World’s strongest cat writer
- Jan 25, 2021
// I’ve been getting back into Destiny a lot recently, and I thought it’d be fun to rewrite the origin I made for my character a few years ago! If this isn’t the right place to post something like this, please let me know!
Death was a strange experience. The man felt like he’d been submerged in a murky lake; unable to see more than a few inches in any direction. The process of movement was dream-like. Attempting to lift an arm took an extraordinary amount of effort, yet didn’t seem to result in any effect. A fruitless endeavor, one to be avoided.
Time had passed. He didn’t know how much, for even the most basic counting of seconds quickly resulted in a clouded mind. Again, too much effort. It was getting harder to perform basic tasks; keeping his eyes open, or even thinking. Things he was able to do indefinitely when he first arrived here left him exhausted after naught but a few moments. All the man did now was sleep.
He felt a tug against his immobile form. The sense of floating upwards filled him, like someone had hooked his body with a fishing line. Part of him wanted to remain in the depths, too used to the fluid surrounding him at all times. It had become like an all-encompassing liquid blanket, keeping the man in a perpetual state of groggy half-sleep. Still, he supposed it was time for a change.
Green eyes flitted open without resistance. It was a sensation which now felt alien, a symptom of too much time spent among the murk. As pupils spent time contracting and adjusting to their new surroundings, everything slowly came into focus. All was still, except for a figure at the center of his vision. A stark white shell, with a sky-blue light emanating from its center. It was dancing around him, periodically scanning parts of his body. When the creature noticed the man’s eyes following it’s movements, it quickly floated forwards.
It seemed the odd orb could speak, vocalizing in a strange and synthetic tone. Tentatively the man moved his lips, Finding them as easy to maneuver as his eyes. Perhaps he could speak as well? “Hello?”
“I said shush!”
The creature was angry with him. Well, perhaps more nervous than angry. What was there to be nervous about? The man took in his surroundings, trying his best to ignore the irritable orb constantly impeding his vision. The man seemed to be in a dilapidated room of some kind. Beds lined one corner, with lockers opposite them. Eyes were drawn to a hole in the far wall. Beyond the breach was a grey horizon complimented with a black sky. Nestled among the twinkling white dots in the infinite black was a pale blue orb, breathtaking in it’s elegance.
Slowly the man turned back to the creature, careful to keep his voice low. “Where am I? What are you?” The synthetic being dropped slightly, a sign that was strangely recognizable as disappointment. “Listen, we can walk and talk. But the long and short of it is that you’re on the moon. Which, might I add, is probably the most dangerous place in the system right now. So, thanks for that. I’m a Ghost, the creature that just brought you back to life. You’re welcome, by the way.”
Before the man could do so much as ask a follow up question, the skittish creature he now knew as Ghost had whisked away and was busy scanning the room. “There’s some armor and a weapon in this locker” it called. “Come put it on. You can ask questions once we cover some ground.”
The pair had been walking in silence for some time. It seemed the building he’d been resurrected in was part of a vast lunar colony. All the structures seemed to be in as bad or worse condition than the man’s origin point. Ghost insisted on staying in cover, moving quickly from building to building rather than walking along the seemingly abandoned plains and valleys. The man couldn’t figure out why, but any attempts at ascertaining an answer were met with deflection.
Eventually the duo came to a library. The signs of a battle were apparent. overturned tables littered with a litany of scorch marks along with scattered, rusted weapons filled the room. The man tried to ignore skeletal remains that couldn’t help but crunch underfoot.
Some had four arms.
eager to distract himself with a lighter subject than what surrounded them, the man spoke while surveying the titles of surviving books. “So, Ghost? That’s a weird name, isn’t it?” The floating creature clearly wasn’t impressed with his smalltalk, shooting back in a dismissive tone, “It’s not my name, It’s what I am. Your name isn’t Human, is it?”
In truth, the man was only half paying attention to the conversation he’d started, having become more curious about the books sitting along rotting shelves. ““Nature of the Traveler” “Fallen houses and their hierarchies, an analysis.” “Vex interactions with quantum mechanics and causality.”” It seemed he had some required reading. While piling anything that sounded important into a nearby bag, the man responded. “So you don’t have a name? That’s even weirder.” The Ghost, busy with calculating possible routes to continue along, snapped back. “Right now, neither do you. I wouldn’t judge.”
The man hadn’t thought of it until now, too distracted with hiding from some unknown and unseen threat, but the Ghost was right. Pausing, he sat down and put a hand on his head, trying to focus. yet, nothing came. No memories of childhood, not even an inkling of how he came to be on the moon.
“Why don’t I know my name?”
It was a strange yet undeniably human thing to focus on. A name meant individuality, personhood, identity. A name was the first thing someone thought of when they saw your face. He sounded slightly panicked, something the Ghost picked up on. Floating over, it took on a more reassuring tone. “Calm down, it’s a side effect of resurrection. Memory loss, unfortunately permanent. You can pick a new name if you want to.”
Taking a deep breath, the man lifted his head. If his identity was lost, the only thing to do was create a new one. Squinting at the floating creature before him, he spoke. “Do you want a name too?” The ghost raised slightly, singular eye widening. “That sounds nice. I’ve never had a name before, what’s a good one?” The man thought for a moment, before leaving to grab a book he’d seen earlier. It had stood out among the reports and research, a stark white cover with an intricate sword taking up the center. Returning, he flipped through it until he found the legend. “We’ll pick the first ones that catch our eye. Sound good?” The ghost nodded in response.
The duo closed their eyes and eye, respectively. the man turned the page, opening them and focusing in on what he’d found with Ghost doing the same.
The newly christened Merlin got closer, eye scrutinizing the page. “Your name is missing part of it. Should you pick another?”
It was right. He had no idea how old the book was, but it had certainly seen better days. Some of the ink was missing, with pages being torn in many places. Shrugging, the man responded. “I like it.” Tossing the book in along with the others, the two began to move out.
It had been an hour since they’d picked their new names. The duo was now away from the colony and walking along a barren ridge, much to Merlin’s chagrin. Again, Didan couldn’t see why. After all, howling lunar wind was their only companion. Suddenly, it spoke. “We’re here.”
He crested the ridge, eyes suddenly overlooking a valley of carnage. Bodies were strewn everywhere. Among them shattered shells, the same stark white as Merlin, silently reflected the sun’s rays; turning the scene into something that resembled a macabre seabed. Most of the bodies were laden with scorch marks, a blast that would’ve resulted in a quick and relatively painless end. However, a few had not been so lucky. Impaled by abandoned swords, some even sliced in half and left to bleed. Eventually, Didan worked up the nerve to speak.
“What happened here?”
Merlin wasn’t eager to answer his question, floating forwards and slowly choosing words with a solemn tone. “Humanity tried to retake the moon.” it said simply. “Thousands of Guardians, cut down almost entirely. It happened a few weeks ago. There’s no title for it yet like the Battle of Six Fronts or the Battle of Burning Lake, but the news has settled on “The Great disaster.””
Seeing that Didan had been rendered speechless, he continued. “After what happened, the Vanguard declared the moon off limits. That’s why I’ve been so nervous. Technically, I shouldn’t even be here.” Merlin nodded towards a collection of silhouettes on the horizon. “The ships belonging to those who fell are still here. If we can grab one, we’ll be able to get back to the Earth where it’s safe.”
Didan stepped forwards hesitantly, raising his weapon. There was a question on his lips, but part of him knew he didn’t want the answer. Instead, all he could do was put up false bravado. “Let’s go.”
The trip through the battlefield had been mercifully uneventful, with the two trying their best not to look at the gore that lay at their feet. However, upon reaching the landing site, naught but deafening silence filled the air. “They’re all gone” Merlin breathed.
The outlines they’d spotted hadn’t been pristine jumpships. All they were now was scorched scrap metal. Some were smoking, a few even still alight, but most were just blackened husks. The pair picked their way through each possible escape ship, trying to find one in working condition. “The Hive must’ve destroyed them to celebrate their victory” The Ghost reasoned, form drooping slowly to the ground. It seemed it was Didan’s turn to be reassuring.
Hopping out of the cockpit of yet another broken ship, the human walked towards his synthetic companion. “Hey, we can still get out of here. There must be other ships somewhere, right? Maybe back at the colony?” Merlin looked up, trying to come up with a plan, when the silence of the moment was shattered by an inhuman howl. Didan looked towards a hill a few hundred meters away, spotting the source of the bone-chilling scream. It was a chitinous creature, a colored bone-like substance crisscrossing its form and creating armor.
In what felt like seconds, more appeared. They filled the horizon, a terrifying array of shapes and sizes. Some looked to be mere whelps, while others were easily double Didan’s height. The only unifying feature the species seemed to share were sets of snarling teeth.
Bolts of energy filled the air as Didan scrambled to escape, firing his weapon backwards in a fruitless attempt to ward off his attackers. The duo scrabbled through craters and over small cliffs, but still they were pursued. Eventually, the man spotted what looked to be an outpost nestled inside a canyon. However, unlike the colony he’d come from, it was clearly not built by human hands. The few buildings were ramshackle, put together using different pieces of scrap metal in various forms of rust and decay. In the center however, sat on a raised sheet of metal, was what appeared to be a ship. It was strange; with a bulbous front end and spiked rear, but it would have to do.
There were figures moving about, creatures Didan recognized as having four arms like the skeleton in the library. Suddenly, Merlin was in his ear. “That’s a Skiff on the platform. We can steal it and escape!” The howls were growing closer. Cleary, there wasn’t much time. “What about those things around it?”
“Dregs and Vandals, from the looks of it. You’ll have to shoot your way through.”
Taking a few moments to fumble with a magazine, Didan managed to reload his rifle just as the horde crested the ridge he’d slid down moments earlier. Charging into camp, the crack of bullets filled the air as the man fought past his assailants. Stopping to shoot each one took time though, and as he was climbing the stairs of the platform the Hive were all but nipping at his heels.
Diving into the ship, Merlin quickly flew towards the cockpit, trying to get the started. Momentarily distracted, Didan winced as he felt claws drag at his leg. Three small creatures, spindly and seemingly faceless, tried their hardest to pull the man out into the quickly closing crowd. Wheeling around, he let loose a spray of bullets at point-blank range.
Feeling their grip loosen, the man kicked off the corpses of his attackers before scrambling the rest of the way inside. “Take off!” He shouted, firing at others now making their way to the door.
The cacophonous sound of gunfire was mercifully overshadowed by the sudden roar of engines. Lifting off, Didan could now see the full scale of the force that had been pursuing him. It stretched out seemingly forever, a terrifying mix of red, green, and gray blotting out any detail in the lunar landscape. As the duo began to rise higher, the army of Hive let loose cries and shrieks in horrifying synchronization, like it was but a single tendril of some greater beast.
The pair were flying towards earth now, with Merlin in the process of filling Didan in on what he’d missed during his death. “Hey” He interrupted. “I never said thank you for reviving me. I’m grateful that I get to serve humanity, It’s an honor.”
“Don’t mention it” Merlin said simply. “Y’know, every Guardian has some big goal they want to accomplish. Osiris wants to understand the Darkness. Saint-14 wants to eliminate all the Fallen houses. What do you think yours will be?”
Didan leaned back in his chair, silent for a moment, before speaking. “Well, given what we’ve just gone through, I think some payback is in order.” He smiled before continuing. “Simple: eliminate the Hive.”