Having been reading the extracts on Black Library’s blog, I thought I’d start putting little stories up here on my own blog. Not extracts, but little short stories, 5/600 words, about the size of an A4 piece of paper on MS Word. Dunno why, but then why not? So, the first one is a little something I knocked up this morning (at 3am), and decided to put up here.
See if you can guess who the visitor is before it’s revealed at the end and let me know what you think!
So, here it is:
He always felt inadequate in this room; as if he were presumptuous to think he could be in the presence of someone like him. And yet, he returned to this place again and again when he required solitude.
The marble floor was cold and uninviting, his leather sandals slapping on the stone. The lights had been dimmed and the doors locked behind him. The guards had orders for him not to be disturbed. He walked gingerly forward, showing as much humility as he could without seeming like a sycophant.
He stepped past the artefacts from hundreds of generations before him. They all formed a canyon leading towards the central room. He travelled past the threshold until he was alone. He kept going until he found himself at the base of the big circular platform.
On it sat a massive throne made of a lighter shade of marble. It was hollowed out, containing millennia-ancient technology and a hulking figure sat on it, still as a statue and unmoving as a mountain. The stasis field hummed and shivered, keeping the figure as ageless as his father, his armour shimmering in the flickering blue light.
The visitor, his short white hair and short cream robes reflecting the unnatural light of the energy field before him, knelt in front of the platform, his knees on the bottom step.
“Forgive me, Father; it’s been months since my last… confession to you. I…” He stopped himself, unsure of how to exactly word his confession. “A lot has happened in recent years, and my own resolve has crumbled at times. M’Kar returned, and I… I made mistakes. Unconscionable mistakes… mistakes that shouldn’t have happened.”
Although there was sadness in his strong deep voice, there was no fear, no remorse.
“Tigurius thinks I am mad for confessing like this, but it is… cathartic. If I told Cassius about my coming down here in the dead of night he would probably have me shot.” The visitor chuckled. “Either that, or bust me back down to the lowest rank or duty he could think of.”
He sighed heavily.
“I regret my actions. Your people have suffered greatly in recent centuries, especially at the hands of the traitors and the xenos, especially your brother’s prodigy. News was brought to me only a few hours ago of a hive fleet heading directly towards Terra. It prompted my returning to this place, in fact.”
He sighed again, and then turned, sitting on the step instead of kneeling, his own great muscled bulk still dwarfed by the throne and its occupant.
“If ever there was a time to return to this galaxy, now would be the time.”
There was no reply, as he knew there wouldn’t be. He felt something brush his shoulder, however. It had felt like a large hand, but when he jumped to his feet there was nothing there, his bionic eye whirring and zooming, unable to determine anything but shadow and marble.
Distant thuds told him that someone was approaching the main doors.
He span and bowed low to the Shrine of the Primarch, trying not to meet Roboute Guilliman’s unflinching gaze. He was sure he could feel the warmth of his Primarch’s spirit, but knew it to be a side effect of the stasis field.
Then he span again, and marched towards the doors where he knew Tigurius awaited.
Thank you, Father, he thought, hoping the immobile Guilliman could hear him.
Massive shoulders straight, and head held high, Marneus Calgar returned to the Fortress of Hera.
What did you think?
Check out the tags at the bottom (wordpress’s suggestions, not mine!)
I liked it.