Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:01 am

The old man's first sentence made Atash's hackles rise again, but before he could say anything, the man's last words made him pause, his frown becoming more thoughtful, almost subdued. He remained silent for a long moment as he mentally recited the familiar litanies to centre and calm himself once more.

Finally he took a deep breath and let it out slowly, then looked back to the old man on the other side of the board. "It is as you say. Hubris and pride are sins of character that everyone should look out for - some more than others." He dropped his gaze back down to the reset board, considering the pieces arrayed across it. "I admit, they are failings my chapter - my legion - are susceptible to. But we... have been made aware of this, so my chapter does its best to rein it in as much as we can."

Atash made his opening moves on the reset board, then followed the old man's lead and sank down to sit on the black, glassy sand. His shoulders sagged wearily, and he propped his chin up on one hand as he continued to consider the board, waiting to see what would happen.
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:11 am

The game continued to play out, much the same as before.

Refraining for the moment to continue his Interrogation, The Old man would instead occasionally ask Atash questions regarding living in the long past, blatantly curious about life in times long past, and explained he had little such experiences of his own and found them all a curious novelty.

over the course of an hour, the game continued, and again it ended in Defeat for Atash, a drastic change of events in the last few rounds that were simply unforseen by the younger Marine.

At the end of the Match, The Old man asked again.

"Ignor the events after the fateful arrival of your Twisted kin. Have you yet figured out how the enemy bested your Squad? "

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:42 pm

As the game continued to unfold, Atash tried some different tactics to the ones he'd used before. He answered the old man's curious questions with wary, guarded simplicity, briefly commenting on various aspects of his life aboard the Aten. Most of his attention however was focused on the game board.

Despite this, the game soon came to its conclusion with his inevitable defeat, and Atash let out a low sound of frustration. "What am I missing?" he muttered to himself, frowning down at the board.

The old man's question made him blink and look back up. He paused for a moment, still frowning, then narrowed his eyes slightly as something occurred to him. "They were distracting us - like you've been distracting me from this game, with your questions and your segues. Distracting and misdirecting us with just enough information to make us think that was all there was, keep us from looking further."
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:55 pm

"Better. But you are still under estimating your foe, and over thinking the problem

The Regicide board reset it self, but rather than go back to the start, it reversed its self, playing thru the last few moves in reverse. 

It went back a to the games turning point, when the Old Man went in for the kill. 

"Behold, the machinations of your downfall"

The game replayed itself, but this time Atash could see. The pieces changed. Swapped places before his eyes, a faint shimmer as hidden units were revealed, and subtle pulse of psychic energy behind it all, revealed to Atash's senses this time. 

"
Your foes did not merely confound you. They used their craft to cheat, to rig the game. You lost because you played. You and your team entered a trap knowing it was a trap, but failing to comprehend just how much smarter than you, how much more devious your foe was.

Knowledge is power, and in denying you or your team knowledge by shrouding it from you, by feeding you false knowledge to act upon, the enemy guided you all the way.

When you rigged the Melta-Charge to eliminate your foe from beneath, Then you were closest to winning. Then you changed the game. You stopped playing by their rules.

There is an old saying. "No machination perseveres beyond first contact with the foe". Against enemy's such as Kharriaz any plan is futile.

But there is a way to defeat even He
."

The Regicide board reset to the starting position, and a new game began. 

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:10 am

Atash watched the board intently as the game rewound and replayed itself. His eyes narrowed as the cheating was revealed, and he let out a low hiss through his teeth. He said nothing though, merely listening to the old man's words, absorbing them and considering them.

When the regicide board reset, Atash regarded it for a moment, then looked back up at the figure sitting opposite him. "As I see it, if I want to win this game I have two options. Either not to play at all - which I don't think is an option you will actually let me take," he added wryly, gesturing towards the board and the old man. "Or I have to cheat better than my opponent, while trying to spot the same."

With that, he made his opening move of the new game.
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:30 am

A half smirk crept upon the Old Mans face. 

"Correct, almost. The enemy cheats for he is without Honor"

The Old Man made his move, and the game rolled on. 

"Against an Honourless foe you could Cheat. You could lower yourself to play their game their way."

The game continued, honest to his course so far.

Then, Atash felt a presence, but not on the board, directed around Atash himself. Nothing hostile, a thickening of the veil. The Old Man was inhibiting Atash from drawing out his powers. 

"Against lesser foes, Orks or your average heretic, it might work. But against foes like the Heralds, or even some Xenos such as the Eldar, Cheating is their craft. They will out play you at it.

The game continued, and then Atash felt it, the shrouding of a piece. Atash could no longer see the missing unit, but the faint psychic enhancement could not be hidden, not completely, now Atash was looking for it. 

The hidden unit was exposed, and the weakness in the Old Mans formation was reveled.

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:49 am

The comments about honour made Atash pause, and he regarded the old man thoughtfully. "Honour is a funny thing," he mused, even as he felt the veil thicken around him. "From what my older brothers have told me, there were those who disapproved of our Legion's tactics, our way of waging war." He smirked briefly. "In their opinion, we cheated. And so they called us cowards, spineless, honourless, because we do not fight in the ways they approve of. Even though their preferred methods of war would near wipe us out, since as one of the smallest Legions, we never had the numbers to meet most foes head-to-head in 'honourable' battle." He shrugged. "To us, our methods of fighting were just as honourable as anyone else's. We brought worlds into compliance, often with very few losses on either side, and expanded the Imperium with every victory. So who's to say whether or not we are still honourable?"

He returned his attention to the board, but made no outward sign of having noticed the shrouding of the piece. He continued on for a couple more turns, carefully manoeuvring his own forces - and then he struck without warning at the hidden piece, and the weakness in the old man's army.
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:04 am

"Every legion thought their way was best, just as many chapters still do. But even your own brothers followed the Emperors word, for at least the time it was still Your Legion. What came after is a debate for another time.

In the present, there is no force of Loyalist marines even as large as your Legion was, but small as modern Chapters are by comparison, they still fight their wars with honor and loyalty without fear of being wiped out.
"

The game from there ended quickly. The Old Man's King fell, and the board was swiftly consumed by the deserts sand. 

"Good, you see now the Third option. Vigilance. Know when to expect your foe to be cheating and you will not be surprised. Expect the Unexpected. When all seems normal, look deeper.

When your team assaulted the enemy you knew you were heading into a trap, but only you had the potential to see thru the sorceries the Heralds had set to confound you. Find for the heralds tell, and you will not fall into their web like that again.

Your brothers would work on you for that, but it will be up to you to strengthen your mind.

You will need to be stronger if you are to fight the Heralds again. And more than that for your doom with Kharriaz.
"

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:17 pm

"There is a difference between thinking your way is best for your own Legion, and thinking your way is best for every Legion," Atash murmured dryly. "As for the present..." He gave the old man a sharp look. "I hope you are not implying that my own chapter fights without honour or loyalty. And given our current circumstances, our concern about being wiped out now - whether that be by enemies or supposed allies - is very real."

As the game was won and the board disappeared beneath the desert sand, Atash leaned back wearily, though he still paid close attention to the old man's words. He nodded slowly in agreement, a frown creasing his face. "You are right - I am not strong enough to face Kharriaz again, not yet. So I need to strengthen my mind further, and quickly." He let out a huff of wry, morbid amusement. "And what better time to focus on strengthening my mind than when my mind is all that is functioning right now?"
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:05 am

"I do not imply, when i make judgement it is absolute. Fret not young Sun, In your time your legion served well as did any other in their way, even if your brothers disagreed with the methods of others.

I would not infer to ignore the wisdom of your brothers, but be cautious of their words. You live in this world, the one your brothers inhabited was different and shaped different perceptions. This is true even of me, for the world i live in and the perceptions it has shaped in me is unlike your own. 

With your older kin this is also the case. Take their wisdom, by all means, but Temper it by modern perceptions. Together with your brothers you will achieve this. 

Make up your own mind what you see, for it is you and your fellow initiates who will be the future leaders of your chapter, and shape it in this time.
"

Suddenly the Old Man's attention seemed drawn away into the distance. 

"Alas we will need to pick this up later. I have a duty to which i must attend. I will return, in time.

In the meantime, Strengthen your mind. If you wander the desert you will find trials, or go back and revisit your memory's of the encounter.

It is your mind after all.
"

With that said, the Old Man began to fade out of Atash's Mindscape.

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:17 am

Atash nodded again at the old man's words, but before he could say anything in reply, the man looked away, his attention diverted. As he began to fade, Atash forced himself to his feet. "Wait! Before you go - I still don't know your name. If you truly are a friend, as you claim, at least tell me that!"
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:31 am

The vision of the Old Man smiled. Almost a mischievous smile, but not at all unkind.

"Svärd Brytare. An old name, but one I've come to take as my own..."

As his last words echoed throughout Atash's mind, the Old Man Svärd Dissipated. 

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:23 am

Atash blinked in confusion at the reply. "Sword... Break-- wait, what?" But the old man had already dissipated, leaving Atash alone in his own mind.

He let out a quiet sigh, then took a few moments to gather his strength. Eventually he began moving, trudging across the desert sands towards the distant silver spires, for lack of any better direction to go. The old man had mentioned trials, but for now, the only company Atash had was his own thoughts, as he carefully mulled over everything that had happened.

He couldn't tell how much time had passed before his thoughts were interrupted by the sudden arrival of a familiar presence nearby. Atash halted in his tracks as a crimson-armoured figure materialised out of the desert haze before him, and he let out a breath of relief as the figure's face came into view. "Captain Amari!"

Akil Amari nodded a solemn greeting to his younger battle-brother and stepped forward to meet him. A slight heat-shimmer of two other similarly armoured figures, one larger and one slightly smaller, ghosted behind Akil, leaving no trail in the sand. "Atash," Akil said, his expression calm but an undercurrent of concern in his voice. "We received word that you and your squad were caught up in a daemonic incursion involving Kharriaz. Can you show me everything that happened?"

"Of course, Captain." Once again, Atash settled into the familiar pattern of recall and communication, playing out his memories for Akil to view, from the briefing on the Deathwatch ship all the way to the fight with the daemon prince. He couldn't help but notice that parts of his memories involving Kharriaz were now fuzzy and indistinct - and Akil noticed as well, but remained silent.

Once Atash had finished, Akil regarded him carefully for a moment, his face revealing nothing of his thoughts. "And what else has transpired between then and now?" he finally asked, gesturing to the surrounding desert. "You have not been alone here."

Atash grimaced slightly and nodded. "Aye. Someone else, a man calling himself Svärd Brytare, who claimed to be a friend, was here. I did not recognise him personally - he had augmetics along the left side of his skull - but his aura seemed... similar... to Battle-Brother Alaric's and his squad's. I also felt that opposing him would be unwise."

Akil looked thoughtful for a moment, then nodded. "You're most likely correct. What did he have to say?"

Atash gave a succinct summary of all that he and the old man had discussed, occasionally elaborating when Akil requested more detail. Every now and then Akil would glance back at the two ghostly outlines of marines behind him, then nod slightly and return his attention to Atash.

When Atash was done with his summary, Akil paused for a long moment, then gave the younger marine an approving nod and reached out to clasp his shoulder in one gauntleted hand. "You've done well, given the circumstances," he said reassuringly. "Brother Alaric and his ship are on their way to pick you up and bring you back to the Aten." His expression then became grave. "However, the intervening time will not be easy for you. I suspect that you will be sorely tested, in more ways than one, before you return to us."

Atash took a deep breath, then let it out slowly before replying. "I swore I would not fail my squad-mates, and I will not fail my chapter, either. You have my oath on that, Chapter Master."

Akil gave Atash a brief, approving smile. "Then I look forward to seeing you back on the Aten in due time, brother."
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:19 pm

*****************************************************************************************************************************************

Atash would spend what would feel to him decades within the landscape of his own mind before being visited again. 


He would face Gods and Daemons of his own creation. 



He would face the inevitability of his death in more ways than he could imagine, and he would live lives he could not imagine for himself. 



He would be pushed to his limits, and beyond. 



He would Fail. 



He would Break.



And from the ashes left behind, he would rise. 



For every failure, he would push on to Ten Victories. 



He would face trials he knew he could not win, with absolute conviction that he would not fail. 



And one day, and Aged Atash would again be visited by a kindly old man, in robes of silver thread.




*****************************************************************************************************************************************

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:23 pm

For all the years that had worn down on Atash, the vision of the Elder before him remained exactly as he recalled it, unchanged by time, ancient and endless. 

"Greetings young Lexicanum. I see your trials have been unkind."

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:48 pm

Atash straightened wearily as the old man appeared before him, unchanged and unchanging. The hardships over the apparent years spent trapped in his own mind had worn away at the young Astartes, leaving little other than the solid inner core of his will. The one thing that had seen him through it all was the oath he'd taken, to battle-brothers and chapter, an oath he absolutely refused to break.

"'Unkind' is something of an understatement," Atash replied dryly. "But then, they would not be trials if they were not unkind. I have survived so far, at least."

He glanced around the desolate landscape, then looked back at the old man with a raised eyebrow. "So what does your presence back here mean? Am I to assume that the trials are over - or that more are yet to come?"
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:25 pm

Svärd seemed to ponder at the question for a moment, and gave a noncommittal shrug. 

"Trials will never end. As an Astartes, they are a part of your life."

The wizened figure stepped closer, inspecting Atash on more than just a natural level. 

"But thease trials i think, are near complete. You would not be hear still i should think, if you were not worthy of the Trust bestowed in you by those outside your chapter. If you still live, untainted and unfree, then i am Satisfied. But now comes the Final test.

Time to escape this place, one way or another, if you can.

What i shall teach you i have been permitted by my Brother-Captain.

The technique is ancient, and among the very first things taught to my brothers and I.

I will teach it to you, and you will pass it on to your brothers.

All of this you and your chapter will deal with in utmost secrecy, for it may yet act as a tool to foil the plans of our mutual Foe." 



Svärd began walking towards the Image of the City, glimmering in the distance, and beckoned Atash to Follow.

As he walked, he looked over his shoulder and said in a conspiratorial voice "Ohh, and i suppose i should mention that if you had failed, and given in, there would have been many an opportunity to leave this place already. But all other paths lead deeper into the warp, or would have invited something other into your mind. You lasted, and that is no small feat. You should be proud of it, whilst you are able."

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:04 pm

As Svärd stepped towards him, Atash instinctively straightened even further, almost coming to attention beneath the old man's scrutiny. Relief briefly flickered across his face as the old man mentioned these trials being near complete.

He then blinked and regarded Svärd curiously at the news that he would be taught something new, and that he would be required to pass it on to his brothers. "We excel at keeping secrets," Atash commented with a faint, lopsided smile. "Knowledge is power, and we guard it well."

When Svärd beckoned, Atash fell into step behind him, his gaze drifting towards the silver spires in the distance for a moment. Then the old man began talking again, and Atash returned his attention to him.

He nodded slowly at Svärd's words. "That does not surprise me. But I made an oath, and I'd be damned - literally - if I'd break it." He then let out a soft huff of wry amusement. "And I would be more proud if I wasn't so blasted tired. There's also something about pride and hubris, but I'm sure you're already aware of that."
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:14 pm

Together the two walked under the desert sun towards the distant spires. 

"Curious how much detail comes to the mind at a glance."


Svärd gestured at the glittering towers of glass and silver. 

"
You've had guests is see, else you have hidden the truth of having no memory of Prospero.

Your Kin must truly have held it dear, for their memory of it has filled where yours was blank
"

As the Elder said this, the two walked thru the gates into no mere mirage of the city as it had been when they first met, but a fully realized memory, complete with the ghostly images of people long dead echoing thru-out the streets. 

But these were no lost souls haunting a dead city, but glimpses of memory that had come to the mind of Atash's superiors when they visited the parody of their ancient home. 

Svärd continued to lead Atash to the center of the City.

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:30 pm

Atash moved up to walk beside Svärd rather than behind him, and nodded at his comment. "Aye, my chapter master arrived soon after you left the first time," he admitted, though he said nothing of the two that had accompanied him. "And of course they hold it dear - it is our home, and though we may have to hide that fact now, we will not let its memory die."

As they walked through the gates into the city proper, Atash let his gaze wander, taking in the details that his older brothers had left behind. Here and there, amongst the memories of the people of Tizca, strode taller, regal figures; some armoured in crimson plate, others dressed in more casual clothing or robes.

Atash would have liked to spend more time here, in the memories of a city he called home even though he'd never been in it. But Svärd's stride didn't slow, so Atash continued after him to the center of the shining city.
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:00 am

Together the duo walked to the center of the city, and entered its most large and glorious of towers. 

They chose the longer more scenic route, and ascended the many stairs to a high part of the tower, over looking the city. 

In the stately room, there was a large table sized for Astarte's, and upon it lay various fruits and goblets and jugs filled with wine. 

Before Svärd got into the training, he spent some time with Atash, admiring the clarity of this lost world.

The old Warrior bid his time envying the novelty of the memory of ancient Wine. Gleaming what he could of this place from Atash, and eventually segueing into exercises of the mind.

There was a gulf between the litany's of 
Svärd, and the Enumerations of Atash, and the two would spend what felt like many days in that lost tower in that dead city, even tho mere moments were passing slowly by in reality. 

Eventually, 
Svärd was convinced that he understood how Atash worked well enough to teach him. 

"Your 'Enumerations' are effective in most things, but they are ancient and tho they served you well by His side in the past, they are too slow to call, and you have foe's that know them well. 

What i shall teach you may be hidden in this towers archives somewhere, but those are truly lost to time.

I shall guide you to not just control the warp, or manipulate its ebb and flow. Today, you learn to Break it. To break its hold on you, and sever the connection at an instant. 



To free yourself in such a way is not without dangers, and many sanctioned imperial psychers have died performing it.

But they saved those around them in doing so. For if you break the warps hold on you, nothing can use your mind as a gate again. 

Beware also that your mind will take time to reconnect to the empirean after, and longer still before you will again have mastery to perform the ability properly. 

It will hurt. At pique health as an Astarte it is unlikely to be life threatening, but you are near death still.
"

Svärd cleared the table, and while he sat on one side, Atash sat opposite. And so The old Knight taught the young Sun an ability that would give him either life, or death. Save him, or Doom him at last.

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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Skits on Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:26 am

Atash felt like an intruder in these memories that were not his, but at the same time, it was an opportunity too good to miss, that he'd likely not get again. So he followed Svärd's more scenic route without comment, and soaked in as much of his surroundings as possible.

The old man's envy over the ancient wine made Atash grin for a moment, and he let slip a casual comment about his chapter master's treasured few remaining bottles.

The seeming days spent in learning were familiar enough that Atash found himself enjoying it - he absorbed the knowledge that Svärd offered like a sponge, and was still eager for more. Finally though, they reached the point that Svärd had been aiming for.

Atash nodded solemnly at his warnings, and took a calming breath to steady himself for what was to come. "Near death, but not dead yet," he replied to the old man's last comments. "And I trust my brothers. They will have done everything in their power to keep me alive." He gave Svärd a slanted smile. "You could almost say I have faith in them."

With that, Atash put the theory they'd been discussing into practice--

--and all around him, the memories of the tower and Tizca shattered into darkness.
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Re: Warhammer 40K: Dreams of the fated...

Post by Comander.c on Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:26 am

Pain
Darkness
For but a moment it seemed, That was all that Atash knew, all he could perceive. 

But then, There was Light.

Not the bright, warm light of a star, but the harsh luminescence of artificial light.

Atash awoke on a cold hard bench within some kind of Apothacarion. 

This time, the pain did not die away. Atash was overcome with agony as his body attempted to communicate all its traumas to his brain at once. 

As he tried to align his memory with what was happening he could feel them slipping away, like waking from a dream that cannot be recalled no matter how hard one tries. 

He attempted to look around but his vision was blurred crimson. He could faintly feel the warmth of blood trickling from his eyes and ears. 

As he tried to wipe away the blood from his eyes, he found his Right arm bound to the bench, and could not feel his left. 

He blinked away the blood, attempted to take stock of himself. 

The first thing he noticed was the absence of his left arm, a scoured stump all that remained of his limb. And that was the least of it. 

As Atash looked down, stretching to crane his neck, he beheld the meaty ruin of his chest. Cleaned of blood, it was a mess of bone and gore, shining silver pipes and tubes filling far to much of what should have been the bone plate of his chest. 

He could hear binaric chattering, and turned towards the sound. A servitor, Medicae class stood with gleaming medical instruments fused to his form. It fiddled with the machines tied to Atash, and a warm liquid began to pump into his body. The pain began to Ebb. 

Atash's frustration grew, the need to know what was happening superseding all. And then he remembered the fight. 

Kharriaz, atop the roof top. But it was not traumatic, only analytical, a series of facts.

Parry, dodge, repost, in slow motion. Hazey words. Too slow. Falling. The interior of a Storm-raven. Taric's praying. Reiner, analyzing. Lance, Yelling. 

Atash snapped back to reality, trying to make sense of the unfamiliar place he was being treated. 

Two figures, Standing over him. 

Marines, in full Wargear. Silver Armour, Spears... Held ready, Bolters Primed! One of them seemed almost familiar, but the deep blue of his helm's lenses stared on impassively.

Atash noticed something missing about the warriors. something he could no longer sense. His third eye felt blind to him, not just reduced but completely absent. 

"It is Done. He rises pure." Said the familiar one. 

"Prepare the Stasis pod" Said the other.

The drugs began to pull him back down, his vision blurring, his mind slurring as it tried to grasp at the fading dream. 

And for a moment, Atash recalled something. 

The smell of Aged Wine, fresh fruit. A dry warm wind, atop a glittering tower. A City of Glass, and the Lessons of an old man. 

Atash Slept.

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