“…So where ya going til the shadow?…”That is what the mad Inquisitor Guiller kept idly humming in his guttural voice while I administered my last dose of rejuvnat serum to him less than a year ago. I was to leave the next day for my new posting on Scintilla. He rattled his chains at me and gave me an unnerving wink with his clouded eye…. …Now it echoes through my conscience, driving me to desperation as we find ourselves bereft of our equipment below ground, with others, in a dank, filth-smelling arena. I grab a frantically squealing prisoner, in tatters like myself, and tell him to steel himself, for the baying and growling and patter of claws fast approaches, and he had better be with us. He looks as a simpleton, probably a hive laborer for whom life should end from exhaustion at a workbench or upon a menial’s cot, not from a grim flaying given by wild beasts. He cannot comprehend me in his panic. Guardsmen, like the Janissaries I served, are of a different quality than this one. His wild eyes dart here and there and I see that there is no use in him.
“…And when the dogs do find her,
Got a life, to spend, to gain for
Tomorrow…To find him, To find him…”
I don’t recall what compelled me to throw the man towards the gate. I saw the ravening canines tear his limbs off, his pleading eyes looking at me in shocking wonder. Guiller’s prophetic words now mock me and I know I have just stained the honor of the Hospitallers to gain a few moments more of life. The man will never return to his little hab-flat,…in which likely contained a modest shrine to the Emperor of All Mankind. But we make it out of the death pit that is filling with even more of the howling, bloodthirsty creatures as well as the fallen. For this, the man’s lifeblood drains, and fills my cup of regret.
“And I feel, so much depends on
So is he hunting in these red rooms?”
The lyrics he mumbled haunt me as I contemplate this labyrinth of caged terrors under Xicarph, painted an unholy crimson from the countless xenos beasts and the prey that they fed on. I vow to myself to atone for sending a citizen to his death,…to at least keep these other escapees alive until we get out of these forsaken halls. And more. With a gun I find, I blast apart a crude idol made to honor an unholy being. Before this day, I hope to use this gun again for the one whom I chose to martyr.
“…Where ya goin’ where the masks are found?”
How is it that I remember this song so well?