Thirty thousand years, Malleus. Thirty thousand long, dismal years. In all the world's trouble and trials, men and women looked for the intrinsic goodness within their very hearts. Courageous, upstanding, noble, honest. Loyal. Thirty thousand years tells a long list of truths, does it not, Wolf Lord? Thirty thousand years we've known each other, proud Wulfen and dismal usurper. Your Emperor could not kill me, Malleus. No, not even he can kill what is most integral to being human, to being man.
We are selfish beasts, we are more animal than we know. Embrace the Chaos, embrace the Warp. It is ready for you, Space Wolf.
Between the poor comfort of a blanket and sweat marred sheets, Antonius Preco, Et Malleus in his own tongue, twisted and rose like some feral incarnation of the wolf his people served. The dim lighting in his rented room, seedy and neglected, did little to hinder eyesight perfected by the Emperor's creation, a fully fledged gene child. Aware that this was only a dream, one of many he'd encountered since he and the shattered remnants of the 13th Company, Wulfen, had left the Warp, he could not shake the chill that tattered flags waving against a starless sky left behind.
Slowly, the man stood, drenched in sweat though the night was chill and the insulation thin. After moments of restless pacing, he glared across the frozen surface of a window cut into the flimsy walls. As the moon's waxing light bathed his laconic features, he shook his head and violently drank from a bottle he'd left near his bed. The whiskey, acerbic and chilled, drew turgid lines through his flooded system, flooded by the knowledge of his experiences, stilled by the crushing weight of reality earned and triumph lost.
"Damn you, Horus, damn you Thousand Suns. Damn you all back to the Warp, where you may stay forever! Just deserts to those who were so corrupt, for the moon reveals all truth, all honesty."
The words were growls more than anything else, the feral intelligence, keen and bright, hidden beneath the crystal walls of his eyes spoke to the heart and soul of savage winter, ambivalent, cutting frost.
You can come back, you know.
The voice, a grim amalgamation of ten thousand screams, echoed in the chill, dank halls of his mind. Out of instant reaction, be brought a seamed, weathered fist down onto his nightstand with all the fury of a north wind carrying so many storms.
" 'Ay, you up there! You're payin' for that, you damn freak job! We can all 'ear you howling, mate, and screaming when you're sleepin'. Lucky you paid on time!"
The man's drunken speech brought Antonius back to this world, back to the reality of his troubled life and haunting dreams.
"What purpose, Great Emperor, do you have for me here?" The first sign of expression was an imploring, almost baffled sigh.