19 The Walking Blasphemies
I left the human in the Stormbird as I made my way into the docking bay. I observed my surroundings feeling unimpressed. It was perhaps four hundred feet long and a hundred wide. The bay was mostly empty only one other ship was parked here. I looked out towards the entrance as a pair or great blast doors began to close, slowly obscuring the planet below until they had shut completely. There were various tools and cables scattered all over the floor. A door opened towards the back of the bay and a strange half man half machine figure rolled out. The cyborg had no legs, rather it moved through a suspension plate connected to it's torso and it's shriveled arms were stitched to together so that they were permanently crossed. The facial features were as equally grotesque as the rest of it's body, scrolls with Gothic writing flowing out of it's mouth and eye sockets. I casually walked over, flashing the Rosette in front of the monster's face. The machine made no verbal response to my actions, rather it scanned me with a blue laser grid and turned around with the intent that I would follow.
The hybrid led me through a number of narrow dark passages. I was mildly impressed when I discovered that the dark gray walls were covered from floor to ceiling with hand carved writings. It took almost half an hour for the cyborg to make reach it's destination. There were libraries on those walls. There was one thing however that bothered me, there was no crew to be seen.
When we finally reached our destination the cyborg left my side and moved to dock with a station specifically made for it. I walked out into the room, momentarily awe struck at the wealth it must have taken to create such a feat of architecture. The ceiling was covered in a fresco styled painting of the species deity. Along the four walls there was a continuous painting that displayed the Astartes defeating the legions of Chaos displayed in all their horror. The detail was so lifelike it made me shudder. The expanse was covered by a flokati of a quality that I had never seen before. The handwoven rug displayed hundreds of thousands of lines of Imperial prayers. There was a set of burgundy colored leather lounge chairs centered around a pair of tables. Standing just beyond that was Inquisitor Casca, his back to me.
"Hello, Isilia. I see you didn't bring your erstwhile companion along, Addicus wasn't it?" He said without bothering to turn around.
"Inquisitor Casca, I said performing a mock curtsy, he wasn't needed here."
"I hope you didn't kill the boy, the Inquisition will have many questions for him. And I of you."
He added. Casca's voice was a like an earthquake that rumbled from his throat. The inquisitor stood a full head shorter than myself and was dressed in a luxurious snow white body glove laced with precious jewels. His head and face were both covered in tattoos of leering daemons and his teeth were filed to points. Where the previous Inquisitor had been as lithe as an my own, I doubted that humans could get much bulkier than the one who stood before me without some form of genetic enhancement. Sheathed at his side was a blade that was as elaborately ornamented as the rest of the room.
"Where is the rest of the crew? A ship this size must surely need a large one, one that numbers in the thousands I would imagine." I said with a touch of spite.
"Don't be arrogant child, this ship is a relic from the very beginnings of the Imperium. The Ides of March has fought in thousands of battles and never lost. Never. To answer your question there's no need for a crew. Everything on this ship is run by the cogitators, only me and my retinue stay aboard this ship, it is a masterpiece the likes of which cannot be replicated." He said as he spread his arms wide to indicate the splendor.
"How few remain." I said smugly.
He turned to me agitated and asked, "The rosette?" I pulled the Rosette and as an afterthought the pendant out of my pocket conscious of how atrociously I was clothed. "Good girl! I'd be much obliged if you would hand it over." I walked over and handed him them both. "Splendid, child truly. This is.... a family heirloom, I'm sure Kato's family will be very grateful for it's return." He said setting the pendant down on the table.
Now as I recall you said Katos was killed by the Tau?"
"Correct. Inell and the pilot as well."
"Oh, I knew them all, Inell especially, such a pity, such a waste. But they died for a greater cause than themselves and I appreciate you returning this...signature of Kato's office." He said looking over the Rosette as if it was a fist sized diamond.
"You can keep the pilot, he's still in the Stormbird, but I will need transportation back to Biel-Tan." I said impatiently as Casca continued to play with his new toy.
"Yes, Yes, of course. I do have one question for you before you go." "Ask." I said irritably. "Did you know that Katos was morbidly monodominant?" "Wha- I began to ask but my mind answered for me and I ducked down, dodging a swipe that would have taken my head off and performed a back flip that tore my chest wide open. I gnashed my teeth in pain as I pulled the pistol out and emptied the magazine in his chest. He looked surprised.
"Thought your kind didn't use those things." He said and fell dead to the floor.
I looked down on his corpse with grim satisfaction and picked up the items I'd given him. Blood pooled from the Inquisitors' mortal wounds staining the magnificent rug a dark crimson. Too dark I thought. Black. I replaced the magazine in my pistol hurriedly and as I exited the room shot the cyborg three times in the head as it lay dormant.
When I returned to the hangar I found Flynn waiting for me relief written over his face as he saw me. "How'd it go?" He asked with a sound of hopefulness. "Casca's dead. I killed him." "What? Why? The hell did you do that for?" He asked obviously angry at this new threat to his survival. It was very aggravating. "He was tainted. He didn't know it yet but he was. If you don't believe me you can go look for yourself once were done clearing this ship." I said as I tossed him his las rifle. "Clear the ship? What the fuck are you talking about this place is almost a 3/4 of a mile long. We don't even know how many people are here."
"I do so shut up and follow me." I shot at him and stormed off. As it were there were only three others besides ourselves on the ship. The first was hired muscle that I took down on the bridge. The second was a powerful psychic that nearly snuffed out my mind when Flynn shot him through the head. The third was a psychic also, an old woman but after Flynn's insistence we let her live. After securing the manic old lady in her room, I took Flynn back to the room where I'd shot Casca. Except it wasn't Casca anymore. It was a lumpen piece of flesh that chased us back to the hangar and didn't die until after we'd expended our ammunition and Flynn doused the monster with fuel from a pump and I lit the bastard on fire. We left the hangar and voided everything out into space.
Later on our way to the bridge of the Ides Of March Flynn told me the woman we'd locked up was a navigator and that we'd never be able to jump into the warp without her. The thought of trusting the crazed woman made by stomach curl.
I am the Third. Much Shorter than the others.
The third arc of the story (every seven chapters is an arc) took exactly 17 hours and 49 minutes to complete. There were however very short breaks for food and peeing.
Lelith is quite the liar.
"Ode To John Cage" go listen to 4'33.
Assault This! is a nod to Defend This! Albeit with less meta-stable rampant a.i.'s
WaterJel does exist, though I've never tested it's acid repelling properties before.
I wrote Assault This! partially as an experiment and partially to get out of the first person past tense. I'm not sure how successful I was.
Snuff Films... snuff films had a dual purpose. The first was a way of exploring Lelith's darker side as well as showing a bit of her sexuality. Too often I think that these scenes are simply alluded to and they don't really capture just how evil the Dark Eldar really are, though I understand that to do so might be in bad taste. The second is a commentary on modern American culture (generation x, not my fucking generation, bunch of emo ass pussies, christ i'll take gothic anyday over those self-centered jack asses), which I feel has begun to show alarming signs of depravity and indifference.
Pueblus Servillus Casca was the first assassin to stab Caesar.
Threnody For the victims of Chedoul is a play off the 1960 composition Threnody For The Victims of Hiroshima by Krzysztof Penderecki.