Why Vex Humans Could Show up in Destiny 2
Age of Triumph's new grimoire depicts one of the most terrifying scenes in the game's 3 years.
With Destiny 2's announcement weeks away, Bungie chose to drop grimoire showing a Guardian infected by the Vex. His arm was replaced by a Vex arm, and he suffers in a Tower hospital bed while Vex tech infects his Ghost. With its release so close to Destiny 2's announcement, there's reason to believe that Destiny 2 will blur the line between Human and Vex.
In this article, I'll demonstrate:
1. Proof that it’s possible
2. Evidence that that’s a direction the series is pushing.
Just so I’m not breaking any expectations that readers may have formed after reading the title: I am literally planning to explain the “why” of “Why Vex Humans could show up in Destiny 2." Nothing more, nothing less. Like all sci-fi universes, Destiny’s has its own fictional science—rules to which its story and lore adheres. And finally, I believe that Bungie’s inclusion of these rules indicates that this is a direction they intend to push towards.
So first, the rules:
First, the Vex are not robots. They are organisms that exist as radiolara cells suspended in liquid. The actual scaling of a singular “Vex” is unclear. Each cell may be a “Vex,” or else a single, physical robot unit may host a single “Vex” made up of those cells. Further, there may only be a single “Vex,” in the form of the whole network. However, the existence of multiple minds, with multiple goals, and that of Atheon—signaled to be uniquely ‘atheist’—and the Hezen Corrective—a subtype of Vex with unique goals and strategies.
"There are people who do the big pie in the sky thinking, like "What if there was a... a liquified race of people that were contained in this walking form, this robotic form, and they all shared one mind and it was contained in this data milk," you know. And then there are the other people who would write the ghost’s dialogue to describe, you know, the Vex in the scene they get revealed."
—DeeJ, Community Manager | Bungie
While the Vex may share corporate goals on some level, they likely have separate units. A further theory states that The Vex may be pure souls, or metaphysical essence that seized the liquid radiolarian as hosts. Our inability to find that distinction is a key obstacle to understanding what they are.
Second, the Vex exists across time, but not beyond it. While they move, communicate and think between time, they must expend effort and strategize how to do so. This is seen in the Vault of Glass. Atheon acts as a gardener of the Confluxes. Each Conflux channels a version of events in separate realities. Atheon picks the version of each that suits the Vex best, stitching it into a master version that suits them.
Their power over this process is limited to The Vault of Glass. Additionally, the intentionality, strategy and effort that go into this indicate that The Vex have limitations when it comes to time. The act of stitching these foreign elements together is proof of that. They are outsiders looking into these new timelines, even if they have control over where they eventually go
Finally, the Vex are purely rational, but within the scope of their own understanding. The largest known Vex units are Minds the size of planets, whose pure computational power can simulate reality itself, extrapolating data to reverse simulate the past and future. Nonetheless, they worship The Darkness. To them, it’s a constant.
But it’s more than a physical or logical factor to them. It communicates, and they obey. Its orders transcend any strategy or self-imposed priorities. While most assume The Black Garden is part of The Darkness, that may not be the case. In a future article, I may discuss this. I believe its purpose has more to do with The Vault of Glass than people realize. That’s unfortunately another topic for another time. And unlike the Exo Stranger, I fully intend to return to it.
Those are the rough “rules” of the Vex. These shape their existence, operations and goals. So let me tell you why they Vex could inhabit humans.
"Her eyes flicked to the ghost at the window. It too, was transformed. The unmistakable outline of Vex technology encrusting and penetrating the small warden’s shell. That red, staring eye... "In its place was a thing. The point where mechanicals knit with flesh was ghastly to behold, but the design was unmistakable to any Guardian who’d been in the field: Asher Mir’s arm was that of a Vex construct. “Her smile died as her gaze slid to his side. His Warlock garb had been stripped from his body, and she could see his pale blue chest as it rose and fell in the bed. His arm. His arm was gone." In the latest “Age of Triumph” Grimoire Cards, Eris Morn visits an ailing Guardian, shortly before leaving the Tower. This is shortly before the events of Destiny 2. Pay close attention to the Guardian and his ghost:
Later in the dialogue, Eris additionally refers to the Guardians as a “Gensym Scribe,” known as Asher Mir, making him a member of what we understand to be a scholarly order of Warlocks.
In this context, the easiest (although unproved) interpretation is that the Guardian attached a Vex arm to his body. This is, in itself, notable, as it’s clearly compatible to some degree. It’s been knit with his skin. And it’s also making him incredibly sick. Additionally, it’s infected his ghost.
This supports the presupposition that The Vex are an abstract, metaphysical force that grasps onto bodies, but that doesn’t necessarily need to be true for this theory to move ahead. The actual agent of this infection isn’t important. What we know is that the Vex have infected this Guardian.
Examine his Ghost. His Ghost is infected by the Vex, as shown by “The unmistakable outline of Vex technology encrusting and penetrating the small warden’s shell. That red, staring eye…”
While the Vex physically invaded the Guardian’s body, the Ghost may not have been infected. There’s two possible theories I have. First, the Guardian may have added Vex technology to his Ghost to stabilize or complement his Vex prosthesis. Since we don’t know the extent of the Gensym Order’s knowledge or practice in this field, it’s impossible to know; further, since we don’t understand the actual mechanics of the transfer, grasping this ourselves is futile.
My alternate theory is that The Vex pathogen within the Guardian linked with the Ghost. The Ghost is linked to The Guardian via Light, and since it can revive him and channel the Light into power, I’d say the connection is both intimate and thorough. What this tells us, is that Vex technology may be able to manipulate Light, and corrupt it.
Further, thing about how we exist. We've been dead for years. Our souls left our bodies. The Light, channeled from the Traveler to us by our Ghost, resurrected us without our memories. In the universe of Destiny, and its transitive nature of life—how safe do you feel?
The Vex exist within that organic liquid. Their bodies are transitional. Our souls are transitional. There is absolutely no reason why our bodies couldn’t host the Vex. It makes no less sense than a corpse being revived by a Ghost, or a robot inhabited by a liquid race. And I believe that’s a transition that Bungie is showing in this grimoire.
That’s a terrifying prospect in and of itself. I may just research the implications of that, by itself. Since we don’t fully understand either Vex tech or The Light, that could be way to extrapolate new information regarding both.
But the Vex tech is now “encrusting” the Ghost. If the Ghost can channel Light’s power into a Guardian, it can absolutely do the same with the Vex.
Now consider this: The Vex propagate via organic liquid. If any of that liquid got into the Guardian, there is no reason the cellular radiolarian could not reproduce. Additionally, a Guardian’s body is no more alien to them than the body of a metal robot. If anything, a human body would be a superior transmitter of the Vex’s will.
That’s f***ing terrifying.
Consider that the Vex are referred to as “evil so evil it despises other evil.” It exists on such an ungraspably ambiguous level that the most abominable creatures in our universe are looked down on by it. And what’s more: It can absolutely invade the human body.
Now, also consider that thousands of Guardians may have been infected by Vex based prostheses. “What,” you ask, with panicked incredulity,”but the grimoire says there was only one?”
Well, that grimoire dropped at the beginning of the Age of Triumph. It really should have been a warning. You know what else dropped with the Age of Triumph? A revamped Vault of Glass, which in turn dropped…Vex-based armor.
Thousands of Guardians have received this armor and have equipped it. Who knows how many currently suffer these side effects. We need to seriously consider the Vex and the threat they pose to our very biology.
We must also consider Bungie’s motives in introducing this to us.
In Age of Triumph, they released Grimoire showing that Vex could infect Guardians and their Ghosts through prosthetic limbs. They then also released armor that had Guardians equip Vex limbs as prostheses. Finally, consider Age of Triumph was announced to be the last content drop for Destiny 1.
Bungie isn’t dropping these tidbits of lore to be speculated over for no reason. Destiny 2 was announced weeks later. Over the next few months, the D2 marketing campaign began ramping up. Right now, how many people are paying attention to Destiny lore? We’re grinding for Age of Triumph, or trying out the new Hard Mode Raids. All the while, Bungie hides this right under our noses.
The title of this article is “Why Vex Humans Could Show up in Destiny 2.” I believe I’ve satisfied that premise. The Vex are, in fact, capable of seizing human form. And Bungie shows every intention of bringing that horrifying concept into Destiny 2. So head into the upcoming sequel with excitement, to be sure, but also with a little bit of dread.
And perhaps look before equipping strange gear.