Skin Deep (Short Story)
|Series||Angels of Death|
|Preceded by||Death Speakers|
|Followed by||Final Journey|
|Editions||September 2013 ebook|
Skin Deep is a short story by Sarah Cawkwell. It was published online on September 3, 2013.
Amongst the Silver Skulls, great deeds are commemorated with victory tattoos. Lord Commander Argentius, Master of the Chapter, visits the aged Cruor Primaris to have his latest exploits added. But Argentius is uneasy and as he talks with his old friend, he bares his soul as well as his tattooed body.
Lord Commander Argentius, Master of the Silver Skulls, returns to his battle barge from his latest conflict, bearing several new scars that have marred his victory tattoos. Per his custom, he presents himself to Ignatius, the Chapter's Cruor Primaris. Though a lowly Chapter serf, and a failed Aspirant to the Silver Skulls, Ignatius's artistry is such that he is revered by the entire chapter, including Argentius.
As Ignatius works, he notes that several of the Commander's tattoos will require return appointments, and he will instruct his apprentice, in case Ignatius does not survive to complete them. Ignatius is an old man, who has refused juvenat treatments, and is content to let his art be his legacy. Ignatius's impending death has greatly pained Argentius, who would order the man to stay alive if he could, but Ignatius just chuckles and says even a Master of the Adeptus Astartes cannot command death.