Destiny 2’s Season of Dawn is winding down, and thanks to Bungie’s new approach to Destiny 2’s unfolding and evolving story, we’re starting to get hints as to where things will be headed next. A new cutscene in the game suggests that the next season will again involve Rasputin, the giant AI “warmind” players have been interacting with in short bursts since the vanilla campaign of the original Destiny.
The new cutscene starts up as soon as you load the game with the weekly reset for February 18. In it, Osiris, the time-traveling former Guardian who’s been hanging out on Mercury throughout the Season of Dawn, visits the uncovered Rasputin bunker we last visited in the Warmind expansion in Destiny 2’s first year. The scene is short, but it’s very confrontational; speaking to Rasputin, Osiris accuses the super-smart computer of being a betrayer, and asks where it stands in the continuing battle of Light versus Dark.
There’s a lot of lore surrounding Rasputin, but we’re lacking a lot of information about the computer’s loyalties or agenda. Back before The Collapse, the apocalyptic event in Destiny 2’s past that ruined the solar system and created the world we’ve been playing in since the first game launched, Rasputin was created to run the entire system’s global defenses. We know that, eventually, some kind of evil alien threat known as The Darkness showed up, and it seems that Rasputin fought it. Then the computer mostly went silent. The Warmind expansion revealed that, rather than allow itself to be captured or destroyed by the Hive, Rasputin froze the whole area of Mars where its main bunker was located. But we’ve interacted with it a few times since then, and we’re still not sure what it ultimately might be up to.
Osiris’s dialogue suggests Rasputin will again be an important character in the next Destiny 2 season. That could mean we’re revisiting Mars, which would track with some speculation among the Destiny 2 community that we’re heading back to old planets based on the order they were originally added to the game; Season of Dawn was all about Mercury, the first location added in Destiny 2’s expansions, and fans have theorized we’d be back to the second new location, Mars, in the next season.
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It also seems like the cutscene teases a bit of information that many have theorized about but hasn’t yet been confirmed: Rasputin’s role in The Collapse. To understand it, we have to dive a bit into Destiny’s deep and nebulous lore.
At the center of the Destiny story is the Traveler, the giant, benevolent robot god that hangs over Earth throughout both games. The Traveler arrived centuries ago and helped to terraform the solar system, making all kinds of places habitable, and its influence also ushered in the Golden Age, a utopian period of prosperity and technological boom. But ours is not the first race the Traveler has visited or uplifted; before us, the Traveler helped the enemy alien race known as the Fallen, but abandoned them when The Darkness inevitably appeared in the system. The Fallen are in our solar system because they’re chasing the Traveler, and they hate us because the robot god seemingly abandoned them for us.
That brings us to The Collapse. When The Darkness attacked the solar system, there’s some lore to suggest the Traveler again intended to bug out, leaving us to fend for ourselves against the powerful alien threat. As the theory goes, Rasputin anticipated this eventuality and knew that humanity wouldn’t survive The Darkness on its own. Rather than let the Traveler leave, Rasputin attacked it, disabling the Traveler–which is why it’s been lying dormant above Earth for hundreds of years. With Osiris calling the Warmind “betrayer” and talking about what he learned venturing through the time travel possibilities of the Infinite Forest, it seems that the theory that Rasputin shot the Traveler might finally get confirmed.
What we don’t know about Rasputin is what it’s up to now. In the Warmind expansion, Vanguard leader Zavala worried that awakening and empowering Rasputin created a major risk for the solar system, since it’s impossible for us to control the giant artificial intelligence. The main character of that expansion, Ana Bray, insisted on trusting Rasputin. But now we know Zavala isn’t the only one who’s questioning Rasputin’s loyalties.
There are still a few weeks left of the Season of Dawn and we’re still not exactly sure what the next Destiny 2 season will cover–or even what it’s called. If Bungie’s approach to past seasons is any example, though, we’ll soon be learning a lot more about what’s coming to Destiny 2 in March, and what we can expect from its story.
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