News: New here? Actually a person? Groovy. Refer to the Rules and Guidelines thread for more information. Enjoy your visit!

Project RP
 

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 01, 2022, 12:53:39 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Delmar-3  (Read 1221 times)
Danny
Administrator
Exhalted Member
*****

Karma: 15
Posts: 1929

The Gentleman Bastard


View Profile WWW
« on: July 13, 2021, 06:56:31 PM »


Alias(es): Del, Dee-three
Race: Exo
Gender: Male
Physical Description: Smoke-grey 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
Affiliation: The City, Vanguard, Tala
Class: Titan, Code of the Missile


Biography: Delmar awoke far from the Light's embrace; buried deep under ice in suffocating darkness. A friendly (but terrified) beacon of light beckoned him to run for his life and in his blind trust- he agreed.

After spending days navigating the Fallen infested tunnels of Europa, Delmar happened upon something he had come not to expect; a friendly face. A powerful Warlock named Tala found him and together they fought to the surface and eventually escaped Europa for Earth.

Instead of heading for the Tower, the pair visited an old fireteam hangout of Tala's. In a tropical and much more relaxed setting, Tala was able to explain the universe Del had awoken in. He was able to defrost, learn and decide for himself the first steps to take.

With Tala's guidance, Del arrived at the European Dead Zone to embark upon the path to become a Guardian- alone. Their goodbye was surprisingly emotional but both knew it was necessary.

Del now understood what was waiting for him out there; ancient Hive gods of immense power and trickery, time traveling Vex minds of impossible intelligence, desperate Fallen space pirates, an entire empire of warmongering Cabal... and it terrified him. He thought, if that's how he felt, how must those without a second chance feel? He still did not know his place in the grand scheme, but knew out there in the wilds were those just like him. Scared and needing help.

As his strength grew, Del journeyed from settlement to settlement, accepting work for food and a warm place to sleep. His wandering eventually led him to a small outpost built upon a locked Seraph Bunker. The people there, led by another Guardian, were attempting to gain access to use it as a more secure place to live. The Guardian there had a personal investment- she was an old Iron Lord who called herself Lady Silver. Delmar offered his services and she accepted.  

They breached the bunker using brute-force (which was their last resort option). They feared a response from Rasputin's security frames, but since Mars was consumed, majority of Rasputin's systems had failed. However, as Del and Silver delved deep inside, they discovered it already occupied. A small group of Fallen had tunneled inside, found it vacant, and took shelter. There was a brief standoff between the Guardians and the Captain leading his group, fueled by surprise and decades of war and pain. The Captain implored the humans to move on, but Silver had been working with the people above for months and would not be easily swayed. Del, despite his own personal history with the Fallen, helped them come to an agreement. The main entrance to the bunker was now damaged and exposed. He proposed the Humans live in the upper section of the bunker to defend and repair it. The captain agreed, but demanded segregation. Silver agreed and her people moved in.
  
Some months later the entrance was repaired and even made operable. In that time the beings of the bunker had become integrated, and although tensions still existed, coexistence was achieved and bonds formed. Del had made a particularly strong friendship with a female Eliksni Vandal, named Auxisk, whom accompanied him on scouting missions.

Del and Silver had become close in this time too. She shared her knowledge of the Iron Lords, SIVA and events directly after the beginning of the Red War. Their discussions eventually led to the revelation they shared a mutual friend, Tala. Silver was ecstatic to learn she was still alive and told Del portions of her story Tala had intentionally omitted. Silver expressed desire to see her again, but he explained they had parted ways, but shared her desire.

They enjoyed a period of peace but of course it could not last- the Endless Night descended upon them. For the first time, Delmar felt the desire to serve the City, Tower and Traveler. After a meeting with everyone in the bunker, Delmar and Auxisk volunteered to journey to the Last City to join the other Guardians and sacred Splicers in overriding the Vex virus staining their reality.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 06:58:55 PM by Danny » Logged
Danny
Administrator
Exhalted Member
*****

Karma: 15
Posts: 1929

The Gentleman Bastard


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2021, 05:13:52 PM »

The whirlpool of temporal chaos creating a portal from the physical world to the Vex network convulsed and spasmed before ejecting six-lightbearers from within. An Eliksni Splicer allowed her gauntlet to spool down as equipment, both alien and human, whirred to a satisfying silence.

The Guardians mostly dispersed, but one in particular approached the Eliksni observer. A Titan armored in bulking and angular red plates raised his own gauntlet to meet hers; his closed fist bumped her curled claws, creating a bonding spark.

"Del-Mar, another success." The Eliksni Splicer greeted.

The Titan, Delmar-3, nodded, "Yes, Auxisk, another exciting dive into the network."

Auxisk pondered the sarcasm she detected in-between translation, "Were there... issues?"

Delmar silently wandered over to the staging area Auxisk had constructed at this portals location; Sorik's Cut on the Tangled Shore. She provided food, drink and other scavenged materials for the Guardians assisting in the clearing of the Nexus, but almost all had ignored her efforts. At this point in the campaign Guardians weren't exactly keen on sticking around- especially not since rumours of a greater threat loomed on the horizon. Before entering the makeshift shelter, Del removed his helmet and turned his blue Exo eyes up at the purple tinted sky.

A concerned Auxisk observed, before joining him at his side and removing her own protective face plating. "You are bothered. What is it?"

Without averting his gaze he said, "The Dreaming Mind was defeated. The incursion in the City was stopped. The Endless Night was lifted. There hasn't been any activity in the Nexus for weeks..."

Auxisk stirred, "You desire more?"

He laughed and looked back down at her, "No, just a desire to... do more." Del then entered the shelter, placing his Midnight Exigent helmet on a console before taking a seat.

The Eliksni folded her two arms and chittered while pondering a response. She was uneasy and remained outside of the shelter, but eventually spoke in a tone of defiance and sorrow, "I desire to return to the bunker."

Surprised, Delmar cocked his head, "Really?"

She nodded, "We left our home to help. We helped. Maybe we return for a little while."

Delmar slumped down, feeling selfish. They had set out together to fight against the Vex (and apparently a Hive God); to stop the simulation plaguing their reality; to ensure their home would be safe. A home that they both fought hard to defend and share. That mission was accomplished, but even so, he continued to run head first into danger- dragging her along with him. He loved every second; tearing apart Vex, evaporating Taken, diving into portals and domains... feeling unstoppable. All the while, with only one life to give, Auxisk following closely behind.

He gestured to the spare seat beside him. When she sat, he raised his armored glove and placed it on her shoulder, "Aux, let's go home."

She turned her head and all four of her eyes to focus on him, "Yes?"

Delmar tightened his grip on her shoulder, "Yes, I think our work here is done."

Auxisk bared her teeth, attempting to form a smile, "Good Del-Mar, this is good. The bunker will celebrate our return, our stories will excite a generation!"

She excitedly sat up and began packing away equipment but her two lower, previously docked arms, were making it difficult.

Del cracked a smile. Honestly, he was feeling a little homesick himself. It was time to rest and focus on problems that weren't exactly world-ending but still equally important.

But sometimes even the best of decisions summons a response from fate.

The pair were just about finished packing up when Del's Ghost, Omni, suddenly materialized with a excited flurry, "Whoa!"

His appearance startled them both; Del jumped and Aux whirled around with her shock pistol drawn.

"I'm getting... data? No..." His little eye blinked and shell twirled with thought, "I have never received information like this before. It's not a Human transmission, or Eliksni... it's... Awoken? Heavily encrypted Awoken telementry, yes."

Del simply stood by, confused. Aux sensed that whatever this was, it was going to prevent them from going home.

"It's a message! Oh, how exciting. Compiling it now."

"No matter what," Del said, turning to Aux, "We're going home to the bunker- I'm sure whatever this is someone else can handle it."

After receiving an appreciative nod, Omni floated up in-between them.

"Del, it's from Tala."
Logged
Danny
Administrator
Exhalted Member
*****

Karma: 15
Posts: 1929

The Gentleman Bastard


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2021, 12:23:27 AM »

"Hey. Been a while. Sorry about that. Listen- I need your help with something. Can you meet me in the Dreaming City? I don't know what you have going on or if you even know where that is... but if you can make it... I need you. And it's gotta be you. See you soon, hopefully-------- Hey. Been a while. Sorry about that. Listen-"




Del had never been to the Dreaming City and wasn't very knowledgeable on Awoken history. Regardless, he navigated his ship through anomalies he had never encountered while relying upon a talisman which would supposedly grant him passage. The journey was treacherous and he was beginning to question his decision to come- Auxisk may have been right, he should have a least rested at home before setting out.

The stress and anxiety of flying into the unknown (and just flying in general- he hated flying) would be worth it, however, just for the view. Upon breaking through the thick fog and choppy storm, a splendorous light luminated the flight deck and terrain before them. A sprawling landscape of mountains, crystals and Awoken structures, complimented with waterfalls and lushes greenery. From his distance, the realm appeared to be precariously resting on a disc of rock, surrounded by floating islands and more foggy storms.

Interlaced in Tala's message were landing instructions. As much as he wanted to circle the Dreaming City longer, he was equally excited to see it up close. He followed a beacon which brought him below the city to a crystal outcropping- built into it being a vacant landing pad.

Omni brought the ship down while Del geared up. The old jumpship, a Regulus Class 99, groaned as the landing gear compressed and the engines let off a sound like they gave up rather than shut down.

"Nervous?" His Ghost asked.

"No, why would I be?" Del responded, sliding a Chroma Rush rifle over his shoulder.

"It's been months since you've seen or heard from her. And I know you think about her every day so-"

Del quickly put on his helmet to hide his smile, "She needs help. I'm here to help. That's it."

They both exited the ship through an emergency exit door (the main cabin door was broken). No one guarded the platform and no one came to meet them, so the pair walked towards a tall set of ornate double doors at the end of the platform. Del had to fight the desire to chip off a piece of crystal that encircled the doors.

His Ghost quickly scanned the entrance with a beam of blue light. "It's not locked... should we knock, though? I don't want the Awoken to think we're rude."

With nothing on his motion tracker, Del pushed apart the entrance way, revealing a long and still hall behind it. Lamps slowly lit to reveal the true length and height of it- Del was beginning to think the Awoken were giants. But as soon as he stepped inside, he was greeted by one.

An armed energy sidearm hummed in his ear. Embarrassed, he slowly raised his hands. The Awoken woman slowly came around to his front, keeping her Vestian Dynasty aimed above his eyes. She was lightly armored, decorated in Corsair regalia. Her helmet mostly masked her face, only exposing her mouth, which glistened a soft blue.

"This area is off limits to Guardians. You can rejoin your kind at the staging area in the Divalian Mists." Her voice was commanding.

Omni hovered out from behind Del, "Sorry, we will leave. It's just- an old friend called us here, said she needed help."

"I don't care. Take your junkship off my pad and-"

"It's alright, Cami." A voice called out from behind them- their jogging steps echoing closer.  

Del glanced over the Corsair's shoulder to see a figure coming towards them. The Corsair didn't budge.

The Warlock eventually made it to their side. "He's with me, sorry."

"Tala..." Cami, the Corsair, grumbled.

It was Tala. He didn't recognize her look or voice at first. She wore glamorous but sharp armored robes colored in a soft purple-grey. Her helmet matched with with Awoken markings around the visor. Her bond glowed blue with some kind of Vex technology. She looked like she belonged here.

"I know this isn't allowed but it's about that favor."

Cami's head tilted towards Tala as she considered her next action. Thankfully for them both it was to holster the sidearm. "Fine."

"You're the best," Tala said with a sigh of relief. Del slowly lowered his arms while Cami gave him an up-and-down look before wandering off down the hall.

Tala watched her get to a safe distance before turning her head back to Del. "Hey."

"Hey."
Logged
Danny
Administrator
Exhalted Member
*****

Karma: 15
Posts: 1929

The Gentleman Bastard


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2021, 10:50:57 PM »

It started off as bit of an awkward reunion, but after a short exchange of basic pleasantries, they slowly started to revert to their old selves. But the helmets stayed on.

"That's a lot of red, don't you think?" Tala gestured to Del's armor. He carried much stronger and heavier armor now, compared to what he had when she left him in the EDZ. And yes, it was mostly colored red.

"Purple's not your color." He retorted.

She scoffed, "Hm... 'Delmar', eh? How'd you come up with that?"

"Long story." He didn't mean to sound so cold.

They slipped back into silence as their slow walk continued.

Del tried to break it, "It's beautiful here."

"For now it is."

Del waited for her to continue but she didn't elaborate. He tried again and this time more sincerely. He slowed to a stop and lifted off his helmet, "You look good."

Tala removed hers as well, "So do you."

He found it difficult to keep eye contact, but forced himself closer to wrap one arm around her shoulder. She smiled, putting her arm around his waist and resting her head on his breastplate.

Worried the hug was lasting too long, Del removed his hand and stood back. "What do you need me for?"

She rolled her eyes, "Straight to business? Come on, let's talk more. And I can show you what I've been working on."

Tala led him through the halls of what she explained was a monastery. They passed at least a dozen statues and more hallways leading to other shrines and ritual sites. Del was glad he had a guide- it was intimidating to know they were in the lower levels of this place. Besides the history lesson on the Awoken and Dreaming City, Tala revealed she was working closely with Corsairs like Cami- Awoken scouts, scavengers and enforcers- in ending a terrible curse. This got Del's attention, having just dealt with the Endless Night, but Tala seemed to push past the subject and ask more about him. He told her about his early days of settlement hopping, then about the bunker and Auxisk.

Eventually they seemed to arrive at their destination- a small room with a portal at the center, guarded by two Corsairs.

"Sounds like you've been busy. Living with Eliksni? I'm really impressed, Del."

He sort of shrugged and glanced around the room. It was not decorated at all- a drab reinforced holding cell for the portal. Suddenly, Del's heart fluttered- but not in the way he wanted. An unexplainable feeling told him a veil was slowly lifting.

Tala gave the Corsairs a nod and they spun up the device- runes and tendrils of light sparked about the room as a dark field appeared in its middle. Del starred it down and felt like... this was all wrong.

Seeing the uneasiness in Del's eyes, Tala stood close to him, shoulder to shoulder, "I have to show you."

Her warmth interrupted whatever Del was sensing, and when she stepped forward, he immediately followed.



***



The other side was familiar- still in the Dreaming City or at least somewhere that looked like it. But the lights were dimmer here and it was quiet. Something was off...

Tala raised a finger to her mouth before putting her helmet back on. Del was quick to do the same; he was becoming anxious.

She once again led him on a short walk down a flight of stairs before arriving at a terrace overlooking a long narrow room. At one end was an old tree and another portal, standing by it was a white haired woman tinkering at some device. In the center, a small group of robed Awoken stood idly by. At the opposite far-end was a partially open set of doors, on the other side being a large deformed crystal suspended by Awoken magic.

"Do you know where we are?" Tala asked.

The question interrupted Del's gaze at the crystal. He shook his head.

Tala's voice was hushed, "The Endless Night was caused by the same perpetrator who cursed this city."

"Savathûn." Del already knew thanks to the Vanguard's new policies on sharing critical information.  

"Precisely." Tala nodded... in the direction of the crystal.

Del looked but didn't make the connection.

"Savathûn fled here. The Awoken Queen has agreed to... help her."

Del shifted uncomfortably in his armor as the veil lifted even higher.

"I have been working with the Corsairs and Techeuns- running the Blind Well, diving into Ley Lines, patrolling the Keep of Voices..." Tala observed Del's unbroken gaze at the crystalized Savathûn, "...you alright?"

He shook his head, "Why is it not dead? Why are they- you, keeping it here?"

"This is big, Del. She knows things- has answers about the Pyramids and what commands them."

He backed off from the terrace and turned his back on the chamber- and Tala. A Hive God within striking distance, willingly being harbored by an ally. This was big, as she said. A scheme as big and with as many levels as this city. His mind raced as he thought about what he, Auxisk and others had done to the stop the Endless Night- the toll it took on the people of the Last City. It was too much for him and not what he had come for. "If this is why you need me, I don't know if I can help."

Tala was taken back by his response. That wasn't why she needed him, but she did quietly hope that maybe one day they would work together in unravelling Savathûn's plot. For now, all this was clearly overwhelming him, so she joined his side to explain more, "For my work I've been granted a favor. I got information on a loose end I need tied up before fully committing myself here."

'Fully commit'? Concerned, Del turned to face her. He didn't feel like he had the right to protest, but he'd figure out a way. "Loose end?"

"Remember McManus? The Corsairs found him. I need your help taking him down."
« Last Edit: October 08, 2021, 10:53:51 PM by Danny » Logged
Danny
Administrator
Exhalted Member
*****

Karma: 15
Posts: 1929

The Gentleman Bastard


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2021, 10:35:02 PM »

Back to Europa.

Del vowed never to return to this frozen hellscape. As their ships approached orbit, Omni noticed his grip tightening on the flight controls. "You do not have to do this." Del didn't reply.

Awaiting their arrival was the contact; a Hunter named Sawyer. He had prepared a transmat zone on an ice shelf overlooking The Pit; a treacherous cavern McManus had supposedly fled to. Del and Tala's ships swooped them down before silently disappearing into the clouds.

The cold immediately began seeping through. The crunch of the snow made Del grind his teeth. The Pyramid on the horizon intimidated him, as it did the first time he saw it. The nightmare of his first days alive flooded back. He tried not to think it but he hated everything about this. The anxiety that had been building since the monastery, the slowly lifting veil, was coming to a head.

"You must be Sawyer."

Tala's soft, warm words snapped him out of it. On dark nights when the dreams crossed into reality, remembering her voice and touch brought him calm. She saved him from this place and he felt indebted.

"My name's Tala and this is Delmar-3. I hear you've tracked a fugitive." 

Sawyer was an interestingly dressed Hunter. He looked like a patchworked astronaut with his bright orange tinted visor and tubed rebreather. His vest, arms and legs were puffy but looked comfortably padded. His cloak was hoodless and had a tall antenna sticking up. He nodded, "Oh yeah. He's down there."

Del cautiously peered over the edge and looked down into The Pit. A jaggered hole in the ice that seemed to go down forever. The lightless cave brought a sense of vertigo.

"How did you find him?" Tala asked.

"Coincidence. Got a bounty for a Fallen Captain using stasis. Interrupted his raid on a House of Light refugee extract. Followed him back 'ere, went most of the way down until I saw him; a real freaky looking Guardian."

"You know for sure that's McManus?" Tala was confident, but she had to know what made Sawyer so sure.

"I keep up on the more higher-value targets. The ones out of my league, you know? I've read the Vanguard file and the Praxic Order report; it's him. Lotta them Ahamkara bones on him, got a Thorn. And the accent."

Upon hearing the description Tala immediately went to Del's side. She startled him as he looked out over the horizon. Laughing, she grabbed his wrist. "Steady there, Titan."

"Sorry. Little on edge." Del stepped back from the overlook, Tala stepping with him, maintaining the grip on his wrist.

Tala took in a deep breath. In case Del hadn't already figured it out, she needed to tell him why 'it had to be him'. At least the main reason. "I'm sorry, Del. I couldn't do this alone, and when I found out where he was-"

Omni appeared in front of them, "You thought: 'Oh I know just the guy to drag down there! A plucky new light who'll do whatever I say and has the experience to boot!'

Tala flinched. Del raised his hand to calm his ghost.

"That's not fair," Tala's own Ghost appeared beside them. "Delmar has liiived this environment, he was the best choice for backup."

"You completely disregarded the trauma he endured here!"

"He was asked to come, not ordered!"

Their Ghosts continued to bicker. Del looked to Tala, "You only wanted me to come because I know what it's like under the ice." It was part statement, part question.

It was true, but only partially. Tala suspected Del had decided her intentions, and so at risk of sounding like a liar she said; "Yeah. That's why it's gotta be you." She tightened her grip on his wrist and prayed he detected sincerity. If only he could see her eyes.

Del thought, then slowly nodded. "You called me for help. I answered." He felt only cold.

This made Tala smile, but he sounded reluctant.

"Don't mean to interrupt..." Sawyer stood awkwardly behind them. "But ya'll goin down there alone?"

Tala let go of Del and approached Sawyer, "Well now that you mention it, we are one Hunter short of a fireteam..."

He waved his hands, "Oh, no thanks. I'm good."

"You went most of the way down there already. We could really use you."

Sawyer laughed, "I've seen Vex, Fallen- hell, entire Skiffs go down there and nothing ever comes back up."

Tala knew better than to argue with a Hunter who's made up his mind, but Del unexpectedly chimed in.

"Imagine those Vanguard and Praxic Order reports getting closed out with your name on them."

Tala's eyes widened. A good start, but that would only convince a Titan.

Sawyer realized he had the upper-hand after their personal squabble, "Gonna have to do better than that."

"Eighty-ten-ten split on the bounties. That's plural. He's wanted from the City to the Shore."

"Deal."

Del, Tala and Sawyer turned to face The Pit and with Tala leading the way, leaped down. 



***



The trio descended into The Pit cautiously. Light from outside was still reflecting in but they didn't want any slip-ups potentially alerting those awaiting deeper. Sawyer dropped the fastest but was always quick to latch onto a surface with his blade. Tala struggled the most, gliding slowly from one ledge to the other. Del was the most gracious, sliding off surfaces and allowing his lift to keep balanced- he'd have to frequently pause to allow the others to catch up.

Eventually The Pit bottomed out revealing a tall and wide tunnel.

"McManus and his Fallen pal went down there." Sawyer gestured, "Real dark. Don't die."

Del instinctively stepped forward to lead the way. In an effort to remain undetected, Omni appeared over his shoulder and his eye blinked green- he was casting his amplified sight of the terrain ahead to the fireteam. They marched on.

"So Sawyer," Tala spoke low but their communication only transmitted between their helmets, "Bounty hunting your full time occupation?"

"Nah, just a hobby. I try not to play too much into the stereotype," Sawyer's tone was optimistic despite initially being hesitant in joining them. His drawl was entertaining to listen to after spending months with pompous Corsairs. "You been with the Awoken then?"

"For a few months."

Sawyer scoffed, "Funny type, them Awoken. Lotta secrets." Tala caught Del glance back at her. "Cool stuff, though. I appreciates a good looking canon." He tapped his holster- Tala identified the Waking Vigil hand-cannon by its grip. "What about you, Red? What do you do when you're not spelunking?"

Del was a little bothered by the chatter but it was light and they were keeping quiet. "I help run a small outpost. Nothing special."

"He's being modest," Tala grinned, "It's an old Seraph bunker. Its got a good population of lightless and Eliksni." There was pride in her words and Del detected it.

"Shut-up," Sawyer seemed genuinely surprised, "I have my dealings with'em but I dunno if I could live side by side'em. Especially underground like that... all close. Weird smells..."

Motion. A red blip darted across Del's tracked. He raised a closed fist and ducked. Tala did the same but Sawyer slid over to cover.

Omni let out a scan of the cave which revealed they were approaching a lit, warm chamber. With the low-light mode disengaged the fireteam crept forward until the target was in their sights.

The chamber was not of natural formation. It had been carved out around a Vex structure which was being used as an energy source. Three Skiffs lay dormant stacked on top of each other, surrounded by other scrapped Fallen tech including a spider tank. Dreg workers chipped away at the ice or vex metal and shanks carried materials out of the structure.

As promised, McManus was there, sitting upon what Tala was sure he considered to be a throne. He was overseeing whatever this operation was. No sign of the Captain, however.

"What's the play?" Sawyer asked.

"I know how to handle him- he's mine. I need you two on crowd control." Tala answered.

Del turned his head to Tala, "Are you going to kill him?"   

"Only if I have to." She looked between Del and Sawyer, "You ready?"

Sawyer drew his cannon, pulling the hammer back with his thumb. Del unslung his rifle, disengaging its safety. With two affirmative nods, she closed her fist into a spiked shard of Stasis.
Logged
Danny
Administrator
Exhalted Member
*****

Karma: 15
Posts: 1929

The Gentleman Bastard


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2021, 03:55:27 PM »

The panicked calls and scattering of unarmed Dregs alerted McManus to the fireteams presence. He stood from his throne as a Hunter, Titan and Warlock at the center, approached him.

"What the fuck is this!?" He called out to them, but received no answer.

Some of the bigger and more ambitious Dregs rushed the fireteam with their tools but they were quickly put down with the punch or throwing knife.

As they strode closer, Tala could see how much he had deteriorated. Both arms were now covered in Ahamkara bones and the rest of his armor was decorated with Hive chitin. His sickly green eyes shun from behind his helmets visor. Thorn remained strapped to his side.

McManus continued to spew taunts as he lifted Thorn from its holster, "Not enough Warlocks to be Praxic... ugly enough to be Vanguard!" This action caused the fireteam to stop in their tracks.

Tala announced her presence, "McManus! Surrender!"

His head slowly tilted to one side, "Tala? No... no fucking way. I thought the storm got you..." His voice was disturbed.

"It's over, Cap. Drop the gun and come with us."

McManus's body twitched. "...What the FUCK are you doing here!?"

Del and Sawyer looked to her. They weren't prepared for his tone- they both suspected he was beyond renegade.

Tala held her ground, "Listen to me, Cap-"

His armed lifted to point his weapon at Tala. Del and Sawyer responded by raising theirs. "No- you listen to me. The crew's gone. The Ketch went down. Lost everything... it's all gone... because of you."

Tala knew better than that and stood unwavering.

"Wolffe's dead. Remember him?" His voice hissed, "Just you, me and him left after that shitshow of raid. Just a kid... and you killed him when you ran, you filthy fucking coward."

That, however, stung.

McManus began to pace, "You were like a daughter to me... I found you. I raised you!" He shouted, his voice cracking and echoing in the chamber; "And how did you repay me!?"

Tala's own voice boomed in response, "Repay!? You abused me! Forced me to serve you when I didn't know better. YOU locked me away and let me die of thirst over and over!"

Del felt sick to his stomach. He only knew what Tala had let him know. This went so much deeper than he realized.

McManus screamed, "Traitor!"

Tala screamed back, "Murderer!"

The commotion had attracted the attention of the Fallen Captain, who limped out from the Vex structure to investigate. The ether-starved Eliksni wore tattered House Devil's armor and he carried a shrapnel thrower that dripped with its molten ammunition.

Sawyer accepted the captain as his target and aimed his handcannon from his hip.

"I'm gonna fucking kill you, Tala," McManus growled, "But I'm gonna kill your friends first."

The scrap around the skiffs shook as a deep rumbling vibrated to announce the presence of a Brig. The armored behemoth rose from the rubble and Del shifted his aim off McManus in response.

Their was a brief pause... then chaos erupted.

Tala pulled forth a staff of stasis as McManus summoned his own squall of kama's and launched them in her direction. Sawyer engaged the Fallen captain with a flurry of rounds let loose from his cannon. Del held down the trigger of his rifle and a spitfire of rounds began chipping away at the Brig's armor.



For every missed blade or javelin of ice there was an exchange or small arms fire as McManus and Tala engaged in their fights for revenge. They floated and bounced around the chamber causing indiscriminate damage to their surroundings.

In his fight against the fallen captain, Sawyer initially had the upper hand as he blasted away at his arc shield, but the tide quickly changed when the captain unleashed a tornado of stasis that caught Sawyer off-guard. He was forced to retreat and stayed on the backfoot with the captain using his ability to phase in and out of sight to keep on the pressure.

Del didn't have an ammunition problem, he had a penetration problem. The Brig would unleash high-caliber armor piercing rounds and rockets to keep Del moving from cover to cover. However, a well-placed pulse grenade successfully disoriented the drone, allowing Del to move in.

Tala and McManus clashed midair. She grabbed his vest and tossed him downward, but quickly grabbed his cloak and yanked him back up. As he choked, momentarily suspended, she closed her fist and delivered a punch direct center of his face. He fell to the ground and rolled. Tala floated down to face him, but with her stasis abilities cooling down, she withdrew a sidearm concealed in her armor issued to her by the Corsairs. She glared down it's sights, McManus head resting in-between. "Submit."

Sawyer could not keep up with the captain. It continued to blink faster than he could aim, resulting in an empty canon and sudden close quarters fight. Out maneuvered, Sawyer couldn't get to his blades quick enough before being slashed by two of the captains arms, hurtling him backwards.

With the Brig temporarily immobilized by Del's grenades, he took the time to check on Tala. McManus noticed. She had a handle on things, but Sawyer was in trouble. With the beast looming over his companion, Del sprinted towards his target at such a speed he built a charge of arc energy. Their collision was spectacular; the captain broke into pieces which flew into the air as they disintegrated. No time to celebrate, however, as the Brig had recovered and rocketed towards them; screeching a vengeful bass. Del instintively opened fire but it wouldn't be enough to stop the charging behemoth. Without that captain pushing the offensive, Sawyer was finally able to summon a barrage of fiery blades which swarmed the tank. It's armor immediately shredded and the following detonation of the knives blasted the rest of it away.



Despite the shift of power in his domain, McManus wasn't done with the intruders. As the other two approached, he flung a glacial grenade at his feet. A tall stasis barrier rose, freezing Tala's arm in place. She responded immediately; charging her arm back and pushing a force strong enough the shatter the ice and free her arm. Unfortunately, this momentary distraction was enough to shift things back in his favor.

As the blocks of ice fell, a javelin rocketed past Tala. She tracked its trajectory and helplessly watched as it pierced Del; sending him flying back and skewering him to the wall. She stood still, paralyzed by the horror of what she witnessed and felt in her heart.

Keeping the momentum of his actions going, McManus grabbed the collar of Tala's robes and pulled her in front him. Using her as cover, he rested his Thorn on her shoulder and opened fire on Sawyer. He was able to dodge for a time and even fired back a few precise shots, but was only successful in blasting away the Ahamkara bone on his shoulder. Sawyer would fall- succumbing to Thorn's vile affects.

To finish off the trio, McManus spun Tala around to face him. He launched a punch made devastating by the sharp bones protruding from his knuckles. Her helmet shattered and she staggered backwards. Disoriented and powerless, McManus unleashed his fury upon her.

He alternated between her stomach and face, only pausing to grab hold and prevent her from collapsing. The serrated Ahamkara bone cut through her armor, sapphire wire under suit, skin, organ and bone. She bled from the lacerations, from her eyes, ears, nose and mouth. She couldn't scream, as her lungs filled with fluids.

Eventually McManus could no longer support her and she fell limp in a pool of her blood. Unfinished, he mounted her and delivered an uppercut that detached her jaw; the follow-through from the bones on his wrists ejecting an eye from its socket.

Prepared to deliver the final blow, he clenched ready to collapse her skull. But he was interrupted when a desperate, panicked and dying cry echoed from behind him. McManus slowly looked over his shoulder to see Del animalisticly pushing away at the javelin that impaled him. But that noise he made... it wasn't for his own survival. It was for Tala's.

McManus slowly turned his head to look over his other shoulder. Sawyer lay moaning and convulsing; dying. His gaze rested back to Tala, her face now unrecognizable. There was no recovering from the damage he had inflicted- she would die. He had killed her.

His hands warm with her blood and ears attuned to her final strained breaths, McManus pushed off of her as the consequences of his actions caught up with him.

"You got out! You didn't have to come back but you did, bringing them with you... you killed them, Tala, not me! You killed yourself... THIS ISN'T MY FAULT!"

He stood, removing his helmet and began pacing in front of her, "Don't you see!? Everything you touch dies! What happened to Nadine? What happened to Loch? What happened to Renato? What happened to Wolffe? WHAT HAPPENED TO ME!?" He then gestured back to Del, "What happened to... whoever the fuck that is!?"

He paused, but groaned in pain. Despite her condition, McManus was frustrated she didn't make any effort to respond. He stomped his foot like a child and erupted, "WHY DID YOU MAKE ME DO THIS!?" His voice cracked as he held back tears.

For Tala, his ramblings were barely audible. She could only focus on breathing while desperate to keep her sights on Del as McManus walked back and forth in front of her. What had she done? A deep overwhelming sense of regret ached her very soul. Anything... she would do anything to take it all back. Pay any price. She would die to save Del. She would go back in time to prevent them ever meeting. Anything- she wished she could do anything to reverse the pain she had caused.

Then, something unexplainable. An ethereal force gently moved her head to the side. Her bruised, broken and bleeding face aimed upon two objects just barely within reach. Whispers filled her head as her fingers twitched in their direction.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 01:20:01 PM by Danny » Logged
Danny
Administrator
Exhalted Member
*****

Karma: 15
Posts: 1929

The Gentleman Bastard


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2021, 01:34:06 PM »

Time for this to end. McManus's grip tightened on his Thorn; finger curling around the trigger. He couldn't bare to look at Tala so he stood with her mangled body behind him. "I'm sorry, my girl... this isn't how I wanted things to end. I wanted so much more for us..."

He slowly turned, prepared to end the life of his child, his love, his protégé... but inexplicably, Tala stood before him. Completely healed. Not a word, or even a sound, could leave his mouth, only a shocked expression cemented on his face as her stasis staff cut off the hand that held Thorn. She pushed him back and directed a stasis glacier the grow from the ground and encapsulate him up to his neck. His eyes darted around wildly, unable to comprehend how this was possible.

The javelin suddenly broke apart, freeing Del. He initially collapsed onto the ground, but he too had unexplainably healed from his wounds.

Sawyer rolled over with a relieved sigh as the dagger-like rounds were rejected from his body.

McManus... laughed. His guttural, chaotic laugh echoed throughout the entire cave system. To Del and Sawyer, it was pure insanity. But to Tala, she understood this was brought on by a revelation. With her staff, she directed the ice imprisoning him to tighten. Soon all the air had left his lungs and none could replace it. Tala looked on, pleased, as his face turned blue. This could kill him, but even after all he had done, death was not the fate she wished for him.

With a keen eye, she waited and watched. His ghost soon appeared and attempted to make a mad dash. She, however, was ready and grabbed hold with a terrifying swiftness.

His ghost, also decorated in bone and emanating Hive soulfire, desperately tried to escape, but quickly accepted its fate. It tried to speak, but before Tala let a single word out, she closed her vengeful hand; destroying it to prevent resurrection and severing McManus's connection to the light.

To save him, Tala broke the ice and allowed McManus to crumble with it. In-between desperate breaths, the maniac continued his pained laughter without breaking eye contact with her.

Sawyer initially shared Del's astonishment. But as Del thanked the traveler and his ghost, Sawyer replayed the final moments of the fight that should have resulted in all their deaths. He analyzed Tala, who stood before the defeated McManus. One hand held her staff, the other tightly clenched.

McManus, holding onto his bleeding wrist, looked up at Tala with an ear to ear grin. He opened his mouth and prepared his final attack, "Sure hope that was-" Reflexively, Tala jabbed him in the throat with her staff. He fell back, choking, and Tala took a deep, victorious breath.




***




The trio gathered up McManus' belongings, including his Thorn and the Ahamkara bones, and evaporated them with coordinated holy fire. They dispersed the remaining Fallen with the destruction of weapon caches, but left their ether and Vex power source. Sawyer would report this location to House of Light, perhaps some would join. With him as their captive they headed for the surface- no words were exchanged as they climbed out of The Pit.

Once topside, they spent some time basking in the bright midday sun and tired to calm themselves and gather their thoughts after the horror they had experienced below. It was over once Tala pushed McManus into Sawyer's care. He saw through the apparent miraculousness of their healing and Tala knew it. With his ship inbound he gave her a grateful nod- he understood the unknowable burden she now undertook to guarantee their survival. 

Del was oblivious. He approached Sawyer with an open hand- extending his gratitude for his assistance in the most immediate way he could think of. Sawyer shook his hand as the shadow of his ship overtook them.

As they departed, Tala looked on, waiting to feel... anything. She couldn't even feel the cold. The ship roared away, heading to the nearest Vanguard outpost, leaving Del and Tala at the overlook.

Neither could find the words. Del was angry with her- he felt tricked, like she understood he felt more than a debt to her. The fight almost killed him, and her, and another estranged Guardian she convinced to join them. She was selfish. The veil finally lifted.

Tala was racked with guilt- she didn't anticipate the brutality of the fight, or what she had to do to stop it. Her actions almost caused Del's death, and Sawyer's, and for that she was deeply disturbed. What could she even do or say now?

"Have you spoken to it?" The resentment in Del's question delayed her answer.

"To what...?" Tala knew to what.

The Europan winds howled between them- neither could stand to look at each other.

"No." She finally answered. "The Queen won't let me."

Del said nothing else. He turned and started to walk away, his own ship descending from orbit.

Tala blinked, feeling a rush of desperation. She turned after him, slightly reaching. "Hey, wait."

He stopped.

"Do you... do you want to-"

"I'm going back to the bunker." Del answered, sternly, and not turning to look at her. What could she even do or say now to make this any worse? As his ship lowered, he waited.

The answer was nothing. With a heart weak from perceived deception, he transmatted aboard and without delay fired his engines. As his ship rocketed upwards, he punched the dash above the controls.

Tala watched on as he ascended and once again she waited to feel something. But she couldn't. She won... and she lost. But no joy or sadness. Just a strange sense of dullness- of thoughtlessness and denial.

She slowly turned once she could no longer see Delmar-3's ship. She sort of staggered back towards the mouth of The Pit, aimless and emotionless. Staring into its maw, she briefly considered going back in. Maybe she belonged down there.

Her Ghost appeared. He didn't say anything, just hovered around to her front. Tala looked right through him. Ghost blinked its dim eye a couple times, before turning its shell downward, seemingly pointing to something. Tala looked to see her left hand, clenched and shaking. She hadn't noticed. Lifting it up felt weightless but like she wasn't in control of it. Now aware, she realized she was in pain. Wincing, she tried to uncurl her fingers which dug into her palm. It took her free hand to open her captured one, revealing the two bloody fragments. Whispers filled her head as her broken fingers tried to close again. Ghost observed, unable or unwilling to help.

With a snap decision, Tala's wrist rotated, letting the two fragments fall. She jumped back from The Pit, completely disoriented as her surroundings appeared different. She took her own labored breaths and held her crippled hand close to her chest. Her Ghost, whose eye shun a little brighter now, scanned her hand. He shook his shell, before silently disappearing.

Tala felt herself coming back, but her mind remained clouded. As she approached her ship, cradling her hand, she realized why things around her looked different. It was night now.
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
clean_cut_blue was created by babjusi