And She Wore a Crown of Stags [Story Introduction]
Forward -- Thanks for reading this, if you do! I've been enjoying spinning a tale or two with my Guardian as the protagonist and I thought I might share. I am not giving her the role of [i]The Guardian[/i] that we all play, but rather one of the many who were brought back to defend humanity. I'm still learning much of the lore and am trying to stay as true to canon as possible.
I am burdened to know a little of my former life. The sea brought me, kicking and screaming, from its umbral depths of solitude. Where the dark lingers. Where the cold lingers. Unlife flourishes there, things that don't see but [i]know[/i]. My work would have blossomed in that dark, and withered, and I would have been perfect in my short time but humanity did not need me as something brief and beautiful. I do not remember what I sought at the bed of coral giants, but I remember the way it made me feel. Small, and insignificant, and I remember the dread that settled upon my mind as I realized that I would not leave my glassy tomb alive. What folly had I endeavored?
My Ghost woke me where I laid, and I saw the aqueous devils of my ancestral home around me. Reaching the shore was a … struggle. Thrice I felt cold terror choking the life from me, and thrice my Ghost restored me until I broke the surface. For the first time in lifetimes, I laid eyes upon the snowy wastes of a world brought to ruin.
You ask me why I was chosen by the Traveler? I could not say, but I am willing to face Death to sate my pursuits. Perhaps that is all it wants of me.
My name is Gaellach Ordomo, and I am a Guardian.
Alone, I sit at a crystalline desk watching the plasma laden remnants of a sulfurous supercell sink into a hazy horizon. It's been days since I've been trapped here, and though rations were running low, I remain unfazed. Ammunition is a far more important resource here, and my synthesizer is working well. Hunger could be abated almost indefinitely. A laser to the temple -- not so much.
The Ishtar Academy was barely an image of its former glory, having been overrun by the Fallen in years past. Efforts from previous ventures have driven their numbers down, save for stragglers and the odd mysterious presence, so I've had little in the way of trouble which I was thankful for. My business here was singular, and more suited to clandestine operations than running in, guns blazing. Besides that, it wasn't my style.
I tapped the comms unit in front of me and watched as it flickered to a dim, neon blue.
"Ravira," I called, and waited.
No answer came.
Breathing stiffly through my nose, I listened for a moment longer to the white noise before I pulled my hand away. [i]Damnit[/i]. The storm was receding but the interference wasn't. I glanced to my right, to the security room. I could see my reflection in the glass booth that surrounded the terminal; two fiery eyes suspended in the darkness.
Sibyl, my Ghost, shimmered to life over my shoulder. I could tell by the way she floated that she, too, grew restless, like an indignant sigh had escaped her lungless shell. It made me smile a little.
"There's no use," Sibyl groaned while gliding to the room behind the glass. The security room was suddenly illuminated with that same neon blue as before as she brought the Golden Age system online again. It flickered, and something popped, but the generator we'd spent so much time restoring was still doing its best. For now.
"The storm is winding around the entire planet almost, we've caught a short reprieve between the pillar clouds but the surrounding cumulonimbus clusters are too strong. Signals aren't getting through." Sibyl reported as she filtered through the atmospheric readings.
I rose from my seat and strode around to join her in surveying the camera footage. Less than half of the cameras were still operable, and half of those were overgrown with the jungle swallowing the remains of the academy. Still, it afforded us an easy view of the sky from a couple of angles, and we kept watch over the storm as we futilely attempted to wait it out.
"Then we're finished here," I decide aloud, seeing no recourse, and turn on my heel to head towards the door. I readjust my helmet and step forward, the once-airtight doors gasping as they open into the unwelcoming Venusian wilds. The weapon in my hand thrums with the anticipation of the inevitable, knowing well that the small sanctuary we had managed behind me was now long gone. A cold, empty thing, my weaponry -- it always lacks life, but the power that radiates into it holds a sentience all its own. Sibyl hesitates, her uncertainty palpable, but she follows nonetheless.
"The ship will make it through this cloud cover," she explains as she races behind me. The corridor we pace down is thick with vines and the rubble of what was once a bastion of humanity's ambitions. Now, it stands more a sickly reminder of what the Traveler's interference has cost us.
[i]'You know that isn't completely true,'[/i] Sibyl chides, her voice filling the space between our shared consciousnesses. Faceless, I look at her, but my thoughts are interrupted by the shrill cry of a Fallen Captain somewhere in the near distance. Curious. A raiding party? Here? The Cabal had made their mark nearby since the Red War, and the Vex were an ever-present force, but the House of Dusk has shown no interest in reclaiming these ruins. Perhaps I misjudged the sound.
The walls around me had slowly crumbled away as we continued down the topmost floor of the structure, leaving yellow skies above and an expanse of jungle canopy spreading out on all sides. I stepped to the edge of the broken walkway, taking hold of one of the chains pulled taut and strung across the remaining steel rafters that jutted out into nothingness, like bones from a carcass picked clean. I imagine these chains are courtesy of the House of Winter from days when their presence still held sway here. [i]Scavengers.[/i]
"We aren't going to the ship," I say to Sibyl, leaning out to survey the area below. [i]We're close.[/i]
"But Ravira--" Sibyl protests.
"…Is not coming." I interject. My attention turns to the chain in my hand. "You knew I wasn't going to leave this planet without the Architectum," I remind her. "We're so close to it, you can feel it just the same."
Sibyl didn't argue, she couldn't. In many ways she was like me, though she was bound to that seemingly omnipresent god that favored humanity. She was beholden to the Light, as I was beholden to the blood in my veins. Together, we cheated the frailty of my kind and gave volition to hers.
The memory of my dream ran hot through my mind. A voice, seductive and terrible.
++WE ARE THE BOISTEROUS FEW, THE SLACK IN THE JAW OF OBLIVION--
++THE TRUTHS OF THE TENEBROUS ARE BEYOND YOU, BUT THEY ARE REVEALED TO THE EYES OF THE PROFANE--
++WE WILL NOT IGNORE THIS--
++WE WILL NOT SHUN THIS--
++NO PRICE IS TOO GREAT++
Sibyl looks at me again before she dissipates. She knows my decision, and she understands why I have to do this.
I fire my weapon.
The chain snaps and I swing outward as I let go, gliding into what would soon be shadowed by the darkness foretold.
Hello, after reading this story i’m a big fan! I’m starting up a youtube channel where i read fan made Destiny stories and add original music and ambience to immerse listeners. I was hoping I could read this story on my channel! All credit will go to the author of course, and a link to this story will be in the youtube description! Please get back to me ASAP so i can begin working on the musical scores and artwork!
Excellent work! Very well written and interesting. You even paid attention to the permanent cloud cover of Venus and gave Winter som much-needed attention. If you plan on writing more then I look forward to it.
I have but one correction:
The Guardian hears the cry of a Fallen Captain. Without line of sight one wouldn’t be able to distinguish the rank or size of the Fallen in question. So I recommend you simply have it be a Fallen cry and not a Fallen Captain’s cry.
Huh, you're an educated writer. You've got alliterations, parallelism, artistically structured writing. Like you were homeschooled.
Probably not lol.
Either way, when you publish one of your originals, let know so I can buy it before Barnes and Noble goes extinct.