<Anyone else notice how, since Forsaken, we've been sort of "walking the line between Light and Dark"? How we're clearly good guys but we went out of our way to get revenge on Uldren while Ghost questioned our reasoning? How we do stuff like Gambit despite that actually being a ploy to draw in people who only desire power (the ignorant: Dark Edition) and kill them so that we can have people who understand balance in power and the ignorant (Light Edition)?
Well, I'm here to tell you what you either already know, have heard ME tell you, have heard OTHERS tell you, or what Shin Malphur and the OG Dredgens have told you in the lore books - that line is worth walking on and deviating from it is absolute tomfoolery from a power perspective, but not from an army perspective. We should really stick to the City, and by proxy (keep that phrasing in mind) the Traveler.
But why? Well, let's talk about Gods.
So, eons ago when the Gardener made life a thing, it became tired of the same pattern winning. The Vex represent that pattern to a T, so whatever their goal of Convergence leads to, you got the idea. Their goal also falls in line with the Winnower's ideology, see the conflict there?
The Gardener introduced itself into the game as a way to promote diversity. It wanted a different pattern to survive, one that could essentially cheat its way to victory. You heard me, "cheat". If I'm so adamant about sticking with humanity, the City, and even the Traveler, why would I call life's use of its ability "cheating"? Well, because the Traveler is dead wrong about how the universe works. At the very least, the use of its power will only delay the inevitable, when either a stronger species -blam!-s them up or the universe undergoes heat death and wipes them out. In the extreme, Light will overrun the universe and everything will be essentially Communism 2 - Electric Boogaloo.
To sum up the extreme outcome:
[quote]But imagine the abomination of a world where nothing can end and no choice can be preferred to any other. Imagine the things that would suffer and never die. Imagine the lies that would flourish without context or corrective.[/quote]
BUT, and I cannot stress that enough, BUT -
The Traveler is not EVIL (at least not be standard definition). The Traveler can be SELFISH, and it is inherently BENEVOLENT, but it is not EVIL. It may be BAD (as in not going a good job), but not MALEVOLENT. You get me? Let me explain.
Sometime after this universe was created, the Gardener built itself (or had someone else build) a mechanical shell. This lead to the Traveler ball we have hanging over the City right now. It's been that way since the Fundament days, probably even before. Hell, the orb wasn't even damaged before the first Collapse, but how? The Darkness has been chasing it since the dawn of time, and even actively resisted it when trapped in Fundament.
Well, the Traveler fled from a lot of worlds it uplifted. The most notable case here are the Fallen, who had the Traveler right before us. It's done this to many worlds before it, but this time it stayed. Yes, it STAYED and fought back against the Darkness when it attacked this system. I don't know why it ultimately decided to stay this time, but there are a number of factors to consider.
- The Traveler DOES care about life, even if it has abandoned many a society before it came to Sol
- It cares about its work (felt grief when it watched all that it had done during the Golden Age get UNDONE by the Deep)
- It decided to stay in Sol, a place where it stated it would "fight and win"
- It decided it needed to rely on its followers now (hence the Ghosts and Guardians)
- It doesn't WANT to abandon its creations, but self-preservation or fear scares it into doing so
- Even if it did want to escape Sol, something about the Darkness or the system kept it in place (this was something that caused the actual Gardener pain, so something paracausal)
The Dreams of Alpha Lupi and Constellations reveal quite a bit. But I can hear some ask if Rasputin DID try and keep it here, so I'll briefly go on that.
[spoiler]- The Exodus Green reported a heavy weapons discharge around the Traveler's last known location on Earth at the time of the Collapse
- Rasputin had numerous measures in place in case it NEEDED to keep the Traveler here
- Despite those countermeasures being listed, the grimoire card (Ghost Fragment: Rasputin 5) was merely that. The lore tab for the Exotic ship (unsecured/OUTCRY) states that the Traveler didn't meet the criteria necessary
- As such, while the weapons discharge may have been from Rasputin (he did have total military control), the weapons were not meant to hurt the Traveler. Cut concepts for the Traveler's Dream show the Pyramids swarming the Traveler during the Collapse, so the "aurora knives" (according to Rasputin, this is the weapon he fought the Darkness with until deciding to hide) were likely intended for the Dark.
- Rasputin's Valkyries couldn't damage an already-damaged shard of the Traveler approximately 2-3 meters in height. All it did was shave Blight off of it. These particular Valkyries were fired from low orbit, meaning they should've done significant damage. Instead, nothing.
- Conclusion: Rasputin has no power against the Gods, even if he could've injured the Traveler, he did not deem it necessary[/spoiler]
Now, here's where it gets a little tricky. The Traveler actually wanted to leave during the Red War out of fear, however, it did not wake up until nearly a month after it began. Not only that, but the Traveler urged us and us specifically to regain our Light. It stayed, and only woke up when Ghaul started draining its Light, which is the equivalent of draining a coma patient's blood. Given that it hasn't run away since despite CLEAR warning that the Darkness is coming back, it seems pretty intent to stay.
My point is that the Traveler, while having the wrong views about the universe, is a benevolent force that shouldn't be abandoned at the drop of a hat. Its actions have been a little fuzzy, but its intent, especially now, seems to be clear. This is why I advocate for staying with the Gardener (half-way) and the City it protects. Yes, we're in the wrong by proxy, but the Traveler is like a mother figure who's also a recovering drug addict.
Right now, the problem becomes its ability TO help us. Constellations tells us that even after the Heart of the Garden died and the Traveler began healing (latest entry takes place literal minutes before the Red War), it was beaten. Remember the coma patient analogy? Add on a MAJOR case of "oh god their bones are broken and they can barely breathe" and you have the Traveler, even now when it's awake. Perhaps it's not doing much because it CAN'T. I'm still banking on that orb dying when the Pyramids make their move.
If the Gardener is wrong, the the Winnower is, get ready, ABSOLUTELY CORRECT ABOUT THE UNIVERSE. That's right, there's no doubting that it's literally the right answer if you want to discuss how cruel reality is. So, that's the answer the title is referring to, right? No.
While there's no doubting the Darkness's superior ideology and even power, there's a BIG catch to all of it. Typically, that's annihilation. All or most of humanity would've been wiped from the board if the Traveler didn't intervene. That's the basis for the argument I'm making, one side didn't try to kill us.
Though I guess there IS more to it. The Darkness recruits civilizations (usually indirectly) to kill others. To reduce things or people into nothingness, to prove the worthy and unworthy. Not to mention that the Darkness now has its personal army (Pyramids), which makes many of its other armies (i.e. the Hive) completely meaningless, which they would've been anyways thanks to the Worm pact.
Another fun thing about the Darkness is that its ability drives people insane. The mortal things in this dimension literally cannot fathom the sheer gravitas of the Deep (see Calus in his first encounter with IT). While the Traveler brings new life and technology, the Darkness has literally brought nothing but destruction, dread, and insanity. The crew of First Light had a variety of people on it, some of which were willing to get as close to The Anomaly as possible. It thanked them by giving them insomnia, changing their DNA, and eventually leading them all to die when the Collapse started. All people who stayed on Titan during the mass exodus would've been murdered by the Deep's gravity-manipulation. It's also fun when the Black Armory founders could hear the screams of humanity from within a secure bunker UNDERGROUND. Oh, and the Exodus Green, despite declaring neutrality, was still hit by a lone ship's gravity waves.
Yeah, that screams "friendly". The Winnower's arguments made during Beyond and Unveiling are to convince us that they are correct. I can say with good confidence that it is. However, that doesn't change the fact that all life in this system has been marked for negation and we need to fight back. It's a matter of survival, which is, amazingly enough, the Winnower's argument. Any animal fights when it's cornered, and that logic is why many species still live. It's a matter of MAYBE surviving (C/G) vs definitely dying, whether now or later (W).
That has to be us, too. I don't mind people using the powers of Light and Darkness, but JOINING the Darkness isn't a smart move, no matter how correct the Deep is. It's Salvation through destruction. From our perspective, this shouldn't be an ideological battle, just a matter of who gets to live till the End...
The Pyramids or humanity?
TL:DR - Powers of Light and Dark = good | Team Light = could be better but OK | Team Dark = smartn't | Team Humanity = good>
Loading, please wait. This may take some time...