Karchev’s Interview – Colossals Fiction Excerpt

Hot off the presses, here’s a fiction excerpt from WARMACHINE: Colossals.

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Deneghra descended steep steps into one of the most heavily fortified of the buildings remaining amid a cluster of lower outlying structures in the northern region: a former Cygnaran military command station and stockade. She moved into the lower chambers with the smooth, fluid grace of a stalking cat. As she neared her destination she could hear the laboring machines making their rhythmic susurrations. The holding cell was dimly lit, and its vents did not completely clear the noxious fumes that came from the machinery surrounding the individual at its center. He was suspended from chains that wrapped his chest and shoulders but exposed the stumps where his arms and legs had been torn from him nearly a century ago. Piping and tubes sunk into the lower section of his torso connected him to bellows and pumps. While technically his heart and lungs did not need these in order to function, the devices augmented his ancient organs, as he had long exceeded his natural lifespan.

Covered in a thin sheen of sweat, Alexander Karchev’s bald head gleamed beneath the gaslights. The kommander had already been subjected to a taxing and intensive regimen of pain and agony. His flesh had proven remarkably resilient. He should have been at her mercy: helpless, weak, and alive only by the functions of the redundant support systems. She had eagerly anticipated breaking his will and shaping his mind like clay, pulling forth his inner shames and repressed desires, making him her puppet. She did not understand these reserves of will. There must be a limit.

His eyes met hers as she approached and she gave him a sly smile, walking with swaying steps toward him. He radiated nothing but raw aggression and hatred. Her smile faltered as she felt the temperature in the room increase dramatically and saw the air shimmer around his torso. “Now, now, none of that!” She yanked a lever attached to one of the nearest machines, prompting a flat metal slab set with a tightly packed row of nails coated with a burning liquid to slam into his naked back, piercing through the skin in dozens of places.

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