09 Big Bird

"No, no, no no, NOOOO!" I screamed as the Stormbird slammed into the ground, and continued to pave it's way through the wet mud. I reached for the throttle and pulled it all the way back until the whine of the engines finally died down and the rear end of the ship hit the ground with a jaw rattling thud.

Staring out the cockpit I recapped in my mind the events of the previous day. Oh Yes! I could start the engine. I could even get her off the ground. I could turn to the left and right.

"So what is the fucking problem?" I screamed in an uncontrollable rage as I repeatedly struck the dashboard. Perhaps it wasn't the most dignified response to failure but I was alone and the amount of water filled gouges in the field was ridiculous. At first when I had struck and crushed one of the humans I'd found it a little amusing, but by the fifth time I'd long since lost my patience. This was the ninth. Thinking back at least I knew it was durable. Silently I swore an oath that one day I'd travel the Imperium searching for the bastard who'd designed the control scheme and skin him.

It wasn't that I couldn't get the thing to leave the ground it was just that every time I did I lost what little altitude I'd gained upon igniting the engine that I eventually plowed into the ground. I inhaled deeply and looked out the glass window. The rain which had turned acidic during the night had begun to clear up at morning and by midday had ceased. The sky was still dark with overcast but the rain refused to come. It was odd she was sure that it had been a side affect of the daemon. Perhaps someone was thwarting it. She could only hope. Off in the distance there was a white glow that illuminated the entire Southern horizon. The glow did nothing however, to calm her rattled nerves.

There was little time to be wasted even if the demon's machinations had been hindered or stopped altogether, but I'd been cramped in that cockpit for almost seven hours straight and had repeatedly bashed my head against the dashboard. I eased my way out of the cockpit, careful not to put too much strain on my arm and after lowering the ramp walked out and breathed the fresh air. I was wary of touching the water, concerned that whatever acidic properties they'd had when they fell might still remain but my feelings of anxiety were unwarranted as it failed to have any reaction when I impulsively bent down and stuck a finger into the water filled gouge in the ground. I was perplexed to say the least.

Still standing on the edge of the Storm birds ramp I surveyed my handiwork with an aggravated grimace. Across the field their were nine different gouges in the ground all of them about six feet wide and none shorter than five feet. I let out a sigh and glanced at the corpses I'd left in the dirt. With the exception of the pilot, whom I had squashed with more than a little glee the two humans remained where I'd killed them. The acid had of course eaten the skin off their bones and with the exception of the armored woman their clothing as well. Something however caught my eye. The bones of the man looked like they'd been white washed by some Haemonculi's pupil and put on display, but it wasn't his bones I cared for rather two items that lay inside his rib cage. I walked over and nudged the bones aside with my foot, bending down in the process to examine the artifact. The first item hung from the humans neck. The first item of interest was a gold necklace that was connected to a five by five inch silver pendant shaped in the form of a cross. Their were words carved in a language that she couldn't understand and with an eye for exquisite detail unusual for a human, the face of a man had been carved where the two parts crossed.

"Not Chaos." I said to myself as I looked the artifact over. I pocketed the pendant and looked at the other item of interest. Like the other it was the same as the first in that it was a pendant but the similarities stopped there. The end link of this chain did not wrap around the deceased man's body rather it was fused into his rib. Attached to the end was a small unassuming relic which I would recognize anywhere. An inquisitorial rosette.

"So they know then. And they're here." I said with a. I've met an inquisitor before, I thought, then finished out loud, "and bestowed upon him a rather painful death." My mood instantly brightened at the revelation revealed to me and I ripped the rosette from the rusted chain. Despite the exposure to the acid rain the rosette remained untarnished, a feat even the Stormbird couldn't lay claim to. Already a plan had formed in my mind. I had a cover story, a reason for being here. I was not of the so called 'dark kin' rather I was from the Biel-Tan, a secret advisor to the inquisitor simply performing him the honor of having his rosette returned to his 'holy' organization. A sinister grin played across my face as I rushed back to the Stormbird intent on discovering how the communications worked.