Title: Dead Priest Walking
Series: The Guardians
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Fandom(s): Criminal Minds, Destiny
Relationships: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid
Characters: Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner, Penelope Garcia, Jack Hotchner, Emily Prentiss, Petra Venj
Tags: Science Fantasy, Crossover, Death, War, Genocide
Summary: Aaron knew that whatever help they could give was needed and the Reef needed them to hunt down an escaped Archon Priest. Another dead for the count.
Year: The Far Future
Spoilers: Destiny: Through D2: Forsaken, Criminal Minds: Up Through Season 14
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. Some Dialogue is taken directly from the source material.
Gift For: rivermoon1970
“We have a bounty for all teams, but Zavala and I agree that it should be you three that take it,” Cayde-6 said over G.A.R.C.I.A.’s comm relay. “Those Fallen on the Ishtar Sink on Venus? The story is they raided the Prison of Elders in the Reef. Got an Archon Priest. The Queen’s bounty is high, so we know it’s powerful. We need to hunt this thing down before they fully restore its soul.”
“That does not sound good,” Prentiss said as she looked up from the meal that was in front of her. They had been wandering around for a few hours after another small bounty had popped up for them to take on. This time though the bounty had to be huge if they were going after an Archon Priest.
Aaron picked up the burrito and started to eat it very quickly. He was not sacrificing a damned good burrito to rush out and get the Archon Priest before his soul was fully restored. Though Aaron wanted to know more about that process and what exactly that meant. Aaron’s concept of the soul was something that couldn’t be taken, maybe the Fallen or even the Awoken had a different idea. He knew that Hive looked at it very differently and it was something that was very creepy.
Spencer was shoving food into his mouth as quick as he could. Spencer had been very happy when the little restaurant had been there on their exploration of the outer areas of the outpost. Spencer had not even looked at the menu that was in what Aaron had learned was the Awoken language before ordering for all three of them. Aaron had to admit that his burrito was great and Prentiss made a few noises that were better left for the bedroom. The lady who had been running the counter had not blinked too much at three Guardians entering the establishment and ordering food. Aaron’s had a nice kick to it, which the lady had questioned. Spencer had paid in something that did not look like Glimmer and Aaron had plans to ask him about that when they were away from prying Awoken ears. Aaron knew that a few Awoken had taken to watching the Guardians.
Zavala had chosen well on who he was sending to enter the Outpost first. It was not a free for all which the last report from Cayde had said was pissing off a few Guardians. Morgan, Rossi, and JJ were making sure that things were kept calm, but it didn’t help that they were so far away.
“Ready?” Aaron asked after the three of them had drained their drinks. Spencer and Prentiss nodded their heads. Aaron looked at G.A.R.C.I.A. and nodded his head. She disappeared to go and get their ship. Prentiss was very okay with just using theirs, even though Petra Venj had offered the use of a ship. Aaron wondered if Prentiss was worried about something else when she was in control of a ship. She had been the primary person to come and go from the Reef before the Queen had opened up the borders after the Prison of Elders issue but that didn’t mean that she liked it.
“Yes,” Spencer said, and he stood up. He dropped a coin of some kind on the table, and Prentiss gasped. She looked at Spencer and then down at the coin again.
“You and your sister are very much alike,” Prentiss said.
“We are of the same soul, Prentiss, why would think that I would be different from her?” Spencer asked, but he was smiling as he said it.
Prentiss gave Spencer look that was very scared, and Aaron wondered what kind of things Mara had to have done to protect her people that Prentiss would be scared of her. Aaron knew what he would do for his family, and sometimes those thoughts scared him.
“We leave as soon as we all meet at the ship,” Aaron said.
The three of them met up half an hour later, Aaron and Spencer’s room that had been given to them was a good bit away from the actual outpost, and Prentiss’s was a fair distance away from them. The room that Petra had shown Aaron and Spencer to be theirs was very opulent. It was very flashy, at least the outer room was. The inner room, what amounted to a bedroom with a bath was very understated. The room felt new which Aaron figured was kind of impossible. It felt very much like a room meant for a prince.
“What are you thinking about?” Spencer asked as he set in the coordinates to where they were going. He looked at Aaron to let him know that he was talking to him.
“Mara commissioned them and told the people setting them up that they were for the Guardians who helped to strike down the heart of the Black Garden.”
“How do you know that?” Prentiss asked.
“She left a note in our secret language.”
“I’ve seen the Queen writing in a language that was unknown to me. You were who she was writing all these years?”
“Yes. She’s given me a few of the journals that she kept about her years as Queen. She thought me lost but never gone. So she made sure that she could account for everything that she has done.”
Aaron lost himself in thought on that. The bond between Spencer and Mara, not broken by time or death it seemed. Aaron was glad that Spencer still has those parts of his sister, but Aaron worried that the time would come when Spencer had to choose between Guardians and Awoken, and Aaron was sure that Spencer would choose Awoken. Aaron had no strong ties to either, but he would go with Spencer to hell, he had gone with Spencer to hell.
Spencer set the ship to hover in the Headlands, the usual drop spot for Venus for them. Aaron was beginning to see the place like a waypoint, a place to get lost and a place to be found.
“How long will it take for them to restore the Archon’s soul?” Aaron asked as he sat astride his Sparrow while Prentiss and Spencer summoned theirs.
“Not long at all, we should head for the caves.” Spencer jammed his helmet onto his head and took off before Aaron could even get his feet settled on his Sparrow.
There were more Fallen at the opening of the cave and Aaron grabbed Spencer and jerked him back before he could climb the damn wall again.
“Together,” Aaron said.
“Fine,” Spencer said, and it sounded like he was humoring Aaron. Which Aaron was glad of but still. They fought their way up to the cave opening and just as they had defeated all of the Fallen there, more came from inside the cave. Aaron gritted his teeth and started to lay heavy fire on them, giving them little chance to regroup before they were dead. Spencer took the lead, and he got a good bit of distance on Aaron and Prentiss who were taking their time. Aaron knew that if enemies were ahead, Spencer would stop.
Aaron heard the enemy fire before he got close and frowned.
“Vex? What are they doing in here?” G.A.R.C.I.A. asked like Aaron or Prentiss would have a better idea than her.
“Maybe they are trying to stop the Archon Priest from getting his soul back as well.” Prentiss sounded hopeful, but Aaron was not so sure. He figured that the Vex didn’t care about anything but removing the Fallen from their planet, but Aaron wondered why now? The Fallen had been here for years. Why was it all of a sudden an issue?
The Vex were few in number, so it took little time to wipe them out. After that, they ran through the tunnels until more gunfire was heard. This time they came out to Vex and Fallen fighting each other. That was probably why the Vex had been so few in number in the last chamber. The Fallen had already been defeated there.
“IF time were on our side, I’d let them fight it out and then mop up who was left,” Aaron said as he raised up his Scout Rifle to start picking at enemies on the edges of the skirmish. Some Fallen and Vex turned to try and take them out. When the Minotaur ported into the area, Aaron turned to focus on him while Prentiss and Spencer worked on the other enemies. Snipers in the form of Hobgoblins and a Hydra ported in next. Spencer started to work on the Hydra with his Pulse Rifle while Aaron took out the snipers. They went through more tunnels and then came outside and found that there was nothing there to try and take them down.
Spencer led them into the next set of tunnels that led them to the Cinders. Aaron allowed himself to look around a little before he started to double check his weapons. Spencer and Prentiss did the same.
“If the Fallen are already fighting off Vex, they’ll be ready for us. The Archon Priest will be well-protected,” Aaron said.
“Yeah, that means more fun for us,” Prentiss said, and Aaron could tell that she was grinning at him, possibly even smirking.
“Sometimes Prentiss, you make me worry about your mental health,” Aaron said.
“No one else does,” Prentiss said.
“Morgan worries about little that is not G.A.R.C.I.A and Rossi is only worried about one part of your body,” Spencer said.
Aaron looked at Spencer, but his face was looking at where the Vex was making a push to wipe out the Fallen. Aaron looked at Prentiss next to see her throwing a rock at the back of Spencer’s head.
“What you don’t like the truth? Rossi is a lothario, I knew that about him from the moment that we met. He’s emotionally invested in you, but I have no clue if you’ll last longer than of his other women. He’s at least emotionally invested in you.”
“He messaged me last night.” Prentiss sounded a little affronted but then her shoulders slumped. “He also said he missed having me in his bed.”
“It’s more than what I’ve found out from Morgan that his other ladies got. I seriously doubt that’s doing to love and leave you, I mean you are on his fireteam.” Spencer turned around. “The Vex have the Fallen picked off, so we need to go now.”
Spencer jumped down from the cliff he was on and floated down to the area where he could. Aaron looked at Prentiss, and she just shrugged at him.
“You are the one fucking him. You’ve gotta be the one to control him.”
“That’s easier said than done.”
“We all know that.”
Aaron followed behind Prentiss, keeping an eye on everything that he could to make sure that no one started to take shots at them from a distance. Vex was holding the high ground, but the Fallen were protecting the damned ship they had got onto the last time. Aaron wondered where his Archon was supposed to be at. Aaron looked at the edge of his HUD to see that for now, it was only telling him to go down. Aaron didn’t want to ask G.A.R.C.I.A. yet, not until the Vex and Fallen in the area were taken care of.
There were a little more Fallen left and the Vex who were standing looked a lot worse for the wear. Aaron stayed up while Spencer landed in the middle of the Fallen by jumping in.
“I swear that Morgan infected him with Titanness before you got to him. THough I see your mark on him as well.” Prentiss paused before she ran down into the fray that was Vex trying to kill Spencer and the Fallen. Aaron felt the ground under him shake and he looked to see two Minotaurs focused on firing at him. He turned to focus on them before they started to fire at Spencer and Prentiss.
Spencer ran in front of Aaron toward a wall, and when Aaron spared a more in-depth glance at it, he realized it was a doorway that was the same color as the rock around it. G.A.R.C.I.A. appeared behind him and started to hack it. Aaron figured that it had to be the way to go. He frowned as the Vex began to push there.
“Prentiss!” Aaron yelled, and he pointed to Spencer as she looked at him. Prentiss nodded her head and ran toward where Spencer was blocking off seven approaching Goblins. Prentis rammed into the back of one and jerked the head off of a second before she got between them and G.A.R.C.I.A. and Spencer. Aaron turned to focus on the rest of the Vex.
“The door is locked down tight, this is going to take a few minutes,” G.A.R.C.I.A. said.
Aaron heard the telltale sound of Vex spawning in and cursed before dropping down for cover and reloading his Sniper Rifle before slinging it over his shoulder and switching to his Hand Cannon. THree waves of Vex tried to take them out, and Aaron was breathing hard by the end of it. Prentiss and Spencer held the line to protect G.A.R.C.I.A. and Aaron was thankful of that.
The doors opened, and Aaron waited for the other two to get inside before he joined them. He made sure the door was shut before he turned to the other two.
“Let’s rest here for a few,” Aaron said.
“No time. I’m picking up Fallen chatter on their comms. They are restoring the Archon Priest.”
“Fuck,” Spencer said, and he turned to take off at a run toward the other side of the cave system they were in. Aaron was shocked when it did not take them to wherever the Archon Priest was at. Instead, it took them out to an outside area.
“This is the Ash Coves,” G.A.R.C.I.A. said.
“Wonder if they will care if we jack their Pikes?” Prentiss asked. She patted the back end of one before getting onto it.
Spencer got onto one next and grinned as he fired the weapons on it. “This will be useful.”
Aaron got onto one and revved the engine. It shot forward. He followed the motion. It took about two hundred feet for Aaron to get the hang of the Pike. It was like a brick where the Sparrows were not. Aaron came around a corner, and there was Vex just waiting on them. Aaron found the firing button and started to just slam them with the shots from the Pike. Aaron was really liking jacking the Pike as it was going to conserve their weapons. Harpies, Goblins, and Minotaurs were there.
“I wonder if they are trying to slow us down to allow the Archon to be revived so that he can take us out?” Spencer asked.
“I would not be shocked,” Prentiss said.
When that round of Vex was done, they kept on going forward, through a few twists and turns to end up near two Hydras and a slew of Goblins. Aaron set about weaving back and forth to not give the Hydras a target. Aaron fired in a concentrated effort at the first Hydra and any Goblins that got in his way. Prentiss and Spencer were focusing on the Goblins that were trying to overtake them. It was taking too long to take them out but shorter than it would if it were them with their regular weapons.
The second Hydra was up on a ledge, so it took an effort to aim at it when the first was blown to bits.
When it was blown to bits as well, Aaron got off his Pike as there looked to be no way to get the Pike’s up on to that ledge. It was going to be on foot from there. Aaron followed behind Spencer, just far enough back to where Spencer saw everything first but Aaron did just a second later. Aaron saw the Minotaur, and it was firing at something.
“That’s a cell from the Prison of Elders,” Spencer said, and he pointed at the thing that was at the edge of the cliff. “It’s sealed, the Archon Priest is still inside.”
“How do you know?” Prentiss asked.
“The cell is still sealed. I am the one that created the Prison in a concept that is, and that cell is my idea.”
Aaron wasn’t shocked as just after the Collapse was hell. Having a place to put those who ended up like the Warlords would have been nice. Aaron knew that the Iron Lords had nowhere to keep them, so it was death for those who were not on the side of angels as it were.”
Vex and Fallen were at each other’s throats again, but they couldn’t just watch and instead had to work on wiping out both sides. A Reaver Captain and a Minotaur were battling in the middle of the area.
“Get up top!” Spencer yelled, and he pointed when Aaron looked at him. Aaron agreed that it was a good place for him. He would have a good eye on everything. The Fallen and Vex were falling under Spencer and Prentiss’s hands. Fallen were coming out of the various small caves off to the sides of the cliff where Aaron was headed. He worked on killing them so that none could sneak up on him.
“The only way to make sure no one ever tries to free him again is to kill him. Not just break him down and keep him as a prize but fully kill him,” Spencer said.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” G.A.R.C.I.A. asked.
“It’s the only way. His soul is back, and he’s going to come out.”
Aaron looked at the pod and saw that it was almost glowing. Not just the seal but like it was glowing so much that it was breaking through the bonds that held the metal together. Aksor, the Archon Priest, crawled out of the pod as a bug did out of a hole. It creeped Aaron out, but he raised his Sniper Rifle up and took the first shot at its head before it was entirely out. It bounced off the shield that surrounded Aksor, but the shield shimmered. Aaron lined up a second and third shot before it finally got down and started to move around more. Aaron’s shots after that were slower while he lined them up and made sure that he was going to hit. Spencer and Spencer though kept on firing.
Aksor summoned more Fallen to help him, but all that did was pull Prentiss away to deal with them while Aaron and Spencer kept on focusing on Aksor. Aksor let out a cry, and then his body slumped to the ground as Aaron’s shot through his eye finally took him out.
“It was better off in the Prison of Elders. I’ll contact the Vanguard. Let them know the Archon Priest is dead.” G.A.R.C.I.A. sounded wistful.
Aaron didn’t bring up the fact that he would rather be dead than in prison. He was very happy to have a small taste of freedom and die than to be stuck for the rest of his life.
“It’s three of my favorite people,” Cayde said over G.A.R.C.I.A.’s comm speakers. “One more Fallen Archon gone to dust. Good. But if the Fallen found the Prison of Elders, I’m sure we’ll be hearing about more heists like this. Today, we celebrate. I’m sure that Petra has something that you can drink when you get back to celebrate her. Tell her I am good for it.”
Spencer laughed and shook his head. Aaron heard the whine of an engine and readied himself for a fight, but instead, it was the Ceres Galliot on it’s way to them. Aaron tossed his Sniper rifle over his shoulder and walked to the edge of the cliff before dropping down to where Spencer and Prentiss were. Prentiss was the first to disappear into the ship. Spencer turned to look at Aaron as Aaron got closer t him.
“You know that there is little that I won’t do to avenge what nearly happened to her right?” Spencer asked.
There was no need for Aaron to ask who she was.
“I know, and I would burn the world with you for her.” Aaron would do anything to keep Spencer’s siblings alive for him.
“Let’s go,” Prentiss said over G.A.R.C.I.A.’s comm.
Aaron laughed and waved to be transmatted up.
The flight back to the Reef was quick and simple. Aaron was focused on what was going to happen next. Everyone was looking for Taniks for what he had started, but he was being smart and staying on the down low.
Spencer had the ship drop them off at the dock there that overlooked the Outpost and Aaron saw Morgan there.
“CHOCOLATE THUNDER!” G.A.R.C.I.A. yelled as they appeared outside the ship. All three versions of them were barrelling at him. Morgan looked a little shocked, but he didn’t move as all three got closer to him. It was only when Aaron looked around that he saw Jack and S.P.O.T. talking to Petra.
“Morgan?” Aaron asked.
“A few eyes were watching him too close. Ikora wanted some breathing room to deal with it, and Petra said that nothing would happen to him here.
“We studied ourselves when we were ready but never anyone who wasn’t able to consent, whether from age or just fear,” Petra said as she laid her hand on Jack’s shoulder. “He’s safe here and very interesting. Who is he?”
“Our child,” Spencer said as he held out his hand. Jack ran right to him and tucked into his side.
“Do they have that stuff here?” Jack asked.
“Yes, let’s go and find something to eat.” Spencer looked at Aaron, and that was a look for him to find it all out. Aaron had planned on it.
“I was not aware that Males could procreate and there are no artificial wombs made yet,” Petra said.
“Jack was adopted. We found him.”
“He has a Ghost. We were led to believe that only Guardians-” Petra stopped and looked at Jack and Spencer’s retreating back. “Oh. I see why you don’t want him there. Children are sacred here. We will protect him while you protect us. I’ll talk to the Queen.”
Aaron found Spencer and Jack in their rooms, with a meal spread between them on the table. There was meat on sticks, but it looked…purple. Aaron’s stomach turned a little at that, but he took a bite when Spencer offered it and glared when Aaron tried not to eat it. He chewed it and found that it tasted like Earth rabbit.
“It’s tiny creature found in caves here in the Reef, where there are areas big enough to support life. It doesn’t breathe oxygen.”
Aaron wondered how close to a rabbit it looked like, but he wasn’t going to ask. Aaron was a meat eater, but he tended not to want to picture himself eating a tiny rabbit. Aaron handed over a bowl, it was a salad mix with a spicy smelling dressing and what looked like chicken. He hoped it was chicken. Aaron wasn’t going to ask.
“So Jack, how does sleeping on the couch sound?” Aaron asked.
“It’s fine. It’s big enough for me.” Jack looked at the couch that was in the front room and grinned at it.
“Excuse me,” a voice said.
Aaron turned to look at the female Awoken in the doorway.
“Anda, welcome,” Spencer said as he stood up and held out his hand to her. He tugged her into him for a hug. Aaron saw that she hugged him tightly.
“Hello, Spencer,” Anda said with a smile. “Missive from Queen Mara.”
“Thank you.” Spencer kissed her on the cheek as he took the folded sheet of paper, but Aaron saw him palm something else into his pocket. Anda bowed and left. Her clothes were very fine compared to the others that Aaron saw, but it wasn’t like the others were poor. Aaron knew that more care was taken with the Queen and Prince’s clothes and it looked like Anda was close to Mara. Spencer turned back and sat down at the table pushing Jack’s plates closer to him as he did. Jack picked up the fork and started to spear some of the vegetables and shoved them into his mouth.
“What is it?”
“Official thanks for killing the Archon Priest before he could wreak havoc in the Reef or anywhere else.” Spencer laid it down, and Aaron stepped behind him to read the short missive. Aaron watched as Spencer pulled the one he had pocketed out and unfolded it. The language was nothing that Aaron knew. It had to be the language that Mara and Spencer had made up.
“Oh, my dear sweet, intelligent sister,” Spencer said as he stood up. He looked over to a wall. There were drawings all over the wall. Swirls that Aaron had seen on tattoos on faces of Awoken. There was one that had a hole that was just big enough for Spencer’s hand to fit in it. He laid his hand over that hole, and a door opened. Aaron saw on the other side was a room with a bed and what looked like a lot of toys.
“Is that for me?” Jack asked. He dropped his fork and ran to the room. S.P.O.T. was there behind him, scanning the room as Jack looked around.
“Yes. Queen Mara knew of you before we came and just in case we brought you with us, she made sure you had a room. I will make it so that only us and Petra can open that door once it’s shut. There is a button on the other side for you to press to get out. S.P.O.T. can even press it, it does not need biometrics.”
“Your sister thought ahead.”
“This room was used by a family before they left and they were paranoid in the beginning. Its sat empty since then. Uldren oversaw the remodel and made sure the room was safe.” Spencer turned around and looked back at jack to make sure he was enthralled with his room. “As it stands, Aaron, Jack is the heir of the Reef if Mara, Uldren, and I are killed.”
“She has not ever met him.”
“No, but he is mine. He’s your blood but the child of my heart. That’s enough for her.”
“He’s not Awoken.”
“No, he is,” S.P.O.T. said as he appeared in the room with them. Aaron cocked his head to the side to look at him. Jack did not look Awoken. “Rasputin feared him being seen as weird. This was before we knew what Awoken were. There was a reason that Haley, Jessica, and Jack were not around others. It was not until later that I saw them sniffing around. I learned what Awoken were. Rasputin gave him a treatment that should wear off in a few days actually. There was a reason that I talked Morgan into bringing him here.”
“You have been keeping secrets.”
“He hasn’t really paid attention to the fact that he looks wholly human. You were both human, and it was weird that he was not, but the Light has done what it wants. The Traveler’s whims are hard to understand even years and years later. Seeing Spencer…” S.P.O.T. turned to look at Spencer. “Seeing him made me see what the Light had done to him.”
“He was born an Awoken?”
“I assume that whatever created the first Awoken also created him, just a lot longer later. It was after or maybe not. There is no direct lore that tells us the time that the Awoken were made and you created him long before the Awoken were known to be around. We would have to narrow things down a lot with Iron Lord Lore and Awoken lore, and I am sure that we could.”
“Rasputin protected him, knowing that it could harm him?” Spencer asked.
“He ran every single chance, and it was so slim that he was not worried.”
“I’ll talk to him about that the next time that I get near him. What does he look like?”
“He has asked that I not tell. He wants to shock you.”
“Any other shocks that we need t know? Secrets?” Aaron asked S.P.O.T. before turning to look at Jack who was playing with a toy. Aaron knew that Awoken were more than human. More than standard Guardians. That Jack would have that as well. There was that small part of Aaron though that was happy there was something of Spencer in Jack. Even if it was just that.
“No. I’ve kept nothing else from you. My secrets are laid bare.”
“Good. Now let’s finish dinner,” Aaron said just loud enough for Jack to hear. Jack got up and ran back to the table. Aaron looked at Spencer and knew that once Jack was asleep, they would talk more.