TITAN LITERATURE REVIEW
Story: Blood in the Machine
Format: MP3 Audio Drama (Short Story in Trial by Blood)
Length: Approx. 1 hour and 12 minutes
The Plot: Gabriel Seth, Chapter Master of the Flesh Tearers, is pulled into a mission from an Inquisitor who sees her mission as the only thing of import: the destruction of an Imperator Titan that she claims is not loyal to Mars. On the war ravaged world of Armageddon, Seth and his warriors must hitch a ride to the mission area along with the Inquisitor, and do so by means of yet another Titan. Yet, all is not as it may seem with this Inquisitor as her actions imperil Flesh Tearers, Guardsmen, and even the Imperium as a whole.
Titan Focus: The story for Blood in the Machine revolves around Inquisitor Lekas’ quest to down what she calls an Imperator Titan that “does not belong to the forges of Mars.” The Titan involved in the story’s main tale is unnamed, but is the focal point for the mission that she forces the Flesh Tearers upon. The vast bulk of the story revolves around the mission and the Flesh Tearers’ disdain for what’s been done to them in the story. It’s a roaring tale of action, gore, and Flesh Tearers doing what they do best, as well as setting the scene for some of the events that happen in Armageddon or tying in to other short stories. In short, this is not a Titan-centric story at all. However, that doesn’t mean that the Titans are any bit lacking in this story or that it fails to add to the impression of these mighty god-engines.
At one point, there is another Imperator Titan involved in the story, called the Validus, which becomes a key mode of transit for the strike force on their mission. Through the scenes involving the Imperator it becomes evident what scale these mighty engines hold, their sheer size, and more importantly, their destructive power. Mild descriptions are given to weapon lengths, power, weapon loadouts, and even the sheer amount of force that the Imperator can bring to bear. Blood in the Machine has a way of bringing some of the older fluff of the Imperator Titan to life and gives them sound and fury in the audio drama.
The Flesh Tearers, normally considered to be near fearless at all times and willing to face any odds, themselves become transfixed by the Validus and have to admit gratitude at not having to face such a powerful foe. While only brief, the appearance of the Titans in Blood in the Machine sets up the revival of some old fluff that isn’t often seen anymore and provides insight into how even the Space Marines see them. Furthermore, it shows the operation of a Titan to a minor extent and the mindsets of the Princeps and crew.
Score: 3/5 Cogs
Final Thoughts: While the story is great, for Titan lovers it’s not going to be the best source of lore or Titan action. There are no Titan vs. behemoth type fights and the Titans certainly don’t steal the show, even though the main objective of the strike force is another Imperator Titan. However, Blood in the Machine does set the tone for a sequel short story that focuses on the results of Inquistor Lekas’ actions on Armageddon. In addition, it reminds us of the raw power that an Imperator Titan commands and the size of the god-engines.
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