The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling

Big Game V – Chapter Thirty Seven: Chained

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“Wake up, Gehn.” An unfamiliar voice broke into Gehn’s conciousness.  His eyes adjusted to the dim light, showing the outline of a Marine.  Agony hit home and Gehn groaned.  He had told the traitors nothing when they had tortured him.  He cautiously flexed his muscles.  He was still restrained on a table, his arms spread.  Fog obscured his vision as he exhaled.  Some sort of plastic mask had been pulled over his face.  The Marine walked up to him and looked down into his eyes.

“It is unfortunate that my followers went as far as they did during your interrogation.  Rest assured, they will be punished.”

Gehn coughed hard.  “All of you traitors will be punished when we cleanse you from this world.”  The Marine above him smiled.

“He told me you would say that.  He says you will resist with all of your might.  She disagrees.  She knows more than the others give her credit for.”

“The Emperor is my strength…”

“She says to ask about the boy.  What boy does she speak of?”

“…there is no boy, madman.”

“Yes there is.  There are many secrets known to her, and I saw your eyes when I mentioned the boy.  Surely there is no harm in speaking his name.  Must we call him ‘the boy’?”

“I will not give you that pleasure, traitor.”  Gehn grated.  The Marine sighed.

“Perhaps he is right that I was foolish to spare you.  He wanted your skull for his throne.  Now killing you would have no glory.  The others shouted him down.  They saw your value, Captain.”

“I am not a captain.  I am a sergeant.  It seems your voices know fewer secrets than you think.” Gehn chucked slightly, though it pained him to do so.

“A sergeant?  How can that be?  I see two service studs in your brow.  Two hundred years of serving the Corpse God in your little chapter.  How could someone so skilled fail to rise to the rank of Captain?”  Mockery penetrated the Marine’s tone as he spoke.  Gehn broke eye contact.  “Perhaps it has something to do with the boy?”

“No, it is…” Gehn cut himself off.

“Ah, so there is a boy.  He did not think there was.  He sees all, but his plans are so twisted that none but he could understand.  Did this boy do something to you?”

“We do not fight amongst our numbers, traitor.”

“…the boy is a Space Marine?  Of course.  It could not be a child.  ‘Boy’ is derogatory.  He is young.  She knew this.  Now, how did he hurt you?”

“He did not.  As I said, we do not fight amongst ourselves.  Perhaps your kind would know this if you had not turned from the Emperor’s light.”

“He says he can feel your hatred, Gehn.  He knows you hold back.”

“Why don’t you just kill me and get it over with, traitor?  Didn’t ‘he’ say he wanted my skull?  Come and take it, if you can!” Gehn’s shouts were raspy.  The Marine depressed a button on the tabletop, and a thin trickle of cool water streamed into Gehn’s mouth.  Gehn gulped some down before he realized it.  He could not spit it out, the plastic mask would spray it into his eyes.  The water stopped, and Gehn reluctantly swallowed the last mouthful.

“That should make your throat feel better.  To answer your question, my lord Khorne called for your skull.  Now he does not want it.  He revels in blood spilt in glorious combat.  Killing a helpless man strapped to a table would disgust him.  Khorne also knows nothing of the boy.  Tzeentch knows, but will not tell.  Only my mistress, Slaanesh wants you to live, for her secrets tell her you may yet be of use to me.  She knows the boy hurt you.  She is not wrong; I see it in your eyes.”

“He did nothing!”  Gehn shouted, fogging his mask temporarily.

“Oh, but he did.  Perhaps he did not do it to you.  Yes, he knows.  He says something about a promotion.  Did he take the glory you won?”

“No.”

“That I believe, Gehn.  Rest now, you need time to heal.  How is your arm?”

Gehn did not respond.  The Marine squeezed Gehn’s left arm gently, and Gehn felt pain.  His armour on that side had been damaged.

“Perhaps it will be better tomorrow.  Goodnight Gehn.”  The Marine said as he left.  The lights in the room extinguished, and Gehn was left in darkness.

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