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High Marshal Helbrecht stood up and called the meeting to order by hitting the conference table with his power sword (and as a result rapidly turning the table into flying splinters). "That's the third table this week" a tech priest whispered to an administorum agent. "Indeed, his table smashing fetish has already caused a 0.0007 increase in expenses for this station, that increase could have catastrophic results for the administorium budget in this sector". The agent whispered back. High Marshal Helbrecht then addressed the meeting "As you all know, this is the fifth meeting we have for the current issue which is: why do 93% of space marines die from head injuries. Can it be that the head is somehow the weak point of the space marines? As you remember from our third meeting we have discovered this is because space marines don't use their helmets. Techpriest Willan and Administorum officer Pots will now explain the steps they have taken to solve the problem". "Thank you High Marshal" the tech priest said. "Well gentlemen I am glad to announce that Pots and I have solved the problem. We have tried many different approaches and found the right one. Our test group were High Marshals Helbrecht's personal guard. As you all know space marines are issued with a helmet so we decided to put instructions for helm use in the Space marine combat manual. However this seemed to have no effect. We soon discovered that this was because the Combat manual was mainly used as toilet paper. But soon we found the solution, which was bright orange paint. Using this paint we painted the instructions:
'THIS THING GOES ON YOUR HEAD.'
on their helmets. However when we first tried this new method things turned ugly; half of the space marines put their helmets on the reverse way, and when they didn't see anything they started screaming that they were under attack by the demons of darkness. This caused a massive outbreak of panic among all the space marines and caused them to be afraid of their helmets, but we were quick to fix this by painting new instructions on the helmets, the new instructions were as following:
'THIS HELMET.HELMET GOOD.HELMET GO ON HEAD.THIS SIDE FORWARD.'
Almost all the space marines were able to follow these basic instructions. And that, gentleman, is how we solved the helmet dilemma".
The Author's notesI first got the idea for this short story when I was reading White Dwarf magazine issue 312. In the magazine there was an article about the Black templar chapter. In the article there were some pictures of the Black templars and it caught my attention that more than half of the models didn't have helmets. After that I started to think how stupid it is to wear some high tech power armour and not wear the helmet. The helmet dilemma was later born from those thoughts.
Elvar Ingimundarson | Iceland 07.02.2006.