Story by Reddit user Top-hat_Tom-cat
Come on, come on, don’t be shy; it’s a good one. Now we’ve all seen things out on patrol, but this one tops my list of just plain unnerving.
A month or two ago, I was out patrolling on Venus. The House of Winter had become quite adventurous since Draksis’ untimely death, and I was tracking a scouting group moving into Vex territory. It went about as well as you’d expect. I was about to leave after watching their Captain get deleted by a particularly nasty Axis Minotaur when out the corner of my scope I spied a group of 4 Warlocks speeding towards the Endless Steps. They were sticking to the shadows and keeping noise to a minimum. Partially out of curiosity I followed them. Plus I rather enjoy fighting against Warlocks; they’re the only opponent you can kill twice.
As my unwary subjects traveled further into the Vex architecture I noticed they all had this this marking on them. All but one that is. There was a follower at the back of the group, clearly unsure of where to go or what they were doing. Interesting. Eventually they stopped at a rather unremarkable cave near a group of transport gates. After waiting for them to step inside, I popped my stealth and slipped in after ’em. Damn near ran into the follower one hanging back by the entrance. Thanks to some masterful blink work and supreme stealth, I managed to dodge him and secure a perch near the cave ceiling.
Now perk up hunters, this is where it gets good.
We were in a decent-sized room, no bigger than the Hall of Vanguards. At one end lay a dormant transport gate. The leader of the fireteam was speaking to the other 3, but their comms were restricted to just them. I didn’t try too hard to eavesdrop in case they detected me. The new guy was staring intently at the one talking, while the other two stood to the side, arms crossed. Slowly the monologuing one began moving towards the dead gate, and the follower seemed to get a little more nervous. About 5 paces away, the leader raises his hand, probably mutters some meaningless words for show, and calls forth his purple Light and Ghost. To my surprise, the gate begins to activate. Immediately my P&T is trained on the center of his enormous skull, itching for a reason to put another notch in my stock. But I wait, just to be absolutely sure he’s not pure evil (never can trust a voidwalker, too close to the darkness).
Now halfway through the startup cycle, our creepy friend fires a void bolt into the emerging gate. Things immediately get uglier than the inside of a Cabal’s on-board latrine system. The portal seemed to corrupt, turning a deep blackish purple. The frame of the gate flexed inward and outward with each little pulse of space-time. And still the portal grew, opening to its full height. But instead of mechanical soldiers, what spilled forth was chaos. Raw void. Violet lightning so hot it burnt the air and black fog so dense it had a gravitational pull. And I felt fear. A small twinge I’ve only known twice. I didn’t feel it when I blinked inside a spider tank and shotgunned out the other side. I didn’t feel it when I Bladedanced across the entire Hellmouth. I didn’t even feel it as a Colossus’ boot came crashing down towards my head (totally dodged it btw). But now; now I felt it.
The lead warlock took a step back, and motioned to the follower. This was starting to feel like a ceremony of some kind. Nodding his head, the unmarked one stepped cautiously toward the gate, almost reluctant. The final two stood back with their arms folded, par for the course. I watched with slight admiration as this clearly inexperienced Warlock trudged towards that hole in the universe. I had to suppress an instinct to stop him: Guardians make their own choices. He stopped about 3 steps short, but the master of this little show edged him on. 2 steps away. Further. 1 step away. Further. He’s right up to the dimensional tear. There is a pulse, as if to warn him to stand back. The poor man takes one half-step back, momentarily realizing that this is a bad idea. The leader hangs his head, apparently disappointed.
He turns to leave, but he stops when the initiate not only returns to position, but takes a further step. Now the Warlock is standing in the voidlight. His shape is distorting at the edges, and small arcs of electricity char pockmarks in his robes. But he just waits there, staring into the nothingness, daring it to unmake him. And for a minute it almost does. He distorts a little more, grows a little fuzzy, but then snaps back clearer than ever. The leader nods his head in satisfaction. The new member steps back from the portal with a new, more confident posture and stride. The others come to him, patting him and offering hands of congratulations. The head Warlock inscribes their strange emblem on the side of his helm. The crackling gate is closed. And they all leave, with me sitting on my perch unnoticed. I stayed there for an hour, going over the whole spectacle on my cam. It was the craziest thing I’d ever seen.
And that, fellow Hunters, is my tale. I don’t know what any of it means, but it’s a damn good story. And it’s taught me one thing: Hunters have some serious cojones, but Warlocks are just plain fucking crazy.