Talerion watched Galahad leave the chamber, clearly a weight of doubt and the shame brought on by his and Initiate 437's actions clearly on his mind as he left. The newcomer Eriban then made his presence known, speaking to Talerion, his voice carrying sincerity in his questions "Our Justicar walks as if bowed by a great weight, was his failure so great?"
The straightforwardness was somewhat off-putting to Talerion and his immediate reaction was to lunge to the defense of his Brother Justicar, "No!" his tone harsh and defensive, relaxing and becoming more somber as he continued, "No, our Justicar has not failed us, rather we," he paused and corrected himself, "no, it is I, I who failed him."
At Talerion's suddent outburst Eriban's head snapped back from Galahad's retreating form to fix talerion with a piercing stare his tone harsh, softened by the slightest trickle of understanding "sorrow and remorse will not help him, yet a Justicar is a teacher as much as a leader. Learn from this, remember it and carry it with you and his strife will not be in vain."
Eriban's tone became more business like, his eyes fixing upon Talerion as he continued trying to gather information, to what end Talerion did not know "how did you fail, Brother?"
Talerion eyed Eriban harshly for a moment, he did not enjoy the feeling that he was being interrogated, offering only a simple explanation. "Initiate 437 broke away from the squad in an effort to intercept a group of Traitor Guard that could have revealed our position. I went after him to ensure that he would not be overwhelmed by any ambush awaiting. We did so without orders." He would speak no more on the subject and merely looked over Eriban's shoulder, the markings of another squad resplendent on the pauldron. Looking for some answers of his own he asked a question of his own of Eriban. "Why is it that the Brotherhood Champion seeks to keep you so close to him Brother Eriban?"
Eriban raised an eyebrow at the accusing tone and the bluntness of Talerion's statement and he gives a weary little shake of his head, "I can assure you it is not for the pleasure of my company which seems to be loosing it's appeal by the day." His voice grew distant and Talerion could almost taste the sorrow in his aura, though the wall within his mind kept him from knowing the source of Eriban's pain.
"I have seen... and played a part in the worst moment of our hallowed order," Eriban continued, a grim aura surrounding him and Talerion could tell he is reliving the moments before his eyes, his voice almost as if reciting a prayer. "In those moments honorable men and astartes alike are reduced to children even as they sully the Emperor's name with their blood stained lips. I have wept inside at orders I was given yet still carried them out even when my heart screamed that I should stay my hand." Talerion could only be saddened by the words and the aura that Eriban carried, he wondered if he would let his own missteps weigh so heavily on him.
Talrion's moment of introspection was interrupted as Eriban's voice became a fierce growl, "When a weapon begins to doubt the direction of the hand that wields it you watch it closely unless you want to get cut." Eriban eyed him harshly even as he mellowed a certain import in his voice, his tone half accusatory, half in warning "Just like you watch a rabid dog unless you want to get bitten."
Easily catching the barbed implications of Eriban's statement Talerion stayed his hand though he was greatly tempted to strike the newcomer for his words, even if they were not wholly untrue. If Eriban viewed them as rabid dogs, then from what Talerion could glean the man viewed himself as a broken blade.
"437 and I acted improperly and I give no resistance to that claim, nor do i oppose any sentence and punishment given by the Brotherhood Champion nor our Justicar. I admit my faults and do so openly brother Eriban, perhaps if you were to do the same, these feelings you have, this turmoil and weight on your aura that i sense but cannot know the cause; perhaps you would be alleviated of such strains were you to confide in our Brotherhood Champion, Justicar or even another battle brother. "
"My failing was to seek to aid a then battle brother, I hope that your failing will not be so simple as refusing the outstretched hand brother Eriban, perhaps you see the Brotherhood Champion's interest in you as a slight, but in truth you must be a worthy battle brother indeed for Jairus himself to seek to look after you, such attention would not be afforded just anyone," his tone was sincere and carried a warmth to it that had been severely lacking earlier in their conversation.
Eriban smiled and Talerion could feel a sense of brotherhood and closeness through the bond yet the shield does not waiver. Talerion could also sense a hint of sorrow in his aura, "You speak wisely and already you teach me to be more careful with my tongue in future." Eriban offered a bow of his head in slight deference as he continued, "You are no rabid dog yet your brother in arms that dragged you upon his leash acts as one infected by madness or stupidity. I pray it is the former for, as you say, a mind like a ship can be righted if offered the time and a helping hand, but a slow mind is difficult to speed up." It was obvious to see his forehead furrow as he struggled to choose his words, seeking to get his point across without offending. "I know not what ails him and can promise I like you will support him as a Brother, but I ask Talerion for your sake, if he runs again do not follow." In Eriban's eyes his worry is pure and he holds your gaze for a moment before speaking again, Talerion wondered if he was speaking from firsthand experience as he was still unable to discover what it was that weighed so heavily on this new member of Dothrac.
"Yet such a request cannot be made without payment and I hope this is worth the cost," Erbian spoke somberly. "Let us take this situation. Our initiate has disobeyed running ahead of his Justicar for what he thought was right. Let us pretend I am your Brother Champion, Emperor Protect us. Mordred has disobeyed and I deem him unfit, tainted in fact. You do not see his taint and feel the punishment is sever yet I deem he must be destroyed. I command you to shoot him in the head for his crime."Eriban looked deeply into Talerion's eyes, seeking to read the man's response, "What do you do?"
Talerion would fix Eriban with a quizzical look, almost a wry smile crossing his lips, "You are not the Brotherhood Champion, but, were Jairus to instruct me to put down an Initiate who has failed our Brotherhood so badly then I would carry out those orders. However, I would stay my stormbolter and use my halberd, a former battle brother of mine would deserve at least the honor of a warrior's death."
He moved as if to leave but never let Eriban out of his vision, "Brother Eriban, do not be so quick to place harsh judgement on a brother that you do not know. Now if you will excuse me I must speak with Brotherhood Champion Jairus, we have matters to discuss. We may continue this discussion at another time if you wish Brother." Talerion used the word 'Brother' for the first time directly to Eriban, a sense of sincerity and genuine kinship flowing in his aura.
His exchange with Eriban was behind him now, though it still was at the forefront of his thoughts as he entered the Brotherhood Champion's chambers as requested by Jairus himself. He was eager to have his sentence carried out, not because he felt it would absolve him of his responsibilities, rather he would gain from being held accountable for his actions.
His armor had been left with the tech priests and he wore but a simple robe that covered his lower body from waist to his knees, he looked to Brotherhood Champion Jairus and seemed as if he was about to address him, when he noticed Jairus silently pass the lash inro Galahad's hand. Still he wanted to show proper decorum and addressed them both, "Brotherhood Champion Jairus, Brother Justicar Galahad, for failure to honor your orders I stand before you for my sentencing of 70 lashes. 20 for negating your orders and 50 for attempting to strike my superior officer. Should Initiate 437 return as our Brother once more, I could not allow for his coronation to be marred by a reminder of past transgressions. I would do so for any of my Battle Brothers."
Talerion looked at Galahad and spoke to him with a tone and aura of warmth and understanding that had previously been lacking in the young bladesman. "Justicar Galahad, my sincerest apologies for my actions," his attention being drawn to the lash that lay in his Justicar's hand, "I know I have forced you to take action and I ask for no reprise for my sentence, I ask only that you not mar the scriptures," Talerion turned his arms wrist up, showing the Canticle of Absolution as well as the Sigil on his left arm and the Grey Knights War Cry in its entirety on his right. Taking a knee he bowed his head and awaited his sentence to be carried out.