Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Secrets of the Noctis. Adeptus Mechanicus Fiction part 3 of 10

Part III

“I’m losing the nav beacons.”

“That is to be expected.”

“Expected? Well you can forget about going any further. Golden Throne, I’ll not get lost out here or cut off by a landslide without being able to get back.”

Stubborn, always stubborn and so bound to fear and hesitancy. Did they not realise that lines have to be crossed for reward?

“You are under my orders and you will carry on.”

“No way. Not without a map or a beacon. Once we’re in that maze,” He nodded towards the black gorge before them. “We’ll lose signal entirely. I’m already boosting the receiver to a hundred and ten percent.”

She couldn’t risk them turning against her now, she was so close.

“Very well, I will set up a beacon here to bring us out. Is that acceptable?”

The two men looked at each other. They weren’t happy, that much was clear, but they knew enough to be cautious of her. One did not tangle with one like her lightly.

“Alright,” The pilot finally said. “But you rig up three beacons. Set one up on that rise,” He pointed up a gravel slope nearby them. “Then we take the other two in with us. If we’re losing the signal we stop and set up a new one. If we haven’t found whatever you’re looking for by the time we are losing touch with the third one I’m turning around, rank be damned.”

The copilot nodded firmly along as his comrade spoke. His expression, clearly intended to be tough, amused her. He had clearly never met anybody who was actually intimidating.

“That is a logical plan, pilot. You are commended for your insight.” No harm in a little flattery. “I will need to use components of the main transmitter.”

“Wait, I don’t want to be unable to call for help.” A little unease on their faces now.

“Who are you going to call to? We’re already at the very limits of the beacons of even the Explorator outpost. Nobody could hear us even if you tried.”

“Then let’s turn back now.” There went the copilot’s tough look.

“Do not be hasty,” She interjected to cut off any panic. “We have supplies and water for at least ten cycles. The fuel supplies will last for more than twenty and the atmosphere scrubbers will keep going as long as the fuel is there. We are only three quarters of a cycle away from the Explorator Dome.”

“Yeah,” The copilot looked marginally calmer. “But if something goes wrong, who’s gonna look for us out here. Even the trench doesn’t see much traffic.”

“Very well,” It was time for another lie. “If the fates are against us I will activate my personal beacon.”


“It is in our faith to never leave another shadowed from the Omnissiah’s light. They will come for us with speeders and aircraft, wherever we may be.”

The men looked at each other. What did they know about the inner workings of the cog-head’s religion? She could tell they were the kind of workers who knew the chants, prayed when the supervisors or priests were nearby then dropped snide remarks when they left. It didn’t matter to her, their ignorance would help. When they nodded and turned back to the controls, she stepped through the cargo bay bulkhead to begin working on the transmitters.

What fools. Even if such a beacon existed, she would never activate it and let the Council get wind of the prize. If they did know they’d probably come in gunships not speeders, that was, if they didn’t just obliterate her with a satellite lance strike to hide what she knew she would find.

She would have to tread very carefully upon returning. It would probably be best if these two drivers were to…disappear once she was safely in her Sanctum and the prize in her vault. Yes…it would be a necessary precaution in order to do the Omnissiah’s will.

Up in the cab the pilot looked over his shoulder. The bulkhead had definitely closed behind her.

“Look,” He whispered. “Any funny business with her and we leave.”

“Abandon a cog-head? They’ll know something was up when we get back. You know that lot stick together.”

“Yeah but there’s something about her. She’s not playing by their rules. All we gotta say is she ordered us, we’re just two dummies playing obeying a superior.”

“I ain’t no dummy.”

“Me neither, but they’ll think we are. They think anyone not in robes with a metal face is an idiot. They’ll never suspect us.”

“Oh, gotcha.”

“I just have a funny feeling about this. There must be a reason nobody comes out here.”

He glanced back again, the door was definitely shut? Good.

“And uh, if needs be then we make sure she…stays.” He nodded at the shotgun.

The copilot hefted the weapon and smiled grimly.


  1. the plot thickens. Cog-head. That's cool.

    What is the trench exactly?

  2. It's never detailed in the story but I imagined it as a rocket/weapon testing area on the outskirts of the mechanicus facilities. In my head it looked like the one in front of the Hellstorm cannon in the Imperial Guard stronghold from Dawn of War Dark Crusade.

  3. Did you come up with that story Pete,or is it an extract?? I want to read more now! I'm already hooked!!!

  4. It's my story. I've got another 7 parts of it ready to go up. I wrote this about a year and a half ago for the black library forums. I'll post up more right now if you like.

  5. You really should find out if GamesWorkshop/BlackLibrary can get it published! When I read it, I can't tell the difference between your Literacy and that of the works of Graham McNeil and Dan Abnett.

    Have you read Mechanicum of the Horus Heresy???

  6. Thanks Pearly. Unfortunately the Black library publishing people won't publish anything that has been online for free. Since I put it on the forums it is not eligible for publication. Also they only take authors who win their short story contest or who are already published elsewhere. I got through to the top 20 of one contest but didn't make it to the final cut. Oh well, maybe if I get my other stuff published I'll go back to BL.

    I haven't kept up to date with the Horus Heresy novels. I read them all up to Descent of Angels and then drifted away from them. I loved the epic scale of the first five and then it diverted a bunch from the main thrust of the story to fill out the backstories. I want to read Legion and Mechanicum though but I haven't had the time yet. I'll probably wait for a bit and then get all of the missing novels so I can read my way through the entire story if I feel like it.