NPA "Weir-Walker" Suit
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|NPA "Weir-Walker" Suit
NPA "Weir-Walker" Suit
The NPA "Weir-Walker" Suit is an Legendary armor set available during the Season of the Deep. The flavor text chronicles Deputy Commander Sloane's time spent on Titan, following its displacement in Season of Arrivals.
NPA "Weir-Walker" Hood, Helm, and Visor
- "[DAY 0] Black skies quell storms as if they were fleeing omens."
- — Sloane
Deputy Commander Sloane had seen faint lightning flash from deep beneath the Arcology dome—timed prior strikes and their thunder to judge the storm's movement. But as she walked outside to a flash, this time there was no thunder.
It had taken Sloane most of the morning after the Guardian had left to reach the surface. Waves were overtaking the rig platform, sloshing methane across the battle-marred power suit woven into Sloane's body.
"Hell…" She straightened her spine within the suit and stared at the Pyramid through her HUD, watching it displace existence around it as it clawed a distorted path through the sky.
Síocháin zoomed toward her through a blur of flickering neon. "Moving away from us."
"Shouldn't be moving at all." Sloane turned to her Ghost. "Let's get that perimeter set. The Hive'll come again tonight."
Before she could move, the Pyramid began shedding Scales from its hull. They hovered for a moment over where they'd detached and peeled away, revealing opalescent flesh.
Suddenly, the Pyramid emitted a wave that struck Titan, and a half-remembered tone resonated through Sloane's mind. With it, a lifetime: every experienced moment in a slurry of vivid flashes, condensed into simultaneous chaotic anarchy, grasping at grief, joy, anger, love. Seen from where she stood, past experiences gained new perspectives; memories best left dusted with rosy haze shrank under harsh light. Warmth, too fleeting, cold, still, ever frigid in its isolation…
And something else, sifting through it all, drawing it to order, as if rearranging fractured collagic panes into a new image.
She struggled to breathe, and her suit flexed against the weight of her years, splayed out across time in violating fashion. Then just as suddenly, they were gone, faded into dreams.
The sky turned black and orange like a fire-screen, and thunder resonated.
Sloane's body pitched forward over the platform, sinking through air, then sea. Heavy metal was swallowed whole; consciousness faded into the black.
Her experience tumbled through sharded eras of reality like an astral projection, even as she felt her feet still firmly planted in the present. A cascade of timeless scenes whirled by, like panes of life captured in glass, in an indefinite stream of consciousness. Scenes of Titan, of a vibrant seascape installation. Too familiar not to be memories.
Not hers, but no less real.
Their point of focus left Titan, dragged backwards across the lonely expanse of space to a world she'd never seen.
There is a temptation there she craves but does not understand. Unnatural and cursed.
She fell again, guided. Through a song, a memory, an image of a dream bent into perception like a focusing lens. Unreality coated in familiar skin. An attempt at understanding.
The Tower. Friends and comrades. Shine and grime, all. A heralded return. A shadow drawn overhead. A battle delayed, returning.
The Tower, a time yet lived. Black shadows that would fill an empty void in the sky, extending impaling blades down into the streets. Pinning life in paralytic mockeries of contentment. A display that strangles agency.
A serpent winds a path beneath the shadow and offers to guide.
She remembered this happening, and that it had not yet happened.
NPA "Weir-Walker" Grips, Gauntlets, and Gloves
- "[DAY 3] The Ghost of Titan walks on through sunless seas, having died long ago."
- — Sloane
REPULSION LATTICE INTEGRITY… NOMINAL OXYGEN SIEVE… NOMINAL DEPTH… 106m
The lettering on Sloane's HUD clarified into vision. She dragged a hand through methane fluid to her faceplate, absentmindedly trying to rub the grogginess from her eyes.
Motion in the dark surrounding her kicked up clouds of fine grit.
Her headlights flared as her fingertips clinked against her helmet— a Thrall came screaming into the beam of light, bubbles spewing from its jaws. Sloane's eyes went wide before she reflexively flipped the Thrall over her shoulder and kicked its jaw through its skull. Her power suit spooled and pushed stimulants reactively.
She pivoted and caught the sword of a Knight mid-swing, snapping the weapon in two between the fingers of her gauntlet and driving a shard of broken blade into its chest. Another Thrall crossed her headlights just before a silver streak whistled through its throat. Sloane eyed a selection in her visor, which hi-lighted over thirty dead Hive, slowly deteriorating in boils of tiny, rumbling ignitions that sent nerve-spasms through their husks. Her visor cleared the readings and snapped onto a friendly.
Síocháin drifted forward, Hive viscera gently wafting into the sea from the slender razors protruding from her shell. "You were out for days."
Sloane's face wrinkled in confusion. "I remember the Pyramid wave. Falling… dreams. Are you okay?"
"Hive found us, like you said," Síocháin said, retracting her blades.
Sloane grabbed the Ghost and hugged her to her power suit chassis for a moment. "Little killer. Really gave 'em the business."
Síocháin chirped. "Pyramid wave swept over Titan, bounced around a bit and centralized where the Pyramid stopped. Gravity went crazy, then the ocean. I think we're a few miles from where we were when all this started."
"The Pyramid stopped? Then that's where we're headed… after we grab some gear," Sloane said.
Síocháin dipped forward. "One more thing. Something's out there circling us. Not Hive. Can't quite pin it down, but it's big."
"Yeah?" Sloane said, thinking of what went through her mind before she lost consciousness. "Then let's not waste any time getting out of here."
Sloane lifted herself from the ocean onto a half-submerged Arcology platform where she'd stowed a variety of rations and munitions since Titan's skies went dark. Her power suit clattered against the steel-mesh floor; she waited for the echoes to die down before taking a moment to exhale in silence. In that quiet moment, she made out a faint voice.
Síocháin rose into view. "Do you hear that?"
"Was about to ask you…" Sloane said, standing. She snatched First In, Last Out from a stow locker, racked the foregrip, then followed the voice down a barnacle-crusted causeway to an old research lab with Síocháin in tow.
Fluid trickled down cracked walls surrounding rows of dead monitors. Glass reflected prismatic color from a gnarled tear in reality at the lab's center—as if it had been carved from another epoch and affixed to this one.
A Human that didn't seem to notice them paced within the tear—standing in a fully functioning mirage of the Arcology. Once he turned toward them, the tear spasmed and lurched forward and backward in time at erratic durations and speed. He was ripped both ways into non-existence as the tear flittered through events like a fourth-dimensional montage.
The tear held steady again, returning the man and his moment to existence. Síocháin took note of the badge on his coat that read "Gideon Tepin— NPA—Senior Marine Biologist."
Tepin looked upset and turned away before speaking. "She's afraid. That's why we're all having them. Something's wrong. She's showing us what's coming in plain view!" The man angrily swiped his hand through the air in Sloane's direction. "It's like she's screaming it into my head. I know I'm not the only one hearing it."
"It chose us." He stepped forward and placed his hand on the border between then and now. "I'm dreaming my own memories, but with little differences. Little omens. Black ships in the sky."
Sloane leaned forward, hand nearly pressed to that of the living memory playing out before her on the other side of the tear.
"She's trying to warn us. We should evacuate. We have to get her—"
The tear lurched again, ripped away; lost to the rushing passage of time and blinked into non-existence. Gone.
Sloane dropped her hand. Jaw clenched. "See if you can dig up any Arcology records on this."
"That marine biologist… Tepin… was he in some sort of captured time fluctuation? Is that… even possible?" Sloane asked.
"I've never seen anything like it," Síocháin said. "I'm not really sure."
Síocháin skimmed archived reports. "It's under 'TLev-01.' Looks like a psychic space whale some biologists were studying out in the ocean. They never got accurate measurements, but this estimate can't be correct. Over 150 meters? Report says it wasn't from here though, and refers to a lot of visions that personnel were having… which is… odd? Not a lot of alien species in Sol until after the Golden Age."
"I was having dreams while I was out, Síocháin. Of some other world, the Pyramid on Titan… the Tower. Like I remembered being there for each one."
"Well, I guess it could be an ancient space whale… or sometimes the Traveler gives people dreams. But are we going to ignore the obvious 'you were rendered unconscious by a Pyramid wave' explanation?"
"No… but we've seen enough weird not to knock it," Sloane sighed.
"Sure. I'll log that away," Síocháin said. "You know… the readings coming from inside that field Tepin was in were consistent with atmospheric records on Titan during the Collapse."
"What does that mean?" Sloane looked back to the spot of warped space-time. "Was he… real?"
"I don't know. I just know it wasn't a simulation."
NPA "Weir-Walker" Jacket, Plate, and Robes
- "[DAY 92] Take and live."
- — Sloane
Sloane deftly maneuvered across the open ocean floor. Together with her Ghost, she'd chased the Pyramid's signals across Titan, but arrived too late at each coordinate site. They'd encountered nothing more than further wounds in the fabric of reality; slivered glimpses into moments held in Titan's memory. Occasionally, discarded Shrieker cores littered a site—evidence of a ritual gone cold, but not so cold that Síocháin couldn't detect figments of resonant residue that drove her scanners haywire.
More than once, Sloane had found a clutch of disoriented Fallen scattered around these wounds, some in a stupor, most driven violently mad. Síocháin said their brain patterns were fractured—synapses burnt into conflicting circuited loops—as if their collection of experiences had been dissected and left disparate and apart.
But Sloane felt drawn, across the barren seafloor, to each new site shrouded in sunless shadow. Something cut through that Dark. Guided her. As if she drafted behind a rogue wave.
"We're almost to the next site," Síocháin said.
"Let's pick it up." The methane flowed over Sloane's armor in a slick, slipstream current that left a long tail of particulate floating in her wake, agitated by oxygen bubbles spurting from her mask. Síocháin followed close behind, sweeping the area with light beams that dissipated over vast, featureless depths.
"Resonant Pyramid energy, neutrino dispersals, and some kind of… quantum entangling? That's the best I can make of it," Síocháin said, razor blades deployed. "The Pyramid's moving again."
The site seemed quiet on the surface. Sloane glanced over a sea cliff and tapped Síocháin, who had been leering out at the expansive of dark ocean as if she was tracking something.
The Ghost turned to Sloane and hesitantly tilted her shell into a nod.
They killed their lights, allowing the bio-luminescent coral around them to illuminate the path down to a newly split-open gorge infested with Taken corruption. Sloane swapped her visor to a thermal targeting overlay and slipped over the edge of the chasm. Tendrils of Taken malignance flowed from the split ground beneath her, dancing in the methane like noxious filaments. The fissure looked large enough for her to finagle her suit through safely.
Sloane glanced over her shoulder and held up a hand to Síocháin. "Watch my back… from a distance."
"Uh, no. I can fight," she bit back defiantly. "Fallen, Hive, and Taken are all over this sector."
"Lie low on this one. If something goes wrong, it can't go wrong with you. Get me?"
She landed in a small cavern where a tangle of Taken threads writhed around a decrepit Hive sigil of resilient witchcraft. Whispers spewed from the sigil, wrapped around her mind, coaxed her forward. She reached a hand toward the sigil, and methane burst around her like depth charges as Taken blights manifested a small detachment of soldiers.
Sloane spun, her fists crackling with lightning—her fingers weaving her Arc Light safely through the methane around her. She charged the first of three blights, thruster-dodging incoming fire pinged by her HUD. She broke through the blight screen, planted her feet, and threw a lightning punch like a gauss cannon, atomizing the Taken and the blight itself. Her power suit carried her fulgurate fists from hostile to hostile in rising, truculent battle-fervor.
When the cavern quieted, Sloane turned back to the sigil and called Síocháin down. "I can… hear the Taken through this sigil… thing. It's like they're broadcasting out loud. Not in words but… their proximity, like sonar. Can you tap into it?"
Síocháin's concerned response was muffled by an intrusive thought echoing from somewhere far off, circling the sea around her and draining off into her mind.
Sloane thought of the ocean shelves crawling with the Pyramid's minions, their rituals and corruption sinking deeper into Titan's mantle by the day. Of the armies they threatened to summon, of what they searched for in the deep.
She thought of the Fallen who had no way to flee, shocked into madness by the reality-wounding waves that swept over Titan like a grey-matter line. A terminator of experience, via suspension within it. With this foreknowledge of her enemies' plans, maybe she could be a step ahead of dusk.
Sloane stepped forward, dazed—her mind drowning in the ocean's dangers—and gripped the sigil. The rippling Taken energy immediately backfired in a blinding burst of energy.
"No!" Síocháin dove forward in horror as Taken tendrils twisted around Sloane's armor and dragged her to the ground.
As tendrils buried themselves into her flesh, Sloane heard a new voice, clear as sirens in a storm.
WARRIOR OF THE SKY.
YOU ARE KNOWN TO ME.
I ACCEPT YOUR CHALLENGE.
NPA "Weir-Walker" Strides, Legguards, and Pants
- "[DAY 287] A rising pressure, signaling imminent danger."
- — Sloane
"There's nothing to hide behind!" Sloane laughed sardonically over comms, annoyance building in her voice. She made a point of spinning in the empty, expansive ocean, exoskeleton-encased arms out wide, before turning to her Ghost. They'd been walking through desolate nothingness for days, tracking the next site. "We need to keep hitting them."
"It's been over a year of chasing Pyramid waves, of the blight. You're getting worse." Síocháin's shell cut like fins through the methane, "And there IS something out there. It's been trailing us, or ahead of us…"
"I know. It's something old." Sloane's voice was flat. "I told you; I think it's been talking to me. Or… more like thinking at me." Silence hung over them for a moment before being swept away by the current.
"Oh… is it now? Care to share more about that?" the Ghost asked with restrained frustration.
"Whatever's out there… I think it's guiding us. Or trying to see if it can trust us. If we're… compatible?"
"Oh, that's good and vague," Síocháin hissed. "You're sure that's what it wants? Because we have a HIVE GOD chasing us. We don't have the luxury of guessing wrong."
"It's just a feeling—not really my thing—but my gut tells me it's well-intentioned. Xivu Arath, on the other hand—"
Síocháin dropped onto the seafloor sand. "THAT'S what we've been following? Your gut? You think you can charge into fight after fight on a 'feeling' and keep walking away?"
"Isn't that the idea? I'm effectively immortal." Sloane stopped, turned, and shook her head. "The suit's wearing. Rations are… look, we need to finish the mission while I'm still in fighting condition."
"Titan's gone, Sloane." Síocháin rose and drifted past her. "What happens if you die somewhere too dark to drag you back? Have you considered that?"
"This coming from the gung-ho Ghost, taking on the whole Hive army with a set of shaving razors." Sloane chuckled to herself. "Seriously, are you expecting to live through… whatever this is?"
"No," Síocháin said meekly. "I hoped you would."
The firm lines of Sloane's expression crumbled for an instant.
This was unlike them.
She shut her visor, cleared her throat, and turned to continue marching. "No more fighting, for you. That's an order."
"But that's—I was saying that to you!" The Ghost zipped forward. "Hey! Don't walk away from me!"
Sloane stopped. The heavy metal around her boots sank into the silty sea floor. "I'm not—there's NOWHERE to walk away TO! That's MY point!" Sloane jabbed a finger at her Ghost.
"I'm not starving to death for an eternity just to turn out like the psycho that runs Gambit… if I even make it that far. But you don't have to worry about that. Let me be useful while I can. Then move on when it's over."
Síocháin whirred in thought for a moment. "I don't want to make it without you."
"We don't get to choose that." Sloane straightened her stance. "If you can't take it when it hits you, you go out and hit it before it gets started." Sloane raised her visor and met Síocháin's stare. "That's the best plan I have while I'm still walking. You have a better one?"
"Then let's get to work."
NPA "Weir-Walker" Cloak, Bond, and Mark
- "[DAY 402] YOU WEAR MY BANNER."
- — Xivu Arath, Hive God of War
Sloane knelt, unable to stand. All the weight of Titan's ocean around her was nothing compared to the pressure of Xivu Arath's will pinning her down.
A horde of gnashing Hive bore lipless smiles around a single Taken Knight. He stood tall before her, brandishing a gleaming blade that anchored an oppressive terrace of sharpened obsidian. The terrace loomed over their heads. A voice cut through the gnashing—eager-toned, like running blood.
SOLDIER OF THE SKY, YOUR STRENGTH WANES, YOUR STRATEGY TOO OBVIOUS.
YOU TOOK WITHOUT CLAIM, AND NOW I CLAIM YOU.
THE SKY, DRAWN TO FALL ONCE MORE, PINNED BY NIGHT'S BLADE.
SUMMON YOUR MEAGER LIGHT, YOUR SKY TETHER, YOU ARE DEFEATED.
Xivu's voice rose from her projection, booming from the Black Terrace with laughter like screaming fear.
YOUR BEARER NEEDS YOU, GHOST.
Sloane felt needles of intent thread between the gaps in her armor, hook into her muscles, and slowly peel away the power suit's deep-set rivets from inset bone. A violent unraveling to a slow and painful end.
Síocháin watched the torture from rocky concealment, razors extended, waiting for an opportunity to strike. Minutes felt like hours, but Sloane clung to life in a cloud of crimson-tinged mist.
Delirium and agony fogged Sloane's mind, but an offer pierced through the cacophony of War. She heard it in her mind as if she had thought it herself. A broken promise:
She considered the offer.
Síocháin rushed forward, unwilling to watch any longer, and whirled through a swarm of Thrall with her blades. If she could reach Sloane, if she could just cut her free—
Xivu Arath shrieked with whetted laughter.
THIS MORSEL IS MINE TO CONSUME.
Lances of pure onyx thrust through the sea to impale the little Light. The Terrace bulged and surged forward, swelling, as if to burst. For a moment, Síocháin believed Xivu Arath would burst through the Black Terrace herself, wielding a blade in corporeal hand; War's presence emanated with such strength.
Instead, a gargantuan serpent crashed through the projection and snatched the Knight into its cavernous jaws as it surged by, shattering the Terrace's connection to the Knight. Eruptions of soulfire swallowed the Terrace and branched through the methane as the projection imploded on itself. The serpent dove, its enormous form overtaking and dwarfing the crumbling Terrace projection. It twisted above them, unfurling a portion of its tail to sweep aside scores of Hive with ease and sending plumes of sediment into a thick, obfuscating fog.
Sloane collapsed, and Síocháin rushed to her side, cutting through an Acolyte before it could raise its shredder. "We need to go! Get up!" Síocháin exclaimed and began stitching Sloane's gushing wounds and mending bones where she could. All around them, the Hive fired wildly into the sea, the soulfire pops of their deaths spurring tiny, muted explosions as it reacted with liquid methane.
Before Síocháin could get Sloane to her feet, the serpent slammed down in front of them, belly first, and shielded them from retaliatory Hive salvos. Síocháin darted in front of Sloane, razors ready against this giant beast, but the serpent simply looked at the Titan, its massive eye spanning more than three of her, shoulder to shoulder. Once more, Sloane heard the promise in her mind.
And so, they struck an accord.