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If I can pass the trial by making it to the monastery, I will be able to join the Iron Guard chapter. I must hike across the planets only mountain, Asirnoth, which wraps around the planet like the black lines of a basketball. I must travel from Unity’s Peak to the monastery which are located on opposite sides of the planet, if I can survive the journey I will become a neophyte for the Iron Guard chapter.
I remember being one of three teens selected by our city for the trial. My family was filled with pride, being selected is the highest accomplishment any teen can achieve on Volan. If I could make it, my family would have something to be proud of for generation after generation they would be able to point to the Wall of Heroes (list of people that have pass the trial) and point at my name Grenty Wilks.
There were twenty five teens at the start from different parts of Volan. We all had be given advice; what weapons to use, what plants to eat, the dangerous eotas, necessary equipment, and which way to go. Unity’s Peak separates into five different direction which all lead to the monastery, everyone had to choose a path to the monastery. Four including myself chose to travel south-east.
After four months, Elixis from Volan City could not continue because of the thin air. A few weeks later Alan quit without giving us a reason. Now its Zacs and I, we are able to hunt efficiently and gather enough wood for fire for both of us. We hike fifteen to twenty miles a day. At this pace we will make it to the monastery within a year or two.
Today we found a dead recruit which is what we call dead gold. Whenever we find a dead gold we take all of their useful equipment. This unfortunate guy had ammo, fresh socks, blankets, and a device to sharpen tools.
We have ran out meat and we are getting low on ester leaves, which are usually easy to find but have a horrible taste and causes stomach problems if it is the only thing you eat. We decided to take a break to hunt for food.
We hunt large land birds called werrors and a creature call phinders which is like a large winter squirrel. Our routine when we hunt is to separate, and when you get something you blew the whistle to inform the other of the catch. I was able to kill a phinder in only four hours, I started a fire and blew the whistle.
I started to worry after a few hours so I started to blow the whistle every ten minutes. After a nice meal of phinder meat, I went out to search for Zacs. As I search I started to wonder if he had decided to quit without telling me like Alan.
I finally found Zacs after two days of searching he was dead, apparently he had hiked up the mountain to steal some werror eggs, and had fallen to his death. He had been attacked by the mother, there were peck marks on his hand and chest. I started to cry as Zacs was the only person I had talked to or seen for four years. I carried his body to the base of the mountain where some miners were mining. I told them my story and asked them to give him a proper burial and where they could find his family.
Five months has passed since Zacs death I use his death as motivation, I must pass the trial for Zacs. I know I am getting close, I can smell industrial city fumes which I hope is from Volan City or Exes both cities that are near the fortress monastery.
I am worried because I am running out of ammo, I have not found dead gold since Zacs death. The good news is that according to some military warning signs I am less than one hundred miles away from the monastery. I have gone two days without food though and I have only half a clip left to hunt with. My stomach aches and I am fatigue, the closer I get to the monastery the colder it gets, Asirnoth highest peaks are located around the monastery. I am developing frost bite because I am unable to find fire wood at this altitude.
While hiking I notice some ester plants and some fire wood with my binoculars a few hundred feet above me. The climb looks extremely dangerous with very few leverage points, Zacs death comes to my mind as I decide to take the risk.
I reach the plants but it almost cost me my life. I had slipped and would have fallen to my death if it wasn’t for Zacs bag getting caught on the edge of the cliff. I regain my energy with the fire heating me and a belly full of painful ester leaves. I decided that I should hunt while I had fire wood to cook with, if I could kill a phinder or werror it would be enough food to last me until the end of the trial.
I tried to use my ears to listen for a werror scratching or a phinder burrowing. I heard something in a cave, I slowly walk in with my pistol ready. It was dark but I could recognize dead gold anywhere a smile came across my face as I yelled, “YES” but the joy was short lived as an eota reacted to noise and looked up.
My heart seemed to stop as the eota and I was locked in a staring contest. Eotas are short bulky creatures the size of a dwarf. Their arms are long, they drag across the ground when they walk. The eotas drag around when not hunting because its bones are very soft often breaking during simple task such as walking, because the eota does not feel pain it does not notice when it has broken a bone. The eotas have a nasty temper and will try to kill anything it sees that is not an eota. Its head is so heavy that it sits on its shoulders as the bones in its neck is not strong enough to support it. The eota’s claws and teeth are the only hard bones in its body.
The eota shows its teeth as it moved across the dead body. With only half a clip left I must make them count I thought as I aimed my pistol, the eota howled as it started to run towards me. Its arm trailing behind its body like a flag on a windy day. I emptied the clip firing all shots, one hitting the eota but it managed to still attack me. During its dived towards me its shoulder popped out of socket and its arms made a three sixty with its claws coming straight towards my throat. I barely avoided the attack as I dived towards the ground its attack was a few inches short slashing my shoulder. I have never felt so much pain in my life. It felt like someone had cut me with a whip which was drenched in salt water. The eota was running towards me again as I regain my balance I reached for my hatchet but the eota was to fast, so I just threw my bag at him. My bag knocked the eota down, it spent a few seconds slashing and thrashing the bag as he thought it was alive.
During that time I noticed the dead gold weapons, I quickly grab his large axe and pistol. The eota howled enjoying the thought that it had killed my bag, I became his first priority again as it started to attack me again. I fired the pistol shooting it in mid air but it still made its awkward attack, I was able to protect myself with the handle of the axe. I kicked the eota away from me and had the perfect head shot but the pistol was empty. The eota put some distance between me so it could try another one of its attacks. The eota was obviously hurt but its primitive mind could not feel the wounds it had suffered. I drop the pistol, tired of being the victim I charged in with the axe yelling “For the Emperor” the eota jump towards me I made a quick spin making his attack miss, I swung with the axe as I completed the spin cutting into the eota’s back. The eota was unaware of its wounds and the large cut in its back, it was trying to attack me again but it was unable to walk, I charged again this time decapitating the eota.
I wasted a week in the warm cave healing and enjoying eota meat I left the cave when my wounded shoulder had healed. After two months and several encounters with eotas, I finally was able to see the monastery with my binoculars, tears filled my eyes as I sprinted towards the monastery, I quickly climbed up its exterior towards the sign which read New Brothers.
A Space Marine in its dark grayish armor walked towards me with a smile on his face. He asked me, “What is your name young brother?” I responded, “Grenty Wilks with the first group of 995999M41” I was barely able to speak as I caught my breath. “Nice axe” I interrupted him proudly saying “I have killed five eotas with it” He laughed “Are you by yourself” he asked, “Yes” I responded, his smile became a frown. “Did I do something” he interrupted “Yes“ as he started to walk off. He turn around and said, “I will watch your career with much interest young axe wielder”
I saw an Imperial officer talking to the Astartes, I could not make out what they where saying but they started to laugh as they separated. It was a joke I thought, the officer said “Stand straight” I quickly fixed my posture. He said, “You passed the trial you will become an officer or commissar with the best training in the galaxy”, I responded “I thought” he interrupted “You don’t know how to think yet, we are going to make you into a Guardian, an officer or commissar for our forces or you will die trying your name will go in the Wall of Heroes if you become a Guardian, you will be called brother by all Guardians including the Astartes so make the best of this opportunity.”
Although I was unable to become a marine I did complete the training. The tech-priest was able to convert my axe into a power weapon. I have become a well known commissar known for my power axe. I have fought many battles charging with my power axe and pistol creating time for the Iron Guard chapter to prepare for its forward push.
My original name is in the Wall of Heroes, I know my family is proud. I gladly gave up my name and family to become a brother. I selected a name to honor my dead friend, once known as Grenty Wilks my new name is Brother Zacs also known as “Axe Wielder“ by the Iron Guard Chapter.