Hi guys! Sorry for the long wait, but part 58 is finally here! Here's [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/214236236?showBanned=0&path=0]part 57[/url] if you missed it, or, if you're looking for a different part, here's the[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/197788326?showBanned=0&path=0] master post[/url]. As usual, if you like it, give it a bump, and I'll get more out soon! Stay classy, Guardians!
Out in the Tower plaza, Ikora leaned against the railing. It had been a week since she had last heard from Eriana and her fireteam. And now, she was beginning to assume the worst.
She still held out hope for her dear Hidden, of course. But that hope was fading - and fading fast.
A voice called from behind her. “Ikora!”
The Warlock turned around, and saw Zavala approaching her. The man appeared angrier than usual, thin lines creasing his forehead. “Yes, Zavala?” she asked.
The titan came up to her. “Vell and Sai haven’t checked in from that ‘mission’ you and Cayde put them on,” he said. “I would have expected them to contact us by now. Something must’ve gone wrong.”
Ikora bit her lip. “I’m sure they’re fine,” he said.
Zavala narrowed his eyes. “Yes,” he said. “But we’ve had a few other teams go missing as well.”
“Have we?” Ikora asked. “Who?”
“Namely, Eriana-3, your protege,” he said. “She was supposed to be exploring a golden age research facility in the Arctic, along with Eris Morn. Also, a young Guardian named Omar Agah has disappeared. Allegedly, he was on a scouting mission in the European Dead Zone.” Zavala angrily fixed her gaze. “You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?”
Ikora felt as though the Vanguard Mentor could see right through her. “No,” she said. “Of course not.”
Zavala gazed down at her. “Don’t lie to me, Ikora,” he said. “You and Cayde are up to something, and I intend to find out what.” And with that, he turned around and walked back towards the Hall of Guardians.
Ikora turned back to her view of the city. She watched as the Traveler remained suspended overhead, watching over them all as it had for generations.
She heard someone come up next to her, and sigh. “Lovely day, isn’t it?” a voice said.
“Hello, Cayde,” Ikora said.
“Howdy,” the exo replied. “So, what did old iron-ass want? Requesting yet another tactical evaluation of the City’s defenses? Oh! Did he see this view, and feel inspired to share some of his old poetry with you?”
“He knows,” she replied bluntly.
Cayde looked at her quizzically. “What do you mean?” he asked.
“I mean he knows!” Ikora said. “About Eriana and the others!”
Cayde nodded, and sighed. “How much?” he asked.
“Enough,” she replied. “He’s put two and two together, and he’s figured out that we sent them somewhere. He doesn’t know where to, or who we sent them with.”
“Heh,” Cayde said. “He’s smarter than he looks.”
“I suppose so,” she said. She paused. “We have to tell him.”
“What?” Cayde asked.
“He’ll figure it out soon enough!” Ikora said. “We might as well get it over with.”
Cayde nodded, and looked out at the city. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll do it alone.”
Ikora looked over at him, and frowned. “What?” she asked.
Cayde shrugged. “Zavala’s used to me pulling this sort of thing,” he said. “You, on the other hand?” He shook his head. “Besides, I was the one who suggested that Sai and Vell go out on that mission. He’ll never believe that I didn’t have something to do with it!”
“I should go alone!” Ikora protested. “I roped you into this! This was my idea, beginning to end!” She shook her head. “It’s my fault that they’re dead.”
Cayde looked over at her. “Ikora,” he said gently, “you don’t know that they’re -“
“It’s been a week, Cayde,” she said. “If they were going to crawl out of that pit, they’d have done it days ago.”
Cayde was silent. Then, he finally said, “Alright. We go together.”
Ikora looked up at him. “Cayde -“ she began.
“Look, Ikora,” Cayde said. “I’m obviously not gonna talk you out of going to Zavala, and I’m sure as hell not letting you take the blame alone. So, we both just go and tell Zavala what we did.” He looked out on the City, and nodded. “We may be stuck in this Tower, but we’re still Guardians, Ikora. And a part of that is taking responsibility for our actions.”
Ikora looked over at Cayde for a moment. She sighed. “Well, I see I’m not going to be able to talk you out of this,” she said.
“No you won’t,” Cayde said.
The warlock nodded. “Alright, then,” she said. “Let’s go tell Zavala what we’ve been up to then.” And with that, the two Vanguard mentors walked towards the Hall of Guardians.
“YOU DID WHAT!” Zavala shouted.
Ikora winced. The conversation was going about as well as expected. “I told you,” she said. “Eriana-3 was intent on avenging our defeat at Mare Ibrium, even if it cost her her life. I merely provided her with her best possible chance at success.”
“Ikora, you can’t just take all the credit like that!” Cayde interrupted. “I helped too!”
Zavala seemed to get even angrier. “So let me get this straight,” he said. “In direct defiance of the Consensus, you not only sent a raiding party of highly unstable, highly emotional Guardians to the moon in a half-baked attempt to destroy this - this -Crota! - you also sent them in the company of a delusional madman!”
“Yep, pretty much,” Cayde replied.
Zavala gripped the edges of the table so hard that the metal began to bend, screeching in protest. “I should have you both demoted for this,” he said.
“Really?” Cayde asked hopefully.
Ikora nodded. “But you won’t,” she said.
“I won’t?” Zavala said.
“He won’t?” Cayde asked.
“No,” Ikora said. “First off, because Cayde here would probably be more than happy to be demoted so that he can get back into the action. And secondly, we’re only here because we’re the best people for the job. You may disagree with us, Zavala, but we did our jobs. And honestly, I’d do it again! We couldn’t have stopped Eriana from going after Crota, even we wanted to! All I did was ensure that she had the best chance that she possibly could!”
Zavala let go of the table, and turned towards the opposite wall, breathing heavily. After a few moments, his breathing slowed.
Ikora spoke again, trying to get through to him. “‘How shall a man escape from that which is written?’” she said. “‘How -‘“
“‘How shall he flee from his destiny,’” Zavala finished. He turned back to them. “The Shahnameh, by Ferdowsi, a pre-Golden age poet from Persia. I’m surprised you know it, Ikora.”
The warlock smiled. “I’ve picked up on some of your poetry over the years, Zavala,” she said. “I admit, I don’t know much about pre-Golden age Persia, but I did come across an engram containing part of the Shahnemeh once. It was rather . . . intriguing.”
Zavala smiled. “Yes,” he said. “It is.” Then, the titan sighed. For a just a moment, Ikora could see all of Zavala’s long life written across his face. Victories won, battles fought, enemies killed, friends lost. A century of incessant warfare had not served the Titan well. “You’re right,” he said. “I’m not going to demote either of you.”
“Why not?” Cayde asked.
“Because Ikora is right,” he said. “I may disagree with your decisions, but you’re the best damn Mentors that we have. The Tower simply wouldn’t be the same without you.” He shook his head. “Besides, Eriana and the others are already on the moon. It wouldn’t do any good to try and stop them now.” He looked up at Ikora. “Has there been any signal from them?”
Ikora shook her head, and looked up at the ceiling. “Not for a week,” she said. “They confirmed that they’d touched down in the Ocean of Storms.” She sighed. “I suppose, that maybe, there’s hope. . .”
Zavala nodded. “I see,” he said. “I’ll have to inform the Consensus of this. However, I will leave your names out of it - this time. But if you try something like this again, I will kick you both out of the Tower faster than you can blink, understand?”
“Perfectly,” Cayde said.
Zavala nodded, and began to walk out of the hall. Then, he paused. “Oh, Ikora?” he said. “I did manage to get a complete copy of the Shahnemeh from the cryptarchs once. You’re welcome to come by and read it if you want.” And with that, he left.
“Did Zavala just ask you to drop by his room?” Cayde asked.
Ikora ignored the jibe. “That went better than I expected,” she said.
“Well, he didn’t throw us off the balcony, so, yeah,” Cayde said. “I’d say that was better than expected.”
Ikora looked on at the now empty hallway. “I sent them to their dooms, Cayde,” she said.
The hunter placed a hand on her shoulder. “It’s like you said, Ikora,” he said. “You couldn’t have stopped them if you’d tried.”
Ikora continued to stare. “Where are they now?” she asked. “What happened to them, down in that pit?”
She shook her head. “I suppose we’ll never know.”
Edit: [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/215381552]Part 59[/url]
Loading, please wait. This may take some time...