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Perfect Warriors

Discussion in 'Role Playing' started by Colapse, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. dx144 dx144 Well-Known Member

    Pholax never knew what to really make of Minteril, his words always seemed like they were just flattery to try and butter someone up. Today his words were sounding like that of a man wanting more than he currently had, did Sidon tell him no to having something or that troop and he decide to spite to him by taking one or more of his squad from the early days of the Legion? Whatever it was, Pholax was getting an odd vibe from him.

    "I would say the Throneworld is the priority. The crumbs are not the prize, but the loaf. The rats may also be after the crumbs, but they also see the loaf and their greedy eyes grow wide. Kill the rats before they get their hands on the loaf or all is lost." Pholax wondered why he was making such a strange analogy but it seemed to make sense to him. Then again, he was the living dead, who would really care if he made sense or not. Then coming out of his musing to himself to explain his feelings.

    "Unless you know where a nest of these vermin are, I care little, Minteril. If you do not have traitors for me to kill, then leave me to my thoughts." Pholax remained upright and seemingly distant from Minteril but did turn to him for the last of his words, "If you do happen to be in need of support, just ask and I will head there as soon as I am able. The traitors deserve nothing more than a quick death, they are worse than the Xeno, worse than the witch or the mutant. Oathbreakers... Traitors... Heretics... All deserve nothing more than to be put down."

    Pholax waited a few seconds before realising that Minteril was talking about how the old ways weren't that great to the Emperor's Children. "I would caution you not to speak ill of our past. The old ways guided us, it is the shaking off of them that's caused all of ... This to happen. I'd rather kill myself right now rather than allow myself to forget I'm a Chemosian and an Astarte of the Third Legion, birthed from the genes of the Phoenician." It took a few seconds before Pholax realised what he'd said, even with all the horror, nothing was ever going to change who he was, he was a son of Fulgrim and what his father did would follow them like any other monster of Chemos before he "brought the waters". "Do not forget where we come from, Minteril. No matter what roads we've walked. I would still like to see the perpetual grey of Chemos at least one more time, once this madness if over and I can finally be put to rest."
  2. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    Shadows, Whispers, and Webs

    Vitaly listens to Minteril's request, maintaining a statuesque stillness throughout that betrays not an iota of his innermost thought. Within the infosphere*, on the other hand, he might as well have glanced askance at Pholax with a raised eyebrow.


    +++Analysis, verbal communication markers: Insinuative, indirect communication, ostensibly mentioning one subject but suggesting another. 84.73% certainty of hidden agendas that may be at odds with Millennial Command. Vague, oblique phrasing indicates testing of addressee boundaries and responses. 92.56% certainty of attempt at recruiting addressees - plural - to personal cause.+++

    +++Analysis, nonverbal communication markers: Generalised irritability and latent hostility, long-standing, commonly referred to in lay terms as 'bitterness'. Nuanced focal points surround mention of the Praetor, the Traitors, and the old Legion traditions. Cross-referencing earlier analysis - 89.43% certainty of personal differences with Millennial Command in the person of the Praetor, 100% certainty of personal agendas involving elevated levels of demonstrative hostility towards Traitors, 87.89% certainty of personal agendas pushing for radical changes to Legion operating culture.+++

    +++Conclusion: Minteril is angling towards 1.) a schism, or 2.) a power grab.+++

    "The transfer of personnel and stores is fine, Lord Commander. As soon as the proper invoices are submitted to my docket, signed and countersigned, I will approve the movement and billetting accordingly, along with the requisite logistical support. All as per routine," replies Vitaly to Minteril, choosing his deadpan voxsynth-modulated speech to maintain inscrutability.

    After a finely judged pause to indicate just a sliver of inquisitiveness, he adds, "As for your offer of a place at your side, that is up to the Praetor to decide. Any of my senior Techmarines would serve you just as well. That is, unless you have something specific in mind?"

    Even as he speaks, another silent, heavily-encrypted data pulse flashes between himself and Pholax.


    +++Clarification: We keep Minteril talking to uncover his agendas and the motivations behind them.+++
    +++Observation: Treachery begets treachery, and not necessarily in any specific direction. The betrayed, wounded and embittered lash out at the most convenient target, often an irrational choice save to emotional logic.+++
    +++Personal Addendum: I express great regret at this state of affairs, while understanding and accepting that my feelings on this or any matter have absolutely no bearing on reality whatsoever. I will continue do what must be done to keep the Legion whole and loyal to the Throne, as I have always done.+++

    * The noosphere, at this point, is a new innovation that will only be unveiled at the outbreak of the Martian civil war. I am assuming tech adepts and their enabled constructs would use its ostensibly inferior predecessor, which I imagine would have significantly less bandwidth, fidelity, and, most importantly, security, which was the main advantage of the noosphere when it first appeared.]
  3. Uriel1339 Uriel1339 Lord of Posts

    <Voices in the Dark - "Sovereign's" Librarium>
    Elymas' hairs would stand up a little as if electrified while his skin showered in goosebumps. To read the passages of such personal journal embedded with his mentors power, but also lingering voice. It was more unnatural than even a scholar of the immaterium might be used to. But it was not the fabrication of such work but the words, the meanings behind them that got to Elymas. At least three times over he read the, in his opinion, most critical passage.

    With both Claudius and Alleo gone, would Hephaestus plan still succeed? Or did in reality he see other three younglings? Elymas considered the three he had chosen and their role in this chaotic campaign they were fighting. These powers they were gifted were a fickle thing. And Hephaestus out of all that Elymas ever met was in particularly curious about foresight. After all, he acted always so certain as if he knew the outcome before anyone else. The old librarian shook his head.

    "Whichever you refer as the Third Gate, I shall do my best to hold it shut, Hephaestus." The Chief Librarian spoke and closed the book. He was not willing to consider the secondary signature he felt. Not without more evidence, not without more passages unlocked. Time was racing against him, the Emperor's Children and the grand Imperium. But it was a race he was not willing to lose.

    The other three librarians were off to get some rest and interact with crew members as they saw fit. A break they desperately needed but Elymas in hindsight wondered if they could afford. To not linger any further in the nearly cursed halls of the Librarium, he marched off into the depth of the Sovereign. Even without a task, in the least he was patrolling and could carry the illusion of being useful. Then again, he always thought the best while on his feet. The mystery of the Eye and the Third Gate would be solved with more resources at hand. The grand libraries of Terra or even the Library of Ptolemy of Macragge might have some insight.

    Alas he might have to ask Sidon or Minteril about such information considering that there are not many scholar-types left amidst the legion with some of the bookworms as Fabius Bile belonging to the wrong side of the battlefield.
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  4. Colapse Colapse Forum Beta Tester

    <Blood and Iron, "Battleborn's" Forge Precincts>
    @Draconion @dx144

    "I would also love to see the grey skies of Chemos for one last time...right before I turn them into ash and bomb the planet into oblivion."

    Bitterness was now mixed with anger as Minteril slammed his fist against one of the machine racks nearby, breaking the cogitator's screen apart. "Caution me, for what Pholax?! You say you would rather die than forget that you are Fulgrim's son, but I would like to remind you that if it was up to him, your wish would've been granted."

    Dozen small glass shards were embedded into Commander's hand, but he didn't seem to mind the bleeding as he turned around to wave off two Emperor's Children guards who remained standing at the doorway after receiving the order. "The old Legion is dead Pholax, those that now represent the Emperor's Children all fight under Phoenician's banner. Have you seen the list of the ships above Isstvan? Kaesorn, Fabius, Eidolon, every lord of renown and companies under them were present and all were holding formation around Pride of the Emperor. This is the current reality and the sooner you accept it the better."

    "On the other side, if we count the original commanders, who does our Millennial have among its senior cadre? Leonis assassinated, Hephaestus killed by our current Chief Librarian, Thales and Apox executed for treachery, Cautorious fled, Reedian most likely in tow with that snake Kenjiro. The only ones who are left are Sidon and me. Praetor, while a righteous man on his own, is a relic of the past and as much as I respect him, there are sacrifices he is not willing to make in order for us to be reborn anew."

    Minteril sighed now, his rage leaving him for a moment as opened his palm to watch how the wounds he suffered were quickly repaired by the regenerative effect of his metabolism. "Praetor has decided and I have agreed with it. I will take this ship alongside eight full companies and set out to do a specific task. You were right Pholax, Terra is the key and we will get to it, but now the lairs of the traitors must be found and dealt with."

    "As you probably know, Chemos and Terra aren't the only worlds from where we have gathered our stock in the recent couple of years. These worlds will be first on my list. I will go there and see for myself - if those brothers are pure and remained true to the Throne, then I will carry the word and bring them to our fold. If not and the Phoenician's influence seeped into their hearts, then they will burn like the rest of the traitors."

    "So don't worry Forgemaster, you will get those invoices signed and countersigned. I expect the personnel and supplies transfer to be completed in the next five days, with your help of course," Minteril finished, turning around and walking out of the precinct, leaving Vitaly and Pholax to their own thoughts.
  5. Fox Vulpas Well-Known Member

    <Patient zero - "Battleborn's" Medbay> @Grall_Stonefist @Colapse

    Jendon looked at Minetrial as he heard his question, The Chief apothecary spending a minute thinking before answering. "With our skills time and supplies I think that can be arranged." Jendon said as he did He pulled up a data slate. "I have been thinking for a while about something similar in my free time with some other brothers were forming a similar idea but simply making various concoctions of poisons to take out individual legionaries and various threats," One of Jendon's hands went into his pocket and pulled out several vials To show Minetrail as he pulled up information on the concoctions. Onto the data slate,

    "With the breaking of three loyal legions and the revelation of there being more traitors then estimated, We are going to need something bigger then these simple poison's Me and the Brother apothecaries have been brewing up. A new class of astartes likely can be made, Though with us on a tight schedule and rumors of us being broken up into two fleets, I can likely form up a type of training guide with Denatus possibly as well as Begin training several before our split happens, A good study in the chemicals and how to make them should aid in this endeavor, But I might have something that may improve it as long if we can manage to hit several targets and gain samples from the other traitor legions." Jendon then pulled up additional data he had on the traitor legions gene seed.

    "During the reclamation of the battle born, I made a discovery in the apothecary, The Iron warrior's posse a abnormally large store of gene seed on the battle born, This supply, While has proven pure, and useful for the war to come may provide us if our own stocks of our own run out, Or it proves useful in case of bio war situation to make use of this other stock of geneseed, I have found another use for the Iron warriors gene seed. Samples for testing on ways to poison or even find more covert ways for infecting the Iron warriors stock of gene seed." Jendon said as he did he began reviewing findings hes brought on various genetic weakness hes found unique to the Iron warriors.

    "I know we are splitting up soon, Minetrial but have to ask you out of a bit of curiosity what targets you planning to hit against the traitors, I have recently been thinking over several missions that may aid us in the war effort, and with these new type of troopers you have come up, I might have a plan that might help, Put the hurt on the traitors supplies if we can get Samples of there Geneseed and warriors," Jendon said looking to Minetrail as he did for once his stance he held was readable as if the Apothecary was in thought about the plan he was going to suggest to Minetraial.
  6. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    Blood, Iron and Paperwork


    First, contaminating my burner, now this. This is getting to be a bit much.

    Vitaly's synthesised voice rings out to follow Minteril's departure, its buzzing rasp a touch harsher than usual.

    "So be it, Lord Commander. On another note, kindly refrain from mistreating machinery again - either here, or anywhere else. All the materiel of the loyal Legion is held on trust from the Emperor, and given to my charge. Use it as an outlet for juvenile tantrums again, and I will write you up on charges as is my right and duty, Lord Commander or no. As for the transfer of men and materiel, consider it done the moment the paperwork is submitted. I return now to my duties."
  7. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    Echoes of Lost Brotherhood

    Date: Sometime in the present

    Location: The Sovereign, Subsection #34, Section #12, Deck #69

    The deceptively neglected, corroded old bulkhead slides open with nary a whisper. In the cavernous space within, warm lights blink to life, illuminating a cluster of structures that haven't seen human use in a significant length of time. A lone figure in heavily-reinforced armour stalks towards the three-storey building that dominates the scene, pausing at the entrance to glance up the sign over the main doors that reads, in old scriptorial font:

    Four To Nine - A Pleasant Refuge For Weary Brothers

    Inside, comfortable seats, gaming tables, drinking bars and sundry other furniture of leisure lay as vague outlines beneath white dust sheets. Maintenance servitors lay dormant in their charging niches, running lights blinking. The armoured figure runs a finger along the main bar counter, leaving a trail through a thin layer of dust. Its faceless helm tilts in a manner that suggests an unfocused gaze that stares into the distant past, listening as much as watching for scenes of days gone by.

    A brief informatic pulse brings the lights to full brightness. Servitors awaken from their niches and begin to go about the routine chores of housekeeping. With a click of atmospheric seals, the armoured figure disengages its gauntlets and helm, which it places upon the bar counter. Vitaly Sokolovsky's face gazes out across the room that, in another life, had once been his domain outside of duty, which he had run to exacting standards for the pleasure and edification of his closest brothers. It has been months since he had last been in here - indeed, since any of the old Squad 4 has been in here. Too much has transpired for there to be merriment of any kind, and far too much has changed between all of them for their brotherhood - such as remains - to ever be the same again. Indeed, to come here causes him a dull, distant ache in the hollow places in his psyche that his past self might have found unbearable, but which he now simply notes with a detached apathy, the way a stoic man might regard phantom limb sensations. For all that, he still feels a duty to this place as its creator, and makes a point to come as often as duty permits to personally oversee the maintenance cycles, not trusting unsupervised servitor automation with artisanal furnishings that he so painstakingly restored by hand from sundry castoffs.

    Another informatic pulse turns on the ultra high-definition sound system, causing strains of pensive improvisational polyphonic music to waft throughout the structure. As he fills a bucket with water and detergent and begins to wipe the counter with a cloth, his gaze drifts over to a long wall covered with a single, long cork-backed noticeboard. The noticeboard is hung with all manner of items, from signs and gaming scores to artwork contributed by various members of the brethren. One large section is dedicated to vintage-looking picts - in full colour as well as sepia and graduated black-and-white. Each pict comes with a backer including date, time, location and a brief description of the scene. Taken together, the entire wall is a photographic journal of Squad 4's journey with the Legion.

    There, at the upper left-hand corner of the pict section, is their very first squad portrait, taken right after the near-disastrous interview with Lord Commander Leonis, on that nameless planet where they had fought the Commorrite Eldar tooth and nail. Needless to say, they all looked like they had seen better days - blasted, burned, perforated, poisoned and boiled alive, to say nothing of having just endured a proper bollocking from a high commander. Even so, nothing could keep them from looking battered, defiant, and proud after their first successful campaign. The caption summed it all up.

    "We came. We saw. We killed xenos."

    His gaze continues to drift at random across the wall as he finishes cleaning the bar and moves on to wiping glasses. It lights upon one pict in particular, this being one of his later ones, when his technique and equipment had evolved. This one had been taken by drone, with built-in image processing, and was a sepia portrait of the entire squad engaging in horseplay in the three days of R&R following the Cairo Nova compliance of XXX.XXX.M30. He finds himself remembering this scene well.

    The squad had stumbled upon a local museum - the main museum, according to natives - which had taken a few hits during the final battle, but remained mostly intact. As young (by Legion standards) men will, they had all breezed past the cordon to potter about and gawk at the curiosities on display. Coming upon a crude but perfectly recognisable rock carving of male genitalia - allegedly taken from Terra and dated to M00 - had prompted the entire squad to degenerate at once into scholam antics. The end result had been Extrovious, Pholax and Martyn standing to the immediate right of the offending display, doubled over in hilarity and slapping one another on the back. Jendon, meanwhile, was balancing precariously on a borrowed stool far too small for him, trying to get close enough to take the measure of the satirically-oversized male organ. Aleph, artistic as ever, was off to the right of the jesters three, apparently trying to get the best light to take a quick pencil sketch. Elymas, to the left of Jendon, was casting a scornful sneer that seemed to cover everyone he could see. As for the photographer himself, Vitaly was stage left, dressed in the khakis and sun helmet of a stereotypical explorator-gentleman (they had all been in mufti that day), wielding an archaeologist's brush, giving the camera a wry face and gesturing expansively towards the others as though to sigh, "Ladies and gentlemen - my brothers."

    In fact, that was exactly what the caption read.

    Unbidden, Vitaly's mind finds itself drifting back in time, past the bitterness, paranoia and bloodshed of recent months to happier, simpler days...

    [OOC: Everyone feel free to join in the flashback at this point.]

    Live music fills the main room, courtesy of someone - he couldn't see whom - pounding the ivories of the grand piano to some jaunty refrain. Vitaly was too busy to look right now - the entirety of his being was focused on the task at hand with all the intensity of a master swordsman looking to make the most perfect cut of a lifetime, of an artist about to make the brushstroke that would define an entire career. With deft hands, he draws a fifth of amasec and tips the shotglass into a tumbler. Giving it an expert swirl, he adds a quarter and an eighth respectively of aniseed spirit and bitter citrus. The measures are all precise and true - no cheating cones in the bottoms of his tumblers. An honest dram for battle-brothers, mixed by hand and eye - that was the iron rule in this house, *his* house, which he had built for his brothers.

    A house which he now presides over from behind the expansive bar, dressed to the nines in an elegant bartender's uniform, complete with trousers on suspenders, a natty waistcoat, and a bowtie.

    His hands moving in blurs, he proceeds to fill no less than seven more tumblers - all neatly lined up on the bar before him - with different mixes, drawing from the dispenser bottles strategically arranged around his workstation accordingly to mathematically exacting patterns meant to maximise the bartender's efficiency and minimise workflow obstruction. Having practiced the victualler's trade for some time now, Vitaly had found it equal parts mathematically precise logistics and inspired, improvisational art. The math, while something he was already excellent at, was far from fixed or a given, being as it was a support structure and safety valve for the riot of purposeful chaos that was the art - the attempted mastery of which he relished with a fierce passion. Today was yet another day he had chosen to push the boundaries - mixing a record number of different shots simultaneously and aiming to fill all the glasses in one fell swoop before all the tumblers touched the bar.

    And then there was the chemistry and biology of it all. Normal spirits, however strong, would never even tickle an Astartes. He had had to research into the vintnery of other Legions - particularly the VIth - to develop tipples that would be worthy of a Legion revel.

    Capping the first tumbler with a barely-seen swoop of the hand, like unto the sword-draw of a master, he bounces it off the counter and into the air. Time seems to slow for him, the vessel seeming to crawl at a leisurely pace through the air as he proceeds down the line to cap and launch every single one of the eight tumblers in the same manner. The combat trance draws out split-seconds into leisurely minutes as he grabs each tumbler and proceeds to swirl, shake and juggle them in eye-dizzying patterns, shaking them in figure-eights in front of himself before re-launching them in round-the-back tosses over his shoulder, never letting them touch the bar for more than a split second. To his audience, he would appear to have eight or more arms, somehow managing to always keep the tumblers aloft and in chaotic, yet aesthetically spectacular motion.

    ~And now, the finish.~

    Grabbing each tumbler out of the air in sequence by their marked numbers, he pours them out swiftly into a row of shot glasses upon the bar - all without grounding a single tumbler before it is emptied.

    "Brother, I give you your Death Row: Deadly Eight Edition - Breaching Charge, Snakebite, Proxima Vortex Bomb, Choking Death, Phosphex Mine, Life Eater, Kamikaze, and Soundstrike Misfire. You know the rules - all down the hatch in ninety seconds to complete the challenge and get your name on the board. Signal when ready."

    Watching the brother before him intently, he raises a stopwatch, ready to hit the button the moment the signal is given.

    [OOC: First to post gets dibs on being the drinker.]
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  8. Jorimel Jorimel Well-Known Member

    <Triumvirate - "Sovereign's" command deck>

    "What could have made him turn?" Aleph was caught off guard by the question, even though he had spent many nights trying to work it out as sleep denied him its embrace. "How did this come to pass? In truth, I do not know. I have ideas, wild surmise is a better term for I have no way to judge what happened in any rational sense. For it is, by its very nature, unnatural, something that I cannot concieve of."

    "I used to think that it must be some kind of sickness, some kind of alien trick maybe. I don't know ... maybe it was; there was something not .. not natural about that temple on the water world, something not right. But that sounds like superstition and the Imperial Truth would have me reject that. We have all seen far more now than we had then. Perhaps there was some kind of strange miasma within that place, some kind of poison to the humours. We never did find out what happened while we were trapped underground. But from what I have seen the Phoenician looks very like a madman to me. How else can I explain it? I do not have any other answer than that ... perhaps ... it was all a front Not at the start, not on Chemos, for he saved my world from a rad-blasted hellscape, but once we were deep in the Crusade. Perhaps it was the first xenos engagement, where we found the alien shrine with the blood-cult and that sword. Perhaps it was after that. We were alerted somehow to the nature of the Universe and he - he missed out on the lesson that enabled us to save ourselves. But while we were gone something infected our gene-Sire's mind and his - well, his spirit."

    Aleph's voice dropped to a near-whisper. "You may think me mad myself for this, Brothers. But when I served with the 8th - I was on some benighted world whose name is now a curse to frighten children, and we were taking the fortress of the ruler and his family with stealth and ruin. I will not speak of the things I saw in that place, but of what he said - what the Night Haunter said to me. He told me that the day would come when our Father would betray us, that he was hiding a corrupt heart full of poison and doubt. That he was proud, but that pride was the rot of hubris and that his love of beauty was vanity. That he would use his personable nature to infiltrate and betray. That he was not what he seemed, not an Illuminator, but a hider of secrets under a fair face. Curze was not wrong. But who would have believed him? It was obvious madness, then. It is still madness now, but with hindsight it is also truth."

    As he looked at each of his Brothers in turn, Alephoros' face was angered, but not as much as it should surely have been. His expression looked more flat, as if he had no more energy to spend on feeling. Even the deepest waters must eventually freeze over, and so it felt to Legionary Aster without the sun of the Phoenician he had once believed in.

    <Bird is the word, somewhere on "Sovereign">

    Aleph took the offered sip from the canteen as a sign of solidarity, though the shiver than ran through him at the memory of the first time he'd met Lucoryphus and his squad was harder to suppress than his wince at the taste of what he was drinking. It was rough prison liquor, judging by that first sip. He turned as he was addressed, noting the Aquila on the white altar-cloth. It seemed incongruous and appropriate at the same time.

    "Greetings to you Nykar Kul, Son of the Raven," he said, with a slight but respectful bow. He looked up and down at the solid slab of a Chaplain, a man entrusted in better times with the psychological wellbeing of his men. He shook hands firmly in a warrior's handshake. "My name is Alephoros Aster, called Aleph by most and I hail from a dead tribe. I am Sulpha on my mother's side, a long-gone people of Chemos, but I keep their traditions well. It is good to meet you." He meant it. The elusive Ravens felt more familiar than a line of youthful Astartes all looking up to him as their Blade Exemplar. He would have to grow into the title. For now, it was a brief relief that it probably wouldn't impress anyone here.

    "I wear my Palatine Blade status with a mourning shroud, for nearly everyone I looked up to with that name is dead or gone. But it is fair to say that I also see the value of being underestimated. A compliment on hiding from the masters of stealth, though, that is something worth having and I thank you."

    He did not draw Night's Edge, but gently indicated it with one hand in a way that clearly wasn't an act of war. The black blade seemed almost to respond to the touch of his hand on the sheath, like a surrounded soldier drawing closer to a comrade. "This is Night's Edge, Nostraman-forged to serve the Primarch's first recruits from his homeworld in days less dark than these. Back in that time, I served on secondment as was my Legion's custom and I drew the Eighth Legion as my choice. We knew them then as the Emperor's Justice and I was curious to see how that might be served. Their ways - they are not our ways. But they taught me of silent movement and stalking in the shadows, and other lessons that I refused to learn. They in turn were impressed with my skill with a blade and gave me the sword as a gift." He spoke modestly, just a report of what happened. Third Legion pretty boy, Lucoryphus' harsh whisper sounded in his mind, the swapping of insults as near to an open expression of friendship as they'd ever spoken. You only hated the gutting because you figured you might break a nail.

    "It's powered, as you see, and I was gifted it by my Sergeant at the time, Fal Kata. I do not know if he still lives; he was Terran-born and old even then, I think. I saw no need to rid myself of the blade, not when it still needs to taste the blood of that bastard Kenjiro."

    "Forgive me Cousin, but we all have our need for vengeance and that is one of mine. It's Cautorious' head I'll sever if I have the chance, and that is a greater kindness than he would have done me. But In the end it doesn't matter to me who kills the traitors, only that their madness is ended."

    "The other blade is Daith'wyn, a Terran sword that some say is an ancient Cymric blade, but I cannot tell you much more than that. One of my Brothers once told me it was the Sword of the Bear King, but he was drunk on victory wine."
  9. dx144 dx144 Well-Known Member

    Blood and Iron

    Pholax felt less rage at Minteril's words and more disappointment on how quickly he was to shake off their past. Thinking it a stain to be removed before it sinks deeper.

    With a grinding of gears and soft quiet purr from the servos, in what passed for a sigh. Pholax was going to get tired of this talk quickly, as no doubt there was more than Minteril who thoguth this way.

    "Destroying our entire past to try and distance that it ever happened. Scrape the Aquila from your armour, rip of the icons of the Imperium and the Legion then. If you're so eager to forget who we, who you are. Nothing I do. Nothing you do. Nothing the Emperor can do, will ever make us not who we are. Accept who you are, instead of trying to change what cannot be changed." Pholax motioned slightly as his servos continued to purr, "The Legion is tattered and ruined, a poor worker will throw away that which is broken. The best repair and improve their tools. Reforge the Legion, Minteril, do not destroy it."

    Waiting a few moments, Pholax felt a slight bit of rage return to him upon the Chemos talk resurging in his mind.

    "I must warn you, if I find you assault the homeworld or even fire a single round upon it, you'll be no brother of mine." Pholax locked his lenses upon Minteril, although he couldn't be read, he was sure that the intent upon his words were crossed over.

    Echoes of Lost Brotherhood

    It was long ago, Pholax was more flesh than machine. And his more lively ways had him eager to try anything and everyone, be it fighting, drinking or celebrating. While he was always eager, there was the drinks before him, but it was his drink that had his attention.

    The celebrations were lively, the drinks were mixed and are shots of various liquids, Pholax had always preferred the near legendary Victory Wine of the Third Legion and was even partial to some of the cruder drinks from his time with the Twelfth Legion with the nasty bitter kick it could give, if you weren't prepared, it could even made an Astarte gag.

    As the shots were laid out, he, like most of the others, had grown silent, watching the events unfold. Who the brave or foolish Astarte would be. As the names were revealed, Pholax had tried the Proxima Vortex before, it carried a kick like a mule, burning as if you drank liquid magma and an aftertaste of sulphur. The taste wasn't too bad originally. Tasted of sweet berries if Pholax remembered correctly.

    Whoever created it, perfectly captured it's name sake of a great taste, followed by something horrific coming back up your throat.

    Whichever Astarte was going to go through that row, was likely going to need to spend a day in the Apothecarion being lectured about why drinking that stuff isn't what we should be doing.
  10. Jorimel Jorimel Well-Known Member

    Echoes of Lost Brotherhood

    It had been a strange day, a moment of unexpected relaxation as Legion assets were tallied and vehicles tended. The Astartes themselves were not required. That, and old Sidon had the wisdom to send his youthful squad away to somewhere they could dissipate their energies far from ordnance and sensitive operations. So they'd wandered around the town in civvies, strolling, taking in what remained of its cultural treasures. Now they'd gravitated, most of them at least, to the house Vitaly built: part squad rec room, part slightly delinquent officers' club, a mix of cast-off furniture and fittings that were once surplus to some exacting executive's requirements, and were now, with the touch of what Aleph could only call a artisan, somehow a seamless and rather stylish whole.

    He watched the artist himself at work behind the bar. Legionary Sokolovsky, should he have been born into another life, would have made the perfect barman. Since he was an Astartes, he had to do it in his spare time, but with corresponding Third Legion skill he'd made the hobby his own. Vitaly's limbs were a blur. He didn't stand still as he mixed and shook and stirred; his feet moved constantly, minute adjustments of balance, slight changes in position so that the routine flowed. Aleph felt as if he'd like to applaud. Indeed, some ancient part of him felt almost as if he were being offered a friendly challenge.

    Two men stood facing each other, the light wind of a desert dawn shifting the loose clothing they wore - long tunics, trousers tucked into short boots, hair hidden under gathered cloths or simple hoods. Each man had a sword, which they removed and handed to friends nearby, for this was not a challenge of war. Sand whisked across the surface of the ground, scattering like embers in the red light of the rising sun. Eyes narrowed, each appraised the other for a moment. One took off his sand-veils and shook out his hair. The other, bolder in the coolness of a day not yet heated to the furnace of noon, stripped off his tunic and loosened the muscles of his bare arms. There were two fit occupations for a man of the Sulpha tribe to master: the sword, and dance.

    Aleph stepped up to the bar and looked over the neat row of deceptively tiny glasses. He looked across at Vitaly, who folded his arms and grinned, stopwatch still in hand. Alephoros felt rather less like a stalking shaft-cat and more like a gazelle about to do something truly stupid for the sake of some tasty grass.

    He glanced sideways one way to Pholax, who gestured silently for him to proceed. The other, to Extrovious, who grinned in his turn.

    "Ladies first," Extro said, nudging him with what passed for a light touch. "But I don't think you can out-leap this one, Aleph."

    "Ninety seconds," he looked to Vitaly, who nodded in confirmation. "What's the current record?"

    "Six drinks. "

    "This isn't something more suited to fuelling a Thunderhawk?"

    "Ask me no questions Aleph I'll tell you no lies."

    Well, so here it was. His ability to make a sensible decision in all weathers warred with his curiosity and lost, even when reinforcements arrived in the shape of his last inhibitions. He was among Brothers. he had not one but two Astartes stomachs and an Oolitic kidney. What could really go wrong? He set one hand to the first glass and Vitaly clicked the stopwatch on.

    First down the hatch was Breaching Charge, which burned a little on the way down, deceptively smooth really. Aleph slammed the glass down and picked up the next, his other reaching for the third as he caught his rhythm. Snakebite was like a mixture of cider and some kind of fruit cordial, which was obviously a mask for something pretty harsh as he had to choke back a cough as it hit the back of his throat. Proxima Vortex Bomb was - nasty. It wasn't the first taste of it, but the aftershock of the vile fluid as he thought for a moment that he was about to experience a terrible egress of yellow bile and never mind his humours. That was three. Legion pride demanded he continue. And quickly, the clock was ticking.

    He slammed back Choking Death, which was obviously some kind of hideous tribute to a Remembrancer's perfume, and felt the enormity of his mistakes in life in liquid form. He hesitated fractionally at Phosphex Mine. It had to be another burn.

    It was.

    He felt as if his singing days were over. Or at least, he'd just had his sinuses cleaned by an especially enthusiastic Apothecary on his first day in the job. His head was ringing a little, as he could swear that the piano player was slipping into a different time signature. He took a look at Life Eater, shut his eyes and nearly - but not quite - spat it back out.

    "By the Phoenician -"

    "Twenty seconds, Brother."

    Time was wasting. Aleph did not feel good. He picked up Kamikaze and swirled it around.

    "No little umbrella?"

    "Fifteen seconds."

    He wondered if it had actually dissolved a tooth.

    In the end there was Soundstrike Misfire, and Alephoros Aster, and silence. Brothers held their breath. He drank.

    The last glass hit the bar hard, followed by both of Aleph's palms as he pushed himself slightly more upright, looked Vitaly in the eye and awaited judgement.


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