Title: Skolas’s Last Stand
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, Variks The Loyal
Tags: Science Fantasy, Crossover, Death, War, Genocide
Summary: It’s a showdown between one half of fireteam BAU and Skolas.
Year: The Far Future
Spoilers: Destiny: Through D2: Black Armory, 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
Spencer stopped moving as he heard the comm crackled to life. He held up a hand and Aaron, and Prentiss stopped moving as well. Spencer was at the front of the pack of them as they hunted Fallen and Vex alike on Venus. Petra had sent them there the week before. Nightly comm calls from G.A.R.C.I.A. to S.P.O.T. had been the only connection with Jack, but Jack wasn’t finding it too hard. He was enjoying afternoon tea parties with at least Mara and sometimes Uldren as well. It was entertaining, and Petra found it quite vexing that the Queen was so enamored with a child. Spencer knew that when the time came, and Petra realized that Mara had been lying to her for a long time and what she had done to her mind, it might end the centuries-long relationship between them. Spencer didn’t like that, but it had been done long before he had re-entered the picture.
“Guardian, new orders from the Queen. She wants Skolas captured alive. I live to serve, of course. Just makes things a little harder, that’s all. You’ll be the tip of the spear. Get down there, find him and pin him. I’ll be nearby with a capture team of Prince Uldren’s Crows,” Petra said over the comms. There was the sound of something over the comms, and then Petra was talking again. “The team and I just set down in a canyon a few kilometers from the Citadel. When you find him, we’ll be ready.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Prentiss said. She checked the ammo on her Auto Rifle before nodding at Spencer. “Let’s go.”
“How close are we to the Citadel?” Aaron asked.
Spencer understood why Aaron asked because they had never been there before. “Not far at all. The Waking Ruins lad right to it.” Spencer turned them the direction that they needed to go and hoped that there were not a lot of Fallen or Vex in the way. Spencer wanted Skolas’s head, and he understood that Mara wanted him alive. He also understood why she would want him alive, but Spencer chafed a little under that order.
“So, he tried to conquer the other Fallen Houses and failed. Maybe now it’s about the weapons? Outfitting the Wolves with Vex instruments of war?” Petra was reaching, but given that Skolas’s motives were not known to them, it was better to try and theorize than to settle with no information.
“If Skolas thinks he is Kell of prophecy, then weapons could turn the tale,” Variks said over the comm.
“Religion turns people into idiots,” Aaron said.
Spencer agreed. The only worship that Spencer did was to knowledge. While his reverence for the Traveler could be seen as a form of worship, Spencer didn’t actually believe that the Travel was all seeing and all knowing. If it were, it never would have allowed itself to be injured like it was and it would not have the Darkness chasing after it. Spencer looked at Aaron and knew that his father had believed himself a God of some kind. God of death or war or something but still a God. Religion was personal, and Spencer never asked it about anyone.
“Religion gives extremists the thought that they are doing something horrible for the good of everyone. They don’t see the hypocrisy of what they are doing because they believe that their way is the right way and there is no other path but that one. Humans are lousy with that kind of thinking,” Prentiss said.
“Enough chatter,” Petra said.
“Oh stuff it,” Spencer said with a smile on his face. They were almost to the Citadel.
Petra’s laughter over the comms sounded a lot like it used to be, when they were human and fleeing the arrival of the Darkness to take them out. Prentiss gave a small huff of laughter, but Aaron was silent. Spencer turned to look at him and saw that he was looking behind. Spencer looked back as well, but there was nothing there.
“We don’t have any Stealth Vandals behind us. There are bits of Vex machines that make a sound that is very close, and I’ve been hearing them for a few minutes now.”
“Are you sure?” Aaron asked as he looked at Spencer. Or at least in the same direction that Spencer was, Spencer couldn’t see his eyes and so he knew that Aaron could be looking past his shoulder instead of at his face.
“I’m confident,” Spencer said. He turned back to look where they were going. There was no guarantee that there were no Stealth Vandals up there, but Spencer knew that there were none behind them. The wall in front of them opened, and Spencer looked around the Citadel, there was Vex crawling all over it, but it seemed that they might be able to bypass a lot of them. Crouching at the entryway, Spencer looked around to make sure that all of the Vex that were currently there were accounted for by G.A.R.C.I.A. so that none could slip behind them. Spencer pointed out where they needed to go when Prentiss and Aaron crouched beside him.
“Whatever he’s up to, I’ve got a bearing on that signal. Top of the tower. Better start climbing, Guardian.” Petra’s tone was back t the normal one that she used when directing them around an area.
“Where are we going?” Prentiss asked.
“Up into the hole that’s at the top of the wall. That’s where G.A.R.C.I.A. and Petra are tracking the signature of Skolas to. We might be able to slip up the side and only engage the Vex that is right where we need to go. It’s a good shot anyway so that we are not fighting too many enemies. Even if we end up fighting more than we want, it’s better to try for the not too hard than to go for the hardest right off the bat.”
“Agreed. You lead the way and keep an eye on what’s in front. Prentiss, you take the middle and watch the sides, I’ll bring up the rear and keep an eye behind us.” Aaron was the first to stand up, but he waited for Spencer and Prentiss to start moving before he took his first step. Spencer led them up a set of stairs and then across a short gap in the stone platforms. He stuck to the edge, and while a few Vex fired at them from below, none got up on their level and fired.
Spencer could see the hole in the wall where they needed to go at the exact same time that two Minotaurs appeared. “Minotaurs.”
The first shots fired were actually from Prentiss with her Auto Rifle and in the time that it took for her to get a good set of shots in on them, they both teleported to try and surround them. Spencer drew his Pulse Rifle instead of the Scout Rifle. The Scout was good for distance shots, but the Minotaurs were staying pretty damned close to them. It was the work of several minutes as the three of them worked down the Minotaurs.
“That was harder than normal,” Spencer said.
“Axis Minotaurs,” G.A.R.C.I.A. said. “They are built like tanks, according to the research I’ve uncovered in the Vex files from here on Venus.”
“Great. Here’s to hoping that we don’t face more of them.” Aaron’s tone was bitter but nothing that Spencer wasn’t used to. Ever since he had started to have nightmares, Aaron was a little more rough with everyone. Spencer wondered if it was all too much with not enough rest time. Spencer wasn’t sure, so he had started to pamper Aaron some when they were home in the Reef. Jack had started to cuddle with Aaron more and sometimes forced Aaron to take a nap with him. The only thing that Spencer wanted after finding Skolas and taking him captive was a little downtime. No one Human or Awoken was made mentally to fight a war for as long as they all had been. Spencer had a little time learning what he was before hell had broken loose, but Aaron had gone from fighting the Siva to fighting in the shit that had started when G.A.R.C.I.A. had found Spencer and made him a Guardian.
Spencer was the first through the tunnels made in stone. There was no sign of enemies until they were part of the way up. Spencer heard the sound of Vex enemies as they put off a signal all the time that kind of interfered with the comms a little when they were in an enclosed space. Spencer raised his Pulse Rifle as he came around a corner and found that there were indeed Vex on the other side of the room. Spencer started to fire at them. It was just a few Goblins and a Hobgoblin protecting the stairs that were going to take them further into the Citadel, but it was enough to slow them down a little.
Up they went to find more Vex keeping them from advancing. It was just Goblins again, but still, if that was what they were going to face going up, it was going to piss Spencer off. He would rather have one long protracted fight than a bunch of small ones that led up to a big one.
“Hmm,” Petra said, and it startled Spencer just a little bit. “Strong gravity distortion at your location.”
“I can see why.” Spencer looked at the circular blue column at the back of the room they had just entered. “The lift is being protected by a shield. There are also Vex and Fallen going at it.”
“The unfun going at it right?” Petra asked.
“Oh yes. I’d be screaming if there were Fallen and Vex having sex in front of me.” Spencer let himself smile before he swapped from his Pulse Rifle to his Scout. It was going to be better to stay back and pick them off before heading into the fray. Let them mainly focus on killing each other with them picking each other off.
Spencer and Aaron picked off the edge enemies before starting to work on the main body of them. Prentiss would take out the Goblins and Dregs that decided to come in closer to try and take them out so that Spencer and Aaron could focus on the distant enemies. There was a Hydra up near the lift, fighting with a Captain.
“Who is the Hydra, G.A.R.C.I.A.?” Spencer asked.
“Vechron, Spire Lord. He’s the guard of this area. That he’s still alive means that the Fallen did not arrive too much before us. We can catch up to them before they do too much damage at the top.”
When the Hydra fell, it took out the Captain as well with it’s exploding body as the Captain had been too damned close to the Hydra trying to kill it. That seemed to put the last of the Fallen and the Vex into a frenzy. It was a bloodbath though because the three of them slaughtered the remaining forces. G.A.R.C.I.A. shot away from them when the last enemy fell, and they were treated to watching her hack the controls for the lift. Spencer was the one who stepped up to the lift first, touching the shield that was around it. He pushed his hand into it, watching the sparks dance around the edge of the glove wrapped around his fingers. Spencer smiled and pushed harder, feeling the shield try and push him away even further. He watched the swirl of the blue light as it spun upward. It was beautiful in Spencer’s mind, created by a race that was anything but.
“I was House Judgment scribe. I stood with Skolas for much of Reef Wars. Now, I stand with you in Judgment of Wolf Kell. That feels…right somehow.”
“And you are a good friend, Variks,” Spencer said. The shield fell away, and Spencer waited for Prentiss and Aaron to join him before he stepped forward into the lift. He felt it almost cup his body and he started to shoot up. Slowly, Spencer shot up until he was going faster and faster to where the blue light looked almost white. He waited for the feeling to slow down, or even just suddenly stop. At the same time that it started to slow down, Spencer saw the white fade to blue and the blue fade to grey. He was seeing the stones of the wall of the lift before the blue was gone all the way and he was being dropped to a platform.
It took a minute for Aaron and Prentiss to arrive, and in that time Spencer looked around at the fog that was everywhere. He stepped over and changed his thought on it being fog and figured out that it was in fact clouds. There were platforms everywhere, and some of them started to disappear before another set appeared.
“We have to go across there?” Prentiss asked?”
“Yes,” Spencer and G.A.R.C.I.A. answered at the same time.
“Okay then,” Prentiss said. She stepped up beside Spencer on the edge of the platform that they were one. No one moved while Spencer watched the ebb and flow of the appearing and disappearing of the platforms to learn the schedule they were on.
“Ready?” Aaron asked as Spencer slung his Scout Rifle over his shoulder and secured it so that it wouldn’t fall down.
“Yes. I’m going to go first. You both wait for the next cycle. There is a platform in the center that I will wait for you at. You need to make sure that you can go across before you go. Watch and learn from what I do. With my Blink, it’s going to be the hardest for me. I don’t want to risk one of you bumping me off. I have no clue how far down exactly this goes, but it would take forever for my body to land and for me to get back up here.”
“You got it,” Prentiss said.
“Don’t do anything stupid.”
“I save stupid things for the Titans to do,” Spencer said with a smile on his lips. He took off running at the platform as it appeared and was halfway across to the next when it was still just forming. Spencer stayed one step ahead of the platforms just to be safe, in case he landed lower than he needed to make the next. He landed on the one in the center. He turned around to wave at the others to see that they were both just starting across.
” Skolas’s Ketch! This is it, Guardian,” Petra said as Spencer looked to see the Ketch that was indeed positioned at the area just on the other side of the other platform they were heading to. “The Vex tech here matches a signature from the Vault of Glass. These machines fade in and out of our timeline. Watch your step.”
“So not just in and out of reality but out of time as well. That’s interesting that what is on them doesn’t go into the past as well,” Spencer said. He was fascinated by that. It was quite impossible, even with the tech that Spencer had been a part of making before the Collapse. Spencer wanted to study what the Vex knew, adapt it to what the Guardians, and the Reef needed to survive.
“No. You’re getting close. The Crows and I are inbound.” Petra’s comm cut on her end and Spencer wondered if it was fro surprise or she was going to tell the Crows something that they needed to hear, but she didn’t want the Guardians hearing. Aaron was the first to land on the platform. He stepped clear so that Prentiss could be able to land without issue.
Spencer’s mind supplied him the timing on the last set of platforms. He rushed just as it was getting ready to form and started his leaping across again. Spencer landed in a crouch on the large section floating in the middle of space. He saw the closest gate device as he landed and looked around to see many more throughout the large platform that wound in an around on itself to meet up in nearly the same place just a large distance away.
“What? Guardian, there are dozens of new Wolf signatures, and the number keeps growing. It’s the Vex tech!” Petra was near screaming, and Spencer jerked his Sidearm out of his holster and turned to look at the gates. “Skolas! He’s pulling the entire House of Wolves through time!”
“Shit!” Spencer said.
“Spencer, do not engage unless something is coming at you until we are over there,” Aaron said.
“Don’t rush and fall to your death,” Spencer said back as he watched two Dregs come down a short ramp and start to fire at him. Spencer backed up into an alcove that would give him shelter from anyone who wasn’t coming right at him and firing. Spencer shot them both dead center in the head. Aaron landed in front of him and turned toward where more Fallen were coming at Spencer. Prentiss was just a second behind him, landing just three feet behind, between Aaron and Spencer. Spencer took the time to get his Pulse Rifle off of his shoulder and ready to go after shoving his Sidearm into its holster. He looked at where he could see Fallen getting ready for them to invade their area.
Spencer took the lead going forward and found that it was quite full of Fallen and more ported in as he killed them, just like the Vex.
“I really want to shove a Rocket Launcher up the ass of whoever let it slip about the tech in the Vault,” Prentiss said as she kept firing at enemies as they spawned in.
No one answered her, but Spencer agreed. He really did want to find the person who leaked the information enough to where the Fallen, especially Skolas had found out about the tech that was in the Vault of Glass. Spencer concentrated on the enemies that were in front of him until he was nearly taken out by a Scorch Cannon.
“Aaron, Scorch Cannon Captain up ahead,” Spencer called out. He heard Aaron running and then spared a glance to see that he was taking cover behind a column of a block to snipe at the Captain that was up ahead. Spencer kept a weather eye on the Captain to make sure that he wasn’t going to be taken out. While he could come back, it was fucking stupid to have to wait for the area to clear when Spencer could just not die and not have to wait.
The Captain died with a roar several minutes later as he kept playing a game of hide and seek with Aaron. Spencer kept hearing more and more Fallen being ported in by the Vex tech, and he knew at some point it had to end, but unlike the Vex only one or two came at a time. Which was good as if it was different they would be overwhelmed. They kept slowly moving forward until they were basically on a giant promenade that led to a large gate. There were two Servitors there, almost guarding it.
“Prentiss, Rocket Launcher those Servitors,” Aaron said over the comms. He was staying back to stay in Sniper range as they had no clue what was coming at them. They would rather say back than to be overwhelmed by enemies. If at least one of them was in a safe range, they were all safe. “The gates are active, shut them down.”
Spencer turned to focus on Aaron’s command. He kept firing with his Pulse Rifle until each of the gates closest to him was shut down. There was only the big one, and Aaron did not get it stopped in time. Instead, Skolas came out of it. He screamed out something at them in the Fallen language.
“He just said, ‘I stole the gift of Freedom. Secrets of time and space. House of Wolves will stand forever.'” Variks sounded displeased to even say the words over the comm as a translation.
“He has nowhere left to run! Take him down!” Petra yelled over the comms.
Prentiss took out the last Servitor and the Aron the gate at the same time. Skolas really had nowhere else to go. Spencer started to fire at him, and as he did, it seemed the Skolas finally realized exactly where they were. He started to charge at them. There were no other Fallen left. With the gates destroyed he could not get more through to him and so Skolas was alone.
“Shit,” Spencer said.
“Retreat to safety. Let’s see how far he follows us.” Aaron was backing up as he said it. Spencer ran backward, firing at Skolas as he did. It enraged the Fallen just enough to where he wasn’t paying attention to them as close as he should. Prentiss didn’t stop as she ran either. She kept on loading up ammo and firing it at Skolas. Aaron reached cover first, setting himself up and firing at Skolas. The Fallen was enraged, screaming and firing blindly. The Scorch Cannon that he had wasn’t hitting them at all he was so pissed. Spencer tried to keep firing, but he found that he had hit a wall. He rushed to the left and then around the wall to get to safety. When he was breathing better, he came around the corner and started to fire again. Skolas had to be almost to his weakest point. Prentiss fired a rocket at him, and Skolas dropped.
“The House of Wolves is broken! Stand by for a transmission.” Petra sounded happy.
A circle of red wrapped around the area where Skolas was. It was the start of whatever they were going to use to trap Skolas to take him alive. Spencer debated for a few seconds rushing forward and using his swords to remove the Fallen’s head. He wondered what Mara would do. How pissed off would she be? How long would it take for her to forgive him? It would take longer for her to forgive him publicly, but so far neither of them had ever done a damned thing that the other had stayed mad at the other for long for.
“This is Mara Sov, Queen of the Awoken. Guardian, when you first came in search of the Black Garden, I thought of you as just another Mote of Light, too far from its Traveler. I see now that I was wrong. Accept my thanks and the promise of a fitting reward. Petra, bring Skolas to me!”
Skolas was jerked upright and started to rise a little before he disappeared.
“Capture confirmed. I almost feel sorry for Skolas here. Conversations with the Queen can be…harsh. Anyway, I’ll meet you back at the Reef with your reward.” Petra’s comm cut off, and there was nothing else on the HUD that said anyone else was listening in.
“That was a fight and a half,” Prentiss said as she dropped to her ass right in the spot that Skolas had been in. The Reef ship took off.
“I have the Galliot heading towards us,” G.A.R.C.I.A. said as she appeared in the air in front of Spencer’s face. Spencer reached out and patted her side. He was too worn out from running and right, and just mentally exhausted to even respond more than that.
“I want to sleep for a day,” Aaron said.
“Fat chance on that. You’ve been away for a week on Venus working on scouting reports, he’s not going to let you sleep for a day.” Prentiss sounded like she was crowing as she said it.
“Unless we tell him that Aunt Emily decided that it was about time that they spent some time together, alone,” Spencer said.
“No, you wouldn’t. Would you?” Prentiss asked looking at Spencer. Her face was unreadable through the helmet, but Spencer just laughed in response. The Galliot appeared above them and G.A.R.C.I.A. transmatted them all inside of it.
Spencer was the first out of the ship ones they were back at the outpost for the Reef. He saw Petra at the control center that she was usually at. Aaron and Prentiss appeared seconds later, and even all three G.A.R.C.I.A.s made themselves visible. Petra turned to face them as the six of them got close.
“It was a glorious hunt. Thank you for helping me when I could not do it all on my own.” Petra waved her hand at a trip of chests. “Take your reward.”
Spencer stepped up and opened up one. It had held Glimmer inside of it. What looked to be about five thousand worth. Prentiss and Aaron did the same, and each had the same amount.
“I will make sure that those are put into your rooms. Guardian Reid, Variks wishes to speak with you before you leave.”
“Leave?” Spencer asked.
“Before you retire to your room. We do not think you are leaving the Reef quite yet. Your Vanguard has not recalled you yet. I hope you stick around for a while yet. Take a small vacation here. You are all three running ragged, hell we all are running ragged. A good soldier is only as good as his body and how much rest he gets. Go and settle your brain, feed your body, and connect again. The Prince has Jack and is teaching about spying.”
Prentiss laughed a little before wandering off toward where her room was. Spencer looked at Petra as he took off his helmet and gave her a smile.
“Prince Uldren is teaching him about spying?”
“If the message that S.P.O.T. left is anything to go by he’s teaching Jack how to pick apart messages to find hidden meaning and how to tell if a report is truthful or not. Nothing too bad.”
Spencer shook his head, but he agreed that it wasn’t too bad and would allow them both to sleep some. Spencer smiled at Petra, bowed, and turned to leave, tugging Aaron after him. He walked to where Variks had a station and gave him a short bow just at the head.
“I give you key,” Variks said as he handed over a key. “The chest is somewhere, and you must find it. Key will vibrate when you get close to the chest.”
“Thank you.” Spencer laughed a little but Variks dismissed them, and Spencer was glad of it.
Spencer wandered away from where Variks was, tugging Aaron behind him. Aaron went willingly and said nothing as they walked the halls to their rooms. Both of them stripped the armor they were too tired to strip off in the ship and showered with bare minimal touching before collapsing into bed. Spencer had few thoughts as sleep claimed him.