Hi, I'm a Cultist
Hi, I'm a cultist. Sadly, I'm a cultist of Slaanesh. I'm not a convert, I'm one of the millions that was born into it. My parents were the zealous ones, I wasn't really into it, and that may have been my mistake. The Emperor's Children thought it'd be funny to have one cultist remain relentlessly, irrevocably sane and healthy. That's me. I'm the one that gets horrified and cries tears of pain when I have to deal those chucklefucks and their pain orgies and noise machines. I don't even have the luxury of having my eyes melt away from the sheer horror I've seen. I can't even get jaded. Apparently, I'm well adjusted. You have no idea how much I hate the Emperor's Children. You have no idea how much I hate Slaanesh. You have no idea how much I hate Fulgrim, since it was his fucking idea in the first place. No, seriously. You cannot conceive the level of hatred I have developed over these centuries. Daemonettes compare it to a fine wine. I hate them too.
Anyway, I was screaming my head off in terror in a cave somewhere in the Ultima Segmentum when lo and behold, it's the actual Ultramarines here to kill us all. Again. Now, I know those guys get a lot of shit for thinking themselves perfect, but really that's just the propaganda (also it's the traitors who invented most of the jokes, for your information. Think about that next time you laugh at Ultrasmurfs.) So here I am, and this Ultramarine is charging me. I've been given a shitty lasgun that probably shoots vomit or something else equally retarded (since reincarnation is one of the unfortunate side effects of amusing Slaanesh, I get issued the 'funny' weapons), so I just scream and fire at the ceiling, like usual. Lo and behold, it's an actual lasgun for once. Now I must've hit a weak spot in the ceiling or something since the cave collapses.... right on top of the charging Ultramarine. It doesn't kill him, of course, but it does pin him down.
Anyway, after he stops cursing at me and declaring he'll kill me for being a heretic I manage to get a word in.
"Are you all right?" I ask. He doesn't respond.
"Maybe I could help you out of there?"
He glares at me. He's lying prone, with his head and one gauntlet sticking out of the rubble.
"If I let you out of there, will you promise not to kill me right away? I don't really mind if you decide to torture me for information or whatever, but if you kill me I'll just get reincarnated again and have to deal with the Emperor's Children's -"
"DON'T CALL THEM THAT!" he bellows.
"What, Emperor's -"
"THEY ARE NOT HIS CHILDREN! THEY ARE FILTHY TRAITORS JUST LIKE YOU!"
"Fine, fine, I'll just call them the EC's, ok? Anyway I'm not a traitor. You have to be loyal first to be a traitor." I sit down on a convenient rock. We're both trapped in here, for now. I can hear the battle raging outside. I imagine the Ultramarine can hear a lot more than me.
"What in Terra's name are you talking about, heretic?" he sighs. "Where are your blasphemous litanies and foul oaths? Where are your mutations, your tentacle arms and horns? Do you think to hide your true appearance from me? Do you think I cannot take it?" He's getting angrier. The rubble on top of him shifts slightly, and he grunts in pain. Something must've slipped in a bad way.
I giggle. I can't help it. "You sound like an Imperial Fist. I'm not going to torture you, even if you ask nicely. And I do NOT have any mutations."
We're both silent for a while, staring at one another. I decide to break it.
"My parents gave me a dumb cultist name, but I go by Rebecca. At least I would, if I had anyone to talk to that wasn't completely insane all the time. Normally they shout and call me 'Hey you! Funny girl!' I hate it when they shout," I say. "Anyway, what's your name?"
He doesn't answer me for a while. After a few minutes, he responds. "I am Gaius."
"It is nice to meet you Gaius," I say. I'm smiling. I'm actually smiling! I haven't smiled in decades! He glares some more, then sighs.
"Alright, what's the trick? Where's the trap? You managed to capture an Ultramarine. Good for you. Now what?"
"Well, if I dig you out of there you'll probably kill me, then if the ECs catch you digging out of this cave they'll probably torture you and try and make you as crazy as them and I'll just get reincarnated somewhere in the Eye of Terror. Now if your Ultramarines get here first, they'll rescue you and I assume take you to an... apothecary? Is that the right word?"
He nods. I continue.
"If I don't dig you out of there, I'll probably be killed by your brothers when they rescue you or, if the EC manage to push them back, you'll be captured and, once again, tortured. I'll probably be ignored until someone decides it's time to mess with the sane one again. I really hope that doesn't happen. You seem like a decent Space Marine, after all, and I'd hate if Fabius Bile got his hands on you. If I dig you out and you DON'T kill me, I have no idea what will happen."
I can't see through his helm, but I get the impression he's stopped glaring and is simply staring at me now. "What are you?" he says at last.
Now it's my turn to sigh. "I'm the sane one. They keep me around and force me to be sane so they have someone to react to their.... excesses."
"You said you were never loyal? What do you mean?"
"My parents were traitors. I never even heard of the Emperor or the Imperium until they decided to start taking me to battlefields."
"Why would they torture one of their own so?"
I stare at him. "You really don't get Slaane-"
"DON'T SAY THE NAME!" he yells. I wince.
"Ok, you really don't get the Dark Prince's followers, do you?"
"No," he says proudly. "I do not."
"They need new sensations, emotions, and experiences like you or I need sustenance. I'm sort of a food source, I guess, if the food is experiences they can no longer feel since they've become far to numb over the years. They extract my thoughts and emotions and... well I guess they eat them, but there really isn't a word for what they do. And they keep me sane. Each horror I see I experience like new, every wretched debauch I live through like a nun at a brothel, every fear, joy, agony... it's new. Every time. Even though I can remember all the other times."
I get down close to his helm. "You think you know hate, Ultramarine? You think you hate the Dark Prince? You think you want to see Fulgrim destroyed? You do not. You are merely annoyed compared to me. You see, they leave the hate. Fulgrim says he'll drink it after a full millenium. His Daemonettes have promised to turn it into wine for him."
His gauntlet scratches against the ground. I sense he wishes to pull away from me. I think it's the look on my face that bothers him.
"By any measure I ought to have lost my mind long ago, like every other cultist. But I cannot. I cannot die, I cannot go insane, I can only keep living and dealing with the madness around me."
"You... you are..." he seems unable to finish.
"I am the sane one. And I can't stop." Now the tears are coming. I sob, great broken heaves and gasps as I curl up into a ball in front of him. "I can't stop!"
Time passes. I cry. I don't often get a chance to have a good cry. They consume my despair whenever I start. Eventually I feel something against my back. I realize with a shock that it a finger, covered in ceramite. He is tapping my back! No... he is patting it. I pull myself together long enough to turn and look at him, wiping away the salty tears and runny mucus from my face. I am so close to his helmet. I can see the eyes behind those eternally angry lenses. I see something there I never thought to see again. Sympathy.
"Help me out of here. I will not kill you. The battle goes well for my brothers above. We will not send you back to the darkness."
I can't speak. I cry again, this time in thankfulness and joy. I have hope. I have forgotten what hope felt like. There isn't much hope in the Eye. My last bitter thought is how excited the Emperor's Children would be to taste hope again, but I push that from my mind as I begin to push and pull the rocks away. It takes me two hours, but I am able to free Gaius enough for him to give a grunt and push the remaining rubble away as he rises.
"Now it is my turn to dig," he says, waving me back.
With astonishing speed he tears into the rubble blocking the entrance. Soon, I see shafts of light, and then the sun. Before I can do much thinking, the way is clear. He reaches out to me, and I wrap my hand around a single armored finger. I feel so small, like a child rescued by her father from drowning. I tremble as he leads me into the light.
BAD END: I arrive at their fortress monastery. They have given me a place among their human servants. I am pathetically grateful. They tell me to stop thanking them after a few days. As I find myself alone in this place for the first time, I feel something go wrong. Slaanesh kept me sane, it is true... but after I have seen and lived through so much I remain sane only because he willed it. He no longer wills it. I am his tool, forever and always. I gibber, feeling my hands turn to claws and my skin turn a vicious white. My last thought, before becoming the human host for the first Daemonette loose in the Fortress of Hera in millennia, is one of complete and utter despair.
GOOD END: I am afraid. I have lived with the Ultramarines now for nearly a century, and I am dying. Gaius is by my side now, out of his armor. He is beautiful. I have served him, and watched proudly as he was promoted first to Sergeant, then to Captain of the second company. I don't have much time. He understands, without me explaining, why I am afraid.
"You fear you will simply reincarnate again, that your soul belongs to Slaanesh," he says. I nod. Speaking is too much effort these past few days.
He leans in close to me, whispering. "Do you think you would be welcomed into this place if that were true? The Emperor fights for the souls of all mankind. He has fought for, and won, yours. Our Librarians have seen it."
My eyes widen, and I breathe out in relief. It is my last breath. I feel my heart stop.
I am looking down now, and see Gaius close my blank, staring eyes with one gigantic hand. I hear his short prayer, and turn. I can sense an immense rage, far distant, furious that I have escaped, but my focus is on the shining figure in front of me. He looks like Gaius, but far, far older. He is smiling. "Be at peace, my child."
I reach out, and wrap my hand around one immense finger, and am led into the light.
ORK END: Unfortunately, waiting for us in the light was Orks. "OI! WHAT'S ALL DIS MUCKIN' ABOUT THEN?" the largest bellows. Then he sees us. "IT'S A BLUE BEAKIE AND A PUNY HUMIE! GIT 'EM!" We went down fighting.
ELDAR END ONE (BAD END SEQUEL) I am a Daemonette. I am also the human that was sane. Being a Daemonette is much better. I lope down the hall, planning on tearing the first Ultramarine I see to shreds. Before I take ten paces, I am bisected by a Prism cannon. Eldar? HERE?! A second shot ends me. The Eldar stands over my corpse. "Huh. Looks like Eldrad was right." It vanishes, and my soul is consumed by Slaanesh.
ELDAR END TWO (GOOD END SEQUEL) Eldrad chuckles as he places the human soul in the soulstone. It was simple enough to appear as the Emperor of Mankind in the Warp, and this particular human soul would be very useful in the near future. "Just as planned," he says. What a dick.