Ya know, I always thought that it was just because I was new. That I was just the odd one out, that they'd warm up to me. But no matter how long I waited, they just seemed...To tolerate me. I wish I could say that I didn't care, because caring about something about this, especially ME caring about this, is just...Stupid.
But I do.
I remember when I was first born. I thought that I'd have a hard time of it, that the others would try to just beat me down, grind me into the dirt, and have that much less competition. But for the first few millennia, they didn't even acknowledge my existence. And after that? Well...Only Khorne really gave a fuck. I never really got why he hated me so much out of all of them. I mean, I liked death, he liked death, I just liked things dying in more creative ways. We should get along GREAT. Well, anyway. After the initial shock wore off, after I relaxed, I noticed that the other three, their competition, their infighting...No, our infighting, I guess I did it too (not that I really care so much about that)...It was more PERSONAL than just some kind of war of ideals. That's when I started to wonder.
So, after...what, 10 millennia? I don't keep track, why bother? That's more Tzeentch's thing, always keeping track of everything. He always saw me as just another thing to watch in amusement, I guess. So, after 10 millennia, I overhear something. I'm just walking around in boredom, this whole...Chaos Undivided thing. They hate it, but they come anyway. I never GOT that. So, I'm walking around, and there's Nurgle and Tzeentch there in the same room. THAT alone is amazing. They were also arguing, which isn't so amazing. I was just going to keep walking when I overheard something that caught my ear. Oh, I forgot, It was in a sort of war room for us Chaos Gods, some dig we made so we could actually 'co-operate'. Yea, right. I stood by the door frame, out of sight. I figured my ears were enough, I didn't want to piss them off any more than usual, not with the 13th Black Crusade hanging in the balance. ...Poor Abaddon.
"Fuck you, Tzeentch." That was pretty unusual for Nurgle itself. He was always being so nice to everything (in his own special way), I never even thought he was capable of being angry. "If he were here right now, he would agree with me too!"
For some reason, the God of Change seemed to take this personally. Another really weird thing. He never did ANYTHING with emotion, other than smug satisfaction. Being in an avatar of his, so he could, ya know, GO somewhere and not just sit there and be...Whatever he is. He stewed for a moment. It was quiet, dead quiet. It scared even me a little. I wanted to just walk away, but some morbid curiosity (okay, do I have any OTHER kind of curiosity?) forced me to stand there, listening. Finally, the avatar of Tzeentch slammed a fist down on the table in the room. "Well. He is not here, and he never will be. Of all the damnable things in this blasted universe that I could conspire against, that I could mold to my immense will, of all the things I could change, not even I could bring him back." There was a deep hiss. You could just feel the hatred in the air, and while that wasn't really that weird...Like I said before, this was...different somehow. More personal. "To be quite blunt, you should accept that, and for once move on. Cease living in the past, you sniveling coward."
I thought that would end this crusade right there and then. I so thought this would end with one of them walking out, and the other one short an avatar, but after a few minutes of complete silence, Nurgle just stormed out. He didn't notice me, or if he did, he didn't give a shit. Never does anyway. So who is 'he'? That Malal guy? I was really confused at this point. So much that I wanted to know what this was all about, finally, instead of just wondering, and trying to catch random snippets of it. There was a secret here I didn't know, and that PISSED ME OFF. So, I had to bite my pride and just ask. I had to work hard to get them all together. ESPECIALLY Khorne. He didn't want to come anywhere near me until Nurgle promised to make a disease that turned it's victims into blood and nothing but. That got Khorne's attention, and so he tagged along. When we were all in the same room, I wondered how to put this, how to make it so I didn't REALLY care, that I was just mildly curious. After standing there for about ten minutes (I never really was THAT bright), Khorne (It's amazing he waited THAT long) finally screamed at me. "WHAT! WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT, WENCH!"
I jumped, and blurted it out. "I just wanna know who the warp 'he' is!" They looked confused. Even Khorne. I have no idea how he managed that with the helmet on. But he DID.
"What are you going on about, girl?" Tzeentch was suspicious. Figured he'd be the first one to guess, even if I didn't screw it up so much.
"Well...Ya know...Him. That guy. The one you talk about sometimes. In your sleep."
"...I do not sleep. My machinations are truly never finished, and rest I do not need. ...And if I did, why in the name of me would you be standing there, listening in?" Khorne snickered at that. Nurgle glared at me. Aw shit, now HE knew. I sighed. The squats were out of the cave now, might as well get on with it. "I kinda...Maybe sorta...A little...Overheard you and Nurgle the other cycle. I was wondering about that, cuz...Well, I don't know about it!" They looked at each other. All three of them. Studying each other, as if some unspoken query of permission went between them. That was...Okay, that was astonishing. For once, a mote of respect went through there, as if they were worried about bringing this up without asking first. Finally, when they looked back to me, I wasn't sure I wanted to know anymore.
"Should we tell her?" Nurgle spoke first, which was kinda surprising, considering he ignored me.
"I DON'T THINK THAT'S A GOOD IDEA!" Ugh-dammit, Khorne, inside voice! After our ears-or-whatever-equivalent stopped ringing, they all looked at each other again, and finally Tzeentch sighed. I was REALLY uncomfortable at this point. What was making them so reluctant? What kind of horrible secret WAS this? ...How many heads would explode just from this secret coming to light? Okay, I wanted to know again. Thinking about Eldar just going kaboom made this all worth it. But more than that, I wanted this crusade to SUCCEED, this time.
"Look, guys. I know we don't always...Okay, never see eye to eye. But for once, I think this might our chance to get together and UNDERSTAND each other. To figure out why-" I didn't get anymore out before I had Khorne's giant fist around my neck, squeezing.
"I shall reveal this to her. There is no reason to hold it back." And he started talking, while Khorne dropped me in an unceremonious heap. "It was very, very long ago. We, Khorne and I, were still quite young ourselves. We were busy with whatever we were at the time, nothing truly epic in scope as we are now. Then we were merely godlings, content with minor pranks, with bullying others. A more...Innocent time, if such a term could ever be applied to us at all." I stood up, dusting myself off. It was tempting to shoot Khorne the bird, but I was, for once, more interested in something than just getting dismembered in various sexy ways. "Then he was there. We do not know how it happened, we were not paying attention. He simply...Was there. He existed. A being of our power, our intellect, came into being." He smiled. Normally, that was very, very, VERY bad. But somehow, his smile conveyed a melancholy, rather than his normal 'Just As Planned' bullshit.
"His name was of no consequence, and I, for one, do not remember it, nor do I care to attempt to recall it. He informed us of his plans for humanity. His grand scheme to elevate it to new heights, never before even imagined by I myself! He held my interest, as he must have held Khorne's own. We spoke at great length for a while..."
"Heh, and you weren't so damn wordy back then, either." Wait. Wait wait wait. Did Khorne just say something that WASN'T yelled at the top of his lungs? Unholy fuck. That just fucked with one major rule of existence-that-I-know-of. Tzeentch glared at him for a moment, but the glare wasn't the hate filled grimace that it usually was. More of mild annoyance. Nurgle just listened, which was normal for him, so at least ONE part of my reality wasn't shattered. "...We spoke at great length for a while, about ourselves, what we did. Or, what we ourselves planned on accomplishing. He listened, as we had, and when we finished, he...Smiled. I remember that quite clearly. Not just a smile, a grin, as if he had found something he truly was seeking with all his being. I remember what he said, also. He spoke thusly. 'Okay then! You two can help me, and we'll be partners! Deal?' I was slightly insulted by his presumption that I would stoop to being another's...Helper...However, I was more greatly stunned by his forwardness. Someone as such would be easily controlled. So, I accepted his offer."
"Was the best damn thing we ever did." Okay, now Nurgle being so quiet and patient wasn't helping. Khorne just sounded sad. That was fucked up. I caught myself idly wondering whether his tears would be made of blood, rust, or itsy-bitsy skulls, but I decided that trying to find out would be the worst idea I ever had."I'll talk now. See, this kid got me all confused too. He didn't want to push people around like me or birdy boy. Well, kinda did, but for their own good, right?" Who are you, what did you do with Khorne, and can I get your number. "So yea, I accepted too, because I didn't know what else to do. Punching him, maybe, but I was too confused for that. It was pretty rocky at first. We didn't do much but talk about what we were GONNA do. It was annoying, but I guessed fighting came later. And blood. And skulls." Tzeentch rolled his eyes. Nurgle chuckled softly. I wanted to get to the point. Who the warp were they talking about? "Yes. That's when I came in. I didn't take much convincing to join their little group of friends, making us four. I was lonely, you see, and he provided a comfort, even for someone as ugly and disgusting as me." As if to punctuate that, his insides gurgled, a bubble of flesh rising up, and popping like an over-full boil. Okay, eww. "He was always there for us, and vice versa. When we were tempted to over-indulge in our darker sides, he always managed to convince us to do something with it. When Khorne wanted to kill someone, he pointed him towards something that needed to die. When Tzeentch looked around and thought things could benefit from some random chaos, he always had a plan with conveniently placed holes to be filled in. When I created a pestilence, he wouldn't stop bugging me until I gave it a weakness humans could exploit. And when he was discouraged, being just a boy that no one would listen to, we each lent him an ear, and our various talents." This was really interesting, and I was getting an idea of who they were talking about, now. But that was just crazy. Even for a Chaos God. No way. "It was wonderful, really. Until then..." Khorne suddenly looked pissed again. I wasn't sure I liked the normality of that.
"ALL THANKS TO YOU, YOU DESPICABLE SLUT!" He pointed accusingly at me, and I had no fucking clue what he was- "YOU WERE BORN AT THAT VERY MOMENT! THAT HE FORSOOK US!" He reared a huge fist back, and I was preparing to be relieved of my head, when Nurgle did something that nearly broke my mind. "It isn't her fault, and you know it. She was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time. She only joined in what we already started. Remember?" Khorne trembled with pure rage. I was pretty sure I was going to get pulverized anyway, but he spat on the floor (No, I don't know how.) and went to lean against a wall, sulking. "...We don't remember what it was about." I looked back to Nurgle, as he stared directly at me, not so convinced of his own reasoning of my innocence. But hey, he acknowledged my existence, so that's SOMETHING. "Some childish dispute, nothing serious." Oh yea, he's talking again. Kinda hard to notice with all the weird. "But we blew it out of proportion, like children do. Yelling threats, insults, then stalking off. After a year or two, neither Tzeentch, Khorne, or me really cared anymore, but we were too proud to apologize. Time went by. Things changed."
"Yes, and eventually, after a few millennia, we deeply regretted our mistake. But we wished him to come to us, and yet he was so busy. So buried in his service of humanity. Then...That was when he did it. That was when he made that...Announcement that brought us such pain." STOP STALLING AND TELL ME, YOU GOD DAMN TURKEY. Ugh. He couldn't go on, so Khorne took over. "...Fucking told everyone we didn't really exist. No daemons did, period. There weren't no gods, he said, weren't no evil things 'cept what would stand in their way. Asshole. I wanted to go right there and scream at him, say shit like, 'HEY! I'm standin' right here! Say that ain't real!'...But what was the fuckin' point, right? So, Tzeentch gets this idea. He wants to get his attention, best way he can. So he starts corrupting the guy's kids, see?" He spat on the floor again. His fists were clenching to the wall, rending metal easily. "Brightest fucking thing you EVER did, right?" Yup, hatred was back. I couldn't decide still whether I liked that or hated it. C'mon, guys, I know we're CHAOS, but be consistent, will you? I didn't say it, no matter how hard I thought it. I didn't want to ruin it, coming this far. I could only wait with bated breath. I knew they were talking about THAT guy now. This...Was something I never expected. "It...Was absolutely, positively, the only one of two bad decisions I ever made." Typical. But I was more worried about something else I was feeling right now. Something that made no sense. But whatever, more on that later..."He sent his sons away, to save them from us. I changed one here or there, minor things, really. Gifts, I would call them, to show him I meant no harm. But he didn't see it that way. So, we took one drastic, terrible measure. We ALL agreed that this was the best course of action, so do not lay the blame solely on me." Nurgle nodded, Khorne snorted, but you just knew he couldn't deny it. "His son, Horus. His favorite. We showed him terrible visions of the Imperium in total disarray. We had hoped against hope that he would return to his father, pleading him to make amends with us lest this happened..."
"But...instead, he decided it was more prudent to remove his father entirely, and replace him to us. Foolish boy, so mislead, and by us, no less." I winced at how full of shame that was. I felt sorry for Nurgle for the first time since I was born. Warp, ALL of them. "From that moment on, we could only watch in horror as it all unraveled before us. When he turned against his father. When he slew his brothers, and turned others to his side. When he marched to the gates of that gigantic palace...When he attacked his father, and was slain." "Yea...We were so helpless. Fucking HELPLESS. US. But...Guess it was our faults. Not our faults he didn't fight back until the end, though. That was just like him. Always so NICE, always giving people another chance...Cost him his life. And so he's gone. Rigged up on some gilded toilet, being used as a goddamn living map." They all seethed at that last part. I felt like seething myself, but for different reasons. But I had heard enough. Enough to know that this shit wasn't worth it. I spoke up, finally, after a long silence. Today seemed full of those.
"Ya know, guys...I'm just not feeling this crusade anymore."
"Neither do I wish for it to occur."
"Yes. Perhaps we should all just go back to our domains, and leave that utter failure to...I don't know, be beaten by a Cadian wielding a tank like a baseball bat, or something." That thought would have made me giggle, before. Now, I just felt like shit. First Khorne left. Then Tzeentch. Nurgle sat there for a very long time, as if expecting something. I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn't work up the courage to say it. Finally, as he rose, and headed for the door, I blurted out again. "I'm sorry I asked! Really, I mean...I had no clue..." He smiled, though sadly and waved a hand bloated with every contagion imaginable.
"You didn't know. And it's in the past. As Tzeentch said, when you overheard, nothing will change this. We only have memories, and that is all. We will never be friends again, even if he does somehow return." I just felt guiltier, as he left. Why? Well...
I have screaming fanatics dedicated to me. I have an entire race where one half is terrified of me, and the other half doing everything they can to make me happy. I literally can have everything I want. Everything except that ONE thing. I can't make anyone like me. Khorne has those warriors that laugh every day, because they get what they want. Boundless slaughter. Nurgle has his 'children', who are so blissfully adoring of their 'papa'. Tzeentch would never care either way. But I'm the Chaos God of JOY. What joy can I bring to anyone? The realization that eventually, even the greatest of sensations will burn cold, and nothing will remain? Total oblivion as I have a late night snack on their souls? No one will ever love ME. No one will ever care about me. Even though I think I made progress tonight, maybe they like me a little. Maybe.
But I'll always be the odd one out. I'll never replace him. I'll never be able to bring joy to them, because he's in the way. I'll never be able to remove him, because he's already dead. They'll never forget him. I'll never be a part of those old memories, and that's why I'm guilty.
I'm jealous of a rotting corpse.
I hate Chaos. So much.
In the deep darkness under the Imperial Palace, very few living things existed. So far from the sun, only greatly filtered and recycled air reached those depths. Only candlelight shone in the darkness, illuminating the path of two Custodes as they strode, silently, solemnly, to their posts. They stopped at their destination, bowing low to the massive edifice before them, awe-inspiring in it's shape alone...That of a massive corpse seated in a gigantic throne, many wires dangling hooked to its dessicated, rotted form. The two rose, though eyes cast down, and stood, faced away. The Custodes were ever vigilant, ever ready. But not for this.
A lone voice shook through the depths, speaking but a single word. That voice was filled with power. Terrible, awful power. And yet, something to it was warm, fatherly, tinged with regret, but with some small hope to the end of it, as if a question were left dangling on the precipice of the following silence. The Custodes, ever ready, were shocked, but still already in a combat stance, halberds aimed and ready.
For moments they stood, long moments. Only when they were sure there was no danger did they allow themselves to mull over the meaning of that one word that was spoken, shattering the hallowed silence of the sacred halls.