Chapter 20: Throwing Stones
Mercuryfall during Operation: Glass House would go down in history as the deadliest 15 minutes in guardian history. Vex anti-space emplacements appeared instantly all around the conflux, taking aim at incoming transports. At the same time, the conflux itself did a remarkable impression of a tesla coil, swatting craft with huge lashes of electromagnetic energy.
After the battle, it would be found that only one in five transports made it to the surface.
As the fight on the surface materialized, the battle for the skies took shape. The Shipwright selected fireteams with the best pilots to form fighter squadrons. The top brass was not sure if the Vex would have a significant spaceborne force or not, so the fighters were equipped for bombing runs as well. Guardian craft streaked along the surface, annihilating Vex cyclops emplacements and allowing more guardians to land and reach the conflux.
Electric fog poured out of the cracks between space and time, ball lightning rolling through it to reveal legions of Vex. Titans rushed forward, deploying forcefield generators for cover. Firefights all over the surface reached a fever pitch quickly. It was expected that the guardians would be severely outnumbered, and the Vex didn’t disappoint. As sparrow-riding fireteams performed high-speed strafing runs across the front, the wall of red eyes appeared endless.
Where the conflux met the planet surface was a synthstone base which seemed to be growing outward at the same rate as the conflux itself grew upward. Every guardian on the ground fought
Vatyr slid from a full sprint to his knee then down to his belly, never taking his eyes from the scope of his sniper rifle. The entire contents of his clip had found homes in the cores of perched Vex hobgoblins before Telemica overtook him and advanced past him. Ten minotaurs marched towards the titan, but stopped as she was engulfed in flame. Telemica streaked towards them and leaped into them, smashing them to bits with her hammer of solar light. Solas joined the pair as Vatyr rose to his feet. Lights popped within the ever-present fog, revealing 23 goblins surrounding them. Solas rose into the air and shredded the new challengers with an omnidirectional onslaught of arc light.
Vatyr put down a cyclops blocking the entrance to the base with a massive solar shot, clearing the way for Warden to enter the installation. “We’re pretty far ahead of anyone else. We should dig in.” he said as they gathered at the entrance and surveyed the battle behind them.
“No! We should press ahead!” Telemica insisted, the fever of war having fully took hold of her as she readied her rifle. The synthstone around them continued to grow outwards, and the structures they could see past the entrance shifted around just as much.
Solas waved his hand in the direction of the dark pathway, sensing what was ahead with small points of light dancing around his fingers. “We have run out of time. We must press forward.” Telemica burst ahead, eager to meet the challenges before them, but Vatyr was momentarily frozen in place. Something about Solas’ tone and body language. If he had to put a word to it, it would be terrified. Still, the word was to press on. Vatyr took a quick breath and took off after Telemica.
Solas watched Vatyr disappear inside the complex. The complex grew around Solas and closed the entrance behind him, plunging the Exo into darkness save for the dim glow of the synthstone. “The singularity holds. All paths lead through this crucible.” He said, as if praying to spacetime before breaking into a run.