Weblore:Season of Dawn
From Destinypedia, the Destiny wiki
Weblore is a series of lore entries posted on Bungie.net prior to the launch of, and during the associated seasons of, most Destiny 2 expansions. These lore entries expanded on the background of the characters and locations that would be featured in the expansion.
The Season of Dawn weblore entries were posted daily from December 4 to 9, 2019. The last entries were posted on Febuary 4 and 28, 2020, respectively.
Jasleen was nine cycles old. She stared out from the top of a hill across a blasted, ashen landscape. This morning, this had been her village. Before the Fallen Ketch and its Walkers arrived. Those were equally ruined, reduced to a trio of smoldering, metallic husks at the center of town.
But Jasleen was alive, and so were her parents, and her neighbors too, thanks to the Titan who patrolled the region.
That Lightbearer, a giant in an iron suit, watched curiously as her father tried in vain to smoke a fire into existence. Her mother stared in silence at the burning ash that used to be their home.
Together, they were waiting for the rest of the villagers to return with dinner. Local berries, if they were lucky.
“We would never make it,” Jasleen’s father growled, fumbling with his bow drill. “We can’t afford to dream like you can.”
“I would protect you,” the Titan said.
Jasleen’s father ignored him. Her mother, too.
“My neighbor says Dregs eat children,” Jasleen said, to break the silence.
“I’ve seen it,” the Titan replied.
“I feel sorry for them. The Dregs.”
The Titan looked down at her for a moment, then swept his gaze across the ruin of their lives. “What is their suffering compared to yours? You lost everything today. And still, it was a good day, as these days go.”
She craned her neck to look up at him. “What do you mean?”
“Why is it a good day?”
“I did not arrive too late to help. I did not die today—”
“Do you worry about dying?” she interrupted.
“I worry about not helping.”
“Have you ever lost a fight?”
“Who are they?”
“Guardians, like me.”
Jasleen shrugged, her skinny shoulders sharp under her ratty tunic. “That’s okay. You’re my favorite.”
“We remember those who help us.”
“Has anyone ever helped you?”
He nodded. “Yes. Oh, yes.”
“Who? The Speaker?”
He thinks for a moment before replying. “No. A Guardian, like me. Saved me from the Fallen when I was young, when I had lost everyone I was meant to protect. That Guardian is why humanity must go to the Traveler.”
Jasleen furrowed her brow. “What do you mean?”
The foraging party returned with rabbits. They would eat well tonight.
As her mother and father moved to help prepare their dinner, Jasleen undid the bow in her hair and motioned the Guardian to come closer. She wrapped it around the Titan’s gauntlet. “I think that’s going to take a long time,” she said.
“Maybe.” He stared down at his arm. “On that day, I will bring this with me.”
“What’s your name?” she asked.
“Saint,” he said.
“I’ll remember it.”
A woman with gnarled hands and an aged face sat alone on a couch, basking in the dim glow of a Golden Age ruin. She held back a cough as she eyed ancient monitors on the walls and ceiling, which directed visitors to empty offices belonging to people long dead.
It was cold, silent, and dark, and the woman felt she should leave. But just outside, through the doors behind her, an acid rainstorm showered the streets of a dead city.
She had been traveling for weeks, and today she had eaten the last of the hermetically-sealed food from a vending machine she had found a few miles from here. If she could go back, she would; she had taken all that she could carry, but the machine held plenty more. Life in the Golden Age must have been paradise.
Right now she wasn’t hungry, and she felt no fear. It was an odd change of pace—she welcomed the respite.
The room stretched on for a hundred meters in front of her, branching into rows and rows of doors that led to who knew where.
There was enough space in this building to house a thousand families. For a moment she wished her daughter and her daughter’s daughter were still here with her. They had begun their trip together months ago from Varuna, but she had urged them to go on ahead, giving her share of supplies to them. Supplies were heavy, and she was too slow.
There were rumors a human settlement was growing under the Traveler, and the spoken plan was to reunite there.
The spoken plan, at least. She rubbed her hands together to ward off the cold.
And she coughed.
Immediately, something creaked far down the hall. A door slammed open, followed by the sounds of rapid scuffling.
She stood up from her couch and slowly backed away, pulling a plasteel shiv from a sheath strapped to her thigh. Five figures with glowing eyes emerged from the gloom and rushed toward her, brandishing weapons. Two ran like men, massive and four-armed, and two were leaner, crawling low to the ground. The last was small, about the size of a human. It loosed a howl no earthborn mouth could make.
She hoped her child and grandchild still lived, and held her weapon up in silent salute.
The sliding doors behind her opened with a whoosh, and a violet discus cut through the air above her, singing like a sword loosed from its sheath. Three of the creatures dissolved into screaming Void as the disc of Light caromed down the length of the corridor.
As the woman turned to look over her shoulder, an iron monster alight with boiling Void energy leapt over her.
He moved with a grace that contradicted his size, and caught one of the remaining beasts by the neck as it bounded at him. He reeled back, and bam! The thing went limp as he smashed its skull with the top of his helm. Its companion lunged with a crackling Arc Sword, but he stepped forward and kicked its knee out to bring it down to his height, reeled back, and bam! Bam! Bam! He jackhammered the beast’s winged helm with his own. It fell back, dead.
The corridor fell silent.
He turned and asked quietly, “Where do you hail from?”
“Patch Run,” the woman replied.
He nodded. “Lin sent me to look for you.”
The woman scoffed and sheathed her weapon. “She was supposed to go to the Traveler.”
“She made it. All the way,” he replied. “They both did.” He raised his armored hand, wrapped tight with a purple cloth, and keyed a switch on his helmet. “Jumpship will be here shortly. We’ll get you home.”
“Who gave you that ribbon?”
“An old friend. Probably about your age, now.”
“How long do you people live?”
“We don’t know.”
The woman stared at him, then tore a piece from her lavender-colored sleeve. She stepped forward and tied it to a hinge of his pauldron.
“What is this?”
“Your friend is clever. If I leave this with you, I’ll live forever.”
He chuckled. She did not.
“Make a mark on this world,” she said. “Don’t waste the time you have.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he replied.
They were quiet a moment.
“None of this bothers you?” he asked, gesturing at the bodies and the raging storm outside.
“Everything bothers me,” she said, sitting back down on the couch.
“What was your name again?”
“I will remember it.”
They listened to the rain as they waited.
Three children, two Awoken girls and a Human boy, slept against a rampart on the City wall. They were standing in for their parents, members of the City volunteer militia. They weren’t old enough to carry weapons, but the boy clutched a remote access switch that would alert every guard in the district.
He would need to be awake to trigger it, though.
So Saint-14 stood watch in their stead. He would leave when his patrol cycle began in the morning.
The children woke when the sun broke the horizon. They pretended not to see him, but when one of the girls tore her handkerchief in two and tied one half to the Titan’s pauldron, the other two did the same with scraps of cloth and fabric.
He asked for their names, but they weren’t supposed to give their names to strangers, and all parted amicably.
The Titan leapt atop the smoldering wreckage of a kit-bashed airship, a stripped-down Arcadia Class incapable of escaping orbit, and tore the Golden Age-polymer canopy right off the cockpit.
He pulled a startled Awoken from out of the pilot’s cabin as the airship’s remaining engine crackled and roared. With the Awoken in his arms, the Guardian tumbled deftly off the Arcadian airframe and took off at full speed away from the wreckage. The Shock Cannon that tore the ship out of the sky had started an Arc reaction in the engine power cells that would—
The shockwave overtook him and tossed him into the air. He rolled to his feet as he landed, dropping the pilot as a dome of Light snapped into being around them. A sleet of debris and shrapnel rolled across the Titan’s Ward of Dawn.
As the metal rain faded, so did the Guardian’s Light. The two stood up. The Titan pulled a Daystar SMG2 from a back holster, checked to see if it was loaded, and handed it to the Awoken. “You are lucky. The Fallen shot you down twenty miles from the Traveler. They will not bother you again. Head due south,” he pointed, and turned to leave. But the pilot tapped his shoulder guard.
The pilot untied a bandana on his arm and held out the strip of plum-colored cloth.
“I have nothing else to give,” the pilot said. “That ship was my life.”
The Titan stared down at the man. “You’ve found a new life. Go to the Traveler.”
“It’s bad luck to not give Saint-14 his due.”
Saint grasped the cloth. “What is your name?”
“Georges,” the pilot replied.
Saint turned back towards the desert.
“I will remember it.”
Saint stood at the gateway into the Infinite Forest.
Other Guardians always seemed to remember where and when they found the engrams that revealed the most treasured pieces in their arsenals. The Gjallarhorns and the Dark Age antiquities. He had difficulty with that.
But he could name almost every person who had awarded him an accolade over the course of his Guardian career.
They covered every nook of his armor. They adorned his ship, the Gray Pigeon.
He had never talked about them, and, as he looked up at the yawning translucent field before him, he wished that he had.
Don’t worry. (Not that you worry much). It took them centuries to build, keyed to the unique frequency of my Light. And I sit atop its shattered husk.
I mourn that I will never reach the heights you have. To me, you represent everything a Guardian can become. Yours is a thriving City. So different from mine. My whole fourteenth life I fought to make my City yours. I never finished.
All I have left is this weapon. The Cryptarchs say you crafted it yourself, built it out of scraps and Light and sheer will, inside the Infinite Forge. I’ll make sure it finds its way back to you. When you gave it to me, I swore I would make it my duty to follow your example.
I’m still trying.
Panoptes, the Infinite Mind, was dead.
And so was Saint-14.
Osiris looked down at what remained of his friend.
The Infinite Forest shimmered around him.
The Vex had built a dais to carry the body of Saint-14. The Titan had been stripped of Light. There was no obvious killing wound on his armor. Perhaps they had repaired it.
Sagira ran a beam of Light across the body.
“Saint carried these ribbons everywhere,” she whispered.
“He called them his ‘accolades,’” Osiris replied.
“What were they for?”
Osiris was quiet for a long moment. He sat staring at the tomb.
"I never asked."
Osiris and Saint stood on a Tower platform overlooking one of the six paths into the City. The road beyond the wall still burned with scorching pits of blue flame.
“Vanguard Commander Saint-14,” said Osiris. “What a ludicrous title.”
“The Consensus wants a new leader in the wake of… all of this,” Saint replied. He shook his head as he gestured at the destruction beyond the City limits. “It’s time.”
“You’ll serve them well,” Osiris replied, manipulating a cube-shaped device into an array of smaller hexahedrons that floated between his fingers. Vex components, Saint thought.
“But… I’m afraid it’s not a title I can keep.”
Osiris looked up.
“Father has plans for me,” Saint continued.
“Giving up Commandership in one day? That’s a record. So go. Be a Titan for the Speaker. After this madness, they will need you to rebuild.”
“I put the Titan aside for this mission. I’m a soldier. There is… difficult work to be done.”
Osiris narrowed his eyes. “What has he asked you to do this time?”
“Take the fight to the Fallen. Seek them out beyond our borders, find them wherever they are. Strike first and hard.”
“This is precisely what I mean when I say the Speaker likes to lead you astray,” Osiris muttered to his cubes.
“You would not say that if you saw what the Fallen have done to our people out there. You’ve forgotten how to see.”
“The Fallen are not so different from us. How hard would you fight if the Light were taken from you?”
“Those stories ring false to me,” said Saint. “They are not a noble people. I’ve fought them, and so have you.”
“I have not fought them all,” the Warlock replied, pulling his hands apart to create an intricate web of hovering cubes and points of light. “They are nothing, no threat—not like the Vex. Not like the Darkness.”
Saint stepped close enough to breathe on Osiris. “Look past the wall, brother. Are you blind?”
Osiris folded the device into his palm and met the Titan’s gaze. “You know I’m the only one watching the whole canvas.”
“But you’ve lost sight of why we fight.”
Osiris turned away and tossed the cubes again to form a miniature constellation in the twilight sky. “As ex-Commander, you have the power to dictate a replacement, should you choose. Who’s it going to be?”
“I have recommended you for the position of Vanguard Commander.”
Osiris turned back. The cubes hung listless in the air.
“You want to give me control over the databases? The Vaults? Jurisdiction over Owl Sector, access to the Last City grimoire?”
“I want you to protect our people,” Saint said. “For all our disagreements—you’re one of the few who can.”
The Warlock stared at the Titan with an unchanging expression.
“We don’t have the resources to do this twice,” Saint continued. “I fought representatives of every House across this conflict. It was a joint effort to exterminate us. If threat should come to the City ever again, you’ll have to fight in my stead.”
“I accept,” Osiris said quickly.
Some time after the death of Panoptes, Infinite Mind and the City’s venture to the Infinite Forest:
Osiris stepped back to look upon his work. It towered stories above him.
The Sundial was complete, a shining beacon in Mercury's sky. He needed only to seal the chronometric core, which lay bare at the center of the spire, and activate the Arc conduits that ran for miles under the planet’s surface.
Sagira circled the superstructure, scanning every inch of it.
“I don’t know about this,” she said.
“I have full confidence. It’s your design.”
“That work was theoretical! If the Vanguard find out what you did to build it—“
“If this works, the Vanguard will find out either way.”
Sagira darted down as if to dive bomb her chosen, but stopped just short and met him eye to eyes.
“I know you feel guilty, but there’s no telling what will happen if you turn this thing on.”
“He’s dead because of me. I’ve made every precaution. I’ve had my Echoes check against trillions of disaster scenarios.” He turned to look at the fluctuating glow of the exposed chronometric core. “Mercury is the only planet that will be affected. Because that’s where he died.”
“Where will this stop? Who else will you decide deserves a second chance?”
“You know I can’t make another bargain like this one.”
“I just want to make sure you know that.”
Osiris blinked. She rarely spoke this bluntly, and without irony.
“Hey, hey, hey!” came a far-off, echoing shout. “No! That ain’t right!” The Drifter came into view from behind one of the Sundial’s auxiliary pylons, pointing a jabbing finger at Osiris’s machine.
Sagira narrowed her eye at the rogue Lightbearer and lowered herself to Osiris’s shoulder. “Why’s he here?” she asked quietly.
“I asked him to consult on the engineering work,” Osiris replied, crossing his arms.
“You sicko,” the other man declared, walking a circle around the Warlock, his eyes darting along every surface of the Sundial around them.
As the Drifter rapped his knuckles on the north pylon, he mumbled, “Ghost, do the numbers.” An armored Ghost with a red eye unfolded out of transmat and began a scan pattern on each Sundial spire.
Drifter walked to the central spire and put his ear up against it. “This core…” he said, leaning close. His eyes darted back to Osiris. “It’s whispering.”
Osiris’s expression didn’t change; his arms didn’t uncross. “We’ll seal the core away. I understand the ramifications.”
“Good luck keeping that contained. Not something I would bargain with, hotshot.” Drifter stood up and beckoned his Ghost with two fingers. It floated earthward and unleashed a holographic array of statistics along the Sundial deck.
The red light reflected off the Drifter’s eyes as he drank the numbers in. “Your math checks out,” he said, finally, as his Ghost folded away. “It’ll work. But will you find him? At the exact moment that you need? No guarantees.”
“Let me worry about that,” Osiris said.
“Just one more question, then. Why all the fuss?”
“I owe him.”
“I owe a lotta people, Warlock. You’re opening the gates of hell with a Vex key.”
“When the Traveler brought me back, I had no friends. No family—”
“No one had anything in the Dark Age.”
“But Saint was always there. And I saw him grow from neophyte to demigod.”
Drifter shrugged. “We’ve all had to flex a little. Win a gun fight or two. It’s why we’re still here.”
“We all gain strength. But some Lightbearers never grasp a wider view of the world. They’re happy to stick to their ways… languish. When they could be so much more.”
Drifter chuckled and spat, saluting Osiris with a single finger. “I get by.”
“Of course you do. I’m like you.”
“But Saint faced his fears and failure better than any of us, and never strayed from his path. He should get a chance to walk to the end.”
“He already did. But I’ll leave you to your devices. You lunatic.” The Drifter turned, hands in his pockets, to leave. “If you short-circuit the universe, you’re on your own.”
“If I make a mistake here, you might cease to exist,” Osiris replied.
“Maybe that wouldn’t be so bad.”
“We haven’t talked about payment.”
“If you live through this little experiment, you can be sure I’ll be back to collect.”
“Go home. There’s a Guardian you should meet,” Osiris said.
“Yeah, yeah. Hero. Red War. Can’t wait.”
A dozen Echoes flanked Osiris.
The Sundial spun and sparked above them, around them.
His Echoes vanished in staccato bursts of chronometric Arc, stepping not elsewhere, but elsewhen, as the Sundial fell silent.
Osiris could still see and feel through them as twelve of him walked the corridors of time.
Where those halls were intersected by the Vex network, his Echoes hacked Hobgoblins and Minotaurs apart using Solar Swords powered by sheer will. They hid their shadows and stood still, unblinking, to avoid the Network Minds. Together, they pushed to corners that gave way to the Mercurian Dark Age.
From there, they separated, entering myriad moments of Saint’s visits to Mercury.
An Echo encounters a battle-hardened Saint at the mouth of Caloris Basin. Saint is a member of the Pilgrim Guard, and he and his fireteam descend on batteries of Vex Goblins, the bloom of heavy gunfire leading their way. This Saint is too early. The Echo does not approach.
Neither does the Echo who watches in a dark corner as Saint’s jumpship lands at a Lighthouse at the Caloris Spires. Its interior is cloaked in shadow. The Cult of Osiris’s retrofit of the structure isn’t due for another age. Saint comes here to keep it clear of Vex attempting to reclaim it. He lights the darkness as he tears Minotaurs apart with Solar fists.
An Echo crouches on a cliffside out of sight as, far below, Saint uses his Solar Light to cut through the armor-plated Mercurian soil. Solitary stones line a series of holes that stretch for a dozen meters to either side.
An Echo hides in burning light as Saint works shoulder to shoulder with the Sunbreakers to construct the Burning Forge. Their hammering and soldering with Solar knuckles and sledges draws a silent parade of Vex to the building site. The Sunbreakers take turns stepping away from construction to dismantle the intruders using the same Solar implements.
An Echo spies Saint from a vantage point on the high plains of the Fields of Glass. The Titan fights for his life against purple-bannered Fallen, bearing the same symbol as modern Dusk soldiers. They are the House of Rain, the lowest House. The burning camp around them is curiously absent of bodies—but Osiris has heard Saint tell this story before. One of Saint’s first missions for the Speaker brought him to Mercury in a failed attempt to “re-take” that planet for humanity. They had not known at the time that the Vex had already started to transform the “garden world” into a machine. House Rain followed Saint’s jumpship and waited ’til the expedition had made camp. Then the Fallen annihilated the colonists Saint was charged to protect and beat him to within an inch of his life. The Echo lives that story first-hand now, and finds himself looking away at the terraformed vegetation at his feet instead. It’s already half machine—grass and metal blades growing beside each other under his boots. A Ketch roars down from the sky and rains heavy munitions on the battlefield, and the Echo’s vantage point fills with rolling clouds of dust. The Echo takes his leave. He’s seen enough.
Osiris’s Echoes scour Saint-14’s timeline on Mercury. But the corridors of time refuse to give way to the moment they need: Saint and the Martyr Mind in the depths of the Infinite Forest. The Echoes work tirelessly for weeks, then months in the space between moments. In desperation, he splits the dozen copies into many thousands more as the work continues fruitlessly.
One Echo stays for years against Osiris’s orders. He has never lost control of one before; he didn’t think that was even possible. He and the Echoes are the same. He feels this aberrant copy lose his sense of self. Another few years in, he feels this Echo press the touch of cold metal to his head.
And then he feels nothing.
Two Echoes wander into the corridors of time with orders not to stop. Brute force has worked for Osiris before. To this day, he can still feel them. Their search continues.
The rest eventually succumb to Vex security measures where the network intersects with the corridors of time. Even Osiris’s Light has limits.
None of the Echoes ever approaches a Saint. They never find the right one.
Osiris sat quietly at the base of the Sundial. No time had passed since the machine’s activation, but he had just lived a multitude of lives.
Sagira hovered over his shoulder and asked, hopefully, “Did it work?”
The Warlock stood, and made his way to the southern border of the Sundial. “Shut it down. Wrap everything in a stealth skin. Let nothing, no one, find it.”
Osiris disappeared into an incandescent flame.
Sagira stared at the Sundial’s central spire.
“Dammit,” she whispered.
Actions of Mutual Friends
Osiris stood before a gate into the Infinite Forest.
Two years ago, news had reached him that one of his oldest friends was dead. Saint had been missing for ages, but the Warlock had always assumed the Titan would turn up someday. He was wrong.
He realized he was staring through a dormant gate frame and keyed a cubical device that hung at his belt to pry the doorway open.
He couldn’t save Saint from the Vex. But every day he stood vigil in the Infinite Forest to monitor simulations of the future based on their activity.
Beyond the gate, a shimmering sea of data beckoned him.
He stepped through, into the white maw of an Infinite Forest debug chamber.
“Start it up, Sagira,” he said.
“Sure you don’t want to take a break today?” she asked, unfolding above him like a crown.
“The Vex won’t.”
She considered it a moment, then the Forest shimmered around them and the white maw dimmed to half-darkness.
Then pitch black.
The floor fell away, and Osiris’s Light held him aloft, sheathed him in a thin veneer of armor.
Nothing moved. The Warlock frowned, lit a Solar spark and held it up. It illuminated nothing around him. “Did something go wrong with the sequence?”
“I just triple-checked. No,” she replied. “This is it. This is the simulation.”
He keyed his radio.
“Go ahead, Osiris,” Ikora said.
“What’s happening out there?” he replied.
“Take your pick. We’re at war on the Moon again. The Vex attacked.”
“We retaliated. The Undying Mind is dead.”
“A plan. And mutual friends.”
“Our mutual friends just changed all projected futures in the Infinite Forest.”
“You don’t sound happy about that.”
“I’ll be in touch.” He cut the transmission. “Where are we?” he asked Sagira.
“Where we always are. Simulated Mercury.”
He couldn’t even see stars.
“How far does this void reach?”
“All the way to the Traveler, for all I know.”
“Take us there.”
Osiris knew the simulation moved around him, but the typical shimmer of the Forest was gone. There was nothing to see.
“We’re here,” she confirmed, as he found gravelly purchase under his boots. He had never heard her sound so unsure of herself.
It was brighter here at the top of a windswept dune, but barely. He couldn’t see the sun in the purple twilight that hung above him. The breeze roared in his ears.
The sphere of the Traveler was gone. In its place, an obsidian monolith at least twice the size dominated the sky. In the Last City’s place was a swirling dust storm, tinged purple by the dying light.
“When does this happen?”
“The Forest predictions give a window of two or three decades, depending on a multitude of variables. With a not-insignificant chance for acceleration based on specific elements.”
“Actions of mutual friends.”
“Kill the simulation. Get me to Mercury.”
The three sisters arrived on Mercury.
They searched for the Infinite Forest, and through it, a path to their people’s salvation: a simulated future where they were free from the Cabal.
Instead, they found something else.
“Small disturbances,” said oldest Ozletc, the wisest. “Little currents in this timeline. Can you see them, sister?”
“I can taste them,” said second-born Tazaroc, the hungriest of her sisters. “I can feel the edges.”
Third-born Niruul, the quietest among them, reached her hand out to test the air. “As can I,” said she. “And something else. The source is disguised. The technology is Human, but refined. Surprisingly so.”
“Disable it,” said Tazaroc, who was impatient. “It is leaking. I wish to see the leak.”
Niruul fluttered her fingers across the sleeve of her suit. She worked for one day and one night, though the passage of time was hidden by Mercury’s perpetual blinding light. All the while, she could feel the restless impatience of her sisters.
A strange device shimmered into existence around them. They looked up the length of an enormous, golden spire.
“It whispers,” said Tazaroc.
“Then block your ears,” said Ozletc. “Do you see the potential in this?”
“Chaos,” said Niruul.
“No,” said Ozletc. “Opportunity. See how it tugs at the fabric of our time? Can you see the seams?”
The seams were sewn tightly shut, but a skilled hand could find them. A skilled hand could rip every stitch. All three sisters could feel it.
“It will take time to activate,” said Niruul. “Someone has protected it from meddling.”
“We will have time,” said Ozletc. “We will open the past and change the course of Ghaul’s fate. Anticipate his mistakes. Undercut his advisors.”
“Why?” said Tazaroc.
“Because he could be swayed to our purposes,” said Ozletc. “He was a fool, but he could be puppeteered. Led to a more advantageous downfall.”
“But why not go back further?” said Tazaroc, eager. “To dash the whelp’s skull in the pit, before he crawls out onto a throne?”
“Risky,” said Niruul, shaking her head. “Why not tear into the future instead, and make our attack where the Guardians cannot predict it?”
“Predictions are not their strength,” said Tazaroc.
“And yet they have built this,” snapped Niruul.
“Sisters,” Ozletc said. “We needn’t argue. This device will let us walk through future and past both. And so we will cut the most advantageous path, whatever it may be.”
For hours and days and weeks, the sisters labored over the machine. While her sisters defended her from the Vex, Niruul bent the device to their purposes and, with the force of their combined will, made it whir to life.
Around them, time split along its seams. Windows into other worlds, Mercury’s true past and future, opened before them. The device stood at the center of all of it, an anchor point. And all along the fault lines of time, where the past and present and future met, Vex were ripped in half, sliced through by a knife of pure temporal energy.
They surveyed their new kingdom: a past, present, and future open to their manipulation.
“It is so clear,” said Niruul, reverent. “An unobstructed glimpse into what was and what will be.”
“Not the troubled ramblings of a mad thing, like the OXA,” said Tazaroc.
They shared the feeling of unbounded possibility, and tasted the potential for success, and then for failure. Together, they drank the feelings in and steeled themselves against them.
“The past and future are at our fingertips, sisters,” said Ozletc. “Let us see what prospects they hold.”
Chronometric emissions cut across Mercury’s surface, and radiolaria steamed from fissures that erupted like open wounds in the machine soil. White-blue streams of Arc energy carved borders around a circular sector about a hundred miles wide. Walls of chronometric flame tore through Vex spires that came tumbling down in halves and sheared Minotaurs in two along the boundaries of the region.
The Red Legion stood watch as these eruptions flared around every Cabal machine, structure, and soldier inside the sector. They showed no sign of panic as ethereal fire burned over the world and their Vex opponents. Instead, they waited, watched, and mobilized purposefully around the phenomenon.
The circular shape that these walls cut were further segmented into three sections: Red Legion soldiers found themselves staring across the chronometric walls at each other from inside Mercury’s past, present, and distant future.
Under three different skies, three different suns, and on three different elevations of Mercury’s gradually descending surface, the Red Legion went to work. Perhaps this time they would win the Red War.
Somewhere deep inside the Vanguard halls in a secure meditation chamber, a trio of Warlocks surrounded Osiris: one Praxic, one Thanatonaut, and one Vanguard.
“Did the Vex corrupt him?” Aunor wondered.
“My Order just wants to know if he’s real. Or some kind of Vex simulation. An Echo?” Harper said, paging through a datapad in his hands.
“You haven’t left the Forest in years,” Ikora said to Osiris, the only one to address him directly.
“I need help,” Osiris replied.
“I know,” Ikora responded, hands clasped behind her back. She stared intently at her former mentor. Back in her Crucible days, that uncompromising gaze was often the last thing her opponents saw. Aunor glanced sidelong at her superior. Harper coughed and looked down at his datapad.
“Two years ago, Guardians entered the Infinite Forest,” Osiris continued. “They aided me in defeating the Axis Mind Panoptes, preventing a Vex apocalypse from befalling this system.
“In the process,” he looked between each of them in turn, “Some Guardians reported a body they found in the Forest depths.”
“Saint-14 never came back from that last mission to Mercury. We finally knew why. I reacted to it the only way I knew how.”
“By turning Mercury into a temporal weapon for the Cabal?” Aunor asked.
“You are awfully tranquil for a man who just doomed this system,” Harper said.
“You should rethink your career in Thanatonautics, Warlock Harper, if death frightens you so,” the exile replied. He nodded at Aunor. “I’ve made mistakes. I will continue to make them. The nature of my work requires it.”
“We should lock you away,” the Praxic replied. But there was no fire in it.
“There are others you’ve allowed to roam free. These are desperate times, Aunor,” Osiris said. “I think you know that.”
Harper opened his mouth to ask another question, but Ikora cut him off. “Give us a minute.”
Aunor ducked her head and Harper bristled, but both left without question. Alone with Osiris, Ikora said, “The Speaker was right to exile you.”
“We all make our own choices,” Osiris replied. “Like the Vex gateway you built to the Undying Mind. A strategy like that is exactly what the machines would not expect. And you knew the Guardians would deliver.”
“What’s your point?”
“You think like I do. But you’ve done what I never could. Found a way to coexist with the Vanguard while keeping their fool necks above the water,” said Osiris.
“If you think you’re helping your case, you’re not.”
“Time is broken on Mercury. I need help from our mutual friends.”
“I know that. My Hidden have scouted your Sundial. The Red Legion are loose in a time rift that’s localized to the past, present, and future of Mercury.” She took a step closer to him, shoulders tense. “If we don’t contain it, it’s not going to stay that way for long. The rift will expand across the system.”
“I’ve created a mitigation network across Guardian space. I’m in control.”
“You are anything but—!”
“Saint deserved another chance.”
“So did Cayde! So did everyone we lost in the Red War.”
“We’ll hunt the Cabal across every timeline they create within the Sundial. They’ll never be able to exploit it.”
“You’re damn right. Because you’re going to mobilize the Guardians. You’re going to fix this. And then you and I are going to have a long talk.”
“Mercury should be the least of your worries.”
“Let’s save it for the long talk.”
The three oldest sisters—Ozletc, Tazaroc, and Niruul—gathered around Amtec, the youngest. They spoke in harmonizing tones, each voice the pluck of a different string on the same instrument.
“You know our purpose,” said Ozletc. “This crumbled timeline…”
“Will let us right the wrongs of Ghaul the Abdicated,” said Tazaroc. “And thus see our people…”
“Reborn,” said Niruul. “Loosed from our fetters.”
“I know your purpose,” said Amtec, who was the most beloved. She trembled in their massive presence. The three oldest sisters had begun the process of joining, known only to them through ancient texts of the mind, never accomplished in recent memory. It was a permanent metaconcert; an unbreakable bond of self-dissolution. Already their minds had begun to merge, and Amtec could see them being drawn closer, as if by some magnetic force in their bones.
“Then you know,” said Ozletc.
“The consequences of our failure,” said Niruul.
Amtec nodded. Her eye darted from sister to sister, now both more foreign and more familiar, as each sister was each other sister, somehow, combined.
“Together, we are stronger,” said Tazaroc.
“Than any threat that may challenge us,” said Ozletc. “But should we fail…”
“Unlikely though it is,” said Tazaroc.
“You must succeed where we could not,” said Ozletc. “And so, you will join with us…”
“In mind,” said Niruul.
“But not in body,” said Tazaroc.
Already, Amtec could feel the power of their minds—their mind—settle against the edges of her own like a heavy, flat stone.
“And so our failure,” said Niruul.
“Will be your failure,” said Ozletc.
“And our revenge,” said Tazaroc.
“Will be your revenge,” said Ozletc.
Amtec had hoped since the beginning to join her sister in mind and body on the battlefield of time. She had thought, today, they would ask. But she knew that if she felt it too keenly, they would taste her disappointment, and she craved their love.
“I understand,” she said, and she vowed to see that any threat that would harm her sisters would be annihilated so thoroughly that it would be wiped from living memory.