The man muttered as he passed the silent walls. They gave no reply.
"I told you...I told you all...you didn't believe...you had to die," he whispered, "The Lord of Decay protects...."
Six months earlier
"So, what does this do again?"
"I told you. The Astronomican gets weak out this far. The Mechanicus say this station extends it's reach by around two sectors."
Erkhar nodded. "Sounds good to me."
Waldon led him aboard the station. Waldon was the medicae, in charge of the wellbeing of the crew. There were five others, Erkhar, Polonius, Daeus, Justinian, and the tech-priest Morwin, who catered to the dozen or so Technical servitors. Polonius was the Astropath, the one person the station actually needed. Everyone else was just in for the ride.
After two weeks aboard the Lighthouse, Erkhar already was ready to die from boredom. There were no books, no pic-records to watch, no women, no liquor, and only one regicide board, which Daeus and Justinian played constantly.
He never got used to the creaking and groaning of the station, often asking Morwin or Justinian what was wrong. Eventually, he gave up trying.
After two months, odd things began to happen.
One of the servitors was found horribly disfigured in a service hallway, the remaining flesh on it was grey-green and pocked with horrific pustules. Morwin had it burned. The remaining servitors were locked in the matinence areas, to prevent a similar occurance.
The creaks and bangs intensified, eventually reaching the point where Morwin ventured into the dank depths of the Lighthouse daily to make sure it wasn't coming apart at the seams.
Polonius fell ill, coughing up blood-flecked slime. Waldon worked frantically for a cure, sometimes days at a time.
After three months, Polonius had died, the grotesque boils and greenish skin giving away some manner of disease. Morwin became more and more paranoid, and burned Polonius too, desperate to end the contaigation. A replacement Astropath was being sent, but would not arrive for a month. They were on their own.
Morwin locked himself in with the servitors eventually, accusing them all of perpetuating the disease. Justinian began to make Morwin's trip into the depths. One day he never returned.
Daeus locked the port into the Lighthouse's lower decks.
Erkhar sat in his quarters, coughing.
The disease, child. Believe, and you will be spared...
"Wh...who's there?", sputtered Erkahar, looking frantically through his quarters.
Don't you know? I, we, are the sickness, the end. Everything rots....everything decays....why stop nature? Give in...give in and live forever...
Forever...but choose quickly. The sickness will not slow it's course...
Erkhar looked at his shirt. It had stains of his own blood, and the same green bile on it.
"I accept your offer. Show me the way."
As you wish, my child. Grandfather Nurgle is ever willing to teach anew.
The new Astropath never arrived. Apparently, unwilling to risk another loss on the Lighthouse, the Administratum built a similar- but better equipped- station a sector away.
Four months after Erkhar arrived on the Lighthouse, Daeus died. Waldon continued his work on the cure, locking himself in the medical bay until he finally fell to the terrible plague.
The Lighhouse began to rot from the inside. Corrosion spread from every bulkhead. Dripping noises could be heard as slime and pus oozed from orifices in the station itself.
Erkhar wandered the halls of the Lighthouse, muttering to himself.
Six months after he had arrived, the Lighthouse was completely swamped in decay. giggling creatures swam in diseased organs growing from the pipes in the station. The beacon that had lit the Astronomican was a massive blister atop the Lighthouse. Fleshy tendrils hung beneath it, occasionally twitching or holding a part of the station from breaking off. The very structure rebelled at the corruption, but could not escape.
Morwin met him at the door to Engineering, a host of servitors behind him. Morwin's face was hidden beneath his cowl, but he spat blood-spattered bile every few moments. Apparently, the tech-priest was not invulnerable to the plague. The servitors had fared badly as well, only six remained.
"You..." gasped Morwin, "You brought this death upon us..upon everyone. Everyone we lost is on your soul, traitor!"
Erkhar shook his head sadly. "You must accept the sickness, Morwin! Accept it and it will leave you!"
"Heretic!" Morwin shrieked, drawing an hand flamer and leaping forward.
Giggling things leapt from the rents and tears in the walls, dragging down Morwin and his servitors. Tiny green and brown creatures tearing at their flesh. Wherever they touched, flesh died and distended.
Morwin's pistol burned scores of them to ash on the floors, but there were simply too many. They clawed at his face. Morwin screamed in agony on the floor, clutching the masses of diseased flesh he still had.
Erkhar bent down to meet the priest's eyes.
"I gave you a choice." he said. Morwin's eyes suddenly burst as his brain liquified, sending pus and tissues out onto the floor.
"I gave them all a choice..."
You'll forgive me, but you must be mistaken. I've met your makers, and they don't even know your name...
GIVING CHASE- ORDO HERETICUS FIC (Updated Mar. 19)
Hat in the Ring