My thanks for the award. And advice on placing it in my signature, which I will utilise, should I be able to access my PC any time soon. Other than merely my smartphone.
Here's this month's entry from me:
“Where am I?” It’s the first thing I think to ask. I know who I am, I am Kian Tahnor. I can remember… The Iron Dust, the warband I serve. But, where am I… and how did I get here? What else do I remember? I can remember…
+The Rhino transport sloughed aside, responding massively to my slight influence on the controls. Warp yeah; this thing handles like a beast. The Astartes in the back roar in anticipation of the battle ahead. I’m not like them. A mortal like me, driving their vehicles, my designs, should be a momentous honour, and I pretend it is, but in truth it’s merely a product of their depleted numbers. Most of the Astartes roar. Two of them are silent, like ghosts. The Rhino thunders on, while my hands fly over the controls, maintaining the machine. I’d been managing the designs of war engines for decades now. Someone had to design all the baroque patterns and eight-point stars after all. That was my job. More bullets were smacking off of the outer hull. I glimpse something red fly past the view-slit. One the Astartes bellows for me to stop, leaving my ears ringing, and I open the doors and….+
No… That’s not where I am. Whenever that happened, it was… so long ago. It feels like a thousand years ago… I try to open my eyes. For a second, everything flickers and I see withered, crippled hands, full of tubes and metal. Not mine. An untold million machine arms, also not mine. Then my real hands, blurry, unfocused. I'm standing in an empty, black walked room.
With a start, I notice a figure standing on my right. Silver skin, and... No face. Female, judging from the shape. She turns her blank head towards me. For some reason, she doesn't scare me. As if I know her. Something about her reminds me of a weapon. I like it.
I ask the obvious question: "Who are you?"
She tilts her head, and says, "You've lost your memory again." A clear, and synthesised voice. Mechanical, almost.
I raise an eyebrow. That makes certain parts my situation clear. Wherever I am, I've been here a while. And I'm prone to amnesia apparently. I can already feel another memory flickering into my mind. I ask, "Would you mind reminding me then?" She goes to respond, and a voice for my left cuts her off. I look over when....
+The guardsman drops like a broken doll. The las-round had taken him right in the eye, and he trips up one of his fellows as he goes down. I bellow for the men and women around me to focus their fire, on our foes leader. He lacks my intellect, he's standing on a ledge, a clear target. Something punctures his arm, and he falls. "Defend the Forge!" I cry, and draw my power-sword. I miss vehicles, and these Imperial rabble will not halt the construction of Lord Malos's Daemonforge. I begin to charge forward and.....+
The memory fades in vividness, but I can recall victory. The voice on my left... I turn.
And see a daemon. Again, I feel as if I know the creature. A beaked, bird head sits atop slender shoulders. Four arms, each terminating in claws. The pair of feathered wings on his back cast a shadow across the three of us.
The silver one looks at me, and I suddenly remember their names.
The silver one, I turn to her, and say, "Your name is R07A." She stands proud. "And you," I say, turning to the daemon, "are Khalta'ashet"
He smirks. "Your pronunciation is as bad as ever Kian."
I can feel it returning. More memories....
+I can see Azia standing over me. Her hands are held over her mouth, both of them, in shock. Two, short, hacking sobs are the only sound she are make. I tried to tell her "I'm alright.", but blood comes out instead. It tastes of metal, as always. It's cold though. And I can feel the breeze, humid, on... The inside if my stomach... Oh gods, how badly wounded am I....+
I come out of the memory breathless, to see the daemon and the machine staring at me. I look a t R07A and....
+My codes are functioning optimally. I begin running diagnostics, and aligning production patterns...+
No... Those aren't my memories, they're RO7A's. Slowly, I start to remember it all. The realisation must have dawned on my face, because Khalta'ashet grins. It's awful to look at and....
+Sweet flesh between my claws, this all as I had planned, the threads of fate, oh, how they align so neaaaaaa.....+
I practically yank myself out the monster's memories. I know where I am. I remember seeing Lord Zhaharek stand over me in the sickbay, talking about the forge. I volunteer. I remember thousands of years of designing war engines. Countless weapons of mass destruction, designed by me, actualised by RO7A, the abominable intelligence, and damned by Khalta'ashet.
They both look at me, as the final memory slots into place. Declaration of war with the Word Bearers. Then they, and the room vanish.
All that matters is the roaring, multicoloured fires, the burning forge. The untold number of assembly arms, the tiny little techpriests and magi, the fleshier workers too, all scrambling around within.
I'm dead. That's where I am. Kian is no more, all that is left is Daemonforge. Anger wells up within "me", and the forges burn even brighter.
Maulerfiends, armour, shells, Heldrakes, Defilers, all come screaming from my mind, brought into creation. I can feel R07A and Khalta'ashet bellowing their power into my creation. R07A engineers, Khalta'ashet enchants, and I design. I am the Artisan of War.
Somewhere, in a cradle of wires, tubes and pipes, a desiccated corpse smiles.