Hero of the Death Guard

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Hero of the Death Guard

Postby Uncle Le » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:12 pm

I had a pair of short sketches about one inquisitorial pair translated into english and posted on this forum back in the Good Old Age. Now they are in the Yesteryear's Archives (viewtopic.php?f=17&t=459). Recently it has occured to me that during two past decades I had written other stories(short and long) about them. So I decided to translate (to the best of my ability) at least one more.
It was sad to find that this fine forum has gone grave-like... Still, I would post it here in the name of all good and old.
Hope I didn't mess with verbs and their tenses too much and left the text readable.


Long and darkened corridors. Corroded and pitted metal of the walls and floors dimly lit by a sparse lightorbs. Sinister blackness of the occasional sideways. With almost every one of them feeling ripe with evil, madness and Chaos. With every staircase leading deeper and deeper, with every turn taking further and further these feelings intensify slowly overwhelming sensitive mind. Even without psychic abilities one would break into a cold sweat here. Malice feels like nonexistent wind here. Walls bleed with despair mixed with madness here.

Nemesis Tessera. He has been here before. He was a lowly interrogator back then and as now was following his master. Though that time they did not go so deep. That time they came for Lex Mortifera. And had not made even half of the way they already left behind.

Lex Mortifera. Heretical tome. His mind eagerly immersed itself into memories, drawing them over like a coverlid to shelter from reigning terror and madness. His master chased Mauve Iris back then. And to put an end to that foul Chaos worshipping sect he needed to look into this grimoire of heresies.

A tide of wicked murders had rolled through Thracian Primaris back then. Dead feminine bodies had piled the morgues. Even now after years gone he could see them in his mind as fresh as they had been found. Dissected. Heavily. That was not like the work of a high-spire psychotic mangler or drug-crazed underhive ripper. That was apparent enough. There were no mindless rage-driven lacerations or frustration-powered hate slashes. The cutwork was something sinister. Incisions seemed precise and exquisite. Artful. Almost. They covered the corpses in patterns, which reminded him of drawings he had come across on lower levels of Sameter hives.

The dissections were arranged in an orderly fashion. Like some sick anatomic scheme. The cutwork consisted of horizontal incisions going from eye-balls through cheeks and to corners of mouth, and also from temples going behind ears to clavicles criss-crossing throat and continuing to arms along biceps through the creases of elbows and to the wrists… On the bodies incisions started at the armpits then contoured lungs converging toward pelvis then went around genitals and continued down along the legs…

In order to get one heretical sect of Chaos worshippers they had had to delve into practices of another heretical sect of Chaos worshippers. ‘Know Thy Enemy’. Many inquisitors would have not approved. But they had been left without any other options back then. In the aftermath of the scouring conducted under his master’s control and tagged ‘Expulsion of the Iriscos’ in the following official reports they had been able to disrupt a summoning ritual of Slaaneshi daemonic entity literally at the very last moment.

He vividly remembered how his master had suddenly stopped amid lightless section of the corridor then had turned to face him and had asked whether he had felt any fear. He vividly remembered how he had answered.

‘Master,’ he said. ‘I do feel indeed. And even more so with every other step we take.’

‘Do not be afraid of your feelings, Evangelio,’ master answered. ‘For as long as you keep going in the direction of your fear’s rise you are on the right path.’

Despite the amount of time passed, the experiences gained he still felt it. Fear. Almost feral. Almost as fresh as that first time here.

‘On the right path. On the right path,’ his master’s voice was saying in his head. And he kept going, grinding his teeth, strengthening psychic barriers around his mind. He strode through the tides of despair, malice and terror washing over him, trying to pick his mind up and drown it like a rickety boat in its abyss.

His hair was wet and clammy with sweat under the hood of his dingy white robe. Sweat was trickling down his spine, also was briefly gathering on his eyebrows before shrouding vision with its salty veil. Every step forward was hard won. He didn’t give up and kept going. Step. By step. Along the right path.

Eventually his persistence was rewarded. He came alongside his master standing before large and heavy bronze double doors. It was an end of the last corridor. They have come.

There was floor lightorb standing by the doors. It was quite old and was periodically flickering along with making low cracking noises. The ragged circle of unsteady light revealed corroded metal of the doors with ancient-looking handles bound by a heavy chain with a lock. Long scroll of parchment was attached to the lock by a wax seal. The holy words of Benedicite Imperatorum were hand-written on the scroll. Wax seal had three symbols on it. Inquisition. Ordo Malleus. And personal monogram of inquisitor Diego Velazquez. His master.

Not saying a word his master broke the seal, took a key from a pocket of his overcoat. And after unlocking the chained lock he opened the door leafs with loud to the point of brain deadening groan. Beyond the doors was a dark room. It was rather large and the air inside it seemed had a heavy aura of grim resolve, of hatred and bitterness. There was no any furniture, only bare bronze of the floor and stone of the walls.

There was something standing in the centre of the room. The room was dark so he could see only tall dark shape. His master stepped inside and turned on two small lamps previously hidden in the surrounding dark. Now he could see. It was a metal cylinder. Tall. Massive. A bright flash of understanding flickered in his mind. He knew what it was. A stasis pod.

The first thing that caught his eye was strange design of the pod. He have not seen the like anywhere before. During his service years he had seen a lot of new and old ones. This one was something different. It was a tall cylinder of bare steel with a small lens-shaped window of thick glass on its side. The pod was dented, scratched and pitted with wormholes of corrosion. It was heavily worn and time-eaten but has endured and kept functioning.

Senior interrogator and soon-to-be full-fledged inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus Evangelista Toricelli had thoughts and inner understanding as to why his master had put himself to study the Great Heresy for the last twelve years. He perused countless manuscripts, memorized a whole tomes since. Thoroughly studied Liber Traitoris with all its addendums. And now his inner understanding has met with outer acknowledgment when on the base of the cylinder he made out an engraved lettering. It was distorted and half-faded but could still be read.

‘DGGCMU/2 Mark III. Apothecarion IV. Legion XIV.’

The hairs bristled on the back of his neck. With slightly trembling hand he pulled off hood of his robe and on unsteady legs stepped to the pod’s lensed window. It faintly glowed with an eerie greenish light. Inside, shrouded in light mist was a space marine in the Legiones Astartes Mark III armour. He wore an Armorum Ferrum helmet. The armour had no any ornamentation except for squad insignia on one shoulder guard and icon depicting skull within a sunburst on the other.

The space marine was badly wounded. Chest plate had several serious punctures, left leg was practically severed and was hanging on tendons alone. Left hand of the space marine was absent below elbow. The wounds were too severe for Larraman's cells to clot the bleeding and were thick with gushing blood forever frozen in the moment by the stasis field.

‘I believe he was wounded during fighting at Istvaan V. He was interred in this apothecarion pod and then… Then nobody had any time for him left,’ spoke his master pensively standing nearby till this moment.

‘Who is he?’

‘Mortagor,’ answered master and after a pause added with a crooked smile, ‘Hero of the Death Guard.’
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Uncle Le
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