Lorgar Aurelian, the Urizen, Primarch of the Word Bearers and conduit of the Chaos Gods, stood and faced the quicksilver mirror.
His golden face was etched with the vertical writings of his renewed faith, as was the rose-golden armor that encased the rest of his body. The Emperor’s final acceptance of both his own divinity and the other, primordial gods had uplifted Lorgar in position; but it had elevated him even more in confidence.
Blood had been spilled, and now he was walking, like the other Primarchs, towards his inevitable and wondrous destiny. And unlike his brothers, he did so without doubt and with head held high. He was the bridge, the bearer of divine illumination. More than the Word – the full Truth, barely comprehensible even to one such as him.
The mirror shimmered, and the scowl of Ulrach Branthan, Sixty-Fifth Captain of the Iron Hands, appeared to face the Urizen.
“My lord,” the kneeling Astarte said.
“Branthan,” Lorgar replied. “What news from Mars?”
“Ferrus has not reconsidered,” Branthan said. “He maintains his ban on use of the Warp and worship of the gods, my lord. He….” Lorgar noted that the Iron Hand’s fists had been clenched, in fury against his own Primarch.
That was not good – it went too far, by far. Branthan had been meant as a spy and a test, not to hate his father. Either Lorgar had been too successful, or too extreme. Even now, there was much he had to learn about oration.
“Then act as you see fit,” Lorgar calmly replied. “He must see the truth of the Gods in time.”
“He will not,” Branthan replied. “His madness has gone too far for that.”
“Act as you see fit,” Lorgar said, and with his frustration and Branthan’s barely concealed fury ripples began to spread across the mirror’s surface. To Branthan, in orbit around Mars, Lorgar would appear to stand in a corner of his room, so long as the Astarte did not approach too close to the hologram. “For the Emperor and for Chaos.”
“For Chaos and the Emperor,” Branthan replied in agreement as the connection slightly stabilized before abruptly failing with a sweep of Lorgar’s hand. The Primarch began to pace the room as Branthan vanished from sight, considering his agent’s place.
It seemed Branthan was ill-positioned in his own Legion by this point. He had, of course, indicated to Lorgar that a significant portion of the Iron Hands would follow him over Ferrus Manus, but Lorgar did not believe him. It took more than recovery to turn a Legion against its Primarch.
Lorgar could have helped, of course, but he would never do so. Ferrus was a friend – a loyal friend, such as Magnus no longer was. Angron would raze Prospero, a broken brother breaking another, and Magnus would scream from the Warp in vengeance. And, in the end, Magnus the Red would likely be ended at the Red Angel’s hands. But Ferrus was loyal, honest, and now strong once more. And if the path he tread was not quite Lorgar’s own, well, all of them had distinct destinies.
No, Ferrus Manus would be left well alone, to prosecute the Martian War as he saw fit. And Lorgar would have his brother back, and perhaps more.
And Branthan – well, Lorgar didn’t particularly care about him, anymore.