Author's Note: Yes, its my exam season and I just can't be bothered picking up my economics text book, the keyboard looks so much more welcoming after I took a little dive into a portion of the Fall of the Roman Empire. It seems Space Marines and their arduous initiation, training, physical and mental conditioning, camaraderie building and punishments are very much adapted from Roman Legionnaires. Imagine such practice were already in place 2000 years ago…fascinating. Anyhooo… This is my first attempt in the Warhammer 40k fictional universe, and I am trying to encompass the trials and tribulations of a Vindicare Assassin. Please do let me know if any facts are misconstrued or missing!

Comment and Critique Please!

Disclaimer: The author does not own the fictional universe of Warhammer 40k save for The Assassin's storyline, characters and the whole jazz.


The Assassin

"The Imperium of men has thrived for millennia under the watchful eye of the emperor, where his undying, inanimate exterior rest eternal in his Golden throne, yet his mind and sacred presence seethe into the hearts of his subjects and people. He remains immortal, his voice golden, and his hand guides all of men in unity. He reaches a thousand stars, a-hundredth of systems, to the infinite universe. He brings justice onto demons that twist our minds, those that follow, repent.

He brought misery and plight, into the light under the guidance of his holy wings; bands of lost lambs to stand united, against our terrible foes; he lead those who astray and gave them meaning, for humanity; he restores Order from Chaos.

Save us from Chaos, for their sordid existence would have tainted us all.

From Holy Terra he watches, guide the silver bullet, the machine spirit, and my will to strike down my target."

-Valaruz 18th, Vindicare Assassin.


I - TEST

"They will experience extreme distress, they will see death, they will drown in their brethren's blood for days, weeks and years, and baptized be in tragedy, pain and idleness till all taste for woes are lost, till numbness rendered to all humane emotions and agitation. It is then they are ready, and whole in mind and spirit to receive their holy duty and mission."

The air smelt dank and sour, mixed with a dizzying, arid smell of sulfur and ceremonial salt that burns eternally and religiously in immortal symbolism. The engraved, ornate pillars held and supported the tall, heavy and rounded ceiling, echoing emptiness and silence to its denizens. Those who stood below ignored the hollow ringing of the halls, distracted greatly by the discomfort set by the humid breeze, ebbing tiny beads of sweat all over their sticky bodies.

The wide expanse of the empty hall hung with deadly silence, fearful respect and cold respite as a wizened Priest stood tall at the pedestal overlooking two thousand young clean shaven, solid men and women recruited from the Imperial Guard, stripped bare to the bottom, naked without any garment to shield against the staunching humidity and the occational of gust of chilly air. They were spaced out 3 feet evenly in a square column, stood rigidly and motionless at almost the same height.

A silver eyepiece of an augmented Auspex was strapped and implanted into the Priest's left eye, with its ugly cords and wires snaked into his ears. Its glowing red lens constantly tweaks while scanning vigilantly at every individual recruits. His frown attested his irk, and breathed heavier when he lifted his mechanized finger, tipped with an optics lens, lit with a visible laser beam and marked a female recruit on her forehead, prompting a floating skull probe, that was resting next to the priest, to whiz above the female.

The bald, young female shifted uncomfortably as the skull probe flew in closer until it levitated past her, her relief was short lived until she felt a stinging electric wave running violently from the back of her neck through her entire body. Her body jerked brutally before she excreted a puddle of urine on the cold marble slab she slumped lifelessly to.

As expected, the recruits that stood immediately around her gasped and winced in shock and disgust, prompting the Priest to continually and mercilessly mark them, granting them the suffering of incapacitation and humiliation.

All that merely stole a curious glance, shifted their limbs, trembled, or even blinked consecutively out of nervousness evoked the zealous minister's wrath and anger, over a matter of minutes, the total of two thousand men and women were reduced to a mere 400. Most lay motionless on the ground emitting a nauseous, mix stench of excrement and slight smell of cooked human meat, several that roused were further tormented and put down by the mechanized probe, ever baring its ever sinister grin while it duly follows its masters guidance.

The graying Priest showed no compassion.

His fury stretched to no end as he continued punishing those he deemed unworthy, his bionic eye scanned furiously while his tyrannical mechanical finger passed his hardened, cold judgments on those dumbfounded soldiers.

One hour has passed, and another 174 gone, many fidgeted and given to the mounting physical and mental stress caused by their rigid stance and the horrid environment.

Soon, to the remaining 226, they have realized that it is becoming terrible, sadistic game, though they were unsure of the outcome of such torment. It was simple logic, without instructions, harsh punishment are induced to those who flinch at the first sign of distress, and the punishment is to further prove the weak shall be culled. The ultimate winner would be one with the most resilient.

With that stronger resolve, the following two hours only resulted in 3 casualties with the priest's unchanging consistent frown. Now those that remain, in the distressed phenomenon, have bonded mentally with a common desire to defeat the Priest's tyranny and arrogance, together with their resilience, they wanted to break the frown further into frustration.

Another hour has passed, and though their bladders could not hold, they excrete shamelessly, and though their stomach growled, they held their courage, hoping that the Priest would eventually yield to their spirit. And finally, the Priest moved towards to a pedestal where he rested his hand on, filling the soldiers with some hope that he would call off this monstrosity.

Before they could rejoice, they took one full glance of the Priest's glaring eye before the hall pulled itself into darkness, causing several to jump in the sudden turn of event. Then, in the blinding darkness the real terror began when the Priest's laser beam flashed in wide sweeps until it stopped at its marked. The effect of the subsequent jolt were more terrifying, where the darkness amplified the skull probe's sparking horror, its voltage were reduced as it took two to three hits before the target could feel the pain and howled in pain and agony and finally collapsed in a fit. This new level of psychological fear and terror tactics pushed the soldier's limits, and the punishment has once again picked up its pace as more fell to his command, and to the fearsome electric bolts.

Several scrambled and tried running away aimlessly before he or she were hunted down and put down.

It lasted only several minutes before the lights returned.

There were only 36 left standing, many were visibly shaken, several females held their tears in sobs. The Priest, yet again, passed on his cruel punishment without mercy to the emotionally weakened. A more muscular man lost his temper and broke away from his formation in a violent protest, attempting a futile effort to attack the cruel master, several more followed, but all were put down with just a raise of the judge's cold finger.

Silence ensued.

23 were left, 4 females and 19 males, many were visibly angry, cowed or confused, while 3 of them remained fairly calm and composed.

The first one was a stout and very well-built male, and had a brown, tanned complexion. His meaty, gaunt face and pursing lower lip had the Priest guessed him of a very disciplined, serious and competitive character. The second was a female, she too was physically fit, with corded muscles around her thighs and calves. Her unmoving glare was fierce, vigilant and almost cold. The third was a flexible and slender male, he was fair but tanned, his muscles were not as developed as the rest but his deep steely penetrating blue eyes exuded great intelligence.

The Priest remained silent with his frown, and brushed his thin, grey hair stoically before turning away into the adjacent chambers wordlessly.

In this instance, the Temple orderlies, hooded, hunched and careful, attended the remaining soldiers with warm robes. However, they remained still and silent for they were unsure if the monstrosity was over. After a thorough consolation by the orderlies only did the recruits broke their stance and do as they were told.

Barefooted, dirty and tired, they were led away quietly across the halls into another chamber.

The fierce looking female took a final glance at the 1977 odd soldiers, several was already rousing, struggling to get on their feet when a large grotesque, bi-pedal construct with wide excavator-like arms, roared into the hall and began its mechanical duty in picking up the bodies and shoving them into a large shallow pit like they were nothing but rag dolls.