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    Post  Dee_Dawg on May 28th 2017, 2:17 pm

    A gentle wind rustled through the vibrant city of Metropolis, people of all walks of life too in the beautiful sunlight. There were no worries, in part because of the advanced security in place of the city, but also in part to the magnificent sphere of white looming in the sky. For someone that wasn't even born on Earth, the young Awoken man couldn't help but feel some semblance of homeliness to the celestial body.

    It was, of course, Humanity's origin point. The man himself, however, was born far beyond her reaches, in the asteroid belt separating Earth from the rest of the planetoids in the Solar System. Lovingly, he and the other Awoken referred to it as 'the Reef'. Humanity had long settled that place, but the effects of living in deep space had a strange effect on them, molding them into a sub-species of Humanity, with a variety of skin and eye colors.

    The young man was of a Russian-blue coloration, with vibrant, piercing orange eyes. Today was a special day for him, however, as he finally got to meet his heroes. The ceremony would be large, for certain. Glancing down at the badge pinned to his ceremonial robes, the young man beamed with pride. As an ambassador for the Reef, he was certain to meet the three new Vanguard heroes, and graciously work with them in the future.

    A shuttle slowed to a crawl in front of him, the young man stepping on board the craft. A multitude of people already sat on board the machine, no doubt on their way to the ceremony. With a gentle nod to the bus driver, as well as a small deposit of silver into the bin, the young Awoken man stepped towards the nearest emptied seat.

    "That insignia on your chest, you from the Reef?" one older gentleman sitting in the same row as him asked.

    The young Awoken man once again found himself glancing down at the insignia. Three crystals pointed downwards, leaving an almost 'M' like shape beneath them, the free space was taken up by a pair of golden triangles, pointing up towards the crystals. A golden gear like shape encircled the insignia.

    "Yes sir, I'm from the Reef."

    The old man, jovial in his age and sage wisdom, laughed heartily at the young Awoken man's spunk. "It is a time to be alive. That is for certain. This ceremony is sure to be quite the event, wouldn't you agree?"

    "I came many light-years just to witness it." he smiled to the old man. "The least they can offer is something entertaining."

    "Oh ho!" the old man bellowed. "Yes, I would imagine that such a visit should deserve it's own reward. Perhaps the memories you gather here can fill such a gap, should the ceremony not hold true?"

    "Papa, who is this man?" a young boy, no older than four, tugged on the old man's shirt. The Awoken man had not seen the child until this moment, and smiled at the young boy's curiosity.

    "He's an Awoken, child." the old man turned to face the boy. "He's come from space to witness the ceremony."

    "My name is Xan Caul." the Awoken man smiled to the boy. "I am an ambassador to the Reef."

    "An ambassador?" the old man chuckled to himself. "You have no escort, youngster."

    "In this Golden Age of man, I have little to fear." Xan turned to face the front of the bus. "It's thanks to the Vanguard that this lack of fear is possible."

    "Yes, indeed." the old man nodded, before turning to his grandchild. "It is said that the three Vanguard that came before, and those that we'll see today are direct descendants of the astronauts that first discovered the Traveler several decades ago."

    "Wow, really?!" the young boy exclaimed with amazement, bringing Xan's attention back towards him. "That means they must be really strong, right?"

    "Some of the strongest." Xan snickered in the boy's excitement.

    The shuttle came to a slow crawl before stopping. Xan and the rest of the patrons stood, but as it came time for Xan to leave the shuttle, he instead allowed the old man and his grandson exit the bus first. Following behind them in a timely manner, Xan glanced up at the ornate tower in front of them. It had been a re-purposed skyscraper from what was once known as the 'Modern' era.

    "It was a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Caul." the old man clasped his hand onto Xan's shoulder. "Thank you for humoring an old man and his musings. I am Shaun, and this young lad beside me is my grandson, Ethan."

    "The pleasure is mine, my elder." Xan bowed as he had been accustomed to in the Reef. "I regret to inform you that this is where we part ways, but I do hope you'll enjoy the ceremony."

    "We will be certain to." Shaun grinned, hoisting his grandson onto his shoulders. "Perhaps you will send our regards to the Vanguard?"

    "You bet." Xan bowed one more time as a farewell, before gently working his way through the crowd.

    A giant projector had been telegraphing the open lobby on the top of the Tower. The ceremony was expected to be so large that the majority of the populace was to remain here on the ground floor, and use the projection on the side of the Tower to allow them to see and hear everything that was done during the ceremony.

    As he neared the front of the crowd, a Titan in somewhat ornate armor stood in his way. Stepping forward, their hand reached out to stop him.

    "Halt." the woman's voice was slightly muffled by her helmet. "What business do you have walking up to the Tower?"

    "Many pardons for the intrusion, m'lady." Xan bowed, before producing the emblem on his robes. "I am Xan Caul, ambassador for the Reef. I was here to humbly meet with the Vanguard and meet with the newest three."

    "I see." the Titan took a moment to glance over the emblem, without removing it from his cloak. "Very good, move along."

    "If I may be so bold, to whom am I speaking with?" Xan asked, as the Titan paused.

    "My name is Amethyst Stratus." she turned to face him. "You will be meeting my father, and introduced to my brother, the next Titan Vanguard."

    "Well met, Ms. Stratus, thank you." Xan bowed once again, opening the door and stepping into the lobby on the ground floor.

    Security spread as far as the eye could see, but it was very obvious as to why. There were some in the world that may perhaps like to see chaos reign, and for that reason alone, the Vanguard could never be too careful.

    Xan stepped towards the nearest elevator, waiting diligently for it's arrival. Humming the songs of his people to himself, Xan sighed in relief as the doors to the elevator opened. The Elevator had one patron inside, another Titan. Xan gave a swift bow, before stepping inside. The Titan, being closest to the buttons, pressed the top-most button.

    "Beautiful day today, isn't it?" the Titan asked, his voice filled with pride, as was per usual for most Titans.

    "It is." Xan smiled. "I have never been to Earth before. It is as much an honor to walk upon history, as well as making it. Would you not agree?"

    "Yeah." the Titan nodded to himself. "You must be from the Reef, am I correct?"

    "Was it my complexion?" Xan asked to himself.

    "No." the Titan laughed heartily. "It's that emblem. I know it well, as I've seen it all over the place."

    Xan's cheeks reddened in embarrassment, rubbing the back of his neck. "In fairness, the excitement of today's ceremony has me very flustered."

    "Heh." the Titan chuckled to himself. "Tell me about it. It's why I'm still riding this damn elevator."

    "Oh? Are you attending?"

    "Attending?" the Titan chuckled. "I'm Drake. Drake Stratus. My father is the current Titan Vanguard, and I am the one dutifully sworn to take his place."

    Xan couldn't help but feel a weight of pride and excitement welling up within him. He was nervous enough to meet with the Vanguard before, but now he was sharing a tight elevator with one of the heirs to the title.

    "Well met, Mr. Stratus. I am Xan Caul."

    "Well met, but please, call me Drake." Drake snickered. "Mr. Stratus is my father."

    There was silence between them for a moment, as the elevator continued it's long climb up to the top of the Tower. Xan shuffled nervously, unsure of what to even say in a moment like this. The Vanguard were always his heroes, and now that he was an ambassador for his people, he would be working closely with them to suit the Reef's needs.

    "My sister informed me you would be coming, by the way." Drake broke the silence, crossing his arms. "Ambassador for the Reef, that's a helluva title."

    "Not as gracious as Commander of the Vanguard." Xan smirked, as Drake nodded stiffly. "I'm sorry, I didn't-"

    "No no." Drake shook his head. "You aren't at fault, the whole reason I've been stalling is because... I just don't feel ready to take the mantle yet. My father and his old fire team have a mission they need to attend to, however, so the responsibility must fall on me."

    There was more silence between them again following Drake's attempt at breaking the ice. Not one to leave things at an awkward point of view, Xan turned his full attention to Drake. His legs began to quiver nervously, and his shoulders tensed, but he had to ask one of the biggest questions he had since he was as young as that Ethan kid.

    "The Light. What's it like?" Xan asked, much to Drake's surprise.

    "You mean to tell me that Light hasn't touched you?" Drake his head, flabbergasted. "Why don't you have an escort?"

    "I mostly had to pretend I was." Xan shrugged. "In truth, I'm the only member of my family who hasn't been gifted with the Light."

    "Is that a fact?" Drake mused, crossing his arms. "Well, I guess you could consider the feeling like a fountain that's constantly overflowing. The more you harness, the larger the fountain gets, and therefore the larger the overflow."

    "It's not all fun and games though. There is such an affliction as Light-exhaustion. If you use all of your Light at once, you could see yourself bed-ridden for easily months at a time. Then there is Light-abundance, where the Light within you has been neglected and coming to the point where it's corrupting."

    "Corrupting?" Xan asked, Drake nodding his head.

    "You literally become a bomb of Light. At least if you have Light-abundance, you can produce a lot of your abilities in a row without having to worry about Light-exhaustion."

    "Traveler, that sounds so awesome." Xan clenched his fists in his hype. "I'm sorry, that wasn't a very professional outburst."

    Drake snickered to himself, before placing a hand on Xan's shoulder. The doors opened, as the Vanguard trio approached, as well as another Warlock and Huntress. Drake's relaxed demeanor stopped almost immediately, and Xan himself could sense the tension that was present.

    "There you are, Drake." Kabr Stratus, who needed no introduction, spoke harshly. "Where have you been?"

    "My apologies, father." Drake bowed his head respectfully. "Amethyst informed me that there was an Awoken ambassador waiting on the ground floor to join us."

    Kabr's piercing eyes glanced over Xan for a moment, causing the Awoken man's breath to catch in his throat painfully. Each moment of Kabr's stare left the pain of a million hot needles poking into the back of his neck. The Titan's very presence demanded the utmost respect and authority. Xan had little to fear out in the Reef, but here, he felt his most vulnerable, as one of the strongest Light-wielding people stared him down.

    "You are not Xun Caul. Address yourself." Kabr growled.

    "Xun Caul is my father, Kabr Stratus of the Vanguard." Xan bowed shakily. "I am Xan Caul, son of the old ambassador. Much like you, my father saw potential in me as his eldest son to take on the family business."

    "Leave it to Xun to abandon his post before us." Kabr chuckled, as Xan found himself nervously glancing up at the Titan. "I see he taught you to bow like himself. It's a wonder he didn't break his damn back with all that bowing."

    "If it displeases-"

    "No." Kabr placed a hand on his shoulder, grinning with one side of his mouth. "You must excuse me, young ambassador. With this exchange of power, the Vanguard can't afford to let our guard down. I was merely testing you. Xun is a good friend of mine, he informed me you were coming. Now come, the ceremony must begin."

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    Post  Dee_Dawg on May 28th 2017, 2:24 pm

    If you read that above garbage, thank you for taking the time for it. You might have noticed a few familiar names towards the end there.

    Morgan and I have played Destiny together for several years, him on Xbone and myself on Playstation. I've been to his house to play on his Xbox, and he at my house to play on my Playstation.

    If you've read his previous Destiny stories (he sent it to me), you might recognize the character Jeremy Cloud? That was the Warlock I made on his Xbox. He deleted that character shortly after the Beta, however, which is why Jeremy died in that battle on the Moon, lol.

    I'm really bad at these 'author's notes' as Morgan likes to put them. The next installment (which I'll likely be typing up or posting by the time you're reading this) will definitely have some action. I hope you've enjoyed it.

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    Post  Dee_Dawg on May 28th 2017, 11:45 pm

    The courtyard that existed at the top of the Tower was awe-aspiring, Xan couldn't help but gawk at the beautiful arrangement of flowers and trees that accentuated the walkway to the Vanguard Hall. Kabr folded his arms behind his back, as Drake followed directly behind him.

    The Hunter and Warlock Vanguards walked alongside Kabr with purpose, as their replacements slowly walked behind them. As for Xan, he kept this distance, but lead by the same example of the Vanguard. He squared his shoulders, and moved as if every step held a purpose.

    "Today is a monumental day for us all." Kabr stepped out towards the rows of FTL capable cameras, which were simultaneously recording and streaming the event in real time across the known Human and Awoken empire. "So as my father did before me, I, Kabr Stratus, humbly welcome all of you that are here to witness such an occasion."

    "Today sees our last day of service as the leadership of the Titan, Warlock, and Hunter guilds." Kabr gestured to the Huntress and Warlock by his side. "-and usher in the next iteration of the Vanguard."

    "Though my fire-team and I will no longer serve Humanity and beyond as the Vanguard as our people, you may rest easy that our service to our star-strung communities is far from over." Kabr smiled, turning to Drake, as the Warlock, and Huntress did the same with their replacements. "My son, Drake, step forward. Ambassador?"

    Xan gulped nervously, confused as to why he was addressed. Stepping forward, Xan stood beside the also nervous Titan he had been conversing with in the elevator a few minutes prior. Kabr gestured Xan to step forward, and as he did so, Kabr's powerful arm wrapped around his shoulders.

    "From the Reef, our newest Ambassador for Awoken and Human relations, Xan Caul, will formally induct and introduce your new Vanguard." Kabr turned to him, and with a whisper, spoke softly. "Here's your shot kiddo. Don't be afraid if you mess up, your old man was just as nervous when he started with us."

    Xan took a cautionary step forward, as Kabr took his place beside Drake behind the Awoken. There was no available microphone, much to the dismay of Xan. He was generally soft spoken, not allowing his voice to be his conduit, but his actions. Clearing his throat, he took a moment to glance at each of the cameras.

    "Hail, all that are in attendance. As the mighty Kabr has said, I would like to personally thank all of you in attendance, as well as those of you from the safety of your homes, for being a part of this moment with the rest of us." Xan bowed nervously, attempting to hide his face as best as he could. "I am honored to stand here in my own father's place, to address the newest arrivals to the Vanguard, as well as offer a humble fair well to the current leadership."

    "Earth has always been a destination that I've wanted to visit ever since I was old enough to read. To be able to walk upon and make the history we will make today, is more of a blessing than a wretch like me could ever deserve." Xan cleared his throat, before turning to the six individuals behind him. "To Kabr Stratus and his entourage, thank you for your continued support over the years, on behalf of all Awoken peoples and those beyond the Reef."

    "Without further delay, however, I believe we should introduce the newest members to the hall of the Vanguard." Xan said, gesturing to the Warlock first.

    The young man with striking purple hair stepped forward, as his father clasped him on the shoulder. The young Warlock took up his place in front of Xan, with the elder Warlock beside him.

    "Jeremy Cloud II, son of Warlock Vanguard Jeremy Ulfric Cloud. You will inherit the responsibilities required of all things knowledgeable. You will be expected to serve as a scholar, one who will solve the star-wide community's problems with ease and grace. Do you understand and accept these terms?" Xan asked, the younger Warlock nodding.

    Xan turned to the older of the two Warlocks. "Then by the power vested in me by the Vanguard, the Traveler, and the peoples of this planet and beyond. I ask that Jeremy Cloud senior passes on the ornamental relic of the Warlocks."

    With a wave of his hands, as well as a fantastic fireworks display in the sky above them, Jeremy Cloud Sr. produced a tightly wrapped book, bound in leather with the inscription Grimoire. The younger Jeremy placed his right hand on the cover of the book, before gently taking it into his own possession. As quickly as it had arrived, the Grimoire book disappeared in a flash of Light.

    "People of our interstellar world, I present to you Jeremy Cloud Jr. Warlock Vanguard." Xan spoke, his nerves slowly steadying.

    The crowd far below began to cheer as Jeremy gave an honorary bow to both the cameras and his own father. Standing off to the side, Jeremy and Xan glanced at the young Huntress, who timidly grabbed her right arm with her left across her chest. Her mother placed a hand on her shoulder, and walked together with her to Xan's side.

    "Lillian Evergreen, daughter of the Hunter Vanguard Yule Evergreen. You stand ready to inherit the responsibilities required of all things scouting. As a Huntress Vanguard, your actions are to send out scouts that will gather information crucial to the survival of all." Xan smiled as he gently placed a hand on her shoulder. "You are expected, should the need arise, to handle you job with a sense of style and majesty. Do you accept these responsibilities?"

    "I do." Lillian nodded, as her mother beamed with pride.

    "Yule Evergreen, I ask that you kindly confer upon your daughter the symbol of the Hunters."

    Xan gave a look of confusion as Yule reached over her shoulder and unfastened the cloak flowing down from her head and back. The ornate cloak was beautifully woven silk, with gold interlaced on it. Yule gently took her place behind Lillian, fastening the cloth to her daughter's back. Yule backed away, taking her place beside Jeremy Sr.

    "It is my honor to introduce to you, the people, Lillian Evergreen, Hunter Vanguard."  Xan smiled, as she took her place beside her friend Jeremy.

    Finally, Kabr nudged Drake forward. Drake stood across from Xan, and yet towered over him. Kabr nodded firmly towards Xan, who cleared his throat and began to speak once more.

    "Drake Stratus, son of Kabr Stratus, descendant of the Astronauts that brought the Light to us. You stand before me, charged with the responsibility of all things. As the Titan Vanguard, you will be expected to make quick decisions regarding the well being of everything and everyone."

    Xan took a second to catch his breath, before continuing. "You are the Wall by which all life can shelter behind. You are expected to do your duties diligently and with discipline. To be as unmoving as the foundation of our great civilization. Do you accept these responsibilities?"

    "I do so graciously." Drake nodded, as Kabr motioned forward.

    "To you, my son, I offer this Titan Mark. You have shown the same diligence to protecting those around you and this great City, the same that would be expected of a Defender Titan. With this Mark, you will be formally recognized as the Titan Vanguard, commander of all military forces throughout the Solar System." Kabr nodded curtly, as he ceremoniously removed Drake's training Mark, and replaced it with the purple Defender's Mark.

    After his brief speech, Kabr stepped into line with his fellow former Vanguard, leaving the floor to both Drake and Xan. Xan turned to Drake with a smile, before dipping back to allow the new Titan Vanguard address his charges.


    [Several Years Later]

    Xan couldn't help but beam foolishly at the pictures he had taken with the new Vanguard following that ceremony all of those years ago. In the few instances where he had to perform his duties as an Ambassador between their people and his own, he had come to think very fondly of them. Instead of the heroes he had once worshipped, they were some of his closest, inseparable friends.

    "My mentor is currently not present." a young Titan stepped forward, saluting him. "In fact, the Vanguard as a whole have been seen en route to the Moon."

    "The Moon?" Xan glanced up at the night sky in confusion. "What purpose could they have on the Moon?"

    "I know not of their methods." the fledgling Titan shook his head. "Though I do possess an uneasy feeling about this. It would explain the total blackout of all communications with Mars, Saturn, and beyond."

    Xan's heart fluttered, the devious threat that his people had detected  from the Reef and even beyond had already arrived on Mars, the Moon, and perhaps even Earth itself? There was little said about the sudden outages, other than the Matriarch, Xan's mother, heard idle whispers. She had called it, fearfully, the Darkness.

    "Many of our outposts around the planet have gone dark. The only thing we heard in the somewhat legible transmissions were chitters from what sounded like insects. Those that spoke called themselves, the Fallen."

    "How far was the nearest outpost?"

    "Minutes." the Titan said, yet his emotions did not falter him. "Do you believe there is an imminent threat? That this is not just a mere technological outage?"

    "In this Golden Age of man, a power outage would be fixed in seconds." Xan turned to face the outskirts of the otherwise unprotected city.

    Surely enough, alien ships began to uncloak from thin air, dispersing themselves all around City. Either this was a coordinated effort across the star system, or these creatures were opportunists. Either way, Xan didn't want to see everything he and the Vanguard had worked towards go to waste.

    "Titan Saladin, lend me an armament so that I might lend a hand to the protection of this City and it's people." Xan barked, as the young Saladin produced a hand-cannon and some ammunition.

    "Orders for me, sir?"

    "Gather as many refugees as you can muster and run." Xan ordered, situating the hand-cannon to his hip. "I'll cause a big enough ruckus with the remaining Titan, Warlock, and Hunter troops in the City."


    Fire scaled up the walls of the various buildings and structures surrounding Xan. Bodies of people, Awoken or not, lined the streets. Those responsible were no-where to be seen. Xan struck a guess that if their ships could cloak, the creatures themselves were more than capable of possessing cloaking technology.

    Clouds of dust from the crumbling builds began to billow out into the street with him. Xan's heart stuttered as he heard something behind him. Turning to face the source of the noise, Xan watched as a young boy, no older than eleven run in his direction. Xan tensed as a four armed creature, much taller than him, appeared out of thin air.

    Several eyes were clearly visible on it's helmet/mask on it's face. Chitin lined the entire creature's exposed parts, leading to Xan to conclude they were some sort of bug like creature. Raising his borrowed Hand Cannon, Xan hesitated to pull the trigger, giving the creature ample time to grab his throat with it's upper right most arm.

    "Itsh your time, hooman!" it chittered to him in some deep, gravely voice.

    Xan coughed as the wind was tightly squeezed out of him. Grunting, he struggled to raise the Hand Cannon to the creature's face, before firing the weapon. The bullet struck the carapace of the creature, cracking the chitin and causing it to stumble backwards and release him. Dropping to his knees on the sidewalk, Xan struggled to gather his breath.

    Shakily, the Awoken man raised his weapon and fired again. The bullet didn't exactly strike where he was aiming, but it had been efficient enough to stun the bug. Turning to the young boy beside him, Xan was surprised by the stark resemblance of the boy.

    "Ethan?" Xan asked.

    "Mr. Caul." Ethan said. "That thing, i-it killed Grandpa."

    Xan felt a pang of sadness for the kid, though it had been several years since Xan had met Shaun, the man had left a lasting impression on him. After all, he was the first human Xan had talked to, ever. The creature loomed over Xan with a snarl. The Awoken aimed his Hand Cannon, pulling the trigger. However, his heart plummeted as the hammer on the back of the gun clicked.

    He wasn't a weapon smith, but he knew the chamber that held the bullets was supposed to turn before firing. Instead, this Hand Cannon's chamber had been jammed. Standing firmly, Xan swung his fist across the beast's chin, but the light impact seemed to have ill effect.

    "Just die!" Xan grunted, swinging fist after fist into it's face.

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    Post  Dee_Dawg on May 29th 2017, 5:44 pm

    I also totally forgot to mention in the last author's note that I was basing this in Morgan's Destiny canon universe. I also forgot to thank him for his help in writing for Drake and Kabr's parts, so yeah, thanks dude!

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    Post  Dee_Dawg on May 30th 2017, 12:47 am

    "Futile..." the alien creature taunted with sickening amusement.

    The creature's two left arms caught and braced Xan's left cross. The Awoken man grunted, struggling to break free of his captor. Xan's screams filled the street at the loud crunch and pop that echoed from his now broken arm.

    The pain was unbearable, as a numbness overtook the entirety of his left forearm and up to the shoulder. There was a sense of coldness, with the occasional warmth from his blood gently streaming down his wrist. His body shook from the shock, as he stumbled away from the alien spider-like creature.

    "Mr. Caul!" Ethan's scream echoed in Xan's ears, though it sounded almost distorted.

    "Run, kid." Xan grit his teeth, shakily trying to raise the Hand Cannon to his opponent's face. "Run as far and fast as you can!"

    Xan pulled the trigger once more, as his shot struck the creature in the neck. Chitin fragmented as the hot metal slug met it's mark, piercing through the creature and out the back. The creature's once conceited stance began to falter slightly, before it stumbled to the ground in a heap.

    Dropping the now emptied weapon, Xan used his right arm to nurse and hold his left. Just moving the thing sent a jolt of pain up his arm and through his spine. It was the equivalent of a hot railroad spike being hammered into the base of his neck each time it jolted. His vision blurred, and every step he took was staggered.

    What was going on in the world? Why now of all times was everything going oh so wrong? What was the cause of this? Was their community being punished for potential mis-usage of the Light? Or had this event been the reason the Traveler located Humanity in the first place? As these thoughts continued to run rampant in his mind at a mile per minute, he felt his legs take on a jellied state.

    Xan collapsed to his knees, watching with weary eyes as everything he and his friends in the Vanguard had worked to protect. Leaning back to bring his attention to the stars, they were the one thing immediately in view that had seen little change as a result of the event occurring on Earth and beyond. In that moment, he felt as small as an ant, incapable of fighting back against an unseen, giant force.

    "Xan!" a familiar voice called to him, and as he glanced up at the brown haired woman in Titan armor, he felt a sense of pride and happiness. "Come on, you can die when I say you can!"

    "Amethyst, I-I can't move." he drooped his head, consciousness slowly slipping through his fingers like grains of fine, coarse sand. "There is a b-boy that ran up this way. His n-name is Ethan."

    Xan's hands shakily reached up towards her shoulder, as if trying to pull himself close to her face. Every moment was a struggle, as his body seemingly grew heavier and heavier. His face in her's, his vibrant orange eyes scanned over her brilliant purple ones that matched her namesake.

    "Take him somewhere safe. Let this b-be, m-my final-" the subtle beating of his heart stopped abruptly, causing his body to tense rigidly. As the air escaped his lungs for the final time, Xan slumped down slowly, taking notice of the electrified dagger lodged in his lower abdomen.


    Xan's eyes glanced past Amethyst's face and into the stars beyond. He began to wonder how his family in the Reef was doing, especially with the sudden realization he wouldn't be returning to them this time. Tears welled up in the corners of his eyes as the borders of his vision began to fill with blackness. Amethyst tried to yell at him, though he heard not a word of it, his hearing completely failing.


    A gentle breeze billowed through the valley, leaves rustled in the trees, while grassy swayed like some mesmerizing dance. The light of the Sun pierced through the gray and blue clouds floating high over the ruins of the ancient city. A lone leaf unhinged itself from the tree that it had resided for much of it's short existence.

    Catching the gust of wind, the leave floated majestically in swirls and loops throughout the valley. With no control over it's own movement, the leaf was at the mercy of the wind. The wind navigated the tiny plant through mangled, rusted vehicles of a time long since past. Surprisingly, the lone leaf managed to avoid all of it's obstacles, landing precisely on top of a strange, yellowish-white construct partially buried in the ground.

    Carried by that same gust of wind was a small white robot, no larger than a baseball. Determined in it's quest, the small mech weaved in between the broken cars of it's own volition. A singular blue mechanical eye swiveled in it's case as the machine searched desperately in every nook and cranny. With every stop it made, along with the chirping of it's metal casing swiveling around on itself, the machine produced a small vibrant array of blue Light.

    Approaching one particular set of bones, the small white cased robot chirped to itself. The skeleton was pinned beneath some long eroded bricks, the fractures and breaks in the bones confirmed that the individual had been crushed by a falling building. After a quick scan from the small robot, it shook it's form, this wasn't the one they were looking for.

    "Ouch." his voice echoed solemnly, feeling remorse for the long dead individual.

    Another gust of wind shook the robot to it's core. Sure, it's metallic casing prevented the small gust from actually taking the mech away, but it was enough to turn it around. Above the machine, in the beautiful blue sky, a lone cloud had briefly cast the land around the machine in shadow. However, much to the surprise of the machine, a single ray of light pierced through the dense fluffy cloud.

    Floating over towards the leaf highlighted by the sunlight, the machine shrugged it's form. It had searched high and low for a considerable amount of time, what was the hurt to scan a partially buried skull? The blue beam of Light scanned over the skull, and for the first time since the machine was created, the scanned proved positive.

    "Oh-oh my." the machine exclaimed in disbelief.

    The metal casing surrounding the vulnerable circular core erupted outwards, orbiting the small sphere that made up the machine's consciousness and form. The eye scanned over the skeleton for a moment, trying to visualize the person that once inhabited the body. Once it got a general idea of the person it was resurrecting, the machine's metal casing snapped back to it's sphere. The act alone let out a flash of light that left little shadow in a ten-foot radius around the point of origin.


    Xan's form burst upright with a jolt, as he sharply inhaled air. He coughed for a minute, his body tensing as he took in the breath. His eyes narrowed and widened to reduce the sun-glare entering his eyes. Closing them momentarily, he continued to breath sharply, meditating as he had in the past to help calm his nerves.

    Once his breathing had normalized and he no longer felt the anxiety creeping up over him, he opened his eyes to take in his surroundings. What he saw chilled him to the bone, buildings were scattered about, with moss and various other flora growing in the rubble. Rusted, abandoned, stripped and destroyed remains of cars were littered all along him.

    What truly caught his attention, however, was the small white robot floating a few inches from his face. Gasping in fear, he scrambled backwards to get away from the robot. It shook it's form, and he could have sworn he heard it mutter something before gently floating after him.

    "I can't believe it actually worked- you're alive!" the machine's voice exclaimed jubilantly. "You've been dead for a very long time. There's a good chance you might see things you won't understand."

    "W-who are you?" the Awoken man asked, giving a confused glance at the floating mech. "Did you say I've been- dead?"

    " I can answer you some questions later, we need to go. It's not safe here." the machine began to float away, before the Awoken's hand reached out and grasped it.

    "I'm not going anywhere until I get some answers. Why don't I remember anything?! If I've 'been dead', how am I alive? Why should I follow you? Who even are you?"

    Muffled inside the Awoken's hand, the small white robot's metal casing turned impatiently. He felt it shift in his hand, as if it had turned to face him. Opening his hand, the machine floated an inch or so over his hand, it's blue eye glancing up at him.

    "I guess it was the right choice to make you a Warlock. You have an overabundance of questions." the machine chuckled to itself. "You are alive because I used the Light of the Traveler to resurrect you from the dead. You likely don't remember anything because of it. As for why you should follow me, I did just give you a second chance at life. That sounds like a reasonable excuse as any."

    The machine floated up towards the Awoken's face, planting it's tiny form in the space between the Awoken's eyes. It's metal casing twisted and turned, as the blue eye stared inquisitively at him.

    "As for who, or rather, what I am is simple. I am a Ghost. Well, I'm your Ghost, specifically." the Ghost 'blinked' at him. "I've been searching for you in particular for a very long time. I am your bond to the Light, and your partner for the foreseeable future."

    The Awoken man took a second to soak it all in, every tidbit of information he could take from the Ghost's words. He had been dead for an unidentified amount of time, and now he was alive. Rolling his neck, he rubbed the back of his head. He didn't remember who he was, or how he had died. The harder he tried to think, however, the harder his head hurt.

    Before he could open his mouth to speak, an unexplained howl filled the air. Yet the sound did not seem to originate from a dog, no, instead, it was from a creature, and it sounded big. The Awoken decided to put his trust in the small white robot, and quickly stood to his feet.

    "I suppose you're right. Where should we go?"

    "To the Tower, of course." the Ghost turned to him, twisting it's form. "Let's head in the direction of the Sun, I saw an old run down ship there. We can use that to get there.

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    Post  Dee_Dawg on June 1st 2017, 7:58 pm

    The lengthy plains of overgrown ferns and wheat were a nuisance to navigate, especially with certain flora always grabbing onto his cloak. The Awoken man had little time to inspect and truly admire the clothing he was wearing. The small white robot took a second to sweep it's lone eye above the head level grass.

    "There's a cave directly in front of us." the Ghost turned to him. "It's just on the way to the wrecked ship."

    With a sigh of exhaustion, the new 'Warlock' pushed his way through the giant stalks of wheat. Every now and again, he paused, his heart jumping into his throat. Chitters and alien howls filled the air, causing him to clench in fear. Finally he broke through the wall of brown plants, leaving him in an open field. Broken and rusted airplanes and vehicles were strewn carelessly about.

    Upon further inspection, each of the constructs seemed to have had their hulls and various other parts cut off. Some of the cuts appeared to be fresh, still sporting the red-orange glow of super heated metal. One of the rusted vehicles, a car, crumpled beneath the weight of a rather large and imposing four armed creature.

    The Awoken froze in place at the sight of the creature. He couldn't quite place it, but the creature seemed oddly familiar. Much larger and more threatening, but familiar nonetheless. Thankfully for him, it's back we turned to him as it scoped out the land. Slowly, he crept his way towards the cave only several feet to his left. As he practically crawled his way over towards the cave, his eyes never once left the creature.

    He sighed in relief as soon as he stepped into the cave's mouth. Outside, he heard the metal of the vehicle groan as the weight it once held suddenly lessened. Peeking his head back out, he was relieved to see the monster sink into the wall of wild, tall wheat.

    "What- what was that thing?" he asked the Ghost, only, he didn't see it anywhere. "Ghost?"

    "I'm still here, don't fret." the Ghost responded, as if from inside his head. "I couldn't fabricate you a helmet, so I'm just hiding inside your inner Light for now. That thing? That was a Fallen, spider-like aliens that have a history of being especially nasty."

    "That one in particular was a Captain, which is a much more powerful version of a Vandal. They have a strange hierarchy, one I'm sure you'll be learning about soon." the Ghost replied shyly. "I would have thought the Vanguard would have had some patrols running around here. Ever since the Wall went down, however, Guardians have been scrambling to the breach to solve issues on the other side. That's not great for us."

    "Maybe we should hideout in here until reinforcements arrive?" the Awoken asked, his eyes glancing at the crystalized walls of the cave.

    As he approached the far back wall, the Awoken nearly jumped as his Ghost fizzled into view directly in front of his face. The small white robot peered curiously at one portion of the wall in particular, before mulling about it's way, scanning every inch of the wall.

    "How peculiar, I once visited this cave three years ago." the Ghost mulled to itself. "There was a skeleton right around here. Legend says that a very powerful Human,
    who served in one of the earliest iterations of the Vanguard, died in this cave.

    "Vanguard?" the Awoken rubbed his chin inquisitively, the word sounded familiar, not just in definition, but a word he used quite frequently at one point. "I remember the term. It was a seat of power for three of Humanity and my people's community for the three strongest available Light wielders."

    "Titans, Warlocks, and Hunters." the Ghost nodded it's form in agreement. "The skeleton that once dwelt in this cave isn't here anymore, and I don't recall the Fallen ever requiring bones for anything. I wonder if the Traveler resurrected them, maybe they're a Guardian now too."

    The Awoken man walked up to the Ghost, inspecting the glimmering translucent wall that seemed to mirror him and the small ghost. "Is that what I am? A Guardian?"

    The Ghost turned to face him, blinking it's eye a few times, before rotating it's metallic casing. Floating up to his face, the Ghost's eye met with his right eye for only a moment. "You were chosen by the Traveler to serve the Light by any means you deem necessary. If you choose to be a Guardian of Humanity and their allies, then yes, you are very much a Guardian."

    The idea of using his new life in the service of others did seem intimidating at first. The Awoken took the moment to glance at his own reflection, dark ashen skin with vibrant orange eyes on his somewhat stern and regal face were the first things to pop out to him. He didn't remember his name or who he was before, but this new life was his way to live again.

    He glanced down at his right hand, and slowly clenched it into a fist. As he did so, he felt the Light inside him flourish like oil in a lava lamp. Glancing back at his reflection, the Awoken nodded a silent vow to himself that he would do whatever it took to protect people, in this new world.

    "Then I proudly label myself as a Guardian." the Awoken nodded. "I don't know my old name, and perhaps that is for the best. What name would you give me?"

    "You want me to name you?" the Ghost turned away from him for a moment, before turning back. "How about this, I'll give you a name, if you give me a name?"

    "Your voice is hard to distinguish whether it's male or female." he crossed his arms. "If I knew which you associated with, I-"

    "I'm sorry, ever since the legendary Titan and his Ghost, Arianna, defeated Oryx; Taken King, many Ghosts have disguised their voices and even gone so far as to change their personalities to suit their Guardian." the Ghost, now utilizing a much more feminine voice, said. "This is the voice I possessed after my creation."

    Astounded by the Ghost's remarkable, heavenly voice, the newly coined Guardian took a step backwards. The Ghost tilted her form in confusion to his reaction, her metal casing twisting and turning. "Is this acceptable to you?"

    "I wouldn't ask you to change yourself." he said, recomposing himself. "Your voice caught me off guard, I was bracing myself for a much deeper, masculine voice. This is much more pleasant."

    With this newfound information at his disposal, the Guardian once again took to rubbing his chin inquisitively. In the corner of his eyes, he could barely make out the subtle change in coloration to the Ghost's eye light, what had once been a blue light, was now a vibrant, almost royal purple coloration. Her once white shell slowly transitioned through the colors until it settled upon the same vibrant purple color, with two blue stripes crossing across the back.

    Such a heavenly voice reminded him remarkably of one fond moment in his past. He wasn't quite sure where he had been, but it was filled to the brim with books pertaining to the life of mankind prior to the Traveler's influence. It spoke of stories in morality, all branching with different views and influence. Such thoughts existed when the Traveler arrived, for certain, many people of which referred to the word as faith. Faith in a better tomorrow.

    "Faith." the Warlock smiled to himself, before turning to the Ghost. "I wish to refer to you as Faith."

    The Ghost's shell twisted with a minor chirp, her eye peeked up at his face for a moment, before glancing down at the floor. Floating up to his face once again, she nodded her form. "It is a very pretty name, thank you. Casathar."

    "Casathar. That is the name you chose for me?" Faith nodded, the Warlock smiled and turned back to his reflection on the cave wall. "Very well, I accept the name."

    Casathar nodded silently to Faith, before turning back towards the mouth of the cave. Before he could get too far, however, he felt a sudden snugness around his head. His vision remained unhindered, but a small circular radar system suddenly became noticeable in the upper left corner of his vision. It didn't take him long to realize that a helmet had been properly fixated onto his head.

    Faith flew over his right shoulder, placing herself directly in front of his visor. Her eye looked down, and Casathar felt himself inclined instinctively to look down. In his once empty gloved hands, now sat a nicely designed rifle. Two crudely pointed barbs, almost like bayonets, rested besides the barrel of the wooden and metal weapon. A carving of two wolves heads, both facing an ornate tree in the center was the first thing to come to his attention.

    "While I was scanning the cave, I found this leaning against the wall with an inscription. It was hastily carved, but it said something along the lines of; 'Thanks for everything, D. Here's to a brighter future, thanks to you. Signed L.'" Faith spoke as he continued to inspect the rifle. "It was a fairly recently done, I'd guess a month or two? If there was a Guardian in this cave, my guess is they found a mentee and sacrificed themselves?"

    "That's none of our concern." Casathar shook his head, taking a moment to get a feel for the weapon and glance down it's sights. "I thank them for this generous weapon, as I am sure the deceased would rather it be used to save another's life than left to rot in a cave. It's starting to get dark out, which direction to the ship?"

    "Due East of the cave's mouth."

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