BrayTech Futurescape, Hellas Basin, Mars
The Guardian approaches the BrayTech campus.
Ana Bray: You're in the thick, Guardian. Hive, Taken… pretty sure they know you're coming now.
Exo Stranger: Then there's no time to waste.
The Guardian reaches the escalation nodes.
Ana Bray: Guardian, I need those cleared so I can tap into the network.
A Deathtongue Chorister moves to channel Xivu Arath's Battlesong.
Exo Stranger: Deathtongue spotted. Target that Acolyte, Guardian!
The Hive send in an Ogre.
Ana Bray: The Hive are sending an Ogre!
Ana arrives in her Hawk.
Ana Bray: Eyes up, Guardian! Literally!
Ana Bray: Comin' in hot!
Ana Bray: Hang on, Jinju, we're in for some chop!
Ana leaves in her Hawk.
Ana Bray: Moving back to a holding pattern. Good luck!
The Guardian clears the escalation nodes.
Ana Bray: Towers are ours again. Grabbing you a laser core for the gunk.
The Guardian hacks the campus door.
Exo Stranger: We'll need to open up the campus again.
The Guardian opens the campus door.
Ana Bray: Open Sesame.
The Guardian heads toward the Mindlab.
Exo Stranger: The perimeter towers ahead are back online and reading you as hostile. Mind your steps.
The Guardian crosses the catwalks.
Exo Stranger: Perimeter towers in range. Stay hidden, Guardian.
The Guardian reaches Charlemagne's vault.
Ana Bray: The Hive aren't switching up their strategy. What's that saying you used to like, Elsie? "If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again."
Exo Stranger: Spot on… though I might have taken it too literally.
The Guardian enters Charlemagne's vault.
Exo Stranger: Secure what we can of Charlemagne, Guardian, and slip away safely.
The Guardian battles and defeats Darkblade Kelgorath, Risen From Bones.
Ana Bray: Elsie, how did you work with him? How did you know everything you knew and still decide to walk through those doors every day?
Exo Stranger: I know this feels hollow after the fact, but… at the time, I felt the ends justified the means. I thought my being there would make a difference.
Ana Bray: But you saw who he was, even back then!
Exo Stranger: And I did everything I could to stand in his way, to curb his worst impulses. And then when I realized I wasn't stopping anything… it was too late.
Ana Bray: Yeah. It can be tough to know if someone is worth the effort or not. But now I have you, and you have me. He won't take advantage of us ever again.
Ana Bray: These Hive don't belong to Nokris. I know his troops scattered after we shish-kabbobed Xol with a Valkyrie, but I didn't think they'd just abandon Mars.
Osiris: Nokris's forces pledged themselves to Savathûn. They stand with the Lucent Brood against Xivu Arath. Have you been so involved with Rasputin that you were not aware?
Ana Bray: I guess no one can clear the Hive out like other Hive.
Osiris: Consider that Savathûn avoided a direct conflict with her whenever possible. Xivu Arath is their war avatar for good reason.
Clovis Bray AI: Did the Warmind make contact with Clarity? There are trace elements in its code structure.
Osiris: Rasputin attempted to protect us from the Black Fleet. He was unable to stop them.
Clovis Bray AI: A disappointing miscalculation—potentially even a malfunction.
Ana Bray: You don't know him! Rasputin chose to stand with us. To give us hope.
Clovis Bray AI: That seems unlikely.
Clovis Bray AI: Osiris. You were like Anastasia: immortal, commanding the Traveler's power?
Osiris: I… was. But I have since lost my connection with the Light.
Clovis Bray AI: And yet I see the City has access to technology able to dampen the Traveler's power—even extinguish it, to a limited capacity. Surely this technology could be reversed—applied to those little drones. Imagine, immortality restored… If it could be done, think of the applications. You may not even need the Traveler anymore.
Osiris: There was one who spoke like you. They came to the City thinking only of what they could take, and the Traveler disintegrated them. But you're welcome to try.
Ana Bray: Osiris, are these time wounds on Mars similar to anything you've seen in the Infinite Forest?
Osiris: Only in that they both provide pathways through parallel realities.
Ana Bray: So it's not our past? I mean, we couldn't change anything by going into them?
Osiris: It is a version of our past, perhaps even identical, but no. While knowledge gleaned from within them could influence decisions in the present, any actions taken would cast a chaotic chain of events into the sea of time, alongside all the others. Those bound to the chain would experience its new fate, but here… the events of our past are set.
Exo Stranger: Submind fragment compiling…
Osiris: I have seen this term more than once in the data feed. What is "Nefele Stronghold"?
Ana Bray: That again? Ikora's spies turned up that name around the same time Mars came back, but it was scrubbed from Rasputin's archives.
Exo Stranger: I've never heard that name either, but "stronghold" designations were only used for colonization projects, or… anti-extinction vaults.
Osiris: This is promising. Perhaps additional clues await in the information we've already collected. Someone tell Saint I'll be in my study.
Clovis Bray AI: The longer I am away from Europa, the more I understand the sorry state this system is in. You can't even hold a station orbiting your own planet.
Exo Stranger: I had suggested destroying the station with a missile strike, but the Coalition commanders talked me down. Apparently, it's too strategically important.
Clovis Bray AI: You live to tear down anything with my name on it, don't you? Without the station, you lose control of this entire situation.
Exo Stranger: And so do they. We take the bullets out of the gun, fix Rasputin, and manually realign his network afterwards.
Ana Bray: Elsie, I get where you're coming from, but we can't gamble on that being ready before the Witness shows up.
Clovis Bray AI: Yes, precisely. Listen to your sister, Elisabeth—ha! At least SHE understands.
Clovis Bray AI: Guardian. Welcome to my private channel. I've been watching your impact in the field. Your execution of our mission is impeccable, without error. I wrote your kind off after the destruction of Deep Stone. But I do pride myself on hand-picking gifted individuals and elevating them. You have my attention. Continue to perform like this, and one day, you may have my respect as well. If that day ever comes, and you're sharp enough to consider such an opportunity, I may have you in my private guard. Still in service and defense of humanity, of course… but you would only answer to me. No one else. Think on my offer, so that when it comes, your answer is ready.