Thursday, 2 March 2017

Titan Literature Review- Of Gods and Men

TOC brings you the next in the TLR series with a followup to Blood in the Machine as we see man and machine face death.

Story: Of Gods and Men

Format: Digital Short Story

Length: 2 Pages


The Plot:  Following the events of Blood in the Machine the Validus and its Princeps face the unthinkable for a god, and the most harrowing thought for man: death.

Titan Focus: This story is about nothing but the Titan and the man who pilots it.  Of Gods and Men is a sequel to Blood in the Machine even though it is not directly mentioned in the story.  Here, we see the actions of Inquisitor Lekas for the Imperator Titan, Validus.  Following the strike force’s mission, the Validus returned to the field of battle weakened and happens upon a foe that manages to cut her down.  The story follows Princeps Niall (a canon contradiction to the name being Augustus in the prequel story) as he severs his link from the dying engine and uses his own last moments of life to keep the sacred machine from being defiled.

The story gives us a rare glimpse into the mind of a Princeps that experiences what will become an engine death but without dying from the neural feedback.  We also see that Princeps can understand both his duality of man and god and the intoxication such power brings.  We experience a man and a god in one mind at the same time for a brief instant before seeing a logical human mind battle that of a machine.  Once the fleeting glimpse of the human mind is gone, the machine mind comes to the fore, showing that even a machine knows the fear, or at least dislike of, the concept of death.

Score: 3.5/5 Cogs

Final Thoughts: The story is a brief but insightful look into the mind of a Princeps on the verge of death that has an understanding of the sacrifices that must be made to keep the holy (from a Mechanicus perspective) in a pure state, even in death.  Man, machine, and power all come to the fore in a story that drives home the dualities of being a Titan Princeps but without being left with the feeling of a world-burning tyrant or a coward when separated from such power.

Let us know what you think of the story premise in the comments below.  If there are any particular Titan stories you'd like to have reviewed, feel free to tell us.

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