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The Sunsinger (Destiny fan-fiction)


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Well, better late than never. Formatting here is really a pain in the butt. It would be so much simpler if it used Bbcode or Markup. In any case, here is my first Destiny story. It's an introduction to one of my nine Guardian characters. It was also the first piece of Destiny story I wrote, so it was an introduction of sorts for myself. It's short and simple.

This is something of a third draft. I've given it a few revisions, but it's still a little rough around the edges. Any feedback you'd be willing to offer would be much appreciated.

Elva woke.

Her entire body shuddered as a warm tingling sensation seeped through it. She instinctively breathed in. Air passed through her lips, but it did not reach her lungs. A single memory appeared in her blank mind; You don't need to breathe. You haven't for a long while. Exo.

She slowly raised her hand, using muscles…not muscles, motors…that hadn't been used in a long time. Her hand and forearm were entirely mechanical, nothing more than machinery covered in a thin bronze shell.

I remember that I am a machine, Elva thought to herself, but nothing else. Is there something to that? That assessment wasn't entirely true. She had a name. Elva. That she was certain of. Wasn't there something else to go with it though? A flicker of a something tugged at the edge of her conscious, but it vanished as soon as she concentrated on it. Instead, a different thought appeared.

I was dead.

Yes. She had definitely just come back to life. Or was this the afterlife? Why didn't she remember anything of her previous life? Surely she would at least remember dying. She racked her mind for something, anything, but she came up blank.

"You're awake! It worked!" a soft, feminine voice called from somewhere to the right. "I wasn't sure it would, not with all the corrosion, but it did! I finally found you."

Elva slowly sat up. The voice had come from a floating black ball with eight white…horns? The thing's single blue eye stared down at here. It seemed vaguely excited.

"What…?" Elva said. Her mind was as thick as cotton, and failed to process what the ball had just said. 

"I'm a Ghost," the ball replied, "Well, now I'm your ghost. You've been dead for a very, very long time. You're probably quite confused right now."

Elva climbed to her feet. The Ghost moved with her so that it hovered a few feet in front of her. It seemed harmless, so she ignored it and examined her surroundings. She stood on a rocky beach, the coastline curving away in either direction. Waves of murky orange water lapped at her feet. To the right, a crimson sun hung low on the horizon. She couldn't tell if it was rising or setting. To her left, thick dark clouds obscured the sky. As she watched, an arc of vivid blue lightning blossomed across the front of the cloud-wall. A moment later, a thick rumble washed over her.

"Um, yeah," the Ghost said, "You're on Venus, in case you don't remember. Which you probably don't. The others tell me they usually don't have any memories. Anyways, I don't know why I decided to look here, but it worked, apparently, since I found you. Getting back to the City is going-"

Another bolt of lightning split across the sky, this time connecting with the surface of the water in the distance. The thunder followed immediately after.

The Ghost shivered. "That storm is moving this way. You should probably put your helmet and gloves on before it gets here. The rain is very acidic. You won't want to get it on you."

Elva looked down. A rough looking helmet and a pair of thin gloves sat on a rock next to her. Elva realized she was wearing similar clothing; a thick tan tunic and gray formfitting leggings. Elva grabbed the helmet and gloves and slipped them on. They fit perfectly.

"Okay," the Ghost said, "We need to figure out how to get to Earth. The other Guardians tend to stay on the northern continent, so we're not going to get any help from them. There should be a few ships left intact in one of the old cities, but we're deep in Vex territory, not to mention on an island…a transfer gate maybe? Oh yeah, we should probably find you a weapon, before something attacks us."

Elva held up a hand. "Slow down, please," she said, "You're going too fast."

The Ghost paused and shook herself. "Right, sorry. Priorities. We are currently very deep in hostile territory right now. There is a very large storm coming. We need to get you to cover, and find something we can use to defend ourselves."

Elva nodded. "How do we do that?"

The Ghost motioned inland. Elva turned around and found herself facing a thick, lush jungle. The sun cast long shadows across the undergrowth, making it difficult to pierce the deep gloom. Blocky stone structures rose in the distance, just barely visible beyond the treetops.

"This beach is empty," the Ghost said, "If we are going to get anywhere, we need to head inland.

A fat orange raindrop struck Elva's helmet, leaving a long streak across the visor. Another drop struck her arm, and within moments, it was a downpour.

"Lead the way," Elva said.

"So, the Humans made me after the Traveler arrived?" Elva asked as she walked, "Why?"

"The accepted theory is that Exos were built as war machines," the Ghost said, "But a lot of information was lost during the Collapse. There's probably more to the story, but I don't know much about Golden Age history. I obviously don't remember anything before I was created."

Elva paused, digesting the information. The Ghost had been explaining the world as she walked. She told her of a benevolent Traveler and a lurking Darkness, and their battle that nearly killed humanity. And how the Ghosts were created to find Guardians to protect the survivors. Guardians like Elva.

The fist-sized orb disappeared shortly after they found the creek, vanishing in a flash of light and speaking through the earpiece in her helmet. She mentioned something about staying out of sight.

"So why here? Why Earth? What made this place so special?" Elva asked as she pushed through a tangle of underbrush. She was careful to keep away from the stagnant creek. Her clothing repelled the rain that slipped through the canopy well enough, but the creek looked much more toxic.

"That's a question no one really knows the answer to," the Ghost replied, "Some theories say that Earth is just where the Darkness managed to catch up to the Traveler. Others say that this system is where the Traveler decided to stop running."

"Huh." Elva grunted. That sounded vaguely reasonable, if being brought back to live by a floating ball could ever be considered reasonable.

She had come to realize she remembered a lot more than she had initially thought. She knew what Venus, Humans, jungles, food, poetry, and dozens of other things were. The basic knowledge of life. Yet, specific memories and events remained frustratingly elusive. She sometimes felt a thought, an impression of something vast, tug at the edge of her mind. Every time she focused on it, it evaporated. Who was she? What was her story?

"Ghost, I know my name," Elva said, "but is there supposed to be something else to it? A number?"

"You mean your designation number? Every Exo has one. It's how many times they've had their memory wiped. What's yours?"

"That's just it. I can't remember."

Elva kept walking in silence. The only sound was the dull patter of rain on the canopy. She hadn't seen a single animal since she had set out. She wasn't alone though. Her Ghost was still there, even though she couldn't see her.

The light was failing, and it was getting harder to see. The sun she had seen earlier had been setting, and now night approached.

She rounded a bend in the creek and emerged into a clearing. The long, narrow break in the jungle was lined on either side by stacks of huge gray stone blocks. The rain poured into the clearing, wetting the pillars. The stone was worn away in some places, exposing a geometric tangle of metal and circuitry. It was one of the structures she had spotted earlier.

Elva crossed the clearing, her boots crushing the thick grass. The sickly orange creek continued past the end of the structures, where it threaded back into the jungle. She kept following it inland, though now the trees were occasionally broken by stacks of the stone and metal slabs. The clearing had marked a border of some sort, the furthest extent of the ruins.

A heavy sense of foreboding settled on Elva's shoulders. These ruins, or whatever they were, felt wrong. She was not meant to be among them.

"Do you have a name?" she asked to distract herself.

"A name?" the Ghost replied. "Oh right, you can call me Erytheia. I think it comes from an old human myth. I'm not sure why-"

Elva pushed through a tangle of vines and found herself face to face with a monster. She registered dull metal skin, long spindly limbs and a fan-shaped head with single red eye.

Reflexes she didn't even know she had snapped into action. She lashed out with her hand without even thinking about it. Warm sensation flooded her chest and surged down her arm. Golden light burst through her glove as her palm connected with the center of the thing's chest.

The light tore through the metal shell and slammed it against a stone block. It lurched sideways, then crumpled on the ground, droplets of molten metal dripping from its scorched torso.

Elva slowly lowered her hand, utterly awestruck by the power she had just channeled. 

The Ghost, Erytheia, materialized next to her and flew over to the smoking corpse. She scanned the remains with a beam of blue light.

"Congratulations," Erytheia said, "You just killed a Vex goblin."

Elva approached the goblin. She had burned away the metal plate on its chest and exposed an unimaginably complicated tangle of machinery. The goblin was a robot. It had been built. Not born. It was just like her…

"Over here," Erytheia called. The Ghost motioned to something lying in the grass a few feet away. It was a device of some sort. Two lobes covered in brass colored metal and connected by a thick handle. A pair of thick prongs extended from one end.

"This was its weapon, a slap rifle," the Ghost explained, "See if you can figure out how to use it."

Elva frowned. The prongs looked like the business end, that much was obvious. It had a handle, but no obvious trigger. She pointed it towards the pillar and tried pressing various parts of the weapon. Her finger brushed against a recess above the handle.

The prongs crackled and spat out an electric orange pulse of energy. The bolt struck the stone and blasted a fist-sized chunk out of it.

"I think I figured it out." Elva said.

"Perfect," Erytheia replied. "Now, I have an idea that might get us to the mainland, but you aren't going to like it."

"You want me to climb that," Elva said in disbelief, pointing at the Vex tower. The huge stone structure glowed in the darkness, illuminated from within by harsh white light. It was partially obscured by curtains of mist and rain, but she could tell it was massive. Pieces of the architecture jutted out from the main tower at random intervals. Some of them even hung in mid air, oblivious to the pull of gravity. 

"Like I said earlier," Erytheia replied, "we are currently on an island. Specifically, Irnini Mons, in the middle of the Eistla Sea. This place was consumed by the Vex years ago. There's absolutely nothing left we can use to get back to Earth. Seeing as you can't exactly fly, our only way of getting off the island is to find a Vex transfer gate and hope it connects to somewhere on the mainland."

Elva grimaced, the steady rain pounding against her helmet. She had already killed another pair of Vex on her way up to the ridge. Their weapon proved to be surprisingly effective against their own armor. There were bound to be many, many more of the alien robots in the citadel though. Alive for a few hours, and she was already in over her head.

"If you're sure it's our only way out, I guess we don't have a choice, do we?" she said after a moment.

"Not really. Let's go."

Elva hefted the slap rifle and started down the ridge, careful to keep her footing on the slick stone. The tower ahead was perched on the edge of a broken cliff. The jungle crowded the open area on the left, and on the right, the cliff descended to an inky black lake. The ground around the tower was covered with scattered blocks and structures. Erytheia said every bit of ruins was all part of a single planet-spanning network. That had some fascinating implications.

She wove her way across the open ground in front of the citadel. A tall dark gap between the stones looked like the entrance. A small spire stood in front of it, giving her some cover. She knelt behind the spire and peered around the edge. Sure enough, a squad of a dozen Vex stood guard. Her instincts told her that was far more than she could handle with her single weapon.

"Okay, now what?" Elva whispered, pulling back.

"Use the Light, like we practiced," Erytheia replied in her ear.

Elva held out her hand. She concentrated for a moment, and the source in her chest opened up. Warmth expanded through her torso and down her arm, where it pooled in her palm. Elva willed it to take the shape of a sphere.

She jumped out from the pillar and hurled the grenade at the Vex. It landed right in the middle of the robots and ignited like a miniature sun.

Several of them were instantly annihilated by the pulse of golden light. The remaining five turned towards her with metallic cries of alarm. Elva ducked back behind a pillar just before a half dozen bolts of plasma tore through space she just been. She dashed around the other side of the pillar and fired at the Vex closest to her. It fell after the third shot. Elva kept firing and brought down two more of the machines before they could return fire.

An angry red lance of plasma shot from the Vex in the back and slammed into her shoulder. She stumbled back and gasped as pain shot down her arm. Another bolt struck the stone next to her head, showering her with bits of stone. She dove back behind the pillar and clutched her shoulder. Her tunic and metal skin had been burned completely through, and the wiring underneath crackled and smoked.

"Don't worry, I got this," Erytheia said in a calming tone. After a moment, the pain faded and burnt wiring regrew. A sheet of blue light filled the hole in the shoulder plate, and solidified into a patch of metal. Finally, the tunic reknit itself, whole and untouched.

"Try not to get many more of those," the Ghost continued, "I'm not sure we have enough Light for a full revival.

Elva filed the information away. Erytheia could heal her with the Light, bring her back from death again even, but she had a limited amount. She needed to be careful.

She raised her weapon and tried to picture where the two remaining Vex were. One had been to the right, and the other behind and slightly to the left. If they were still facing her, she could hit their weak middle sections before they had a chance to return fire. She held her breath and jumped back around the pillar.

Two shots, and two more Vex destroyed.

"Yes!" Erytheia said, "We'll make a Sunsinger out of you yet."

"A what?"

"I'll explain later, we should get moving before reinforcements arrive."

Elva nodded and crossed the battlefield. She stopped by the furthermost Vex. This one had been different, with a head shaped into two blades instead of a circular fan. The weapon it had been holding was also unalike. It had a sleeker body and longer prongs.

"Wait, grab that!" her Ghost said, "That's a sniper rifle. We can use it." Elva snatched up the weapon. Erytheia materialized by her side and projected a gray beam of light across Elva's back. A sling condensed out of the light. Elva reached over her shoulder and slid the weapon in, so it sat across her back.

"Okay, now it's time to climb the big scary tower!" Erytheia chirped.

Elva frowned as she approached the entrance to the citadel. Was the little Ghost enjoying this?

The interior of the citadel was dry, and surprisingly empty. The cavernous rooms branched and folded in on themselves in a bewildering maze of stone and metal. Surely, there must be a design to it, a pattern, Elva thought, but how?

Occasionally, she ran into a lone goblin or a pair of goblins. They weren't a problem for her, especially as she became more comfortable with the slap rifle.

"Which way?" she asked as she walked through a tall, uneven hallway. Despite the occasional flights of stairs, the Vex had clearly not intended the haphazard structures for habitation.

"The transfer gates will be at the very top of the tower. There should be a lift at the center."

Wonderful, Elva thought.

The light she had seen from outside came from the long white filaments threaded between various parts of the structure. She couldn't tell if they were solid or not. If she could just reach one, she could study it and figure out what it was…

Elva shook herself. She couldn't afford to get distracted. She kept walking.

It didn't take her long to get lost. The turning, twisting paths only became more confusing the deeper she went. She had no idea how to get back to the entrance even.

"Don't worry," Erytheia said, sensing her unease, "I know where we are. We're close. Try the next right."

At least the Ghost had a good sense of direction. That was reassuring.

Elva turned the corner. The passageway opened up into an enormous hall. The space was easily a hundred yards across, and the ceiling rose twice as high above her. A column of blue light stretched down from the ceiling on the far side. Two Vex snipers, the ones Erytheia called hobgoblins, stood guard in front of the column.

She slid back behind the corner. The robots were surprisingly inattentive, and they hadn't noticed her. That was very lucky.

"The blue column is the lift," Erytheia said.

Elva slowly peered back around the corner. The floor between her and the hobgoblins was completely open. They would cut her down before she made it twenty feet. She reached over her shoulder and pulled out the sniper rifle she had scavenged from the other hobgoblin.

She carefully aligned what she figured were the rifle's sights on the hobgoblin to the left. She took a deep breath and tapped the trigger.

The rifle hummed for a moment, then a red bolt of plasma exploded from the prongs and sliced across the hall. The bolt struck the hobgoblin and rent it in half. Shards of metal and drops of milky white liquid sprayed against the other hobgoblin. It shrieked in alarm and folded down on itself as its skin started glowing with heat.

"It's in lockdown mode," Erytheia said, "Go now!"

Elva stood up and started running towards the lift. She was three-fourths of the way across when the hobgoblin reactivated. It stood up and pointed its weapon directly at her.

"Ech!" Elva shouted. She pulled on the Light in her moment of panic. This time, it shot down her legs and pushed her into the air.

The hobgoblin's shot went wide. Elva stopped in mid-air, hung momentarily in space. The Vex started at her blatant violation of physics.

Elva leveled her slap rifle at it and blew its head off.

The hobgoblin staggered. Elva dropped and landed on her shoulder. The impact jarred her skeleton. The headless Vex growled and charged. Elva yelped and fired at it again. The shot melted off an arm, but it kept coming. She fired another shot. The rampaging machine finally stumbled. She held her finger down and didn't stop until the hobgoblin was reduced to half-melted lump on the floor.

"Um, that was violent" Erytheia said after a moment. Elva took a deep breath and crawled to her feet.

A cloud of mist condensed in the air behind Elva. Static hisses of lightning crackled through it as dozens of burning red eyes took shape through the fog.

"More Vex!" Erytheia shouted "Hurry, get in the lift!" Elva scrambled forward and threw herself into the pillar of light. A force immediately yanked her upwards. She twisted and glimpsed dozens of Vex forming out of the cloud. The last sound that reached her was their haunting scream.

The lift deposited her in a floating courtyard. Several glowing arches lit the broad space. There were five total, perfectly circular, each holding a swirling vortex of energy. As far as Elva could tell, there was nothing connecting the courtyard to the rest of the structure. They were floating thousands of feet in the air. The wind howled through the darkness, driving the rain sideways between the levitating formations surrounding them.

"Perfect," Erytheia said, "Hopefully one of the gates connects to somewhere useful."

"And what if they don't?" Elva asked, a sinking feeling settling in the stomach. She was a robot - did she even have a stomach?

"Well then, I guess we…um, pick one and see where it goes? It will take me a minute to map each gate back to its point of origin. You should probably watch the lift."

"Lovely," Elva muttered. The Ghost shimmered into existence by her shoulder and flew over to the nearest arch. She split apart, the eight pyramids that formed her shell expanding outward. The exposed core started scanning the gate's workings with a beam of light. 

Elva shook her head and sat down on a block in front of the lift, the rain dripping off her clothes. The nervousness of a moment ago had faded, and now she felt surprisingly…calm. Was she supposed to feel calm? She had only been alive for a few hours, but she was fairly certain that when you were trapped on the top of a tower surrounded by dozens of murderous robots with no way back, you were not supposed to feel calm.

On the other hand, Elva did know she wanted to learn more. She felt a peculiar, distracting urge to examine everything around her, to study it, figure out why. The Vex in particular fascinated her. Erytheia said they could teleport across entire galaxies in the blink of an eye, and move through time with the same ease one would walk backwards and forwards. They had built all these bizarre structures, but when she asked Erytheia what for, she said nobody knew. If only the Vex didn't try to kill her on sight…

A static hiss split the air.

Elva scrambled to her feet. A misty cloud formed in front of the lift, and several spindly shapes started to coalesce.

"Erytheia! The Vex are here!" she shouted, raising her alien aweapon.

"Try to hold them off!" the Ghost replied, "I need more time!"

Elva ducked behind a jutting slab as Vex stepped out of the cloud. There were at least twenty of them, all crowded on the platform in front of the lift. Elva managed to fire a single shot before all hell broke lose and a hail of particle bolts forced her back behind her cover. She couldn't even peak her head out without it getting blown off. Elva formed a grenade in her hand and blindly lobbed it towards the lift.

The explosion destroyed a few of them, and made the remaining machines hesitate. Elva seized the opening and scrambled across the courtyard to smaller block, closer to the gates. The quick movement reminded the Vex that she was still there. They resumed pelting the ground with plasma.

"There's too many of them!" Elva sputtered.

"I'm going as fast as I can," Erytheia replied, moving from the second gate to the third.

Elva winced as a particle bolt tore through the sleeve on her arm. She crouched even further behind the slab.

The pelt of plasma stopped.

A deep metallic roar reverberated through the courtyard.

She gingerly peaked above the slab. A hulking figure stepped out of the lift. The towering robot stood twice as tall as the other Vex, and its black body was sheathed in a shifting film of energy. Its single red eye locked on to her through the rain.

The giant Vex raised its weapon and fired.

An orb of purple energy erupted from the cannon and arced straight towards her cover. Elva yelped and stumbled backwards. The projectile smashed into the block and disintegrated it in a spray of dust.

Elva pulled out her sniper rifle as she scrambled away from the monstrous new Vex. It fired again and disintegrated the section of floor she had just been standing on. She aimed her own weapon and returned fire.

The red spear of plasma struck the robot's shoulder and fizzled out in a spray of sparks. The glowing film covering the towering Vex flashed once, completely unharmed by the attack.

The robot emitted an angry torrent of beeps and groans and started advancing. The other Vex units fell into formation behind it.

"Erytheia…" Elva warned.

"Just hold on! I almost have it!" Erytheia frantically shot back.

Elva grimaced and fired her slap rifle at the approaching robot. The plasma bolts had no effect. Elva took another step back. She was getting close to the edge of the platform.

The Vex leader started running. It dissolved into a swirl of sparks and rematerialized right in front of her. Elva barely had time to register what happened before the Vex slammed its arm into her chest.

Elva flew backwards and skidded across the rough stone. She came to a stop with her head and shoulders hanging over the abyss. A throbbing pain settled in her chest.

She tore her gaze away from the swirling drop and dragged herself to her feet. The Vex leader fired again. She barely dodged in time. The purple bolt screamed past her and was swallowed by the night.

"The Light!" Erytheia called, "Use the Light. Don't hold back!"

"How am I supposed to do that?!" Elva cried. The towering Vex teleported again, halving the distance between them.

"You know how! Let it flow through you! Become one with it!"

The Vex leader teleported right in front of her and raised its arm.

Elva ignited.

The Light flared like a sun above her head. Warmth shot down her spine and rushed through her body. The pain in her chest faded immediately as her skin burst alight with a golden glow. She lashed out with her palm and struck the Vex before her.

The blow sent the robot flying. Its energy shield popped and dissipated. The Vex crashed against the ground and slowly rose to its feet.

Elva rose into the air. She was vaguely aware a pair of glowing wings had formed on her back. The power surged through her, waiting for her command.

She raised her hand and sent forth an orb of light. The burning blast struck the Vex leader and seared its casing off. The robot bellowed and charged.

The next grenade ended it.

The remaining goblins opened fire at Elva. Their weak weapons fizzled against her glowing aura. Elva returned her own salvo of burning energy. Each grenade incinerated the some of the machines on contact.

She kept pouring light at the Vex until they were reduced to smoldering lumps of slag. Even when she finally stopped, the Light continued to seep from her skin. She hung in the air, her burning wings illuminating the courtyard. Raindrops sizzled against her clothing in puffs of steam. The rush of sensation was incredible! She felt…alive! Completely and utterly awake, in every sense of the word.

Elva's Radiance faded, and she slowly sank to the ground.

"See," Erytheia said, appearing at her shoulder, "Sunsinger. An angel of the Light. A fire even the Darkness cannot extinguish."

"A flame in the night…is that what I am now?" Elva replied.

"I think so. I brought you back in the Light. Whatever you were before, it doesn't matter now. You're a Guardian now. You make your own destiny."

Elva nodded. Her Ghost was right. She was something new now, something different. She wasn't just Elva. She had been born anew. She let the phantom memory she had been trying so hard to hold on to slip away. She didn't need her past. She was Elva Prime now. And her story was just beginning.

"Come on," Erythia said, motioning towards the fourth gate, "This one will drop us by the ruins of Thetis City. I was in that area a few months ago. There's a hangar hidden on the outskirts with a ship that still had a warp drive. If it's still there, we can use it to get to Earth. To go home."

The Ghost dissolved and vanished back into her clothing. Elva stepped up to the gateway. The swirling vortex of energy pulsed uncertainly.

Elva took a deep breath and stepped into the light.


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1 hour ago, Glamdring804 said:

Thanks man (or woman). Warlocks are my second favorite, but don't tell anyone that. ;-)

I will absolutely let you know when I post more. I have a few finished, in addition to the stuff I'm working on right now. 

Thanks, I thought this was really cool and cant wait to see more

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