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Posted: Feb 6 2009, 03:21 PM
Touched by Slaanesh and pressing charges
Member No.: 1
Joined: 15-February 05
The Children of the Warp, Skaven Civil War.
A Time To Refrain From Embracing – Pawed by Vang Three Claws:
Warlock Master Engineer Skarvile puttered about the brass contraption of tubes, spheres, wires, knobs, and levers. The Skaven took several steps back from the metal monstrosity to survey the scene. That should do it, he thought. Skarvile’s head snapped around towards the slave pens.
“Throtvile!” the Master Engineer screamed, “is the sub-subject ready? Yes-yes?”
Assisstant Engineer Throtvile was bent over the struggling form of a slave. The little skaven put up quite a fight considering it hadn’t eaten in days. The slave had nearly chewed through its shoulder straps. Of course, the fact that it had seen what had happened to at least some of the other one hundred and sixty-seven subjects before it could explain why it was so reluctant to cooperate. Throtvile wasn’t the smartest Engineer, but he wasn’t about to risk Skarvile’s wrath by let a subject escape. Throtvile wrenched the club from his belt and brought it down on the slave’s skull with a ‘whump’. The slave ceased to struggle and slipped into unconsciousness. Years in Master Skarvile’s service had taught Throtvile to subdue his subjects quickly without killing them – well, without killing most of them… well, some of them anyway.
“Almost, Mas-master, almost,” replied Throtvile sulkily as he gave the slave another wack in the head just for good measure.
“Well, hurry up, quick-quick,” replied Skarvile, “Get it-it in the cage.”
Throtvile grabbed the bindings holding the unconscious slave’s feet together and dragged the hapless Skaven across the cold stone floor. When they reached the far side of the laboratory, Throtvile dropped the slave’s bindings and fumbled with the keys at his belt. The oafish Engineer finally found the right one and inserted it in the lock of the cage door. As he turned the key, the lock responded with an audible ‘click’. Throtvile popped the cage door open with a ‘creek’ and turned to retrieve his package. The Assisstant Engineer picked up the slave and unceremoniously dumped him in the cage, pushing the cage door closed with a ‘slam’.
Turning towards Master Skarvile, Throtvile responded, “It’s ready, Mas-master Sk-Skarvile.”
Master Skarvile stepped forward towards his machine once more. He clamped his paw on a large dial and turned it five degrees to the right to complete the calibration of the device. The Engineer stopped and considered for a moment and turned it another five degrees to the right – just for good measure. Skarvile opened a small sliding door no bigger than a dagger in the top of the pedestal to his right. He dipped a paw cautiously into the opening and retrieved a small golden amulet. The surface of the piece was covered in runes and the center was hollowed out. The hollowed out center contained a faceted and polished chunk of warpstone that seemed to ooze a sickly pale green light. Attached to the top of the amulet was a fine gold chain. As the Warlock drew the artifact from its hiding place, he dangled it by the chain which he held pinched between his thumb and forefinger as if it were a scorpion that he held by the tail.
“Throtvile,” called the Master Engineer in a low even tone, “come-come. Take-take and apply to the sub-subject.”
The Assistant Engineer shuffeled over to his master and gingerly took the amulet. Throtvile held the piece at arms length as he returned to the cage. He had dropped it during experiment one hundred twelve and was not anxious to repeat that debacle. It had taken him several days to clean the laboratory and scrub out the remains of the two unfortunate thralls that had tried to retrieve it. When he reached the cage, Throtvile bent down and gently looped the chain over the unconscious slave’s head so that the amulet rested on its chest.
Throtvile rose and quickly retreated from the cage. “Ready, Mas-master Sk-Skarvile,” he called out when he had achieved a relatively safe distance. Another lesson hard learned. The fur on his stomach still hadn’t grown back from the accident with experiment twelve. Since then he had been very careful to let Master Skarvile know that the subject was ready only after retreating from the cage.
Master Skarvile wrapped his paws around the massive lever bearing the label ‘DO NOT TOUCH’ at the end of the machine and cackled with delight as he applied his weight and forced the lever into the downward position. The massive contraption ‘whirred’, ‘zzapped’, ‘popped’ and shook so hard that Throtvile thought the machine would shake itself into pieces. With a puff of smoke, the smell of brimstone, and a massive ‘BAMF’ the slave disappeared from the cage and the machine grew still.
A few seconds later, in a nearly identical cage across the laboratory floor, a ‘POOF’ of smoke flooded the cage and leaked out into the laboratory. It worked, tought Skarvile excitedly. Finally, a success. We’ve actually managed to hit the target destination!
As the smoke cleared, it revealed the twised form of what was once a skaven. Metal bars, fur, bindings, straps, flesh, bone, and guts had fused into a single mass. Master Skarvile’s premature joy turned to a sour frown. “Curses!” shouted Skarvile, “Curses, curses! So close, so close! See if it-it’s still alive, Throtvile.”
The Assistant Engineer approached the cage slowly and carefully as the Master Engineer turned back towards his machine.
Master Skarvile surveyed the engine again. It looked right. Well, it sort of looked right. Skarvile reached up and tapped the side of his headgear sending a series of lenses snapping down before his right eye. Aaahhh, now that was better. The Engineer could see that the polarity of the warplightning flow had been reversed. How could he have missed such an obvious mistake!
Throtvile approached the cage with club in hand. The thing seemed to be dead. It wasn’t moving. It didn’t seem to be breathing. There was no way something that distorted could have survived. In the middle of the mass, an eyelid popped open to reveal a blood shot eye. In a split second, a ropy mass of flesh and bone whipped out of the cage and wrapped itself around Throtvile’s neck. In a panic, Throtvile began clubbing the tentacle with all his might as he felt his windpipe being closed off. On his third ‘wack’, Throtvile heard something snap in the ropy tendril and it fell lifeless from his neck.
“Throtvile!” called the Master Engineer, “Stop playing with that-that thing. You-you put the-the power accumulation condenser in up-upsidedown again. Fix it. Quick-quick!”
Throtvile put his paw to his throat and drew his breath in ragged gasps. “Yes-yes, Mas-master,” he replied as he laid into the remains of the slave with his club. “I’ll… ‘thump’… be… ‘thump’… right… ‘thump’… there… ‘thump’,” continued the Assistant Engineer, punctuating each word with a blow to the bloody remains of the mutated slave.
“When you-you’re finished with the condenser, fetch-fetch another slave. Oh, and we’ll need-need another cage,” suggested the Warlock Master. Master Skarvile turned back to his workbench and made a few scratches in his notebook. Hmm… he mused. Subject number one hundred and sixty-nine, an auspicious number. Perhaps he would have better luck with this one.