Testament, part one

I could not forgive him. A betrayal was a betrayal, and when that betrayal leaves you alone, disoriented, disowned and bleeding on a planet which actively seeks to hasten your demise it becomes all you can think about. From the moment I opened my eyes and caught my first glimpse of the skies, dark with smoke and ash, all I knew was anger and lust for revenge.

I had tried to save his life. I had tried to save his life by shooting him. A shoulder wound would have knocked him down, taken him out of the fight. Saved him. He had ducked, and returned the favour by blasting my left leg open. He could not have known the extent to which his actions were putting my plans — and the Imperium itself — in peril. I had had to be the one to do it; had to be the one to step forward into the blackness. My colleagues were not experienced enough, were not ready to do what must be done.

And so I had stepped in. I had tried to save them, tried to save us all. The galaxy is a dangerous place, and every possible measure must be taken to defend it against the alien, the mutant and the heretic. This is my creed, this is my duty and this is my curse. I must step where angels fear to tread, seize the weapons of the darkness and use them to bring light into the pitch black that waits for the slightest chance, the slightest slip in one’s will, the most minor transgression… if it finds a way, that darkness will seep in and it will seize the heart of humanity with its tenebrous grasp.

I digress. I am laying on my back. The sky looks as though it is on fire. The acrid smell of destruction fills my nostrils. I wonder whether I have died. Perhaps, looking back now, it would have been best if I had died there, just another heretic, utterly damned, cast away into the river of time. I was not so conceited as to think I mattered, and the truth was that I did not matter. I was not special in any way, had achieved nothing worthy of note, wrought no great works. Not then, anyway. Once again I deviate from my narrative. You will forgive me, but I find my personal story less interesting than the greater issues upon which it touches.

The sky was dark. I was leaking blood from the hole in my left leg, and I was burned quite severely along my right side. The augmentation I had received from my supposed benefactor, the one with the flair for the dramatic who deemed himself worthy of the respect a name such as ‘the Shadow’ should command, was unpowered and I was later to find it was entirely unsalvagable in its current form. Worse still, I knew from the scale of destruction unleashed upon the planet that it would not be long before the might of the Imperial military descended upon this world, and I knew that they would not look kindly upon my part in the affair.

I shall not bore you with the details of my remarkable escape from Corfun 3, nor of my run-ins with Astartes of the Deathwatch. These things are quite inconsequential, and my mind fixes most easily to important matters rather than trivial ones. And then, as now, my mind had only one desire: vengeance. Vengeance which then was little more than a pipe dream, but which as I record this testament, is at last within my grasp.


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April 2010
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