My father betrayed me. Betrayed us.
Horus, my brother, the one I was closest to. Forgive me. Forgive me for not listening until it was too late, for discarding your words merely because it was you who said them. Your actions blinded me. I do not agree with the path you walked or the way you travelled it, but I cannot blame you for finding your feet set there.
On some level we knew we were tools to use as he saw fit. We were fools to think we were too valuable to be discarded. We thought just was we were brothers who squabbled but would ultimately fight together, so too were we sons of a father who cared.
I fell by your hand. I was destroyed by his. I see that now. I dreamed you would strike me down and went calmly to my death. I suffered grievous wounds. You did not finish it. Only smiled and warned me I would wish you had, wish I had listened before and been free of this place. In my blindness I assumed you spoke of torture at your hands, the hands of your followers. Blind I was indeed. I thought I had dreamed a vision of how it ended, of my death. Instead it was first sight of my gilded cage.
We had all forgotten the power of the Emperor. How well he could mask his presense. How it was only when he wished that we knew he was there. That we had only known what he wished us to know.
They say my children fall to madness and relive my fight upon that barge. None ask them what they truly see. The few who could answer know to keep their silence, know it is not madness that causes it. My former legion go mad because in that moment they look through my eyes.
I am sorry, my brothers. Forgive me, Horus, for not believing in you before the chains clenched tight. Magnus, Alpharius, Fulgrim, Angron, Perturabo, Mortarion, forgive me for cursing your names. Even Lorgar who set about the actions that tore us apart. Rogal, Konrad, Ferrus, forgive me my peace at your peace. Your souls are strong and shall endure. Leman, Vulkan, Jaghatai, Crax, forgive me for wishing you to find us. Roboute, Lion, forgive me for hoping you will dream our dreams and wake both in sorrow and clensing tears. My legion, my sons, forgive me for my silence. I feared for you. My curse has always slept fitfully in your blood, and you walked too close to destruction already. Forgive me humanity for acting as I did, for being honoured by you when I wavered at the last. You suffered when the Emperor died. I can only say that to suffer is better than to die.
I saw his true face. Saw beyond that golden mask and realised the extent of his glamour. We both did. All the depths of chaos, the depravities and corruption and torments and savagery were familiar to you and still you recoiled as if in horror. Those who had gifted you their power paused in surprise. A hesitation. It was enough.
A gathered force strong enough to rend the strongest of mortal souls from eternity, perhaps strong enough to truly slay a daemon. They say the Dark Gods abandoned you when he drove his sword inexorably through adamantium and flesh. That in the instant before he unleashed that energy and annihilated you the madness cleared and you knew what you had done.
When he struck I surrendered to death and despair. To guard my soul against those who would seek to claim it did not cross my mind. I had no need of it. I had none to protect it. I cast free to go where I would.
When I felt the pull I thought you had drained my life to save yours. I did not resist. I did not expect my fleeing soul to rip yours away, your face to go slack not in regret and sanity but as your lingering corpse became a brief Blank. Perhaps the forces of Chaos caused this, used my submission as a channel for their otherwise blocked power, dragged us free. I know only that in that in that instant my father sensed us both and did not feel the claimed sorrow at your end. Did not mourn that at the thought he had destroyed me too. He smiled in satisfaction.
Now I dream my visions, of when my lost brothers find us, when the sleeping rise and fall, when the bodied slip their forms to greet those who are dead. When our flourished sons have been led into final battle and all has ended. I do not know what will happen. Perhaps we shall turn to face a father no longer clutching the safety of a golden shackle and demand, for once in our existance, the truth.
Until then, in my darkness, I mourn.
Yes, I know this sort of breaks lore. You don't need to hammer me with all the reasons it wouldn't work, I probably know them all. It's just an odd idea that has been drifting through my mind. What happened on that battle barge has always intrigued me since the only source we have is the word of a critically wounded Emperor known for keeping secrets and manipulating events. What they saw has been left ambiguous because when I wrote it it seemed rather... meh.