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He could feel it. In his throat, as he rattled and gasped for breath. His brother stood over him, his arm gleaming darkly. What he once took for noble bearing he now saw as conceit, and ill concealed narcissism. How could one so pussiant and high have fallen so low?
Sickening runes that burned and writhed in his mind even when he forced his eyes closed covered the noble obsidian plate. A ruddy, blood red glow emanated like some sort of cliche theater lighting from within the cowl of the plate. The twisted lighting illuminated that beloved face in a garish light, the shadows and the way they played across the now twisted face making the broken figure wheeze for breathe as silent sobs racked him.
So far.. They had come so far.. Was it all really reduced to this? Petulant children fighting for their Fathers attention? How or what could have caused the one man all his brothers looked up to to turn from his own father? A darker mood took him with a spasm of pain, and the thought floated across his mind..
Or what could father have done to him to make him so?
Blood leaked from his crushed chest, impacted by that horrible, monstrous thing his sibling wore on his right hand. Even as mighty as his brother was, still it dwarfed his frame, perhaps as large as his chest itself, even in the massive bulk of the Jusaterin armor. Were once it had made him seem proud and tall, a true God amongst mere Mortals, it now was dark and sinister.
Fetishes hung from it, this defiled armor that could withstand the burning heat of a sun, decapitated heads of loyal men of their Fathers. The hide of a fell beast was draped upon his shoulders, and flesh of dead men stretched across his armor grotesquely, often speared right upon the what appeared to be random spikes and horns erupting from the armor.
Vainly, he tried to raise his hand. But he found he could not move, and even his eyes seemed no longer his to command. Visions of his early life, on a desert planet wrestling with deadly arachnid beasts dancing and mutilating the corpses of his fallen sons and men within the desecrated battle barge and the fallen men within it.
For a fleeting instant, he saw his brother as he was when he first met him, clad in noble black plate with fluttering oath papers, the glaring eye of their fathers Empire shining forth from his breastplate. Beside his brother stood their father. A vision. A truly divine being, though such fallacies were rejected at his fathers own command.
The gleaming god, resplendent in golden armor that outshone the own ruined plate he wore now, stayed as the rest of the fantasy faded. It was in that instant he realized that this figure was real. His heart leapt. His father was here! Surely he would speak to his brother, steer him from this path of madness.
They would return to planet side below, where he would be tended and healed, and their great work could commence once again. Visions of glory and fraternity danced before his eyes for a moment, until a sudden nearly explosive burst of energy, physical and other rocked him body and mind.
With horror, he watched the golden sword of his father burst into flames, battering aside the jet and bronze of his brothers mace, and flickering out at the obsidian plate.
A screeching rend, and smoke issued forth from a suit perfectly made by the sons of the red planet, oil and coolant weeping from the struck elbow joint as if the armor itself bled. In one blow his sire had rendered nearly useless his brothers deadly claw.
Again and again, over and over the blows struck and sounded. Eventually his fathers sword shattered, slicing clean through the haft of his brothers mace, a shard of it flying out and scoring a deep gash across the younger warrior as he dropped the cloven haft.
Is that what we have become? Are all our great ideals for naught? Even in my worse nightmares... My darkest fears.. I never saw this.. Did my brother from Prospero see it, as open as his mind was... How could he himself not have seen his brother betrayl..
Or worse.. What if the ebony monster before me speaks the truth.. What if others of our fraternity have betrayed father as he says.. Have the centuries of war we waged been for naught but to be ruined by a single one of us throwing a tantrum?
His revere was shaken, and images and colors swam as he forced his eyes to focus. He could no longer feel his arms, or most of his body.
In fact, his thoughts were slow, as if they traveled through a thick syrup. He could no longer recall the taste of fresh air, nor the scent of the gardens painstakingly grown in his desert fortress' courts.
All he could remember was the acrid smoke of guns, the crackle of energy playing across blades, the screams of dieing and the crimson tide of blood. Blood that flowed forth from myriad of sources to stain his brothers hands as crimson as the glaring eye they both shared.
Something laughed in that ocean of crimson and for once in his life, as he lay dieing, he knew fear. He felt horrendous revulsion as the air around his brother seemed to coruscate with ethereal lights.
Suddenly the great clawed fist, remaining mostly motionless until now, struck out and raked across their fathers face. Fires the color of pearl but brighter than a sun shot forth from his brothers hands, consuming his fathers face. Flesh sloughed and dripped off, the stink of fat and burnt hair mixed with the pungent smell of raw meat, and he could nearly taste the coppery tang of blood on the air as his father fell to his knees, only to be slammed to the ground with his head caught between the fiery clawed gauntlet.
With a roar, their father spoke his brothers name and reached up,pulling the traitor down to him. The flames abated, and what he saw that had become of his fathers face filled him with rage. One eye hung from it's socket, burnt gristle and tendon keeping it attached like some grizzly children's toy. Flesh was blistered and peeled as if it were cracked steel, exposing bone beneath. And in his fathers eyes, he still only saw pity and sadness. And still, with his ruined voice, he begged for his son to repent.
The black clad giant merely spat fury and curses, trying to move from their fathers deadly, bone crushing hug. Slowly, inch by inch, he seemed to be winning, the golden idol slackening as he lacked the will to kill his son.
Then, for the first time, his fathers eyes met his. Sudden, sickening realization shone in them, replaced by cold fury..His father looked at him, seeing the mighty rend in his armor, the disfigurement of his crushed and ruined throat. With perhaps his last words ever, his father spoke to the monster in his grip.
'Horus.. Horus my son how could you? Your own brother.. You have killed the noble Sanguinius.. You are truly gone from my side, my son.'
With those words spoken, the Emperor of Mankind, father of Sanguinius, begin to glow. A nimbus leapt into life about his head, throwing his patrician features into a sharply lined portrait. As the darkness closed in on Sanguinius, he recalled an ancient sculpture of some ruler from Old Earth called Caesar, and couldn't help but think how a like his father and he were.
Gasping a last breath, Sanguinius felt rather than saw the power that burst forth from his father. And as that torrent abated, he coudl no longer feel his brothers presence, and his fathers was faint and growing fainter. A single tear rolled down his cheek as he realized what had happened. The last thing he heard was the voice of his father.
'Goodbye, my son...
He screamed in his mind in rage and denial as the thirsting laughter of madmen rang out in his mind, and the Void claimed him.