Originally i had planned for the story to be one whole piece but since we have new authors starting up we've decided to do the story in arcs and although i liked the title 'in the vermin's wake' it turned out it wasn't relevant for how the arc turned out, but I'll be using it in the future. Now i feel like i need to apologise for somethings (or maybe make excuses
) first thing my story has kinda gone all over the place my original idea was for it to go down a certain path but, after discussing things with my fellow authors, the story kinda fell down the hill beside said path which is my own fault for making assumptions and kinda staying quiet during the early group developments. Secondly the quality, in the early parts we had a 2 week (i think) posting schedule and since i didn't have a great amount of time to write a lot of it was rushed, it also meant i rushed to get to a certain point then upon reaching that point unforeseen circumstances happened and i was stuck in a place and not really able to go anywhere, although I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to create some good character moments (drunken bar scenes are always great
) i feel the overall posts were lacking in substance so sorry if I've disappointed anyone with a mediocre story. Thank you for being patient.
If you've enjoyed what I've been posting then please ignore the above and continue to read on in delightful merriment
He wakes. His mind is drawn to the sensation of a great corruption that tugs at his soul. His skin tingles, as if thousands of tiny insects are crawling all over him. He thinks back to the teachings of his master “She is hunting, she is thirsty,” an ethereal voice whispers to him.
In his short life he has walked paths that few, if any of his kind, has walked before. The ranger saw a gift in him. The dangers and corruption of the gift had haunted his orphaned life, had almost lead him to a fate worse than death, until the ranger had rescued him from the destroyed obsidian vessel.
“They will bring her here, she will drink their souls,” the hollow, wraithlike voice whispers to him. He knows deep down that he has nothing to fear, the tall cloaked ones will keep her from them, but he is still scared.
The sound of the stones echo through his mind again, he tries to focus on them. Maybe the focus will ease his fears, maybe it will guide him out of this dark, half dead state. The echoes get louder, as if they are coming from right beside him. The smell of harsh chemicals assault his nose, the tingling of his skin turns cold and the tiny pads press on his body once again.
Franklier pops the lid back on the healing balm and puts it back in the draw of his desk. He leans back in his chair and rubs the balm into the joint, where machine meets flesh, on his shoulder. Aang’ma had recently visited him to perform a routine maintenance on his arm and legs and to recalibrate his optic lens. The stocky, unsociable mechanic made the work, and the atmosphere, more uncomfortable than necessary. After refitting the bionic limb the top of his arm had become red and sore, a pain he has become familiar with, but luckily, with the help of some of the chefs, he has made an herbal balm to numb the pain.
After replacing his shirt he looks round the empty ward, the medical drones float around as they clean the already sterile room. Franklier sighs and starts tapping his fingers on his desk, the Fio’tak digits clang rhythmically on the cold, white metal. His need for a smoke is always at its worse during times of inaction as it always makes him miss the constant warring that was present in the Imperium. At least during that time he had things to do, even if the stress of the work was the reason he started smoking in the first place, but now he spends most of his time watching beautifully crafted machines float about doing most of his work for him. He hardly ever has mortal help in the ward anymore, the Path Resurgence has provided him with everything – everything except company – the facility is the finest he has ever had but it hasn’t provided him with everything he needs.
“You know you’re the closest thing to a friend in here,” he says to a drone as it hovers passed him. The drone is fitted with the simplest AI, made only to perform whatever task it is given, and so ignores the comment and continues its business.
His, real, hand becomes twitchy, he slams his fist into his desk and stands up, the double mechanical joints of his legs make him a little unstable as he is still getting used to the Tau’s manufactured prosthetics. He looks down and chuckles as he sees hooves where his feet should be. He leaves his small office and makes his way to the infirmary to check on the unconscious psykers.
He is met with the regular hustle and bustle of people frantically darting around the corridors as they all go about their duties. He passes a short, brown haired woman carrying a box full of tools, her tan overalls have spotting’s of oil stains and her natural scent is masked behind a thick reek of promethium, she gives him a wink as she walks past. Her emerald eyes strike a stunning resemblance to his, now deceased, wife. He pauses for a second as memories of her flow through his mind, he closes his eye as a tear runs down his face.
“Not now Hauner,” he tells himself.
He pulls a rag, which he always has tucked into his belt, and wipes his cheek dry. He clears his throat then quickly hops out of the way of a small group of security guards rushing from out of nowhere, he watches them disappear round a corner than continues to the infirmary.
The feeling of dread will not leave him, he tries to think of other things but it is always there, in the back of his thoughts. There is a name at the edge of his consciousness, he focuses on it but it alludes him. The familiar clacking sound continues close by, echoes of reality pulsate with every strike. A sudden thin pin prick of light pierces the darkness. He can hear a familiar gruff voice talking, it is muffled as if he is hearing it from underwater. The light spreads out horizontally, he realises his eyes are opening for the first time in what feels like a lifetime to him. For a short moment all he can see is the blinding white light but as they focuses he sees a semi mechanical man stood at the end of a purple humanoid creature.
“Welcome back,” the grizzled man says. His deep, husky voice sounds familiar to him.
“Who….” Before he could finish the question, his sense of self returns to him. “What’s going on?” Calurit asks his grey eyes wide with fear.
“Can’t you remember? You had a run in with the Feh’rins. You’ve been unconscious for the past 3 days.”
Cal looks over to Hasah, who is in the bed next him, and notices that he is rolling two red stones in his hand. “Do you feel it?”
The Kroot looks at him and nods.
“What?” Franklier asks, ignorant to what Calurit had sensed while semi unconscious.
“There’s a twisted presence on its way.”
They had been talking for half an hour and she still couldn’t get her head around what he was telling her. She was member of the Imperium, one of the Emperor’s finest, she was not meant to be here, had her circumstances been different she wouldn’t be. But this is her life now. She needs to accept the teachings her former comrade is giving her, this is the only place where she can be safe.
“How can the galaxy survive if all we do is kill each other?” Noran says as he pulls a chair up to barrier “Our arrogance has led our race to be genocidal. According to Cal, many of the races out there are our cousins.” He takes a seat and leans forward, pressing his fingers together and stares at her with his piercing, blue eyes.
“What?” is all Aeryn can say, the thought of mankind having any link to Xenos sounds absurd to her.
“There was a race known as the Old Ones, they were powerful creatures …”
“Where’s this going?”
“… They created almost all the races in the galaxy.”
Aeryn stares at him blankly for a few seconds, she is about to reply but a commotion at the end of the room draws her attention. “What’s going on?”
“Looks like they’re bringing someone in.” Noran leans back in his chair and watches as a group of heavily armoured Au’taalians lead, what appears to be, a black armoured Eldar into a cell. “Well that’s unexpected.”
Tilah screams, fear and anger violently mix within him making the noise sound almost daemonic, and launches a chair across the room at the phantom. The image of the hooded figure erupts into a puff of thick black smoke that quickly vanishes as the chair makes contact with it.
Tilah falls back into the window and slides down it. His breathing becomes heavy and frantic, his eyes dart about the wreckage that is his office looking for the phantom to reappear. He shivers, frost begins to build in the corners of the window above him, and his breath turns to mist with each icy exhale. An invisible hand gently and seductively brushes along his cheek, making him inhale sharply, leaving a warm, intimate sensation on his face. A soft, comforting voice whispers in his ear in an alien language. Although he doesn’t know the language he can tell the voice is offering him sanctuary, knowledge, power, everything any mortal could desire.
Images of thousands of Gue’las kneeling before him enter his mind, behind them is a ruined city set ablaze. He is sat on a throne made from the bones of those from a lost empire, the crowd raise their hands in rejoice. A sudden and enormous surge of sickening power erupts from behind him, the skin on the Gue’las begins to melt then their bodies ignite in a flurry of bright, nauseating colours. He holds his hand up to shield his eyes, his fingers begin to twitch then something starts to crawl under his skin. The voice becomes harsh and raspy, a warmth is felt on the back of his head. He wants to turn round but his attention is held on the thing in his hand.
The sound of his skin tearing hits him before the pain does, he cries out as his middle finger splits down the middle, making his hand look like a blue version of the Gue’las. A small, ebony spike pokes out from the cleft of his hand. The voice begins to laugh behind him but still he can’t turn around. He begins to scream as the spike gets bigger, ripping his arm apart from the inside and turning it into a disgusting pincer type claw. His eyes begin to burn, the last thing he sees are monstrous, unnatural creatures climbing out of the smouldering corpses.
“No!” he screams to the empty room. Amethyst tears streak down his face “Please, no more.”
He looks down at his hand and sees the familiar three fingered anatomy that is his birth right. In the corner of the room the fallen holo projector spits into life and the figure of a female ethereal appears on its side.
"Brothers and sisters, friends, comrades, I bid you greetings in the name of the Greater Good. We stand together, we stand together before the threshold of the Silence."
Her voice battles that of his unknown assailant as reality and delirium fight for control. He rocks back and forth as the dueling voices overwhelm him. Tears run down his face as his will slowly falls away, desperately his shaking hands feel for something, anything, to grant him a release. He searches for something sharp, something hard, something lethal but his hand lands on the half empty bottle of Jui’yel. He lifts the bottle and watches the glistening, cobalt liquid dance enticingly in its container.
Without a second thought he empties the contents of the bottle, hoping for release in its intoxicating numbness.End