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[Fanfiction] Fires Of Pluto


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Fires of Pluto

 

This is a first part of (hopefully) a multipart short story. I'll try to add new parts every weekend. English is not my native language and I've never received a proper formal education in it, so if anyone would spend their time to mark and explain me my mistakes in a PM I'll be very grateful. Thanks!

 

I. Tenno  

 

He didn’t remember much. His memories were brittle, misshapen shards – too sharp to touch, too cold to feel. There was a time when he had a name, and purpose. But it was many deaths ago, long gone by the time his creators were no more and his functions were completed. He was a nameless soldier now, a tenno. It was as well.

He remembered standing on the ashes of Pluto with his brother, observing the devastation they had visited on its beautiful cities. They watched their creators burn, and felt nothing. The Orokin invented many weapons to battle the Sentients, but their very first turned out to be the most effective. Deadlier than the Great Plague, more ruthless than a Void bomb. Tenno. When everything else failed, when the Plague turned on its engineers and the Sentient progress seemed to be unstoppable, the aristos fled into the Void and left their people to die. But the Tenno remained. They had a war to finish, a system to cleanse.  Pluto was chosen as a place for a final, devastating assault on the Sentient’s Hive. It was a minor colony, already in the feverish grip of the Infestation. An acceptable loss.

He must have been damaged in this assault, broken beyond repair. A chrysalis weighted his dying mind and judged it to be irrecoverable. It sent his soul into the darkness of the Deep Sleep and slowly repaired the body, regenerated destroyed parts of the warframe. Waiting for the return of the masters that never came.

There are no dreams in the Deep Dark, but this tenno has dreamt. He dreamt about beautiful cities of Pluto, and in his tattered mind, at last, there was peace. 

And then it was gone.

… He felt falling, and then a hard impact. Pain blossomed in his mind, waking trembling body to life. Peaceful harmony of his dreams vanished, the same way Plutonians did: in agony. A horrible cold burned his lungs, and, ascending into consciousness, Tenno felt white hot anger.  Who dared to take from him this death he had so deserved? Who had awakened him? His warframe stirred to life, launching vitality and redirection systems, shields activated with a faint blue glow. He exhaled slowly, and stood up.

The Chrysalis chamber around him was decimated, half-eaten by the Technocyte growth. Sentries were long dead, and in their ruin monstrous roots have sprawled.

"I AM THE LOTUS. I WILL GUIDE YOU, BUT WE MUST HURRY – VOR IS COMING FOR YOU. I SEE THAT CRYO SLEEP HAS DAMAGED YOUR MEMORY.

DO YOU REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE?"

The voice echoed in his mind, so familiar and yet unknown. His long sensors had already detected the shadows of invaders moving   through the wreckage of the Tower. Sword handle jumped into his hand.

I AM A SOLDIER – he replied.

He was, as deadly as Hades himself.

 

***

… His brother turned to him, red fire reflecting in the mask of his warframe. Beneath them Pluto was dying, scorched, desecrated.

LOOK WHAT WE'VE DONE, - he said, raising his hand to the flames.  – LOOK HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN.

 

 

II. Grineer

 

A year has passed since the Soldier had awakened to the summoning call of the Oracle.

He found refuge in the abandoned Orokin household that was drifting aimlessly in the dark space beyond the Origin System. The halls of this castle was empty and silent, conquered by desolation. The masters were gone, as were all of the Aristos. He didn't know where, nor did he care.

The Soldier was kneeling on the floor, close to the fire he had made using ancient Orokin furniture as firewood. The parts of his Braton were laid down on a clean cloth in front of him. He liked this rifle. It was simple, versatile, deadly. A good trade.

In a little nest near to fire his Wyrm sentinel moved, rising his one-eyed head. He was early in his adolescence, no bigger than a mans arm. The Soldier had found the dormant larvae in one of the Void Towers he was sent to. Of all his brothers and sisters, only Hegel had been still alive. They liked each other from the first sight, two broken pieces of a time shattered long ago.

Hegel looked at a chess board lying between them, and suddenly his Rhino came to live, rushing forward in a straight line.

/Checkmate!/

The Soldier smiled, looking at a chess board. His Aristo was trapped, with no way to run. Once again.

He returned to reassembling the Braton. The serration module clicked in place, sending a spark to both of two split chambers. The magnetic clasp caught the magazine mid-air, the auger barrel slid in its socket.

He felt her presence as a cool wind on the back of his neck.

TENNO.

He put the warframe helmet on, felt it molding to his face.

I AM YOUR GUIDE, BUT I AM NOT YOUR CONSCIENCE. THE CORPUS HAVE CAPTURED OUR KIN, AND THE GRINEER'S FURY HAS AWAKENED ONCE MORE. IF YOU ALLOW THEM TO TRIUMPH, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WILL DIE. IF YOU ALLOW THE CORPUS TO SUCCEED, TENNO BLOOD WILL SPILL. WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE, SWORDSMAN?  LOYALTY... OR SACRIFICE?

The Soldier stood up, checking to see if his Lex was loaded.  He gestured to Hegel, and the sentinel flew up on his antigrav perch.

Tenno had sacrificed a lot in their servitude. Their lives, their principles, even their names. But now that servitude was over, paid thousandfold with blood. He was free now, a strange and frightening condition. With no master to obey, no purpose to serve, what was he to do? Through the past year, he did what the Oracle asked him to. But now what she was asking from him was to make a decision, and this was… an unfamiliar objective. One of the hardest he had ever faced.

The Soldier raised his head, as if speaking with an invisible ghost, and thought:

HAVEN'T WE SACRIFICED ENOUGH?

 

 

                                                                                                 ***

Mhairi often thought about her days back in the Training School, which she graduated on the top of her class. Of course, there were only two of them who survived to graduation, but her accomplishment was still noticed, and very soon she was assigned as a cadet to the Fearless Ferocious Fifth, an elite squad in general Sargas Ruk’s well disciplined Saturnian army. It was not Sedna, but a great honor nevertheless.

Still, flying through the air on a hot wave of plasma grenade blast, she couldn’t help but think that, perhaps, it would have been better not to push her school competitor into lava during the exam. Maybe then she wouldn’t end up in this beheg!

She fired her harpoon mid-air and watched with satisfaction as its magnetic blade ripped through some poor Corpus bastard’s torso. Then she was flying away from the blast, only to collide with his falling body.

An assault on the well-prepared Corpus fortifications was a glorious task, one that her squad assumed with pride and searing bloodlust, but she, as a light-armored cadet with a rusty machete for a weapon, wasn’t so sure how clear their judgement had been. But an order is an order. And then, no one really thought that these meek squareheads had any chance against the magnificent Grineer.

She rolled and jumped forward, evading a stream of laser fire from above. Up ahead a sawman’s teleportation field flickered, and he appeared in the midst of covering crewmen. His furax smashed one head, then one more, and then he caught a laser discharge with his face.

Korpa skum!” - Mhairi howled.

Her augmented feet made a series of fast “clanks” on the metal floor, and then she was upon them. The pressure engine of her machete came to life, sending a surge of intense heat through the rusty blade, and she cleaved high, planning to behead the nearest crewman.

The machete ripped through his helmet and came out in a rain of bone, brain and metal fragments.

At last, Heavy Gunners reached their position on the ridge. Their Gorgons started singing, sending a deadly barrage through the air. Somewhere close two deafening explosions roared, and suddenly fire was everywhere. All around Corpus weaklings were dying, and Grineer soldiers were rushing to the bottleneck, where a forcefield stood defending the heart of this Corpus installation. Victory was near!

Mhairi saw something behind the forcefield, a sudden movement. A strange unease settled in her mind. She kicked a Dera’s barrel away from her stomach, closed with a crewman who had tried to shoot her, and thrust her machete in his chest.

And then the forcfield fell, and from behind it golden beams shined.

Grineers died screaming, their boiling blood flew high in the air. Mhairi saw as one of these beams sliced a heavy armored Napalm in two halves and moved away, like it was nothing. Disbelieving, she turned to the bottleneck and saw two-legged white MOAs with strange humps on their backs moving towards her.

Fusion MOAs! She had heard stories about these evil machines, but always thought that they were a training school scare that pupils told to test each others nerves.

Some soldiers tried to take cover, but massive golden-white drones flew high and turned them into ash from above. Behind the MOAs, Corpus Engineers appeared with heavy SUPRA’s in their hands.

“I’m going to die” - Mhairi thought and fell to the ground, just a moment before laser beam cut through air where she had just been.

The SUPRA’s lighted the cave like it was a hot Mercury day.

Well, she wasn’t going to die without taking a few of this beheguls with her.

She raised her head and…

Someone fell on the Corpus from the cavern ceiling.

He… she… it moved with such a deadly precision that Mhairi’s heart missed a beat. This thing was pure destruction, pure beauty. It was tall, clad in grey armor with an eyeless mask, impossibly fast.

Warfram! A fuhugin freezbrain!

Its simple, slightly curved long sword decimated the first row of MOA’s, and then the Tenno jumped impossibly high in the air and landed behind Engineers’ backs. Something glared, and blood splashed to all sides.

Us ki Tenno, attaf! - she cried, raising to her feet. - “Attaf, attaf Grineer!

She thought that her Grineer brothers and sisters would ran forward to join her in the attack, but no one did. She turned around, and saw that no one else survived. She was alone.

The Fearless Ferocious Fifth was no more.  

 

 

***

From the above, the Soldier watched the firefight between grineer and Corpus forces. He felt unbalanced, great emotions moving restlessly in his mind. At first, he was glad to take part in the offensive. The Grineer, however crude and cruel, were his kin in spirit - they were all soldiers, all warriors. Evil in their nature, but fearless and fierce, deserving of respect. He reveled in the fiery chaos of the Gradivus Conflict, a pale echo of his own hellish battles in the Old War. The Corpus were well armed, strengthened by the army of robotic bird-like creatures. It was just to help brave Grineer soldiers, and he did so without hesitation. But when Corpus defences on the outskirts of this citadel were broken, he saw, in horror… running crewmen being gunned down by triumphant murderers. Scorpions and Sawmen crouching to torture the wounded. And he felt disgust. There was nothing just in what he did, nothing noble. Children, he was killing children. In the children's war.   

It was different from before, from when he was serving the Oracle’s will. This time, the decision to kill was his own. How can a soldier bear the weight of such freedom?

And so he looked upon the advancing Grineer and tried to find his balance once more. His previous consideration was misguided, there was no moral advantage in the Grineer claim. But did it even matter? In the end, there was only one true priority - saving the captured Tenno. Justice and morality would have to fade in the shadow of this task.

He imagined. His brothers and sisters being dragged out from their chrysalises, still sleeping, helpless. Being skinned alive, butchered. Murdered for spare parts. And fury burned bright in his mind, invoking a blinding bloodlust.

Both sides were guilty of this sin, but in this moment only Corpus would have to pay.

/Will YOU ever pay?/

He saw the slaughter that had befallen the Grineer, and jumped down.

The wind sang in his ears.

He fell on them as a vengeful spirit. The Heavy Impact module of his Warframe howled, transforming the power of his landing into a wave of kinetic energy.  The nearest MOAs exploded into pieces, and before these pieces hit the ground he was among the enemies, his Skana cutting the screaming air, so fast as to leave a trail of magenta light in its wake.

The Soldier enjoyed… perfection. He found harmony in moving exactly right, being as deadly as he could ever be, fighting as efficiently as it was humanly possible. But then, he wasn’t exactly human, not any more. And not for a long, long time. So then, what was really impossible?

He cut through MOAs as though they were training dolls and leaped high into the air. The Corpus giants were too slow to understand what was happening. It took them almost half a second to realise that he was behind their backs now, and when they did, it was too late. Hegel cast a shockwave that sent them to their knees, and the Soldier ruthlessly opened fire, giving his Braton an opportunity to rip the Corpus to shreds.

Blood splashed.

And in a few seconds, it was all over.

He stood amidst the corpses, sword resting in its magnetic scabbard on his back. The cavern was empty, but his long sensors picked up energy readings deep in the Corpus structure, a dozen of life signs or so.  There was something strange about them, but he couldn’t discern what exactly.

The Grineer were decimated, obliterated by the Corpus ambush. The cavern was filled with their bleeding bodies, many still burning, many cut to unrecognisable pieces.  It looked like he would have to finish this fight alone.  

The Soldier looked at the pile of dismembered bodies, and fell into the fighting stance. The pile suddenly moved, swirled, as if trying to rise.

/What in the Void’s Forbidden Name is this?!/ - Hegel thought/cried.

The pile of bodies fell apart, and from underneath it a little Grineer female stood up. She was covered in blood from head to feet, but seemingly uninjured. It was hard to determine her age, but by her small size and lack of facial augmentation he concluded that she was a mere youngling.

The girl lifted her crude sword and cried something in her language, then turned around as if looking for someone. The realization that her kin were all dead made her freeze in place. Then she slowly turned to him.

There was paleness in her unpleasant degenerated face, unnatural even for a Grineer, but also a strange excitement. She wiped the blood from her eyes and smiled, showing sharp teeth: 

"Whatcha lokin’ at, freeezbrain? Let's go flatface, attaf! We’ve works to do!"

 

The Soldier looked at the girl silently and then noded. He turned around and moved forward at a steady pace. After a few seconds, he heard her clanking steps behind him.

He jumped over a deep crevice, and she fired some kind of harpoon to slide over it. There was an unexpected, predatory agility in her movements that was badly matched with the clumsy Grineer appearance.

/I dont like her/ - Hegel thought/sad distrustfully.

If the Soldier could smile, he would.

They were approaching the inner chambers of the Corpus installation. There were dead Grineer and crewmen sprawled on the floor, a sorrowful remnants of previous assaults. The vast cavern ended in the mouth of a steel corridor, and they stepped in its claustrophobic shadow.

There had been a great slaughter inside the base. Red lights and alarms were painting the interior in a hellish light. Blood was smeared across the walls. Everything was destroyed, and bodies, both Corpus and Grineer, littered the corridors. Their wounds were unlike anything he had ever seen, or at least remembered seeing. It was as if they had clawed each other to death.

Kwuim feer me! - the Grineer girl whispered and made a protective sign with her hand. - What happened here?”

The Soldier didn’t answer, but there was an icy feeling in his heart - a feeling of approaching danger.

The strange life signs he had encountered previously were drawing closer.

They entered a big chamber and saw them standing still, as if turned into stone.

Us ki Grineer!” - the girl cried with a savage joy and made a step forward, but the Soldier stopped her with his right hand.

The troopers they had found were indeed Grineer, but there was something wrong about them, something… off. They were too still, too stiff, seemingly indifferent to the his arrival.

The Scorpion girl felt something too. Her barbaric machete glowed, waking to life.

It was then when he saw the another. A lean,  beautiful figure was levitating in the air in the Lotus position, as if meditating. Her warframe was dull black, with white ornament. An elaborate crest was crowning her helmet,  and on her hands white fire danced.

The Nyx warframe.

It was far superior to his own, first generation suit. Far more powerful, far more sophisticated, as were the others of the third - and last - generation. Their abilities were unimaginable, immensely destructive, almost… perverse.  

He understood with cold horror that she was the real strength behind the Corpus defences.

Nyx woke from her meditation, and her feet touched the floor. Suddenly, the Grineer  turned to regard the Soldier and his companions. There was a frightening synchrony in their movement.

After all, they were all her slaves now, raped from their wills and souls. Subjugated.

Hegel hid behind his back.  

The Soldier was shaken. He couldn't  make any sense from what was happening. How was it possible that he had to kill one Tenno in order to save other?

And how could she choose to sacrifice her kin? There was so few of them left now, so few who remained.

He could have told that to this Nyx, could have tried to dissuade her from protecting the Corpus from him. But he knew that he would fail, just as he knew that he wouldn’t be dissuaded himself.  

The Skana jumped into his hand.

And all Void broke loose.

… The Grineer fired. He was already moving, dashing to them, dashing through  them, letting his sword slice and sever. He heard the sound of his companions harpoon shooting…

… Dismembered bodies were beginning to fell to the floor when he exited his dash, just a few feets away from the Nyx, ready to strike…

… and she raised her hand, and his mind screamed in agony.

The Soldier fell to his knees, blinded. A horrible suffering ripped through his very being, and he could feel her cold, cruel fingers probing, rummaging through his psyche, breaking things, breaking him. Trying to conquer his mind, take it under control.

The energy had drained from him like blood from a cut artery, and Nyx stepped forward, thinking that she won.

But his mind was too damaged, too broken. It was missings parts that she was accustomed to destroying, and thus refused subjugation.

He raised his hand a fired a full mag from his Lex in her stomach.

The bullets ricocheted from her shields and flew away, and Nyx staggered. For a moment, he thought that he got her. But then she righted herself, fast as lighting, and jumped to him, striking with a terrifying, deadly blade of dark metal.

A killing blow.

… It was then when the Scorpion girl landed on her from above with a furious roar. The Nyx depleted her shields reflecting the Soldier’s shots, and there was nothing between the plasma heated blade of the Grineer’s machete and her head. The crude weapon sliced through the crest of the helmet and cleaved deep into the Tenno’s skull.

The Nyx should have died instantly, but, somehow, she managed to make a few steps, raise her sword as if trying to defend herself, stagger.

Then she fell.

Now, there were no more red signs on his scanners.

The Corpus base was buried in silence.

The Soldier stood up, feeling a sharp stab of sorrow in his chest.

Such beauty, destroyed.

His kin, dead.

Was there a shadow of recognition floating in his broken memory, or had he just imagined it? Did it matter?

The Grineer girl approached the dead Tenno, put a metal feet on her chest and wriggled bloodstained machete from her skull. The mask of Nyx’ helmet tore off.

“Twin Sisters, - grinned the Grineer. - And I thought I was ugly! Eh? Ha-ha-ha!”

The Soldier looked at her, disgusted.

“You’re a silent one, arn’t you flatface? I’m Mhairi, by the way. Nice to meetcha”

And, with that, she gave the body a good kick.

DON’T - he said, and she staggered, raising hands to her face.

“What?! What was that?! Get the fuhug away from my head, freezbrain!”

The Soldier turned around and walked away, angry.

He didn’t want this, any of this.

But in his mind, the fires of Pluto were burning bright, and in their crimson blaze there was a promise of great bloodshed yet to come. 

 

 

 

Edited by Guiltytwo
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More. Please. Your English is impeccable.

Thank you very much! I added a new piece to the original post, hope you'll like the direction I'm taking this story. I will try to write new pieces regularly from now on, one or two every weekend. 

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Added a new part. This is the end of the Gradivus Dilemma chapter of the story, but the story itself is just beginning.

New pieces are to come soon.

 

P.S. Man... did I want to kill this forum's text editor while trying to copy the text. Is it just me or is it as primitive as a... I don't know... a Grineer miner?

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  • 1 month later...

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