw emotions that were from the discussion on hand, or just the soothing aura that he felt on this mountaintop, tears rolling down his face. Sinking to his knees, Lance dipped his head in a mixture of mourning and to listen deeper into her words.

    "I wanted him to build you into the Risen that you are today, to help you unlock the powers that would help disperse the Darkness still on Earth's surface." Arianna sighed. "It was not my intention for him to die when he did. SIVA, and the Darkness as a whole, had been much stronger than I had anticipated. As any of us had, save Lord Saladin."

    "If it brings you any comfort, Drake is still here with me. I ensured he was not whisked away into the Darkness that we fear so much." Arianna said, the sun shining brighter for a moment beside the Traveler, causing Lance to flinch.

    "I heard you were blubbering like a fool." Drake smirked, crossing his arms across his chest. "I thought I taught you better than that?"

    "Yeah?" Lance stood, rubbing the tears from his eyes, before sharply nailing Drake in the shoulder. "I thought you were going to stick around a bit longer, you asshole."

    "So did I." Drake snickered uneasily as he nursed the arm. "Unfortunately, circumstances had other plans."

    "Still." Drake's hand found itself firmly pressed on Lance's shoulder, as he gazed into his great great grandson's eyes. "I am immensely proud of the Titan you've become. As a Risen, you will not be permitted on the Tower or in the City. You won't be able to become the Titan Vanguard I've always thought you or Amethyst could be."

    "Instead." Drake sighed, as he turned to the Traveler, her Light still gently pulsing outwards. "You can serve a bigger purpose, above just the City and the Tower. You can bring her Light with you wherever you go, to show the Darkness that Humanity isn't going to run away anymore."

    Lance's eyes trailed back to the Traveler, as the two Titan's watched her glorious, inspiring golden Light wisp around her form like milky strands of steam. Drake's arm wrapped itself around Lance's neck, as the two stared at the sight for a considerable amount of time.

    "About Lillian, is she-?"

    "Furious." Lance said, as Drake chuckled deeply.

    "Yeah, I expected no less." Drake smirked. "Listen. You've got what it takes to bring that Fire-team to where it's needed most. When people say Stratus, they'll be thinking of the Risen hero who stopped SIVA and brought the fight to the Darkness."

    "As much as I'd love to be there physically to help you, I've lived three lives now, and while each of them have been rich and fulfilling, it's time I let my legend die so that yours may shine in the Light of a new era." Drake smirked proudly. "An Age of Triumph, if you will."

    "Goodbye, Lance." Drake turned to him with a firm hand on the shoulder. "You were like the son I had but never got to raise. I'll be with you, if only through the Light's embrace. Show Zavala and the rest of the fledgling Titans how a real brawler does it. Oh, and keep an eye on Lillian, for me?"

    In the same shimmering Light as Drake had arrived on, he was gone in a flash. Pixels of small gold and white Light dispersed like a miniature swarm of fireflies, flickering into the abyss and towards the direction of the Traveler. Lance felt an unexpected breeze take up behind him, his hair at the mercy of the new wind pattern.

    "Your path ahead will be one of strife. You and your companions will be tested to every fiber of your being. However, I have complete trust in you and all of them to get through these trials." Arianna spoke, as a massive pulse of golden Light erupted from her spherical form, striking Lance head on with the weight and severity of a freight train. As it struck him, he felt his eyes getting heavy with sleep. "When the machine God is finally laid to rest, speak with the long-eye of the Iron Lords. She will guide you from here on. Shine on, Lance Stratus, know that Drake and I are rooting for you~!"

    With one last mighty pulse of golden Light, Lance felt his entire being much heavier than it had ever been. He stumbled for a moment as the visage of the Traveler and her Mars valley she had resided in slowly deconstructed itself into the same whiteness he had been in some time before. His eyes once again drew heavier with sleep, as he collapsed onto his rear, and finally again on his back.


    "He's coming to!" Chelsea said, turning her head to the others. "Give him some space!"

    Lance grit his teeth as the involuntary stretching akin to a well deserved rest caused his muscles to tense and stiffen, if only for a moment. Once again, he found himself rubbing his eyes, but as he opened them, instead of the dull blackened sky of the Plaguelands that he had been accustomed to, he could see the light of the Sun piercing through the clouds.

    "Good morning." Lance grunted as he slowly began to stand.

    "You pass out for a full five hours and all you can say when you wake up is; Good Morning?!" Tina scowled. "Do you have any idea what your nap did to Chelsea?!"

    Before Tina could rip into him any further, Amethyst's hand gently landed itself on the Warlock's shoulder. Tina turned away from Lance for a moment, paling in comparison to the towering Titaness. Her aggressions sullied for a moment, before Amethyst turned to him.

    "I know what he went through." Amethyst smiled. "You spoke with the Traveler, didn't you?"

    Lance began to ponder how Amethyst would have known this. Of course, he had only just began to hang out and communicate with her on a personal level for a relatively short amount of time. She had explained to him her story about when she was younger and Kabr saved her life, perhaps it was then?

    "She was beautiful, right?" Amethyst asked, offering him a hand up. "Her voice was familiar and inspiring, right?"

    "Yeah." Lance nodded sheepishly, as much as he wanted to admit the identity of the Traveler to them, he understood that it would only upset Lillian more. "Voice like an angel. Though, after everything she's done for us, I can't be surprised by that."

    "That makes no sense." Tina and the Hunter, Alex, shook their heads in disbelief. "The Speaker is the only one who maintains the power to communicate directly to the Traveler."

    "No." Lillian shook her head. "Drake has talked directly with the Traveler before, long before any one of you were born. It's the Stratus family, blood or not, they have a direct connection to the Traveler."

    "The Speaker may speak for the Traveler and speak her words for Humanity, but he has been known to keep many things out of the public hearing for fear of causing a major upset." Amethyst crossed her arms. "He deserves all the respect and credit he has, but he is not the only one to have spoken to the Traveler, he is just the only one who survived from that time."

    After accepting Amethyst's hand up, Lance's eyes scoped out the field before them. What he once thought was the Old Russian wall that the Titan's once protected with their lives, actually turned out to be artificially enhanced by a mixture of scraps of wall and SIVA nanites. It definitely explained the many patches of metal missing from various places along the Cosmodrome and the Plaguelands.

    "So, I was assigned to help you all take down this SIVA crisis once and for all." Alex crossed his arms standoffishly. "Sent by the Vanguard themselves, that means I expect all of you to do as I say, when I say so."

    "Hold off on that." Lillian said. "I was once the Hunter Vanguard. I have taught Shiro and Cayde-6 everything they know about being a Hunter."

    "Whoopdy doo." the Hunter scoffed, lifting his helmet in a dismissive fashion. "Why aren't you standing in for him, then? It's clear he doesn't want to be on the Tower anyways."

    "She's a Lady of Iron now, punk." Amethyst said, accusingly jabbing a finger into his chest. "Every one of us are Lords and Ladies of Iron. We operate for the best interest of all Humanity, not just those the Vanguard chooses to protect. Currently, Lance is the one calling the shots, you don't like it, you're free to lift that rag of yours behind your legs and scurry off like the dog you are."

    The Hunter backed off for a moment, glaring from behind his helmet at the five he was with. Even Tina, who had just railed into Lance with every barb she had in her moral fiber, turned a disapproving stare at him. With a sigh and a shrug of his shoulders, he backed slowly away.

    "Alright, alright, fine." Alex sighed. "Look, I've been scouting this area out for Shiro the past couple o' days, right? Well, I see this big Fallen infested with SIVA, right?"

    "Thing is, he's swarmin' with the little red bugs. Lug's easily the size of a Archon, maybe a Baron jacked on Ether. Anyways, my scouting partner and I, we took pot shots at him from the roof down the way." Alex hunched low, as if the empty air was listening to him. "Didn't have any effect."

    "Sounds like that High Priest we snuffed two days ago." Amethyst rubbed the bottom of her chin with a huff, before turning to Lance. "Well, you snuffed, anyways."

    "Did you throw red SIVA bombs at him?" Alex asked, turning to Lance.

    "No, I sicced an Ogre infused with SIVA on him. He blew himself up." Lance shook his head, as the Hunter silenced himself for a moment, pondering the events.

    "This big guy that's usually around this scrap heap?" the Hunter asked. "I remember seein' a Dreg carryin' one of those SIVA bombs, pure red nanite orbs, an' tripped over his peg leg. The bomb exploded on the big guy, detonated his shield. My friend and I, we took our paces and fired a few rounds into him."

    "Must've gotten him good, 'cause he fled inside that giant orange hole." Alex pointed towards the giant disk shaped entrance. To Lance, the entrance seemed to hold some similarity to the entrance to the Vault of Glass. "That must be where they holed up, but instead of chasing, Shiro told me to meet your Warlock friend here and link up with the strike team in charge of taken down the SIVA replication chamber."

    "Door hasn't closed since then?" Lance asked Alex, who shook his head silently. "Might be a trap then. We got no more time to waste, c'mon."



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    To the Stars (Destiny) - Page 4 Empty Re: To the Stars (Destiny)

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 8:41 pm

    "Well it's not entirely what I was expecting." Lance mused as he carefully crept across the narrow, rusty catwalk that served as a bridge into the chasm below. "Then again, I don't really know what I was."

    To the surprise of the Fire-team, the disk like entrance had led into the Wall the Titan's once prided themselves in protecting. Golden Age tanks and other old technology dangled from the roof above them, providing them with the stepping stones they required to progress further.

    Darkness was an understatement for what surrounded them, with very little natural sunlight to highlight their way, the Guardians had to resort to their Ghost's flashlights. After hopping to an aforementioned tank, Lance noticed what finally appeared to be natural sunlight ahead. The spider web configuration of the inner-Wall only further accentuated his hatred for spiders and the Fallen even further.

    After Lance had landed on the sunlit platform, he turned with his Ghost to provide his companions the light to see their way across. When the last of them cross the threshold, Lance turned to the nook with which the platform resided. A short walk into a ventilation tunnel lead them to a grate on the floor. Lance stepped upon it, deemed it safe, and instructed the others to join him.

    Lance began to panic, however, as five of the Guardians stepped on, the metal beneath them groaning. Ushering them back up, his stomach lurched as the five of them cascaded below. Chelsea, who had been skeptical, used her Warlock flutter to slowly descend after them. The others initiated their thrusters and boosters to nullify their descent to a safe level, landing in the room.

    The first thing Lance noticed immediately was the SIVA clusters hanging along the wall like some sort of gossamer webbing. TV screens of varying sizes perched themselves in a wide array across the gossamer, with the three largest in a line across the dead center of the webbing. Upon further inspection of the main room, Lance took note of four side rooms, two on either side of them.

    Before anyone moved a muscle, Tina spoke up, pointing to a sign on the guard rail directly in front of them. Like most things in this literal hell hole, the metal railing had SIVA tendrils wrapped around it, intertwining between the bars. Though in Russian, Tina moved forward enough only to look at it.

    "WARNING: SIVA testing room. In case of SIVA density reaching critical levels, make haste to nearest bunker. No responsibility will be taken if you are killed or wounded." Tina read. "That's... cheery. Did people of the Golden Age try to weaponize SIVA?"

    "Apparently so. Must've happened during the Collapse." Chelsea shrugged. "Otherwise, why would the Fallen be able to weaponize it so easily, if all it was originally designed for was constructing colonies for Humanity?"

    "You think someone stayed logged in without changing the password?" Amethyst snickered, as Lance tapped her lightly on the shoulder with the back of his hand.

    Around the room, the Guardians could all hear the same chittering that was akin to several hundred Fallen troops scurrying through the walls. The very sound was like the scratchy noise that was enough to irritate anyone's inner ear. In a burst of red nanites, a very large imposing Fallen Archpriest towered over them.

    Several bits of metal scrap and car doors from old Golden Age vehicles were attached to his majorly robotic form. SIVA with little surprise to the Guardians, covered the Fallen creature from the neck down, the only organic parts of the creature remaining was his head and his lower two arms.

    "Hey Frankenstein, miss me?" Alex taunted, stepping forward.

    Whether or not the Fallen Archpriest could understand the Hunter, Vosik stepped forward with Scorch Cannon in hand of his upper two mechanized arms. Slamming his right foot down, Vosik's roar echoed loudly throughout the room, as hordes of Splicer Dregs and Vandals seethed out of the nooks and crannies towards Vosik's side of the room.

    "Three teams of two, spread out!" Lance barked, taking cover behind the nearest shipping crate strewn about the room.

    Amethyst and Lillian took to the right side of the room, while Tina and Alex gravitated towards the left. Chelsea joined Lance behind his cover, tapping him endearingly on the shoulder.

    "Let's do this one for Drake." she smiled beneath her helmet.

    "No." Lance shook his head. "This one's for Humanity."

    Poking his body around the corner of the cover, Lance took a knee and began to pulse his Auto Rifle fire at the encroaching Dregs and Vandals, who crept their ways out of the floor boards of the platform just in front of Vosik. Chelsea stood over him, he Pulse Rifle firing in perfect tandem with his Auto Rifle. As Lord Shaxx would have called it, it was the Symphony of Swift-Death.

    As the Splicers fell to their hail of bullets, a quick alarm above them blared out. Lance glanced up in time to watch six ancient machines, though there were eighteen total in the ceiling, twist with red light, fabricating what appeared to be red spheres of SIVA web.

    "Those are the bombs I was talking about!!" Alex said in comms, as six of the orbs dropped practically at his and her feet.

    "Alright then, everyone grab one!" Lance called, hoisting the modestly hefty ball with both hands, clipping his Auto Rifle to his back.

    Turning the corner, Lance and the others in beautiful display, tossed their orbs like shot put. The six crimson orbs soared across the large industrial sized room, as Lance quickly pulled his Auto Rifle back into a readied stance. The second the orbs made contact and exploded on Vosik's torso, he opened fire, to which the swarm of SIVA nanites surrounding him like a red aura ate completely.

    "What the fuck man?!" Lance growled angrily. "You said those things broke his shield and made him vulnerable!"

    "T-They do! Maybe he got an upgrade, it's been two days, remember?!" Alex snarled back. "Get off my back dude!"

    Lance growled to himself as he and Chelsea took cover behind the box once more. Vosik's Scorch Cannon fire, which had once been directed at Amethyst and Lillian, now focused on Lance, each shot thudding against the box behind him. Thankfully, the Golden Age metal of the box withstood the brunt of the attack enough for Vosik to growl in annoyance.

    With another foot stomp, more Splicers chittered in the wall, swarming out of the holes they had originally to flush the Guardians out. Only this time, Lance heard a high pitched beeping noise. Poking his head out, he realized that the large screen on the right was now blinking what he could only guess was either Golden Age or Fallen language. Either way, a swarm of SIVA nanites began to swell around the screen.

    "Shoot the screen!" Amethyst barked.

    With the six Guardians firing at the screen at once, the glass shattered and red craters formed into cracks along it's front. The SIVA swarm, which had once purposed itself for no good, instead set about repairing the screen. Lance dropped his Auto Rifle for a mere moment to pull his Shotgun off of his back, pumping fresh shells into the now closer than ever Splicer Dregs and Vandals, while Chelsea kept the further back ones at bay.

    With another loud blare from the alarm above them, Lance noticed that the orb vending machine above them was glowing just above the platform the Splicers were crawling out of. Clipping his Auto Rifle to his back, he exchanged it to his magazine fed shotgun. Chelsea nodded as Lance sprinted up towards the platform. His shotgun fired three times, blowing a hole in one Dreg's chest cavity, popping the head off of another, and blowing out the leg of the third.

    As he sprinted past the crippled Dreg, he fired hist shotgun into it's head, before pitching his shoulder and flipping a Vandal over him. Behind him, he could hear Chelsea's Pulse Rifle firing in cadence, as well as the all to familiar hiss of Ether leaving the Vandal's new neck hole.

    Grasping the modest red orb after clipping the shotgun to his back again, Lance used his thrusters to launch himself back again. Once more, the red orbs soared through the air. They impacted at Vosik's feet in another furious flash of red light, this time, however, the Fallen Archpriest's SIVA shield popped into nothing. At the same time Vosik found himself unable to move, sparks flaring up from the joints in his metallic legs and arms.

    Lance spread his arms wide as the other Guardians piled into his newly formed Ward of Dawn, infusing their bullets with the Traveler's Light to boost their effectiveness. Lillian and Alex pulled bows made of Void energy, letting loose a duo of arrows that splintered themselves into Vosik's legs. The two Warlocks flared in red Solar energy, throwing their fiery Solar grenades to help melt away anything protecting his vital weakpoints he might be concealing.

    One of the car doors, at the intense heat of the endless swarms of grenades, melted down into nothing. Though no weak points were visible, the feeling of melting metal clearly wasn't pleasant. Amethyst's fist swung out in front of her, as the sound of a hammer striking an anvil rang out. Throwing her Hammers of Sol at the massive SIVA infused beast, the six Guardians eventually resorted to their weapons once more.

    Vosik's metallic voice scratched in the air as it roared loud enough to cause the Guardians to flinch. All of the screens behind Vosik lit that same red coloration with the strange runes showing on them. The cloud of red SIVA nanites swirled between the TV screens and Vosik himself, as Chelsea nudged Lance's shoulder. One of the rooms to their right had a light on, with a red light flaring inside.

    "Everyone, inside that room!" Lance roared as the six Guardians sprinted into the room.

    "Why isn't it working?!" Alex shouted in a panic, as Lance glared at the annoying orange disk on the wall, flickering away.

    Slamming his fist on the orange disk, the metal shattered furiously, but a giant orange shield door covered the entrance to the room, as Lance backed away from it. The swarm of SIVA nanites surged through the open areas of the main room they had been fighting Vosik in, not leaving a single place unchecked for them. Had they been out there, they would have surely been torn into shreds of flesh and cloth.

    As the nanites finished their pass, however, the shield door burst out of commission. Lance stepped forward to poke his head out, only to realize that the swarm had gone away. Everyone sprinted out of the room, once again taking their positions on the left, middle, and right lanes of the room.

    Vosik snarled mechanically at the persistent Guardians, smashing it's foot into the platform again. The shield that enveloped him once before had returned to full strength, considering the density of the swarm around the Archpriest. This time, Vosik's strike didn't seem to stir any more Dregs or Vandals.

    Instead, however, the annoying chirping of Splicer Shanks, Exploder or Repeater in class, began to descend from the ceiling above Vosik's platform. Swarming and branching out in the three different lanes, Lance took pot shots at them with his Auto Rifle, favoring the Exploders to help take out the Repeaters.

    After the last Shank ruptured into a pile of scrap and Ether, the chirp from above rang out. Vosik, whom had learned his lesson from the past few times, turned his Scorch cannons towards the ceiling dispensers. Holding his right hand out, he felt the warm steel of his fiery battleaxe forming in his hands, before charging at Vosik.

    Vosik noticed this out of the corner of his many eyes, turning to fire on Lance. Lance held up a middle finger with his spare hand, before boosting back away, his distraction job completed. Ducking back behind the box, he had been lucky that he and Chelsea's bombs had once again landed at their feet. For a third time, the orbs of SIVA energy surged forth into Vosik's midsection, this time, eradicating the shield entirely.

    Amethyst drew her arms wide to form a Ward of Dawn, while again the two Hunters loosed a pair of arrows infused with Void energy. The Warlocks spurt Solar grenades at Vosik's feet, while Lance dashed ahead of the group. Bounding off of his right foot, he held the battleaxe high above his head, before flipping high above Vosik's head, bringing one of the bladed heads down on Vosik's skull.

    With a single grunt and chitter from Vosik, with wisps of Ether trailing out of his split skull, the lumbering Archpriest stumbled for a bit, Lance riding him down to the platform beneath Vosik. Planting his boots firmly, Lance wrenched his fiery weapon out of the Archpriest's skull, a web of SIVA towards the back right of the room shriveling as it's bonded strand flittered into nothing beneath Lance.

    After everyone took a moment to breath, reload, and celebrate their brief victory, they met with Lance at the newly opened doorway. The crew didn't speak a word in hopes of catching any Splicers in the next valley of space in between the Wall by surprise. Besides the occasional Dreg, there met with little resistance.

    Chelsea shivered for a moment, catching Lance's attention. He turned to her, as her arms instinctively wrapped around her torso, her teeth clattering beneath her helmet. In fact, he began to feel chilly himself. The group perched themselves on a securely held Golden Age tank, searching for the source of the sudden coldness. In the corner of her eye, Lillian saw a twinkle of light.

    "There." Lillian nodded her head to Lance, before gesturing in the direction of the light. "Outside. Maybe we can get on top of the wall there, get a good look around?"

    "You're the Huntress. It's as good a plan as any." Lance smirked.

    "You're sounding more and more like him."

    "I'm nothing like him, and it's probably better that way." Lance said. "Makes me more unique."

    Lillian uneasily chuckled at the banter, as she watched the other five Guardians cross the gap to the small platform leading to the source of the light. She watched as he lead the group to the platform, before a smile curled at the corner of her mouth beneath her helmet.

    "You're more like him than you know." she smiled, a singular tear rolling down her cheek. "You bullheaded bastard."


    "The hell do you think that is?" Amethyst scratched the top of her helmet.

    Just behind the Guardians was the massive construct. Obviously built by the Fallen, they were unsure if SIVA had been involved or not, based off of the basic Fallen design of it. Most of the Splicer's inventions nowadays involved very obvious veins of SIVA tendrils all across it, but this seemed plain.

    "It doesn't look active." Lance shook his head, crossing his arms, his eyes wandering the top of the Wall.

    In all of his years of living, he never once actually thought he would stand on the very wall that Drake had once fought upon. The area itself was not too far from the cave that Lillian said Drake had been found in. He wondered if this was the segment of wall that Drake had actually fought and died to protect?

    As his eyes continued their search, he noticed a giant gate several kilometers from their position, with the usual SIVA infestation and flags on top of it. Pointing it out to the others, he lead them in the direction of the gate, where there was SIVA, they were bound to find the big Kahuna of the place. Especially if he had constructed giant gates of SIVA to keep visitors out.

    Their path was crowded with a handful of Splicer Dregs and Vandals, their numbers making Lance wonder just how many Splicers actually were left? If this was in fact the SIVA compound they had used it for, surely there had to be more? Unless, of course, the other Fallen Houses wanted nothing to do with the Devils and their antics, which would make sense considering how broken the House of Devils had been for a considerable amount of time.

    As he shook the thought from his head, he found the six of them standing at the base of the some twenty foot high wall of metal and SIVA.  The group flinched as the Wall beneath them quaked loudly, followed by the sparking of electricity. Lance slowly turned in the direction of the giant mechanism behind them. The giant machine, which he now guessed served as a trap laid for them, was about as long as the Wall was wide, and it followed the crudely laid tracks on either side of the Guardians.

    Beneath the mechanical abomination, electricity surged in an intimidating manner, exploding the countless metal scraps of both the dead Splicers and whatever else they had dragged up there. Lance turned to the others with a huff, as he raised his Auto Rifle, which did not have the range to be of any help in that situation.

    "I really fucking hate the Fallen."



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    To the Stars (Destiny) - Page 4 Empty Re: To the Stars (Destiny)

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 8:58 pm

    "Hold on." Lillian said, her sniper rifle at the ready. "I doubt you can see it from here, but there's a weak point on that turret on the right side! Come to think of it, both of them don't look structurally sound."

    "That's uncharacteristic of them." Amethyst scoffed sarcastically, raising Drake's old Scout Rifle. "Give me a target and I'll shoot it."

    Lance, who was at the biggest loss of the group having both mid to close range weapons, instead pulled his rarely used rocket launcher out of his Ghost's digital storage. Moving to give himself enough space from the others to avoid back blast, he took a knee and fired two missiles at the turrets. The combined firing of the other five and his two missiles blasted one of the turrets off, exposing a slight sliver of orange underneath.

    Instead of reloading the launcher, however, he noticed a much larger swarm of Dregs and Vandals encroaching on their position. He snapped to his Auto Rifle, taking a knee and firing in small controlled bursts at the Dregs and Vandals within the weapon's limited range. With another crunch and miniature explosion, the full orange core of the front facing piece to the machine became exposed.

    The rig, which had at one point been hauling itself at maximum speed seemed to slow down from the abuse it had received. The machine was finally within a decent enough range that Lance could finally fire on the core itself. Joining the other five in sync with their firing, the Siege Engine itself slowed to a crawl, a volatile explosion rippling over it's right, their left side. The front plate blasted off, exposing the inside of the vehicle.

    Lance whistled to the other, jumping up with his thrusters. Behind him, the other five followed his suit. His quick analysis was that the rig was completely unmanned. With a grin, his eyes followed a length of SIVA cording beneath him. He felt the Siege Engine, which had slightly repaired it's core, return to full speed and ram into the gate they had once had their backs against.

    With each cord, Lance found himself standing before several components that seemed to power the rig. His eyes widened, however, as the one nearest him, a green rectangular piece, glowed a brilliant orange and exploded. Along the cord, the other components gave a slight burst, as the team regrouped at the top of the Siege Engine. A lone Fallen Skiff descended at the base of the gate in the distance.

    A lone Splicer Baron dropped out of the back, four components much like the ones he had seen on the Siege Engine fell at the Baron's feet. With both of it's right arms, the Baron stepped forward, gesturing and taunting the Guardians to come get them. Of course, right behind the Baron another gate much like the one the Siege Engine had just obliterated stood.

    "We're gonna need those parts." Tina shook her head.

    "No shit, sherlock." Alex sighed angrily. "I don't like leaving this baby unattended."

    "I've got it." Lillian said, holding her sniper rifle at the ready. "I'll take overwatch. Tina, you stay here and make sure I don't get flanked. The rest of you, there's enough for one piece each. If we play our cards right, you shouldn't need your weapons, now go!"

    Lance, Chelsea, Alex, and Amethyst vaulted over the side of the now still Siege Engine. The Baron, which had once been cocky, roared as a bullet penetrated it's neck, it's precious Ether spewing out of it's new hole. As it stumbled on it's feet, it's corpse landed several feet from where Lance had been sprinting.

    The four Guardians jumped up to the parts. Lance hoisted the green one, grunting at the sheer weight of the item. He and Amethyst were struggling but not nearly as much as Chelsea and Alex had been. Amethyst, content with her strength, hoisted her piece up to her shoulder.

    "What's the matter Hunter boy? You talked a big game before, where you at?"

    "Hunters are masters of recon and gathering data for Warlocks and you Titans to utilize, ugh. You may have brawn, but I have the brain." Alex sneered.

    "Really, cause your cloak is on fire, numb-nuts." Lance snickered as the Hunter's head snapped around to the cloth on his back.

    Chelsea, ever the kind one, stomped over with her piece and gently scuffed the fire out with her boot. It wasn't entirely the best possible solution, but it was better than letting the entire cape burn.

    "Stick to patrolling kid." Amethyst grunted, using her other arm to hoist Alex's piece. "Now be good and cover me, I'm gonna take a bit getting there."

    Lillian's sniper rifle cracked several times, indicating that more reinforcements were climbing from beneath them. Lance lead the group back through the damaged section of wall, testing each foothold to ensure they were stable. He would turn back to watch Amethyst, who soldiered through it and managed to keep up, albeit slightly behind by a few feet.

    Upon reaching the front of the Siege Engine again, Lance's eyes turned to the orange core of the Siege Engine. Red swarms of SIVA began to congregate around it, expending energy the vessel didn't have to attempt repairing it. The core itself started to glow the vibrant orange that the parts to the rig had before they exploded.

    "Uh, we're in for a not so tiny explosion!" Chelsea called, noticing the change herself.

    Lance picked up his pace, knowing where his piece belonged thanks to his previous search. After he placed it, he ran back to help Amethyst, while Tina and Lillian helped Alex and Chelsea respectively. Just as the high pitched whine of the Siege Engine was drawing a state that didn't make Lance comfortable, he slid the final piece into place. With a chunk and a thud in the machine, it began to speed up.

    Once again, the fire-team congregated at the top of the rig. As the mech slammed into the next gate and through it, Lance's heart stopped. The Wall directly in front of them no longer existed. The tracks to their temporary ride were dipped downwards towards the icy surf below them.

    "Uh, abandon ship?" Chelsea asked him, as he nodded silently.

    The six Guardians vaulted over the edge of the rig before it met the incline. Sprinting as hard as they all could, it was when they were about midway down the stretch of bridge that they heard the Siege Engine derail. With no time to turn back, the Guardians sprinted for all they were worth as the machine picked up speed behind them. Diving off of the bridge, they were pleased to see a rocky outcrop for them to land on, which appeared to lead into a cave system.

    As the Guardians neared the land, they activated their boosters, thrusters, or space magic to slow their descent, turning to admire the Siege Engine as it plummeted into the surf behind them. The ensuing wave of water caused them all to hid behind a rock to avoid being swept up, but for the most part it proved to be harmless.

    "See?" Amethyst clapped her hands together to remove dust. "They never build anything to last. It's one and done, like a shitty business platform for something that could've been really something."

    "That was oddly specific?" Tina turned to her, as Amethyst shrugged.

    "I know, it's was pretty odd." Amethyst smirked. "I'll have to hint about it in my weekly blog post where nothing useful actually gets said."

    "You blog?" Lance scoffed, as Amethyst stared down at her hands.

    "Oh god, what have I become?"

    "An annoyance." Alex huffed, walking past them. "We're burning daylight, I've got plans with my five other friends on the Tower tonight."

    "Oh yeah?" Tina asked. "What're you doing?"

    "Dancing the night away, baby." Alex clicked his teeth together. "With. no. music."

    "Sounds boring and a waste of time." Lillian shrugged. "Though, I suppose it beats buying stuff from Tess Everis. Bitch tried to swindle me by charging me ten 'bucks' for a Sparrow that's slower than the most common model. What in the hell even is a buck?"

    "A male deer?" Chelsea shrugged with a chuckle.

    With a light chuckle from the Guardians, they stepped into the cave system. At the back of the cave they found a dimly lit free-fall into what looked like metal flooring. As the Guardians descended, they raised their weapons in anticipation for an ambush.

    Instead, they were greeted by large glass cylinders, each containing a strange pyramid covered in SIVA nanites. As they passed by the cylinders, the lights in the room shut off really quickly, followed by the bellowing laughter of what Lance could only guess was an Archon Priest? To him, the big arthropods always sounded the same.

    "Holy shit." Lillian said. "Do you think this is where Humanity first developed SIVA?"

    "Looks like it." Chelsea said, her always curious eyes turned towards the pyramids. "Which, horrifically, means we're also in the right place."

    "Hey, better to be the bug exterminators than the exterminated." Lance shrugged. "That's just my two glimmer."

    When the laughter and the lights returned, Lance took notice to a large ornate door in the back of the cylinder room. The others joined him by it, as it opened to a very large and imposing staircase leading down to a giant red pyramid, much like what they had seen in the tubes behind them.

    "I'd hate to fall down these stairs." Alex shivered.

    "Scared of heights too?" Amethyst smirked.

    "No, I'm scared of you." Alex shook his head. "I'm fucking terrified of heights."

    As the group began to walk, Amethyst rested her arms powerfully on Alex's shoulders and pretended to jerk him to their right. The Hunter yelped with the high pitched intensity of a young girl jumping into a cold pool. Amethyst followed the sound with the ever so attractive snorting that came from a mixture of laughs and chuckles.

    "Honestly, you and Drake are two peas in a pod." Lillian shook her head, walking ahead.

    "Nothing we hate more than cocky Hunters." Amethyst hoisted the now fright paralyzed Hunter in her arms. "Come on you. We still got a job to do."

    "For someone whose afraid of heights, you didn't seem to mind jumping off of that bridge, or across those gaps in the wall?" Tina asked, as Alex muttered silently to himself.

    "It's one thing to jump on your own accord, pretending to be thrown in? That's a different story." Alex shivered.

    "Look, we're already here." Lance tilted his head into the door at the bottom of the stairs. "I'll get you a lollipop when this is over."

    "I fucking hate you psychos." Alex grunted, Amethyst lowering him onto flat, solid ground.

    "Hey Hunter boy, this Pyramid is suspended on flimsy rope." Amethyst jumped, as the giant pyramid room around them shook, causing the Hunter to seize up once more. "Be careful who you say that around. I'll have you know I'm very particular on what people think of me."

    "Noted ma'am, yes ma'am." Alex whimpered, as she sharply slapped him on the back.

    "There we go!" Amethyst cheered.

    While they were distracted with one another, Lance decided to give the dark room a quick glance. As he took a step in, the floor panel beneath him lit up, illuminating the room. From what he could see, there was one last fall that they would have to descend, but he could feel the stifling weight of the Darkness nearby.


    "This place is huge." Chelsea mused as she glanced around the dark room. The first thing they noticed as they landed was that they appeared to be standing on sort of receptacle that could be closed. To their left and right, on elevated floors a few stairs up were similar receptacles. "This can't be good."

    "Nothing about this is good." Tina chimed in. "If it weren't for the fact we're running out of time for action, I'd suggest others do this."

    "We don't get that luxury." Lance growled. "These bastards took Drake from us. We'll give that pain back to them one hundred fold."

    The lights in the room flickered on, as the most horrifying thing the Guardians had ever witnessed became illuminated. An Archon made of all metal, which no flesh to speak of, hung off of the wall grotesquely with what Lance could only assume were intestines formed of SIVA tendrils.

    "I've heard Religion fucks you over, but this is ridiculous." Alex crossed his arms, only to find the others staring at him blankly. "Really? Sex is where we draw the line on untimely humor?"

    "I'd rather not picture that, it's bad enough I have to look at the ugly bastard." Amethyst shook her head disapprovingly.

    "I don't give a shit what it looks like." Lillian said. "He's dying, so we won't-"

    As she spoke, the tendrils on the back of Aksis, Archon Prime, snapped off, dropping the torso, arms, and head onto a waiting rig of many spider legs. As soon as Aksis' torso met with the metal legs, they snapped together with a light surge of electricity, before he reached up and grabbed an iconic Fallen Shrapnel Launcher, except this one was heavily infused with SIVA.

    Turning the massive weapon towards them, it charged like a Line Rifle for all but a second before a swarm of nanites surged towards them. Striking the ground just behind them, a sphere of SIVA nanites swirled around in the contained area like a swarm of bees. The Guardians cleared the area, splitting into the same teams of two as before, with same orientation.

    Before they could fire on Aksis on his elevated platform towards the center of the room, however, he teleported, much to the surprise of Tina and Alex on the left. His weapon reverted to the normal Shrapnel Launcher function, firing SIVA infused rounds at the two on his side in sight. Chelsea and Lance took turns firing at the Splicer Baron that crawled out of the abyss where Aksis had once stood. In it's hand was a Void Cannon.

    Lance charged up with his shotgun at the ready, blasting it twice in the abdomen, while Chelsea's pulses struck true on the base of it's no longer shielded neck and head. With a pop and hiss of Ether, the Void Cannon clattered to the floor. To his left and right, he heard his fellow Guardians juggling taking cover from Aksis' fire and dealing with their own Barons.

    Lance reached down to pick up the Void Cannon. Variks, a surprisingly friendly Vandal he and Chelsea had met, once informed him of the power of the elementally charged cannons. Hoisting it onto his shoulder, he heard a panicked plea from Alex. As Alex was screaming about something being impervious to their shooting, he took close notice at a floating Fallen Servitor. It was not SIVA infused, as some of the others they had met in their patrols of the Plaguelands.

    Instead, however, their eyes glowed the familiar red of the SIVA bombs that they had used to damage Vosik about an hour prior. Chelsea fired at the orange glowing Servitor, her bullets having ill effect on the machine. Aksis, annoyed he couldn't shoot the other Guardians, teleported back onto his elevated platform and turned his gun to Lance.

    "Do you guys have an orange cannon?" Lance asked, as Lillian gave an acknowledgement click on comm. "Come to the middle, we've got an orange Servitor. Whoever's got blue, look for the blue Servitor. Where's purple?"

    "With us." Tina replied.

    Lance gave a quick nod to Chelsea before boosting himself to their slightly elevated floor on the right. Firing the purple cannon at the Servitor, which drew uncomfortably close to the receptacle, the purple blob of energy stuck to the hull of the spherical machine. Holding the trigger for a moment, the purple blob grew in size, before exploding erratically.

    From it's broken husk, the round red orb of a SIVA bomb tumbled to the ground, with which Tina hefted and tossed at Aksis. Shortly afterwards, Lance noticed at the other two orbs struck Aksis in his midsection. Instead of standing still, however, Aksis teleported from his pedestal to the right side, where Lance had been standing.

    "LANCE!" Arianna's voice echoed in his comm. "Do what Titan's do best! This is the most I can offer!"

    Aksis laid prone in the corner of the right lane, sparks floating off of his legs and torso as he struggled to regain control of himself. Lance sprinted over, bounding off of his right foot, the golden and blue Light that Arianna had granted him washed over his form as he struck his fist mightily into the giant centipede like machine's back. With a blinding flash of blue light, Aksis' spine realligned as his arms and torso flailed madly in malfunction.

    He felt the surge of excess Light leave him, but saw Tina glimmer in a similar fashion to his right. With no hesitation, all six Guardian's fired their weapons into Aksis during his preoccupied state. Lance, who was practically riding the massive centipede, fired his shotgun directly into the back of the machine's neck until the magazine emptied.

    After a few minutes like this, Aksis finally shook Lance off with a pained chitter, before teleporting away. On the left side of the room, completely opposite of Lance, Aksis was prone once more, struggling to get his body back into working order. Lillian roared angrily as she struck her fire infused knife into Aksis' back with the same overflow of Light that Arianna had granted him.

    With yet another flash of blue Light, Lance once again felt himself washed over by the overbearing surge of excess pure Light once more. While Aksis trembled, he also noticed that Tina was still glowing the blue. With no ranged weapons to speak of, Lance's entire forearms crackled with electricity, as he sprinted and jumped off the side of his floor, boosting his way across. When he reached Aksis, he struck down on the lower back of the metallic insectoid, a massive lightning bolt piercing the metal alloy of Aksis' back.

    As before, Lance fired his shotgun until it ran empty into Aksis' back, using his Auto Rifle when he was completely out. After a few minutes, Aksis snarled in anger and pain, ripping Lance off and tossing him aside, before teleporting again. Lance tumbled along the lower platform where he had killed the Baron just moments before. Aksis appeared above him, but struggled again.

    Struggling to stand himself, Lance felt another pulsewave of Light as someone 'dunked' Aksis. Rolling out from under the spider legs of the Archon Prime, Lance fired every last round of his Auto Rifle he could into Aksis' face and abdomen. The cannons they had used for the Servitors splashed across Aksis' sides, charged to their max for ultimate explosive damage.

    "Something's not right," Arianna warned. "Look!"

    Lance loaded his last clip of Auto Rifle ammunition into his rifle as his eyes took to Aksis' platform, where a massive surge of SIVA nanites swarmed. The cloud of red sprites was almost as large as Aksis himself, and he was no joke. Lance retreated from Aksis to Chelsea and the other's locations. Aksis teleported once more, but this time back to his pedestal, ready for combat again. His arm swirled into the large cloud of SIVA, as Lance frantically searched for a place for them to hide.

    Behind them, five pillars stood. Each glowed with the same blue Light that had once encompassed all of them, which had since subsided. With no words, he sprinted for the nearest one, the others close behind him. Jumping over the gap into the abyss, his feet made purchase with the platform.

    Alex, on the other hand, over jumped it. He screamed as Amethyst's hands shot out and grasped him by his cape, reeling him back onto the platform. With a silent nod of appreciation, Alex stood shakily and dusted himself off. Aksis roared as he thrust his hand out, the cloud of SIVA nanites racing through every nook and cranny where they had been taking cover in search for them.

    The cloud sped towards their position, causing the two Warlocks and Alex to flinch. Lance, however, stood at the front with a single finger on the middle of his right hand raised. The SIVA nanites swarmed around the blue Light and beyond into the abyss behind them. The piston they stood on shifted with a hiss, as the Guardians closed the gap again.

    Taking up the same positions, the groups avoided Aksis' predictable firing until he summoned his Barons to aid him. As before, Lance and the other Guardians took down their Barons, only, Aksis teleported immediately to the pedestal in the middle of the room. The Servitors did not appear, much to everyone's dismay. Aksis growled, pointing menacingly at Lance, before teleporting to the platform just behind them.

    Lance groaned as the giant metallic hand of Aksis wrapped around his torso and began to squeeze. The pressure had been so much, he sword he could hear the plasteel in his armor, not to mention his bones underneath, starting to crack. The pressure stopped, however, as an ear splitting war cry echoed from Amethyst.

    With Arc energy engulfing her entire being, she bounded off of one foot and used her boosters to launch a full frontal punch to Aksis' face. The punch alone reeled Aksis' head back, causing him to drop Lance, however, it also had disrupted the SIVA shield protecting Aksis and dented half of his face.

    Aksis swatted Amethyst aside, as she sailed through the air into the far off wall just underneath Aksis' pedestal. Amethyst's back made a sickening crack, as she fell limply to the floor. Lance saw this, as Aksis sparked with electricity again, teleporting weakly to her to finish her off.

    When he reappeared, however, he was prone, but desperately trying to stand to finish his kill. Lance felt the rage boiling under his skin and deep within his veins. It was like the very fire of the Iron Lords endless braziers were coursing through him. Once more, the familiar tingle of the Blue and Gold Light overtook his entire form once more, only this time it was much more concentrated, as none of the other Guardians were glowing like him.

    "I'm still far too weak to give you more, I'm sorry." Arianna said. "Drake says he believes in you."

    Lance dashed across the floor and bounced off of his right foot, punching as hard as he could down into the exposed blue location on Aksis' back where he had struck him before. The force of the blow caused a ring of dust and whatever dead Splicers were on the floor to blow out, crumpling Aksis' back four or so legs.

    Aksis roared out in pain, slumping over for a moment, as the SIVA nanites teleported him back up to the pedestal again. Lance felt the the Light surrounding him start to fade for a moment, hoisting Amethyst over his shoulder, he helped walk her unconscious body back to the others.

    Behind Lance, he heard Aksis roar in defiance, as he handed Amethyst off to the others. He had been certain that would have been enough to kill Aksis. Instead, the giant millipede swirled his arms around, the SIVA swarm around his head multiplying at an alarming speed, much less time for them to reach the platform.

    Standing by the others, they had little choice. He had just enough Light from Arianna's boon and his own personal Light to throw it all into one attack, but there was no way he'd be able to penetrate that SIVA wall protecting Aksis. As the swarm of SIVA surged towards them, Lance's eyes closed instinctually as he heard a Ward of Dawn appearing around them.

    The nanites raced across the edges, the once thought impenetrable wall of purple like showing visible cracks along it's surface as Amethyst began to walk towards Aksis. For the first time in the history of Titans, however, Amethyst walked with the Ward of Dawn, moving the purple bastion forward.

    "I'm gonna do something you won't like." She warned, gritting her teeth as the Ward of Dawn drew ever nearer to breaking. "I'm gonna give you what remains of my Light, kill that fucker."

    Chelsea and Tina reached out for him as well, Lillian and Alex both touching his shoulder. Their Light transferred into him, as he saw Amethyst's hand prod his chest. The damage she had sustained on the wall was more than enough to break her helmet, so much so that he could see half of her face and the stream of blood down her forehead.

    With her Light drained, Amethyst screamed in pain as the SIVA surge finally burst through the Ward of Dawn and claimed her left arm in the span of less than a second. Tina and Chelsea, who had taken the time to change into a more ornate pair of cloaks, spread their arms as a blinding flash of Light erupted from the pair of them.

    "We're using the Purifier robes to blind Aksis, that'll keep the swarm distracted for a while." Chelsea said. "Go get him... I love you."

    "Come on kid!" Lillian said from behind Lance. "We can't let them have all the fun, one last arrow, let your aim fly true!"

    "Well buddy?" Drake's voice resonated in Lance's ears. "You ready to dent one last Fallen skull, together? This is everything we've got, so don't hold back now!"

    Lance's right hand powerfully extended to it's maximum reach as the sound of a hammer striking an anvil resonated around the blinding white Light. His hand grasped onto the battleaxe of the Iron Tree, as Lance sprinted head first into the swarm of SIVA nanites. However, no matter how many of them swarmed to him, he felt them ding off with no ill effect towards him, not even slowing down his charge.

    "You think you're a Machine God?!" Drake's voice echoed through Lance's mouth as he sprinted.

    Jumping off of his right boot for the final time, Lance burst through the swarm of SIVA like a reverse Eagle mating dance. Blue and Golden light covered him as he pierced the once dark musky room, fully illuminating it and the secrets it once held. Flipping to face down at Aksis, Lance's eyes stared wildly down at his foe, his battleaxe resting over his right shoulder and ready to be brought down at full force.

    Fire, Electricity, and Void energy swarmed over the surface of the Titan and his weapon as he shot down like an arrow at the now pinned and incapacitated Aksis, which slowly began to turn it's head up towards him, seemingly reaching out for him.

    "YOU'RE NOTHING BUT SCRAP!" Drake and Lance's voices yelled out in unison, as he swung down on the part of Aksis where the midsection met the legs. In an incredible plume of Arc, Solar, and Void Lights swirling like one raging tornado the side of the room, it pulsed outwards in one last flash of Golden Light.

    There was only silence for a moment, as the darkness in the room settled once more. The lights flickered for a mere moment, before illuminating the room once more. Amethyst, who barely mustered to stay conscious, was the first to glance through cracked eyes at Lance, who stood with his battleaxe embedded in the now destroyed body of Aksis, Archon Prime.

    Slowly, Lance stood, pulling the battleaxe out of Aksis' back with a spark. Jumping down from the pedestal to the platform, he hurriedly sprinted towards Amethyst, as Chelsea, Tina, and Lillian hugged him. Amethyst smirked, before closing her eyes. When Lance finally wrenched himself free of the women's emotions, he slid on the floor to Amethyst's side.

    "No, no you don't!" Lance growled. "Not you too dammit!"

    "Where's her Ghost?" Tina asked, as Alex solemnly pointed to the area Amethyst had impacted.

    In shattered fragments, the small white robot jittered with a spark or three. Lance walked over towards the dying Ghost, and, with what little internal Light he had stored, managed to return him to the Light. Lance turned back to Amethyst and crouched beside her. Tears began to well in his eyes, as he and the others bowed their heads in respect.

    "Not Dinkle-bot." Amethyst grunted, causing Lance's heard to beat faster. "My blog fans are gonna be PIIIIIISSSED."

    "That was risky." Lance said, taking his helmet off to wipe a tear from his eye.

    "We're Stratus'; we thrive off of risk." Amethyst smirked through her half broken helmet. "I'll miss that little guy, definitely better than the high pitched one. Too bad he rarely talked when we did these kinds of things."

    "He's back with the Light, which reminds me, we gotta get you a-"

    "Nope." Amethyst shook her head. "Kabr and Drake are both on the other side. I'm not saying I'm planning on dying soon, but I want this to be my last."

    Her right hand grasped onto his, as she pulled him in for a hug. At first her was tense, but he let himself fall into it as he offered it back.

    "It just occurred to me that we're technically related, and this is the first time we've hugged." Amethyst said. "You really are a little shit, aren't cha?"

    "Stratus family charm." Lillian smiled. "A bunch of risk taking assholes."

    "Hey, you decided to marry in." Amethyst grunted as Lance helped her stand.

    "Best and worst decision of my life." Lillian huffed, rolling her shoulders. "You're all a bunch of emotional roller-coasters."

    "Would you have it any other way, though?" Chelsea smiled.

    "Hell no." Lillian chuckled.

    "So, uh, what now?" Tina asked, rubbing her chin.

    "Well, I'm headed back to Shiro to report how fucking psychotic you all are... and Aksis is dead." Alex shrugged. "Throw some beers back until the world goes black when I get to the Tower."

    The other five turned to Lance, who searched the ground for an answer, before his eyes flicked up to them.


    "So the Young Wolves come back victorious." Lord Saladin spoke with great pride, his fists resting majestically on his hips. "With the threat of SIVA done, I finally can breath some fresh, free air. It's all thanks to you, my new brothers and sisters."

    Lance approached Saladin, as the man smiled widely for the first time he had known the Old Wolf, placing his hand endearingly on the younger Titan's shoulders. Lord Saladin's once sorrowful eyes now looked filled with newfound life and purpose, something that Lance could appreciate.

    "I can see the ferocity in your eyes, reliving the memory of your killing blow against the SIVA puppet master." Saladin grinned eagerly. "How I yearn to see combat as great as that again one day, now that my vigil is over."

    "This Iron Temple and the entirety of Felwinter's Peak will forever be your home." Saladin continued. "All of your efforts have been recorded for future generations to be inspired by. As of this moment, I have begun my next project; providing a statue for my mentor. it will be a time draining project, but thanks to you, I have all the time in the world. Thank you, Young Wolf."

    Lance bowed ceremoniously, as he placed his own hand on Saladin's endearingly. The two looked at each other with beaming, cocky grins before they belted out into laughter. It was, in Lillian's perspective, like two good friends sharing a joke.

    "Oh," Lance said suddenly, causing Saladin to host a look of confusion. "I was informed to seek out the 'long-eye' of the Iron Lords?"

    "Ah, Efrideet." Saladin's head bobbed knowingly. "She has returned from wherever it is that she went to, following the fall of the Iron Lords. She has hosted the Iron Banner tournament, if you wish to speak with her, she has set up all the necessary equipment for the tournament down there. Be well, Young Wolves."

    Lance passed Amethyst, Lillian, Chelsea, and Tina. As he passed by them, he turned to each of them individually. Tina moved her boots around in the snow, arms folded behind her back nervously.

    "You look as though you don't want to come with us?" Lance asked, as she sighed.

    "It's because... I don't. i mean, I don't want to see Chelsea or any of you killed, but, I think I've had enough excitement for one eternity." Tina nodded solemnly. "I asked Tyra Karn if she would teach me the ways of Crypto-archeology. I figured I'd like to learn more about the old Lords of Iron, and perhaps lend a hand to the next generation should they ever need Engrams deciphered."

    "If that's what you really want?" Chelsea asked, as Tina shyly nodded, Chelsea wrapping her arms around her friend. "Be careful, okay?"

    "I'm not the one who'll be following Lance Stratus everywhere." Tina turned to him. "Keep my adoptive sister safe, or I'll rend your skin from your bones."

    "Like my Light depended on it." Lance said.

    "Oh it does." Tina giggled, before patting him on the shoulder. "I was wrong about you, Lance. Be well."

    "You too, Tina." Lance smiled, as the Warlock trudged her way up the snow bank to the Iron Temple. "Anyone else that's parting ways?"

    "Yeah." Amethyst frowned, her destroyed helmet still down in the SIVA chamber they had killed Aksis in. "With a missing arm and no Ghost? I'm going to the Tower. My days of being a Titan are effectively over, even if I still have the power to summon a Hammer of Sol."

    "What will you do then?" Lillian asked.

    "I'm thinking security for the City. Things've been getting pretty rowdy with everyone fearful for the 'Next coming of the Darkness.' I'll be that badass chick that no deadbeat'll expect in the tavern to kick his ass in three seconds flat." Amethyst smirked. "Figured while I was there, I'd try and delegate, see if we can ever get Lance back on the Tower. Risen ban and all of that."

    "We'll miss your banter." Lance said.

    "Two Stratus' is too much." Amethyst grinned. "The fact Lillian, Tina, nor Chelsea killed one of us when Drake was still around amazes me."

    "Annoying but lovable." Chelsea smiled as she wrapped her arms around Lance's.

    "Then you all behave yourself. Don't make my crippled ass run over the Solar System to dig you out of an issue you could have easily avoided." Amethyst said, before turning away to walk.

    "You watch yourself, tadpole." Drake's voice escaped Lance's mouth, causing all involved to turn towards Lance.

    "Drake?" Lillian asked.

    "Shit, I can't see anything." Drake sighed. "Yeah, it's me. Well, it's Lance, but I'm using his Light to communicate with ya. Shouldn't do it very much, drains Lance of a lot of crucial Light."

    "If you're connected to him, why don't we just resurrect you?" Lillian asked, hands on her hips.

    "Because the family is all over here, Lady." Drake said. "You need to watch over Lance, as you watched over Jeremy and I. Besides, it's not like I'm gone forever, I'm here in the Light. Though, I don't think Lance is too pleased with my using him thing." Drake chuckled. "You'll see me again, and I you. Until then, keep this boy safe, he's our legacy after all."

    "You bullheaded bastard." Lillian chuckled through sobs and tears, as she gently punched Lance's shoulder.

    "Whatever happened to Supes?" Drake said with a snicker. "Okay, okay, relax buddy. I won't be doing it again. Okay, that's uncalled for. I-"

    Lance shook his head, fists clenched as he nearly went to strike his own head. Chelsea's arms, however, managed to brace him from doing it.

    "Oh, right." Lance's gaze fell. "He can use literally anyone in our group as a conduit. Now? I have a headache and I'm tired as fuck."

    "Hiya, I'm Chelsea." she giggled in his ear as he shot her smile.

    Behind them, the snow trudged along, as they all turned to see two Hunters approaching them. One of them was instantly recognizable if not for his metallic exoskeleton and orange eyes. The other, while she wore an ornate Iron Banner helmet, showed no sign of who or what she was.

    "I heard you took out the SIVA crisis... for now." Cayde-6's mechanical eyes turned to the three of them. "I'm sure you're already aware of the Risen ban, yourself included?"

    "Yeah." Lance nodded with annoyance.

    "I figured such an accomplishment, considering the other Vanguard had no willingness to contact you, warranted a visit from yours truly." Cayde turned to Lillian with a bow. "M'lady, my mentor."

    "It's good to see you again, Cayde. Don't worry, I hold no grudges for that errand you made me run during the Taken War." Lillian said, as Cayde sighed with relief.

    "I knew it was unlikely that I'd see any of you again, so I wanted to personally see you off and wish you the best wherever the Light takes you." Cayde smiled.

    "I know we haven't met, but I also know Cayde doesn't know when to shut his mouth." the Huntress replied. "I am Lady Efrideet. I was once regarded as the long-eye of the Iron Lords. My aim true, my lethality just as efficient."

    "A benefactor told me to speak with you after the Machine God fell?" Lance asked.

    "Yes, Lady Arianna, the Traveler." Efrideet nodded. "It has been some time since I have heard her voice through Skorri's songs. Too long, in fact."

    "The truth is, I come from the outer rim of the Solar System." Efrideet continued, hands on her hips. "There is a colony of Guardians out there that intend to use our Light for peace. As such, I am the only combat ready Guardian out there to protect them."

    "The Darkness is forever advancing, Lance Stratus, descendant of the Stratus family lineage and vanquisher of the Iron Bane." Efrideet crossed her arms across her chest. "They are defenseless out there, they will require the aid of a Risen and his companions to help them through the second coming of the Darkness. With you by my side, I am certain of our victory."

    "Are you ready?" Lillian asked, turning to Lance.

    "To the Stars, then." Lance smirked.



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    To the Stars (Destiny) - Page 4 Empty Re: To the Stars (Destiny)

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 9:35 pm


    "It was once common knowledge that Humanity was known for it's negligence, for it's overwhelming pride in the face of adversity." a looming voice carried solemnly throughout the Speaker's private quarters. "You have led us to a new age, an age of Triumph."

    Alone in the darkened room over looking the Tower's main central hub, and even the Last City beneath the Traveler's magnificent form, stood a pair of figures, masked by the very shadows they sought to eliminate. One sat in an uncomfortable fashion on the ornate circular chair overlooking the majestic view, while the other figure stood before him, gazing at the Traveler itself.

    "The children once spoke of terrifying tales that the Darkness would reach the Last City, and that those within it would be swallowed without a fighting chance. the voice placed his hand gently onto the glass. "Through the actions of those you have chosen, the Guardians of Humanity, we have shown the children that there is nothing to fear. In truth, you have reminded me of what it is to hope."

    "Atheon the Timeless Vex, Crota, Blight of the Moon. Oryx, King of the Taken, and Aksis, Archon Prime." the voice nodded his head, a smile crawling across his face. "You and yours have taught THEM what it means to fear. Children speak of the Fireteam Stratus, and those that have taken to the stars to combat these vessels of Darkness. They are no longer, afraid."

    "Something's coming, isn't it?" the Exo Hunter stood from his seat to meet the Speaker's gaze. " The Traveler said so, didn't it? "

    Silently, the Speaker nodded his head and turned his attention to the Last City, bustling with life and celebration. Motes of Light poured up from the streets of Humanity's last bastion, billowing up into the sky and surrounding the Traveler.

    " What? What's coming? "

    "The Red Legion." the Speaker's hand on the glass slowly balled into a fist, banging on the glass. "We have little time. We will not survive when Ghaul shows up."


    "Mom?! MOM?!" the teenage girl screamed as she nudged her mother's shoulder.

    The woman's form lay still in the street, her lifeless eyes gazing upwards at the Traveler. Fire rose from the rooftops, and the smell of ozone wafted ever so treacherously into the young girl's nose. Her eyes watered as her fruitless gestures to wrest her deceased Mother became abundantly clear.

    She shrieked in surprise as an explosion blasted a hole in the wall directly to her right. With a deep, gravely grunt, the giant armored beast pointed it's large, imposing Slug Rifle directly at her. Accompanied by another of it's kind with a giant slab of metal to act as a shield, the beast slammed the edge of it's shield into the pavement beside her and gave a mighty roar.

    "Sissie! I'm scared!" the teenager's younger sister whimpered from behind her.

    "Run!" the teen yelled to her sibling, grasping her sister's hand and sprinting down the alleyway.

    Behind them, they could hear the Slug Rifle of the Cabal Legionaire echo behind them. All around them, the screams of the scared and defenseless rose up through the heavens, intertwining with the smoke and the ozone, as well as the stench of death.

    Ducking into another corner, the teenage girl's spare hand clasped over her mouth as a lone Titan Guardian lay still on the street in front of them. Bright magenta hair covered her head, the Titaness herself missing her entire left arm, ornate gold and silver armor reflecting the flickering crimson fires of the street further down. Though the older sister had rarely interacted with the woman, she recognized her as Amethyst Stratus, the Iron Shield.

    "Traveler..." she mustered, as the sound of several Cabal foot troops stomped down the street behind them.

    Bestial growls, roars, and grunts echoed from the small legion of Cabal troops. Those with shields struck their cover with their Slug Rifles, while those that boasted bulkier armor stomped their feet in pride.

    "Lance Stratus will come!" her sister cried. "Billy from down the street told me that he'll come if we believe he will!"

    The teen's gaze turned to the other direction, as another slew of the turtle like beasts marched in their general direction. Back from the way they had come, the pair that had terrorized them had effectively blocked off any exits for the two of them to go. Tears welled up in her eyes, as her bottom lip quivered.

    "No." she shook her head. "No-one's coming."

    "The City... has fallen."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2017, 9:48 pm

    Author's Notes: It's been officially announced, and by the looks of the announcement image, things aren't looking good.

    The interaction between Cayde and the Speaker is not from any actual Bungie canon, the only announcement and pieces of information to gather is from the image shown in the link provided at the end of the Epilogue, and the two teaser trailers that have come out, both of which will be linked at the bottom of this Author's Notes.

    Amethyst's death in this epilogue was suppose to be symbolic of the helplessness this announcement photo expects to extract out of the viewer, whether or not she survives in the actual upcoming story I tell from the Destinyverse has yet to be decided. The two girls did not survive this encounter in this epilogue, nor do they hold any weight in the next story. That being said, in the full story, I may reference them, and they may even live when it comes out. Amethyst might even be the one to save them ;P .

    With all that said, I will be waiting to post my first installment when the Destiny 2 Beta releases for Xbox One, so that I can confirm if there is another Guardian Class being added in or not. If there is not a new character subclass, than you can expect this next story to follow another Titan around. Don't worry, however, they will not be alone, and joined by Hunters and Warlocks. In fact, the only thing that might change are the subclasses slightly, so it'll definitely make the character feel new.

    Lance/Drake were my Destiny 1 Beta/Full Game characters for the first game in the franchise. Even if Destiny 2 would continue this character's story, the Guardians in the world aren't all Stratus', and as such the next fireteam we follow will have ZERO connection to the others. The Stratus family/Fireteam, banished for Lance being Risen, may have a cameo appearance in the next story, but they will not be in the lime light.

    Anyways, I'll be starting a new thread when the next story is ready. You may have noticed that Out of the Void's story has moved here. That was to conserve space on the forums, so you don't have to click on two threads for this entire story.

    With all of that said, the next thread follows a new character, which is why it deserves it's own thread. Thank you so very much for reading and following Lance/Drake, and the others on their adventure through Destiny 1. I cannot wait to continue the Destiny adventure forward with this promising looking sequel, in both game and fanfic terms.

    Last Call - Destiny 2 Teaser Trailer

    Rally the Guardians- Destiny 2 World Wide Reveal Teaser Trailer



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