By Iain M. Banks

Sharrow used to be the chief of a personality-attuned strive against crew in a single of the sporadic little advertisement wars within the civilization dependent round the planet Golter. Now she is hunted through the Huhsz, a non secular cult which believes that she is the final concern ahead of the faith's apotheosis, and her in basic terms wish of get away is to discover the final of the apocalyptically strong Lazy weapons prior to the Huhsz locate her.

Her trip throughout the unique Golterian process is a harmful and savage odyssey into her prior, and that of her relatives and of the process itself.

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Loken remembered the cheers and the cries of adoration laid at the feet of the Warmaster as his announcement had spread through the Expedition. Fists punched the air and throats were shouted hoarse with jubilation. Loken had joined in with the rest of his friends, but a ripple of unease had passed through him upon hearing his beloved Legion’s new name. ’ Loken had smiled and said, ‘No, it’s just—’ ‘Just what? Don’t we deserve this? ’ ‘Of course, Tarik,’ nodded Loken, shouting to be heard over the deafening roar of the Legion’s cheers.

The ancient tribes of the Olympian Hegemony were said to have called such specimens of physical perfection Adonian, and the word fit Loken like a masterfully crafted suit of Mark IV plate. Almost without thinking, Mersadie blink-clicked the image of his body. ‘You’re staring,’ said Loken, without turning. Momentarily flustered, she said, ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean—’ He laughed. ‘I’m teasing. I don’t mind. ’ ‘I didn’t realise Astartes aged,’ she replied, regaining her composure. Loken shrugged, picking up a carved vambrace and a polishing cloth.

I pray you’ll stop referring to it as a she, Jonah, it smacks of pagan anthropomorphising,’ said Cassar. ’ asked Aruken, sauntering over to a steel plated leg section and climbing the steps to the arched gates that led within. He slapped his palm on the thick metal and said, ‘She’s obviously a she, Titus. ’ ‘Oh, come on, Titus,’ said Aruken, warming to his theme. ‘Don’t you feel it when you’re inside her? ’ Cassar turned back to the monitoring panel and said, ‘No, I do not, and I do not wish to hear any more of your foolishness, we are already behind on our pre-deployment checks.

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