Where to start with this one? At first glance I thought it was, like the Black Company series. However it's warmed up to me as a bit of a challenge to try making something, if not positive (since the Warhammer universe itself would try murdering me for my troubles), something not quite so bleak that I can't find the effort to even care about what happens. It's something well outside of my, comfort zone, has so much absurd that there really isn't any way for me to mess matters up without somehow pulling established canon to the four winds and making a rude gesture at anyone that tries politely explaining why it doesn't work like that.
This originally appeared in my blog as a series of shorts (some being REALLY short) on Sundays in an attempt to draw the 40k crowd in to maybe enlarge my audience. The five of you that've been keeping up will likely notice changes here and there hopefully improving the overall look/feel, or possibly explaining a few minor points I'd glossed over along the way. Not sure if it's bad or not but editing with each reprint/gathering is a bit of a habit of mine. I figure so long as I have the text in hand I might as well after all. Generally, starting at 1 and moving onward, if you see a number breaking text apart that's where one day's post ends and another begins. Those have been left mostly just because I can but also to show just how far I progressed in a given stretch.
Obligatory Disclaimer: I don't own Warhammer 40k. I'm not in any way associated with Games Workshop and I'm not getting paid for my troubles.
Clockwork FaithWhat is written here has been done so with my consent and has been deemed fit for distribution by myself, Magos Lexmechanicus Vealith Shar and by Inquisitor Talos Mund. We the Undersigned provide our lives, families, and possessions as forfeit should these writings or their author be deemed heretical.
The purpose of this document is to spread understanding about the Adeptus Mechanicus and our ways to the rest of the Imperium. With respect to the inevitable denials I have seen much fear and outright loathing of me and my Brothers. With permissions secured I hope to cast illumination on a few matters.
At the end of this volume I have included a series of my thoughts, ramblings, and other relevant seeming bits of datum I feel would be important for those not steeped in cult mechanicus teachings to read. This is done on the theory that while some division is inevitable; making that gap as small as possible would help gain a measure of cooperation generally not seen between ourselves and most of the rest of the Imperium.
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It was a stormy trip through the warp and felt like it would never end. The Mechanicus Magos watched the odd three-eyed crustaceous creature writhe in its jar as it reacted to the warp tides. I never could understand why the creature was there and my lowly status as a menial kept me from speaking to the Magos unless spoken to. I was here for no other reason than I had no current duties and was expected to attend His Eminence as he stared at his collection of Things I Can't Identify.
"How like a God he is, that ancient machine, primal of all his kind, the Titan! His mighty fists, massive like two towers of destruction, laden with the doom of mankind's bitter foes. He watches over us now as battle joins, and in his shadow we shall advance upon our enemies and defeat them." The Magos's voice was impressively augmented and resonated at just the right moments to induce awe in any he directly addressed. Fortunately for my diminutive sense of pride and not wanting to dirty my robes by kneeling he was aiming the main part of this projected voice away from me. There was more to the Sermon naturally but the first parts are always the most stirring, since they're supposed to get your attention.
I stood there and listened, attentive and noting places where Machanicus dogma might sit poorly with those not of our Order. My lowly status as Menial brought on by my denying more than slight traces of grace from the Omnissiah to be grafted into my body is occasionally rewarded by being able to help my more traditional brothers in relating with the outside world. Yes we hold the surviving sum of Humanity's knowledge, but it often isn't enough when having to work with the rest of the galaxy looking at us like near-heretical abominations.
Which I suppose is why I was told to attend His Eminence as he rehearsed his oration at the newly uncovered arachnotech dig site.
"Ave Imperium." The closing statement, 'Hail Imperium' for those that are unlearned, was followed by a smooth turn and inspection by the inhuman apparatus that have served as the Magos's eyes since before my father's father was conceived. He said nothing but the implied question hung in the air. It's somewhat strange that he would use this closing rather than the usual 'Ave Machina' or 'Ave Omnissiah', but in addition to the workers and researchers pouring over the dig site there are also several Guard units, settlers who had only just recently been folded back into the Imperium, missionaries, and Throne only knows what else. So sure, a little effort at Unity seems appropriate.
Naturally I couldn't just tell him that while the sounds were impressive and inspired the proper amount of awe the words would jar and rattle in disharmony. Most non-mechanicus would just head scratch and wonder rather than take anything useful from the sermon. I would be accused of being led about by obsolete weak biology. He might even behave grandfatherly in this chastation. He did want me to find ways to hone and refine his presentation though. So after a few of the minorist revisions he begin again...
...Until it was time for us to board the Lady Alithea with the rest of our order. In addition to overseeing the rites of sanctification as well as continued rituals of restoration on the newly uncovered archiotech we have been charged with pacifying the machine spirits of cargo destined for use elsewhere planetside.
Were I judgmental I would have found the transport we were assigned to wanting. It was structurally sound and I could almost feel the satisfaction of the myriad Machine Spirits working in harmony and unity. My dissatisfaction rose from the monstrous black form I saw being tended to within the belly of the ship. It was Black as deep space, and it was ringed with purity seals, parchments containing rites of containment and threats of the worst sort to any that would dare sneak a peek at what was inside without permission. I saw this with one of the few sacraments of technology I had allowed myself in my journeys.
While they are patently inhuman and cast a baleful red glow in low light my eyes differ from what is more common amongst Machanicus adepts in that they fit within the same confined space an organic pair would. Handy since even if it does get a little unnerving for some being able to pass for 'normal' at a glance amid the teeming thousands on any given world my search takes me gives me a low profile.
Now that I think of it this one piece of grace represents a fare more unique blessing than most of my Brothers bare. So I suspect that I have been denied full admittance as a techpriest out of jealousy. Never mind most of the higher ranks have burned out their emotions in a quest for logic pure and unrestrained.
As I joined the other menials in prayer and ritual over several of the lesser mechanisms within our shuttle an idea came to me. At that moment I feared reactions to what was on my mind so when our labors were finished and the Machine Spirits placated I said nothing to my Brothers and decided I would wait until I saw Magos Feynman again.
Perhaps this thought is heretical and if so it would be well of me to seek out one as wise and learned in the Quest for Knowledge as he to help guide me through. If otherwise then perhaps I may help spread some small understanding of my Brothers and Myself through to those unenlightened masses of the Imperium.
After all it isn't their fault they were not gifted with minds capable of easily grasping our method and reason. Perhaps this will help ease the chaffing I often see between ours and other orders. Greased gears work far better than those that squeal and whine from the rust of Unreason and Disharmony.