Writer & Illustrator

By Design

· Read in about 2 min · (306 Words)
vingette warhammer40k

Who creates a tool that is meant to break? 

For many years—once the defects in the others became obvious—Dal wondered this. Why had the Emperor made the Thunder Warriors so flawed? And why had he done nothing to correct this imperfection?

Even when the deterioration afflicting his own body; the shakes in his hand; sudden fury that erupted like an ember in a promethium drum—even then he wondered. 

Now, with the final battle of the Unification Wars before them, Dal saw the truth. It was written plain in the twitching, disturbed faces of him and his fellow Thunder Warriors. The curse that affected them (a curse he noted unseen in the Emperor’s precious Custodes) told the entire story. The malady that awoke Dal in the middle of the night, that racked his brain with pulse after pulse of agonizing pain, was no flaw. 

It, like all his work, was designed. And miraculously so. 

Right on schedule, the Thunder Warriors reached their expiration date. That the Emperor could know it would take precisely this long to unite Terra shouldn’t have surprised Dal. Not anymore. The callousness of it… he supposed that didn’t surprise him either. 

Tomorrow would mark the end of the Unifications War. And then what? Unity? Not for Dal. Nor the Thunder Warriors. 

Perhaps the Emperor would grant the soliders of his great victory land, and titles, like the monarchs and Zhar of old Terra? Perhaps they would just serve garrison duty until their madness finally claimed them all. 

Dal was bitter about it. It was foolish; he knew. He would have died in battle. Died gladly. Expected to die. But the idea of retirement…

Best not to dwell on it. To think too far ahead. There was still work to do. 

Dal lifted his bolter and looked Westward towards Mount Ararat.

One last battle…