Chapter 15: Special

108 5 28

Death

Not exactly what he had on his to-do list, as he recalled. And though he was well aware of how dangerous the mission was going to be, no one could have guessed that the game was rigged from the start.

He was careless, and that's a bit of an understatement.

It wasn't supposed to be him, after all. But he wasn't going to stand idly and watch it happen before his eyes.

She was still in his arms when the blast of dark energy met its mark.

If he had known that it was going to end that way, he probably would have chosen better last words than, "Why are you crying? I thought you wanted me dead."

To which the angered reply was, "Not like this, you shithead!"

...

He did regret that. Despite their constant bickering with one another, they had a mutual understanding. Even if neither would openly admit it.

Lazarus had been consumed by the Darkness in the Black Garden that day, but his Light had not. The Darkness that consumed him was not the same as the one that had chased the Traveler through so many solar systems.

This Darkness was made by man. The very corruption that lurked throughout the Last City after centuries of desperation and failure. This Darkness was the Traveler's last hope of reawakening.

For years, this Darkness had been taking the lives of many Guardians, returning their Light to its rightful owner. The experiments that were being conducted on refugees in the Ocean of Storms served a similar purpose. Only this time, the objective was to find a way to strip a Guardian of their Light without resorting to murder.

Up until this point, all attempts have been unsuccessful, to the relief of the refugees. But there was a second experiment that had proved otherwise.

Word on the Exo experiment got around rather quickly in the refugee camp. The fact that an Exo could be reprogrammed to follow orders was an incredible, yet horrific revelation. It did, however, inspire a new question in the minds of the refugees.

Could this new practice be used to their advantage?

The very idea sparked a new conflict within the camp. Fellow Guardians began to clash with one another on the topic. People or machines? With a lack of any proper leadership, the dispute showed no signs of blowing over easily.

The Exo as a race were now being looked upon in an entirely different manner.

They're family.

They're weapons of war.

I can't do that to my friend.

It's the only way they can be trusted.

The faction leaders even found themselves taking sides in the matter. While the Future War Cult believed in finding any means necessary to put an end to the war, Dead Orbit enforced the idea that this would make them no better than the New Monarchy.

With the factions at each others throats, the camp slowly began its plunge into chaos. They found themselves in dire need of a proper leader, and no one was willing to step up for the job.

With the idea of a rebellion sparking the hearts of the Guardians back at the Tower, most assumed that the Exo Stranger would be the the one taking charge of the entire operation. But as the Last City fell, she seemed to have disappeared within the ashes.

Where did she come from?

Why did she leave?

Theories had begun to spring up the moment the refugees first landed on Venus. That she had abandoned them. That she was a mere illusion. That she never was.

This was among the list of questions that were never to be answered.

The Reef didn't provide much input either. Although their alliance offered the promise of resources and reinforcements, Mara Sov refused to intervene with more political affairs. Especially now that a much bigger threat seemed to be impending on the Reef, thanks to the actions of one fireteam.

Despite the team's best efforts to keep him stabilized, Zero passed before they could even mount him on the ship. The Darkness had consumed him with a thirsty vengeance.

For one week, Maya was trapped within the depths of the Stills, with no one but the dark below to keep her company. One week, the Darkness battled her endlessly, longing to devour her Light.

And throughout one week, she gave them no such pleasure. Vivid hallucinations would not allow her to give it to them.

She emerged from the Temple of Crota victorious, but not unbroken. In the end, no amount of willpower could stop them from taking her brother.

Just because a Guardian loses their ability to wield the Light does not take away their title of 'Guardian.'

One particular Warlock, for example, had yet to finish his work. He continued to watch, as that was really all that was left for him to do at this point.

At least now, he had some decent company.

Denying the Truth (A Destiny Fanfiction)Where stories live. Discover now