Sunday, 28 June 2015

Out of the frying pan

With the howl of a wounded daemon, the drop pod plummeted towards the Imperial lines, slowing barely in time to turn a fatal impact into a merely agonizing one.

The doors hissed open.

Vast power-armoured figures strode out, their equipment glittering in the weird green light of Drachtos. All around them, Imperial troopers worked and scurried. Here ammo containers were carried from dropship to Chimera; there a platoon were busily reinforcing the new trenches. Thousands upon thousands of warriors, the backbone of the Emperor's armies, toiling to serve His will. Every one of them tough, loyal, and above all - hungry.

"There." One of the figures pointed towards a low concrete building. "The facility is complete, it appears."

They strode purposefully towards their target, and troopers hurried out of their way even as they stared upon the white-armoured demigods. Rameses led the way inside, flicking open the massive doors with one hand. The occupants looked up, and sprang to attention.

"My lord Astartes! Welcome to our humble facility. I hope it meets with your approval. I must apologise, it was built in haste..."

"You are?"

"Adept Arcturis, my lord. I and Lieutenant Brador" - he indicated a guardswoman to his left - "are responsible for this facility."

Rameses nodded approvingly, his mighty brow creasing. "We will see."

He turned and led the way into the main chambers. Chromesteel glistened everywhere, vast metal benches stretching between whitewashed walls. Arclights beamed down so that no corner of the chamber was in shadow. Pipes wove their way around the room like gigantic iron pythons, skull-topped taps and valves jutting from them. Crates and storage units were everywhere.

The commander grinned, running armoured fingers through his rust-coloured hair. All was as promised. He walked to his appointed place in the centre of the room, a gleaming pedestal with many shelves. Two eagle-tipped banner poles hung above him. Mounting the stairs, Rameses slowly drew a gigantic blade from his belt. Brador tried not to gawp; Arcturis had no such self-control. Rameses ignored them.

"Brother-Entremetier Olivier, to your station. Brother-Rotisseur Cradox, kindle the promethium. Brother-Patissier Kipling, at the ready. Commis-Scouts, bring forth the ingredients. I will lead us in the sacrifice to ensure the Emperor's favour."

"Ave, Brother-Cuisinier!" they shouted, as one. Armoured fists pounded on armoured chests like the resounding of great bells.

"Very good. Begin!" Brother-Cuisinier Rameses turned the gleaming cleaver in his hand, and looked around at the staring humans. "And one of you serfs bring me the thrice-accursed ham."

Thus was the coming of the Iron Chefs to Drachtos.

In the grim darkness of the far future there is only brunch.

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