He was dreaming. He knew he was dreaming. It always started the same.
The slow culminating headache gloom drummed into his awareness. The gloom cleared and he looked down at his hands. Gone was the pristine Imperial purple of his mark IV plate. A face had been pinned to his left vambrace. "Who's face is this?" he asked himself. His right vambrace and gauntlet were a shimmering purple, the color shifting in the light. Different shades of purple, blue and even pink shimmered on his vambrace. Colchisian script engraved his left vambrace. Colchisian? He remembered, or rather half-remembered: a token of esteem given to him. By who? A gift from a Word Bearer? He spat with disdain.
He looked up and he saw the walls of the outer palace. The walls were breached. An Imperator-class titan loomed in the near distance, it's mighty ordnance opening the defenses of the Imperial palace. Flames and smoke choked everything. Terra is under attack?!
He ran forward into the breach, his power spear gutting an emerging figure in yellow power armor, spilling his intestines. Blood gurgled out of the yellow armored warrior's mouth. The yellow figure slumped to the ground. On his back swing, he decapitated astartes in yellow. Yellow armor? A son of Dorn? What is going on? He looked at the spear-blade and marveled at the intricate engravings worked into the blade itself. Runes crawled and skittered across the surface. His headache boomed louder. Leathered human skin wrapped the adamantium shaft. He found comfort in his weapon and his grip tightened. He swore he could hear laughter.
Out of the smoke an lithe, graceful creature of pure beauty and horror sprang onto another son of Dorn seeking to flank him. The creature's hooked claws eviscerated the Imperial Fist. Blood coated the warp-spawned beauty. She looked at him and licked at the thick blood on her face with a tongue that was impossibly long. More of the lithe warp-spawn seemingly materialized out of the smoke. He smiled at her and she smiled back, wicked, spiked teeth slicked with blood.
He turned from the breach, looking to the habstacks of the Imperial City. The scent of burning promethium, smoke and blood filtered through his auto-senses. He laughed, the sound strange to him. It was thicker, yet more harmonious than his laugh. Was it his laugh? Again, he tightened his grip on his power-spear and again he felt reassured. Another dose of Fabius' combat stimulants pumped into his bloodstream. He felt agony and a rapturous euphoria. He laughed louder and the psychic-sonic shockwave powered through and were amplified by the screamers mounted into his pauldrons, clearing the path before him. He ran towards the habstacks, the daemonette and her sisters followed him.
He woke up and screamed. He was back aboard the Andronicus. A bust of Fulgrim smiled down on him from a shelf. Fulgrim. He knew Fulgrim. Fulgrim was his gene-sire, Primarch of the Emperor's Children. He was Darius Valerius, he was a prefector and member the Phoenix Guard. His star was justly, albeit finally, rising. Fulgrim had favored him much recently. He latched onto that fact that he had earned and carried such favor and pulled himself out his meditative state. The headache had reached it's crescendo and began to ebb. Blood trickled from his nose.
A sharp chrip sounded from the panel in the wall. He was being summoned for his augmentations. He didn't know how much longer he would be able to keep such an imperfection secret. Surely someone would find out. The alarm chimed again.
Best not keep the Spider waiting.
+++CYPHER ENCRYPTION DETECTED [[foxtrot//juliet//echo//kilo//six//three//six]]+++
+++To: Emperor's Children Battlebarge: Gloria Invicta. Location: [[REDACTED]]+++
+++Incoming Transmission. Ident: Eidolon, Lord Commander Primus of the Emperor's Children+++
+++Receiver: Communication Servitor 013-A1+++
Prefector Darius Valerius, your reinforcements are incoming. Third company veterans inbound on the Strike Cruiser, Claudii Nerones. Hold at all costs. Our gene-sire has seen fit to promote you again. Congratulations, Commander. Don't disappoint us.
+++To: Eidolon, Lord Commander Primus of the Emperor's Children. Location: [[REDACTED]]+++
+++Incoming Transmission. Ident: Lord Commander Darius Valerius+++
+++Receiver: Communication Servitor 0988+++
Received and acknowledged. Death to the False Emperor.
It has begun.
Edited by The Nephilim, 22 June 2018 - 12:23 AM.