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- 40K High story: Miranda’s internship
- As the treasury aircar pull up to the edge of the massive stone complex that was the hub of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Miranda began to regret asking, or rather demanding, that her father not accompany her on her first day at work. Her reasoning had been sound, she was sure of that. The presence of one of the Primarchs would put everyone on edge, and she didn’t want to be thought of only as the Magnus’s daughter. Yes, she reassured herself, to she needed to come here on her own. Still as she saw the massive edifices of Adeptus complex looming over her, she could not help but feel but feel small and just a little bit frightened.
- All of the great buildings of the Adepta on Terra were wonders of architecture, and the Adeptus Astra Telepathica was no exception. But where the other Adepta headquarters were designed to inspire awe and reverence, with statues and frescos depicting the glory of mankind that those inside worked to ensure, the Scholasta was designed to invoke a very different feeling. The statues faces were more severe, the images on the reliefs more disturbing than glorious, its angles and proportions meant to dissuade trespassers not welcome visitors. Miranda had been here before, but without the comforting presence of her father, the building seemed even larger and more imposing than when she had first seen it.
- “Get a hold of yourself Miranda,” she chided herself as she walked into the building, “You’ve graduated highschool. You’re not some scared little girl who needs to run to her daddy.”
- As she made her way through the building she was stopped and asked for identification multiple times, which she found oddly refreshing. She was so used to being immediately recognized as one of the primarchs daughters.
- After the last checkpoint she was escorted into a large office lined with overstuffed bookshelves and filing cabinets. At the center of all this sat a large desk as covered with dataslates and papers as the rest of the office, behind which sat Aticus Verenar, the man she was supposed to meet.
- Aticus had the look of an older man, with thin limbs poking out from his robes, his skin near translucent except for his profusion of liver spots, only a thin fringe of snow white hair remained upon his scalp, but the eyes that looked at her through thin rimmed spectacles were sharp and clear. In truth he was even older than his evident age, and Miranda could not help but wonder why he’d chosen to arrest his aging with juvenaint treatments so late. Before she could ponder this too long Aticus waved her to take one the seats before his desk.
- “Ah, Lord Magnus’s daughter, it is good to see you again. We have met before, though you likely don’t remember, you were far smaller then.” Aticus voice was low and raspy, and he spoke with the same slow deliberate pace she remember her mom’s father used.
- “Actually I do remember Mr. Verenar. It was my 9th birthday party.” Miranda replied, trying to sound professional. She was here to start working, not for a social call.
- Aticus raised a bushy white eyebrow, “Really? That is a rather impressive memory you have there.”
- “We all have eidetic memories Mr. Verenar,” Miranda informed him, referring to her cousins of course.
- “Well, that will serve you well for the work you will be doing. To be honest it was a bit of a puzzle finding out how to fit you in her.”
- Miranda cut in, “I don’t want any sort of special treatment.”
- “Nonsense,” Aticus rebuffed her.
- “No, I’m serious. I’m here because I want to work, not just because I’m Magnus’ daughter.” Miranda’s rehearsed refusal was cut off by Aticus raised hand.
- “You do not understand, child. No ‘special treatment’? That is simply nonsense. Everything about you is special, and I do not simply mean your father’s lofty position.” Miranda raised a skeptical eyebrow at this and elderly bureaucrat sighed, “You are a psyker, but rather than being taken onto the black ships as soon as your powers manifested, you attended a high school full of mundane children. Your powers manifested at a younger age than any human, and in part because of this as teenager you have more familiarity and control over you powers than most will ever achieve despite never having attended the Scholastia in any capacity.
- No special treatment? Ha, should I treat you as an alpha plus level psyker who has evaded the black ships for over a decade? I assure you that would result in a very short internship.” Aticus asked, his lips tightened into a small smile.
- Miranda was at a loss for words. How had she not considered this? She had always been aware of how her gifts had made her different from the other student in Imperitor, even from her other cousins save Angelica. But somehow the full implications of how different her status as one of the primarchs daughters had made her education from that of any other psykers had not fully sunk in. After a moment she responded meekly, “No, you’re right. I guess I am special. What exactly did you have planned?”
- Aticus continued to smile as he responded, “I discussed this with your father and several other senior members of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, and it has been decided that you should need to understand the full scope of our work here. Thus, You work in each of the four branches of the Adeptus in turn, so that you may see how each operates and the purpose they serve.”
- Miranda was confused again, “Four branches?”
- Aticus nodded, “You will work with the Astropaths within the City of Sight, those who are to become fully Sanctioned Psykers within the Scholasita Psykana, and even see the true workings off the Astronomicon within the Forbidden Fortress. You will be one of only a handful who has entered there and will return. But before all this you will assist in perhaps the most crucial branch of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, the one without which the others could not function, the administrative.”
- Miranda mouth dropped open. Paperwork?! That was what she was going to do for the next several weeks.
- Aticus continued over her silent exasperation, “Technically this branch is a part of the Administratum, but we have come to think of ourselves as part of the Adepta Astra Telepathica, as it is for them we work and we are unique. The other Adepta headquarters on Terra, Arbitus, Mechanicum, Munitorum, all have counterparts on other worlds, and there administrators too. But there is only one City of Sight, only one Astronomicon. All psykers from across the Imperium come here, and their names, their origins and eventual place within the Adeptus must all be accounted for.”
- Aticus continued, but Miranda’s thoughts were elsewhere. Paperwork?! She had always enjoyed reading, but this promised to be the worse than the most boring of busy work she had ever been assigned.
- At length Aticus finished, “Unfortunately I will not be able to attend to your involvement during your time with us directly. Your direct superior should be waiting outside, her name is Roxanne.”
- Miranda shook Aticus’s hand and walked out the door still lost in her own thoughts. The woman who would no doubt be assigning her endless amounts of drudgework was indeed waiting outside the office. Roxanne was in her early-thirties, and while not exactly beautiful possessed a certain most boyish prettiness that made her seem younger. Her dark hair cut to just below the ear, her hazel eyes bright and dancing as she took in Miranda.
- She greeted Miranda with a firm handshake and an open smile, “Hi, Miranda, right? Hope you don’t mind doing introductions on the go but there is a lot of work that needs doing.” Roxanne had already turned away and was walking at a brisk pace as Miranda hurried to catch up.
- “Sorry for the walk and talk, but Aticus tends to go drone one forever if no one stops him and we were supposed to be back at the office five minutes ago. My names Roxanne, but you should call me Anne, or Roxie if we become friends, which we aren’t now but hopefully that will change. I’ll introduce you the others you’ll be working with then we get to the office,” Roxanne explained as she navigated her way through the near identical hallways with the ease of long familiarity.
- Miranda was only half listening, still lost in her thoughts. ‘Paperwork? I knew it wouldn’t be all fun, this is work after all, but what’s the point in having me do paperwork? I’m one of the most powerful psykers in the galaxy, and they want me filling out form in triplicate?’
- Suddenly Roxanne stopped, catching Miranda off guard. She grabbed Miranda’s shoulder and looked her straight in the eye, “You haven’t been listening to a work I’ve said?”
- Miranda started to object, but Roxanne held up a finger for silence, “I can tell what you’re thinking. Don’t need to be a psyker for that. You’re thinking that your too good for this. You’re the daughter of a damn primach and having you rubber stamp paper work is a waste of your time.”
- Miranda looked down sheepishly. She was used to her father catching her thoughts, but hadn’t realized how obvious they were in her face.
- Roxanne lifted up Miranda’s chin with hand until they were once more looking each other in the eye, “Well tough shit.”
- “You’re in the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, and if there is one place in the Imperium where who your daddy is doesn’t mean shit it’s here. When you get loaded onto the black ship it doesn’t matter if you were underhive scum or the governor’s first born, you’re sent off here. And when you get it still won’t matter, because you’ll get sent off to the City of Sight or the Hollow Mountain without a single thought to who you were out there.” Roxanne eyes and voice softened as she finished, “This place isn’t about what’s fair, or what you deserve. It’s about keeping the Imperium running, and that’s what you’re gonna do.”
- “I’m sorry,” was all Miranda could bring herself to say. She had not expected to be dressed down, twice, before she even started working. This internship was looking to be a lot less fun than she had thought it would be.
- Roxanne’s eyes regained their brightness as she lips turned up in a smile once more. She put her arm around Miranda as she started them walking once more down the halls,
- Miranda was surprised at the contact. Few were ever willing to get close to her, most treating her as something between fine china and an armed hand grenade. Even some of her cousins were unwilling to touch her, knowing that with her gifts physical contact made seeing into their minds all the easier. Roxanne didn’t seem to worry about that, as with the contact her surface thoughts drafted into Miranda unhindered.
- (The girl could use a hug. I should try to make her seem welcome, maybe tell a joke)
- “Don’t worry about it. Besides you won’t be doing any rubber stamping. You need authority to do that,” Roxanne said aloud.
- Miranda made sure to smile at the feeble joke, and broke away from Roxanne’s touch as casually as possible to avoid anymore unintentional eavesdropping, “So I’m guessing you’re the one with the rubber stamp.”
- “Yep, I’m the one with the big desk in RO 156.”
- Miranda looked around, the door next to her was labeled RO132 and said, “So we must be getting close.”
- “Indeed, this is Review and Oversight. It’s a bit of a hike from Aticus’s office, but we’ll be sitting on our butts most of the day and I could use the walk.” Roxanne replied, having caught Miranda’s unspoken ‘finally’.
- “So you find and fix other peoples mistakes here?” Miranda asked, to keep the conversation going.
- Roxanne shook her head, “That’s Review and Correction; we passed there a little bit ago. When R&C finds a mistake they send it on to us.”
- ‘Triple checking, that sounds like the administratum’ Miranda thought, but said “So you get to rubber stamp their corrections”
- Again Roxanne shook her head, “There’s more to what we do than that. I’ll let Jacob explain, he says it better. I’ll introduce ask his to explain it all after I introduce you to the rest of the team.”
- “Oh, that gives me an idea. Keep your eyes open and watch the team at work today, I’ll have some questions for you at the end of the day. And I mean those two,” Roxanna pointed two fingers at Miranda’s face, “not your third eye.”
- Miranda blushed and touched her headband unconsciously, “You know about that?”
- “That you’re a psyker; of course they told me that.”
- “No, I mean about my third eye.”
- Roxanne stopped in her tracks, and raised an eyebrow at Miranda, “What?”
- Miranda shifted from foot to foot, “A lot of people get uncomfortable about it. That’s why I wear the headband.”
- Now it was Roxanne turn to blush, “Oh, I had no idea. I just meant it as a metaphor for you being a psyker. If you’re embarrassed about it, I won’t tell any of the others.”
- Miranda smiled a little, “I’d appreciate that.”
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