The interior of the ship was dark. No. Black. Yes, Lazuli thought, this ship is black to its bones and corroded into the bargin. Lamps and illumination strips on both walls and ceilings glowed intermitantly; a resentful sort of light that showed just enough detail to navigate, but the lack of light was not the issue.The Wings of the Father had been a dead ship long before the Lighning Guard had stumbled upon her floating in the void and its corridors echoed with old sounds, voices from its creation that had endured as vibrations bouncing off steel walls and down access vents.
This ship is black, the chaplin though again. Black from our own dissent. Like the echoes our anger and fear rattle in its bowels and haunt its lonley places. But then again this ship is all lonely places.
It had been nine days since they had entered orbit of Hercunor, the gas giant on the outer ring of the system. Nine days of searching. Nine days the chaplin had been alone in the blackness of the ship. With them.
He had never wanted to be a chaplin. He had never wanted to be a leader. The dark war plate had been thrust on him without ceromony and without consent. Before he had known anything, he had wondered why a chaplins armour was black. The truth had not brought him joy.
He should see to his charges.
Medeaus Lazuli han a hand though his soft white hair and replaced his skull helm. He could not let the men see him without his death mask. The skull hid his tired eyes, his care worn face and replaced it with the monster the men loved. He was the Warmonger, the Breaker, The Leader of the Unsouled. He was everything an Adeptus Astartes should be.
He didn’t feel like one. He felt old, very old in fact. It was rediculous, however; Lazuli was the youngest ever ordained chaplin and by far one of the more junior members of the company. But he still felt old. And black, so very black. The effort of walking made him sigh and his stomach made unhappy notes as he neared the isolation blocks. Fortunatly no one was screaming.
He passed by armocras fronted cells, the auspexes of his battle helm revieling the men inside. He heard their voices, each one talking in quiet voices to people only he could see.
I used to know you, and you and you. I used to know all of you. Now, you are not the men i know. Father forgive me, you are not men any more. In the last cell a figure laid his hand upon the glass in a pitiable gesture. He had biten off two of his fingers.
If only I had no pity left, thought Lazuli. Why has my font of careing not dried up? He reached out to touch his own hand to the armorcras, mirroring the gesture of the figure inside the cell.
“Father?” The mans voice was a throttled burble.
“I wish I was, brother.” The chaplin let his hand fall and turned his back on the blackness.