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PART II

Explosions filled the air as the Cabal joined the fray. Guardian! There are more ships incoming! Ghost
announced.
The Guardian looked up as more ships entered the atmosphere, crashing to the ground, but none landed
close to the Guardian.
There must be hundreds of them! Why are the Cabal suddenly so interested in Earth? The Guardian
questioned. Ghost appeared, looking towards the battle below them.
I dont know. Maybe you should ask them yourself?
Aww, but we barely know each other and Im not very good at breaking the ice. Ghost turned around
to look at the Guardian.
The sniper hummed in his hands as he squeezed the trigger. The trigger was a lot more resistant
than he remembered, but was doing just what he needed. Minions of the Darkness fell before him,
regardless of race or sect. It was only through the scope of the rifle that the Guardian noticed that the
Fallen below were comprised of both House Devils and House Kings, and that they were working
together.
Why are the Devils helping the Kings? He asked.
Eliksni in dire trouble, no matter their House, Variks crowed. Now, all Eliksni bond under one banner.
PLEASE dont tell me theres another Kell of Kells. Guardian complained as he destroyed the last Vex
Minotaur on the field.
No, Guardian. They combine under Rain banner.
I thought House Rain was torn apart decades ago! A troop of Cabal had noticed the Guardians position,
and were sprinting across the battle field towards him. He lowered his scope, hoping to decimate the
threat before it reached him, but found two shields blocking him. Oh, come on! Thats not even fair!
House Rain was destroyed, yes? No Eliksni ranked within it anymore. Not until, today. Now Eliksni
choose new leaders, from their own. Variks laughed.
Youre still with us though, right? Ghost, shotgun. The sniper faded into the air, replaced by a lighter
shotgun.
I still owe my allegiance to the Queen, and her people.
Oh good, His shotgun fired. I was getting worried.
The pellets bounced harmlessly off of the Phalanxes shields, falling to the ground. The Phalanxes
continued running towards him, crouching behind their shields. Legionaries jumped over them from
behind, attempting to crush the Guardian on landing. He danced forward, avoiding the first Legionary and

killing it immediately. He grabbed the next one by the fist why it was still in the air, swinging it around
and throwing it at the two Phalanxes in front of him, who stumbled backwards under the pressure. The
Guardian pressed the advantage, killing them quickly.
The Legionary he threw lay on its back, dazed. Ghost, he said shortly.
The suits comm systems dont require the inhabitant to be alive to
A blast filled the air.
That works.
Find out what theyre doing here. And get me another sniper.
Ghost deployed over the body, beginning to analyse the systems present. The sniper formed in his hands,
bright yellow, obviously created by Osiris. A silencer was attached to the end of the gun, and the only
sound generated was a thud as it hit its mark. Soon, the beach was silent but the battle waged on in the
forest itself.
Im only getting one signal. Whatever remnant there is of the Cabal hierarchy in their home world, they
are commanding all forces to return.
I thought the Cabal had no word for retreat? The Guardian asked dryly.
No, they dont. They are asking all troops, infantry or vehicular, to focus on the defence of their world,
against the non-seen, non-felt threat.
So against nothing?
Exactly.
The Guardian began jogging down the beach, attempting to reach a melee that had just broken out onto
the beach itself. Invisible Vandals had a clear advantage over the Hive and Cabal, who were slowly
grouping together, surrounded by an invisible, untouchable barrier. However, that barrier was laying
waste to their troops as the Vandals dashed in, killing as many as they chose, before retreating once
more.
Guardian! Ghost shouted. You might want to see this. An image of Earth appeared on his HUD,
before being replaced with a circle. This is the Earths gravimetric field, started Ghost. And Im picking
up a large fluctuation right above Old Russia! A section of the circle broke off, becoming wavy. The
Guardian cast his eyes to the skies, attempting to discern the reason behind the fluctuations. A bright
orange light could be seen, but the sun was on the other horizon. The mysterious light brightened,
expanded, before finally exploding. At first, nothing happened. But then the Fallen ketch uncloaked, and
a heavily-distorted voice filled the air.
FOR THE AWOKEN! FOR THE QUEEN! yelled Petra Venj. A general cheer attempted to make itself
known over the distortion, before the ketch started to dispatch skiffs, assumedly full of Awoken
warrirors.
Zavala! The Guardian said curtly, attempting to raise his mentor. He ducked into cover, hiding behind a
large rock.

Guardian, we are very busy, now isnt the time for chit-chat, Zavala replied, his voice sounding strained.
Then I wont waste your time. You coordinate the defence of the City. Are you not concerned for its
safety with this many enemies on Earth for the first time since the Traveller knows when?!
Guardian, the City houses no Guardians today. The Vanguard are the only three Guardians remaining.
WHAT?! Wheres everyone else? The Guardian peeked over the rock, but quickly ducked back under it
as a wire rifle discharged overhead.
Every other Guardian has been assigned a mission of some description.
The civilians?
Under-ground, where they are safe.
Weve had bunkers this whole time, and no-ones used them? The Guardians weapon was removed
from his hand by an arc beam, as he attempted to blind fire it over the rock. Ghost, were pinned down.
Give me a launcher.
No need, Guardian, Zavala interrupted.
What? What do you mean, no need? Because if you have a way out, I would sure appreciate it right
now! Guardian yelled, as the arc energy continued to fly past him.
We have better, Guardian, Cayde said. We have the cavalry.
Cayde, can you do your job? Zavala interjected bitingly.
What, I saw a chance for some humour. Im sure he appreciated it. It was at that moment Guardian
ships raced past overhead, as uncountable Guardians transmatted onto the beach.
Okay, said the Guardian, I can agree with this.
He formed two spheres of void in his hands, and allowed flames to spread under the surface. As the void
and solar energy combined, the void became more solid, and the flame burned higher, until the Guardian
held self-contained fireballs in either hand. He leapt over the rock, flinging one in the direction of the
melee. The other he threw at a Cabal Centurion that strayed too far from the forest, and would not be reentering it. The Guardians continued to fire into the forest, each sighting their own prey. The Guardian
watched as they swarmed forwards, satisfied that they stood a good chance of clearing the forest, and
assumedly finishing the mission he had been assigned.
As he watched the first push, unusually bright lights appeared in the forest, shining for one to
two seconds, before disappearing. The Guardian leant forward, attempting to catch a glimpse of the
source, when one appeared on the very edge of the forest. Three exos appeared, armed with Dvalin
Forge weapons, and began firing on anything that moved in their sightlines, Light and Dark alike. The
Guardian combined arc and void energy, and formed the now liquefied, electrified void into a lasso like
device. He flung it towards the exos, wrapping it around them, before pulling them closer to him. He
leant close to one, staring it in the eyes.
Rasputin, he said coldly, Push off.

He tightened the lasso, cutting each exo at the waistline.


How did they get here? Ghost materialized, scanning the dead bodies before disappearing, while the
Guardian set off into the forest.
An internal transmatt system, he said.
What do you mean, internal transmatt system? Guardian asked.
I mean, Rasputin has nodes set up all over the planet that he can use for transmatt.
What? spat Cayde, Thats ridiculous, theres no way he managed to do that without us noticing!
Cayde, said Ikora, The bright flashes and sudden appearance arent just special effects. The energy
disturbances created by their arrival are consistent with very old transmatt systems. The Guardian
stopped, ducking behind a tree. He started counting on his fingers, mumbling under his breath.
Everyones here! he exclaimed suddenly.
Sorry? asked Ghost.
Every faction alive within the solar system has showed up in some way or another. Why?
Yeah, started Cayde. Listen, Im gonna go get that stuff Shaxx said he wanted us to bring when we
headed down, Zavala, if youd pick up the tent for the mobile Tactical
Cayde, stop dodging the question! The Guardian yelled, frustrated. He leant around the tree, but found
no enemies within sight. He turned back around, and continued questioning the Vanguard. Why are we
here?
Cayde, why dont you go get ready? Ill handle this. said Ikora.
Oh, thank you! Were even. Cayde almost yelled in relief.
We werent already?
Ikora, everyone owes me one at some point or another.
I dont, mentioned the Guardian.
Yeah, well arent you special, mumbled Cayde as he left the hall.
Guardian, began Ikora. We have only bad news in relation to the events transpiring today. Whatever
set the Traveller in motion had plans for it, plans that werent obvious at first, still arent obvious.
I dont know, stated the Guardian, Give every superpowers so they can kill everything in sight seems
like it was probably the plan, and a good one at that.
Guardian, Ikora said, exasperated, Can I finish?
Ghost, give me an auto-rifle. Sure, Ikora, go for it.
These plans seem to include purity. Whether or not a race was worthy of being blessed by the Traveller.
So they set another device in motion. It followed the Traveller, even further behind than the Darkness.

We call it the Darakt. We dont know a lot about it. The only thing we know, is that it is meant to
introduce balance to a solar system.
Uh-huh, the Guardian said, as he jumped from the trunk of one tree onto another, killing a line of
Vandal snipers in the process. Ghost retrieved ammo from their corpses and placed it straight into the
magazine of the weapon, and the Guardian jumped again. The whole process occurred within a second.
How does it introduce balance?
Think of it like this. If I take all the weights from one side of the scale, and then from the other side, and
dont put any back on
Right. Balance.
Thats the best data we could pull from it when you last flew past it
I flew past it?
When you met the Nine, your ship travelled within a 2 AU radius of the object. Thats close enough for
us to establish an uplink and get information.
I told you we shouldnt have used the ships normal engines for that flight, quipped Ghost.
Yes, and I told you there was no rush! the Guardian snapped back.
Regardless, when you went past, we managed to access its systems and investigate its uses, none of
which seemed beneficial to us.
Okay, so why does any of this matter to The Guardian sighed suddenly. Rasputin has control of it,
doesnt he?
It would appear he does.
And the only way he would have managed to create a connection between himself and that device
would have been from a tap on my ship, wouldnt it?
Thats the current suggestion, yes.
Okay. So why does the Darkness care about it? Surely they have forces outside the solar system. Once
this Darakt thing kills us all, they simply swoop in and pick up the Traveller.
Well, thats the logical way of doing it. But each race has religious value attached to this device. It has
been fired before, the most recent being approximately 2.64 million years ago. The other races present
today would have been present at that firing or have learnt enough about it from other sources to create
nightmare tales about their fate if they are present when it fires, to the point that even the Cabal are
willing to break ranks to prevent it from firing.
So what do they think happens if it fires? The Guardian asked, while engaged in a firefight with three
Hive Knights and seven Acolytes.
The Fallen believe that the Darakt removes their arms, and leaves them with four stubs, surviving on the
smallest sip of Ether possible. Since Fallen hierarchy is based on how many arms they have, and their size
is based on Ether, its a pretty horrible fate. The Guardian threw his auto-rifle behind the remaining

Acolyte and Knights, distracting them. His sword appeared in his hand as he lunged forward. The Vex see
it as the only device that is capable of removing them from the fabric of the universe within an instant. In
fact, half of the simulations in the Vault of Glass refer to the firing of the Darakt and how unlikely it is that
the Vex would survive an encounter with
You knew about it from when we first entered the Vault? The Guardians voice sounded like it could cut
butter. He stopped mid-swing, causing the remaining Hive to become confused. He looked at them. I
really dont have time for you right now, he mumbled, as he willed fire into one hand and electricity into
the other. He clapped his hands, and the explosion fanned outwards, dissolving the Hive into dust.
I didnt Yes, weve known about the Darakt that whole time. Ikora dejectedly responded.
Why tell me that it was my fault that you found it?
Because the Darakt is the Vanguards best kept secret. The leaving member tells their replacement of
the Darakt, but swears them to secrecy. Theres no point inducing mass panic.
And Rasputin?
That part wasnt a lie. The Guardian sighed.
Right. So the Vex fear it will remove them from the universe itself?
Yes. The Hive believe it will inflict torment upon their very souls, 1000 times more harsh then the
torment they inflict upon Thrall to transform them into Ogres. The Cabals beliefs make a little less sense
though. They believe that this device will magically erase all memory of each solider caught in the blast
from the Empires collective mind. Past that point, each solider is then sent to a different planet
individually, where they must live out the rest of their days.
And what about us? What do we believe about it?
The humanoids believe it to an extinction-level event. It will not leave anyone alive.
Which is exactly why we need to get moving! Cayde interrupted. We need to get a base established
closer to the action! Help the troops a little more. Guardian, listen, I know youre cut
Thats an understatement, the Guardian huffed.
Regardless, Cayde said strongly, This is important. This sorta work requires a legend. What do you say?
One last ride? The Guardian paused a second.
This isnt a last ride. This is business as usual.
Thats my man! Listen, we have reports of more Cabal ships landing, all across the world. I dont think
they realize the big target is here, in Russia.
Understood. Ill keep an eye out, thanks for the intel. And Cayde? Were both walking away from this,
mark my words. The Guardian ran further into the forest, attempting to catch up with the Guardians
who had long since outpaced him. It would have been impossible for him to see a frown form on Caydes
face, the first in many, many years.

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