The Cybernetics of the Hydra — Chapter 7

Read Chapter 6 here.

7
What happened to Aural Impash?

Aurelio told him all the details of his life after he met the “Primarch”. The pain he, his family, and his friends carried because of the demanding requirements of the Alpha Legion. Once Aurelio told him about what happened last month, Skoal stopped his tinkering and removed his spectacles. He was shocked by the severity of the damage he had caused.

“You are telling me that you faked your death without telling your family. And then, after the funeral and a month of grievance, you appear back home only to tell them this was all a charade, but you would still disappear from their lives. Without mentioning anything about the Astartes?” asked Skoal distrustfully.

“Part of the job. Not my idea to go back and tell them, but I was ordered to.” replied Aurelio.

“Don’t you miss them? Can you even realize the pain that you inflicted?”

“Thank the Emperor, not my case. At least they now know that I’m alive!” said the foreman technician.

“From all the civilizations I’ve studied, I’d say that this is something that most of them would find sacrilegious. You know, against their sacred values or what not. They may be one or two out there, there is always an exception. But overall, that doesn’t take away the reality that you are an asshole.” said Skoal. His face neutral with an honest expectation towards what Aurelio would say.

“Is that your professional opinion, boy?” laughed Aurelio.

Not knowing what to say, Skoal put the spectacles on again and resumed the precision tinkering. The complex arrangements of cables per census servitor made him question why they weren’t using automation for this. At least some algorithmic detection to avoid connecting the wrong outlets. Aurelio glimpsed at the beginner without moving his body and keeping his hands in the servitor his working on.

“Is not my intention to mock you. I know that I’m what you would call a poor fellow. Bad company. They know it too, that’s why I’m here and in this particular mess.” confessed the instructor. “What I’m scared about is why they sent you here. A smart man would know to think twice about dealing with the Legion.”

Skoal stared him for a second with his hands frozen in the air. He shrugged his inappropriateness focusing back to his task. The fact that they were alone wasn’t enough to raise the stakes like that. He was impressed with the honesty and blunt audacity of the technician.

“Oh, but their system is not flawless, child. And a mind like yours would be the only requirement to figure this out, with some evidence of course.”

Skoal was not a brave fellow, unless it meant an opportunity to explore the horizons that he sets his mind upon. He wouldn’t lose an opportunity to follow this line of reasoning.

“I know you spent several years in the Magisterium. So, when you say evidence, do you mean failures like Tesstra Prime? Or you are talking about proof of a systematic inefficiency?”

Aurelio stopped what he was doing and stared at him. Skoal shrugged back when Aurelio’s laughter broke the silence and filled the room. His loud and genuine laugh was contagious and Skoal nervously giggled back. The instructor approached him and gave him a pat in the back.

“You are dangerous, little one. We’ll need extra measures to protect that fluffy butt.”

Read Chapter 8 here.

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