Once again, Guardians, we find ourselves looking ahead. There are puzzle pieces surrounding the Vex, that have not been solved. How do we know if the space-time continuum is at risk or not? What new evils lurk in the shadows, with humanity unaware of the danger?
Today, I would like to do two things:
- A history of the Vex, and their relevance to the current story
- Where narrative threads are pointing us
Before I get into timeline stuff, I think it is important for you to understand exactly what the Vex are, and where they come from.
While fellow lore masters debate it, some would suggest that the Vex home world is on Volantis 2082, while others say it is on Venus, or even farther afield, the Prime universe (the Garden).
While this information isn’t locked in, its relevance is important in understanding how the story of the Vex, evolves beyond this point.
See Unveiling lore book for more context.
What Do the Vex Want?
You might say, that the Vex was the first creation in Destiny, a prototype of the Final Shape. What would it look like to create a pattern, or algorithm that self-corrects everything in the universe, becoming their own Final Shape, and straying from the Witnesses’s version?
Their goal is simple: to make everything one and the same. Simple, cold, calculated logic. However, there are many types of Vex that Guardians will encounter in Destiny. Within Destiny’s history, there are many types of Vex, all unique and striving towards the collective plan of making everything the same and being the only remaining species when the Universe comes to an end.
Within the dynasty of the Vex reside multiple layers of programs, code, and constructs. Each is assigned to the same task, but expressed differently. If you are a Destiny veteran, or new to the franchise I would definitely recommend grabbing a free copy of Destiny 2 (base game is Free to play), to see what the Vex look like.
I have taken the liberty to compile a list of the most important programs running within the Vex hierarchy currently:
Collectives & Correctives
– Sol Collective: A Collective found across the Sol System, tasked with carrying out general Vex operations.
– Sol Divisive: They herald the Black Heart and the defence of the Black Garden. Currently following the orders of the Witness.
– Hezen Corrective: They seek out and eliminate the House of Winter on Venus (a distraction perhaps?)
– Hezen Protective: Tasked with the completion of a massive project of unknown scope around the Vault of Glass and Endless Steps.
– Aphix Invasive: Tasked with the defence of high-level Vex minds and structures that would otherwise be left to members of the Hezen Protective.
– Virgo Prohibition: Tasked with combatting the Cabal in Meridian Bay and defending the Gateway to the Black Garden.
– Sol Imminent: A Collective from the far future. First encountered within the Vault of Glass.
– Sol Primeval: A Collective from the ancient past. First began the conversion of Mercury into a machine world. Guardians first encountered them, within the Vault of Glass.
– Sol Progeny: A triad of Axis Minds located in the Black Garden, they serve as the vessels for the Black Heart; each reflecting a different era of the Sol Collectives.
– Weavers: Tasked with the restoration and recovery of lost Axis Minds.
– Axis Minds: Powerful Vex units with the ability to control legions of other Vex units. Each Axis mind is designed to carry out specific tasks or goals, as they are distributions of the Vex collective mind.
Each Vex unit is pressing onward, toward an ultimate Final Shape.
Timeline of Events
(Narrative significance of time in Destiny)
Now that you are caught up, let’s get you filled in on the order of important events, past, present, and future!
- Vault of Glass -Made by Vex, Skolas tried to use it, but efforts were thwarted by Guardians
- Curse of Osiris - Brings Guardians face to face with an Axis Mind; Panoptes who is using the Sol Divisive, Vex to bring about a change via the infinite forest, one that would result in a dark future. Where Light and Darkness are gone and only the Vex remain.
- Season of Dawn – Not only is it the return of Saint-14, but during this season, the story centres around the Cabal, who desire revenge - by way of changing the outcome of the Red War utilizing the prototype time dial that Osiris created.
- Season of Undying – During this time Ikora receives information via the hidden network that the “Undying Mind”, another Axis mind of the Sol Divisive, has launched a planet-wide attack to take over the Moon.
- Season of The Splicer – By way of Savathûn’s instructions, the Vex blanket the entirety of the Last City within a vex simulation, an endless Night that went on forever . Eventually, Guardians uncovered the true force behind it all: Quria - Blade Transform, a taken Axis Mind with the ability to command the Taken, and Vex.
- Lightfall – Mercilessly, the Vex have launched incursion after incursion. Their attempt centred on one thing: they desire to size “The Veil” for themselves. A Paracausal network connected to every living thing in the universe of Destiny: nothing else could pair so perfectly with the Vex.
The Veil Containment
After the Lightfall campaign, it was revealed that The Vex had made several attempts to not only turn Neptune into a machine world, but to break into the Cloud Ark (a virtual space which contains all the minds of Neptune), and take it.
Have a listen to this audio log from Chioma Esi:
This is big news! Why? As I have said before, the Vex work for a collective objective. This means they possess behaviour similar to how a virus attacks. Using brute force, they are singularly minded, having one purpose, one point, one shape of a final outcome.
During the Season of The Deep, the record of a name showed up in the log “MSund12“, this name is important! This record has only ever been seen and heard of once, during the “Insight Terminus” mission on Nessus.
The significance of this threat is real! While studying a captive Vex unit, the Ishstar researchers found several hundred identical copies of themselves within the Vex network. This led to the research team contacting a Warmind, allowing them to safely extract 227 copies of themselves from the simulation.
After a unanimous vote by the recovered copies, they were dispersed into the Vex network as explorers.
I still haven’t been able to dig up, whether unit 12 is still around or not.
To the best of my understanding, copies of the researchers still wander the Infinite forests of the Vex Network throughout the expanse of time.
We also know that “a copy” of Maya Sundaresh had been under-employed by the late Clovis Bray 1 during his experiments with Clarity and Radiolaria (Vex milk).
It is possible, however, that the name MSund, which includes the first initial M of Maya, and Sund for Sundaresh, and 12, could be a reference to the Vex unit studied during the Golden Age. Only time will tell.
Right now, on the Neomuna, the Vex are actively launching incursions, fighting to gain access to the Veil. It is my belief that the Ishtar researchers made a terrible mistake in studying and referencing the Vex for the development of SIVA, who are based on the Vex – either way, the attacks are becoming, more and more frequent and it doesn’t bode well.
Paracausal simulations are the primary modus operandi (method of doing something) for the Vex. If they ever get their hands on the Veil, it would be catastrophic! It would be like taking the most powerful supercomputer ever known to exist and giving it the power to do anything.
Everything would bend to their weight, time, space, elements, dimensions; everything you could think of or imagine.
I suspect that even the Witness couldn’t have known something like this would happen, but…maybe it did? Think about it: multiple timelines, variations of code, and variants of Vex. An algorithm that runs endlessly. All powered by a sentient AI.
Crota & The Vex
That is why the Vault of Glass exists; it is the ultimate construction, a final masterpiece of what the Vex have created to rival the Hive Sword logic. Much of whom the Vex are today ties back to the moment Savathûn convinced Crota to slice into another plane; in so doing he accidentally cut into the Vex home world.
Some would say, this is the first existence of the Vex in Sol, however, that would contradict the information Ishstar Scientists discovered. It would also suggest that the Vex would have been on Venus – some Cryptarch suggest that the Ahamkara were also in occupancy of Venus during the same time, but the data is difficult to decipher.
The Vault of Glass
In all of Destiny, there is only one threat which has been disastrous for all life in the universe. The Vault of Glass, this doorway or vault, is an answer to the questions of finality in the universe.
It is a structure created in time, between the past, present, and future. Think of it like a convergence of timelines. Contained within it is a pocket dimension. Now, it isn’t stated, but I believe this to be their answer to the question of the final shape.
In every conceivable way, the Vex could be considered what the Witness dubbed as “purpose”. They were the very first pattern of the Garden.
What If The Traveler Dies: Echoes of the Past
During the post-Lightfall expansion, we learned about a secret that Savathûn
had left on planet Neptune, in the golden age city of Neomuna (which had been hidden away after the collapse of Earth. Let’s assume that the Veil (a paracausal network of consciousness) still existed after the Final Shape (Destiny’s next big expansion). There is potential for Bungie’s writers to develop a rich new story, showcasing a future with the Vex taking centre stage.
During the Final Shape trailer, many of you would have noticed the Vault of Glass raid referenced. When I broke down the trailer frame by frame, I couldn’t see any other species in Destiny showcased!
Not the Hive, Eliksni, Cabal, Awoken, Exo, or Scorn.
The Bungie narrative team loves hiding big details in small places, whether in in-game puzzles or vague pictograms or diagrams scattered throughout the open world. I would hazard a guess it was intentional. This makes sense, given that the Episode One artwork features a very strange-looking Vex unit surrounded by foliage, overlaid by Vex-Red colour pallet.
To me, this suggests there is potential for a great storyline.
Naturally, this has become my current favourite focus in Destiny, discussing the potentialities or futures that may be plausible with the core storyline.
Here is my list of wild ideas:
– Neomuna & The Veil
– Maya Sundaresh (ex-Ishstar Academy Researcher, becoming a Vex villain
– The possibility of Destiny’s timeline being at risk from the Vex.
– A simulation story (imagine every action taken since Destiny 1 wasn’t real. But instead a Vex simulation, or a different timeline) 🤯.
– A new Vex-related story, centered around a new powerful Axis Mind eager to destroy all of creation in Destiny.
– The Nine – Picking up from post-Prophecy Dungeon
The lore of Destiny is incredibly rich, and there are simply thousands of narrative threads that could be used to weave a new story into existence. They have a proven track record for it.
I don’t know where the narrative will take us next, but one thing has stood out to me while scripting, and researching this material, It is just how much lore there is from Destiny coming to fruition in Destiny 2 and beyond.
“No matter what you are facing at this moment in time, you can do all things! Stay safe, and God speed!”