The First Wraith
Almost a century following the Necontyr`s discovery of the C`tan...
Nayten Coren had been a warrior for his entire adult life. But that meant little when you live the life of a necrontyr. Adulthood came early. Old age followed within a few decades. And death was upon them all too soon. For countless generations, the people had strived to find a means to longer life. Their scientists had explored every angle, their warriors had searched every world. Nothing... Death had followed them everywhere....
Nayten sighed heavily, looking down on his slender, gaunt hand. How many of the Old Ones` spawn had died by his hand, he couldn`t remember. He had chosen to fight for his people, to cast down the Old Ones and take from them what they refused to share...
'Are you alright?' A soft female voice came from beside him.
'What...?' Nayten looked up, seeing a young woman approach.
'You`re trembling.' She said. 'Are you alright?'
'I...' Nayten struggled to think, trying to clear his mind of the rage that had suddenly overcome him. Only now did he notice that his hand had clenched into a fist and was shaking slightly. 'Yes, Neka, I`m fine.'
'Dad, why do you spend your time here?' Neka asked, approaching her father and helping him stand. She followed his gaze out across the city square, all but deserted at this late hour. This world was the heart of necrontyr controlled space, even the Old Ones were not yet brave enough to attempt an attack here.
'I miss it.' Nayten replied. 'I miss the fighting.'
'How could you miss that?' Neka asked, leading her father back towards their dwelling. They entered a nearby building, Nayten remaining silent the whole time. The elevator arrived swiftly and carried them up to where Neka lived. As a scientist working on some secret project for the necrontyr High Council, she had been given a luxurious suite on this capital world. When Nayten had been retired from the military, she had practically insisted that he come and live with her.
Neka`s mother had died several years prior, so it had been an awkward time for both of them at first. But as the cycles went on, they had begun to grow close. Neka would spend her days in the necrontyr scientific research facility, whilst Nayten would roam the city streets, telling his story to any eager young children who would listen.
'I... I don`t know.' Nayten answered her question as they enterd her dwelling. He looked around at the familiar setting. There was a feeling of technology and machinery all around, it was almost as though Neka had brought the laboratory home with her. 'I just feel as though my life has lost its purpose.' He expression saddened as he continued. 'All my life, I`ve been a soldier. All I`ve ever done is kill. The Old Ones, the enemies of the Star Gods, had been worthy foes. But now, things seem to have lost their way.' He strolled over to the window, taking a seat in his favourite chair.
'It was a losing battle.' Neka said. 'The Star Gods have...' She clamped her mouth shut, turning away.
'Is that what you`re working on?' Nayten asked. 'Have the gods given us a new way to fight?'
'No...' Neka shook her head. 'Dad, please understand, this is not supposed to be public knowledge. Not yet. The Messenger, he told the High Council how we could...' She trailed off, clearly conflicted about defying her orders of confidentiality. But this was her father...
'What?' Nayten demanded.
'He offered us a means of immortality.' She said, looking sadly back at him.
Nayten sat in stunned silence. He could scarcely believe what he had heard. His whole life, he had fought in the name of the Star Gods, because he had believed them to be truly holding the necrontyr`s best interests to heart. But they had the answer all along?
'Why did they not present this sooner?' Nayten demanded. 'Why have we been fighting all this time if the answer was already known to them?'
'Dad, please.' Neka raised a hand. 'This has been ongoing for some time.' She sat beside her father on the arm of the chair, taking his hand and looking pleadingly into his eyes.
'This cannot get out.' She insisted. 'Not yet. We`ve been developing this technology for close to a decade, but there have been a few setbacks and problems. We... We never would have considered this line of work if not for the words of the Messenger.'
'I once fought alongside the Master of Fear against an army of reptilian warriors sired by the Old Ones.' Nayten said. 'The god`s power was unimaginable. He slew scores of enemy warriors with every swing of his great scythe. I followed in his wake, killing those that slipped beneath his notice. I felt...'
'...Dad.' Neka interrupted. 'Why do you torture yourself like this?'
'...I felt his savage joy in killing.' Nayten continued, ignoring her. 'I felt the extreme delight he emanated at inflicting such terror and suffering upon them. He is the incarnation of death, he is certain doom for anything that opposes him.
'But after each battle, when we had left his presence, I would reflect, and I would realise that we had become monsters. But no matter how disgusted I became with myself, I would always join the next fight.'
Neka turned away, not wanting him to see the tears that had begun to well up in her eyes. She knew what he wanted, she had the means to give it to him.
He wanted to fight, to kill. He had become a dealer of death, and nothing else could fill the void that his forced retirement had left him with.
Crying softly beyond his notice, Neka made her decision. Nayten would be the next subject for the transference research...
Nonsense is our Salvation