Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Desert Stars Chapter 39 - An UNOFFICIAL Warhammer 40k Fan Audio: A Space Marine story

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Chapter 39

Achela is forty two Rory and Zoelyn

Rory set Ipswich Maze down in a clearing between a trio of hundred foot tall junk piles.

This part of the moon was far more busy than where theyd left, there were servitors

working in twos and threes.

Some collected bits of scrap while others examined things to be passed on to those with

better sensors, and still others buzzed about in the air scouting out the next area to explore.

The junk mounds were anthills and the servitors were its citizens, but where was their leader?

Boyslen, Rory said and dug into his coat pocket for something to burn and puff


Damnit, he bit the inside of his lip remembering this new jacket was the one hed

gotten off that rotten Drukhari Soico, and he hadnt re-upd on smokes since losing

his last jacket.

You okay, capt?

Rory froze and stared at Zoelyn.


Whats that?

She turned her palms up and shrugged while looking over the scene.

No good?

I like nicknames.

I always give one to people I spend time with.

At least longer than a few days.

I have a nickname.

People call me Rattlesnake, or snake, or Rattle, some even go as far as dropping it all the

way down to Rats or Rat.

Not a fan of those.

Honestly, I dont really like any of them.

Snakes have such a bad track record.

Ever heard someone called a snake and it was a good thing?

Zoelyn turned to give him her full attention.

Looking him in the eyes she grinned, No, I cant say I have.

Thats why I want to call you something else.

Ive got a good read on you these past few weeks weve been together and youre no

snake, Mr. Kleo.

Whats your nickname?

Rory lifted his brows.

What makes you think I have one?

That answer for one thing, he said, and before she could make a clever counter

he went on: And I assume youve thought of one for yourself if you come up with them

for others.

I have.


What is it?

If were still together in a month Ill tell you.

Yeah, okay, sure.

Whatever works for you.

How come it feels like youre running the show ever since you arrived?

What am I even doing here?

He nudged a bolt the size of his head and that made him think of Crim.

Hey, Crim.

Von Pepps?

He looked around and when he didnt see the skull cupped his hands around his mouth

and hollered, Crim Von Pepps I request your attention here at this juncture post

haste if you will, and chuckled.

Oh, there it is, Zoelyn pointed.

Von Pepps, whats the deal?

Is Boyslen around here?

Rory asked and a moment after the words left his mouth a figure came shambling around a

cluster of junk.

The thing walked with a limp and wore a long tattered robe of browns and deep reds.


The servo skull bobbed up and down, its version of a nod.


The figure was a hunched mass.

Multiple arms reached out to pet passing servitors, others adjusted the robes, a pair of mechadendrites

fiddled with a small object while a third snaked through the air and locked into the

back of Von Pepps.

As the connection was made the figure shuddered up to its full height of twelve feet.

Von Pepps dark red eyes filled with static, then a moment later turned from red to emerald


I was called that once, the voice came from Von Pepps.

Please forgive what must strike you as a violation of your personal belongings

space, this servo-skull of yours is the only way I am able to speak without the creation

of a voice box.

If you wish me to follow that course of action I must inform you that the acquisition of

the required components would take... another soft shudder overcame Boyslen.

More than three hours but almost certainly less than five.

No, thats fine.

If Von Pepps doesnt mind then I dont either, its not my property.

Not really.

It was, but ever since the servo-skull had found (or been given?) the personalities of

his dead crew hed stopped thinking of it as something he owned.

Von Pepps eyes turned red.

Doesnt bother me any.

There we go, you two can help each other out then.

Most agreeable.

Yes, very fine, Von Pepps said, its eyes once more green but taking on a slight amber


Von Pepps has informed me why youre here.

You seek someone to help with your arm.

A quartet of arms all pointed to Rorys missing right.

Show off, Rory thought with a grin of amusement.

Yeah, I have a Laxitian made right arm back on my ship that I need fitted.

Boyslen took three loping steps bringing him within a foot of Rory in a breath.

Good God-Emperor alive on his holy throne how can it move so fast?

Nothing that big and gangly should be able to move like that.

It was a museum of bones coming to life with a jolt of electricity.

What was hidden under all those folds?

What kind of power source did this thing have?

Rory tried to think of the being as Boyslen but after seeing it launch itself across twenty

feet in the blink of an eye it was impossible to think of it as a human.

Youre in possession of a piece of Laxitian technology?

By He that rests on his Golden Throne on Holy Terra would you permit me to see it?

You can more than see it, I need you to put it on me.

A convulsion of ecstasy shook the thing.

What am I going to call it?

Boyslen doesnt work anymore.

Maybe thats what it was born as, but those days are long gone.

Look, lets get something sorted out real quick.

I came here looking for an Oeller Boyslen and while that might have been you at one

point in time, it isnt now, would you agree with that?

Yes, the thing that had once been Oeller bowed the entire top half of its body.

Alright, great, so what do I...

We, sorry.

This here is Zoelyn.

Of course, Von Pepps told me all about the two of you and how you met, and far more.

I am aware of every single conversation youve ever had, Rory.

If Von Pepps heard it, so have I.

It would be best, for your sanity, to think of Von Pepps and I as one being at this point.

What it knows I know, and visa-versa.

Rory ran a hand along the left side of his face, his mouth hanging open a little.

A-ah, yeah.


Give me a second to process that.

Take all the time you need.

Uh-huh, sure.


Same thing, got it.

Im good, I think.

Yeah, its still sinking in, but I get the general idea.

What I want to know is what I should call you.

Zoelyn here likes giving people nicknames, maybe she has an idea.

Well hang on, hang on, Zoelyn stepped forward.

I dont know him, her?


I dont even know what to consider you.

What were you before you were... this?

She drew a hand from foot to head of the things body.

At twelve feet tall when not squatting it was an impressive sight of machinery, at least

the parts that could be seen.

Does it matter?

The thing once called Oeller asked.

No, Zoelyn shrugged.

Not really.

Im tempted to tell you, but I think in the long run that would damage our relationship.

I do not want you to see me as a human that became a machine, that view is too narrow.

I only want you to see me for what I am, for this, the thing waved everyone of its arms

and mechadendrites from face to feet.

Zoelyn counted seventeen, including the one that remained plugged into the back of Von


Then what do we call you?

BecausesorryIm not okay with calling you a thing or it or hey you.

A laugh crackled from Von Pepps.

No, I would not like to be called hey you, that indeed is a poor moniker.

Let me think.

Give me fifteen seconds, please.

The thing once called Oeller went silent.

Von Pepps eyes filled with static, the two beings, connected by way of cable tether,

vibrated for exactly fifteen seconds, then, the voice coming through Von Pepps said, From

today onward you may call me Leink.

Alright, Leink, its nice to meet you, said Rory.

Would you be willing to help me with my arm?

Yes, I will, but only if you agree to my terms.

Rory had been haggling since he was old enough to know that was a thing people did and he

knew the very first rule was to know where you stood.

Name them.

I get to examine the arm for an hour and youll take me away from this moon.

The first was a no brainer.

It only made sense to let Leink look at the arm if they were going to be installing it...

Whoa, whoa now, not installing, connecting.

And with that simple thought Rory wondered if thats how it happened for those that

became more machine than flesh and blood.

Was it a simple thought, a turn of phrase, that made more sense one way than another

and an entire life was altered?

Maybe so, but I want to remain human, I like the blood I have, this arm is just a thing

I have to have.

Itll be connected to me, not installed.

It was the second point that Rory wasnt sold on.

Bring Leink with him?


He didnt even know what their next move was, but then on the other hand why not let

them come?

He wanted a new crew and while the one forming was one he never could have imagined, it was


Yeah, said Rory.

Im good with both those.

And you can take a full day with my arm, a whole week if you want.

Whatever will help make fitting it better.

A week?

Leink asked.

A whole week, they repeated soft and low.

The way Leink responded was the same as a human driven by base sexual desires being

told they were being sent to a paradise planet where every fantasy would be realised for

the next hundred years.

Most agreeable.

Then what?

Zoelyn asked.

Im not sure, said Rory.

Somethingll come up.

The Description of Desert Stars Chapter 39 - An UNOFFICIAL Warhammer 40k Fan Audio: A Space Marine story