The Skin Of Set -
Reputedly Catherine the Great once wrote to Voltare, that he, being merely a philosopher who worked on parchment with ink, had an easier life than her, who had to work “with human skin, which is terribly ticklish and irritable”. We will return to this notion in a moment.
Reputedly nails and hair grow on after death so that a coffin opened may be filled with razors and filaments. This latter reputation in humankind at least is an over-reaction to shrinkage of the surrounding tissue, which can also give the exhumed domed skulls, and protruding incisors. It is not however the case with every species. There are entities whose biologies are so compartmentalised, so essentially modular, that their hands, their hair, their skin live on after the decease of their majority. (although in most cases hair being keratin based, a form of nail, will not contain sufficient bio-data to allow the restoration of the organism – a number of cloning mythologies to the contrary).
One such relic, preserved by House Arpexia – and possibly proof in itself of that House’s gradual slide into the totemistic practices of the Redemptionite Cults – is a skin that is proported to be the only remaining living thing found in a defunct time-corridor. There was during the second wave a fad, or policy, of opening the old time-loops, the encysted worlds and lock-up planets to see if their dangers had become more useful, more biddable and much more tolerable as allies in the face of the war. The results were on the whole not good, and of all the bits and bobs retrieved most were mad or bad or – in the case of some pods left on an ice world – dangerous to thaw. The skin seemed, at least, the most harmless find of a bad lot.