Chapter 1: A Brother's Due
How long has it been? Days? Weeks? Months? Even years? It did not matter to Sal-Khmet, he had ceased counting the days for it was pointless. His task mattered to him only...the task that he and his brothers accepted when they first came here. Once more he walked to the entrance of the cave, his purple eyes catching sight of the planet's azure sun. It's light gave his red armour and long hair a purplish hue, the jewels dulled and the gold became emeralds. For Sal-Khmet, before the Legion's arrival on this planet, this local star was quite unlike anything he had ever seen; a lifetime of war had not away his appreciation of the glaxy. This sunrise was one of few luxuries fate had allowed him; he chuckled, never had the Thousand Son believed in fate, only what his powers showed him. Now it seems he was beholden to its machinations, something he didn't like at all. Content with his observation of the strange star, Sal-Khmet turned back to the cave, once more allowing it's darkness to swallow him. As he went deeper into the cave, another thought crossed his mind, a duty that required fufilment.
Psychic fire coalesced around his gauntleted hand, casting a purple light against the walls of the cave. As the flames grew brighter, five mounds of rock and gold came into clear view. Sal-Khmet approached them, a hand clasped around five thick candles, the substance they were made from he didn't wish to remember. He approached the first mound to his left, inscribed in one of the least damaged gold pieces was the name Kafra-Seti and lay one of the improvised candles on top. Leaning forward, the Thousand Son blew at the candle, a golden flame emerged. He repeated his actions with the other mounds, each also having a name: Ehriskael, Kentuheq, Marakhath and Thazen-Huras. As he gazed at the mounds, Sal-Khmet felt a pain growing within his two hearts; ordinary men called it heartache, a fitting name for such a loathsome sensation. Drawing his Khopesh, the Thousand Son knelt down, his blade facing the floor. He sighed and spoke, his gravelly voice having not been heard for a long time yet conveying just as many years of grief, at least what an Astartes could feel. "It has been a long time brothers", breaking the silence, Sal-Khmet perhaps wanted to be heard; "I do not how long we have been here...I do not care to", his mind reached out to the stars, did the Great Crusade still carry on? Did Mankind rule the stars under the guiding light of the Imperial truth? He put aside that question and continued his speech "I know it seems foolish and against all that we were ever taught, but I hope...where ever it may be, it is a better place". The idea seemed ridiculous, so ridiculous that Sal-Khmet burst into a laughter tht echoed throughout the cave. He had been here and alone for so long, he had taken to an insane superstition in order to keep himself sane. Oh the irony, he thought to himself.
For the Thousand Son, the memory of his battle-brothers' burial still burned fresh in his mind; telekinetically he gathered the stones and fragments of the thunderhawk, yet it was by hand he placed them. He then melted the names of the fallen Sons into the most intact pieces with his pyrokinesis. After finishing the burial, Sal-Khmet gazed at the emerald ceililng of the cave and screamed. He was trapped on this accursed planet and his brothers, fellow sons of Magnus, had fallen in the name of duty. Snapping back to the present, something flowed from the Exiled Son's eye, placing his hand against his copper skin and then put it into sight. A droplet of water, faint memories of his mortal life coursed forward; they came when he was a mortal child, during his trails into the ranks of the sons of Prospero and they came at Ullanor, when he layed his eyes upon the Emperor. Sal-Khmet wiped his eyes, now was no time for these...tears. Trying to block such unfamiliar sensations, he fled to the world outside, into the blue light of the sun. Why?, he thought, Why does this place torment me so?. Something twinkled in the distance, Sal-Khmet looked up. It grew brighter and brighter; was it a meteor? a ship? friend or foe? Grabbing his improvised fur cloak, the Thousand Son ran into the forest, eyes focussing on the brightened object. Whoever they were, he will fulfil his duty to his brothers, no matter what the cost.
When the sky falls down, The Dead sleep no more.
Can you survive as your world slowly tears itself apart?
"When life gives you lemons...BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD"