(Page 59) [spoiler]welcome to forsaken 😈[/spoiler] In the months since the Red War— and the Cayde incident— Shadow had found ways to distract herself, rather than drinking every night. Helping down below in the city, guarding, working. All the while, begging, pleading with Cayde to tell her how the reef had turned out— he wouldn't even tell her if Variks was alive. He tried to reassure her everything would be fine— that they'd go out to the reef eventually. Whether he knew or not if Variks lived didn't help against the settling bitterness and anger the hunter had in the pit of her stomach. If he couldn't tell her, they would no longer be friends. And since then, she had avoided Cayde, an awkward tension between them. The exo had said nothing about the night of her confession. So when Shadow received a call from Cayde, she was, needless to say, surprised- and even more surprised at his first words. "Buckle up, hunter. We're goin to the Reef!" Shadow drops everything, including her jaw. His words stun her— she had been waiting what felt like a lifetime to hear those words. With hardly more than a heartbeat of hesitation, she races for her ship, elbowing through crowds of citizens. "Move— MOVE!" Shadow's heart races, adrenaline pumping, bursting with energy she hadn't felt in months. Relief, hope, panic, anxiety all surge through her chest at once, making her feel like she would burst. She barges past the guardians in the tower, who look at her like she's lost her mind— and maybe she has. [i]VARIKS![/i] "Shadow! Slow down!" Her black-shelled ghost calls out from behind her, though he knows she won't. Shadow explodes into the hangar, transmitting into her ship. "Yes, YES!" With a satisfied glare at the guards outside her window she blasts off, speeding into the stars. [b]Prison of Elders[/b] Cayde fills Shadow in briefly on their mission— the Prison of Elders is in chaos. The hunter's anxiety skyrockets. What happened to Variks? Was he safe? But Cayde offered her no more information, and she suspected even he didn't know anything else about Variks. Shadow's ship soars alongside Cayde-6's. Her amber eyes glow as she watches the reef flying past her, its pink and purple hues dancing along the side of her ship. [i]It's been so long....[/i] She follows Cayde as he transmats down to a figure awaiting below— [i]YOU! [/i]Shadow's feet hit the floor as she joins Cayde, her mask hiding her ticked expression. [i]Why you? Where's Variks? This isn't your prison[/i]. The hot feeling beneath her rib cage startles her slightly- she hadn't felt so strongly toward Petra last time they'd spoken. She eyes her tilted-hip attitude and confident, sparkling blue gaze with a scowl. "Petra Venj," Cayde announces. [i]Yes... Petra Venj[/i]. Shadow's lip curls ever so slightly. "Thanks for the invite. Whatcha packin' for this party?" [i]Invite? She called for Cayde?[/i] She shrugs smugly. "Eh, the usual." She unsheathes her knife and Shadow holds back a snort. [i]Yeah, same.[/i] "Ooh!" Cayde exclaims excitedly, pointing at her. "Do the thing." He turns to Shadow. "Seriously, watch this." Shadow leans in, expecting something interesting. Petra's knife levitates before she catches it in mid air. Shadow freely rolls her eyes, covered by her mask. [i]I've seen this before. Too many times. Not impressed.[/i] Cayde shudders dramatically. "That'll never not freak me out... Do it again," he adds. [i]Oh, traveler's light![/i] "Later. Maybe." [i]Thank you.[/i] "Right now, gen-pop is running wild. Fortunately, the main area and lower levels remain on lockdown." She turns to observe the prison behind her. "But if the core security systems fail... containment is going to be... a problem." Cayde shrugs. "Just another day at the office. All right partner," he adds to Shadow, who looks up at him expectantly with a smile, the tension between them forgotten. "This is a Cayde riff in 6, watch me for the changes and, uh..." He winks at her. "Try to keep up." She huffs, excitement setting her nerves alight with arc energy. "Now let's go to prison!" Cayde hops off the edge of the platform, his excited cheering echoing from below. Shadow thought she'd never heard anything so relieving. She races into the prison headfirst, loading her hand cannon. Bursting inside, she gazes around to see the place nearly obscured in smoke. A gasp of horror escapes her. Awoken guards are firing at escaped fallen as she runs past. She turns in a circle, looking around in wonder. [i]Wow.. this place is huge...[/i] Tremors and explosions rock Shadow on her feet. She comes to a screeching halt, witnessing the utter chaos of the prisoners colliding. She hears Petra's voice over comms. "This riot HAS to end here. If these killers get out, the reef will be overrun." "So we split up and take em out!" Cayde replies. Shadow fires at the prisoners, bumping against her from all sides— cabal, fallen, hive. Between the chaos, the hunter darts to and fro, peering into cells, gazing over catwalks with a sharp amber eye. [i]Where are you?[/i] She desperately wanted to call out for Variks, but knew that was a terribly bad idea. "Variks... where are you..." she mutters under her breath, awe struck at the massiveness of the prison. A sense of urgency sends her running faster. The three shots of a golden gun catch her attention. She looks up to see a knight scatter into fiery pieces at the hand of Cayde. "Can I just say, I am having the time of my life right now." She grins up at him, reloading. She almost felt the same— and could almost believe she was back in the prison with Variks's voice in her earpiece. The thought fills her with confidence... and with the slight risk that he could be watching— Stumbling upon a wizard and too many thrall to count, Shadow unleashes a storm of arc energy. Sparks dance at her feet, lightning blazing along her slender form. She relishes the feeling of the light coursing through her veins as she slings her staff through them all, clearing the area in a stunning display of blinding, sparkling light. "Beautiful!" Cayde cheers from somewhere above her head. She can't ignore the rush of pride she feels at his praise. She slams her fist into the face of the nearest screeching vandal— then grabs him by the collar. "Where is Variks?" She hisses fiercely, but the eliksni only snarls back at her defiantly. With a growl of frustration, she drops him on the floor and races for the security hub. "This says we need warden level clearance to open the door," her ghost informs her. [i]We need Variks![/i] "Cayde?," her ghost questions. Shadow rolls her eyes as Cayde manages to open the door. She observes him with further irritation as he struggles with the controls. Variks would know what he was doing, she thinks to herself as she's forced to clear out hive. Panting, she watches him behind the glass window. "Should be a terminal you can use out on the catwalks. I'll cover you from here. Once I figure out how to turn the turrets on." As Shadow turns to follow his orders, he calls out, "By the way..." She looks back at him, mask hiding her expresion. "You and me? Good team." A long lost warmth fills her chest. "Yeah... yeah we are," she agrees softly, smiling. "Let me get that door for you..." She salutes him on her way out.
Editado por KS27: 9/2/2019 9:42:23 PMThis chapter is brilliant! I’m so so excited! And naming the chapters after altered Most Loyal entry titles! Now I’ve gotta try replying to each chapter with a quote from its corresponding entry (I love Variks quotes so much!) [quote]”First House Judgment, then House Wolves. Then Kell Mara Sov. Now he could feel the rest of his adopted people slipping away from him. With one of his mechanical arms, he crushed the splinter of bone to dust.” —Most Loyal, Splinter of Bone[/quote]