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Meanwhile, elsewhere in the prison…

Before Arxus was able to make his daring escape with Syrakis, there was another locked up in the prison. The cold and damp halls of the facility held many prisoners within its walls, some of who would never see the light of day ever again. It was a monument of the House of Veils and their destruction, spiteful nature; the mysterious Warden being a paragon of this senseless violence. Agony was common, as screams echoed through the prison. Of all those who would never escape, least to say, Providence would not be one of them.

Alike how Arxus was in his cell, Providence resided in an isolated wing of the massive, subterranean prison complex.  He had put up quite a fight when the Fallen first apprehended Fireteam Black, but it was to no success. Now, he remained alone in the depths of this Hell, with nothing but his Ghost to keep him company.

“I can’t get any sort of signal.” A small Ghost floated around the prison cell, colored with the scheme of New Monarchy. Providence supported them, believing that there had to be some sort of organized institution if humanity was ever going to see another Golden Age. As such, his Ghost was named King.

“We’re miles underground. Of course we won’t get anything.” Providence snidely replied. The Exo Hunter had himself propped up against the rock wall, as much of the prison was barely beyond a complex tunnel system. The Hunter lazily scooped up a pebble within his digits, and tossed it at the cell door. It pinged off the metal harmlessly, before bouncing off the ground.

“You don’t seem too hopeless about the situation, Prov. You’re usually eager to kill things.” King retorted. “Why did you even agree to this mission in the first place? You never join fireteams.”

It seemed like King was trying to analyze him or something now, which made Providence scoff. He scooped up another pebble and chucked it. “I don’t know. I guess I still owe Brian after what happened in Tokyo. I wouldn’t have joined otherwise.”

“I don’t remember it being that hard of a mission.” King replied.

“You and I seem to remember Tokyo differently.” Providence glared at King.

“I seem to recall that you were pinned down and Brian aided you. It was nothing you couldn’t handle yourself.”

“I would have. There was too many Cabal there. My sniper only handles long distances, all right? Why do you have to always argue with me?” It seemed like it was common for King to argue with Providence. The Ghost did seem to have a bit of an attitude to him. He would have continued speaking, but footsteps echoed down the hall and he stopped.

“Something is coming… maybe now would be a good idea to break out? Unless you’d rather stay here.” King whispered, and Providence nodded.

Providence wasn’t going to allow himself to stay in the cell forever; he was eager to kill something, much like King suggested prior. Now that it was clear something was on the approach, Providence devised a plan.

A pair of Vandals had been patrolling up and down the various prison blocks; their colors were purple, of the House of Veils. Shock Rifles and Shock Swords comprised their limited arsenal. Whoever managed the prison must have not truly believed that anyone could break out. That, or they never had to imprison Guardians before.

“Who doth reside in this sector?” One Vandal asked the other.

“The robot.” The other replied.

“That foul fire-breather? I had heard he burned down the library.”

“No, the other. The angry hunter.”

“No matter. He would not prove trouble with no weapons.”

The Vandals continued their patrol down the cell block, eventually leading themselves to Providence’s cell. When they actually got there, it came to much surprise that the cell was empty.

“What? They escaped already? Impossible!”

“Open the cell!”

One of the Vandals fiddled out a pair of keys, something every patrol squad carried; the architecture of the prison was Golden Age, repurposed several times by Hive and Fallen. The Vandal hurriedly opened the cell door and stepped inside, seeing that there was naught a soul remaining within.

“Where could he have gone? We would have seen the light thief pass.”

“We must warn the Warden. If he finds that we had not reported this, he would be furious.”

It seemed like the prison guards were afraid of the Warden. Whenever he was mentioned, it was in tones of fear or respect. As the Vandal went to leave the prison cell, Providence put his plan into action. Dropping in from the ceiling, he took his knife and quickly impaled the Vandal through the head. Ether sizzled out of the wound.

“Demon!” The other Vandal shouted and leveled his Shock Rifle, but his reflexes were far too low in comparison to Providence.

Before the Vandal could even pull the trigger, Providence pulled a throwing knife from his belt, with his thumb, fore finger and middle finger holding it. Chucking his hand forward, he let loose the slender blade and domed the Vandal, causing it to drop instantly.

“Don’t even bother.” Providence commented, pushing the Vandal’s body down to the ground. He dusted himself off, kneeling before one of the corpses as to yank out his knife. As he readied himself to make his escape, an explosion shook the entire foundation of the prison; it must have been something impressive to make such a loud boom. Grabbing one of the Vandal’s Shock Rifles, Providence sprinted off towards the main area, not knowing what to expect when he arrived there.

___________________________________________________________________________

“Vandyn! That was you!?” Arxus shouted.

The rather eccentric Warlock was at the bottom of the prison, desperately trying to fight off the patrols. “Mr. Essal, yes! Hello, it’s so good to see you! Yes, I decided to force myself out of this dreadful place, but it appears I’m in quite a spot of trouble. If you could lend any assistance that would be most appreciated!”

“Warden will be here soon. Must act now.” Syrakis commented, aiming his shock rifle down at the patrols that were attacking Vandyn. With a few well placed shots, Syrakis was able to fully utilize his height advantage and take out a few of the attackers. Ether hissed out as Vandals and Dregs dropped to the cold, dank floor of the prison, dead.

“Don’t worry Vandyn, we’ll be right down there!” Arxus shouted.

Without any weapons, Vandyn was completely forced to rely on his inherent Voidwalker abilities. Whenever anything came too close, he was sure to give them a rousing good slap in the face. “Ah, I haven’t had this much fun since my last expedition! You would really be surprised how much history there is in Egypt! Truly a remarkable place!”

“Less talking, more fighting!” Arxus replied. He was busy fighting his way down to the lower levels, with Syrakis remaining up high to provide sniper support. Arxus wrestled with a Captain who had run out, but the fight didn’t last very long. Arxus threw up his weapon, hooked the Captain underneath the chin. He swiftly forced the Captain over the railing, causing it to drop far beneath the prison chambers.

“Yes, yes, I know! Hardly an appropriate time to be reminiscing about the old days!” Vandyn cast out his hand, throwing out a grenade; two Axion Bolts swiftly sought out the nearest targets, exploding and turning two unfortunate Dregs into flashy light shows of death.

Upon one of the upper access ways of the prison, Providence came running out to join the brawl; having heard the sounds of battle, he was quick to jump into action. “I’m offended you would start without me.” Pulling out another knife, he was eager to get rid of it and promptly nailed a Vandal between the eyes.

“About time, Mr. Providence! It is a proper joy to have you joining us in this happy little battle we’re experiencing!” Vandyn spoke, enthusiastically. He gasped soon after, as a Stealth Vandal tried to take a swipe at him. “Oh no, sir! That is absolutely rude of you!” Vandyn threw his hand forward and smacked the Vandal in the face; Void energy exploded outward from his palm, engulfing the Vandal’s very essence in a surging Void light.

“Shut up, Warlock.” Providence replied coldly, as he continued to fight off the Vandals and Dregs and Shanks on the upper levels. A Shank came floating at him, using its weak arc turrets as an attempt to lower Providence’s shield. Providence kicked the Shank right in the front, throwing it through the air, into a Dreg, and causing them both to sail off the railing and into the abyss below.

With that, it had seemed like the majority of the prison forces had been dealt with. Corpses laid about on the ground, draped in their House colors. Vandyn, Providence, Arxus and Syrakis all rendezvoused towards the bottom of the prison, at what Syrakis explained to be an exit, a means of escape from this Hell. However, Syrakis’ presence brought Providence some ire. Vandyn, not so much.

“A friendly Vandal? Oh my goodness, this is amazing! Just think of the possibilities if more of the Fallen were like you! We could even open up diplomacy with the Fallen Houses!” Vandyn was all up in Syrakis’ face, examining him, scrutinizing him, not unlike Warlocks were known to do.

Providence didn’t feel the same. He quickly pulled out a knife and he was ready to throw it, before Arxus stopped him by catching his wrist. “What the hell are you doing? He’s the enemy, we have to kill him.” Providence glared at the Titan, but Arxus shook his head.

“Syrakis is a friend. He hates the House of Veils just as much as we do.” Arxus said.

Syrakis growled lowly. “Indeed… House Veils cause great, great suffering to my House… Syrakis is only survivor.”

“That is completely awful. How could the Fallen do that to their own kind?” Vandyn seemed about in the same mindset as Arxus had been when first meeting Syrakis.

“Kell of Veils ruthless… cares not for alliances.” Syrakis spoke in a raspy tone, before limping away towards what appeared to be some sort of Fallen control console.

Providence tore his wrist away from Arxus, though it took some doing. “Fine. Have your little pet Vandal. Don’t expect me to like it, though.”

“Be that way, Providence. Right now, Syrakis is our best bet at getting out of this place.” Arxus crossed his arms, before turning to look at Syrakis. “You do know how to get out of here, right?”

The Houseless Vandal slowly nodded his head. “Only one way in and out.” He gestured towards the large mechanism next to him. It appeared to be an elevator, with a long, empty shaft leading up towards what was assumed to be the surface. However, there was no platform at the bottom, suggesting that it was currently up top. “Veil Warden has access in and out. Must go through him to escape prison.”

“The elevator is up, though. How are we supposed to use it?” Arxus asked.

“Warden will come soon. Must make big enough commotion, yes?” Syrakis turned around and faced the four Guardians. “You must find friends first… then face Warden.”

“I’m definitely not going with that thing.” Providence commented.

“Okay. Providence, you go with Vandyn and look for Brian and Emperor. I’ll go with Syrakis and look for Sylus.” Arxus gave out some commands, but Providence scoffed in response.

“You’re not the leader. Who gave you the right to be giving out orders?” Providence stared up towards Arxus.

“Sylus isn’t here. Unless you’d rather go with Syrakis, then shut up.” Arxus responded.

Providence scoffed again, before staying quiet. He motioned for Vandyn to follow him, and off they went to go locate the other Hunter and Warlock members of their Fireteam. After they left, Arxus turned back towards Syrakis.

“Syrakis, do you have any idea where Sylus could be?”

Syrakis grumbled lowly, before replying. “Warden sadistic, just like Kell. Maybe, Warden was torturing friend.”

Arxus’ stomach knotted up. He dreaded the thought that they had been torturing Sylus, and he didn’t want to imagine it. If whatever Syrakis said was true, the House of Veils were known for it, and not just among humanity. They probably tortured other species, too. Merely knowing that they would do that to their own species made him sick. “We have to go find him immediately.”

“Syrakis knows where torture chamber is. Will lead the way.”

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