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DEldar, Choir Boy, /tg/

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Sep 1st, 2013
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  1. The chapel was a tall room, its walls (lined with beautiful carvings of religious scenes and imagery, holy passages in High Gothic and, of course, sculptures of the God Emperor himself) stretching high up into the darkness beyond the reach of the candles that acted as the sole source of illumination in the windowless room. The church was narrow, a pulpit at one end and the double doors that provided entrance at the other, with several wooden pews taking up most of the space in the room, other than a narrow aisle down the middle.
  3. The choir boy sat alone in the room, his arms wrapped around one of the great rolls of scripture the chapel-master and preachers would often read from during service. He sat on the hard stone platform that raised the pulpit slightly above the rows of benches in the room, his back resting on the pulpit itself. The other boys had fled shortly after the preacher had left in order to ‘check the situation’; they had said that the cleric would not be returning; that he was attempting to abandon them all while he could. The remaining choir boy didn’t believe it; he had faith in the preacher and silently reassured himself that the man would return soon and congratulate him on his unwavering loyalty to the chapel.
  5. A sudden burst of noise made the choir boy look up; the sound of footfalls, a chatter of gunfire. The fighting outside was growing closer. The young cleric stood, the scroll of scripture still held tightly to his chest. It gave him a slight sense of courage, and reminded him that, no matter what happened, the Emperor would be watching and protecting him.
  7. More sound. Someone outside cried out in pain briefly, then fell silent. The boy stood his ground, staring at the door; no matter what came through, he would stand here. His faith was absolute. He would not be moved. But, even as he pursued these thoughts of martyrdom, he couldn’t help but shiver. He was scared and, though he kept his face set in a look of determination, his body shook violently at the thought of what would happen to, not just him, but this holy place that he had spent time in everyday and grown to love as a home.
  9. With a great groan and creak, the double doors at the end of the chapel were opened, and in walked three figures whose very presence sent the young preacher into another fit of fearful quaking. Three xenos, taller than many adults the boy had seen in his entire life, had entered the chapel, each one dressed in a bizarre outfit of tight black material, so tight in some places that it clung to each curve of the xenos’ bodies like a second skin, while in other places it was thicker with armour or completely absent, showing off the pale skin beneath. The xenos did not wear helmets; each wore a sort of elaborate headpiece that kept long, fiery red hair off their faces. Other than the long, tapered ears, each xeno resembled a human woman, but with abnormally pale skin and beautiful but sharp and cruel features. Perhaps worst of all, however, was the fact that each xeno carried a large, long barrelled gun.
  11. The choir boy caught sight of what may have been bodies lying on the ground outside, before the doors slowly swung shut again, blocking them from view. The three xenos advanced towards him, eyeing up the room distastefully. One stopped before him, practically towering over him, and looked down at him with an expression of cool indifference. The choir boy stared back at her, his attempts at putting on a brave face slowly deteriorating as tears crept into his eyes. He closed his eyes, two tears rolling down his cheeks as he did, and opened his mouth with the intent to start praying to the Emperor in what little High Gothic he knew, only for his voice to catch in his throat as he felt the barrel of the xeno’s gun press against his forehead.
  13. He heard one of the xenos suddenly snap something. The xeno standing before him replied in the same foreign language. He opened his eyes. While her gun was still pressed to his head, the xeno before him had turned to look at her two companions and all three were now conversing, though they would occasionally fall silent and start gesturing at each other and occasionally at him. Eventually, the xeno standing in front of the choir boy turned back to him, her features twisting into a cruel smile as she lowered the gun from his head.
  15. “You’re a lucky mon’keigh, aren’t you?” she drawled, suddenly speaking in Low Gothic. The young preacher was taken aback by the xeno’s sudden change in language and opened his mouth as if to respond, but again his voice caught in his throat and he had to stifle a terrified sob.
  17. This fearful reaction was met with demented giggles from all three women. When the laughter subsided, the xeno spoke again. “What’s your name, little mon’keigh?” The young boy stared at her blankly, prompting her to ask again, this time with an impatient edge to her voice.
  19. “P-Persus,” he stammered quietly after she repeated the question. The xeno woman nodded and lowered herself until she was practically kneeling in front of him, bringing her face level with his. Persus looked away from her, trying to avoid eye-contact. However, a pale hand was placed upon his cheek and his face was turned back towards the xeno.
  21. “Persus, my name is Zesia. My two friends over there are Lidai and Deira,” she said, gesturing at each of her companions as she spoke their names. “We’ve decided not to kill you, little mon’keigh, on the condition that you do exactly as we say. Do you understand?”
  23. Persus nodded in answer to Zesia’s question. Still smiling, her eyes travelled over his body, taking in what she could see of him: much of his body was hidden beneath the simple white robes of a choir boy. Eventually, her eyes fell upon the scroll that Persus still held tightly to his chest. “What have you got there, mon’keigh?”
  25. “The… the word of the Emperor,” the boy replied meekly.
  27. “Can I have a look?” Zesia enquired in a tone of mock curiosity, and reached out for the large roll of paper. In response, Persus immediately held the scripture tighter to his body and shook his head wildly. Zesia pouted, her fingers brushing against the paper, before her hand swung upwards, slapping the boy hard across the face. Long, sharpened nails dragged across Persus’ cheek as the slap impacted, and several beads of blood welled up from scratch marks over the red hand print left on his face. He whimpered, tears appearing in his eyes almost immediately, and again he did his best to stifle a sob.
  29. Zesia placed her hand on the scroll and simply tugged it from Persus’ weakened grasp. She unrolled the paper and ran her eyes over it, before she looked back at Persus, whose hand rested on a cheek wet with tears and droplets of blood.
  31. “Rubbish,” she said cheerfully, before tearing the parchment in two. Persus looked horrified, his eyes widening and mouth hanging open. He stared at the two pieces of parchment hanging from the xeno’s hands, while she continued to grin at him, observing his reaction with a sick fascination.
  33. Persus eventually found his voice. “You can’t do that!” he cried out, completely shocked by the act of heresy he had just witnessed. Surely, this was the last straw; the action that would call down some sort of divine wrath?
  35. But there was no rain of cleansing fire. No bolts of holy light. No angelic apparitions of the Emperor to judge the xeno or her companions. Persus was alone in the chapel with three Dark Eldar, all of whom were staring at him with a look of perverse hunger, and the realisation was enough to bring a fresh flood of tears to the boy’s eyes.
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