Thieves and Beggars – Hoist the Colors, Part 5

Billy Bones: He’s a comin’. Can ya hear ‘im? Those gears and gyros clickin’ and whirrin’ like the Devil himself!

Jim Hawkins: Hit your head there pretty hard, didn’t ya?

~Treasure Planet, Ron Clements (2002).


“Selfie!” Telrik posed in front of the downed Fallen and his pile of armor for his Ghost, flexing one arm and hoisting a boomer with the other. Magnus and Drake joined him, each posing in their own way; Heisenberg began dancing behind them on a couple of stacked crates. I ducked into the shot on my knees with my hand cannon raised in one fist and Farstride jumped in front of us: the picture came out looking as if he was laying down, suspended in midair.

“Who screamed like a little girl to get down when he started shooting rockets at everyone?” asked Farstride.

“Heisenberg,” said Magnus.

“Did not,” said the studious Titan. Magnus blew a raspberry in his helmet.

The Ghosts were flitting through the hold, checking the layout and scouting for any useful materials. I knelt next to the downed Fallen and checked it over more thoroughly.

“Definitely an Archon from the trappings,” I reported. “But he’s a bit starved for Ether from the looks of him.”

The others crowded round as I stripped away the armor. The Fallen looked like little more than a large Vandal, his crest unformed, his 4 arms wasted and thin.

“Thoughts?” asked Telrik.

“Recent replacement,” posited Drake. “They may have lost their original Archon breaking into the Ascendant realm. He hasn’t had time to grow with his fresh Ether.”

No one proffered another explanation.

“Then are we done?” asked Heisenberg-3.

Drake shook his head. “If he’s a fresh Archon, then they have a Kell or a Prime Servitor to put him in his place.” I nodded to confirm the statement.

Magnus sucked a breath in. “If they have a Prime that’s been altered with Hive magic…”

I could almost feel our celebratory mood die as the implications settled on us all.

“Cabal recruits, Hive magic…guess we should be grateful they haven’t tapped Vex temporal gates,” said Heisenberg-3.

“Don’t even suggest it…” Farstride said with an audible shudder in his voice.

“I can see why M wanted us to take these guys out,” Telrik grunted.

“On the bright side,” I said, trying to lighten the mood, “everything we’ve seen thus far indicates that they haven’t fully mastered anything they’ve co-opted. At the end of the day, these Corsairs are really just scavengers, like any other Fallen.”

“Right then,” said Farstride. “Let’s saddle up and move out.”

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