Fight for You

So what do you want and what are you thinking?
Isn't it about time you stuck up for me?
But what you can't see is we're under siege
And I only fight because I believe


GHOST FRAGMENT

/For the Staff of Primus Ta'aun, Legion Commander/
/From Skyburner V Cohort/Auxiliaries/Strategic Intelligence Maniple/
/A Tactical Outcomes Analysis/

The primary threat is the Guardians' individual counter-attrition capability.

Guardians can be rebuilt after even total disintegrative trauma.

This capability is provided by a small autonomous drone unit called a Dead Person [trans. unclear].


Prologue

Far from the City - far from the Traveler's protection, Cayde-6 had found the Warlock gazing up at the night sky, appearing rapt within the depths of her own methodical mind. He didn't want to guess how long she'd been out in wilderness alone, combating the Fallen single-handedly, but something told him it was near a month.

Maybe two.

However, the hot-blooded Warlock had journeyed alone for many years before returning to the City. She had traveled over and across the inner solar system while carrying out her own assignments of discoveries. No one ever knew how she survived such dreary missions alone, but she always managed to make it back in one piece. If anyone knew how to survive, it was her.

But she was a different person now, at least, that's what Cayde was told.

Embodying the Hunter class in every way, Cayde crept along the thick brush to the cliff's rocky ledge to where the Warlock waited, meditating beneath the moon's pale light. Then he heard her voice call out, nearly startling him for half a heartbeat.

"Why are you here?" She asked, her voice filling the dead air between them.

Damn...she was good. Cayde sighed. He stepped out from the shadows, his cloak stirring in the cold wind. His Ghost quietly drifted behind him, staying out of sight.

Cayde cut straight to the point. "The Vanguard - they need you. I'm here to bring you in, Ikora Rey."

The only response Cayde received was from her Ghost moving behind her, much like his own, silently watching the events unfold with an attentive blue eye.

"I wish to be left alone," she finally said.

Cayde, already irritated with this task from the Vanguard's prospective commander, Zavala, approached the Warlock without any indecision. It was ridiculous. She was a Warlock, so another Warlock should be standing in his place with their well-thought out, mind bobbling, makes-no-sense-whatsoever, intellectual theory of shapes that she might be impressed by. Cayde had argued endlessly with Zavala that a Warlock of her stature would not listen to the empty words of some ordinary Hunter scout. But Zavala stubbornly held fast in his resolve to send Cayde. So here he stood.

"Look, I hate to ruin all the fun you seem to be having out here...alone, but they kind of wanted you back, like, yesterday," Cayde said. "And the whole thing with Osiris is kind of a complicated situation -"

"I know." Ikora's dark eyes remained up on the sky before her. "Tell me, Hunter, did they send you out into this wasteland because of your skills of persuasion? Or, rather, were the others simply too afraid?"

True, the others were well versed in the power and intensity that Ikora was gifted with. Additionally, the lands beyond the City were teeming with ruthless Fallen, all who were lingering in the ruins to pick off any wandering strays. No recruit would be sent out here alone. However, and despite Zavala's orders, Cayde was always up for adventure and never shied away from a challenge. And that's just what Cayde had to make of it. Where others were too frightened to approach her, Cayde would not back down – at least, not without a fight. It was only in his nature.

Cayde chuckled. "Hey. Just between you and me, I can be very persuasive. And I'm a Hunter. This is how we do things."

He was taken back, however, when the Warlock standing before him laughed.

So, she isn't completely emotionless, he thought, storing that bit of information away for later.

"Hunters – a class guided by their self-imposed confidence," Ikora said, scowling.

He shrugged. "Hate to break it to ya, but confidence gets the job done these days. Sort of a requirement in this line of work."

"Yet, being overconfident can be detrimental to one's purpose," she replied. Then, folding her arms over her chest, she turned for the first time and her eyes met his. The haunting enigmas from within those eyes were so immense that Cayde thought that he could feel the chilling touch of the Void graze his Exo body. For a moment, he considered what it would be like to face her in battle. He had a feeling the fight would be anything short of terrifying, yet extraordinary. The prospect alone had him inexplicably crave it. He needed to challenge her.

But watching her, Cayde was under the impression that she was judging him - deciding for herself his worth. In those very few seconds, he firmly stood his ground and held her glare as his circuited mind processed a hundred potential scenarios of the night's outcome. But then, the harbored tension on her face let up.

"Since you had the courage and confidence to venture out into this foul wasteland, I will humor in your resolve and listen to your words. Choose them wisely, Hunter."

"Fine," Cayde answered, gravely, realizing it was time to make his pitch. If this went south, it would be Zavala's fault, Cayde quickly decided. Yep, definitely Zavala's fault. "The Speaker wants Osiris out, so the Vanguard is gonna need someone to fill in for him. They want you, Ikora. Hell, even the Factions and Orders want you in. They are willing to overlook your past."

"Is that so? So, now they listen..." She all but muttered, no indication of surprise stemming from her expression or voice.

Cayde nodded. His voice then reverted to its smug self. "Besides, the Warlocks are becoming more tiresome than usual, especially with Osiris ruffling up their feathers. Can't rely on them. They don't even want to go out on jobs anymore. They'd rather hole themselves up in the archives and study. Heh, lazy is what I call it. You can only count on the Hunters to get anything done these days, as usual, might I add. And forget about the Titans. They're completely hopeless. All they ever talk about is the wall! It's always about the damn wall with them. I don't get it - I'm getting off topic. Long story short: The Warlocks are falling apart without any decent leadership…and they're startin' to snag a bad reputation for themselves. Someone needs to step in…"

The more he spoke, the more Ikora's eyes narrowed. It was no mystery to anyone at the Tower how Ikora felt about and exalted her fellow scholars. Even if his proclamation was only half true, if that, it may very well be Cayde's checkmate.

"So, what'd you say?" He finally pressed. "Ready to come home?"

At long last, Ikora closed her eyes and gave a small smile. "Well then, Hunter –"

"Cayde," He quickly spoke up. "…Cayde-6 if we're being Exo precise."

"Cayde. I would not underestimate the Warlocks any further. Now in my time of rest, I will return to the City and lead them as they deem necessary. But Osiris…"

"Yeah, we can worry about that later. We gotta make it back to the City first. You sure didn't make this easy on me…"

But, to be honest, Cayde didn't think she'd agree that easily, which only made him believe Ikora had foreseen this juncture just as the enchanters were prophesying back in the City.

Now, it was time for Cayde to head back to Brask. Another secretive bet had been placed between the pair on whether Cayde could convince the renowned Ikora Rey to return, and it was time for him to collect. With any luck, Zavala wouldn't find out.

As Ghosts illuminated the darkness, Ikora and Cayde walked side-by-side down the forest path to an abandoned camp below. Cayde had found the camp riddled with Fallen remains earlier - a sure sign that he was on Ikora's trail. From the marks and sears left on the Fallen bodies, not to mention the horrible smell of burning flesh, Cayde assumed that Ikora acquainted her foes to the dark depths of the Void.

"So, can you really turn people into frogs?" Cayde casually asked, twirling his blade around in his hand. "'Cause, I mean, that would be pretty awesome."

Ikora heatedly glanced over at him. If Cayde didn't know any better, he would say she looked outraged. Oh, he was going to have so much fun with her.

"Don't tell me you're the one spreading those obscene rumors!" She snapped.

"No, no. Of course not." He held up his free hand as a mock attempt to fight off her glare. "It's just, well…never mind."

Ikora exhaled and returned her eyes forward, mumbling something explicit under her breath about imprudent Hunters. Cayde could only laugh to her infuriation. Even though her personality was slightly off-putting, he thought Ikora wasn't half bad - for a Warlock.

Looking at her, Cayde never understood the Warlocks. They were all incredibly serious and solemn with their words, usually rambling on about odd things no one else could even begin to understand. The Warlocks were, in all truth, a mystery. Maybe even spine-chilling in the way they explored dark secrets or wielded arcane powers beyond anything that should be allowed to exist. He supposed only Warlocks understood Warlocks, which he didn't mind so long as he wasn't involved. He'd rather stick with his blade and what he knew best; to hunt and kill with precision.

He did notice that, unlike the other Warlocks, there was something different to Ikora Rey. Sure, she could give you the chills with just a simple glance, but just below her hard surface, there was something more. He supposed he would find out in time now that he'd be seeing more of her around the Tower.

Suddenly, Cayde's predatory senses kicked in. He felt it, something slithering in the shadows. Not far away. He held up his hand grasping the knife in the air to stop their movements.

"There's more," he hissed, silently. "Fallen. They're out there, searching the remains of the dead."

Ikora nodded. "Yes, I can sense them from here, as well."

Cayde fastened his blade back to his belt. He then reached for his hand cannon. "So what do you say, Ikora, up for a challenge?"

Ikora narrowed her eyes at him. "What do you mean?"

"Oh, it's just something us Hunters like to do. Whoever can eliminate the most enemies...wins."

"Wins what?"

Cayde fought the urge to hit his head with the palm of his hand. The horn made that difficult. But he loved the horn. "Oh, I don't know. Bragging rights? Glimmer? Ingrams? Take your pick!"

Ikora scowled. "It's always a game to you Hunters, isn't it?"

"This life would be boring otherwise."

"This isn't the Crucible, Cayde," She grated. "Play your childish games there. Anyway, allow me to show you what real power is."

That was many, many years ago.


Present

"All right! So, I'm proposing that we recruit a few of our newest Guardians and send them to Mars and track the Cabal movements. It would be a good training exercise. What do you say, Zavala?" Cayde asked, nudging the Titan's shoulder. "We know how fast the Cabal can strike, especially now that their ranks have been thwarted...thanks to Oryx. Their movements must be tracked before that can happen."

Zavala ignored the prod in his shoulder. Instead, he watched the hologram in the middle of the table projecting a smaller version of Mars with wearied eyes.

"I would be more comfortable sending in one of our advanced teams for this mission," Zavala spoke, clutching his hands firmly behind his back. "Perhaps even a Fireteam."

Cayde backed away from Zavala and shrugged, looking back to the hologram. "The rookies need to be broken into eventually. This would only be perfect -"

"Zavala's right," Ikora suddenly chimed in, causing both men to regard her.

"Oh, com'on. Not you, too!" Cayde whined.

Ikora continued as if she didn't hear the Exo Hunter. "With the Cabal sending out their distress signal back to their home world, we don't know what to expect or when from their fleets. Having an experienced team ready to intercept would only be practical," she said from across the table.

Zavala nodded. "Always one step ahead. My thoughts precisely, Ikora."

Cayde promptly turned off the hologram projector, and the floating, holographic version of Mars flickered once before completely fading from existence. "Fine. Fine. Have it your way." With that, Cayde began to leave.

"Cayde, where are you going?" Zavala questioned the retreating form of Cayde.

"I'm going to pay a visit with the Quartermaster. You know, catching up with the cousin. Today's the day! I can feel it."

Zavala sighed. "For the love of – just give it a rest, Cayde. You can't make everyone laugh."

"I got you to laugh that one time, and that's one heck of a feat, if I do say so myself. If I can do that, then this will be a piece of cake," Cayde said, leaving the Vanguard Hall.

"I did not laugh," Zavala muttered.

Ikora chuckled softly before returning to her reports. However, before she could fully immerse herself back into her readings and encryptions, her Ghost signaled beside her. It was a message. They had returned. But it was far too soon…

Without word, Ikora left the Vanguard Hall, just shortly after Cayde had disappeared. She needed to speak with the Kadi 55-30 in the Tower Plaza.

"Alone again," Zavala said, shaking his head. Zavala had just finished sending out the call for a Fireteam as a Guardian came jogging into the Vanguard Hall then, jumping onto the center table, running in circles in front of Zavala while dancing. A Hunter. Why wasn't Zavala surprised?

"And here is a fine example of the Guardian that has saved us time and again," Zavala said under his breath before sighing. "Guardian, what is it you need?"


Welcome to Fight for You!

Are you ready for Destiny 2?! Destiny 2 is happening, and this is my take on the events leading up to the story. This fic will revolve around Cayde-6, and also highlight the bond between both Cayde-6 and his fellow Vanguard peer, Ikora Rey (my favorites). Please let me know what you think...if anything :)