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originally posted in:Fan Fiction Unite
5/10/2019 5:03:06 PM

[5] The Skirmish of Enedra [FF]

First Entry: Previous Entry: [i]The Moon is dead. Her surface bared no life, no Guardians, Fallen, or Hive. Since the time of Oryx's defeat, his brood was sentenced to a slow demise from starvation. Crota’s Temple was in even worse shape than the rest of the shattered rock. The Cluster was underneath a shattered archway.[/i] [b]*************************************************************************************[/b] [b][Entry 5: I witnessed the hand of Death.][/b] The day that started with exhilaration and ended in disaster began in the South American Recovery Zone. The RZ was an infamously dangerous place, the worst portions of which were filled to the brim with tight rocky outcroppings that reminded me of sharp teeth, along with the suspected existence of starving Hive dens lurking beneath the surface. The most hostile segment of the already brutal land was known as The Enedra Folds, and unfortunately that was where me and five others were deployed. There had been a Dead Orbit supply ship carrying several months worth of habitation cargo that had taken an ill-fated route over The Folds, and the recovery of its wreckage was our original objective. But things only ended up escalating even more when a scouting drone surveyed the area ahead of our arrival, and its discoveries only painted an even worse picture. The crash site was flooded with Fallen scavengers, and it wasn’t just the House of Devils, for they also appeared to be joined by members of the Winter and Wolves branches of Eliksni society. The updated surveillance footage caused The Vanguard to increase the priority of our mission significantly, increasing the operation clearance to the capacity of six Guardians. I suspect they were fearful of another alliance between the Houses, so it was no surprise when the news came in that the objective had changed from a simple recovery Op to a full on extermination request. We had divided into two groups of three, which allowed for an easier stealth landing and a wider initial control of the surrounding area. I was a member of the team designated Bravo, and our role in the plan was to wait for Alpha to mark any priority targets before the engagement began. With their reconnaissance, we could quickly take out the Fallen commanders while the other team worked on recovering the Dead Orbit stash. It was a simple enough plan, mostly just spot big Fallen, take a few shots, mop up the little ones, yet it still left everyone anxious. Maybe it was the giant spires of stone that blocked out most of the sunlight, or maybe it was a general fear of waking up any Hive that might’ve been sleeping under our feet. My personal concern was accomplishing the mission without any unwanted consequences, so I had Aydin preemptively check our ship’s Transmat responders incase hell broke loose and things got overwhelming. I had been caught unaware twice before, and I was uninterested in experiencing that peril a third time. As we waited, I remember having glanced at the other members of my fireteam. There was an annoyingly chatty Hunter named Welden-5, and another Titan known as Brendal. I didn’t know Welden all that well, I think he was one of those lonesome types that spent most of their time off the grid, but he was known to be a solid shot with a prototype Linear Fusion, so Cayde-6 pulled a few strings to have him come. I imagine he spoke so much because the opportunity for conversation was mercifully rare for him. Brendal in contrast was a true man of silence, only ever responding with the briefest emotes or the occasional one word answer. I found his quietness to be relatable, and grew to like him almost immediately. Welden was ranting about the edible difference between two subspecies of Hive Worms when Alpha transmitted their signal, causing a series of red markers to appear on my hud. The rest of Bravo and I grabbed our weapons and got into position. We had four targets, two Captains clad in Devil colors and one other in the blue of Wolves. The final marked pirate was a Dreg from the House of Kings, which Alpha argued had to be important because it was the only Fallen wearing gold that they could find. Brendal said the word “Last”, and I agreed. The Captains were obviously our first priority, so each of us split up to take them all out at once. I went after the Wolf. I had traded my Pulse for a Scout a few days earlier, and regretted the decision with every ounce of my being. It turned out I was a rubbish shot at the longer ranges, my skills being better suited for close quarters. I still had brought a shotgun, however, so I readied it and pre-aimed at the red marker that stood on the other side of a large stone. I could already hear the Captain's respiratory apparatus as he sucked fresh Ether into his lungs, the noisy sound of which disgusted me greatly. Brendal signaled that he was ready, and Welden did the same shortly after. We began a countdown that started at three, and ended when the shrieks of our collective shots tore through the air. The Wolf Captain didn’t even have the time to turn around before I removed him from the world of the living. I spun to face any other Fallen that might have been close enough to engage, but then the corner of my eye caught a peculiarity. After making sure the coast was clear for the moment, I knelt next to the body of the Captain. His armor had streaks of red mixed in with the blue signature of the Wolves, and upon closer inspection I realised why this was. His equipment had been only recently painted to match the distinctive colors, meaning he hadn’t been a Wolf at all, but rather a Devil that had disguised as one. I put the pieces together as Welden spoke over the Comms. “This stupid gun malfunctioned, my Captain got away. Who the hell designed this trash?” the Hunter reported angrily. “Can’t find that Dreg either.” “It doesn’t matter, my Captain wasn’t a Wolf.” I responded, my thoughts spinning. “I think they’re all just Devils.” “Why would they play dress up? All that did was bring more of us here to kill them.” I couldn’t see Welden’s face, but I could still picture his visage of horror as he realized the same thing I had. If the Fallen wanted to intentionally lure as many Guardians as they could, then The Folds was the perfect place to set a trap. I wasted no time attempting to contact Alpha, but by that point it was already too late. The Fallen fled with a speed that had to have been rehearsed, scurrying away like a nest of locusts as they climbed a nearby mountain. At the peak of that mound was two cloaked Spider Tanks, carefully positioned in just the right spot as to avoid being visible from the location of the Dead Orbit wreck.

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  • Edited by Biocatarus-3: 7/23/2019 7:53:20 PM
    Before I could warn them, the three members of Alpha had reached the stockpile of resources, which included everything from food and water, to canisters of rocket fuel. I watched the twin Tanks simultaneously take a step forward, an action that both revealed them and gave the perfect sightline to unleash havoc. I remember hearing a scream over the Comms, in the single moment before the world exploded. My body tumbled down a small hill as my head went into a state of shock. The momentum only stopped when my back slammed against a bolder, the force of which dislocated the braces around my spine. Aydin moved protectively, using what little Light he could draw from the land to mend my wounds. Still groggy from the blast, I went to check the operation’s active roster. One of the names from Alpha was gone. The explosion turned out to be the least fatal danger that day, for its existence had failed to go unnoticed. In seemingly every patch of soft earth, the waking claws of the disturbed Hive broke free. It only took about four seconds for the world to be consumed in a hungry sea of Thrall. There was hardly enough space left to move, let alone fight. I couldn't even transmat because the horde was so dense that it confused the vital matter-displacement algorithms. Even Aydin was struggling to comprehend the difference between me and the waves of ravenous mouths that threatened to devour everything. My only hope of survival was to regroup with the others. Kicking and shooting and screaming like a deranged madman, I did all I could to make some progress within the impossible lake of sorrows. In the corner of my eye, I briefly caught a glimpse of Welden just before he vanished under a writhing mass of claws and teeth, his yells prematurely cut off before I had the chance to help him. Another name went missing from Alpha’s roster shortly after. I was able to spot Brendal on my radar, and we struggled to make contact as the endless Hive slowly tried to tear us down. A small part of me was vaguely aware that I had stopped feeling the grip of a few fingers, and the heavy plates of my armor felt lighter as chunks of it became undone. Brendal wasn’t faring much better, and his gun expended its final few rounds. The unprotected Titan moved to reload, and a cunning Thrall used the opportunity to strike the exposed area at the back of his neck. I prepared to watch the giant fall, but that was not his fate. His Ghost had seen the danger coming and used its own body as a shield. The other half had known there would’ve been no chance for a revive, and opted to sacrifice itself in order to preserve the life of his ward. I saw it disappear under the sea, leaving behind only a faint trail of Light to prove it had even existed. Brendal collapsed just as I reached him, and I felt the collective breaths of the vile wave that pounced to steal our lives. My eyes closed as I prepared for a night that never came. There was the crackle of a stormfront and the light from the touch of weather’s wrath. The last survivor of Alpha had cast an electric weave that enwrapped their robed body and spread chains of lightning from Hive to Hive. The trance alone could not calm the dreaded ocean of green eyes, but it was enough to burn a path straight through all that dared stand in the way. In the wake of the roaming storm, I lifted Brenal to my shoulders and began to carry him towards the only hope of escape. We had to rise above the deadly torrent to buy enough room for a transmat., so the Warlock made a path for us to climb one of the outcroppings. I managed to just barely pull the unconscious Titan to the peak of our salvation when the arc Super ran out. The distinct shapes of Knights and Wizards had joined with the seething horde as I felt myself pulled into my ship, knowing full well that any delay would have cost more lives. My knees became loose, and I fell to the floor, being brought down by more than just exhaustion. The flight back to the Tower was held in silence, yet my ears still heard the war. Endera had claimed three immortal lives, along with an additional casualty in the form of Brendal. The loss of a Guardian’s Light is considered a permanent incapacitation by the Vanguard. It was a waste of a good man, to deny him the right to live as he wanted. I kept thinking about Enedra, about the death, the missing silence, our survival, all of it. I’d had my close encounters, but I’d never seen a Guardian killed before. Now I had been present for the snuffing out of three bright souls at once, and I lived to remember. I didn’t believe Guardians were enough anymore, not when we alone were seemingly positioned to oppose the entire malice of the universe. The doubt pulled at me, caused a struggle between what was right and what was true. We were not enough. Having drowned in the afterthoughts of exposure to mortality, I left the tower in hopes of finding a silence where I could think. The sounds of regret followed me to where my journey began, all the way towards the chance encounter with a dead machine awoken anew. In many ways I also died that day, this body being left behind just to tell the tale. [i][In the dunes of Mars, near the Freehold of the Buried City.][/i] [b]Next Fragment:[/b] [b]Book:[/b]

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