Story:Full Melta Panic
Farseer Taldeer’s heart beat rapidly in her chest. The Eldar are creatures of intensity in both body and mind- even in the calmest of circumstances Taldeer’s pulse outstripped that of a panicking Mon-Keigh. Now, however, her chest beat at a pace that would have burst any human’s heart- perhaps even the one beside her now. A month ago back on Kronus, his presence had been a strange relief. Now, however, the sight of the assassin only served to agitate the farseer further. Taldeer struggled to keep her emotions in check. They had been personally called here to the Dome of Crystal Seers, and she could ill afford to lose her composure. LIIVI abruptly turned his head, causing Taldeer to look up and then follow his gaze. For a moment she saw but the graceful curves of the crystal trees, lights darting through their structure in veined patterns. Then a figure emerged into view, making his towards the center of the dome where they stood. It was the legend himself; Eldrad Ulthran.
“Well, I must compliment the two of you on your promptness,” said the venerable elder. He surveyed the two of them- Taldeer in her rune-covered armor with wraithbone helm held under her arm, and LIIVI wearing a male Ulthé civilian uniform over his black Vindicare jumpsuit. “Now then: Taldeer. Let’s hear the explanation for this morning’s incident.” She blinked nervously. “Er. . .I think I might be the victim here, Lord Ulthran.” “Are you not a farseer? Surely you remained aware throughout the situation.” Taldeer bit her lip. “Well- er, you see, this Mon-Keigh, ah, he-” “Sir.” Eldrad glanced over curiously. “Yes, LIIVI?” “If you have no objections, this unit will give his report.” Taldeer looked back and forth between the two males apprehensively, but the eldar’s face and mind were equally inscrutable. “Very well.” LIIVI nodded. “This morning at 0930, I was monitoring Miss Taldeer’s progress when I noticed signs that some person or persons had tampered with the deck’s transport mechanism. However, as it was within minutes of the commencement of ritual activities, I dispensed with the inspection and proceeded directly to the most reliable method of disposable.” Eldrad tilted his head curiously. “Reliable?” “I blew it up, sir.” “…ah.” The venerable farseer regarded the assassin carefully. Taldeer swallowed. This was the way it would have to be. Someone had to show LIIVI that the methods of a Mon-Keigh assassin, however well-intentioned, had no place on- “That was the appropriate course of action then,” said Eldrad, nodding sagely. Taldeer’s wraithbone helm slipped from her fingers and clattered to the floor.
“Is there a problem?” asked Eldrad as she fumbled to reclaim her headgear. “L-Lord Ulthran, I don’t understand-“ “Think carefully, Taldeer. In cases such as a package with an unknown sender, one has several options. But in circumstances such as these, there’s really nothing to do but it blow it up.” Taldeer’s mouth opened and closed soundlessly for a moment. “But- Lord Uthran, what manner of ‘circumstances’ justified detonating a meltabomb within the depths of the Ulthwé craftworld?” “A krak grenade would likely have penetrated the door but failed to disable any mechanism inside,” responded LIIVI. “Exactly,” responded Eldrad. “Farseer, you of all people should be well aware of how vital it is to protect the lives of our people. The vigilance this Mon-Keigh has shown these past few weeks is something we should all strive to follow.” “…Is that so?” replied Taldeer, her mind still in a daze. Eldrad nodded again. “I understand the situation now. I’ll speak to the Seer Council and explain things to them. That will be all.”
“And then he just walked off! It was all I could do not to stand there gaping,” ranted Taldeer as she and seven other female psykers assumed positions around the edges of the circular chamber. “Well, at least the Mon-Keigh stepped in for you. He does mean well, after all,” offered the warlock to her right. The eight of them moved between the slender white pillars and into the center of the room, where soft lights gently shone down. Together they moved in a synchronized dance, deactivating the clasps and plates on their wraithbone armor one by one. “I know that, Jairi, but it really seems like he’s just getting worse. I was so mortified when Eldrad summoned the two of us personally, but now I just don’t know what to think.” The warlock frowned as she laid her chest plate on the floor in the arranged pattern. “Listen, about Eldrad. . .I don’t know if it’s a good idea for you to take what he says seriously.” “Oh, don’t start with that business again,” said another psyker from across the circle. “Next you’ll be telling us that theory about how the incident at your birthday last century was his fault.” “It’s not a theory, damn it! I know it was him!” objected the warlock vehemently. “Jairi, please,” said a fourth elder patiently. “Half the people there went in to check and found nothing. And how could a Necron show up on a craftworld in the first place, let alone in your shower cubicle?” “It was there, damn it! HE HAD US BRING IT! That dick must have-“ “Quiet!” hissed Taldeer, struck by a sudden foreboding. “If we make too much noise-“ The crystal ceiling shattered with a crash. LIIVI landed gracefully on the floor as shards rained down, pistol in one hand and exitus rifle held firmly in the other. “Are you unharmed, Miss Taldeer? Where is the…” The Vindicare’s voice trailed off as he beheld the eight barely-clothed females before him. A corona of crackling energy was building above them, arcs of lightning earthing themselves on the nearby pillars. “Oh.”
Some time later, Taldeer stepped out into the hallway, now fully clothed in her civilian uniform. Sure enough, LIIVI was waiting patiently at a nearby bench. He’d found a replacement uniform somewhere, though a few wisps of smoke were still rising off him. Taldeer walked over and sat down beside him, resting her head on one hand. After several moments of silence, she turned to look at the Mon-Keigh. He was still monitoring the surroundings with arms folded, paying her no mind. Irritation swelled once more. “LIIVI, what is it with you? I know you have to be alert on the battlefield but we’re on the Ulthwé Craftworld now. You’ve *got* to lay off on this watch-dog business.” “Negative,” responded LIIVI flatly, turning to face her. “I will always protect you, Taldeer. It’s my purpose.” She stared as he resumed scanning the hallway’s entry points. Why did her heart beat like this at times, watching the human maintain his vigil so resolutely? She sat back with a sigh. “I guess I can’t argue with you. Just keep making sure you don’t hurt anybody, all right?” “Affirmative. I will continue my study of non-lethal methods.” Taldeer shook her head. “You really are hopeless, you know that?” Leaning over, she kissed the Vindicare lightly on the cheek. LIIVI turned, confused. “Miss Taldeer, what-“ The farseer pressed a finger to his lips. “That was for stepping in for me with Eldrad,” Taldeer said with a smile. Standing, she walked off, leaving the bewildered assassin on the bench. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
(To be continued next time! Don’t miss a single exciting episode of the new hit anime, Full Melta Panic!)