Some more visions came along, so thought I'd add them.
I don't own all of the 40k books/audio drama's, so I don't know if any of this contradicts published stuff.
If so, please bear with this, as I'm just trying to conduit and make sense of the stories which make themselves known to me.
A lesson from history (1099 words)
“Captain Ejaias, the room’s lock has now opened; a time-delay. Do we investigate where He once trod?”
“This is our forefather’s place, Brother Jorgen.” came the reply. “We must seek him out and unite like the first times.”
Harsh yellow beams probe the darkness for signs of disturbance, then the Captain’s form...stooped from decades-old injuries...shuffles through the doorway. Yet initial excitement turns into bitter disappointment.
If anyone would have returned it would have been Him, for only He could have bypassed the very guards and systems He established. Yet all that greets their gaze is the bare mahogany furniture from familiar stories.
Every surface is scoured clean as though only yesterday, yet it has been decades since this room was last opened.
Trepidation grips the Astartes as they espy an opened parchment scroll.
As the most senior, the one who has flown with Him, Ejaias unsteadily grips the edges and begins to silently read:
It is said that the Final Ferryman is crafty and wise, tricking the unsuspecting into giving up a part of themselves as part of his fees.
Yet, whatever he wishes to charge for transport to the afterlife, his geas is that he cannot refuse the payment of coinage from this planet’s oldest times.
Ancient texts deep in the spires showed me the early metallurgy involved and it was the whim of a moment to banish the others from my presence for the three months it took to smelt what I required for the last of...them.
Looking back upon the reasons for this responsibility, there was such arrogance, such yearning, such pride. My Brother’s sabotage was undoubtedly the main cause and shall never be forgiven, yet faults also lay elsewhere.
Here amongst the freezing clouds, sweat drips down across my skin. My mane of once-wild hair now lies bedraggled and forlorn like it’s owner; plastered across eyes which have seen too much.
A single laugh barks out, yet seconds pass before I recognise it as my own.
‘The Silent Killer’, ‘The Unseen Hand’, finally brought low. Not by some stronger foe, nor a better swordsman, but by his own longing to emerge from the shadows, blazing back to the forefront.
“Should have stayed in the shadows, old man.” people will say.
“Why strive for an office which was never to have been yours?” they shall enquire.
Whoever ‘they’ may be matters not...it is sufficiently shaming that such shall be one of my legacies.
Might they ever forgive me? And, even if they could, would I actually want them to..?
There are things I have done which cannot be atoned for: planets ablaze with bombs and fires set by me and my kind; corpse-strewn alleyways across a dozen systems speak of our prowess; blades silencing turmoil before it could even develop.
Wrecks of ships-of-the-line on all sides litter the space-lanes because of us, testament to their owners’ lack of ‘right- thinking’; their obstruction; their...malcontent. Who else has counted such toll on the enemy?
Quashing heretics and removing the heads of dissenters is automatic function -just like breathing- for who else could remove the fell foes of Mankind?
We are not as others, yet who else but us could be so blinded to the truths in their own hearts?
Unlike several of my kind, I was not born with the powers of prescience. However, I study those I hunt and no kill ever goes unplanned.
I can ‘read’ a man at a hundred paces, timing the drawing of his gun.
Contact made, I count the sixth and seventh demi-seconds as the last of his life leaves his eyes, the weapon not even halfway out of it’s holster.
I shall be two streets away by the time his body hits the pavement.
For almost the twentieth time, I look to my gauntlets...freshly repaired for the coming task, for I am His Hand still.
A hundred and fourteen pennies glint in my palms and the irony is not lost upon me:
Nineteen for my number;
Multiplied by each of three disgraces (an absent son failing to stop the blades which assailed his Father, the treachery of brotherhood blinding me to people’s true directions, then the treachery of this hubris);
Two coins for each of them.
Perhaps for the last time, I give the final mission-prayer I have taught to my sons so thoroughly: ‘Let none stay my hand, our Lord’s work is done this night.’
Some time later with arms broken, knees sagging from multiple fractures and ragged heavy breathing, it is over.
The cells which used to hold them now resemble the charnel-houses of old...the ‘Secret Police’ chambers which contained dangling corpses before my arrival.
Despite the battle-exhilaration, I took no enjoyment from it...all fifty eight raged at me whilst these mistakes paid with their lives.
It was some time before I could find all the items I seek, as their previous owners were particularly vehement against deliverance, yet my keen eyes located every one.
Thankfully all were undamaged, so for a second I dared to think there might be hope after all.
Kneeling, I place the remaining penny over the one hundredth and fourteenth closed eye:
I had hoped this last one, Haresh, would become as strong as the true ones. Yet, as a writhing beast, he had tried to take me down into his death-grip.
As I tore out it’s vitality, it squeaked for release like a puny child, undeserving of it’s heritage, yet surprisingly human at it’s last breath.
Whatever faults they had in this life would be paid by my coins and their deaths.
Such is the only chance I might have to make sufficient amends and rectify the wrongs.
It has been a year to the day since then.
Locked in tight, immobilised by the fear I had visited upon others, the answers only recently came.
The treatises cannot remain here; such things would tear us asunder when we are needed most.
I know the Techpriests and their bizarre, arcane ways: Traitors still exist amongst their ranks and the books would quickly come to their debased attentions.
A shuttle shall be sent into the void carrying this casket, a catalogue of my failures.
Locked and coded so that only my sons may open it, I hope one day they may succeed where I failed, but they are not yet ready.
Brother-Captain Ejaias exits his progenitor’s chambers, the scroll barely clasped between his quivering hands.
Champion Jorgen enquires: “What does it hold, Captain?”
Ejaias’ faltering reply: “Nothing. Everything. A lesson from history.”
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?"
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