Content Warning:

Blood, gore, injury, dogmatic empire/military/religious baggage, women who really need deprogramming.

the sibyls

[Long description: A sketch page of two space marine-lookin’ gals. The one on the top right is a Sibyl, or some kind of warrior-priest, and she looks like your average lawful good paladin. She is outfitted in heavy power armor, wielding a huge claymore and a cog-shaped shield that’s just out of view. She has a somewhat dour profile with a strong jaw, sharp chin, and aquiline nose. A streak of grey runs through her long, black hair, and her undereyes are adorned with dark and heavy mascara, or maybe facepaint. Two wing-shaped ornaments rise from the air canister/jump pack on her back, adorned with prayer tags.

Her counterpart on the left, the ex-Sibyl, is outfitted in a similar fashion. She looks more like the frontrunner of a heavy metal band, though. Her armor is defaced with paintings of teeth and eyes, studded to hell and back, and singed in places. Several broken wing ornaments hang from the hem of her tattered shawl, like a fringe, and they sway as she raises up a bolter the size of her forearm. She has equally strong features as her cohort, but they’re softened a bit, with a broad nose that bows slightly at the end, and a more rounded jawline. Her head is shaved in a messy undercut, with long, white bangs flopping over the left half of her face. She wears black lipstick and smiles unhingedly, eyes wide enough to show her black sclera.

The right half of her face is overtaken with the inky black tendrils of some sort of shapeshifting disease. They creep down to where her right arm would otherwise be, unravelling like strings of smoke, or roots. The many cords of tissue come together at the end and form a huge, clawed hand.

Various sketches show the Sibyl and ex-Sibyl locked in bloody combat with each other. Contending with the shapeshifter is an ordeal—she advances on the Sibyl, limbs passing like smoke through her sword and shield, but the Sibyl holds her own. Though the Sibyl wears a helmet, and the ex-Sibyl a mask, they seem to lock eyes with one another.

Even when she is grievously injured and bleeding out, the Sibyl rebukes her foe. She weakly balls her fist around the ex-Sibyl’s shawl and pushes her away. The ex-Sibyl unmasks out of respect and cradles the Sibyl’s body, but it’s hard to say whether the woman perceives her deranged smile as respectful. Another drawing shows the ex-Sibyl dragging her old enemy’s body away, leaving bloody smears in the dirt.

When the Sibyl comes to, she’s not dead—just lying on an altar with her wounds mysteriously dressed. She maybe wishes she was dead, though, judging from her indignant expression. She finds and confronts the ex-Sibyl with a kitchen knife, but it’s hard to hold a knife to that shit-eating grin when it’s the same shit-eating grin that saved her life.

The rest of the drawings unravel in many different directions. Other encounters are shown, with the two Sibyls getting maybe a little bit too close in the heat of battle. In one, the ex-Sibyl kisses the Sibyl’s knuckles like a knight swearing fealty; in another, the Sibyl tries very very very hard to read a holy text while the ex-Sibyl wraps her monstrous arms around her, tendrils creeping in unhelpful directions.

One drawing shows the Sibyl spearing her rival clear through the torso. The ex-Sibyl is unbothered, flesh unravelling into those cords of shapeshifting tissue. “Is there even anything human left in you?” asks the Sibyl, to which her foe responds “How am I supposed to know if you keep dismembering me?”

A series of margin doodles shows the Sibyl holding the ex-Sibyl at gunpoint, straining, and saying “If I go to hell for this I’m taking you with me.” The ex-Sibyl gasps, touches her face with glee, and says “PROMISE???”

Another comic shows our old friends, the Chief and her research assistant, discussing the new arrivals. The R.A. wraps her arms around the Chief’s big shoulders and says “There were other women in your company? This is great! You must be so happy to see them again!”

The Chief strains. “Um—”

At that, the Sibyl rocks up and postures at the two women, smiling menacingly. “Irene Lysimachia Isidoros,” she says, addressing the Chief with her full name.

The Chief strains harder. “Hello, sister.”

The Sibyl continues. “Heh… So the rumors are true. You’ve gone soft. Of course, I always knew you were a weak-willed fool.”

The Chief’s silence is interrupted only by the sound of the R.A.’s opinion taking a swandive, but before either of them can say anything, the ex-Sibyl kicks down the door and says “HEY. PRIESTESS.”

The Sibyl turns to look, and is rendered speechless by the shock of seeing her old enemy again. It ends when the ex-Sibyl points a gun at her (entirely good humoredly! Really!) and says “FUCK YOU”

There’s also a riff on Ward Sutton’s ‘Sickos Guy’ comic somewhere in there, yeah. Just for laughs. The ex-Sibyl presses her face up against a window, grinning and saying “Yes… Ha ha ha… YES!”]

the sibyls

November 28, 2022

Putting the rest of this caption on a light background for your poor eyeballs' sake.

Hello. Last week I woke up with a thought that went something like this:

The Chief is probably more than enough disgraced space marine for one woman to handle.

~But what if I made another ooooone~

so uhhhh enjoy the walking Otep song. The Theseus’ (relation)ship.

They are… Sibyls, or warrior-priests, or something. Religious guides who keep the rest of their company in line and safeguard them against ‘temptation’ or whatever. The one on the left is an ex-Sibyl who got a little fucked up by the endeme, and was dropped by the Empire like a bad habit. Her cohort on the right was dispatched to replace her. No they don’t have names yet ): help

They meet on the fields of war and quickly become nemeses. They both know that belief is fragile, and much of it hinges on carefully-constructed Imperial propaganda… So whenever the ex-Sibyl blasphemes, it sits in the back of the Sibyl’s head for weeks like an inoperable bullet wound. Of course, the Sibyl demands nothing short of perfection and perfect devotion from herself. She’s never had a chip in her armor until now. The more she thinks about it, the angrier she gets. This rivalry becomes Extremely personal and she Will be the one to wipe that deranged grin off of the ex-Sibyl’s face, dammit.

The feeling is mutual. Somehow they always find each other, and lock themselves in blood combat until they’re the only ones left still going at it. The ex-Sibyl has the great (mis)fortune of being an unkillable lesbian, and though the same can’t be said of her rival, that doesn’t mean much when they’re both walking tanks made of bullets and power armor. They are fully committed to their mutually assured destruction e.g. dragging each other kicking and screaming to hell.

At least, until the Sibyl is mortally injured in battle. This is unacceptable to her blood rival. What is she going to do if she loses her nemesis? Get another one? Absolutely not. Never felt this way before and never will again. The ex-Sibyl personally drags her back to her Foul Den of Iniquity and tends her rival’s wounds with all the love and devotion that she was never shown, while she was still serving. Likewise, this is the single most selfless act of kindness that the Sibyl has ever experienced, committed by the single most vile woman she has ever had the misfortune of meeting. One thing does not compute with the other. It would be so easy to just kill her and get over it, but suddenly that’s starting to feel like a herculean task, and not just because of the whole ‘unkillable lesbian’ thing.

This may have some kind of effect on the blood rivalry. They will Not be talking about it.

Other things:

  • The ex-Sibyl’s collection of wing crests are trophies taken in battle from other members of her former company. Not necessarily from those she killed, but most people just assume they are. (Meanwhile someone, somewhere comes back with one or both crests comically missing.)
  • The Chief previously worked with the ex-Sibyl, who was both more agreeable and less agreeable than her replacement. More agreeable because of her warmer and more empathetic demeanor; less agreeable because she was keenly aware that the Chief carries some, err, emotional baggage from the whole Markus debacle. It’s hard to be vulnerable with the one who is watching you for the slightest sign of weakness, waiting for you to slip up. The ex-Sibyl goes M.I.A. sometime after their dispatch to Earth, so her successor doesn’t really meet the Chief or learn about all this until it’s public knowledge.
  • Shamelessly stealing lore that whips from the most unfortunately-named chaos space marine warband in 40k: the ex-Sibyl never unmasks on the battlefield except when facing her worstie <3 love wins.
  • Gender dynamics are whatever (read: I think about it so much that I don’t want to think about it) but I still picture the Chief as a black sheep for being the only woman in her company. That the two Sibyls come after her is probably significant. Somehow less isolated and more isolated because they are two very different but equally awful people to deal with. Messy messy.
  • yeah that’s the Chief’s actual real full name