Chapter 9

"What have you done?!" I scream as Mara Sov's body drops lifelessly to the ground.

"Elsie, listen to me. This was necessary. The Darkness cannot thrive while believers of the Light remain. There's a world beyond this conflict. Let's go there together," Ana pleads.

"This is not the way!" I cry and ready my Stasis.

"Elsie, please don't do this. You can still join us. Don't you want to be a family again?"

Not like this. Not through death and betrayal. Zavala was right about her… I remember the promise I made.

"I forgive you for all the years you kept me in the dark. I know you were trying to protect me. Forget the past. We can start over. Let me protect you now," she says with such sincerity that I know she's too far gone to reason with.

The look on Ana's face tells me she knows where I've landed. She's genuinely hurt, gritting her teeth to stop herself from crying. I try to raise my hand to blast her, but she's already on the move.

Ana attacks and stabs me in my side, disconnecting core components. My left arm goes limp. I look up to see Eris summoning a portal. The Vex come flooding through. Our army of Cabal and Fallen are being eviscerated. Vex Hydras swarm the Leviathan and open fire. If I could cry, I would. We lost. Again.

Suddenly, Eris stands above me with a twisted grin. "Do you see what the path of the self-righteous yields? You call it protection, but all Ana felt was abandonment. You left a void. Darkness filled it."

"You have bigger problems," I say, looking to the sky.

A piercing noise emanates from the Traveler. Its brilliance begins to swell. Worried and confused, Eris commands all her forces to focus on killing it with Dark energy.

"It didn't have to be this way," Ana cries as she drives the knife into me once more. "You could have been with me!"

I finally shatter my own binding, blasting her with Stasis. She flies back, locked in the air. I see her struggling. "Ana, she's corrupted you!"

"No… She gave me purpose!"

Damn it all. I know what I have to do.

I kiss her forehead as I turn her blade and thrust it into her. Her eyes go wide, and some semblance of my sister returns before she fades.

"Elsie…" she trails off into the void. My own sister… Eris will pay for this.

The Darkness energy Eris manipulates canvases the landscape and makes its way to the sky. I see the Traveler, getting brighter as the Darkness encapsulates it. I race toward Eris, but I'm too late.

In an enchanting explosion, the Traveler's Light enshrouds all in totality.

Then darkness. n
I'm awake.

I see a tower. THE Tower.

I'm in the Last City. It's… thriving. Bustling with life. Children laughing.

There's a small parade. I fight through the crowd to find Cayde-6 at the center of it. "I think I finally got him this time!" he shouts as a beardless Zavala greets him.

"Taniks has been dead before," Zavala says.

From behind him emerges Ikora Rey, like a vision. "Let the new Hunter Vanguard bask. He's earned it."

I'm so sick of this scene. Of hearing these words ever since the day I killed my sister. That was the first time. Now I've lost count.

No matter what I do, it always ends the same. Blood and betrayal. Then I'm back where I started. Right here.

I'm being taunted, punished. Forced to relive this loop.

There has to be a way out. I will find it.

I have to save my sister.