The armor didn't itch.
That was something that Nix observed almost immediately after he had donned his new suit of power armor. Even with all the new features of the armor, and how the strength of this full body suit outclassed the MkIII Aspirant-Pattern armor by an order of magnitude, what really stuck out was how comfortable it was. It was an idle thought, but one that amused him and kept his mind off of the nerve wracking pressure he was under.
"Justicar..." He whispered to himself, the Heads-Up-Display coming online with small whir of power. He tilted his head and looked down at his open palm, where the new symbol of his office rested. A golden locket, emblazened with an obsidian inlay of the Avenging Hawk of the Dawn. But below that was the crossed pistol and sword which signified him as a member of the most powerful organization in the entire Flame Dawn. The Justicars.
And he was their new leader.
Of course it wasn't like Nix was anything short of an exceptional field officer. Having successfully held his part of the line against the Sleeper Hordes, where even Brother-Commander Bromich fell in glorious battle set him apart from the rank and file. Of course, even Nix's sheer ferocity in defending against the undead waned, and he gave the order to retreat. But it was not a rout, it was not a defeat. Merely a tactical withdrawl.
Aberion, their glorious Emperor and Supreme Commander did not believe in retreats, but he did not believe in stupidity either. Nix was thrown into battle again with a Post-Commander's Silver and Gold hawk, and was sent to the new front on Reish with their Angelic allies. Together, they slaughtered all the Demonic forces they encountered.
It was an...interesting experience working with Irial, one of their so-called Champions. She did not partake in the fighting herself, instead issuing tactical orders to her brigade with surprising efficiency and clarity. Of course, when it came right down to it and he had to kill an Alpha Demon with nothing but a half loaded pistol and his wits, thats when things became tricky when the other commander was not comfortable with battle herself.
Even if he was assured of his skills and competence, he still did not feel right taking this position. He was never a candidate for the Justicar order before, and while it was not unheard of for exceptional officers to be promoted to their ranks, to jump straight from Post-Commander to Brother-Captain of the Order of Justicars was nothing short of absurd.
The Justicars were an old order, long before the Flame Dawn had secured even a faction of the territory it held today. They were the defenders of the Church of Dawn, sworn to the state and to the Archbishop of the Church of Dawn. They were the defenders of the people, the unvanquished, the peerless soldiers that exemplified everything the Flame Dawn hoped to be. Known to only some, they were also the most elite commandos, the secret police which carried out all the dirty work the Supreme Commander required.
He was not ready for this, even if the old Brother-Captain was dead, even if the Justicars needed his talents, even if he had to do it for Faith and Fire, he was simply not ready.
He gently clenched his fist closed around the locket and hung it around his neck. He would simply have to make do. With a steady hand that betrayed no sign of the turmoil he felt over stepping into a dead man's shoes, he walked out of the door with a purpose, his Honor Guard waiting for him. He walked down the hall, the crowd of those who came to witness his triumph such as it was, all were prepared to cheer in jubliation, but were rendered silent.
As he stepped out of the hallway and into the church proper, the crowd looked on in awe. Nix approached the archbishop and knelt before him. "I am not worthy, Father." Nix said lowly, his voice still carrying clearly across the vast space, the fidelity of the armor's speakers capturing his voice in crystal clarity.
The Archbishop, resplendent in the purple and red robes of office smiled enigmatically. "Arise, my child."
Nix rose to his feet, taking in the sight of the Archbishop. He had a pale face that could have been 30 or 50, with no hair on his head to speak of. He had a thin mustache and a goatee, with eyebrows that framed orbs of coal black, his gaze sharper than the atom thin tip of Nix's blade.
"Brothers and Sisters of the Light, we welcome you to this historic event." The Archbishop said without pause, stepping past Nix to address the crowd. Nix turned to face the crowd, who were all enthralled by the Archbishop's personality.
"For too long, the Church has found itself in need of those with the skill, the sureness, the talent to do the work of Purification on this world." A hand sharply slapped Nix's shoulder, startling him out of the stupor he had fallen into. "I am overjoyed to say, that this man is of the Flame Spirit. He is a true champion of the Dawn, and it is only right, it is only just that such a man lead his brothers and sisters of equal valor, into battle. May I present Brother-Captain Nix, Justicar of Dawn!"
The Archbishop smiled warmly to the crowd, and Nix could not help a chill go down his spine as the sheer wrongness of it gripped his soul, even as the crowd cheered and clapped for their hero.
"I thank you, Archbishop Kalos." Nix managed to say, and did he hear the faintest hint of a tremble in his voice?
"There is no need for thanks, my child." Kalos said, a glint of something hard in his eyes. A whisper in his ear as the Bishop turned to leave. "For what is to come, you shall wish you had never thanked me."
Strange, mostly completed story regarding an exploration of Nix, and the nature of the Flame Dawn's hierarchy. Enjoy.