Chapter 5

We follow Zavala back to his home: inside the wreckage of the Almighty that had crashed long ago.

"Do you remember this, Warmind? Our great success," Zavala says and gives us a half smile weighted down by years of reclusiveness. "And our final victory."

Rasputin finds his way over to a console and plugs in. "There are files in there I've been trying to decrypt for years. Maybe you'll have better luck," Zavala says. He lights a fire and prepares a kettle.

"I can't imagine Eris…," Ana says, her voice trailing off in shock.

"Eris wasn't special. She was corrupted as easily as the rest. She came to me after finding an artifact inside a Pyramid on the Moon and deceived us all. The Bombardment was her masterstroke, proving that the Darkness destroys all it touches."

My sister shoots me a knowing and somewhat hopeful glance.

"What happened that day? It's been impossible to find accurate recounts," Ana says.

"We were outnumbered. When the Witch Queen found me, she called me 'the nonbeliever' as she tore my leg from its joint and pulled the Light from my Ghost, discarding me like trash. Ikora had it worse."

I look to Ana, who is hanging on every word, fighting back tears. The urge to console her rushes up from the pit in my stomach, but I repress the sensation. I wasn't meant for that.

"I looked up to the Traveler, hoping it would be our salvation from this atrocity. But instead, it just… left. Abandoned us when we needed it most. I wanted to reach out and grab it. Make it stay. Make it save us, as we always thought it would. But that was it. Gone. Cabal forces crumbled the rest."

Rasputin interrupts. "What's that, Red?" Ana asks.

"Did he say what I think he said?" I ask, perking up.

"He says Ghaul's plans to ensnare the Traveler and harvest its Light, the blueprints, they're all here. He's copying them now."

My mind races. Zavala has been sitting on a gold mine.

"Looks like you might get your chance to capture the Traveler after all," I propose with vigor. "We bring it back here. Make it fight and restore the Light."

"You'd need to find it first," Ana says. There's a hesitation in her voice. As if she actually doesn't like this plan.

Rasputin chimes in again in Russian. "What's he saying?" Zavala asks.

"He can track it. The Traveler," I say. "Clovis installed the capability as a failsafe in case it ever tried to run off."

"Even with Red tracking it, we'd need an army to build Ghaul's device," Ana says pessimistically.

"Ana, this is as good a shot as we're going to get. Did you drag me all this way to give up now?" I ask.

"No… no, you're right. We can figure this out."

Zavala smiles faintly while watching us.

"What do you say, Commander? One last ride for Ikora?" Ana knows just what to say.

"I suppose," Zavala says, "If this is the end of the world, we may as well go down swinging."

Ana's eyes light up. "We'll still need that army."

"I know of someone in command of an army who has a bone to pick with Eris," Zavala says. "We need to find Mara Sov."