When we see the Lotus face to face, what will be revealed?
Previous story quest: Chains of Harrow
Starting the quest
This quest becomes available after completing the Chains of Harrow quest and building the Personal Quarters segment of the Orbiter (available after The War Within). Upon entering the Personal Quarters for the first time after completing Chains of Harrow, a purple hologram of Lua will be seen by the window. Interacting with it will immediately load the Tenno into the quest mission.
First Mission: Investigate the trail (Lua)
The Tenno is deposited on Lua. There are no mission objectives, transmissions, or enemies. The Tenno is blocked from activating Transference. As the Tenno moves through the map, they will encounter a glowing purple orb. Touching it will activate a trail of light leading through the map, and trigger a disembodied voice.
Margulis: "Do something. Get me out of here."
As the Tenno follows the trail of light, they will hear music that resembles an altered form of the song This Is Who You Are. Eventually, the trail will end at another glowing orb, which will trigger another voice clip and extend the light trail. There are four orbs in total.
Ballas: "You know I can't."
Margulis: "Can't or won't?"
Ballas: "I told you not to speak out. If you recant, maybe—"
Margulis: "You lied to me, Ballas. You're no different than the rest of them."
Ballas: "Margulis… please forgive me."
The light trail after the last orb leads into the Reservoir, which is now in grave disrepair. The white tree has begun overgrowing the architecture, and only three of the original seven pods remain. The waterfall mechanism has been damaged, and a light rain constantly falls from the roof, leaving various puddles on the ground. The cavity below the tree where the pods were initially stored is gaping, and the light trail leads into it.
Jumping into the shaft will transition the Tenno into Operator mode, with no HUD. The Operator will land on a dark, circular platform, at the bottom of the shaft, suffering no fall damage. An arched hallway is the only way forward, and sprinting is disabled. As the Operator walks forward, more voices can be heard.
Ballas: "Honoured Seven, we have gathered here today to carry out the sentencing of Archimedian Margulis. You face the Jade Light; recant, and we will grant a merciful death."
Margulis: "My daughters, my sons… I want you to know… my last thoughts are of you."
Reaching the end of the tunnel will trigger a cutscene.
[The Tenno walks out into an open space. Opposite the Tenno, the floor ends, only an abyss beyond. A large purple pod rises up from the abyss and hovers before the floor. Its petals open to reveal the Lotus, while other petals form a ramp to the ground. The Lotus rises from her seated position and smiles serenely.]
Lotus: "How long have we waited for this moment?"
[The Tenno smiles and steps forward]
Ballas: "Forgive me."
[The Tenno, startled by the interruption, looks behind them to reveal Executor Ballas, in his Orokin garb. He has a faint smile on his face. He begins to walk forward towards the Lotus, completely ignoring the Tenno.]
Lotus: "For what? I am not who you think I am."
Ballas: "But of course you are. Imprisoned, just as she was."
[Ballas raises his left hand and emits a pulse of electrical energy. When it reaches the Lotus, the cables on the back of her helmet, connecting her to the pod, snap off one by one. This does not appear to cause harm to the Lotus, but the Tenno winces, and static interference begins to corrupt the screen. Ballas resumes his approach to the Lotus, who looks at him with new recognition.]
Ballas: "I will not abandon you again, Margulis."
[At this point Ballas has stopped directly in front of the Lotus, and extends his right hand to her, which has been hidden until now. The arm is unnaturally long – a sharp contrast to his left – and the fingernails are sharp and golden. The Tenno, distraught, watches as the Lotus removes her helmet – her face obscured by Ballas' head – and drops it to the ground. The static interference stops. She takes Ballas' hand and the two walk off the pod, away from the Tenno, into a blinding light. The Tenno tries to pursue them, but is pushed back by a soundless shockwave until the light dissipates.]
The cutscene ends and the Tenno is free to sprint towards the pod, at which point another cutscene triggers.
[The Tenno picks up the Lotus' helmet from the floor and cradles it to their chest, looking lost and confused]
Aftermath (on board Orbiter)
The quest completion screen is displayed upon returning to the Orbiter. It is worth noting that the quest did not appear in the Codex until it is completed.
Ordis: "Operator? What is happening? Is the Lotus… is she gone? Ordis will attempt to synthesise her mission directives until we can figure out where she is."
From this point, any time the Lotus appears to give a transmission – during a mission, on board the Orbiter, or elsewhere – she will appear as a purple hologram, with the audio and video of her transmissions occasionally glitching out.
In the Personal Quarters segment, the Lotus' helmet will be displayed on a plinth (which was previously empty).
This quest can be replayed from the Codex.
Next story quest: The Sacrifice