Run Time

May. 25th, 2017 05:31 am
exiled_heir_of_the_eighth: (Default)
Every day, he runs. Contrary to the portrayal of his kind by the remembrancers of the Crusade, the physique he has has to be maintained. He can and does lift weights, he has a routine of squats, push-ups and jumping​ jacks, but nothing compares to the feeling of running. He had used to do it around the decks of the Umbrea Insidior, but Sahaal has found a couple of dozen laps of the lake just before dawn is much nicer than the cramped hallways of his old ship.

For one, there is better airflow. The new route also has a more agreeable smell, the flowers and fresh air are certainly better than​ lubricant and incense. There are also less people around, and he doesn't have to avoid or smash into crewmen underfoot. All of this means that the runs he is now taking at Milliways aren't just keeping him fit, they actually make him happy. And that emotion is hard to come by for him.

Al Fresco

May. 22nd, 2017 06:45 am
exiled_heir_of_the_eighth: (Default)
Ten thousand years of sleep is enough for one lifetime, so Sahaal doesn't really do or want much of it. Of course, he does need to, but for four or five hours every few days. This gives him a lot of spare time. He's never had spare time before, so he's not sure what do with it.

One night, he sits by the side of the lake with a large bottle of something called Jack Daniels, and spends seven hours skipping rocks across the calm, cool waters. He makes a game of it, one sip from the bottle for each time he can skip the stone more than five times. By the time the sun comes up and sends him scurrying back inside with burning eyes, he's nicely buzzed. He's also drenched head to toe thanks to a reprisal by the squid for hitting him by accident, but he doesn't mind. Too much.

It was a better night than most, and that's what matters.

Reflections

May. 1st, 2017 04:10 am
exiled_heir_of_the_eighth: (Default)
One day or night, he's not sure, he looks into the mirror in his little bathroom. He sees a gaunt, pale face, jet back eyes set into sockets surrounded by the dark circles of insomnia and a countenance twisted by too many scowls and frowns. Lank, greasy, black hair falls down to his shoulders, the result of months of apathy towards his appearance. Blue veins shine through marble skin, like the lightning that winds its way around his war armour.

At the same time, he sees the same face, proud, full of life. Ivory eyes glitter with determination​ and purpose. His scalp is shaven, the stubble tracing the outlines of his hairline. There's a health to him, a vigour about his being. It only lasts a moment, then the face is firmly that of him as he is now.

"Ahhh, Talonmaster, First Captain of the Eighth Legion, Heir of the Night Haunter," he says in a raspy, dry, mocking voice, "how the mighty have fallen."

Looking back, he realises that it was at that moment he decided to rise again and be more than his past failures.
exiled_heir_of_the_eighth: (Default)
Zso Sahaal stares into the dull scarlet of his helm's vision blocks, and wonders. It is not usual for him to be out of what is effectively his second skin for this long, but then again, he cannot deny the passage of time. No matter how much he sometimes wishes he could. An entire month has passed without him being midnight clad.

That is no excuse for being lax with maintenance. Even with the rules of this place as iron-clad as they are, the patrons include​ mutants and xenos. Rules mean nothing to them, and at any moment, Sahaal still expects to hear cries for his blood in some unknowable tongue. So, he keeps his weapons and warplate in battle-ready condition, as is his duty as a Night Lord.

He has finished the diagnostic procedures on his armour systems, checked each ceramite plate for structural integrity, applied lapping powder and run a soapy cloth and a piece of polishing fibre over the suit of Mark IV to remove any specks of dust that had gathered in the week since he has last performed this rite. Sahaal has even made sure to use a fine paintbrush to touch up the the bone-white skull on the faceplate and his Legion insignia on the right pauldron. As always, the bat-winged, long-fanged daemon skull is impeccable, a reflection of Sahaal's pride in what it represents. The same goes for the white lines of lightning that wind their way across the warplate, each one lovingly jagged and arcing out from its source.

After a minute, he is satisfied that the eyepieces are free of cracks, and he goes onto his weapons of war. His primary weapon will always be fear, but fear doesn't need to be oiled or test-fired. Those are excellent qualities usually, but it isn't cathartic like caring for a tangible instrument of death is.

First is his bolter, the Mordax Tenebrae, or Dark's Bite. Sahaal is not a fan of such weapons, they are simple fireworks to him, without finesse or grace. But, it had been a gift from his father and master, and thus deserves only his utmost care and devotion. As such devices go, it is certainly a cut above most, with its finely constructed stock, skull-mouthed barrel and ornate chambers. With a small vial of unguents and a set of brushes, he sets to work scrubbing and lubricating every part of it. Then, he applies a small amount of polish to bring out the adornments and cleans the barrel of residue from its last test fire.

His favoured weapons, the Unguis Raptus, are part of his armour, and so the relic lightning claws have already been serviced, along with his company's signature over-foot claws, so he moves on to his knife. Before Equixus and his exile, he'd never needed to carry a simple blade. His regular armament had been sufficient. However, the months after Acerbus's attack had made it abundantly clear that sometimes it was not enough. He has taken to keeping a simple Astartes combat knife, taken from a Night Lord who had tried to kill Sahaal when he was denied his rightful command, on him at all times as a holdout weapon. Even power armour has its weak points​, and for someone like the Talonmaster, it is easy to exploit them. This has also come in handy in Milliways, given that they seem to disapprove of him striding around in full warplate with claws out.

As an added bonus, maintenance is easy: a simple whetstone to sharpen its already keen edge and a check of its leather-wrapped hilt to ensure it is still up to the task. When both are done, he slides it back into the small scabbard he keeps on his belt.

Sahaal glances at the chrono mounted on the wall, and sees that he has spent about two hours on the maintenance. He sighs. He'd have liked it to have been more, but as he'd noted earlier, he can't control time. That still doesn't stop Sahaal from wanting to smash the Warp-damned timepiece in frustration.

With a deep breath, he calms himself. He still needs to service his jump pack, after all, and that will take a couple more hours.
exiled_heir_of_the_eighth: (Default)
041.017:M3 (February 11th 2017)

It was painfully obvious that no man, woman, xenos or other vaguely sentient creature from his universe had ever set foot in this place, this "Bar at the End of The Universe". The looks they had given his armour and weapons smacked more of surprise and curiosity than the terror and abasement he was used to. He was glad they hadn't been able to see under his helm, his shock at the sheer variety of beings in this place had left his mouth hanging open like the flaps of skin around a chainsword wound. Nothing like it was possible, not where he was from, not in the thirty-second millennium or the forty-first.

Their technology was inconceivable, like nothing he'd ever seen. No civilisation could fix such damage as he had sustained on Equixus, but the proof was there in front of his eyes. His arm, the one made useless by the foul eldar, was as good as new, the nerves and muscles working just as they should. He didn't know what to make of it. He had a sneaking suspicion that they didn't know what to do with him, either.

They'd given him a room, 819 according to the small plaque on the door, and told him to settle in. He'd had worse accommodations. A massive bed took up most of the space, the mattress and duvet comfier than anything he'd experienced outside of the suites of uphive nobles. The door in the opposite wall led to a small bathroom, with a shower just large enough to accommodate his unarmoured form and stocked with a wide variety of scented soaps and lotions, a ceramic sink with pure hot and cold running water and a toilet he was fairly sure would hold his weight. His new room also held a small writing desk with a supply of good paper and ink, and a large wooden cabinet in which he had stored his warplate in. There had also been a bright glow-globe mounted on the ceiling, but his fist had taken care of it.

The most interesting thing, however, was the decent-sized pict-screen mounted on the wall directly opposite the headboard of the bed. It was thinner than any he'd ever seen, and was devoid of any Mechanicum icons or even the vague whiff of incense. A small glass shelf below held a device connected to the screen by thick black wires which proclaimed itself to be a "Blu-Ray Player", whatever​ that was. Next to it was a stack of thin blue plastic boxes, each wrapped in brightly coloured paper and holding a shiny disc with more writing and pictures on it. These had strange nonsensical names like "Lost In Translation", "The Usual Suspects" and "Inglorious Basterds". For a moment, he wondered how he had got to this point in his life, standing in the dark in a loose tunic and trousers, bare feet digging into the carpeted floor and staring at technology that shouldn't exist. It was only for a moment, though, and then his nature as a hunter and survivor reasserted itself.

The large olive-green munitions crate filled with bolter magazines and frag grenades was pushed into the space under the bed. His master-crafted bolter, though he held nothing but disdain for such weapons, he tucked beside the cabinet with his armour in, in case of emergency. The most care was given to the velvet-wrapped relic he kept in his eyesight at all times, which he placed in the air vent next to the bathroom door, the cover left slightly ajar. After a minute of deliberation, he decided that those who ran this place probably did not know of the sleep patterns of Astartes. He stripped off his new clothing, and climbed into​ the insanely soft bed, sliding his bulk between the sheets like a mortal would. Above all, he made sure that the way he positioned his body would hide any trace of the combat knife he kept tight in his fist.

Zso Sahaal would not make it easy for anyone​ or anything to take him alive.

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Zso Sahaal

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