Story: We Stand Unbroken

War Table, The H.E.L.M.

The Guardian visits the War Table in the H.E.L.M.

Mara Sov: I sensed your triumph through the choke of the Pyramid's suppression. With the Scepter in hand, you were able to move through the depths of the Ascendant Plane. It is as I hoped. Your Light sings with the incantations I send forth, strengthening you in ways not seen since the seven Paladins. Since the Queensguard.

Powerful as I am, I cannot be everywhere at once. But the Guardians can. So, I entrust you with my favor. Take it. Breach the Ascendant Plane, walk the Ley Lines within, and banish those who would oppose you. I do not ask for fealty in return. I would not kneel in your place, as favor with condition remains a shackle. No. Claim with power freely, as your strength serves my kingdom and your own. Let it flow through you, Queensguard... and I shall knight you myself.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian visits the Farm to debrief with Mara Sov.

Mara Sov: When the Last City called for aid, I pledged the Awoken to the cause without hesitation. The Vanguard has helped my people many times in the past. But what you face now is no simple endless curse or vengeful god-king. We Awoken were first struck when we came between the Traveler and its hunter, and I chose my people above either one. The choice has come again, and my answer is no different.

I do not blindly defend the Light, and I do not listen to the Voice in the Darkness. Instead, I choose that which holds Light and Dark together in hands and heart. I choose you. Now... Humans, Exos, cousins all... Detach. Fall forward. Number among the first. Awaken... as Queensguard.

War Table, The H.E.L.M.

The Guardian visits the War Table in the H.E.L.M. for a briefing with Amanda Holliday.

Amanda Holliday: Hey, Guardian. Been meaning to thank you for busting us all out of prison earlier. I heard you came back from Neptune just to help us out. It's near enough to make a girl tear up!

[chuckles, then sighs] You wanna know what really got to me? At the Farm, I heard some of the folks I was locked up with asking when they could get back out and look for more survivors. I mean, I expect it from Guardians and the other pilots, but... these were civvies, just folks who got caught up in the Shadow Legion sweep. They still wanted to help.

I asked Mithrax to talk some sense into 'em, but he shrugged, like, three of his arms, and said, "The Witness created heroes instead of victims." [laughs] I couldn't have said it better myself.

Anyway, Shadow Legion's been sighted in the Cosmodrome. Probably trying to pick up new prisoners. C'mon. Let's go be heroes.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian visits the holoprojector at the Farm for a debriefing with Devrim Kay.

Devrim: Hello, Guardian! Though I suppose I should hail you as a fellow Queensguard now. When Mara performed her ritual, she knighted all of us, with and without the Light. You Lightbearers are the only ones who can draw on her power, of course. But for the rest of us, like Ms. Holliday and... Mr. Mithrax? It's nice to be included.

"Sir Devrim Kay, Queensguard." Mmm. Quite like the sound of that.

I think when the Witness did... whatever it did to the Traveler, it sought to destroy our hope at the source. That didn't happen. Humans and Eliksni, officers and civilians — we banded together, stronger than before. That's what our enemies don't understand: when things are at their worst, that's when we are at our best. I'm looking forward to the battles ahead.

War Table, The H.E.L.M.

The Guardian visits the War Table in the H.E.L.M. for a briefing with Mara Sov.

Mara Sov: Hail, Queensguard. I felt you reaching out. You shine as a beacon of ascendant power. Maintaining my connection is demanding, but by observing your astral wake... I am discovering ways through the Ley Lines that have never been charted before. As you move through the Ascendant Plane, you consecrate it on a paracausal level. Its borders fray and yield to your touch. The corruption within withers as you approach. For someone of your ability, one step through that darkness can equal a thousand on this plane — ten thousand. Ten million.

A Shadow Legion prison ship drifts above us, amidst the stars, far beyond our range... or so they believe. Come to me, and I shall open a path. Show them... nothing is outside your reach.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian speaks with Amanda and Mithrax at the Farm.

Holliday: Hey, Guardian! We were just grabbin' a little downtime. Gotta celebrate your successes, y'know?

Mithrax: Amanda told me we must not forget to... "kick it back." [chuckles] Ah, we have accomplished much, and saved many lives.

Holliday: That's right. There's no I in team, but there is an A and an M. Please don't tell folks I said that. But yeah, we're a team! Any door I can't hack open, you splice through. We are in this together!

Mithrax: It is a privilege to join you. You and the Vanguard welcomed us as honored guests in your City.

Holliday: Guests? The City is your home! When I first showed up at the gates, I felt like I belonged. That's how it should be for everyone.

Mithrax: Ah, I had thought you were born there.

Holliday: Nope. I got there later, same as you.

Mithrax: Amanda. You know our story, but... I would very much like to hear yours.

Holliday: I grew up on the road. Long as I could remember, my family had been walking toward the Last City. My momma told me we'd be safe there. She said that was all that mattered. But at the time, all that mattered to me were the jumpships in the sky above. I thought they were the greatest thing I'd ever seen.

My folks tried their best. But... the road's a dangerous place. when the House of Winter attacked, my momma fought 'em off best she could. Even killed a Captain before they shot her. Pneumonia got my daddy not long after. I'd heard tales of people resurrected. Chosen for immortality. But not them. They were just... gone.

When I finally reached the Last City, I knew my momma was right. I'd be safe there. I was finally home. I learned to fly as soon as I could reach the stick. I never had powers like the Guardians, or a Ghost to resurrect me. But in the cockpit, I'm every inch as tough. Now, every time I fly, I remember where I came from... and who I'm fighting for. And that's all that matters.

Mithrax: Thank you, Amanda... for your story and your spirit.

Holliday: Yeah, well... we've come a long way, huh?

Mithrax: Yes, we have.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian visits the holoprojector at the Farm for a debriefing with Amanda Holliday.

Holliday: Hell of a time on that Shadow Legion ship, wasn't it? 'Course, I joined for other reasons too. You heard the story: I needed a home, a family... someplace to belong, just like Mithrax. He's amazing to work with. He's always so gentle around the Tower. I forget he's an Eliksni war captain. But man, I learned quick when we started tackling those prison transports.

Once, he got jumped by two Legionaries, and when I turned to help, he just shouted, "You need not waste your shells!" Man, he's a tough old bastard, and I absolutely love it. Bringing the fight to them for a change? That's the kinda thing I joined the Vanguard for. He's the best patrol partner I've had in years... but I gotta keep our comms closed. Last week, Devrim heard me call him "crawdaddy" — nearly laughed himself unconscious.

War Table, The H.E.L.M.

The Guardian visits the War Table in the H.E.L.M. for a briefing with Amanda Holliday.

Holliday: Rally up, Guardian. I won't say we've got the Shadow Legion on the ropes just yet, but we're making progress. I meant to ask — how you handling all this Queensguard stuff? Only thing that's changed for me is that Crow bowed and asked if he should call me, "Lady Amanda of Holliday." I told him to call me whatever he wants. I'm just glad he's finally recognizing my natural authority.

Anyway... I like how things have been shaking out lately. Tearing through magic planes to bust into a Shadow Legion ship uninvited? That's the kinda entrance Cayde would've liked. [chuckles softly] Enough talk. Let's get back out there.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian visits the holoprojector at the Farm for a debriefing with Devrim Kay.

Devrim Kay: Guardian, I'm glad I caught you. Mithrax and Amanda are out on patrol and called for a touch of backup. Seems they picked up another distress signal, and the outpost is absolutely crawling with Shadow Legion. I was surprised they called it in. Makes me think the odds are worse than they're letting on. Usually, those two can take care of themselves. I'm sending you their signal now. Head over and back them up, won't you?

The EDZ, Earth

The Guardian helps Amanda and Mithrax breach a secret Shadow Legion prison.

Holliday: Our scanners picked up a distress signal coming from a prison facility in the EDZ. We reckon it's a new bunch of captives. Mithrax and I are fixing to break them out.

Mithrax: I can splice the base security, but we will need a route for escape.

Holliday: That's where you come in, Guardian.

Mithrax: Clear all opposition, that we may lead the prisoners to safety. And do not engage your Sparrow. The signal will alert our enemies.

Holliday: Everyone solid? Then let's go get our people back.

The Guardian touches down in the EDZ.

Holliday: Guardian, kick down their front door while we slip in the back. We'll meet you inside.

Eramis: [static] Misraaks, I must speak with haste. Turn back now. This is not a fight you can win.

Mithrax: You cannot share fear with us, Eramis, for the Light provides.

Eramis: Leave these captives, and live to see your Great Machine again. Pursue this quest, and you will die. [static]

Holliday: Mithrax?

Mithrax: The Shipstealer is allied with the Voice in the Darkness... but she does not speak lies. Perhaps there is something here we do not yet see.

Holliday: There's always something. I'm not leaving our people behind, no matter what.

Mithrax: Then I am with you.

The Guardian breaches the Shadow Legion prison and follows the tunnel into the prison.

Holliday: I think I found us an LZ, Guardian. We're going in through the roof.

Mithrax: This was not the plan, Amanda Holliday. Are you certain this ship will fit?

Holliday: Only one way to find out!

Mithrax: Spider hated when I did things like this. Now... I see why.

Holliday: Aaand... we're in! Next round's on you, Mithrax!

The Guardian finds several armored units blocked the way forward.

Mithrax: Amanda and I will now locate the security terminal.

Holliday: Deal with those armored units, and we'll meet you on the other side.

The Guardian rendezvous with Amanda.

Holliday: I see you, Guardian! I'm in the surveillance room above.

Mithrax: I am splicing the security network now. I will soon locate the captives.

Vereziia, Reverent on the Witness, arrives.

Holliday: Hot damn, Guardian! You got a big dog incoming. Hold 'em off while Mithrax works!

Vereziia searches for Amanda. They summon Taken reinforcements.

The Taken corrupt the area.

Holliday: Hoo boy! Taken energy readings are spiking. Looks like you ain't done yet.

Mithrax: This is a tactic of desperation. You near victory, Guardian.

Vereziia returns to the battle. The Guardian defeats them.

Holliday: Hoo! Glad we called you in for this one. We'd have been goners without you.

Mithrax: I have located the prisoners. We are nearly ready for extraction.

Holliday: Gotcha. Soon as the Guardian secures the hatch, we'll get everyone the hell outta here!

The Guardian secures the hatch.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian reports to the Farm where Crow, Mara, and Zavala mourn the loss of Amanda.

Zavala: Devotion. Bravery. Sacrifice. Devotion... Bravery... Sacrifice...

Mara Sov: Guardian. Zavala grieves, and... Misraaks is recovering in the infirmary. How do you want to proceed?

The Crow: We have to regroup. Bury Amanda... and put her killers in the ground.

Mara Sov: They'll be expecting you.

The Crow: Good.

Mara Sov: Think with your head, not your heart. Grief is poor counsel.

The Crow: And yours is better? [exhales] Make arrangements for Amanda. The Guardian and I will handle it from here.

Mara Sov: If that's your wish.

The Crow: It is.

Mara leaves.

The Crow: I know you want it too. Vengeance. You'll be the first to know when it's time.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian speaks with Mara Sov.

Mara Sov: I have lived for centuries upon centuries, Guardian. Though death has not lost its sting, it is a ritual whose movements are familiar to me. It has become easier to bear. But... seeing loss twist the faces of those around me — Zavala, my brother — that has not. Amanda's absence will be felt deeply by those of us who knew her. Despair will be at our side where a friend once stood. So while it does not lighten the burden, let us hold this pain together. And when you lift your eyes, may you look only upon kind faces.

I need to focus on the Queensguard now. When the time comes to strike back, we must all be strong. As strong as Amanda Holliday.

War Table, The H.E.L.M.

The Guardian visits the War Table in the H.E.L.M. for a briefing with Devrim Kay.

Devrim Kay: Guardian, I woke up this morning and looked out across the gray mists of Trosland, and I've got to tell you... my heart just wasn't in it. I didn't want justice, or revenge. It wouldn't bring her back. I felt... tired. I didn't want to fight anymore. But then, out in the distance... I spotted a deployment of Shadow Legion moving through the fog, pushing a group of prisoners before them.

It's not about me. It's about them. So I picked up my rifle, and I got to work. We've got to fight on. Not just because we're in the Vanguard, or Queensguard, or because we're heroes, or all that rot. Because it's what Amanda would have done. And that's good enough for me.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian speaks with Zavala at the Farm.

Zavala: We've all died countless deaths. But we still only feel loss from the outside in.

Holliday... She died doing what was necessary to protect the people of the City. She didn't do it out of obligation or circumstance. She knew it had to be done... and she believed in it to the end. She had one life... and she used it to save us. She set an example for us all.

I... [exhales] I don't know what else to say. Amanda... I would give my Light, my last life, if it would bring her back. I've begged before. It's a false hope. A lie. At every loss, the Traveler is silent. Each path I take leads me to a grave. Cayde. Safiyah. Hakim. I failed them all.

I love you, Amanda. I am so proud of you. Forgive me.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian speaks with Mara Sov at the Farm.

Mara Sov: One cannot hear Zavala's words and remain unmoved. That man has borne suffering enough for many lifetimes. That is the price we pay for opening our hearts. And as the Voice in the Darkness extends its reach, we know only that few will finish this journey with us... For the path is long. As the nebulae whirl and billow above us, we remain. We endure. This is our privilege. Our duty. And our curse. Take heart, Guardian. Know that we will endure... together.