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Thread: The Baron Rises

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    Chapter Master Imperialis_Dominatus's Avatar
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    The Baron Rises

    Been working on a lot of Chaos Space Marine rules and stuff lately so it's only natural my mind wanders to stories.

    Prologue: Waking

    "What is it like?"

    What is what like.

    "Your rest. Sleeping. Dreaming." The last word is eager.

    Stasis, you mean. You mean to ask what being in stasis is like.

    A moment of silence, but in the wake of my dream it feels as though an hour passes before he answers. If he knew what silences felt like to me. Gods, if he knew, I think, and for a moment the jealousy I feel nearly overpowers me. But I hold my peace til he breaks the silence. I wouldn't want to appear weak, even if I feel it.

    "Well? What is it like?"

    It is not.

    "What?"

    It is not. It just isn't, because it is stasis. The gaoler-

    "Vilusus, Captain. Vil. He is your friend."

    Don't you dare to tell me who my friends are in this place, at this time, here.

    "I am your friend, Mal."

    Now I am silent, for he is right. Even about the Techmarine, perhaps. Good old Shavon. Always right, if not always forthright. But definitely always right. An intellect both for lore and for brotherhood. He knows what to say to rein in my excesses, which are always forthright and perhaps not always- no. I will not draw that parallel.

    "Mal? Mal?"

    Yes, I am here, Shav.

    "It did not seem like it. It has been ten minutes, Mal. You've got to focus. Don't let your mind wander. If he finds out I do this-"

    Just say you're taunting me.

    "No-"

    Just say you're mocking me, gloating over me. And I feel where an edge would go to my words., could it be so.

    "I'm not-"

    Don't pretend you can't misdirect, Shav.

    Silence, again, and Gods damn me if he knows how much it hurts- but I have gone and hurt him, too. Hurt my friend Shavon, perhaps my only one. I'm still unsure about Vilusus. Always have been about all Techmarines. How ironic. I stay strong til he speaks. I must stay strong til the silence passes. I must. He speaks, thank whatever Gods listen.

    "So, stasis. Why does Vilusus always say it's time to let you dream when he puts you under? Are you not dreaming, all these years, as the Chaplains used to say of the Old Ones?"

    I pause, but I try to be conscious of the passing of time as I gather my thoughts. The fog has cleared now and there won't be another lapse. I hope. I enjoy... I savor... I need to converse with my friend. With Shavon, my old friend and Apothecary.

    It is a fusion of truth and euphemism. I do dream.

    "But you said it is not dreaming, or sleep, or anything."

    Yes. During stasis, I feel nothing, because there is nothing. I am stopped in time. I feel nothing, I do nothing, I am nothing. I simply am not when I am in stasis.

    "So he's not getting what he wants out of this. I'd better be sure he never-"

    Not exactly. It takes a while for the ga- I pause, reconsidering. Not necessarily reconsidering the Techmarine. But reconsidering. It takes a while for Vilusus to get me coherent. It's a question, despite my lack of inflection. Despite the impossibility of such inflection, rather.

    "Yes. Sometimes only an hour or so. Sometimes a lot longer."

    Well, that is the dream. And trust me when I say it feels like a long enough dream to make me feel my years, Shav. This time felt shorter. A question, again.

    "Yes, Mal. Only three months. Chondor died... a bad death, our last drop. I've now got more... well, you know.

    Freedom. The fewer of your craft, the more valuable each are. The less questions can be applied to you about your duties and how you go about them. You have got freedom because no one wants to get the Emperor's Peace when you might have been able to keep them alive.

    "Hah. If one of us crossed me, I don't know that I'd do that or not. The Emperor's... or whoever's... Peace might be too good for them. I think I'd just hope for a fate like Chondor's for them."

    Chondor's fate.

    "Found his corpse, dessicated and skinned by inches, extremities shredded of flesh. He didn't die til they started chewing the flesh off of his limbs, then they dried him out. Those sapient wasps on Folly II have their fun, though I'm guessing sapient isn't the right word. If the atmosphere hadn't been so inert, we'd have heard the screams even the two clicks out we were when I estimate his life gave out. We got the prize, though. You know Saurex."

    Yes. Don't I. And I can almost feel Shavon's chagrin, his shame. Or at least he'd better feel it.

    "Damn it all. I'm sorry. We were talking about dreams. So, Vilusus wakes you up, and in the process you dream. Your mind spits out all the flotsam and jetsam of thought it would have had you been asleep for three months- or however long."

    Roughly, yes. That's why it's not always you having- having Vilusus wake me up.

    "That sounds-"

    Much less agonizing than it really is, Shavon. Over and over and over I see the same damned memories. I see our greatest victories, on Kualhall, Merdin Prime, St. Torith's Hope, all the rest. I see those haughty adepts, those jumped-up scribes, those sniveling weaklings, and I want to throttle them. I see Hauvar and Zethus and Sondan and Kvorek- I see them at the height of glory at our victories- I see them as Neophytes, learning our ways- I see them die on those- Shavon speaks but I'm not listening- those hells, those Godless hives of corruption and all the vileness of inhumankind and I realize I don't want to throttle those adepts, I want to violate them with rusted steel, roast them alive on the plasma vents of a Thunderhawk, pour their own venom back down their throats from whence it came. They deserve the penalty of death and excision by the Emperor's Law, but that is not enough, they deserve only to die by inches as they dared to condemn us to do- Shavon is hoarse from yelling- What. What, Shavon, what.

    "You're going to blow out your hearts, Malgovar. Or burst a vein in your brain. Or suffer a sympathetic seizure and shake loose from- look, any number of things that I can't possibly aid you with because we don't and cannot pull together the kind of team it would take to treat you."

    I don't care. If I die. So what. It would be a release.

    "You know that's not true."

    It is- He interrupts me; a rarity.

    "You don't want to die. Yet."

    And again, I am quieted. Now he is forthright. Maybe the years have changed him. Good old Shavon. My old friend. For once, the silence is not so bad because I know he is there and that he cares. I know that one of my brothers, at least, has not abandoned me in this... place. This situation. I know that Shavon will... I don't know. Yet. But I do know that when the time comes, Shavon will be there by my side. And my life, if this can be called such a thing, will not be like this forever. The silence is for once almost happy. I am almost happy. He breaks it first. It's a custom, now, I suppose; the one on the outside breaks the silence.

    "So, what did you dream of?"

    I hesitate.

    "Captain-" but before he continues I speak; our time is short.

    I dreamt of the day our Crusade began, Shavon. I dreamt of the day we the Judged sailed into the Eye of Terror.
    Last edited by Imperialis_Dominatus; 15-02-2013 at 08:49.
    Rules - CSM - BA - LatD (when I find my notes)
    Stories - Perish the Weak - Brothers in Chaos - The Baron Rises

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