A bloody space marine stands motionless over the closed cargo door of the Valkyrie. His blood-soaked thunder-hammer firmly in his grip as the gunship lifted off. It had been sometime since the kill-team left the consumed planet yet Lucius stayed motionless throughout; as if guarding the doors for Tyranids that would not come. Brother Erzel would come to him, ask him to stand down and seat himself with the others but the assault marine remained immovable. Behind him was Andromakles struggling to stabilize the fallen Lex, whispering dead names which reverberated around the room despite the roar of the engines. Lucius ignored the madness that overshadowed the apothecary. He was deaf to them all. For now he has returned to the recent past, moments that now come as recurring echoes. The sound he hears now is the booming crush of the hammer against putrid alien flesh. The squeals of a hormagaunts’ head meeting dry earth as a boot crushes it into oblivion. He hears bolter rounds fired into a horde of screaming flesh. Lucius clenches tight and braces for a blast two feet from him. An explosion of cloud and gore ring in his ears. Soon the ringing fades along with all other sound, save one.
“The horde advances, yet I am always further away. What am I doing? Stepping back slowly…why? All this filth must be purged.”
Somewhere, a voice surfaces from the quiet of Lucius’ mind. It was barely audible at first but now like a lost baby it whimpers and then screams. The assault marine cannot place where the whimpering comes from. He does not care for it, but it keeps ringing and ringing in his ears. Lucius angered by such a cowardly voice, tries to drown it out in cacophonic haze; thunder claps, squeals and explosions. Shrieks and bashing flood his ears in unison yet somehow the crying drowns them all out. He then realizes it is a name. Over and over again. A name he does not know, but angers him all the same. The Black Templar seethes. Now the armour’s growl joins the chorus as if sensing his owner’s displeasure. The noises, the memories all begin to flood back. The marine remembers who mutters that name then and continues to do so now. It’s a familiar voice. He snarls. All at once; in an ear shattering crescendo with Lucius’ roar, the harmonies of violence and the maddening name, the marine sees a hormagaunt right at his feet. He lifts his hammer and in a flash it descends onto the beast.
A bloodied and depowered thunder-hammer now lies right at Lucius’ feet, head deep in a symmetrical dent on the metal floor. Andromakles jumps at the sound, quiets himself before looking up at the assault marine standing before him. He snaps out just enough to finally to stabilize the fallen Ghost Rider. With the silence returning, Lucius positions himself beside his kill-team. The cowardly cry for now has been silenced.
In the following days on the Darkest before Dawn, between the hours of 01:00 and 03:00AM he is seen praying in the chapel, yet beyond this time he stays locked in his quarters. Most assume the Templar is alone preforming his scheduled meditation. On most days they’d be correct, now however the Templar’s mind is on the status of his team, particularly that of Andromakles’ mind. In his solitude, the Black Templar was disgusted with them all.
AUDIO LOG: # U4J63E002 M41
“Brotherhood. Fellowship. Unity. What is brotherhood? A fellowship of kin, brought together with like-minded goals. I suppose one can call it that.
We have none. We are broken, divided.
I am repulsed by such a display of foolishness by the apothecary. How can I stand by with one so far gone? To trust him with my health, when he is injured beyond a physical hurt, is questionable. He could have easily taken the gene-seed of brother Lex…be done with it. Yet he returned to drag Lex’s carcass, places us all in jeopardy by slowing us down. Do I need a notion like brotherhood to keep me alive? Do I need fraternity to perform the duty the Emperor has blessed me with? This kill-team does not think so…they fled, with only so few covering our escape. This is no team, no brotherhood. We are shattered pieces of glass fitted together but never one whole.
Still, it is wonder why he would drag Brother Lex’s body from the advancing Tyranid horde. Why would he endanger himself? He does so with reckless abandon, not knowing if the Kill-team would have covered his escape. Which they did not. He did not owe anything to the Rough Rider, yet the apothecary saved him all the same. So why did I aid him like I did?
Brotherhood…such a wasted prospect. Yet it drives this team and this crusade. For what purpose? Will it guarantee my survival and this team’s survival? The others don’t seem to know either.
This talon is infected, it can either endure the pain or it must be cut off.”
Thought for the Day: The keenest blade is righteous hatred.