Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Bastet's Corner - Baptism (Prelude)

Mission Entry: None
Log Entry N°: #01/001

Day 01, Hour 2235

Do you believe in Fate?

Do you think that prophecies, premonitions, and everything that goes with them, is it all to be considered of any value?

Do you think that things happen because they simply have to happen, that everything is predetermined, in spite of personal effort?

Well, if you ask me, the whole of it is pure bollock juice, 100% natural. We are what we are by result of our choices and actions, and how they relate with each other. A mission ends with a blazing success or a shameful failure because of how we did our part in front of the odds, and how the odds played their game against us. Nothing is written in stone: the Mewmperor might be great, but we shouldn't forget that ultimately it's what we do, that makes or breaks us.

It should thus be pretty easy to understand why I had to hide my will to burst into laughter, and dismiss those words as folly, when a veteran member of the Adeptus Mechanicus approached me as I was about to make home after the Smilebringer operation, time ago now.

As we shook hands, all of a sudden his metallic grasp grew fiercer, and while staring deep in my eyes, as if in trance, he uttered some kind of prophecy:

"Be aware of the Bolt,
And of the loud Bang
Take care of the swift Rodent,
And of the Reptile's fang"

What followed after was an awkward silence, with me trying to figure out what the hell he was meaning, and desperately trying not to disrespect him as he anxiously added "Mark my words, young one, for someday they might aid you in seeing your task through".

I patted the old man's arm, with a condescending smile, and broke off from his cold grasp, then I saluted him, and made my way back home.

Why do I mention all this?

Well, tomorrow I am going to infiltrate an Ork outpost, to assassinate its leader and rescue a most valuable prisoner. Right above that outpost, recon reported to have seen the biggest storm in a good while.

Let's put "Fate" to test.

Mission Entry: Liberation
Log Entry N°: #01/001

Day 02, Hour 0145

Be aware of the bolt, of the bang.

Heh. Well, that's a seriously awesome storm out there, no joke. I've seldom seen such an amount of lightnings, and so close! It was definitely a boomfest.

And yet, as I admire it from behind the pane of the transporter's seat, on the way to a much deserved shower, I can serenely say that no, the old man's words didn't really aid me. My mission went as smooth as the skin of a baby, without even a single scrape on my suit. Didn't break my personal on completion time, but merely for a handful of seconds.

I behaved perfectly, as the task required, I reacted promptly and swiftly to each and every adversity. I made my own "destiny".

Take this, Giant Unseen, my dice rolled full six each and every time. Or snake eyes. Whatever is carved on those dice of yours that makes it a successful roll, hah. Or are you telling me that those dice are rigged? If so, see me complain...

I chuckle, because that's really just a bunch of crap. I can now believe in the Smilebringer, sure, but everything else... pff.

Mission Entry: Scorched Earth - Briefing
Log Entry N°: #01/001

Day 01, Hour 2020

It's funny.

The more I look at it, the funnier it gets.

I probably shouldn't really give much about it, just finish checking the suit, get in my room, and sleep a good night's sleep over it, so that I'm going to be ready for the deployment.

Tomorrow there's a field operation that requires us to take back a small city from enemy forces. Brass wants to avoid it becoming some kind of guerrilla outpost, so we are to leave no stone unturned.

No big deal, so far, one would say.

Turns out they also want us to field test some kind of portable device. It should supposedly create small dimensional gates, man sized, so to speak, which should allow us to blink, for lack of a better word. Jump in, appear a bit further. They still aren't sure whether this piece of gear is valuable, so they want some precious data and what better chance to get them than giving it to expendable guinea pigs this one?

It's small, it's configurable, it's trackable. Or so they say.

I've kept it in my paws hands for quite a while, now. Enough to get the hang of its controls and what not.

The more I look at it, the funnier it gets, really.

I've kept it long enough that I can't help but fixate on the big DANGER label on its side.

That bolt mark inside the triangle means you're kidding me. You've gotta be.

Mission Entry: Scorched Earth - Dropoff
Log Entry N°: #01/001

Day 01, Hour 2100

Do you believe in Fate?

Do you think that prophecies, premonitions, and everything that goes with them, is it all to be considered of any value?

Do you think that things happen because they simply have to happen, that everything is predetermined, in spite of personal effort?

Well, as of now, I'm not as adamantine in saying that it's all bollocks, not anymore.

As the dropship's ramp unfolds in front of my eyes, ready to vomit its content on the battlefield, my Brothers are all focused. Some mutter encouraging words, others endlessly check their weapons, others simply stare silently at the dark veil in front of us, slowly giving way to the artificial lights of the outside world. Everyone is ready to step out and give our enemy no mercy, relentlessly hunting them and wiping them away from the city.

Everyone but me. As I nervously circle my paw hand around the mark on the porting device, I can't help but letting my mind err on the words of the old guy. The bolt. The bang. A rodent, a reptile. Can it all have any serious meaning?

Rationally, I would dismiss it all even now, but I can't help having a weird feeling deep inside my marrow. It's... unpleasant. Utterly unpleasant.

As I gulp nervously, the ramp has completed its opening. The night sky is full of roaming lights, flares and beams and explosions and every kind of battle noise one could expect, and then some. I hear a loud sound coming from the front line, I know it's the order to start getting out and spreading even without having actually grasped it. Getting in motion, I realize I have actually tinkered with the device, and now the settings are probably off. Way to go, McPaw. Get back on track, come on.

As I shake my head to regain focus, it happens.

Fate or casuality, fate or casuality.

Our landing spot, a perfect one. A terrible one. Which side should I consider?  What's on the board, what's at stake? Who are the actors?

I hear the sound of metal against metal (fate?). I notice the faint trail of smoke surrounding the small, oval shaped projectile (casuality?). My single instinctual gesture, is to press the device starter.

I see white.

And then, there comes the bang.

Mission Entry: None
Log Entry N°: #01/001

Day ??, Hour ??

I think I'm still alive.

Everything's black around me, but... I think, and that means my conscience still is. I suppose it's a good start, after all. I can't see anything, but apparently my senses are coming back to me. I can hear. The humming of the suit, its beepy-boopy sounds indicate it's still working, if partially. I can also hear some... chitter, for lack of a better word. Doesn't seem to be internal.

I guess the device must have worked, activating an instant before the deflagration. That's the good news. Bad news, I have to figure out where the hell I am now. If I can get back on my feet, of course. Apparently, they are still there, and so are my arms. I can breathe, and the pain I feel means the nervous system is functional. Damn it, I still can't see anything.


Scrap it, you can see, you idiot. The sensors and everything. It's outside, that all is dark. The chitter again. So I just have to get up and-

Something moved.

It's close, it's damn close, can't see crap but I could hear it perfectly. Some rustling, over the chitter.

Well, here goes nothing. Let's roll over and...

...and I'll be damned. It was cloth. A wide rag, or something, was wrapped around my visor. Gee, no wonder I couldn't see much. Ok then, time to-

The rag is moving. Or better, the thing inside it is moving. Turning to face me. Chittering, all the while. The first thing I notice are the small, shiny, reddish eyes, full of cunning. Then comes the mouth, disfigured, full of pointy, twisted mockeries for teeth, or fangs. And all that spiky hair around. And then it shrieks.

Goodness. Curse you, old man.

The thing in front of me is a giant, man-sized rat.

Still unsure about the status of my suit, I go for the porting device, only to grasp air in its stead.

Because the wretched thing is actually holding it firmly in its grasp.

And then, after shrieking at me once more, it suddenly whirls and runs into the darkness.

All I can do, for the time being, is to chase it down.

Fate or not, I'm going to get to the end alive.

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