The Hammer, by Skillns

Black. All I see is black, with spots of white-sizzling energy feeding this globe of
non-euclidian circular geometry. Up is down, down is behind me. I swim in the sea
of not knowing what comes next; not knowing what my Fireteam is doing outside. The
dark speaks, it tells me they’ve moved on. It tells me they failed, as so will I.
Time in this place is a foregin concept. I know not to listen to the voice of a dead
Sword-God. I know, yet I still feel its sway wash me with uncertainty. I fuel it now,
my light slowly swallowed by a void. It feeds, it laughs, it enjoys its victory.

I close my eyes, and I accept that I have failed. I accept my shortcomings.

Something forces my eyes open. There is an orange light in the far end
of my vision, like that of a fire. It is of nothing to me, and thus I am of nothing.
I close my eyes again, and try to sleep. I do not wish to suffer this failure much longer.

I close my eyes, but I cannot rest. The sound of metal striking metal is deafening.
My eyes open like heavy blastdoors, the feeling of sleep paralysis fighting me back
to rest. But the light. The fire-light, it is now before me.
I stand, instead of float. The true nature of that glimpse is revealed to me. It
is a forge, a crucible of stone and steel, scarred by years of repeated turmoil
and stress. Before it stands a lone anvil, weathered
from years of that same treatment, of blow after blow. And by it stands a solitary figure.

He holds a hammer. His skin is blistered, burnt like only a smiths could be after
decades of work, sooth and blackened. He wears a mane of silver hair and beard, showing
his experience and age in equal balance. He is strong, drops of sweat running down skin.
No young’un, full of pride and confidence could beat him in either crafting nor strength.
Hard work is in his bones, but I cannot see his face. It is shrouded in black. A swiring black,
like that of the Taken. And like them, I do not fear. Is it over-confidence or familarity in
a foe I know how to fight?

He points downward.

There is a blade on the anvil.
The blade is unfinished. It is raw, brittle, molecules of mass and iron casting eachother into
entrophic crash, every second energy is wasted into the cold uselessness of space.
He grips it, striking it with his hammer. The blow resonates with something deep in me.
It is painful, my hands grasping at my heart. Like it has been used as for skin on a drum.
Reverberating, pulsing, pumping.
He strikes again.
The pain intensifies. And again. And again. Every strike shows me a vision; of every time
I’ve failed, of every time I’ve won. I do not understand why this is happening. Why these
old memories in a place without time and consequence hold any merit, any significance?
The smith hammers away. The pain and the memories become overwhelming.
The Vault. Oryx.
The Reef. A worm.
Home. The Traveler.
The Revival. SIVA.S
My Ghost. My friends.

I wake. How long has passed? Time here is equally non- and linear.
The smith is gone, but his forge and anvil remains. I now stand in his place.
Confusion grips me.

Take it.
The voice is familiar. It sounds like me, like the voice of my own thoughts.
The smiths hammer floats before me.
Take the hammer.
I do as told. Or do I? Do I have a choice? Do I wish to do as told? Or is it just a must?
The hammer feels weightless, yet empowering. Like I could hold
the weight of the First City on my shoulders alone with it on my hip- no. On my back.
On my back it must be held. On my back it must be holstered. It is too large for my waist-
No. It is only a small hammer. Like that of a smith. Or is it? Do I know? Can I project such
simple geometry onto something non-euclidian? Something of pure energy yet mass? Is it in my
place to question the way of this thing, in my hand? Yes, no? Do I have a free mind still?
Is this how I am broken? And if it is; why does it feel so familiar? Like I am holding Solbreaker?
The blade manifests in a storm of cinders on the anvil before me.

Strike it.
I do as told, finally. I lift it to the heavens, crashing down upon it. It changes before
me, more refined than a second ago. I feel it. I feel the strike, I feel the refining.
I realize.

The sword is me. The sword is me, it must be me. Untempered. Unfinished. Not complete, not yet.
Through difficulty I am tempered, I am strenghtened. I become stronger with every skirmish,
with every foe that lays before me.
It is my destiny.

I inspect the hammer in my hand. It burns with the intensity of the Forge, yet I am not
burned. It is a warm breeze over my hand. It is comfortable, like home. Home.
The Hammer is every challenge I’ve faced. With it, I regain my memories. Who I am. What I
have done. With every strike I challenge myself, to become something more worthwhile than
what previous life I have ever lived.

I look backwards, to the kiln.

The Forge. The Forge is my light, its incandescent glow brighter than any sun. It is the
spark that purifies, that tempers those worthy and burns away any fault, any failure.
In its glow, I feel whole. I feel safe. It beckons me. I need it, and it needs me.
It begs me.

Strike the sword.

I cannot help but do. I strike the sword. The rattling, the reverberating echo of molecules
flying towards eachother as the hot-stable condition of the blade is disturbed. I feel it.
It is empowering, reinvigorating. I try to strike it again, but the hammer in my hand is heavier.
I look upon it again. It is no longer the small thing a child could wield.
The head has become wider, the back in a sharp edge, and the strike-side wider. The grip is more
akin to an battle-axe, like back in the Plaguelands. But it’s mine. Not a forlorn and loaned
relic by old wolves.

I adjust, and strike again.
The hammer grows again. It is beautiful, longer than myself standing upright. I can no longer
hold the blade. I cannot set aside the hammer. It is part of me. I mustn’t.

Strike it again.
The voice looms all around me. But I cannot.
The smith without face appears again. He grabs the unfinished blade. Eyes to eyes would meet
if there were any. His clear, black face with a gray mane of hair. In the blackness, I see
events; visions; happenings. It is me, surrounded by friends, family. Those I hold dearest
to my heart. The final realization hits me; the Smith is our unity. Every Guardian that has
come before me, every Guardian I fight with, and whomever shall take my place when the bell
finally tolls.
Through him, I become stronger. Through him, and all those around me, I can strike.

The hammer strikes the final time.

I awaken. It was a dream- no. A vision. I no longer feel the melancholy of the Taken, their
blades and daggers invading my will and self. No, where there was dark, the is now fire. It
engulfs me. It is the blessing, the prayer I had not prayed yet. Besides my floating form hangs
the hammer. It is no longer suitable for a single hand. It must be wielded by all of me.

I grab it. And with it, I shall strike deaths fear into even the Vex, the Fallen, the Taken.
I shall teach them all a new meaning of fright and fire.

I swing, and I see the dark globe holding me prisoner dissipate like snow under summer sun.
I swear by the Traveler, when I get out of this prison. Be it moments, months or more.

Something will be reduced to a pulp under my Soltamer, Solbreaker Reforged! To break the inferno
is easy! But to tame it, you must become it! And with the rage of a million suns

If you read this far, thank you! This is a thought I’ve had long before the Code of the Devastator was released. Not every Guardian finds new ways in the light like our Guardian in the games, who is the “Chosen One”. Some find it in darker, more unforgiving place. But that is what makes us Guardians. I’d also thank you for reading my story! I, believe it or not, spent a decent amount of time getting this right, and I’m sure I could spend hundreds of hours making it even longer and “more perfect” but at a certain point one has to call it quits, for ones own sake. If this is liked, I have another story in the work that is not as esoteric, and revolves around a sore point for many of us still, including me: Cayde.

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