User:Wammnebu/Midhammer 40k Stories and rds/Dorn

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Excerpt posted on MidHammer 40k drafts. Frame story to be added eventually


"Do you Remember, Rogal, when you were asked if there was any Fortress you could build that I could not siege?"

"Yes" said Dorn, "and the answer remains the same."

"As curt as ever." Said The Seigemaster of Olympia, ignoring the swarms of Fists searching the other rooms leading to the throne room. "Now what about the inverse? Does the Great Architect of Terra believe he could crack any Fortress I built?"

"This is evident now" Dorn replied, to the muffled laughs of the Imperial Fists.

"Indeed," Perturabo nodded, while brushing away the perceived insult. "Father, never really granted me the same opportunities as my new patron does. Did you kno - I was so angered by your hubris that day, that in my more foolish mortal life, I would spend weeks at a time, agonizing over your plans and my own, your battle records. Convinced that, given the opportunity, I could outshine you with a fortress that you could never crack. But now that my patron has given me the tools to fulfill my desire, I see the truth. I was not your rival, I never existed. In your mind, I was a projection of your own sins. You once accused me of recklessly throwing legionaries at walls, and yet..." The Primarch Waved his hands around his ruined Citadel, "here we are at the site of my ruined walls. Leveled only by the Fine Skulls of your Legionaries. That ruthless obstinence is not my failure, it’s yours. Do you know what I have realized, My dear Brother Rogal? For so long, my mind was obsessed over designs for "the perfect fortress" it was my obsession, my dream, i would build the best Fortress. Then I realized my folly. There is no best fortress, whether we build them with sticks like our ancestors, or Rockcrete and Adamantium, they are all built with the same purpose. Do you know what that purpose is?"

"A Strong Fortress is one the enemy can't break" said Rogal flatly, throughout the Labyrinth, The Imperial Fists were finishing off the few remaining demons, and attempting to find where Perturabo's transmission was coming from. Dorn awaited their response

"NO" Roared Perturabo with a bellowed, triumphant laugh."I knew you would say that, I used to say that as well, after all." "All fortresses are pregnable, Rogal, with enough time and resources. Ancient Troy fell through trickery. Qunstinable Fell through treason, Jibralter fell through Technology, and Nova Yorik fell through the unruliness of its own citizens. Just as Terra falls now due to the negligence of its Defenders. It is the duty of any fortification not to be impregnable, but to make the cost of breaking it so high the enemy is either deterred or exhausted. To be so costly, that it is not worth the treasure inside. And if that is true, the ultimate fortress, my brother, is not one that can't be besieged, it is one not worth seiging at all."

"And That, my ever-obstinate brother, is your greatest failure. Perhaps you are right, maybe there is some design of yours I could never break. But I never needed to, perhaps, like Illium of Old I just used my Ulysses to open the Gates. All i needed was its great Hector, Rogal Dorn, tied away long enough for the defenses to falter. Terra has fallen without my involvement. Now Im content enough to not care, but I know you do, just as I know in your heart you think you could siege any fortress I built. No matter how meticulous my design, you would find a way to tear it down, whatever the cost. You have to, that's why you projected onto me, your pathetic shadow. So obsessed are you with your ability to build and siege, that, like me, you could never comprehend, never even conceive of the idea that a fortress would cost too much to crack. That it is not worth the treasure inside. Well here it is, Rogal. Here is the heart of my Fortress. An Ancient Planet-destroying Bomb from the Dark Age of Technology, much like the one that has detonated on Terra in your absence. I set it to detonate in 100 days, but that was the day before you came here, about ...99 days, 16 hours and 55 minutes ago. I do hope you remember the way out Rogal and your legion is ready for a lively sprint, as I am afraid I am not here to show you the door. Good Luck dear Brother."

Holographic Projection of Perturabo at the heart of the Labyrinthine, Continent-Spanning Fortress of Olympia. During the Events of the Great Treachery