Title: Picking Vex Brains
Series: The Guardians
Fandom: Criminal Minds, Destiny
Year: The Far Future
Tags: Science Fantasy, Crossover
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner, Penelope Garcia
Spoilers: Destiny: Through D2: Warmind, Criminal Minds: Up Through Season 13,
Summary: Finding the biggest Vex that they could, Aaron and Spencer work on getting ready to hunt a Gate Lord.
Notes: Trying my hardest to make sure that it’ll make sense, with time, for people who don’t play Destiny but you can find more information at the Destiny Wikia.
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence, Death, War, Genocide
Aaron looked around the area where Spencer had flown them. They were back in the Headlands in the middle of the volcanic looking area.
“I wish that you would at least check with me before making insane promises,” GARCIA said as she floated to look Aaron in the face. She huffed, and her body parts expanded before contracting while she huffed. Aaron kept his smile to himself even if GARCIA couldn’t see it. “If we want to take down a Gate Lord, we’ve got to find out how the Vex operate.”
“So, let’s find the biggest one that we and pull out its brain. We can learn a lot from that,” Spencer said as he appeared right beside Aaron with his Scout Rifle already drawn and ready to be used. “Find us the biggest Vex signature that you can, GARCIA.”
“There is one up the coast.”
“Good, once we kill it we need to take its Mind Core to one of the old Academy research labs.”
“Do you remember the way to one?” Aaron asked.
Spencer’s head turned to Aaron and Aaron was pretty damned sure he was being glared at. Aaron just shrugged and waggled his hand for Spencer to start moving. Spencer didn’t walk though. Instead, he stood there, and Aaron wondered what he was doing until his Sparrow appeared and Spencer got on and shot off in the same direction that they had gone their last, and first, trip to Venus.
Aaron summoned his Sparrow and took off after Spencer. There were more Fallen in the middle of the rusted out cars, but Aaron shot through them, catching up to Spencer before they made the turn at the building that showed the Shattered Coast. They turned and kept going past where another group of Fallen was at the base of the steps that led into the Library. They kept on going though as the tracker was leading them to the place where the Vex tracker had been. Spencer though turned to the left as they neared the building. A quick right at the end of the passage between the buildings and it was all jungle. THere was more coast to the right, but the left was all foliage and jungle. Aaron had never seen anything that looked as exotic as it did. It was all alien jungle, and Aaron thought it was beautiful. There was a muddy puddle that stretched down the center of the area they were in. It wasn’t deep enough to be anything other than that, and Spencer was flying down it. The expansive puddle stretched down the path they were going and turned into a large crevice. The crevice was full of rock and trees. The whole plane was wet, so the stones were covered in moss.
After a little longer of riding on the Sparrow, they turned another corner, and the hole opened up to the Ishtar Cliffs. Aaron’s HUD popped with that information. Aaron watched as they rode their Sparrows closer to the cliffs as the red on his enemy tracker got brighter and brighter. There were Fallen all over the area in front of them. Aaron watched as Spencer went right for a rock that looked like it was just tilted enough for Spencer’s Sparrow to go over it. Spencer shot up it, and he jumped off the Sparrow, and it disappeared in the middle of the air while Spencer landed on top of a rock ten feet away, blinking toward it. Aaron slowed his Sparrow and got off of it and started to fire at the Fallen that were between Aaron and Spencer. It was a good strategy. He settled in and started to pick them off. The Fallen didn’t know who to concentrate on so Aaron would begin to fire at the ones that turned their back on him and Spencer the ones that turned their backs to him. It kept the Fallen from being able to take the time to aim with both of them working them. The Fallen were dead in mere minutes. Spencer jumped down from the rock that he had been on.
There was an almost tunnel at the end of the path that they were on and Aaron looked at it and realized that the tracker on the massive Vex they were hunting was at the end of that.
“Up ahead!” GARCIA yelled over their comms. Aaron shook his head. “It’s ridiculously large. This seems like the Vex emission that we need!”
“Good. I hate chasing things,” Spencer said.
Aaron stopped at the small crest of the hill they were on in the tunnel and looked at what GARCIA was talking about. Aaron felt his stomach attempt to drop to his feet at the size of the thing that was in front of them. It tracked to them and fired a massive energy ball out. Spencer ran backward to escape the blast and Aaron watched as it landed where Spencer had been. It rocked the ground and left it scorched.
“What the fuck is that?” Aaron asked.
“Cyclops,” Spencer and GARCIA said at the same time.
“How the hell are we supposed to kill it?”
“Shoot its eye,” Spencer said. He cocked his head to the side in the same way that Aaron recognized him recalling information. “Yes. The eye is the weak point. So if you set up with your Sniper Rifle, I’ll keep it distracted as well as kill all of the Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Harpies.”
“That sounds good. Don’t die!” Aaron yelled as Spencer jumped down into a small group of Goblins. There was a huge block of rock blocking the Cyclops from getting a good shot off at Spencer, so it just blasted the rock time and again.
It took seven shots from Aaron’s rifle for the Cyclops to break into pieces and then explode. One of the pieces shot out and clipped Spencer. He spun and hit the ground. Aaron quickly slung his rifle over his shoulder and took off running toward him while pulling off his Scout Rifle. Aaron fired at the Goblin that was bearing down on Spencer’s still body. Aaron took out the Goblins that were left and rolled Spencer over as soon as he got to them.
“Spencer,” Aaron said as he laid Spencer on his back. Spencer coughed, and his body shuddered. Spencer’s armor was scratched where the piece of the Cyclops had clipped him, but he wasn’t bleeding enough for it to show.
“I’m okay it just a little stunned. That took my breath from me, and I think it dislocated my shoulder.”
Aaron helped Spencer sit up and found that Spencer’s shoulder was indeed dislocated. Once Spencer was sitting up and stable, Aaron helped him pop it back into place. Spencer stood up, and instead of pulling one of his other guns, he pulled his handgun. While Guardians healed pretty quick, Aaron knew that Spencer’s shoulder would be stiff for a little while and it would be hard to use a Scout or Pulse Rifle. At least the handgun or a knife would be easy to use.
“Where is the Mind Core?” Spencer asked once he was fully up on his feet and settled with a gun in hand.
“Over there,” Aaron said as he pointed where the base of the Cyclops had been. Spencer started to walk toward where the head of the Cyclops was. Aaron watched Spencer as he dropped to a crouch and began to dig through the parts until he found a big chunk of what looked like where the eye had been. Spencer stood up and kicked at the piece until it fell apart and laying there was the Mind Core. Spencer picked it up and held it out in his hand.
“Let’s head for the research station!” GARCIA said happily as she appeared and scanned the Mind Core. Aaron watched as she also examined Spencer. Aaron watched her, and she nodded her body at him that Spencer was okay. Aaron let himself relax about that. They were heading for a research station, he didn’t figure that they would get into too big of a fight once there.
“Do you want to ride on my Sparrow with me?” Aaron asked.
Spencer looked at his still slightly injured arm and flexed his hand a few times before he nodded. Aaron summoned his Sparrow and got onto it, sliding as far forward as he could on it to allow Spencer room. Aaron felt only one arm wrap around his body, but he understood Spencer not wanting to use his hurt arm to hold onto Aaron.
Aaron followed the beacon on his HUD that put them through a circular hole in a wall and on the other side was more jungle as well as what looked like ruins at the end of the jungle area. Aaron slowed down as he realized it wasn’t just rocks but ruins.
“Their Mind Cores are actually biological. Not relative to any known life forms recorded. Maybe if I can get into the Ishtar Collective’s research, I can find out more,” Spencer said as he released his hold on Aaron’s waist. Aaron felt Spencer’s helmet clinking against his as Spencer looked around at all of the ruins. There was a lot to explore, but with the Mind Core in their possession, Aaron didn’t want to dally around.
“We should get to the research station as soon as possible,” Aaron said.
“No, I agree. I can look at the ruins later.”
Aaron gripped the handlebars of the Sparrow again, and he slowly started forward, allowing Spencer to wrap his arm around Aaron’s waist before he took off at a quicker pace. Aaron followed the beacon that GARCIA laid for them until they came to a passage that would be hard for them to get into on the Sparrow. Aaron slowed down to where the nose of the Sparrow was in the passage and waited for Spencer to get off before he got off as well. Aaron called for the Sparrow to be put back into the network.
“These ruins predate humanity by a few billion years,” Spencer said his helmet tucked close to Aaron’s neck. The comms picked up the chatter easy, but Aaron missed the feel of Spencer curled around him and his breath ghosting over Aaron’s neck. “The Vex are coursing through the ruins. We can track them, and it’s not good.”
“No, but we have to do what we have to do. Listen, I want you behind me until your Light heals up that shoulder.”
“Agreed. These ruins are fascinating,” Spencer said as he trailed his hand over the light that was shining through the wall.
“Do you have to touch?” Aaron asked.
“The first time that I touch something, and it makes a bad situation worse or makes a bad situation, you can yell at me then,” Spencer said, and Aaron could hear the smirk in his voice.
The trek through the inside of the ruin as quick and Aaron understood why GARCIA had then gone that way. If they went around the ruin, it would add a lot of time, and no enemy popped up at them as they went through the ruin.
Campus 9 was spread out in front of them as they exited the ruin.
“The research station,” GARCIA said as Aaron started to look around only to see Fallen patrolling it.
“Do the Fallen have to be everywhere? I thought Vex hated everyone else?”
“I don’t have a Vex signature up on the tracker, so obviously they don’t care about this area at all.”
“No, I don’t see how they would. They have their own machines, and these are Human machines,” Spencer said. Spencer looked at Aaron before looking at the Fallen who were just realizing that they were not alone anymore. “I can’t do far shots, so I’m going to have to get into the thick of it.”
“I know. I’ll make sure to watch you the whole time. Rotate your arm for me.” Aaron watched as Spencer did. He raised his arm all the up in the front and then kept on going until it rotated quickly backward. Aaron saw the twitch in Spencer’s body from the pain, but it didn’t look like it was too much. “I’m sure that after this we can find a place to bunk down for the night before going after the Gate Lord. We need a little rest, and you need to finish healing up.”
“Agreed. A room with no exits and just enough room for us. Vex can’t materialize where there isn’t room.”
Aaron nodded and looked at the Dreg that was trying to sneak up on them. Aaron raised his gun and fired at it. It fell down, and all hell broke loose. Aaron kept track of Spencer as Spencer stayed a little further on the edges than he usually did in a fight. The clearing out of the Fallen took a lot longer than Aaron would like and Spencer was obviously aching at the end, but the Fallen were dead, and Spencer was hunting for the central terminal with GARCIA helping him. Aaron was staying up on the ledge he was on that he had a better sight of everything.
“Found it!” Spencer yelled from the area that was nestled into a rockface. Aaron could watch him from where he was so he waved for Spencer to get a move on. Aaron didn’t like being out in the open as the sun was starting to set on Venus. Aaron watched GARCIA as she began to settle into what she was doing. The building was half blown, the one that Spencer was in, or at least had fallen into significant disrepair after the Collapse.
“It’s revivable,” GARCIA said, and she sounded thrilled. “I’ll see what they have discovered here.”
Aaron settled in his eyes scanning the entire area as Spencer and GARCIA worked out what was needed. On his third sweep of the area with his eyes, he saw it. He saw the blink of light.
“Vex incoming!” Aaron yelled over the comms. He watched as Spencer holstered his gun and pulled up his Scout Rifle. Aaron watched Spencer fire a few times at the Goblins that showed up, and the kick didn’t seem to be hurting him that much. There was no grunt of pain over the comms. Aaron focused on helping Spencer wipe out the Vex that were appearing. The Vex didn’t want them to have the information in the Mind Core of the Cyclops.
“Holy shit,” Spencer said, and it drew Aaron’s attention to him. Aaron saw GARCIA bobbing in place as she scanned. “GARCIA says that the Vex share one mind across millions of units. That’s why they react so fast when we are fighting them.”
“Well, shit,” Aaron said. The first wave of Vex was dead, Aaron reloaded his gun and laid his Sniper Rifle down and frowned as the second wave started to appear. If it went the same as the Academy, there would be more of the Hobgoblins in that wave. The Vex got bigger and badder with each wave that appeared in the Academy.
When the second wave was dead, Aaron looked at Spencer to see him leaning over the console.
“They can warp across star systems in an instant,” Spencer said.
“I’m almost done,” GARCIA said.
“Good. I hope that we can get out of here before a fourth wave appears.”
The third wave was appearing before Aaron even got the last word out. Aaron heard the blasts from the Minotaurs that appeared and knew that there was more than one. Aaron saw four of them teleporting towards Spencer. Aaron dropped his Scout Rifle and started to pick off their shields with his Sniper while Spencer worked them down after the shield fell. The last two Minotaurs disappeared, and Aaron tried to find them, but given where Spencer was firing, it was out of his line of sight.
Aaron grabbed his Scout Rifle and slung his Sniper over his shoulder as he finally jumped down. There were a lot of Harpies around, so Aaron worked on them while he walked to where Spencer was. Aaron drew his Golden Gun to take out the last two Minotaurs and one of the Harpies while Spencer concentrated on the last of the Harpies.
“I know how to find a Gate Lord!” GARCIA floated over to them, and Aaron looked at her. “Each Vex is part of a giant network that spreads throughout the mantle of the entire planet. If I can just get into their systems, we can draw a Gate Lord out.”
“In the morning. It’s getting too dark, and machines can see better in the dark than we can,” Aaron said as he reached over and took Spencer’s two Rifles from him. Spencer let them go quickly, and he reached up to rub at his sore shoulder.
“I found a cave that will work for what we want. It’s got a natural vent from the core of the planet, so it’ll stay warm without the need for a fire. Food will have to be whatever I have in the stores, but at least it will be safe.”
“I have a security net that I can install on the doorway, and anything that tries to get through will trip it, and we will wake up. We both need sleep and taking turns on a watch isn’t going to get us what we need,” Spencer said.
GARCIA started off in a direction that was different than they had gone before and Aaron and Spencer followed. It was a five-minute walk to the cave and Aaron agrees that it was perfect for them. It was low at first but opened at the back, and there was just enough room of the two of them to stand up and plenty of room for them to sleep. Spencer stayed at the opening and stuck a few bits of metal on the edges of the opening and Aaron watched as a field of electricity appeared between them. Spencer pulled off his helmet and laid it there at the opening, so Aaron tossed his toward Spencer’s feet. Spencer dropped most of his armor there as well while Aaron left his at the back of the cave. There wasn’t enough room for both of their armors and room for them to sleep, so Aaron agreed that Spencer had made a good choice.
Few words were spoken as they ate quickly, drank water from the stores that GARCIA had and set about making a bed on the ground. Aaron stayed up while Spencer laid down. Spencer tried to roll onto his back to look up at Aaron, but Aaron stopped him and started to rub Spencer’s hurt shoulder.
“Gods, yes,” Spencer said. Spencer settled more onto his side, and his eyes closed as Aaron worked on the sore muscle. By morning Spencer would be healed up and they could go hunting. Both GARCIAs set themselves up on little shelves and powered down for the night. Aaron could feel his body burning out and knew that he needed to sleep, but he wanted to work out the last few muscles that were tense on Spencer before he did. Spencer was asleep even with the pain of the muscles, but Aaron wasn’t shocked. Spencer showed all the signs of recovering from his PTSD, and given what it looked like the Awoken had been fighting, Aaron could understand the PTSD and Spencer’s ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat after missions.
Once Spencer’s muscles were loose, Aaron laid down himself. He wrapped himself around Spencer and breathed in the scent of his lover. There were sweat and dust in the smell as well, but there was so much of just Spencer in it. Spencer hummed in happiness as he settled into Aaron’s arms more. Aaron kissed the side of Spencer’s neck and let sleep claim him.