Feature Article

Destiny 2's Latest Mission Suggests A Formerly Lost Character Might Still Be Alive

Not every enemy in the Season of the Splicer's final Override activity is hostile, and one even hints at a story thread planning for the future of Destiny 2.

Note: This post contains spoilers from the final Override event of the Season of the Splicer, so if you haven't played the epilogue, you should do so before reading further.

Though the Season of the Splicer will continue for two more weeks in Destiny 2, the "epilogue" story event we expected to see is now in the game. Guardians might have defeated the Taken Vex mind Quria a few weeks ago, but there's still one last threat--this one from Lakshmi-2, the leader of the Future War Cult.

Lakshmi has been warning that the Eliksni refugees from the House of Light, who've sheltered in the Last City throughout the season, are the true threat we need to worry about. To expel them once and for all, Lakshmi opened a Vex portal in the Eliksni district, allowing enemies to pour through. She was immediately killed by the Vex she let into the City, defying the prophecy she was trying to bring to fruition. But the hostile Vex and Taken enemies weren't the only things that came through the portal, as it turned out.

Hop up on one of the blasted-out buildings, just to the right of the building you start the activity in, and you'll find a friendly Harpy floating near some Vanguard equipment. Instead of the usual red eye, this one has a blue eye and is designated as a friendly unit. We've seen this happen before, in fact. On Nessus, there was a whole adventure dedicated to a friendly Harpy that seemed to have downloaded the consciousness of a man named Jacobson, the captain of the Exodus Black. That adventure suggests the Vex are testing Guardians, that they might not all be hostile, and that other entities consumed by the Vex might not be completely lost within the collective.

This new friendly Harpy doesn't seem to be Jacobson again, but another missing character: Asher Mir. Listen closely to the Harpy during the event, and you can hear it beeping at intervals. It's tough to hear, but it sounds like the Harpy is trying to communicate in Morse code. Redditor Murvin posted pretty clear video of the Harpy's chirps on the raidsecrets subreddit, while redditor Heiront (and others) have quickly deciphered it. The Harpy seems to be saying the word "assistant."

Asher Mir was the quest-giver on Io, and throughout his missions in vanilla Destiny 2 and beyond, he referred to players as "Assistant." Asher, along with Brother Vance on Mercury and Commander Sloane on Titan, disappeared during the Season of Arrivals when he chose to stay on Io after the Darkness showed up in the solar system. According to the lore, Asher--who was infected by Vex radiolaria sometime in the past and was slowly turning into a Vex robot when we knew him--ventured in Io's Pyramidion, determined to stand with the Vex to keep the Darkness from gaining the Pyramidion's secrets. The Darkness then caused Io, Mars, Mercury, and Titan to vanish from the solar system (a convenient story explanation for Bungie "vaulting" those locations and their activities, which the developer said was done to reduce the install size of Destiny 2).

We don't know what happened to Asher (or Vance, or Sloane) after their respective planets disappeared in the Season of Arrivals, but the existence of this Harpy suggests they may not be dead. What's more, this feels like a pretty clear indication that Asher has either been fully transformed into a Vex Harpy but is still somewhat conscious as himself, or, as seems more likely, he's using this Harpy to transmit a message to us from wherever he currently is.

That Asher's still around is pretty cool in and of itself, but it also suggests some things that soon could pop up in the story. In the Season of Arrivals lore, there's a story about Asher conducting experiments on one of the Darkness pyramids, including just trying to shoot one. The bullet disappeared before it hit the pyramid, swallowed by the vessel's power. But Asher quickly discovered that the round wasn't destroyed and hadn't ceased to exist, but that it was still there, just hidden. That felt like a pretty big hint as to what happened to Mars, Mercury, Io, and Titan--the Darkness didn't just annihilate four celestial bodies, it merely used its power to hide them from us.

Asher making contact, however briefly, might suggest that wherever he is, he's able to reach out to us. If Io is merely hidden by the Darkness, he might still be there, trying to help us find a way to free him and the planet. On the other hand, an Asher-Vex might mean that there's a possibility of finding a way to co-exist with the Vex, or ally with them against the Darkness. Ever since Beyond Light, Destiny 2's stories have centered on forgiveness and reconciliation with former enemies; after all, the Season of the Splicer is about becoming friends with some of the Eliksni, one of humanity's oldest enemies in Destiny's story. We may well be finding a way to make allies of all our former enemies in order to fight the much greater threat in the Darkness.

Finally, though, Asher making contact with us could be a key conduit of information. Asher was among the Vanguard's top minds, or at the very least, he certainly acted like he was the smartest guy in the solar system. If he's able to contact us, either from within the Vex collective or from Io, he's bound to have a ton of useful information in combating the Darkness. So far, we've only interacted with the Darkness--we still have no idea what kind of a threat it might be, were it to finally turn fully hostile. So anything Asher can share would be extremely useful.

So while this is a small tidbit from what seems like the final Override activity of the season, it could be a very impactful one. We'll have to wait and see what happens next in Destiny 2, however, as there are only two more weeks of the Season of the Splicer and, supposedly, we've seen all of its story play out at this point. Destiny 2's next season kicks off on August 24, corresponding with a Destiny 2 showcase in which it seems Bungie will tell us more about what we can expect in the future, including in its upcoming expansion, The Witch Queen.


philhornshaw

Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw has worked as a journalist for newspapers and websites for more than a decade and has covered video games, technology, and entertainment for nearly that long. A freelancer before he joined the GameSpot team as an editor out of Los Angeles, his work appeared at Playboy, IGN, Kotaku, Complex, Polygon, TheWrap, Digital Trends, The Escapist, GameFront, and The Huffington Post. Outside the realm of games, he's the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel and The Space Hero's Guide to Glory. If he's not writing about video games, he's probably doing a deep dive into game lore.

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