My name is Thomas Aurelius but other's may know me by Indomitus Rex, and this, this is how I became an Ultramarine.
Pavonis was a hard world, a tough world. A world under constant turmoil, run by violent cartels and under continued attack by Dark Eldar pirates. It was here that I was born and here that I was made into something else, something which paved the way for my founding by the Adeptus Astartes Chapter the Ultramarines.
I was just a young boy aged around 6 when they came to the homestead, Dark Eldar pirates broke down the door early morning and took us by suprise. My parents took me into the cellar hoping to keep me from the invaders, alas this didn't work out, they cornered themselves in doing so and we was all taken. That morning was to be the defining moment of my human life, as it was that morning that was the last of my innocence.
Slavery, that was what I was forced into, not knowing what happened to my parents I was a mess. I had no choice but to serve, but some part of me deep inside kept me fighting, I would rebel as much as I could against them in a strange sence of defiance, knowing that if caught it would be the death of me. But I kept doing it, and I kept learning about my captors, they thought they had all the slaves under command, but there was a group of us that were willing to rebel and talk of fighting back was beginning.
Meetings took place and a plan was made, I would conceal a blade for a fellow slave and we would kill a visiting noble. The day was approaching and the anticipation in all of us was rising, the noble arrived and the blade was concealed on the inside of my leg. The time of the passing of it was midday and I was on route to the designated position, but as you can guess it didn't go to plan. The slave I was supposed to be passing the blade too never arrived, and I was missing from my duties for too long and I knew they would be searching for me soon, so I did what I thought was the most logical option.
I approached the noble's location as silent and stealthy as I could manage, I was 8 year's old at this point so didn't know much about stealth, but did what I could to get close. I could hear the noble around the corner at this point, and my heart felt like a thousand Titan's marching in unison from my chest, the sweat was running off of me like it was trying to escape the situation I had gotten myself into. I snuck a look around the wall and seen the Dark Eldar noble, I hated everything he stood for and represented, I waited and watched until the precise moment that an opening presented itself, and I made my move.
I launched myself from the wall with as much force and speed as I could muster, I guess my size helped get me close enough, as I got close enough to use the blade. But as I jumped and lashed out with the blade I was hoping to cut the throat of the enemy, but in the confusion of it all I slashed across the face and blinded him, I tried for another attack but was tackled and pulled down but the surrounding Eldar guards. I struggled and fought as best I could but at my age I had no chance of getting anywhere.
It was at this point where the start of the next chapter of my story takes part, and where I earned the name Indomitus Rex. I was thrown into a new cell, this one darker and colder than the usual one, and no-one else was here with me. For day's I spent my time pacing up and down, wondering what they would do to me, just waiting for them to come in and take me away and put me through inhuman amount of pain and torture before ending me.
But day's turned into week's and week's into month's, the only contact I had was a daily meal and water skin thrown into the cell, it became the highlight of my day just waiting for the door to open, for something new to happen. But still throughout all this, something inside me kept me fighting, kept me wanting to stay strong and carry on. I suppose I grew used too the way my life had become, so when it came to the day when the door opened but no food came in this time, I was stunned. They came in with force, four of them with restraint's and blunt weapons, they beat me until I was close to passing out then restrained me. They covered my head with a sack and dragged me away, for what seemed like hours I was dragged through a unknown number of hallways and up and down stairs.
Then the sack was taken off, and a whole new scene was being played out infront of me, Gladiotoral combat was being fought in an arena, people were watching the fighting and cheering at it. The concept of this seemed wrong too me, why would people cheer fellow humans killing each other. The answer to that I would find out soon enough, and participate in myself although I didn't know it yet I would come to enjoy it.
I was given an option, fight or die. I chose to fight, and fighting was what I became good at. They trained me in a caged area for months, they taught me combat with melee weapons, thrown weapons and hand to hand combat. I was told that soon I would be thrown into my first fight with another child my age, and that only one of us would walk away from it. I started to hate the other child even though I knew nothing about him or who it would even be, but he stood in the way of my survival, and that was all I had now.
The day of the fight came, I was kicked awake and told to ready myself as I would be taken soon in preperation for the days events. I remember stretching and straining trying to warm my body and loosen my newly strengthened muscles, the body had formed quickly with all the work and training I had been put through. Finally they came for me, the tension was high and my nerves were as unstable as a warp jump, but I walked with them and held my head high, I wasn't going to show them any emotion other than that I was ready to fight, and die if it came to it.
I was led into a dimly lit room, and told to choose a weapon, I looked across at the selection and it was full of crude and barbaric close combat weaponry. All different types and shapes and sizes, I weighed up a few different options and settled on a short sword and a buckler shield. Not the most sophisticated choice but it seemed the most valuable option to me at the time. So I told them I had what I wanted and was ready to go, the guards laughed at my choice, but I paid them no heed. I would show them, If only I knew how tough the next part would be.
They led me out into the arena, I looked around and watched as the crowd cheered as they knew combat was close to starting, it was at this point a raised voice carried out over the arena asking for silence. “Ladies and Gentlemen, today's entertainment is a special one for you all, we have a pair of first time fighters and only one will make it to his second.” I remember those words like they was spoken just yesterday, as I was forced into the arena I looked around for the origin of that voice and found what I was looking for stood upon a platform. The man was in deep with the Dark Eldar, his clothes and jewellery were of a different origin, and he had multiple Dark Eldar delegates behind him and guards behind them. Without thinking I raised my sword and pointed it at the Arena Master, the look of shock on his face makes me laugh thinking back on it, but I walked into the middle of the arena and crouched into a fighting stance ready for anything, or so I thought.
The crowd was shouting for blood, everywhere I looked there was people screaming and yelling obscenities in my direction. I was crouched down and spinning around watching for something to happen, and then they bought the other child out. He was slightly taller than me, bigger build but a layer of fat too him. He had a two handed sword and was swinging it around in front of him, the look of arrogance and confidence in him infuriated me. But I kept my composure and stayed where I was awaiting him to come into range, which he did still swinging that damn sword around. He swung his sword back and then bought it forward, but the move was as obvious as night follows day, so I parried it away with the shield and slashed out with my sword cutting into flesh across his chest. It wasn't deep, but the shock of it made him freeze as he screwed his eyes shut in pain. I thought this was the opportunity for a quick kill, so I lunged in stabbing and slashing at anything and everything it seemed. But the brute of a child that was my enemy was prepared and stepped out of the way and counter attacked the opening that I had provided him, and that is how I got the first scar across my side. Pain lanced through me as the blade cut into my flesh, I stumbled back and ducked through sheer luck as the two handed sword was aimed at my head. I stepped back and weighed up my options, with both of us bleeding and the crowd wanting an end I needed to finish it quickly.
I threw my shield at him and charged behind it, the shield caught him off guard and hit him square in the chest making him fall backwards with the force and shock of the move. I hit him just after and plunged my sword straight through his throat, he stood there gurgling blood from his lips and working his mouth as if trying to say something. I was ashamed and yet somewhat exuberant with what I had just done, the crowd erupted around me as the child enemy of mine dropped to the ground as I withdrew my blade from him and dropped it to the ground.
The Arena Master retook his position on the platform and spoke words I cannot remember as I was led out of the arena and back into my cell, the next few days were a blur as I couldn't take in the events of that day. But the training continued and I was in autopilot mode as the will too live carried me through it all, eventually the next fight came up and victory again found my name as I despatched another enemy. Again the torment of it took me but I carried myself through it as I wanted to live, wanted to make the memory of my parents live on.
Months went by and multiple fights went by, not just human enemies but monsters of unkown origin's were thrown in with me, the title Gladiator was given too me but I did not want it. My name was Thomas Aurelius, or it was until the fellow fighters awarded me a new one, one that I carried with a sense of pride, and accepted as it was what I became, Indomitus, it meant uncontrollable and fierce in an old Terran tongue. That was what I was now, that was what I had brought into the arena a fierceness formally unknown to the crowd, and one that angered the Arena Master vastly.
He was an angry man, upset with my constant victories and my outright attitude towards him, I refused to execute enemies who I had beat into submission, no matter the amount the crowd begged me to do so. This the Arena Master did not like me for, as it made him look bad in the eyes of the Dark Eldar, they wanted to see people die, not get given mercy by the hands of the victor, but I did not give him the satisfaction.
This defiance must have eaten away at him as he pitted me against a so called Champion from another arena, at this stage I was 10 years of age and had been fighting in the arena for two years. Experienced in the ways of fighting not just boys anymore but men and monsters, I took the fight with this Champion with ease beheading him within mere moments of the fight commencing. I threw the head up onto the platform and screamed my famous war cry at the crowd “Witness Me!”, the crowd loved it and it gave me a new addition to my new name Indomitus Rex, meaning King in the same Terran language as Indomitus. It was given to my after the Champion fight, and I revelled in it and accepted it with great pride.
A number of fights passed and still I refused to execute anyone who surrendered to me, the Arena Master threw as many fights as he could at me. He wanted me dead at this point, yet I refused to die, I refused to give in to weakness. I kept the memory of my parents going strong, the thought of them made my will to live even stronger. And it was that will that got me where I am today. As the next fight I will tell you was my last as a mortal man, the last and best fight of them all but one in which I didn't see the end of it.
All I was told was that it was the first fight of it's kind in this arena, and one which would be remembered for many years to come. The attitude of the people towards me seemed to drop, and they treated me as if this fight was going to be my last. Which of course drove me to train harder, prepare harder and all round ready myself for the coming event. It's a funny thing as I can recall telling the guards to prepare themselves, as they would see a human do something they were unable to do. This of course earned me lashes but the look on their face as I took them and smiled was worth it, they had to take me away from the other gladiators as they were not sure as to what they would do when they tied me to the upright poles and gave me the fifty strikes of the lash.
The following days I spent recovering from the treatment they gave me, and I was told that the fight would be in a matter of days so to prepare myself. I resumed my training with vigor and prepared myself mentally for the task ahead, the other fighters helped by giving me extra food and water and any advice they could think of. I took it all in and appreciated the extra supplies as something was telling me that I wouldn't be in this cell for much longer.
Finally the day came, the fight of the century I heard someone say, if only they knew how the day would end. If only I knew how it would have ended, it could have changed a great deal how I had prepared myself.
As before every fight I entered the armoury room and chose my weapons for the battle, and as always I chose a sword and shield. Feeling the familiar weight in either hand made me feel whole, ready for anything and raring to go. I stepped into the arena and the crowd went wild calling and chanting my name “Indomitus Rex, Indomitus Rex!”, I raised my blade in salute and shouted my war cry “Witness Me!”. The Arena Master stood upon his platform surrounded by more guards than usual and made his announcements, while he was rabbling on I noticed that there were more guards around the ring of the arena in and amongst the lines of civilians. I relished the fact that more could witness my capabilities and see for themselves what I was becoming.
The first thing I heard was a deep rumbling sound and a shriek that chilled my blood, the sound was unlike anything I had ever heard before. The crowd was silenced by it also and the gates ahead of me were shaking, I wasn't sure what was behind it, but I knew it was big. I knew that whatever it was, it was coming through that gate soon and it was coming fast. I raised my shield up so that it covered my body and I could just look over the rim, I lowered into a crouch ready to leap aside or charge forward, and so that my body was well balanced if anything hit into me. Suddenly another shriek rent the air and a claw punctured the door before me, the claw retracted as another was punched through with ease. The thought that hit me was if this thing could pierce the armoured door with seemingly no problem then my shield was going to be of no use. But I kept my ground and awaited whatever was coming through those doors, which I didn't have to wait long for, and I still can't decide if that was fortunate or not.
The creature came bursting through the gates shortly after, stood on two legs but had four arms, well two of them were extended claws for limbs and the other two carried gigantic swords which would stand taller than a normal adult human. I would later find out that this beast is called a Tyranid Warrior, and I have taken down a great many following my indoctrination into the Ultramarines. But back to my past for now, This Warrior after brushing the gates away and letting out a roar of satisfaction now it was out in the open, set it's eyes upon me, a ten year old boy armed with a sword and shield and wearing nothing other than a loin cloth, sandals and a mail ring shoulder sleeve. It took a step forward and shrieked again, so I decided on yelling back. I knew I couldn't kill this thing, but I would make it and the crown remember that I never gave up and stood defiant till the end.
I must have angered it by yelling as it charged forward, I waited until just before I was in reach of it's weapons and rolled aside as it swung it's swords where I had been standing. I ducked a backswing of a claw and tried lancing out with my own attack, but my blade bounced off of its carapace armoured skin. This ducking and dodging around the beast carried on for what seemed an eternity, but was more than likely about twenty minutes. Still I hadn't achieved a single wound upon it and had recieved multiple glancing blows but as of yet had managed to deny it a killing blow. This cat and mouse fight couldn't last though, I was tiring and this monster showed no signs of slowing, it was at this point I looked up into the sky to say a prayer to my parents when I noticed a blazing object coming down towards me from the heavens above.
This object trailed fire and smoke behind it as it plummeted down at me, at first there was no sound just the monster and the crowd around me, but then a sound yet again like none I had heard before emanating from it. It seemed to gather speed as it drew closer, I suddenly realised that I had to move out of it's trajectory so I jumped back and moved towards the edge of the arena, the beast had also heard the strange noise and looked up at it, Momentarily standing still to do so, but just long enough for the object to hit the beast itself square on and crush it beneath it. A claw flew out and planted itself in the wall beside me and as I looked at it and sighed with relief at the close call, the object that had crushed the monster created a hissing sound then a loud bang and what seemed a door flew down and opened up.
Giants appeared from the object in blue armour, they looked like walking machines. Spewing forth death as they fired weapons at the Dark Eldar, who were amassing at one end of the arena firing at these new arrivals. The door next to me where I entered the arena opened up and more Dark Eldar entered firing at the blue giants, the first thing that came into my mind was to attack, so I entered the fray against my captors. Ducking and dodging and swinging in and around them I fought with a new found fury and pent up anger, these Dark Eldar had taken my life from me, taken my parents and made me into a killer for sport. So I took my vengeance that day, body after body dropped from my blade as I shouted my war cry “Witness Me!”, I did not know who I was aiming it at I just continued to scream it as loud as I could as much as I could. The blue giants had moved on and more of the objects had landed with more of them coming out, they had killed a great number of Dark Eldar and were securing the arena. I had mere moments to watch as they did so before a large group of Dark Eldar attacked me, stood upon the bodies of their comrades that I had slaughterd I received the charge, blocking a dozen hits with my shield before swinging it out and knocking two down and then slashing my sword across one and stabbing it through another. “Witness Me!” Still screaming it aloud I had taking a hard hit and stumbled backwards, again I was hit and was spun around, the sight I saw made the world seem like it was in slow motion as a blue giant had his weapon aimed at me. That was the last thing I remember before everything went black.
The next part I was told how it unfolded, the blue giant was not aiming at me but the Eldar responsible for knocking me unconscious, his squad then proceded to wipe the rest of the Dark Eldar out and then he walked towards my still body and picked me up. Carrying me in his hands like a weightless object, he had seen something in me and the spirit I had showed. Onto an awaiting Thunderhawk I was taken, and lifted up into the heavens to a battle barge in orbit. It was here that I began my induction, here that I became a god of war, an Adeptus Astartes, but best and most important it was here that I became an Ultramarine.