Note: the story is more about the 40k narrative than the characters in this chapter,
But will go into detail later.
No matter how many times he saw a new planet, it never ceased to amaze chief Navigator Cloud strife,
He was standing in the main viewing point of the ship, a cavernous space used mostly for functions, esteemed guests and funerals, other than that it was usually empty.
Despite its enormous size he sometimes felt claustrophobic inside the flagship, and the massive viewing window in the giant amphitheatre provided solace the days when his life felt meaningless.
Just looking out into space put a lot of things about his life into perspective, thinking about where hid life was going brought him to the planet below the ship.
The steadily rotating orb was a peculiar one with several defining characteristics that he had never seen before on any other world.
Luminescent purple clouds covered the skies, which crackled with the raw elemental power of storms that covered entire continents.
The land of the planet was an equally garish shade of moss green, which most likely indicated lush rainforests.
Odd he thought, the jungles seemed to cover all the land surfaces with little to no change in the form of the land, just constant green until receding at either of the planet's poles.
What he found the most disturbing of all was the color of the ocean,
It was the deepest blood red he had ever seen which didn't make any sense, It was a physical impossibility in his mind. The sea reflects the sky doesn't it?
Such conclusions in his mind at these puzzling thoughts gave him the inclination to traverse the planet's crust with his own two feet, but the prospect of doing so was ludicrous.
He was the Primary navigator for the flagship Unending Penance, for a navigator to leave the ship he was appointed to was classed as dereliction of duty under the Imperial navy charter.
"In order of the high lords of Terra and though various offices of the administratum, no navigator is permitted to leave their assigned ship under any circumstances as is to leave said ship virtually blind, incapable of using the warp as a means of long range transportation,Direct disobedience of this code is punishable by death and possible excommunication."
-Excerpt 6 of statute law 22289-C of the Imperial Navy and Aeronautica Imperialis code of conduct and operations guidelines.
He sighed sadly at the recollection,
During his twelve years aboard the ship, he had read that exact passage countless times as to reiterate the point that he had lost his freedom a long time ago.
When he brooded upon this fact it was when he hated the fact that he was cursed with the mutation of being a navigator.
Inducted into the Imperial navy forcibly by his parents at the age of fourteen when his mutation had suddenly matured and he had grown his third eye almost overnight.
Forced to wear a thick bandana of the imperial colours not just because of his altered appearance, it was also speculated that his eye could kill any man that directly looked into it.
Of course he had never tested this theory on anyone, but during his nightly ritual of bathing and prayer, he takes off his headgear and looks at his reflection staring back at him, and the eye in the direct centre of his forehead and wondered what misfortune turned him into a freak.
A pitch black almond shaped eye speckled with gold flecks around the outer iris, the only distinguishable property within its inky depths,
It was located in the direct centre of his forehead like an open wound compared to his blue-green regular eyes.
He actually thought it didn't look too bad, unfortunately showing it wasn't without its consequences just like everything in the imperium.
Superstitious nonsense was how the imperium ran these days and Cloud had no reason to think that it would change anytime soon, his mutation would have been subject to severe persecution if not for his incredible use in space travel,
Nobody else could comprehend the warps ill defined depths other than navigators such as himself.
Perhaps it was just a myth and did nothing but help him to connect to the roiling depths of the empyrean, the eye itself was also a cause of much sadness to him as it left him as somewhat of an outcast.
The flagships staff kept well clear of him and only spoke to him when it was absolutely necessary, naval crews were notoriously superstitious.
He had lived a sheltered and lonely life aboard this ship working with toiling obscurity and unflinching obedience, not that he was given any choice it was just the best way to avoid corporal punishment.
The very thought of his disciplining made the scars on his back itch.
And as he brooded on the swirling thoughts in his skull, he continued to stare at the unending turn of the planet upon its axis, watching from this far away gave him some degree of peace in an otherwise lonely and claustrophobic lifestyle.
Only from this viewpoint did the continual pressure of his post and huge responsibilities,
Seem to ease as if a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
"I don't understand how you continue to be struck with awe after all these years, this would be the millionth planet we warred upon would it not?" declared an iron hard voice that sounded like gravel being crushed,
Almost instantaneously did that serene feeling leave him as soon as it had come to be replaced by a cold dead weight in the pit of his stomach as ice ran down his spine,
Grimacing at the prospect of talking to the "man" he disliked the most.
In a cold monotone completely devoid of human emotion Fleet Master Barrett Wallace of the Novamarines, successor chapter of the Ultramarines legion,
"The Emperor watches over us all" he intoned with religious fervor.
Cloud clenched his jaw at his words sudden memories flooding through his consciousness, feeling ashamed and dirty of what he had done, He knew it was a heresy that would only end in the death of him and the person he had committed the crime with.
A gruff chuckle issuing from behind him, he could sense his uneasiness,
"You are right to feel nervous at his name, for every moment of our lives we are judged by his unwavering gaze" Wallace stated,
he began to sweat and the tension was unbearable, If he was going to kill him he hoped it would be quick.
"Surely you must get tired of looking into the void" he questioned impatiently,
Warm relief washed over him, the commander didn't know, he couldn't have known,
And never would if it all was to be.
He sighed softly, this voyage had been particular taxing on his lithe small framed body.
As a navigator it was his duty to guide the ship through the warp, ether realm, empyrean, what ever it was called, it somewhat resembled an intergalactic highway between planets and distant stars in the universe.
The warp itself was an unpredictable and completely random place, a realm of complete and total madness fueled by the raw stuff of chaos itself,
Due to his mutation it was said that navigators were immune to the depths of the ether realm, that the images could not affect him,
But Cloud knew better than that
Daemon's, monsters and the souls of the dead assaulted the navigator on a daily basis.
All leaving small imprints on his soul but could never physically harm him
"The empyrean's a dangerous place, but even with such peril one can find beauty" the navigator replied wearily.
He sensed the fleet master's choler rise at such a poetic view of the thing he hated the most.
"Do not speak of such beauty to me, for I have no interest in pointless romanticism of something that is undeniably evil" he snapped back, barely able to contain the rage pulsing within him.
It was a widely known fact that he loathed chaos and anything remotely connected to it, which explained his somewhat cold demeanor towards the navigator, he could tell the man hated being in his presence.
At this the navigator smirked, his lips forming a thin smile, It was not everyday that someone could unnerve a member of the Adeptus Astartes.
"The warp itself is not static" he explained, continuing as if he never heard the undertone of the threat in his stone hard voice.
"It ebbs and flows like that of a magma channel, it's more of a living thing than that of open space, do you understand me fleet master" he explained
"For one does not see the warp, you must dream it" intoning it as if in prayer.
"Sounds like something a psyker witch would say" he grunted with a hateful undertow and direct emphasis on the word "witch".
Cloud shrugged at the declaration "what it is, is for I will not change what must be done, you know that as much as I do"
"Without navigators what is the point of space travel if it took decades to reach the destination" he finished with some satisfaction at the contradiction of the marine.
"Well fleet master, was there something you wanted from me?" he asked as he turned around and looked at the marines frame.
The enormity in terms of sheer physical size of the Astartes he had to be at least seven and a half feet tall.
But their bulk was only matched by their fighting prowess and total faith in the god-emperor of mankind, Warrior monks that were unflinchingly loyal and straight to the point, completely wi just like their way of war as is said, the space marine chapters are a scalpel as the imperial guard are the sledge hammer of the imperium.
Clad in quartered ultramarine blue and bone colored ceramite armor, his right shoulder pad bearing the chapter's iconography, a white skull surrounded by a twelve point star.
In his right hand he carried his badge of office, ceremonial device and weapon of war if need be, a long handled war hammer that resembled a sledge hammers rectangular ivory colored block of stone emblazoned with the imperial Aquila on it's flank.
To some people the weapon would seem cumbersome and impractical, those people had never seen the master wield it like Cloud had when perusing the ships training facilities, It was no less deadly than any other weapon that could be used by a marine.
Cloud thought his burgundy loincloth and cape seemed out of place on the armored figure, but he knew better than to point it out lest he insult the angel of death, looking past the numerous purity seals and ornamentation that covered his chest and torso and into face of pure bred soldier.
His face somewhat resembled carved rock that had been weathered to a large degree, and scarred by numerous battles, a face of unknowable age due to the fact that Astarte's were functionally immortal due to the incredible amounts of augmentive surgeries that a space marine neophyte would go through to become a battle brother.
Cloud estimated his age in the six hundreds but it was impossible to tell so he decided to change the subject.
"So what brings you to this part of the ship fleet master" he addressed in his most polite tone.
"Certain business involving the planet at which we are currently orbiting, requires me to consult the ship's astronomican and navigator" he replied tersely
Cloud swallowed a bitter laugh with difficulty,
'Of he wouldn't come to see me unless he needed me for something' he thought with growing distaste at the direction this conversation was going,
His loneliness was getting the getting the better of him.
"It seems there is a rift in the warp preventing us from sending psychic packets to other ships and the outer colonies" he continued while gazing down at the planet with disdain.
Cloud was confused, "There must be some mistake" cloud thought aloud,
"No mistake" replied Wallace gruffly, answering his subconscious statement, "communications wise we are isolated"
A cold sliver of panic slid down clouds spine, He couldn't feel any disturbance at all, and there was nothing abnormal in the warp space surrounding the ship if one could call the warp "normal".
Was the astartes lying to him, or purposely misleading him as some sort of cruel joke, but what would be the point especially about something so serious.
He looked up into the face of the space marine trying to discern something telling out of his aged dark skinned face, his face remained as emotionally blank as hardened rockcrete.
'No he wouldn't do something like this' thought cloud, Wallace never so much as cracked a smile in the entire time he had known him, it wasn't his style to play jokes especially considering the man hated him.
His hands were shaking and he had broken out in a cold sweat, he thought he was going to throw up from sheer panic.
'get a grip cloud' he thought to himself taking a deep breath trying to steady himself and think rationally.
Could his powers as a navigator be in question, that couldn't be it cause he could feel the currents and eddies of the warp swirl around them.
No it had to be some sort of error in the ships communications array, If there was something in the warp interfering with the function of the ship he would be the first to know and warn the captain and all upper echelons.
"We believe it has something to do with the planet, its strange weather patterns aren't believed to be naturally occurring" said Wallace,
"Why did we come here?" asked cloud suddenly wondering as to the prospect of coming to such a bizarre place.
"The planet lost communications with nearby systems and satellite outposts one week ago" he replied flatly.
"What is the planet's name?" cloud asked,
"Corel III, population approximately one billion, this is the only habitable planet in the system"
Communications were a vital part of the imperial planet's function, for a world to be left without communication was a potential death threat for a life inhabited planet.
Without the means to order in trade and export vessels the planets inhabitants would starve to death.
"Wait if this is just a planet without communications, then why is a space marine flagship is is investigating?" asked cloud with suspicion.
Barrett narrowed his black eyes.
"There is no reason for you to know navigator, it is not your concern"
Cloud snorted at his secretive manner,
"fine don't tell me" he replied haughtily.
"The reason I came to see you is that I need to know what you can see in the warp that is out of place" Barrett went on.
Panic returned hard and fast what would he tell him, knowing astartes he would probably shoot him on the spot if he told him that he couldn't see any disturbance at all.
"Well what's wrong, speak" demanded Barrett impatiently.
Before cloud could think of anything to say the auditorium door banged open and a tall figure walked in.
Walking with long and elegant swaggering strides that reeked of arrogance and superiority, the figure crossed the large distance, when finally he reached them, he saluted smartly to Wallace and stood at attention in parade ground stance.
The fleet master saluted back and then shook hands with the marine smiling broadly,
"Well, well what brings the hallowed captain of the chapter's greatest assault company to our midst" laughed Barrett jovially, the sudden change in his demeanor evident.
Though he outranked him, Wallace treated him as an equal and more like an old friend than anything else, the interaction between them made cloud feel all the more isolated and alone.
"It is a simple task of messenger and guide that brings me among the esteemed master of our fleet" the marine simpered sickeningly his stance becoming more relaxed,
It seemed flattery was
the way to Barrett's hearts when he laughed even harder at the
"Well none of us are beneath a casual errand every now and then" grinned Barrett,
He then cast a cold glance down at cloud, his air of happiness and joviality disappearing at the sight of him.
"Well I suppose introductions are in order" he said with a hint of malice,
"Navigator, this is the captain of the first company's assault unit, Sephiroth" exclaimed Barrett, "we gave him that nickname because when he picks a target he won't stop until he's challenged and killed it".
"And to be honest nobody can remember his real name"
Cloud looked up into the cruel predatory face of Sephiroth, he reminded him of the imperial Aquila with its remarkable beauty, but also incredibly deadly.
His hair long and tied back into a loose ponytail was a silvery white, his skin seemed unusually pale almost to the point of albinism.
Though not quite as tall as Barrett his frame was slimmer almost avian in physique, but it was his eyes that attracted Clouds attention, they were the same blue-green color as his.
"A pleasure to meet you navigator" said Sephiroth smirking, his words dripping with sarcasm.
Cloud did not know why but an incredible jolt of pure fear ran through his body for a split second, causing him to shudder involuntarily.
There was something about him that didn't seem right, it was just beneath the surface and he couldn't quite scratch it but something was just wrong about him.
Before he could consider his feelings any further, Barrett laughed heartily.
"So what is this fabled errand of your" boomed Barrett loudly,
"It just so happens that the astropathica mistress Aerith, seeks an audience with the primary navigator of the ship" said Sephiroth smirking, Cloud's heart skipped a beat at these words.
He loved spending time with the Aerith of the astropath , she was the only one on this ship that seemed to understand the pressures of his charge as hers being so similar.
They would talk for hours about all matter of things, and over the subsequent years had become very close.
Suddenly the day seemed better already with the prospect of spending time with his favorite person.
"Well I better not keep her waiting" replied cloud with the smuggest of smiles spread across his face.
"Indeed" commented Sephiroth, "allow me to escort you navigator" bowing courteously,
"Oh no that's not necessary" replied cloud raising his hands hastily, the thought of spending any time with him did not seem like the most fun he would have.
"But I insist" he said with an air of condescendence, as if walking unescorted was too hard for him.
"Yes I agree go with him, a little company would be good for him" chimed in Barrett to clouds great annoyance.
Cloud sighed resignedly, "fine" he huffed "let's get going".
"Excellent" beamed Sephiroth, "we shall take our leave the fleet master, good day sir"
Wallace saluted and turned back to the viewing window gazing out into space,
As cloud walked out with the captain he began to wonder why he wanted to walk with him, "So navigator, how is the warp doing today" the astartes suddenly asked.
"Uh, fine there are no problems as I can tell" replied cloud with growing unease,
Sephiroth frowned, "I thought there was a big disturbance within the warp that prevented travel and messages being sent and received"
"Umm, that is to say I'm not sure on its current state, I guess" he relied lamely.
Sephiroth began to laugh at that, "You don't know that lying to an officer of the adeptus astartes is a crime punishable by death do you?" he said laughing even harder.
Ice filled his stomach at his words, would he kill him right here?, "don't worry I won't tell as long as you make it up to me" said sephiroth with evil intent evident in his voice.
Cloud glanced up curiously at these words, what did he mean?
He had stopped walking was staring at him hungrily,
"You have something I want" he said with evil intent clear within his voice,
"W-What!" stammered cloud,
"Just relax and it won't hurt" said Sephiroth with a cruel smile as he began to back cloud into the wall, "Or I should say I won't have to hurt you" he chuckled,
"What are you going to do to me?" asked cloud with all his fear showing in his voice,
"Something I've wanted to do for a while" as he pushed cloud up against the bulkhead of the passage they were in.
The fear had suddenly overwhelmed cloud and his body started to shake violently, his breathing became rapid and irregular.
Sephiroth was the exact opposite, his demeanor incredibly calm and almost lazy as if the whole affair was somewhat boring and tedious.
His large hands took hold of his arms in a vice like grip, to which cloud snapping out of his shock began to struggle fruitlessly,
He looked up into the eyes that were identical to his, and saw something that looked like desperation, along with the creepy smile glazing his lips.
He pulled him closer until their faces were inches away, "your mine" he stated with satisfaction.
And he pressed his lips roughly to clouds
Cloud went limp at this, part from the shock and part from the involuntary attraction from being kissed by the larger man.
A tongue probed it's way into his mouth with ferocity, exploring and dominating every part of him with the intoxication of the kiss.
For what seemed an eternity the astartes finally pulled away and threw him to the floor,
"You belong to me now, don't forget it navigator!" he said with an icy smile,
Cloud was too stunned to say or do anything at this point,
"See you around bitch", he turned around and walked with an arrogant swagger towards the ship's barracks laughing cruelly.
He could not recall for how long he just sat slumped up against the wall, all he could do was run over the event in his head before realizing that Aerith was waiting for him.
Pulling himself off the floor and turning in the direction of the astropath quarters he ran as fast as he possibly could feeling tears stain his cheeks as he bolted towards the only person that meant anything to him.
To be continued…………maybe.
Well there it is, first story written, hope you like it because it took me a while.
By the way the reason I didn't class it as yaoi is because the kiss was not meant to be of attraction but of ownership over cloud.
If you liked it feel free to leave a review,
I don't mind criticism as long as it's constructive and helps me to further the story
I'm done, cheers coming from Australia