The first attempt ended in an explosion. The second time ended in an explosion. Each time, the pink-haired girl felt her resolve crack. With desperate rage she begged for one last chance, this time throwing her all into it.
Silently she was screaming to heavens - take it all! Leave her nothing left. Just give her this gift, or let her become as the senseless void. Without magic, she was worse than nothing.
She changed the words of the summoning into a defiant taunt: "... most beautiful, most powerful, most sacred... - servant of mine that exists somewhere in the universe!"
In the first attempt at summoning, she gave her hope. In the second, she gave it her pleas. Now, all she had left to give was all the spite and rage in her petite form.
The summoning circle exploded.
Louise's arms dropped. Her wand - useless! damned stick! - remained in her hand only by a nerveless grip. Her eyes dulled. "So, that's it then..." she whispered to herself. "Mother... I will wipe away your shame." She paid no more attention to the taunts and jeers of her classmates.
All she needed now was just the seclusion of her own room.
The smoke from her explosion blew away as something within slammed onto the ground. A small quake spread through the green lawn. A hulking armored figure, clad in blood red, stood up.
And up. And up.
Gasps erupted from all around. Louise blinked, only slowly daring to believe that she'd finally succeeded at something.
"A golem?" someone was shouting. "A giant! The Zero summoned a giant!"
Leering fanged faces were sculpted into the red giant's armor, and fine gold filigree emphasized the edges of its powerful bulk. Where it was not red or gold, it was bold brass, wicked sharp edges that somehow could make you feel like you were cutting your own eyes just looking at them.
A cloak made out of the black fur of some gargantuan creature was draped over its shoulders, its individual hairs somehow gleaming with captured moonlight. Its arms ended in clawed fists. Chains meant to secure ships were wrapped around its wrists and dangled from its sides. Pauldrons were like castle walls on its shoulders.
Its face was a snarling visage to make even demons cry out like little girls. Tattooed red around its eyes and a red trianalge pointing down a shaven head, metal tubes were jammed into the back of its skull in place of hair.
Whether this was a living creature or a war golem wearing flesh was difficult to determine.
And then the red giant spoke. "WHO DARES CALL UPON ANGRON, PRIMARCH OF THE WORLD EATERS, RED ANGEL, AND BANE OF SORCERERS!"
Louise was still at heart a little girl, and she did not feel like crying.
"A demon! The Zero summoned a demon!" Screams arose from all around her, and already some of her classmates were fleeing. "Isn't this heresy?! Help!"
Louise took a deep breath and a step forward.
'I did this...?' she thought with fatalistic glee. 'Then... it's my responsibility!" The Rule of Steel. "I won't run from my own actions, I can be brave this much!'
"You there! I am Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière! Listen to me! I am the one that summoned you to be my familiar!" Louise grit her teeth and glared up at the giant. "You will listen, and obey!"
"NOT TO DO BATTLE AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES? NOT TO DESTROY THE FOUL CREATURES OF THE WARP? NOT TO SHED BLOOD AND REVEL IN THE GLORY OF WAR?!" Angron's roar shook the air itself, a deep rumble slamming into their hearts. "YOU CALL ANGRON ACROSS THE STARS ONLY TO BECOME A SERVANT? A PET?"
Lightning crackled around the Red Giant's fists. "YOU SHOULD KNOW THE PRICE FOR THIS INSULT, LITTLE ONE."
Louise flinched as the shadow of that massive claw passed over her. She bit her lower lip until drawing blood, and stood her ground. "It was... I didn't mean..." Another deep breath. This was bad, but it was a better end that she could dream of. At least it wasn't a petty death by hanging. "Fine! But leave them alone...! -I- did this! It's not their fault!"
A part of her wanted the giant to run rampage, take revenge for her to her tormentors, but this was her shining moment in all her meager years. Louise steeled herself, that she might meet her end with all grace and dignity of a noble child of House Valliere.
"ANGRON UNDERSTANDS. IT IS LIKE BIG SISTER HAD SAID. SO ANGRY. SO LITTLE BUT SO VERY ANGRY."
That broad scowling face opened up into a booming laugh. Angron scooped Louise up in one of his massive palms. Louise yelped in surprise, as she was drawn up to allow her to look at him at eye level. "YOU NEED NOT FEAR ANGRON, FOR ANGRON IS FRIEND TO ALL CHILDREN!"
"I... I'm not a child!" Louise reflexively retorted.
"IS SO CUTE. SO TINY. ANGRON WILL PROTECT YOU, DO NOT WORRY."
"You dumb giaaant...!"
The World Eaters were a Legion well aware that the greatest of things can come from the littlest of things. Terrible things, sometimes, but great. Evil comes from simply losing a bit of oneself here and there, until being out of control becomes normal.
Angron, who used to live his life under a haze of rage, also came to realize... that goodness likewise builds from little deeds as much as evil was a slippery slope.
One of the changes that builds a galaxy was the Emperor deciding to delay his Great Crusade by a full century, to see how an immortal develops with a proper childhood. He gave Serenity a childhood, much as he too was once a child on the rolling hills of Anatolia. He crafted her sense of responsibility with care and attention. The results were… outstanding.
He had a worthy heir for the Imperium of Mankind.
It was thus that when he inevitably decided to create the Primarchs, he was convinced that they should grow up at most twice the rate of a normal human child.
Mostly he did this because he knew Serenity would never forgive him if she didn't get enough time with her cute little brothers.
Still, the Primarchs were scattered. It was… inevitable.
Angron was fated to land on Nucerea.
He was fated to wear the Butcher's Nails.
By fourteen he was champion of the fighting pits.
Before that, he suffered other… indignities.
NONGRIMDARK END IS A GO:
It was the fifty-ninth year of the Grand Concord. The galaxy once more belongs to Man. The green tide of the orks has been contained, the disparate fragments of human civilization once again reunited under Terra's aegis. The Eldar retreated to their havens, and the taint of Chaos remains contained behind the Cadian Gate.
The brief attempt at Heresy was swiftly crushed at Isstvan, when Serenity teleported halfway across the galaxy, brought the planet and all the dead in it back to life, then blasted Horus in the face with a Moon Princess Hallation.
The Great Crusade had since concluded sixty-two years prior. Though there were still small attempts to expand the reach of the Imperium, it was a time for the galaxy to know peace.
It was thoroughly boring.
Some Legions and Primarchs adapted quickly and quietly enough - Guilliman and Rogal Dorn, and the Night Haunter, contented themselves with ensuring the prosperity of the Imperium and obedience to the new order. Magnus and Corax were given the task of claiming and securing the Webway, the former due to his Warp power and the latter's strange tendency to create new stable Webway portals whenever his Hibiki Syndrome kicks in.
The Lion and Fulgrim felt they were not given time enough to earn glory, and as such went off to brave the unknown. The first Extragalactic Expeditions were on their way. Perturabo, Ferrus Manus and Vulkan raised fortresses around the Eye of Terror, while Jagatai Khan and Sanguinius maintain mobile assets to defend against Eldar attacks.
No one had seen or heard of Alpharius or his entire Legion for almost fifty years now.
The only one having less fun than Angron was Horus, who was still grounded on Terra, having been punished with being a High Lord of Terra and dealing with all the paperwork that the Emperor and Malcador clearly thought themselves far too important to deal with.
The two could often be found relaxing on a boat, fishing for babel, and sometimes cackling with mad glee for no reason at all.
Angron stared out at the polluted expanse of the world beyond Hive Spire Demanse. Behind him, the music and revelry of the grand feast the governor had laid out for the World Eaters were all but ignored by the him and his Astartes.
"My lord Angron." spoke up Kharn. "Won't you at least have some roasted blackroots?" Looking left and right to make sure no one was listening, he added "... or high-octane jet fuel?"
"YOU A NICE GUY, KHARN. IS WHY I KINDA FEEL GUILTY ABOUT LEAVING YOU TO DEAL WITH THIS." Angron huffed and put a knee over the veranda's railings.
"… while this party is a torturous bore, my lord, suicide is not the answer." Angron's personal equerry stared over the tower's edge towards the yawning mist-shrouded abyss below. "Because I'm quite sure you'd survive that."
Angron laughed and gave him a friendly slap on the shoulders. Kharn's armor dented inwards, and the duracrete tiles cracked around his feet. "HA! BIG SISTER JUST CALLED. FOUND SOMETHING MORE USEFUL FOR ANGRON TO DO."
"Her Highness Serenity? I see." Kharn knew that there were essentially three types of Primarchs: the fighty, the buildy, and the leady types. Each of them supposedly contained a fraction of the Emperor's specialized talents.
Surprisingly, while Angron was by definition a fighty sort of Primarch, he was also terribly inspirational.
While the Astartes had deep respect for the Emperor, he was something of a dick and a huge troll. Everyone trusted Serenity to be the sole light of sanity in that messed-up Imperial Family. If it was her decision that Angron should be away from his Legion for a time, it was surely better than having a pouty Angron.
For Angron did have the Emperor's blood in his veins, and when bored, he too had a tendency towards far-too-abstract pranks.
"Worry not about us, lord Angron. Please carry our regards with you. The Legion will… abide. "
With a bellow and a jaunty salute, Angron leapt off the parapet. A glowing green portal swallowed him up halfway down the Hive Spire.
"It... it failed?!" Louise said, in a voice almost cracking.
"OH DID LITTLE ONE JUST TRY TO SOUL-BIND ANGRON? NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY." The Red Giant wiggled his finger at her and Colbert. The teacher's eyes widened in alarm, and his grip on his staff tightened. "OH DO NOT WORRY. ANGRON IS NOT ANGRY. MUCH. IT DID NOT WORK BECAUSE SISTER HAS ALREADY SOUL-BOUND ANGRON. MADE HIS RAGE HIS OWN. PUT LIMITERS BOUND TO HIS SOUL. NO MAGIC CAN HARM ANGRON OR CAUSE HIM TO TURN AGAINST HIS BROTHERS AGAIN."
"I suppose I shouldn't have expected it to be so simple." Louise sighed. She glanced aside. Tabitha had bound a dragon to herself as a familiar, but isn't a giant more powerful than a dragon? Louise took a deep breath and asked, "So, what now? I summoned someone, but... can't I just try again? Maybe this time I can get something that will become my familiar."
If she did it once, she can do it again! She had to force her face to a facade of calm.
Colbert shook his head. "I'm sorry. The Springtime Familiar Summoning is a sacred rite. You have managed to successfully cast summoning, but to fail Contract Familiar is almost unheard of..."
"But you heard him! Is it really possible to be that resistant to magic?"
Colbert looked up speculatively at Angron. "It is written that Brimir fought against the giants. Their strength and their resilience are renowned in the ancient texts." A giant, a monster of the mythical age, unbound in Halkegenia! He doubted the ability of even all the mages in the castle to contain such a fearsome creature.
"IT IS NO PROBLEM. ANGRON IS TOO STRONG. BUT ANGRON WILL BEHAVE. ANGRON IS A CULTURED MAN." With the tip of a finger, he patted Louise's head and mussed up her hair. Gently, like one would pet a kitten. "ANGRON BELIEVES THIS LITTLE ONE MIGHT BE LIKE HIMSELF. POWERS TURNED INWARD, NOT OUTWARD."
Louise blinked. "Huh?"
"ANGRON WILL NOT SERVE. BUT ANGRON WILL TEACH." That prospect seemed to delight the giant. "LIKE BIG SISTER TAUGHT ANGRON. I TEACH LITTLE PINK HAIR TO BREAK MOUNTAINS!"
"I'm a mage, not some dirty brawler!" Louise protested. "You stupid giant! Look at me! How am I supposed to do that? The divine power of magic is what a noble is supposed to use! It's what Brimir used to beat your kind!"
"ANGRON HIGHLY DOUBTS ANYBODY NAMED BRIMIR HAS EVER FACED A PRIMARCH. BUT ANGRON SAYS THIS: POWER IS POWER. WHAT YOU DO WITH IT IS TRUE MEASURE OF A HUMAN." The giant's expression turned witsful. "ANGRON HAS BEEN IMPRESSED BEFORE BY MANY MERE HUMANS, WHO HAVE NO POWERS BUT THEIR OWN WILL. ANGRON WILL MAKE SURE LITTLE PINK ONE IS NOT DESTROYED BY POWER OF HER OWN MIGHTY RAGE."
"I'm not angry." Louise huffed. In a smaller voice she added, "I mean, not all the time, not that often?" Louder and indignant again,"Stop trying to make me out like a berserker or something!"
Louise had just narrowly avoided being expelled. For some reason, the giant had agreed to PRETEND to be her familiar for a while. While theoretically this could cause a diplomatic incident with a member of Giant Royalty, it provided an illusion of control. Society would not endure a giant going around unbound and unapologetic, poking fun at their mores.
Inevitably someone would try to attack Angron to put him in his place, and then there would be much senseless destruction. Old Osmond could see that with one look at Angron's frightening form. Some nobles would certainly be that stupid.
Angron, obviously, could not fit inside Louise's room. The two watched the sunset as they tried to fit each other into their worldview.
"A summoning is supposed to be a milestone in the life of a young mage… it reveals her affinity and helps to stabilize her magic." Louise whispered. She looked up at Angron's blood-red armor and pondered, "Maybe my affinity is fire?"
Angron yawned. "WITCHCRAFT DOES NOT INTEREST ANGRON. HE HAS BEEN SENT HERE TO GUIDE TINY PINK ONE. BIG SISTER HAS FORESEEN IT. PROBABLY WOULD BE EASIER TO INDUCT PINKY INTO HIS LEGION, BUT EH. IS NO PROBLEM."
"It's not witchcraft! Magic is the divine power given to us by Brimir, and-... huh? Your legion?" Louise blinked. Oh! Of course, no matter how terrifying his armor, it was also extremely ornate and exquisite. No expense was spared in its craftsmanship. "Are you a noble, Angron?"
"ANGRON IS PRIMARCH. SON OF EMPEROR, BUT WILL NOT INHERIT. BIG SISTER WILL INHERIT IMPERIUM, WE ALL GLAD OF IT. WE ALL BE RUBBISH AT ECONOMIC POLICY." He clenched his fists and grumbled in a lower, grinding tone, "GUILLIMAN TOO PRONE TO PROTECTIONISM. HORUS WHY YOU KEEP PUSHING VIRTUAL CURRENCY?!"
"That's… strange. You're strange." Already Louise could trust that Angron was not someone to inflate his own importance. He was so monstrously scary that somehow it looped all the way back into being a comforting presence. She put a hand over her heart to feel its nervous beating. "So, I summoned you. What does this mean?" Her fingers dug in, clawlike, crumpling her shirt. "Why me?"
"WHY NOT? POWER CALLS TO POWER."
"That's got to be lie. All I wanted was just to be a mage… not some sort of freak that can't even be useful as human."
Louise sniffed. Angron sat cross-legged, as if meditating, while Louise sat daintily with her knees up in the hollow between his massive legs. She could literally fit inside one of his boots.
Angron frowned. Someone who could be like diamond was at the moment fragile as the thinnest glass. To someone who was essentially immortal, childhood was a variable concept. He saw only innocence and need.
"YOU HAVE BIG SISTER, YES? SOMEONE VERY GENTLE? FRIEND TO ALL ANIMALS?"
"That's Cattleya. How did you know?"
"ANGRON DID NOT KNOW. BUT ANGRON HAS BIG SISTER LIKE THAT TOO. TWEN... EIGHTEEN BROTHERS, ONE BIG SISTER. SHE KEEPS US WHOLE. SHE CARES. SHE BELIEVES, WHEN OTHERS WILL JUST THROW ASIDE SOMEONE AS WORTHLESS."
"I guess even giants have families too. It's strange, but I can almost see it. I don't get why you keep saying we're similar. You're so... big. Powerful. Everything I'm not..." Louise trailed off in a whisper.
"ANGRON KNOWS WHAT IT FEELS TO BE CONSIDERED WORTHLESS. HIS BROTHERS RULE WORLDS, BUILD MONUMENTS, PRAISED FOR THEIR INVENTIONS. ALL ANGRON KNOWS IS TO BREAK STUFF. ANGRON WAS ANGRY ALL THE TIME. PEOPLE KEPT WANTING ANGRON TO BE LIKE BROTHERS... TO STOP BEING ANGRON."
"That's easy for you to say! Giant society isn't like human society! Anyone you don't like, you can just punch out! Here, no matter how good I get at punching things, I'll never earn any respect unless I'm a proper mage."
"BIG SISTER SAID THIS: IF ENEMY WILL NOT CHANGE FOR YOU, AND CHANGE YOURSELF YOU CANNOT, CHANGE YOUR BATTLEFIELD."
Louise stared at him for a long while.
"I'm not Mother... I'm not brilliant like Eleonore. If only I could be as pretty and well-loved as Cattleya, but all I can do is to make explosions. I fail at everything." she whispered. She was sitting on his pauldrons, dangling her feet over the open air. "So what could I do? I'm not strong like you. I can hate everything, but it's not going to do any good."
"RAGE AT LIFE, LITTLE ONE. EAT THE HATE OF THE WORLD, AND ALL ITS SORROWS, AND BURN THEM INSIDE YOU. YOU HAVE POWER TO MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE. YOU CAN BE ANYTHING, EXCEPT WHAT WOULD MAKE YOUR BIG SISTER SAD."
Just an experiment.
I kinda wanna have a Minsc and Boo vibe now. "GO FOR THE EYES, LOUISE, GO FOR THE EYES! YYYAAAAGGGH!"
Sorry, this story doesn't work as anything other than to hit canon points here and there, because there's really not much that can stop a functionally insane Primarch from doing whatever the fuck he wants. I'll give it a chapter or two more, but best not to overdraw a simple cracky premise. (again).
"NO, WHO IS THIS ANGRON YOU BE SPEAKING OF? (ANGRON IS BACK AT CASTLE, LIKE PINK ONE ASKED) SEE BEARD? AM SANTA CLAUS." The red-armored giant pointed to his entourage. "SANTA FOUND TOYMAKER ELVES! NOW ALL GOOD CHILDREN BE HAPPY!"
"... we surrender." said Bishadal. "Unconditionally."
Louise could only say, "... elves, what ... santa who?"
"AH, ANGRON REMEMBERS THIS ONE. NO, THAT GUY IS DOCTOR. IS RUBBISH AT MEDICINE."
Lovehammer is of course the Usagi Tsukino/Princess Serenity raised by the God-Emperor cooperative story started at Spacebattles. Angron is fully capable of proper speech, he just likes pretending to be simp- LEMON RUSS U NOT RUSSKI ENUFF LET ANGRON SHOW YOU HOW IS DONE! - to speak to children at their level and make them laugh.