The following article is a /tg/ related story or fanfic. Should you continue, expect to find tl;dr and an occasional amount of awesome.
One day, a writefag had an idea. That idea was to take Gordon Freeman from the Half Life series, put him into the nightmare galaxy of Warhammer 40k, and see what happens.
What happens is AWESOME
 Rise and shine... Doctor Freeman...
+++BEGIN DATA FILE EXCERPT+++
+Personal log of High Tech-Magos Krygmann+
+Entry dated: 1296009.M42+
It has been months since the discovery.
A piece of Archaeo-tech from ancient Terra, the processing implants in my brain can’t even comprehend. According to the data files we were able to decipher on its use, we believe it was called an “anti-mass spectrometer” by its creators, a group of ancient tech priests who we believe called themselves “The Order of the Black Mesa,” and along with the device we found a strange yellow crystal. So far, all of our attempts to scan the object have proven useless – it does not even seem to register at all. But recently, we uncovered another piece of data relating to the object and its place within the machine.
It warns us of an event called a “resonance cascade” but the probability is so small as to be insignificant.
Blessed be our hands as we uncover the great works of the Omnissiah!
+Entry dated: 1301009.M42+
This has been a most odd occurrence.
After we finished repairing and ordaining the machine for use in the name of the Omnissiah, we were just about to start the rites of initiation.
And then… -he- appeared.
+Begin Transcript of Attached Voice Entry+
Subject 1: High Tech-Magos Krygmann
Subject 2: Unknown
1: Blessed are we, the tools of the Omnissiah – it is his hand who guides us now as-
2: I… would not… DO that…. if I were youuu…
1: What – [stunned silence] who… are you? How did you get in here? This sanctified area is restricted only to those most blessed servants of the Omnissiah!
2: Who I am is not… important… I have been - asleep - for a very… very long TIME… And it ssseems that there issss much to…. do.
+End Transcript of Attached Voice Entry+
After he spoke, he disappeared, as did the device and the crystal, leaving no teleport signature on any of the scanners – they simply… vanished. The other techpriests and I remained, in stunned silence. What had we just witnessed? Where did the holy archaeo-tech go? And who was that being – he looked human, but his garments (a simple black suit with a white garment underneath and a red sash of fabric wrapped around his neck) looked nothing like the fashion of any human I’ve seen, and there was just something about him that was… off. Merely standing next to him sent electric current shooting up my mechadendrites.
I fear that this secret of the Omnissiah should’ve remained hidden…
Machine-God preserve us.
+++PERSONAL DATA LOG+++
++SERGEANT JOHR FISHE++
++3RD PLATOON, 5TH COMPANY, 8TH CADIAN REGIMENT++
++526009.M42, CADIA, [CLASSIFIED] FRONT++
It has been 9 long years since we drove back the vile forces of Chaos after they launched their failed 13th Black Crusade.
I sometimes wonder if we should’ve told them that.
We still fight them, here on my home – now, little more than a series of interconnected massacres and bloodbaths.
The skies above still teem with ships of the Imperial Navy. They have kept the planet blockaded from any new major chaos incursions. But Chaos has a funny way of sneaking into a planet. To them, our glorious God-Emperor’s galaxy is a bad joke, and the rules that govern its operation an easily avoided punchline.
We kill them, and more arise. We route their bases and more spring up. The sanctioned psykers close the warp gates, and more rifts in reality appear.
The Emperor works in mysterious ways.
+++PERSONAL DATA LOG+++
++SERGEANT JOHR FISHE++
++3RD PLATOON, 5TH COMPANY, 8TH CADIAN REGIMENT++
++528009.M42, CADIA, [CLASSIFIED] FRONT++
Yesterday, I believe I witnessed a miracle.
Soon after I finished my previous log, our position in the trenches came under attack. The latest armies of chaos came out of nowhere and began to attack our position. We weren’t expecting another attack for another week or so, which is why our supplies were so low. I myself only had half a charge on my lasrifle’s powerpack when we were set upon, and I tried my damnedest to make every shot count.
And just as our position was about to be overrun… he appeared.
He was clad in orange and black power armour. It must’ve been power armour, with how fast he moved, but it was barely larger than a set of Kasrkin Carapace. In his hand, he carried a red and black crowbar.
He came from nowhere, and without a word or a sound, he charged headlong into the chaos hordes with a speed and brutality I’ve never seen outside of the legendary and glorious Astartes chapters.
It was over as soon as it began. The lasfire ceased on both sides, and the dust cleared.
Only he remained standing.
Before we got the chance to approach him, and ask why – or more importantly, HOW – he helped us, he ran off, faster than any of us could chase him.
By the time he disappeared over the hill, we heard the telltale screech of Astartes Drop Pods, and the thud as they arrived 5 minutes too late.
The Space Marines walked around the empty battlefield, unsure as to what had just happened.
++JOURNAL OF CAPTAIN KEHRN++
++3D COMPANY, 8TH CADIAN REGIMENT++
++545009.M42, CADIA, [CLASSIFIED] FRONT++
I just received the 10th [tenth] report in 2 [two] days. And not just from my company either, from neighboring companies, and even different regiments.
The first kind is the most numerous – tales of squads and platoons seeing a strange human wearing orange power armor no thicker than Kasrkin carapace, rushing into battle as fast and fearless as a space marine, wielding only a crowbar or sometimes a strange weapon that glows orange, slaughtering all the chaos hordes in his path, and then leaving without a word.
The other kind of report is less frequent… of another soldier from an unknown regiment - possibly thought to be from Krieg due to the mask he wears - entering battle with either some kind of autogun or a strange –possibly alien– device that disintegrates everything in front of it, including heretic tanks. Like the orange soldier, he enters battle fast, fearlessly, and leaves without a sound.
Who are these soldiers? Where are they coming from, who’s sending them? And how are they helping us? From the reports – I’ve never seen them myself – they look like ordinary men, but – Emperor help me – they fight better than the Astartes.
This is way beyond my rank. I’ve got to let someone else higher than me know about this.
++582009.M42, CADIA, OUTSKIRTS - KASR DERTH++
I’ve heard the stories over the last few weeks… or is it months? I can’t tell anymore, we’ve been here for way too long. I’ve heard the stories just like the rest of them. The tales of this so-called “One Free Man” out there, fighting the forces of Chaos here on Cadia… Turning the tide for us, helping us break the Great Enemy in ways that not even the Astartes here have done. I thought it was just that… stories.
But, God-Emperor strike me down for a heretic if I lie, I have seen him. First hand. I have seen what he can do, and I can say with all honesty that he surpassed my wildest expectations. The One Free Man exists, and he is a masterpiece of death to the foes of man, and a symphony of salvation for us.
I was with the rest of my platoon, attempting to advance through the tides of Chaos that flooded the streets of Kasr Derth. The roads were either too narrow or too filled with rubble for armour – which was both good and bad, as we wouldn’t have to deal with Chaos tanks, at the loss of our own tanks.
At first, the attacks seemed to be going well. We were pushing them back, and making progress… but then a squad of traitor Astartes arrived. And then another. And then more.
We had to fall back. That’s when things seemed to go from bad to worse. In the air, I could hear the screech of ram-jet engines. I had been on this planet fighting chaos for long enough to recognize it as the sound of Hell Blade engines – not good. The sergeant called for us to take cover.
Something was wrong. It was flying low and fast, I could tell that much from the sound, but it wasn’t firing on us despite half of us still being out in the open. In fact, as it came in it ignored us completely and fired on the chaos troops! Before any of us knew what was going on, the fighter screeched into view flying on its side in between the buildings heading straight for the mass of chaos… and a golden-black figure leapt from the fighter and landing on the side of a building just before it crashed into the enemy.
When it exploded, it took a good chunk of the chaos forces with it, but none of us were looking at the fiery mess – at least not me. My gaze was fixed on the armored figure now sliding down the side of the building, holding what looked like a crowbar buried in the wall, slowing his decent.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! The stories were true! For a moment, all I could do was just watch in awe. He jumped from the side of the building straight for the mangled chaos hordes below him. The sight of him seemed to rally the others in my platoon, for they all broke cover to rush to his aid, shouting cries of “The Free Man!” or “The Free Man has come to save us!”
I followed suit, bayonet fixed and finger on the trigger… and just as I turned the corner, I stood face to face with one of the traitor Astartes. I was frozen in abject terror as massive chaos-spawned behemoth loomed over me like a mountain. My life should’ve ended right then and there, but it was then I heard a loud BANG! Like metal on metal. And then another.
There was the Free Man – my savior! – standing atop the back of the chaos marine, like a growth of order and righteousness growing from the back of madness. He was beating his crowbar over the marines head over and over again, seeming to do little more than distract it… until finally he took the sharp end of his black and red crowbar and dove it into the Marine’s eye with a sickening crunch. The marine collapsed forward with a howl – by that time, I’d moved out of its way – and the Free Man stood over the body of his foe.
This was the first time I had gotten the chance to get a good look at him. His power armor – it had to be power armor, with his speed and strength – was beaten and worn, but he was only a little taller than me, the size of an ordinary man. And on his bearded face were a pair of glasses. Glasses! I could barely believe my eyes, yet there he stood before me.
Hardly 5 seconds had passed from the traitor marine falling to our position being fired upon by heretics and traitors. I dove for cover and brought my lasrifle to bear, compelled to give him covering fire. He placed the crowbar on his back, and it stayed with an odd metal clang, and he pulled out an odd looking weapon that glowed orange and had three prongs on the end. He reached onto the traitor marine’s belt, grabbed a grenade, placed it in front of the orange gun and pulled the trigger.
I braced myself for an explosion, but when I looked over, the grenade was floating in front of the orange weapon – some kind of arcano-tech well beyond my understanding – and I watched with fascination. The Free Man was peeking out from behind cover, muttering silently under his breath. Then, he got up, took aim with the weapon, pulled the pin on the grenade, and with an electrical pop and an orange flash of lightning, the grenade went flying through the air. It bounced off a heretic’s face, smashing it, ricocheting into a pillar of a building that looked ready to collapse, and then bounced back over towards a group of cultists charging us.
While the grenade bounced along on its course, the Free Man aimed his arcano-tech weapon at the fallen marine’s Bolter and lifted the monstrosity of a gun into the air with ease. Another orange electric pop, and the Bolter went flying – right towards the group of cultists, and right into the path of the grenade.
The grenade detonated, along with all the shells in the bolter, and where at least 20 cultists had charged before, only a gory mess remained. In the confusion, the Free Man rushed forward with his arcano-tech gun, grabbing objects like twisted metal or discarded weapons, and used the gun to toss them at the enemy. I couldn’t help but follow him… and soon, others joined.
The chaos horde was driven back, the Free Man leading the charge with the guardsmen of my platoon – and others – following as close as we could. Watching him cut through the traitor Astartes and the cultists with ease, I realized something:
This Free Man was a miracle, sent by the Emperor himself. He had to be. This silent prophet, our Savior.
The One Free Man.
+Log found: Identification code HL340K+
+Personal log of Inquisitor Ramirez, Ordo Hereticus+
+Thought for the day: If a man may die so another can live, that man's spirit will eat at the Emperor's table+
I have been examining battle reports, mission briefings, intelligence dossiers and transcripts of interviews with the troops for the last week. Emperor help me, but the paperwork involved in this investigation is more soul-draining than all the arts of the Enemy.
Still, it is necessary, for only by compiling and comparing all these separate fragments of data can one obtain a greater picture of the events taking place on Cadia.
There is no question that two warriors of exceptional prowess have been assisting Imperial forces in the battle against the Archenemy at the Cadian gate: the gold-black armored one Guardsmen have nicknamed "The One Free Man" (conjecture: where did this moniker come from? No records of communication with him. Psyker?) and a warrior in vaguely Imperial garb (cf. Death Korps of Krieg; Elysian Drop Troops; Schola Progenium Stormtroopers.) Both have been witnessed to use examples of what may be archaeotech or xenotech: light-looking power armor that matches that of the Adeptus Astartes, physics-defying weaponry, and even what could only be described as a portable Eldar warp cannon (cf. Inquisitor Czevak's notes on the Eldar)
While there is a possibility of one or both of these warriors being aliens or heretics planning on winning the trust of our forces, only to betray them at the worst moment, I personally consider it unlikely: the damage they have caused to Chaos forces in Cadia is of considerable magnitude, and my savants have been forced to recalculate their campaign estimations based on their actions. I highly doubt the thrice-cursed Abaddon, proud as he is, could hurt his horde in this manner for such a plan. Xeno involvement also seems unlikely: the only possible candidates would be the Eldar warlocks, and the actions of these two warriors hold a sense of purpose not present in the Eldar's fickle ways of war.
Such purpose can be seen when comparing both warrior's actions against a campaign map. The Free Man is advancing against the main Chaos horde, pushing deeper and deeper into their lines: Marine scouts report the presence of Chaos ships in the direction he is heading. The other warrior follows behind him, almost but never quite catching up with him. Perhaps the Free Man does not know of his existence? Or is he being chased by this strange soldier? Who do they serve? And what do they intend to do?
I do not like this. There are too many questions to answer here, too little information. I feel strangely apprehensive about this affair, as if something of major importance were about to occur in this forsaken planet.
++9TH COMPANY, 8TH CADIAN REGIMENT++
++6962009.M42, CADIA, KASR PRASSIVA++
Morale's up, that's for certain. Thanks to our own company's confirmation of the latest rumors. Rumors of the "One Free Man" running about Cadia and slicing up the Emperor's enemies with some ancient weaponry or xeno-tech of some sort.
One of my sergeants reported the sighting of what appeared for be a guardsman in something resembling Krieg uniform, at first glance, but the odd black and white patterns made him stick out like an ork using a lasgun.
One of our men actually had the gall to run up to him. "To give thanks on the behalf of the regiment," my sergeant explained. We'd all heard the previous stories involving both him and the Free Man. Taking down those Khorne berserkers and traitor Astartes using nothing but crowbars and such. Ha! Like our company would need any help fending off these heretics. We'd been up against nothing but cultists, so naturally, I had assigned a pair of Whiteshield squads up frontline defense until the real aciton comes about again. Sustained only one casualty, thanks to the "Kriegsman" showing up. I'll give him this.
He ran about, firing off something that sounded like a Ork weapon, with some form of alternate explosive launcher functionality. That's about when I doubted this weapon's origins. I don't think the greenskins are clever enough to mix and match things like that on their small arms.
So, after killing of a couple dozen cultists singlehandedly, he goes and picks up--no, loots, a lasgun from a long-fallen infantryman that was caught in no man's land. Fires off a few bursts, and finishes what's left of the cultists before looking at the poor squirming Whiteshield lad who'd been wounded before, before making his way off *toward* the enemy lines.
After we had the medics take a look at our single, shameful Whiteshield casualty, I questioned him about the encounter. He said he thought he saw a name on the Kriegsman's flak jacket.
Told the Captain that bit, too. Problem is, our cappy's got quite the loose lips. Word of his supposed name dribbled down to the lowest troopers within three days. Now they're all taking this whole "Shephard" name to creating prophecies of their own. "The Shephard guides his flock," they said. "Follow the Shephard," they've said.
By the Emperor, I've nearly had it. I've gone and petitioned the higher up brass for permission to detain this imitation Kriegsman instead of letting him run free to chase that Free Man., regardless of how high morale is. We need answers.
The odd weapon he'd left behind, I've handed that over to the techpriests for further examination. We'll find things out, sooner or later.
+Log found: Identification code: TA560W+
+Personal log of Inquisitor Tarok, Ordo Hereticus+
The Inquisition found Inquisitor Ramirez's handling of the case to be unsatisfactory, so they reassigned him and put me in charge.
The case is one of the most odd that I have encounter in a long time. Two mysterious soldiers on Cadia, fighting the forces of Chaos. One in orange and grey powered armor of unknown model, with glasses (of all things) that the soldiers refer to as "The Free Man" for reasons yet unknown.
The other is a soldier who is described to be similar at least at first, to the Death Korps of Krieg, the soldiers refer to this one as "The Shepard" due to a battlefield that said he had the word on his uniform.
As Ramirez had noted: The Shepard seems to be following The Free Man, but never quite catching up, quote: "The other warrior follows behind him, almost but never quite catching up with him. Perhaps the Free Man does not know of his existence? Or is he being chased by this strange soldier? Who do they serve? And what do they intend to do?"
I have made no grounds in answering these questions. All i can say for certain is that these two men, if they are men, are brutally efficient engines of destruction, Emperor preserve me they may even surpass the Adeptus Astartes.
With their inhuman skills and their physics defying weaponry (probably xeno-tech) (notably the Free Man's weapon which we have given the moniker: HOMD (Heavy Object Manipulation Device).
At this time I cannot say if they are in fact a gift from the Immortal Emperor, or a heretic gaining the trust of our troops.
Tomorrow, I shall descend onto the battlefield and see if I can catch one of these men myself. They say they fight in complete silence... But I will make them talk
+1st Lt Lakoth++
+36th "Grit and Dust" Company, 451st Cadian Airborne Support Regiment++
Today we were patrolling Sector 55#42/B. Ogstentine, I think, yeah Ogstentine. We were moving through the town when.... Well its hard to describe what happened, it happened so fast. As we approached the town center, we found heretics everywhere, their bodies mutilated beyond recognition. There were rouge space marines aswell; their power armor had holes punched through it bigger than an Ogryn's fist, but then we heard it - a humming sound. Some chaos gunship appeared, it fired, taking out delta squad. Damn, they were about to be shipped off to a quiet planet near terra, but such is life in the service of the Emperor. The captain ordered the valks to attack but it was too late; they were destroyed and we were doomed but then he happened. The One Free Man appeared atop some rubble and fired some missiles, guided by his mind, I suppose, taking down the gunship with ease. Just like the stories, he ran off before we could thank him, toward the front lines.
And we followed.
++ Major Augustus++
+ 50th Anthrax Penal leigon second battalion++
+++ Log Begins+++
Another month of this conflict. Another reinforcement request. I continue to lead these dogs to their repentance. Well. I would have joined the emperor in death with the rest of them today. After the Battle at Ogstentine we were sent to make sure the town was secure. Damn heretics were waiting for us. As soon as second platoon entered the square the very ground beneath them exploded and their severed limbs flew for miles. Heavy fire of all kinds pinned us. They had the high ground. They had mortar support. We were done for. The longer we were fighting the less mortar fire came down. We assumed that they were running out of ammunition. Thats when he appeared. The fried man or whatever the men call him. He slaughtered the cowardly heretics one crowbar swing at a time. By the time my Vox operator managed to tell the 451st what just happened our savior was already gone. I hope the dogs in this battalion wont think this will always happen
FURTHER INQUIRY ON SUBJECT FREEMAN OR SHEPARD WITHOUT SPECIAL PERMISSION BY INQUISITOR TAROK WILL RESULT IN REEDUCATION OR L0BOTIMSATION
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