Chapter43: Words That We Couldn’t Say
The pod pulsed and flickered with a wide spectrum of light and patterns while they watched. All any of them could do is watch and know that while they did nothing, the outside world fell apart. The silence was barely dented by the low modulating hums and whistles of the pod, the busy working frames and the floating ghosts.
“He’s probably looking for me.” Angela said under her breath.
“Who? The Speaker?” asked Vatyr.
“Yeah. Chances are that regardless of how bad things are getting, all he cares about is finding me.”
“You’ve become quite the focus.”
“The world is a dangerous place. He knows that if anything happens to him, a replacement would be vital to everyone’s survival. Without a connection to The Traveler, we’d be lost.” I think it’s more than that for him. I’m like his daughter now. Angela had lost count of how many times she had to stop herself from calling the old man father. How many times he had stopped himself from calling her daughter, she wondered.
Telemica sat and watched the pod with a still intensity. If she allowed herself to look at the reports coming in from the outside that flashed across the nearby screens, she’d leap out of her own skin. Every fibre of her being was screaming at her to dive into the fray and tear some Vex apart, but she knew that she alone wouldn’t be enough to turn the tide. Solas had planned a critical role for her, and after everything she’d been through and… remembered… she decided that patience was the better part of valour.
As the metallic cocoon slowly ceased to glow, the tension in the room skyrocketed. Whatever processes had been going on within, they were complete. Was Solas alive? Dead? Still corrupted by the seed of Darkness? It was like someone had flooded the lab with arctic cold water. Everyone held their breath. Even the frames paused their work and came to attention close around the pod, ready to act.
It was only half a minute before the pod’s seam reappeared and it began to open, but it felt like an eternity. Solas lay inside, motionless. The contours of the padding shifted to give him a reclined seated position as the frames moved in, checking him over with scanning equipment embedded in their armatures. Holographic readouts appeared all around the pod, no doubt automatically, to give the occupant critical data after being deprived for extended periods. His eyes were once again gone, sealed behind an eyeless and all-seeing horned shell. Angela rushed in between the frames and took Solas’ hand tightly in both of hers; her eyes clenched shut as if she was willing him to come to life. Wake up. Please. We need you. I need you.
Solas’ hand slowly closed around Angela’s. Sensing his return to consciousness, the pod inclined further, allowing Solas to face his comrades.
“Status?” Solas asked dryly. Wisp floated close and in a flash, reintegrated with his long lost guardian. At the speed of thought, Solas was brought up to speed. “I see. According to plan more or less.”
Vatyr approached and extended his hand towards the warlock, “A plan I wish we’d been made aware of beforehand,” he said with a smile. I’m glad you’re back, brother.
Solas nodded and clasped Vatyr’s forearm in a classic warrior’s greeting, “It was imperative that you be kept in the dark. Your actions after my apparent demise needed a unique driving factor.” Vatyr nodded, knowing better than to argue with the Exo in matters like these.
Angela was shaking. Her body quaked as her hands gripped the Exo’s for what appeared to be dear life. Her bowed head did nothing to hide the fact that she was crying. Solas’ free hand came to rest lightly on her head. “You did exceedingly well.” I could not be more proud of you.
A few seconds passed before Angela nodded and released her grip. Pivoting quickly and moving towards the closest interface station, she began to bring programs and systems online within the lab. The frames immediately went to work to support her. She turned to face Fireteam Warden, tears still in her eyes but a smile on her face and a puffed chest that screamed pride and confidence. We’ve got a civilization to save. Let’s get to it, guardians!
Two frames approached Vatyr and Telemica, each motioning for one to follow. “What’s this about?” asked Vatyr.
“This stage of the plan requires that we have access to power not available to other guardians. Foreseeing this, I’ve designed and built equipment packages designed specifically for each of you. Using them, we should be able to repel the current threat before Rasputin can act, or before the Vex and their Axis Minds can succeed in defeating The Traveler. Follow the frames and they’ll get you set to engage.” explained Solas, standing slowly.
Angela continued to prepare things and Vatyr followed his attending frame towards a different chamber, but Telemica remained standing with Solas.
I know what I saw. I know you saw the same things. I know they were memories of us.
I will never forgive myself for killing you, my love.
Love. There was love, once. I can feel the space it left in me. A pain that I’ve never noticed before.
One day, we’ll resolve this. To find our way forward.
Tomorrow holds many possibilities for us, but now is a time for battle. We fight today to win a tomorrow. Together.
“Are you two going to hustle or am I gonna have to save the day on my own?” called out Vatyr before entering. After all, Telemica and Solas were just staring at each other in silence as far as he could tell. “Not that I mind. I’ll need whatever goodwill I can work up to keep Zavala from making me walk back to Vesta naked,” he said with his back turned as he passed from view.
Telemica smiled. Whatever the past was and whatever the future still held, Warden would endure… together. She turned and followed her attending frame, grasping Solas’ shoulder in assurance as she passed.