Night-time and Ninjas

Night-time and Ninjas

When the man died, nobody knew. Not even the man himself. He stood for a good half-hour, thinking idly how good it would be to get off this watch and go home to as good fire-

The man looked up in annoyance. "Oy," he said, "I don't much like how I'm covered just by a stinking summary here. Don't I even get to be a proper character?"

Well, no, to be frank.

"Well what's the world coming to, eh?" he said. "Narrators stealing the part of us minor characters and assorted deadies. What's next; a synopsis?

Well what do you want me to do? I'm just the narrator here.

"Just shut up for a minute, and I'll show you," said the man. "And while we're at it, can I have a frakking name?"

Fine, fine. See how you do at it. I tell you, it's not as easy as people think, this narration stuff. The amount of times I've been-


Oh, sorry. Get on with it, then.

"I will. Watch this."

Gideon stood at his post, shivering in the cold. It had been another long, boring, uneventful watch. There wasn't even anything good to actually watch on the watch; just a bunch of buildings and some smoke. And there was only so far that you could go seeing what shapes you could find in clouds. After the first six hours it lost its appeal, really.

I wish I could just leave, Gideon thought resentfully. It's not like anything's going to happen, anyhow. Instead of a warm fire and a loving family, I'm stuck here instead in the cold and the rain. With bugger all to do, to boot.

It was at this point that he went to pieces.

"Now that's just not very nice, is it?" said the assorted bits of Gideon from where they lay on the floor. "Here I am, minding my own business (and doing quite well with this plot development stuff as well, if I do say so myself), and now suddenly I've been chopped up?"

Sorry, but you dying is kind of critical to the narrative. You're just going to have to get used to it.

The bits of Gideon barked a laugh. "Oh, well, if it's critical to the narrative, then that's a whole different matter, isn't it?"

Yes. Yes it is. Now stop moaning. You're supposed to be dead, remember?

"I was being sarcastic, you idiot!" snapped the bits of Gideon that still, somehow, retained the power of speech. "I'm bloody sick of us minor characters being killed off left right and centre just for the sake of narrative bloody convenience. I tell you, if this keeps up, you'll be hearing from the union."

You don't even have a union. Now stop it. You're ruining the story. People are actually spending time reading this, and I'd like to at least get past the first two paragraphs before they give up.

"Don't have a union?" the bits of Gideon crowed. "Don't have a union? Well, I'll just have to start one then, won't I? Then you'll see. When the lawyers come a-knocking, just you try and hide behind your narrative structure and plot then, eh, mister tough guy."

The bits of Gideon exploded into little tiny pieces all over the street. Then the little tiny pieces turned to vapour, and were dispersed into the atmosphere. Then the atmosphere was burned away by an exterminatus.

But this particular plotline takes place before said exterminatus, so we'll just rewind a bit (I think I'll leave Gideon right where he is, though. Too smart for his own good, he is). Now, where was I? Oh yes:

It was at this point that he went to pieces (etc, etc).

From the shadows emerged a group that could only be described as 'stealthy' if you were both blind and clinically insane. Or dead. Eight foot tall (and about five feet broad), each one was wearing massively thick blue-green power armour that clanked and wheezed in the night. Their eyes glowed bright green. To miss those, you would need to have your eyes removed. Or possibly your head. Either way, it doesn't say much for Gideon's prowess at watching for things…

One stepped forwards from the rest. He brought up his gauntleted hands, and clapped them together once, twice, thrice. He spoke in a booming voice, "Oh, well done my Lord. Very well done. In fact, I don't think that was even physically possible."

An even bigger shadow detatched itself from the shadow of a paving stone (no, don't ask me how that works). "Cheers guys," he said, in an even deeper and more booming voice. "I am a freaking ninja, though, so let's not get too overenthusiastic. Physics and I have never been exactly in agreement. Sometimes, you know, you just have to hang in the air for longer than the 'theory' of gravity wants you to. Or keep living long after so-called physical law says you should be dead."

Gideon (wherever he is now) piped up. "Hey, did you just steal that gravity bit fro-"

Yes I did. Shamelessly. Now stop complaining. In fact, I think I'll just stop writing you altogether. There we go. Now, on with the story:

The slightly smaller giants tittered amongst themselves. "Of course, boss," the leader said. "We never even doubted you for a second. Did we boys?" A chorus of 'no's followed his words.

"Right," said the giant that had killed Gideon. "Orders time. Alpharius, Alpharius and Alpharius, you take the bottom floor. Alpharius and Alpharius, you two get up that cooling tower over there and give fire support. Alpharius, you're with me. Got it?"

They all chorused "Yes Alpharius," and then promptly proceeded to charge at the front door of the building Gideon had been watching out for. Alpharius (the big one) facepalmed.

"What do you think you're doing?" he said.

"Taking the bottom floor, like you said," they all said together. They looked at each other. "No, he said it was me, him and him," they all said at the same time. "Don't be stupid," they continued, "he obviously said for you to go up the tower while we went up the front. No, shut up. You shut up. He said me. No he didn't, you idio-"

Alpharius (the big one again) raised a hand. "Right!" he snapped. "Shut it! I frakking knew giving you all the same name was going to be a nightmare to organise…" He made a half-turn, and pointed at the far end of the street. "Forget it," he said. "Get over there, I can't be arsed to sort it all out again."

He walked up to the building, muttering something under his breath about wanting something done properly, and doing it himself.

Alpharius (the leader of the Alpha Legion Marines left behind) glanced at his second. "Hey, Uthor, how long you reckon before he gives us our names back?"

Alpharius (Uthor, this time) shrugged. "A week? Ten days, tops."

"Ten creds?" (the leader)

"Twenty." (Uthor)

"You're on." (the lead- this is getting ridiculous now. I'm sure you can figure it out. Anyway, the speech is finished now)

They sat back, munching on crisps brought out from somewhere (trust me; you don't want me to go into any more detail than this… Astartes power armour forces a bit of… improvisation… when it comes to storage space), listening to the sounds of their Primarch at work.

What with him being a 'freaking ninja', though, that was mainly silence.