Sup /tg/, its been awhile. Quite some time ago now, you guys inspired me to write a stupid little story. You can find the first two installments here.https://archive.foolz.us/tg/thread/26179163/https://archive.foolz.us/tg/thread/26338629/Sorry about the hiatus, by the way, life has been a bit crazy on my end. But enough excuses, time for me to tell you a tale. A tale of techpriests and telepaths.
Lord Captain Regis Flavius Jean Claude van Calrissan was having a very bad day. His luxury shuttle was still out of service after the incident with that fetching eldar lass and her corsair crew which had forced him to ride in this dingy rumbling military vessel and actually share the same breathing space as his reserve guard contingent, he found difficulty caring even remotely about the unexciting mission at hand that warranted this shuttle’s use in the first place, and worst of all, he had run out of brandy for his breakfast snifter this morning. Regis decided that somebody would be getting shot for today’s egregious inconveniences, he just wasn’t sure who quite yet. It was then that he had idly glanced down at his shoulder and noticed some dust upon it."Percival! My coat appears to be sullied. Do be a sport and fix that.""Yes milord." Callidon rolled his eyes as he produced a small dusting brush and set to his task, too weary to correct his employer yet again."And while you’re at it, tell me about this planet we traveled so far to reclaim. This…""Obsallis, milord. It appears that the Planetary Governor fell in league with the Tau some years back.""Hmm, and now it’s up to us to bring His lost servants back into the fold of the Emperor. How very banal.""I take it this will be largely by the numbers, then?"
"Quite right, Percival, quite right. Turn the governor against his blue-skinned benefactors, turn the tau against their puppet, and sell arms to both sides as well as anyone stuck in the middle. Once they all soften each other up, we clean up the mess, slap some aquilas about, and take everything of value we can stuff the ship with." Regis sighed loudly at how mundane this outing was shaping up to be. "To think that we came all the way out this way for something so utterly typical. You would think with the urgency that our good Inquisitor friend called us here, it would for something exciting. But no, just dreary grunt work. I bet this is payback for that poker game, too! I don’t believe she ever forgave me for that one…Say, Percival, did I ever tell you that story?""Yes milord. More than I would care to know, milord."Regis sighed again."Oh well, I so suppose there is still some hope that something interesting rears its head during our little outing.""Cheer up, milord, we can always acquire a few more of those tau girls you seem to enjoy so much.""Oh I don’t know, Percival, I must say that their beauty was…greatly exaggerated. Those reports must have come from quite desperate guardsmen. Still, you make a good point. I haven’t collected a full set yet and I do suppose the old ones are getting a tad lonely. At I can say this venture of ours won’t be a total loss."The shuttle gave one last rumble as it finally came to rest planetside. With a hiss, the loading ramp descended. Regis straightened his coat and cleared his throat as he stepped out into the crowd of onlookers.
"Greetings, citizens of…" "Obsallis." Callidon muttered to the Lord Captain."Obsallis! I claim this world for the Emperor of Humanity and his Imperium. I bring justice and truth for the loyal. Punishment and death for the guilty. Now, do be good sports and take me to your governor."Regis looked sidelong and gave his seneschal a sly grin as some awestruck official or another whose name and title he never bothered to ask directed them towards their objective."Though personally, I just want to get back to those 'stories' of mine. I truly cannot wait to see what those to do next."-----Litilus hurried through the corridors of The Gilded Ambition, eager to see Akadia again after her several days’ absence. He never realized how accustomed he had grown to their daily talks until she had left for Obsallis as part of Lord Captain van Calrissan’s retinue. Even upon their return, it had taken all his willpower to allow her a few hours of rest to undergo whatever cleansing rituals it was that meatbags required. Once he reached her quarters, he input the door code she had given him and entered the now familiar abode. Akadia was sitting down and staring off blankly into space. Her eyes were unfocused and a weathered book lay in her lap, open but unread. Litilus was contemplating whether or not to interrupt what could have been some sort of psyker trance when she snapped back to reality with a start and finally acknowledged the techpriest’s presence with a warm smile. "Litilus! I'm so glad to see you!"She looked more tired than usual, the circles under her eyes darker and her eyelids drooping a little lower than normal, but the smile on her face and the joy in her tired eyes were both genuine."Is…everything okay?"
"Oh, that! Don’t worry about me, I'm fine! I just sorta…got lost. You know, in my own head. It usually only happens when I…well, have to, um…kill people. But it’s fine! Really! In fact, I got something for you!"Akadia scurried off and began digging through her footlocker until she came back with a strange circular object. Before he could get a good look at it, she enthusiastically shoved it into Litilus’ hands. He inspected the unexpected gift and found it to be a mechanical drone, similar to the ones used by Tau military forces, only the size of a dinner plate and sporting two grasping claws where guns should be. Upon closer scrutiny, it was revealed to be severely battered in several places and Litilus even spotted a handprint melted into the circular rim of the upper casing."Happy birthday!" Akadia announced, beaming proudly.The bewildered techpriest struggled to find proper words for the occasion. "I…this is…but I don’t…what?""You said you never had a birthday before so I decided to give you one! I was also going to bake you a cake, but then I remembered that you don’t eat food. Also I don’t know how to bake…but I still got you a birthday present! I know you said you wanted to study xeno ships and it’s not exactly a ship, but it sorta looks like one so I thought of you when I saw it! Sorry if it’s a little beat up, but it started beeping really loudly and tried to get away when I grabbed it so I had to bash it against the wall until it shut up and I think I melted it a little too. Hopefully you can still study it, though.""You did all that…just for me?""It was nothing really! I just stashed it under my robes after that and nobody noticed anything. Either that or they just didn’t say anything because people don’t like talking with me when they don’t have to."
Litilus was at a loss. He looked back down at his 'Birthday Present' in awe, turning it over in his hands. Never before in his life had anyone given him such a thing. Sure, there was plenty of exchange of materials and expertise in the Mechanicus, but it always came with the tacit understanding that one would be recompensed for their services rendered. But to give someone something utterly free of charge with no strings attached was a just plain unheard of concept to Litilus. When he finally spoke, his words were quiet. As if each one was dislodged from his throat only by great effort."This…this is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me. Thank you." He tore his gaze from the drone to regard Akadia, a glint of eagerness in his eye. "Would you mind if I…inspected it? Right now?"She giggled at the confused techpriest."You're s'posed to open your presents right away on your birthday!"With childlike enthusiasm and the trusty set of tools he always kept stashed in his robes, Litilus set to work on disassembling the xeno machine. Akadia was content to just watch him work and marvel at the way his mechadendrites worked in unison to organize the drone’s innards on her table.
-----"You know, you’re kinda wrinkly for a young person."It had already been two days since his 'birthday' and Litilus had barely scratched the surface of the inner workings of the drone Akadia had gotten him. This was in all likelihood due to the fact that every time he tried to work on the machine in the comfort of his own chambers, he instead found himself here in Akadia’s room. He couldn’t quite explain it, but it felt somehow wrong to work on the machine without her. If he was going to uncover any weaknesses this filthy xenotech contained, he wanted her right there with him. Even these meandering conversations of hers that he used to find asinine and infuriating only seemed to help him focus now. He even found her music player puttering on dutifully in the corner pleasant in its own little way."And how do you know that I am young?"He had disassembled the drone for the fourth time today, looking over the components and mentally comparing them to the innards of a servo skull to see if he could make any connections."Easy! Because you think young folk thoughts.""Oh? And how does one determine the age of a thought?""Well, young folk always think about what they’re gonna do next, and old folks mostly just think about all the things they’ve already done. And when they’re dying, young folks regret all the things they haven’t done yet while old folks regret all the things they did."Slightly unnerved by her matter-of-fact tone, Litilus decided to change the subject."I detect the stench of burning animal fats. Are you cooking lunch?""Huh? Oh, yes! Grox steaks, just like Grampa used to make! Well, Grampa never used his brain to cook them, but I figure it’s close enough."
"And you cook all of your meals this way?""Most of em! The guardsmen don’t like it when I use the mess hall so they just send me a bunch of meats and stuff to store in this nice personal fridge I got with the thrones Mr. van Calrissan pays me. I think they’re nervous that I’ll explode into warp spawn or something and kill all of them which is why they don’t like me hanging around very much. I tried to explain to them that if that really did happen, they would be the first ones ordered to deal with the problem so they would probably die anyways, but that just made em even more nervous.""I am unsure of how to respond to that.""So were the guardsmen.""Regardless, it seems like a highly useful talent."Akadia sat down beside the busy techpriest, picking at her steak with the same gusto that Litilus picked at his drone and speaking between mouthfuls."It’s my favorite trick! It was part of basic training back at the Scholastia Psykana for anyone like me. Pyromancers, I think they called us. They gave us five minutes to cook our rations using only our powers. It was s’posed to teach us how to control it instead of letting it control you, since too little meant you undercooked your food and might get sick from eating it and too much made it all crispy and even if you did it right and tried to share with others who didn’t, they would beat you and take away both meals and neither of you would get to eat. I got really good at cooking my own meals. Which means I got good at ignoring the glares and begging of those that didn’t. That was my favorite part of the Psykana.""Being forced under the stress of starvation to cook your own meals and ignoring the plight of your peers was your fondest memory of your training?""Well, yeah. It was the only time they weren’t teaching me how to hurt people.""I…see."
"Yeah…It’s not so bad, though! I just wished more people knew how I do what I do. See, most of the guardsmen think I just shoot fire from my hands but if it was that simple, they’d have replaced me with a flamer by now. To be fair, that’s what a lot of it is since it’s safer that way and is really easy to do, but it’s a really inefficient way of doing things since you gotta worry about what they’re wearing if their skin is tough enough just shrug off the fire and keep coming like those orks. So for the folks that the commissar or whoever wants dead fast, I…well, it’s kinda hard to explain. I guess to me, it’s sorta like everyone is candles on the inside."Litilus stared at her."Candles?""Yeah, candles. There’s a fire burning a wick and once all the wax runs out, the candle dies. My job is to just sorta…reach inside of their minds and make that fire burn the wax up all at once. It’s different every time, though. Sometimes they melt into gooey puddles, sometimes they burn from the inside out like a lantern with too much oil, and sometimes they just explode like fireworks during Harvest Festival. It’s why I'm not so good at reading minds, because the Psykana never needed me to go in someone’s head and pull stuff out. They just taught me how to burn everything down from the inside out.""That sounds…exceedingly taxing.""It’s not so bad. Well, except for the screaming. They always scream. Even if you burn out their throat, they scream inside their minds. Sometimes I can still hear the screaming for days afterwards. Other times it goes away for a while and then comes back out of nowhere and I can even see their face all twisted and burning in pain and then I can’t sleep and sometimes it gets so bad I throw up."
"Is that why you were so tired the other day?"Akadia stared down at her lunch, moving the contents of her plate around but not eating any more of it. When she did speak again her voice was barely more than a mumble."Sorta…""What do you mean by 'sorta'?""Sometimes…sometimes I don’t think it’s the dead people screaming. Not always, anyways. I think…something else is using their voices and faces to try and make me scared and want to give up so it can slip inside my head and take over." Her voice was barely a whisper now. "Please don’t think I'm crazy."Litilus waved a mechadendrite dismissively at the melancholy psyker."If you are crazy, then what does that make for visiting you every day?"Akadia gave a weak chuckle and picked at her food some more."Sorry" she finally blurted out."For what?""For bothering you with all that stuff I just said. And ruining lunch even though you don’t eat. And talking too much. It’s just…I've never had someone to talk to like this before and it just sort of spills out all at once and the sad stuff spills out with it even though I don’t want to bother you with it but then I feel better afterwards so it keeps happening. So sorry. I've probably been interrupting your drone stuff, too."It was Litilus’ turn to avert his gaze, reinvesting himself in his project."I actually enjoy listening to you talk. It makes my work easier.""How is it coming along, anyways? I bet it’s a piece of cake for someone as smart as you!"Litilus gestured as the scattered innards."Work has been slow. I have made some minute progress on determining the function of various components, but I have yet to find any way to make contact with its machine spirit. I fear it may have been destroyed. Assuming, of course, a machine spirit even existed in the first place."
"I hope I didn’t mess it up too much for you…""Worry not, if it was truly so fragile as to be destroyed from your efforts, then we have very little to fear from these Tau. Our own machine spirits are stalwart beings, able to survive centuries of isolation and even able to operate without a crew. Allow me to tell you the tale of Rynn's Might, a most robust land raider…"While Litilus proudly regaled her with the thrilling exploits of the unmanned tank, Akadia remained lost in her own thoughts. It wasn’t until he had reached the climax of the empty tank’s daring showdown with the ork warboss that she interrupted his tale to blurt out the question that had been burning within her."You can talk to them?""To orks? They are theoretically capable of speech, but thankfully I have never had to deal with the beasts firsthand.""The machine spirits. You can talk to them?""Well, yes. Proper maintenance of machines and the soothing of their spirits is my primary duty.""And you do it with your brain?"Litilus eyed her with a mixture of puzzlement and suspicion."Sometime a direct interface is required. Why do you ask?""It’s just the first time I've met anyone else that’s kinda like me in a way.""I…" Litilus paused, digesting this new information while a hint of amusement crept into his modulated voice. "I have never thought of it that way. Interesting.""So what’s it like? Talking to them, I mean.""It’s hard to explain. They do not think they way we do. Even I am guilty of weaknesses of flesh, but the machine spirits, they are…perfect. There is no doubt or hesitation, just cold, beautiful logic. And an intense desire to complete the task they were constructed for."Akadia smiled at the fondness in his voice."They remind me of Floop."
"Floop?""He was my dog back home.""…Floop?""I was only three when I got him!" She protested "He was brown and fuzzy and had these big floppy ears that would make a floopy noise whenever he shook his head. Grampa got him for me at the faire after the first time Dad hit me. Whenever I was sad or Dad would yell at me, he was there for me. Sometimes when I was hugging him, I would accidentally read his mind. But it wasn’t like a human mind, it was simple and mostly just emotions. Still, he never hated me or thought about how I was a monster or a freak, he just loved me. He didn’t care that I was different because he was my best friend in the whole galaxy." As she reminisced, her face began to grow sullen. "I miss him…""I am sure he misses you too."Despite his attempts at placation, Akadia only grew more dismal."No, I know he doesn’t.""Now why do you say that?"Tears began to well in her eyes"Because he’s dead.""Well, I'm sure he lived a happy life and-""I killed him." Her tears fell freely now and her fists lay clenched on either side of her plate. "It was the day the Black Ships came. Me and Floop were out playing in the fields when they told me I had to leave forever. They told me I would never see Grampa or Floop again and I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to go so I hugged Floop tight and closed my eyes and wished it would all go away and, and I just got so upset. Then everything got really hot and then Floop started yelping and..." She choked back a sob. "…and then I was holding nothing but ashes… "
Litilus hated watching Akadia cry like this, but what was he supposed to do? The last time he attempted to comfort her, her depression only deepened. Growing frustrated at his inability to find the words she needed to hear, he outstretched his hand and rested it clumsily on hers, giving Akadia’s hand a tentative squeeze. He stared vacantly ahead of him, too afraid to gauge her reaction. Akadia sniffled and looked down in surprise. Eventually, she squeezed Litilus’ hand back, daring to entwine her fingers in his. And so they sat for a time, comfortable in each other’s silence.---End of Part Three---
Once again, sorry for the long wait! Lots of family obligations kept coming up and I had a little trouble writing this chapter. I'm still not entirely pleased with it, but I hope you guys enjoy it well enough!In payment for my absence, I present to you a picture of Akadia a kind drawfag was generous enough to draw.
Looks good to me. Can't wait for the next part.
Hearth warming as always OP, thanks a lot for your effort.By the way, i think the picture of Akadia makes her too serious.
>>26703083Thats good! And here I thought I had lost everyone for a moment.>>26703096Her robes also look a bit too clean/neat, but I'm not one to snub free work, especially work that otherwise looks really nice. I really like what he did with the eyes.
You should probably start up a page on 1d4chan, if you haven't already. Out of curiosity - what's her psy-focus? Might make for an interesting conversation if you hadn't made one up.
>>26703134I agree in how good her eyes look. By the way i think the next time i DM Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader i'm going to inspire some NPCs from this story.
>>26703206>what's her psy-focus?Pyromancy. Unless you mean what level of psyker she is.>>26703340>By the way i think the next time i DM Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader i'm going to inspire some NPCs from this story.Aw geez. I cant see that going well in DH, seeing how borderline heretical these guys all seem to be.
>>26703426A psy-focus is basically what the psyker uses to focus their power through. Fluff-wise, it's all spelled out on page 151 in DH core (I think), but I'm away from that PDF atm. She SHOULD have one, and it'd be a conversation item because usually it's an item that has special meaning to the psyker.Might be cool to know her level as well
>>26703514Ah, alright. Sadly, my psyker lore isn't totally up to snuff so I actually didn't know about those, though if I gave her one, it would probably be either her grandfather's laspistol or the charred remnants of her dog's collar, if I'm understanding what a psy-focus is well enough..As for her grade, I will probably leave that vague. It wouldn't be anything noteworthy anyways, since its not a story about the life of an Alpha-plus psyker, just an average psyker doing psyker things while an average techpriest does techpriest things.
>>26703948The collar would probably work best, but that's just my opinion.
>>26703206>You should probably start up a page on 1d4chan, if you haven't already.I forgot to answer this, huh. But I actually have never made a 1d4chan page. I should probably get around to doing that one of these days. Lemme archive the thread real quick, too.
>>26706791Formatting is what gets you really. I can make it for you if you want, though a pastebin of all the writing thus far would save me the hassle of trying to copy/paste from threads.
And done! Its now on suptg.>>26706816Yeah, I might do that once I finish the story. Which should be soon.
You're alive!I was beginning to think that you had stopped.I'm glad that you're still writing this.
>>26702613>Hand-holdingThis story is getting l-lewd.
Oh goshThis story is adorable