Of all the founding Legions to turn from the light of the False Emperor, Talos most despised the Black Legion, the Sons of Horus, for how far they had fallen in the years since their primarch father’s death. In his eyes, they were an amalgamation of every sin and deviation across the sphere of mortal experience, armed and armoured as Astartes without a shred of the nobility that they once possessed. They consorted with daemons en masse, fighting beside them and listening to their warp-whispers for shards of wisdom. Just as the Exalted, daemon-corrupt and a shadow of the man he once was, revolted Talos – so too did the Black Legion in their wanton embrace of the Ruinous Powers.
But as the lift doors opened, he felt, just for a moment, a glimmer of why they lived as they did.
The floor before them was a long chamber with a central corridor and walls consisting of cells on both sides, looking across at one another. All the cell doors stood open. Smeared here and there were the remains of guards slaughtered by the newly-freed prisoners. And the prisoners themselves – perhaps three hundred gangers, murderers and violent criminals – were all suddenly silent.
Silent and kneeling, their heads bowed towards the lift.
The Black Legion Terminators heaved their spiked bulks from the lift, tramping down the central corridor without paying any attention to their worshipful supplicants. Their power was obvious. They did not live in restraint, suffering through a lack of slaves, taking pains not to reveal themselves to an enraged Imperium. And that, just for a moment, spoke to Talos. He understood them, even though he hated them.