Chapter 2 : Flames and Memories
The lights flickered in the relay. All activity in the relay grinded to a halt. Absolute silence.
A raspy voice rang throughout the concourse.
"You can't run from your past, Borealis."
I stood frozen at the spot where I was talking with the Banshee. The Tenno in the relay were looking around confusedly.
"There is no place to hide."
Realizing what was happening, the Tenno eventually set eyes on the ominous black cloud forming in the centre of the concourse. A dark and shadowy figure appeared from the black mist. The figure rose from his kneeling position and pointed his large sword directly at me. All eyes in the relay were suddenly focused on me, whispers and murmurs could be heard all around. The figure eerily resembled an Excalibur Warframe. I unsheathed my sword, expecting some kind of duel from this mysterious figure. Meanwhile, the other Tenno cleared the area, making a large ring, encircling us both in the middle. They had their weapons ready, but they were not attacking the dark figure. They were just looking at us, unsure of what to do.
The dark figure charged first, a Slash Dash reminiscent of an Excalibur . My instincts took over, and I rolled out of the way, putting my sword in front of me for a defensive stance. He began violently slashing towards me at a rapid pace. I parried and deflected each hit with my longer blade, which proved an advantage as I made counter offensive maneuvers and began my own flurry of attacks. He was also very skilled in defending against my attacks, his lightning fast reflexes compensating for his shorter blade. In his flamboyant defensive stances, I caught sight of a flick of his wrist and a shuriken coming from his right. I managed to dodge it, but it hit an unfortunate Limbo who was just a bystander. A Trinity nearby came to his aid. I continued to push even harder, hoping to find a weakness or flaw in his defense, but he was quick to adapt to my changing styles of attack. The figure managed a leg swipe which caused me to lose my footing and balance. I rolled away to prevent tripping and falling down.
We were separated again, circling each other after having known the skill of each other. The figure had a very familiar fighting technique. I felt that I'd ever fought someone like this before.
"Impressive. You haven't lost that sharp eye of yours. And maintained your technique after all these years." he taunted.
"I don't know who you are," I replied in a shaky voice.
"Of course you don't. Been put to sleep for centuries while I roam the system alone. Now I its time I think I'd want a rematch."
"What do you mean?"
He didn't reply. Instead he vanished into a dark mist again and reappeared from the left, already in a mid leap as he tried to slash from above. I brought my sword up to parry the strike but as he did that, he'd thrown another one of his shuriken from above, through the gap between our swords. This time, I couldn't avoid it. It hit me on my side, its sharp monofilament blade penetrating the armor of my frame. I quickly dislodged the shuriken as he landed and charged at me. I managed to block his charge just in time, sparks flying off our blades. Locked in a battle of strength, I found an unexpected weak spot in his arm length and attempted to perform the disarming maneuver. I twisted my sword and jabbed upwards before-
The figure was horrified when he had realized his mistake. However, I never completed the maneuver, as I lost concentration after hearing the voice that had called my name in the distance. The figure, shocked by that near loss, backed away.
"You're lucky this time. I won't mess up that easily next time we meet." He noticed the growing crowd of Tenno staring at us.
"Here, you might need this."
The figure tossed me a small sphere before vanishing in a puff of black smoke. Confused, I examined the strange sphere he bad given me. It was black with red highlights on its surface. Engraved in the shell was the word "smoke." It was a smoke bomb, effective for making a quick and stealthy escape. Bewildered, I was wondering why I had a connection with such a sinister figure in the past. Even more concerning was why he was "helping" me.
Looking up, I saw the other Tenno still standing in that ring, motionless. They exchanged whispers with each other as they noticed a few Tenno pushing their way through the crowd.
"Bro! Bro! Broreals!"
It was a very familiar voice. Looking up to see who it was, I saw a Volt Prime clumsily stepping out of the crowd. The Nova who had reported me to him following behind him. He ran up to me and embraced me in a rough hug. It was Amp. I awkwardly hugged him in return as I looked at the Nova behind him as she sheepishly waved hi. I returned her wave as Amp released me from the hug. Noticing the Tenno who were staring at us in silence, Amp exclaimed,
"Don't you all have anything to do? Go back to what you were doing. Nothing to see here. Gonna bring him to the Lotus. Now shoo!"
"There will be no need for that."
The voice of a woman pierced the silent atmosphere. From the top of the stairs, was standing the Lotus herself, with an escort of at least thirty Prime Warframes behind her. A collective gasp among the Tenno, and they gave a bow to her as she began to descend the stairs, her entourage following behind. Amp slowly stepped away from me and gave a slight bow to the Lotus as well.
"A new Prime has awoken?" she asked, her voice, grim.
"Yes, Lotus. " Amp replied as he stepped to the side.
"Of what Warframe? "
"It's a Frost. A Frost Prime," he replied, gesturing to me.
The Lotus stopped at a raised platform at the foot of the stairs and looked towards me.
"I see you have finally awoken. I've been waiting for this day for a long time." she began. "You step foot in this relay, and have attracted attention of the Stalker. Do you have any memory of what you've done?"
"I don't remember anything." I lied. Well, I wasn't lying completely. I just didn't know what she was talking about and probably couldn't remember it anyways. I slowly stepped back, cautious of what she might do. She could not be trusted.
She turned to face the other Tenno in the relay. "You may already know this Tenno. He is the rebel Tenno of the Battle of Lua. This Tenno has broken our Ancient Laws. He has taken the life of a fellow Tenno."
Damn it. So much for keeping a low profile. Change of plans. I motioned for Eliana to step back into the crowd. Borealis had this look on his face I'd never seen before. A look of shock and despair. In normal situations, he would be calm and composed, but this one was surely too much of a shock for him, especially after cryosleep.
"Do you have anything to say for yourself?" the Lotus continued.
He did not reply. I backed up a little and tried to conceal Eliana who was curiously peeping out of the crowd by trying to stand in front of where I was. She was still young. A Nova Warframe, who had really great enthusiasm and was willing to stand up and fight. I decided that it'd be better for her not to be involved. It would get messy with the involvement of the Lotus and the Primes. With the Lotus were the crowd of Prime Warframes that were highly loyal to her alone. I spotted my captain, Thurman, in the crowd eyeing Borealis suspiciously. He had brought along the other 5 Volt Primes with him. I'd personally describe Thurman as an arrogant and narcissistic megalomaniac who thinks he's the boss of us other Volts. There's no denying he's the fastest of the Volts, when even compared to the other Volt Primes. I continued to scan the crowd of the Primes. No sign of Calla.
The Lotus nodded at the Mag Prime standing beside her. The Lotus' most trusted Lieutenant, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Tenno Order, Ava.
"By the Lotus' order, this Tenno shall be apprehended on the charges of treason and murder." Ava spoke.
The Lotus whispered a few words to Ava before turning on her heels and leaving the Concourse.
"I want him taken alive for interrogation." Ava continued. "Bridget, you know what to do."
Crap. They've been planning for this haven't they? Bridget was a rather hyperactive and impulsive Ember Prime with a terrifying temper that could make a Rhino cry in terror. Believe me, I've seen it first hand. An active member or our clan, she was a rebel too. She stepped forward with the other 6 Ember Primes. Armed with Ignises and Heat Daggers, they were a Frost's worst nightmare. I looked at Bridget. Her complexion was grim, but there was doubt in her eyes. The sound of buzzing and the doors of the Concourse were all on lockdown.
Meanwhile, Borealis was still frozen in place like an idiot. Bridget and her team slowly advanced on him. The floor under him was already frosted, his Warframe limiter must have gone haywire. He suddenly snapped out of his trance.
"Wa-wait. Stop. I-"
The flames of energy on Bridget got stronger and brighter as a large column of fire slammed into the ground in front of Borealis. He managed to roll out of the way and form an icy globe of protection around him.
"Please let m-"
The other Embers began a barrage of fireballs aimed at him. His globe remained intact and protected him from the flames, although it was taking heavy damage. Realizing that there was no point in an argument, he took one last look at me. I nodded ever so slightly, so as to try to remain undercover. The flames engulfing his globe with more intensity, he threw down his smoke bomb and disappeared in the smoke and flames.
Borealis was one tough fella, but I'm sure couldn't have withstood that. As the smoke and flames cleared, there was a collective gasp among the other Tenno.
Well. That was awkward. All that fiery drama for nothing. I turned back to Ava. She had a slightly worried look on her face.
"Lock down the entire relay. I want no one leaving the vicinity until all sectors have been thoroughly searched." Ava exclaimed as she turned and ran for the Lotus. The other Tenno grouped themselves into their squads as the Primes gave the instructions to their respective squads.
I caught sight of Amp in all the commotion and managed to get his attention. I silently mouthed the word "dojo" and he replied back with one of his goofy "ok" poses. Ugh, that guy was cringey.
I rushed back to my room and began packing my equipment for a quick return to the dojo. My roommate, an Ivara, entered the room as well.
"Got him tagged." Auryon said as she tossed me a tracking chip
"Good shot. I didn't see a thing," I replied. Plugging in the chip into my communications armband, I equipped my weapons and headed for the meeting chamber with Auryon following close behind.
"Ordis, set course for home base!" I screamed.
"Oh my, Operator! Are you alright? You seem bur-"
"Back. To. Base." I repeated.
"Very well. Shall I send medical support?" Ordis continued, as the engines began.
The wound in my side burned. I think that shuriken was poisoned. I took some time to review what had just happened. So, an edgy Excalibur comes and tries to kill me, but fails and helps me instead by giving me a smoke bomb. Met Amp out of nowhere in the relay, accused of murder by the Lotus herself, then I nearly got melted into a puddle by 7 Ember Primes.
Hmm. Definitely sounds fishy to me. But accused of murder? I'm pretty sure I would never do such a thing. Or would I? I don't remember. What I do know is that the Ember in the middle of the group was definitely very familiar. I've seen her face somewhere before. After cracking my head for a few moments, I think I've got it.
She was the same Ember in my dream. The same one who left me alone in the fire to burn.