'Survival,' Krateron began, after considering the Decurion's words, still listening to the howling winds, the rustling of ashes against his greaves and pauldrons, dimly aware that the other Emperor's Children had wandered off. 'Is never worthless. This,' He tapped his chest with two fingers. 'Us, alive, tarnishes their victory. It shames them, it-'
Krateron's vox crackled. There was a blurt of static, sharp, earsplitting, and then speech. It was garbled, unintelligible, save for one word - Death. But the death of what? Innocence, brotherhood, the Great Crusade? All had perished, this day, in this city of song. It almost made Krateron sad, knowing that his brothers, those he had stood besides, shoulder to shoulder, on a thousand worlds, would be coming, to cut his throat and empty his skull - Almost. It was also thrilling, a forbidden, treacherous thought. Space Marines, against Space Marines, was pure madness. It was the ultimate test. How many skulls, Krateron wondered, will I claim? Which of my brothers will claim mine?
'Survivors,' The Son of Horus grunted, drawing his bolter and ejecting a magazine. He slammed a fresh one home, all of this in less than three seconds, and crouched, listening. Above the howling storms, there was a keener, hollower whine - Engines. Stormbirds and Thunderhawks, Legionary landers, Krateron guessed.
'There's your strength in numbers, Tiberius,' He said, still listening. Gunfire, distant and half-heard, started up. 'And there's your death.'
He looked up, shaking his head.
Nyctophobia- Fear of the Dark Angel.
"No one ever spoke about of those two absent brothers. Their separate tragedies had seemed like aberrations. Had they, in fact, been warnings that no one had heeded?"
'Killing a man is like fucking, boy, only instead of giving life you take it. You experience the ecstasy of penetration as your warhead enters the enemy's belly and the shaft follows. You see the whites of his eyes roll inside the sockets of his helmet. You feel his knees give way beneath him and the weight of his faltering flesh draw down the point of your spear. Are you picturing this?'
'Is your dick hard yet?'
''What? You've got your spear in a man's guts and your dog isn't stiff? What are you, a woman?'