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Aerion the Faithful
13-08-2006, 19:32
THOUGHTS OF A DYING ATHEIST

"I've strayed from the Light of the Emperor, and I have done so willingly. But, before you start assuming things probably inspired by that spectacular propaganda they feed you on your hive world, let me clear a couple of things: i have not fallen to Chaos, or have discovered suddenly that i posess some particular feature that could turn me into a mutant in the eyes of the Holy Inquisition. I am, in fact, still a soldier in the service of the glorious Imperium of Man. I have been an imperial guardsman for the last ten years of my life and, from what i reckon, i will be in the next minutes when i jump off of this transport onto yet another charred battlefield reeking with bodies and blood. The air is stuffed both in the Chimera and outside, filled with the mixed stench of fuel, oil and decomposing bodies. The eyes of my companions do not reflect a thing; there's no bravery or courage here, no sir. Just prayers; prayers for a swift death and an end to pain and suffering. Yet, we know the Emperor is a lot more sadistic than that and he won't let us off his grip until we have fulfilled our true purpose on this Universe, which will be either die or kill. Kill or die. No difference at all, i must say, if you've seen what i've seen: children slaughtered, mothers lifting their arms to the heavens waiting for a miracle that will just not happen. And we... we walk amongst the ruins of cities with death in our breath and voids in our eyes. Deep, black voids of nothingness that suck the life out of everything we touch with our ragged hands, lacking a finger or two by now. Our minds are clear but our souls are mad; we understand perfectly what this horror means, what this galaxy of war does to us and our tattered bodies. And we don't care anymore. According to Imperial examiners, we're lost already, 'unfitting to live again amongst men' they've said; we're too crazy to go back to any sanity, and yet to sane to stand this madness any longer.
Heresy, you say? I say not. It is hypocritical to think that a man won't have doubts; that a man won't question his own death at the hands of some unspoken nightmare on a forgotten land. Everybody has thoughts such as this. I know i have them and my veteran companions too. Damn! Even the Commissar has them! Although he won't speak of them out loud. But when we're resting and not a word is spoken, gathered around an improvised fire inside of some cave or in the middle of city ruins, doubts float in the air just as visible as the ghosts that haunt us. Just as the memories of what we once were.
The Chimera makes a full stop and some of the eyes are raised towards the doors. Most will stare at the ground until the Sergeant's shouts call them out. Then the soldiers will light up! They will light up like a million bombs exploding at once and become the hands of doom and the Imperial Guard, hammering their enemies! What a glorious lie... what a glorious horror. And you have to wonder: why would a God fight with such little pawns a war against another powerful Gods? Couldn't they just beat each other on another dimension? A powerful one, fit for their godly powers? They could, perhaps, but they are cowards. They do not understand war, and that is why we exist. Men like us exist because someone has to bear the burden, and Gods don't bear burdens. They lay it upon other's shoulders... little shoulders piled together in a roaring mass repeating chants and prayers, fueling the big machine that is their Kingdom. Their kingdom of heroic legends and superhuman Marines, so full of drugs that they are not men anymore. The kingdom af Inquisitors who deal out divine justice to fill their pockets with some coins, or bargain our souls for a bit more of mental power.
I hear the boots already on the battlefield outside. And the explosions and the heat. When the door of this tank opens up, like a mouth filled with sharp teeth, i may die. And i hope to die. Because if there's something more unbearable than this life, it is the fact that i don't believe in anything anymore.


http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d61/aerion_the_faithful/ThoughtsofadyingAtheist.jpg

Reccomended soundtrack: Thoughts of a dying atheist by Muse

Aerion the Faithful

Flame of Udun
13-08-2006, 19:41
Wow. thats really cool Aerion. A very potent piece of writing, admittedly there are a few grammatical issues here and there but its really cool and the pic is great aswell. Is ery dark and dramatic :) Nice one :)

Tsavong Lah
13-08-2006, 19:54
interesting, to say the least.

highlighting perfectly the Imperium's complete lack of ability to motivate men to fight other than using fear.

the Great Crusade, the idea of creating a better universe for all humanity, and the ideals of honor and sacrifice are now dead. instead of appealing to the honorable nature of man, it uses the fear of damnation and retribution to spurn the soldiers on.

perfectly depicted.

Rabid Bunny 666
13-08-2006, 20:07
A nice piece, and the pic compliments it perfectly.

Quin 242
13-08-2006, 20:09
That is depressing and sad... Just what I think you were going for...

Well written.

Aerion the Faithful
13-08-2006, 21:32
Hey, brothers! Thank you very much for the positive feedback. I thought i'd leave the explanations for a further post, because i didn't want to spoil the impact of the story and the image.


Wow. thats really cool Aerion. A very potent piece of writing, admittedly there are a few grammatical issues here and there but its really cool and the pic is great aswell. Is ery dark and dramatic. Nice one.

Thanks, Flame; i'm not a writer as you may have noticed, but i can give it a shot once in a while, so i hope you'll forgive my grammatical issues. I'll remember to send you the text so you can review next time!


perfectly depicted.

That's the best compliment i could've asked for.


A nice piece, and the pic compliments it perfectly.

Thank you, mate!


That is depressing and sad... Just what I think you were going for...

Exactly! In fact, i'm glad i achieved the desire effect of showing that life in the Imperial Guard isn't necessarily glory and honour. There's few of that when you're just one little man in an endless mass of fleeting armies that no longer have an ideal to fight about. The Emperor and his Great Crusade are so far away in time form the Imperium in the 41st millenium, that the fights are really taking place just to hold a bit longer a decaying culture... it's like a drowning man's last breath.

Thanks again for the feedback and keep it coming.

Until soon.

Aerion the Faithful

Alathir
14-08-2006, 08:24
Great stuff... I would have used different diction in a few portions but other than that it was a very short but very well delivered and concieved story. I particulary liked the part about the gods and their cowardice.

Keep it up big fella

Cpt_Tiberius
14-08-2006, 19:02
Wonderful as always. :) My only suggestion is to add space between the paragraphs and chose a different font/color as it is kind of hard to read as it stands.

Aerion the Faithful
14-08-2006, 20:08
Great stuff... I would have used different diction in a few portions but other than that it was a very short but very well delivered and concieved story. I particulary liked the part about the gods and their cowardice.
Keep it up big fella

Thanks, Alathir. I notice what you mean about the diction; it's just that it is not often i feel like writing, and when the inspiration hits me, it's like thunder: comes and goes quicly. So, my writing pieces are often written fast, trying to take advantage of my creativity. That might be it... i'll have it in mind for next pieces.


Wonderful as always. :) My only suggestion is to add space between the paragraphs and chose a different font/color as it is kind of hard to read as it stands.

Thanks for the constant support, Captain! I always forget about you and your glasses (you wear glasses, right? :) ). I'll try and be more considerate... thanks for the reminder and sorry!

Has anyone read the story listening to the suggested soundtrack? It adds some more flavour to the overall piece and makes it not so 'depressing', perhaps...

Until soon.

Aerion the Faithful

Alathir
15-08-2006, 00:59
How about... 'now we are free' from the gladiator soundtrack? It's got a far different feeling from the tone of the story but I think that could work in it's favour...

FreakForge
15-08-2006, 18:15
After reading the text ( like a week ago ) I dind´t know how the the pic it´s gonna looks like...and I can sy with proud: LOOKS GREAT !!

FreakForge

muskrat
20-08-2006, 06:46
Thoughts of a Dying Atheist fits this song fantasticly, not to mention the art itself does. You can tell the man knows he is staring down death, or literally, his sword. (live by the sword...)

Muse rocks. This story rocks. Great job bud- I'm sick of every IG story being "this regiment routed everything for glory and super awesome forces of ultimate cool man!

malika
20-08-2006, 11:45
Is it ok if I put this one up on the ASP as well? You will be fully creditted of course!

Aerion the Faithful
20-08-2006, 15:25
Thoughts of a Dying Atheist fits this song fantasticly, not to mention the art itself does. You can tell the man knows he is staring down death, or literally, his sword. (live by the sword...)
Muse rocks. This story rocks. Great job bud- I'm sick of every IG story being "this regiment routed everything for glory and super awesome forces of
ultimate cool man!

Thnak you very much, muskrat! I'm glad you feel and thought what i tried to convey with this story and the illustration (as well as the soundtrack, it's always good to know more Muse fans :D ).


Is it ok if I put this one up on the ASP as well? You will be fully creditted of course!

No problem, malika! In fact, i thought this one was already up over there ;) ...

Until soon.

Aerion the Faithful

Pfreck
20-08-2006, 22:35
Really nice Art and Fluff Aerion! You have to write more fluff, you're great with fluff! Though it always needs a cool illustration :D

[edit]

I always like to name my illustrations after a song, because if the viewer is intelliget, perhaps he'll find himself a nice soundtrack to the image.
Is Rusted based on the song "Rusted" from Katatonia? I think the songstext of "Rusted" fit well in your Graphic Novel :)

Outlaw289
24-08-2006, 02:56
You should've named it "Thoughts of a dying muckraker".

I'm an athiest, but this just doesn't fit with 40k fluff. The Emperor is indeed a God, and is the sole reason every human is able to live in the Imperium (both by fighting the daemons and the Golden Throne and by maintaining the Astronomicon).

When thinking of an Imperial Soldier, think the unwavering, ceaseless, stoic dedication and fanatacism of Imperial Japanese soldiers or crack SS troops or current day Islamic Fundamentalists. Think of a soldier raised from birth, not to fight for fear from a Commissar's bullet, but for love of the Emperor and for the absolute hatred of the perversions in front of him. Imperials do not value their individual lives as we do. Instead, they value their sacrifice towards the Emperor, their payment of the life debt they owe to the Emperor.

This is a good piece of writing but hardly fitting with the established background. I'd have your soldier executed for heresy.

Edit: I think I might have a bit more to say but I'd be biting off more than I could chew

Sick
24-08-2006, 12:11
I like the story. I like the picture. I like the song.

But IMO the song is far not enough depressive as the other two are. (Which compliment eachother fantasticly)

Good Work though!

Aerion the Faithful
24-08-2006, 13:27
Well, some interesting points have been raised, so i will take the time to give my opinion. Let's get to them!...


You should've named it "Thoughts of a dying muckraker".

Well, i actually named it Thoughts of a dying atheist because i wanted the story to fit the songname, and indeed, the song itself. I always like to name my illustrations after a song, because if the viewer is intelliget, perhaps he'll find himself a nice soundtrack to the image. But i understand your point...


I'm an athiest, but this just doesn't fit with 40k fluff. The Emperor is indeed a God, and is the sole reason every human is able to live in the Imperium (both by fighting the daemons and the Golden Throne and by maintaining the Astronomicon).

The fact that there are many, many Gods in the world we live in and that each one of them claims to be saving humanity in some way or other didn't stop you from being an atheist, did it? It could be argued from your postulation that there's a huge difference, because The Emperor is a fact in the Imperium, while Gods have not been 'proven' in our reality; but the truth is that he was a fact more than a 10,000 years ago in the galaxy. In the Imperium of Man, as it stands on the 41st Millenium, the Emperor is a thought, an ideal, because no one really knows if the Administorum, The Inquisition and indeed the High Lords of Terra are telling the truth about his state and his actions to keep the Imperium safe from threats. For all the citizens know, he could be just a rotting corpse, with no incidence at all... So, in my viewpoint, the humanity is responsible for the survival of humanity.
And my character (as i will say further on) does indeed believe in an immortal Emperor; he just chooses not to believe his cause and not take all to heart the things he is told. Being an atheist means that you believe in no God, but accept the existence of such ideas or entities; your choice is not to hold yourself to any of them. Agnosticism is the philosophy of those who don't believe Gods exist. It is a common mistake people make...


When thinking of an Imperial Soldier, think the unwavering, ceaseless, stoic dedication and fanatacism of Imperial Japanese soldiers or crack SS troops or current day Islamic Fundamentalists. Think of a soldier raised from birth, not to fight for fear from a Commissar's bullet, but for love of the Emperor and for the absolute hatred of the perversions in front of him. Imperials do not value their individual lives as we do. Instead, they value their sacrifice towards the Emperor, their payment of the life debt they owe to the Emperor.

I thought about all that, believe me, but my point of view still applies. In all of the forces that you have mentioned there was a moment of doubt, a moment when men thought for a second about what they were doing and what was the purpose of their commanders. The true struggle is to decide wether if you want to keep following an Emperor, deity or whatever commands you even when it costs you your sanity and even your own life. A human without the capacity to feel doubts or to appreciate his own life, is not a man but a machine. And i wanted to depict a man, not a machine. A man that has learned by constant warring, that the promises of the Emperor, that everything he believes in does not really make a change at all. That he is nothing but a moth in the machinery that is the Imperium.
I highly reccomend you watch the movie 'Paradise Now' since you've mentioned Islamic fundamentalists. The mind of a man is not as black and white as we'd like to think...


This is a good piece of writing but hardly fitting with the established background. I'd have your soldier executed for heresy.

Well, i've been told many (and i do mean MANY) times before that my work is 'unfitting' for fluff and Games Workshop before, both because of my ideas and because of my style when it comes to illustrating, but the truth is that even some of the most die-hard fans of W40K have found themselves enjoying what i do.
I always try to look everything from a different point of view because i think that to the static on a thought is a dreadful path to tread... And the soldier i've depicted should, of course, by all Imperial standards be executed; he even recognizes it himself. But the fact is that many things occur in the Imperium that should be sanctioned with the capital penalty, and yet, whom distributes such justice (The Inquisition) is so filled of heresy itself that it would just be a phalacy.
The actual 'backbone' of the W40K universe to me is the fact that humanity has strayed so much from its own beliefs, that it says one thing and later does another. Much like in the world today and that's the irony of it...


Edit: I think I might have a bit more to say but I'd be biting off more than I could chew

I'd love to keep on debating too, because i truly like to hear different opinions from mine, but i think the bottom line is that i wanted to do a piece that could show a bit more of 'humanity' than the usual in the fluff; some people have appreciated it, and some haven't liked it, such as yourself. And that's fine, and of course encouraged: no one has to like my work! Everyone has their freedom... if not, we would be living in the Imperium ;) . I hope you understand my points and my need to do something original at some extent.

Thanks for taking the time to write your insights!


I like the story. I like the picture. I like the song.
But IMO the song is far not enough depressive as the other two are. (Which compliment eachother fantasticly)
Good Work though!

Hey there, Sick! I actually chose the song because of what you have just stated. I think that the song (being of a slightly different tone than the whole story and image) brings a balance to the overall experience of reading this. It's similar to what Tarantino (and i'm not comparing me to him!) does in his films, where he puts a completely odd song in a situation demanding something else. It creates that 'harmony out of contrats' that works really well (ike a guy cutting another guy's ear while listening to 'Stuck in the middle with you').

Anyway, this has been a long post and i wouldn't want to bother you any longer. I hope you can forgive me...

Until soon.

Aerion the Faithful

Cpt_Tiberius
24-08-2006, 17:17
Being an atheist means that you believe in no God, but accept the existence of such ideas or entities; your choice is not to hold yourself to any of them. Agnosticism is the philosophy of those who don't believe Gods exist. It is a common mistake people make...

Not to be a nitpicker, but I think you may have these reversed. I'm not sure what Aetheist doctrine is, but Agnostics only believe in what can be quantified. That is to say they will believe in god, if god could be scientifically proven to exist. However since he can't they do not say that there is a god. Conversely since science cannot prove that god does not exist, then agnostics can not say that he definitely does not exist.



When thinking of an Imperial Soldier, think the unwavering, ceaseless, stoic dedication and fanatacism of Imperial Japanese soldiers or crack SS troops or current day Islamic Fundamentalists. Think of a soldier raised from birth, not to fight for fear from a Commissar's bullet, but for love of the Emperor and for the absolute hatred of the perversions in front of him. Imperials do not value their individual lives as we do. Instead, they value their sacrifice towards the Emperor, their payment of the life debt they owe to the Emperor.

I will have to completely disagree with this statement. All of the fluff and stories written about the IG show that most guardsman fight solely out of fear and cohersion (though there are some exceptions.)

Anyway, sorry, I didn't mean to side track the thread.

punkoteloco
24-08-2006, 19:22
Holy ****!!!! Thats incredible. Write more!!!!
Really great, is very good to know theres stories like this, not only "The imperium is shiny and we are shiny people"

punkoteloco

Outlaw289
25-08-2006, 05:28
Well, some interesting points have been raised, so i will take the time to give my opinion. Let's get to them!...

Well, i actually named it Thoughts of a dying atheist because i wanted the story to fit the songname, and indeed, the song itself. I always like to name my illustrations after a song, because if the viewer is intelliget, perhaps he'll find himself a nice soundtrack to the image. But i understand your point...

It was just a joke :p The notes about thieving Inquisitors just reminded me of certain politicians and state-sponsored "businessmen" in the Gilded Age.




The fact that there are many, many Gods in the world we live in and that each one of them claims to be saving humanity in some way or other didn't stop you from being an atheist, did it? It could be argued from your postulation that there's a huge difference, because The Emperor is a fact in the Imperium, while Gods have not been 'proven' in our reality; but the truth is that he was a fact more than a 10,000 years ago in the galaxy. In the Imperium of Man, as it stands on the 41st Millenium, the Emperor is a thought, an ideal, because no one really knows if the Administorum, The Inquisition and indeed the High Lords of Terra are telling the truth about his state and his actions to keep the Imperium safe from threats. For all the citizens know, he could be just a rotting corpse, with no incidence at all... So, in my viewpoint, the humanity is responsible for the survival of humanity.
And my character (as i will say further on) does indeed believe in an immortal Emperor; he just chooses not to believe his cause and not take all to heart the things he is told. Being an atheist means that you believe in no God, but accept the existence of such ideas or entities; your choice is not to hold yourself to any of them. Agnosticism is the philosophy of those who don't believe Gods exist. It is a common mistake people make...

That was exactly the reason I had become an Athiest. I had just finished reading the book Atlas Shrugged (an incredibly moving book that I HIGHLY reccomend to anyone and everyone), and due to certain polemic verses in it, I considered athiesm. I thought about it more and more and thought, thousands of years ago, people thought with the same passion I followed my God with that there were a pantheon of Gods on Mount Olympus, or that a hybrid Jackal-Human controlled fate or that Buddha had sprung forth from a lotus. The fact that none of this is true struck me, since it dawned on me that religion is relative, and consequently, subjective, and as a second consequence, a non-absolute and something I shouldn't base my life and ethos on.

However, if a God made his presence clear to me, proved he controlled or at least protected my life and had absolute authority over my creation, I would definetly change my tune. I'm a strict adherent to being fair, and its only fair to follow a God who made me (though I doubt an omnipotent being would create guidelines and morals: Its in my honest opinion a God would be more interested in how humans develop by themselves and then nurture them into proper children in the afterlife).

Also, I have my own definitions of Atheism and Agnosticism. I think Agnostics think that there may or may not be a(any) God(s), but since they don't believe they intervene in life, they don't follow religious teachings. Athiests I felt were the ones that believed in the non-existence of God(s).

I'm an athiest because I think that the idea of Gods is preposterous. I am not an agnostic because some feel we cannot know if there is a God: I do not believe that. We, as rational beings, can concur there are no Gods for the same reasons we can concur there are no flying pigs or pantheon of Gods at Mount Olympus.




I thought about all that, believe me, but my point of view still applies. In all of the forces that you have mentioned there was a moment of doubt, a moment when men thought for a second about what they were doing and what was the purpose of their commanders. The true struggle is to decide wether if you want to keep following an Emperor, deity or whatever commands you even when it costs you your sanity and even your own life. A human without the capacity to feel doubts or to appreciate his own life, is not a man but a machine. And i wanted to depict a man, not a machine. A man that has learned by constant warring, that the promises of the Emperor, that everything he believes in does not really make a change at all. That he is nothing but a moth in the machinery that is the Imperium.

Well, i've been told many (and i do mean MANY) times before that my work is 'unfitting' for fluff and Games Workshop before, both because of my ideas and because of my style when it comes to illustrating, but the truth is that even some of the most die-hard fans of W40K have found themselves enjoying what i do.
I always try to look everything from a different point of view because i think that to the static on a thought is a dreadful path to tread... And the soldier i've depicted should, of course, by all Imperial standards be executed; he even recognizes it himself. But the fact is that many things occur in the Imperium that should be sanctioned with the capital penalty, and yet, whom distributes such justice (The Inquisition) is so filled of heresy itself that it would just be a phalacy.
The actual 'backbone' of the W40K universe to me is the fact that humanity has strayed so much from its own beliefs, that it says one thing and later does another. Much like in the world today and that's the irony of it...

I highly reccomend you watch the movie 'Paradise Now' since you've mentioned Islamic fundamentalists. The mind of a man is not as black and white as we'd like to think...

And I still feel his reaction is un-Imperial. I feel bad saying it, since it is such a well-versed piece you've written (honestly, taken in any other context than that of the 41st millenium and I'd have no contentions), but I do not think a soldier of the Imperium would react in such I way.

An Imperial Soldier, raised from birth to believe in the absolutes of the Emperor, of Machine Spirits, and the Divinity of Mankind, always will. A soldier, especially your Veteran, would realize the horrors of the galaxy through service. He would've seen the grotesqueries that mutation wreaks upon the purity of the human form, the unabridged savageness of the Orks, the heartless and calculating treachery of the Eldar, the unbridled unholiness and madness in Chaos.

Let me put this in a real-world light: Propaganda is used to demonize an enemy. This has worked wonders in the past in totalitarian societies, marshalling millions to kill and loot people they would have otherwise bein friendly neighbors or traders with. The failing of propaganda, in modern terms, is that it is moot. Germans found out that Russians defending Stalingrad weren't a race of subhumans, American Marines found that the Japanese soldiers manning the tunnels in Iwo Jima weren't chimpanzees, and etc. This is where disillusionment stems from. Now, imagine of the propaganda was true: This is the case in the 41st millenium. There ARE different races, many beings stand to attack, ravage, and destory everything you have grown with and cherish. I would not think your soldier to be a machine for following his propaganda, but even more of a man for continuing to serve with confidence and pride. It is precisely BECAUSE he is a man, a feeling, rational being, that he should serve. My guess is that he grew in the Imperium, learned to love and grew attached to his family, his friends, his church and his community, and would not forget what he is fighting for when he sees the madness and murder in the eyes of an Ork or the actions of a Heretic.

Also, why would he accept such thoughts in the face of overwhelming history. For ten thousand years the Imperium has stood, his countless forefathers giving their lives and work to protect their posterity in hopes that eventually their line would see a galaxy that lived not in war, but in the Emperor's eternal peace. Would he be so quick to give into doubt and disbelief when the legacy of ten millenia's worth of sacrifice was put upon his shoulders? Would he so willingly let go of that pride, that duty, to honor previous sacrifices the way his forebearers had so long ago?

As for paradise now: Well, my feelings on the issue would get this instantly P&R'd :angel:



I'd love to keep on debating too, because i truly like to hear different opinions from mine, but i think the bottom line is that i wanted to do a piece that could show a bit more of 'humanity' than the usual in the fluff; some people have appreciated it, and some haven't liked it, such as yourself. And that's fine, and of course encouraged: no one has to like my work! Everyone has their freedom... if not, we would be living in the Imperium ;) . I hope you understand my points and my need to do something original at some extent.
Thanks for taking the time to write your insights!


You're welcome, and right back at ya! ;)

Aerion the Faithful
25-08-2006, 12:43
Also, why would he accept such thoughts in the face of overwhelming history. For ten thousand years the Imperium has stood, his countless forefathers giving their lives and work to protect their posterity in hopes that eventually their line would see a galaxy that lived not in war, but in the Emperor's eternal peace. Would he be so quick to give into doubt and disbelief when the legacy of ten millenia's worth of sacrifice was put upon his shoulders? Would he so willingly let go of that pride, that duty, to honor previous sacrifices the way his forebearers had so long ago?

Well, what to say? Truth be told i actually gave this matter a bit more thought over last night and came to a conclusion that just might help define better what i tried to do, and what this debate is all about. You and me (as well as the other members here) have different opinions and views about different themes, such as this story i've written. That's what makes us humans, that we are each very different from the other; that we are unique. You ask many questions in that short paragraph that i have a ready answer for (at least in my point of view, which was the one that spawned this story we're analizing): Yes. I do believe that this soldier, this Veteran of 10 years of war would succumb to such thoughts. That he would be horryfied to have to stand up to ten millenia of people telling him what to do, when all he wants is to be home... and he woud do so, because he is free. At least in his mind, in his thoughts he can be free. He can have an opinion, which of course doesn't mean the Imperium would tolerate it.
We, in our world as it stands today are bombarded with propaganda that we don't see as clearly as in war, but that doesn't mean it isn't still there. And even we can think for ourselves (or some of us can). So, as different as you, or me, is this soldier from his fellow guardsman, or even the Inquisitor that'll burn him for Heresy. But it is my belief that he wouldn't get burned... why bother when he is already set for death where he is? Just sending him to the wrong landing place, can kill him and all his thoughts. And that's the sadism i'm speaking of in the story. The anihilation of all free thought, the utter destruction of the human will, for the supposed 'Emperor's will'.
I think it is this particular approach that lets my characters express more emotions and have more depth to them than if they were just all the same with a minimal shade of difference (perhaps on their hair colour, or their nose).

Anyway, it's been interesting, to say the least, and i hope you can understand my point of view now.

It's always good to see that a story can get people talking about interesting themes that'll help them view things from different perspectives.

Thanks again!

Until soon.

Aerion the Faithful