"The interrogator chaplains of the Dark Angels are relentless in their task of finding, and saving the souls of the Fallen, and Veritas is no exception to this. He is as stubborn, intelligent, cunning and relentless as any other chaplain in our great chapter. Yet within himself he seems to be carrying a secret, a burden, greater than anything else on his shoulders. I have never asked him if he is hiding something, I see no need to trouble such a remarkable soldier."
-Commander Cerias, leader of the Dark Angels force 'Holy Retribution'.
Veritas stood in the darkness before the traitor. The room was dark, save the pillar of light that shone upon a steel chair bolted to the floor in the centre of the small steel room. Chained and secured to this chair, sat a single marine. His robes were browned with centuries of dirt and muck. They were freyed all over, and torn in numerous places. The marks of the many tens, if not hundreds of battles, of ten thousand years which he had endured. The marine's armour was black where it showed, for it was mainly covered by the battered old cloak, and like the cloak, the armour was filthy, the feet were covered in mud, grime and even dried patches of blood. Bullet holes and large gashes could be seen around the arms and torso, some had been patched over with spare pieces of metal, crudely defacing the armour of this once noble marine.
His face was in no better shape, unclean, unshaven and scarred across the forehead and cheeks. His hair was black and greasy, it cascaded over his face, hiding much. But the eyes shone. Though they were tired and bloodshot, they showed signs of wisdom. They had seen much, perhaps more than any man should see, and they gleamed with pride, and defiance, the sort of pride only a space marine could show, traitor or not.
How long had he been sat there? He didn't know. The dripping of water off the cold walls was the only sound he often heard, for he saw nothing, he was encased within a prison of darkness. The only light he recieved, was shone directly over him when he was being interrogated, and still then, he saw nothing more than a foot in front of him. He had been counting, this was the ninth time he had been questioned.
"Are you ready to confess to your sins?" asked Veritas. His voice echoed off the walls, sounding as if dozens were speaking from all directions. Each one as cold and authorative as the other.
"I have no sins to confess, I have nothing to tell you. You are wasting your time." replied the Fallen.
"No sins?" Questioned Veritas, "Do you not consider betrayal a sin? A sin to your Emperor, a sin to your chapter, a sin to your former brothers in arms?
The Fallen looked up, his face twisted into a small smile.
"They are not, nor were they ever my brothers, chapter, or Emperor. I have not wronged them in any way, thus I have nothing to confess."
Veritas paced around the chair, staying in the shadows, yet always his eyes remained on the chair's occupent.
"You can now confess to another sin, denying the Emperor of mankind. Our saviour and one true hope in the universe. To not confess it is to delay the inevitable, why wait?" asked Veritas. "Repent now, and your passing shall be quick, you will be forgiven, and all the pain and suffering you have endured these past millenia will end. Continue to deny the truth, and you will suffer, the sin will be carved from your body in an exremely painful manner."
The Fallen smiled again, but remained silent.
"I shall say again, repent." said Veritas.
Veritas began to lose his patience, "REPENT FOR YOUR SINS AND YOU WILL BE SAVED FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION!!! WHAT HAS ANYONE EVER OFFERED YOU THAT COULD WARRANT SUCH A DAMNING EXISTANCE?!"
The Fallen continued to smile, and slowly his smile became a laugh. Cold and unforgiving. Veritas stopped pacing, and watched his prisoner.
"You are so naive, so blind to the truth. You only believe what you have been told by your superiors. Have you never questioned anything they have told you? Have you followed their orders in blind faith for so many years? The Lion betrayed us, he left us to rot in that hole of a planet until he had finished being the Emperor's lap-dog. I could tell you the things you have never been told, I could tell you things that only the most senior ranking men of your pitiful chapter know, the dirty secrets that they hide to preserve their honour and dignity. I could tell you what The Voice has told me, then you would see who is the real traitor."
Veritas finally snapped, he lunged forward and struck the Fallen arround the face, a blow that would have crushed the skull of a lasser man.
"Be silent traitor" spat Veritas, "Your words hold no truth, you have nothing to tell me. You are but a pawn in a game too big for you to comprehend. Will you repent, or will you deny the truths or The Emperor and the Lion?
The prisoner looked at Veritas, for the first time he saw the one who had been tormenting him for so many days, he looked into Veritas' eyes, the deep, dark eyes, eyes that gave nothing away to some, but to the Fallen, they gave away everything.
He saw anger, power, rage, even fear, but most of all, he saw potential.
He slowly opened his mouth, and began to whisper. Veritas leaned closer, trying to hear what he was saying. However his voice was quiet, so he leaned closer still. His voice could barely be heard over the dead quiet of the room, save the dripping of water, and Veritas strained to listen, hoping for a confession.
Then he heard what the traitor was saying, what he was whispering in his ear; the thoughts and knowledge of years of damnation and solitude. The secrets and lies, the answers to so many questions, Veritas began to hear it all. As the Fallen whispered, so more at horrified Veritas became, his eyes widened. His mouth hung open in disbelief. He was listening to something that nearly tore his mind in two. What the traitor was saying couldn't be true, but somehow, it all seemed to make sense. He listened more intently, the words corrupting everything he had learned until he could take it no more.
Veritas stood up, pulling himself away from the traitor's damning words. He could not believe, he could not understand, he was confused and desperate, who had been telling the truth? Who had been lying to him all these years? Veritas collapsed against the wall, and the Fallen began to laugh. His laughing began to drive Veritas mad. Hate began to grow inside Veritas as the laughing rang in his ears, hate at the Fallen, hate at the Lion, the Emperor and his entire chapter. How could he have been so blind, so stupid? The Fallen was right, he had been naive for all these long years. His hands shook with fear and rage, and he held them to his body to calm himself as he tried to understand. Then, his hands felt his bolt pistol. Fully loaded and in a sound proof room. Veritas knew that he could already be executed by the chapter to save his soul from damnation and betrayal if they knew what he had heard. But Veritas didn't want to be saved, he wanted to save himself, he wanted to forget what he had heard, to believe what he had always believed.
Veritas stood, full of defiance and hatred, he drew his bolt pistol from it's holster and aimed it at the Fallen, who still laughed, for he could no longer see Veritas. Veritas' hand shook violently, his finger slowly squeezing down on the trigger. He closed his eyes tightly and gave the trigger one final pull.
The room lit up for a split second as the pistol ignited and discharged a single bullet into the Fallen's head. That split second seemed like an eternity as Veritas' chance to find his true path in life shattered around him.
"Emperor forgive me." whispered Veritas, and he threw his pistol to the floor. Had he done the right thing? Should he have listened to the Fallen, learned everything? Every cursed secret and the truth to all the lies?
"No" he said to himself, "The Lion and the Emperor are my saviours, my leaders, my purpose." However he couldn't help but feel he was lying to himself.