WTF is up with the Vex?

According to one of the various armor pieces from Curse of Osiris, a Disciple of Osiris tells about how:

If the Vex truly could time travel, surely none of us would exist.

Which is a completely reasonable idea - if you could travel through time, and your objective was to fully mechanize reality, turn every spec of matter into a radiolarian solid, and create detailed logs of every creature you come across in the meantime before you kill them, why don’t the Vex go back in time and do that earlier before the Traveler intervenes?

So, if our Guardians exist [Citation needed] and the Vex haven’t killed us all [Citation needed], then the Vex must not be able to travel through time, right?

Yet, in other areas - Vault of Glass, throughout the Osiris campaign (First mission, we see Descendant Vex, yet we can also see Vex from the future throughout the campaign as well (ignoring the simulations in the Infinite Forest because anything can happen in those.)) In the Eater of Worlds Raid Lair, we also see Precursor Vex.

So think about that for a moment. Of course, this will be difficult to explain because (you know, it’s the Vex) and we’re messing with both real-time timelines and Vex-network timelines. Do remember that time works differently within the Vex network, as it only took us a few minutes to free Failsafe in the Adventure ‘Hack the Planet,’ and yet she says she spent the last decade talking to a fellow prisoner.

Again, think about this. Eater of Worlds came out in Warmind, right? And it features Vex from the future. Yet, earlier, in Curse of Osiris, we see Descendant Vex appear on Mercury. Doing some non-existant math, I calculate that the time between CoO and the EoW would be (A LOT of minutes) That big number of minutes, multiply by ten years, equals a long-ass time for the Vex to travel through.

So, to simplify this - a long time ago (for the Vex) we see Vex from the future, yet in the (semi)present, we see Vex from the past. And yet the Vex can’t time travel? Nani?

We don’t even have to do math though! In the Vault of Glass, we see both Precursor and Descendant and present-day Vex occupy the same room (Atheon’s room.)

Another example of time travel is seen when there are hostiles left in the environment when an encounter is completed. At this time, Vex seem to take their defensive/crouched stance (lowered chassis, and bowed head) as they fizzle from the local time stream. This is indeed time travel because we do not see the Vex reappear in another room with the same amount of damage taken as they did previously (however, it is completely possible that it is teleportation, and they have been repaired, but those repairs would take a long time and require time travel because, you know, their head is shot off, and there’s a bullet of .44 Magnum in their chassis.)

So here’s the paradox - can the Vex time travel, or not? If they can, we’d all be dead. If they can’t, it raises more questions.

Where do the Vex come from? By that I mean - We can shoot a Vex, it dies, yet we’ve collectively killed billions of Vex, and will probably slay trillions more! Saint-14 alone killed, quote -

“I’ve killed enough Vex to end a war.” - Lore tab, Perfect Paradox.

And yes, he was in the Infinite Forest, so Vex can just spawn out of thin air (or code.)

But still, we’ve killed a lot of Vex, and yet they keep coming. So if they’re not time travelling - going back in time just before death to duplicate their presence in any given moment and prolong their life - then where are they coming from.

The farthest I could trace it back was to an unknown length of time ago - where Oryx, the Taken King, desired more power, and (somehow?) opened a rift in reality that let the Vex through. (What?) The Vex were confused by the Hive environment, and began to study it, not understanding what they were looking at. They manifested a Vex Mind - Quria, Blade Transform, and began studying it. At some point, a war broke out, and for hundreds of local years, the Hive and Vex were at equals - the Vex were overcome when they entered the Sword World, and the Hive lost too much power when they left it.

So that’s where they originally came from - a portal opened by Oryx? Now, obviously that portal is closed - its been a really long time since then - probably millennia. So whatever lies beyond that portal must be where the Vex got their origins.

Another question that branches off from the “can the Vex time travel” question is this: If they can’t time travel, then how are they spawning into combat zones. Its a really small question, really, but it puzzles me the most.

From what I can observe, Vex have two types of super-physical travel (I’m avoiding the term ‘metaphysical’ because that defines something that doesn’t exist. Vex sure as hell exist [Citation needed]) The first is easy enough to see - Goblins do it a lot. The first type is a short-range teleportation or warp - kinda looks like a wormhole, except it isn’t. Saving the boring science, but wormholes can teleport you through space and time, yes, but the only way to do so is if you manually opened up both sides of the wormhole - one for the location and date if your destination, and one for your point of departure. Now, maybe the Vex do use wormholes, but that would require them to have been at the destination prior to the wormhole’s activation/use, which would require time travel.

The second type of super-physical movement the Vex possess is their long-range, temporal warp. This warp is apparently only capable of moving large amounts of matter - anything from a huge-ass Gate Lord to a large group of Goblins or Harpys. This teleportation is seen as a dense, localized cloud with some electric properties, which (I’m not sure if this is because my Hunter’s an Exo, or if this happens with all races. Bungie is very accurate in their details.) causes one’s vision to appear static-y, as if they screwed up the antennae on their 1980-s TV.

That teleportation seems to be non-directional, whereas the short-range teleportation a Goblin uses (notably unlike Harpys, which can use the long-range teleport, but not the short-range) is seen taking them in various directions.

Vex Gates here are a mute point because, for the most part, we cannot see the other side, however, there are instances in Vault of Glass (and other locations, but I’m too lazy to list them) where Vex Gates have taken us through time - most notably into the past and future of wherever-the-hell-Atheon-dropped-us-at-the-end-of-those-gates. @Aaetheon , I blame you for that (JK :rofl: )

There is one last question that bothers me about the Vex’ capability of time travel.

For those of you who played Destiny’s “Vanilla” campaign (“That wizard came from the moon!”) you’ll probably remember the Exo Stranger - a mysterious, hooded Exo that taught me the first lesson on becoming a Dredgen.

“A side must always be taken, Little Light. Even if it is the wrong side.”

But here’s the thing that the Exo Stranger has to do with the Vex. It is highly suspected that the Exo Stranger is Elsie Bray (My Name is Byf did a video on that a long time ago.) The story goes that Elsie got her hands on a Vex Mind core for research purposes, and received a warning from a vision within the simulation she made that something bad was coming. She coordinated with Rasputin, created the highly Vex-themed sword, Worldline Zero, hid it in the data cache in the Core Terminus, and then became an Exo - becoming the Exo Stranger.

So if the Vex can’t time travel, how did Elsie’s simulation know about the impending apocalypse? What did she see? How does Worldline Zero create its “Tesseract” ability? Why did Elsie create Worldline Zero? Will I waste your time any longer with these questions that are completely inconsequential to our lives?

That last one is simple: Yes.

sorry buddy, crota was tricked into doing that, not oryx, still reading the rest tho


Okay, I have been thinking about how the Vex work for awhile now but haven’t really been looking this far into it. I have two theories.

My first leads me to believe that the Vex can only travel back in time to the point where they have a seed in that specific time and space. What does this mean? Well, it means that they can only travel back in time to Mercury when they first arrived in the system. Thus why they can’t just go back to before the Golden Age and lay waste to the system.

Also, notice that every planet they are on has some sort of “seed” or “headquarters” of some sort? Well I believe this is no mistake. This is purposefully put in place so they can do their time and space travel stuff. These seeds or headquarters are things like the Vault of Glass or Pyramidion or Black Garden.

My second theory is that, this has already happened. The world we live in and think is reality is just another simulation. And true reality is already Vexified. It’s very nhilistic but… well it checks out. We are just playthings of a powerful Vex mind.

To the Vex this is all just an overly elaborate game of chess. Except they know they already won the most important game… dominion over true reality.



interesting the say the least, I assume worldline zero creates a vex controlled space (similar to the VOG but much smaller) and using modified tech allows for a quick relocation of matter through a vex “portal” (the geometric particles that appear on the entry and exit) similar to a wormhole these particles bend space to allow to the movement of a swords lunge to take them much farther.

  1. likley for research for the main event, her teleportation ability

  2. its entirely possible the stranger has a vex gate network and uses tech similar to worldline to access it

Maybe the vex can’t stop the traveler from discovering our system?

I theorize that while Vex can’t time jump forward/backward, they could perhaps jump across. Places like the Vault, where time streams collide, allowed for Vex from newer time streams-Descendant Vex-or older time streams-Precursors-to enter our timeline, which I believe was created with our rising as a guardian*. Gates facilitate this movement between streams, and more powerful Vex can jump unassisted.

I assume the Exo Stranger works similarily. In Ghost Fragment- The Exo Stranger 2, she describes her movements as “bridges”. I assume shes jumping horizontally across the streams, to different points in our history in different streams. Similarly, the FWC "CHASM"s are individuals seeing across the gaps to other streams, but unable to cross over.

In terms of teleportation re: worldline, I assume it works similar to the Goblin-Minotaur jump. We aren’t physically jumping through time, just using the Vex’s abilities of matter displacement to our own advantage.

*If then we consider “our” timeline as medium in age, it explains the design of our timelines’ Vex.
Also, D2 vex may appear different from D1 Vex if D2 is considered a different timeline, despite the D1 events occurring.

This is a very interesting theory. Perhaps that is how they work? Zig zagging through time to be able to travel forward and backwars? Or perhaps it is as simple as this: the Vex don’t care. They have a goal but don’t really see us as a big enough threat to devote their resources to destroying us.

I say this because, if they truly cared they wouldn’t just let us mercilessly murder tens of thousands even millions, nearly every day. They wouldn’t be throwing easily defeated forces at us. It just seems like a pointless thing to do. This is a race of robots with a single motive. Why would they of all the races be doing this?

It’s a very odd thing for a computer capable of time travel to do right? Well I think it’s because they are trying to distract us, play with us, or simply they don’t care. They know they are strong enough or capable of wiping us out. At this point there is no point in dragging it out unless they don’t care enough to just call the exterminator. Which in other words means phoning the all powerful mind that Vex like Atheon and Penoptes answer to and saying “Yo, we got this little uprising that have warriors that never die, can you like, wipe em out?” Or just that they aren’t giving their full force.

So I just think they don’t care enough about us, or are toying with us (as per my first theory). The Vex are honestly a mystery, they work in ways that shouldn’t be possible, they are beyond human comprehension in fact. With the current given knowledge of them at least. Personally I think that the Vex are the most incredible and interesting races that Bungie has made, their functions and powers are… astounding at the least. I am extremely willing to look more into them and hope to see Bungie continue to flesh them out.

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I agree with everyone with the replies. I also agree about the theory that the Vex can only “time travel” back when they first appeared or if they have their own “seed”. The Vault of Glass is a Vex-reality and VOG is so powerful that reality follows it’s rules. That is also why we past and future Vex appear there because it is their realm. The vault of glass is like a lake that is connected with rivers (timestreams) that flow through it and out. That may be a bad example but that is what I got. I think the scariest thing about the Vex is that their #1 main priority is about building. If you check out on the Vex grimiore you will see that defense/attacking is second. I am pretty sure if the Vex programming collective finally programs a Vex into meant for attacking/defense then the results would be devastating for us.

After reading through, there is a few things that I have to comment.
I don’t believe we saw them occupy the same room of the VoG Raid Boss. (We saw them in different portals, but looking back. There were only normal Vex in the Boss room with it changing based on which portal you used. Though I could be wrong.)

As for the Vex coming back multiple times?
It could be the planets they are converting. Because if they can turn Humans into Vex (I.E Asher Mir.) Then it could be possible they convert living matter into Radiolaria, and non-living into Metal.

Other than all that. Great topic!

It is (partially) confirmed by Asher Mir’s comments - during the Adventure ‘Cliffhanger’ on Io - that quote:

Asher: “I hypothesize that the Vex are preparing to fully machinoform this moon.”
Ghost: “As you do.”
Asher: “Ah, yes. Laugh it off. The Vex are simply planning to transform every planet in this system into a cog in a vast, inscrutable machine. They merely wish to convert every particle of matter on ths moon, living or dead, into a radiolarian solid!”
Ghost: “Well, when you put it that way…” [1]

The Vex can convert living matter into radiolaria, but this tells us that they can also convert ‘dead’ matter - matter that is not alive (i.e. rocks, soil, metals, materials, etc.) or was once alive (i.e. dead trees, corpses, dead animal/plant cells, and theoretically - dead microbial life) can be transformed into radiolaria.

Now, hold the phone. What in tarnation even is radiolaria (Y’all?) Because from what very little we can observe and research from the game, it is organic, and it is alive [2]. We’ve seen in multiple spots on Nessus where radiolaria has electric properties (stepping in a radiolaria pool (some can be found in the mission ‘Six’) damages you, and an electric shock effect is played over the screen, giving the implication that it is electric, or has some relation to Arc energy) and I believe it also has acidic properties, because it can still damage Stormcaller Warlocks, who should, in theory, be capable of conducting, harnessing, and wielding that electricity instead of being strictly being damaged by it. The only way that both of those theses (plural of ‘thesis’) could be true is if it is a situation similar to (but the alternation of) that of Natsu from Fairy Tail - he can wield, consume, and harness fire, but he cannot eat his own fire to power up.

As far as we know, radiolaria is not composed of any atoms that we wouldn’t find on the periodic table, as it is considered an organic compound [3]. This basically tells us that radiolaria - being a living substance/entity/microbe/collection of microbes, is not composed of anything that science has not already discovered - which is good news. Modern scientists have done a lot of research into molecules and one recent thesis provided by experts [4] (yes, I know, Wikipedia is not completely reliable. This one has plenty of citations in it.) is that life on Earth - nor the Earth itself - would exist without the element of Carbon (easily my favorite element on the table) and that if life does exist elsewhere in the universe, it will likely be composed of Carbon. Most life-forms in the universe are Carbon-based.

Which would (theoretically) declare that the Vex radiolarian fluid could be Carbon-based as well - if it came from our universe. The sad thing is that we can’t tell whether or not the Vex’ origin is rooted in our universe - all we know is that Crota (not Oryx like I mistakenly said) opened a portal, and the Vex were on the other side, doing Vex-y things.

That’s all the info I’ve got on the Vex regarding radiolaria. I’ll keep digging, and if any big things come up, I’ll share them with you guys.

In other news, I was thinking about creating a few other boards similar to this. These boards will be titled “WTF is up with the (enter subject here)” If I do not create a board on the subject you would like to have covered, feel free to create one yourself. I’m envisioning a single board for each race of hostiles - Cabal, Fallen, Hive, Taken, Scorn (even though they’d fall in under ‘fallen,’) and also something that my father and I have heard rumor of - The Veil. Message me about that if you want a board on it. I’ve got limited info, but here is not the place to share it.

Thank you for reading,
Sincerely, Dredgen Hon’nō.

For one, awesome
two I just came up with an idea. If we can treat radiolaria like a disease, could we make a vaccine or something like an anti bacterial medicine?The possibilities of discovering this is crazy like we could make our own version of radiolaria inject it into some willing test subjects and see if our bodies fight off that radiolaria then move to actual stuff to immunize the population of “Vex Flu” and stop conversion in its tracks.

That is a good idea, and who knows? Maybe it could work. If radiolaria is considered “Mind Fluid,” that means its alive, biologic, organic, and probably the brain of the Vex, seeing as to how they all die when you put a bullet into it. Maybe using an antibiotic would work.

Or bullets. Those seem to work well. But in all seriousness, yes. The Vex just don’t care about us. They seek only to build. Which admittedly sounds harmless and innocent until you realize that this “building” process would involve killing everything. Which is… not good.

I believe if they were to actually focus on killing us, well… we’d be absolutely and completely FUCKED. Which means we can’t let that happen. Duh. But the question is how? They could easily do this in their future, and bring it back. Well, how is unknown, perhaps time travel is in order, but more likely, the guardians of the future will do away with such a threat.

For now our best course of action is to keep up the good fight, for it seems that diplomacy is impossible as of now. I would recommend attempts at diplomacy when safe otherwise continue to research this intriguing race.

Stay safe,

We also know that Radiolaria can be used to power technology. If you look at Asher’s station on Io, he has his computer plugged into the Radiolaria. (Or he is just studying it.) Also, what if not all radiolaria are the same? What if the lakes of it and the stuff in the center of Vex are different? What if Radiolaria is a programmable matter? Maybe that’s why some are in the center of Vex because it is programmed to be a Vex. What if it can be programmed to be a liquid or a solid? Like Asher said, “A radiolarian solid”. Maybe the electric liquid and the grey, metallic structures are the same substances? Just some ideas.

So, Radiolaria in Destiny could be similar to Glimmer?

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yeah didn’t drifter mention that he sometimes uses radiolaria to power ship sometimes before we’re launched into a gambit map; I’ll try to find it in transcripts.

Ok so I looked in the transcripts and it wasn’t there, neither were the Gambit launch quotes

Hmm… Darkness Glimmer… damn this makes me want to take this and throw it at Bungie while yelling “EXPLAIN!” Because we need some explanation here.

The Vex Race are incredible.

I´m with @Jubi theory that vex are playing with us or we are not worthy their attention.

  • They came to our universe and their first contact was the hive (that are a interesting race)

  • After that you came in a system with:

  • Heavy armed brutes, harvesting minerals for their Empire

  • The “insect” race that bring you is hunting a giant white ball with strange powers that their cannot simulate.

  • Four arm ugliest thieves are disputing the control of mystery thing with other smaller race with warriors that can resurrect from dead.

  • The system appears shattered by unknown force before their came

*Have a giant cyber system of defense

  • The nine, the Queen, The black Heart…

In Vex perspective, our system is honeypot of new information. Probably they don’t wipe out all of us only to learn more. Other thing interesting in Vex are their nature reactive. Correct me if i´m wrong but in destiny history they are always reacting.

  • They fight Cabal because they want protect black garden not conquer Mars.

  • They fight Guardians because we are always trying interrupt what the hell they doing.

  • They fight the taken in IO because they are in the middle in the process to transform that moon.

They are not trying conquer anything. They don´t bother or try take the reef from the awoken. They don’t try take our moon from hive, the earth from us. I guess even the setbacks that us, guardians, make to their plan like Atheon, Panoptes, Osiris, Infinite Forest… are chances to their learn process.

I felt strange in Red War their not defend planet Mercury to used like fuel for the Almighty. I expected that reaction from them. Maybe the infinity forest are not a relevant facility to them. We are not seeing a massive army of vex trying to retake the forest by brute force.

Maybe all this isnt show in game because limitations that a Bungie had encounter or isnt the visions of developers wants to shows to us. I hope D3 shows us more.

Probably when their curiosity about us are satisfied, they finish all of us.

My apologies if i write something wrong. English is not my first language and like Vex
i´m still learning :wink:

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You write better than most Americans I know. Keep it up.

As a continuation of this topic, the Vex don’t want to just build, they want the universe to adhere to the “Pattern”, whatever that might be. If it can be shaped to be fit into the Pattern, then good. If it cannot, it is cut away. This applies to enemies of the Vex, and if they are unable to adhere to the Pattern, then they are removed, by all means needed.

The Vex interest me by the fact that they are neither good or bad, they just are, almost like a virus. They have no ultimate malice. They follow command.

But someone had to make this “command.” Which leads to my biggest question about them… where did they come from? Who made them at first? And what was their original purpose? Crota obviously didn’t make them, but it’s not like they were created by this ripping of the universe. They had to come from somewhere.

To answer this I am speculating, a lot. While it may seem surprising. Perhaps it is us humans that made these machines? A Golden Age scientist in a far off moon making a Proto-Exo, hurtling back to the main colonies only to slip into another dimension, where he (or she) found they were stranded. Of course this is highly unlikely but certainly makes an interesting thought.

As for their original purpose? Perhaps it was to improve the universe, to make everything a utopia of ease and simplicity. Being AI, they continued to learn and their definition of this changes with this. Until eventually we have the Vex of today.

In a way, the Vex are a more defined version of SIVA. Because their process seems very similar to that of “Consume. Enhance. Replicate.” Which now that I think about it makes me think that perhaps it is a more refined SIVA experiment that got out of hand, perhaps Radiolaria was the first incarnation of SIVA.

A more unstable and dangerous version that was thought to be destroyed when it was ejected into space. A sentient version of SIVA. But this is just some willd speculation of things that would be very interesting to see.

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