(This is a piece I wrote about a year ago and have decided to dust it off and present
it to whoever would like to read it. I have written many short stories, background
pieces, narratives, articles and the like in the past but this is my first attempt at a
40k story, let alone fan fiction in general. Constructive criticism is always welcome.
I'll be continuing the story eventually when I get time to work on it more. -Ninja D)
The man throws the bag at me and immediately tries to run away.
They always try to run. Maybe it's my reputation. Maybe it's my family name. Maybe
it's the immaculately polished Valentine I hold in my left hand.
Considering the fool who is now twenty meters down the alley from me, it's definitely
the Valentine. A disturbingly smooth sound accompanies the impossibly brilliant flash
of light from the long, slender dueling pistol. One shot. One shot is all I need. The
running man is violently pitched forward and to the right and bangs horribly off a
dumpster thirty meters down the dank alley. He lies folded the wrong way, his face
against the wall and his legs sprawled along the ground. My mind conjures up a
disjointed thought: Here, take a seat and rest a while.
I walk up to the body and reach down with a small bio-reader, taking a gene sample
for the record. His records. I sigh as I realize this one is going to require another twelve
pages of paperwork. Damn my schooling. He never makes the creepy one do paperwork.
I continue on down the alleyway to an unobtrusive, rusted door. Decades of rain,
pollution, graffiti, and the occasional late night piss has etched a chaotic mess of rust
and faded, unidentifiable colors into the thick steel door. Two heavy-booted kicks later
and the door swings open with a grinding screech.
"Zephran?" I call out into the musty darkness. "You in here? I do hope so. All this
running is just a waste of energy."
I take a step in and Zephran nearly takes my head off with a pipe. Good thing I'm
wearing armor under these clothes. As it is, the blow glances off my left shoulder.
Something pops and my arm goes numb from the shock. My Valentine clatters and
slides across the ground. Throne knows that's gonna make things go poorly for Zephran.
I dodge his next swing and jump farther into the room. Already forgetting my left arm
is useless I land hard and half crumpled against the far wall. I can see Zephran in the
pale light leaking into the room from the alleyway outside. He pulls his arm back and
hurls the pipe in an overhand throw. I barely stand up and sidestep in time as the pipe
whistles across the room and bounces of the wall with a dull, metallic clang. As I draw
the slender sword at my hip I see him reach into his jacket and pull a fat snub revolver.
Damn, little Zeph is trying to be all serious.
"Drop the sword, Coosh!" Zephran yells. I can hear the fear wavering his voice. I always
hated that name, Coosh.
"It's Mercution. We're not kids anymore, Zeph," I reply, keeping my sword pointed at his
Zephran's voice climbs into a more panicked pitch, "I swear it, Coosh, I swear I'll blow
A horrendous thunderclap cuts him off, and approximately sixteen pieces of tightly
grouped metal flechettes shred his upper right torso into a bloody mess. His snub
revolver flings lazily off to the side and into a pile of something I don't want to identify.
I register after the fact that Zephran blinks, his eyes dilate, and his mouth clamps shut
a millisecond before his body registers the sheer force of the blast and slams against
the wall next to the doorway. The gun smoke curls oddly off the back of my blade. It
never does it the same way twice. Grandfather was right about that single shot hidden
in the hilt. It really does make a difference.
I don't like talkers. Even if they are family. Either do or don't, just don't sit and bore me
with the details. Sheathing my sword, I calmly pick up my discarded Valentine and
reholster her. I walk over to Zephran. My shoulder is starting the throb with pain. He
sits against the wall, his chin resting on his chest. His eyes are wild and wide open. I
realize he can't move at all and I estimate the gurgling sound gives him maybe thirty
seconds. Maybe a minute if he's real damn lucky.
"Oh throne! Oh th-kch-throne!" Zephran stutters out as he coughs up blood. "W-We're
family, C-Coosh!" Zephran glances down at the pendant lying on his chest. Blood coats
the silver rose.
I pull out a pendant of sorts of my own from my coat pocket. I let it dangle from my
hand so it can catch the light from the alleyway. Zephran's eyes go from pained to
surprised disappointment as he realizes what the pendant represents.
I watch as the light fades from his eyes, the last thing he sees is my Inquisitorial
Rosette. I put it back into my pocket, take a gene sample from him and head out into
the alleyway. I grab the bag the first man dropped and check its contents.
"I have the Spook, sir. Both targets have been pacified." I vox over my microbead.
"Good work, Mr. Orpheus," He replies.
Mr. Orpheus. I like it.