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The Ethereal Caste Leader Au'tun looked inquiringly into the face of the Marine Captain.
"You are ready so soon? he asked
"Yes" Brother Captain Thor replied, you and your "delegation" may now visit the Halls of the Adeptus Mechanicus under our escort.
"Very well, let us proceed".
Au'tun and his single Fire Warrior Aide walked down the corridor towards the throbbing heart of the Mechanicus Research Station escorted by the Captain and his Honour Guard of 10 Marines.
Captain Thor become visibly more morose (if that were possible), then spoke: "you should understand alien, that I am personally opposed to this exercise in disclosing our technical capabilities.
Au'tun sighed, "your displeasure is noted Captain, nonetheless your leaders feel that this demonstration of your latest technology will serve to remind us of your great power without the need to waste lives in battle".
Thor replied forcefully, "Death in the Emperor's Service is a noble duty. An opportunity I will gladly take when ordered to do so!"
They reached the Laboratorium doors.
Upon entering Au'tun noticed the machine, about 3 foot square, and 2 foot high, displayed upon the specially reinforced table top. The smell of electrical discharges and ozone filled the air, along with the sweeter spicier smells of the Imperiums finest machine unguents and libations.
"Greetings Au'tun, I am Senior Tech-Priest Adwulf, and these half-dozen servitors are my team. You're arrival is fortuitous, our procedures began but an hour ago and yet already we approach completion!"
Turning rapidly to his team, Adwulf issued forth a stream of instructions, prayers were said, libations offered, chants rose to the roof. Then, in a crescendo of sound, a hatch suddenly opened and a small steel tray came forth.
Au'tun could barely conceal his surprise, his aide stammered, "Caste Leader! it is.."
"But Caste Leader, surely..."
"Enough I said, you disgrace us!"
Au'tun turned, visibly straining to hide his emotions.
"Captian Thor, Senior Tech-Priest Adwulf. Your demonstration has had the desired effect. We cannot doubt now the Imeprium's desire for technological innovation, nor the resources it is willing to spend to achieve success. We will leave - now"
Several hours later after the Tau delegates had left, Thor and Adwulf debated.
"My apologies" said Thor "your confidence was well-founded, the alien will think twice before attempting to match our technology".
Adwulf replied, visibly flattered, "Why thank you Captain. Did our, err, "monitoring" of our guests reveal anything of note?"
"They said little" Thor replied, "However our Librarian was able to conduct a discrete surface scan of their emotions. Both appeared highly agitated and near to tears. The Caste leader would say nothing, however his aide was less cautious and even asked a question about our new machine on leaving!"
"A question you say, what was it, it will reveal much about how far they lag behind us!"
The Fire Warrior wanted to know what colours our Imperial Toaster Oven would come in?
Last edited by vorlon; November 21st, 2005 at 14:57.
Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts.