Minutes became hours and hours became days as the Space Marine lay upon the ground in the same spot his attacker had left him to die. His body was mending but the catastrophic injuries he had suffered were putting even the Space Marine physiology to the test. It was five days from when he had fallen that the Marine was able to sit up. It was another day before he could rise to his feet and another from that before he could walk and that’s exactly what he did, he walked.
The planet he had come to contained little human life. Spread haphazardly would be the occasional village. Each was small with no more than a few hundred inhabitants. Each time the Space Marine came near a village he would skirt it to avoid human contact. He was unsure where he was going or what was left for him but he knew he did not want the population to become aware of his presence. He felt shame for his failure to his chapter and in turn he felt as though he had failed humankind, those he was entrusted to protect.
One night as the Space Marine sat in darkness, having found a rock outcropping that would hide him from anyone who should happen to wander by, and his head began to throb. The throbbing sensation quickly turned to pain and he felt as though his brain was about to explode. Raising his hands to his head he grunted with agony. His brain felt as though it was being pierced by a thousand needles and the temperature had suddenly dropped, his breath becoming visible by the little light afforded from the planet’s moon.
Just when the Space Marine felt he could take no more of the excruciating pain, the air in front of him was split apart by a light purple glowing gateway. Without thought or hesitation he stood and walked through the portal. As he emerged on the other end he found himself in a landscape of frozen ground and scattered snow drifts.
For miles he walked surveying the area. He saw wildlife but no signs of human life. A few hours later it had begun to snow. The slow drifting snow quickly turned to a fierce storm with inches of snow accumulating in just a few minutes. With his armor being in its current condition he knew he had to find shelter and get out of the storm.
The next morning the storm had let up and by afternoon it had lifted entirely. The Space Marine crafted a crude spear and set out to hunt whatever wildlife he could find. The process of healing his grievous wounds had left him weak and in dire need of food for strength and energy as his armor was no longer capable of sustaining him.
For a year the Marine lived alone upon his new-found home, living off the land and exploring. One night as he was sitting by a fire warming his near frozen hands, a familiar gateway appeared a hundred feet from where he sat. With a knowing grin he rose and walked towards the gateway and waited. Moments later a fellow Space Marine stepped through, his armor painted bone and the symbol of the Fate’s Angels painted upon the left pauldron. The awaiting Marine extended his right arm to his brother and they gripped forearms.
“Welcome, brother. I am Ghostwrath and I welcome you home,” said the expectant Space Marine.
With a nod the fellow Space Marine replied, “I am Darktide.”
I wanted to keep the entire story short, it wasn’t my intention to write anything of great length here, and also to keep it a bit vague. The vagueness is to leave some things open to interpretation and also allows me to flesh things out more down the road as needed. I don’t want to hammer anything in stone just yet.
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