originally posted in:The Black Garden
(part one: [quote]http://www.bungie.net/en/Groups/Post?id=62299477&groupId=39972[/quote] ) [b]Warlock’s Way: Broken Edge[/b] Part Two [i]I'm too late..[/i].Kurandal cursed as he came upon the first signs of fighting. Several Fallen women lay dead at the outskirts of their camp. He saw yurts and shacks burning nearby. [i]Chajo. I'm gonna rip a new shtaphhole for any Wryvunner who participated in this.[/i] Kurandal leapt into the air and started gliding towards the fires, trying to get a better look from above. He saw bodies and blood everywhere. As he landed, he saw two Titans eviscerated just ahead of him. They were reaching out to each other, fingers barely touching. [i]Traveler, not the twins.[/i] As he got closer, he saw Shawla and Shawmeer, brother and sister Titans who had joined his team years ago. They constantly fought with one another except in battle, where they fiercely defended each other as they devastated their enemies. Shawla's helm was cracked half off her head, her face showing a death mask of tortured pain. A plasma burn from a Fallen D'strelk rifle covered her chest. Shawmeer had a Fallen's Vr'kmal sword in his abdomen, staking him to the ground. Kurandal knew they would have followed Pajin simply to keep the Wryvunners out of trouble. They were victims of Pajin's idiotic plan. [i]You will be remembered and avenged, my friends. That Awoken gynj will pay for this.[/i] Kurandal turned towards the inner camp, the smell of death wafting on the hot breeze. He ran as fast as he could, trying to ignore the dozens of Fallen children and women strewn along his path. There had been a massacre, as he had feared. Now Wryvun's Respite would pay the price. Kurandal's anger was starting to rise in him again. All he wanted was to keep his friends and the town safe. He fought for the Guardians to protect his loved ones, not for the love of killing the enemy. He didn't revel in battle, not like others. He didn't hate the Fallen, Vex, or Cabal. Awoken were another matter. He tried not to judge the whole race as savages, but he hadn't learned to accept what had happened so many years ago. Every time he thought he could see them in a different light, someone like Pajin came along. [i]Pajin, you murderous chajo...I should have killed you and sent you to Mephus.[/i] Kurandal saw a Wryvunner, Brenzin, ransacking a yurt. Brenzin was rummaging through a child's knapsack as he knelt on the child's corpse. Kurandal felt a growl begin to escape his lips as he turned towards the yurt. Brenzin had flunked out of the Guardian Academy. Too unruly. Too stubborn to take orders. No talent for harnessing the Traveler's energies. He had come to Wryvun's Respite for a second chance, his teachers at the academy hoping Kurandal would be able to focus Brenzin's energies and mind. Kurandal had made headway with Brenzin, some talent beginning to finally shine through the rough edges, but Brenzin was still hot-headed and impulsive. And apparently blood thirsty. Kurandal stormed into the yurt. His vision was began to go red. Brenzin turned as he heard Kurandal come in. "Kurandal! I can explain! I'm just -" Brenzin's excuse was knocked out of his mouth, along with several teeth as Kurandal's boot smashed into his face. Kurandal walked over to Brenzin as he struggled to get up, and picked the neophyte off the floor by his jacket. "I gave you a second chance, despite my better judgment, Brenzin. I brought you into my home, gave you purpose. I TAUGHT YOU BETTER THAN THIS!" Kurandal threw Brenzin across the room. "Don't ever show your face in Wryvun's Respite again." Kurandal turned and left the yurt, his anger starting to reach a boil. [i]Where are you, Pajin? Damn you for involving my town in this mephesian plan of yours...[/i] Kurandal leapt into the air again, looking for the Awoken merc. … Pajin barked orders to his remaining crew and the Wryvunners that had joined his mission. "Get those glimmers and weapons loaded into the Hippo! You! The city boy in green! Yes, you! Keep a lookout for any signs of company. See anything, you scream your head off. If the Fallen troops catch us here we're all dead!" Pajin turned back to the Hippo, a large supply van typically used to ferry supplies around the Wild. They had pulled in a decent haul. Some meds, food, a decent heap of glimmers, and plenty of Fallen weapons. [i]Less that they can use on us[/i]. Pajin would offer some of the Wryvunners a spot in his crew. The few Guardians who had followed him had perished early on, either from the Fallen women or occasionally from "accidental" friendly fire. He knew they had tagged along in an attempt to enforce the shtaphing Warlock's orders and prevent a massacre. [i]Too bad, chajos.[/i] "Pajin, we've got company!" Pajin turned to see a solitary figure floating towards him. [i]Chajo. The 'lock...[/i] The figure began to glow, a violet orb forming around him. A ball of energy formed around the figure's hand, then a fiery bolt shot straight into the Hippo. The Hippo burst into flames as Kurandal's Nova Bomb detonated. "You shtaphing gynj shtapher! Now this was all for nothing!" Pajin roared at Kurandal as the Warlock landed in front of him. Eyes flashing with rage, Kurandal stared at Pajin briefly before attacking. His left arm struck out with a mighty haymaker, knocking Pajin into the dirt. Kurandal turned his head, looking at the others who had participated in this disaster. "Leave. Now. Keep your sorry hides out of Wryvun's Respite. And pray you never cross my path again." One of Pajin's men drew his weapon and took aim at Kurandal. A Wryvunner, Herndal, leapt onto the mercenary, and struggled for control of the mercenary's gun. Herndal ripped the gun away and shot the mercenary in the chest, blood splattering the Wryvunner in the face. Kurandal stared at Herndal for a moment. Herndal wiped the blood from his eyes before speaking meekly. "I'm sorry, Kurandal....Traveler watch over you." Kurandal nodded at Herndal and turned back to Pajin, who lay on his side in the dirt. Pajin sat up, spitting a bloody tooth at Kurandal's feet. Kurandal spoke just loud enough for Pajin to hear, the threat of further violence a razor's edge on his words. "You're to blame for all this. My town is as good as destroyed thanks to you. We lost some of our best warriors today, and you turned some of the town's youngest fighters into child killers. I should have killed you earlier, you filthy ash-skinned gynj!" Kurandal picked Pajin up out of the dirt. The Awoken mercenary coughed as he laughed in Kurandal's face. "My fault? This is my fault? Heh. You've got shtaph for brains, 'lock. You were too weak to make your case in front of your own. You turned and ran for whatever reason, and your brothers and sisters JUMPED at the chance to follow a real leader. Your town is struggling, 'lock. You're holding them back." Pajin's words stung Kurandal's heart. There was some truth to them. All this could have been avoided if he hadn't stormed out of the town hall in anger. He had let his past control him, let it endanger his friends...he had let them down. Pajin felt the Kurandal's grip loosen a bit as his words dug into the large human's heart, and shook Kurandal's resolve. Seeing an opening, Pajin thrust his head forward into Kurandal's face, bloodying the Warlock's nose and cutting a gash above his foe's left eye. Kurandal staggered back, grasping his nose. Kurandal felt wetness pouring down his lip and beard, and could no longer see out of his left eye. Something in him snapped. A growl started in his throat and became a roar as he jumped towards Pajin in blind rage. Purple energy began to swirl around Kurandal as he threw clumsy strikes at the mercenary. Pajin jumped back, avoiding Kurandal's long reach by mere inches, disbelieving what his eyes saw. The Warlock had turned into a mindless beast, yet crackled with the Traveler's energy. Pajin suddenly feared the Guardian he had sneered at just a moment ago. [i]A weapon....I have to find a weapon before this chajo rips me apart![/i] As Kurandal struggled to strike the target of his rage, Krand woke in his storage pocket. Floating out of the pocket, he unfolded and took in his surroundings. Seeing his Guardian roaring at the mercenary, Krand uttered a simple response. "Oh dear." … edit: one more piece in the reply to this post for those not going to the Google Doc.
Edited by Zest: 10/27/2013 3:16:08 AMWell that is most certainly a different perspective on the ghosts, nice one.
"Serving as a Guardian is a sacred duty, Krand. Accepting the oath is a lifelong promise to protect humanity from our enemies, to watch over your fellow Guardians, and to study the ways of the Traveler. In return, you will be given the chance to serve past this life, and help to ensure the safety of your family and others for generations to come." The Academy Templar walked toward Krand, who knelt on the Dias of Truth. "Do you accept this oath, Krand Wryvun?" "I do." "Then take this as a token of your promise to the Brotherhood of the Guardians, and as a token of the Brotherhood's promise to you." The Templar held out his hand, a small silvery cube glowed in his palm. Krand cautiously took the cube up from the Templar and felt it pulse to life. It floated from his fingers and expanded, unfolding into a semi-spherical shape. Blue light blinked along the edges of the floating object. Krand recognized the shape as a Ghost, one of the many wonders of the Traveler. "Hello, Krand. My name is Blackfoot. It is a pleasure to meet you." The Ghost’s voice was deep and rich, a faint accent to its tone that reminded Krand of someone long ago. [i]Blackfoot? My great-uncle's name was Blackfoot. How strange...[/i] The Templar smiled at Krand and his new companion. "Your bond is strong with this Ghost already, Krand. Good. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. When you fall in the field, it will watch over you, to give your fellow Guardians a chance to bring you back from the abyss. It will provide you with hidden knowledge about this world as well as the rest in our solar system. It is your lifeline back to the Brotherhood. Listen to its wisdom as you walk your path." Krand stood, his face full of awe as he stared at Blackfoot. Blackfoot angled slightly, as if to nod at his Guardian. “Krand, may I tell you a story of the Battle of Vallis Baade as we return to your quarters?” Krand nodded and followed Blackfoot out of the Dias. The Templar watched as the pair left. [i]Keep your new charge safe, old friend,[/i] he thought as he remembered the Guardian he once considered as a brother. Blackfoot’s final testament had been a wish to watch over any family that joined the Brotherhood. His integration with his new body wasn’t complete, but that would come with time. Soon his old friend’s personality would fully merge with the previous AIs stored within the Ghost’s matrix, becoming an amalgamation of those spirits absorbed in the past. It gave each Ghost an evolution of sorts, and prevented rampancy in the core matrix of the floating companions to the Guardians. Personalities came and went within a Ghost over the centuries, but the knowledge of each was never lost, as long as the Ghost survived. Someday Krand might even join Blackfoot within that same matrix, and be given the chance to watch over his kin as well. The Guardians were asked to give everything in the defense of humanity. They gave the species hope that a new Golden Age would come. The only payment in return for their lives was the chance to continue serving as a sage to future Guardians. Blackfoot and Krand would be a good pair, hopefully working together for a very long time. The Templar left the Dias, going towards the back, taking a hidden doorway that led to the Mausoleum. The Mausoleum was where the Ghosts were created and stored. Even after over fifty years of service and study, the Templar had no idea how the Traveler’s machines really worked. He’d always been an adherent to Clarke’s 3rd law, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” but there were times that he believed the Traveler was truly magical. Perhaps his successor would unlock more of the great orb’s secrets one day. He returned to his task and pulled a glowing cube from within its shimmering drawer. [i]Ah. Alack. A great Titan. He held off the Cabal during the Rout of Erinnys on Mars. He saved 300 settlers that day. He’ll be an excellent teacher to Chassle. The poor youngling needs a bit more knowledge between his ears. Perhaps you’ll fill that space, Alack?[/i] The Templar left the Mausoleum, and returned to the Dias, ready to present the next Guardian with his lifelong companion. …