Chapter 6

This page is blighted with mold and the imprint of a memory…

The words seep experience into your open mind…


A crowd has gathered to stand with me, their emperor, soon to be so much more. Amsot spread word of my arrival, and they clamored to be first in my presence in the viewing chamber. I spot the Guardian and his little Light as well—an extra morsel of bait. The Ghost watches while the Guardian resigns to the rear. Pity.

All come to view the zenith of my labors. I am omnipresent. Every angle that can be seen is seen by statues at every corner. My plated carriage monitors the Crown for aberrations. It is adorned with gold from the Castellum for my viewing. I paid many lives to pry it free from Hive clutches, but it bent most agreeably… its ability to bridge minds… and bring them to submit. I see my tributes, Scorn gibbering nonsense in unison, lashed and plugged to the Crown—a thorn made tool in my brilliance. My daring Councilors anchor their psyches and prepare to begin the communion. Greatness is before us.

These watchers: I shall thrill them.

I clap four monumental pairs of hands. "Let it… begin."

I turn all my gaze to the chamber's expansive viewing window as shutters unveil the grave of Mars. Tendrilic bands of phasing Darkness spiral from the anomaly's core, enrapturing all of me… beckoning into the depth of its core with whispers like hooks through nervous flesh. I gape into the stimulating writhe. "Yes…"

My Councilors place their hands on the Crown and focus cognition through it. They pry open the Scorn's collective synaptic pathways and sew them into the fabric of the anomaly's memetic sphere. The Glykon strains against the pull.

Velocity surges forward to the anomaly; the surrounding reality tears away. We hold, suspended before the writhe. It fills all sight; Nothing just beyond the bend. Time ceases, and the cosmos arcs to accommodate my will. Now.

"Delight in me. I emulated all of me in your image; stretched my mind to live through so many… I reaped the pleasures and experiences of every vessel. But despite my sundry perspectives, I still only see through my own eyes—and I want more." I peer into the Dark nothing. "You are… oblivion. Not a destruction, but a melding of all that has come to pass. I wish to become as you are. To gorge on existence. To collect your promise to elevate me." My laughter is wild. All of my forms transfix on the swirling anomaly. "LOOK UPON ME!"

The cosmos bends and snaps as I stand, returned to my feeble reality. Ignored again. The Scorn shriek nonsense in unison. It drowns out of the whispers. It is all any of me can hear.

I reach out, as you showed me when last we met. I split open each Scorn mind from my carriage, searching for you. Nothing. Every time. So I tear open their bodies. Fitfully pulling limb from socket, mind from skull, scouring them for your presence. I search until the shrieking can only be heard from distant pens.

I meet the eyes of each crew member who would not look away. In them, I see it. You. Peering back from behind the tension: An Observer.

FRENETIC SCRAWL INKED IN THE MARGIN READS: Dug out a spot under the refuse pit. It's still running, so be quick.