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[Fanfiction] Schisms


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Waking

 

Cold…

 

It was cold. Everything was cold. He was cold. The cold was everything. He lay still, not fully aware. No damage was registering. No pain was felt. But the cold was so pervasive it was hard to tell where the cold ended and the body began. A signal came.

 

Tenno, you are needed.

 

The voice… struck something deep within him. It was female. He was male and the voice was female. He knew that. Did he know this person? He was not sure. He struggled against the cold and felt sudden pain erupt within him. But he was not a slave to pain. He was the master of his body. Of his warframe. He paused. Warframe? He felt the voice inside his mind again.

 

You are waking from cryo, Tenno.

 

Cryo. Cryogenics was the study of the production and behavior of materials at very low temperatures. He knew that. Somehow. He knew… It didn’t come. What had happened? Where was he? What was going on? Nothing made any sense. Everything was cold. He was…

 

Something changed. He was moving. No, whatever he was in was moving. He was not sure what was happening. Or why. This was… odd. What was he doing in this place? He prodded his systems and they responded sluggishly. This was intolerable! HE was better than this. Far, far better than this. He was…

 

Who was he? He could not remember. He activated his sensors package and paused. He was inside a small chamber. The walls were made of glass lined with an odd but familiar gray metal. But it was the frost that covered every surface that he could ascertain without moving that made him wonder.

 

Cryo… Cold… He thought, his mental processes sluggish. He had been frozen? That… felt right, but he had no idea why.

 

Enemies are approaching, Tenno. The female voice spoke again. There are allies in the area, but they are…distracted. You must rouse yourself.

 

Familiar sounds came to his auditory sensors. Gunfire. Screams. Familiar screams! He knew those sounds! But from where? The pod shuddered to a halt and he felt it reorient until he was lying on his back inside it. He stared down at his hand, the golden bio-mechanical armor that covered it as familiar as his own heartbeat. After an eternity, perhaps five seconds, his fingers moved as he commanded them to. They clenched into a fist and he felt anticipation.

 

Waking should not be this slow. Where did that thought come from? As he fought to move what he could in the small confines of the pod, he cast out with his mind, called by instinct. Or need. What is happening?

 

Your pod was found deep in the catacombs of a derelict Orokin Tower, Tenno. The female voice was calmly. Until a very short time ago, we did not know you were there. The enemy are massing to destroy the pod.

 

Corrupted? He asked. What? What was that from? Somehow he knew what they were. Poor benighted souls who had run afoul of the Tower’s neural sentry and been enslaved for it.

 

Yes. The calm voice in his head replied. We are sending an extraction team, but they have been delayed. The team that is supposed to be protecting your pod has run into difficulties. The pod will open shortly, but it will drop you into the middle of a battle.

 

Battle is what I do. The Tenno –the word felt very right- said just as calmly. His limbs were moving now and he reached up to his chest to grab the haft of his preferred weapon. Any estimate on enemy numbers?

 

They are feral and seem to have a breeding ground on the derelict. The female was still that maddening calm. But he found it… oddly soothing for some reason. Part of him found that wrong, but he began his prebattle mantra. He also checked all of his battle systems. Low power, but his armor was intact. His preferred weapon was at hand, but no others.

 

I am Tenno. He said in his mind. Warrior of the Orokin. I am Tenno. None can stand before me. I am Tenno and I am ready! He hit the side of the pod and paused as nothing happened. That is where the emergency release is. Why did it not open?

 

You have been asleep for long time, Tenno. Systems have…deteriorated. The female voice was quiet now. We did not know where you went, Tenno. Was she…sad now? We wanted to help but you fled before we could. That felt… right to the golden warrior. But he had bigger problems currently.

 

If you want to help, open the pod! The Tenno said sharply and then he recoiled as a hideous face appeared in his field of view. The Corrupted had once been Infested. That was clear from the misshapen forms. He drew back a powerful fist and slammed it into the glass. The Infested retreated a pace, but then slammed its tentacle into the pod before flying into the air. Despite the soundproofing of the pod, he could hear the scream of the monster as another Tenno –a Mag apparently- crushed it with her power. Enough! He thundered in his mind and slammed both hands into the pod cover. This time, the pod opened.

 

He took in the tactical scene at a glance. A Mag warframe was perched on a set of boxes nearby. Enemies were everywhere. The Mag’s Burston Prime rifle sang and some of those enemies died, but he could tell just by looking at her that she had exhausted her power saving him. Two Infested, not a type he knew but four legged, ran towards the Mag from her blind side and he decided to return the favor. He reached down to where his preferred weapon had fallen when he had sat up and straightened in the pod. The golden Scindo flashed in the limited light of the Orokin derelict and he smiled grimly under his helmet as he rose to his full height. He did not have full power, but… the Rhino Prime had enough.

 

A mighty roar caromed off the walls in the distance and energy suffused every pore of the warfare and the being inside it. Then, he charged. Both of the Infested were slammed away from the boxes they were trying to climb and the Mag spun and stared down before nodding and returning to the fight. He barely had enough power for his defensive ability and cast it just as one of the huge forms slid a tentacle at him. He caught it with his Scindo and the monster gave a shrill scream as he deftly amputated the appendage with his axe. The enemy closed and he did as he always had. He put his feet down and harvested pieces.

 

Then it was all chaos and death, blood and screaming. Every so often and enemy would fall, pierced by a shot from the Mag. He was dimly aware that the other warframe was covering his flanks as he strode into the midst of the Infested, his Scindo flashing. The enemy came to meet him, baying their bestial battlecry. It made no difference. Some of the Corrupted Infested used powers that seemed kind of like Tenno abilities, but his defenses were strong. None of them survived more than two hits from the golden battle axe and suddenly, he was standing in a cleared area where the pod he had been in lay open like a wilted flower.

 

He shook the gore off his axe and nodded to the Mag who was climbing down from her box. Her hand gesture of ‘Injuries?’ showed concern in her body language and he shook his head. He returned it and she shook her own head. Good. He hated losing kin. He had… lost so much. That thought hit him like a Fragor hammer and he stood for a moment before he saw the Mag waving to him.

 

Well done, Tenno. The female voice in his mind was still calm. Transport is enroute.

 

The Mag nodded, but from her body language was distracted by something. The golden warrior paused and looked around, but saw nothing. The Mag shook her head violently and then started off, keeping her speed down. He kept up easily, and kept his guard up. He had fought Infested before. Many times. He remembered blurry images of battle, or desperate skirmishes. Some won, some lost. He went still as three more Tenno appeared out of the shadows. A Nova, an Ash and an Excalibur. The Mag… ignored them and kept right on moving even as the other three did double takes on seeing the newcomer. One of them –the Ash- made a gesture of inquiry, but the Mag ignored him and the golden warrior did likewise. He wasn’t sure what was going on, but the other three seemed…furtive? Odd that.

 

No more Corrupted appeared as they approached a set of airlocks. He nodded. He knew –somehow- that each led to a Tenno spacecraft. The Mag waved him forward and he shrugged before placing himself in the humanoid shaped alcove. It felt… wrong to place himself in the ship, but… he didn’t really have a choice. Even for Tenno, the Void was not a safe place to hang around. He was stunned when the Mag entered and started cursing.

 

“Bunch of flipping idiots.” The Mag snapped as she moved to an alcove to divest herself of weapons. “Is it too much to ask for backup in defending the pod?” She undid her rifle and racked it, but left her pistol and sword in place as she turned back at the stunned warrior. “You okay?”

 

“Intact.” The other replied. “You seem upset.”

 

“I am.” The Mag said with a sigh as she sat in the control chair and the ship hummed, taking the pair away from the Tower entrance. “I prefer to work with my clan. When I can’t… I am often unpleasantly surprised by the antics of teammates.” The other stared at her and she shrugged. “Our orders were to defend the pod until extraction could get here. You saw how many of the team were there.” It wasn’t a question.

 

“What were they doing?” He asked, dumbfounded. “If not for you, I would right now be biomass of the Infested. Or Corrupted. Either way... yuck.”

 

“I don’t know what they were doing.” The Mag said sourly. “I don’t really care. Some Tenno seem more interested in getting kills than accomplishing the mission.” The golden warrior staggered and the Mag looked at him. “You okay?”

 

“I don’t know.” The other replied. “It just seems so far-fetched. How long did I sleep?”

 

“No one knows.” The Mag said with a grunt. “Maybe the Lotus, but she isn’t talking about that.”

 

“The… Lotus?” The other asked slowly. “I… She was the voice in my head, yes?” The Mag nodded and he returned it. “I…see.”

 

“Procedure is to take newly woken Tenno to a colony for a full medical check.” The female Tenno said quietly. “It won’t be a long flight.”

 

“I am fine.” The male replied. “If we are needed, I can be of use.”

 

“You will need a ship of your own. The colony has them.” The Mag said with another shrug. “If you violate procedure, they can get sticky.” She froze as he did. “Problem?”

 

“I don’t know. The word… ‘procedure’.” The man said slowly. “It… resonated in me. I am not sure if it was good or bad.”

 

“They are going to want to look you over.” The Mag commented. “We have had some… unpleasant surprises recently.”

 

“Surprises by their very nature are rarely pleasant.” The male Tenno replied with a hint of humor. “But if it were easy…” He paused as the Mag gave a chuckle.

 

“If it were easy, they wouldn’t need us.” The Mag had a grin in her voice now. “I am Karen.”

 

“I do not remember my name.” The other said slowly. “I remember a designation. RB-6.”

 

“That won’t work.” Karen had a scowl in her voice now. “That sounds like something the Corpus would have.”

 

Corpus?” The male Tenno asked carefully. “What is that?”

 

They…” She emphasized the word. “…are one of the enemies we are facing. Infested and the Grineer are the other main forces we are trying to keep from utterly devastating the remains of the solar system.”

 

“I see.” The male replied uneasily. “Infested I… remember. Some.” Indeed, the memories were there, but fuzzy and indistinct. But what he did remember was awful. “Grineer?” He asked.

 

“Degenerate clones.” Karen winced a bit. “They multiply faster than we can kill them. Their entire society is based on strength.” The other looked at her and she shrugged. “The strong taking from the weak isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially since they consider every single other form of life vermin to be exterminated. Humans and Tenno especially.”

 

“Ick.” He did not respond for a moment and then sighed. “So… What happened?”

 

“No one really knows.” Karen looked at him. “You okay?” He realized he was shaking.

 

“Not sure.” He replied. He focused on his body and it obeyed him after a moment. “I feel… odd.”

 

“We need to get you checked out.” Karen hit a set of controls. “Word of warning, they are very down on weapons inside the colony. There have been a few… incidents.”

 

“Without my axe, I am nothing.” The other said quickly and then paused. Where had that come from? Karen looked at him and he shrugged. “I… do not feel wrong, but something is.”

 

“Should only take a couple of hours.” Karen checked her screens again. “And no enemies on any trajectories that can detect us, so we won’t have to evade.” He looked at her and she shrugged again. “Secrecy and stealth keep us alive. All of the other enemies in system outnumber us manifold.”

 

“Numbers do not win a war.” The other said slowly.

 

“No, but they help.” Karen’s voice was sour. “Any Tenno may be a match for a thousand Grineer. But if there are three or four million of us, and ten billion of them?” She tilted her head and the other nodded reluctantly. “And their numbers grow daily.”

 

“Then… We pick our fights.” The male Tenno said calmly. “We strike and vanish.”

 

“Exactly.” Karen replied easily. “We may not be able to match them head to head, but we don’t have to. The Grineer are big, strong and mean. But they are clumsy. The Corpus are fewer, but with higher technology. The problem with them is that they revere Orokin technology as religious artifacts.” The other frankly stared at her and she shrugged yet again. “Crazy, I know. But since when do religious fanatics have to act smart?”

 

“They revere technology?” The male Tenno demanded, stunned. “That is… I have no words.”

 

“It gets worse.” Karen’s voice was soft and filled with hate now. The other looked at her and she nodded slowly. “They apparently decided that any Orokin technology that they find belongs to them. They dismantle it and use it, despite the dangers.” The male Tenno inhaled sharply and Karen nodded. “And if they find a warframe? They do the same thing.” Now he gagged and she made a hateful noise. “Yeah.”

 

“People have done horrors in the name of religion since the dawn of recorded history, but… geez…” The Rhino sounded like he wanted to be sick. “Tell me we are fighting them too!” He snapped.

 

“Oh yeah.” Karen sounded more than bit smug now and the other relaxed. “They got their clocks cleaned a while back by the Grineer, but are starting to push back.”

 

“And… Infested you said.” The Rhino was shaking his head now. “I remember… they were suddenly everywhere.” It still wasn’t clear, but he could remember the sudden shock, the fear, the confusion.

 

“No one –except maybe the Lotus- knows all of what happened.” Karen sounded sad now. “We lost a lot when Orokin collapsed.”

 

“Collapsed?” The Rhino repeated slowly. “Completely?”

 

“Yeah.” Karen’s confirmation was flat. “A few human survivors managed to eke out meager existences in hard to find places around the solar system. The Corpus trade with all of them, and their focus is profit. Their religion is based on profit and technology.”

 

“A bad combination.” The Rhino mused and Karen nodded emphatically. “And then the Infested were not gone. They can’t be eradicated.”

 

“Nope.” Karen exhaled slowly. “Not for lack of people trying, but finding every single breeding mass is… well, not impossible. But improbable in the extreme.”

 

“Might as well be impossible then.” The Rhino Prime had a hint of humor in his voice now. “And now… these Grineer. Clones…” He made a disgusted noise and Karen chuckled without humor.

 

“Oh, we all agree about that.” Karen’s voice was odd now. Not humorous, not angry. Somewhere in between. “The only good thing about them is that they are generally dumb.”

 

“Good.” The Rhino shook himself. “So… The docs will want to poke and prod me? Geez… I had enough of that before…” Indeed, he could see shadowy memories of forms on medical garb and gleaming instruments. Why did he suddenly feel fear? “I… Tenno Karen… This is…” He shook his head and Karen stared at him.

 

“Are you okay?” Her voice held genuine concern. He noted that her hand was on her pistol. Wise of her.

 

“I don’t know.” He admitted. “This is… nothing I remember feeling before.”

 

“Okay.” Karen shook her head. “We will get you to the colony, they can get you out of your warframe and…” She trailed off as the Rhino made a noise of shock. “What?”

 

“Get… me out…?” The Rhino demanded.

 

“Yeah.” Karen sounded confused. “Get you out.” She paused. “Why?”

 

“Tenno Karen.” The Rhino said slowly. “I cannot leave my warframe.”

 

What?” Karen demanded. “Since when?”

 

“That is the way it has always been, Tenno Karen.” Karen stared at him and then slumped in place.

 

“Oh… S***…”

Edited by Kalenath
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Kal! *glomps*

 

I truly am addicted... A single empty day passes without a post from you and I'm about to send out search parties lol

 

As usual, definitely worth the wait though. ^-^

Edited by Jeahanne
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Kal! *glomps*

 

I truly am addicted... A single empty day passes without a post from you and I'm about to send out search parties lol

 

As usual, definitely worth the wait though. ^-^

Ditto that. I bet Karl will be a bit jealous of a Rhino Prime, but I could be wrong.
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Confused

 

“No.”

 

The word was calm and clear. But the tension in the room went through the roof. Karen stood by one wall, her Mag warframe showing her distress as clearly as if she were in street clothes. The Rhino Prime stood alone in the middle of the room, where he had stood since the doctors started to scan him. The six guards who had shown up as soon as Karen had docked her ship also stood by the wall, hands on their weapons, but none drawn. Yet. The doctor shook his head.

 

“Tenno, we need to be sure than nothing was done to you.” The doctor and nurse did not move from their scanner arrays. Then again, the Rhino wasn’t being belligerent. He just said ‘No’. “We need to take your warframe off.”

 

“You want to take my skin off.” The Rhino was still calm, but all the guards twitched. “I don’t think that is a good idea.”

 

“It is not your skin!” The doctor said sharply. “It is bio-mechanical armor that has neurologically fused to you.”

 

“Is it?” The Rhino asked slowly. “Really?” He turned to a display nearby. “What do you see on the screen, doc?” Karen stared from the Rhino to the screen, where the scans of the male Tenno were shown. There was… no disconnect between his warframe and the rest of his body. She swallowed hard and Rhino shook his head. “Doc?” He prodded.

 

“It is an anomaly that we need to evaluate.” The doctor said calmly. “You won’t feel it. We can…” He trailed off as Rhino stepped away from the scanners and the guards all went for their weapons. “Stop!” He begged.

 

“You want to take what I am from me.” The Rhino’s words were still slow and considered. “Whether it causes pain or not is immaterial, doc.” The guards all raised their weapons, but the Rhino knelt in the middle of the floor. “I do not fight Tenno, so… do what you will. I will not aid you.”

 

Everyone stared as he started to meditate. Karen shook her head slowly, utterly baffled by all this. He had not wanted to give up his axe. That had been clear to anyone with eyes, let alone any other senses. But he had when she had pleaded for him to. He hadn’t wanted to do as the doctors had wished. But he had. Now…? His patience was obviously exhausted. She stiffened as the doctor shook his head.

 

“Guards.” The doctor said slowly.

 

Don’t!” Karen hadn’t meant to scream that. Had she? Half the guards spun to cover her, but she had left all of her weapons in her ship, and she hadn’t moved. “Don’t! Please!” She begged. “He is being reasonable! Don’t push him!”

 

“We need to know what is wrong with him, Tenno Karen.” The doctor sounded genuinely worried.

 

“There isn’t anything wrong with him!” Karen declared. “You can’t find anything wrong with him! Can you?” She demanded.

 

“No.” The doctor admitted. “But this isn’t right.”

 

“Doctor.” Karen spoke slowly and carefully, aware of every nuance, every movement in the room. “Answer me this… Who were the First?” The doctor stared at her, uncomprehending. “We came from them, but no one knows how. Where did they come from? Who were they? How did they all get…?” She nodded to the silent Rhino. “…Prime warframes?” The doc stared at her and then his eyes nearly bulged out of his head. She nodded.

 

“You are not saying…?” The nurse hadn’t spoken since they had arrived, but now she fell out of her chair recoiling from the shock. She rose carefully and sat again.

 

“I don’t know if he is. He doesn’t remember.” Karen admitted. The guards got what she was saying and more than one of them lowered their weapons, faces a mix of awe and fear. Karen shook her head. “We need more information and pushing him will not work. He may not fight you, but he doesn’t have to. And if he is…” She swallowed hard. “And you hurt him…” The doctor stared at her and slowly went pale. “Yeah.”

 

“Oh dear.” The doctor sounded like he wanted to be sick. “This doesn’t make sense. We need to start checking records.”

 

“He isn’t violent, doctor.” Karen said softly. “He could be. But he chooses not to be.”

 

“We cannot allow him access to the main colony, Tenno Karen.” The doctor said softly. “Not without a lot more information.”

 

“He didn’t want to come here.” Karen shook her head. “He wanted…” She looked at the silent warrior. “…to make a difference. To fight. What say we let him?”

 

“That is not my call.” The doctor took a deep breath and then started shutting the scanner down. “I will… start a record’s search.” He glared around at the guards and nurse who all looked awed now. “And not a word.”

 

“But… doctor…!” The nurse started and then gave a squeak as his glare turned icy. “Yes, doctor.”

 

“The last thing we need right now is more confusion in the colony.” The doctor said with a sigh. “Between Serene’s escapades, Grina’s foolishness, and Nikis’… um…” He paused as Karen chuckled.

 

“Unconventional diplomacy?” Karen asked dryly. “I saw it firsthand, doc.”

 

“That works.” The doc said with a sour chuckle. “Yeah. Between the others and Nikis’ ‘unconventional diplomacy’… things are remarkably unsettled. We have had two full blown protests in the least three weeks.” Karen stiffened and the doc nodded. “The Warriors leave us to ourselves. Maybe too much…” He mused.

 

“Tenno serve.” Karen said slowly. “We do not rule.”

 

“Sometimes we have no choice, Tenno Karen.” All eyes turned to the door as it opened and a form known to most in the room stepped in. Elder Mavri looked… tired. “After all, who commands Tenno?”

 

“An acclaimed leader.” Karen said, bowing formally. Mavri waved irritably at her.

 

“Don’t start, girl.” Mavri snapped. “I am not in the mood. Your clan just loves dropping live grenades in my lap, don’t you?”

 

“Elder…” Karen winced. “I didn’t bring Nikis… I wouldn’t even try to control him.” Every Tenno in the room winced. Karen had seen it. Mavri had seen it. The guards and other support staff… had all see holos.

 

“You know better.” Mavri said with a long suffering sigh. “Sometimes I dearly wish that old coot had croaked. We need him… But geez.” He nodded to the guards and they filed out. The nurse fled quickly but the doctor paused as Mavri held up a hand. “Any complications, doctor?”

 

“No.” The doctor said softly. “Just the… oddity.” Mavri jerked his head and the doctor left as well.

 

Oddity…?” Mavri muttered. “How far have we fallen?” He wasn’t speaking to Karen, but she perked up anyway.

 

“Elder?” Karen looked from the golden Rhino to the now motionless Elder and back.

 

“What say you?” Mavri asked the silent Rhino.

 

“I don’t know what to say.” The kneeling Tenno’s voice was reflective. “I don’t think I am the First. That feels… wrong. I am not sure why.”

 

“Well.” Mavri nodded with a small grimace. “Better to get you out of here before the news hits the main grapevine.”

 

“Still faster than light, huh?” The Rhino had a smile in his voice. “I remember that.”

 

“Yeah, sometimes it is useful. Not often.” Mavri grimaced as a chime sounded. He pulled a pad from his pocket and sighed. “And now… it begins… There is a delegation demanding to speak with you.”

 

“A delegation?” The Rhino sounded both amused and concerned. “Elder, I am a Warrior, no more. No less. A public speaker I am not.”

 

“They won’t care.” Mavri sounded sour now. “We forget too easily just precarious our existence actually is. If the Grineer massed for an assault on this place… We wouldn’t last long.” Karen gasped and Mavri shook his head. “Tenno Karen, Tenno exist by remaining in the shadows. If the Grineer came with two or three Fomorians and a couple dozen Galleons, could enough warriors come to our aid to stop them? In time? And even if they could…”

 

“They would send more.” Karen said softly. “As many as it took. There are other colonies…” But she was pleading. Mavri looked at her and would have spoken, but his com chimed again. He stared at it and winced. “Elder?”

 

“None of the other colonies are this large.” Mavri said with a shrug. “We knew this day was coming. But… we had hoped it would not be for a long time.”

 

“What is happening?” Karen asked, suddenly afraid.

 

“Take him to your ship, Tenno Karen.” Mavri said sternly as he strode to… a wall. He hit something and a panel opened showing a passage. “This maintenance tunnel will lead you to the docks.”

 

“Elder what is going on?” Karen demanded, not moving. But the Rhino rose and bowed to the older Tenno.

 

“Tenno serve.” Mavri sounded… sad now. “We do not rule. As the first commanded, so we obey.” He bowed his head. “Not all feel that way.”

 

“No.” Karen shook her head, horrified. “No… It can’t be… Not…revolution.”

 

“Will giving me to them stop this?” The Rhino asked softly.

 

“No.” Mavri said with a sigh. “At least the other Warriors have been warned. If they have any sense at all, they will stay away until we can settle this. Hopefully, it will not come to bloodshed.” All three jumped as a thud sounded form the door to the room. “Maybe…” Mavri qualified. But you have to get out of here, Tenno Karen. You as well.” He nodded to the Rhino who nodded back.

 

“I am sorry I was the catalyst for this.” The Rhino sounded sad as he stepped to the hidden panel. Something started slamming against the door now. Karen moved to block it. “Tenno Karen, come away.”

 

“Can you not come with us, Elder?” Karen demanded. “There is… I need to…”

 

“No. My duty is here. Tell Karl…” Mavri said softly as he slowly and gently pressed her to the hidden passage. “I will do what I can, but this colony will in all likelihood be compromised. The idiots have no idea how dangerous the enemy actually is. If the worst happens and the Grineer find this refuge, my orders are this: ‘No rescues’. To try would be foolhardy and likely nothing but traps.”

 

“Elder…” Karen was crying as the Rhino took hold of her and pulled her into the secret passage. The hatch sealed behind them and the huge Tenno led Karen along for a moment before she shook free of his grip with a snarl. “I should fight!”

 

“Fight who?” The Rhino asked calmly. “Other Tenno? Medics, shopkeepers, traders, children?” His voice was hard now.

 

“I…” Karen swallowed hard and nodded. “You are right and so is he. But… It hurts to run from a fight.”

 

“This battle is not over.” The Rhino’s words were calm and assured. “It may not be won with swords or firearms, but it is a battle nonetheless. It is also not one that either of us is trained for.”

 

“Right.” Karen sighed deeply, took a long breath and nodded. “Best thing we can do is remove ourselves from the situation. Allow Mavri to de-escalate it. If he can.” A hatch showed ahead, helpfully marked ‘Docking’. “Think they are waiting for us?”

 

“If they are, don’t kill anyone.” The Rhino’s soft words were a command and Karen nodded. “Ready when you are.”

 

Karen took a deep breath and hit the hatch open. The docking area beyond was silent. She made a gesture. ‘Trap?’ Rhino shrugged, activated his Iron Skin and stepped out into the open.

 

“You there!” An excited voice called from down the bay as Karen ran towards where her ship was docked. “Stop!” Rhino placed himself between the running Mag and the group of ill-assorted Tenno who had been milling around the entrance to the bay. “We just want to talk!”

 

“I have nothing to say.” The Rhino said sternly. “Stand away. Now.” He commanded. More than one of the unarmed Tenno backed away from his voice, but a few did not.

 

“You!” One of the apparent leaders, a food services employee by his uniform, stepped closer. “You are the First!”

 

“No I am not!” The Rhino snapped. More than one of the group froze in place at his harsh tone. “You did all this…for what? To talk to me? No. You did it because you could. You have no idea what you have done either. But you will learn. Even if I was the First, what would he say about rebellion? Hmm?” He demanded, stepping back as Karen opened the airlock of her ship and beckoned to him. “Tenno serve. Tenno do not rule.”

 

“We do not know that!” The leader said sharply. “We just want answers!”

 

“Answers I do not have.” The Rhino said with a grunt. “If Tenno you be, then seek your own path. Think before you act. But in all things, Tenno serve. I serve. Just not you.” He said snidely as he stepped into the airlock and it closed behind him. “We might want to leave now.”

 

“Yeah.” Karen sounded sad and sick now. “I just… I need to contact the Lotus, tell her what happened. Then I need to… go home…”

 

“Where is home?” The Rhino asked as he stepped into the small craft’s sole room and knelt on the floor.

 

“A dojo.” Karen said quietly. “I am sorry about your axe.”

 

“The only way to it was through that mob of idiots.” The Rhino said stoically. “While I will miss it, I would miss my honor more if I killed them to retrieve my weapon.”

 

“We have a full armory. Oh, you and Karl will get along just fine.” Karen had a smile in her voice as she sat back in the seat to activate her com systems.

 

Karl…? Why did that name ring oddly in the Rhino’s head? Did he know that one? Or had he heard the name? He wasn’t sure. He paused as Karen gasped and then started crying. “Tenno Karen?”

 

“Mavri is… The Lotus cannot contact him. She believes him dead.” Karen spoke through tears. “That… they killed him. Why…? Why would they kill him? He was trying to help.

 

“A mob is only as smart as its stupidest member.” The Rhino said sadly. He had only met the Elder for a very short time, but he had liked what he had seen. “If Elder Mavri is dead… there will be hell to pay.”

 

“There already is. The coms are going nuts. Word has gone out across the system.” Karen controlled herself, but rage sang in her now. “No one is to approach. The colony just lost all com access with everyone. The Lotus took out their coms.”

 

“I shudder to think how many innocents will be harmed by that mob’s actions.” The Rhino said stoically. “But using me as a crutch? And to break with the Code? Not going to happen.”

 

“Tenno serve.” Karen bowed her head formally as the Rhino did likewise. “Tenno do not rule.”

 

“As the First commanded, so we obey.” The Rhino said formally and Karen nodded. Then he chuckled. “Most of us wouldn’t have clue how to anyway. It’s not as simple as parry and cut.”

 

“No it’s not.” Karen agreed. “On course for home. What the hell do I tell them?”

 

“What can we tell them but the truth?” The Rhino sounded resigned now. “If my presence will cause problems…”
 

“No one sane will try anything.” Karen had a humorless grin in her voice now. “Not with Karl’s dojo. Not after the upgrades we have gotten since the last few security breaches. Having a Cyberlancer and a master sniper work on things has been… eye opening.” In all kinds of ways.

 

“A cyberlancer and a master sniper?” The Rhino asked respectfully. “Your clan attracts talent.”

 

“More like we attract nutcases.” Karen snorted a laugh. “But then again, I am one myself, so…” She shrugged. She shook herself. “If you seek answers, we have a team of top notch mental health professionals. They specialize in mind problems, including cryo-nesia.”

 

“The doc said it was probably permanent.” The Rhino wasn’t arguing, simply stating what he had heard. “Prolonged cold doing damage to the chemicals that make up memory despite what the warframe can do to regen it.”

 

“I know.” Karen grunted. “It’s just… they helped me, a lot. I went through some… bad stuff and they helped a lot.”

 

“You survived, sister.” The Rhino sounded comforting now. “You are very skilled.”

 

“Thank you.” Karen sounded tired. “Sorry. It has been… a long day.”

 

“Meditate with me, sister?” The Rhino waved to a part of the floor nearby and the Mag slid from the control chair to kneel beside him. “How long to the dojo?”

 

“Five hours at max.” Karen replied, setting herself properly. “I will meditate for four.”

 

“I will set mine for four and a half.” The Rhino nodded as Karen looked at him. “Don’t trust too blindly, sister.”

 

“You are not evil.” Karen’s voice was whisper soft. “I have seen evil. If you have done evil, you had no choice.”

 

“You do not know that.” The Rhino stated.

 

“No, but I believe it.” Then the Mag snorted. “Besides… The whole ship is gene locked. I trust, but not blindly.” Only she could operate it until and unless she undid the lock. The Rhino chuckled.

 

“Good girl.” The Rhino said with firm approval. Then he sank into his meditation. Karen followed moment later.

 

Neither of them saw a shadowy form that appeared at the back of the ship, staring at them. It wore armor that was and was not a warframe. Almost an Excalibur warframe without a helmet. The dark haired human’s face was sad. For a moment, it glowed gold. He bowed his head. Was there a voice?

 

Ah, my kin… It begins again…

 

Then the shadowy form was gone.

Edited by Kalenath
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btw have you had Stalker in a important role in your stories?(i haven't read the your earliest stories)

Important role? Yes. Stalker played a pivotal role in the story Rage, not a main role, but a pivotal one.

So far though, Stalker has not played a main role and has only made a few appearances, and only a  few more mentions.

 

sooo Hayden?

Super Saiyan Hayden?

If the story is going down that path, it's more likely to be the being once called Eric.

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btw have you had Stalker in a important role in your stories?(i haven't read the your earliest stories)

 

Never say never.

 

He has shown up in several, but rarely manages to do much. So far, he has been...

 

Dispatched by a Trinity and a Tenno outside of a warframe

Blown out a window into space

Beaten into a bloody pulp by an enraged Volt and then... well.. he leaves Aeron ALONE now. (for good reason)

Told off by an irritated AI. He won't touch Olim or Riana. He knows better than to P*** off their mom.

Submerged in a tidal wave of sentient Infested

Blindsided by a Djinn packing SERIOUS heat in the form of a Sweeper Shotgun

 

He... hasn't had the best of luck against Karl's clan...

Edited by Kalenath
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Never say never.

 

He has shown up in several, but rarely manages to do much. So far, he has been...

 

Dispatched by a Trinity and a Tenno outside of a warframe

Blown out a window into space

Beaten into a bloody pulp by an enraged Volt and then... well.. he leaves Aeron ALONE now. (for good reason)

Told off by an irritated AI. He won't touch Olim or Riana. He knows better than to P*** off their mom.

Submerged in a tidal wave of sentient Infested

Blindsided by a Djinn packing SERIOUS heat in the form of a Sweeper Shotgun

 

He... hasn't had the best of luck against Karl's clan...

OK thanks.

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Important role? Yes. Stalker played a pivotal role in the story Rage, not a main role, but a pivotal one.

So far though, Stalker has not played a main role and has only made a few appearances, and only a  few more mentions.

 

If the story is going down that path, it's more likely to be the being once called Eric.

Every time stalker appears though, it is implied that he will have a much larger roll to play.

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Every time stalker appears though, it is implied that he will have a much larger roll to play.

 

Actually, forgot one.

 

He showed up and SAVED Serene from being taken over by the insane neural sentry of an Orokin tower. By shooting her so the arrow from his Dread severed her spine mind you, but still. Saved her life and soul. Then he held her to keep her from hemorrhaging and bleeding out before help arrived.

 

She probably scared him. She scared EVERYBODY who saw her. Those who survived anyway...

 

Either that or she earned his respect by being so fracking insane...

Edited by Kalenath
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