Chapter 2: Growing Family
Adalbard took a moment to knock on the prefab facility's main entrance. Surprise awaited him when he heard no answer, even though his summons had proscribed the very minute had had arrived at. It was not like Alexandros to waste his time or to make a fool of others for his amusement. He hesitated before he stepped inside.
Designed to be a temporary housing unit for a Primarch, it was a surreal experience for the morale officer, who towered over mortals, to walk into a building where the furniture towered over him. The walls were filled with dozens of sketches, both of technical plans and artistic ones. Tables lined beneath them, holding an academy's diversity of items and relics dedicated to all areas of learning. Over there, a dataslate on Ork physiology. Over here, a political treatise dated to the 23rd millennium. It was as though his gene-father was trying to absorb all the knowledge the Imperium could offer in the span of days.
Upon entering the main room, he found Alexandros sitting across from anther one of his sons. Gaius Horatius had been a brilliant battle-psyker who had been struck with an intense form of catatonia. Requiring daily injections to satisfy his nutrient intake, the marine sat at one end of a small table, sized for an Astartes. Alexandros sat in a chair for his size, his hands clasped together in a gesture that Adalbard found uncomfortably close to prayer with his eyes closed. Recognizing his Primarch's preferred pose for his mental excursions, Adalbard waited and watched.
With deep, slow breaths, Alexandros maintained his posture for a few moments before opening his eyes. The giant smiled as Gaius followed. The codicer gasped as his head snapped back and forth, absorbing his new reality. Jerky movements came to a halt as he focused on his gene-father. "You-you saved me."
Alexandros shrugged. "I merely showed you the way back home." He stood and took a step closer to the space marine before laying a hand on his shoulder. "Welcome back, my son."
The sandy-haired marine nodded as he muttered, "I am forever in your debt, my lord. What can I do to repay you?"
"For now, go and rest. You have been separated from us for several years. Take this day to catch up, then report back to me when you are finished. Is that fair?"
With a vigorous nod, Gaius rose from his seat. "More than fair, my lord. I will attend to this task now." The psyker hurried out, forgetting to pay proper respects to the Master of Chaplains.
"That was the eighteenth one, my lord," Adalbard noted as he approached Alexandros. "Are you any closer to discovering the root cause?"
With hesitance, Alexandros nodded, his deep purple duty robes settling over him as he re-seated himself. "I have a...suspicion. If I am right, I will only need a little more time to confirm it. If I am wrong, then I truly will need to ask for my Father's insight." He reached for a large bottle of amasec, which alerted the Storm Rider to the two prepared glasses on the table. "I'm sorry I wasn't finished sooner, Adalbard. Gaius' illness was deeper than I expected."
"You need not apologize to me, lord," Adalbard replied as he took Gaius seat, careful not to sit too hard lest his black armor crush the oaken chair. "Every brother returned to us is a celebration and strengthens your reputation among the legion."
Edited by simison, 07 October 2016 - 01:58 AM.