[Previously in Part 1 of ‘A Light in Time’: Erebus has been sent by the Vanguard to patrol Venera’s Landing, an area southeast of the Ishtar Sink, and locate an undetermined Vex Warpgate. The Vex Hezen Corrective have suddenly taken an interest in this location and it is up to Erebus to figure out what is going on. Upon arrival, Erebus finds an entrance to Vex subterranean caves and passageways. While investigating this location Erebus comes face to face with a dangerous Vex Praetorian…]
…..Venera’s Landing — Station 17 …..
…..Day Five — Investigation of an Undetermined Vex Warpgate Location…..
…..Deep within the Venusian surface…..
…..Guardian — Erebus Eques — Warlock…..
The floor shook, the chamber vibrating throughout, from the Praetorian’s foot slamming into the floor. Sparks flew up from beneath its feet, sending a wave of white matter in my direction. I quickly dodged the wave of destruction and jumped behind the pillar to my right, and not a moment too soon as a large projectile of violet radiation exploded exactly where I stood. I briefly looked around the corner of the pillar and saw the Praetorian moving towards me. Another projectile streamed passed the pillar, the heat of the projectile burning my face as it narrowly missed my head.
I circled around the pillar in an attempt to attack my enemy from behind. I rounded the corner and, to my horror, found the large Vex towering above me. The Praetorian raised its arm in an effort to pound me into the ground, but I quickly jumped in the air and threw my scatter grenade at its feet, sending it screeching and stumbling backwards as the grenade scattered about. Although not causing much damage to the large Vex, it did buy me some time to run back around the pillar and grab my weapon.
I crouched down in a corner at the opposite side of the chamber and watched the Praetorian recover from the grenade. The towering machine stood up straight and began to look around in an effort to find me, clicking and beeping as it calculated my whereabouts. As it investigated the pillar where I had previously stood, I quickly devised a plan in order to take down the Vex guard before it had a chance to kill me.
I latched my weapon to my utility belt and stood up straight, navigating my surroundings. Hardly pausing a moment, I ran from the corner of the chamber and jumped high in the air and landed on top of one of the pillars. The Praetorian below jolted upright and launched another projectile up towards me, but it missed and hit the ceiling high above. Not missing a beat, the Praetorian continued to launch more projectiles in my direction, but I swiftly dodged them as I let the surge of adrenaline and power flow through my body in preparation for my next attack.
At a full sprint, I ran forward, jumped, looked down towards the ground, and launched a large nova bomb straight at the Vex below. There was a bright flash as the chamber turned a bright violet and I heard the screeches of the Praetorian below.
I safely came to a stop on the other side of the chamber and looked towards my enemy. It stumbled backwards, its delicate metalwork melting and falling to pieces from the blast of my nova bomb. My pride rapidly diminished, for the Praetorian stood up straight, its red eyes blazing towards me, and it began to launch wave after wave of void radiation in my direction. I quickly regained my bearing and darted about, dodging the powerful onslaught of my enemy.
Suddenly, with a crushing blow, I felt the wind knocked out of me and I flew across the chamber, hitting the wall behind. I crumpled down to the floor. Tears of blood coated the inside of my visor and I could taste my blood as it trickled down my face. I looked up, my vision a little hazy, and saw the large Vex march towards me. The chamber resonated with each footstep of the Praetorian and a cold chill of fear trickled down my spine.
The machine stopped directly in front of me and peered down towards my crumpled body. The red light from its eyes passed over me, calculating its next move to finish me off.
Victory is not yet yours, I said to myself.
The Praetorian raised its leg high into the air and swiftly let it fall to crush me below.
Ad Victoriam! I shouted and I met his crushing blow with my hand, meleeing the Praetorian with a forceful and earth-shattering crack!
The room glowed violet and the Praetorian fell backwards, landing on the floor with a deafening bang.
Victory was not yet mine, however, and in one last desperate attack I stood up and pulled out my trusted Gjallarhorn. I loaded it as quickly as I could but before I could aim it at my enemy I felt a crushing blow hit me in the back. I fell down to my knees and my Gjallarhorn clattered off beyond my reach. I looked behind me and saw the Praetorian running towards me, launching more projectiles in my direction.
Pushing back the pain, I got to my feet and ran to where my Gjallarhorn lay on the ground. I jumped forward, grabbed it by the handle, flipped myself around, faced the charging Vex Praetorian, pulled the trigger, and…
The missile hit the Vex directly in the chest. The blast tore the machine apart, sending bits and pieces flying around the chamber.
The chamber fell silent.
I stood to my feet, but a sharp pain coursed through my leg, quickly sending me back down to my knees. My head was throbbing and the salty taste of my blood and sweat was more present than before.
“…ghost…” I feebly muttered.
My trusted ally appeared at my side and it began to shine its light over me. I looked down at my legs and saw that my right leg was bleeding from a broken bone protruding out of my skin, shining dully in the light of my Ghost.
“Don’t worry, I can fix it,” assured my Ghost.
It gently whirred about my leg, shifting my bone back in its place, patching the gash in my leg, and stitching my clothes back together. When all was said and done, I humbly took my Ghost into my hands and thanked him for his help.
“Hey, we’re in this together now, remember?” it said.
I took off my helmet and got to my feet to walked over to where a small pile of metal lay and where the once-mighty Praetorian stood.
“Not bad for a slight ambush,” remarked my Ghost sarcastically.
I nudged the torn pieces of metal with my foot. “It was obviously protecting an entrance of some kind, but where is that entrance? It just looks like we hit a dead end here.”
“Let me take a look around,” my Ghost said as it glided up into the air.
It shined its light all throughout the chamber, reflecting off of the Vex metalwork. Every so often the light would catch a small particle in the air, making it shine and flutter in a manner ever so curious. I sat down and leaned against the wall, letting my Ghost work in silence. My mind began to wander, reflecting on the events leading up to this point, and I began to feel like I was in a dream full of remarkable possibilities…
My eyes were shut, but I saw, as if it were a real tangible object, a distant nebula forming before me. It was beautiful and colorful, something I thought I could really only imagine. Tiny lights glimmered between the clouds of green, yellow, and purple. They were stars, newly formed and twinkling excitedly. Realizing I could control my movements, I flew towards the nebula forming ahead. I had an overwhelming desire to bathe myself in the colorful nebula, to feel it with my own hands. As I got closer the nebula began to turn black and red and it washed over me like a wave, leaving a bitter taste of salt in my mouth. I looked straight ahead and saw that the twinkling stars were actually not stars at all, but rather glowing red eyes. A large and powerful machine stood in front of me, black and dominating. I tried to stop myself from getting any closer, but it kept pulling me in. The machine raised its arm and opened its hand, ready to grab me and destroy my tiny existence…
I jolted forward and opened my eyes. I was back in the chamber and my Ghost was staring at me.
“I must have dozed off,” I muttered.
“You need to be careful, my friend. There are particles in the air that can make an organic lifeform, such as yourself, fall into a dormant state of existence if not heeded properly. It would be better if you kept your helmet on.”
I obeyed and slid my helmet on. My head was still slightly aching as I got to my feet. “Have you found anything, Ghost?”
“I have, but I will need your help.” It glided over to the remains of the Praetorian. “Can you grab the Praetorian’s eye for me?”
I walked over and searched through the destroyed metal and found the round red eye of the Vex machine.
“There is a blue orb high above near the ceiling that contains code that should open a gateway for us. This eye will act as a key to open it. Just hold it above your head and face it towards that orb above.”
I nodded in agreement.
My Ghost slowly glided high above as I raised the eye into the air. It stopped just in front of the glowing orb.
“Analyzing… Decrypting stored data… Only a few moments and I’ll have…” A loud click followed by a gentle whir penetrated the stillness. “I’ve got it!” My Ghost glided back down towards me.
Faint lines of blue light formed in the darkness as the orb analyzed the interior of the chamber. It passed from the ceiling to the ground a couple of times until all the light centralized and gazed upon the Praetorian eye I held in the air. I held my breath in anticipation, waiting to see what would happen next.
Without warning the small blue orb vanished, leaving us in the pitch black of the chamber. Immediately after, the ground began to shake and the chamber echoed with a deep rumbling around us. To my right and left I heard the two pillars begin to crack and break apart.
“What’s going on?” I anxiously asked my Ghost.
It shined its light around the chamber and to my amazement I saw that the two pillars began to break apart and take on new shapes. Slowly, piece by piece, each pillar began to open and form large triangle passageways. The pinnacle of the triangle formed high above me and the edges slowly descended to the floor, slowly taking their form.
I stepped back in order to have a better view of what was happening. The pillar to my right had already taken its triangular form and a haze of light began to glow from the center. The light slowly increased until it filled the entirety of the space. The light moved and ebbed about as if it were liquid, glowing a faint blue. I looked to my left and noticed the same thing happening, but it glowed a faint red rather than blue.
My Ghost flew up into the air and began scanning the two portals. “These must be what we are looking for, but instead of one warpgate we have two!”
“What does your analysis tell you, Ghost?”
“These do not appear to be regular Vex warpgates. Although not completely foreign to me, they are different from regular Vex warpgates and seem to be attached to some religious or scientific paradigm for the Vex. I can sense that through these they can warp in and out of time, but it seems that they also warp through some other field of reality as well, but..” My Ghost paused. “It cannot be possible… This information I’m reading, it just does not seem probable.”
“What are you trying to say? What are the Vex doing?”
“My analysis is telling me that while transcending space and time the Vex have been able to find a way to break reality and form what you might call an alternate universe.”