Vex-Human Hybrid, Asher Mir, is a Quest-giver in Destiny 2...and Totally Insane.
In a previous article, "Why Vex Humans Could Show Up in Destiny 2," I unearthed evidence that a guardian, Asher Mir, had become infected by Vex fluid. He'd used Vex body parts as prosthetics to replace his missing limbs, before becoming infected.
In that same article, I provided concrete proof that the Vex exist within the fluid, not their bodies, and that they can interchange bodies, should they desire a new host. The infection of Mir's Ghost--without any physical contact--further offered compelling proof that the Vex had infected their victim's mind as well.
While not conjecture, the lore article was hampered by our unfamilarity with Asher Mir. He seemed to be a throwaway character that existed only within the grimoire. Thus, I was unable to extrapolate any serious meaning outside of Bungie's general intentions on the subject.
In IGN's footage of Destiny 2 from the Gamescom event, Asher Mir is featured as a quest-giver.
Asher Mir, the Gensym Scribe infected by the Vex, has a role to play in Destiny 2.
He appears in an "Adventure," an expanded patrol mission, titled "Getting Your Hands Dirty." In it, he asks you to "Seize upon the Taken invasion of the EDZ, direct their assault against the Red Legion, and end it before it gets out of control."
Should you activate his patrol beacon, you'll be greeted by the most "mad scientist" voice I've heard in a videogame:
"Ah, Guardian, you're just in time to join my dimensional anomaly research crew."
Failsafe joins your comms and explains your mission, before Mir interjects:
"Let us begin with barbaric close combat with the Taken. It is a scientifically sound proposition and it is in no way suspicious."
You're then tasked with collecting radiation samples from the Taken in an eerie cave called "Hallowed Grove." Furious Taken spawn in, aggressively attacking the player, who rapidly wipes them out. Taken Cabal, Vex and Fallen all appear even creepier and mystical than before. The updated graphics really make the Taken visual effects shine.
You're greeted with an Ultra boss: Vendraxis, Shadow of Oryx. In a separate article, I'll discuss the prospect of a new Taken King rising to take Oryx's place. Variks actually warned us of this, in the grimoire, admonishing us for not seizing the Taken powers for ourselves and leaving a vacuum to be filled. It's worth noting that after Skolas was defeated, the Queen's brother, Uldren Sov, was made Kell of Kells, to lead the united houses. In practice, the Destiny Universe has rules that make a rising Taken King inevitable.
After defeating Vendraxis, you're sent to defeat an army of Taken in the wild, where you encounter a "Taken Forerunner," something whose lore implications tell me: the story of the Taken is one we should remain invested in.
After Ghost notes that the amount of Taken radiation we've encountered "can't be healthy," Asher Mir rejects his assertion with, "Nonsense, there is no continuing danger from Taken Radiation."
At this point, Failsafe gleefully interjects, "Incorrect, Asher Mir, I will now list all 14 debilitating effects of long-term contact with inter-dimensional matter."
Asher: "Uh, no need for that…assisstant, continue your experiment. Make your way to the Red Legion's research facility."
Once you approach the research facility, Failsafe explains in her ever-cheery voice that, due to your Taken radiation, they'll "think you're one of them and flood into the European Dead Zone. Asher Mir said it would be like a plague and as scourge."
Asher Mir, voice raised, counters and admonishes: "That outcome is only guaranteed if we do not destroy the blights! Do not overload the subject with extraneous data."
"Test subject," Ghost questions, mildly indignant?
As you enter "The Gulch," a deforested swampland, Taken begin spawning, attacking the Cabal.
Failsafe's split personality unravels, as her dark side emerges. In sing-song, she mocks, "Theeey're gonna get Takeeen."
"Excellent!" shouts Mir, his mad scientist voice rising to its maddest level yet.
Failsafe's sane personality returns and passionlessly explains, "He means you have performed the correct actions. The Taken will now flood the area like a scourge!"
"…and therefore, the experiment has progressed." Mir congratulates us, "Destroy the blights immediately!"
Taken begins flooding the swamp and all-out battle ensues. The Cabal are stirred into a panic as frenzied Taken slaughter them."
Failsafe's dark side reemerges in sarcastic mourning, "Now we wait until everyone is dead. Cooool."
You begin destroying blights, and killing the cohorts of Taken and Cabal in your way. The Cabal death shouts sound different. Less monstrous, more terrified. As the last of them are killed, you finish destroying the blights.
"That's it, they're gone" exclaims Ghost!
"Except for the ones all across the Solar System," Failsafe interjects, "hat will continue to happen for eternity, or until the sun burns out."
It's impossible to tell which side of Failsafe's personalities is speaking. Her manner of fact voice in explaining horrifying calamity perhaps justifies her split mind. Both say the same things, in different manners of insanity. Accept horror as fact, or enjoy horror as reality. One is calm, the other is sarcastic. In a way, both are a unique form of insanity that AI are forced to endure. Without human emotion, it's impossible to present reality with appropriate tone.
"That has not been scientifically proven," Asher Mir corrects, sternly, before addressing the player, "but otherwise, well done, research group. The Red Legion has shown a measurable vulnerability to concentrated entropy. Definitely worthy of further study."
The mission ends, or at least IGN feels this was the correct place to cut the footage.
So, let's digest this. Asher Mir is a Warlock who replaced his body parts with Vex parts, had his mind infected with Vex mind-fluid, and whose Ghost is also infected by the Vex. And now this guy is giving us orders? In the Adventure, he repeatedly understates the danger of his ambitions to the player. In fact, he flat out lies to the player about the risks of Taken radiation; further, he casually introduces Taken blights that could unleash infinite hordes of Taken to overrun the European Dead Zone.
Obviously Asher Mir is somewhat insane. Who else would attach foreign limbs to their own body? And the introduction of alien mental illness hasn't helped. I believe there's a reasonable chance, this part-Vex, part-Human man will betray us. He may be a servant to his own mad ambition, or even to the will of the Vex. But it's clear that he shares neither our interest, nor that of humanity's.
Be wary, Guardians, be vary wary.