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  • Writer's pictureAaron Corcoran

03 : Trigger

“This one will do a better job of killing things,” there was that unmistakable tone of malice in Mal’s voice, but Ace didn’t have time to dwell on it right now.

“How do you know that?” Ace had been considering between two different weapons that he had the Cryptarch decrypt for him. Today, he was field testing the two rifles to determine which one he wanted to keep.


“What kind of Potential are you talking about?” Ace was intrigued.

“The Potential to carry your potency with the Light. It is how your weapons are able to kill Hive Gods or circumvent the Vex’s ability to warp time and space,” Mal explained, “Or rather, it is how a weapon in the hands of a Guardian is able to do those things.”

“So how does that make this particular gun better than that one?”

“At the molecular level, that gun is simply a better conduit for your Light. Every time you pull the trigger, your Light infuses the ammunition and becomes enhanced by it.”

Ace looked down at the rifle, at the magazine and then the trigger. At its core, it is such a very simple mechanism. He had no idea, though, that paracausal mechanics were also at play within. Under his helmet, disappointment played across his face.

“That’s too bad,” Ace declared after a minute of consideration.

“Why is that?” Mal asked.

“Because I don’t like how this auto rifle fires,” Ace explained, “It doesn’t sit right in my hands and the recoil pattern doesn’t work with my natural rhythm.”

“Oh. That is too bad.”

Shrugging slightly, Ace continued, “I suppose I could simply learn to use it. After all, that is what I did with most of my earlier weapons.”

“Wait. What?” Mal was aghast.

“Yeah. You said they were better and I wasn’t really all that attached to any of the ones I was using before, so I didn’t think about it.”

“But now?” Mal prompted.

“Now? Well, I really like how this one fires,” Ace indicated the scout rifle sitting at his side, “And I really like what happens when I shoot something in the face!”

“Yes, your cackles of delight were most entertaining,” Mal chuckled.

Ace smiled as he looked down from his perch, a 3rd level balcony of a building in an unnamed and ruined European city, at the remains of a Fallen patrol group. Several of the corpses had the unmistakable purplish hue of Void damage. Even when laughing, though, Mal was a little frightening when he talked about dealing death.

“I just wish I could use the scout rifle instead,” Ace finally said.

“Who says you can’t.”

“If I am going to keep us alive out here, I need to have the best weapons in my hands. That means weapons that do the best job of... of... What do they do again?”

“They conduct the Light energy that you transmit into the ammunition,” Mal answered.

“Right. I need a weapon that does the best job of that,” Ace concluded.

“Well, let me consider this before you do anything rash,” Mal replied. “I have been able to improve certain aspects of your weapons and armor in the past by breaking down the Potential found in cores and synthesizing it with the appropriate materials. Maybe we could do something similar.”

“What do you mean?” Ace was trying very hard to not allow excitement to creep into his voice.

“Well, maybe it is possible that we could transfer some of this weapon’s Light conductivity to the one that you like.”

Ace failed to hide the excitement. “Can you?”

Mal materialized and turned to face its partner, “Hold on. I need a minute. This is not simple physics or alchemy. I am playing with an object’s paracausal potentiality.”

Ace set the auto rifle in the floor next to the scout rifle and moved away. Mal floated gently in the air, above the two weapons.

A couple of minutes later, Mal announced, “It would destroy the other weapon, but I can do it.”

Excitement caused Ace to jump to his feet. “You can?”

Mal turned to regard Ace and admonished, “Do not get too excited. I can clearly see how I could transfer the Light conductivity potential from one weapon to another using some simple programmable matter, but slight differences in the paracausal mechanisms mean that we need a catalyst. If they were the same weapons, this would be quite simple.”

Ace’s excitement faded. “What does that mean?”

“We need something with Potential to act as a catalyst. Honestly, it will be similar to enhancing the weapon’s performance. How many cores do you have?”


“And how much... hmmm... this weapon responds to Dusklight.”

Ace’s helmeted grin took up his entire face, “Plenty.”

When the Fallen skiff dropped out of the sky to deliver an investigation crew to look into the disappearance of their scouting party, Ace certainly felt more powerful. And he felt that power flow with every pull of the trigger.

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