"So…the only way to get where we're going is—out there."
You turn to look at the window that so helpfully provides a view of 'out there.' The sunlight glares through the tinted glass, which does nothing to diminish its blinding brightness. The rest of the room seems dark in comparison. You go closer to the window, peer at the solar energy in a sort of morbid curiosity. It rains fire, outside.
It hits you, suddenly, that this is the same energy that burns in your mechanical eyes, your bond. But so, so powerful. Magnitudes stronger.
Apprehensive but resigned on following through—Hawthorne, Zavala, Ikora, Cayde are counting on you, praying for you even though they just turned off their comms—you turn to the airlock.
The first door opens; you step inside, and it closes behind you. A step forward.
Heat blasts you through your robes, your fiery shield, and you grind your jaw through your helmet. Your right hand, gripping your sidearm, seems to sweat and blister under the glove; a phantom sensation that crawls up your extremities, under your arms, between your fingers. The metal heats under your sensors. Sound doesn't reach your sensors out here, but you imagine a dull roar in the background, echoing in your helmet as the air inside heats.
Taking a facsimile of a breath, an old, familiar habit, you step into the scorching sun rays. "We can do this."
You take a step, which turns into another, which becomes a full on sprint, which changes into a crouch then a jump, which transforms into full-on flight. The solar winds batter at you, pushing you down, burning through your robes as you soar above. You stare at the sun. If you were to reach out, perhaps you could touch it.
"Stay in the shadows!" There are panels below, you notice, propped up by support beams. "The shadows!" The urgency is palpable, and you hear it, drop down, landing with a pained whimper. It's still burning, blistering, boiling, but at least you aren't directly exposed to the sun anymore. Light flows through you, soothing you.
Everything is so blinding white. Direct sunlight reflects off the the metal—hot, hot, hot; you shouldn't have touched the beam—and you didn't know light could burn so badly. The sunlight would play so badly with scopes; you're glad you aren't a hunter.
Little flames burst into existence on the platforms, only to vanish a few seconds later as a torrent of flaring particles lash down at the metal shields. You are safe in the artificial shade, but you can't stay in here forever. You have to keep going. Zavala is counting on you. It—everyone is counting on you.
You rise above the panel and the cover it provides, and once again the searing heat starts eating away at you. It isn't like rain, not exactly. The fiery droplets you saw earlier—they aren't tangible, not really. Solar energy given ephemeral form. You can't even tell the difference when, if, you touch one of the sparks.
You dive down behind cover again, a different panel. A flash of light, not even bright because everything is so bright and you can't see—
You sprawl with a metal rivet right above your eye, and your head just thudded worryingly loud against something. Reverberating thumps rattle through your helmet, head. This pain is different, more familiar. The red, hulking form of a Cabal legionary stands over you, and a shift of movement behind him indicates another. Solar energy, not unlike the untamed firestorm around you, runs down your arm from where the bond sits, glowing yellow.
You hurl it at them, and their equipment bursts, armor fractures. They are thrown into the fire, and their corpses, unprotected, promptly disintegrate. You stand up with a silent groan, catching breath for lungs you don't have, and flex your fingers. One of the gloves is frayed, smoldering.
Even as Light fills you again, you jump and glide to the bridge, over it. Cabal, those ones who throw flames, crouch on it behind some sort of paltry wall. Their weapons have nothing on—this. You summon solar light into your clenched fist with fumbling motions, charging it up. The semi-auto fire of your sidearm forces the rhinos to stay down, and you throw the grenade.
A miniature firestorm of your own later, you land in the inadequate shadow the wall provides. There are still Cabal, over on the second bridge, and you rise up over the wall, spot them, and promptly throw them off. A flare nips dangerously, alarmingly, at you.
The sun is so much brighter than you thought, and you cower lowly in a doorway to shield yourself from it. You imagine the steel in your arms, chest, head softening, slowly melting and dripping all over until you are just a puddle, then gone in the face of the sun's unrelenting, unstoppable power. To be forgotten by your enemies, because they will not care for the loss of a few thousand linemen. To be forgotten by your friends, because they will all be dead.
You cannot stop here. Please.
You want to go inside—the door can certainly be hacked and opened, and you will finally be safe from this. From all of this. You were woken in the cosmodrome, lost and confused by the world so new to you. Here, now, you are as lost as you were then, fighting near-impossible odds against an enemy that can leverage entire armies against you. Already has. Is about to. At least, you are not alone.
You step up, rise with your Light at your side. There are Cabal here, waiting for you. Not as many as there could be—you guess they want to fight on more hospitable terrain, a place that doesn't want them dead.
Your bond glows, and you channel the Light that burns in your heart, runs down your arms, glows in your eyes. You taste smoke with your sensors. The energy flows into you, and you fly higher, faster; the sun burns against your back as you fling magic into the middle of the Cabal formation.
They return fire with their projection rifles, and you swerve around the onslaught midair. Fire around you keeps you balanced, controls your flight. Drawing your hand cannon you shoot into their midst, targeting feet, hands, anything not protected by a shield. A burst of energy from below alerts you to a psion; one shot, two, three, at four you're frustrated, and five finally gets it.
Your robes are burning, and you with them. Even as you dive behind cover, into shadow, the sun rays still blind you, scorch you. It takes longer than usual, it seems, for the Light to flow and heal you. Your auditory sensors still don't work properly; all you can hear is the rush of heated air in your helmet and a high-pitched squealing of some alarm.
The Cabal grow more daring, or perhaps desperate and come closer; a legionary charges at you while you crouch. You wait for it to come closer then slam your palm into its stomach, and the legionary is flung backwards back into the radiation.
You resist the itch to rise, to fly, and stay crouched, palming your sidearm. A few quick bursts of gunfire make short work of those coming at you, but more wait behind the next panel.
A psion races out behind you, and you don't notice in time. The burst of energy hits you, flings you out there, and the metal underneath flares up—heat shoots through you in a crackling, disabling wave. Oh no, no, no. The psion approaches, signaling something. It walks slowly; that is how you know of the smugness it feels.
A slug rifle pointed at your head, the very armor you wear charring, the doors in the far corner of the platform opening to let in reinforcements. Your destination. Your sidearm is out of reach, and your chassis's integrity is too low, but your hand cannon is right there so you shoot the psion. You scramble up, lunge for your sidearm. A heavy boot stomps down behind it—they sent out a gladiator.
You scramble to the side, to get out of the way, to draw your sword; your hands fumble, too soft, trying to do too many things at once and you aren't sure you are thinking straight; maybe the fire has finally gotten to your head?
The gladiator's huge sword, a severus—you learned the name of the thing after one almost skewered you and lopped your leg off, almost killed you—slams down next to your head. You roll aside instinctively, getting into position to draw your own sword. You look up, straight ahead, beyond the huge cleaver descending upon your skull. A blue beam of some sort shoots straight into the sun. You can't hear it, but you can't hear anything much, can you—but for the crackling in your defunct sensors.
There is a sunspot right there. A large circle, smaller bands of darkness, but nothing is dark because this is the sun and it's bright and blinding and burning, a hole in the middle. It isn't supposed to be there; you are here to stop it.
The erratic thoughts in your head thankfully stop when the severus comes down. A quick, reflexive upthrust from your sword, and you somehow put your body behind the strike, lifting yourself from the ground and impaling the gladiator.
Half-dead, you crawl to the nearest shadow. Zavala had said goodbye a few minutes, hours, ago, ready for duty like always. Ikora had left, too, determined and willing to sacrifice. Cayde, bless him.
The Light finally, finally, stirs up again, imparting strength, alleviating pain.
You were chosen: the one guardian in the entire system to still have Light, to still defeat the ones who took it all away. You do not know if you were fearless in an earlier life, if that is how you were killed and found again, but you certainly fear death right now, this very second, as Cabal stand between you and the door. Metal itself catches fire everywhere you look. The sun beats down on you, merciless.
You stand up.
You take flight.
You still have a chance at life, at restoring life and Light.
You throw your solar fire at the Cabal, even as you burn yourself. The harrowing storm batters at you. You absorb the energy, using it to feed your trajectory, to fly faster. A few shots from your hand cannon, and the second gladiator falls. The legionaries open fire. You aim, fire. Reload, dash away. Your magic charges, and you throw more fire until they are at last down.
Robes burning, chassis melting, you fly to the door, then drop to the metal platform when you can no longer support your flight. It takes effort to keep running on your legs that seem to be broken, nonfunctioning. And at last, you make it through the second airlock. There might still be a few Cabal out there, you realize, but you are too tired to finish them off. The airlock doors are hacked, closed shut. You hold your head in your hands. The sun will take them eventually. You never forgot that first taste of fear onboard the Immortal. Is that what keeps you going?
You wish you can have a better blade, maybe one that could stop the way-too-big severus that almost took your head off. You wish that you hadn't left your sidearm out there to be melted, disintegrated. You wish that the Light would make you feel better faster, because this is still slow and agonizing. You wish you don't have to keep going, to finish this mission, because there is still more to do. You need to stop this weapon, this Almighty that thinks it can blow the sun to smithereens. You don't think about Ghaul.
You wish you aren't the only guardian with Light. Maybe you wish you were still in the cosmodrome, still and unmoving.
A crackle, a groan, escapes your mouth.
You stand up, and keep going. The window behind you shows the sun in all its solar glory, and even the heavily tinted windows can't lessen the intensity of its rays. In comparison, it makes all else look so dull and lifeless, pointless and uninviting.
But you stand up, and keep going.
Destiny 2 OST - Track 8 - Battle Stations - 1:15
This was my favorite part of the mission. The tunnel was also great, but I died like five times before I got there...diminished the awesomeness a bit. To note: I recently became aware that Ikora and Cayde say bye after this part. Oh well.
Trial with 2nd person POV. I enjoyed writing it. You could say 1st person's your Ghost, as well. The silent protagonist makes it easy.
Feedback always appreciated.