Unaussprechlichen Kulten, or Three Days on a Wacko Bin
Published 23/02/95AF on Universal Daily, pg 2Continued from last week...
With a little help from my contact, as well as several rather hefty bribes, we managed to find our way aboard the Raping Angelus
. Despite being undercover, it never fails to send a shiver down one's spy when you see a Hydra ship, as I'm sure many pilots of the Outer Routes can attest to. The sight of the defaced hull, the crude graffiti painted onto the black shell, and that's not even getting to the corpses.
As I walk down the rusty corridors, I can only wonder at the state of occupants of such a ship. While Hydra has never been what one might call a collective of paragons, they have always, at least, been disciplined. Yet as I ventured deeper into the Angelus
, a sense of dreadful wrongness
filled the air. I'm not one of those 'Technopath' fellows, but it was almost as if the ship itself
was sick with disease.
Eventually, Tobius leads me to the Primary Hanger, or as the others called it, 'the Necropolis'. It was a fairly standard, for the ship class. Surprisingly, it contained no Scions, or even any HMVs. Much of the original paintwork had been scraped away, replaced with the Cult's own... I caution to say Propaganda
, for in truth, it seemed little more then messy gibberish at the time. If only I had known what they used to paint with, and how much
By the time we got there, most of the crew had already gathered. I tugged at the hood on my robe, fearing discovery. Luckily, most of the cult's members were transfixed to the far side of the room, where a rather crude caricature of the late leader of Hydra, Alan Fury, had been placed upon. I suspect the artist had done a rather botched job of it, for the painting bore several obvious marks of hasty doctoring.
Tobius' nudging brought me out of my inquisitive state, and I soon realized the room had fallen under a dreadful silence. Judging from the steady rumble coming from below, the Angelus
' warp drive had just dropped us back into realspace. But to where?
Those questions would have to go unanswered for the time being, as the silence was slowly filled with a low, methodical chanting of the words 'S'sanno Trax, M'gia M'gia
'. I later learned it was some form of military lingo used by Hydra's Reclaimer allies during the War, roughly translating to 'Great God Rising, Reborn Reborn'. The chanting continued for a good minute more, during which Tobius and I made our best effort to not get noticed by any wandering eye. Thankfully, luck was on our side yet again.
Eventually, the chanting died down, and the leader of the entire operation took center stage. He was a giant of a man, dressed entirely in crude red robes made of some sort of leather. Cutting through the center of the gathering, tailed by his scantily-clad 'Succubi', the man raised both his arms, and the room fell entirely silent. The man lifted his hood, and I nearly flinched in shock. It was hard to tell what was human about him anymore, for most of his face had been covered in white scales, while the other reptilian features, so distinctive within Hydra's upper echelons, seemed to have taken a turn for the worse. For one, heartstopping moment, I could have sworn those yellow slits looked directly at me, though thankfully I was never singled out. I later learned this individual, revered by his flock as 'The Master
', was none other than Colonel Syndre Mire, wanted in nearly every sector for his role as 'The Butcher of Arrys' in the Karsian Theater. And here he was, a war criminal who seemed to have taken on the role of a god amongst men as well.
At last Mire began to speak, and I quickly activated the recorder I had secured in my sleeve earlier.
"My Children. Dear Brothers and Sisters of Hydra. You Honor me with your prayers, and so I return to you your blessings tenfold. S'sanno Trax, M'gia M'gia
"But know I am but the humble servant of the true gods, and place your true honorifics unto them, for they do
demand your faith. And they are not nearly
as kind as I am."
"Gods they may be, however, but they demand so little from us. So little for such blessings and powers that are our divine birthright..."
At this, the doors of the hanger began to slide open. For a moment, the part of me that handled self-preservation panicked and scream for my legs to run as fast as they could. But I remembered the Grav-Boots Tobius had provided for us yesterday. I had raised my eyebrows at those, since they were damned heavy, but now I made a mental note to give Tobius a little extra when we got out. Still, it was a little unnerving to know that all that stood between us and the outside was a thin security field.
I'm not entirely sure I can describe what I saw in words. Imagine an empty spot in the middle of space, not just devoid of stars, but actively dragging the pinprick lights around it into it's mass. It was a Wastia-Mikalovich Rift.
More specifically, Brimstone's
Wastia-Mikalovich Rift. Numero Uno.
"Behold!" Continued Mire, who at this point seemed close to losing any semblance of sanity. "The Throne of The Fury! King of the Gods! Rex Mundi, M'gia M'gia!"
"Do you feel the power of The Fury within you, My Children? The Light of the Furious God? Holy Flame of the Chosen of Hydra! Yes! Feel the warm glow of The Fury's flame! The Power of the Divine!"
I was beginning to wonder if the loonie would be here all day, when I noticed several of his 'Children' were starting to close in around him. The chanting was loud again, almost defeaning. I got closer to Tobius. There was no telling what would happen next, and I would rather have him with me when we needed to escape.
"But all Power demands sacrifice. Even a God hungers! And when it is time to feed the Flames, who will? The heretics of the broken empire? Our traitorous brethen, followers of the She-Wolf? Who?!
The crowd proceeds to scream 'Hydra!' at the top of it's lungs, of course."Then we shall feed the Gods!"
Those guys clustered around Mire proceed to strip to the full monty, and the big man himself lands a big kiss right on their lips. The crowd's estatic.
"Go my Children! Fury Lives in Death!
They then start running right to the open bay doors, egged on by their buddies. Mire himself looks like he's getting high off the entire thing, screaming his lungs out while spinning around.
And then the happy volunteers throw themselves into the vacuum. One or two swan dive. They don't even struggle as they float off into the wormhole.
And just like that, the ceramony's over. Without so much as a passing word, Mire walks right back out, his Succubi clinging at his legs. Everyone else goes back to work. None of them even talk about the guys who just volunteered for a quick decompression.
Tobius tells me it's time to make ourselves scarce, of course. The ship's schedued to dock at some pirate black market near the South. With luck, we'll get off this crazy thing before someone decides to 'volunteer' ourselves.Next Week- Sex, Violence, and Amnesia!