[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/254979692/0/0]Table of Contents[/url]
The guilt ties my stomach in knots.
Beladona won’t survive no matter what we do, not in the state she’s in. Ghostless, Lightless, unable to walk and bleeding out. Helping her would only be a waste of effort and put us in more danger. She’ll be dead before help comes. That’s what I tell myself as I leave the Huntress behind, hoping to convince myself that abandoning her is okay. I’m not convinced, but I run anyway.
My footfalls are heavier now -weighed by fatigue, shame, and grief- and sink deep into the snow. Elena is moving much faster than me even with the burden of Elta in her arms, using the Light to propel herself forward in massive leaps. Still I can tell she’s slowed down so I can keep up. I check behind me. Beladona is hardly visible lying in the snow.
Beyond the Huntress our assailants from the House of Winter are still close to the downed City Hawk. They linger under the shadow of their Ketch, not giving chase for some reason as the distance between us grows. Something about that feels very wrong. Ahead of me Elena’s feet connect with the ground once more and she glances back my way, then jumps again and-
A massive blast erupts directly in front of the Warlock. Both Elena and Elta are sent sprawling to the ground amidst a spray of snow and dirt. I stumble back, stunned by the sudden explosion and the sight of the crater left behind. After a moment Elena and Elta both begin to move, shaken but mostly unharmed. I let out a sigh of relief then turn to discern the source of the explosion.
Light flashes in my eyes, huge and blinding. Before I can even blink the earth shakes with the roar of a second blast. Flecks of dirt splash over my back as my vision clears. I’ve lost count of how many times my ears have been left ringing today. Fighting off the shock, I turn to see where the explosion hit.
A new crater lies between the first and myself. Warm air -heated by combustion- washes over me, along with the terrible smell of char. Something in the crater catches my eye, scorched black and lying at the edge of the blast’s radius. At first I don’t register what I’m looking at, but there’s no mistaking the shape of a human body.
“E-Elena?” I take a shaky step forward, eyes glued to the corpse, praying to the Traveler that it’s the Warlock and she’ll just spring to life like before, “Hey-“
An armor-clad arm swings across my chest and pushes me back. Elena’s helmet eclipses my view, reflecting my ragged face in its visor. “Move, Sal!”
“Elta!” I cry, bursting into tears. I fight against the Warlock, desperate to get to the body of my dead friend. “Elta!”
“She’s dead!” Elena shouts back, gripping my uniform with her other hand and throwing me away with inhuman strength. I fall into the snow right as a third blast strikes where we had been standing earlier.
Shielding my face with an upheld arm, I roll over to push myself to my feet. Before I can rise on my own the Warlock’s hands grab me from behind. She drags me with her, not waiting for me to find my footing. I have no choice but to follow her lead as we head straight back towards the City Hawk.
This time I see the payload come from the Ketch, barely missing us and exploding to the left. This is why Hendal had insisted we stay close to the Hawk. Putting distance between ourselves and the Fallen only allowed the Ketch to turn its guns on us. That’s why Draksis hadn’t chased us. We were doomed from the moment the Ketch arrived.
Elena stops me, finally allowing me a chance to recover. I close my eyes and try to calm my breathing. My lips tremble uncontrollably at the thought of Elta’s body in the crater.
“Welcome back to the party.”
I open my eyes to find Beladona lying in front of me, right where we left her. Her stolid gaze captures mine. Any sign of sadness or fear of death that she’d held before seems to be gone now. Somehow that scares me even more. “The girl’s dead?”
“Yes,” Elena answers curtly, sparing me from having to acknowledge Elta’s death.
“Shame,” Beladona sighs. She rolls her head to the side, facing the Hawk. “Here they come.”
Now, I’ve had the odds against me many times. But this? Best you can hope for is to be taken out quickly......though, Eliksni like this [i]do[/i] love their torture, last thing you can expect is a mercy.
Great work, buddy! Can’t wait to see what happens next!