The Rest of the Story https://docs.google.com/document/d/15ew1g89oxjEj5mZRFvv94Ht2Td6lVWkc-Lk7nwplUgg You can use the tag as well, but not all chapters are on the forums. [b]Chapter 8 [/b] Crucius’ scans swept across the cave wall, bringing a much needed contrast to the murky green rock. Zahir impatiently tapped his foot, disrupting the rhythm of sharp jolts that Crucius produced. “I’ve got it. Several Cabal slugs. Buried in the ceiling.” The ghost drifted back to Zahir, taking care not to touch the blight at the center of the room. “From the shot pattern, I’m assuming it was a Cabal slug shotgun.” “So we’re really going to have to investigate Cabal too…” Zahir tentatively concluded. “You’re going.” “I am not facing the Cabal. Not after the Red War. You know this, Crucius.” “Are you going to let Lacer and Bronze run into Tivik’s crew without you? Haven’t you realized? These Fallen are no regular mercenaries. They have an unnatural drive to kill Guardians. You barely survived fighting that Captain and Marauder.” “I know, but… I don’t know if I can face them again. The Cabal, I mean.” “Zahir, I don’t want you to encounter the Cabal either. Neither of us knows what will happen, but trust me on this. We still don’t fully know what Tivik can do, and the sooner we uncover the mystery of his killings, the less guardians will die.” Crucius had floated up directly in front of Zahir’s face. Zahir saw the yellow light of his helmet reflect back at him on Crucius’ eye. A different Zahir called out to him through the reflection, pleading. “If it means stopping Tivik, then you know I’ll do it.” Zahir nodded with newfound courage. He was alerted by a call from Eltanin as he began to exit the cave. “Zahir, good news. I’ve found reports of orange skiffs travelling around Cabal firebases in the EDZ. You up for it?” Eltanin’s hyped voice filled Zahir’s helmet. Zahir wasted no time in his reply. “I’ll head there right now. Call Bronze and Lacer for me, please. Tell them to meet me at the outskirts.” “You got it! And be careful, Zahir. You could run into the Legion...” “Don’t worry, I’m done running from my memories. We need to get to the bottom of this mystery above all else.” Zahir decared, as Crucius transported him into his ship. - “Which one are we boarding?” Lacer asked, sweeping his vision across the line of skiffs below and to the right of the hill they overlooked. Vandals scrambled about, loading crates and supplies. The setting sun’s light was scattered by the shade of Fallen aircraft, shining in patches on the guardians. “The one at the end. It seems to be the least occupied, and the last thing we need is to be seen.” Zahir replied. “Great, I was hoping to see some action. Y’know, Bronze, I should teach you my magnetic grenade trick some day. Or maybe you’ll see it today?” “Magnetic grenade trick? Consider me interested!” Bronze exclaimed, before being shushed by Zahir. “They’re taking off. Get ready.” Zahir silently told the team. They crouched low as the skiffs took off, flying past the hill. As the third skiff past, the titans leapt from their perch and onto the last ship. They held onto the rungs at the top of the ship as it sped off into the EDZ. Wind struck hard against the guardians, but they kept their grips tight. As they ascended, the skiff’s cloak swept over its hull, leaving way to a shimmering visage of the ground below. “We shouldn’t have to hold on for long. They can’t be going far.” Zahir assured his friends, looking down below him. The vastness of the forests overwhelmed his vision. The skiff began to break the clouds. “Hey, Zahir. Are you gonna be okay? I mean, I’m not saying we will, but we could run into… you know…” Lacer began. “Cabal. I know, but I’m prepared to do what I need to in order to learn more about Tivik.” “Finally. That’s the Zahir I know.” Lacer smiled under his helmet. He started to speak again, but was interrupted by the swift noise of metal striking metal. The shrill echo was lost in the wind, but was enough to take everybody’s attention. “What was that?” Bronze asked, as the noise sounded again right beside her. Arc energy began to connect the area between the sounds of the impacts, striking Bronze’s arm. She pulled her hand away from the shock, causing her body to swing backward from the loss of support. Another device was planted, stringing arc energy across her other hand. Bronze was forced to let go, and she was flung off of the skiff. “What’s going on?” Zahir thought to himself, watching in horror as his student flew out of sight behind the skiff. Wind rushed past his helmet, filling his ears in a now horrifying deluge. The arc web began to widen as more stakes were put in place. “How could anything survive out here without being stationary?” Then he saw their attacker. An orange streak flew by his visor, hiding over the edge of the ship. “Lacer, be careful. I’ve never seen a Fallen so fast.” Zahir called out. The crackling of arc energy began to subside, the traps wearing out. “I’m aware. He’s already gotten me good…” Lacer groaned, clutching a gash on his chest. Blood fell and was immediately carried away by the wind. Zahir whipped his head away from the sight of his friend, searching for the Fallen. The blur began to move again, streaking over to Lacer and planting another stake. Zahir shuffled over, moving his arms across the rungs. He reached for the arc trap, but another was planted, connecting the two and warding his hand away with a jolt of electricity. He was completely separated from Lacer by a line of arc traps. “Zahir, I have an idea. It seems like he’s only targeting me for the time being. One by one, he’ll take us off this skiff.” Lacer panted, raising his arm. As the blur swept past him again, Lacer grasped an object near a new wound that began to cut across his side. A surprised vandal was revealed, no longer speeding across the top of the skiff, as Lacer had it caught by the blade. Its arms and legs were completely uncovered, and were the source of its speed, as Zahir quickly realized. “You’ve got this, Zahir.” Lacer nodded as he jerked the screaming, struggling Fallen close. “Lightbearer! You’re insane! Get offa me!” The vandal spat, beating against Lacer’s torso behind him. “Hell no, brother. You’re coming down with me!” Lacer released his grip, sending the two sailing off the tail end of the skiff.