[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257258077/0/0]Link to Chapter 3, Part 4[/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]
Alarmed shouts sounded in my ear, and I listened in amusement on the stolen Syndicate radio piece as the enemy tried pulling forces out of combat with the Cabal to check on the dig site. Order was soon established, and I took note of squad names and numbers as soldiers were moved away from the ship to check the tunnels. Or, rather, the pile of rocks that used to be the tunnel.
When the ship finally came into sight around a dune there was nobody in our way. Three guards stood in front of the ramp to the hangar, but were shot down by Drip and Shrowder so we could dart up the ramp unopposed. Coming over the lip of the ramp revealed to us the contents of the cargo hold and the several soldiers moving amongst the equipment. They turned on us as our three vehicles came to a halt, but fell as Drip swept the gazes of his two rifles across the bay, unleashing a wave of hot metal and death.
Drip and Shrowder quickly dismounted, wary of the possibility of more hostiles arriving as they checked to make sure the ones they had shot were really dead. I slowly drifted deeper into the hold on my cart, looking for a good place to leave the explosives. A grunt and the slow drag of his hand moving up to his ear alerted me to the survival of one of the men Drip had shot, and I put a bullet in his head before he could attempt to call in help. Shrowder stalked up to the bay door as I dismounted the first cart and moved to get the second, keeping an eye out for returning troops. Drip was prowling around the cargo hold, making sure no one came in while I did my work. Soon enough, the three carts of explosives were placed strategically around the hold.
“Drip! We’re leaving!” I announced, jogging to the ramp with gun raised. The large Vandal followed, tossing the rifles he had been given to the ground.
Gunfire rang out, and the sharp clinks of bullets hit the metal flooring around us hastened our steps. Four muffled puffs of sound answered, and the gunfire stopped, allowing me to hear the [i]thwump[/i] of a body hitting the floor. I spotted Shrowder not too far in front and to the side of us, hand cannon with a long silencer raised towards where the attack had come from.
“Intruders in the cargo hold!” a voice announced on the comms I had stolen, “Three hostiles fleeing the ship! Not Cabal! I repeat, three unidentified hostiles fleeing the cargo hold!”
As Drip, Shrowder, and I made our way off of the loading ramp and sprinted left, to the east and the cliff that our observation site was located on top of, I turned on my headset. “I have eyes on the hostiles heading southwest from the ship!” I declared, giving them a direction almost opposite from where we were actually going. That would buy us the time we needed.
“Acknowledged,” someone else on the channel responded, “Diverting forces from the skirmish to intercept. The Cabal are nearly exterminated.”
Turning off the mic, I reached the cliff behind my partners and began scaling the rocks behind Shrowder, who was springing from ledge to ledge like a Fallen in a service vent. Drip, being Fallen himself, just shot almost straight up through sand-smoothed stone using his four powerful arms. I was more slow-going, but by following Shrowder’s path was able to make it up not too long after the others. It was at the top that I pulled out the second detonator and calmly put my thumb to the button. I couldn’t help but grin as the explosion went off perfectly, causing the other bombs inside to create a fiery chain that tore the hangar apart. The damage was clear and all of the ship’s hold was destroyed, but it looked to be in good enough shape to fly still. Now they’d be forced to leave empty handed.
We ran past the spot we had been perched earlier and into the mess of boulders that we had hidden our camp amongst, kicking up sand in our wake.
Just as we broke through a particularly dense cluster of tall stone spires so that our ship suddenly appeared before us, Drip stopped. Shrowder slid to a crouched halt right next to him, and I slowed behind. It only took a second of looking around to see what they had spotted. Tracks through the sand around the ship and the very few supplies we had unloaded for quick access. No wind entered here between the many layers of stone around us, leaving the footprints untouched since their making. Looking behind me, I realized that there were a couple extra sets of footprints in the sand that we hadn’t noticed in our rush.
“Surrender or die,” a voice called, signaling for a couple dozen men to step out from behind the cover of the boulders and surround us. Too many to take on. They must have sent out teams to secure the perimeter whenever the Cabal attacked and located our encampment then. After that they just needed to wait.
“Son of a Dreg…” Shrowder muttered.
“Son of an exiled Dreg,” Drip rumbled sourly, for once agreeing with the infiltrator.
• • •
“Shrief Ivoh,” the voice that accompanied the sound of the door opening was gruff, old, and male. The man who followed the sounds was equal in all aspects, age marring his stern face and sending white streaks through his already greyed hair.
He sat down on the other side of the metal table in front of me, setting down a data pad to the side and tugging at the collar of his chest plate uncomfortably. His armor decor marked him as the sergeant of the ship. He seemed perfectly at ease and practiced within this small interrogation room, which was unpainted silver metal on every surface, unbroken except by the door and a pair of cameras set at either side of me.
“Also known as The Engineer, Chief, and the Count of 6 Demeter. One of the favorite enforcers of Seren Cay herself,” he continued, staring me dead in the eye with an emotionless gaze, “I understand you’re ex-Reef personnel.”
“So did you memorize my entire file or just the parts you wanted to say during our little chat?” I asked, pointing at the data pad with my cuffed hands and an amused grin.
“It was easy to identify Drixaas,” he ignored my goofing off, “Drip, The Trail Painter, The Bloodied Wolf. Ex-Silent Fang.”
“Wait, who calls me the Count?” I interjected, “Is it behind my back? No one calls me that.”
“Your final compatriot has proven impossible to label with our current information,” he finished, not taking any of the bait.
“Well, he wouldn’t be doing his job right if people outside of his employers could find his face and name,” I shrugged, “Can I get a snack? Maybe a small meal. Recon is murder on the stomach with the trash we have to live off of.”
“You’re all elites,” he noted, clasping his hands in front of him, “My question to you is, since the nameless one called you the leader, why would Seren send a crack team like you to defend a storage bunker from a lesser Syndicate deployment?”
“Flattery will get you nowhere, we’re all pawns here. Not elites. Not leaders. Not Syndicate, not Mob. Just pawns,” I said airily as if it were nonsense and joking, but was actually fully serious.
[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257258142/0/0]Link to Chapter 3, Part 6[/url]
[quote]“Wait, who calls me the Count?” I interjected, “Is it behind my back? No one calls me that.”[/quote]Good titles for the characters. Trail Painter is great for Drixaas.
Shrief messing with people is so fun