Hatred Begets Hatred

Empty.

Timeless.

The dense, black silence of the Tomb was suddenly shattered and crushed by a deafening scream of fury, of pure rage. None can be certain how long this mechanical scream lasted because it emanated from a creature without breath, without care or concern for time. After several minutes or perhaps hours, the torturous scream ceased as abruptly as it had begun.

After millions of years of dreamless sleep, The Collector had awoken.

How the Destroyer Lord hated that name and yet it is the first thought that enters his mind upon waking from stasis. That name—The Collector— it had followed him into the void of the long sleep and now it climbed with him back into consciousness. The thought of that name had invoked the fury that had broken the silence of the millennia. The rage was born from not only the name but also from the other name it brought into mind: Trazyn the Infinite. Trazyn the Betrayer. Trazyn the Undying. Trazyn the Impostor.

It had been Trazyn who had first spoken the name. It had been millions of years ago during the great war with the Rubicon Necrons. The Destroyer Lord had already killed Trazyn twice and here was this other Trazyn, standing in defiance. “You are a mere collector of things,” said Trazyn, “Whereas I am a shaper of things.”

The Destroyer Lord had taken that Trazyn’s head, too. It was the third time he had done so, and, like the two times previous, the Destroyer Lord would learn it was not Trazyn after all; not the true Trazyn.

No matter. A death was a death, and so that head had gone into his trophy room like all the others.

The walls slide and shimmer as Nano Scarabs and Scarab Swarms come to life and go about the business of making necessary repairs to the Tomb. The passage of millions of years can damage even Necron technology.

The Destroyer Lord’s smoldering green eyes peered into the lessening darkness of his trophy room. Dim, sickly light began to fill the room as panels flickered and stabilized, data filling the screens. The Destroyer Lord with his favoured weapon, the Warscythe, still clutched in his mechanical hand, ignored the data and focused his attention upon the trophies that lined the wall opposite of where he now stood. Dozens of heads from slain enemy commanders stared blankly back at him. These trophies were a testament to his prowess in battle. Millions of years ago, at the height of Sautekh power and influence, the Destroyer Lord glared at the eyes of his slain enemies and regaled them with stories of how he and his armies had razed their lands.

All the trophies had long since crumbled to dust through the long years of the Sautekh slumber—all but three. The three remaining heads were from slain Necron Overlords. Each had served a false Trazyn. Each had been cut down by the Destroyer Lord’s Warscythe. Each was kept alive and forced to stay conscious for the millions of years while the Tomb had been in stasis.

The Destroyer Lord did not know the names of these three enemies. Names did not matter. What mattered is that he had kept them awake so they could relive their defeat at his hands. For those countless years, these three Necron Overlords would know they had failed. They would know what it is to oppose the Destroyer Lord.

The Destroyer Lord slipped silently along the Tomb floor. The keen edge of his Warscythe crackled with Necron energy as he did so, as if hungry to again taste the metal skeleton of these old enemies.  The same mechanisms that had kept them alive all these years also allowed the Destroyer Lord to glean some primitive understanding of their thoughts.  He peered deeply into their eyes one by one, tapping into their minds.

Not surprisingly, the only thoughts from the first Overlord were of begging for death, begging for an end to its eternal suffering. The second Overlord was exactly the same as the first and this disgusted the Destroyer Lord. Weakness was a foul thing.

The Destroyer Lord now stared directly into the eyes and thus into the mind of the third severed head. What he found with this one caught his interest. There was no pleading. This one thought something different– something very familiar, something very useful.

The Destroyer Lord sensed anger.

The Destroyer Lord sensed hatred.

The Collector drifted back ever so slightly to a calculated position to deliver the perfect blow and with one precise swing his Warscythe sliced effortlessly through the first two heads; but, not the third. The Destroyer Lord stopped his Warscythe exactly 5.7212 millimeters into the skull of the last severed head.

Warscythe still implanted, the Destroyer Lord once again peered into the eyes of his victim. With nothing but the width of the Warscythe separating the two enemies, the Destroyer Lord stared into the eyes of the fallen Overlord with an intensity that could only be exceeded by Kutlakh himself. What he saw in those eyes impressed him. The fury and hatred was undiminished. What was most important was it wasn’t just hatred for the Destroyer Lord. This fallen Overlord had developed over the millions of years a hatred for all life and an insatiable need to extinguish it.

Yes, thought the Destroyer Lord, this one will be useful. This one will be a weapon.

Satisfied with this, the Destroyer Lord now turned his attention to why he had been awakened. There was a power calling out to him and it had called to him so loudly that it had broken the grip of a dreamless eternity.

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About caperaway

I’m a publisher writer of graphic novels and short fiction. Published works include Acts of Violence: An Anthology of Crime Comics, The Grim Collection, Black Salt, and Psychosis. View all posts by caperaway

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