Prioris Vitae/ Planet Thapus / The Cartel
“The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend”
~Aristoti, ancient Terran Philosopher
MPERIUM HOSTIS… Enemy of the Imperium. Morthern Stroms was all of these and more.
For years beyond memory, he had travelled the stars, always moving, always hiding and always looking behind.
For he was being hunted.
They had come for his brothers and sisters first and he had seen them die, often in the most barbaric ways imaginable. Then they came for him and tried to kill him as well but he had managed to thwart them all.
Now they were coming for him again.
What were their crimes? Why were they cornered and butchered like vermin? What was it that caused rational men to relentlessly hunt them down? What was it that was so terrible that death was the only solution?
Stroms knew the real reason and it was too fantastic to imagine, but it was not why the hunters hunted them.
They did not know the real truth.
The hunters tracked his kind down because they were different. Not in a physical way; but they were different for many other reasons.
This difference meant that to some they were an aberration and to others they were devils, witches... daemons.
Man is an ignorant, brutal creature.
An academic once said that Humanity was only a few meals away from its barbarian roots and a savage, primitive past. If a man’s normal life is disrupted and he is forced to endure hardship and deprivation beyond that which he is used to and despite thousands of years of civilisation, enlightenment, glory and advances; he would soon revert to a base creature scavenging for scraps in the dirt.
It is a wonder that the Human race has survived for so long.
So, if a person is different, or perceived to be different; the human, civilised mind will always fall back to the little brain in its head, the cerebellum, the ancient core of our brain we used when we first crawled out of the primeval swamps and began to climb trees.
When one cannot explain something logically, his base instincts take over and something that is not the norm, something that does not fit the time or place is dealt with through ignorance and fear.
Death usually follows.
Morthen Stroms had been hunted down through the Millennia by men on horses, or with dogs and other wild beasts. He had been chased across land, sea and in the air and out into the stars and beyond, but he had always managed to stay one step ahead of them, and one breath away from discovery or capture.
He had become a master of disguise and concealment.
They had formed Special units or groups to find him and his kin and wipe out their existence. Whole organisations had been built to find them with untold resources and the finest minds at their disposal.
Groups like The Inquisition.
Stroms had seen off the Fraternities and the Dominicans, The Innocent Pope and then later Torquemada, the high-and-mighty. He had survived the Narsay extermination camps and escaped the Corporation War purges. He had fought the Thunder warriors, evaded the assassins, he had survived them all, and all of them had failed to judge him.
And now in the time of The Emperor of Mankind, the ruler of a million worlds, he faced them again.
But this time things were different.
The latest batch of psychopathic zealots put the ancients and their methods to shame. These so-called brave and loyal servants of the Emperor made the Spaniards and the Geheime Staatspolizei look like small children at play.
Perhaps his days were now numbered? Perhaps they were just too good for him?
But he knew that the passion within him still burned brightly and his infinite strength still shone through. He was not ready to give up yet, not after so long. He just could not give up and let deaths cold embrace take him. Not yet.
He believed that he still lived for a purpose, and although their numbers had dwindled, he knew that he still had brothers and sisters out there amongst the stars and it was his destiny to try and find them.
One day, he knew that they would all meet again. One day they would sit at the feet of their father and a new dawn of enlightenment would begin and Mankind’s true future would be revealed.
So Stroms knew that until that time came, he would keep running and hiding, and he would agitate, harass and bring enlightenment to the subjugated and the oppressed, and he would bring a glimmer of light and hope to the small corners of this dark Imperium.
It was, after all, his destiny…
. . .