The furious ball of flying feathers reached him first, smashing into his most sacred of all faces and latching onto his head with all four limbs.
“Snguniuff geroff m’phace!” the Emperor tried to shout, voice muffled by the clinging body of a small child.
“Sorry ‘bout that daddy.” The boy apologized letting go and hovering in midair. “I just wanted to see you!”
“So do about a million pilgrims a day, plus the council of terra, the remembrancers guild and every myself-damn neophyte in the galaxy!” the holy one responded, spitting out a clump of white feathers. “Excuse me if I don’t have time to play ‘ring around the rosey’ with Mortarion, help Vulkan with his blacksmithing classes, bandage Ferrus’s hands, and put a parental block on the TV to keep Fulgrim from watching porn! I’m a busy God! I-"
And just then the others were upon Him. Lionel, Fulgrim, Perterabo, Jaghatai, Russ, Dorn, Konrad, Sanguinius, Ferrus, Angron, Roboute, Mortarion and Magnus, Horus, Vulkan, Lorgar, Corax, Alpharious and those two whose names he couldn’t remember, all pulling at his hands, leaping at Him, climbing on Him, and creating a cacophony of such volume that it brought him to his knees.
“Yay! Piggy back ride!” squealed Alpharious mounting the Imperator’s shoulders.
And the Emperor wondered. He wondered how he’d gone all these years, raising a literal score of children on his own. He wondered if it was too late to jettison them all into space and find them later as adults. He wondered how it was possible that a Warrior-God sccustomed to lifting and throwing Greater Daemons could suffer back problems from small children bouncing on his back. He wondered if he would end up like the aged men of Old Earth, a comatose vegetable hooked up to a life-support machine. He shuddered at his secret fear. And then He Decided. He was going to hire a nanny.
Coming up: Meet the Primarchs… And the Nanny of Doom!