You needn't resent my hesitation. Mine is a prejudice shared by many: evolution's paintbrush cut within the Hive a terrible anatomy rendered to elicit fear; they are loathsome things to look upon, after all. I speak not as some superstitious provincial afraid of the dark, but as a Ghost well-versed in the language of suffering. Look at this one: they call him a Knight, this sin putrefying upon a slab. Is it only brute strength that qualifies a knighthood now? I have little compassion for the universe's mockery upon chivalric ideals. In contrast, I call myself a creature of moral strength and sound reasoning, and as such, believe these traits allow me to judge so unforgivingly—but alas, I am also afflicted by a most curious and inquisitive nature. It is why, when my debased fellows departed to find unity with the Hive, I found myself compelled to witness their descent. Not to share in it, of course. I doubt we share anything more than a species and the dark urge we all undoubtedly feel. Yet as I watched them, I could not deceive myself into denying the elegance of pouring the Light in all its multiplex glory into these avatars of terrible intricacy. It is a sinister geometry, but not without its beauty. Gazing on them with an eye unvarnished by niceties, one can see that a fiendish purity of purpose drives them. They spill confidence like a vintner drunk on his own reserves. Such a shame that this purity and confidence was leveled at the unforgivable quintain striking at our great Traveler and unraveling its works. I shudder at the ease with which my comrades ignore such basic logic. This is the Hive! Disciples of that unholy church which laid our creator low. They struck for its heart and shattered a roaring conflagration into ten thousand motes flickering in the wind. In their fervor, they… played midwife, of a sort, to Guardians. To Ghosts. To me. Cause and effect. Legacy. Is this what my fellow Ghosts see? Why it feels… right? Then with their foundation of logic, what is my hesitance except some… provincial superstition?
Three-Oh-Three floated in the shadows as her modest flock of Ghosts scanned the ruins. For centuries, they had combed through the long-dried spatter of a fallen world, each hoping to find their prize. She always watched, knowing she would never find what she needed… just as surely as they knew they would. A joyous chime pierced the air, and the little Ghost's mood sank. It wasn't a sound she heard often, but she recognized the melody that heralded the shrinking of her group. El gestured across the tumbledown intersection, where Trill chirped hollow advice to a fawn-wobbly Guardian as the others watched on. Three-Oh-Three turned away and grumbled. She supposed she could just ignore them. If they let her. "Three!" Peris bobbed, practically bouncing on her. "Three, Trill's found her Guardian! Come congratulate her!" Anger flared, white hot. "Congratulate?! Are you—You know what? Fine." Three-Oh-Three swiveled back toward the impromptu celebration and raised her voice. "Hey, Trill! Congrats on abandoning us all!" "Three…" "What? I'm so HAPPY for her! I'm not resentful at all about our fanatical devotion to dead Humans, the species who couldn't even stop the Darkness the first time around!" "Three, this isn't the time!" "When is the time, Peris? When are we going to start asking questions? Why did we just arbitrarily decide to dedicate ourselves to these squishy creatures forever? They aren't fit to hold the Light!" "Three… can't you at least be happy for us?" Trill's voice was soft. Three didn't respond. "This is the way we form a bigger family and serve a larger purpose. That's what it's all about. But maybe… if after all this time, you still can't share that with us…" El paused. She'd often come so close to saying this, but always backed down before. "Then maybe you shouldn't search with us." Three floated, letting the ultimatum settle. "Fine." There was nothing more to be said after that. One by one, the rest drifted away, resuming their work. El hesitated for a moment. "Goodbye, Three," she whispered. "I do hope you find your family." Three-Oh-Three turned away to look up toward the night sky. The twinkling stars stared back like a million judging eyes. But she knew then, gazing at those quiet spaces between them… they were her family.
TYPE: PRIVATE MEDICAL LOG PARTIES: One  Ghost-type, designate Krill ASSOCIATIONS: Light; Lucent Hive //TEXT DECRYPTED// //TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS// Ubartu-ana blames me. Naturally. He insisted on naming me Krill in our first exchange because he claims I am as small and useless as the weak pests that the Hive evolved from. Cruelty and suspicion are his nature, but it makes for a poor physician. Still, poison is a logical, if ignorant, hypothesis for the condition. Patients report various symptoms: mood swings, headache, insomnia. Primary symptom remains the growths. I hesitate to call them "tumors"—no signs of metastasization. One must be precise in terminology, after all. —- After some clumsy exploratory surgery on my inner workings, Ubartu-ana seems content I am not some Trojan horse. Wouldn't that be ironic? Ghosts sent to reclaim the Hive from death only to wipe them out by dispersing pathogenic specks rather than Light. As I said: ignorant. —- Biopsied a dozen growths. No clear results. The masses within are primitive, protoplasmic—little more than interstitial fluid and proteolytic amino acids. Primordial soup, as the Humans say. No sign of infection, but curiously, the lining of these "cysts," for lack of a better term, seems to be saturated with immune cells. Further biopsies will be needed. —- Wondrous developments! Biopsy 37 yielded aggressive results. I pierced a cyst to discover not fluid, but life! A winged arthropod attacked me—defending its host, I estimate! Little of its body remained upon destruction, but it seems to be more energy construct than flesh. I plan to take the next specimen alive for vivisection. —- Confirmed: the winged arthropods, despite their energy structure, also contain Hive cells! I theorize Hive physiology, unaccustomed to Light exposure, is attempting to isolate it like an infection. Light, structured as it is, organizes the discarded sebum within and forges it into imaginal cells, kickstarting a sort of holometabolism. Incredible. The Hives' own bodies transform Light into a parasite! What a wondrous adaptation! —- They are commending Ubartu-ana for "his" discovery. Thus now, I perceive the true poetry in my name: everything about him of value comes from me.
Rise again, Luzaku! Aiat! Rise and take back the logic this heretic won in your death! Yes, arm yourself, and lay low the Guardian scourge! The false inheritor of the Light has grown fat on your weakness. To whittle him thin is to make yourself strong! Yes! He lies broken just as the Gift Mast, but be wary. Yes… there! His Ghost awakens him again, and your victory is soured. Mind the bullets! Bathe in the metal rain and be cleansed, not drowned! Lift up your Shredder! It is your tutor in studying the shape of your foe. Aiat! Again, he lies in ruin. And you learned well your lesson, yes, seizing the Ghost. The logic from this kill will make you strong. With this Ghost, you crush not only the foe before you, but every foe he could have been. It is the whole worth of him in your hand—gaze upon it. Yes. See how it trembles. So fragile. Hear it describe you in your victory. Take it now in this moment of ultimate truth, grow drunk on victory, and in revelry, know the worth of this thing. Crush the Ghost! …Why do you linger, Luzaku? What is there to learn with your eyes that you will not learn with your fist? Do you not wish to be something real? Something that lasts forever? Why do you look to me? Children are curious. Humans are curious. But Hive are strong! Your understanding comes in vanquishing the thing. So do it! No! It's free! This is what your speculating has wrought, Luzaku! You have failed, and now the tides of the universe will erode you into meaningless dust. All that you could have become has slipped through your fumbling fingers! The Guardian will return, flush and hungry from his death. And then? Then, you will be dead. Aiat.
You gotta understand… none of us came here thinking grand schemes. None of us! There was…. there was just this urge, y'know? So we followed it, only to step into a world remaking itself. The Light just thrashing away at the Darkness. Pounding away! Mountains sloshing into seas like sugar in the rain. A Hive throne world remade. On a whim! I'm not what you'd call a believer, not after the Red War. Not after the Tangled Shore. Not after a lifetime of never mattering just 'cause I wasn't half of someone else's whole. But that… that made me feel again. And then I saw him—what was left of him—lying there. Just this corpse, dead maybe, oh, a hundred years. It's my Knight. I look, and I KNOW he's mine. Like hearing a song the first time, and it's already stuck in your head. And in that moment, I think something… something good in me died. And Twenny-Two and Kemmasi and Marseille, they're all raising their partners—Hive Lightbearers, every last one. You'd think it'd be impossible, but sure enough, all standing there. Eee-Ie, Quasit, Hatcher—everyone's finding their purpose. There's Hive to the left of me, Hive to the right… I'm buried in 'em. And the whole time, every Ghost I ever knew is shouting, telling me, "This is the Traveler's plan! Who are you to question it?" And I thought… maybe they're right? I mean, I could see the Light scouring a whole world right in front of me. Maybe this was some kinda turning point for the Hive. Knowing your creator chose you to remake an entire species… oh, you'd make bad choices too. So I shared my Light. Who wouldn't? A couple hundred of your closest friends bearing down on you, and a Hive Shredder waiting if you say no? I shared. I reached into him. Touched something deep. And what he offered back, it wasn't Light or Dark. It was cold. It was wrong. And I knew it would fill up whatever empty cracks in me the Light left behind. And… I chose to make it a part of me. To be half of his whole. I chose to share my soul with a monster. And the thing is… you can't just be part monster.
Oh no, no, no. Why, of all things… did you make me do this? The Hive certainly weren't perfect—actually, let's not mince words; they were straight-up evil! But you? I gave you a part of me! I let you make me worse just so I could make you better! You were supposed to understand! You were the only one who ever could. Why wouldn't you? Yeah, so really, y'know, this is your fault, not mine! I know. I know you don't want to be dead. I know that! You think I don't know that?! I watched you shoot a Guardian. And her GHOST. Dead. All because I could hear you, in the back of my mind, needing me to bring you back. And I listened. I listened to the others… then to you… to everyone except myself. I didn't expect miracles, but… I expected something! Yes, you're dead now. And I can hear you—but I can't. Don't you get it? I just. Can't! I'm not gonna be the triggerman anymore. I'm not gonna sacrifice humanity on your personal altar. You're not… you're not worth it. You're not… Worthy. And you never were… were you? Why does Savathûn have the Light? I should've asked "why" a long time ago. None of us did at the time, but I should've. We both know this wasn't right. Look, I've got no faith left in the Traveler, but I know it… it wouldn't give me a monster and say, "Make him a god." No, no, we both know this wasn't right. Was it pity? Optimism? Maybe… maybe it's just the obvious: I mean, Hive don't accept gifts; they take. Maybe the Traveler was tricked. The end of some long con. The Traveler isn't just some dumb orb ripe for grifting. Ghaul found that out the hard way. There's gotta be more to it. I have to dig deeper. And if joining you damned me… well, hell sounds like a good place to start. I'll find out how she did it. And I don't care how much you try to change my mind: you're staying dead. You hear me? You made me a monster, remember? You don't get to cry about it when I act like one.
TYPE: PERSONAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORT PARTIES: One  Ghost-type, designate Specter ASSOCIATIONS: Light; Lucent Hive //TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS// Post-Lumination Day 017. 10:23. Arrived on scene. Victim is a Thrall. No identity. Cause of death: fractured neck due to blunt force trauma. Traces of Light detected. Nabenki interviewed the primary suspect; Hive prefer talking to their own and don't respond to things—even things that bring them back from the dead. Overheard confession. Suspect is Knight identified as Urukthalyn, victim's commander. Reported that when his Ghost detected Light within victim, Urukthalyn executed him for theft. Open and shut case. PLD018. 13:44. Three more deaths fitting same pattern: internal artifacts of Light, victims summarily executed. But circumstances raise more questions. Thralls don't partner with Ghosts; should be unable to receive or carry Light. Nabenki tasked to investigate. Suspects an organized smuggling ring, potential Human or Fallen infiltration. PLD018. 14:57. Encountered suspect Thrall; no identification, classified POI-7. Tests confirm traces of Light. Nabenki applied standard Hive interrogation techniques, extracted confession after extended session. POI-7 admitted to "stealing" Light, keeping it in urns. Also implicated a superior Acolyte. Doesn't add up. PLD018. 19:12. Requested time alone with suspect to establish rapport. Nabenki hesitant; doesn't like being spoken to unbidden but acquiesces. POI-7 admitted to giving false confession to end "visceral" Hive interrogation. Claimed complete ignorance to the Light's origins in his system. When asked about unusual activity, reported that his symbiote feels sated without need for bloodshed or tithing. PLD018. 19:33. Consulted Nabenki for context regarding tithing. Apparently, Hive function on a system of energetic kickbacks, paid up the ladder, ending with queen. Would've been useful to know earlier. Suspect this network may be impacted by introduction of Light. Nabenki confirmed Light exhibits a "negative pressure" within the system. May be pushing trace amounts back through it. Have submitted theory to our commander for further investigation. PLD019. 06:30. Partner acknowledged me this morning, established eye contact. Potential illness? PLD019. 07:42. On my recommendation, POI-7 executed for perjury.
The Light of the Wellspring spilled out below them. From the palace tower, Immaru watched the churn where it met the Darkness, new waves eroding an ancient shore. The flash of muzzle fire was visible from this perch, even if the combatants weren't. He huffed and shuddered, trying to remember how to speak as he watched the Guardians' unprovoked assault into their Ascendant Plane. "No better than Scorn," he growled. Savathûn turned from the honey-sweet music only she could hear and stroked her Ghost. "Ah, child. Loyal as you are, you still only see their actions, not the chains that drag them to inevitability. Just as Hive must test, Humans must control—and failing that, attack. You must not take it personally; attacking the unknown is their nature." "We Ghosts ain't unknown!" Immaru pulled free of her affections. "We lived with 'em. Saved 'em. Now they're ripping through us! Damn ungrateful, if you ask me…" "Surely you don't believe they're punishing you for disobedience?" "Aren't they?" His voice was dark and hard, and he paused to re-center. "Everyone—Fallen, Vex, even Hive—every last one of 'em knows you don't shoot the medic. But nobody told these jokers apparently." "Your anger is understandable." The Witch Queen pulled Immaru to her embrace once more, and slowly his shivers of rage calmed. "Humans fear death, and you were suckled on their teat. But the Hive know death as the Unseen Sister. It is she who welcomes you home to rest… and who allows you egress when you prove able to take it." Immaru stared out in silence at the distant flashes of battle. "Sister or not, it's time we push back. We got anything like they got? A Ghost-killer?" "The Hive uncovered such weapons long ago, but may have found them… distasteful. I suppose we could recover the magics, but surely you and your fellows would see such tactics as an abomination?" Immaru turned back to face the flashes of rifle fire on the distant shore. "Not anymore."
TYPE: SPIME/FIREBIRD/AU.6.31309.B PARTIES: Two  Ghost-type, designate Koro, Harmonia ASSOCIATIONS: Light; unbonded //AMBIENT AUDIO LOGS// //TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS// K: —ou're just being silly. H: No, I'm serious! Look at this Castilleja! Wouldn't it be wonderful if it kept its blossoms year-round, rain or shine? K: You want to give the Light… to a plant? H: There's no rule book. Why can't I give the Light to a plant? Or a pigeon! Ooh, or maybe a dog! You want loyal, get a dog. That's what the Humans say! K: [UNRECOVERABLE] when you get like this. H: Look, I just think it's dumb that we're only supposed to give the Light to Humans. And Awoken—I mean, are they even Human? And Exos! Come on, they're full-on machines! H: All any of them ever do is fight over stuff they want. They want Glimmer. They want glory. They want knowledge. Whatever it is, they climb all over each other trying to get it. I mean, look at what just happened to Cayde-6! He got the Light but then went rushing off alone, chasing fame or fun or whatever it was, and got himself and his Ghost killed in the process! K: Ugh, fine. If that's the way you feel, go raise a houseplant instead, then. Go bond with a geranium and sit on a windowsill all day. H: Nah. I think it'd be cooler to raise a Hive. K: What?! H: I mean, not really. It's just… on my mind. K: You've been reading those ghastly Books of Sorrow everyone's been passing around, haven't you? H: A little. I just think humanity could learn a lot from them. It's cool how all the Hive have this one singular purpose they all work toward together, you know? K: Yes, one singular purpose of destroying the universe! H: No, outlasting the universe. And isn't that kinda what we're doing with our Guar— //FEED ENDS. SUBJECTS BEYOND RANGE.//
An electronic jingle intrudes on the silence deep below—a cheerful electric hymn in a cathedral of bone. Thralls peer in but quickly depart, their curiosity fleeting. Jynx has no time to teach them about music. She needs to concentrate. Her Acolyte deserves to be perfect. She pauses her melodic chiming and gives the stray phalanges one last nudge into place. No Ghost needs the entire corpse to bring their partner back, but this body—the body of HER partner—was a sacred canvas. It deserved all the love and consideration as the painting itself. And with every nudged phalange, the anticipation grew more beautiful! The little Ghost looks at the body, dangling and impaled, its core grotesquely punctuated against one of the gothic spires the Hive so loved. She would've preferred to lay it prone; more ceremonial and appropriate for the sacred moment where life returned to dead flesh. Her Guardian deserves perfection, but fate places many limitations on a tiny, handless orb, and Jynx had long ago learned to make the best of disagreeable circumstance. She scans the body once again. Everything in its place. "Pygmalion's got nothing on me, babe!" She taps her shell flap against the hollow cheek in what—she knows—will become their shared gesture of affection. Jynx bobs back, and with only a moment's pause for butterflies in—well, she supposes not her stomach, but somewhere—her shell twists and splits into an orrery of wonder, bathing her Acolyte in Light. That lovingly placed finger moves first, twitching and clutching, and with a horrific noise that lies somewhere between suction and screaming, the former corpse pulls herself free of the spike through her chest. "You're aliv—" The Acolyte lashes out ferociously with a twisted limb, knocking Jynx to the floor and condemning her with a gurgling shriek. Brittle claws scrape into the eroded grip of a battered Shredder, and the Acolyte presses it with desperation into her own screaming maw. With a pull of the trigger, she falls limp. Again. Jynx stares down for some time, her gaze fixated on the painstakingly reconstructed finger now limp against the weapon's trigger. She sags, then raises her lens high with a huff. "I can keep this up as long as you can!" A metal shell flap affectionately taps the stump of a neck before Jynx begins again, her voice settling once more in a cheerful hum. "Sooner or later, you will be my best friend!"