What’s Up With Osiris and Rasputin in the New Destiny 2 Cutscene?

Guardians who logged on to Destiny 2 today after the weekly reset were treated to something unexpected — a brief cutscene featuring Osiris and the Warmind Rasputin. In it, Osiris enters Rasputin’s inner chambers, rifle in hand, and confronts the Golden Age machine. He says that while the Tower sees Rasputin as a god, he perceives him to be a betrayer and a thug, adding that “a line has been drawn” between light and darkness, demanding to know on which side the Warmind stands.

So… what was that all about? Here’s my best take, with the caveat that I am far from a Destiny lore expert.

Rasputin is a Warmind that dates back to the Golden Age of humanity, before the existence of Guardians and Ghosts. Humankind constructed the Warminds — impossibly sophisticated AI networks — to watch over their expanding civilization. When the Darkness caught up with the Traveler and brought about the Collapse, all of the Warminds were destroyed except, befitting his namesake, Rasputin.

When Rasputin first encountered the Darkness, he realized that every form of resistance it could offer against the threat would fail. At that point, it became impossible to fulfill its core programming of protecting humanity, and it rewrote itself to prioritize long-term survival. Rasputin, and all of the Warsats and other assets under its control, went dark.

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But Rasputin wasn’t simply leaving humanity to fend for itself. With a directive known as “ABHORRENT IMPERATIVE,” he had planned for the possibility that the Traveler would attempt to flee from its ancient enemy, abandoning humankind. To prevent this outcome, Rasputin aimed a number of powerful weapons at the Traveler with the intention of firing and immobilizing it should it make a move.

So where does Osiris come in? Well, In one piece of Sundial dialogue, Osiris mentions that he has seen a timeline in which the Traveler was able to flee from the Darkness. The outcome was the maintenance of the Golden Age, albeit without the existence of Guardians as we know them. It’s not inconceivable that Osiris could have realized it was Rasputin that prevented this outcome, effectively condemning the Earth to the Collapse and Dark Ages.

Since then, Rasputin has killed a number of Guardians and resisted most attempts to engage with it, though it has also aided humanity by freezing the Hive on Mars and providing IKELOS weaponry. Still, though, if I found out that an AI made the executive decision to let civilization collapse, I’d probably be pretty ticked off too.

It’s not clear what’s going to come of Osiris’s confrontation with Rasputin just yet, but it’s likely a prelude of things to come in the next season of Destiny 2.