[i]NOTICE: It has come to my attention that posting all the parts of one of my chapters at once can be too much flooding for the forum, so starting now I will only post one part at a time. I’ll try to post a part every few days instead of once a week like before. Although this means it will take longer to get through the War of Lies series, it also means you’ll only be seeing one post from me at a time instead of a cluster[/i]
[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257258142/0/0]Link to Chapter 3, Part 6[/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[/spoiler]
“You ever wonder what they’re thinking?”
“Dude, stop talking about ‘em while they’re listening,” I sighed.
“Huh? Oh, no, not them. The Hive,” my partner corrected me.
I rolled my eyes at him, moving my head around a bit too so it would be obvious even with our helmets hiding our faces. Taking another look back at the row of people sitting in the white powder that coated the icy ground, I decided that it’d be fine if I took a couple steps away to join my friend.
I nearly slipped on the slick, uneven terrain, but made it to where I could see over the crest of the cliff we were journeying across. Below, several figures could be seen moving around nearby over the frozen planes and crater ridges of Callisto, one of Jupiter’s moons. They almost looked human from here, but I could still pick out their hunched postures and spindly limbs. There was a single light-fighter spacecraft crashed into the the icy ground far below, the trail it had scraped into the surface no longer fresh, and far in the distance I could see plumes of smoke rising above the crater cliffs from where a battle had taken place.
“If y’ask me, they don’t think at all,” I spoke my opinion on the matter, “They’re just hardwired to kill.”
“I’m serious, Fissei,” he sighed, thinking I was joking.
I noticed then that he was staring at something specific, so I tilted my head down, following his gaze. The bone-white face of a Thrall staring up at me made me leap back from the edge, hands fumbling to pull my rifle up into the crook of my arm so I could fire properly.
“Traveler above, Dikedda!” I stepped back up and aimed at the alien.
But Dikedda grabbed the barrel of my gun, steering it away from my target. “Calm the hell down,” he scolded me, “Just look.”
At first I tried yanking my gun away from him, but then gave in and looked down again. Now that I was paying attention, I realized that the thing was several meters away, at the peak of a jagged shelf of ice that jutted out of a neighboring cliff face of the same mountain we were on. It couldn’t reach us, not on its life, but it sure could stare at us.
“Shanks, that’s creepy,” I shuddered off the jitters, and Dikedda released his hold on my gun.
“I’d say that’s definitely thinking something,” he restated his belief.
I, on the other hand, couldn’t see past the teeth and claws, “Yeah, thinking about how good you must taste.”
“That thing’s smarter than you,” a voice declared behind us.
We both turned slowly.
“Excuse me?” I sneered.
One of the men sitting on the ground was looking at me, his expression hidden behind his boldly painted red and grey helmet and armor. His comrades were all staring at him, along with half the other guards standing around them.
They were why we were out here on this Light-forsaken rock. An entire crew of Syndicate prisoners, or at least what was left of them after our attack. They were a raid crew, and had hit several of Seren Cay’s assets, including some dig sites and some of her supply caches that I’m pretty sure no one was supposed to know about. Seren couldn’t even reclaim any of it because the Syndicate placed guards and ships at every place they took, so she decided it would be best to start by going after the people who were taking her stuff rather than the ones who were holding on to what she lost. It had been a hell of a chase, but we finally caught those sons of dregs here on Callisto about to take the biggest glimmer drill site I had ever heard of from Seren. We had started with an entire fleet of stolen Reef jumpships and even two Ketches against their single warship, plus at least three times their numbers in manpower, but now we numbered less than their remaining fifty out of what was once a few hundred. Hell, a lot of those left were technical personnel, not soldiers, but now even I had to admit that we were too scared to try thinning their numbers more. That’s why we were transporting them across this wasteland, broken into several small groups that were now resting separately, spread out across the wide crater cliff path we were following to reach the pick up point of our new ride.
Oh, right…they destroyed all our ships, then blew up their own rather than let us take it once we got the upper hand. We were stranded on Callisto without supplies.
So now here we were: cold, tired, hungry, and mad as motion sick Cabal, and this little Syndicate prick had taken it upon himself to call me dumb.
“You wanna run that by me again?” I was marching back over to them now, rifle clenched angrily to my chest.
“Fissei!” Dikedda grabbed me by the arm, stopping me in my tracks, “Not now.”
I pulled against him for a second, then took a calming breath and looked around me. Everyone’s helmet-covered heads were facing me now, and all the Mob guards were gripping their weapons tight. The Syndicate prisoners seemed ready to spring, but had an unsettling calmness about them.
“Not worth it anyway,” I muttered, shrugging Dikedda’s hand off.
“I just meant it knows more,” The Syndicate man, marked as a soldier by his full combat armor, spoke up again, “It’s probably over twice as old as any of us.”
“Will you shut the fluff up!” I snapped. It had been over a full Earth rotation since I had last eaten, or any of us for that matter.
“Fissei,” Dikedda tried soothing me again, “I don’t think he’s trying to mess with you.”
“Just trying to make small talk,” the Syndicate soldier told us, receiving a sharp jab from the elbow of the man next to him, “What?! We haven’t said a word in days and everyone’s ready to shoot each other! Where’s the harm in some talk?”
Murmuring spread through the prisoners and even some of the guards in our little group, but were hushed immediately when my designated squad leader stepped up with his rifle held high.
“Shut up! One more peep and I put a bullet in someone’s head!” his eyes roved across the other Reef Mob members, “And I don’t care who it hits.”
It was silent for a minute, but then Dikedda suddenly squatted down in front of the prisoners and spoke in a hushed tone, “I’m Dikedda.”
“Hey!” I warned quietly, grabbing his shoulder, “They’re the enemy!”
“They’re just people,” Dikedda sighed.
“People who would shoot us given a chance,” I reminded.
“We’d shoot them, too,” he countered with a reminder of his own, “But aren’t you bored? I’m not looking for friends, just a distraction.”
I couldn’t argue there, and I had to admit it was good to have my mind off of my growling stomach and cold feet. Not wanting to admit defeat, I kept my mouth shut and remained standing by the new social club.
Deciding we were done, the Syndicate member pointed to himself, “Cobalt. Ow!”
The other Syndicate soldier, who had elbowed Cobalt earlier, once again pulled his elbow away from his comrade’s ribs, “You know what the sergeant says about giving the enemy information.”
“The sergeant doesn’t hit,” Cobalt rubbed his side to ease the pain.
“The sergeant is in one of the other groups, so it’s my job to watch you.”
“I didn’t say nothin’ important,” Cobalt sighed, then looked to us and pointed to his apparent friend, “This is Muss. Ow!”
While Cobalt was whining about Muss bruising him, a female soldier leaned forward so we’d see her, her gender barely distinguishable thanks to the Syndicate standard armor, “I’m Lyn.”
“Fissei,” I decided it wouldn’t hurt to introduce myself.
[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257330521/0/0]Link to Chapter 4, Part 2[/url]
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