It was hard not to miss the piercing amber staring back at him—the eyes alone radiated the authority from the other, despite positions like that no longer truly playing a role in their race. Though the man had every right to have such a direct stare, the person he was watching—Faize—was supposedly dead. Or more so supposed to be dead. It was a case in this moment proven untrue; Eldarian in complete health and walking without falter, all of it implied Faize was no stranger to the land; it wasn’t his first time here, but clearly that was not the only reason.
The younger could only anticipate what was to come as the word ‘halt' forced him by nature to come to a complete stop, even on his train of thought. The command was something he had never received from this familiar of faces—but Arumat was a soldier almost every Eldarian soon learned to obey (or simply respect out of fear). That, or many simply chose avoid him. Rumours had told of the particular squad Arumat hailed from weren’t good, however that is exactly all they were. Rumours. Faize, having spoken with the man personally for a short time, could come to the understanding that though the man had a most dangerous and overbearing presence—he acted no less of an Eldarian than any other. His brethren came first.
Faize’s eyes widened a little at the requisition (if it could still be called that). Of all the words he had perhaps expected, those weren’t it. But they were called for—of course they were—in the presence of a dead man. The youngling raised his head, eyes clear of chartreuse bangs, prepared to give what information he could which would prove his existence here.
To prove he was the Eldarian known as Faize; nothing more, nothing less.
He was one of the many faces this man would have run into in his lifetme thus far. Though his deeds may have made him one of the more… memorable ones, he would treat this situation no different than usual. After all, be it precautionary or not, Arumat was doing much the same. Thus, the young Eldarian brought his feet together and his hand to his chest. "I am Faize Sheifa Beleth," he began, "previous crew member of the SRF-003 Calnus… and an Eldarian."
Allowing his hand to drop back to his side Faize was able to relax, but he was still on edge, still at attention and reading to give any further information the other should desire. Uncertain of what he could define as identification or evidence clear enough to prove he was who he said to be aside from his words. Faize had nothing else with him besides the Sol—and it’s control unit. The same one Arumat had given to him before everyone parted ways—the unit for the original Sol. Faize’s Sol. Perhaps the simple object could prove true his claim… but for now, he’d await further instruction.
Ostensibly unperturbed by Faize’s impersonal answer, dormant abhorrence would be exhibited through a moderately-incensed grunt. Conventional conduct was a necessity, and his Eldarian agriculturists deserved exaltation as due compensation. To destroy the haleness of an aged cultural group like a malady of the blood, dispersed throughout the body so that the spot of contagion was undetectable—Arumat, understandably, realized the ignominy of being ostracized.
”You are an exile.
Or has death dimmed your memory?”
The cessation of life, convincing as ever. Ordinarily supporting quietude, he’d never recommend the damnation of his species—nor allow the presence of a creeping melancholia. Unquestionably, he’d reclaim his role as the wandering wraith of Lemuris at all hours of silence, deteriorating musculature—he giving an impression of unsightliness without a namable deformation—ruinous to his sense of guardianship.
He’d, relentless in his aspirations, persist, a spirit of enduring devotion, for the sake of his racial ties. The topic, bringer of dissension, was an affair that would not be mended by unbroken discussion.
Willing offscouring or not, Faize was indebted to his community.
An Eldarian’s self-respect was unsurpassable.
"I am not undermining you, lad, but think. Do you intend to present a guiltless optimism?
Our brethren may accept your incompetence, but my credence won’t be won.”
How have other people admitted to seeing you?
“—seldom does a conscious agent—nonnative, particularly—have the gall to approach me. I am Death. I will decay; I will wither.
Even though our species does not wage war, Eldarian soldiers are competent.”
Ever thought about running away? If you have, where would you go?
"Be leery of your impetuous tongue, lad. I’ve a pride that too much masters me, and, currently, I would rather not give vent to anger in surly language."
What’s one of your guilty pleasures?
To be besieged by questions and wearying drivel…”
Though kept in silence, Faize had returned to the planet Lemuris; a planet his brethren had seemed to recognise as the lost paradise, Lemuria. He did suppose the names were very similar. But to Faize, this planet was nothing more or less than where he real journey had begun—and where he had met one of the most important people in his lifetime.
How strange, for him to be saying that now.
But, even so, his return was long overdue—and yet it still remained vastly a secret. The only one aware of his presence was none other than the object of his jealousy and (by extent) joy—Lymle. Sworn to secrecy, Faize never strayed far from the home, in the hopes of potentially avoiding his brethren. Even if only for the time being.
This world was different to his own; and after failing to protect so many who tried to escape the clutches of the phantoms, or becoming the stabilizer for the power of the Missing Procedure, Faize hadn’t the heart yet to show his face. He wasn’t worthy—he didn’t feel worthy—of the forgiveness his brethren so readily gave to their kind.
All that truly mattered, was that the young Eldarian knew where his heart and loyalty lie.
Still, on the rare times he would venture into the open—Faize paid most visits to the Alanaire Citadel. There was nothing there, really. Monsters never failed to plague the neglected structure and people were scarce so far out of the city. He couldn’t say he was used to the cold yet, but his wander to and from the Citadel had become such a habit that the chill was hardly noticeable.
In this particular instance though, he wished he hadn’t decided to return home so soon.
It wasn’t until snow turned to grass and Faize’s lavender hues raised from their gaze towards his own feet that he noticed—though part of him wished he didn’t—Arumat. His eyes widened significantly, if only for a moment. Perhaps he hadn’t been noticed yet. Not that it mattered—if not yet it was bound to be soon.
There was no place for him to turn back to—lest he trudge his way back to Alanaire—but that was no place to hide, and simply turning on his heels at this point was not going to mask in truth who he was. Then again, maybe Faize could take solace in recalling Arumat wasn’t much the talker… generally. It was quite pathetic to think that way and Faize knew it.
It wasn’t any excuse and there was no way such a thing would save himself after all the time that had passed. After all, his sword had been raised against this Eldarian once—no, twice—already. Defeated or not, the fact remained. Faize let out a light sigh, the cool air still making his breath visible, no different even if the ground he stood upon outside of Triom was green.
Still, what was there he could say? Perhaps an apology? After all, the only people he had the chance to speak with after the battle were Lymle and Edge. Perhaps… a thank you? Had it not been for all of them, Faize darn’t even think about what would have happened.
Unable to reach a decision, the younger remained in silence—staring at the back of the other from a somewhat downcast gaze. Admiring strength from afar… that is what he was best at, after all.
There leaped up the unforeseen, definite presentment of a fiend—he who began to be clothed upon with abhorrent attributes; a youngling of his race, vying not for status and laudation; only for a distorted, prescriptive right. He’d be foolish to neglect his guard by ignoring the steps that drew languidly nearer, and swelled out suddenly louder; but, apprehensive and timorous, the gait would lessen in effort and assuredness.
Arumat’s attention had never been so piercingly and decisively arrested. Through a mass of silvery filaments, he’d achieve a curt glance and would notice well-known equipment, ornate patterns aplenty, Eldarian garb sodden and weather-beaten.
“Halt.” His harsh tone would brook no argument; no latent indomitability. With his squadron demobilized and populating the hereafter, his latest authority had been limited. Yet, seldom did any intellectual being dismiss his commands due to sheer terror and browbeating. His former comrade was no different; his brother-in-arms, who’d either support or sabotage him, would reply in the affirmative, if tangible and no product of delusion.
“I demand immediate verification.” He added; and with the words fell into a vein of musing. Faize had descended into unending obscurity, departed from the accepted norm, so his rising suspicion was just. The youth’s vanishment hadn’t been an appalling incident—in his mind’s eye—but that didn’t forbid barefaced inquiries, ingenious suppositions, and distant surmises. Making banal small talk, however, was prohibited.
He would not necessitate acquaintanceship. Faize could flee, but he’d remain nothing more than a pitiable deserter. Arumat understood, perhaps more than any other conscious agent, that inhabitants of the universe were all error-prone (even the ever-calculating Morphus species; and, primarily, the calamitous, diabolical Phantoms). Still, a self-deprecating presentation, if any, would try his patience; soldier stone-faced and embittered, seconding the rumors that he’d eradicate any civilized notions of mercy.
“Clear evidence… or I won’t let you proceed.”
Arumat is hellbound. He is a creation meant for verbal contention, wears duel scars (from adversaries advantageous enough to break the veneer of his flesh) that authenticate his subservience to his commander and itinerant brethren, and is designed after the ill-famed Grim Reaper (or God of Death, Thanatos, in folk wisdom). He’s a sustainer of the cessation of life.
Galled and stung by a sense of his follies and demerit—he mustn’t be. He’s desensitized to common slaying. His laser-scythe has exterminated numerous disembodied spirits, according to hearsay.
As a relict of the Phantom onslaught, he’s promoted retribution, and by reason of lethargy he refuses to remain pertinacious and unserviceable on Lemuris; reconnoitering time-honored celestial bodies to find residual occupying forces has become routine.
And thus it was there that sprung up and grew apace in his mind a singularly strong, almost an inordinate, curiosity to behold the peculiarities of the actual Lemuria—fabled paradise, land of limitless magnanimity and richness. He would, as he prepared to disembark, notice the everlasting wintertime, an appropriate contrast to Eldar’s torrid atmospheric conditions, but his true journey’s end involved the virescent expanse; the fruitful soil and an anticipated harvest; his flesh-and-blood brethren, last he was cognizant of, were immersed in agricultural practices, relinquishing their titles as venerable masters of technology.
Upper-level soldier he was; Arumat could not make a hand of it; to comprehend why his family of creatures chose resident labor to be most proper. He’d seldom question the objectives of Supreme Commander Gaghan—historical figure, notably sagacious, so there was no need to pry into the matter. Living—sardonic and laughable, the once-dreaded requirement—peacefully without impending opposition never seemed appealing.
A creation of a hardened countenance, that was never lighted by a simper; aloof, solemn, and disconcerted in conversation; backward in sentiment. He was austere with himself. Bulky and not besieged by disquiet, he exited his Sol only accompanied by his idle weapon, cautious lest any trace should be exhibited. Rightfully, there was no sense of urgency; no need to conceal his approach, but exploration of the infinite regions guaranteed the recurrence of time-worn customs.
Something to marvel at, frozen vapor, and as he trudged through the deep snow, he’d witness the sight of his breath. His standard armor plates served him well; his anklebones were well-guarded, as were his knees and shoulders. Moreover, the gelid wind remained disadvantageous, failing to make him tremble.
The source of liveliness, aside from the depletion of his physical energy, belonged to the roaming beasts of Lemuris. They’d engage in foul play had they cognitive elements of perception; in Arumat’s viewpoint, whilst he avoided needless encounters, they were prey, both for young Eldarians and Lemurisians to spar with—to toughen oneself, the irresistible impulse of one bred for combat.
Arumat walked some way in silence, and obviously under a weight of consideration. He’d wish to excuse any salutations, if permitted; for, presently, chimney outlines that no longer baffled his eye existed mere feet from him.
He was home, but the whole complex associated with domestic life reeked of falsehood and self-deception.