As the chaplain decreed his choice of squad sergeant and the Dragon of Caliban spoke his acceptance a dozen and a dozen more calculations rang out within the mind-fortress of Incariel like the tolling of a chapel bell. The chaplain had chosen continuity and to assuage the soul of Blackthorn with an established and well-respected member. He had also chosen a son of the First, even if the Drakeling spurned such an honour as his own lineage, he could no more deny it than a bird could deny flight. A sense of vicarious pride ringed through the halls of Incariel's mind, casting a faint undertone of expectations and also doubt to the chorus of scenario, resolution, scenario, resolution, that played behind his eyes.
"Doth thou covet command, Incariel?" Vincindrael's words cut harder than the scourge he struck with. The memory flooded into the fore-view and he let it wash over him for a spell.
"Nay! the Consecrator responded, stoic and stalwart under the intensive care of an Interrogator-Chaplain.
"Doth thou covet command, Incariel?" asked the ghost of the Admission's Gaoler again.
"Nay!" cried Incariel once more, the lashings of the scourge already sealing up as his genhanced biology fought against the barbs.
Vincindrael's arm rose and fell a half-dozen times more, the Interrogator-Chaplain's questioning fell silent leaving only the sound of scourge cracking to flesh, and the faint wailings of the angry ghosts of the Admission. The memory fizzled however as a sombre, argi-worlder's brogue rattled out from across the room.
"Passed over again, friend?" Turuzim's words cut out the memory and reality came rushing back. He stood there, body broken, heartsblood gushing, perched behind the Drakeling with a coquettish stature. "He reminds me of someone. Fresh into the 2nd, you yourself weren't so different to him."
"We are nothing alike." he hissed through gritted teeth. He hadn't realised he had spoken it out loud until hew recognised the shift of attention to him from his fellow Astartes. Adjust. Assess. Advance. Clearing his throat he spoke louder.
"Indeed, though we doth share a common ancestry, Consecrator and Dragon share few bonds yet," the Consecrator stepped towards Tyber, hoping his recovery was quick and his hissed admonition lost to memory. "I do surely agree with thine assessment chaplain Helgrim. The Drakeling showeth great promise, and a hunger for the posting to be sure despite his humility."
He reached deep into the folds of his billowing robe and retrieved a hilt hidden so well the mere shape of the blade it bore was not even hinted at beneath the fabric. Casting a glance to Helgrim before looking back to Tyber, Incariel drew the blade with a curiously harrowing rasp and presented it before him. It was a rather plain looking sword, instantly recognisable as a more ceremonial piece, though the edge was keen. The winged, haloed flame of the Consecrators sat above the fuller, and a single black feather wafted faintly from a string that dangled from the pommel.
"Thou art christenèd as mine sergeant and I swear to thee as I hath sworn to Primarch and Emperor, eternal loyalty and utmost devotion. I swear now upon mine blade once more to all thee, brothers of Blackthorn, and I bid thee join me. Hark! Upon mine humble sword, upon my oaths and upon my honour as a Consecrator; I hail to thee Watch-Sergeant Tyber."
That should be enough. It was mostly theatrics but the sentiment was important, no less so than when it came to the kind of display Incariel was attempting to make here. He must show grace in defeat. He must display his sense of duty. Above all else he must show loyalty. Loyalty was important.
"Though in mine role as Devastator, should I find immediate need of mine blade, perhaps thee would forgive a questioning of thine grasp of squad-level tactics." he said with a smile, holding the blade out in a ritualistic gesture. Always use humour to disarm. He wondered for just how long he would have to hover there before someone, anyone, joined in the touching of swords. Did these uncouth, unmannered reprobates even observe the old knightly rituals? Surely the Drakeling did -- even if he refused the mane and instead cloaked himself in scales. A knight is a knight, and the Drakeling had the bearing of one, make no mistake.
"You speak of inexperience yet thee of Blackthorn hath faced great trials and horror in this sector. I bid thee regale us with such things, that we might all better understand the righteous path that we newly-sworn brothers now walk upon."
Edited by ashlander47, 26 February 2021 - 12:52 PM.