The Ascension

The third instalment of the Fragments webcomic series, The Ascension, was released shortly prior to Operation: Ghoul Purge and the introduction of the ghouls to the Plains of Eidolon. Below is a transcript of the comic, though readers are encouraged to view the comic for free at the Warframe website.

The setting is the Kuva Fortress. A procession of Grineer walks towards an exhibition hall. Meanwhile, in a private chamber, a young Vay Hek is preparing for his presentation, conversing with Doctor Tengus. Vay Hek appears to have a fully human body, clad in blue Grineer armour. An orange triangular sash traverses his chest, and he is wearing an Elizabethan ruff. The outfit is quite incongruous. Doctor Tengus is clad in a white scientist's outfit with black armour, including a bulbous helmet and a thick, goggle-like monocle.

Vay Hek: "Will they listen to me, Doctor? Are you certain about this?"

Tengus helps Hek prepare his outfit.

Doctor Tengus: "With your funding and my skill, we have created perfection."

Vay Hek: "The Queens themselves will be in attendance!"

Doctor Tengus: "Would they not? This is your great moment, Councillor."

Tengus presents Hek with a large canister containing a fluffy white object.

Vay Hek: "Yes. Thanks to you, Doctor… the Queens will at last see my worth."

Doctor Tengus: "Oh, yes. Your worth shall be made very clear."

In the exhibition hall, the Grineer audience is gathered before a large gate, from which the Queens are expected to emerge soon. The Grineer mumble to each other while they wait.

unnamed Grineer: "…the Councillor is a buffoon…"

unnamed Grineer: "…were it not for the Queens' edict I'd not be here…"

unnamed Grineer: "…bloviating weakling…"

unnamed Grineer: "…sshh… here he comes…"

Vay Hek walks through the crowd, wearing the item Tengus had given him: a white powdered wig, curled up at the ends and affixed to his head via a strap under the chin. Stuttering, he attempts to greet the Grineer in attendance as he passes by.

Vay Hek: "…L…Lovely to… to see you…"

Vay Hek: "…G-Good evening, General…"

Vay Hek: "…H…Hello again…"

Vay Hek: "…Welcome…"

Tengus, hanging back, muses to himself.

Doctor Tengus: "Tonight we both become the men… we were meant to be."

Elder Queen: "Councillor!"

The Twin Queens have arrived on their dais, flanked by Kuva Guardians, without Hek noticing.

Elder Queen: "You would greet these molluscs… before your Queens?"

Vay Hek whirls around, taken off-guard.

Vay Hek: "Y-Your Majesties! I-I-I was merely playing the hos…"

Elder Queen: "'Playing'?"

One of the other Grineer in the audience trips Hek as he frantically walks through the crowd, and he stumbles, his wig toppling off his head. The other Grineer laugh and jeer as the Queens address him.

Elder Queen: "Show us, Councillor. Entertain us. Play the… 'good host'."

Hek grits his teeth as kneels down to slowly pick up his wig off the floor, steeling himself for the speech he has practised.

Vay Hek: "I am a lowly Councillor. Foolish. A joke, to be sure. But I have a vision. A vision shared by good Doctor Tengus. Of worlds falling to the might of the Grineer… without having to deploy a single Galleon, or troop carrier. Of an army, grown in bags, seeded from orbit… gestating within days, emerging without need for support… sweeping across entire planets."

As Hek speaks, the Queens grin as they imagine Hek's vision, seeing Ghouls hatching on the Plains of Eidolon and planets beyond.

Vay Hek: "I want greatness. And so I offer you…"

Hek steps on a panel by his foot, and a section of the floor behind him slides open to reveal a pit full of red eyes and ravenous maws. The Grineer crowd gasps as one in horror.

Vay Hek: "Greatness!"

Vay Hek turns around to look at his ghouls, not noticing Tengus creeping up behind him. Suddenly, the doctor kicks the Councillor into the pit, where he is immediately set upon by the bloodthirsty creatures. They begin to rip into his flesh with claw and tooth. Tengus grins as the Queens look on behind him. The shocked Vay Hek's mouth gapes open in surprise, but he does not even utter a scream, stunned into silence.

Later, in a dark room, the Elder Queen's voice is heard.

Elder Queen: "Fix the funny little man, Tengus. He may provide amusements still."

A surgical light slowly powers on, revealing Doctor Tengus, from the point of view of Vay Hek. Tengus holds up Hek's new, entirely robotic hand, demonstrating that he has been upgraded. Then, Tengus holds up a tablet-sized mirror, showing Hek his new visage. The only part of Hek's original body appears to be his mouth and the skin of his face, now heavily pockmarked and scarred (almost appearing burned). His eyes and even nose have been replaced with cybernetic versions. Hek speaks softly as he looks in the mirror.

Vay Hek: "I am the man I am meant to be… magnificent. All others…"

Hek grips Tengus with his robotic hand and squeezes, injuring the doctor. The perspective shifts to reveal Vay Hek in his new, bright yellow, Terra frame, shouting as Tengus gasps and grimaces.

Vay Hek: "MAGGOTS!"

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