[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257257964/0/0]Link to Chapter 3, Part 1[/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]
“Siv,” Drip got my attention off of Shrowder and my thoughts.
“Shrief,” I corrected with a sigh. Drip hardly spoke our tongue, but understood it well enough. Luckily my Eliksni wasn’t too bad, otherwise we’d hardly ever be able to communicate properly.
“Sriv,” he started over, trying and failing to pronounce my name right, “Short remains.”
“Yeah, I heard you the first time,” I groaned, “I noticed, too. We only have a dozen or so rotations left before we need to leave.”
“Ether…short,” Drip tapped his ether mask to drive in his point.
“I thought you had enough stored to outlast us?” I asked more than stated. Drip was smart, and had the advantage of being able to pack only ether instead of food and water like us, as well as not needing as many other things to survive. He had mentioned several times that he wished he had a Servitor to make ether for him, but even in the Reef Mob you couldn’t get your hands on one of those. They were uncommon, even amongst the Fallen nowadays, and the aliens could not be parted with them. Not only that, but they were smart and nearly impossible to reprogram. If Drip had one all to himself he’d grow huge, and I was starting to want one around, too. Having a Servitor would make it really easy to mess with the Syndicate’s equipment.
In answer to my question, Drip looked to Shrowder. I glared at the idiotic human as well. “It was an [b]accident[/b],” Shrowder grumbled, looking through his sniper rifle at the enemy ship but still sensing our eyes on him, “I [b]apologized[/b]. [b]Sincerely[/b].”
“How long?” I questioned Drip.
“Four stars,” Drip told me, meaning four local days, “Longest…seven. But…make Drixaas tired…angry.”
“If he’s grumpy, we’ll all be grumpy,” Shrowder spoke up.
The Vandal and I both shot irritated glances at the human. “If Drixaas angry…Roder die,” Drip pronounced Shrowder’s name wrong, but his threat was clear.
“That wouldn’t be a problem,” I dismissed.
“Hey!” Shrowder protested, trying to whisper and yell at the same time. How the heck did this guy never get caught? Maybe he was quieter when there weren’t other people to bother.
“If he dies you can ask our employer for his share,” I continued, rolling back over onto my stomach to watched the clockwork guard of the Syndicate ship.
“Doubt…they give,” Drip replied with a guttural chuckle, meaning that our employer was unlikely to increase anyone’s pay if someone died, “But…worth try.” That made me chuckle as well.
“You two give me the creeps,” Shrowder muttered.
Drip walked a few meters to the side and laid down amongst some rocks to peek over the edge of the cliff with us. It was day time, so we didn’t have to worry about his eyes giving us away, not that he would be dumb enough to move unconcealed anyway. The three of us watched on in silence. No more arguing, no more threats, no more complaining. This was a good morning for us, I supposed. Yesterday we had all very nearly drawn our weapons on each other at least four times. Shrowder was someone I could never get along with, but I had to admit, it was almost funny whenever Drip and I could scare him into shutting up. For an Eliksni, Drip wasn’t that bad half the time.
I had already memorized their patrol patterns and other regular activities. A few days ago they had stopped bringing equipment in and out and started unloading crates and not coming back with them. We couldn’t follow because they were going underground. Even Drip wasn’t good enough to sneak into a single-entrance cave full of enemies. My bet was they were filling them with Glimmer or fuel or some ore they had found and would load everything back up later. Drip thought the same and Shrowder didn’t care.
We used local days to measure time on whatever world we went to, but we had been on Mars the past several days, pretty much as far away from the Exclusion Zone as you could get and also a ways off from any Vex site. Mars days were almost the exact same length as Earth days, which meant we were currently on the most common time slate in the system; that made it easier to get proper sleeping hours and also that the Syndicate members would be using the same schedule as us. Some of them were down there in front of their ship now, for once their red and grey armor not sticking out like a sore thumb thanks to the red sand. The afternoon sun beat down on us, and the heat rising up from the dust and stone wasn’t all that pleasant even with protective layers on. My least favorite part was the sand, grating skin and invading the eyes and mouth. Even my helmet hardly seemed to help at times.
This had been one of the most uneventful and uncomfortable jobs I had ever gotten. Dangerously close to the enemy, stuck with bad company, camping in many very inconvenient places, and hardly anything to show for it. Despite their diligence, we had managed to snatch a few pieces of equipment, some unrefined fuel that we could sell, and even a holopad that someone back at Seren’s place could probably use to peek into the Syndicate’s network. Plus, we had snuck out a couple files full of movement and supply records; none of it was for their future plans, but the information could be used to do some pretty significant damage if they were still using any of the locations listed. They were too organized for their own good sometimes.
“Where the hell is that beeping coming from?” Shrowder suddenly exclaimed, irritation showing strongly in his voice, “Whichever one of you is up to it, it ain’t funny.”
Drip heard Shrowder’s complaining and directed a comment at him in Eliksni. I understood a lot of Eliksni insults, and I knew Shrowder certainly wouldn’t be happy if he could understand, too.
“The hell is he saying?” Shrowder bugged me for the translation.
“Just that he also hears it,” I lied, a smirk hidden under my helmet, but then I noticed the noise and frowned. It was close, but didn’t seem to be getting nearer or further. It was behind us. “You know…it’s bugging me, too.”
Three of us spun around in unison, my sidearm flying up from its holster while Shrowder brought his rifle around and Drip reached for a shock blade and a shock pistol. No one fired. The source of the quiet beeping was a small, floating orb that drifted several feet away from us. A round screen accompanied by a tiny camera lens occupied much of its front half, and the rest of it was painted a dark grey with some stylistic touches of blue.
“If that flashy thing gives away our position, I’m blaming you, Shrief,” Shrowder turned back to the cliff’s edge to keep an eye on the Syndicate.
Sighing with annoyance, I climbed to my feet and walked up to the device. It was a messenger of sorts, good for delivering both live and recorded video. The design was heavily based off of Prince Uldren’s Crows, but this one clearly belonged to Seren and her subordinates. How had it even found us?
“Greetings, Mister Shrief,” the machine addressed me, “Establishing connection.”
“No no no wait!” I waved my hands at it frantically.
“Shrief,” an Awoken face appeared on the screen. It was our employer, and he sure didn’t look happy.
“You idiot!” I seethed.
“How dare you!” the man roared, luckily not very loud thanks to the little machine’s speakers, “First you force me to send this delicate resource because you won’t answer the radio, and now you insult me!”
What a stuck up, ignorant prick this guy was. “We have the radio off so they don’t find us!” I hissed, “If we get compromised because you were too self-absorbed to send a prerecorded message, you’re going to pay. And I don’t mean with money.”
“Delinquent,” his eyes narrowed. I expected him to lash out at me, but he just dropped it and spoke on with the furious expression still glued to his face. “If you had decided to check your radio, you would’ve known by now that we have a problem.”
So Seren was pulling his strings. He was checking his temper because he needed to do something for her. It was extremely satisfying to see this man squirm.
[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257258038/0/0]Link to Chapter 3, Part 3[/url]