altered thesis

Exos of Destiny | Episode 19


Looking down the sights, streaks fly across the plain. Titan pushes forward, "They're everywhere."

"I haven't worked with you much, Titan. Can you take orders from a superior Class or..."

"We have problems down here, Cayde," Ghost replies.

"Yeah. Alien. Four arms. Smell pretty bad."

"They're not alone. Taken," Ghost snaps.

"Hm. I figured we'd have more time. Don't be scared. I'm sure even a Titan can do this."

Reload. Taken jump from one spot to the other in a blink. "Where are they coming from?!" Another solar grenade flies from his hand. A Taken soldier splits in two before the first explodes. "They can duplicate themselves."

"Nice trick, isn't it? See the door?" Cayde asks. "Big. Square. Able to walk through upon opening."

Titan shakes his head at Cayde's sarcasm.

"We just walked through," Ghost interrupts. "It was already open."

"What?! No explosion?" Cayde asks. "I had that thing wired! I gotta get outta this Tower."

Titan heads down a rickety ramp to see a familiar room, "This is where I fought Sepiks Prime."

"Oh, yeah. The big round guy. He's dead, right?"

"Cayde," a sternness in Titan's voice.

"I see your position. Just keep moving, looks like you're slowing down a bit."

"That's because this area is full of Taken as well," Ghost points out.

"Wow. That's bad," Cayde finishes.

One after the other, Titan blasts the former Fallen soldiers, now under Oryx's control. "Will Oryx's defeat loosen their grasp on the Solar System?"

"Let's get through Step One first, Guardian," Cayde demands.

"Where is the...?" Ghost begins. "Wait. I see it. Do these elevators still work?"

"Course, they do!" Cayde insists, though hearing the squeaking sound of rusted metal as the door opens. "You can revive him from a fall of this height?"

Titan ignores the question as the elevator creaks into the air. It travels so far up, he can see several miles into the distance. "I hope the Taken haven't stolen this device."

"Relax, Titan. They don't take things, themselves," Cayde fires back.

Titan stumbles as the elevator finally reaches the top. It's too quiet up here, besides the random gusts of wind. He steadies himself.

"We're still not at the top," Ghost adds. "And the bridge is out of place."

"Is my ship still in tact?" Cayde asks.

"How can we tell? Look at it." Ghost asks.

"Bet she still purrs like a kitten. Power up the bridge, Ghost."

Titan looks around as the massive, old, metal structure leans from the wind gusts. "How much further?"

"I'm picking up the correct signature a few stories above us," Ghost concludes.

Titan begins walking across a narrow metal bridge; a few of the floor panels fall away and he loses his balance.

"Hm. Looks like the Fallen are trying to keep the Taken away. Watch your step."

Ghost floats ahead, "I found a staircase over here."

"I'll take a short cut." Titan leaps from one metal beam to the next going even higher above ground.

"There it is!" Ghost begins to activate power to the bridge.

"Did that work?" Cayde asks.

"The bridge is already moving," Ghost responds.

Titan steps to the edge of a large metal beam as the bridge locks into the right position.

"Uhh, we can go back the way we came," Ghost suggests.

Titan steps off the beam; it's a longer fall than he expected. Still, he lands on the top rails as the bridge creaks from his added weight.

"Smooth, Titan. Smooth." Cayde says.

Titan steps off the rails to the metal panels below and begins leaping from one panel to the next available one.

"Where do we go once we're inside," Ghosts asks as they make it across and approach a door.

Cayde gives the simple answer, "Up."

Only a few steps into the facility, Fallen soldiers open fire as Taken spring up out of thin air.

"Snipers!" Ghost calls out.

Titan side-steps as a streak of orange and black zips passed his head. He lets his Auto Rifle be free. Reload. Fire. Reload, again. Shields? Fallen soldiers fall back as Taken Snipers create shields to block Titan's attack. That's a new trick. Shields dissipate. Titan fires. They can't generate them for long. "Room's clear."

"I'm picking up activity above us," Ghost points out.

Titan reloads his weapons and heads upward. Floor after floor, he pushes back Fallen troops until they're dead. He reaches a large opening in the structure.

"Hmm. You can shorten the jump using that steel beam. Though, it doesn't look stable to me."

Titan ducks below protruding debris from the facility and carefully walks out into the open air on the beam.

"Uhh...don't look down," Ghost says.

He looks down, not able to see the ground from this height. A few thin clouds hover below. The jump across isn't bad. He doesn't see the greatest landing spot. His foot slips on a broken piece on concrete and he hangs on to a metal pole at the edge of the building.

"Come on! You can make it." Ghosts adds.

Titan pulls himself up as another sniper round goes by his head. Taken Cabal are fighting Fallen troops for control of the building. He takes care of them all.

Around the perimeter of the building, Titan sees a way inside to reach Cayde's ship. A short jump to a ledge.

"That's an awkward angle for a jump," Ghost points out.

"We don't have time to look for another way," he concludes. Another jump. One foot on the ledge, a hand on the door frame to keep him from falling off. Made it. He turns to step inside.

Boom! A Taken Cabal fires a pulse from his shield.

Titan grabs the other side of the door frame to keep himself from being rocketed into mid-air.

Boom! Another pulse as the Taken Cabal blocks the entrance.

One hand lets go as he whirls back to avoid the second impact. Then, he charges the Taken, putting his shoulder into the shield; he jumps to the side before another pulse fires.

Bullets fly. He reloads. Fires, again. The Taken Cabal evaporates into thin air.

"You made it inside. Good," Cayde chirps.

Titan looks over the area, "Anything?"

"No..." Ghost answers.

Titan walks towards the middle of the room when a dark mist appears. An echo of Oryx. Titan leaps out of the way as a barrage of deadly orbs comes his way.

Taken begin to surround the room.

This is a bad spot. Titan looks for cover only to find an enemy waiting for him. He needs to clear the room fast. Putting away the Auto Rifle, he summons the Thunderlord, one of the most powerful machine guns in a Guardians arsenal.

His enemies scatter as many of them are throw back by the impact of lightning rounds. Oryx teleports to the opposite end of the room to avoid more bullets in his chest. Titan feels a bit of relief until new enemies begin to spawn and the echo of Oryx resumes his onslaught of dark orbs.

Titan notices his shields are below 30% with Taken Cabal closing in. The magazine empties. No time to reload. He has one move left. The Thunderlord disappears. His body is encased in flames; the Hammer of Sol appears in his hands. The power of the Sunbreaker is unleashed.

Flaming hammers fly across the room disintegrating their targets. The echo of Oryx howls as it's bombarded by Sol's power. The room is clear. The echo is gone. And Titan's Solar energy has run out.

"Hey, when can I borrow that Hammer?" Cayde asks.

"I'm still not picking up any readings on a Stealth Drive, Cayde," Ghost interrupts.

"Yeah...the best place to hide something is in plain sight. Patch in this code."

"Ah. I see it," Ghost says as the device is nearly right in front of them.

"And if you find anything else...don't touch it," Cayde finishes. The Comm is closed.

Ghost glides over, letting Titan sift through his thoughts before asking, "Do you think this plan will work? I mean...Cayde's tactics aren't exactly like Commander Zavala's."

"I know. Maybe that's what we need to win this war," Titan concludes. "The signal's coming through, now. Summon the ship so we can head back to The Tower."

"An excellent plan," Ghost replies.

If Titan could smile, he would.