Chronicles of Ryebone

Destiny: Tales from Cerberus Vae III

Since the Iron Banner v2, I had been taking a little break from strikes - of all things. I was too busy with dailies, weeklies and the nightfall and reducing my Destiny intake, as the Banner wore me out. I had also started a new character during this time, which helped to invigorate the game to feel fresh again. My friend had been doing the same thing, so we could go through many of the story missions and bounties at a similar level. This past weekend, it was time to strike though, as they get you experience and of course, materials for upgrades. I was settled in at level 23, where the "Tiger Strike" playlist is at level 24. It can be a challenge, but we were able to hammer out a few strikes in a short period of time, and my time away from the playlist over the past couple of weeks helped, as these strikes became fun again.

I joined the playlist solo, and got the Mars strike Cerberus Vae III. The first time around it wasn't much of an issue. I go back into the playlist and get the same strike again. Fair enough, this happens.

Immediately one of squad drops from the match. I see the other guy running forward, stop in his tracks and he's gone too, leaving me by myself. Now, it's important to note that the system will typically place others looking for a strike into your match to fill out the players. I figured it was early enough in the strike (like, right at the beginning) that I shouldn't have to wait long. Within a minute another had joined the fireteam, and we begin to advance. Public event. We go, join another strike team and destroy the target, netting some ascendant material and marks for good measure. The two of us get back on track, and shortly afterward, a third member joins. I take a look at their character plates and see that they are both level 22. This is a 24 strike, and I'm at 23. This will be an uphill battle.

And we battle on, making good progress. We get to the section where you fight three lieutenants, the last of which is in a tank. The tank is capable of destroying you quickly, and it's important to take note of his main rocket, and not staying close together so you don't all die at once (wipe). Leviathan goes up top and keeps dying, and Coetzer goes to help him out. I refuse to go rock climbing where I would be an easy target, so I would often be the last guardian standing until the 30 second countdown to respawn occured. It wasn't too bad though, until they both decided to go down close to the target, where all hell breaks loose. It always does. Coetzer goes down and I decide to make a break to revive him. I'm almost there and see Leviathan go down as well. I had equipped my helmet before the strike, that reduces the amount of time it takes to revive somebody. I wonder if I can run at full title and revive this guy without stopping. As I get close I mash the button, holding it down and keep going. I made a mistake though: I stopped and turned around to see if he was revived. He was, but then we were both hit with a rocket and we wipe. Fair enough, we do it again. And this time we're smarter, more tactical. But it takes forever. I can't see any health on the tank, but he keeps taking shots. At one point I wonder if the game has glitched, and we're not able to destroy it. After a few minutes, he explodes, and it's time to move on.

We get to the boss, and he's hard. But we're doing it. I stick to my normal strategy and help in clearing out adds (regular enemies) as they spawn, which helps the flow of ammo. I forget a few times that I'm on a lower level, and make a few mistakes, like getting too close to the edge when a rocket barrage comes on. With my higher level character I can survive, but my poor warlock here cannot. I'm spending a lot of time reviving my teammates, and they help me out too. We wipe about three quarters there, then wipe again - it was a bad run. I have a peek at my teammates and determine it's their main characters (based on their Grimoire score), and for all I know their first day in the Tiger strikelist. They are also playing two levels below the difficulty, which is no small task. All of a sudden, I feel like a veteran in a rookie's body: my character may be "low" but I have done this dozens of times. I put my game face on: no mistakes, we've got this.

The next half hour is a grueling reflection on patience and perseverance. Coetzer is a Titan wIt takes time but we do it. As his bar gets really low, I'm snipering from a distance and I can see the end in sight. One shot. Two shots. Three shots, dead. His body turns to ash, and we all sprint over to gather in the dust. I bow to each of my teammates; I have much respect for them for sticking it out in an uphill battle, and not bailing out when we wiped a couple of times. Then Leviathan starts shooting into the air, Coetzer joins in and I follow suit, rapid fire The Last Word straight up, hopping up and down. It was time for celebration: something I haven't seen or felt in a match in quite some time, as most people typically gather in the centre and wait for the mission counter to bring us back to orbit. It was a well deserved victory.ith a bubble whose job is to stay alive. When he's in trouble I go help with guns blazing. Leviathan is a capable warlock who gets in over their head: three or four phalanxes at this level will stop and trap you. He's taken to the other side of the map so I can't help too much, and Coetzer is learning not to risk his own life. Something weird happens though: they both come help me when I'm down. If we had mics on, I could tell them to hold off, but they work together and save my ass numerous times throughout. That feeling can't be beat. I'm not often the leader in these situations, and I can't help but feel proud to show off some of my skills and strategy, hoping that they are picking up on little things. Or maybe I'm just crazy and full of myself. At one point they both go down, and we're all on the same platform. To my right: Coetzer with three phalanxes and a few psions. To the left: Leviathan in the line of machine gun fire from the boss. It's clutch time: I break right, using The Last Word to clear out the psions, then a nova blast to clear the phalanxes. I quickly revive Coetzer then run back to Leviathan, sliding through his orb, reviving all the way, right into cover. I let my bar regenerate and give myself a second to breathe. We fight on.

The stats at the end tell the story. 

Coetzer: 64 kills. 2.67 K/D ratio.
Leviathan: 68 kills. 2.62 K/D ratio.
Ryebone: 172 kills. 15.64 K/D ratio. 

These moments are what really make this game shine.

Tags: Destiny

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