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The Artist Tekkuzai
The Tau spiked to the operating plinth opened his eyes slowly. Haemonculus Tekkuzai smiled a fang-filled grin and turned to his audience, a theater full of Dark Eldar nobility.
“Today, we have a rare show” he began in his slow drawl, “raiders travelling beyond the veil of the webway have brought me a dozen dozen prisoners of the race of the Fysh. After careful study, I have determined the nature of their physiology and psyche, and today, I will share the fruits of these studies, with you.”
O’shosu was aware a host of eyes staring down upon him. Archaic tubes ran from his veins to the ceiling, filled with what could only have been Tau blood. The crowd was cheering, as the wizened creature continued his presentation.
“To assist me in this demonstration, I have the beautiful Carmina, Wych and beloved customer. Today, I believe I will be performing a few major modifications to her body, during which I will display the difference between Eldar and Fysh physiology.”
Tekkuzai crossed the room to where the Tau lay staked to the upright slab,
“To begin, I will let you note that their skin, of blue hue, is softer, and smoother than that of a Mon-keigh, and even of an Eldar, no shame to you Carmina. It slices easily, perhaps alluding to why this race is so frail.”
O’Shosu did not see the Eldar gather any tools, before he realized that each of the creature’s fingers was tipped with implanted surgical and torture implements. Placing a bladed tip to O’Shosu’s chest, the Eldar carved a thin line to his midriff. Practiced hands and the host of other tools, set about flensing the blue flesh from O’shosu’s muscles. The Tau screamed in agony, which seemed to only spur the wicked Eldar onwards. Soon, a gleaming layer of muscle was shining from O’shosu’s chest to his waistline. He teetered on the edge of oblivion.
“Aw, it appears our guest would rather feint than enjoy the party. I anticipated this, the Fysh are weak-willed.” Tekkuzai glided to a console and turned a dial, and the Tau screamed as adrenaline was pumped through his veins. “That should keep him awake while I direct your attention to Carmina.”
Moving to the naked Wych, likewise restrained on a slab, but without the spikes, Tekkuzai began performing the same flensing operation on her torso. O’Shosu watched as the woman’s tongue snaked past her pointed teeth to slowly lick her blood-painted lips. The crowd cheered as the woman’s musculature was laid bare.
“As you can see,” Tekkuzai said to the crowd, “Fysh muscle is more dense, and bulkier than Eldar. Carmina’s muscles are lean, and taut, gifting her with her renowned um, agility” Tekkuzai knew that at least some of the males in the audience knew that ‘agility’ was a gross understatement of Carmina’s skill.
O’shosu bit back fear as the Eldar stalked back towards him. “I will now show you the inferiority in bone structure displayed by this species.” The Eldar again drew a bladed tip over O’shosus’ chest, carving open the muscle. O’shosu’s eyes rolled, until he felt a sharp jab in his throat. Refocusing, he saw the Eldar withdraw a slender needle, and then felt an immediate burning course through his veins.
“I couldn’t stand to have him passing out on us and ruining the fun” the Eldar said over his shoulder to the audience, “A little bloodfire should could him working just fine.” The pain was beyond excruciating, it seemed O’shosu could not stop focusing on the agony long enough to slip into unconsciousness. All the while, the Eldar set upon his tissues with blades and whirring saws, and soon, O’shosu felt a chill in his chest. His ribs were on gleaming display.
“As you can see, Fysh have a major set of ribs, fused over the vital organs. They also have a sub-set of more conventional ribs lower in the torso. These bones are slender, and while an Eldar has 244 bones, Fysh boast over twice that amount.” Tekkuzai moved to Carmina. The pain as he pulled away at her muscle must have been exquisite, and Carmina writhed in pleasure as Tekkuzai applied his craft to her beautiful body. When finished, he ran his fingers over the pristine white bones.
“Carmina’s bones are more robust than the Fysh’s, and you can also see the faint blue streaks where in a previous operation, I replaced strands of her marrow with hardened metals, rendering them stronger still. Remember gentlemen, Carmina likes to play a bit rough, but you should have no fear of breaking her- it’s yourselves to watch out for.”
O’shosu was as disgusted as he was mortified. At first he believed that he was being used for some psychopathic medical experiment, but now he realized that he was only part of a depraved theater performance for these perverted creatures. He tried to voice his rage, but his voice was choked with agonized screams.
“And now,” Tekkuzai addressed his audience, “the part you’ve been waiting for, the viscera.” With a vicious lurch, Tekkuzai pried open O’shosu’s ribs and last layers of muscles, exposing his vital organs in the hollow shell that he’d once called his body.
“As you can see, Fysh have more organs than an Eldar. In particular, this bladder-structure seems largely vestigial; I’ll remove it so that you can get a better look...”
O’Shosu was horrified as the Eldar began cutting away various organs and displaying them to the crowd. Tekkuzai eventually tired of shouting over the screams, and cut out the Tau’s tongue so he could continue in peace.
Finally removing the heart, Tekkuzai stepped away from the husk of the Tau’s body, to face the cheering crowd. “And so you can see that, once I again, I have proven beyond doubt that the Eldar are the superior race of this galaxy. And if you would like to stay, I will be implanting chemical glands into my beautiful assistant Carmina.”
Light and Darkness
The Rock, M.391.831
Garros looked up at the faint light as his cell was illuminated for the first time, cringing as the faint ray of hope was extinguished by the inexorable passage of the obsidian gate and crushed under the deliberate footfalls that brought his doom ever closer. A pause as the Interrogator-Chaplain took his seat, then came the words, a hymnal of dread that had rested within Garros’ tortured breast for the eternity of days since his binding to the cell wall, each word carrying with the inane force of an executioner’s axe.
“Do you repent?”
All of the bravado, the assurance that he would not yield to those words, the resolve that had preserved what little remained of Garros’ shredded sanity crumbled under the impact of those four syllables. Part of him instinctively resisted, but within moments the truth had been crushed out of him, spilling between choked rasps from his chapped lips.
“I…do, father, I thrust myself…before the Emperor’s Light.” As had his resolve, Garros’ inhibitions slowly crumbled under the force of these words, his aching body slumped gratefully against its restraining chains, and in the darkness, Garros fancied he could discern the outline of his interrogator, seated before him, impassive in his skull-mask.
“Then, you admit your sin, your guilt and submission to punishment.” The voice rumbled on, the deeper strains of finality entering its gravelly register.
“Please…there is more, so much more that you do not understand.” In his sanity, Garros would have laughed at the feeble plea, the meagre defence he had pleaded in his desperation. In turn, his laughter would have been silenced by the response.
“Continue, tell me all.”
Terron Primaris M.390.829
Gyrael jerked his head in a quick arc over the ruins of the industrial sector of the hive, noting his eight targets faster than the processors of any servo-eye.
‘Bolter, shotgun, sniper rifle, the weapons of the initiate and the mentor.’ The time-honoured phrase echoed through the scout sergeant’s head as he primed the latter of the three armaments it listed, instinctively checking for the comforting weight of the other two in their mounts across and slung horizontally over the shoulders and small of his back.
‘Share your weapon’s fury, its battle-lust, its righteousness, but also be as one with its cool, tempered steel, its unerring poise and its balance.’ That was a saying from Master Ekaron, one of his last. Closing his eyes, Gyrael felt his lips part, a single word hissing out;
In one fluid motion, the lone marksman swung out from the remains of the cathedral’s gantry, his weapon already up before the auto-sensors of his targets had flickered red in warning. Still reeling in these brief seconds the Traitors’ were further jarred by the sensors’ sudden flicker of black, a casualty, right rear flank. The Marine crashed to the ground, half of his head carried along by the high velocity slug that had removed it.
Centre left, fatal spinal damage. Another slug, this one lodged under the helmet in a neck.
Advance right, severe cardiac trauma. The third slug punched through a ceramite cuirass, shards of black-daubed armour impaling both of its bearer’s hearts.
Rear Left, Centre Right: Fatal head trauma. The Traitors’ tactical displays were more black than red now as two more of their number tumbled to the ground, eye-slits punctured by a series of impossibly rapid shots.
Squad Leader: Return Fire, lone target, balcony-
-Advance Left: Fatal cranial breach.
The hulking figure of the Squad leader turned, his bolter spewing rounds at the rocrete balustrades, showers of stone flying from the points of impact. The thudding concussions were accompanied by a thunderous roar as the other survivor activated his ancient jump-pack, hurtling upwards before swooping at Gyrael, his chainsword emulating the roar that escaped his twisted helmet’s vox-grills…
Cursing, Gyrael ducked, turning again and reversing the grip on his sniper rifle and bringing the long-hafted firearm around at the Traitor’s head with a crack. The subtle change in trajectory, combined with an adjustment of the Squad Leader’s target, saw a series of brass-bound bolts smash into the jump pack, turning the speeding Traitor Marine into a hurtling fireball as Gyrael ducked again, allowing his ruined weapon to clatter to the floor, before retrieving the shotgun from its back mount.
Another quick glance confirmed the correctness of his choice. The Squad Leader, alone and without cover, was scrambling across the rubble to the stairs of the Cathedral Gantry, his bolter discarded for a wicked, runic axe. Then, just as the Chaos Marine took his first step, Gyrael saw through his sights the faded badge of bone resting just below the left shoulder. The Badge of Caliban, of Luther. A step later and the Manstopper Shell smashed through the hydraulics of the Fallen’s knee-joint and into the flesh beneath, sending the twisted behemoth crashing, motionless to the ground.
“And so shall the Planet of Angels fall, Riven by the flames of Jealousy and Pride, yet from this inferno shall stride the Lion, recreated from our penitence and confession of our sins. And in his glory shall that which was Dark know Light.”
Garros sighed as his head slumped forwards once again, his chained body spent. He did not notice the clicks as the door opened and closed once again. Nor did he notice the returning darkness after the brief flash of light from the hall. For before him sat the robed man, resplendent on his shining throne of gold, impassive behind his skull-mask.
Master Gyrael of the Dark Angels Tenth Company sat back, eying the audio-log thoughtfully. “Is what he speaks true?”
The soft voice of Azrael broke the silence as the Supreme Grand Master met Gyrael’s eyes.
“I believe so, my Lord.”
“Then we shall have to redouble our efforts. Soon, I believe, our faith shall be tested anew, the long wait ends.”
Silence reigned once again as the two Dark Angels left the last question hanging: “And what then?”
Forgive me for the formatting Cap, but for some reason the text wouldnt all stay the same size???
Good quality peices from both writers, getting really into the darker fiction of 40k!
Somehow you both ended up writing on torture scenes, CaptainSarathai focusing on the 'artistry' of prolonged pain (along with some racism and flirting too) whilst Karrain has instead gone for the interrogation of one of the Fallen and his, supposed, redemption.
After some thought, I'II give my vote to CaptainSarathai, since his story has focused more on the recreation theme (though the swathes of official Dark Eldar fiction about their recreational habbits would have put him at an advantage). The writing flows well, the 'artist' Tekkuzai certainly seemed to enjoy the opportunity to show his tallents along with his lovely 'assistant' Carmina, and it's very true to the Dark Eldar.
Your peice was quite well done too Karrain, though it did end rather abruptly. I liked the hallucinations of the poor prisoner, the skull mask being worn by the interrogator and then by the appiration of the emporer, both unfeeling towards his predicament. You had the short end of the stick here concerning the theme, daily training and prayer can only go so far, but I feel dissapointed that you didn't use the theme more often in your piece, which is the only reason I'm marking it down.
Last edited by Andy_G; August 17th, 2011 at 13:24. Reason: spelling :(
GLORY TO THE DICE GODS!
Ill keep this one short and sweet
CaptainSarathi: A fantastic peice, very well written and queit frankly incredibly disturbing. Loved the switching perspectives and the comparison between the two disections was very inventive. The only thought I had about it was in the penultimate sentence. There was just something about it that didnt sit quite right, it sounded a bit... forced perhaps? It didnt seem to be the sort of callous arrogant thing an Eldar would say, especially a Dark one. They belive themselves to be superior as much as we belive that 1 and 1 makes 2, so "proving it" seems a bit wrong to me. Just my thought anyway.
Karrain: Considering you were writing for the DA, a secretive lot at the best of times and not what youd call fun loving I think you really got shafted over the theme, so its understandable that it didnt seem to have much recreation in it. Though to be fair maybe that is their kind of down time, casual bit of interogation..... who knows. Anyway I did enjoy the story on the whole, but cant give you higher marks because of missing the theme.
Your friendly neighbourhood gargantuan creature
I mean if you're going to be interogated by a Dark Angel, you might as well get the full experience!
GLORY TO THE DICE GODS!
CaptainSarathai - The Artist Tekkuzai
A quite interesting (if mildly disturbing) piece - one of the few this round that hasn't relied on 'recreation' in the form of the race's predilection for battle. That said, there were one or two errors I spotted (correctly typed words but they're just misplaced, possibly a result of the editing process) that kind of ruined the flow for me (they happened to crop up at just the wrong spot, like right at the end of a line or paragraph, so seemed really noticeable). Also, Tekkuzai's dialogue seemed a bit... ungraceful - maybe this is just my perception of Dark Eldar coming in to play, but he seemed a little awkward and not as mocking or condescending as I would have expected. I know word limits and time limits would come in to play here but that was just something that occurred to me as I was reading which I thought I'd share, for some unknown reason.
Karrain - Light and Darkness
Well, a very well constructed piece, quite engaging, but also a touch confusing to me in places. I found myself having to skim back over passages so I could place what was happening, which spoils the overall flow of the story. Also, nothing really seemed to get resolved, and I don't really feel you addressed the theme all that well. Dark Angels don't go chasing the Fallen for fun, its all serious business and not at all recreational! Or at least, that's how it works in my mind.
So, how to split these two? CaptainSarathai's seemed to better fit the theme, although Karrain's seemed a little better written at first glance. I think I'm going to have to favour the theme in this case, though, and thus give the higher mark to CaptainSarathai.
CaptainSarathai - 4/5
Karrain - 3/5