HOES #13-08: Absence Lord of the Night: Lost Memories
I awake. The darkness recedes, I feel like I have seen this before but I cannot remember where or when or why I would have. Data scrolls down in my optics, systems coming back online. I remember what I am, and the momentary tinge of sadness that passes through what remains of my heart is another thing that I feel I have felt many times before, but I do not remember. I am a Dreadnought of the Adeptus Astartes, specifically the hallowed chapter that is the Howling Griffons. My name is Gabriel Kuroso and I know this and one thing. There is something absent within me. But I cannot remember what it is. My systems are all active and working at near maximum capacity, my organic parts or at least what little remains of them are still functioning, in some cases barely but that is the way it has always been, I think. Something is absent, I know it. But what it is escapes me at the moment, but I feel that it should not.
In front of me scurry a mixed group of the living, some are servitor slaves that do the main work of reviving me from my dreams of war and death, some are serfs recruited from those that failed the initiation trials, and some are Techmarines of the Chapter that are responsible for my care. Suddenly a face flashes in front of me, it is a stern face with short blonde hair and piercing green eyes that promises honest and fair judgement. I cannot remember who this is. Perhaps he was a serf that I knew in life, or a Techmarine that cares for me even now, but I do not see his face among the mortals and brethren around me. It will come to me, I am sure of it. For now I focus on my surroundings, I am in a great bay of machines and forges. This is where the Techmarines work at their weapons and repairs, and where I live when I am not called upon by my living brothers. It is a functional place, we are not a chapter for beauty or form but rather function. If it works, then that is enough. I am unsure where that phrase came from, someone once told it to me but I can't remember who or when or even if I was alive when I heard it.
This is the first time I have been awoken by my brethren, and will be my first mission as a Dreadnought. I feel a fierce pride in my surviving heart that I will soon bring death to the Emperor's enemies and gain revenge against... what? I do not remember what crippled me, what was it that put me in this shell of adamantium and mechanical parts? Was it one of the Traitor Legions? Perhaps the brutish greenskins or the arrogant Eldar? Perhaps even the disgusting Tyranids or one of the minor races that clamour for our deaths and our souls. I cannot remember. No matter, it will come to me I am sure of it. And yet I still feel as if something is absent. I run another internal systems check, which comes back and reveals nothing. I am fully functioning, and yet my heart is telling me that something is wrong, that I am missing something important but I cannot fathom what it is. Could it be my memories... no they are fine. Merely hazy from my reawakening, they will return shortly.
One of the Techmarines approaches me. His armour is as I remember it, the rusty-red of the adepts of Mars while his shoulderpad carries the rampant griffon that is our heraldry with the quartered yellow and red that are our colours. They make me feel proud, we are a mighty Chapter and though the perils we face are many it is good to see that we still stand even now... whenever now is. I think back on my years of service, I can't quite recall when I began my service but I am sure it was long and fruitful. He begins to speak to me, addressing me by name.
"Venerable Brother Gabriel, it is good to see you among us once more. Once again you awake with little difficulty."
His words make me pause, again? But I have never awakened before this, and why did he call me Venerable Brother? One has to serve as a Dreadnought for at least two thousand years to earn that title but I have not served that long... I think. No! I am sure that I only fell in the last century, fighting... whatever it was that slew me. I think about correcting him but I am not sure that would be a prudent move, so instead I reply.
"It is good to be back."
My sharp voice is a shock to me. It is completely emotionless, which is good as I did not want my hesitancy to cross over into my reply, but it surprises me that it is so deep. But should it? I feel for some reason that it shouldn't surprise me, that I have heard it many times before and my shock is wrong. But that can't be, this is my first mission isn't it? Yes! It is. I look forward to it, in fact I can't quite remember why I was apprehensive anymore. I am sure it was of little matter. The Techmarine continues to speak with me, telling me mission parameters and the reason I have been awoken once more. I find it odd that he continues to call me Venerable Brother but perhaps he is new and it is a lapse of judgement, I will speak with the Master of the Forge later and have his error corrected.
For now I look forward to my first mission as a Dreadnought, but I still cannot escape the feeling that something is absent. I try to remember what but I can't, my memories will return soon. I am sure of it. They have to... don't they?
...Battle Report: 11927.8327 "Battle of Hybriday"
2nd, 3rd and 6th Companies deployed to planetary capital, designation "Granitehole"
Venerable Dreadnought Gabriel Kuroso, once 2nd Captain, deployed alongside 2nd. Eleventh deployment on record for Brother Kuroso.
Enemy Target: Orks.
Addendum: Kuroso's crippling at the hands of Orks can be avenged once more.
Addendum Secundus: Kuroso once again awakes with no memory after internment. His inability to retain memory is permanent, according to Chief Apothecary Vincento. Continue to monitor. Praise Guilliman. Praise the Emperor.