Article: A Darker Hour? Looking Back at the Great Disaster

By Emmanuil Utkin, Staff Writer for the City Herald

Several lifetimes have passed since the Vanguard suffered a blow from which many felt it might never recover. For the Lightless among us, the Great Disaster has become a fable: a story of monsters and tragic heroes encompassing the worst the universe can bring to bear.

For many of the City's Guardians, however, the events of that time are not simply part of the historical record, but personal memory.

"I'd never seen anything like it," Odon Kolos says. "That army the Vanguard put together…"

Emboldened by initial victory against the Hive at the site of Burning Lake, the Vanguard and Consensus ordered a full-scale assault on the Moon. An army of Guardians thousands-strong marched against entrenched Hive forces—only to fall by the hundreds to a single Hive champion.

Odon was one of the lucky Guardians who managed to reach a transport before the Moon was abandoned in the retreat.

"Turns out immortal doesn't mean invincible," Odon observes. "Just means you stand a better chance of living with your mistakes."

The Disaster spelled the beginning and the end for the Vanguard's military prospects. Any hope of formally organizing the City's Lightbearers dissipated. Contemporary records show that many felt the Guardian population soon became ungovernable—even disloyal—in the wake of the Vanguard's failure.

But events in recent years suggest that Guardians do not require loyalty to a military command to compel them to place themselves in danger on behalf of the City. Whether driven by hope for humanity or a desire for wealth, Guardians have continued to face off against increasingly dire threats.

"I used to run with Future War Cult," Odon tells me. "I guess I started to think… maybe we win the little fights, but we're never going to do anything about the real enemies out there. That war will always be waiting."

He laughs. "And then someone comes along and kicks Crota's teeth in."

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