The first chapter in John French’s Voices of Fate arc that accompanies his wider Ahriman series, All Is Dust is a micro-short told from the fractured perspective of Helio Isidorus, once a proud Thousand Sons legionary but now reduced to a hollow existence as one of the Rubricae. Lost in a haze of half-remembered pain, it takes the intrusion a voice from his past for him to stir into a strange semblance of life, his flesh and blood no more and his will slaved to Ahriman’s.
It’s an ideal subject for a micro-short, offering a brief glimpse of Helio Isidorus’ past as well as his fragmented, tortured present, adding a little depth to a character who ends up being extremely important by the end of the series. Deliberately ambiguous and hazy, it’s nonetheless a surprisingly powerful story that serves to humanise Helio Isidorus and hint at the implications of Ahriman’s rubric for the brothers he tried to save. It’s very much short and sweet, and might not appeal to fans of the more traditional bolter-led Black Library tales, but is worth it for those who enjoy French’s writing, especially in context of the overall Ahriman storyline.