Exos of Destiny: Ep.9 | “Hidden Gems”

How could I be seen? How could I be captured? The days before have left questions in Hunter’s mind.

Banshee-44, the Gunsmith of The Tower, gives Hunter back his helmet. The slice in it from his bout with Petra Venj has been repaired. “First time for everything, Guardian. I haven’t seen an incision like that in decades.”

Hunter studies his Exotic item, relieved and angry. You got Round One.

“Oh, yeah. I remember. An Awoken dagger. Rare type. Be careful who you pick a fight with,” Banshee-44 finishes.

Putting on his Achlyophage Symbiote, the internal screen comes to life. No more glitches, “Excellent work, 44!”

He appreciates the approval, “I told you not to worry.”

“Quick question: Is there a device out there that can detect cloaked Hunters?”

Banshee-44 zips through his thoughts, “Not a chance.”

Hunter thought as much. He nods and begins to walk away.


Hunter looks back.

“Sight can be deceptive. The more advanced warriors are trained to detect the enemy with other senses. Again, rare.” Banshee-44 thinks about it even more, “Like the dagger that cut your Gear. The Galaxy is big. Be careful who you pick a fight with.”

He nods.

Banshee goes back to work fixing another broken weapon for a Guardian.

Hunter goes to the shadows making sure no one sees him…he activates his cloak. I need to be sure. The Tower is split into five sections:

He takes a walk around the Tower Watch looking for changes in people’s reactions. The general public walks by engaged in conversation. The Cryptarch continues his search for rare information on his mobile console. So far, so good.

Suddenly, something unusual catches his attention…

I don’t remember these being here before. Maybe a new system ‘is’ being put in place. Hunter’s curiosity grows. He continues onward to the Tower Hangar.

Weapons…outside of Banshee-44’s workspace…with the ammunition to go with it. Too many people have access to this. Hunter jogs further into the Hangar beneath the space designated for the Future War Cult.

New droids. Being fitted with heavy armor. The worker, usually giving Hunter a “good morning!” on sight, continues to work on the new personnel without a sound. Hunter’s good feelings of a successful test dissipate. What else is new around here?

All the way to the opposite side, Tower North, he looks around. For the most part, everything seems normal outside of the changes of inventory on hand. Sometimes, it’s a mess. Someone’s organizing the place, that’s for sure. Up the stairs…

The Speaker is locked into his work. What is..? Where have I seen that before? Hunter recognizes the violet-colored shards on The Speaker’s desk: Royal Amethyst. Shards of the Awoken worth a high price. The Awoken Queen gives them out as reward to the best Guardians in the field who fulfill her Bounties against The Fallen. Why does The Speaker have one? A gift?

Even while cloaked, Hunter feels uncomfortable around The Speaker. He walks back downstairs…one last area to walk through. One last test.

Down the stairs to the center of The Tower called Traveler’s Walk stand the Vanguard Mentors for Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans. He looks back to see Lord Shaxx; the Crucible Headmaster is still in conversation with his droid to make improvements on his station. Hunter thinks it over. Maybe the place does need renovations. He isn’t around enough to notice.

An alert flashes over Hunter’s internal visor. Being cloaked for such a long period of time has drained his energy significantly. He has to return to his Quarters soon to recharge. Then, his attention switches to the Mentors as they seem to be in the middle of a disagreement. Make it quick.

As Hunter gets a better view of the three Mentors, his own Mentor, Cayde-6 seems to press an issue the other two clearly want to drop.

“If we don’t tell the citizens what’s going on and they find out on their own…where does that leave us?” Cayde-6 asks.

The Titans’ Mentor, Commander Zavala, speaks up, “Our responsibility is to keep the citizens safe, not raise panic and confusion.”

“Even if they knew, Cayde, how would it help?” Ikora Rey, Mentor of the Warlocks, asks. “We’re trying to keep the sale of weapons out of the inner city. We would be fighting a rise in crime along with a threat on our borders.”

“At least let all of the Guardians know! We’re going to need everybody we have to push Oryx back,” Cayde-6 continues.

Oryx. Hunter remembers.

“The teams we have are the best of the best. We don’t need to put more lives at stake. Besides, who would protect the city from other threats who’ll only take advantage of the situation?” Commander Zavala adds.

“Zavala, they’re not pushing him back! He’s moving forward at the same clip as a few weeks ago. We need more Guardians out there,” says Cayde-6.

“Keep your voice down,” Ikora Rey insists. “Give the Guardians more time. I fear the other factions suspect something wrong. They’ll jump all over this, calling for war…perhaps, anarchy.”

“They don’t have the numbers,” Cayde-6 fires back.

“Unless the three factions combine. New Monarchy, Dead Orbit, and Future War Cult…together, they can overthrow The Vanguard and The Speaker,” Commander Zavala says.

Hunter’s alert flashes POWER LEVEL: LOW…a little more time! He begins to back out of the room.

“What about the Iron Banner?” Cayde-6 asks. “Members from all three factions align with him. They’ll follow him.”

Ikora Rey looks to Commander Zavala. “You’re close to Lord Saladin. Where does he stand?”

Hunter can’t hear the response Zavala gives. He stumbles into a dark corner.

“Do you have any good stories to tell?” a citizen asks Hunter.

Hunter peeks at his hands to see his cloaking ability is down before looking back to the woman.

“Are you alright?” she asks.

Hunter feels weak. Oryx is coming. “I just need some rest.” Hunter quickly walks back towards Tower Watch.

People begin to become concerned as Hunter stumbles back to his Quarters. He calms their fears with brief explanations. Effects of war.

The door can’t open fast enough. The regeneration system activates as the room’s light switches from red to blue and Hunter’s body begins to recharge. He makes it over to his communication console.

Warlock appears onscreen, “Save your strength.”

“No…no. You have to talk to Lord Saladin!”

“Lord Saladin? He’s not one to be trifled with!”

“This…this is big. Important.”

“Hunter, wh…”

“Find out who’s side he’s on…hurry…”

Warlock interrupts, “The Iron Banner has no allegiance to one faction, but to all of them.”

“Whose side…?” Hunter fades out.

The signal dies.

Warlock shakes his head, “That makes no sense.” He finishes putting weapons back in The Vault. “Whose side is he on. That’s…” Warlock stops in his tracks. What if the factions go to war with each other for control of The Tower…and all of the Guardians? Champions of the Iron Banner would easily turn the tide in the favor of whoever they side with.

Warlock closes The Vault and heads to the Traveler’s Walk hoping the elusive Mentor, Lord Saladin, is still around…and willing to give him a second of his time.

Originally published at exosofdestiny.wordpress.com on August 27, 2015.