the air tonight, prelude to ancient ties
this is the prelude to ancient ties, hope you enjoy it.
THE AIR TONIGHT
Let me tell you why I became what I am. my name is Jubal Sancerre and I hailed from the world of Torsons Reach, a world on the rim of the Sabbatt worlds, not quite within the system to warrant a lot of the troubles they have, but, close enough to be of interest.
My parents were educated people, my mother was a teacher of Imperial history and my father was a priest. every year since I can remember, my parents along with my brother, sister and myself attended Candlemass at the mighty Cathedral of Sanguinius.
When I was younger it was a wonderful time. to see my father give the service in our local temple filled me with such pride and I believed I would follow into his footsteps, funny how things change.
Our world was mainly farmlands and grazing stock, an agri-world and many was a time I would watch the Grok trains come into town and watch the farmers and ranchers sell their cattle so that their families would be able to eat through the harsh winters that our world was known for.
In Marlak City, our capital sat the huge space port and a vast traders market. the Governors palace sat down a long beautifully paved mall and overlooked the spaceport and yet pride of place, high above the city on The Hill of the Aquila stood the Cathedral.
Made of white stone and carved with the care of those who knew what they were doing and loved their worked. Two giant statues of two Blood Angels stood guard at the west face and whilst outside was breath-taking, inside was soul stealing.
Each pane of glass was lovingly and painstakingly painted with the pictures of the Emperor casting down the dread Sagittarian himself, Horus, lord of all evil or the frescos depicted the Mighty Blood Angel smiting his enemies and those of his father with his magical staff. Pride of place at the very centre of the Cathedral stood a vast statue of Sanguinius himself, the Lord who had found our world and brought it out of the long night and at the front sat the Emperor, watching over his flock like a guardian angel and benevolent father. Or so I thought at the time.
When word had reached us of the Emperor and Blood Angel's Lord deaths at the hands of Horus our world went into mourning and with that our faith in the Emperor was an easy thing to grow. People wanted to believe that all would be right and in their end days we would sit at the Emperors hand and fight his enemies. The Cult had an easy hold here and for 10,000 years we served the growing and expanding Imperium.
Our young men and women became Imperial Guards, in fact, our unit, the Sanguinary I and II have won many battle honours and even commendations from Lord Dante Himself and it is not unusual for our regiments to join the Blood Angels themselves on occasions. Pride in our loyalty and fighting prowess is engrained in us from when we are young.
How foolish we all were then.
when I was 10 my father returned home, gathered us all together and told us of his news. We listened, eyes wide, hearts full of pride as our beloved father told us that Cardinal Tyrone had asked him to read Candlemass.
Such an honour. Such a folly but at the time we weren't to know that and I was naive about my own destiny then.
The preparations for Candlemass began in earnest. Father was rarely at home in the weeks that led up to the festivities and when he did eventually return home we were all tucked up in bed.
Mother had begun to believe that perhaps this was a step towards the path for our father to walk to become a Cardinal and every night she would say her prayers with us, fervently hoping that the God-Emperor would grant her wish. To become the wife of a Cardinal meant great social status and happy as she was as a teacher, like all women she so liked to social climb and dreamt of being at the great balls, being the wife of a Cardinal would give her that prestige.
My sister dreamt of joining the Sororities as a Sister Hospitaller, my brother wanted to be a Commissar spreading the word of the Emperor to inspire his men on the field of battle. judging by how well he did in Oratory exams that was a great calling for him, or it would have been, he could sell sand to an sand warrior that one.
The week before Candlemass I overheard my parents talking. Father was concerned with the wave of Heretical violence that had seemingly sprung up for no apparent reason in the outlying towns and villages. The Inquisition had tried many who dared proclaim the Emperor a false god and there were many burnings of such people. The Skies had turned black a few days before and the cry of the Whippoorwill birds had been heard all day, every day. A bad omen by our standards and my father had said as much. Mother told him not to worry, with all the trouble now being dealt with it was nothing to concern them and the Arbites were handling things well. I wonder if her words ever came back to haunt her in her final moments.
What my father was describing was common knowledge anyway. With the skies having turned unexplainably dark, mountains of fire that had been dormant for centuries began to awaken. One such mountain, Blood Peak woke with such fury that it not only destroyed itself but the island that surrounded it and the resulting Tidal wave swamped areas of civilisation some 100 miles away.
People packed all the Temples and cried out to the Emperor wanting him to save them all. Fools that we were at the time.
That night, my nightmares returned.
A dark figure whose face I could not see armoured like a Space Marine, an angel of death, strode through the wreckage of our world. His Armour was blood red and daubed with the sigils of Chaos. I didn't know what Chaos was - at the time but I knew that it was bad. Power flowed through him and erupted from his red filled eyes like a pure laser beam of destruction and devastation. Crushing skulls underfoot and slaying any and all survivors.
I woke biting my lip until it bled so that I would not scream out and wake my family. Had they known of this dream then they would have thought me possessed or something and sent me away on the Black Ships that occasionally came to our world. So, knowing that I kept silent and suffered in silence, it was the best way.
On Candlemass eve everything seemed to cease. The Heretics vanished from wherever they had emerged from and the fire mountains fell silent once more. People made their way to the Great Cathedral to hear the service and thank the Emperor for delivering them from what had been a tumultuous week.
We listened to the Cardinal, the choir and the sisterhood of the Bloody Wings voices rose in harmony through the great arches and then my father took the Lectern. He had barely finished his first prayer when it began. I could only watch in horror as a monster, the likes of which plagued my deepest dreams rose up behind my father and severed his head from his shoulders, his mouth still mouthing the prayer he was saying.
A deathly silence hung over the congregation, people were shocked and not quite comprehending what they had just witnessed then a cry, one from the pits of the seven hells itself rang round the cathedral.
DEATH TO THE FALSE GOD!
Thatís when the screams started, The Sisters fired their holy bolters as a stampede started. My brother was crushed underfoot as more of the Red Armoured monsters appeared.
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD
one shout rose and with a sickening lurch in my stomach I knew what they were. A giant ran my sister through with a chainaxe that had the head of a cackling skull and drank her blood, even as her body jerked in an obscene death dance.
My mothers half decapitated body landed at my feet, her new dress brought for the occasion was now a horrible scarlet colour, her eyes wide and terror forever lit in them. Somewhere deep inside of me my rage and grief exploded. I ignored the screams of the dying and wounded around me as I focused on the beast that had killed my parents and siblings and in one powerful optic blast I boiled him alive.
He didn't even scream, just called out the name of his god as he cooked in his power armour. For a few moments everything fell silent, even the wounded and dying stopped their mewling. The tallest of the Fell warriors strode towards me, having spent all my rage in that blast, I began to feel afraid I looked for comfort from those I called friend and kin but they drew away from me, looking at me in absolute fear and loathing. Muttering about me under their breaths. I could hear their thoughts and it angered me.
cursed, heretic, psyker scum, his fault, its all his fault
The warrior glanced at those around me and then at me and removed his helm in one fluid motion and I was stunned to be looking at a human face. Not a daemon but a human. Handsome he was too with short cropped black hair and piercing blue eyes. Only when he spoke did his nature reveal itself and I realised he was not at all human. A dragons tongue flickered in and out of his mouth dripping with venom, his teeth were like wolfs or some other savage beast.
he knelt down and cocked his head, a smile, if you could call it that crossed his face.
"See child, see how they fear you" He spoke smoothly like milk over honey "You save them from my most fierce warriors axe and yet it is you they blame for this." He tipped my head up "Is this how your god emperor treats his brave warriors no matter how old they are"
I looked around to see the Cardinal looking at me. "Listen not to his words Jubal" He swallowed "The Emperor has a place for you."
"Listen to his heart Jubal" The Warrior smoothly said, "Sure we will leave here and he will have you killed or taken to some distant dungeon. I do not lie child listen"
So I did and what I heard broke me there and then. he was planning to have me taken on a black ship and disappear like others, names he mentioned had been some of my friends and others I did not know. There was no glory life for us who displayed such gifts just a lifetime of pain and servitude to a cold unfeeling god.
I snarled, this man had cursed me in his heart but his words were lies and I killed him there and then, without thought.
The power that flowed through allowed me to hear all their cursed words and I aided the monsters so angry and hurt that people I had called kith and kin would betray me because I was cursed with the stars alone knew what.
when it was over I was alone with my mothers body at my feet. The warrior rose to his feet and held a gauntlet hand out.
"Come with me and I will give you brotherhood, give you a long life of death and glory and I will turn you into the greatest we have ever known"
So I did and I never looked back.
That was all 300 years ago. I am still Jubal but I am known as Jubal Sunscreamer, the power of the Sun erupts from my eyes searing mindscapes in one thought and I follow my new lord with passion and conviction.
The dream I had was not any warrior but me. Blessed Lorgar has looked over me, Blessed Erebus himself oversaw my training and I have been part of Mighty Lord Kor Phaerons Host and recently elevated to the Anointed for my actions against serving up a load of Sisters to the Warp.
I returned to my world now and I can see that once again the cursed Emperor has a hold on it, all forgotten but they will not forget this Candlemass. They rejected me and called me monster, the deaths were my fault. My families was not, but theirs will be and so it will be until my dying day.
Glory to Lorgar and the most powerful gods.
*****I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh lord, I been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh lord Phil Collins The Air tonight with thanks for the inspiration for this story