Monday, October 7, 2013

When a plan comes together... (Part 3)

Xylar finished his work and stepped back from the console he had just finished assembling. Reaching out to close the contacts and turn on the device but he stopped. His hand trembled and would not do as he bid. He stood, rigid, feeling the fog descend on his mind again.

He closed his eyes and listened to the rain falling on the roof of the metal building. He could almost hear the whisper in the back of his head. Almost. He knew it wasn't any language he should be able to understand, but he feared he already knew what it meant. Some other will, something alien, was in his head. Focussing, he exerted his will for control of his own mind. Slowly, deliberately, he drove the presence out of him. His own force of will was very strong, but this ... thing was growing stronger again. He had grown used to the pattern. It would grow stronger week by week until it became almost unbearable, he would experience blackouts more and more often. People he would associate or do business with would succumb to it as well, some would disappear - especially if they suspected who he was. When the struggle became too much, he would flee and find a new planet, then the cycle began anew.

"no more." Xylar whispered, throwing the contact. The device shuddered and then roared to life. In his mind. In the physical world it merely hummed. The scent of ozone filled the air. The roaring though grew louder and louder and then just stopped.

Silence. Psykers always have to battle to quiet the background noise of other mind-chatter. Xylar barely remembered the silence from before his powers awakened. Gone too was the nagging alien voice. He drank it in for a moment, reveling in it.. His hand dropped from the control to his side, coming to rest on the hilt of his pistol reminding him of what was yet to be done. From behind, he heard a confused half gurgle, half hiss.

He turned, slowly and deliberately, drawing his sidearm. He aimed and fired two bolt rounds into the head of the dazed creature in the corner of the room. The genestealer's head exploded in a gory mist. Another of the aliens was in a darkened doorway. It seemed to be shaking off the stun of losing contact with the rest of the brood and turned it's attention on Xylar. There's not many things more dangerous than a genestealer in the same room, but he had just spent several years under the thrall and manipulation of the brood's hive mind. Xylar hated the repression of the Imperium, this was something entirely different. Entirely repressive.

The genestealer gripped the doorframe with two of it's upper limbs as it slowly came into the light. It seemed to tense as it prepared to pounce. Saliva dripped from it's oversized fanged mouth. Without it's broodmates, it had no direction, nothing more but an thing of destruction. Xylar though, was angry, more angry than he had been in years and he poured that rage and hate into his will. He focused that will on the creature before him, seizing it with his mind. Despite his device generating it's dampening effect, the 'stealer stopped moving but only for a moment. That was all he needed. Xylar stomped forward, throwing bolt round after bolt round into the offending monster until it was just a pile of chitin and goo. He stood for a moment over the mess and slowed his breathing, head hung low. The smell of the genestealer's insides were acrid. The empty, smoking gun fell from his fingers, landing with a wet splat in the mess.

After the ringing in his ears subsided, Xylar turned and regarded the only other figure remaining in the room. An imposing, tall, armoured form that sauntered in at the sound of gunfire. Blasphemous writing seemed to writhe across that armour if one stared too long, so he tried not to. Xylar addressed the figure. "Now I believe that confirms my suspicions. Can you remove it?"

The figure responded in a grating, gravelly voice, "I can. I'd bet your life on it." He laughed a deep laugh and then continued, "Let's begin."

Xylar shrugged out of his coat and headed for a table that would serve as a surgical field. "Freedom at last..." he thought.

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