(Still alive. I guess we were waiting on Inq to do something.)
( EVERYBODY'S DEAD. )
"It's a servicable base enough," Arxus added, as he crossed his arms and overlooked the new arrival of the Storm Juggernauts. "We'll have to move quickly, though. I'm not sure if we have much time left, let alone how much the Mind's fortified their position since our last visit."
With the Cetus gate ready, the last thing left was to storm the Underworld. Arxus allowed everyone time for preparation, while he prepared as well. Guns were reloaded; the Disciples took whatever they had left out of their armory, including rocket launchers and sniper rifles. Their supply was limited, but hopefully, this would be the last time they would need to launch a large scale offensive. Any time soon, anyways.
"How can we? We wouldn't be able to get back after the bomb goes off-" Arxus cut himself off when Ma'carn announced his presence. Sand whipped up as the Harvester began to land. "Well, I'll be damned... he actually got them."
"Glad to have you with us, Storm Juggernauts," Arxus said. At Scythe's behest, Arxus had some of the Disciples start clearing out the rubble so Scythe could bring down some Walkers. Departing from the bomb, Arxus grabbed what slabs of stone he could and tossed them out of the way, at least hopefully giving them enough space for a proper staging area before they launched their final assault.
"If Fenrir and the Cabal do show up, he can cover us from here," Arxus continued, pointing at another Vex gate somewhere at the front. "And we won't be able to confirm the kill. Most of that chamber will probably collapse with the payload." That was the most ideal outcome; Arxus didn't even bother to say what would happen if the bomb failed to put a dent into the Mind.
"Plenty of space for Walkers. Should be able to fit in two or three, if we're lucky." After laying out the plan, Arxus swiped his hand and Grim disengaged the holographic display. "If we make it out alive, it'll be much appreciated."
"Grim. Map." As soon as Arxus said this, Grim projected a hologram of their target.
"While we were down there, I managed to map out a digital representation of the Vex Underworld," Grim said. The image shown was the same place that Avori and Arxus had been previously; a wide corridor full of Vex pods, Vex gates everywhere and the dwelling place and control center for the Repetitive Mind.
"There's various ways to get into the Underworld," Arxus began to speak. "Scythe and the House of Blades will enter here," he said as he pointed towards one of the Vex gates at the front. "Pariah and her Disciples will enter here." He pointed towards another gate, just across from the first. "Your groups will run distraction while Avori and myself slip in the back, prime the bomb, and then we all can get the hell out of there."
"If Avori can get that Cetus' gate working, I can program it to spit us out at different destinations," Grim commented.
Arxus hauled the bomb out of the temple; descending down the temple steps, he slapped the thing down right at the center of the courtyard, where it had originally been assembled. "Any help is appreciated, no matter how small," Arxus was quick to comment, as he folded his arms.
"If they're coming, then they're coming. The Cabal have just as much to lose as the rest of us do." He paused for a moment, before turning towards Pariah. "I hope your people are ready for this." The Titan turned and directed the rest of his speech to everyone.
"The Repetitive Mind isn't going down without a fight, I can guarentee that much. All of us: Guardians, Disciples, Fallen and Cabal. We all have a stake in this. If the Vex win, we may not live to see tomorrow. There may not even be a tomorrow. It'll be a future in which the Vex dictate what happens. That is an outcome that we cannot allow. Believe me when I say that we're going down there, and we're going to send those machine bastards screaming back into whatever nether hellhole they crawled out of."
Pausing briefly, he looked around at everyone else present, either in person or over the COMMs. He exhaled, before continuing. "This is it, fellas. It's make or break."
"We'll answer them when we get back. For now, we have a job to do." Just as Arxus finished speaking, whirring noises filled the air briefly, followed by an excited laughter. The bomb was finished.
The Titan strode over and picked up the bomb by himself; his arms coiled around the thing in a bear hug. Possibly to the surprise of the others, he began hauling the thing back outside of the temple, where the others would most likely greet them.
"Along with everyone else we've lost," Arxus added.
"Argus, this isn't up for discussion. Return im-" Zavala's sentence was cut short as the communication line was severed. Not by Vex interference, but because Arxus cut it early.
"Argus out," Arxus said, even though it was too late to reply to the Vanguard. Using the hilt of his sword for support, the Titan lifted himself to his feet and stood tall. Tearing the weapon from the sand, he holstered it upon his back and prepared for war.
(Far too late, unfortunately. We'll likely start another one after this thread wraps up, so you're welcome to join then.)
"We're not here to convince you," Arxus responded, cutting into the conversation. "This is the only chance we have. If we do nothing, the Vex win."
"Absolutely not, Guardian. I won't sign off on any unorthodox missions like this. Return to the Tower immediately." Zavala was still among his peers; from his tone of voice, it seemed that things weren't going well for them.
"That Mind that's been bothering us? It'll be leaving soon, so we're going to give it a going away present." Arxus eyed Pariah from across the room; the Disciple Huntress silently nodded.
"The Repetitive Mind has a Vex factory beneath Mercury," Grim added. "We have a bomb and we're going to blow them all to kingdom come."
With the channel opened, shouting was immediately heard on the other end. Mostly from Zavala barking orders; from the sounds of it, the situation had escalated severely in the last day.
"... who is that on the line?" He spoke in a hushed tone, likely further away. "Argus?" Now louder. "Argus, what's your status? We thought we lost you."
"Not yet, sir. We're still alive and kicking," Arxus spoke proudly. "Just checking in before we do something that may be possibly suicidal."
"Last we heard, they were stopping the Vex around the solar system," Grim commented. "I'm willing to bet that the Repetitive Mind only did it to distract everyone else and keep them off Mercury."
"Hm. We haven't checked in in a while. Maybe ought to let them know the situation." Arxus popped a fresh mag into Drang, before slapping the sidearm back onto his thigh. "Grim. Open up a channel to the Tower."
(Take as much time as you need.)
As opposed to the others, Arxus wasn't all too phased by the concept of loss; he had lost plenty before, and there would be time to mourn their dead later. A stoic-eyed Arxus continued to inspect his Drang, eventually finding the mag release.
"We will make it out," he said in confidence. "Even if they are gone, I will not let them die in vain. We've come way too far just to fail."
"Everyone else is MIA," Arxus followed up, after Avori stopped talking. "No one knows where they are."
Pulling Drang off his thigh, the Titan began the process of reloading the weapon; the designs were archaeic so it took him a second or two to figure it out. This consisted of Arxus staring at the thing, flipping it to various angles just to gain some notion of understanding.
"I have it handled," Grim replied. "Scythe, Fenrir, do you copy? We've made it back to the Lighthouse."
While Grim hailed the others, Arxus relaxed against the fallen pillar. He set Bolt Caster between his legs, digging the sharp end into the sand beneath his feet. It had been a long journey thus far, but it wasn't over just yet.
Pariah said nothing to respond, only offering a mile-long stare from the surface of her helmet. She turned abruptly and faced her fellow Disciples. "Come on, then. The sooner you finish this, the sooner we can take retribution."
"Still as charming as always," Arxus said, as he sat down against a fallen pillar. He relaxed, not having had much time to do so as recent events saw them in non-stop action. "I guess we can take a breather until the others get here."
"No half-measures. Not this time," Arxus confirmed.
"We do not know," Pariah remarked with a shrug. "There is no way to assess the damage without pulling the entire thing apart. We simply do not have the time for that. Only time to make small adjustments and hope for the best." The Disciple Hunter turned his attention towards Avori, right then and there. "Remember this, though. After we kill this Mind, we're done here, Guardians. You will leave Mercury for good."
"That... could actually work," Arxus responded, after a momentary pause. "Given a high enough blast yield, the explosion might be powerful enough to rupture the Radiolarian pods and damage the Mind itself. If that isn't enough, then I guess we'll have to go in and finish the job."
The surviving Disciples emerged from the shadows, having been in hiding since the attack on the Lighthouse. The bomb was hauled out; a Disciple yanked off the severed hand of a frame, which was still gripping the bomb's handle.