The night was still. The air was silent, save for a few chirping insects. Wind blew gently across the sparse trees and bushes, causing their leaves to shudder gently. The stars shone in the night sky, and the moon gleamed, casting its pale light down upon the earth, its appearance showing nothing but innocence, despite the horrors which it held. Then, something changed. A light, like a star, began slowly descending from the sky, growing bright and brighter as it hurdled towards the earth. Then, the calmness of the night was shattered by a colossal explosion, shaking the ground and sending dirt high into the air. Slowly, the dust began settling, reveling the cause of the impact. A Hive seeder ship, its hull black as the night, and necrotic green lights shining from the trailing end, jutted up from the crater of its impact, steam rising from its hot surface, the earth surrounding it scotched black from the extreme heat. However, this intrusion did not go unnoticed by the local residents.
A nearby hillside suddenly shuddered, the front side of it shifting before collapsing inwards, reveling the gaping entrance to a cave. Three green eyes materialized from the blackness, gazing out of the cave, watching the seeder ship. As if in response, the side of the ship slowly slide open, reveling its darkened interior as it began glowing orange. Upon seeing this, the green eyes within the cave seemed to shudder, and a deep roared sounded from the darkness. Thrall, the horrific spawn of the Hive, rushed from the cave, snarling as they charged the ship. Their pale hides and blacked skulls, marked with white bands, reveled them as belonging to the Blood of Oryx sect. Forms began appearing within the orange glow of the ship, which materialized into more Thrall, who also rushed out, snarling as they sprinted towards the others. However, these looked far different than most Thralls. Their hides were blackened, as if burned in a fire, and crack like fissures snaked over their bodies, a deep orange glow emanating from the fissures, as if magma lay just beneath their flesh. Their claws glowed with solar energy instead of arc, and saliva that resembled lave seeped from their jaws. The two waves of Thrall collided, tearing into each other with reckless abandon, like two rabid wolves fighting over a kill.
More Hive began to emerged, both from the ship and from the cave. Acolytes, bearing the colors of the Blood of Oryx, stormed out, shredders in hand. They dove behind the cover of several boulders, then began firing at the thrall and ship. From the ship, Acolytes with flesh burned like the Thrall ran out, their armor a pale orange, caked in blacked ash, three horns jutting backwards from their helmets, and bodies riddled with the glowing fissures. Their eyes were orange instead of the typical green, and a hole was in their chests, seeping a magma like fluid, similar to the saliva dripping from their mouths. These were then joined by something else entirely. Three figures rushed out. They resembled the Acolytes, but with a few major differences. Orange transparent and glowing crystal jutted out from their gauntlets, knee and shoulder pads, and replaced the spikes on their helmets. Their helmets covered their eyes, replacing them with orange slits, giving them a far more fearsome appearance. Their exposed teeth were also sharper, more blade like as opposed to the flattened teeth of most Hive. Their fingers were tipped in more of the crystals, turning them into glowing, bladelike claws that put the claws of the Thrall to shame. These clawed hands gripped dual shredders, greatly increasing their deadliness. These were Marauders, a rarer, but far deadlier breed of Acolyte.
After the Acolytes, came the Knights, bellowing in fury at each other, cleavers in hand as they sprinted forward. The ones from the ship matched the other Hive from the ship. Blacked hide and armor, fissures of fire, orange eyes, and the gaping hole within their chests, magma like fluid seeping from them, and twin horns placed on the Knight's helmet. The Knights swept the Thrall aside with great sweeps, then their blades slammed together, shattering the night with crashes of fury. Shredder bolts tore through the air, and the cleavers slammed against each other with horrific crashes.
One of the Blood of Oryx knights blocked a down strike from its foe, raising its blade above its head to stop the cleaver. It then shoved back, then swung the blade in a wide arc. The charred Knight lept backward, snarling as it spun, swinging its blade back around. The blood knight ducked under the blade, jabbing its sword forward. The dull dip of the cleaver punched through the Knight's gut, causing dust to erupt out of the charred Knight's back. The Knight groaned, but its pain was cut short as the blood Knight ripped the blade from its gut, then swung it around, cleaving the charred Knight's head from its shoulders, resulting in it erupting into burning embers. One of the Marauders snarled at the Knight, firing at it with its twin shredders. Caught off guard, the Knight groaned in pain as the bolts of void energy tore through its back. The Knight turned, snarling at the Marauder and sprinting towards it, ignoring the void shots that peppered its chest and gut despite the ash leaking from several bullet wounds. However, before the Knight could smash the Marauder with its cleaver, the mutated Acolyte lept into the air, dropping its shredders and snarling as it landed on top of the Knights head. With its clawed, hand like feet, it griped the Knight's shoulders, straddling its head. It then slammed its clawed fingers into the Knight's face, the claws snagging the plate that protected its eyes before yanking up, prying the armored plate from the Knight's face and tearing out its eyes along with it. The Knight roared in pain as the plate tore free, several small tendrils now writhing on the eye plate as a thick black fluid began oozing from the new hole torn in the Knight's face. Blinded, the Knight swung its arms widely, frantically trying to shake the Marauder from its shoulders, but the attacker's clawed feet kept it in place. The Marauder then shoved its hand into the hole within the Knight's face, its claws digging into the soft flesh within the beast's skull. Grabbing a handful of brain matter, the Marauder yanked out its hand, resulting in the Knight's body erupting into embers underneath the Marauder's feet, the junk in its hand dissolving into ash.
A charred Knight roared, swinging its cleaver in a diagonal swing at a blood Knight, forcing it to leap to the side, its side being sliced open from the tip of the sword. The Knight clutched its side, ash pouring out from between its fingers, as it swung its sword at the charred Knight in an attempt to ward it off. The charred Knight blocked the swing with its own sword before slamming it onto the Knight's neck, bursting it to embers. The Knight then turned, snarling as it ran towards the remaining Acolytes, swinging its sword to slam one of them into a nearby boulder, the impact shattering the Hive warrior into ash. The last Acolyte dove behind a rock, avoiding a second swing by the Knight. Pressing its back against the rock, the Acolyte glanced around the corner, watching the charred Knight fight against one of the few remaining blood Knights. However, it only got to watch for a few seconds before something tackled it to the ground. It glanced up, locking eyes with a snarling Marauder. The beast snarled, then swung its shredder down at the Acolyte, planning to smash its head in with the weapon. The Acolyte rolled to the side, slipping out from under the Marauder and barely dodging the impact. The Acolyte tried to stand back up, but was stopped as the Marauder slammed its foot into its back, its hooked claws digging into the Acolyte's back. It then shoved its clawed hands into the Acolytes back before lowly lifted the hive warrior up into the air, ash raining from its back. But the fight wasn't over. The Acolyte suddenly shifted its weight, surprising the Marauder as it rolled down its arm, wrapping its right arm around the Marauders, and clenching its arm. The Marauder's arm snapped just above the elbow, resulting in the beast snarling in pain and dropping its shredder. The Acolyte, acting fast, snatched up the weapon, shoved it into the Marauder's gut, and fired until void bolts erupted from its back. The Marauder groaned, keeling over as its slowly began dissolving. The Acolyte literally tore itself away, ripping off the arm as it stepped aside, avoiding the Marauder as it dropped to its knees, then collapsed, its armor falling apart as the ash inside scattered with the wind. The Acolyte turned slowly, ashes dripping from the large wound in its back. It took a single step before collapsing, its strength failing. It lay still, the light fading from its eyes as its slowly crumbled into dust.
A charred Knight charged two blood Knight's, fearless as it faced two foes. The two Knights snarled at the one, one swinging it blade high, the other swinging low. The charred knight jumped over the blades before landing on top of one of them. Conjuring a wall of darkness, the knight slammed the wall into the blood Knight, knocking it backwards and disarming it. The charred Knight turned to the unarmed Knight, snarling as it advanced on its pray. Suddenly, a clever erupted from the Knight's chest, surprising it. The second blood Knight had thrown its weapon, resulting in the blade embedding itself inside of the Knights back. The charred Knight dropped to its knees, ash dripping from around the blade, before the second blood Knight placed it foot on the Knight's back, grabbed its sword hilt, then ripped it upward, splitting the Knight in half. It then turned to its companion, extending a hand to help it up. Accepting it, the two knights turned and faced the last remaining charred Knight. They glared at the Knight, which slowly backed up, glancing between the two Knights. Snarling, they took a step forward, preparing to charge, but stopped as an earthshaking roar split the air. The three Knights turned, facing the ship as one final, much larger figure, appeared within the ship.
It resembled a Knight, but was far different, standing a foot taller than the other Knights. Its gauntlets, calf guards, shoulder pads, and helmet were all covered in the same glowing orange crystals that covered the Marauder's body. It's flesh, like the others, was blacked, and its pale orange armor caked with black ash. The fissures covering its body glowed even more fiercely than the other's and the hole in its chest seeped a larger amount of the magma like fluid. Its helmet was form fitting, and had two large sweeping crests jutting back from the side of its head. Along with this, a large horn swept back over the helmet, and glowed with fiery light. The front of the crests had jutting pieces of metal attached to them, extending down and forming bladed mouth guards that flanked the mouth. The eyes were covered by the blacked helmet, orange slits replacing the eyes. The slits burned with fire, which seeped from the slits, and billowed out of the helmet. The exposed mouth had large, blade like teeth, and the same magma like saliva dripped from its snarling mouth. Its hands were covered in thick, spiked gauntlets, each one with two large spikes attached to its knuckles, giving it a deadly punch. These brutal gauntlets held a large pole, capped on both ends with savage spear tips, glowing with solar energy. An upside-down cleaver, its tip and blade sharpened to a wicked point, and the hilt replaced with a second bladed tip, was fastened to the pole, along with a smaller, hooked blade attached opposite of the larger blade. This weapon resembled an executioners axe, and burned with hellish flame that licked across the blade. This was a Verdugo, the deadliest and most blood thirsty spawn that a non-Ascendant Hive could become.
The beast roared in fury before sprinting towards the battle, catching the blood Knights by surprise. The Verdugo swung its axe in a large sweep, splitting the legs of a Knight at the knees, causing it to drop to the ground. It glanced up just in time for its attacker to swing its axe downwards, cleaving the Knight completely in two, resulting in the two halves dissolving into ash. The Verdugo then spun its axe, hooking the smaller blade around the second Knight's neck, before yanking it towards it. The Verdugo slammed its spiked fist into the Knight's face, caving it in with a brutal crunch before releasing it. The Knight stumbled back, black ooze and ash dribbling out of its shattered face as it dropped to its knees, then toppled backwards, the body crumbling to ash and scattering the armor. With the blood Knights now dead, the Verdugo turned its attention to the cave, were a wizard had just emerged, followed by three more Knights. She screeched in surprise upon seeing the Verdugo, then floated higher into the air, her hands glowing with arc energy as she unleashed a volley upon the now charging Verdugo and the sole surviving charred Knight, which now charged behind its champion.
The Verdugo roared, raising its hand and conjuring up a wall of darkness. However, unlike a Knight, the Verdugo was able to move with the wall up, allowing it to continue its charge while blocking the wizard's attack. The wizard snarled in annoyance before hurling a darkness curse directly at the Verdugo. Its shield having expired, the Verdugo rolled to the side, avoiding the blast, which struck the charred Knight in the chest, opening a large gash on its chest and throat. The Knight wailed in pain as the necrotic energy began eating away at its flesh, forcing it to drop to its knees before collapsing, the energy dissolving its flesh into nothing. Now closer, the blood Knights ran out from behind the wizard, lifting their cleavers to intercept the Verdugo. However, acting faster than the Knights anticipated, the Verdugo quickly swung its axe in an upward swing, splitting one Knight in half at the hips, and crashing the side of the blade into the head of another, swatting it aside. It then then drove the axe tip into the knee of the third, dropping the Knight before slamming its fist into the Knight's head, putting it to the ground. The wizard screeched in fear, floating backwards as she unleashed another volley of darkness bolts, but it wasn't enough. The Verdugo lept into the air, and impaled the wizard with the long end of its axe, skewering her through the chest. It then slammed her into the ground, nearly knocking the wizard out. The Verdugo yanked the spear from the wizard's chest, lifted its axe, then brought it down on her head, resulting in her screaming as she erupted into embers. However, the executioner's victory was short lived.
One of the Knights that had been swatted aside had recovered, and now swung its cleaver into the Verdugo's left arm, slicing it off just above the elbow. The mutated Knight roared in pain and fury, turning around and swinging its axe at the Knight, forcing it to leap backward to avoid the flaming blade. As the Verdugo swung high, the Knight ducked under the swing, and ran the beast through, the blunt tip of the cleaver bursting out of its back. However, the Verdugo was unfazed. It grabbed the Knight's wrist, dragged it forward, then slammed its head into the Knights, causing its helmet to crack, and ooze to spill out over its eyes. The Verdugo then lifted its axe, and swung the blade, cleaving the Knight's head clean off at the shoulders, resulting in it erupting into embers. But before the armor had hit the ground, the Verdugo's leg was split right at the knee, dropping it to the ground. It awkwardly turned, and met the eyes of the last blood Knight, its knee busted and ash and ooze dripping from its cracked helmet. The Verdugo only let out an angry snarl before the Knight rammed its cleaver straight into its face, right between the eyes. The beast's snarl was cut short, replaced with a haggled gurgle as the magma like fluid leaked from the split skull. The Knight then wrenched its bladed out, splitting the head in two and reducing the Verdugo to a cloud of embers.
Breathing heavily, the Knight scanned the surrounding carnage. Seeing no more enemy Hive, it turned and slowly limped back down into the cave from whence it came. The intruders had been defeated. For now.
"So, if your entire race is female, how do you reproduce?"
"Well, when an Asari and her lover decide to mate, they…"
"Please, you don't need to tell us."
"It's no trouble, I get this question all the time."
"It's not for your sake, it's for my own."
Tri groaned, placing his head back on his medical chair and rubbing his forehead. He felt awful. He'd been fine up until they'd gotten on board the ship, but once they'd left the Cosmodrome, his hyper actuators (think adrenaline) slowed down. Now he was suffering from some of the worse feedback jams he'd ever felt. So, here he was, reclining in his personal medical chair, a large metal vest over his torso, waiting for the nanites to patch up the several injures he'd received, which were actually more then he'd expected.
"Oh, come on Tri, let the woman explain. Would give her something to do." Amber said as she lightly punched him in the arm, earning her a glare from him. He glanced at the alien, looking over her. She was strikingly like a human. Same face shape, same hands, same build. In fact, give her a different skin tone and replace her weird head tentacles with hair and she'd easily pass as a human. However, what bothered him is that he found her attractive, something that he was quite unfamiliar with. He shook off the feeling, and glanced at Shepard, who reclined against the wall close by.
"So, she's an old friend of your?" Shepard glanced up at him, nodding.
"Yes. We've been very close friends for many years now, and I can assure you that she is completely trustworthy and should be able to…"
"Shepard. For the last time, I said no. Not right now."
"What do you think she's going to do, blow up the place? Assassinate someone?"
"Think of it this way. She is an unknown. An unknown that we recovered from Fallen territory. For all the Vanguard knows, she could be a spy of some type, or yes, an assassin sent in to kill the Vanguard, or, maybe lead the Fallen in through some secret way so they can kill us all."
"But she would never do that."
"And I'm sure your right, but I can't be certain, so there's no way she entering the Tower."
Tri grabbed the vest and yanked it off of him, sitting up in the seat. A fine, sand like substance fell from his stomach, the nanites. While they'd repaired the most serious damage, he still had some untreated damage left on his dermal plates. Those would have to wait. He stood, stretching his arms, ignoring the feedback jam that screamed from his joints. Pulling his chest armor on, he glanced back at the women behind him. The alien, Liara if he remembered correctly, stood with her arms crossed, and was having a quiet conversation with Amber, who was leaning on the med chair. Judging from the occasional glance in his direction, the silent tone, and Amber's occasional chuckle, they must be talking about the breeding thing. How crude. Meanwhile Shepard seemed to be pouting. He sighed. He'd deal with that later. At the moment, he needed to figure out what to do with the…Asari. He believed that's what she said she was. At any rate, his options were few, and unfortunately, the best option wasn't very reassuring.
"Buggy. Could you come her please?"
Tri glanced over his shoulder, spotting the green and yellow Ghost flying towards him, yellow eye bright.
"What's up boss?" Tri glanced at the feminine sounding Ghost, and rubbed his forehead.
"Buggy. I need to go down to the Tower for a while, but I don't want any of them," he gestured to the women behind him, "leaving. Unfortunately, out of all of them, you're the one I trust the most. So, once Sparks drops me off at the Tower, he will transfer ship controls to you."
Buggy's eyes widened with excitement. Clearly, she like this idea, maybe too much, and that worried Tri.
"I want you to take the ship back into orbit, and stay there until I signal you. Under no circumstances are you to go anywhere except where I call you. I don't care if a cabal fleet arrives and starts destroying the City, you don't budge. Alright." She nodded at him excitedly. Tri gave her the "really" look that parent give children when telling them orders.
"You're not going to leave because of some stupid reason."
"No sir. I will keep the ship in space, even if the world is ending."
Tri sighed. Dear Traveler I hope this isn't a mistake. "Alright. I'm counting on you. Don't make me regret it."
Buggy floated high, spinning with excitement. She slowly began heading back towards Amber.
"Don't worry boss, I won't let you down." She turned around, and slammed straight into a support beam with a thud. Tri's shoulders sagged as Sparks appeared, both watching as Buggy shook herself, then zipped back to Amber's side.
Tri landed in the courtyard of the tower, glancing back at his ship as it turned around and headed back into orbit. Breaking into a jog, he quickly ran downstairs. As he passed, he waved at Eris, who stood in her normal spot between the stairs, but she only glared at him in response, as per usual. Entering the Hall of Guardians, he quickly moving towards the back and approached Cayde. The Hunter Vanguard glanced up from some reports he had been reading, and smiled upon seeing his friend.
"Tri, good to see you. I trust your investigation into the Fallen signal went well?"
Tri rubbed the back of his head. "Yes, it did. But that's why I'm here. I need to talk to you." He glanced at Zavala, who was working on some paperwork. "In private."
Cayde blinked, glancing around. "Oh Ah, sure." Tri placed a hand on Cayde's shoulder, then led him up the stairs, down a side hall, and into an empty room, shutting the door behind them. Cayde glanced at the door, then back to Tri.
"Try to be quick. Zavala doesn't like it when I "wander off". Tri nodded, then spoke.
"That "item of interest" that the Fallen had found, wasn't an item at all. It was a person."
Cayde's eyes widened. "Really? A person? Who was it?"
Tri shrugged his shoulders. "Well. That's the thing. The person is… an unknown alien species."
Cayde blinked, caught off guard. "Wait. An unknown alien species, in Fallen custody. Is it hostile?"
Tri shook his head. "No. She is actually quite friendly and seems to be friends with…" Tri stopped, realizing what he was saying. Cayde noticed, and raised a brow.
"Friends with who?"
"No one. Slip of the tongue."
"Tri. You don't have a tongue. Who is it that knows the alien?"
Tri sighed, rubbing his forehead. After a few seconds pause, and Cayde's drilling stare, he answered.
"Her name is Shepard. She's a new guardian within my squad. She's friends with the alien, knows all about her. Says she's trustworthy."
"And how does this Shepard know this alien, and how does a guardian encounter a new species without sharing it?"
Tri shrugged. "I'm not sure, but I trust Shepard. She helped with the alien's rescue, and has done nothing to show dishonesty."
Cayde stroked his chin, thinking.
"So, where is this alien now?"
"She, along with the rest of my squad, are on board my ship, waiting in orbit."
"Can I meet this alien?"
"Only if you can get make sure Zavala doesn't shoot her or arrest her on sight."
"Ahhh, so that's why you wanted to speak privately, scared you'd get on bad terms with your boss."
Tri glared at Cayde, who chuckled in response, smirking.
"I'll get Zavala to loosen up, and when he gives the OK, I'll let you know immediately."
Tri sighed in relief. "Thanks, Cayde."
"No problem, but you do owe me for this. I get to speak with it first, right?" He extended his hand. Tri chuckled, taking it.
"Only if you get there before Ikora." They pulled themselves together, and butted heads, their horns locking for a second before they pulled away, Cayde patting Tri's shoulder.
"Alright. I'll be sure to be there first." Tri smiled, then turned, heading back towards the steps. As he left, Cayde's communicator beeped. Picking it up, he flipped it open, holding it to his head.
"Wait slow down, what happened?"
"They're fighting each other? I didn't think that was possible."
"You didn't get involved, did you?"
"Geez, you trying to get yourself killed?"
"Alright, alright. No need to snap. I know you can handle yourself. Just try to stay out of it, and report back to me if you find out anything else. Just don't call me during work hours."
"Yes. I'm aware that entails not calling during the day, but that…"
"Yes, I know it's an inconvenience but so is being stuck inside the Tower all the time, but you don't hear me complain about that."
"Well if I knew that than I would be working on it, now wouldn't I?"
"Yeah. I hope so too. Bye now."
Cayde put his communicator away, and quickly exited his room. If his informant was desperate enough to call him during daylight hours, then there were more serous things then an unknown alien that Zavala needed to know about.
Shepard sat in the ship, sighing to herself. She wasn't sure how long they'd been waiting, but it was long enough to make her bored. She glanced up, looking at the other people in the room. Amber lay on the med chair, her hands behind her head and her hood pulled up, most likely napping. Liara sat crosses legged on the floor, her eyes closed and head bowed, probably meditating. Shepard stood, walked over to Liara, then sat down next to her, placing a hand gently on her shoulder. Liara jumped slightly, lifting her head and glancing back at Shepard.
"Oh Shepard, you startled me." Shepard smiled softly, patting her friends shoulder.
"How you feeling Liara, you coping alright?" Liara shrugged, then glanced at her hands.
"It's all a bit surreal, An entirely new reality, with a new earth and new races. In most cases I'd say such an idea was ridiculous, but now." She shook her head, then glanced back at Shepard, who chuckled.
"Yeah, it takes some getting used to, but it's actually easier to adjust then you'd think."
Liara nodded. "I hope so." A thought suddenly occurred to Shepard, causing her smile to fade.
"Hey Liara, you wouldn't happen to know where Garrus is, would you?"
Liara rose a brow. "No. I assumed he was here with you." Shepard shook her head, and Liara's face paled some.
"What if he's still out there? What if he's injured?" Liara's voice rose, and panic was evident, but she stopped when Shepard returned her hand to her shoulder.
"I'm sure he's alright, he's a tough guy. I'm sure he's hiding in some hole, killing anything that comes near him." Both Shepard and Liara chuckled at this.
"Yeah. He seems to be good at that."
Both women turned and looked at Amber, who was now sitting up in her chair, glancing between the two of them.
"One of my best friends and closest ally. He was with us when we… well when we ended up here."
"A man working with two women, sounds like quite the charmer."
"You don't know the half of it," Liara whispered under her breath, earning a quick glare from Shepard, however, Amber didn't notice.
"You mind telling me what he looks like? Would help if I ever ran into him."
"He's a Turian, a tall, bird like race that's covered in metal like plates. You'd know him when you see him."
Amber's eyes widened slightly, then she glanced to the side.
"You guys come from a messed-up universe. Aliens that resemble human models and metallic birds. Weird."
"Oh please, like this one is any less weird."
Amber chuckled, glancing back at Shepard. "Oh, never said mine wasn't weird, but at least mine makes sense."
"Yes, because Light fighting the Darkness isn't the most cliché thing ever and makes total sense. Right."
Liara rose a brow, glancing back at Shepard. "What are you talking about?"
"I'll tell you later."
Amber rose her hand in surrender. "Alright. I guess both of our realities are equally weird."
Letting out an explosive sigh, Amber laid back down in the chair, pulling her hood back over her eyes. They sat there in awkward silence for about five minutes before Amber sat up again, face red.
"What the hell is taking so long?"
Wind blew loudly across the frozen wasteland, blowing the snow into large and large drifts. The air was blackened by clouds, and the frozen, crumbling city sat in ruins, half buried and covered in ice. In a nearby clearing, a Cabal Psion was digging through the snow and ice with a scorch digger. The device melted clear through the frozen debris, burning it away into nothing. Two more Psion stood next to the first, also digging. These Psion's were also dressed differently than most Psion's. The helmet looked mostly the same, except for the lower portion of the helmet, were a facial hood covered it along with the neck, protecting the neck from snow and trapping heat. A large orange light identified the front of the Psion's helmet, and allowed it to see, blocking out any glare and piercing through thick snow. A kama covered their legs, proving extra protection from the cold, along with bulkier armor plates and cloth under-armor. Their shoulders were far bulkier, and glowed with a heating box, as well as something else. On the lower portion of the enlarged shoulder/back armor, several plates were separated, allowing small jets of slow moving blue energy to shoot downward. This device was actually a repulsion engine, using charged ion particles to create a steady and energy efficient lift that prevented the Psion from sinking into snow and breaking ice due to its weight. Their armor was a deep blue, and had pale white strips running across the chest and limbs. Small orange lights dotted the armor as well, showing that it was fully powered and sealed.
Behind the Psion's, two Legionaries stood guard. Their armor was almost identical to the Psion's, except with larger and bulkier plates, and a much bigger repulsion engine to keep the larger Cabal from sinking in the snow. They wielded modified slug rifles, which had longer barrels and shallower stocks, resulting in the resembling more traditional rifles. These modified slug rifles also had a bayonet attached to the underside, greatly increasing its lethality.
As the Psion's dug deeper into the snow and ice, one of them stopped, noticing something beneath the ice. Placing its drill onto its back, it pulled out a collapsible pickaxe, which unfolded into its full length, the spiked blade glowing with solar energy. It picked at the ice gently, and finally revealed something of interest. A large piece of blackened metal jutted from the ice, the rest descending deep into the ice and out of sight. The Psion turned, placing a finger on its helmet, and contacted the guards outside.
"This is Psion digger 2-9, contact the Centurion. I found something."
One of the guards glanced down the hole, spotting the Psion. He placed his hand on his helmet, extending an antenna up to increase his call.
"Copy that 2-9. Get the other diggers to enlarge the opening, the Centurion will be here shortly.
A few minutes later, a snow interceptor, a modified cabal craft designed for snow travel, arrive at the dig sight. The top opened up, and the Centurion climbed out. His armor was nearly identical to the Legionaries, but still possessed the characteristic back fins along with the larger, upturned helmet design. It wielded an arctic slug rifle instead of a projection rifle, and a large, shotgun like weapon was attached to its back. The Legionnaires dipped their head slightly in respect of their commander, but they didn't salute him. Saluting on the field was forbidden. The Centurion glanced at the Legionaries, then at the large hole dug into the hillside. He then walked into the hole, followed by the two guards. The Psion had enlarged the hole greatly, but it was still a tight fit, but the larger Cabal ignored it.
"What is it?'
"Sir. Digger 2-9 reported his findings ten minutes ago. We called it in immediately, so we are not sure what it is, but the digger claims that it's Vex tech sir." The Centurion stopped, staring at the metal beam protruding from the side of the tunnel. He kneeled down, and ran his hand over the metal surface.
"It would seem that the Primus was correct. It is here. Contact the ship. Inform them of the discovery and tell them to move all dig team to this location."
The Legionaries nodded before turning and running out of the tunnel.
"Right away sir."
As the left, the Centurion ran his hand over the metal beam on final time.
"You thought that you could hide yourself forever, but your wrong. Once we dig you out, your secrets will be ours, and your reign of terror will come to an end."
Eris stood by her table of artifacts, gazing into the orb that she kept with her at all times. Most of the time, the stone was silent, but now, it buzzed and glowed brightly, and twirled within the sphere as if it was alive. Eris ran her hand over it, and coaxed out what it was hiding. Green flame erupted from the orb, and her eyes widened as images filled her mind.
A battle, Hive against Hive. A large Knight, welding a flaming axe, cleaving through lesser Knights as if they were Thrall. An Ogre, its hide covered it crystal growths and with nails driven through its limbs, battling against two smaller Ogres. A Fallen, its armor blackened and eyes green as the Hive, watched the fighting from affair. Fallen dressed in dark robes, bowed before a Hive crystal. A knife flashed, a Fallen screamed as its eyes were cut from its face. Another Fallen placed something within the torn face. Three green eyes, dripping black ooze, stared out from the Fallen's face. A wasteland of snow, a frozen city, occupied by cabal. The ice glows red, and the Cabal fight against invaders, unaware of the threat beneath their feet. A human female, flanked by two strange creatures, stood within a courtyard, surrounded by strange statues. The floor glowed, and the statues came alive. The wall shattered, replaced by a ring of light, and a form emerged. A flash of light, and they vanished. A creature, bound in chains, screamed in agony, blue fluid flowing from its impaled form, thrashing against the chains that held it. Then, the images faded to black, and were replaced by members of each race, all standing in a line. A Fallen Vandal, a Hive Acolyte, a Vex Goblin, a Cabal Legionary, and even a Guardian. Behind them stood thousands of shadowed figures, each one different from the last. All stood, then all screamed as their flesh erupted into flames, burning it away until only charred skeletons remained. The screams of the dead rose higher, and were joined by a laugh. Then the images were pulled back out of her mind.
Eris gasped, stumbling back some. She placed a hand on her head, steadying herself. Whatever she had just seen, it scared her almost as much as Crota had. Something was happening, something that would lead to the destruction of everything within existence. An unknown force that threatened to burn the worlds to ash. Shaking herself, Eris glanced back down at the stone, then turned to her artifact table. She had some research to do.