34 An Impossibly Long War

More than 230,000 years have passed since the start of the war between the C'tan and the Old Ones. A war such as this would normally be impossible to sustain with natural troops, however, the Old One's forces and the Necrons were anything but natural. The Necrons, with their ability to be resurrected, should they only have the power to do so, and the Old Ones with their War Races that could replenish troops as easily as letting the Krork's spores spread, both kept this war going far long than it should be able to.

During all this time, the C'tan have deployed 11 Blackstone Obelisks around key locations, successfully cutting off nearly all of the Old One's offensive power in these areas. Each time they deployed one successfully, they were one step closer to their total victory. With 11 of them already placed in key locations, they only needed to place one more to complete the resonance array to cut off the Warp from the Materium completely.

The Warp and the Materium were intrinsically linked together since Arlow had created them, where the Materium depended on the energy in the Warp to form new souls and sustain the souls within the Materium. Cutting off the Warp completely from the Materium would end up killing every single creature with a soul in the universe.

The Old Ones were on the back foot. The research that Weklor had once taken from Arlow to keep them ahead had run out. Seven of the nine war races had already been exterminated in acts of genocide by the C'tan, leaving only the most resilient Krorks and Aeldari behind. They were losing like a frog slowly being boiled in water, they realized through their prophecy in the Warp, that if they let the C'tan set up this 12th Blackstone Obelisk, it would be checkmate.

The Great Council was panicking, with some of the Honored Ones even fleeing to the Webway, to wait out the coming death. Others remained steadfast in defending the final location for the Blackstone Obelisk; A small planet, called Lumas, located in the same solar system where Arlow was dumped.

Arlow had been left alone all these years, deep in the core of the broken planet. No one came for him, despite Weklor's intention to reclaim the prototype C'tan body. This was due to the Great Council finding a great weakness to exploit the C'tan to Warp energies, and the urgency to find a solution to deal with the Blackstone Obelisks. 

Something was much different than before on the waste planet Arlow had been dumped on. Now, there was a thick light grey smokey fog that covered the entirety of the planet, shrouding it from outsiders looking in, and yet still allowing the light of the sun to permeate through without issue. This fog was more of psychic incense and was not any natural phenomenon. It billowed out like an active volcano might steam, from the 'Abyss' that Arlow had been dumped into.

A Necron Tomb ship arrived in the atmosphere surrounding this waste planet. The fog itself seemed to actively distort any scans they tried to make of the planet. A transport ship separated from the ship and slowly entered the atmosphere. Inside it, a Necron overlord had come along with them, unable to resist the strange nature of the planet on their scans. Their ship followed the origins of the fog of incense until it reached the 'Abyss', which they flew into without hesitation.


Many, many years prior.

Arlow had long since left the dream world he was trapped in. Throughout all those lives, where he was betrayed in every way seemingly possible, he had decided to set an incredibly high standard for himself. He chose to reject the rightful anger for as long as he could and to pursue truth for the sake of justice. In other words, he decided it was right for him to be upset about the betrayal he faced, but he would not be angry for himself. If he would get angry or if he would take action, he would do so because the beautiful nature of justice demanded it.

For himself, for his dignity, and all those affected by the betrayal, they cry out for justice. And he would take action for them because he decided... it was truly beautiful to have justice. Not only that, but he seemed to have realized the true meaning of justice; to each is given what is due.

Justice was necessary for life to have meaning. Or perhaps it was better to say, that any act of injustice was detracting from the value of life. 

He quite liked being just. And so he would be.

Since then, he realized more about the perfections that one might obtain spiritually. There were sixty-four qualities one could obtain in all, and he had gained each of these sixty-four virtues in the dream world to different degrees.

After he returned to consciousness, he noticed that the Necrodermis metal prison body was surrounded by his silver fiery soul. The body was morphing and changing, as the effects of the dream world were made manifest. His body became more and more human-like, losing the metallic shell while changing to a similarly durable form of organic grey skin. His face was then shaped along with his eyes, reflecting the deep masculine qualities of his spiritual face. 

His eyes had changed to see lines intersecting throughout the world, tracing the lines of causality through a set of complicated patterns, though always ending at himself. His head brews a set of white-silver short wavy hair, and the metal rings behind him folded and reformed into a beautiful white and metal cloak he could wear. The white fabric used to create this cloak alone seemed like an impossibly soft and comfortable fabric that could never be created naturally.

And then, the flame receded into himself, hiding within his new, not entirely human heart. The smoke of fire of his soul, billowed out from the very pores of his skin, giving him an ethereal look of always standing in mist. This smoke smelled strong like incense, as if his entire body was a walking censer. He then spent the majority of time experimenting with all that he now was.

(AI Image of Arlow from the Patreon)

The years had passed like a drop in an ocean to him, and the incense that billowed out from him never stopped, filling the entire waste planet he was on with it. Nobody had ever come to disturb him all this time, until now.


Author's note:

Catholic theology teachings talk about how virtues within a soul are a quality that is raised to a specific degree before heaven. This quality is as distinct as the quality of your hair color. And is also why we practice virtue, to increase this quality to be more beautiful and pleasing to God.

When Arlow's soul quality is brought out into the physical world through his transformation, he ends up with masculine characteristics. He has a high degree of virtue under the perfection of Fortitude, which is one of the perfections of men. Hence, the masculine characteristics are described.

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