Lady Lion

Little Primarchs- Cypher

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The Galacticus had returned to where Nameless was supposed to be picked up by his parents. They were still missing. Naomi checked with the vox relay station to see if any communication had been received from them. There was nothing.
"We are going to have to leave him either with the Arbitrators or the schola," Mytch said. He needed to get back to his normal job the next day.
"You can head out, Mytch," Naomi said, she understood his need to leave. "I can handle one child for a few extra days while we locate his parents."
"They aren't coming, and might try and deny that I'm theirs if we somehow do find them," Cypher said. He was very pessimistic about his future now that the Primarchs had been returned. He fingered the piece of paper that the Lion had given him. He missed the Primarchs and their strange dynamics.
"You don't know that, Nameless," Naomi said in a reassuring voice.
"Call me Cypher," Cypher said, he had really grown to like the name the Lion had given him. All of the Primarchs had called him that, and he had gotten used to it.
"Alright, Cypher," Naomi said with a slight smile. There was a slight shudder as Mytch's shuttle left the Galacticus. After the shuttle cleared the larger ship moved away from the spaceport closest to Caliban. It was where Cypher had been picked up by the Galactic Horizons counselors and where he was supposed to be picked up. Caliban had it's own spaceport, but his parents had wanted to make a trip of it. Cypher was certain it was to make it easier to abandon him.
"Are we headed to Caliban?" Cypher asked after a moment. Naomi nodded, it made the most sense to her as a starting point. He nodded, seeing the sense in her plan. They arrived above Caliban the next day.
"Any luck?" Naomi asked Jaem, the only other remaining counselor. Most of the others had left at stop points with various campers. Galactic Horizons prefered to recruit their counselors from worlds where campers came from. It made transport easier. Jaem shook his head.
"Nothing, the vox access that they gave on the form is no longer valid," he said. He was beginning to believe that Cypher was right about the abandoning thing. He knew that Naomi wasn't quite ready to admit it yet herself.
"There's no alternate vox access?" Naomi asked, confirming Jaem's thoughts.
"We can ask Na- Cypher. They didn't provide an alternate," he replied. He was still catching himself on the name Cypher had suddenly adopted. Naomi headed out to the room where Cypher was.
"Hey, Cypher honey, do you know of an alternative vox access for your parents? They aren't answering the one they gave us on your registration," She asked in her cheery voice.
"No, we only had the one. You would have to go through the planetary governor's office if they need to be found," Cypher said despondently. He was gazing out the window at the green globe of Caliban. Naomi went back over to Jaem and relayed what Cypher had told her.
It took thirty minutes for the planetary governor's office to search through their records and find that Cypher's parents had vanished. They were surprised at this and confronted Cypher on it.
"Caliban is a deathworld. Sort of like Catachan, it's very possible they went somewhere and are dead now," Cypher said. He figured that it wasn't out of the realm of possibility. The truth was more likely that they had skipped the system to avoid the Arbitrators. They had moved all over the planet because of the Arbitrators. He wasn't sure why they had to run from the Arbitrators, but he knew to be afraid of them.
"What are we going to do now?" Naomi sighed in frustration. She ran a hand through her long hair.
"I have an idea," Cypher said, pulling out the piece of paper that the Lion had given him.
"We are out of vox range of Terra," Naomi said, knowing that the Lion had given him the paper.
"I don't have anywhere to go, so Terra may as well be where I go," Cypher said simply. He had other family, but they had nothing to do with his parents or, by extension, him. Naomi sighed and spoke to the flight crew. It was several days before they were in vox range of Terra, and it seemed to drag on for Cypher.
"Someone is attempting to vox us, Father," Horus said, looking at a blinking light on the wall of the living room. The Emperor stepped over to the unit that he had watched the message from the camp on. Leman was pinned under both Freki and Geri. They had nearly knocked the Primarch over when he had entered the Palace. It had caused most of his brothers to laugh at him.
"Greetings," the Emperor said, opening the vox channel that had the request.
"H-hello? Is this were Lion El'Jonson lives?" the voice on the other end was very hesitant, clearly belonging to a young boy.
"Cypher! Did your parents show up?" the Lion said, shooting up from where he had been sitting on the other side of the living room. He quickly padded over to stand next to the Emperor.
"Lion! No, they have vanished. We even went all the way to Caliban and couldn't find them," Cypher sounded happy to hear the voice of his friend. The Emperor raised an eyebrow at that statement.
"They didn't leave any contact information?" the Emperor asked.
"No, they have gone completely off the grid, sir," Cypher said, sounding more nervous again as he was addressing an adult he couldn't see.
"So they really did abandon you?" the Lion asked, surprised.
"It seems that way," Cypher said, there was an undercurrent of sadness in his voice. The Lion and the Emperor shared a glance with each other.
"Is Mamzel Naomi there?" the Emperor asked after a moment.
"Yes, sir. Here she is, sir," Cypher answered.
"This is Naomi," Naomi's voice sounded nervous. "What can I do for you, lord?"
"Bring the boy down to the Palace. We will take care of him, while I send some agents of my own to look for his parents," the Emperor said.
"Of course, lord. The same landing stage as with the Primarchs?"
"Yes, that would work best I think. I will send someone to retrieve him. The Lion will also be there," the Emperor said, already contacting Malcador psychicly and reqesting the Sigilite retrieve the boy after picking up the Lion.
"Very well, lord," Naomi said. The Emperor closed the vox channel and turned to the Lion.
"Wait by the Thunderhawk. Malcador will be here soon. The two of you will pick up your friend," the Emperor said. He would have sent Valdor, but didn't want to scare the boy.
"Alright, Father. I'll behave for Malcador," the Lion said, anticipating the Emperor's next point. The Emperor smiled and waved the Lion towards the landing apron. Malcador arrived three minutes later in his private ornithopter. The Lion quickly climbed aboard and the aircraft lifted off again.
"Is this the friend you made at camp we are picking up?" Malcador asked after a few moments. The Lion nodded, he seemed unsure of how to feel. He was happy that he was getting to see his friend again, but he was angry at Cypher's parents for vanishing like they had. He also knew that it was a bad thing and he should feel sad for Cypher, or at least sympathetic.
They arrived nearly a minute before Cypher landed on Terra. Naomi was with him, and walked down the ramp with him. She smiled to the Lion and then approached Malcador.
"I'm truly sorry about this, lord," Naomi said, bowing to Malcador. "We really did go to Caliban and talked to the planetary governor there and they have no clue where Cypher's parents have gone."
"We will find them, mamzel," Malcador said in a reassuring tone. The old man leaned on his staff of office and looked towards the two boys, who had gone over to the ornithopter to allow the adults to speak.
"What if you can't find them?" Naomi asked, she was concerned for Cypher's future.
"If that unlikely event happens, I think he will have a new home quick enough," Malcador said, noting the way the Lion treated the boy he called Cypher. "What is the boy's real name?"
"It's nearly unpronouncable, lord," Naomi said. Malcador gave her a questioning glance. "They filled out the form by hand, and it's actually illegible. The boy hates it and originally said to call him Nameless, he has since adopted the name Cypher."
Malcador nodded thoughtfully, he knew that she wasn't lying the second time. It was likely that Cypher's real name would remain a mystery for the rest of his life. He then turned and headed back his ornithopter. They took off and headed towards the Imperial Palace.
"You didn't tell me you lived at the Palace," Cypher said to the Lion. He seemed awed as the fringes of the Palace came into view. The Lion looked at Malcador, who nodded his head.
"My father is the Emperor," the Lion said. Cypher's head nearly did a 180 degree turn as he whipped around in his seat to stare at the Lion.
"I wasn't allowed to tell you before," the Lion said, holding his hands up in apology. "We are supposed to be socializing when we go out with others of our age, so we say that our father works at the Palace without saying he's the Emperor. It scares people and messes with everything. Father wants us to have sort of normal childhoods. I'm still Lion El'Jonson, your friend from Galactic Horizons."
"You are that," Cypher said, he still was looking in awe of the Lion. "But you are also a son of the Emperor, leader of the Imperium."
"True, so are all of my brothers. It doesn't change the parts of me that made me your friend," the Lion said, he was beginning to fear that he had damaged his friendship with Cypher.
"So that was the Emperor I was speaking with on the vox?" Cypher asked. The Lion nodded.
"This is Malcador the Sigilite," the Lion said, remembering himself. He indicated Malcador who had been sitting quietly the whole time. "This is his personal ornithopter."
"Hello, Lord Malcador," Cypher said, turning very shy as he realized he was with a very important person.
"Hello, I understand that you go by the name Cypher," Malcador said with a nod of his head.
"Yes, Lion says it's part of a title, Lord Cypher. Maybe one day I can live up to the full title," Cypher said, not quite sure what to say, but knowing that felt right. Malcador smiled, Cypher backed away. Whenever his parents had smiled at him, it wasn't a good thing. Malcador and the Lion both frowned at Cypher's response.
"You alright, Cypher? Malcador isn't going to eat you," the Lion said, he looked concerned.
"It was never a good thing when my parents smiled at me," Cypher said in a very quiet voice, just above a whisper. Malcador's eyebrows furrowed in concern.
"Did your parents hurt you, Cypher?" Malcador asked as gently as he could. Cypher nodded, shrinking back into the seat of the ornithopter. The Lion seemed bewildered, and not sure how to comfort his friend.
"You aren't with them anymore. We can tell Father when we get to the Palace," the Lion said after a moment. He glanced at Malcador to see if what he had said was appropriate. The Sigilite nodded encouragement to the Lion.
"B-but he told Naomi that he would send agents to find my p-parents so I c-can be ret-turned to them," Cypher said. He was beginning to lose control of his voice. Malcador gave an indication to the ornithopter pilot to go faster.
"We will be at the Palace soon," Malcador stated, trying to distract Cypher from his predicament.
"Yeah, Father will know what to do," the Lion said. "Look, there's the landing apron with our Thunderhawk." They landed next to the Thunderhawk and got out. In a strange turn, Malcador was the first out.
+The boy's parents beat him+ Malcador stated bluntly. He spoke psychicly so as not to announce it to the other Primarchs. The Lion had had to coax Cypher out of the ornithopter and was doing his best to be supportive.
+They beat him?+ the Emperor asked, he looked to Malcador and saw smoldering anger in the Sigilite's eyes and knew it was true. +Did you get his real name?+
+No, the form was filled out by hand and the name illegible+ Malcador responded. The Lion lead Cypher inside, past Malcador. Their forward progress was stopped by Freki and Geri who came up to greet the new comer. Leman looked relieved and ran for the bathroom. Magnus snickered as he gazed after Leman. Sanguinius kicked him, realizing that something serious was going on.
"They smell bad, but they shouldn't hurt you," the Lion said to Cypher as the other boy froze stiff when Freki and Geri began sniffing him. "If you let them sniff your hand, they will let you pet them, they like their ears scratched."
The Lion shooed the wolf pups away from Cypher, who then relaxed. The Emperor had watched the interaction, and was impressed with the Lion. His first son wasn't always the best with other people, and it was good to see him doing so well in a tricky situation.
The Emperor indicated for the Lion to bring Cypher over to him. The Lion nodded and lead his friend through the living room over to the Emperor. He spoke quietly to Cypher, telling him that it was alright, and that he didn't have to bow to the Emperor. The boy looked terrified as he glanced up at the Emperor's stern face.
"He's not going to hurt you, I promise," the Lion said, trying to be encouraging as he looked with concern at Cypher. Cypher simply nodded, shaking with terrror.
"Lion is right, I will not harm you," the Emperor said in a calm, reassuring voice. He knelt before the boys so that he wasn't towering over Cypher. This seemed to ease Cypher a little bit, bot only a little.
"I-i-i-i don't want to go back to my p-p-p-arents," Cypher said, nearly sobbing.
"I don't blame you, Cypher," the Emperor said. "It is not alright for parents to abandon their children."
"I would take him as one of mine, Father," the Lion said, staying close to Cypher. Cypher looked at him questioningly.
"One of yours?" Cypher asked.
"A Space Marine, or Astartes. It would give you family, and no one would beat you, I would make sure of that," the Lion explained. "If any Dark Angel tried to beat you, they would answer to me personally. But, you have a say in this, little brother."
"Would I still be your little brother?" Cypher asked, he had rather liked having a bigger brother.
"Of course," the Lion said without hesitation. He grinned at Cypher, "you can earn the full title of Lord Cypher with the Dark Angels. No doubt you would live up to the whole thing with them."
"Then yes, I will be a Dark Angel," Cypher said to the Lion, then looked up to the Emperor, not sure if he had to say it to the Emperor as well. The Emperor held his gaze briefly and then nodded.
"So be it then, it is late to go there today, so you may have a sleep over with Cypher tonight, Lion," the Emperor said. The other Primarchs cheered, it was rare that they had guests over at all, let alone overnight. Even Leman cheered from the entrance to the living room. He had barely made it to the bathroom in time.
"Where will I sleep?" Cypher asked, nervously looking around.
"A traditional sleep over would have you all sleeping in here, if you sleep at all," the Emperor said. "However, if you wish, I bet Lion could clean his room quickly and you could share with him."
"I'll clean my room, I'll be back soon," the Lion said quickly. The Lion's room wasn't actually all that messy. He was very much a neat and organized person. The real reason was to make sure that Frederick wasn't there, or was at least informed. The other Primarchs believed that Frederick was the Lion's imaginary friend. The Emperor had to admit that he wasn't completely sure what Frederick was. The small creature only manifested in the Lion's room, and only the Lion or the Emperor could ever see him.
"All clean," the Lion said six minutes later, returning from his room. He winked at the Emperor, letting his father know that Frederick was informed of their potential overnight guest. Cypher was trying to avoid Freki, who seemed determined to get the new human to pet him. Leman called Freki back over to him, Geri had him pinned again. The Emperor had moved back to the sofa while the Lion had been in his room. Malcador had left.
"I'm hungry," Vulkan said after awhile. The Primarchs hadn't eaten dinner yet. The Emperor sent a signal to the kitchen servitor, starting dinner. When the food was ready, everyone trooped over to the dining room. The Lion snagged a tall chair for Cypher. Malcador and Valdor occasionally ate with them, but it was rare so there wasn't an extra chair for guests. Cypher kept telling himself that not every adult was like his parents. He had been able to handle the counselors at camp, but the Emperor was different. He was a parent, also he was much larger than any adult that Cypher had ever seen.
After dinner everyone spread out and did their evening chores. The Primarchs were responsible for keeping the residential area of the Palace clean. Cypher stood in the middle of the living room, looking unsure of what to do.
"You can sit, Cypher," the Emperor said in a soft voice. Cypher flinched unconsciously at the sound of the Emperor's voice. The Master of Mankind frowned at this, he wondered if the beatings had been verbal as well as physical. Cypher tenitively sat on a sofa, looking like he expected to be struck at any moment.
"You do not have to be afraid," the Emperor said, sitting on the other sofa, keeping distance between him and Cypher.
"My parents probably ran from the Caliban system after they dropped me off. That's why they wanted to go to the spaceport away from Caliban," Cypher said in a quiet voice, almost to himself. "They must have thought the Arbitrators were onto them again, and that Caliban was no longer safe."
The Emperor raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. He would check with the Arbitrators working in the Caliban system to see why they would be chasing Cypher's parents. The Lion returned, having finished his chores. He glanced at his father before sitting next to Cypher.
"Father's right, Cypher, there's no reason to be afraid here," the Lion said. He had heard the Emperor's comment, but not what Cypher had said. "Father doesn't hurt us, he just threatens to turn us into fish."
Cypher gave the Lion a quizzical look, clearly showing he didn't believe the Lion.
"Here, take a look," the Lion said, hopping off the sofa and leading Cypher over to the tank with Two and Eleven. "These are Two and Eleven, they were once our brothers."
Cypher looked at the two goldfish, then back to the Lion. "They probably aren't really our brothers," the Lion stated quickly, "It's just a joke, or one of those things like Naomi would tell us to keep us in line." The two friends headed back to the sofa and sat down again. It was Mortarion's turn to feed the fish and make sure their tank was clean. The Primarchs began to trickle back into the living room as all of them completed their chores. After a moment there was a brief glow of power from the Emperor and he stood up.
"I have to step outside a moment," the Emperor announced. The Primarchs all knew that meant that Malcador, Valdor, or possibly both, had some form of important business for the Emperor.
"You need to relax a bit, Cypher," Vulkan said with a smile.
"I know! Let's do akooni kooni kai-i uni!" Leman suggested, also smiling. He knew that it had been one of Cypher's favorite camp songs.
"Yes! Father will be confused," Konrad said excitedly. It was rare that he got a chance to pull anything on the Emperor, so he jumped at any chance he got.
"Yeah, and I won't even get in trouble for cult stuff," Lorgar said. "Father doesn't approve of religion, but I find it has merit. He'll ask what we are doing before he does anything else."
"Give me a second," Magnus said, his eye glowed very briefly with power. "Alright, I'll know when they are done talking."
The Primarchs and Cypher sat in a circle on the floor of the living room and began singing the camp song. It involved various hand motions, they also stood up to do one round where they tapped different parts of their bodies as they sang.
"Father's coming back," Magnus said after that round. They all quickly sat back down and began the competition motions. This involved crossing the arms and grabbing one's nose and ear with opposite hands, slapping their laps, and re-crossing their arms the other way. The Emperor returned to hear the part that went "ai-ai-icki-ai-kai-yay MOOSE". Moose involved placing thumbs on heads with the rest of the fingers spread out.
"I see they still teach akooni kooni kai-i uni," the Emperor said when the round had been completed. Konrad deflated instantly, Cypher looked nervous.
"You confused Valdor," the Emperor said, looking to Konrad.
"I confused the Great Custodian?" Konrad asked, perking up. The Emperor nodded with the slightest of smiles.
"Now, who thinks they can go faster than me?" the Emperor asked, the Primarchs quickly scooted backwards to allow the Emperor a space on the floor. Cypher also scooted back, clearly confused. The Emperor sat on the floor between Horus and Lorgar.
"How fast are we starting?" Jaghatai asked, looking very excited.
"Well, I haven't gotten the chance to warm up as you all have. Also, we do not want to start too fast, we do not want to intimdate Cypher out of competition," the Emperor mused. He then began to tap a very slow beat on his leg. Jaghatai made a very disgusted face as they proceeded with the song. Cypher was clearly shaking with repressed laughter at the end of the song. Fulgrim poked him in the side, causing him to lose control. He almost seemed embarassed until he realized the other Primarchs were also laughing at Jaghatai's face. The next round went faster, and soon they were going at Cypher's top speed. He had to drop out of the next round because he nearly poked himself in the eye trying to go faster. Mortarion dropped out after the next round.
"You cheated, Magnus!" Fulgrim accused after another round.
"Did not!" Magnus retorted.
"You made antlers for moose instead of using your hands," Perturabo said, backing up Fulgrim. Magnus hung his head, realizing that he had been caught.
"That is indeed cheating Magnus, you are out now," the Emperor said. Magnus nodded to his father. Soon it was only the Emperor and Jaghatai who were left. They were both going so fast that it almost looked like they were making the sign of the aquila as rapidly as they could.
"Go Jaghatai!" several of the Primarchs called, starting a cheering section for their brother.
"Father, Father!" chanted the other Primarchs. This started a cheering competition between the rest of the Primarchs. Cypher was not quite sure who to side with. The Lion was cheering for the Emperor, but Cypher wasn't quite ready to cheer for an adult. He began to cheer for Jaghatai instead.
To the surprise of all present, the Emperor slipped. He failed to moose at the right time, thus causing Jaghatai to win. The Primarchs and Cypher all cheered, and the Emperor gave a mock bow to his son, smiling the whole time.
"Well done, Jaghatai," the Emperor said. "You are the only one to beat me without cheating."
"Who beat you with cheating?" Jaghatai asked, curious to know.
"Malcador, he was doing what Magnus did," the Emperor replied in an off-handed manner. The Primarchs all giggled at that.
"I bet that looked funny," the Lion said, Malcador was always a serious person to the Primarchs. The thought of him having psychic antlers was a strange image.
"He might have been in his cups when this happened," the Emperor said, this caused a fresh peal of laughter from the Primarchs. Drunk Malcador was something they had never heard of before. Cypher looked very confused, and sniffed rather loudly. The laughter died almost instantly as nineteen pairs of eyes turned to him.
"What is it, Cypher?" the Lion asked, his eyes full of concern.
"This isn't at all how my parents behaved with me," Cypher said clearly working to keep his voice steady. "They would have punished me for doing anything like this. Even just having friends over."
"You are not returning to your parents ever though," Leman said. "You'll be a Dark Angel."
"Yeah, they won't ever hurt you again," the Lion said.
"But I don't understand this here," Cypher said. "My parents would never play with me, or try to accomodate me. Why did we start so slow on akooni kooni kai-i uni?"
"So you wouldn't be left out," Horus answered.
"But why would it matter if I was left out?" Cypher pressed.
"Because you are my friend, and I would have been sad if you had been left out," the Lion said. The Emperor nodded at that statement from the Lion.
"I try my best to keep my sons happy. Also, you are a guest here, to exclude you would mean being a terrible host," the Emeperor stated. The other Primarchs nodded, all smiling.
"He can't always make all of us happy, there's too many of us," the Lion said. "But he does always try. And we always know that he loves us."
"And this extends somewhat to me?" Cypher asked, more confused than afraid now.
"Yes, I have an interest in making you happy. Not just because you are Lion's friend, but because you are a citizen of the Imperium. I would be a poor ruler if I did not care for all of my people," the Emperor elaborated.
"That must be harder than pleasing all of the Primarchs, lord," Cypher said. It was the first time he had directly addressed the Emperor since learning who the Lion was.
"It is an impossible task, Cypher," the Emperor said. "I cannot do it, but I try to make the majority happy. However, I can make those who are near to me happy most of the time. This includes you."
Cypher smiled, and then yawned. "Hey! That's contagious!" Fulgrim cried out, before yawning himself. Even the Emperor chuckled at Fulgrim's statement.
"Yawns are contagious?" Cypher asked, he had never heard that before.
"Yep," Mortarion said. "You are more likely to yawn if you have seen another person yawn, it's even transmissible to animals, like Freki and Geri." As if to prove that point, Freki yawned just after Leman.
"I think it's bedtime," the Emperor said, stifling his own yawn. "Will you all sleep out here or in your rooms?"
"Let's sleep out here!" Rogal said. "I can build us an awesome blanket fort!"
"That's a great idea!" Roboute said, he trotted off to retrieve blankets.
"What's a blanket fort?" Cypher asked tilting his head in confusion.
"You don't know what a blanket fort is?!" Fulgrim, Ferrus, Horus, and Lorgar stated in surprise. Cypher shook his head.
"Well, we have to fix that," the Lion said. Rogal nodded, he was already working on the basic lines of the blanket fort. Roboute walked in with a heap of blankets. The Primarchs quickly began drapping blankets across the supports that Rogal had set in place. Vulkan had helped move some of the heavier things in to place at Rogal's direction. Perturabo and Ferrus were in charge of securing blankets to the walls of the living room. Soon the blanket fort was complete.
"This is a blanket fort," Rogal said without preamble. They then all went under the entrance. Cypher was still confused by what was so interesting about this structure. Then the Lion grabbed his hand and dragged him in. Inside it was like a tent, and made Cypher think of a treehouse he had once been allowed to go into.
"We don't have any pillows," Fulgrim said. The Primarchs all went out in pairs and snagged pillows from their rooms. The Lion grabbed an extra pillow for Cypher to use. Horus also grabbed his stuffed animal wolf. Vulkan had a large body pillow that was shaped like a dragon. Freki and Geri also entered the blanket fort. Cypher still seemed nervous around them, and backed towards the Lion.
"They won't hurt you, Cypher. I promise," Leman said. "Come here, you can pet them, and I'll hold on to them so they know it's alright." Cypher hesitantly moved over towards Leman and the two wolf pups. Freki and Geri wagged their tails at Cypher's approach. Leman put a hand on each of them, and had Cypher present his hands to the wolves. Freki started licking Cypher's hand, Geri shoved his nose under the other.
"That tickles!" Cypher exclaimed at Freki's licking of him. Leman chuckled and encouraged Cypher to pet the pups.
"He's trying to see if you have food," Leman explained, indicating Freki's roaming tongue. "They like people food. Allfather says that they shouldn't have a lot of people food."
Cypher stroked both wolf pups for a few moments before heading back to the Lion. The Primarchs had all set up beds within the blanket fort. They all started to drift off to sleep. The Emperor woke them up in the morning.
"Time to get going, Lion, Cypher," the Emperor said after they had all eaten breakfast. Perturabo was already in the process of tearing down the blanket fort. The other Primarchs were spreading out and doing other things. Constantin Valdor was going to be watching them while the Emperor took the Lion and Cypher to the training complex.
The Thunderhawk seemed so much bigger than normal for the Lion. It was rare that any of the Primarchs went anywhere without all of them going. Cypher was looking around, he had never been in a flyer like the Thunderhawk before. The ride to the training complex was quiet. They landed at the medicae hall that formed the hub of the training complex. The three got out and were greated by an augmented man in the black of the Dark Angels. The man bowed to both the Emperor and to the Lion. He made the sign of the aquilla to Cypher.
"This is Luther," the Lion said, introducing the man. "He's also from Caliban. He's augmented because he was too old to receive the gene-seed when I discovered and claimed him. He helps oversee the testing and training of new recruits."
"I'm..... Zephyr," Cypher said after a moment.
"Zephyr?" the Lion asked. The Emperor raised a questioning eyebrow.
"I thought Lord Cypher was a title?" Cypher asked, fearing that he had mistepped.
"True," the Lion said, realizing what Cypher was implying. "We can't have two Cyphers running around within the Legion."
"I still want to try for the position, but I assume that it is filled," Cypher said. "Zephyr sounds close to the Cypher, so it won't be a weird transition."
"Zephyr is a term for a light breeze," the Emperor said.
"That also works, going through the ranks will be a breeze, lord," Cypher said with a lopsided smile. He seemed to be more comfortable around the Emperor now. The Emperor smiled slightly at Cypher.
"Luther will take good care of you," the Lion said. "Right, Luther?"
"Naturally, my lord," Luther said with a smile of his own. He motioned for Cypher, temporarily named Zephyr to follow him towards the Dark Angels building. Before entering the building, Zephyr turned and waved to the Lion and the Emperor. They waved back before turning to the Thunderhawk to return to the Palace.



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