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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-30-11, 09:51 PM
andygorn
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Shards (1090 words, not including title)

Looking down into the mirrored pool it displayed times past...just one of myriad portals in the crystal cavern. However, this was not what he had once seen; some things were...altered.

Gazing down upon the battlefield, he recalled legions smashed, a grand melee nearly reaching each horizon.

Drowning in the quagmire, or pulled down by chainsword and rent by bolter fire, a thousand voices roared loyalty.

A thousand more died in agony, torn asunder by the weapons of their brothers; the very weapons they themselves wielded.

Yet still more came on, each side heedless of casualties, desiring only victory for absent masters.

“As you watch, you feel remembrance stir within you, do you not, Marine?“
It’s voice slithered across his armour, testing him like a questing tongue, seeking a weak point in his resolve in order to taste his confusion and despair.

His will, however, was like tempered adamantium and he had felt it’s touch before: a different time and place perhaps, but he knew this particular fiend’s foul spoor anywhere it infected.

“The knowledge of a daemon is of no use to me...all you speak is abomination and falsehood. You shall find no purchase with me, creature.”

“You speak the truth. Yet there are so few amongst you who still refuse the wisdom we offer.

“Not just the maimed and blinded cultists, but even your lauded ‘Inquisitors’ chain and bind us, torturing us for pleasure and our...secrets...

“You have seen such through the ages and know it in your hearts, do you not?”

“I have seen as much myself,” he admitted. “Yet it was always with a purpose to unbind the machinations of your kind, to keep Humanity safe and strong.”

It’s laughter ran across his body like ice-cool rain, numbing his sense of purpose:
“What is ‘safety’ when the enemy is in all places?"
“What is ‘strength’ without knowledge and wisdom to guide it?"
“No, both are mere shells, hiding vanity and insecurity."
“All this is offered to your kind...and oh so many such delicacies have taken up our pacts."

“Your kind will be harnessed and chained to the will of Mankind, used for all we can wring from it, then extinguished! That is The Emperor’s word and none shall countermand it!” the mortal bellowed.

Completely unexpectedly, it gave light applause:
“Spoken like the truest of Generals! Your skill always was without question and even I doubted you could succeed.
“Yet triumph you did, almost sitting at His right hand as the Lord of Hosts. It’s a pity that things...changed..?”

“I was never chosen for any rank so highly, I live to serve Him, nothing else.”

“Spoken again like a modest servant, yet the fire of ambition still burns brightly within. I see your love for Him. You could have been the most loyal amongst Champions. The highest-favoured of all His sons...”

Rounding upon his questioner, the Marine’s eyes blaze with ferocity and twin beams of scarlet fire lance out, transfixing the monster with pure hatred.
“You mistake me for my Primarch?! You are not even worthy to speak his name, formless abomination!”

Shuddering in the bale-glare of the psyker’s massive power, the daemon gives up the struggle of resistance a little too quickly and hangs suspended before his former captive.

“If that is what I am,” it gurgles “then what are you..?:"

“A 'servant'? What is a follower without a master...nothing except a puppet with it’s strings cut. A reflection in a misshapen and broken mirror. A shard of an existence long passed.”

“A ‘man’? No description for one reformed in the image of a God?!

“‘Marine’, then? Those days are long behind you; you know there’s something other about you now.”

“‘Librarian’ perhaps? No, one does not look at an ajar door and then laud it for it’s openness, thinking that this is all there is; never seeing what it leads to.”

“‘Blood Angel’, surely? Now you see the true meaning set aside for you: the one which you cried out for in anguish; the same one that was freely offered, although even I know not why; the same one you feasted upon and greedily drank into your soul."

Despite the crackling crimson chains which held it in a vice-like grip, the monster’s laughter barked out, ringing around it’s empty caverns.

“The followers of my Lords have a name for it. We have many names for it, as is our way. Yet you already know many do you not?"

“Look back upon events: saved from death many times; calling upon a patron; suddenly becoming more than you were.
"Confusion and -dare I say it?- chaos in your mind about what it all means.
"Driven by duty, yet blinded by what has been done to you?
"No, not some external force, but something that you have willingly allowed to occur...”

Still keeping his prisoner bound, the Blood Angel turns away, trying to turn his back on the truths spoken.
Even though it cannot see his face, here in it’s own realm, the daemon does not need to look into his eyes to know what he is thinking.

All Daemons are lies, yet they possess knowledge that he -amongst only a handful in the galaxy- knows has been put to countless good uses for Humanity’s benefit over the millennia.

Shutting out the lascivious voice, he tries to to reason the words and seek refuge for his reeling mind, yet finds little.

One swipe of his empowered psychic blade smashes through the illusion of the cavern’s walls and he can return to the world he knows.

The prison of the daemon’s making disintegrates at an exponentially faster rate, it’s howls stifling as the scarlet chains throttle it from existence.

Blind to hate, he does not see the reflection of a third being in one of the few intact mirrors: standing tall and proud, it radiates a fierce energy and admiration for its' descendant.

The daemon’s words sounded true enough, speaking of innermost thoughts he himself had sought to not give voice.

The Blood Angel scratches his head as a nagging doubt occurs to him:
Yet they go against all that he knows, so they cannot be true!
He must quash and repulse them with every fibre of his being!

And he does so.

Returning to his people to carry on the war with renewed vengeance, the Blood Angel does not see the tall warrior now on his knees, weeping.

Powerful hands cover a ferociously handsome face, now stained with crimson tears; it’s pristine alabaster wings swept wide, laying fallen in despair.

************
If you hadn't already guessed, this tale concerns that 'what may have been' regarding Blood Angel Chief Librarian Mephiston's meeting with M'Kari in the caverns of Solon.

When I get a new Codex, I always read the named characters' decriptions first before reading that army's history/timeline/etc.
As soon as I read the characters in the Blood Angel Codex, the concept struck me that perhaps Sanguinius isn't 100% dead...what if his soul just got split up between various named heroes?
This is just one exploration of what may have happened to at least some of it.

I write from 'inspiration' not 'perspiration', so I'm not sure if this is sufficiently 'original', but I merely try to transcribe the concepts which arrive in my head in a (hopefully) legible format.

The stories here at 'Heresy' always spur me on to try harder each time and I'm constantly trying to improve as a writer, so comments and criticisms always welcome (will change if needs altering to read better).

Thanks for reading,
AndyG.

Urgently trying to trace any living relatives of Private Sam/Samuel "Jock" Wilson (Black Watch, No. 6 Commando, UK Army Service ID 2764432, died 10.06.44). Any info/suggestions gratefully received.

"Mockles! Pent on silpen tree, blockards three a-feening. Mockles! What silps came to thee, in thy pantry, dreaming?"

Please check out the HOES (Heresy Online Stories) threads and vote for the tales.
More feedback = better stories for everyone.

Last edited by andygorn; 08-30-11 at 09:56 PM.
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