He screamed. Agony beyond imagine flowed through his veins, covering every inch of his body as he lay crumbled in a heap on the floor. Confusion clouded his mind, preventing him from piecing together the thousands of memories that all fought for control. Despair blinded him as the darkness around him began to overwhelm what little control he had left, threatening to destroy him.

He lashed out, trying in vain to destroy whatever it was that plagued him. He felt resistance in his actions, slight tremors at the edge of his perception that told him he was making contact with something, but it did nothing to lessen his torment. He slowly came to a stop, laying in a weeping, screaming heap as the last vestiges of him began to trail away.

Then it stopped.

As suddenly as it had all begun the pain vanished from his body, and other sensations began to flood his system. Understanding began to come to his mind, thousands of events, thousand of memories and unimaginable knowledge solidifying in his mind. Things began to slowly return to him as he understood them, but there was so much information, it was almost as overwhelming as the pain. He lifted his head, pure white hair drifting away from his eyes, he stared into the blinding light that now expunged the darkness, and revealed to him where he was.

The room was cavernous in size, hundreds of meters in every direction. The floor, walls and ceiling were all a common muted grey, with splashes of a dark crimson mixed in at regular intervals in the shape of a cog. He himself was on a raised dais in the center of the chamber, three meters off the ground and surrounded on all sides by row after row of terminals. Behind them were dozens of raised platforms, each one taller than the one before it and rising up almost halfway up the room.

A feeling of dread more than anything else made him look up. Suspended from chain above the dais was an empty picture frame. The outline of an individual was on it, a clear outline against the surroundings still in the picture. He looked away quickly, the pain at the edge of his mind slowly returning the longer he looked upon it.

It was only then that he noticed the bodies. On each of the platforms, hundreds of cloaked figures lay crumbled in heaps, smoke rising from some of the bodies, and rivers of blood flowing down their elongated supports. Around the terminals before him, hundreds of figures moved about in a rush, their red cloaks dragging behind them as they studied the text running across the screens. Some of the red robed figures were armed with weapons, and they were all aimed right at him.

Slowly rising to his feet, he glanced down at himself. He was naked except for a small loincloth around his waist. Dozens of scars crossed the length of his chest and abdomen, some in patterns that hurt his mind to even look upon. Raising his gaze back to the approaching warriors, he stepped back away from the edge of the dais. The warriors rushed up several sets of stairs that were carved into the side of the dais, quickly forming a half circle across from him. They were all shorter than him, some appearing childlike to him as he regarded them.

His mind ran through the possibilities, strategies forming in his mind for how to deal with the threat at hand. They were armed, but he was larger and likely stronger than them. If he moved quickly he could perhaps break up their formation before they could bring their numbers against him. He would have to figure out his escape afterwards on the move. Just as he was about to launch himself forward, another segment of his memory came into focus in his mind.

He knew who they were.

The hostility left his body as he looked upon the Skitarii in front of him. He looked at the robed figures working the terminals, Tech-Priests of the Mechanicum of Mars. The corpses on the platforms were psykers, by his guess and the feeling of power that still lingered around each of them. On a few he could still see the Imperial Aquila blazoned on their chests, though for many that particular area of their robes had been burned entirely through.

Movement before him drew his attention back to the line of waiting Skitarii, their weapons still trained on him. The center of the formation stepped aside, their aims never wavering as they made room for another to step onto the dais. The woman was different than the others in the chamber. There were no obvious signs of mechanical alteration on her person, and the dark blue and gold uniform she wore set her apart from the Mechanicum. Her jet black hair was pulled back tightly against her skull in a small bun at the back of her skull. Her sharp, angular features hinted at the beauty she once held, though it was long since lost. A massive burn covered nearly the entirety of the left side of her face, forcing her to squint up at the massive form before her as she came to a halt, her hands folded behind her back.

For some reason, he felt more uneasy by her presence than all of the armed Skitarii just behind her.

The sound of her voice startled him, the first words he had her spoken since all of this had begun. He took a step backwards as she brought her hands out from behind her back, crossing them in the form of the Imperial Aquila across her chest and bowing her head slowly, though she never broke eye contact with him.

"My name is Natalia Oskoria, member of the Emperor's Holy Inquisition. Do you know who you are, my lord?" The question jarred him as he took another step backwards, more memories coming into focus as he came to a halt at the very edge of the dais, falling to his knees. He saw a figure of pure golden light lifting him up from the ground where he knelt. He saw figures in purple and golden armor pouring across the plains of a world shrouded in darkness. A world, choked in ash and and consumed by the fires of a war that should never have happened. The body of another, defeated on the ground, and the feeling of his sword biting into his neck…

His mind snapped back into control as Natalia approached him, her hand falling to a weapon holstered at her hip. "Do you know who you are, Son of the Emperor?"

Those words tore through the last few barriers in his mind, shattering the fog surrounding his mind. He slowly rose to his full height, the confusion and weakness before cast aside and replaced by a surety of purpose, of self. He took a step towards the Inquisitor before him, the simple action causing the Skitarii at the edge of the dais to shift slightly, though Natalia never even flinched as she looked up at the massive figure.

"My name is Fulgrim, Son of the Emperor of Mankind, and Primarch of the Third Legion. Now tell me, Natalia Oskoria, what is an Inquisitor…"

Hello everyone! This is the start of a story that I have recently thought of. The idea came to me after watching a Lore video for the Horus Heresy, and since then I have not been able to get this thought out of my mind. If you enjoyed this little bit, please like and follow this story. This has been ArisenMoon, signing off.