In middle school, I was a huge fan of the game "Destiny". It was Bungie's newest IP, and I immediately bought it on the day of the release. Like everyone else, I was pretty disappointed with the lack of story, short campaign, and awful weapon balancing. Still, it was a fun game to play, and I played it a lot. I didn't have too many friends on XBOX Live, so I had a harder time doing more end game things, such as the raids. Still, I managed.
One afternoon, I was browsing the forum pages for the game, looking for any thread that interested me. I stumbled across a rather odd one. It was titled "[AMA Request] Someone from Bungie or Activision who can give use the full story on what happened in the final year of Destiny's development." The post was still there last time I checked, but it may get taken down soon for legal reasons. It talked about all of the major changes to both story and gameplay that were made.
After reading the post, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of the beta disk. I needed to experience what the post had described, and nothing could stop; that was, nothing except for not getting the game. I had looked everywhere on the internet, and I even spent a fair amount of time on the dark web to see if anyone was willing to sell me the beta, but to no avail. I had hit a stumbling point. I was just about to give up when I received an email.
I heard from some friends in the industry that you've been looking for the beta disk to Destiny. Luckily for you, I've got a copy right here. Since I'm feeling generous, and since it was pretty easy to get, I'll sell it to you for a bitcoin. Email me back if you are willing to go through on the deal.
Holy shit. I had finally found someone willing to sell me the game, and for just a bitcoin! It may have meant losing 400 dollars, but it was worth it. I immediately emailed Adam back.
Thanks for the offer. I'll gladly take it. I just have a question. How did you get the game? I'm guessing that since you said it was easy to get, you might have a guy in Bungie who gave it to you. Just curious. Anyways, I'll send you the bitcoin.
Adam emailed me back a few minutes later.
Thanks for taking the deal. I've been trying to make some cash selling this thing for a while. Anyways, the game should arrive within three to four days. As for your question, I'll answer that in due time. Have fun with the game :)
Sure enough, the game arrived after a few days. It arrived in a manilla envelope, with the words "From Adam" written on the back. I opened the envelope, and wrapped in a few layers of bubble wrap and some type of cloth was the disk. Adam really must have taken his time to package this thing. I took the game out and put it into my Xbox 360. The game started up with a message saying the unauthorized distribution or use of this disk is subject to legal action. Getting sued was a pretty scary thought, but who would know that I was playing the beta? Bungie's logo appeared on the screen, followed by the title, "Destiny: The Retaking of the Solar System." Already I had a glimpse into what the story would be like. The Destiny that was released to the public was more "Retake parts of a few specific planets" than "Retake the solar system."
The game brought me to a character selection screen. There was already a character made. It was a level 34 warlock, with the name "Beta-Test." This must have been what they used to test the game. I noticed that there was no option to create a new character, which kind of surprised me. I selected Beta-Test and the game began to load again. I noticed that the game took an extremely long time to load, but I simply believed that this was because it was a beta disk. I immediately noticed a massive difference from the final game. Once the game had loaded, I was inside what looked like a space ship. In the normal game, you would see your ship float around in orbit until you decided what activity to play. Instead, I could now move inside my ship. Scattered around the ship were a few different kiosks, each with different purposes; there was one for accessing my vault, one to check my inventory, and even what appeared to be a chat system with other players. I had to sit in the captain's seat of the ship to access the interplanetary map.
I decided that I would first go to the Tower, the social hub area. I wanted to see if there were any major differences. Once I loaded into the Tower, I noticed something; it was desolate. The Vanguard was nowhere to be found, the Master Rahool was missing from his booth, and the Speaker was not in his room. As I returned to the main area, a cutscene started playing. The camera cut to behind my guardian and a voice began to speak.
"Greetings guardian. Why have you returned?"
My character turned around. Standing in front of the was what looked like Prince Uldren, a minor character in Destiny's final storyline.
"Crow? What are you doing here?"
From the Reddit post, I knew that Crow was the original name of Prince Uldren. I also knew that he enlisted you to help him fight the Traveller.
"The Tower is quiet. The Traveller has been silenced."
He pointed up to the Traveller, and what I saw shocked me. The Traveller and the Last City were crumbling and on fire.
Beta grabbed Crow by the lapels of his jacket and began shouting.
"I know you hated the Traveller Crow, but you didn't have to drag innocent people into this!"
Crow's face remained emotionless.
"But I didn't do this. You did."
My guardian began to go limp. His head drooped, and he fell to his knees. Crow but his boot on my guardian's helmet, and pushed them over. He pulled out a gun and pointed it at my head. Beta didn't even try to fight back. The screen went to black, and a gunshot was heard. My ghost shouted "guardian down", as he did in the normal game whenever somebody died. Crow began to speak again.
"You too little Light."
I could hear my ghost pleading for his life before another gunshot went off. After that there was silence. The camera cut to crow looking down at my body. A zoom in of my helmet was shown. There was a hole in my helmet, and a small trickle of blood was falling through the hole. My ghost had practically been split in half, the bullet cutting through him.
"Welcome to the real world kid," Crow said. He climbed onto the railing at the edge of the tower, before throwing himself off.
The game kicked me to the title screen. I was stunned. "Was this really how the original game ended?" I went back to the character selection screen, and I looked at Beta's emblem. It and Beta's name had been grayed out, and a red stamp with the words "Deceased" was next to his name. I tried to select Beta as the character I wanted to play as, but an error message popped up.
"Error: Guardian has died. Character is unplayable."
What? Was this the end? I couldn't make a new character, and the only one I could play as was dead. I decided to send the disk back to Adam and ask him if he could reset the disk, allowing me to play the whole game. I had to know what happened. What had led up to this? When I opened my email account, I saw that Adam had sent me another email. He titled it "Extremely Urgent", so it must have been something serious.
We're in deep shit right now. FBI caught one of my associates. We got him a lawyer, but he gave our names and locations before we could stop him. I'm closing down my operation. You're in trouble too. Apparently that beta disk has a tracker in it. My guess is that the FBI are already on their way. BURN THE DISK. Anything that connects me and you will land us in hot water. I'm wiping this computer, in order to protect you and my other clients. I suggest you wipe your email too. FBI is probably going to bug your house, especially your laptop. Good luck.
PS: I would flush the ashes of the disk and envelope down the toilet, just in case the tracker isn't destroyed.
Oh god. Everything had gone silent. I could hear my heart beating, my breathing getting more and more panicked. I grabbed the disk, put it in the envelope, and grabbed a lighter. I went to the bathroom and began to destroy the beta. Once the fire had almost reached my hand, I dropped the envelope into the toilet. I flushed it, and the ashes were gone. But one question still haunted me; what if I was too late?
Written by UnknownError17