Rest of the story: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15ew1g89oxjEj5mZRFvv94Ht2Td6lVWkc-Lk7nwplUgg/edit#
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“I can’t believe this guy was in charge of Eltanin for four freakin’ months. What the hell?” Lacer leaned his hand against his helmet as the report ran by.
“Eltanin…” Bronze looked up at Phoros, who had his arms crossed.
“Ah, Eltanin. That warlock I trained. So that child is what this is all about.” Phoros tapped his foot.
“You didn’t train her one bit.” Zahir’s grip on his rifle tightened.
“Where is she, anyway? I would think she’d be fighting with you. Though, I guess her absence is for the better. I imagine she holds a grudge.” Phoros looked around.
Zahir visibly recoiled. “That… doesn’t matter. What matters is why you’re here.”
“Let me guess. She lost her light in the war? I thought she would go down one day, it was only a matter of how.” Phoros stepped forward. “Anyway, she is not of my concern. We-”
“Hey!” Zahir fired a warning shot at Phoros’ approaching feet.
“Enough, titan. We need to focus on the Guardian Killer.“ The warlock looked annoyed.
“Like hell I’m cooperating with you.” Zahir pulled the trigger again, but was staggered by Phoros drawing his hand cannon quickly and firing.
“Aw, yeah! Kick his ass, boss!.” Lacer pumped his fist in excitement as Zahir stood, the hole in his chest still smoking.
“I said enough.” Phoros pointed his hand cannon higher. “The next one’s going into your head.”
Zahir didn’t listen. He hurled a grenade at the warlock, firing as he strafed aside. Phoros dodged and grunted in annoyance as two bursts dug into him. He plunged his hand to the ground, willing a ring of light to flow around him. He stood firm as the light crawled up to his wounds, healing him and causing the rest of Zahir’s magazine to bounce harmlessly off of his robes. He unstrapped his fusion rifle and began to charge. Zahir quickly changed tactics and began to charge with his shotgun, but was struck by several arc bolts and evaporated before he could shoot.
“Now, will you pipe down and listen? I think we both have valuable information for each other.” Phoros kept his fusion rifle pointed up as the titan regenerated.
Zahir flinched. “Information…” He looked over at his tense team, contemplating. Afteran extended silence, he reluctantly asked, “What do you know?”
“Put down your weapon.”
“Tch, fine.” Zahir let his rifle clatter to the ground. This surprised Lacer and Bronze.
“Right. I began investigating Tivik just a few weeks ago. I was roaming around the EDZ, when I discovered a curious knife plunged into the dirt in a cave, inscribed with the Guardian Killer’s name. I began to track down any Fallen with connections to Tivik, and I eventually came upon a dreg from the House of Dusk, who had armed his walker with Hive poison. After looking into interspecies trade, I was led to your comrades. It seems these knives are popping up at random, but you seek to be the first guardians to take up the clue. Before I came here, I was looking into the possibility that Tivik employs Vex tech in his traps, though I’m unsure how.”
“As far as I know, we are the only Vanguard to be hunting Tivik, and that seems to line up with what we know, after facing Tivik’s assassins. Come to think of it, he completely vanished when I fought him in that tunnel earlier. That could be the work of a Vex portal. Do you have anything else?”
“Hey, hold on.” Bronze took a step toward the two. “Why would you cooperate with him, of all people?” She pointed at Phoros, who seemed quite annoyed at the young titan. “You know what he did, probably more than us, so why would you even be talking with him?” Her breath was shaky, and she sounded scared.
“Bronze, it’s circumstance. Sometimes, you have to affiliate with certain people…” Zahir attempted to justify himself.
“But this guy hurt Eltanin. How could you do this to her? I know I would feel betrayed.” She stepped away. “I… don’t want to be a part of this. It just doesn’t feel right.” She turned around.
“Bronze, wait! This is the only way we’ll-”
“There are other ways that don’t include talking to a guy like that!” She pulled her ghost out. “I’m going. You said I wasn’t cut out for this anyway.” She disappeared into orbit before Zahir could attempt to reason again. He watched as the last clear streams of her body melted into the thick air.
“Lacer?” Zahir kept his head pointed at the sky, imagining Bronze’s ship taking off in his mind.
The other titan raised his hands to his shoulders. “I, uh, don’t feel good about this either. I know I’ve told you stuff like: I’ll follow you to the darkest, dirtiest places our enemies’ve got, but this dude’s a whole nother can of worms I don’t want to touch with a ten foot stick, and now you’re acting all buddy buddy with him? You know, just from reading this report, I can tell I sure as hell don’t wanna trust him. Sorry, boss, I’m out.” He turned tail as well, walking away casually.
“I” Zahir watched as Lacer disappeared as well, leaving him feeling alone.
Phoros crossed his arms. “Are we finally ready to negotiate?”
“I’ll… have to think about it.”
“I’m home.” Zahir opened the door to see a disappointed Eltanin waiting for him. “What?” A lump formed in his throat.
“I’m ready to give you a status update after Gourn is killed, and what do I hear on the comms? You’re talking to Phoros, and you’re just casually exchanging information?”
“You know what he did to me.”
“I decided not to work with him in the end, anyway. It’s fine.”
“And it took your entire team leaving for you to see what was wrong with what you were doing.”
“It’s not what you think.”
“It’s exactly what I think!” Eltanin stomped her foot, startling Zahir. He had never seen her as emotional as she was now. “You were trying to kill him one minute, and the next you’re exchanging information like nothing happened. What was going on? This isn’t like you.” She began to tear up, and her voice swelled.
“I realized that he could help us beat Tivik. I couldn’t just pass that up.”
She scoffed. “All you want to do is find Tivik, right? Then do what you want. You don’t seem to care about anything else, anyway.” She pushed a file into his hands and dropped her head before brushing past him and out the door, wiping her eyes as she walked away. Her crutches hitting the concrete sent shockwaves through Zahir’s head.
“You know, she’s kind of right.” Crucius spoke to Zahir from his invisible refuge. “I’ve noticed you’ve been neglecting and ignoring her, I just wasn’t sure what to say about it.”
Zahir began to walk toward the door.
“Hey, I’d leave her alone for a bit. “Crucius cautioned.
“No, I’ve got to fix this. Eltanin, wait.” Zahir dropped the envelope and rushed after her. He put a hand on her shoulder once he caught up. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking straight, and I-“
“Don’t talk to me.” She whispered, and the exo’s hand slid off her back. He watched until she disappeared into her workplace, a library by the name of the Red Dome.
“Come on, Zahir. We have work to-“ Crucius began.
“You could have warned me.”
“You should have said something.” He held up his hand and forced his ghost out. “Look where we are, now. You’re too… never mind.” He pushed Crucius away.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m leaving for a bit. Get me my ship.”
“Alright, but I’m not leaving you alone. I’m your ghost. I’m supposed to stick with you until the end.” Crucius hovered over to the titan, but was pushed back again. It took the bewildered ghost a moment to respond, “Why?”
“You’re not coming with me, because I don’t know what I’ll do if you do.” Zahir warned, looking away as he was transmatted away.
(CONT IN COMMENTS)