With a mighty roar The Ides Of March tore a hole into the fabric of the universe and cast us into the merciless sea.
I don't know how much longer I can keep this up.
After I'd made certain that we were safely underway I went out in search of lodging. My first choice was the of course the finest room on the ship but upon entering that luxurious suite I found that Isilia had already staked her claim. I did try to reason with her, stating that since I was technically the Captain I should logically get the Captains' quarters. Sadly I forgot that logic was not the driving force behind these creatures. I then advocated that we might perhaps share the room to which she responded by pulling out her pistol and firing at me. I also forgot she lacked any form of self-restraint. I eventually settled for the First Mates quarters. True it lacked the authoritarian atmosphere I coveted but I silently admitted to myself that it put my father's quarters to shame. In the far corner lay my bed and nightstand with a bar full of expensive looking bottles and a small dining area for entertaining guests. Not that I had any guests I'd be entertaining anytime soon, the bastard.
There were more than a few nights during that purgatory that I drank myself to sleep.
Everyday for a month I went out and explored the nooks and crannies of the Ides Of March, originally for making notes of places where if the daemon did appear, we might be able to eject it from the ship, but afterwards I gave up the pretense and simply wondered the halls for the sheer esthetic pleasure. When I wasn't out exploring the nuances of the ship I studied the bridge, usually from the captains chair. I spent entire days familiarizing myself with bridge. Every hour brought some new insight, and I can admit I had more fun than I should have with the weapons console. There were some consoles that I didn't have to even look at to operate, the VOX station being similar to the ones I'd use in my career in the Guard. But every station held a new challenge for my mind and by end of the journey I could perform every function required to run the ship.
Halfway down a series of explosion shook the mountain and again I felt the urge to go back and try and take as many of the Tau bastards as I could. That was after all what the Emperor expected of me. It was my duty. It was also suicide I told myself. I kept going. I moved unchallenged all the way down. When I reached the hatch that said Motor Pool East Entrance I hesitated for a moment and mustering my courage, I went back up the stairs. "I'm coming Mikalis! Hold on I'm coming!" I screamed as I burst back into the tunnel.
As for my faithful companions I saw little of Isilia and none of the navigator. Instead when I wasn't exploring or tinkering with the bridge I locked myself away in my quarters. I did on one occasion however dine with Isilia after finding her in the dining hall. It was an awkward meeting to be sure. I had my suspicions. She had her secrets. I believe we glared at each other until after having finished her meal, she began to steal the food from my plate.
My back was against the wall, a blindfold strapped across my eyes. I heard a voice and realized it was Commissar Boshelvick. "In the name of the most Holy Emperor do I sentence you to death on the charges of cowardice and treason!" A bolter shot rang out and struck me in my chest.
I don't suppose that I can be called compassionate. Apathetic? Yes. At times. Or maybe I'm just inconsistent. I knew of course that there had been something bothering Flynn ever since the night in the bunker, but I never probed into his mind to find out what it was. I reasoned that so long as his problems didn't endanger me I shouldn't bother to care. So it came to me as a surprise that the night I found him outside his room weeping uncontrollably in a drunken stupor, sobbing that he was sorry over and over to some ghost from his past that I felt pity. Empathy even. I knelt down and held him in my arms. He returned the gesture and wrapped his arms around me, burying his tear streaked face in my shoulder. I don't think he remembers the night.
I awoke in a morphine induced haze. I looked around and spotted Commissar Boshelvick by the bedside. "Sir?" I spoke with difficulty. "How are you feeling son?" He asked in his usual no-nonsense voice.
"I'm not sure, I can't move my arm sir."
"The medics will take care of that you just get some rest."
"Aye Sir." I said already feeling the need to drift back to sleep. Commissar Boshelvick turned to leave.
"And Addicus?" He said his back turned to me.
"You did well today son."
"Thank you sir." He turned and left the room.
"Move that weapon up the street now!" Cried Corporal Lastowski from behind a dented garbage can. Trooper Mikalis grabbed the spare barrel and made his way through the smoke las rounds pinning the squad of Imperial troopers who had just blown a hole in the building he was running to. With Trooper Flynn right behind him carrying the heavy bolter they made their way through stepping over debris and still moving bodies as they ascended to the second floor.
"Clear!" Mikalis called as he kicked open a window for Flynn to set the heavy gun down on. Flynn sat the bolter down and sighted in on the rebel soldiers pinning down their comrades in the street adjacent. He let out a burst of fire that cut down two of their rank and released the trigger. But the weapon kept firing.
"Shit! runaway gun!" Flynn called out to Mikalis who was plugging shots at an unseen enemy.