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A possible idea, might be more developed

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    A possible idea, might be more developed

    Vanguard Hall, the Tower, The Last city of Earth

    "You know." Cayde-6 started speaking as he looked at Ikora, his shining eyes showing a light of irritation "My hunters have been stalling about the constant fruitless searches for artifacts in the deep space" His words were unusually serious, something that raised Commander Zavala´s attention, when Cayde-6 was serious, something big was going on.

    The veteran Guardians of the Tower were on their usual "office" work, as the Exo complained from time to time, gathering information, guiding the young Guardians on their duties, and make strategies regarding the constant war with the Darkness.

    The present day was a year after the death of Oryx, the Taken King, and the defeat of most of the Taken army, but like with the other species, there were remnants of the ghostly figures causing trouble on the different locations that they could reach. Today was actually a calm day in their experience with the firefights and assaults.

    "And what do you suggest then?" Ikora asked as she stopped her writing "Hunters are the best when it comes to scouting unknown territory and can survive for weeks by themselves." She pointed out thinking that her Exo companion finally blew a fuse. Yet she knew of what he was talking about.

    Since the victory against the Dreadnaught, the Vanguard restarted an abandoned project of Deep space exploration, centuries have passed since humanity went to space beyond Mars and it was just recently that now the Vanguard went as far as Saturn´s rings. Now they managed to reach and cover areas like Jupiter´s space with one of their three exploration Frigates, these ships were made from the designs of the Golden era, but updated to the technology they have gathered through the years. A frigate could hold up to a crew of 50 persons for a period of 10 months, a year if they rationed their supplies.

    But as time passed closer to this day in particular, some Guardians, especially the Hunters were losing the drive to work, at first it was because of finding only remnants of Fallen Ships or ruins of Hive altars in the moons, but it was mostly rubbish or unnecessary data. Then the exploration teams started stalling the exploration as they were getting close to Uranus. That was when Cayde started investigating the odd actions, what he gathered made the jovial and joker Exo feel grim.

    Cayde grumbled something and threw a data pad to the Warlock, who easily caught it. She started reading it and couldn´t help but sigh, understanding the situation "Two years have passed, huh?" she asked and he nodded "Yes, there are some Guardians already making mention of it, even her old fire team forgo any bounty to pay respects." The veteran Hunter was speaking as the Titan finally got the gist of what was going on.

    It wasn´t rare for these reborn soldiers to mourn their lost, many still remembered the defeat of the Moon, and the thousands of lives lost to protect their home, The Last City of Earth and their sole protector of Light, the Traveler.

    The Awoken closed his eyes and started his speech "We Guardians are reborn with the duty to protect the Light, the Traveler gave us this chance to keep fighting the Darkness. We have made more enemies, but also more allies on this war between two elements of life and death." The Titan turned around and looked at the window of the Vanguard Hall, it was a clear morning, and the levels of threat were even low. It was as if even life was giving them this day to remember the lost.

    Cayde put a palm on the map in front of him "It isn´t a surprise of how the Tower is acting, she not only saved a full platoon of Guardians, but also stalled the Taken invasion of Oryx." He knew the name of each of those Guardians, their points of views of how a team of explorers in the Deep space discovered what they could describe as a Hive planet conqueror. He chuckled at first when the first fire team said such absurdity, but his smirk vanished as more reports of the same building explained its details.

    __________________________________________________ _________________

    What happened was that the platoon of 10 fire teams was on a Journey to the other planets of the Solar System, scouting, as simple as that, to collect data and possibly make some warp points to get some territory, on the first months of slowly harder to maintain communications, there were reports of empty moons and destroyed Cabal, Fallen, or Hive ships, remnants of a firefight, but nothing out of the ordinary since the different factions in this war were also fighting against each other.

    But it was on the 5th month when suddenly communications stopped, not even a beep or a mere signal. Their group of explorers disappeared on the area near Uranus and Neptune that big was their area of uncertainty. There were plans for the case where their ships were out of communications, the Guardians weren´t idiots that let the Ghosts control everything, this was a platoon of some of the best Titans, Warlocks and Hunters, being aces in flight, innate sensory skills and survival knowledge compared to none.

    It took yet after almost another month when the Vanguard received something of the explorers, but it came from their frigate class ship appearing from an emergency warp. To say that Zavala´s expression at the sight of it was an understatement, even the Awoken Titan who had a stone of a face was surprised and horrified at the state of the ship. It was almost torn in pieces and burning when it reached Earth´s atmosphere.

    The Titan commander was yelling orders for the crew to Transmat out of the ship, but the pilot, a Titan Exo, replied that they had precious cargo and couldn´t let it be destroyed.

    Fortunately, the ship managed to crash land with some manual work of its pilot near the Cosmodrome. And the Vanguard made a quick job to help the injured and traumatized. Ikora was the one who was making the job of checking each of the Guardians listed on the ship´s log, but there was one missing from the group of 30 Guardians.

    That was the question that none of the other 27 Guardians answered, their reply to such question was "Her fire team has the right to answer that." So Cayde waited until only a Titan Exo and a Warlock Awoken were left, the Titan Exo was a mess as she couldn´t answer due to emotional crashes, her green eyes releasing tears, and the Awoken was thinking out loud of different he was trying to focus his silver eye, the other one covered by a bandage.

    The Titan was a silver looking Exo named Erina-2, at the age of 23 years old, with sleek features on her face, although she had her metallic cheek slashed with three lines, her Molniya type 2 set had burn marks and dents, making the white and bronze colors dull with the damage.

    The Warlock named Auron of 26 years had the pale blue skin of most of his species, he had a hairdo similar to the one of Uldren Sov, his Iron Regalia robes were still dirty with the ashes and dark blood of the Hive, there were rips on the cloth while he also had lost an eye on the struggle.

    It took Cayde some minutes to at least calm both Guardians down when he asked "What happened with that Hive building and your Hunter?" he tried to be as patient as possible as both of them looked at each other, grief was evident on their faces and the Erina was the first to speak.

    "Our explorer ship was passing Uranus moon of Titania when we noticed something odd on its surface, the geographical scanner showed a massive tower-like object on the surface of the moon, but the closer we got, the better view we got of it." She started answering. "We were preparing to send the report of the anomaly when communications went down, we couldn´t even reach the Guardian on another room."

    "We made the mistake of going to that ship." Auron spoke as he looked at his gloved hands "Our curiosity was the one that sealed our doom. The ship looked to be abandoned and we sent a group of scouts to make sure it was safe to even get close to it. Turns out the place was on the moon for centuries" He looked at Cayde, pain in his eye "We made a camp near the Babel Tower, a title given by some of our partners, and started doing our job, gathering data of this structure and sure it was of the Hive, all their religious and apocalyptic tomes, altars of different monarchs and high ranked monsters."

    The Warlock´s hand was closing and opening unconsciously as he continued "There were some artifacts that we had to store in safe boxes due to their taint of the Darkness, our Ghost tried to purify them with their light, but it was too risky to lose our reserves." He said and closed his hand into a fist, void energy oozing from his fingers and disappeared as soon as he opened it again. "On our fourteenth day inside the Babel Tower, a fire team found a monolith that the Ghosts practically flew as if they were flies to a lamp." He made a dry chuckle with the memory "The monolith was an exotic gold mine in terms of knowledge, and it was shrouded in corruption of the Darkness as well."

    Erina´s voice was calm as she explained her Awoken companion´s words "The monolith held information of these.. Three sisters and a strange world that they inhabited." she was trying to focus on the memories "By the size of it and the data we were able to mine from it, something big was going to happen, and this Tower was actually a beacon for warp drive. It took us a full day to even transfer it safely to the ship by the weight of it."

    The Exo´s voice raised again "But then.. Everything activated on the seventeenth day, their core which was powerless suddenly got activated and the pods.. thousandths of them were revealed from the sealed gates, it was as if we opened a box of Pandora." she shivered "We barely managed to escape from the Babel Tower as hordes of thralls and Knights pursued us and our ship was getting attacked from its void cannons."

    "We were between the wall and the sword sir." Auron continued to let his friend calm down "We could have used our emergency warp drive to escape, but that would help the Hive to get to Earth, or we could fight and Die against a massive ship, but Kris had a third idea." He sighed "Overloading the Babel´s core."

    Cayde rubbed his eyes in frustration "A suicide mission, did she go alone?" he asked and almost backed away as the Titan Exo raised from her chair, screaming at him "We would never had done such thing! She was our friend and all three of us volunteered to go into the Core." Her fists were sparkling with arc energy as her emotional state was getting unstable, but soon cooled down with the hand of the Warlock on her shoulder, comforting her.

    Again, the Awoken spoke "We knew the path to the ship´s core and avoided most of its defenses, but our three man ship was downed, we crash-landed into one of the hangars. To even pass a hallway or a room, we had to deal with so many Hive that I lost count of the number synths we used. But we managed to get there, unsurprisingly; they knew our plan as a Wizard was guarding the core."

    "No matter what we used, she kept regenerating, even physical limbs, I was able to rip her arm, but it took seconds for the Wizard to recover and form one new one." The Exo recalled her horrified expression as she held a vanishing arm that reappeared on their foe, unconsciously her palm touched the slashed cheek. "So we decided to take her with us as we started firing at the core with everything we got."

    The Titan then put a hand on her face, trying to hold her tears "Then that stupid Hunter decided to be a hero and transmat us back into the frigate." She slammed her other fist to the table, making a dent on its surface. "The last thing I saw was her getting impaled by the Wizard´s claw, I just know she was smirking through the helmet of hers as we reappeared inside the ship." the Exo then stopped and said no more.

    The Awoken had a tear rolling down his cheek "When we got back to the Frigate, our leader barely asked us what happened as we ran to the Bridge and yelled for the Emergency Warp, the explosion followed us through the jump." He couldn´t help but smirk at his Titan companion "Erina took the ship´s control and saved us from being destroyed in mid-warp jump."

    "We had the explosion debris following us and we already had the hull damaged from the cannons." The Exo started talking again. "I got everyone protecting the ship; the Titans were using their Bubble Shields to cover the Hull Breaches. The Warlocks were giving us life support with their Sunsinger auras and our Hunters were charging the ship´s core and engines with their arc blades." The Titan recalled the escape flight “One of the main engines got torn from the frigate as we excited the warp jump and headed to the Cosmodrome, that was when we overloaded the ship´s thrusters to help us diminish the speed to a more stable speed.”

    Cayde nodded at her words, when they saw the ship, or what was left of it, they were astonished to see gashes on the hull, pieces of it melted by the thrusters and the core all burned up. “You did a good job on that landing kid, but what about transmatting your allies?” as she was about to rip the exo´s face with another outburst, Auron intervened “We discovered while being near the Monolith that we couldn´t transmat, the whole place irradiated Darkness, limiting our abilities, like with Crota´s gaze, its energy was causing problems with our own Light.” he explained, and received a nod from the Hunter Vanguard.

    “And what about the Monolith?” Erina asked, Cayde lifted a hand moving it aimlessly “Our warlocks and scholars are trying to purify it while we are speaking, that thing nearly put an idiot into a coma as he leaned on it, Ikora left him deaf with her scolding.” That gave the Guardians some small chuckles (“Good, they still haven´t lost their souls.”) thought the Exo veteran.

    Getting up from his chair, Cayde-6 looked at both young Guardians “Take the time you need to recover Guardians, you have gone through hell and back.” he spoke with sympathy while leaving, but flinched at the Warlock´s grim tone

    “Yet we left someone behind.”

    __________________________________________________ _______________

    "Was there anything left of that Babel Tower?" Zavala asked his tone lacking any emotion while the Hunter Vanguard tilted his head, pondering on how to answer "I personally went there with a smaller and faster group thanks to the coordinates for a warp jump, there were indeed remnants of Hive structures floating around, and a massive crater on the moon, but nothing more, the explosion destroyed, if not evaporated everything on the close vicinity of the moon."

    Ikora massaged her temple, a headache forming already "Give those Guardians a day off, but they will have to get back on duty by tomorrow´s sunrise. I´ll see what can I do to ease their minds" she spoke with some empathy.

    As the Veteran Guardians were discussing, a blip on one of the Frames´ computers showed objects coming towards the Cosmodrome´s air space, the limited and simple AI of the Frame counted it as a falling satellite and continued its work.

    __________________________________________________ ________________

    The Cosmodrome, Old Russia

    The scorching object that flew on the Cosmodrome, crashed near the Docks of the now rusted ships, a patrol of Hive made up of a group of Acolytes and a Knight were alerted of the commotion and headed to the source from one of the many caverns around the beach. From the smoke and fire, a vessel could be distinguished; it was a Fallen Drop-ship that crash landed to the surface of the Cosmodrome.

    Just as the one leading the group ripped the ship´s door, it received a knife to its head, making it burn and turn into ash in seconds. The other three acolytes started firing at the entrance, hoping to kill the threat blindly, but something was hurled from it, making beeping sounds that got stuck on the middle one of the remaining three Acolytes, the Trip Mine exploded, burning and disintegrating all three of them.

    Highly alerted, the Knight drew its sword and started moving to the drop-ship, a figure appeared with an Auto rifle, evading the swing of the blade and firing to the Knight´s legs, making it fall to its knees, the Hive humanoid looked to the figure that jumped and stabbed the knife on its forehead, killing it.

    Rising from the ashes of the scouting party, a lost guardian appeared, her armor was a combination of human and Fallen technology as her Auto rifle had a similar design of both, her cloak was a tattered cloth with the symbol of a Fallen house.

    "At last.. I´m finally back" those were the first words of the Hunter who walked towards the Tower, her old home.
    Last edited by Kristia; 01-20-2017, 12:08 PM.
    Have you ever crossed the line between sanity and madness? You would be amazed by what lies beyond the fog..


    Chapter 1 Rumors and a Beginning

    The Mothyards, Cosmodrome

    Sitting on the top of one of the wrecked airplanes, the Hunter gazed at the scenery from a safe spot. She could see some Guardians fending off against a squad of Fallen, House of Devils by the color of their capes, she noticed that they were still training by the way the Titan was mostly punching his way against a shank, the warlock was flying back as a Vandal was trying to slash her and the Hunter trying to catch up with it with his knife. (“They still got many things to learn, but they also got a great Journey on their future”) she thought with a chuckle.

    The sunset in the Cosmodrome was on its zenith, the sky´s blue color was becoming almost golden by the sun setting, the ruins of the buildings and the planes had this bluish tone as the battle kept going. The weather was getting colder with the winter season right at the doorstep.

    It was then than the Warlock and the Hunter managed to beat the Vandal together by stabbing it on its back and burning its front with a void palm. The shank was plummeted to the floor and kicked by the Titan, all three of them taking their breaths to recover for probably their first actual fight in their lives as Guardians. Yet they haven´t seen the Captain hidden behind the plane´s turbine.

    The Hunter´s senses saved him from being beheaded by the Captain´s blade as he jumped forward, startling the Warlock as they collided, the Titan was already taking his shotgun to make some cover fire to help his companions, making the Fallen Captain gaze at him and started slashing its arc charged blades.

    The Warlock pushed the Hunter so she could get up and take her Fusion Rifle, getting it prepared to release a burst of solar shots, followed by the Hunter´s sniper shots. The Titan was also doing quite the good job as he was using the shotgun as a club to fend against the Captain. But soon, the Fallen Captain disappeared in a flow of arc energy, one of their best abilities against their enemies, ending behind the Titan and kicking him towards the Warlock, who barely managed to catch him while the Hunter threw a Trip Mine towards the Fallen´s feet, resulting on a big solar explosion.

    Exhausted, the fire team had their weapons drawn just in case for the Captain to reappear, as soon as the smoke and dust dispersed, only a small and scorched crater was left, with a bent shock blade lodged on the surface. It was the Warlock who released a scream of joy, the Titan sitting on the floor and sighing, and the Hunter taking the damaged blade as a trophy, but then he was lifted by an invisible claw holding him by his neck, throwing him to his partners and clashing together.

    The captain reappeared from his cloaking ability as it had his other shock blade, arc energy sounding as it was ready to kill. The fire team was too stunned to act as the towering figure was in front of them, its blade already going on a downward swing.

    Which was stopped by the sound of an arc shot, followed by the roar of agony of the Captain, all three of the Guardians looked at the scorched spot on its chest piece as the Fallen fell to its back, releasing its last breath. The Vandal was barely conscious as the sight of the Captain was on its eyes. The Hunter looked for the source of what he thought was a sniper weapon and spotted a figure on top of one of the wrecked airplanes, it looked humanoid, but was too far away to distinguish it. He took his long ranged weapon and looked through its scope, he gasped at the now better sight of their helper.

    It looked like a female Guardian by its proportions, a Hunter class one by the looks of the light armor and the cloak tied on her neck, yet the surprising thing was the armor itself. The person had cables attached on her arms and shoulders; the shoulder armor was a mismatch of Deep blue and golden, with spikes protruding from the back of the left armbrace´s elbow piece. The leg armor also was odd looking as the webbing on the upper part was protected by a knee armor piece and a blue protector on the right leg and odd spheres of golden attached to the left one. Her chest piece had some small canisters strapped by the breast plate with a cerulean symbol on the upper torso protector.

    The helmet was also as odd as the armor; it´s main color was of the same deep blue as most of the armor, with six golden colored “eyes” on the front of it. There were tubes going towards the mouthpiece of the helmet and there were two outlets on the right cheek, as if something could be fit in them. The Hunter then also noticed her weapon; the beige color of the odd object had a striking resemblance of the Fallen they just fought, he looked at the now dead Vandal and saw that it was almost an exact copy of her weapon.

    He looked back towards the lone Hunter, but she was gone. The Warlock helped the Titan to get up as he spoke “What did you see?” the armored brawler asked, confusion and interest on his tone. The Hunter was trying to come up with the best answer, but he responded with his first reaction “I think we were saved by the Fallen Hunter”. The Warlock didn´t hesitate on speaking “We need to report this to the Vanguard, did you get a good image of her?” she asked and the Hunter affirmed it “Not the best photograph, but I can add details to it.” He answered while appearing his Ghost, transmatting all three of them to their ship.

    The Mothyards were again silent as the Guardians left the scenery, but a groan of pain could be heard from the battle, it was the Vandal. Releasing shallow breaths and trying to stand up, it noticed the figure checking the pockets of the Fallen Captain. With a snarl, the Vandal tried to attack, but fell as exhaustion finally won, the visage of the Hunter´s barrel was the last thing it saw before everything went black.

    Vanguard Hall, the Tower, the Last city of Earth

    Ikora was in deep thought at what the rookie fire team reported, (“Again this Fallen Hunter.. What an absurd idea, but the detail of the description does fit the shape of a Guardian, one that has adapted her armor to the one of the Fallen.”) She was thinking about this oddity while Zavala was speaking, or rather, demanding answers to Cayde-6. “Are you certain that this isn´t one of your ideas Cayde? Let me remind you of that time when you sent one of my Titans to the medics because you asked him to test an “experiment” of yours.” The Titan Vanguard had his stone cold face as always, but his eyes were shinning as if they could burn the Exo´s metallic skin. The Hunter veteran raised his palms in a surrender gesture “He was back on track after a week! And it worked as we can use Taken weapons now.”

    Said experiment was by managing to maintain the Taken weaponry in their physical form instead of just disappearing as their user died. Cayde, alongside Eris Morn, was trying to find a way to channel the Light into the ghostly weaponry, but it wasn´t an easy feat since it needed to be done in seconds as the weapon disappeared just a few moments after the Taken user disappeared from existence. So the Exo needed some “test subjects” to get the weapons and infuse their light into them as fast as they could.
    The first test was with a Titan who actually volunteered to do the experiment, but alas he was knocked down by the energy clash between Light and Darkness, making the rifle explode, thus sending the Guardian to the Hospital.

    Eris and Cayde kept going for weeks and the few Guardians who stayed were only two, from a group of 20. These two Guardians had a will of iron and didn´t give up with the tests with the help of their Ghosts. It took some explosions and melting weaponry, but in the end, now many Guardians could use Taken weapons, starting with an Exo Titan with her Auto Rifle, and an Awoken Warlock with his Shotgun.

    But back on track, Cayde let Zavala cool down as he was finally able to speak “I really don´t know who this Hunter is, at first I thought it was The Stranger, but she just watches and her suit is.. Tight.” he coughed with the memory of that body. “This one is using an actual armor, and held a fallen Wire rifle in her hands” he pointed out. Commander Zavala had another idea, but was interrupted by the Warlock Vanguard “He is right Zavala, while Cayde´s ideas sometimes back fire.” She smirked at the Exo´s grumbling and continued “He reports most of them with us, and this “Fallen Hunter” has been sighted in numerous occasions on the Cosmodrome, helping the Guardians from afar.” This Fallen Hunter was the new commotion around the Guardians; rumors about her were going around the city and the Tower, making theories of her origin, scouting sprees with fruitless results, and so on with the imagination of each person. Yet something was true about this stranger, she had Light.

    Cayde looked at Ikora “How did you find out about her having Light?” he asked, to do such thing, you needed a Ghost to be with you, it was true that everyone had Light within themselves, but a Ghost was a catalyst to release its true potential. Ikora showed another file of the unknown Hunter, they were a set of five images, showing her jumping from a cliff, in one of the images, and a small object could be seen flying with her. “That small thing has a similar form like the one of a Ghost, I know it is a speculation, but from the experience we have had since the Darkness in the Black Garden, I´m taking every piece of information as an asset.”

    Both veterans were still piecing everything together on this unfinished puzzle when two Guardians approached them. The Warlock was writing his report while the Titan had her helmet held on her side. “We got the reports of the Fallen Drop-ship ma´am” she saluted the Warlock Vanguard. “Look who is here, the dynamic duo” Cayde already had his sense of humor back as Ikora was handed the report from the Awoken. “So, what did you two find in that crashed ship?” he asked them. The Exo had a professional pose as she explained “We got to the landing zone as soon as the Frames discovered the mistake on their readings Sir, but it was an odd sight.” At the mention of that, Zavala raised an eyebrow “Please, elaborate.”

    The Awoken´s eye gazed the Commander “What we found was nothing; there were no shank pieces or bodies of any Fallen crew.” He started as his Ghost appeared, showing images of the area for the Vanguard to see it. “The landing was crude, but made manually by how it managed to use the beach as a slide, but again, there were no bodies to be found. But what we did found were ashes of Hive close to it with the ship´s door ripped out near the landing zone.”

    The Older Titan was connecting the dots “We got a Fallen Drop-ship that had to manually crash-land on the docks, then we got the Hive to see the commotion, but only the remnants of the later are in the area.” He deduced “What about the ship itself? Anything strange of it?” he asked. The Exo Titan shook her head “No Sir, while it wasn´t that supplied, there were pieces of equipment that could easily be stripped and taken, whoever was on that ship either didn´t need the supplies or was escaping from something.” She had another idea, but decided to not speak.

    Cayde, known for his perception skills, noticed that “Something on your mind Guardian?” he asked, already having an inkling of what the young Exo had in her mind.
    She sighed “What if.. it was her?” she simply asked, her pose broken from a powerful Titan to someone who lost their soul. The Warlock unconsciously put a hand on her shoulder “We talked about this Erina, the chances of surviving that explosion were impossible.” He spoke with sympathy, understanding his friend.

    Al three of the Vanguard knew who they were talking about; it had been a month since the 2nd anniversary of the death of the Hunter Kristina in Titania, the largest moon of Uranus. Her partners still felt the pain after two years, and the Exo was still having nightmares about it. Auron wanted to help his partner to move on, but still remembered how she almost destroyed the entire medical ward when he suggested a memory wipe. They would have to live with this in the old fashioned way.

    Cayde closed his eyes and released a breath “Erina, while I admire your hope for your friend, you also need to see the reality of things.” he hated how bad it sounded, but when emotions conflicted with their duty, there were risks of causing more problems rather than solving them. The Titan nodded “I know the chances of surviving were bleak, but something is telling me that I shouldn´t give up, It can be my selfishness for losing my friend, but I just can´t give up.”
    Before anyone could say anything, another voice could be heard “That is your Light Guardian” came the Speaker´s calm and neutral voice, the pristine robe of his releasing an air of peace “You are not wrong on trying to keep the memory of your ally, we make bonds on this new life that the Traveler has given us, yet you can also use those memories as a motivation to keep moving forward.”

    The Speaker looked at the Warlock “We share the pain of the ones we have lost, the Light has its way of acting, but it is our choice and free will that makes us unique.” His mask then gazed at the Vanguard “Life is uncertain while Death is certain, we have the in-between to make our actions, search for our dreams, and face our fears. Don´t forget Guardians, we were given a second chance for a reason.”

    Ruins of the Rocketyard, Cosmodrome

    The first thing that she did was release a gasp of air, the ether within her body was a soothing feeling that was fighting to the pain on her chest and back. She didn´t know what was going on, but remembered what she thought was her last Journey.
    (“There were three Guardians.. Easy targets”) she thought while getting a view of her surroundings. It was a rectangular room with some lightbulbs barely giving some light. Pieces of tables and terminals lying on the floor, looking at her, she noticed that some of the tables were piled together, with varied kinds of cloths, forming what could be a rudimentary bed for her.

    She tried to sit up, but the pain overwhelmed her still recovering body, making her groan. A robotic voice appeared “Oh, you are awake, congratulations on surviving.” she followed the source of the voice and found a Ghost, its cracked eyepiece staring at her. Instinct kicked in as she tried to swipe the Little Light, which failed as she fell to the floor. “Now look at what you just did, it took us hours to patch you up.” The Ghost actually scolded her? And what was it talking about patching her up? The injured was about to reply when a door on her left was opening. Quick thinking, she hid beneath the tables and looked for any kind of weapons, but only managed to get a hold of a keyboard. The steps were getting closer and stopped just as the Guardian noticed that the injured wasn´t on the bed “Isaac? Where is our guest?” a female voice spoke, followed by the Ghost “She just woke up and is still trying to get back on her senses.”

    The female spoke again “You can get out of your hiding spot, I´m not here to fight you.” The injured knew she was at disadvantage, but slowly got up from the table, keyboard still firmly held on her hands, and then was shocked to see it was the same Hunter who killed her Captain. Anger boiling in seconds, the Vandal pounced on the Hunter “You killed my Captain!” she yelled, swinging the piece of equipment, which shattered as it clashed with a wall instead of the intended target. Her four arms swinging at the Guardian, who was evading them and countering to hits with her palms.

    The Hunter knew this was a possible reaction, but was surprised by the energy that this Vandal had despite almost dying some hours ago “Calm down! I was the one who saved you!” she tried to explain, but the Fallen was on a fury streak. The Vandal didn´t care, she probably was going to die in any moment, so at least, she would avenge her comrade. Yet a powerful voice boomed on the room.

    “Drexia, enough!”

    Both figures stopped as the towering visage of the Fallen Captain appeared, he was walking on a sort of crutch made for his size, he didn´t have his armor, and instead of it was a bandage covering his skin, a red mark on his chest were the Hunter´s Wire Rifle had hit him. The Vandal was confused at the sight of her Captain, to the point of not noticing a needle inserting on her neck, she snarled and nearly bit the Guardian´s hand “What did you put into me Human?” she asked, ready to fight again.

    The Hunter showed the contents of the needle “Some Ether to heal the reopened wounds that you made.” She answered “I managed to stop both of you from dying, but I recommend that you go back to your base and get a servitor to heal you.” The Captain was calm despite being shot by this Guardian; he had the years of experience while battling against many foes, but also became wiser with each fight “Tell us Human, why did you save us? We and the Guardians are enemies.” He asked curiousness on his tone.

    The Guardian nodded at him “You fought until the end, Captain.” She answered with a tone of respect, something odd for the two Fallen “The Eliksni are a honorable race which has lost its home and culture, but your drive to fight is still as strong as before the events of The Whirlwind.” This surprised both of them, not many knew of the destruction of the Eliksni´s home when The Whirlind ocurred, only the Kell, Archon and some lucky Captains knew about what happened so much time ago. “I shall give my thanks to you Human, for saving me and my apprentice” He gave a faint nod towards the Hunter.

    The Vandal, Drexia, had a question “How do you know of our history?” it was a simple question, which was answered by the Guardian “Variks, from the House of Judgement, is an ally of mine.” The hunter smiled remembering the old Fallen “He told me the tales of the different Houses and their warriors, like Chelchis, Kell of Stone” the Captain closed his eyes, thinking of one of the strongest Eliksni. “A Kell who faced Death, who gave many, the chances to live, became a legend in our people.”

    He then noticed the cloak of the Hunter. It´s design was of three droplets of water, making a perfect inverted triangle as they were connected, below it two lightning bolts were diagonal, pointing to the center, were a small star was by itself. “That banner.. Where did you get it?” he asked, his hands twitching at the sight of it.

    Letting him see the symbol of her cloak, the Hunter spoke, closing her eyes. “An aged Eliksni of the name Tageris saved my life in the Deep Space, he was the last elder of a next to extinct House who managed to hide from the Whirlwind, and he knew that they would be killed on sight with the anarchy on the dispersed Houses.” She spoke, memories of a dying Fallen who gave her another chance. “He told me of the prophecies that would come in the near future while I gave him life on his last days on this Journey.” The Vandal´s mind was overloading with so much information, she not only evaded death thanks to a Guardian, but she also was being truthful about her tale. “It is real.. There is still hope for our people” she murmured.

    Getting back on his feet, the Captain made a vow towards the Hunter “I, Rundas, Captain of the House of Devils, acknowledge you.”

    The Vandal also got on her feet and vowed “I, Drexia, Vandal of the House of Devils, acknowledge you.”

    The Human took her helmet off, showing her chocolate skin, brunette hair and ash colored eyes “And I, Kristina, Kell of the House of Rain, acknowledge you.”
    Have you ever crossed the line between sanity and madness? You would be amazed by what lies beyond the fog..



      Chapter 2 Perspectives and the Kickstarter.

      The Devil’s Lair, Cosmodrome

      Both Fallen managed to return to their home as the night enveloped the snow filled rust ruins of the Cosmodrome, using the shadows as their allies against the Hive scavengers. “Parasites” as Rundas called the creatures that only devoured what they could find, he wouldn´t be surprised if they ate each other just to stay alive, in fact, he would bet his rations of Ether and probably win.

      “We are almost there young one; we can rest when we get there.” The Captain spoke as he let go of the crutch due to his natural healing abilities. His apprentice closely following him, Wire Rifle held by her upper arms and a Shock Blade on her lower right one, there was a small package held by the Eliksni Captain, and a container on his back of Ether seeds stored for emergencies.

      The Vandal, Drexia, was silent during most of the trip, following her master´s orders, making sure of his safety. The Guardians that fought them were lucky that they were coming from a fight against the House of Kings for some resources, unfortunately for her, Drexia and her Captain, only the two of them and a Shank managed to escape, a bittersweet taste as they had destroyed the cache of ammunition “We may have failed, but they wouldn´t rejoice on their bloodstained loot.” Her Mentor mentioned as he had detonated the ammunition with a grenade, killing most, if not all the Kings on the area.

      They were now at the Entrance of the Devil´s Lair, or as the Guardians called it, the Blast, with a Walker protecting its gate. Rundas lifted his hand to stop his companion, then making a series of gestures with said hand. Soon, a manhole near the Guard Walker was opened, showing a dreg appearing from it. “Welcome, brother and sister.” He greeted them with a vow.

      The Captain was the one who spoke “Greetings brother.” he made a nod with his head “We come with unfortunate fate as we have lost our comrades.” his tone was grim as both lower Fallen lowered their heads “Yet their deaths are not in vain, the House of Kings has received a powerful blow as their soldiers perished in the skirmish”.

      “They are now in a new Journey.” Drexia finally spoke as she raised her head “Yet we also got another piece of information that our Kell needs to receive.” the Vandal said with new strength in her souls. Rundas could see her enthusiasm with their revelation, yet he also had to talk with the apprentice before a mistake would be done. The dreg nodded as he let them inside the Lair through the hole “We already got a Servitor to heal your wounds and the Kell will have an audience with you soon. We uh..” he had some doubt in his tone. The Captain raised an eyebrow inside his helmet “What troubles you, brother?” he asked the small soldier, who was startled by his voice “We have gathered information from our Communication branch; they have reports of sightings of the Fallen Hunter.”

      Both Captain and Vandal stopped as the Dreg said the last two words, they knew who he was talking about, they were actually saved by her. “What else have you found about this stranger?” Rundas prodded, the young Dreg kept going “It is confirmed that its weaponry is of ours, a scouting team came before you, arc shots on their chests or limbs, all injured, but no lethal wounds.”

      This was something that most of the Eliksni knew about the Hunter stranger, the first sighting of a Guardian using Fallen weaponry on different locations of the Cosmodrome, there was not much known about who it was or if it was a he or she because this stranger only could be seen from afar, with the aid of a scope.

      The Dreg´s voice took Rundas back to reality as they kept walking down the stairs towards their home “The scouting team was investigating the underground transport tunnels of the Humans, mapping the area and marking both safe and Dark Zones because of the parasites.” He growled at the last word “They were ambushed by the Hive as they reached a major room, but also got attacked from behind by the Guardians.”

      Drexia hefted her wire rifle and huffed “A stab on the back, such a cowardly act.” she spat, Rundas on the other hand commented “Don´t let your anger cloud your judgement young one, while some of the Guardians take advantage of others’ misfortune, they have to do so to keep surviving in this war.” His words were coated in wisdom.

      They were now entering the actual Lair´s entrance as two Vandals guarded the locked gate; the Dreg nodded at them and made the same hand gesture that the Captain used outside. Both Vandals nodded and opened the locks, letting the trio to get inside, revealing the underground base.

      While the Vanguard knew that the Kings and Devils had their bases in the underground of the Cosmodrome, they only had scraped pieces of its upper levels. The Devil´s Lair was built from the different rooms below the ground of the Rocketyard and The Blast areas, with only three entrances; one was with the altar of Sepik´s Prime, protected by blast doors and mines. The second one was the manhole where Drexia and Rundas went into, but the last one was where their Ketch was stationed, one of the human rocket silos. The Lair itself was divided in different branches, depending on how deep you would go into the base.

      The first level was the commonplace, were the Eliksni were quickly moving, delivering supplies, preparing to leave on missions, and the elevators for the bigger groups with the Skiffs and Walkers. The second one was the Communications section, where most of their data was being provided and received, Terminals always active and constant vigilance for any situation. The third level were the barracks and medical section, most of the House lived here while being off duty, having the commodities to ease their minds from the fights on the surface, the medical wing had a set of Servitors repurposed to focus on the soldiers’ healthcare, some Eliksni working as medics, while it was rare for the Fallen to choose this job, they were respected nonetheless by their duty.

      The fourth and middle one was where the Kell, Archon Priests, Barons and some Captains resided, it had the audience room with the throne of the Kell, and most of the reunions of the varied situations occurred on this level as also the weekly and monthly reports within the Lair.

      The Fifth Level was the armory, where the Engineering teams worked on the weaponry, the vehicles and ammunition in optimal state; this was probably the biggest level since they had Skiffs and Walkers in different states of work. The sixth floor section was made up of the researchers and historians of the Eliksni, they both worked on developing their technology while also maintaining their history.

      The seventh and last level was the most important from the entire base, even surpassing the security from where the Kell resided. This level was the Civilian Settlement, where most of their populace lived. Here resided everyone who didn´t work in the military or didn´t get a place in the other levels for some reason. From the youngest pup to the elders, families and out of commission lived here. Their House could be one of the strongest in the Fallen groups, but it wasn´t just because of their strength in battle, but it was because of their most important core value, their people.

      Right now, the trio of Eliksni were going down to the Medical branch of the Lair as both the Captain and Vandal still had their injuries, Rundas might not have said anything, but he was worried for her apprentice´s health since she received a void palm to her already damaged armor while also being stabbed on the back.

      The Dreg then continued his report “As I was saying brother, the Guardians soon noticed that the scouting team was fighting the Hive, and they let us fend against the parasites.” he sounded confused by the Vanguard´s decision, but continued “But when they were safe from the Hive, their Captain fell by an arc shot, at first we thought that the Humans attacked them, but soon, all of them fell by the same weapon.”

      Rundas pondered about it “Any evidence of the Fallen Hunter?” he simply asked while the lower ranked Fallen nodded “The only conscious Dreg of the group managed to see it, behind the group of Guardians who got distracted by the stranger. Fortunately, they let us there as if we were dead.”

      Being saved is something that other Fallen had reported from their trips on the surface, their missions turned to disasters and would have probably died, but the Fallen Hunter was always somewhere, watching both their kind and the Guardians, for what Rundas had gathered through his fellow Captains, she never killed her targets, rather, the stranger knocked them unconscious and cleared the area for Fallen to go back to safety.

      “Captain.” he looked at Drexia, who finally took off her helmet, the grey color of her skin with a faint touch of purple had evidence of dirt due to the long time in the battle, her four eyes were reptilian as of a crocodile or a snake, having a vertical slit with the iris being yellow, almost golden if the light got on the right angle. Orange hair appeared on the middle of her head, going all the way to the back of her neck. She released a breath of relief as Servitors started pouring Ether to their systems, her sharp teeth showing as she spoke without the helmet “If I may ask with freedom.” she received a nod. “What is the opinion of our people regarding this stranger?”

      The Captain did the same as her by taking off his helmet, his skin was similar to hers, but a tone darker, his hair was similar to his apprentice, but it was midnight black, on blue eyes was missing the back right one, although it was exchanged by a white crystal, as if it was blind. “The soldiers are in a stalemate between liking this stranger and fearing a surprise attack from that wire rifle, but we can´t make conclusions without speaking with our Kell and Baroness, but for now.” He started ripping his broken armor “We need to recover.”.


      The Titan grunted at the sniper shot to her chest as she was charging towards the Hunter who now was stepping back and reloading his special weapon “Bad move Rookie” she taunted as she shoulder charged the Gunslinger, getting the kill. She didn´t stop running as bullets hailed from her side, aimed to the head by a pulse rifle, the Exo jumped back as she took out her shotgun, now with ammunition thanks to her latest victim. The Warlock using the pulse rifle prepared her solar grenade, but didn´t expect her enemy to be so fast, and then was thrown by the shotgun´s blast, disappearing in Light.

      Erina-2 was on a streak with this match, she was gunning her targets as if they were practice dummies, a fellow Titan tried to stop her by preparing his Sol Hammer “Come on Odin’s Thunder, my hammer will sto-argh!” his speech was stopped as the Exo caught his fiery hammer and threw it to his helmet, a crunching sound could be heard as the protector shattered.

      “Predictable routines, easy to counter.”
      she thought out loud now feeling her own Light ready with a super. She knew that those three Guardians would respawn in the same area, followed by at least one of their teammates with the heavy weapons ammunition cache.

      The Titan activated her sparrow and flew in a flurry of energy, dust following her wake. She was mentally counting the seconds before the respawn, seeing the telltale light of the Hunter just reappearing. With a smirk, Erina-2 hit the overcharge of her sparrow, making it go at overdrive, she jumped just as the vehicle exploded, having now a perfect arc for her super. Just as the last of the now respawned Guardians got on his feet, they heard electricity being accumulated; the Warlock just had a moment to gasp as Erina-2 flew like a meteor of arc energy, hitting the floor right in the middle of the three Guardians, evaporating them in electricity.

      Breathing, the Titan got up as arc energy was still on her fist, she turned while making the gesture of throwing a javelin to a Guardian firing a rocket, at first, it looked as if she threw nothing, but in a second, an Arc bolt appeared from her throw, passing through the rocket, making it explode, and hitting the Heavy weapon user straight to the chest, ending his life.

      The sound of the match being over could be heard from within her helmet, the Exo looked at the results from her HUD, with her as the victor of the Rumble match. She was transmated to the Crucible barracks with the other five Guardians; they were still in shock from the Titan´s performance. The Sunbreaker was the first to speak as he asked “How did you held my hammer? Wouldn´t that have burned you?” it was an honest question, and Erina nodded, showing the replay of their fight “It indeed almost killed me as I held it by the pommel, but if you are quick enough, you can throw it back to your offender.” she pointed out and looked at the Hunter “A sniper is one of the best weapons for your class Hunter, but you need to always see if your cartridge is full.” and finally she gazed at the Warlock “You had good aiming with that auto rifle, yet I suggest you to train your moving skills, Warlocks have great flying abilities, but they lack speed on the ground.”

      Taking off her helmet, the Exos face was now on display with her silver metallic skin, with three slash marks on her cheek, Erina-2 smiled at the three rookies “You have potential, all of you can achieve great feats, Don´t think of this as a failure, but even better, look at it as a way to get better." The Titan knew she hit the nail as the posture of the three Guardians got better and left to get their rewards from the match.

      She was startled at the voice behind her “You sure gave them quite the lesson, Odin’s Thunder.” Erina groaned while turning around, looking at a smirking Auron, a book on his hand and a package of food on the other one, being offered to her. The Titan took the food and pointed a finger at him “I don´t like titles, neither the spotlight.” she looked rather shy with the statement, while in combat, Erina-2 was a professional and serious Guardian; she was completely different while off duty, being an emotional and cheerful Exo.

      Auron just kept his smirk “Come on Eri, I´m just joking, although..” he looked at the wall, hand rubbing his chin as if he was in deep thought “Being called The Controller of the Nether sound dashing.” he had a flashing smile, which soured at the laughs of his friend “You have to admit it sounds great!” he glared at the giggling Exo.

      Erina took a moment to cool down as she talked “Sorry Uro, but also thanks for the relief.” she smiled at him while they headed to the tower´s barracks. Both Guardians were on their off day as they had accumulated enough bounties for some weeks of vacation, yet they used just a day here and there since they enjoyed their job.

      As they walked, Erina murmured to the Awoken “They are staring again.” Auron sighed knowing what she meant. The incident they had with the Babel Tower was told to the public when Oryx appeared, the Vanguard had made the announcement as a way to remember the Guardian they had lost, and when they finally dethroned the King of the Taken, they made a plaque for the Hunter, placing it on the wall at the main stairs heading to the Hall of the Vanguard, to remember of her sacrifice so the Guardians could prepare and win the battle against Oryx.

      But things went oddly as many Guardians looked at the surviving Titan and Warlock of the fire team as if they were on another level of power, something neither of them enjoyed. Erina hated being in the middle of a spotlight, mostly since they looked at her as a tactical and unstoppable Titan, yet she was an Exo who enjoyed the simple things rather than focus on more complicated stuff. Auron was in a similar case of distaste as the Awoken saw him as the role model for the Warlocks, the image of a scholar who has been on the other side of the void, but he preferred being casual, making bad jokes with his friends and avoid the Awoken “Humorless culture” as he called it.

      Things got worse for the duo as they kept working, they were making tests with Cayde as he always had crazy ideas that sometimes blew up on his face, but they could also be amazing discoveries, like the cloak system of the Blade dancers and the now recent Taken Weaponry.

      Erina was trying to harness the Arc energy to use it in a two phase process, the first one was making the Fist of Havoc attack, but instead of releasing all its power on the area, she would only affect the proximity of 2 meters. The Second phase was of her charging the remaining energy into her fist and throwing it as if it was a javelin, making it become an arc bolt, thus the title of Odin’s Thunder.

      Auron, by channeling his Void energy, had managed to envelope himself in the element, making him phase out of this reality to be immune to physical attacks, yet the more interesting part was when he released his Nova Bomb, instead of being the energy of purple energy, it would become a ray of pure void element, decimating everything on a radius of 3 meters if it was in the form of an explosion, or being an energy blast to almost 100 meters.

      This discovery of their subclass threw the Guardians to an even higher pedestal, but at least they only received looks, there was the respect for personal space thanks to being told about it, or by receiving a punch by a fuming Titan Exo, much to the mirth of the Awoken Warlock.

      “Let them be Eri, we got another mission from the Vanguard, looks like your request has finally been accepted.” the mood of the Striker raised so fast that she hugged the Warlock “Careful with.. Lungs!” he groaned and was put on his feet again “As I was saying, your request was finally accepted by the Vanguard, they want us to find the Fallen Hunter, and if possible, bring her to the Tower.”

      The last part was received by a frown as Erina spoke “Why bring her? She doesn´t looks to be a threat for us, heck, she even has saved many Guardians from Fallen warriors.” she pointed out while Auron handed her an image, it was grainy and hard to see since it was from a moving location, but her question was answered by the contents of the photograph.

      “That is what surprised us too, while she saved us from battles against the Fallen, this stranger has also taken them and probably helped them too, try to remember the reports.” the warlock explained to the Titan “None of her shots were to the head or a critical spot in the targets, with aiming like that, the Fallen Hunter should be able to make headshots.”

      The Awoken let the information sink in the Exo as they headed to the Hall of the Vanguard, as always, Cayde being the first to acknowledge them “Good day Guardians, I hope you are prepared for your new mission, because we are all eager to meet our unknown friend.” he greeted them with his usual smirk.

      Ikora started her more serious speech “We do need to speak with this stranger because our Communications team has gathered information from the Fallen Houses, they also have gotten data about her, although we got a minimal advantage of knowing the gender of our uncommon ally.”

      Zavala on the other hand was the more objective of the three “Guardians, the Vanguard is worried that our target might fight alongside the Fallen, we got images of her helping a Captain and a Vandal from the Mothyards, the fire team that got the detailed profile of this Hunter reported that the Captain´s shot on the chest wouldn´t have killed, but actually incapacitated it.”

      “So we want you to locate, find, and get her to the Tower” the Awoken Titan ordered.

      Auron then asked them his doubts “But what if she refuses to do so? From the data we have gathered, she has formidable skills, we alone might give her a fight, but a more direct procedure might get her attention, making the target hide for her safety.”

      All three of the Vanguard nodded at that, they had already thought of the different possibilities, but they had an ace that would be a great asset. Cayde spoke for his partners “You are correct Auron, but my Intel on the House of Devils gave us a chance to become allies with the Fallen Hunter.” that made the duo look at her with interest. “They are planning the same thing as us.”

      The Exo vanguard gave their Ghosts the coordinates of the possible location to find their target “You got your mission Guardians, now go and find her.”

      They didn´t need to be told twice as both Erina and Auron got their equipment and transmatted to their ship.

      Some hours before..

      Devil’s Lair, Cosmodrome

      Both Rundas and Drexia were in the Kell´s throne room, before them were the high ranked Berios, Kell of the House of Devils, and Renuk, Baroness of the same House. “Explain your battle against the House of Kings.” the powerful voice of Berios sounded as he gazed at his brother and sister.

      Rundas was the one who answered “Our mission to retrieve the ammunition cache was a setup brother; the House of Kings had snipers on the hills and Heavy weapons underground. They put live ammunition to make it even more believable that it was forgotten by them.” the Captain explained “It was when one of our soldiers picked up a crate that we discovered the setup.” he growled “Two of us didn´t have the time to react as the first explosion occurred, followed by the wire rifles raining on us.”

      The Baroness looked at the Vandal, her calm, yet chilling eyes stared at the lower ranked Fallen “And what about you riflewoman? What was your situation when the battle began?” she asked. Drexia was on a straight posture, her rifle held by her four arms as its mouth piece was the base on the floor and the butt of the weapon was held by her limbs.

      “I fired at the snipers first since they had the benefit of the height, but at every other shot, I covered my brothers and sisters since there were suicide shanks going straight at them. My Captain was gaining the attention of most of the Kings with his Shrapnel shotgun, so I had to cover him too.” The Vandal responded with neutrality and focused tone, which wavered with the Baroness stare.

      Renuk was now focusing her stare to the Eliksni as she asked her next question “Was that course of action as a soldier protecting her Captain, or as a young one protecting her mentor?” Drexia´s eyes widened at the question as she didn´t know how to answer properly, they were in the middle of a firefight and she had her orders, trying to protect her comrades, one of them being her Captain too.

      “My Baroness, while my apprentice and I share a bond.” Rundas carefully spoke “I trust her ability to be a soldier of our noble House; she was doing what she could to protect our fallen comrades.”

      Both the Kell and Baroness looked at each other, having a mental conversation as they debated their options. The kell sighed and looked at their soldiers “Very well Captain, I will trust your reasoning, yet I know you also asked for a private audience for our stranger vigilante, isn´t it?”

      Nodding at that, Rundas slowly took the package from his belt “Yes, my Kell, while we were escaping, a fire team of Guardians collided with us, but we were incapacitated by the Fallen Hunter.” He said while opening the small box, a piece of blue cloth was within it. “We also were aided by her.” both towering Eliksni showed faint expressions of interest with the revelation of the stranger’s gender “My Vandal had important injuries that would have been fatal if she wouldn´t have helped us while I only had some broken ribs.”

      Drexia then continued their speech “We then got the revelation of who this Guardian was, my Kell and Baroness, she is someone that we have been waiting for since the aftermath of the Whirlwind.” she was interrupted by the Baroness.

      “Careful with your next words young one, the loss of our Homeworld is something that has deeply wounded us.” she warned “How a Human Guardian can know of our history?” she let the Vandal continue. Going back to her tale, Drexia took the piece of cloth from Rundas package and showed the symbol embroiled in the blue cloth, The Kell raised from his throne as the Baroness released a gasp.

      “This Guardian managed to meet with the last elder of one of our most sacred Houses; I swear by my life that she was speaking with sincerity.” Drexia handed the banner cloth to the Kell, who was studying the symbol as if it was a frail pup. “She is the last Kell of the House of Rain.”

      The Baroness was in deep thought while the Kell was making a prayer, the Captain and Vandal waited for their response, knowing of the bomb of information they just gave them. Then Renuk spoke “We need to speak with this Fallen Hunter immediately.” she said at first, getting the attention of the other three Eliksni in the room.

      “While she is now an important being, what troubles your mind Renuk?” Berios asked noticing the emotions coming from his mate. She looked at him, intensity in her Purple eyes “The Vanguard has been tailing our helper while we just have reports from sightings, we can´t let them gain the advantage of such opportunity”.
      Berios put one of his hands on the cloth and pondered about their situation, then looked at the Captain and Vandal “Rundas, Drexia, you two are the only ones who have talked with this Guardian, forgo any activity or mission that you have for the future, your new task is to find this target immediately.”

      Runda´s voice rose as he looked at his Kell “We will do so my brother” he started moving towards the hallway, followed by Drexia.

      The Kell sighed as he sat on his throne “We are in a moment of peace before the storm.” finally the emotions appeared on the wise Eliskni, his mind was a hurricane with their current situation. The baroness was looking at the symbol as she spoke “Then we must face it as Chelchis once did, but now we got a chance to unite instead of disperse.” her tone had a hint of mischief as the Eliksni headed to her personal terminal.
      Have you ever crossed the line between sanity and madness? You would be amazed by what lies beyond the fog..



        Chapter 3 A reunion and a clash
        The Breach, Cosmodrome

        The sound of metal clashing could be heard on the inside of the Wall surrounding the Cosmodrome, such metal was probably part of the rusted sections of the humongous structure, echoing probably from Kilometers, which occurred some seconds ago as the Hunter woke up from her slumber. Groaning at the sudden sound, Kristina got on a seating position and rubbed her tired eyes (“It must be morning for the lack of sunlight.”) she thought while seeing the holes of her temporal home, which rather than giving a faint source of luminescence, they were only obscured by the Night´s serene coat.

        “Isaac, how are we in supplies?” The Human asked already getting on her feet and stretching her limbs, preparing for the day´s trials. Said Ghost appeared from the Guardian´s storage, mumbling something about “too early”, she chuckled at the Little Light´s antics, something she deeply enjoyed of her friend.

        The Ghost took a moment to respond as his cracked eye piece was looking up, as if thinking about it, and then faced his partner “Our nutrient supplies are low, we might have enough for two days, three if we ration it.” He said already materializing two small canisters on the Hunter´s palm. “Giving all that Ether to those two was probably too much.” he pointed out.

        Feeling both containers on her gloved hand, Kris walked to the nearest support beam, the lower platforms looked to be about to fall because of the rust and age, yet she jumped down without a care, landing on the nearest beam and going down, step by step, or jump by jump in her case. She reached the now main platforms, speaking again “The Vandal´s injuries might have reopened, so I needed to be sure they had enough to survive the night.” her answer was responded by a roll of the Ghost´s eye. “You just wanted to make friends with them.”

        That made the chocolate colored woman smirk “I don´t see the problem there, it is better to have allies than enemies.” she was going towards The Divide, already planning on going on a supply run “With the cloth I gave them, we might have a visit from the Devils, so we must prepare for such event.” Isaac´s computerized voice was objective as he followed the Guardian “That is true, our Intel might need some update, but we need allies, from both ends.” He groaned “Although the Vanguard and the Fallen working together sounds complicated.”

        Laughter came from Kristina “Oh it will be a sight to behold, I can just see Cayde trying to use his “Suave” personality while talking to the Kell.” she joked, receiving a snort from the Ghost “But you are right, we will need to get both factions together, a middle ground is the problem though.”

        “With what I got from the Guardian and Eliksni chatter, you are pretty popular already.” Isaac told her “Don´t be surprised to be on their sights on another scouting mission.” It was something that actually confused the Little Light, their original plan after landing on Earth was to contact both Factions, but doing so was easier said than done. They couldn´t just waltz in either of their bases since the Vanguard would try to squeeze every piece of information, probably by Zavala´s cold interrogation, or with the Fallen since they would probably shoot first at the Guardian with scavenged Eliksni gear. In the end, the first idea was a bust.

        So they went for the more passive action, being a helper of both factions from afar. Kristina´s Wire rifle could shoot non-lethal rounds to incapacitate her targets, but making it look like she was killing the threats against the Guardians, and as soon as the Vanguard left the area, she would nurse the Fallen warriors, yet making sure she was only seen for seconds, keeping the anonymous character.

        The Hunter´s helmet appeared and she put it on, her HUD updating the mapping of the area. She could already see living beings roaming the inside of the Wall, which was odd as most of the activity inside the Wall was of shanks patrols and one or two Dregs scavenging techs. “Looks like we got a searching party already roaming the area.” The Gunslinger said to her Ghost, weapons ready and loaded, although the movement was too directional and formal, not the normal type of moving.

        Both the Hunter and Ghost looked at each other as the latter whispered “Could the Hive or the Fallen be so organized?” he asked trying to understand the radar´s red blips. But still, it was almost a prefect line of the groups walking on the different sections of the Wall. “I don´t think that our guests are either of them, but I dread if what I got in my mind is right.” Kris started walking towards the closest group, her sights aimed, not to a general head area, but to the stomach zone “Start plotting escape routes, the more random the better.” she ordered to the Ghost as the shots of the Slap Rifles started hailing on them, the robotic sound of the Vex screeching echoed within the Wall.

        The Steppes, Cosmodrome

        Two sparrows were whistling their way as the Warlock lead the Titan “I have mapped the locations of the whereabouts of our target from the sightings and reports.” Auron spoke while their HUDs showed a minimap on the left side of their visors, and sure a high quantity of dots appeared on the Cosmodrome map, that was getting closer and more grouped by the area of The Division.

        “Seems like a good zone to start with, drop-ships and patrols pass that area almost in a daily basis.” Erina-2 acknowledged her partner, they had been exploring the Cosmodrome since the early hours of the morning, the first grasps of the sunlight touching the cold and lifeless ruins of the forgotten Russian space center.

        The Titan showed a calm demeanor, but on her mind, she was excited, Unfortunately for Erina and Auron, they had never had a chance to meet the stranger, mostly since their missions were on the other planets or they were too busy exploring the Dreadnaught, even after a year, the Hive ship still held secrets to be uncovered.

        They managed to evade a group of Dregs as their sparrows were too fast for the Fallen Patrol to even aim, going into the building that led to the Divide. The Warlock was making sure that their radar was up to date with anything “We got some Fallen on the area, but by how dispersed they are, we might just stumble with a supply group, nothing big.” he said plotting the course to the section where in some occasions, they have had to fight Walkers and Taken Lieutenants.

        “Huh, they are gone.” Auron commented as they were now on the outside, in fact, the whole area was empty of any living being. That raised the Exo´s eyebrow as she got on a higher ground “It´s not that they are gone.. they are dead.” she confirmed with the sight of a Fallen Vandal, a hole on its neck, traces of void energy still burning the under suit and flesh “We got something here Auron, the shot is of void energy, but too big for a Guardian bullet.” she pointed out.

        The Awoken was already examining a Dreg´s body, it had small burn marks, while not that powerful to get through the skin, the sheer number of them was enough to kill it. “When was the last time that the Vex were on Earth?” the Warlock asked his partner, confusion on his tone. Erina-2 already had her Pulse rifle at hand and checked her grenades “They have never placed foot here.” she responded and an explosion could be heard on the Wall, followed by the screech of a robotic entity.

        “Looks like we got another player in the zone.” Auron loaded his shotgun´s chamber; the Taken weapon flickered for a moment as it was filled with energy “And I bet that our target is having her fun with them”. Both Guardians started moving towards the Wall, hearing the bullets and blasts of void energy getting stronger.

        The Breach

        "How many of these pests are here?” Drexia kept slicing the Goblins’ cores, either cutting them in half or stabbing them with her shock blades. Rundas was blasting the groups of Vex with his Shrapnel Launcher while also pummeling them with his fists. The Captain was crushing a Hobgoblin´s stomach as he responded “As many as they please, these sentient robots have soldiers from other times.” the Hobgoblin´s core gave in, releasing its glowing liquid while Rundas threw the corpse to a set of lower Vex.

        Their search for the Fallen Hunter, now Kell of the House of Rain, was already a mess, at first they searched around the Rocketyard as that was where they were healed by the Human, but the room was devoid of any hint of settlement. Then they contacted the Devil´s Lair, receiving the aid of the terminals to get the different locations of the sighting of their stranger ally. Sure enough, a cone could be made from the many events, the main area of sightings was the Divide, but that place was empty too.

        Drexia had the idea of going to the Wall, it was a massive place to hide, while it could go for kilometers around the Cosmodrome, it also was a bottle neck that would be easy to keep an eye on, the area was also piecing together with the abundance of sightings on the vicinity to the Divide.

        So now they were here, fighting Vex and trying to push their way inside, sounds of explosions already sounding further inside the Wall. Rundas threw a
        grenade that opened a path; he was already running through the corridors while Drexia followed his shadow. The Eliksni were trying to get to the “open” area inside the Wall that would give them some advantage of mobility at least, the Captain saw the remnants of Minotaur, melted armor and pieces scattered around a burnt area “We are close; the enemy is getting closer”.

        The Vandal had her Wire Rifle aimed at the location that the Vex were gathering “I got their point of attention, but no sight of our target.” she commented, the scope of the arc weapon roaming the scenery, a blur suddenly passed as something fell right on top of the group, a red light appeared on the middle, followed by an explosion. “Trip Mine, of Guardian type”.

        The Captain was getting closer to the area, weapon ready, when he noticed another squadron of Goblins, another Minotaur leading them “Reinforcements incoming, we need to reach our goal quickly.” he started running, but halted as another two beings appeared behind the Vex, the more armored of the two jumping and destroying the robotic monsters in a blast of arc energy, the Minotaur didn´t have a chance to retaliate as the Guardian threw what Rundas thought was lightning from her hand, killing the metallic beast.

        Auron was making his way from a higher platform, the taken shotgun tearing apart the Goblins as if they were made of plastic, leaving pieces of metal and fluids on the rusted floor. He had noticed the Vandal and Captain fighting on the other side of the complex system of platforms that maintained the inner works of the Wall, but they were also fighting the Vex (“Are those two the patrol on search for the target?”) he asked himself while the younger of the two used a shock blade to stab the core of a Hobgoblin and used its own weapon to melt a lower Goblin´s head piece (“They aren´t the average Fallen.”)
        Meanwhile, Erina was barreling her way through the Vex, her attacks were precise and counted, each contact made by her fists were enough to outright send them to the floor, or at least stagger enough for a killing blow, she was driven by the passion of the battle while taking the Fusion Rifle, its charge was good as she fired the volley of void shots in an arc “Still no sight of the target, and these adds are just cannon fodder, what do you see from up there Auron?” she asked through their comms.

        “I got eyes of arc and solar weaponry.” the Warlock responded, seeing were some Minotaurs were gathering, just to be blown away by a trip mine “We also got company, Fallen, a Vandal and a Captain.” his tone got more emotional “They are good Erina, I´m betting they are the ones searching for our Hunter”. That earned a smirk from the Exo “Then let’s race against the odds.”

        Drexia was taking the advantage for the slow pace of the Goblins as she aimed her Wire rifle and evading their shots (“Just a few more steps..”) she ducked from a sniper shot of the Hobgoblin and fired, the arc shot penetrated its white core, followed by the other three behind it “I got a way through” she contacted her Captain, who was now wrestling a Minotaur “Go, I´ll handle these blasted machines.”

        The Vandal nodded, her feet moving quickly, her target was just around the corner, but she noticed the Titan coming from the opposite direction (“Not good, got to be faster.”) she took her shock blades while running faster, the corner was close as the Titan was now charging her way towards the Vandal, just as they were about to clash, Drexia stabbed the floor to turn, barely avoiding the Titan, who went through the wall of metal (“too close”)

        With a growl, Erina came from the hole, her fists already charged with arc energy, yet she was startled the Fallen as she spoke “What is your purpose here?” while her stand showed that she was ready to attack her, Drexia kept her blades ready “We came to help our ally, these timeless machines are our problem, not yours Guardian”.

        Both warriors were in a stalemate, waiting for each other to take the first step, yet they were interrupted as a figure came in front of them, rolling with a Hobgoblin, they were surprised by the scene as the Hunter stabbed the creature´s eyepiece and threw the knife to an oncoming Harpy, making it move blindly until it crashed on the wall. They all stared at each other as the Hunter spoke, “There is a hydra commanding the Vex, if you are here to help, then I´ll need you to distract it.” she said already moving, the voice that came from the helmeted Guardian shocked Erina “W-wait! Who are-“ she stopped as the Vandal was already on the move, she shook her head and contacted her partner “Auron, I need you here asap, we got a Hydra on the area.” she said while following the steps of the other two.

        Both Auron and Rundas were heading to the same location until they met in a crossing of corridors, they both had their weapons aimed when the Awoken spoke “I saw you fighting the Vex, are you here for the Hunter?” he asked with a tone of seriousness, his finger was on the trigger. The Fallen Captain had his own hand twitching, also ready to fire “Yes, and it seems we have a similar task” his tone was actually calm despite the situation “I call a truce until we deal with the metallic beasts.” Auron offered which received a nod from Rundas.

        The Hydra was on a bigger platform, protected by its shields and a group of Harpies, the furthest from the group suddenly exploded by a grenade of Erina, followed by Drexia´s Wire Rifle, they looked at each other and simply nodded, already having a sort of truce due to the situation, they had lost track of the Hunter, who was reloading her weaponry from a higher spot.

        Rundas came with his shrapnel launcher already hailing on the Hydra, making the towering creature gaze at him, its void shots scorching the area were the Captain was as he kept moving. Auron could feel his own Light reaching its limit “I´ll clear the area, get some cover.” he announced out loud for everyone to hide as void energy surrounded the Warlock, he had a purple aura around him as he now could feel the energy coming from everyone and, he fazed from their normal view as he now only saw darkness, the silhouettes of the Harpys and Hydra were on his sight in the form of energy, he raised his arms released his Light towards them.

        On the normal field of view, the Harpies were searching for their target which disappeared from their scanners, but soon, they were overloaded with energy, exploding and releasing void blasts. Auron reappeared behind one of the covers, his chest heaving with exhaustion “Phew.. that was a thing” he chuckled while Erina and Drexia came down from their platform, Rundas had his sights on the now enraged Hydra, which was firing to their covers “Where is the target?” he asked out loud, the warlock pointed upward as he had noticed a familiar energy.

        Kristina now had her Light ready, she had charged it just for this target, all of the Solar energy crossed from her body to her right arm, where instead of a Hand cannon, a sniper weapon formed as a small sphere of solar energy appeared in the tip of the weapon, but soon grew to the size of an tennis ball. With the release of her breath, the Hunter pulled the trigger, firing what looked like a comet towards the Hydra´s core, melting its surroundings until it reached its critical limit and exploding.

        The solar shot melted the remaining pieces of the Hydra as also part of the floor where it was stationed; leaving only pieces of molten metal and vapor with the surrounding snow that disappeared because of the heat. Both parties, still, had their weapons prepared in the case of one of them attacking the other, but their focus was on the Hunter who jumped down to their level.

        Erina-2 could already see that the Hunter had too many similarities in her body language to just be a coincidence, she was sure who the person behind the helmet was, but still part of the Exo was stopping her from running and taking the damn metal thing from the person’s head. “Good thing you four appeared, the Vex had started to gang up on me.” the Hunter said as she sat on one of the surviving crates “And it is better to have both Guardians and Eliksni together for once, that makes my job easier.”

        The Fallen Vandal made a coughing sound, getting the attention of the others “The possessed machines have never been here, why were they hunting you?” she asked actually curious of the mechanical soldiers focusing solely on an actual target rather than looking for more knowledge or technology “In all the time that our House has been on these planet, no sign of the Vex has been sighted.”

        This actually brought the attention of Auron “She is right, only the Fallen and the Hive have reached Earth, the Cabal have most of Mars in their control and the Vex don´t even go to the Moon, they only stay in Venus and ruins in the Underground of Mars” he spoke, earning a glare from the Captain and Vandal, but he ignored it as he focused on their person of interest “What have you got that they would risk coming here?”

        The Hunter was about to answer when suddenly she froze, unconsciously looking for the canisters on her belt, yet her hands found nothing. She didn´t say a word as she looked around for her resources “Isaac, take the mask, now” she ordered, her hands going for the clasps of her helmet and unceremoniously taking it off, shocking the Guardians at the sight of someone they haven´t seen in two years.

        She was paler than they remembered, but her chocolate skin was still the same in their eyes, she had the same wispy haircut and her face was the same, a new addition though, was a scar that went from the lower part of her left cheek, all the way down to her neck, hidden by the cloth of her chest piece.
        Erina and Auron were too shocked to react as they then saw a Ghost appearing and materializing a mouthpiece, like if it was a re-breather, but it had a two transparent vials on its sides, white liquid contained by them, the Hunter took the re-breather and the liquid went into her system, she visibly relaxed with each breath she took until the content of the vials was empty.

        “I apologize for that, but the Vex ambushed me while I was getting nutrients.” Kristina spoke as the re-breather disappeared from her hand “I’m glad that both parties are here, we need to discu-“ she was interrupted as the Titan crushed her to the wall, an arm holding her neck and enraged mechanical eyes gazing at the ashen colored ones since the Exo had taken her helmet off to look directly at the Human.

        Auron wouldn’t say he was surprised by Erina’s reaction as the Exo had been having both dreams and nightmares of their friend, the latter tormenting the emotional Titan to the point of almost losing it. Yet his focus was on the Fallen who were ready to fire at the attacker of their target “Woah woah! Calm down people, we just fought group of fanatical robots, we don’t need to make irrational actions!” he tried to stop the oncoming fight, but the Hunter and Titan’s situation wasn’t helping.

        Erina’s eyes were looking at Kristina’s face, trying to see every detail of someone she would call sister, but her mind was overloading with a whirlwind of emotions “Two years..” she grumbled, “You were gone for two years, transmatting us out of that tower, pushing us away.” The Human had some ideas of how her old friends would react, this one being one of the top of the list “I know what I did Eri, but I won’t apologize for ending my life to save yours and Uro’s” she spoke in a calm tone, but also knew she would probably need her Ghost to resurrect her from a possible Titan pummeling.

        The Exo’s face flickered from sadness, happiness, anger, loss and many others in a second, but then she focused back on the Human “And you know what bothered me most? Not the nightmares, not the loss of one of my family, not even losing a part of my life, the thing that made things even worse was one single thing” By the tone of the Titan’s voice, Kristina was prepared for anything, yet she was baffled by the answer “The worst thing was that you were smirking, Ohh I know you did when that Wizard got you.” Erina showed a faint smile, which was followed by a sniff, finally going to crying. The Titan fell on her knees as the Hunter held her, massaging her back.

        Auron couldn´t hold it anymore as he went to his fireteam and shed tears from his eye “Why did it take you so long to respawn? We have been waiting for you for so much time.” He joked between sobs, Kristina just smiled and chuckled at his bad joke “Let’s say I was away from the control.” she joked back, earning a chuckle from the Titan and Warlock.

        Both Drexia and Rundas were some meters away, the Captain understanding the situation, losing a bond comrade was something that would even cause insanity, he had experienced enough loss to see it on the Guardian trio “Give them some breaths Drexia, they just recovered a part of their souls.” he spoke while sitting on a crate, checking his shrapnel weapon.

        Said Vandal nodded, but was surprised by the Ghost appearing in front of her out of nowhere, she unconsciously tried to bat him away, with him scolding her yet again “Don’t attack the help, I’m just checking your wounds”. The Vandal would have tried to destroy the little thing if it wasn’t for the chuckle coming from the Captain “There is no need to check on her Little Light, we have great healing abilities.”

        “I’m just making sure most of our supplies of Ether weren’t used in vain.” this raised the attention of Drexia as she asked her question “Why would you need Ether? Only our kind needs it to survive.”

        “That is because I also need Ether to survive.”
        came the Hunter’s voice as she, Auron and Erina walked to the place “Which I am sure is now one of the questions all four of you have, so please take a seat, we got much to discuss.”
        Have you ever crossed the line between sanity and madness? You would be amazed by what lies beyond the fog..



          Chapter 4

          The Breach, Cosmodrome, Russia

          Kristina was looking at the four individuals in front of her, two Guardians, two Eliksni. To make things even more interesting was that she had some knowledge of the later and knew the former for years. The Hunter’s eyes gazed at her old partners and noticed how they have changed in two years.
          Erina, despite being a mechanical being, looked older, her emotions could be seen with ease, and the most prominent ones were hope, sadness, and expectation, a scar, from what she could guess, was from Hive claws on her cheek. Her armor was of the color of gold, but it looked worn and used, losing the effect of it, oddly for the Hunter’s mind, the helmet had something that she could describe as a handle on its back, the only reference she had of the armor was a worn name on one of the Titan’s legs (“Duskrender.. Probably from the Vanguard.”) she thought. She then gazed at Auron, or more specific, his eye patch, she could guess from where he lost it, but that would come later, the Awoken looked more mature, having more concentrated, yet there was still his casual mood behind that serious eye, again he had an armor related to the Iron banner, but this one looked more like an actual armor with chain mail seen on his arms rather than the robes he had before, the symbol of the Iron banner was still in the middle of his robe.

          The Human then looked at the Fallen Vandal and Captain, the former looked way better than when she found and healed her, the chest wound was hidden by the breast plate, but by how she moved and attacked with the shock blades, Kris could understand she was back in track. The Captain on the other hand, looked calm and serene, by the small conversation she had with him regarding his apprentice’s wounds, she noticed he was far older and wiser than the average captain, more intelligent and she could bet that he was a candidate to be an Archon priest or even a Kell.

          True to her nature, Erina-2 was the most inpatient of the group, her boot clicking on the floor as her mind was barely containing her questions, so it wasn’t a surprise for either of the Guardians that she spoke first “My first question is how did you survive, the explosion in Uranus’ moon practically evaporated part of it, leaving only rubble and pieces of rock.” she spoke with a serious tone on her voice, some wonder escaping on the sidelines.

          Isaac, Kristina’s Ghost, materialized in front of his Guardian “I will have to answer that, Titan.” his usual relaxed mood was both a relief and curse for the Warlock and Titan, he was always a talker, but sometimes sidetracking from the subject. “As we transmatted you two out of the Babel Tower, the Wizard had managed to pierce my Hunter’s armor and flesh, but that was also a key element on our survival.” He floated lower, looking at Kris’ armor, de-materializing only a specific area of her torso.

          On the Hunter’s belly and lower rib cage was a generous patch of white skin surrounded by her darker colored pigment “The Wizard would have probably wanted to torture her target since the claw could have easily go for the heart, but she only destroyed part of her stomach and a lung.” the Fallen of the group would have shown surprise at how casual the Ghost spoke, which made the younger of the two speak “How much damage can a Guardian sustain? We have fought for long and there have been cases were I have made critical shots to the head, but your Little Lights manage to get you back from the dead”.

          Both Erina and Auron were wary of how to answer that, they still were prepared to attack the other two since they were from the other faction of this constant battle they have been having, yet a chuckle from Kristina made them look at the Hunter “We don’t know yet the specifics of how we get back after receiving a missile to the face or being shot, but we understand that if we manage to stay “unavailable” for a long time, some of the wounds stay if they are too big to fix.” That gave Drexia some sort of understanding as she then let the Ghost continue his story.

          “As I was saying before being interrupted.”
          he felt the glare from the Vandal “The Wizard had exceptional regeneration abilities, you could tear its limbs, just to see them grow back in a matter of seconds, which is what saved us from being erased in molecular levels.” What the Ghost was saying gave shivers to the Guardians “While Kristina here was holding the Wizard; I managed to extract her essence, not an easy job when you have a core about to explode in any second, but we managed to survive by using the Hive as a shield and then its genes for a temporary boost”.

          Kris then continued “Of course I probably lost something because of the blast and the pressure, felt my insides being eviscerated by my shattered bones and thought I was gone for sure, but the Wizard’s essence kept me regenerating whatever part of me was alive until it run out and only just the most important parts of me were somewhat salvageable. Isaac here was also suffering because of the explosion, but whatever he and his friends are made of, they can survive a nuclear explosion, sans the crack on his eye piece, and he seems to be on perfect state.”

          “What do you mean by “seems” I managed to keep you alive for weeks until that Fallen Ketch found you.” the Ghost argued and put its front on the Hunter’’s forehead “No one saw how much of you was left, and I kept you alive, so a thank you would be acceptable, Miss “seems perfect state”." this made the Hunter smile “Of course Isaac, savior of your friend and almighty Ghost”.

          “Ahem, what is this Ketch you are talking about?” Rundas interrupted their banter “There aren’t that many in this system.” he spoke, and by the looks of confusion of the Guardians, he explained “Each House has few resources when it comes to space crafting, as you have seen, we are “scavengers”. “ the Captain made a gesture with his hands “So something with the size of a Ketch is almost impossible to build or it was stolen by another House, only the Awoken and their monarchy had 6 of them, most destroyed by the Taken monsters”. he growled with the memory of those he saw being captured by the Darkness and converted into those mindless beasts, even below the Hive. “Was that ship of the House of Rain, perhaps?” he asked.

          “Wait.. I have heard of that House.” Erina finally spoke again, receiving a curious look from Auron and Kris “Hey, I might not like all those tomes you two have, but I wanted to understand too.” she pouted and noticed the cloak of the Hunter “You got their banner.. no way, you met their House?” she asked with excitement again.

          Kristina couldn’t help but smile too “That I did, although the first month of it was while I was inside a tank of Ether, in a coma.” she answered, followed to the explanation of such thing “Isaac had managed to keep me alive, but to do so, he needed resources, and in space, no kind of organic food could survive, but Ether seeds, he used them as an energy source to keep my Light strong, and the Eliksni who found me had to adapt me to be able to survive in their journey , thus this needed to be done.” The Hunter’s armor again was materialized and de-materialized on her collarbone area, were surgery scars could be seen “Their medical staff has some of the best technology I have seen, but to adapt me to gather nutrients from Ether, I would lose the ability to eat normal food, at least I can still taste it.

          “So let me get this straight.” Auron said and started lifting a finger for each point he made “Your Ghost managed to get the essence of the regenerative Wizard, you two survived the explosion using said essence, your body somehow managed to accept the Hive’s DNA to have such abilities and survive the vacuum of space, got lucky enough for a Ketch to not only take you and heal you, but also adapt your body to eat Ether seeds.” he received a nod from the Hunter, making him start to smirk. “It will be quite the tale to tell to the Vanguard, Ikora will faint with such knowledge and Cayde will be so excited to make tests that Zavala will become purple with frustration.”

          The Human of the group continued her tale “The House of Rain was coming to Titania as one of their prophets had a vision of the Hive Tower, they were coming to warn their brothers and sisters of the incoming Taken armada, but after the tower exploded, they needed to hide again, only stopped in the moon to collect resources from the Hive and I was found.” She looked at her gloved palm, thinking about it “They had no knowledge of who or what I was, yet they took me and healed me, for that I’m eternally grateful.”

          Drexia asked without thinking “And where are they know?” she instantly tried to stop those words, but they were already out. The Human simply smiled “Oh they are in space; it was a suicide to come with a party of a new House to another’s territory, let alone a Ketch, that would be an act of war.” Rundas nodded at her words “So they sent a messenger in their behalf, that messenger being you.” at the Human’ positive response he voiced his question “And how did you earn their trust? We might be extremely cautious, but that is because on this system, anyone outside our House and banner has been an enemy, our trust is something hard to obtain, you were an exception since not only you showed us an official cloth of the House of Rain, but also because you saved our lives.”

          Kristina pondered about how to answer his question, trying to find a way to explain it, but she only had one type of answer, the honest one “I became one of them, at first I was pretty much a prisoner, and I don’t blame their cautiousness since they are a nomadic House, but after many interrogation sessions and tests from their Archon Priest, I was given the liberty to start as a Dreg, eating only what I needed and do the heavy work.” she smiled despite the answer “But they also let me into their culture, I could see how the Eliksni acted when not in war and live as a race of peace, not of violence, although the pups nearly bit my fingers off?” Drexia laughed and gave her share of information “Our children have their teeth and fangs already sharp in the first months, so they need to bite something to soothe their nerves.”

          Erina was actually curious about the conversation “I suppose you also had some help with all those tomes you read, right?” she could feel the confusion of the Eliksni and explained “She always wanted to understand each race of this war, the Cabal for example, are a military empire focused on the conquest of everything they can see, so Kris wanted to understand the Fa- Eliksni.” she changed the word and saw the appreciation from the Captain “The Eliksni language was the first thing she learned, started with the help of Variks from the House of Judgement.” she looked at her partner “He will be so happy to see you, even got some new tomes for you to devour.”

          Kristina actually beamed at the Exo “I do need to meet him too, he could be a mediator between the Houses.” she said taking a container similar to the one given to Berios, the Kell of the House of Devils “My problem though is the House of Excile, they are the only nomad House from the ones in this system.”

          The group had a moment to get some air until Drexia raised her voice “Meeting with the other Houses will be troublesome.” she sighed and took her helmet off, the Vandal’s golden eyes had sadness and rage in them “The Kings have been more hostile than ever, with the Taken trying to absorb as much as they could, the House of Kings lost so many of their people.”

          Rundas followed his aprentice’s words “When Oryx arrived, this planet was attacked in a matter of days, our House barely managed to protect itself underground thanks to our Walkers on the surface lair and an assortment of Void mines to collapse specific entrances, but the Kings lived on your human ruins on the above ground.” His hand became a fist and shook with the force on it “We may be enemies, but we never attacked their home, and they also had that philosophy, until the Darkness took them, only few survived, but now they avoid any kind of help, savage beings who have finally reached the title you have given us, Fallen.”

          The Titan could see the frustration in the captain “We have gathered information of the House of Kings being far more hostile than other Houses in the different zones, the House of Winter has managed to defend itself against the Vex and the Taken, the ones of Excile have been sighted in Mars and the Moon, but the Devils are still the ones on top in terms of organization.”

          “We thank our Kell Berios and Baroness Renuk, they had foreseen the invasion of the Hive and Taken long before the other Houses and factions.” Drexia smiled as she mentioned her leaders “Renuk has managed our House with wisdom and success, and Berios gave us the hope to be back into our culture, while also having the strength to lead us into a higher plane.”

          “Renuk..” Auron had heard that name before “How did she come to be a Baroness? If you don´t mind me asking” he asked both Eliksni. Rundas took the reins at this point “Renuk came from the House of Exciles after battling hundreds of Hive parasites, requesting to join us as the Exciles had left her for dead. Berios, a still young Kell as he was chosen for his abilities and humility, could see her potential, and let her into our ranks, sure enough, she proved herself to become the Baroness and a mate for our Kell, why do you ask, Warlock?”

          The awoken was trying to think of where he heard that name “I think she was in our grimoires, but a Baroness similar to her description had fell in the Moon as she and our Vanguard Cayde-6 fought against hordes of the Hive, but I may be wrong too.”

          Meanwhile in the Vanguard Hall..

          All three of the veterans Guardians were still waiting for a response from the mission when suddenly the Hunter of the trio sneezed, something that was odd since the Exo couldn´t get sick at all. “A virus, Cayde? And here I thought you were always secure.” Ikora jabbed at him with the rare cases that the joker of the Vanguard could be targeted, much to the enjoyment of the Warlock and Titan.

          “I will admit it is rare for someone so eager to go to the front line, just to get an unfortunate situation in a safe place like the Tower, I can’t imagine the dangers of going outside.” Zavala gave a faint smirk, something that the ones who knew him, was a big thing.

          Cayde tried to look calm despite the situation “It is probably a small glitch, staying dormant for such a long time has probably gotten me.” he smirked, but then sneezed again, making the Warlock laugh at him and the Titan shake his head, trying to hide his smile.

          Back at the Breach..

          The group of five had managed to relax and prepare for the day, but there was still the fact the Guardians and the Eliksni still had to bring the Fallen Hunter to their bases.

          “Our Kell won’t take no for answer, she is the closest thing to saving our culture.” Drexia pointed out, her glare was focused on Erina-2, who responded “But she is also our partner and we need her to help us with her knowledge and has her home with us too.”

          Auron on the other hand was enjoying this “Those two will end up killing each other if things go further.” he commented with a smirk, and Rundas had to nod at that “Your Titan and my apprentice share similar.. Emotions, but they are both right, our House and your Tower have their reasons to bring the Hunter.. Maybe we can get to a compromise.”

          “How about we get a representative from each faction to a middle point?” Isaac appeared between them “That way, two leaders can meet with us and maybe we can make other deals.” He offered, it was indeed a good idea, but it had its risks, having someone of high rank would be as painting a target on their backs, yet again, it had potential for having even a better outcome.

          Kristina waited for the Vandal and Titan to release some of their steam so she could speak “I can’t go to any of those places, if I go to the Tower, I just know that the more zealot Eliksni will tag me as a traitor and there will be conflict in the House of Devils.” she pointed out to Drexia “And if I go to their Home, many Guardians will try to go for me and cause even more strains between both species. We need to get a middle point.”

          The Exo just grunted as she knew that was right “You got a point there, although many would say it is a bad idea, the Vanguard will come to something and send one of them, Cayde would probably volunteer at the first moment he can, but we need physical proof of this situation, we came here with no feedback for your safety” she chuckled.

          The Vandal also nodded “Maybe we can speak with our Kell and Baroness if we bring something too, we are facing the Taken, Hive and Kings, and we don’t want the wrath of the Guardians at our gates.”

          The Hunter understood the situation and took both her Auto rifle and her knife, the former was given to the Vandal while the latter to the Titan “The Auto rifle has designs of both Eliksni and Guardian technology, your Kell will know it is mine by its scent. As for the knife, it is one of my designs, so the Vanguard can check my files and find it.” She explained.

          “Oh, I remember seeing this in your sketches.” Erina commented while looking at the serrated knife “Good to cause more internal damage if the stab is strong enough, but still keeping the deadly point.” She twirled the weapon on her palm and made a stabbing move. “I think they will be pleased with it.”

          The Auto rifle looked so easy to use in Drexia’s claws although it had a bit of weight on the stock, she aimed to a wall and checked the gun's ammunition, the Vandal made some practice shots with it “Interesting.. An automatic weapon that has little to no recoil, but even more curious is how both technologies blended so nicely.” she gave the weapon another check, thinking of how to adapt her Wire Rifle to make its charge even faster. “The Kell won’t deny it is of your possession, we only need that middle point you are offering us.”

          The Hunter closed her eyes, thinking of the Cosmodrome’s general area, they couldn’t use The Breach since the Vex could come again, and the Docks were full of the Hive, probably the Array station, she had seen some Devils in that zone, but that was before Titania. “What about the Array station? It is a good point for the Eliksni to cover their path in case of the Kings or the Hive to attack, also the Guardians could transmat right there with the aerial advantage.”

          Rundas got closer to the three females, hearing enough to see that the idea of having a middle ground so both factions could meet “It will be a delicate procedure, the Kings, Hive and Taken are always looking for targets, and whoever comes from our Homes will be a high value target, none of this must come in any kind of communication, only from voice to voice.”

          The Warlock followed the Captain “He is right, the Guardians will find it odd if one of the Vanguard were to be gone, it is rare for them to leave their hall.” he explained, in most of Auron’s life as a Guardian, the veteran Guardians were always in the Hall to guide the younger Lights, and if one of them wasn’t there, he or she would be close in the Tower.

          “We will have to deal with that when the time comes, but for now..” Erina hesitated as she spoke “Damnit Kris, whatever you got must be important to do something so risky, but I trust you judgement.” she took the knife and dematerialized into her vault. “Might as well to move now, please don’t do something reckless, we lost you once, but we won’t do it again.”

          The Guardians started heading towards the outside of the Breach, with the Devils using the Wall’s internal passages to go towards their home. The Hunter sighed as she closed her eyes, feeling the stare of the Ghost “What’s on your mind Isaac?” she asked “Oh just wondering” the Little Light responded, a tone of uncertainty in his voice “I’m worried that we are in the calm before the storm.”

          The human nodded “It worries me too, my friend, It worries me too”.
          Have you ever crossed the line between sanity and madness? You would be amazed by what lies beyond the fog..



            Chapter 5

            Kell Chamber, Devils’ Lair

            The tapping of Berios’ claws was making the others in the throne room feel nervous, while their Kell was usually calm and open with ideas, having a silent leader was making the Vandal Drexia sweat under her armor (“He has been silent for ten minutes..”) she thought, her hands holding the wire rifle softened and tightened, wishing for her Leader to speak.

            Rundas, as she knew him, wasn’t bothered at all, he simply stood in at her side, with both sets of arms on his back, waiting for a response, but a brief movement of his eyes showed the young Eliksni that he was also wondering what was making the Kell be in deep thought. He was actually going to say something when the Baroness appeared from their personal chambers.

            Renuk had the Auto rifle between her upper limbs, still examining it with meticulous detail, one of her lower limbs had a datapad, with different notes and a sketch of the weapon, the baroness looked at the three other Fallen when she spoke “This weapon does have pure Eliksni technology mixed with Guardian inner mechanisms, curious thing it is, but not created in this planet, some of the components are too hard to find even with our best scouts and engineers.” She spoke, opening a small hatch on the rifle’s stock.

            Her other free hand took a small blue object, it had the size of a marble, but the weight it had was proof that it was no normal sphere. “This, is the core for a single Ketch, not used and fully charged.” Renuk explained “We have only but a handful of these cores due to the time and effort that takes to create a single one, of course, it would make them being heavily guarded.” she looked at Berios, who was still silent, but at least nodded in acknowledgement “Only Fallen technology can create this, the Cabal have something similar, but their technology focuses more on short time frames while ours go for long periods, and this” she showed the core again “is proof of being of our people”.

            The Kell sighed and closed his eyes “The request that our neutral contact wants is a dangerous one, but I will have to acknowledge that this plan is well made, the patrols of the Kings and Hive being listed, escape routes for both us and the Guardians, even vantage points for guards of both parties, clever plan, but still, dangerous.”

            The Fallen captain took a step forward to raise his voice “My Kell, I understand your troubles, but-“ he was interrupted in the form of being slammed to the wall, Berios’ intense gaze focused on him, all four limbs holding the Captain “Understand? Do not think you know what troubles me Captain.” his voice was filled with rage, but there was also something else behind it.

            Such movement surprised the Vandal as she barely managed to see the Kell tackle her master, her instincts screamed at her to protect her mentor, but a gentle touch on her shoulder stopped her, she looked to the owner’s claw, finding a serene Renuk who simply looked at the two males.

            Berios was still holding Rundas as he spoke “Your age and experience is the reason I trust you, Captain Rundas, even when you declined the offer to be an Archon Priest, which we still need to give to someone, but hear me out.” The Kell closed his eyes and “I became Kell when our House was close to lose everything, beheading that traitor who lead us to our doom, I nearly lost all of my brothers and sisters when our previous Kell wanted to give our Banner to the Kings because of fear, you were there with me when he asked for exile instead of an honorable death.”

            Rundas couldn’t speak, but he blinked, trying to acknowledge the powerful Eliksni “It took me a year to restore our House, not by using rage and tyranny, but with the help of each soul within these walls, this House was reformed by everyone, so know that you don’t understand my troubles, because I have the weight of our entire community on my shoulders, and bringing someone like me or my mate isn’t only a risk of one soul, but the risk of losing a part of our House.”

            The Captain coughed as he was finally released and fell on his knees, getting his energy back as the Kell walked back to his throne, only to be stopped by Drexia, her posture was rigid as she spoke “We know you have done everything to save our House from its death, but this is a risk we need to make, we can work with the Guardians and The Great Machine.”

            The Vandal was sweating even more as her Kell looked at her, his gaze boring into her soul “And how are you so certain of this young one? How can you be so sure that the Guardians won’t betray us? Are you prepared to face the consequences?” his voice would have made many faint in fear, and yet, Drexia kept her footing.

            “I don’t know, but we have the chance to also work together and fight as one, we have a path that will make us return to our former glory, we can’t lose this opportunity.”
            the markswoman almost fainted as the clawed hand of Berios went down towards her, only to feel a pat on her head. Confused at such action, she looked up at Berios’ relaxed face who simply nodded.

            “Ahh, the young ones shall see a future that might be so bright that they won’t remember these dark times” the Kell spoke, taking a seat on his throne “Leave us for now, you two need some rest for a good work.”

            Rundas nodded and took the still rigid Drexia outside of the chamber, heading to their quarters, only when the gate was closed and locked, the Captain spoke to the Vandal “What you did was extremely reckless Drexia, risking your neck to an enraged Kell.” his tone was hard and scolding “But I couldn’t be more proud for showing your inner strength to him.” He smiled at the Vandal who simply nodded.

            “I thought he would crush me.” she voiced and looked at her mentor “I just acted without thinking and faced him.” her tone went to a more panicky voice “I nearly killed us.” she realized and fell on her bunk bed, falling to a dreamless sleep, the older Eliksni chuckling at such reaction who covered Drexia with a blanket, he still had other things to do while relaxing.

            Vanguard Hall, The Tower

            “I volunteer for the meeting.” Cayde raised his arm, excited to go outside, but the other two Vanguards glared at the Exo, making him shrink and look at his map. Unsurprisingly, the two Guardians on the end of the table barely held their chuckles, Cayde could be a living legend among the Guardians, but his antics were by far more known than his Hunter abilities.

            Zavala took a moment to regain his thoughts as he looked at the Titan and Warlock again “This knife proves that our neutral ally is in fact the Hunter Kristina, using the sketches provided by Erina-2 and the writing of these notes shows her being the real person, but.” the Awoken pressed something in his datapad and the holographic display on the middle of the table activated, showing different charts and a humanoid model.

            “We have an issue with the most critical part of this data, her DNA.” the Titan pointed out as some of the data in the charts got highlighted “We found high levels of Ether and Eliksni traces within the DNA found on the knife’s handle, this element is like a poison to Humans and it can cause many problems to Awoken races”. Zavala looked at Ikora, who continued.

            “We understand that she is your partner, but we also need to be careful with the possibilities.” the Warlock veteran explained “We have managed to regain some territories in other continents of Earth and even have made some bases in Venus, an anomaly like this can be a threat to our safety.”

            Auron knew what her trainer was talking about, so he took the knife and held it between his fingers “We can assure you that she is our partner, sure, she was paler due to being in space for such a long time, but her unconscious movements were of Kristina’s.” the Warlock smirked “And she still has a habit of quick thinking in the middle of a battle.”

            The Vanguard were already thinking on the meeting with the Devils, it was a good plan, and both factions had their advantages in the case of possible problems, but they still had to see the Guardian’s emotions, this was their partner and friend.

            Cayde took the control of the conversation “Look, things have been crazy around here, the Hive rising with Crota, the Wolves appearing out of nowhere, Eris spooking everybody, and Oryx and his armada of Taken creatures, so we are just being cautious about the Hunter.” the Exo looked at the Female Titan
            “We understand what you mean, and I was also worried of how much she would change, but we also changed, I don’t know what she saw with that group of Eliksni, that is why she wants representatives of both The Devils’ and our faction to meet, the Captain that met with us also knew of the dangers of this meeting, but he and the Vandal with him were sure their Kell would approve of this.”

            Zavala looked at the Exo “But what if she turns against us? Would you two be prepared to fire at her?” he asked with his calm, yet dominating tone, on the inside, the Awoken knew he was being unfair with the two Guardians in front of him, but he had to make the cold decisions as it was his job. Auron had a quick reply for that, but by the look he received by Erina, he took a breath and cooled down “We.. are prepared for the possibilities, that is why we will trust Kristina on this, she would understand the situation.”

            “This meeting might be a risk, but it is also a good chance to obtain new allies on this constant war.” Ikora spoke, already knowing the decision of her fireteam “Give us some hours to discuss the situation Guardians, you may take some rest, expect a call from us later.” She dismissed the Guardians and looked at her companions “What do you think of this?”

            The Awoken and Exo looked at each other and the latter nodded at the former “No plan is perfect, but this one is solid enough for many scenarios, and Cayde would be the best for the job in the case of things going on a decline.” The Titan pointed out, from the three of them, the Exo was the fastest and could disappear, yet he also had the diplomacy skills to get to a neutral agreement, the three factions in the Tower were proof of that.

            “New Monarchy won’t like this.” Cayde-6 got the attention of the other two veterans “Their beliefs will clash with this meeting; Dead Orbit might get some feathers rustled since they would run away the second that we get into a problem with the Fallen.” He rubbed the bridge of his nose “The Future War Cult have a high chance to agree with it, but we have to keep an eye on them.”

            The three Vanguards knew that the factions were always trying to win their “competition” of being the leading group, and they couldn’t blame them, this city was constantly on caution with pretty much everything outside of its walls. This worried the Vanguard since the Guardians themselves were also taking sides with the factions.

            “You think that they would take advantage of their relations?” Cayde asked Ikora, he needed to know the dangers of one of the factions using their bonds and friendships to gain a big boost in their ranks. The Warlock fiddled with the arm bond on her arm, but shook her head “I can’t know for certain, we will have to see what happens and act as it occurs.”

            Guardian Barracks

            The envelope found in Auron’s mail was vanished as he destroyed it with his void energy “Of course they want to “talk” about our mission.” He sighed dryly “Why can’t they understand I want nothing to do with them?” the warlock asked, sitting on the couch of their home, bothered by the message.

            “I would love to help you, but I can’t change your race.” Erina answered with a smirk “But at least you get politely asked by the royalty of the Reef, oh mighty sir.” She just loved the face she received and avoided a void blast “But seriously, it was expected that people would get some scoop about it.” She spoke, gesturing to other requests of “important” needs “That is why I follow the Vanguard and Crucible, they just focus on our original purpose, prepare to fight and gain experience.”

            The Awoken knew that the different factions were getting more powerful with the more Guardians appearing, but he also understood that they would never get into a neutral agreement, he always wondered how the Vanguard managed to keep them from strangling each other, making him chuckle at the image of the Future War Cult and Dead Orbit representatives going on a fist fight.

            The Titan also sat on the couch, “We have always dealt with them, and we will keep doing it, at least we aren’t requested personally, mostly since they understood to not bother us in our doorstep.” She clenched her fist, wishing to use it again on a trespassing intruder. “So, ready to see how Cayde smooth talks his way with a Devil’s representative?” she said while folding a document.

            How do you know the Vanguard will send him?” Auron asked, just to receive a paper plane to his forehead “It is logical, Zavala might be one of the greatest war strategists, but he has the social skills of a wall, Ikora is good to explain things and can talk for ages, but she can get too academic and win a battle by making her enemy fall asleep.” This earned a chuckle from the void user “And Cayde is actually the diplomat of the three, believe it or not, take for example the fire team sent to the Dreadnaught, not only he managed to get Eris’ ship activation code, convinced Amanda with an unregistered and dangerous stealth drive, but even got the ship’s launch approved by Zavala within another document.”

            Devil’s Lair barracks.

            Due to the stress of the whole day, the Vandal woke up way sooner than she expected, mostly thanks to falling on her cot after realizing she faced her Kell and lived through it. Drexia was already placing her armor, she had too much energy to simply go back to sleep, the next day would be quite the thing, meeting one of the Guardian Vanguards as she would guard her baroness, it was the logical choice as the Kell was needed in the lair, while his mate did have more freedom and could go on missions.

            “This is too much for a single week; I’m still trying to figure out what is going on.” The Wire rifle user mumbled to herself while heading to the lift, she didn’t see her mentor in the barracks, probably having other things to do (“Old fool, you got to relax from time to time.”) but then again, Rundas was an interesting specimen, while not one of the elder Eliksni in the Devil’s Lair, he was already a veteran within the ranks, having leadership skills since being a lower classed Vandal and managing to see what others didn’t, thus surviving against the odds for so long. Even their current Kell had some respect to the Captain as they both worked together when the former traitor was on a path of doom for their people.

            (“And he still hasn’t changed, I wish to understand his purpose, but it still evades me.”)
            The Vandal was now above ground, acknowledging guards at the entrance, still going higher towards one of the human vessels. The massive rocket was only a memory of its former glory, most of its equipment scavenged for the Lair’s survival, but it was also a tactical advantage due to the location around the Cosmodrome, it was perfect for Drexia’s need of space.

            A lone Vandal was on the lookout spot, although by the rhythm of her breathing, she was at the verge of falling to sleep, but the soldier was startled by Drexia’s footsteps “Oh! Uh.. Sister, I apologize” she quickly tried to speak as she was found sleeping on the job. “It is fine, sister. This is a tiring shift, and by the weekly reports, we can relax for some time.” The Vandal nodded, relaxing as she wasn’t in trouble, but was also intrigued about why the markswoman was here.

            “If I may ask.” She received a nod “What troubles your mind?” this surprised Drexia, which then the guard explained “I could see you and your Captain since you two came back after being saved, and you have been silent for most of the time, only speaking when needed to.” The Vandal looked at the guard, and then at the general area of the entrance to the Devil’s lair (“That distance.. I will have to talk with the sniper squad trainer.”) The markswoman sighed “I do have something that has me puzzled, these days have been a test of my beliefs and mind.” She put a claw on the railing of the lookout “We are in a crossroad.”

            “Is it about the meeting with the Guardians?”
            the guard questioned, and by the look of shock from the other Vandal, she couldn’t help but chuckle “Our baroness was being vocal about it when she passed the armory, word spread fast.” The baroness of the House of Devils was everywhere, always on duty. Drexia acknowledged the guard’s words “Yes, it was logical that she would be chosen to go to that middle point.”

            “Then, what troubles you?” the other Vandal asked, the Wire rifle user looked at her “What’s your name and rank, soldier?” she asked “I am Veksis, still in patrol training, hence why I am in guard duty, to train my endurance and focus.” Drexia hummed for a second “It was but a year that I completed my training, the Taken monsters were still a high priority in our problems, but now, if the Guardians are willing to talk with us, then something worse is coming in the recent future.”

            Veksis was silent for a minute, trying to formulate her words “If we are walking towards a storm, then it is good that we are preparing beforehand. I don’t know much about our life before reaching this planet, even less of our home world, but if we can be allies.” She looked at the Cosmodrome “Maybe we can prosper.”

            The Vandals were silent as the stars were their witnesses; Drexia was enjoying the silence until she spoke again. “Keep that hope; we will need it for what this Journey has for us.”
            Have you ever crossed the line between sanity and madness? You would be amazed by what lies beyond the fog..



              Chapter 6

              The First meeting and two bullets

              Array Station, Cosmodrome

              The Exo was looking at the rust covered array from the railing, his cloak flowing with the wing and his face showed peace. The Hunter took some air and after a second or two, exhaled “It is good to be on the field again, don’t you think?” Cayde-6 spoke to the walking figure, not moving at all as the railing received more pressure from the person.

              “That is true; I missed the grass and soil.” Kristina responded as her boot scrapped some of the dirt on the floor “But what do you think of this? And of our guests?” she gestured to the coming skiff on the horizon. The Vanguard sighed and took out his hand cannon, the black and white weapon with a spade on its grip had a shine despite its scratches here and there “I have my hopes things go well, but you know how life is, we might also have a hunting spree in a matter of minutes.” He twirled the gun on his hand and holstered it.

              The Exo Hunter looked at his apprentice “You owe me a few stories by the way, I need some gossip from the deep space, probably can be used as bargaining chips and bets.” He smirked at the chuckle coming from the human “Oh come on, you surely have some awesome adventures while living with the House of Rain.” His smirk grew at the shocked face of hers.

              “You got to remember why I am the Vanguard, not only from my looks.” Cayde joked, but that soon would vanish as another Exo spoke “You are forced to be in the base, the Tower needs some relief from time to time.” Erina-2 spoke while cleaning her helmet with a piece of cloth “Auron got confirmation from the skiff’s pilot; they will be here in 10 minutes.”

              Cayde looked at the horizon again, hand in the holster of his second gun “This better be good, I don’t want unnecessary Ether in my filters.”

              Devil’s Skiff, Cosmodrome

              The Baroness was relaxed on her seat, enjoying the rumble of the ship’s flying, she didn’t have many chances to go outside, mostly because of her duties inside the Lair, but also because she was a big target in the constant fight. So this trip, whether it was for the good or the bad, was a welcoming gift for the veteran Eliksni.

              Movement got her attention as she stared at the Vandal ordered to be her bodyguard, the shock blades strapped on her hips and two pistols on the abdominal holsters, and of course there was her Wire Rifle constantly being checked, as if it could be more worked on.

              “You have to calm down, young one, we aren’t going to a battle, or at least that’s the plan.” Renuk’s voice was calm as Drexia stopped working on her gun, she knew that the Vandal was being cautious, and with good reasoning, they were going to a possible trap of the Guardians, but she had a hunch that this was a good action.

              “I apologize, but I can’t ignore the fact that the Hive or the Kings could appear and give us a surprise attack.” Drexia responded, the baroness noticed she didn’t mention the Guardians, but let it go “That is why we got squads on safe zones in the case we need back up, but enough of worrying around.” She got up and walked to the front of the skiff.

              The terminal showed the slowly closer array station, an impressive building that survived the test of time, and still functional for what she had gathered, although the Kings and Hive were lurking on the lower sections of the place. “In the end, this might be the first step of a good path, and maybe, we will be the ones to see the glory of such work.” The baroness took her Scorch Cannon and made sure it was fully charged

              “Or maybe, it will be another field of flames.”

              Back on the station..

              Auron had given the signal for the skiff to land, he was the only guardian on the area as the first Dreg appeared, shock pistols aimed at him, but he could see it was just a precaution “Welcome, I am Guardian Auron, your pilot should have the message of the current situation.” He greeted him.

              The Dreg, lowered his pistols and nodded “That is true, I am Leksis, bodyguard of our Baroness.” While it didn’t show, Auron was surprised that a Dreg was assigned as one of the bodyguards for such a high ranking Fallen, but this one seemed different than his brothers and sisters, that was something that the Warlock could feel.

              Jumping down from the Skiff, Baroness Renuk looked at her surroundings, an unconscious tactic to understand the area, then she spotted both Leksis and the Awoken. “At ease, brother Leksis, we come in peace for this meeting.” She then faced the Guardian “I shall greet you, Guardian, let’s hope this meeting is productive” she gave him a gentle nod, which was reciprocated “I also wish this works, baroness, our Vanguard is waiting for you.” He walked inside towards Cayde’s location.

              Said Hunter was working on a notebook, making notes of the area, his scribbling stopped as he heard various steps “Looks like our guests are here, you two better check your dresses.” He received a glare from both Guardians, much to his mirth, but then he got back on the situation, he could see a Dreg, a Vandal, a Captain and the Baroness herself, he could sense her power and lethality, also there was the fact that she had a Scorch cannon on her back as if it was nothing.

              “Greetings, Baroness, I am Vanguard Cay-“ he was interrupted by Renuk “Cayde-6, legendary Hunter, scout of the Vanguard and perfect shooter with a pistol, yes, I know who you are.” She spoke with a cold tone “But I also can respect your abilities as a mediator within your people, looks like the Guardians made a good choice.”

              The tension wasn’t that thick as both parties expected, and the Hunter knew he needed to play his cards carefully “Very well, then let’s cut to the chase, we are both here to see something big that our mutual ally” he gestured to Kristina “Thinks that is too important to be said through terminals.”

              The Fallen Hunter nodded as her Ghost appeared and showed the solar system “Right now we got Earth, Venus, Mars and the Moon in a relatively ok situation, the Vex, Hive and Cabal are also in a somewhat neutral state.” She spoke as said planets were highlighted “As for Saturn being still in constant fight with both the Hive and Cabal, Mercury being in Vex’s control, and the Taken appearing in every place they can, we can say that the situation with our system is in a relatively calm time.”

              Then, the map expanded as the solar system became smaller, and the map moved to the closest star, Alpha Centauri “This is where the House of Rain was residing with their stations, sending Ketchs to other stars, one of them being the recon ship that found me in the moon of Uranus, Titania. They were coming to warn us of the Taken armada.”

              Renuk nodded at her words “We had heard of the Taken from different sources, and we thank the Reef inhabitants for their sacrifice, yet there is something far bigger that you haven’t told us, isn’t it.?” She asked the Human, who responded “That is true, the House of Rain have been hidden because of a powerful threat being the Vex Axis Minds, their leadership spans between times and follow Oryx’s sword logic.” She started explaining “If the Hive already follow their King as a god, the Vex live as crusaders just because it is the most effective think for them.”

              The Awoken warlock nodded “From what we have understood of the Vex, they would take anything and everything that would work for their purposes, being religious, scientific, magic, you name it. They will use it as an asset for their goals.” He looked at everyone, his frown showing the seriousness of the situation. “We haven’t been invaded by them because of our resources and defenses, if they can send troops out of other timelines, then we would all have been defeated.”

              “It is the Great Machine” Rundas sighed “Even for the centuries that it lived with our civilization, we never understood its full potential, and now here with the Guardians, even in a dormant state, is protecting the planet, but as we saw within the walls of this Cosmodrome, they found a crack on the Great Machine’s dome of protection.”

              Kristina focused the map on a single Ketch within the vicinity of the Alpha Centauri star, this vessel having the House of Rain’s symbol, her Ghost changed the scenery into what looked like files until reaching a single Eliksni, if the elder Fallen of the different Houses looked old, this one was ancient in comparison “The now passed Kell had managed to live through the rise and fall of the Eliksni homeworld against the Whirlwind, his visions had barely saved as much of his species, and when I met him, he already knew of the threat of the Vex, contacting the Nine so they could check on the preparation of surviving their onslaught, or the needs to take the Traveler to a safe zone in the dark zones of deep space”.

              This wasn’t getting any better as the human’s scowl deepened “Then there is the Cabal, the Empire, we all know the strength of their soldiers, easily conquering most of Mars and their ships heavily armed, but the problem is this. They are the scouting fleet.”

              The Titan Exo voiced her concerns “We know that the Cabal have uncountable numbers of soldiers and ships, hell, I commanded the strike against the shield brothers in the Dreaghnout.” Erina interjected “I was with the squad covering the fireteam as they infiltrated the ship, we got a signal coming straight from deep space, but our long range radars weren’t able to reach its location.”

              Kris focused the map again, the Alpha Centauri star getting as small as a dot, followed by a line that moved so far, that no one knew how far it went, until it reached what looked like a nebula “This is why I needed to talk with both the Eliksni and the Guardians, the Cabal are coming, not as a scouting group, but they are bringing everything.” The map zoomed into the nebula, which then showed thousands of lights, getting closer, they could all see a swarm of ships, and the Dreadnought of the Taken would be something simple in comparison by how many ships were flying.

              A chuckle escaped the Hunter Vanguard “So we got time traveling robots that are at our doorstep on one side, and then we got an armada that destroys planets that are just on their path.” The looks he received didn’t deter his speech “We got two giant problems that can easily overcome our forces, then you add the Hive, while they are now disorganized, they still thrive in numbers.” The Exo pointed out, he took his hand cannon and took all 12 of its bullets, placing them on the table.

              “Let’s see, we got us the Guardians.” He placed the bullet on one side “Then the House of Devils.” Another bullet next to the first one “Followed by the House of Rain” he received a nod as the third one got with the first two “The House of Winter, and Exile are still on their own.” Two bullets placed on another part of the table. “The House of Kings is pretty much destroyed, needs checking.” He placed the sixth bullet horizontally. “The Reef is still recovering from the Taken fight.” Another horizontal bullet placed. “I do not want to even get in touch with Osiris or the Nine, they are too weird.” Two bullets were on the table, making a cross. “The Hive would prefer death rather than doing talks, or yells…” the tenth bullet was on top of the cross of the other two. “And we got our big baddies ready to destroy us.” Two bullets were facing the ones representing the Vanguard, the Devils, and Rain.

              Cayde placed his Ace of Spades on the table “We got a powerful gambit though, but it will be a high bet if the stubborn thing wants to help us, or in his case, use us for his own survival.”

              Erina understood what he said “You mean Rasputin, isn’t it?” she received a nod from the Hunter, and by the looks of the Devils of the meeting, she explained “During the Golden age, we had preparations for possible wars, it was inevitable, and one of those preparation was the War-mind Rasputin, like many others on Earth and close planets on the system, he worked to protect us, and it is the only surviving one, although he is far more advanced that what most people think.”

              Drexia remembered an assault to a human data center, where a prototype Shank was used, but it was ultimately destroyed by the Guardians, what happened next was what showed the AI’s abilities, be it sudden satellite drops with pinpoint accuracy, EMPs close to the Lair, even the startup and overloading of an abandoned factory's core, that was luckily stopped before a meltdown could occur. That was when the Devils decided to not attack the War-mind again.

              Renuk looked at the notes she had made during the meeting, this was something grave, and it was good that both factions were, for what she hoped, making a truce or even a future alliance “We can contact the Exiles and Winter, their pride might be high, but with the oncoming threat, they will understand.” The Baroness sighed “As for the Kings.. we have sent scouts into their territory, but either they have managed to hide underground, or they have finally lost everything.”

              The Exo Titan was the next to speak “I can talk with Variks on the Reef and he can help us with meetings on with their hierarchy. The Warmind will be something we need to be extremely careful, the last time we tried to get help from him, he made us make patrols and searches all around the system. He did give us the schematics of a powerful Fusion Rifle though.

              ”Well then, guess most of the stuff has been checked.” Cayde was loading the bullets on his hand cannon, a smirk on his face “I would have loved to have a firefight here and there, but this little trip was also good, baroness Renuk.” The vanguard faced said Eliksni “Hopefully we can have another meeting in the recent future, I can see good things coming on this alliance.” He offered a hand to shake it with hers.

              While it was one of the possibilities that she envisioned, Renuk was honestly surprised that it could be done that easily, she took his hand with her clawed one and shook it “The House of Devils will be pleased to know they will have a good ally, we still got things to revise with our Kell, but I know he will-“ her voice stopped at a red dot, it was so faint that she could barely see it, instincts kicked in as she kicked Cayde on the chest, the look of surprise on his face was blurred by the solar energy shot.

              In an instant, the whole place went on full alert, the telltale sounds of electricity clacking around and clouds forming around the array station surrounded the area. Both Guardians and Eliksni had their weapons ready as the screeching sound of a Minotaur resonating around the rusted walls.

              Surprisingly, the first voice was of one of sarcasm “Really Cayde? You had to jinx our luck.” It was Auron glaring at the Exo, who actually gave him a look of shameless mirth “I swear, you Hunters are magnets of bad luck.”

              “Enough of bickering, we got Vex inbound.” Rundas took his shrapnel launcher and fired at the Minotaur that didn’t have a chance to survive the super heated shot. “Leksis, call our defenses, we got Vex in the area.” he ordered, the Dreg saluted and started running, towards a group of Goblins, and to the surprise of those who just met the smaller Fallen, he had both shock pistols firing as he evaded the attacks. It was as if the bodyguard was toying with the robotic fiends, firing the burst weapons while jumping and ducking, even riding on their heads to use their own weapons against each other.

              As the Dreg managed to get to the skiff and call for their lookouts, Cayde was already shooting at the cores inside the hobgoblins that took nest on the gates “Dancing with the enemy, must be good at parties.” He turned to shoot the leg of a Minotaur that then got crushed by Renuk’s scorch cannon, being hit with it as a club. “What he lacks in strength, Leksis compensates on agility and wits.” She fired more to the mobs of Vex.

              Erina was using her Fusion Rifle, the void shots, erasing the mid ranged enemies from existence, and those ill lucked to be close to the Titan felt the electricity charged fist of the Exo.

              On the other side, Auron was focusing on clearing the path to the nearest terminal “We got Vex in the station, repeat, Vex on the station, we need to protect the Vanguard and the Baroness.”

              Back in the Tower, Zavala had a map of the Array station, with green dots for both the Guardians and Fallen, being surrounded by dozens of red dots. “Sniper squads, focus your bullets on the hobgoblins, they are your priority.”

              Ikora was tracking the communications on the battle, already having contacted a Vandal that was giving feedback from their own soldiers. “You will get Guardian reinforcements on the outer surroundings.”

              Back on the station, Kristina destroyed a goblin with her Wire Rifle, followed by Drexia’s shot that got the ones behind the first. They were working in sync with the charge time of their guns, as for the Minotaurs, Rundas and Auron were staggering them enough so either Cayde or Renuk would give the last shots, Erina was on a mad spree of destruction with her Fusion Rifle, but the Vex kept coming.

              Sniper shots could be heard on the distance as the hobgoblins on the outer area were decimated, same with mobs being rained with grenades or Shock Rifles. Leksis was still firing his way back to the main group and felt the hairs of his head burn as a solar shot barely passed over him. “My Baroness, we need to get you out of here.” He hoped she would understand, but the stubborn Renuk shook her head “We must keep fighting, brother, we can still fight.” She was already out of ammunition, but her blades sliced through her enemies.

              A bigger cloud was forming as the numbers of Vex thinned, whatever was coming, it was big, and it didn’t disappoint as the form of a Gatekeeper appeared. “The hell is that thing doing here!?” Cayde exclaimed, evading the Void heavy shots of the enormous Minotaur. Everyone was hiding from its powerful attacks.

              Erina was feeling her Light at its peak and faced her partners, noticing they were also fully charged, a grin formed on her face “Let’s unload on it, ready?” she asked while charging her fist, the telltale form of a javelin materializing, raw arc energy hissing with power. Auron was feeling the void focusing inside him, his body tingling with the dark energy until he channeled it on his palm. Kristina felt the burn inside her soul, the solar power engulfing her in flames as a hand cannon materializing, she aimed at the gate lord and fired, followed by Auron’s Nova Bomb, and being super charged by Erina’s Javelin.

              The combined supers exploded when they hit the Vex Minotaur, destroying its outer plating, even showing its core. “That’s it, now we got a chance” Renuk ran towards the gate lord, being covered from the fire Drexia and Rundas, she used the higher platforms to jump and stab both of her blades into the core, the actual screeching of pain resonated from the massive Vex. “Renuk, catch!” Cyade threw a gun at her, she managed to pick up the shock pistol with her lower arms and fired until the weapon was out of ammunition, but it was enough, the white essence of the gate lord lost its strength and the Baroness barely managed to jump away as the Minotaur exploded.

              They were all silent for a moment, letting their breaths recover their energy, the Guardians were drained from using their Supers and the Eliksni sat on the floor, but the silence was interrupted by one Exo “YEAH! That is what I call a trip!” he even fisted the air in victory. Cayde-6, despite the ambush and near death situation, took this trip as a good one.

              Renuk looked at the shock pistol, then at her soldiers, they all had their side-arms, so this gun must have been from the Vanguard, even more curious was that it looked battered and had familiar markings “Interesting.. from where did you get this pistol?” she asked the Exo. The Hunter joy calmed down when he responded “Eh, it’s an old pistol I had for a while.”

              But then, Erina had an idea. “Cayde, isn’t that gun you got in the moon?” her face showed confusion at the way the veteran Guardian looked with raised eyebrows “Yeah, you got it while.. fighting with.. a baroness..” her words died down as the usually casual Hunter froze.

              The baroness smirked behind her mask “Oh, now I remember.” She chuckled, even more with Cayde’s look of horror.

              “Uh.. Remember that story I told you a while ago?” the Vanguard just knew that Ikora would make his ears malfunction and Zavala would become purple with rage.
              Have you ever crossed the line between sanity and madness? You would be amazed by what lies beyond the fog..