Disclaimer: I own nothing but my OCs, Destiny belongs to Bungie. This is based solely on the story trailer for Forsaken, and will 100% not follow the actual scenario (because it isn't out yet). Also, the cover image belongs to Myelin Games. That said, I hope you enjoy and feel free to review/PM.
"Good work in the arena, Iron Lord." Saladin said as a Hunter approached, flipping down his hood and removing his helmet.
"I've said it before Sal, could you not call me that?" The Exo said, scratching at the grey 3 painted on his bronze chassis. "It's just Serpent."
"It is tradition to greet an Iron Lord by their proper title."
"Well tradition doesn't amount to much now a days. Now, can I have the rewards?" Serpent asked.
"Very well." The older man said as he handed Serpent-3 the package containing his rewards.
"Much appreciated." Serpent gave the Exo equivalent of a grin. "I hope there is something good in-"
"Guardian!" His Ghost blinked into existence beside the Hunter. "You need to meet in the your hangar bay. It's urgent."
"Can it wait a minute Ghost? I need to..." Serpent's voice died in his mouth as he saw the look on his Ghost. While most would not be able to tell anything, he saw the small machine's top segments tilt, its eye darken ever so slightly, the nervous jittering of its pieces that was so minute most humans would never notice. But the Guardian did, and knew that his Ghost had seen something that shook it to its core. Without another word to Saladin or his Ghost he broke into a sprint through the Tower.
He slid to a stop outside the open door. Taking a simulated breath he asked his Ghost, "What exactly is in there?" When no response came he sighed and stride through the door. Standing around a table stood Commander Zavala, Ikora Rey, and surprisingly many of his Fireteam: Sax the Sunbreaker, Emily the Vex-obsessed Warlock, Spade-9 the local Collapse theorist, and finally Callum Janus, one of the oldest Hunters still living.
"What are you all doing here?" Serpent asked warily.
"Guardian, we want to extend our condolences for your loss today." Ikora began.
"What do you..." The Hunter stopped as he saw what lay on the table; a white cloth laid over the outline of a...body.
"We had no way of knowing what happened until it was too late, there was-"
"Who?" Serpent cut through Zavala's growing speech. "Who is this?"
"Guardian, I know this-"
"WHO?!" A strangled yell escaped the Exo's metal lips, startling the Guardians assembled, for the Hunter rarely let his emotions burst out so.
"Go and see." Callum said, gesturing to the Vanguard commanders. "We will be waiting outside for you." With that the human exited, followed by Ikora and Zavala. Serpent gave a pleading look to the remaining Guardians in the room.
"Look for yourself," Spade began, "we already have."
Serpent stride forward with shaky steps as he approached. His hand reaches out towards the unmarked cloth, hesitating for a moment. Closing his hand into a fist with a shaky breath he grabbed hold and pulled it away.
There lay the body of Cayde-6, the Hunter Vanguard. His metal body was battered, his broken horn laying next to him. A gaping hole was all that was left of his face, servos and wires sparking. In his hand rested the remains of a Ghost.
"Yes. They slagged his damn Ghost." Sax spat, eyes burning in anger.
"Who did this?!" Serpent yelled, his body shaking as tides of anger and sadness rolled over him and threatened to overload his mind.
"This video was included." Spade said as his Ghost materialized, projecting a video on the wall. Tearing his red eyes from Cayde's corpse Serpent turned to watch it.
Cayde stood in shock, numerous holes torn through his body. All around him the monsters and criminals he imprisoned roamed about, reveling in the carnage. His Ghost wide eyed at the wretches roaming around them, before shattering into pieces as a shot from a wire rifle impacted its eye. The Awoken prince Uldren Sov paced into view, holding the Ace of Spades. Cayde's Ace of Spades.
The hand cannon bucked as the round tore through Cayde, his body sputtering a final few times before the light disappeared from his sockets. Turning to the camera, which Serpent assumed was one of his Crows, Uldren spoke. "So Guardian," he drawled, the contempt was laced in his words and filled his yellow eyes, "I hear they call you Lord now in that pitiful City." He holstered the weapon. "But you are no Lord, your title is as empty as your friend here. Another example of those you are too weak to save." He kicked Cayde's lifeless body with a boot, and Serpent's eyes flashed with white-hot hate.
"Let this be a warning, Guardian." The prince spoke, his voice hardening. "To you, and anyone else who would disrupt the interests of the Reef. My Wretched are hungry and waiting." With that he strode off, and the video ended as various Wrethced Barons fell in beside him.
Serpent visibly shook, eyes almost burning a hole through the wall with their intensity. "Ghost," he gritted out, "get me the weapon. Restricted section."
"Guardian?" His Ghost question. "Are you su-"
"GHOST!" Serpent roared, snatching the small machine from the air. Sax tried to take a step forward, but was halted by Spade and Emily. "I have never threatened you before, but I will now. Get. Me. The. Weapon!" The last word was shouted as he dropped the machine. Shaking the Ghost disappeared, searching through his vast inventory for what he desired.
"Serpent please." Emily begged, slowly taking a step towards the bronze Exo. "We know how you feel, but we must not act rashly. We must plan on-"
"PLAN?!" Serpent yelled. "You're worse than that blue bastard Zavala." Hurt shone in Emily's eyes as a few tears gathered.
"She's right Serp." Spade spoke firmly. "We've all lost."
"Not like this you haven't!" Serpent jabbed a finger at the white Exo. "You are all newly raised, no more than a decade or two old. I stuck by Cayde's side through thick and thin for over 500 years! You have no idea what that builds." Serpent paused, eyes dimming for a moment as he was lost in memory, memories of ruins explored and secrets revealed and enemies defeated. "I was alone before I found him. So utterly alone, for almost two hundred years. For so long, he was all I had." Serpent stared once more at his friends. "You could never understand that."
"Hey!" Sax yelled as she brushed past the two Warlocks, flames licking around her closed fists. "Don't speak to them that way!"
Serpent met her approach, halting inches away from her blue face. "Or what? You'll kill me?"
"You'll wish I di-" Before she could finish her threat Serpent swept her legs out from under her. Before the hit the ground he delivered a powerful kick to her stomach, sending her tumbling back several feet as Emily and Spade rushed to pick her up. They all paused as a ship pulled up the the hangar door. Its massive guns, a rarity of Guardian ships, gleamed in the setting sun.
"Its ready Guardian. Just say the word." His Ghost said meekly in his mind. The Exo nodded. A white light covered his hands before a scout rifle appeared in his hands. A spinning orb on its top, a shroud obscuring its inner workings. This was none other than the Touch of Malice, crafted from the heart of Oryx himself.
"Serpent." Spade gasped. "Surely you cannot mean to use that. You know its corruption better than any." Serpent paused, hand hovering over the spinning ornament of the weapon.
"They made it personal." Serpent whispered as he brought his hand on top of it. Immediately he doubled over, body glowing as he fed a small amount of Light into the weapon. A faint, otherworldly sound spread through the room as he ornament span faster, a growing mass of energy within. The other Guardians remained rooted in place, in utter awe of what they were witnessing.
The Hunter starightened, Touch of Malice held securely in his hands. Spade only saw it for a moment, but he could of sworn he saw shadowy winds extend from Serpent's back, made of an eerily familiar black-silver substance. But he blinked, and the wings were gone.
"I swear this vow today." Serpent began, his voice deeper and more modulated before. "I will make the monsters who did this pay. I will hunt every last of these Wretched down like the animals they are, and right the ether from their bodies. And if Variks is involved with this, then I will suffocate him slowly, over the course of days, diminishing his ether until he is nothing but an airless sack of flesh and faith."
"Serpent…" Emily sobbed, overwhelmed by the sudden change in her longtime friend. "Please…"
"I will cut down any Awoken that dares to stand beside their murder prince." Serpent continued, unconcerned with the Warlock's words. "And when I meet the bastard himself, I will feed him slowly, piece by piece, to the spawning pits of the Dreadnaught." He strode towards the ship as its ramp lowered. "I will burn the Reef to ash. I will make a graveyard, and a warning." The Hunter turned his head to give one last look at the other Guardians, and Spade saw a film of black and silver cover his eyes before receding back into the depths of red light.
"Death is a mercy when Serpent, the Iron Lord of Hate, comes knocking."