Rekindled Solstice Armor (Titan)
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Solstice Helm (Rekindled)
"Zavala, we did it! The shields are down!"
The Titan Vanguard looked to the sky. That Ghost was right: The topaz glow of the Cabal command ship's shields flickered and disintegrated. Zavala wasn't a man who smiled often, but there were a lot of firsts today.
"All friendlies, focus fire on that capital ship! The Tower does not fall today!" He launched himself from behind cover, weapon snapping to his shoulder, the not-smile still curling his lip. These Cabal were going to learn—
It was like lava on his chest. Shock, pain, anger, emptiness. The breath rushed from his lungs, and his weapon clattered to the ground. The sounds of war buzzed into quiet. But no matter—he'd been lower than this. And his fists of thunder were more dangerous than any rifle. He drew upon the Light, and... nothing.
His eyes widened. He froze for an instant... and a Cabal slug took him in the side.
The Light is gone, he thought. Over and over. The Light is gone. Then: You're their leader. They need you. Now more than ever. Get up. Get up!
He roared in defiance, lurching back to his feet. He would see them all safe. Even if it meant his life.
Solstice Gauntlets (Rekindled)
Amanda was quiet, but Zavala could still hear the anger before her voice came back over the comms. "Due respect, Commander, I ain't got time to come be your chauffeur. There are thousands of people like me stranded down there in the City."
"The City is lost." He hated saying it, but he knew it in his bones. "And we're all the same now, Holliday. The Light is gone. We have to regroup."
"You mean run." Even angrier now. It was infectious.
"I mean live to fight another day. We don't have the luxury of rescue flights anymore. The longer we stay here, the tighter the noose."
"Then go! What's stopping you? You know how to fly a ship."
"Not like you. You're the best pilot in the system, Amanda. And you're the only one who can keep our ships in the air once we're away from Earth."
"Dammit, sir, we can't just leave them here."
"I've already made my decision. If humanity is to survive..." He'd leave the betting to Cayde, but he knew the odds were slim. "This is the only choice we have."
Silence. For a few seconds this time. "All right." Her voice cracked. He understood.
Solstice Plate (Rekindled)
He made himself look at the numbers. Seventy-three ships lost in the exodus. Seventy-three ships full of people looking to him for guidance. Guardians and civilians alike. All Zavala could give them was a noble death.
Almost none of the vessels had been outfitted with weapons. Transports and supply skiffs, barely holding together outside Earth's atmosphere, trying to punch through a fortified Red Legion blockade. Like prey animals limping through a pack of lions. It was a massacre.
The only reason the fleet made it past the Moon was because the Red Legion focused so heavily on Earth. In that, they seemed like the Cabal Zavala knew. Single-minded. Incapable of thinking more than a few moves ahead. But he knew this Dominus Ghaul wouldn't give up that easily. So they kept moving.
But what next? Zavala had a plan, of course. He always had a plan, Titan Vanguard or no. But what he really needed was information. He needed—
"Deputy Commander Sloane, reporting for duty, sir."
Zavala closed his eyes. And for a brief moment, he relaxed.
Solstice Greaves (Rekindled)
"Guardians: The City is lost. If there is any Light left in the system... we rally on Titan. Be brave."
Zavala released the record button and looked to the two of them again. Sloane's face revealed nothing, as usual. Amanda was faking an encouraging look. He sighed. "You don't like that one either."
Amanda looked at Sloane, then back to Zavala, clearly not sure what to say. It was Sloane who spoke. "Sir, you want your message to inspire this new resistance. The language you use is..." She was trapped between her usual loyalty and her usual bluntness.
"You make it sound like we've already lost." Amanda said, her hand hovering over the delete button. Zavala raised an eyebrow. She wasn't trapped by anything.
"Holliday's right, Commander. We're not burning the bulk of our fuel supply to get to Saturn and turtle up. You said it: We're going there to rally. People need something to rally to."
He looked down at the recorder for a long moment. When he spoke, his eyes were still downcast. "They need to know the truth. I owe them that. Activate the beacon."
Solstice Mark (Rekindled)
"Confirmed, sir. Nearly one hundred percent of the Arcology is infested. And... we lost both teams."
Zavala didn't turn to face Sloane. He just stared at the rise and fall of the methane oceans.
"But we know our enemy now, Commander. We may not have our Light, but we have the advantage. Give the order, and we'll storm the place. Burn it all down if we have to. The Hive deserve nothing less."
"I was a fool to come here. In the shadow of our worst enemy." He looked up to the hole in Saturn's rings, his back still to her. "I thought the strength of our resolve and the treasures of the Golden Age were more powerful than whatever fuels those... demons."
Sloane hated hearing him talk like this, but it was the only way he seemed to talk these days. "You weren't wrong, sir. It may be the only place in the system the Cabal won't go. A perfect launching pad for us to strike back. We'll suppress the Hive, and—"
"Pull them out. All of them. Get them back to safety, and post guards on our side of the bridge."
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