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Path to Glory (Emperor's Children's Story Book 2)


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#1
Shinros

Shinros

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  • Location:The Star Dragon
  • Faction: Genestealer cults & Slaanesh

Been writing EC for awhile on dakka dakka, didn't end that well maybe because it has been running for so long? Anyway writing a new story since I have learned quite a few things since then and I also want to share this story on the site. Here we go!

 

He wondered if perhaps it was destiny? He believed it was, he was the best in his class. He was the smartest, the quickest and unparalleled when it came to bladework. He even scored perfect grades on all his exams. Now he was being brought to the leader of their world, the Lord Of Chemos. He looked up to the captain who recruited him from his tiny factory work gang. His purple armour was immaculate, crisp and without a blemish. The Captain’s face was square and his violet eyes displayed a certain weariness he didn’t expect to see in the Chosen Of Fulgrim. 
     The Captain held his hand tightly, not enough where it hurt but he could sense that he was nervous as they walked down the hallway. The Captain looked down to him, he smiled softly. ‘Be on your best behaviour Achilios, you are about to meet perfection itself.’ 
     Achilios gave a slow nod in return, how could he put words to what was about to happen? He wondered what the Lord Of Chemos truly looked like, at most the smaller factories hear his voice that spurs them on to meet quotas. It was on his first day working at his factory where he decided he wanted to join the Chosen Of Fulgrim, he memorised every work procedure, spotted the deficiencies and raised total efficiency of his factory by twenty percent by the time he was twelve. That was when the Captain came to take him away, from there it was two years of constant training and now he was here. 
     The Captain brought him to the Chamber door which was being guarded by two large warriors wielding great spears, he slinked back slightly behind the Captain. He’s never seen such a large warrior before. The action garnered a chuckle from the guards, but his Captain wasn’t impressed. He cleared his throat addressed the Guardians of Fulgrim. ‘Lord Fulgrim wishes to see the boy.’ he said smoothly. ‘We’re expected.’ 
     The guards nodded to each other and stepped aside while pushing the doors open. The light from the chamber hurt his eyes, he was nervous but deep down he knew he was ready. 

Chapter 1

 

Achilios’ eyes slowly opened, he fell asleep on the sill of the viewing window. As always he drifts off while watching the stars. In his slumber he saw that old dream again, it was the day before his ascension. He sighed and glanced over to his right, he wanted his slaves to play him a piece but instead he caught sight of one of his many mirrors. He smiled at his visage, his delicate was face clear and clean, his green shimming eyes would obliterate the will of any of gazed upon them. For how else can one resist perfection?  
     The walls of his room were covered with mirrors so he could see himself at all times. He hated having himself painted since he always found something wrong with the finished work, how could a mortal artist capture true beauty? How could they record something he would only understand? 
     So mirrors were perfect, he could see himself which was perfection. His eyes finally drifted to the slaves who were chained down at their appropriate spots within his chamber. Each wore featureless masks which acted as a mirror. He would rather look at himself than a mortal. Each chained human was a musician, they were bound forever in service to him. He clicked his fingers and with that single gesture his favourite classical piece began playing. Achilios then returned his attention back to the stars and that was when his chamber doors opened. 
     He knew who it was for no one else would dare come to his chamber uninvited his warband knows better. The heavy footsteps of Ignatius interrupted his favourite song, if it was anyone else he would end their lives but as his champion he had certain privileges his brothers don’t enjoy. ‘What is it?’ he asked of the champion. 
     Ignatius cleared his throat interrupting his song again. ‘My lord we are passing a world.’ 
     ‘And?’ 
     ‘Apothecary Phelix wishes to collect slaves so he can create more combat drugs for the warband.’ 
     ‘I thought we just got slaves Ignatius?’ 
     ‘They’re dead my lord.’ 
     ‘How?’ 
     ‘We… used them up.’ 
     The answer from his champion wasn’t surprising, all of his brothers were greedy and he loves them for it. ‘Very well, but tell me what do you think of the stars?’ 
     ‘There is only one star my lord.’ 
     ‘Of course there is only star, I am talking about the stars within the void.’ 
     ‘The stars push back against the darkness my lord. They helped the old tribes of Terra navigate the seas themselves.’ 
     He liked Ignatius’ answer, he leaped off that. ‘You called me a star and you are right to do so. A star should lead people, I should lead people. The Emperor’s Children should be the stars guiding the lesser legions to glory but that isn’t the case.’ 
     ‘It will eventually happen my lord.’ 
     The response from his champion angered him, he sat up from the window sill and faced the champion of his warband. Ignatius’ eyes were cast downward slightly as expected, he was bald and his pinkish skin was almost perfect, he spotted tiny scars lining his scalp. Most likely self-mutilation. His armour was tacky as always, it was covered with leather and spiked straps. ‘Eyes up Ignatius.’ 
     At his order he looked up and as he did so he backhanded him. Freckles of blood lined the floor due to his strike, his champion was tensing begging him for another blow. But he would deny him for now. ‘It has to happen. If not when? I hate the word eventually, I detest it. Too many kiss the arse of Eidolon and Lucius, dragging Fulgrim’s blessed sons into constant catastrophe.’ 
     ‘You will lead them all my lord, in the name of Fulgrim.’ Ignatius said quickly. 
     Achilios slapped his champion again he winced in pleasure, his disgusting sound caused him to strike the fool again this time the champion took the third strike in silence. ‘I won’t, unless they both die and I doubt that will happen. Even Gods can make poor decisions when it comes to champions.’ 
     He returned to the sill and focused upon the stars. He gestured Ignatius out of his chamber. ‘Leave, ready the assault you have my approval to attack.’
     He heard the servo’s of his Champion’s armour purring as he bowed, Ignatius’ heavy footsteps became distant and with the click of his chamber door his champion was gone.
 
***
 
His tribe was cheering, he sat with his mother as part of the circle. His father was fighting for his life and the lives of all the sons of the Canis tribe. The red Sky Warriors have come again to take them away, it’s only been two winters. His father Agro Canis held the tribes ritual spear at the ready, his dark skin was covered with warpaint detailing promises to the Great Hound that watches them. His mother suddenly held him tightly. ‘Don’t look Ligra, it will be over quickly.’ 
     Ligra was confused, his father was the greatest warrior within the tribe. Despite some of the Sky Warriors being a part of the circle  he imagined if they all attacked the tribe could prevail. 
     The leader of the Sky Warriors leveled his massive axe at his father. His red armour was adorned with skulls. ‘I am Dalgog Bloodfang, I ask again you refuse our tithe?’ 
     ‘You’ve taken my firstborn son, you have taken many of our children great warrior. This time I must refuse.’ his father said firmly. 
     ‘Your will doesn’t matter human, your sons will become Children of Angron. They should consider themselves blessed.’ 
     ‘I will not give the Red Angel anymore of our children Dalgog Bloodfang.’ Agro readied his spear. 
     Ligara watched Dalgog click his neck, he charged his father. He was so quick he couldn’t really see what the Sky Warrior was doing, but his father raised his spear to block but it couldn’t stop the axe of the massive warrior. The weapon tore through the weapon splitting his father in two. The two halves flopped to the ground, Ligara shook his head in utter shock. ‘N-No… H-How?’ 
     Dalgog faced eyed the whole circle, his axe wet with his father’s blood. ‘Take them brothers! Khorne demands his tithe!’ 
     Panic fell upon the circle as the Sky Warriors tore sons from mothers and fathers. His own mother rose and pulled him to his feet. ‘We have to run! Quickly!’ They were about to move but a Sky Warrior pushed his mother aside to take him. Deep down he knew being taken meant death, the fear in his gut turned to hatred. 
     He faced Dalgog and ran towards him, he would rather die in battle than be taken by the Sky Warriors. The Great Hound would rather that he seeks vengeance for his father’s murder than bend. He drew his sword and roared at his father’s murderer. ‘Die!’ he shrieked. 
     Dalgog turned to him in surprise, Ligara raised his blade to strike but his weapon didn’t come down, what he saw when his arm came down was a stump and blood gushing from an open wound. He screamed and dropped to the ground, clutching the wound tightly. Dalgog shook his head. ‘Be thankful whelp, the followers of the Decadent fiend have been sighted. We are your salvation, you will be marked with blood and collect skulls for the Hound.’
     Ligara ground his teeth, he couldn’t respond he was trying to push back the pain so he could continue fighting. But he has heard of the minions of the Decadent Fiend, they were things of darkness and perversity. His Grandfather eliminated a filthy tribe that worshipped the monster in the past. So his question who was the Sky Warrior referring to? Ligara grunted and  forced himself to his feet. Dalgog was attempting to distract him with old stories. He drew his carving dagger from his belt. His vision should be a blur but he could only see red, the Hound wants him to continue, who was he to deny his god? 
     He was about to charge again, but the sound of a roaring lion threaded his ears. A warrior fell from the sky and crashed upon Dalgog, their blade went straight through his throat. The new Sky Warrior flipped off Dalgog using their wings of fire to aid him. The Red Sky Warrior fell back onto the ground, dead. 
     Around him he could hear shouts from those who wish to take them, the sounds of far more roaring lions gripped the circle but he only had eyes upon the one who stole his kill. The Sky Warrior slowly turned to him, he had long white hair threaded with black and white feathers. Their armour was pink and black, he also noted the jewelry dangling from their shoulder pads. The icons, he recognised them from the stories his dead father used to tell him. 
     Said icons belonged to the followers of the Decadent Fiend, despite the Sky Warrior having a face shaped by the gods he could see the ugliness behind it. The red threading his version intensified, he could only feel revulsion gazing upon the monster. He screamed the warcry of the Canis tribe and attacked.
 
 
***
Achilios watched in abject shock as the dirty tribesmen charged at him waving his knife in the air. He sighed and pressed the button upon the jetpack straps to undo them. When the jet pack slid to the ground the dirty human was but a few breaths away. Achilios stepped to the side smoothly dodging the strike, the frothing mortal turned and went at him again. Swinging his knife in a mad frenzy while roaring in it’s guttural tongue.  
     He oddly danced around the mortal weaving through their mad swings, he wondered why the lesser creature wasn’t admiring him like everyone else? He casually glanced over to his brothers who were dispatching the dogs of the Blood God, all of them seemed in a good mood which was good. Without looking at the human he reached out with his other hand and grasped the mortal’s head holding the human in place. He was screaming and roaring, it was getting to the point where he might just kill the thing so it would stop offending his ears. 
     His gaze came back to the human, he punched the piece of refuse in the rip. When the sweet sound of a crack entered his ears he released the tribesmen. The mortal was now rolling on the floor clutching his chest. Achilios turned away and scanned the crowd for his Champion, when he spotted his pinkish skin he waved his blade. ‘Ignatius! Hurry up!’
     Despite the clamour of battle his Champion’s head snapped towards him, at the same time he removed the head of a dog. ‘Yes my lord!’ he shouted back. 
     The rest heard his order, he didn’t have to address his other brothers. They all rushed to fulfill his command, he was about to smile in satisfaction until he felt someone pulling his hair. Achilios roared in anger, it was the mortal. He reached behind him grabbing the human’s neck and tore him from his back. He threw the mortal to the ground. ‘You dare!’ Achilios hissed. 
     The mortal coughed up blood, the creature slowly got to their feet. The human was swaying and that was when and a wide grin spread over their face. In the hand holding the knife, he saw white threads of his hair. Achilios trembled with fury while stroking his hair but at the same time he felt oddly excited, this was new. Very new. No one has ever dared to do such a thing, both mortal and Astartes always submits to his will but one filthy tribesmen was capturing his interest? Why? 
     The mortal attacked again gurgling out it’s filthy tongue, Achilios parried a wild strike and then grabbed the wrist of the mortal holding the dagger. He squeezed breaking the limb, the human cried out in pain but that only lasted a moment. It was still smiling at him, what was the creature thinking? Was it actually having fun being brutalized by him? Or was it the joy of battle? To him this wasn’t much of a fight, it was quite a boring one but the creature had his attention.
     Achilios released his grip on the shattered wrist and pushed the mortal back. It was breathing heavily, it's dark skin was covered in blood. The mortal then gasped, it’s eyes rolled back and finally he sagged to the ground. Achilios looked around him the battle was winding down and his brothers were in the process of gathering the slaves. His Champion approached and bowed. ‘My lord.’ 
     ‘Ignatius, fix the human for me.’ 
     His champion glanced back to the human and then back to him. ‘The slave is quite de- ‘
     ‘He’s alive or are you questioning me?’ 
     Ignatius dropped to one knee. ‘Never.’ 
     ‘Good, take the piece of meat to the Apothecary. I want this one remolded.’ 
     His champion looked up, there was surprise in his eyes. He was about to speak but Achilios silenced him as he backhanded his Champion across the face. Ignatius wiped the blood from his face and licked the blood off his fingers. ‘It will be done my lord.’ his Champion said joyfully.  
     ‘Your life and the Apothecary's is tied to it’s. Don’t fail me.’ Achilios turned away from his champion. He watched his brothers gather slaves for they always needed more to slake their thirst. 
 
***
Ligara’s eyes sagged open, his body hurt. His hands hurt and his head was throbbing with pain. He could smell something sweet he tried to move and that was when he found himself strapped down to a chair. He was in a room made out of metal, he could see his whole tribe were also trapped as well. Sitting across from him he noticed his mother. There were strange plastic tubes covering her flesh and there was a purple liquid being pumped into her body. 
     Her eyes were rolled back, she was mouthing the name of father. Ligara wanted to call out but his throat was burning. He looked around trying to see if there was anyone who could help them. He spotted people wearing strange white clothes checking each member of his tribe. ‘H-H-e-e-l..’ 
     His weak voice caused the strange people to turn to him, one walked over. It was a woman who’s lips and eyebrow were covered in ringed metal. She was mouthing words to him but he couldn’t understand them, she touched his face. It was delicate it also reminded him of mother until he saw her earrings which was shaped similar to the sigil of the old tribe Grandfather destroyed. ‘B-Ba-a-c..!’ He didn’t want a follower of the Decadent Fiend to touch him, his father told him such people can still one’s soul with a touch. 
     The woman was now removing her hand from his face, he thought to bite her fingers but the sound of heavy footsteps stopped him. The woman stepped back and before him now was a Sky Warrior in white and pink armour. His helmet had a goat symbol engraved upon it. The large warrior spoke to the woman, she bowed and returned to the rest of his tribe. 
     The Sky warrior turned to him and nodded. ‘I’m Phelix, Apothecary of the Idols of Euphoria.’ The warrior spoke his tongue smoothly, his voice was purring through his helmet. It was strange on his ears. The warrior reached into his pouch and pulled out a strange gun. He placed the tip of it on his arm and pressed the trigger which caused Ligara to wince.  ‘This will numb the pain, despite the fact I find such a thing revolting.’ he said scornfully. 
     Phelix was right, whatever he did the pain subsided slightly. Ligara felt he could at least speak. ‘W-What do you want from me?’ he asked. 
     ‘I don’t want anything, I would prefer to grind you down into drugs but as always our lord has other ideas.’ 
     ‘Other ideas?’ 
     ‘Oh yes, he wants a filthy tribesmen to be remolded into one of us. It’s just one of his idle fancies again, you will die soon after the transformation and I will collect the gene-seed from your corpse.’ 
     Ligara struggled in his bonds, it was now he realised why the red Sky Warriors take his friends and brothers away. Worst of all these ones bow to the Decadent Fiend. ‘No!’ he cried. ‘Kill me!’ 
     ‘Can’t, Lord Achilios was quite explicit if you die I die as well.’ 
     The Sky Warrior grabbed the tubes around his chair, then one at a time he inserted them into his skin. The process was painful which caused Ligara to cry out, but the Sky Warrior ignored them. When he was finished he reached over him towards the wall and he heard a click. 
     Ligara watched as a pink liquid started to travel down the tube towards his body, he didn’t want to cry out, instead he struggled for release. ‘Great Hound grant me strength!’ he shouted. 
     ‘Please, don’t shout that name in front me.’ Phelix said with a measure of annoyance. 
     ‘Shut up! Release me!’ he barked back. 
     The Apothecary didn’t respond, when the liquid entered his body Ligara seized up, he saw flashing images of wars he has never been in. Mixed in with these images were symbols and prayers to the Decadent Fiend, he couldn’t resist. He felt no reason to, it was then he began hearing screams from his mother. He should care about that but he couldn’t help but adore what was before him.   
     The images then shifted to the picture of a giant offering his hand, he had flowing white hair and wore armour that put every Sky Warrior he has seen to shame. Tears were running down his face, Ligara reached out and took the giant’s hand without hesitation. 
 
 

Edited by Shinros, 10 September 2019 - 12:04 AM.


#2
Shinros

Shinros

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  • Location:The Star Dragon
  • Faction: Genestealer cults & Slaanesh

Chapter 2

 

Canis slammed the leg of his power armour with his fist, it was giving out again. He snarled in annoyance as the joint sparked slightly. He had to avoid appearing weak or deficient. If one of his brothers even got a whiff of possible weakness they will pounce upon him like mad animals. Walking down the dim hallway itself was a challenge as well, the poor part made his stride across the corridor somewhat taxing. 
     It’s been a month or so since his ascension, soon as he was remodeled he was forced to live on the lower levels as if he was slave. The lack of supplies and poor equipment made each day a constant battle to get by. He personally didn’t understand the practice, he wondered if perhaps this was a sort of test? That was the only reason he could think of. 
     As he made a corner and to his luck he spotted one of his brother’s dragging a screaming human, he didn’t care for the mortal what he had eyes on was his armour. It was chinked and damaged, but it was serviable. The servos were moving smoothly, especially the legs. Narrowing his eyes he wanted pick out any possible markings or sigils, the one he was about to kill might belong to a troupe. He enjoyed spilling blood and murder but he had no desire to bring an entire squad down upon himself. Scanning his prey for a moment longer he didn’t see any markings, with that confirmation he grinned. 
     He drew his mono-blade and attacked his distracted brother. His opponent didn’t have time to draw their blade, Canis’ sword cut right through the wrist causing a jet of blood to spurt out onto the ground. His brother gasped due to the wound at the same time he dropped the mortal. Canis didn’t wait for his opponent to recover, gripping his blade with both hands he swung his blade removing the head of his target. 
     When the body of his brother toppled the floor he didn’t waste anytime, he cleanly severed a leg and picked up it. The armour piece was mark IV which was helpful since the damaged part he wanted to replace was mark III. Canis glanced at the corpse, then to the human who was crawling away. The creature stank of fear, the human would soon attract the vultures who dined on fear everyday. He grunted and decided to escape from the area as quickly as possible. He turned from the mewling mortal and broke into an awkward run, Canis kept his sword drawn just in case he encountered someone who wanted to steal his prize. 
     Strangely as he ran his mind began to drift back to the topic of his current situation. He couldn’t think of a reason why Astartes were separated, those who are part of the Palatine Blades, Phoenix Guard and Noise Marines all live on the upper levels. Despite carrying the same blood as those above the Astartes on the lower levels are treated as lesser creatures. Canis found it perplexing that even the mortals who live above look down upon them. He has heard tales of low level Space Marines harming the slaves above. 
      Each Astartes who touched an upper level mortal was executed by the warband champion or worse, they were given over to Phelix. Canis shook his head. ‘Doesn’t matter…’ he hissed. ‘I’ll survive, I will see my first battle.’ 
      He didn’t want to die before getting the chance to fight a loyalist. He would rather be killed by a slave of the Golden Throne than be murdered within these dim lit halls. He clutched the leg tightly. ‘I will live.’ he said firmly to himself. 
     Eventually he arrived back to his chamber door, his slave should be getting ready for repairs. Before opening the door he had to undo the lock. He sheathed his blade and removed his combat knife from his belt, he stuck his tongue out and pricked it drawing blood. Using the blade and the blood he painted the sigil of the Dark Prince upon his door. Due to his physiology his tongue was healing so he has to prick it several times to get enough blood. He didn’t mind the coppery taste of his lifeblood filling his mouth but it was the time and effort to unlock his door that annoyed him slightly.  
      In the end he had the protection he needed, many are not willing the pay to the price for such a ritual but for the sake of survival he gladly killed many for the Grand Matron Of The Lower Levels. When the sigil was completed he returned the knife to his belt and said. ‘Open.’ 
     The blood on the door was devoured by his door it slowly slid open. Canis walked into his chamber and it was as he left it. There were two mattresses, one for him and one for his slave. There was also a table holding stacks of books, more gifts from the Grand Matron. At the right side corner of the room there was a large chair and a second table where his slave was getting ready for routine maintenance.
     He was a young man, pale skin and bald. His tattered red robe marked him as a member of the Adeptus Mechanicus but he wasn’t a full member, a mere apprentice but even so that was still valuable on the lower levels. ‘Sarcio, I have the part.’ Canis announced. 
     Sarcio turned to him and dipped his head slightly in respect. ‘I’ve readied the tools my lord.’ 
     Canis grunted and walked over to the table, he roughly set the severed limb down. Rustling Sarcio’s perfectly laid out toolkit. There was an eyebrow twitch from the human, but he didn’t care. As long as he could fix his armour the mortal could scowl all he wants, he wasn’t like the vultures that stalk the hallways of the lower levels. Those Space Marine’s were completely empty, hungry for another fix. An Astartes can only become a vulture if they become hooked on Phelix’s narcotics. The Apothecary liked to control certain members of the warband through the addiction. He never wanted to be reduced to such a state, he wants to kill for himself, murder for himself and die on his own terms. 
     He sat down on the chair, his eyes were still locked on Sarcio. ‘I’m taking you to the Grand Matron.’ 
     The mortal froze as he was about to pick up a tool. ‘May I ask why?’ 
    ‘Why not?’ Canis responded. ‘You’re unfaithful.’
    ‘So are you my lord.’ 
    ‘No I’m not. You just don’t understand my vice.’ The human wasn’t convinced, he could see it in his eyes. Yet the mortal was wrong, the Dark Prince was his god and he serves him with every murder. He was given a body that can wage war, so why not enjoy murder and death to the fullest? The one he killed in the hallway before was business, not pleasure so that didn’t count. ‘I enjoy killing.’ he said to Sarcio. 
     The apprentice frowned, he picked up the tool and walked over the chair. He pulled a lever to raise his legs. ‘All of your kind enjoy killing.’ he said with a measure of annoyance. 
     ‘No, I’m different.’ Canis retorted. ‘I want the thunder of battle, I enjoy the rattling of my teeth whenever gunshots fly across the hallway. I enjoy the sound of a crunch as my blade bites into armour. I want to taste the blood in the air as I cut someone open and finally? When the red tide flows? When the battle ends? That is when I release, I then relax until the next fight.’ 
     Sarcio oddly chuckled as he went to work removing the malfunctioning leg plate. ‘So simple, the other Space Marines make their vices out to be something so complex to the point that we mortals cannot understand them.’ 
     ‘How can it not be simple? I was made to kill Sarcio.’ 
     ‘Many believe that if they pursue their vices they will reach perfection. So they create new ways to stimulate themselves.’
     Canis frowned ‘we’re already perfect. I carry Fulgrim’s blood within my veins.’
     ‘Maybe that’s why your mindset is so simple my lord. You believe you are already perfect so you use those gifts to amuse yourself.’ 
     Sarcio has now removed the leg plates, his leg was covered in scars. He smiled at each blemish, each cut. Every scar was a story, a record of the many battles that are fought within these dim corridors. Even so he had to be careful, he has seen squad leaders kill those who so much as display a single disfiguration. He had to admit his slave was right, Slaanesh wanted his followers to pursue their joys and he has the ability to do so. Trying to justify what you like doing made no sense to him. Perhaps that’s why the Grand Matron enjoys his company? 
     Thinking of the woman he decided to return to the original subject. ‘So why don’t you wish to see the Grand Matron?’ 
     ‘You don’t know her like I do.’ Sarcio was now at the desk removing the dead flesh from the leg plate he recovered. ‘I’ve been on this ship longer than you have, the old crone is in-’ His slave stopped himself, he shook his head. ‘She’s far more insane than most. Maybe that’s why you get on with her.’ 
     ‘So why did you offer your services to me?’ he asked of Sarcio. 
     ‘Despite being… new my lord. I’ve got a good feeling about you. You’re strong, quick and most likely could murder five Space Marines in a flash. It’s survival, but the down side…’ The Slave’s voice trailed off, he then sighed. ‘The downside is that you are fanatical, perhaps more so than the vultures and those that live on the upper levels.’
     ‘What makes you think I’m fanatical? The rest of my brothers believe in the Dark Prince.’ 
     His slave stopped working, he began staring at him. ‘You are always smiling when you kill. Your eyes always tells me that it wants more blood, more death.’
     ‘That’s not true the one I killed to retrieve the leg plate was for resources, not pleasure.’
     ‘Did you smile at any point?’ 
     Canis thought about it for a moment, he recalled that he smiled just before he went in for the kill. ‘Well….’ 
    ‘You were most likely smiling as you killed him, you just didn’t notice.’ 
     He shrugged to his slave’s response. ‘What does it matter? I like killing.’ 
     ‘You might end up killing the wrong person.’ Sarcio said in an irritated manner. 
     ‘Then I’ll kill anyone who comes after me, I’ll then crack open their skull and use it to drink the blood of the next person who comes after that. I’ll then use that skull to bash the face in of my next opponent an-’ 
     ‘See? You’re proving my point.’ Sarcio interrupted. 
     Canis shrugged again. ‘Just fix my leg plate.’ 
     Sarcio sighed and continued working in silence. The Apprentice couldn’t understand his joys, it was why he wanted to take him to the Grand Matron. He wasn’t good at showing people the ways of the Dark Prince after all he’s just a perfect weapon of war.  
 

Edited by Shinros, 25 June 2019 - 09:19 PM.


#3
Shinros

Shinros

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 105 posts
  • Location:The Star Dragon
  • Faction: Genestealer cults & Slaanesh
Chapter 3
Achilios took a large swig from his wine glass, it was a concoction made by his Apothecary who was in his very chamber with Ignatius. He found latest mixture pleasant. 
     ‘Do you like it my lord?’ Phelix asked. 
     Achilios removed the glass from his lips, he raised his eyebrow at the Apothecary. ‘Are you interrupting my drink?’ 
     Phelix flinched and gave a swift bow. ‘Apologies my lord.’  
     ‘Apology accepted. Now...’ 
     He pointed to the holo-image being projected from his table. It displayed sector Satigium, it was to be his latest project. One he was eager to commence. ‘The warband will be assaulting sector Satigium. This will be a full scale war, each planet will be turned into great edifice for my glory. The entire warband will be bent towards this cause.’
     ‘My lord there is a problem.’ 
     It was Ignatius, he wanted to hit him for stating that there was a problem with his goal. Yet he was his champion, despite his own personal distaste for being questioned he wanted to hear what Ignatius had to say. If he didn’t like what he hears he could always punish him. ‘What is it Ignatius? Is there an issue?’ 
      ‘Unfortunately there is my lord. Sirius, Vicus and Prince would be more than eager to follow this course of action, but I see only failure in this plan.’ Ignatius said flatly. 
      Achilios could feel his fury building, bubbling to the surface. His own champion was calling him a failure. He should have Ignatius drawn and quartered. His battered body will be dragged across the ship by the Wings of Depravity, then he will be publicly shamed and executed. He ground his teeth at the audacity of his champion’s suggestion of failure before he has even detailed his plan. ‘Ignatius I want you to reconsider what you just said.’ Achilios was speaking harshly to his champion. The Apothecary began stepping back from the table, but Ignatius stood his ground. 
      ‘My lord, we just don’t have the resources.’ his champion responded. 
      Achilios crushed his wine glass which elected a yelp of despair from Phelix. ‘My concoction! I used half of the tribe for that!’ The Apothecary shrieked. 
      He didn’t care for Phelix’s cries of anguish, Achilios couldn’t contain his anger. He walked around the table till he was face to face with Ignatius. ‘I shall ask you again. I want you to reconsider what you just said Ignatius.’ 
      His champion shook his head, Achilios smiled at the answer. He bought his fist back and punched the champion. A gush of blood erupted from Ignatius’ nose. The slaves chained down within his room shifted their heads towards the violence that has occured. The humans were like animals, lapping at any form of pain or pleasure that came their way. They were waiting for the next act that would spill more blood and he would oblige them if Ignatius doesn’t beg for forgiveness. Achilios could see that it won’t be easy to get his champion to admit he was wrong. After all despite Ignatius holding his bloodied nose he could still see the defiance in his eyes. 
      He struck the champion again and again, Ignatius took all of the punishment he could dish out until eventually the fool sagged to one knee. The slaves were lurching in their bonds, trying to reach the blood split by his assault. Achilios flicked his hands removing the life essence from them. ‘Tell me my Champion, you think that you are wiser than I am?’ Ignatius looked up to him, his ruined face offended his eyes. ‘I don’t want to see your face!’ Achilios hissed. 
     At his word his champion dipped his head and spoke clearly. ‘We only have one hundred astartes, more than half of our number is made up of those who live on the lower levels who are all poorly trained. At the same time we lack the heavy armour to sustain such a long conf-’ 
     Achillios kicked Ignatius to the ground before he could finish. ‘Shut up! Just shut up!’ 
     ‘My lord, we can’t do it.’ Ignatius said while lying on the ground. 
     His champion was still protesting, he drew his blade and raised it to finish the upstart. 
     ‘M-My lord?’ 
     His head snapped to the Apothecary direction, he was holding a vial filled with a shining green liquid. ‘Don’t you dare interrupt me!’ Achilios shrieked. 
     ‘W-Why n-not try my new drug? I-I used the other half of the tribe for this specific mixture.’  
     The liquid captured his interest, Phelix was always good to him when it came to his new mixtures. Achilios walked over the body of his champion who grunted due to his steps. He snatched the vial from the apothecary and flicked off the lid and drank the contents. The small drink warmed his body and slowly his anger was set at ease. 
     Achilios sheathed his blade and threw the vial over his shoulder. He returned to holo-image and pressed several buttons on his table, the map shifted to display the world's he desired to attack first. Many of them were guarded by garrison regiments. It took him a moment to realise that he would have to expand his forces greatly to take such worlds. He turned his head slightly to Ignatius, he was up on his feet and holding the side of his body. ‘Champion, I have orders for you.’ 
     Ignatius gave a weak bow. ‘What is your will my lord?’ 
     ‘Take Phelix and go to the lower levels, turn the refuse that lurk those halls into something useful. I’m going to have the Ship Master take us back to Laxim, we need fresh blood injected into the warband.’ 
     His champion bow again. ‘It will be done.’ 
     ‘That’s what I like about you. You take your duty seriously.’ He stretched he felt oddly tired. ‘Now, off you go. Leave me.’ 
     Ignatius and Phelix bowed, they both left his chamber in silence. Achilios yawned and pressed a button on the table to connect to the bridge. The map shimmered and shifted to the image of Ship Master Albaster Vincliar, a native of Laxim. He wore a powdered wig and he was wearing light makeup. The Captain smiled displaying his perfect teeth. ‘My lord, what can I do for you?’ His high gothic was perfect, if it wasn’t he would kill him. 
     ‘Take us back to your home, I need more warriors.’
     ‘Very well my lord, I will let Tesila know to get ready for a warp jump.’ 
     ‘Good, I want to get there as quickly as possible.’ 
     ‘I will make sure to tell the navigator to speed us along the sea of souls. D-’ 
     He pressed the button again to remove the human from his sight, he was aware of what he wanted so he had no reason to speak further to him. Achilios yawned again, he walked over to his favourite spot. He sat down on the sill of the viewing window and closed his eyes, it took him barely a moment to drift to sleep. 
 
***
Phelix walked with the battered champion down the hallway, he disliked the swinging chandeliers, silks and random pieces of art that dotted the walls. He prefered his clean and clinical workspace, but due to Achilios’ madness he now has to wade through refuse. Thankfully the hallway was filled with mortals so he could speak frankly with Ignatius. ‘He’s getting worse.’ he said flatly. 
     The champion’s split lip has fully healed, his face was realigning itself, it was reversing to it’s previous perfect form. Ignatius frowned. ‘I know.’
     ‘Do you have any idea how many mortals I have to waste making that drug to calm him down?’ 
     ‘I know.’ The champion said again.
     ‘He makes us do pointless tasks while Sirius, Vicus and Prince get to lounge about! It isn’t fair!’
     ‘I know.’ Ignatius repeated. 
     ‘Stop saying that! We have to do something!’ 
      The champion stopped, he did so as well. Phelix crossed his arms. ‘He wants to throw us into the maws of death, even if we recruit more warriors we can’t take a sector. We’re raiders not an invasion force.’ 
     ‘Then we must find someone who can capture the interest of our lord. I don’t want him dead.’ 
     ‘Where are we going to find something like that?’ 
     Ignatius smirked ‘on the lower levels Phelix. Tell me what happened to the tribesman Achilios had you convert?’  
     Phelix chuckled ‘he’s most likely dead, I actually need to make the rounds on the lower levels. Still, perhaps you are right? Better that fool gets caught on Achilios’ blade than us.’ 
     The Champion sighed. ‘Let’s hope that never occurs. Now let us focus on the task.’ Ignatius continued walking.  
     Phelix then grunted. He hoped Ignatius was right, he would like to keep his head on his shoulders and if a piece of refuse can help him do that he was all for this plan. He followed after the champion, they said nothing further to each other. 

Edited by Shinros, 25 June 2019 - 09:25 PM.


#4
Tarvek Val

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This is a very good start. You added some interesting elements to what easily could have been a basic Emperor's Children story; I particularly liked Achilios's hall of mirrors and music. I did find it odd that there would be converted and untrained Astartes  just roaming about the ship, killing others of their own kind at will. Not even the Night Lords fell this far; while they are certainly not above infighting, they still train their forces. I didn't necessarily believe that element of the story, as surely even the most depraved warlord would see the need to train his forces. However, I did like the idea that the Astartes are separated into an 'A' team (Phoenix Guard, Palatine Blades, Noise Marines) and a 'B' team (everyone else). Maybe, instead of the 'B' team being totally untrained and uncontrolled, they could be managed by a disgraced member of the war band - a ranking officer who fell out of favor with Achilios and was banished below-decks to lead the new Astartes in battle. Either way, this is a very good start and I look forward to reading further installments!

 

ps I absolutely loved the following line:

 

 

 

Even Gods can make poor decisions when it comes to champions.’ 

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"Our holy hatred will make us free!" ~Nameless Dark Apostle

 

"Though my guards may sleep and ships may rest at anchor, our foes know full well that big guns never tire." ~Huron Blackheart

 

"You shall stand in midnight clad, your claws forever red with the lifeblood of my father's failed empire, warring through the centuries as the talons of a murdered god. Rise, my sons, and take your wrath across the stars, in my name. In my memory. Rise, my Night Lords." ~Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter

 

"So... How are you?" ~Cyrion, First Claw

 

 


#5
Shinros

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This is a very good start. You added some interesting elements to what easily could have been a basic Emperor's Children story; I particularly liked Achilios's hall of mirrors and music. I did find it odd that there would be converted and untrained Astartes  just roaming about the ship, killing others of their own kind at will. Not even the Night Lords fell this far; while they are certainly not above infighting, they still train their forces. I didn't necessarily believe that element of the story, as surely even the most depraved warlord would see the need to train his forces. However, I did like the idea that the Astartes are separated into an 'A' team (Phoenix Guard, Palatine Blades, Noise Marines) and a 'B' team (everyone else). Maybe, instead of the 'B' team being totally untrained and uncontrolled, they could be managed by a disgraced member of the war band - a ranking officer who fell out of favor with Achilios and was banished below-decks to lead the new Astartes in battle. Either way, this is a very good start and I look forward to reading further installments!

 

ps I absolutely loved the following line:

 

 

 

Even Gods can make poor decisions when it comes to champions.’ 

 

Hmmm, good idea. I will take that on board. I was thinking of taking the EC's children obsession with rank into overdrive, the normal chaos space marines are literally everyone else. 


Edited by Shinros, 06 June 2019 - 11:55 PM.


#6
Shinros

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Chapter 4
Canis stood in front of the Grand Matron’s doors with Sarcio, his slave was jumpy, always glancing over his shoulder. He didn’t reprimand him for he was only human, fear still had hold over him. He took a moment and placed his hand upon the doors of his benefactor, despite the ceramite covering his hand he could feel a tingling sensation threading his palm. The door itself displayed a story, one that has been repeated to him many times by the Matron. Each part was itched upon the great door with solid gold. 
     He would go over the story again when arrives here but there was no point. His benefactor will regale him the tale, she always does. At the same time he was also steadily growing tired of it. Canis pushed the doors open and walked in with Sarcio, right away the human covered his nose with his hand. He thought to punish the human for that action, but that was the reason why he was here. 
     The small temple was circular, there were six statues sitting in a circle and attached to each one was a chained slave praising the visage of the Dark Prince. The mortals were wasted, thin and seemed to be on the verge of death. He found it strange how their voices remained strong being in such a state. Dotted in between each of the statues were flowing silk curtains, where they lead he had no idea, he had no interest. His gaze then went up, the ceiling itself had a greater rendition of the story he saw on the doors. He wondered if the Grand Matron enjoyed the story to the point she wanted it in two places? 
     ‘M-Master c-can we hurry?’ 
     Sarcio’s voice was muffled slightly due to his hand, Canis grunted as his eyes came down to the slave. ‘I never knew you were that spineless, why are you afraid of liberation?’ he asked of the mortal. 
     ‘I-I’m afraid of enslavement. I already h-have one master. I-I don’t w-want a second.’ 
     ‘You will become the Dark Prince’s servant Sarcio. Now come.’ 
     He walked onwards, his slave followed. The altar was in the middle of the hall and standing behind it was the Grand Matron. She was wearing a white dress that was cut down the middle of her chest. You could see her chest and belly, but not too much. She was also wearing a hood and a golden mask which obscured her face completely. The garments gave his benefactor an air of mystery, he imagined for mortals that same mystery drives them to utter enslavement to her. He guessed that was how she acquired the humans praising the statues within the room.  
     Canis approached the altar with his slave. Right away he pointed at the mortal. ‘Grand Matron, Fix my slave.’ 
     His benefactor cocked her head slightly, her delicate voice easily passed through the mask she was wearing. ‘I can’t fix him Canis, he’s not a toy.’ 
     ‘You can fix anything, you fixed me. You gave me purpose, you fixed the ones in this very hall.’ 
     ‘Because they-you desired it. I prefer to let faith blossom naturally, that way I can tend to it better.’ 
     Canis snarled at the human, why was she refusing him? What reason does she have to not spread the Dark prince to the unfaithful? ‘Wh-’ 
     ‘Silence!’ she hissed.
     A cold chill passed through his body as she spoke that single word, Canis closed his mouth, he wanted to protest, to break her in half but the desire-his will was being stifled by the Grand Matron’s sorcery. His benefactor walked around the altar until she was face to face with him. She reached out and placed her hand on his chest. ‘Tell me the story of the fall.’ she asked. 
     Canis grumbled and sighed. The pressure upon his will vanished. He looked up towards the ceiling, his eyes rested upon the golden rendition of the Fall. In his eyes it was a warning, a story describing what happens if you reject the Dark Prince. If his benefactor wished him to retell the story so be it. His eyes moved to the first part, it displayed a group of Aeldari that were trapped in the throes of revelry. ‘The Aeldari’s empire was grand, magnificent, they’ve conquered all their opponents within the galaxy. Some say they now had machines to fight their petty wars. So their attentions drifted to other pursuits, their society began to evolve due to their acts of debauchery and violence.’
     The Grand Matron removed her hand from his chest, she gave him a soft chuckle. ‘What happened next Canis?’ 
     His eyes moved to the next image, it was a circle and sitting at the middle of it was the rune of Slaanesh. ‘Their acts of revelry was making a mark upon the sea of souls. Something was being born, a great entity was forming from their worship.’ 
     ‘You’re correct so far Canis, the wisdom I wish to impart upon you will become clear in a moment.’ said The Grand Matron. 
     Canis grunted again, he didn’t see the point in going over this tale but he continued. The next part of displayed the orb cracking like an egg. Through the cracks Slaanesh was reaching out in despair to fleeing Aeldari, their faces were the picture of agony. ‘So in time Slaanesh grew fat on their worship, he took his true shape and from the egg he gave his birth scream. He called to his followers with a great bellow. “Come my children! Look upon me and weep in joy!” When he emerged from the cracked egg to reach out to his followers they ran from the Dark Prince in terror, in fear. This event devastated Slaanesh...’
     His eyes came down to his benefactor again, he expected the Grand Matron to say something. But she was silent this time, Canis decided to move to the next part of the tale. His gaze went back up to the ceiling. The final part of the story displayed Slaanesh, he was devouring the fleeing xenos. Arms and legs were poking out of his lips, his eyes were also rolled back slightly. Canis couldn’t help but smile at what was before him. The xenos refused their god, so they were punished. ‘So came the end the Aeldari’s great empire, in their foolishness they rejected their salvation. Their punishment was to be devoured and to sit in the gut of the Dark prince forevermore. 
     Canis gaze came down for the final time, he folded his arms in annoyance. ‘They were punished for rejecting the dark prince. What else is there to understand? This is why I want you to fix my slave.’ 
     His benefactor shook her head and sighed. ‘Our Dark Prince demanded their worship, he demanded their love. Our god was an infant back then, he was powerful as well.’ 
     ‘The Dark Prince cannot make a mistake.’ Canis hissed. 
     ‘If mistakes aren’t made how is one supposed to reach perfection?’ The Grand Matron retorted. 
     He couldn’t believe what he was hearing, he couldn’t understand it. Slaanesh was perfection, perfect beings cannot to make mistakes. It was impossible. ‘I had enough of philosophy, can you fix my slave or not?’ 
     The Grand Matron said nothing for a moment, her head shifted towards Sarcio. ‘If you would follow me. I would like to talk to you in private.’ She walked over to one of the curtains, she pulled them aside slightly to reveal a dark passageway.  
     Canis watched as his slave began sweating profusely, apprehension was surrounding Sarcio’s form.  ‘Go with her slave.’ he ordered.  
     The slave said nothing, he screwed his eyes shut for a few seconds and as they opened he walked over to the Grand Matron. Canis watched both of them enter the passageway, when the curtains obscured their backs he grunted. ‘This is for his own good.’ he said to himself. 
 
***
Sarcio removed his hand from his face, he then sighed. He wondered how many times has he walked these hallways? How many times have all his masters came to the one who holds his leash? He thought to say something to the Grand Matron but that would be unwise. There was no telling what her mood was at the moment so he thought it was best to keep quiet until they arrived in a place where they can talk in peace. 
     The journey itself only lasted a few minutes, they stopped in front of a set of double wooden doors which was being guarded by two of the Matron’s followers. Both guards were wearing spiked leather over certain portions of their body and both sported golden masks that had snake-like tongues sticking out of their mouths. Their cruddy and old lasguns were also held tightly to their chests. The Grand Matron gestured, then as one the guards pushed the doors open. 
     His leash holder walked inside, Sarcio followed her in. Entering the room the door was closed behind them. Sarcio looked around, there was a table and chairs set in the middle of the room. He also spotted a wine cabinet sitting at the right hand corner. The only thing within the room that made him feel ill at ease was the small shrine to the god his leash holder worshipped. The shrine was at the leftmost wall, this shrine wasn’t the humanoid rendition of the god, not fully. The face was that of a bull, the dark deity was also holding up its cursed rune with one hand. 
      ‘Sit.’ 
      Her voice entered his ears, Sarcio’s attention snapped towards the table. The Grand Matron was already sitting, he gulped and took a seat at the table. He nervously bought his hands together. ‘Should I make a report?’ he asked. 
     ‘Please do.’ The Grand Matron responded. 
      Sarcio took a deep breath, he hasn’t been with Canis for long but he had a good idea about the one he was now serving. ‘He’s a child, he won’t survive long. You can’t use him.’ 
     ‘That’s why you’re there Sarcio.’ 
     ‘He’s not like the others, flattering won’t work, acting like a snivelling sycophant won’t work.’ 
     ‘But he hasn’t killed you yet has he?’ 
     ‘He might if you can’t “fix” me.’ 
     ‘Canis is not like that, despite being only seventeen.’
     Sarcio blinked in shock to what he just heard, the one he’s serving was but a child. A child given the body of a demigod. He couldn’t help but crease his brow in frustration. He tried to relax, he’s survived worse and he has to live for her sake. His hand came away from his brow as he said. ‘What do you want from this one?’ he asked. 
     ‘It’s quite simple Sarcio, I want to improve my cult’s position on this ship. But I need a sponsor, a warrior who will push my group to the limelight. The Lord of this warband doesn’t take kindly to mortals, but if we had the right face? I-we can easily move to the upper levels if we find such a Space Marine.’
     ‘As long as you take her with you I don’t care what you do.’ 
     ‘You’re sister is in good hands I assure you, at least with us she gets a meal.’ 
     He didn’t know what to think of the Grand Matron’s words, his sister could be a cultist now for all he knows. But she gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse, work for her and his sister won’t be used as fuel for one of the depraved Astartes. ‘So...What are you going to tell Canis?’ he asked. 
     ‘What else? I gave you some advice. But I want to ask you a question, have you noticed any changes? Have you been doing anything differently?’
     Sarcio didn’t expect the question, he actually thought about it. The only thing he has noticed was how he sets his tools. He always makes sure that they are aligned perfectly, he couldn’t help it but the Grand Matron didn’t need to know that. ‘I’m fine.’ he said quickly. ‘No changes, I won’t become like the rest of you.’ 
     ‘Considering your obsession with protecting your sister you are already like us.’ The Grand Matron said warmly. 
     ‘As I said I’ll never be like the rest of you, I had no choice when it came to my sister.’ 
     ‘You always have a choice Sarcio. I will leave our conversation at that. Now, let us return to the child.’ 
     The Grand Matron rose from her seat, he do so as well. He still wondered what exactly she saw in Canis, he still couldn’t see it. In the end this was his life now, to act as a slave to those his leash holder had an interest in.

Edited by Shinros, 25 June 2019 - 09:31 PM.


#7
Tarvek Val

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An interesting development - I certainly wouldn't want to be in Sarcio's shoes if Canis finds out he's being played by The Grand Matron. Speaking of which - I would love a *slightly* lengthier description of the characters in the piece (it's always a fine balance between "too little detail" and "too much"!). Is the Grand Matron a seemingly normal and unassuming human, is she a human with subtle daemonic qualities, is she a full-on ascended mortal? Even a few quick details will help us appreciate the character as a unique entity beyond a generic "cultist rendition." That way, the character is wholly unique and wholly yours!

 

Loving the progression, keep up the good work.


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"Our holy hatred will make us free!" ~Nameless Dark Apostle

 

"Though my guards may sleep and ships may rest at anchor, our foes know full well that big guns never tire." ~Huron Blackheart

 

"You shall stand in midnight clad, your claws forever red with the lifeblood of my father's failed empire, warring through the centuries as the talons of a murdered god. Rise, my sons, and take your wrath across the stars, in my name. In my memory. Rise, my Night Lords." ~Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter

 

"So... How are you?" ~Cyrion, First Claw

 

 


#8
Shinros

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An interesting development - I certainly wouldn't want to be in Sarcio's shoes if Canis finds out he's being played by The Grand Matron. Speaking of which - I would love a *slightly* lengthier description of the characters in the piece (it's always a fine balance between "too little detail" and "too much"!). Is the Grand Matron a seemingly normal and unassuming human, is she a human with subtle daemonic qualities, is she a full-on ascended mortal? Even a few quick details will help us appreciate the character as a unique entity beyond a generic "cultist rendition." That way, the character is wholly unique and wholly yours!

 

Loving the progression, keep up the good work.

That's the hurdle I'm trying to get over, many say it's too much and others say it's too little. Trying to get the right balance, I will take your advice on board. 



#9
Shinros

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Chapter 5

Phelix pushed the doors open, he gestured into the small den of humans. ‘After you champion.’ 
     Ignatius frowned at him and walked inside, he followed in after. The small temple was as he remembered. The only thing that was new was the Astartes standing near the altar. The Astartes white hair was braided, each tip ended with a small rune of Slaanesh and his dark skin oddly didn’t have a single scar. That was a curiosity, he was about to speak to the Champion but he was already approaching the Space Marine. Phelix grunted in annoyance and hurried after Ignatius. 
     When they arrived at the altar the Space Marine turned their head slightly to them. He was young, but Phelix could tell he’s killed many to survive. He could see it in his brown eyes. ‘Tell me wh-’ 
     ‘Where is the Matron refuse?’ Ignatius interrupted. 
     The young Space Marine faced them fully and snarled. ‘Canis.’ 
     ‘Wow, you’re actually snarling. Is that a thing lower level Astartes do Ignatius?’ Phelix added. 
     ‘You’ve been down here more than me Phelix.’ 
     ‘Well yes I have. But I pick at corpses. I don’t speak to anyone. Since you are the champion I assume you’ve actually spoken with them since you normally have to let Theseus know to wrangle all of them for war.’ 
     Ignatius grunted which meant he was right. ‘So you’re name is Canis then?’ The Champion said to the refuse. 
     ‘I am.’ Canis responded. ‘You’re disrespecting this place, I can smell it. You think yourself above this temple.’ 
     ‘I walk where I please refuse, this temple is small and disgusting compared to those on the upper levels. Sixty of the purest voices sing forever within the temple of Graceful Torment, if you prove yourself you might hear it one day.’
     ‘Why do I need to prove myself to you?’ 
     ‘He’s the Champion idiot. Also why did you pick that name?’ Phelix wanted to move into the conversation before it got violent. Dispute the temple being small Canis was right. This was still a holy place, anyone could be watching. At the same time the name was familiar to him. 
     Canis folded his arms. ‘The Grand Matron gave it to me, I woke up on the lower levels with busted armour. I assume you’re to blame?’
     ‘Guilty as charged.’ said Phelix. 
     ‘Hmph, so you’re the Champion?’ 
     Phelix could see the bloodlust building in Canis’ eyes his attention was drifting fully towards Ignatius. But would he dare? He couldn’t be that dense? That stupid? 
     Ignatius’ hand was slowly moving to the the handle of his blade. ‘What of it?’ 
     ‘So, can you fight well?’ Canis drew his blade. 
     ‘By the Dark Prince he’s stupid…’ Phelix said under his breath. He glanced over to Ignatius who was slowly unsheathing his Charnabal Sabre. 
     When the weapon was released fully the Champion thumbed the activation rune on his power sword. He frowned at the refuse. ‘You really wish to die don’t you?’ 
     ‘Then I die in front of the Dark Prince, can you think of a better way to go?’ 
     ‘The Dark Prince doesn’t care for ugly things like you. You stink, your blood is most likely muddied as well’ 
     Phelix wanted to move in to stop them but both charged each other before he could intervene. Canis was swinging his blade wildly, Ignatius was blocking each strike with smooth and practised motions. He couldn’t believe this was happening but strangely Canis was smiling, he had no hope of winning but he was smiling. Phelix wondered if the fool was aware that he was barely making it past the Champion’s defences. 
     Canis made a downward strike but Ignatius parried opening the refuse up, the Champion’s blade went low and his blade passed through Canis’ legs severing them from above the knee. The fool tumbled to the ground and his grip upon his blade loosened. Canis severed legs were spurting out blood, but the fool’s face was a mix of pure rapture and pain. Ignatius scoffed and deactivated the power field on his blade and sheathed it. ‘Fool.’ 
     Canis was still laughing while trying to rise at the same time. ‘Y-You’re pretty good.’ 
     ‘Of course I am. For one you didn’t even have a power weapon so even if a strike got through it would most likely not pierce my armour. You were outmatched in terms of skill and equipment. No-’
     ‘W-What have you done!’   
     The screeching voice of a woman entered his ears, Ignatius sighed. Phelix wondered if the Matron still thought she was more important than she actually was? She hurried over to Canis with a mortal who was wearing a read robe. The Grand Matron knelt and lifted Canis’ head slightly, Phelix doubted she was actually concerned for the Space Marine’s well being he was most likely another one of  the witch’s pawns. Most would not be able to taste the sorcery surrounding her form but he could, his tongue was tingling.  
     Phelix was about to say something but Ignatius spoke up first. ‘So this one belongs to you?’ 
     ‘He is dutiful to his faith, that’s all my lord. He doesn’t belong to me.’ she answered. 
     ‘The scream of shock sounded like it was something more. Is he a new pawn?’
     ‘He’s not a pawn!’ 
     Phelix wondered why Ignatius was blunt sometimes, perhaps that was why Achilios liked him? That could only be the reason. He just wanted to get this visit over quickly, plus witches were dangerous when angered. ‘Now, Now… We’ll leave we just came for information. Is Theseus still alive?’ Phelix added.
     Ignatius frowned at him. ‘I thought you don’t talk to anyone on this level?’ 
     ‘Well technically he’s different. He doesn’t count.’ Phelix responded. 
     The Grand Matron’s head shifted to him. ‘He’s still alive, are we going to war?’ 
     ‘In a manner of speaking, but we might have one less Astartes “marching” out due to their own foolishness.’ 
     ‘Fix him my lord, please I beg you.’ 
     ‘I don’t do cybernetics and I won’t waste flesh on one such as him.’ 
     Canis chuckled. ‘I-I don’t need your blasted charity.’ his gaze became focused on one of the statues. ‘S-Slaanesh, let me b-beat the hell out of the C-Champion of this ship. I’m a cripple now, my death is certain but all I ask for is one last chance…. Let m-me have f-fun one last time.’  
     Ignatius smiled ‘What makes you think the Dark Prince would aid you?’
     He was about to agree with the Champion until the severed legs of the refuse began crumbling to dust. He knew fighting in a temple was a bad idea, when Slaanesh gets even a whiff of violence he gets excited he’s seen it too many times. Oddly enough Slaanesh loves fools and idiots. Canis was obviously both. 
     The refuse gave a cry of pain as fresh bones shot out of the stumps. In a rapid motion meat steadily layered over the bone from the muscle, to the veins. Arteries were manifesting in thin air. The only one peculiarity was instead of having normal feet he now had large hooves, but it didn’t stop there. The new legs were layered with fresh pink ceramite and the knee pads were golden and shaped into feminine faces. 
     When the process was finished Canis gasped. Phelix looked over to Ignatius. ‘So…. Can we still call him refuse now?’ 
     The Champion’s smile drifted to a frown. ‘It’s not a blessing.’ 
     Canis quickly hopped to his feet, he shook each leg. ‘Where were we?’ 
     Ignatius gaze shot back to the idiot. ‘You’ll lose again. St-
     The fool snarled and charged the Champion, Phelix found Canis’ increased speed impressive. He tackled Ignatius pushing him towards one of the statues. When they hit the statue the chained human was crushed. Phelix found the sounds of shattered bone and squished flesh wonderful, but he found the onslaught Canis was applying to Ignatius far more amusing. The Champions arms were up in a blocking motion, but the idiots punches were causing dents upon the Champions arms. 
     Canis drew his arm back and threw another punch which finally shattered Ignatius’ guard. The fool then went straight for the face, there was a wet crunch as Ignatius’ face twisted due to the blow. Phelix took the opportunity to take pictures, he could hold it over the Champion later, this was why he wore his helmet everywhere. Ignatius’ face was absolutely being annihilated by the idiot.   
     Phelix glanced over to the Grand Matron ‘how old is the fool?’ 
     ‘Seventeen my lord.’ 
     ‘Ah, that explains his aggression. He’s most likely a tribesmen as well. Tell me why did you give him the name Canis?’  
     ‘I-It belonged to his old tribe my lord, I went through his buried memories.’ 
     Now it clicked, he was recently made and the Canis tribe was the group of humans he broke down into drugs. Plus this individual matched the demeanour of the one who tore out a portion of his Lord’s hair. He thought the one they were looking for would be part of Theseus’ group since many of the lower level astartes congregate around him but it seems one part of their work here has been completed.
     His gaze came back to Canis, his onslaught was finished. Ignatius sagged down to the ground, his face was a ruined mess. Phelix walked over as the fool raised his bloodied fist in victory. ‘Look Slaanesh! I beat the Champion!’ 
     ‘Hold your horses idiot.’ Phelix announced. 
     Canis turned to him while lowering his fist ‘I won. How I won doesn’t matter.’ 
     ‘Due to our gods aid, get too arrogant and he might curse you.’ 
     The idiot raised his eyebrow. ‘The Dark Prince blesses only the best. I’m favoured.’ 
     ‘Yes, he favours fools and idiots. He doesn’t tolerate them long if they step out of bounds. ’ 
     ‘So is Fulgrim a fool then?’ 
     ‘He’s the biggest fool of them all. Who let’s their sons maim and torture them to prove a point? Look at Eidolon, he got his head chopped off due to a stupid comment and Lucius? Do we really need to talk about him?’
     ‘What of the Lord of the warband then?’ The idiot asked. 
     ‘Oh he is definitely a fool. He devised the whole system to have people like you consigned to the lower levels, only noble born children get to become Palatine blades, Noise marines or Phoenix Guard. Everyone on this level gets used as fodder which I think is a waste. Gene-Seed is hard to come by.’
     Canis frowned and pointed at the Champion, his face was healing. ‘How can the Champion of the warband be idiot?’ 
     ‘He lets our Lord beat him because he enjoys it. Actually sometimes I think he purposely antagonises him so he does it. One day he might kill him but that day might not come since our God tends to put Ignatius back together.’
     ‘What of you then?’ 
     ‘Well, I’m not exactly blessed.’
     ‘You live on the upper levels, you’re blessed. In my eyes only fools think themselves smarter than everyone else.’ 
     Phelix smiled and bought his hands together. ‘Then were all fools then! Now, how about you come along with us to see someone? We are actually preparing for war.’
     Ignatius groaned in pain, there was click and with that his pinkish features have returned to normal. Canis folded his arms. ‘Fine, I’ll come with you. Perhaps the Dark Prince put you on my path for a reason?’ 
     He wanted to groan to himself, what was worse than a fool was a zealot and it was clear the tribesman was one. In the end he found the idiot amusing and perhaps he would amuse Achilios? It was why his lord  had the young tribesman converted. He turned back to the Grand Matron ‘by the way where is Theseus new abode? He moves around a lot.’ 
     ‘He’s now dwells within the Hall Of Whispers my lord.’ The Grand Matron answered. 
     Phelix frowned. ‘Why there?’ 
     ‘He views that area as a test, those who cannot get past something so simple have no right to fight with him.’ 
     He wanted to laugh at the Grand Matron’s response, he wondered if Theseus was still pretending to be the leader of their company? Was he that foolish and unwise? ‘I see, I will put in a good word to Achilios for you.’
     The mortal flinched, the reaction was expected but he wasn’t going to do it. She was still the same as always. He walked over to Ignatius who still appeared dazed ‘get up Ignatius.’
     The Champion blinked several times, he then rubbed his cheeks and got up to his feet. Canis narrowed his eyes expecting another attack but instead Ignatius brushed himself down. ‘Impressive.’ he said flatly. 
     ‘Impressive?’ Phelix repeated. 
     ‘I say what I mean Apothecary. Canis correct?’ 
     Canis raised his eyebrow ‘Aye, what’s the meaning of this? I just beat you and your happy?’ 
     ‘I can see a perfect place for you in the future, follow me an- 
     ‘Can’t you have this discussion on the way to Theseus’ place?’ Phelix added. 
     ‘Very well, where is he staying now?’ 
     ‘The Hall of Whispers.’ 
     Ignatius rolled his eyes ‘I see, come Canis.’ 
     Phelix watched the slave in the red robe walk over and hand the fool’s blade back to him. ‘Be careful master.’ 
     Canis took the weapon and grinned. ‘If they try anything I’ll kill them. 
     He could say to the idiot that he lost terribly in an actual fight a moment before but his bravado was charming in it’s own way. He hoped Theseus will be as receptive to the idiot as Ignatius, for if he felt slighted he wouldn’t hesitate to try and kill them. He was very similar to Achilios in certain ways but different at the same time. If he was honest with himself he would prefer Theseus lead them again, but as with all favoured they are all fools. 
 

Edited by Shinros, 25 June 2019 - 09:45 PM.


#10
Tarvek Val

Tarvek Val

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Nice work, the story is progressing quite well. Good job shaping the characters, there was a lot of good development in this last segment.


  • Shinros likes this

"Our holy hatred will make us free!" ~Nameless Dark Apostle

 

"Though my guards may sleep and ships may rest at anchor, our foes know full well that big guns never tire." ~Huron Blackheart

 

"You shall stand in midnight clad, your claws forever red with the lifeblood of my father's failed empire, warring through the centuries as the talons of a murdered god. Rise, my sons, and take your wrath across the stars, in my name. In my memory. Rise, my Night Lords." ~Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter

 

"So... How are you?" ~Cyrion, First Claw

 

 


#11
Shinros

Shinros

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The mortal was screaming as he slit their throat with his combat knife. Strangely he wanted everyone dwelling within this house to suffer, the lord he took the life of was one of the main leaders of the rebellion. In his eyes humans who refused rejoining the Imperium were traitors, they are rebelling against the Emperor’s grand design. They deserved what was befalling them and he was the instrument of the Emperor's fury, a weapon forged to unite the galaxy. Achilios threw the Lord aside and faced Ignatius, the rest of his squad were going through the rebel’s reports within the office. ‘I want another sweep across the mansion, we need to purge any who are in hiding still. I also find it suspicious that the mansion was empty upon arrival save our target.’ 
     His second raised his eyebrow. ‘Captain’s orders were to assault the mansion and kill one of the rebel leaders. We have cut the head from the snake.’ 
     ‘Yes but our goal is to bring this planet into compliance. We cannot allow even a hint of the enemy to remain. We shall search the house again.’ 
     Ignatius was about to open his mouth to protest his decision, but instead he closed it and gave a curt nod. Achilios smiled, he then divided his squad into two. He would normally avoid that under normal circumstances but the enemies they were facing were using solid slug weaponry. The sweep across the house was uneventful that was until he found a trap door within the basement. It was under a large create which Ignatius turned over. 
     His second grabbed the handle and opened the trap door and what they found was a group of people huddling in a hole. The rebels were looking up to them, Achilios could see the fear clearly within their eyes. By his observation majority of those within the hole were servants, but he spotted a young woman holding a child tightly. Ignatius glanced over to him. ‘What are your orders Sergeant?’ 
     He found the words of his second misplaced, he has already given him the order of what they should do if they found anyone. He aimed his bolt pistol at the hole. ‘They’ve become weeds, if we let them live they will strangle the budding flowers.’ He pressed the trigger, the humans screamed as the mass-reactive shells slammed into bodies, the humans fell upon each other as their bodies were torn apart by the bolt shell detonations. 
     When there was a click he turned his bolt pistol slightly and reloaded. It was as he was reloading he saw the child crawling out from under the bodies, the small thing was crying begging for mercy. The cries of a traitor child didn’t move him, he aimed his fully loaded weapon at the child who was covering their head. 
     ‘Sir…’ Ignatius said meekly. 
     ‘What is Ignatius!?’ Achilios hissed. 
     His second gestured his bolter to steps leading back up. Achilios turned to see his Captain standing there with the rest of his squad. Achilios lowered his bolt pistol, he frowned but his Captain couldn’t tell since he was wearing a helmet. ‘Captain, is something wrong?’ 
     Captain Theseus’ armour was gashed, his cape striking red cape was tattered but he stood proud and tall like always. Thesues walked over, each step was purposeful and his stride displayed clear restrained fury. When he got close Achilios thought he was going to strike him but instead he knelt down to the hole and offered his hand. Glancing down towards it he thought there was no way a weed would accept their aid. The planet already rejected them, they had their chance. 
     Yet, to his shock the child reached out and took his Captain’s hand. He lifted him out of the hole with ease. He was about to speak, to question why Theseus was helping a traitor. ‘Wha-’ 
     His captain swung towards him, he couldn’t see the fist that crashed into his face. His auto senses flickered due to the impact as he fell to the ground due to the strike. As Achilios looked up Theseus was escorting the child out of the basement. 

Chapter 6
Achilios blinked several times, his vision was blurry but he could see someone sitting at the other end of the window sill. He could also hear the pluck of guitar strings, a melody was being woven that far outsripped what his slaves were capable of. He gave his eyes a slight rub and steadily his vision cleared. The individual who was sitting lazily upon his window sill was one of the Noise Marines, the leader of the Troupe. 
     Vicus’ pale abs were exposed and straps of spiked leather criss-crossed his legs. He was holding a monstrous guitar which was fused with a bolter. Strangely the multi-coloured hair attached to his helm moved with the melody he was playing. The Noise Marine acted like he owned the space around him, it always happens whenever he starts playing. Achilios only forgives the slight because he was actually a good musician. If he graced his ears with poor music he would have the Noise Marine killed. 
     Achilios leaned back slightly and frowned. ‘What are you doing here?’ 
     Vicus stopped playing and looked up to him. ‘I- 
     ‘Did I ask you to stop playing Noise Marine?’ Achilios interrupted. 
     Vicus chuckled and continued ‘I just wanted to check up on you my lord.’ 
     ‘I’m not a child.’ 
     ‘Of course my lord, you are a warlord with many enemies.’ 
     Achilios furrowed his brow at that statement, he has no enemies. All adore him, every soul on this ship obeys his every word. ‘Enemies Vicus? I have none.’ 
     ‘Then why do you slumber so deeply?’ 
     ‘So I can’t rest whenever I feel tired?’
     ‘In my eyes it’s far too often considering what we are. So I like to watch you sleep, to make sure you have sweet dreams.’ 
     Achilios didn’t know what to make of that statement, normally when he awakens he’s normally greeted to an empty chamber or to Ignatius. ‘You are overthinking things Vicus, perhaps my mind is merely stressed with ensuring our glory?’ 
     ‘Very well, my lord.You’ll no longer hear of my concerns.’ Vicus said warmly. 
     He liked the response from Noise Marine, no complaints or back-talk. He wished Ignatius voiced his concerns far less. ‘Good now that’s out of the way, I have to tell you that you should expect new recruits.’ 
     Vicus plucked the strings of his guitar in a rapid motion causing the melody to shift to a high note. ‘Ah, I’ve heard from the bridge that we are heading back to Laxim. I wonder if the decadent nobles will show us due courtesy? I doubt they want a repeat of the last time we visited.’ 
     The Noise Marine was speaking of the time a nobleman touched him, Achilios had their whole line annihilated. Each family member was divided into six pieces which was then thrown into the braziers across the city. Achilios didn’t have fond memories of that time, he felt defiled as the mortal touched his arm. ‘I doubt the mortals have learned anything Vicus, they never do. Also I wish to probe your mind on the subject of the lower level Astartes.’ 
     Vicus shook his head in disgust. ‘What of them?’ 
     ‘They have to be trained, integrated properly into the warband.’ 
     ‘Don’t they have someone doing that already? I loathe to speak his name my lord.’
     ‘Understandable Vicus, but I don’t trust him. Which is why I sent Ignatius and Phelix to handle that for me. I want a grand war that will make me a shining star and I need every tool to be crisp and clean.’
     ‘If you put it that way my lord I can get behind this, the issue will be what would Sirius think of this?’
     Achilios raised his eyebrow in confusion. ‘Why would his opinion matter?’ 
     ‘The astartes who dwell on the lower levels is a touchy subject for him.’
     ‘If he can’t handle fighting near them then I must find another Prefector.’
     The melody Vicus was playing came to an abrupt halt, he began clutching his guitar tightly. ‘Let me kill him them.’ he pleaded. ‘Let me sing to him as I tear the life from his body.’ 
     Achilios wondered if Vicus was jealous at the fact that Ignatius was his Champion. The Noise Marine was always so eager to please or perhaps his appitite for murder was that strong? ‘Only if he causes trouble Vicus, now continue playing and be silent.’  
     The Noise marine was trembling with anticipation but it slowly evaporated at his order. Vicus returned to playing the song. Achilios’ gaze then drifted to the stars, his dream was to return the third to glory days, when they dominated all during the Legion wars. It was a dream he aimed to make a reality and he will be the leader to do it.

Edited by Shinros, 25 June 2019 - 09:50 PM.


#12
Shinros

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Chapter 7 
Canis could not help but glance over his shoulder as he walked the hallways with Ignatius and Phelix, the voices coming from dimly lit pathways was grating on his nerves. The voices would promise him all manner of delights if he just left the ones he was with. All he had to do was turn and take another path and all they offer could be his. He grunted and shouted ‘Shut up! Shut up! Show your face so I can tear you to pieces!’ 
     Ignatius and Phelix stopped, they both turned to him. The Apothecary shook his head in mild annoyance. ‘Screaming at them won’t make the voices go away.’ 
     As the Apothecary spoke strangely the voices ceased. Canis smiled. ‘Seems shouting worked.’ 
     Phelix looked around, he then shrugged. ‘Perhaps they have no interest in idiots?’ 
     Canis snarled at the Apothecary. He always mocks him, either by calling him fool or idiot. He swore he would kill Phelix one day for his insults. He was only tolerating them because these two were his path to the upper levels. Ignatius shook his head. ‘Enough, I would like to ask you a question Canis.’ 
     ‘What is it?’ 
     ‘Tell me how do you feel about the witch you have… “allied” yourself with?’ 
     The question was a surprise, he was most likely referring to his accusation towards his benefactor. No one has asked how he felt about her, he folded his arms and gave the question some thought. He didn’t trust her fully but she helped him and in return he will give her his aid. He wouldn’t be alive right now without her. ‘She might be manipulating me but I don't care. Neither of you have helped me survive so why should I care for your opinion on her?’ 
     His answer caused the Champion to smile, he turned away and continued walking. Phelix’s eyes darted towards him and Ignatius several times before he jogged to catch up to the Champion. Canis grunted and hurried after them. 
     The journey was uneventful since the voices have stopped, they eventually arrived at a double door which was guarded by two Astartes wielding the bolters. He found it strange how the guards allowed them to approach without any questions. Ignatius cleared his throat. ‘I’m here to see Theseus.’ 
     The guards looked at each other, they didn’t utter a single word but after a second they nodded to each other and pushed the doors open. Ignatius and Phelix strode inside, Canis followed in after them he was wondering how often these two came to see Theseus? How important was he? 
     Entering the chamber it was covered in silk drapes, armour and weapons stands. But what captured his attention were the Astartes who were gathered at the center of the room. They were all in a rough circle and in the middle of it were two Astartes duelling each other. Canis couldn’t help but admit the ones duelling were good, perhaps better than him. He was almost lost in the battle until the two upper level Astartes approached a Space Marine who was wearing a tattered red cape. 
     Canis tore his eyes away from the duel and walked with Ignatius and Phelix. When they were but a few paces away they all stopped. Looking at the back of the individual before him he strangely felt small. He didn’t want the one before him to turn around. Ignatius folded his arms. ‘Theseus, w-’ 
     ‘What does the boy want?’ asked Theseus. 
     To his ears Theseus’ voice was gravelly, ancient even. Canis’ hearts began thundering in his chest, he gulped and wiped his brow of sweat. 
     The Champion frowned. ‘You should show some respect Theseus, after all my st-’ 
     As the individual before them turned towards them Ignatius closed his mouth, the face of Theseus was aged and ruined. One of his eyes were missing and his short cropped white hair wasn’t stark white but held threads of grey. Despite the purple of his armour being bruised, his single blue eye tore through his body. He was judging them all, weighing their use. Theseus was most likely wondering whether he should kill them all. Canis could sense it, the one before him was an apex predator. They have walked into his den and if he was not respected he would kill them. 
     What was truly terrifying was his aura just with a glance you could tell he was peerless warrior. Ignatius was looking away, his eyes were cast downward slightly. ‘A-Apologies…’ The Champion said under his breath. 
     ‘I can’t hear you Champion.’ Theseus said cooly. 
     Ignatius took a deep breath, Canis couldn’t believe the Champion was now sweating slightly. ‘I didn’t mean you any disrespect Theseus. I humbly apologise.’ 
     ‘Good, apology accepted. Now what do you fools want?’ 
     Phelix cleared his throat. ‘Well… Achilios has decided that the lower level Astartes needed to be brought up to standards and sent us to handle that task.’ 
     The announcement from the Apothecary caused Theseus to laugh harshly, with each chuckle the duel occurring in the middle of the circle ground to a stop. Canis wasn’t sure what to make of Theseus the two upper level Astartes were acting like small children before him. When his laughter died down Theseus’ head snapped to the duelists who were staring at them, the rest of the Astartes making the circle were looking away. 
     ‘Did I tell you to stop!?’ Theseus shouted. 
     The duellists rushed back to their bout, as Theseus’ gaze came back to them he frowned. ‘So the boy finally wised up? He wants glory, power and recognition but he won’t have it if his whole warband is in tatters. I thought my self exile would prove the point, but I should be glad he is now aware of his foolishness.’ 
     ‘It’s why you should lead us again.’ Phelix said hastily. 
     ‘Don’t broach that subject with me Apothecary. Not now.’ 
     ‘Our father is busy stuffing his face with treats while our legion falls apart! Do you think he cares about an order he made centuries ago!?’ 
     Canis had no idea what was going on but he could tell this subject was important, Phelix was pleading to Theseus. So far he understands that this space marine must of been the old leader of the warband. The question was what changed? Looking over to Ignatius he was clutching his hand, it was obvious that it was a gesture of frustration not anger. 
     Theseus shook his head. ‘Phelix the word of our father is law, no matter if he has ascended and forgotten about us. You are discounting the fact that there might be a reason for his decision.’ 
     ‘The blasted fool is ruining us! He’s getting worse!’ The Apothecary shrieked. 
     ‘Such is the whims of the Dark Prince, I’m sure if he dies Ignatius would make an adequate replacement.’ 
     ‘What if I don’t want to lead?’ Ignatius added. 
     Theseus frowned at Ignatius ‘Then why did you become Champion then? So Achilios could beat you everyday? By Slaanesh you really are pathetic, aren't you?’ 
     ‘So what? We have a great leader who could lead us to glory but he prefers to follow the word of a father who abandoned us.’ 
     ‘That’s the problem with all of you, none of you were there.’ 
     Phelix sighed. ‘Oh here we go.’ 
     ‘I will repeat this as many times as I have to Phelix.’ Theseus said firmly. His gaze shifted over to him. ‘You’re new so this will be the first time you hear of this.’ 
     Canis scratched his head in confusion. ‘I’ll listen carefully then.’ 
     Theseus chuckled ‘enjoy your youth while it lasts young Space Marine. Don’t turn into these two. Now… where was I? Oh yes, in our distant past before any of you were born. Our Legion suffered from a blight, a cancer that was eating us from the inside. Yet we all fought on, so that one day we might reunite with our father. No matter the mission we pressed on until there was only two hundred of us left. I had brothers who dreamed of that day but they didn’t make it so I carried on for them. When I first looked upon our father on Chemos he promised us that he would lead us to glory. Slowly, through the years I had to watch fools and ingrates be promoted to Lord Commander, they spat on our sacrifice but I knew father had a plan. Despite my dislike of those above me he kept his promise. None of you know of loyalty anymore, all of you have lost sight of perfection.’
     Canis felt even smaller, it was like a father speaking down to their disobedient son. He didn’t know what to say, Theseus was far more aware of the third’s history and glory. He has most likely fought with the hated Emperor and worked alongside their great father. ‘A man of no loyalty will leave you once the road darkens…’ Canis said to himself. 
     Theseus smiled to him and nodded. ‘So you understand young one. The head of any company, any warband should be the pinnacle of what it is to be a Space Marine.’ His gaze then shifted to Ignatius and Phelix. ‘Perhaps father saw something both of you can’t see? The fact you two are ready to sharpening your knives so you can plunge them in his back means that neither of you are reliable and I should kill you for your treason.’ 
     Phelix raised his hands ‘w-wait, we just have concerns that’s all.’ 
     Ignatius tensed as Phelix spoke. ‘He’s right, we don’t want him dead.’ 
     ‘To me it sounds like you want me to march up to the upper levels and take his head. I will tell you again I have no interest in disobeying our Primarch.’ 
     Phelix was about to speak but Theseus raised his hand to stop him. ‘I’ve heard your message. I will prepare the lower levels as best as I can for any conflict that will come, take the young one and leave my sight.’ 
     Theseus turned away from them. Canis wanted to listen to the old one more but going by how Phelix and Ignatius were hurrying to the exit he didn’t want to push his luck. When they got outside both upper level Astartes were walking quickly but after a few minutes they both stopped and began breathing heavily. 
     Phelix slowed his breathing. ‘I thought he was going to kill us that time, luckily he just went for one of his senile rants.’ 
     Ignatius wiped his brow. ‘At least we don’t have to deal with the lower levels in any capacity.’ 
     Canis raised his eyebrow. ‘Does he scare you that much?’ 
     The Apothecary sighed ‘you know when I told you that the Dark Prince prefers fools and idiots?’ 
     ‘Yes, I recall that.’ 
     ‘Now imagine an individual who follows the edicts and words of our father to his own detriment? He’s the greatest fool of this warband and it’s why he’s dangerous. Far more dangerous than the current Lord.’ 
     ‘What’s wrong with following the will of our father?’ 
     Phelix shook his head. ‘The reason why the third is in this state is because of him. While the other primarch’s still watch over their legions in some capacity Fulgrim has all but abandoned us. Abbadon the Blasted Despoiler has used that fact to his advantage and that's why many of our legion flock to his banner.’ 
     Canis glanced over to Ignatius, his face had a pained expression. He could only suspect that the Champion agreed with the Apothecary. ‘So you hate him then?’ he asked. 
     The Apothecary gave a weak chuckle ‘I hate him Canis, I also hate that I can’t help but love him despite what he has done. It’s that one fact why I think many within the third don’t join the Despoiler. We all are still desperately clutching at that hope of him returning, we are all wringing our hands wondering what will be the deathblow which will render the third legion to true obscurity! Yet our great leaders like Fabius or perhaps our captain have no wish to unite us!’ 
     This was pure frustration, straight from both his hearts. ‘I’ve heard of Eidolon, he’s attempting to unite the legion.’ 
     ‘He’s uniting the legion to serve Abbadon! I don’t trust him and Lucius!? He is like Achilios but far worse! One death and he could vanish from our sight and end up half a galaxy away!’ 
     He rubbed his neck, he didn’t know what to say. He was young, both Phelix and Ignatius have seen so much compared to him. Even so this whole event was enlightening, he was about to say something but he closed his mouth instead. The Apothecary turned away from him and continued walking. Ignatius shook his head ‘Phelix is the most passionate out of the lot of us but he always speaks the truth.’ 
     The Champion followed after the Apothecary, Canis was left alone for the moment strangely he wondered what could he do to help fix the situation? The desire to right this wrong was slowly filling his hearts. He nodded and hurried after the two who will lead him to the upper levels. 

Edited by Shinros, 25 June 2019 - 10:01 PM.


#13
Shinros

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Chapter 8

He paced the temple waiting for the Matron, when his master left with the other Space Marines the cult leader hurried away, where she was going he had no idea, he didn’t care. He only remained in the Temple because it was dangerous outside for if a slave walks the lower levels without their master they are free game for those who stalks the hallways.  
     Sarcio stopped pacing and rubbed his hands together, they were tingling. It was like something or someone was pricking them gently. His eyes began darting to each of the statues within the Grand Matron’s temple, it felt like the statues were watching him, waiting for an opportunity to pounce. He could only assume whatever deity the fools worship on this blasted ship was seeking an opportunity, it was waiting for one slip up, a moment of weakness so it could worm it’s way into his soul. His mind drifted back to the conversation between his new master and the Grand Matron, she didn’t want to force him to convert and oddly he believed her. 
     The reason why he felt she wasn’t lying at the moment was because the foul entity watching over the ship most likely delights in watching people fall themselves. He’s seen it too many times, people throw themselves at the opportunity at some medium of comfort. They wanted to make sense of their suffering, that there was some holy purpose to it. Sarcio spat on the ground, his saliva sizzled on the floor. The ground was using his saliva up like some manner of fuel, he imagined that’s what the foul entity wanted. To use them, to suck up their suffering and false worship so it can grow. 
     Sarcio shook his head. ‘Stop dwelling on it, that’s how it gets in…’ he said to himself. 
     He tried to think of his sister, while avoiding uttering her name in this place. When he was first enslaved he learned quite quickly that names had some manner of power here. It was why he changed his own name and forced his sister to change her’s. He made his sister, Amara swear to never get close to the cultists here. She should only take what she needed from them. ‘I hope you’re okay Amara, don’t fall for their tricks...’ 
     As he spoke the silk curtain moved and out came the Grand Matron along with another individual. They were wearing a purple robe and kept at least six paces behind the Matron. Sarcio cocked his head six paces? He thought to himself. Why would I care about that? 
     He shook his head and pushed the troubling thought away, another danger was to dwelling on things. The Grand Matron approached the altar and sighed. ‘The tidings are grim.’ she said smoothly.
     Sarcio raised his eyebrow at the proclamation. ‘You have bad news then? By the way who were you talking to?’
     The Matron chuckled to his questions ‘Yes I have bad news and do you really wish to know who I sought contact with?’
     He frowned at the answer, he should’ve known better. The less knowledge he has the longer can keep his sanity. ‘I understand your point, so what has this “contact” told you?’ 
     The Grand Matron shook her head. ‘My contact speaks of death and hardship, our dear Canis is in trouble.’ 
     ‘Trouble?’ 
     ‘Yes, trouble. Sarcio you’ve never been on the upper levels it’s like a different world up there. They prop themselves up like nobles, sipping on wine and engaging in activities that would want to make one tear their eyes own eyes from their sockets.’ 
     Sarcio could say that the Matron most likely engage in those same activities but mentioning that would most likely anger her. He folded his arms in annoyance. ‘What does it matter? Such things happen on the lower levels depending on where one goes. Are you afraid that Canis will be caught up in it? Is it the fear that he will forget you?’
     The Grand Matron slowly cocked her head ‘what are you trying to say Sarcio?’ There was a slight edge to her voice, it was then Sarcio cursed inwardly. 
     He raised his hands to calm the Matron down, but he knew it would be an empty gesture. ‘Apologie-’ The word died on his lips as a cold chill ran through his body. He could feel a soft hand slipping around his throat, when it squeezed Sarcio fell to his knees. He couldn’t breathe, he frantically clawed at the invisible hand attempting to free himself but instead he ended up clawing at his throat. 
     The suffocation mixed with the pain due to clawing his throat was agonising, he fell to his side and as he hit the ground. The cultist behind the Grand Matron removed their hood revealing a golden helmet shaped into an androynous face. Their voice was filtered due to the helm but he recognised the voice anywhere. ‘Mistress, we need him alive.’ the cultist said flatly.  
     The Grand Matron’s head awkwardly returned upright, the force holding his throat vanished. Sarcio gave a gurgled scream of pain. He clutched his throat, the agony brought on by suffocation was slowly drifting away but the pain of his self-inflicted injuries lingered. Sarcio forced himself to his feet, he wouldn’t let pain stop him from talking to the one who was before him. ‘A-Amara?’ he croaked. 
     His sister didn’t look at him, she bought her cowl over her head and looked down slightly while not uttering a single word to him. The gesture hurt him greatly, more than his own injuries. In the end, who could he blame but himself? He made his sister stay with mad cultists for “safety.” He thought it would be better if she stayed here instead of dealing with the day to day life of the lower levels. Was it worth it? He said to himself. 
     Sarcio dropped his hands from his throat, he shook his head. No it wasn’t. His fingers felt cold despite being covered with his own lifeblood, he wondered if it was the realisation that he was a fool? An idiot who delivered their own sister to a cult? It would be easier if I just let go, I could be with her and then I would never have to look over my shoulder.
     ‘It would be easier…’ he said slowly. 
     Of course it would be, food, wine and pleasure would be at my fingertips. 
     ‘There would also be no more heartache or hardship. I will know only bliss and joy…’ 
     I want that with all my hear- 
     The sound of the temple door opening silenced his thoughts, he could hear his own voice screaming in rage at the back of his mind. The howls of fury slowly became distant as the sound of the temple door was replaced by the servo’s of power armour. Sarcio’s gaze drifted from his sister to the Grand Matron who tutted.
     When the servo’s stopped Sarcio looked up to his right to see his master he seemed unsure about something, strangely his throat no longer hurt either. He touched it and bought his fingers to his eyes there was no blood. Canis grunted, causing his attention to flick back to his Lord. ‘What are you doing slave?’ 
     Sarcio scratched his head, he was oddly confused. ‘I-I don’t know.’ 
     His master frowned at him, Canis then bought his attention to the Grand Matron. ‘I’m leaving for the upper levels. I just wished to thank you for what you have done for me.’
     The Matron shook her head ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’ 
     His master raised his eyebrow, confusion started to set into his face. ‘Why?’ 
     ‘I’ve made contact with the Neverborn that graces this most holy temple and it only had dire warnings.’ 
     ‘Warnings?’ Sarcio picked up the slight edge on his master’s voice. Since he was a zealot he placed more stock in whatever the viper says, but why should he care? The Matron merely wished for him to serve Canis to his best capacity. 
     ‘Death is only waiting for you on the upper levels my child. The lower levels still linger on your flesh and that would be your doom. The Astartes above won’t take kindly to your brutal honesty.’ 
     Canis looked back slightly to the temple doors. ‘The upper level Astartes are outside, will they betray me?’ 
     ‘No. I know those two well, despite their appearance they are dissatisfied with the current rule.’ The Grand Matron replied.       
     His master faced the viper, he seemed... deflated. ‘Is there way to avoid my death? What if I stay here?’ 
     ‘Then you will never rise Canis, that’s what the Neverborn said. If you want my opinion? I say go, perhaps the Dark Prince has a plan in mind for you?’ 
     ‘Maybe… In the end if Slaanesh wants my soul who am I to deny him his due?’ His master turned away and began walking to the doors. Sarcio followed after Canis, when they reached the door his master turned slightly and pushed back. ‘Stay here.’ 
     ‘What why!?’ Sarcio didn’t understand why he was raising his voice, but he didn’t want to be left behind here. 
     ‘I might die, but if I have to return here I would like a decent slave to return to. Humans like you are hard to come by.’ Canis said flatly. 
     There it was, the utilitarian aspect of his Space Marine mind was at work. He knew he wouldn’t budge, the young Astartes normally sticks to his decisions. ‘Yes my lord, I will stay and wait for your return.’ 
     Canis nodded and left the temple, Sarcio looked back to the altar. He rested his gaze on his sister specifically, in a strange way this was an opportunity to tear his sister away from the cult. That will be his mission for now. 
 
***
The Grand Matron watched her child leave, the one she raised that will usher her followers into the light of the upper levels. It was the dream she obsessed over ever since Achilios banished her despite all she gave him. She doubted the Lord of the warband even remembered her. At this point she wanted to wound Achilios, to prove him wrong. It was the only way the venom she had for the Space Marine would crawl away. 
     Yet the plan was at a standstill, her mind drifted to the warning sent by the Neverborn Alexian The Dominator. Images of the shrine within her personal chamber flashed before eyes, the golden statue was smooth and the body of Alexian was androgynous. The daemon’s bovine face displayed the epitome of strength and virility. She could even hear it’s warning, Alexian’s smooth voice was bouncing within her skull. 
     +Death waits for the dog Selene, you cannot stop it or impede it. Let the thing off it’s leash and then I'll be able to see if the creature will be worth my time.+
     The Grand Matron clutched her arm as the images ceased, her benefactor gave her much ever since the Achilios banished her, but it would be unwise to trust Alexian completely. She decided to focus on what was before her, Sarcio was approaching the altar. He gave a weak shrug. ‘Seems, I’m stuck with you for now.’ 
     The Grand Matron considered her answer, the fool should know his place after she almost crushed his windpipe but when it comes to extremely paranoid there was no telling what they might do. In Sarcio’s case his sister was the object of his obsession, he hides it quite well but she knew full well that people would go to extreme lengths to protect family. In the end she meant what she said to Canis, she had no desire to force faith. One had to come to it naturally to appreciate the gifts the Dark Prince can provide. ‘I will have a room prepared for you, if you would wait here.’ 
     Sarcio shrugged again, the Grand Matron shook her head. She turned away and left the altar, Amara followed behind her. She wondered if perhaps staying here would allow the Sarcio to see that they are not enemies? She hoped that would be the case.     
 

Edited by Shinros, 26 June 2019 - 04:33 PM.


#14
Shinros

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Chapter 9
Achilios was at his table, he wished to contact the Ship Master. He just realised the ship hasn’t moved yet. Vicus was now gone, so there was no one around who could uplift his sour mood which was now building. If he used his slaves to create music, their pieces would anger him for they could not match the mastery of his brother. 
     He rubbed his temples, he could feel a headache setting in which was strange since Space Marines rarely get any. He sighed and pushed the button on his table, the small light beeped for several moments which grated on his nerves. 
     Albaster knew better than to keep him waiting, there were many who wished to be the Ship Master, he was replaceable. He has taken several captains from Laxim to ensure that the current Ship Master was aware of that fact. The small light beeped exactly ten more times until the face of his Ship Master manifested from the projector. 
     Achilios, folded his arms. He could see the fool was nervous about something. His powdered face was steadily becoming ruined by his own bodily fluids. Strangely he could smell the human’s putrefying sweat clogging his nose. ‘So Albaster, are there any problems?’ he asked the question softly to give the appearance that he wasn’t upset.
     The human gulped before responding. ‘My Lord, I know you told me to head to Laxim but there is a… problem.’
     ‘There’s a problem Albaster? But you are the best captain among those on the ship or did I make a mistake making you Ship Master?’
     ‘N-no! You never make mistakes my Lord! The issue is with the navigator!’ 
     Achilios raised his eyebrow, rarely has Lady Alisia ever caused any problems. If she was keeping them from heading to Laxim then it might truly not be Albaster’s fault that the delay occurred. ‘Has Alisia told you why she is holding you back? Be truthful Albaster.’ He flashed the Ship Master a smile. 
     The human dabbed his brow with a handkerchief, ruining his makeup further. ‘According to the navigator the tides of the warp are extremely turbulent. If we enter now…’ 
     Albaster’s voice trailed off, to his own ears the human was making excuses. Why would Slaanesh keep one of his favoured champions from their destination? He hated mortal weakness, he despised their frailty. ‘So she gave you a warning correct?’ 
     ‘Y-yes my lord, I-I-’ 
     ‘No excuses Albaster, I don’t want to hear it.’ Achilios interrupted. ‘Get the ship moving, my favour will carry us to my destination.’
     ‘Ver-’ 
     He pushed the button on his table to shut off the holo-projector, cutting off the Ship Master. Achilios moved to rub his temples again, the headache was becoming more intense. He decided once he reached Laxim he would kill the fool, the headaches could only be a message from the Dark Prince. It was a warning to not tolerate failure, for the failure of others could reflect upon himself. 
     As he removed his hands from his head, he picked up the sounds of his chamber door opening. He slowly turned to the door, his visitors were not exactly a surprise but it was the individual they had with them that caused his eyebrow to rise slightly. Ignatius came forward and bowed, he gestured to the unknown Astartes. His armour was battered and his face was ruddy. Save his lower body everything about the Space Marine Ignatius and Phelix bought to him was offensive to his eyes.
     His champion was about to open his mouth to speak but he was cut off as Achilios drew his blade and pointed it at the refuse. ‘Get that thing out of my chamber!’ he shrieked. 
     Phelix shook his head. ‘M-My lord, he’s blessed by the Dark Prince. Among those of the lower levels he might be worth our time.’ 
     Achilios’ gaze shot towards the Apothecary who flinched. ‘You think something as ugly as that is fit to grace my sight!? How dare you! How foolish are you Phelix!?’ 
     The Apothecary dropped to one knee. ‘I humbly apologise my lord, I had no wish to offend you.’ 
     ‘But you did offend me!’ His eyes shifted back to Ignatius. ‘I expected something like this from the Apothecary, but from you!?
     Ignatius bowed again. ‘Apologies my lord, do not blame Phelix it was my idea to bring young Canis to the upper levels.’ 
     The name of the creature caused his mind to pulse with pain, the creature was violating his very space. Achilios took deep breaths to calm himself down. He could just punish Ignatius like always and then he will feel better, that’s after he kills the refuse.
     ‘All of this is a farce.’ 
     The voice that entered his ears didn’t belong to Phelix or Ignatius, it was far too gruff and also young. Achilios’ attention shifted to the ugly thing in his chamber. ‘Did you just say something?’ 
     ‘I did.’ said the refuse. ‘I can see why so many on the upper levels are spineless fools. You tore them out. You’ll never succeed, You will fail. I honestly can’t see why Theseus allows you to lead. You’re Pathe-’ 
     Ignatius quickly drew his blade and stabbed the refuse. The surprise attack clearly caught it off guard. His Champion stabbed the fool five more times, he then pushed the creature off his blade, there was a wet splat as the refuse hit the ground. 
     His slaves didn’t react to the death of the fool, most likely even they could smell his muddied blood. Achilios tapped his chest to calm himself down, he pointed his blade at the Apothecary. ‘Get rid of the corpse.’ 
     In silence Phelix rose, he walked over to the corpse and grabbed it by the legs and then dragged it from the room. Achilios then regarded his Champion who sheathed his blade, he faced him and dropped to his knees. ‘If you wish to punish me for my foolish mistake I won’t stop you my lord.’ 
     ‘Ignatius you are always so willing to be punished by me, but not this time. Leave me, I deny you.’ 
     His champion clenched his hands and got to his feet, he turned away and left his room in silence. Achilios sighed and rubbed his temples, his headache became like a cascade. He wondered why must he always suffer for the sake of fools?
 
***
 
Phelix cursed as he dragged the dead idiot down the hallway, the fool just had to open his mouth, he just had to be blunt. He imagined if Canis kept silent he could of figured out a way to get them out of that situation, yet the fool just had to press Achilios. He sighed inwardly. I should've known this would happen. Phelix said to himself. 
     Thankfully the mortals within the hallways kept to themselves but they were curious about what he was doing. They were like vultures attracted to meat, he imagined the pampered slaves were thirsty for the flesh of one of Fulgrim’s sons. But the humans know better, they pursue other avenues in order to get what they want.
     The mortals normally begin hanging around the upper level Astartes who were less influential, they offer compliments to the victim to the point of giving themselves to the Space Marine and too many, too often dip their hand in the honey pot. They will soon find themselves unable to remove their hand and then from the shadows swarms of mortals will come to partake of the Astartes flesh. 
     Phelix grunted ‘at least you won’t be food, or worse a toy for humans.’ 
     He kept pulling until after several minutes of travel he arrived at his quarters that was both his personal chamber and his lab. As he approached the door it opened automatically, entering the lab his assistants who were the greatests medicae’s from Laxim swarmed him. The mortal’s battered him with questions until someone coughed. The humans questions ceased, they stepped back to reveal Cafri, she wore a white medicae coat, her right brow was covered with piercings and so was her lips. She also wore earrings shaped into the sigil of the Dark Prince. 
     ‘A new one my lord?’ 
     ‘Yes a new one Cafri.’ Phelix dropped the legs of Canis. ‘Normal procedure, gene seed extraction.’ 
     Phelix walked past the humans, he stopped next to his favoured assistant and looked down to her. ‘Be careful though, he’s… Weird.’ 
     ‘Weird my lord? But he is dead?’ 
     ‘That’s the issue, Slaanesh likes the weird ones. It’s just a warning.’ 
     Cafri nodded in understanding. ‘I see, I will get the medical theatre ready then. Will you be joining us my Lord?’
     Phelix mumbled to himself, he then sighed. ‘To be on the safe side I will handle the procedure personally.’ 
     Cafri gave him a joyful smile in return to his words. ‘It’s been awhile since all of us last seen you at work my lord.’
     He couldn’t help but groan slightly, his eyes swept over to his lab. The chairs where humans are ground down into drugs was still bloody, the lines of operating tables and the door that lead to his personal chamber. Phelix wondered if he would ever get more than this? He wished he could feel proud of his work, he wanted to make narcotics that could send the mind into a frenzy but at the moment he is stuck making sedatives for a mad warlord. 
     Day in, day out he has to cut apart his brothers who die due to Achilios’ lunacy, Canis was just another corpse on the pile. 

Edited by Shinros, 27 June 2019 - 10:41 PM.


#15
Tarvek Val

Tarvek Val

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Nice continuation of the story. I'm seeing some excellent development over the different segments and am enjoying your work! I must say, I was surprised to see Canis taken out so quickly - though I doubt we've seen the end of him yet! 

 

Keep up the good work.


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"Our holy hatred will make us free!" ~Nameless Dark Apostle

 

"Though my guards may sleep and ships may rest at anchor, our foes know full well that big guns never tire." ~Huron Blackheart

 

"You shall stand in midnight clad, your claws forever red with the lifeblood of my father's failed empire, warring through the centuries as the talons of a murdered god. Rise, my sons, and take your wrath across the stars, in my name. In my memory. Rise, my Night Lords." ~Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter

 

"So... How are you?" ~Cyrion, First Claw

 

 


#16
Shinros

Shinros

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Nice continuation of the story. I'm seeing some excellent development over the different segments and am enjoying your work! I must say, I was surprised to see Canis taken out so quickly - though I doubt we've seen the end of him yet! 

 

Keep up the good work.

Thanks! On dakka one more regular readers has a running joke where he asks me if I roll a dice when it comes to killing people in my stories. biggrin.png



#17
Shinros

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Chapter 10
Canis’s eyes fluttered open, he yawned and scratched his stomach. When he felt flesh he blinked rapidly, he sat up and looked around. His mouth slowly dropped as he realised he was sitting on grass. 'A field? Why am I here? Wh-' 
     He then felt a sharp stab within his mind, he saw flashes of being stabbed several times by Ignatius, it happened so quickly. When the visions ceased, his eyes drifted down to his chest, to his shock all six wounds were present and still bleeding. But the wounds caused no pain, he couldn’t even feel them. He got up to his feet and brushed himself down, he found it perplexing that all of his armour above his waist was gone. He could be attacked at any moment, he might even be in hostile territory. 
     He looked up towards the clear blue sky and sniffed the air. His nose prickled at the scent of flowers, it was coming from the north. His eyes came back down, he looked around for a moment but he couldn’t see any flowers within reasonable distance. ‘Are my senses playing tricks on me?’ he said to himself. 
     He got up to his feet and brushed himself down, he found it perplexing that all of his armour above his waist was gone. He could be attacked at any moment, he might even be in hostile territory. He looked up towards the clear blue sky and sniffed the air. His nose prickled at the scent of flowers, it was coming from the north. His eyes came back down, he looked around for a moment but he couldn’t see any flowers within reasonable distance. ‘Are my senses playing tricks on me?’ he said to himself.
     Canis snarled, the ones who betrayed him must of done something. They might have imprisoned his soul or cursed him. He clutched his hands and ground his teeth. ‘Bastards..’ he hissed. He shook his head, for now he had to bury his hatred, there must be some way to escape wherever he was. Canis folded his arms, he could follow the scent of flowers or go another direction since the scent might be a trick. ‘Or… It could be a trial?’ 
     The Grand Matron warned him he was going to die, it was unavoidable but the Dark Prince must have a plan, he had to believe there was more to this. Canis nodded and ran after the scent. He ran at top speed, chasing the guiding hand of his God. 
     After almost running for what seemed like an age Canis spotted something in the distance, it was large enough where he could make out that the figure was huge. He almost slowed down his sprint due to a chill of apprehension running through his body. Canis bit his tongue causing it to bleed, forcing the misquiet within his body slowly ebb away. He wasn’t a coward like the rest of them. Phelix and Ignatius was too weak to change anything, The Lord who despised him acts like a king but he is sitting on a mound of excrement and Theseus? He failed the warband, he refuses to use his gifts to lead the host to glory and power. 
     Weakness nips at the ankles of his warband, he refused to be like them. He had no desire to become like them. When he reached the figure he realised it’s back was towards him. They were wearing an elaborate silk cape, jewelry crossed the red fabric as well. To his eyes the one before him must be someone important. It was kneeling, it was also humming a strange tune that set his hearts at ease as well. 
     Canis called out to it. ‘Who are you!’ 
     The creature’s head bobbed up slightly, revealing almost crimson coloured hair. The figure rose to its full height, whatever it was the creature towered over him. +So you’ve come to me?+ 
     The voice of the figure was completely androynous, it was firm and it’s words seemed wet to his ears. To Canis it felt like someone was caressing his heart, setting him at ease. ‘W-Who are you?’ his voice was shaking slightly, but he refused to be daunted by the creature before him.
     The creature slowly turned to him, Canis’ mouth dropped as his eyes took in the full form of Alexian. It’s cape was attached to it’s wrists, it’s face was a mixture between a human and a bovine creature. His-her face was the epitome of perfection. The jewelry, stockings and the very flower she was holding wove her beauty together that made his hearts soar. Canis almost started to drool until a question began flickinger in his mind. ‘Alexian? Ho-’
     +Did I know your name?+ Alexian leaned down and placed the flower in his hair, the movement was smooth. +As you already know I am Alexian The Dominator, the one who mounts worlds, The Bringer of Indecency, Maiden of Darkness and Lord of Defilement.+ 
     Canis slowly nodded ‘yes my Lady, but… Why am I here?’ 
     Alexian leaned back, she flicked her nose ring. +To see if you are worth my time.+
     ‘Worth your time? What do you mean?’ 
     +Are you like the rest? That is what I want to find out, so tell me, what do you think of your warband?+ 
     Canis snarled ‘They’re weak! Pitiful!’
     +Why do you think that’s the case?+ 
     He pressed his hand upon one of his stab wounds, what Ignatius did was cowardice. Along with the Apothecary they both whine and complain about the state of the warband but yet they do nothing. The warband needed a proper a pillar, one that does not bend to the fancies of a foolish Chaos Lord. ‘They complain, but they do not act. Achilios, the lord of warband acts as if he is the highest in the eyes of Slaanesh. Thesues… He sits in a burning house and acts as if everything is fine.
     Alexian stroked her chin +good answer, yet this all links back to your father.+ 
     ‘How is he involved? He’s not making them all act like fools.’
     +But he is, Fulgrim has left a gaping hole in the hearts of the sons he left behind. It’s why many younger or disillusioned members of the third march under the flag of the Despoiler.+
     ‘Why should the actions of traitors matter to me?’ 
     +At least your set on the right track when it comes to those who betray your father. What I wish to give you is context.+
      ‘Context?’ 
     +Yes, for your brothers cannot understand why your father lingers in the warp. Context can assuage their fears, context will let them press forward.+ 
    Alexian swept his arms out, the fields evaporated and the skies dissolved. They were now in the void of space. Canis was in awe of the stars, planets and suns that appeared before his eyes. Strangely he wanted them all, every single planet in the galaxy should belong to the Emperor’s Children. The other legions kneeled to them during the legion wars, they were respected back then. All of the tales have that one common thread. He was eager to absorb the knowledge Alexian will provide him. 
 
***
Phelix readied his medical tools that was sitting on a table trolley, his assistants were all standing several paces back from the operating table to give him space. He reached for the scalpel first to cut Canis open. He told the young Space Marine when he was human that he wasn’t going to last long and like always he was right. 
     He began lowering his scalpel to Canis’ dead flesh he was about to make the first incision but the lights started to flicker violently for a few moments. The vox then boomed with the voice of the Ship Master. ‘We are entering the warp, it’s highly recommended that all cease any activity that might attract the denizens who dwell within the sea of souls. Have a good day.’ 
     Phelix tutted, the mortal’s high clipped voice always grated on his nerves and he doubted anyone on the ship would take his advice. He sighed and continued his work, when the scalpel touched dead flesh the wounds inflicted by Ignatius suddenly closed. Phelix dropped the medical tool. ‘ Oh Sh-’ 
    Canis shot up from the table causing him to stagger back, the young Space Marine began  clawing at the air, groaning in pain. Panic started to wash over his assistants, they haven’t seen anything like this before but he wasn’t worried, he could not help but feel mildly annoyed. Phelix folded his arms. ‘Are you done yet?’ 
     The fool stopped flailing, the blush of life began to flood through his body but his eyes became black orbs that shone slightly. Canis turned his head to him. ‘H-How long was I dead for?’ 
     Phelix wondered if he should answer, after all the one before him could be a daemon. He removed his bolt pistol from his holster and pointed it at the creature. ‘I’ll ask the questions, what are you?’ 
     ‘It’s me, Canis. I could harm you but I won’t, since I quite like you Phelix, I… Respect you greatly.’ 
     The idiot sounded absolutely calm, mature as well. Strangely his skin felt oddly slmily as the daemon spoke, he didn’t like it. ‘So you’re definitely a daemon then, you’re acting different. You’ve been dead for about an hour.’ 
     ‘An hour? That’s it? How interesting…’ The daemon shifted his legs to the side of the operating bed, he then crossed his legs. He started to chuckle lightly to himself. ‘Only an hour…’ 
     ‘Are you going to start making sense daemon?’ 
     ‘I’m not a daemon Phelix, I’m merely older and wiser than I was before. That’s it.’
     ‘Older? Wiser? You still look like a fool to me.’ 
     ‘The only fool here is you Apothecary, you whine and complain about your situation but do nothing to change it. You wait for others to fix it for you, since you are too weak to do so. How does it feel to push your weakness onto our father? Is that how you gnash upon the bars of your cage?’ 
     Phelix shot the side of the bed causing a large chunk to explode as the mass-reactive shells crashed upon it.  He didn’t need to hear this from a daemon, they prick at false insecurities, twist them so they can manipulate and tear people down. ‘You don’t know me daemon…’ Phelix hissed.
     ‘I know enough.’ The creature hopped off the operating bed, he walked over until the bolt pistol pressed upon his chest. ‘I saw how you all fell, I saw how you enjoyed lauding over the other legions within the eye of terror, I saw how you lost it all and I saw the aftermath of that loss.’ 
     The daemon placed his hand on his wrist, Phelix couldn’t deny how affectionate it was. Despite the eyes of the creature being black like the void, he could see that they were trying to reach out. To create the brotherhood that was once lost, but he couldn’t believe it. He didn’t want to. ‘I want to believe you… B-But, I can’t.’ 
     ‘Why can’t you? Brother, listen to me. Nothing will change if you back out now, glory won’t be ours unless we act. Enough blaming father, he’s seen too much, experienced things we cannot comprehend so don’t blame him for leaving us.’
     Hearing of Fulgrim caused Phelix to pull his arm from the daemon’s grip, he planted the bolt pistol on the creature’s head. ‘I can and I will blame him! He is our father! Our war leader and guiding light! When he left us...When he abandoned us...That was when we started to fall...’ his voice was straining, but Canis’ face displayed absolute passivity.                    
     ‘He’s a daemon now Phelix, he doesn’t see things as we do. He’s an extension of the dark prince, as I said he has been through wonders we cannot comprehend. But I can assure you he will stir soon, the web of the one true god is now moving brother.’ 
     ‘What’s moving? What are you aware of that I’m not?
     ‘The galaxy will be split in two, the primarch’s will look towards reality as a leader of man rises from his deathless sleep brother.’ 
     Phelix couldn’t believe what he was hearing, the galaxy will be split in two? The primarchs will cast their eyes to reality again? The need  to blast the daemon away began to creep into his body, he wanted to end it’s lies here, yet his hearts wanted to believe. The question was which should he listen to? His mind or his hearts? Killing the daemon means he will lose a golden opportunity that may never arise again. Phelix gave a long sigh, he removed his bolt pistol from the daemon’s forehead ‘What do I have to lose?’ he said flatly. 
     ‘Nothing brother, trust me. I shall tell you again I’m not a daemon. You experienced an hour, I’ve been through several lifetimes.’ The daemon flashed a smile. ‘Don’t worry I won’t snarl anymore. I grew out of it.’
     Phelix grunted while shoving his bolt pistol into the holster. He had to admit Canis was favoured, many among the warband haven’t actually been blessed yet. The young Space Marine should of died in the temple but Slaanesh restored him. To his knowledge the Dark Prince has a history with restoring his chosen to life. At the same time the fool still had the same bluntness, he was just more eloquent now. ‘So where do we start?’ Phelix asked. 
     ‘We have to go back to the lower levels, the Grand Matron’s cult must be made ready for the invasion.’ 
     ‘Invasion? What Invasion?’ 
     Canis chuckled to his question ‘Laxim isn’t in the best state right now…’
     The words from Canis didn't surprise Phelix for if the Imperium caught even a small hint of Laxim they would invade without hesitation. The question was how would Achilios handle such news? He imagined he would handle it quite poorly.
 

Edited by Shinros, 04 July 2019 - 02:09 PM.


#18
Shinros

Shinros

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Chapter 11

Sarcio shifted on his bed, his back felt odd due to the soft mattress. Looking around the room the Matron has given to him he felt oddly dizzy, it was far too spacious for his liking. It was larger than the room he shares with Canis. Sarcio sat up and frowned. ‘Being drawn into a single comfort is a danger…’ he said under his breath. 
     Comfort to him was nonexistent for his whole life, he and his sister was bound to a Magos who was head Enginseer of a Space Station. He called them his apprentices but they were essentially slaves, any meager task the Magos didn’t feel like doing it was foisted upon them. They worked with the ratings who aided them in performing maintenance and other basic tasks. Since he was bound with a Magos he was given a rad-suit, but he had to watch good men and women slowly die due to radiation poisoning. Hair falling at the reams, the loss of teeth and bloodshot eyes. 
     Worse of all his sister had the task of making sure the bodies which are not contaminated are reprocessed into food for the workers. They worked and worked, until their fingers bled in the hope that their Magos would elevate them. The red robes he wore was but a prop, the knowledge he has now was gleaned from his master’s ramblings and observing his work. One time he sought to touch any of the tools or machinery, to feel the cold metal under his palm. His old master caught him in the act and threatened to remove his hands for soiling them. 
     He was going to make good on that threat until the station was attacked by the warband, everyone was armed and forced to fight with the Skitarii in order to defend the station. The fight was hopeless and meaningless, the heretic Astartes tore through the Skitarii forces. So he feld, right back to the Magos. His workshop was in disarray and his sister was trying to calm their master down to no avail. The Magos shrieked at them, he demanded that they give their lives so he could escape.
     The desire to kill the Magos creeped into his body, everyone on the station gave their lives to protect a selfish man. One who would use up their lives in a heartbeat, he raised his shotgun to shoot but a Space Marine barging into the workshop stopped him. Ironically it was Ignatius, the heretic pushed him aside and removed the head of his master in one clean stroke. Seeing the futility in resisting his sister Amara dropped her weapon, He was about to drop his weapon as well but despite their surrender Ignatius used the pommel of his blade to knock them out. 
     ‘After that I woke up with my sister here on the lower levels.’ Sarcio said to himself. He wondered why he was here or why the Astartes left them on the lower levels. He could only assume they process their slaves, ones who are deemed useless for their “needs” are discarded. After the first few days he caught wind of the Grand Matron, in exchange for his service she would look after his sister.
     He now regrets that choice, he explicitly told her not to fall for their lies. To only use their resources to survive. Yet can I blame her? He thought to himself. She saw the opportunity for an eternity of comfort, how could anyone blame another for wanting such a thing after the life they lead? Her hands are most likely are not bleeding anymore. I could have that, why am I still working? 
     The thought just popped in his head, he bought his hand up. It was dirty and he could see the grease and dirt underneath his nails. So dirty, so disgusting. Who am I dirtying my hands for? His mind was unceasing with the questions, each one pricked and prodded his heart. 
     ‘I have no reason to work for the Grand Matron, what am I thinking trying to tear Amara away from the cult? Would someone easily give up their own happiness?’
      Exactly! I deserve happiness as well, I’m so tired, so weak… 
     ‘I am tired and weak…’ He gripped his raised hand and squeezed it tightly. ‘What am I fighting for? Who am I labouring for?’ 
     For myself, I work on power armour. I maintain them, through trial and error I am greater than the Magos who laboured on a pitiful station. 
     ‘That’s true, his work was mainly focused on maintaining the station. The height of my old master’s career was servicing a bolt pistol for a Commissar.’ 
     I have touched bolters, ancient swords and weapons tech priests would dream of just touching. More can be available to me if I just…
     Sarcio’s mind trailed off, he didn’t exactly know what to do. He tried to reach back to what he said to himself a moment before but in return questions began to slam his mind. 
    Why was I born? Do I care about myself worth? Why do I resist? Do I actually enjoy being here? Can I actually save my sister? 
    The questions were so painful, he couldn’t bare it. With each question raised the grip on his own hand began to tighten. 
    Can I change? Do I deserve happiness? Do I deserve blis-
     A knock on his dock silenced the barrage of questions, the grip on his hand slowly loosened, his lips were also trembling and he could feel a cold streak of sweat running down his face. His mind was clear, empty, yet the need to question himself still lingered. The need was suffocating. The knocking caused his mind to throb, it felt-no he knew something or someone was trying to get in. ‘S-Should I get up and let them in?’ he stammered. 
     ‘Sarcio, what are you doing?’
     The voice was filtered, but he recognised it. The knocking also stopped, his head slowly moved to the door but his sister Amara was blocking it. She was standing at the front of his bed. He rubbed his temples gently, the throbbing sensation was also slowly drifting away. 
     ‘H-How did you get in?’ he asked. 
     His sister folded her arms ‘The Matron gave me a key, I thought it would be polite to knock instead of barging in. But when you didn’t answer I thought something might have happened to you.’ 
    The concern was a surprise, he oddly felt happy as well. ‘I-I see, but can you do me a favour?’
     ‘A favour? What do you want?’ 
     ‘Show me your hands.’ Sarcio asked. 
     Amara cocked her head slightly, she was confused that was evident. But she bought her hands forward.  Right away he could see they were clean, clear of any grime or dirt. He then reached out and grasped her hands, she didn’t flinch at the sudden movement. His sister wasn’t even perturbed by hit touch either considering how filthy his hands were. He just wanted to see, to grasp an inkling that he made the right decision to leave his sister here. 
     Moving his thumbs over the top of her hand, they were soft and delicate. It was obvious to him that she hasn’t seen a day of hard work since joining the cult. In that moment the plan to draw his sister away was crumbling. 
     Perhaps my suffering was worth it? Sarcio thought to himself
    ‘It was worth it.’ He said out loud. 
    ‘You can stop Sarcio.’ Amara said softly. ‘One day you might die and I… I cannot bare to see that happen.’
     Sarcio heard his sister’s words but he couldn’t help but stare at her clean hands. He was about to agree with her but he spotted an imperfection. It was small but he could see it as clear as day. Underneath her middle fingernail he spotted a flake of dried blood. When Amara noticed him staring she pulled her hands from his grip, she then lifted them up.
     ‘Look brother, they are clean. My hands wasn’t marred by the grime and dirt that covers your hands. That is his gift, comfort, bliss and perfection.’ 
     Sarcio didn’t believe her, he could still see the dried blood. It was so small, he wondered how he picked it up? ‘Then explain the dried blood, are your hands truly clean sister?’ 
     Confusion began to creep into her eyes but that only lasted a moment, her gaze turned cold and hard. ‘Your always so difficult. You constantly seek the path laid with thorns, why do you make excuses to push off your own happiness?’ 
     ‘I don’t understand? What are you talking about?’
     ‘Think back to the past, you constantly volunteered for the most difficult jobs our old master could provide. Did you want him to praise you? You thought that he would let you into the secrets of the Mechanicus if you allowed him to abuse you?’
     The accusation was confusing, he always worked hard for falling behind deadlines meant death or being turned into a servitor. At the same time his sister could avoid the most dangerous tasks. ‘I-’ 
     ‘You’re going to say you did it for me? What about what I want?’ Amara said firmly. 
     ‘W-What do you mean? 
     ‘You think that if you stop working for the Matron that she is going to eject me from the cult? That I will be cast out to fend for myself?’
     ‘She’s capable of that Amara.’ 
     ‘You don’t know her like I do brother, she wants you to join us but she won’t force the issue if you don’t want it. I’m not being abused, I’m not starving, I am a part of something greater than myself. You’re not a hero Spiro, never were.’ 
     Hearing his actual name caused a spark to be lit within his heart, he narrowed his eyes at his sister. ‘Don’t say my name in these halls.’ 
     ‘I can understand your fear brother, I was like you at first. Changing our names is a good precaution, but the entity that watches over the cult is fully aware of who and what we are.’
     What she was saying sounds like a line drilled into a follower, the spark within his heart suddenly burst into a flame. He directed all of it at his sister. ‘They don’t care! None of them do! To the Matron you are a pawn to make me fall! The entity you worship just wants your soul! The Emperor didn’t aid us in our hour of need! The Omnissiah was silent to our suffering! How can you think that the creatures that live within the sea of souls care about us!?
     ‘What would you call this then?’ 
      Amara reached for her helm, as she removed it from her face a mane of blonde coloured hair fell from the helmet. Her face was just as smooth as her hands, her pale skin didn’t have one single blemish but what captured him were her eyes. She no longer had an iris, but now eyes shone a clear pink. His sister held her helm under her arm, she gave him a soft smile. ‘How is this not love? What colour was my hair before brother?’
     ‘I-It was brown.’ Sarcio stammered. 
     ‘A dirty brown.’ Amara said smoothly. ‘My skin was dirty just like yours, covered in scabs and small sores due to our old work conditions. Yet since joining the cult, with each sacrifice I became perfect, beautiful.’
      He didn’t know what to say, his sister was right she was beautiful. He imagined she could have anyone she wanted wielding that beauty. The fact she has changed so much meant she was lost to him, he thought that maybe she was right? Sarcio was about to open his mouth to speak until he saw his sister’s mouth move slightly. 
     Sarcio closed his mouth, his focus became diverted from his sister’s visage to her mouth specifically. Time strangely began to ebb and as his sister’s mouth moved he caught a black snake-like tongue flicking in and out of her mouth. As he noticed the disfiguration, her supposed beauty fell apart before his eyes. 
     His finger slowly rose, he pointed at her mouth. The gestured caused time to tick forward at it’s normal pace again. ‘Your tongue sister, what happened to it?’
     Amara frowned at him. ‘I don’t know what you are talking about.’ 
     Sarcio chuckled to himself. ‘How long did it take you to practice the motion? You can’t help but flick that black and disgusting tongue, just like a snake. Is that why you wear that helm sister? To hide your disfigurement your so called god gave you?’
     Amara’s face warped, all of the corruption she supped on during his absence came to the surface. Her beautiful visage fell, it became a terrible blend of male and female in all it’s worse aspects. The black tongue she sought to hide flailed out of her mouth. ‘I am beautiful!’ she shrieked. 
     She pulled her knife from her belt and pointed it at him. ‘I sought to console you brother! I wanted us to be a family again! Yet you spit on my face!’
     Sarcio stared impassively at her, he’s seen far worse and has dealt with the fury of an Astartes on many occasions. ‘You spat on mine sister, while I laboured you drank too deeply from well. I assume the tongue was from a possible failure wasn’t it?’
     The hand gripping the knife started to tremble, which meant his words hit the right spot. ‘I don’t perceive myself as a hero sister. The galaxy hates them, I’m just a young man who wished to look after his sister. Yet I failed in that, a hero wouldn’t let their family stay with a mad cult.’
     Amara hissed like a snake and slammed her knife back into its sheath. She then twisted away from him. ‘I don’t need you anymore brother.’ She briskly walked out of his room and slammed the door behind her. 
     Sarcio smiled weakly to himself, he bought up his dirty hands to his eyes. ‘Better dirty than clean.’ he said to himself.
     He sighed and fell back onto his bed, his back squirmed slightly as the soft mattress graced his back, he still hated the sensation. 
 
***
Canis walked out of the chamber with the Apothecary while twisting his wrist, the servo’s of his new armour was smooth. It was only now he realised the poor quality of his previous wargear. He spent so long without armour it oddly feels strange at the same time. 
     ‘What are you doing?’ asked Phelix.
     ‘Appreciating your gift brother, one does not always get gifts from the one they respect the most.’
     The Apothecary groaned in annoyance. ‘Stop calling me that would you?’
     ‘You don’t like that I make it known that I consider you my dearest and most wonderful brother? The most passionate, the most quick witted an-
     ‘You’re aware that you have become insufferable?’ 
     The comment didn’t exactly wound him, but instead it made him smile. ‘I’ll take that as a compliment. See the issue is many would drink deeply of my flattery despite not having done anything worth the comments.’ 
     ‘What’s your point?’
     ‘My point is you keep your eyes on the things that are important, to you and the warband.’ 
     As he spoke a group mortals passed them. Just by a glance the mortals appeared pampered, but he was all too aware that underneath their clothes they have been abused greatly. He considered it abuse because they haven’t been taught her to enjoy pain and suffering. It was a wine all should enjoy. The mortals stopped and bowed, Phelix looked away but Canis instead gave a small and graceful bow in return which stunned the mortals. 
     Confusion swept through them as they hurried away, most likely they were confused and wondering whether they offended him or not. 
     ‘Why did you do that?’ asked Phelix. 
     ‘I appreciate the pain and misery they give to us Phelix, I hope that one day they might enjoy it as well.’His brother tutted, which meant he was sneering. ‘If you sneer too much you’re face is going to that way. 
     Phelix began staring at him, his blue eye lenses drove right into him. He wasn’t happy, that was clear.  ‘I’m not sneering.’ Phelix hissed. 
     ‘Oh really?’ He mimicked the face his brother was making, he could see past the helm but the Apothecary didn’t need to know that yet. Phelix’s lips were pointed up slightly and he was narrowing his green eyes. It was both odd and amusing.
     His brother grunted ‘blasted daemon..’ he said under his breath.
     Canis’ ears twitched, he picked up Phelix’s words easily. He dropped his mimicry and smiled. ‘I’m not a daemon, how many times must I tell you?’
    ‘You act like one.’ phelix responded. 
    ‘So you want me to snarl? You wish me to be abrasive?’
     The apothecary shrugged ‘well actually you’re still abrasive, you just dress up your words better.’
      Canis flashed his brother a smile, he liked how he took things in stride. He imagined that was the trait that caused the Apothecary to work with him. ‘How about we get moving? I don’t want to cross someone doesn’t recognise me.’ 
     Phelix sighed in return. ‘Good point, let’s move.’
     Canis nodded, they made their way to the elevator that would take them to the lower levels but as he walked Canis just realised he didn’t get a chance to take in the sights. Before his first death Ignatius and Phelix rushed him to Achilios’ chamber. 
     So he took time to absorb whatever passed him, from the silks that covered the walls, the swaying chandeliers and the succulent mortals. They were wells of energy that can be tapped to further his Prince’s cause. But nothing beats perfect slaughter, the crashing of bodies and the thunder of battle. That one fact for him hasn’t changed, he couldn’t wait to taste true war on Laxim. ‘So tell me Phelix what’s Laxim like?’ he asked. 
     ‘So you know it’s going to be invaded but you don’t know what it is like?’ Canis picked up the edge of annoyance lacing the Apothecary’s voice, his brother was most likely going to insult him further. 
      ‘Well you’re right, I’m aware of what is going to happen to the world but I don’t know what the planet is like. Please tell me.’ he was genuinely curious, he prefers to learn about the people he may possibly toture and maim. He doubts Achilios will be happy that the nobles of the world allowed the Imperium to mount an invasion. 
     ‘So you’re admitting your still a fool? You learn of a world that is important to our future and you didn’t bother to investigate?’
     There it was, the insult he expected. ‘Well, I had someone who was eager to move on. Actually Laxim is more of a footnote. A large footnote.’ 
     ‘How could losing our main recruitment world be a footnote!? We’ll be crippled!’ 
     ‘We have plenty of humans on the ship that can be converted.’
     ‘Achilios will never use slave stock!’ 
     ‘Oh really?’
     Phelix was about to speak, but held back for a moment. He became less agitated. ‘Something is going to change isn’t it?’
     ‘Maybe.’ Canis answered. 
     ‘Are you really going to leave me hanging like this Canis? I didn’t expect such a thing from someone like you.’ 
     ‘Well what do I know? I’m just an idiot afterall.’
     Canis smiled as Phelix began to grumble to himself, he must have realised that he won’t give anything away. The issue was if he told him exactly what may happen, they might not actually do what is required for them to reach glory. They continued their journey in silence that was until they reached the elevator, an Astartes stopped them from entering.
     Phelix sighed heavily. ‘Sirius what is it?’ 
     Canis eyed the Space Marine blocking their path, Sirius armour was adorned with dangling jewellery and his hand was resting on the pommel of his sheathed blade. Canis made note that his skin tone was about the same as his own but it was slightly lighter, his face had the bearing of nobility. 
     Sirius shook his head ‘are you sneaking up vultures from the lower decks Apothecary?’ 
     Canis made a note to himself that his voice was clipped and clear. He has most likely been pampered his entire life. ‘A vulture? What’s that? I’m new here.’ Canis added. 
     Sirius’ cold gaze fell upon him, he frowned. ‘I wasn’t talking to you.’ 
     He gave a small bow to his supposed better. ‘Apologies for my impertinence my lord but I just had to speak. I find the stories of your feats absolutely fascinating.’
     Canis detected the confusion spreading among them, especially from Phelix but Sirius’ frown turned into a grin. ‘So you’ve heard of me?’ 
    ‘Oh, I have my lord.’ Canis answered. ‘I especially enjoy the tale of how you beheaded six Iron Hands at once during the Dropsite massacre. Your mastery and skill on the battlefield during Horus’ war lead to our father bestowing many accolades upon you.’ 
    Sirius brushed his chest slightly while chuckling. ‘Well, it seems my reputation precedes me. At least someone appreciates my talents.’ The pampered noble glanced slightly at Phelix as he spoke. ‘You should do well not to hang around with this one young Space Marine.’ 
    ‘Stow it Sirius!’ Phelix spat ‘You’re not as important as you think you are!’ 
     Sirius flicked one of the many dangling charms on his armour. ‘Well I’ve received gifts from father, what about you Apothecary? Always hiding in the dark messing with your narcotics, testing your new mixtures on the foolish below. The only reason why you live among us here is because of your skills, your just as ugly, just as weak as those who dwell on the lower levels. One day I will have you exiled.’
     His brother began trembling with fury, it seemed he was about to explode. Canis bought his hands together bringing their attention to himself. ‘My lord I can see there are many things I do not know about Phelix, perhaps this is an opportunity to see how terrible he actually is? What better way to mock those than to allow them to show you their horrible work?’
     Sirius starting laughing harshly, he wiped a tear from his eye. ‘So it seems I’m not the only one who can see how much of a fool Phelix is! Go with my blessing and I assure you if he harms you I will deal with him personally.’ The Prefector regarded his trembling brother. ‘Be sure to give him a tour, as I said don’t harm him or Achilios will hear of this.’ Sirius then strutted away, laughing with each step. 
     Canis smiled ‘that went well.’ 
     Phelix said nothing, he approached the elevator and pushed the button. When the lift arrived they stepped inside and as the doors closed the Apothecary. Gave a scream of frustration, he turned to the wall and began pounding the metal causing large dents. With the sixth punch Phelix twisted towards him. ‘It’s because of people like him that we are in this state!’
     ‘I know.’ Canis answered calmly.
     ‘Sirius is most likely whispering in Achilios’ ear! Guiding him to foolish acts! Ignatius is too weak to act! To foolish to remove Sirius’ head!’ His brother started to steady his breathing. His hands then slowly reached for his helmet, he turned it and as the sound of a hiss entered Canis’ ear a smile began to creep to his lips. 
     Phelix lifted his helmet from his head, crops of white hair fell to his shoulders. The Apothecary’s hair was rather long, longer than Achilios’. Phelix stared at him intently and asked. ‘What we are about to do, whatever it is… Will it be worth it?’ 
     ‘It will be brother I assure you.’ Canis answered. 
     ‘I see…’ 
      The Apothecary surprisingly didn’t return his helmet to his head, instead he clipped it to his belt. His face became absolutely neutral, Canis wondered if this was his resolve hardening? To his eyes that seemed to be the case.
 

 


Edited by Shinros, 07 July 2019 - 02:54 PM.


#19
Tarvek Val

Tarvek Val

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I really enjoyed this segment. It's a credit to your creative ability that you are able to bring in so many characters and make them unique and believable. 

 

One minor nitpick, regarding Sirius:

I especially enjoy the tale of how you beheaded six Iron Hands at once during the Dropside massacre.

 

This would be a near-impossible feat, considering Astartes armor. Consider Heresy-era suits of Astartes armor (Marks I-IV would most likely have been most prevalent at Isstvan). The fact that an Astartes's shoulder pads rise above his helmet would make a decapitation blow difficult, but not impossible... but beheading six legionaries at once comes off as unbelievable. First of all, the user's weapon must have considerable reach, far beyond that of a sword. Secondly, Astartes vary in height - a blow at one's head-level may well strike the chest of another, or miss entirely. Finally, what are the odds that six enemies would be in such close proximity at any one time?

 

This only occurred to me after reading one of the threads in the 'Black Library' forum, but it made me think! 


Edited by Tarvek Val, 09 July 2019 - 03:06 AM.

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"Our holy hatred will make us free!" ~Nameless Dark Apostle

 

"Though my guards may sleep and ships may rest at anchor, our foes know full well that big guns never tire." ~Huron Blackheart

 

"You shall stand in midnight clad, your claws forever red with the lifeblood of my father's failed empire, warring through the centuries as the talons of a murdered god. Rise, my sons, and take your wrath across the stars, in my name. In my memory. Rise, my Night Lords." ~Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter

 

"So... How are you?" ~Cyrion, First Claw

 

 


#20
Shinros

Shinros

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I really enjoyed this segment. It's a credit to your creative ability that you are able to bring in so many characters and make them unique and believable. 

 

One minor nitpick, regarding Sirius:

I especially enjoy the tale of how you beheaded six Iron Hands at once during the Dropside massacre.

 

This would be a near-impossible feat, considering Astartes armor. Consider Heresy-era suits of Astartes armor (Marks I-IV would most likely have been most prevalent at Isstvan). The fact that an Astartes's shoulder pads rise above his helmet would make a decapitation blow difficult, but not impossible... but beheading six legionaries at once comes off as unbelievable. First of all, the user's weapon must have considerable reach, far beyond that of a sword. Secondly, Astartes vary in height - a blow at one's head-level may well strike the chest of another, or miss entirely. Finally, what are the odds that six enemies would be in such close proximity at any one time?

 

This only occurred to me after reading one of the threads in the 'Black Library' forum, but it made me think! 

Thanks!

 

Now onto the head slicing, see that's the thing, since EC is my favourite legion I have often asked my self "what is their culture?" As we know Ultramarines are Greco-Roman, Dark Angels have some native Indian mixed in with knights. Now when it came to EC, the main thing I zero in are their feats at doing "the near-impossible." That's what makes them special in my eyes, they commit acts that defy sense or sound absolutely impossible. For example Fulgrim wanted to conquer a world with only seven warriors, on paper that sounds quite out there. Yet as we know the story was more....Mundane. Now what Sirius did is a tale, a story. That story might of got more "embellished" as time went on. (Also holding back spoilers because I may look back to the Dropsite Masscare for this warband.)

 

As Canis said these days many EC fall for simple flattery aka butt kissing. 


Edited by Shinros, 09 July 2019 - 07:16 PM.


#21
Shinros

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Chapter 12
Sarcio entered the main temple hall, at first he thought to go on a walk but remembered he was essentially trapped within the holdings of a cult. He imagined the actual temple he is standing in now was simple window dressing to hide their true rites and worship from prying eyes. Strangely that meant this was the safest place he could be at the moment. 
     After his conversation with Amara he couldn’t shake the feeling that the bed was a trap. In his mind it was a way to get a new prospect to think of relaxing, to get them to admit that they can be safe on this ship. He knew that was a lie, one that many fall for. But how could he blame such people? His own sister fell for it gladly, what hurt him even more was the fact he had no grounds to blame her for the decision. 
     She sought cleaner hands and that was what her god gave her. Sarcio sighed and walked over to the broken statue. The blood has dried, he could spot pieces of meat under the rubble. Normal people would find the sight horrific, but he has seen people die of radiation poisoning. Such sights could wear down one’s soul to nothing. He guessed that was the reason why he eventually stopped caring for the ratings. 
     ‘I’m not a hero, never was…’ he said to himself. 
     As those words passed his lips there was a large bang on the temple doors, his head flicked towards it. There was another bang, the force caused the doors to shudder. Sarcio wanted to step back, to run away but was oddly transfixed by the doors. He gulped and that was when the door was struck a third time with far more increased force. There was a fourth bang and now he took a step back, fear began to fill his heart. Whatever was on the other side was after him, it was an animal that wanted him destroyed. 
     At the sound of the fifth bang Sarcio turned away, for some reason he knew that if he heard that sound again it would be the end. He couldn’t get rid of the feeling, he was about to break into a sprint until a large hand came down upon his shoulder. The sound of the hand touching it was light, almost soft but the individual who grasped his shoulder turned him around roughly. 
     Sarcio bought his hands up and closed his eyes ‘w-wait! D-Don’t hurt me!’ he shouted.
     ‘What? Relax Sarcio.’ Canis responded. 
      The voice as calm and soothing. Yet there was something wrong, he could detect that he was being solicitous. He was never like that before, at the same time Sarcio’s skin oddly felt slimy as well. He slowly opened his eyes to see his master looking down to him, his void coloured eyes caused his heart to almost jump out of his chest. 
      Canis was reading him at the moment, he could feel it. Sarcio started to sweat, he shook his head. ‘S-So you didn’t die?’ his voice was shaking, he had no idea what his master will do for the first time. 
      ‘Well.. I did, Ignatius stabbed me six times. Can you believe it?’ 
       He could say he wasn’t surprised that he was betrayed the question was if he died how by Terra has his master come back to life? He wasn’t all that special compared to the other masters he has served in the past. The smart move would be to just accept it. ‘I-I see, so what do you aim to do now my lord?’ 
     ‘Well Sarcio we have to prepare for war.’ 
     ‘War? What war?’
     ‘Laxim is under attack right now, but in order for the warband to survive I have to make sure things are in order.’ 
      The Apothecary came over and frowned at his master. ‘What do you mean it’s under attack right now?’ 
      ‘As I said Phelix Laxim is under attack don’t you remember? I imagine in a few hours the world will be taken.’ 
      ‘Taken!?’ Phelix shouted. 
      ‘It’s not that big of a deal really.’ Canis replied. 
       Sarcio watched as his master and the Apothecary began bickering. Canis was oddly speaking in a calm manner while Phelix was shrieking. It was odd seeing his master calm, normally he would be biting back or snarling. What was also strange was the fact the slimy sensation that was grasping his body before was gone. He now felt calm and reassured in Canis’ presence. But despite that feeling he had to get away from him, his mind was reeling at the change. 
     ‘Is something going on?’ asked the Grand Matron. 
     The Space Marines stopped arguing, strangely his master also turned him around to face the curtain he came from before. As Sarcio was forced to face the curtain the Grand Matron was passing through them with his sister.
    The Matron walked over to them, her entire attention was bent towards his master. He could see a small ounce of surprise crawling over her form.
     ‘So you’ve returned Canis.’ she said joyfully. 
     ‘I have Selene.’ Canis responded. 
     Selene? Is that her name? Sarcio thought to himself. 
     As his own words crossed his mind, the Matron became somewhat agitated, she shook her head. ‘T-That’s n-’ 
     ‘It is your name, why deny it?’ Canis interrupted. 
     ‘I-I-’
     ‘Do you consider your self worth that low Selene? Do you think that you can wound Achilios with this pitiful cult? I’m sure he would be quite intimidated by the title you bestowed upon yourself...’ 
      The Matron’s agitation increased, she was about to raise her hands but his sister came forward and shouted at his master. ‘How dare you!’
      No! Stop! What are you doing!? Again words were threading his mind, but he couldn’t act. He was afraid to use his lips, he glanced at his master's hands upon his shoulders, if he acted Canis would destroy him. He begged, he hoped his sister would take back her words. Sarcio’s eyes shifted to the Matron who stood impassively as his sister blocked the Astartes from her supposed benefactor. 
      Phelix raised his eyebrow ‘Wow, if any of my assistants talked to me like that I would rip out their tongues.’ 
      ‘That’s barbaric Phelix!’ Canis exclaimed. 
      ‘Really? Are you actually saying that?’ 
      ‘She merely wishes to protect Selene, she cares far more for the woman manipulating her than her own flesh and blood.’ 
     ‘Lies!’ Amara barked. ‘She protects us while you use and discard us at a moment's whim! She gives humans on the lower levels a chance at life!’ His sister eyes then fell upon him. ‘My brother cares nothing for me, he just wanted to feel special. He could of chose to remain here, to live with me but he chooses to remain a dog to you! He’s the type of scum that would rather lick the feet of fools than do what is right!’
     Amara’s words were like knives plunging into his heart, he couldn’t understand why it hurt so much despite the conversation he had with her before. His eyes began to burn, but Sarcio didn’t want to cry, not here. He had no desire to feed the god that was watching this ship. He opened his mouth to speak, but his voice was shaking. ‘I-I...I-’ 
      Canis suddenly tapped his shoulders several times, cutting him off. ‘Woah, hold on a second. So terrible! No mean! How could you wound your brother so!?’ 
      Sarcio looked up to Canis, he blinked in confusion. Was he actually being kind? Or was he leading up to something incredibly cruel? He couldn’t tell. 
      His master gave a wry grin ‘are you going to let your understudy speak for you Selene?’
      The Grand Matron tutted, she walked past his sister while she folded her arms. ‘It seems you have grown somewhat disrespectful since you left with Phelix and Ignatius.’
    Canis removed his hands from Sarcio’s body, he walked up to the Grand Matron ‘I’m not a child Selene.’ Canis replied.
      ‘You’re only seventeen.’ 
      ‘That’s where you're wrong Selene, this body is actually eighteen years old, my birthday was actually a week ago. But my soul? It’s… Aged quite considerably.’
      The Grand Matron chuckled coldy. ‘My witch sight tells me otherwise Canis.’ The Matron sighed. ‘Ever bashful, disobedient and foolish. I assume you can’t show your face to Achilios anymore?’
      ‘Unfortunately no, I assume if I met with him now he would kill me.’
      Sarcio couldn’t understand what Canis aim was but going by the Grand Matron’s body language she was happy. She was trembling ever so slightly but it wasn’t in fear. It was pure rage. He watched the Matron raise her hand, each of the golden statues within the hall flicked their heads towards them. 
      Phelix sighed ‘See what did I tell you Canis? You’re a pawn to this woman.’ 
     Canis looked back to the Apothecary  ‘I know brother.’ Canis said calmly, his gaze then came back to the Matron. ‘How about you let us leave Selene?’
     ‘I refuse, I can tell you’ll come back and ruin my plans. But perhaps I’ll kill you quickly if you tell me who bought you back?’
     ‘Come on Selene, you know who bought me back.’ 
     ‘Alexian is an unkind master Space Marine, you haven’t placed yourself among those who live above so you failed me, in turn you failed him as well.’ 
     ‘She is a most loving mistress Selene, we had a wonderful journey together as well.’
     ‘Then you were merely an idle fancy, he is buttering you up before he devours you.’ She clenched her hand, the motion caused the statues to step off their podiums dragging along the screaming mortals. The one closest to them raised their fist to strike, Sarcio began panicking he called out to the Matron and shook his head. ‘W-Wait! W-Wh-’
‘Be silent!’ The Grand Matron shouted. ‘You’re services are no longer needed Spiro, you should of took your sister’s offer.’ 
    The fist came down, first towards Canis but the statue froze. The golden fist stopped a few inches from his master. The statue began trembling, Sarcio could also hear the straining of metal, the sound was actually coming from across the chamber. Looking around, all of the statues were frozen. Canis turned away from Selene who was looking at the statues with absolute confusion. ‘What have you done!?’ She shouted. 
     His master shrugged without looking back, Canis walked up to Phelix and smiled. ‘Let’s leave.’
     ‘What about preparing the cult for war?’ 
     ‘Oh that? Well it seems they won’t comply. I don’t feel like fighting right now.’ 
     ‘So… What do you aim to do now?’ 
     ‘As I said before, I want to get things in order and that’s what I will do.’ 
     Phelix rolled his eyes. ‘By Fulgrim why must you be so annoying? Why am I helping you?’
     ‘Because you love me dearly brother, that’s why.’ Canis responded. 
      The Apothecary grunted, he turned away and left the temple. 
      Canis smiled and faced him. ‘Are you coming Sarcio?’ 
     ‘W-What? I-I….’ He wasn’t sure. He could perhaps convince the Grand Matron to continue to let him work for her, but if he looks over to her she is in the middle of examining the statue. Her glowing hands were moving along the leg, she was most likely trying to get it to move. His gaze drifted to his sister, their eyes met. 
     Amara suddenly shouted at him. ‘Go with your dog handler! You’re not welcome here!’ 
     Sarcio cast his head down slightly ‘I’ll follow you master.’ Canis said nothing,  he fell in behind the Space Marine and left the Temple. As Canis closed the door there was a loud bang, the doors shuddered. He could only assume whatever froze the statues was lifted and the statue that sought to crush Canis has punched the ground. 
     His master stretched ‘right, back to the upper levels.’ 
     Phelix frowned, Sarcio could see veins beginning to thread the Apothecary’s brow. ‘What exactly are you doing!? Why bother come down here!?’ 
     ‘Well I did say I would return to retrieve Sarcio, but I have something to show you.’ Canis responded. 
      Sarcio could see the anger from the Apothecary draining away, to his eyes he was somewhat curious. It was then his master lifted up his palm slightly, almost like he wanted to show something. He was about to ask what was going on until streams of dark purple glitter began to leave the walls. The streams gathered into Canis’ palm, when the streams ended his master closed his hand for a moment and when he opened it again he was holding something that looked like a fruit. 
     The fruit was dark purple, almost black in colouration. It was also shaped like a teardrop, to him it didn’t look appetizing at all but the Apothecary seemed curious about the fruit. ‘Canis can you tell me what that is?’ asked Phelix. 
     ‘It’s a house Phelix.’ 
     ‘Okay...A house for what?’ 
      Sarcio watched his master give a chilling smile that was all teeth, for some reason he had a feeling he wasn’t going to like what he hears.
 


#22
Shinros

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Chapter 13
His back hurt, he couldn’t take it anymore. The statue he was forced to carry wasn’t only damaging his body but spirit as well. The Statue itself was shaped into a man who was wearing elaborate armour but his face was that of a skull. The invaders called the statue a representation of the Emperor, he didn’t know who that was the women who were torturing him said he will watch him die as his justice crushes his body and spirit. This act of torture caused so much pain which was strange since for him pain granted bliss and joy. 
      The manacles attached to his wrists and legs, rubbed harshly against his skin with each step which bruised his perfect skin further. The baking sun made the work being forced upon his form far more terrible. The invaders attack happened so quickly, the royal family were executed by the female warriors by burning them at the stake, even their children weren’t spared. Their cries of anguish was no joy to him, he wasn’t sure if it was the prayers of the butchers surrounding him that was muddying his senses, for even trying to recall that event brought more pain. He stopped his march, just to get a breather. Looking around he could see other nobles matching down the streets with large statues on their backs, he wondered how did the roles reverse? What has he done to deserve this?
     He took several deep breaths, he was about to take a step until a rotten fruit crashed into his face. The stink of the spoiled food soiled his nose, it’s acrid smell caused bile to build at the back of his throat. The fruit slid off his face and hit the ground with a splat, he looked over at the direction from where the fruit came from and what he found was a marked slave hurling insults at him. The warriors in black armour paid no attention to the slave and continued their prayers, he wasn’t skinny like the others but was quite built. 
     His arms were covered in scars which caused more bile to build at the back of his throat, what was worse was the slave’s brown eyes. The mark that made him a lesser creature, the bile which was building released itself. It poured out of his mouth, he coughed and gagged as the bile left his body. When he finished voiding his bowls, his legs began wobbling.
     The indignity was becoming too much, ever since this torture began memories started to slip ever so slightly, the very first thing was his name and after that came the terrible pain. He wondered what did he do to deserve this? He was faithful and dutiful to his pleasures. It was always said if Laxim was in peril the true god’s Angels would come, was it a lie? Was he a fool to believe the tales from the priests and even his father? 
     His gaze drifted back over to the slave, the pressure of the statue upon his back increased. He wanted to cry out that he was sorry, that he was a fool to ever have faith in a false god. He wanted to die, he wanted his pain to end. ‘I-I-I…..’ As his broken voice passed shrivelled lips the invaders within his general vicinity stopped their prayers. 
     Their cold gazes became fixated upon him, even the slave was startled at the sudden change. To him it was like all of the women were waiting for something, was it his confession? The invaders were readying their blades and bolters. He opened his mouth to speak. ‘I-I-m s-so…’ his throat burned with each word spoken. 
     He was about to strain himself further, to utter the word that would end his tormen until a shade burst forth from thin air. It had the shape of a large human, it was also black like the void. The shade reached for the slave and gently caressed their cheek. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, the slave wasn’t reacting to the shade and the invaders were also oblivious. 
     His apology froze in his throat, he wondered if this was a sign? That possibly the true god was watching? The shade then grasped the slave’s lower jaw, they rubbed it slightly. The shade then slipped a single finger into the slave’s mouth, the motion that came next was extremely smooth. The shade pulled, tearing off the slave’s lower jaw. The man who threw the spoiled fruit began gurgling, he was most likely screaming in pain. 
     The slave’s agony was like sweet music to his ears, the panic that washed over the women who were tormenting him was so satisfying. The slave tumbled to the ground, he slowly watched the fool bleed out, the man was even still clawing for his missing jaw. Isiles gave an orgasmic groan of pleasure, it’s been so long since he smelt blood, tasted death on his lips. Vigour washed through his body, he adjusted the statue on his back, he couldn’t believe he was about to apologise to lesser creatures. 
     He gave a nod to the shade who reinvigorated him, the black creature didn’t respond but that didn’t matter Isiles was thankful. The shade dropped the jaw and slowly dissipated. The invaders lost all interest in him and gathered around the slave. They were barking orders at each other, their guttural voices hurt his ears. 
     Isiles continued his march, all he had to do was endure. The pain inflicted by the statue would be fleeting for when the Angels come Laxim will be liberated. 
 
***
Achilios examined the sector he wished to invade, the holo-projector installed within his table displayed Satigium clearly. To his eyes it was ripe, untapped and unsoiled. The defilement of a whole sector would draw many to his banner, he could build a fleet and finally he would become a guiding star to the third legion. He could replace Eidolon, perhaps even become more favoured than Lucius. 
    His mind started to race with possibilities, which sub-sector should he attack first? Which planet will become a monument for his glory? It couldn’t be any normal monument it must set one’s mind alight and make one’s heart soar. Achilios almost became lost in that dream that was until someone knocked on his door, dragging him back to reality. 
     He sighed and turned his head slightly. ‘You may enter!’ he called. 
     The door opened, the one who decided to disturb him was none other than Sirius. The Prefector always acted as if he was above everyone else, he blamed chiefly Theseus and his father. Thinking of them both together always causes his anger to build ever so slightly, he dreamed of the day Sirius would let go of his foolish delusion. It was his father that made the tale that defined Sirius a reality, for who would gainsay the Phoenician? Who would disobey their ex-captain during that vaunted time? Theseus who hung on his father’s every word, the only thing his father has done correctly was put him in charge of the company a few months after the Dropsite Massacre.
     Achilios faced Sirius, the Prefector almost strutted towards him. ‘My lord.’ he gave him a small bow. It was a slight, if he wasn’t planning to take a whole sector he would kill the fool for the insult. 
     Achilios  ‘What is it Sirius?’
     The Prefector cleared his throat, he spoke calmly and clearly. ‘I just wished to ask do you trust the Apothecary?’ 
     ‘Phelix skills have kept the warband on it’s legs, he’s been loyal and faithful to me.’ 
     ‘True, but ever since you started to take him into your confidence you began resting far more than usual. I’m quite sure Vicus has noticed this as well, after all the Noise Marine likes to sniff around your chamber.’ 
     He could see what Sirius was doing, it was open to everyone that he disliked Phelix but the problem was the Prefector was echoing what Vicus has told him previously. The second problem was he couldn’t place the blame at Phelix’s feet right away. In his mind he’s loyal. ‘Tell me Sirius, why do you despise Phelix?’ 
     ‘It’s quite simple my lord, he wastes our slaves. The ones he takes could be spread among the warband. He also turns our brothers into vultures, noble warriors who fought in your name are transformed into husks who can barely function without their next fix.’ 
     The Prefector had a point, in order to take a sector he needed as many Space Marines as possible. If Phelix was making his warriors useless he might have to make him pull back on his experiments. ‘I can see your point Sirius but what would you have me do?’
     ‘It’s quite simple my lord, exile him to the lower levels. He can experiment on the fodder on that level.’ 
     ‘That’s going too far Sirius.’ 
     ‘We are always meant to go far my lord, Slaanesh demands it. Sometimes a stern hand is needed.’
    Achilios turned away from the Perfector, he didn’t want to discuss the subject further. He would consider what to do, but he won’t act unless Phelix makes his desires plain before his eyes.  ‘Leave me, I have much to ponder.’
    ‘Very well my lord.’ said Sirius. 
    Achilios picked up the Prefector’s footsteps as he left the room, once there was no sound save the suffering of his slaves he gave a wistful sigh. ‘So many pieces must be in place to obtain victory...It would be so much easier if my foolish brothers didn’t question or try to move out of their roles...’ It was perplexing but as leader he should be able to wrangle his unruly brothers. At the end of the day everyone on this ship worships the ground he walks upon. 
      He was about to dismiss the holo-map but the lights started to flicker, the ship shuddered. He paid little mind to it, the Dark Prince would carry him to his destination, he was chosen for greatness. 
      +Greatness? Why do you assume you will achieve glory?+
      Achilios twisted around while drawing his blade. ‘Where are you daemon!’
     As he shouted his slaves stopped chattering, their heads all twisted to him at once. +Right here.+ the slave’s were speaking at once, backing each word were the screams of a thousand souls. 
     Achilios thought to kill them, but he loathed to ruin his property, good musicians were hard to come by. ‘What do you want daemon?’
    +I’ve come to see the jester dance.+
    ‘Jester!? How dare you creature! You are but a reflection! A mote!’ Achilios began striding to the first slave, he was not going to have a lesser creature mock him. When he approached the first human it looked up to him, their mask was displaying his perfect visage. He almost didn’t want to kill it since it would ruin the mirror and distort his image. Yet the lesser creature was a vessel for a shade, one that didn’t know their place. Achilios raised his blade while sighing. ‘How annoying...But as with all humans you're replac-’
     ‘You’ve been working quite hard Theseus.’
     Achilios froze, he twisted around to his desk to see a giant standing over Theseus. The long white hair was unmistakable, his smooth voice was as he remembered and his face was absolutely perfect. He dropped his blade and staggered over to the giant, his primarch. The need to drop to one knee was overpowering, he was about to until the forms of Thesues and Fulgrim faded ever so slightly. It was then he realised he was seeing an illusion, picking up on that fact more shades appeared in the room, they were all on one knee. 
     Scanning the faces he recognised himself, Phelix, Sirius and Vicus. Back then he didn’t understand why he was there or why Fulgrim visited their ship. The 64th company wasn’t large or made a great mark compared to the others. Their Lord Commander barely interacted with his company, Eidolon viewed Thesues as an old relic that would eventually die off. Achilios smiled. ‘I was so confused when I was summoned, a sergeant who his own captain hated being a part of something so important…’
     His father placed his hand on Thesues shoulder ‘your company has been working hard Thesues, so dedicated and utterly obedient.’ Fulgrim sniffed Thesues. ‘Not even a hint of jealousy or treachy, just adoration as I should expect.’ 
     Achilios smiled he knew what was coming, this was the time of his ascension. He watched his father lean down towards Theseus’ ear, he whispered something and despite being far more closer to his father he couldn't hear him. When Fulgrim leaned back Thesues’ face was absolutely neutral that was until he gave his crooked smile and said. ‘If that is your wish father.’
      Fulgrim nodded and faced the kneeling shades, back then he couldn’t even make eye contact with the primarch, he was far too overwhelmed to do so. Horus’ war was in full swing and he hasn’t done anything of note, at least that’s how he felt back then. The Pheoncian’s eyes drifted to Vicus first, his purple armour was becoming bruised and sections of his power armour was missing as well. The practice of exposing flesh was slowly spreading during that time, it was done so inflicted wounds can be felt more keenly. ‘So Vicus. My little sergeant who now dances on the stage.’ His father said smoothly. ‘You can hear the song can’t you?’ 
     ‘I can my lord, it rings in my ears constantly. I crave the sound of war, I crave to hear the lamentations of the dying, I am eager for the next warfront you will provide for us.’
      ‘Keep feeding that craving, I know you’ll reach new heights. I will give you a stage soon.’ 
       Achilios couldn’t help but smile, soon after Eidolon was executed for daring to question the warfront their father gave them. Unfortunately the Lord Commander didn’t stay dead, Fabius was always a dutiful worker. Fulgrim’s gaze passed Phelix which he thought was strange, he wondered if that was the reason why the Apothecary was so bitter towards their father? He always tried not to notice it, but it was clear he had something against him whenever he came up in idle conversation. 
      Next Fulgrim bought his eyes to Sirius who was the lieutenant at the time, he was trembling within the Pheoncian’s presence. Fulgrim gave a warm smile to his brother, it was gentle enough to set Achilios’ own hearts at ease. ‘I’ve heard much about you lieutenant.’ 
      Sirius dipped his head lower. ‘You honour me, I’m not worthy of your words.’  
      ‘How could I not honour the one who killed six iron hands almost at once? I heard you essentially danced through the sons of my departed brother.’ 
      Achilios rolled his eyes, he wondered what was his father’s angle here? What was he trying to achieve with the lie? 
      ‘I-I-I….’ Sirius stammered. 
      He could see that Sirius was fully aware that wasn’t the truth, far from it. Yes he killed a few Iron hands, but he struggled with every single one. 
      ‘What’s wrong Sirius? Did I get the story wrong?’ A cruel smile spread across his father’s face, suddenly Achilios could feel a strange pressure on his body and as it increased Sirius’ head dipped lower and lower. ‘Oh, that wasn’t it right? You killed six of them at once, removed all their heads in a single swing. Your blade tore through the ceramite with ease, they surrounded you and with a quick spin their heads toppled to the ground. Also your blade was perfect, pristine and without a chink. Such was your mastery and skill. Did I get it wrong Lieutenant?’
       ‘N-No…my lord. It’s as you say.’
       ‘Wonderful!’ Fulgrim exclaimed. He quickly reached into his pouch and offered a small gem. ‘I want to hear more of your exploits Sirius, I am eager to hear more tales.’ 
      Sirius’s hands were trembling as he took the jewel, he held it closely to his chest. Achilios wasn’t sure how to feel about Sirius, since soon after Fulgrim left the ship he stepped down from his position as Lieutenant and joined the palatine blades. 
      Fulgrim chuckled, he’s gaze then shifted to his past self, Achilios had to admit how impressive he was back then, he was ready to receive his father’s praise without hesitation. Fulgrim gestured to his past self to rise. ‘On your feet Achilios.’ 
      His past self got to his feet, Fulgrim then placed his hand on his pauldron. ‘My son, you will now take the reins of the 64th company, you will be Captain.’ 
     Achilios smiled at the declaration, his past self wasn’t shocked either for destiny was at play. Thesues was always too weak to do what needed to be done, the fact his father recognised his efforts was proof of that. ‘I will be a star.’ Achilios said to himself
    He waited for his answer to Fulgrim, he knew it would be clear and confident as he remembered. He watched his past self smile, he was about to open his mouth but he suddenly froze. All of the shades started to sizzle and fall apart, his slaves started to laugh as the shades broke down. +Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!+ The puppets repeated. 
    The lights flickered, the ship shuddered violently and all the while his possessed slaves were repeating their mockery. Achilios staggered back since the ship was shaking furiously, when he hit the table the shaking ceased, the lights stopped flicking and his slaves were back to normal. The shades were no longer in the chamber either, Achilios frowned. ‘Blasted daemons.’ he hissed under his breath. He turned towards his table, looking out of his viewing window he could see the cold void of space instead of the multi coloured hue of the warp. He smiled and faced the table, he pushed the button on his table to call Albastar.
     The star-map vanished and in its stead the Ship Master’s face appeared, he was dabbing his brow lightly with a handkerchief. The mortal gulped. ‘My lord.’ 
     ‘How close are we to Laxim?’ Asked Achilios. 
     ‘A few days my lord, the warp jump strained the Navigator greatly.’
     That wasn’t right, they should be at most a few hours away. In other words Albaster and Alisia have failed him. ‘So you both failed, you’ve delayed my plans?’ 
     The Ship Master shook his head vehemently ‘w-wait my lord, Alisia claims the reason why the warp was so turbulent is due to the Warmaster.’ 
      At the mention of the Warmaster Achilios raised his eyebrow. ‘Tell me what did she see?’ 
     Albaster gasped in relief ‘she saw a war torn Cadia. The war raging across the planet is drawing the attention of all the gods. She says they are waiting for something and that is what caused the delay to our journey.’
    Achilios weighed the answer, he found it satisfactory. Normally when the Warmaster moves so does the warp, overall the news wasn’t all that special the chaos forces will be thrown back as always. It was why he never fought under Abbadon’s banner, to the Master of the Black Legion members of other legions are but fodder to be used. He found it quite confusing why many more don’t realise that fact. ‘I see I find you answer satisfactory, take us to Laxim.’ 
     Albaster slowly became visibly calm. ‘I shall my lord, I will update you when we approach the world.’ 
     ‘Be sure you do.’ Achilios replied. He pressed the button on his desk to dismiss the mortal, he sighed inwardly to himself. ‘The Black Legion always finds ways to hold the third back.’ he said to himself. That has always been the lot of the third, to be used and ridiculed. He sought to change that and once his path to becoming a star begins the glorious future he envisioned will become a reality.

Edited by Shinros, 16 July 2019 - 02:54 AM.


#23
Shinros

Shinros

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 105 posts
  • Location:The Star Dragon
  • Faction: Genestealer cults & Slaanesh
Chapter 14
Phelix prepared the syringe, it was filled with one of his experimental mixtures, the drug would increase one's sense of euphoria during combat, all other unnecessary emotions will be dulled. At the same time a combatant's reaction time will also be increased, he was quite proud of it but the issue was the one who would take the drug normally ends up having their hearts explode. He could only assume it was because of the impurities within the mixture, he tried to purge them but then the quality of his mixture would drop dramatically. 
     Yet that was all about to change if Canis was right about the fruit. On their way back to the upper levels he went into more detail about the mystical fruit he created. It was a house of sorts made out of the warp residue lingering on the ship. The collective pleasure and pain of the occupants cause the residue to build. This residue wasn’t visible to the naked eye but Canis can perceive it. Phelix wondered if the fool was actually a witch now? He always distrusted them but he had to admit that role was missing in the warband. 
     If Achilios wanted to truly commit to his foolish venture a witch will be useful if they encounter anything warp based. 
     ‘Hurry up and inject the fruit already!’ Canis called. 
     Phelix grunted and turned back slightly from the table, the idiot was literally standing over him. His assistants were standing back along with Canis’ slave. ‘I do things at my own pace.’ 
    ‘Don’t you want the perfect drug? So hurry up.’ 
    ‘Tell me Canis have you really lived several lifetimes? You’re acting like a child.’
    The fool grinned. ‘I just want to see your happy face brother.’ 
     Phelix grunted ‘so will this fruit of yours really purge the impurities?’ 
    ‘It will, after all that fruit is one of the many treats within Slaanesh’s Palace. The daemons even create their own additives for the fruit.’
    ‘Wait a moment.’ The implications of what Canis just said was now filling his mind. ‘Did you go to Slaanesh’s palace?’ 
    The idiot’s smile turned to a frown. ‘Of course not, I wouldn’t be able to make such a journey. My tutor taught me how to conjure the fruit, in a way that fruit contains pure excess. It’s essentially the food of our god.’
     The answer was quite detailed, but he had another question. ‘Canis are you a witch?’ 
     ‘Well I can do tricks brother, I know quite a few.’ 
     Phelix took that answer as a yes, he turned back to the table. He had to admit he was excited, he pushed the syringe into the fruit and pressed the plunger down with his thumb. Once the syringe was empty he pulled it out and to his surprise the fruit changed from a dark purple to pink. Phelix picked up the fruit and turned back to Canis. ‘So what now?’ 
     ‘We have to give the fruit a name.’ replied the fool.
      Phelix gave it a little thought, it didn’t take him long to come up with a name. ‘If it’s the food of our god why not call it Ambrosia? 
      ‘Good name! Now we have to test it!’ 
      As Canis mentioned test all of his assistants began looking away, arms were being rubbed. He found the reaction concerning. Cafri was still staring at him, but he could see the fear in her eyes. ‘So no one wishes to try my creation?’ 
     ‘Our creation brother.’ Canis interjected. 
     ‘Oh right, our creation. Still the question stands.’ 
     ‘Sarcio can test it.’ The fool said joyfully. 
     Phelix set his eyes upon Canis’ slave, he was panicking. Rivers of sweat was flowing down his face. ‘M-My lord.’ Sarcio said meekly. ‘I maintain your armour, w-what if that kills me?’ 
     The slave was trying to appeal to the idiot, but he doubted it would work. The fool was a fanatic, he imagined Canis was far worse now. 
      Canis gave a heavy sigh. ‘Why do you still resist Sarcio?’ 
      ‘Resist my lord?’ 
      ‘Our god knocks constantly on your door yet you ignore him, why?’ 
      All eyes were on Canis slave, his assistants were glaring at Sarcio. They wanted him to test the fruit so they could avoid being a lab rat. ‘M-My lord, please reconsider. I…’ Sarcio’s voice trailed off. 
     ‘You have no interest in my god?’ 
     The slave looked down towards the ground. ‘Y-Yes…’ 
     Phelix frowned ‘why do you need his consent? We could just force him to eat it.’
    ‘He’s important Phelix.’ Canis said sternly. 
    ‘How? He’s but a human.’ 
    The idiot wiped his hands down his face, he then took a deep breath and as he exhaled he became visibly distraught which was strange to see. ‘Aren’t you tired of this?’ said Canis. 
    ‘Excuse me?’ 
    The fool gestured around his lab. ‘Run down equipment, brothers who can’t see beyond their nose, the very state of the third legion itself?’ 
    ‘But we are doing this so we can obtain glory.’ 
    ‘Glory won’t be achieved as long as they make the rules. As long as he rules the galaxy and our battlefield.’ 
     Phelix couldn’t help but notice a hint of despair in Canis’ voice. ‘Who are you referring to?’ he asked. 
    ‘Who else!?’ Canis exclaimed. ‘The Emperor defines the rules! He controls our battlefield and he directs the Imperium! He shapes the galaxy to make it still and stagnate! His followers march while defecating across the galaxy! Spreading their toxic rule! We play by their rules when it should be the other way round!’ 
     Phelix oddly felt shaken by Canis’ rant, he somewhat understands what he was trying to say. New equipment was hard to comeby, they are always reacting to the Imperium instead of crushing them. It was why no warband lingers upon a world for the Imperium would soon bring a force to bear to push them off. Yet Canis said the third will change, he remembered him saying that. ‘What of the galaxy splitting?’ 
     ‘The Imperium will adapt as they always do, Abbadon’s eye will then be drawn to another world that is now “important”. He will then throw the legions at that world as he did Cadia’ 
     ‘I-I see..What of our father returning to us?’ 
     ‘We will become a threat at last but nothing will really change. Our father will become focused on the new lord that will rise to lead the Imperium, the question is what if he dies? What then?’ 
     He looked down to the fruit, it was only now he understood the gravity of what Canis was attempting to do. But it was impossible, to make the whole galaxy bow to one god? To change the rules? They don’t have the manpower for that. ‘We can’t do that Canis…’ 
     The fool twisted to him, his face consumed with rage. ‘That is why we fail! Excuses upon excuses! Again and again!’ Canis started to slowly relax, he shook his head. ‘Slaanesh demands we always dream of more, I am sick of watching all the gains vanishing upon an Imperium fleet warping into orbit. No one understands the words death to the false Emperor.’ 
     ‘But that is what Abbaon is attempting to achieve Canis.’ 
     ‘You really think all four powers will let him succeed? Do you truly believe the four will allow Abbadon to rein supreme?’ 
       As the idiot spoke it clicked, he was right he couldn’t see it. What he could see though was the Warmaster standing on the precipice of victory and the gods will then snatch it away. One wants to rein, history will most likely repeat. The Imperium will then endure and send the legions fleeing into another warp storm to hide for several centuries. ‘So it has to start with us.’ Phelix said out loud. 
      ‘Exactly brother!’ Canis turned back to Sarcio. ‘The rules the Emperor set upon the galaxy is the reason for your suffering Sarcio. Help me change the rules, help me regain our battlefield.’ 
      Phelix eyes drifted to the mortal’s faces, they were all stunned save Canis’ slave. He was still unsure.  
      ‘Do you really believe that?’ said Sarcio. The slave’s eyes became pits of utter despair. ‘You really think things will change? That you have the power to change the galaxy? To reshape it? You’re really an idiot, aren't you? So it’s because of the Emperor that I’m here? You’re the ones who attacked my station, you’re the ones that took my sister from me!’  
       Phelix didn’t know what to say here, for once he strangely had no idea how to handle the situation. What Canis was saying was utterly insane, but he wanted to believe him. If he stops, if he backs out his own situation will never improve. 
       Canis sighed ‘tell me are you more free now than you were before?’
       The slave blinked in confusion. ‘I-I don’t understand.’ 
       ‘On that station you were a slave dealing with radioactive material, if the warband didn’t attack that station the next day after that your suit will get punctured. You would then fall ill due to radiation poisoning, your sister had to watch you slowly die. Since your were dead all the heavy duty work was foisted upon your sister. Since she couldn’t handle it she was turned into a servitor. Worst of all, she would then be broken down into materials by next week cycle for an experiment. What I want to offer you is the blackest abyss, to be someone. You don’t want to take that chance?’
        Sarcio shook his head, disbelief was consuming his face. ‘Y-You’re lying.’ 
        ‘Your life now doesn’t sound so bad now doesn’t it? Yet from here if you eat the fruit it will get better I can guarantee you that.’
        Phelix watched as Sarcio’s eyes drifted to the fruit, the human was actually considering it. The mortal then gulped, he then gave a long sigh. ‘F-Fine! Dammit! Fine!’ 
        The fool joyfully clapped, he twisted to him and snatched the Ambrosia from his hands, he then offered it to his slave. ‘Eat it Sarcio! Go on!’ 
       The slave reached out and took the fruit from the fool, he sniffed it first and right away his eyes dilated. Sarcio attacked the Ambrosia like a mad animal as the slave ate the fruit Canis was smiling ear to ear.

Edited by Shinros, 16 July 2019 - 03:07 AM.


#24
Shinros

Shinros

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 105 posts
  • Location:The Star Dragon
  • Faction: Genestealer cults & Slaanesh
Chapter 15
Travis looked up to the monastery, the stonework was smooth, strange gremlin-like creatures with pure white wings were fluttering through the air while swinging censers. What made him unsure of entering the place of worship to greet the leader of their liberators was the golden skull that loomed down from the top of the wooden doors. Looking into its hollow eye sockets it felt like something or someone was watching him. He wondered why was he afraid of entering the place of worship that belonged to their liberators? What was he actually afraid of? He rubbed his right arm, as his palm passed a scar he remembered why the resistance fought, why they kept fighting. 
     ‘Are you alright Boss?’ 
     He turned to Alivia, she was second in command of the resistance. Her arms and face were scarred due to years of fighting, but her green eyes hasn’t dimmed. Not even once. Travis sighed. ‘I’d thought I would feel better about Laxim being liberated at last.’ 
    ‘The mark of the masters still linger on the city Travis, can’t you at least enjoy the fact that everyone is now free?’ 
     The words from Alivia didn’t comfort him, his eyes drifted around him. The grand mansions were ruined, bombed and falling apart. The Sisters of Battle strange mechanical servants were in the process of tearing down the buildings and replacing them with monasteries. He could spot members of the resistance gathering around priests and battle sisters. They were listening intently to their sermons. Yet he couldn’t feel hope or change in the air, he could only feel an oppressive force seeking to close itself around him. He wasn’t sure if he should resist or push back. 
    Alivia gave him a small frown, she could most likely sense what he was thinking. ‘It won’t be the same.’ she said firmly. 
    ‘I hope so, I doubt our liberators will use innocents for sport or their idle fancies. Anywa-’
    ‘Stop! Please!’ 
    All eyes were drawn to a nearby mansion, a group of battle sisters were roughly dragging men and women out of the building. They were wearing silk garments, they were all dancers. The voice belonged to one of the women being pulled by their hair. ‘I-I didn’t do anything wrong!’ 
    Alivia spat on the ground in disgust. ‘Blasted Thralls, rather suck the teets of the masters than help us fight.’ 
     His second was right they were Thralls, since their eyes weren’t pink. All those with pink eyes can connect their bloodline to the royal family in some capacity. According to legend the first king and queen swore themselves to the angels who come to this world. In turn they bowed to their god. That oath caused their bodies to change in ways that defied reason, he always found it strange how the whole royal family looked completely androynous going by the pict-feeds and posters.  
    ‘You’re thinking about the legend aren’t you Travis?’ 
    ‘Yeah I am.’ he responded.  
    ‘It’s not true you know that right?’ 
    He wasn’t so sure his parents have told him about the night of vice that founded the noble houses. The king and queen took over sixty concubines each, all of which bore children to lead the noble houses. Considering how the nobles employed witchcraft during the war he couldn’t help but be superstitious about such things. He shrugged ‘at least the king and queen burned.’ 
     ‘Aye Boss it was a great sight to behold.’ 
     ‘Shame about the children though.’ 
     ‘What?’ 
     Travis frowned at his second. ‘I said it’s a shame about the children.’ 
     ‘They were the spawn of pure evil.’ Alivia said firmly. 
      ‘So kids are evil now?’ 
     ‘They are when monsters give birth to them.’ 
     ‘Well, I thin-
      He was about to counter his second until he saw children being led out of the house along with the Thralls. They had pink eyes. 
      Alivia pointed at the Thralls being lined up ‘See Travis? The Thralls were protecting them.’ 
     ‘Fine, so you think we should murder children then?’ 
     ‘They aren’t going to be harmed, they’re being sent to camps.’ 
     ‘What camps Alivia?’ 
     ‘Well the Sister Superior told me they’re re-education camps.’
     Travis grunted, he reached into his pouch and pulled out a lho-stick and lighter. He readied the lho-stick and as he lit one up he puffed it a few times. ‘Do you think our fight was worth it Alivia?’ 
       His second stared at him, confusion was beginning to wash over her face. She sighed and shook her head. ‘I’m going to check on our base, see how our fighters are doing.’ 
      ‘You do that.’ 
      Alivia nodded and walked away, Travis turned to the front of the temple. He sighed slightly, his second was upset. He could understand why even though he disagreed with Alivia. The worse thing one can do after freeing a world is to turn into a monster, he had no desire to become like the masters. 
     +So you see…+
     His lho-stick fell from his mouth, the voice sounded wrong. It was too smooth, his body seized up. At the corner of his vision he could see a large hand on his shoulder. But there wasn’t skin covering it, the hand was black and it was pulsing like a heartbeat.   
     +My husband burned, my children burned and my world is being defiled by heathens.+
     Their voice was level, stern and dignified, strangely he was hanging on every word. He wasn’t sure what to make of it. The hand at the corner of his vision slowly shrunk  to become almost feminine. ‘Wha-’ 
    +Do not speak my servant.+ 
     He closed his mouth at her order, he will speak when she permits him to do so. 
    +Well done my Thrall so you are learning, be joyous and ever thankful that I have chosen you. You are now serving righteousness itself, I am all that is good, all that is bright on Laxim. Follow my words and you will know my love, you will see eternal bliss.+
     Travis gave a small nod, he will obey. 
     +Good, i’ve spoken with the Dominator and his Herald. They both assured me that an army is coming to this world. I’ve done all that I can to keep the spark alight within my children, but I do not wish to rely on the Herald entirely. I want my own forces, I wish to return. You will help me do that. Make the resistance serve my cause, it is the only way for your precious resistance to survive...+ 
     He nodded again, his heart started to thunder, a swirl of emotions was enveloping his chest. He almost became lost in that whirlwind until a warm sizzling sensation graced his cheek, his eyes were still directed at the hand, they wouldn’t move from that spot. Yet oddly he was enjoying what was happening, was his master kissing him on the cheek? He wondered if this was a show of affection? When the sensation vanished he suddenly felt hungry. He wanted more, he needed more. 
    The hand that was at the corner of his vision slowly slipped away, Travis’ heart dropped, a lump was building in his throat. Yet he couldn’t break down now, he had orders from his queen. She wanted the resistance, he will give it to her. He took a moment to calm himself down. He walked towards the monastery doors and entered.  
     The temple itself was rather simple, benches lined the left and rightmost parts of the room. The only thing standing out to him was the stained glass windows displaying angelic figures stabbing people who were wearing helmets that bore horns. He brushed his flak-vest and walked down the aisle. He stopped before a woman wearing elaborate black power armour covered with parchment. She was kneeling to a statue of the Emperor. The faith the Sisters of Battle have brought to this world has spread like wildfire since the war, he still wasn’t sure what to make it especially after the orders of his queen. 
     He waited for the battle sister to finish, he stood in that very spot for almost twenty minutes, that was when the Battle Sister rose and faced him. Her hair was stark white and her right cheek was tattooed with an I, he could only guess it was the symbol of the church.
     Canoness Seraphia’s face was absolutely neutral, her brown eyes bore no life within them, they were absolutely cold. Travis cleared his throat. ‘I just wanted to speak with you Canoness Seraphia.’
       The Canoness rested her hand on the head of her power sword, she frowned. ‘Is there a problem?’ 
       Her voice was cold as well, distant. He imagined she would kill him if he said the wrong thing. Travis cleared his throat. ‘I just wish to understand what role the resistance will have once Laxim has been purged of the masters.’ 
       ‘You mean heretics?’ 
       ‘Y-Yes I refer to the heretics.’
       Seraphia began to stare at him for a moments, she then looked back to the statue of the Emperor. ‘You will help us turn this world to the light of the Emperor.’ her gaze then came back to him. ‘What else is there to understand?’ 
      ‘I understand Canoness, but what of the children that belonged to heretics?’ 
      ‘They’re tainted, do not worry we will deal with them.’
      ‘Deal with them? You refer to the camps?’ 
      ‘Indeed I refer to the camps, it’s fact they are tainted but they are also children that I came to this decision. The children will toil for the Emperor instead of being put to death. They will learn to serve him.’ 
      ‘Toil? What do you mean by that?’
      ‘Serving the Emperor will be their redemption, in death they will be able to join his side.’
      The implications were troubling, the children were being sent to essentially slave camps to die. Travis clenched his hands, it wasn’t right.
      Seraphia raised her eyebrow to his agitation. ‘This is the most merciful punishment that could be provided. The slaves who gladly served the heretics will put to the flames. This world will be converted from a shrine of degeneracy to a shrine of light and justice. Be thankful the resistance will be a part of that process.’ 
     For some reason he couldn’t believe what he was hearing ‘So how did we avoid being put to the flames then?’
     ‘It’s because you fought, you bled for your freedom and that should be commended. Yet since the light of the Emperor has not been seen on this world for quite some time re-education programs are being made for the resistance.’ 
      Travis didn’t exactly like the sound of that, many just wanted to live their lives and don’t exactly care for the new faith being spread. He was their Boss, the resistance followed his lead. How was he supposed to break the news that they will be forced into re-education programs? He tried not to let the apprehension show on his face. ‘I see, I’ll let the resistance know.’ 
     The Canoness nodded. ‘Good, but I wish to give you something.’ she reached into her pouch and pulled out a small vial of water. She offered it to him. ‘Please drink this, the water will be passed to members of the resistance. It will help cleanse the residual taint from your bodies. These will be issued to your resistance each day’ 
     Travis took the vial, he looked down to it and then back up to Seraphia. ‘You want me to drink it here?’ 
     ‘Yes, please drink it right now.’ 
     He could see what she was attempting to do, she was testing whether he was a heretic. If he had the wrong reaction that would mean trouble. He uncorked the top of the vial and downed the contents. The water burned his throat, it was far stronger than any sort of alcohol. When it hit his stomach it began to churn violently. 
     The Canoness nodded ‘you will be well on the morrow, get some rest.’ 
     Travis handed the vial back, his hand was trembling as Seraphia took it. He nodded to her. ‘I shall. I thank you for your concern.’ 
     Seraphia said nothing, she turned away from him and didn’t utter a single word while doing so. He took that as his que to leave, while walking out of the temple his gut was twisting and turning. Once he was outside he agreed with Seraphia, he wanted to rest. Travis decided to head back to base, walking down the streets he spotted the defeated nobles trudging down the road. Each of them were holding large statues, but instead of pain or hatred consuming their forms they all seemed joyous, they were waiting for something. 
      One stopped, he had pink eyes like all nobles. He was now scrawny and wasted. He wondered how such an individual could carry such a large statue on their back. The scrawny man smiled, displaying pearly white teeth. ‘You’ve heard her haven’t you? He has spoken to you?’
      Travis frowned, the masters rarely speak to those who they perceive to be slaves. ‘I-I d-don’t know who you are talking about.’ His mind started to throb, someone told him to do something but he couldn’t remember what. 
      ‘Don’t resist her!’ the noble said hastily. ‘Do not reject the Queen’s love!’ 
      ‘L-Leave me alone monster! Don’t speak to me!’ Travis continued walking, but the noble kept ranting to embrace her. He tried his best to ignore him yet that didn’t help. He was still racking his brain on his orders. He was asked to do something but he couldn’t remember. With each step dwelling on that question caused bile to build in his throat. He fought to keep it down, but it soon became a  futile effort. 
     He turned into an alleyway, he had no desire to throw up in the middle of the street. Travis could only make a few more steps before dropping to his knees, he couldn’t hold back the bile anymore. He voided his stomach onto the ground, a stream of black liquid left his mouth. The black bile sizzled as it hit the ground, the ooze was evaporating and the vapours emitting from it caused his head to spin.
     The vapours smelled like perfume, it was a sweet musk that was absolutely dominating his nose. When the stream ended he gasped and as his eyes came up a figure was standing before him. He could only describe it as a ghost or shade. Whatever was standing before him was black like night but it’s form was female. The shade shook their head. +She had no idea what she did, she severed my link to you.+ 
       Travis wiped his mouth, it all came flooding back. Her voice, his queen’s orders. ‘I-I’m sorry. I-I d-don’t know what happened.’ 
      +Worry not my Thrall, you will know bliss again. You will understand what it means to serve righteousness once more. I will just be more thorough this time, I will liberate you while the evil brides of the hated false Emperor wishes to rob you of your senses. They want to turn you into a slave for their false god.+
      ‘Slave? W-What do you mean?’ 
      +The resistance will toil for the Emperor’s harlots, you will build statues under the lash, you will be forced to praise his name. Those who fail in their duties will be lobotomized and turned into one of their mechanical servants, you’ve seen them.+
      He recalled the mechanical servants tearing down the buildings, they didn’t even take one moment to rest. He actually couldn’t recall ever seeing them stop at all. The Sisters of Battle are going to reduce his resistance to that? ‘W-Why? They liberated us…’ 
     +They want to convert my world into a shrine, a monument to their god. The resistance are resources, ones to be used and discarded.+ The shade walked over to him and knelt. +Have you ever wondered why many people gladly became our Thralls? To me slave a crude term. They were our servants, they enjoyed the vices that was pushed upon them, they were happy despite your resistance trying to ruin their bliss.+ 
     ‘We ruined their happiness?’ 
     +Oh you did. As I burned I swore to rectify what has been done. So I casted off my mortal shell. Centuries of work has been lost, you will help me get revenge.+ 
       Travis’ head dropped down slightly, he was born into the resistance so he had no idea what being a Thrall was like, the resistance used to dwell in the sewers, each painful day was a struggle. Thinking back he recalled it was hard to get recruits because very few wanted to actually leave their masters. Was his cause false? How come he never considered what he was actually taking away from people? 
      The Shade chuckled +It’s because you knew nothing else.+ The ghost gave an answer, one that Travis was slowly realising to be true. +You were fighting a false cause, instead of being a “Boss” or the leader of the resistance how about becoming Captain of my re-founded royal guard? I will make you stronger, more beautiful and you will no longer need to worry about questioning yourself anymore.+
      He couldn’t help but believe every word, his queen sounded earnest while in comparison Seraphia’s eyes were dead, she was uncaring and it has now become clear what her intentions are. He looked up to his queen. ‘I accept, I will serve.’ 
      His queen said nothing, she clawed her wrists. He couldn’t see any form of injury but black ooze started to fall from her wrist, like his own bile it sizzled as it touched the ground. His queen nodded. +Accept the essence of Glascia Principor, Queen of Laxim and Oracle of the one true god.+ 
     She offered her wrist, Travis grasped it and guzzled on the pouring ooze. As the thick liquid smeared his face he picked up the scent of his bile. It was far more strong and intoxicating, with each gulp he worries were evaporating. His questioning of his role in “liberating” Laxim was being smashed to pieces. All he could think of was his duty to Glascia, his need to feed the vice that started to boil within his heart. Just for a moment he saw her, as she was, before she was executed. 
     His queen was walking down a hallway. She had blonde lustrous hair, it was long and with each step it bounced, Travis couldn't help but notice the four black horns that dotted her head. It was a clear mark of favour. His breath was then taken as he saw her pink and purple silk gown which was almost see through and it was cut at the back. Her form was slender, but also toned. What bought her immaculate form together was her face, the light purple lipstick that lined her lips, the eye shadow and her features. Her beautiful features, completely androgynous, the best parts of both genders were mixed together to form something that he couldn’t even describe. 
     Travis gulped down a mouthful more that was when his head was pulled back, the vision fled from his sight. He was about to panic but the reassuring voice of his queen silenced his heart. +You now understand what your destroyed.+
     He broke down into tears, he could feel the ooze sizzling on his face. ‘I-I’m so sorry…’ 
     +Apology accepted, but more essence will be given as you serve me. You remember my orders correct?+
     ‘I do my lady. I will make sure the resistance serves you.’
     +Good, Good, you have but a few days. Bring as many members as possible to my banner.+ 
      With the hand that was bleeding moments before a vial with black liquid rose out of it. She released her grip upon his head and offered it to him. +This will allow me to slip into the hearts of your men. This task is simple but important.+ 
     ‘Yes my lady.’ Travis answered. He carefully took the vial from her hand and slotted it into his pouch. His queen then rose, he blinked in confusion as he could now see four black horns were now on her head. He was about to ask about the change but Glascia’s form quickly dissipated. Now alone in the alleyway he got up to his feet, Travis didn’t waste any time he hurried out of the alleyway and made his way back to base. 
 


#25
Shinros

Shinros

    +FRATER DOMUS+

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  • Faction: Genestealer cults & Slaanesh
Chapter 16
Ignatius approached Thesues’ chamber, each step felt heavy to him. That only ever happened whenever he felt that he might be doing something “wrong”. The issue was he couldn’t ignore what his lord was doing any longer, it was time he admitted that nothing would change. As he arrived at the door the the two silent Astartes gave him a nod, they pushed the doors open. He raised his eyebrow at the gesture. ‘Is expecting me?’ he asked. 
     The silent Space Marines said nothing in return, they just continued to hold the door open. Ignatius grunted and walked inside, what he found in the hall was almost mind-boggling, the trash that made up the lower levels were running drills in complete synchronisation. 
     The Space Marines were dashing around the hall throwing ammo to each other, the ammunition would then be used to reload their empty bolters. The motion would repeat six times and then the Astartes would suddenly break into pairs and begin dueling one another. This regime would repeat again and again. Ignatius couldn’t spot any flaws, there were no fumbles and their blade work had almost no holes. 
     The champion bit his lip, the bite was deep enough to draw blood. He couldn’t handle this, he couldn’t believe that Thesues would be able to turn those cast aside into a contingent force. He has never seen this before, the more he stares he realises this was most likely a basic exercise. Ignatius tore his eyes away from the abnormality. His gaze drifted to the usual spot where his old captain would be standing but something was different as his eyes landed upon that area. Thesues was speaking to the Grand Matron, they seemed to be in deep discussion. 
      Ignatius forced himself to relax, he was the Champion. He should be regal and direct. He walked over to the disgraced Captain. As he approached Theseus, the old space marine stopped his conversation and turned to him. ‘So you came.’ Thesues said smoothly. 
     ‘You were expecting me?’ 
     ‘I was Ignatius, you see no other recourse don’t you?’ 
     Ignatius frowned at the old Captain, he hated whenever he was coy that meant another lecture was coming. He sighed and shook his head. ‘Get on with it, speak your piece.’ 
      Thesues chuckled, ‘You can’t see Achilios changing, your little plan with the young Space Marine failed didn’t it?’ 
      He glanced at the Grand Matron as he mentioned “plan” he had no idea what sort of relationship he had with the Matron but he knew Thesues wasn’t stupid enough to fall for her lies. ‘Have you been keeping tabs on the upper levels Theseus?’ 
      ‘I have, you think I don’t have eyes up there? You think that it’s only you and Phelix that comes to bother me? I’m also aware that Phelix drugs Achilios to control his temper tantrums.’
       The ex-captain speaking of the drugs caused a bead of sweat to fall from his brow, Ignatius couldn’t believe what he was hearing. How did he know about it? How many spies does he actually have? He decided to bluff. ‘So what? Why would Achilios listen to an outcast?’ 
     ‘It doesn’t matter what that foolish boy believes, the issue is that his own warriors believe in me more than him. With but a word I can have him killed, I dwell here because I choose to. Achilios has very little control.’ 
      Thesues’ voice had a slight edge, Ignatius could hear it. This was a threat. ‘So you still consider yourself the leader then? Is that it?’ 
      Thesues brushed his chest slightly. ‘I am the leader, always have been. I am merely following our father’s orders.’ 
      At the mention of orders everyone’s attention was directed towards Thesues, even the Matron was focused on upon him. Ignatius shook his head. ‘What orders!? Father speaks to no one!’
     ‘He gave me several set of orders years ago, during Horus’ war. The first was to step down and allow him to put Achilios in charge of the company. From there every few months he would send me encoded messages. He was aware of my desire to see Achilios fail completely so he decided to give me that gift due to my years of service.’ 
     ‘Y-Your lying!’ Ignatius hissed. ‘Why would he do such a thing!?’ 
     ‘It’s because I’m loyal.’ Thesues said firmly. ‘I follow father’s word to the letter. As I said he has given me a great gift despite it taking quite a long time to manifest. So what will you do Ignatius? Will you strike down the one who wears the black crown or work for a jester?’ 
      Ignatius slowly reached for his blade, it was pure instinct. When his hand wrapped around the hilt he froze. He came here originally to try and convince Thesues to become their leader again, so why did he wish to kill him? Ignatius wondered if he was still loyal to Achilios?
      Thesues gave him a casual shrug. ‘I won’t begrudge you wish to remain loyal to the jester, but you should be fully aware that you can’t kill me. 
     ‘I know, but…’ 
     ‘All you have to do is endure Ignatius, just for a little longer.’ 
     All he had to do was endure, he recalled the days when Thesues lead the company. Back then they rarely encountered any problems, the issues started when Achilios took the reins. Thinking on it a little more Theseus has always largely been forthright. He relaxed his stance. ‘I will endure for now.’
     ‘Good, I will call upon you when the time is ri-’ 
     ‘What of Canis? Shouldn’t you be worried about him?’ The Grand Matron interjected. 
     ‘Know your place witch!’ Ignatius said firmly. He hated the human, he had no idea why Thesues was entertaining her. 
     ‘Calm down Ignatius, shouldn’t you be more worried? After all you killed him.’ 
     He couldn’t bring himself to care all that much, the young Space Marine returning from the dead wasn’t exactly a surprise since Slaanesh gave him new legs. ‘As Phelix said the Dark Prince tends to like the fools. At the end of the day he’s not a threat, I killed him once before I can kill him again.’
     Thesues nodded in agreement. ‘You are right on that front, he is but one young man. Quell your heart Matron.’ 
     The human tutted ‘very well, but I warned you. But I wonder… Do you think Achilios is foolish enough to wage war upon an entire sector?’ 
     ‘Yes he is. But as I said to Ignatius you must endure you will see Achilios wounded, be patient.’ 
     Ignatius watched the Matron calm down, he wondered how many moving pieces did he have at play? He doubted that Achilios was aware that everyone was sharpening their knives. He thought he would feel more conflict about being one more knife upon the pile but strangely he was excited.  
 
***
Phelix sat at his desk within his personal chamber, it was replete with books and medical logs detailing the human anatomy and the best ways to manipulate it. He would be examining one of the many tomes. Yet due to the abnormality within his chamber such an exercise would be futile since he prefers to read in silence. The fool was lounging on his large sofa while gorging himself on Ambrosia. 
     They made a whole fruit basket worth of the drug but the speed the idiot was devouring them at was troubling. At times Canis would also feed his slave who was sitting next to him. Ironically since eating the first fruit they have gotten on well, save the fact at times the mortal would become delirious.
      To his own trained eyes it appeared that the human would throw up at any moment, he was also mumbling to himself calling for his sister. Phelix wanted to examine the slave but the idiot wouldn’t tolerate it. He says the mortal was important to him and that something interesting would happen soon but he has yet to see it. A better use for the slave would be to allow him to take it apart. Phelix creased his brow slightly while sighing heavily. ‘Are you done?’ 
     ‘E-Excuse me?’ Canis swallowed and wiped his mouth. 
     ‘I said are you done?’ 
     ‘I’m far from done brother we have a lot of work to do to get this warband back on track!’ 
      He couldn’t help but grunt, so far he had no idea how they would get the warband back onto the right path. The Ambrosia has been created but he doubted anyone would gladly take any form of experimental narcotic from him. The fool must have some sort of plan to distribute it. ‘So are we going to get Achilios to try our fruit?’ 
     ‘Not yet.’ Canis frowned slightly, it was the delicate kind. To him it seemed the idiot was calculating something. ‘Phelix, how do you feel about Theseus?’ asked the fool.  
      The question was sudden and unexpected, he tilted his chair back slightly and thought about it for a moment. Thesues was the best among them, his only failing was his blind loyalty to their father. He loves Fulgrim, but Phelix was fully aware how cruel he could be. Sirius was a walking example of that. ‘My question is why he is so loyal to father?’ 
     ‘Good question.’ Canis replied, he reached for another fruit. ‘I ask myself the same thing, I’m quite sure father has better and more interesting sycophants than him.’ 
     ‘What does that have to do with Theseus?’ 
     The fool bit into the fruit and chewed and as he swallowed, he gave him a cruel smile. It was the kind where he felt if he said the wrong thing Canis would kill him. A chill ran down his spine. Phelix then began speaking slowly  ‘Achilios is like a jester smashing everything around him, while Thesues still acts like a king, he says he doesn’t want to lead but he still carries himself as the Captain of the 64th. He still talks down to us, he still bitlittles us when he feels we are making a mistake also above all he is loyal to Fulgrim.’ 
     ‘See brother? You’re on the right track. Keep going.’
     Phelix frowned, tried to think back towards the past. He tried to find the answer of why he still acts like a leader.. ‘He carries himself as the leader of the 64th...Yet... ’
     Speaking those words something clicked, he recalled the time when his father passed the leadership of the 64th to Achilios, he thought it was strange how an unknown sergeant would be in that meeting. Phelix remembered how Fulgrim whispered into Theseus ear, during that time he thought nothing of it and he still did until Canis began asking for his opinion on Theseus. 
     It was then he considered a dangerous possibility, Thesues may of allowed the company to get in this state to get back at Achilios somehow. The Captain’s obsession to follow Fulgrim’s orders was that strong, but he had other desires. He knew that much.
     The realisation caused his hearts to fall, but he couldn’t see the reason why Thesues would make the company suffer, why would he allow them to fall in this state? He knew Achilios would make a poor leader and yet he didn’t voice any complaint?  
      Canis smiled at him ‘out of all of us he is further along the ever winding path of Slaanesh. Centuries of suffering and degradation, the warband sinking ever further into the mud. Slipping every single time it tries to rise. Why would Thesues allow this? Well...for revenge.’ 
      The words of the fool caused a sense of epiphany to wash over him. It all made sense, the complaints, the idle conversations of an astartes who doesn’t know their place and the fact they would ignore orders. To anyone it wouldn’t be a big deal, to him it wasn’t back then. But he couldn’t believe it, Thesues used them for petty revenge? He made them all suffer for a slight? Phelix rose from his seat, his teeth started to chatter, his fingers were twitching.
      He couldn’t process the swirl of emotions that were enveloping his chest. Phelix roared in anger, his twitching fingers became fists, he raised them in the air and slammed them down onto his table smashing it into pieces. ‘Why!?’ he shrieked. ‘Why him!? Why would he destroy us for something like that!?’ 
      The swirling emotions within his breast shifted into a cacophony of voices within his mind, all of them were saying six words. ‘I will kill him for this!’  

Edited by Shinros, 31 July 2019 - 11:07 PM.





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