Disclaimer: I do not own anything in the Mass Effect or Destiny universe except the characters I have made myself.
A cold wind whispered over the last safe city on Earth. Its denizens felt the chill and withdrew to places of warmth. In the tower of the city, humans, Awoken and Exo all gathered in their groups and shared conversations of many sorts. Banshee-44 was speaking to several new arrivals about the benefits and disadvantages of Omolon and Hakke weapons. The cryptarch, looking over new data with interest was content slowly absorbing the detailed information recently made available thanks to several invasive guardians.
Down a flight of stairs stood Eris Morn, leaning on a wall she gazed into her green orb. Of all the things she knew she should be feeling at this moment, be it elation, euphoria, and a renewed sense of purpose with the defeat of Oryx; Eris could not help but feel worry.
While she knew that Oryx was dead (so far as to say any Hive was dead), she knew that Oryx's sisters Savathun and Xivu Arath were still lurking in the blackness of space. She felt it in her cold heart, if Oryx could hear Crota's death scream surely the other Gods of the Hive could hear Oryx's demise. She let out an exaggerated sigh and attempted to let her mind wonder.
Shaxx and his warframe Arcite 99-40 were busy selling high grade weaponry and armour to those guardians who earned their rewards. Beyond them stood some of the most important people in the City. Ikora Rey, Commander Zavala and Cayde-6 all stood fixed on the most pressing issue they faced today.
Arach Jalaal stood before them, data pad in hand. "It is just as I said, the evidence is irrefutable. You cannot ignore us this time!" Ikora was picking up something more than anger is his voice. She noted a hint of fear seep through the mask he put over is speech. "There is something out there; beyond the edge of the solar system. An object was found. If you do not want to investigate, Dead Orbit will. Whatever it may be, it will ether help us, or at the very least not end up in the hands of our enemies." Jalaal argued.
Commander Zavala almost couldn't find an excuse to stop the Arach. But with a nod from Ikora who always seemed to know what he was thinking he made his gambit. "With Oryx's defeat, the first thing we should be doing is focusing on reclaiming Earth; first we remove the Hive and Fallen Houses from our planet, then our moon and eventually the rest of the system. We need to gain ground now, more than ever. While we did get a plethora of new guardians, they are untrained, undisciplined. They aren't an immediate replacement for those we lost in the fight against Oryx."
Upon hearing this, Cayde-6 looked down and sighed. He remembered every Hunter that came to him and offered themselves to combat this new threat, and he remembered every Hunter that did not return. Inside his mechanical heart, Cayde-6 felt a pain he though would never fully leave him.
The Arach did not want to hear any of this. "If you refuse to leave this dead rock with and a broken god, we will sort this out internally. One of our ships went missing out there, Arach Ariesa and her crew are lost out there Commander, and may I remind you we do not abandon our own." Jalaal hissed with an unsaid threat.
With that the incandescent Arach left the room to the three Vanguards. Cayde-6 turned to Zavala with a concerned look on his face, "You know they will take ships to investigate, weather you allow it or not?" Zavala turned and looked out the window facing a mountainous range behind the tower. "I know, and I fear when they eventually do leave, they will take too much with them. I just don't see how we will have enough left if the Fallen come calling again."
Several hours ago, deep space…
Arach Ariesa stood on the bridge of her ship. Further Hope she had named it upon being promoted to Captain. She was an Awoken with pale blue skin and light blue hair to match. She was a guardian and several of her crew her crew also held the honour. Her Ghost floating beside her was doing everything in its power to explain what it was analysing. Her mission was to scout out the best rout out of the system.
The nearest habitable systems would be ignored as the Darkness, whatever form it took would likely find them before they could make any real progress towards recovery. Dead Orbit's plan was to skip the first two or three habitable systems, surviving on the stockpiled resources made available and make it all the way to the third or fourth before settling. Dear Orbit also aimed to spread out humanity, whatever form it takes, across several systems. With this, and constant rapid expansion, the Darkness would never be able to claim all of humanity.
Ariesa had been traveling at FTL for some time as was determined to get her mission right, down to every last detail. Her mission; to take a golden age satellite salvaged from an orbital base around Mars, luckily not yet destroyed by the Cabal, and preform deep space scans to dictate in which direction to go. To complete this task, she would need to do fifteen, one hour long scans at specific locations.
Before she could get the first scan underway however, she saw a sight she dreaded. There, in front of the Further Hope, laid in wait a Ketch. Judging by the insignia etched upon its hull, the Devils were about to give them a bad time. The Ketch was larger than Further Hope which by its own right was a large ship. Further Hope was three quarters of the length of the Ketch, and was of a blocker build. Slowly and with no small amount of menace, the ketch turned and opened fire.
The Arach had fought valiantly, first targeting its weapons, then engines, the smaller vessel eventually won out. Damage repairs were under way as soon as the fight was over but that did not stop the Devils from pulling one last dirty trick. With their ship lost the Captain of the Ketch ordered self-destruct. Without warning, Ariesa's ship was rocked violently with shrapnel tearing through the shields and scarring the hull. The ship and its occupants were sent drifting further out into the blackness.
"Report!" yelled Ariesa to her helmsmen. "Ships shaken pretty badly mam. We got no power and we'll just have to drift till we can fix it. Minor injuries on decks two and three. No other major issues mam." She lent forwards on the console in-front of her. The holographic interface displayed all the information she needed to see. Hull integrity, shields, breaches on all faces of the ship. From her estimate it would take at least two hours before she could continue with the mission.
An hour of drifting through the void later her helmsman called out to her again. "Mam, you're going to want to see this!" He stated with some urgency. After the original scuffle there was nothing for her to do on the bridge so she left to her quarters to ensure her armour and weapons were in perfect condition. As she rushed out she had her ghost re-equip her armour set. The spektar heliopause Titan armour set coupled with her mark of oblivion and revenant shader working wonders for a menacing look.
When she looked out at the sight on the display she did not know what to think. They had drifted closer to what reminded her of a giant silver tuning fork with a blue orb like centre. "What am I looking at?" Her ghost spoke before the helmsman got a chance to speak. "I honestly can't say without further analysis. Whatever this is, it's not in our records. We certainly aren't the ones who built this. Not even in the golden age did we venture this far out of the system. It doesn't look like any alien design I know of…."
The ghost trailed off when a large flash of lightning connected the foreign structure to the Further Hope. "Do we have engines yet!?" Screamed Ariesa. "Engines are back, engaging full reverse!" The ship did not slow however and was pulled parallel to the structure. "Hold on!" Yelled the distressed Arach as they entered an unexpected FTL.
Several minutes later the ship slunk out of FTL. Ariesa immediately demanded a status report. Unfortunately, the ship was left drifting for several long moments before the systems managed to compensate.
"Scans show we are in a new system mam, from old Earth records…. we just jumped past our previous estimates of what was bare minimum for distance. I think we went to sol system five or six by my estimates. Scans also show another structure further ahead, opposite side of this system." The Arach could not believe her luck. Could they get the entire Dead Orbit fleet through this, relay? And if so, how far could they push it?
"Can you take us through the other one?" Ariesa stated eagerly. She was known for being almost fanatical in the name of Dead Orbit so a modicum of excitement was not unexpected by her crew. Hell, they were all ecstatic. They might finally leave that dead system behind for good.
"Yes mam." The helmsman stated, already entering the co-ordinates. After a smother jump Ariesas heart dropped. After exiting FTL they landed in the Serpents Nebula. Their ship came to a juddering stop like a rabbit in the head lights. Dead in space for several seconds, all the bridge crew could do was stare at the sight before them.
Many large ships of new design turned about and headed straight for Further Hope. Ariesa, panic replacing hope cursed herself for not going back when she had the chance, how could she be so stupid. "Mam, one of the ships is hailing us…."
"Does it have a video feed?" queried the Arach. "Yes mam." came the response. "Open a channel." Ariesa commanded.
On the screen at the front of her ship appeared a blue figure. Very much alien but still quite feminine by human standards. "Can you translate?" she queried to her ghost.
"I've been tracking their communications, I believe I can translate for you" he replied.
"I am Arach Ariesa, Captain of the Further Hope, part of the Dead Orbit fleet. If you would to be so kind as to identify yourself?" the Arach said with as much confidence as she could muster.
Somewhat stunned by the arrival of a new, very alien ship, the blue figure took a moment to respond. "My name is Sula of the Citadel fleet. State your intensions and where you came from." Sula was obviously startled to see this new alien just pop out of the mass relay so close to the Citadel and did a poor job hinding her supprise. Not only that but it had pale blue skin like hers. What was quite unusual was the mass of blue fur covering the top portion of this creatures head.
Ariesa did not like where this was going. "I am an Awoken of humanity, from Earth. We are looking for a new home amongst the stars."
"You're expanding?" Queried Sula. Ariesa looked to her ghost before returning to the screen before her. "Fleeing. Our home is lost to us. We come in peace and don't wish any harm upon those who do not harm us." If they were lucky; very lucky, these new creatures would not fire.
Sula received a message from someone on her bridge. "You will follow us and dock on the Citadel where instructed. Send a team of no more than six individuals out to meet us. You may bring weapons with you, but any show of violence will be met in-kind."
"Understood." was all Ariesa was able to muster. With that the com link shut off and the ship now up and moving, they followed the alien ship for fear of being shot down by overwhelming fire power. Dead Orbit must learn of this thought Ariesa.
Old Russia wastes...
Shoul'krus stalked up and down the empty corridor. It was of old Earth design, built by the humans that once called this part of Earth home. Deep in the arctic Russian waists was the hidden lair of the Kings. Shoul'krus knew why he was here; he requested this meeting with his Kell.
As a Baron of House Kings, he reserved that right at least. A door opened to his left and in crept Vox'trix. This Captain of the Kings was a long standing friend to Shoul'krus and he trusted him with his life. This was saying something to, as Shoul'krus trusted almost no one. "Are the preparations made?" asked Shoul'krus.
"Yes, everything is as you said it should be." replied Vox'trix. "If this goes well, we will have the stealth tech, we will be prepared for what comes next."
Vox'trix took a moment to admire Shoul'krus ornate armour. While he held the standard issue Captain armour, Shoul'krus held a relic from a once glorious past. Shoul'krus's helmet resembled that of a vandal but much larger with the addition of two tubes flowing down from the mouth piece. Its grey matt finish made it look ancient in comparison to the newer, sometimes scratch built armour. But it held a promise. If you strike the wielder of this armour, they will survive to strike you back.
A door to Shoul'krus's right opened and an Archon paraded out. He looked down at Shoul'krus with a gaze that said many things. One of which was respect; you did not rise to be a Baron in House Kings easy. He beckoned Shoul'krus to follow and follow he did.
The room was large and spacious. There on either side of him, many strange objects were strewn around the room. Banners from other houses taken by force, pieces of ships or weapons and armour from other races. Trophies, Shoul'krus realised. His Kell was gloating to those few who ever saw him.
In the centre of the ceiling above and attached to the sides of the room were King banners of every shape and size. Some interwoven and some left dangling giving the impression that he was about to see royalty.
Shoul'krus had seen his Kell once before, when he became a Baron. He did not enjoy the company he was forced to keep on that occasion and he suspected he would not enjoy it now.
"Shoul'krus, feel honoured, I don't normally accept requests to appear like yours very often. You should be in awe." The Kell said smugly.
"I have a request most urgent my liege. I beg for but a moment of your time." Shoul'krus pleaded falling to a knee.
"Speak, and I shall listen…." The Kell of Kings ground out.
"I request the use of the advanced experimental stealth tech, my lord. You have heard of the problem I wish to solve, and my plan. The Devils are beginning to suspect we rule them in secret. Let me take a force and strike down a leader in public. Let it be known to them we hold no affiliation with them, secret or otherwise. Let us put them back to sleep…" Shoul'krus risked a look up and saw his Kell look down from his lofty throne above a small set of steps.
"And why would you need the stealth tech Shoul'krus? What possible advantage does it give you? Why not send in dregs to absorb fire, show larger numbers?" Shoul'krus responded instantly, he had thought of every question his Kell could ask.
"Their leaders are brutes but will flee behind their thuggish underlings before we can get close my lord." The Kell though upon the matter for a brief moment.
"Go, and take the tech with you. You will be permitted use of as many skiffs as you see fit, take a small horde of underlings if you need to. Put fear into them Shoul'krus. Do not disappoint your Kell…."
Shoul'krus walked briskly out of the room. He despised, loathed and hated his Kell. 'This is not what we should be.' He thought to himself. 'We need to reclaim what was ours, the Great Machine, the name of Eliksni, the Light…' His thought pattern trailed off upon spotting Vox'trix waiting eagerly for news.
"We have it?" he enquired. "We have it." Shoul'krus responded. With that, they had many a dreg haul large amounts of stealth tech onto a small fleet of skiffs numbering in the mid-forties. Supplies of ether and useful materials were also loaded on board. "Will there be room for all our followers?" Vox'trix questioned.
"I believe we will fill forty skiffs at most. I could not risk news of our plan getting out. I had to leave several I did not fully trust behind. I am; sorry brother." Shoul'krus suddenly looking down at the thought.
Vox'trix placed a hand on his friends shoulder. "You will make a good Kell." he whispered.
When all the skiffs were loaded with the trustworthy Fallen and supplies, they set of. First they moved to orbit as to be out of range of any ground based weapons. "Are you sure this stealth tech works for our ships." A female vandal enquired.
"I truly hope so." replied Vox'trix.
"Activate cloaking." rumbled Shoul'krus. One of the few captured servitors obeyed and the small fleet disappeared from sight.
Still cloaked, the small fleet broke orbit and fell towards the Cosmodrome at speed. They were some distance from where Shoul'krus told the Kell of Kings where they would be, and with the surprise betrayal, they should be out of danger for the moment at least.
Their target was a hole in the great wall that had been standing for as long as Shoul'krus had been on Earth. One team would land inside the walls perimeter; from what Shoul'krus had learned there would be no Devil patrols here, for the moment at least.
A second, smaller team would land still cloaked outside the wall and make their way in. From what he knew, House Guardians knew this second location as the divide. Quickly and quietly both teams made their way into the wall.
Shoul'krus and Vox'trix were at the front of the insertion. Both stood shoulder to shoulder while moving through the empty corridors. Any tiny sounds were picked up by one of them and judged to be a threat or not. Their experimental stealth tech was doing wonders for this mission. Already they managed to make two surprise attacks on groups of dregs.
While the usual stealth tech is known to be glitchy after taking a hit and needing time to re-activate, this allowed them to go invisible immediately after taking cover. It also did not show the vague outline of the user like previous versions. When moving upon a third pack of dregs, this one including a vandal, they employed the same tactic.
Moving behind slowly and carefully as not to make noise, they stowed their range weapons and drew their blades. The second the group received the go ahead over the secure channel from Shoul'krus they all plunged their shock blades and daggers into the heads of their chosen prey. With a loud hiss of ether spraying outwards they re-equip their ranged weapons and moved on.
Finally, they rounded a corner just after crossing a bridge that dropped down seemingly forever. Shoul'krus held out his over right arm and calling for his team to halt.
At the end of the room near a large circular hole in the wall stood an Archon of the Devils. He did his research into who was in the area before he left. He knew this to be Drosk, Archon Rising.
His armour was not well fitting and he seemed almost too small to be an Archon. But as with all Devils, the thuggish, brutish nature was showing particularly strong in Drosk. Looking through the scope of his wire rifle, Shoul'krus saw exactly what he wanted.
Underneath his chin, part of Drosk's exposed neck was showing. The ill-fitting armour was his main weakness, something Shoul'krus was all too happy to exploit.
Looking right, he saw his second team peering through a doorway. Their invisible frames outlined blue on his HUD. "Second team, hear me. On my signal, attack. Focus on the dregs and vandals nearest your position. Clear them out and let us deal with the rest." A vandal nodded in acknowledgement and waited for his go.
Taking aim with his wire rifle, Shoul'krus squeezed the trigger as the wire shot towards Drosk's exposed throat.
As the electrified wire shot through the air, Drosk's head picked up slightly. The wire shot straight through his poorly fitting armour and embedded itself in his neck. Roaring in an incandescent fury, Drosk charged towards where the shot came from.
When he rounded the corner, vandals and dregs in tow, he was met with nothing. Nothing to see and no sounds to hear. He paused; scanning is surroundings for the tell-tale shimmer of cloaked individuals he saw nothing.
"Press ahead, find the interloper, bring them to me alive!" he roared. As the last of his minions got a few feet passed him he started to turn back to where he came from.
Suddenly, and without warning, a small army materialised in front of him. They were Fallen, that much he could tell. The colours and insignia of their House were unknown to him.
He saw Captains and vandals with white, close fitting armour of good quality and cloaks varying from grey to black. He saw the emblem of their House as a Captain spun around a Devil vandal to attack behind him, plunging his shock blade through the vandals head. It was a white hollowed out circle with fragmented white rectangular spire pushing into it from below ending three quarters up the circles length.
Drosk took a hit on the right of his face after raising his shrapnel launcher. Falling to get a shot of disappointed Drosk; but at least his new trophy was kind enough to come to him rather than need to be sought out. A grey, almost ash coloured vandal looking Fallen stood before him.
This was no vandal though, much too big, ornate armour, and too brave thought Drosk. "Let your name be heard fool, who dares challenge Drosk, Devil Archon?!" Drosk noted no sense of fear in this newcomer's eye.
"Shoul'krus, Kell of House Shadow comes for you Devil." Hissed Shoul'krus.
"KELL?! You jest! You are no better than a dreg. Submit and I will let you live as such, am I not merciful?" Drosk chuckled. Shoul'krus with no hint of hearing the insult drew four shock daggers. Drosk drew his two shock swords and the two traded blows.
After quietly taking out all vandals and dregs behind Drosk, Shoul'krus's second team moved behind the battling Baron and Archon Rising. Such was Shoul'krus's plan, to draw the enemy away and allow them to be blindsided by his second team. He heard behind him Vox'trix taking blows and dealing several in return. Bellowing a war cry as a distraction he swung his blades with such lethal speed Drosk simply was unable to keep up.
Rents and tears littered his armour scant moments after their brawl had begun. Without need for a command a sheathed vandal from the second team plunged her shock blade into the back of Drosk's knee.
Leg quaking, Drosk fell to one knee in front of Shoul'krus. Timing it perfectly, Shoul'krus had raised all blades and pointed them downwards. By the time Drosk looked up it was too late to change his fate.
All four blades plunged deep into his skull and with a low croak, Drosk expired. Stowing all his blades, Shoul'krus picked up the body of his fallen foe and with a roar he through it towards a support beam. With a loud crack, what was left of his enemy lay still, unmoving on the floor.
With all enemies slain, House Shadow let loose a united cheer. Their first fight as part of their new House was successful and cost them very little. They all started to scavenge the dead for anything of use.
After piling the bodies and scavenged gear and weapons to one side they all entered the large chamber. Many had to wait close by, some as far as the other side of the bridge as the chamber would simply not accommodate such numbers of Fallen at one time.
Shoul'krus stood at the centre so the be heard by as many of his followers as possible. "The Divide is ours, any and all who dare challenge us will be forced out! Today we reclaim our heritage; we take back what was once ours! Today, we reclaim our destiny!" Cheers rose from the enthralled crowed. "Now we have taken a command centre, we will reach out to House Guardian. We shall gain allies and build our forces. The Great Machine will shine on us once again!"
City, one day later…
"We have reports of a disturbance in The Divide. You are to scout out the cause and report back to us. We cannot afford anything jumping out and catching us with our pants down." Cayde-6 gave the rundown of the mission to a guardian traveling towards the Cosmodrome.
The guardian in question was a Warlock Sunsinger garbed in the purifier robes, a harrowed mouth of Ur, spektar heliopause gloves and boots with a white shader and the Light Beyond warlock bond. His ship, Kondratyuks Escape, slowly coming to a stop dropping him off at his usual location.
He would have to travel through Dock 13 to get to his destination. Expecting to see some form of resistance, he loaded Final Duty. Its yellow Chroma glow shining dully in the recesses of the pulse rifle.
Nothing; not a single Devil was to be found be they dreg, vandal or captain. Cautiously, the Exo guardian stalked through the Dock. His purple face hidden behind his mask showed no hint of concern. He had no eyes, instead seeing through a congregation of sensors linked onto the white box on the bridge of his head. Blue war paint could be seen splattered underneath this box and to its right.
He proceeded through the dock with a slow, purposeful walk. After reaching its exit he stared out into the open sky. Pulling out his Queens Breakers Bow he scanned the distance and found nothing. Moving up to the right he stood on top of a small, partially buried building. He heard a noise underneath him.
Dropping down with a gentle glide, he strode in, pulse rifle raised. Noticing several bodies of Fallen Devils he dropped to a knee. Turning the body of a vandal over he saw that some form of arc damage was the cause of its demise. Maybe a falling out between roving packs he summarized.
With a screech, a Fallen dreg launched itself at him from the shadows behind. Turning to meet the foe Saint Reaper-10 readied his light for a Scorch. Before he could land the blow however, a blue beam shot forth from a distance taking the dregs head with it.
As the body fell he turned to look for the source of the shot. "See anything?" he asked.
"Nothing, I can't detect anyone out there." his ghost replied. She was currently using the Dread Explorer shell and was floating besides her guardian looking outwards. "I think it came from up there." She stated with a small hint of worry.
Upwards he went to a building nearing the wall. He stood atop the higher portion of the building looking towards the Breach. "Maybe they went inside?" he said with a shrug.
"Standdd, stillll." came a creaky voice behind him. He readied his light, whoever they were, Fallen judging from the voice, would shoot and he would turn throwing a grenade and dropping behind the building out of sight.
"Follllow meee guardian. No harm will befall youuu." Needless to say, this caught Saint Reaper-10 by surprise. Of all the things he expected this vandal to say, that was not anywhere on the list.
The vandal jumped down off the building and started towards the breach. "I guess we follow her?" asked his ghost. He gave her a brief nod and jumped down, weapon still out but not raised.
Into the breach they went, past several decommissioned turbines and into a large chamber. "Remember all the fun times we had in here? Good times." Said his ghost playfully.
Looking up he saw several House banners around the room and he noted piles of equipment, supply crates and other miscellaneous items. On the house banners he noticed; no, that couldn't be the Traveler could it? They came to a stop before a moderately sized throne. "Greetings guardian, to House Shadow."
"House Shadow, we don't have a record of your House." Saint Reaper-10's ghost replied to the large vandal like individual.
"We are newly formed, from a splinter of the Kings. I am Shoul'krus, Kell of House Shadow, and you are of House Guardian. I much covet an audience with your leaders." Shoul'krus stated.
"I'm sure I could manage that, but first I must enquire about your intentions. I need to know your stance on things." Saint Reaper-10 enquired.
"Ask your questionsss, and I will answer…" Shoul'krus stated.
"The Kings, do you follow in their footsteps? Will you act like them towards others? Will you fight us and continue to fall to Darkness?" the Exo queried.
"Your questions are direct, I like that. No; we, all of us left them willingly. I took with me only those I knew I could trust. We are a small House, of no true threat to House Guardians and nor will we ever be. I propose an alliance between our two Houses; we fight for the Great Machine, like you." Shoul'krus answered truthfully.
After a moment of pause, Saint Reaper-10 acted. "Ghost, put me through to the vanguard, tell them it's urgent."
"Opening a channel now." She replied. With a flourish of her outer shell, his ghost separated creating a large blue orb.
"Cayde, Ikora, can you hear me?" the guardian asked.
"Yes guardian, you said it's urgent, what troubles you?" Ikora asked gently.
"Hey guardian, what's going on? How's the mission going?" Cayde intruded.
"There's a new variable to consider, it has just made itself known. I'm currently stood in front of the Kell of the newly formed House Shadow. He says he is a friendly and from the greeting I got I'm inclined to agree."
"Guardian, don't let your hope for the Fallen get in the way of your judgement. I know you have hoped they would return to the Light ever since you heard the tale of Chelchis." Ikora warned.
At hearing this, the hopes of the Fallen in the room rose significantly. Had they found a guardian that actually cared?
"You are right to be wary; my kind has done terrible things to yours under the ruler-ship of cruel Kells and merciless Archons. I am no such Kell. I wish for my people to reclaim what was our when Chelchis, the Kell of Stone still lived. I wish for us to be Eliksni again."
Cayde-6 gave Ikora a look with a raised mechanical eyebrow. Ikora, wearing her serious face gave him a nod. "Guardian, before we can make a final decision we will need to consult with the City Consensus. Zavala is in council with them now. We shall update them with this new development. I want you to call your fire team, have them support you in case something goes wrong. Until we speak again, guardian." Ikora stated with little hint of emotion.
"Good luck guardian; and who knows, maybe we could make this work." Cayde managed to get in before the com channel was cut off and Saint Reaper's ghost shrank back down.
He thought for a moment. Of his usual fire team who was available (that wouldn't just open fire the second they saw an Eliksni)? "Ghost, can you put me through to Matt and Carl?" Saint Reaper-10 queried.
"Already done, I've sent their ghosts a rundown of the situation, there on their way." She replied.
"Glad to hear it."
Cosmodrome, minutes later…
"So, Reaper found some Fallen that play friendly? Had to realise they couldn't beat us back forever sooner or later." Matthew jested.
"I suppose." Carl concurred. "Perhaps they actually want peace." Carl continued. They landed in the Divide and started towards the breach. Matthew and Carl, both sunbreaker titans started towards the breach as instructed by Saint Reaper-10's ghost.
Matthew, decked in a full set of Harrowed gear he scavenged from their push into Oryx's Dreadnought, spare for his chest piece which he proudly wore his Twilight Garrison. He carried Not Like the Others, his chosen scout rifle. Carl on the other hand had a more varied set of gear. For his helm he wore the Golden Bull Mask, his Spektar Kallipolis Gauntlets and greaves, enclosed his Iron Companion Plate chest piece.
As they neared the entrance they were both stunned to see a vandal suddenly appear before them. "You arrre expecteddd." She croaked and turned with a grace Matthew did not expect a Fallen to possess. They both paused giving each other a look of uncertainty under their helmets. With a nod, Matt motioned to continue.
As they got further into the breach they heard a sound they did not expect. "Is he doing it again?" Carl asked a distracted Matt. "Honestly wouldn't surprise me. He loves showing off his party trick to anyone who will watch."
As they rounded the corner they found the source of the noise. Saint Reaper-10 was sat on a crate, legs folded beneath him and was surrounded by a plethora of Fallen. His hands were spread apart at about shoulder width; flowing and crackling between his hands he shot arc energy. As broke through the air and connected with his other palm it made noises.
Properly controlled as it was, he was forming the seemingly random notes into something the Fallen seemed to be in awe of. He was playing music with lightning. They didn't know the song and nor did they have to. As the song continued words started to form, appearing and disappearing with equal swiftness. With the song finished Saint Reaper looked up and saw his fire team enter the chamber.
"Hi guys." he called as he hopped off of the crate he was on. One of the Fallen spoke up. "Wheree did you learn that music?" he queried.
"I had my ghost search our records for old Earth music. Found this song and I just tried to imitate it with my light." With that the Fallen seemed satisfied and let Saint Reaper pass.
"So; much going on?" Matthew joked.
"Not much, you two?" Saint Reaper returned joyfully. "Nah, not much ether." Carl provided.
"Sooo, these are the others you mentioned Saint-10." Looking up to the left Matthew and Carl saw Shoul'krus staling towards them at pace. "Saint-10?" Matt questioned. "Easier than saying my full name." Saint Reaper-10 said with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Fair enough." Matthew said. "Suppose Saint-14 isn't making much use of the name at the moment, being missing and all." Carl continued. Turning to Shoul'krus, Matthew started conversation.
"So, you must be Shoul'krus, liking the way you're running this show; you know not shooting us and all."
"The same could be said of you, guardian." Shoul'krus said with no hint of anything untoward. "Please, come. There will be more talk. Many of my followers are eager to learn about House Guardian."
"House Guardian?" Matthew questioned. "It's what they have been calling us. After I translated Skolas's angry rants I figured that much out." Saint-10 supplied. This comment turned almost every head in the room. A moment of uncomfortable silence passed before Shoul'krus had it broken. "You knew Skolas?" he asked carefully.
"Yeah." Saint-10 said anxiously. "When he mad is bid for Kell of Kells' I kind of had to repay a debt to the Queen of the Reef and was sent to hunt him down. As part of the Kings, I'm sure you know of what happened next." he said cautiously.
"Killed Draksis too, and that prime servitor of the Devils, Sepiks I think they called it." Carl said joyfully, almost unaware of the tenseness that had arisen. Matthew punched Carl on the arm letting him know he needed to shut up. "That's not going to be a problem is it?"
The moment of silence that followed almost caused Saint-10 to overheat. "No problem, just surprising, unexpected." Shoul'krus returned. The three guardians let off a united sigh of relief.
"You have killed two Kells, by right; you should be Kell of House Winter and House Wolves. Yet you have not taken the mantle, why?" Shoul'krus queried.
"Same reason Matt didn't take up the mantle of 'Taken King'. We are part of something better; the Light. Being part of House Guardian, as you call it, is something far more than leading a broken House or even a Hive army. Hell, I don't even know what would happen to a guardian if they tried to control the Darkness."
At hearing this, a cry of alarm went out between all the Eliksni. "You killed Oryx?!" Shoul'krus said turning to Matthew. Taking a step back, Matthew looked up to the Fallen hovering above him
"Yeah, and his son Crota and his two daughters. These two helped when we went into his throne world to finish him off, three others to, Dakota, Cody and Tyler; why?" Shoul'krus turned to all other Eliksni in the room before turning back to Matthew. At once, all Eliksni bowed to the three guardians.
"Thank you Matthewwww. You have avenged Chelchis, the Kell of Stone. You have done us a great kindness, one that we may never be able to repay." Matthew, taken aback by this said the first thing that came to mind. "It was my genuine pleasure."
The Last City, Tower...
Ikora and Cayde-6 walked through the tower, the moon hovering in the sky slightly obscured by the Travelers looming form. They moved down the path that lead to the Speakers observatory. As they passed a sweeper bot with a malfunctioning whistle program Cayde-6 turned to Ikora.
"So what's your take on this friendly fallen thing? I want to know where you stand before we go in to the lions den." Cayde asked.
"I view this, as all things, with a logical eye Cayde. If they can prove that they don't mean harm I feel obliged to give them a chance. Imagine, Eliksni fighting alongside guardians. We could do so much together; imagine what we could learn from them."
"I'd rather think of the funnies they could entertain me with. At least let me listen to some Fallen jokes while I work. This job is boring me to death without someone like Oryx or Skolas spicing things up." Cayde complained.
"I'm not sure that would be the best idea with Zavala standing next to you Cayde." Ikora stated dryly.
Cayde continued, "Speaking of, he and Shaxx are going to be the hardest people to bring round to the idea of friendly Fallen. And Saladin, thinking about it. Them being part of what happened at Twilight gap might make things more difficult for us."
"Indeed. Let us hope they keep their minds open; if not we may have to open them ourselves." Ikora agreed.
They came out of the walkway and moved towards a large door to the right. The door opened letting the Vanguard pass and closing promptly behind them. Moving swiftly and silently down a vacant street they made for a large well-kept building. Cayde-6 held the door open for Ikora and motioned for her to go inside. "After you m'lady." He said with a joking tone to his voice. Ikora chuckled at this and pressed inside.
"Ah, here they are now." Came the singular voice of Zavala.
"Good evening everyone, I hope we have not been keeping you." Ikora apologised. "Something caught our attention." She continued.
"Yeah," Cade said as he strolled in to the meeting room. "Mission reports to file, new guardians that need hand holding, a new Fallen House that wants to be our allies. You know, the usual." Ikora and Cayde-6 both took seats around a large oak table as he finished.
"Well as I was saying… Wait, did you say a friendly Fallen House?!" Zavala back peddled with near panic in his voice.
"Yes, the young trio, Saint, Matthew and Carl are with them now. From what we can tell, this new House, House Shadow is a splinter of the Kings. Their new Kell, Shoul'krus, wants better for his people from what I understand." Ikora spoke to the City Consensus.
Faces started to fill with hopeful and sceptical expressions in equal measure. An as yet unconvinced Zavala looked to Ikora, ignoring Cayde as he knew she at least would take the matter seriously.
"Ikora, are you sure this isn't just a scheme of the Kings to get inside our City?" Zavala warned.
"Have you ever seen this behaviour before? Look at it from my perspective Council." she stated, gesturing to everyone sat around the table. "The Fallen were once called Eliksni, they wielded the Light like us and had the Traveler as their god. They were forced from their home of gentle pink skies and gently flowing streams by Oryx. With his fall, think of what they must be feeling. Their murderer, laid low by us. I believe it may have inspired this Shoul'krus to break away. I motion to give them a chance; with a level of caution, of course."
"I can get behind that." Cayde gestured to Ikora. "So long as we're careful I think the gain outweighs the risk." All heads turned to Zavala. Looking around to the others at the table. He nodded giving his consent that the motion be carried.
"As long as you understand, Shaxx and Saladin will need a level of persuading I have never had to muster before in my life." With a chuckle, "Heh, we'll get them to play nice... eventually." Cayde said mirthfully.
"I truly hope their intensions to stand in the light of the Traveler is void of ulterior motives. Least we be forced to take action." Supplied the Speaker nodding his approval after he said his peace.
The factions and city representatives took a moment to discuss their options. Each looking to the others and nodding. "With this approval, we condone an alliance with the Fallen House of Shadow." The Speaker said standing.
"May they be allowed into the City and bask in the Travelers Light. Let them fight alongside the guardians to reclaim what we have all lost. And may we help them rebuild what has been broken so long ago." After the Speaker finished his speech, all members present started looking into the other issues due to be dealt with.
"Actually Speaker, I don't believe them to be fallen." Ikora said catching everyone's attention.
"Then what do you suggest we call them?" Zavala said with curiosity.
"We call them what they are; the Eliksni House of Shadow." Ikora finished.