Into the Hellmouth, Part 22: Back to the Beginning.
Hello, everybody, here's part 22 of Into the Hellmouth! As usual, if you like it, give it a bump, and tell me what you think down below! Here's part 21 if you missed it: https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/206084371?page=0&sort=0&showBanned=0&path=1 And with this part, we've hit 25,000 words!! I never expected the story to be even half this long, but here we are. Stay classy, guardians!
The ships exited the hanger, one by one. They’d all chosen different departure times, in order to conceal the true nature of their journey. They proceeded to a set of coordinates in Old Russia that Eriana had marked for them. Soon, all five jumpships were floating above the air above an old Golden-Age facility.
“Remind me why we’re here again?” Vell asked.
Eriana’s eyes remained focused on her monitor. “Because this is where Toland was hiding when I found him,” she said, “and if he’s anywhere, he’ll be here.”
Vell pursed his lips. He wasn’t sure if he trusted the old man, and he most certainly didn’t like him. If half the stories he’d heard about the warlock were true, then he wouldn’t be surprised if Toland was using them as sacrificial lambs. The most important element in any fire team wasn’t bullets, or guns, or armor, or light.
It was trust.
You couldn’t be an effective soldier if you weren’t certain that the person behind you wasn’t willing to lay down their life for you. And wasn’t sure that Toland was capable of doing that. Come to think of it, he wasn’t sure that he was capable of doing that for Toland.
The Guardians waited several long minutes. “Where is he?” said Omar.
“Toland does things on his on time,” Eriana replied. “Be patient.”
At that moment, a ship swooped in above them. It was on the small side for a jumpship, it’s brown, drab hull only about half the size of Eriana’s brightly decorated Vanguard ship. Toland came in over the comms. “Well then,” he said, “shall we be on our way?”
“Yes, please,” Omar said. And with that, the jumpships accelerated into the atmosphere.
But before they could break orbit, Eriana keyed her comms. “Wait!” she said. She stopped, and looked down at the Earth below them. And there it was.
Even miles above the Earth’s surface, she could still see a giant orb of light, hovering above the last significant human population in the solar system. A race of billions of scientists, reduced to a few hundred thousand refugees. But one day, they would rise again. One day, all they had lost would return to them.
Whenever she’d gone on off-earth missions back in the day, she’d always then one last look back at the City, and said to herself, This is what I’m fighting for. The mother holding her children in a beaten shelter, the merchant on the street corner, all of those people down below. Today, however, she couldn’t tell herself that. Because it wouldn’t have been true.
She realized that, today, she wasn’t fighting for the Tower. She wasn’t fighting for the Vanguard. She wasn’t fighting for the mother holding her children, the merchant on the street corner, or any of those people down below. No. Today, she was fighting for something else.
At any other time, this thought might have unnerved her. As it was, it left her with a cold, empty feeling in the pit of her stomach. Like she’d lost something, but she couldn’t figure exactly what.
She shook off the feeling. “What is it, Omar?” she’d asked. The hunter had been saying something, but she hadn’t heard him.
“I said, ‘What is it?’” he asked. “are you okay?”
Eriana was silent. “No,” she finally said, “I’m not. Ghost? Engage the jump drive. Take us to the moon.
And with that, the Guardians began their journey to Luna.
And meanwhile, on the surface of the moon, the taikonaut screamed. . .
Edit: [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/206766626]Part 23[/url]
I just spent the past three days reading this in my free time at work. It's really well done. (Even the grammatical stickler and me was quelled) Keep it up and let me know when there's more!
PS Check out my attempt at fanfiction: