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Awoken Into Darkness - A Community-Driven Fan Fiction


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“Tenno,” the word rang through the darkness like a bell.

“You must awaken Tenno, there’s no time.”

It was a female voice, distorted by the familiar buzzing of electrical interference that came with long-range communications. The recipient recognized it but was not sure exactly how. The brain cycled through the normal questions of ‘who, what, when and where’ but everything was drawing up a blank. Adrenaline started to rise as the sound of warning klaxons faded into the purview of his perception. As he struggled to regain control over his spinning head, the Tenno managed to lean forward, his hands meeting the frozen glass above him.

“Your cryopod’s locking mechanism is stuck, Tenno.” The female voice stated, her tone indicating some essence of concern, but her directions were clear and unfettered by such things as panic. “You will need to force the magnetic release to your side.” She stated flatly, and breathing, the still defrosting warrior blurry looked around the pod. Shapes were starting to form; the silvery innards of his cryopod and the squealing and hissing of the metal heating up from a frozen state, coating the area in front of him with steam. In the mists of his confined space, he saw a lever, still encrusted with frost and flashing a blinding light, his eyes not yet finished adjusting from an endless sleep. He reached out, a hand covered in organic material and armor gripping the lever. He pulled down, but his muscles were still coming out of their frozen weakness. It took several tries before the metal finally whined in protest before giving way. As the lever came down, the deafening pop of air depressurizing chimed in disharmony with the sound of the mag-locks powering down. The door fell away, and with it, the Tenno felt the breeze of hot, humid air.

Straining every muscle, the Tenno coughed and slowly pushed up into a leaning position. The door had landed off to the side and as he looked around the expansive room, his eyes started to adjust to the rust-colored lighting and glinting metal. It was dreary, dark and oppressive, but it was better than the inside of that frozen coffin. His strength was returning quickly and pulling himself out of the pod; he stumbled slightly and fell to the floor a foot or so below. Once again, he defiantly rose into a kneeling position and paused, resting his hands on his knees for a moment and lowered his head. He remembered something; breathing was important. It cleared the mind of ailments and focused the body. He tried to remember who he was and what he was doing in that pod, but nothing came. Slowly, his thought patterns turned to the female voice that had awakened him and almost as if sensing the questions in his mind, the voice spoke.

“Welcome back to this waking world, Tenno. I am Lotus.” The name rang of familiarity, but he could not place it.

“You have been awakened because there is a great need for your kind. Your old enemies have found your hiding place and have boarded the ship. Awakening you so quickly was not part of our plan, but we are left with little choice. In your pod, you will find your weapons,” she said simply, as if such a term was taken as read. In truth, the thought of weapons did not do anything but lend a feeling of comfort to the Tenno as he continued to breathe.

“Take them. The Grineer are almost to your storage chamber, but are moving slowly. They think this craft is abandoned.” She paused a moment and a small hint of saddened hope seemed to color her voice. It was barely perceptible, but to his ears, the Tenno could make it out clearly.

“Your enemy is numerous, Tenno. Be cautious.”

His body was quickly returning to normal, but the groggy feeling was being resistant, even against the years of meditative training. Knowing that time was against him now, he finally managed to stand, leaning against the pod and pushing himself up to his feet. As he looked back into his former resting place, he saw the glint of weapons, much like Lotus had said. He knew the names somehow; like the knowledge was an ingrained part of his body. The first weapon was a Dark Sword. It glinted in silver light and as he removed it, the ice seemed to spread. He could feel the blade reacting to his touch and trying to scrape the ice off with his hand, he noticed the metal immediately started to freeze and form icicles again. It was an old weapon, modified with some simple additions, and formed in a long triangular shape. It felt natural to hold it; as if he was missing a limb, only to have it replaced again.

The second weapon was a pistol. A Lex, as he recalled. The pistol was small for such a huge impact, and sat neatly on his thigh. He was not much of a person for firearms, but as a warrior he knew the value in having such weapons to hand. There were the remains of what appeared to be some kind of automatic small-arm in the pod as well, but it was useless in its current state. Deciding to leave it, the Tenno stood, placing his weapons away and taking a moment to look at his hands and torso. He was covered in armor; a Warframe, his mind recalled. It was a mixture of organic, leather-like material and plates of metal and bone-like patterning. It fit snugly to his body and clenching his fist, he could feel it react to him – a living cover to his own flesh. It seemed to sense him as he felt out for it and in a shimmering of pale blue light, its systems engaged, causing lights to flicker on and an energy field rise up from his feet and coat his body. Finally, the Tenno was ready.

“Tenno,” the voice of the Lotus said firmly, “…The Grineer are two rooms away. Find cover.”

Turning his head to look at the main door to the room, the sounds of deep, distorted voices could be heard, giving status reports and barking orders. It did not take long for even the slightly addled mind of the Tenno to work out a plan, and moving – slowly at first – towards a stack of crates, the Tenno silently pressed his back to them and waited, out of sight from the main entrance.

The door opened, causing a rush of air to bleed into the stagnant room. With it, the stomping of military foot augmentations rung out and pierced the tomb-like silence. The Tenno could hear the click of weapons priming and the ragged, wet breathing of the forms that had entered. Moving his head for just a moment, he caught sight of two of them. Both figures were standing at least eight feet in height, one dressed in very heavy green armor, the other in yellow. The one in green seemed to be barking orders at the others.

“Check over there,” it said. The voice was a cracked mix of aged genetics and years of living in the industrial masses that were their craft. The Tenno recognized it more than he did his own name. The Grineer were traitors to his kind. They destroyed their own bodies with genetic engineering and cloning in an effort to combat the Technocyte virus, and when they realized that the damage done was inescapable, they turned on the Tenno and envied them for their natural immunity and command over the thing that plagued them so much. In a lightning war, the Grineer slaughtered and pushed the Tenno to the brink of extinction. That was why cryostasis was used to preserve the last of their race.

The flood of memories caused the Tenno to waver and grip his head for a moment, the shift in his balance causing him to lean into the crate. It only moved a matter of millimeters, perhaps, but the sound of squeaking metal on the cold floor gave the Grineer pause. The sound of five figures raising firearms made the Tenno freeze in place, his breath caught as he internally cursed his momentary weakness. Thankfully the echo in the chamber made it hard for the Grineer to pinpoint anything specific and moving about, they seemed to lose interest.

“Stay on guard,” the leader barked as he walked up to the pod, his subordinates forming up a perimeter. The Tenno noted their military training and how they seemed to work as a unit, but years of dominance had made their tactics sloppy. Once, the Grineer were a military force with no equal, made up of modified superhumans. Now they seemed little more than genetic waste in powered armor. The leader looked hardened however. Perhaps some commander shamed and thrown into performing salvaging runs through the Venusian orbit, the Tenno wondered, but his armor was scarred and his stance alert.

“This pod,” the Grineer said as he leaned into it, running his metal-coated fingers over the sides. “…It’s another Tenno pod.” He paused as he rubbed off ice crystals.

“’Still cold…” He growled and looked around the room with a new set of angry eyes. His face was a twisted wasteland of lines and age. The genetic legacy of a dying race shone out in every crack and blemish. “Get your weapons up. This pod was opened recently!” he barked, lifting his rifle and scanning around the room. Immediately, the other Grineer in the room became alert, stalking outwards from the pod towards the position the newly-awakened warrior used to hide. He knew that his position would eventually be uncovered and that he would need to make an escape, but he was under-armed and still dazed.

He would have to make this quick.

When a shotgun-wielding Grineer came into sight around the side of the crate, the Tenno moved his arms, the first gripping the Grineer around the mouth to silence him and the other to put the tip of his blade though the seam in his stomach armor and up through the clone’s diaphragm, making it impossible for him to force breath out. With a push on the wrist, the blade sliced sideways through the innards of the soldier, splitting his lungs, heart and liver in two. Silently, the Grineer died standing; his eyes wide in surprise and terror. The Tenno was glad to see that the rusted Grineer armor – used to replace their failing muscular structure – was quickly covered in frost and frozen in place. Letting the abomination alone, he shifted to the other side of the crate silently, pulling out the blade slowly as to not cause a sound. The wound was frozen shut, so there wasn’t even blood to spill.

He did not remember where he learned such tactics. It was so ingrained into every muscle fiber that he did not need to think about what he was doing next. As if he was possessed by a lifetime of hunting and killing, his body flowed like water towards the Grineer moving up on the other side of his cover. The second Grineer was too far away from the side of his cover to repeat the trick, so less subtle actions would need to take place. Waiting for the moment he needed, he readied his blade to attack.

Behind him, the partially frozen, dead Grineer dropped his weapon to the floor with a clatter. In unison, the remainder of the platoon turned to look over to him, and crying out in alarm, the commander lifted his gun and opened fire on the corpse and the darkness beyond. The distraction was all the Tenno needed. Darting forward, his target tried to warn the rest of the team, but only managed to blurt out a gurgle as the Tenno sword found purchase in his side. With a pull on the handle, The Tenno warrior managed to spin him around, spraying blood over the open floor, but mostly to get the weapon in hands of the Grineer pointed at his team mates. As it fired wildly in the Grineer’s death-throes, the Tenno moved the arm to pepper one more warrior with rounds, dropping him in a smoking, bullet-ridden heap. The commander and remaining Grineer both opened fire with shotgun and rifle, but the Tenno used the huge body propped up on his blade as cover. As the sack of meat and metal shook with the impact, the Tenno planned his next action, even as a limb sheared off of the body in front of his face. Spinning, he twisted in a wide arc, severing the body into two flying chunks; the bottom half falling to the floor, but the flailing, half-frozen torso heading towards the commander. With a solid thud, the corpse caused the commander to lose his focus and darting forward, the blood-drenched warrior dove forward, under the red-hot stream of fire from the automatic weapon, landing in a roll and coming up to his knees right in front of the Grineer.

With a push of his legs, he – and his blade – dove upwards towards the Grineer. He could not see the clones face behind his retractable mask, but he was sure that he would see horror in his eyes as the silver metal pierced up and under the chin, erupting out of the top of his head in a shower of liquid crimson.

The Grineer gurgled and went into spasm as the blade was pulled out and swung in a retreating arc to simply carve the clone in half. As the two separate hunks of meat span off in separate directions, the Tenno flicked the quickly-freezing blood off of the metal and turned to look at the commander, preparing for another attack.

The grenade hurtling towards him detonated before he could fully avoid the blast, however.

Thrown backwards, the Tenno crashed into his own pod, crumpling metal with the impact and destroying his weakened shields. As red energy flowed over his body, he tried to pick himself up, but his body was still aching. He has lost the advantage of surprise and lightning strikes when the commander had recovered, and in his weakened state, he was having a hard time reacting to danger. Pushing himself back into a standing position, he saw the Grineer stalking towards him. The commander pulled back his weapon and lashed forward, crashing into the arms that the Tenno had raised at the last moment. The commander was a powerhouse of modified muscle mass and power-assisted armor, however, and the force of the blow sent the Tenno onto his back again.

“I knew it,” the Grineer barked in his twisted, grunting language. “The moment I stepped on board, I knew I could smell the stink of the Tenno.”

The dizzying blow had knocked the wind out of him. With his shields already down, the hit had caused some damage. With every nerve still waking up, it was like a mixture of fire and ice running down his forearms from the impact. Moving back, he looked around for his blade, but it was several feet away. The Grineer was on him as he managed to draw his gun, but an armored foot knocked the firearm out of his grasp and skittering across the metal floor.

“The Sisters will be pleased when I bring you in alive,” the Grineer said with a snarling smirk, “…I’m sure they’ll be happy to skin you personally.” He added with a laugh, cocking his weapon and aiming it down at the Tenno’s legs, ready to cripple the warrior.

In a brief flash of memory, the Tenno remembered the tyranny of the Grineer. They were a people so blinded by their own sense of envy that they killed and murdered without thinking of the consequences. Centuries of productive Tenno reign had been ended in weeks because of the military might of their marauding force. He recalled the flashes of muzzle fire, tearing down irreplaceable intellects and artists in an unstoppable fury. Anger rose through his body and with a furious grunt, he kicked out, his padded foot crunching through the front of the Grineer’s knee and sending him to the floor, squealing in pain. The gun went off, tearing grooves into the metal, and pushing through the pain, the Tenno rolled backwards, onto his feet and then turned, dropping to his knees to skid to his blade. Righteous anger flowed through his mind as he gripped the handle and dove to the side, narrowly avoiding the stitch of bullets as they tore apart the wall and storage container he used as cover. Regaining his breath, the Tenno managed to hold the blade to the side, watching the reflection of the Grineer reaching down and breaking his knee back into place.

“Good hit, Tenno, but we moved past broken bones centuries ago.” He said, a ragged, wet laugh leaving his lips as he rose to his feet. The suit made a mechanical tensing sound, covering the crackle of bones and gristle being forced back into place. In a moment, the Grineer was standing on his internally splinted leg, raising his weapon again. There was nothing for it. With a shimmer, the Tenno’s shields were back up to half strength, and moving around the side of the container, he felt his anger and training focusing the energy in his body. The Grineer opened fire, but the bullets broke apart on a wave of blue energy that had broken in the wake of the Tenno’s rush. Propelled forward by an unstoppable momentum, the Tenno rushed past the Grineer in a flash of blue light, his sword carving through the air like a sharp wind.

When he came to a halt some yards behind the commander, blue fire wavered off of his body, eventually dissipating into nothing. The Tenno did not look at his foe, knowing what had occurred in the blinding flash of movement, but instead returned his blade its home on his back.

“Im-im…pressive, Tenno.” The commander said, dropping his rifle and slowly, shakily raising his hands to the frozen line of red across his belly. “…To think, we had all but exterminated your race. N-no matter.” He laughed; a pained bitter sound escaping in ragged gasps. “You’ll all be dead soon. All of –y-you… dead…” he gasped for air as he started to fall, his eyes rolling back into his head. When he hit the ground, there was no more life left in his body; the two pieces rolling away from one another.

Cradling his arm, the Tenno let out a long breath and re-focused his thoughts. He was able to escape the hanger, but there were more than likely several platoons of Grineer between him and a viable airlock. Taking what little time he had, he let his shields regenerate fully and stretched out his body, ready to continue.

“Tenno,” the soft voice of the lotus said, breaking his silent thoughts. “You already have proven that the memories of your old life haven’t left you just yet. You have the skill to escape, and I shall guide you.”

The idea only provided a small amount of comfort to the injured warrior, but he was grateful for it none the less. Nodding his head to show his agreement, he moved over to his Lex, picked up the firearm and checked it to make sure there was no damage. Thankfully, the weapon was made of hardy materials.

“Another team of Tenno are on their way to support you,” the Lotus said as he moved softly and silently to the door. “They have some way to go, but they will be there soon. You must stay alive.” She added and pausing, the Tenno stopped and looked at his hands again.

“What is my name?” he asked; his voice deep and hoarse from centuries of cryosleep.

“You are the Fallen King, the one who shall lead. You are Excalibur.” The Lotus said, almost with a tone of divine reverence in her voice.

“I am…” The Tenno said, recalling the name. It was a name that filled him with pride and purpose. Clenching his fists, he looked at the door, his anger and drive renewed.

“I am Excalibur.”

Edited by SilverBones
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