War On The Dancefloor!
I got the idea for this while reading Angelus Exterminatus, so you might call this an Emperor's Children slice of life short story.
Hopefully it won't be too irritating if I post this in seperate messages...
I also blame Eidolon for everything that has ever led me to writing this.
War On The Dancefloor
He hadn't been here for a long time, usually, he wasn't fond of too many people at one place and the smell of sweat mixed with whatever they pumped into the air at this place.
He wasn't fond of all the mortals dancing around and mutilating each other and themselves in every corner, but it was the only way to escape the dull routine while he was stuck on this ship with nothing to do, really. And after all, he did enjoy the rhythmic music mixed almost inhumane screams and the bass that let his body vibrate with shivers of ecstasy everytime it took him by surprise. It was even better now that he hadn't been here for so long, he wasn't used to the flashing, colourful lights that pierced the smoke now and then anymore, he didn't remember how much he had longed to breathe in this obscene mixture of synthetic drugs, perfume and blood, how much his body had been suffering without this.
Visiting the La Fenice had always been something he had tried to drag out as much as possible, but now he suddenly realized that it wasn't because he didn't like this place, it was because he wanted to starve his body of all ecstasy and pleasures, only to finally return and let it hit him like a hammer. And he welcomed it with arms open wide while it trashed his senses and pulled him back into its addicting embrace.
"So you finally decided to show up, thought I'd have to search for someone else." He was barely able to understand a word of what his brother said to him, not because of the music or the volume in general, but because of the fact that the other man had the corners of his mouth sliced open all the way to his cheek bones to form a horrid, disfigured grin. These were fresh, probably done by himself and already started to heal, if it weren't for the hooks that held skin back here and there so that pointy teeth could be seen through the bloody gaps in his pale flesh.
"You look atrocious, Delius.", he merely replied, but didn't feel like elaborating further and therefore giving his battle brother anymore attention. And it wasn't like Delius wasn't already ignoring his intonation completely.
"Oh, thank you! Hurt like a bitch too, it was exquisite! Gotta tell you, you're the only one I can count on, Vaelian. If you hadn't shown up, I'd have had to pair up with Cestus and you know what an arrogant piece of shit he is." Indeed. But while Delius was barely above the average Astartes when it came to body types and didn't have anything special to him at all, Cestus at least possessed a muscular, bulky figure and he knew perfectly well how to use it efficiently.
Vaelian himself had been quick enough to acknowledge that his slender body was meant to wield two one-handed swords instead of massive hammers and he had been working his way towards a perfect balance of body and weapon. Or at least he had thought so until he had fought against warrior named Galerius in one of the training cages. Fought, yeah right, that wasn't even the right word to describe it, this man had showed him that he was far away from perfection by beating him within mere seconds. And since then he had trained to rival this man's skill as soon as possible and becoming even better than him. And then Vaelian would end him with a single swipe and keep his head as a trophy in his room somewhere. Or maybe on his belt.
He had already beaten Abranxe but that wasn't really an achievement, since that man moved like a stumbling toddler and his skill followed close behind. The next one on Vaelian's list had been Krysander, but he had refused any duels so far, probably fearing for his reputation. Better that way, Vaelian liked the thought of being feared, being such a threat to someone's image. It meant that he had already won.
He idly wondered how long he would have to bear with Delius' presence and distracted himself from that nuisance by carding through his white hair. Usually, he kept it in one elegant braid during combat practice or in battle, not willing to give himself a disadvantage through something like this. But today, he had randomly decided for several smaller ones, decorated with golden ornaments in between and at the end of each braid, while keeping his hair underneath loose and open.
Vaelian knew very well that people liked to stare at him, maybe out of spite, maybe out of passion, he didn't care much as long as they'd keep looking when he walked by. And he was the only one on this ship - hell, probably even the entire legion!- whose sense for beauty and aesthetics had not been horribly damaged one bit by the events of Istvaan. Vaelian had even left his armor intact and felt no desire to repaint it the way others did. Or rather tried to, since it looked more like they just took a few cans of paint and threw them at their armor to get some unique designs. If you wanted to stand out from the crowd, then there was nothing better than to remain the same while everyone changed. It had taken him time to take care of his armor alone, no one else was worthy enough to touch it, so he needed to do it himself, but despite the effort it had made the primarch himself look at him once or twice by now. He remembered how proud he had been to somehow catch Fulgrim's attention, how his hearts had felt like they would burst with joy after just one glimpse his primarch gave him. And ever since, Vaelian had been eager to stand out even more from this horrid crowd of boredom. And if his armor and hair didn't do the trick, then at least his eyes would.
Sometimes he had wondered why he possessed two different eye colours, but he had also figured that it must have happened during his final step towards becoming an Astartes, since he remembered not having them as a child. One had remained bright blue, the other had changed to a subtle, seductive violet somehow, but he couldn't care less where it came from. Being chosen to become an Emperor's Children had made him come closer to perfection than ever and Vaelian went through great lengths so preserve his looks. He was naturally perfect and that was something that made him better than every single one of his brothers.
Last edited by Dave T Hobbit; 04-30-16 at 04:26 PM.