Monthly Archives: December 2015

Day 120 – Part 5

“Wars are never fought for one reason,” he said. “They are fought for dozens of reasons, in a muddle.”
T.H. White, The Once and Future King


“Music?” I demanded incredulously as shanks closed in on us. I shot a couple as they came too close.

“Sure,” Arianna replied, her rifle snapping in reply to Fallen weapons. “You have to have fun at this job.”

I stared at her for a moment, and she laughed when she saw me. “Aw, c’mon Morc, what’s the worst that can happen, we die? Been there, done that.”

Dregs attacked, swinging shock-daggers, and I countered with a few strikes from my own blade, leaving ether in the brown grass.

“So, pick a song,” said Arianna. I heard her gun snap again.

“Uh…” I said, wittily.

“Pick, or I will,” she promised.

Thunderstruck,” I said hastily.

“Chatterbox?

The music started to play, a distant buildup that mirrored the sound of pounding Fallen boots and machines.

“…Thunder!…”

“Don’t stand too close together – a single explosion might put us both down and that will bring this to a quick end.” She put words to action and skipped a couple meters away.

“…I was caught in the middle of a railroad track…”

“Dregs on the left,” warned Ebony. I rolled that way and came up with my shotgun in hand. The Dregs swarmed in, trying to circle me.

“…I looked round, and I knew there was no turning back…”

3 shots put down the attacking cluster and I whirled as a Vandal closed in from around the corner of a hut.

“…my mind raced, and I thought, what could I do…”

A strike put him down. I heard Arianna laughing as her sidearm barked out a series of rapid shots and shanks crashed into the Earth. “If we see Servitors, we put them down, get a signal to the Tower,” I said.

“Agreed,” she replied.

“…there was no help, no help from you…”

Wire rifle shots kicked up dust and dry grass near my feet. I sprinted a few meters aside, putting a hut between me and the source of the shots. A boom sounded in the distance, and the hut exploded into a ball of fire.

“…the thunder of guns tore me apart…”

“Walker is moving in!” For the first time I could remember, Ebony actually sounded a little panicked. Before I could answer I heard a loud snap and saw a flash of Light in my peripherals.

“…You’ve been…Thunderstruck!”

Arianna shot off 3 rounds of Solar Light at the approaching walker. All 3 shots struck the front left leg, shattering it. The machine staggered forward, its nose plowing into the dirt and exposing its core.

“Hit it!” she shouted as her sparrow appeared and she raced toward the vulnerable machine. Already the walker’s back legs were adjusting, and what I took to be stoppage gel was coalescing around the exposed wiring of the damaged leg in a super-heated cloud. I held out my hands for my machine gun and leaped to the top of another hut to get an angle as the weapon transmatted into my waiting hands. I was at least 25 meters from the walker and had mere seconds to make an impact before the snipers took me down. I wasn’t likely to make a real dent in it from here.

So I turned my weapon on the swarming Fallen that Arianna had left in the wake of her sparrow and cut down as many as I could in the space of a few seconds. The elevation and heavy rounds were enough to kill or scatter them.

“…Went through to Texas, yeah Texas, and we had some fun…”

What happened next required Ebony to play it back for me later to see it. Arianna raced her sparrow at the exposed left side of the walker, and just before impact, jumped clear of the bike. Midway through her somersault over the walker she flipped a knife sheathed in Solar fire into the walker’s brain and caught the side-mounted gun on the opposite side with 1 hand to stop her fall. She coalesced Solar Light into a grenade and thrust it into the barrel of the smaller gun, then kicked off to the ground as Chatterbox transmatted her sparrow back into existence under her feet. She landed on the bike and sped away as the grenade went off, taking the side-mounted weapon with it and staggering the walker a second time just as it recovered.

“…Yeah yeah, they, they, they blew our minds…”

For my part I was ducking between buildings and using my machine gun liberally: M’s advice to “pack” had not gone unheeded. A Dreg charged in, a knife in each hand, and I rattled off fire in its direction.

To my surprise, the Dreg bore up under the rounds and continued to close. It was wearing heavy armor and was within striking range in a flash. I redirected the first slash of the knives with the barrel of the gun, then dropped it in favor of my own blade. Arc energy sparked and burned as the blades met. I dropped low to the ground and tried to sweep the Dreg’s feet from beneath it; it somersaulted over me and whirled to rush back in.

The Dreg’s head disappeared in a shower of ether and Arianna bumped into me in her rush. “Knife to a gun fight, really?” she asked.

“You’re right,” I said. “I need a bigger blade.”

She barked out a laugh.

“…Thunderstruck…yeah, yeah….”

“Arianna!” I pointed with my knife at the central hut as a gold cloak disappeared inside, several of the heavily armored Dregs following quickly behind it. “The King!”

Arianna shot another Shank down. “We go down there we might not get out!”

“We let them go, and they get whatever they were after!” I countered. “And we won’t last out here forever!”

More Fallen were swarming in.

“Oh…fine! Go, go, go!” she shouted. We turned and raced for the hut.

There was a distant boom, and then-

“…You’ve been Thunderstruuuuck!…”

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Categories: Morc-35 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Day 120 – Part 4

“Was it the wicked leaders who led innocent populations to slaughter, or was it wicked populations who chose leaders after their own hearts?”
T.H. White, The Once and Future King


“26 humans down there, at least visible,” said Ebony through my earpiece. “If there are more they are not in sight.”

“I estimate 100 Fallen, mostly Dregs and Shanks,” said Auburn – “Chatterbox”, Airanna had called her Ghost – floating over Arianna’s prone figure as she stared down the scope. For my part, I simply crouched and waited for status updates, suddenly wishing I had a sniper rifle.

“Only one walker,” she said after a moment. “If they have more they are at campsites elsewhere.” She lifted her head from the scope. “Well, this is an unexpected development. Odds are there are more humans in the compound.”

“Definitely tunnels beneath those huts,” Chatterbox confirmed. “Probably the majority of their population is down there.”

“How has a human settlement like this gone unnoticed for so long?” I asked.

“People are pretty ingenious when it comes to hiding,” said Arianna. “What I don’t understand is why it has drawn this kind of response from the Fallen –  or why they haven’t simply bombed them out of existence. There’s nothing to indicate the tunnels are especially reinforced. A couple of walkers could make a few artillery strikes and bury them.”

“Maybe more than a couple,” said Chatterbox. “But it would not take much to seal everyone inside and starve them out.”

“And yet they lay siege,” Ebony mused.

“We need to get inside,” said Arianna. She looked at me.

“I can’t cloak all of us,” I said.

“No, but you can get a look.”

I nodded and loosened my hand cannon in its holster. “Be ready to make a distraction.”

“My specialty,” she assured me.


The humans were dressed in drab browns and furs. Although of dark complexions their skin had a washed-out look, as if they rarely saw sunlight, and in the cloudy daylight it made them seem wan and sickly. The weapons they carried were ancient in appearance, and their patrols were a shambling, inattentive affair, as if they were thoroughly bored at having to make an appearance. I slipped past them easily into the cluster of grass-covered huts.

“Probably the central structure,” said Ebony softly. We stole through the ramshackle excuse for a village to the center hut, only slightly larger than the rest. I tried the door – it was made of a flat black metal – and ducked inside. It was empty; a sloping ramp led into a symmetrical wound in the Earth that disappeared into darkness. Ebony took a moment to conduct a scan.

“I have a clear map of the tunnels,” he reported. “And…something else. A pretty big energy signature below…and it’s Dark.”

The plot thickens,” quipped Chatterbox through the comm.

“Well,” I said turning back to the door, “we can probably – “

The door opened. A human walked in, saw me, and gave out a yelp. I lunged forward and seized his head in both hands, clamped 1 over his mouth and dragged him inside. I swore as I wrestled the human to the ground. I cut off his air supply long enough for him to stop struggling. “He’s out,” Ebony reported. I let him breathe again and slid his weapon away in case he woke up.

What’s going on?” asked Arianna. “The patrols just stopped. Some of them are moving your way.”

I swore again and looked around, but there was nowhere to hide the unconscious man. “Local stumbled on us. I might need that distraction in a moment,” I said.

Might not have to,” she replied. “The Fallen have noticed too. I see a detachment heading in now…most of the humans are heading back to the perimeter. You still have 3 going your way.

“Need to do this quietly,” I said softly. I slipped down the tunnel until the shadows covered me and waited.

The 3 humans barreled through the door and noticed the unconscious man in the corner. They spoke rapidly to one another in a language I didn’t understand and knelt next to their comrade with their backs to me.

I knocked out the first with a blow to the side of the head, roundhouse kicked the next, and swept the third from his feet as he turned. The fall knocked the wind out of him and a sharp blow to the temple silenced him.

Sounds of weapons fire filtered through the walls of the hut.

Morc, the humans are engaged with the Fallen. Stay there, I’ll join you while they’re distracted.

I cracked open the door and peered through the huts toward the perimeter. Arc weapon bursts filled the air with the smell of burnt ozone and shouts from both sides echoed. I saw Arianna making her way forward: in her brown cloak and leathers she blended well with the background, and in the overcast day the light might have been low enough…

A shock grenade landed at Arianna’s feet with unnerving precision. She somersaulted over it and sprinted for the cover of the buildings, all pretense at stealth abandoned.

Shanks swarmed through the little village toward Arianna like a hive of bees. A shank passed by the door I was looking out of and turned toward me. I shot it, but not before it had fired a shot of its own and alerted its comrades.

Morc, I’m cut off,” Arianna reported.

“Hang on,” I replied, shooting down another shank. I tried to cloak, and then a repeater shank opened fire, driving me away from the door I had been standing in.

A Dreg stepped in my way. I stabbed it and threw the body back. The gunfire continued, but they sounded purely like Fallen weapons now.

Arianna and I met a mere 25 meters from the central building and stood back to back as shanks and Dregs swarmed in on us, cutting off our avenues of escape.

“Well, this is going to be fun,” said Arianna cheerily. “You like music?”

Categories: Morc-35 | Tags: , , , , ,

Day 120 – Part 3

“We cannot build the future by avenging the past.”
T.H. White, The Once and Future King


“Movement,” said Arianna from her prone position. She was staring down the scope of her rifle at the Fallen encampment we had began to stalk a day before.

“Relief or patrol?” I asked. I huddled in the hollowed cylinder we had made our own camp inside. Whatever the silo had been used for in the Golden Age past, it had long since been stripped clean of its purpose. Only its walls and floors remained, and not a speck of rust could be found on the metal. Its gleaming surface and height – it was good 12 meters tall and on an elevated stretch of land among a small crowd of shorter buildings – had made it into an excellent shooter’s blind. The top level had a vent that Arianna now peered out of, any reflection from her scope hidden by the silo’s own design.

“I don’t think it’s either. Take a look at this.” Her Ghost shimmered, and the view from her HUD was fed into my own, letting me see down the scope.

The colors of the camp were the red of the Devils, which was no surprise. Vandals and Dregs milled about. Shanks floated by on preset perimeter patrols. In the center of the camp were 2 large Servitors, pumping out a portion of the jamming signal that blanketed the region. We had seen evidence of the camps in a cross-grid pattern across the Ruins every few kilometers, each with Servitors broadcasting the jamming signal.

A group of 6 pikes was approaching the camp. At their head was a Captain in gold regalia.

“Kings,” I said softly.

“Just the leader,” said Arianna. “Those Dregs following him are mercs.”

“So they’re not here in force,” I said.

Arianna snorted. “The Kings are here, that’s force enough. Question is, why are they working with the Devils?”

One of the camp’s Skiffs opened up and disgorged the Devil’s Captain. It was the first time we had even seen him. He approached the new arrival and they began conversing, albeit with a lot of gestures.

“Someone isn’t happy,” said Arianna dryly.

Eventually the Devil subsided. He made several curt gestures, and a handful of his Dregs scurried to pikes. The King pointed at a couple of Vandals. I saw all 4 of the Devil’s hands curl into fists. Then he pointed at 2 Vandals and repeated the gesture to mount up. The Devil Vandals grabbed their gear and went to their mounts. The King remounted his own pike and sped east in the general direction of another camp. His newly reinforced unit followed.

“They’re gathering troops,” murmured Arianna. “But why now?”

The Devil Captain stood looking after the departed King until a Shank floated by within arm’s reach. He snatched it out of the air and threw it to the ground. Before the unit could react he kicked and stomped on it with a flurry of blows, until only pieces of wreckage remained. His other troops, milling about seconds before, suddenly became very busy or out of sight until he had stormed back into the skiff.

The feed shut off and Arianna slid back until she had enough head room to sit up, then slid her helmet off.

“So what now?” I asked.

“We don’t know anything we did not already,” she said after a moment. “That Servitors were making the jamming signal was a pretty logical guess. We already suspected the House of Kings was here.” She spread her hands. “We need more information. We should go further in.”

I shook my head. “We’ve confirmed those things: that was the objective.”

“So what do you think we should do?”

“Finish the job,” I replied. “Attack the camp, kill the Servitors and get a signal to the Tower to tell them what we’ve seen. They’ll send a host to attack the Fallen and sweep them out.”

Arianna shook her head. “Politics,” she said bitterly.

“What?” I asked.

“Commander Zavala would. And he has the most say. But, the rest of the Vanguard – Ikora, specifically – might not. And then there’s the Consensus and the Speaker…”

“Short version, please,” I interrupted.

“The reports from the Moon about the Hive have everyone afraid, Morc. The truth is, we’ve beaten the Fallen before. Yes, it was at cost and the City lost territory, but we can and have beaten them.” She glanced at the low ceiling as if she could see through it to Luna overhead. “But we lost to the Hive. We lost badly. Unless the threat out here is great enough to hurt the City directly, everyone is going to be conservative with resources. We need to show the Tower something they can’t ignore.”

“Alright. So we go further in,” I agreed. I began cleaning up the detritus of weapon parts scattered before me.

“What’re you doing to your gun?” she asked.

I held up a cylinder for my hand cannon. “Explosive rounds,” I said. “The cylinder isn’t as enforced because there’s less primer involved to make room for the explosive head. Reduces the range and makes it a little heavier, but the explosive radius is about a meter wide.” I snapped the piece onto its housing, tightened the tiny mounting thread with a small tool, and then snapped the weapon closed with a flick of the wrist. “Last Captain I met had thick armor. This should be helpful.”

Arianna chuckled with what I took to be approval. “OK. Well, we’ve got a long trek ahead of us,” she said, stuffing her own gear back into her pack. “By the Traveler, I miss my sparrow.”

“Too bad we can’t steal their pikes,” I agreed.

“Well, hopefully we find what we need quickly and we stop sneaking everywhere. We’ll wait for nightfall. Then we head southwest. Bet you glimmer to pastries that what they’re hiding is dead center of this signal jamming.”

“I don’t eat pastries,” I said.

“What a horrible life you must lead.”

Categories: Morc-35 | Tags: , , , ,

Day 120 – Part 2

“There is a thing called knowledge of the world, which people do not have until they are middle-aged. It is something which cannot be taught to younger people, because it is not logical and does not obey laws that are constant. It has no rules.”
T.H. White, The Once and Future King


“The Servitor,” said Morgan, making a sucking noise around the pipe hanging from his lips, “is the unifying force on the battlefield for the Fallen. More than the Captain, the Baron, the Archon or even the Kell. Destroy the Servitor, and you destroy their communications, their defenses, their supply line and their god. Well, demigod anyway.”

“It seems a weakness,” I replied, gently shifting the pile of papers and books I shared a seat with. Morgan’s little cubbyhole – it would be charitable to call it an apartment – was the most disorganized place I had seen under the care of a cryptarch, maybe in the whole Tower. Ebony floated high over the haze of foul-smelling smoke, scanning pages to open books and maps scattered around the space I took to be the kitchen.

Morgan, in spite of his immense size and belly, navigated the chaos with ease as he prepared a steaming concoction he called tea, although the smell made me want to put distance between myself and it. “Perhaps, but it is also their strength. Like the Mongols and their horse.”

“What?” I asked.

“You’re going to the Mongolian Ruins, yes?” Morgan poured his brew into a chipped cup that displayed dark hair-line cracks across its surface. “Mongolia was once the greatest contiguous empire on Earth. Conquered almost purely by humans on beasts of burden called horses, armed with slings, blades, and bows. In fact,” he said, setting aside his pipe a moment to slurp from the cup, “the Mongols share much in common with the Fallen. They began as a scattering of tribes prone to infighting. Later, they were united under a single leader – a “Khan”, I think it was called – and conquered much of the known world. They revolutionized and modernized Asia, albeit by the blade.”

“What does this have to do with the Fallen?” I asked.

Morgan sighed. “Hunters,” I heard him mutter into his gray beard before he took another slurp of tea. “The Empire did the same thing all great civilizations do: it fractured and was eventually replaced. Likely enough, the Fallen we see today are just that: the remnants of a great empire, clinging to their old way of life, hoping to rise up again.”

“And…the horse?”

Morgan squinted his puffy eyes at me critically. “The horse was what allowed the Mongols to conquer so effectively. But they were susceptible to gunpowder. Such weapons proved an effective tactic.” He put his tea aside and scratched at his beard with one hand while holding his pipe in the other. “I suspect the Servitors are similarly affected by the Light.”

“Why?” I asked, my //curiosity genuinely piqued.

“Well, if the Light is a force, it holds the Darkness is too, yes? And the Servitors…well, we know they produce Ether for the Fallen. But how? And what does that imply about them?” Morgan’s eyes drifted out of focus.

I made to rise, and only just managed to keep from knocking over the stack as I got up. “I thank you for your time, Cryptarch.”

“What? Oh, yes, of course. Always glad to share knowledge with a Guardian.”

“I’ll be back,” I promised. “I want to hear more about your Servitor theory.”

That made him smile, and I suspected I had just won myself an ally with those words. “Of course. Careful in the field, Hunter.”


 7 hunters gathered in a single space made quite a sight. We huddled in the cafe beneath the Tower hangar, the noise of the ships penetrating even the sound of the jukebox in the corner. At the head of the gathering was a Hunter that barely reached my chest in height: she wore her blonde hair very short and tied back and dressed in drab colors, the only exception a small gold start emblazoned over her heart. Her orange Ghost floated over her shoulder. “Bob, this it?”

“We’re still waiting on Ka-“

“No we’re not,” she interrupted her Ghost. “Alright everyone, eyes front. You can call me M. Cayde-6 gave me the briefing.”

“Why are we getting an in-person briefing?” asked a stocky human I did not recognize – although that was true of the group as a whole.

M glared at the interrupter with enough heat to make him shrivel back into his cloak. “Because, if you let me continue, I could tell you that the region we’re scouting is in a comm blackout.” She tapped a map on the table with a throwing knife: a huge region south of the Cosmodrome had been blotted with red ink. “And that means nothing past short-range comms. And without satellite imagery, thanks to Rasputin, we only have flyovers for recon. And every flyover has been interdicted. There are a lot of Fallen in the region. It’s possible they are preparing a beachhead for an assault.”

“So send in a couple of real fire-teams,” interjected another, this 1 an Exo. “A few Titans can clean them out before they’re entrenched.”

M shook her head. “Vanguard does not want to commit Titans or Warlocks to the operation. The reports from Luna have everyone worried the Hive are on the move again. We had a new seeder try to take root a few weeks ago, right around the time the Temple of Crota was cracked open.” She did not look at me, but I felt her attention nonetheless. “So unless we have something big enough to warrant a troop movement that size, it’s just us. We’ll deploy in teams of 2.”

“We’re short 1,” pointed out Bob the Ghost.

“No we’re not.” Arianna slid into the seat next to me on the bench. “I swapped assignments with Kalesh. Sorry I’m late.” She smiled at me. Hot //anger flooded my circuits, but I checked it for the moment.

“Your teammate can brief you then,” said M crisply. “Make sure you pack, everyone. Once inside that zone we’ve no communication with the Tower, and ships are likely to be shot down. The objective is simple: find the source of the blackout. If possible, shut it down. If not, communicate it to the Tower. And find out why: the Fallen are hiding something, and we need to know what it is.”


“Why are you worked up about this?” Arianna asked, hands spread at her sides. “I thought you would be happy to have a teammate.” We stood just outside the Walls, our Sparrows humming next to us.

“I do not need the Valherjar watching over my shoulder,” I snapped. “I can handle myself.”

“That’s why you think I’m here? We don’t think you’re capable?” She rolled her eyes. “Morc, the whole point behind units like the Valherjar is for situations like this: fire-teams that have familiar members work better together. It’s better organization than just having Guardians doing as they please, without the need for a military command structure.”

“I need to do this on my own, Arianna.”

She frowned at me and ran a hand through the bristles of her short mohawk. “Morc. There’s no shame in what happened to you. Guardians fall. Ghosts get caught.”

“It shouldn’t have,” I replied, //bitterly.

“You’re right,” she said. “You should have led your family home. You should have gotten help. You should have waited. You should have done anything except hunt that whole nest by yourself. You’re a Guardian, and however brave the Erikssons are, it was your job to protect them, not lead them into a trap. The blood of their fallen is on your hands.”

I thought of tall Leif and strong Olaf when they had fallen beneath the Knight’s blade. More //anger flooded my circuits, but it was a cold feeling.

“But,” she continued, “thanks to you and them, we brought down a Seeder. We stopped a catastrophic move by the Hive on Earth. That’s on you too.” Arianna smiled ruefully. “We’re Hunters. We work alone, I get that. But the Tower stands because of teamwork, not in spite of it.”

Reason filtered through my //annoyance, and after a moment I nodded.

“Now come on,” she said. “If we’re going in on Sparrows, it’s going to be a long ride, and daylight is wasting.” She jumped astride her bike, put on her helmet, and raced away. I got on my own Sparrow and followed her into the Wilderness.

Categories: Morc-35 | Tags: , , , ,

Day 120 – Part 1

“Unless you can make the world wag better than it does at present, King, your reign will be an endless series of petty battles…”

The Once and Future King, by T.H. White


Weapons down, Guardians,” declared Lord Shaxx through Ebony’s transmitter. I sighed and slowed my run. A bullet skipped off a support beam to my right, and I flipped the shooter off in annoyance. Ebony fed the score telemetry through my new helmet’s HUD, which I had gotten to replace the gear I’d lost on the hunt with the Erikssons. The Future War Cult had proven surprisingly grateful for the chance to bring down a Hive nest, and why not? They had gained quite a bit of notoriety for their part in the operation. I’d taken the glimmer and purchased gear from Dead Orbit foundries and their colors – that had made the FWC a little less happy, but there wasn’t much they could do about it.

“10,120 to 8,780,” said the shooter, sauntering up. The Guardian was a Warlock, dressed in the reds and whites of a New Monarchy soldier from head to foot. Even her gun had a New Monarchy sigil. She stood out like a cherry tree in full bloom in a brown field, and yet her combat performance seemed entirely unaffected by it. The Warlock removed her helmet, and her glowing green eyes flashed with //mirth. “And…my my, 1.0 for you. That’s even worse than doing badly – you didn’t affect your team’s performance. Almost like you weren’t there.”

I left my own helmet on, arguably a rude thing to do to another Exo – why, I wasn’t sure, but I knew it to be a slight – and shrugged. “I can’t bring myself back from the dead like some.”

She waved her hand dismissively. “You smell like you still have fresh oil and Light on you anyway. I guess we did the right thing going easy on you. After all, I hear you’re recovering from being captured by Thrall.”

I was about to retort when Telrik strode up. “Fernanda-24. Did you enjoy that feeling of your head exploding 7 times in a row?”

“8, actually: it blew my mind that you’re still alive,” she replied.

“Why? Because I don’t hide behind the Walls all day, extorting civilians?”

“Extorting?” gasped another arrival – this one a Titan – as he took of his blood-red helmet. An Awoken with knife-edged features, green hair and bright orange eyes, he had a tattoo on his right cheek that vaguely resembled a New Monarchy symbol. He put a hand over his heart. “That’s a very serious charge, Titan Telrik. Care to repeat that for the record? Now that the match is over I’m sure the Consensus would like to hear that.”

“Some manners would not hurt our cause at all, Syphis,” interjected Drake, walking up.

Fernanda-24 actually inclined her head toward Drake, as did Syphis: the action //surprised me. “Sir Drake,” she said smoothly. “You grace us with your presence.” If there was //sarcasm in her tone I did not detect it.

Drake inclined his head to them as well. “A sterling performance, Fernanda-24.”

“Well, given there were only 3 of us in a group of 6, I fear we did not reach as great a height as we might have.” She looked him in the eye. “We, of course, would still accept your application to the King’s Ransom. Our unit is, as you know, still seeking loyal members of the Monarchy.”

“I fear politics are not of utmost importance to me right now, and I have a prior commitment to the Valherjar,” said Drake. “But I thank you for your offer.”

“It remains open,” she said with no sign of //disappointment. “Ronald, stop stalking the poor Dead Orbit hunter. We need to go.”

I turned my head slightly and startled back a step: a hulking human with a buzz cut and heavy brow stood behind my left shoulder. He moved past me with absolute silence and followed his comrades, cradling a rocket launcher in his thick arms.

“Are you…?” Telrik said to Drake.

The Warlock cut him off. “No. I have no interest in running.”

“But someone wants you to?”

“Some people think that an Awoken would make a good gesture of diversity and unity,” said Drake. “But it will not happen, and I have no interest in the post.”

“Ah.”

Before I could ask what they were talking about, a general announcement from Lord Shaxx to clear the arena for the next match prompted us to depart. We headed for the exit, our 3 companions, randomly selected by draw, long since having departed. Frames trundled by, repairing or replacing the parts of the arena destroyed during the match to make it ready for the next clash.

“Well, there’s room in the next round for us. Want to stay and get some more in?” asked Drake.

I shook my head. “Cayde-6 just assigned some hunters to check out an anomaly in the Mongolia ruins. Apparently Fallen have started gathering, and there’s a possibility the Kings are there. I got picked.”

Telrik whistled appreciatively. “The Kings? Watch your back. Word is they do not move for much.”

I nodded. “Going to see the Cryptarchs again before I go. After my first encounter with the Fallen, I want to be better prepared, see what they can tell me.”

“Well, good luck,” said Drake. “If you need help, just call.”

I would have winced, in spite of my helmet still being on. “I will be fine.” I gave Ebony the word and transmatted out to fly back to the City – and the libraries of the Cryptarchs.

Categories: Morc-35 | Tags: , , , , ,

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