"I know he is important for now but may I take his tongue and vocal cords with a rusty, and hopefully poisoned, blade Lord?"
Var did not move his eyes to where the voice came from, but he recognized the speaker, the Standard-Bearer, no doubt trying to stir up the Captain into condemning the actions of Var himself. And then the voice of the Company Champion.
“I hope you will at least grant me the pleasure of watching, if not doing the deed myself.”
Their belief in their abilities was amusing to the Techmarine and he allowed himself a slight smile, although the hideous metal jaw transformed it into a snarl.
Var could feel his insides turning as the self-confident voice of the Corpse-Master cut through the silence. The fool was weak, he spent to long with the imperfection of flesh, in fact his very armour screamed with love for the stuff, the rib cage splayed from his chest, the very colour of it, as of dried blood, made Var’s servo-arms flex subconsciously. But despite the fact that Var would enjoy nothing more than driving his ‘tail’ through the Apothecary’s throat and proving that his belief in flesh was false, Veptus held an esteemed place within the First Claw, and Var could endanger his time here anymore than he had already. And so the Techmarine turned from the Captain and faced the Corpse-Master as he spoke.
“Ah Var, how nice of you to join us. I was beginning to miss you brazen contempt down in my Apocatherion.”
Continuing to watch on, his face displaying no emotion or reaction to the blatant insult, Var watched as the Corpse-Master turned and spoke to the Captain, continuing a conversation that Var had obviously interrupted with his arrival.
Veptus turned back to Var. “Now you can speak. A little courtesy goes a long way you know.”
Var’s remaining eye narrowed, reading the Apothecary’s face. Although it had been a long time since Var had felt any emotion but hate and anger, the mocking expression plastered across the Corpse-Master’s pale face was unmistakable.
It was clear that the Corpse-Master was not afraid of the wrath that he was building within Var, for around him were other brothers who, though they may bear Veptus no love, would leap at the opportunity to bring down the Techmarine. Refusing to give them the satisfaction of snapping, Var simply twisted his metallic jaw into a twisted smile and nodded in the Apothecary’s direction. If his memory was right, Veptus had a ‘pet’ in his chambers, a weak human by the name of Naomi. Var was sure he could find time to pay her a visit and use her to teach the Corpse-Master some courtesy of his own.
But it seemed that Var’s ‘battle-brothers’ were not done, the voice of Raskreia, the waver of the flag as it were, Var saw the Veteran as pestering, over talkative and weak. And yet again Var knew that to the Astartes around him, the scrap of cloth that Raskreia carried was important, and so although it was tempting to crush the Night Lord until his bones crumbles beneath the Servo-Arms moving impatiently behind Var, it would mean the end of his service, something that Var could not afford.
"Well said there Corpse-Master. Though maybe if he didn't spend so long down in the bowels of the ship with his fetishes maybe he would know some proper Nostramon courtesy."
They dared to talk of Nostramon custody, the thought made Var shake. He had experienced Nostramon courtesy, yes he had experienced it first-hand, they had torn away his skin, burnt his flesh and turned his very body into a hulk of metal, and they had torn apart his life, his body, his very soul and thrown him upon the streets. Nostramon courtesy had transformed him into a monster, a nightmare, and over time Var became that monster, embraced the nightmare. Var had not always been Var, sometimes the memories surfaced before he could push them down, he used to be human, a boy called Varius Montangro, until Nostramon courtesy had taught him otherwise. His body was still burning with pain, the pain that would never leave him, that he would never let leave him, it was what reminded him of those that had wronged him, those that he would find and tear apart until their screams echoed across the galaxy.
Var looked on with empty eyes, watching as the Standard-Bearer dropped his hand to rest upon his axe handle, the unsaid threat clear. And then the figure of the Company Champion, the vain Azrael, stepped in front of Var, attempting to use his height to intimidate the Techmarine. But Var didn’t feel fear anymore, in fact he barely felt, he simply raised his head to look the Champion in the eyes, meeting his stern gaze with a steely one of his own, one whose message was clear, that one wrong move would result in three feet of cold metal becoming acquainted with Azrael’s internal organs.
The armour presented no challenge, Var knew the things weak points and chinks so well he could have built the thing, in fact the very armour that the Champion was wearing had probably passed through Var’s forge a hundred times before, he knew it like he knew his own.
“I’ve never liked you Tech-Marine, but I respected you. The least I expect from you is that you return the respect. We all fight the foes of our Primarch and some have suffered more than you could ever dream. But it is not they who march in here and assume themselves above all others already gathered. When this war is over, I will face you in the cages and we will fight, but till then I will have respect, not only for myself but for Xandrek, for Raskeria, for Veptus, for Corvis, for Fundae, for Jaekal. Even for Zhasal and Jallus.”
Respect. They did not respect him, they hated him, and why shouldn’t they, he hated them just as they did him. He could understand the Champion naivety.
But the talk of suffering was a blatant disregard to how Var came to be standing where he was now, the pain that he had felt, the torture that he had lived through would tear apart the Astartes that stood before Var, standing tall and thinking himself so big and strong. Who had suffered more than him, Var’s gaze dared the Champion to give a name. No-one in the room for sure, in fact he doubted anyone on the entire ship had felt the flesh peeling away from their bones, liquid metal searing away their nerves, their insides being turned from flesh to machine as they looked on. Var had, he knew the pain, he knew the suffering he had endured.
But the words the Champion spoke next caused the Techmarine to smile, Var would happily meet the Astartes in a duel after the war, fighting corpses weren’t much of a challenge.
Var turned his back on Azrael and moved towards the Company Captain, even as Xandrek leant forward from his throne and addressed the Techmarine.
“Var, as fourth company’s chief tech-marine and as a member of First Claw I allow you permission, like all my other ‘brothers’ standing here to speak your mind and speak requests. But remember that you are on my ship, you are a part of my squad and I am your Captain, you will show me some respect when speaking to me and will never demand anything again or you will find yourself bolted to a slab in the Apocatherion while myself and your brothers in First Claw observe as the Corpse-Master finds out just how much of you is still flesh and blood before I eject you from an airlock directly into the warp. Is that understood?”
Despite the anger within, Var simply met eyes with the Lord of Lies and nodded in agreement. He kept his tongue, although only just. His hands clenched into fists and his ‘tail’ twitched as the Captain turned his attention towards the Librarian Jallus.
Var barely listened to following conversation until he heard his name, whereupon he raised his eyes once more to meet Xandreks gaze and registered his orders.
“…return to your forge and make sure all our ‘honoured’ brethren who sleep within their metal tombs are awoke ready for the coming battle and that the Revenant is fully fuelled
and armed as well.”
Var was no serf to be ordered around, but as it was, he did not think he could cope being upon the bridge for even a moment a longer and turned to leave even before his dismissal, his early departure a last flair of defiance.
As the ferocious figure of Var stormed down the corridors of the “Maiden of Sorrow” his mind was elsewhere. He did not doubt that even as he returned to his forge, the three Astartes that remained beside Xandrek were pouring ideas for the Techmarine’s punishment into his ear. But Var would not be found unprepared, even at the thought Var’s ‘tail’ twitched and a nearby serf staggered back in surprise and shock.
Var turned to the stunned serf and roared in anger, his ‘tail’ driving through the weak flesh surrounding the things throat. Var was moving again even as the lifeless body slumped to the ground and the blood began to pool upon the floor.
It took little time for Var to reach his forge once more; he knew every corridor within the ship, every shortcut and every chamber, every hidden compartment.
Upon arrival within the heart of the ship once more, Var paused for a moment to allow his thoughts to settle and his mind to become calm once more. The Techmarine instructed a handful of servitors and tech-adepts to begin the refuelling and rearmament of the Revenant in preparation for its departure as he moved towards the vaults within which the Company’s Dreadnoughts resided.
Var pushed open the heavy doors of the chamber with little effort, causing the few servitors moving around within to turn towards the doors. Var ordered them to inform the Techmarine’s that the Dreadnoughts must be awoken and allowed himself a smile as they hurried off. In his forge, no-one talked back to him, or assumed they were better than he was. In his forge he ruled, and he loved the taste, the feel, of ruling.
Var drew to a halt at the foot of the oldest Dreadnought within the Fourth Company. A hulking metal Contemptor-Mortis Pattern Dreadnought, a veteran of the Great Crusade and thousands of years of war. Var raised his voice, the motors within his throat amplifying voice.
“Honoured Brother Antipholus. War is upon us once more, and I must call upon you to meet it with your Brothers”
There was a moment of silence before the eyes of Brother Antipholus slowly grew brighter and the Dreadnought turned to look at the Techmarine standing before him. His voice was rich and powerful.
“What year have you awoken me?”
“The sixth year of the 31st Millennium Honoured Brother”
“It has been a long time since I was last awoken, who do you desire me to face in battle?”
Var paused for a moment, many of the oldest Dreadnoughts would not know of the Legions betrayal; in fact they may well stand against it. But Var must push forwards.
“We are going to war against our fellow Astartes. The glorious revolution against the Emperor has begun.”
There was silence as Var continued to look up into the face of Brother Antipholus. And then the voice of Antipholus echoed around the chamber.
“It will be my honour to fight for the Legion once more.”
Var nodded in agreement, his lips already moving.
“May your weapon be guarded against malfunction, as your soul is guarded from impurity. The Machine God watches over you. Unleash the weapons of war. Unleash the Deathdealer.”
Tech-adepts were already clambering over Brother Antipholus, preparing him for the approaching conflict. Var turned away and watched as a steady stream of Techmarine’s, dressed like he was himself, moving around the Dreadnoughts resting within the chamber and waking them. Var’s attention was gripped by the raised voice of a Techmarine and the rumbling roar of a Dreadnought.
Quickly locating the source of the turmoil, Var moved over to where Techmarine Egeus stood at the foot of the still dormant form of Honoured Brother Oberon.
Egeus turned as Var approached and quickly bowed his head when he recognized the form of the Frist Claws Techmarine. Egeus hastily explained what had happened and waited for Var to issue his orders.
“Brother Oberon refuses to fight against his brother Astartes. He fell into a slumber and I cannot reawaken him”
Var bore down the more junior Techmarine with a glare of steel before turning to look up at the figure of Honoured Brother Oberon.
He wasted no time in turning to a handful of Servitors and Techadepts clustered nearby and ordering them in a sharp tone that begged someone to try and disagree.
“Dismantle Honoured Brother Oberon and melt him down, he is of no more use to the Legion.”
Var turned away and moved quickly from the chamber. The First Claws departure was approaching and he must be ready for when they did.
Last edited by Romero's Own; 08-05-13 at 10:32 AM.