[quote]The Solstice of Heroes is a holiday of the Last City, celebrating the anniversary of Six Fronts and our past victories. Since the Red War, the Solstice has also become a time to honor the heroes of the Red War.
Here is a short story I wrote for the event. Please enjoy.
For more of my posts, follow this link to my [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/228191135/0/0]Master Post[/url].[/quote]
The Last City is burning.
The attack was swift, decisive, without warning. I had been in the streets when the invasion began. It was probably the only reason I’m alive now. If I had been at home, I would be buried under a mountain of rubble.
But now I find myself hiding behind an abandoned storefront, peering through a shattered window into the ruined street. Dust covers my face and chokes my throat, but I fight the urge to cough. The constant thunder of artillery makes the ground rumble and leaves a faint buzz in my ears. Ships dart overhead through pillars of smoke, illuminated in the night sky by the light of raging fire.
There are other people, cowering the same as me. I see their faces through windows, doorways, around corners. We’re all waiting, watching, hoping.
A single man stands in the middle of the street. Even through the smoke and dust, his armor seems to shine brighter than the light of the fires and explosions around him. He takes careful aim, patient, not wasting a single bullet.
Another wave thunders towards him from the end of the block, snarling beasts charging voraciously and massive warriors leaping through the air like monstrous toads. I only recognize them as Cabal from the stories I’ve heard. I never thought I would see them.
My heart stops in my chest at the sight of them, but the Guardian doesn’t falter. He isn’t intimidated. More than a dozen alien corpses already litter the road before him. This Guardian has weathered far greater storms. He picks them off one by one as they advance, paying no mind to the microrockets that sail by him.
As the Cabal close in, his weapon clicks empty. The Guardian doesn’t bother reloading and drops the weapon. He slings his arm forward and a ball of Light is hurled into the enemy. It erupts in a violent explosion, decimating their charge.
The Guardian resets, a new firearm suddenly in his hands, and begins shooting again. The remaining Cabal are scattered, and they fall quickly.
A cheer tears through my dry throat. The Guardian was going to save us.
Something happened. The Guardian stops. The Light emanating from him seems to separate itself from his body, then disappears altogether. The gun slips out of his hands and he crumples to the ground in a heap.
My hope dies along with my cheer, replaced by silent terror and shock.
The Guardian is still. I can’t tell if he’s dead or unconscious.
A triumphant roar splits through the air. Startled by the alien sound, I duck down and hide.
I hear heavy footsteps, rubble being kicked aside, a guttural language being spoken. The Cabal. I wrap my arms over my chest, praying to the Traveler that they don’t find me.
Then I remember the Guardian, lying alone and helpless in the road. I don’t know what happened to him, why he collapsed, but the sight of it had shaken me to my core. I can feel hot tears flowing down my cheeks, and I struggle to fight back a sob. Clenching my teeth together, I lift my head and peek outside.
Two Cabal stand in the street, large and intimidating. One is close -directly across the street from me- its gaze set on its companion. The other is standing over the fallen Guardian. As I watch, it makes a sound like laughter and raises its left arm, brandishing a massive blade attached to its wrist. It’s preparing to cut apart the Guardian.
I feel like I need to help him. I don’t even know if he’s alive. If he is, surely the Cabal will kill him. But I hold myself back. If I reveal myself, the Cabal will only kill me, too.
Soot-covered faces watch from the shadows. I see in them the same horror that I feel. This Guardian protected them -protected me- against those aliens. As a Guardian, he must have spent his entire life fighting to protect us from the forces of Darkness. One of our greatest defenders, laid low. But now all we do is watch as he dies, still trying to protect us.
I’m already out in the street before I can reconsider my actions. A brick is clenched in my fist, torn out from the wreckage of the wall I had been behind. My whole body trembles with fear as I suck in a deep breath and holler with all my might.
“HEY SPACE TURTLE!”
They were the only words that came to mind, a silly insult used by Guardians that had become standard City-wide when referring to the bulky aliens.
Both Cabal turn their heads to look at me.
At first I’m too terrified to move. Then the nearest Cabal steps towards me.
I panic and throw the brick. It misses, bouncing harmlessly past the alien’s feet. The creature thunders towards me like a train. I turn to run, but my foot slides over gravel and flies out from under me.
I hit the ground hard. The pavement tears at the skin on my arms and knees, but I manage to protect my head from harm. The impact stuns me for a moment, but the adrenaline rushing through my body launches me into motion. My limbs lash out wildly as I scramble forward.
A massive foot stomps down in front of me, cutting off my escape. Every fiber of my being cries out in despair. I look up.
The Cabal looms over me like death itself. It utters a string of foreign words, laughing at the insect it’s about to squash.
The sound of gunfire pierces my ears and the Cabal turns away from me, roaring with fury.
More gunshots, and the beast sways, tipping over. I raise my arms to shield myself as the hulking creature collapses. It lands beside me, sparing me from being flattened.
It takes me a second to realize I’ve been saved. Slowly, I lift myself up to a sitting position and scan the street.
The Guardian is lying beside the carcass of his would-be Cabal executioner. His rifle is in his hands, aimed at me. I can’t see his face behind the visor of his helmet, but I know his eyes are locked with mine.
An inhuman battle cry echoes down the street. The Guardian’s head snaps around to look to the end of the block. More Cabal are coming.
“RUN!” The Guardian bellows, pushing himself up and waving his arms frantically, “EVERYONE RUN! RUN! THE LIGHT IS GONE! GET TO AN EVAC POINT! LEAVE THE CITY!”
People burst from their shelters, fleeing from the approaching Cabal. I hesitate, watching the Guardian as he rises to his feet. He said the Light is gone. What does that mean?
He’s looking at me again.
“RUN NOW!” He repeats, turning his back on me to face the next wave, “I’ll hold them off!”
I stand, forcing myself to turn away from him. Then I run away.
[quote]Follow this link to [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/253318275/0/0]Part 2[/url].[/quote]
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