Here is part Eight of Into the Hellmouth! If you like it, give it a bump, and tell me what you think! Here's part seven if you missed it! https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/198898628?sort=0&page=0
Eriana walked down the hallway towards Wei-Ning’s living quarters. Slowly, she put her hand on the keypad, and pushed in the code.
The doors slid open. Taking a deep breath, she walked into the room.
It was pitch black. No light entered the room anymore. Then, the light’s flickered on. Light fell on familiar yet spartan surroundings. A small bed, which occupied the center of the room. A square table, with two chairs next to it. In the center was a teapot, along with two cups. In one corner was a beige dresser, and on another was a small cabinet.
Yet without Wei-Ning to light it, it seemed like the room could never be illuminated again.
Eriana began to search the room. The dresser was filled with one-piece jumpsuits, along with a couple of titan marks. In the cabinet, she found a small chest of Glimmer, which she put aside, along with a small metal disk.
The disk had two buttons on it - one red, one black. Holding the disk at an arm’s length, she pushed the red button.
A hologram popped up from the disk.
Blinking, she inspected the orange, glowing light.
It was a snapshot of her and Ning. They were in the Tower, she realized, and the tree behind them was in full bloom. Ning held his helmet in one arm, and the other was draped around Eriana’s shoulders. A wide smile enveloped his face, his close-cropped hair blowing in the frozen wind. She was similarly posed next to him.
She remembered the spring day that the hologram had been made. The duo had just finished a successful raid on the House of Devils, assassinating several of their Barons, even managing to destroy a Ketch using a remotely-controlled skiff, packed top-to-bottom with explosives.
She remembered standing there, his arm around her shoulders. Despite the fact that she was made of metal, on that day, Ning had made her feel completely and totally human.
Eriana blinked her eyes, and closed the Hologram. The good thing about being an exo was that you never had to worry about crying.
She set aside her emotions. She needed to find those files, and fast.
She would not let Ning die in vain.
She continued to search the room, and eventually overturned the bed.
But when the mattress fell to the floor, she heard a solid thunk.
Curious, Eriana felt the mattress. Sure enough, there was some sort of a solid object in side of it.
Carefully, she grabbed a knife from her belt, and cut a slit in the mattress. She reached through the slit, and pulled out a large, wooden box. She grabbed it, and set in on the floor.
The box was about a foot tall, one foot wide, and four feet long. It’s top had been carved into a portrait of the City as seen from the Tower, with the Traveler hanging over it. On the outskirts of the portrait were Chinese glyphs, whose meaning she could not grasp.
Taking a deep breath, Eriana began to open the box. But it was locked tight - even her Guardian strength couldn’t rip the box open. “Ghost?” she said.
The little metallic sphere popped out. “Yes?” it said.
“What’s this box really made out of?” she replied.
Ghost began scanning it. “Well,” it said, “it’s likely some sort of oak exterior, but I think that it might be reinforced Titanium underneath.
Eriana then inspected the box, looking for a keyhole. But she found none. With the exception of the thin line around the circumference of the box, she couldn’t find a single opening. After several minutes, she sighed in frustration. “Any ideas, Ghost?” she said.
Ghost made the equivalent of a shrug. “It seemed pretty solid from my initial scans,” it said. “But I can take another look, if you want.”
She waved her hand. “Have at it,” she said. With that, Ghost began to scan the box once more.
She stood up, and walked over to the cabinet. She picked up the hologram, and turned it on once more. She stared at Wei-Ning’s smiling face. “If only you were still here,” she said.
Ning continued to grin at her. Sighing, she turned off the Hologram. Then, her ghost said something. “Eriana?”
She turned to it. “Yes?” she asked.
The ghost continued to can the box. “I may have something here,” it said.
Frowning, Eriana walked over to the box, and kneeled down. “What?” she asked.
“This here,” it said, illuminating the carved Traveler with it’s scan. “It isn’t wood. I think it might be a scanner of sorts.”
“A scanner for what?” Eriana asked, “biometrics?”
“No. . .” Ghost said. “I don’t think so. I think that this scanner receives light. Maybe it scans for a specific image - light arranged in a specific pattern.”
Eriana frowned. What could the scanner possibly before? Then, she looked back at the hologram, and had an idea. She turned the hologram on, and then slowly put it, face down, into the carved Traveler.
It fit like a glove.
Then, there was the sound of a metallic whirring, and the box popped open.
Taking a deep breath, Eriana opened the lid all the way. Inside the box was a collection of aged papers. There were small, leather-bound books, yellowed maps, and writings in languages she barely even recognized. Some of them were newer, and she recognized Ning’s handwriting in a couple of places.
She took a breath. “Ghost?” she said. “I may need a little help sorting this.”
“No problem,” said Ghost. “Put the papers out for me, and I’ll scan them for you.”
So that’s what she did. It took her nigh on an hour, but her ghost managed to scan the papers into it’s systems. After that, she slumped against the wall. “Well?” she asked, “What’s it look like?”
“This is fascinating!” Ghost said, “A lot of those papers were centuries old - some of them were Toland’s original writings! There’s stuff in there from titans, warlocks, and hunters throughout the ages!”
“Any clues as to Toland’s location?” Eriana asked.
Ghost was silent for a moment. Then, it hovered over to a map. “Well,” it said, “Wei-Ning built fairly heavily on the work of those before him. The amount of research he did is extensive, to say the least. But it looks like it paid off.”
Eriana frowned. “How?” she asked.
“Well,” Ghost said, “he managed to significantly narrow down the search area a series of possible sites - all of them in Old Russia - but he didn’t get a chance to finish the search.
Eriana nodded. “Well,” she said, “Let’s finish his search then, shall we?”
Edit: Part nine is live!!! https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/199355024
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