Time and Time Again

5/5 (1)

My ocular implants settle upon the wonders of my latest creation, and I permit the bellows serving as my lungs to take in a modicum of recycled air in a deep breath of satisfaction. It is a work of beauty. I dismiss some unimportant noospheric message as I take in the glory.

I cannot help myself; I must take in every moment of my triumph. 

I step towards the column of flesh and circuitry. This is no ancient artefact, no relic, this is something so much more deliciously perverse. My invention. Something fresh and new and living. A child born from the cauldron of my mind. Created by me, Covac-Xi-14, not some ancient ancestor! With no heed to the pitiful adepts and snivelling fools who faltered and lacked my vision.

I can’t resist reaching out to touch it. My tentacles and mechadendrites stroke the soft curves of the device, feeling it. It is alive, gently breathing and beating under my touch. The daemonflesh writhing and watching with its many eyes. I can hear the whispers of the scrapcode as it flows through the wiring and circuits like profane blood. I see one of the two dozen living human bodies give a small shudder at my touch. The pitiful thing turns its one remaining eye to me. Drool dribbles from its cracked lips as it tries to speak. There are no words, of course; its oesophagus replaced for the sake of efficiency ages ago. It is a pity, really, the screams had made such nice harmonics. The pathetic creature shivers and jolts as new code runs through its partially exposed brain. It has forgotten me, lost in the tortured gibbering of the scrapcode once more as my tertiary cortex feeds me the results of its lip reading.

‘Please. No more. No more. Please. Stop.’

I can’t help but smirk. Rather, the visage-homunculus I use to express myself is artificially compelled to smirk on my behalf, whilst I consider the lab-meat’s silent words. Stop? We’ve hardly even begun! I have made too many sacrifices to stop here: thousands of years studying the currents of the warp, profane rituals in the name of the changer of ways, and so, so many bodies. How many bridges have I burned? How many lines have I crossed? Working with those pitifully short-sighted Astartes, studying under daemons, helping bring down whole worlds just for one more fragment of knowledge. 

It will all be worth the cost should this device work.

I step away from the central column of the mechanism. My many legs navigate around the scuttling lowly tech-thralls as they busy themselves with mundane maintenance in my stead. I turn slowly, despite my potential speed and strength, manoeuvring my bulky augmented frame in the tight confines of this chamber is hardly ideal. Had I the time to waste on trivialities, perhaps I’d have had things cleaned up and organised. Nice and symmetrical, as the iconolaters of Mars would prefer. No, the asymmetry and the clutter is better; it is more true, more real. As for time, I shall have that in excess soon enough.

I settle before the primary control dias with the gentle click of servos and hiss of biomechanics. I look down at the partially opened Cryptek skull wired into the console. Such nasty little creatures the Necrons are. Yet, so many beautiful secrets one can extract from them if one merely has the will to do so. The truly difficult part was shattering off another living soul to transplant into the machine so it could know fear.

I have dreamt of this day every one of the dozen or so nights I’ve allowed myself to sleep in the last year. I can hardly believe this is it, having relived this so many times in my dreams. The time is now; all time is now. Once my creation finishes booting up, all of time will be in my many hands. 

Where, or when, shall I start, I wonder? Back to the schism of Mars, to ensure eternal dominance of the true Mechanicum over the pitiful bootlickers of the False Omnissiah? Perhaps to the Great Crusade, to dissuade my erstwhile comrades from ever allying with the Anathema to begin with? Shall I travel back to the Dark Age of Technology to loot and plunder those ancient wonders and cavort with the Silica Animus?

I reach out to the console with no less than a dozen appendages. Mechadendrites plug into ports, digits work keyboards, tentacles and pseudopods work valves and levers. I can hear the silent screaming of the daemons and servitors of the mechanism in my mind. With relish, I reach out and pull the final lever.

The world seems to shudder and twist as a malignant light pours from the centre of the mechanism. It’s working! All according to plan. Again, another inconsequential notification over the noosphere comes up in my overlay. I dismiss it and send it to one of my sub-brains to process as I take in the wonder as space and time warp around me. Such beautiful colours, such impossible geometries folding around my machine. 

The sub-brain returns the message to me in a state of panic I thought I’d excised from it. I read the message.

‘No, don’t turn it on! No, please, not again! Not again! I can’t! Why won’t it stop?!’

The message is marked with my personal data signature.

It’s been forwarded to me hundreds, if not thousands of times.

In a panic, I reach out towards the switch and forward the message as the world goes black. The void filled only with the laughter of thirsting gods.


My ocular implants settle upon the wonders of my latest creation, and I permit the bellows serving as my lungs to take in a modicum of recycled air in a deep breath of satisfaction. It is a work of beauty. I dismiss some unimportant noospheric message as I take in the glory.

About the Author

Briar Groves lives with their beloved partner as a homemaker and is a perpetual traveler in the land of the fictional. When not maintaining their home, playing videogames, reading, or painting miniatures Briar occasionally finds time to write things. Sometimes it isn’t even erotic! They are a big fan of world-building, science fantasy, eldritch horror, and dark comedy. They love the worlds of Warhammer for all those reasons and are happy to get to play in the sandbox that is the grimdark future.