NPC: Just the Beginning

On the main platform of the Tower the Speaker is addressing a crowd of Guardians, banners whipping in the breeze and flower petals wafting about. The general atmosphere feels like an impromptu ceremony.

Speaker: It is on this day that we mark history with a turning point for Humanity. A crippling blow has been dealt to the Darkness but this is only the beginning. From this day forward our enemies know that we are no longer on the brink of extinction, rather we are as formidable as ever.

Down below in the Vanguard hangar, the Guardian walks towards the Stranger who is overlooking the Last Free City. Just as the Guardian reaches her she turns, the fusion rifle in hand.

Stranger: Thank you for coming down.

Guardian: Ceremonies were never my thing.

Stranger: The Speaker is right, this is only the beginning. The fight will won’t end until the Traveler is whole again and the Darkness is struck down to nothingness. It will only get harder from here, I have no doubt that you will be able to handle the challenges to come.

Guardian: Do you know what’s out there waiting for me?

Stranger: More of what you’ve already seen and worse. The Vex may have taken a harsh blow but they’re still functional and they will be until every single one of them is killed. The Hive are on the cusp of absolute frenzy, the Fallen are fighting more than ever, and the Cabal are enjoying themselves far too much.

Guardian: I don’t believe any of us care what they’re doing, we’ll fight them all until this galaxy is ours again.

Stranger: And that’s all I want to hear. This should help.

The Stranger presents the fusion rifle, of which the Guardian delicately takes, looking it over.

Stranger: We’ll be watching.

Before another word can be said the Stranger begins to walk right off the edge of the hangar, melting away in a shimmer.

Ghost: Why did she say ‘we’?

Guardian: Does it matter? We have planets to reclaim.

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NPC: The Black Garden

Stepping forth through the threshold the Guardian and Ghost find Vex frozen in a kneeling position that resembles a form of worship. At the center of the focus is an ever-moving black mass called the Divisive Mind.

Guardian: Every time someone said the ‘heart of Darkness’ I never thought it was a literal heart.

Ghost: I’m just as surprised as you are.

Guardian: There’s no time to call for back up is there?

Ghost: Considering we’re in an unknown part of space and time, no. I can’t even find a relay to send a signal by.

The Vex below start to shift, turning at the waist to stare up at the Guardian with their eyes starting to glow red.

Guardian: And we just lost the element of surprise.

Ghost: Are you sure about this?

Guardian: I didn’t die for nothing, let’s do this.

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NPC: The Ishtar Library

After the five waves of Vex the Guardian and Ghost are left standing among the carnage, opposite to where they entered from a gaping hole in the corner. After just walking past the angelic humanoid statue the Stranger materializes silently.

Stranger: Impressive.

The Guardian and Ghost whip around, simultaneously backing up and expecting another fight.

Stranger: [raises hands briefly] Calm down, I’m the one that called you here.

Guardian: [relaxing] And you’re the one I saw on the Moon. Why are you following me?

Stranger: I have to make sure you’re not wasting anytime by chasing false leads.

Ghost: [starts to orbit around the Stranger] You’re not a Guardian, why are you helping us?

Stranger: [gently pushes the Ghost away] I live in this galaxy just as you do, I would like to see it kept intact.

Guardian: You seem to be surviving just fine on your own.

Stranger: And I grow tired of fighting. I will tell you of what I know in hopes it will help.

Ghost: Why not take this to the Tower? To tell the Speaker?

Stranger: I don’t want them sending just any Guardian, Little Light, it has to be someone who can handle it. It has to be you. I would do it myself but I was not reborn in Light like you, I would not survive the depths of Darkness to strike at it’s heart. There is no Ghost to revive me.

Guardian: What are you getting at?

Stranger: No one has explained to you why the Traveler was ripped apart have they?

Ghost: Not even the Speaker completely understands.

Stranger: I do. The Traveler came to Earth seeking humanity because they are adaptable and individually unique, found worthy of it’s gifts and guidance. The Fallen were once united but deteriorated into separate Houses when they started to accuse each other of being the reason why the Traveler didn’t choose them. The Hive feast on the death of Light, as you saw in their catacombs, destroying the shard of the Traveler. If they can gain access to the Traveler they can extinguish the Light, casting the entire galaxy into Darkness and become supreme beings.

Guardian: What about the Vex?

Stranger: They were the Traveler’s first choice before Humanity was found. After a few thousand years the Vex became more machine than organic, nearly reaching immortality and enlightenment. But the Traveler abandoned them regretting what the Vex had been turned into; emotionless killing machines that have forgotten their culture and who only seek power now. They followed the Traveler here in hopes of enslaving what is left after the Collapse to complete their ascension.

Guardian: So, let me get this straight. The Fallen are just jealous, the Hive are only power hungry, and the Vex were like us but grew obsessed?

Stranger: Exactly.

Ghost: And the Cabal?

Stranger: The Cabal are the simplest of the four, Little Light. They have no sense of right or wrong, they just want war. They find that Guardians are their only true match on the battlefield which is why they stay here instead of moving on.

Guardian: The who?

The Stranger flicks her attention to her comm, speaking to the person on the other end.

Stranger: Engage stealth and ready lift off, I’ll be there in two minutes.

Ghost: [floats closer, blinking] Who are you speaking to?

Stranger: [pulls fusion rifle to ready stance] Go see the Queen of the Reef, she can tell you where the Black Garden is.

Guardian: Why can’t you?

The Stranger turns away, walking off the platform into the air, disappearing in a cascading shimmer.

Stranger: I do not know where to find it and the Queen is too close to absolute Darkness for me.

The Stranger is gone within seconds, not even leaving footprints behind.

Guardian: [turns to the Ghost] I didn’t know we had a Queen.

Ghost: We don’t, the Awoken do. The Reef is the last place the Light touches.

Guardian: Sounds charming, let’s go.

Ghost: Can’t we just stay here with the killer robots?

Guardian: No, you can’t, Little Light.

Ghost: Don’t call me that.

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NPC: The Speaker Explains

The Guardian ascends the stairs to where the Speaker is often found in the Tower among the dead Ghosts and books with papers strewn about. The Speaker steps away from his work, hands clasped behind his back.

Ghost: Here s/he is, Speaker, the Guardian that we found dead in a Hail Mary attempt.

Speaker: Wonderful, I’m sure you have many questions as to what has transpired since your first death.

Guardian: My what?

Speaker: By all accounts you were dead, a casualty in the Collapse like so many others. Now your Ghost can revive you countless times, unless you are within a Darkness zone where you can be lost to the corners of time. No one can save you then not even the Traveler.

Ghost: We may be rather powerful with Light but we’re not miracle workers.

Guardian: How long was I dead for?

Speaker: A little over a century and perhaps even a few.

There is an intentional pause to allow the information to sink in. The Guardian moves to the railing, hands wrapping around the top while his/her head is hung, hiding the facial expression.

Speaker: I realize this is hard to hear but it is the truth. Humanity has struggled to keep alive in this era of plight, fighting a war on four fronts while dealing with internal threats is overwhelming yet we have survived. So far, atleast. It is Guardians like you, brought back to life by the grace of the Traveler, that we can find trustworthy to secure our future.

Guardian: [grips the rail tighter, head still bowed] It’s just us Guardians that are being resurrected? My family, my friends, everyone I knew, they’re dead forever?

Speaker: I’m afraid the resources we have are scarce enough. You were chosen by your Ghost because you are able to do what most warriors cannot; to keep fighting even when you are being consumed by the Darkness and there is no escape other than death.

Ghost: I know your instincts and skills can help bring the Traveler back and fight the ones who tried to wipe us all out.

The Guardian releases the railing, turning to face the Speaker and Ghost, looking forlorn.

Guardian: What will you have me do?

Speaker: Go into the Darkness and strike at the hearts of those that wish us extinct.

Guardian: It would be my honor.

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NPC: Woken the Hive

The dead Titan is half buried in the sand of the moon, looking like it had been there for quite some time. Just a few yards away is the chained doors of a Hive entrance. The Guardian kneels next to the body, Ghost starting to scan it.

Guardian: Didn’t anyone send a search party for him?

Ghost: We’re stretched thin as it is. If a Guardian doesn’t come back after awhile we just assume they’re dead or still fighting.

Guardian: [sarcastically] That’s real encouraging.

Ghost: I can’t figure out how long he’s been here, the Moon doesn’t exactly have an atmosphere so there’s no real decay of anything, not even organic bodies.

Guardian: Shouldn’t his Ghost have revived him?

Ghost: I can’t find his.

The Guardian stands up, starting to visually scan around. Just behind him/her is the Stranger is at the cliff’s edge in the distance, unmoving. The Guardian starts to bring up his/her hand to wave but is interrupted.

Ghost: Maybe the Hive took it?

The Guardian looks back to the Ghost who is floating just before the door, with just quick glance back to where the Stranger was who is clearly gone. The Ghost starts to scan the entrance causing the glyph locks to release, the chains across the door dematerializing.

Ghost: We’ve woken the Hive!

Guardian: [starts stepping backwards] You really need to stop touching things.

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NPC: Stranger Danger

The Guardian and Ghost step over the dead Titan, about to enter the Hive’s lair again. Static comes over the intercom, undecipherable at first. The Ghost expands outwards, trying to catch the signal and clean it up, of which the Stranger’s voice starts to come through.

Ghost: I can’t find the exact source.

Stranger: [intermittent static] …for the Traveler. Find the piece… Destroy the Hive’s point of… Do not let the Wizards take your Ghost. If you live… Come to me at… Ishtar Collective…

The signal dies, the Ghost returning back to it’s normal shape.

Ghost: Half of that I didn’t understand but the Ishtar Collective is on Venus and no one’s been there since the Vex invaded. Only the Fallen dare fight with them and they have hard enough time as it is.

Guardian: One thing at a time, okay? I caught ‘Traveler’, ‘piece’, and ‘destroy’. The Hive might doing something down there and I’m not leaving until we know.

Ghost: Did you catch the part about not letting the Wizards take me, too?

Guardian: That is pretty much a given

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