It was morning. At least, it felt like morning. It was a strange sensation, not knowing what time it was. Before the young man could open his eyes though, he heard yelling in a language he didn't immediately recognize. He was grabbed by the arms and hauled out of bed shortly after being seized. Just as he managed to open his eyes, a bag was forced over his head, something smacked him in the back of the head, and he was out like a light once more.
The first thing he noticed when he awoke a second time was that his head hurt like mad. The second thing was that his hands were tied to what he could only assume was a chair. He groaned, and a few seconds later, that bag was yanked off his head. There was a brief moment of disorientation, and then everything came into focus, more or less. From what he could see, there was a table in front of him, a light hanging from the ceiling above the table, and a chair sitting across from him, which was currently empty. He looked around, and even though the rest of the room was dark, it felt like someone else was here.
"Anyone here?" asked the boy, his tone irritable and tired as opposed to scared. What was there to be scared of anyway right now? Maybe it was the lack of a threat, maybe it was him suffering from shock from his rude awakening. Either way, the young man was feeling rather mellow.
"Ah, so it can speak." came a voice from the shadows. The voice was gruff, but defiantly female. The accent was…strange. There was a hint of Queen's English in there, but it sounded different. Out of the shadows stepped an imposing woman in a long military greatcoat with epaulets on the shoulders and a rather large, peaked hat. Her hair was black and falling in surprisingly long ringlets for someone that, apparently, wore a military uniform. Her left eye was covered in a black patch, and a long, nasty looking scar stretched down from the lower part of the patch, stopping at an almost right angle on her jawline. There were ranks, insignias and motifs all over her uniform, but most the man couldn't make out. One he did see sent a shiver up and down his spine.
It was a double headed eagle.
He had only ever seen such an insignia in science fiction. Either someone was playing a sick, sick trick on him, or...
"I will give you ten seconds to tell me who you are." said the woman, withdrawing what was obviously a gun. Judging from the size and general shape, it was a laspistol.
And now the man was scared. "Woah woah woah!" said the man sitting back, "No need for that! My name is Michael. I'm…" He looked at the woman's uniform, then back at her face. "I'm a civilian."
"Right," she said, the tone in her voice making it clear she didn't trust him, "And what were you doing in the barracks?" Michael noted that she didn't bother lowering the pistol.
"I swear by everything good and Holy that I don't know. I just woke up there." The woman pointed the pistol at him, and he began to actually panic. "I'm telling the truth! Why would I lie to the person pointing a gun at me?"
This…man, she supposed she'd term him, was interesting to say the least. His accent was archaic at best (in modern terms, his accent is generic American with a very slight southern drawl), his clothing was strange, and the fact that he appeared in the bunk room of the barracks was just down right bizarre. Taking a further look at him, the woman realized that he probably was, in fact, a civilian. His hair, which was a dark brown and mostly straight, curling a little at the very ends, was too long for military regulation. It hung down to the middle of the back of his neck and partly covered his ears; a short hairstyle by civilian terms she figured. He wasn't muscular, not like the Guardsmen under her command, but he wasn't fat either. To her, he looked, well, average. The main interesting fact was that he stood almost a head taller than most of her Guardsmen. She figured he was almost 6", which was getting close to the height of the Adeptus Astartes (Space Marines), who's minimum height was about 7".
Despite his average appearance and that it corroborated with his claim of being a civilian, she was still planning to execute him simply because she assumed that he was lying. After all, even the most normal person could be a heretic or something. However, she halted when he brought up that he was telling the truth, and that he wouldn't dare lie to the person pointing a gun at him. She didn't trust him, but this was at least interesting, so she decided to continue to question him. He wasn't going anywhere, so she could just execute him at her leisure.
"Then what were you doing sleeping in the barracks?" she asked simply, her hand still on the gun. The man gave an attempted shrug. "Last thing I remember," stated the man, a hint of fear in his voice, "was going to sleep in my apartment. Next thing I know, I'm getting beat over the head and tied to a chair!"
Now, the woman wasn't an expert at High Gothic, or even at telling if someone was lying or not. But the way this young man spoke, the fear in his voice and how fervently he stuck to his story, it made her feel that he was, maybe, telling the truth.
Faltering for a moment, the woman holstered her service pistol. "I am Commissar Whilimina Fargas, and you will tell me EVERYTHING, or so help me Emperor, I will execute you and throw you to the rats."
Oh God, she was a Commissar. That seemed to hit home more than that she, Commissar Mina as he called her in his head, used the phrase "so help me Emperor". The man's mind began to bubble with previously useless information. He snapped out of his daze long enough to look at Commissar Fargas and ask a simple question. "Ma'am, can I have my glasses?" The woman gave him a quizzical look, so Michael decided to elaborate. "I can't see without them. Bad eyesight. They're rectangle framed, might be by where I was found?"
At this request, the Commissar stared at the man for a moment. She then turned around, opened a previously unseen door and said a few words with the person on the other side. Closing the door and turning back around, she sat down. "They're on their way. Now talk."
The man nodded, and began. "I was a student. In, um. Entertainment media." It was easier than saying he was an animation student he figured. "Last thing I remember, like I said, was going to sleep. In my apartment. I don't remember anything about going to any barracks. And," he said, squinting and leaning forward to get a better view of the double eagle pin, "judging from THAT, I'm a hell of a long way from home."
"Why would this," asked the Commissar, pointing at her pin, "mean you're a long way from home?" The man looked at the woman with as much seriousness as he could without his glasses. "Ma'am, what year is it? Judging from that, I'm going to assume it's somewhere between 39,000 and 41,000 AD, give or take a few hundred years. And seeing as you used the word Emperor, I'm going to guess I'm right. I'm out of space and time by about….35,000 to 39,000 years, give or take."
The man's words hit Mina like an Earthshaker round. Maybe he was lying, and Emperor's light, she hoped he was. She hoped that he was the best damn liar that she ever met, and that something like this had not happened. But what made her doubt that he was lying was how calmly he said it. It was like he was talking about the weather or something. It was downright unnerving. "So," she said slowly, "you're from…the year 2000? Or around there?"
"2010 to be exact." he said, unnervingly calm.
"Then how did you get here?" She paused for a moment, then decided to ask the question that had been pestering her. "And how did you know when you were?"
"Like I said, I don't know. It's not like I had a DeLorean and a stretch of road." Mina raised an eyebrow at this, but didn't comment. "As for how I knew when I was…I'd rather not say." When Mina raised an eyebrow again, the man quickly followed up with "Fine," he relented, not wanting to get on her bad side, "There were stories, media, games, all sorts of stuff about the 41st millennium. Never figured it would all be true." The Commissar raised an eyebrow. From her general expression, this was a load of Grox dung.
"Well, I'm no mind reader," she said, walking around behind Michael's chair, "so we'll have one of our Psykers rummage around in that scruffy little head of yours, and we'll have some...tests run on you."
"Oh, joy," groaned Michael. "I take it that it'll all hurt like hell?" He sighed and let his forehead fall to the tabletop. The whole situation was getting better and better. He was really hoping on waking up soon.
The door to the room opened, and a grizzled man poked his head in. The Commissar turned her attention from Michael to the man. They exchanged words, and Mina's face turned grim. She then turned to the young man as the door closed. "Well, looks like your in luck." There was a heavy tone of sarcasm in her voice, and Michael could only mutter a muffled "Oh?". "It would seem that we are being attacked. Since we are short on soldiers, I am drafting you here and now. You will be attached to...Sergeant Harris' squad. You will serve until the battle is over, or until you die, whichever comes first. After, you will be tested. Extensively." Her eyes narrowed at the young man. "You disobey one order, ONE order, and I will have you killed on the spot, do I make my self clear?"
"Yes ma'am," said Michael as he raised his head from the table, a tired, almost annoyed look on his face, "Crystal clear."
"Don't you get fresh with me boy," replied the Commissar. She went to untie him, when there came a rap on the door. She paused, walked over, and opened the door again. There was more muffled conversing, and someone new walked into the room. There was something different about this person. Their very presence made Michael's ears ring like they did around some electronics. Almost immediately, he could feel something scratching at his mind.
"Well, it seems like you're in luck boy," commented the Commissar as she walked back around to the opposite side of the table. "This is Julian. He'll be your Psyker today." She leaned over the table and grinned at Michael. "Try not to scream too much."
"You're really enjoying this, aren't you?" asked Michael, gritting his teeth, anticipating the pain to come.
"Just a bit, yes." replied the Commissar.
A moment later, Michael's whole world devolved to swirling colors and stabbing pain.
"Well Commissar, I've finished scouring the boy's mind..." said Julian after he had finished.
"And?" Asked the Commissar, an eyebrow raised.
"Well, aside his mind being more disorganized than and Ork's workshop, he's telling the truth. More or less."
"More or less?" asked Mina, crossing her arms with a 'we are not amused' expression.
"There were some...errors here and there in his knowledge of, well, now. Also, it would seem that he's had combat experience, but at the same time, he's more green than a new recruit."
"...Simulations?" offered the Commissar.
"I don't know, but he's in as good a shape as most of the other guardsmen, and I don't see there being any reason for him not to serve. He's got enough sense to know how to work a lasgun at least." The Psyker gave a dismissive shrug.
The Commissar looked down at Michael, who's head was resting on the table with a trail of drool leading from his mouth. His jaw was locked and his eyes were wide from the pain of having his mind tinkered with. She was surprised he had done as well as he had. Usually, at least in her experience, the person wet themselves after having their mind sifted through. "Ok boy," she said, untying his hands, "Get up and get your ass to the armory. Get kitted out and meet up with the Sergeant."
It took a moment for Michael to regain the use of his limbs, and a moment more for his jaw to unlock. His mind felt numb, like he had ben pulling a 72-hour work period and was just coming off a caffeine rush. There was a lingering pain from the Psyker's work, but nothing he had not dealt with before pain-wise. He slowly got to his feet, his arms limp at his sides. He blinked several times, trying to get his blurry vision to focus, then remembered he didn't have his glasses. "Oh, right," he muttered to himself. He shuffled to the door as if in a daze, opened the door, and made to leave before stopping and urning to the Commissar. "Um, armory, where with the...thing?" he asked?
The Commissar sighed irritably. "Take a left and follow the signs."
"Ah, right," he replied a bit more coherently ad his mind started to piece itself back together. And with that, he left the room, making his way down the now deserted corridor towards the armory.