[spoiler]All chapters can be found in the [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/253302742/0/0]OoT table of contents[/url][/spoiler]
[i]This chapter uses concepts and characters from [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/228498532/0/0]Timelines[/url], a story by Lord Feldspar115[/i]
“Welcome!” I was greeted with a warmness that was obviously a façade, “You are now under Concordat protection! I am Representative Calfur.”
I really didn’t know a lot at this point. After regaining consciousness on my assailants’ ship they had taken me to Earth and the Last City under the Traveler, but it wasn’t the City as I knew it. Down in the streets they had walked me through a different kind of oppression weighed over us than that from outside the walls. Everyone looked scared, hungry, and hurt. When they saw us Guardians they kept their distance and watched us as if we were rabid dogs. Even more striking than that were the banners hung all over the buildings, bearing the same green mark of the Concordat that my captors wore. The banners hung on almost every wall in the building they had taken me into, and nearly everyone wore robes or armor of the same black and green colors. But that was a symbol I had only seen in City records. The Concordat had been defeated and chased out during the Faction Wars after they had tried taking over by force.
This meant I was either in a reality before the Faction Wars, a reality where the Concordat survived the Faction Wars, or maybe a reality where the Faction Wars hadn’t happened. Playing dumb might get me some answers.
“Yeah, I feel completely safe after being brought here at gunpoint,” I said sarcastically, eyeing the two Guardians who even now stood at my sides in case I made a move, “What’s the Concordat?”
“The Concordat, my friend, is the ruling faction of humanity’s Last City under the leadership of Lord Lysander,” Calfur answered. He wore black and green robes instead of armor. Definitely a civilian member of the faction, much like the leaders of New Monarchy, Dead Orbit, and the Future War Cult of my world. The two Guardians who had captured me stood to either side of me, guns held at ease.
“The Concordat rules the City now?” Rush scoffed in disbelief. Only I could hear him since he was still hidden with me.
“My Ghost didn’t know the Concordat ruled now,” I told them, “This is recent?”
“Since after the Battle of Six Fronts and the Faction Wars,” the robed man explained, “We protect the City, govern its people, guide its Guardians, and direct all efforts outside its walls. Do you or your Ghost have any more questions?”
“I got one,” Rush declared to me, “How can the people of the City stand these guys?”
“No, we’re good,” I ignored Rush, “Just want to know what happens now.”
“Now,” Representative Calfur began, “We clean you up and send you to the field. These gentlemen told me how you fought the Vex, and frankly I think starting you off on City patrol duty would be a waste.”
“He didn’t fight like a new Light,” the Guardian on my right pointed out, a Hunter openly inferring that I was lying. He was clearly the paranoid one, and also the one who had tucked Sierra’s hand cannon in his belt to keep it from me.
“He wasn’t hostile towards us,” the one on my left pointed out. He was the Titan who had tackled the Minotaur.
“Please,” Calfur quieted them, “Don’t be rude to our new ally. Anyone would have to learn how to fight quickly to last on Venus, and you Guardians are all exceptional. Besides, no Warlords or usurpers exist there.”
The two Guardians kept quiet after that. Meanwhile, I was trying to keep the surprise off my face. Warlords were still around? Did the Iron Lords never wipe them out?
“Now,” the representative continued, “Let’s get you some proper Concordat armor and assign you-“
“Actually,” I cut him off, “I’d like to go back to Venus, if that’s alright with you.”
Silence. All three of them were staring at me.
“Venus?” Calfur scoffed, “The Concordat saved you from that Vex-infested rock and now you want to return? You go wherever the great Lysander wishes.”
“I have unfinished business on Venus. I have no issue working for the Concordat,” I lied, “But I need to finish things there first.”
The representative glared at me for a moment, then waved his hand in some kind of signal.
Suddenly, the two Guardians had me by the arms and the Titan drove his fist into my stomach so I doubled over between their grasps.
“It is by Lysander’s grace that you are still alive. You are the Concordat’s now,” Calfur’s voice was loud and firm, “You will serve its will, or you will be cut out. Those who do not serve the humanity we have built are the enemy. Do you understand now?”
“Yep, got it,” I grunted, trying to straighten myself back up.
“Good,” the civilian nodded, “But just to be sure, you‘re going to be conditioned in-“
Gunfire. Outside. Only just loud enough for us to hear so the man could falter mid-sentence. The normal human’s eyes were wide with fright, but us warriors steeled our nerves. None of us moved, frozen in anticipation as we listened for what came next.
A couple shouts. A pause…
The flashes of the auto rifle firing could be seen through one of the room’s windows. That same window shattered a moment later when a grenade soared through it.
We three Guardians had the misfortune of being close enough to the explosion that it knocked us all over on top of each other, although it didn’t make it far enough in to do more than scorch our armor and the floor. As the ringing in my ears cleared I heard several more guns outside now. Someone was battling the Concordat. Representative Calfur ran around us to escape the room, yelping shrilly for help, and the Titan started to clamber up slowly while the paranoid Hunter groaned on the floor next to me.
Seeing my chance, I swung my elbow down into the Hunter’s stomach, making his breath shoot out of him in an explosive wheeze, then I kicked the Titan’s legs out from under him so his helmeted head smashed into the ground. Kicking my feet clumsily against the floor to find purchase, I flipped myself over and kneeled on top of the Hunter, planting a hand on his chest and summoning a sidearm into my other hand before putting a few rounds through his visor.
There was a flutter of panic as I realized I had just killed a Guardian for the first time outside of Crucible, but it helped knowing that his Ghost would revive him. Shoving my emotions down inside me, I holstered my sidearm on the magnet seal on the back of my waist and snatched Sierra’s hand cannon from my victim’s belt.
Hands clasped around my leg, and then the world spun as I was slung across the floor and away from the fallen Guardian. I rolled to a stop and twisted my head around to see the Titan finally getting back to his feet. His hand went for the shotgun slung over his back, but I was already pushing up to my knees and aiming my cannon at him. He dove to the side as I fired. My shots met air, but he was off balance now.
Charging across the room with a yell pouring from my lungs, I ducked a punch from the Titan and drove my shoulder into his stomach, wrapping my arms around him and dragging him off the ground. We went through the wall behind him, both of us tumbling to the ground in a burst of dust and rubble. I was back up first, swinging a kick across his face so he collapsed before finding his footing.
Leveling Sierra’s hand cannon at his chest, I pulled the trigger, but the shot flew far to the side and into the floor when a thrown knife plunged into my forearm. I hollered in pain even as the knife vanished, but before I could spin to face the Hunter he was driving me backwards, a second knife swinging down for my neck.
I caught the blade, but was pushed back into the next wall in the hallway, bracing both arms against the Hunter’s to keep the tip of the dagger away from my face. The Titan was already getting up, and I couldn’t let them pin me, so I shifted my arms and let the knife slide to the side and sink into my shoulder. The Hunter fell forward with the knife, and I met his head with my own, sending him sprawling to the floor.
Then my feet were swept off the floor. The Titan copied my earlier tactic, carrying me down the hall a ways before driving me down into the floor. He swung a punch at my face, but I jerked my head to the side so he hit the floor and then hooked my arm behind his neck to hold him down. His fists berated my sides, but I pulled my cannon up against his stomach and let loose. After several rounds, he slid off of me so I could scramble to my feet. Just in time to see the Hunter drawing his pulse rifle.
I fired, but he sidestepped and returned a burst. My left arm was yanked backwards as two of the bullets dug into me painfully just under the shoulder. I was backpedaling now as I shot again, this time landing a glancing blow that scraped across the side of his helmet and made his next volley tear up the wall. Then I felt glass breaking against my back while my legs hit wall. The world flipped around, shards of the window twirling with me as my view switched from ceiling to open sky to the ground and back to the sky.
We had been on the second story.
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