Many years ago …
A young Animyra was riding the elevator up to the Navigator’s spire of the famous Dawnlight Aquilla. It was time to prove her skills as a navigator of the great house Atreides. Paeshka, still too young to undergo her own trials, wished her big sister good luck and promised to pray at the Emperor’s Shrine for her success and for safe travel through the Warp. Aniymra’s older step-brother, Antev, helped her into the navigator’s throne and promised to stay nearby during the journey.
Elsewhere on the ship, Tor was being called out from his crawl space by his adopted father, Lambert Viggo. They felt the ship’s warp drive rip a hole in space and move into the Warp. The ship’s faithful would be wanting to pray for safe passage, but it wouldn’t do to pray at a run-down shrine. Tor was needed for a quick repair job, replacing a hard to reach glow globe, so the light of the Emperor could once again shine upon the faithful. Excited to do the Emperor’s work, Tor scampered off to the other end of the ship.
The faulty light was easy to spot, but not easy to reach. It was more than two stories up, it’s flickering light illuminating the face of the Emperor’s statue. Undaunted, Tor began climbing the walls and ducts of the Shrine. Below him, a young girl was watching with both fear and awe. Gripping a buttress with his legs, Tor quickly replaced the faulty globe and golden light shone throughout the shrine once again.
The Astronomicon had faded away for Animyra, being replaced by an impenetrable darkness. The air had grown heavy and humid. Her feet were wet, and Animyra realized she must be standing in water. Unable to see, Animyra felt her way to a moist, ridged wall. A faint light. “The Astronomicon, there it is, thank the Emperor.” She slowly began making her way towards the light. Getting closer, it looked like she was approaching the mouth of a cave; silhouettes of stalagmites and stalactites blocking the light. She ran for the exit.
The entire ship shuddered. Tor almost lost his grip and the little girl screamed. No longer showing off, Tor quickly made his way down. Murmurs of concern filled the Shrine. The girl, introducing herself as Paeshka, worried that the ship had entered a warp storm. Tor suggested they find his father, who would know what was happening. Paeshka nodded and the pair set off.
It wasn’t water that Animyra was standing in. It was a river of blood. A strong gust, carrying a heavy voice blew past her. “What have you done?” Animyra spun around to see the giant face of her brother, Antev, staring down at her. “I’m so disappointed in you, little sister,” he bellowed. Aniymra withered under his baleful gaze. Then Antev opened his third eye.
Tor caught Paeshka’s hand as she was knocked from her feet. The ship had begun to come apart. Bulkheads were crashing down, exposed cables sparked dangerously, and air was quickly rushing out to fill the void. Paeshka’s eyes were beginning to glow. “My sister, something’s happened to her. We should find her. Oh no…”.
Animyra was wrenched back to reality. There was a sharp pain in her head as she was forcefully detached from her Navigator’s chair. “We have to get out of here!” yelled Antev. Everyone was running for the salvation pods. “The translation didn’t work. The ship is being pulled back into the Warp!” Animyra stood dazed and confused, until she remembered Paeshka. She pleaded to go find her little sister, but Antev said there was no time. He had to drag Animyra, kicking and screaming, into a pod. As they were expelled from the ship, they looked back, watching the warp rift snap close on the ship, like giant teeth, rending the Dawnlight Aquilla in half.
“We have to hide…” murmured Paeshka. Hers were not the only murmurs that Tor heard. The corridors were filling with shadows, and strange whispers, of things beyond. Paeshka’s hood had fallen back, and all 3 of her eye’s were blazing a brilliant blue light. She clutched Tor’s hands in a death grip and repeated her warning, “we have to hide!”