The Cybernetics of the Hydra — Chapter 4

Read Chapter 3 here.

4
Journeymen

It had been a long night. Skoal was tired of moving broken parts of servitors all day. It was a gruesome labor, moving torsos, legs, or combinations of body parts. When he was struggling with a large and greasy thigh, he had the bad luck of crossing the team lead. Skoal legs shaking from the weight made his movement slow as usual.

“How are we hanging, fluffy butt?” said the team leader and Skoal’s new instructor.

“Do… iing… good… Sir” struggled the novice technician. He disliked the new pseudonym, for much appropriate it really was.

“What did I tell you about such formalities, little one?” remarked the instructor with a playful severity. “Come on, fluffy. Leave those thighs there and get moving. Take the electronic kits, we will rewire the census servitors. That fluffy butt surely is tired, eh?” he claimed as he spanked him in the butt. The whole team in the census bay rejoiced in laughter.

The thought of such an inappropriate behavior was becoming a habit for Skoal. This wasn’t the first that Aural Impash, lead of the census team, had behaved in such an archaic fraternal tone. Skoal had been in the census bay for a little longer than a week and he was still the newest addition. In the few moments they had been alone, Aurelio didn’t appear to be such a dominant male. Skoal concluded this was part of his act, a very successful leadership act. The team was a bunch of local young men from the Voodan bourgeois. You would expect some manners from them, but there is no proper way to judge an industrial society.

“Do you take that much time when in bed too? The ladies must love you!” the census bay shook in laughter once again. The act was two ways, they performed as duly assistants and laughed at every single joke.

“My apologies. I’m ready to go, sir. Aurelio! I’m ready to go, Aurelio.”

“Good, the pack of servitors that need maintenance are in the launch-bay. We will also rescue some broken ones in the sub-levels.” he said while strapping a large backpack.

They left the census bay in the Enginerium and walked towards the elevators. Aurelio had lost his alpha male smirk and kept a casual and honest conversation as they walked. Skoal preferred him like this.

Aurelio was a charismatic fellow. He did not miss a single opportunity to socialize with each tripulant of the “Acquirement”. When they got into the elevator, Skoal was relieved to finally be alone with Aurelio. The feeling was short, interrupted by a huge blueish armor that filled the whole elevator. The two organic figures squeezed into the corners.

“Good morning, Alpharius.” said Aurelio smiling, looking extraordinary comfortable. Skoal’s curiosity and panic clashed as he surrendered to the former. He wanted to see what happened. Is here really Alpharius? Why would the Primarch of the Alpha Legion would be taking such a gritty elevator? If he clearly is not the Primarch, then wouldn’t this be some sort of insult? Such train of thought was moving into the conclusion that panicking was the correct choice. If the Astartes got pissed off and decided to kill Aurelio, he would die just as collateral damage.

The huge armored meta-human turned slightly and looked over his shoulder. The glossy red of his helmet eyes had an intermittent light within them. He nodded. After a second, he slowly moved to his original stand.

“Funny one, Aurelio.” said the marine.

“Just making the most of the day. I wish you have a great one.” added Aurelio to lighten the tone.

The elevator stopped, the Astartes got down and returned the precious personal space that Skoal needed. He did this without letting go the doorframe. Once he was ready to let go, he looked again at Aurelio.

“We are all Alpharius. But not all of us have the same humor. I say this because I enjoy your presence in our ship.” he had released the door so when he finished talking the encounter was forcible ended.

Aurelio went pale and mute. Sharing any information was a gift if it came from the Alpha Legion. Secrecy was their prerogative and predicament. He realized that this declaration of friendship was also implying he should reconsider his behavior.

The silence was interrupted by the rowdy cogs of the mechanical elevator. Although Aurelio seemed gravely affected by his interaction with the Legionnaire, he appeared to be back to his characteristic composure. He smiled and nodded at Skoal seconds before the elevator stopped and doors opened.

“After you, little one.” he said with a friendly face. After they had moved far away from the crowd waiting the elevator, Aurelio added “I bet you have a couple of questions in that little head of yours.”

Skoal nodded.

“Re-check your equipment, once we are in the narrow service corridors we can talk liberally.” said Aurelio, and Skoal knew exactly what he meant.

Continue reading Chapter 5 here.

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