Fury of Magnus by Graham McNeill

Fury of Magnus by Graham McNeill

Author:Graham McNeill
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Published: 2020-11-16T20:06:28+00:00

Magnus saves the refugees in the observatory.

Predators and Prey

Light from beneath the dark lake rippled on the stalactite-clustered ceiling of the immense cavern like undersea shadows. Crystal seams threading the rocky ceiling glittered like distant stars, so very unlike the current view from Terra’s surface. At first, Alivia had thought Malcador had brought her to one of the Palace’s underground aquifers, but when she had seen the villas of pale stone at the water’s edge, she knew this place served another purpose.

Something about the villas seemed off, but it wasn’t until Malcador led her between them to a circular plaza that she realised what was unsettling about them. Each was scaled for beings far larger than mortals, larger even than the warriors of the Legiones Astartes. She counted twenty of them – surely no coincidence in that number – and the colourful mosaic forming the plaza itself depicted something geometrically abstract, like the murals popular with Achaemenid nobles.

‘These villas were built for the primarchs, weren’t they?’ she asked.

Malcador nodded. ‘The Emperor imagined they would grow here and learn the skills He needed them to possess before the conquest of the galaxy began in earnest.’

‘They never did though, did they?’

‘No, she saw to that.’

Alivia didn’t need to ask who she was. The Emperor was the gene-father of the primarchs, but only Erda could be thought of as their mother.

A twisted, barbed-wire bitch of a mother, but still…

‘Have they ever been used?’

‘Not really,’ said Malcador. ‘At least, not for the purpose for which they were intended.’

‘There’s thousands of refugees up top you could shelter down here.’

‘Both the Khan and the Archangel proposed that, but Valdor would not allow it.’

‘I’m guessing that wherever we are is too close to Him for Constantin’s liking.’

‘That, among other reasons.’

‘But there’s been someone here,’ said Alivia, walking a circuit around the plaza and feeling the presence of a past shade. ‘Something power­ful, something broken. And recently too.’

‘Your abilities are getting stronger.’

Alivia shook her head. ‘No, I’ve felt almost nothing since we arrived on Terra. Even deep beneath Molech, I could feel the Emperor’s presence, but now… it’s like He’s not even here.’

‘He is most assuredly here, but as I said, this siege is being fought in more realms than you can imagine,’ said Malcador. ‘Lupercal might already be seated upon the throne were the Emperor not fighting His own war.’

‘So why are you and I here?’

‘Do you remember when I talked about forgiveness before we set out?’

‘You said it would deprive the enemy of one of their most potent weapons.’

‘And so it may, but first, let me ask you something.’

Alivia’s eyes narrowed. ‘Why do I get the feeling I’m not going to like this?’

‘Neither of us will, I suspect. Honesty is always hard.’

‘Honesty hasn’t always been my strong suit, but ask away.’

‘Are you a good person, Alivia Sureka? Can you look at yourself in the mirror, see past the many masks you have worn over the long millennia to the very core of your being and say, without equivocation, that you are a good person?’

The question surprised Alivia.


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