The Alchemy of the Word

Brother Koris - Journal Entry Four

Official Journal of Brother Koris, Deathwatch Apothecary, Blood Angels Chapter
Entry Four – Watch Station Andronicus

We enter the Watch Station’s hangar bay aboard the stripped down Aquila lander to find the walls and ceilings covered in dozens of the multilimbed modified servitors. They start moving towards us and the Aquila with uncertain intent, and Brother Siegmund orders the Kill-Team to head for the hangar’s main exit (the only exit suitable for use by Battle- Brothers, the others being smaller ducts designed for use by servitors). Brother Siegmund leads the way and most of us swiftly follow, but Brother Calibos and Brother-Lexicanium Aemilianus are still aboard the Aquila when the horde of servitors reaches them. Brother Calibos comfortably fends off their initial assault, while Brother-Lexicanium Aemilianus finds several wrenching painfully at his arm, then Brother Calibos’ heavy flamer renders fully half of the servitors inactive. As Brother-Lexicanium Aemilianus strikes down a couple more with his force-blade I charge back with Brothers Ramiel and Zariel to lend assistance. Several more servitors fall to our blows as the last few make a concerted effort to wrench off Brother Calibos’ head, then a final gout from his heavy flamer leave those too as charred wrecks – though Brother-Lexicanium Aemilianus and Brother Ramiel are caught in the backwash and sustain burns. I am able to remedy the minor wounds suffered by Brother-Lexicanium Aemilianus and Brother Calibos, but Brother Ramiel refuses to stand still while being tended and somehow his twisting around activates the drill on my reductor, doing further damage to his black carapace that will require more than field treatment.

Hearing more servitors approaching, we grab a couple of canisters of promethium (with which to refuel Brother Ramiel’s jump pack when we get the chance) and exit the hangar bay. The corridor ends in a heavy door with security measures that administer a strong electric shock when Brother Ramiel tries to open it, though not one sufficient to harm an armoured Battle-Brother. The lock is likewise trapped and the current fuses its circuits, so Brother Zariel resorts to tearing the door out with his servo-arm. As the door is wrenched free air gushes from the formerly pressurised section beyond, a room containing workbenches (which it is clear have not been used in some time), a monitoring station and a hololith filled with a scrolling mass of apparently random mixed Low Gothic and Techna-Lingua. Two further exits lead on from the room, one lift and one service corridor. While the rest of us take up defensive positions Brother Zariel and Brother-Lexicanium Aemilianus inspect the hololith and discover it to be an interface system for the main cogitator banks. The cogitator banks appear to be convinced that a number of conflicting situations are simultaneously true, including:

  • Everything is fine.
  • Holy Terra has fallen and the galaxy has become a grim wasteland of terror and despair.
  • Brother-Codicier Ardashir is dead.
  • Brother-Codicier Ardashir is the only person who can be trusted.
  • The Deathwatch are to be trusted.
  • The Deathwatch do not exist.
  • Brother-Codicier Ardashir is the whole of the Deathwatch.

Since the cogitator banks are obviously in some disarray Brother Zariel pulls the Watch Station’s recent logs to his data-slate and initiates emergency protocol Omega-Epsilon, which will (over the course of the next four to five hours) back up as much of the system’s data as possible to machine memory and then mindscrub the cogitator banks to reset status. The hololith’s display screen immediately reverts to a regular flow of Techna-Lingua.

Consulting our plans of the Watch Station, we see that this level also contains a servitor maintenance facility, quarters for Techmarines and Adeptus Mechanicus personnel, and a manual entrance to the main cogitator banks. Brother Zariel manages to access the level’s security subsystems and change the settings so that the doors are no longer electrified, the locks are operational and the internal autoguns are deactivated. We proceed down the service corridors, and a long curving corridor bringing us to the T-junction and autogun emplacements that give access to the cogitator banks at the tower’s core. On opening the door we are confronted with a horrifying sight – tiny lines of eldritch purple lightning crawl over the organic components of the cogitator banks, bathing the room in the eerie violet glow of obvious Warp energy. Briefly switching to preysense sight, I observe that this has raised the temperature of the cogitator banks to a much higher level than is usual. Brother-Lexicanium Aemilianus conducts a psychic scan of the cogitator banks and starts talking about “the vermilion spiral” – on being questioned about this he appears confused, speaking in tautologies and stating that it feels like “something which has been with [him] for [his] whole life” but admitting that he cannot remember encountering the concept before scanning me just after I had the unsettling vision while observing a group of the Watch Station’s servitors through magnoculars. I begin to suspect that what I took to be the blessing of Sanguinius during the preparatory Chapter rites may have been the first insidious touch of whatever Warp-taint has infected the Watch Station. May the Emperor grant myself and Brother Zariel, and all of the Kill-Team, His holy strength against the perils of the Warp. The Emperor protects!

We decide to leave the cogitator banks as they are in the hope that the Omega-Epsilon protocol will purge them of whatever this Warp-infection, and we move on to the servitor maintenance facility. Several of the charred servitors from the hangar bay have already been recovered and are undergoing repairs here, so with the help of Brother Ramiel and his chainsword Brother Zariel ensures that they will be out of operation for at least the next few hours. We then return to the monitoring station and prepare to take the lift up to the next floor, which according to our plans contains the quarters for Battle-Brothers and Librarians.

One floor up the lift opens onto a hallway lined with the doors to Battle-Brothers’ sleeping cells, where ceiling mounted autoguns repeatedly sight on us then twitch away. Brother Ramiel boldly leaves the lift and strides down the corridor to draw any potential hostile fire, Brother Zariel follows after him and is able to access and deactivate this level’s security subsystems. We go down the corridor systematically investigating the sleeping cells – the first five are empty, containing only sleeping pallets, armour stands, weapon racks and shelves, but the sixth cell is a disturbing sight. The walls are covered in a haphazard mass of High Gothic text and painted images, with many swirls and spirals and diagrams in bright vivid colours. The room is crisscrossed with threads and wires, strung with an assortment of small items and with pages torn from books. Brother Calibos is reminded of attempts by Navigators to describe the Warp, particularly the swirls and spirals of colour as attempts to visually represent Warp currents. Brother Ramiel pronounces it similar to the work of a small and deeply heretical cult purged from the Calixis Sector by the Inquisition a century past for worship of the Ruinous Power of Lust. Brother-Lexicanium Aemilianus analyses the language used and concludes that it concentrates around the use of verbs and the communication of intensities of feeling, with one single name repeated over and over – a name he thinks it wisest not to speak. Brother Calibos thoroughly torches the room and its contents with his heavy flamer and then we prepare to open the Librarium door at the end of the corridor..



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