Misadventures of the Malefic Halitosia

Leto 2

The flesh is weak

The pain pulsed white hot, like miswired circuitry. Why did the body insist to let him know that it was broken? Repairs were already underway, nothing more could be done. Where was the off switch for this redundant alarm mechanism?

There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

Leto pushed his right eye deeper into its socket. For some reason, this helped with the pain somewhat. Might as well run some diags on the hellfeeds on the eye. Last week it jammed during a check run and it took a full day and a well placed cryo injection for the heat in his head to subside.

Pain, again, abrupt, unnecessary. Leto reached for stimm, but remembered Kraal’s warning. “Too much and it will slow recovery.” Leto stopped, and surrendered. His entire body seemed to shut down, weak, unresponsive. Darkness came slowly, and blessedly.

There is no strength in flesh, only weakness.

Leto blinked. Still alive, for now. No pain, for now. He checked the implantators again, but of course nothing has changed in the few hours since he last checked it. Leto adjusted his bed and picked up a dataslate. The question was, which one first? The arm would help with hard-ops, and he could tune the fingers to be more responsive and precise for soft-ops. The legs would help with combat mobility, and combat seemed more of a concern recently. Leto suddenly felt unexplainably pleased. Either would be fine choices. Either would be stronger, more reliable, and more extensible than the pitiful bio-matter that the Omnissiah had seen to fit to test him with.

There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.

Perhaps availability would make the choice for him. He checked his logs. No results from his search yet. Get back to that later. Prepare for the next step in the procedure, which would be implantation. He would need a qualified medic. Kraal was the best on the ship, but Leto had not yet broached the subject with the fiery missionary. Would he object, on the basis of some imperial dogma?

He should prepare his arguments. To begin, the Emperor himself was being kept alive by what amounted to an external implant, the Golden Throne. And, since the Omnissiah was an equal aspect of the Emperor, would it not follow that any attempt to become closer to the Machine God was also an attempt to become closer to the Emperor? Leto wrote these down in his personal log, and flowcharted the various paths that the impending conversation might take.

There is no certainty in flesh but death.



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