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Role Play => Character Profiles => Topic started by: Danny on March 15, 2015, 04:05:05 AM



Title: Tala
Post by: Danny on March 15, 2015, 04:05:05 AM
(https://i.imgur.com/PMOWywM.jpg)


Alias(es): None
Race: Awoken
Gender: Female
Physical Description: Shorter than a titan, taller than a hunter

Affiliation:

Class: Stasis, Solar

Biography: Initially resurrected in the Carpentarian Wastes on the Tangled Shore, Tala was taken in by rogue guardian McManus and spent several months under his care and command. She was eventually rescued by Vanguard Commander Loch and brought back to Earth at the beginning of the Crota campaign. There she joined a fireteam with Guardians from Tower 3 and participated in multiple operations, such as the assassination of Arog the Lacerator and famously the Freehold Flip. In that time she formed and ended a volatile relationship with a Future War Cult affiliated Hunter named Nadine, then some time after fell in love with a member of her fireteam, a Titan named Renato.  

The beginning of the Red War shattered Tala's perception of reality. Ghaul's attack on the City resulted in the death of her mentor, Loch, and separation from the Light and fireteam. She escaped with others, eventually finding her way to the Farm, however she remained deeply disturbed from the attack. Lightless and racked with grief and guilt, Tala made the decision to leave and wandered aimlessly into the wilderness.

Three years passed. In that time her light returned, but she rejoined McManus and his crew. She took Stasis and acted against the Vanguard and Traveler, for selfish, self destructive reasons. It wasn't until she happened to find a New Light in the dark tunnels of Europa that a fire was relit inside her.

Tala and the New Light, who would choose the name Delmar-3, returned to Earth. They spent a short amount of time together training and unwinding before Delmar set out for himself and she journeyed to the Dreaming City.

She remains there now, working with Awoken Corsairs to unravel Savathuns plot.
  


(https://i.imgur.com/B1jpVBT.jpg)


Title: Request for Consideration
Post by: Danny on May 06, 2015, 01:42:30 AM
>>>>>Tower 03 Archive
>>>>Any
>>>Any
>>"Tala"
>List by date (earliest)

FILE COMPLETE



This is an open letter to the cryptographics of the City,

I have formulated a hypothesis based on speculation and little to almost no evidence: the Cabal are not our enemy.

I have had this conversation with some of you before but have felt that due to my inexperience and age my ideas have been shunned. Some of you may have already stopped reading. Which is fine. The point of this letter is to have it archived as is the procedure with all theories related to our enemies. And I will be confirming that it was archived.

To those who have stuck with me so far or are from some point in the future; let us begin.

What do we know about the Cabal? They're a industrial, militaristic empire that spreads through organization, efficiency, and corruption. They destroy planets for getting in their way. They're bad, bad guys. Right?

If the Cabal have spread so far out into the galaxy, why do they only insist on taking Mars? A mere quadrant of Mars, at that. Which must seem minuscule compared to their empire. If so militaristic, why not openly attack Earth as the Fallen and Hive do? You could argue that they are attempting to create a staging area on Mars, but why not on Earth? The Hive and the Fallen are here. What stops the Cabal from landing on the other side of the planet? They would face no difficulty doing so. Our airforce can barely contain Hive tomb ships let alone Fallen Ketch's. 

If the Cabal have the ability to destroy planets, why not destroy Earth? The Traveler, of course. It's light must in some way be holding back the full force of our enemies might. But we know it's light can no longer touch our celestial neighbours. The moon is proof. So why is the full force of the Cabal not on Mars? Why is the full force of the Fallen not on Venus. The answer: Vex

What do we know about the Vex? Time-traveling robots who have taken Mercury, in the process of taking Venus, and are on Mars. It's said they can warp across star systems in an instant, share a single mind, and lay dormant under every planet surface in the galaxy.  Records from Venus show that they were being studied even during the Golden Age. Back then they were ruins. Today they present what I believe to be the greatest threat to our existence. Tomorrow... well, we know they're there, not us.

If Vex truly do lay dormant under every surface, then it is at least possible that a great spanning empire of creatures whose architecture and construction has emphasis on burrowing into the earth and mountains for defense, has met the Vex before.

I present to you: The Cabal and the Vex have met before. Both have their own version of a galactic empire. Both are threats to one another.

But perhaps one is a greater threat to the other? To find out which, we simply look to Mars.

The great Cabal Exclusion Zone. A blockade of warships, towering planetary defenses, fortified bunkers and four different legions all centered around one Vex portal. The portal I am refering to is of course the one leading to the Black Garden. What or where the Black Garden is, is for another paper. But the evidence is clear; the Cabal show great concern about the Vex. How great? Look up.

Phobos. Mars' moon is in a decaying orbit. Or should I say, it 'should be in a decaying orbit'. Not only was the moon artificially pulled from it's natural orbit, but it is now being held there artificially. It is said this is the doing of the Psion Flayers. Why? Look down.

The great Cabal Exclusion Zone.

What does all this tell you? If you said: "the Cabal are obviously the City's enemy and all efforts should be made to remove them from our system." Then you are a fool.

The evidence is clear and speculation sound.

The Cabal are fighting to contain the spread of the Vex. Their motives may be personal. They are so desperate that colliding a moon with the planet is considered a legitimate strategy. Our interference only weakens and distracts the Cabal from their ultimate goal.

I only ask for consideration. If I had my way, I'd order all Guardians from Mars and adopt a sole reconnaissance strategy. But I know that won't happen. Now that the Traveler is finally beginning to breathe light again, all Guardians can feel it. But I fear we all feel a bit too brave.


-Tala




Title: Dreams
Post by: Danny on October 04, 2016, 11:26:15 PM
I've been having dreams.


The first (that I remember at least) was of a beautiful piano melody coming from the void. I had no sense of my self. It was just the music in darkness. From memory I can't piece any of it together and I haven't recognized it since.   

The second came a couple weeks later. Loch, Ewan and I were mapping the tunnels below Freehold. We had gone too deep and couldn't transmat out, so we secured a maintenance room to get some shut eye. This one... this one still gets me. I was standing alone in the room, but Loch and Ewan were gone. I had this feeling that I was bound to the room and then I noticed my Ghost dead on the floor. The moment I felt dread my armor began to decay off me. The plate of my helmet, my robe's fabric, the leather of my boot- all turned to dust at my feet and faded through the floor. I cradled my naked self when a being of light stood before me. It spoke but I didn't listen because its words rotted my skin. My Ghost woke me with Ewan at my side. Said I was screaming. Loch somehow slept through it.

My third dream came only 48 hours after the second- it was as long as I could stand to be awake. I was on Venus, standing on a beach. I wanted to remove my boot to feel the sand between my toes, but my Ghost told me there would be no point.

That was the last dream of consideration for some time. The fourth and most recent dream came almost three years later. I had it just last night. I stood on the Tower's terrace as the City burned below it. The Traveler was gone. Loch and Renato were there. Both begged me to come with them and I knew I had to choose. But I couldn't, and then both became aggressive towards me- Renato grabbed my arm and Loch raised his voice. I woke with my heart racing and tears in my eyes.

The other dreams I will keep to myself, but that last one... I think I might see the Speaker about that one.


Title: Follow-up Activity Report for Tala
Post by: Danny on October 12, 2016, 07:35:49 PM
>>>>>Tower 03 Archive
>>>>Vanguard
>>>Guardian Reports
>>Tala
>List by date (newest)

FILE PENDING ADDITIONS

(http://i64.tinypic.com/do5h8o.jpg)


Tala arrived to the Tower shortly before the Crota campaign. She was taken under Titan Loch's wing and the two quickly developed a bond. She took to her role as a Warlock very quickly, spending most of her early months in the archives. She assisted in several patrols on the moon, keeping to simpler operations as she feared her inexperience would cause her to be a hindrance in a fireteam. During the Crota campaign, she focused her time on collecting and analyzing Hive artifacts and serving as an understudy for several of the cryptarchs. She gained a lot of experience doing so, in particular combat experience, as she began to venture out into the wilds and master her sunsinger abilities. Eventually she approached Loch, asking to accompany him on more difficult assignments.

Her first and most difficult assignment so far was the assault of Arog, the Lacerator's, lair. She and a Warlock named Fasut researched the Wizard extensively before joining a team in its elimination.

After the House of Wolves betrayal, Tala spent a lot of time at The Reef, working closely with the Awoken there. She conducted operations for the Queens Guard, operations she eventually disclosed to the Vanguard.

She reluctantly agreed to join Loch and his fireteam in attacking the Skyburners Land Tank on Mars. Tala has been known to voice concern with attacking/interfering with Cabal operations, but she agreed to act, as a potential threat to the Warmind of Mars, the Land Tank needed to be stopped. She argues the idea how to disable the Land Tank was hers.

During the Taken War campaign, Tala undertook several Vanguard and Queen's Guard assignments. It's noted her attention was split between Earth and the Reef, which she received reprimand for by Loch. She reacted poorly and worked for the Reef exclusively for some time. During the fallout, Loch began his operation at Skywatch. When Tala eventually learned of his defense of the facility, after the fact, she returned to work for the Vanguard. Disciplinary action was request, but Loch vetoed, as he noted: "She regrets her decision enough."

[[ALERT: STRIKE REPORT INCOMPLETE/CLASSIFIED]]


After the events on [[ALERT: STRIKE REPORT INCOMPLETE/CLASSIFIED]], Tala joined the cryptarchs in analyzing SIVA. She worked closely with Tyra Karn, working on an armor system to repel SIVA and keep it from infecting Guardian suit systems. She has thus far been unsuccessful. As the campaign against the SIVA outbreak is ongoing, not all reports have been finalized/begun.



NOTES:

Tala remains in a close relationship with Titan Renato. 



Title: Remember III
Post by: Danny on January 09, 2017, 01:05:10 AM
Deep inside the Ishtar Academy on Venus, a young Warlock had seized an opportunity. She glided ever-so gracefully, careful as to not make a single sound as she perused previously unobserved sections of the ancient library within.

Usually swarming with Vex, the Library was only recently abandoned, the previous occupants now entirely preoccupied with the encroaching Taken army. In fact, the only sound to be heard was the muffled combat mere floors away.

The Warlock knew she had to be quick. As it was once overrun with Vex, the Library would soon belong to the Taken.

The sections she searched through now were not like the usual data-stores that could be found throughout the Academy. Nothing here for a Ghost to decode, Vex unit to corrupt or Fallen Servitor to consume. Only a Human could benefit from the treasure within this Library.

Books. Ink printed to paper, spined, sealed and stored here for centuries.

Some cryptarchs would kill to be in her position, most Warlocks too. But time was of the essence, because she knew the Vex would soon be pushed back into the Library, with the ensuing combat likely to destroy most of what was here.   

So when she heard careless, approaching footsteps, she responded accordingly.

Withdrawing her handcannon, Tala spun around; aiming and pulling the hammer back with her thumb. A Hunter, walking up the steps from behind her, froze.

Slightly relieved but aggravated, Tala tilted the barrel of her weapon upward toward the ceiling. “I about blew your head off. What are you doing here?”

“I could ask you the same,” the Hunter, a female, replied, finishing her climb up the steps and continuing her approach.

“It’s too dangerous, the Vex are everywhere and the Taken will be here soon,” Tala advised.

The Hunter nodded, “I’m aware.”

There was silence between the two as the Hunter stopped a few feet away. Her get-up was flashy; Tala didn’t immediately recognize her as someone she knew.

She then shrugged and waved the Hunter off with her gun, “Well, get lost, then.”

Gently, Tala released the hammer of her handcannon and holstered it, then turning her back on the Hunter and proceeded back to the shelves.

The Hunter raised her voice, her accent filling the room and echoing in Tala’s mind, “What a stupid thing to die for. Some book that’s mostly dust, now.” 

Tala froze and looked back at the Hunter over her shoulder. The Hunter removed her Carnivore helm, revealing the brown toned face beneath. She scratched her ragged, patchy black hair and spoked again, “Hey, Tala.”

Shocked, Tala turned full-face, “Naddi?”

The Hunter, Nadine, winced.

Tala spoke again, “What are you doing out here, how did you know I was here?”

Nadine replied, “’Was up on one of the towers, recognized your ship fly in,”

“So you stalked me down here?” Tala sassed.

Smirking, Nadine took a few more steps forward, “You said yourself how dangerous it is here right now. Wanted to see what the hell you were doing.”

Before she got too close, Tala raised her hand, stopping her, “Thanks for the concern. But the most recent thing I said to you was ‘I never want to see you again’. So, if you’ll excuse me.” Tala once again turned and attempted to continue back to the books. 

Nadine quickened her pace after her, “That was a long time ago.”

Triggered by that response, Tala removed her own helm, a hand-me-down New Monarchy hood and threw it to the floor. Invading her space, Tala’s sparking blue skin just about shun off Nadine’s bronzed face. Tala hissed, as quietly as she could, “Not to me!”

Nadine flinched. Shock was written on her face as she got a taste of just how much Tala had changed.

Retreating a little, Tala glared at Nadine, “Why are you really here?”

Her eyes shot to the floor, but Nadine eventually responded, in a tone only once heard by Tala, “I saw you at the Tower the other day.”

“So?”

“You were with a Titan.”

“You know Loch.”

“It wasn’t Loch!” Nadine yelled, her voice over-powering the distant combat.

This time, the shock was written on Tala’s face. She meant ‘Ren.

Tala shook her head, “He doesn’t know about us.”

Nadine shook hers and began pacing before Tala, “No, it’s not about that. I hadn’t seen you in so long. You looked… I mean, you’re still wearing that rotted old Vanguard trash and I thought-“

“You thought what?”

Nadine’s Ghost appeared over her shoulder. It approached Tala, it’s chrome casing shimmering as it did. It began transmatting an object in front of her. Tala held out her hands and caught it when it was done. It was a package with Future War Cult markings.

“This war-“

Tala looked up from the package. Nadine had stopped pacing, but was staring at the ground. She spoke somberly; “It’s taken people from me. I’m out here every day, trying to push back, but they just keep coming. And for every one that I lose, I think of you. I think about what I did.”

Nadine glanced up; her eyes glazed and face grimacing, “I know you can’t forgive me, but I hope this begins to make things right.” 

Placing her helmet back on, the Hunter turned and made for the exit. No other words were exchanged.

Dismantling the package, Tala found within a new garb and helm. Both from the War Cult, but both new. Both stronger. Her own Ghost transmatted the gear back to her ship, and then she too made for the exit, collecting her now inferior helmet as she did.

“But the book?” The Ghost queried.

"There’ll be another time. A time when this place doesn’t reek with ozone.”


Title: Re: Tala
Post by: Danny on August 16, 2017, 06:56:25 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/9wvzApW.png)



It may be early but no one around here seems too interested in bookkeeping. From what I've gathered, Tala Made it out of The Tower with Ewan and a handful of civilians. They fled to Lady Silver's outpost before regrouping here at The Farm. She's been a lot of help since her arrival, but I and some others are concerned by her lack of rest. If she's not on patrol or watch, she keeps to herself and brushes off any attempt to get close to her. Ewan has noted she has a lot on her mind.

The purpose of this entry today is because she's missing. Tala went out on an expedition with two Hunters, Fay and Joanna-5, who both returned. According to them, Tala described the mission as 'long range' and took them somewhere far, far east of the City. Either their journey was interrupted by Cabal or the Cabal were always her intended target, but Fay described the ensuing firefight as 'spectacular'. As reported by them both; Tala burned them all and started an uncontrollable wildfire, which forced the Hunter pair's retreat.

We sent a Hawk to the location and found only scorched earth.



Title: Remember IV
Post by: Danny on September 02, 2020, 03:31:11 AM
"Tala."

"Tala."

"Tala!"

"TALA! TALA!"

"TALA! TALA! TALA!"




The deep base of an echoing thunderclap startled the young Warlock awake. She gasped for air; pressing down on her chest to alleviate a pressure that wasn't there.

Her Ghost quickly hovered over, leaving it's sentry at the entrance of their cavernous refuge. "Br-EATHE, girl. Breathe..." It chirped, stuttering from a long-ago injury.

"I'm good, I'm good," Tala said, exasperated.

The drone began hovering back to it's original position. "You-you haven't been good in three yEARrs..." it sighed, as if this were routine.

Tala watched the drone as it went. It plopped back down at it's post by the cave's entrance. The poor thing was wet; keeping watch while it stormed.

Feeling sympathetic, Tala left her makeshift bed and joined her Ghost. The rain cascading over the cave entrance brought her a sense of calm. Her Ghost keeping watch made her feel safe. "Thank you, little one."

"You're welcome," it replied with a flat tone. It's gaze out into the dark didn't break.

The two sat in silence for a short while. This was indeed routine. Just the two of them, out in the wilds with the bare necessities... and the nightmares.

"You knooow-"

"Yes, I know," Tala interrupted, bringing her legs closer to her body for security. Every night her Ghost would ask her to talk about her dreams.

The Ghost kept it's glowing, flickering eye on the horizon. Scanning for movement out in the dark, knowing that she may never be ready to talk.

There was another short moment of silence.

"I..." Tala began, "...Have always deeply regretted what happened to you,"

Her Ghost cautiously looked over at her.



***



Exhausted, outnumbered and outgunned, Tala threw her bullet riddled body through the decaying door of an old barn. A Fallen hunting party, led by a Light-thirsty Captain, was hot on her tail. She stumbled through the old farm building, using rusted-out equipment as leverage while she tried to think of plan.

"They're coming!" her Ghost cried, manifesting with a fizzle over her shoulder.

"Get to cover!" Tala ordered, "They''ll get me. And when the coast is clear; bring me back-"

Suddenly the Captain exploded through the side of the barn. It growled in an ancient language and wasted no time. It lifted it's weapon and fired. An arc web fully encased and pacified Tala. She fell to the ground while a debilitating electric current seared through her body. Her Ghost darted for cover but the Captain was ready; it fired off several more webs before landing a shot. Tala's Ghost fell to the ground, paralyzed.

The beast laughed in it's deep, echoing tongue and towered over both it's victims. It's followers, lowly Dregs, entered the barn and surrounded Tala.

She cried out in pain as her muscles convulsed. Her Ghost lay out of reach.

The Captain knew better than to finish off Tala and instead went for her Ghost. It picked it up and held it in his hands. Once again the Captain wasted no time and attempted to crush the paracausal device. It was not successful in destroying it, but the Ghosts' shell cracked and it's eye sparked.

Her best friend's suffering summoned an anguish she had only felt once before. With a sudden surge of desperation, the ground around her began to sizzle. The feet of the Dregs surrounding her burned. They scattered as a brilliant flame engulfed Tala. She rose as the arc web melted around her and she concentrated her fury into a blade which she drove into the chest of the Captain. Tala's Dawnblade was weak and brief, but it was enough to frighten the Dregs into retreat, and mortally wound the Captain.  

The Ghost fell, still encapsulated by the arc web.

Tala drove her blade deep; the Captain's eyes filled with fear and her's ablaze.

It died, just as she could no longer hold the power of the Light.

She then dropped to her knees before the Ghost. She curled her fingers underneath the arc web and started pulling it apart. It shocked through her gloves and then her skin to the bone. She cried out in desperation until it finally broke. In tears she held her beloved friend close to her heart.

"T-t-t-ala..."

"Shh. Stop. We're getting the hell out of here."



***



"Such is lI-IIIfe on the frontier," her Ghost stuttered, its gaze shifting back to the unknown.

"No..." Tala stood up, "You have stuck by me. No matter what. And because of that... because of me... look what happened,"

Her Ghost hovered up close to Tala's face, "The Traveler created me-eee to find you. Everything a-ff-ter that... well, let's just say is destiny,"

Tala rolled her eyes, "You almost died. We almost died. All because I've spent the past three years on this stupid selfish walkabout!"

Her Ghost recoiled; genuinely shocked by his Guardians sudden self awareness.

"What am I even doing out here..."



Title: Remember V
Post by: Danny on September 16, 2020, 05:47:45 PM
Tala and her Ghost spoke deep into the night. They both exchanged stories and perspectives around a crackling fire. Her Ghost was overjoyed, though did try to hide it. Tala had cut herself off from everyone she had ever known for reasons only her Ghost could assume. She never spoke why; she only wandered endlessly, silently and aimlessly. Tala finally opening up meant her path back to the Traveler, and everyone else, was starting to appear.

Their stories were lighthearted. From their half-remembered beginnings to more recent triumphs like the Cabal Land Tank flip in Freehold. Such delightful talk of the best times was much needed, but to truly heal from a mortal wound, you have to remove the thing preventing recovery.

The Ghost eyed her. Tala sat, smiling and eyes misty, staring at the small fire. He desperately did not want to ruin this moment, but he had to begin the healing process. He had to bring Tala back to the Light. Back to the City. Back to her friends. It's single eye shifted to the ground and let out a sigh.

Tala looked up at her closest friend. The drone was looking to the ground, its single eye flicking and shifting with thought. "What is it?"

"The nightmares. It's time..."

Her mouth dropped open, feeling blindsided. "I don't..." But she caught herself. Three years had passed since the attack on the City. Three years she had selfishly been hiding. That's what she had been doing, hiding. She owed her Ghost answers.

She took a deep breath and looked back to the fire. She didn't want to look her Ghost in the eye.

"The nightmares. Honestly I don't remember all of them. But... they were different each time. They started with Loch dying, over and over again. I would be there but... just out of reach. I would see and hear everything night after night. He would cry out to me and I would try to scream, but I never could. Then it was other people I knew. Nadine, the twins, Faust, Ewan, Natalie... Ren. I watched them die every night,"

"I am so sorry," her Ghost chirped, softly.

"Then they changed. They started to... blame me. For everything... I felt..." Tala put her head in her hands, "It felt real, like they sat across from me like you do now. They told me it was all my fault. Ren told me I killed him!"

Truly the floodgates had opened and Tala's Ghost recognized it had become too much. He quickly glided over to her. He nuzzled his shell against her cheek, "There there, girl. It's alright. We can stop now. Thank you... thank you for finally telling me,"

Tala pressed her Ghost closer to her cheek. She cried, she allowed herself to cry. "I believed them... the nightmares... I believed them."


Title: Remember VI
Post by: Danny on September 24, 2020, 09:04:09 PM
It was decided before sunrise the time to leave had come. Tala and her Ghost ventured from their solitude and trekked through the wilderness before coming to the forest's edge. The storm had broken- granting a splendorous sunrise. She removed her hood and allowed her face to bask in its radiance. The suns rays glistened on her Awoken skin and the rain droplets twinkled the spectrum of hope.

She gave her Ghost a nod. It was permission to send out a distress signal on a specific frequency, per her request. The Ghost's shell began orbiting it's hull; pulsing it's transmission.

"I cooould make a general distress call, we'd have a jumpship here in minutes," it said.

Tala sat down and began removing other waterlogged parts of her gear, "If no one comes, we'll try that," she said as her boots went over her shoulder.

"I still have old Vanguard frequencies. Among others... I'm sure they're still monitored,"

She scoffed, as a belt came loose around her waist, "I'm sure Zavala will be pleased to learn I've been hiding out this whole time. Among others,"

"I'm quite good at picking up your sarcasm now, you know,"

Tala, upon removing another belt, whipped it at her Ghost, "Hey. You haven't been stuttering as much,"

The Ghost hovered, somehow noticeably delightfully, while it chittered with thought. "I guess... I am more certain about things than I've been in a looong time,"

She smiled as she loosed some of the final buckles. A plasteel plate dropped from her chest before she finally parted her garb to douse the rest of her body in the much needed sunlight.

"Who are you hoping finds you?"



***



By around midday, Tala's Ghost was still going strong with the distress call. No one had arrived; no one had even passed her over. No friend or foe. So she rested under a makeshift shelter; her ratty garb propped up with her pulse rifle, blade and a rock. She snoozed in the shade while most of her bare body bathed in the sun.

Her Ghost had relaxed scanning for hostiles and instead focused all his efforts in transmitting the signal. It had actually been several days since they had crossed paths with an enemy. Encounters had been steadily decreasing before then, even. It was tempting to believe The Cabal had pulled out and Fallen scattered even thinner. He let his eye drift over to Tala's motionless, naked body.

"She better cover up before she's rescued. How could she even lay in the dirt like that? Hello: Bugs? We wouldn't be in this situation if she hadn't kamikazed her ship into that Spider Tank. And we wouldn't have been in that situation if-"

A jumpship suddenly snapped into atmo. Tala sprung awake; shooting upwards which collapsed her tent over herself. Her Ghost was quick to act too; he stopped transmitting and brought his shell back in. He then quickly transmatted Tala's gear back over her to cover her indecency.

The jumpship nose dived on their position. Tala took aim... like a couple of bursts from her rifle would make a difference. It swung away last second; it's engines roaring and causing a swell of dust and leaves. It circled them once as its speed decreased. Tala knew this ship. It was mostly an old Minerva-class, but decades (maybe centuries) of modification made it indistinguishable. Fallen camo-field gens, Cabal hardlight reflectors, Hive chitin reinforcement and all kinds of alien graffiti.

Tala walked away from the treeline and held up her hand; a welcoming gesture.

The ship landed just feet away. Its engines and generators whined as they powered down. Various mechanisms snapped and hissed before the cargo ramp deployed. Tala walked around to greet the pilot as a shadowy figure exited.

"Yoou can not be serious..."

The pilot stepped out into the light and walked towards Tala with open arms. A Hunter, wearing converted Fallen tech as a helmet. A black leather jacket with a huge bowie knife strapped to his chest. A pair of patchy cargo pants featuring pouches of various sizes (also in black). A cloak made of tarpaulin and other thick material held together by wire and tubes. Finally, an eerie collection of bone grasping his left arm like it belonged to the bone.

"Tala, baby."

She moved in for the hug, while consciously avoiding contact with the bone on his arm. "Hello again, Cap." 

Tala's Ghost hovered slightly aside, meeting Cap's Ghost.

"Thought we were done with you," he said.

"Likewise." she replied.



Title: Remember No More
Post by: Danny on September 30, 2020, 10:23:31 PM
As jovial as ever, Cap held Tala by her shoulders and looked her up and down. She was obviously in a sorry state, but he'd get to that. First: "It's bloody good to see you! How long has it been you reckon? 5 years? 'Bout that?"

Tala made sure to give Cap a blank, unapologetic, expression. "Yeah. 'Bout that."

Cap backed off, spun on the spot and began pacing in front of her, "And let's see... last I saw you... where was that?" He made spiraling hand gestures while pretending to be in thought, "Oh yeah. On my Ketch- you stole one of my ships and ran off with that Vanguard tool! What was his name? Latch? Lake?"

"Loch."

"Yeah, that was it."

Cap re-closed the gap and loomed forward for the intimidation factor. He had a right to be mad, sure. He saved Tala from the Carpentarian Wastes when she was a plucky new light. Cap brought her under his wing and into his crew, and how did she repay him? Betrayal. Property damage. Grand theft jumpship. If it hadn't been for her coordination with that Vanguard oaf, perhaps there would have been a twinkle of pride swirling around in Cap's heart.

"Surprised he's not the one coming to rescue you. What's the matter? Vanguard life not cutting it anymore?" He leaned back, hands on his hips, projecting his pettiness.

Tala stared back and maintained her posture. She wasn't intimidated or rattled by his ignorance. But... still...

Cap's stance quickly faded into a slouch with the revelation he had been an ass. They lost direct contact the day Tala left, but he kept tabs on her. You know, just in case. Cap knew enough to understand Tala's relationship with Loch was unlike their own. Perhaps jealously swirled around with his pride.

He stepped away. Hands still on his hips. He sighed. "Ah... shit. Sorry, love. I didn't... Red War, eh?"

Tala stood unwavering.

"Yeah... that war took a lot from us all,"

Tala's Ghost hovered over. "Let's move on."

"Let's," Cap nodded, "Why did you call me here?"

Tala's eyes shifted while she tried to figure out the best response, "I've... been away. For a very long time. I want to come back. But I didn't know who else I could-"

Her Ghost snapped, "I caaan think of a least one who-!"

Cap's Ghost snapped her own reply, "Shut it, stutter bug,"

"Stutter bug!?"

"Shut the fuck up, the both of ya," Cap snarled, pointing between the too. He swallowed, cooling himself back down, "How long, darlin?"

"Since the tower fell."

Her answer made him recoil. True to his unpredictable nature, Cap shoved Tala back. She stumbled and fell onto her ass. Cap laughed. Laughed and laughed. He sounded like a dog trying to bark with a mouth full of drool. Here was the Cap Tala knew. Didn't take that long to show his true self.

He paced around rambling incoherently while their Ghost's reverted to their old ways and started arguing.

Tala had grown beyond how she had just been treated. Maybe she deserved it, but not from him. A flame started to burn in her chest. From the ground she curled her fingers to form a small ball of fire. She had to be taken seriously.

But suddenly the seemingly distracted Cap whipped around. He reached behind his lower back as his cloak lifted in the air. Pulling a weapon from it's holster, he finished his manuever with the barrel of a handcannon pointed right between Tala's eyes, just as she was coming back to her feet.

The flames extinguished. That weapon. That black, pulsating, venomous abomination of a handcannon he had the audacity to point at her.

"Is that-!?"

"Yeh," he sneered, giving the gun a little flick, "Mine, though. Not His."

Tala's Ghost quickly positioned himself in-between the two, "What do you think you're doing!?"

With his free hand, Cap ripped off his helmet. His own Awoken ancestry shimmered a greener and sicker tone to hers, "Do you have any idea what has happened since the tower fell?"

Tala had no answer. She was at the mercy of a complete madman. Calling him here was a terrible mistake.

"No? You don't know? Well..." Their eyes were locked. His, narrow down the sight of a Guardian-killer, and her's wide with fear.

He fired.




Cap stepped forward, holstering the weapon behind him.

Tala opened her eyes. She pattered herself down while Cap crouched down beside her. She was fine, but he was once again uncomfortably close. The bones on his arm curved towards her.

Between them, impaling the dirt, was the object fired from his Thorn. A dagger-like round, sneering with an energy that seemed desperate for her. Cap pulled it free and held it before her.

"They're here," he said. He spoke deep, and true. He turned the dagger horizontally and obscured part of it with his hand. Tala didn't understand what she was being shown. Part of a triangle. He was crazy but she felt his fear.

"Who is here?" She asked, regretting the question the moment she asked it.

Cap threw the ballistic leech back to the dirt. He then stood and marched over to retrieve his helmet. After placing it back on he said; "I will show you."

"Show me what?"

"Them. On Europa."

Tala's Ghost looked to her pleadingly. Through his blinking eye he was begging her not to go. The shame of going with him was heavy, but not as heavy as the shame of going back to her friends.

"Captain McManus," she began, "Permission to come aboard?"


Title: Neglect I
Post by: Danny on March 13, 2021, 07:15:50 PM
Cap and his crew were no strangers to jobs going wrong. But this time it was different. This time there was no way out. This time there was no certainty of coming back. This time they were counting on the Dark.

Six of them were supposed to go down into the Crypt but the Fallen were already there- dug in and reinforced. The fireteam tried to push through but they broke time and time again. When they retreated, the Fallen pursued- relentlessly. They fled into the desolate Europan wasteland with the hunters behind them and an encroaching storm ahead. There was no proper leadership, no real direction. As such, they started dropping off. One, a Titan at the back named Longshadow, was heard succumbing to tracer rifle fire. The second, a Hunter named Xi, simply broke off from the rest, never to be heard from again. The last to be lost, a Warlock named Otis, sacrificed the last of his sanity to blame Cap for the raids failure. Cap shot him in the neck with Thorn and paralyzed his Ghost in a stun web- leaving them behind hoping it would satisfy the Fallen.

This only left Cap, Tala and another young Titan called Wolffe. He joined the crew only a month ago, and if he hadn't already, was probably regretting it now.

The storm was starting to set in, making it impossible to transmat out or navigate safely on their sparrows, so the trio were taking cover in an iced over golden age ruin. The group knew they had just minutes before Fallen were swarming the place, and knew they wouldn't fare much better in that raging blizzard.

Tala sensed the end and tried her best to ignore the weight of the decisions that led her to this place. She ignored what had just happened to Otis. She ignored her Ghost's whispering pleas. She instructed Wolffe to watch the entrance and promised him they'd get out of this. She then glided over to Cap who, characteristically, was brooding in a dark corner of the room.

"What are we going to do, Cap?" After everything, she failed herself and still considered him a leader.

He looked up at her, and even with his helmet on, Tala could tell his eyes were bugging out, "We... We... gotta... we gotta give'm the Titan,"

Tala recoiled, "What?"

"Shh. Listen," Cap put both his hands on Tala's shoulders, "I plug the kid a couple times with ol' Thorny here, feed him to the rats, and then... then they'll let us go. Yeah. They'll let us go..."

Tala stared at him through her helmet. At this point she only had seconds to make a decision. There was no time to be shocked (or pretend to be shocked) by his plan. There was no time to dwell on how pathetically weak she was to have ended back with him. No time to wonder if she deserved what was coming. It was fight or flight.

And the answer was flight. 

She wound her arm back, charged a strike, and pushed Cap back with what force she could still muster. He flew back into the room, making contact with the wall. Tala glided back toward Wolffe, who had his rifle drawn on her. Before she could speak, the ground rumbled and the air vibrated with the arrival of a Brig. The mechanized unit towered over the entrance of their sanctuary and peered down inside.

Everything was happening so quickly. Tala grabbed hold of the Titan and shot herself upwards; lifting him with her over the Brig. They landed among the hunting party, and so she immediately dropped a Coldsnap grenade that successfully incapacitated them. Typical to his nature, Wolffe began firing on the frozen combatants, but that wasn't the point.

She screamed at him, "Run!"

At that moment, Cap emerged from the ruin, to witness Tala mount her sparrow and begin accelerating away. Overcome with rage, he fired at her while screaming violent threats into the storm.

Tala pushed the throttle down and looked back to see Cap and Wolffe become surrounded, until she couldn't see anything anymore. As she turned forward she winced in pain. One of Cap's shots landed. He'd shot her...!

She felt her light begin to weaken, her muscles contract and blood singe. It distracted her from focusing on navigating the terrain. She screamed in defiance as ice began ripping through her armor. Her Ghost whispered something in her ear but she wasn't listening; She hadn't been listening for a long time.

Tala ripped the dagger from her side and let it slip out of her hand. She was bleeding- a lot. Her vision was becoming skewed, cloudy. Her thoughts were scattering. Her radar was  flaring. Her radar was flaring? Hidden in the storm was a Fallen ketch. The massive ship sat low and now almost above her. In disbelief she gazed up at it- it had been there the whole time, probably tracking them. Her Ghost said something again, but she couldn't hear it. The Ketch let loose a volley of rockets, launching from above the craft and then turning downward.

This was it.

Her Ghost spoke one last time, and this time Tala was listening: "Ketch detected. I tried to tell you. I've been trying to tell you this whole ti-" 


Title: Neglect II
Post by: Danny on March 20, 2021, 03:57:13 PM
You can get used to dying; it can be quick and sharp. But coming back is always something else; it's disorienting and slow.

Tala sat forward and took a sharp breath of air. She was ok. She was alright. She was alive again.

She looked directly ahead of her, and as always, there was her Ghost looking directly back. His presence was an immediate source of calm which always grounded her.

Tala immediately noticed her surroundings were different from before. She was sitting in a dimly lit cave that was quiet and still. A stark contrast from the Ketch and the storm on the surface.

"How'd I get here?"

Her Ghost's shell twirled, "Fiiirst, you should know, it's been a whilllle. Maybe a week." He had been stuttering again since coming to Europa.

"A week!?" Her voice echoed.

"Relaaaax. Yes, a week. That ketch pulverized you. Everything around you was annhiiilated. Some of your blood made its way into a stream and froze down here,"

"Heard from Cap? Wolffe? Anyone?"

"No."

Tala sighed and attempted to stand, but her body remembered being struck by Thorn. It hurt, so she slumped back down, "Cap... fuck. He fucking shot me,"

Her Ghost simply narrowed it's eye.

"I shouldn't be surprised, eh?"

It's shell twirled again before fizzling away. His voice condescendingly echoed in her head, "If only you had listened to me from the start."

Tala could have argued... but he was right. Feeling sorry for herself had led her down a path of literal Darkness. She craved escape after escape and only found herself buried deeper and deeper in a pit of despair. This self inflicted cycle of self loathing and suffering had become exhausting and dangerous. She could have died her final death up there and maybe she should have. There was only one reason why she didn't.

She opened her hand, "Hey. Come back out here,"

Her Ghost fizzled back into the physical world and hovered above her palm.

She removed her helmet with her free hand and sat face to face with her oldest friend, "Ghost. Thank you. I'm sure these words seem meaningless but-"

Her Ghost lowered and sat in her hand. He said, warmly, "I can feel your heart. I know. Trust me, I know."

"Let me say it anyway... I'm sorry."

"So am I," he said, an admission that shocked Tala.

Her Ghost looked around, seemingly analyzing their surroundings, but Tala could tell he was agitated, awkward. He had something to say and she knew she had to let him say it. Her heart raced in anticipation of the scolding she was about to receive.

"I spent months, years, telling you what you should do. But you still disconnected from everyone, left The Farm, wandered the wilderness, rejoined Cap, embraced the Dark... I was so frustrated and angry with you, so righteously conceded in my faith to the Light, that I didn't realize I was pushing you away..."

She shook her head; this was not what she expected to hear.

Her Ghost continued, "I thought I had this revelation too late. I thought I had lost you for good up there. I was so desperate to bring you back. I am so sorry, Tala,"

Tala let him loose from her hand to wipe away her tears, but she couldn't stop smiling, "Ok, stop, that's enough,"

He hovered up to her and pressed his shell against her forehead. She embraced him and he said, "Let me say it anyway... I'm so proud of you."

For the first time in a long time, Tala felt warm. She vowed to hold on to it forever.

Finally Tala rose from the ice, her Ghost repositioning to her shoulder and activating a light. He shun around, revealing deactivated Fallen censor lights leading off around a bend. If Fallen had been her before, there must be a way out.

"Let's get the fuck out of here."


Title: Neglect III
Post by: Danny on March 27, 2021, 08:21:35 PM
There was something else down here.

Tala squatted over a disassembled shank and some other components she only recognized as Fallen. Whatever was happening here was crude to say the least, definitely not the work of an alien race who worshiped machines.

"A frame, maybe?" Ghost suggested. Miraculously, some golden aged robots still patrolled the empty facilities on Europa. A frame could have done this, but why was it doing it? She stood back up and looked the way she had come. Some of the other scenes she found were starting to make more sense... well, actually, less. She had found scattered remains of Fallen equipment and armor, censor lights broken or pulled from the ice, seemingly intentionally broken stalactites and stalagmites and even more busted censor lights. But there was no evidence of any recent-

"Movement!"

Her Ghost disappeared as Tala slid to the side, taking cover behind a bolder of ice. She tried to listen for what lay ahead and eyed her radar, but there seemed to be nothing. She whispered, "You sure?"

"Yes, but I don't think it's hostile."

With her Ghost gone the cave was only illuminated by the red ominous glow of Europa's natural radiance. She moved out slowly, grabbing one of the lights to use as a club, and crept forward.

"Anything?"

A large shadowed figure suddenly and silently appeared over her. It dropped down with intent to strike but Tala was quick to dodge. The assailant struck the ice, the impact cracking the surface and echoing throughout the system. Getting a quick glance before retreating, Tala could tell it was Fallen by the glowing blue eyes, fur coat and energy pike. Probably a Vandal or maybe a really big Dreg.

She retreated by gliding back, using the cave walls to launch herself away, but it was hot on her tail. It sounded like a stampede behind her.

"Wait! Stop!" Her Ghost said, "I detect the Light,"

Tala laughed, "It sure seems hungry for it!"

"Trust me, it's there... maybe try talking to it?"

She laughed harder. Trying to talk to a pissed off Fallen in a Darkness Zone? That's a death sentence. But she sure did owe him some trust. So she stopped and turned around on the spot to face the creature. She opened her mouth to speak but her words failed her- it would not stop coming. If she was going to talk to it, she would do it her way. The moment it was in striking distance, she swung her makeshift baton, clothes-lining it. Tala tried to immediately speak to it, but it's hood had come off after hitting the ground, and her words failed her again. It wasn't a Fallen, it was an Exo. A Guardian.

Her Ghost came out, "Wait, what!?" 

His Ghost came out, "I told you! I told you it wasn't a Fallen!"

Tala was flabbergasted, looking down at the the Exo as he groaned and rubbed his forehead. He spoke, "Sorry- I thought you were one of those things,"

Tala dropped her club and exclaimed, "Me!? You're the one in furs and chasing me with a pike!"

Once he stood up on his own, Tala got a better look at his face. Smokey colored casing with a dark blue stripe running up from his chin and disappearing over the back of his head. Two small winglets above and to the side of his sharp, light blue eyes. He wasn't a particularly aggressive looking Exo, but definitely a bad smelling one.

Tala waved her hand in front of her nose, "Jeez. How long have you been down here?"

He looked at his Ghost, who answered for him, "By my guess- a week,"

That wasn't the answer she was looking for. Was there really no way out of here? Tala continued her questions, "Why are you down here?"

His Ghost continued to answer, "Well, this is where I found him, and so far we've only found one exit, and the Fallen own it,"

Her eyes widened in shock- a New Light wandering alone in a Darkness Zone under the surface of Europa. Talk about a shitty dealt hand. Tala eyed the Exo again. It was already established he stunk, but he was damaged too, and poorly equipped with scavenged gear, all Fallen stuff. Besides the pike, he also had a censor light (that worked) and parts of a shank. Those scenes from  earlier made sense now.

"How did you two get down here?" His Ghost asked, "Do you know a way out?"

Tala's Ghost shook it's body, "I had to roll down a ravine and make a few precise transmats before I got stuck... and you don't want to know what happened to her,"

She added, "Darkness is just too thick to transmat in or out."

At this point, she noticed the Exo was looking at his Ghost while it spoke for him. She remembered those days. Freshly rezzed, dazed and confused. But this guy really had it bad- stuck down here in the cold, dark all alone and being hunted by aliens. She decided to change subject from the despair of their situation. "Got a name?"

He turned and looked at her. His synthetic voice crackled, "Uh, no, I don't think so. Not yet,"

"Your Ghost?"

He nodded, "Yeah. His name is Omni,"

Tala's Ghost scoffed under his breath, "His Ghost has a name..."

She ignored him, "My name is Tala. I'm a Guardian, like you. Lead me to the exit you know." 


Title: Neglect IV
Post by: Danny on April 03, 2021, 11:53:42 PM
As their trek continued, Tala updated the new-light on current events, talked about their history, and continued to probe him on his abilities. He was resistant to her, which was definitely the  result of having no one else to talk to but a ghost. It made her feel... uncomfortable. Guilty. To hear judgement in a new-light's voice. She had done a lot for the Traveler, Last City and Vanguard. None of that seemed to matter to him so long as she used Stasis.

"Oh, they've stopped again."

Tala's Ghost looked back to his Guardian and sighed, "This is good for them. Come on, let's keep going." Ghost and Omni continued to scout ahead while Tala and the new-light paused (again) to
talk.

"You call it Stasis. Omni calls it Darkness," the new-light said, crossing his arms.

Tala rolled her eyes, "Actually, the Eliksni call it Stasis,"

"The Fallen?" His synthetic voice growled, "Omni said the Fallen are enemies to humanity and the Traveler. As soon as they saw me, they tried to kill me,"

"Because as soon as we see them, we kill," Tala replied, crossing her arms too.

"Omni also said the Darkness is the ancient enemy of the Traveler. A threat to our existence... and you freely use it's power?"

She sighed, "Look kid, you've only been up a week and the whole time you've been trapped in a cave. The world as you know it is small. You need to keep an open mind,"

There was a brief silence between them. It was one she understood, and it was a subject she couldn't press. He was fresh. So fresh he only knew the basics of the basics. He'd understand, in time.
For now she decided to change subjects.

"Speaking of power, what do you wield?"

He shook his head and continued along the path their Ghosts were scouting. "I don't know. I don't think I have a power,"

Tala followed, "I promise you do. You were brought back with the Light, you're imbued with the power of the Traveler,"

He walked on in silence.

"Alright..." she said, awkwardly, "What about your class? I'm sure Omni told you about the Hunters, Titans and Warlocks,"

"I don't feel like I identify,"

Tala scoffed, "Answer me this, then: have you stabbed, punched or imploded any Fallen to death?"

"I shot them."


***


As they hovered onward, Omni kept making puzzled glances towards Ghost. He ignored it for as long as he could.

"What? What is it you want to say?"

Omni shot over and blocked his path, "How can you let your Guardian wield the Darkness?"

Ghost narrowed his eye, "I don't control her, she has to make her own decisions. Besides-"

"That excuse may have worked in the age of Risen and Warlords, but not now. The Darkness is here, and your Guardian embraced it. How could you let that happen?"

That stung and paralyzed Ghost. He needed a moment to collect his thoughts. When he did, he hovered closer to Omni, "You're right, I failed her." Omni hovered back slowly, but Ghost closed the gap, "I have been with Tala for a long time. She has done great things and will continue to do so." Omni backed all the way into the cave's wall and halted, no longer able to retreat. "You've had a blissfully narrow vision while you searched for your Guardian. Soon the two of you will learn things aren't as black and white as you'd like to think. You will be challenged, you will stumble and fall, and yes, you will fail as I did." The pair's shells made contact as Ghost stared aggressively into Omni's panicked, blinking eye. "So let me give you some advice: trust your Guardian."


***


"Tell me about them."

Tala stopped and looked back at the new-light, "Who?"

"The Hunters, Titans and Warlocks."

Tala felt a twinge of excitement. He's making conversation, could he be lightening up? "Well... a Hunter is a survivalist. A scout. A lone wolf. You could be a Hunter, having survived in a darkness zone this long." She continued walking after their Ghosts, "But you could be a Titan too; they're devoted, honorable and strong. All qualities you appear to have."

"And the Warlocks?"

"We like to ask questions and are never satisfied with the answers..." she looked back with a grin, "That suits you, too." When she looked back, she noticed he was staring intently at his hands- his robotic hands. Another question lingered, so she stood silently while he formulated the words.

"Omni... he talks a lot about humanity. Humans. We are neither. You're Awoken? And I'm... Exo?"

Oh boy. Tala stepped closer, ready to explain his heritage, but would leave recent revelations found on Europa for him to discover. "You were human once. And you were Exo once. Now you're a Guardian. Whoever you were before all that is buried underneath layers of trauma and calamity. Trust me when I say this; you're better off just accepting who you are now."

The new-light looked up from his hands. Tala noticed his eyes tracing the light run down her purple complexion. She answered his unspoken question; "The true Awoken were created when the Light met the Dark. That... beautifully tragic singularity had ripple affects. I'm more like a cousin to them."

At that moment their ghosts returned. Omni darted quietly to his Guardian's side and Ghost drifed confidently to Tala's shoulder. "They were right; the Fallen own the exit. This will not be easy."


Title: Neglect V
Post by: Danny on April 12, 2021, 12:21:33 AM
The nice blue lady is crouched behind a Fallen barrier while she inspects the fortifications ahead. She's led most of the way and offered a lot of information about my new world. She's not what I was told to expect when I met another Guardian; she has said some things Omni doesn't like and acts... independent. I like her.

She skirts along the ice to return to me, "Bunch of Dregs, couple of Vandals and a scary looking Captain with a Servitor..." She trails off, looking over my shoulder. She's doubtful because of me. She thinks I'm weak and afraid, because I am.

"Whatcha got?" She asks, pointing to my gear.

"The pike," I start, attempting to hand it over but she pushes it back to me. I reach into my coat, "Some blasters I got from the shanks. And a couple of these..." I hand over the improvised explosive devices I made out of Shank engine parts, their jets, fuel and fan blades. Her eyes light up as she takes them and admires them.

She looks up at me with a smile, "You made grenades?" Her eyes glow like mine and pierce me. I feel frozen.

"Yes."

She smirks, pocketing two and taking one of the blasters. She scoots closer, "We have to take down the Dregs and get their shock pistols while dodging Vandal tracer rifles. We'll cover each other while closing the gap, then use the grenades to take out the Servitor. Then we can kill the Captain,"

I nod, slowly. I can feel my gut rising to my throat. I'm scared but I can't let her know.

She puts her hand on my shoulder, it feels warm. "I know you're scared,"

I gulp.

"But we can do this. You've made it this far on your own, I know you can do this." Her hand slowly slides off my shoulder and she moves away, taking her position on one side of the cave. I will take the other side. She gestures with her hand to move up.

The Dregs, the little ones, notice me quickly. They immediately retreat towards their camp while firing loose arc bolts in my direction. My instinct is to push forward, so I do. The Warlock is close and pushes with me, but she's shooting at them. I figure I should do the same and loop my finger around the group of wires I fashioned into a trigger. We both land multiple bolts into the same Dreg, who drops its pistol. She's quick to scoop it up.

Ahead of me I see their encampment. We're charging uphill where they've dug in with metal barricades and elevated platforms. I can feel a cool breeze on my face- fresh air. We're so close. Upon the elevated platforms I see the Vandals take aim. I quickly dive for cover as their particle beams impact the ground beside me. I'm concerned for the lady, but as I look over, I witness her shatter a Dreg into a hundred pieces and take up a second pistol. She now wields two, and is firing on the Vandals. Incredible.

Oh, I should move.

I run forward and am immediately confronted by a Dreg. It snarls and spits at me, and I have no time for its nonsense. I punch it in the jaw and plug it multiple times with my improvised blaster. It falls and dies.

The nice, strong lady has reached the main barricade and is waving me over. I run, zig-zagging to dodge the tracer rifles. My heart is pounding. My blood, or whatever is in me, is pumping. I feel a near overwhelming desire to attack. She is yelling at me, but my senses have become narrow. I do not know what she's saying. I must attack. She hops over the barricade and I suddenly have one of the Dreg's shock pistols. Did she give this to me? I open fire on one of the snipers. I kill it. I watch it kneel and evaporate. It's suffering echoes back into the cave and I am satisfied. The second sniper...

Something's wrong. My fingers... I can't hold the gun anymore. My feet, my legs, my muscles... they all fail.

"No!"

I fall onto my back and slide a little down into the cave. Funny I notice all the imperfections in the ice that prevent me from sliding back into the darkness, but not the fizzling arc bolt that just blew through my chest. I feel nothing, but know that I'm dying. My mind is scattering and it's hard to complete a thought. I want... I hope... the girl needs to get out. I look and see her... she's even further up. Close to the exit. The Fallen are distracted. 'Run, run, run.' She's looking back at me. Her eyes are so blue and desperate. I'm so cold.












A spark. One last sense. A vibration. Cellular excitement. Numbers ticking over. Heat. Fire. Power... such power. A light in the dark. My eyes open and I see her. The girl. The woman. The nice lady... she is engulfed in flame. A sword is stuck in the ground next to me and I lay rejuvenating in its well. My heart, mind and soul are all warm. I am warm for the first time in a long time. She smiles as a single tear rolls down her cheek. I cry too.

She takes up the sword and flies up to meet the Fallen that struck me down. I can't control my thoughts and stagger away for cover. Omni... I need you.

"You're alive!" He proclaims, appearing before me.

I breathe heavy as I hear destruction emanate from behind me. Why do I feel like the number three is so important right now?

"I thought I'd lost you," he says, "She saved you. Her radiance saved you, I can't believe it!"

Something's different now. I hear the fire subdue behind me and the return of Fallen weaponry. There's yelling and growling. I can hear her voice, her calls. I can hear the Captain, its roars.

I look down at my hands and close them into fists. I need to attack... I need to strike.

That spark in me. I can feel it spin and accelerate. I leave my cover and look ahead to the Fallen captain. It towers over the Warlock. Unacceptable. I can feel my legs charge; my entire body is a weapon. I point my fist and I become a missile; rocketing my body upwards and launching at the enemy. It explodes when I make contact, the resulting release of arc energy flows over and disintegrates almost everything.

My senses return and my heart rate slows. I'm aware of what I've done and instinctually offer my hand. She takes it and I pull her to her feet.

"You're a Titan," she says, exasperated, "Of course you're a Titan."

I don't know what to say to that and I look towards the exit. She's still holding my hand and leads me forward. The hard packed ice becomes loose snow as we clamber to the surface. I can feel the darkness lift, but as we finally reach the surface, I'm disappointed. I don't know what I expected, but I hoped I stopped feeling so lost. I'd left my familiar cave for an alien world. The sky is dark, the cold wind is stabbing, the Pyramid looming on the horizon is threatening. I feel like I have been reborn again; I'm terrified. My mouth hangs open in horror but a warm grasp tightens around my hand. I look to Tala.

"I'm taking you to the City," she says,  "I'm taking you home."


Title: The Veil
Post by: Danny on October 26, 2021, 08:13:45 PM
"Don't you see!? Everything you touch dies!"


Tala stood alone on the landing pad of the monastery with an echo in her ear. She had hoped Del would be beside her, or at least Cami to greet her, but there was no one.

Each step forward felt uncertain but she couldn't detect why. She did exactly what she set out to do- stop McManus and put him behind her for good. Why did she feel this way? She should be proud or at the very least happy. Why was there an emptiness?

Pushing through the entrance she was reminded of Cami and Del's meeting- seeing him again for the first time in months. She couldn't help but smile then... but not now. Her bandaged, crippled hand began to burn.

The doors slowly shut, blocking out the ambiance of the Dreaming City and leaving her in silence. Not a sound to be heard in the halls of the monastery, not even her own footsteps. Just that echo- the soft tone singing to her.

She wandered, but somehow not aimlessly, as she tried to see into her clouded mind. Dreams of the future and nightmares of the past were colliding to create a strange sense of numbness.

It felt like hours passed before Tala was broken from her trance. Her feet were tired and she was a little out of breath. A small bench was close by so she sat. 

She looked down and opened her palm for her Ghost. Maybe he would have something uplifting to say. But instead they wordlessly looked at each other before he fizzled away.

Maybe she'd feel better if she removed her helmet. Placing it in her lap- she took a deep breath. The air was thin and tasteless. Unrewarding.

Feeling heavy, she lowered her head and shut her eyes.
 







[What's the matter?]

Tala pondered the question with her eyes still shut. Her bandaged hand ached.

[You can tell me.]

She opened her mouth to speak but words weren't forming. She could only let out a dull yet aching sigh.

[The mission to Europa was a success. You stopped McManus without killing him. I'm impressed, and glad.]

Tala nodded, slowly.

[Did you want to kill him?]

Tala shook her head, slowly.

[No, of course not. You are not like him. No matter how desperately he wanted you to be.]

Her head lifted slightly.

[Yet something still bothers you.]

She ran a finger around her helmets visor.

[Oh. I see. Your bleeding heart.]

Her eyes opened. Her helmets visor reflected a disappointed expression.

[Classic Tala- never thinking too far ahead.]

She starred deep into her own eyes.

[Take my advice- let Delmar-3 return to his bunker and keep Renato Dorian in his tower. That way you can focus on what's really important.]

Tala's head stayed down but she glared upwards. She was finally starting to feel something again, but it wasn't earned.

[Ah, there she is. I was beginning to worry those silly old bones had gotten to you. Tell me- what did you wish for?]

Enraged, Tala shot up and her helmet went on. 

[Hope it was worth it... O Guardian Mine.]







Her eyes opened again. Still in the monetary, still on the bench, still alone.

But now angry.


Title: Gone
Post by: Danny on February 28, 2022, 11:47:39 PM
Cosmic backroads retread; witches summoned from hiding.
Gods writhing from insolence; the clawed hand is biding.

A Queen's vengeance simmers; an exorcism begins.
The time is now; time for battle hymns.

A compression upon her will; a debt must be paid.
Loyal soldiers on the march; allies fight the shade.

Sister versus Sister; friend versus friend.
One knows the truth; the other can't comprehend.

"Tala? Will you stop the trickster?"
"I'm so sorry, Cami. I have to help her."