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Solar Stubbs, an Archmilitants tale


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#1 Centurion

Centurion

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 03:19 AM

Hey All,

 

I’ve written a short story as a background for an Archmilitant, its my first story in the 40K setting so I’m looking forward to hear what you guys think.

 

Solar Stubbs

 

The sky was as dark as the void that the 203rd Hermitage Company just recently left. Although it was midday on this planet, the wounded guardsman’s eyes looked at a dark and sinister sky. Almost the entire 203rd Hermitage Company crushed just moments after they made planet fall, the forces of Chaos stroke swift and unexpected, the guardsman felt his lifeblood wasting away into the ground of this planet of which he did not even know the name. Just another victim in the war to defend the Imperium, one more hero that takes his place aside the emperor’s golden throne.

The drum of the distant basilisks tanks pounding away the soil keeps fading more and more and the guardsman tried to get up, he was so cold, he couldn’t even move or reach his lasgun to end it himself. Suddenly instead of the dark sky he looked upon a face, “stay here” he heard a gruff voice say, it was more of a command then a plea. There was blood and dirt in the beard of this face, its long hair almost touching the guardsman’s face. “ stimm, knife and wire” he heard the face say, the next thing he felt was a warm soothing feeling before the sky and his entire world turned dark…..

Stubbs saw the guardsman’s eyes roll away, “he’s under, begin amputations” blood splattered in all directions as Stubbs quickly sawed trough the flesh and bone of the guardsman’s legs. A servitorskull quickly seared the wounds left behind by Stubbs’ quick fieldwork, “Rejuvenators” he commanded, the servitorskull brought forth a long needle containing a purple liquid and stabbed the needle in the neck of the still unconscious guardsman.

The black nothingness soon faded and the soothing feeling was gone just as fast as it came, the guardsman’s eyes opened and looked straight into the now bloodied face of Stubbs, a new world of pain opened for the guardsman as he tried to move. Trough the guardsman’s screams and half-witted gibbering of prayer to the emperor, Stubbs handed him his lasgun, “don’t try to move for a while, here is your gun, the enemy is in front of you, start shooting” Stubbs stood up, almost instantly forgetting the guardsman and was off.

In the midst of battle with the Basilisk tanks still pounding unforgiving round after unforgiving round into the soil of this now daemon infested planet Stubbs had his work cut out for him, assigned to the 203rd Hermitage Company as a combat medic he saw his fellow troopers fall one after one, and thanks to the great and wise command structure on this mudball the 547th Artillery detachment was shooting its Basilisks to close to the trenches of their fellow guardsmen. Stubbs wasn’t certain if the imperial guard took out more of their own men then the forces of Chaos were doing.

“Fall back!” he heard the ones in the front scream “Forward!” was the cry of the commissars in the back, Stubbs thought about some friendly fire towards the way of the commissars but decided against it, there were too many eyes still alive at this battleground, atleast for now. Stubbs ran from one wounded soldier to another, ending their lives if nothing could help them anymore, or postponing their death if they were in reach of his skills. ”I’ll just sit this one out” Stubbs told himself when his pistol shot a fellow trooper possessed by a Daemon in the face.

At the end of the battle, victory was declared upon the forces of Chaos, the Imperium of Man triumphed once again….it had cost two continents, countless lives, the very surface of the planet was scarred for centuries to come and the 203rd Hermitage Company lost almost all of its guardsmen…

 

 

The barracks of the 203rd Hermitage Company were almost completely empty, only a handful of grunts and scarcely an officer survived the battle. But the empire of man stood their ground once again against the forces of Chaos. If they were defeated or if command simply forfeited the battle Stubbs did not know. All he knew was that only 3 days ago he was attached to the 203rd Hermitage Company and now that company was completely slain. Around him the few survivors were licking their wounds; some of them cursing openly, others lay quietly on their bunk beds. A few of them playing cards but none of them really paying attention to the game, the battle had been to unforgiving. “Keep pressure on it” Stubbs told a young and scared officer who took a nasty gash in the neck by a crazed cultist. Stubbs looked at the young, hunched boy, his uniform to large and to elaborate in its decorations for such a small and scared creature. “Sir, you want to look a bit more confident” He told the Juvie. “Morale is low as it is, not to mention that we have to look at the same guns that caused more casualties to our own than the Daemonlovers did.” The youth looked at him with big watery eyes, trying its best not to cry, looking for a father figure to tell him everything will be allright. Stubbs just looked stoically at the juvie. “Emperor’s guts boy! Atleast try to look a little confident!” Stubbs told the juvie, which could not hold back his tears any longer and fell to the ground like a stone, crying and screaming at the horrors that he saw. The rest of the 203rd Hermitage Company looked at their senior officer crying and kicking on the ground when suddenly a fast sharp sound filled the barracks. The body of the senior officer stopped crying and kicking, Stubbs looked at his fellow guardsmen with a smoking gun in his hand and shrugged “he mind was gone anyway, better him then us I’d say”

Unfortunately that was not the way that Commissar Lucius Smear saw it. “Trooper 2nd class Sol Stubbs, born and raised on fortress world XVIILLMXCD a.k.a. the Hermitage, attached as a combat medic to the 203rd hermitage company, you are being accused of premeditated murder in the first degree on an officer of his emperor’s most holy Imperial Guard. How do you plead?” the long and thin man sat in the middle of a make shift table, a dataslate in front of him. This so called judge never even took the effort of looking at Stubbs as he stood there shackled in front of his so-called tribunal. Stubbs looked at him and the other officers at the table. On the left of him he saw a imperial official of what he believed to be this world government, on the right side of the Commissar sat the lieutenant of the 547th artillery detachment, the highest ranking officer at present, at least until the reinforcements arrive. “Not guilty” Stubbs said. “So you deny shooting Officer Marcelius Winfell then?” the Commissar asked him surprised obviously not used to backtalk. “No sir, that I did” Stubbs said, “but I did not planned it, no sir, it just came to me as he lay there crying as a juvie, I myself figured he was a gonner for sure sir, that I figured so I shot him sir, that I did, did I” Stubbs chuckled a bit despite himself, he knew how all the officers, usually bred from better stock then the regular guardsmen like to feel superior towards the troopers, if he used his best slang he might get away with his life, atleast for the time being. “Be that as it may” the Commissar said “Marcelius Winfell is still quite dead, and that is your doing is it not?” this time he looked Stubbs square in the eye. Stubbs shifted his weight somewhat; he was never good at these little games of willpower. “Aye sir that I did did I” he said. “So a confession it is then” the Commissar said. Stubbs was ready for the verdict; anything other than death would be regarded as incredible luck. “Let’s hope that the Winfell family does not have a lot of friends this side of the sector” Stubbs thought to himself.

With a sharp knock of the solid gold Aquila used as a judges cudgel Commissar Lucius Smear stated the verdict; “You are hereby expelled of you duties within the 203rd hermitage company, and as a result you have hereby volunteered to report to the 356th Eskeptellion Brigade. You will be transported to Eskeptellion by prisoner barrage #1422 “Repentance”. You will redeem yourself in the eyes of the emperor until your duties are dismissed or until you die in service of the emperor. Now go and praise the emperor that he has given you a second chance.” The tribunal stood up and disbanded, Stubbs felt a sharp poke in his side telling him to move towards the shuttle bays.

Crudely strapped, Stubbs tried to look around him, in front of him there was an entire line of prisoners strapped the same way as he was, looking at the places that until shortly held their respected companies and rank Stubbs was sure that these were fellow troopers, or where at one time anyway, usually these kind of prisoner ships were filled with the scum of the planet together with the deserters of the Imperial Guard and PDF alike. Prisoner barrage #1422 was not much different than the others and after a while Stubbs felt the familiar thrust that accompanied a planetbound spaceship when it tried to move from a planets gravitational grip. Stubbs looked around at his fellow inmates, more than a few puking and crying, “Mudbugs, greenhorns and PDF” Stubbs thought to himself, as a guardsman himself he was used to planet drops and voidjumps alike. And with him his fellow troopers to, a few men glanced knowingly at each other.

After what seemed like a short ride Stubbs felt Barrage #1422 slow down and the familiar thud of a planets first airpressure against the hull was felt. The pilot landed the barrage with a large shock, leading Stubbs to believe it was either a novice, fighter pilot or both. The large metal hangar doors of barrage #1422 opened and the straps containing Stubbs and his fellow inmates, or in the eyes of the imperium “volunteers” where released of their clenching hold. A sharp vox voice filled the hangar bay “hands on your head and move out in lines of five” Stubbs knew the drill, more than once he was present when a reinforcement ship landed close to the frontlines. As soon as they got out of the barrage they were welcomed at gunpoint and were instructed to stand in a single file.

“Greetings volunteers, the 356th welcomes new fodder” a large and proud man welcomed them, Stubbs looked around at the guards who stood at attention the colors of their uniforms were different then the colors of the regular Imperial Guard. “Either this lot is also volunteers or otherwise something is amiss” Stubbs thought to himself. The hangar bay was filled with both lights hovering in the air lighting every nook and cranny of the immense hall. The man that welcomed them looked strong and powerful but Stubbs was sure that he used a vox implementation device to enhance his already impressive voice. “It might not impress me, but it works on these greenhorns” he thought to himself.

“My name is Ivorian Imrealis, 1st sergeant of the 356th, Emperor’s guts for such a rotten batch of volunteers” he walked amongst the ranks of inmates sometimes stopping to slap one in the face or rip a piece of clothing he did not like for some reason. Upon closer inspection Stubbs saw more than a few battlescars on this man’s face. Stubbs looked a moment too long for sergeant Imrealis saw him looking at his scars, he was on him in a matter of seconds. “Anything you like boy?” He asked while looking straight at Stubbs. “Admiring my scars are ya?, maybe even jealous at them is ya? Is that it, aye that must be the case” he said, drawing a large and chimed knife and holding it close to Stubbs his face. “No sir, professional intrest that be it sir” Stubbs told him. “I was a medic before I volunteered sir, aye that I was, still am I guess, was wondering what made those scars sir, that I was did I,” 1st sergeant Imrealis looked surprised, “emperors whores!!! They send me a medic!?! What I need a medic for? You lot is good for one thing and that aint be getting patched up! You better hope that sturdy hand o yours also helps with shooting them greenskins afore they’re on ya you’d be nothing to patch up is that clear?!” the sergeant looked straight into Stubbs his eyes and Stubbs couldn’t help but noticing that one of the sergeants eyes was a bionic one, and one of very good craftsmanship at that. “is that clear!?” he was told again and it occurred to Stubbs that he had not answered yet, “aye sergeant, clear as day, as the old saying goes” Ofcourse Stubbs had no idea what the sergeant meant but he was used to saying “aye sir” almost all his life, all he understood was one word and that was greenskins, and that word alone left a very nasty feeling in his stomach.

 


His new home, a bunk bed within an immense barrack, his new uniform, almost an exact copy of its former where once the 203 stood now stands the 356, other than that, the helm to small, the pants to large and Stubbs is fairly certain that he got two left boots instead of a right and left one. So nothing much changed, life went on as Stubbs knew it.
The only thing different is that this time he as in a deathsquad company, “emperors hide for that one” Stubbs told himself, as the days turned into weeks that turned into months Stubbs fought side by side with his fellow volunteers, always told to go forward by 1st sergeant Imrealis, always being pushed forward by the entire Imperium of man in a campaign against the greenskinned Xenos known as Orks. Stubbs saw more than a few casualties within the 356th, but he was accustomed to that fact. Being in the Imperial Guard for the largest part of your life help a lot when the heat of battle is on you. In more than a few battles it was made clear that command did not expect any survivors, and at everytime Stubbs made it back. His fellow volunteers started calling him “Lucky Stubbs”. After a while even 1st sergeant Imrealis warmed up to him, or at the very best did not try to kill him by sending him on “missions of unavoidable conflict” all the time.

The concrete hab was ugly and cold, 1st sergeant Imrealis sat at his desk, a dataslate in front of him and a bottle of amasec next to it. “Sit down boy” Stubbs sat down on the chair in front of the desk, more than a bit curious, the sergeant never told him to sit done before. Outside it was pouring thick lines of rain, a storm hopefully caused by the currents of this planet itself and not something more sinister such as the combined greenskin collective or worse…Chaos. “Youre the luckiest of them all that you are boy” Imrealis told Stubbs, “Aye sir that be me so im told to sir” replied Stubbs who had no idea where this conversation was going. “iv got orders Stubbs, long boring to read orders” he looked at Stubbs and looked outside. “long and boring they may be but they keep telling me to shoot them greenskins and I happily follow them, emperors fist how I love to kill me some of them greenskins” Imrealis said. His face changed from battle fierce towards solemn and reluctant. “what’s he up to” Stubbs thought. His fingers slowly going towards his laspistol, “if this fool tries to kill me he’s got another thing coming” he thought. “Truly loving it” Imrealis repeated himself “but without guns we cannot kill those greenskins” Stubbs. I keep requesting more firepower with command but they keep refusing it. Thas why I decided something else, youre always been a lucky one, ha! Throne take ya boy!, yeve even got the nick for it. Emperor knows it true to. You’ve made friends Stubbs, and powerful ones at that. You’ve heard of the Godwynne pattern?”

“Godwynne Sir? Aye Sir, that I did, did I, them fine guns o yours are Godwynne pattern, I meself believe colonel Dalmoon got himself a real old one, begging emperors forgivinne sir but why you do you ask ye do?” Said Stubbs. “Cauz they yer friend boy” Imrealis said with a stern look. “the 356th made a deal with them dealer, that we did. It’s been approved by command, approved it be” Imrealis picked up the dataslate; “The emperor has decided in his infinite wisdom that volunteer 3rd class Sol Stubbs is no longer regarded as a volunteer in the emperors most holy imperial guard and is released of his duties” Stubbs heard 1st sergeant Imrealis saying the words but he barely believed them “I’ve made it!” he thought to himself. “I’ve survived!” he thought happily and slowly there was a hint of a smile climbing its way to the corners of Stubbs otherwise gruff face. “However!” Imrealis continued “civilian Sol Stubbs, born on the Hermitage is hereby ordered to report to Seneschal Iskander Godwynne, for service to the Godwynne dynasty. Civilian Sol Stubbs, born on the Hermitage will be released of his duties at the last day of his life. As a welcoming gift of this new servant, the Godwynne dynasty shall provide the 356th Eskeptellion with 25.000 Godwynne pattern Hellguns so sayeth the high-lord of Terra, spoken with the voice of the emperor” Imrealis stopped talking and put down the dataslate, he looked at Stubbs “wait, what!?!” Stubbs asked, “I’m being traded!?” Imrealis chuckled “that yer are boy, and emperor knows it’s a good deal them traders got. But I’m in need of them guns and I can do without one trooper Stubbs, even if it is my only medic” Imrealis winked at Stubbs and took the bottle of amasec. He took a large swallow of the stuff and handed the bottle to Stubbs. ”yer trespassin here civilian, make yerself scare before you get shot...

Stubbs was standing in front of a huge and magnificent building, the front of the building was decorated with elaborate masonry depicting battles from the angels of death, the most holy warriors of the imperium against the foul alien and daemon. Within this display of battles long gone Stubbs his eye was drawn towards the solid gold inlay of the weapons of the angels of death. “emperor’s teeth this stuff is tacky” Stubbs mumbled before looking at the dataslate one more time if he got the correct directions. He walked towards the oaken with gold implanted doors and was greeted by a commanding voice that bursted through the vox. “State your business” the voice demanded. Stubbs was used to not so warm welcomes, the Imperial Guard was not known for its hospitality. But this was not how he figured civilian life would be. “State your business” the vox repeated. Stubbs his finely tuned senses told him that something was moving just inside his eyes view. “Uhhh….I’m Stubbs” he said. Not really knowing what his business was at this enormous building. All he knew that he was escorted at gunpoint outside the barracks of the 356th with only a dataslate with directions, the bottle of amasec and the clothes on his back.

Stubbs heard the heavy locks on the oaken doors release their tight grip on them and one of the huge doors slowly opened a bit. “Proceed to the 39th floor” the vox told him. Inside the building the Stubbs was even more impressed. He looked at some paintings not knowing who the persons on the painting where but he assumed members of the Godwynne family, each and everyone holding a trusted sidearm with the Godwynne mark carefully placed in the center of the paintings. It was like the painting was made for the weapon, the noble was simply an accessory in the painting. Stubbs could not have felt more out of place then he did now. Used to the sober and no-nonsense culture of the Imperial Guard troopers he was suddenly confronted with the other side of the Imperium, the one he heard tales of but had never really seen before. Fresh water cobbled out of a wall into a solid gold washstand. He looked up and saw a huge ceiling also painted with the same display of battles as the masonry outside a giant Aquila in the middle of the ceiling. Servitor skulls flew on and off, some with documents others seemed on patrol. He saw a few servitors aiming their guns at him, Stubbs recognized them as Bolt pistols, in his entire time serving in the Imperial Guard he had only seen 2 or 3. And always as a side arm to some high-officer lord and here he was, at a place that had its servitor’s equipped with the things! “Emperors guts” he mumbled, the servitors slowly closing in on him. “Please refrain from swearing within these hallowed halls” he heard a vox tell him “kindly proceed to the 39th floor. Stubbs stumbled towards an elevator that open just as he wanted to push the button. Stubbs looked inside and was saluted by a rigid man standing in an impeccable guard. “goodday sir, your escort is ready, sir” he saluted, his uniform colored blue and white with hints of gold on the buttons and epaulets. A sidearm in a black leather holster. A lasgun at his arm. Stubbs almost reflectively saluted in return. “did he just called me sir?” Stubbs thought, looking at himself in the mirror that hung in the elevator. A bearded man already aging. “Maybe a decade left of service and then its goodbye old Stubbs” he thought to himself “ his hair to long for a decent haircut and to short for a pony tail, messed up, and greasy, Stubbs looked more like a ganger then he cared to admit. He sure as the emperors ass did not look like anything this guard usually says “sir” to.

The doors of the elevator opened, “please sir after you” the guard told him. “aye, cool yer jets I’ll go when I’m good and ready” Stubbs responded, almost instantly cursing himself for backtalk to a houseguard of the Godwynne Dynasty “Very well sir” he could not believe his ears. Stubbs had seen the horrors of battle from up close. He had killed more fellow guardsmen then he could save, was a veteran of countless battles again Chaos and Xenos alike but nothing had set him this startled then this guard in front of him. “wait a Throne rotten minute!” Stubbs said angry “did you just say very well sir to me after I told ya to cool yer jets?” the houseguard obviously starting to become uneasy “uhm, yes sir, your rank requires complete obedience” Stubbs heard the man (obviously an officer) say the words but could not believed him any more than that he was told that his birthmother was the emperor himself, disguised as an Ork female that made advances to his father. “wait” said Stubbs shaking his head. “What!?”

“uhm…..I’m sorry sir, I do not understand your command” the houseguard replied. “permission to speak freely sir?” he looked at Stubbs with anticipation “granted” said Stubbs with a gruff and impatient tone. “yer the new commander sir, atleast that’s what was told to us. We’re ordered to take you to Lord Godwynne, seconded to the warrant, but when you’re good and ready sir, that’s what was ordered sir” the houseguard stood at attention while speaking. “stand down” Stubbs told him, “bring me to this Lord Godwynne of yours…”

The office was dressed with thick purple drapes, a few paintings and bust sized statues stood about around the entire office, there were even plants and flowers present “emperors bliss” Stubbs mumbled. The desk in the middle of the room was of the same age darkened wood as the huge wooden doors of the entrance hall. The man at the desk looked at Stubbs and quickly put down his dataslate and walked towards Stubbs who still stood in the door opening. . “Ah welcome kind sir Stubbs, my name is Iskander Godwynne” he said stretching his hand out, his face had the same features as a lot of men and women that Stubbs saw on the paintings. He almost reflectively saluted “ah, no no, that won’t be necessary Sir” Iskander Godwynne said. “I do not outrank you within these halls” he said with a disarming smile. “what’s all this?!” Stubbs asked him angry, his insecurity and fear got the better of him and he was starting to get pretty mad. “I’ve just been kicked out o the Guard and now I’ve got me some fancy lackey telling me I’m outranking him!?” Stubbs pointed angry at the houseguard who still stood at attention. “and if that not be it the worst, heres another one of them painted boys so that’s me figgurun yer one o them Godwynnes telling me I don’t outrank him in his own hab!” he told Iskander. A wholeheartedly laugh escaped Iskander Godwynne’s mouth and filled the entire room. “what’s so funny ye Throne rotten fancy ass blueblood?!?!!” Stubbs now completely losing it. “no no, your quite right” Iskander said still politely trying to stop laughing. “we do owe you an explanation, please sit down, have something to drink” Iskander instructed the houseguard “Lt. Xantov, if you please?” and dismissed the houseguard, who saluted and closed the door behind them. Stubbs looked at Godwynne, still a bit annoyed but calmer now, something about the man made him feel at ease. “Emperors bowels what going on” he thought to himself.

Iskander Godwynne, a not unattractive man who kept a neatly trimmed beard, a decent but not to overly exaggerated haircut and wore a tremendous elaborate but comfortable looking uniform in the same colors as the houseguard. His trusted sidearm safe within its holster decorated with the imperial Aquilla, Stubbs recognized some of the commemorations on his uniform. “you’re a vertran of the 97th assault?” Stubbs asked him, pointing at a large bronze medal hanging on Iskanders chest. “only a 3rd class veteran” Iskander jested. “but we digress, let me please explain why you are here”
Iskander poured Stubbs a drink and handed it to him in a glass so fine and so thin that Stubbs was afraid to look at it for fear that it might break. “Bysarian Crystal” Iskander said, only nine complete set of these glasses are accounted for in this sector, this is one of them” He said with a smile. Stubbs took the glass and tried not to spill anything of the blue colored liquid that swirled within the glass. Upon closer inspection Stubbs noticed the bubbles moving and saw the most tiniest fish swim in the liquid. “what are those” he asked. “those are the reason this tastes so good” Said Iskander taking a sip from his own glass. “they are called Aqualofish” there is only one place in the Imperium where these can be harvested and our organization, no, let me rephrase: our dynasty is in the possession of the warpcharts to go there. One bottle of this stuff is worth more than this entire planet together” he said with a notch and a wink. “But we digress, our spies tell us you were called “Lucky Stubbs” by your fellow troopers is it not?” Iskander looked at Stubbs with an encouraging look upon his face. “uuh…..” Stubbs stumbled and took a sip of the blue colored liquid, as soon as the stuff touched his tongue he fell the fish melt away in his mouth releasing a very pleasant honey scented taste. “Yeah, but luck was not the case, a sturdy hand and a clear mind has helped me more than the Thrones luck” Stubbs said

“hm, interesting” Iskander said musingly. “tell me, is it not normal that if a guardsman kills another guardsman he gets executed?” and he looked back at Stubbs, who sat in his comfortable chair “frak frak frak” he thought. “I frakking knew it, them bloody boy I shot, frak!”. Still not the best at these kind of games, Stubbs tried to look stoically and looked at Iskander “yer a vetran, you tell me” Iskander chuckled, “hm, as I recall correctly termination of service is the usual response. Why weren’t you terminated?” he asked Stubbs. Stubbs took another sip, “Lucky I guess” he was starting to get annoyed playing these kind of games. “now cut the crap and tell me why I’m here” Stubbs told him in his usually gruff voice. Iskander was smiling at the remark. “ah, yes, my apologies, I tend to get a bit theatrical once in a while. You are here because we, as a Dynasty believe the emperor has put you here.” Stubbs was dumbfounded. “what I mean is” Iskander continued. ”There is an ancient family fortelling within our Dynasty that at one time we will be blessed by the emperor with twins. These twins together with some other persons will take our Dynasty to unimaginable wealth and power. “so now yer tellin me I’m the lost twin?” Stubbs interrupted him. A bellowing laugh came from Iskanders mouth. “Emperor no!” he said. “And they tell me I am to theatrical at times, no my dear friend, you’re not. But please, let me continue.” With another sip of the Aqualo drink Iskander continued. “the Twins are already here, you are the man of billions we were looking for. Given to us by the emperor to lead our men to battle, keeping a sturdy hand and a clear mind in the face of our enemies. Not easily startled by neither Xenos of Daemon for he has faced them countless times in battle” Iskander looked at Stubbs, “sounds familiar?” he asked. “Yer crazy” Stubbs told him. “im just a simple guardsmen” “YES! Indeed” Iskander said enthusiastically. “A man who knows his fellow men, truly one amongst trillions” “so you lot takes me in for twentyfive thousand Hellguns, guns usually reserved for the stormtroopers?” Stubbs asked him cynically. “ofcourse not” Iskander said this being the first time he sounded a bit agitated. “come on Stubbs, you are a smart enough man to know that the Imperium does not work that way”. Iskander stood up and walked towards a wooden cabinet and took out a metal case. His face friendly but determined “the Godwynne Dynasty truly believes it is the emperors will that our spies noticed you, everything is already in place to make you our Arch-Militant on the Pax Imperialis, the starship that will take my brother and me to places untold and uncharted, and by the emperors will, makes us so vastly rich and powerful that the Godwynne Dynasty will become the strongest noblehouse within the whole segmentum or even the Imperium. You as our Arch-Militant will be witness to this all, make your own fortune. Imagine it Stubbs” Iskanders voice trembling and eyes twinkling. “imagine entire planets hail your name as their savior, governors, officers and nobles bowing their heads wherever you go. Adventures to be had, enemies both from within and without to conquer. Please Stubbs, take us up on our offer and claim your Throne given place at my brothers side as his scourge and general!” Iskander handed Stubbs the metal case.

“Throne bless, what is all his” Stubbs thought to himself. I’ve got nothing left, and this lot is obviously happy to have me, might as well take them up on their offer. Stubbs looked from the metal case to Iskander Godwynne. “yer got yourselves a man” he said in his usual gruff tone. in the metal case, the machinespirits of both the immaculate and carefully assembled Boltpistols where almost spinning with pleasure…

 


 






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