Emperor preserve us.
I have to write this down. It was, no IS real.
The weeks that we spent in port were normal enough. We secured the cathedral at cost of men and morale. We rested, replenishing morale, and took on more crew costing us money. We spent time rebuilding the cathedral costing us even more money. Lord Draconis spent the weeks either sequestered with Captain Finality or reviewing materials from her. I'm not sure what hold her fifteen year old body has for him, but I don't care.
To stave off financial ruin, we've agreed to escort a liar to a dead world. Ostensibly, we has all the valid documentation to perform an archeological dig on Foulstone. He found the Captain of the Enduring Profit to be incompetent, and wants us to drop him and his crew and cargo on foulstone instead. He's willing to pay incredibly well for a run that is on the way to our other interests. But the seneschal and I know that he's hiding something. The money is badly needed though, and so we agreed to drop them off on Foulstone while increasing the guard on them and theirs.
The entry into the warp was incredibly rough and ill-omened. I did skillfully maneuver the ship through a ring of fire, and I thought that was all we would have to deal with on our journey to Foulstone.
I was wrong.
The one klaxon that a crew in the void never wants to hear begins to sound. The one indicating that the Geller Field is flickering or failing while in the warp. Scanners bring up something I have never seen in all my time on the Frieze. Not a Geller Field under duress from an external source, but a bubble of distress within the Field. It's large, and it's moving towards the bridge.
Quinn and his team mobilize to deal with the issue. Radio contact is lost the moment they get near the disruption. The bulkheads refuse to close in the vicinity of the bubble, and damage teams are reporting that the areas behind the bubble are on fire. It's still moving towards the bridge.
I make the decision to leave the warp without consulting the navigator. It's risky, if a ship, planet, or star exist in real space where we are exiting, we could well break apart immediately. The veil parts, and we re-enter real space.
The bubble is still there. It's still coming. It shouldn't even show up on the schematic, since the geller field automatically powered down in real space, but it's still coming.
It's risky, but I wait until the sphere enters the conning tower and open the airlocks to the holy void. Further away risked venting a large portion of the ship to the void, but nearer has it's own risks. A cloud of bodies, debris, and freezing air shoot out of the ship. The bubble shrinks, and shrinks. And then it stops shrinking. It's still coming. A pounding comes across the bridge's outer doors. It's here.
We closer the outer airlocks. I'm the only person on the bridge who has a suit capable of fighting in space, why don't we have emergency void suits on the bridge? I swear at the men to take up defensive positions and prepare to open fire on the thing the moment the doors fail. Quinn is not here, he may be dead. Lord Draconis is far below decks with his “Finality materials”. It's just me, and the bridge crew, and all we have are bolt pistols. The doors collapse.
The remains of the guard who had served as an impromptu battering ram are tossed inside. Before us, almost as tall as the ceiling is a creature of pure nightmare. A horrible chimera of man, woman, and goat. It lofts high a sword made of pure warp, bellows an inhuman howl, and charges. We open fire.
The beast charges, it's unholy sword neatly bisecting the captain's chair. We are wounding it, but the wounds are closing, but we keep firing, hoping to overwhelm it with sheer amounts of firepower. It flickers once, it's hold on reality slipping. It's terrible sword slashes across the chestplate of my armor, easily bypassing the armor and gravely wounding me. My pistol is almost empty, but we keep firing, surely the monster's hold on reality is almost through.
The bright purple of it's sword is the last thing I see as it slices cleanly through my head.
I wake up, and I'm floating in purple. Is this the afterlife? Before me, an angelic vision floats before me in a flowing white robe. Huh, that's got to be an angel, and there's no sense of time here so I'm dead. Why is the afterlife purple?
“Take my hand if you want to live,” the angel says in her angelic voice.
Well that seems like an easy choice, I take her hand.
“Will you serve me?” she asks.
Wait, aren't I already serving the Emperor?
“Who are you?” I ask.
“I am known as Lilitha.” she replies.
That's...got to be a saint right? St. Lilitha, I'm sure of it, not the patron saint of our ship, but any saint in a storm, right?
“I will” I respond.
She smiles and shows me....everything. The Universe, the chaos underlying it, Lilitha living in the Eye, and the terrible terrible certainty that I've done something unforgivably bad. The images overwhelm me and blackness returns.
I open my eyes
I'm laying on the bridge. A quick glance shows the warp outside the ship, and the ship doors in perfect order, everyone piloting the ship as if nothing is wrong. I stand up. Lord Draconis enters and looks at me strangely. I look back at him strangely and he turns away. A warp dream right? I must have fallen asleep...on the bridge....and no one thought anything of it....
A quick stop by my quarters, and then I head to the ship's temple. Nothing wrong with that, I should visit more often.
But when I get to the doorway? Just as I'm about to enter the sacred space?
I FEEL Lilitha's sigh and the sudden lack of her presence.
Emperor preserve me, what have I done? Who can I ask for help? Is there anyone who can help me, who won't just burn me for a heretic?
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