[i]Merry Christmas everyone! I didn’t have the next chapter of Legend Untold ready for today, but I had this! My gift to you this year: the tale of Crag’s revival![/i]
Everything was numb in the space before, and cold in the space after. Both were dark, hiding from me all that could have been. Both were silent, marking places of death.
Then there was my breath. Then the creak of wood as I found I had a body to move. Calm in the still black, I raised my hand and felt across the barrier that kept me contained.
It didn’t take long to figure out I was laid out in a box and deduce the best way out. Bracing on my back, I kicked straight up with my legs. Some wood snapped, but most of the lid held and pushed up a little, letting a few clumps of dirt fall in. As my breathing grew more comfortable and frequent, I realized that the air tasted very stale and thin. Knowing that I had little time now before I suffocated, I kicked again, and again, feeling the earth atop the lid give way more and more and ignoring the clots that tumbled into my box.
After several more impacts, everything was tossed up and light filtered into the pit I had created. Rain drops pattered down on me through the hole as I unsteadily rose to my feet, and I pulled myself up and out toward a sky blanketed in thin rain clouds. Reaching the surface, I sat back on my heels and tilted my face up into the drizzle, sucking in fresh air. The dim light let me know it was day time, even though the clouds hid the Sun. Feeling better after a few deep breaths, I looked around me.
Graves dotted the field I was in, forming uneven rows. Many were broken or corroded, and bushes and weeds grew untended over many of them. A building rested atop a nearby hill, but its roof and much of its walls had collapsed, leaving only one corner of the building and a portion of the front wall that sported a cross near its peak.
“You made it,” a quiet voice observed. I looked to my right to find a small machine hovering next to me, composed of a central orb with a blue eye and surrounded by triangular pieces that created a four-pointed star shape.
“I was dead,” I stated more than asked.
“Yes,” it answered. The thing spoke in an extremely monotone manner, but I recognized the voice as male. “I am your Ghost, you are my Guardian, and I can bring you back.”
“We’re fighting something then,” I determined from the implication that I would die again.
“Humanity is surrounded by enemies,” he replied.
I looked at the graves around us once again, “Who am I?”
“You are my Guardian,” he told me again, “You are who you want to be. Your past is lost.”
“But I was found,” I spotted a headstone on one end of the grave I had climbed out of, coated in vines. Rising to my feet, I stepped closer and went to one knee in front of the marker. With a swift yank, I tore the plant off, revealing worn and scratched writing. Larger letters were inscribed across the top, forming three words. The first was all but gone, but the second and third weren’t too faint.
“Leonard Crag,” I read aloud.
“Is that what you wish to be called?” the Ghost questioned.
All the words below the name had been carved too small and shallow to survive time’s wear, so I looked to the grave at my other side, placed closer to mine than any other. Only two letters were legible, but one of them was a ‘C’ at the beginning of a four-lettered last name. “Yes,” I nodded, “Call me Crag.”
“Crag, we must move on,” my companion took no care in making the first use of my name special. I didn’t care, I would’ve done the same.
Once more I stood, but this time I left my outdated grave and did not look back. I slipped between graves like a wraith in the cloud-dimmed day, silent as the dead below me. Looking down at myself for the first time, I found that I was wearing tattered clothes of thick black fabric, but they covered me well enough despite the many years they clearly bore. If not for that coffin, I’d probably be naked. The rain wasn’t bothering me, it was too light to even soak into my ragged clothes. I was scrawny and stooped a little as I walked, but I felt strong and sure in my body. My skin was a very pale blue, with faint blue lights dancing under my flesh like rippling water. For some reason when I thought of humanity, the image of people with tan-colored skin came to mind. I had to be something else, although I felt my guess hadn’t been too far off.
Soon I came upon a wire fence at the edge of the cemetery and stepped over it. I entered the woods on the other side and walked between the trees, my Ghost floating at my side quietly. Somehow I found that I knew how to sneak, clinging to shadows and treading with hardly a sound. Occasional drops of water slid down through the tree branches and slapped the ground around me, but nothing else stirred. I had no idea where I was going or what the land around me was like, but I felt a soft pull at my very being that helped me angle my path a specific direction. It was the only lead I had.
I walked for some number of hours in the slowly fading light. The rain grew harder, pounding against the leaf cover but hardly piercing it. As it grew too dark to see accurately, my Ghost shone a bright white light out of its eye to illuminate my path. We hadn’t said a word to each other since I left the cemetery. I didn’t have any questions and he didn’t have anything to tell me.
A loud crack broke through the ambience, making me freeze cautiously. Another sounded, and then many more from different sources, all around the same area. There was a shout and then a roar that sounded almost bestial, followed by more shooting. After several moments, the noise died and all was still again.
My hands were lax at my sides as I waited for something to make a move on me. I was loose and calm despite the threat of a fight and the thought of what could have happened nearby. After several minutes, I heard a hum in the air and then and odd slap, their source blocked by the trees. I decided it was safer to approach now. Working my way through the forest, I eventually came upon a clustered stretch of bushes that marked he edge of a clearing. Sliding down onto my knees and elbows, I crawled into the undergrowth. As I got my head about halfway through and was still unable to see through to the other side, my hand brushed something soft on the ground. I stopped and looked over to see a hand stretched towards me under a bush. It had blood dripping down it and was connected to a man who stared at nothing with glazed eyes.
Slowly, I reached over and closed the man’s eyes, then proceeded with my crawling. Peeking out through the thin branches, I looked out upon a small cleared space filled with death.
Part 2: https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/250301998/0/0
Legend Untold Table of Contents: https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/212710816/0/0
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