If I believed in a transcendental being with the furious wrath of a thousand suns1, I would have prayed to him as we walked down the strangely accommodating carpeted corridor. Of course I don’t believe, I know and my knowledge spread before me in two glorious beings of death, Hecuter and handcannon the third. I bet the priest thinks it’s silly that I name my guns2, what does he know about the elegance of firepower? He knows nothing of the fire3, of the righteous, of the glory of the Emperor. I have seen him, you know. I have gazed upon his throne upon my sanctioning and I knew then what must be done.
Death to the heretic, the xeno, the mutant.
So we followed, the decaying servitor led us down corridor after corridor. Shortly, another data “storage” room was discovered, a separate servitor entered and began working on the consoles embedded in the bone pillar. Fire. Fury. They protect only so far. The screams pierced my body, my mind, but not my faith, nor my companions, and with the aid of Zak and Maza we ascertained a direction forward, and comport to do so. We left the room, following the first servitor once more to Biosculpture and Recovery.
What lay before us is not a scene I readily repeat4. For my sanity though I must5. Veins. Arteries. Blood vessels. These were the design of the place, twisted and manufactured in some hideous face of machine. Lining the walls, the carpet itself dried out capillaries, remnants of souls locked away in Gamma theta whatever the heretical fuck. Fire. Fury. A man. A thing. A victim lay upon a bed, an altar. Zak saw red. She moved. Mercy in her violence. His suffering ended instantly, I drew my blade and lay a mantra of respect upon his body as we triggered an alert. The report of the gun, perhaps? The mans death. Knowledge struck us then, Maza6 and I. We slipped backwards from sanity, sliding. Fear gripped us and whilst I know this cowardice shames us, to hide from it is to be ashamed. Zak…Zak was the best of us then. A techpriest7 in crimson robes and a face full of metal and heretical ideas stormed across us, demanding explanation, demanding to know what had become of his most promising subject, why had it become. In my fear I shot. I missed, mostly. A graze, Zak ended him. The best of us.
Time stretched then, in that room. Seconds passed slowly and in the haze of battle we pressed on. Answers lay here, lay behind us. Exploration, observation, spywork and inquisition. Fire and fury pressed on.
Down the way the priest had come we came to a much larger room, a hub of some sort. Inside many servitors worked on machines around the circular room. In the middle a projection of an immense warmachine, a titan8 of old lay, seemingly in a state of repair . Perhaps a progress report of kind and at the other end, 3 more of the priests. A quick setup of tactics and I slid in quiet and seamless into position, ready for ambush. Unfortunately as Zak and Maza moved they9 tripped something cutting off the projection. Two of the priests moved in to investigate whilst the third went to work on some unseen machine. Zak and Maza took cover, both their bodies and their senses shielded.
Heretics know much of the way of fear. They work it, they mould it, shape it to their dark design and their perversion of purpose. They know it…but they do not know of me. I strode then before them, I ripped from them bravery, courage. I left them knowing only me and the fury of the emperor behind me to see. One stumbled but steadied, stalwart in fear. The other I took time. Time enough for Maza.
Our priest is a humble man. Not a soldier. Not a warrior. Not a champion of the emperors light against the darkness10. He is but a man, but he is just. He is pure and he rose to meet them, the most vile and cursed techpriests11 I have ever laid eyes on…and he cleansed his will upon them, the d’kalu12 hellgun roaring between him and the unstunned man. There was fire, light, then darkness for a time…then a stench. As my eyes adjusted where stood two men stood one quivering child and death. Maza struck and the Omnissiah blessed him for he struck well.
I write this now in the heat of battle. Zak fires, the last man standing is hit, injured. Time for me stands still. We must continue, we must fight. We must kill and cleanse in his name.
But a nagging thought remains…why?13
1 Frequently this entity is referred to as “the Emperor of Mankind”.
2 Merely presumptuous. What does the psyker know of the nature of the machine spirit? To suggest that a gun might not have a name is heretical, to name one yourself only arrogant.
3 The cleansing properties of fire may be exaggerated in popular mythology. Purification comes from exposure to a high-energy state, for it reflects the glorious power of the Omnissiah’s spiritual reactor, but fire itself is energetically inefficient for such a purposes, although, when the target of purification is of weak and treasonous flesh, fire may suffice.
4 Yet I sense he is about to.
5 Please note: I called it.
6 Please note: All actions, deeds and works wrought by beings here euphemistically termed “techpriests” by the well-meaning yet ill-informed author of this text are considered ANTI-CONFORMITATUS EXTREMIS according to sections #0-#86614 of the Abbreviated Codex of Standard Practices (External Distribution Ed.) of the Adeptus Mechanicum. The Adeptus Mechanicum does not sanction unauthorized modification of Standard Technological Practice. The methods in which the human body may be reused for industrial and computational purposes have been established for several deca-millenia, and to alter them is forbidden unto all.
7 CALL IT NOT BY THAT HALLOWED NAME. ABSOLUTE RENUNCIATION. CAST OUT INTO THE DARK. FOUL TWISTERS OF TECHNOLOGY AGAINST THE MEN AND WOMEN IT WAS CREATED TO SERVE.
8 It remains to be seen if the construct depicted is worthy of that illustrious name. One must take the very greatest of care when naming a device, for name implies purpose, and the purpose of the holy Titan is the Omnissiah’s work.
9 I am blameless.
10 Please note, a mis-characterization. The Omnissiah, praise His Body Of Works, is the very Light Most Precious and most worthy of protecting. What deed is there that could be more righteous than to preach the correct and safe use of the Omnissiah’s Bounty?
11 UNBROTHERS. UNPRIESTS. ADEPTUS ANTI-MECHANICUM!
12 The D’laku Hellgun is an abbreviation for the “D’laku Crusade pattern Hellgun” which was popularized through its use by several elite units in that conflict.
13 Because they turn foul what should be fairest.