Prey to pride

This story takes place in a cluster of stars far from mankind s original habitat, planet Earth. How far away, and whether or not that cradle of civilisation still exists, is a mystery. Gazing up upon an alien sky they had never seen, the survivors were completely unable to determine where this new world was located.
During the first attempted Slip-space jump, unexpectedly and seemingly unprovoked, the gate collapsed in an apocalyptic catastrophe on a scale never before witnessed by the human r


He is his own worst nightmare.

He lives in a dream world, one that he can never escape from. He is trapped here, forever imprisoned. A life sentence that he didn't deserve.

Locked inside his very soul.

He is the hero, and the villain. The light and the dark. The wonderful and the terrible. Two sides of the same coin.

This is his sentence, his punishment. He brought this upon myself. He is the one who is responsible, and as much as anyone thinks they can take the blame, they can't.

This blood is on his hands.

Naois was left alone with his thoughts. There was a time when the voices had irritated him. Alone in the darkness, they would come to him at night, edging around the corners of his consciousness. Ever present, they whispered into his mind with silken tongues, predatory daemons that preyed on his hopes and dreams. They waited, ever patient, at the end of the twisting spiraling path he had wrought for himself. The black seed within his soul was sown long aeons past, and they have grown strong.

He could already feel his life force dripping away, slowly slipping from his grasp, leeched from his incorporeal form, cut off from the sustenance of the Synapse. Cut off from the Immaterium.

Cut off from home.

Dark memories resurfaced in his mind. His suspicions converged, soaring across massive oceans of coalesced knowledge, past jagged peaks of collective understanding, until he was freed from his eternal slumber.

He detected warmth, a glow of hope, the promise of redemption. A single spark of gold, smothered Naois felt free for the first time in aeons, unfettered by his previous bodily restrictions. He soared upon glowing thermals on wings of flame, and the heat washed over him like a soft caress, the warmth  like a lovers kiss.

Then something shuddered within him. The heats touch felt pervasive, and the warmth that had once felt beautiful fanned into a roaring inferno. His wings abandoned him moments before his hopes and dreams, but he did not fall. Instead the flames met him, rolling towards him with unnatural ferocity and unquestionable malice.

A scream was wrenched from his lips. Suggestions of figures squirmed and writhed within the flames in what may have been agony or ecstasy, or both. They were dark, like broken silhouettes or lost souls, flitting through the planes with unearthly grace. He could feel his thoughts heating insistently even as the flames pried at his skull, rendering his mind a swirling psychic emulsion.

For a moment, and for the first time in ages long since past, Naois felt genuine fear grip her soul. He felt the flames burning away his identity, filling her mind with the dark Naois feared so much.

In a sudden flash, the flames froze, Naois teetering on the edge of eventual destruction. Sitting in calm stillness within the heart of fury, was a Birthling. Her eyes were vast caverns of darkness from which the flames were erupting. Rivers of blood gushed out from within the sockets, cascading down her blistered and singed skin. She was not alone. Behind her with their arms outstretched to their sides as though wearing the flames like a cloak, stood the others, his brothers. Their hands thick with half-congealed blood and eyes glistening with an impossible, maniacal darkness, they simply stared. A wail of anguish washed out from their throats like a tide of whistling accusation, a scream that shattered Naois like cracked glass.

Then, in mere moments, they were gone. He had seen the doom of his children, waiting ever patient on the path Naois has wrought upon himself. Like some malignant beast it lingers unseen, but this horror is neither nameless or unheralded. The potential for its sundered birth has squatted within Naois's mind for too long; perhaps damnation awaited him, but he could not afford to let the same fate befall his brothers. Now was the time to act.

The End

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