Destiny (c) Bungie
Ace of Spade
The Ghost hummed to herself as she passed through the wastelands, once part of a beautiful old earth city.
The name summoned forth from her memory banks instantly; New Sydney. It was peaceful for now, but no doubt the Fallen would sink its mangy talons into the old carcass in a week's time. They were scavengers of the highest order. And those creatures would take every and any thing that was not nailed down, rusted through, or left behind.
Still, the Ghost wouldn't have to worry about them. At least, not for a short respite.
A guardian fireteam had swept through the area approximately five hours and twenty-two minutes ago, scrounging around for spinmetal, engrams and other salvageable goods. A fortunately timed intervention too, as they managed to rescue the Ghost from some unwanted Fallen attention.
Before wishing the tiny mechanical creature good fortune in her search, they informed her about their plans to set up camp for the night in a former communal centre on the far side of the city. The Ghost had stored the information away in her memory coils, and bobbed up and down like a nod before setting on her way. It was valuable and reassuring to know that Guardians would be nearby - in case the Fallen started getting ideas again.
It had been centuries since the great collapse, and since the Traveller created the Ghosts. Artificial life forms who could gift a Human, Exo or Fallen - be it alive or dead… usually dead – with the power of Light.
Those beings would become the immortal Guardians, warriors of the Light, defenders of the Last City and humanity's great protectors. Not unlike the Phoenix of old Earth mythology. A magical avian creature who would be reborn from their own ashes when slain. Guardians were much the same in that regard, for so long as they had a ghost – and the Light – they too would return again and again.
However, not all guardians were so easily found. Many ghosts had been fortunate in finding their own across the years, yet this small spark of Light had not. She watched as many of her fellow ghosts – her friends – found their Guardians, and even in her delight for them, slowly lost hope that she would be so lucky.
So, for many years she had scoured the solar system. Those years stretching into centuries. Invariably, she would always be drawn back to Humanity's blue cradle. Like, some strange force beyond logical explanation told her what she was seeking would be nestled somewhere in earth's ancient battlefields.
Her trek took her past New Sydney's boundaries, towards the rusted colony ships that stood at the City's outskirts, great ruined spires which split the earth and sky. There were many cosmodromes like this one scattered across the world, and just as many had rushed cars, corpses and other vehicles wedged together at their bases like cobblestones.
The ghost sighed quietly, remembering the last times she had visited a site like this. An old Cosmodrome in Russia and another in Europe three decades before that.
Unfortunately, this location would prove as fruitless as the last. After hours of scanning, she came up with nothing. Afternoon twilight turned to pitch black night, with nothing but the moonlight and stars to illuminate the Ghost's way. Projecting a gloomy dejection, the Ghost drifted across the shipyards until it reached a second smaller series of buildings that served as the city's manufacturing hub.
Her eye dropped, scanning yet another collection of old bones slumped against the steering wheel, then zoomed off leaving it to its rusted coffin. Nothing.
Something flickered in the farthest edge of her scanners. Something that sparked a new hope within the Ghost. Unable to contain the excitement at this potential discovery, the Ghost zoomed forward towards the source of the anomaly.
Zooming through the winding roads, the Ghost ducked and weaved through half-exposed facilities, their walls crumbled away from age. Until it happened upon a skeletal hand… The Ghost gave it a thorough scan, and a new sense of purpose filled her tiny frame. Offset by the crestfallen dread settling in her core processes.
"Of course…" The Ghost mused sarcastically, "After all these years of searching, I finally find a guardian and they're in pieces…"
The rest of the body wasn't far, approximately twelve point seven metres away. It was messily bifurcated, either by being smashed by the large chunk of concrete debris that it lay by, or the body shattered on impact at its jagged peak. Both options made for a grisly image.
The Ghost have a long sigh, a purely symbolic gesture to express her exasperation. "Well, I've never heard of a Guardian being found in pieces before… but then again, I haven't visited any of my fellows in a while, so I suppose I really can't make any judgements."
The Ghost hovered a little closer to the bones, performing one final scan for confirmation. Yes. Yes this was the one. "At least I found you… at long last."
There was a delighted inflection in the Ghost's voice as her fins whirred and expanded. "Well, suppose I'd best get started… I'm sure how this all came about was an interesting story, but that's a different life."
The white shell grew vibrant with blue-white light. "Time to wake up, Guardian."