I dreamt of calm times, the cold winds making a breeze. It was disrupted by hot water splashing my fingers. “Damnit!” I yelled, hand feeling as if it was held over a candle too long.
“Pity...missed his face!”
I opened my eyes, seeing two shapes behind bars. They stepped forward, revealing they were connected. Both were hunched, almost rat-like in their features. When I saw the dripping bucket one of them held, I stood up, charging forward to choke the monstrous disgraces.
Chains pulled me back to the wall, the cuffs digging into my wrists. No matter how hard I pulled, they would not budge. I fell to the stone floor, a fresh burst of pain going through my jaw.
“What’s wrong? Lost your bite? Come on, Imperial dog. We’re waiting!”
Scowling, I wrenched on the chains again to no avail. The monsters laughed a horrible screeching cackle. One of them suddenly stopped, nudging the other. They moved to the side of the hall, bowing.
A man stepped into view wearing dark black robes. Blood had stained them long ago, with no effort made to clean it away. He looked to me, smiling. “This one has fire in him. Take him to the Indoctrination room.”
I opened my mouth to curse his name, and felt rough makeshift bandages scratch my jaw. I stepped to the back of the cell, forcing myself to stand. The conjoined bastards opened my door, stepping towards me. They held a steel collar in their hands.
“Quiet doggy. Just let us put your leash on.”
I waited until they had undone my arms, letting them put the steel collar on as I regained feeling in my arms. I swung a fist into one of their throats, sending both reeling back. I slammed my boot into their chest, moving behind them and grabbing their heads and throwing them to the ground as I had to Dalmak.
I whipped around, facing the leader. He was grinning wickedly, and began to clap. Bad idea. I rushed forward towards him, ducking low to tackle him. He raised a hand, sending the cell door slamming back into my charge. I fell, dazed, to the floor.
“You will do well.”
He walked to me grabbing my collar and dragging me up as if I was a doll. He looked behind me to the recovering mutants. He looked to me, hissed “Remember your flame when you join us.” He tossed me back to the cell, and to the monsters.
Each did their fair share of kicking the “bad dog”. When they finally relented in their revenge, they began to drag me to the “Indoctrination room”. Their leader had vanished by then, but is words rang in my mind, refused but nagging. I would not join them.
After being dragged down several halls, we reached a dead end. A single door, the color of crimson, stood at its end. It was opened, Vaereem being dragged out by two more mutants, and I was dragged in, hurriedly chained to a chair in the middle of the room. They left in a hurry, muttering. I tried to look back to see what was happening to Vaereem, but the chains would not let me move.
Eventually, three men entered, seeming to glide across the floor. Their purple robes seemed to subtly change, the patterns shifting in the corners of my eyes. Hoods covered their faces, but I knew their faces were horrible. They moved their hands in front of them, each holding an electro-flail on low power.
“Who are we?” They asked, hissing yet somehow echoing through the room in unison.
“Bastards to be smote by the Emperor.”
I felt tendrils snake around my body, sending shock through my body.”We are servants of the great Lord.”
“Who guides us?”
“The Emperor and his holy servants.”
Another sting, another shock. “Deny your Corpse-Emperor! Accept your fate! Accept the Lord of Change.”
“Who shall reign supreme once again?”
I mumbled through spasming lips “The Emperor…”
Tendrils wrapped around me, and pain shot through my nerves.
It went on this way for many hours. As I was dragged out, throbbing welts covering my body, I saw Dalmak being dragged towards the room. I raised my head painfully, rasping out “The Emperor protects...” to him. I hoped it would help him.
When they tossed me back in my cell, things had changed. Though I still knew little to nothing about my surroundings, I knew Dalmak had survived, as had Vaereem. We could beat these sick monsters. We could escape.