Ghosts of Rage (Warhammer High)
From the Warhammer High universe. Furia's anger finally catches up to her, and now choices must be made.
- 1 Arc One
- 1.1 A Game of Chess
- 1.2 It Works
- 1.3 The Past Lives
- 1.4 Anger Flowing
- 1.5 Consequences
- 1.6 Limits
- 1.7 A Good Start
- 1.8 Sudden Sickness
- 1.9 The Truth Hurts
- 1.10 Last Chance
- 1.11 Talking it Over
- 1.12 The Speech
- 1.13 Asking for Help
- 1.14 The Plan
- 1.15 Convincing Faith
- 1.16 Convincing Victoria
- 1.17 Convincing Hana
- 1.18 Talking to Gramps
- 1.19 Breaking Hearts
- 1.20 Final Goodbyes
- 1.21 Perverted Sniper
- 1.22 Escape
- 1.23 Epilogue
- 2 Arc Two
A Game of Chess
Chess is a game of incredible strategy. It involves two opponents on a flat battlefield, commanding armies of on equal size. Both opponents must think several steps ahead, deciphering their enemy's moves before it comes to fruition. To win at chess, you must be quick minded, intelligent and have a deep understanding of the game.
All this however is irrelevant when Furia is involved.
“So the horse does what again?” the redhead asked, looking at the white piece with some interest. Isis sighed across the table as she paused the clock connected to the chess board.
“As I said beforehand, the knight moves in an L-shape in any direction from its spot. So if it was here,” she said, pointing to where her piece was currently, “it can move here, here and here. Got it?”
Furia nodded slowly as she looked over the board for a second. Isis unpaused the clock, not knowing why. Too often Furia had taken too much time in this game. This didn’t bother her though.
It was a warm Sunday in a township outside of Hive Tetra. This rarely ever changed due to the weather machines put in place centuries ago, keeping the majority of the planet at a reasonable temperature. Isis, Furia and Morticia sat at a cafe frequented often by them. This cafe, which months later would become particularly famous for a shooting, was quite empty at the moment.
Which suited the three cousins fine as it kept them away from the large crowds that usually gathered by their appearance. The cafe owner had become used to the idea of royalty visiting her little shop, which brought regular business if she kept bringing out their favorite drinks. The trio of royalty wore their casual clothing for the gathering, enjoying the heat of the day while the game went on.
Morticia stared at the duo off the side as several moments went by where neither said a word. She took a small sip of her medicinal tea before talking. “So why do you want to learn chess?” she asked. Furia shot her a glance and didn’t say a word, trying to concentrate on the game instead. Isis however had no qualms glancing away from the game. She had already memorized the board.
“She wants to learn because Simon plays,” said the taller girl, smirking ever so slightly.
“Alright, then why ask you? Aren’t you more difficult to play against than Simon?” asked Morticia. Furia growled, not wanting to hear the next part. This did little to stop Isis as she smiled fully while doing so.
“Ah, but you see, she is embarrassed to ask him because she thinks it will make her look weak,” teased Isis.
“Will you both shut the fuck up? Trying to play here,” growled the redhead from the other side of the table. She looked at the board, deep in thought. Finally, growing impatient with the mind games Isis was using on her throughout the entire session, she moved a pawn forward, wanting to take the minimalist move possible.
Isis sighed deeply, lazily reaching forward and moving a bishop. Furia looked at the board with a confused look, then at her cousin. “What?”
“This game is over. Again,” the prime daughter told her, seemingly unhappy with the result.
Furia stared at the metal pieces, trying to figure out what just happened. “You didn’t say checkthingy. Is it really over?”
“Checkmate in two turns,” Isis responded, shaking her head. “I know you really want to learn, but you don’t seem to be catching on to chess’ most important topic.”
“Which is?” Furia asked, trying her best to remain calm.
“Thinking ahead.” They both stared at each other for several seconds as a mental exchange occurred. Furia grinded her teeth, holding back a build up of rage at the comment. Isis kept her cool quite easily, yet flexed her legs underneath if she had to make a break for it. Morticia watched by the side, sipping her tea while she suddenly wondered if it was the appropriate time to have a hot drink in her hands.
“Bah!” Furia yelled a moment later, slamming the table quite hard. The metal structure creaked slightly under the attack and the pieces of the chessboard scattered, some even falling off the table. Morticia’s tea shook a bit, but didn’t have a single drop fall on her, which she was grateful for. Likewise, Isis relaxed, knowing the tide had missed her. This time.
“Again. New game. The more I play, the better I’ll get,” Furia muttered. Isis shrugged, knowing it would work eventually. They were immortal after all. “We better hurry though,” said the redhead, “Simon will show up soon enough.”
“Simon?” Morticia asked. Isis shot a quick glance at her, nudging her under the table to look at her before saying anything, but her ill-looking cousin plowed on without noticing her attempts. “Simon’s been at the corner for ten minutes now.”
“What?!” Furia exclaimed, turning around in her chair. Sure enough, there was Simon standing at the corner, chatting it up with another girl. It took Furia a second to recognize who the other teenager was. Faith Aurelian. Furia nearly popped a blood vessel in her neck as she clenched her teeth in rage.
She turned back at Morticia, growling out the words slowly through her locked jaw. “They have been there for ten minutes?!” she seethed. Morticia, suddenly realizing her mistake, didn’t know what to say to calm her angry cousin down. It didn’t matter, as Furia wasn’t looking for an answer. She pushed her chair back, tipping it over and walked furiously towards her boyfriend.
“Uh oh,” was all Morticia could say with her raspy voice, reaching for her inhaler. Isis shook her head at the comment, putting her chess pieces away in the meantime.
“I didn’t mention anything for awhile there because I knew it was going to end this way. By the way, it was more like 15 minutes.” Isis closed the chess board containing all the pieces and slipped it into a velvet grey bag. “Too bad, I wanted to try game number twenty three. She was actually improving.”
Taking a puff of her inhaler, Morticia turned to Isis, seemingly distraught. “What do we do?” her smaller cousin asked, clearly worried at the outcome of the eventual conflict. Isis shrugged as she looked up, watching Furia storm off towards the duo. There was no way to stop the train from derailing.
“Enjoy the fireworks.”
“So I did read the pamphlet you gave me,” commented Simon, holding the piece of paper in question in his hand.
“The exhibition on ancient Terran scriptures? It's supposed to be the biggest find in centuries. Fascinating isn’t it?” Faith moved up beside him as she spoke, getting a good look at the paper along with him.
“Oh yeah. I have to go before it moves on to the next hive. Doubt Furia would be interested though.” Faith eyes brightened immediately. She rarely had the chance to talk to someone with similar interest as hers in Terran culture.
“Well, I haven’t gone yet if you are looking for a partner,” she admitted beside him. He chuckled at that, knowing full well that Faith didn’t intend to make it sound like a date.
Ever since he had started to go out with Furia, the other cousins had started to become friendlier around him. He had grown accustomed to Freya’s big sister attitude, Kelly’s quiet nature and even Miranda’s third eye.
With Faith, he had figured that she was oblivious to some of the social aspects of her remarks. Always thinking with the literal sense of her words, she never considered the double meanings that came with them. He found that fact funny when one would consider how very devout she actually was as well.
“It would be best if I went alone,” he said a moment later. “I doubt Furia would enjoy the idea of me doing anything without her.”
“Uh, well, you can ask her right now.” Faith took a step back from him, signalling to Simon that things were about to get a bit loud.
“What the warp are you doing?” Furia yelled at near point blank range to the duo. Although Faith’s ears were unaffected because of genetics, Simon could already hear the ringing in his own.
Trying to remain focused, he smiled as best he could as he looked up to his enraged girlfriend. She seemed furious, more so than usual. Putting the pieces together, he probably saw why, considering how close Faith was to him a moment ago.
“Faith and I were just talking about an exhibition here in the Hive. Seems pretty cool.” He tried his best to make it seem that they were just talking about the museum. He wasn’t lying anyway, but that rarely could matter with Furia.
Faith was quick to defend his statement. “There’s this new exhibition in the hive, about ancient Terran art and photography,” she stammered out. It was obvious that like himself, she didn’t want to have an angry confrontation with Furia at the moment.
Furia stared at Simon, shooting daggers from her eyes, then glared over at Faith. The other girl nearly recoiled at the look of pure hatred. Coldly, the angry princess began to speak. “Talking about a show huh? That close together? Right.”
Silence followed for a short while before Furia took a stepped forward towards her family member. Simon’s eyes widened, unsure of what to do as he watched from the side. Faith felt similar as she took a step back, not knowing if her larger muscled cousin was about to strike her.
“Stay away from him,” she seethed, venom dripping from every word. Faith could only stare in shock as Furia turned around, grabbed Simon by the arm and pulled him away. He grimaced at the sudden tight hold and silently waved goodbye to the other redhead, who could only breathe deeply as she had just brushed against death.
A hundred feet later she let go of Simon and they began to walk normally. Neither said a word, Furia too angry to do so, Simon too scared. Several moments passed before he had gathered enough of his manhood to speak.
“There was nothing happening. Honest.” Furia grumbled, seemingly still angry.
“You weren’t doing anything. But she was like, itching to get as close as she possibly could. Bitch.”
“You really think Faith was trying to steal me from you?” Simon asked. Furia mumbled something under her breath which Simon could only theorize to be several curses. Finally she shook her head, acknowledging defeat.
He grinned. “Just a bit jealous?” he said jokingly. She shot him an angry look and he knew the wound was still fresh. He put his hands up in defeat. “Just a joke.”
She grunted and snatched the paper from his hand. Her eyes glanced over the words as they kept walking, taking it in slowly, before she said anything. “You wanna go to this show? It looks so boring.”
Simon shrugged. “I thought it was pretty cool. I mean, it's a collection of knowledge from the Imperium’s past. If you don’t want to go...” he started.
“I didn’t say that,” she blurted out quickly. She grumbled, knowing she wouldn’t enjoy it as much as he would. “We’ll see, alright? Come on, I’m hungry.”
Simon nodded, following Furia into a nearby restaurant. Ever since their first “date”, they had grown accustomed to each other in ways people still didn’t understand. Against all odds, their relationship was working.
And Simon knew it wasn’t just him putting in the effort. More than once had Furia had them diverted from danger that would jeopardize what they had. No matter what others said, she seemed to care under her tough exterior.
The restaurant was mildly full for the afternoon, so the waitress at the front was more than happy to seat them quickly before getting back to her work. Although some people glanced at the two of them, no one there seemed to recognize Furia, which she was glad for. It wasn’t hard for her to go unnoticed by most of the general populace. Who would think that a royal daughter would be wearing ripped jeans, a simple t-shirt and an old leather jacket?
“So did you apply to university yet?” Simon asked as they sat down.
Furia looked up from the menu and shrugged. “Dunno. Don’t know if I will be going. Not sure if I want to go back to school so quickly after finishing it.”
Simon nodded slowly. “If no university, what then? You going to stay here?”
“Yeah, take a break you know?” she said. “I don’t mix well with school authority, so going back so soon doesn’t seem like such a good idea. I might just join the military instead. I hear Hana will probably do the same.”
“If school authority is bad, then what about the military?” Simon pointed out.
She paused before answering, grinning as she did. “Well, I get to shoot stuff if I sign up.”
Simon chuckled at that, knowing full well that would be enough for someone like her. “Well, I’ve decided on applying to New Cyprine, not far from here.”
“Trying to stay close to me?” Furia joked. At the opposite end of the table, Simon blushed a bit. Furia loved it when she did that to him. “Why not Kourthry like all my cousins?”
“A bit too rich for my blood” Simon muttered. Furia nodded knowingly. Simon wasn’t poor, but he wasn’t exceptionally well off either. His family is the closest to being high middle class as they could ever get. Not rich enough to be of anyone important, but still enough to live comfortably.
“Yeah, forgot.” Silence followed for several seconds. “Well, it's a good thing you aren’t following my cousins. Most of them are bitches.”
Simon just stared, unsure of how to respond to that statement. Furia shrugged as she continued. “What? Most of them are. I guess Isis and Morticia are cool. And Freya. Angela sometimes, depends if she is being freaky with her powers.”
“And the others are all...” Simon didn’t complete the sentence, feeling strange insulting them all like that.
“Bitches. Hana? Usually hates my guts. Faith and Miranda always like to get into matters they shouldn’t belong in. And then there’s Victoria and the twins...”
“You know what? I believe you,” interrupted Simon. Furia grinned even harder at that.
“It's the truth. I don’t like them, they don’t like me. It has always been like that.” Simon was about to prove otherwise, but the waitress show up to take their order. It was for the best. Even Simon knew where he shouldn’t thread with Furia and family was one such place. So instead, he chose to enjoy the burger he ordered with Furia instead of enjoying it alone.
The Past Lives
In a nearby building to the restaurant, two men were arguing in the basement. One sat behind a desk, smoking a cigar with disregard for air quality in the poorly ventilated room. His shirt was stained with different sauces and his stomach bulged outwards over his belt. He was a balding middle-aged man who seemed to not care about the topic the other man was yelling at him, rather enjoying his cigar instead.
The other guy was standing. He was skinny and tall, easily described as being lanky. He paced around the room quickly, eyes darting around him as if he expected the shadows to jump out and kill him. Although he looked young, his hair seemed to be whitened at the edges. There was some deep darkness under his eyes, signalling he had not slept soundly for some time.
“Maurice, you told me you’d have something for me by now.”
The man behind the desk, Maurice, grunted and shook his head. “No, what I told you was that I’d give you a status report today if I had something. Which I don’t. And you asking me every week is getting to be annoying.” The man looked over his colleague, clearly annoyed by him being there. “Listen, why don’t you go home and sleep. I think you need it.”
“Sleep? Are you fucking kidding me?” the man shouted at him. “I haven’t slept soundly in months Maurice. I can be killed any day now if anyone actually recognizes me. You have any idea how fucking shitty my situation is?”
Maurice waved him off, clearly not caring. “If they wanted you Daz, they would have gotten you already. You weren’t at the Astoria Plaza that night, so you escaped death there. It was a dark alleyway, neither kid could recognize you.” Logic seemed to deflect off the man, not piercing his paranoid attitude.
“The girl is the daughter of a Primarch, Maurice. They aren’t human. She probably does remember me.” The man’s hand went through his hair, trying his best to remain calm. He failed horribly while doing so. “I came to the hotel ten minutes after everything was said and done. I thought I’d be late to the party. Place was a bloodbath. I don’t wanna die.”
Maurice got up from his seat, grabbed the man from the arm and began to pull him towards the door. “Daz, you escaped death. You ain’t going to be recognized now if you weren’t then. They don’t know who you are and they never will.” He stopped by the door and let go of him.
Opening the large steel entrance, he gave Daz a reassuring pat on the back, but stealthily pushed him out to the hallway. “Listen, I’ll keep looking for a transport out of here to some distant planet if you want, but I doubt it will matter. You are home free.”
Daz nodded slowly as he made his way out the door. “Tell that to my nerves,” he said, right before Maurice slammed the door closed.
It was near noon when Furia and Simon finished their lunch. Two novice arbites walked on the other side of the street, on patrol duty around the small township. They paid no attention to the duo as they continued chatting to each other. Otherwise, no one seemed to be on the street at that time.
As they exited the restaurant, Simon looked at his watch. “I have to get going. Got some stuff I got to finish with the parents.”
Furia nodded, remembering how protective Simon’s parents could be. She knew that they didn’t blame her for how things went with the first date, even if she did silently blame herself for what happened. However they had ever since been more scared of losing their only son, even though he was safer since he was seeing her. She didn’t bother questioning them. She rather see a little of Simon than none at all.
She pulled him close and kissed him. Although she was several inches taller than him, she had grown accustomed to leaning down to his level. It was worth the trouble.
Their lips parted. He waved as he walked off towards his car. She smiled quickly before returning to her normal angry demeanor. He was one of the few that could make her do that on a regular basis. She didn’t hate him for it, but it sure made her feel weird.
She turned around and walked the other direction, her car parked close by as well. Her mind began to wander about several things, such as homework she needed to complete or chores her father had asked from her. Stuff she really didn’t care about. Still, this kept her mind enough occupied that as she crossed the street, she didn’t notice the upcoming car.
Likewise, Daz was slow on the brakes due to sleep deprivation. It was only in the last seconds did he note the red headed girl in front of his vehicle. His eyes widened instantly and slammed his foot into the breaks. The car’s engines sputtered to a stop as the vehicles lift off procedure shut them down.
The car slid on its landing gears for several feet before coming to a stop in front of the girl. Furia turned to the shrieking noise of metal scraping and stared as the metal machine only tapped her in the leg.
Instantly furious, she slammed the hood of the car in anger. Two fist sized dents were imprinted into the metal frame easily enough, causing no harm to the teenager. “Hey! Watch where you are going!” she yelled at the driver.
Daz, equally pissed off, screamed at her behind the windshield of his car. “Move bitch! Get off the road!” Seemingly trying to focus in front of him, he didn’t get a good look of the girl initially. He began to realize that Maurice was right. He really needed to sleep.
There was a pause as they suddenly stared at each other. For Daz, who had studied everything about the girl he had nearly killed, the recognition was near instantaneous the moment he got a good look at her. All the blood in his face drained as he suddenly felt that he could no longer breathe. “Oh shit,” was all he managed to wheeze out, clearly going into shock in his own seat.
Furia on the other hand took longer to recognize the man. Her mind began to note that she did indeed know him from somewhere, but failed to tell her immediately who it was. She stared at the man behind the wheel as he began to freak out, seeming to have a stroke. He probably knew her from the many news stories about the Royal Family, going crazy that he had nearly caused a car accident with one of them. But she still didn’t know how she knew him. She remembered the face somewhere...
The memory of the dark alleyway flashed in front of her. Her eyes widened dramatically as Daz suddenly realized that she knew. She knew everything. “You,” she pronounced, recognizing him easily enough when she had only seen him in the night. “You son of a bitch!” she shouted, jumping on the hood of the car in mid yell. Her shows got enough grip on the hood as she made her way towards him, clawing at the hood in fury.
Daz instantly started the car again, trying to lift off and get away in a hurry. This did little to dissuade Furia from her current actions, as she slammed a fist into the windshield, holding on to the edges of the car as the engine's alarms began to go off once more.
All cars usually came with sensors to stop operation if they felt something was wrong. In this case, the weight of a teenage girl on the front hood was enough for it trigger. Daz cursed loudly, fearing for his life as the car lifted upwards a foot before slamming back into the pavement, causing a strain unto the landing gear.
The crash did not disturb Furia whose fists began to flail unto the windshield. As the glass began to shatter, pain shot through her arms. Her hands bled from the constant assault as glass pierced her skin. This did not stop her as the rage in her body fueled her past the pain, adrenaline pumping through her rapidly. Furia felt no emotion other than the need to get to Daz.
Slowly but surely, the glass shattered while the occupant watched, terrified. He was trying to release his seat belt but his hands fumbled with the button. As the windshield finally gave away, she roared victoriously as her hands shot forward around the man’s throat, blood gushing from her wounds.
Daz struggled in his seat, gasping for air as he suddenly knew it was all over. This was how he was going to die, strangled by a red headed teenage girl in his car. How tragic he thought to himself.
He could barely note the shapes of the arbites grabbing Furia as they tried their best to pull her off. “Warp, she’s strong!” one of them said as the trained officers could do little to stop the teenager from strangling the life out of the man. “Fuck it, tase her!”
The other reached for the device on his belt, quickly bringing it to bear. Training took over as he appropriately used the device on Furia, sending an electric current through her body. Her hands let go of Daz’s throat as she screamed loudly from the sudden pain.
Her rage urged her onwards, trying to fight against the muscle convulsions, but her body eventually gave away from the attack. Furia slipped off the car hood unto the pavement, where she gritted her teeth in pain as her body ceased to coordinate with her mind. She wanted to get to the man so dearly, but could only watch as her arms shook uncontrollably.
The arbites stood around the girl, not sure what kind of person she was to last so long against the taser. The man in the car had fainted from the entire event. One guard stared at the redhead on the pavement, seemingly recognizing her from somewhere.
It was around this point that the arbites suddenly realized that they had just tased the granddaughter of the Emperor. At that moment, they weren’t sure if any of them wouldn’t be going to prison.
A mere half hour later, Furia sat on a hospital bed in the emergency room with a headache. And even though her hands hurt like hell, she had suffered blood loss and been electrocuted, none of these things were the cause of her headache. It was the loud argument outside that was annoying her.
The female doctor in front of her seemed similarly annoyed by the noise outside. She glanced at the shut door and back at Furia. The blond haired woman looked down at her a bit distressed as she finished up with the bandages on her arms. “You want some more painkillers?”
Furia paused and nodded. By the time she had reached the hospital, her arms had bled quite a bit and had several pieces of glass stuck in her hands. Naturally, she looked pale and tired to everyone around her, yet her mind was wide awake.
The doctor grabbed an injection tool beside her and placed the appropriate drug capsule in the slot. Placing the needle edge to her arm, the machine auto detected a blood vessel and injected her with its contents. The doctor did the same with her other arm and soon enough the drugs began to take affect as she lost feeling in her bandaged arms.
“Well, I’ll be giving you some prescription medication for the pain. It won’t matter for long with your physiology, but it can help till then.” The argument outside escalated and Furia could clearly hear the sound of her father, roaring in rage just outside the door. The walls must have obviously been soundproofed in one way or another, as if it wasn’t she would be hearing the entire conversation in surround sound. The doctor looked back worried.
“What is it?” Furia barked weakly. She wasn’t in the mood for games.
“If you want, I can knock you out and blame it on the blood loss.” Furia stared at her, unsure of her motives. The doctor shrugged. “You are no shape for a chat with them. Your condition might even get worse because of the stress.”
Furia shook her head. “Fuck em, I’ll be fine.”
“You sure?” the doctor asked her.
The redhead growled. “Why do you care?” she retorted quickly, not in the mood for anyone's favors.
“You are my patient. And you are a young girl. And you don’t need their shit right now.” Furia smiled weakly at the last remark, but still shook her head.
“My problems ain’t gonna disappear if I’m asleep,” she muttered to her. She knew that no matter what, the following conversation was going to happen if she liked it or not.
Before the doctor could respond, the argument outside quieted down. The door opened seconds later into the large medical room and in walked in a well dressed man, clearly from the Treasury. In one arm, he carried a solid black metal briefcase and in the other some papers. He looked at the doctor and Furia for a moment before turning to the door.
Angron stood outside, as angry as always. Furia locked eyes with him for a moment and she could tell she wasn’t going to enjoy the following conversation. He nodded at her slowly and she returned the gesture, basically telling him that she was alright.
“This will only take a few minutes,” he said to the large berserker, who sneered at him as he turned to the room he had walked into. “Doctor, if you could leave?”
“Is this necessary right now? My patient is tired.” There was truth to the statement. Furia was falling asleep on the bed and had to focus to stay awake. The black suited man did not seem to care.
“That is unfortunate. I will be sure to make this as quick as possible. If you would, doctor.”
The woman scowled at him, but he seemed indifferent to the situation. Turning to Furia one last time, the doctor reached into her pocket and took out a card. Handing it over to Furia, she smiled at her. “If there are any complications, call me.”
Furia looked at the card for a moment, finally getting the woman’s name, Dr. Elizabeth Chawas. The teenager nodded and the doctor left. The Treasury officer closed the door behind her in a hurry, wanting no other interruptions. There was silence as the two suddenly stared at each other.
The man slowly walked towards her and put his briefcase beside her on the bed. Placing his thumb on a scanner, the box opened and he placed the papers in his other hand inside. “How are you, Lady Furia?” he asked finally as he seemingly had organized his belongings.
“Fine. Are we done?” she said quickly.
He chuckled at that. “Eager to leave I take it?”
“Well, I had a long day if you haven’t noticed.”
“Oh, don’t worry. I noticed.” He paused and looked at her. She stared back at him, not budging in her position. “Why did you attack that man?” he asked, not dealing with any more small talk.
“He was there at my mugging.” He looked at her a bit strangely. “Eidetic memory, remember?”
“Wasn’t it dark?” he asked, a bit surprised. She groaned loudly, not wanting to deal with the twenty questions this man had for her.
“Are you guys seriously in charge of my safety and yet know nothing of what we are capable of? I can see in pitch black darkness,” she informed him, seemingly unhappy with his lack of knowledge.
He grinned softly at her. “Your capabilities are why I am here today. Breaking a gravcar’s regulation windshield with your fists is quite a feat of strength to say the least. Didn’t it hurt?”
Her smile was vicious in nature. “Not enough for me to stop if you couldn’t tell.”
“Of course,” he accepted. “So, recognizing the fellow you obviously thought to take justice into your own hands. Literally.”
Although she might be tired, her anger was never running empty. Her eyes stared at him coldly as she responded. “They almost killed me. I wanted to return the favor.”
“Return the favor.” He seemed unfazed by her stare and looked at her with complete apathy. “By chance, would you have killed him?”
She seemed taken back by that statement. Truth was, it never even occurred to her since the whole ordeal. And she suddenly realized she would have. She would have easily killed the man in her rage. Something about that seemed strange to Furia that she didn’t even seem to care that she would have easily collapsed the man’s trachea or snapped his neck.
The man nodded, knowing full well she hadn’t thought of it. “I figured. That is why I am here, Lady Furia.”
“You see,” he continued, “we have been wary of your sudden bursts of anger for a while now. Being the daughter of Lord Angron, it was a circumstance we had to prepare for a very long time.”
“What are you talking about?” Furia asked him, her headache getting worse. She didn’t show it as she simply stared, but all she wanted to do at the moment was lay down and fall asleep.
“We had to come up with a plan when one of the royal family members would go against the laws of the Imperium. This plan actually came into action the day you had been mugged by the drug dealers.”
She stared at him, unsure what he was on about. “What do you mean? What did the plan do?”
“Do you know what your father did that day?” he asked her. She nodded slowly. She had her suspicions for a while. According to the news, the Treasury had stepped in and had a violent fire fight with the gang members the night afterwards, killing all of them.
However, Kelly had told her that Curze had gone out that night, to conduct “business”. Her own father had disappeared during the same time. It was pretty clear to her that he had done his own justice.
“Well, your father was the first one we had to approach with his plan, which we found to be successful. Now it's your turn.” He reached into his briefcase and removed a small pill bottle. “Furia, I am going to give you two choices.”
She stayed silent as he continued to talk. “The first choice is this: the next time something like this happens, where you go and break the law, the Treasury might not be able to protect you like we did now. You might go to court for your actions and could end up in prison.”
“Are you saying you won’t do your job?” she asked him, knowing full well that they couldn’t. She was still royalty, even if her behavior did not show it.
“Oh, we will. But we can’t always protect you, especially if the public finds out the truth.”
“Alright,” she unwillingly accepted. “What’s my second choice?”
“You start taking these,” he said as he shook the small bottle. He threw it to her, which she easily caught. She looked at it strangely, unsure of what it was other than some sort of medication. “Those are Xelaratin. They are meant to keep people like yourself calm for extended periods of time. As long as you keep taking them, you will not have these moments of rage that you normally have.”
“You are going to fucking drug me?” she roared. She didn’t like drugs, ever since some drug dealers almost killed her and Simon. She still smoked cigarettes, but that was the extent of her drug usage. This went against many of her current beliefs.
“Drugging is such a horrible term for this. It's pacifying your anger. And we aren’t forcing this on you.” He closed the briefcase and picked it up. “You have the choice not to take the drug, but next time might be different. Next time, we might not be able to get you out of trouble. Remember that.”
“Do you have any questions?” he asked her.
She had many about what had just happened. The legality of the entire scenario seemed strange to her, and she wondered what kind of control the treasury actually had over their lives. What could they actually get away with?
Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to care that deeply at the moment. Her hand closed around the small plastic container, squeezing it till she heard the plastic strain. “Are we done here?”
Moments later, they both walked out of the room. Angron stood nearby, glaring angrily at the Treasury officer as he walked past. “Lord Angron,” he said respectfully, bowing his head. He paused and turned to the redhead teenager. “Hope you feel better soon, Lady Furia,” he told her and left, leaving the two superhumans alone in the hallway.
Furia looked around for a moment. “Where did the doctor go?”
“Had some other shit to take care of. Gave me some painkillers for your arms.” He opened his giant hand and showed another small pill bottle, identical to the one in her hand. She grabbed it from him and nodded.
“Thanks,” she said somberly.
Angron place his large hand on her shoulder and she looked up at him. He noted the tired stare in her eyes and sighed. “I’m sorry it has to come to this.” He used the softest voice he could muster, something rarely heard from him when all he usually did was yell.
She showed him the small bottle. “Are you on these?” she asked. He paused and nodded a moment later. “What are the side effects?”
“Side effects?” he repeated, clearly unpleased with the term. “They make you as calm as a fucking Eldar,” he growled, nearly spitting out the final word. She didn’t notice the sad look he gave her as she was too tired. “Come on, let's go.”
They arrived to gravlimo in the basement parking lot of the Medicae facility. The area was empty of anyone other than themselves and the swarm of Treasury guards on patrol. One of them opened the door to the vehicle and both of them slipped in. As they sat down, Angron looked at the front cabin to the servitor driver. “Go,” he ordered, and the robot acknowledged as the limo took off towards the exit.
Furia looked at her arms for a moment. The bandages were up to her elbow, covering up many cuts that the glass had left on her skin. All would heal and disappear as the cuts weren’t that deep to begin with. There was a slight chance that a few would leave ever-present reminders of what she had nearly done. She turned to her father. “What happened to the guy I was attacking?” she asked him.
He grinned at that. “In custody. Senior officials know full well what kind of photographic memory we have, so they didn’t doubt your claim. Also, it seemed that he was a suspect for some other crimes, so he won’t get away if we can’t fix him on the mugging.”
She nodded, pleased that at least there would be some justice. “That’s good.”
“Yeah, well he is lucky I didn’t get my hands on him,” boasted Angron, clenching his huge fists. Furia looked at his hands, her thoughts still on the conversation with the treasury officer.
“Like the other muggers?” she innocently asked on reflex. Angron didn’t say anything for several seconds, becoming stone faced at the remark. Furia wondered if she had gone into territory she shouldn’t have. Eventually he nodded slowly at her, understanding that she knew what he had done.
“Yeah, like the others,” he murmured.
The rest of the trip home was silent as both kept to their thoughts. She suddenly realized she had to call Simon and tell him she was okay. He probably saw the whole thing moments after they had left each other. With the rush of treasury guards cordoning off the area, it was unlikely he could get to his side. He probably felt that it was his fault, even if there was nothing he could have done to help.
Angron looked at her, then turned his head to look outside. The spires of the hive went by as they travelled upwards to his own. He rubbed his bald head, deep in thought on how to approach the subject. After a few minutes, he turned to Furia. “Listen, I don’t like this as much as you do but...” he started, but suddenly realized he should shut up. Furia had fallen asleep on her side of the limo, falling unto the seat. He sighed, shaking his head. “I’m sorry,” he whispered to her.
Furia awoke several hours after afterwards, sprawled on her bed. She felt tired, even though she knew she had slept more than what was normal for herself. Her head turned to the clock at the side of her bed and groaned loudly.
It was past five o'clock in the afternoon, making it nearly six hours after she had been tased. It was never normal for them to sleep more than four hours, so having slept nearly five made her feel strange.
She blamed the blood loss, which was still making her feel woozy as she tried to sit up on her bed. As well, the pain through her arms was slowly returning, signalling the end of the medication the doctor had given her.
She ran her hand through her hair as she surveyed her room. As always it was messy and disorganized, just the way she liked it. It wasn’t completely out of order though. She knew where everything was and that was enough for her.
She edged to the side of her mattress and let her feet touch the small carpet at the side of her bed. She hadn’t even slipped out of her clothes when she arrived, which didn’t bother her at all.
Sitting on the side of her bed, she glanced around again, thinking she had forgotten something. Sure enough, she found it laying on her nightstand. Both pill containers were there. One for her pain, the other for her anger.
She opened the painkiller one first and immediately took one, wanting to ease away the growing pain in her arms. Swallowing it easy enough, she closed the cap and placed it back beside her bed, waiting for the effects to kick in.
She stared at the other container, less eager this time around. She grabbed it slowly and turned it around in her hands. “Xelaratin...” she muttered, pronouncing every syllable slowly as she read the label displayed on the side. Sure enough, there was little detail she understood from the medical description.
She sighed, placing it back on the side of the bed. She would cross that bridge later.
A knock came from her door. She paused, wondering if she should make it seem like she was still asleep. She wasn’t in the mood for talking with most people. Still, a part of her said she shouldn’t let this one go. “Who is it?” she asked.
“Simon.” She recognized the voice immediately to be his and was a bit happy that she followed her gut.
“Come in.” The door creaked open as the brown haired youth walked in. He looked at her, a bit distressed and she smiled weakly. “I ain’t dying Simon, so don’t look at me like that.”
“Uh, yeah,” he muttered. He looked as tired as she did. “Sorry I wasn’t there with you in the hospital. I tried getting in but the guards were less than welcoming. By the time I got to your room, you were long gone.”
“Don’t worry about it,” she replied quickly. “I was busy with other things. You been here long?”
“Past hour,” he responded, “I came here expecting the same treatment from before, but your dad had a “friendly” conversation with the guards. They let me in immediately.”
She chuckled at that, knowing full well what that entailed from her dad. Simon walked over and sat beside her. “So, what happened?”
She grunted as she reached for the Xelaratin bottle, handing it him. “Goodbye the angry Furia, that's what.”
“They are going to medicate you?” he remarked, clearly surprised by the idea. She nodded slowly, frowning at the idea itself.
“Yep. If I don’t, next time they might not be able to protect me.”
“Fuck,” replied Simon. “That’s one crazy ultimatum.”
“Yeah. I don’t know what to do,” she muttered. He shrugged beside her.
“This might be a good thing. Get rid of those angry tendencies once and for all, you know?”
“Angry tendencies?” she said quickly, turning to her boyfriend with her eyes furrowed. “Fuck Simon, he was one of our muggers from the alley.”
“Wait, what?” he blurted out, surprised once more. “From our mugging? One of them got away?”
“Yeah, and he was too big of a fucking idiot to leave the hive. He probably wanted to kill me to avenge his friends.” She paused, her hands clenching once more. “I could have almost killed him Simon. I could have ended it right there,” she whispered.
“You killing someone?” he implored. “No, I don’t think you could have Furia.”
“Bullshit. I can guarantee that Hana and Freya would have done the same thing. Fuck this shit.” Furia burrowed her head into her bandaged hands. Thankfully, the pain medication had kicked in.
“So I take it you didn’t?” Simon asked, but he could probably guess the answer if she was right beside her instead of somewhere with more security.
“No, I was stopped before I finished the job. I had my hands around his throat,” she said, extending her arms around her and a squeezing her hands, demonstrating to Simon. “I could hear his heart slowing down, his breath running out. I could feel him dying in my own hands and I did not stop.” Her hands turned to fists as she slammed her legs in anger, maybe to herself for nearly killing him, maybe for not being able to.
Silence followed for several seconds as Simon had to rethink the entire situation. He put his hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort the emotional redhead.
“Come on, look positively on this. You can finally control your rage with this.” He shook the tiny bottle beside her.
“I don’t fucking need control Simon,” she growled out. “What, does my anger bother you?”
“Of course not,” he blurted out quickly. “I’m just saying it could improve your relations with other people, like your family.” Simon was having a tough time salvaging the conversation. Usually he could make her see his logic, but this time around he was doing a very poor job of things.
She turned her head, clearly getting angrier every moment that passed. “Fuck you, Simon,” she snapped. “Me being angry or not isn’t going to change what I think of my cousins. They are all bitches, remember? Even if I was a fucking pacifist isn’t going to change that I don’t like them. At all.”
“You don’t mean that,” he muttered. Furia grabbed the pill container from his hands.
“I do. I mean every word of it,” she hissed. She shook the pills in front of him. “These fucking things won’t change that fact. I. Fucking. Hate. Them.” Simon’s jaw dropped, unable to answer to the seething hatred she was showing him. She got up and walked to her bathroom, pausing at the door.
Simon stood up, realizing he had a final chance of salvaging the situation. “Furia, wait. I-” he started, but she turned back at him, giving him the angry stare he used to get from her when they had first met. He stopped mid sentence, feeling a cold chill go down his spine as he no longer had the balls to speak.
She glared at him for several seconds before speaking. “Just leave Simon,” she muttered as she closed the bathroom door behind her.
She paused over her sink, listening carefully to the silence surrounding her. Sure enough, she heard him walk towards the bathroom and pause. She could imagine him wanting to knock on the door, say something to calm her down. She wished he had, she might have listened for a second.
But instead, regular old Simon came up as he walked away from her. She sighed as she heard the door open and close soon after, telling her he had left entirely. For a second she felt relieved that she was alone, not wanting to deal with them.
Then it hit her. As Furia looked at herself in the mirror, she realized she had just spat in the face of one of the few people she actually cared about, who genuinely loved her.
Anger once again raged through her, but this time she was the target of her own fury. A part of her wanted to drop all the blame on Simon, for not understanding, for not giving away like he always did. He should have just nodded and understood the situation she was in, be the obedient pup she had come to expect from him.
But another part of her knew the truth. She was to blame for all this, not Simon. She began to slowly realize that there was indeed a problem if she was getting angry at him of all people.
In her hand was the bottle of Xelaratin. Apparently a magical drug that was here to fix all her problems if she cave in to its use. The same part of her that blamed Simon screamed out to her, telling her to not to give in to the medication and the Treasury. The other side said that this was the only way to fix things, forever.
Opening the top cap, she reached in and took one of the small white pills out. Although she did have choices, she felt that this was the only one without losing everything she cared about.
She popped the pill into her mouth and swallowed it. The bitter taste remained for several minutes as she sat on the bathroom floor, thinking on the future.
A Good Start
For most people at Imperator High, it was a common sight to see Furia with bandaged hands. She loved to fight, so no one seemed concerned because of her injuries. It was the fact that she was smiling slightly that made everyone concerned. People in the school, student or teacher, gave room as she made her way past them, all surprised by her happy behavior.
As she walked down the hallway, she didn’t care for the attention she was getting. For once she was in a good mood. She felt better since yesterday and had woken up energized. She had much to do that day, but was looking forward to all of it.
She arrived at her locker, a dented piece of scrap metal. Quickly unlocking the door, she quickly opened it and jammed her things inside. She had to see Simon before classes started or else she would feel worse about the situation. Unfortunately for her, a shadow loomed up beside her. She glanced and noted the worn leather jacket she knew all too well.
“Hey Furia, heard you had a run in with some Arbites. Nice job,” Hana teased. Furia smiled, knowing full well the sarcasm was dripping from her cousin’s mouth. Normally, this would be the time where she would be either yelling or punching the smart mouth biker beside her. But there was no adrenaline producing rage rising up from her. She felt calmer than she ever had in her entire life. She finally realized how much control she didn’t have when she was angry.
“Yeah, well, it was a pretty fucking stupid idea now that I look back at it,” she conceded as she finally found enough room in the locker to cram her jacket and bag inside. Hana was taken aback by her response. She had expected an angry outburst and instead wondered if she had confused the girl for someone like Farah.
“Uh, yeah. You alright?” Hana asked her, concerned for a moment. There was obviously something wrong with the entire scenario compared to what usually happened. There would have been blood by now.
“I'm fine, Hana. Now if you don’t mind, I got shit to do. You can try taunting me for a fight later alright? Maybe I’ll be more willing after school.” Before her cousin could say anything, she walked away. Furia felt slightly victorious in that engagement.
She had a couple minutes before class started, so she had to be quick. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for her to find Simon. She snuck up behind him as he seemed to be talking to some of his friends. His companions noticed her and grinned slightly as she put her index finger over her lips, signalling them to be quiet. Simon didn’t know what was happening until it was too late.
Grabbing him from the shoulder, she easily spun him around with one arm. He stared at her, shocked by her sudden appearance. She took advantage of his moment of surprised as she kissed him deeply. One of Simon’s friends whistled and they all chuckled at that.
She pulled away and smiled. “Hey,” she whispered to him alone. He began to talk but she kissed him to shut him up. She pulled back and this time he didn’t start talking immediately. “Sorry fellas, but I’m going to need to steal him for a bit,” she advised to the group. No one stopped her as she pulled him away to a side hallway. They were too busy trying to figure out how someone like Simon got to be with Furia.
When they were far away from the main hallway, she kissed him again. Simon was better prepared this time, returning the gesture. He eased her back and looked at her. “Furia, you’re smiling. In public.”
“Crazy huh?” she admitted. He paused, thinking it over in his head before he nodded. The gears in his head began to turn as he soon figured it out.
“The pills. You took the pill, didn’t you?” he asked her.
“Sharp as always, Simon,” complemented Furia.
“Why? You were so against the idea last night.”
She shrugged. “Yeah, well when I push the only person I care about away, its time for a change you know?” She paused, looking at him. “Listen, I’m sorry about last night. I was being a bitch.”
“No,” he blurted out. “I didn’t know what to say. If I wasn’t such an idiot, I would have been more decisive. I wouldn’t have left.”
She smirked at that, knowing it was partly true. “It’s not important. You were right. From now on I’m going to be different.”
He nodded at her, seemingly pleased by her announcement. “That’s good news.”
“I already started. I didn’t yell at Hana at all today and she came to me for a fight. Pretty good huh?”
“How does it feel like?” he asked her.
She shrugged, thinking it over in her head on how she currently felt. “It's strange. I still have some anger at things, but I can skip over it. I just feel totally calm when it comes to the small things,” she explained. “I can actually sit down and do stuff without going crazy. I never notice how much my anger messed with me.”
He chuckled at that, nodding again. “Yeah, seems like you are already being productive with your time today.”
“Oh, that reminds me,” she started, reaching into her pocket. She took out a piece of paper from yesterday. “This museum exhibition, still wanna go?” she asked.
“Today?” he asked her.
“Sure. After school, I’ll come get you.” He nodded and she smiled in return. “Good.” The bell for class rang. A final kiss was all they shared as they both went to their studies.
Furia arrived home after school, in a hurry as she needed to prepare. She was supposed to pick Simon up in about a half hour, so she didn’t have much time to waste. Making her way into her room, she dropped her bag and looked around, planning out her steps.
She began to breathe deeply for a moment, feeling hot for whatever reason. She noted that she had been sweating on the way home as well. She figured a shower first would be best, making her way into her bathroom.
Or so Furia tried as she stumbled her way to the door. She groaned, suddenly feeling much worse than earlier. Pain shot through her stomach as she buckled over unto the bathroom floor. Clawing herself to her toilet, she puked out her lunch into the bowl. For several seconds afterwards she emptied the occupants of her stomach until there was nothing left.
“Shit,” she commented, easing back a minute afterwards. She sat on the floor, wondering what was happening to her as her vision blurred. She didn’t move for over ten more minutes as the symptoms slowly eased off, most disappearing.
Soon, she was able to stand as she surveyed her condition. She still felt hotter than normal and couldn’t focus as well. She made use of the sink, splashing water over her face to keep herself cool. It mildly helped for the moment. Staring at herself for several moments, she felt inclined to see her father.
She eased her way down the hallway, doing her best to focus on every step. It became easier as time went by, slowly making her way past the many other rooms in her house to her father’s study. Knocking on the door, she heard him grunt inside.
She eased the large gate open into his study, or if you could even call it that. Instead of being an office or a workplace, Angron came here to relax. The strong stench of alcohol and cigar smoke wafted over Furia, making her feel nauseous once more.
The large room was best described as being spartan. Angron had few pieces of furniture, mainly a single large desk, a few shelves and in the far back was a large bar type area. Like her own room, Angron didn’t try to keep himself organized at all. Over the limited surface space available were many stacks of paper, most old reports related to the legion. Corners of the room were populated by boxes of other reports, centuries old.
“Dad?” she whispered weakly into the room.
“What is it pumpkin?” he asked, not looking up from a report he was reading, a large cigar in his mouth.
“Uh, I don't feel so well.”
He chuckled at that. “You usually do this before you go to school, not after,” he joked.
“Yeah, well, my stomach contents thought it was a good time right now.” Angron looked up at her, suddenly realizing how weak she looked. She was leaning against the door frame, pale in comparison to her lively self.
“You vomited? What happened?” he asked as he stood up from his seat. He made his way over to her, placing his large hand on her shoulder.
“Not sure. I got home and felt sick in my room. Vision blurred, felt hot and then I puked.”
For a moment, Angron’s eyes widened as he stared at her, a very surprised look on his face. She barely noticed it herself before he went back to being worried. But she did see it. He nodded slowly, knowingly looking at her. “Could be from the blood loss. Or maybe it's something you ate,” he said a moment later. “Some of that spicy food that you love. Easily could have caused all this.”
“I guess,” she muttered, not totally convinced herself. She usually ate very sickening food all the time and was never affected by it before. “What about the pills I’m taking? Did you have a similar reaction when you started?”
Angron shook his head very slowly. “No. Not that I know about,” he proclaimed. She nodded slowly, guessing he wasn’t affected by such trivial problems because of his physiology. “Go take a nap or something. Relax for the night.”
She was about to blurt out that she had plans with Simon, but knew better. His hand felt heavy on her shoulder. She glanced at it for a moment then back at him. He gave her the ‘I am in charge’ look to make it clear that she didn’t have a choice. Lifelong lessons of her youth told her that she knew better than to argue with her father.
“Yeah, okay,” she mumbled as she backed out of the room. As she left, Angron watched her walk down the hallway to her room and eventually closed his door, going back to his work.
Furia walked for a few more steps before arriving at her room. She opened the door and walked inside, closing it behind her. She felt better than earlier, but still felt warm. Collapsing on her bed, she began to think of what just happened.
Something was very strange about the entire talk with her father. She could tell that he wasn’t telling her everything, maybe even lying to her. There was still some recognition in his eyes when she described her situation. He knew something.
She was about to nod off to sleep when she could hear yelling down the hallway. It took her a second to recognize it to be her father’s voice, piercing through the many “soundproof” walls all the way to her room. He was clearly angry about something.
She stood up and stealthed her way to her door. The voice was becoming louder as she approached it. Carefully, she turned the knob and eased it open without making a sound.
The voice was becoming clearer now and she could hear him yelling to something. Must have been on his vox as he seemed pretty engaged into his conversation. Being careful to not make a noise, she closed her door and made her way closer to the study as she began to make details out from his conversation.
“...I don’t care if they affect me you fucking idiot. I care about it not affecting her. You gave me a promise that these things would be fixed by the time she started using them. You promised me that.” He paused for several seconds. Furia’s heart began to beat faster as she wondered if he knew, somehow heard her. He walked around his room and Furia was about to dash back to her own. Seconds later he began talking again, easing some her growing tension.
“So what you are telling me is that the new version didn’t fix all the problems? And why’s that?” She could hear Angron pacing around the room, knowing his anger was growing.
“Complications in the research? Behind schedule? Are you trying to use excuses to get out of this one?” He paused again, listening to the other side. “All I hear is you trying to get out of your responsibilities. What you aren’t telling me is how you are going to stop the same symptoms that affect me affecting my daughter. You had plenty of time to work out these fucking problems since I started. I don’t care what you have to do fix this, all I care about is results.” Silence filled the room again and she could probably guess a very nervous scientist on the other side was trying his best to tell her father what he wanted to hear.
“Let me give you some advice. If I find out you guys have been tricking me in the slightest, not even the Emperor himself will stop me from destroying you. Understood?”
She knew the conversation came to an end as she heard the vox smash into the wall in the study. She had to hurry and hide as heavy footsteps moved to the door of the study.
Her room was too far for her to get in, so she ran down past her door to where the hallway turned to another section of the house. Hiding behind the wall, she listened carefully as Angron opened the door and walked outside.
There was a pause as he slowly made his way towards her. She began to freak out, thinking she would be found out. Thankfully, Angron came to a pause in front of her room’s door and knocked. “Furia?” he said with a very quiet deep voice. Of course there was no answer.
She worried for a second that he would open the door and walk inside, but instead he sighed. He turned around and walked down the hallway back to where he came from. Eventually he disappeared around a corner and left Furia alone. She could only guess he was heading to the gym to blow off some steam.
She walked back into her room, a bit shaken from what she had heard. He had lied to her about everything. It seemed that whatever she was going through, he had the same effects as well.
And there might have been more affects that she didn’t even know about. She picked up the bottle of Xelaratin and stared at it. Somehow, she needed to figure out what the pills really did to her before she got worse. Unfortunately, she didn’t know many scientists with access to Treasury research.
Her eyes suddenly widened as she realized she did. Looking at the many piles of clothes in her room, she started searching for a pair of pants she wore yesterday. Suddenly cursing her disorganized state, it was a couple minutes before she found the right one. Digging into the pockets, she took out a small piece of paper. “Dr. Elizabeth Chawas,” she muttered to herself.
Her vox suddenly went off, nearly giving her a panic attack in the silence of her room. She grabbed it and checked the number, and cursed immediately. She answered the call and put the device to her ear.
“Hey Simon,” she said quickly.
“Hey. We still on for tonight? You were supposed to be here by now.”
She sighed, not sure what to tell him at that point. “Uh, kinda. I came home and felt really sick. Let’s do it tomorrow, alright?”
“Yeah, sure,” he said, clearly sounding worried. “You alright? Want me to come over?”
“I’m fine Simon. Must have been something I ate, you know?” She tried her best to give a reassuring voice. “I’m going to call it early tonight, get some sleep and see if I feel better by tomorrow.”
“Alright, call me if you need anything.”
They said their goodbyes and she hung up. She felt like shit for not telling him what was happening, but she needed more info before she could accuse anyone of anything. Looking at the card once more, she grabbed her car keys as she walked out of her room. Dialing the doctor's number, it rang for several moments before someone answered.
“Hello?” said someone, who she instantly recognized to be the doctor.
“Doctor Chawas? It’s Furia. Can we meet?”
There was a pause as the doctor suddenly realized who was calling. “Oh, Lady Furia. Yes, I am still at the hospital if you want to swing on by. Is there a problem?”
“I’m not sure. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.” Before the doctor could reply, Furia turned her vox off as she made her way to the front door. She stealthy treaded down the hallways of the house, knowing full where she needed to avoid to go on undetected.
Arriving to the entrance, she slipped on her leather jacket and opened the front door. In the driveway beside the other cars her father owned was her own, a beat up red modified gravcar. Although she could get better, she liked the enduring spirit that her own had. She wondered if she should drive in her condition, but her sudden focused self seemed to overtake any symptoms she was having.
Slipping into the driver seat, she quickly turned the car on and made off before anyone noticed and could stop her.
The Truth Hurts
The drive was quick, especially with Furia behind the wheel. She had made it back to the hospital in record time, somehow managing to not get caught by arbites on the way there for speeding.
Unlike the last time she was here, the parking lot was not as vacant. Finding a parking spot after several minutes of searching, she made her way to the nearby elevator.
A short ride up and she arrived to Doctor Chawas’ floor. It was much busier this time around as the Treasury wasn’t keeping the entire floor cleared. Medicae doctors filled the large hallway, running around with their work. None of them even stopped to pay attention to her, which she was thankful. As always, no one recognized her to be who she really was.
She made her way down to the doctor’s office, dodging traffic easily enough. She finally arrived to Elizabeth’s door and knocked loudly.
“Come in,” said a voice inside an instant later. Furia opened the door and walked inside.
She took a moment as she glanced around the room, taking it in. Like the rest of the hospital, the entire office was sterilized and clean. There was not a speck of dirt, nor any sort of disorganized behavior to be found.
The doctor sat behind a simple metal desk, typing away at her computer before she glanced up. “Lady Furia, it's nice to see you. Take a seat, I’ll be done in a moment.”
Furia closed the door and sat down in one of the two small chairs in front of the desk. She glanced around some more, looking at the many diplomas that decorated the walls and the textbooks that filled the shelves. The doctor was apparently very knowledgeable in many fields of study.
“Alright Lady Furia,” the doctor said a moment later, “What can I do for you?”
Furia reached into her pocket and took out the pill bottle. “It's Furia, alright? And I came about this.” She slid the bottle over the desk. “What can you tell me about it?”
The doctor looked at the label. Her brow furrowed, shaking her head. “Where did you get this?”
“The Treasury official gave me those. Supposed to be an anger reducing medical alternative.”
“Yeah, if you want to lose a lot more than just your anger. Its meant to pacify someone who has violent... tendencies.” The Doctor paused as she looked up at Furia. “By Terra, they are making you take this,” she muttered, suddenly quite shocked.
“Not making me, but didn’t give me much of a choice,” she mumbled. “Why? What are the intended effects behind these pills? Side effects?”
The doctor sighed as she turned to her computer, typing away at the keyboard. Furia waited a moment before she stood up and leaned over the desk, trying to get a good look at the screen.
“Xelaratin is a product of a secret military research project,” Elizabeth started. “For the past decade scientist have been working and this is one of the few things they have been produced that meet their expectations.”
Furia looked at her strangely. “How do you know all this?”
The doctor paused for a moment, before talking a bit quieter. “I used to be part of the Imperial Army’s Medical Research board. This project among others was something that we had to keep track of its progress.”
“You used to be?” the redhead asked.
“Well, I began to question the morality of some of these projects and the generals found that to be against the ideals of the Imperial Army., so they assigned me to Terra to shut me up. Can’t complain really. Hive Tetra’s probably the best place to end up with a medical position. Very normal problems,” she said, but turned to Furia, “for the most part.”
Furia nodded slowly. “So what was the point of the project?”
Elizabeth looked at her for a moment and back at the screen. “Well, the idea was based on how much the human body uses chemicals to communicate. We have always been able to use medication to help induce certain feelings in the human body, for example to counter depression or recreational drug use you can find on the street.”
The doctor leaned back into her chair, “The project's goal was a bit more ambitious than that. The scientists were trying to create an agent to control emotions on a person. For example, inducing fear on our enemies or making our troops be a bit more courageous.”
“That sounds pretty crazy,” Furia commented. “Wait, why are you telling me this?”
The doctor shrugged. “I don’t really care. It’s not like you’re a reporter or an enemy of the Imperium. Plus, you probably outrank me, so I need to tell you if you ask.”
She looked back at her computer, looking over the research files some more. “And it was crazy. After several years, we found out two things. First, trying to use chemical agents to control xeno species is next to impossible. Dark Eldar are immune to such attempts from years of drug use already. And orks are basically plants. The idea didn’t fit with them as easily.”
“And second?” the teenager asked.
“Second, human emotions are fucking complicated.” Elizabeth turned away from the computer and looked at Furia. “After nearly ten years the only success they had was inducing or reducing anger on a human subject. However before I left the board, I got a good look at some of the test results. They basically pointed out that by doing either, a wide variety of other effects would be included since targeting anger was incredibly difficult to begin with.”
Furia swallowed hard, suddenly realizing that this was about her. “What kind of effects?” she asked.
“Well,” the doctor started, seemingly trying to remember. “It would make you less inclined to be angry, as that was the goal. It would also make you emotionally distant to outside sources, apathetic to causes, and basically act like a sedative physically. These effects wouldn’t be all immediate at first, instead grow over the next couple months to be more obvious.”
“What the fuck,” Furia growled, her fists clenching. “You telling me that these side effects made it through to the end product?”
“Uh, well,” the doctor muttered, noticing Furia’s growing anger. “Not exactly. These effects were intended as far as they were concerned. They weren’t side effects.”
“What?! What are the side effects then?”
The doctor turned back to her computer, tapped at her keyboard for a few seconds. A nearby printer activated and printed out a single page. “Have a look,” Elizabeth said as she grabbed the page and handed it over.
Furia stared at the list, her jaw dropping. There was at least twenty items on the list, all different side effects. “Loss of memory, nausea, insomnia, loss of libido?!” She looked at the doctor, suddenly freaking out. “I won’t want to have sex anymore? What the fu-”
Furia buckled over to the floor, her stomach pain having returned. Grabbing the doctor’s garbage bin, she puked out her guts once more, her stomach still empty from earlier.
Dr. Chawas was beside her an instant later, holding her steady. The redhead heaved for a few more moments, as her body slowly realized there was nothing else to expel. The good doctor rubbed her back, making her feel a bit better as her arms began to shake.
“Some of the physical effects disappear within a week or two, others remain. It depends on the person taking it. Especially concerning someone like you. The pills effects can vary, some can take longer to show up then others. Your body might have a better time fighting the effects then someone more... average.”
“I can’t believe,” Furia rasped between ragged breaths, “that they would put me on this shit.” She spat into the bin, sitting up as she tried to breathe deeply.
“No kidding. You need to stop taking it. It isn’t worth it.”
Furia wanted to agree, but knew it was more complex than that. “Can you give me something to get rid of the symptoms?”
The doctor shook her head. “Not without inducing even more, maybe even making the originals worse.”
“Well that's too bad,” Furia grunted, standing up and trying to regain her strength. “Guess I’m gonna have to bear through it all.”
“What?” Elizabeth blurted out, shocked by that statement. “You can’t be telling me you are going to keep taking these things, after everything I told you.”
The teenager shrugged, using a tissue from Dr. Chawas desk to wipe her mouth. “As I said before, I don’t have much of a choice.”
The doctor opened her mouth, still wanting to argue, but Furia shot her an angry look, startling her. “I don’t want your advice. And to be clear, I wasn’t here, alright? We didn’t have this conversation.”
The doctor nodded slowly, feeling likewise about the entire exchange. Furia picked up the bottle and pocketed it, along with the list of side effects. “Thanks again doc,” she muttered and left the office, making her way back to the parking lot.
“Good luck, Lady Furia,” she heard Chawas say behind her.
Furia arrived at her car minutes later and sat in the driver seat. She reached into her pocket and removed the list of effects. Glancing over it, she growled as she crushed the paper in her hands.
She wasn’t sure what to do anymore. A few days ago, she was pretty happy with her life, and even this morning things seemed to be going her way. Yet it suddenly dawned on her that if she remained here, she would cease being who she was.
She would either not take the pills and have a good chance of many more violent incidents with her probably ending up in jail. And with her in jail, she would either get herself killed or become the very things she hated.
Or she took the pills and ceased being Furia altogether, becoming a shadow of her former self. Even if she was still there mentally, it wouldn’t be her as she knew it.
No matter what, it seemed that she was destined to be forever trapped with her destruction. She would cease to exist altogether, a body with no real mind behind it. As Furia stared blankly at herself in her rearview mirror, everything looked bleak for the young woman.
“Well this sucks,” she mumbled, starting her car. She would at least enjoy the few moments she had left being herself before it all changed, one way or another.
It was seven o'clock in the evening and Simon had just finished eating with his parents. The Henderson family had dispersed for the night and Simon was about to go to his room when the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it,” he announced, making his way to the entrance as it rang again. He looked at external camera screen for a moment to see who it was. Realizing who was at his door, he quickly opened it. “Furia, I thought you were sick. Are you alright?”
The redhead nodded, her hands in her leather jacket’s pockets. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
“You sure?” Simon continued, looking at her a bit worried. “You look a bit pale.”
Furia chuckled at that. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll tell you later.” She paused and smiled at him. “You wanna got to that museum still? It's open for two more hours.”
Simon didn’t answer immediately, sensing something was wrong. Before he could ask her, he heard a noise behind him and turned. His mother stood a few feet away, looking at them both.
“Furia, how nice to see you. Are you feeling better?” she asked.
“Yes Mrs. Henderson, just had a long day that's all. I was hoping to steal Simon for a bit.”
Simon’s mother tilted her head to one side, clearly not sure about the idea. “It's a school night you know.”
“I promise I won’t keep him up too late.” Furia smiled even harder, trying to look as friendly as possible. It began to slowly backfire as it looked more like she was trying show her teeth in anger.
Mrs. Henderson nodded, realizing she couldn’t keep her away even if she wanted to. “Ah, alright. Simon could use the time off anyway.”
Simon, seemingly having his choices picked for him, could only shrug as he put on his shoes. The moment he was done, Furia pulled him outside, closing the door behind him.
“In a hurry?” he asked. She smiled at him as she walked to her car, saying not a word. “Furia, what’s wrong?” he asked again, “I know something's on your mind.”
She opened her car door and turned to him. “Are you going to keep talking or are you going to get in the car? I’m gonna leave either way.”
He wanted to say more, but as Furia started her car he realized he should hurry. He ran to the passenger side and got in to the old red vehicle. A second later, Furia lifted off from the small driveway.
The drive was particularly quiet as neither said much. Simon withheld the questions he had, not wanting to anger Furia since she obviously was hiding something from him. Furia didn’t say much as she just wanted to enjoy the peaceful moment with her boyfriend.
They arrived to the exhibition within minutes. The place was still packed even this late into the evening. It seemed the show had been a large success with the way things look. Ancient terran history was becoming a popular subject since the end of the crusade and recent finds deep within the planet had was the keypoint at the show.
It seemed that archeologist had found a deep underground vault holding a fortune of art and books, untouched for several millennia. It was even suggested some of the pieces found went back to M15, making it one of the most important finds in recent history. Instantly famous, lords from all over Terra and some of her uncles funded the project. It was meant to be the beginning of a new Era of discovery, one hopefully without war.
After parking the car, both made their way to the large entrance. Furia put on a cap this time around, making her quite less identifiable to the masses. Although she was rarely recognized, she was going to do her best not be seen. She couldn’t handle the attention at this point, not after everything that had passed today.
The couple got in quickly enough and began their slow walk down the large hall. There were several hundred pieces of art and books on display, still only a third of what had been found. These pieces seemed to be those most well preserved, while others needed work to be properly displayed for the public
The art varied in several forms. Some were blocky and strange in color. Others were great in details, picturing important moments in history that was lost to the current era. Even some Furia found to beautiful, photographs of ancient Terra when it seemed to have large forests and lakes.
In the center of the hallway was a collection of sculptures that were also found. These were in poorer condition, but researchers believed that some of the pieces were put into the vault in such a condition. This evidence pointed to a common theory that humanity was on the brink of destruction, and these pieces were put deep into the earth to protect the culture from the ravages of war that was too come.
“Cool,” muttered Furia and Simon agreed as they walked slowly through the hallway, from one piece to another.
They came to a painting of a half naked man, mid yell. He was covered with blood, seemingly enraged in a war torn battlefield. Simon looked over the nearby information panel on the side of the picture. “Apparently, this was one of the last pieces to be added to the vault before it was closed,” he revealed to Furia.
She nodded beside him, seemingly entranced by the picture. The man’s rage obviously had brought upon him great destruction. Was he yelling at the destruction around him, or just an effect of the power he controlled? She found it strangely fitting with her current situation. She could only wonder what had happened to the man in the painting.
“What is it?” Simon asked beside her. Furia shrugged, unsure herself.
“The painting. I like it. Says a lot you know?”
He smiled at her. “Didn’t think you’d like this kind of thing.”
“Well, this is a week of firsts so far,” she said quietly.
As time went by, the duo looked at more paintings and pictures, sometimes even discussing to each other the possible meanings behind the pieces of art. Some majestically beautifully, others confusing in their presentations. Furia wasn’t sure if she hated it or loved it.
They left over an hour after they had arrived, making their way back to Simon’s place as the clock ticked 9:00 pm.
“Mind if I stick around?” she asked, not yet ready to go home.
Simon nodded slowly, still wanting answers of what had happened. He guessed this was her way of doing so.
He opened the door and nodded. “Yeah, sure. Let's go to my room, okay?”
They made their way up silently, only alerting his parents that they were back. As they got to his room, Simon closed the door and turned on the lights.
“Turn those off,” she ordered. “My eyes hurt.”
“Uh, sure,” he muttered as he turned them back off. Furia threw her jacket unto a nearby chair, making it the only piece of clothing hanging around in his room. His room was neat and tidy, everything well organized compared to hers. She smiled at how different the two of them were. Yet, she was here with him right now.
“So, what do you wanna do?” he asked her, walking up beside the redhead.
Furia smiled as she pushed him onto his bed. Simon stared as she jumped on the bed beside him. Within a second, she was straddling over his waist, grinning at him.
“I got a couple ideas,” she muttered.
Talking it Over
A mere hour later, Furia fumbled with a cigarette in her mouth. She couldn't light it up because Simon’s parents hated smoke in the house. So instead, she nibbled on the end, trying to feed a craving she couldn’t control.
She sat on Simon’s bed, curled up with her back to the wall. She wore nothing at all as she stared forward, deep in thought. Likewise, Simon lay beside her, reading over a large list of side effects that Furia gave to him. It took him several minutes to read through the list before he put it down and looked at her.
“I-I’m so sorry.”
“Not your fault,” she replied. She laid her forehead on her knees, looking down at herself and sighing. “You can’t blame yourself for everything that happens to me Simon.”
“I know, but I was all for the pills in the first place. If I knew about this...” He paused, unsure on how to continue. “I want the Furia I have now over this.”
She smiled weakly. Slipping under the covers beside him, she rested her head on one of the pillows. “Thanks Simon.” For the first time in over three days, she felt at peace with herself. “Sorry if I pushed you into this,” she whispered.
“What, the relationship or the sex?” he asked her.
She shrugged. “I guess both when I think about it.”
He chuckled at that. “Well, I chose to be with you remember? I wanted this, no matter how bad it gets. And the sex, well.” He looked at her and shrugged. “I wasn’t too bad was I?”
Furia paused and reflected on what Simon just said. She wondered about how far he would go to stay with her, and wasn’t sure if she should take it as a compliment or a warning of how tough it was now.
Still, she smiled to herself. She had previous boyfriends before and only one had gotten as far as they just did. However, Simon had done little before she had met him, so everything was a new experience for him. She shrugged as she formulated an answer in her head.
“Better than my last boyfriend,” she told him, hoping that would make him a bit more confident.
“That’s good, I guess,” he mumbled. “You seemed to enjoy it.”
She raised herself on the bed and turned to him, balancing herself on her elbows. Raising an eyebrow, she smirked at him. “Getting pretty confident in your abilities, are we?” she asked him.
He shrugged, smiling back at her. “You were the one moaning loudly. You seemed to like it as much as I did.”
“Hah. I was just doing that so you wouldn’t feel bad,” she lied.
“Yeah, well maybe I should ask my parents for a tie breaker to the situation.” Furia shook her head at that as she smiled to herself.
“Oh yeah. ‘The daughter of a primarch just fucked your son. How do you feel about this?’ Best way to get on their side.”
“Well, it's not like we can hide it,” Simon muttered beside her.
“What? You are going to tell them?” she asked him, genuinely surprised by the thought.
“Won’t need to. As I said before, we were kinda loud.”
Furia instantly facepalmed, suddenly realizing the truth behind the matter. “Oh shit, they heard us didn’t they? I’m so used to soundproof walls.” Angron had built his house with the idea that sounds shouldn’t be heard outside of certain rooms. This was mainly for the majority of the household that they would not be startled if he ever got angry.
Simon chuckled beside her. “Yeah, maybe we should have done this at your place.”
She bit her lip, not liking the idea. “No. I... don’t want to go home tonight. I just don’t think I could face my dad right now. Not after everything that happened. I rather face your parents about this then go home.”
“Because he lied to you?” Simon asked her. She shook her head in response.
“Not entirely because of that, but it didn’t help. He did it to protect me. He didn’t want to stress me out like I am right now. I just don’t think I could see him tonight and not break down in front of him, blurting out everything I learned. I can’t tell him I know the truth.”
“Well, you can stay here tonight. Just need to tell the parents.” Simon got up and began to get dressed.
“You sure it won’t be a problem?” Furia asked him. She already felt a bit out of place in the Henderson household. It was too clean.
“My parents want me to be happy. If I tell them I want this, they’ll be fine with it. Just got to be sure they don’t freak out, that's all.” Fully dressed, he walked to his door and smiled at her. “I’ll be right back,” he told her and left the room.
Furia sat in the bed, still munching on the cigarette. Sighing, she put it back into its pack and grabbed her phone. She still needed to tell him she wouldn’t be home.
The phone rang for several moments before someone picked up. With the heavy breaths on the other end of the line, she knew it was her father. “Hello?” he said. Her stomach instinctively clenched again, but she willed herself to hold it in for the time being.
“Dad, it's me.” Furia bit her lip, already having trouble talking to her father.
“Furia? I checked your room and you were gone. I thought you were feeling ill.”
“Yeah, I was for a bit, but then I got better. I wanted to see Simon so drove over. I just called so you wouldn’t worry.”
She heard him grunt on the other end. “I guess you are also calling to tell me you won’t be coming home tonight, huh?”
She grabbed a handful of her hair, holding it tight as if she expected her head to fall off. Realizing that she would have just gone home instead of calling in the first place, he was right. “Yeah, I’ll be staying here for the night,” she replied, steeling her voice.
He chuckled, making assumptions of what that meant. “Well, have fun with Simon. Get better alright?”
“Yeah, sure dad,” she whispered. She said goodbye and shut her vox off. Her stomach pains disappeared soon after and she realized the side effects seemed to be calming down. At least the nausea was for the time being.
This gave her an unfortunate reminder. She shed the bed sheets and got up, grabbing the pills from her jeans pocket. She popped one into her mouth and swallowed, hating that ever present bitter taste it left.
Simon walked back into the room as she put on some clothing, covering the essential. “You alright?” he asked her and she waved him off.
“Fine. Called my dad. Told him I would be here for the night. How are your parents taking it?”
He shrugged at that. “Didn’t mention anything about noises, but I could see my dad grinning as they watched their shows. Mom asked if you wanted anything for the night.”
“Nah. Made my call, took my pills, ready for bed.” She laid back on Simon’s bed, choosing to lie on her stomach for the time being.
Simon walked over and sat down on the mattress. “You going to keep taking the pills?” he asked her.
“No choice. It’s either that or maybe ending up in jail. And I'd rather be out here.” Furia withheld the piece of information that it was also to stay with him a bit longer.
“So that’s it? Going to take the pills for the rest of your life?”
Furia hadn’t thought of that at all. When would she stop taking the pills? She guessed never, and the condition kept growing on her. She would be Furia physically, but mentally she would no longer exist.
She buried her face into a pillow. “I don’t know Simon. I just don’t know.”
Easing off the question, Simon stood up and walked into his washroom. Within a few minutes, he had prepared himself for sleep and slipped into the sheets with her. For several long moments, both played with the space available, pushing the sheet around till eventually they became a tangled mess of limbs. Yet somehow, they had become comfortable within each other's grasp. At this point it didn’t matter, they had been more than personal.
“If it means anything,” Simon whispered to her, “I’ll still love you, even if you do change.”
She tightened her grip around him. “Shut up and go to sleep, Simon.”
Like all the daughters, Furia awoke fully rested in the middle of the night. For the following hours, she stared all around her. At Simon, the ceiling, herself. Her mind began to rethink of everything she knew right now. She put all the details in front of her with one object: finding a way out. She knew she couldn’t give into to the medication, and going to jail was not something she was planning on doing.
Still, it drove her crazy as she couldn’t see a way out. She wasn’t a planner. She couldn’t figure this shit out on the fly. She was a fighter when it came down to it, and thinking wasn’t a particular forte for her. Thankfully, she had a good friend that could help her out and keep a secret.
As sunlight streamed into the room, Furia knew it was time to leave. She somehow managed to slip off the bed without waking Simon, a first for her. Putting her clothes on, she tiptoed her way out the door without making any noise. Once outside, she felt a bit calmer as she walked down to the entrance, hoping not to wake anyone else up.
She thought she had made a clean getaway as she walked towards a door, but a small amount of noise behind her signalled her otherwise. She turned quickly, wondering if it was Simon, but instead found a robed Mrs. Henderson staring at her. The two exchanged a long glance, wondering what was going on in each others heads before Simon’s mother broke the silence.
“Do you want some coffee?” she asked. Furia knew it was a trap. She was going to have to sit down and listen to whatever she had to say. The redhead knew she had to owe her that much. She didn’t want to piss off the parents so quickly.
“Uh, sure.” Mrs. Henderson led her to the kitchen, where she moved towards the many appliances adorning the countertops. Furia sat down at the table, waiting patiently as she smelled the coffee brewing nearby.
“Sleep well?” the older woman asked. Furia paused. Simon’s mom knew full well that they had shared a bed tonight. She wondered if it was a trick question, but figured the best way out of this was to be honest.
“Yeah. It was a bit tight but we managed.”
She chuckled at that. “Reminds me of when I first shared a bed with my husband. I had to figure out how to eventually tell him he snored. I hope Simon hasn’t gotten that from his father.”
Furia smiled at that. “No, not that I noticed.”
“That's good,” Mrs. Henderson said. Soon, she walked over with two cups of hot coffee, handing one over to Furia. “Milk?”
“No thanks, I like my coffee black.” She took a sip and enjoyed the warm feeling. It was good coffee, better than anything she got at home.
“So, Furia, I wanted to talk to you about Simon.” Furia saw this coming a mile away, putting down the cup as she prepared herself for whatever was coming.
“Now, I don’t mind what you two did last night. I really don’t. I was about the same age as well,” she started. Furia nodded slowly as she listened, happy that this was going better than what she was expecting. “And in the end, all I care about is if Simon is happy. Since the mugging, my husband and I have just been cautious with him, so it's nice to see him hanging out with someone like yourself.” She sipped her coffee for a second before continuing. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but what are you looking out of this relationship?”
Furia stared at her, suddenly caught off guard by the strange question. The thought never had occurred to her. “I don’t know. To be honest, I never considered it. We were both kind of pushed into this by ourselves.”
“I figured,” Mrs. Henderson commented, “I had this idea that you two started dating because of the emotional duress of the mugging, feeling it would be best to cope with someone who experienced what happened.”
Furia never thought of it that way before. The idea suddenly made sense to her. “I guess?” she said, unsure herself in the end.
“And again, I don’t mind. But I want you to promise me something.” Furia nodded slowly, listening to every word carefully. “If it ever gets hard, and you ever feel that you are hurting Simon in the slightest, I want you to leave him alone. Alright?”
If this was Furia from a week ago, she would have broken something from that comment. She never wanted to hurt Simon, and the very idea made her angry. But the medicated teenager didn’t react as harshly as she would. Instead she nodded, understanding her with recent events in her life. “You want me to stop seeing him altogether. I get it.”
“I just don’t ever want to see Simon hurt. Once was enough,” the mother explained. Furia finished her coffee and stood up.
“Thank you for the coffee, Mrs. Henderson. And you shouldn’t worry. If I ever feel I am hurting Simon, I would stop immediately, no matter what.”
Mrs. Henderson sighed, seemingly happy that it was off her chest. “I hope you understand. It’s a mother thing. Your mother probably does the same.”
Furia paused at that, looking away from the elder lady. “I never met my mom. She died when I was young.”
“Oh,” Simon’s mother blurted out, suddenly feeling very awkward about bringing the topic up. “I’m sorry.”
“It's fine. Goodbye Mrs. Henderson.” Without another word, Furia walked to the door and left. The idea of not having a mother rarely affected her, yet every once in awhile it did. Most commonly seeing some of her cousin’s like Venus or Faith with both their parents made her hate them even harder. She wasn’t sure if she disliked their good fortune or her lack of it.
She was back home soon after leaving the Hendersons. She walked in and initially saw no one, which she was glad for. It was likely that he had some sort of legion work to complete, or was too restless to stay at home. Or maybe he was out brutally destroying some poor scientist's laboratory.
She paused at her doorway, suddenly wondering if there had been a change in her father since he had started to take the medication. He did seem less likely to explode at times, which she never gave much thought beforehand. It might have reacted slower with someone like him, since most of his rage seemed induced to his “upgrades”. She shuddered for a moment.
She didn’t like the butcher nails. They freaked her out in her youth till he had them removed several years ago. Yet its effects seemed to hold his mind to this day.
She was so much deep in thought that she didn’t notice the giant astartes walk up to the entrance. The astartes was easily seven feet tall. He wore what seemed to be ceremonial astartes armor under a brown robe. The armor was a bright blue and white, and usually worn by astartes in civilian population who disliked parting away from the wearing armor in general.
He paused and looked at the daydreaming teen for a moment. His face was hidden behind an astartes helmet as he stared her down with glowing blue eyes.
“Furia. Furia. Furia,” the booming voice of the space marine repeated in the hallway. Still, the redhead seemed distracted she thought about her father. The marine paused, raised one armored foot and slammed it into the ground. The floor shook so violently for a moment that Furia toppled over from surprise, landing on the floor. She seemed puzzled as she noticed the large astartes staring at her for the first time.
“That got your attention,” the marine mused as he walked over to the downed girl.
“The hell is your problem Kharn,” she blurted out, clearly not pleased with his antics.
“Just trying to get a glimpse of your panties,” he said calmly.
Furia instantly covered her groin, but then noticed she was wearing pants, not a skirt. “Asshole,” she muttered as she stood up. The large warrior chuckled at her as she brushed herself off.
“Just checking to see if you are still with me,” he told her. Raising an eyebrow at him, he elaborated without her asking. “I heard what happened. Sorry it came to this. You know, being on drugs.”
“Yeah, well fuck it. First my dad, now me. Guess being the voice of reason around here gets you a free pass from being medicated huh?”
“Only when I’m around humans. I get really friendly with orks though, that's for sure,” the large warrior joked. Furia grinned at that, usually enjoying shooting the shit with Kharn. She rarely ever saw him since he usually ran things for the legion across the galaxy when her father was at home.
“So what are you doing here Kharn? Aren’t you supposed to be out there in the galaxy, employing some ruthless justice?” Furia asked him.
He shrugged, massive shoulders moving ceramic armor plates easily enough. He stared at her behind his helmets eye slits. “Lord Angron asked for my return while the legion recuperated from battle. I’ll be out of your hair soon enough when I get my new orders.”
Furia smiled softly at him. “Well, hopefully not too soon.”
He grunted at her, shaking his head. “I know you are trying to be nice, but it's strange to see you like this. Not the Furia I wanted to come back home to.” He paused for a moment and whispered softly. She was sure he didn’t need to as they were probably the only ones in the house at this hour. “Did you at least kill the bastard?”
Furia seemed a bit shocked by the question, wondering what Kharn wanted to hear from that. She shook her head slowly and Kharn grunted.
“Well, too bad. Guess the justice system will need to take care of him.”
“Do you think,” Furia started, a bit of shakiness to her voice, “that I should have?”
Kharn stared at her through his helmets slits. She couldn’t see them, but she was sure he was scrutinizing her intently. “Afraid, aren’t you?”
Furia didn’t say anything as he kneeled down to her, face to face. The white helmet with red eyes stared at her deeply. She wanted so badly to turn and run away, but she knew that if she did she would never hear the end of being a coward till Kharn died in battle.
“The first kill is always the hardest. I remember it was difficult for me the first time I killed someone, so long ago now.” He paused and chuckled. “But you know what? I don’t even remember how I did it. Don’t remember who it was, how I killed him, how I felt. All I know now is that after the first one, it’s pretty easy afterwards.”
She said nothing for a moment as she stared at him unblinking. She felt slightly nauseous, unsure if it was the medication or the topic. All she knew is that maybe she was lucky not having done the deed herself yet.
She slowly whispered to him as she didn’t look away from him. “You are one crazy fucker Kharn.” He nodded slowly at her, and she could imagine he was grinning in agreement. Silence followed for several moments as neither felt it was worth continuing the current conversation.
“Is Angron home?” she asked him eventually and he shook his head.
“Nope. Told me to wait here till he came back. Not sure where he went.” All Furia could think of is that her father was making some poor medicae scientist’s day a living hell. “Don’t you have school?”
“Unfortunately. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to go change it to something more ‘feminine’.”
“How unfortunate,” Kharn muttered as she walked away.
As she got to her room, she ditched her clothes quickly as she began to feel sick wearing them. She realized that she had puked twice and had sex with the same clothing in the last 24 hours without changing. Even she had limits of her uncleanliness, immediately throwing everything she was wearing into a laundry pile.
A quick shower was needed as she felt physically better minutes later. She got out her school uniform, hating it immensely every time she put it on. It wasn’t hard for anyone to understand that Furia wasn’t the most delicate girl in school. She hated the neat and tidy female uniform she was forced to wear every day.
Still, this only gave her the passion to itemize it in a way she would enjoy, usually going with spiked arm bands or belts with buckles that didn’t follow school regulations. Today was no different as she slipped on a large leather belt with her father’s legion symbol as the buckle, a great fanged maw poised to crush a life-bearing world. Instead of the usual armbands she wore, she slipped on fingerless black gloves. Simple, yet to the point.
Kharn was still waiting at the entrance as she made her way down soon after changing. “Have a nice day. Don’t have a rampage,” he told her, and Furia only gave him the finger as she left.
“Fuck you Kharn.”
Asking for Help
Leaving her house, she made the quick trip to Imperator High for a long day ahead. But for the first time in a while, she had arrived early to school. All according to plan as Furia had to begin her hunt. She needed to find the one person that could seemingly help her at the moment. Thankfully, it wasn’t hard for her to find the Prime Daughter.
Isis usually hung out before class near her own locker. Alongside her were two more of her cousins, Morticia and Faith. She ran up quickly to the trio, having no trouble dodging incoming traffic as most students parted ways when Furia came running.
Isis saw her coming by the corner of her eye and turned as she arrived. Morticia smiled as normal, always happy to see her. However, Faith backed up, still remembering their last encounter. Furia paid her no heed as she looked at Isis directly.
“Icy, we need to talk,” she said, giving her a solid stare. She glanced at her other cousins. “Alone.”
Isis didn’t move for a moment, looking Furia over for a bit before saying anything. The two stared at each other for several moments, an internal battle of wills going on. Having enough, Isis gave in to her curiosity. “Alright. I’ll be back in a moment ladies.” Morticia and Faith stared as the two left, wondering what that was about.
Finding an empty side hallway, the redhead sighed as Isis looked her over, seemingly worried. “Furia, what is going on?” she asked her.
Furia clenched her fists for a moment, unsure of how to tell her. It was one thing confiding with Simon who wasn’t part of her family, it was another talking to her cousin who was supposed to be the best among them.
“Do you know what happened to me on Sunday? After the incident?” she started.
Isis nodded slowly. “A bit. Heard the treasury sat down with you, giving you a speech. Not sure otherwise.”
Furia sighed as she took out the Xelaratin pill bottle and handed it over. “I’m on these now, they control my anger right?” Isis nodded slowly, then Furia took out the side effect list. “It causes all these among other intended effects.”
Isis glanced at the paper and whistled. “Wow. That is one long list.”
“Yeah, and I’m only getting some of them for the moment. You probably noticed the changes yesterday.”
Isis nodded once more, handing the paper back to her. “Yeah, my father was asking about you. Asked me if you were acting strangely since Sunday. Wasn’t sure what he meant initially, but you were pretty calm yesterday.”
“Unnaturally calm. I liked it at first, then the side effects took hold. Long story short, I find out what these pills actually do to me.” Furia paused, looking at her black haired cousin. “Isis, I can’t keep taking these. I’ll cease to exist if I do.”
“Alright, simple enough. Stop talking them,” Isis stated flatly.
“And if I have another ‘incident?’” Furia asked her. “If I fuck up again and it gets bad enough, I can go to court. I can end up in jail. And then what? My life will be over just the same if I keep taking these pills.” She sighed, shaking her head. “I don’t see a way out. I want your help to prove me wrong.”
Isis stared at her conflicted cousin. Furia clenched her jaw as she waited patiently for her cousin to answer her. The silence was slowly killing her inside as her the Prime daughter seemed lost in thought, thinking of something while the redhead could only stare.
After a minute, Isis nodded and Furia almost jumped in joy at the signal. Outwardly, she remained still, not giving away her sudden happiness.
“Alright, I have some ideas. Give me some time to plan this out, but you need to tell me you are ready to do anything to get out, alright?”
Furia grunted, crossing her arms. “You kidding me? I’d go fight Kharn if I have to.” The idea itself was suicidal, but Furia meant it when she said she’d do anything.
Isis chuckled at that, shaking her head. “Nothing that drastic yet, but it might get close. I’ll see you later today, alright?”
Furia only nodded as they both went their separate ways. She wondered throughout the day what Isis was planning, but could only wait impatiently for her to return.
Thankfully though, she didn’t spend much time waiting alone as Simon eventually found her between classes. She was at her locker, waiting for traffic in the hallway to clear up before going to class. He walked to her slowly, his usual shy self having returned for a new day. “Hey,” he said quietly, afraid as if someone else would hear them in the booming crowd around them.
“Hey Simon, something wrong?” she asked him, but already knew what was on his mind. He shook his head rapidly.
“No, just thinking about last night, that's all.”
She smirked at him, patting him on the shoulder. “Nothing to think about, alright? Now quit looking like you got something to hide before one of my cousins notice.”
He straightened his back, making it even more obvious to anyone. She made a note to teach Simon how to lie properly at a later date. It wouldn’t matter with her psychic cousins, but it would be a start.
“Did you have a conversation with my mom before you left?”
Furia looked at him quizzically, clearly confused with the question. “No,” she lied. “Why?”
“I had a dream where I was in my room and you guys were talking about me. Not sure about what exactly, but I felt it was about us.”
Furia chuckled at that. “You’re being paranoid, Simon. I don’t have such thoughts and I’m the celebrity here, remember?”
He smiled at that. “Everything okay with you though?” he asked her.
“Yeah, sorry I had to leave. Needed to change and shit,” Furia told him.
“I figured as much when I woke up. Almost thought I dreamt all of last night,” he commented to her.
“Yeah, past couple of days feel like a dream for me. A bit surreal.”
He looked at her strangely for a moment. “I guess that museum must have rubbed off on you for you to use such a vocabulary.”
“Keep talking like that and there won’t be another last night, got it?” she threatened him quickly, but made it out to be a joke.
It was lost on Simon as he remained quiet until class started.
It wasn't until the end of classes till Furia saw Isis once more. Her day so far was above average to her normal routine. She hadn't yelled at anyone yet and had been calm most of the day. She was beginning to like her current attitude, if not for the ever reminding fact of the consequences in taking Xelaratin.
Already, rumors of her change had spread around the school. Most students didn’t seem to bother her, but other gazes lingered far longer than she would normally allow. She would usually sneer, growl and make them stop, but she no longer seemed to have it in her to do so. Instead, she could only walk by quickly, ignoring them.
She was walking so quickly, that she didn't notice the shadow looming beside her car as she speed walked to the door. As Furia dug into her pockets to get her car keys, the shadow moved up beside her and gently laid a hand on her shoulder.
Furia didn’t scream or yell in surprise. Instead, years of having to watch out for Freya and Hana ambushing her made her quick to react. She instantly spun around and grabbed the shadow’s wrist with her right hand while another hand reached forward and grabbed the attacker’s shirt. In a flurry of movement, Furia used her momentum, launched her target around her and pinned her against her car with the person’s arm held behind them.
It was only a second later did she notice that she was holding Isis down. There was a brief moment where Furia was crushing her with her own body, and sudden awkwardness set in for her. She instantly let go and backed off, feeling suddenly very guilty of hurting her. Isis pushed herself back up rubbing her face which got the brunt of the impact.
“Damn it Icy, almost knocked you out. You should know better than to do this shit,” she scolded her.
Isis stared through her left eye as she rubbed the other with her hand, clearly not pleased with her red headed cousin. “Yes, my mistake on being discreet’,” she grumbled. Pointing behind her, Isis nodded slowly. “Hey, I got that new album from ‘The Kriegers’ today. You wanna listen to it in my car?”
Furia stared at her, not getting the signal she was giving. She shook her head, clearly lost with that statement. “What? What new album? They are on hiatus aren't they? And what about what we talked about earlier?”
Isis groaned slightly as she rubbed her eyes slowly. “It's a new SECRET album. Only certain people are allowed to hear it, you know? Someone like YOU should come listen to the SECRET album in my car. Right NOW.”
Furia nodded slowly, wondering if she had slammed Isis in the face too hard. She followed her to a nearby car, still not getting what she was referring to.
Unlike her own car, Isis’ vehicle was brand new. Her father probably gave it to her as a gift, as it seemed to be a newer model from that year. A solid sea green like her Legion’s colors, the black tinted windows were a nice touch, something Furia told herself she should put on her car.
Isis walked around to her door and got in, and Furia did likewise. She sat down on the nice leather seats and realized that it was quite real. The car was clearly custom made for her to get real animal hide, imported from elsewhere in the galaxy. The entire vehicle lit up as it detected the two new heat signatures. Isis flicked upon the touch screen on the dashboard, clearly doing something while her guest watched.
“Icy...” Furia began, but a single had from her taller cousin stopped her. A second later, Furia hear some high pitched ringing that disappeared an instant afterwards. “What the hell was that?”
“Just something to overload anyone trying to listen in, that's all.” Furia looked at her strangely as Isis began to explain. “I don’t have proof on it, but I have the feeling that some of us might be bugged by the Treasury for security reasons.”
“You think the Treasury bugged your car?” Furia asked her, and she laughed at that.
“Oh, not my car. I check my car every month and always know who touches it. It's for you mostly.”
Furia looked at herself and back at Isis. “You think I am bugged? Seriously?”
Isis shrugged. “You had a run in with them just over two days ago. You don’t think they are just a bit curious on how you are taking being medicated?”
Furia paused as she realized some truth behind the statement. “Alright, I guess. So we okay to talk in here then?”
Isis nodded. “Yeah. As I said before, I just overload any sensors nearby so we should be alright for a few minutes.”
Furia didn’t understand how that would work, but she didn’t care, having more important things to talk about. “So I figure you have something important to tell me since you dragged me in here. Hopefully about my ‘situation’.”
“Right,” she said and looked at Furia steadily. “How far would you go, out of curiosity?”
“I’m asking you how far would you go to get rid of the pills and not end up in jail. You ready to do anything to stay away from either? Ready to give up anything?”
Furia looked at her cousin, unsure of how to respond to such a request without repeating her last statement. “What are you getting at Isis? You should know that I wouldn’t have come to you if I wasn’t ready for the extremes. Come on, tell me already.”
“Alright, I got a couple ideas,” she muttered. “Why not just take the pills and wait for future versions have less side effects? Don’t you like being calm and, well, normal?”
Furia shook her head. “It ain’t me, alright? Its nice and all, but it feels so weird. Plus, if they pushed it on my father and myself, then they must think this is as good as it gets. Maybe the side effects are just because of my primarch origins. Maybe it's just because it's a shitty drug. I don’t know.” She paused and shrugged. “Being nice and all isn’t for someone like me. We have enough ‘nice’ cousins. I'd rather be different in the end.”
“What about psyker help? Can’t Magnus possibly do something like he did with Simon after the mugging?” Isis asked her, but Furia shook her head once more.
“I don’t know about that. That sounds way too fucked up, even for me. I mean, this anger of mine is so deeply rooted that it probably would take a lot more than a simple psyker intervention.”
“Deeply rooted?” Isis asked. She never knew where the origins of her cousin’s anger came from, thinking it was probably just genetic.
Furia thought back to her childhood for a moment, and growled at the thought. She didn’t think much about it anymore. “Yeah, let's just leave it at that, alright?”
Isis nodded slowly, backing off from the topic. “And you can’t stop taking the medication without horrible consequences, there isn’t much choice in the matter,” Isis sighed as she looked over at her cousin. “You leave.”
“Come again?” Furia said, not sure if she heard her correctly.
“You leave it all behind and go elsewhere.” Furia looked confused still as Isis elaborated. “You stay, you either have to take pills and turn into a shell of your former self, or you end up in jail. I’ll be honest when I say that I don’t think you will stop these run-ins with the law without the medical help.” Furia nodded, knowing full well that she already wanted to go on a rampage about things, but couldn’t muster up the fury for it.
“So instead,” she continued, “you leave. You somehow get away from all this and live out your life till you can figure out how to control yourself.”
“Alright, I get it. It's not a bad idea, if it wasn’t impossible,” Furia commented.
Isis smirked slightly. “Difficult, not impossible. Remember, I think several steps ahead. I wouldn’t have come to you with this alternative if I didn‘t think it was possible.”
“So what’s the plan then? I somehow fly off into the galaxy?” Furia couldn’t believe what she was hearing, so her seriousness of the situation was non existent.
“Not exactly. The first phase is to make everyone trust you. You need to try harder in class and make an effort to pass school, without your name pulling you through. This also includes make friends with people that wouldn’t call you one.”
“Such as?” the redhead asked.
“Faith, Hana, maybe even Victoria.”
Furia groaned at the thoughts. “That might be harder than you would imagine. What’s after that?”
“Well, the next phase would be to get you to enroll at Kourtney. If you can pass the first phase, you should have enough people to vouch for you to make it seem like you have changed for the better. I will say I trust you enough to share a room with you, with the idea that I could look after you in case anything happens. This part should be easy enough, since the school probably wants the publicity of royalty attending anyway.”
“And then?” Furia asked, wondering how much crazier the plan could get.
“Well, I don’t know if you know, but the area around Kourtney is famous for two things: the school, and the largest starport on Terra.”
Furia suddenly realized what she was getting at. “Oh,” she muttered. “I guess I really do get to fly away.”
“Exactly. We get you aboard one of the many thousands of ships that fly in and out every day to a cruiser bound out of the system to somewhere else. And by the time they track down, you can be on another ship by the time they find the first one. You can be lost within a week or two from their standard radar, totally off the grid.”
Furia stared at her cousin for several seconds as she took it in. “You know this plan is crazy right?” she told her.
“I asked you how far would you go,” Isis responded.
Furia grinded her teeth for a moment and nodded. “Fuck it, why the hell not. I got to do something.”
Isis looked at her, clearly surprised. “I thought I would need to convince you a bit more before you decided to give up everything.”
“Yeah, well,” Furia muttered, “you don’t know the fucking hell that's going through my mind this past couple days. I rather try something loud then die off silently.” Furia looked at Isis, the tone of the conversation suddenly different. “Do I need to convince you now on helping me?”
“No. I don’t see any other possibility you would accept without some negative impact. But you seem totally ready for this. To give up everything? Even Simon?” Isis asked her.
Furia paused at that thought. She would need to give him up, even if he was the greatest thing she had. But remembering the conversation from this morning with his mother, she couldn’t let Simon go through the hell she was about to conceive. She nodded solemnly.
“I can’t keep hurting him like this,” she whispered. She looked over at Isis and nodded. “Where do we start?”
The coming months proved to be a challenge for the medicated teenager. Furia had to suddenly convince her peers and authorities that she was actually changing for the better. She still remained on the medication for the most part, making the transition from troublemaker to a model student much easier.
Some of Xelaratin’s side effects disappeared, yet she still remained nauseous from time to time. New ones came up, like forgetting where she placed her car keys or a simple chore she usually did. And if she would ever felt the reason to get really angry, her arms would shake and twitch instead, while she remained totally calm otherwise.
However, more important side effects began to show slowly. Her mind drifted from topics more often and she became apathetic to causes around her. Her relationship with Simon began to suffer as well, but both knew why it was happening. Even her libido took a dive, but that didn’t stop her to try. She tried her best to seem like she cared, but deep down it was only a matter of time before she stopped altogether. It might be a few months, might take a decade, but eventually she would stop caring about them.
In the time since the plan’s inception, much had happened to the Royal family as a whole. In particular, Morticia was shot, making it one of the biggest news stories of the decade. She wasn’t sure if it was the event or the pills, but Furia nearly had a mental breakdown in the following week. A part of her wanted to go and hug the shit out of her weak cousin, while the pills tried their best to keep her apathetic. So instead, her mind began to fracture under the tension, making her have adverse effects against the pills. She began to stress out instead of remaining calm, and knew only one escape from it all: more drugs.
It didn’t last long before Simon and her father found out. Simon was one of the few things that kept her stable, so him threatening to leave her was enough to make her stop. And her father could smell it easily enough in the house, so he threatened to stop her from going to Kourtney, something that she couldn’t let happen.
The only thing that she focused above all else was the plan. It drove her through her to perform well in her studies and keep her as friendly as possible to people around her. And she told no one. Other than herself and Isis, no one else knew about the plan. She couldn’t even tell Simon, not because she didn’t trust him, but how it would break his heart to hear the idea of her leaving him. That would be one bridge she wasn’t ready to cross.
Instead, she began to tackle the most direct one: making her enemies trust her. Between all of her cousins, there were three she would have to talk to personally in reconciling with as Isis had named. That was the plan before school ended.
Faith was the first on her list, as she knew full well the devout girl was more scared of her than anything else. She already had a plan on how to get the girl to trust her a bit more than normally.
It wasn’t hard to find her, as every morning she was always in a lonely corner near in the back of the library, reading something or another that had to do with her beliefs. The area was quiet that school morning for apparent reasons. Furia walked softly till she arrived at her destination, finding the religious girl reading deeply into a large book.
“Faith,” she said, startling the girl. She looked up, having not noticed her till she announced herself.
“Wha- uh- Furia?!” she mumbled, seemingly confused by her presence. “I’m sorry, you scared me.” It was quite obvious that she was still scared around Angron’s daughter, but didn’t say so.
“Not sure how. This place is so quiet I can hear the entire room,” Furia commented, and Faith could only nod silently. “So, you have a moment?”
“About what?” Faith asked, actually curious on why her angry cousin would be talking to her so early in the morning.
“Well, I just came by to make a truce really.”
“A truce?” Faith repeated, a bit surprised by the notion,
“Yeah. I’m figuring out lately that this hatred between us is just stupid. I don’t want that feeling around anymore. You are family so I’m going to try to be nicer, alright?”
Faith stared at her for several moments. “I’m sorry to say I don’t really believe you.”
“Well, shit,” Furia commented in return. She actually didn’t expect that response at all. “Why not?”
“You are really asking? With our history, you are probably just trying to plan out a huge prank on me, starting by making me trust you. I need some proof of this change of heart.”
Furia grumbled for a moment before responding. “Alright, what do you want me to do?” she asked, ready for anything.
Faith thought for a moment then nodded. “Stop freaking out if I talk to Simon.”
Furia paused, then grinned at her. She could live with that. “Fine. You can talk to Simon and I promise I won’t get mad.”
The smaller girl stood up and brought her arm forward. “Shake on it?”
Furia stared at the smaller hand and grasped it tightly. She shook it carefully, showing full well that she could hurt Faith right now, but chose otherwise. The entire event didn’t last more than ten minutes, yet Furia left with feeling successful overall.
Victoria was next on her list. She knew this one wouldn’t be easy as they both had a long history of dislike between them. Unlike Hana though, their hatred was non-physical, so there was no worry of having to watch out for a sudden fight.
However, Furia still wanted nothing more than to spit on her perfection. The girl infuriated her like no other with her high class attitude and insane hatred for anything out of order. It was quite obvious why the two never agreed on anything with them being exact polar opposites.
So confronting her without having to smash her head into the wall was going to be challenging. Yet Furia had to endure for her own sake. Like Faith, Victoria was quite easy to find, as her schedule rarely changed from the well timed perfection she had created.
Furia waited patiently in the girl’s bathroom on the fifth floor by the vending machines. It was always the same one, right after lunch had started. Few girls would use this one at the time, so Victoria always chose it for the best place to apply her makeup and take care of private businesses.
Leaning against the wall, she sighed as she counted down the seconds to the fifth minute of the hour. Exactly on time, the tall blonde girl walked in, not noticing Furia at first. The girl was exactly the same as always, the skirt a bit too high, the shirt buttons undone way to low. Jewelry flashing and makeup untouched, the blonde girl still found something wrong as she inspected herself in the mirror, opening her hand bag.
Then Victoria paused and turned slowly to notice Furia standing by the door. The two stared for a moment, neither moving a muscle as they both realized the sudden tension in the room.
“Is this how I die?” Victoria asked her finally. Furia almost fell over flat at the statement, unsure if she should laugh or comply with the request.
“Not today Vic. As much as I want to though, things between us need to change,” Furia told her.
“Change?” her cousin asked her, and she nodded.
“I don’t know if you had the time to notice with your busy schedule and all, but I’m different nowadays. I want this hatred between us to end, alright?” Furia answered.
Victoria looked her over and laughed, hysterically. The laugh was so loud and high pitched, Furia’s urge to run her head into the walls was growing. It lasted for a while when finally it stopped abruptly. “No.”
“I was hoping you’d under- what?” Furia said, realizing what her cousin had told her.
“No. You see, our hatred for each other is perfect. Polar opposites, forever dueling. Me, the high class princess. You, the low class ruffian. A constant struggle. I enjoy the fights we have. I really do.”
Furia paused at that, seemingly a loss of words. “Victoria, you are a strange one.”
“Me? Strange? You are the one who dresses like a boy and likes to fight. I act like a girl with our noble background. How am I the strange one?”
Thinking it over, she realized how true the statement was. They were both weird to each other, just polar opposites of a common conflict. “So you enjoyed our fighting because it is perfect? Isn’t that a bit... masochistic?”
Victoria shrugged. “Maybe, but I found it just to be friendly banter between the two of us.”
Once again, Furia was a loss of words. The truth of the relation the two of them had was almost too much for her to handle. Instead, she came back to the point. “Well, it doesn’t matter anymore. I don’t want to fight anymore. This perfection is stopping right now.”
She instantly frowned, clearly unpleased with the proposal. “That’s just plain wrong. Will you at least tell me why?”
Furia paused, feeling she owed her that much. “I’m being medicated to control my anger. I can’t hate you if I tried.”
They shared a look before Victoria groaned. “Well, that sucks.”
“Tell me about it,” Furia muttered as she opened the door to the bathroom and left.
The last cousin she needed to confront was the one she was most worried about doing so. Not that she was afraid in any way, but the history between the two was long and bloody. Indeed, telling Hana that she didn’t want to fight wasn’t going to end well. Best case was looking like she would walk away with a bloody nose. Furia didn’t even want to think about the worst case at the moment.
And unlike her other cousins, Hana was crafty. Years of rivalry and feuds had resulted in making them wary of each other and hard to pinpoint at any time in particular. So for Furia to find Hana, Furia had to force Hana to show up.
Not hard to do, as Furia figured the best way was to hit her where it mattered. It didn’t take long for Hana to come running as she sat on her bike, looking bored as she waited for her to finally show up.
“FURIA!” she shouted in the empty parking lot, clenching her fists in fury. Furia could note the muscles bulge under the leather jacket, figuring that maybe a bloody nose was very optimistic.
She stood up from the bike and backed away as Hana tried to close the distance. “I needed to get your attention. I wanna talk.”
Hana stopped and stared at her with angry eyes. “Talk? You don’t ‘talk’” she proclaimed.
Furia shrugged. “Well, I’ve changed if you haven’t notice. I don’t fight anymore.”
“Yeah, I heard the rumors. Furia’s no longer the fury of the school. A docile pup. Shadow of her former self. I think its bullshit.”
Furia raised an eyebrow at that. “I don’t know what you are talking about,” she lied, trying to be innocent.
“Don’t be coy, Furia. I know you’re planning something. I know you better than you know yourself.”
Furia was actually surprised at that statement. Hana was pretty much right, as she was planning her escape from everything. Probably not what Hana was expecting but still had an idea.
“Well, I guess you really don’t. I’m not going to fight you anymore. I want peace between us, alright? None of this bullshit immature fighting.” She raised her arm forward and smiled. “Shake on it?”
Furia was on the floor a second later as Hana smashed her in the jaw with her fist. She saw the attack coming, but did nothing to dodge it, letting it hit her. Hana had moved slow enough for her to be able to dodge it, so if it did strike home, it was her own damn fault. She could taste the blood from her mouth, realizing that she had guessed wrong. It was a busted lip, not a bloody nose.
“Stop lying. You and your bullshit won’t fool me! Now get up and fight me!”
Furia looked up at her and shook her head. “No,” she said simply.
“Get up!’ Hana yelled again. She would fight honorably, even against someone like Furia. It would usually be a downfall of hers, but some part of Furia respected her decision to do so.
“I don’t want to fight anymore. This shit stops now,” Furia responded.
“Why?” Hana yelled point blank at her.
Furia sighed. “I’m medicated Hana. My anger is non existent, alright?”
“I already know that,” she blurted to her. Furia stared at her. “I knew since the second day. I asked my dad about it and he told me, telling me to keep it a secret. So why you are still taking the damn things is beyond me.”
Furia was surprised with that sudden new information. “If I don’t, I end up in jail.”
“But this isn’t who you are. This isn’t Furia. You should rather fight in glory then become this weak willed coward.”
The words struck home as Furia looked at her cousin. It was incredible revealing to her that the only one who understood her was her biggest rival. Hana was the only one who knew how she felt, and that made her feel a bit better. She sat on the cement floor, looking up at her. “I know. And I will. But not now, and not here.”
Hana didn’t move as both shared a moment of silence in the parking lot. “So this truce is part of this plan?” she asked her eventually. Furia nodded slowly.
“I can’t tell you. And you shouldn’t tell anyone about this either,” Furia told her.
“Your secret is safe with me,” Hana muttered as she looked down at Furia. “But when this is all over, we will have one more fight, alright?”
Furia nodded slowly and Hana walked away, leaving the redhead to her thoughts.
Somehow, she had managed to get her cousins in her favor, so there were two things left for Furia to do. One was to tell Simon, which she planned to do two weeks before she left. She already had an idea on how that would end.
The other was probably the most important. This she came up with on her own, so not even Isis knew about it as it could risk the entire plan. But somehow, Furia had to do this. She had to go see her grandfather.
Talking to Gramps
There were few things that actually inspired Furia. One such example was listening to music, which turned out to be a great motivator for her. Watching people fight was another, as she enjoyed the fluidity that came along with it. But there was only one thing that she had seen that would constantly make her stand in awe: the Imperial Palace.
She had come and gone from the place multiple times, yet every time she would see it in a new light. Something would be different that would make her stare a bit longer than normal. So as she was escorted down the hallway into the inner sanctums, she enjoyed the walk with the Custodes warrior as she looked at the new wonders put into place.
“The Emperor is as always quite busy, so he will not be able to see you immediately. Even for family.”
“I know,” Furia responded. “I can wait, it’s not a problem.”
The guard nodded as they arrived to a secluded waiting room. It was a special area where only the most important of VIPs would wait for an audience. It was well furnished with seats and tables and there was a well stocked bar nearby, offering many different varieties of food and drink.
“I can not give you an estimate for his arrival,” the guard told her.
“Well, I guess I won’t be leaving anytime soon then.” Furia plopped down onto a nearby chair and leaned back. The guard bowed slightly and left, leaving her alone in the room.
An hour passed as she lied on the couch, all alone to her thoughts. She kept repeating what she would say in her head, thinking it over carefully as this would be one of the riskiest conversations she would ever have in her lifetime. She needed to be ready for anything.
Thankfully, she didn’t wait long before the main entrance to the Emperor’s area swung open. Out of the two people that came out, she only recognized one. The one she didn’t know seemed to be an Imperial Navy Admiral from the uniform he wore. The man seemed quite old, with a synthetic red eye and a long white beard. His face was scared and wrinkled, leaving very few appealing features. Yet he walked with a certain determination in his step, as if he was a young man ready to fight. Although he might look old, he was young in spirit.
And beside him was her grandfather, seemingly hiding his features as always. Furia had never seen him in his true form, having manipulated his image for years to look like an elder old man. She had grown accustomed to him being like this, enjoying how normal he looked compared to the rest of his family. If anyone could have been deemed to be mortal and average, the Emperor was the one who pulled it off the best amongst all of them.
They were in mid conversation as Furia watched from the side, not interrupting out of respect. They seemed so heated in the argument that they didn’t even notice the red headed teenager, or maybe they did and weren't worried about her hearing anything.
“Lord, we should act now before it is too late. If the Orks are really coming for the Void Walks, then we should prepare the fleet to move before we are left with a system in chaos.”
The Emperor raised his hand to him and nodded sagely. “I understand Rear Admiral Kurk. I just want to be certain of this fact before I send the full might of the Legions to war. If our intelligence would be wrong this time, I know that some of my sons will react slower next time we have an urgent request.”
The Admiral sighed, nodding in agreement. “Of course my Lord. I will send forth the traders to scout out the area once more for further proof of the green skins.” He saluted sharply, seemingly unaware of his age as he did it like a young warrior.
Her grandfather returned the gesture before the admiral left, not even noticing Furia as he walked off in a hurry. And then the two of them remained.
The Emperor’s gaze fell upon her and she knew what he was doing. He sighed briefly as he waved at her. “Come with me, Furia. We have much to talk about.” She remained silent as she walked up beside him, both moving down the hallway to his inner sanctum. “It is good to see you,” he told her.
“Thanks gramps. It is nice to see you too.”
He put his arm on her shoulder as they arrived to his main room. “I wish you had come with better tidings.” He opened the door and let her in.
She smiled at him. “Yeah, me too.”
If anyone thought that the Emperor, ruler of the Imperium, would live a lavish lifestyle above all else, then they were wrong. Furia had been in this room a couple times and it had never changed. It was a simple office, mostly filled with holograms and computer screens. There was little luxury to be seen and most of it was in the two chairs reserved for dignitaries. Even the Emperor’s ‘throne’ was built for practicality than actual comfort, as it was surrounded by screens and electronics that were beyond her understanding.
“Take a seat,” he told her and she complied as she sat down in one of the two available. Her grandfather walked around his desk and sat down on the throne, pushing some papers around as he leaned back. They stared at each other for several moments, taking each other in when Furia finally broke the silence.
“How much do you know?” she asked him.
He cleared his throat as he began. “Quite a bit. I have known for a while now. I always knew we would have this conversation, I just didn’t know when. To be honest, you beat most of my expectations.”
“You saw this coming? I didn’t know you were a fortune teller,” she jested.
He laughed, a deep chuckle that would always make her feel a bit better. “You don’t get into my position without planning ahead. But I think you already know that.” He leaned forward and extended his hand, grasping her own on the table. It was warm and calmed her down about the entire situation. “Don’t be afraid. I already saw this coming a while ago and thought much of it through. I should have adjusted my estimations when you began taking the medication.”
“What do you think about that?” she asked him.
He shook his head slowly. “I wish it hadn’t come to it, as it closed many options that were available for you to take. In a sense it did force you down this path. When do you plan on leaving?”
She went frigid, realizing that he indeed knew everything. She wondered how good of a chess player he was. He smiled. “I’m better than Isis, that’s for sure.” She nodded slowly as she answered his question, still feeling strange with him using his powers and all.
“During the first week of college. I plan on taking one of the transports, not yet decided which. I came here for two reasons, and one was to tell you.”
“Why?” he asked her.
She bit her lip for a moment as she smiled weakly. “Cause I actually trust you to let me do this. If you would think otherwise then I would stop immediately. In a sense, I want your opinion.”
He sighed deeply. “With your father, I had always felt that I had done things wrong. Mainly, that I was out of sync with my timings. I was either too late to react, or too early to do it properly. Your father had always been the difficult one to understand, and it took me awhile to do so. I won't make the same mistake with you.”
“Again, I saw this coming for some time. You are like him in many ways and can not remain still against certain injustices that you feel are upon you. I might not totally agree with this course of action, but I won’t stop you.”
“What should I do then, if not run away from this?” she asked him, a bit angered that he wasn’t totally on her side on things.
“Again, you are like your father. While others would plan for years, he would run ahead and get the job done directly. Anyone else who would do the same would fail, yet he would succeed. It's not a matter of what I would do, but what you can do.”
She nodded, understanding his logic to some extent. “Alright, I guess the plan’s on. But I came here for another reason as well.”
He nodded once more. “Go on.”
“Well, I need a destination if I leave. I won’t enjoy just wandering around the galaxy without a goal in the end. And I figured to go the one place I have never heard about: my homeworld.”
The emperor didn’t move as he stared at her with unblinking eyes. She felt a bit nervous as he stared at her. “I don’t know anything about my planet. My father’s planet. Anything about my people or their ways... maybe they could help me with my issues in ways I can’t here. Or maybe I could fit in with them if they are anything like my father.”
The room went mostly silent except for the machines. Furia wondered what she had said wrong to make her grandfather so quiet, but eventually he did respond.
“I recommend you go elsewhere. There is nothing to be seen on your homeworld,” he told her. This surprised Furia quite a bit as she was quick to speak again.
“What? Why?!” she asked him, clearly annoyed by the answer.
“Your homeworld is not worth seeing. It is nothing more than a shell of its former self, filled with rage and anger. You would learn nothing there that would be noteworthy.”
Furia’s arm began to shake slowly, and she clenched her fists to control herself. “No,” she blurted out. “No, you are wrong. What is it called? Where is it?” she ordered him, suddenly becoming very daring in her requests.
He sighed, and this time he seemed very much tired. He rubbed his eyes and looked at her. Furia could see a deep sadness staring at her, and she knew there was more to this then she could imagine.
“You will regret this choice,” he whispered. Sitting back for a moment, he muttered a single word. “Nenavist.”
“Say again?” she asked him, doing her best to listen.
“You will find out about your homeworld on Nenavist. The truth of your past is there.”
Furia stood up suddenly. “Nenavist,” she muttered to herself, as if the word had taken over her very being. “Thank you.”
He nodded slowly. “I am sorry Furia, you must go now. I have much to take care of.”
She didn’t take it as being rude, but felt like there was sorrow in her grandfather’s soul at the moment. Without another word, she left him to his own devices, suddenly very curious about what he meant.
The last task for Furia was possibly the hardest for her. Not because she expected a stubborn wall, a fight or a risky conversation. It was because it would cause her as much pain as she was about to inflict.
School had long since ended and summer had also gone by. Furia had passed her classes and easily got into Kourtney, so phase one and two of the plan were complete without any problems. Phase three was only two weeks away, as she would be leaving with Isis to get to the college grounds early and check the place out before the actual semester started. Unlike her, Isis was actually going to be attending her courses, so she needed to prepare.
All this did for Furia was give her less time. But the truth was she was delaying it long enough over the past couple months. Simon needed to know what she was doing. She had prepared herself for days, asking Isis to check her clothes for bugs in case the Treasury was still looking out for her. As her cousin found none, she guessed they had finally begun to believe that she had changed.
So on that fair Sunday morning, months after she had nearly killed someone, Furia drove into the Henderson’s driveway and parked her car. She sat behind the wheel for several minutes, trying to control her emotions as she began to figure out the best way to tell Simon the bad news. She had been trying to plan this day for a while now, but couldn’t come up with a way to tell him that she was going away.
Finally growing tired of sitting around and doing nothing, she opened the door and stepped out. It was a near shock to her to see Simon at his door, coming outside at the same time. They looked at each other and he smiled at her. “I was wondering if you were going to come in,” he said as he approached the redhead.
She nodded, her face blank as she tried to control herself. “Yeah, just have a lot on my mind, that's all.”
“Me too,” he started, seemingly pleased. “I figured out there’s a regular transport between New Cyprine and Kourtney, so we can visit each other while we are studying.”
Her heart sank as she took deep breaths. Simon noticed her sudden change in behavior and put a hand on her arm. “You alright?” he asked her.
“No, Simon. I’m feeling like shit really,” she answered, not sure how to tell him.
“Want to come inside? Is it the pills again?” he asked her, very concerned as always.
She had never felt as horrible as she did right now. She could feel her muscles clench, her heart beating quickly, her breaths ragged in general. The tension grew until it finally snapped.
“I’m going away,” she spat out. She gasped for air as she stared at Simon.
He looked at her, clearly surprised by that statement. “Yeah, you are going to Kourtney. I know,” he told her, unsure of what she meant.
“No, I'm not. Well I will be, but not for long.” She was confusing herself as she grabbed her hair and shook her head. Letting go she grabbed him and held him with both her arms. “I’m going to run away once I get to Kourtney. I'm leaving Terra.”
Simon stared at her blankly as it fell upon him. He said nothing as Furia continued. “I can’t stay here anymore. The pills are going to end me, and I am not ready to give up that easily. Not without a fight.”
“So you are going to run away from your problems?” Simon blurted out. He sounded a bit angry, a part of him Furia had never seen.
“I can't stay here. I can't live this fake life,” she answered him.
He shook his head. “I can't believe you are saying this. Furia, this is a bad idea. No, this is stupid. You are going to get caught immediately. You think they’re gonna let someone like you get away with this?”
“I’d rather try than become a zombie, Simon. Even if it fails and I end up in a prison, I’d rather try.” She used her sterner voice, trying to show him she wasn’t about to back down.
“Damn it Furia! Why! Why can’t you just wait to see if it will just get better? Why won’t you wait?” She began to grind her teeth as he continued. “They can make this better. Maybe you should just ask to take a break, look for a better solution. Why do you want to be so drastic?!”
A second later, she yelled at the top of her lungs, a voice she hadn’t used in a long time.
“Cause I don’t want to fucking hurt you anymore!”
Simon seemed stunned as he stared at her. His legs gave away as he sat down on his driveway, clearly not able to stand at the moment. She slipped down beside him and hugged him, holding him close to her.
“Listen, alright,” she whispered quietly into his ear, whimpering herself. “You don’t wait for me anymore. You go on with your own life. You find someone normal and without shitty problems. You live your life without me Simon, cause I might never come back, okay?”
He didn’t say anything to her as he just sat there. She kissed him on the cheek and stood back up, feeling very ill. Backing to her car door, she fumbled with the handle, her hands unable to coordinate with her under the stress. Tears streamed down her face as she couldn’t handle it anymore.
From beside her, a steady hand grabbed her wrist. She turned and saw Simon up behind her, staring. Tears flowed from his eyes but he did not whimper. His face was steady as he looked at her.
“Just promise me you’ll be careful, alright?”
She nodded, knowing there was no way for her to be sure of such a fact. But she was going to try her best to stay out of trouble, for him at least.
She opened the door and slipped inside her car. Looked at her window, Simon had backed off and waved goodbye, clearly shaken from the entire conversation. She waved back as she lifted off from the driveway.
It was the last time Furia would see Simon before she left.
The last two weeks passed before her trip passed quickly. Before she knew it, Furia sat on a transport ship bound for Kourtney college. The school was exactly as she imagined it to be: dull, boring and filled with rich snobby kids. The same as Imperator, only for higher education. Isis was nearly jumping with joy at the possibilities ahead of her while Furia looked on, clearly not displeased with her choice of running away.
She had somehow been accepted into the physiotherapy department. The irony of the situation was not lost on her, as she was someone more likely to cause of injuries than to help them heal. It didn’t matter, since her classes were a week away and she was planning on leaving way before then.
Just as she expected, they weren’t exactly alone. The Treasury had come along, teaching them on how to react if there was a security breach and new plans of actions in case of emergencies. In fact, the day she had chosen to leave was the exact day that the Treasury was out in force, swarming the school in preparation of the semester. With these many bodyguards around, the plan was more likely to fail than ever before. It was so crazy it had to work, just because it would become the most embarrassing situation for the Treasury since the Morticia shooting.
“Where’s Isis?” the Treasury officer beside her asked as they walked to the nearby dorm rooms. Furia shrugged, clearly not pleased with having an officer on her back.
“I don’t know John. Do I look like her fucking mother?” she spat at him.
He shook his head. “No ma’am. It’s Jim, by the way.”
She didn’t care what his name was as they arrived to the female dorm, clearly titled on the entrance. They stood at the door as Furia turned to him. “Lemme go check if she is in the room, alright?”
“I’ll come with you, Lady Furia. We have to hurry for the next scheduled meeting.”
“You are going to follow me into the female dorm?” Furia asked him, clearly surprised by his devotion to his duty.
Without skipping a beat, he nodded. “Lead the way ma’am.”
Furia groaned as she opened the door, leading the male officer inside. Every girl they passed looked at them strangely, realizing a moment later who the redhead was. Furia could only grumble harder until they arrived at her room. Opening the door, it was clearly empty. “Guess she ain’t here,” Furia muttered, walking inside.
“Ma’am?” the officer asked behind her.
“I got to take a piss. Stay out here, understood?”
The man nodded as Furia closed the door behind her. As time went by, Jim began to feel the heat of his situation as he suddenly realized how many young girls were walking by. He wondered if following Furia into the complex was the right choice. His relief came when Isis came down the hallway to the distressed officer. “Ma’am, I am so happy to see you,” he announced to her.
“What are you doing here?” she asked him sternly, clearly not pleased with his presence in such an area.
“Lady Furia is inside for over ten minutes now. She said she had to use the bathroom.”
Isis sighed as she moved to the door and opened it. “I’ll take a look.” She disappeared inside, leaving the door half open. A couple seconds later, Jim heard a loud thump behind the door. His training kicked in as he suddenly felt like something very wrong was happening. Without any hesitation, he walked in immediately, wondering what was taking so long with the two girls. He was so busy trying to figure out what was the proper procedure in an emergency that he didn’t notice an angry fist towards him.
With a solid hit, the man was knocked out instantaneously and fell to the floor, landing hard on his face. Furia seethed above him, grinded her teeth in victory. “That’s what you get!” she growled at the unconscious guard as she towered over him.
Isis moved quickly to close the door, hoping not to gather any more attention from the hallway. “You really need to learn to be more discreet,” she told her, but knew it fell on deaf ears.
“Fuck that,” Furia replied to her, smiling devilishly. “I’ve been wanting to do that for months now. Damn it feels good to be back to normal.” Ever since she had left Hive Tetra, Furia had stopped taking the pills, having ditched them on the transport over. She was clean for nearly three days now could feel the changes, knowing that she wasn’t at her full potential yet.
Along with her focus came her anger. Furia was raging like never before, a constant stream of adrenaline pumping through her veins. It was as if she had built a dam against such sensations for a while now and it suddenly burst outwards. Now was the time to act.
“You take care of him. I got to prepare.” Before Isis could ask what she meant, Furia disappeared into the bathroom. The black haired cousin knelt down beside the large man. Grabbing a vial in her pocket, she dabbed some on a handkerchief and put it over the man's mouth. The drug would knock him out for a good half hour, leaving them to continue on without him intervening.
Standing up, she heard some buzzing from the bathroom and wondered what Furia was doing inside. She noted a small bag nearby and figured it was something her red headed cousin had prepared for the trip. It was small enough that Isis began to wonder if Furia had indeed collected everything she needed.
The buzzing ended a couple minutes later, making Isis turn to the door. As Furia appeared out of the bathroom, she realized what her cousin had done. She could only stare in surprised at her cousin's sudden change.
“Your hair...” she whispered. Furia had shaved off all of her red hair, leaving her with a smooth skull.
“You like it? Cause I sure do.” She brushed her hand over her clean head. “Not sure why I haven't done this before. It feels so strange, but I like it.”
“Okay, that’s not a bad idea, but you are going to need to do more than that. Once they see all the hair in the bathroom, they will figure out you are bald.”
“Got it covered Icy,” she said as she opened her bag and dug inside. A second later, Furia produced a fake blond wig and put it on her head. “Am I pretty like Victoria now?”
“Hardly,” Isis replied. “But it’s a start.”
“Yeah, I’ll be using this after to throw them off my scent. I also got one more disguise for later, not here.” She put the wig away and nodded at her taller cousin. “Thanks Isis. For everything.”
“Yeah, well don't fuck up. I put a lot of work into this.”
Furia grinned at her. “I know, that's why I got you a present.” She took off her leather jacket and handed it to her. “Keep this safe, alright?”
Isis gingerly picked up the heavy piece of clothing and nodded. As roughed up as it was, Isis realized how much the jacket was like Furia. Outwardly rough, but alright on the inside. She wasn't going to let anything happen to the piece of clothing. “Yeah, don't worry about that. You got everything you need?” Isis pointed to the bag by the wall. Furia picked it up with one hand and nodded.
“Yeah. Just the essentials, you know? Don’t need to travel with a lot of stuff. Also, some cash to survive for a bit. Untraceable, just like you said.”
“That’s good. Speaking of which, here,” Isis reached into her pocket and produced a set of papers. “The ticket for the trip out, bought with your new name and the fake identification papers that you need to get around. Totally valid for where everywhere that matters, and anywhere else... you got your fists for that.”
Furia chuckled at that as she put the papers in one of her pockets. They paused, realizing there wasn't much else to say. They were nearing the end of their time together as Furia had to leave soon. “How long will the drug last?”
“A half hour, maybe more. Not sure in the end.”
“Good. I need you to do something for me.”
Isis looked at her cousin and nodded. “Anything.”
“Keep track of Simon, just so he doesn’t do anything stupid, alright?” Secretly, Furia was worried that her actions might have thrown him into a depression, and she was worried that she would return one day to find out he killed himself.
Isis nodded slowly. “Yeah, I’ll be sure to keep tabs on him. You should be more worried about yourself.”
Furia grinned. “Bah, I’ll be fine,” she boasted.
“You better. Cause if you one day end up coming back in a coffin, I’ll...” Isis paused, her voice cracking at the end. She spoke softly as she continued. “I’ll never forgive myself Furia.”
Furia stepped forward and placed a comforting hand on her cousin’s shoulder. She knew that it was tough for her cousin to be helping her with everything else going on. With Morticia recently being shot, Julius having gone through a war and the possibility of Furia ending up getting killed herself, she was doing pretty good holding herself together in public. Still, Furia knew how hard it must be for Isis to be helping the redhead.
“I’m coming back,” Furia stated firmly. She was beginning to believe it herself.
Isis nodded firmly a moment later, back in control of her emotions. “So what’s next?” she asked her, closing her eyes as she took a deep breath, holding back the tears.
“Well, for one I am sorry.” Isis was about to ask for what, but as she opened her mouth she got face full of her own handkerchief. It took a moment for the drug to take effect, but just like the guard she toppled over. Furia immediately grabbed her carefully as she slumped into her arms, dragging her to the nearby couch and laying her down. She looked down at Isis and sighed. “Sorry,” she muttered.
She reached into her bag and opened it. Inside, she took out a single envelope. It was for her father. Laying it on her sleeping cousin, she backed off and clenched her teeth. She left an instant later, no longer any doubt or hesitation in her mind.
The school was busy, even if the semester hadn't started yet. Plenty of new and old students were walking around the campus, enjoying the sights of the coming year.
On a nearby rooftop however, a Treasury sniping team laid in surveillance, watching over the sprawling grounds with keen vision. A half dozen in total, the snipers were elite marksman, trained to look after the daughters with their expert capabilities, or their lives if it came down to it.
“Still no sign of them. They’re late,” the team’s captain said over the intercom, clearly displeased with the situation.
With the sun beating down on them, they waited patiently for the escort and the two daughters to emerge from the dorm. All the guards looked over the crowds carefully, making sure that there wouldn't be a repeat of the Morticia Incident. Many protocols had changed since then, and the Treasury wasn’t ready for another horrible incident so soon after another.
Corporal Filam was watching the east wing of the dorm, the other entrance of the building for any suspicious activity. It was hard, as all he could see was beautiful young woman going in and out of the large structure. Filam brushed over their faces quickly, but it was difficult for him to not stop and admire each and everyone one.
For example, one with a hoodie on just came out of the entrance. He zoomed in carefully, getting a quick look of the girl face, hidden under the hood of her clothes. She looked amazing because of her striking features. A part of him thought he had seen someone like her. Most probably in his dreams. He looked over the fine curves of the girl for a moment longer, remarking that she had an amazing body.
“Corporal!” screamed a voice in his ear. “Last I checked, we are paying you to watch over Royalty, not the locals! Get back to work!”
“Yes sir!” Filam responded to his captain, zooming back out and looking for new targets.
Furia didn’t have a tough time getting to the starport. There was a public transit system that ran continuously all day between the school and the port, so it was easy enough for her to get there. The monorail was exceptionally quick and always on time, so she arrived within a few minutes to her destination: the departures lounge.
This section, like the dozen like it, was enormous yet highly organized. There were over two dozen levels, each with several landing pads for shuttles to take passengers to their ship. Every level had shuttles meant for one or two ships in orbit, so it was all a matter of what level she needed to be on.
However, it was time to change her disguise a bit. Finding a bathroom nearby, she slipped inside. She made sure that the room was empty before going to work. She didn’t mind having people around, but all it would do was cause more commotion than she wanted.
Locking the door from the inside, she breathed deeply in front of the mirror. With a quick motion, she punched herself in the face. The force of the attack sent her backwards into a stall as she struggled to stay up. Shaking the dizziness away, she got back to her spot and repeated the action.
After several more tries, she had successfully bruised her face to the point where it would be difficult to recognize her in general. Grabbing the blond wig from her bag, she put it on and adjusted it to look as roughed up as she did. The effect was good enough for the moment, as this would delay finding her for even longer.
She unlocked the door and waited inside. The flow of traffic resumed as people came and went for the next couple of minutes. Some paused to look but didn’t bother her with the angry stare she was giving them. After several minutes, she felt enough traffic had passed to make it difficult to pinpoint her on the cameras. Washing the blood away from her face, she walked out with the wig on, slipping back into the crowd easy enough. People were so much in a hurry that most didn’t even notice her bruised face.
She grabbed the tickets that Isis gave her from her pocket and figured out where she needed to go. She was thankfully in the right departure tower and had to only go up to the seventh level to arrive at the transports. Walking up to one of the many gates on that floor, she waited in line for several minutes before it was her turn.
The man behind the counter looked up and noticed her bloody face, suddenly very worried. “You alright?” he asked her.
She nodded, sniffling slightly. “Just got into a fight with my boyfriend.” The thought of Simon hitting her crossed her mind and she had to try her best from laughing in front of the man.
“Maybe you should go to the infirmary,” the man suggested.
She shook her head. “No. I want to get back home as soon as possible. I just want to get away.”
The man sighed and nodded. “Alright, can I have your identification?” he asked.
Digging into her pocket, she took out the fake ID card that her cousin had given her and handed it over the solid metal counter. The man grabbed it and looked at the picture, then back at her. “You dye your hair often, Miss... Kate Gunnar?”
Furia froze for a second and nodded. “All the time. I like looking different every couple months.”
The man nodded slowly, as he tapped away at his computer. A couple seconds later, he handed back the card and the ticket and nodded. “Have a safe trip Ms. Gunnar.”
She smiled as she walked past, quickly looking at the identification card when out of view. She hadn’t even taken a gander at it when Isis had handed it over. The picture was based of her, but different in the end.
Isis had clearly changed the image a bit, taking away some of her striking features and blending them down to normal. She actually looked a bit average. The guard couldn’t note the features as they were currently bloody and bruised, so she got away for now. Her hair was still there, which Isis could not have foreseen her shaving off. Furia liked the name that her cousin had given her. Kate Gunnar. It fit her quite well.
Walking into the transport, she took a seat and relaxed for a moment. So far so good.
She arrived unto the ship soon after. The Moralis was an old transport vessel, made during the end days of the crusade to bring troops back home after years of fighting. Now it was used for smaller jumps, such as taking vacationing civilians from the galactic center to new worlds. Hopefully, from there Furia could continue her journey before they came looking for her.
She was assigned a cabin, a very small room that she had to share with three other people on the week long trip. Furia didn’t care, as long as she was going to get to her destination eventually. There was still a chance of failure remaining.
Looking at the time, quick calculations told her that Isis and Jim had woken up for over ten minutes and the search was probably on. There would be the initial confusion, where the nearby guards would wonder what had gone wrong and then realize that Furia has disappeared. A few more minutes where all the Treasury guards had been notified of the event and quickly begin searching the school grounds.
Video records would be examined in the meantime and a quick search of the room would tell them she had shaved her head with all the red hair in the bathroom. They would be able to follow the trail of cameras all the way to the starport. It would take them much longer to search through the crowds and follow her from there, especially with the new disguise she had from her trip to the bathroom.
Furia could only hope that it was enough to keep them busy for an hour. The vessel was supposed to leave at 1:00 PM sharp.
Making her way around the ship, she eventually arrived to one of the cafeterias on board. Here, many of the passengers seemed to have gathered to wait patiently for the ship to be off. She sat down on a table alone, burying her face patiently as she watched time go by on her watch.
All the doubt she had been holding back for months now resurfaced, as she suddenly began to worry about what was about to happen. She had figured to be caught soon enough, as the plan on the whole seemed crazy to begin with. Every person that walked by made her heart race faster. All she could think about was her father walking up with an angry look on his face, fists clenched in rage at her disobedience. She knew that if she was caught, it would be all over for her.
She was so caught up in her fears that she didn’t even notice the warp drives come to life. The hull of the ship shook briefly as an announcement came through the intercoms. It wasn’t until the shipped jumped that she realized what had just happened.
She was free.
“Where the fuck is my daughter?!”
The booming voice of Angron was deafening to the guards, and only two people nearby managed to keep their hearing. One was Isis, still a bit woozy from the drugs. She stood nearby and shook her head, feeling worse after hearing Angron yelling.
The other stood beside Isis, holding her with one large arm. Isis didn’t look up to her father. She could feel Horus staring at her, knowing that she had something to do with Furia’s disappearance.
It was 2 pm in the afternoon, nearly two hours after the royal member had disappeared. The two Primarchs had arrived only minutes beforehand from the hive. Horus remained as relatively calm, but Angron was swelling with rage as he shouted at the head Treasury officer in the area.
The poor man struggled to keep himself steady against the raging beast that was Angron. “We are searching as quickly as possible sir. She couldn’t have gone far.”
Horus whispered into her ear carefully. “What happened here?” he asked her.
“I came into the room and Furia ambushed and drugged me. The guard probably came running in right after hearing me fall and he was drugged too. I woke up a half hour later to find my cousin gone.” Looking down at her hands, Isis held the envelope and sighed. “I had this on me when I woke up. It is for you, uncle.”
Angron turned around and noted Isis holding up the small envelope. Walking over, he picked it up with one hand and somehow managed to rip it open without destroying its contents, even with his large hands.
Opening the letter inside, he quickly read it over, his eyes darting back and forth over the small text. His eyes widened at the end as he dropped his arms around him.
“No,” he muttered weakly, a sudden expression of defeat on his face. Isis had never seen him like this. Walking past the group of people, he gave her father the letter as he made his way back to the transport, seemingly uncaring of the current situation at all.
Horus looked over the letter and sighed, handing it down to Isis. “Keep searching,” he ordered the guards. Isis read the letter:
If things have gone according to plan, I am no longer on Terra. Months ago I found out what Xelaratin actually does to someone. I felt trapped in a world that I didn’t feel welcome. You of all people should understand that.
I’m not like the others. If I continued with the pills, I would become something entirely different. I’d hate myself. If I stopped taking the pills, I would probably shame us all and end up fighting the law. I chose the only way out.
Please understand that I don’t blame you for this, even if I feel like I should. This anger stems from you and what you have done, but I can’t blame you for what I do with my life. Maybe in time, I will come to control the fury within me. If not, I will die trying.
Don’t come looking for me.
There is a notion among most people in the Imperium that all ships have a beautiful names attached to them. As seen in holovideos throughout history, only true love can be found on such ships that travel the galaxy.
Wherever this romantic notion has come from is obviously false. This is blatantly apparent for anyone who has seen the prison vessel called the Gradgral. No love has ever been found within the many cells of this ship. In general, the Gradgral is a horrible looking vessel. It was old, and most would decide its time had come and passed long ago but somehow it managed to barely live.
Out of a population of a thousand souls on board the Gradgral, only a fifth weren’t prisoners. Most of that were naval officers and mechanics, leaving only eighty Arbites in charge of eight hundred prisoners.
Eight hundred prisoners that were some of the worst in the entire Segmentum Pacificus. These criminals were too dangerous to keep on their home planets, either due to insufficient funding by the government to keep them jailed or too many of their friends to not bust them out of prison. It was then proposed to have prison ships roam from planet to planet, shuffling criminals around until their end days. Therefore, ten to one odds made it so that the guards had to be careful not to get swarmed by the maniacs.
Thankfully, being on a ship made things easier. Choke points were strategically created to ensure that the most vital parts of the ships would not be easy to take, even with numbers. As well, all systems on the Gradgral needed voice and DNA authentication, making it hard to take control of the ship with force. Finally, with the ship being in space most of the time, there wasn’t much to escape too other than an air lock to vacuum, so most prisoners didn’t try anything funny.
All these defenses meant little to stop actually gang fighting. It was quite common for the prisoners to kill one another over rivalries and blood feuds. Although the average person in the Imperium would not care if the criminals killed one another, this wasn’t how the Imperial Lords saw it. Every prisoners’ soul belonged to the Imperium, and only the Imperium decides when they die.
This made it so that the captains couldn’t lose a certain percentage of their cargo per tour without being fined or possibly court martialled. In the Gradgral’s case, out of 800 prisoners, only 100 were allowed to die without any inquires. The ship was in its third month out of a six month trip and so far 37 prisoners were killed. The officers found this well within their expectations.
This however put a strain on the guards most of the time, having to endanger their lives to protect those who forfeited their own. That is why when there was a stabbing of an important figure of the Croms gang, the Arbites were already prepared in the corridors when the first sign of fighting began.
Captain Dain stood in front of his squad, gripping his riot shotgun carefully as he awaited his orders to march. Behind him were a dozen men and woman under his command. The majority were veterans on the ship, having served with him for several years, so his trust in their skills was absolute.
They only had one rookie with them today, a young teenager having signed up three months ago when the tour started. Usually there was a whole procedure and training involved before being allowed to join the guards, but this new recruit had shown enough skill and courage that they made a special case for this one.
Dain felt that this was a mistake. There were so many unknowns when it came to the stranger. No background search, no way of knowing if there were any ties to the prisoners on board. Plus, she was a girl so it made her an obvious target. Indeed, Kate Gunnar was a total liability for him, but orders were orders.
As being the newbie, she stood beside him in her full battle gear. Thankfully, she wasn’t allowed a stun gun yet, so she sported the standard shock maul and shield. Even with her weapons and armor equipped, she seemed totally unburdened by the weight. He could see why with her being over six feet tall and well muscled for a female at her age. At least she wasn’t a total weakling.
“How are you holding up rookie?” he asked her, having to look up to the tall woman.
The young teenager turned her head and grunted. “Alright...sir,” she added at the end. It had taken awhile for her to get used to the idea of a chain of command, but she was catching on quickly enough.
He nodded slowly as he turned back to the closed steel door. “Just stick close to the group and we will cover you. What is this, your third riot so far?”
The teenager didn’t respond to him, and Dain could imagine she was at least a bit afraid. Or she was being annoyed by his constant questions. “Its kinda unlucky, you know? You are getting off at the next port and this shit comes into the way. Ain’t that warp?”
She still said nothing. He would’ve kept pushing for a response if his commanding officer didn’t radio in a moment later. “Something’s happening Dain. Get ready to move in, thirty seconds.”
The captain nodded as he spoke over the radio to his squad. “Get ready, twenty five till the doors open.”
He heard the sound of shotguns being cocked and shock mauls turning on from his squad. Behind the large steel gate, he could already hear shouting and some fighting, knowing that they would be walking into a fight quickly enough.
“Take em down quickly and move to the next target. Unless they are on the floor, they are asking of it, understood?” he told his squad. A unified shout was all he needed to hear. They were ready.
The gate in front of him lifted as light poured in from the other side. The sounds of fighting intensified as the door fully opened in front of them. As expected, it seemed that over a fifty prisoners in this area were fighting and things were getting worse by the moment.
“Move in!” he ordered and raised his shotgun to the closest target. He fired a moment later and stunned the man, downing him within a second. He turned to another target as the melee members of his squad moved forward, keeping the prisoners off the ranged arbites.
Four dozen guards had moved into the room in similar fashion. The response was immediate, as prisoners hated the guards more than they hated each other. The tide turned towards them as expected, and that is why people like Kate Gunnar stood in front of him with their shields while he shot them from afar.
What he didn’t expect was the new surge of prisoners from above. Although the fighting had started between the Croms gang and the Iggies, the Kefkas felt it was an obvious time to show the guards to stop meddling in their affairs. So when a new surge of sixty prisoners fell from the third floor above, Dain new shit was about to get real.
“Command, we have new targets appearing,” he shouted into his headset. “Seems like the Kefka’s want a piece of the action. Send in the-”
He was cut off when a Kefka fell on top of him from above. Dain fell over from the solid mass of man as he tried his best to wrestle his gun back. The prisoners, a large beefy man with a cybernetic eye, yelled at him wildly as he held on to the shotgun, prying it away from the captain.
He roared victoriously as he slammed the gun down on the man like a club, smashing the butt of the gun into his body repeatedly. Dain groaned from the attack, his armor only good against gun shots and knife wounds, not a blunt object. He could feel his bones breaking and wondered if this was how his career was going to come to an end, being beaten to death with his own gun.
His relief came when a shock maul slammed into the man’s ribcage, sending an electric current through his muscles. The man convulsed for a second before falling over beside Dain. Looking up, he noted that of all people in his squad, the rookie had come to save him.
Her helmet had fallen off in the fighting, showing the young woman’s face to the entire room. Her short hair whipped around as she looked for new targets. Dain had never seen such rage as Kate was portraying. With her eyes wide and teeth clenched, she looked as crazy as the prisoners in the room.
A prisoner charged from behind her, and Dain raised a hand to warn her of her impending doom. It seemed unnecessary as she turned around and slammed the face of her shield into the man’s body, sending him flying backwards. Another prisoner ran up and grabbed the shield, which she let go immediately. She immediately slammed her maul into the side of his leg and knocked him out.
One of the guards must have been downed as well, as another maul rolled up beside Kate’s feet. Picking it up with her free hand, she roared as she stepped forward, dual wielding the mauls into the mass of prisoners who dared face her.
Eventually, the prisoners began to back off from the angry teenager as she felled any challenger with exceptional ease. No one seemed to move as fast as she was, striking with such force to down even the largest of men. A group of ten prisoners stared at the angry brunette as she stepped forward, growling at them. They were stupefied and scared of the young woman, seemingly an entity of rage and fury unlike which any of them had ever seen. Another roar and she jumped forward into the mass, swinging her mauls in every direction.
As reserve guards came into the room from behind Dain, the fight began to subside as it swung back into their favor. He stood up with the help from one of his squadmates as he continued to watch the destruction that followed Kate Gunnar.
The riot was eventually pacified, after a further half hour of fighting. In total, 8 prisoners were killed, bringing the tally up to 45 deaths in total. As well five guards were injured, some that would take months to heal, two were dead. Somehow, the deaths of the guards did not count to the total.
Dain ached all over, but that didn’t stop him from completing his work. Indeed, he had reports to write, letters for the dead guards, check in with his commanding officer. As well, he had to take care of the rookie standing in front of him.
Indeed, everyone on the ship knew her as Kate Gunnar, a new recruit and apparently the hero from that day’s riot. Having felled over two dozen prisoners and saved the life of Captain Dain, her reputation had grown substantially. Yet no one knew her real name, one that would raise many questions about her past.
Indeed, Furia had kept the name her name a secret for obvious reason. If news got around that the a royal member, heiress of the World Eaters Legion, was travelling on one of the most dangerous ships in the segmentum, then it would be long before the Imperial dogs came chasing.
Only one year had passed since she had left Terra and she had changed since then. She was taller, beginning to look like a true primarch. She had grown in her strength, giving her more of a muscular look then what she had in high school. She didn’t have the mass that her uncles did, so she still kept her slim figure. From a distance, she looked like a girl, but as you got closer, you would need to be careful to treat her anything less than a fighter. She no longer dyed her hair red, keeping it to the natural brown she was born with.
Dain nodded as he finished filling out her request. “You sure about this Kate? Could use someone like you on the ship for much longer.”
She grunted. “Positive. I’m getting off at the next stop.”
Dain shrugged at her, not understanding. “From everything I remember, Nenavist is a shit hole. There are better ports you know.”
She shook her head at him. “Nenavist is what I signed up for. That was the agreement.”
“Yeah, I remember. Funny, I was going to refuse letting you go like this since it was so unconventional. Warp, you are a mystery to me Kate. But you saved my life today.” He signed the papers and handed them to the tall teenager. “The ship should be coming out of warp within a couple hours. Best of luck, Kate.”
The Forgotten World
As the captain had said, a couple hours passed before an announcement said they were close to their destination. Soon enough, the ship came out of warp and approached the planet she had long sought. Furia had been so excited for this moment that she had waited the remaining time in the transport shuttle, not wanting to miss leaving at all. She sat in the co-pilot's chair, her belongings were in a bag beside her, the same one she had when she left Terra a year ago.
She couldn’t believe that number. One year had passed since she had left her home. So much had happened since that she began to wonder what Terra was like now. Her thoughts eventually focused on the two people she wanted to talk to the most: Isis and Simon. She wondered how their lives had gone without her, hopefully better now that she was out of the way.
Indeed, one year of travelling the galaxy in search of her home planet. Without context, most people would assume she had taken her time, but this was far from the fact. Nenavist was a bitch to find. She had originally checked the Astropath department back on Terra, but no records could find a planet or system called Nenavist.
So for a better part of a year and half, she travelled blindly through the stars, jumping from ship to ship, port to port in search of a planet that might not even exist. For a while there, she imagined her grandfather had tricked her, giving her a false name in hopes of leading her off. Still, a part of her believed, and she was thankful she did.
It was only four months ago that the name Nenavist finally emerged as a location. It was apparently a new mining world near the border between Segmentum Tempestus and Pacificus. She had looked at the star charts in the area in detail and no Legion Homeworld was nearby. She wasn’t sure what that meant exactly, but it was a step forward after a single year.
Lights in the transport turned on as someone entered behind Furia. She turned her head and grinned at the young pilot who stared back at her.
“A bit early, aren't we?” he asked her as she stepped forward.
“Didn’t want to miss the shuttle down.” The man walked up and sat in the pilot chair beside her. He glanced at her quickly before returning his attention to the ship. Flipping some switches, she felt the floor beneath her shake as the shuttle came to life.
“Normally, I’d tell you to wait in the back, but I don’t mind having a cute girl sitting up front with me. Plus, I don’t want to give our cargo the chance to ogle you all the way down.”
“Cargo?” she asked him.
He nodded slowly as he continued to check out the controls. “Ten prisoners for labor down on Nenavist. The planet usually gets a shipment every couple of months to work the machines and such. If they carry out the remainder of their sentence in peace, they can live out the rest of their lives on the planet. Better than dying at the edge of an ork axe in a penal legion, in my opinion anyway.”
She nodded slowly, knowing how most criminals would be sent to penal legions if their crimes were unforgivable. This way, they would die for the glory of the Imperium. Three months on a prison ship would teach you much about how the system worked.
The pilot keyed the intercom on the ship as he spoke. “Command, am I clear to take off?”
Several seconds passed before an acknowledgement was sent. “You’re good to go S-244. See you in a bit.”
The shuttle began to shake harder as thrusters lifted the massive hulk upwards into the launch bay. A second later, the pilot pushed his joystick forward as the ship leapt forward out of the bay. It passed through the atmosphere field into vacuum, racing towards the planet below.
Furia looked through the small viewport eagerly. She had been searching for it for over a year now and, wondered what she would find on the surface below. The entirety of the ground was caked in red with small parts of black to break apart the uniformity. It looked almost like marble from so high above.
“What do you know about Nenavist?” Furia asked the pilot.
He shrugged. “It’s a shit hole really. Colonized just under two decades ago, Mechanicum had scanned a large amount of minerals available for mining. Set up shop soon after to send back a large quantity of materials for the forges in the core.” He tapped the screen. “I don’t know if you can understand any of this, but the planet is riddled with blast craters.”
She looked at him curiously. “Meteors?” she asked.
“Nope, this is weapons fire. Planet was bombarded a while ago before it was colonized. Looks like capital ship weapons too. I think a major battle took place here during the crusade.”
“How do you know something like that?” she asked him.
He grinned at her, feeling a bit confident. “I used to be a pilot in the navy. Flew bombing missions in the Void Walks against the orks.” Furia realized he meant the war just a year ago, during the time she had run away. Orks had invaded a trade lane deep in the Ultramarines backyard, having created much havoc in their wake. “Got my commissions and found out that I just didn’t enjoy Dakka jets on my ass. This job is nice and simple.”
She nodded slowly as she stared at the planet some more. Indeed, she could note a large amount of rock debris in orbit around the planet. She wondered who fought who, and who won in the end. Most likely them as they suddenly owned the area.
Her eyes picked up a shadow near the edge of the planet and pointed at it through the small windows. “What’s that?” she asked him.
Glancing over, he looked back at the many screens on his dashboard and nodded. “Another ship in orbit. Small, a frigate or destroyer. Imperial markings make it a navy ship.”
She felt a knot in her stomach form. A navy ship over the planet she was landing? She didn’t like that at all. Maybe it was a trap from her grandfather, having set her up to come here eventually to bring her back home. But it seemed kind of small to fetch her in the end.
“What kind of ship is it? Space Marine?” she asked quickly, wondering if this was a bad idea. A part of her wondered if it was a World Eater ship, in orbit of her possible homeworld, or a possible recruitment world near their the legion’s planet.
He chuckled at that suggestion. “Space marine? Warp no. That’s just a regular patrol ship. They make trips around the segmentum often enough to check out if everything is alright. Probably will be gone in a day or two after they’ve completed their paperwork.”
This calmed her down a bit as she leaned back into the chair, on the edge a moment ago. Still a chance it was a trap, but she had to try anyway. She had come so far for her to be scared off by one ship.
A second later they passed through the atmosphere, the shaking stopping soon enough as they clear their way down to the planet.
The pilot glanced at her, and his stare lingered. She frowned at him as he kept looking. “What?”
“You’re Kate Gunnar right? Hero from the riot a day ago?”
She smirked at that and looked away. “So what if I am?”
“Nothing. Just didn’t think a girl that took out so many prisoners would be so sexy.”
She shook her head. “You always hit on girls while flying?” she asked him.
“Hey, gets me out of the way of orks and into girls such as yourself.” He smiled even harder, and she could imagine he felt successful with his attempts of seduction.
“Get in my way and you’ll be losing that joystick,” she said.
He laughed at that as he approached the port up ahead. It was a large complex she could only assume to be the central port for the planet. It was a tall building with many landing pads on the side. The very architecture of the structure was a good telling that this was indeed a Mechanicum planet. It had no curves of any sort and did not seem aesthetically pleasing in any way.
“Well, listen. The Gradgral isn’t scheduled to leave orbit for another week. Transfer of additional prisoners, paperwork, refuelling. I got some time to spare while we are here. You wanna go to a bar and have a drink or two? My treat.”
She sighed as the shuttle came up towards the metal landing pad. Within seconds, the craft landed with ease even with the pilot looking at her the entire time. She had to admit that it was kind of impressive.
“No thanks. You seem too quick when it comes to your approach.” She grabbed her bag and got up, walking to the door. The pilot swung around in his chair as he left.
“Come on babe! I got plenty of fuel!” he yelled after her, but she didn’t stop as she made her way out.
The ship’s side door opened as a ramp pulled down to the surface. Immediately, Furia felt the intense heat and humidity of the planet. It felt like she had stepped into a sauna. She could feel herself sweating as she stepped down unto the cement landing pad.
She looked around the dusty area as she tried to find her way to the inside of the starport. Servitors walked up to the ship, sporting several tools and tubes for maintenance on the vessel. Making her way past them, she turned her head slightly as the back door of the shuttle opened. Out came several guards, pulling out the “cargo” of the ships. The large prisoners looked at her as she walked past them, growling at displeasure at their new home. She stared back for several seconds before looking away, not wanting to taunt them further. One fight was enough this week.
Up ahead she noted the open hatchway to the inside of the port, which she quickly jumped in to hide from the rays of the sun. The insides of the building were air conditioned, something Furia welcomed greedily as she stood for a moment, having a breather. Looking around her, she found herself in a large open room that clearly told her this was a mechanicum planet.
The ceiling was a web of tubes and wires, some dropped down to power the equipment in the room itself. The large majority of people in the room had at least one apparent augmentation. No one immediately noticed her entrance as the twenty or so workers of the facility scrambled around to their work. It was a couple minutes of her just standing at the side when eventually one of the augmented workers stopped and stared at her. She stared back, not backing off even with his two infrared eyes.
“What are you doing here?” he asked her rudely. His mechanical arm whirred at his side impatiently. Furia braced her sudden jolt of anger as she realized she wasn’t going to like the locals very much.
“I’m looking for the naval registry.”
“Why?” he asked immediately. She could imagine that this conversation was way too slow for him. She used this against him.
“Cause I want to look at it,” Furia growled slowly, taking her time with every word. His arm clenched, giving away his unhappiness with her slow response.
“Listen unenlightened, you don’t come in here with your damn requests. So why don’t you take that snotty attitude and shove it up you-”
“You! Stop harassing the girl!
It was lucky that someone else interrupted him, or Furia was about take his mechanical arm off and use it against him. From the side walked a red robed figure, clearly a techpriest. If it wasn’t for electronic female voice, Furia wouldn’t know that this one was a woman. It was hard to tell, as most of the figure was a collection of tubes and lights and mechanical appendages with instruments she could not recognize. Her head was hidden under the typical red robe that adepts of the Mechanicum wore.
“This is no way to treat a guest, no matter if they are blessed to be able to support the gifts of the Omnissiah or not.”
“My apologies priestess.” Without another word, the man bowed and backed off, returning to his duties. The priestess turned to Furia and nodded.
“I apologize for his behaviour. Some of the new recruits are a bit too devout for their own good. What brings you to the Nenavist colony?”
Furia was quick to the point, not in the mood for a lengthy conversation that would lead to them trying to induct her into their cult. “Where is the naval registry?”
“You came all this way to see our naval registry?” The electronic voice was strange to Furia who had never really been around tech priests in her life.
“How do you know I travelled here?” Furia asked suspiciously. The techpriest shrugged.
“Your accent is from the inner colonies. It is quite obvious with the way you speak so informally.”
Furia paused and reflected on her choice of words, suddenly self conscious in the way she spoke. It was several seconds before she responded as she pushed such ideas aside. “Can you show me the registry or not?” she asked, becoming impatient.
“No need to be hostile on the matter. Follow me and I will lead you to our data centre.”
Without another word, the red robed priestess turned and walked away to a nearby exit. Furia followed closely behind, glaring at the man who she spoke to earlier. He did the same to her with his beady red eyes.
The Taghmata Familia
She followed her into a large service elevator and descended into the ground two floors. From there, they followed down a large hallway, this one mostly empty other than the occasional worker or servitor group conducting their duties.
As they walked by a windowed room, Furia stopped at the sight. She wasn’t sure immediately what she was looking at until the priestess walked up beside her so she could ask.
“Is this... a nursery?” Furia asked her.
The room was more natural compared to the rest of the complex, which still didn’t mean much for a Mechanicum complex. There was over a hundred ‘cribs’, each a highly complex machine that outputted all the data on the life form inside to a nearby screen. Most of them were full of tiny babies, sleeping or crying as many attendants walked by, nursing to their every need.
“Indeed. This is where we check if a baby is viable to accept augmentations or not.”
“But I thought this was the port. Why have a nursery?” Furia asked her.
“This is actually the first building that was created on the planet when the Explorator fleet had arrived. From there, we grew upon this complex until we had the working atmosphere generator created to colonize the rest of the planet. Even though we have grown beyond the use of this complex, many services still remain here for the time being, like this nursery.”
Furia nodded slowly as she watched behind the window. She was about to turn to leave when the door to the nursery opened and another techpriest came out.
“Myrn, do you have a cycle? One of the containers is malfunctioning again, I need your input.”
The female priestess nodded and turned to Furia. “I’ll only be a moment,” she announced and disappeared inside.
The teenager waited a moment outside, feeling quite alone as servitors walked by, not even glancing at her. Her curiosity urged her on as she opened the door and walked into the nursery.
The effect was immediate. It seemed that the window was sound proof as the yell of nearly a hundred babies hit her at once. The room smelled quite sterile, even with these many children to take care of. Attendants moved between the rows as they check each crib and wrote down results on their data slates.
Furia walked up to one of the cribs and looked at the small child inside. The baby was yelling, clearly displeased with something about his situation. He, suddenly stopped as he noticed the tall girl beside him. Furia glared at the baby for a moment as the small human eyed her curiously before reaching out to her, laughing.
For whatever reason, she humoured the child as she brought her hand towards him. He immediately grabbed her index finger, hanging on tightly. It seemed all he wanted was some attention, Furia thought to herself, as he continued to smile at her.
She never thought of herself to be good with children and she knew her father wasn’t either. A part of her wondered if her mother cared for her before she died. She barely remembered the woman, only a single memory with very little details. A careful hold, a smell of roses, blond hair. She remembered not much else besides that, and had seen no photos of her in her household. Maybe when she found her homeworld there would be more information.
At some point in her thoughts, the baby holding on to her had fallen asleep, and she stared at him for a moment longer. Myrn walked up beside her and looked down at the baby. “You put him to sleep? You must have a caring touch then,” she commented.
Furia grinned at that idea. “You don’t know how wrong you are,” she muttered in response.
Myrn shrugged as they both walked out, making their way past the nursery. Soon after, they approached another room, which Furia assumed to be their destination. “Data Storage,” she read off the door as Myrn opened it easily enough. The room was frigid as Furia wondered how she was sweating a couple minutes earlier and freezing now. The priestess seemed unaffected as she led the young teenager to a console and turned it on.
“You can access the registry from here. Be warned, if you are found tampering with the system, you will be terminated with no inquiry. To leave, just go back the way we came and take the elevator to the ground floor. If you need anything, I am sure there is someone around here who can help. I must be off.”
Before Furia could ask her anything, the tech priestess left, leaving the brown haired teenager alone.
“Great,” she muttered, turning to the console and going to work. The faster she could find what she was looking for, the faster she could leave the freezer she was in.
Life on the Frontier
Two hours Later, Furia had lost the feeling in her arms. However, that did not stop her from slamming the table in frustration, groaning at her failures.
She had gone through dozens of searches of all possible ships that had come and gone from Nenavist. None of them came up with results of Space Marine ships of any sort. No Legiones Astartes had ever come to Nenavist, let alone for any World Eaters on a recruiting mission. She had hoped she would find her homeworld in recruiting range, but that was not the case. She had to now think of something else. Furia suddenly wished Isis was here to help.
Her thoughts returned to home as she suddenly felt very homesick. She wondered how school was going for her cousins and Simon. How her father was taking her disappearance. How things had changed since she had left. She wondered if she should return home and stop with this search. But her grandfather had sent her here for a reason. He wouldn’t have made her travel halfway across the galaxy for no reason.
But maybe that was it. Maybe he wanted her out of the picture, to protect her and everyone else. Maybe this was his way of telling her that she needed to be as far away from Terra as possible.
The more Furia thought about it, the more it made sense. There was no space marine homeworld anywhere nearby. This was on the southeast end of the galaxy in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing here for her to destroy or hurt. Indeed, she was quite alone.
As this sudden realization set in, Furia sighed, knowing full well she deserved such a fate. She wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone she cared about anymore.
“Dang this room is cold!” a voice said behind her. She spun around, not having heard the room’s door open.
Somehow, Gradgral’s shuttle pilot had found her, even in the bowels of the Mechanicum complex. She got a better look at the man for the first time. He was a small fellow, barely five foot six inches by her estimations. With short cropped navy brown hair and a trimmed beard, he looked well into his thirties. The man smiled as he shivered, teeth clattering.
“How did you find me?” she asked him, not in the mood to talk as she felt like depressed with her current revelations.
“Not hard, needed to ask where the hot sexy normal was. Some guy up top seemed pretty pissed off when I mentioned it to him. You getting along with the locals?”
Furia was no longer in the mood as she grabbed her bag and walked past him towards the door, done with her search. The pilot was persistent as he followed. “Was it something I said?” he asked, seemingly desperate.
“I’m not in the mood,” she growled at him, but the effect was lost on him.
“Come on, you always this uptight?” he said as he stopped in the hallway, giving up on his chase.
She stopped as well as she turned to him, her eyes glaring. She wanted to do nothing else than to pummel the man into the ground, turn to her anger like she always did. It wasn’t because of his flirtations or his remarks, but because he was the only person around that she could vent her anger upon.
But she realized that was the reason she had to leave her home in the first place. The anger she could barely control that fueled her to destroy. Maybe it was time for a change.
She looked at him. “What do you have in mind?”
The man was ecstatic. “There’s a bar most of us norms go to hang out on this planet. Its pretty good for a Mechanicum world. Nice drinks and entertainment.”
Furia breathed for a moment, dissipating her anger as she nodded. “Sure, why not.”
The man smiled even harder as he jogged up beside Furia, walking with her towards the elevator. “By the way, name’s Kilau Tohne.”
She grunted. “Kate Gunnar.”
Within a few minutes, the duo walked out of the port and into the heat of the sunset. Even though it was the end of the day, it was still warm and humid. Within seconds Furia felt her clothes stick to her skin. “What’s with this humidity? Isn’t this planet just colonized?”
Kilau chuckled as they walked into the empty road. No cars could be seen in any direction between the massive rows of buildings. “You see that?” he said as he pointed to a large tower in the distance. She hadn’t noticed it until then. The structure was at least ten kilometres high, emitting white smoke from the very top. “That’s the atmosphere generator. It’s supposed to help colonize the planet into something liveable in the next century or so. Too bad it’s broken.”
“What’s wrong with it?” Furia asked.
“They tried to make it rain, but instead it got very humid. Funny, something breaks on a Mechanicum planet and nobody can fix it.”
Furia chuckled at that. She stared at the needle like tower for a bit longer before turning her attention to where they were going.
It was easy enough to tell which one was the bar from the many small structures that surrounded the port complex. Most mechanicum buildings were very similar, a sea of metal boxes lined up in proper order. All were from a standard template, and none differed from the design.
All except the structure up ahead. It had bright flashing lights and an illuminated sign, “Honor’s End”. It was the only building on the dusty cement road that had a crowd outside. Music poured into the streets as she could feel the bass from the speakers inside.
As they walked to the entrance, the large bouncer in the front stepped aside and let Furia in, growling at the pilot behind her. The building seemed half full, crowds of people across the many tables having drinks and sharing stories. Most of them wore Imperial uniforms, meaning they were part of the administration of the planet. Even though the Mechanicum were in charge, the Imperial bookkeepers still needed to keep track of what was going on.
As they both approached the bar, the pilot turned to her. “You are legal, right?” he asked beside her. She turned to him and raised an eyebrow. “To drink. And maybe for other things.”
“You like to push your luck huh?” she asked him as she waved the bartender over. “Two beers. He’s paying.” She pointed at Kilau. The man nodded and went to get their drinks. She dropped her bag by her feet before turning her attention back to him.
“Well, if I am paying for the drinks, you might as well respond to my poor attempts.”
She shook her head. “You need to give a reason for woman to sleep with you. Flying prisoners ain’t exactly the most impressive thing in the galaxy.”
The pilot puffed his chest out. “I’m a war hero. I flew hundreds of missions, dropping death unto the enemy while being shot at by dakka jets. I even received a medal from a Primarch for my bravery.”
Furia spun her head and stared at him. “You met royalty?” she said, much more interested now. Kilau leaned in and smiled, feeling he finally found something to impress the girl.
“Lord Mortarion himself congratulated our bombing wing, giving a speech to all of us about how we helped his own Astartes against the Ork horde on Seadelant. He was immensely pleased with all of us. Even though he was incredibly nauseating to be around, it still was probably the greatest day in my life.” The drinks arrived as Kilau paid the bartender before continuing. He opened his bottle, took a sip and nodded. “It’s a shame with what happened with Lady Morticia. The shooting that is. I hope she has recovered quickly and safely.” He raised his beer at that before drinking it.
Furia shook her head at that comment. “Why do you care?” she asked him. “You don’t know them personally. Why does it affect you?”
Kilau glanced at her, a confused look on his face. “Why wouldn’t I care? All the daughters are important to the Imperium. They are the leaders of the future, for a time of peace and growth. They are symbols of hope for people who have none. I felt horrible for a weeks after I heard what had happened to Lady Morticia. To hurt someone so innocent and friendly is appalling to me. And then she had the will to go to court and face her would-be killer. That’s brave right there.”
Furia looked at him steadily, surprised by his words. “You mean that?”
“Every word. Why, you hate them or something?” Kilau looked at her strangely, as if the thought had never occurred to him.
“No. Just seems like you almost worship them.” Furia remembered how the Morticia’s shooter was a Emperor worshipper, suddenly wondering if Kilau was capable of such devotion.
“No, not anything like that. They are just people I look up to, you know?”
She chuckled at that, sipping her beer. “Not really. Didn’t exactly have many role models when I grew up.” She paused and shook her head. “No, that’s a lie. My last boyfriend was the only person I wish I was more like. Helped me through some tough times, even if I was a bitch.”
“Last? What happened?” Kilau wasn’t flirting anymore, seeming sincere in his interest.
She shrugged. “Life got in the way. I left my home and haven’t gone back. Been over a year now.”
“Sounds tough. You ever regret it?”
She paused and thought back to her sudden realization that day. “No, it was for the best. What about you Kilau, got any family? A girlfriend to return home to?”
“Nope. My night is clear of any responsibilities if that’s what you are asking.” He smiled mischievously and she grinned at that, shaking her head. She had no plans to sleep with a man she had just met. Still, Kilau was turning out to be someone she actually enjoyed talking to so far, which was rare indeed.
“You know, if you actually acted like yourself instead of a sex maniac, you would probably have more luck with the ladies,” she commented.
“Tried that through my teenage years. Didn’t work. That’s why I became a Navy Pilot. Usually it is all I need to say. Guess you are different.”
“You don’t know the half of it,” Furia mumbled.
He nodded slowly. “I had a feeling though. I mean, I don’t know many young women that go around and beat the warp out prisoners so easily.”
“Just have good genes, that’s all. I learned to fight very early on, not necessarily for the best reasons.” Indeed, most of her learning came from fighting with Hana and Freya. But he didn’t need to know that.
Her attention turned to a man that walked up beside her at a mostly empty bar. He leaned over the bar and ordered a drink, waiting patiently beside her. Furia’s eyes turned back to Kilau as he spoke.
“Well, I’ll be very honest. You look too unscathed to be someone who fought a lot. Either you are very good or just pulling my leg.”
She shrugged. “As I said, good genes.”
Kilau nodded as he grinned. “Yeah, must be to give a body like that.”
She sighed, not sure how to stop him from talking like that without having to break his arm. She was about to ask him again, this time more sternly, when she felt something brush up against her leg. She turned around and noted the man beside her had disappeared. Looking down quickly, her bag was gone too.
“Son of a bitch!” she yelled loudly as she saw him run out the bar at the opposite bar. Growling in rage, she chased after the man, leaving Kilau at the counter, completely confused at the situation.
She ran out past the bouncer looking around, her eyes flaring. “Where did he go?!” she shouted at the large man.
The bouncer seemed a bit shocked at her current demeanor, and pointed down the road away from the port. Instantly she was off, running at high speeds as she noted the man’s speck in the distance. Most people weren’t sure what to make of her as she ran faster than most humans possibly ever could.
Her target dipped in between two buildings with her bag in hand. She had to break early from the intense speed without toppling over herself. Skidding to a stop, she turned and made her way down the short alley to the next street over, where she noted him running into another alleyway. Picking up the distance between them with her superhuman agility, she began to follow the man farther and farther away from the core of the port area to the outer reaches of the small town.
In this area, the building began to look a lot less uniform, seemingly built at random. This seemed to be a worker area away from the administration complexes near the port. It was obvious the equivalent of the slums of the planet.
Furia didn’t notice the change of scenery as she had closed the distance to the thief. With one final leap, she tackled the man into the ground hard, making him land on his side. Her small bag left his grasp and fell beside him.
The man, bald headed and quite young, groaned in pain at the attack. Furia was unharmed as she stood up and looked down at the man. She would take care of him in a second, as she walked over to her bag to check her things.
She picked up the bag and found it relatively untouched. That’s when she noticed that several men had come out of the nearby buildings and looked at her, all grinning as they surrounded her.
“You in the wrong side of town, girl,” one of the large men shouted at her. His friends agreed as they continued to surround her. Furia stood in place as she looked at each of them in turn. There was six in total, along with their friend who was struggling to get up. Each seemed to be unarmed except for the man who spoke to her, who seemed to have a small knife in his hand.
“Then I will be on my way,” she said calmly, not sure if having a fight within the first day of her arrival was the best way to live in peace.
“Nuh uh. We have a toll here you need to pay. You ain’t leaving till you paid the toll.”
She growled at them as she flexed her arms. She assumed she knew what they were looking for as payment since she was a young female. “I should warn you, I bite.”
The man chuckled as he played with the knife in his hand. “Good thing all I am looking for is a tankard worth of your blood.”
Furia was taken aback by the statement, suddenly realizing that these men were not looking for her body, but something a bit more sinister. They began to close on her as she wondered if running was a better option. It didn’t matter soon enough as one the men charged her wildly, trying to catch her from the side.
Her lightning primarch reflexes were too fast for the man however, as she raised a foot and kicked him in the chest a moment after. Adrenaline started pumping through her veins as time began to slow down in her eyes. The men’s movements around her seemed sluggish and slow as she surveyed the area quickly. She had caused significant harm to the man with the kick as he fell backwards. Five of them were untouched, and then there was the other guy who was getting up from her tackle. She had her work cut out for her.
Another man closed the distance, this time trying to tackle her down to the ground. She fell backwards, grabbing the man’s shirt as he closed in on her. Falling to the floor, she pushed her legs into his chest and sent him flying over her, into a friend of his. Both of them toppled to the ground as she easily used the momentum to roll back up to a crouched position.
Unfortunately for her, the other attackers had closed the distance. Two of them immediately jumped on her as she tried to get back into a defensive stance. Even though she was stronger, the mass of a fully grown man tackling her was enough to send her back to the ground. The man roared at her point blank as he used his position to hold her down, quite successfully.
Before Furia could free herself, another man tackled her attacker, sending the duo off to the side. Furia glanced over to see Kilau to her ‘rescue’, struggling with the man on the ground. Furia got up as she noticed the rest of her attackers had also recovered. Some were wary to attack again, while the bloodlust of others had no hesitations as one man charged headfirst at her.
Furia quickly swung her right fist into his head, timing it perfectly as she knocked the man out mid charge, sending him running to the ground to the side. It didn’t matter as the rest of his companions followed behind him, this time using their numbers to their advantage.
Even though she immediately knocked one out, three others grabbed her arms and legs and held her in place. She struggled like a caged beast, trying to use her brutish force to free herself. The men that held her were surprised by the strength of such a small girl as they couldn’t hold on to her for long.
“Damn she’s strong!” one of them yelled.
“Hold her steady, this one is a fine addition to our cause!” She recognized the voice to be the man she spoke to earlier. He walked up with what looked like an aerosol can in his hand. Whatever it was, Furia didn’t want any piece of it as she struggled even harder.
It was too late as the man sprayed the can into her face. The smell of the gas released was strange, being something she thought she recognized. She blinked as she breathed the gas in for a moment, unsure of where she knew it from.
The men around her smiled as they let her go, making her fall to the ground. As Furia slowly stood up, the man with the knife nodded. “Welcome sister.”
A quick kick to the groin made him shut up quick as Furia’s anger had not disappeared, only slightly delayed. She punched another man beside her as the attackers no longer wanted to deal with her, backing off and grabbing their fallen companions.
She roared furiously as they ran off, leaving her and a bloody Kilau to their own devices.
“We showed them,” the pilot said, his eye swollen and his nose bleeding. Other then that, he seemed perfectly fine.
Furia nodded slowly before clutching her head with both hands. Pains shot through her skull as she fell to her knees, unable to cope with the sudden mental stress. “Hey, you alright?” Kilau asked beside her, but she didn’t answer. This was probably the worse headache she had ever had in her entire life.
It was so bad she didn’t notice Kilau topple over beside her. A shadow appeared over her as she struggled to look up at the newcomer. She didn’t have much a long time to look as the shadowy man raised his arm. She barely felt something in her arm before she the tranquilizer took effect.
Furia wasn’t sure how long she had been knocked out, but that much time couldn't have passed. She could still feel the massive migraine she had earlier as she woke up. Not to mention she felt a bit sore from the fight, even though she had no injuries to speak of.
All she wanted to do was get some fresh air and stretch her legs. Hopefully that would calm her head pains. It was then that she noticed her arms and legs were strapped down to a metal table. As she suddenly realized that she was indeed in trouble, she began to struggle against the bonds, testing their strength with her limbs.
“Subject 09 has awoken, a mere 20 minutes after the tranquilizer was applied. Very quick compared to average time. Could be due to mutation within the mysterious element. Further testing will need to be done to before such a conclusion could be reached.”
Furia turned to the mysterious voice by her head. A very pale and skinny man stood beside her, wearing a white apron, a surgical mask and goggles. He was bald and seemed to have not eaten for several days.
“Who the fuck are you?” she growled at him.
“Subject seems to exhibit the normal anger issues that have been seen in previous tests. Although, she is lacking other symptoms of subjects 4, 6. This puts into question theory #3, this is probably not an STD.”
Furia flexed her arms as she tested the leather straps holding her down. The man looked at her curiously. “Subject seems more responsive to her surroundings compared to previous subjects who took hours before returning to a more normal state. Maybe there is indeed a mutation with the disease, causing a quicker hold on the subject’s sense.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?! Let me go, right now,” Furia ordered.
“All in good time my dear. Once I find out what’s wrong with you, I’ll fix you right up. OR I’ll move on to subject 10. No matter.”
Furia’s eyes bulged when she heard the word “wrong with you”. She finally had enough as she flexed her arms one final time against her binds. The straps strained for a moment before she ripped them off from the table. The man stared for a moment, unsure of what just happened. It was obviously too late when she had grabbed him by the colour, pushing him up against the wall with all her might.
He gasped as he stared at her, completely shocked by her abnormal display. “Don’t kill me,” he whispered.
“Who are you?” she grumbled out as she pinned him against the wall.
“I’m a doctor. A virologist specialist.” The man answered quickly and stammered slightly.
Furia stared at him till he explained a bit more. “I study diseases. I am part of a group that arrived earlier this month to investigate some murders.”
“What murders?” Furia asked, actually curious.
“You don’t know?” he said, a bit surprised. She stared at him unmoving till he got the message. “There has been killings near the miners habitat. Brutal killings that have... sparked some sort of interest in my employers.”
“Employers?” Furia asked. He shook his head.
“You might as well kill me. If I tell you, they will probably do the same.”
Furia frowned as she let him go, not going to go that far. The man rubbed his throat as he looked over her. Furia didn’t mind as she glanced around the room. It seemed to be an apartment of some sort, except without the regular furnishings. Instead of a bed or tables and chairs, the room seemed to be a storage for equipment. Large black boxes covered the walls with the Imperial symbol on it, the double headed eagle. There were a couple metallic tables like the one she was on. Kilau was sound asleep one such tables.
“Is he alright?” she asked.
The doctor nodded slowly. “He is fine. He wasn’t affected by the spray like you were.”
Furia suddenly remembered what the man was talking about. Right near the end of the fight with the gang, she had been sprayed with something she thought she recognized. It was different, but something about the gas reminded her of Terra.
“What was it?” she asked a moment later.
“Not sure, but I believe it to be the source of these murders. The rest of my task force had gone to investigate the possible source of the gas but they have been missing for a week.”
“A week?” she exclaimed. “You are all alone out here while your team has been gone that long?”
“It's part of the job description. Two teams working on either side of the large city. I sent a message to the others, but they have yet to respond. It might be some time.”
“That's stupid,” she said flatly. “So I seem unaffected by the gas. What was it supposed to do?”
“Faster heart rate, increase in adrenaline production, increase in muscle growth. Can cause a various number of affects on the brain, but primarily seems to make the recipient more emotionally unstable, easy to anger and such.”
“Wait,” Furia said, the gears in her head turning. “Easy to anger? Oh shit.”
The doctor looked at her strangely. “What?”
“It's Xelaratin,” she blurted out. “Or the opposite of it.”
“Xelaratin?” the man asked. “I've never heard of such a drug.”
Furia noted her stuff near the door and went to grab it. “It's something I used to take back home. It's an anger reducing drug, something the military came up with. Apparently they had an opposite as well which induced anger in the taker.”
The man looked at her as she grabbed her bag and walked to the door. “Wait, you can't leave!” he shouted.
“Yeah, too bad. Where is the possible source of this drug?” she asked.
The doctor paused, unsure of what to make of the girl who seemed so eager to suddenly investigate the matter. “There's an habitat mine entrance north of here. That's all I know.”
Furia nodded as she opened the door. She paused and looked over at Kilau, still out from the tranquilizer. “Let him go, or else I'll be back.”
The skinny man nodded quickly as she walked out. “Wait! If you find the team, tell them Dr. Hongun sent you!” She slammed the door shut as she left.
To cut costs and increase productivity, the Mechanicum had to come up with a way to make workers sleep as close as possible to their work area without having to travel much. That is when they thought ot the idea of using the space left over from mining to create habitat structures within the ground. This way, all the workers would need to do was descend deeper into the mine every shift to continue work. The idea was applauded by the ruling priesthood and hated by miners around the galaxy.
Living in such a structure was usually dark. They had no windows to speak off and very little sunlight other than ones from artificial sources. It was cramped and poorly ventilated, making tensions rise very easily. It was very much a hellish place to live.
Furia walked up to the above portion of the structure, which was nothing more than a small building that held the elevators down. Beside the building was two service elevators side by side, used to bring large machines down and minerals back up. One of the lifts was easily a hundred feet wide and long, making for a reasonable large area.
Walking into the small structure, there was three lifts and a ladder hatch down for emergencies. No one else was in the area, making Furia a bit more than wary of the situation. Pressing the nearby button to call the lift, she waited patiently till one of the doors opened. The cabin was empty as she walked inside. Looking over the many floors of the structure, she saw one button was worn out more than the others.
“Why not,” she said to herself as she pressed it. The lift groaned as it began to move downwards.
Several minutes passed in silence as the lift descended further and further into the ground. Furia wasn’t sure if it was the lift being slow, or the habitat was that deep.
Eventually, the machine slowed down and came to a stop. A loud ding announced she had arrived as the door opened in front of her.
Several large men turned and stared at her. Furia wouldn’t have minded another fight, but this time they all sported autopistols and shotguns. She was clearly not in a winning position.
Several minutes later, she was escorted down a long hallway by several large guards, all well equipped with close combat weapons and firearms. Not only was she surrounded, but they had also restrained her hands with makeshift handcuffs, welded together by them apparently. Even with her super strength, she wouldn’t be breaking these easily.
As expected, the living conditions in the habitat were quite low. The hallway seemed dirty, lights needed to be changed. The air seemed stale in taste, as if it hadn’t changed in a long time. She didn’t even want to talk about the smells. She had spent time on a prison ship and even this seemed to surprise her.
They passed numerous other people who stood in the hallway, watching them walk by. Most of the stares lingered as she saw no other females so far. No one made a move though as her escorts made it quite clear she wasn’t for taking.
“So where are we going?” she asked eventually. None of the guards answered her as the pushed her. “Guess you guys don’t speak gothic huh.”
“Shut up,” a guard in front of her said. She grinned slightly.
“Make me,” she challenged him.
The lead guard stopped, and the rest of the escort did as well. The large dark skinned man turned and stared at her. He moved up to her slowly, breathing down unto her face. He was as tall as she was, something she actually found to be impressive. He stared at her for several long moments.
“Maybe you should keep that mouth shut before I do it myself.”
“I’d like to see you try,” she said. The man’s arm flexed as she anticipated a punch, but none came. “What, you scared?”
It was clearly getting to the man as his face twitched for a moment. “No. But the boss doesn’t want me to kill prisoners. Makes for poor sport.”
The man turned around and continued walking. One of the guards behind Furia pusher her as she started to move again. She realized that they wouldn’t kill her just yet, somehow needed her for other purposes.
It was after couple more minutes before the hallway ended to a double door. On top of the doorway was a sign that said “Recreation Room”. The leader of the pact knocked. A second later the doors opened as armed guards stood at either side of the entrance, ushering them in.
The room was quite large as this seemed to be the gathering point for that level of the habitat. Furia glanced around quickly, trying to gather as much information as possible, mainly an escape route. Unfortunately, there was at least twenty other men in the room, mostly armed. They covered all the entrances and seemed to be keeping an eye on her.
In the center of the room as a large table with several people around it. Most of them looked alike except for one man who stood out, wearing a blood red robe and had a very peculiar tattoo on his bald head. She had never seen the symbol before which was symmetrical through its middle axis and was imprinted with red ink.
The man looked up and stared at her as she was brought up to the table. The men around the table turned to look as well, following what was obviously their leader’s gaze.
“Who is this Kortal?” the man in the red robe asked.
“Intruder who came from the elevator. She fits the description from the patrol earlier.”
The leader turned to look at her. “You? You are the one who fought my men and made them act like spineless cowards?”
Furia smirked at that. “Yeah, it was easy.”
The red robed man returned the grin and nodded. “Confident as well as strong. That’s good.” He walked around the table and approached her. “Who are you girl? You look strong, a fighter. An imperial spy like the rest or something else entirely?”
Furia stared at him, and he did not flinch away. “Yes, something more perhaps.”
“She’s a guard from the Gradgral!”
All heads turned to the other side of the room, where a familiar group of men stood together. It was the prisoners that were unloaded with the shuttle today. They all seemed to remember her as well.
“She came down with us on the shuttle. She can’t be trusted.” The prisoners in question was a skinny man who she recognized to be part of the Iggies back on the Gradgral. Or so she thought, as his tattoo had been recently burned off it seems.
“A guard? Come to take your prisoners back home?” the man beside her asked.
“I don’t give a shit about them. I didn’t come here to cause trouble. I came for answers.”
The man shrugged. “You aren’t in a position to ask for anything. In this place, I am king. Take her to the cells, I will decided on her fate later.”
Before she could say anything, the man called Kortal stepped in front of her and pushed her away. She growled at him, but a shotgun convinced her to shut up and be polite for the time being.
After another silent trip, this time down the elevator a couple levels, they arrived to what she could only surmise to be the ‘prison’. She used that word carefully, as it was nothing more than a room that had been transformed by the local populace into a holding cell. The front door had been reinforce with locks and there was a viewing port to take a look inside. The guards in front of the door noted their arrival and quickly unlocked the front entrance.
A second later they opened the door and walked inside, weapons ready to fire. “Move back!” she heard the guards shout inside. Kortal smiled as he shoved her inside the room.
“Prison guard in a prison. Isn’t that life for you?” he told her, smiling.
Furia grinned at him back at him. “You’re a funny guy Kortal. That’s why I’ll kill you last.”
The man sneered at her as the guards left the room. A second later, the door was locked, leaving her to think about her situation.
“Who the fuck are you?” a voice behind her said. She turned slowly and got a better look at her prison mates. There was a total of three of them standing near the other side of the room. They all wore black shirts and pants, and she could recognize the Imperial fatigues.
The one that spoke was a young man, about her age she supposed. He was skinny and short, and wasn’t very built to begin with. He had a closely shaved head and brown eyes. His eyes darted over her quickly as he waited for her to respond.
Beside him was a young woman, who seemed to have the same physique overall. Like her partner, she didn’t look like a fighter. She was the only one with long black hair, and looked quite a bit like Hana except smaller. She shook her head at her friend and sighed. “Chill out Jef, she’s in the same boat as we are.”
The final person was the one who stood out the most among the trio. Another woman, this one was much older. Furia guessed she was in her mid thirties at least. She also looked like a soldier, as she was well built and had a tattoo on her bicep, the Imperial Eagle. This one stayed silent as they both glared at each other for a moment. The older woman had short blonde hair and green eyes, which stared at her with unwavering accuracy.
“Sorry about my friend, he is a bit on the edge with the situation and all. I’m Penny. Who are you?”
Furia looked at them and realized who they were. “You are the team right? The one Hongun was talking about?”
“That weirdo is still alive?” the older woman said. Furia nodded slowly. “Figures. We leave him alone for a week and he finally understands that something is wrong. So where’s the rest of Beta team kid?”
Furia frowned at her. “I’m not here to rescue you. I came here for my own purposes.”
“What,” the man said to her flatly. “You got yourself captured and taken prisoner because you wanted to? Fuck this.”
“What about Bravo team? Didn’t Hongun call them?” the older woman asked.
Furia shrugged. “He said he tried to get in touch with them, but didn’t get a response.”
“Fucking great. No offense kid, but you are an idiot.” The older woman sat down and shook her head. “I don’t know what you think you are doing here, but you just got yourself into a world of hurt.”
Furia clenched her fist but said nothing. She just turned around and stared at the door, wondering if it was indeed reinforced enough to hold back her attacks. The prisoner named Penny walked up beside Furia.
“I’m Penny Quill.”
“Kate Gunnar.” The young woman, who looked only a bit older then Furia, nodded slowly. She nodded slowly and looked at the door.
“It’s pretty well made. Not likely that we are going to break through it.”
“I know. I’m not an idiot,” Furia said defensively.
“I didn’t say that. Listen, Kate. Sorry about my companions. Things went sour with the mission.”
“I noticed. What happened?”
“Ambush, caught us off guard when we were trying to storm the place. We expected little resistance and poorly trained soldiers, but the moment we began the assault we were already surrounded. It was too late to escape then.”
Furia looked at the small skinny girl and shrugged. “You don’t look like a soldier.”
“Cause I’m not. I’m a valkyrie pilot.”
Furia nearly facepalmed. Meeting two pilots in one day was more than she wanted. The man named Jef was similarly built, so it was likely he was another pilot as well.
“What about the rest of your team?”
Penny went quiet and looked away. “Two dead in the ambush. Another two, including the captain, taken for ‘interrogation’.” The young woman clenched her fists and her face seemed to strain with emotion. “We haven’t seen them since.”
Furia nodded slowly. “Sorry to hear that.”
“Part of the job, unfortunately. Bryn is right. You are in the wrong place. You shouldn’t have come.”
Furia looked behind her to the older woman named Bryn and back at Penny. “Maybe you should think about yourself instead of me.”
Penny sighed at Furia. “At this point, it doesn’t matter. You won’t be getting out of this untouched.”
The next two hours passed silently for Furia. The three other prisoners didn’t mingle with her at all, keeping to themselves. The two pilots spoke to each other quietly, seemingly speaking of old stories of home and friends. Bryn remained quiet off to the side, occasionally glancing at her before going back to her own thoughts, whatever they may be.
It was just over the second hour that the door opened. All eyes shifted to the metal gate as it swung outward. Kortal walked in with guards behind him.
“You, up,” he ordered as he looked at Furia. The brown haired girl didn’t argue as she stood up and was escorted out of the room.
“Miss me?” she said to Kortal outside. A quick slap across her face was the only response she got from him. She growled as she stared at him.
“You better stay quiet bitch.”
A bit of blood came out of her mouth. She would make him pay for that.
They pushed her into the elevator once more, this time going down further than she ever had been. After a couple minutes of descending into the habitat, the elevator came to a stop and the door opened.
The room in front of her was gigantic. It seemed to be a large garage as all she could see was different times of machines and vehicles parked on the sides. There was a couple of chimera’s with bulldozer attachments, mining equipment and diggers in general. It was at the far end of the room that had a trio of machines that didn’t belong: two hydra flak tanks and a valkyrie. She could only guess that the flying transport was from the captured team and its pilots. The anti-air artillery was surprising as she wondered where the group of miners found such a device.
In the middle of the large room was two long shaft upwards and she guessed they were the elevators she saw above ground. Men around the large service area were moving boxes around, loading up the chimera’s with some equipment, may be for another mining trip into the caverns below.
She was taken to a side room of the garage, where the red robed figure from earlier was standing behind a table. He seemed busy as he was looking over some sort of a device on the table itself. “Welcome child. I hope Kortal has been keeping you in good care.”
“You can say that,” she muttered as she glanced over at the man in questions. He looked unphased by her stare as her eyes turned back to the robed man. “Who are you?”
“Atmok. And you are?”
“Kate Gunnar,” Furia answered with practiced ease. It had become second nature to her after a year of people wondering who the incredibly strong teenager was.
The man nodded thoughtfully, looking her over once more before continuing the discussion. “Why are you here Kate?”
Not one to be subtle, she went directly to the point of the matter. “I wanted to know where you found the Xelaratin.”
“The what?” Atmok answered, confused by the word. He obviously didn’t recognize the term.
“The drug you have been using. The anger inducing drug.”
“You know of its existence yet you gave it such a strange name,” Atmok said out loud. “You obviously have seen it before.”
Furia shrugged. “I took the opposite equivalent. A drug that was meant to calm a person down.”
He chuckled as he moved around the table. “If the drug you speak of was as potent as the one I know of, then you must have some impressive anger issues.”
She smiled at that. “You don’t even know the half of it.”
“But I do, Kate. That is why you are here no? You seek answers for something you don’t understand. Answers that I have.”
She looked at him strangely for a moment, wondering what he was getting at. “I don’t know what you are talking about. I want to know where you found such a drug.”
“Would you believe me that our overlords kept such a drug in their vaults on this very planet?” the man answered.
“What? The mechanicum? I doubt that very much.” She couldn’t foresee any reason the mechanical priesthood would use drugs for anything instead of a circuit board.
“No, not those fools. They try to hide what is visually in front of us with lies. But I know the truth. I know the secrets this planet holds.”
Furia stared at Atmok as he said that, suddenly very curious at what he meant. “What secrets?”
He grinned at her. “All in good time my dear. But I need to know if the gift really runs through your veins. Kortal, take her into the caves. I will be there shortly for the trial.”
Before she could say anything else, the guards pulled her out of the room. “Congrats woman, you are actually blessed this day.”
They shoved Furia forward as they approached a chimera. “What do you mean?” she asked him.
The dark skinned man smiled as they pushed her inside. “You are given the chance to die for our master.”
Bound by Blood
The road trip wasn’t long, but it felt like an eternity for Furia. All her mind could think of was the conversation she had with Atmok only minutes beforehand. Apparently, the planet held some sort of secrets. This made her stop and think that maybe she wasn’t sent on some wild goose chase by her grandfather. Maybe Nenavist actually had more than meets the eye.
Now all Furia needed to know if Atmok was actually insane like how he acted, or was there some actual truth behind his omens. Only time would tell.
Unfortunately for her, she was short on time as it was. The chimera came to a stop after nearly fifteen minutes of driving. The back door opened slowly as the occupants stood up.
“Out,” Kortal ordered. She gave no resistance as she stepped out of the vehicle. She was eager to find out what she got herself into.
She paused and considered the sight before her, unsure of how to make sense of it. She knew mechanicum digging techniques were renown of getting the most possible resources in the most efficient way possible, but she was still unprepared for the scale of their operations.
The cavern was unimaginably huge as it spanned in front of her into the far distance. Try as she might, she couldn't see the end as it fell into the darkness ahead of her. And for the first time since she had arrived on Nenavist, deep beneath the earth and in a large dark cave, she actually felt she was surrounded by what she could only describe as being evil.
Kortal moved ahead of her, leaving her standing by some guards. She only then began to notice the many workers near the walls on either end, working against the rock with machines and muscle. There was probably a good 30 of them in this section, toiling at their work. The foreman by the ground walked up beside Kortal and started a talk, glancing at her every once in awhile. After a minute, he took out a horn and blew it into the cave.
The sound echoed loudly all over the room, gathering the attention of all the workers at the walls. Soon enough, they began making their way over, a large group of miners wondering what all the commotion was about. A small few stared at her as they approached the foreman and she wondered what they were thinking about. Still, none made a move towards her with the two armed guards at her side. She could probably guess what Atmok’s test was.
And as if she had mentally summoned him, he arrived himself after ten minutes of waiting. Everyone turned to the sound of an approaching Chimera behind them. The large metal box rolled forward steadily through the rough terrain of the underground with relative ease, even crushing some small rocks on the way.
The large armored transport came to a stop a few meters away from where she was, parking up beside the one she arrived in. The door in the back opened and out came Atmok, surrounded by several guards. All of them seemed to be armed with some sort of handcrafted automatic rifle, probably created by the miners themselves.
“Doing well, Kate?” Atmok asked her as she approached. She sneered at him, giving no other verbal response. The red robed figure chuckled at her as he walked past her towards the group of thirty men. “That’s good. I need you to be angry. It makes it more interesting.”
He didn’t wait for a response as he turned to the group of thirty and raised his hands. “Men, I have a simple task for you. I am giving you ten minutes, I repeat, ten minutes to beat this female into submission. Whoever manages to hold her broken body above their shoulders can do whatever they want to her. Understood?”
The air was still as Furia gritted her teeth. She had an idea that this was going to happen, but the prize was a bit startling. She should have expected it from a planet so barbarous.
All the miners had turned to look at her, and Furia flexed in anticipation. Silence continued to fill the air as no one made a move, as if expecting a starting signal. Then it came as Atmok looked at her, then at the group and sighed. “Nine minutes and forty seconds remaining.”
The crowd exploded. Miners clawed at each other as they tried to get to Furia first. Some began fighting amongst themselves before the first challenger managed to get in front of her.
Furia didn’t notice the man’s details, nor did she care. Her heart began to race and her fists clenched in readiness. She glared angrily as the man simply tried to grab her with his hands, hoping for a quick victory.
The lightning punch caught him by surprise as it not only broke his nose and knocked him out, but also broke a few teeth. He fell backwards into the wave, but his comrades didn’t bother helping him as the rushed forward towards her. She roared in fury as she prepared for the long run.
Furia liked to fight. It was in her blood since birth. Between her father, Kharn and Hana, she always had an excuse to throw a punch. So she could easily boast that she was a veteran of fist fights and brawls. She was trained in different ways of fighting, but in the end always back to the idea of hitting hard. It usually worked out for her.
But for the first time since she could remember, she was actually tired of fighting. Ten minutes of quarreling with strong, drug enhanced miners was enough to make her breathless, as she struggled to keep standing and have her fists in front of her, awaiting the next challenger.
Her arms ached and so did her legs. She was pretty sure she was bleeding at least from the nose, possibly from the mouth as well. Her clothes were torn in several places, and she could feel that her ribs were bruised when one of the attackers managed to get a kick off into her abdomen. She made him pay as she kicked him right back.
A slow clap from the side was the first sign that something had happened. It was Atmok, and she realized that this was probably the end of his challenge. She looked around and noticed that it would matter anymore. At least half of the original group of attackers was on the ground, either unconscious or in large amounts of pain.
The remaining bunch were a mix of having injuries that no longer made them fighting capable, or simple too wary of what she had done to the other challengers. Either way, they kept a good radius around her, not making a move to anger the brown haired girl any further.
“Congrats child, you managed to pass my test. Guess I won’t be killing you yet,” Atmok announced as he approached her, still escorted by his guards.
Furia would have normally made a witty retort, but all she could manage to do was grunt, neither in approval or against. Atmok stopped clapping as he approached the young teenager, and she had to resist the urge to kill him, primarily due to the many guards following him. “I am truthfully impressed Kate. I have never seen a warrior with such brutality, such... fury.”
She said nothing as she stared at him through weary eyes. He smiled at her, but she felt threatened by the sight of his teeth. “You came looking for answer,” he whispered to her. “Maybe it is time to show you.”
Furia wasn’t sure what happened in the next hour. She had a massive headache and couldn’t concentrate on her surroundings. It seemed that finally the day’s long and exhausting events had finally caught up to her, making her want nothing more than to fall asleep.
Unfortunately for her, it wasn’t in the plan, as she was dragged around the complex. First by chimera back to the central habitat and second by foot as Atmok took her deep into the complex. She wasn’t sure where she was going, but could feel the air becoming thinner and more difficult to come by. Obviously, she was deep within the ground as it also became hotter and hotter with every passing moment. The ground beneath them had returned to being rock, signalling that this was a passageway dug out by the miners.
“I worked here for years, carrying out a prison sentence given by the corrupt rulers of mankind. They shackled me to this earth, expecting me to disappear forever,” she heard Atmok says, but his voice seemed so distant to her at the moment as she wasn’t able to concentrate at all. “But they were wrong. As I worked, I found what this earth holds. A treasure, a gift, a dark omen. Right then, I knew the truth of it all, as if my eyes were opened for the first time. In a galaxy of blind men, I was the one eyed king.”
Finally, the escort came to a stop as Furia looked up to her surroundings. Atmok stood by a large double metal door. She straightened herself as she gathered what little strength she had remaining. “Are you ready child? I will show you the truth,” he whispered to her.
Furia said nothing, as she waited as patiently as possible to figure out if this man was crazy or was there some truth behind his tales. Atmok turned to the doors and opened it in one fell swoop, walking in.
The brown haired teenager paused and stared, wondering what she was looking at. It suddenly struck her as she realized that Atmok was not insane. She slowly took steps forward as she began to understand the truth of it all.
The large object in the middle was hard to miss. It was spherical in nature, having several detailing bumps over it. It was white marble and bigger than she was as she was only a few steps in front of it. It was easily five feet in diameter.
It was a male face. He was frowning at her, an angry face that she was all too much familiar with. The nose had been beaten out by what she could assume to be chisels and hammers, leaving nothing but two deep holes staring at her. The hair at the end had been cut off, seemingly destroyed when the statue itself had been crumbled to the ground.
However, this old relic of the past seemingly survived the devastation that had befallen this planet. For whatever reason, this little nugget of truth survived against all odds to be found by Atmok, and possibly to be shown to her.
She wondered if the Emperor knew of this, knew that she would find out eventually. Maybe that is why he sent her here. Whatever the truth might be, it didn’t matter to Furia at the moment. She was slowly putting the pieces together to the puzzle.
It wasn’t hard as her father’s face stared at her. Angron’s giant white head was found deep in Nenavist. Her home.