17 Effectus Dictata Tersus

I inhaled a quick and sudden deep breath as I arose from a dreamless sleep. My head ached like It'd been hit with a sledgehammer. With an effort I opened my eyes peering dumbly at the odd shapes around me. I blinked away the haziness and the world resolved back into clarity. I stood up and looked around finding that I'd been placed inside the VOX room. When I turned to locate the hatch I felt a wave of nausea overcome me and I was forced to go to a corner of the room and vomit.

After I'd finished emptying my stomachs' contents I left the room and entered the hallway. There was no one there. I stepped over the fallen Fire Warrior and my way down to the other room. I peered inside but there was nothing of interest save a massive blood stain on the floor. I went out the North hatch and found that the rain had once again stopped.

"It must be morning." I whispered to myself. I took stepped forward and my foot brushed up against my las rifle. Tacked onto it there was a note: Sweet Dreams? Was written in perfect gothic, the writing itself elegant enough to border on art. I tucked it into my cargo pocket and made my way to the hangars. The blast door on west hangar was slightly open and I decided to search for the elusive Xeno there. As I entered the hangar I called out "Isilia!" to which she replied "Here!" The hangar was home to a perfectly maintained Stormbird the ramp of which Isilia strutted down.

"I take it you like what I've found." She asked with the same sly smile plastered across her face.

"Yeah it's good", I said and then added almost as an afterthought, "what happened last night."

"You don't remember? That bird like animal that snuck up behind you? You should be thanking me for saving your damned life. If it wasn't for me that thing would be eating your remains as we speak." The implications of what she's said left me dumbstruck. Caught between the conflicting emotions of distrust and gratitude I stared uneasily past her before finally muttering a "Thank you."

"Your welcome." She said playfully.

"Why are you in such a cheery mood?" I inquired.

"Other than finding a perfectly working ship", she said gesturing towards the Stormbird as she walked down the ramp, "I've made contact with the inquisition, it seems Beldame comes through for us even in death."

"I'll say a prayer for him. Does it have fuel?"

"Indeed."

"And supplies?"

"Worried, are we?"

Of course I was worried. I wasn't about to admit it, especially to her but I had this feeling of dread that told me to take every precaution. Or maybe it was just another symptom of Kroot rifle to the head. I looked around the hangar one last time before heading to the cockpit.

"I'll need to run a diagnostic on the ship, should take half an hour, after that we can be on our way."

"Good." She said as she flashed a playful smile at me. Now I knew something was up. It was only yesterday that we'd been trying to kill each other. Now she was openly flirting with me. But then the scholams did say they were a completely random force in the universe and who save the immortal Emperor or perhaps the inquisition could truly understand the way their minds worked. I silently resolved to watch her like a hawk for any suspicious behavior.

Inside the cockpit was exactly the same as our previous transport except this one looked as though it'd never been flown. I flipped a couple switches on the dashboard and watched as the view screen popped into life displaying rapidly appearing green text. There was red line which indicated that the fuel pump was still connected but other than that the ship was green across the board. Thank the Omnissah. I stopped, a sudden realization coming over me. I flipped all the switches back off. I took a deep breath and said a small prayer of contrition.

"Toll the great bell once! Pull the lever forward to engage the piston and the pump..."