Fiction: "Chaos Burger"
by Commissar Sonata Form

      The envoy walked with shaky knees up the cold, stone stairs to the altar. He looked around nervously through the dark interior of the ancient structure. Between the low light and the eerie fog, he could only see a few meters in any direction. To his immediate right was a cord hanging down from above.

      The envoy reached out with timid fingers and pulled the rope, sounding a gong from somewhere high above. He trembled furiously as the ringing echoed in the cavernous chamber for a few moments. Soon, a horrendous pounding began to sound, drawing closer, from behind the altar. The fog parted for the huge form of a Chaos Space Marine clad in tactical dreadnaught armor, walking slowly. The armor faintly hummed between each pounding stomp, betraying the power of its machinery. The envoy cowered as he looked upward at the unblinking and hideous mask.

      The Marine stopped and slammed his hands down on the stone altar, crouching ever so slightly to look down at the shivering envoy... and revealing the topless suede cap sitting precariously upon his helmet.

      "Welcome to Chaos Burger, how can I help you?" asked the cold, metallic voice.

      The envoy swallowed hard and spoke huskily, "My master, the Slaaneshi Baron of Tarralis three, humbly requests the following order: one Chaos Burger (hold the mark of Nurgle), one medium order of Chaos Fries, and two vanilla Chaos Shakes, each with the Mark of Tzeentch."

      "Hmmm..." grunted the marine, "Mark of Tzeentch costs +20 points per item."

      The envoy bowed acceptingly as he disgorged the contents of his purse, "My Master will gladly pay for the added value granted to him by the Gods of Chaos."

      The Marine nodded slowly and grunted in acknowledgement, "One moment please..."

      More humming and pounding followed as the Marine turned and proceeded back into the fog. The envoy, still trembling, looked up and noticed a large marble plaque suspended above him:

      'Smiles are NOT free. Customers who smile shall be punished for their impudence.'

      The envoy hastily looked forward again as a horrid scream emanated from the direction in which the Marine had left. Somewhere, a chain-sword roared to life, followed by a sickening tearing and crunching sound. The envoy struggled to retain bladder control.

      After several minutes and several frightful sounds (not to mention a few plumes of flame shooting out of the fog) the terrible pounding resumed again, and the fog parted for the Marine, now holding a metal tray with several items wrapped in red and black paper. The fearful form of the power armor came closer until it stopped and slammed the metal tray down on the altar, causing the envoy to jump. The marine let the ringing clang echo in the vast chamber for a few seconds.

      "We require an additional 15 points for your meal," grumbled the Marine, "Tzeentch, in his infinite wisdom, has changed the price of his mark from 20 points to 35 points. He has also changed our company slogan."

      The envoy looked up again at the marble plaque:

      'What are YOU looking at, puny mortal?'

      When the envoy quickly looked back down, he found a giant metal glove, its fingers sharpened to talons, offered palm up. Blinking, the envoy obediently deposited 15 credits worth of coins into the armored hand. The glove instantly closed with a metal clink, barely allowing the envoy's hand to escape.

      "Thank you for supporting the forces of Chaos," the Marine said, almost snarling, "Enjoy your meal."

      The envoy bowed in fealty, and reached towards the tray. As he did so, a centipede-like creature slithered forth from the burger package, and the envoy jerked his hand away. He gingerly unwrapped the burger and the air was immediately rank with putresence. The burger looked like it had been beside a warm plasma conduit for at least a month, and the envoy again struggled with his bodily functions as his own lunch threatened to escape from his stomach. He looked up at the towering Space Marine.

      The cold metal face cocked to one side, "WHAT?"

      The envoy cleared his throat, "Please excuse my boldness, but my master specifically requested that you HOLD the Mark of Nurgle from his burger."

      The Marine raised his nose as if insulted, "Peasant! The all-powerful Grandfather Nurgle is not constricted by your personal preferences for taste! He goes to where he pleases. At Chaos Burger, we make it as the Gods of Chaos would make it, your way is inconsequential."

      The envoy stared for a moment, open-mouthed, until the absurdity of the situation struck him.

      "Well I'm sorry..." the envoy glanced at the name-tag on the chest of the armor, "...Bifficus, but my master will not accept food which has been tainted by the putrid essence of Nurgle, bless the Gods of Chaos in all their glory."

      The envoy stared up at the Marine and gathered his courage, "I'd like to speak to the manager, please."

      The four seconds of silence which ensued seemed deadly, and endless. Finally, the Marine spoke with an almost amused tone:

      "One moment please..."

      The stomping armor proceeded again into the fog. The envoy smiled to himself, pleased with his own level of bravery. The smile was short lived, as an even louder pounding began to shake the floor. The envoy began to sweat bullets as a huge beast of a man, also clad in Terminator armor, emerged from the fog, wearing a hideous scowl upon his face.

      The name tag read, 'Abaddon: Owner and Customer Relations'.


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