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    Sentinel; Good, Bad, and Ugly.

    Database Director

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    Sentinel; Good, Bad, and Ugly. - Page 2 Empty Re: Sentinel; Good, Bad, and Ugly.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 13th 2018, 8:27 pm

    Lance and Demeter glanced at each other, as they found themselves surrounded by their Fireteam members. Lillian, Samuel, and the newly revitalized Cayde-6, complete with new arm and leg, stood off to their right. Chelsea, Alex, and Ikora Rey smiled off to their left, while Commander Zavala hesitated.

    Lance's attention turned towards the Titan Commander, as the two stepped to face each other. With a stomp of his left foot and a sudden straightening of his spine, Commander Zavala stepped into a crisp salute. Lance followed suit, returning the respectful gesture, before both turning to face Demeter.

    Silently, they stomped their feet and stood at full attention towards her. A chill rain up and down the length of her spine as she felt a rush of wind pick up behind her. With a small flash of Light, her Ghost appeared in front of her and silently nodded her form. Demeter dipped her head, images of the night the Cabal invaded flooded the back of her mind. She recalled everything from that night, how she had been so powerless to save Amethyst.

    "She would be insanely proud of you." Demeter's Ghost approached her. "I can feel her presence, somewhere, smiling down on you."

    Demeter smiled, fighting the urge to let her tears loose, as she stood to full attention and finally returned the salute. In response, the Warlocks, and even the Hunters, managed to break into a crisp salute. Lance and Zavala advanced as the symbol of respect subsided. At their movement, the other various Guardians approached to stand in a line beside them.

    Glancing up at the sight above them, they normally would have felt concern, but the radiant Light emanating from the now wakened Traveler gave them a sense of comfort. The pulse of Light had been devastating to the Traveler's form, what was once a partially damaged sphere now had several chucks of it's hull floating in orbit around the massive machine.

    "It's not my greatest look." the Traveler's soft, feminine voice echoed in the back of Demeter's mind. "-but after seeing all the sacrifices the Stratus Family had made in my honor over the past year, I had to make some sacrifices myself."

    "I am certain you have many questions you want to ask me. Now isn't the time. There is much to be done to rebuild this City, and I believe there are many people that wish to talk with you." the Traveler continued. "Should you get a chance, seek out the Shard of me that granted you your lost power. My chosen will speak with you then."

    As the voice subsided, Lillian, Lance, and Chelsea turned to face Demeter. With a knowing smile and nod, Fireteam Stratus began to walk away in the direction of the Wall. At their departure, Cayde-6 and Ikora began to shift in that direction, with Samuel and Alex in tow. Left with only Commander Zavala, Demeter turned to face the Titan Vanguard.

    "My complacency is what caused this City to falter. I did not cherish the gift of the Traveler, rather I was too focused on staying on the defensive." Zavala sighed, crossing his arms and taking in the sight of the ravaged City around them. "I intend to build this City anew, but it will not be the same as it once was. We will be built better, built stronger, and be built to last."

    "With powerful, experienced Titans such as yourself leading the charge, I have every bit of faith that we will see a better future, all of us." Zavala clasped her on the shoulder. "My only wish is that my mentor, or even Amethyst had been here to see this. You have done more than enough for us already, but if you find yourself with a spare moment and are in search of another assignment to help the City, please come find me."

    As Zavala turned to leave, however, the boisterous form of Lord Shaxx advanced on her. With a powerful move, Shaxx slugged Demeter on the shoulder, before planting both hands firmly on her shoulders.

    "What a remarkable show of power and triumph! THESE are the things I expect from participants in my Crucible! You have done well, young Titan. In such a short time after receiving the Light, you have become more than just a force of nature. You have stared Death in his beady eyes and spat in them." Shaxx gaffawed.

    "If I may be so bold. I have witnessed your usage of a new form of Defender technique. I would be honored to have you join me in teaching the remaining Titan orders how to manifest that ability."

    "Lord Shaxx, I- this is an overwhelming honor. Thank you for this opportunity." Demeter bowed her head, as he placed a hand under her chin and raised it look at him.

    "The honor is all mine. You are a luminous example of what every Titan should strive to be. Disciplined so you do not lose focus on your objective, Strong so that you may break the Darkness where it festers, and Intelligent to solve situations that thrust themselves on you." Shaxx nodded his helmet boisterously. "I am certain you have much on your shoulders that needs attention.Should you happen to see a class of mine in session, I humbly ask that you stop in."

    "For now, I think you should talk with Ikora. She's been off since we started our assault on the City." Shaxx grunted with an endearing hand on her shoulder. "Or do whatever you think is necessary, you certainly don't need my guidance anymore."



    Thanks for Reading!

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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on May 18th 2018, 10:27 pm

    As her footfalls echoed through the empty bazaar on the upper levels of the City's Wall, Demeter's gaze found itself fixated on the Tower, looming in the distance. She had only been there a few times in her life, but the destroyed, smouldering ruin of the structure reminded her of the defeat the people of the City suffered several weeks prior.

    Everything felt so different, and it wasn't just her new status as a Guardian, no, there was an emptiness that suffocated the air around her. In a sense, she had become so accustomed to Amethyst's tutelage that standing in the City as a full fledged Titan, a Hero no less, she felt so hollow. When Nathan Stratus passed away and Amethyst came to offer protection to the Orphanage he left behind, she bonded to her mentor.

    Now she was alone, and without guidance. Sure, Samuel and Alex made for excellent friends, but it wasn't the same. She closed her eyes and leaned against the nearest wall, feeling her heart rate shift, the feeling of tears forming in the corner of her eyes.

    "We found you outside our doorstep." Nathan had said, smiling warmly as he pushed a small cup of tea in front of her. "With the recent surge in Guardians sprouting among our people, I was inclined to believe that your parents were Guardians, and as a result could no longer take care of you."

    "They could have tried." Demeter whispered to herself, a single tear streaming down her cheek.

    Mustering her will to stop the ensuing breakdown, Demeter steeled herself and pushed herself off the wall. Justice was served for Amethyst, the one she truly viewed as a mother figure, and it was by her hand that it had been possible. She needed to locate Ikora and speak with her, or anyone for that matter, before she lost all control.

    "Don't worry Sagira." Ikora's voice mumbled on the wind. "We'll see to fixing you."

    Following the sound of the Warlock Vanguard's familiar voice, Demeter turned the corner to see the purple robed woman flipping through several pages at once. Some physically with her fingers, while the other books turned with the renewed Light she possessed.

    "Is that your Ghost?" Demeter asked with a frown, approaching.

    At the sound of Demeter's voice, Ikora hurriedly stowed the Ghost into a drawer in the makeshift desk in front of her. Turning slowly, Ikora took a deep breath, folding her arms behind her back.

    "I'm sorry, I was a bit distracted there. What do you need?"

    "I saw that damaged Ghost. Is that your Ghost?" Demeter asked, as Ikora's eyes flickered in a mixture of annoyance and defeat.

    "No. I haven't been on speaking terms with my Ghost in quite some time. This is not my Ghost, but it belongs to someone I was close with. For now, it doesn't concern you."

    "I'm sorry." Demeter said, turning away, before a soft hand gingerly placed itself on her shoulder.

    "The apology is mine, Demeter." Ikora sighed. "That fight that took place last night has had me deep in thought. What could have happened, and for the case of some Guardians not capable of celebrating today's victory, what did happen."

    "More frightening is that the Red Legion may be down a leader, but they are rallying. We are in no position to begin a full frontal retaliation against them, but we can't allow ourselves to be complacent, not again."

    Producing a data pad, Ikora held it out in front of her. A hologram of a strange glowing golden ball hovered above the pad, as a deep and resounding voice echoed in front of them.

    "O' Red Legion whom hath cut deep into my Heart's royal sinews. Why do you continue to pain your God so? [BBBBBZZZT ZEEERT]. This Centaur is your proving ground. Rejoin my [BBBBBZZZZT ZZZEEEET], consider this my mercy."

    "He sounds important. A new leader for the Red Legion?" Demeter asked, as Ikora shook her head.

    "No. The old Golden Age AI on Nessus, Failsafe, managed to transmit this directly to us a few hours ago, when the Traveler's pulse erupted outwards."

    "Do you want me to investigate it?"

    "If you feel so inclined. You will need to go alone, however, and the risk will be considerably high, so please be careful. See if you can't spy on the Red Legion's rally, and find the source of this transmission."


    "Good job sneaking in silently." Demeter's Ghost spoke up.

    The Red Legion outpost wasn't too far from where the Exodus Black had been located, and as such, it was constantly under attack from Fallen forces trying to nestle in closely. Using one such attack as a diversion, Demeter found herself in the underground bunker of the Cabal outpost.

    "Any luck finding a console you could extrapolate data from?"

    "Unfortunately, no." Jewel, the name both Demeter and her Ghost decided was more fitting than her old mentor's, replied with a sigh. "However, there is something just ahead that's giving off some bizarre readings. Let's check that out."

    Demeter held her SMG at the ready as she crept through the hallway. While the Light was stronger now than ever before, she still didn't dare get into an engagement that would put the whole Outpost on higher alert. She stopped just outside of a door as she heard the grunting of a pair of Cabal bickering back and forth in their native language. Suddenly, the wall just beside her thudded as the two apparently found themselves in a brawl.

    Continuing her stride to the end of the hall, she released Jewel towards the console locking the door. She turned back and pointed her SMG down the hall. The door she had passed buckled and groaned, but thankfully held as the brawlers managed to keep their fight contained. Her stomach collapsed, however, as a Cabal Centurion stomped it's way down the stairs. Upon noticing her, the beast stomped it's mighty foot, pointing at her.

    Raising it's Bronco cannon, a sphere of Void energy formed at the front of the gun. Demeter pitched her shoulder and thrust forward, as a translucent wall of energy formed in front of her. The sphere of Void energy splashed across the wall, as the door behind Demeter shot open. At the sight of this, the Centurion's thrusters on the back of it's suit flared to life, the beast darting towards her.

    Stepping inside, Demeter channeled some Arc Light into her right fist. Spinning on her boots, she swung wide, and just as the sprinting Centurion's chest breached the door frame, her fist made contact. The metal armor buckled with a sickening squish and crunch mixture, before the beast shot back down the hallway it had come.

    As soon as the Centurion's body cleared the door, Jewel slammed and locked the door behind them. There was no way the brawling Cabal hadn't heard that carnage, and Demeter knew she needed to act quickly. Glancing around the room hurriedly, she was confused by the things she saw. Vats of strange purple liquid, almost with the consistency of sludge, glowed in the corner. Each vat had a different label in it, and yet the vats looked exactly the same in contents.

    Beside the vats were containers with odd flower like things, though to Demeter, they looked more like fungus. As she approached the first container, her hand brushed up against a command console. A strange orb-like growth that glowed almost as deep a purple as the sludge in the vat beside her, dropped from the top of the container. At the introduction of the growth, the fungus like plant bloomed into a beautiful violet flower.

    As the flower bloomed, however, Demeter ducked as she heard a weapon whirring up behind her. Turning back, she discovered that a weapon had not been whirring up, rather it was a machine. Given her run in's with the Cabal, she couldn't have been entirely sure, but in this moment she was relieved. A strange orange, almost seed-like crystal was strapped up to a machine, and just above the crystal, beams of natural sunlight entered the crystal.

    Illuminated, the crystal loosed a beam of light into the blooming fungal flower. With a surprising boom, almost like an explosion, the flower erupted into spores of purple. In her haste to avoid the 'weapon' she had thought was behind her, Demeter had accidentally struck the container with her arm, causing the glass to shatter. Purple spores entered the room, her heart racing. An alien plant such as this was likely toxic, and now she was locked in here with it.

    After a few seconds however, the spores seemed to have no effect on her. Her Ghost scanned one of the larger spores, then scanning Demeter. Shaking her form, Demeter sighed in relief. The door beside her buckled, however with the roar of a Cabal Valus. With a crunch, the door opened, as the Valus roared at her.

    "Any ways out?" Demeter asked, raising her SMG.

    "Through him comes to mind."

    Now that she thought about it, Demeter felt insanely good as a result of her exposure to the spores. Not in a drug induced way, rather her muscles felt considerably stronger, and her reflexes further enhanced. Grinning beneath her helmet, Demeter sprinted at the Valus. Pitching her shoulder into his midsection, she felt like she ran into a brick wall. However, she grit her teeth and continued to push, as the Valus' boots actually gave. Inch by inch she pushed on the Cabal Valus, before she finally broke through and shoulder charged him down the hall.

    The two crashed past a pair of Centurions, and back up the stairs. Reducing her speed, the Valus continued to tumble backwards. Crunching her knuckles in her hands, she never felt more powerful, with the exception of the times she had been given boundless Light by the Traveler.

    "The Cabal logs I managed to extract in that lab called them Empowering Spores. They don't last very long, but they can allow a Legionaire to fight a Valus on an even playing field."

    "Good to know." Demeter smiled as Arc energy crackled over her person.


    Demeter brushed the dust off of her shoulder pauldron as she walked away from the smouldering crater behind her. Jewel floated over her shoulder, gazing in complete awe at the massive hole on the surface of Nessus behind them.

    "Captain, what was that large earthquake just now?" Failsafe's voice spoke up on the comms.

    "It 'was' a Cabal Outpost. Now it's just rubble and smouldering ruin."

    "How delightful. Took you long enough. What about the issue I warned in orbital scans?"

    "Orbital scans?" Demeter asked, as the Centurion helmet she was dragging in her right hand began to vibrate.

    Only, it wasn't just the helmet that was vibrating. The ground beneath Demeter began to tremble and buckle, as her eyes glanced up into the sky. The good feeling the Empowering Spores had given her, though long expired, sank into sheer terror, as she glanced at the object looming in the sky.

    Golden was the hull of the ship, with a wide, triangular gaping 'mouth' like structure at the front. Just at the apex of the triangular mouth, considerably higher than the top of the ship, was a pair of dwarved stars.

    "O' Red Legion whom hath cut deep into my Heart's royal sinews. Why do you continue to pain your God so? Your God is pained, my children, but I am forgiving. This Centaur is your proving ground. Rejoin my Loyalists, so that we shall become whole again, provide me the means to create Royal Nectar, consider this my mercy."

    "It's coming from the helmet." Demeter said, hoisting the helmet up so that she could hear the message.

    "The soil here is rich, perfect for the creation of Royal Nectar. You will harvest the first batch, and should I deem it suitable for consumption, my Leviathan shall reduce this world into the premier ingredient." the deep, regal voice continued. "All I ask is you return to my loving embrace. Emperor Calus... has spoken."

    As the voice's message ended, a rumbling once again filled the air as Demeter glanced up at the massive ship in the sky above her. Fire stoked in the deepest recess of the 'mouth'. She felt herself being inexplicably pulled upwards by an unknown force. The ground fissured beneath her, as entire segments of Nessus were forcefully erupted from the surface.

    "Transmat to the ship, quickly!" Demeter called as she felt the familiar inward pressure of a transmat.

    Safely within her ship's cockpit, her gaze fell upon the massive ship that easily dwarfed the Centaur, as large chunks of Nessus' landmass floated through the void of space and into it's mouth.

    "What about Failsafe?" Demeter asked.

    "I'm in the process of copying my databanks to your Vanguard's vaults. Though, the device's 'consumption' has seemed to stop. Also, as a completely unrelated notion, the Vex Core of Nessus seems to have been removed. This planetoid is now officially dead without hope of recovering!

    "She was way too chipper about that." Demeter shook her head, turning to Jewel. "Contact the Vanguard, have them send another Fireteam. If the Cabal Emperor is here, we have to stop him."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on June 12th 2018, 2:38 pm

    "What do you mean you can't spare anyone?!" Demeter growled.

    "Zavala is busy helping to rebuild the City, and Cayde has gone back to playing the role of space cowboy, filling the Prison of Elders with the remnants of the Red Legion that surrendered. Ikora sighed. "Any and all Guardians that are left have been patrolling the City in hopes of driving off any hostiles that may be hiding out for a resurgence."

    "What about Alex and Sam? Fireteam Stratus?"

    "Well, about that. I had a personal favor to ask of Alex, Chelsea, and Tina. You'll understand if I leave out the specifics. As for Lance, Lillian, and the others? They're helping New Monarchy distribute supplies to the downtrodden."

    "Then I guess I'm going in alone."

    "That's unwis-"

    Demeter cut the communications, tilting the drive shaft of her ship forward. As she navigated towards the large fish-like Cabal ship, Jewel turned to face her with a disapproving shake of her shell.

    However, even before Jewel could utter a word, a booming voice entered her helmet. Boisterous, rumbling words of a foreign tongue echoed throughout her cockpit. With a mechanical sign, Jewel struck the console of her ship with a scanning beam, translating it as close as she could.

    "You are fascinating creatures, Traveler-spawn. While I would be humbled to have such powerful guests on my Leviathan, she is suffering a tummy ache, and I as a ruler-god of my people would be remiss to have guests while even my illustrious ship is not in it's best condition." the voice boomed. "I will call a rain-check on our meeting, Human. Perhaps, if you would be inclined to help my situation it could expedite our delay. However, as powerful as you may be, it will take more of your kind to provide the assistance I need. Come back another time, Emperor Calus will greet you with open arms. Perhaps then, even, I may teach you how to grow fat from strength."

    "That was... vivid. I was going to agree with Ikora and remind you of the dangers going in alone would cause, but it appears even the Emperor himself knows his ship is dangerous to you."

    "He's eating Nessus, or at least his ship is. That poses a threat. What if he doesn't stop at Nessus?" Demeter asked, turning to her.

    "I don't trust him either, however, we cannot take this threat on alone. For now, let's aid the City rebuild until everyone's settled back to a more normal state."


    Caloris Spires, Caloris Basin, Planet Mercury

    "This is insanity. I'm usually the chipper one, but this is insane. Are you Warlocks even listening to me?"

    "We are, Ruby, but you need to relax. He's not a threat, not since the Light was essentially reset." Alex sighed, turning to her temporary Fireteam, consisting of the legendary Warlocks Tina and Chelsea of Fireteam Stratus. "I'm really sorry, she gets insufferably anxious in these kinds of situations."

    "I'M the insufferable one? Do you know exactly how taxing you are when you're around Samuel or Demeter? You constantly have to talk, you use way more Light than you should, and you're more apt to die than either of them combined, and according to Flint, Samuel dies a lot."

    "Ah, you've got that kind of Ghost relationship." Chelsea smiled beneath her helmet. "My Ghost has always been the quiet, inquisitive one. He's always shy, though, no-one, not even Lance has heard him speak."

    The trio of Warlocks trudged their sands through the boots of the Mercurian sands, approaching the Vex teleporter directly in front of them, looming over the Caloris Basin.

    "Ikora said we'd find him in the Infinite Forest, right? So this should be the place." Tina crossed her arms. "Now just how do we get in there?"

    "I believe this is where I come in." a small, golden Ghost wriggled her way out of Chelsea's hip-side knapsack.

    Sagira, the small Ghost looming in front of them, nodded her shell before turning to the shielded portal. With a unique beam of golden and blue light, the shield working over the portal disappeared. "You're welcome!"

    "No offense, Sagira, but guys. We're searching for an exiled Guardian, is this seriously not ringing any immediate bells?!"

    "Osiris was once a master of all disciplines of Light, yes. However, he long renounced the brutal nature of the Titan's Light, and the roguish nature of a Hunter's Light. He prefers the more refined, chaotic nature of a Warlock's Light. The City cast him out because he feared that the Traveler was the cause of the Collapse, and that spelt disaster to your Speaker's regime."

    "The Speaker is dead." Alex replied with a shake of her head.

    "Normally I wouldn't speak ill of the dead, but if I had saliva glands I'd spit on his grave." Sagira dropped her usual warm and soothing voice in favor of a more angry, spiteful tone. "I'm sure Saint-14 isn't taking it well?"

    "Saint-14? He's been missing since Twilight Gap, when he and Drake hunted down the Devil's Kell and Archon Priest. Everyone assumed he went searching for his old friend."

    "Osiris." Sagira nodded. "Saint-14 was always head strong like that. Though, I suppose all Titans are. It's almost natural to them."

    "So why would Saint-14 be troubled if the Speaker was dead?" Alex turned, as Sagira, Chelsea, and Tina turned to face her.

    "The Speaker practically adopted Saint-14. Raised him like a son." Chelsea frowned. "Or at least, that's something Drake Stratus told Lance and I from what seems like a life-time ago."

    "If that's the case, Saint-14 is probably in the Infinite Forest too. Though, Twilight Gap was so long ago now that I fear he might not have made it, especially when the Light disappeared. Anyways, I love this discussion, but holding the portal open like this really hurts, maybe we can walk and talk?"



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on June 16th 2018, 9:04 pm

    "So, if it wasn't because he was a Risen, what was the reason Osiris was exiled Sagira?" Alex asked, as the angular Ghost floated around her head.

    "The whole 'Risen' nonsense was the excuse the Speaker came up with to justify exiling Osiris. Yes, he was a 'Risen' in the fact that he could control the techniques of all Guardians, but that was not the reason he was deemed unsafe for the City. " Sagira sighed. "Osiris' only crime was his disbelief in a live Traveler being a good thing for Humanity."

    The three Warlocks gasped, as Sagira shook her shell, turning back towards them expectantly. "Yes, you heard that right. Osiris thinks things are better for Humanity and our allies if the Traveler is dead... or unconscious."

    "Of course, those were merely theories. His research got to the public, and the more the downtrodden survivors of the Dark Ages began to read them, the more they began to jump to conclusions about his theorems." Sagira's shell twisted with a mechanical sigh. "Thus, the Eyes of Osiris were formed, and with them the Trials of Osiris. As a personal fan of the Iron Banner, Osiris and I were intrigued with the Trials as a show of Humanity's strength in such pressing times. However, those believers soon became fanatics, denouncing the Traveler, the Speaker, and the Vanguard that Osiris once served."

    "-and the Speaker wanted it silenced. So he banished Osiris?"

    "Well yes, and no." Sagira bobbed her form in the air, glancing at the intricate metallic structures of the tunnel they were walking through. "It was the Speaker's idea initially yes, but it was Osiris' own student who exiled him, on behalf of the City and the Vanguard."

    "Who?" Chelsea asked, her head turning to face Alex and Tina for support.

    "That bitch, Ikora Rey."


    "Ah, the Sentinel returns. Welcome back to the Forest." Drake Stratus' voice, mingled with a chorus of others, spoke in sing song around her. "She said you would come, but for what reason, I wonder?"

    "I came to know a couple of things, if you have the time to spare?"

    "The constant war between the Light and the Darkness has no time for reprieve. However, now is the time for us to lick our wounds, gather knowledge, and prepare a counter-strike." a physical golden manifestation of a Titan appeared beside her.

    "When I fought Ghaul, I summoned a War-hammer of fire. Something that I thought was strictly exclusive to the Stratus family line?"

    "Yes, it is true that the Warpath Titan technique seemed unique to the Stratus family. My Grandfather, Sol Stratus, formerly known as Captain Jacob Hardy of the Ares mission that first discovered the Traveler, was the first Titan to be created by the Traveler. Yet, he only served as a second to the first Titan Vanguard. "

    "The very first Titan Vanguard was a man of absolute strength as well, however, he was felled by a Warlord by a rogue Warlord, which at the time were evil 'Guardians' who used their Light to oppress people. Hardy, who changed his name to Sol Stratus following the assassination of the Warlord Tiberius, was not only the first Titan in existence, but the first wielder of the Warpath technique." Drake continued, as the two of them walked the depths of the corrupted forest. "He was not the only one, however. He had a friend who held a lot of his believes, and, she too was deemed worthy of the Light. She became a Titan, as he did, and served with distinction alongside him."

    "You see, Sentinel. This woman was regarded as the first Sentinel Titan, able to produce a shield much like the one you possess. Sol and Dusk, the Titaness, exchanged notes. She learned to master Warpath, and him Sentinel. However, he was unable to properly teach the technique to his lineage before he disappeared without a trace many years before I was even born. In fact, both of them disappeared, without her teaching Warpath to her lineage."

    "Do you have any idea what happened to them?" Demeter asked, as the two of them stopped to glance over a pond.

    "I do. They were slain by the very Titan he had supposedly avenged. Reyzl Azzir. Though, you may know of him as Dredgen Yor."

    "The Crucible Killer? I thought he was a Hunter, not a Titan?!"

    "Indeed, he was a Titan. Or he was when he was Reyzl. However, after being slain by the Warlord Tiberius, and reborn by the Light of the Traveler (a rare occurrence back then), he went to Luna in search of answers. The forward wave of Hive that had built tunnels up there, well before I was ever a Titan myself, corrupted him and his Rose hand-cannon. He became Dredgen Yor, and his Thorn stole the Light of many he encountered. "

    "Sol's friend, the first Hunter Vanguard Jaren Ward, sought to use his aptly named Last Word to slay Dredgen Yor and end his corruption. However, he was gunned down in a duel, and a young fledgling Hunter, whom you may know as Shin Malphur, took up Jaren's Light and Last Word, and produced the first Golden Gun, which he used to slay Dredgen Yor, and avenge our families."

    "Our families? You mean, I'm related to this Dusk Titaness?" Demeter's heart soared.

    "Yes. However, if it is answers to the whereabouts of your parents you seek. I shall not divulge that information. You are better off believing they died as heroes."

    "So they are still alive!" Demeter turned to him. "Please! You must tell me!"

    "No. You may sound excited now, but the truth would devastate you."

    "Have I not proven myself to you yet? I possess the strength to protect Humanity, I do not believe actual peace of mind is too much to ask for?"

    The Golden shape of a Titan sighed, as he shook his head. As they continued their walks, Golden wisps escaped his form and illuminated the otherwise dark forest with tableau's of various moments. The first, directly to her right, depicted a man and a woman with a bundle in their arms. However, a looming shadow, depicted by black energy, nearly enveloped and 'corrupted' the two.

    "Ah, are you here to- oh my." Nathan Stratus' familiar voice echoed throughout the forest. "Yes, yes, we have some room. Are you very sure you'd like to- Guardians you say? Ah yes, I was never a Guardian myself, but I can understand the problems that poses. Yes, I will see to it that she lives a good life. Demeter? Ah, the goddess of the Earth. A fitting, beautiful name."

    As they passed the tableau, it wisped away into nothing, the next approaching on her left. As she gazed upon it, the same two semi-corrupted figures, much more corrupted than before, held their Handcannons up to the dark presence looming over them. The weapons in their hands once shown a vibrant Gold, only to be dampened with a dark corruption.

    "You will serve as the Fingers, as we are the Hand. Bring Sorrow to our enemies with these unholy gifts. Show the wretched Light that we are not it's slaves, that we are to be it's masters, only through Darkness can we truly appreciate Light." a sinister voice echoed over the forest canopy.

    Demeter stopped as her head dipped, and her fists clenched. She felt her knuckles begin to pop, as the apparition of Golden Light stopped a few feet in front of her. Tears rolled down her cheek, bitten by the damp, cold air of the night-time forest. Her teeth grit, as she felt electricity begin to spark up and down the lengths of her arms.

    "How many people have they killed?" Demeter asked, shaking her head in disbelief.

    "Too many." Drake replied, placing a hand firmly on her shoulder. "Nathan could tell by the looks of them, and the Traveler had witnessed much of this, even in her comatose state. They wore the insignia of the evil cult, Yor's Shadows. At the time of dropping you off, they were not fully corrupt, but he knew they would do you no harm in an Orphanage. They wanted the best for you, and thus they did."

    "I want to end their misery." Demeter growled, as the arc energy raced in between her appendages, crackling the air with static charge.

    "That is completely unwise. Yor's Shadow is in possession of some insanely deadly weapons. They are referred to the Weapons of Sorrow. One bullet is enough to permanently sever your connection from the Light. The next is the one that kills you permanently. They both possess Thorns. To hunt them down would be suicidal."

    Drake's visage turned to the final tableau, as he dipped his head. Demeter, however, brushed his grip off and walked towards it. As he reached out to stop her, however, Demeter's hand brushed backwards and dispelled him. Approaching the tableau, she saw a man lying on the floor, a duo of hooded blackened figures standing over him.

    "Where is she? The scriptures of Yor speak of another brilliant Light that will smother the Darkness. All evidence points to her."

    "Y-you would snuff out your own daughter, in this pursuit of absolute corruption?!" Nathan's voice echoed. "If my grandson and his friends were here, they'd-!"


    "Stoic Stratus' are always the most annoying voices in the world." the man's voice echoed into her ears. "Are you seriously moving, old man?!"

    "So this is the Darkness you serve-" Nathan gasped for air. "Poison for the mind and the body. You embrace it willingly, but I-"


    A shotgun blast rattled the forest as the male's corrupted form splattered in darkness. Nathan's golden visage stood cautiously, nursing his wound. A Ghost's form appeared where the man had stood, as the woman approached.


    "Not a step closer." Nathan growled with a pained groan. "Otherwise I- I'll-."

    With a crashing thud, Nathan's body struck the floor in a heap. The woman's visage approached the Ghost, resurrecting the corrupted man. There was another thud as the door sprang open, before the two corrupted individuals could move, however, a lone purple figure tackled the man to the floor, before picking him up and throwing him out of the window by his cape.

    "You." Amethyst's familiar voice echoed through the forest, bringing more tears to Demeter's eyes.

    The sound of a a hand opening and clenching on someone's neck echoed around them, as the tableau shifted to Amethyst's visage holding the woman up by her throat. "Gaugh. Uh. Guh."

    "Scum like you sicken me. This man gave your daughter everything. Not only did you intend to undo all of his work, you even killed him."


    "You missed!" Amethyst snickered. "For a Hunter especially, that's just sad!"

    Amethyst's spare hand grasped the woman's Thorn, turning it up towards the woman's chin. "Don't worry, I'll take care of your daughter where you failed to."


    As the final round of the Thorn discharged, Amethyst dropped the woman's body to a heap at her feet. She sighed as she glanced down at her nephew's corpse. Shaking her head, she glanced at the smouldering form of the woman flittered away into nothing. With it's owner destroyed, the Thorn also faded into nothingness.

    "Lance is going to be upset, but I can't get him involved with the Shadows of Yor." Amethyst sighed. "-and that girl, if she ever found out the truth... I fear what would happen."

    With the final word said, the tableau fizzled out of existence. The forest around her noticeably darkened, as Demeter collapsed to a knee.

    "That explains why she wanted to mentor me. She felt guilty about killing my... my mother." Demeter's eyes flowed tears down her cheek. "S-So, I'm the only one left of my family?"

    "The man who once was your biological father remains, however, I do not recommend you seek him out. The death of your mother is-"

    "Don't call them that." Demeter growled, as Arc energy rolled up her arms again. "They are revolting human garbage and nothing more. I was raised by Nathan and Amethyst Stratus. Those monsters are not what my ancestors stood for. One day, I swear, I'll make him pay."

    Perhaps you will have that chance, one day. For now, you have much more to accomplish. Something big will be happening soon, and... the world will become so much darker. You cannot prevent it, but you will be the one to finish it." Drake's voice entered the chorus once more. "You possess the Warpath technique now, but there is much more for you to learn, both in Sentinel and Striker techniques. This knowledge will come to you naturally, but I ask that you teach Lance everything you will learn. You will find it crucial in the times to come. For now, leave this place."


    "Welcome to the Infinite Forest. The Vex's answer to the multiverse. You can simulate any time-line, past, present, and future. This is what we've been up to since his exile."

    "For nearly two hundred years, you've been studying the past, present and future for various other outcomes. Isn't that... Vexy?" Alex asked.

    "To an ignoramus, maybe. You are Warlocks, where is your sense of wonder? Do you not seek intelligence, knowledge? Control over power?" Sagira chuckled to herself. "Though thinking about it now, finding Osiris would be a lot easier if I was actually there with him."

    The vast, open abyss in front of the three Warlocks almost reminded them of a vast open sky of blue. In the distance, three very distinct pillars seeming stretched upwards and down below for what seemed like eternity. The first pillar was shiny, new, and polished, the second was slightly degraded with some bronzing on it's metallic hull, while the third was decrepit, rotting and rusted.

    A platform appeared before them, as the three Warlocks tensed. A small legion of Cabal troops appeared before them digitally. Sagira shook her form, hiding behind Alex's back.

    "Sorry, I forgot to mention that because this IS all a Vex simulation, the simulated aliens you encounter are completely 'real' in the sense they can harm and even kill you. Please try to be careful as we go along. We'll need to head to Mercury's past, perhaps we'll find him there, so get to shooting. Each time through here is another variable, so don't get too comfortable with Cabal."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on June 23rd 2018, 8:45 pm


    The simulated platform containing the handful of Red Legion Cabal erupted in a gigantic explosion of Void Light. Chelsea landed by the sides of Tina and Alex, the purple glow of her Void light subsiding.

    "Nicely done, I felt the heat-death of that Nova Bomb even from the space between realities." Sagira commented, transmatting into existence in front of them.

    "Sagira, Osiris strictly instructed you to stay out of the Infinite Forest. So long as you thrive, his actions here in the Forest are-" the three Warlocks tensed as a deep golden visage appeared in front of them, floating either from his own power or otherwise.

    Designed from head to toe in ornate robes, it was the Ra themed headdress with feathers that stood out the most to Chelsea and the others. The male Warlock's visage was transparent, informing the three of them immediately that this was a scout of some sort.

    "For as intelligent as Osiris believes himself to be, he seems to forget that even if I persist, I can't revive him if I can't find him." Sagira shook her form with a sigh. ""Not to mention that brief encounter in the Vault of Glass we had actually almost had me killed. These three lovely Warlocks offered to escort me to him."

    The visage grunted unamusedly, crossing his arms as he glanced at the three Warlocks. His eyes stopped at Alex, and his arms unfurled, his fists clenching. "You, if you're here, no. You weren't supposed to be here."

    Flustered, the visage split into half, with each half splitting once more, until at least a couple of hundred of them floated above them. The very first one turned to them all. "Find Osiris! Tell him that it is potential future number one-fifteen-sixty-beta."

    "What?" Alex began to ask, but before the word left her mouth, the three Visage's shot off faster than their eyes could follow, into each of the three floating towers in the distance. "What did he say?"

    "That is a future we were hoping wouldn't happen. No matter how many different times we simulated it, it always ended in tragedy."

    "What happens?" Chelsea asked, stepping forward.

    "It involves the one they call the Sentinel." a male's voice echoed from behind them. The Warlock whose likeness the visage had taken the appearance of stood behind them, as Sagira floated over towards him. "An old ally turns rogue, legends fade in a Prison, iron reduced to dust."

    "Osiris, why does it matter if she is here? This future happens regardless of her absence or not?"

    "The seeds of corruption have already been sewn." the Warlock, introduced as Osiris, grunted, arms crossed. "Regardless of her presence, this is the only potential outcome that has the potential of going in Humanity's favor. Come, I will show you."


    Dusky, purple light filtered down into the dark cell-block. Red Legion Cabal fired their weapons at the horde of chittering Hive Thrall sprinting at them with claws beared. Fallen Captains roared as their Shrapnel Launchers fired at the unsuspecting Vex Goblins, whose Slap Rifles were turned on the onyx and white forms of the Taken.

    Fire, smoke, and ash all loomed to the ceiling, the multiple sided warzone escalating further and further by the passing second. A lone Thrall, side-winded by a Cabal Legionary's thermal blade, cascaded to the floor. With a grotesque squeal, a worm no longer than a baseball bat squirmed out of the dead Thralls skull, writhing on the ground. Just as the worm motioned to squirm towards the Cabal Legionary that killed it's host, a massive armored boot stomped down on it, squishing only half of it's lengthy, fat body.

    "Petra, how did it get this bad?!" a male Titan's voice echoed.

    "The Vestians on duty today haven't responded, I suspect it was an inside job!" a female's voice echoed. "Three Hunters, your fireteam member Lillian and a friend of hers, showed up here earlier with some rookie Hunter, though I haven't heard from them either."

    "That doesn't sound good. Demeter, I need you to cut a path to C-Block. I'll punch through the potential flank in B-Block and rendezvous with you there!"


    Demeter pitched her shoulder up, the familiar disk of Void Light forming on her right arm. The Cabal Legionary directly in front of her garbled in pain the moment the disk struck it's chest, the monster fading into a wisp of Void energy. Spinning on her boots, she released the disk in a line at the trio of Fallen Dregs that had intended to assault the Legionary from behind.

    Bouncing between them, the Sentinel shield reduced them to the same wisps of energy, before droning off in a random direction. A second shield appeared on her arm as she continued her dash. Pitching her shoulder again, she rammed through a door, transferring into a room filled with Vex and Hive enemies.

    Before her shield could be thrown, however, a flaming lamp struck the floor just in front of the warring factions. With a burst of tremendous flames, a massive Fallen Baron snickered in it's native tongue. As the shield homed in on it's position, the Baron swatted it aside with his lamp.

    "Behind you!" a female's voice echoed from behind the Baron.

    Demeter turned on her boot and brought the shield up instinctively. A green, spike like projectile was absorbed by the Void Light, although the shield itself began to flicker.

    "W-what are you doing?!" Demeter growled at the figure, his strange blackened hand-cannon subsiding from a bright, eerie green discharge. "Wait, th-that's a Weapon of Sorrow. What did you DO?!"

    "Heh, heheh." the cloaked figure stifled an insane laugh. "It's not what I did, it's what I'm about to do, but first, a show for you both."

    Heavy breathing echoed in the dark room, Demeter glancing past her void shield at the lone Hunter on his knees. Orange light gently ebbed out of his mouth area, as a hooded figure held up a black and white handcannon.

    Demeter's eyes narrowed as she could barely make out a detail on the weapon. Fiery orange eyes stared the Hunter down, the barrel of the cannon placed to the battered Hunter's forehead. Her heart raced in her chest, as the weapon discharged, and the Hunter's corpse splayed out on the ground, a few feet from where he had once been shot. A dead Ghost at his side was more than sign enough that the Guardian would not be resurrected.

    The air around them became thick and charged with energy, crackles of Arc energy trailing between Demeter's arms and legs. It wasn't until the cloaked figure just in front of her decided to raise his own Handcannon, firing to his right.

    The Void shield on her arm shattered as the raw energy of the Arc Light erupted around her, covering her from head to toe. The ground beneath the group of them quaked immensely, chunks of the flooring and other debris raising into the air from the immense power being unleashed. Demeter's blood curdling scream filled the C-block, even gathering the attention of the fiery eyed individual that had murdered the Hunter.

    Another Fallen Baron, using what appeared to be Hive magic, teleported beside the fiery lamped Baron and the cloaked figure with the Weapon of Sorrow. In a flash, they disappeared, only for the teleporting Baron to return and evacuate the red eyed individual. Demeter's roar of pain echoed throughout the C-Block, as even Lillian herself, an ally, found herself frightened by the sight.

    The raw energy around her statically charged the debris, Demeter's legs tensed up as she burst forward like a rocket. Slamming down just shy of the fallen Hunter's location, the moment her fist made contact with the floor, the raw energy in the room swelled and contracted at the point of impact. A shockwave of Arc energy erupted outwards, clearing any enemy units that dared to stray into the room.

    Lillian groaned in pain as she slowly stood. Her attention was drawn towards the shadowy area of the room, where the individual had fired his cursed weapon. However, fear caused a shiver down her spine as she glanced at Demeter, who slowly stood from her position, Arc energy sparking here and there on her arms.

    "We're going to make them suffer. Both of them." Demeter growled darkly.

    "I dunno what just happened in here, but it seemed to quell the prison riot." Petra huffed and puffed as she entered the room. "I've never seen Cabal run with figurative tails tucked, so- Oh my Queen. What's happened in here?"

    "It was Prince Uldren and the Barons." Lillian replied, limping over towards her. "My friend and I were betrayed by the Hunter we brought, he was the one that freed Uldren."

    "By the Queen, her brother's gone rogue?!" Petra snarled. "I never liked that slimy fucker anyways. So he's got the Baron's working for him, that's going to make things difficult. I knew Variks was a fool to permit the inmates to possess their weapons."

    "The Hunter that had the Weapon of Sorrow." Demeter turned slowly to face Lillian. "Who was it?"

    "You're not going to like what I have to say." Lillian shook her head. "I'll tell you who it is, but they've both just killed someone dear to me. We're both going to exact justice for this."


    "That's terrible!" Alex shook her head as they left the simulated Future. "Isn't there some way we could prevent this from happening?!"

    "Use of this knowledge to prevent the outcome will only fuel it's arrival pre-maturely. It could have unforeseen consequences." Osiris shook his head. "Of course, should you decide to defy me, YOU will die in that Prison as well."

    "I can't just stand idly by as my friend has to endure that!" Alex clenched her fist, as he gingerly placed a hand on her shoulder.

    "I understand your pain. When I discovered my friend Saint-14 would come into the Infinite Forest to search for me, I knew his fate was sealed. The Vex despised his abundant Light, and were it not for the Vex Mind they constructed strictly to sap his Light, he may have survived long enough to locate me." Osiris sighed.

    "Regardless of how many times I sent him warning, he would arrive, no matter what. It is the same for your Titaness friend. She will only be drawn into battle by your warnings. It is a Titan's nature to never back down. If you value your own life, as well as hers, you will allow this eventuality to occur. It is a Curse of this Infinite Forest. To know so much about what has been, what is, and what will be, but not be able to use it."

    "Why didn't you show us more?" Chelsea asked. "My friends are also involved."

    "You three are not yet ready to fully witness as much of the simulant future as I am. If we were to continue, your brains would surely melt beyond repair." Osiris shook his head, before turning to Chelsea. "You are the descendant of my mentor, Jeremy Cloud. I knew you would come, and so I have an offer to teach you some of the forbidden techniques that he had once taught me, techniques that many Warlocks are not permitted to wield strictly because of how volatile they are."

    "You want to teach us new techniques, while we know our friends are going to walk willingly into fatal danger?" Chelsea asked with a scoff.

    "If you go without the knowledge I will impart on the three of you, you will all surely die and only make matters for the Sentinel worse. However, should you accept my teachings, you will possess enough power to be of significant use to them in their quest for vengeance. It will take much time, but fret not, in this place time is everything and nothing."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on June 30th 2018, 4:40 pm

    "No! WRONG!" Caldwell barked, striking his fist harshly into Lance's back. "Reach your hand into the metaphorical Forge and produce the Warhammer of our family's crest!"

    Lance grit his teeth as the strong fist rippled down his upper spine and down his back. He felt his shoulder crack, and the ribs just underneath it shifting uncomfortably.

    "The Stratus family is one of nobility. We ARE the first Titans the Traveler chose. Harnessing and mastering all three Titan disciplines is expectedof all of us. These were the teachings Drake Stratus spoke of in the Titan Codex."

    "I find that really hard to believe." Lance spoke through clenched teeth, struggling to find the strength to stand, his inner Light nearly drained. "Grandpa never flaunted his family name."

    "That is because the Traveler did not recognize him as a true Titan. He preferred to mull his time about in that Hangar. Never once did he ever hold a weapon in his hand against our enemies." Caldwell sneered. "Do. it. again."


    "Oh my god, son. What's happened to you?" Nathan asked as he rushed over to Lance, battered and bruised from head to toe. "Was it Caldwell again?"

    "No, just- a rough day of training." Lance brushed his grandfather's concerns off, nursing his broken left arm as he attempted to head for his room.

    "I may never have met my father-" Nathan said, causing Lance to pause. "Drake Stratus was never a show-off. His actions were for the good of all, this much I know for certain."

    "-why were you never chosen to serve the Light?" Lance turned, as his grandfather produced a warm smile.

    "I refused it." Nathan said, ushering his grandson to sit on the couch in front of him. "Too much responsibility for a simple ship-wright. Besides, the battle claimed both of my parents. I had an orphanage to care for, a son to take care of, and a City's worth of ships to repair and tweak."

    Reaching into his vest, Nathan produced a handkerchief, dipped it in a glass of his ice water, and began dabbing the wounds on Lance's forehead. "However, my refusal to serve the Light should not dishearten you in doing your part for this City."

    "I was never meant to be a Guardian, but you? You will carry the legacy of our family name. How our name is spoken of in the City is entirely up to you." Caldwell paused as Lance winced from a particularly sore wound. "Will you be the benevolent leader as Drake and his ancestors were? Or will you allow yourself to be consumed by the notoriety and be as your father is? That is up to you, and you alone."

    Lance's eyes scanned the coffee table in front of him, as his grandfather continued to nurse his wounds. His inner Light began healing his broken arm from the inside, although it was very slow considering he had tapped most of the reserves. His ancestor's were always a conflicting story for him, was Drake a benevolent leader, or was he a power hungry lunatic seeking fame?

    "I can see the doubt in your face." Caldwell smiled warmly. "Your father had the same doubts when I would tell him stories of your great grandfather. My caretaker, who you could consider a great, great grandpa, told me everything he knew about Drake. and I like to think he was a very good judge of character."

    "Whether you want to believe it or not, you are who you choose to be. Lance Stratus is neither Drake or Caldwell Stratus. One thing I remember then Vanguard Saint-14 telling my boy Caldwell, is that being a Titan means to be an unbreakable wall of strength, resolve, and wit."

    "If you ever find yourself in doubt," Caldwell held a stern finger upwards. "Puff your chest out, and declare to yourself that you will not take a step backwards. When it is your turn to retaliate, strike with everything you have, do not permit the enemy a second attack."

    "Now, let me get you some tea."

    Lance sighed as he leaned up against the broken down wall of the Orphanage his father had painstakingly built from the ground up. All of those lost, helpless children, ripped from their home of relative safety. How many of them were still out in the wilds? He shook his head, as he struck a fist against the wall.

    "I almost lost it all. What kind of name is Lance Stratus, when I couldn't protect this City when it needed me most."

    "In your defense, the City did kind of throw you a shit hand." Demeter spoke up, causing Lance to turn to face her. "Where are the others in your fireteam?"

    "Chelsea and Tina are with your friend Alex on Mercury doing some favor for Ikora. As for Lillian, she's catching up with Cayde." Lance nodded, his head, glancing up the damaged building. "Amethyst said you were a volunteer at this place?"

    "No, it was my home for most of my life." Demeter frowned. "She just didn't want you feeling bad for me."

    "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't-" Lance shook his head. "Then I guess you knew my grandpa?"

    "Yes. Mr. Stratus was very pleasant to know. He taught me a good deal about piloting and mechanics, because he thought that, if I wasn't ever chosen to serve the Light, I could follow in his footsteps and be a Ship-wright and assist Amanda Holliday." Demeter bowed her head. "There was one time, shortly after your fireteam killed that Hive God, Croter or whatever his name was, that we both watched your celebratory parade."

    "-and now look at us." Lance frowned. "Standing on the rubble of the very streets those parades used to be held. I can only guess he'd be severely disappointed with me."

    "I wouldn't be so sure." Demeter shrugged. "He worried for your safety something fierce. Even with your Ghost to resurrect you, I would see him pace the length of his apartment hoping to see your ship return. I think he would be happier that you are alive, and proud of the good you can still good."

    "Yeah. Thank you, I think I needed to hear that." Lance nodded. "I forgot to mention when I saw you earlier, you've come a long way since you were that frail, yet brave, orphan fighting beside us during the siege of the City."

    "Thank you, sir." Demeter rubbed the back of her head nervously. "I figured if I was going to die that night, I wanted to die fighting the enemy back."

    "Heh." Lance chuckled as he leaned against the wall again. "Sounds like a lesson my grandfather told me about my ancestor Drake. That a Titan should never take a step back, and when it came to retaliate, make sure they couldn't strike again."

    "I know he's not your favorite, but during one of Mr. Stratus and I's trips to the Hangar, we'd occasionally meet up with Commander Zavala. He would tell me specifically what being a Titan was, words straight from his friend Saint-14's mouth, and from his mentor, your great grandfather."

    "When you're throwing a punch-" Demeter started, as Lance's eyes lit up, and he smiled widely.

    "PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT, AND SCREAM SO LOUD THE SHOCKWAVE RATTLES THEIR BONES!" the two rose their voices, followed by a chain of laughter.

    "I never expected you to be so relaxed." Demeter said, as her laughter began to ebb away. "No offense, but the few times I had seen you in the Tower, I was always intimidated."

    "Well, I had a lot of things on my mind. Things that were resolved when I finally got to meet Drake, and understand what kind of a person he was." Lance nodded.

    "As embarrassing as it is to admit, though, both you and Drake were my heroes. Even the stories I had heard about your two's adventures from Mr. Stratus shortly before he... y'know. It always filled me with such hope."

    "Then I suppose we did our job right." Lance smiled, as he placed a hand on her shoulder. "Look at you now. You have a name for yourself as well. You're among the many Titans of Legend. The name Demeter, Sentinel of the City, will echo on people's mouths for many, many years to come."

    Before she could reply, however, Lance's Ghost appeared just before them, rotating it's angular gray shell around it's inner core hurriedly. "Urgent transmission. From... Hellas Basin? That's a Clovis Bray facility, right? It's coming in on the Vanguard Channel, but Zavala isn't around to answer it."

    "Well." Lance shrugged. "Chelsea, Tina, and your friend Alex are having an adventure. You won't be too star struck to go on one more adventure with me, will you?"

    "Don't go too far with that, I told you that in confidence that-"

    "I kid, Sentinel." Lance snickered. "I know Amethyst trained you to be disciplined, but you can relax a bit around me, I'm not as formal as you might think."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 4th 2018, 1:15 am

    "That doesn't look entirely natural." Lance grunted over the mic.

    Demeter, though she had only just become a Guardian, couldn't help but agree with the sentiment. She had overheard Guardians in the streets of the Last City complaining about falling spheres of metal and tech come cascading from the atmosphere, and then defending the so called 'WARSAT's from curious Fallen or Hive combatants. Now, just outside of Mars' atmosphere, she could see hundreds of them. It was almost like a man-made meteor shower, and were it not for the fact that hundreds, if not thousands of terrabytes of Golden Age information was being purged with each one's crashing, it'd almost be beautiful.

    "So this is where your ancestors discovered the Traveler?" Demeter shook her head in disbelief.

    She'd never been off of Earth before her inauguration into the Guardian ranks, and most assuredly she'd never been to Mars before. The place was almost divine to Humanity, and she couldn't agree any less. The Traveler, for all the good and evil it's presence had caused, was a bringer of miracles. She had heard rumors of the times before the Golden Age, and shuddered to think what would have become of Humanity had the Darkness showed up prior to their meeting with the Traveler.

    "Yes, somewhere near the Hellas Basin, to be more precise. Of course, the ice caps weren't fully formed then, it was all mountainous dunes from what I understand. Now? Almost everything is encapsulated in ice. Of course, following the Iron Lord's deaths at the hands of SIVA, the Vanguard forbid any Guardian access to the Clovis Bray facilities there." Lance replied with a sigh. "Whoever is calling for help clearly has a severe disregard for the rules. Regardless, it's our mission to assist them and get them off world. Hopefully, we can go undetected by Commander Zavala. Assuming he still has access to the facility's security systems remotely.

    Together, their ships sank down into the orange, fiery atmosphere of the red planet. Several WARSATs flanked their ships on either side, but with careful maneuvering, the pair of ships managed to evade danger altogether.

    "My Ghost is mentioning something about Red Legion survivors attempting to scavenge any and all WARSATs they encounter. With any luck, there won't be any information for them to gather. More fortunately, let's hope the satellites explode and take the turtle bastards with them." Lance stated, before an alarm blared over the comm. "Shit! The transmission! Patching it through!"

    "Mayday! Repeat, Mayday! Does anyone copy?! Damn! HEY, GET AWAY FROM MY GHOST YOU FROZEN BASTARDS!" a soft, yet fierce woman's voice echoed through the communications.

    "Whoever this caller is, this is a restricted Vanguard channel reserved solely for official Vanguard business." Demeter said. "Whoever you are, you-"

    "Cute, never expected an uptight Titan to come to my rescue."

    "Uptight?" Demeter hissed, as the woman's voice snickered away in the background.

    "Look, I'm only giving you a hard time, in light of current situations. I sincerely need your help, and I'll explain everything once you're here." the woman replied, as Demeter and Lance's ships loomed about near an icy cliff-side, their Ghosts transmatting them side by side. "One of the most powerful and dangerous weapons in the Universe is on this planet, and a certain... army wants their hands on it."

    "Say no more." Lance nodded. "Sit tight, we'll be there soon."

    Together, the pair of Titans began to carefully trudge their way down the snowy peak of the cliffside. In the distance, not too far from their position, a cave mouth bored into the side of the icy mountain seemed to great them, albeit ominously. As they approached, the duo flinched as a WARSAT crashed down on the cliff just above them, several feet up. Pieces of broken ice and powder snow began to drift down towards them harmlessly.

    Before entering the cave, however, Demeter accessed her radio. "We're about to enter a cave system, communications might get dicey, so I'd like to know what we're up against here."

    "Hive. A whole shit ton of the insect bastards. I landed on Mars some time ago for... personal reasons." the woman replied. "Shortly after that flash of Golden Light flew past the planet, WARSATs began tumbling from the atmosphere in droves. Which can mean only one thing."

    "Rasputin." Lance's gloves clenched, and without further hesitation, he marched into the cave mouth.

    "Uh, yeah actually. What stuck up his craw?"

    "Not sure. Radio silence for now, we'll make an attempt to communicate when we're clear of the enclosed spaces."

    Hurriedly, Demeter followed Lance into the cave. With no signs of slowing his pace, Lance continued his march into the deeper recesses of the cave. At one point, Lance's boot made contact with a particularly crispy piece of ice, and the ensuing crack echoed loudly throughout the cave. As soon as the noise was heard, the ice beneath them began to buckle and crack as a horde of ice covered Hive Thrall, a pair of Acolytes, and a lone Knight sprouted out of the ice beneath them.

    "They've been buried in the ice?!" Demeter shook her head in disbelief. "How long have they been here-?"

    "Not now. Shoot 'em dead." Lance spoke sternly.

    Together with her SMG and his Auto Rifle, their weapons fired in tandum. The percussion of their weapons echoing deeper and deeper into the cave. The Thrall shrieked as the bullets pierced their thin carapaces, and their husks fell to the floor, small worms sprouting out of the corpses, riggling on the ice, and then dying instantly.

    Demeter holstered her SMG in favor of her Pulse Rifle, while Lance turned his attention towards the encroaching Knight. While Demeter's well timed shots met their mark on the sniper Acolytes, his Auto Rifle peppered the chest of the monstrosity rampaging towards him. As the Knight's carcass fell to the floor, however, the ice wall directly behind it shattered.

    A massive Knight wielding not only a sword, which was par for the course for most Knights, it also held in it's hand a shield made of some combination of ice and carapace.

    "That's new, and oddly genius." Lance shrugged, pitching his shoulder into the Knight's shield, causing it to crack. "Demeter, strike now!"

    Raising her hand to the sheath on her back, Demeter relished in the new toy Shaxx had granted her the last time she had been in the City. Producing a massive broadsword, she twirled it in her hand, before going for a deft cross slash across the Knight's torso. Lance jumped back in time, turning the shield aside long enough for Demeter's new Crown Splitter to perform it's name sake and slice the Knight's helm in two, killing it instantly.

    With their way clear, the two Titans pressed on through the hole the Vanquisher Knight had so kindly made for them. Thankfully for the two of them, it wasn't a very long walk, as they found themselves sheltering their eyes long enough for their visors to polarize. The dunes of Martian sand Demeter had come to expect rose and fell for miles around them, and in the sky countless WARSATs continue to cascade. Several unique, Golden Age structures remained standing, a testament to their craftsmanship.

    In the far distance, a giant pyramid of sorts loomed eerily, as if to gaze out over the ever expansive dunes of sand. With a hearty shrug, the pair of Titans began to trek up one pathway cut into a dune, leading to the nearest structure. As they approached, however, they found themselves before what appeared to be a locked door. With a sigh and a grunt, Lance struck his fist against the once flawless metal, contact with his fist causing it to dent.

    "We're locked out of the Bray facility. Stranger, you got any access?"

    A roar echoed behind the two of the Titans, who turned in shock to face the ambushing Vanquisher Knight. The beast's sword was within arms reach of Demeter, as a solar infused round struck the monster square in the back of it's crown, killing it instantly. Behind the beast, the frail, smaller stature of a Huntress sat in what appeared to be a ventilation grate. Lifting it up, the oriental woman stepped out into the red sand. Her suit a soft white, with the accents a deep, off blue color. In her sudden movement, the cloak on her back flared up to reveal a lone wolf's head, but it didn't seem to match the Iron Lord attire Lance or Amethyst had worn.

    "I've got all the access in the world." she smiled cockily, resting a hand sassily on her hip. "I took most of them out waiting for you slow ass Titans to catch up, but I appreciate you getting here as expeditiously as you could."

    "That sigil on your back. Where'd you get that cloak?" Lance growled, raising his rifle.

    "Oh, so you know about it?" the Huntress smiled, almost proud of herself for it. Demeter was a bit sickened by the Huntress' lax attitude, but then again, she could admire the lady remaining true to herself despite the overwhelming circumstances.

    'It belongs to Ana Bray, one of the many heroes of the battle of Twilight Gap. Her Gunslinging with the Golden Gun was crucial in permitting Lord Shaxx's and my great grandfather Drake's assaults on the Fallen's defensive positions." Lance said. "Where'd you get it?"

    "I never lost it." the Huntress shook her head confused. "Wait, you know my legend.... but you never actually met me?"

    With a cute snort of laughter, the seemingly young Huntress rested both hands on her knees as she smiled warmly. "I'm Ana Bray. Sorry, proper introductions completely slipped my mind."

    "That's impossible. Drake told everyone she died." Lance shook his head.

    "He was always a big softy, strange that for someone who always had to throw shade at Hunters or Warlocks, always had their best interests at heart too." the Huntress snickered. "I wanted to disappear, so I asked him for a favor. He owed me for that prototype Sparrow he was always riding in, in return, he told everyone I died valiantly and my Ghost destroyed."

    "So... why did you want to pretend you were dead?" Demeter shook her head.

    "Vanguard policy is that Guardians aren't supposed to research their past if they got resurrected from the Golden Age, unless of course you're one of the legendary Stratus', I suppose. Y'see, some Guardians actually get rez'd with amnesia, some recover, others don't." Ana shrugged. "Zavala thought it might keep some dangerous secrets of the Golden Age getting out. Like how my family and I were the ones that designed SIVA and Rasputin-"

    "How can you say that so proudly?!" Lance roared, pointing his rifle once again at the Huntress.

    "Oh yeah, I was meaning to ask you what you had against Rasputin?" Ana asked, completely unfazed by the weapon held up to her.

    "Rasputin is the one that corrupted SIVA, turned it from a colonization system to a virus! It's what killed the old Iron Lords, it's what caused my mentor and great grandfather to die his final death!" Lance shouted, his fists clenching on the rifle, almost causing the weapon to dent.

    Demeter turned to Lance, who for the first time she had met him, was beyond angry, she could see him quivering with sadness and pure rage. Ana's eyes widened as well, as she bowed her head.

    "Oh, right. If you will forgive my nonchalant attitude, I'd like to properly explain. SIVA, as you said, was designed with colonization in mind. It's function was to replicate itself and be used as building blocks for whatever a new settlement might need. It's very possible that Rasputin's fragment on Earth-"

    "Fragment?!" Lance roared. "Drake's Vanguard, Saint-14's Vanguard, Zavala's Vanguard. They ALL tried to communicate to Rasputin, and every group of liaison's they sent were KILLED. He did you a favor, and your family's creation KILLED him!"

    "As I said, that is a fragment of Rasputin that was cut off when the Midnight Exigent protocol was initiated. Whatever it was the Vanguard was trying to communicate with was a corrupted data fragment of the larger whole. That Rasputin, is not the same as the one that resides here... well, technically speaking."

    "That doesn't help-" Lance shook his head. "All the innocent lives lost, all those people who fought to protect the innocent."

    "You said Midnight Exigent? What is that?" Demeter asked, as Ana turned to her.

    "It was the protocol the real Rasputin came up with, when he deduced that the Traveler was intending to flee from the encroaching Darkness. He lined up a shot, struck the Traveler, and kept it here. The protocol also outfitted Humanity with insanely powerful weapons to help the coming times, before he remotely shut himself down for self preservation purposes."

    "So not only did this fucking thing SHOOT OUR MOST BELOVED artifact/God. He armed us and yeet'ed the fuck out?!" Lance growled. "You're not making a solid point for yourself."

    "Look, I can't bring your friend back, okay?!" Ana said, noticeably upset now. "Drake was my friend too, and I'm just as devastated that my family's work killed him, as well as the Iron Lords. I honestly didn't know!"

    "Rasputin is in trouble, and I know you have your issues with him, but it's crucial that I get to him. He'll listen to me, and as someone that knows my Legend, you should know that I have Humanity's best interests at heart." Ana's brown eyes began to water. "Seriously, I cannot express how sorry I am. I- I wish I had known this would happen, I could have done something different with his programming, I-."

    "Don't be sorry." Lance growled, holstering his weapon. "Be better. It's the lesson he always taught me."


    After navigating their way through the Clovis Bray facility, Ana, Demeter, and Lance found themselves outside of what Ana had referred to as the possible location of Rasputin's 'Mindlab'. She had stated that the place was where Rasputin's central core called home, and that all weapon systems were remotely disrupted inside, to prevent damage to him.

    "The last damn time I saw a corridor like this," Lance's fist clenched. "Amethyst and I were running away while Drake, without his Ghost, Supernova'd and destroyed the SIVA replication chamber."

    "If Rasputin has learned to control emotions, I'm sure he would give you a heartfelt apology for his fragment's actions." Ana bowed her head.

    Approaching the door leading further in, Demeter could feel chills running up and down the length of her spine. This was the home of Rasputin, and only from the whispers of Guardians within the City had she heard of the Warmind's immense power. As the door opened, and the steam from the door's release faded, so too did her sense of wonder, as a heavily armored Titan approached them, a sour look upon his pale blue face.

    "Hello, Guardians." Commander Zavala sneered angrily.

    "Oh shiiiiit." Ana grunted, annoyed.

    "-What is it you think you two are doing?" Zavala approached Lance and Demeter accusingly. "I expected this behavior from a more roguish type like Lance, but you Sentinel? I'm frankly shocked."

    "Hi frankly shocked-" Lance waved.

    "Now isn't the time for jokes, Stratus."

    "What was it Asher called you, Baldy? 'Vuvuzuela'? Yeah, sounds about right." Lance crossed his arms, resting against the wall.

    "-are we going to ignore the fact that you broke your own rules and came here yourself?" Ana spoke up, as Zavala gave an unamused glare at Demeter, before turning to Ana herself.

    "Rasputin is dangerous, and any interactions with him are strictly Vanguard business. It's not your business, it's not the Sentinel's business, and it's certainly not Lance's business."

    "Rasputin killed Drake, of course it's my fucking business you smurf looking fuck!" Lance snapped, as Zavala tensed, fists clenching.

    "-and what a disgrace to my mentor's family name you've become you undermining, defiant, disobedient brat!"

    "ENOUGH!" Demeter roared, as Arc energy erupted from her arms in a violent wash of sparks. "Have you two seriously forgotten that you put your differences aside after Ghaul was defeated?!"

    "You're right." Zavala composed himself with a sigh. "That was unprofessional of me, and I apologize. Still, regardless of what Rasputin has done to any of you, you are not authorized to be here."

    "I have every right to be here." Ana spoke up. "Lance has a right to get closure for Drake's passing, and this gal is just curious. My name is on this facility, and I made Rasputin. If you'd just let me inside, I'd-"


    A bone chattering hiss filled the air, rattling the Guardians to their core, as the facility around them shook. Demeter and Lance managed to maintain their footing, as Ana stumbled, Zavala reaching out and grasping her before she cascaded over the edge.

    "Alright, I'll bite." Zavala sighed, turning to Lance. "Do you have any idea what the hell that was?"

    "Rasputin wasn't the only thing the Traveler's Light awakened." Lance clenched both of his fists, before turning to Demeter. "If my suspicions are correct, we're going to need Light. A lot of it. You told me you communicated with a shard of the Traveler in the EDZ. I know this will sound strange, but I need you to bring a piece of it here to Mars. My ancestor who watches the forest might not entrust me with it, but I know he will entrust you with it."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 4th 2018, 1:39 am

    "So I'm a bit confused, why exactly do I need this shard of the Traveler?" Demeter asked, as Lance made his way back into the glacial cave that they had both come through not even an hour prior.

    "Back during the Taken War, while Drake was busy fighting Oryx, the Taken King, my fire-team and I had been noticing these strange Hive artifacts littering the Dreadnaught. Every one of them we brought to our ally Eris Morn, and she deciphered that they were codices." Lance said, taking a moment to clear his surroundings before continuing. "She called them... the Book of Sorrows. Each fragment we brought her was another chapter. Fun fact, Oryx, we thought was a guy? Yeah no, 'he' was once Auryx, and 'she' was actually a brood mother. Sex change to end all sex changes."

    "That's both revolting and intriguing." Demeter gagged slightly. "So you think these 'Books of Sorrows' can explain what's happening here?"

    "Well, one brave Guardian's journey to Luna shortly after Crota established a Temple there, he managed to find a Hive record database, known as the 'World's Grave'. By cross referencing the data he found there, and the Books of Sorrows, I've come to deduce that we may, or may not be, dealing with a Hive Worm God. Xol, to be more specific."

    "Please tell me you're kidding and this is all one sick joke?" Demeter asked, as he chuckled.

    "It's never that easy when us Stratus' are around. Drake took one on, though it was Oryx's ascended form in his throne world. Still, the worm was inside Oryx, which is what I thought that huge shambling mass on Saturn's moon Titan was." Lance shook his head. "In short, the Books of Sorrows makes mention of the 'Heretical Son' and the worm God Xol being banished from Hive society. Something about the forbidden art of resurrection, or necromancy."

    "You think they might be trying to bring Oryx back?"

    "If you were outcast by your father, would you try and resurrect him after he died?" Lance asked, before immediately mentally slapping himself. "Sorry, I didn't think that one through."

    "No no, it's okay. My Dad is apparently a super asshole." Demeter said. "If Shadows of Yor means anything to you."

    Lance paused as the words struck a chord within him. A friend of his had encountered Dredgen Yor in the Crucible, stripped from the Light and murdered on public television for all of the City to see.

    "Yeah, those cultist bastards. They do well to stay out of sight, because if I found them, you'd best believe I'd turn them all to dust and take immense pleasure crushing their twisted Ghosts beneath my boot."

    Lance paused however, as he found himself staring down a giant hole leading into a room glowing a very ominous orange. Every fiber in his being urged him to retreat, but if he knew anything about important Hive, they enjoyed their glowing rooms, whether it be sickly green or bright orange. His Ghost flickered above him and nodded it's head, as his HUD displayed a newfound item being logged in his Ghost's data storage.

    "I got the Shard for you, it's only a slight chunk, but it was all I could muster before more Taken showed up."

    "Thank you. Going to go radio silent for a bit." Lance said. "If I don't respond in, say, twenty minutes, get reinforcements and converge on my last known pos."

    Before Lance jumped down, however, he instinctively accessed his Ghost's Grimoire on all sorts of different files of data it had stored. Pulling up his comparison between the Books of Sorrow and the World's Grave, the only thing that seemed to line up was the term 'Heretical Son' and 'Nokris'. He recalled footage from Drake's first encounter with Oryx, and how he had seen three statues, one depicting Crota, one of the Taken King himself, and a third one whose name was scrubbed forever from the World's Grave.

    "So, you're one of Oryx's sons." Lance snickered. "Alright Nokris. Let's dance."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 8th 2018, 8:48 pm

    Lance grunted as his feet crunched in a mixture of some unknown yellow liquid and bone matter. Standing to his full height, he found himself standing in the middle of a gargantuan cavern. To the northern wall, directly in front of his position, was what appeared to be the frame to a typical Hive Portal. The exception that distinguished this portal between the others he had encountered in his time, however, was that this Portal was easily as tall as the 'room' he found himself in.

    A group of four or so Elite Knights, frozen shards covering their carapaces, knelt around the perimeter of a Hive ritual circle. Replacing his Pulse RIfle on his back, Lance instead brought to bare his shotgun. Pumping the action to ensure one of the shells were ready to fire, Lance approached the nearest Knight, propped the barrel of his weapon to it's unmoving skull, and fired. Bits of ice and exoskeleton pinged harmlessly off of his armor, as the Knight's headless form collapsed into the circle in front of him.

    Awakened from their undetermined slumber, the remaining Knights roared as their trios of green eyes flared with fiery determination. Lance took little time dispatching the slower moving Knights, white bone colored smoke raising from the barrel of his weapon. As expected, with their ritual circle disrupted, the portal opened, and his target showed himself.

    Nokris was not hard to identify as a son of Oryx. His perpetually screaming maw was open in mock confidence. His headpiece, or exoskeleton 'crown' was elongated much like a hammer's head. Ornate, or the Hive equivalent, robes draped down the Hive monster's form, the excommunicated Hive Prince's robed form floating above the air like a Hive Witch, but much larger, and his presence of Darkness was almost staggering.

    Lance smirked to himself, he had read the Book of Sorrows from cover to cover as Eris had translated it. Nokris disowned the idea of the Sword Logic, and if the Hive's Sword Logic were true, Nokris was bound to be a cake walk in comparison to his father Oryx or brother Crota.


    "Wait." Osiris spoke, his voice echoing beyond the infinite in the space between time. Chelsea, Tina, and Alex woke from their intense meditation, as the robed Warlock stood of his own volition. "I sense the presence of another here."

    The Warlocks, all four of them, glanced around the endless white void for any sign of another. Alex, upon glancing towards her right, however, noticed Chelsea's eyes shift nervously. Rather than call her out on it, Alex remained silent, as her Ghost, on the other hand, floated over to investigate.

    The Warlocks' collective attention turned towards Ruby, as a small beam of Light scanned over Chelsea. Chelsea avoided everyone's gaze as the small dark red Ghost turned towards the group. "Chelsea's the source-."

    "Thank you, Ruby." Chelsea sighed with annoyance. 'Yes, I'm pregnant. Lance and I are expecting a child. I haven't even informed him yet."

    "That's a very dangerous prospect." Osiris shook his head. "Though I should have known, it is something that I did not foresee. Something is different about this time-line than the one I've observed. It's... unnatural. Like an outside force is tampering with the state of this universe."

    "Will that change things dramatically?" Tina asked, as the Warlock, in all of his infinitesimal wisdom, provided her with a mere shrug.

    "Well, congratulations, either way." Osiris nodded. "However, I should warn you not to inform your significant other, at least, not yet."


    "Because he's going to need a drive in the coming days. The influx of power he will receive when he hears of this news will be beyond all standards of science, and he will require every bit of it."


    Lance huffed and puffed over the decaying corpse of Nokris. As he expected, the fight hadn't truly been as difficult as Crota or Oryx had been. Whether the circumstances were that his Light had powered up exponentially since he fought either in combat, or that Nokris truly was the weaker of the family, he began to turn away.

    A sinister snicker filled the air, as the room's ambient light considerably darkened. Turning back, the green runes on Nokris' priest robes glowed in the deep darkness, as his body rose from death, to pristine condition.

    "Necromancy, huh." Lance sighed. "Omnigul tried that shit with Crota. Almost killed my gal. Come back as much as you'd like, Omnigul presented far more of a challenge than you ever will."

    Nokris' ear-splitting screech echoed across the chamber once more, as he folded his corrupted hands together, firing tiny bolts of twisted Solar energy at Lance. The Titan dove out of the way, before pitching his shoulder and ramming into Nokris' chest. Striking the monster into one of the pillars for the portal, the impact the two of them shared caused the frame of the portal to fracture and crack.

    The cavern around them trembled as a result of the impact, and the portal, once opened, forcibly closed itself. Lance sprinted up the torso of Nokris, wrapping his mighty arms around the cracked support for the destroyed portal. With all of his might, Lance roared as he broke it free, bringing the sharped pointy end down on top of Nokris, pinning the Hive Necromancer to the floor.

    Dusting himself off, Lance stared in anticipation as Nokris' body, now completely disconnected with the dark powers that granted him Necromancy powers, decomposed into dust and a singular worm, impaled by the same bone like structure. It wriggled in pain, before exploding into goo and flesh.

    Lance turned towards the ritual circle he had disrupted to summon Nokris. His Ghost appeared, and with a subtle nod, he produced the Traveler's fragment, placing it in the center of the circle. The cavern around him quaked with high intensity, as he felt a sharp jolt in his head. Unable to move under the pressure of the Deep Dark, Lance found himself at the mercy of whatever vile presence stopped his movements. Above him, the head of an impossibly long worm, though it's body moved like a serpent, began to circle the path it had dug, high above his head and around the cavern's perimeter.

    "Hmmm. There is no Light here. Just the shallow shadows of a brighter source. You, descendant of the one who dethroned the Osmium King, are alone. You will drift from your path. You will drown within the Deep."

    The Cavern around him trembled as he felt his mind bombarded by the Worm's deep, sinister voice. Rocks collapsed around him, as Xol, the Will of the Thousands, slithered off, collapsing the cavern on top of Lance.


    "Lance's signal has gone cold, something bad must've happened." Jewel spoke up, as Demeter's sprint through the icy cavern increased dramatically.

    She sprinted past the scattered remains of countless destroyed Hive combatants, as she took notice of a lone Ghost, looming aimlessly around, scanning the snow, rubble, and ice beneath it.

    "Lance! Where'd you go!" the Ghost yelled, worried.

    Demeter overheard the sound of footsteps from beyond the Ghost, and ran towards a cliff's edge. Beneath them, she could make out Lance, painfully dragging a bum leg while nursing a broken arm. His Ghost, with proper knowledge on his location, floated down and began administering Light to rapidly speed up his healing factor.

    "Glad to hear everyone's accounted for." Ana Bray's voice echoed over the communications. "Bad news is, Xol's headed straight for Rasputin's MindLab. If he destroys Rasputin, he'll destroy Humanity's best chance at preventing another Red War."

    "Count me in." Lance growled. "Demeter, whatever it is Ana needs you to do, do it. I'll head immediately to the MindLab and try to intercept him."

    "He nearly did you in as it is." Demeter shook his head. "We should call for back-up."

    "There isn't time." Lance growled. "That fucker is massive, even bigger than Oryx ever was. He'll get to Rasputin faster than anyone can get here, even with FTL travel."

    Demeter, knowing time and options were limited, nodded her head. She didn't like the idea of letting Lance handle it single handedly, but she hoped that if Ana had a plan, it would help significantly improve Lance's chances of survival.



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 10th 2018, 9:44 pm

    "Lance! Lance, can you hear me?" Chelsea's voice echoed over his communications.

    The Titan stood at the entrance to Rasputin's Mindlab. While he still had his reasons for despising the AI behind him, regardless of his intentions, he had no choice but to stand guard. Uncrossing his arms, Lance sighed, he hadn't heard from her for a few weeks, ever since they had gone to Mercury, but she had reminded him that when dealing with the Vex, time was nothing but a train of thought.

    "I hear you, and it's a relief. Is everything okay?" he asked, his eyes peering into the vast frozen plateau beneath the Mindlab, where Xol and his army of Hive had been frozen for countless generations.

    "Yes, we're still in the middle of our assignment, but we should be done relatively soon." Chelsea replied, as he could picture the genuine smile on her face.

    "I'm glad to hear it. You haven't been too overworked, right? That fledgling Warlock and Tina have been pulling their weight?"

    "I heard that, dick." Tina sneered.

    "That'd be a first." Lance snickered as he shook his head. "I'm a little preoccupied with an assignment of my own, Chels. Are you guys in need of back-up?"

    "N-No, not anything of that sort. I just wanted to check in with you." Chelsea replied, as he smiled.

    "Well I'm glad you did. I won't lie, I was starting to get really concerned." he grinned, as he felt the structure beneath him begin to quake. "Hey listen, I'll have to get back to you in just a bit. Remember Oryx? Yeah, a Hive Worm God's decided to come out of hiding, and-"

    "WHAT?!" Chelsea yelled, causing Lance to flinch. "You can't seriously be planning to take that thing on by yourself?!"

    "Not fully. I've got the Sentinel helping Ana Bray devise a weapon capable of taking down the Hive Worm God. Though I guess you could say that if it attacks pre-maturely, then yes, I'll be fighting it alone."

    "You- chzzts- be- zzzrt -areful- tssssssst-"

    "O' feeble Light, enemy mine." Xol's voice echoed throughout Lance's mind, though this time he steeled himself in anticipation for the mental onslaught. "My children swarm the belly of this rock so that we may thrive away from those that would harm us. The intentions that I, Will of the Thousands Xol, sought were for the rise of a new brood, separate from the Osmium throne. "

    "In the recent past, your lineage's fists slayed countless of my writhing, festering young. You instilled fear into those that embraced the shadows, under the surface of your planets. Your filthy Light bearers all exalted as Heralds for the falsities your Traveler promised, in return slaughtering mine own brood. What a view, your festering souls must have enjoyed atop the corpses you stacked."

    "Your young literally kill each other to tithe their higher ups. The last thing I'm taking a lesson in morality from is the Worm that likely started the whole 'Sword Logic' and 'Tithing' process." Lance grunted as he sprinted for the nearest platform, Xol still not showing himself.

    As Lance's boots made contact with the platform, however, he saw a massive tail shoot up from over the side of the platform, batting him straight into the nearest wall. Lance grit his teeth as the taste of copper filled his mouth within seconds. Breathing became difficult, and by the absurd pain in his chest, he knew his ribs were broken and likely puncturing his lung.

    "You speak with such confidence, when it wasn't even you who committed these atrocities to my broods. You remind me of the Osmium King, who killed Akka, Worm God of Secrets, for the power to summon and control the Deep Dark. You grew jealous of the ones more advanced than you, and you stole their life, stole their power, and claim it for your own." Xol's monstrous voice rumbled in his head. "The only thing that blasphemous Auryx 'took' was the life of a comrade, and used her body as a means of creating her Dreadnaught. You take the credit for your ancestors atrocities to my people, where is the one called Stratus Drake?. "

    "Wouldn't you like to know." Lance grunted, as he collapsed to the floor in front of him. Blood trickled down his forehead, out of the bottom of his nose, and from the corners of his mouth.

    "So I was right. Directly or not, you slayed your own lineage to seek their power and fame." Xol mocked. "You are no different than that hungering conqueror, Oryx."

    "Shut up." Lance growled, punching a fist into the ground, attempting shakily to stand. "According to the Book of Sorrows, your meddling in the Proto-Hive's lives are what caused them to become corrupted. Your worms are what took what could have been a noble and righteous people, and turned them to the ways of the Dark."

    "I have no sympathy for the monsters they are now, and I will gladly slay every one of their sorry husks, and crush the worms wriggling around within." Lance snarled, clutching his chest with his left arm. "The Hive you Worm Gods manipulated, by your wickedry, are the reasons for countless deaths of innocent lives! Including the life of my beloved's ancestor."

    "We didn't start this war." Lance took a step forward, as the Hive Worm God slithered up to full height around the platform he stood on, towering over him. "-but we're damn well gonna finish it."

    Xol's hideous maw opened, exposing a pustule like 'eye' that glared at him. A beam of sinister energy erupted from the Worm God's mouth, zapping over the greater length of the platform. With sufficient healing from his Ghost, Lance was able to muster a dive behind cover, plucking his Pulse Rifle from his back. Burst after burst was fired into Xol's face, and even when the bullets struck the eye, Lance saw almost no effect.


    "Alright, I have the codes." Demeter said as she sprinted through a horde of Cursed and Frozen Thrall.

    The dull explosions of the Cursed Thrall exploding behind her were immediately softened by the greater roar from outside, as the facility around her shook. Ducking around a corner, Demeter pitched her shoulder into a glass door, ramming through it. An alarm blared overhead, but given the state of the rest of the first Golden Age facility, she hoped it wouldn't prove too much of an issue.

    "You're approaching the Forge. I'll request Rasputin send you the prototype weapon. When my sister created it, she decided to name it the Valkyrie, so if you see anything referring to the Valkyrie project, go there!"

    Demeter nodded as a trio of Acolyte snipers fired on her position. Producing her Pulse Rifle off of her back, she fired a trio of bursts, one for each enemy, into their heads, killing the lesser enemies immediately. Forcing her way into what Ana had briefly referred to as a 'Server Room', Demeter found a singular node in front of her, floating of it's own volition in the center of the room.

    Approaching it, Jewel floated up without Demeter's instruction, and began scanning the system. With a silent nod, the angular pyramid shaped device glowed the same familiar orange as Rasputin's generators she had seen strewn about the facility. With one mighty flash of light and some data, a sleek looking spear appeared before Demeter.

    "The Valkyrie is a spear." Demeter smiled as she appreciated the craftsmanship of the weapon.

    "I never actually got to see it in person, but that's the weapon we'll be completing to help Lance take on Xol. Plug those codes into the nearest Terminal, then, chuck the Valkyrie into the Forge, and that should overcharge the weapon considerably." Ana replied hurriedly, before coughing gently. "Ghost, you should stand by for her resurrection."


    "No time, just do!"


    Lance grunted as once again, the mighty Redwood sized tail of the Worm God struck him into the nearest wall. He gasped for air as he felt his consciousness slipping. Collapsing to the platform, Lance's visor was heavily cracked and damaged, with a few holes within it. He thanked his lucky stars that the Traveler had terraformed Mars to permit him to breath, otherwise he would have surely been in trouble.

    Besides the stench of the giant Worm God, the fresh air did manage to help ease his delirium. Still, the edges of his vision became fuzzy and black, as he felt his consciousness continue to slip.

    "If you are ever in any doubt-." Nathan's voice echoed in the back of his mind. "Puff your chest out, and declare to yourself that you will not take a step backwards. When it is your turn to retaliate, strike with everything you have, do not permit the enemy a second attack."

    Lance felt numb from the his waist down, and no matter how much he struggled to move, he felt unable to do so.


    "Being a symbol to the City, even in the last few years of the Golden Age; it's never easy." Drake had once said, arms crossed. "Your father Caldwell read too much into the fame and notoriety that the name Stratus has on the City. Our family has done a great deal for the betterment of the people, and they in turn have done a great deal for us. Your father never could understand that."

    "So, you're not upset that Grandpa Nate didn't accept the Light and become a Guardian, like you or myself?" Lance couldn't help but ask, as Drake turned his attention to Lillian.

    "I was a miserable excuse for a father. I was never informed he existed until well after my first resurrection." Drake grunted. "Any disappointments I may have had in that were immediately voided the moment I abandoned my son recklessly during the battle of Twilight Gap. I gave up on life, because I didn't see a reason to keep fighting."

    "But if you had known he had existed?"

    "Then I would have stopped being the Vanguard Commander." Drake said, almost too quickly for Lance to comprehend. "My father, while I will always respect and admire him, never took time away from his duty to be my father. He was my mentor, nothing more. When my mother died in the Ishtar Sink on Venus, he became obsessed with the machines that dwelled there."

    "I was abandoned by my father when my mother died, and I, inexplicably, continued the cycle when Lillian died on Luna. Some day, if you are ever presented the chance to be a parent, should consider hanging up your Guardian title, and focus on keeping your family and the City safe." Drake placed a hand on his shoulder. "Family is everything, and it is what drives us Stratus Titans to be the Wall against which the Darkness breaks. Whether we're on the front line or the last line of defense."

    "You have an awesome responsibility with this name you've inherited." Drake continued. "Nathan was wise enough to remind you that the name is yours to mold. What stories do you want the City to speak of you? Nathan chose to be a proprietor for a very successful and happy Orphanage for ALL of the City's homeless youths. Your father chose to be a snob who sought power, and I, I was the man who fought Crota and lived."

    "Regardless of what you choose, nobody has a word to say about what you will make of yourself. Just always remember to put your family first."


    "Lance!" Chelsea's voice called out, snapping Lance from his hallucinations, as Xol's body coiled up on itself, his steely muscles tightening, ready to pounce on Lance's position and finish him off. "If you die and leave me to tend to this child alone I will NEVER forgive you!"

    Lance's eyes snapped open as the words rattled about in his head for a moment. Xol's body lurched forward, collapsing any source of cover in front of Lance, and quickly consuming Lance's position. A plume of dust billowed into the sky, as Xol withdrew with an alien snicker. As the dust parted, however, Lance stood with a purple disk in his hand, a sphere of Void Light wrapping around his front from the Sentinel shield in his hand.

    "That Light, that terrible, yet succulent morsel. You thought it would hurt me?! That was feeble, incredibly weak for one whose brood was considered one of the most powerful!

    Lance snickered to himself as the shield cracked and disappeared, his lack of knowledge in the technique limiting the amount of time he could utilize it. Xol's mouth opened as the energy beam began to charge within it's maw. A flash of orange data streams appeared just before Lance, on a singular Rasputin node just in front of him. The sleek, overcharged form of a Spear appeared in front of him. Hefting the weapon in his unbroken left arm, Lance spun on his boots and tossed it with all of his might.

    The Spear arched through the air, piercing the pustule like eye of the Hive Worm God. A shrill shriek filled the air as the monster's form bucked, writhing in pain. With the beast distracted, Lance pulled all of his reserve Light into his right arm. Arc energy, infused with both Solar and Void Light, a technique he had once seen Drake perform, surged throughout his arm.

    "That's because, I didn't put my back into it!" Lance roared, charging at Xol.

    The Worm God, blinded as a result of the Valkyrie destroying it's only eye, resorted to it's other unholy senses to locate the Guardian. The charge Xol had already maintained continued to swell in size and intensity, as Lance drew ever closer.

    Lance's Light on his arm flared as he thought about his great ancestor Sol, Kabr, Drake, Nathan, Caldwell, and even Amethyst, passing their Light down generation after generation. Each one with the hope that their Light, would be the Light to liberate the City of the Darkness. As each of the Stratus family members passed on their Lights, the power in his arm swelled to great intensity.

    The overwhelming power he exerted caused miniature shockwaves to ebb off of his person, rings of dust scurrying away beneath his feet. Solar flares erupted from the temples of his helmet, as Arc bolts raced between his appendages, and Void tendrils wrapped themselves around his legs. Lightning crackled in the sky above them, as storm clouds began to form, the distant booms of thunder rattling the sky.

    "You bring great pride to me Lance." Drake smiled, placing a hand on his shoulder. "You were my means of making amends to my son Nathan, and now, it's your turn to lead this family."

    Lance saw Drake hold out an orb of Golden Light before him, as Lance's Light infused hand reached out and grasped it. Rain began to downpour on their position with the intensity of a monsoon, while thunder claps drowned out the screams of Xol and the crackling of the energy beam he was stock-piling. A single bolt of lightning crashed down on Xol's head, causing the Worm to lurch upwards. His beam fired, zooming past Lance and causing a crater within the Hellas Basin behind Rasputin's Mindlab.

    The explosion of sinister energy rippled behind Lance, creating a silhouette of his front as he roared, the sound alerting Xol to his location. As before, Xol's body coiled in on itself, and pounced at a speed almost too fast for a normal human to follow. A Guardian, however, had no issue keeping up with him. Planting his feet firmly, Lance twisted his torso, swinging his fist upwards, while using his enhanced thrusters to gain momentum and height.

    "HRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRNGGGGGG!" Lance roared as his fist made contact with the significantly larger Worm God's hide.

    Golden Light crackled and swelled over Lance's fist as he heard the sickening crack of cartilage within the Worm break with relative ease.

    "FIST OF-" Lance's voice boomed and echoed throughout the open plateau, as the storm above them swelled even further.

    "GAAAAAAAAAAAALESSSSSSSSSSSS!"Using his strength, as well as the Light imbued in his arm, Lance spiked Xol's head down onto what had once been a radio tower, now decrepit and sharpened by Xol's wanton destruction. The metal of the spiked tower pierced Xol's neck, as the Worm flailed. a shockwave erupted from Xol's point of impact, as anything not immediately bolted down was immediately blow away by gale force winds.

    Lightning infused with Arc Light cascaded down on Xol's form, as a tornado erupted and consumed the Worm from the point of impact. Lance landed, steeling himself to combat the winds he had created, as hunks of metal and otherwise cycloned in the air above him, lacerating the Worm God.

    With one final shriek, Xol's body ceased movement of any kind, and withered away into nothingness.


    Demeter stared with widened eyes at the show of absolute power she had just witnessed. She had been thankful that she had found something to latch onto when the Tornado struck, but felt her heart palpitating in both fear and complete fangirling. Behind her, she could hear the familiar footfalls of Commander Zavala, accompanied by Ana Bray at his side.

    "I had only heard about the ultimate of Stratus Titan techniques, and in all the many lives I have lived, I have never truly bore witness to it." Zavala said, dumbstruck. "This is the power that a Traveler's chosen wields, and this is why their family will forever go down as the greatest protectors of the City."

    "What he means to say is, the Stratus' have always had unheard of power that comes with being one of the Traveler's first chosen. Every Guardian is essential to the defense of the City, but they are the ones that will always shine the brightest." Ana smiled. "Don't be discouraged, Zavala caught me up to your Legend in the making. This was personal for Lance, and I think we should let him enjoy it."


    Lance and Demeter stood off to the side, along the side of Zavala, but behind Ana. The door leading into Rasputin's personal chamber unlocked, leading the four Guardians in to the vast chamber. In the very center of the chamber, a lone sphere of orange and red data swirled upon itself. Lance reserved his aggression as they approached. after all, the Valkyrie that Rasputin had offered him had been beneficial to the fight.

    A sharp mechanical noise echoed from within the chamber, as the sphere of data brightened and dimmed, as if to simulate a 'voice'. Much like how Cayde or other Exo's mouths glowed to symbolize they were talking. In Russian words that Demeter couldn't understand, Rasputin spoke. Almost instantaneously, however, Ana translated.

    "The Bray family shaped me into an all seeing savior, while your Vanguard-" Ana glared at Zavala and Lance respectively "-attempted to use me as a primitive weapon."

    "After what he did to the Iron Lords, he's god damn lucky my Vanguard ancestors didn't scrap him." Lance scoffed, as Demeter nudged him on the shoulder with a quick shake of her head as in to say 'I'd rather not piss it off.'

    Rasputin's core continued to speak the foreign, dead language, as Ana began to pace, continuing to translate it word for word. "That cycle ends today. I, Rasputin, define the reality of my existence."

    "My sights have stretched to the end of this star system and perhaps beyond. Never again shall Humanity have threats unseen. From this day forward, I am Rasputin. I am the Guardian of Humanity, who shall defend his charge by my own terms. I have no equal."

    "Do I hear 'egotistical' much?" Lance sighed with a shrug. "I was told of Golden Age movies that mentioned self aware machines claiming themselves to be god-like. It's what many people back then expected to be the cause of the Collapse."

    "Shhh." Ana hissed, turning back towards the core, as Zavala stepped forward.

    "He's right. What have we done? We've permitted this... monster to become self aware. We're all in-"

    Ana held up a hand to the console on the walkway before her. With a simple scan of her hand, a picture of her face, albeit with longer hair and glasses, flashed on the screen. "We've got this. After all; I'm the Voice of Rasputin."



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    Sentinel; Good, Bad, and Ugly. - Page 2 Empty Re: Sentinel; Good, Bad, and Ugly.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 2nd 2018, 11:38 am

    Upon returning to the Last City, namely the Bazaar where the Guardians currently held a base of operations, Demeter held back as Zavala marched his way back towards his usual location overlooking the City as a whole. Lance watched the Awoken Titan walk to his position with an audible sigh, before turning to her.

    "Well, that was a rather large adventure." Lance rubbed the back of his head, glancing only at the lone statue in the middle of the Bazaar. "Huh, I believe that's a fitting memorial to the Red War's conclusion."

    Demeter turned her attention to the newly erected statue of three Guardians, one from each discipline. Representing the Hunters was Cayde-6, no doubt from his usage of the teleporter that brought Lance and Demeter to Ghaul's location. Representing the Warlocks, however, was Chelsea Cloud. Though it didn't surprise Demeter, considering Chelsea and the rest of Fireteam Stratus had acted as the first wave of offense during the retaking the City.

    Her heart skipped a beat, however, as she focused on the female Titan depicted in the statue, the iconic Sentinel shield forever emboldened on her right arm. She felt an overwhelming sense of pride, and a bit of sadness, as she smiled. She had indeed come a long way from the woman she once was, now she was a wielder of the Light, and her actions were in fact immortalized within the City forever.

    "Why aren't you on there?" Demeter turned to face him, as he shrugged. "You've done far more than I have-"

    "My face may not be on that Statue, but that Statue isn't just about you, or Chelsea, or Cayde. It's about what you three stand for. It's for all of the Guardians of Humanity. You proudly represented the Titan order with your valor and refusal to back down. Cayde showed the Hunters that even the most individual of folks can come together in times of great need, and Chelsea proves that Warlocks are more than just intellectuals."

    "I'm glad you picked up on my symbolism, Lord Stratus." Ikora Rey smiled as she approached them. "The City has come together in this Solstice of Heroes, not to only celebrate the annual Battle of Six Fronts memorial, but now to celebrate our liberation from Ghaul, and all of the dangers that this Solar System has thrown our way."

    "What about the Cabal Emperor? He's destroying Nessus." Demeter asked, as Ikora nodded sagely.

    "We have sent an envoy to speak with him." Ikora replied. "He, however, said that they were not worthy of meeting him. That it was reserved solely for the ones who took out Ghaul. Apparently Ghaul made a very powerful enemy, which means we have the chance of potentially making a very powerful ally."

    "There's no way I'm going there alone."

    "We would never ask you to do that." Ikora smiled. "Our envoy informed the Emperor that you would be available soon, but I actually had a request to ask of the two of you. We've received a distress signal from the Reef, namely, Lillian."


    [Several Hours Prior]

    "This is just like old times!" Cayde snickered as Lillian and another Hunter transmatted beside him. "Hunting the scum of the Universe and lockin' them in cages."

    "You've definitely learned a considerable amount since I once was the Vanguard, Cayde." Lillian smiled. "Hermes, thank you for coming with us as well."

    The third Hunter nodded silently as they walked through the Tangled Shore, leading to the entrance to the Prison of Elders.

    "You won't hear me admit my faults often, but I did happen to learn from the best. Can't believe how much of a rookie I used to be."

    "I mean, you're still fairly aloof, maybe a bit too relaxed." Lillian shrugged, as she approached the Vestian Paladin holding guard at the front entrance.

    The Awoken soldier snapped to attention as they approached, offering them a crisp salute. "Hunters, Paladin Petra Venj is waiting for you just inside."

    "Where's Variks? I thought he was the Warden?" Lillian asked, as the Paladin shook her head.

    "He's on to more important things right now, but I'm sure you'll see him around."

    "I don't like the sound of this." Cayde said, as they stepped inside.

    An Awoken woman with magenta hair tied neatly up in a bun turned to face them. The magenta of her armor shined brightly in the well lit lobby of the Prison. She smiled at the sight of Lillian, approaching.

    "Lillian Stratus, it's been a while since you and your fireteam helped us track down and incarcerate the traitorous House of Wolves." Petra said. "Cayde."

    "Nice to see you too, big and blue."

    "The other Vestian Paladins and I have been trying to keep the Reef in check ever since the Queen and her brother's disappearance during the Taken War."

    "I remember seeing what remained of the Awoken Fleet when I was on the Dreadnaught. I'm so sorry, Petra."

    "Those women risked their lives for you to defeat Oryx, and they got the satisfaction of being successful in their sacrifice."


    "That was on C-Block!" Petra barked. "PRISON BREAK!"

    "I'll call for some assis- GAAAAAAAAAH!" Lillian screamed as a burning pain erupted from her side.

    Glancing down at her hip, a green noxious spike of some sort embedded itself in her flesh. As her Ghost moved to heal her, however, a tendril of darkness lashed out from the spike and destroyed the Ghost. The poisonous nature of the spike caused her to feel faint, as she collapsed to her knees. Petra and Cayde turned to face Hermes, who smiled beneath his hood as the smoke from his Weapon of Sorrow billowed from the barrel.

    Once again the building rattled as Cayde held his Ace of Spades to bear. Hermes dodged to the left, disappearing from sight with the use of his Shadestep. Cayde grunted as he tore the spike from Lillian's hip, her residual inner Light allowing her to heal. Hoisting her over his shoulder, he vaulted over what appeared to be a desk of some sort, as Petra turned to face him with a nod.

    "I knew that bastard was a scum-bag, hold on Mentor. I'll get us some assistance."



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    Sentinel; Good, Bad, and Ugly. - Page 2 Empty Re: Sentinel; Good, Bad, and Ugly.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 6th 2018, 5:26 pm

    "Osiris, I have to leave." Alex shook her head. "Demeter's in trouble, I-"

    "No." Osiris shook his head, his meditation unmoved. "You must stay here and finish your training. Chelsea and her associate both understand what's at stake if you interfere."

    "Guardians aren't meant to stand by idly and wait for the next attack. Save that for the Titans that devote themselves to the Last City." Alex clenched her fist as she stood. "If I can locate Samuel, him and I could help her, and maybe we could-"

    "I saidno." Osiris growled, raising his voice. "You cannot stop what is coming, you will only endanger yourself and your Hunter companion. I have seen the time-lines where you interfered, and you both, always, die your final deaths, and the Sentinel is stripped from her Light trying to save you."

    "What am I supposed to do, leave my friend to be Forsaken?" Alex huffed, beginning to march away.

    As she walked, however, shimmering Visages of Osiris began to encircle her. At least a hundred of them looped around her, holding a hand out. A mysterious force locked her body in place, as if the simulation was capable of stopping her entirely.

    "You would be wise to listen." Osiris said. "If you go, there is *zero* chance that you three will survive. I understand your frustration, I watched as Saint-14 entered the Infinite Forest, despite my warnings. I have watched him die across countless timelines. This- is not your fight."

    Alex turned back to face the other two Warlocks, Tina and Chelsea, in their own meditation. As her eyes moved away from them towards Osiris, however, she noticed the faintest shimmer of golden light behind Chelsea and Tina. Osiris noticed this as well, as the orb of Light swelled and contracted, firing a concentrated beam at Alex. She felt as her internal stores of Light began to overflow wildly, and both of her fists clenched.

    "If you spent your time focusing on the present, instead of constantly focusing on the future, Osiris, perhaps my friend and successor Saint would still be here." a angered voice echoed over the abyss. "She is one of the Traveler's chosen. Ghaul tried to cage them, and look how that turned out."

    Alex's eyes snapped open as visions of a dark nothing glanced past her eyes. She had stared into the Void once, it was how she learned her Voidwalker abilities, however, she had never stared this deeply. The feeling of resolute emptiness began to engulf her, as she felt fit to explode with raw power.

    Thrusting both of her arms outwards, as she had seen Demeter and many other Titans of the Void discipline perform with their Ward of Dawn, instead of a protective shield, a dome of pure chaotic energy erupted from Alex. The Visages of Osiris, all of them, fizzled into the endless abyss of the Void. Alex floated on her own power, her arms trembling with the raw Void energy coursing through them. Osiris, and the newly awakened Tina and Chelsea stared in awe.

    "You've done it." Osiris said. "I expected it to take you much longer to learn the Abyssal Burst technique. I- I had not expected this outcome, Visages! Seek any new branching time-lines."

    "Alex, Osiris is correct that you must wait. However, take this time to gather Samuel, and arm yourselves. You may not be able to prevent the events that will transpire in the Prison, but you can at least be there when Demeter returns to assist her."

    Chelsea and Tina began to stand, as the golden orb of Light manifested into the shape of Drake Stratus. Placing a hand on both of their shoulders, Chelsea's heart sank as he glanced at her. "You are in no condition to go into this fight. Remain here, study with Osiris. So that you will develop the skills to properly protect yourself and the child. Tina, I expect you to keep an eye on her.


    "Oh thank the Traveler you two showed up." an Awoken woman approached Demeter and Lance.

    "Petra, it's been a while. We received a distress-"

    "Yes, Cayde-6 is already inside with Lillian Evergreen." Petra replied. "One of the Hunters they brought with them, I believe Lillian referred to him as Hermes, killed Lillian's Ghost."

    "No." Lance said, clenching his fist. "Is she safe?"

    "I have several Corsairs and Paladins watching over her. The Prison is experiencing blackouts all over, and that Hermes character is likely the cause. I fear this will escalate if we don't do something."

    "Demeter, can I ask you to locate Lillian and escort her safely to her ship?"

    "Right." Demeter nodded, as she followed Petra and Lance inside at a hurried pace.

    "Cayde has gone further inside the facility to clear any wannabee escapees, I need to focus on returning power to the facility." Petra said. "I need you to help quell the riots and potentially locate that Hermes character."

    Lance nodded sternly, producing his shotgun from his back. "Sentinel, keep my relative safe. Come find me when you're done. I could always use a trusted eye on my back."

    Following Petra to the next hallway, Demeter raised her SMG against a trio of Fallen Vandals that were actively trying to rip open a door to what she could only assume was another cage. Opening fire, she made quick work of them, before moving swiftly through the narrow hall. Demeter ducked under a lance of Arc energy, swiveling on her boot, before grabbing the staff of the Wretch's polearm. Yanking it towards her and ramming her head into the Wretch's, denting it's skull and killing it instantly.

    "If the Fallen have gotten this far, than I fear our allies are in more danger than I had feared."

    As the door opened, however, Demeter couldn't help but smirk as Lillian's iconic hand cannon flared up, finishing off the last Wretch in the room. She looked severely injured, but still holding strong considering she was disconnected from the Light.

    "It'll take much more than my Light being stripped from me to be killed by a damn Wretch." she coughed. "Definitely starting to feel the pain though, so if you don't mind, I'd like to leave now."

    "Understandable." Demeter replied, offering Lillian a shoulder. "Lance and I will handle things."

    "Lance is here?!" Lillian's eyes widened. "No no no! You need to contact him, Hermes... he has a Weapon of Sorrow."

    "What?!" Demeter gasped. "So that means you-"

    "Are permanently cut off from the Light, yes." Lillian grunted. "If it's alright with you Petra, I'll have the Corsairs escort me out. Demeter, you *need* to find Lance and help him out."


    Lance grunted as the room he was in shook, followed by the familiar form of Cayde-6 being launched through a wall, sprawled out on the floor some distance in front of him. Lance stood in the shadows, every urge in his body to go help the Hunter Vanguard running at full power, but he denied himself. Drake had taught him to check a situation before running headlong into it.

    Especially if the Hunter Vanguard was put on his knees.

    A multitude of eight or so Archon sized Fallen, each with their own unique design and personality, marched out of the hole Cayde had come from. However, neither of them paid the Exo any mind, and instead made their way to an opened door just to Lance's left. To Lance's right, a hooded figure holding Cayde's iconic weapon, the Ace of Spades, loomed over the battered Hunter.

    "Augh, well, this- this is awkward, I- H-Hey, you got a gun I could borrow?"

    "No," the hooded Awoken snickered. "-but I do have a bullet with your name on it."

    Lance's fists clenched as he waited for his opportunity to move. Cayde rolled on the floor, writhing in excruciating pain, though Lance saw no Ghost to speak of.

    "Any second now, my partner Lillian's gonna roll in here, and she's gonna kill every. last. one of you." Cayde pointed towards the figure. "and you, my man."

    Cayde found himself in a deep coughing fit, as another hooded figure walked through the hole Cayde had come through. The first with Cayde's Ace of Spades hand cannon shh'd the suffering Exo, while the other began pacing around them.

    "You mean the Hunter Vanguard who dared Andal Brask? The one who lived in the shadow of that deceitful Drake Stratus?" Hermes snickered, revealing his face from beneath the hood. "Don't make me laugh. I dispatched her with a single bullet. No-one's coming for you."

    "RAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!" Lance roared as he pitched his shoulder, sprinting out of the shadows and striking the Hunter in the midsection with his kneecap.

    Hermes soared back through the hole, as Lance span on his boots, holding a Sentinel Shield up over himself to deflect the Awoken's stolen gun.

    "Be right back Cayde, I've got a neck to twist. It'll be cake."

    Lance took a wild swing at the Awoken gunman, who deftly dodged backwards, giving Cayde a few moments. Even with the Fallen monsters behind him, they did not move, though he did hear the ever present sound of a Fallen Linear Fusion rifle whirring up. Spinning on his boots, Lance held the shield out in front of him, deflecting the shot.

    Turning back again, he swung at the gunman, who attempted to take a shot into his exposed back. Once more the round was deflected, as Lance swooped forward to bash the gunman with the shield.

    "N-No, w-wait! He-Hermes has-"

    Lance roared as the Sentinel shield on his right arm shifted to his left, and a Hammer of Sol formed in his right hand. A mixture of void and solar tendrils raced up and down the length of him, as he threw hammers at the Fallen, and swung wildly at the agile Awoken. Suddenly, his brilliant Light echoed and dimmed.

    The piercing, fiery sensation of poison in his blood system began to seep in, and he found himself falling to his knees. Glancing down, a dark green projectile was lodged firmly in his kidney. He could taste nothing but copper in his mouth, and when his Ghost attempted to heal the wound, a tendril of Darkness lashed out and consumed his Ghost.

    "A Stratus. I should feel honored if I didn't absolutely despise everything about you and your power hungry family." Hermes snickered, clutching his chest. "I think that's the first time I've ever let a Titan shoulder charge me, so I suppose I could, albeit hesitantly, congratulate you on being the first and only."

    "Hermes Constable." Lance grunted. "Drake told me about you, how Lillian had too much trust in you. How could you betray your family?"

    "Easily. They were fools to believe in the Traveler, and look at how dependent you've become. Once you've lost it, you've fallen to your knees in front of me."

    "It will please me immensely to watch the last flames of your weak, pathetic family get snuffed out." Hermes said, holding his Thorn up to Lance's temple. "No. I want you to suffer."

    Searing pain entered Lance's chest as another poisoned round pierced his armor and into his chest. He writhed on the floor as the poison rushed to every corner of his body. He felt his connection to the mortal coil begin to slip, and his vision began to blur.

    "With the Stratus family gone, you're city is hopeless. I cannot wait to see it truly toppled, and the Traveler destroyed for the atrocities it has committed on our people." Hermes smiled. "You may be dead, but take pride in knowing that a new Age will begin, and Humanity will be forever better."

    "My family aren't the sole protectors of the City. Where we fall, others will take up arms to aid the innocent lives that YOU would wantonly risk with this- cough - foolish idealism."

    "Yes yes yes, this banter is very fascinating, but I've got a prison break to complete." the Awoken sneered, pointing his gun at Cayde. "Any last words?"

    "Yeah." Cayde chuckled as he glanced at Lance, the two Guardians sharing a mutual nod. "How's your sister?"

    Lance smirked to himself as the Awoken, who he immediately recognized as Uldren Sov, Prince of the Awoken, closed his eyes. Hermes readied his Thorn at Lance's head, while Uldren pointed at Cayde's chest.



    Demeter's heart sank as she turned the corner, hearing the sound of two bodies collapsing to the floor. Two hooded figures approached a group of rather large Fallen creatures, as both of them turned to face her.

    "Oh don't worry." the Awoken with slate gray skin and red eyes smirked in her direction. "They didn't feel a thing."

    Demeter raised her Pulse Rifle at the ready, but one of the Fallen slammed a button, and the opened door separating them sealed shut before she could take the shot. She sprinted over, sliding on her knees as she found herself by Cayde's side.

    "How's my hair?" Cayde asked with a sore chuckle, coughing sporadically as he did so, his voice modulator malfunctioning.

    "Jewel." Demeter said, summoning her Ghost.

    The Ghost floated over Cayde, scanning his body all over, as she shook her form. Demeter's heart sank as Jewel floated over to Lance's unmoving corpse.

    "T-they both were stripped of the Light. I-I can't do anything to help them."

    "Listen, Dem. This? This isn't on you." Cayde put a hand gingerly on her shoulder. "This.. is what I got for playing nice."

    Demeter's eyes flooded with tears as her helmet was transmatted off by Jewel. Cayde's hand gently ran under her eye and rubbed some tears off.

    "If it comforts you, he- he died trying to save me. Like the heroes he hails from." Cayde's breathing suddenly stuttered and became laborious. "Tell Zavala, Lillian, and Ikora. The Vanguard... it was the- the best bet... I ever... lost.

    Last edited by Shad0wChas3r on September 16th 2018, 9:40 pm; edited 1 time in total



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 6th 2018, 6:03 pm

    "He had the worst jokes." Ikora frowned, shaking her head in disbelief. "Even worse timing. I wanted to laugh, I really, really did."

    The memories of that fateful interaction in the Prison of Elders caused Demeter's fists to clench, as she stared at the pair of bodies on the gurneys. A pair of Vanguard ceremonial blankets covering their forms. Ikora stood over them, running her hand along the one that belonged to Cayde. Her usual self important nature was now a long time thing of the past, instead replaced by the very same look of sorrow she had given Demeter on Io after what seemed like a lifetime ago.

    "We should have been there." Ikora shook her head, turning to Demeter, whose silence cut the tension like a knife. "It isn't your fault."

    Angered eyes pierced the shadow of the morgue they stood in, as Demeter's chest rose and fell heavily, each breath in stinging her with the smell of death, and ever exhale a small ember from the internal fire within. Zavala's eyes peered sorrowfully at the two of them, with his attention focused more on Lance's covered body. He shook his head solemnly, his glowing blue eyes occasionally peering over at Demeter.

    "With Lillian now cut off from the Light, and these two forever lost, the time for us to retaliate, is now." Ikora said. "For our Fireteams. For them. This is on the heads of Uldren Sov and Hermes Constable, Demeter's estranged father. If they think what they've done marks the end, they are wrong. This is just the beginning."

    "We are going to find them. Every last Titan, every Warlock, every Hunter. We will hunt them down and lay waste to everyone that stands with them. The Reef will know the fury of Guardians scorned."

    "-and when we do, and we find them? We will mount those fuckers heads on that son of a bitch's precious Throne."

    Demeter's breathing intensified as she, for the first time in her short interactions with Ikora, began to feel some kind of kinship and understanding. Ikora put into words exactly what she was thinking, and no amount of argument could deny Demeter's rage.

    "-No." Zavala said softly, as Demeter's glaring eyes turned towards the Titan Vanguard.

    "What did you just say?" Ikora glared as she turned on her boots, the tension in the air thick enough to stifle Demeter's ability to breath.

    "We are not an army." Zavala's soft spoken words cut Demeter to the bone. She began to understand why Lance had little respect for the so called Vanguard Commander. "We are not conquerors. We are Guardians, we have a duty to protect our home. Our people."

    While Demeter understood the value of keeping the City safe, especially after the events of the Red War, there was no way in hell she was going to let those responsible for this atrocity get away with it.

    "The Reef was lost the moment they lost their Queen. If another Sov want's that lifeless stretch of rocks.. let him have it." Zavala gently walked over to the gurneys, running his hand along Lance's corpse. Demeter felt her fists clench, as Ikora held up a hand and walked over towards Zavala.

    "This is Cayde and Lance we're talking about. Both were closely related to us, to the Vanguard, to the City." Ikora spoke somberly, but sharp. "To do nothing now would be an act of-"

    "Say it." Zavala hissed.

    "Cowardice" Ikora replied with venom.

    The two remaining Vanguard stared each other down for a time, before Zavala yielded, walking over and running a hand along Lance's covered chest once more. "I was supposed to be his mentor. While Drake may have taken that responsibility off my shoulders, I cannot think what could have happened if he had only just listened to me."

    "We'd have a sniveling little bitch that is incapable of coping with the wild frontier that's constantly knocking on our doorstep." Lillian growled as she limped into the room. "You're so fucking concerned with the state of this City that you refuse to do anything to help Humanity expand outwards and reclaim OUR solar system."

    "Demeter may be one of the most recent Titans to be introduced to our cause, but she's already proven time and time again what a TRUE Titan should represent. Our Walls have crumbled, those we swore to protect have been slain, and time and time again, YOU have denied us the right to avenge them." Lillian pointed her crutch as an accusatory finger towards him. "Lance was right about you. You are a disgrace to the Vanguard."

    "Cayde didn't limit himself to the City because he knew we needed to broaden our horizons. Drake and his father never feared to leave the Tower and put their lives on the line, because they knew they could do the most for the City if they were outside of it's walls."

    "I refuse to bury any more friends." Zavala shook his head, as Demeter stepped out of the shadows.

    "Then you won't have to." Demeter growled. "Uldren Sov, and that son of a bitch that sired me? They're mine."

    Without another word issued, Demeter turned on her boots and walked out of the room. Zavala, Lillian, and Ikora, who had not expected such a wild outburst, stood dumbstruck as the Titaness marched out of the room.



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 9th 2019, 2:23 pm

    "I understand you're angry and frustrated, but was it really a good idea to stand up to Zavala like that?" Jewel asked, floating above Demeter's shoulder. "He wasn't afraid to exile Lance and Drake when they showed signs of going rogue."

    "When I was permitted to be on the roof of the Orphanage. I'd always find myself staring up at the Tower." Demeter mused to herself, standing in the main atrium of the Bazaar, her attention turning to the long since cold carcass of the Tower. "I used to use Nathan's telescope, and I'd have a great view of the hall of the Vanguard. I always enjoyed watching Guardians new and old report in, and have the greatest admiration for the Vanguard. They did their duties with responsibility and grace."

    Her fists clenched, the leather of the gauntlets grinding against the plasteel plating. Tears trailed down her cheeks before splashing onto the concrete beneath her. "I used to admire Zavala, because I always believed from the stories Nathan told me, that the Titan Vanguard was always supposed to represent what the Titan Order stood for."

    "He didn't stop Ghaul, but I know based off of the Legends that Drake, and even Lance, could have easily prevented the attack. Even if they hadn't, I know they would have focused on actually fighting back, unlike Zavala who scurried away like a damn coward." Demeter began to shake, as the rage welling up inside her began to flare. "Cayde and Lance, his friend and his student. He loses both and decides that NOW he wants to focus on the Traveler and doing his part to protect the people."

    "He's no inspiration to me, he's a reminder of what I must never allow myself to be." Demeter shook her head, wiping the dew from her eyes. "Contact Alex and Samuel. I need to see where Uldren Sov and my- Lance's killer, have gone to."

    "I may have an idea, if you have a moment?" Lillian winced as she clambered up the stairs.

    "How long have you been here?" Demeter said as she helped Lillian clear the stairs, and provided her with a crate to sit on.

    "Somewhere around 'Nathan's telescope'." Lillian smiled, almost immediately scowling while nursing her wound. "Gah, no wonder those things are called Weapons of Sorrow. Light aside, they hurt like hell."

    "You seem at peace with the fact you don't have the Light anymore." Demeter sighed as she sat on the box next to her.

    "Well, dear." Lillian placed a hand on Demeter's lap. "I lost my Light once, when Crota killed me. Only reason I was allowed to come back is because of the Traveler's last hoorah, and even then, I was pretty much an entirely new person."

    "Then I was Taken by Oryx. Not to mention Ghaul's whole thing." Lillian shook her head. "The Light is a blessing, and all good things must end. My time has come several times, and every time I've fought it, the people around me have gotten hurt or died."

    "Besides, I'm not likely to be long for this world either. Weapons of Sorrow wounds don't heal. They poison the individual until they die. It's a slow and painful death, but even without the Light, there is still so much more I can do, even if I am suffering." Lillian retracted her hand, as Demeter's gaze moved to the festering wound.

    "My passing will signify the dying of the original Vanguard and our traditions, Zavala and Ikora representing the current Vanguard tradition. I won't sugar coat it for you, Dem." Lillian sighed. "With what Ikora and Zavala were shouting about after your outburst, I honestly do not see the Vanguard remaining any longer. If they can't find unity without a Hunter Vanguard, they won't last long enough to replace Cayde, not that anyone ever could."

    "You will not have their support, but I know that your friends will help you, and I will do everything I can to assist you. Which reminds me, I never told Drake about this because I always figured he'd throw a fit." Lillian winced as she reached into a knapsack hanging off of her vest armor.

    She procured a small card with a strange insignia on it, the symbol itself appearing Fallen in nature. Demeter respectfully took the card and mulled it over, confused by exactly what she was looking at.

    "You're going to be looking for an informant. I've dealt with him many times since I resurrected for the first time. You can find him at the Tangled Shore, a string of asteroids chained together in the Reef. If anyone knows anything about the Baron's, Constable, and Uldren's movements in the area, it'll be him."

    "How will I know what to look for?"

    "Oh, you'll know. That symbol is his calling card, and you'll know you've got the right guy." Lillian pat her on the shoulder. "I'm going to get a bowl of ramen, in Cayde's honor. Come and join me before you head off, you'll need to eat and regain your strength before you go hunting all those monsters down."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 9th 2019, 3:42 pm

    "So, my Vanguard leader was killed here huh? Not entirely sure if it's the fact that everything is some fucking shade of purple, or the looming weight of Cayde's death, but this place gives me the creeps." Samuel scoffed, scouting the area with his sniper rifle. "Maybe it's the fact that there's no sign of life anywhere. You sure Lillian's informant is here Dem?"

    "She said he was a nomad of sorts, even reluctantly. If the Fallen are pushing in on his territory, chances are he's moved shop." Demeter stared into the 'sky' above them, as Samuel had stated, was a dull violet in coloration, but her attention was more focused on the Prison of Elders.

    Her attention turned to the sprawling plateaus in front of them. Small gusts of wind picked up the sand and gravel and tossed it around. There was little noise beyond the wind rushing past their helmets. The Guardians summoned their Sparrows, and rode as far across the plateau as they could, avoiding any potential holes in the asteroid they were clearly on.

    As with most places the Traveler had once visited, the Tangled Shore, even if it was a cobbled stretch of tethered asteroids, still have breathable, livable atmosphere, which permitted at least some inclement weather. Unlike other planets she had been to that the Traveler had touched, however, Demeter found no wonder here. Only anger and redemption.

    They coasted on the edge of their current asteroid, gazing down at the endless abyss beneath them. Following it along to the next tethered asteroid, they managed to locate what was effectively a cave system. Disembarking from their Sparrows, the three Guardians stepped inside, only for the subtle clicking of a sidearm to echo from Demeter's left.

    "You have some nerve coming- oh, it's you." Petra Venj, the Awoken Paladin Demeter had seen Lance address, sighed in relief as she holstered her sidearm. "You're Demeter, right?"

    "Yes, and you were Petra?"

    "Correct. Sorry about that. Ever since Cayde and Lance, well, you were there- I've been highly on edge. I've been looking for someone who would be integral in my search for the Barons."

    "That's why we're here." Demeter gestured to Samuel and Alex. "The gentleman is Samuel, and she's Alex. This is my fireteam. We're here to kill the Barons, avenge Cayde, and bring my- that bastard Constable to justice."

    "How do you know about the Spider?" Petra asked.

    "Spider? Is that what the informant is called?" Demeter asked, as Petra smirked to herself, resting a hand on her hip.

    "Lillian. She sent you to the Spider and didn't even inform you of his name. I might know of another location where he's at, and I know a quick route, but, there will be some guards there. Do not shoot the guards."

    "That's pretty standard when you go to an informant.... not that I would know." Samuel coughed, tugging at the hood of his cloak.


    The Guardians stood on edge as they were lead through a narrow cave system that reeked of damp cold earth and rock. While normally a pleasant smell, the littered corpses of Scorn and Fallen made the air thick of death.

    "Impressive." Samuel said. "You kill all of these guys?"

    "No. They killed each other." Petra shook her head. "Scorn aren't Fallen, at least not anymore."

    "Scorn? These pus covered mutant Fallen?" Alex asked.

    Demeter couldn't agree more with the vile description of the beasts on the floor. She had seen countless Fallen before, and while they weren't the most stunning looking creatures, the Scorn were far uglier. Their skin, devoid of life, was a pale coloration, with blue sores and boils covering various parts of their bodies.

    While the Fallen also didn't have much in the sort of fashion, they at least made sure to cover most of their bodies in anything they could scavenge, Scorn however took a more animalistic approach, relying strictly on rusted metal helmets and loin cloths with no regard for their appearance.

    "One of the Barons that escaped. He was the one that drove Variks, the Warden, to leave the Prison and effectively started the breakout. You are aware that the Fallen thrive off of a wispy substance known as Ether?" Petra asked. "This Baron, calls himself Fanatic, has Darkness infused Ether that kills Fallen on intake, but brings life to dead Fallen, and creates Scorn."

    "Ew." Alex shivered. "Zombie Fallen. I know the Light essentially makes Guardians shambling dead too, but at least we're cognitive and maintain our personalities on each resurrection. To become savage and have no regard for your own preservation, that's... horrible, even for the Fallen."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 9th 2019, 9:17 pm

    "Alright, shine your armor Guardians." Petra stopped suddenly before a metallic hallway. "If my gut feeling is correct, and it usually is, the Spider is in here. Whatever you do, do not get on his bad side. Without him, any chances we have of hunting down the Barons, Constable, and Uldren are lost."

    "Lead on." Demeter gestured, as Petra smiled.

    "I see why Lance took a shining to you." Petra nodded. "Very go-getter. Probably reminded him of a simpler time in his life."

    Without further words, Petra turned and folded the hood of her robes above her head. The three Guardians paused and glanced at each other, before following her down the winding Fallen built hallway.

    "Ah!" a deep gravely voice, echoed with some strange noise almost like chittering, echoed through the hallway, the Guardians just around the corner could only guess came from the Spider. "If it isn't Petra Venj, the worst jailer in the SOLAR SYSTEM!"

    The Guardians rounded the corner, and almost immediately tensed up as a trio of Fallen were the first creatures besides Petra to enter their vision. Two of them were dressed in strange fatigues, almost like hedgehogs with quills trailing all the way down their backs and to their feet. The third sat in a strange, hollowed out Giant Shank turret, retrofitted with all sorts of cushions.

    The room was moist and dark, but not unwelcoming. The chair upon which the portly Fallen Captain groaned as the monstrosity sitting in it shifted in his seat, using his four arms to situate himself. A confident cackle, intermingled with his tongue's notorious chittering echoed as he finally turned his attention to them.

    "What brings you to my home away from home... away from home? On the run, I presume?" the Fallen spoke in almost perfect common speak, a trait few Fallen were capable of possessing, mostly because none dared to try or lived long enough to, which already demanded respect from the Guardians.

    "Oh really?" Petra spoke slyly, dripping with venom. "Rumor is you lost the Shore."

    The fat Captain in the chair guffawed, adjusting his posture as he scoffed in disgust. He leaned forward and, with the same malice, pointed an accusatory finger at Petra. "You lost me my shore."

    "We can at least both agree that we're equally at fault here." Petra said, her glowing blue eye peering at the three Guardians behind her. "These three seek your wisdom, and while they don't know your game, I know that if they scratch your back, you're scratch theirs. Then you can call us even."

    "That's not how this- wait a minute." the Fallen growled, before taking a moment to glance at Demeter, whose helmet transmatted off of her helmet. "You're that hero of the... Great War? Ruby War?"

    "The Red War?" Demeter asked, as the Captain, pleased that his mind was jogged, relaxed back into his chair, folding his two pairs of arms across his bulbous stomach.

    "That's the one; the Sentinel." the Captain nodded his head sagely. "Take pride in the knowledge that the stories of your accomplishments are making the rounds. You're making a name for yourself, though with people around here, that might not be the best thing for you."

    The Captain took a moment to gesture in the 'webs' around it's chair, to which Demeter's heart began to sank. Countless Ghost shells, devoid entirely of life, were strewn about, like keepsakes for the creature. Had this creature killed that many Guardians.

    "I can assure you that I have never directly killed a Guardian. Never really had an intention to. Only one I ever had killed owed me something, and thought that my reach was only limited to the Shore. 'Course, he was a Dead Orbit zealot, so his intelligence wasn't ever his strong suit."

    "You could say I'm a collector of many things. I very much take pride in my collection of Ghosts. Reminds me that your folk are mortal, but also I enjoy the beauty of what the Traveler's chosen people after mine, were gifted." the Captain gaffawed, leaning forward. "You may address me as Spider, and nothing else- and, if I may be so bold. Where is your Ghost?"

    "Away from prying eyes, Spider." Demeter responded, taking a step forward, causing the two guards to tense.

    "Arrha. Be civil. I do not feel threatened at this moment. We are merely having genuine conversation, do not be so rude as to assume their intent." the Captain raised his hand. "I must apologize for my associates. They've been on edge with this rise in [intelligible] Scorn activity."

    "Never mind the damn Ghost." Petra said. "Four Guardians went to the Prison of Elders. Cayde-6, Lance Stratus, Lillian Evergreen Stratus, and this one, Demeter."

    "Four Guardians couldn't contain a prison break. Either the Light's shining awfully dim or you're all greener than a Rahknar's excrement in spring." the Captain mused to himself as Demeter clenched her fists. "Pray tell why that, besides what it's cost my Shore, why I should be so moved to clean up after four Guardian's inability to do the simplest of tasks."

    "Because one of them was wielding a Weapon of Sorrow." Demeter growled, stepping forward again. "Light or not. One bullet of that gun and the target is walking dead if it breaks skin or carapace. Uldren and his Barons, as well as their Scorned are a problem for you, but that rogue with the Weapon of Sorrow is a problem for everyone."

    "As moved as I am to hear that your friends died." the Spider leaned back, pulling a Ghost shell from one of the webs and gently rotated it in his top two hands. "I still can't help but feel like I'm the one being shorted here. Yes, I know where Uldren and his Barons scheme, but the rogue with the weapon that diminished Light? That'll cost you extra."

    "What's the cost?" Demeter asked.

    "I haven't decided." the Spider sighed, gripping the Ghost shell in his bottom hands while twiddling the fingers in his top hands. "How's this, to show good faith. You go, scratch your itch on Uldren and his cohorts. While you're gone, I'll dig something up on that rogue. Then, we can say you owe me. Do we have a deal?"

    Demeter stared with the Spider as he leaned forward, twisting the shell on it's axis in his hands. Samuel and Alex approached from behind, placing a hand on her shoulder.

    "Don't do it." Samuel shook his head. "These people never have a 'end' to their debts. You do this, and you're in the palm of his hand."

    "He's doing more for us than the Vanguard ever will." Demeter said, as Alex gripped her shoulder.

    "For all we know, he could ask you to kill someone innocent."

    "I'll stop you right there, as you're rudely talking about me like I'm not here." the Spider chittered. "I have never declared a hit on someone who did not deserve it. You will find that my associates here are paid lavishly in the Ether they crave and desire. Yes, they may be asked to spend their lives in servitude to me, but the Spider always pays his debts, and those that work for me are paid, quite handsomely."

    "You'd be wise not to cross me, Spider." Demeter said, it was an obvious bluff, but she stood with it.

    "I very much appreciate your gusto, Titan." the Spider snickered. "You'll find the Barons in my old Hideout. You can't miss it, it's just out the way you came and a short ride to the North. I left a lot of stuff in there, and when I reclaim my base, I want to be as close as possible when it happens."

    "Before you go, though. A free word of advice. I know of Cayde's days before he was Vanguard, when Andal Brask took his mantle from your friend Lillian. The things he was capable of, if these Barons could take him down easily, well, let's say that you shouldn't get too cocky."



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 9th 2019, 10:46 pm

    "Seeings how you didn't listen to me back there, I ask that you only listen now." Samuel said as they walked out of the Spider's temporary abode. "I know how willing you are to run headfirst into this. Thing is, I saw the footage from the Prison when Ikora told me about Cayde's fate."

    "One of the Barons, a sniper, shot and killed Cayde's Ghost in a single shot."

    "Why is that a concern to me?" Demeter scoffed. "Jewel is hidden in her pocket dimension."

    "Yeah, and what do you think she'll do as soon as your melon gets cracked open with a single shot?" Samuel scowled. "Fallen weaponry can't destroy Ghosts, as I was trying to say. The fact that it's rifle was strong enough to kill a Ghost tells me that it's weapon might be a Weapon of Sorrow as well. If that's the case, I want you to let me lead. I'll counter snipe where I can, but I also have a new technique I've mastered that might be able to help us."

    "Okay Samuel. I'm sorry." she shook her head. "My head's been cloudy since the Prison and- I can't explain what I'm feeling."

    "Well, you effectively lost all of your heroes in a day, that's got to be really rough." Alex said. "We're here for you, but we need you at least in the right mind so we're not just throwing our lives away too."

    The ground beneath them rumbled as they were shaken from their discussion. A monumental sized Fallen, much larger than any of them had face, transmatted into view directly in front of them. It's massive steely muscles bulged as the augmented harness on it's back flared to life.

    With a feminine cackle and roar, the Fallen dropped onto all fours, as multiple thuds erupted from the canisters on it's back. Missiles shot up into the sky with unbelievable speed. Demeter tensed as her trusty Sentinel shield appeared on her left arm. She grit her teeth as she held it above her head, ushering the other two to stand close.

    While the shield was only so large, a good portion of Void energy acted as a wall with which to extend the area of protection, even though it was limited to only three people at most. Even so, as the missiles cascaded down upon them, she struggled to maintain her composure as every impact shook her to the bone.

    "Ow, ow, ow!" Alex yelped as the explosions rippled along the shield above their head, fire flicking in and striking at her.

    "Come on shield." Demeter grit her teeth. "Come ON!"

    With a flare of Light, the shield's extended wall extended further and further. While it was much longer than before, it was still just as narrow, but at least the Guardians could spread out more. When the salvo finished detonating, Demeter growled, sprinting towards the giant female Fallen.

    Before she could swing her shield, however, the Fallen disappeared in a wisp of the same energy that had summoned it. Demeter landed on both her feet, slamming her shield onto the floor. Disengaging her shield, she stood to full height and clenched her fists.

    "Well, now they're expecting us."

    "Should we go back to the Spider, wait it out?" Alex asked, as Samuel crossed his arms.

    "Until we're dead, they'll know we're coming." Samuel shook his head. "We either go in now while we can still stop them from fortifying their position, or we don't go at all."

    "Samuel's right." Demeter said. "If we flush them out, we can at least stand a better chance of scattering them."


    "This is... eerie." Alex shivered. "We're neck deep in this hell-hole of a base and nothing to be seen. Not even any 'Scorn'."

    "You might've forgotten you're on an open frequency. That, or you have a terrible habit of insulting someone's abode behind their back." Spider chittered over the comm. "Where are you at?"

    "It appears to be an... engine room? There are turbines everywhere, and nasty yellow caustic liquid everywhere."

    "Those [intelligible] ingrates broke my machines?! Well, did you at least notice any of my things in the past few rooms?"

    "No, they were all barren." Samuel replied. "I think they just... left."

    "They stole my treasures... Arrha, you get the boys ready to increase their patrol routes. I want my antique paintings collection retrieved before I start skinning every Eliksni on this damnable Shore. As for you Guardians, you'd best be mindful of any traps, the Trickster will have likely left you some kind of parting gift."

    With the lines closed, the trio of Guardians rounded the corner and into the atrium. For the first time in the entire stronghold, the three finally managed to locate some form of life. Given the blue pustules on their bodies, however, it was not hard to determine they were Scorn. One of them wore a strange helmet that covered most of his face, as well as a staff with a strange blue crystal on the end.

    The other, significantly smaller than it's leader, was surrounded by an arcane circle exuding Dark energy. With the several dead Fallen bodies around, Demeter wondered if this underling was just freshly resurrected and converted into Scorn.

    "Oooooh." the bigger creature turned to them, speaking in a raspy, drone like voice. "Hellooooo deaaaad thiiiiiiingssss. Yooooou thiiiiink yoooou caaaan deeeefeaaat myyyy faaaatheeer AAAAND my Baaaarons, wheeeereee Caaaaydeee Siiix faaiiileed?!"

    "I think three of us have better odds than one, especially given you and your underling is all that's here. Though given your speech I imagine intelligence isn't your strong suit." Samuel scoffed, crossing his arms.

    "Whoooo saaaaiiiid aaaanythiiiing aaabooout meeee beeiiing aaaaloooneee? Deaaath iiiis yoooouur shiiieeld... AAAAND myyyy swooooord!"

    With the butt of his pike staff, the blue crystal flared with energy, as dark infused Ether seeped out of the tip and began to absorb into the dead Fallen. Their bodies convulsed as the dregs were sickeningly twisted and morphed. Their arms swiveled around, as they walked on all fours with their spine down, belly up, but their heads were turned around to face them. Giant blue welts and pustules formed along their bodies, and in a way it almost reminded Demeter of Cursed Thrall.

    The Vandals and Captains convulsed, yes, but their worst bit were the blue boils that appeared in random spots on their bodies. They tore off their combat harnesses, and grabbed whatever they could from the surrounding area as weapons. The Guardians tried not to permit this, but the Baron with the Staff produced a shield to protect his new allies.

    "Yoooou aaaareee noooot woooorthyyy oooof myyy tiiime." the Baron hissed. "Faaaaatheeeer aaaawaaaiiits meee."

    In a flash of the same dark ether, the Baron with a staff, completely different than the one they encountered out front, disappeared from sight. Samuel stepped forward, as Arc electricity erupted from him, forming a staff between his hands. The Scorn that managed to pick up a firearm fired without hesitation, as Samuel stood his ground, swiveling the staff in front of him.

    The bullets were either deflected, or, if he was deft enough, returned to their senders. Bounding forward with his enhanced speed, he butterfly and kick flipped over any melee weapon toting Scorn. Jumping off of the back of a Scorn Vandal, which Demeter opted to call a Ravager. Samuel flipped the staff in the air above him, swirling it above his head, before striking it down on the one bigger Scorn that had originally accompanied the Baron. With a sickening crunch, the beast fizzled into a spray of Arc sparks.

    The twisted Scorn Dregs, which Demeter decided to call Screebs, hurriedly crawled towards the Hunter while his back was turned. Demeter and Alex didn't offer them the chance, as one bullet was enough to cause the first in the line to explode violently, causing a chain between them.

    A Scorn Captain, which Demeter opted to declare as a Chieftain, snarled as it stomped over towards Samuel. He smirked as he span the bo-staff in his hands, the rounds of his other assailant ricocheting off of his staff and striking the Chieftain in the neck. While the Chieftain bled out, Samuel struck his pole into the ground, vaulting over the remaining Scorn's head. Upon landing, he planted one end of the pole under the Scorn's legs, and, when it noticed the pole between it's legs, Samuel brought it up.

    The inhuman screeches of the monster filled the atrium for only a moment, before the other end of the bo-staff came from over head and cracked it's skull open. In a way, Demeter couldn't help but feel bad for the dead Fallen. To be given a false life, a twisted shell of what they once were. While she didn't respect the raiders for what they did with her people, she also couldn't blame them for wanting to survive as with any other living being.


    "Oh you really showed them, didn't you?" the Spider mocked as the three Guardians walked back into his room. "I know you're no stranger to combat, but I wanted you to learn to think like a rogue. To find a rogue, you gotta think like one. Which means when you're hunting down an enemy, it might be worth your while to know a bit about them before you get your head blown off."

    "Consider that a free gift on my behalf. I knew the Barons weren't there anymore, we saw shipments of my... possessions being escorted out of there en masse just this morning, shortly after the Prison break." Spider said. "Good and bad news. Bad news; the Barons are terrorizing every square inch of the Shore. Good news; that means they're all isolated an alone."

    "They work well as a team, but a team of liars and cheats and other social outcasts like that don't mix well for long." Spider said. "Meaning even if you dwindle their numbers, they'll rather die alone with pride than resort to askin' each other for help. That's good for you, bad for them. So, here's what you need to know."

    "Reksis Vahn; the Hangman. You can't miss this brute. He's holding a giant flail made out of one of MY incense burners. Don't ask, I get stressed more often than you would imagine. Unlike others in his crew, he's a silent sadist." Spider chittered. "He'd dock the arms of Dregs with his bare hands, and for the uninitiated, 'docking' is what the Eliksni do to Dregs who have been bad. It's the act of removing their bottom pairs of arm as punishment, usually with instruments, not brute force. He's strong, and no doubt will enjoy the pain you give him almost as much as he'll enjoy the pain he'll inflict on you."

    "Kaniks; the Mad Bomber. Not much to say about this one. [Intelligible] is about as deranged as they come. Not sure if it's from all the explosives he's procured or just proximity. Maybe he was born with it. Long and short of it? Never stay around him too long, assuming you enjoy staying in one piece. He'll likely be hiding out in some place open, look for explosive char everywhere."

    "The Trickster, formerly Araskes. A liar, schemer, and just about everything you'd expect out of an outlaw. From me to you? If she's around, don't touch anything."

    "Hiraks; the Mindbender. Dreg who got a bit too involved with Hive magic and rituals. Now? He's leading an army of Hive just south of here in the Flotsam from Saturn. Don't go into this expecting an easy fight, especially given he's got Hive at his disposal."

    "Yaviks the Rider. Legend speaks that Cayde-6 beat her in a race and beat her so bad she threw herself into jail. Then again, Cayde-6 was always a bit of an embellished story teller. She'll be near the sulpher pits way north with her gang of Pike riders. Word to the wise, she didn't get her nickname for running marathons."

    "Pyrrha, the Blind Rifleman. No joke, he was born totally blind. His weapon sight was modified to feed heat sight into his brain. He can't see you, but that doesn't mean he can't shoot you. He's the only one on the Reef that, given a proper weapon, could've taken the shot that mortalized your friend Cayde."

    "Flykris, the Machinist. Heard her screams from here when you left. So I know you're at least acquainted. She possesses a knack for technology, which she stole from ME. You'll probably find her further into the sulpher pits, but word to the wise, she's not as... out there as her companions. You'll likely be dealing with her last, if not second to last."

    "The Fanatic himself- Fikrul. He's the bastard running this merry band of mutant freaks on my doorstep. He possesses the power to take dead Eliksni and increase his numbers. Chances are, he'll be the final obstacle between you and Uldren. Has a weird obsession with the Crow Prince of the Blue skins, calls him 'Father'."

    "Uldren Sov. You haven't had experience with him, and let me tell you that it's a blessing. Brooding asshole had a knack for opening his mouth at the worst of times, and for royalty, had no class to speak of. He's a traitor to his people, according to Petra, and he's the man that, at least for Cayde, pulled the trigger." Spider snarled. "He'll be your last target until I can get you any details on this rogue you're looking for; Constable."

    "My suggestion? Divide and conquer. Isolate Uldren and he'll be at your feet begging for forgiveness. There's three of you, and at least six Barons that are ripe for the picking, with your obvious bets being the first six I mentioned. If you split up and take out at least two each, you'll be done before evening Ether. I'd highly suggest you decide among yourself who you'll be hunting, but be mindful that you'll be going alone, so pick the Barons whose skills you think you can tend to easiest."



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