And so begins Legend Untold: The Dark Below! It’s been far too long, but I finally made it to the second installment of the series. This should go a lot faster than the last section of the series, so I’m hoping to make it to HoW soon. However, I am writing the [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/253302742/0/0]Out of Time[/url] series now to go alongside The Dark Below, so that’ll slow me down some. I’m just glad to have made it so far and have some people who still read despite my inconsistent posting
Links to everything are at the bottom of the post, as usual! And now, enjoy the chapter!
[i]Legend Untold: The Dark Below
Chapter Twenty Five: Crota’s Bane
Three months ago, on this very day, I was reborn in the Traveler’s Light.
Three months. It felt like more. I had certainly accomplished more in three months than most Guardians could say they accomplished in years of their second life. Putting down Fallen plots and leaders, helping the Vanguard regain a hold on the other inner system planets, meeting with the Awoken and, to top it all off, killing Vex equivalents of gods.
But it was just part of the job. Anybody could’ve been put in the positions I had been in. Yes, my ventures had been dangerous, and others may not have been able too pull it all off, but I felt I owed my survival entirely to luck and my fireteam.
There was new life in the Tower. Guardians leaving the City more often and coming back with loot and tales of their ventures. There was laughter and smiles and a certain weight had been lifted from the air since my first time setting foot here. It was because now we had some room to stretch; leaving the City still wasn’t safe, but after so much loss and hardship everyone seemed reminded that we could fight back. Us Guardians never did seem happier than when we were diving into danger. Even me. I just hated the parts with killing.
But even I had to accept that this was a war fought with muscle more than brain.
“Hey Will? If I poked two of a Knight’s eyes, would it still be able to see me using the last one?”
A lot more muscle than brain.
“I would assume so, Drew,” I sighed, not taking my eyes off of the Bounty data behind the Bounty Tracker Frame, X[i]a[/i]nder 99-40.
“So it’d be like them doing this?” Drew questioned, and I turned my head a little to see him looking at me with a hand over one of his glowing purple eyes.
“Yeah, like that,” I couldn’t keep the beginnings of a grin from creeping over my face.
The Titan laughed at his own tomfoolery, towering a couple feet taller than me as he always did and making his brightly colored FWC armor plates jostle against each other. He may not have been the brightest, but he was great company and had rightfully earned his place as my best friend. Well, the best aside from Rush.
Rush was still a pain a lot of the time, but that was one of his endearing qualities. Plus, him being my Ghost made it pretty much impossible to get rid of him, so it was either get used to the nagging or not get revived ever again.
“What are you two doing?” Rush floated up by my head as if summoned by my thoughts, “Why do I feel like someone was making fun of me? Was Drew making hand signs when my back was turned again?”
Note to self: the mental symbiosis can alert your Ghost to mockery.
“Any luck with the bounties?” I asked, intentionally changing the subject to tease him.
“Oh yeah, I found a bounty for you, dead or alive,” Rush floated up in my face, “Guess Ikora noticed you stole some of her books.”
“I didn’t steal any,” I gently pushed Rush away so I could see him properly, “Those ones I had before were borrowed, remember? Boorrrroooowed.”
“Just like you borrowed that one guy’s Sparrow?” Rush recalled.
“Traveler above, Rush. After it blew up his Ghost reconstructed it and transmatted it back,” I reminded, “You know that.”
“Still didn’t ask before hopping on it,” Rush pointed out.
“It was an emergency,” I argued, “The Fallen were-“
“HAH!” Drew’s bark of laughter easily overpowered our argument and shut us up, “Rahool put out a bounty for Hive Thrall and the reward is this beat up pair of greaves! What a rip off!”
Glancing over my shoulder to Rahool’s booth, I let out a sigh of relief when I saw the Cryptarch was too absorbed with his data pad to notice he was being loudly mocked. “There’s a lot of Hive bounties today,” I thought aloud as I looked back to Drew and Rush.
“Now that I think about it…” Rush mused, “Yeah, I saw way more than usual.”
“If they’re active enough to draw this much attention, they must be planning something,” I noted.
“Pffff,” Drew made a dismissive noise, “Whatever. Now that they’re sticking their heads out, we can take ‘em out before they can do anything.”
“Wait, no,” I put a halting hand up to Drew for a moment while I thought, “They’re done planning; that’s what they’ve been doing all these years. Now they’re making their move.”
“Pffff, whatever,” Drew repeated, “Sounds like that new lady got you all riled up, too.”
“New lady?” I raised an inquisitive eyebrow.
“Yeah, the new, weird lady,” Drew raised his arm to point behind me from where I stood, facing X[i]a[/i]nder the Bounty Tracker.
Following his finger, I turned and saw a ship hovering by the Tower’s edge near the passageway to the Speaker’s Observatory on my right. I didn’t recognize the ship model, but that hardly mattered when the entire thing was reinforced with massive plates of bone or coated in that barnacle-like Hive crust that could always be found wherever those vile aliens were. And yes, I said that correctly: Hive crust and bones.
Below and in front of the hovering ship, a single person stood by the railing at the end of the catwalk at the Tower’s edge. I couldn’t make out any details aside from the fact that they were pretty much completely covered in dark brown clothing.
“Why didn’t I notice that?” I scolded myself.
“Well, I guess there’s never really a reason to check over our left shoulders whenever we transmat into the courtyard,” Rush reasoned, clearly trying to cover up his own embarrassment for having missed the sight as well, “And we went straight over to Drew and X[i]a[/i]nder.”
“Don’t worry,” Drew patted my back, “I’ve been here all day listening to everyone blab about the creepy lady and didn’t spot her until, like, an hour ago.”
Rush and I exchanged concerned looks for Drew, then Rush shrugged with the bits of his shell and we let the Exo be.
“What’s she here for?” I questioned Drew.
“No idea,” Drew had his hands up to his eyes in the shape of binoculars to look across the courtyard at the mystery person, “Everyone says she just keeps babbling about Hive and death and stuff, but no one wants to go talk to her.”
“Right…” these rumors had to be overexaggerated, but the Hive part seemed true enough, “We should talk to her, then.”
“Will, buddy,” Drew draped his arm around my shoulders and turned me away from the woman standing under her ship, “Didn’t you just hear me explain that she’s weird and creepy?”
“You wouldn’t know,” I shrugged his arm off and began walking towards the stranger, “You haven’t even met her yet.”
“I, but, you, wha… dude!” Drew flung his arms out in exasperation.
“Come on!” I laughed, motioning for him to join me.
Nervous and looking anywhere but where we were going, Drew followed a few meters behind me. It took only a moment to make our way across the courtyard and out onto the platform that the mysterious woman dwelled on. She didn’t notice our approach, as her attention was riveted on an orb of green fire in her hands that contained a black stone. A dark aura surrounded her, most but not all of it seeming to emanate from the stone. She wore a rather plain set of brown Hunter armor- easily identified as such by the Malina torso piece -that covered every inch of skin aside from her face, which was lowered and aimed downward so I couldn’t make out her features. What made her outfit stand out were the chitinous Hive bones worn over the human clothing, making it clear that she had faced the Hive and taken their armor from their corpses to protect her own body.
I couldn’t feel the warmth of the Light coming off of her as I could with any other Guardian. Instead, all I could sense was a hostile presence like that of the Hive whose bones she bore. What captivated me most of all was the stone, suspended in the air between her hands. It was…whispering. Words I didn’t understand slipped into my mind, sending a chill up my spine. And the longer I stared at the stone, the louder the voices grew.
A pressure on the small of my back nearly made me jump out of my skin, and I turned my head to see Drew prodding me. Despite our vast difference in size, he seemed to think he could hide behind me. I realized I had stopped, but when I looked back at the stone I couldn’t hear the whispers anymore. The woman hadn’t noticed us even this close up.
Ch24, The Glass Throne: https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/252637100/0/0
Ch25 Pt2: https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/253618897/0/0
Table of Contents: https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/212710816/0/0
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