Sword & Spoken Word

Private Journal of Harlan Autumnhall, #13

Dear Anastasia,

I surprised myself today.

I had two secrets. The first you know. The second you would know if you if I could deliver these letters, and you could read them.

I thought I do anything, kill anyone, to keep those secrets. I believed that.

But today, I told Nochellie Von Nostra one of those secrets, because it was the only way to save her life. I had to tell her, and Kylie Nakamura, and Lyra as well.

You see, we were in a damaged section of the Eldar webway, and there was a daemon, and…

… you know what? Nevermind. It’s all a bit… out there. And it doesn’t actually matter.

I had to do something. And you know what I did. I mean, you don’t know. But you… know.

Somewhere, somehow, invisibly, gradually, over the two years we have lived together, laughed together, fought for survival together, and everything in between, she turned from someone I would kill to protect my secrets, to someone I would sacrifice those secrets to save.

And Lyra, from a child to almost a woman now. No more jam on the Rose Primarius. No more stuffed animals.

She saved us all, in the Webway, in the Immaterium. She radiates warmth, light, hope. Had she not stepped through that door with us, we would be dead in that freezing darkness, those black and dead tunnels outside the world.

Soul of Fire, the xenos prophet named her. Is it her? Or is it… Him?

I have only a moment to record this. The Daemon we faced there, words cannot describe it, a nightmare vision of infinite suffering, a sort of “pain golem” crafted to some awful purpose by the Ruinous Powers…. I fear I may be injured in some subtle way…

The medical systems have proclaimed me whole but in shock, pumped themselves dry of ultramorph, warning glyphs in my display, and yet my hand screams as if still in the fire. But the armour is without scratch or blemish.

I must stand here silent until the navy shock troops withdraw. Kylie is clinging to me, pretending fear. In truth, she is holding me upright. Good Kitty. Faithful Kitty. Kitty who literally followed me into Hell. I mus’ get her ’sumfin… nice….

…. ooh, theeeeeeeeeeere’s the morphine nowww… pain’s….gone. g’night, Anni. Love you.

{Recording includes several minutes of random background noise before cutting off.}



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