"Earth has no shadow, not yet." - Emperor Calus of the Adamantine Empire
For years, the Cabal had been but a monolithic enemy, one of the many antagonists ever-present in the Sol System. It was clear that the Cabal in-system were but the tip of a very large spear, but as to the shape and scope of the spear itself? No one could say.
Then, the Leviathan arrived – a massive juggernaut of a ship, as majestic as it seemed cumbersome and dangerous. The Vanguard assumed the Cabal Emperor had come to finish the job his envoys had started. We expected to have to fight for our homes, our people, our very light. Instead? We were given a royal invitation. Over the next year, Guardians journeyed to the Leviathan three times, each time at the behest of the Emperor himself. First, he tested them. Then, after having found them worthy, he employed their talents to deal with a Vex infestation at the heart of the Leviathan, and finally to "escort" an unwelcome guest off the premises.
It took nearly an entire year after before the next invitation was received. This one, however, was not like the others. This invitation was not just for Guardians, nor was it to the Leviathan, to partake in tests or rituals or combat. This time, the invitation was for all of humanity, and it was to the Empire itself.
One moment, we weren't even an interplanetary species, we didn't even have control of our own home planet. We had been whittled down bit by bit to but a single city on a single planet. The next, we were a species without limits.
The Cabal Empire was vast. Thousands of solar systems, tens of thousands of planets, trillions of inhabitants. We had only ever seen but a few legions out of a military-industrial complex that spanned much of the Orion Arm. Now Ghaul was dealt with, and humanity was being incorporated into the Cabal, the Emperor's first act was to rename his Empire in honor of this momentous occasion. From then on, it would be called The Adamantine Empire, so named for the resoluteness and resilience all should aspire to.
His second act was to create his Shadow Vanguard. Guardians were given a new purpose, beyond merely ensuring humanity's survival. They were to extend the Emperor's reach throughout his Empire, and advance every field under the stars.
The Emperor's Shadow covered his entire Empire, and all his subjects were under his wing. Art, science, and technology, all of which had stagnated under Ghaul's rule, were finally allowed to flourish. Rather than merely surviving, the Empire was truly alive.
A/N: I know I've started to post two stories so far, an Unggoy in the Wasteland and the Realm of the Horned Rat, and that I have abandoned both. I may at some point return to one of them, probably Realm of the Horned Rat, but in the meantime, I promise I will see this story through to the end. I have a lot planned for it, and a clear end-point, and just thinking about it right now fills me with a level of passion I simply could not muster for either previous story. This will be an exciting adventure.
If anyone wants to help me craft this, feel free to message me. I'm most interested in anyone who is deeply familiar with Destiny, who is willing to help me brainstorm.