Rogue Trader: Intermission 3:Sente

(Note: This takes place immediately after the events of

Sente knelt on the cold, grilled floor of her armament chamber, the harsh white light of the arc-strips illuminating the small cell. Before her, anointed with sacred unguents, lay her weapon, a Locke pattern bolter gifted to her by High Magos Bure of the Adeptus Mechanicus. In her old life she would have looked upon the weapon as little more than a tool, a status symbol perhaps, but status depended on what a woman could do to ensure her survival and the defeat of her enemies. Now she looked at the bolter through the eyes of one who had touched the divine and found herself unworthy of its grace. Her fingers brushed the adamantine casing of the weapon, lips moving as she intoned the Catechism of War in Low Gothic. Again the thought came to her; unworthy. She did not belong, she was not a native of the Lathes, whose squat, heavily muscled inhabitants served their Tech-Priest masters with reverential deference and unquestioning obedience to the Credo Mechanicum. Her prayers were in the common tongue of humanity, parroting translations provided to her by her lover, guardian and friend Aviner. Her hand shook as she thought of him, remembered the awkward young man whose life she had saved countless times on Opus Macharius. At the time she had never understood why she had protected him, this gangly youth who had managed, by some miracle, to survive the ceaseless gang wars and Arbitrator crack-downs that regularly culled the population of the lower Hive reaches. She understood now though. The knowledge was as a light in the murderous darkness of her life. It illuminated her soul just as surely as the cold, sterile light of the arc-strips cast back the shadows and the night of the armament chamber, keeping the dreams and the memories at bay. She never slept in the dark anymore preferring – needing – to submit herself to the all consuming glare of the Machine God’s eternally watchful gaze. Unworthy, the word surfaced from the cultured emptiness of her mind like a sine reef on the chem.-lakes of Opus Macharius, dangerous, treacherous and yet necessary. She couldn’t abide the dark anymore. She loved the light. The darkness made her reach for her stub-gun, a relic of her former life, its blunt muzzle carved with notches of the people she had killed. Men, women and children, all of them lined up in the recesses of her mind, waiting to emerge into darkness to glare accusingly at her, demanding to know why she lived when everyone, everyone else had died. Except him. All except Aviner. He had survived because she had realised his purpose, his destiny. The Magi of the Machine Cult had seen it They took him in and made him one of their own, teaching him the data-psalms and Binary-Liturgies to appease the machine spirits. They had revealed the mysteries of the scriptures of making, revealing the holy purpose of the rune of activation and the eight universal laws. He had learned the sutra of cessation and the mudras of restoration. They were his mysteries now. He was charged to guard and preserve them against the omnipresent threats of mind-rust and tech-heresy. He had changed so much, growing into his destiny, becoming closer to the glories of the Omnissiah. He gave her hope and banished the darkness with his light. Through Aviner, Sente had found the faith that one day she might prove herself worthy. That day was worth living for and she knew, as she locked the magazine into the bolter, that she would destroy anything that prevented her from demonstrating her worth to the Machine God and Aviner.

(Note: Thanks to Paul for his kind permission to upload these three intermissions he wrote)


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