festival of the lost
Exos of Destiny | Episode 20
"What's going on here?" as Hunter returns from quelling another assault by the Taken on Mars. He looks around to see The Tower bathe in festive decorations.
"What are these things? They almost look like..." Ring. A familiar voice comes into his helmet.
"Hunter, where have you been?" asks Eva Levante.
"It's a war going on out there, Eva."
"Well, do you have time to see me a moment?"
"I need a break, anyway. I'll be right there."
Hunter closes the Comm and continues to look around as he heads to Eva's section in Tower North. "A lot of candles around here."
Down a few flights of stairs followed by the usual right turn. Hunter stops in his tracks, "Are they trying to burn the place down?"
"Hunter, get over here?!" Eva calls out.
"Hold on! I'm asking myself a question?" in a sarcastic tone.
"I will come over there!"
"Alright, alright!" Hunter walks into the cramped area known as Outfitter. You'd never know how crucial her work was by the dimensions of her space. Yet, she didn't complain...much. Frequently, she encouraged Guardians to spread the word about her existence the old-fashioned way: word-of-mouth.
And all the Guardians listened. If you needed a custom paint job for your armor, Eva was the one to supply the Shaders. Instead of losing her job in the renovations of Tower protocol, more finances were placed in her department. Meaning, more Shaders to choose from for Guardians all over the Solar System.
Still, Hunter had questions about all the decorations. "Eva, what's with all the candles and...whatever these things are?
Eva gasps, "You have been dead a long time..."
"This is our annual Festival of the Lost, celebrating the lives of the dead."
She shoves a bag in his hand.
"Uhh. Is this a satchel little kids run around with?"
"You are sharp. Visit the Mentors in The Tower. They have treats for you."
Pushed out of Eva's section, Hunter grumbles through the small courtyard heading for his first stop. "I'm an Exo. I can't even eat candy." He begins the ascent upstairs, "I look like a fool..." His thought trails off as he eyes The Speaker.
"Ahh. Hunter. You've returned in time."
The Speaker is wearing a mask resembling The Traveler, "Welcome. I was afraid you wouldn't make it back; the Festival is almost over." He holds out his hand to give Hunter a group of candies.
Hunter allows The Speaker to drop the candies in his satchel, "What is the candy for?"
"One of the joys of life. Hurry," The Speaker insists. "The Cryptarch is ready to get back to work."
Hunter salutes, "Thank you, Speaker." He walks back downstairs towards the Tower Watch.
Hunter pauses as he gets a better look at The Cryptarch. What is on his head?
"There you are, Hunter! Come, now, procrastination won't help you!"
Hunter studies the mask on his head.
The Cryptarch removes his mask, "It's an Engram. Can't you see?"
"Right. You decode Engrams, got it."
"Aww, a bit of candy will sweeten your sour disposition."
The Cryptarch holds out his hand.
"What am I supposed to do with this?" Hunter asks.
"Enjoy it! Eris is waiting...patiently, I'm sure."
Hunter moves into a jog as he goes downstairs towards the Hall of Guardians.
Eris Morn doesn't wear a costume mask over the veil she usually wears.
"This is actually a box of raisins, Eris. Kids don't want raisins."
She doesn't respond.
Hunter moves on.
Lord Shaxx, whom seems to be wearing the mask of a wildcat, looks annoyed. He throws the handful of candies at Hunter's chest.
That's the spirit. Hunter drops the candy in his satchel. Who's next? Ikora Rey fails to don a mask, already set to move on beyond the Festival.
"Don't worry, Hunter. I kept your candy just in case you showed," Ikora states. She holds out her hand.
"Is all of this necessary?" Hunter asks.
Ikora motions with a nod, "Commander Zavala is waiting."
Hunter walks away. Of course, Zavala doesn't wear a mask.
His eyes are glaring as Hunter approaches.
"Just give me the candy, sir," Hunter demands.
Another group of candies drop into Hunter's satchel. One person left. Hunter has to walk around Cayde-6 to examine his mask.
Hunter simply shakes his head, "I can't imagine Eris likes you wearing a mask of her."
A satchel full of candy, "That was an exciting mission," Hunter concludes.
"Don't eat it all at once! You'll get a tummy ache," Cayde warns.
"But...nevermind," as Hunter walks back towards the Tower Watch. He eyes a symbol projected onto The Traveler. "That's different."
It seems as if many Guardians had taken a break from the field to honor the Festival of the Lost. The Tower Watch looks almost deserted.
Eva calls out, again, "How did you do?!"
Hunter walks into the space and hands her the satchel.
"What am I supposed to do with this?!" Hunter repeats.
"The Taken are spreading across the System, Guardian. We may not have many Festivals left. Let's celebrate while we can. Tomorrow, the war returns."
"It hasn't gone anywhere."
Eva Levante adjusts the large mask on her head until she's satisfied. "Take the rest of the day off, Hunter. You've earned it." She pats him on the jaw.
The masks we wear.
The Traveler isn't aware of what's going on. Will it ever awaken? Am I fighting for nothing? Hunter looks at the candies in his hand. There's always going to be a threat in the universe. Evil. Darkness. I'll be the Light to fight it for as long as I can.