Senator Jusile Herosian looked out from her balcony across the beautiful white towers of the Central Government Senate. She smiled as she took in the fabled walkway of flowers, black and yellow to symbolise their saviours and the worlds high lord Perturabo. Today would see the swearing of another 12 army units, to join the sons of the mother world Olympia in the wars across the stars.
She turned as a polite cough behind her made her turn to see her military chief Danso Mortasana. He looked pristine in his uniform, and was one of the youngest of her ministers, at 46 he was twenty years younger than the Senator herself, but no one knew tactical acumen better than he did, even for one so young. She had often wondered why it was he had never joined the Legion itself. As it was she had a son and a nephew in the honoured legion.
“Something amusing you my lady?” Danso asked as he joined her side and handed her the data slate with the itinerary for the muster, or the day of allegiance as it was more formally known.
“I was just thinking how beautiful our world is.” She wistfully spoke “A world devoted to our high lord and we are sending more sons and daughters to fight alongside his sons and himself. I envy them”
Danso clasped his hands behind his back and arched an eyebrow “You do?”
“Yes. I did my national service when I was younger. I served in the Olympian 43rd Infantry”
Danso almost baulked. The senator was a slender woman, her silver hair tied into a tight bun, he had never believed she had served in the Olympian 43rd, the unit called Siege Breakers
because of their skill in getting behind the line of the enemy and screwing the enemies ability to mount a coherent defence.
“You could be the CO by now” he told her.
“I was, for ten years. I suffered an injury and Lord Perturabo placed me here, as head of the Senate. I still serve him and I have a son and a nephew who serve him even now. Although where they are now I could not say.” her tone took a melancholy cadence “When they become Iron Warriors, they must leave their past lives behind them. One day they will forget their family but we will know.” She looked at her hands.
She had been a widow for twelve years now, never remarried and if she ever took a lover to her bed, Danso had no idea who it might have been. The Senator was guarded about her personal affairs as she was her political affairs.
“Ma'am, I must bring the actions of your advisor and Intelligence Minister to your attention”
“Oh?” She stood straighter, focusing her attention on her Military Chief.
“They have been most vocal in your decision to.....remain loyal to the High Lord”
“And why not? We were a colony world when Perturabo came to his own, and we have always sworn our oaths to the Lord of Olympia”
“They are saying that the High Lord is a traitor. That he has betrayed the Emperor”
And there it was, Jusile knew that her Advisor Tachaon Undentes and her Intelligence Minister Sahel Ornaraosa wanted their world to remain with the law of the Emperor, damn his name. But they were a colony world of Olympia, they came under Perturabos auspice not the Emperor. Both of them had never lifted a finger to aid in the great crusade. Coming from wealthy families they were able to avoid the service requisition altogether.
They had been none too pleased when Perturabo appointed her as High Senator above them, her a army grunt and a native of Olympia, it insulted them. Seems that grudge had lasted longer than she thought.
She didn't need to ask Danso for proof, it was nothing she had not heard before, but what they were saying now spoke of sedition and rebellion, she was not going to let that happen, not on this day, not on any day,
“Also” He handed her another slate “It seems that there are four warships coming towards our world from the translation site beyond Hades Gamma”
She read it and swallowed a little, especially when she saw the ship signatures that had been tagged by station epsilon beta “I want you to go to the Astropathic chambers and have a message sent to the Garrison on Utelesa and to the Iron Blood
“What should it say”
She looked at him “Dark Angel rising
He frowned a little “Ma'am?”
“Just that phrase, and then Danso I want the Military mobilised. I believe the Emperor has come for his due.”
Danso swallowed a little “Betrayed?”
“So it would seem. Meet me at the muster fields. We have to get them sworn it, we have...” She read the time index “just over five hours before they reach here.”
He bowed low and went to carry out her orders. Returning to her chamber, she opened the wardrobe and discarding her senatorial robes, she changed into her old uniform, opening a footlocker she took a las-rifle and pistol from the back and belted her command sword around her waist.
As she returned to her office she glanced at the image of Perturabo alongside the Siege Breakers
and his sons.
“It would seem you were right after all my Lord” She kissed the pommel of her sword “Iron within, iron without.”
Perturabo watched as Amon finished his battle exercises. Since the last Lion had come to Kegara many months ago now he had repeated his exercises and training regime, more to keep his body and mind focused, the Primarch knew that the last true Custode wanted to be back in the war, in the fight and avenge his Commander and the Sigilitte.
However, whatever Malcador had put into Amons head had been so buried and guarded, it was not a case of simply pulling it out. Magnus had already said that to do that would leave Amon nothing more then a vegetable, and despite what they could use he was not prepared to fry another warriors brain for it.
Perturabo did not pretend to understand the nuances of Psykers actions, but he did understand that care was needed when dealing with something this delicate and well guarded. He supposed that Malcador had done what he had done so that even the Emperor could never get at it without destroying the mind.
Magnus had said that the fail safes inside the mind had ensured that if anyone other than Magnus attempted to get this information then, quite literally, Amons brain would fry. Killing the information and him in the process. When Magnus had explained it to Amon, he had been quite pragmatic about it.
He was not afraid of death, he wanted to get this to the Warmaster, but if it meant his death, as long as the information was saved then, he would have fulfilled his oath to Constantin and Malcador. The Comrade watched as Forrix was reunited with his friend and the two, after greeting each other like long lost brothers, began to spar, watched by the initiate of the Thousand Sons, whom had been placed into Amons care for warrior training.
He was joined by the Crimson King who watched the sparring below. “Let him finish his class. It will do the Initiates good to have their martial lessons observed not only by their master, but the much respected First Captain of the Iron Warriors.”
“How's the rebuilding coming along?” Perturabo asked, still watching the sparring below, pride at his favoured sons skill and admiration at Amons.
“Slowly and painfully” Magnus was honest “I am not sure if we will be ever ready to rejoin the Crusade, certainly not at full strength and certainly not with me at the head. Not until I find a way to straighten my spine so I can partake fully in any battle against father when the time arises”
“That will be some time off yet I suspect” Perturabo frowned a little “Where is Azhek and your Amon?”
“On that assignment”
“Ah, I had forgotten about that” Perturabo admitted “So many other things and I forget about that one.”
“We are all consumed by what other events are happening my brother. Come, I am sure the Initiates would like to meet the Lord of Olympia. How fares your world?”
“Hera is mustering some more army regiments” Perturabo spoke with pride “Next month Olympia will send theirs. I couldn't do what I do without them to be honest, so when they join their fleets it is with pride I will greet them all.”
“I heard about Nostramo...or rather I literally heard Nostramo. I had a headache for days. Does the Emperor realise what he has done?”
Perturabo rubbed his jaw a little. It was understandable that one as attuned to the warp as Magnus would be affected by the death of a world. He was when Venus IX had been attacked and rendered barren by the Imperial Fists. Still it couldn't be the nicest emotion to have to deal with.
“I don't know Magnus” He honestly answered “I do not know if he ordered it, or if Lorgar is acting under his own auspice. Lorgar has more power than even Horus and that, worries me.”
“Horus was trained by our father for the position he holds, he is a natural leader, warrior and diplomat. Lorgar is different, all that he has advocated has been vindicated, I wonder if his new position means he makes a lot of the decisions on behalf of the Emperor.”
Magnus nodded. The thought had crossed his mind too, still whether it was Lorgar or their father, their father would have sanctioned it, if not ordered it, Curze was not his most favourite brother, but he knew his heart, and he knew that this time that order would backfire completely on the Imperials.
It was bad enough with Horus at their heels, but Curze too....it would not end well for Lorgar, one way or the other the Dark King would have his day.