Greetings, Guardians, here's part fifteen of the Journey Home! Here's[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/225116689?showBanned=0&path=0] part Fourteen i[/url]f you missed it, or, if you're looking for a different part, here's th[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/222615264?showBanned=0&path=0]e table of contents[/url]! As usual, if you like it, give it a bump, and I'll get more out soon! Stay classy, Guardians!
The villagers marched through the woods, Erling at the head of the group. Alesha looked around the forest. “Hey,” she said, whispering to Michael, “is it just me, or is this place beginning to look a bit familiar?”
“It all looks the same to me,” Micheal said. “Just trees, trees, and more trees.”
Alesha stared at the trees. “There!” she said. She pointed off a tree which had a scar from a lightning strike running down its side. “We passed that tree the other day, when we went exploring. Remember?”
“I was kinda busy running for my life,” Michael responded. Grunting, he stumbled forwards. Alesha caught him before he could fall, and pulled him back up. “You okay?” she asked.
“He’ll be better once you’re not around,” came a gruff voice from behind her.
Alesha whirled around, and saw Sorenson staring down at her. “Leave my boy alone,” he said. “You’ve caused enough trouble as it is.”
Sorenson’s wife - Yvonne - nodded curtly. “Go on, child,” she said, “get.”
Alesha frowned, but Micheal waved her off, and fixed her with a pleading expression. She sighed. “I’ll talk to you later,” she said. Then, she ran up towards the front of the column of villagers. Then, she frowned. The column appeared to have stopped.
It didn’t take her long to find out why.
The metal cylinder was directly in front of them, in all its rusted glory. Erling was talking to his ghost. “- and you’re sure that this is where the signal is coming from?” he asked.
“Positive,” the Ghost said. “Something inside that airliner sent the distress signal - and is still sending it, in fact. It’s a lot weaker now, though. Most of the power must’ve been used up.”
Erling nodded. He faced the villagers. “Alright!” he shouted. “Anybody know anything about this place!”
No one responded.
Alesha timidly stepped forward. “I do,” she said.
Erling looked down at her with something that seemed akin to surprise. “What do you know?” he asked.
Alesha licked her lip. “Me and Michael,” she said. “We snuck out of the village a few days ago, and we found this place, and, well, we explored a little.”
Erling nodded. “Did you see anybody inside?” he asked.
Alesha looked down at the ground. She remembered the two skeletons in the front seats. . . the sound of the bones snapping like twigs beneath her feet, the sight of all the endless skeletons, all the skulls grinning like -
Erling’s voice jolted Alesha back to the present. She looked up at Erling, her eyes wide, and breathing heavily. “They were all dead,” she said. She blinked several times. “All dead.”
Erling nodded. “Alright then,” he said. He walked around the cylinder. “Wait here.”
“What are you doing?” Oren asked.
“Having a look inside,” Erling replied.
Erling walked to the back of the downed airliner. “What do you think, Ghost?” he asked.
“There are no known Golden Age airports here,” Ghost replied. “Probably a crash landing - though there may be something that we just don’t have a record of.”
Erling grunted. He reached the back of the airplane, and saw that the back ramp was open - wether by survivors of the wreck or by time, he couldn’t tell.
He walked into the airplane. “Ghost?” he said. “A little light?”
“On it.” His ghost cast his flashlight down on the airplane floor.
It was positively littered with human skeletons.
The overwhelming death didn’t bother Erling; it hadn’t for a long time. In fact, he wondered if it ever had. He’d seen so many lonely bodies, in so many lonely places, that he’d become inherently numb to it. “Distress signal’s just up ahead,” Ghost said.
Erling walked towards the cockpit, careful to avoid the numerous bodies. “Where do you think they were flying to?” he asked.
“Don’t know,” Ghost replied, “but there’s a lot of military stuff in here - that probably had something to do with it.”
Erling grunted, and walked into the cockpit. A hole in the plane’s top illuminated the room. The bodies of the pilots remained sprawled in their chairs, their mouths opened in eternal screams. The rusted remnants of headsets still clung to their skulls. A small, blue light, blinked on the control panel.
“This is where that signal was coming from,” Ghost said. “Looks like the Mayday signal was activated.”
Erling nodded. “Probably when that kid went exploring in here,” he said. “Must’ve activated some old sensors by mistake.” He flipped a switch beneath the light, and an ancient recording began to play.
“Ground Control, this is Flight N-10490, do you copy?”
“Ground Control, this is Flight N-10490, I repeat, do you copy?”
“Damn. Still no signal.”
“What the hell’s going on? We get these deployment orders, and suddenly we can’t reach anybody!”
“Hell if I know.”
The recording was silent for a minute. The only sound in the small cockpit was that of static.
“Have we tried reaching out to anybody in Turkey?”
“Turkey, London, Moscow, I’ve tried everybody! No one’s answering!”
“Well, we’re gonna have to find a place to land soon.”
“Eh. Fuel’s at -“
“Uh, Taylor? What the hell is that?”
Erling could hear fear enter the man’s voice.
“By the Traveler! What the -“
An explosion sounded on the recording.
“We’re loosing altitude!”
“Pull up, pull up, pull up!”
“‘I’m trying! I’ve lost all steering!”
“Damnit! This is Flight N-10490, does anybody read me! We are going down, I repeat, we are going down! Mayday mayday mayday!”
“Controls are not responding!”
“Mayday, mayday, mayday, we are going down, does anybody read me!”
“We’re dropping too fast!”
“Pull up, damnit!”
“I’m trying, I’m -“
The recording suddenly stopped, and the blue light winked out.
Erling stared at the plane cockpit for a moment more. “Well, help’s finally here,” he said. Just a few centuries too late.
He walked back into the main body of the plane, and inspected one of the boxes. He removed a skeletal arm from its lid, and tried to open it, only to find that it was locked.
Never one for subtlety, Erling pointed his shotgun at the lock, and blasted the metal box open. Then, he inspected its contents.
Erling stroked his chin. “You thinking what I’m thinking, Ghost?”
“These things are centuries old!” Ghost protested.
Erling nodded. “And still in fine working order,” he said.
Alesha watched the back of the plane, and finally saw Erling come out, dragging a big metal box behind him.
Oren walked up to the Guardian. “Well?” he asked. “Who was in there?”
Erling shook his head. “No one who hasn’t been dead for a very long time.”
Oren inspected the box. “And what’s that?” he asked.
Erling stared at the man. “Tell me, Oren,” he said. “Do your people know how to shoot?”
Oren’s hand instinctively went to the rifle on his back. “Some of us, yes,” he said. “Why?”
Erling opened the box, revealing several guns, all stacked in rows. “There should be enough weapons in this plane to equip everyone in your village with weapons,” he said. “And judging by those Fallen on our tail, we’ll need them.”
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