EXOS OF DESTINY: EP.22 – ENEMIES ONLY

Previously on Exos of Destiny
Warlock sets up a Transmat Zone on The Dreadnaught.

The Dreadnaught is teeming with Hive, already on alert because the Cabal plunged their Cruiser right into the massive stronghold. Direct. Effective.

Commander Zavala makes sure he’s in the loop of what’s going on this time, “The Cabal must know something by now. We haven’t been able to crack their Intel. We need you on the ground, Titan.”

“I volunteered, sir. Remember?” Titan asks. He fires a few more shots at approaching Hive Acolytes. “They’re not going to give up their position easily.”

“Assist the Hive in thinning out their ranks. We know the Cabal well enough to know that they won’t let a battalion fall. When reinforcements are sent, that’s your chance to sneak onto that ship.”

More shots fire, “If they know anything. The Cabal are powerful, but not as bright.”

“Your Ghost will search for Intel, once inside. Zavala out.”

Even an Exo can sigh, “Ghost. Let me know when their Security Doors are being prepped to open. I’ll need a head-start.”

“Already on it, Titan. I’m picking up a group of Cabal gathering just behind the doors,” Ghost answers. “Almost ready to come through.”

“Good…”

“Be careful. The Hive have summoned a Champion to push back the Cabal front.”

“It helps.” Titan runs across the jagged surface of The Dreadnaught. He can only imagine it smells like death. Rotting corpses. Wormspore. To think, these spores have tremendous value. He hides behind a large metal piece protruding from the surface. One burst. Then another. And another. Cabal falling by his hand. Their frontline is beginning to fall back.

Speaking of which…

Titan lands on his back as a Cabal soldier hammers him with its shield. You can move for a big guy. As it closes in for another strike, a grenade latches onto its face. Titan rolls out of the way. The soldier evaporates upon explosion.

The loud siren goes off as Hive forces charge the Cabal ship. The double doors open. Titan takes off towards the Cabal reinforcements. Only a couple of soldiers eye Titan as he runs by returning fire.

“That could’ve been worse,” Ghost adds.

Titan crouches behind a few crates after taking out one more Cabal. “They’ll be at each other for a while. Have you got a location on their Intel?”

“Yes. On your Radar, now.”

The Cabal Cruiser is turning into a bit of a maze. “I have a feeling they won’t leave this place unguarded. Which way?”

“Hmm…there must be multiple levels. Above us,” Ghost continues.

Titan runs up a ramp through double doors, then up another ramp. He pauses. Heavy footsteps.

Although no one can hear Ghost outside of Titan’s helmet, he whispers anyway, “I’m detecting a console nearby. Specs of The Dreadnaught. Perhaps, they found something. Let me analyze it.”

Titan nods. Peering around the corner, flashes of light zip by his face. A rather large Cabal unit occupies the area. They may be protecting something.

A firefight ensues. The area of two floors, sectioned off by thick, steel walls. He’ll have to check each section to be sure no stragglers are left behind. jumping from the floor to the platform and back again, he fires at some Cabal soldiers while running away from others.

“Having your brothers along could make this a little easier,” Ghost points out.

The air is riddled with bullets. A Mini-Gun. A Cabal leader stomps into the area, his distinct growl in the air. More bullets fly.

Titan takes cover, switching from a Scout Rifle to a Sniper Rifle, the 1,000 Yard Stare. “The Taken are making another push elsewhere. Someone has to keep them back.”

The bullets stop momentarily as the Cabal leader’s head snaps back from the impact of the Sniper round. It shakes it off.

Thick armor. Boom! Boom! Boom! Reload. Boom! The Leader stumbles forward and rolls off the ramp to rest on its back. Reload. Auto Rifle. Titan clears the area of remaining Cabal soldiers.

“Good work, Titan,” Ghost chirps. “Up there. Through the window. See it?!”

Titan runs up another ramp and lets Ghost out to analyze the main console. “Anything?”

Ghost opens the Comm, “Zavala, they’ve found a portal of some kind to get to Oryx. A team is already on their way.”

Zavala’s voice is scruffy, “Then, I suggest you get there, first.” The signal closes.

Titan is on the run, again. “The Hive are on alert, as well. Sneaking passed them isn’t going to be as easy this time.” As Titan finds another exit to the Cruiser, he stalls to see the battle taking place up ahead.”

“Commander Zavala, we’re seeing Taken and Hive fighting off the Cabal unit…” Ghost begins.

“Forget the “enemy of my enemy” notion. If anyone gets in your way, you put them down. Understood?” Zavala demands.

Down a rather slippery slope, Titan tries to make his way around the intense battle. “I see it. The Portal to Oryx.” He leaps up to the platform. “It’s not active. But this is definitely it!”

Eris Morn murmurs over the Comm, “Toland’s Journal speaks of such a place. Search the pages.”

Ghost does it in no time, “Statues. Perhaps, these markings of statues mean something.”

Titan looks around, spotting the first. Back to the ground floor, when suddenly, a portal opens. Oryx pulls a Cabal Leader through. The battle is over as the remaining Cabal soldiers scatter.

“Oryx just took him,” Ghost blurts out.

Zavala chimes in, “Let him take all he wants. Soon…it won’t matter.”

“The statues. Seek them out,” Eris adds. “Quickly.”

The Dreadnaught is large enough for even Titan to snoop around in. “Ghost, see if you can pick up anything.”

Ghost analyzes the statue. “This is it. But there must be two more…somewhere.”

“Then, it is true!” Eris continues. “The statues activate the Portal.”

Titan finds another grotesque statue protruding out of the ground, toppled over from the previous battle.

Ghost analyzes it. One to go. Titan finds it. Ghost activates the Portal.

“The door is opening, Titan! Go through the Portal,” Zavala commands.

Good thing Titan is in great shape. Back up onto the platform after a few jumps. Here we go. The Portal rocks him back. “I… I can’t go in.” The Portal even pushes back the extension of his hand into it.

“The stories must be true…” Eris adds. “You must be Ascendant…”

“Uhh, Titan,” Ghost interrupts. “I think something Ascendant is coming through.”

Titan backs away as those familiar eyes meet his. An Echo of Oryx flies through the Portal knocking Titan off the platform. A pack of Thrall follow as Titan regains his whits and falls back for more cover. The Thrall come in waves as Titan fires his Auto Rifle into the crowd while dodging dark orbs shooting from Oryx’s hands.

Cover. Cover! But there is little with the Thrall beginning to surround him and his shields taking a beating from Oryx’s orbs. Titan leaps into the air and throws a grenade into the pack of Thrall. They scatter as the flames encompass the area.

Time for something new. He unleashes the Thunderlord; lightning rounds rain towards his enemies and for the first time they all flee for cover. But the clip goes empty and they move in for the kill.

Alternate plan. His body is encased with Solar energy, the Hammer of Sol at his command. Hammers of fire are unleashed throughout the area. The Echo of Oryx is gone. No sign of the Thrall.

“All clear, Guardian…” the Commander interrupting the silence.

“How do we get through the Portal,” Ghost asks.

“You must become your enemy. Become Ascendant!” Eris concludes.

“We’ll discuss this later. Return to base when you can,” Zavala ends.

Titan wipes his hand over his forehead. “We aren’t done, yet.”

“Your armor has sustained significant damage,” Ghost points out. “You’ll have to return to The Tower for repairs.”

He sighs, “Yeah.” A long stroll back towards his ship before he’s in range to teleport inside.

……………….

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