Chapter 19: Glass House
En Route to Mercury
Spaceflight always put Telemica on edge. It was the silence. The stillness. Without any atmosphere to cut through or landmarks to see come and go, the vessel seemed to not be moving at all. The titan has been known to fly erratically on long sublight journeys. She needed to feel her surroundings. Being in the massive hold of a Vanguard transport made it that much worse. So, she paced. The other dozen guardians in the hold thought she was anxious for the battle ahead, but Solas and Vatyr knew better.
It had been 30 hours since the briefing. Vatyr was not sure when he had ever seen so many guardians called in for a single offensive. The hangars were beyond capacity and the shipwrights were working double shifts. Quarters were tight and getting tighter as more guardians and shipments of equipment came in. Everyone was talking about what could be in the works behind the oddly closed doors of Vanguard Command.
The evening of the briefing had guardians packed into every Tower’s conference room and huddled around every display. The three Vanguard leaders, flanked by possibly every mover and shaker in the war effort, appeared in the Speaker’s observatory. The Traveler loomed silently in the evening air behind them.
Commander Zavala cleared his throat and spoke. “Greetings, fellows. Approximately 72 hours ago, long-range sensors detected a massive surge of energy from the planet Mercury. Initial recon revealed this.” the image cutting to a high orbital video of the south pole of Mercury. The image zoomed in fast, coalescing into a shot of a gigantic Vex conflux reaching hundreds of kilometers into space. The circuit-like canyons of the planet were filling with that same white light, as if the conflux was spreading roots. “This is a live feed. This conflux is growing in size and energy output at an exponential rate.”
A wave of murmurs flowed through the crowds. There was no doubt that this presented a clear and present danger to the entire system. The Vex were believed to have been more or less subdued since they lost the Black Garden, but this was the largest display of power they’ve ever shown.
Zavala continued, quashing the quiet conversations. “Within the next hour, every recalled fireteam will be given deployment orders for Operation: Glass House. The sole objective will be to neutralize the Vex escalation.”
As the fleet approached Mercury, The gold shine from Sol gave way to a cold white. They were approaching the conflux. The southern half of Mercury was now shining brightly, and the energy spire jutted menacingly into space. Telemica was one of the few guardians not huddled around the viewports. Instead, she locked herself into her seat and prepared for the rough ride in. No doubt the Vex would have mighty defenses in place. To her, it was a welcome change of pace.