There was a moment of pregnant silence.
Cleomenes, still sitting upon a stool, watched Ryan and Zurick with those avid, ocean-blue eyes. Only the distant thrumming of the Heart’s engines, reverberating through the vessel with the sound of smashing waves, filled the room.
‘I’m not sure what else to say other than we’re not interested,’ Ryan ventured, eventually. Cleomenes arched an eyebrow, lips pressing together in a grim, emotionless smirk. ‘I myself wouldn’t be caught dead training new recruits and Zurick..’
Ryan indicated his brother with a open-handed wave. Zurick, ever-mysterious, remained motionless. Cleomenes kept his eyes fixed on Zurick, featureless beneath his blank-faced helm, the eyepieces glittering with malign intention. Ryan finished, ending the conversation with a summoning, Cleomenes standing, robes flowing about his lean, iron-taught body.
‘Disappointing,’ He said, with a distasteful snort. ‘The last person that turned down an offer of mine.. Well, I don’t recall,’ He smiled, his beard cracking. ‘Conventional methods work, Ryan. We are the Adeptus Astartes. We thrive on tradition. Guilliman’s - Blessed His name - Codex is our guiding light. Stray too far away from the light, into the darkness, and you will get lost..’
The two Space Marines left, leaving Cleomenes to his chambers.
His plate, held on a oversized frame, glittered. The Helm of Cassander, marvelously plumed, was hidden beneath a silken shroud - Something that, Cleomenes realised, was worth more than a small moon. He grinned, shook his head, and began the slow task of armouring up.
He arrived last.
His brothers, Squad Scrious, he mused, had all assembled.
The Scythe nodded respectfully at Raxan, narrowed his eyes at Izrael and Sergeant Scrious. Weak elements, the chink in the armour, the unsteady stanchion.
Ryan spoke once again. He introduced a new face - One brother Dymethus, - Tall, gaunt and swarthy skinned. Cleomenes frowned - A not-Sothan amongst the Scythes? A sacrilegious occurrence. Not unheard of, and not unexpected given the Scythes of the Emperor’s current situation, but certainly something that Cleomenes did not hold in high regard. The Polemarch ignored Dymethus.
With a tremendous clanking, the ground started to change. Sections shifted, lifted, moulded together into prefabricated buildings. In a central courtyard, unmoving and powered-down, was the Dreadnought Solaki. Objective, Cleomenes thought.
They were organized into teams - Team Black and Gold - Kain, Cleomenes, Raxan and Raziel being bracketed together as Gold, cloth-of-gold draping over their pauldrons.
‘You remember the battle on Abraxis Prime, brother?’ Raxan said, eventually, to Cleomenes. ‘I think that attack pattern Alpha 495 would be appropriate. Raziel and I will be the hammer, you and Kain shall play the anvil. What say you brothers? Are you ready?’
‘How could I forget?’ Cleomenes laughed, bitterly. He remembered the tunnel-fighting well, blood sloshing around his ankles, bursts of weapons fire illuminating the oily darkness. Squad Nicanor - Emperor Rest - Had lost three members during that campaign. Cleomenes sighed, before - ‘I still have the scars. For the Fourth, eh? A sound plan, Raxan. I approve.’
He turned to Sergeant Scrious. ‘This is deliberate, you know? You and I?’ He smiled falsely. ‘Let’s keep the petty bickering to a minimum. I wouldn’t want to hurt you in front of all these brothers, boy.’
He grabbed a Bolter - Slotting a magazine in place, checking the mechanisms. ‘We should neutralize the pup and Ryan first. Dymethus is young. He’s not Sothan. He doesn’t share our lineage. Zurick relies heavily on Ryan, from what I have observed. Get me in close with that handsome bastard,’ He smirked cruelly. ‘And I’ll show him why I enjoy pankration so much.’
Nyctophobia- Fear of the Dark Angel.
"No one ever spoke about of those two absent brothers. Their separate tragedies had seemed like aberrations. Had they, in fact, been warnings that no one had heeded?"
'Killing a man is like fucking, boy, only instead of giving life you take it. You experience the ecstasy of penetration as your warhead enters the enemy's belly and the shaft follows. You see the whites of his eyes roll inside the sockets of his helmet. You feel his knees give way beneath him and the weight of his faltering flesh draw down the point of your spear. Are you picturing this?'
'Is your dick hard yet?'
''What? You've got your spear in a man's guts and your dog isn't stiff? What are you, a woman?'
Last edited by dark angel; 12-06-12 at 01:14 AM.