Chapter 1: Capture

Atticus was slowly regaining consciousness. First came his sense of smell. Wherever he was, the atmosphere was very damp and musky. The scent of earth was heavy and clung to the air. There was another smell that accompanied the earthy smell in the air. It was slightly familiar, but his hazy mind couldn't put a name to it. Atticus began to slowly take in more of his surroundings. Atticus realized that he was moving. Rather, he himself wasn't moving. He was being carried. "Hey…" Atticus spoke, and slowly began to shift himself up. Before he could move an inch, he was pushed back down. Something was putting pressure on his lower back, making him almost immobile. Atticus slowly grasped what he had assumed was the shoulder of whoever was carrying him. It was like rock, and felt extremely hard. There was a slight feeling of warmth permeating deep from the rock. Atticus's eyesight came into focus. The rock he was feeling was white, and was shifting with the movement of whoever was carrying him. Before he could retry his efforts to get off, something stopped him. The white, smooth surface that he was on reminded him of something. It was like…bone. Everything came immediately into focus.

The Hellmouth. The seat of power for the Hive on the moon. Their impenetrable fortress since humanity had lost the moon. At least, it used to be. Many of the Guardians in the Tower suspected that it would fall soon ever since Crota's demise by the brave six who ventured deep within. Nothing was left to keep the Hive together except for a few of Crota's advisors. According to Eris Morn of the Tower, the Hive would hold the last rites for Crota's soul. The plan was simple. Here, during these last rites, the last of the exalted Hive would show up. By taking these last pillars down, the Hive kingdom would collapse. The Guardians would be able to reclaim the moon. Atticus and his team had ventured deep, following the footsteps of those who preceded him. The fireteam found themselves in a maze seething with Thralls. At the end of the maze was a light, to their bewilderment. However, before they could get there, they attacked. Hive coming from the ground, the ceiling, from the various cracks in the ground. In the end, retreating was the only option. There were simply too many. Flee today, fight tomorrow. Atticus was overlooking his team. At the end of the line, the Hive were gaining on Marcus. It was here that Atticus made the decision that put him in this predicament. He ran behind Marcus, and thrusted him forward. Immediately, he fired off his Nova Bomb on the incoming Acolytes. They were too close, and there was not enough distance between him and his bomb. He blacked out…

Panic gripped Atticus's mind. He fully realized the rock like substance he was examining. He was over the shoulder of a Hive Knight. First thought was to get his weapons, but they had been removed from him. Atticus struggled again to get up, but the Knight's hand was impossible to move. The Knight growled, and more pressure was applied to his lower back. Atticus stifled a gasp as pain shot up his back. Atticus stopped moving, and the pressure vanished. Atticus couldn't use any of his abilities. The close proximity to this Knight was draining any light he had. It was as if his vitality was being sucked away. Calming his mind down. Atticus took various notes in his mind. The first was the fact that he was alive and being carried. The Hive needed him alive, for whatever reason. The second was his surroundings. At first, he had thought it was an illusion. However, Atticus found himself staring at a black, greenish sky. He should've been underground, in the Hellmouth. However, he was somewhere else. The last thing was the overwhelming feeling of darkness. The essence of the Hive was heavy here. It wasn't this heavy on the moon. Atticus's thoughts snapped together. He remembered someone. Atticus hoped he would hear a response. "…Ghost?" A voice immediately answered him back in his helmet. "Atticus? You're conscious!" Atticus smiled briefly. Despite their predicament, the Ghost still cared about his health. "Ghost, where are we?" Atticus asked, being careful to not alert the Knight that was carrying him. "Were not on the moon anymore. I believe this is Crota's personal realm, where he ruled over the moon." Atticus fell silent. This was it. If he was in another reality completely different from where the Solar System was, escape was impossible. Atticus felt the Knight stop. Before he could think as to why he stopped, he was thrown down on the ground. Atticus' helmet cracked from the force. Atticus gasped in pain, holding onto his side as he tried to stand up. Before he could, the Knight was upon him again. The Knight grabbed him by his neck, and slowly lifted him off the ground. "Atticus! Atticus!" The Ghost began calling his name inside his helmet. Atticus struggled to breathe. Atticus desperately brought his hand on the Knight's hand in a weak attempt to stop him. Atticus looked directly in front of him, and saw deep inside the eyes of the Knight strangling him. He saw nothing. There was nothing but hunger and hatred deep inside those eyes. Atticus's consciousness was fading. This was it. His brain was becoming starved of oxygen. His grip on the Knight's hand was weakening. Before he could fall unconscious, the Knight dropped him without a word. Atticus immediately fell on his knees, and gasped for air. Before he had even recovered, the Knight picked Atticus up and placed him on his shoulders. Atticus was trying to process the events that just occurred. Had the Knight did all of this to keep him in line? Was it to show who the stronger one between the two of them was? If that was the purpose of the Knight's actions, it worked. Atticus felt the crushing despair as he knew there was no escape for him now. The Knight walked into a building, and began to traverse the various pathways inside. Acolytes stopped in their tracks at the sight of the Knight, and bowed in respect. They didn't give Atticus any attention at all, not even a snarl or growl. Whoever this Knight was in the Hive hierarchy, he had managed to bring in a live Guardian without attracting any attention. He also seemed to command a level of respect from other Hive. Finally, the Knight stopped in a room with dim lighting. Atticus looked up from the Knight's shoulder, and analyzed the room. There was a platform in the middle, with various tablets on the walls of the room. What was even more disturbing than the environment was the figures floating in it. There were three Hive Wizards floating on three sides of the platform, all looking down and making a gesture as if they were praying. The Knight began walking toward the platform. The platform, the Knight, the Wizards, the tablets, and Atticus himself finally clicked together in Atticus's mind. He was alive to be used as a Hive experiment. Atticus immediately began to wail against the Knight's shoulder. It was no use. The Knight didn't even budge against Atticus's blows. The Knight pushed Atticus against the platform, and held both of his arms down. Before Atticus could yell in protest, the Wizard's faces slowly looked up in unison. That small gesture was enough to immediately take the voice from Atticus's throat. Whatever was going to occur in the room was about to begin.