"What is this place?"
"Practically every human creation outside the Last City is a bloody museum. Give me specifics."
Magus let out a sigh, but nonetheless accessed the terminal nearby the Guardians. One of many terminals Hal had noticed – the entire ship was full of them.
"You alright in there?"
Terminals that he didn't see the point of, as his brief radio communication with Artemis demonstrated. What was the point of green text for conversation when the verbal kind would do just as well?
"Good, because my posterior's as cold as a Fallen's-"
Hal shut his radio off. Perhaps his ancestors did have the right idea in regards to limiting communication. Or maybe more people like Magus existed back then – silent, to the point, and willing to follow orders.
"Got it," the Warlock said. He stepped back from the terminal, giving room for Hal to stand beside him so both Guardians could see the text.
Replica of UESC Marathon
A tribute to the journey to Tau Ceti IV,
To those who lived there,
And to those who perished
The green text disappeared, and the screen was split into numerous smaller ones, offering the visitors a choice of info, Hal presumed. One that caught his eye was an armoured human running down a corridor before nearly being struck by some kind of alien. It wielded a staff like a Fallen, but with three eyes, only two arms, and a much skinnier build, it was clear they were a separate species. The Titan smirked as the figure on the screen grabbed the alien by its throat and shot it. He kept smirking as he reached forward and touched the image.
"Go for violence," Magus said. "Quite familiar to you, yes?"
Hal ignored the jibe, and watched as the recording filled the terminal, while more text appeared below.
Pfhor Fighter, equipped with shock staff
"I don't get it," Hal murmured. "What is it with aliens and wielding swords? Remember that energy sword we discovered back in the ruins of Mombasa?"
"Swords are…how you say…cool?" Magus asked. He glanced at his fellow Guardian, flexing his fingers. "Guns not only weapon."
Hal conceded the point and watched as more text appeared.
Pfhor: A race of slavers first encountered at Tau Ceti IV. An unsuccessful attack on the UESC Marathon was foiled by Mjolnir Recon 54, one of ten Mjolnir Mk. IV cyborgs the UESC had sequestered onboard the ship. 54 was the only survivor, and would go on to defeat the pfhor again at Lh'owon.
Some of the words were highlighted – apparently it was like an encyclopaedia limited to the ship itself, with links between its pages. Hal stayed his hand though – he could swear he'd heard the name "Mjolnir" before, that it had related to armour of some kind. And seeing Mister 54 fight some hulking alien, he could have sworn he'd seen that species before as well.
"Cabal?" he asked.
"That thing," he said, pointing at the brute the soldier on the screen was currently in the midst of filling with lead. "It looks like a Cabal."
"Drinniol, according to this," Magus said, tapping on the image and getting a blurb floating above the brute. "Pfhor slave species."
Hal watched the recording play out. It ended with the drinniol finally falling. The image froze, with the words "play again?" replacing it. For a moment, he reached out. And then a moment later, he stuck in a data chip into the terminal's port.
"More violence," Magus chided. "Expected."
Hal ignored him. He instead activated his radio again.
"Artemis, I'm uploading the ship's data to you," he said. "Knock yourself out."
"Oh sure!" the Awoken exclaimed. "Knock myself out! That's all I get to do isn't it? Just wait around while you guys play-"
Hal severed the link. Magus tilted his head to the side, his features otherwise hidden behind his helmet.
"She'll be fine," Hal said. "Once she starts watching the videos, she'll calm down."
"Of course," Magus bowed. "But we here for more than videos, no? Weapons, yes?"
"And history," Hal pointed out. "Fun history, sure…but history."
"Humans fighting aliens. Always history. Always present." Magus sighed. "Sometimes feels like eternal future."
Hal opened his mouth, but fell silent. Because he couldn't shake the feeling that Magus was right. That they were repeating history. That centuries from now, if the Sol system was ever reclaimed, humanity would be beaten down again. Perhaps even wiped out completely. With this Marathon and recon guy, at least humanity had got beyond their home system before aliens attacked. Now they couldn't even manage that.
Silently, Magus walked into the darkness.
And silently, Hal followed him.
Original idea for this stemmed from how the Duke Mk. 44 from Destiny bears resemblance to the .44 magnum from Marathon. Still, guns are boring (from a narrative standpoint at least), and I could hardly make a oneshot based around that alone. So, hence the Marathon in itself. Obviously the timeframe is iffy, but that's crossovers for you. Reality has to be sacrificed somewhere.