A/N: Hello again fellow Guardians and readers! I had thought about this hard and with a bit of convincing from a fellow writer I am pushing the sequel to His Own Path to be done along with updating those chapters of said story. I might as well do the rest of my Destiny arc before moving on to different things. Many characters will appear in this story from the HOP, Soldier of the Light and In His Footsteps(With the reboot O Brother Where Art Thou?). So I will be opening up for more OC's in this story since I plan on making this one a little bigger than my first one. So those of you who want to have their Guardians arise and kick ass, send me some PM's, I'll let you know when the submissions are closed. Thank you all! Remember, I don't own Destiny. Bungie and Activision do.

CH. Prologue- Lights of a Golden Age

Winds howled across the once thriving landscape of the red Martian surface. The sand scraping across the skeletal remains of the once tall and imposing buildings of the city of Freehold. It used to be a city of importance, but was now being buried by the sands that the Human settlers had tried to force back. Even now this place seemed to have a haunting beauty about it.

The growing light of the morning added to the rusted structures and it made them almost appear as if they were pillars of the red sand that covered this planet's surface. Well, that was what was being mused by a Guardian as he plodded his way to the top of one of the red dunes. The Guardian paused at the top with two others and the three looked around to make sure the area was safe before speaking.

"Everyone has their jammers on?" The question went unanswered as the three looked at small disk-like objects were magnetically clamped to their armor. A small blue light blinked every few seconds to show that it was indeed active. After a few moments to confirm their equipment was working the first voice spoke again.

"You sure that it is in there?" The Guardian asked without looking at first, but the Warlock's robes brushed the sand as the Guardian swiveled to look at the others.

"Positive, I remember it being in that building." One of them pointed at a specific building, it was mostly intact, surprisingly. His helmet reflected sharply in the growing light. They had to hurry.

"That would be the Dust Palace, Titan, figures what we need is in a Cabal fortress." The third Guardian added as the trio made their way down the dune.

They wouldn't be using Sparrows, not this close to a Cabal stronghold. They needed to be silent to try and infiltrate the now dubbed "Dust Palace". Still, even through the years the city didn't seem to worn, or really that battle scarred. Since the Cabal did assault this place and even the elusive Vex had apparently shown an interest in the area. Firefights between the three factions had been common according to Vanguard reports. Stealth was key.

"So tell me, Titan, why do you think that we will find it in there?"

"I remember that the building, and a few others had been renovated for military purposes and the primary access point was in the… Dust Palace."

"A Warmind in the residential sector, who knew?"

"It wasn't residential, that was a banking building. An interplanetary company building with an already fortified structure. Made sense to make additions the hardened vaults. Civilians didn't even question it." The sole Titan commented offhandedly. He wasn't around when they installed the damned thing, but he knew about it.

.

On Earth the time difference wasn't too much different, it was still early but the sun had already peaked over the horizon. Bathing the Traveler and the Last City it protected in a warm yellow light. Even the Guardian's Tower was basking in the warmth as the crisp night air was finally fading away.

While most in the City were only now rising from their beds, most of the Guardians in the Tower had already prepared for the day. Rushing about in preparation for bounties and patrols in the wilderness of Humanity's home or her celestial neighbors. Most of them.

With an angry groan and a promise of vengeance the tiny Titan Joanna flung the alarm clock across the room where it rebounded off the wall. Continuing it's constant reminder for her to wake up. The damned thing didn't even let up as it was laying face down on the hard floor.

"For fuck's sake! I'm going to kill you Raz!" The Awoken buried her head under the pillow and swung an arm towards where her partner and apparent torture master was laying. Or was supposed to be.

Her swing missed the solid chest of the Human and bounced quickly off the mattress. Her head came out from under the pillow and she grimaced as she noticed he was gone, again. The man was making a habit of it, and it didn't help that when they did go to bed at the same time he kept her up late. The man was like a damned machine, he could stay up late and then wake up at any time he needed to.

With a huff and a groan she climbed out of bed to shut off the old fashioned alarm that was ringing it's bells at her. With all the racket she had missed her other teammate walking in to greet her this morning. The other Awoken took in the sight of Jo standing in the middle of the room with her eyes closed, alarm clock in hand and dressed in what she assumed was one of Raz's shirts. The thing went almost to the tiny woman's knees.

"Good morning, Jo, I see you are finally up." A vulgar grunt and a flipping of the bird was the greeting she received. "Good to see you are in a great mood. Where is Raz?" Jo tensed at the comment and her eyes opened slightly.

"Gone. Again." Jo sighed as her shoulders loosened and she tossed the alarm clock onto the bed dismissively. "He has been doing this shit ever since that fuckin' mission to the moon. I read the debrief and he has been honest with me about what happened. But something up there changed him." Jo paused again. "More than the Ketch did."

.

The three Guardian's marched along as quickly and quietly as they could through the last vestiges of desert and into the abandoned streets of Freehold. The Titan had taken point and was leading the other two through several buildings and sand filled streets. Avoiding what appeared to be overworked Psions and Legionnnares, if how they dragged their feet through the sand was any indication. The dead giveaway was the fact that none of them seemed to concern themselves with looking around, simply just to trudge along.

With a shake of the head the Warlock dissuaded the group from eliminating even the most remote of patrols. They could cause an upheaval in troops, and easily slip away, but the Warlock wouldn't risk it. The Titan hesitated but nodded before heading into the shadow of doorway in a nearby building. The last member of the fireteam, another Warlock, also nodded before disappearing behind the Titan.

More patrols had been found and they managed to evade them all. Something was really off about the way the Cabal were moving. They usually had unparalleled discipline and to see them getting lazy like this? It sent off all sorts of warning bells. They had even managed to slip by a sleeping Psion on sentry duty at one juncture. Something was definitely wrong with their operation and it puzzled them. What had happened here?

There answer came soon enough when they found a few corpses and the scraps of some Vex Goblins. Seems like the territory war was in full effect in the area if the Vex were making a go for Cabal strong points. Fortunately for them they didn't run into any active Vex as they traversed the darkness of different buildings. This only added more complications to the whole operation they were running.

The rest of the trek was made through hand gestures and nothing more. They did not want the Cabal's attention, not while they were now prying open a door into the Dust Palace. They also had to risk catching Vex attention if they spoke over radio frequencies. That would shoot any and all plans to Hell real quick. With that in mind the two Warlocks nearly hit the ceiling in surprise when the door slammed shut behind them as the Titan slid into the room.

A sheepish shrug was their only response to their heated gaze. Stealth mission with a Titan, right. The door did have to be pried open true, but even then the oaf could have at least guided the door closer before letting the inert hydraulics take over.

With that hiccup behind them the trio flicked on their lights and the Titan resumed the point. Having a rough idea of where they needed to go, that and the heavy plated armor versus the lighter robes of a Warlock. Miniature rockets fired at high speeds were no joke, even for a Guardian.

It had only been a few minutes of silently moving through the hallways of the Dust Palace that something was even more wrong than outside. None had noticed it at first since they were all high strung from the slamming door, but now that their nerves had settled and their lights were cutting the darkness apart, something had stood out to them. One of them finally voiced those thoughts.

"Does this place seem, oddly silent to you?" The Titan halted them outside an elevator shaft. They had to descend a few dozen floors, and this was the fastest way down.

"Yes… There were plenty of sentries and patrols. But we haven't seen any guards at all." One of the Warlocks input before latching a grappling hook on the doorframe to begin their descent.

"Don't jinx us." The other Warlock added before descending down the cable with a near silent zipping noise. The Titan shrugged before allowing the other Warlock to go before grabbing the cable and following them into the darkness.

.

"The King's are getting suspicious. They have been sending more patrols to the 'border' between us. Not to mention their more than frequent inspections of our forces and progress in projects." Baron Grutek reported to the Kell of the House of Thunder.

The Kell sat upon his throne and instead of lazing idly like most would, he was leaning forward and had his hands clasped as he thought. With a subtle shift of his head he caught the sight of the Archon and his priest speaking in hushed tones. The eccentric priest was gesturing wildly at some point he was trying to make, but he knew they were having the same discussion he was having with his Barons.

What to do with the Kings under their new Kell.

Things weren't bad, in fact they were better now that the small Human was in charge of the Kings. But it had left a sour taste in his mouth, he had led what now consisted of the Kings in rebellion against the Awoken and Wolves because they needed to be lead by their own kind. Not by a different race who was coming to terms of how the Eliksni lived and trying to alter that.

It had bothered many at first, but as time passed the issue seemed to have just fizzled away entirely. Sure, they knew who was in charge, but the Human had stayed mostly out of their business, giving them a new sense of freedom. Which therein lay the problem, the Thunder could taste freedom again. They weren't ready to give it up again and were willing to fight for it. Some of both Houses noticed this and were fairly more vocal about it.

Things between the two Houses were now getting strained and he was trying to find a way where the two might not come to blows. Hearing how she was, he was sure some Baron was taking it upon himself to agitate the Thunder. Failing to report it to his Kell, looking for glory in rooting out a potential threat. The Baron was right, he was certainly stirring up a mess of a House. One that had been trampled on by their Yellow bannered lieges for too long.

"We will wait for word from Captain Mephistopales and Warlock Snow. Once we know what their reports are we will act, but until then. Go silent, maintain order and keep your warriors prepared." The Kell leaned back after coming to his conclusion. "Until I call you again, you are dismissed." He waved an arm and the gathered Barons dispersed from before the throne.

By the Servitors they would be free again, through diplomacy, or by violence. It was only a matter of time before the instigations from the King's were too much. But until then he would play nice and make his reports as per usual. He made the obvious choice of not abandoning the research station, he had to keep up appearances. But that didn't stop him from ordering the Ketch moved to a new location and clearly not including that little detail in his report.

With a few taps at his side console he sent off his report and growled slightly, freedom, was worth the cost.

.

The darkness down here was oppressive, overly so than the sub levels they had been traversing before. Even with their rifle lights and shoulder mounted lamps they could feel the dark push in on them. The Titan pulled out a small pad before tapping a few holographic keys, trying to keep the thought of any boogeymen out of mind.

"Alright, we are almost there. Luckily for us we can get out of this crypt quickly." Putting away the pad the Titan winced as his armored boot clunked loudly on the floor. Right, so far down there would not be any sand to dampen their footsteps. They had to be more careful now.

With their pace slowed to a near crawl the Guardians passed through several hallways and connected rooms. Ignoring them for the supposed location to an entrance for a Warmind here on Mars. A piece of wondrous tech that had somehow survived not just the Collapse but the time afterward with the Cabal and Vex fighting around it. These musings were stopped abruptly as one of the Warlocks slammed into the back of the Titan, and the other followed suit. Neither of them noticing the Titan had stopped and was tilting his head as he looked in one direction. A small hallway that provided access to only two rooms before terminating in a dead end.

With a slow, but determined gait the Titan approached the wall. A hand brushing off the ancient dust that had settled on the metal slab before a small panel slid aside. With a satisfied nod he waved the others closer with one hand as he set his rifle down so he could start.

"I should have checked, but you got the access codes hidden in Entity's memory unit?" The Titan asked as he coaxed a small screen to life. It blinked a yellow light a few times before a small symbol appeared and gave way to an open text screen.

"I did, I was pleasantly surprised that the frame of the Exo unit made it back not just to Earth but back into Guardian service. Your memory coming back was a great boon, Raz." The Warlock commented before pulling out a data unit and handing it to the Titan. "How did you know it was him?"

"Well I wasn't positive, but the voice box gave me a sneaking suspicion. That, and those damned eyes of his, one of them was slightly off-centered. That was a purposeful design flaw, not battle damage or a corroded circuit." Raz took the unit and plugged it in before typing at a keypad.

"Why would they do that? Seems rather pointless." The second Warlock spoke up.

"Hell if I know, Snow, maybe to make them more like us? Human and everything." Raz shrugged as he finished typing into the small console. "There, now let's see if this will actually work."

There was a small silence in the group as they watched the wall anxiously. When Snow seemed ready to comment, the wall made a grating sound before it retracted slightly and sliding to one side with a groan. Behind it was another hallway, but it was lit rather well. The Guardian's helmets all polarized to compensate before they entered.

"Good morning, Charlemagne, we need to talk." Raz spoke out loud as the door sealed behind the team.

Post A/N: Once again, I hope you enjoyed this and that I won't take too long to update this. Keep on keepin' on Guardians!