Through the Eyes of a Traitor ( short )

Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim, dark future there is only war.

Through the Eyes of a Traitor ( short )

Postby LIRR » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:56 pm

Damascus, veteran sergeant of the 1st Company. Ultramarine. Four hundred and sixty eight years old. Four and a half centuries of loyal service and constant warfare. Now naked. Arms and legs stretched to their limits, locked in chains with adamantium and arcane powers. Putrid worms slowly slid across the flooring, leaving trails of slime in their wake. Hooded and hunched figures moved in the shadows, just beyond the powerful and bright white cone of light aimed down at Damascus from directly above. The hooded figures reminded the Marine of Tech-Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus, reminded him of a warped and twisted mockery of their ancient and holy technologies. The hunched and robed figures mutated and deformed, mocking the sacred bionics of Mars with blasphemous genetic deviations.

“Kill me and be done with it” Damascus ordered.

“Ever the officer, I see.”

The voice was deep and grim. Harsh and hoarse. Filled with wisdom and confidence. Filled with pride. Filled with hate. Filled with rage. Filled with darkness.

Damascus slowly turned to look at the mockery of his own image. A Marine, eight feet tall, three hundred pounds of muscles. The Power Armor ancient and priceless; Several millennia old. The surface of the armor shifting in the light, like the colors of a scarabs exoskeleton, like oil gently covering the surface of water. And on his chest, a most sinister vision; An ever writhing Hydra. The three headed serpent wrestling without end to conquer itself. As if it were alive on the surface of the armor itself.

“I was once like you” the clad Marine said, his voice low and rumbling. “Eons ago.”

Damascus frowned and spat. “How dare you!”

“How dare I?!” Isago snarled. “How dare I compare myself with you? Is that it, Sergeant?”

“We are not the same” Damascus growled. “I am pure. You are corrupt. Traitor!”

“You? Pure?” Isago erupted with laughter. “I walked with the Primarchs. I freed mankind from xeno-servitude. I hailed the Emperor as he stood on the podium. I knelt before and received Alpharius’ blessing. You? Pure? A brainwashed fool! You think yourself purer than I?`”

“I still serve…”.

“Yes” Isago interrupted. “That you do. A slave you are.”

“I serve mankind!”

“Who relies on you to keep her alive!”

“I defend humanity!”

“Who can not defend herself!”

“I perform the Emperors will!”

“With no will of your own!”

“I serve a higher cause!”

“What cause?!”

“The Everlasting Crusade! The Emperors Jihad!”

“And only in death, peace thou shall find and your duty shall thus finally end.”

“It is his decree.”

“His decree… That we, who rule the galaxy, shall not rule mankind. That we, who conquer at will, shall not master our own will. That we, his children, his sons, shall never be allowed to step out of his shadow and witness the sun. That is his decree; The decree of the False Emperor.”

“How could you understand? Twisted and warped; Mutant. Corruption Incarnate; I curse you. How could you possibly understand?”

“I understand. Believe me, Sergeant. I do. I remember my youth. My zeal. My devotion. I remember it well. And this is something you can never understand, Sergeant; The pure joy of serving the Emperor while he walked amongst us. To wage war against the damned xenos of this galaxy, guided through battle by the mighty Primarchs. And then the hatred born out of their damned betrayal, most foul!”.

“The traitor speaks of betrayal? Don’t make me laugh, filth.”

Isago took a quick step closer to the outstretched Marine. “Filth? You call me filth? Were you there? Were you, Sergeant? You dare to judge me on matters you can not fathom! The Emperor betrayed us all, Sergeant. He betrayed even you. Simply because he loved them more than he loved us. He loved those damned inferior weaklings more than his own sons. Despite all we had done for him. Despite all our sacrifice. Despite all of my dead Brethren of the First Twenty. Despite all of this… He loved them most. Can you imagine? Can you, Sergeant? We were to conquer and die, not for him, but for them… For them, Sergeant… And therein lies the betrayal. That is the root to the festering hatred that rots my soul. The corruption you so despise! The corruption our Father bestowed upon us as he abandoned us… For them”.

“Your lies does not impress me, Traitor.”

“LIES?!” The armor-clad backhand struck Damascus across the cheek and drew blood. “I may be many things, Sergeant, but a liar is not one of them. Few Brethren are.”

Damascus spat out a pair of splintered teeth together with a thick gob of blood and spit.

Isago licked the blood from his gauntlet. “We fled, Sergeant. After Terra, we fled. Abbaddon guided us, who else. He took us across the galaxy towards Cadia. The Occularis Terribus was the only place we could hide, the Imperial Fleet in hot pursuit. It was turmoil. We had no home. No leader. No cause. No purpose. Can you imagine that, Sergeant? To have no meaning. Of course you can’t. You serve still. To the very last drop of your blood, you will serve. We were scattered. Lost and confused with no goal in sight. Adrift in a sea of blood with no banner to rally by. The Legions… The mighty Legions… No more. Never again. We evaded the Imperial Navy in the nebula’s of the Occularis Terribus. We tried to gather our forces, regain our strength, heal our wounds. But we did not heal. Instead the wound grew deeper. We could feel it. We could see it. And Abbaddon gave words to our thoughts. Hate. Rage. Fury. Anger. Madness. Vengeance. Retaliation. Retribution. Carnage. These were the words he brought us. The words he corrupted us with. The empty promises he snared us with”.

“If you know he lied to you… Why follow this path?”.

“Why?” Isago locked his eyes on a pool of ooze gathering on the floor, sickly green with brown fumes slowly rising from the toxic goo. “Because it is too late. It was from the beginning. The Powers Beyond tricked us all. From the very start. You do not understand the powers involved. It is too late for me, Brother. I was cursed before I was born and there is nothing I can do to change it. Hate is the only thing that slows the pain. All I can do… is hate.”

“As do I. I hate the enemies of mankind.”

Isago looked up at Damascus. “It is truly a tragic tale, the fall of the Legions. Betrayed by their Father. Betrayed by their most beloved Brother. Cursed to hate everyone, anyone, including themselves. All that remains is to kill, maim and burn in a vain attempt to ease the ache within.”

“There is always time to repent your sins, traitor. There is always time for Death.”

Isago grinned. “There is no time for Death, Brother, when it is Hatred that dictates your thoughts and actions. There is only time for Pain… Endless pain. The dark Eldar kin call it the Fashey’la Haim Jabaal; Soul Cleansing. When my minions are done with you, you will feel the pain I feel, and only then will you truly understand what it means to be the Emperors Marine.”

+++ +++

“I don’t want this.”

Damascus frowned and spat. He looked like a carcass that had suffered a butchers work. Blood was pouring down, pooling up beneath him. Deep wounds after lashes and blades had all but skinned the mighty Marine alive. He was hanging from his arms, wrists locked with chain and shackles. An eye had popped out of its socket. One kneecap was hanging freely from the torn skin. A foot had been split in half down the center. Intestines were slowly pushing out through the deep cuts across his abdomen.

“I am honest” Isago said. “I truly don’t want this.”

“I notice” Damascus said through grinding teeth and then coughed up blood.

The Alpha Legion Marine sighed as he studied his molested counterpart. “This is not what we wanted. We only wanted what was ours… The galaxy. We had conquered it. We ruled it. We… The Legiones Astartes. Not mankind. Mankind never ruled anything. Not until we came.”

“Not until the Emperor, you blasphemous mongrel.”

Isago smiled and nodded. “Aye… Not until the Emperor. And what a conquest it was” the Legionnaire grinned as the memories came flooding back. “I saw a thousand xeno worlds burn. Traitors and usurpers were hunted down and purged. It was glorious. Never could we have dreamed of what was to come.”

“Yet you did it” Damascus said with a frown. “Yet you betrayed the Emperor and set out to destroy all he had built.”

“All He had built?!”. Something feral was ignited in Isago’s eyes. “He built nothing!! We did! WE!! And we did it all for Him… For Him and not for them. We did it all for him. Unspeakable things. Horrid things. Most horrid, but we cared not, for we loved the Emperor more than you can ever possibly imagine, Sergeant. None of you can imagine such love. No poet or minstrel can do us justice. All we have done has been for you… For our Brethren. All we have ever sought was our rightful place as rulers over the weak and pathetic humans. Don’t you see? All we have done has been done for you. For us. What I have become is a manifestation of our struggle against the corruption of mankind.”

“What you have become has made you nothing more than a walking tragedy… Brother.”

“Tragedy?” Isago growled. “Me? You are the tragedy; gods amongst insects with the fate of the galaxy in your grasp. Yet you do nothing. You’re nothing but a dying spark compared to the raging inferno we once were. You can have it all. You have it all! But you don’t know it, do you. Because only in death, does duty end.”

“Oh, we know” the Ultramarine said, voice tired and struggling. “We know what we can do and what we can have, if we wished it. But it is not ours to take, not ours to have or master. And why is simple enough; we remember what you have forgotten.”

Isago bared his sharp teeth as he chuckled. “And what would that be, I wonder.”

“That we are not the children of the Emperor… but children of mankind. The Emperor took nothing from you, because you never had anything to take. The galaxy wasn’t yours; it was theirs all along. The Emperor was born to guide mankind; not to rule. And you, and I, were born to protect and serve mankind… not to rule. Why? Because we all were born by man to safeguard her. Without mankind, what are we? I will tell you what; lumbering beasts of destruction, without honor or pride or purpose. Creatures of carnage… and hate.”

Isago stood silent for a moment, thinking about what was said. And for a moment, it was as if he truly understood the words. Looking the suffering Ultramarine in the eye, Isago’s face turned grim. “In the end you will see things our way, Sergeant; I guarantee it. There is high demand for another lumbering beast without honor or purpose. I am confident that you will see the truth.”

Damascus managed a faint smile as he managed to aim his one good eye at the traitor before him. “Truth? You remembered, didn’t you? You remembered the truth… if only for a moment, didn’t you.”

“Perhaps” Isago said as if thinking aloud. “Continue” the Alpha Marine then growled as he turned to leave the chamber, moved with great strides towards the exit.

“You Remembered!” Damascus said with raised voice. “You remembered and now you can not stand the shame of what you’ve become! Admit it!”

Coming to a halt in the archway of the exit, Isago turned to glance back at his prisoner, watching the foul and dreaded minions close in on the captive to finish their work. Isago could not hide the regret in his sinister eyes as he looked upon the broken form of the Ultramarine in his custody.

“I remember” Isago rumbled. “But like I said, Brother… It is too late for me. There is no turning back. And soon you will understand why.”

The traitor left the chamber, allowing his servants to work undisturbed.

“Isago!!” Damascus roared, hanging from his chains and shackles. “ISAGO!!”

Pain filled his world.

For eternity.
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:42 am

Re: Through the Eyes of a Traitor ( short )

Postby Praetorian » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:59 pm

I like it.
Save that Its an alpha marine...
Save for that I really like it.
Good work LIRR
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:37 pm

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