Title: Enter the Plaguelands
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, Lord Saladin, Shiro-4
Tags: Science Fantasy, Crossover, Death, War, Genocide
Summary: Fallen access to SIVA needs to be shut down. First, though they have to make sure that Fallen artillery is taken out to make it safe.
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
Aaron looked out at the area where they needed to go, a desolate wasteland of uninhabitable lands. The Plaguelands had been uninhabitable and quarantined for centuries. Now the Fallen had broken in and were taking over. No one had noticed precisely how long they had been there. That was what Saladin wanted to talk about at the Iron Temple. With the Last City under Quarantine to stop the spread of the infection among the Guardians, it was a good base of operations. Better than what Aaron figured would be working out of the Ceres with comms being the only communication.
“Ready?” Dave asked.
“Yes,” Spencer answered for both him and Aaron.
The room that Dave had been given in the Temple was very simple while Aaron’s had been his old room when he had lived in the Temple. G.A.R.C.I.A. had wandered off somewhere after they had laid down to rest and she hadn’t come back until just before they were heading out to see what was going on in the Plaguelands. Aaron didn’t fault her the time she probably spent melding with her other selves and possibly with Morgan as well.
Spencer had woke up Aaron by kissing him. The lovemaking they had done had been a balm to Aaron’s soul. It reminded Aaron that he was alive and as long as he was alive and had Spencer by his side, Jack safe from harm, he could go on and fight the big evils that always tried to rip them from the world.
“The Iron Lords believed we could contain S.I.V.A. by destroying the chamber where it was produced. These Fallen must have restarted the process. We need to get back into the chamber and cut off the flow of S.I.V.A. at the source.” Saladin’s tone was as severe as ever.
“I think we need to focus on what we know. The Fallen have occupied a military bunker in The Plaguelands. We won’t get any reinforcements in that area until the Fallen’s artillery is taken out,” Shiro-4 said.
“The Fallen are a symptom… S.I.V.A. is the disease,” Saladin said.
Aaron gripped his hand into a fist and sighed. Saladin was very narrow-minded, but there had been a time when he was as well.
“We can’t eradicate the disease if we can’t get to it, Saladin. Those artillery installations will knock all of us out of the sky. If we constantly have to go back and forth without being able to land in Lord’s Watch, we will lose a lot of time.”
Saladin didn’t say a thing in return. Spencer turned to ship to head toward the Rocketyard, which was the closest place that was a good drop point that was safe for them.
The area of the Rocketyard that was safe was empty thankfully, but Aaron could hear the Hive and the Fallen going at it. Hell, there might even be Taken, Aaron wasn’t sure, and he didn’t care. He just needed to get through them to where he wanted to go.
“Alright, Vanguard reinforcements are standing by, but until those guns are down, they can’t leave the hangar. I need you to shut them down.”
“You got it,” G.A.R.C.I.A. answered for them. The team was much more silent than usual. This wasn’t some strange invasion that was coming from space. S.I.V.A. was on Earth, and it was going to spread. This mission was critical, but Aaron hated that Spencer and Dave were being a little off their normal just so that they weren’t making Aaron think they were not serious about this. Aaron knew that they were. It was their home, their lives on the line as well. They had just as much stake in this as Aaron did, Aaron had just faced S.I.V.A. before. It was his nightmare. Spencer had faced his with the death of Mara and Uldren, Aaron could face this. With Spencer at his side.
“Hotch, there’s a dead Vandal near you. Can you get me a scan?” Shiro asked as soon as they entered the area where they had fought the last time. The room was even more infested with S.I.V.A. than it had been before. Aaron’s stomach clenched at that.
Aaron found the Vandal that Shiro wanted and let G.A.R.C.I.A. out to scan it.
“He’s Fallen,” G.A.R.C.I.A. said. “Basically, but armor is enhanced, weapons have been modified, cybernetic enhancements…” G.A.R.C.I.A. shivered before she disappeared again.
“Most Fallen Houses have a sect dedicated to this sort of thing. They’re called Splicers. They’re like body hackers–bio-engineers.”
Aaron heard the short from Spencer at Shiro’s word that he used for what the Fallen called themselves when they hacked up their other Fallen brethren for parts or swapped them for cybernetics. Aaron had never heard that word before, but then that was right up Spencer’s alley.
Saladin sighed, and it was the only warning that they had that he was even back on the line or listening at all. “It is worse than I feared… the Splicers are not only using S.I.V.A. to transform this place, they are using its technology to transform themselves.”
Aaron wandered around and found another hole, one that the Fallen had been coming out before to attack them their first time inside of the place. G.A.R.C.I.A. had a marker up leading that direction right after Aaron had taken a few steps inside. Aaron heard Spencer and Dave behind him. With the narrowness of the catwalks inside of the industrial complex they were inside of and the holes that were leading back to where the Fallen were coming from, There was no way to walk two abreast. So Aaron stayed at the front with the other two behind him.
“The Fallen have done some… remodeling,” G.A.R.C.I.A. said. There was vast evidence there was a lot of things missing from inside of the complex. Especially as they got closer and closer to where the Fallen were coming inside from.
“They’re taking the metal for something big,” Shiro said. “Hope they’re not using it to toughen up those gun emplacements.”
“Yes, because that’s the worst they could be doing with it,” Spencer deadpanned.
“What else could they be doing with it?” Dave asked.
“Building a giant-killing machine?”
“Okay, he’s not allowed to share with the class anymore,” Dave said in response to Spencer’s answer.
“You are kind of weird, Reid. I like it,” Shiro said.
Aaron let out a little growl that made Shiro chuckle.
“I’m not horning in on your territory, Lord Hotchner. I like my lovers to be a little more softer than he is. He kind of scares me.” Shiro sounded like he meant it too.
“He’s just perfect for me,” Aaron said.
Dave made a slight gagging noise. Despite the little interlude, there was silence the rest of the way through the whole of the complex. Then they were outside in Foundry 113, and any chance of speaking was being robbed at the sight of the destruction.
Troops were being dropped off of a Skiff in front of them, but they were too far away and the forces going down too quick for them to get ready to try and pick them off as they were falling.
“I’ve never seen the Fallen do anything on this scale before. I’m calling for more reinforcements,” Shiro said.
“You said yourself reinforcements will be useless until the guns are down. Besides, they will not be prepared for what they’ll find,” Saladin said.
“No one is prepared for anything that we have done since the Traveler’s Light started to bring us back,” Dave said. He sounded a little upset at the words. “No one can be prepared for everything that the Darkness is going to throw at them but fight on we must. Get more troops called up, we will handle everything else for now.”
Aaron readied his Hand Cannon. He had made sure that he and Dave had plenty of ammo for both of them. Spencer’s Sidearm was the same, and Spencer had both of his swords on the ready. Aaron wasn’t sure if those were going to do any good against the Splicer Fallen they were going to be fighting, but it would be good to know. Spencer’s blades were better made than the one that Aaron had, but it still wasn’t sure if it was going to be good enough for the upgrades that had been made to the Fallen.
The Splicer Fallen were harder to kill but not impossible. The Shanks were two shots, just like the Dregs, but it was still pretty easy to mow through them as they made their way out of the area of the tunnel toward where they needed to go. Aaron wasn’t sure that he ever want to deal with an exploding Splicer Shank anymore. The arcing pale yellow energy that wrapped around its body was horrible. Hell, most of the way that the Fallen looked were nightmare worthy. While the Light had changed him in ways that were impossible to go back on, there was no visual change, and he had not lost a part of himself. At least not a limb that was replaced with something machine. Aaron glanced at Dave. He had no clue what had made Dave become an Exo. Spencer had delved deep into that and figured out everything about it, but there was no case by case basis for the logs. The files for each Exo were not linked to the Human they had been. Instead, there was a file somewhere, probably lost to time that had that on it. There had to be a record, somewhere.
“Those S.I.V.A. charges that the Dregs are throwing kid of suck,” Dave said.
The new tunnel they needed was just in front of them.
“I thought S.I.V.A. was technology, but this… it’s like something alive… growing! Out of control!” G.A.R.C.I.A. exclaimed.
“These Devil Splicers are using S.I.V.A., but they cannot control it. They are like children with a new toy.”
Aaron snorted at Saladin’s words. It wasn’t that big of a stretch. Aaron had seen Jack play and play with a new toy that he just can’t let go of. Or Spencer with a new bit of research on something. Pulling him away from things like that sometimes was worse than Jack with his toys. Lord’s Watch was next. Aaron knew that. They would need to be ready for what was to come as it was close to the guns.
“I don’t know of any toys that eat Russian industrial complexes,” G.A.R.C.I.A. said. Saladin did not respond.
Aaron tried not to laugh at the words, but he saw Spencer’s body shaking with silent laughter. Aaron reached out and slapped his shoulder. They were abreast in this area now for at least the next little bit.
The walkway opened to a snow-covered area, and Aaron took a look at Lord’s Watch for the first time in a long time. He stepped out into the open air and heard the fire of guns.
“Those guns were destroyed during the Collapse! How did the Fallen–” Shiro stopped when Saladin cut in
“It’s not the Fallen.”
“Maybe it’s not, but the Fallen are the ones pulling the triggers out here. The Vanguard wants them taken down? We take them down!” Shiro exclaimed.
“Sparrows,” Aaron said. He knew that Dave was good at missing shots fired at him. They could cut the distance down by a great deal if they just ignored most of the Fallen that were between them and the first choke point.
“Okay just to be clear, I don’t like creepy tech that spreads like a virus. It gives people the wrong idea about artificial lifeforms,” G.A.R.C.I.A. said.
“I agree,” Spencer said back to her.
Dave looked at Aaron for a few seconds but didn’t ask. G.A.R.C.I.A. appeared and moved closer to Spencer and stuck out one of her little protuberances and Spencer gave her a near high five with one of his hands.
“Aaron, do you know where we are going?”
“Yes,” Aaron said as he summoned his Sparrow. He sat astride it and waited for the other two to summon theirs. They did quickly, and Aaron took the lead. He saw that Dave was next and then Spencer. Spencer’s head was on a swivel near the whole time looking for enemies. Aaron’s tracker was clear, but that meant nothing, not with S.I.V.A. around.
“Detecting a high concentration of S.I.V.A. shielding the gun emplacements,” G.A.R.C.I.A. said as they started to get close to where they were heading.
“Even S.I.V.A. enhanced shields would require an energy source,” Saladin said before Shiro could say something. “But be careful. There’s something familiar about all this.”
“Right!” G.A.R.C.I.A. said sarcastically. “Destroy the familiar generators and then take down Shiro’s…’zombie guns.'”
The Bunker they needed to get inside of was well guarded, even a Servitor was there. It wasn’t Sepiks but just a plain Jane Servitor. Still, it was enough to slow them down more than Aaron would like. The Servitor was a bitch to kill, which Aaron doesn’t hold well for whatever big bad they fight next.
“So how do you want to do this, Aaron?” Dave asked as they crested the stairs to look inside of the Bunker. It was full of machines and the like. There was a lot of things that could be hiding everywhere inside of there.
“There are two paths. I’ll take one, you take the other, Spencer go up the middle until we figure out which side has the biggest bads on it and then you can support them.”
“You got it,” Spencer said.
Aaron took the left side while Dave took the right. Spencer did go up the center until there was no more center for him to go. He stayed there while Aaron and Dave fought forward. After that area was clear, Spencer did jump up to their level to help them clear the rest. Which included a Captain. The S.I.V.A. infected Captain was a bitch as the S.I.V.A. healed him as they tried to kill him.
There was a small explosion to the front of Aaron, and he saw something red.
“Shield power levels are dropping!” G.A.R.C.I.A. near yelled out.
“I’ll go hunt the other,” Spencer said. He jumped up and swung toward where he was going to be taken to the upper floor. Aaron shook his head. He would let Spencer do what he wanted. The facility wasn’t that big that he was going to lost and overwhelmed by Fallen.
It wasn’t long before Aaron and Dave had the Fallen killed in the Bunker, and just seconds later he heard the same explosion as before.
“That’s it! Shield is collapsing. You should be clear.” G.A.R.C.I.A. sounded really excited, and Aaron could understand why. It was better for them to quickly do this. Less chance of being overwhelmed and allow more Fallen to arrive.
“Guns are upstairs. Take ’em out!” Shiro said over the comms.
Aaron took off the way that G.A.R.C.I.A. was pointing them to go. He rushed up the stairs and found that it was an office area. It was long abandoned but standing.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say the Splicers were creating a beachhead. Something of this scale could be used against the City.” Shiro’s tone was worried, and Aaron felt that same worry. This was why the Fallen, no matter what had to be taken out. Aaron followed the beacon to the hallway. As he entered it, the whole building shook. The guns were outside, and Aaron could see three of them. As soon as he cleared the area, he saw a Skiff dropping off Fallen.
“So, those destroyed guns? S.I.V.A. undestroyed them,” Spencer said as he stopped at Aaron’s back, to look at the guns. SO far the Fallen had not noticed them, which was a good thing. The area updated on Aaron’s H.U.D. and it said Splicer Battery.
“Undestroyed?” Shiro questioned.
“Look for a central S.I.V.A. node inside those emplacements!” Saladin said. There was a lot of urgency in his tone. “Destroy that, and it will break the Fallen’s hold on the gun.”
“So three guns, three Guardians,” Dave said.
“Divide and conquer?” Spencer asked.
“Sure,” Aaron said. He knew that he could trust them to ask for help. This would also split the Fallen forces and hopefully make it easier. If it seemed they were ignoring one, that one could go and help.
Aaron took off for the middle emplacement. Dave went for ht closest, and Spencer sprinted, running headfirst at two Vandals, drawing his swords and beheading them as he ran past. Aaron knew that he was going to be fine as he watched the heads roll, literally.
A Splicer Captain was guarding the S.I.V.A. node in the bottom of the emplacement. Aaron made quick work of the Fallen soldier, panting when he was done. He was going for speed and surety more than finessing it. The guns needed to stop, and they needed to stop now.
The sound of two more S.I.V.A. nodes going off had Aaron near pumping the air with his fist.
“Great job! Hawks are inbound! Just hold the area until they get here!” Shiro sounded the happiest that Aaron had ever heard him, which wasn’t much as he hadn’t known him long.
“Uh, Shiro? I’m pretty sure that air support isn’t going to get here in time.” G.A.R.C.I.A. said, and it sounded a lot worried.
“STAY INSIDE!” Spencer yelled over the comms.
Aaron was about to ask why when he heard a thud from above, and it reverberated inside of his chest. Something big had just been dropped.
“Perfected Walker. Be careful about leaving your bunkers. It’s focused on me right now, so make sure you can find somewhere safe before you start to fire at it.” Spencer’s tone was calmer this time, but at least the yelling had got what Spencer wanted, which was Aaron and Dave stopping. It wouldn’t do for one of them to be taken out. It wasn’t safe for G.A.R.C.I.A. to revive them.
“It’s closer to me, but the Fallen are coming from my way. I’ll handle them while you two use your big guns to take out the Walker.”
“Solid plan, Spencer,” Aaron said. He drew his Sniper Rifle and got it ready before he looked for Dave. It would be best if Dave at least came to where he was as the man’s Machine Gun would do better from closer. Dave was already halfway to Aaron when he peeked out. Aaron looked around to see that there were S.I.V.A. spores everywhere.
“Saladin?” Aaron asked.
“It’s directing the corruption to resurrect the guns!” Saladin answered.
Aaron fired his first shot at the closest spore, but it just came back near instantly.
“Let’s get rid of the Walker first,” Dave said as he opened fire on the leg of the Walker. It started to spin around to fire at them, so they both ducked down.
Spencer gave the clear as he directed it toward him. Back and forth they went like that, popping up like gophers when they needed to. Aaron about came out when he heard a Shock Cannon going off.
“Reaver Captain almost to you.”
Dave ducked out and started to fire at the Captain. It wasn’t long before it fell under his Machine Gun.
“Want the Shock Cannon?” Dave asked.
“Yes.” Aaron rushed out to grab it and started to make his way to Spencer. He fired the entire set of charges that were inside of the Shock Cannon as Spencer dropped the Captain that was trying to take him out. Aaron heard the one going after Dave fall just as Spencer took out his.
Under the fire from the two Shock Cannons and Aaron’s Sniper Rifle, the Walker was taken out in short order.
“Centuries passed, and I have learned nothing. Shiro, can your forces secure that area?” Saladin sounded tired. Aaron had never heard that from him before.
“We’ll do our best.”
“Try. I need the Guardians to return to the Temple. If we are to avoid the mistakes which led us here, we must speak about the fall of the Iron Lords.”
Aaron knew what was going to come. To explain to Dave what the truth of it all was. Spencer knew most of it, but as Aaron stood there, more memories of that point in time of his life came back to him. He wondered if that was something from where no other Guardians had memories of their past, or it was something to do with how Rasputin had put him into cold storage. Spencer was going to be the one to better understand what had happened more than Aaron and even Saladin.
The inside of the Iron Temple was somber as Aaron and Spencer entered it with Dave following behind. Aaron knew that this was going to be hard for everyone to hear, and it was going to be hard for Saladin to say. Aaron had been unable to say much at all to Spencer about his past. The time just before he had been kidnapped by Rasputin was the hardest.
“What have you told him?” Saladin asked as he looked at Spencer and then at Aaron.
“Very little. It’s private, and he understands that well,” Aaron answered.
“This may not make sense to you all, but it took your fight to remind me that immortality is not the same as invincibility.” Saladin looked at the roaring fire that was burning in the pit in front of him before he held out his hand. His Ghost appeared in it and seemed to scan the room.
“I don’t understand,” G.A.R.C.I.A. said.
Spencer was looking around and saw that Saladin’s Ghost’s scan did. It highlighted stone carvings that had not to be visible before. Saladin had told Aaron about them, so he had seen them, privately to mourn the loss of his friends.
“When the Ghosts first found us, those who were chosen were blessed with power, but not wisdom. The Iron Lords came together in search of a solution to mankind’s struggles. Instead, we found S.I.V.A. We dreamt of using S.I.V.A. to build starships, colonies… we would become what the Traveler always believed we could be.”
“But something happened,” Dave’s G.A.R.C.I.A. said.
“S.I.V.A. had been lost to time. When Timur tracked it to the Cosmodrome, we thought our quest was finally over. S.I.V.A. would be ours for the taking.” Saladin looked at Dave and then at Spencer before finally letting his eyes rest on Aaron. “Rasputin responded.”
Spencer turned around to look at Saladin, his face didn’t show anything. At least Saladin and Dave wouldn’t think that it did, but Aaron read the surprise there.
“More than a hundred Iron Lords entered the Plaguelands. In the end, only nine reached the replication chamber. But since we were chosen by the Traveler and our cause was just, we were certain the day would be ours. Until S.I.V.A. took control.” Saladin’s face still showed the trauma of that moment that was fresh in his mind. Aaron felt relief that he would never have those memories. “It infected our weapons… our armor. The corruption puppeted us against one another. In the end, Jolder sealed the chamber with the Iron Lords inside, rather than let S.I.V.A. escape. A battle was won…heroes died…and our mistakes stayed here. I thought all was lost.” Saladin looked at Aaron, and the pain on his face left him for a few seconds.
“But Rasputin survived?” G.A.R.C.I.A. asked.
“This is not Rasputin. But neither is it something I know how to fight. They are using S.I.V.A. in ways we never even imagined.”
“How would the Fallen have learned more about S.I.V.A. than the Iron Lords? Or better yet, where did they learn?” G.A.R.C.I.A. seemed to be able to speak while Dave and Spencer were silent.
Aaron had no questions, he knew the answers already.
“They haven’t mastered S.I.V.A. yet…” Saladin looked like he was thinking and then came upon the answer. “This is all still new to them! See Tyra. She’s studied S.I.V.A.’s origins. If there’s a way to track the Fallen’s discoveries, she will know where to look.”
Aaron nodded and waited for Dave and Spencer to leave. He waited for Saladin to stop looking at Jolder’s statue and turn to him.
“Your lover, he’s a tough nut to crack. I know that he’s been playing a game of sorts with Zavala.”
“He’s trustworthy, and he wants the Light to survive, Humanity to make it out. He will never do something that would stop that.”
“But he doesn’t care who is at the helm when that happens, does he?” Saladin asked.
“So if the Vanguard or another faction rises that think they know best and will do something stupid like we did.”
“He would put them down.” Aaron knew what Saladin was asking. S.I.V.A. could be used if it was figured out how to use it. If Zavala thought that S.I.V.A. could be controlled by Rasputin, he would do what he could to make sure that he had control of both. Rasputin was never going to allow himself to be controlled by Guardians, outside of one and Spencer would never control him.
“Good. He’s a good man. I could have been him going far in the Iron Wolves, getting his own unit, if we could have pulled him away from you.”
“He wields his swords well. I had been making a new sword for him, but the Reef beat me to it, so I’m making it for you. You and your young Wolf.”
“Saladin,” Aaron said.
“It’s time for the Iron Lords to rise again, Hotch. It’s time for the Darkness to remember the last time that we beat them down.”
Aaron nodded his head. Only time would tell if Saladin thought that Spencer deserved the title of Iron Lord.
Dave was nowhere to be seen while Spencer was over at the edge of the upper area of the Temple entrance. He had a wolf beside him, and Aaron realized that it was Luna. Aaron looked around for Helo. Helo was watching Spencer’s back. Aaron walked over to him and rubbed at his head before he walked over to his lover.
“The Warlords were risen without wisdom, they had power like Saladin said but no wisdom.” Spencer didn’t turn around as he spoke. He instead looked out at the peaks of the mountains they were in. “They were still children. I know what S.I.V.A. is now, and I know something that Saladin doesn’t.”
“Clovis Bray was a great man, but he was full of issues, and one of them was his vanity. He worked on S.I.V.A. and another project at the same time. The other was scrapped because it did damage to the subjects that made it impossible for him to humanely create super soldiers with nanotechnology. Rasputin had control of S.I.V.A., and he tried to stop the Iron Lords form taking it because he knew one thing. It would never stop. There was no kill switch. I would not be shocked if he helped destroy what the Iron Lords had started up. They are what woke him up, and that is how he was able to save you. Though if they hadn’t woke him up by going after S.I.V.A., he wouldn’t have needed to save you. Though that would have meant you would have been with Bretomart still. I don’t know what I would have done with that.”
“Sometimes, I wonder how smart Humans are if they keep on fucking up because they mess with things that are so far out of their realm of knowledge.”
“Rasputin would have been unable to communicate with them that much. The Collapse broke a lot of his system. He would have needed time to fix them with what he had. He’s not perfect, as much as I would like to say that my child is perfect. I don’t know how he allowed the Fallen to find what they did and get into where they have got into. I don’t like it, but there is no much that we can do about that. We just have to clean up.”
“Saladin knows more than we would like, but he hasn’t figured out most of it. Just that you are more than you seem.”
“There is a lot that knows that. It’s fine. I trust him.” Spencer stood up and turned around to face Aaron, Luna moved at the same time. It was so strange to see them like that. The wolves of Felwinter Peak had not taken to anyone but the Iron Lords or the Iron Wolves. Aaron should have known. Just like the Traveler made Jack perfect for both of them, Spencer was perfect for Aaron. That did start to make Aaron question exactly how much influence the Traveler had on things even when it was supposedly asleep. Aaron hadn’t had much to do with it as it had been asleep when he had been born, but Spencer did. Spencer had studied it in his spare time or while working, Aaron was never quite sure on that.
“He trusts you too, and that’s hard to come by. Are you ready to meet up with Tyra and we can figure out how the Fallen got their hands on S.I.V.A.?”
I write fanfiction for fun. It’s a hobby and a stress relief. I refuse to stress over my writing. What you see is what you get. Errors, plot holes, and all. Thank you for reading my story!
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