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Luna Mendax (Short Story)

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Luna Mendax
Luna-Mendax.jpg
Cover art
Author Graham McNeill
Publisher Black Library
Series Horus Heresy Series
Released November 2015
Collected in The Silent War
Editions November 2013 collection
January 2016 e-book

Luna Mendax is a short story by Graham McNeill originally included in The Black Library Anthology, released exclusively at Black Library Weekender Event in November 2013. It was later released as an individual e-book on 25 January 2016 as part of the "Tales of the Knights Errant" week.

The story describes the events following the return of Knight-Errant Garviel Loken from his first mission. While struggling to come to terms with his new life, Loken is visited by the spirit of his friend Tarik Torgaddon, who renews his dedication to fighting for the Imperium.

Cover Description

Returning from a secretive mission to Caliban at the command of Malcador the Sigillite, the Knight Errant Garviel Loken finds sanctuary in one of the abandoned bio-domes of Luna. Scarred by betrayal and bewildered by the changing face of the galaxy, the weary warrior is almost unsurprised when he is visited by the long-dead Tarik Torgaddon – is this a sign of a fractured and exhausted mind playing tricks on itself, or truly the spirit of a departed friend?[2]

Story

On Luna, Garviel Loken has become a recluse. His mind has not fully recovered from the horrors he witnessed on Isstvan III, and, after returning from his failed mission to Caliban, he has ignored Malcador's summons and devoted himself to restoring a garden in a forgotten dome of the Somnus Citadel. While waging an aggressive "war" on the aphids plaguing the garden, he is hailed by an unexpected visitor: Tarik Torgaddon, slain months ago on Isstvan III. Torgaddon cheerfully remembers being killed, yet insists he is there on Luna.[1]

Torgaddon asks his old friend why he is moping in the garden when there is a war going on. Loken morosely says that he is an Astartes, not made to fight "in the shadows," as Malcador would have him do. Furthermore, he no longer trusts his own mind - as witness the fact that he is hallucinating a conversation with a dead friend.[1]

Torgaddon says that Astartes are made to fight any war, and Loken has not forgotten the important things. He tells Loken to look again at the garden he has restored, and Loken is surprised to realise that he has unconsciously recreated the water park on Sixty-Three Nineteen, where he was accepted to the Mournival. Loken says the Mournival is dead, but Torgaddon says the oath he swore is not: to serve the Emperor above all primarchs, and to resist His enemies with all his strength.[1]

Before Torgaddon disappears, Loken asks if his old friend is just a figment of his imagination. Torgaddon, deathly serious, says he feels real, and suspects that something terrible happened to him after he died, and only Loken can reverse it. When Loken is alone again, he is visited by Iacton Qruze, bearing another summons from Malcador. To Qruze's surprise, Loken says he is ready to answer.[1]

Sources

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Novels I Horus RisingII False GodsIII Galaxy in FlamesIV The Flight of the EisensteinV FulgrimVI Descent of AngelsVII LegionVIII Battle for the AbyssIX MechanicumX Tales of HeresyXI Fallen AngelsXII A Thousand SonsXIII NemesisXIV The First HereticXV Prospero BurnsXVI Age of DarknessXVII The Outcast DeadXVIII Deliverance LostXIX Know No FearXX The PrimarchsXXI Fear to TreadXXII Shadows of TreacheryXXIII Angel ExterminatusXXIV BetrayerXXV Mark of CalthXXVI Vulkan LivesXXVII The Unremembered EmpireXXVIII ScarsXXIX Vengeful SpiritXXX The Damnation of PythosXXXI Legacies of BetrayalXXXII DeathfireXXXIII War Without EndXXXIV PharosXXXV Eye of TerraXXXVI The Path of HeavenXXXVII The Silent WarXXXVIII Angels of CalibanXXXIX Praetorian of DornXL CoraxXLI The Master of MankindXLII GarroXLIII Shattered LegionsXLIV The Crimson KingXLV TallarnXLVI RuinstormXLVII Old EarthXLVIII The Burden of LoyaltyXLIX WolfsbaneL Born of FlameLI Slaves to DarknessLII Heralds of the SiegeLIII TitandeathLIV The Buried Dagger
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