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When Hell Runs Out of Room...


Shadowsage
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Father Julio was a rather religious man. He had served his time in the Imperium's military, gaining distinctions for valor and bravery in the face of the enemy. His devotion to the Imperial Cult would have landed him a soft, high-paying job if he had desired; instead he had become a missionary of the one true faith in the remote Imperial village of Muerde.

The priest was kneeling in prayer when a local boy ran through the hovel he had been granted. His movements were frantic and voice incomprehensible with how rapidly and hysterically he was speaking. Father Julio was a big believer in corporal punishment. He picked the boy up and shook him several times before setting him down again, shouting in his face to be quiet and make sense.

Even with the boy speaking slowly, the Priest could barely believe his ears.

"Padre, it is time to say final rights over the body of Mi Madre." Hidden tears glistened behind the boy's eyes and Father Julio felt a streak of pride flare up within him. The boy had learned much from his teachings over the past week; after his mother had fallen prey to a heretical cannibalistic assault by her husband. Julio's medical training wasn't as good as it used to be; but he seemed to remember there were no particularly large veins in the area that was eaten. It seemed as if she had lost the will to live.

"Very well, my son. Gather the flock of the faithful." Father Julio rubbed the boy's head, rustling his hair. While the orphaned child ran out to spread the word in the rest of the village, Julio pulled open a drawer in his desk and withdrew his official copy of the Holy Writ.

---

The ceremony was just finishing up. "...And may she be given back to the earth; so that her body will nourish and provide for the people for years to come. Maker Bless." Julio was reading from the book in an impassioned way; so much so that he didn't notice the form beneath the black veil resting on the local church's altar begin to stir.

"Padre, look out!" A heavy-set man dove past the priest in a blur; hitting the slack-jawed form of the dead mother in her outstretched arms. She let out a raspy moan and struggled with Julio's savior, only managing to get herself in a headlock.

The boy's mother promptly took a sizable chunk out of the restraining arm.

While this struggle was ongoing, Julio had turned and watched with a sense of dread. The man screamed and screamed, over and over while what had become a heretical construct of the Emperor's teachings devoured body and soul.

Brave, Valiant Priest Julio turned and ran out the door, pausing only to shut and lock the church from the outside. He took to his heels afterward, following the village inhabitants.

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