[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257213041/0/0]Link to Chapter 2, Part 3[/url]
[spoiler]All chapters of the War of Lies will be linked to the [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257167399/0/0]Table of Contents[/url] as they are posted every Monday[/spoiler]
“These Light-forsaken pigeons don’t leave any scraps,” Shrowder complained next to me.
I didn’t know what a pigeon was- probably yet another Earth curse -but his point was clear enough. And though I hated to admit he had even a grain of sense, Shrowder was right: the Syndicate left nothing unchecked, nothing unattended, and nothing unclaimed.
We’d been trailing one of their crews for a couple weeks now; watching their movements and following the energy trails of their ship whenever they relocated. These stiffs were too diligent for us to follow them directly in our own ship, and even if we had trackers to place on them it’d probably only alert them to our presence.
Not only that, but they would set down in the middle of the most resourceful area- even if they had to clear it of hostiles -and then take all the goods for themselves. We had to go way out of our way to be able to scavenge any supplies, and their frequent exploits and unwavering guard made it hard to camp anywhere close to them.
We were low on food, couldn’t replenish our dwindling fuel reserves, and we were honestly all sick of each other.
One of Seren’s lackeys had put our team together to fight this stupid squabble between the Reef Mob and the Syndicate. I had to hand it to the Syndicate there: [b]nobody[/b] stood up against Seren. They had some spines on them.
They also kept money coming to my pocket.
Talk and rumors of the conflict were commonplace in every level of the Reef Mob now; from the slums to the sectors of the people in charge of it all. I would know; I spent plenty of time in both. Dozens of new stories about gunfights and espionage and sabotage were passed around by word of mouth every day. Most probably weren’t true, but the general idea of what was happening remained clear. They were calling it the War of Lies.
Of course, there was much more excitement than fear. Not only was everyone confident that the Reef Mob’s home inside 6 Demeter would remain undiscovered as it had to all other enemies, but most didn’t even once consider that Seren Cay could ever be beaten. And even if she was ever bested and the home of the Reef Mob was torn apart, not a single soul would care. To the scum that spent their time there it was only ever either a prison or a place to get wasted and laid between jobs. We were all drifters and hired work; that wouldn’t change with the loss of Seren or 6 Demeter.
“Short… remains… before return,” a low, raspy voice stated in what hardly even qualified as human tongue.
I rolled over from my prone position to find dry and wrinkly flesh, foul breath, and four beady blue eyes in my face. Nearly jumping out of my skin from surprise, I shoved the Fallen Vandal back a bit. “By the Jovians, Drip!” I scolded as quietly as I could manage, “I don’t need your stench on me!”
He had a nasty habit of getting far too close when speaking to us, and being the honor-oriented alien he was, he even told us himself that it was because he wanted to keep us where he could overpower us easily. Reassuring us that it was because he respected our skills enough to perceive us as threats did nothing to ease my nerves.
“Watch… self… [b]bug[/b],” Drip growled, looming above me to make a point of his larger size. His actual name was Drixaas, but he had picked up the nickname “Drip” from a mix of people who couldn’t pronounce his name right and people who knew of the way he liked to let his prey run with blood dripping from wounds. Drip had a special hate for Awoken that thought of the Fallen as lowly, and liked using our own insults against us. I had made it clear right away that I was one of those Awoken; the Fallen were the source of a lot of old pains in the Reef, and Drip was an ex-Wolf to boot. But we were too professional to kill each other.
“Any closer and you two would be married,” Shrowder chuckled. Drip and I both glared at him, and the Fallen even put his upper right hand on the hilt of one of his swords. “Right, forgot. No more couple jokes,” Shrowder kept his relaxed composure, but he clearly knew better than to push us further.
Although Drip and I had some deep hatred towards each other, we both hated Shrowder on a much more personal level. The two of us thought of humanity as pathetic and undeserving of the gifts they were given by the Traveler, but that alone wasn’t enough to make us hate Shrowder more than each other. No, the Fallen and I actually carried some respect for each other, but Shrowder was the most insufferable being I had met from any species or world. He was rude, annoying, unprofessional, lazy, insulted everyone, and didn’t care about anything but sex, money, and killing. The only two things Drip and I could agree on were that the Reef Wars never should’ve happened and that Shrowder was a waste of life, time, and space.
Our team, you see, was built for getting the job done, not for getting along.
Shrowder was reportedly one of the best scouts around for his abilities to remain undetected, track anything, and escape unscathed. How he remained undetected when he was such an obstruction and made so much ruckus around us, I had no idea. He had spent his childhood in humanity’s Last City and then some years out in the European Dead Zone before stealing a ship that belonged to a Mob member. He was nabbed and forced to pay off his debt, but ended up killing everyone tied to the mess and got away with all their money. He still flies that same ship.
Drip was one of the most renowned assassins in all of the Reef AND the Reef Mob. The bad-tempered Vandal had even been a member of the Silent Fang before the Scatter, but defected when they sided with Skolas and later swore fealty to Mara Sov. He abandoned his service to the Queen soon after due to the mistreatment, becoming a hired sword and quickly catching the eye of the Mob. I had yet to meet a Fallen who would lose track of their prey after the hunt began, and Drip had a perfect track record of finishing his target. His size was a testament to his skill; not quite as big as a Fallen Captain, he was still very large for a Vandal due to the amount of ether he earned himself by killing for Seren.
I was supposed to be the brains of the operation, although it would be a lie to say Drip wasn’t just as useful as I when it came to planning. I was a mercenary more than an assassin because I did better with a team under me and didn’t have a preference between single targets or organizations. I was tactical analysis, and defected from the Reef to join the Mob because of how I was mistreated by the female Awoken that dubbed themselves superior to the lower population of males. It was a lot easier for a male Awoken to become successful in the Reef Mob than anywhere else. I still favored Mara, the Awoken Queen, over Seren, the self-proclaimed “Queen of the Reef Mob”, but work was better for me out here. Although I wasn’t exactly the most useful with a weapon, I had gotten a reputation for being able to get the job done with any random team I was given against any odds, as long as the team did what I said. I also had a knack for getting the people that didn’t like to follow my orders killed during the mission. I was pretty handy at reconnaissance as well. Those skills didn’t really fit the current mission, but the guy who hired us to get some of Seren’s work done insisted that I stick with it as a precaution, in case a chance came to do some damage to the Syndicate.
Our current job: follow this Syndicate crew, gather intel, and do any damage we could to them. It sounded like a dumb grunt job, and I felt like it was a waste placing me here, but I had to admit these guys were hard to tail. And if the higher ups were resorting to sending pros like Drip, that meant Seren really needed intel. I wasn’t so sure how long our team could stay focused on the job, though.
Shrowder respected no one and nothing, and Drip and I were angry people that got offended by everything. The human started a lot of quarrels between the three of us, and Drip and I were always at each other’s throats. Lots of insults passed between us, but Drip and I at least never questioned each other’s judgment. He was a respectable warrior, unlike Shrowder.
[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257258007/0/0]Link to Chapter 3, Part 2[/url]