Editor’s Note: Each month, Unwinnable’s resident advice columnist dispenses wisdom of the ages in response to your email and Twitter questions. He just happens to do so from 38,000 years in the future. With the help of the ancient computer CHAD and the mecha-tentacled Magos Valence Mak, Tech-Marine Aurelius Ventro of the Imperial Fists delivers the enlightenment of the Emperor to your unworthy human eyes –— as only a Space Marine can.
***1020 ADEPTUS MECHANICUS ARCHEOTECH EXCAVATION SITE XB-0701-4155-J SEGMENTUM TEMPESTUS 9041.225.G4W6-1***
***COGITATUM HONORUS ANCIENTUM DIRECTORIUS .//. BOOT FILE 709-755-6-EL-3***
***TEMPORAL COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL INITIALIZED***
Dear Space Marine,
There’s this girl I like at school. I really want to be with her, but I don’t think she even knows I exist. How do I win her heart?
– Lonely in Love
What a strange designation you have. Were all humans of your era named after their most pathetic weaknesses?
I must confess that your question is somewhat difficult for a Space Marine to answer. In the grim darkness of your far future, there is only war. An Astartes warrior does not concern himself with the ambiguities of human mating rituals. To paraphrase a popular holofilm of your time: No time for love, Apothecary Jones.
Let us start with the assumption that by “win her heart” you mean “convince her to mate with you,” not “tear the still-beating blood-distribution organ from her chest.” That would be an easy solution, provided you have ready access to a chainfist.
I asked Magos Mak, who is at least nominally female despite her almost entirely mechanical exoskeleton, for her insight on your query. Her response was a blunt burst of Mechanicum code-cant that loosely translates as “bring extra unguents.” I admit I do not know how to interpret the accompanying thrusting of her mecha-dendrites.
I must therefore draw on my own experience to address your query. If human mating rituals work anything like Astartes initiation rites, you must prove your worth to the female you desire.
When Space Marines are novitiates, we must perform tasks of courage and skill to demonstrate our merit to our Chapter. For example, the Iron Snakes hunt the giant Wyrms that stalk Ithaka’s vast oceans, whilst the bravest Salamanders of Nocturne slay a Firedrake in honour of their Primarch, the mighty Vulkan. And of course, no Space Wolf worth his gene-seed would be caught dead without the pelt of a vicious Fenrisian wolf proudly splayed across the pauldrons of his Power Armour.
In most cases, Space Marines must slay a mighty beast, often with our bare hands, to prove our mettle. I see no reason why you should not attempt the same.
However, from the mewling tone of your missive, I deduce that you are a mere scholam child, unaccustomed to combat. Thus I engaged CHAD’s search function to determine what manner of ancient creature an untrained weakling such as yourself could reasonably be expected to defeat.
In its results, CHAD identified a domesticated mammalian quadruped called a “COCKerspaniel.” (CHAD’s display algorithms are quite particular; therefore I assume its capitalization of the term “COCK” refers to some arcane acronym of your time. When I requested her analysis of “COCK,” Magos Mak merely fixed her ocular implants upon me with what can only be described as a leering expression.)
I suggest you search your hive-hab area for a live COCKerspaniel, gut it from snout to tail, and drape its still-dripping carcass about your shoulders. If you are truly fortunate, perhaps the female you desire will own such a creature herself. Then your capture and killing of the beast will impress her even more, as you will have slain the animal she has trained to protect her. She cannot fail to see the honour of such an act.
In any case, the soundest tactic is to arrive at the portal to her hab with the bloody pelt of a COCKerspaniel displayed proudly on your back. When she answers your summons, announce yourself with a title worthy of your achievement — for example, “Lonely, the COCK-Slayer.” Then, after meticulously recounting your bravery in slaying the beast, profess your desire to mate with her. If nothing else, this will undoubtedly compel her to acknowledge your existence.
In the Emperor’s name, I remain
a faithful Servant of the Golden Throne,
4th Company “Fists of Dorn,”
Imperial Fists Chapter