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post #12 of (permalink) Old 02-19-13, 11:13 PM
The Curmudgeon
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Musings of an Inquisitor

“There are few things in this galaxy that amaze me anymore. I have seen things in my short time with the Inquisition that would curdle a man’s blood, crush his soul, and desiccate his body. So many wonders have passed before my eyes as well. From the somber eternity of Cemetery Worlds to the untold mysteries of alien worlds; I have witnessed countless things that would send shivers down a man’s spine in awe. All these things pale in comparison to the one thing I came across by accident of fate. And it is such a simple thing… a girl… an Eldar girl…

The Emperor sent this girl to me suddenly, and guided me to a treasure that might well aid the Imperium in the days to come. It was by the Emperor’s grace that I managed to keep her even as many of my own peers thought her dangerous and expendable. I know not what He has in store for us, but I would feel utterly remiss in my duties as a servant of the God-Emperor if I did not cherish the gift he has granted me…

-Excerpt from Inquisitor Andiron’s private journal

Inquisitor Lucian Andiron stepped out of his study and into the chambers that served as his sleeping quarters. Like most things in Lucian’s possession, everything about the compartment was utilitarian, functional, and minimal. Having grown up in the service of the Inquisition, Lucian put less stock on excess and endeavored to put every single resource at his disposal to good use in his mission to serve the Emperor’s will. His furnishings were hardly lavish, his wardrobe even less so. The small vessel he called home held little in the ways of comfort either, hosting almost nothing that one could consider excessive or impractical. There were only two objects in the entire ship that were out of place, one book and the girl that came with it.

Lucian crossed the room and came to rest aside Aeliel, who still had her nose in the Book of Lost Glories. It was drawing near to the middle of the night, so far as the ship’s time keeping device was concerned. Such was not unusual at all for either one of them, to work well into the small hours of the morning. Lucian waited patiently for the acknowledgement of his presence he knew would not come if left up to Aeliel. The Eldar girl was always consumed with her reading and note taking. Lucian had taught her High Gothic, something that most of the servants aboard the ship could not read themselves. All of her notes were written in it, most of them disjointed thoughts. Only a handful would ever actually bring use to his cause.

Lucian ran his fingers through the girl’s long hair, an act that always had the intended effect of prying her from the book. Aeliel leaned back against Lucian’s hand before turning her eyes upward at him. Her gaze was as penetrating as the day they had met. Lucian could see the same drive and purpose hidden in her eyes that had convinced him to take her off the Exodite world she’d come from.

“What is it, my Lord?” Aeliel asked with a playful smirk. Lucian had taken great pains to cultivate two personalities in the Eldar. The outward one when they were away from his ship and among the Imperium’s many citizens and the private one that preserved her unique personality.

“You do that just to annoy me, don’t you?” Lucian mused as he coiled his arms around the girl’s neck.

“You were the one that told me to show you proper respect… don’t blame me for the monster you created,” Aeliel mused with a great deal of mirth in her voice as she leaned back in Lucian’s arms.

It had been a year since he found the girl, and in that time he had grown fond of her company… perhaps more so than he should have. She was, after all, a member of the Eldar race. The fact that she had come to him of her own free will and had served him up until that point faithfully shouldn’t have swayed his practical and analytical mind… but it had. Something about her had festered in his very soul and he could hardly imagine a day spent without her sitting in the chair she now resided in.

“The God-Emperor himself only knows why I tolerate you sometimes…” Lucian muttered with a sigh.

“According to you, it was the Emperor who led me to you. He must have known how things would turn out if He saw fit to bring us together the way He did. Just count your blessings as they are given and stop complaining already,” Aeliel said as she leaned back to look up at Lucian.

“I suppose you are right…” the Inquisitor conceded the point, “The Emperor works in whichever way he sees fit and I can do nothing but accept it. In his divine plan, he has chosen to grace me with an angel… with pointy ears…”

Aeliel laughed at the comment, “Better pointy ears than green skin, don’t you think?”

Lucian couldn’t help but smirk. The girl had a way with words. Though he may have spoken in jest, the Emperor had indeed blessed him with a unique gift. Such gifts could hardly be tossed aside, though Lucian wondered if he went a bit far in harboring such strange feelings for the girl. The fact remained that Aeliel was indeed something the God-Emperor had seen fit to allow him to discover. It had been by no other means that the two had met, and it would have been the very definition of heresy to forsake what the Emperor had given… at least in his own mind. And who was he to argue?

This story, including title, is 977 words long. I decided to revive the characters from my Shatter Reality story and I took an admittedly odd approach to Grace, interpreting it as divine favor. If nothing else, it made sense in my head and hopefully it's a good read and a nice revival of characters.

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