Title: The Emperor Wept
Author: Simon Dyton
Published by: Black Library
Publication date: Jan 1st, 2008
Source: Private Collection
Buy the Book – Amazon
The Imperium has decreed that the world of Carnage is to die, to test a new strain of the monstrous Life-Eater virus. Space Marines of the Doom Warriors descend upon the world to deliver its end. But when something unforeseen occurs and the world survives the virus, a single adept of the Magos Biologis – Heironym Rottle – holds the key to the mystery.
Because I’ve not read enough Warhammer short stories lately… Actually, my reason for picking up this book was to read about the Untramarines Successor Chapter the Doom Warriors; they sound like my sort of Chapter.
Any Successor Chapter that has a warcry akin to “Doom, ye! Doom, ye! Doom, ye!” is one that I am going to enjoy reading about. The Emperors Tears is a short novella featuring the Doom Warriors; a particularly moody bunch of Astartes because of a defect in their Catalepsean Node they cannot sleep. That resonated with me. Being sleep deprived is miserable!
Magos Heironym Rottle has been working in secret on the Life-Eater virus, perfecting it to attack the very source of life itself. He is more or less what you expect of a Mechanicum Magos, detesting those that show too much humanity and/or flesh and replacing most of his own with mechanical parts. There are a couple of ‘cool’ moments involving this character and learning about him is pretty fun, but all in all the first half of the book is Rottle talking in very technical Mechanicum language about viruses and Warhammer tech; honestly, it took a fair bit of figuring out what he and his Archmagos were actually talking about. The general jist of things was; ‘I can make this deadly thing deadlier and no one can know about it, because it’s dodgy practise.’
So, Rottle’s time to shine arrives and the Doom Warriors, lead by the moody, morose, Captain Grimmer Slayne (I mean, you don’t get much more morose that calling your Captain, Grimmer.) And we’re introduced to the Doom Warriors, they were pretty much everything I expected them to be. Ill-humoured, foul-tempered and short on patience for the Magos and his antics. The Life-Virus does it’s thing on the planet Carnage and things just start kicking off. Then the story ends. I understand that this was a short story, but I felt jipped that the story stops just as it gets going – I felt cheated out of some good, old-fashioned Space Marine heroics!
But, for what it was, it wasn’t that bad! Maybe a bit less technical jargon to wade through would have helped. And a bit more Space Marine, but for a quick read, it was decent enough.