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The Lost Light (a Destiny origin story)
"The Lords of the Lost Light"
Masters of one of the most ancient, and powerful manifestations in the Galaxy..."The Lost Light". The Lords of the Lost Light were both loved by denizens of the Light and feared by minions of the Darkness. These Lords wielded a power the likes of which the Eververse had never seen, they spanned the cosmos and their light touched even the darkest of places. Relative peace thrived under the Travelers light. Under the watchful eyes of these "Lords of the Lost Light" and a multitude of other Guardians, the Eververse was able to grow without fear of the Dark...until one day...when the cycle of Darkness returned, crippling the Traveler and plunging Earth's solar system into WAR. Now...the remnant members of this faction alongside Sol's remaining Guardians, battle Oryx and his Taken, in search of hope and the last piece of the puzzle..."The Lost Light"...
The Beginning of Something Big...(an exploratory concept)
"The Lords of the Lost Light" was something I came up with for a deeper, more meaningful Destiny experience for me and my friends, and now it will evolve into something more... if permitted. Like most things, this story is constantly changing, so stay tuned for new developments!
Would you like to know the story?
Would you like to see where The Lords of the Lost Light have been, and where they are going?
Chapter 1..."A Jaded Legacy"...
A lone star-ship glides silently across the black, sparkling silhouette of space. Inside the cabin of this vessel, a light. A small flicker of light. Light like the smallest shimmer of hope in a tidal wave of despair. This light, in this particular ship, is different from the lights of others. Older. Brighter, in an unnatural way.
The dimly lit, cold, cabin made for a rude awakening. He draws a long breath then breathes the air out slowly. The air is sharply cold, but sweet. At least the oxygen is still functional...and after all this time. He opens his eyes just as slowly as he let out his breath, the instruments on his heads up display all read in teal holographs, "stasis".
Still in his cockpit chair, he reaches to his left, and then his right, almost as if stretching, but grasping from the right side of his chair, a cube; or more of a polygonal, multi-functional sentient computer. He holds what he retrieves from his chair, out in front of him with his palm up. This small black cube as if on cue, begins to whir and spin, slightly levitating above his hand. In the center of this hand sized cube, beams to life a fiery red back-light that seems its own star, in the space of the inner cockpit. As if alive, the small, black cube begins to zip around the cabin in almost a humming bird-like fashion. From its single red eye, a myriad of small red lights sweep and engulf the inner cockpit. Scanning horizontally then vertically and finally both, the small black cube focuses its beams on "The Pilot". Pilot is now equally in part covered in red scanning beams, they target and prod, read and determine. Finally seeming appeased, the cube floats diligently towards the front of Pilot, who was still during the scanning sweeps.
Hovering only a foot in front of him the machine-cube begins to whir and spin, twisting its parts as if in thought. Pilot picks himself up a little, as it seems he was slouching and straightens his posture. Noticing these movements the machine stops and in a pleasing, yet robotic voice says, "My Lord, how good it is to see you are awake. It's been a long time my Lord." Pilot places a hand to his forehead in slight pain and asks, "Ghost...where am I?". The machine-cube uses its familiar red beam to communicate with the star-ship's instruments. "It seems we have drifted near a distant system Sir..." still dazed and weary from his slumber and still trying to gain his composure, Pilot asks slowly, "What...What is the name of this system Ghost." at this moment the ship's interior hums to life with a vibrant almost electrical sound. "It appears that this system is known as Sol...sir." as the pilots eyes grow accustomed to the light and the familiarity of his ship, he turns a grim face to Ghost and says, "Then I'm afraid we are already too late..."
"Ghost, where are the fragments?" Pilot asks, standing upright now and shaking the sleep off his back. "You're not going to believe this Sir..." Pilot turns to Ghost looking very concerned.. "Ghost...where are they?" whirring and spinning, as if alight with personality, as if it were thinking, Ghost replies, "There are several faint signals, the strongest of which, seems to be emanating from a planet known as Venus...but all of which are coming from THIS solar system..." Pilot, now looking shocked and a bit out of breath, sits back down in his chair, fist to chin in hard contemplative thought. "That's impossible..." he mumbles to himself, "Ghost, have you self-checked? Is there any possible way you've made an error, a mistake..." looking listlessly over at Ghost already knowing the answer, "With all due respect Sir, you know quite well I do not make mistakes, such is my superiority." "Right Ghost, okay...so you're saying the fragments are here...and you're saying HERE is Sol, right?" "That is correct Sir. Our approximate stasis has lasted for three centuries. My data seems to have been corrupted. There is a gap in memory sequence 2A-3. I cannot accurately say where we came from, nor can I determine in what manner we escaped the Blight." Ghost now glides to the front of the cockpit turning its red eye to Pilot, and hovers. "The...Blight...what happened to (inaudible)?" Ghost whirs and replies, "(inaudible)'s ship registered a warp signal, just like us and just like the others, moments into the attack. I am unsure at the present time exactly where (inaudible) and the others are." Pilot glances at Ghost's red eye then puts his attention forward towards his instruments. "If they were dead, we would have seen it already Ghost...I would have felt it." Pilot says. "That is correct, Sir." replies Ghost.
Now regaining more of his senses, he feels the dull ache of loss (or possibly doubt) slowly, and heavily creeping into his gut. He can't be certain, he won't know who survived the Blight and the King's Wrath until he finds them. His team was so weak at the moment, so battle weary. He rests his hand upon contoured controls set out in front of him, like a motorcycle handle bar that connects from the back instead of the front. Attached to his chair on either side are various keypads and nodes used for navigating and maneuvering, offensively and defensively respectively. With a few flicks of his finger, the ship begins to rumble. What was once a quiet shadow slipping through the stars was now an alert star-ship and hap-hazard crew of two. He feels the tight leathery grips on his flight controls, and squeezes them with intent. It's time to go to work.
Would you like to know what happens to our Hap-hazard crew of two?
Destiny Cinematic Trailer (English Dubbed)
Chapter 2..."A Hap-hazard Crew"...
There was a blinding flash and grey smoke, then a concussive pulse of blue air and lightning; sizzling, crackling, and terrible heat, followed by a loud BANG! The left side of Pilot's body goes numb, he can smell metal in the smoke. Chimes in Pilot's helmet begin to blare, indicating severe damage to his armor, the sound is stifled by a deafening high-pitch and his own labored breathing. Lying there, he could make out Ghost's voice, but just barely. Pilot's breathing is slow and painful, he is struggling to breathe, and realizes, he's just been hit.
"That...hurt..." Pilot tries to focus on his surroundings, his ears still ringing. He does all he can to prop himself up on his right side. Straining, he turns his head slowly to look around. "I was...I was climbing, then a great round cylinder, like a giants shield from an old medieval tale..." Pilot thought to himself. "Ghost brought us to what they call, 'Campus Nine', a compound on Venus... and then it led me into what is known as 'The Vault of Glass'. We were lost...the readings...Ghost..." his body, feeling as if it were still burning, buckles under his own weight and he collapses back onto the damp cave floor.
Pilot awoke staring up for what seemed an eternity at an unfathomable distance to the cave's ceiling. Stalactites seeping with moisture congregated in patches along the walls of the cave. The wall's crystalline structures showed a bluish hue that danced in the refraction of light from a nearby pool. Pilot thought to himself, "Now this seems like a pretty good place to die..." without possibly knowing the agonies that other Guardians have suffered before him in this very place. Interrupting Pilot's reverberating symphony of deafening pitch, light, alarm blaring and his own thoughts of mortality, beams of red began to bathe over him, as if he were wading in a pool of red neon light."Ghost..." Pilot thought in relief as he faded into unconsciousness.
Ghost's cube-like shell, now directly in front of Pilot, was suspended a foot in front of him, examining him. Sweeping over Pilot's armor with vibrant, almost fierce beams of light from it's ocular lens. "Well my Lord, it seems you have encountered what is known locally as a 'flux grenade'." Pilot's eyes shoot open as Ghost begins to dart this way and that, further examining the extent of Pilot's wounds. "There seems to be severe burns on over seventy percent of your body from the neck-down." The pain... Pilot chuckles a little then groans in hurt. "At least I still have my pretty face..." Pilot smirks. "My Lord?" Ghost responds. "Ugh, never-mind Ghost... damn, I can't move..." Pilot attempts to lift himself up again but fails. "My scanners indicate that you retain approximately 10.9 percent mobility. In your current state I cannot heal you completely, your nerves are damaged on a cellular level and I've lost contact with Icarus. We are too deep underground to achieve transmat, and I am afraid that our only option is to find our objective regardless of your current state." Pilot lets out a weak sigh, then blinks a few times and re-attempts to lift himself up on his right side.
With much struggle, Pilot manages after a few tries to finally prop himself up again. His armor felt heavier than usual, and everything hurt. From his neck-down Pilot felt as if he were on fire. He felt as if he were dipped feet first in a pool of boiling water, simmered, then thrown onto a cold chopping board ready to be sliced and made up into soup. The drops of water dripping from the interiors of the cave made a pleasant noise, "drip-drop", "drip-drop". Listening to this sound Pilot lay there half-propped, as hurt as he was he began to feel very tired, suddenly very sleepy, and his pain was beginning to dull. He lay there for a few seconds with a blank expression on his face, and began nodding off into the darkness. "My Lord, I believe you are going into shock." Ghost said, Pilot's eyes opened slightly. Ghost now spinning and whirring, as it does when it is calculating, hovers over towards Pilot's legs. It begins scanning up and down at first, then side to side in a grid-like pattern up to Pilot's waist. Ghost's beams then recede, and like a floating star-shaped Rubik Cube that can detach it's own pieces, Ghost opens it's shell up on four sides simultaneously. Pilot's eyes slowly closed again, and his breathing was becoming shallow. Suddenly, Ghost begins to draw tiny particles of red light into itself from the air. Having gathered what it needed, Ghost then shoots a single red beam out of it's ocular lens and burns a pin-sized hole through Pilot's left leg armor piece. "Aaahh!" Pilot screams in agony, and suddenly clutches his left leg with both hands in pain, and surprise.
Definitely sore and feeling the pain again, Pilot exclaims in what could be only be described as a half-laugh and a half-cry. "What the hell did you do Ghost!?" cried Pilot, obviously feeling a little better (relatively better). "I reactivated your pain synapses as your endorphin's were beginning to overpower your senses, had you have fallen asleep, my Lord, you would have expired and our mission would surely fail. You would have died, my Lord, and we are too deep underground, too far away from Icarus. There is no possible way at the present time for you to be revived..." seeming satisfied with it's explanation, Ghost now hovers over towards Pilot's shoulder and stays there.
"Ugh, did you have to make it HURT so much Ghost!?" Pilot said, shooting Ghost a mean gaze. "Yes, Sir... that was the point. I have re-calibrated some of your biological chemistry to allow you a greater range of movement than you would have been able to achieve in your former state." replied Ghost unsympathetically, spinning it's shell a bit in what could be interpreted as a robotic attempt at sarcasm. Pilot shakes his head and then, slipping his hands around his left leg onto his knee, he attempts to raise his leg into an upright position. "I still can't move my leg, but I have a little more control now..." reaching to a small ledge above the cave's floor, Pilot manages to ungraciously pull himself up with Ghost hovering not far from him. In much pain, he rests the majority of his weight on his left leg. Pilot groans, and looks around staggering a bit.
From the giant shield-like door, a large path that leads inwards, and a few feet from that, a good portion of scorched ground from where the Flux Grenade exploded. Small shivers of electricity still danced in the grenade's area of effect. Pilot noticed something small, on what seemed to be a piece of the Flux Grenade that nearly just killed him. He peered as best he could from his standing position on the small ledge, "Ghost, bring that piece of shrapnel closer to me, if you would." Ghost "looks" at Pilot then at the piece of shrapnel he indicated. Hovering over to the piece of shrapnel, Ghost encases it in a small holographic box made up of it's red beams. The box then becomes less transparent and Ghost begins to lift the piece from the ground and slowly projects it onto the small ledge next to Pilot.
Pilot shambles a bit to his right where Ghost had lain the piece of shrapnel. Picking up the piece of metal and turning it over in his hands, he smiles. On the small piece of shrapnel there was an even smaller yellow circle, and in the circle, was etched a "smiley" face. "He's here..." says Pilot, "where does he get the time to do this sh*t?" The transparency of Pilot's helmet was not dark enough to hide his wide grin. He clutches the shrapnel in hand and slowly shambles along the short ledge with Ghost in-tow, going deeper into the cave, and deeper into the unknown.
Pilot could feel the sharp edges of rock and their slippery surfaces covered with moss through his gloves. He very carefully shifts his weight to both arms while holding on to the shallow ledge that he was using for support. Pilot swings himself slightly right, trying to put his right foot down as slowly as possible. He did this for a step or two and then stopped. He had to take extreme care, from the shield-like entrance down toward the path he initially saw, there was about a five-foot drop. After the drop, Pilot noticed the path declines steeply and then another fall followed after that, "One wrong move and it's lights out." Pilot remarked. "Indeed," Ghost replied as it disappeared into a haze of mechanized light. The floor of the cave was just as slick as the walls and the rocks and ledges within it. With a dead left leg and burns on over seventy percent of his body, Pilot began to wonder if he would ever find who he was seeking, and in what condition would his friend be in when he found him, better or worse?
Lowering himself slowly down on his right leg like a flamingo, Pilot struggles to sit while holding on to his supportive ledge. He sits on his rear and lies on his right side, doing his best to crawl closer towards the edge of the drop. Pilot's left leg still immobilized, was proving to be a great casualty in the traversal of this caves terrain, dragging lifelessly behind him. He makes it to the ledge then props himself into a sitting position, manually hanging his left leg over the edge of the drop.Pilot almost loses balance while doing this but manages to stay on the edge. He immediately notices the jutting stalactite and sharp corners towards the end of the path's field of view. Pilot looks directly down and notices an ancient staircase made of Venutian stone. He decides that despite his condition, falling a few feet is the only course of action for this situation. "I'll fall, and then I'll crawl..." Pilot thought to himself, "fall and crawl."
Pilot scoots off the ledge and leans to his right; speculating that if he landed on the side of his body that took less damage from the Flux Grenade, then the armor on that side of him may still have shock absorbing value. Pilot was wrong in his speculation, falling on his right side at the top of the stone stairs, he lands like a lead brick losing his breath in the process. "Bad idea." Pilot thought to himself, doing much to regain his breath and senses. He could feel the cold moisture creeping into the crevices of his armor and he could taste his own blood. There was a strange damp smell in the air, but it was not strong enough to overpower the smell of Pilot's own burnt flesh. Nearly vomiting at the thought, Pilot strengthens his resolve and drags his nearly dead self down the ancient, ruined steps of stone. He agonized literally and physically over his next death-defying stunt, which would be the maneuver he just performed. Lying hurt and prone, Pilot places one arm in front of the next pulling himself down the rigid section of stairs to the next ledge in front of him. "I have to make it..." he thought as he crawled, determined to not fail in this endeavor.
Nearing the second ledge's drop, Pilot noticed the floor's conditions further on down his path. Pilot deduced that this ledge's drop was much shorter and should not give him as much of a hard time as the one before. Below him on either side of the smaller drop were large stone ruins rising out of the clay, looking down, Pilot also noticed that the caves floor was covered in a reddish-gray mud. Pillars made of the same stone hung ominously above him, threatening to crush him at any moment. Pilot imagined himself in the throat of a stone dragon from the fairy tales his mother once told him as a child. Severely hurt and delirious Pilot thought to himself, "Into the belly of the beast..."
Positioning himself over the smaller ledge as he did before with the larger one, Pilot begins to feel heavy again. "Was I hurt that badly?" Pilot thought. He looked down and noticed that the path on the cave's floor looked well trodden, there was movement here recently, and the tracks were human. Pilot was informed during the flight to Venus that the planet was currently uninhabited, aside from a Guardian patrol or two, Ghost had said the planet was cleared of hostile forces. Pondering the condition of this trail further, Pilot regarded that it looked as if more than a few Guardians have tread the path before him. Further in the distance he saw what seemed to him like small blinking red lights, more traps certainly. Suddenly, from his sitting position, Pilot slips! Pilot tumbles gently from the smaller ledge but is unable to stop his momentum and slips between two giant stone masses protruding from the cave's floor. As if being caught in a slimy garbage shoot; Pilot is propelled forward, feet first, and is sent quickly sliding down the path in-between the stones. Trying to brake himself, he thrusts his good heel into the ground in an attempt to slow down. In doing this, Pilot inadvertently throws himself forward and is pitched, sent rolling roughly down the slippery path. Falling, tumbling, stone after stone, his body skates and tumbles down the steep declining path, seeming to hit every rock and hard surface on the way down. Pilot felt as if he were in a centrifuge, spinning wildly out of control.
Finally coming to rest face first on a flat area of the path, Pilot feels as if he has shattered every bone in his body. Attempting to lift his palm out to summon Ghost, his hand refuses to move. Pilots hand and arm, his entire body was paralyzed. He was now very cold, and barely conscious, he tries to lift his chin up, but cannot, and an unnerving sense of helplessness befell him. "So this is how it ends," Pilot thought, "Somewhere deep underground in the Ishtar Sink, a Lord of the Lost Light falls..." now breathing shallow, Pilot makes a final effort to summon Ghost and is unsuccessful. Death was now creeping in upon him, and his vision was failing. With blood trickling from his mouth and his entire being screaming pain, he imagines he can smell a sweet smell of perfume and feels his woman's touch on his skin. Pilot, now imagining the warmth of his woman's embrace and the mercy of her kisses, closes his eyes slowly and fades into the void.
Is this the final curtain call for Pilot? Do you believe in, "A Guardian's Resurrection"?
Destiny Live Action Trailer
Chapter 3..."A Guardian's Resurrection"...
It was a sunny, tropical day in paradise. The palm trees and green grass leading to the ocean was a spectacular and nostalgic view, a sight which stirred feelings of great love and warmth within Pilot. The sun beamed high above and amidst the shading of the trees, the parched grass and glaring sand, there seemed to be a "cool-green" filter over everything. The sound of the ocean waves were rhythmic and entrancing, blending perfectly with the chorus of laughter that could be heard from three small children building sand-castles on the beach. Pilot stood on a boardwalk that led from the grass of a field to the beach ahead of him. At his side, he sees the shapely figure of the woman he loves standing next to him, smiling. Pilot could feel his Love's hand squeeze his own as they walked towards the ocean where their children were at play, feeling the warm boardwalk beneath their feet. Walking down towards their children the couple paused for a moment, and kissed. Pilot tasted the sweet lips of his Love and pulled her close at the waist, drawing her into him with a passionate and playful touch as he wrapped his arms around her.
The couple unlocked their lips and looked each-other deep in the eyes, being comforted and loved in each-other's embraces they continued walking down the boardwalk path towards their children on the beach. As they got near their children the couple made themselves cozy on a beach-towel they had laid out neatly on the sand. The children laughed and yelled as they threw sand at each-other, and alternated between the land and sea respectively, running and tripping into the water. Pilot felt all of this surreal and blissful. The couple lay there on their sides next to each-other, in one hand Pilot held the hand of his Love, and with the other hand he gently stroked the caramel-colored skin of her arm. He looked her over with great satisfaction, and then to their children at-play, sighing deeply and thinking to himself, "It must've been something amazing, something truly wonderful I've done, to deserve something as fine as this..." Pilot kissed his Love's lips once more, but deeply, as if it were the last kiss he would ever give her. "What was that for?" his Love giggled as she playfully smiled at him. "Because..." Pilot sighs, "...because you're mine." Pilot smiles at his Love once more drinking in her curves as if they were the very water that kept him alive.
Suddenly, the piercing scream of their daughter scares Pilot and his Love and their heads shoot in the direction of their children. In a flurry of play with her twin brothers, one of them had decided to destroy the immaculate sand-castle that the three of them had been building cooperatively. Now their daughter, shouting at her twin brothers in protest, stomped angrily towards Pilot and his Love, expecting swift punishment and severe retribution to be doled out to her brothers by their parents. The twin boys only four years of age, laughed and giddily trampled the castle that they and their sister had just previously built. Pilot and his Love smiled and laughed at the entire debacle, once again pulling each-other close and reveling in the others company. The air was salty and moist, and the heat was only just bearable, but the ocean was calm and Pilot was with people he truly loved, he felt as if he could die at this moment, and be happy forever-after. "Promise me..." Pilot looks at his Love with a serious expression, "...promise me that you will ALWAYS be mine." his Love gently puts her hand to his face and replies, "Always my love, yours and yours alone..." Pilot smiles from ear to ear and plants a small kiss on his Love's forehead. She smiles back at him with such a glow, that he is nearly overwhelmed with joy. "You have to go now." Pilot's woman looks at him with a slightly sad expression on her face. "I don't understand..." Pilot said looking at his woman's sad but beautiful eyes. Suddenly feeling a great deal of sadness and confusion himself, Pilot sits up on the beach-towel turning to his Love for an explanation. "I love you, so much, but you have to go now..." his Love says as a single tear rolls down her cheek, the sun glistening off her tear making it appear like a single diamond tumbling slowly and gently down her face."My love I don't..." but before Pilot could finish his sentence his entire world spun around him literally as if he were in a kaleidoscope.
Pilot was suddenly reeling in pain again and the once bright sunny day reverted to a damp darkness. The only sound he could hear was a quiet, dull "thump", it was cold, and pitch-black. Pilot reaches out to his Love but discovers that he cannot move, and she is no longer there. Was it a dream? He winces in pain and a dull heat now permeated through his armor. Reality was slowly ripping at him like the points of a-thousand edges. "My Love...the kids...they..." another sharp and crippling pain surges through Pilot's body, causing it to tremble violently. This pain was not unlike the pain he felt before. Pilot distinctly notices that this pain was much like the pain he felt when the Flux Grenade exploded. Waves of electricity pulse through him and he feels his teeth tighten and grind. The dull "thump" Pilot heard before now resounded a little louder and a little stronger, "thump-thump". Another jolt of pain reverberated through his body, causing shivers now to run the length of Pilot. The sound was now strong in Pilot's head and it had a rhythm, "thump-thump", "thump-thump", "thump-thump". It was the sound of his own heartbeat!
Pilot gasped as he drew in a long, labored breath of air, the recent events flooding back to him in a mirage of thoughts and images. He struggles to open his eyes but succeeds. Hovering over him, with it's black, star-shaped cube twisting, and turning, was his Ghost. With its read eye gleaming and scanning, Ghost swept over Pilot with beams of light and concentrating it's beams on certain points of his body, aiming, then shocking him with spouts of blue electricity. At the points at which Ghost had shocked him, Pilot felt a great deal of pain, but a strange energy at the same time. What ever Ghost was doing to him hurt like hell, but what ever Ghost was doing to him was also allowing Pilot to once again slowly regain control of his facilities.
"You took quite a fall my Lord, that of several hundred feet approximately." Ghost said as it diligently went about it's work. "You should at least be able to observe your surroundings now my Lord." Ghost said blinking it's red eye and hovering over to one side of Pilot. Pilot moved his head slightly to the left, and sees that he is still in the underground cave. The familiar blue glow of the stalactites and crystals, and also the lush green moss seeping through the rocks that reflected them reminded him of how beautiful and deadly a place like this was. Pilot accounted to his left a small entrance, with the same Venutian stone path he encountered earlier except that this one was smaller and seemed to be in good order. He was in some sort of room or passage within the cave itself, Pilot noticed faint orange lights that provided illumination but could not locate their sources. As he rolls his head over he realizes that he is on his back and looking up at a shallow ceiling. The ceiling of this room was much more shallow than that of the inner cave which he had previously trekked. Pilot's body was slightly warmer now, but he is still unable to move the majority of his body. Trying to regroup himself, he runs through the current circumstances in his head. "I am...hurt. Immobilized...I don't know what this room is, or where I am within the Vault of Glass." He continues to stare up at the shallow, what looks like dust-covered ceiling. "I was hit...then I slipped and fell...now I am here with Ghost..."
Pilot then comes to a startling realization. Turning his head slowly to the right the light dims and Pilot realizes he is not in a room, but in an alcove. He also realizes that he is laying on his back, and Ghost could not have possibly moved him this deep underground...so he and Ghost were not alone. The wind whipped slightly through as Pilot notices this and turns his head further. There, resting lazily against a parapet of stone, crouched a shadowy hooded figure cloaked in black.
The hooded stranger looked over at Pilot for a moment, picking up rocks and tossing them about like it was playing a slow motion game of jacks. The stranger gave off a faint electric neon glow from it's visor and right shoulder, Pilot could make out the hooded stranger's silhouette, it was clearly a male. The stranger's armor was shaded in a deep black and silver. On the left shoulder of this cloaked stranger there appeared to be the skull of some small, ferocious, spiny beast and leading down his left arm and gauntlet, was the spine of this beast. The hooded stranger's boots were covered in the reddish dirt that covered most of Venus.
There was a slight air of bravado about the hooded figure as he approached Pilot, his black cloak swaying back and forth. The stranger approached, then stopped to look back at the chasm he was just crouching over, then approached again. Pilot felt a strange calm, but at the same time he was slightly wary of this stranger. This stranger was obviously a Guardian, but there was something very different about this stranger, something that caused Pilot great alarm, something...ancient, and something familiar.
Pilot, still being unable to move or speak, is once again approached, but this time in a nonchalant fashion, the stranger kicking small rocks as he passed them. As the stranger walked towards him, Pilot noticed a large metallic object in the stranger's right hand. In the palm of this unknown Guardian's hand, was a silver hand-cannon.
Pilot could almost see the the figure's youth-like arrogance through his helmet visor, though the neon green lights of the figure's armor blurred his face. "There are things you should do, and things you shouldn't do." the figure said in a male's static voice. "Not checking for traps in a strange place is something you SHOULDN'T DO..." Gesturing to Pilot with his weapon, then over to the openings at either side of the alcove. "You can see that I went a-lot of trouble not to be found." The figure stopped a few feet away from Pilot, pivoting on his right leg, he raised his hand-cannon and pointed it at Pilot, who flinched at the sight of the stranger's weapon. "Atheon is destroyed, and all the other Guardians here are dead, besides me... and you of-course..." The stranger now turns his body to face Pilot, as he aims at him with one eye closed and the other down his gun-sight, "So that makes you either my rescue party..." The stranger thumbs back the hammer on his silver hand-cannon and now aims directly at Pilot's head, "...or...dead."
Pilot, staring down the barrel of the hooded figures gun and lying incapacitated on his back, contemplates doom or the future. With every ounce of remaining energy Pilot plots his next move. The stranger is only a few feet away, if he can manage to get him on the ground somehow, Pilot may be able to get the stranger's cannon away from him. "Tsk tsk tsk." the hooded stranger clicks his tongue and waves his hand-cannon from side to side. "See, the thing about the Flux Grenade is, it can really hurt. Enough to kill a Guardian? Absolutely. Enough to kill YOU? Apparently that's another story."
Ghost hovers silently at Pilot's side, twisting and turning it's star-shaped, Rubik cube of a body. "My Lord," Ghost whispers, "It's him." Pilot coughs while stifling a chuckle. The stranger, perceptive to this exchange, moves closer to Pilot, hand-cannon still aiming at his head. "What was that just now 'little light'?" The stranger looks at Pilot's Ghost. In the split moment when the stranger averted his eyes, Pilot summoned what infantisimil strength he had left and thrust his right hand out, capturing the stranger's ankle and pulling it towards him, causing the stranger to lose his balance and fall on his back with a loud "thud". In the fall and his confusion, the stranger loses his hand-cannon and tries to roll but is caught in Pilot's grip. Seizing the opportunity to gain the upper hand, Pilot manages to painfully retrieve his combat knife with his left hand, while adeptly maneuvering himself face to face with the stranger. Pilot is nearly dead, but it does not matter now. In one movement, Pilot has managed to disarm and partially subdue this hooded stranger, holding his combat knife to the strange Guardians throat. The men lay there, helmet to helmet in a deadly stalemate. "As...(cough) as Ghost was saying...(labored breathing) It's you...Ike..." This statement takes the hooded stranger completely by surprise. "How do you...?" Ike's voice trembles slightly. "Yeah...(cough) dumbass...haha." Pilot says, coughing a tablespoon of blood onto his own helmet visor. Exhausted from this last exertion of strength.
Pilot drops his knife and keels over onto the floor, unconscious. Ike rubs the armor around his neck then kicks himself up from his back to his feet in a fluid, acrobatic motion. Picking up his cannon and dusting it off, Ike holsters his weapon and moves back over to Pilot and Pilot's Ghost to render aide.
Now that another Guardian has been found, would you like to know our hero's fate in, "A Slight Misadventure"?
Chapter 4..."A Slight Misadventure"...
"So Lord Commander..." Pilot hears the sound of Ike's voice. "...have a nice trip?" Ike lets out a little chortle. Pilot lay there,half conscious and un-amused. Ike had removed his helmet while he unconscious, Pilot could feel the cold, damp cave air sweeping past him. Pilot felt himself sitting upright, burns from the Flux Grenade and streaks of Venutian dirt muddied and covered his cheeks. Pilot's face looked like a collage of blood and red dirt, accented greatly against his fair skin. Ike had not only removed Pilot's helmet, but had taken the liberty of propping him up against one of the openings in the alcove, below Pilot, laid a deep and vast abyssal chasm. Pilot's body felt unbelievably heavy to him, and the strain in his nerves and senses were overpowering. Pilot felt as if his head had been split open with some great and heavy blade. He remarked to himself that the Gods in all their humor had let him survive this crushing blow only to allow him to experience the pain that followed thereafter.
Pilot opens his eyes slowly to reveal that Ike had propped him against the far side of the alcove where he had been standing originally when Pilot first regained consciousness. Pilot's lifeless legs dangled over the side of a deep and treacherous chasm below. The air seemed to radiate a light azure, as if an ocean of deep-blue particles had washed through the cave leaving a residual glow behind it as it left. More than a few hundred feet away on the opposite side of the bottomless chasm, there was a large stone threshold that seemed to be an opening to a room. "That room across the chasm Commander...that's where Atheon fell..." Ike said, moving over to Pilot and crouching next to him. Pilot could feel a lump rising in the back of his throat, he coughs to let out a large chunk of what seemed to be his insides fly from his mouth into the bottomless pit.
Finally clearing his throat Pilot asked, "Atheon?" "Yes." Ike replied. "Atheon was a blighted Vex Mind, and a big problem for The Traveler at the fall of The Golden Age. Atheon was a great and terrible mechanization. Once a Vex Mind, Atheon was corrupted by the Taken and banished by it's own race to The Vault of Glass. "Kabyr, Pahanin and Praedyth...those were the Guardians who were ultimately responsible for Atheon's fall..." Ike looked down solemnly, "...if it weren't for their efforts and sacrifice , Earth's Guardians would not have been able to find the Blighted Mind and destroy it." Pilot stared off into the abyss below, contemplating Ike's story. "Earth's Guardians somehow found the echos of Praedyth's Ghost, and in turn were able to locate Atheon and defeat it, while also committing Praedyth and his fireteam to memory." Pilot hears Ike's words as just words, but does not understand them. Atheon, Praedyth, The Vault of Glass? Pilot cared little about these things, he had his own fireteam to worry about at the moment, and this included Ike.
Pilot coughs again as it seems it's the only way he can speak through his injuries. "There's...no time for this...Ike...we need to leave..." Nearly passing out from these few words Pilot almost collapses. Perched against the far opening of the alcove, Pilot waned. He has been clinging to life for long enough and he was tired. Pilot could not see a point to clinging to life any longer, personally, he would rather join His Love wherever she and the children where. "I know we have to leave I was just getting to that..." Ike explains in an annoyed voice, "...if you had bothered to listen, I was just getting to the leaving part, but you're probably not gonna like how." Ike picks up Pilot's helmet and starts over towards where Pilot was propped. "First of all..." Ike says, "...you're gonna need this." Ike gingerly places Pilot's helmet over his head and stands there with his hands on his hips waiting for Pilot's helmet clasps to secure. They lock with a suctioning sound that would be reminiscent of pulling a cover off of a Tupperware container. "I can't...go on...Ike, I can't move." Pilot's Ghost materializes as Pilot says this, and begins scanning Pilot as before. "I know you can't go on Lord Commander, but it's almost the 30th Century...things have happened while you were having your beauty sleep." Ike now moves next to Pilot on the ledge of the alcove and sits down, putting an arm around Pilot's shoulder. Pilot was never fond of Ike's strange up-beatness, especially not now as he's on the brink of death.
"Things have happened", what was Ike jabbering about? Pilot thought. How can he be so positive? He must know something he doesn't. "As I was saying Lord Commander, things have happened while you were asleep, as I should've been, but that's another story." Ike's arm around Pilot's shoulder begins to tense. Pilot's Ghost watches intently. "You see Commander, there have been many advances in Guardian restoration, in fact, we don't even need those portable medical hubs that we used to lug around on every mission..." Ike now squeezes Pilot's shoulder firmly, causing discomfort and waves of pain to shiver through Pilot's right side. "Ugn..." Pilot grunts at this new found affection from his comrade. "Oh, that hurts Commander? Well this is gonna hurt a whole-lot more." Ike laughs and smiles under his visor as he looks across the chasm, still clinging tightly to Pilot. Ike is now squeezing Pilot's shoulder so hard that his teeth hurt from the pain now rippling throughout every nerve ending in his body. Pilot's Ghost now whirs and spins inquisitively, as if to question this strange change of events. "What?" Pilot dares to ask. "Well I'm glad you asked Commander, like I said before, things have happened since we went into stasis..." Ike now releases Pilot's shoulder and pats him on the back. On the third pat, Ike slams his hand in between Pilot's shoulder blades sends him careening into the bottomless chasm below. Pilot, now spiraling uncontrollably towards his death, did not even stop to think what was going to happen next, only that he would maybe finally find a small portion of peace in the bottomless pit he hurdled towards. "...things like the Misadventure." Ike says smirking as he stands. "Well little light, we should head down there to collect the Lord Commander. That pit definitely has a bottom as I'm sure that he will find it soon." Motioning to Pilot's Ghost to follow, Ike begins to scale the rocky ledge downward towards the bottom of the pit to rendezvous with Pilot.
The fall. Into the long desperate, spinning fall. What has Ike done? He has killed Pilot, but why? Pilot could not understand. His whole purpose flashed before him an empty promise of fools gold, something Pilot thought he had possessed to win this war, was no longer relevant as he spiraled towards jagged, ruinous, doom. Pilot's struggles up until this moment were momentous and arduous but wholly insignificant. The Lord's battles with the Taken King in the outer systems were hard-fought and legend-worthy, if only Pilot knew it would only end this way, that this was his Destiny. The gravity and speed of the fall made Pilot feel weightless, as if trapped in an endless dip of a roller-coaster. He could hear the familiar "you are dying" alarm chimes blaring in his helmet. Pilot could feel a deep wrenching in his gut as he saw the beautiful Venutian stalactite fly past him at so many feet per second. Nothing would bring him back from this...floor. The alarms have faded and the pain had ended. Everything goes dark. Pilot, is gone.
Beams of fluorescent white light and a strange tingling sensation enveloped Pilot. He was now standing upright on the mossy bottom of the cave, the word MISADVENTURE flashed before his already open eyes next to a tiny skull icon on his helmet's "heads up display". How strange, Pilot thought he just...no, was sure he just died. What just happened. Pilot stood there in amazement, looking over his armor and marveling at his own range of movement. He felt good, in fact he felt just as good as new...but how? "So Lord Commander, enjoying your tour of The Vault of Glass?" Pilot spun around, retrieving his sidearm from his waist and while dropping to one knee aimed his gun directly at Ike. "Whoa, hey Commander," Ike says lifting his hands up in the air, palms facing Pilot in the universal "surrender" position. "I didn't think you found my jokes THAT tasteless..." Pilot remains locked on target. "Traitor." Pilot says, still in awe at how easily he was accessing his motor skills now. Pilot's pain from the Flux Grenade trap had completely gone and every nerve and synapse in his body was responsive.
Ike stood there before Pilot, hands up and weapon holstered. Out of the corner of his eye Pilot could see two small shapes hovering close together, but they were too far out of his field of view to be seen. "Alright Commander, c'mon the joke's over..." Ike began to lower his hands. "Hands up." Pilot says motioning to Ike to raise his hands with his sidearm. "Ok, ok, Commander. But seriously, we gotta-lot of things to cover and like, no time to cover it in, so..." Ike replies in a kiddish tone. "You...tried to kill me Ike...why...?" Ike began to laugh the sort of way someone would have laughed if they had overheard someone ask a grocery store clerk if they could buy an elephant. "Correction Commander!" Ike rolled, "I DID kill you! Oh you should have seen your face. I revived you as quickly as possible, but if you see your dead carcass on 'Faceplace', well..." "Face-what?" Pilot replied, lowering his weapon a little as if to accentuate his question. Pilot had a hard time finding his bearings. Moments ago, he was hurdling face-first down a-thousand foot drop, watching the ground rush up to meet him. Now, he's kneeling on the leg that was practically destroyed, holding one of the most dangerous Guardian's alive at gun-point. Pilot was also aware that he was apparently un-injured.
"Lord Commander, c'mon, you're embarrassing me in-front of my Ghost!" Ike now looked over at his Ghost which was hovering next to Pilot's. The two Ghosts are almost identical except in color, and Pilot's Ghost's glowing red eye. "Look Commander, just take a moment." Ike says, arms still raised. Pilot thought for a second, lowered his sidearm and spoke, "Ike, how am I not dead? And furthermore, why SHOULDN'T you be..." Pilot's menacing tone goes noticed, as he thumbs back the hammer on his weapon. "Ugh." Ike let out a loud, annoyed groan. "for the third and last last time Commander, things HAVE HAPPENED." Pilot is intrigued, and sits on a nearby rock that reflects a shallow multi-colored luminescent stream close to it. "Whew, ok." Ike sounds more himself now, flapping his arms about like an "inflatable arm-waving tube-man" from the twentieth century, arguably in protest of Pilot's confusion. "As I kept trying to tell you," "You threw me off." "Yeah whatever. What I was saying was things have happened while we've been in stasis. Basically, through modern updates our Ghosts can now reconstruct our biological makeup completely under the right conditions. That means, skin, hair, nerves, muscle tissue, anything that has anything to do with human or humanoid physiology can be re-built given the right circumstances." "Huh..." Pilot sat there on the rock a little dumbfounded, but thankful. "We're just lucky that out-dated armor you are wearing didn't split apart at all seems, then we really would have been lost."
Pilot's Ghost now interjects. "Kaos's information is completely accurate My Lord, I am more readily able to perform bio-reconstruction when necessary. I was able to completely re-construct your genetic makeup at the time of your 'Misadventure', from your memories to your taste buds. Everything is exactly as-is before your...death." "That's amazing..."
Pilot sits there in awe of the technological advances of human-kind. Pilot looks over at Ike who is now standing around doing nothing in particular. "Ike, if you could've done this earlier, why didn't you just shoot me and spare me the pain of a thousand-foot fall?" Pilot now stands and holds his Ghost in hand. "Well I could've Commander, but where's the fun in that?" Ike says meaning to get a laugh, but is greeted instead by a cold stare from Pilot in response. "Ok, ok, jeez, calm down. it doesn't work that way." By the look on Pilot's face he is still in need of convincing. "Trust me, you having a 'Misadventure' was the quickest way to get you travel-ready, AND, we have already crossed the Gorgon's Labyrinth and we are right about where we are supposed to be. Inadvertently, your date with the cave floor not only revived you, but expedited our journey in the process..." Ike crosses his arms in satisfaction. "I bet you're pretty pleased with yourself Ike." Says Pilot. "Uh-huh." Ike responded, giving a slow, sarcastic, and at the same time, enthusiastic nod. "Just beyond these rocks in the far room of the cave, is where Praedyth rests. Incidentally, his resting place also happens to be the best and only option we have as a location for transmat. C'mon Commander, it's not safe here, we have to hurry." Ike now proceeds walking towards the far side of the cave, the roof of which was now thousands of feet above them. His black cloak swayed as he went. Pilot thought to himself, "If that damn kid wasn't so good..." Pilot stopped and collapsed his Ghost back to it's transportable form. "...if he wasn't so good I'd be screwed." Pilot chuckled at the thought, he cannot remember the last time he chuckled to himself. Ike's form grows more distant by the second, fading into the shadows of the cave. "Hey Ike, if there are all these new advancements in Guardian recovery, then why can't we bring back Praedyth?" Pilot yells after Ike. "No Light..." Ike yells back, "...and DEFINITELY no time!" Ike's voice echoes throughout the cavers and in Pilot's helmet. Pilot decides that it's about time to move out...and find the third member of their fireteam.
After a few minutes of walking in silence, the two Guardians reached a room that was significantly smaller than the rest of the cave. Inside this room lay a few large square stones that seemed to have been cut by some high-precision laser or machine. In-front of this small memorial was a solitary skeleton, well preserved considering the hundreds of years it had been there. "Lord Commander, may I introduce you to Praedyth, the last surviving member of Kabyr's Fireteam, and the Guardian whose voice was not forgotten." Ike was right, not the faintest reading of Light, the force that all Guardians are granted their power from. A strange and sullen feeling rushed through Pilot. He felt the loss of not a comrade-in-arms, but fellow human-being. "No more will we die on planets far from home...no more..." Pilot clutched his fist as he looked over Praedyth's remains. "Commander, the Phosphorus and the Icarus will be over us in approximately two and-a-half minutes." Ike say's, engaged with the readouts his Ghost was projecting. "It's finally time to get this show on the road then." Pilot sighs in relief and decides to sit on a step next to Praedyth's remains. Pilot looks out from where he sits, through the door he and Ike had just entered. Pilot thinks for a moment that he spotted movement high on the rocks above, but he dismissed it as local fauna or a crumbling rock-face. Pilot sits there and contemplates their next move, then a thought occurs to him, "Ike, you never told me what happened to you, why your stasis was cut short and why you were stranded here in the first place..." Ike looks over at Pilot, tapping his foot on the ground impatiently, then returns his gaze to his Ghost, foot still tapping away. "Ike, what happened to you and the others..." Ike ignores Pilot once more. "Thirty Seconds to transmat Commander, I'll explain on the way to Mars." Pilot grows impatient and stands, his back facing the opening to the room and tries to ask once more, "Look Ike, I am your Senior Officer and I demand..." but before Pilot could finish his statement, a thin blue stream punches a hole through Ike's breastplate, followed by a loud CRACK! and small sparks sizzling and scattering from Ike's wound. His body falls heavy and lifeless. "Ike!" Pilot yells and rushes to the side of his comrade, holding Ike as he frantically searches the area for any traces of where the shot was fired from. Ike struggles to lift his head, "Damn him." Ike coughs as he seeps blood onto his body armor. "Hold on Ike!" Pilot lays Ike down and draws his own sidearm, pointing it towards the entrance of the crypt firing wildly. "Three seconds to transmat My Lord." Pilot hears his Ghost's voice on his radio. "Send us to the Icarus, Servus get us out of here, NOW!" Pilot commands, as he grabs hold of Ike's right wrist. "Yes My Lord." Servus responds. Just then, translucent white waves in the shape of a large, circular beam washes over Pilot and Ike. As the two Guardians de-materialize, the last thing that Pilot swore he saw, was the glare from a rifle scope.
With Pilot now re-united with the first member of his fireteam, will they be able to survive what happens next in "The Elusive Hunt"?
Chapter 5..."The Elusive Hunt"...
There is utter chaos on the deck of the Icarus as Pilot and Servus rush to save Ike. The two Guardians and their Ghosts were attacked by an unknown, sharp-shooting assailant upon their extraction from The Vault of Glass. Now transmatted onto the Icarus, Pilot and his Ghost, Servus, scramble to stabilize Ike who was just moments ago, shot by a powerful arc-based rifle. Convulsions run throughout Ike's body and he shivers violently, the skeletal beast adorning his shoulder armor seemed to be alive and writhing as Pilot struggles to drag Ike's shaking body onto the ship's medi-slab. Dropping Ike onto the medi-slab caused the table to spring to life, wrapping it's saran wrap-like restraints around Ike's body in a quick, spiraling fashion.
Ike's hands opened and closed in uncontrollable pain, and a small exit wound in Ike's chest sizzled with electrical particles. As the table wrapped it's restraints around Ike it reminded Pilot of the mucus-like membrane of a jellyfish. The membrane made a mechanical liquid whooshing sound as it surrounded and encompassed Ike's body, leaving his shoulders and head exposed. The restraints, though seeming membrane-like and thin were ultra resistant. Ike's convulsions wracked the table, and as this happened the restraints reacted, bowing and shifting to Ike's movements. His breathing was erratic but because of the restraints his convulsing was now minimal and coming in intervals. Pilot removed Ike's helmet, Ike's eyes were open and there was foam dribbling down one side of his cheek.
The restraints now seemed to come together and solidify into a sort-of secure blanket. This amorphous blanket, also seemed to trickle into Ike's gun-shot wound like sand falling in an hourglass. Ike's condition seemed to be stabilizing, as Pilot stood there examining him. "The medi-slab should have repaired his damaged tissue in a few moments." Servus said, as it hovered over to where Pilot was standing. "Servus...where there any types of readings that your scanners picked up before we were attacked?" Pilot took his helmet off and placed it next to Ike's, the differences between the two's style was apparent even in their fashions. "There were several readings, but nothing peculiar. Everything seemed to be as it was when we entered The Vault of Glass. Although..." This hesitation catches Pilot's attention and he turns to face his Ghost. "...there was a faint fluctuation of Arc energy just before the attack My Lord." "Arc energy..." Pilot thought to himself.
Servus twisted it's pieces as it's red "eye" glowed brightly. It hovered over towards Ike who was now unconscious but breathing steadily. The membrane-like blanket has seemed to not only stop the fissure of electrical energy in Ike's wound, but also completely stabilize his condition. Servus's red beams now greedily scanned over Ike's body, seeking injury and imperfections in both Ike and the med-slab's operational status."His vital signs have stabilized My Lord, and the tissue, nerves and organs damaged by the Arc Burn are all averaging a Ninety-nine percent recovery rate." Servus said, whirring and spinning about. "That sounds good Servus, do whatever you can to keep him comfortable. Also, talk to the Phosphorus and tell it to follow our Nav. I can't seem to access Ike's Ghost." Pilot replies, looking weary. "...Servus..." He adds, "Have you by chance detected...anyone else...anywhere?" "Well My Lord, Kaos did mention he would explain everything on the way to Mars." Servus replied. "That's right! That damn sniper...Arc energy...dammit. Servus, notify me immediately if Ike awakes, and set a course for MARS." Pilot commands. "Yes My Lord." Servus replies.
Pilot takes a moment to collect himself. Temporarily safe aboard his ship the Icarus, he can at least take a moment to find his bearings. He looks around his ship and finds a slight comfort in it's cold, black and gun-metal interior. The various instruments and displays blinked and bleeped in red, blue and green colors. Pilot's ship was small and fast, best serving his purposes; it was small enough to pass within yards of enemy blockades and Dreadnaughts undetected, yet large enough to hold a medical bay and comfortably sit a fireteam of six. Pilot fades off for a bit into memories of his comrades-in-arms. He then leaves the deck of the Icarus and heads towards the cockpit. As he sits in his chair he turns his mind back to more pressing issues. "Who would shoot a Guardian in the middle of an extraction?" Pilot thought to himself. The darkness of the space outside the Icarus's hull was overwhelming. Stars dotted this black void in the millions, and there was always something very focusing for Pilot when he stared out at the stars among him. "It was surely a Guardian's rifle that hit Ike...punched through his armor like a hot knife through butter...practically just melted it away...that son of a bitch." Pilot also thought that if it weren't for his custom "medi-slab" from the Outer Rings, Ike would have never survived that brutal shot.
Pilot ran his right hand over the heads up display before him, various figures and plotted trajectories becoming visible as his gauntlet moved past. Pilot brings up a different display by making his hands into a box shape and then expanding them, which brought up a separate screen apart from the one on his heads up display. On this separate screen there was an icon that resembled a light-blue, three dimensional jeweled heart. It spun slowly clock-wise and seemed to beat as a human heart would. Pilot selected the icon with his index finger. As he did, multiple mini-screens began popping up, each containing a photograph or playing video. These photographs and videos contained a beautiful woman and three small children, smiling, laughing,and playing. As these screens pop-up Pilot smiles, then closes his eyes. He drifts off into memory for awhile. Memories of happiness, and love and belonging. When he opens his eyes he finds on the screen one enlarged picture. The smaller frames were just a loading screen, as the image on-screen now was old and needed to be recovered. In the final image there stood Pilot, next to the beautiful woman in the smaller frames and videos.They were dressed in their finest. Pilot in a slick black suit and tie, his love in a beautiful white dress. She stood there in his arms, smiling a beautiful smile and gazing lovingly into his eyes. It was the couple's wedding photo. Pilot stares for a long time at this picture. A gut wrenching feeling of loss and sadness overcame him. Pilot reaches towards his screen, as if to embrace the face of the woman he loves so dearly.
Pilot detected movement behind him on the deck. He made an enclosing motion with his hands which quickly closed the holographic screen holding the picture he was staring at. Pilot arose from his chair and turned towards the deck of the ship. At first glance, nothing appeared to be out of order...there was Ike on the slab, and beside Ike there was Pilot's ghost Servus. The deck of the Icarus was dimly lit, and the shadows that were cast in the corners could serve as a perfect hiding spot for a child or maybe a small creature. Pilot proceeded towards the deck with his hand on his holster, taking slow, cautious steps. There was a quick and small silver blur that darted from one corner of the room to the other, seeming to hide itself among the shadows. Pilot drew his sidearm immediately and pointed it at the corner he perceived whatever it was to be hiding in. Pilot peered closer to see a small, silver, "little light" spinning and whirring in the dark corner he discovered it in. Pilot lowered his sidearm and relaxed his posture from a leaning shooter's position to at-ease, holstering his weapon as he stared inquisitively at Ike's ghost.
"Well, that's no way to greet a friend..." Ike's ghost exclaims. The star-shaped, cube-like machine now floated out of the shadows of the deck and came into view, it's silver shell twisting and turning. "You should have made yourself known sooner. By the way, how are you active whilst your Guardian is unconscious?" Pilot replies. Ike's ghost twisted, and turned, it's blue eye glowing intensely. "He obviously was not able to deactivate me, he was too busy being shot. Thus, the 'Lazarus Protocol' was initiated." Ike's ghost had more "personality" than others, it made it's sarcasm known. Pilot walks over to Ike that still laid sleeping on the medi-slab. "The Lazarus Protocol?" Pilot says in confusion. "Yes, a design of my lord's own making. Should he befall any event that should render him incapacitated, my lord's armor is programmed to automatically summon me, in the hopes that I am able to render aide." Ike's ghost explains. "That little smart-ass..." Pilot said with a smirk, "...he never ceases to amaze me." Pilot chuckled and put a hand on Ike's shoulder. "Still uninformed and easy to amuse I see. Some would say those are the characteristics of an idiot." Ike's ghost says. Insulted by the ghost's comment, Pilot grabs a nearby medical instrument and chucks it at Ike's ghost. Ike's ghost dodges the tool adeptly and says, "Also trying to solve one's problems with violence is also an indicator of a low IQ...same old (inaudible)." Pilot's expression turned from a little miffed, to angry. "Don't ever call me by that name..." there was intent in Pilot's voice. "and always the dramatic, it's good to see you haven't changed Lord Commander." Ike's ghost said arrogantly.
Pilot, slowly shaking his head asks, "Why couldn't Servus detect you?" "Servus is a fine Ghost indeed, however, my lord's cloaking technology is far more advanced than most Guardians, enabling him to be most places undetected, he thought it was wise to imbue me with the same ability." Ike's ghost explains. "Wise enough I suppose..." says Pilot. Moving to the side of the medi-slab, Pilot found himself a grooved seat carved into the hull, and sat down. He lifts out his left hand, palm-up, and summons Servus. As Servus materializes Ike's ghost floats over to where he lay. It began to spin as ghost's do, the back-light of it's dark blue eye blinked in thought. Servus, now summoned and without a word to Pilot, floats towards Ike's ghost and stops, hovering beside it. Without either ghost acknowledging the other, they simultaneously began scanning Ike's unconscious body. The ghost's scanning beams looked like a laser light show, with dark red and blue neon encompassing Ike in complex patterns and grids. Pilot sits there next to Ike, worrying about the outcome of this predicament. "This is very interesting..." Ike's ghost says. "I see it..." Servus says in response. "What's going on you two?" Pilot asks in concern. "There seems to be a strange poison in my lord's bloodstream that is keeping him in an unconscious state. Unfortunately, the toxicology of this particular poison is quite impressive, there seems to be several factors at play. If we are not careful, we could kill him." Ike's ghost continues scanning his Guardian. "Indeed, I am also detecting nano-nites of an unknown origin, they are apparently blocking any resurrection process we may try to execute. If I can isolate the nano-nites I may be able to extract and destroy them." Says Servus. "Destroying the nano-nites will allow me to initiate the 'Lazarus Protocol', ridding my lord's body of the poison, and then, revival." Ike's ghost seemed determined to bring it's Guardian back from wherever he was. "It's a make-shift plan, but it'll have to do. You two get started." Pilot commanded, as he sat there watching the two machine-cubes.
Pilot looked on as the two ghosts' darted hyperly around Ike's body, flitting and whirring. Their red and blue beams shot out in lines and cones sweeping across Ike. "I have managed to isolate the nanonites..." Servus said to Ike's ghost. At that moment Servus traced his beam from the middle of Ike's chest armor around his heart, towards his collarbone, then to his shoulder and down his arm finally reaching Ike's hand. Servus then concentrated multiple beams on Ike's index finger, as this happened, a tiny beam sizzled a hole through where Ike's fingernail was. Ike was unresponsive to this obviously painful procedure. Servus held his beam steady on Ike's finger, when slowly, tiny glinting particles began flowing through the beam towards Servus, like little diamonds on a red conveyor belt. "There they are..." said Servus. This extraction went on for a few more seconds when the beam, containing a stream about five feet long full of microscopic machines finally receded back into Servus. "These nanonites are sophisticated to say the least, far advanced from the technology we were familiar with, but not...alien..." Servus says with partial interest. "Not only were they preventing any resurrection processes, they seemed to have also been...TRACKING us..." "What?!" Pilot shouts."Destroy them immediately!" "As you wish My Lord." Replies Servus. Just as it said this, there was a tiny flash within the shell of Servus. "It is done." Said Servus dutifully. "That wasn't a smart thing to do..." Ike's ghost chimed in. "We could have at least run a back-trace to find out where they came from..." "Just shut up and get to work!" Pilot exclaimed, raising his pistol and aiming it at Ike's ghost. "You got it." Ike's ghost replies.
"My turn..." As Ike's ghost said this it suspended itself above Ike and the medi-slab. Ike's ghost pointed its eye downward. Slowly, the ghost's blue beam grew slightly brighter, and brighter. There began to form a small blue ball at the center of the ghost's eye. As it's eye glowed brighter the ball of energy seemed to get bigger. The ball of energy, now the size of a base-ball began to pulse slowly. With every pulse, the energy ball grew a foot or so, until it finally enveloped Ike. This dark blue bubble that now surrounded Ike seemed like a strange electrical liquid. Pilot was a little taken back by this, never having seen this strange procedure done before. Inside this partial dome of energy, there appeared little green blobs. These blobs seemed to be coming from the inside of Ike's body! With every pulse of energy more and more of these blobs were forced out into the bubble from Ike's pores until the entire space of the bubble was filled with these little green postuals of poison. They floated and crashed into each-other within the confines of the bubble as Pilot looked on in astonishment.
"The process is almost complete. Whoever delivered this blow did so with much skill, and precision." Said Ike's ghost. "This concoction, combining a sleeping poison with nanonite trackers, is highly uncommon. The poison and technologies are extremely rare." Added Servus. "Yes, it seems the poison is derived from a gas found within Saturn's Rings and the nanonites are unlike anything I have ever seen...until now." Replies Ike's ghost. The green postuals of poison shifted and bounced off of one another. Colliding and careening into each-other at a rapid pace. Much of the inside of the blue dome was now filled with the poisonous green postuals. Ike's ghost isolated the little blobs to the upper portion of the bubble-dome, keeping Ike's body clear of the recently extracted poison. "Now for the fun part." Ike's ghost said. The bubble-dome now began to surge and crackle with energy. Miniature bolts of lightning chained from postual to postual, evaporating them into tiny wisps of smoke. Within seconds, every last little blob of poison was eradicated., all that remained now was the bubble-dome, Ike and the medi-slab. "That should do it..." Ike's ghost said. "...now all we need is a kick-start." At this moment the two ghosts turn their eyes to Pilot who was curiously watching the whole procedure.
Pilot looks at the two ghosts in bewilderment, sitting still on the groove in the ship next to the medi-slab. The bubble-dome's blue light cast a hue on his pale face and black armor, he himself looked almost evil in appearance, the dragons on his shoulder plates snarling menacingly. "A...kick-start?" Pilot asks slowly. The two ghosts again simultaneously look at each-other and then back at Pilot. Ike's ghost spoke, "Lord Commander...yes." The sarcasm in it's tone was easily detectable. Pilot then looks to Servus, as he places his hands on his knees and stands up. "Okay Servus, so you want me to just hit him until he wakes up?" Pilot asks half jokingly. "Well...by any means necessary My Lord." Replies Servus. "Why can't either of you just, you know, wake him up?" Asks Pilot. "So glad you asked." Says Ike's ghost. "Lord Commander, the dome I deployed can be extremely dangerous for advanced alloyed life-forms like Servus and myself, albeit fatal, but for primitive Homo sapiens such as yourself with the biological makeup of a chimpanzee..." "That's quite enough. I understand. Though without this monkey-man, you would not EXIST would you?" Pilot turns a stare to Ike's ghost. "Touche'." Ike's ghost replies.
"Okay..." Pilot walks a few feet towards Ike who is still lying unconscious on the medi-slab in-front of him. "Give me a readout of his vitals Servus." Pilot says. "Yes my lord." Servus replies, projecting a screen-like readout holographically out in front of Pilot. Pilot eyes the readouts then looks down at Ike, who, besides the amorphous blanket wrapped up to his shoulders and the blue dome surrounding him, looked asleep. Pilot passed through the dome, Servus and Ike's ghost watching curiously. Pilot looked down at Ike and motioned with his left hand for Servus to move just outside the dome behind him. He then turned back to Ike and slowly lifted his right fist out in-front of him, thumb up, stopping over Ike's exposed face. Opening his hand, Pilot slowly looks down at Ike, then with a swift and sudden swat, slaps Ike's left cheek and yells, "Wake up!" The two ghosts look at each-other once more in utter confusion. Pilot suspends his hand on the first follow-through then brings it back hitting Ike's opposite cheek with the backside of his hand, yelling, "I said wake up damnit!" Pilot continues his assault. Ike's unconscious head jerking with each blow. "That's an order!" At around the fifth slap Pilot was a little exerted. He looks to Servus who immediately brings up the hologram of Ike's vitals. Ike's ghost interjects, "I don't think killing my Guardian is our objective Commander..." "Shut your metal-mouth," Replies Pilot, "I'm working on it..." Pilot reaches down towards his boot and retrieves his combat knife, holding it blade down and lifting it high over his head, staring maniacally at Ike as if he were some Villain from a 1980's slasher flick. "Working on killing my Guardian...or?!" Ike's ghost exclaims in surprise, but before it could finish it's sentence Pilot brought his blade down. In one fluid motion Pilot embedded his blade into Ike's left leg up to the hilt! "Awww! You son of a B*TCH!...Ohhh, ohhh, I hate you so much..." Ike sprang to life! Blood now spurting from his leg but being absorbed by the medi-slab's restraints. "That did it." Pilot smirks.
Unable to move but awake and in obvious pain, Ike ranted and cursed, swearing at Pilot in every possible way, while also logically and calmly spelling out the many ways he'd kill Pilot, the slab shaking and moving from his anger as it did when he was first afflicted from his gunshot wound. Pilot stood there, smiling while listening and laughing at the colorful and albeit downright clever ways Ike was contemplating his demise, hand still firmly holding his hilt. Eyes still on Ike's vitals, Pilot removes his knife with a quick jerk from the angry Ike. The amorphous restraints once again trickling into Ike's wound to begin the healing process. "You BASTARD MOTHER ******!" Ike screamed at Pilot. "Impax, you're awake!" Ike's ghost said cheerily, "Shutup DinkelBot! You let him stab me?!?" Ike shouted. "I didn't really have a choice, the man is clearly insane..." DinkelBot retorted. Ike hesitated for a moment as if in agreement with his ghost, then continues his rant. "Let me out of this thing (Inaudible)!" Ike yells. "I know you're angry and in pain, but calling me that..." Pilot turns away from Ike, then looks back at him. Ike stopped for a moment breathing heavily, then catching his breath said, "Commander let me go." Pilot holsters his knife then reaches underneath the medi-slab. "Before I do, you promise to behave?" Pilot says watching Ike's face. Gritting his teeth Ike replies, "Yes, I promise..." Pilot presses the release button under the slab.
All at once the amorphous restraints that blanketed Ike receded back into the table. Once freed Ike kicks himself up onto his feet, now standing half-crouched on the table holding his leg. In a swift motion Ike sweeps his right foot at Pilot narrowly missing his head. The two Guardian's ghosts now hovered away a few feet. Ike back-flips off the table, stumbling a little on his left leg. Pilot approaches Ike with his hands up, "Calm down Ike..." Ike yells and throws a right hook at Pilot's face followed by his left elbow in a spinning motion, the bones on Ike's shoulder armor passing less than an inch from Pilot's nose. Throwing a flurry of strikes, Ike barrages Pilot with fists of fury, but Pilot calmly meets each fist with an open palm, bobbing and weaving. Ike lets out a frustrated yell and attempts a forward jump kick, Pilot adeptly dodges and steps out of the way of Ike's boot. Landing on his injured leg Ike groans. Pilot walks over to their helmets opposite the medi-slab and retrieves them both, while Ike now sits on the floor of the Icarus's deck, panting. Pilot walks back over to Ike and holds out his helmet to him, the lights of the ship gleamed off it's silver trim. Ike snatches his helmet from Pilot, disgruntled and mad. Pilot sits down next to Ike and laughs, "Not bad, considering your leg..." Before Pilot could say more Ike reaches over with his left hand and backhands Pilot. SMACK. "I owed you that Commander..." Ike said with a stern look on his face. "You were waking up?" Pilot asked in surprise holding his jaw. "Yeah, around the third slap..." Ike said, "Hahaha!" Pilot laughed, "I thought the readouts were jumping!" Ike looked angrier then ever. "You mean you knew!? You knew, and you stuck your damn knife in my leg?!" Ike grabbed Pilot's throat squeezing. Pilot laughed and in a choked voice squeaked out, "Venus...PIT...payback...hah." Ike's angry, contorted face seemed to melt instantly. "Well played Commander..." Ike scoffed, smirking and releasing Pilots throat. Pilot punched Ike's arm in a show of brotherly love then stood up and put on his helmet. "Ghosts, patch him up." Pilot said to the two machine-cubes hovering nearby, probably speculating over the recent sparring match before them. The two ghosts did as they were bid and moved towards Ike who now was laying down, awaiting the ghosts to use their bio-reconstruction mechanisms to repair his leg.
Pilot, now seeing that Ike was being tended to turned back towards the cockpit of his ship. "Lord Commander..." Ike said abruptly "...his name is Fusion..." Pilot stopped and turned his head back toward Ike. "The Guardian who shot you..." Pilot replied. Ike seemed surprised, "Yes, but how did you know it was a..." Ike said still lying on his back being treated. Pilot interrupted, "Only a Guardian would have that much skill, that much patience..." Pilot said, "...he waited until our extraction, he could've killed either one of us at anytime Ike, why? Why is this FUSION tracking us?" Pilot said, now turning entirely back towards Ike in an inquisitive manner. "Not tracking..." Ike says, "...HUNTING..." As this revelation dawns on Pilot, he searches his mind for questions. "Is that why you were so far underground in Venus?" Pilot asked, Ike nodded 'yes'. "What happened to you Ike?" Pilot asked, now moving back towards the groove near the medi-slab and sitting down. "Alot of things Commander, it's actually a long story." Says Ike. "Well Ike I think you need to catch me up. You can start with this Guardian...this FUSION that's hunting you." Pilot replies.
"Bio-reconstruction complete." Servus says, Pilot jumping a little forgetting all about the two ghosts tending to Ike's leg. "Very good Servus." Pilot says motioning lazily, while watching Ike sit himself upright extending his leg towards him then away from him and back. "Good as new," Ike said. "Thanks you two." Ike looks at the two ghosts who blink and simultaneously reply "You're welcome." "Ike..." Pilot said sternly. "Right, DinkelBot, show the Commander what shot me." Ike said to his ghost. DinkelBot then projected a hologram from it's blue "eye", one of a weapon. "This, is the Patience and Time..." Ike said pointing to the projection. "It's not very easy to come by for most Guardians, but it's standard fare for The Elusive..." Pilot studied the projection that was in front of him. On display was what looked to be a large caliber rifle, with a twentieth century build and a tripod, covered in a "ghillie". "Ouch." Pilot exclaimed. "Yeah. It is capable of rendering it's user camouflaged while they're aiming...making it extremely difficult to locate the sniper wielding it." Ike rubs his chest where his gunshot wound previously was. "That explains why I couldn't see him..." Continuing on ignoring Pilot, Ike elaborates, "Arc-based rounds...that sound..." Ike seemed to fade off into thought. Pilot snaps his fingers loudly, bringing Ike's attention back to the conversation. "Right Commander..." Ike regains his train of thought and looks at Pilot, "...what I guess this all boils down to, is that we have more than just the others and the Taken to worry about..." Ike looks down grimly. "Whatever it is Ike, we have The Lost Light, we can defeat them." Pilot says in attempts to lift Ike's spirit. "No Commander...The Elusive are hunting me, the Taken are hunting US...and there are more things out there, lurking in the Darkness. We don't know who's alive and who's not...only..." Ike is almost pleading now, but Pilot interrupts. In a loud forceful voice Pilot shouts, "Servus!" Ike is a little startled by this shout, and looks puzzlingly at Pilot. Servus immediately hovers in front of Pilot in an attentive sort-of way, twisting and turning it's pieces in anticipation. "Execute our navigation protocol, and initiate our travel to Mars." Pilot says looking at Ike and smiling. "Yes My Lord" Servus replies and flies away into the cockpit. "You're right Commander..." Ike said chuckling and shaking his head. "Let's go wake (Inaudible) up..." As Ike said this there was a loud humming sound as the ship's engines surged to life. "DinkelBot, alert Phosphorous and tell her to follow. We'll ride along with the old man and make sure he doesn't get lost..." Ike and Pilot shared a laugh as DinkelBot went about it's duty.
Outside the hull of the Icarus a few hundred meters away, Ike's ship The Phosphorous begins to glow at the edges of it's wings. The familiar neon-glow that has become familiar with Ike's technologies, now lit up the Phosphorous, as it engaged it's auto-pilot sequences. The Icarus glided slowly through space's gilded silhouette, as if waiting for the Phosphorous to catch up. Once the two ships were within a few meters of each-other, they slowly began to spin together slowly through the blackness of space. All at once, the two ship's engines now synchronize, fire up, and push void and matter around them sending ripples through space-time. As the two ships encircle each-other they begin to speed up dramatically and then suddenly vanish as a blue-green flash into the Cosmos.
With Pilot and Ike on their way to Mars, will they finally find the third member of their Fireteam?
Chapter 6..."The Sleeping Titan"...
Ike and Pilot both sit in grooves opposite each-other, both individually researching data on their respective ghosts, it's a smooth ride. Space glides past the Phosphorous and Icarus in a stream of white light going inexplicably faster than the eye can see. In the far off distance there was the Red Planet, looming dark and terrible on the horizon.
Pilot, sitting in his groove now lifts his left palm out and bids Servus to return. Ike was still pouring over data on his ghost, making DinkelBot project multiple readouts in-front of him while swiping and skimming through the information with his right hand. Pilot returns his ghost and then puts an arm up on a shelf-like protrusion above the groove he was sitting on, looking out a port at the stars that streamed by. Pilot thought that he needed to come up with a game plan, and soon. All the while he was gathering his team, The Darkness and Earth's enemies grew stronger, this Pilot knew very well. He had many questions, and now it was time for Ike to answer some of them.
"Ike..." Pilot says without looking away from the porthole, "...as I last remembered it, our encounter with Oryx was...unsuccessful." Ike did not seem to pay any mind, still swiping and scanning away on DinkelBot. Pilot waits for a second then continues, still gazing out at the passing stars. "We had him. We could have killed him then and there. If it weren't for the 'interferer', he would have been decaying somewhere in the bottom of the Outer Rings." Ike hesitated a moment, as if to say "you sh***ing me?". Ike spoke without looking up, "Yes Commander, you mean the big bad-ass with the two VERY big swords." Ike closed his open left palm into a fist, and DinkelBot closed the screens it was projecting in-front of it. "I remember...before the artifact was shattered...we actually stood a chance...then...I can't remember much after 'it' showed up...just grabbing my shard and giving the order..." Pilot now looked away from the stars, and folded his hands in-front of him, focusing his gaze on Ike. Ike attained the same posture and spoke, "Don't beat yourself up Commander. We all made it out in one piece...actually that's what I've been so busy with on our ride, speaking of, we should almost be there." Ike now stands and motions for Pilot to follow him towards the cockpit.
As they stood up the Icarus almost Instinctively began slowing it's engines to come out of hyperspace. Pilot and Ike moved towards the front of the Icarus into the cockpit where Ike deployed his ghost, DinkelBot. The Icarus heaved slightly, and the Phosphorous came into view on the ship's starboard side. In the distance, Pilot could see the large, red, impending mass that was known as Mars, and hearing the deceleration of his ship he thought, "finally". Ike casually made his way to Pilot's seat and sat down assuming the flight controls as if it were his own ship. Pilot laughed at this quietly, remarking the nerve and expertise of his comrade. "Comfortable?" Pilot asked Ike in a slightly sarcastic tone. "Absolutely Commander." Ike replied arrogantly without skipping a beat. "So..." Ike began, "...if I'm correct and I always am, Atlus's ship is nearby..."
The Icarus and Phosphorous now slow to a glide, approaching a much larger, slower ship, seemingly suspended in orbit above Mars. This ship was rectangular in shape, and at least three times the size of Pilot and Ike's ships. The rectangular ship has enormous cannons jutting out from the sides of it, about eight or so on each side, looking more like a Cruiser or Gunship than a single-man Fighter. Inside the cockpit of the Icarus, Pilot and Ike gawk at the ship, it looked armed to the teeth and neigh impregnable. This titanic cube was just sitting there in space, like some ominous god of death ready to administer it's wrath upon the surface of Mars. "So, there it is...it's been so long since I've seen that monstrosity..." Proclaimed Pilot, turning to Ike who was still seated comfortably in Pilot's seat. "Yes, Commander, behold the Tempest. Our usual first response to enemy aggression." Pilot shudders, imagining the last time he saw those cannons fire...the carnage they wrought. How those huge alloyed barrels recoil, how they TORE into the enemy Hive ships like they were tissue paper. The resounding BOOM and crackling from the resulting impact, along with all those dead enemies sucked into the vacuums of space... those cannons would come as a great boon to their mission. What was more important than the cannons though, was the individual inside the vessel. "Alright Ike, bring our ships alongside her...prepare for transmat in ten." Pilot then turns and makes his way towards the armory of his ship. "Yes, Commander." Ike responds pushing his hands forward on the control throttles as he begins maneuvering the Icarus closer to Atlus's ship.
Pilot leaves Ike in the cockpit of the Icarus and heads towards the deck of his ship. Across from the medi-slab there was a crude, wire-cage that ran the length of the deck, about twenty feet or so. The wire mesh was a tight weave and what was inside was not able to be seen from without. There was a small touch-pad in the middle of the long cage with green holographic numbers. Pilot entered a memorized sequence of seven numbers and with a gasp of air the wire-cage opens, folding and compartmentalizing itself revealing a mini-arsenal lurking inside. There was a vast quantity of rifles, ranging from the assault, to sniper categories. There were also shotguns, hand-cannons, and side-arms galore, along with a few heavy machine guns and rocket launchers for good measure. Pilot looked on at his repertoire of death, takes a moment to scratch his chin in thought, then selects himself a sidearm and a shotgun. A bit heavy he thought for a simple retrieval mission, but he was the type to rather have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
Pilot grabs the fore-end of his shotgun and gives it a swift jerk, loading a shell into it's receiver, and with his left hand he made a waving motion, which initiated his armory to shut. Locked and loaded, Pilot makes his way back to Ike in the cockpit. Ike was standing there, looking at more readouts on DinkelBot in one hand and twirling his hand-cannon in the other. "I take it you're ready then?" Pilot asks, "Not quite Commander.." Ike holsters his weapon and selects a frame from one of his readouts, "...DinkelBot's scanners indicate that Atlus and his shard are indeed on-board the Tempest...but I'm not picking up any vitals Commander..." Pilot slings his shotgun over his shoulder and moves closer to Ike to look at his readout. On the hologram displayed, it showed the massive hulking shape of the Tempest, but everything was covered in a cold blue, no heat signatures or readings of any kind, except for a small blinking read dot that indicated Atlus. "It looks like she's derelict, but Atlus is on-board, and so is his shard. Alive or not we should at least get his fragment." As cold as that sounded to Pilot, Ike was right. If another piece of The Lost Light fell into Oryx's twisted hands, who knew what would become of humanity. A swifter end would be certain.
"We need to get aboard The Tempest as quickly as possible." Pilot says to Ike. "That's kinda a no-brainer Commander. The scans don't indicate ANYTHING except a theorized location of where Atlus might be. He might not even be there Commander, but his shard is." Ike returns DinkelBot and un-holsters his weapon beginning to load shells into his hand-cannon. "We can go in through the 'buddy-zone', but from there we will have to make our way about two hundred yards to his stasis chamber." Ike flicks his wrist slamming the cartridge of his hand-cannon shut and Pilot extends his arm and deploys Servus. "Servus..." "Yes my Lord?" the Ghost replied. "...lock us for transmat and take us to The Tempest. We are going to collect our Titan." Pilot says sternly. "Yes my Lord." Servus replies, and as it does, it envelopes Pilot and Ike in a beam of it's white light, moments later, the cockpit of the Icarus is empty.
Outside of the Tempest, it's large protruding cannons and viewing bays are slick with sheets of ice. It sat there silent and slow... a lifeless hulking juggernaut in the shade of Mars. On the inside however, there was now life. In the bowels of the Tempest two Guardians and their ghosts of an ancient order, search for their comrade amidst what seems the silence of his derelict ship. Pilot and Ike approach a long corridor from the "buddy-zone" bay they had just entered via transmat beam. The two ghosts hovering on either sides of their Guardians, search the empty ship with tactical lights as their Guardians cautiously step onto the walkway. There were lights lining the walkway the Guardians stood on, bright enough to light the path but too dull to illuminate anything else. What the Guardians saw before them was a long hexagonal tunnel with large computer apparatus's protruding from the walls every 15 steps or so, undoubtedly parts of the Tempest's Fire Control System. "Okay..." Ike said quietly, "...if we just follow this walkway down the tunnel it will eventually lead us to a room in the middle of the ship..." The Guardians press forward slowly, weapons down in front of them. "...from this room, there should be a ramp going down to a lower level, which leads to a heavy door. Beyond this door... is where Atlus and his fragment supposedly are." "Good work Ike." Pilot responds in a low-tone. "I'm awesome as usual." Ike chimes as Pilot shakes his head.
Moving forward down the dimly lit walkway, Pilot looks to his left, noticing one of the apparatus's they were passing. On it's screen it read in teal letters "stasis". The only sounds that could be heard were the Guardians boots clanking on the walkway, and the soft whirring of their Ghosts as they scanned the interior of the Tempest. The dim lighting on the walkways reflected off the Guardian's armor, a black silhouette and a silver one, disappearing into the bowels of Atlus's ship.
After walking for twenty minutes or so in utter silence the Guardians came to the end of the tunnel. Automatic doors open in front of the Guardians and they step into a large, partially lit room. In the center of the room there is a large circular console about six feet around, and behind it like Ike said, there was a ramp that declined and led to two very thick, very heavy-looking blast doors. Pilot un-slings his shotgun and raises it to eye-level, making his way around the circular console. Ike follows suite and raises his hand-cannon, moving in the opposite direction. Above the console in holographic letters there was yet another stasis sign, which was good news for the Guardians. At least they knew that the Tempest's systems were running as they should. Converging on the other side of the console, Pilot and Ike slowly make their way down the ramp towards the heavy blast doors. Ike nods to DinkelBot and on command it floats towards the blast doors twisting and scanning with it's mechanical eye. "It appears there is a simple encryption at play here. It will only take a moment for us to gain access." DinkelBot says as it scans. "Servus, is he there?" Pilot asks his Ghost. Servus floats ahead and initiates a broad scan of the entire interior room from outside the blast doors. "Yes, my Lord, it appears he is..." Replies Servus. A glimmer of hope briefly passes among the Guardians. "But still no vitals..." Pilot raises his shotgun towards the door, "No, my Lord." DinkelBot floats back from the door and there is a loud metal clank as heavy gears turn and the door slowly groans open. "We're in." Says DinkelBot "looking" back at the Guardians before venturing forward into the room behind the blast doors. A light humming sound was now heard, like the low droll of a power-line. "Servus, go with him." Pilot says, watching his Ghost accompany DinkelBot. Pilot and Ike looked at each-other, as the large, heavy blast doors grind to a halt. A light mist escapes the inner room as the two Guardians enter, weapons raised.
Within the confines of the interior room behind the heavy blast doors of the Tempest, there were various pieces of machinery and equipment. From the machines surged a multitude of tubes and wires all seeming to lead to the far back end of the room. The two Guardians and their Ghosts cautiously pressed forward towards the source of the tubes. In the very far back corner of the room, behind the machines and equipment there was a large metal tube about ten feet in height and about five feet in width. The low, humming, droll of the machines were louder now, but not loud enough to be heard outside the hull of the Tempest. The Guardians lowered their weapons, and smiled at one another. "It looks like we found him..." Pilot says with faith in his voice, and Ike nodded in agreement. "DinkelBot, run a scan on his stasis pod. Determine if there are any signs of life AT ALL." DinkelBot dutifully obeyed it's Guardian and began bathing the big, metallic tube with it's scanners. Pilot looked around the room as DinkelBot conducted it's scan and Ike looked on, Servus following closely by Pilot's shoulder. As Pilot made his way around the room he noted that all these machines looked as if they were connected to this tube that presumably held Atlus, maybe their most powerful Lord. Was Atlus in some kind of trouble? It seems as though these machines are more for life support than stasis..."Sir," Ike interrupted Pilot's train of thought, snapping him abruptly back to the task at-hand. "DinkelBot's scanners indicate that Atlus is definitely in that tube, and so is his shard, but Dinky's unable to tell what state they're in." Ike looked towards Pilot, who was still partly looking around the room at the machines. "Commander..." Pilot seemed distracted.
On the corner of one of the machines, Pilot noticed something strange, it was like a tiny part of space was ripped away from it's canvas and splattered onto the corner of this machine. In the recesses of Pilot's mind, in the very back of his consciousness...alarm bells began to ring. A great and terrible sense of unease overtook Pilot, and he became dizzy. The room began spinning around him and Pilot felt as if all at once the air had been sucked out of his chest through a powerful vacuum. Everything goes black.
Pilot feels himself come to, but not completely, he thinks he is in a dream. He sees a vast army stretching out before him. This army was composed of what looked to be the same substance Pilot had seen on the Tempest's life-support machine. Legion upon legion of foe bow and twitch before a large, dark shadow. Pilot now realized his sense of dread from before. It was the Taken, and the large foreboding shadow that they bowed to...was Oryx. As if hearing it's name in Pilot's mind, the titanic shadow looks up from inspecting it's Taken troops. With a great, dark and bony finger Oryx points to Pilot, who in his mind's eye, saw Oryx pointing directly at him. Pilot watches as the entire army looks at him in unison, looking like a wave of shimmering stars as they turned. There must have been more than a thousand of them...stretching his large, demon-like wings, Oryx bellows in an unknown tongue and the entire army begins chittering and twitching in obedience. The entirety of the mass now seemed to move directly towards Pilot.
Pilot gasps for air as the dark place and legions recede into nothing and the room he was in on the Tempest materializes around him. Pilot shakes in shock and realizes his hand was on the spectral substance that he had spotted on the corner of the life-support machine. Ike and DinkelBot were still by Atlus's stasis tube, scanning and deliberating, unaware of what had just happened to Pilot. Pilot shudders and shakes his head, as if to shake away the vision that just wracked his being. Ike takes notice of this right away and asks Pilot if he is okay, turning his helmet in Pilot's direction. "They're coming Ike. Seal the blast doors...they're coming NOW!"
Ike could sense the severity of the situation in Pilot's tone and immediately told DinkelBot to seal the door, walking quickly towards Pilot. "What happened?" Ike asked. Pilot implicated the strange, star-like spectral substance on the life-support machine he was standing next to. Ike saw this and immediately begins to panic. "Here?! Of all places! Dammit! Seal those doors Dinky!" DinkelBot hurried as best it could to seal the large hulking blast doors that separated the stasis chamber from the rest of the ship. The doors stuttered and creaked as they dragged their huge masses slowly closed.
There was suddenly a drastic change in air pressure. The two Guardians felt heavier, as if being stifled by some unseen contagion, that also thickened the air around them. The heavy blast doors are almost a foot from being closed, when what looks like a portal begins to open on the other side of the console Pilot and Ike had passed on their way into Atlus's stasis chamber. The portal looked the same as the substance found on the life-support machine, like stars had been squeezed out of a paint tube and formed into a gateway. Before the heavy blast doors clank shut the two Guardians can make out through the narrow slit, the first wave of Taken soldiers teleporting onto the Tempest.
"What are we gonna do now Commander?" Ike asked in a slightly excited voice. The Taken can now be heard clamoring on the other side of the blast doors, it is unclear how many enemies lurk on the other side, but it sounded like a good multitude. "We need to get this tube open. Dead or alive, we need Atlus's shard!" Ike grunted in agreeance and ran back towards the tube, DinkelBot following closely behind. BOOM! A thundering explosion on the other side of the doors rocks the inside of the Tempest, knocking Ike and Pilot to the ground. "Dinky, get that damn tube open!" Ike shouts from the ground as yet another, and then another explosion wrack the ship. "The encryption on this stasis tube is by far the most complex I have ever seen." DinkelBot says slightly awing at the programmer's craftsmanship. "Quit drooling and open the damn thing!" Pilot yells, using his shotgun to steady himself while trying to pick himself up. "This could take days to decrypt..." DinkelBot says, either unaware or uncaring of the danger extremely close-by. Heat from the Taken's weapons were already beginning to melt the alloy of the doors, the doors began to glow a hot-orange and sparks erupted with every explosion.
Who knew how long the Tempest could fly with this assault taking place in her belly, Pilot thought. He had to do something. Rallying to his feet, Pilot staggers towards the door, balancing as best he could as the Taken attempt to blow them away. Taking a firing stance just a few feet from the orange-hot fissure in the blast doors, Pilot motions for Ike to follow. Ike lacklusterly scrambles towards the door, fumbling with his footing as Pilot had due to the shock waves the explosions were emitting.
The explosions, the Guardians noticed, were coming in intervals, hitting the doors with optimal impact. The Taken were as their master had wanted them, it was not the soldiers on the other side of the doors that the Guardians faced, but Oryx himself. Oryx's troops were only a mere, and quite literal, extension of his Will. Ike lined up besides Pilot and readied his weapon. "Okay Ike, we're just gonna' pray your Ghost can get that tube open." Ike shrugs his shoulders in disappointment, amidst all the action he still makes time to be sarcastic. "Really Commander?" the static interference in the helmet comms were getting fuzzier. "Unless you got any better plans Ike..." Pilot looks from the door to Ike. "I...I do not Commander." Ike replies sheepishly. "Okay, then eyes forward and the first opening you see, light'em up!" Pilot shouts over the sound of another explosion, which seemed to be followed by automatic weapons fire. They were also shooting at the doors now. The doorway was literally beginning to melt as drips of white-hot steel slithered down the seem of the opening to the stasis chamber in a stream of orange magma.
The first few inches of an opening begins to emerge in the middle of the heavy, sealed doorway, and all hell breaks loose. The two Guardians point their weapons towards the opening and unleash a litany of bullets at point-blank range. Magma like steel errupts from the Taken side of the doors as the two Guardian's shells and heavy hand-cannon rounds shred through the remainder of the opening. Much like rocks being thrown through a wall of water, their bullets tear through the first few Taken on the other side, but when one falls, two take it's place. Such was the difficulty with the Taken foe. Through the small opening that was just created between the blast doors Pilot peered into the console room on the other side, and what he saw frightened him. All he could see staring back at him we're the fiery eyes of the Taken soldiers. Eyes that burned with the supernatural will of their master, and bodies that glowed with an inter-dimensional light.
The Taken return fire, barraging the blast doors and opening with a flurry of energy projectiles. This concentrated fire further melted the doors, and rounds were beginning to skip into the stasis chamber hitting machines the and equipment, sparks of electricity and smoke spurting from each hit. The opening in he blast doors was now three feet in diameter and growing larger. Energy rounds zip and zing past Pilot and Ike's heads, as they duck behind some-more machines cluttered in front of the blast doors. Pilot and Ike both execute blind-firing techniques, raising their weapons just above cover to fire a few rounds blindly at their assailants. DinkelBot was still hovering close to Atlus's stasis tube, still attempting to decrypt the lock while Ike and Pilot attempted to stave of the Taken assault. Servus had not left Pilot's side since the fighting began, attempting to analyze the tactical situation of the fight. "My Lord..." "Not a good time Servus!" Pilot says, popping out of cover to unload a few more shotgun shells at the Taken before ducking back down again. "My Lord, forgive me..." Servus says calmly, "...but I estimate our chances of surviving this encounter at 43.2 percent. The Taken are now occupying most of the physical space of the Tempest, and our collective ammunition is running low." "Keep that eye to yourself Servus!" Ike yelled, as if he'd been seen naked in the shower. "My ammo is none of your concern!" Ike popped out of cover to fire off more rounds, but before he could return, an energy projectile impacts with his shoulder. Ike shouts as he's knocked to the floor by the force of the projectile, his hand-cannon clattering to the ground and sliding out of his reach. Ike groans as he hits the ground and Pilot begins frantically firing into the crowd of Taken who have now melted a size-able entrance into the doorway. Pilot could see the Taken trying to step into the opening which had grown by a few feet in diameter and growing bigger by the second. Pilot rebuffed these attempts with more fire from his shotgun, but it was barely enough to keep the Taken soldiers at bay, and if what Servus says is true, there's a whole ships-worth of Taken to kill, and not nearly enough ammo to kill them with. Ike pulls himself up and huddles against his cover clutching his arm. Ike looks at Pilot, and Pilot just knows that " this is hopeless" was written all over Ike's face. Pilot is inclined to agree at this point, but there is something in him that wont let go. A fire, a fight, or a deep burning hatred...something within Pilot that animates him and directs him to keep firing his weapon. Until hell or high-water he was going to keep fighting the Taken tooth and nail, inch by bloody inch.
Pilot is hit in the chest and goes down like a sack of bricks, coughing a good amount of blood up into the interior of his helmet. Ike scrambles to Pilot's side, his dead arm dangling from his body. Pilot is critically injured and incoherent. Grabbing Pilot under the pit of one of his arms, Ike uses his remaining strength to drag his commander to the far end of the chamber by the large stasis tube. The first of the Taken now advanced through the man-sized opening in the blast doors, the hot magma from the melted steel giving way to this first reaper of light. As it stepped through the opening, the Taken soldier twitched with severity. It's head cocking and contorting in unnatural ways...it was absolutely terrifying to see one so close. Ike and an unconscious Pilot now leaned up against the back wall of the stasis chamber by the large stasis tube as DinkelBot frantically attempts to decrypt it's lock. Another, larger Taken soldier entered the chamber, followed by a smaller one and then another. The Taken, or rather, Oryx, had ceased firing as if they (he) had already known the battle was won. They now only proceeded to flood the room, twitching and contorting as they looked upon their prey.
Then there was a loud hissing sound, as if massive amounts of air pressure were being released all at once. The stasis chamber all at once filled with thick, white, smoke and a loud electrical crackling could be heard rising from the back of the chamber. Ike could not see what was happening, and neither could the Taken, who now began firing their weapons again as if caught by surprise. Bursts of energy projectiles slam into the walls around Ike and Pilot, sending hot cinders of metal scattering off the Guardian's armor. Ike instinctively covers Pilot as best he can, as the Taken fire wildly into the blinding smoke. The Tempest lurches forward and declines slightly, sending some Taken stumbling back into their own ranks. Ike does what he can to brace himself with his legs pressed against a nearby machine and holding on to an unconscious Pilot, valiantly attempts to prevent his commander from sliding into the mob of Taken. The Taken were now firing at them through each-other while fumbling for stable footing. The situation looks dire indeed.
"I was always the strongest." A deep, rough voice scoffed, chiming in through Ike's helmet speakers. Ike heard this and laughed maniacally. "Then prove it!!!" The electrical crackling sound exploded with a sharp and deafening SNAP! Through Ike's peripheral vision he saw a figure surging with arc energy, lunge in the direction of the Taken. The Taken's projectiles seemed to bounce off the figure like rain off of pavement. Looking forward, Ike saw what could be described as a pulsating explosion of arc energy. Atlus propelled himself directly into the Taken soldiers, slamming into them with such force, that they splattered and dissipated against the walls of the Tempest. Now sundering towards the entrance of the stasis chamber like a hell-bent juggernaut, Atlus runs and jumps then pounds his Fist of Havoc in-between what used to be the heavy blast doors. In a massive blast of arc energy the enemy Taken are ripped asunder, the rippling electrical shock waves jump and arc from enemy to enemy in a fatal dance of blue light. The force of this blast causes the entire ship to shudder, and there was a load metallic groaning sound that made Ike's skin crawl. Ike could feel the Tempest decline even more steeply and a creeping feeling of vertigo entered his gut. Ike felt the mass of the ship pick up speed at an alarming rate, the life-support machines began to rip free and tumble towards the now gaping gap that was the blast doors. Atlus, now looking back at Ike and Pilot, takes a firm grip on the closest machine near the entrance. He stands there casually as his ship is breaking apart and says, quite matter-of-factually in his deep voice, "You guys might want to hold on to something..." Which was the worst and last kind of thing Ike wanted to hear at this point.
With Atlus awake and the Tempest going into free-fall, will the Lords of the Lost Light survive?
We are GUARDIANS!
Chapter 7..."Before the Fall"...
The world as the Guardians knew it was coming to an end. There was a loud, high-pitched droll as well as the sound of metal creaking and bowing. As the Tempest's engines began to fail, the hulking metallic coffin entered a free-fall through the atmosphere of Mars. From the outside of the ship one could observe the molten crevices where the stasis chamber doors once were, in the general area of where Atlus deployed his Fist of Havok. At the point of impact, the ship tore open and the fissure was slowly ripping the rest of Atlus' ship apart, with the Guardians still inside.
Against the backdrop of space, the juggernaut of-a ship known as the Tempest erupted in a series of explosions. Molten sparks and debris scatter throughout the vacuum of space, as all parts of the Tempest are ripped asunder. It was like fireworks, but without the loud bangs. Breaking apart just above the orbit of Mars, hulking, blazing masses of Atlus' ship showered down through the atmosphere onto the landscape of the Red Planet, among the fiery debris were three small shapes enveloped by a blue dome.
Atlus struggles to keep his protective bubble active as he and his two fire-team members hurtle through space alongside varying parts of his ship. Pieces of flying sharp metal and white-hot detritus attempted to breach the Titan's blue-dome. Atlus, with his arms splayed and feet firmly planted, was reminiscent of Da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man" as he pained to keep his comrades in one piece, Pilot and Ike laying unconscious at his feet. Atlus' golden armor gleamed orange from the fire and destruction all around them, but as long as he maintained his bubble, they would survive.
The three Guardians looked like a small blue marble in a lava spout. Falling at great velocities, the three Lords of the Lost Light seem to be crashing to their dooms. It took so much strength for a Titan to hold his defensive bubble, and it seemed that Atlus' strength was waning. Falling from thousands of feet above the surface of Mars, at speeds only a comet could fathom, Atlus only thought that if he failed that would mean him weak, and if he is weak, he would be unfit to serve as a Lord of the Lost Light.
In less than a minute the Guardians broke through the lower stratosphere along with the debris from the Tempest, it was night, but the Guardians were not be able to see outside of the intense flames engulfing them. Atlus' bubble turned a strange turquoise color from the extreme heat twas generated by their rapid, hellish decent. Atlus managed so far to keep himself and his two companions alive, but he doubted if they would survive an impact into the unforgiving, desert surface of Mars. No matter how strong their science...one can still doubt. The Guardians careened towards their death, or the next chapter of their Destiny.
Wanting to see what happens when the Guardians become lights in the sky?
Chapter 8..."Lights In The Sky"...
The rush of air going past Atlus and his friends was deafening, like there were jet engines running at full throttle alongside them. The only thing Atlus could see was fire, orange and blue fire, engulfing his protective bubble. "Klymene! Can you make out anything in this sh*t storm!?" Atlus' Ghost deploys from his shoulder and scans about frantically, "We are far beyond terminal velocity. It appears we are reaching speeds upwards of nine-hundred miles per hour. Our comrades both seem to be in critical condition." Klymene reported grimly. "Dammit! We're approaching the surface, how long until impact?" Atlus shouted. "We will be impacting in a few seconds." Klymene replied. "Double your output, divert all power to shields, if we don't walk away from this one, we are unworthy of our status!" Atlus yelled. "Understood." replies Klymene.
Surrounded by molten debris from his ship, Atlus did his best to hold his posture and keep his bubble from bursting. Suddenly, they crashed into a large part of the ship's hull and began tumbling in their free fall, like a stray wiffle ball being knocked this way and that. The fire and smoke finally cleared only to reveal to Atlus grey smoke and the martian sky, alight now with a million little meteors, the last remnants of the Tempest. "You've served us well fair ship. Rest now. Our fight continues."
The fireteam, encompassed in their titans bubble, fell with such speed and chaos, they seemed to be the metal ball in a pinball machine; except that every bounce brought them closer to the ground. They hit the ground with such force, that waves of red martian sand spouted in all directions from the Guardians point of impact. The impact completely shattered Atlus' bubble, leaving the fireteam a lifeless heap of bodies on the cool martian sand. Pilot's body was broken and contorted in ways, that any normal human being could not possibly survive. Ike lay on his back, the top part of his helmet broken away, showing his lifeless eyes gazing into the night sky, hand still clutching his weapon. Atlus was face down, buried a few feet into the sand with massive injuries to his whole body, the sand covering him masking the extent of his injuries.
Klymene blinked,and hovered over towards it's Guardian. "Will you lay there all night Atlus? Or will you wake your friends from their deaths and join the fight?" "Uggghh..." Atlus let out a pained groan. He then screamed as he pushed himself up from his sand crypt and rose to one knee. This cry was almost maniacal, downright brutish. It was the cry of someone who would not be subjugated to defeat. "That was a well struck hit Mars...but not even YOU can destroy me!" Atlus roared once more in fury and pain, his baritone voice echoing throughout Mars' darkened landscape. The fiery shimmers of light from the Tempest's falling wreckage glowed upon Atlus' golden armor, he then silently rose to his feet, and made his way over to his fallen comrades.
In the spiraling background of his mind Pilot knew it was over, that he had died once again in service of The Lost Light. The question was, would this be the last time. Amidst the explosions and shouting, the crackle of gunfire and then the silence of space, Pilot knew that yet again his body had failed him. That his spirit had suffocated, and that he would go yet again to the place where the sun shined and the smiles flowed from his loved one's faces. That breathless place, a space from a time before.
Pilot inhaled sharply as oxygen filled his lungs. He was ripped abruptly from that place where he wanted to stay forever, transcorporated to the cold, red, desert sands of Mars. He clinched his fists and attempted to sit himself upright, but his attempts are in vain. "Hold still now." a familiar voice chimed. Pilot had little control over his musculatory system as he stared up into the Martian sky, alight with cascading, dying pieces of the Tempest.The sound of boots being pushed through sand, trudging through it really, approached. The soft, disembodied voice finally took form in the shape of a small floating, metal cube, with a familiar golden shell. Klymene floated just past Pilots shoulder, whom was firmly embedded into the Martian landscape.
Moving his head towards the side ever so slightly, pilot noticed that he was eye-level with the desert sands, drowning in it really. Like an epic statue that had been swallowed by time and sandstorms, only the top of his bust was visible along with his undoubtedly broken arms. "It seems you're about waist deep in 'it', Lord Commander." a gruff and curt voice cut through the air and rattled Pilot's eardrums. "Don't make him speak, at least not until we see to his injuries." Klymene chided. "Ah, it'd take more than that to keep this one dead." said Atlus, who then unsympathetically grasps Pilot by his arms and rips him from his sand coffin. This caused Pilot an immeasurable amount of pain, yet he was only able to emit a low, stifled grunt through the torturous discomfort of being pulled through so many pounds of sand.
Something funny for my Readers and Destiny fans alike!
Special thanks to Nicholas M. for keeping me inspired and helping with the technical stuff :) thanks little cousin. Also a big thank you to the rest of my family who has hung in there for me through trying times. Last but by far least, I would like to extend a very enormous special thank you to my beautiful girlfriend Merlinda V. who has always been an inspiration to me even in the darkest of times, I love you with all of my heart and thank you very much for being so supportive and strong for me!
© 2016 Barrett Maioho