Destiny 2 – Clovis Bray Journal – Immortality on Europa, The origin of the Exos & Darkness/Vex links
The Beyond Light collectors edition has been arriving for people ahead of the release on November 10th and contained within the collector’s edition is some very interesting lore in a journal from the perspective of Clovis Bray. This is a story I am sure we’re going to hear much more about in Beyond Light and has links to the birth of the Exos, a mysterious Vex gate on Europa and another mystery of the Darkness.
Much of the narrative previews we’ve seen so far for Beyond Light have been focusing on Europa, Eramis and The Fallen. However, as always, there’s something else going on with the narrative that we should all be paying attention to… and lots of story snippets have been unveiled in the physical lore book released with Beyond Light. We’ve seen Eramis wielding the darkness in the story trailers, but this could be sleight of hand by Bungie with another narrative arc presenting itself related to Clovis Bray and his family. There are some potential spoilers in here for Beyond Light, so consider that your spoiler warning.
The lore book contained within the collector’s edition is a journal, written in a combination of journal notes from Clovis Bray himself and various AI notes. There are about 11,000 words overall here, so it’s a big document. This has been transcribed by the good people at /raidsecrets and you can read the whole thing for yourself. I recommend you do, as it’s a great science fiction read and gives you some good context into what we’re likely to encounter in Beyond Light.
Clovis Bray was a Golden Age company that focused on research and technological advancements. The man behind the mega-corporation, Clovis Bray Senior, is featured in this journal and details his journey to Europa to find immortality and also unveils the secrets of the origins of the Exos as well as his experience ‘communicating’ with the Darkness and his involvement with the Vex. Clovis Bray may have been a brilliant man, but he was also an egotistical, sexist and evidently mad. Here’s a man with a god-like complex who not only wants to find the secret to immortality but also wants to seed the entire future of the human species.
There are some relations of Clovis Bray in the game now. Ana Bray, the adopted granddaughter of Clovis Bray who’s been our vendor on Mars since the Warmind expansion, and Elsie Bray (Ana’s sister) are going to be a featured character in the upcoming expansion Beyond Light known as The Exo Stranger. There was also Clovis Bray II, Elsie’s father. Clovis seems paranoid about his children in the journal, in case they decide to alter his legacy.
It turns out that Clovis Bray was also a very sick man. He had a degenerative disease which he knew would eventually kill him, and it’s in his family gene pool. Clovis had gone to Europa to search for the secret of immortality. He started the Exo project, the transfer of a human mind into an Exo body – but these new combined human/machine beings would always end up going mad and ripping themselves apart. Clovis even tested on his own family, his own son… Clovis II.
Clovis Bray’s ultimate goal was to transfer his own consciousness into an Exo body, but it had to be perfect… and there was only one shot. The transfer process was enough to kill someone if the process wasn’t perfect. Clovis killed his own son in these experiments, sacrificing his own flesh and blood before his own mind. Clovis was at a loss, he couldn’t make it work… there was a missing ingredient. During his research, he had a near-death experience. He died for a few minutes only to be revived and saved by his AI.
“While I was dead I HAD A DREAM. I was in a working exobody. Everything so vivid–no need for waxy eardrums or jelly eyeballs. Like seeing for the first time, after a life of cataracts. I think I was immortal. The only unpleasant aspect of the experience was my amnesia. I couldn’t recall my own name. I saw someone walking past me–I think it must have been Anastasia?–and not only did I fail to recognize her, but it never even occurred to me that I should.
When I awoke, I thought I must have had a near-death vision. So I checked my nerve logs. Every last spark in my brain is recorded–and nothing in that cerebral panic can account for my dream. The mind is the brain. It is impossible to have a vision without correlated neural activity–yet I did! Wonderful! This is why I came here. Unmapped secrets! Impossible dreams! A chance to pass beyond the infinite, and escape the tyranny of causal closure! I wholeheartedly believe that the dream was a message from Clarity. A promise of success.”
It appears as if Clovis refers Clarity much like we refer to The Darkness. Clovis encountered what he terms Clarity in the lunar mission K1. He believed that Clarity could be the missing ingredient and the key to immortality he was looking for. After his near-death experience he messages both his Grand Daughters.
Here’s the message he sends to Elsie:
“You know that you have your father’s disease, inherited from the same genes I so rashly engineered. You have the Clovis Curse. There is no way to know exactly when it will strike, but once it does, I’m sure you’ve charted out exactly how it will progress. Within two years, you will be entirely unable to sleep. Dementia and wasting will follow. You will be dead by then, but the husk you leave behind will continue to live, sustained by machines, unable even to dream of a time when it was Elisabeth Bray. Come to me. I am dying too. Let us save each other.”
Clovis Bray speaks of communicating with Clarity…
“It whispers to me. I have been communicating with it, just as I did the K1 artifact. I am in communication with an intelligence so far beyond our own that it can manipulate us like stones on a go board.”
In these communications, it appears to be pointing Clovis Bray in the right direction. Clovis believes he’s being given an invite to build a gate. This is the reason why he had visions and paranoia at the K1 site, he was receiving a message… but didn’t know it at the time. Rather than send a ship, it’s much more efficient to use a gate. Clovis doesn’t believe that the gate should be in the form or a product of Clarity and he’s turned towards the Vex. Vex are known to have built portals to travel across space and time and Clovis would have a Vex build him his gate so he can fully understand the message from Clarity.
Elsie Bray reluctantly agrees to come to Europa to see her grandfather. In the meantime, Clovis has built his Vex gate (is this the gate we’ve seen in the trailer for Beyond Light?). Clovis, Elsie and some scientists step through the gate to see where it leads.
“The probe imagery did not prepare us. A curtain of blue-violet fire-filled an entire half of the sky, pebbled with granules, seething with promontories and flares. We stood beneath a blue hypergiant, titan of suns, looming over all. It should have killed my human-bodied companions instantly–with peak radiance in the far ultraviolet, it would cook flesh.
But the probes said it was, impossibly, safe for life. Our physicist identified a lensing effect, magnifying the star’s optical size and redshifting its radiation. It was as if the whole behemoth was wrapped in some kind of skin.”
It appears as if Clarity (or the Darkness) had led Clovis to the Vex home world where they had managed to sustain a Blue Hypergiant star with lenses. Clovis instructed his team to collect specimins from this distant world. This led to the study of the Vex fluid in relation to finishing the Exo project.
“I note that Vex milk, while computationally powerful, seems to avoid semiosis. That is, it prefers to mimic the actual dynamics of phenomena rather than assigning a symbol. Rather than encoding symbols, they generate self-sustaining and self-correcting patterns, which like the suspension of a bridge flexing under strain, can accept destructive input and produce reparatory output.
And is that transubstantiation, that migration to another substrate, not what I seek here on Europa?
Perhaps Clarity has been very generous indeed.”
It turned out that the Vex fluid was exactly the thing he’d been looking for. When combined with elements of Clarity (or Darkness), fluid would allow the safe transfer of the human conscious into the Exo casing. This was the secret he was looking for all along, and would allow him to finish his exo project. Clovis writes in his journal.
The Vex radiolarian fluid is obviously too virulent for use in exominds. But if exposed to Clarity, the Vex patterns break down, and the fluid takes on some of the properties of Clarity itself–namely, its reductive effect. Introducing a tiny aliquot of this reified Clarity into an exomind solves the loop/billboard/crash cycle. As far as I can tell–permanently. THE COMBINATION OF VEX FLUID AND CLARITY IS THE KEY TO CYBERNETIC IMMORTALITY!”
This is the culmination of a life’s work and a clear path to immortality. Clovis writes to his grandchildren to inform them of his success:
“I know that I have been a cruel and domineering grandfather. You and your sisters have speculated that I intentionally sabotaged your father’s genome so he would never outlive me without my help. That doesn’t bother me. Actually, I wish I’d thought of it myself! To force my own beloved progeny to either achieve synthetic immortality or die in agony–now THAT would be commitment to greatness! I owe you the salvation I couldn’t give your father. Please consider making a terminal scan and decanting your mind into an immortal exo body. I myself plan to do it soon.”
Clovis found the answers he was looking for on Europa. He calls it the Deep Stone Crypt, this birthplace of the Exos where Vex fluid & darkness are combined to successfully transfer human minds into exo bodies. We are likely to find out more as Beyond Light unveils it’s story, but this tale of Clovis Bray and his mad quest to find immortality is one of the best I’ve seen in Destiny.
I’m interested to find out more about the Vex gate and this potential home world with the huge blue giant star. I want to explore deep blow the ice on Europa and discover the secrets that Clovis left behind. Or is he still there himself? Only time will tell.
Let me know what you think of the story of Clovis Bray and the lore in the collectors edition.
That’s it for this look at Clovis Bray and the search for immortality on Europa. For more This Week In Video Games content, subcribe on YouTube today.