Spencer Reid opened his eyes and took in the floating machine or possible device above him. It had called him a Guardian. The word echoed in Spencer's head, and it felt right even if he had never heard it before, not as a title. He narrowed his eyes and looked at it harder. It was floating above him, and Spencer's memory contained something about what it was. After landing on Earth, his ship damaged and his body even more so he had seen them but never figured out what they were. Spencer frowned as he heard movement all around him. He was in a junkyard, something he had only seen in stills from before the Golden Age.
After the machine talked about the wall, Spencer looked. There was a giant wall in front of him, and he could barely understand why it looked like it did. How long had it been since the Darkness had arrived? Since he and his people had fled from said Darkness as it took over. If this was Earth, and he was pretty sure that it was, the wall shouldn't look like that, old and rusted. There was an opening in the wall, and it's where his HUD was telling him to go. His body felt fine, and his shield was active to the fullest. He reached down to where the wound had been and found his suit covered in oxidized blood. It wasn't going to allow him into space without repairing it, but his ship was far away and damaged too much, but it did have a repair kit.
Focusing on where the machine told him to go, Spencer looked. A path between the junked cars showed Spencer the way to the opening, and he took off at a dead run through it. Spencer looked around as he ran, scaring off crows that were taking advantage of the hiding places that the junked cars gave for bugs. There was no flesh left on any of the bodies that he saw so that meant that the bugs were the only food that the birds could be looking for inside of a car. When the door to the wall became visible, Spencer pushed himself just a little bit harder to get inside as the calls around him grew in noise.
Spencer slowed as he got into the safety of the wall, looking at everything and trying to take it in. Turning to look back at where he had been Spencer heard a loud and gravelly voice echoing around the area. Spencer moved further into the tunnel that was inside of the wall. He looked at his Bond and found that it was still there. The interior tunnels were just as old and worn as the outer wall had been. It was dark inside, no lighting beyond what came through broken areas that were open to the elements.
"Okay. I really need to find you a weapon before the Fallen find us, even though I hate weapons they are needed."
Spencer came to an area that had windows all along one wall but the glass was covered up, and only a faint bit of light was getting through.
"Quiet. They are right above us," the Ghost, her voice low and soft. A light appeared from the Ghost and Spencer could see a short distance into the darkness where the light from outside didn't reach anymore.
Spencer slowed down in his movements, making sure of his footing before moving. He did not want to kick anything at all. Spencer could hear the movements of the creatures, the Fallen, above him and his hand itched to have a weapon in it. There was debris everywhere, relics of a bygone era. Spencer wanted to learn about the area that he was in. He wanted to know everything about it all. As Spencer moved up the stairs, his HUD gave him information that he was needing. He was in an area called The Breach, in Old Russia. It wasn't something that he was quite sure had been downloaded into his space suit databank when he had come to Earth, to figure out what happened.
There was a large, black opening in the area above him and Spencer almost cried out as the Ghost moved away from him. He bit his lip though to keep quiet.
"Hang tight, sweet cheeks," the Ghost said as she moved to the railing, his light from inside of him showing Spencer everything around him. "Fallen thrive in the dark, we won't, or you won't. And I need you to protect me. I should have brought Morgan. We need more light. I'll see what I can do."
As the Ghost moved away from him and lit up the area, Spencer could see things crawling on the walls. That had to be Fallen, whatever they were.
"Another hardened military system and a few centuries of entropy and chaos working against me. It's not too much for this girl though." The Ghost disappeared, and Spencer crouched down to make a small target. He watched the Ghost move around and wondered why he was being left in the dark if the dark was so feared. Spencer had never feared the darkness before, but he was in a new and strange world and didn't like what he was seeing or hearing, or even feeling. He wanted a chance to figure out things, but he knew that he needed to get somewhere safe and for now the Ghost seemed to be leading him somewhere safe.
Something crawled on the pylon that the Ghost was closest to and Spencer knew from the size that it wasn't anything friendly. He wondered if it was one of those Fallen creatures and if so how much of a danger he was in. Spencer purposefully kept his eyes on the Ghost to not let himself look back at what was behind him. Nothing good would come of looking into the darkness.
There was the sound of building static electricity, and then lights started to come on, the first the farthest away from him that it could be. There were more of those things crawling all over the pylons that kept the wall up. The Ghost flew at him, seemingly as fast as it could move. Not only was there the crawling creatures but it looked like there was some kind of floating machines that were dropping from the ceiling. They did not look friendly at all.
"They're coming for us!" The Ghost moved towards a door, and it slid open. "Here, I found a rifle, grab it!"
Spencer ran to the rifle and checked it over, readying it for firing. He grabbed several magazines of ammo, hopefully, enough to get him out of there. He was afraid of taking too much and it weighing him down but also of not having enough. He knew how to fight, and he opened that he knew how to use the damned rifle.
"I hope you know how to use that thing!"
Spencer didn't answer the Ghost, he figured that most of what she was saying was just for want of speaking more than wanting an answer. He ran down the hall that was open to him now and found a dark patch. Around a corner though was a lot of light. He went around the corner carefully, looking for whatever the creatures were. He saw movement at the end of the hall. Bringing the rifle up into firing position, Spencer crept towards the next corner.
"Eyes forward, watch your tracker."
Spencer looked at his tracker briefly to see that there were no enemies around him. Down the hall, he moved looking every three seconds at the tracker. He could see movement ahead of him, and when he turned the corner, two creatures appeared in his view. One from the ceiling and one from what looked like a hole in the wall. Spencer fired off several three round bursts at the creatures, dropping both. He stepped up to them and checked to make sure that his armor read them as dead. The two creatures were very different. One looked like a foot soldier while the other seemed like a higher caste of soldier. The foot soldier looked like it had arms docked off while the higher still had two sets of arms. They were creepy, and Spencer felt like firing one more shot each into their heads to make sure they were dead. He wasn't sure what kind of world he had appeared in, but he wanted to be out of it. Putting bullets into heads were good ways of making sure that things were dead.
The corner showed that he was in a U bend of a hallway, the next corner was just feet away from him. As Spencer rounded that corner, another of the lower caste creatures dropped down, and Spencer didn't even try and fire his gun. He grabbed his knife and slammed it into the neck of the creature. Spencer didn't take any time to look at the creature. Instead, he pushed on, following the light from the Ghost. Spencer felt a bizarre feeling along his arm and it kind of cascaded through his body. He didn't like this, and he wanted it gone.
As Spencer came to a doorway, several of each kind of creature dropped from the ceiling or appeared behind crates. Spencer took aim and shot each one of them as they got close. He felt a few of their own weapon's fire hit him, the impact buffeting his shield but not hurting him. A few of the lower creatures readied some kind of grenade and launched them at him. He stepped to the right and moved to the other doorway, seeing more coming from that direction. He shot one of the lower creatures and the grenade it had readied dropped and took out one of its fellow creatures. Spencer reloaded the weapon with a new magazine. He threw the old down and retook aim. Pecking off the last few survivors before he stepped through the doorway.
Paying closer attention to his HUD as he did, Spencer realized that the HUD knew the names of the creatures. Vandal and Dreg. Dregs were the lower caste creatures.
"There's more ahead. Keep it up!" The Ghost sounded so happy that he was fighting for his life. He hoped it was because he was living and not because she was a bloodthirsty thing.
There was a bridge ahead, and Spencer looked all around before he took his first step onto it. Afraid of an ambush, Spencer took off at a run across it, sliding the last few feet with his gun up to take out anyone who came at him. As he crossed onto solid metal again, he saw a chest of some kind ahead.
"Loot cache. Let's see what's inside."
Spencer stepped up to the chest and opened it. Inside was a new gun. It was made for humans and looked nothing like the guns the creatures had been using. He frowned as he checked it over and smiled as he saw more ammo for it in the chest. There was a name etched into the side of the stock of the gun. Badger CCL. Spencer took the ammo out of his first rifle and loaded it into the second along with the other magazines. He slipped all of the magazines into pockets in his armor. Spencer followed the light towards a new hallway. There were red beams across it.
"Trip mines! Don't touch them!" The Ghost was excitable.
Taking aim, Spencer used his new rifle to shoot each of the mines that he could see. The black rods that the lasers were coming out of made perfect targets to try and hit. The mines lined the hallway and were activated by movement in the periphery of them. There were creatures just past the first set, and after the mines exploded, Spencer took them out with a few well-placed shots. He liked his new rifle. He took three steps past the first set of mines, and the floor exploded.
A grate flew upward, and one of the lower creatures jumped out. Spencer let the strap on the gun kept it attached to his body, but he raised his arm. He felt his stomach seemingly fall to the floor through his body as he held up the hand that was empty. He had not grabbed his knife before raising it up. He felt that feeling move through his body and it jumped from his hand into the Dreg in front of him. It looked almost like lightning as it enveloped the body and then the body was gone, disintegrated. Spencer swallowed but didn't have time to think about what going on with him as he looked to see many more creatures popping out of nowhere. He understood now what the Ghost meant when she said that Fallen was better in the dark.
Spencer kept on going forward, killing when needed and destroying the trip mines as he came to them. Sometimes he would trigger a trip mine to explode when a Fallen was near it, two birds, one stone. The hallway seemed like it was never going to end, but when it finally did, Spencer was standing in the entryway to a large room. It was not unlike a cavern and Spencer did not feel safe having to go through it.
A Vandal was the first thing to drop down to try and kill Spencer. He shot it in the head twice before it dropped down dead. More creatures appeared in the area behind the Vandal, and Spencer started to work on taking them out. It seemed like the Fallen were never going to end that they were going to keep on coming until there was nothing left of Spencer, no will to move forward and to just give in but Spencer had felt that once before. The drain to not care and he didn't want to ever feel that again.
Spencer fought through but when he felt that charge again it didn't do like it had before, and it didn't make the creature disappear. No, it just fell back dead but the body still there. Spencer was intrigued by that, by what changes seemed to have been made to him, without his consent but what was done was done. He had no clue if it was the Ghost that had done it when it had brought him back to life, or it had been done when he died or even done to him while he had been nothing but a skeleton inside of the spacesuit.
There were a lot of things that Spencer had to accept, and his changes were one of them, it was not the first time that he had been changed against his will. He thought about his purple skin and his red eyes, both darker than many of the rest of the Awoken that he had left to open communication with Earth. These were just more things that Spencer had to adapt to but he was good at it, he had been doing it all of his life.
Spencer was grateful for the many things that were scattered everywhere that allowed him to hide behind as he fought his way through the room to where his HUD was telling him that he needed to go. He found a doorway and started for it, hoping that he would have a moment to breathe before more creatures tried to kill him. He pulled the magazine free of his gun and pocketed it before loading a new one.
"The Fallen have a tighter hold on this place than I thought. Just a little bit further. Let's hope there's something left out there..."
Spencer made for the hatch in the wall, the door was long gone. It opened into a hallway of sorts that had a large fan at the end of it that moved with what Spencer was sure was the breeze. There was another fan between Spencer and the moving one but it was stationary and half blown up, a hole opened in it, and the screens meant to keep things out, apparently to let things in. There was another hatch just before the fan, meant for repair access Spencer was sure. That hallway was much smaller and made for just access, but Spencer walked through it quickly.
"This was an old Cosmodrome. There's got to be something we can fly out of here."
Spencer's HUD read that they were in The Divide and it was located in Old Russia on Earth so Spencer was glad that he wasn't anywhere strange. He knew where he had gone down. He was glad that the Ghost was leading him to a ship. Spencer wanted to take it and fly home, back to where his friends and what was left of his family had been, but he needed more information than he had. These creatures he had been killing had not been around when he had traveled to Earth, not that he knew of at least.
There were so many strange things in front of Spencer, things that had not been there when he had last been on Earth when he had been young. SO much to learn, even if it took his whole life. Spencer looked up, taking his eyes off of anything that wasn't the falling night sky. The stars above were beautiful to Spencer. Spencer forced his eyes away and started forward to walk across the large open area that had little in the way of anything to hide behind or under.
Sounds of a percussive force happened, and Spencer watched as a red light, and almost burning light shot up in the sky before starting to fall down. To the left of it though was something that Spencer didn't know what to call it. It was blue and glowing, and it was appearing in the middle of the open air high up off the ground. After a few seconds, it started to grow and then a ring of blue arched off of it.
"Incoming!" the Ghost yelled.
Something appeared in the middle of that glowing blue blur, and Spencer felt the world shake. Spencer looked to see that there was an opening in front of him and he took off for it. He ran for all that he was worth, seeing a ship coming toward where he was out of the corner of his eye.
"Fallen dropships! What are they doing this close to the surface?!" The Ghost sounded very upset, but Spencer didn't want to converse at the moment. He tried to find shelter to hide in so that the Fallen wouldn't be able to just pick him off at their will. His suit wasn't going to be that good at saving his life. It hadn't been the first time, and he was just getting used to being alive again, he didn't want to die again. Spencer found a wall to hide behind, and he crouched there as the larger of the ships moved overtop of him. There were smaller ships, but Spencer barely paid attention to them. The more significant ship kept on going, and when it didn't stop, Spencer looked around the wall to see that one of the smaller ships had dropped more of the Fallen in the middle. He saw three Dregs and a Vandal. He wasn't trusting that there wasn't more. His tracker only showed that there were enemies not how many as he was too far away. Spencer came out of cover to look at the enemies and drop a few Dregs before the Vandal dropped to cover. More Dregs came out, and Spencer checked his magazine before deciding that it wasn't time to reload yet. A Dreg peeked around the corner of a box and Spencer but a bullet in one of its eyes.
The concrete that Spencer was hiding behind shuddered a little bit, and Spencer figured that someone was returning fire at him. He waited for it to die down before he looked out again. The Fallen were hiding.
"Over there. The far side of the facility, that's where we need to go," the Ghost said.
Spencer looked where the Ghost had kind of jerked its machine body to, and Spencer could see just enough places of cover to get him over there. There were two ways to go one which was shorter but much more open and the second was longer but had a lot more cover. Spencer was agile, and he could do it better than relying on the long spaces of running. So Spencer started toward his right, sprinting across to a pile of containers of some kind. He waited to see if anyone was going to fire at him, but there was nothing. Spencer ran again and climbed up the wall to rush to the building that was open. He looked around to see that there was a hole in the ceiling but he wanted the window. The large window was going to perfect to pick off enemies from.
Raising his gun, Spencer picked off two Dregs from the new batch from the dropship before they figured out where he had got to. A projectile of some sort passed by his head, and Spencer was glad for their lousy aim as he dropped to his knees.
"Can you tell how many are left?" Spencer asked, looking up at the Ghost that was floating just to the side of the open window, staying out of the sight of the Fallen.
"Seven, I think. The Dregs are hard to separate if there are several close together. They are like bugs."
Spencer changed the magazine on his gun and checked what he had left. He frowned and put on the safety before slinging it over his shoulder. He drew his knife and tested the weight of it again. Looking at his left hand, Spencer felt that power again. He needed the bullets to last because whatever was going to happen was going to come to a head when he was inside of that facility that the Ghost was directing him to. Spencer crept to the doorway that was in the direction that he wanted to go and looked out. The Fallen had not tried to flank him at all yet.
Movement on the roof of the facility drew Spencer's gaze, but as he watched whatever, or whoever it was move, he realized that it didn't move like the Fallen who were animal and bug-like in their moving but more like a Human. Just as Spencer started to get a good look the person dropped out of sight. Spencer wondered who it was. He didn't hope for help because hope was useless.
Just outside the door and down on the level below was a collection of containers and Spencer dropped down into them, making his way around to where he heard the movement of a Dreg. He came up behind it, grabbing it over the mouth and slitting its throat before it could even realize what was going on. Spencer dropped with the body and melded back into the shadow of the container. It was getting darker, and while that was good for hiding, it gave the Fallen an advantage.
Something must have seen him because a cry echoed around the area and Spencer peeked out to see the remaining Dregs and a Vandal making their way towards him. Spencer gripped his knife tight and waited for the first creature to try and make it to him. Spencer crept backward and surprised the Dreg that decided to come up behind him. He let loose on that power and watched as the Dreg fell down. Spencer saw something behind him on the tracker and turned, driving his knife into the gut of the Dreg. He jerked it up and then kicked out. The Dreg fell to his knees, and Spencer snapped his foot up, hearing the crunch of bone before the Dreg collapsed down, head.
Quick work was made of the Dregs and the Vandal that was there. Spencer paid attention to the red on his tracker and saw that someone or someones were waiting for him just over the snowbank. Spencer wiped his knife on his suit before he shoved it back into the sheath and drew his gun again. He walked slowly, seeing that the creatures were probably behind the containers that were closer to the door that he wanted to go through, meaning that they hoped to ambush him.
Two more Dregs came out of the facility as Spencer approached and he crouched in front of the container and waited. A Dreg crept around, and Spencer swept his foot out and knocked the Dreg down before standing up and putting three in its chest, and one in its head. He raised his gun and hoped that it drew the rest of the Dregs out. Spencer used up what was left of that magazine taking out the rest of the Dregs. He didn't have time to change it out as the Vandal ran at him, so Spencer dropped the gun and drew his knife again. Spencer closed the distance, so the Vandal was forced to not fight with a ranged weapon.
Spencer threw the first punch and waited for a second to see what kind of impact it had. It barely had any. Spencer gripped the knife and waited for the Vandal to make its move. Spencer knew that with the extra arms and not as robust legs it had to be top heavy so he could get it on the ground if he messed up its center of gravity. A few hits here and there and he might just be able to kill it without his gun. Spencer spun and kicked out his leg, hoping to at least hit the creature to make it try and defend one side. He spun again just as quick and hit the creatures with a blast from his new power on the opposite side high up, between the arms. The Vandal was unbalanced, so Spencer ducked down and ran at the creature. He went down with it and gripped his knife in both hands before jamming the knife up under the Vandal's chin. Spencer felt the blood start to coat his hand and he pushed harder before jerking the knife out at an angle. He drove it down into the base of the neck next. The Vandal stopped moving. Spencer wiped his hands and the knife on the ground to clean up the blood before he walked over to pick up his gun and change out the magazine.
The facility was creepy as Spencer entered it.
"You fight better than I expected," the Ghost said.
Spencer said nothing. He knew that it was an attempt to learn more about him, but he really didn't want to spin a yarn about his past to a stranger, even if the stranger was a machine that had someone resurrected him. Whirring noises started up, and Spencer raised up his gun to see those other flying machines coming at him. There were five of them. The HUD said that they were called Shanks. Spencer fired at the first, two shots making it explode. Spencer frowned at that and clipped the side part of the next one to hopefully just drop it. Instead, it stayed up so Spencer fired into the body and it exploded as well. It was not something that he wanted to do hand to hand with.
The rest of the Shanks were easy to clear with a duo of shots each. Two Dregs were next as Spencer entered the doorway, he took care of them with a punch and a stab from his knife, wanting to conserve ammo as much as possible.
"I'm picking up signs of an old jumpship. Could be our ticket out of here," the Ghost said as Spencer crossed through the doorway. Spencer walked up the steps onto the platform and then down again on the other side. He slowed as he neared the next doorway. The tracker wasn't red yet but Spencer was still being cautious, this wasn't the best tracker, and he had no clue how kind of technology the Fallen had that could maybe hide enemies from him. As Spencer entered the next room and found it empty, he saw a trace of red on his tracker. More enemies up ahead. He crouched, using the area under the glassless windows to hide behind as he crept to the next doorway. It was Dregs in the next room, and Spencer cleared them out with little issue and fewer bullets. He was learning the spots to best hit the creatures.
The next room had a few Dregs and a Vandal. Spencer sprayed the Vandal with bullets, hitting one of the Dregs when it jumped in front of the Vandal. Those two went down, and Spencer thrust his hand out at the closest Dreg, killing it efficiently. The last Dreg tried to hide, but Spencer followed it around the box. It was looking the other way when Spencer dropped his gun to allow the strap to hold it on his body and he reached out and snapped the neck of the creature as it's back was turned to him.
Spencer watched his tracker as red appeared on the edge as he walked further into the facility. He rounded a corner, and there was a ship hanging up by cables. There were Fallen all over the room, and if it weren't for the fact that they knew that he was there, he would try and sneak in. On top of the ship was a new type of creature. Spencer's HUD called it a Captain but that it was named, Rahn a Devil Captain. There were a lot of Dregs ad a few Vandals with it. Spencer usually took out the Vandals as quick as possible as they were the stronger but with the number of Dregs in the small room, he thought maybe working his way up would be best.
"There's the ship! Clear them out!"
Spencer wanted to tell the Ghost that he wasn't stupid but he kept his tongue to himself. His HUD read that he was in Dock 13.
Firing at the Captain, Spencer tried to make it run for cover, but it didn't. The Dregs did. Spencer looked around quickly before he ducked behind a container. His HUD showed that a few creatures were trying to surround him, so he stepped out, firing, taking out a Dreg and nicking a Vandal in the arm, one of it's four was hanging uselessly. Spencer kept firing, killing it. He turned as he felt a projectile scrape his arm and took out the Dreg that had fired at him.
The Captain sprayed the area where Spencer was, and he dropped down to his ass, it jarring his bones but saved him from getting hit. Spencer watched his tracker and waited until the red cleared away to the edge before he popped up again, taking stock of where everyone was. Spencer felt the charge down his arm again, but it felt different. He looked at the Captain who was standing and staring at him, so he flung his arm out. A ball of blue jumped out, and Spencer watched as it enveloped the Captain and the shield that was around him. Spencer held up his gun and took aim before firing. He emptied his magazine into the Captain.
Shanks appeared at the edge of Spencer's vision. He swapped the magazine out real quick and took out the Shanks quickly as the Captain recovered a little. Spencer turned to him and emptied his next magazine, and the Captain dropped down. Spencer kept an eye on him as he turned to take out the remaining Dregs.
Spencer cleared the room and walked around to make sure that nothing else was hiding before he approached where the Captain had fallen.
"Alright, let me see if I can get us out of here." The Ghost glided toward the ship. A light emanated from the Ghost, and it reminded Spencer of scanning technology. "It's been here awhile. She hasn't made a jump in centuries. We are very lucky the Fallen haven't completely picked it clean yet."
"Will it fly?" Spencer asked as he shouldered his gun again.
"I can make it work." The Ghost sounded sure, but Spencer wasn't exactly trusting on that. So far the only thing that the Ghost had done was resurrect him from the dead and nearly get him killed. The Ghost disappeared inside of the ship, and Spencer wondered how it did that. It had done things like that with him, but Spencer had never really felt the Ghost inside of him. He wanted to know everything about the Ghost. Spencer had been the one chosen to go back to Earth for a reason, he was the smartest of the Awoken that had survived what happened after the Collapse.
The engines on the ship started up, lights appearing on the ship, and Spencer watched as it lifted up some before the cables from free and the ship just hovered there.
"Okay, it's not going to break orbit, but it just might get us to The City."
Spencer heard noises behind him and turned to see Fallen crawling out of the hole in the wall where it looked like the Fallen had punched through years before. Spencer saw a creature appear that he had never seen before.
"Now, about that transmat."
Spencer let the word flow in his mind. He knew what it meant but wasn't sure what it meant in the case of what they were doing. Spencer grabbed his gun and leveled it at the new creature. The creature jumped from the hole and landed. It was huge.
"Bringing you in, sweetcheeks!" the Ghost yelled and then Spencer felt something weird over his entire body. Spencer opened his eyes after a flash of light to see that he was inside the ship, sitting in the pilot chair. Spencer let go of his gun as the ship started to raise up out the hole at the top of the building.
Spencer could just see below them in a cam to see the Fallen firing at him.
"We can come back for them when you are ready."
Spencer nodded. He wasn't sure that he wanted to come back and get them at all. At least not before he got a lot better armor.
"Let's get you home."
Spencer wondered at the word home. He hadn't had a real home in a long time. On Earth, before they had fled had been the last time that he had honestly felt at home. It was why he hadn't fought coming back to Earth as the Awoken emissary.
Looking out the side of the ship, Spencer saw the thing he had seen before on top of the facility. It was in armor and had a short cloak on it's back, Spencer could see it waving in the wind. Spencer almost asked the Ghost who that was because it was evident that it wasn't a Fallen, but he kept his mouth shut.
Spencer watched as they fled the Cosmodrome area and headed out into the wilds around. The world looked very different than it had when Spencer had crash landed. He had no clue how long he had been dead, but the thought that his family was still around or even remembered him. Spencer was shocked that the Ghost wasn't talking to him about anything. There was a lot that could be asked, and Spencer knew that sometimes not asking questions and letting things reveal themselves as they went along was better.
"I have clothes for you!" The Ghost flashed the light, and a pile of clothes appeared. Spencer looked at them. "I actually had three sets, different Guardians wear different things, even outside of armor. It's less to do with a class thing and more like the type of Guardian a person becomes is based on them and what they like."
"Will you turn around?" Spencer asked because while he had no issue changing in front of soldiers, the Ghost didn't seem like a soldier and Spencer really would rather not change in front of her. They were on Earth, and he could live outside of his suit. It wasn't doing much anyway. The Ghost spun around and flitted toward the back of the cockpit. Spencer had changed in cramped quarters so while it was a challenge, it wasn't undoable. The clothes were soft and clean, and it made Spencer feel better after being in his spacesuit for who knows how long.
The mountains were beautiful, untouched by the damage all around. Spencer saw a mountain outpost at one point, filing it away as something to ask about later. On the other side of the mountain range and a long flight later, the ship started to go down. Through the clouds. There was a storm somewhere close, and Spencer wondered about where it was raining and what the people who were alive thought of it. There had to be people alive if there was a city, called The City at that, there had to be people there. The ship flew toward the storm and then through it.
"The Traveler!" Spencer near screamed as his vision cleared after exiting the clouds. Spencer couldn't take his eyes off of it, and it took until they were near the tower that sat kind of under the Traveler that Spencer realized that it was a sprawling city that lived under the shadow of the Traveler. The Ghost said nothing, either shocked by Spencer's outburst or overcome because of Spencer's outburst.
"Welcome to the last safe City on Earth--the only place The Traveler can still protect. It took centuries to build. Now, we're counting every day it stands."
Spencer felt that tingling on his body again and when he opened his eyes after the flash, he was on a large deck at the top of the tower that he had been looking at, named the Tower it seemed. The Ghost appeared but said nothing as Spencer turned around to stare at the Traveler. It was so close, and it looked so old. It looked like something had attacked it.
"And this Tower is where the Guardians live," the Ghost said.
"Baby Girl, come back here," a man yelled.
Spencer turned around to see a Guardian in an outfit like Spencer's but not running across the open area of the deck, chasing a Ghost. He was however still wearing a helmet and nothing else in the way of armor.
"No," a voice said, and it made Spencer turn his head to look at his Ghost which sounded like HIS Ghost. The Ghost at his side disappeared behind Spencer.
"Why does she sound like you?" Spencer asked.
"I was going to explain that. I promise I will, just as soon as we are alone."
"Because Morgan there, the man chasing after the other Ghost, he would be distraught because of what I did."
"What did you do?"
"I went to get you. I am not supposed to go alone. I could fall into enemy hands or be destroyed. One of us has never been killed me or my other five parts. Look there are three other parts of me running around right now any of them could overhear this. THere is a flight deck down that set of stairs over there. We can meet there." The Ghost took off flying away, and Spencer could only watch her go as a flood of people came up from where she was talking about. Spencer sighed and looked back at the Traveler. There were people around, people alive, people thriving and somewhere where these people lived had to be books, there had to be knowledge. Spencer would go and talk to the Ghost and then find the knowledge that he wanted. Spencer stopped when he saw someone like him, another Awoken. He wanted to run to them but stopped. He watched a few more appear and wander around. Another Guardian appeared beside him, and when he took off his helmet, Spencer saw it was another.
The Ghost was hard to find, but Spencer kept going down and ignored the ships that were being repaired and the people. He wanted to talk to them, find out when this was but the Ghost had to be the best for all of that, so Spencer waited.
"There you are," the Ghost said as she appeared in front of him. Spencer jumped and looked around. There was no one around them. "I just realized that I never told you who I was and never asked who you were."
"Oh, Spencer Reid it's wonderful to meet you. I am called GARCIA. Which is short for Glorified Ancillary Resident Collected Intelligence Assistant. I am a Ghost like I said, your Ghost. I was created by the Traveler to protect Guardians. Do you know when you died?"
"Just after arriving back on Earth after we fled."
"After you fled?" GARCIA looked really confused at that.
"We tried to escape the Collapse."
"Oh my God! You are the original Awoken, changed in space fleeing the Collapse. Why were you on Earth?" GARCIA asked.
"Because I was there to talk to the people of Earth to ask to come back. Many years have passed. I saw Awoken here."
"Over the years a few appeared here and there during the Dark Age. As they stayed here, they bred with other Awoken as they came here. We have a thriving population of them, but they speak of where they came from, even the newer ones. The last family that came here had a young boy who couldn't talk. We realized, well Rossi realized that children never come. Babies, yes. Teenagers, yes but never children."
"Children can talk. If the rumors I was hearing before I left were correct, we were finding a place to settle down if the reunion with Earth failed. Humans are not...kind to those that are no like them, and we feared that we would be looked at with fear. Given that I never went back, I never sent anything to them, they probably figured that I was murdered."
"What did happen?"
"Mechanical failure. Then I crashed. A metal pole jammed through my ship and cut my side bad enough that I bled out. I got into that car to hopefully rest, but I died instead."
"Wow. That sucks."
"Yes, it does. So your other parts?"
"Ghosts were created by the Traveler like I said but it was all one single mind in one Ghost. However when I was created the Traveler decided to split me into six parts. A mind that is linked. I know what they are doing at all points unless we hide, which I am doing right now. I am making sure that they don't realize I am not there nor that they are not feeling anything."
"A hive mind?" Spencer asked.
"Yes, but we don't use that term. I'll explain that better later. I have books stockpiled. It's all a learning game, and I've done it a few times."
"I can read twenty thousand words per minute and have an eidetic memory," Spencer said.
"Really?" GARCIA floated close to Spencer's face, and the moving parts of her body made a little movement that made Spencer feel like she was excited. She was kind of adorable.
"Can I take some time just to talk around? I won't talk to anyone unless they talk to me, but people don't usually notice me."
"Yes. I...will try and work on your place where you are going to live. We...The Speaker who I will introduce you to later gave my Guardians a set of rooms. There are six of them."
"You have five other Guardians."
"No, I have four. I haven't found the sixth one yet. I found out looking for my first four that I have to find you in a certain order. I found JJ in a place that I had been to a lot, but I hadn't been back there since I had found Morgan. The Light of the Traveler wants you six found in a very specific order, and that order means that I can now find my last part."
"This is a lot to take in."
"Yes. I will ready books for you. I will do that you walk and talk and watch and do whatever you want to do."
Spencer turned and tried not to seem like he was running from his Ghost. There were so many people around. Most were not wearing helmets, so he saw their faces. Spencer saw several that he thought were still wearing helmets but when he looked closer, he saw that they were Exos.
"New around here kid?" one of the Exos asked as he caught Spencer looking at everyone.
"You look like you have seen use before."
"Yes." Spencer wasn't sure what to answer to that. He had no clue who he was talking to.
"Where is your Ghost?"
"Talking to someone about my room. She was very excited to find me." Spencer wasn't going to lie to the man, but he didn't want to really talk to him.
"I bet. She's been looking for you since she was created. Don't be too harsh if she's too excited to talk sometimes."
Spencer nodded, and the man walked away. He stopped a few feet away and turned around.
"Name's Rossi, kid. If you need something, just come talk to me or anyone on my team."
Spencer nodded again, and the Exo walked away and disappeared down a hall. Spencer thought about the fact that Morgan who he had seen had not been wearing a helmet like he thought but was an Exo. Humans, Exos, and Awoken, three races living in harmony because they had a more significant enemy, the Fallen.
WAndering everywhere that he was allowed, Spencer took in everything as well as learning where everything was inside of his new home. There was a lot of room and a lot of places that Spencer wanted to visit at a later time. Spencer saw a pair of people who were sitting in what looked like a cafeteria, or given the state of war they were at it was probably called a mess hall. The blond haired woman was Human while the other was Awoken with black hair. The blond looked up and smiled, waving Spencer over. Spencer hesitated before he felt his stomach grumble at being empty. He hadn't thought about food at all.
"Go up and get something to eat," the Awoken said as Spencer neared their table. She flicked her head over toward where there was a thin Exo serving food to others. There was no a good spread of food but what Spencer saw looked nothing like that he had eaten before leaving Earth. Spencer looked at the food from far away and saw that there was a small little end where there were ingredients to make sandwiches. He grabbed a tray and walked over to there. Some of the things looked different than he was used to, but he compiled a sandwich after grabbing a glove and putting it on to take small bits of things to try. It all tasted really good. There were even chips, they were off colored but tasted good. Spencer loaded his plate with those and his sandwich. There were cups of what smelled like juice at the end, and he grabbed one that smelled pretty damned closed to orange juice.
The two women were still sitting at the table, so Spencer made his way back to them. He didn't want to seem like an asshole and refuse to sit with them. They started talking to him first.
"So, Spencer Reid," the Awoken said.
Spencer nearly dropped his tray as he looked at her.
"GARCIA sometimes forgets herself and doesn't realize that she likes to eavesdrop," the human said with a smile on her face. She held out her hand, and Spencer shook it. "Jennifer Jareau, you can call me JJ. This is Emily Prentiss. We are glad that GARCIA found the fifth part of us."
"What about the other two?"
"Rossi's been doing things for Zavala, and so he and his GARCIA have been rather distracted. Morgan managed to piss of GARCIA, so he's been chasing her around and trying to get her to calm down and talk to her. He's going to be distracted until she deems to talk to him again." JJ reached out and snagged a chip from Spencer's plate. She stuck her tongue out at him before she popped the chip into her mouth.
"So, a Warlock?"
"I guess?" Spencer said.
"No, you are because that's the outfit that GARCIA gave you. She must be really excited if she didn't tell you what you are and explain it all." Prentiss didn't act like it was that big that GARCIA had forgotten it.
"She does seem excitable."
"So how about you eat and don't ask questions and we will give you a rundown on what separates Titans, Warlocks, and Hunters?"