THIS IS PART 2 OF THE SPIDER’S WEB THE FIRST PART IS IN A DIFFERENT POST DUE TO THE CHARACTER LIMIT
When I woke up I was chained to a wall with Olivia and Rick chained on either side of me. Petra stood in front of us with two of The Spider’s men on either side of her. I saw her standing there and yelled “Petra WHAT THE HELL!” “I could ask you the same thing Jason. Spider told me that you broke into his compound, stole some of his goods, killed his men and ran.” she said. Rick responded by flipping her off and yelling “BULLSHIT! HE’S BEEN STEALING FROM US! HE’S BEEN STEALING ARTIFACTS FROM HUMANITY’S PAST FOR MONTHS! POSSIBLY YEARS! HE KILLED A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE TO GET SOME PRE-GOLDEN AGE PAINTING!” “Likely story. Where’s your proof Rick?” she said. “Check our helmet cams. They record 24/7 that should be all the proof you need.” I said. “Fine. Guards, bring me their helmets.” she said. The guards left and came back with all three of our helmets. “Where does this begin?” she asked. “Start with my helmet. 4 days ago at 1950.” I said. She played the recording. The whole thing. She skipped past the parts where we were waiting for Howe to arrive. When the recording finished she stood up. “Alright, I need to have a word with The Spider. Guards, release them.” The guards stayed in their spots. “Guards, I gave you an order, release them. Now”. They attacked her simultaneously. They both went in for a stab with their spears but she jumped out of the way, pulled out her sidearm and plugged each of them twice in the head. “Yeah we DEFINITELY need to talk.”
After she untied us she gave us our guns and armor back. We started coming out of the dungeon when an alarm went off and guards flooded into the room. By this point the three of us had been haggled by The Spider’s men for 3 days without a break and we were WAY beyond playing nice. I whipped out my Maul and Olivia shot it with some lightning so that it crackled with fire and lightning. (A neat trick we learned on Europa, maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime [wink]). Nothing survived. Even their weapons and armor disintegrated. The air still burned with the smell of burning flesh. Petra looked at the now empty hallway and pinched her nose at the smell. “Jesus… was that really necessary?” The three of us gave her the evil eye. “We’ve been haggled by these motherfuckers for 3 days straight without a break and you think THAT was over the top?” Rick said. “Fair enough”. We kept moving up the stairs and eventually we reached the main entrance way. “Wait. Let’s try to grab some of the artifacts The Spider stole so we have proof for The Vanguard outside of our helmet cams.” Olivia said. “Good idea. Rick find us a ship, and make sure it’s spaceworthy this time.” I said. “One mishap on Europa and you’ll never let me hear the end of it? Screw you Jason.” “Just get a ship dick”.
We went back inside, shot a couple more guards and eventually we got into The Spider’s chambers. They were empty. I went over to the wall and pushed the button I saw The Spider push. His throne retracted to reveal the passageway to reveal… a wall. “What? You said it was here.” Petra said confused. “I swear I saw it.” I said. “Wait remember he was humming Mo Li Hua while walking down the staircase?” Olivia said. “Yeah your right. I guess we need to sing Mo Li Hua as an extra security measure.” I said. “It’s probably keyed to The Spider’s voice too. Hold on”. She pushed a couple of buttons on her wrist and I heard The Spider’s voice humming Mo Li Hua. The wall retracted to reveal the staircase. “I played the audiofile from our helmet cams so we should be fine.” She said.
As we reached the room where The Spider kept his treasures we heard voices. One voice was The Spider’s the other was the voice of Ikora Rey. “SPIDER! CALM DOWN! Let me talk to the guardians in question.” Ikora said. It was as she said this that The Spider saw us. “THEY’RE ALREADY HERE! THEY’RE GOING TO KILL ME!” He screamed. “As much as I’d like to do that I’m not. Ikora The Spider is lying. He’s been stealing artifacts from humanity’s past for months, possibly years.” I said. “Prove it”. Ikora said. “We have helmet cam footage and The Spider is literally sitting IN THE VAULT where he keeps said artifacts.” I said. “I can’t see it, and The Spider has been telling me that you have been attacking his men.” “OH PLEASE! THEY SHOT FIRST!” Olivia yelled. “Fine. Bring me one of said artifacts and your cam footage to me.” I pulled out my Crimson and leveled it with The Spider’s chest. “Olivia, grab the painting he took from Howe. Petra, go ahead of us and clear the way.” I said. Petra ran to clear the way while Olivia inched toward the painting keeping her pulse rifle trained on The Spider. When she got to the painting she holstered her weapon and picked up the painting. “Careful. That’s thousands of years old. One wrong move will reduce it to shreds.” The Spider said. “YOU SHUT UP BEFORE I PLANT MY FOOT SO FAR UP YOUR ASS YOU’LL TASTE MY SHOE FOR A WEEK!” I yelled. “Your beginning to sound like Rick.” Olivia said. I gave her the evil eye and started backing up with her following me. I kept my cannon trained on The Spider as I walked up the stairs until he was out of sight. Then Olivia and I started running with the painting out of The Spider’s compound following Petra.
When we got outside Rick was waiting for us with 4 of Petra’s Corsairs. He saw us and started yelling. “COME ON COME ON! MOVE IT OR LOSE IT ASSHOLES!” “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE’RE DOING DIPSHIT?!” I yelled back. When we got to Rick he lead us to Petra’s ship where more of her Corsairs were waiting. By the time we had gotten on the ship The Spider’s men had realized what was happening and were beginning to scramble some aircraft. Skiff’s rose toward our ship as we flew away from the shore. Petra yelled toward the cockpit at the pilot. “JUMP TO SLIPSPACE!” (Author’s note:I don’t know if it’s actually called slipspace in Destiny. It’s never clearly stated. What Petra is referring to is the loading screen animation that plays when going from one planet to another in the game). The ship lurched and the stars turned into blurred lines as we launched into slipspace.
It wasn’t until then that I realized I had been holding my breath. As I exhaled Olivia brought her ghost to scan the painting. Her Ghost finished it’s scan and identified it. “The Starry Night. Painted by Vincent Van Gogh in June of 1889. 161 years before the Golden Age. This painting is in a surprisingly good condition considering how old it is. My best guess is anywhere between 1000 to 3000 years old. Cryptarchy records indicate that this was one of the most famous pieces of art in Pre-Golden Age culture. It’s fame even lasted into the Golden Age itself.” “Wow.” Olivia said. “We better hurry to the tower so we can store it safely”. I said. The rest of the ride went rather smoothly. Olivia called the Tower ahead and requested that a preservation team be ready upon our arrival.
When we got to the Tower the team was waiting for us at the landing pad along with Commander Zavala, Ikora Rey, Master Rahool, and a guardian who I didn’t recognize. Then I saw the weapon strapped to their thigh. They were the guardian who avenged Cayde and stole Cayde’s Lucky Ace back from Uldren. As Rick, Olivia, and I came down the landing ramp Zavala stepped forward. “Guardians, I need your helmet cam footage immediately for analyzation.” Olivia stepped forward holding a flash drive. “Way ahead of you. I downloaded all the relevant footage and skipped past the parts that were irrelevant. I put it on this drive for you.” “Thank you”. Zavala took the drive out of her hands and walked off with Master Rahool and the anonymous guardian following. (I DON’T REMEMBER THEIR NAME! I’M GONNA REMEMBER IT AT THE WORST TIME AND WHEN I DO I’M GONNA BE SO MAD!). Ikora stayed behind to talk with the three of us. She sat down with us on some crates and told us to tell her everything. When we finished talking Ikora had a couple of questions of her own. When we answered she said one other thing. “Thank you for bringing us to our attention. We will notify you of our decision on what to do when we reach one. For now, get cleaned up, Cayde’s funeral is in an hour. I expect all three of you to be there.” She hopped off the the crate she was sitting on and walked out of the hangar. Rick was the first one to break the silence. “Cayde’s funeral? This must have been announced while we were gone.” “Yeah I guess so. Welp, I’m gonna go take a shower I’ll see you guys in an hour.” Olivia said. “Yeah I’m gonna go do the same see you guys later.” I said.
ONE HOUR LATER…
The funeral took place at the Vanguard cemetery at the base of the Tower. Rick and I wore black suits while Olivia wore a black dress. The guardian from earlier (NAME DAMMIT!) asked me to help carry Cayde’s casket and I accepted. As we came out with the casket I saw the entire Tower and more gathered for the funeral. As we walked toward the hole in the ground that was to serve as Cayde’s grave I heard a chorus start to sing. A ghostly tune that brought tears to the eyes of many in the crowd. We stopped at the foot of the grave while a pastor came out and said a couple of prayers for Cayde. Then we lowered him into the hole and started piling dirt on top. There were four of us carrying the casket, me and one other guy named Jerek-7 were Titans. Zavala directed the two of us to a marble statue of Cayde. He told us to pick it up and place it over the grave. As we lowered it on top of the freshly disturbed earth the chorus stopped and the guardian who avenged him walked in front of platform and said a few words. (Even after hearing them speak I STILL can’t place the name).
“I’ve known Cayde since I was resurrected. He was the first person I met upon my arrival to the Tower. He was a fun guy to have around. No matter how dire the situation seemed he always had a quip or some crappy one-liner to lighten the mood. Even during The Red War, when our light was gone and our powers stripped, he still stuck to his jokes. I’ll never forget the day he died. I watched it happen. Uldren picked up his Lucky Ace, and said one thing to him. Any last words? And Cayde, even with a gun to his face stuck to his smartass nature, looked Uldren in the eye and sneered at Uldren “How’s your sister?” I laughed for a brief instance. And when the gun fired and Cayde dropped, I stopped and was immediately overcome by rage. Uldren paid for his actions later, and suffered dearly. Now that Cayde is dead, the Tower will never be the same again.” The guardian turned around facing the statue and pulled out Cayde’s Lucky Ace, aimed straight up, and fired off 6 rounds into the air. The echo’s from the shots reverberated for 2 whole minutes. The guardian holstered the weapon and returned to his seat. Ikora and Zavala gave eulogies as well. Followed by Amanda Holliday, Master Rahool, Lord Shaxx, Lord Saladin, Hawthorne, Executor Hideo, Lakshmi-2, Arach Jalaal, Petra Venj and (surprisingly enough) The Drifter. Zavala had asked me Rick and Olivia if we wanted to say anything. Rick and Olivia both said they had nothing left to say. I did. As I stepped in front of the statue and turned around to face the people before me I choked a little.
“I only met Cayde a couple of times. Once when I was resurrected, once after The Red War, and once after he had finished in the bathroom and I was waiting for him to get out.” That last one earned a couple of low chuckles from people in the crowd. “Everytime he made me laugh. I used to be part of the Order of the Sunbreakers before Ghaul. I left the tower in favor of the life of a mercenary. When The Red War ended and the dust cleared I returned to the City as the last living original member of The Order. Cayde was the first person I met who didn’t shun me for leaving the City. He told me that every guardian has to have an identity crisis at some point because we pretty much live forever. He told me he had his own fair share. One being when Taniks The Scarred murdered the Hunter Vanguard before him Andal Brask. We had a couple drinks together and played some poker. I beat him every round we played despite never having played poker in my life before. Everytime he stayed calm and collected instead of getting mad over losing 25k over 10 rounds of poker. Cayde was one of the best men I had ever met in my life as a guardian. And even though we didn’t spend much time together I always considered him a friend. Now, I just carried the casket with him inside of it, and I feel like the world is about to collapse in on me, even though I barely knew him. One thing that I learned during my time with The Order is that even though it is thought that the people who fight a war, win, and come back alive are the heroes. They aren’t, the ones who don’t come back are the real heroes.” As I finished speaking my eyes were watering. I turned towards the statue and pulled out a deck of poker cards out of my pocket. The exact same set he and I played with that one night, and place the pack in front of his right foot. “Per Audacia Ad Astra, old friend”. (I’ll see you starside). I turned around and sat back down. After the service everyone piled into the Tower for the reception. We sat around and talked while eating dinner. (It felt SO good to finally eat something after almost a week of running powered by nothing but a couple of ration bars).
The one guardian (NAME! [INTERNAL SCREAMING]) came up to me while I was talking with Arach Jalaal about Howe and asked me if I could talk. “You can give a damn great speech about somebody who you barely knew”. They said. “Yeah, I had to do it alot in The Order. If a Sunbreaker fell in the field I was the guy who had to write obituaries for them.” I said. “I could talk about the speech more and ask you about Cayde, but really I’m here about what you did on the Tangled Shore.” “What about it?” “About a half hour after you arrived at the tower The Spider sent me a message declaring that any Earth or Awoken ships that come near the Shore would be immediately blown out of the sky.” “Guess he’s not to happy about what we did.” “Yeah you could say that. Point is, we are past the point of negotiation with him, and he still has thousands of years worth of our history in that damned vault of his. So The Vanguard wanted me to ask you if you would like to lead a Raid operation on The Spider’s Compound. Codenamed:Kennedy. You up for it?” I was completely unprepared for that, but I said the answer before I could think it over. “Yes. I’ll do it.” I said. “Had a feeling you’d say yes. Zavala would like to speak with you at 0930 tomorrow. For now, get some rest. You look like you REALLY need it.” “Yeah you’re probably right. Tell Zavala I’ll see him then”.
0930 THE NEXT DAY…
I walked into the war room with Olivia and Rick behind me. The Table in the war room was the only thing we salvaged from the old tower. It was the same table that before Ghaul all three Vanguard members stood around to discuss the state of the city and external threats. The three of us walked in and sat down opposite from Zavala and Ikora. Also present were Executor Hideo, Lakshmi-2, Arach Jalaal, and Hawthorne. The three of us took our seats and the meeting began. Zavala spoke first. “Jason Kretz, Olivia Riceson, Rick Charleson. You three have volunteered to lead Operation Kennedy in The Tangled Shore inside of The Spider’s Compound. Standard Raid operations are normally conducted with six guardians instead of three. Do you have any other guardians in mind for this operation?” Olivia answered for me. “No. we are still currently looking for guardians to come with us.” Rick spoke next. “I got two people currently who want in. I personally don’t think they should come. Their ghosts resurrected them 5 weeks ago and their still pretty fresh.” I spoke last. “I wanted to ask the guardian who killed Uldren if he could come with. Other than that I got nobody.” “That guardian is already running an operation in The Dreaming City to kill a creature at the heart of the city. Said operation is being overseen by Petra Venj.” Ikora said. “Ah ok. Do you guys have any suggestions?” I said.
Lakshmi-2 answered. “We do. We have a list of 12 potential guardians. All are worthy combatants who would serve you well for the Operation. The list was sent to your quarters 5 minutes ago”. Arach Jalaal was the next one to speak. “We only wish to know one thing. Who is the leader of this operation?” That caught all three of us off guard. We had thought so much about how we were gonna do this and not about who was going to lead it. “Give us a second to discuss it.” Olivia said. The three of us turned away from the others to talk amongst ourselves. “Why are we discussing this?” Rick said. “Because we haven’t decided on who leads.” I said. “I mean why are we discussing it when it’s obvious who should lead? Jason you’ve been leading this whole thing all the way. Hell Olivia and I wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far as we are now without you. You should be leader downright.” “I agree with this.” Olivia said. “Alright fine”. We turned back around. “I will lead Operation Kennedy.” I said. “Very well, we wish you luck guardians.” Jalaal said. “This meeting has been adjourned for now, return when you have picked your other three guardians.” Zavala said.
Okay. I’m going to skip past the selection process because it isn’t THAT relevant to the rest of the story.
THE TANGLED SHORE THREE DAYS LATER…
The six of us sat on the carrier in silence. The plan was to use a captured skiff to slip by The Spider’s defenses undetected. All six of us would be carrying holoprojectors that would make us look like Fallen. Specifically The Spider’s men. Each of us also had a transmat beacon that, when all six linked up, would transmat everything inside their range to a Ketch belonging to a Fallen captain named Miserax The Forsaken. Miserax was found by an unnamed guardian on Titan. The guardian saved Miserax’s life and Miserax pledged his allegiance to the city in return. Miserax’s Ketch would be waiting out of range of The Spider’s sensor field where it would wait to receive our transmat. Once the transmat was received we would have to fight our way out of the compound back to the skiff. If worse comes to worse Miserax can always swing in with his men to rescue us.
As we came closer to the shore we activated our holoprojectors. The skiff touched down and we dropped to the surface looking like The Spider’s men. We walked into the compound undisturbed. “Odd. I thought there would be more guards here.” said Jamie. (Jamie was one of the other guardians we picked [the other two were Janer-9 and Kyra Vonteri]). Kyra spoke next. “This has to be a trap.” We walked towards The Spider’s chambers and went inside to find… absolutely nobody was there. AND the door to the secret vault was open. “Hold up. What the fuck is this shit?!” said Janer. We walked into the vault and saw a holo recording of The Spider.
“My good friends. I have come to realize that an altercation between us will result in only bloodshed. That’s what you guardians do right? Kill kill kill. As a token of my good will I have left all the artifacts I have accumulated in this vault along with full records from the studies done on them from my analysis teams. In the meantime I have moved my hideout. Please, if you manage to find it, don’t attack us please. I have already ordered off the attacks on guardian and Awoken ships. Don’t make me regret it.” The recording ended. We stood in silence for about 5 minutes. Kyra was the first one to break the silence. “Well that was anticlimactic as fuck”. “You could say that again”. Janer said. “Well that was anticlimactic as fuck”. She said. All five of us turned to look at Kyra. the shit-eating grin on her face couldn’t have been wider. “Fuck you. Put the transmat beacons down.” I said.
Once the artifacts had been transmatted we went back outside and left. The ride back to Miserax’s Ketch was uneventful and same with the ride home. Zavala, Ikora, the one guardian, Master Rahool, and Amanda Holliday met us on the landing platform. Zavala spoke first. “So, tell me how it went.” The six of us told him everything, and we could tell he was a bit disturbed. “He just… left? Gone? And he left his treasures?” “This is very disturbing, Fallen don’t normally give up loot that easily.” Ikora said. The anonymous guardian (INTERNAL SCREAMING) spoke next. “I wouldn’t think much of it. I’ve spent some amount of time with The Spider and if I had to describe him in one word it’d be… unpredictable. He’s not like other Fallen, he may genuinely trying to be nice.” Holliday spoke last. “I’m not so sure. I mean, look at all this (she gestured to the artifacts being offloaded by Miserax’s men and hangar staff) he’s got to be downright stupid to give it up.” As she finished talking one of Miserax’s men walked over holding a small note. He walked up to me and started talking.
“Jeesun Kreetz, (Heavy accent) There vass a note attached to thee peentaing of Muna Leesa. It iss addressed specifically to you and Oleevea Reyesun.” “What’s it say?” Olivia asked. “Jeesun Kreetz and Oleevea Reyesun. My peeple losst their heestory in Whirlwind (He snarled at “Whirlwind”) You luckeely deed not. Keep eet safe. Seyened Thee Speyeder”. (TRANSLATION:Jason Kretz and Olivia Riceson. My people lost their history in Whirlwind, You luckily did not. Keep it safe. Signed, The Spider). “He really is unpredictable.” I said looking at the anonymous guardian. “Yep. Well gentlemen it’s been fun, but I need to get ready for Operation:Wishender in The Dreaming City so I’ll catch you all later.” the guardian said. “See you man.” I said as he walked off.
“Jason, there is one other thing Ikora and I wish to discuss with you.” “Yeah, what is it?” “We realize that the two of us may not have been the most… welcoming upon your return to the city after The Red War. Your eulogie for Cayde helped us realize that.” Ikora finished his thought. “We just wanted to apologize for any issues we may have had. With a promotion.” I stuttered at that last part. “W-what?” “A promotion. Now that The Spider is gone we would like you to be The Vanguard’s eyes and ears in The Tangled Shore. If you say yes the job is yours, if you don’t want it we can always find someone else.” She said. “Ok. give me a minute to think this over.” I went over to a random crate and started thinking, I’ve always wanted to be recognized for my achievements, but to leave the Tower? That was different. I walked back over to Ikora and Zavala. “I am humbled by the offer, but no. I’m happy where I am.” I said. Rick jumped in front of me when I said that and said “I’ll take it.” “Really Rick?” “What you don’t want it.” “Fine let him have it”. I said. Zavala and Ikora just looked at each other confused. They looked back at Rick. “Very well. Congratulation Rick, you are The Vanguard’s sentry to The Tangled Shore.” Zavala said.
TWO WEEKS LATER…
I saw my target from the other side of the room. “Come on man take the shot”. Rick said. I let the knife fly from my hand, it hit the bullseye of the dartboard dead center. The bar erupted into cheering and the newly resurrected guardian who was stupid enough to bet against me handed me my money. “Don’t make bets you can’t win newbie.” I said to him. “Hey Fuck you man.” He paid his tab and stormed out of the bar while the rest of us were calling after him. (HA! YOU THOUGHT I WAS ASSASSINATING SOMEONE! GOTCHA BITCH!). Rick checked his watch and stood up. “Well I gotta get going. The Shore calls and all that crap”.“See you around man”. Olivia said. As he walked out Olivia said that we should probably get going to.
As we were walking home I saw four kids beating up another kid. “HEY FUCKFACES! OVER HEAR DIPSHITS!” I yelled. All four of them turned to look at me. “What do you want?!” yelled the biggest one as he came up to me. He spat in my face and flipped the bird at me. I wiped the spit off and said “Boy you better take that shit the fuck back before I put my foot so far up your ass I walk around with you on my kneecaps”. “Make me pussyface” I raised my fist and brought it down on his head. He collapsed. The other three ran off instantly screaming. Olivia went to check on the kid who was being beat up. We walked the kid home and I took home the unconscious kid. I told his parents what he did and they said they would deal with him. When Olivia and I got to our apartments she asked me if I had some time to talk. I stayed at her apartments for awhile and we talked. She asked me to stay afterwards (you can guess what happened next and unlike Shaxx the helmet came off). The next few months went mostly undisturbed for the three of us.
You just read 9114 words of information. How do you feel?
So… that’s the end of it. There was so much I could have done with this story. My original idea for the ending was that when the heroes get to The Dreaming City they walk in on the raid on Riven. It seemed a bit too cheesy so I went with Petra fucking them over. I had this idea in my head for forever about guardians dealing with The Spider and him stealing our history. By the way that IS based off of lore in the game. If you have read the lore tabs for any of the Scatterhorn armor pieces you would know this. I don’t know if I want to write a sequel to this, I really just wrote this because I needed something to do. Would love to hear your thoughts on it now that it’s done.
Per Audacia Ad Astra
(It’s 9275 words now)