Forum:Future in Darkness
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|Future in Darkness|
Recommended Power Level:
Track down an unfamiliar signal coming from the Dwindler's Ridge.
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- "Get to the Ridge, find out what's there, and put it down. The Cabal are moving too quickly for my liking."
- — Commander Zavala
Future in Darkness is the first story mission of the first part of the Paradox expansion's storyline. After intercepting a distress signal from Variks, the Vanguard sends The Guardian to lend assistance and to investigate fears of possible Cabal interference. Upon arriving at Dwindler's Ridge, the distress signal is revealed to be false, and the Guardian must fight for their lives to survive.
- Investigate Dwindler's Ridge
- Kill the Cabal Champion
- Advance to the Cabal Fleetbase
- Investigate the Signal
- Defeat Eobard Thawne
A stylized swirling of lights fades in—the Milky Way galaxy, its billions of stars twinkling in the night. The Traveler appears in its center, graphing lines forming about it.
- The Exo Stranger: Once upon a time, there were two entities...
The Traveler moves through space, passing by many worlds and stars. As its influence touches each world, stylized geometric shapes appear around and about them, some interconnecting.
- TES: ...two powerful, elemental forces, which have been from the beginning of reality.
The camera pans back, moving swiftly from the Traveler and its benevolence. A group of shaded-in triangles, one noticeably larger than the rest, moves across space. As they move, the designs arranged by the Traveler shatter into fragments, some breaking apart other designs before the Black Fleet reaches them.
- TES: The Light and the Dark. We know them as the Traveler, and the Darkness. For the longest time, we were ignorant about the Darkness' true nature.
The Traveler alights over a large planet with fifty-two moons. A larger, more ornate design flourishes—the Ammonite civilization, the Leviathan, and the multitudinous life on Fundament below.
- TES: All information we had concerning it was lost in the Collapse, and all that we knew were rumors, superstitions, and other species' many contradictory myths.
The Traveler leaves Fundament as its elegance shatters. The symbol of Oryx encompasses the Jovian. As the sphere moves out of view, the Black Fleet arrives and halts above Fundament. The symbol of Oryx breaks apart into three smaller pieces, encircling the Fleet in a slow rotation, before setting off after the Traveler.
- TES: We now have learned who our true enemy is. The Hive, the Vex, merely servants to the Black Fleet. They know only one thing—to consume the Light. They hunger for its very essence, yet it is pain and misery. A double-edged sword the Fleet uses to control its thralls.
As the narration progresses, the Traveler moves through the universe, pursued by the Hive and the Fleet. Every single dot of light, every single drawing, the Traveler finds and leaves almost immediately shatters thereafter. Finally the sphere passes through the Milky Way and enters Sol.
- TES: And also for the longest time, we believed we knew the reasons for the Traveler's existence. A necessary counterbalance to the evil within us. But this was never so.
The Traveler alights above Sol, and sends out a pulse of power. The initial Fleet of triangles that follows is repulsed, destroyed in a tangle of lines and patches. The Hive enter, first Crota then Oryx's symbols, then break into fragments. The Vex symbol appears over Venus and Mercury briefly, before, it too, fades away.
- TES: The Traveler is a dying god... or rather a fragment, of goodness and Light. It cannot fight its battles. It needs its defenders. And so the Guardians were born.
Sol fades away, replaced by an army of Guardians and Ghosts; in the foreground is the Vanguard, and towering above them is The Guardian.
- TES: With you as its sword and shield, the Traveler could fight back against its oppressor. Time and again, you have beaten back the Darkness' many assaults.
- TES: Victory was within reach—and then came the Fleet. Those broken shapes you fought on Europa, only a prelude. This time, they knew the answer: to achieve victory, they would target you. And so...
A fuller image of the Fleet appears onscreen, fully defined, the large central pyramid flanked by hundreds of lesser vessels.
- TES: They did.
The image of a single humanoid figure appears, dominating the screen, before fading away.
The landscape of Earth appears. Trees shake in a light breeze, clouds scud across the sky, birdcalls sound. A whirring sound is heard, growing louder and louder—then the grass parts and a Sparrow soars across.
- Commander Zavala: Guardian, the Vanguard has detected a signal originating from Variks in the general location of Dwindler's Ridge. You understand that we are cautious, as current intelligence has Variks placed firmly on Europa.
- Ghost: Yes, Commander. It's worrying. It could be a trap by the Cabal.
- Zavala: Comscan has detected several Cabal ships in the local area for weeks now, congregating around Dwindler's Ridge. Whether this is the Empress making her move at last, or a Ghaul fanatic finally coming out of hiding, we are not certain. You are our eyes and ears on the ground.
The Guardian speaks.
- Guardian: Understood.
- Zavala: Zavala out.
The Sparrow turns sharply and comes to a halt. Over a ridge the view is breathtaking—between two mountains dominating the sky, their white-capped peaks lofty and tall, with swathes of dark green trees shrouding their sides, is a dark pass covered in shadow where no sunlight can reach. A rumbling suddenly shakes the ground. The Guardian jumps off and crouches down, the Sparrow transmatting away.
High overhead a grand Cabal warship flies into view, its engines pulsing. It goes into the pass and disappears. After a moment of hesitation, the Guardian gets back up and jumps off the ridge.
The Guardian makes their way deeper into the pass. Soon they are covered in twilight as the sunlight is blocked by the mountains. Birdcalls sound and animals cry in the distance—peaceful, serene. No enemies to disturb the vision.
- Ghost: I find it amazing that in spite of the calamities that we have gone through, somehow, the natural world has endured. Truly, the Light is bountiful.
- The Guardian: But what if it's not? (Beyond Light campaign uncompleted)
- The Guardian: Only for the weak. (Beyond Light campaign completed)
- Ghost: Didn't you hear Eris? Forget those messages, they distract.
They eventually come across a pack of Cabal War Hounds. The War Hounds do not attack if the Guardian does not shoot them.
- Ghost: Strange behavior from these beasts.
If the Guardian kills them:
- Ghost: A dead dog is a good dog, am I right?
Whether they attack the War Hounds or not, a Cabal Champion appears and speaks.
- Champion: Begone, City soldier! You interfere with things you don't understand.
- Ghost (New Light): I dare say we know more than you.
- Ghost (Veteran): If you have seen the things we have killed, you wouldn't be saying that.
- Champion: Then die for trespass!
If the War Hounds have been spared they will immediately attack the Guardian. Either outcome, a squad of assorted Cabal soldiers jumppack into the area and attack. The battle is swift and fierce, but the Guardian prevails. About a third of the Champion's health is whittled away.
- Champion: You dare defy me?!
More Cabal arrive, in larger numbers, supported by Goliath tanks and Interceptors. After a pitched battle, the Guardian defeats them. More of the Champion's health is depleted.
- Champion: You will not survive this time.
A third and final wave of Cabal attack, supported by Threshers and Harvesters. The Guardian again defeats them and the Champion.
- Champion: (death rattle)
If the Guardian approaches the corpse a Ghost Scan feature will prompt.
- Ghost: Hmmm, that is strange. According to these markings this Cabal is a member of the "Bone Crushers"... but there is no record anywhere in the Cabal roster of such a legion. Not even a reference or offhand mention.
The Guardian progresses onwards. They arrive at the entrance of a large Cabal fleetbase that resembles similar entrenched fortifications on Mars. Entering the base, they are attacked by Bone Crushers Cabal, but sporadically. They eventually make their way to the central command building, where a locked door awaits them.
- Ghost: (snorts) Cabal locks are nothing more than toothpicks. I'll get this open. (New Light)
- Ghost: Remember the time I summoned a legion on us the first time we went to Mars? (Veteran)
The door opens and they enter the base. It is seemingly deserted. It looks as though it had been completely abandoned despite the activity outside.
- Ghost: The signal from "Variks" is coming from over there. Be ready for surprises.
The Guardian approaches the end of the hall and enters the main command room. A large viewscreen covers the far end of the wall, and a table occupies the center of the room displaying a hologram of Earth, its Moon, and the Traveler hovering over the Last City's position. If the Guardian approaches the table, a Ghost scan will prompt.
- Ghost: The level of detail on this map is insane. The Cabal have even mapped out the conversion of South America into a city. I thought Rasputin's satellite network had blocked it out.
The Guardian reaches the viewscreen. Beneath it is a bank of computers.
- Ghost: So this is where the signal is coming from. But where is Variks?
- ?: We have been expecting you, Guardian.
The Guardian turns. The hologram over the table has transformed into an opaque sphere similar to a Blight. Emerging from it is an armor-clad figure the size of a Cabal Colossus. It is armed with a rifle that shimmers with ghostly energies in its right hand and a wrist-mounted blade on the other. It steps down from the table as begins to approach the Guardian, who raises their weapon and aims down at them.
- ?: You brought weapons, you do not need them.
- TG: Over my dead body.
- ?: You are mistaken. But if you insist.
As the Guardian attacks the armored figure, strange enemies in the form of Cabal appear alongside warped Fallen, resembling the Taken of Oryx. Unlike the Taken, these enemies are completely black with eyes of golden fire, and armed with unique weapons never before seen. They assist the armored figure in fighting the Guardian. Eventually they are defeated, and the armored figure remains.
- ?: An excellent display of valor, Guardian, but futile.
A second wave of enemies appear, stronger variants. Mixed among them are Cabal Bone Crushers, who are immune to melee and ability attacks but not to Supers or ranged weapons. With great effort the Guardian overcomes them, and damages the armored figure, breaking its helmet.
The armored figured stumbles backwards, dropping to one knee as it holds its face. Its helmet starts to fracture as whatever damage the Guardian did to it begins to multiply. It shatters in a brilliant explosion of white light—revealing the cold, emotionless features of Eobard Thawne. He drops his hand and looks up at the Guardian.
- Eobard Thawne: Impressive... most impressive. Lesser heroes would have fallen already. You are clearly so much more...
He stands up and attacks.
This time Eobard directly attacks the Guardian, harrying and chasing them about the command room rather than letting his forces attack. More enemies appear to assist Eobard, providing the Guardian with ammo drops and Orbs of Light as they fall. Throughout the battle Thawne taunts the Guardian, making cryptic comments:
- Thawne: A gallant try, I'll grant you that. You think I don't know who you really are, and what you're trying to accomplish, dear boy/girl?
- Thawne: Once upon a time there was a man who had everything, friends, family, a wife. One day his world folded in upon itself, and he was left with nothing. Do you understand, Guardian? That man can be you.
The Guardian damages Thawne again, breaking more of his armor. This time parts of his leg armor and chest armor fractures to pieces. Thawne pauses for a moment to regain his bearings before attacking with renewed vigor, vibrating rapidly. This time he begins to phase in and out of reality. Each time Thawne phases out of reality, nothing but a Super can damage him; when he is solid, nothing but abilities and weapons can hurt him.
- Thawne: Don't be afraid, boy/girl. A great destiny, a grand adventure awaits you. If only you would lay down your weapons.
- Thawne: You and I, we are so alike in many ways. Both in the Cosmodrome, one fallen there, the other lost in space. One raised up as a soldier of Light, the other an advocate of the Dark.
Thawne is again damaged. This time most of his armor disintegrates and he starts to phase out of reality completely. In this state he is untouchable and capable of hurtling lighting swift attacks that can fortunately be dodged. The Guardian utilizes elements of the command room to corral Thawne's assaults and to control the battlefield. Finally the Guardian lures Thawne into the central portal from which he spawned from.
- Thawne: No! No...! No!
With the collision between a superspeeding force and a solid interdimensional object, the portal swallows up Thawne completely and disappears. The battle is seemingly over.
The Cabal base around the Guardian begins to fizzle and fade, revealing it was nothing but an illusion; in moments the command room had disappeared, leaving behind in its place an extensive ruin of an ancient Golden Age city. The Cabal were never here.
- Ghost: I... don't like this, Guardian.
- Commander Zavala (over coms): Guardian, report. What is going on out there?
- Ghost: You wouldn't believe us if we told you, sir.
- Ikora Rey: I'll be the judge of that. Comscan has revealed our detection of the Cabal ships were sensor ghosts, apparitions. Eris assures me this was no accident. What happened?
- TG: I... fought a man calling himself... Eobard...
- Ghost: And he also called himself an "advocate of the Dark". He was summoning Taken-like creatures to fight us.
- IR: Report back to the Tower immediately. We have work to do.
Kimi no kage ni fukaku
ochiru kanashimi wo
machi wo sukuu kokoro no
yami ga shihai suru sekai
tsubasawa toki ni mi wo makase
hitori yoru no kaze ni
nabiku nure garasu
So tasty blacken
Nagareochiru risei to hoshi ni negai wo
koroshita kosei no kazu dake hito wa
otona ni naru
namida no kakera wo atsume
ikutsu mono yoru ni koi sakenda
Filthy, Beastie Lazy nights
onaji yoru wo kurikaeshi
tsuki ga hohoemi kakeru
Watashi wa toki ni hagureta rabirinsu
anata ni deau kiseki wa kanata
aitai kioku wo riroodo meiro
watashi wo mitsukete
aikotoba wa himitsu
futari wa hikari to kage no shirabe
- Bone Crushers War Hound
- Bone Crushers Psion
- Bone Crushers Pulsar Aggressor
- Bone Crushers Pulsar Defender
- Bone Crushers Lightning Psion (aerial)
- Bone Crushers Legionary
- Bone Crushers Ballistarius
- Bone Crushers Flamer
- Bone Crushers Phalanx
- Bone Crushers Lancer
- Bone Crushers Marauder Lancer (aerial)
- Bone Crushers Incendior
- Bone Crushers Gladiator
- Bone Crushers Centurion
- Bone Crushers Hypaspist
- Bone Crushers Gunnery Sergeant
- Bone Crushers Colossus
- Bone Crushers Draconarius
- Bone Crushers Thunderbolt Colossus (aerial)
- Bone Crushers Interceptor
- Bone Crushers Goliath Tank
- Bone Crushers Breaker Goliath Tank
- Bone Crushers Harvester
- Bone Crushers Thresher
- Angelic Psion (Cabal apparition)
- Archangelic Centurion (Cabal apparition)
- Light Archangelic Centurion (Cabal apparition)
- Ruling Nightmare (Cabal apparition)
- Enthroned Legionary (Cabal apparition)
- Cherubic Shadowkeeper
- Champion of the Bone Crushers
- Eobard Thawne, Speedbreacher of Kirito