The Cybernetics of the Hydra — Chapter 3

Read Chapter 2 here.

3
A Captains’ meeting

The meeting was scheduled in the office of the High Administrator. Jaccobio was waiting with the other security officers in a separated platform, below the floor of the room center. Their direct superior, Captain Alana Von Ravensburg, waited stoically in the central platform. There was a small round table in the middle, and only one big chair at the periphery of the larger platform. She had been standing in silence right on the scheduled time. A few minutes later, the Administrator entered through the main door in the rear; a direct access to his study and bedroom. Slowly he approached his chair in the edge of the central platform. He walked fast for a man his age, and he never stopped listening to the updates listed by a clerk behind him. Jaccobio pitted the poor adeptus, such a tedious labor. The Administrator raised a hand, and the clerk silently left the room.

“Morning, Captain Von Ravensburg.” said the High Administrator. “It seems our spirit brothers are running late as expected.” his smile only coming from the lower half of his face. The Administrator was an old man, too tired for charades. His attempt to be cordial was merely because social protocols are part of the job. And anything that was part of its duty, was essential for the old man. This was one of the few things he shared with the Astartes. Whenever in their company, he never failed to remark that only in death does duty end.

“Good morning, High Administrator.” she said nothing more.

Not a minute later the Administrator opened his pocket watch. Jaccobio appreciated his hurry, only a few Administratum really fetishized bureaucracy; most of them despised it, including him. As the Administrator, Jaccobio was a dutiful man, but he didn’t appreciate the attending of meetings as a fruitful activity.

“Send for those war maniacs!” ordered the old man in the chair.

“Those of us that are to be here, already are.” said a modulated voice that captured the gaze of most participants. Out of thin air, a tall and fully armored marine appeared walking from one of the modular platforms. Jaccobio, and a few others including Captain Alana, were perplexed before their fooled perception. “Their trickery borders the magical and sinister. Snakes! Rotten snakes!” thought Jaccobio, the usual anger crawling. In his corner of the room, he stood next to the assistant of the battleship’s astrotelepath. He bowed to capture Jaccobio’s attention and remarked on him with a cold stare. He also felt the psychic warning, it came like of his own volition. As a practical and operational individual, Jaccobio usually forgot the depths of those skilled on the beyond. He did the best attempt at silencing his incriminatory thoughts.

On this mishap, Jaccobio’s attention dwindled. He now rejoined what was discussed by the higher officials of the ship. Captain Alana, standing directly in front of him, immediately took his interest. He was mostly attracted by the emotional and eloquent argument presented.

“And thus, I would like to officially request that the massacre in the outer rings of the Voodan system is revised.” concluded the captain.

“That matter is closed, sister. Is that all?” said the Alpha Legion emissary.

“Don’t be a fool, captain.” replied the Administrator. The Alpha Legion was secretive even in the higher spheres of the Empire’s hierarchy. And so, even in this room they weren’t sure about the identity and rank of their emissaries. The highest rank in the ship was a Captain, as they expected and were told. “Although this has been addressed and decided before, the very point of this meeting is reconsideration. Correct, Captain?” added the old man pseudo-smiling to Alana once more.

“Yes, High Administrator. Would you deliver on this? Or should we raise this to higher authorities?” asked Captain Alana with outmost neutrality.

“May I interrupt.” affirmed the legionnaire. “This would not be tolerated. As per the commands of our Emperor, only other Captain of the Crusade should decide on these expedition fleet matters.”

“Do you have a document to back your words, Alpha marine? And have in consideration that I am Captain of the Acquirement.” howled Captain Alana.

“Don’t bring your toy navy titles to the table. Legion is the only authority we will abide. Priest! Make a request to communicate with Captain Irriak.” said the Alpha Legion captain.

Jaccobio felt the tension in the air. It wouldn’t end up in physical violence, but it was common to get into verbal abuses. This would only stir the pot, create more nuisances and inefficiencies in his work. It felt weird that Captain Alana and the High Administrator didn’t refute the legionnaire’s request. But it had some logic, Alana wouldn’t go beyond what the Administrator would allow, and the old man understood the reality of the legion’s authority. Suddenly a projection flashed in one side of the central platform, in front of the Administrator. Another space marine appeared in the screen, fully armored and proudly wearing the colors of the World Eaters. They saw how he read the summary of the meeting so far. Jaccobio rejoiced thinking that the Administratum’s work did save time on some occasions. The legion captain in the projected screen replied.

“The Emperor’s time is valuable, old man. You should rule this disorder, clean up the way for the emperor’s champions. No reconsideration. Death is part of the deal, Alana. Stop whining.” The transmission stopped suddenly. The brute figure of the World Eaters captain disappeared from the projection. And stayed only in Alana’s raging eyes.

The Alpha Legion representative was already exiting through the door. The meeting was over.

Continue reading Chapter 4 here.

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