AUTHOR'S NOTE: It shows just how long this quarantine's been going on that it took me this long to get to an internet connected computer. I can check Email and post comments with a phone, but full fanfiction is a bit much.
This is a two-shot story. I have another in progress, but it's slow going (and Oddish and his kids only play a bit part, you can decide whether this is a good thing or not).
MR. ODDISH, 250 as of 2885. Sentinel Titan, hero of Six Fronts and the Battle of Luna. Kinderguardian teacher for the past 101 years. Has a Ghost named SIGMUND. He is modeled after Oddish's first character, a Titan deleted back in Destiny 1.
SAINT-14, age unknown. Former Titan Vanguard, recently rescued by a time-traveling team of Guardians.
PAULA, 106. Striker Titan. Mr. Oddish's longtime friend and Crimson Days partner... and possibly more at this point. Has a Ghost named OLIVIA.
MALEX, 101. Gunslinger Hunter. After a difficult meeting, he and Oddish became close friends and battle comrades. Has a Ghost named PEACEMAKER.
PETRA, 10. Striker Titan and primary kinderguardian. Daughter of Oddish and Paula, though the circumstances are not what you'd think. Has a Ghost named BELLE.
MAGLEV-6 ("Mags"), Adult Guardian revived 4 years ago. The "chosen Guardian", modeled after Oddish's active Titan. Mentioned only.
[i]The following takes place a few months after the events of "The First Kinderguardian".[/i]
Our story begins late at night in the Tower. We're in the quarters shared by Paula and Petra. Oddish and Paula have returned from an evening at the Blustery Brew, and are sitting in armchairs talking about recent events in the Infinite Forest.
PAULA: "So... how does it feel to be back at work after a week off?"
ODDISH: "I'd hardly call it a week off, for any of us. The Intermediates were all covering patrols and materials gathering in the EDZ so that more adult Guardians could scour various timelines for Undying Mind copies."
PAULA: "Not a big deal for them, since they served there in the Red War."
ODDISH: "Yeah, they did fine."
PAULA: "So... how many times did you have to go into the Infinite Forest?"
ODDISH: "I lost count. Sigmund?"
SIGMUND: "We killed the Undying Mind in a total of 106 timelines."
ODDISH: "Yeah. And I think I logged my 80,000th kill."
SIGMUND: "You did not. Since your revival, you have defeated 79,652 non-virtual enemy combatants."
ODDISH: "He's not counting kills inside the Infinite Forest, since they didn't deplete actual enemy numbers."
SIGMUND: "Or Guardian kills in the Crucible, for the same reason."
ODDISH: "Whatever you say, little light."
PAULA: "By the way, did Ikora find out? About you sneaking Petra along on an Undying Mind run?"
ODDISH: "You know about that? I told her not to tell you."
PAULA: "I'm her mother. She tells me everything."
ODDISH: "Yes. Well, enjoy THAT while it lasts." (returns to subject at hand) "Ikora was upset, but she cooled off. She was more upset at Malex, for sneaking along Ricardo later on."
PAULA: "I can't believe you took kinderguardians on combat missions. It's as bad as..."
SIGMUND: "Taking a probationary Guardian on a raid?"
PAULA: "Yes. That."
ODDISH: "It's not like any of us stay dead."
Paula picks up a cushion from the couch and throws it at his head.
PAULA: "That's not the point." (changes the subject) "So, do you know what exactly happened on Mercury?"
ODDISH: "No. I spoke with Mags yesterday afternoon after he got back, but he was so weary from fighting, he didn't want to talk."
SIGMUND: "I don't know much either, but his Ghost was just as bad off as he was. He says he had to revive Mags over a dozen times, despite having a continuous Ward of Dawn to hide under. I didn't know Mags was a Sentinel."
ODDISH: "He usually runs Striker or Sunbreaker, but he can do any sub. But no living Guardian that I know of could generate a continuous Ward of Dawn."
PAULA: "No living Guardian?"
ODDISH: "Remember, I fought alongside Saint-14, back in the day. He was able to make his bubble last way longer than normal, long as he concentrated on maintaining it. But he died long ago... Mags himself discovered his final resting place."
PAULA: "Look, I don't know much either, but here's what I've heard: the Red Legion has gotten their hands on a device that Osiris built on Mercury. I don't know how it works, but it's designed to manipulate the space-time continuum."
SIGMUND: "What do the Cabal want with it?"
ODDISH: "Based on what I know about the Cabal, I'd guess that they're trying to rewrite the past so that they win."
SIGMUND: "I put in some inquiries on the subject. That's exactly what's going on. The Vanguard has managed to keep them in check, but they get cleverer each day."
ODDISH: "We shouldn't be surprised. Remember, the Cabal don't have Hive magic or Vex robotics on their side."
SIGMUND: "Or Guardian light."
ODDISH: "No. Their main asset is gadgetry, and they hold their own with it. A purely technological time-bending device, in their hands, could be bad. If they went back far enough, they could undo the events that led to the formation of the Last City. Without it, humanity would have gone extinct long ago."
PAULA: "I'm surprised Zavala hasn't called you out of the classroom to help deal with them."
ODDISH: "He doesn't like sending me against the Cabal."
PAULA: "Why? You know them better than anyone. With Cayde gone, you're the last ambassador to the Cabal who's still alive."
ODDISH: "That's just it. I was an ambassador to them, once upon a time."
PAULA: "Surely Zavala doesn't think you're on their side."
ODDISH: "No... not even Voo-voo-zela's that dumb. But he thinks I might hesitate when fighting them. Especially against the Centurions or Valuses I worked alongside."
PAULA: "Would you?"
ODDISH (sighs): "If my mission had succeeded, we might have not only lost an enemy but gained access to technology beyond our wildest dreams. We could have repaired the Traveler instead of imprisoning it, maybe given it the ability to expand its field of protection. We might have five or six cities now, instead of one badly scarred one." (sighs) "But I failed. And we've been at war with them for centuries. I can't fix what's been broken for so long. The war against the Cabal might be madness and it might be the end of us in time, but we're committed to it now."
Before Paula can reply, there is a frantic knock on the door, Paula goes to answer it, and encounters Malex, the one and only.
PAULA: "Hey! What brings you here?"
MALEX: "You'd better get to the hangar, right now. You too, Oddish."
ODDISH: "Why? What's going on?"
MALEX: "You won't believe it."
Hearing Malex's voice from her bed, a jammie-clad mini-Titan has entered the room. This would be Petra, their daughter, accompanied as always by her four-footed companion Growler.
PETRA (to Paula): "What's going on, Mom?"
PAULA: "That's what we're about to find out, sweetie."
[u]THE TOWER - Hangar Level[/u]
Oddish and family are not the only Guardians who have been summoned in the night. By the time Petra throws on a jumpsuit and they leave Paula's quarters, there is a growing line for the elevator.
MALEX: "So... you mentioned that the Vex have robotics, the Hive and Taken have magic, and the Cabal have technology... what do the Fallen bring to the table?"
ODDISH: "Adaptability, determination, and pure orneriness. If they weren't trying their hardest to annihilate our species, I think we'd get along with them surprisingly well."
PAULA: "What do you think of the possibility of an alliance between them and us?"
ODDISH: "It's hard to say. They're more like humans than any of us like to admit."
SIGMUND: "Is that a strength or a shortcoming?"
They are silent throughout the elevator ride. At the top, a throng of Guardians, civilians, and even frames is flooding steadily toward the hangar. Upon reaching the massive room, Oddish sees the massive ship that has just landed, and his eyes go wide.
ODDISH: "It... it can't be."
ODDISH: "That's Saint's ship. I'd know it anywhere. But... he died fighting the Vex. Maglev-6 himself found his body."
PAULA: "Might he have made a mistake?"
ODDISH: "All three Vanguard members saw the telemetry from Mags' Ghost. Including Ikora, and she doesn't make mistakes like that."
PETRA: "Could someone have stolen Saint's ship?"
ODDISH: "If they did, they wouldn't come here in it."
MALEX: "That's right, kiddo. Saint-14's one of the Vanguard's greatest heros. If someone stole his ship, they'd probably be lynched."
They continue to approach the ship's sole occupant, and Oddish stops in his tracks in disbelief.
PETRA: "What's wrong, Dad? Who is that?"
ODDISH: "It's true. That's Saint-14; I'd know him anywhere. He was Titan Vanguard when Osiris was in charge."
PAULA: "And your mentor, if I remember."
ODDISH: "Well, Guardian Daniel was my official mentor. But, Saint taught me some important lessons as well."
PAULA: "Really? Like what?"
ODDISH: "Many things. When and where to pop a Ward of Dawn... how to carry a rocket launcher on my back without overbalancing... how to headbutt a Hive Knight without winding up cross-eyed... and one of the most important lessons I've learned."
PETRA: "What was that, Dad?"
Oddish only smiles... and thinks back...
To be continued...
Part 2: https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/257417261
Oddish's Index Page: https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/228589572