Kentarch 3 Suit (Hunter)
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Cowl of Righteousness
Lisbon-13 was already walking away when she spoke.
"You don't trust her. I can see that."
He almost stumbled, but he quickened his pace to cover for it.
Rekkana saw so much. It was the thing that astonished him when they first met. She seemed to see right into him, to see all his flaws and failings, all the guilt and regret, and she didn't look away.
"I don't need to trust her. I trust you."
"And that's enough?"
It was, and would be. The truth of that rested easy within him. It was the razor that cut through the chaos and ambiguity of their wild and dangerous lives. She knew what she wanted, and she wanted him by her side. It was an honor.
She lingered behind him, no doubt thinking about their mission.
"Hey, slowpoke. You coming?"
Lisbon-13 stopped to wait for her. He looked out at a landscape somehow outside space, terrible and yet still beautiful in its own way. Rekkana caught up to him.
"Strange, being through the looking glass."
Her eyes were a luminous blue. It was the first thing he'd noticed, before he understood what she could see. He wondered at the mind behind them.
But then he remembered that none of that mattered. He didn't need to ask questions if she knew the answers.
"We should get back to Yardarm before he starts shooting bugs for fun."
Grips of Exaltation
Lisbon-13 looked around the grotto and then at his companions. Rekkana seemed tired. It had been a rough fight, but it was more than that. She'd lost confidence somehow. That wasn't normal.
"You underestimated them," Yardarm-4 accused.
Lisbon-13 felt Rekkana's hand on his arm and said nothing.
"Yes," she said. "But it has given us perspective."
"Perspective?" Yardarm-4 didn't wait for an explanation. "What perspective is worth nearly dying for?"
Rekkana looked to Lisbon-13, and he understood. She had underestimated the Vex. Never in her darkest dreams had she foreseen the kind of resistance they'd encountered. It meant their quest had more meaning. There was a destiny in it that had somehow gone unaccounted for.
"Those defenses were insane," Lisbon-13 said, thinking of the implications. "The relays and tethers. The Angelics. The Vex really don't want us to be here. That means they consider this place a weakness."
"Yes, it's a weakness," Yardarm-4 reasoned, and there was an echo in the cave. "Perhaps it's their greatest weakness."
But it was not an echo.
Another voice said "weakness" again.
"Yes. So we must—" Rekkana started, but then Lisbon-13 raised the weapon Rekkana had bade him carry. He scanned the area.
Yardarm-4 started as if hit by a spark and raised his gun. "What is that?" He sounded rattled. "Where's it coming from?"
Rekkana backed up to them, automatically taking a defensive position. "I don't hear…" Rekkana said before falling silent.
"Those with strength enough need not consider the weaknesses of others."
Vest of Transcendence
Their Ghosts all started chattering at once, and Lisbon-13 stepped away from his compatriots to hear his own.
"Scanning. No sign of complex life besides you three. Widening the scan parameters. I got bupkis."
"Look for any kind of transmission, or a nearby audio device," Lisbon-13 ordered. "We're getting sound without a source."
"Got it," his Ghost said, but then it wobbled in the air. "Whoa. Don't got it."
Lisbon-13 grabbed his Ghost before it could fall. In the grotto, their Light faded.
He heard Rekkana ask, "Yardarm, Lisbon, you OK?"
"I'm fine," he said. And he was. Something strange—something alarming—was happening, but Lisbon-13 felt no fear.
As the gloom faded to black, Lisbon-13 set his shoulders. Whoever—whatever—it was had spoken. It would speak again.
Lisbon-13 stood against the dark and waited to have words.
Strides of Ascendancy
"We didn't come here for this." Lisbon-13 was convinced.
"Of course not. Who could have predicted it?" Rekkana's reply was quick. "But now, with all that's happened, does it matter what our mission was? This is so much more important."
Lisbon-13 wanted to believe that, but Rekkana didn't seem sure of herself. Her eyes were too bright. She was electric, excited but also scared. The razor he used to cut through the chaos wavered.
"And awesome. Don't forget how awesome this feels." Yardarm-4 said, oblivious of the feelings passing between them.
Lisbon-13 locked eyes with Rekkana, willing her to understand, to return to her senses. "But these things—these powers we've been given—they come from the wrong side."
Rekkana looked away. "I'm not so sure." She seemed to be staring at nothing, eyes unfocused.
"You remember on Io," Yardarm-4 blurted, stepping between them, "we were pinned down inside that shipping container with Phalanxes closing in from all sides, and you—you bastard. You ducked out a little hole in the back and made a run for it. I thought you'd left us behind."
"Never," snarled Lisbon-13, infuriated at this irrelevant interruption.
"I know," Yardarm-4 continued. "The whole box was rattling with bullets, and there were explosions, and we were shooting when we could, and suddenly, through it all, I hear you screaming. It was like a banshee wail. You came screaming back on an Interceptor—the Psion still in it. You were steering it with the Psion's head!"
"I remember," said Lisbon-13 as he tried to step around Yardarm-4, but the Titan moved with him, matching his motion.
"And you rammed it through four Phalanxes from the side," Yardarm-4 said, punching a fist into his palm. "And then, and then—you remember this, Rekkana?"
"I can't forget."
"You splashed that Interceptor across the shields of another Phalanx, and you RODE THE EXPLOSION over the top." Yardarm-4 threw his whole body into the performance of the story. He was trying to make Lisbon-13 laugh, or at least smile. "And when you hit the ground behind them, BOOM! It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen."
Lisbon-13 said nothing. He stopped trying to get past Yardarm-4 and simply looked at the Titan, waiting for him to get to the point.
"That's us right now. We're doing what you did. This whole universe is like that container, and the Last City, the Vanguard, the Traveler—they're all inside that box. But we just snuck out of a hole in the back. And there's that Interceptor, and there's not even a Psion in it."
Lisbon-13 narrowed his eyes.
"But here the metaphor gets a little muddy, because instead of one Interceptor, there's an Interceptor for you, a Goliath for me, and a Thresher for Rekkana. What would that fight have looked like if we'd had all their firepower on our side?"
Lisbon-13 let the question hang in the air, waiting for Rekkana to say something. But she continued to stare into space.
Cloak of Temptation
Lisbon-13 leaned hard against the boulder and reloaded. "I didn't want this!"
He leapt up as the grenade he'd been expecting landed. Shots tore through brush and kicked up stone on the other side of the boulder, but he was already moving up the slope, using the grenade's explosion to cover his movement.
A quick peek from his new vantage point revealed no sign of them downslope. A day ago, they would have taken the bait. Yardarm-4 would have run up and made a shield to cover Rekkana. Then she would have jumped over it to land behind the boulder, a comet of energy that would meteor down to finish him off.
He'd taught them to be more patient.
"What did you want?" Yardarm-4 called from about three o'clock, moving to Lisbon-13's right—but it could have been a feint. "You accepted. What did it offer you?" From farther to the right. It hadn't been a feint.
Lisbon-13 threw a grenade right where he knew Yardarm-4 would be, and then turned. Rekkana stood a few feet away. She'd crept up while he was focused on Yardarm-4. She'd probably been on the move before he'd spoken. It was what he'd have done. He almost smiled.
Her fist glimmered and quaked with an unfamiliar power. She only had to release her grip, and that energy would rip through him, burning without fire.
"It offered me what I most desired, but in the end, it could never give me that. It could only take it away."
Lisbon-13 lifted his gleaming eyes to meet Rekkana's cobalt gaze and raised Divinity.
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