Cultist-chan (real name… unknown) awoke in her small, rundown hovel on an unidentified Chaos world in the Eye of Terror. There were discarded takeout containers cluttering the floor, and her mattress was filthy with the wet leavings of unspeakable deeds done in her absence. The window was covered in grime to such an extent that it was impossible to see outside but that was just as well – the undulating colors of the disfigured sky always made her feel faintly hungry, and once again she was completely broke. But she wasn't the kind of girl to give herself over to self pity. She believed in all Chaos, all the time, and she had absolute faith that Chaos would provide in proportion to her piety. After picking over the last sad, moldy scraps of month-old schezwan shredded grox, Cultist-chan decided to ease the rumbling in her tummy by visiting one of her bestest friends. She made it halfway down the pockmarked street before realizing she'd forgotten to put on clothes, and she hurried back to her apartment to assemble her outfit.
To cover her chest, she donned a thin cloth brassiere that gave the deceptive impression that she had a noticeable supply of boob for display. The article of clothing was clasped together between her breasts with a gold-plated skull scavenged from some battlefield. She dug through the wet, moldering trash in her dirty clothes hamper until she found her arm pieces – a pair of long, thin sleeves that had no practical application as armor whatsoever, but she liked them because she erroneously believed they made her look intimidating. A skirt, torn to ribbons, went over her bottom half. She covered her most delicate region with three pairs of panties – one white, one pink, and one grey. Slaanesh cultists were always urging her to do strange things with her hidden area, but despite her unquestioning zeal for Chaos, she was still waiting for the right man to sweep her off her feet before she tried that again. She pulled on a pair of stained boots and finally topped it off by strapping her septispike to her back. She wasn't very good with the weapon, but for some reason, most people fled in terror whenever they saw her coming anyway.
Finally dressed, she made her way to her special friend's house and pounded on the door.
"Nurgzlebro! Hwue are hewe to zee youf!"
There was no response from inside the apartment, so Cultist-chan wailed on the door even harder.
"Hwue are boreth! Pway vith hus!"
The Nurgle devotee opened his door just a crack. "I'm fapping, damn it! Why don't you just mail yourself to Cadia and leave me alone!"
This was an entirely new idea to Cultist-chan. She'd never even thought of mailing herself before.
"Hwue like thzat itea!~ Fank youf!"
Nurglebro thought it was too much to hope that she'd take his advice, but nevertheless the girl turned around and made a beeline to Choas knew where with a sense of zealous purpose. Relieved, he went back to gardening his carefully cultivated colony of chlamydia sores. The truth was, he hopelessly lusted after the girl, and he wanted to hatefuck her skull into his headboard until she finally bit her tongue clean off. But no matter how many subtle hints he dropped, Cultist-chan was simply too dense to pick up on his signals.
Meanwhile, Cultist-chan stole a cardboard box from a homeless daemonette. The devil had tried to put up a fight, but after ten seconds of Cultist-chan's fervent pleas, the other woman simply surrendered her home rather than hear any more of that grating, lisping voice. Cultist-chan carried her prize back to her apartment, and examined it from every angle, trying to determine how it might be coaxed into taking her to Cadia. Since she was illiterate, she simply scribbled on the top of the box an attempt to approximate her intentions. She drew a stick figure carrying the box to a crudely-drawn planet, and, satisfied with her results, she climbed into the shipping container and waited. She was absolutely certain that she'd performed all the rituals correctly, and that the gods of Chaos kept her somewhere in their hearts and would see to it that she succeeded at her mission. She waited, waited, and then she waited some more.
Somewhere far away, Tzeentch smiled.
A short time later, Imperium Express was alarmed to discover the box on one of their cargo freighters without an appropriate shipping label or tracking number associated with it. A shipping clerk contacted his supervisor, and then she contacted the foreman of the deck. All three gave the box a thorough examination but couldn't understand how it'd ended up in their cargo bay without any of the standard markings to identify it. The captain was summoned, and he carefully scanned the strange language on the top of the box into the ship's computer, which also couldn't read it, but the computer suggested a vague similarity to a long-dead human dialect from Kiavahr.
The captain shrugged. "We're Imperium Express. By the Emperor, if I have a package in my hold I'm going to goddamn well see that it's delivered. Put it on a hovercart and we'll take it to a professor of archeolinguistics when we get to Hé Hua."
"Yes, sir," the deck foreman replied with a curt nod.
Cultist-chan kept quiet, partly due to her unshakeable faith that the four Ruinous Powers would get her where she needed to be, but mostly because she was asleep.
The cargo ship docked in ChrysanthemumCity on the Imperium world of Hé Hua, and, true to his word, the captain of the ship personally escorted the box to the home of Professor Marcus Ursinus of Hé Hua Imperial University. The professor was delighted to accept the captain's challenge.
"Why, this is the strangest script I've ever seen!" the man enthused. "Where did you get this box, again?"
The captain grunted. "Some idiot loaded it into my cargo hold without a lick of documentation. I'll tan their hide if I ever find out who it was, but for now, I'll just be satisfied to get it delivered at all with so little information."
"Never you fear, Captain – I'll do everything in my power and then return the box to Imperium Express just as soon as I get it deciphered."
Satisfied with the outcome, the captain left the professor alone with the box. The man poked it, prodded it, and then tried to move it, only to discover how heavy it was. He scratched his goatee in raw befuddlement.
"Whatever's inside, it must be monstrous," professor Ursinus reflected.
Cultist-chan woke up from all the jostling, and, filled with a supernatural hunger, she burst out of the top of the box and into the middle of the professor's living room. The man shrieked like a little girl.
"Who the Hell are you!?" he demanded.
"Hwue kapthur thith lifing room for KAY-OUS!" she howled in response.
The professor took a step backwards from the appalling woman, but he tripped over a coffee table and sprawled down onto the carpet. Alarmed by the sudden movement, Cultist-chan unstrapped her septispike and swung it at the man's head in one smooth motion.
She only meant to hit him with the flat of the blade, but she miscalculated and ended up putting one of the spikes straight through the man's eye socket, killing him instantly. The professor slumped over in a pool of blood while she freed her septispike from his skull. She felt a moment's worth of guilt, but her hunger reasserted itself and she stepped over his bleeding corpse to loot the late professor's kitchen.
Never before had she seen such a feast! There was stale bread, moldy cheese, a few thin granules of oatmeal, and a wilted head of lettuce in the fridge. Four different foods at the same time was an unheard of score, and she mixed the items together and took a big bite without even making a token attempt to cook it. The dry, chunky mixture slid down her throat and into her stomach, and she wolfed down as much as she could until she felt nauseous from the heaviness in her belly. For the first time in months, she felt full.
Cultist-chan explored the rest of the house she had kapthured, and determined that it would make an excellent beachhead for a kay-ous invasion of the Hé Hua system. It was an unassuming two bedroom home, and from what she could see through the windows, it was nestled in a suburban tract in a comfortably middle class world. There were bookshelves full of books that reeked of orthodoxy and boredom, and since she couldn't read she simply threw them into the rustic-styled fireplace and set them alight. She smashed a holographic projector and a lamp on general principle. Finally deciding there was little else to do, she hastily scribbled graffiti of Chaos and the four Ruinous Powers and then simply walked out of the front door and into the suburban street.
Cultist-chan was completely unaware of how lucky she was. The world was in the middle of a week-long Harvest Festival, and today was the Great Masquerade. Men, women, and children had all abandoned their civilian clothes in favor of dressing up in costumes. The Inquisition largely turned a blind eye to the mild heresies the festival spawned, as the planet was a great source of agriculture and revenue for Imperium coffers, and its culture was well-developed and rarely a source of trouble in the continually-beset empire of Man. Children dressed as Guardsmen did play battles with miniature Orks, Tau, and daemonettes, egged on by parents who were completely ignorant of just how close to the line they skirted with their games. A few passersby congratulated Cultist-chan on her excellent costume, blood-splattered and all, and she got invited to several fraternity parties by brothers who were secretly hoping that her skimpy, daring outfit was an indication of the looseness of her morals. She turned them all down but she was gratified to discover that Chaos already had such a hold on the minor world.
She discovered a large crowd convened outside a shopping center, and a woman dressed in a carefully handcrafted Saint Celestine costume handed her a ticket. Cultist-chan peered at it curiously.
"Hwuat doeth fiths say?" she inquired.
"It's a ticket for the raffle," the other woman informed her cheerfully. "Great costume, by the way! It makes me shudder just to look at you. At any rate, if you look at the top you'll see your number is 2623201, and if they call your number as the winner, you'll receive a brand new spaceship from Xerxes Interplanetary Sports."
"Yay!~" Cultist-chan cried, assuming she'd already won.
There were tens of thousands of people milling around in a great crowd outside the shopping center. The ship up for grabs was a small civilian runabout, mainly intended for planetary or interplanetary travel, but this one was an upgraded model that also had a Warp drive on board. It was a mid-range model manufactured on Hé Hua that had attempted to be ostentatious but without the actual quality to match. Many of the people in the crowd were dressed in costumes, and they laughed uproariously while two underdressed women wrestled in a kiddie pool full of pudding. Beer was flowing in ample supply, and Cultist-chan pilfered a half-empty cup when its owner turned away and she gulped the remaining liquor in a second. Given the size of the crowd, the chance that Cultist-chan's ticket would win was one in thirty one thousand. The Changer of Ways smiled.
The loudspeakers broadcast the DJ's voices to the entire crowd.
"This is Eddie!" one grotesquely enthusiastic man announced.
"And I'm Tang!"
Someone in the audio effects booth keyed the sound of a sheep that sounded like it was being raped and slaughtered simultaneously.
"And this is Tang and Eddie's Dumb Shit in the Mornings! Today we're broadcasting from the Hé Hua Luxury Shopping Megaplex, and we've got quite a show for you here today! There are tens of thousands of fine Imperial citizens gathered here today - "
"Millions," interjected Tang.
"Fuck it, why not billions? There's billions of people here today during our Days of Harvest Fest Celebration, and they are all here in hopes of winning a brand new Hé Hua manufactured Xerxes VI spaceship!"
The sheep noise was cued once more, and Cultist-chan watched in rapt fascination, waiting for them to bring her up onstage as the winner.
Tang said, "I hope I win!"
"This contest is sponsored by Hé Hua Retail Properties, Inc., Xerxes Interplanetary Sports, SatRad 3.021 gHz, Pokedex Entertainment, and of course, the might of the God Emperor of Man."
"May he always watch over us," Tang added reverently.
"Don't touch that dial you faggots, because we'll be announcing the winner of our contest momentarily. It's a beautiful day to broadcast from the Shopping Megaplex, don't you think Tang?"
More sheep noise, this time mixed in with the whirring of a food processor. "You're fucking right about that Eddie."
"The weather's gorgeous, the beer is flowing, the kiddos are reenacting the greatest battles of mankind against the heretics and xenos, and best of all, the ladies are dressed in the shortest skirts of the season! I couldn't think of anywhere in the Imperium I'd rather be today. Hé Hua is the crown jewel of the Segmentum Pacificus."
Cultist-chan was enraptured by their banter.
"And Xerses Interplanetary produces its finest spacecraft."
Eddie keyed in again. "Well, that's enough bullshit from us, let's get this contest started! Today's special guest is last year's Miss Hé Hua, Carmen Secundis!"
The crowed applauded politely, and a few of the men jeered and catcalled to the beautiful woman. She had blonde hair, brown eyes, and she was wearing a shimmering seafoam green dress that emphasized her breasts more than it covered them. She shook the rigged random number generator, and the whole crowd waited with baited breath as the massive telescreens zoomed in to show its face, which was wildly jumping between digits as it prepared to spit out the first number of the winning ticket. Everyone was watching except Cultist-chan. She was so utterly sure that she would prove to be the victor that she was already pushing her way through the crowd to the stage.
"The first digit is… Two!"
"Yay, Hwue wonh!" Cultist-chan howled.
"Tss!" someone next to her hissed. "I'm trying to hear the numbers."
There were a few impassioned groans as some of the crowd discovered they were already out of the running for the Xerxes VI.
"Two!" Tang cried into the mic.
Cultist-chan chanted a small tune under her breath, trying to make sure she remembered the sequence of the number since the script on the ticket was totally lost on her.
Eddie announced, "Three!"
At the edges of the crowd, a few people were already making their way back to public transit or their personal groundcars. Cultist-chan was so overwhelmed by the excitement that she peed in her panties a little, creating an obvious wet stain right over her crotch. She would have been completely humiliated if she were remotely capable of experiencing that emotion; instead, she was completely fixated with joy.
The crowd was now torn between two emotions – most had given into bored dejection, but those few still in the running realized that their chances were getting better and better with each number rattled off. There was a palpable sense of expectation in the air.
Cultist-chan was almost to the front of the crowd, and it took all of her depleted self-control reserves not to knock down citizens like ninepins in her rush to get on the stage. The spacecraft gleamed brightly in the late morning light, and it was the shiniest and most beautiful thing that she'd ever seen in her entire life.
"Yaaaaaaay!" Cultist-chan shouted, oblivious to the annoyed looks she was drawing from those around her. "Hwee are thza winnher!"
Carmen Secundis personally checked Cultist-chan's ticket, and then waved the girl onto the stage. There was some grumbling from the crowd; some were simply annoyed about the fact they'd lost the contest, but others were scandalized by the girl's heretical costume. It was all well and good for the small children to play at being Orks, but for a girl who was old enough to know better to go out in such a skimpy and sacrilegious getup…
Eddie came up to her and offered her a mic. "Congratulations, young lady! You're the proud new owner of a Xerxes VI interplanetary skimmer! I'd like to remind everyone this contest was sponsored by Hé Hua Retail Properties, Inc., Xerxes Interplanetary Sports, SatRad 3.021 gHz, and, of course, Pokedex Entertainment. What do you have to say to the folks at home?"
Cultist-chan was beside herself with joy. "Hwue have kapthured zthis ship for KAY-OUS!"
Eddie and Tang exchanged nervous glances, and the crowd grew even more restless. A little bit of make-believe once in awhile might unsettle their offworld overlords, but as long as the taxes were paid and the grain exported they were rarely visited by curious Inquisitors. But this girl was making a total spectacle of herself, and if this went on much longer she might attract unwanted attention to their world.
Is she drunk? Tang mouthed to Eddie, who shrugged.
"Just get her out of here!" a disembodied voice demanded in their tiny implanted headsets.
"That's just great!" Eddie said nervously into his mic. "Why don't you take this ownership chip and take her out for a spin?"
Tang tossed her the small key, which Cultist-chan caught, fumbled, and dropped. The entire crowd got a clear view of her stained crotch while she struggled to pick the key up by its edge. Finally, to the collective relief of all the assembled, Cultist-chan keyed the down the gangplank, boarded the small ship, and sealed herself safely inside. The crowd shared an unspoken agreement that they would never, ever speak of this again.
The inside of the ship was quite small; there was a cargo bay, one small bedroom, one larger bedroom, and then finally the bridge. Cultist-chan made her way to the control room of the ship, while a few of the more impetuous members of the crowd started jeering and throwing cups of soda or baskets of fries at the gleaming spaceship. Oblivious, she turned on the main computer and started hitting buttons at random. Several important-looking warnings came on the screen, but since she was totally incapable of reading them, she simply jabbed the only button she could recognize: "OK." The ship's autopilot engaged and the craft lifted itself off the stage. Eddie and Tang were rapidly ad libbing even more empty banter to try to talk over the disastrous event.
"Yay! Kay-ous!" Cultist-chan happily announced to the empty bridge.
Warp travel was unspeakably dangerous. By no means should a person jump into the Warp without a carefully crafted flight plan, a Navigator, and proper authorization from all of the relevant authorities. Cultist-chan had none of those things, but she did have a shiny red button that looked like so much fun to press. She pressed it and idly scrolled through the ship's repeated warnings that what she was about to attempt was a terrible idea, until even the autopilot gave up on its attempt to prevent her from committing suicide. Cultist-chan had always loved the sensation of the Warp, and she was overjoyed when the ship made a totally unguided, unshielded hop into the great forbidden zone.
The cabin of the ship was filled with sparkles and a kaleidoscope of rainbow colors for a tiny fraction of a second, and then the ship was suddenly and violently jerked back into realspace. Cultist-chan was astonished to find herself thrown against the rear wall of the bridge and right into a tasteful picture of the God-Emperor, shattering it. She groaned in surprise and agony, and she coughed up of blood. The bridge of the ship was a total wreck. The forward viewscreen was blown to pieces and the cabin of the ship was exposed to the environment of wherever she had landed. Several small electrical fires burned furiously, and the part of the ship that handled emergency protocols had also been ruined by the force of the impact, leaving them to grow unchecked. The air was filled with the smell of smoke, but that's not what made her feel uneasy. Their was a powerful crackle to the air that was far worse – all Cultist-chan's hair was standing straight up, and she could taste static electricity sparking between her sharp, pointy teeth.
"Hwue krasht hour beautifyl shtip for kay-ous," Cultist-chan reflected regretfully.
The air in the cabin became even more pregnant with leaking energy, and Cultist-chan climbed out of the broken viewscreen onto the destroyed bow of her ship to see just what she'd run into. There were several teams of Imperial firemen desperately trying to hose down the hot wreckage, and they were swearing in that very specific way that men do shortly before they die. She'd somehow run her ship into a large metal column, and the very center contained a fiercely glowing blue cylinder restrained by a cracked sheath of transparent metal. Cultist-chan had no way of knowing it, but she'd inadvertently pointed her ship like a dagger right at the heart of Hé Hua, and then struck with all her might.
Moments later, the sheath gave way and an intense jet of gamma radiation burst out of the crack, completely sterilizing half the planet in a single horrifying instant. Even Cultist-chan could feel the sudden convulsion in the Warp from the billions of simultaneous deaths, and she was propelled into the fabric of the Warp by the shockwave from the psychic blast. Moments later the rest of the sheath failed, and the world of Hé Hua was immediately reduced to an energetic rock, radiating brightly in the gamma spectrum. Cultist-chan was overjoyed to find herself in the Warp, but it was less happy to see her; as though it were a sentient being fearing infection, it boiled and roiled away, desperately trying to avoid being contaminated by her. At the summons of one of its elder gods, the Warp unwillingly bore her forward, into a great castle made of brass overlooking an ocean of blood. When it finally spat her out, Khorne himself glared menacingly at the little Chaos Undivided cultist from his infernal throne.
"Hum, hi?" Cultist-chan offered tentatively.
A voice came out from the helm of the mighty Chaos God. It sounded like death steeped in torment; as though it had dug itself out a grave animated solely by hatred for all living things.
"I will grant you one boon as a reward for today's slaughter, frail little creature. Ask wisely."
Cultist-chan bit her lower lip, inadvertently drawing blood thanks to the sharpness of her teeth. Many possibilities cycled through her head – she could ask for a puppy, or a new mattress, or to get her spaceship returned to her intact. Then in a flash she realized the one thing in the universe she really wanted more than absolutely anything at that moment.
"Hwour pet is thungry, hand hwe whould love a hwaffhle iron."