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Sin of Pride / Re: Emperor's Children Forum
« Last post by Poem on April 24, 2014, 12:32:17 AM »
Thank you for not just washing your hands with this place.
I am mortally grateful.
Sin of Pride / Re: For people wondering what happened
« Last post by Poem on April 24, 2014, 12:31:07 AM »
I approve of your approving.
Way too many spambots attack this place.
Sin of Wrath / Re: Fan Made Emperor's Children Codex
« Last post by Poem on April 23, 2014, 04:20:58 AM »
Goodness gracious.
That was a long time ago indeed.

Did I ruin 40k by suggesting allies?
Sin of Pride / Reference of the Emperor's Children
« Last post by refuse on April 22, 2014, 11:13:17 AM »
Looking for any and all references to the Emperor's Children.


[Title of Article][Document][Pgs]
Sin of Envy / Re: Cenobite's Laboratory v3.0
« Last post by vipertaja on April 22, 2014, 10:04:56 AM »
I trust you have such sights to show us... ;)
Sin of Wrath / Fan Made Emperor's Children Codex
« Last post by refuse on April 21, 2014, 01:26:12 PM »
Poem is mentioned as helping create it:

Haven't read all the way through it, and I haven't read a Chaos codex since they killed the 3.5 one.  (Yep, that long).

So here you go, for those interested:
Sin of Envy / Re: Cenobite's Laboratory v3.0
« Last post by Poem on April 19, 2014, 01:03:42 AM »
There is always the option of creating an image wrap up post so people that have not seen your stuff can.
Stories of Lust / Perfect act, broken mind by Homemaster
« Last post by refuse on April 17, 2014, 10:14:25 PM »
Perfect Act, Broken Mind

The Thunderhawk gunship swung stealthily through the night sky, settling down in a sparse clearing amongst the thick jungle. This was no loyal Thunderhawk though; it was a twisted and malformed version of it’s former self. And it bore the livery of the Emperor’s Children. Within it sat Lord Hedon, Captain of the 6th Great Company, along with 50 of his hand-picked warriors. They had avoided detection from the alien fleet in orbit, and now attempted to steal what was precious to them. Along with slaves, thought Hedon hopefully. New slaves mean new pleasures to be enjoyed – something to look forward to. Now was a time for battle, a battle that would prove to be a challenge, he assumed. He smiled and began to anticipate the repute that was coming.

* * *

More high-energy shots pounded their position, and Hedon was forced back behind the rubble yet again. This was going far too slowly. The Thunderhawk had managed to blow a hole in the outer wall from numerous fly-bys, but had received a few hits and was now awaiting its cargo. Thankfully the compound seemed lightly defended, the enemy having no heavy weaponry at their disposal. At least, not that they could see, mused Hedon grimly. Surprises were always the best challenges though. It was a100 metres to the main complex from the breach, but between them the ground was littered with low dugouts from which most of the fire came. Bunkers that extended from the corners of headquarters allowed for sweeping lines of fire and crossfire, and heavier fire seemed to be coming from them. The Emperor’s Children were gathered around the breach on either side, unable to advance due to the sheer amount of firepower. A group of heavily armed Noise Marines gave covering fire from the tree line, preventing any attacks from the walls with blasts of pure noise or searing rays of ruby las-fire. Hedon knew they had to advance soon for fear of reinforcements.
“A fast strike in, and out, this is what we must achieve. For Her pleasure!” screamed Hedon, his voice filling his men with wonder and purpose. They prepared efficiently, salivating at what was to come.

* * *

Ryu sat in his command centre at the top of the compound as he watched his Fire Warriors perform admirably. The enemy was being kept at bay, and reinforcements were en route, but he did not know how long they would be. He felt confident that his detachment could hold of the attackers for as long as it took. Looking through his scopulars, Ryu suddenly saw grenades shoot through the breach, spewing forth thick, pink-shaded smoke. The rate of fire slowed as the warriors tried to see what was happening.
“Keep on your guard. Fire at will,” shouted Ryu through his communication line. Out of no where a huge figure charged out of the smoke, a perverted Gue’laa covered in purple, pink and gold armour. Every shot was too late, missing the enemy soldier by at least half a body length. Behind him came more warriors in the same insignia, but not so magnificent. They moved quickly, jumping into fox-holes and slaughtering those they found. To Ryu’s surprise and horror, more of these beasts appeared on the wall to the left of the breach, but were not seen by those below who were concentrating on the first threat. He stared, transfixed, as they set up their weapons, his hand hovering over the communication button. Quickly, he snapped out of the trance.
“Rock element, hostiles on wall, left of main body, open fire now!” he yelled quickly, with fear in his voice. But it was too late, as these warriors opened fire on his exposed men in the trenches. Warbling patches of reality screamed towards them, the sound unbearable, and he heard his warriors scream in agony as they were overcome. Huge gouges of soil were torn up by these strange weapons, along with bodies, limbs flailing and corpses disintegrating. Finally the bunkers were able to open fire, but the damage had been done, and the loathsome opponent had managed to find good cover. While this fire fight occurred Ryu turned back to the scene at the infringement. Hardly any shots were being fired, and a chill was sent down the commander’s spine as he saw the foe begin to muster a fresh charge. Ryu knew what he had to do, and he had to do it soon.

“All units, converge on Wall Three, I repeat, converge on Wall Three immediately. Hostiles have breached, and are converging on the Western Gate. Bring out the Kroot.”

* * *

Hedon smiled as he ran, his cruel blade whickering left to right, disembowelling or beheading in a single stroke. These beings were no challenge for him or his loyal followers, and they quickly swept towards the control centre. Unexpectedly, a fresh burst of gunfire came from the left bunker, three of his men disappearing in the fusillade of energy and dirt. Cursing, he and the rest of the company ducked into the nearest cover. The Noise Marines on the wall were keeping the other bunker busy, but Hedon and his men needed covering fire now, and the rearguard with heavy weapons were taking too long. A delightful feeling of uncertainty passed through the Chaos lord, and he shuddered as things came into focus. With a roar he stood against the shots being fired, pure, shimmering energy enveloping him. At that same moment, the heavy guns opened fire from the breach, ripping into the bunker. A beam of noise shot past Hedon, filling his nerves and sinews with power, and rendering the inhabitants of the bunker senseless. All around him Emperor’s Children stood with their lord, and as one they charged towards to entrance. Strangely, there were creatures there waiting for them, creatures with spines along their back and beaks for mouths. They looked fearsome, and Hedon hoped they were as good an adversary as they looked. A particularly large and scarred beast stepped forward, and gave out a screeching cry, indicating a call to war. Two can play at that game, thought Hedon gleefully. As one the charging Emperor’s Children shrieked a siren’s call, louder, more perilous, and enrapturing to behold. The fighting seemed to stop, the Tau in their bunkers frozen in wonder, while the Kroot halted before they had begun, longing and dread in their eyes. It was all that was needed for the Children of the Emperor. Within moments they were amongst them, ripping through weak flesh and crushing skulls. Hedon saw, heard, and felt the overwhelming feeling of battle, felt it course through his veins, enjoying every moment. From the flowing melee came their leader. Quickly his attention focussed on this individual, the energy around him building up to a crescendo. Together they struck out, dancing around each other, both with an unnatural agility. Blades flashing, ducking, weaving, striking, the two fought on. However, the Kroot could not touch Hedon, while the Chosen of Chaos struck his opponent with every strike, drawing blood. Abruptly out of nowhere a serrated blade struck Hedon, biting into his flesh behind his knee. Hedon turned to see a dying Kroot warrior being finished by another Emperor’s Child, after it had managed to wound him. Realising the danger, he turned back, only to have the wounded Kroot leap at him, the huge knife curving down towards him. Every muscle twitched with anticipation and wonder, a feeling of the unknown overcoming him. As if in slow motion the sword made for his head. With lightening quick reflexes Hedon dodged to his right, the blade slamming into his shoulder guard and becoming stuck fast. The Kroot warrior looked perplexed for a moment before Hedon’s own sword stabbed into it’s gut. Hedon came in close, and whispered into the thing’s ear.
“That was fun.”
Rearing back Hedon raised his fist to strike, the daemon contained within it willing for the sensation of blood. It came forward at speed, pulverising the creature’s head instantly, the shock and fear washing over Hedon. The satisfaction of the kill met every desire. But soon it was gone; the desire to reach what was inside his only goal.

* * *

Chief Commander Ryu had watched all this from his command station, the carnage and acts of wanton destruction, all occurring as if from a dream. His forces had been wiped out before his eyes, and the reinforcements were doubtful. Those Fire Caste left were fighting a losing battle, but one that he could attempt to save. There was only one option left in order to save what was contained within these walls, and it had to be now before the enemy managed to gain access. However the foul Chaos scum had found out what was here was unimaginable, but stopping them was all that mattered anyway.

* * *

The weakling Tau soldiers were attempting to flank the Emperor’s Children with minimal success, their superior position preventing a strong counter attack. They had lost around 10 men, too many for Hedon’s liking, and this was taking far too long. A few were working at getting inside, operating as quickly as possible. As Hedon oversaw operations his keen hearing picked up a low whining, that steadily began to rise. Before he could imagine what it was, three large humanoid machines rose into the air from the other side of the base, swooping in front of his men and raking them with fire. Explosions lit up the field, Chaos marines melting before the wave of plasma and disappearing in the bright explosions of rockets. Every pass killed or wounded killed a few more, the marines hugging cover as best they could. A few stood defiantly firing sonic weapons. One scored a direct hit, the powerful wave of energy boring a hole right through a battle suit before it exploded, showering the scene with flaming parts. The lead suit landed, concentrating it’s fire on those with heavy weapons. Hedon took this as his opportunity and charged forth, the daemon calling for the thing’s blood, and Hedon could no longer resist the call. Barely ten feet from his goal the machine turned to face him, and unleashed a short burst. The rounds struck out at Hedon, but he kept going, the daemon pulling him forward with greater and greater speed. Every shot that hit home was a new experience, the pain and pleasure rising as one. With one last leap, he struck out at the Tau commander, the daemon weapon ripping through metal and into the soft flesh behind it. Hedon bathed in the glory of his victory, and when the daemon had fed, he stood roaring his defiance upon the wrecked shell. His elite warriors finished the remaining enemy, feeding upon the pain that they delivered. Everything had gone to plan, and now it was a simple matter of retrieving the prize.

* * *

The Thunderhawk soared into the night sky as Tau reinforcements swept through the ruined base. Inside were the signs of torture and torment, those few Fire caste members that had survived coming under the scrutiny of the vengeful Emperor’s Children. Scenes of horror had met them in every corridor and every room. But there was one thing missing – the Council Members who were on a tour of the local garrisons. Among them was a revered Ethereal, and various members of the other Castes. Death had come, and the Tau were shocked and stunned at the brutality wrought upon them, seemingly for no reason. Indeed, Hedon did not have a reason, he mused, as the Thunderhawk exited the atmosphere. He had the Tau Council Members secured at the back of the Thunderhawk, drugged on hallucinogenic cocktails that brought their worst nightmares to the fore. That was all he cared about - the urge to indulge in their pain almost overcoming him. Something inside him said that the raid had been a waste, that the losses of his men outweighed its importance. A nagging feeling told him that the entire mission had no importance and the only reason he had carried it out was for his own pleasure. He knew that the voice was right, of course, but he pushed it deep inside himself and let the sensations of victory overcome him. The rapture from fulfilling a deed for Her pleasure far outweighed any tactical goals. It would be a new experience to torture these beings that had such a bond and unity, one by one, the most important first. Feeding on a new experience was all that mattered any more.
Stories of Lust / Sons of Eternal Uncomfort
« Last post by refuse on April 17, 2014, 10:10:11 PM »
This is a story about being a noise marine, told by my representitive Chaos lord Justin. Yeah i know Justin doesn't sound that warhammer40kish but, it is the name of a saint. A martyr infact that died a horribaly painful death. So i thought it was fitting, and my name in real life is also Justin too.

Sons of Eternal Uncomfort.

Justin, Chaos lord the 56th Emperor’s Children Great Company, The Sons of Eternal Uncomfort, looked into the vast void of space, his mind floating on pleasant memories. Abaddons latest crusade into imperial space had been a great success, chaos reigned all around the tendrils of the eye of terror, and the entire area of space had become a foot hold of chaos. There was no longer any hiding behind warp storms. Cadia, amazingly had been defeated, the heart of imperial defense had been rendered useless, as everything around it now was in chaos control. It was quite refreshing to be in stable space again. The eternal agony inside the eye of terror was of course sublime, but out of the eye's influence there was a real contrast, a conflict between burning hells and ordered space. There was innocence here, that’s what was refreshing. Abaddon of course was a fool, in Justin's opinion. He had no idea why Abaddon was so passionate about claiming the galaxy as his own, it all seemed silly and childish. Of course they should corrupt the innocent and extend the chaos powers, but why go as far as to extend our own power? Slaanesh would offer everything that anyone would ever need, they would simply need to extend her power by simply following your own nature, to feel. All else would follow. Still Slaanesh liked Abaddon, and his leadership had helped unify the chaos powers to finally crush the strangle hold that held them in. The crusades had been long awaited, every legion had been polishing it's weapons and readying it's war machine for some time after the Horus heresy That is after everybody got used to damnation and could concentrate again.

The Emperor’s children were never really about war with the Imperium, just extending its own power to feel. They just poked fun at the Imperium for a laugh. Back when Fabious betrayed the legion for his own experiments, damning them well before any of the other legions became so corrupted. They didn't even help with the attack on the imperial palace. They were too busy gratifying their own desires. Pain had cleansed them of any past foolish untrue desire, of any hatred, nothing else mattered anymore. Justin remembered bounding down the gold plated roads of ancient terra, the normally spectacular scenery of the imperial capital was made so colorful. The horrifying sounds of his bolter assaulted his soul and stable existence, ripping apart his innocence, making all of his life, previous to this moment, pale in comparison, now suddenly forgotten as now it seemed unimportant. The citizens he was terrorizing could not comprehend his existence. He was now more than them, more alive, more existing.

Then something amazing happened, Slaanesh, child of the wonderful Eldar talked to him. She was amazed that such an existence could be possible in mortal bodies. But his space marine training had made him strong, strong enough to feel things so powerful. His soul was shaken, almost until it went out, but Slaanesh now with her attention drawn away from the siege of the palace by this explosion of warp energy emitting by the Emperor's children legion, invested her power into holding their souls safe in warp space, empowering them to endure such destroying sensations. The legion was no longer organized, it had been broken into self gratifying individuals, helping themselves to the public of terra. Some marines lay terrorized in dark corners cowering away from the world, turning off and destroying their sensory equipment. What had Fabious done to them? But Slaanesh answered everyone, accepted everyone of the legion and told them her secrets. She had nearly all but given up hope on the Eldar on giving her influence in the cosmos and needed a new force to preach her words and defile in her name. In a now human dominated galaxy, this legion was perfect. The legion accepted the offer, perhaps she could enlighten them and lead them on though the haze of their new existence.

Now war on a sector scale was a reality again, and the influence of chaos now had many new armies of unarmored humans on it's side. Orcs, Tau, Tyranids, Necrons, could now be retaliated upon. All it needed was the right organization, no doubt Abaddon would once again collect together the legions, and many new armies on crusades against the foes.

The Orc's were hard to corrupt, in a near Khorne worshipping frenzy, in their strangely innocent violence and war mongering. Side by side with their powerful gods they fought any enemy, for fun and in the meantime became numerous and made their own powerful influence in the warp. The Tau young and warp fires small. Their pursuit of pointless logic after logic was insulting, and their sphere of influence held valuable resources. The whole race mindless needed to be completely wiped out before its epidemic of order got any further. It would however be fun to corrupt such a orderly society if it took over the galaxy, it would contrast so well with himself. But there was no point waiting, he wanted to kill them all now. The Tyranids were a biological force of a chaos power called the hive mind, which simply gathered recourses to build hive nodes to further the hive minds power. For what reason? Maybe it made it feel good. The hive minds relentless pursuit of power was insulting to the chaos powers, even Tzeentch, who was offended by anything that assumed it was better than he.

The Necrons were the most offending thing to any thing with a large connection with warp space. They were once corruptible with souls, but the star gods had got to them. The children of this world of reality and atoms, they drew their own power from the stars. They didn't need the powers of chaos, and sought to sow permanent death everywhere by killing every living thing, putting them in their warp severing skeletal machines. They were of course the main threat, which was why the forces of chaos must dominate man as to source enough power to kill the star gods. After the star gods were destroyed, which would be a formidable challenge, the universe would be free.

For now there was more corruption to sow, but nothing much matted to Justin. His own relationship with Slannesh was purely selfish, as hers was with him. He just wanted to feel more and more incredible things, and she let him, in return Slaanesh's influence in the warp was extended and her own power to create such sensations, for herself and others. So Justin didn't care that much for Abaddons little missions he just used the chance so he could experience combat, and make trips into ever so innocent cities to have giant "parties" where the citizens of the city would be more terrified than anything else. He like any other noise marine loved the conflict and contrast created between the innocent and damned. Their psychic screams were ever so beautiful, so powerful, and so loud. Slaanesh fed, as he did, addicted to powerful waves of warp energy.

They had arrived at their destination, a yet uncorrupted city world. Justin psychicly communicated with the possessed ship and readied his suits communicator. "We have arrived my brothers! Prepare for the feast!"
Stories of Lust / fet's - As once you could be
« Last post by refuse on April 17, 2014, 10:08:56 PM »

I was on Beckett’s End when I met him. He didn’t know it then, but he only had three weeks left before he got burned up. He’d just cycled back from the Palomar Campaign and was looking at a few weeks of down time before they sent him back to get shot up again. The leg didn’t hurt anymore by the time I ran into him in a bar in Pozzo, it’d had enough time to heal most of the way back, and the bionics were looking good. Real good. The metal would catch the light wherever he was; I reckon I even saw it glinting prettily through his fatigues a couple of times. Given the source, I’m not surprised.
He was sitting there, at a little table down the back, drinking away all the memories he didn’t want to have with that crap they sell there. Beckett’s End doesn’t have the good stuff—hell, it doesn’t even have the bad stuff, only the really bad stuff. Anyway, he was half awake and looking pretty nasty when I got there. We’d all seen the vids of him by then—as you have, I’m sure—so I knew who he was right away. No one was bothering him, not even the barman who only brought drinks over when he got sick of hearing the guy whimpering. It’s like there was a bubble round him, a good few metres wide. I guess everyone just knew what was gonna happen to him.
I thought to myself that it just ain’t pretty watching a man drink himself into oblivion alone, so I took it upon myself to buy him a couple, maybe get a story out of him.
So I sit down across the table from him, and my foot bangs against that leg of his. A little sort of ting sound comes off of it, and it seems like it’s never gonna stop ringing. Then he puts his hand on it and sorta whispers, like ‘shush’ or something. Like you might talk to your kid to get them to stop crying. Weirded me right out, that. So he looks up at me, holding a drink out to him, and his eyes are bloodshot. You kinda expect that from a guy who’s been drinking for a couple of weeks straight, but you don’t expect the grin. Manic. His teeth were right there in my face, looking for a moment like he’d sharpened them, and like I was the next meal on his list. But then his lips shut and he mutters ‘Thanks,’ before taking the drink off me and taking a long, long swallow.
‘You’re pretty famous,’ I said, ‘this whole sector knows your face.’
‘Yeah, that happens.’ Open and shut, no room for getting anything out of him that he doesn’t want to let out.
‘Something to do with your leg,’ I continued, ‘Mind if I have a look?’
He looked me right in the eyes, then sort of smirks, pulls his leg out from beneath the table, and starts hitching up his pants. Prettiest damn bit of bionics I’ve ever seen. Not even those marines we saw on Maupassant Prime had such impressive metal. All the lines were smooth and clean, the hinges and hydraulics worked without even a hiss, and the hoses were all that armoured type, you know, the real expensive stuff. It came from just above his knee all the way down to his foot, with only a little bit of the meat still attached where his calf would be. I guess that was all they could salvage. Or maybe they thought it’d look nicer that way. He flexed the steel toes and all the pistons and cables twitched and slid through the movement.
‘So how’d you get it?’ I asked, afraid he might just give me the details I already knew.
‘You’ve seen the vids.’
‘Yeah, something about xenotech, wasn’t it? But we all know that’s grox-fart.’
He leaned back, almost in a drunken slump, yawned, and let his pants slide back over the polished metal of his leg.


‘We were in the trenches, back on Palomar Tertius, watching all the time for the glow of the artillery’s tracer-fire tracking us down. It wouldn’t take them too long, they were just tracking across the trench-line, knocking out a platoon with every shot. That was the terrifying bit: every shot hit home, not a missed or ineffective shell anywhere. I’d just been made sergeant after Hille got nailed the previous day, so it was my job to make sure my boys stayed put and kept up a constant stream of fire whenever one of the traitors stuck their heads up. It would’ve been easier with some titan support, but the whole of Tertius was down to three Warlords and a half dozen Warhounds. We’d be lucky to see the shadow of one on the horizon.
‘By the fact that the pounding of the shells was working its way towards us from either side, we knew we were in the middle of the battle line. We had no idea till Rogan, a grunt, pointed it out. We all knew what that meant. Being in the middle meant that they’d shell everyone else into oblivion, then assault on all fronts, coming at us from the front and sides at the same time. Against these traitors it was better to be shelled. We’d all heard the stories about how depraved they were. Half my men, when we realised the artillery was quietening, made to run. The moment they got over the back lip of the trench, though, bolt rounds went neatly through their spines. Not even a squeak from any of them, they just dropped.
‘I’ll bet Conrad, the Commissar, would’ve liked to see that—if he hadn’t been three hundred metres to the south getting blown to pieces.
‘When the shells finally stopped their pounding, we waited. We knew the traitors were coming, and we could hear their voices booming loud across No Man’s Land, but no one wanted to stick their head up. You’ve got to appreciate that; they’re superhuman, even if they’re traitors, and there isn’t a guardsman in the entire Imperial Army could take a hit from a boltgun, and none that can match the accuracy. Not these traitors, anyway. As I said, every shell hit, and every bolter round killed.
‘When we heard them sprinting across the open ground beyond the trench, we prayed. There wasn’t much else we could do. A couple of the lads stood up to fire their lasguns and were dead before their finger had a chance to tighten on the trigger. Links had the flamer and shot a few bursts along the edge of the trench, which might’ve slowed them down if a grenade hadn’t landed at his feet a moment later.
‘I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a flameboy hit by a grenade. They explode into a fireball when the shrapnel penetrates the fuel canister, it gets spread everywhere: all over the trench, all over anyone nearby. It’s the fuel, you see. They make it sticky so that anyone hit keeps burning. When that gets poured into a trench you get a lot of dead bodies, and they don’t smell good, either. Plus it means the survivors get cramped up into a smaller space—anywhere the fuel hasn’t stuck.
‘When the traitors dropped into the trench, we all knew it was over, but we had to fight back. Nothing else to do. Our bayonets were useless, though, couldn’t penetrate the armour if we’d been twice as strong. Their chainswords hacked the rest of us apart with a single stroke. Except me. Their boss had plans for me.
‘He pointed to me with his power sword, obviously intending that we fight some kind of duel. I figured I was dead anyway, so I straightened up, drew my chainsword, and prepared to die like a Guardsman. The Emperor’d like that, I figured.
‘When he made his first move I was ready, and hurled myself back, hoping to catch the back side of the trench to spring forwards again. It’s a pretty simple trick, they teach it to all the Guards at basic training on Camus. The only problem is that by the time I got to the back of the trench I didn’t have a leg to spring back from. His arm was too quick. Right where my leg should have been, his sword had cut clean through.
‘They say that power weapons automatically sear the wound, and that it’s shock you die from, not blood loss, but that isn’t true. Not through your leg, it isn’t. The artery there’s huge, you’d need to actually hold the sword there to burn it closed. So I fell back against the wall and bled, expecting to feel that same blade come through my chest at any moment. But I didn’t. I looked up at him, and he was staring at me through those purple lenses on his helmet like he couldn’t believe that I survived a single stroke. A bit arrogant, really.
‘Then this other marine pushes past him, all sorts of nasty looking tools sticking out of his backpack and off his wrists. I recognised some of them from serving alongside the marines over on Lethe, the tools their medics carry. Other ones just looked to me like implements of torture. He knelt down over me, brushing away my sword with his hand when I tried to defend myself, and stuck a needle in my neck.’


He stops then to ask for another drink, which I gladly oblige. The story we all heard on the vids was that he’d been some sort of hero for scouting out a rear assault on a Xeno-held position. He’d lost his leg, apparently, when he got spotted, but then killed the guy that hacked his leg, and took the new leg off him. Kinda like Yarrick—if you believe that story.
He was scratching at the end of his stump of a leg when the drinks arrived, like the wound was still healing. He nailed the drink in one and I got him another, which he sipping all casual-like. Somehow he wasn’t getting too drunk, even though he’d obviously had a few.
‘You can handle your piss,’ I says.
‘There are still drugs in my system, the docs tell me,’ he replies, ‘apparently that’s why I can’t sleep and can’t get too drunk. Bit of crap to be in.’ He laughed then, and sipped his drink again.


‘I woke up later on a bench, blood everywhere: all over my fatigues, all over the table, the floor, the walls. Everywhere. At least my leg had stopped bleeding, there was a thin bandage over the stump that had meshed with the flesh there. I could see a couple of stiffs on other benches around the room with their organs hanging out and little pins sticking into them here and there. I was there a while before they came in for me. I couldn’t move except my head, they’d bound me pretty tight to the metal, so all I could do was wait.
‘That was horrible. All those bodies, all that blood, and this constant drone from all around, like there were engines in every room around me. The strangest thing was the smell, though. No reek of dead bodies or rot or anything like that. I couldn’t even smell the blood. Just flowers, like they’d coated everything in perfume. Creepy like you wouldn’t believe.
‘So when they came for me there were two of them: the traitor that took my leg, and the medic. The medic stood by while the other came over by my head and took off his helmet. His eyes had purple irises, and his skin was paler than an ice shark, especially because he had no hair, not even stubble. His lips were thin and pink, but his smile was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, even more than anything I saw when my parents took me to Hallis, the Garden World, when I was little.
‘“You’re a remarkable man, Sergeant Blake,” he said, “You’re the first I’ve ever faced that hasn’t died at a single stroke.”
‘I coughed up a bit of blood then as I tried to laugh in his face—and that’s harder than you’d think, when you’re in that place. He pulled a cloth from a pouch at his waist and wiped my mouth clean.
‘“We pride ourselves on our perfection here, you see,” he continued, “The ideal man, above any of your kind, above even your Corpse God’s lackeys—daring to call themselves marines. When I was on Terra, all those millennia ago, even then none stood before me as well as you.”
‘He was pacing around as he spoke, each footfall softened on the blood that covered the floor.
‘“Hence, you’re an enigma. You shouldn’t exist.” He paused now, before leaning over me to breath into my face—perfume again—and continue: “But you do. You, unlike the untold billions of your kind, are close to our kind of perfection. Not very close, but close enough for us to notice you.”
‘The medic stepped forward now, pulling a tray of tools with him, and interrupting.
‘“That’s why we’re going to reward you,” he slid past his comrade, pulling his tools with him, “Perfection should never be destroyed. Never. We’ll make you more perfect.”
‘I managed to wheeze a “Damn you” before he stuck another needle into my neck. This one, though, didn’t knock me out. Instead of watching from inside myself as I slipped into the black, I was slowed right down. It was like watching those old vids where the data’s been mangled and everything goes slow. Worst part was that I could still feel everything, I just couldn’t move or make a sound.
‘You haven’t felt pain till you’ve had it slowed down almost to a pause. Every moment took an hour to pass. So, when he started cutting into my leg, I felt the sawing of the blade like you wouldn’t believe. Pain isn’t just your brain telling you something’s gone wrong, it’s more than that; it’s kinda like an epiphany you shouldn’t have. Like when you realise that your officers don’t care about any of you, and that you’re just a meat shield to keep the traitors back while the artillery does its work. And that the artillery is there just to hold the line while the Navy deals with the traitors in orbit; they’re just slowing Chaos down as it works its way towards Terra; that Terra’s just an object in space holding the rotting bits of the Emperor, and that the Emperor’s not even alive.
‘Pain’s like that: you can’t imagine that the galaxy makes any sense, or that there’s any stopping the bad bits taking over like cancer.
‘The cutting was the good bit, though. Once he started drilling out my bones I was sure I’d die, so much pain clotting my head that I wished I was dead, and that even being dead going to hell’d be better. Hell can’t be that bad. By the time he’d finished all the brutal stuff I was a wreck. I’d gone mad inside my own head, even though the whole thing only probably took half an hour. But, as I said, the drug slowed that down and drew it out. It felt like I’d gone through years, almost as many as I’ve been alive.
‘Then he put the leg in place—this thing—and all the pain went away, just like that. Almost erased it from my mind; there isn’t anything that could do that properly. Anyway, the moment it touched me I was happy. Get that: happy. What’s there to be happy about? But my brain cleaned right up, like being really, really sober the morning after, no headaches or anything. Just clean.
‘“Now you’re better than you’ve ever been,” the medic said, “You’re more perfect than before. You are beautiful to us.”
‘They left then, and for the next three days I waited for that damn drug to wear off so I could sleep, or anything. It wore off a little bit, everything slowly sped up back almost to normal. But I’ve given up on waiting for that happen. No one’s gonna talk at normal speed again, no one’s gonna move as fast as they used to. Everyone but me. You can’t see it, but I can reach out and touch this glass, drain it all back, and put it back in place—and all you’ll see is the glass wobble a bit, and some of the drink trickle down my chin. But moving that quick leaves me dizzy. I guess we’re just not made for whatever drug the traitors are using.
‘Anyway, after the three days were over, they took me off the bench, gave me new fatigues, and put me on one of their transports. They took me out into the wastes and left me there. The guy that I’d fought was with me, and he said nothing the whole way there, not until we got to the edge of their territory.
‘ “Head north for half a day and you will reach your lines,” he said, his voice smoother than the Ecclesiarchy’s orators, “They know to expect you.”
‘So I got out and started walking. I didn’t get tired, and I didn’t slow down. I just walked. Must’ve been ten leagues or so before I saw the banners sticking up above the bunkers. About three hundred metres out they came out with the Colonel’s guard. They surrounded me and put me in quarantine. And now here I am, new leg, new chance to prove myself to the Emperor, but better than any of you.’


His last line he sneered. I knew he was just a grunt, but he had some kinda thinking like he was special. Then he did it: just drained his glass so quick you couldn’t’ve seen more than his hand move and hear the glass hit the table again. I don’t mind saying it scared the crap outta me.
‘You got some leg there,’ I says.
He shrugged, ‘It’s the drugs, not the leg.’
‘What’s so special ‘about the leg then?’ I asked.
He flicked the metal through his pants and it started that ringing again, but this time didn’t put no hand near it to stop it. Pretty soon, that ringing was getting into my head like those brainworms out in the wastes, and I had to get outta there. I paid the barman on the way out, leaving a few creds so Blake could keep up his drinking. If nothing else, it’d keep him from following me, I figured.
As I says, though, he only had three weeks left before they got to him. Word was they killed everyone in the bar, where they found him, then burned him up on that hill over to the east of Pozzo. One of them incendiary shells straight outta a Russ, so you can be pretty sure there wasn’t anything of him left. His leg, though, I reckon I’d bet half my rations that thing came out fine, just fine.
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