12 Meeting Of The Minds

The voice had that had rang out behind startled me but my recovery was flawless, I turned around in a graceful arc leveling the pistol I'd looted from the fallen Inquisitor at the source of the sound. It took a second for my eyes to resolve his outline. Behind me hidden in the shadows of the port wing he stood. He was dressed in fatigues similar to the ones I wore but had armor and sported a much larger weapon.

"Hey there friend, how you doin? You OK? That was a pretty bad crash you had there." The words he spoke were friendly but his tone suggested he'd blow me away at the slightest hint of aggression, and considering he had the drop on my he could probably do it. I lowered my weapon, he did not.

"Where are you from trooper? What unit?" He asked with a tone that bordered on anger. I raised the weapon up into the air. Perhaps a show of deference would make him less...hostile.

"I'm not from any unit that you would know of." I spoke coolly in the Gothic language, doing my best to imitate human vocal cords and using just a little psychic persuasion. I thought I had done a good job at imitating the words so when my minds eye felt him pulling the trigger I was vaguely surprised. This did not however dull my reactions. With a speed born of centuries of conflict I leveled the pistol at him firing off a round and hitting the human dead in his chest. The round however was unable to penetrate the armor and he returned fire forcing me to dive back into the Stormbird for cover.

"I'm coming for you, Eldar bitch!" I heard him call from outside. Damnit! How could he have know? Unless of course he'd fought my kind before and if he had it meant he was good enough to have lived to tell the tale. "Shit." I said as I recovered. He was better armed and armored, and as far as I knew uninjured. I quickly ran through my options. I could try and kill him in ranged combat and most likely die in the attempt or I could close with him, kill the bastard the old fashioned way. In the middle of my rumination a weapon appeared and though I trained my weapon where his head would come into view as he entered I realized that wasn't going to happen. The human let out a burst of fire that barely went over my head. Knowing I'd never get off the planet alive without the Stormbird I rushed him. Ignoring the pain from my chest I crawled as fast as I could on all fours and grabbed the still firing pulse rifle with both hands jerking it up as hard as I could. The human didn't let go but it didn't matter the rifle had run out of ammunition. I let out a vicious kick to his throat which he narrowly deflected by bringing his chin down to take the blow. I connected squarely with his jaw and his whole body fell back, he also let go of the rifle. I made to buttstock the human with my newly freed rifle but as he fell he grabbed hold of my right arm and yanked me down to the bottom of the ramp underneath him. I was a foot and a half taller than him and by far the stronger, but the wound rendered my right arm almost completely useless for close combat.

He pinned my right arm down with his knee and proceeded to lay pile drive punches into my face, shattering my nose. As he reached up to strike me again I made a quick jab to his face with my left hand and pulling my right leg up laid it across his chest and forced him off me. He fell back into a puddle and let out a small cry as the acid began to eat into his skin. I jumped to my feet and as he was recovering smashed my left fist into his face that stunned him and followed up with a spiral kick from my right that should have broken his neck. Regardless it sent him sprawling. I was on him in an instant with a vicious left kick but this time he raised up and caught it between his right arm and chest with a grunt of pain. With my leg caught and unable to maneuver I wrapped both hands around his throat in an attempt to kill him through asphyxiation. In response he threw two punches into my side with his left, let go of my leg and began punching me in my crotch. The pain rivaled that of my shoulder. I let go and thrust my knee into his face to buy a few seconds to recover. I hobbled back up to the ramp as the human chased after me.

At the top of the ramp he made to tackle me and in a single movement I dropped to my back, turned around to face him and with my legs against his chest propelled him into the Stormbird. He landed hard but recovered quickly pulling a long serrarated knife from a sheath at his side. He rushed me attempting a swipe at my throat that I blocked with my left forearm. He must have realized at some point during the fight that my right side was injured for no sooner did I block it did he drop to the ground, wrapping his legs around mine in a scissor motion that landed me on top of him. Taking advantage of my immobility the bastard flipped me over and shoved his right thumb straight into my wound. The pain caused me to scream. He dug deeper. In my attempt to dislodge his finger I almost didn't notice him make to stab me through my heart, my minds eye alerting me to the danger. I grabbed his wrist with my left hand and forced it back up, he gritted his teeth and let out a long growl of effort as he attempted to his way down.

I know when I'm beaten. Perhaps that has always been my problem, that I admit defeat, that I am not blinded by pride. I was going to die here if I didn't do something. Ignoring the agonizing pain that was being inflicted upon me I called out.

"Stop! Stop! Stop you fucking bastard! I'm Inquisition!" The human paused ever so slightly at the sound of his kinds shadowy organization. "Check my right pocket you'll find a rosette, I swear it's true!" The desperation in my voice was almost palpable. "Check it." I repeated. It was a gamble of course but I let go of his wrist and he quickly put the knife to my throat. But he didn't slit it. I was repulsed in the extreme by the close proximity of the animal but at the moment I was at his mercy. Slowly, never taking his eyes off mine he dug through my pocket and produced the Rosette. In an excruciatingly slow maneuver he eased himself off of me, his sweat streaming off his face and splashing on mine below.

Ten minutes later we sat opposite each other, both of us still breathing hard and bleeding freely from the wounds we'd inflicted upon each other. The human had identified himself as Flynn Addicus, one of the Imperial Guardsmen deployed to garrison the world. Earlier whatever part of him hadn't been covered by his fatigues had been covered by sterile bandages the likes of which I'd seen earlier when rummaging through the medical kit. He removed them and wiped a clear gel as best he could from his body. Even in the dim light of the Stormbird I could tell he was a scarred man, not brutally but scarred nonetheless. Along his left arm ran a hideous wound, Some of the fingers on his right hand ended in pulpy stumps. On his cheek and neck I instantly recognized wounds from a hydraknife. How he survived those was either a miracle or an act of supreme will. Or perhaps a little of both.

"So you worked for this guy, eh?" He asked as he turned the Rosette over in his hands, the restrained violence in his words painfully obvious. "I did." I replied through gritted teeth.

"And where is he now, what happened to him?"

"The Tau killed him and Ilena." I added the name of the armored warrior for dramatic affect, it certainly boosted the idea that I'd actually known the Inquisitor longer than a few minutes.

"I haven't seen any Tau this far North."

"Trust me they're here."

The look in his eyes said he was skeptical but he accepted it with a nod and continued with his interrogation.

"Any particular reason why the Inquisition is here?" The damned stupidity of the thing! The world was slowly being consumed by Chaos and he wondered why the Inquisition was here. I wasn't even his species and I knew more about the organization than he did.

"Chaos, maybe?" He added. Or perhaps I judged a little to quickly. Thinking back I realized his words had been more sarcastic than serious.

"Correct. There's a daemon in the process of being born here. The Tau are under it's influence." It was a lie of course, but the human just nodded his head upon hearing my explanation, he seemed to full heartedly believe me. Perhaps he'd seen evidence of my impromptu theory? That could create problems.

"And now that your master is dead, you've decided to turn tail and run. Don't try to put up a fight, don't try to finish what he started? Just a let a whole world go to hell? You're a fucking coward." He shot at me accusingly, never at a loss of words though I quickly replied, "Perhaps that's what you'd do, but unlike you I know more about what's going on than here than you could imagine with your underdeveloped brain. There's more than one inquisitor here. I need to get in contact with him. To give him this." I held up the pendant I'd grabbed off the Inquisitor earlier. In truth I didn't have the slightest idea that the item did anything at all but it did give me an excuse for trying to get off world.

"Why didn't you try to VOX the ships in orbit." He asked.

"Can't raise them." I replied almost too quickly.

The human glanced towards the cockpit and then back at me.

"I know a place."

Intermission 342

The Second Intermission For Empire Of The Mind Bit longer than the first///

First Off it was Boy Meets Fire and I'll Take That/ Captain Morgan is a great way to defeat even the toughest writers block.

Methohexital is an ultra fast local anesthetic that is used to render a person unconscious for extended amounts of time. It does not however relieve pain.

The Kabal of the Poisoned Blade has been one of the few longlasting rivals of the Black Heart Kabal headed by Vect. The Dread Lord Dicinel took Lelith in as a favor to her mother, who was a longstanding ally and head of the Wych's Convent Lelith was exiled from.

The title 'From Three To One' has to do with the switch from third to first person for the

character of Lelith when I decided to make her a main character alongside Flynn.

The Title "Act Three Scene I" was inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Country Commissar Chicken is a play on a certain 'kind' of food. The number 13 is ranked as one of the worst meals ever alongside the Cheese Omelet. Some people actually do swear by it and I hold the fervent belief that they must all be killed in their sleep.

Amateur Medical Advice is based on a true story.

There is a small story inconsistency where in the prologue Lelith originally refers to herself as in the Poisoned Blade. It changes (through my own error, and alcohol) to the Savage Blade. Sadly no one has yet displayed the analytical skills required to register the mistake. Just Kidding.

News regarding the story: I was very recently published (for the first time) in the Ailarian Web

Magazine. Thanks go out to Noah Dove.

I don't have the slightest clue as to where I'm taking the story with Lelith. She is also three hundred and forty two years old. A relative youngin' where Eldar are concerned.

I had originally envisioned Flynn killing Lelith in the Stormbird Saving Private Ryan style but decided against it at the last moment. Thus 'Three To One' was born

Big Bird was inspired by a song of the same name by Eddie Floyd

The acid rain that begins in 08 is my way of coming to grips with that bastard Robert Frost.

There's more you just have to look for it.