Our Song

4.19/5 (4)

‘I was not born here,’ I whisper to my children in a soothing voice. ‘There was a time when I had a name: Lady Bassandra Shreya. I was born to a noble family on the Imperial world of Aurora. It was glorious and peaceful. I was free to roam the opulent corridors of my own palatial home in my silk teal and silver gowns. My life was good. 

Now, a noble such as myself didn’t get to choose who they married. Sister Marielle of the Ordo Famoulous chose my husband, Lord Sturnis Simeon.’ I smiled softly at the name.

‘Our wedding day was perfect. The sun shone brightly at high noon, kissing my bronze skin. I can still hear the birds chirping while I walked down the path to the magnificent golden statue of the God-Emperor, where I would be married to the man of my dreams, Lord Simeon. A gentle breeze dislodged a strand of my chocolate hair, and I smiled. 

After the ceremony, we danced in the courtyard as the band played our song. The guests laughed and sang to the tune until it was time to cut the cake. It was the most stunning cake I had ever seen. Teal and silver. Sixteen layers of sweet deliciousness. Lord Simeon got buttercream frosting on his nose,’ I chuckle quietly at the memory. ‘I wiped it off with my silk handkerchief. He gave me a lop-sided grin, we laughed, and then we kissed. His kiss tasted sweeter than the cake. I wish that moment could have lasted forever. Everything was perfect… 

Until the darkness and the horror descended, and the Raiders from Commorragh, tore my world asunder.’

I was not born here, on Commorragh, but my daughters and sons were, of which I have birthed dozens. My children, whom I have never held, were taken away as soon as they slid from my body. Placenta, blood, urine and faeces linger on the ground under each of us, the stench is sickening, but the harvesters do not seem to mind. It is an added torture for their cattle. 

I will die here, surrounded by my children, but not quite yet, for I am still of use.

My legs and arms ache from hanging limply off my emaciated, pale, battered and bruised body for so long. The harvesters no longer bother feeding me. I am weak of body but not weak of faith.

Time has no meaning here. My daughters grow so fast, unnaturally fast. It is impossible to know how long I have been here on this farm.

My nameless children hang, like me, by large, rusted metal hooks inserted under the skin of their backs. I hear one scream, then another. A newborn cries. Another, then another. The cries of pain and birth surround me, echoing throughout this human farm day and night.

There are rows upon rows of women, playthings for the harvesters, naked, battered, beaten and humiliated. We are cattle with only one purpose: to breed. The machines strapped to our breasts forever pumping. My skin has now fused with the suction devices. I wince with every pull of the suction cups. 

I hear them, the harvesters, the Drukhari, over the cries, the pain and the machinery. They are coming.

After three unsuccessful breeding attempts, they take the female away. I have yet to see how they dispose of the cattle that have served their purpose. I do not know what happens next, but I fear it is worse than being hung by hooks and treated like cattle, forced to breed.

I have had two failed attempts… 

They stop next to me. My time has finally come. I know the offspring is dead inside of me. They had stopped feeding me. One of my captors bends down, level to my face, and sneers. I silently pray to the God-Emperor to grant me a swift death, and I hum our song. 

They rip the suction cups off my breasts, and the tissue rips away with the machines. I suck in a breath through my gritted teeth but refuse to give them the satisfaction of crying out. Instead, I stare at the evil xenos as I feel the burning of exposed tissue and rivulets of blood sliding down my body. 

I continue to hum our song.

One of the two who have come for me, the female, lays down beneath my naked body. I hear her moans of delight as my blood trickles into her open mouth. Fear and disgust rise through me, but I am too weak to struggle. 

A blade presses against my exposed skin, but I do not flinch. As it digs deeper and slices across my navel all the way up to my sternum, I scream in pain. I allow myself one cry. 

With a shaky voice, I hum our song.

The Drukhari laugh as my blood, organs and foetus spill hurriedly to the ground. They drink my blood and slather it across their faces, wrapping my entrails around their necks like jewellery. Finally, the female takes the foetus and throws it into my feed bucket under my face. 

I cannot bring myself to cry. I am fading now. The Emperor rewards those who are faithful to him. I have waited so long for this. My faith never wavered. One last breath, one last heartbeat, as my eyes grow heavy, one last atrocity as they grab my arms and legs and pull downward, the skin of my back rips off. I do not feel any pain. 

Warm, golden, soothing radiance, like that of the sun on my wedding day, wraps itself around me. He sits upon the Golden Throne: the Emperor of Mankind. Next to Him stands Lord Sturnis Simeon. 

I sing our song. 

My husband smiles, his arms extended. 

I hurry into his embrace. 

I smile.

I sing our song.

About the Author

Geneviève is a 42-year-old mother of three and a French Canadian military wife. She enjoys writing fanfiction and original dark fiction short stories. She also likes to homebrew Warhammer, mostly Sororitas and helps others in their writing journey.