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[personal profile] southernisms
With the danger passed, the Hunter had the time to stare hard at the newbie she had helped out of his predicament. She had to admit that she had seen a lot of amazing things in her time, and thought she was at the point where very little was capable of surprising her. Such times when she was genuinely surprised were rare.This was one of those times.

"Would you look at that? He shouldn't be able to do that." Zaytsev twisted from side to side as he hovered, a suggestion of a head-shake before turning back to her with a humanlike “blink” of his singular eye. "Should he be able to do that?"

Diya shook her head. "The hell if I know," she admitted, only half-paying attention to her Ghost. He was right, though. A Stormcaller already, and able to pull off a Landfall? Not that she really knew much about the supposed rivals of the Hunters, but didn't harnessing electrical currents the way they did require intense study and meditating in old transformers – to become “one with the Arc”, as Ikora Rey had so poetically put it – or something equally crazy?

Then again, there was plenty of crazy to go around for the ones once called the Risen.

"Looks like our work here is done," she commented, resting the butt of her rifle on the beam she perched on with a deep sigh, her left hand grasping the barrel and her right planted on her hip. This patrol had been a lot more trouble than she had expected. "I should report in..."

The Hunter drew a sharp breath when the distant figure of the fledgeling Warlock looked up, his gaze hidden behind the visor of his helmet. Could he actually see her all the way up on her perch?

Apparently. "Oh, look," Zaytsev chirped dryly. "He noticed us. There's a sharp kid. Should we go down and congratulate him on surviving? With our help, of course."

Well, shit. "Yeah," she reluctantly agreed. She'd hate to see all that hard work go to waste if something else decided to show up after they'd both probably exhausted all their ammo, and the Warlock's Vanguard representative was going to be seriously cheesed off if she left a Stormcaller on his own. "I almost wish it'd been as boring as always."

"I seem to recall that there's an ancient curse: 'May you live in interesting times.'"

Diya lightly slapped her Ghost from behind and returning her rifle to its magnetic hold at her back. "I've been living in interesting times in both lives, so stuff it."

She wasn't nearly as irritated as she made herself out to be, because now came her favourite part of the job.

The Bladedancer lightly jumped off the tower, for all the world simply admiring the view even as the ground came up at her at a dizzying speed, cape flying out behind her like a single wing. But looking down at the Earth while being suspended high above never got old, and she'd be damned if she let any opportunity to indulge herself like this pass by.

It was only at the very last moment that she activated the air propulsion system in her boots, a short gust which cushioned her with a smaller jump before landing nimbly on the wreckage-strewn ground.

"You probably gave that poor KinderGuardian a heart attack with that stunt," Zaytsev quipped.

"...Maybe," she drawled, her catlike grin concealed by her helmet's visor. And if that didn't, how she could even see out of what looked like a thick triangle of metal with three screws holding it down just might. "I'm not worried. He'll see plenty of insanity soon enough."

One such insanity might have been the Sparrow that her Ghost produced from the ether. TransMat is such a convenient little trick, Diya mused as she lithely hopped into the seat of the hoverbike before hitting the pedal accelerator and deftly navigating the wreckage across the now-quiet battlefield. Even with its speed, she had half-expected the KinderGuardian to have been long gone; the passageway that the corrupted Fallen captain had been blocking now open. She was sure now that he was trying to get through there and had gotten in over his head. But what was so important down there that he'd risk a permanent death trying to get to it?

Time to find out.

The neophyte Warlock had not moved very far; just inside the receiving bay of the warehouse the late Captain had been looming just outside of. Good; so he had enough sense to move out the the open area. So far, his single idiocy seemed to have been taking on that altered Captain on his own. As annoying as babysitting duty could be, the Bladedancer admitted to herself that she had dealt with worse. She couldn't count how many times she had needed to metaphorically and literally yank a KinderGuardian back by the collar to halt an ill-considered charge forward. By contrast, this one appeared to have some actual tactical skill.

The Sparrow came to an effortless gliding stop alongside the Warlock before Diya killed the engines and dismounted, the hoverbike disappearing when Zaytsev used the TransMat to stow it away. Now that she was up close to get a better look at him, she was surprised to find that while he was taller than she was, he was relatively short by most standards, with a lithe build that would have been far more suited to a Hunter such as herself. Most Warlocks she knew tended towards the gaunt end of physically fit as well as tall, if only to keep the typical Warlock mystique bullshit. She kept such observations to herself, though.

Before she so much as had the chance to ask what had possessed him to think taking on a Captain of that size and power had been a great idea, he rendered the sort of bow she had not seen in hundreds of years. Not only was it unnerving, but it called up memories she tried to forget.

"Thank you for helping...well, rescuing, to be honest," he said before Diya could get a word out. There was also something familiar about his voice, which didn't help her peace of mind, and his gratitude was so profuse that something felt off about it.

As a result, her reply was a little sharper than she had intended. "Just doing my job, though it's not every day that a Guardian is dumb enough to try taking on a Fallen Captain of that size on his own," punctuating her lecture with her left hand planted on her hip. "What in the Traveller's name is so important in here that you'd risk Light and life to get it?"

His body language suggested that he was a little taken aback at her reply, but that he realised she had a point. She almost regretted chewing him out immediately, so to soften the blow she sighed and relaxed her stance a fraction as he explained himself...or rather, his Ghost interjected.

"I detected a salvageable ship down here. Without it, we won't be able to get to the City."

Maybe I was a little too hard on the newbie, Diya considered. Drawing her hand cannon from its holster on her belt, she left out a small sigh. "To be fair, that's as good a reason as any," she admitted. "Well then, let's get you to that ship."

The Hunter started off for the only unblocked corridor, but nearly tripped on a pothole in reaction to the Warlock's next words.

"I'm sorry for all the trouble," he commented with a genuine note of remorse.

Diya could feel a flush of embarrassment that she hadn't felt for years, coughing slightly to cover up how that had thrown her off and her uncharacteristic clumsiness. "Like I said, it's my job," she replied with a dismissive wave of her free hand as she continued on without a backward glance.

Once again she found herself grateful that she was not dealing with an idiot this time; the Warlock was observant enough to begin following her rather than asking stupid questions about where she was going. With only one way out of the receiving bay, it was rather obvious which way they needed to go, and his Ghost would alert them to the proper direction if she ended up going the wrong way.

But once they entered the darkened corridor, the Hunter was certain there would be little need for direction from the AI. Her finely-honed scouting instincts warned her of the danger ahead even before red flared to life on her helmet's LIDAR. She had seen too much action over too many years than to think they weren't going to get to that ship without a fight.

Checking the ammo on her hand cannon, Diya twirled it with a dramatic flourish, almost taunting the milling enemies ahead. "Time to earn some Glimmer and save humanity."

"Just another day at the office?" Zaytsev replied, clearly in good humour.

"As always, това́рищ."

February 2017

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