Through the Eyes of the Machine-God

5/5 (6)

Princeps Mulkaran Vosh was going to have his sight restored, and that knowledge filled his heart with sorrow. In the ever-present sheet of grey that filled his vision, Vosh was brought to the legs of the Warlord-Class Titan, Acta Est Fabula. Around him was the deafening roar of a Titan Legion preparing for war within the vast hangar of their ship. Hammers and cutters, crews cursing, the hum of Titan engines, the prayers of Mechanicum priests, all blended together into a chorus that Vosh would have joined his voice in warm-hearted joy had these been the glory days of yore. Now, that grand chorus sounded more like a mocking dirge. 

Vosh waved off his servant once he was brought to the door at the base of the Titan’s leg. His eyes may have been burned beyond all healing, but no Princeps did not know every inch of his Titan as if it was his own body. He placed his hands along the wall of the narrow stairwell and listened to the hum of the engine. This song was far more to his liking. The Fabula had been the one companion that Vosh could count on his many years of service to the Legio Scaena. Every detail, every twitch of machinery, every pump of every piston were carried to the Princep Vosh’s other senses. Taking what comfort he could, Vosh marched up to the cockpit of the Titan. Waiting for him were his hated allies, his beloved foes: the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicum. Vosh smelled them before he heard them, the cloying smell of incense filling the confines of the cockpit.

‘My lord,’ the voice of Magos Kurik was crackling and monotone through his modulator unit. ‘The Machine-Spirit is restless; it must crave the battle below.’

‘It is restless because you are here, Rustbrain.’

Vosh almost wished he could see the expression on the Magos’s face. After a long silence, Kurik continued.

‘As I am sure you are aware, my lord, the Tyranids have devoured much of the planet below. Your role is to—’

‘I know what I must do,’ Vosh snapped. ‘Myself and Acta Est Fabula are to deploy to the surface of Lomi Majoris and reclaim the eastern agri-sectors. I am to squash the bugs by the tens of thousands, tramping over their chitinous bodies and the skeletons of the fallen Imperial souls who came before me. I am to clear a path for my Legio brothers and sisters to restore the status quo to this rock before moving on, without pause, to the next Emperor-forsaken battlefield against some other monstrous foe. Does that sound right, Magos?’ 

‘You are correct,’ even through the monotone, Vosh could sense the irritation radiating off of Kurik. ‘However, it would behove the Princeps to remain respectful to his fellow servants of the Omnissiah.’

‘Noted,’ Vosh grunted. ‘Now plug me in; the sooner this is over, the sooner I can return to comfortable darkness.’

Moments later, the neural connections were made. Vosh could feel the familiar pinch and then release of the dozens of cords that connected his brain to the Titan. The machine spirit pulsed a greeting as well as a sense of relief that the Magos and his priests would soon depart.

‘You and me both, my old friend.’

As the final connections were made, the grey curtain began to melt away from him. Princeps Mulkaran Vosh could see once more.

+++

Vosh saw through the Titan’s eyes across the devastated agri-lands of Lomi Majoris and his heart fell down to his stomach. Battlefields were all he ever saw now. Death, broken bodies, burned cities, hated enemies. He saw the devastation and the oncoming rush of the Tyranids. He saw how the xenos crawled over the dead in droves, heedless and stupid but endlessly hungry. He saw the blood-red sunset wash over chewed skeletons and crushed tanks of the soldiers who died defending this place. The Tyranids were nauseating in their variety. There were tens of thousands of lean, gnashing creatures that rushed ahead; hundreds flew on bat-like wings. There were others that were large and slow, imbued with the idiot strength of their hive mind. Beyond all of them, in the far bank ranks, stood a creature the size of a Titan on four large and spindly legs with a crooked body. This is all Vosh ever got to see. He would never again see the oceans of his homeworld sparkling in the noon sun. He would never see the lights of an Ascension Day parade in the cool summer nights. Instead, he would only see devastation through the eyes of the God-Machine. 

As the Tyranid swarm grew close and the winged specimens blotted out the sky, Princeps Mulkaran Vosh raised the Inferno Guns on both of his Titan’s arms. As the flames belched forth from the guns, Princeps Vosh tilted the Titan’s head up towards the skies of Lomi Majoris and closed his eyes. 

 

About the Author

Colby is fresh out of college and in training to become an ELA and History teacher for grades 5-12. He recently finished a stint as a long-term substitute teacher and loved it. For years, he has loved the setting of Warhammer and hopes to add his voice to its rich fan-created lore.