Into Silence: The Red Sash

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Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#1 » Jul 02 2015 11:16

Dear Readers of the Into Silence series, here begins an experiment. T113 author of The Vermin's Wake, Nightmares for the Dreamless and most recently Unto the Dead, has asked me to write the continuing story of Aeryn Tailor. I want to thank him for trusting me with his babe (I mean baby! Baby! I meant to say baby! In a paternal, fatherly sort of way!)
T113, I hope I do you proud!



INTO SILENCE: THE RED SASH
BY T113 and TAUMAN

PROLOGE:
Riza turned and walked away from Aeryn's holding cell shaking her head, when she almost ran head first into a tall tau man. Startled she looked up only to notice she was staring into his chest, and so unexpected was this, that she looked up at him speechless. Looking down at her, the the elderly tau man smiled and said, "Madam, it seems you're quite overwhelmed with your friend the Aeryn Tai'lor, no? I believe…xhmm, that I maybe of assistance."

“Ah...whoa you're tall! Excuse me sir, but, ah…and you are?” Riza winced realizing how rude her question must sound.

“Pardon, me for not introducing myself!” The old tau man gallantly made an Au'taal bow with flourishes, “I am Shas'El'Au'taal'Bentu'qazdan – Wise Dragon!”

“I think…I think maybe Noran Allucdia is who you want to talk to sir."

“Thank you madam, I shall contact him immediately,” and with that the old tau gentleman made another bow with flourishes and continued on his way down the corridor. Reaching the mag-lift elevator, Riza turned around to see him make a call. Speaking into the air she heard him say, “Hullo Kaptin Allucdia?… My pardons, Shas'Vre'Allucdia it is then!…Yes there is, I believe I can help with the matter of Aeryn Tailor…

“What an unusual firewarrior? You know he's not bad looking for a blue…but, what a moustache!” thought Riza as the lift door closed.
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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#2 » Jul 06 2015 04:12

A LITTLE INTRODUCTION - Part I

Aeryn lay on her cot staring up at the ceiling, which at the moment looked like the sky after a storm, with large blustery, billowing white clouds moving rapidly overhead. It was a tau holographic simulation complete with flying birds, the sound of the wind, and the smell of wet grass.

To Aeryn it meant nothing.

She lay naked on the cot, her clothes dropped in a lump beside her. The drone Turnkey had turned off the sun lamp as a safety precaution, when Aeryn refused to roll over after half-an-hour. Refused wasn't the right word, more like didn't give a damn enough to turn over, was more like it. In the past two days since Riza had stopped to see her, Aeryn cared less and less about everything. In fact she hadn't bathed, washed her hair, or eaten much of anything for the better part of a week before Riza's visit. Though food always seemed to be in her mouth, she never seemed to finish a meal. The attendant drone found her meal platters half finished, and her between meal snacks untouched.

“Never” seemed to be all around in the air, floating along with the smell of burning promethium and scent of charred human flesh. Aeryn rolled over and looking at the far wall and saw the holographic depiction of rolling dunes covered in tall wind tossed grass. Dotted here and there across the dunes was either a burning Lehman Russ tank or Chimera transport. The vehicle's smoke being blown away far off to sea by the wind. Looking down at her feet Aeryn could see the beach, not far at all, where the tide of the turquoise blue water was gently sweeping in over the gold sands. Bodies of dead guardsmen bobbed and rolled in the surf, as the waved spilled white foam around the half-sunken landing craft. The blood from the bodies staining the water red or making dark blotches in the sand.

To Aeryn this meant nothing.

In a monotone whisper she said, “Fudding tau, trying to frakk with my head...”

“Tailor Aeryn.”

Aeryn sighed but didn't respond.

“Tailor Aeryn.”

Aeryn rolled around to face the wall and noticed the burning tanks and dead guardsmen were gone, replaced by wind blown grass, sea birds and clouds. “Fudd and frakk me...” she said in her monotone voice.

“Are you responding madam?”

“Fudd and frakk me.”

“Madam you have a visitor.”

“Fudd and frakk me...oh.” Aeryn rolled onto to her back and looked again at her feet saw the beach disappear into a shimmering gold sheet. Someone was her indeed at her cell. Letting out a sigh she said,“Fudd and frakk me, now…I guess…I have to…get dressed.”

Sitting up seemed to take forever, a slow and tiresome trip to a vertical position, that left her feeling exhausted. Breathing deeply she steadied herself with both hands and swung her feet over the edge of the cot. Thankfully the damn Turnkey drone wasn't harassing her with its' constant nagging, “Please comply with the request to…” as it usually did. Then The Abomination of the Machine Spirit dropped from the ceiling and hovered near the foot of the cot. “Frakk me you mechanical byotch! I didn't ask for…your help.”

The Attendant drone moved silently to pile of clothes, but Aeryn waved her hands weakly, “Just sod off! Bloody Abomination!”

“I will be on stand-by madam,” it said.

The thing was not more than twenty centimetres in diameter with four crab-like appendages tucked into it's 'chest', The Abomination as Aeryn called the Attendant drone, hovered beside the cot watching her every move. Aeryn wasn't sure if it really spoke or if the replies were just pre-programmed. Either way it got on her nerves just to have the thing lurking about her cell.

Now leaning forward slowly, her head throbbed, and Aeryn suddenly wished she hadn't moved so fast. It felt like she were humping a 80 kilo pack up a hill with a helmet and lasrifle. Then taking a deep breath and she reached with both hands down to refuse pile of clothes. Grabbing the pile in her hands, she pulled with all her might, to lift it and herself up and back onto the cot. Panting hard she rested with her back against the wall. The Attendant drone asked, “Do you need assistance with getting dressed madam?”

“Back…off…Abomination…” she gasped. Then looking down she saw there were only two items in her hands. “A sock…and…my knickers!” she said starting to cry. “All that effort…and only…a sock…and knickers!” Now she began to sob the tears rolling down her face in gushes. Seeing this Attendant drone scooped up the rest of her clothes and deposited them on her cot. “Frakk you Abomination!”

“Your welcome madam,” it replied.

Through her tears Aeryn laughed. Somehow the stupid tau machine thought 'Fudd' and 'Frakk', meant 'Thank You' and 'Thanks'. As much as she hated The Abomination, she was glad it was there.

“Do you need assistance getting dressed madam?”

“Bpffft…” she blew a 'Guardsman's cheer' at the drone and struggled to get her knickers over her feet.

“I could help you with that item of clothing madam?”

“Bpffft.”

“Please let me help you madam.

“Byotch…I'll…do…it…myself…”

Achieving the victory of putting on of her knickers, Aeryn now reached over and grabbed her undershirt.

“Please let me…”

“Get stuffed…Abomination!”

Pulling the blue shirt over her head, she soon realized she had it on backwards. Struggling to turn it around, she forgot she already had a arm through one sleeve. Pulling her arm out, she leaned back to rest with the undershirt bunched around her neck. Her arms felt like they were weighted down, her whole body feeling like it was made of lead. She rested again breathing heavily. Soon she could feel the undershirt sliding down over her body, as the drone tugged at the shirt. Lifting her arms with great effort she allowed the drone to finish pulling the shirt on.

“Shall we try the pantaloons now madam?” asked the drone.

“I'm…done.”

“Madam, you're not finished getting dressed.”

“I'm done,” sighed Aeryn, as she pulled up her legs up to sit cross legged on the cot. And turning to face the barrier wall she added, “It's either…that tau doctor…Noran or…Riza. So open the screen…They don't give a frakk how I'm dressed.”

“Tailor Aeryn, this person is none of those individuals.”

Aeryn turned around to look into its' blue cyclopean eye. “Who is it then?” She asked pulling her hair out of her mouth.

“A consultant to the Au'taal'ar'tol, the Au'taal High Command,” replied the drone.

Aeryn stared blankly into the blue lens. Then as she tried to push her long matted hair out of her face, she said, “Um…okay. So…um, open the screen?”

The screen lost it's opacity and Aeryn's jaw dropped, for standing there was the strangest tau man she had ever seen since she came aboard the Path Resurgence.

****
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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#3 » Jul 07 2015 08:10

Good start. Liking the Battlestar cursing heheh. Kept waiting for her to say frell. I think you might be the first person to put "byotch" into a 40k story. :)

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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#4 » Jul 08 2015 08:19

Well we were considering 'Gimboid' and 'Smeg Head', but thought it was a little too Red Dwarf. Also 'Fragg' which comes from Babylon 5 was out as it is too close to 'Frakk'. We're still working on our 'SciFi' cuss words! :P
Last edited by TauMan on Jul 21 2015 04:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#5 » Jul 09 2015 10:02

A LITTLE INTRODUCTION: Part - II

Standing on the other side of the barrier screen was a tall elderly tau man dressed in a dark blue high-collared jacket and pants. Firstly he was tall, quite tall for a tau who was not air caste. He stood not with the erect posture of the fire caste, or the rolled shoulders of the earth caste, nor the carefully refined posture of the water caste; but instead his posture was a casually posed slouch. In addition, he listed to one side, putting all his weight on his right foot, while resting his left foot on its' heel.

Secondly on his head was the most peculiar and odd contraption of a hat that Aeryn had ever seen on anyone, human or xenos. It was as if a large dark blue ball had been deflated, squashed, and then dropped on his head. To Aeryn is was like the hat of 'Mad Chef', a big floppy blue thing that draped over both of the old tau's shoulders. So wide was the hat, that Aeryn thought he looked like a blue hooded version of a Mechanicus tech priest.

Thirdly was the matter of his face. His eyes appeared black, but even from behind the barrier when his eyes moved, they gave off emerald green flashes. Then the slit between eyes, whatever that was, was not a straight line, but rather the top of it ended in a small 'T' shape. Finally there was the most wondrous thing of all, his moustache. Aeryn had seen holopics of tau Ethereals with long chin beards; and she had seen one or two tau men with chin whiskers in her time on the Path Resurgence, but a moustache? She didn't know tau could even grow hair on their upper lips! The old gentleman's moustache was a narrow line of fine silver hair, a silver colour unlike any Aeryn had ever seen on a human; which then bent at right angles to curve in graceful arcs, reaching past his eyes almost to his temples. This gravity defying piece of facial architecture was accentuated by a straight silver strip that ran from his lower lip to the bottom of his chin.

He stood there with presents in his hands? In his right hand he held a cylindrical shaped object, and in his left a small flat square object. Both items had brightly coloured coverings and he when saw her, he made as if was offering them to her.

“He's requesting permission to enter madam,” said the attendant drone. “Madam, shall I say your answer is…yes?”

“Fabulous.”

“Is that an affirmative answer madam?”

“His moustache…it's fabulous,” said Aeryn quietly staring at the old tau gentleman.

“Madam shall we allow him to enter?”

“Oh…um…yes.”

The barrier screen lost its' pale off yellow colour, indicating that it was switched to the off, and the elderly tau man stepped into the cell. Instantly the screen when pale yellow again, and at the same time the table unfolded itself from the wall, as did two hover chairs. The old man sat the down box and the cylinder on the table, and turning to Aeryn said, ««Greeting Aeryn Tailor! I heard you haven't been feeling so well? So I have brought you something to help cheer you up!»»

Aeryn had to wait for the attendant drone to perform the translation. The old man's voice was a deep baritone with a lovely musical quality about it, but the translation on the other hand? Well, it sounded like the tenor voice of an adolescent tau male, as if the old man had his teenage grandson doing the translation. The effect was unexpectedly comical and Aeryn unexpectedly gave a slight smile.

««T'ah I must have done something right, no? You're smiling now!»» said the teenager's voice.

He's trying to smile! Trying to smile like a human?” thought Aeryn. Indeed the old tau man was trying to smile, but only managed a half-grin. The effect was even more comical this time and Aeryn let out a little giggle.

««T'oh, you noticed my attempt at a gue'la smile, xhmm? I must apologize, but even with practice, that's the best I can manage.»» Then bowing to Aeryn the old tau man made small flourishes with his left hand in the manner of the Au'taal fire caste. ««Aeryn Tailor, let me introduce my self. My name is Shas'El'Au'taal Bentu'Qazdan – Wise Dragon, but you may call me Bentu'Haha – Wise Grandpa.»»

Aeryn waited for the translation, but upon hearing it looked over at The Abomination, and asked, “Is that the right translation? Wise Grandpa, or was it suppose to be…Wise Grandfather?” The attendant drone turned and looked at old tau man.

The old tau gentleman then answered the question, ««Aeryn Tailor, that was correct Wise Grandpa. 'Grandfather' is another word altogether. Aeryn Tailor would like to sit at the table?»»

Wise Grandpa or Bentu'Haha now moved over to the table and then slid a hover chair next to Aeryn, offering her his hand. Without thinking she reached out and took his old blue hand, and then let him help her onto the chair. He moved around to the front and got down on his haunches to ask her, ««Aeryn Tailor, are you warm enough? Would you like blanket or coverlet?»»

“Aeryn. Just call me…Aeryn. Wise…Grandpa.”

««Aeryn it is then,»» said the elderly tau man as he stood up and pressing a key pad above the bed, then removed a blanket from the wall and wrapped it around Aeryn's shoulders. Wise Grandpa had pre-warmed the blanket, and though Aeryn wasn't cold, it somehow felt wonderful. The old tau man then deployed the seat back and foot rest, making sure to tuck the soft blanket around her bare feet. Then he sat down across from her on the other hover chair and reached for the small box. Aeryn was overcome with these small acts of kindness from a strange and wonderful old xenos, and so now began to cry silently. Seeing this the old tau man's eyes widened, and then darted from side-to-side, with an expression that even to Aeryn seemed to indicate panic.

««Aeryn, my dear what is the matter?»» he asked.

“You're…being…nice,” sobbed Aeryn.

««T'ah, are you crying?»» he asked.

“Y-y-yes…”

The old man then said something and tapped the attendant drone hard. Looking around as if trying to find something, he suddenly stopped, and then reached out to her with both hands. Aeryn instinctively reached out with her right hand and let him take it both of his. She sat there sobbing, and though he still looking panicked, the old tau man had enough presence of mind to stroke her hand and let her cry.

A few minutes later her crying died down, and the attendant drone offered up a disposable handkerchief. She allowed Wise Grandpa to dab her face with it. Now turning to the attendant drone, he tapped it, which signalled that it could began to translating again, ««Now Aeryn let's have something to eat and drink shall we?»»

With that he opened the wrapper on the box and removed its' cover to reveal a tray with three small interior divisions. One compartment held six small golden-white cubes neatly packed in a red leaf. Next there were eight small brown olive-like fruits, also packed in a red leaf. And lastly there were four short yellow and red cylinders, with multi-coloured something-or-anothers in the middle. Aeryn had no clue as to that this food was suppose to be. Wise Grandpa now produced a set of deep purple tau 'quick sticks' and a small two tines 'fork'. The attendant drone now dropped a small blue lacquered platter and a small crystal bowls in front of both of them.

««Aeryn here is a small selection of food from my homeworld of Au'taal. The cubes are Byas't'senegeka – Goat Cheese, and comes the area of the southern seas we refer to as the 'Isles'. The next is a pickled fruit we call Zims't'chidun; which comes from the area in the main continent we call the 'Provinces'. That's were I come from by the way. We also make the best wine on Au'taal… Lastly is a dish which could come from anywhere in the Tau Commonwealth, Tul't'hogu'e'vi'tsagaan – Vegetable Roll with Red Rice. Which if you notice is wrapped in the leaf of the yellow sea-plant. The vegetables are what make it unique to Au'taal however! Their taste is like nothing else you'll find in among Tau cuisine! Now you can eat any of these foods in three different ways: with quick sticks, with the small skewer, or with your hands.»»

Ayren stared down at the food, as a set of exotic smells wafted up to make her head spin. She knew she couldn't wield the 'quick sticks', and so instead picked tried the skewer fork. Spearing one of the cubes, she slowly put in her mouth and took a bite.

Her mouth exploded in a riot of flavours, “Ah-ah-ah....!” she cried out loud.

««Now spit it out Aeryn my dear! Spit it out if tastes bad!»»

“It's-aright! I'm-okay!…There's so much...flavour!…” replied Aeryn looking down at the half eaten cube of cheese. “ It's…it's good…I'll just have to go slow eating this one!”

Setting down the cheese on the platter, she picked up the small brown olive-like pickled fruit. It didn't smell or taste like any olive Aeryn had ever tasted, but it was savoury nonetheless. Aeryn smiled at the old tau man, who up to this moment seemed calm, but had that panicked look in his eyes again. “Very delicious sir!” she said weakly, but still smiling at him.

The old tau man wrinkled his upper lip, in what Aeryn would later learn was a tau 'smile', and his eyes seemed to loose their edge of panic. Leaning back he reached for the cylinder and removed it's coloured wrapper. This revealed a clear flat topped cylinder filled with a amber coloured liquid. Aeryn picked up a vegetable roll and took bite as he opened the tau bottle. The vegetable roll was crunchy and Aeryn covered her mouth as she ate. Smiling between bites she said, “Hmmm…love the…vegta…ble…rolls…”

««Good! Very good!»» said the old man wrinkling his upper lip again.

Opening the bottle was kind of a trick. Aeryn noticed that near the top of the bottle, was a thin orange line running around the circumference. The old tau man flicked it with his large thumb nail and instantaneously there was a small flash and a popping sound. Then with a single tap of the bottle against the table, the top came off cleanly. Wise Grandpa then poured each of them a small bowl.

««May the blessings of the Tau'Va – The Greater Good be upon you!»» said the old man as he picked up his bowl and waited for Aeryn to drink first. Lifting the cup to her lips she was suddenly aware of the scent of alcohol.

“This is real liquor? Real…alcohol? Does the doctor know? Is…this…approved?”

««Prior authorization has been granted for myself, the food, and the wine Areyn Tailor. Again, may the blessings of the Tau'Va – The Greater Good be upon you!»»

And with that, both the elderly tau man Bentu'Haha and Aeryn Tailor drank from their bowls.

****
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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#6 » Jul 20 2015 09:36

Part III: A LITTLE INTRODUCTION

The amber wine made Aeryn feel warm inside, its' taste hinting of flowers and herbs unknown. The wine was heated and as Aeryn held the bowl it gave off a tiny tendrils of steam. She took another drink, and this time she let the wine settle in her mouth before swallowing. Somehow to Aeryn it felt like the first warm breeze of spring after a long winter. Aeryn held the small bowl in her hand and felt its' warmth.

««You approve Aeryn of the wine?»» asked Bentu'Haha.

“Hmm…yes. It reminds me of uh…of uh…sake? Yeah, sake I think,” she answered sniffing the bowl before sipping again. Aeryn noticed for the first time the intricate brocade-like pattern woven into the fabric of his deep blue suit. When he shifted his weight, the light seemed to shimmer off of one of three different reflective surfaces in the design, and the effect was stunning.

Bentu'Haha now tapped the drone's touch pad and a small holographic display came up; and Aeryn saw the gothic word: SAKE appear among the tau lettering of the title. After refilling Aeryn's bowl Bentu'Haha skimmed over the displayed article and said, ««Xhmm tau wine and sak-ay do seem very similar in how they're brewed. I would sometime like to try your gue'la sak-ay Aeryn.»»

“Sorry Grandpa, I'm not a brew master…” said Aeryn smiling.

««Well I'm sure we could fine a bottle somewhere. T'oh are you feeling a bit better are we then Aeryn?»»

“Yes, sir. A little...wait, not to be niggling, but may I address you as 'sir' rather that Grandpa?”

««T'ah-h-h aright? I'm fine with what ever you'd like to call me,»» said the old firewarrior. Then taking up a small cube of cheese he said, ««Now take a bite of cheese and holding it in your mouth thus, then take a sip the wine. Don't swallow, instead let the wine dissolve the cheese a little. The combined flavours are wonderful Aeryn!»»

The old tau man then demonstrated the bite-sip-and-taste method. To Aeryn he seemed every bit enthralled by the process, and so she repeated it herself.

“O-o-oh, your right…hmm…delicious, sir!” she said trying not let the wine and cheese spill out of her mouth. Aeryn looked over at the old tau man as he sat therewith his legs crossed, his 'half-grin' beaming across the small table at her, and asked, “Sir, how long…am I to be held? I mean will there be trial or something? Or am to I be held indefinitely?”

««You're not in prison Aeryn,»» said Bentu'Haha leaning forward with something like a serious look on his face, ««You're in hospital.»»


Aeryn stared back at him blankly.


««Aeryn aren't you being seen by a doctor every other day? Haven't you noticed your room now has a 'gold privacy' screen? And didn't you notice the guards were gone?»»

Aeryn glanced at the screen barrier, and suddenly realized that indeed there hadn't been a guard at the door quite sometime. Pulling open the blanket a little she stared back at Bentu'Haha and said, “I don't know…Doctor Porvray Pastur? Poster? Pashur?…um…she does comes here by a lot. So why then am I…in the same room?

««Multiple use detention rooms my dear Aeryn. These rooms can be re-purposed for any number of uses. And we can do it with the occupant still in them. More wine?»»

“Thank you sir. So I am in a hospital or in an asylum? I mean psychiatric hospital?”

««Hospital Aeryn, not an asylum.»»

“For you tau, what's the difference?”

The old tau man thought for a moment and then answered, ««T'ah-h well, indeed they're one in the same for us Aeryn. We don't have two of more kinds of hospitals.»»

“Ummgh…So I'm crazed wacko and not a violent criminal then?”


There was an awkward pause for the first time since they met.


««Aeryn there are…many, many of your friends who are concerned for you! There is Noran Allucdia, Valetzi Riza, Duryl Bursht; and still yet other friends of theirs, whom you've never met, who care for you! All have expressed their concern…»»

“The fud they do!” said Aeryn through gritted teeth.

The next thing Aeryn saw was the old tau sit up bolt up straight and utter a three syllable word or sentence; which the drone translated as, ««What did I just hear you say?»»

“The fud they do!” repeated Aeryn. “Certainly not Riza…aright may-y-y-be Bursht…but I doubt it!” Then with a small but wicked smile on her face she added, “And Noran, well he's funny like that! He'd never make it in the Commissariat, he'd be too much of a softy!”

The old firewarrior's face showed no reaction, but he sat there with his hands in his lap.

««Aeryn Tailor believe me when I tell you Valetzi Riza and Duryl Bursht are both concerned for you. And I know this because I have spoken to them both. Shas'Vre Noran has personally taken on you as his responsibility, and as such, has given us his permission to help you with your recovery. And to help you with your reintroduction to social intercourse on board the Path Resurgence.»»

“Uh?” mumbled Aeryn as she offered her bowl for Bentu'Haha to refill. “Gave you permission? For what? I know I frakked up, but…” Aeryn's face went white and setting down the bowl then, put her head in her hands. Tears once again began to flow down her cheeks. “Noran is he…in some kind of trouble? Did I get him a courts martial or a demotion? Or whatever it is you tau do…when somebody frakks up?”

The old firewarrior looked at Aeryn for what seemed like ages before answering her question. They sat there looking at each other, until the old tau started to make small circles with his left hand and said, ««Noran Allucdia had to provide new prosthetic eyes for the Tallerian soldiers that you blinded, and he had to apologize to them and their unit. He of course then had to have you detained here…to protect others from your violent outbursts.»» The old tau man now more circles and shapes in the air with both of his hands.

««Aeryn we do not have 'jurisprudence' or a 'criminal justice system' as you understand it. For us the apology Noran Allucdia made was the punishment. He must carry the shame of his misjudgement, that you were in fact not of sound mind enough to be allowed to access to the orbital, for as long as he lives! But understand this Aeryn, that by taking responsibility to see you get better, that this too is part of his reconciliation with the Tallerians! And with his ta'lissera–bonded brothers and sisters to whom he has brought this shame. Wait a moment I misspoke, I mean to his fellow soldiers.»»

“I-I-I don't understand…any of that? What…I mean…oh, frakk!” Aeryn who had been feeling better, now looked sick again, and leaning forward and silently wept into her bowl.

««Aeryn Tailor myself and a few gue'vesa–human allies are willing to help Noran Allucdia and you! I promise you there will be no 'indoctrination'! No attempt to 'propagandise' you! We're only here to help you become yourself again, no?»» He took her hands in his and continued, ««Aeryn I cannot offer you redemption, but I can help you reconcile with your fellow soldiers! Please let us try to help you Aeryn?»»

“Fud, if you only knew what I've done sir? No gorram way would you be talking to me now!” said Aeryn shaking her head and pulling her hands away to clench her fists. “No gorram way…” Aeryn started to pounded her fists against her temples while sobbing at the same time. “NO GORRAM WAY!”

Bentu'Haha sat silently, but did not try to stop her from hitting herself. When Aeryn finally stopped crying, she crossed her arms and lay her head on the table. Bentu'Haha still did nothing but sit and watch, and when she finally raised her face to look at him, he said without translation, “Komizar Airen Taelor.”

Aeryn's face went white and she sat up slowly. She stared straight ahead as if standing parade, and seemed unable to look the old tau firewarrior in the eye.

««Commissar Aeryn Tailor, I do indeed know what you have done. I know that you've worn the red sash of the commissariat. I know that you have executed men and women under your command…some for cowardice and some for the merest infraction of the Astra Militarum regulations. I know that you've interrogated those who believed had strayed from the Imperial creed and committed heresy. And I know that you tortured some in pursuance of you duties…and some you even tortured to death.»»

The old tau man then leaned in close so as to whisper, ««And yet Aeryn, I am still here! I am still willing to help you!»»

Aeryn straightened her back even further, as if expecting judgement to be passed upon her at any moment.

««Commissar Tailor there others also know of your past, and are also willing to help you! Some like Valetzi Riza, whom you almost executed, especially want to see you get better. Believe it or not she does Aeryn! Will you please allow us to try?»»

Bentu'Haha tried to catch her eye, but Aeryn continued to stare at past the old tau man. Her cheeks now showing some colour, but at the same time she began to tremble.

««Aeryn Tailor, I cannot offer you redemption from your past deeds; but rather I can show you a path that may lead to your salvation. Will-you-at-least-let-us-try-to-help-you? Let-me-try-to-help-you?»»

“Y-y-yes,” she said in whisper.

««Yes? You will let us help you Aeryn?»»

“Yes, I'm guilty.”

Bentu'Haha looked away for a moment and then turned back to her; but this time the emerald green of his dark eyes caught her attention and she looked at him. But before he could speak again she said, “Yes sir, I'll let you help me.”


****
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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#7 » Oct 12 2015 10:30

THE RED SASH: NIGHT VISITOR

Physician's Log: Por'Vre Au'taal Pa'shor
Date: 670.54.67.01
Location: Detention Centre, Primary Medical Section 004
Psychiatric Patient: Gue'la detainee Commissar Aeryn Tailor, Astra Militarum

Patient was visited this by Shas'El Au'taal Bentu'qazdan as per her adjusted treatment plan [See notation: 670.47.03.15] which was overseen by myself and the select support team. Visitation appeared to go well and the Shas'El made a positive impression on the patient. Patient appeared genuinely interested in her visitor and even receptive to the authorized gifts. She responded well to the prompts given to her by the support team via the Shas'El, the result of which was, that she agreed to further visits and assistance from El'Bentu'qazdan. In this single event the patient has shown more healthy interactions, and an all around better disposition, than in all of the past three rotexi.

Special Note:
El'Bentu'qazdan has asked that we turn off all holographic wall simulations, as the patient complained to him of “Horrible images being shown to 'mess' (Disturb? Terrify? Annoy?) with my head.” We were not aware of the issue and all holographic simulations were shut off. Even though the staff had previously explained to the patient that she had sole authority to turn on and off the simulations herself. And she had demonstrated her understanding of the hololith functionality by selecting her own choice of scenes and turning them on herself.

Possible hallucinations? Will instigate investigation of the hololilth projectors to rule out both technical malfunctions or intentional sabotage.

Electronic signature of
Por'Vre Au'taal Pa'shor
Gue'vesa Psychiatric Unit
Au'taal Contingent

****


Gold tracer rounds arced across the sky overhead as the burning white flares of the star shells turned the black sky a ghastly white for the briefest of moments. Commissar Tailor moved with the 23rd Infantry company as the 8th Armoured company swept the open ground to the left. The splashing of gold fireballs from the dropping earth shaker rounds could be seen far ahead. The heavy concussions buffeting the Tailor and 2nd platoon. Turning to the platoon leader she told him to order bravo and delta squads to the left around the farm stead, while charlie and echo should move to the right.

“We'll take alpha and foxtrot support squad into the farmstead,” shouted Tailor into the Lieutenant's ear.

“Yes, ma'am” he replied and turning grabbed the handset from his voxcast operator, began shouting the commands to his squad leaders.


Ayren woke up and staring up at ceiling through an arm over her forehead, “That was vivid,” she thought to herself. “The colours were so real, and I was felt sweaty and damp at the same time, just like I did that night. Wish I didn’t have to relive it again, even if it was a dream!” Ayren dropped her arm and getting up shuffled in the darkness, groping her way along the wall, until the the purple night lights along the floor came on. She made it to the far corner of the room and activated the latrine switch. The human styled commode rose up from the floor and dropping her knickers she at down to pee.

“What was his name?” she thought to herself. “Lambert? Lampson? Lemon? No wait it was something like Albright or Albon wasn't it?” Aeryn finished and wiped herself, but then didn't get up, “That was a good sleep…haven't dropped off like that in months. But what a dream…” Getting up she moved a bit easier this time and flopped down on to bed, to then feel her body slip back into sleep again, “Red haired lad…Albergtti? Halperin was it? Halliburton?…

Waiting for the starshell to expire the platoon rushed forward when the sky went dark again. They moved quickly alongside the dirt track from the gate to the farmhouse. Jinxing in and out of the scattered farm equipment, so as not to be seen directly from the windows of the house. The whole platoon then dropped to the ground when the next star shell lit the area in its' ghastly moonlight. Finally reaching the farmhouse, Sergeant Pidlemann kicked the door open and Lieutenant Ramsey lead alpha squad into the building, Commissar Tailor bringing up the rear with the foxtrot squad.
“Clear,” came the shout from the front room.
“Clear,” came from the kitchen.
“Clear,” came from a side room.

The support squad now moved in and headed up the stairs to the upper floor, shouts of 'Clear' echoed down the stairs. “Commissar looks like we got a live one! Apothecary!” shouted Sergeant Pidlemann from the back dinning room.

Areyn emerged from the hall doorway into a room with a large gaping hole where the bay window had been, smashed bricks, fallen plaster and shattered glass littered the room. Lt. Ramsey and SSG. Pidlemann were crouching down on either side of guardsman huddled behind a wall fragment.

“What's your name Guardsman?” said Aeryn looking down at the crying solider, “Why'd you call the apothecary medic Sergeant? He's just got a scratch...”

The boy didn't answer but sobbed louder as blood seeped through the pants leg of his right thigh, while a continuous stream of tears flowed down his cheeks.

“Name's Llampo…18th Platoon...Reichart's unit...” said the Lieutenant reading an ident card he'd pulled from the boy's cargo pocket.

“Where's your platoon?” asked Aeryn.

“Dunno gone...” mumbled the boy, “All...dead?” Llampo rocked back and forth and the tears followed even harder down his face. The boy looked up at Commissar Tailor searching for comfort and solace.

“Deserter,” said Aeryn drawing her laspistol and pointing it at his sobbing face.


Aeryn rolled over and feeling like there had been some emotional release, she somehow felt lighter somehow. “Fudd that was unpleasant…why am I remembering that night?” thought Aeryn drowsily let out her breath, and staring at the wall fell back asleep.

“Ma'am he's just seventeen...you know what I mean?” asked Lt. Ramsey.

“Cowardice in the face of the enemy Lieutenant,” said Aeryn looking down at Llampo. The Lieutenant shook his head. “What Lieutenant? There are boys younger than him fighting in the PDF here.”

The boy sobbed even louder and turning away in disgust Commissar Tailor holstered her laspistol. Turning back around she shouted, “GET UP LLAMPO!”

But the boy only sobbed harder as the Lieutenant and Sergeant backed away.

“UP LLAMPO!”

The boy only sobbed harder.

Aeryn sighed and reaching over with left hand, the one wearing the antique powerfist, took his head in between the glove's thumb and forefinger. Then in the instant that it took for a single arc of energy to cross from the forefinger to the thumb; Aeryn could see through the tears that his eyes were blue, his hair was red, and his face was freckled.

The boy's head exploded in a blue-white flash of light.


Aeryn awoke with her face wet with tears, but she didn't know why.

****
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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#8 » Oct 19 2015 01:12

THE RED SASH: GOOD MORNING LUV

Areyn woke up her face wet from crying, but could only remember part of what she had dreamt the night before. This morning Abomination was waiting for her as usual in the corner of the room near the privacy screen. Sitting up Aeryn could see that the drone had had a make over, sporting a pastel pink colouration, and edged in a cheery yellow colour. Aeryn wiped her face and stared at the drone.

“Sleep well ma'am?” the drone asked in an older woman's voice, and a very human voice at that.

“Uh, bad dreams I think…wait who are you suppose to be?” said Aeryn.

“Well, I'm not suppose to be anyone ma'am. I'm just your attendant drone U-34-61 ma'am. Do you need assistance with your personal cares this morning?” answered the drone in its' grandmotherly voice. Aeryn stared at the drone.

“Ah…am I having visitors today…uh, correct?”

“Yes, three non-commission officers from the 342nd Airborne/Air Assault Cadre ma'am.” said the drone setting up the sonic shower for Aeryn and activated the commode.

Aeryn managed to sit up and stand on her own, and then make her way to the commode as it rose up from the floor. Sitting down she asked, “You sound like you're my Lady in Waiting or something. Who decided to give you a make over…I mean change your voice and all?”

“Ma'am El'Bentu'Haha made the suggestion to the Physician Vre'Pa'shor and she agreed to the changes. Does my appearance and sound disturb you my dear?” The drone paused to turn its' lens towards Aeryn.

“No, not exactly…it's just that I don't really, hmm…don't really like you. Oh, wait did you just say, 'my dear'?” asked Aeryn wiping herself and getting up.

“Yes ma'am I did indeed. And does that bother you as well?” asked the attendant drone readying the sonic shower unit.

“Uh…no, but ah…oh, never mind!”

Aeryn undressed with the drone's help and then stepped into the shower unit. She let the sonic device or whatever it was 'clean' her, even though it never really did leave her feeling clean or refreshed. Stepping out of the unit Aeryn noticed that the drone was readying another smaller unit or device.

“Would you like me to wash your hair? It would be with water and gue'vesa shampoo and conditioner.”

“Aahh? A real a proper wash?”

“Yes ma'am. Please sit down will you?”

The drone motioned her to sit down on a hover chair. Once in Aeryn was in the chair, the drone deployed the head and foot rests, leaned it back, and then draped Aeryn in a coverlet. Aeryn for the first time in months felt the delightful sensation of warm water coursing through her hair. The attendant drone seemed remarkably adept at not only washing and rising her hair, but also in massaging her scalp. Whatever the shampoo wash was it had a nice floral-citrus scent; that not only smelled wonderful, but also caused Aeryn's scalp to tingle. All the while the drone washed her hair, soft tau instrumental music played from speakers embedded in the walls.

“Do you like the music ma'am? It's called 'Wild Ponyo Blossoms in Spring'.”

“It's nice…thank you…”

Letting herself enjoy the sensation of her hair being washed, Aeryn gave herself over entirely to the sensual experience. She felt herself begin to relax and almost fell asleep again.

“This piece is called 'The Misty Rain of Ju'taal'.”

“Hmm…what?” mumbled Aeryn. “Um…”

“Did you have a question for me ma'am?”

“Um…Aunty,”

“Ma'am?”

“Aunty…I think that's what I'll call you,” said Aeryn opening one eye and smirking at the drone.

“Whatever you like ma'am.”

“Sarcasm is wasted on a machine intelligence, “ sighed Aeryn.

“Sarcasm, let's see ma'am. The first definition of sarcasm: 'Harsh or bitter derision or irony'; the second definition: 'A sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark'. Is that correct ma'am?” said the drone rinsing her hair.

“Bftt...” replied Areyn.

Under the effect of the washing Aeryn dozed off, only to awaken to the feeling of a soft warm vibrating sensation on her scalp and forehead. Touching her hand to her hair, she realized her head was inside some kind of drying unit, that used something other than hot air. Warm and comfortable Aeryn again dropped off to sleep to the sound of a tau female singing a traditional fire caste song, that Aunty called, 'Three Chestnut Mares'.

Waking up feeling utterly rejuvenated, Aeryn suddenly felt a pang of worry and looking around for the attendant drone asked, “What time is it? I haven’t overslept, have I?” I'm not late for my…visitors am I?”

“Oh, no my dear! You were only asleep about a terran hour, and anyway your visitors won't be here until around luncheon.”

“T'oh…I mean oh…urgh now I'm saying it! Aunty I want…to get dressed” said Aeryn struggling to sit up.

With Aunty's help Aeryn got into her gue'vesa styled tau undergarments and then a gue'vesa styled khaki jumper. Finally there were went on the gue'vesa ankle socks and slippers. The attendant drone had Aeryn sit at the table and brought out a small box and mirror set. “I'll brush your hair and then braid it if you like ma'am, and while I'm doing your hair you can apply some cosmetics if you like.

“Oh cosmetics?! I-I-I really don't…t'oh look at these colours!” Aeryn looked in amazement at the variety
of lip gloss, face creams, eye liners and such. “M-maybe a little won’t hurt. Might make me look less sickly.”

“Try the large packet on top ma'am it's a facial cleanser, I understand that it is quite the refreshing experience. So I've been told,” said the attendant drone pointing to the packet by painting it with a blue laser dot. Then as the attendant drone started brushing her hair; Areyn broke open the packet and pulling out a wipe she patted her face,

“Ahhh, that does make my face fell clean…finally! Aunty do you think it would be safe to use it…in on other areas…you know on my body?” asked Aeryn turning to the drone. “You know my…uh, my womanly bits Aunty?” whispered Areyn to the drone

“One moment ma'am…” The drone paused brushing Areyn's hair for a momemt, and then resuming said, “Yes, I've been informed that you can use it on any sensitive part of your body ma'am.”

Areyn then took another wipe and did her underarms, and another to clean her feminine area, “Now that feels bloody damn good! I'm starting to feel a human again.” said Aeryn smiling for the first time that morning.

****


“Well how do you like it ma'am? It's an very ancient gue'vesa hair style called a french braid.”

“Hmm…oh Aunty! It's beautiful, but…” Aeryn looked into the holoscreen to see the finished hair style from behind. Stifling back a sob, she held her hands to her face and shook her head.

“What's the matter dear? You can tell your attendant drone U-34-61,” said the drone moving around in front of Aeryn.

But you worked so long on my hair…” said Aeryn choking up.

“So you don't like it?”

“No, I don't…it's not…my style…” said Aeryn looking down at the floor.

“No worrys luv, will have your hair down in no time. Is a plain pony tail fine with you ma'am?” asked the drone moving back around behind Aeryn.

“Yes, that's fine.” Aeryn fidgeted with the fasteners on her uniform, “I didn't hurt…your feeling…did…I?”

“I am a attendant drone ma'am, I only have baseline instincts…but I have no feelings ma'am,” replied the drone with what seemed to Aeryn as a sigh, as it moved around to begin pulling apart Aeryn's braids.

Once the attendant drone had finished with her hair, the drone helped Aeryn do a little make up. A bit of eye shadow to accentuated the colour of her auburn eyes, a dab of dark rose lip gloss, and a small amount of face powder is all Aeryn would allow the drone to apply on her face.

“Well we're done just in time ma'am. Sergeant First Class Li is asking for you to look over the menu selections, so the meal can be ready when they arrive.” The attendant drone produced the menu selections on the holoscreen. “They've made some suggestions given your liking the food that Bentu'Haha brought yesterday.”

“Ooh crunchy rolls with that red rice!” said Aeryn her eyes getting big looking at the menu. “Those were good!”

“You mean the tul't'hogu'e'vi'tsagaan, ma'am?”

“Yeah, what you said!…Ooh, there's even soup on the menu?”


****
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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#9 » Nov 05 2015 03:01

THE RED SASH: THE THREE FORTY SECOND CONTINGENT or SERGEANT LI AND COMPANY

Drinking her tea Aeryn looked across the table at the three human non-commissioned officers from the 342nd Au'taal Air/Assault Cadre. Aeryn could see all three wore the same crisp blue-grey terran style uniform. All three wore the same black, form fitting mid-calf boots, brought to a high-gloss polish. All three wore the same lime green turtle neck shirt underneath their open jackets. All three had NCO stripes of lime green, which ran across the upper arms of each sleeve in form of Au'taal sept markings. Each of the three sergeants having a different pattern of stripes. All three sergeants wore a number of terran styled medals and decorations on their chests. And finally all three had a lime green beret, rolled-up and tucked under the right epaulette.

The three sat drinking their tea as the attendant drone she called 'Aunty', cleared the last of the dishes, bowls, and quick sticks. Aunty, however, left the pot of vi'tisan–red teaon the table for the guests. Overall the luncheon of tau food had been enjoyable, but her guests had seemed overly cautious and polite towards Aeryn. At first this didn't bother Areyn, but as the meal went on, it began to grate on her; as if somehow she were made of spun glass and needed extra careful handling.

On the left was Sergeant First Class Li, sitting ramrod straight in his chair, he was a paragon of military bearing and decorum. Li's golden skin was set off by his black eyes, high cheek bones, and a severe 'undercut' hairstyle, with the sides shaved down to the skin. Staff Sergeant Olivetti on the other hand was downright frightening! The Sergeant's aquiline nose and deep set brown eyes, gave her the look an ancient goddess of Justice. And the effect was only heightened for Aeryn by the Sergeant's golden-brown hair being pulled back into a tight bun. Last was Sergeant O'Farrell, a young strapping blonde with a 'high and tight' hairstyle, ruddy cheeks, and a turned up nose. No less severe in his military bearing, O'Farrell's odd 'punched-in-the-face' nose, softened his looks somehow.

“Commissar Tailor, ma'am. Getting to the purpose of our meeting; as I mentioned earlier to you before we sat down to lunch, we're working closely with Shas'El'Bentu'qazdan.” Sergeant Li put down his bowel and motioned to his other two companions. “Ma'am, let me say right now that none of us here are out to proselytize you or propagandise to you. Obviously Sergeants Olivetti, O'Farrell and myself are all loyal members of the Tau Commonwealth; but you have our solemn word, that we won't pressure you into following the Tau'va – The Greater Good. And that ma'am comes from all of us.”

Aeryn had winced a little when Li had addressed her as Commissar, but she continued listening to him. “Sergeant I believe you, when you say you're not trying to get me to defect. Although…” Aeryn refilled her bowl with red tea, and looked at Li. “I don't really have a choice do I? I mean…I sort of have to believe you, don't I?”

“No, ma'am you don't have to believe any of us, or cooperate with us. Ma'am, let our actions and words be the proof.” Sergeant Li looked to his two companions and all three nodded in agreement.

“Understand that anything that you do with us is completely voluntary, and is in no way compulsory. Our goal, as previously mentioned, is to assist you with both your physical and mental recovery. Good physical and mental health is our goal for you ma'am. Do you agree that is the case?”

“Do I agree that you're helping me with my recovery, or do I agree to let you help me with my recovery?”

Sergeant Li arched an eye brow and shooting a glance at the other NCOs, leaned over the table and said, “Ma'am – Do you agree to that your recovery is the paramount?”

Aeryn was taken aback by Sergeant Li's authoritative demeanour. “He's like a graduate of the Schola Progenium,” thought Aeryn. Recovering a little she replied, “I agree…that…I want to get better.”

“That's good to hear ma'am, because that is why we're here, to help you in your recovery,” answered Li sitting back.

Sergeant Li then put his hands on the table and launched into his prepared address, “The first element of the program is physical training and exercise. It will be a help to both your physical and mental health to get your body out and moving. There are several recreational areas on the station, and there'll be opportunities to go swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, repelling, gravchute jumping. If you can name it, you can probably do it here on the orbital. Second element of the program will be going on escorted outings around the station. One or two us will be with you at all times on these excursions to go shopping, to the holocinema, or any number of other cultural events happening around the station. Last and most important part of the program is getting to meet other soldiers who have PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You'll get to them tell their stories. And I can tell that's a very powerful experience.”

Li leaning forward again looked Aeryn in the eyes and said, “Ma'am. Aeryn, you-are-not-alone.”

Aeryn at this point was feeling more than a little put upon, and after the kid glove handling from earlier, slapped her empty bowl down on the table, and said under her breath said, “Frakk you Sergeant.”

“Ma'am he's right. You aren't alone, I have PTSD too,” said Sergeant Olivetti leaning over the table.

“Iz got it too ma'am. All of us here has it,” added Sergeant O'Farrell leaning forward in his chair.

“Take that in ma'am. Take that in,” said Li in a quiet and firm voice.

Aeryn, who was rolling her eyes and grimacing at the three of them, suddenly felt an overwhelming wave of emotion, and found herself choking back the tears. Aeryn put her hands to her mouth, and embarrassed at her uncontrollable emotions, turned away as the tears became sobs.

“You have my permission to cry ma'am.” said Li.

Now as the tears silently flowed down her cheeks, Aunty slipped along side of Aeryn to provided her with a box of tissues. The trio of sergeant now moved in to put a hand on her shoulder, each of them giving her words of encouragement.

“That's a first good step Aeryn,” said Li gently.

“Let it out Aeryn, let the tears flow,” said Olivetti softly.

“Let'em out it ma'am. Let it all out,” said O'Farrell.


It was all Aeryn could do keep back the wall of pent up emotion, wave upon wave of churning, boiling, raw emotion. All the suppressed and pent-up turmoil inside her poured out of Aeryn. And with emotion came the tears. It felt like a great spring was unwinding in her stomach, and the waves of emotion just kept on coming, no matter how much she tried to control it; and regardless of the fact that the three sergeants sat there watching her. Finally curling up into a ball on her chair, Areyn cried like she had never had in her life.

Without direction from Sergeant Li, Olivetti came around the table to put an arm around Aeryn. Then Li and O'Farrell came around to also put there arms around her as well. Li brushed the hair out of Aeryn's face, while O'Farrell held the tissue box, and Olivetti held her hand.

When Areyn seemed to have spent her quantity of tears and was calm enough to sit back in her chair, Sergeant Li asked, “Ma'am how are you doing? Would like to lie down or are you good for now?”

“I-I-I'm good…” said Aeryn wiping her nose.

Li look over at his fellow sergeants and nodding to them then said, “Well that's all we really had to share with you today. But before we go is there anything else you want to ask us? Any concerns? Is there anything thing else you need?”

“Umm, not right now…I think. Thanks,” said Aeryn wiping more snot from her nose.

“Well, then we'll be on our way,” said Li standing up. “So if anything does come up, or if you think of something want to ask, you can contact us through you the staff here at the medial unit. Oh, and before I forget, Sergeant Olivetti has some athletic gear here for you.”

Sergeant Olivetti went and grabbed an athletic bag from under the table and handed it to Aeryn. In the bag was a two sets of work out clothes, four pair socks, one running suit, and a pair of athletic shoes. “There's also some more personal care items in the bag: soap, shampoo, hair brush and feminine hygiene products. Oh, I wanted to ask, did you like the shampoo and cosmetics I sent over?”

“You gave the Aunty, uh my attendant drone, the shampoo?”

“Yes,” replied Olivetti.

Aeryn then reached over and unexpectedly hugged Sergeant Olivetti. The sergeant not phased by this, hugged her back.

“Thank you, thank you all,” said Aeryn.

The group now got ready to leave, and while still a little shaky, Aeryn still managed to walk with them to the privacy screen.

“Oh Finn, be sure to remind the Commissar when you and Giovanna are going to be here in the morning?” asked Li tapping O'Farrell on the shoulder.

“T'oh, yeah thanks. Tomawrah ma'am wez gonna be early like, say oh-fife-turdy howas gwad time?” said O'Farrell turning to back around to Aeryn.

“Come again Sergeant?” asked Aeryn.

“Oh-fife-turdy howas. Youse know, standerd gwad time?”

“W-what? What did he just say?” asked Areyn turning around, only to see Sergeants Li and Olivetti put their hands to faces and laugh.

“I was sayz wez gonna be early like…Hey are da two o'youse laughn' at me if front of da Commiezar?” shouted O'Farrell spinning around to stare at his fellow sergeants.

“I really thought for a minute he was going to do it!…ha-ha-ha…You know, get through the whole meeting, and not let his bronx'sia slip out!” laughed Olivetti to Aeryn from behind her hand.

He-he-he, that's why I asked him about tomorrow! I knew if I could just get him to say something…” laughed Li leaning against a wall.

“What's wrong with Sergeant O'Farrell that he can't speak proper gothic?” asked Aeryn staring at the young sergeant. Sergeants Li and Olivetti; however, had lost all their military bearing and started their guffawing all over again.

“Ahhh, did youse go and do dat on purpose like George?” asked O'Farrell getting angry. “Dose two is always sayn' I speaks bedda tau'sia den gothic!” said O'Farrell throwing a thumb at the other two sergeants.

Sergeant Li now composing himself, turned to Aeryn and said, “Commissar Tailor, let me introduce you to Finnbhar O'Farrell, formerly of the Fighting 69th out of Nuevo Nuevo York in the Nuevo Columbia system. And believe me, he does speak a lot better tau'sia than he does gothic!”

O'Farrell for his part was struggling to maintained his dignity, and except for his face, which was a bright red, he was successful. Now removing his lime green beret, he slapped it open against his leg, and pulled it on his head said, “Well, I'm outta here ma'am. Tomawrah at oh-fife-turdy howas!” And with his final words, popped off a tight salute to Aeryn.

Areyn returned the salute, as the privacy screen dissolved and the yellow transparent security screen disappeared. O'Farrell then turned and moved out sharply on his way down the hall. Aeryn watched him as he strode off with a bit of a swagger in his step; but for all his bravado Aeryn thought, “He must be hurt by all that?”

“What was Sergeant O'Farrell talking about?” asked Areyn turning towards the other two sergeants, as they too pulled on their lime green berets. “There was something about tomorrow?…and some thing else…05:00 or 05:30 hours…really I only understood half of what he said?”

“He meant 05:30 hours Commissar. We'll see you then,” replied Sergeant Olivetti as she and Sergeant Li each gave Areyn a sharp salute. Aeryn Tailor returned their salutes, and then watched as the two Au'taal sergeants made their way down the hall.

Aeryn had not returned a salute since the day she threw away the red sash; but just then it didn't feel strange or even wrong.

****
Last edited by TauMan on Jan 21 2016 12:46, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#10 » Nov 05 2015 04:37

Excellent work, sir.

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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#11 » Nov 25 2015 04:52

Good job Tauman. I know you came in later than some of the other Into Silence authors- but you caught up really fast, especially by going the 'human' route.
~Good Hunting

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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#12 » Feb 13 2016 04:58

THE RED SASH: NIGHTY-NIGHT


“Yes Aunty, is there something you want?” asked Aeryn dropping her book on the bed and looking over at the attendant drone U-34-61.

“Are you enjoying the book that Staff Sergeant Olivetti left you ma'am?" asked the tau drone hovering close by the bed.

“Well I've read it before of course, but it's one of my guilty pleasures! It's called The Commissar's Mistress by Anonymous.”

“What is that you like about it my dear?”

“What do I like about it?” Aeryn got up and walked over to the sink. “Hmm, well for starters it's a really trashy romance, filled with loads of gushing purple prose and over-the-top romantic interludes; with this impossible plot about a Sister Amourosa of the Adepta Sororitas, who seduces a Caphias Cain style Commissar. Yeah, right...well anyway, in between the realistic battle sequences, it has lots and lots of super-heated love making. Totally and absurd and unrealistic, the book was an absolute must read for every one of us female cadets at the Schola Progenium,” answered Areyn dusting her toothbrush with dental powder.

“Xhmm I see, an amorous literary substitute for the young female kom'miz'zar'saal. So as to relieve the otherwise infrequent sexual activity?”

“Whaaaat-was-that-Aunty?” asked Areyn, her mouth full of toothpaste. “Was that sarcasm?”

“An approximation ma'am. I downloaded the applet: 'Ironic Gue'vesa Humor',” said the drone turning it's cobalt blue lens towards Aeryn. “Please continue with your dissertation my dear.”

“Hmm, now I regret telling you about sarcasm..." said Aeryn after she rinsed her mouth. “Aright so you see Sister Amourosa can't help herself really...well she could, but then there wouldn't be a story right? She falls for the dashingly handsome Commissar Ralf Kramden, after he rescues her from the clutches of the degenerate xenos pirate, Prince Yggdrasil of the Craft World Imotan. She throws herself at Commissar Kramden, who being much too chivarlous, gallantly laughs off her advances. But Amourosa is so much in love with the Commissar that she pursues him relentlessly, 'throwing away her vows of poverty and chastity, in her pursuit of pure love and carnal satisfaction!' That's a quote from the advert for the e-book by way. He being the romantic hero of course falls for her eventually, but it ends all tragic like! When Commissar Kramden becomes so despondent at 'ruining' one of the Emperor's Daughters, that he straps a demolition charge to his chest and leaps into the path of an oncoming Ork Skullhamma. 'Kaboom' and it's all over! Really stupid right?”

“Xhmm.”

The Commissar's Mistress is the best one in the series.” said Aeryn getting in bed and sliding under the covers.

“The second book The Inquisitor's Woman, is aright I guess. That's where Sister Amourosa is seduced by this Inquisitor Urik van Lyiot. Who, after their affair has gone on for a while, then tries puts her on trial for the heresy. He charges her with 'the seduction of an Inquisitor'...what a looser! It was his idea afterall, but that's okay because a daemon eats him in the end, so she's exonerated.

"Now the last book, The Canoness and the Astartes, well that really sucks!” said Ayern setting the timer on her morning alarm.

“Imagine Aunty, having an affair with a Space Marine? A Grey Knight in fact?" said Aeryn rolling her eyes. "Oh, and she's shagging him while he's still wearing his armour! Yeah right, like that could ever happen! And after managing to somehow survive this romantic and sexual ordeal, she goes on to keep their love secret for the rest of her life. And only finally on her death bed, a century after Brother Knight Amilton has died in battle, does she confesses it to an Eclessiarch. Totally unbelievable story right?…”

"Well, I won't really know my dear," said attendant drone U-34-61.

“Lights down,” said Aeryn

“Good night luv.”

“Nighty-night Aunty.”


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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#13 » Mar 18 2016 04:20

THE RED SASH: THE PRISONER or THE COMFY CHAIR


Ro’taa: 712.57.30.16
Location: Detainment Centre, Block 12, Cell 4-3-AW.
Detainee: Var'sin'the Corsair, self-identified as 'Dealg'.

Detainee still refuses remedial plastic surgery to repair lateral right and left gashes to his mouth.
Detainee still refused the use of any of the provided furniture, bed, or the entertainment centre.
Detainee still is only eating sporadically.

Evening meal:
The meal consisted of an appetiser of crunchy vegetable rolls. A main course of spicy shrimp tails served on a bed of red rice with cocktail sauce, and a side dish of sautéed blue spinach. The beverage was a light lavender wine suitable for seafood. Dessert was a j'hal nectar pastry served with the detainee's choice of either red or white tisan as the hot beverage. Décor was a vase of fresh picked crimson fire-flowers.

Note: As of the end of shift tonight, the detainee has still had not touched his evening meal.

Entertainment:
None, detainee still declines any entertainments.

Activity:
None, detainee still declines any physical exercise or recreation.

Special notes:
Detainee still sits in the middle of his cell staring at the wall.

*****


“Nighty-night...Nighty-night...Nighty-night....Nighty-night...Nighty-night...Nighty-night....Nighty-night...”


The sejhen-ekáh were cruel.

Dealg stared at the wall as he had done for hour after hour, practically every single they since the beginning of his captivity. On the floor in front of him lay an untouched platter of food. But he was Dealg, known to his fellow corsairs as The Worm Master, and he would not give in to these blue skinned, hooved animals. He could handle everything they threw at him. The sejhen-ekáh would never break him no matter how hard they tried.

Dealg had waited for so long for them to initiate some proper torture. But he began to wonder if the sejhen-ekáh even knew how to torture, since they were doing absolutely nothing to him? They certainly performed no physical torture. No psychological or physical abuse. No sleep deprivation. No random, unexplained violence. No molestation. No mutilation. No mutations, bizarre or otherwise. Not even some good old-fashioned humiliation. Not even bit of perverted sexual dominance.

Nothing. Just nothing.

Still the sejhen-ekáh had managed to devise the most fiendish torture any Eldar could suffer. Absolutely nothing could compare to the shear unmitigated horror and degradation they would eventually visit upon Dealg. There weapon of choice was...

Boredom.

Mind numbing, cold, and unforgiving boredom. Nothing to simulate that hyper-active, hyper attention deficient disorder Eldar mind of his. Left to its own devices, his mind was now twirling around inside of his head like a Bloodthirstier of Khrone. It screamed for simulation, but the sejhen-ekáh had other things in mind for him...


“Nighty-night...Nighty-night...Nighty-night....Nighty-night...Nighty-night...Nighty-night....Nighty-night...”


Early on Dealg's confinement had been at least tolerable. His cell had a single window that took up one entire wall. The window, which was also a two way mirror, gave him a view of the whole detention area, but now it was just another wall. This was of course his own fault, as he was having too much fun entertaining himself at the sejhen-ekáh's expense. They wanted all of Dealg's secrets, but being too far down of the Dark Kindred food-chain, he of course had none. But he played along with their childish attempts at interrogations, allowing one after another interrogator to get close to him. All the while pretending that their feeble attempts at gaining his confidence were working; which even brought them even closer. These primitive sejhen-ekáh turned out to be so easily influenced, and he enjoyed so much scrambling minds and their sense of reality.

Besides the knock-out gas was mildly hallucinogenic, which was entertaining in and of itself.

The sejhen-ekáh however soon caught on to this trick, and they stopped trying to interrogate him. Then they brought in an Eldar trained mon-keigh pysker. This mon-keigh soon had Dealg cowering in a corner, but that only until the others arrived. The others, Dealg soon learned were the Nagi, a race of powerful alien psykers; each one of which was a thousand times more powerful than the mon-keigh. The Nagi mind probe felt like a steel wedge was being hammered into his skull. And in less than a tenth of second, their overwhelming mental power completely laid bare his mind. They had vivisected his psyche as easily as it were a rodent nailed to a board. So completely and utter exposed was he, that even She-Who-Thirsts got a good taste of him.

All-in-all it was quite enjoyable, only it was just way too short!

Once the Nagi found out that Dealg knew nothing; they of course never came back to do it again, not even for fun. And so Dealg was left in solitary confinement. Never again would he interact close-up with a living, breathing sejhen-ekáh. Now it was only service drones that came in or out of his cell. But Dealg soon discovered that with a tiny bit of concentration, he could telekinetically fiddle with a drone's mechanical bits. He would then cause the drone to crash into another drone, or smash into the two-way mirror, or even fly around in circles. Eventually a sejhen-ekáh technician would have to come and repair the wayward device. And that's when the fun would begin! Dealg then would make the technician think that his hands were on fire, or that she was standing on a crumbly bridge, high above a stream of hot bubbling lava.

And that would be fun for say...all of about five minutes.

But the sejhen-ekáh soon caught on to this trick as well, and instead of sending in technicians to retrieve the drones, they just sent in another drone. Frustrated Dealg then tried self-mutilation, but they stopped him. He tried damaging the furniture in the cells, but they stopped that too. And finally with any last bit of fun denied him, Dealg gave up. He lost his will to carry on, but he hoped against hope, believing that someday soon, the real torture would to begin. But none ever came.

Well not least anything that he would recognize as torture anyway.


“Nighty-night...Nighty-night...Nighty-night....Nighty-night...Nighty-night...Nighty-night....Nighty-night...”


First they tried to use boredom as weapon to break his spirit. Then they unleashed their second weapon, and even more deadly weapon on him…They started being nice.

But it didn't mean they still weren't trying to break him! First off there was the matter of his cell, it was justfour plain beige coloured walls, with mildly stylish and comfortable furniture. And the food? Just three nutritious, if sometimes bland, meals a they that included with a delicious selection of indigenous wines. Topped off with a tasty, if much too small, evening snack. Then there was the matter of the rest of his time in confinement. He had adequate rest with amble opportunity for regular exercise.

How dare they do this to him!

And there was the matter of what the sejhen-ekáh considered mood stabilizing music. Every day since the beginning of his confinement, they played for him what they called 'easy listening music'. This consisted of mostly piped in music that was not too loud or annoying; which would have been at least simulating. And worse still was that the music was neither too raucous nor too frantic; which would have been at least interesting. Rather the music was just one cool, smooth, and relaxing tau melody after another. All day. Every day. All day long.

The savages!

The music alone would have been torture enough to crack the even vilest denizen of Commorragh, but these sejhen-ekáh were crueller still! They insidiously insisted that he, and he alone, controlled when and for how long the music played. He alone could turn up the volume, and he alone could turn it down. He had absolute control of whether the music even play or not. The heinous sejhen-ekáh would never break them with this weird musical mind experiment! Dealg had no other choice than to resist, and therefore he never touched the controls of the so-called easy listening tau music.

The Horror! The Horror!

This was however was no the end to terrifying use of their so called 'entertainments'. The sejhen-ekáh had gone so far as to provide Dealg with over 4,000 titles of various styles of music including tau classical, folk, folk-rock, alternative and something called tau opera. The music selection also included Kroot, Mon-keigh, Demiurge music, as well as a few musical selections from the Craft World and Exodite Eldar. And then there was the extensive holovideo selection, which included over 12,000 titles from across the Tau Empire including: dramas, historical dramas, romantic comedies, telenovelas, mini-series, and documentaries. And there were the children's educational holovideos series like The Greater Good and You, Sesame Path and Klif'erd the Big Red Krootox. All on demand, anytime he wanted them.

Was he meant to crack from having so much high-quality entertainment? Were his comfortable and cosy accommodations meant to undermine his mental stability? Was having fine wines and not-to-bad cuisine supposed to eroding his innate savagery? What in the name of the Eldar gods was all this supposed to do to him?

Now the situation had become dire…

Between the boredom and the niceness Dealg could now feel his mind slipping away. The brutal effects of these twin horrendous tortures was now grinding Dealg into dust. He was certain he would not last for much longer. But how could he survive such? What could he do to save his sanity, before his mind completely dissolved it to nothingness? Was there nothing that could save him now?

That's when Dealg found her.

He smiled and looked down at the platter lying on the floor and thought to himself, "“Hmm...well maybe I'll have just one shrimp tail...alright and maybe just one of the crunchy rolls..."


“Nighty-night...Nighty-night...Nighty-night....Nighty-night...Nighty-night...Nighty-night....Nighty-night...”


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Re: Into Silence: The Red Sash

Post#14 » Apr 14 2016 07:12

THE RED SASH: THE NIGHT V ISITOR II


“Ma'am he's just seventeen you know what I mean?”

The sound of the voice instantly awoke Aeryn, and taking but half-a-second, she acquainted herself with her surroundings. She was lying on her side was in bed facing the wall. The light above her bed still on for no reason. She lay still waiting and listening, but there was no sound, not even the hum of her drone's anti-grav motor.

"Lights down," she said, but lights remained on.

"U-34-61, why is my light on? Attendant drone U-34-61," she called out.

No repsonse.

"U-34-61 activate and respond! Repeat, attendant drone U-34-61 activate and respond!"

Still no response from the drone, but then Aeryn thought she heard something, like someone breathing hard or maybe crying. She froze, there was someone else in the room besides her!

Aeryn lay still on her bed listening to her own breathing, waiting to hear the sound again. Then there it was again, the sound of someone softly crying and sobbing. Aeryn immediately sat straight up, and spinning around, leapt from her bed yelling, "Attendant drone U-34-61, there is an un-authorized person in my room, please respond!"

No response.

The room was almost completely dark lit only by the one light above the bed, but the sound came from the corner opposite the door. Straining her eyes thought she could make out a huddled figure sitting in the corner and crying.

"Intruder identify yourself?"

Grabbing the holster the hung from the head of the bed, Areyn drew her laspistol pointed it at the figure in the corner saying loudly, "Intruder identify yourself or I will fire! Identify yourself now!"

Looking hard down the sights of the laspistol Aeryn froze when she finally recognized who it was, Private Reginald C. Llampo from Reichart's 18th Platoon. The same young man she had once killed, crying and bleeding, like he had been that night so many years ago.

"Llampo? What the fudd are you doing here?" she shouted, but then over her shoulder she yelled, "U-34-61 activate and respond! C'mon Aunty talk to me! Aunty where the hell are you?"

"*BAD WORD DELETED!*, are we back to calln' it 'Aunty' are we?" said Llampo looking up at Aeryn with tears running down his face. "Fought you 'ated dem xenos abominashuns? What you gone soft on us? Well...no worries luv, it's a dead bit'o machinery now. Take a look at your feet Commissar!"

Aeryn kept her eyes trained on Llampo, but scanned the floor around with her periphery vision. Not being able to see anything, she took a step backward, but tripped on something on the floor behind her. Falling backward, she reached out and broke her fall with her power fist. And there it was on the floor, right beneath her wellington boots, were the broken remains of attendant drone U-34-61. The drone had taken several las rounds, probably defending her life. Aeryn yelled, "You prick Llampo!"

That's when she noticed the power fist, and the commissar's jacket, and red sash around her waist, and the laspistol in her hands.

Llampo just laughed, "The great and terrible Commissar Tailor 'as more feelings fo' a dead tau bot, then she ever 'ad for us a 'uman bein'? No suprize that eh?"

"What are you doing here Llampo?" said Aeryn again aiming the laspistol at the guardsman.

"You tell me Commissar! First I was dead, then I wasn't...And now I'm in your room? Which I kinda made a mess'o didn't I?" said Llampo around and scratching his head.

"First you lovely little bot comes over and asks me, if I'd like a cup o'tea, then as its pourn' the squadie a tinful, I let it rip wif my lasrifle: 'pop, crackle, pop, crackle' and the little bluey abominashun goes down! Then, cuz all the lights was what 'urtin' me eyes, I start at the lights: 'pop, fizzle, crackle, pop, pop, pop'...Yep shot 'em all out, but for some reason, you was asleep frough the whole fing? Still can't figure that one out..."

Aeryn looked around her room and indeed there were blast scoring on every panel, on the key pad, the holovid camera, and almost all the light fixtures. Then Aeryn noticed for the first time the smell of ozone in the air, the stench of burnt metal, and the strange aroma of singed fio'tek flooring.

Llampo wiped his hand across his nose and flicked the wet bogey on the floor. Then as he stumbled to his feet, but Aeryn shouted, "Stop right there private, don't move!"

"Whateva Commissar...like a dead man has gots some place to go?"

"Llampo give me your lasrifle and your web gear...now private!"

Llampo removed his web gear tossed it at Aeryn's feet, then kicked his lasrifle across the floor where is slammed against her left foot. "Yaow! By-the-Throne that hurt!" griped Aeryn.

Then as her foot throbbed from pain and her nose again filled with smell of ozone and burnt fio'tek, Aeryn thought to herself, "This isn't a dream? This is really happening, this is bloody real!"

"Of course it's real, you bimbo!" said Llampo spitting on the floor and pointing at Aeryn. "But too bad your Bluey Grampa ain't what 'ere to save you eh? 'E ain't 'ere to give you a warm blankie and kerchief to sop up your tears? 'Boo-hoo, boo-hoo! Wise Gramps, Wise Gramps, that nasty guardsmen been 'ere and shot me favorite bot! Boo-hoo, boo-hoo! Bring me some curry and spring rolls wif tomato sauce, eh Gramps? Make me feel all bedda, boo-hoo, boo-hoo!' You never cared if I was cryn' or not did you Commissar? Just popped me head your power fist and got on with your life!" shouted Llampo with his blue eyes swollen from crying.

"LLAMPO SHUT-UP! WHY THE HELL ARE YOU HERE?" shouted Aeryn at the top of her lungs.

"Go ahead and shoot me Commissar! It's not like I 'aven't been dead before is it?” said Llampo shoving his red hair out of his face. “But then you neva cared about anybody did you?! 'Ell you almost tortured Riza to deaf didn't you?"

Aeryn froze, her heart leaping into her throat.

"When did the terrible Commissar Aeryn Tailor eva give a-rat's-arse about anybody but 'erself? Neva!" yelled Llampo.

Aeryn started to crying, but Llampo kept going on, "Boo-hoo, boo-hoo! What the 'ell Commissar? You tortured Valetzi Riza, who was the closest thing you eva had to a friend back in dem days! Did you care, NO! And me? You killed me when I was only seventeen...Aand I ain't neva even been proper drunk like. Did you care, NO! And I ain't neva been wif a girl, I ain't eva been laid. Did you care, NO!"

Tears followed down Aeryn's face and the hand holding the laspistol shook hard.

Llampo limped forward, blood dripping from his left thigh, and raising and arm he pointed a finger at Aeryn and shouted, "I'm yelln' and all you can do is stand dere wishn' that Sergeant O'Farrell and 'is mates was 'ere to save you?! You wishn' that the Sergeant with 'is cute pink face, and 'is cute little nose, and 'is cute little bum, waz 'ere to save your sorry, sorry arse. Aren't you Commissar?"

By the time Llampo was finished Aeryn's hand that held the laspistol had dropped to her side, and she was sobbing, "No, no, no..."

"I ain't eva been to bed wif a girl, but Commissar Tailor don't care."

Aeryn continued to cry silently now.

Llampo dragged his arm across his face to wipe the bogeys from his freckled nose. "What is it now Commissar? Why you'd go all quiet like?"

He looking grim took a step towards Aeryn.

"Is it because you been 'aven the wet dreams about Sergeant O'Farrell isn't it? About Finnbhar? 'Ooh, 'e could nail my arse to the bed anytime eh!' That's what you been finkn' about all this time. That cute little bum of 'is all the time I been talkn'?"

Llampo took another couple of steps towards Aeryn.

"Yeah, you finkn', 'Ooh, I could make pretty babies wif 'im! What wif that cute tight bum of 'is!' By which you mean 'ez probably packn' a big lascannon in 'is pants. 'Ooh, c’mon Finn, I'll pop me legs open for you anytime!' Yeah that's what your finkn' right now ain't it Commissar?"

Llampo was now almost face-to-face with Aeryn, who shook her head as tear flowed even harder.

"Commissar you're a smutty little tart, you know that right?" said Llampo wiping more bogeys off his face.

Llampo stopped talking and looking down, pulled at the torn bits of his bloody trouser leg, to reveal a deep scratch that ran his waist down to the top of his knee. "Looky 'ere Commissar you were right after all, it was just a scratch! Hmm, I just need a few medi-strips or one large chest bandage and I'm good-to-go. You wouldn't 'appen to 'ave any layn' around would you? Wait...neva mind, I forgot I'm dead already."

Aeryn's stopped crying as the anger in her chest began to rise again. The laspistol felt heavy, but powerful in her hand. She re-aimed the pistol at Llampo.

"Oi, on second thought, maybe I could use a bandage. You got a few somewhere round abouts?" said Llampo, but then seeing Areyn pointing the laspistol at him again said, "Wait...you're thinkn' to shoot me aren't you? Too bad I'm dead already, eh?"

"SHUT-UP-LLAMPO!" shouted Areyn.

"Alrighty ma'am, no need to be all impolite! But 'ow do you gonna kill a kid what's already dead? Just explain me that one Commissar?"

"Llampo, shut up and tell me what you're doing here!" said Aeryn now feeling in her blood the power of the Red Sash again.

"Beats me Commissar? You're the one what brought me 'ere..."

“Let’s find out Llampo?” said Aeryn as the Red Sash filling her with pride and arrogance. The pride of being one of the Commissariat and that came with it. The promise of glory and honour… The wonder and awe of power… The excitement of meting out such awful and deadly justice… The righteous and terrible justice of the Emperor of Mankind. All this came with the Red Sash. And it was hers once again.

Areyn fired the laspistol and Llampo's left knee exploded. His body went one way and the leg below the knee went another.

"FUDD THAT 'URT! THAT FUDDN' 'URT!" cried Llampo clutching his severed leg.

"Tell me why you're here Llampo...and maybe I'll be a nice little girl and get you a tourniquet!"

"Frakk you bitc...OH, *BAD WORD DELETED!*" shouted Llampo as Ayren shot off his right ear.

"Why are you here Llampo?" asked Aeryn in a calm voice.

"No, no don't shoot!" yelled Llampo, his right holding to his head and waving his left hand at Aeryn. "I don't know why. I really don't know...I don’t! I don’t!"

Aeryn fired twice taking off three fingers and part of the palm of Llampo's left hand.

"AHHH *BAD WORD DELETED!*! STOP SHOOTING! STOP SHOOTING!" cried Please in the name of the Holy Emperor...STOP!"

"Why are you here Llampo?" asked Aeryn in a voice as cold as steel.

"I-I-don't know? Why are you trying to kill me?" sobbed Llampo.

"Not the answer I wanted," said Aeryn who then shot off Llampo's right hand off at the wrist.

"AHHH! AHHH! DON'T..." yelled Llampo as he lay sobbing on the floor in a puddle of his own blood. Staring up at Aeryn as she stood over him he moaned, "Why Commisar Tailor? Why do want to kill me?"

"Why are you here Llampo?" asked Areyn aiming at Llampo's head.

Llampo could only sob and tremble.

"Why not Llampo? Why not kill you? I live to serve the Holy Emperor of Mankind," said Aeryn kicking away the remnants of Llampo's hand. Stepping over the pool of blood, she then put a boot on Llampo's chest, and aimed between Llampo's eyes.

"Why Llampo?” Aeryn paused and for a moment raised her laspistol and cocked her head to one side.

“Because I love wearing the Red Sash. I love being a Commissar. Why do I love being a Commissar...well it's because I love to kill Llampo. You know how the slogan goes, 'Abhor the Mutant...Kill the Xeno...Purge the Heretic'. Yeah, it’s kind of like that.” Aeryn’s auburn eyes burned with the love of the Emperor.

“We use to say 'Join the Commissariat and travel to distant star-systems and meet interesting people...most of whom are human and loyal to Emperor…And kill them!' The best part of it all is that I get to kill in the name of the Holy Emperor of Mankind. I personally get to kill mutants, xenos, and heretics. And I most of all Llampo, I get to cull the Imperial Guard of deserters, thieves, murders and cowards! Just like you Llampo. There is so much power and so much satisfaction at being the instrument of the Emperor's Wrath and in destroying his enemies! Whoa Llampo! I just can't begin to tell you just how much...I...love...to...kill!"

And with that Aeryn reached over and took Llampo's head in between the forefinger and thumb of her power fist. Unlike that night when she killed him so long ago, this time she would let the power build up slowly. And as the energy levels crept up, first Llampo's hair caught fire, and then his skin. Next his eyes popped out of his skull and burst one-by-one. Then his tongue swelled up and burst as his teeth and jaw flew apart. Finally his entire head exploded in ball of blue-white energy, leaving the flesh of his upper body burning and his uniform smouldering.

Areyn wiped Llampo's bloody remains off her face with her forearm. She brushed off the bloody bits of his burnt skin, the fluffy globs of his brains, and the little fragments of his skull that hung on her face and her uniform. She lifted up the power first and holding it close to her face, and inhaled the acrid smell of burnt flesh and thought, 'I loved being a Commissar.'


****
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