Return of the Primarchs: Unfinished Stories
Return of the Primarchs stories that are currently unfinished. The writers are listed and whether the story is discontinued or not. Writefags who want to pick up the discontinued stories are appreciated.
Bits of Awesome
Written and discontinued by Vulcanfag, continued by Cryptek Czerasp
Captain Mir'San the winter blade stood aboard the battle barge Vulkan's Wrath with forge father He'Stan as it hovered over the dead world of Sarmatia III. The world lied in the eastern fringe of the galaxy. It was an ill omen-ed world that navigators brave enough to even enter the dark region these stars inhabit avoid. What it's occupants were has never been known by mankind. The few men to step upon its surface often come back mad if they do at all. What was undeniable however was that the Tome of Fire had many strange passages that matched the rumors that sprung from this world.
"I thank you for you and your men's assistance." Mir'Sans grey face filled with pride . "It is an honor forgefather, to assist you in finding one of the artifacts from the tome, my men in I need no thanks."
A short time later they were descending to the world in a thunderhawk. A veteran squad, apothecary Calderan, captain Mir'San, the venerable dreadnought Bray'arth Ashmantle, and Forgefather He'Stan.
The worlds surface was a strange dark stone structures organized into strange patterns and being loomed over by the dim light of a strange purple star. The closer they approached the surface, the more disturbing the architecture became, every megalith was covered in strange runes that seemed to reflect the same eldritch light of the violet star. Many of the buildings seemed to be inlaid with the skeletal structures of the giant inhabitants this demented world, many posed in positions to show them consuming or violently defeating those they considered their lessors in an death obsessed spectacle.
Upon the surface of Sarmatia III in a massive chamber of impossible alien geometry the leader of the Dragon Warriors around a strange series of chaotic symbols carved into the floor. He examined every pillar in the room his acolytes had inscribed, every inch of wall, every tile of floor marked for a sorcerous act of massive proportion that was capable of bringing back to life the unknowable terror of the ancient race that dwelled upon the cursed world. The entire Sarmatia system of 20 planets was comprised entirely of these strange ghost worlds.
The preparations were completed, the sorcerers plan was to bind these ancient terror to the dark gods in exchange for power over them so he may loose this abomination upon nocturne. His hunger for vengeance for the death of his mentor slated.
The winter blade walked down the ramp of the thunderhawk, his squad of ten veterans following him behind Ashmantle and He'Stan. The ramps closed and the Thunderhawk proceeded back to Vulkan's Wrath. The old warrior could feel the alien energy running through the ground of this world, and he felt something strange in the air as well, the presence of an old enemy and that truly enraged him.
Vulkan He'Stan silently engaged the vox in his helmet. "We are being watched, be on alert."
A Veteran standing near the back of the squad turned his head to the side quickly at the sound of footfalls and unleashed the fury of his heavy flamer upon an opening in the construct to their left. A red armored astartes leapt from inside and threw a grenade toward the crowd of salamanders and the marines within range of the explosion jumped from its reach as the explosion cracked the silent air of the dead world and echoed across its expanse. A sternguard marine with a combi-flamer, gunning down the enemy combatant with a burst of inferno rounds, setting the warrior ablaze from his innards out. He fell to his knees quickly, the ignited promethium beginning to lick at the lenses of his helmet.
"Dragon warriors!" He'Stan said angrily. "Traitors of our fathers gene line have come to interfere brothers, show them no mercy! Into the fires of battle, Unto the anvil of war!"
From their right the sudden roar of bolt rounds echoed from the massive openings on the alien structures, Ashmantle turned and opened fire with his duel heavy flamers as his massive form moved as quickly as it could towards his enemy. A cold metallic laugh rang from the venerable dreadnought as he picked up a dragon warrior and fired his dreadfire through the traitor, leaving a singed hole where his midsection once was before throwing his corpse at his comrades. Gouts of flame and bolts began to pour from other opening in the strange architecture, the salamanders were surrounded by their traitorous brethren.
He'Stan hurtled himself into combat, charging into one of the megalithic buildings and striking down the first man he saw with the Spear of Vulkan, his blood trailing across the reflective black stone of the structure. When he raised the gauntlet of the forge and fired the reflection was almost blinding as the fire lifted up the spire and incinerated all in its path, the smell of scorched adamantium drifted up and out of the tower under the omnipresent reek of burning bodies. Vulkan's fury brought to its most pure physical manifestation.
Captain Mir'San's wisdom showed trough in his fighting style, as his enemy's charged towards him, driven to half madness by chaos, it was their own arrogance and haste he used against them. As they charged towards him they were cleaved apart by cinders edge the warriors master crafted blade, built by his own hand.
"You disgrace the memory of Vulkan! I am his will!" The mechanical voice of the dreadnought was clear even over the fighting. One of the firedrakes was torn in half as an unseen dragon warrior emerged from a corner where one part of the squad were taking cover before he was belted into a pool by a combi bolter with a melta on it. Another group of firedrakes, two armed with melta guns and one with a flamer ran into a buildings entrance and began burning their enemy out, one of the salamanders armed with a melta was shot down in place by warpfire infused bolts. He was immolated on sight before the other marine armed with a melta ran towards him and slammed the barrel across his face, forcing him to the ground before opening fire on his head and turning it into ash.
Above Sarmatia III
Trazyn had collected a great number of things from the Adeptus Astartes over the years, ships, weapons, live marines, but no being or creation had quiet gained his respect as this Primarch as he noted he was, Vulkan. He was fascinated by the fact that this being had been dead for so long but never seemed to degrade, how the essence of the living being still to some degree dwelled within the incredibly preserved corpse. Trazyn's motivations were many, from the idea that the being could somehow be the key to his races nonevent back into a biological form, but an immortal one, the very thing the Necrontyr race had sought in the first place, to simple curiosity, either way it consumed his time, he had even attempted to get his hands on Vulkan's artifacts to revive him. He had come to realize something in his quest, that the Unbound Flame, was the thing that kept Vulkan's soul intact, and some combination of the Artifacts, many of which also functioned as weapons, could in essence jump start Vulkan.
So Trazyn followed He'Stan from a distance whenever he could do so, clinging to the periphery of any scenario. When not doing that, he was following his own ideas of where Vulkan's other 3 artifacts might be.
Now his personalized shroud class ship hovered over the world of Sarmatia III, realizing the salamanders had come to the same Conclusion he did. They however were not near as familiar with what slumbered here as he was, it was an ancient intelligence, a subspecies of the Rak'Gol that bound their souls to chaos for knowledge and power, and created a nightmare empire ruled by insanity. He could still feel the horrid warp intelligence here without even leaving his ship.
On Sarmatia III
It was impossible for a human to willingly recreate the vocal tones of the creatures of this world and its spells required, some extra work. A series of acolytes were tied to large wooden stakes, the skin of their throats peeled from their necks, others still clung to their sides, strumming impossible melodies in the planets native language to perfectly awaken this unique fragment of an extremely dangerous xeno species. Nihilan had long had long been obsessed with the salamander's destruction and now in this period of massive threat to the gods, he had an opportunity.
As the spell drew to a close a strange black lightning began to flicker in the sky, first just a few strikes, then a storm circling into a black swirling pyre of sorcerous lightning. No matter the level of battle around anyone at the time, large towers of warp lightning in your vicinity aren't hard to notice. What was more subtle however was the slow disappearance of the monuments around them.
The winter blade was the first to notice. "The xenos skeletons are disappearing, they moved by themselves Tu'Shan, near instantaneously. I brought a few more squads, some land raiders, and we always have the ships guns."
"Call in the land raider and two squads, I can see there being difficulties we haven't foreseen."
"As do I forgefather."
"His words were more prophetic than he knew."
The lightning dispersed and as soon as it did the sound of innumerable alien limbs clacking on black reflective stone starting as a few isolated 'click clack click clack's' growing into a maddening sound like tens of thousands of gears malfunctioning and grinding on other parts of manufacturing mechanisms. The sound of talons scraping across walls as they climb.
As a salamanders Thunderhawk descended from the skies they saw the true scope of the danger the those on the ground forces were actually in. Huge numbers of massively augmented Rak'Gol, some subspecies and types unseen before, covered the ground like a canopy of death. The massive amount of power drills, chain weapons, circular saws, piston hammers, and other mechanical weapons whirred so loudly through the air that they could be heard by those in the descending thunderhawk.
The Thunderhawk's laser destroyer fired as it strafed over the conflict, leaving a long singed trench unto the cursed earth of this world. It hovered in the air for few brief seconds, within that short time two squads disembarked and the land raider was dropped from its mag restraints. As soon as these sons of Vulkan hit the ground the horrific xenos horde split, some attacking Mir'San and his party, others attempting to fall on the newcomers before being vaporized by the heat on the thunderhawk's laser destroyer.
Forgefather He'Stan turned on a dime and bisected a Rak'Gol marauder in the blink of an eye. The strange opaque blood of the xenos ran through the streets rivulets, the more that fell the more that were awoken. As He'Stan and Mir'San began to believe the hunt for the song of entropy couldn't become more complicated, a series of ships began to race toward the planets surface, annihilation barges, ghost and doomsday arks, the glowing viridian of necron weaponry stripping the atoms of all under their gaze, Rak'Gol bodies lie torn to pieces and singed by these destructive power of gauss weaponry.
The in initial salamanders force made a fighting withdrawal back to the land raider that had just arrived, its sponson mounted heavy flamers left large trails of ash as it struck down any who threatened its brethren.
The salamanders slowly pushed foreword through the massive lane that led to the central megalith, shooting down Rak'Gol as they jumped down from the massive structures lining the path. As Tu'Shan and the others fought their way foreword to their destination, he remembered all the obstacles he had faced before in the quest for his fathers artifacts, this was simply another challenge to make the salamanders stronger. He would not be deterred.
As the Necron ships got closer Mir'San realized they weren't firing at them, despite them being an easier target than the Rak'Gol, and there had been no attack on Vulkan's Wrath as it hovered over the planet bombarding the Rak'Gol horde.
Allies of convenience Mir'San thought, but he knew He'Stan wouldn't be as receptive, particularly if this was somehow Trazyn's doing. After the attempts Trazyn made to steal the Spear of Vulkan Tu'Shan had developed a venomous hate for the Necron collector. They were heading towards the same destination however, so either way, he would know soon enough if this was the doing of Trazyn in his quest to collect.
As if on cue a ghost ark with an ornate carrying a host of lychguard, an ornate coffin of massive size, and of course Trazyn. Mir'San looked over to He'Stan who was busy impaling a Rak'Gol broodmaster, realizing he would have to be the voice of reason in this moment. "Fuck..." A whisper of frustration escaped under the creaky sigh of the winter blade. As he took another look at the ark between hacking into the hordes of Rak'Gol carvers he noticed the symbols of the promethian cult and the salamanders were etched into the massive coffin. "He'Stan look!" His voice suddenly making him seem younger than it was.
A loud gasp could be heard over the vox channel. He recognized it instantly, even though he had never seen it.. The unbound flame. The shock of two things set instantly into the forgefather, that his Primarch was on this cursed world... The next realization however chilled him to the bone, that his Primarch was in a coffin.
Worse still it was in the hands of xenos. Unhidden rage almost boiled under his skin, a wrath he had never felt in the entirety of his life, they would pay.
Nihililan felt quiet content with himself, the glint of pride in his burning eyes becoming a full blown shine of self satisfaction. A veteran dragon warrior approached behind him from the shadows.
"What you've accomplished here Nihilan, its quiet impressive I must say." Nihilan raised an eyebrow beneath his warped helm. "I'm sure your very proud of yourself aren't you?" He locked his hands behind his back, his body language now matching his tone in smugness. He walked with large strides in an almost nonchalant way, looking at objects and runes in the room fascinated, as if he hadn't seen them before even though he'd helped Nihilan set up the stage for the spell. "Now I'm sure you believe that you've pulled off some grand feat don't you? Haha, how foolish those who serve the warps idiot being can be, it's shocking really.:
"You would speak to me in such a way Ar'Kath!? Do you wish to die?!"
"Ar'Kath hmm? Interesting name, I'm sure he was nocturnian, but I hate to inform you that he no longer controls this fleshy vessel." Across the room a strange viridian lightning started to crackle, its force so powerful that it seemed to tear reality itself. The dragon warrior raised his bolt pistol to his own head. "Bye Bye," he waved calmly, then pulled the trigger. As soon as his body hit the floor a metallic foot pushed out from the green storm, then another. Two lychguards emerged and behind them the great collector.
Trazyn the infinite.
Nihilan was furious, he had been tricked, one of his veteran brothers was used as an expendable catspaw, and this Necron was behind it, clearly here for something of his. "You dare use my brothers in such a way y-"
He was cut off mid sentence by the ancient metal construct.
"Yes yes, your honor and all that nonsense. What would your Primarch do if he knew you had become this twisted parody of what he hoped for his progeny?"
Nihilan spit upon the ground at the mere mention of his Primarch, his father, who he often used as a focal point for his anger. Nihilan started to respond to the metal ancient when a loud bang echoed through the chamber, bits of obsidian stone shot to every corner of the room, smoke trailing behind each like miniature comets. When the smoke cleared a host of salamanders stood in the doorway, the braziers adorning some veterans along with those atop the land raider behind them cast a strangely human glow around them in contrast to every thing else on this Emperor forsaken pit of a planet. He'Stan and Mir'San stood at the front of all others leading their brothers by example.
Trazyn raised his hand at the forgefather, as if to say stop. "Now I know what your thinking."
He'Stan's anger was far from held in check, his voice booming and fiery like the volcanos of his home. "What?! That you've come to steal the spear again! Oh or possibly something else! What I do know is you have a coffin bearing the craftsmanship and symbols of our chapter, and you will not keep it. I know what's in the coffin xeno, and we want our father back."
Trazyn ran his hand down his face. "Yes and that's why I'm here."
"Don't even try to....What?!" His position shifted, He'Stan was prepared for almost any situation but this was not one of them
"I know how to bring him back..."
Nihilan had grown tired of this and his irritation was evident in his voice. "Enough!"
Trazyn tuned to him and pointed to the ground at the dead dragon warrior. "Do you not understand that the big boys are talking? Or do I need to put a mindshackle scarab on you too?"
The joy in realizing that Vulkan could be revived brought an unknowable sense of awe and joy to He'Stan, but It was countered by the verification that he needed to be brought back. He was dead, lying in a coffin, but he wouldn't be for long he thought, no matter the circumstances they would bring him back. "That's why I kept trying to get that spear."
He'Stan looked down at the spear in his hand perplexed.
"It is a key Son of Vulkan, a key that starts the device your father rests in."
Nihilan had grown tired of this and could not have been more overjoyed by the of his warriors heavy footfalls closing on his position. "How heartwarming," His words seeped with almost visible sarcasm. "But I've grown tired of it."
He looked towards the salamanders, the lenses of his helm burning with warpfire, he said nothing, he only laughed as gouts of daemonic flame shot toward the salamanders, He'Stan, Mir'San, and most of the remnants of the salamders veterans jumped out of its path, but a few were unfortunate enough to get caught in the hellish fire, immolating their flesh and bone to ash. Only one refused to move Bray'Arth Ashmantle, the venerable dreadnought stood as the burst of fire wrapped itself around his master crafted frame. Before the fire died he launched himself foreword, one arm pointing towards the sorcerer as fire shot from his dreadfire close combat. "With me my brothers! For Nocturn, and for Vulkan we shall slay these traitors." The rest of the salamanders followed the iron dragon. Before he charged Mir'San looked over at Trazyn.
"If you wish to prove to us that you are an ally, then now is your chance."
Trazyn simply nodded and charged foreword, lychguards in tow, many still pouring from the portal. Dragon warriors rushed for the hallways into the chamber, firing meltas and flamers as they charged. The room had become superheated by the presence of all the heat based weaponry, any flammable objects bursting into flame.
Trazyn tore the empathic obliterator across the throat of a dragon warrior, two more tried to attack him but he didn't move, he simply let out a cold mechanical chuckle as they too fell to the ground, they grasped at the armor around their throats, trying to comprehend what was happening before they collapsed limp of the floor. Nihilan moved over the battlefield surfing upon an strange platform of pure warpflame, turning his enemy's blood to magma and their flesh to ash.
The twin linked assault cannons atop the land raider redeemer took aim at the sorcerer, one round ripped through his leg and he fell to the ground, his concentration interrupted, the flame that was beneath him instantly disappearing. He looked at the land raider and waved his hand, a loud crack spit the air and flames poured from the tank, its frame turned the glowering orange of a sword just pulled from a forge to be tempered. It's frame distorted as it began to melt from the heat of warpfire. Ashmantle rushed towards the now injured sorcerer as fast as his piston driven legs allowed.
He swung his massive arm downward at the sorcerer and a loud clang rang out as he parried the blow, it slammed into the floor sending up a cloud of pulverized stone. The venerable's attack was merciless, between swings he shot his heavy flamers at his much smaller enemy. Nihilan swung his staff at the dreadnoughts leg, shattering Ashmantle's right leg into shards of metal. He collapsed unto one of his legs, but refused to stop his assault. Mir'San rushed towards the downed venerable and threw his weight into the sorcerer, ramming his chest with his pauldron. They both smashed into a pillar collapsing it to the floor on top of them. Many turned to see if either survived, for a brief moment the den of battle quieting as both sides waited to see if their leaders survived.
Cinders Edge, the master crafted blade of Mir'San shot from the rubble followed by his upper torso. His other hand pulling Nihilan up from the collapsed pillar. He held Nihilan by the top of his scaly ceramite breastplate. He brought the pommel of cinders edge down on his face. "Die" He struck again and the helm dented inward "You worthless!" Again "Disgrace to!" Again, the dent deepening, his helm now cracked and seeping blood from its breaks "The name of our Primarch!" He leveled the blade at Nihilan's throat and slid it across, the steam of blood crackling on the energy field of the power blade. He released his limp body, letting it splay over the pile of broken stone.
The dragon warriors began to flee, many were cut off by Trazyn's lychguard phasing into reality directly in front of the fleeing chaos marines. Mir'San however did not move, his breath heavy, his body tired, he was an old warrior no matter how little he let it show.
Trazyn approached He'Stan "We have to leave."
He Stan whipped himself around angrily "Leave?! We don't have the artifact! We cannot!" He raised the spear to level with Trazyn's glowing green optical sensors. "What makes you think I won't kill you here anyway xenos?!"
Trazyn let out a heavy sigh "One, we both know how this will in, you try to kill me, I transfer into another body, you get pissed off and I go home empty handed." He held two fingers up in the air at He'Stan "Two, I have the artifact. The song of entropy, its aboard my ship."
"The tome of fire lead me here and your telling me its not..."
"No it's on my ship."
He'Stan felt a sudden disappointment within him self at his failure, and Trazyn in a strange show of friendship to his ally of convenience softened his tone.
"You weren't wrong, just a bit off, now if you wouldn't mind, now that Nihilan's men are running or dead the Rak'Gol will swarm this place soon."
He'Stan simply nodded, even if he didn't trust this xenos whatsoever, he needed what he had. Forgefather He'Stan turned to Trazyn. His voice was stern but still filled with adrenaline due to the recent skirmish. "Why should I believe you?"
Trazyn signaled to one of the Lychguard that had a long cloth wrapped object strapped to its back. It approached with its sword sheathed within some for energy field at its side.
It held the object very gently, clearly understanding the importance of the object. Tu'Shan took if from his hand carefully and unravelled the cloth. In it was a 5 foot long wasp waisted black sword, tiny vents ran near the edge of the blade on its sides pointing towards the handle. Between the drake scale shaped vents was a hammer, near the tip of the blade where it widened again before coming to a point was an intricate engraving of a firedrakes open mouth, the teeth stretching to its center as it sneered flame through them. When Tu'San gripped the blades handle the hundreds of tiny vents began to emit a stream of concentrated promethium fire like industrial torches, creating a sheath of fire around the blade. As it burned it emitted a strange melodic sound with the violent roar of ignited promethium beneath it.
Tu'Shan swung the sword down at the body of a Dragon Warrior and as soon as the burning sheath of the blade hit the armor it turned what it contacted to ash, the gasses from the vents blowing the ash into the air and onto the wind. Tu,Shans eyes gleamed beneath his helm with honor and joy quoting a passage from the tome of fire aloud "And it's song shall be that of the emperors might."
He had found the Song of Entropy.
As the forgefather examined the sword the pommel of the sword shifted and a tiny dataslate insert slipped out. He snatched it from mid air and raised it to eye level. He needed to get this to Vulkan's Wrath immediately to decode it.
Mir'San began to hail the ship in orbit, ordering an extraction as soon as possible.
"Air support and extraction will arrive in 25 minutes captain. Any further orders."
He waited briefly as he thought, he would have to make sure the LZ was secure after all. "I want orbital support from a half kilometer of my position rolling outward for six kilometers. I want a ring of fire around us that these abominations cannot cross."
"Cyclical bombardment confirmed captain."
Mir'San shut off his vox "Forgefather, extraction is inbound we have 25 minutes and orbital support, but we still must clear the immediate area.
He'Stan turned to Mir'San with The Song in hand and tucked the data chip into a part of his mantle. "Well if we're to do that, then you will need a weapon even finer than your hands could craft won't you?" The forgefather handed the old warrior The Song.
"You are the best swordsman among us and I would be a fool not to leave it in your hands." The shock on Mir'San's face was hidden under his helmet but far from absent.
"Thank you forgefather." His voice heavy with the feeling of honor in his heart, he had lived too long through many dire conflicts, seen all the galaxy could show, and fought much of it, but he never believed he would use an artifact created by his mighty fathers hand.
They rushed to the openings of the megalith right as the orbital bombardment began. Not far off in the distance explosions were tearing apart the strange architecture followed by massive swirling firestorms blowing across the ground and enveloping all in its path, leaving only cinders drifting on violent winds of the creatures they once were. Those in front of it were spared its fury only to see charging towards them a combined force salamanders and necrons.
Captain Mir'San strode before his compatriots, the song of entropy burning in his hand. Despite the previous dulling of the glow in his eyes due to age, without his helmet they glowed as they had when he was a young warrior, well young for astartes. He charged into the horde of previously unseen Rak'Gol, cutting through the xenos easily as they tried to assault the veteran Salamander. Bolter rounds exploded around him out of his enemies and He'Stan charged into the fray of battle. The fought back to back wielding instruments of war crafted by Vulkan's own hands. They stood in the den of war as paragons of their fathers will with fury burning as bright as fire.
However there was still something terrible that had awoken. Psykers thousands of light years around saw horrible visions of pure hatred and dominion made manifest within an ancient brooding intelligence. Astropath's milky eyes bled, navigators woke from terrible nightmares, space marine librarians received the most vivid and terrible of visions. For all the great good that had entered the galaxy recently a great evil had awoken. A strange alien sentience that knew only hatred and domination. The Rak'Gol could no longer be considered a threat on the periphery of the Imperium, it was a monstrosity and a nightmare made flesh and tangible threat.
Mir'San had little difficulty hacking through the crowd of xenos with the help of his brothers, Ashmantle's leg had been repaired by necron repair scarabs and was laying waste to swaths of strangely armored Rak'Gol warriors wielding strange warp weaponry.
Then all attention was drawn to a deafening rasp echoed across the battlefield along with loud mechanical skittering. Suddenly an alien tower to the left of Mir'San began to distort and bend and tear itself it shreds before the building collapsed into ribbons of stone flayed thin.
There stood a creature slightly larger than one of their broodmasters. A huge mechanical maw lined with circular saw like blades and cogs replaced a portion of its upper body, much of its armor was covered in the strange crystalline warp-tech of the Yu'Vath race. It's face had been replaced by a hideous and horrific mask depicting some unknown entity, it wielded a large scythe like weapon in one of its upper arms, another two had a series of chain weapons coursing with eldrich lightning, the last was the most deadly and terrifying however. A hole in its talon that was surrounded by metal rings covered in twisted runes, within the hole was only darkness and it held the power to shred reality itself.
The giant charged towards Ashmantle, aiming for the biggest of the pack.
Ashmantle charged toward the towering xenos knowing that it could easily destroy many of his brothers he threw himself at the alien beast. The thunderhawk began to approach towards the area, searing large trails in the ground with its weaponry. The Rak'Gol champion raised its reality render at the ship and Ashmantle slammed his claw into it causing it to tear apart a wave of its own kind, though the xeno seemed unaffected by this, even amused by the death of Rak'Gol weaker than it. The dreadnought knew he could not allow his enemy to use this weapon on the thunderhawk, it would kill his brothers and destroy artifacts of Vulkan! So he came to a decision. "When the Thunderhawk lands, go to it, I shall stay and cover you."
Captain Mir'San responded on the vox channel. "Brother, you will die, and I am your captain, you cannot give me an order."
"Fine, but I will not get on the ship, and if you stay you shall all fall. Our mission is more important than any of us, I only regret I shall not live to see our father rise. I shall die here Captain, it is my decision, please honor it." The comm line was silent for a few seconds but it seemed far longer.
"If that is your wish."
As the salamanders and necrons made a fighting withdrawal to the thunderhawk the venerable warrior prepared to die, and take as many of these foul xenos with him as he could.
The Rak'Gol champion attacked Ashmantle with a berserk energy, swinging its scythe and warp-infused chain weaponry at the Iron Dragon, who in turn snatched it up with both claws and swung it into a building. It crawled out from the rubble near instantly. Ashmantle looked into the distance, his optical sensors telling him that the artillery was getting closer, closing in on the duel. He quickly realized Mir'San must have ordered it and he took comfort in the knowledge that his enemy would die even if he failed to kill it. He could see the thunderhawk climb into the upper atmosphere, another fact that would have made him smile contentedly if he were still capable.
The champion raised its reality tearing weapon to Ashmantle as he tried to counterattack. Cogitators informed him that some energy weapon of unknown origin was weakening his mechanical bodies molecular strength. He stabbed his left claw into the top of the strange maw on the creatures body as it tried to strike him and fired his heavy flamer. The creature shrieked in agony and he sized the momentum, swinging his right claw across the xenos head and tearing up it body with his other, still bathing the monstrosity in fire. It swung its tail around and struck the dreadnought sending him hurtling into a strange structure that collapsed inward from the impact. The xeno beast approached, slowly, its head tilted quizzically.
Seemingly ignoring the ground that was being pulverized by artillery drawing nearer, seemingly hypnotized by its hunt. Suddenly a cloud of rubble rose around the dreadnought that slammed out of the debris at surprising speed and rammed into the creature. When the two stopped rolling he was on top of it and stabbed his claws into the beast before firing his heavy flamers. The xeno rasped and screamed as fire bathed its hide and immolated its flesh, he didn't stop until flame shot from the cracks in its armor formed from the stress of intense heat.
As the artillery grew closer he noticed that the amount of incendiary weaponry was increasing until that was the only type. The flames grew so massive and hot that the atmosphere itself began to burn. Ashmantle began to contemplate, he would die as a warrior by the same force that made him into one, he liked that. Mir'San that poetic old bastard, knew him better than he thought. He turned towards the incoming tide of Rak'Gol now mostly composed of abominations. He laughed loudly and though it may have been malfunctioning circuits, he felt almost human again as he barked. "INTO THE FIRES OF BATTLE, UNTO THE ANVIL OF WAR!!!!" He charged into the tide smashing his enemies to the side and burning others to cinders, as the artillery grew closer.
His internal sensors robotic voice telling him the temperature was reaching levels even the iron dragon could not withstand, but he could feel the machine spirit itself reveling in the honor and glory of this moment. He could feel the Dragon itself spurring him on, craving the honorable end it could achieve here while its bloodlust demanded the death of these warp tainted xenos by its own weapons. It was there he fell while tearing apart a Rak'Gol abomination. Bray'Arth Ashmantle shall always be remembered by the sons of Vulkan. The hero who enabled the recovery of their Primarch by sacrificing himself for his brothers.
Captain Mir'San stared out of a viewport of Vulkan's wrath with his head hung low as the bombing came to a point, he felt honored by Bray'Arth's last act. He knew the only way he could pay back the debt would be to make sure his brothers now living, those who would be in the future, and even Vulkan himself knew what it was he did.
That in the very least he had to do.
"Bridge to Captain Mir'San what are your orders?"
He waited a moment before responding in a stern short answer. "Exterminatus. Then set a course to Nocturne."
"Aye captain, bridge out." The comm link cut off with a beep and Mir'San watched with righteous joy as the planet was bombed with exterminatus class weaponry and became consumed by fire.
He left the room for the cargo bay to meet with He'Stan and Trazyn, who he hoped weren't trying to kill each other.
They were examining Vulkan's coffin together, both very excited by the prospect of completing something they both had spent a lot of time trying to accomplish.
"It has not been done yet?" Mir'San asked.
"We were waiting for you Mir'San." Trazyn remarked in an impatient tone. Trazyn guided the two marines to two small ports that were on the sides of the massive coffin.
He'Stan felt a tears welling up in his glowing eyes, he had never realized Vulkan's return would be from the grave. This had begun to settle in on him when he first saw the coffin. It was not something that sat easily with him but in the din of battle, he had no time to get caught up in the feeling of loss he suddenly had felt.
"Oh Forgefather, the microchip you found, you must put it in this port." Trazyn's mechanical voice now sounded full of an oddly polite, if maybe a bit snarky, excitement.
He plugged the small chip into the port and an attending Techmarine plugged a wire connected to his helmet into a small port in the coffin next to the chip.
A loud beep sounded and he nodded. "Machine spirit active my lords." Mir'San nodded back at them.
The machine spirit groaned audibly before stating its first instructions. "Insert Song of Entropy into corresponding port."
Mir'San did as the coffin holding his father commanded, looking at the Techmarine for confirmation that something had happened. He noticed that the port he put the sword into was made of an alloy he hadn't seen before, but it looked finely crafted and was undamaged by the blades fire and in fact appeared to collect it.
"It seems to be scanning the immaterium for something, its also sending out some form of signal." The Techmarine noted out loud.
Mir'San was mentally cursing himself for not bringing a librarian with them.
"It seems to have made a connection to something."
The coffin began to increase in heat.
"Insert Spear of Vulkan into collection port."vThe machine spirits voice seemed more powerful now somehow.
He'Stan complied as well, sheathing the spears blade in the small port.
"Revivification process has begun."
The casket rose further in temperature as the process continued. "Revivification complete, beginning soul binding." The machine spirit groaned.
Blood Ravens "Aquire" Dark Angel Secrets
Written by Borealefag. Has no longer shown up. A Writefag to take his place is appreciated.
“I AM HEAR TO DELIVUH DA EMPRAHS FOOOOOOO-RY! STAND DOWN BRUTHAS! STAND DOWN SUNS OF DA EMPRAH! STAND DOWN DAHK ANGULS! YOUR TIME IS NIE!”
A volley of Land Raider fire arced high in the sky and slammed down barely meters away from the Blood Raven's ranks.
Captain Boreale of the fifth company of the vaunted Blood Ravens stood resplendent in armor of crimson and gold, a power mace that sizzled the air with azure lightening was held in his right hand, his trusted bolter was slung over his back not yet drawn but ready to dispense the Emperor’s justice at a moment's notice. A Rhino class Laud Hauler (generously gifted from the Order of the Emperor's Hymn), and a Astropath seated on a chair fitted into the Hauler was bolted onto the back of the captain's power armor so that none could hide from his voice, the voice of a son of the Emperor
“ABANDUNMENT OF TEH BATTLEFELD! DERAHLICKICHIN OF DUHTY! SEEKRIT KEEPIN! DO YOU DEE-NYE DESE CHRIMES?!”
Azrael nodded grimly as a sister of the Ordo Dialogus translated the words of Boreale. If this fool had come a day, no even hours later they could have completed their work and moved the Rock, the Dark Angels mobile fortress, out of sight of this accursed place, the Death World Sunsa. During the crusade it was rumored that Luther had hidden something here. Indeed as the Rock neared the world Luther became increasingly crazed in his cell deep within the Rock. Now Kyras's children had come and made a mess of things, as usual.
“FOR TO LONG! YOU DAHK ANGULS HAVE PURSOOD YOUR OWN DAHK AGENDAH! FOR TO LONG YOU HAVE USED TEH EMPERIUM FOR YOUR OWN SELFISH DEE-SIRES! NO LONGER!”
Boreale was honored, but puzzled as to why Kyras his chapter master had sent his and only his fifth company to bring the shadowy Dark Angels to justice. Just months ago he had asked Kyras about his time aboard the Judgment of Carrion so that he could draw inspiration from his Chapter Master's great feats, but ever since then Kyras had acted strangely towards him: colder and contemptous. He pushed these thoughts out of his mind and focused on the situation in front of him. Gabriel's companies were already out on a mission of vital importance, the reserve companies were spread out in neighboring systems, but apparently too busy with their own duties to lend their aid. Arrayed against him were several regular battle companies of the Dark Angels, and their Elite Deathwing. A grim situation indeed, but as long as he had the Emperor and his battle brothers by his side he would prevail.
“MUH BATTLEBRUTHAS! READY RAHNKS! READY HOMMING BEACONS!” A loud roar sounded from behind him, from his battle brothers, to which the Dark Angels responded with their own battlecries and roars of outrage. Then all around them the ground shook and split apart. Bestial, ravenous screeches burst from the ground, followed soon after by monstrosities of chitin and bile.
Boreale quickly took stock of this new situation, “TILLANIDS! SLAY THEM BRUTHAS!” Rage welled up inside of Boreale, how dare these beasts interrupt talks between the Emperor’s guardians of humanity, did they not know their betters?. His rage finally burst out as a Tervigon clawed its way up from the sulfuric ground right into the center of his battle lines killing his brothers, and vomiting up more of its vile spawn. No longer caring about his mission, no Kyras's mission, with a single nod of respect Boreale turned exposing his back to the Dark Angels (let them fire if they wilt) and charged the Tervigon, righteous fury erupted from his lips, “FOR TEH EMPRAH!” Light burned from the mouth and eyes of the Astropath on Boreale's Laud Hauler a true sign of his righteousness and fury.
High above the Death World Sunsa the Rock rumbled. From its deepest chamber a single Watcher in the Dark emerged, quickness and purpose was in the diminutive being, everything needed to be made ready at once.
Even farther from Sunsa a tendril of Leviathan caught the scent of a unique Genealogy, similar genetic material had been consumed in the past, but this strand seemed purer, stronger. The Hive Mind spoke and the vanguard of Leviathan answered.
With a mighty shout Boreale raised his mace high over his head before sending it crashing down on the back of the Tervigon's neck. Chitin cracked and a sickly yellow green gore splattered against blessed ceramite. The beast rampaged beneath him its great scything limbs skewering both gaunt bioforms and marines locked in furious battle beneath it.
Several of the smaller creatures skittered and clawed up their progenitors back. Their claws scratched and scraped against Boreale's power armor, leaving deep gouges in the sacred armor, but not breaching it. Boreale screamed toward the heavens at this affront, the Astropath seated on Boreale's Laud Hauler amplified this shout a thousand times over with her witchcraft and let out a keening shriek that blasted several of the creatures off of Boreale, and momentary stunned the Tervigon as its link to the Hive Mind was temporarily cut off.
Bolter fire from the melee below swept the survivors off the captain. Once more he lifted his power mace, this time he gripped the weapon with both hands before sending it head first into the wound he had opened earlier. Steam and a deep hiss seeped out of the monster as the mace's powerfield boiled and vaporized the monster from the inside out. The monster slumped down as it died almost as if kneeling before the superior might of the Blood Ravens.
A small victory in a hopeless fight, all around him his brother where being hacked down or being eaten alive from borer beatles or worse things. Still they held there ground, with the disruption within there ranks cleared they fell back, the more organized and intact squads either leaping into the fray to let their mauled brothers fall back and reorganize, or providing covering fire for those falling back. At least they hadn't been shot in the back Boreale mused as his mace pulped yet another gaunt.
Across the battlefield Azreal withdrew his blade from a dying Hive Tyrant, planting his foot on the creature's face to keep it from rising, in a single deft cut the bioform was beheaded in a emerald flash. He looked across the battlefield dispassionately cutting down a charging warrior. The blood Ravens where holding there own, but falling back. Normally he would use the fools for a distraction so that his own Dark Angels could retreat, but there was still the matter of uncovering Luther's secret.
He raised a hand in the air and brought it down towards the Blood Raven's left flank which was crumbling fast. “Fourth and Seventh shall hold this position. Deathwing with me! Kill the Tyranids, leave the interloapers alive for now........if one of you cuts the loud one's vocal cords out I shall give you my sword. NOW CHARGE!”
Aboard the Rock the Watchers in the Dark had all but disappeared , not that anybody would have noticed. The servitors were sufficient to prep the Nephilim Fighters and Thunderhawks for launch to reinforce the chapter master on Sunsa's surface. While the Battle Brothers themselves were lost deep in their own pre-combat rites and consecrations.
In the organized frenzy nobody noticed when several artifacts and seemingly random spare power armor components went missing, nobody noticed a pair of golden eyes flashing open in the darkness, nobody noticed as a shadow approached Sunsa obscuring the warp with its steady march.
“Captain Boreale! The Dark Angel's first company have reinforced our right flank!” The Deathwing crashed into the Tyranids, a wave of grim fury. Powerfields crackled and flashed, bolters roared, chainswords screeched out their violent cacophony as they bit into claw, fang, and chitin. “WHUT?! WHUT TRICKERY ES THIS?!”
“NO TRICKERY! SONS OF KYRAS! THIS IS OUR BATTLEFIELD! FIGHT BY OUR SIDE OR LEAVE LIKE THE FOOLS AND COWARDS YOU ARE! IT MATTERS NOT TO ME!” Azrael allowed himself a single subdued grin as Boreale turned to regard him from across the battlefield. Apparently his voice had reached the loud one. He sidestepped a charging carnifex before plunging his blade into its thigh, holding it in place so that a group of terminators could rip the thing limb from limb with their power fists.
Boreale bristled, “FEWLS?! COWARDS?! BUHRAVE ACCUSATIONS FROM A CHAPTER WHOSE HONORS AND VALOR MEHRAULOUSLY INCREASE EVERYTIME THEY RUHN FROM TEH BATTLEFELD! TRULY A MIRACLE OF TEH EMPRAH!” Boreale held a Ravener by the throat, breaking one of its scything talons with a blow from his mace before bashing the thing's head open on the return swing.
Azrael felt his eyebrow twitch ever so slightly, “AND OF COURSE THE VAUNTED BLOOD VULTURES WHO NEVER LEAVE A BATTLEFIELD WITHOUT PICKING IT CLEAN ARE THE IMPERIUM'S PARAGONS OF HONOR AND VALOR! OR WOULD IT BE BLOOD MAGPIES?”
Boreales hand instinctively moved to cover the black cross of the Templars that was embossed on the shaft of his power mace. “Y...YOUR HAT ES STOOPID!”
Belial momentarily stopped in the middle of ripping apart a small squad of warriors with the Foe Smiter to regard Azrael, “Grandmaster....has your comm bead been damaged?”
Even with the the addition of the Deathwing, Boreale and his men were hard pressed from all sides. The Fourth and Seventh company of the Dark Angels were fortunate enough to be outside the ring of encirclement when the Tyranids awoke, and only had to contend with the occasional wave of bioforms rushing the hill they held. Unfortunately those waves were enough to keep them from reinforcing Azrael and Boreale's men. They could only offer the occasional volley of land raider and missile fire to aid their embattled battle brothers, and that was only when those vehicles weren't busy dealing with the larger Tyranids marching up the steep hill.
The gap between the Dark Angel's battle companies and the Blood Ravens only widened as more Tyranids filled the space between them, quickly surrounding the BloUD RAHVENS (NO BOREALE! GET OFF THE KEYBOARD!) and the Deathwing.
Boreale for one, infused with unbreakable faith in the Emperor was not much bothered by this situation.“HOW BOHLD AND FEWLISH THESE XENOES BE! CAN THEY NOT SEE THAT WE HAVE CAUGHT THEM IN THEIR OWN TRAP?! WE ARE SUHROUNDED ON ALL SOIDES, BUT NOH! WE HAVE SUHROUNDED THEM INSTEAD! WEH ARE SPESS MEHREHNS AND OUR SOUPARIER TACTUCS SHALL REHN SOUPREME! DEPLOY STEHL REHN!”
Aboard the Blood Ravens Strike Cruiser, Words of Clear Understanding, battle brothers and the honored dreadnaughts of the fifth company were gathering in the cruiser's strike pod bay. A figure clad in resplendent dark grey armor of archaic fashion suddenly appeared, a single hunchback Watcher in the Dark accompanied the almost ancient figure. In a fraction of a second all of the weapons in the bay were trained on the armored man.
“Peace sons of Magnus, I have a favor to ask of you.”
The Astropath on seated upon Boreale's threw her head back in a silent scream that reached the Words of Clear Understanding, “BATTUL BRUTHAS! PREHPARE TO DEHP STRIKE!”
Aboard one of the drop pods the figure in gray turned to regard his new companions, “Does he always talk like that? Was he cursed by a witch?” Despite their face obscuring helmets, the Blood Ravens in the pod looked at each other apprehensively, “We do not speak of it any longer, to invite further discussion only brings about an increase in volume and frequency......he shall tire himself out...... eventually.”
“PREHPARE FOR MULTIPLE SIMMULTANEOUS DEFEHNSIVE AND OFFEHNSIVE DEHP STRIKES VILE XENOES! THE CODEX AHSTARTEES NAMES THIS MAHNEUVER! STEHL REHN! STUHRIKE WITH TEH EMPRAH'S JUSTISS BRUTHAS!”
High above Sunsa, crimson drop pods fell among the Tyranid swarms crushing or outright obliterating the creatures with their earth shattering impact. The hive mind whispered and the creatures were quick to regroup, they charged the pods with reckless abandon determined to drown the occupants with their bodies and gore. When the doors opened no space marine rushed out to meet them, only a withering hail of assault cannon, and earth shaking cannon fire. When the pods containing the Blood Ravens fell they found the few surviving bioforms to be easy targets. Even the mighty Carnifexs and Warrior strains had been crippled or slaughtered outright by the Thunderfire cannons hidden in the drop pods of the initial wave. Among the crimson throng pouring out of the drop pods, a single grey armored knight rushed into the fray, a archaic chainsword with teeth shaped from the claws and fangs of the great beasts of long gone Caliban sung its violent song in his right hand, his left held a heater shield with the glowing sigil of the First Legion emblazoned on its marred and tarnished surface.
Azrael saw the gray warrior and grew still. His hands wrapped around the Sword of Secrets tightly. His teeth ground against each other, and his eyes strained in their sockets as if Azrael didn't believe what he saw. “No......this is impossible” He would confirm the truth of this by his own hand, and blade if need be.
He charged across the battlefield ,a storm of green lightening and ebon steel wove itself around him, as his blade sliced clean through the bodies of any Tyranid foolish enough to stand in his path. Each cut that bit into armored hide, each thrust that boiled bile and viscera, and each swing that hewed yet another Tyranid from its pathetic existence brought him closer to the man in gray.
His honor guard struggled to keep pace with him as they inevitably had to contend with the bioforms he had rushed past, lest they try to strike down the chapter master from behind. He had to reach him, that man could not be lost again.
Aboard the Rock, Saphon, Grandmaster of the Dark Angel's chaplains oversaw the mobilization of the Rock's garrison to reinforce Azrael on the death world's surface. He glared at the men scrambling beneath the unblinking gaze of his helm. That gaze which held the promise of pain and suffering worse then death cowed and emboldened both superhuman Astartes and somehow even the mindless servitors of the chapter seemed more efficient, faster in their movements when in his presence.
A watcher in the dark tugged on his holy vestments, like a child asking for some candy, he looked down, “yes?” The hooded figure pointed at the chapel that housed the Rock's astropathic choir. Saphon let his power armored fingers rustled around in one of the many pouches that hung off his armor and fished out a small sweet wrapped in goldfoil. The confection was in the shape of a bolter round, but much smaller he often enjoyed giving out the things to aspirants who had failed the trials to become recruits, a consolation prize of sorts for their lot was not to be one of endless war. Oh yes they could some sweetness in their life, but never the joy of endlessly prosecuting the enemies of the Emperor. The hooded figure jumped up and down in excitement before taking the treat and scurrying away.
He enter the choir's chapel, it was a solemn, bare stone cell adorned only with a rough etching of the Astronimcon with a votive of the Emperor at its center. His brother Ezekial was waiting for him. “Yes? Sapphon asked mildly annoyed at this interruption of his duties.
“We have a problem” Ezekial stated flatly, the two had been battle brothers for centuries and Sapphon saw through the librarian's taciturn nature and saw the mild edge of concern in his brother's voice, the slight twitch in his left trigger finger.
“I hadn't noticed, somehow I must have missed something while organizing our brothers to save the Supreme Grandmaster.” The two paused and regarded each other, a most raucous silent laugh was shared between the two.
“Oh thank the Emperor for a minute there I thought the Tau had grown claws, and developed the ability to shoot flesh eating beetles.” another chuckle was shared between the two in utter silence and solemnity.
“Not on Sunsa” Ezekial pointed in a obscure direction in space.
Sapphon's skin paled beneath his skull shaped helm, “send word to our successors-”
“It is too late, we are cut off from the warp.”
Written by Cryptek Czerasp. Suggestions for a different name are appreciated.
A Scourge landed nearby Hierach Iyarsith. "Message for your Archon. From Vect himself" she said.
"Let me get some money to pay you" replied Iyarsith as he scrambled to grab something.
"No need, I have already been payed by one of Vect's employees." said the Scourge. "Get it to Tengu quick. He's been having hundreds of us deliver these messages today."
This set off alarm bells in Iyarsith's head. It must be really important if the high king is sending so many messages to so many Kabals. He rushed off to visit the Khan.
The Khan was currently training with his forces, at the moment sparing with a Shaper, one of the ones that was freed when everyone took the fortress to be specific. "Important message from Asdrubael Vect." he interrupted. Jaghatai had been here long enough to know that he must do what the high king says if he wishes not to have his Kabal found out and destroyed. Currently, everyone thinks that the Scarred White kabal hires an unusually high number of mercenaries.
"Thank you Lyarsith" said the Khan as he took the message and started reading.
"Urgent message to every Kabal, Wych Cult, Haemonculi Coven and Incubus shrine. The Children of Thorns have risen to become a threat to all of Commoragh. They intend to destroy the entire webway with the aid of the Chaos God Malal and several Mon'Keighs. Under order of High King Asdrubael Vect, all raids in the materium must cease and all conflicts must undergo a ceasefire. A meeting between a delegate from all of the above mentioned groups has been organized at Vect's palace. This meeting will take at 6:35. Neutrality in the current conflict will be punished."
As Lord Tengu finished reading the message he turned to Iyarsith. "Hierach, I'll need you to attend this meeting. We'll need all the intel possible on this."
"I thought that Malal was an ally?" asked Iyarsith.
"Malal is a Chaos God like all the others, though it aided us for now, the god of destruction will always revert back to it's realm." explained the Khan. "I'll start the recalls."
How this happened.
Inquisitor Pravisk brought his Dreadaxe down on another Pink Horror. Unlike the rest of them, instead of splitting into Blue Horrors, the Horror just disappeared, simply blinking out of existence. This is why he was correct. Ever since he had binded a Daemon of Malal, the outcast god into this weapon he has felt that he could finally make actual results rather than just delay the inevitable. Each Daemon hewn by his work is permanently destroyed, it's essence consumed by the axe itself.
"Hello. I wish to speak with you friend." Pravisk turned around. In front of him was an Eldar, Dark judging by the armour he wears. Unlike, most of the Eldar, this one looked old, the wrinkles on his face looked like they were formed by age rather than a sneer. The expression on his face was somber and jaded, as if he had given up on everything.
Normally, his instincts would influence him to kill the xeno on sight but something in the back of his mind stayed his hand. "Perhaps the emperor is guiding me now" he thought. "What do you have to say Xeno?" he asked.
It had been three hours since Iyarsith had received the message and now he just had to wait a little longer for Vect to arrive and the meeting to start. He looked at the attendees. In some cases the leaders of a Commoragh organization had arrived, in others a delegate - such a Iyarsith - was sent in the stead of the leader. All were chattering, about what was just heard, some were asking about how would it be possible to completely destroy the webway, others tried and failed to comprehend what anyone could possibly gain from doing so, most were trying to find out what the Chaos god Malal is since that god rarely acts upon realspace and isn't as well known as the rest of the Chaos gods.
"Silence" yelled Vect as he finally arrived. There are 10 Incubuses with him, one of whom is a Klaivex. There isn't enough here to deal with everyone, but with so many, they knew that to attempt anything was suicide unless they could get everyone to set aside their differences to attack Vect. Even if that happened, there wouldn't even be a guarantee of surviving, let alone winning the resulting brawl for determining who gains the spoils.
I'll explain the situation quickly. Malal is the
BWOOM BWOOM. Vect was interrupted by an alarm. "What is it" he yelled.
"Craftworld Eldar have arrived." said a voice on a loudspeaker. "They are hailing us."
"Let them speak" said Vect.
"Greeting Dark ones. I am Farseer Eldorath Starbane of Craftworld Alaitoc. We have forseen the destruction of the Webway and wish to prevent it from coming to pass as well. Do we have permission to dock?"
"Allow them." said Vect. "This is too important to risk denying aid from those puritans."
After the Craftworld ships docked Eldorath, his Warlock Council and several Harlequins joined the meeting.
"Where's the rest of your kind?" asked an Archon. "Surely, you're not the only Farseer to see this."
"I am speaking on behalf of all my kind. We are less prone to infighting with each other." replied Starbane.
"Enough chatter" barked Vect. "I still haven't explained the full situation. Malal is the Chaos god of destruction, at some point it corrupted a high ranking member Children of Thorns. That member then proceeded to corrupt every member he could reach, even forming alliances with Wych Cults, Covens, and Incubus shrines purely to try to corrupt them as well. I hope that everyone has a map of their own territory of the-"
"That won't be necessary" said a Harlequin while pulling out a map. "We have taken this map from the Black Library, it shows the whole network accurately. We have made sure to update it whenever we have learned about a section of the webway being closed off or reopened." Vect grunted, annoyed about being interrupted again, he was fine with being interrupted by a machine whose purpose was to do so but not by an individual.
"How would someone destroy the Webway" asked Iyarsith.
"Their is a variety of ways to destroy sections of the Webway, breaking the psychic wards will cause the warp to quickly retake it, a particularly large release of psychic power - enough to scour planets - is also capable of overwhelming the wards. If a large enough Webway Gate is destroyed, the gap in the webway that is left behind can't be repaired by whatever force is repairing the small breaches." explained Vect.
The rest of the meeting was spent poring over the map, figuring out the weakpoints of the Webway - which by relation, included where the Children of Thorns will strike - and then determining who would defend which part. The craftworld Eldar would tend to try to make Daemon infested areas be their jurisdiction since they didn't trust their dark kin to not be corrupted. The Harlequins and Commorites didn't particularly care where they must defend, though in the case of the commorites it tended to be in or near territory under their control. After the meeting, everyone was dispatched to inform their Kabals or leaders.
Iyarsith had returned to the captured fortress. Judging by how crowded it is now, Archon Tengu had finished recalling all his forces, many of whom were grumbling about getting pulled out of something abruptly while Jaghatai tried to calm them down.
"Ah. Iyarsith, you've returned. I'll need you to explain to everyone what's going on."
Iyarsith explained everything that happened at the meeting, from who Malal is using, the involvement of the Craftworld Eldar and Harlequins, and the Kabal's area that it's supposed to protect.
An explanation calmed everyone down and the grumbling stopped. "You heard him" said Jaghatai. "We have to spread in our area. We don't know what method they'll be using or what they'll bring so be prepared for anything."
Eldorath and his forces crept deeper and deeper into the area that they must defend. It's supposed to be Daemon infested yet neither he, nor his forces had seen a single one since they entered. Had Malal's forces already cleared this place? That wouldn't be good since it means they've already started the process. They were most likely to hit the set of holes that caused this place to become infested in the first place since the job was already partway done there.
"Farseer, we've found something." reported a Guardian Squad. "A Pathfinder group that we sent to scout ahead. It's messy."
"Recall our Scouts. We can't risk more ambushes" commanded Eldorath. More Scouts were found deeper in the webway. Also dead. At one point a different set of bodies were discovered.
This was a group of Striking Scorpions, all of their heads were missing. Their Soulstones were intact which was fortunate but the scene left several questions. The only demonic force that would be interested in skulls would be the forces of Khorne. None of them are apt at stealth. Now that he thought of it; there wasn't any signs of any servants of Chaos among the corpses. Soulstones were left intact, the bodies didn't have the rapid rot of those killed by Nurgle, no scorches present from the use of Warpflame. Eldorath guessed that, depending on the strength of a Daemon of Malal there wouldn't even be bodies to find or even a soul to be gathered by anyone.
This could only mean one thing. There were non-daemon forces here as well. Stalking and killing them.
"Maybe I should have tried to defend a wider tunnel. If I could bring ships then they would light the way for us" he thought, memories flashing back to when he had been fool enough to delve into a Necron tomb. Unfortunately for Eldorath, there was no going back now.
With his forces now clustered together the ambushes stopped for now. Still, that didn't comfort Eldorath. As far as he knew the ambushes had all killed entire teams without having any casualties of their own. Even when forced to fight in the open his opponents would still be dangerous.
Now they're approaching the holes in the webway. They won't have anywhere to hide.
Suddenly, the webway shook. A message came to Eldorath. "Farseer, several holes were blown into the webway behind us."
Eldorath quickly scryed ahead. "That's a diversion, keep advancing" he ordered. Daemon's started pouring in front of the Eldar warhost. Many Eldar witnessed their first Daemon of Malal that day.
The first ones that attacked appeared to be the equivalent of Slanneshi daemonetes and Tzeentch Blue Horrors. They were vaguely reptilian in appearance with spindly bodies and appeared to be completely made out of bone. Where hands were supposed to be instead held massive hooks.
The daemons dashed towards the Eldar lines and were quickly shred to pieces by concentrated Shuriken fire. By now the ambushes were in the back of everyone's minds. It was at this time a devastating blow was struck. Creatures stepped out of the shadows and stabbed and cut the units providing supporting fire. It was at this point that everyone knew what had carved up their scouts earlier.
A Dark Reaper squad had taken cover at the top of a building. They were firing at the horde when one of the Reapers started to gurgle. "Behind us" he said with his last words and collapsed. The rest of the Reapers turned around and were now forced to fight outside of their element. They only won because one of the Mandrakes was a bit quicker than the others and because they outnumbered the Mandrakes. "Won" was a bit of a stretch since only the Exarch survived "The Mandrakes have chosen there side" reported the Exarch.
With the loss of their fire support the Daemons were able to close the distance against the Eldar. The Guardian Defenders and Avengers retreated to allow Scorpions, Wraithblades, and Storm Guardians to fight the Daemons instead. They held but more were coming and with the melee in front of them the Guardians and Avengers could not shoot.
It is clear that the Eldar are out of their element in the narrow chambers of the webway. They weren't able to effectively outflank their opponents and are forced to fight in a gunline formation. Things are getting worse. The explosions behind them were indeed a diversion but not in the manner that Eldorath expected. The servants of Malal intended to have Daemons rush out of the gaps there to tie up the Eldar while they finish destroying their section, they did not expect the Eldar to keep moving forward and stall their demolition attempts. However, due to ignoring the diversion the Eldar are now trapped between two enemy forces.
The Daemons were not simply rushing. They tried to force gaps into the lines to isolate the Eldar. The Mandrakes reappeared to attack the Dire Avengers and Guardians while their fellow Eldar were unable to intercept. Eventually little remained of the Warhost, the maneuver had destroyed them and all that was left is to kill any remaining stragglers who would interfere.
"We've failed our duty." lamented Eldorath. "Everyone try to escape with their lives." With the last finished the Daemons started consuming the bodies in Black flame. "I can't even hear the screams" thought Eldorath. It was a bittersweet comfort, cessation of existence is preferable to consumption by Slaanesh. He watched from an area as they burnt his Warlock Council before retreating. "I wish I could still leave my path. Then I could walk the Path of Grief to truly feel misery for how I've failed my people"
SHRICK SHRICK SHRICK
Eldorath tried to pinpoint the source of the sound. "Is something stalking me? Is it just something that didn't notice me? Am I going m-
Eldoraths head fell of his shoulders and was caught by Kherudrakh. He shook the skull out of the helmet and started to examine it. He stuck his tongue into the eye socket and sucked out the eyeball, chewed it a little and then spat out the cornea before vanishing back into the shadows.
The Dais of Destruction glided down the tunnels of the webway. Due to the Kabal of the Black Heart being the largest, it had to protect multiple weak-points in the webway. The Dais is flanked by two Reapers. The Dais and Reapers are not the only vehicles present. There are many Raiders - full of Wychs, Trueborn, and Kabalite Warriors - and Ravagers. Each of which is surrounded by a group of Reaver Jetbikers. The group split up and reformed repeatedly as the tunnels splint into smaller tunnels and then merged.
The part that they are in is the connection to about a dozen sectors. Imagine a giant spider web. The strands that connect the web to the tree could be considered what connected this part of the webway to the rest of it. The servants of Malal intend to sever these connections. Vect examined the map of the section. "We will be arriving in two minutes" he told the driver who then used a communicator to tell the nearby Reavers. He expected the Dracon's and Sybarite's commanding the other vehicles to inform it's crew as well. If they crashed and died due to being unprepared then he'll let their souls be consumed by Slaanesh.
As they rounded a corner they encountered a line of guardsmen intending to keep anyone from passing. "Contacts!" yelled one of them. The Sentinels, Guardsmen and Tarantula turrets opened fire into the battlegroup, the Dark Eldar replying with Splinter and Dark Lance fire.
The Dais of Destruction sped ahead, the closer distance drawing enemy fire. The guard didn't think to bring Lascannons since they expected the fragile Dark Eldar vehicles. Thus the Autocannon fire was the only thing that could harm the Dais since it's an exception to the rule, and even then only barely. This gave the Ravagers and Reapers time to focus fire on the Sentinels and Tarantulas. As the vehicles almost reached the lines the Guardsmen who risked getting run over activated their Grav packs and jumped towards the "ceiling" doing a half somersault to land on their feet. The Guardsmen above them started firing into the exposed canopies since the fire was coming at something above, neither group had any cover to hide behind.
The Reavers tipped their bikes backwards, sending their bikes streaming towards the ceiling. The Shardcarbines mounted on the bikes spat splinters at the Guardsmen before the Reavers impaled several of them on the front of their bikes. As much as the Dark Eldar would've liked to stay and destroy the whole line they instead sped further down the tunnels, leaving the line behind them to regroup.
One of the guardsmen - a Senior Officer - grabbed a vox. "Inquisitor. We were attacked by the Dark Eldar. They just burst past us with relatively few casualties to ourselves."
"Then what are you waiting for!? Follow them down the tunnels. We'll hit them from both sides."
Inquisitor Pravisk put down the vox and swore. The Dark Eldar were already approaching and his allies still hadn't arrived with the bomb. "Fortunately, I've brought the best with me" he thought as he looked at the elite forces he had requisitioned from the Militarum Tempestus.
"They're here" voxed a Stormtrooper. "Elimination Protocols Sanctioned" voxed a Stormtrooper officer as they opened fire on the Dark Eldar vehicles. Unlike the Guard, the Stormtroopers are thinly spread due to a lack of numbers so several Stormtroopers are kept in reserves inside of Taurox Primes to quickly reinforce wherever the Dark Eldar decide to concentrate their attacks.
Vect watched the Stormtroopers ahead and tried to determine what they were doing ahead of time. He noticed that they were spread thin. "Have every vehicle hit them in one place. Follow the Dais to know what it is" he told his forces. As they followed to the point Vect intended to strike the Taurox's moved up from behind a curve in the webway to intercept. "No one leave their vehicles, just keep firing. Don't get close enough to be in Meltagun range." Vect ordered. As the Taurox's moved into position and the Stormtroopers inside left Vect gave a new order. "Retreat, we'll hit them while the reinforcements regroup." The whole battlegroup of vehicles broke off and struck the isolated Stormtroopers and retreated whenever the Taurox's moved to intercept.
The Stormtroopers retreated at this point to focus all their forces in one place. The Dark Eldar would be forced to assault against a front that they would have to destroy. Something that they are not good at.
Upon being told of the change in tactics, Inquisitor Pravisk knew that he could no longer wait for his allies. He drew the Dreadaxe and his Retinue did the same. Several 5 veterans of multiple campaigns, 1 Chiurgeon medic, a Blank and 5 Crusaders.
Splinter Cannon fire arced towards Pravisk and his retinue, bouncing harmlessly off of their Power Armour and Storm Shields. One was pierced by the Splinters who was then dragged behind cover by the medic, given an antidote and then helped to her feet. The group took cover behind a Tauros, knowing that Splinter fire would bounce harmlessly off the vehicle.
The Imperials were losing. The Dark Eldar made sure to aim for whoever was carrying a Plasmagun or Meltagun. One Stormtrooper squad who had lost it's Meltagun had a Raider speed near them. The Hekatrix blasted Phantasm Grenades towards them before her Wych squad jumped out of the vehicle and rushed the squad. The Stormtroopers were too disoriented to respond properly and were swiftly cut down. This repeated itself with many more Stormtrooper Squads. The only ones who were doing well were the Inquisitor and his retinue who managed to cut through a Wych squad that had charged them. When all seemed lost to them, reinforcements arrived.
Suddenly a Doomsday Monolith flanked by two regular Monoliths appeared above the battlefield before descending towards the ground. The Eternity Gates on the Monoliths opened and a legion of Necron Warriors, Immortals, Lychguards, and lastly Destroyers led by a Destroyer Lord. While they marched out, the Monolith's fired their Gauss Flux Arcs on whatever Dark Eldar vehicle that's nearby and managing to destroy a Ravager and 4 Raiders.
"You're really fucking late" yelled Pravisk at the Destroyer Lord.
"The decay of all into nothingness moves at it's own pace" replyed the Destroyer.
"Doesn't seem to stop you from helping it along" muttered Pravisk. "Did you bring the bomb?"
A Canoptek Spyder carrying the bomb passed through the Eternity Gate.
Normally Vect would have his forces kite the Necrons while picking them off with Dark Lance and Splinter Cannon fire but with the bomb present he knew that he would have to get close and attack. The main target is the Doomsday Monolith, a single order from him and the two Reapers with him prepared to fire on it. One was too slow and was destroyed by it's Gauss Obliterator while other vehicle nearby it were damaged or destroyed. but the other one hit. The green lights marking power movement on it started to flicker on and off, indicating damage but not destruction. The rest of the vehicles started focusing Dark Lance fire on it, bringing it down with about a dozen shots.
As the Monolith was destroyed the Dark Eldar vehicles charged forwards while the Necrons regrouped to surround the Monoliths and ensure that they don't get destroyed. The Raiders discharged their Kabalite and Trueborn cargo slightly out of range of the Necron guns before the squads approached to blast the Warriors with Splinter fire. At other points Raiders dropped the Wych's nearby distracted Necrons who were then charged from behind or the sides. This tactic eventually opened holes in the defences surrounding one of the Monoliths and allowed Ravager's to blast it with Lance fire.
Once again, Vect's quick thinking had gained the Dark Eldar the advantage. Unfortunately, things turned against them again as the Necrons arrival delayed them long enough that the Imperials who were ordered to fall back and aid their Inquisitor had arrived. Some of them started firing on the Necrons since they didn't know that they're temporary allies in this case.
"Quit firing!" Pravisk voxed to them, "They're our allies for now." Fortunately for the Necrons, the Imperials didn't have enough time to cause any major damage to their forces. With the order received they started focusing their firepower on the Dark Eldar.
In most situations, Vect would force his way out of the circle surrounding him but not this time. Failing to protect his section his section would be an embarrassment and in the long run would increase the amount of Kabals who try to contest his rule. Therefore, he would have his forces stay and fight. He remembered something from earlier. While passing nearby the Inquisitor and his retinue, he sensed a creature of the warp nearby, powerful enough that even his atrophied senses felt it. That creature would be just the distraction he needs.
The Dais rushed towards the Inquisitor and his retinue, as the enemies started firing on it they found their shots passing through harmlessly. They were shooting at flickers. As the Dais neared the Inquisitor the Medusae in Vect's court opened their eyes. Before they could unleash their psychic attack they started screaming, their hosts clutching the medusae on their heads until the empty shells fell over as the parasites withered into nothingness. Vect fired the Obsidian Orbs into the group. Several Veterans in the retinue were overwhelmed with mental agony while the blank just became confused as to why he was in the center of the group who just died and didn't feel anything.
Vect and his Slyth's and Ur-guls then proceeded to jump out of the Dais and charged the group. The Crusaders moved to form a shield wall to protect their master. Vect simply vaulted over them to reach the Inquisitor and the Blank. The Blank charged Vect to protect his master but was easily killed with a single well-aimed Splinter shot. The Inquisitor didn't fare much better, his attempt to charge Vect being stopped by a single tap with his scepter that wracked his body with pain and caused him to drop his Dreadaxe and fall to his knees. Vect quickly grabbed it, finished off the last remaining Crusader with a quick jab from behind and signaled the Dais to return to him before a counterattack happened.
The Dais moved near Vect and he and his court quickly scrambled aboard - leaving the alive yet in agony Inquisitor behind - and took off before any particularly strong weapons could be aimed at them. "Move us near that Monolith" Vect ordered. While approaching he attached a plasma grenade to the Dreadaxe and set the timer to detonate in 10 seconds. 6 seconds later the Dais was near enough and Vect threw the Axe at a nearby Warrior. It bounced off it's head and hit the ground before the grenade went off.
Normally, a Daemon weapon being destroyed would cast the Daemon back into the Warp. However, the inside of the Webway is like a reverse Daemon World. Instead of the warp being forced into real-space, real-space is forced into the warp. This meant that the Daemon was able to manifest itself, it's appearance scattering the warriors around it like a bomb went off around it, the warp flames in it's wake melting and warping the Necrons nearby. Several of them phased out from being too damaged to continue. The Monolith immediately brought it's weapons to bear against the Daemon and fired at it. The Particle Whip blast struck causing it to roar in pain and then fire a Dark beam at the Monolith in retaliation. It struck the Monolith at the focus-er on the top, blasting it off. The Daemon then body-slammed the Monolith, tearing pieces off one by one until it was an inert mass of scrap metal.
The Destroyer Lord hovered over to the body of the Inquisitor, it dumped some mindshackle scarabs onto the body and had those shut off his ability to feel pain. Pravisk quickly got up.
"There is only one damaged Monolith left. I can't afford to lose it. Do not worry many of my forces will stay behind, I've even made it that they'll follow your will." said the Lord.
Pravisk was immediately suspicious of this seemingly generous offer. "And what do you want in return?"
"Merely that you witness the destruction that you yourself wrought" it replied.
Pravisk mulled this over in his head, trying to figure out what sort of double or hidden meaning there is behind the words. He couldn't find one for now, but just because he couldn't find something doesn't mean it's not there. While he thought, a Immortal squad had already reached where he was after which the Lord took off towards the last remaining Monolith. The Immortals formed a large circle with all of them facing outwards with the Inquisitor in the center.
"I'm going to to return to my forces. With the bomb placed it's time to leave. Protect me along the way." They didn't move, when he tried to slip by them, they kept moving to block his path. The Inquisitor then figured out the double meaning behind it's words.
Pravisk knew that there was only one way to survive this. He grabbed his vox, this part was a gamble, he didn't know how the Immortals surrounding him would act and if the orders of the Destroyer Lord meant that they were able to decide to kill him, he wouldn't survive in the middle of so many of them with only a Bolt Pistol to defend himself.
"The Necrons have betrayed us" he told the senior officer commanding the regiment. "They intend to make sure we're still here when the bomb goes off. Order your men to destroy them. I'm trapped by several of them. I need you to come rescue me at my coordinates." Pravisk shut off the vox.
The Immortals around him didn't make a move, either they didn't hear him, their programming didn't allow them to know his language or the Destroyer forgot to include orders in case he tries to escape. Still, as tempting as it was to start shooting them, he wasn't willing to press his luck further.
The Destroyer Lord rushed towards the Monolith, ordering it to open it's Dimensional Corridor as he approached. The Lychguard stood nearby the doors but as it reached them they pointed their Warscythes at it. "Traitors!" it yelled, it's little emotion that remains starting to show. "You may not disobey your Lord!"
"Our oaths are towards the throne, not towards the nihilist that sits on it." said the Vargard.
The Lord quickly rushed forwards and impaled the Vargard on its Warscythe. The rest of the Lychguards closed in. The lord's augmentations meant that it could easily handle a single Lychguard but not the 20 that attacked it. After managing to cut down several of them it was overpowered by slash after slash from the Warscythes.
The Vargard had finished regenerating and got up. "Disable the bomb and then recall all forces. The rest of our kind has no interest in destroying this place." Disabling the bomb was easy enough and a Canoptek Spyder quickly picked it up to move it back to the Monolith. The Necrons soon found themselves having to fight their way back to their only escape route when the Imperial forces suddenly started firing on them again.
On the other side of the battlefield, Pravisk only had to wait a few minutes before the Immortals started marching away back towards the Monolith. Pravisk didn't understand why at the moment but he was glad to be able to escape and started running in the other direction.
Vect didn't know what he did to cause the Imperium and Necrons to turn against each other but he wasn't going to complain about that. The Necrons appeared to be relocating the bomb and he had to deal with that problem first. After sheathing his Scepter he ordered the Dais driver to get him close to the Spyder. Grabbing a modified Warp Gate he jumped onto the Spyder as the Dais neared it. He then purposely slid off its back and grabbed onto one of it's legs with one hand before attaching the Warp Gate to the top of the bomb. After pulling himself back onto it's back he gestured for the Dais to once again zoom near him, jumping back on when it did.
The modified webway gate went off shortly after, transporting the bomb and spyder somewhere outside of the Webway. Vect didn't bother to set it to go towards a specific location and he didn't care where it went as long as it was out.
"We're going to have to linger a little. They may just bring another one." he told the driver.
The Dark Eldar continued to harass and kill whatever Imperials and Necrons remained, usually focusing on ones that were already fighting the other. Between the Dark Eldar, a rampaging Greater Daemon and fighting each other the Imperial Guard and Necrons were quickly getting whittled into nothing. When Vect confirmed that the Necrons were fleeing as more and more of their forces left the battlefield that they were needed at he sounded the retreat. He'll come back later for whatever playthings remain.
A Legion Reborn
Written by Mortarionfag
Mortarion stood silent aboard his scared and wounded ship the 'Endurance'. He stood contemplating the resting place he had left his condemned doppleganger, next to him the last of his deathshroud. A single terminator who stood in menacing silence, only giving the slightest impression of the death the warrior was able to dole out. What was left of Mortarions legion were but a handful of the most grizzled and battle worn warriors to ever claim the title of Astartes. After the hard battle with the death guard who fell to Nurgles corruption very few loyal deathguard had been spared the plagues that ravaged the battles combatants. Yet, the legion had prevailed, and this thought made Mortarions heart swell with pride for his sons. He knew none who could endure so much without their resolve being shattered.
"Where to go." Mortarion spoke aloud as he wondered what his next course of action would be. "Perhaps I should find a world to dry-dock. The mortals of this crew could use some time to refresh.
Mortarion looked about his command crew. Among the busy screens and diligently working servitors, were the deck officers who kept the 'Endurance' limping through the void as they awaited Mortarions next order. Even though the ship had not directly been involved in battle with the blighted plague marines, she was not spared the scars of the battle. In an attempt to cut Mortarions forces off from both reinforcement and retreat, The Endurance was assaulted by several smaller craft that were aligned with the forces of chaos. Though the smaller cruisers were no match for The Endurance and her armament they did manage to leave their marks. Of the large crew of serfs and slaves on the ship that ran her massive engines and guns, nearly 12000 were killed in the battle due to boarding actions and fire from the enemy ships. A large amount of the command crew was killed when the dreaded traitor Typhus stormed the bridge and cut down the ships captain.
If not for Calas Typhon being aboard to defeat the dreaded typhus in one on one combat, the ship would have been lost and all hope for Mortarion and his sons to return from their task at redemption.
This thought brought a smile to the lord of death's face. "Calas, you are the true hero of this battle." As Mortarion chuckled to himself. The 1st captain took notice.
"My lord, we need to dry-dock for repairs soon. If we make another jump into the warp, I do not believe The Endurance will hold together." The 1st captain seemed exhausted even as the words left his mouth. "Perhaps we could truly assess how many we lost. The numbers are...A bit hazy at best."
Mortarion quickly realizing just how long their wounded ship had been crossing the void, and more prominent in his mind. The sons who died in their struggle for redemption.
"Agreed Calas make for the nearest world that has shipyards suitable for our vessel. Then we can get a clear image of how much our legion had given." With a voice that was grim. Slightly constricted by the re-breather that the primarch of the sons of death never removed.
At the shipyards of Colhichase the crowd of Imperial citizens stood in awe at the astartes who disembarked from the wounded vessel. The stares of the citizens soon turned to wide gaping mouths and shocked faces as they laid eyes upon the primarch of the deathguard. A small child not even 6 ran towards the gigantic armored warriors after she had wiggled her way from her mothers grasp. The onlookers gasped and and started to scream in horror. For who knew what would happen to the child once the grim and war torn warriors noticed her. She made a small squeak of childhood innocence as she tripped and dropped her stuffed toy of the primarch Sanguinius. The toy slid and connected with a legionnaires boot, who stopped dead in his tracks. The child, who had skinned her knee on the fall, was crying for the loss of her toy. As the child was retrieved by her mother who was fearful of the astartes being annoyed with her young one saw something that made the crowd gawk with shock and surprise. The astartes warrior knelt down and retrieved the small doll. Clutching the rendition of the venerable angle that looked almost comical in the hands of the astartes. With a turn of his head the warrior started towards the child and her mother, who at this point were about 30 meters ahead of the growing crowd. The mother who bowed her head in both respect for the warrior that approached but also in fear that her daughter had invoked the wrath of this warrior whose red lenses burned with what seemed like the wrath of the emperor himself. With each clunking step the warrior drew closer and the mother began to pray for the emperor to spare her life. Finally the warrior stopped no more than half a meter before them.
He knelt down with the doll of Sanguinius still laying gently in his giant hand. With the other free hand the legion reached up, the mother flinched thing the warrior was reaching for his blade, but then she heard the hissing sound of seals releasing and oxygen being vented. The warrior removed his MkIII helmet that obscured his face with the cold stare of red eyes that seeked death. The warriors face was well aged and bore scars from many battles. His features plain and almost blunt, they revealed a human under that armor that many have known to love, and fear.
"Hello, I believe you dropped this." The warriors voice was soft and gentle, he held the doll forward in his outstretched arm with his eyes closed and bearing a friendly smile that could calm a drunken Space Wolf.
The child quickly stopped crying and grabbed her beloved doll, she then hugged the warriors face and squeaked "Thank you Mr!" The warrior donned his helmet once more, and fell back in line with his few remaining brothers.
Of all the warriors left, Mortarion despaired that so few had truly survived...He thought more had survived the battle. But he was mistaken, it seemed that of the wounded brought aboard after the battle, only 23 had lived. It pained him greatly, for leaving the battle he swore there were hundreds of wounded marines in the docking bay. Of the 30,000 marines that had come with him to the planets surface and the 20,000 that remained on the ship to fight off the enemy fleet he had lost far too many. In the end he counted only 2649 of his sons left, all of which were clustered in front of him, speaking with each other telling tales of glory from the battle...and mourning their brothers who did not return. Mortarion cursed under his breath as looked with pain at his sons, he knew they had suffered, but they had endured.
Mortarion looked on the crowds gathering to see the sight of his sons in there moments of peace. Mortarion wondered if these people had ever even believed that astartes took time to rest. After the eyes had dwelled on the astartes for a few moments, they always turned to look at the primarch. Mortarion was a figure of myth here, a symbol of hope that disappeared 10,000 years ago. He wondered if word of the return of the primarchs had even reached this planet. He doubted that much, but seeing the renewed faith in the workers and citizens that gathered to view the warriors who had come to their world. As the time went on, Mortarion worked out how he was going to rebuild his legion. He needed a world with warriors as fierce as the ones who came from the clans of Albia, those who could suffer through the worst an enemy had to offer. He wished he could return to Barbarus, but his world had been destroyed long ago. He wondered what world would produce fearless, unbreakable souls that would fit in the ranks of the Deathguard.
Departure from Colhichase was 1 week behind schedule, and the surviving Deathguard were eager to leave the crowded ship yards that they had chosen as their destination to dry dock. Mortarion skulked across the bridge of The Endurance, he was thinking back to his visit with the planetary governor. He had been summoned by the governor to confirm if the rumors of a primarch on his planet were true. While the meeting with the governor was very brief and mostly a formality rather than business. From this encounter however, Mortarion had gained some very helpful leads as to where he would find a world suitable for the recruitment of new Deathguard.
"So Governor...Harka was it?" Mortarion asked as he realized his tone implied annoyance. Mortarion realized the Governor felt both insulted and crushed, thinking the primarch had no respect for him.
"Yes that is correct my lord."
"My apologies, so you inform me that these worlds you have listed bring forth some of the best fighters in the galaxy?" Mortarion now had much more interest in his voice. He hoped that at least one of these worlds held promise of being a proper recruiting ground for the Deathguard.
"Why yes my lord, if I'm correctly understanding what it you meant by your previous questions." Governor Harka had regained some of his former iron behind his voice now. No doubt from the primarchs sudden change in tone.
Mortarion looked the govenor in his rounded face. No doubt the govenor was able to eat well with his position as this planets ruling body.
"Governor if you wouldnt mind, could you describe to me some of these planets. What are the warriors they produce like?" Mortarion's voice was prime with what would sounded like excitement mixed with a morbid sense of boredom behind it.
"Ah yes, of course my lord." The governor started by grabbing a dataslate, using it as an extra reference. "Lets start with Catachan. Its a death world, home to the Catachan jungle fighters, some of the fiercest fighters in the guard." The governor paused to take a drink from a glass sitting next to him.
"Their planet is a death world? Just like the Lion's." Mortarion spoke in a low mumble as he contemplated the governors words.
"Precisely, the entire planet is covered in a jungle, and everything in that jungle is likely to kill you from the moment you are born. A fine place to recruit Astartes." The governor continued describing planets and the fighters and warriors that came from them. Until one world in specific had peaked the primarchs interest. Krieg, a world that was sent to its death with atomic fire in order to save it from the filthy traitors that had risen up. Colonel Jurten who had control of the last loyal hive of his world, in an act of desperation to save his people, fired forbidden weapons to cleanse the worlds of traitors and plunged the planet into a nuclear winter. The people now lived in underground bunkers, forever guilty of their ancestors betrayal, send all their children to give their lives for the emperor. With reports from Death Korps engagements Mortarion was marveled by the heroism and undying will they showed. Unafraid to die, and damn effective in fighting the enemies of the Imperium. Mortarion had found what he was searching for.
"Calas, we are headed to a planet by the name of Krieg. I wish to see the people for myself" Calas gave a crisp salute and prepared for warp entry. "We will have a new home soon my sons, and our legion will be reborn once more." As Mortarion looked around at his captains who were present with him on the bridge. He received nods of approval and respect from all of them, and with that The Endurance entered the warp rift. Soon the Deathguard would be a legion again.
Report from 7th company captain, Nathanial Garrow
Written and discontinued by Mortarionfag
So there we were on the planet of Colhichase, the techpreists of the shipyards informed our primarch that the repairs and drumming up a crew would take about 1 month to be complete. My lord obviously irritated by this development stormed back into the ship and hasn't come out of his chamber sense. That was 4 days ago and we can only assume our lord is currently filled his chamber with MUSTARD GAS and is meditating on the current matter at hand of rebuilding our troops. Where our primarch got all the gas we aren't sure. Every now and then I catch some of the neophytes huffing the canisters and then they have to be dragged to the nearest apothecary. This isnt normal mustard gas, its mustard gas designed to fell the greenskins...But it didn't work. Anyway as the primarch was...away i guess i would call it. I decided to go exploring the shipyards that we were stuck in for the time being. As I think back to it, I really wish I hadn't...As I walked along the dark iron walkways that connected to more and more ports for ships of all sizes to dock. I saw mostly dockworkers, techpreists, and servitors fumbling around with cargo, repairing ships, and speaking to what looked like imperial officials.
Among all of these thralls and dock workers I saw civilians who were either preparing to board ships headed to other imperial worlds or disembarking to head to there new homes to begin new lives. Some bore signs of being refugees. Probably from a world that fell to an Ork Waaaagh! or maybe a "chaos incursion". The new enemy was still a stranger to him, it saddened him to see that those that were once loyal servants to the emperor could turn against the savior of mankind. He made a fist and grunted with anger, he then noticed the entire crowd before him had been watching him closely and most had parted around him for fear that they would killed by a small bout of wrath. He forgot that people could see he was from a legion that had turned traitor...Or maybe they didn't know. Maybe in this time...in this galaxy, the astartes were just as feared as they were loved. This thought gave Garrow a headache, He decided to put it past him. As he walked down the Gothic style hallways he couldn't help but smile at the stares he would get. His size was quite an impressive sight for most of these normal humans, He was so large that the dockworkers and security officials had to wait for him to pass before they finished their work.
Security officials saw the bolter mag-locked to his thigh, and with that sight they looked at their laspistols and gave out a slight sigh.
"Overcompensating for the lack of balls I see." A security captain was whispering to his men, thinking he couldn't be heard, but a space marines enhanced senses picked up even the slightest noise. Even if it was in a crowded and very loud ship yard.
With a flare of mischief in his eye Garrow confronted the Captain "I'm sorry captain, you were saying something about my... hmmm what was it. AH yes. My "lack" of genitals?"
The captain at that very moment, Shat his pants. It wasn't just a silent "oh god I hope no one noticed that". It was loud, It was obvious in the captains body movements...The smell would put one of those dreaded plague marines into the ground. And the worst part was when it started tricking out of the bottom of his pant leg.
"I...I...uh...I..." The Captain continued to stammer like an incoherent idiot, at that moment Garrow decided that he had made his point. He continued on his stroll down the shipyard.
Garrow later decided he wanted to explore the lower levels of the ship yard. Trying to find a stairway that didn't look like it would shatter under his weight...was another story. In the end Garrow just used it superior agility to jump from one level to the next. The jump went off without a hitch, The landing however...
As Garrow fell through the old rusty grating as if it was never there in the first place. As he slid down the shaft that was strangely comfortable he landed in a dark room, Garrow had no idea what he had just gotten himself into. But he heard some strange noises and chose to investigate. The room had a few lights, mostly small pink candles that smelt of lavender. But the noises, he couldn't figure out where in the room they were coming from. they sounded like moans of pleasure mixed with a pig being torn to shreds as its screamed in terror. Something felt very wrong, he just couldn't put his finger on it. Garrow then heard the sound of the fabric of time tearing apart. What he saw next, he would never be able to explain to his brothers.
"NANANANANANANANANANANANANA!!!!!!" Doomrider wailed as his bike tore through the portal to meet those who summoned him.
"OH GREAT AND POWERFUL DOOMRIDER WE HA-"
"WHERE THE FUCK IS MY COOOOOOCAAAAAAAAIIIIIINNEE!!!"
"Uhmm yes of course all mig-"
"Please lord do-"
At that moment Doomrider pulled a woman from the group of cultist who were all naked and having an orgy numbering in the hundreds. The woman both excited and terrified by the daemon that had a hold of her. Doomrider then Ripped both her nipples off and stuck them to his shoulder pads, he then took out a straw emptied a whole bag of some strange pink dust onto her stomach. He then inhaled the mount of pink powder in 1 powerful snort. Finally Doomrider rode off and into another portal. The head cultist was left weeping at his shrine, and then proceeded start injecting drugs into his veins.
Woad and Bloodshed
Written by Vulkanfag
Captain Ar'Set and his men had waited for the perfect moment, and now they had found it.
Fifty marines draped in chameleoline cloaks watched their greenskin enemy with a hunger that few astartes even understood. In fact the captain's mouth watered at the prospect of what was to come, he knew many in his chapter preferred their battlefield meals raw, but he saw himself as a refined man of the modern age and had told his personal cadre of ratling chefs to be ready for a feast.
The greenskins were completely unaware of the threat that stalked their own back yard, continuing to posture and fight as orks tended to do.... Perfect. "RISE SONS OF THE DRAKE, FOR TONIGHT WE FEAST UPON OUR ENEMY!!"
All the orks turned their heads towards the shout that came from the camp's periphery only to see a wave of woad blue space marines charging them, many armed with combat and storm shields covered in tribal designs, faces smeared with fluorescent runes.
The orks, always happy to be involved in a good fight, did jot waste any time hesitating and charged the tide of astartes. The earsplitting cry of WAAAGH!! Escaped from the xeno's mouths before the two lines crashed together.
Captain Ar'Set was an instrument of pure destruction in close combat and his enemies would soon discover this as jets of orkoid blood shot across its fellows everywhere the Woad Dragon stepped. Green heads and body parts formed a trail behind him as he carved a path with the flesh of his enemy.
This was his art form, and he found it truly beautiful.
The fight between the dragons and orks wasn't a drawn out battle. The enemy had been taken by surprise and crushed before any resistance could be gathered. Captain Ar'Set had even taken time to make sure he found an isolated pocket so there could be no interruption, he and his men were low on ammo, without, food, and without support.
The ammunition could be supplanted by skill in close combat and raiding. But food was not something he was willing to make compromises about, his marines would not starve, and that to him was the end of it.
He looked across the field of corpses as his ratling serfs carted away the massive green corpses of his enemy and scavenged the camp for any cooking equipment that could be used.
A sergeant by the name of Ke'Voss sat down next to the captain, he had a large chunk of raw meat in his hand that he was cutting small pieces off to pop into his mouth like it were a snack. "Any news on how the rest of the planet is doing captain? "
"No, just the same grox shit as before, static warfare, gaining ground, so on, so fourth." He let out a deep sigh after his statement, he felt he had failed his brothers, had he been a little more cautious, or maybe wouldn't have volunteered for this particular mission, they may not be in the position they were in.
The truth was however that the battle lines for this conflict had, since near beginning, been a logistics and strategic nightmare with no clear battle lines or friendly/war zones, not even those at the top knew what was happening on Paran IV.
"Well captain I wouldn't worry to much, you haven't let anything happen before, I doubt your prone to now."
His men were rather talented at raising his spirits, many had served with him extensively before he was made captain. Most notably the sergeant Ke'Voss who he was honored kin as it was known to his chapter. He would even be willing to say he was his oldest and closest friend.
"Thank you brother, I needed to hear that."
A scout marine approached the two old warriors seemingly casual conversation with news. "My lords we've returned from our patrols, seems a gretchin must have escaped the ambush, and there's a warboss headed here with his boys."
The captain raised an eyebrow at the scouts news.
"Well if they wish to pick the camp clean then they're far too late. Like a carrion bird trying to feed on a skeleton."
The sergeant chimed in "Nice analogy Set."
The captain shrugged thankfully at the observation from his honor kin, his thoughts now seemingly away from his own failings.
"What are we to do lord Ar'Set?" The scouts voice was calm and measured, like any veteran marine would be. A promising young marine.
"Find me Techmarine Tras, I have a plan."
The marines I the third company had an hour at least before the Orks arrived and that was plenty of time to weave an intricate web of traps for his enemy to get tangled in.
"Everyone else, find anything explosive or sharp and bring it to Tras."
"The orks want a fight?" He thought. Then the dragons would grant their wish.
After a few hours of preparations the marines of the woad dragons third company were as prepared as they were going to be for the onslaught to come.
Captain Ar'Set was not an optimist however. As he saw it, they had been lucky so far, and in the end it was their swords, shields, and willpower that truly kept his men and himself alive.
A series of traps and ambushes however never hurt.
-5 Terran miles away, position/ rasorok gulch-
Sergeant Noska had positioned his squad carefully for this and there was a very limited amount of ordinance available.
The gulch that led to the encampment the Woad Dragons had seized was a winding labyrinth of ,often easily disturbed, rock wall.
Techmarine Tras had been fascinated by the planets geological readings and researched them extensively. He consulted each squad squad on where the perfect ambush position would be, using the rock wall's decidedly weak structure against their enemy.
As the orks neared a fork the warboss decided not to split his forces, Warboss Mar SkullChewa was an incredibly paranoid leader, even for an ork. Forcing the green tide down one narrow avenue, the marines waited for them to get half of their forces in before making their first move.
Sergeant Er'Kor activating the first charge was heard over the comm net before an explosion caused caused a rockslide that closed off the mouth of the thin avenue half of Warboss SkullChewa's orks were now wedged.
As many of the Orks trapped in the gully began to mill around in agitation, the Dragons made their next move.
Long before the Orks had reached this point, a squad of marines had dug a large chamber out under the ground and built makeshift supports made from Ork huts. Inside that chamber were also large tanks of Trukk fuel rigged to a detonator.
As soon as a large enough amount of Orks were standing over it..
The ground collapsed into itself with a fiery eruption, leaving only a burning hole in the ground still coughing cinders into the air.
A strange sound echoed out from the hollow passageways in the walls, the sound of an ancestral instrument closely related to ancient Terran bagpipes, accompanied with the extremely loud roars of astartes.
Juts of burning promethium mixed with trukk and wartrakk fuel shot out from space marine flamers, covering swaths of the trapped greenskins in cleansing fire.
As soon as that stopped, the true onslaught began when squads of Woad Dragons jumped down on their enemy from holes in the rock. Each one hacking down xenos as they landed.
Many marines that were felled by the aliens exploded as some of the assault marines wired their suits life support with grenades so they could still have the last say in who was victorious.
Sergeant Er'Kor war personally seeking out any Nobz to tear apart singlehanded, always relishing the way the weaker Orks tended to break when the biggest of them was slain.
SkullChewa however, was far from beaten, as he showed rather well when a series of Rokkit explosions tore down the rock wall that had separated him from half his forces.
Er'Kor looked into the wall of dust seeing a massive shadow charging ahead of a horde of charging Orks. "Fuck."
Sergeant Er'Kor jumped from the stream of shoota rounds aimed at him from the SkullChewa.
It noticed the dead Nobz next to him and his artificer armor. "Oi Shiney humie!" He looked down at his artificer armor that was covered in gold bordered woad scales and the intricate silver etched dragon engravings on his gauntlets, forearms, and pauldrons.
Again he found himself breathing out a frustrated Fuck.
"You da shiniest and da toughest lookin, So ya jus for me ta krump ya snivilin humie!"
"Then come get some Savage xenos!" He shouted back at the massive Ork, raising his storm shield and long sword.
SkullChewa laughed heartily, happy to see his enemy had a good amount of fight in him. He charged toward Er'Kor, swinging his massive power klaw at him.
Every blow sending showers of sparks over the two as the huge Ork weapon smashed into Er'Kor's storm shield.
He detached a grenade and rolled it between SkullChewa's legs and the metal fragmentation cut into his green back.
Captain Ar'Set entered the Warboss' vicinity just as he flung sargeant Er'Kor out. He smashed into the rock wall dazed and near unconscious.
The massive ork was now much more interested in the captain. As Skullbreaka understood it, the better looking the armor, the more important the human that was in it.
As the first swing of the Ork's power klaw hit the captains storm shield, a miniature lightning shower exploded from its surface as the energy fields met. The force of the attack staggered the captain, and he rolled out of the way of the next blow. As he looked around he could see the damage these savages were causing his men and began to burn with anger, focusing it on the Warboss. He would draw every drop of blood his men had lost from that overgrown spore. He jumped at Skullbreaka and slammed his storm shield into the orks face sending fragments of teef across the rocky ground.
Skullbreaka only laughed and said "Thas wut I wanted humie, that's da propa orky way ta do it!" Before firing his shoota at the captain who hunched his body to hide it behind his large round shield.
He looked up at the Warboss but was distracted. Up on the walls of the canyon were a number of white armored Astartes with red aquillas. Assault marines many of them, bearing the colors of the storm giants. "For the Emperor" One voice cried before being answered by the rest "And for humanity!" before swarms of assault marines filled the canyon.
Skullbreaka was overtaken eventually by the heartier than normal Astartes of the combined force of the two chapters, the last sight of him before being dragged off by the cooks was him laughing while fighting waves of marines.
A Storm Giant apothecary was assisting Woad Dragon apothecary Ar'Breg in removing their fallen brothers geneseed with Storm Giant apothecary Vlademir Orras.
Captain Nicolai however was more curious about the after battle rituals were engaging in. Noting specifically that Captain Ar'Set and his personal retinue were much more civilized and composed in their feeding.
The regular marines were like barbarians where the officers seemed to have a much more refined way of eating a dead enemy. "It seems there is a separation between the way different ranks act during this ritual." He noted to Ar'Set.
"That's mostly just this company, I consider it a good thing for my non officers to be somewhat savage. If any of them show promise, they can be refined to something besides warriors."
He was puzzled by this attitude, but pursued it no further. Either way Ar'Set was happy that the Storm Giants had brought Thunderhawks.
Crowfather Laiko Tiberius, high chaplain of his great house company of the Sons of Trajan sat at a rounded table. At the table sat the Counsel of The All Seeing. Trajan himself, who still seemed uncomfortable with the lofty position of being the chapters namesake. Despite leading them after being lost in the warp, the amount they appreciated him, to the extent of taking his name for the chapter seemed to make him uneasy.
He could tell, they were trained together and Laiko could always sense hesitance in one of his honor brothers. Trajan's voice was stern but calm during his presentation. "From what we have seen the Rak'Gol have become much more active in the areas they previously have been a very rare threat."
Crowfather Severus Corinth spoke up to add from his seat while seemingly studying the holograms of the new Rak'Gol in the center of the table. "More disturbingly they have began to appear in sectors and even segmentums they previously weren't known to be in, such as persius VI in the segmentum tempestus, and Doran XI in the ultima segmentum. Previously they were only seen in the calixis sector."
Trajan responded in a somewhat disheartened but aggressive tone "From what it appears they're similar to the flayed ones of the Necron race, but worse, they use chaotic magic that we've not seen before, they can appear in places without a warp rift, and it seems that the already existing Rak'Gol have gained a much more dangerous intelligence and purpose, and that's why were here."
The hologram at the center of the table switched to one of the planet they were orbiting, including all the imperial starships orbiting it. Rena's Folly a small lush world about the size of Luna. A small over-foliated rock whose heavily forested canopy would provide perfect cover for the xenos, who had become surprisingly adaptable recently. The holo-map then showed a series of locations on its surface that appeared scarred and burned by radiation.
A series of Black Stormravens descended upon Rena's Folly under heavy anti aircraft fire. The weapons of the newly awakened Rak'Gol were horribly destructive to anything they hit, whole ships twisting into collapsed chunks of metal. Massive howler cannon like guns barked at the sky sending a hailstorm of shrapnel at the coming astartes ships. The strange arcs of pseudo-invisible energy seemed to bend reality itself as they reached up toward the ships to crush them in their deadly grip.
The closer they got to the surface the more strange the enemies weaponry became far more strange. Large gravity contained spheres of dark matter burst in the sky with truly unnerving force.
The vox channels were filled with marines and human auxillia barking coordinates they needed bombarded and occasionally short agonized screams and the sound of twisting metal. Every time a set of coordinates were given, the Emperor's fury was made manifest on the planet's battle ravaged surface where verdant forests and lush valleys were once peacefully occupied. The massive explosions like the footfalls of an angry god passing judgment upon the wretched xenos.
When the Stormravens were close enough to open fire on their enemy they used their multi-meltas and turret mounted plasma canons to pulverize a LZ into the ground. By the time they were close enough to the ground for their human cargo to jump out, the nearly 3 square Terran miles surrounding the marines and auxillia had been turned into a smoldering graveyard of crashed astartes aircraft and Rak'Gol corpses.
Trajan and his retinue of praetorians along with Crowfather Tiberius jumped from the stormraven carrying them before it went flying back into the sky.
Crowfather Tiberius eyes were filled with rage beneath his helm as he looked upon the wreckage of his brothers aircraft.
"Something troubling you Laiko?" A praetorian by the name of Gallow asked.
"Just the death of my brothers praetorian. It always does."
Gallow's response was delivered honestly in the cold tone of an old warrior. He placed a hand on the younger marine's shoulder "Save your wrath for when you have a throat to slit and lives to end."
"Hmm mind if I use that in an oratory?"
The praetorian laughed and said "Not at all brother."
Trajan charged towards the creature, the storm bolter mounted on his left wrist spewing forth vengeance rounds, the leather strips between his legs and the crimson cloak upon his back dripped with viscera from every movement. A vision of death in motion. Farseer Alesta Thanalus of craftworld Saim-Hann looked on the battlefield from a ridge half a Terran mile away.
She had seen a vision not long ago, a vision of the galaxy enslaved under the dominion of an ancient evil. A horrid force that's intent was so alien that its will only seemed to translate into a hunger for slavery, the destruction of life other than the Rak'Gol sentient or not, and the desire for the suffering of beings other than its race.
The vision was roughly three months ago and since then she had heard stories of the Primarch Vulkan running around with Trazyn the Infinite.
The only reason the events on this planet were relevant however was that her vision was far more expansive than that. The vision began with a space marine, Astartes as the mon-Keigh often referred to them, one bearing a striking resemblance in armor to the one now charging toward a Rak'Gol three times his size, a reawakened Rak'Gol Ras'Nowx which literally means hope breaker. She as a powerful psyker could feel something in this mon-keigh.... A death wish, he didn't want to survive, but he wanted his enemy to die. She had always found astartes rather, well, fascinating.
"Trajan I wouldn't exactly call this fucking wise!" Laiko shouted through the com link at his battle brother
"I heard the iron dragon had difficulty fighting one of these before sacrificing himself. That was a dreadnought forged by our fathers own hand, you are one damn marine!"
"Doing it anyway... Over and out." He said curtly as he dodged a swing from the massive creature before its tail smashed into him. He skidded along the ruined earth caking him with mud. He rolled out of the way as it brought one of its augmented arms down where he was.
Stupid mon-keigh, he's going to get himself killed the farseer thought, personally she couldn't give a damn but for much grander reasons Trajan, as well as the other progeny of Vulkan had to be as intact and strong as possible.
Their alliance with Trazyn would clear the way for future peace between the Imperium and the Eldar, and with all these new threats particularly those reawakened monsters, the Eldar could no longer stand alone against everything. She had to intervene or he would die. The Rak'Gol hope breaker swung its strange weapon at Trajan's leg and his kneecap was smashed to pieces by the strange maul the creature carried in two of its arms. He fell to his knees in agony, still parrying and blocking the creatures forceful blows.
He pulled a grenade from his belt and lobbed it at the creatures body. The loud bang was followed by a shriek as the creature stumbled backwards. There was some minor damage, but it seemed relatively unharmed.
Farseer Alesta began cutting her way through the alien horde, her movements a graceful opposite of the astartes she was attempting to save. Her strikes were precise, deadly, and blindingly fast, her lithe form seemingly out of place in the destruction she was causing.
Captain Ar'Set looked out at the endless void of space from the view-port in the room aboard The Eternal Tempest. When the Storm Giants welcomed his company and he aboard the chapter's strive cruiser they had given him a cabin with a view-port, he hasn't asked but he preferred it.
The Storm Giants were less savage than his men. It had created a difficulty in the two groups gelling, but it had passed. They had even heard news of Vulkan's revival, many of both chapter's librarians having visions proving their shared bloodline, but under there was a warning of a destructive xeno species being unleashed upon the galaxy.
The full scope of which was only being realized months after irradiated planets were found covered in the corpses of those used to build strange monolithic constructs, seemingly worked to death simply for the purpose of being worked to death. Every corpse showing signs of malnutrition and radiation poisoning, from the very young to the elderly. Something horrid was happening.
The majority of the imperium had been spared the horror of the vicious xeno race due to their isolation, but as the fleet of the Storm Giants passed through systems and saw more of the strange dead planets it became clear that this was no longer the case.
Meanwhile on a planet in a nearby system named Rena's Folly another group of marines were witnessing the vile power of the Rak'Gol first hand.
As Trajan tried to get to his feet, his shattered leg seeping blood from cracks in his armor, his enemy swung its mace again at the marine, smashing into his chest and sending him flying back into his own ranks. He could taste blood in his mouth as he lapsed into unconsciousness.
He found himself aboard the flagship of his chapter in his personal chambers. The whole environment seemed distorted through the looking glass of a dream. He heard a conversation, one voice deep and gravely, the other light and feminine.
"I want you to promise me something."
He heard a sigh from the male. "I already can tell I'm not going to like where this is going."
Things became clearer and came into focus.... He remembered this. "If it comes down to it, don't let anyone take me alive, if there's no other option, I would rather be dead than be a captive of chaos followers. "
He could suddenly feel her eyes looking at him, piercing viridian boring into his soul. "I fucking hate when you ask me things like that.
Her tone grew more forceful "Just promise me! Please..."
The only response was somewhat defeated "Fine.. I promise."
Then pain, light filled his eyes through a broken helmet eyepiece. He looked up to see an apothecary smirking at him and Laiko angrily glaring. "He should be fine, just needs to be careful for a couple of days."
Laiko abruptly said "Thank you brother Esios that will be all."
When the apothecary merely feet away he heard Laiko say in a hushed but angry tone "What the fuck is wrong with you? Why are you always trying to get yourself killed?"
"Is there a reason I shouldn't?" Trajan said as he forced himself to his feet using his crozius as a crutch.
"We need you is why!"
Trajan removed his helmet and looked into its broken lenses. "There was a reason that I changed the chapters leadership to a counsel. It was so you could function after I died."
Laiko sounded more frustrated as he responded "That doesn't mean its good for morale..." There was a moment of silence before he continued. "On top of that do you believe that this is what she would have wanted you to do?! Drown in self pity?!"
Again silence, silence filled with bitterness and agony. "I don't know what she would want Tiberius... She's fucking dead..." He said before he started limping away.
"Where are you going now?!"
"For a walk!"
Farseer Alesta found herself once again observing Trajan from a distance as he walked away from the site of the recent battle into the forest. She followed, her feet scarcely making a sound as she moved. She looked on quietly as he sat down with his back propped up against a massive tree.
"What is it you want farseer?"
She stepped from behind her cover and approached, without his helm Trajan had the black skin and glowing eyes of a descendant of Vulkan, half his face was covered in fluorescent blood red tattoos, his hair short and messy connecting to a scruffy beard that covered the bottom half of his face like a weathered detective in some arbite investigative drama one would see in the imperial media.
"I have my reasons space marine."
He almost felt like rolling his eyes at that. The lack of directness the Eldar often exhibited irritated him.
She could feel something deep within him when there weren't others around. A shard of the man that was once his identity, the driven fragment of his humanity that kept him going. It was much like the man she saw before her but with a component the former was lacking. Hope... Hope that what he was doing meant or did anything. He was an astarte without purpose.
As she got closer her psychic abilities began to pick up images, many filled with horrid scenes from the warp, they had been there for... She could pick up more information the closer she came. "Lost in the warp for three hundred of their years! How did they survive?!" Then everything shut like a steel vault. Every mental barrier he could put up as a space marine went up.
"I don't appreciate what it is you're trying to do xeno. If you wish to know something you may ask. Though whether or not I'm going to lie to you, tell you the truth, or even answer you is still a matter I haven't settled on yet."
He hadn't looked up from his crozius, cleaning the filthy blood of the Rak'Gol from its head.
Alesta was from a craftworld that was saturated in the culture of warriors, she understood the need for one to have a purpose. A warrior without a purpose is nothing more than a wandering murderer, and that is the path to the ruinous powers. She could feel the hate he felt for chaos though, she could see him falling to Malal if he were to be corrupted by anything. She had no idea why but she wanted to help him, there was no clear reason she could discern other than diplomacy for the future of her craftworld and race, she would help him. "Ok, then I do have a question." Her tone seemed less arrogant than before. "You seem to have the feeling that what you've created will be fine if you die right?|
"Why does that matter?"
"Well That's what your Emperor thought as well, but were things better for your Imperium without him?"
He stopped cleaning and looked up, she was sitting in front of him with her head cocked to the side, a quizzical expression on her pallid face, she had been wearing her helmet during the battle, he hadn't seen her face. She was like the majority of her people blessed with an elegant inhuman beauty. She had dark red hair that cascaded around her and ice blue eyes that glowed like moonlight was constantly on them, her craftworld symbol under her eye.
His eyelids lowered and the glow of his eyes peered out suspiciously. "I'm going to ask you again, what exactly is it you want?"
"That's irrelevant, do you understand the point I'm making mon-keigh?"
"Yes witch I do!:
She stood up, brushed herself off, and walked away. She heard one thought escape the iron trap of his mind. "What the fuck was that?!" A small smile crept across her face.
He forced himself on to his feet after his weapon was clean and looked up at the dull red star the planet orbited, he heard the noise of a group of astartes walking somewhere in the distance. He looked across the horizon and saw Crowfather Corinth and three other marines covered in blood approaching. Corinth was propping up one of the marines who appeared to be injured. Trajan braced himself on his crozius and walked towards them. "Corinth."
Corinth looked up and sighed with relief "Thank the Emperor! We need an apothecary!"
As Trajan approached he saw his condition. "You look like you need one as well brother."
"Already saw one, come on I'll bring you to camp."
The wounded brethren began heading back to the camp sight that had been set up on the earthworks that had previously been disputed ground that day, most of the planet was now in the grip of the chapter but the rad zones were another matter. Each a massive poisonous area dotted with jagged walled fortresses bristling with arcane weaponry.
The camp was constantly a host to Stormravens and other transport and assault craft taking off and landing. The transport craft usually had their doors open when they took off, marines occasionally hanging a leg off the side or pointing a twin linked heavy bolter rig out the side. Even more craft filled with auxillia seemed to mimic the scene in a smaller form. Each wearing a light form of powered carapace armor holding a human sized bolter. All bearing livery of the chapter.
Captain Vladimyr of the Storm giants fourth company was on his way to the cargo bay. The Woad Dragons claimed that they had crafted something for his chapter. He had said it wasn't necessary but they had insisted upon it.
When he entered the cargo bay his bottom jaw nearly hit the floor, a full 15 attack bikes and side cars had been overhauled by the two techmarines in the bay.
They had removed the sidecars, expanded they're platforms, and attached them to the back of the attack bikes with long adamantium struts that bore carvings of dragons, each painstakingly decorated to appear like the blue drakes of their homeworld, and the storm giants symbolism etched unto the wheels. The side cars now looked more like chariots pulled by juiced up attack bikes. The wheels of the chariots had long scythe like power blades attached to the wheels and large twin linked weapon mounts welded to the platforms. Large metal plates protected the gunner from enemy fire from everywhere but the back.
He wanted to be angry because of the amount of his chapters equipment they used, that it honestly wasn't a gift, that it was just them making something out of his chapters bikes but these were glorious weapons of war, he could already see the damage these new weapons were capable of.
"Oi lord Vlad, how might ya find yourself today?"
He had trouble finding exactly how to approach these men, he had since they'd come aboard. Now he was finding it just as difficult to deal with what they'd made for him and his men. It was a very awkward silence.
The two techmarines looked at each other for a moment before one said. "Dammit he dunae like it, ok let's put em back to what they were. Vladimyr waved his hands."
"No, No, these.... These are glorious."
The Fiasco at Kaurava
Written by Friendly Anon
"Today's a good day. Don't you think so Commissar?"
"Indeed Governor General. It's a fine day for inspecting the Guardsmen."
Governor General Vance Stubbs and Lord Commissar Doran Farrier chat as they were walking through the streets of Kaurava I's Dussala Precinct under typical business of checking out how the 252nd Conservator Regiment was faring.
It was over twelve years since the battle for the Kaurava system. Many were killed in these battles, yet it was the Conservator Regiment under Stubbs' leadership that achieved total victory over seemingly impossible odds due to the Guardsmen being historically terrible. It was Stubbs' reforms that turned the Regiment into a fighting force to be reckoned with, and it was the determination of the Governor General and the leadership under him that liberated the sector back for the Imperium.
After the conflict, Vance settled down on Kaurav I's city to overlook the sector's and the Regiment's development. He married the young daughter of a notable Imperial Guard General of the Cadian regiment known for his GRIT and had children with her. A son and a daughter.
When the battles for Kaurava ended, for his exceptional leadership and valour, Doran Farrier was promoted to Commissar Lord. Since then he got into a more active duty, training new generation Commissars and applying new methods of combat.
For these twelve years the Kaurava sector progressed economically and militarily, becoming both a industrial center that produced super heavy tanks (thanks to the factoria from the Dawn of the Imperium and the STC that was provided by the Techpriests), and military academy for elite Guard forces. All of this thanks to Stubbs' reforms and ambition.
"I can't wait to see those new Shadowswords in use for our men. Lately we have less and less new super heavy vehicles for ourselves due to how high the demand for these vehicles are."
"No wonder." - replied Farierr - "Since the discovery of the titanic manufactorum at the beginning of the conflict twelve years ago, the Techpriests of Mars were extremely interested in it. After acquiring from them the STC for many other Baneblade variants and many more vehicle STC, the manufactorum spits out so many of the machines that we barely can feed materials to it. And we not only mine the resources from and from around Kaurava, but we must also get them from other sectors. Each year we can produce a hundred of them and almost hundreds of other vehicles thanks to the factorum."
"That's true Commissar. On the other hand the people of Kaurava can be proud that these mighty testaments to the Imperium's might are used by many of the Regiments of the Astra Militarium. Even the Death Korps of Krieg sent their thanks for the Doomhammers and Stormlords we sent them last year. They said their last Campaign became much easier when they distributed them among their forces. Even other Imperial forces started to ask us if Kaurava could produce one or two super heavies for them."
As they walked through the streets, passing by Guardsmen immediately halted, stood still and made the Eagle Sign. The two men slowed their march and replied by also doing the sign. The Dusalla Precinct was never this lively. Back then the Guard here started with only it, and managed to conquer the rest of the sector. To this day Stubbs himself was impressed on how well he did back then.
"By the way Governor General, how's the family doing?"
"My family?" - asked Vance - "Marianne is doing fine. Lately she's even more active than usually. She opened a new Schola Progenium on Kaurava IV's Iseult Peninsula. I was objective on letting her there without me, but she said that she would be fine and that I'm too much of a worrywart."
"You believe that what remained from the Chaos Forces still remains there?" - asked the Commissar.
"When Chaos lands on a planet, even for a moment, then that planet will never be completely free of the taint. That's why I asked the Inquisition to deploy secretly some of their forces to watch over Kaurava IV. I even went so far as to give them a secret base of operations on Lacunae. Good thing they didn't send some crazy Puritan and the Inquisitor himself was a reasonable figure."
"How about your progeny?"
The Governor General smirked when he heard the question - "Alexandra is very similar to her mother, though she looks up to me. Lukas on the other hand sees me as a role model. He once said that when he becomes 16, he'll join the Conservators."
"He wants to? I hope then that he'll be a good officer when that happens." - replied the Lord Commissar.
"He said he wanted to start from the very bottom. That reminded me of my younger days. I too started as a everyman Guardsman, only to get to a position of leadership with quick thinking and instant decisions."
As the two were coming closer to the boot camp, they saw something that would be usual if not for those that took part in it...
"MOVE IT!!, MOVE IT!! YOU LAZY FURBALLS!! YOU CALL YOURSELF MILITARIUM SOLDIERS!!? YOU NEED TO BE FITTER THAN THAT!! GIVE ME ALL YOUR SWEAT HERE!! MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!!!" - shouted the drill sergeant from his Chimera at the soldiers that were running really fast in formation. They all had the same flak armours as the usual Guardsmen, only the recruits themselves were a special kind of abhumans.
"Those must be our Felinid corps being trained. I still wonder how we suddenly got them six years ago." - replied Doran.
"Thank my wife for this." - the Governor said - "Since she was a girl she grew up among abhumans. Like her father, she too saw the potential in them to be soldiers. Not to mention the potential to be a great addition to any Imperial society..." - here he paused - "...I don't know if incorporating them even further into other levels of Kaurava's social system is a good idea. There will always be some insane zealots that will try and ruin everything. Although when I got to see them in action, I decided to give them a shot. Not to mention the children like them as much as the Ogryns and Ratlings we have."
"Now we only need Squats among us..." - added the Commissar.
"I thought they became extinct when the Tyranids came to the Milky Way Galaxy."
"It seemed a error in the Administratum wiped them out from the records. When the Squats were rediscovered, then there was a sort of chaos among the higher ups."
"Maybe one day. But for now we should concentrate on what we have. Now lets see how our soldiers take the training."
When the two Militarium leaders were to enter the boot camp, clouds were suddenly gathering in the main plaza of the district not far away from the boot camp. Vance's optics immediately informed him of strange energy spikes that were appearing with them. Suddenly a green lightning bolt struck the centre of the plaza with a thundering sound...
"WHAT IN THE EMPEROR'S NAME WAS THAT!!?" - shouted the Lord Commissar, still barely hearing anything due to the thunderous crakoooom.
"I HEAR YOU LORD COMMISSAR!!" - replied the Governor, also barely hearing anything - "READY YOUR WEAPONS!! WHEN THERE IS GREEN LIGHTNING, THEN IT ONLY MEANS ONE THING!! THE BEINGS WE LEFT BURIED UNDER KAURAVA III HAVE RETURNED!!" - Vance shouted back as he removed the safety locks from his guns and Battle Claws. Lord Commissar Doran Farrier immediately knew what the Governor thought as he himself readied for combat. The Necrons came back.
Meanwhile on the plaza:
*Heavy coughing* "Why didn't we ask one of your Crypteks for a easy way of transportation, rather than bet our luck on that untested and utterly unpredictable Tesseract Dimensional Teleporter? Seriously, you are one haphazard Necron." - asked the power armoured figure that was wrapped in black robes, still coughing from the amount of dust it inhaled. It could barely see anything in the green cloud it found itself.
"It was necessary for us to be here as fast as possible." - replied the Necron, and from its look it could be deduced that he was a Overlord - "If we wanted to use a more safer method of travelling, then we would have asked Orikan to teleport us safely through space and time, yet that bastard didn't wanted to help us due to his thousand-times damnable prophecies and the fact that he didn't wanted us to succeed. Good thing we showed him that one of his prophecies was false. Now that we are in the star system the Imperium calls the Kaurava sector, we can go and look for the needed component for the Void enhancer."
"Still it is a miracle we landed in the right sector due to the fact how unpredictable that artifact of yours is. Now lets find that entrance to the tomb and..." - before the robed figure could finish, the cloud disappeared, revealing a circle of thousand of Guardsmen, Stormtroopers, abhuman Militarium members and a awful load of tanks.
In this moment the two figures realized that they were completely surrounded by a large number of Militarium soldiers (and their tanks). Not to mention that they were all armed with some potent weaponry.
"I thought you said that we arrived on Kaurava III." - whispered the robed figure to the Necron Overlord, moving as slowly as possible.
"I didn't say Kaurava III, but the Kaurava SECTOR." - silently replied the Necron - "Seems that in order to make us fail, Orikan must have done something to the machinery. We probably arrived to Kaurava I. And it also seems that we teleported right into the middle of the current military unit there."
The figure started to be irritated by what he heard - "Just what kind of Overlord are you? You go around "acquiring" everything to your collection, while on the other hand you can't keep anyone from messing with anything useful what you have.
"I did revive you and repaired your damaged mind you know." - replied the sentient automata - "At least you would thank me for this."
"I do appreciate it, as long as you will not make us get into unnecessary trouble."
"ATTENTION INTRUDERS!!!" - boomed from the Baneblade with the enormous vox casters - "THIS IS LORD SECTOR GOVERNOR GENERAL OF KAURAVA VANCE STUBBS OF THE KAURAVA CONSERVATOR REGIMENTS!!! EITHER YOU WILL STATE YOUR SUDDEN APPEARANCE AND SURRENDER, OR FEEL THE MIGHT OF A THOUSAND BARRELS!!!
The Governor was dead serious about the thousand barrels. The figure thought that it would be fine to unravel itself.
"I'm going to reveal myself." - whispered the figure to the Overlord.
"Dammit! You want to further complicate things!?"
"It's better than to be reduced to a burning smear or a lump of metal. I may be a Primarch, but I can't take that much as I did in the past, while you will be molten slag before you phase out."
"Very well." - sighted the Overlord - "That is actually a logical argument."
The figure put its hands in the air and made two steps forwards Vance's Baneblade.
"GOVERNOR OF KAURAVA!! - spoke the figure - "WE COME HERE WITH NO HOSTILITIES!!" - it turned its robed head to the Overlord and whispered - "Would you kindly lower that Obliterator of yours?" - it continued as the Necron lowered its staff while it grunted (if what it did could have been called grunting) - "WE WANTED TO DO THIS QUICKLY, YET BECAUSE WE APPEARED HERE OFF COURSE, WE WOULD LIKE YOUR HELP IN RETRIEVING A ARTIFACT ON KAURAVA III BEFORE THERE WILL BE UNFORTUNATE IMPLICATIONS NEAR THE EYE OF TERROR!!!"
"WHY SHOULD WE TRUST SOMEONE WHO IS ACCOMPANIED BY SOME LONG DEAD RUSTBUCKET!!!?" - asked irritatedly the governor through the vox - "GIVE ME AND MY MEN A GOOD REASON NOT TO BLOW YOU UP IN A BARRAGE OF THE EMPEROR'S FURY!!!"
"IF YOU LET ME SHOW MY FACE TO YOU, THEN I WILL GIVE YOU A REASON!!"
"FINE!!! DO SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS AND I WILL ORDER THE GUARDSMEN HERE TO SHOOT!!!"
The figure slowly reached for the clasps of its robe and started to open them. With every opened clasp, parts of the robe started to unravel, showing a green power armour with scaled elements. The Militarium soldiers were starting to lower their weapons as they were becoming more and more stupefied at what they saw. Finally the figure reached to the clasps on its head and removed the robe that concealed its face. The Conservator soldiers were now completely dumstruck to see a Space Marine. However Vance Stubbs realized at who he was looking at, he remembered when he studied the various historical books during his free time and recognized the figure that stood before him.
"NOW GOVERNOR!! NOW DO YOU HAVE A REASON TO TRUST ME!!?"
Meanwhile in the warp near Kaurava:
In the dark, barely lit sanctuary on a enormous Battle Barge, a Word Bearer Chaos Marine walks inside to meet someone that resided there.
"My Lordship." - the Chaos Marine spoke - "We will be arriving to Kaurava in 24 hours."
"Excellent." - sounded the figure in the dark with a deep, cybernetic voice - "For me it was like ten thousand years, but when I finally got used to my current form, then all I wanted is to make the one person pay for the failure that happened to me. Now It's the time to put my plan for vengeance into motion." - as it spoke, the figure moved into the light, revealing itself to be a Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought painted in dark blue and green, bearing the mark of the three-headed Hydra - "Tell the warbands to ready themselves for battle, and after we exit warp space, each warband should attack the planets they chose themselves. But if anyone reports to me where that man is, then nobody should touch him but me. I have unfinished business with him."
"As you wish my Lordship. We'll be awaiting you." - said the Word Bearer as he exited the sanctuary.
The enormous Chaos Contemptor moved to the left from the sanctuary exit towards a gargantuan daemon chain axe that bore the mark of Khorne and said to itself - "I really can't wait to meet you again governor. I will watch as all you hold dear burn away and corrupt in front of you, and you yourself will experience the same pain as I did when I personally put you inside a vacant Helbrute sarcophagus. It will be a fitting price for putting me inside this METAL BOX."
The Governor's palace:
Vance Stubbs saw many things in his carrier from guardsman to governor general, but he never thought that something like that would ever happen to him. A Primarch!? Travelling the galaxy and being accompanied by a Necron!? One of those things would be more than enough to cause a really big commotion on the planet, but two of those all together? It was a miracle that it all went smoothly and in complete secrecy.
The Governor's palace was a enormous, towering place that was piercing to the clouds themselves, and a wonder of Gothic architecture. In fact it was so immense that after taking control of the sector, the governor general didn't know what to do with all that enormous space, so he gave part of it to its bureaucrats so that he would have a personal eye on them. Vance took his guests to the part that he live in with his family. There he took the Primarch Vulkan and Necron Overlord Tranzyn to his personal office while being accompanied by Lord Commissar Doran Farrier, to discuss some things with them.
"Well gentlemen, now let me do a quick recap of what you told me. You used this Necron inter-dimensional thing to instantaneously teleport from the other side of the galaxy, to Kaurava, in order to retrieve a artifact of enormous power, to power up some Void Shields that are on Cadia and many other planets near the Eye of Terror? And apart from this Lord Primarch, you are telling me that Lord Trazyn revived you, and that if you don't get said artifact, then the Eye will expand and swallow the sectors near it?"
"That is correct." - replied the Salamander Primarch.
"I concur." - added the Necron Overlord.
"This is extremely difficult for me to believe in. Not because it is made up, but it's because of how unbelievable it is. I mean, you even had to beat another Necron and his own personal army, even fought a Monolith, in order to use the machine that brought you here. That is something even a Inquisitor would raise a eyebrow."
"All of this did happen Lord Governor." - said Vulkan.
"Believe us, It was difficult for me myself to bring him back to former condition, not to mention enlisting his help with locating the artifact...hmm, by the way, those claws...could I ha..." - BONK!! - "GAH!! Why would you do this to me who brought you back!!?" - asked irritatedly Trazyn.
"We're here to stop the Eye from expanding, not taking valuable from others, which is itself a act that I dislike. Even if you are taking them for your 'collections'." - replied the Primarch.
"Damnable youngling, thinks he's some who knows what, schnazle, dazle, fuzzle, grazzle..." - murmured the Necron.
"Hmmm, I would like to help you greatly with looking for this artifact, yet I do have my own worries about the situation." - said the governor - "How can I be sure that this won't awaken the Necrons that are now burrowed under the tons of dirt on the Cape of Despair."
"Let me ask you this governor. You blew everything here on the Cape, right? Even the power sources? Then there is nothing to worry about them coming back, unless the main power grid deep down the catacombs is activated. This way we'll simply enter the tomb where the Void Enhancer is, and simply take it. And we cannot go anywhere since the Teleporter needs to power up for seven days." - replied Trazyn.
"I still distrust you machine, but if you are indeed telling the truth, then I don't need to worry that the local Necron Lord will raise back his armies to torment the people of the sector. Very well, tomorrow we will go to Kaurava III and help you in finding the artifact."
"That is good to hear." - replied the Primarch - "I only hope that we will be able to get the artifact in time to strengthen the Void Shields." - he then turned to Trazyn - "Trazyn. You are the only one who can access the tomb. Can we count on you if there will be any unexpected occurrences?"
"Why would I?...Oh well, as If I didn't have anything better to do. The teleporter is going to charge itself for several days and my minions won't reach me for quite long, so what else should I do? Very well, I shall do it. But I only do it so that the Void Shields would be active." - replied the grumpy cron.
Suddenly a young administrator barges in, looking at the papers he is holding - "Lord Governor, I beg your pardon for barging in, but Space Marines of the Storm Giants and Black Dragons Chapters appeared in the sector and are asking if they could resupply. Also Lady Marianne called, she is going to be boarding the transport back to Kaurava I tomorrow sin..." - at that moment the administrator raised his head from the papers and saw the governor, the Lord Commissar, and both the Primarch and Necron Overlord were looking at him completely motionless. What actually made him speechless was actually Trazyn being one of the people in the room that stood out too much - "...I ~~~~ think I will come back later..." - with this the administrator exited the room. After a couple of seconds of awkwardly looking at the door, Vance Stubbs finally replied:
"Well, that was unanticipated. Well then gentlemen, you can feel yourselves at home for the time being. I will arrange rooms for the night...that is if Lord Trazyn needs to sleep."
"I do need to recharge my batteries from time to time. Although Necrons are powered by a immensely powerful source of energy, we don't have unlimited energy reserves. We can move on without recharging, but if we don't have a source from which we can directly recharge, then we need to recharge every couple of days for at least ten hours." - said Trazyn, although Vulkan knew well the he was lying in plain sight.
"Very well then. If you want, you can look around the palace. When the time comes I will call you. In the meantime I must take in the Storm Giants and Black Dragons Captains and ask them for the specific things they want. Until then we'll meet at the dining table for supper." - replied the governor as he left the office while Lord Commissar Dorian followed him.
"You know what Trazyn? You really shouldn't have told him this." - said the Primarch to the Overlord.
"Nonsense, I had them completely enchanted. If you had that much experience as me, then you would have entangled them like I did." - said the Overlord, so full of himself.
"The Necron was lying." - said Dorian to the governor as they were heading to meet with the Astartes Captains.
"I know that Commissar Dorian." - replied Vance - "Tell the Vindicares to keep a eye on him. Also tell the men and women in the Dusalla Precinct to strengthen the guards around the Baneblades and other vehicles. If there is something that we don't need at the moment, then it is a aeons-old kleptomaniac robotic xeno."
"I'd really appreciate if you Trazyn wouldn't try to 'acquire' anything from the Governor General. We are his guests in the end, and doing something like that would be unacceptable." - the Primarch lectured the ancient Necron.
"Why would I take anything from him? I would only take that what would be fitting for my collection. That's all." - replied Trazyn, as the two figures were walking through the hallway of the palace's governmental quarters, into the main hall.
"Whatever that is, stealing is something I disagree with."
"Ow, come on Lord Salamander. I don't steal. I simply think that the things would look better if they are preserved as part of my collection."
"Including the Catachans, Space Marines, and many other humans, as well as aliens? Remember our deal? I help you while you free them after all of this is over."
"*sight* I remembered that part. Just feel grateful that I'm not like that one piece of scrap that has the tantrum of a seven year old br..." - BONK!! - "Who in the name of the Dynasties hits me with...!!?" - Trazyn knelled down to pick up the item that he was hit with - "...a BALL!!?"
The two figures looked around and saw two little children standing behind one of the columns. They were curiously looking at the black skinned giant and the ancient machine-man.
"Trazyn." - said the Primarch - "Let me do the talking." - The giant slowly moved a step towards the children. While doing so, he moved the Necron behind him - "You don't need to be afraid of us. And that skeletal automata is completely harmless."
The little boy was first to move from behind the column.
"You're huge." - said the little boy. The other child, a girl, followed him. Supposedly the two must have been the governor's children.
"Well, they always tell me that. Tell me, why are the two of you so curious about us?" - asked Vulkan.
"Daddy always gets so many guests." - spoke out the girl - "We'd always secretly look at whom daddy is taking in. Last time, it was a man nearly as huge as you, only with red robes and a large I."
Large I? They must have saw one of those Inquisitors that he heard of. The Primarch quickly deduced that if Governor Stubbs was taking in a Inquisitor, then only to make a deal with him. That would actually cause trouble for him and Trazyn if the Inquisitors would be snooping around them... Finally Trazyn spoke.
"You know what children? I don't have much to say, but my giant friend here knows many wonderful stories that you would like."
"Trazyn. What are you up..." - "REALLY!?" - interrupted the children in unison - "Tell us, tell us, oh please." - said the boy - "Yes, tell us." - said the little girl.
The Primarch was troubled. He simply didn't know what to do in this case.
"Well...ekhm..." - Vulkan couldn't spit it out as the children grabbed his power armored hand, pulling him towards the hall to the hanging gardens.
"If it goes for me, then I will go sightseeing, while you Vulcan can go and have fun telling stories to the kids." - If he were still made flesh, then Trazyn would smile at the prospect of seeing the Primarch getting dragged off by the children. He knew that he couldn't say 'no' to them, thus leaving the Overlord to do anything without being lectured or opposed without the Primarch being around.
Vulkan on the other hand knew that if he weren't around the Overlord, then things would spiral down from already complicated, to beyond complex.
"Come on, tell us those stories you know." - said the girl.
"The Gardens would be a good place for you to tell those stories. Come on." - added the boy.
"Awww, alright." - said the Salamanders Primarch as he surrendered. He only looked back with a angry look at the Overlord as if he was laughing at him, and turned back with a cheerful expression towards the children. As they finally disappeared in the exit to the gardens, Trazyn was free to do what he wanted.
"Now let us see those so called Baneblades." - muttered Tranzyn as he opened a Tesseract portal to the Dusalla Precinct.
Meanwhile Stubbs was attending to the meeting with the Captains Barak of the Black Dragons and Varland of the Storm Giants who were nearly as large as Vulcan himself. Both requested the governor if he could give them supplies.
"I don't see any problem with that. State only what do you specifically need. I want to avoid giving you something that you would find useless."
"Everything would be useful from you governor." - said the Storm Giant Captain, his ebony skinned face looking stoically.
"After our joint campaign against the Ork menace a few sectors away, we suffered casualties in equipment. Mostly tanks and weaponry." - added the Black Dragons Captain, his enormous bone crest sprouting from his head like some kind of crown.
"I really don't see any problems with that. Kaurava I's industry will provide you with all the things you listed here. For the time being, both marine strike forces are free to visit any of the planets, since both of you are staying here for three days."
"Very well Governor." - replied Varland - "My men would use a good stretching on a planet."
"During that time I'll make my men train in the local forests of that planet you call Kaurava II." - added Barak - "It will be a good for my men."
"Well, now that we have it settled...gentlemen, excuse me for a moment, for I have another urgent matter to attend to. I leave administrator Selim as a liaison between the two of you and me." - Vance pointed at the administrator that barged a moment ago when the governor discussed matters with Vulcan and Trazyn. - "Thus we will see each other when you'll need something personally from me. We'll be in contact." - as he said this, Stubbs exited through the door.
"He must be really busy that governor of yours administrator Selim." - spoke Varland.
"Oh he is a very busy man." - replied Selim - "After all, it was thanks to his reforms that the Kaurava system rose from being a backwater sector into a thriving centre on a economic, military and social level. The greatest proof was the entire Campaign to re-take Kaurava. The Governor General turned the remaining Conservator Regiments from historically terrible formations, to a force to be reckoned with."
"Hmmm, seems that he's a governor that actually does something. Usually the governors I met where either corrupt, full of themselves, arrogant, decadent, or all those together." - Barak replied - "The people of this sector must be lucky that someone like him is in charge."
"It is generally accepted that if it wasn't for the Governor General, then the future of the Sector would have been way different. As your liaison, I also am to give you any information needed to you."
"I would be interested in that Kaurava Campaign you mentioned." - replied Varland.
"If that's the case, then I'd also like to take a look at it." - added Barak.
"Then follow me gentlemen." - said Selim while opening the doors to the hall that connected the governor's quarters to the railway train to the main library of Kaurava I.
"And that's how I met my father, the Emperor, met with my sons, the Salamanders, and joined the Great Crusade."
"Wooooow." - both children opened their mouths from the sheer amount of unbelievable things they heard from the Primarch.
"You are as incredible as father. And he too fought the Dark Eldar." - the boy named Lukas, as he presented himself to Vulkan.
"Right!" - added the girl whose name was Alexandra - "Daddy actually beat them very hard, as well as the many other strange warriors."
"Really? Then your father must be a great general if he defeated that many a foe." - Before he got to Kaurava with Trazyn, Vulkan studied about the sector itself. Vance Stubbs is revered along with his men as heroes of Kaurava, and is considered a incredibly competent governor that puts both his men and the civilians above anything else, even personal glory. That and how he actually turned the sector into what it is now made the Primarch to respect him greatly. Not to mention that he defeated a Traitor Marine Commander powered by one of the Chaos Gods in a one-on-one duel made him look powerful. And if it goes for Tranzyn himself...he did wonder if he wasn't doing anything that would upset the situation they are finding themselves - "By the way, where is your mother? I did meet your father, but I didn't meet Lady Stubbs."
"Mother went to Kaurava IV to participate in the opening ceremony of a new schola progenium and a couple of other places that she invested her own money." - replied Alexandra.
"We already miss her. It was seven days since she left for the planet." - added Lukas.
"Hmmm, I did hear that she was going to come back tomorrow, so you will see her very soon."
"Really!? That's awesome! You heard that Alexandra!?"
The children were happy to hear about their mother's return when the Primarch told them about what he heard from Vance's administrator.
Looking into the horizon and seeing the gleaming white spires and towers that dwarfed over Kaurav City, Vulkan saw the testament of Vance Stubbs his men. He learned from the informations Trazyn gave him was that every single one of those structures was not only places of work and living, but also monuments dedicated to every battle the Conservators of the 252nd took part in. And from the number of them, there must have been dozens upon dozens of them. The Primarch really started to think highly of the governor...
Meanwhile in the Dussalla Precinct:
It was laughably easy to enter undetected. As he moved using his Veil of Shadows, Trazyn moved through the shaded areas of the precinct's structures. It was late evening, and during that time most Guardsmen were off partying in the local bars. The Necron Overlord used this to sneak past the small number of guards that were looking after the Baneblades. When he reached the enormous garages, he went inside to find himself among the mighty super-heavy vehicles that Kaurava produced yearly.
"Beautiful. Look at the colourful patterns and personalizations. Not only those famed Baneblades, but a lot of other patterns are also there. Splendid. They will look fine in my collection."
As Trazyn was about to put all the super-heavy tanks into his portable pocket dimension, he suddenly felt that something was strange about the place. Why weren't there more Guardsmen guarding the machines? Why were they standing there like that unprotected? As he touched one of them, he knew immediately what was wrong.
"That's not metal." - he said to himself - "It's...WOOD!!? They made a wooden Baneblade!? Don't tell me..." - As he ran around from vehicle to vehicle, he discovered that every single one of them was made out of wood.
"Where are the actual tanks!!?" - he proclaimed. As he irritatedly walked to see if at least one was real, when he heard something beeping from the nearest wooden imitation.
"What's that sou..."
Before he could finish uttering his sentence, the Overlord was caught in the blast. The super-heavy vehicles were not only made out of wood. They were packed heavily with potent explosives. As the the imitation exploded, the chain reaction that was triggered by it caused the other to explode violently. In the end the entire garage exploded with such force that it seemed as if it was made out of cardboard. As the gigantic ball of fire flew into the air, a pair of Felinid Snipers watched from safe distance the entire spectacle.
"Puss 1 to Gatekeeper. Catball has been spat out."
"Gatekeeper to Puss 1. Message acknowledged." - said the Stormtrooper stationing on a ridiculously long watchtower - "Gatekeeper to Curious Crow. Puss 1 says that the Catball has been spat out."
"Message acknowledged." - said the Vindicare that observed the explosion through his Exitus Scope, somewhere on the border between Kaurav City and the Precinct - "Curious Crow to Aviary Keeper. The Catball has been spat out."
"Message received and acknowledged." - said Lord Commissar Doran Farrier sitting in a Valkyrie over Kaurav City - "Aviary Keeper to Happy Bishop. The Catball has been spat out."
"Happy Bishop to Aviary Keeper. Message received and acknowledged." - replied Vance Stubbs while walking through the palace halls.
It was a good thing to distribute the super-heavies all around Kaurava and hide them in underground garages. He wouldn't repeat the same mistake as happened twelve years ago when he send out those other 100 Baneblades to another sector, only for them to suddenly disappear. He also thought that after this the Necron Overlord would learn not to think of him and his soldiers as fools.
"He picked up a Chaos Lord by stabbing him with his claws into his chest and threw him tenths of meters in the air?" - asked quizzically Captain Barak. He saw many who stood against the Forces of Chaos, but someone going one-on-one against a Chaos Lord with strong leanings towards Khorne? Even the video that was taken from one of the Guardsmen that proved this still made him look at it in unbelief.
"That is indeed something that would require a suspension of disbelieve." - added Captain Varland - "Added that he didn't have those visible bionics of his at the time. He got them ironically after the conflict when he pulled one of his men away from a mine-blast when they were sweeping the area around the Iseult Peninsula for remaining traitors."
The two Captains studied the records about the Kaurava conflict. They didn't get the cut down version available to the average citizens, instead they getting the full report on what have happened. Defeating two better equipped Imperial forces, two Eldar factions, a Ork Waaagh!, a Tau expedition, a entire Necron Tomb World, and the aforementioned Chaos Space Marines? The only ones that survived were the two Eldar leaders, the Ork Warboss and the Blood Ravens' Captain despite the serious wounds. The Governor's reforms and leadership of the 252nd must have been truly extreme.
"I must say, I have now gained true respect to the Governor. Not to mention the way he treats both his men and the civilians. He's indeed a minority among other Planetary Governors."
"Well brother Varland. Seems that we both think alike in this case. Even the way he treats abhumans is something worth mentioning."
"Lords Astartes." - spoke Selim while he entered the study room - "Do you need any more information?"
"It won't be necessary administrator." - replied Varland - "We'll be already leaving."
The dining room was a large room painted with a combination black and gold. It was a separate construction outside the palace and its walls had large windows build into them. Imperial Aquila's were present the walls, and in the farthest back of the room, was the symbol of the Conservator Regiments.
Vulkan found out from one of the servants that this room used to be much larger and filled with luxuries when the previous governor resided. After his disappearance and the end of the Kaurava Campaign, the Governor General ordered most of the luxurious elements to be removed and the room shrunk to its current state. It was done so because it reminded too much of the incompetence of the previous ruling caste of the sector.
"I hope you are enjoying yourself Lord Primarch." - Vance Stubbs was sitting at the very end of the table, under the symbol of the Regiments - "Back then Kaurava was a backwater system that could have been much better managed if it wasn't for the previous rulers. They abandoned the system at the beginning of the conflict. Turning Kaurava into what it is now was a gruelling task."
"I can imagine that the nobility wasn't satisfied with the change of order." - replied Vulkan sitting next to him, while Lukas and Alexandra sat on the opposite site of the table, also next to their father.
"Right there. After the Kaurava conflict, some of the more arrogant nobles tried to make a coup. They later paid for this dearly. But let us talk about something different. Tomorrow we will go to Kaurava III to help you with your business. Keeping this secret from the Inquisition and the two Marine strike forces that currently arrived won't be difficult If we do it silently."
At this moment the servants entered with the supper. The dishes were small, yet the number of them would satisfy all four of them.
"Now then, let us feast." - commented Stubbs, and the supper began. A short moment later, the doors opened. It was Tranzyn who entered, all covered in soot and shrapnel. If the Overlord was made flesh, then he would have had a dissatisfied look. He went up to Vulkan and sat next to him. The children were holding back from breaking in laugh as they looked at the damaged Overlord.
"Trazyn. There is fire on your head." - spoke out the Primarch.
Trazyn only turned his head to look at him, then turned it back and squished the flame with his metallic fingers.
"I hope Lord Trazyn that you enjoyed your stay as much as Lord Vulcan did." - asked the governor.
"I do." - Replied the Overlord - "I did stretch myself while sightseeing. I may say the experience nearly...ripped me apart." - as he said this, the Necron's right arm suddenly fell on the floor.
When hearing this, Vulkan and Stubbs exchanged looks with each other. Both the Imperials were smiling internally at what happened to the Necron Overlord.
Meanwhile in the Warp, inside the sanctuary:
"My Lord." - spoke the Word Bearer - "12 hours till we exit the warp."
"I can't wait till this happens." - the cybernetic voice boomed from the Chaos Contemptor - "With the informations we gathered from our spies in the sector, we can strike precisely in places that are most vulnerable to the Militarium forces. Now with these preparations, the fewlz will pay for killing the blossom of Chaos that was once there. I will join the warbands in a moment."
"As you wish." - replied the Word Bearer and left the sanctuary.
"Well governor, I hope you are prepared for what I've planned. It's not going to be like last time..." - and the Chaos Contemptor started to laugh.
Morning on Kaurava I was beautiful. It was summer on the planet, and the sky was cloudless. The sun was rising, illuminating the towers and spires of glistering white that dwarfed over the city of Kaurav. The people rose up from their beds early so to go to work.
"Well men, that's how it looks." - Vance Stubbs addressed his men on the landing pad outside the palace.
"Permission to ask questions Governor General." - asked one of the Sergeants.
"Permission granted." - replied Stubbs.
"We're going to escort one of THE Primarchs and one of those rustbuckets that tried to wipe out Kaurava once. Will it be really that difficult to get to that strange artifact they are looking for?"
"It won't be hard at all Sergeant. Overlord Trazyn knows the location of the artifact. We only have to take them to the coordinates that he gave and guard him until he opens the entrance to the artifact."
"Won't that awaken the Necrons that we defeated twelve years ago?" - asked the Sergeant. The men behind him already started to have shivers, especially the veterans of the Kaurava Conflict. These people knew how deadly the undead machines were, especially when they fought them on their own turf.
"I can assure you that the tomb we are heading for is beyond Necron activity. Added that we deactivated their subterranean power-sources back then, so no Necron will raise...unless we re-activate the source manually, which will not happen."
The soldiers were relieved to hear that there will be no Necron menace coming back.
"Are we ready to go Governor?" - Vulkan approached from the landing pad exit, accompanied by Trazyn. The Guardsmen were astonished by the sheer size of the Primarch. While others looked with intense suspicion on the Necron Overlord that was by his side.
"We are ready to roll out any moment. We were waiting for you."
"Good. Then there is no time to be lost. As we are speaking right now, the Void Shield arrays around the Eye of Terror are slowly weakening with every moment. We have to reach the tomb as fast as possible if we wa..." - BONK!! Something fell from the sky - "WHAT THE...!!? WHO THREW THI...!!? Oh no." - What happened later was something that was not supposed to happen, yet it did. The object that fell from above, probably from one of the palace rooms, was something that even Tranzyn himself was horrified at. A EMP Grenade fell down on the Overlord's head, and bounced off it right next to him on the ground. Normal Necrons would have had their circuitry fried in a instant when affected by a strong electromagnetic shockwave. Necrons with more advanced bodies could take more punishment, and Overlords were capable of outperforming the lesser Necrons. Yet even a powerful EMP shock would be sufficient to disable such entities point blank. If a Necron was in such a state, then he'd be immediately phased out for restoration. Trazyn wasn't that lucky. The grenade detonated and enveloped the Necron in a electormagnetic pulse. The shockwave was so powerful that it made the Overlord go haywire.
"I COME IN PEACE." - ZAAAP!! - "MY TOAST IS...TOAST,TOAST." - ZAAAP!! - "I WATCHED C-BEAMS GLITTER IN THE DARK NEAR THE TANNHAUSER GATE." - ZAAAP!! - "IN THE END, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE." - ZAAAP!! - "WHAT IS A MAN? A MISERABLE PILE OF SECRETS!" - ZAAAP!!
After uttering the last word, the Overlord collapsed to the ground, his emerald green eyes turning topaz yellow.
Everyone around wondered what just happened.
"What the...who threw this grenade!?" - asked the Governor as he used his targeting optics to zoom in on where the grenade came from. He immediately spots who threw the grenade, as there are two very familiar faces with shocked expressions. The governor immediately activated the vox system on the Valkyrie - "LUKAS AND ALEXANDRA STUBBS!!! DOWN!!! IMMEDIATELY!!!" - called the angered Stubbs his progeny.
Meanwhile Vulkan quickly approached the zapped Trazyn to see what could he do. The Sergeant quickly asked the Primarch on the situation - "Why is he not responding to anything? I'm no Tech-Priest, but shouldn't he phase out back to his tomb or whatever?"
"Normally he would." - replied Vukan - "But since there is no Tomb Ship of his own in the system, and his forces are on the other side of the Ultima Segmentum, he's locked in this state until internal auto repairs restore him in a week. If it wasn't for that, then he would have already phased out for immediate repairs. And without him, we cannot open the tomb on Kaurava III, as only he knows how to open it."
"Soooo...things became even more complex?" - asked the Sergeant.
In the Warp:
"My Lord. Thirty minutes till the fleet exits warp space." - replied the Word Bearer to the Chaos Contemptor - "The warbands are ready to make immediate planetfalls after exiting.
"These thirty minutes are stretching out too much. But I will wait this long. For long have I planned this vengeance of mine. Chaos shall not be denied." - boomed the cybernetic voice - "Prepare for battle."
"As you wish."
While the Primarch and the Guardsmen tried to do something about Trazyn's unfortunate state, Governor General Vance Stubbs was at the moment giving his children a lengthy lecture on taking out their father's weaponry without his permission.
"THIS IS NOT BLOODY CADIA WHERE THEY GIVE CHILDREN AT THE AGE OF TWELVE LASGUNS!! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!? WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO YOU!? WHAT IF IT PREMATURELY DETONATED!? WHAT IF IT WAS A FRAG GRENADE!? YOU THINK IT WAS FUN TO THROW SOMETHING LIKE THAT!? THAT THE PIN FELL OUT WHEN YOU THREW IT, AND THE VERY THROW WAS ALSO ACCIDENTAL!? MAYBE YOU ARE TELLING THE TRUTH, BUT IT DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT YOU TOOK SOMETHING FROM MY PRIVATE ARMOURY!! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO JUSTIFY YOUR BEHAVIOUR?" - asked the furious father.
"We're sorry." - Lukas and Alexandra replied in unison.
"SORRY WON'T REPAIR THE DAMAGE YOU TWO DONE! WAIT TILL YOUR MOTHER FINDS OUT WHAT YOU DID AND...!" - "LORD GOVERNOR!! LORD GOVERNOR!!!" - boomed a terrified voice through Stubbs' personal comm-link.
"Excuse me, but I'm in the middle of scolding my children at the moment, so would you kindly call back in a moment administrator Selim?"
"IT CANNOT BE DONE!!! IT'S URGENT!!! THE GREAT ENEMY CAME BACK TO KAURAVA!!! BLACK DRAGON AND STORM GIANTS SPACE MARINES ALREADY ENGAGED CHAOS FORCES ON KAURAVA II AND III!!!"
After hearing the words 'Great Enemy' and 'Chaos Forces' in the same sentence, Governor General Vance Stubbs turned pale. He thought that the madness and corruption was ridden away from Kaurava, only to come back in greater numbers. The sector was turned into a battlefield again.
"Children." - he finally spoke out - "I'll call in a squad to take you to the nearest bunker along with the civilian population. Forget about any punishment....your father must go and do what he has to do...so keep safe. Until we meet again...hold fast."
Lukas and Alexandra at first didn't know what made their father suddenly look like white marble, but they knew that if they were ordered to go to the nearest bunker, then only when there were invaders attacking Kaurava. When the squad arrived, the Guardsmen took the children with them. Vance ran up to Vulkan and his men.
"Lord Primarch, I think that the situation has complicated even further."
"Chaos happened. Kaurava system is besieged by Chaos Forces...again. Listen, if you want that artifact of yours, then we need to hurry."
After hearing the word Chaos, the men looked at each other in shock. Vulkan was calm and collected. Indeed, the Great Enemy complicated things further.
"Lord Primarch, is there a way to even remotely revive Trazyn?" - asked Stubbs.
"There is, but you won't like it." - replied Vulkan.
"The situation is already beyond critical when Chaos is involved, so no matter what you'll suggest I'm all ears."
"In order to revive Trazyn instantly and get the artifact, we're going to need access to Necron energies that will supercharge his auto-repair system."
"Sweet Emperor..., Lord Vulkan, please don't tell me that..." - "YES." - interrupted the Primarch - "We'll have to reactivate the subterranean power-source...risking to re-awake the Kauravan Necrons."
At this moment Stubbs felt as his bionic jaw dropped and crushed the concrete under it. He spent a lot of time fighting those accursed automatons and now he'll have to awaken them back. As if his having his home system overrun by Chaos wasn't already bad enough.
"Lord Primarch, we'll need things to get straight. If we do this, we'll have either two enemies barging into us, or we'd have them at their throats. This is insane, but...we'll have to take the risk." - said the governor sternly - "I however would like you to lead the defence of Kaurava along with me. A mighty leader such as you would boost greatly the morale of my men."
"What about Trazyn and the artifact?"
"I didn't wanted to do this, but I'm going to need to contact these two..." - as he said it, Stubbs called Lord Commissar Doran Farrier - "Lord Commissar, I'll be needing these two."
On the other side of the line, Lord Commissar Doran was already engaged along with his men in combat in the Shakun Coast - "NO. YOU WOULDN'T GOVERNOR GENERAL." - said Dorian in utter shock as he rammed his Powerfist into a Cultist's face.
"Yes." - Stubbs replied with pain - "Patch me through Stormtrooper Sergeants Duke and Stone."
Meanwhile on Kaurava IV, between the Iseult and Morholt borders :
"CHAAAAAAAARGE!!!..." - BOOOOOOOM!!! - "AH MAH SPLEEEEN!!" - cried out the cultists as they were obliterated.
"Fight on soldiers of the Imperium!!" - cried out Marianne Stubbs as she aimed with her hellpistol for the nearest cultist - "Get those civilians to the Chimeras and drive to the Webway Gate!!"
"But Lady Marianne," - said one of the Stormtroopers - "our orders were to get YOU to the Webway Gate along WITH the civilians, not the civilians themselves!"
"I'm no stranger to war trooper. My father taught me well how to fight since I was twelve, and I'm not going to abandon my husband's people!"
"Cadian upbringing..." - silently grunted the Stormtrooper. No wonder, since the Lady herself was the daughter of a Imperial General known for his GRIT. And said general was his own Governor General's father in law.
"Aim for the heavy weapon's teams!! Chaos Marines to the left!! FIRE CONTROL!! INITIATE STRAFING RUN ON THE COORDINATES I GAVE!!!" - after crying out the last two sentences, Marauder Bombers flew from left and right deploying their payload. The Chaos Forces were instantly wiped out.
"Now men, let's show those heretics what happens when they mess with the wrong Guardsmen!" - and later she added silently - "And a angry housewife for keeping her away from her family."
"The situation is peaceful for now." - said Sergeant Duke as he shot a cultist with his golden bolt pistol.
"Well that's what you get when faced with three hundred cultists. Incredible that they appeared out of nowhere behind us." - replied Sergeant Stone while he was slitting another cultist's throat with his knife.
Among the Stormtroopers in the Conservator Regiments there were few troublemakers that caused problems. Among them were for example Sergeants Duke and Stone. Both were known to go against orders and apply their own horribly unorthodox methods of fighting. Among the Militarium Tempestus members, these soldiers were considered as something of a anomaly that required disciplinary actions if it wasn't for one redeeming element that outweighed the amount of downsides...they were this good. In fact they were too good at what they did.
"Sergeants Duke and Stone!" - a Stormtrooper came - "Message from the Governor General."
"What does our GLORIOUS LEADER want?" - asked sarcastically Duke.
"Whoa, whoa, lets be serious here Duke." - replied Stone - "OK, spill it out."
"The Governor General wants you to make a quick delivery. He chose you two because you are the only ones who can pull that off. You are to go to Kaurav City and meet the Governor for further informations."
"As if we weren't busy already...let us go Stone, we have work to do." - and with this, Duke and Stone went to their Valkyrie.
Cerulea on Kaurava II:
The situation was extremely dire as the Chaos Forces stuck the place. Civilians that didn't catch up to the shelters were forced to run to the Rokclaw Mountains that were turned into a heavily fortified bastion by the Conservators. Entire caravans were moving there while the combined forces of both Militarium personnel and the Space Marines kept them safe from Chaos raids...still they couldn't be everywhere despite their best efforts.
"FRESH VICTIMS!!! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!!!" - called out a boisterous Khornate Champion as he charged with his squad, spearheading the attack on the armed caravan while a large force of cultists and two Hellbrutes followed. The Guardsmen tried to hold them off, yet they fell under the Chain Axes and massed stubber fire. Even when the Guardsmen fought the Khornate tide valiantly, they were loosing ground. Yet they wouldn't let the traitors and heretics get to the civilians inside the Chimeras.
"STRIKE FROM THE SKIES!!!" - roared Captain Barak as he deep struck at the line of cultists with his Dragon Claws, literally throwing them into disarray by the sheer shockwave. A few seconds after this, two drop pods landed. One of which crushed a Helbrute that was unfortunate to be caught by it.
"OPEN FIRE!!!" - cried out Captain Varland as he and a other Storm Giants fired their Melta Guns at the remaining Helbrute, while the bolter wielding ones fired on the cultists.
"Damn loyalists appearing out of nowhere. All squads, target the Space Ma...GUAH!!" - the Champion was cut suddenly as Barak rammed his adamantine claw up his chest. Later the Black Dragon proceeded to decapitate the Berserker as did the rest of the Dragon Claws did to the other Khornate Marines.
The Chaos Forces were quickly obliterated with the teamwork of both Space Marine squads.
"That one was closest." - said Barak as he cleaned his blooded claws - "Already twenty raids and they are not giving up on the civilians."
"Damn right." - replied Varland - "If we didn't reinforce the Militarium troops then the planet would've turned into a bloodbath. These attacks are not random. They are deliberately targeting the civilians. GUARDSMAN!!" - turning towards the surviving Guardsmen - "How is the situation?"
"Terrible Lord Astartes. The Chaos Forces have overrun the outpost on Cerulea and slaughtered the forces there. They used foul sorcery and opened portals from multiple directions, overwhelming the soldiers that guarded the outpost. We were escorting these civilians to the Rockclaw bastion. I heard they already rolled out the super-heavies to battle the threat."
"That's some good news." - replied Varland - "Listen we'll help you escort the civilians. Brothers!" - he turned to his fellow Storm Giants - "Get the wounded on the Chimeras! We're taking them to Rockclaw Bastion!"
"We'll go and act as the Vanguard." - added Barak - "Better for us to scout out the area rather than get into another ambush."
"Alright. Just don't get too f..." - Varland paused as he heard something. Something big was coming here - "You listening?"
"AND HOW!" - replied Barak.
The two Space Marines and their squads turned to from where the Chaos Marines and cultists came out. The Marines and surviving Militarium forces braced themselves to face a new, more severe threat...
"What in the..." - Barak couldn't finish when a deafening roar came out. The source appeared a few seconds later, towering over the Imperials.
"A SOUL GRINDER!!" - shouted Varland.
"YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS!!?"
"I MET ONE TWENTY YEARS AGO!! THESE THINGS ARE A FORCE THAT IS NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH!!"
The enormous daemon engine roared again while dispatching two Storm Giants and three Dragon Claws that tried to stop it.
"OPEN FIRE!!" - shouted Varland as his marines started to shoot, yet only the meltas were effective, but didn't do any visible damage to it. The marines were in big trouble. The daemon engine looked as if it was amused by their struggle. As it readied itself to strike, a Valkyrie flew over it. A strange figure in black robes dropped from the aircraft behind the Grinder, wielding something that looked like a enormous Melta Cannon. Before the Chaos machine turned to face the new adversary, the figure fired its Melta Cannon right into the lower part of it. The Soul Grinder screamed in pain as its half melted away, only to fall to the ground. Before it could react, the figure fired another salvo right into its face, killing it for good.
The Marines, Guardsmen and terrified civilians were stupefied by how fast the monstrosity died by the stranger's Melta Cannon. These things were built into Devil Dog variants of the Hellhound. That proved the robed figure had immense physical strength to carry something like that. The Marines themselves started to feel something inside of them. Something like a mild scratching to the part of their body where their progenoids were located.
"H-how did...w-who...w-what..." - Varland was completely speechless.
"Here too." - added Barak with a stoic-like face, trying to hold his jaw in place from falling to the ground.
"The Governor General send me to help you and the Guardsmen to get the civilians to the Rockclaw Bastion." - replied the robed figure - "The place is literally crawling with Chaos Forces, so we need to get there as fast as possible."
"Wait a moment. Who are you that you suddenly make a grand entrance?" - replied the already irritated Barak.
"Younglings like you...I'll show you with whom you are dealing." - after uttering this, the figure put away its cannon and started to remove the clasps form the head part of the robe. The marines didn't knew who was the figure after it revealed its face, but Varland immediately recognized the person standing in front of them.
"It-it cannot be!!" - uttered Varland in unbelief - "IT CANNOT BE!! YOU DISAPPEARED!!"
"What!? What is it Varland!?" - asked Barak.
"That figure...IT'S VULKAN!!!"
At that moment all the marines turn their helmeted faces towards the Salamanders Primarch.
"Seems somebody saw my sketch in the history books..."
The situation turned complex. Chaos Forces appeared out of nowhere, laying siege to the Jalaganda Lowlands, Kaurav City, and the Sama District. Fortunately for that last one, the Ecclesiarchy was here along with its small convent of Argent Shroud Sisters of Battle. After the Kaurava Conflict twelve years ago, General Vance Stubbs returned the planets of Kaurava to the Imperium. If there was one thing he regretted was, then it were his decision of attacking the Battle Sisters of the Sacred Rose. He knew well that no matter how much he and his men would repent, he'd be put to the torch (as well any other the Sisters deemed corrupt). For that, he ordered to attack the Sama District and defeated the Sisters under the command of Canoness Selena Agna. Even after justifying his actions, Vance Stubbs felt void that he was forced to do this, so he made the Sama District a place of pilgrimage for Sister Convents with the blessing of the Ecclesiarchy. Additional firepower was always welcomed...
"GIVE ME THE STATUS ON THOSE MANTICORE MISSILES!!" - roared Vance Stubbs through the vox.
"Manticore Missile Launchers from 10 to 31 ready to fire." - replied fire control.
"TARGET ON THE COORDINATES GIVEN!!! FIRE!!!!"
Moments later, the area beyond Kaurav City was blown to kingdom come as hordes of ravaging Cultists and Daemons tried to breach in.
"Sir! Sama District is being attacked by Chaos Armored Columns. The Argent Shroud Sororitas and our men need backup!" - a voice in the vox spoke.
"Initiate protocol 15-49-36! I'm authorizing use of the super-heavies stationed under the main Cathedral!"
Vance Stubbs was in the heat of battle. It was years since he exercised the same skills he did duduringhe Kaurava conflict. This time however he didn't have a army that had to be reformed in a instant, yet a elite force armed to the teeth.
"Sir." - a voice came from behind Stubbs - "We came." - it was both Sergeant Duke and Sergeant Stone.
"Ah, gentlemen." - said Vance after he turned to face them - "Glad you came. I hope you didn't have any difficulties."
"Nah Governor." - replied Stone - "Only a 'few' were pestering us."
"Well, let us go. I have a very special mission for the two of you..."
"Wait, wait, what?" - asked Duke - "Governor, I kinda lost it after presenting us with that pile'o'junk here." - point on the haywired Trazyn.
"Right Governor. It's kinda hard to believe that a Primarch and this rustbucket appeared in the sector for some strange business about some artifact." - added Stone.
"I know soldiers that the situation is bizarre to you, but even so, you should trust me." - replied Stubbs - "This Necron knows the location of a artifact that will make it difficult for the 13th Black Crusade to advance further into the Imperium. Yet in order to gain it, Overlord Trazyn must be revived by having him gain contact with the subterranean power sources the Necrons erected on Kaurava III. Which means that they'll be back."
"You know GLORIOUS LEADER that you and us will be court-martialed on the spot if anyone will hear about this. But...I am a equal opportunity ass kicker. If that will help the Imperium, then you can count me in."
"Count me in too Governor. Give a man a bullet and he'll want a gun. Give a man a gun and he'll be giving away the bullets. It's not like we don't get the opportunity to save the Imperium."
"Glad to hear it. Before you go I'll let you select a squad to accompany you."
"Don't need to governor. If the two of us think well, then these three may join us when we arrive at Kaurava III." - replied Duke to the Governor. Vance Stubbs knew well what people Duke meant...
Near Rockclaw mountains:
"We're near. Keep moving." - said Varland. It was already hours since the last Chaos attack. If it wasn't for the Primarch blasting that Soul Grinder to kingdom come, then they wouldn't reach that far. The only thing was the strange scratching, something of a resonance, in the place where the progenoid glands were situated. Not only he, but the other marines, including Barak's Black Dragons, felt the same.
"This day keeps getting more interesting. " - said Barak - "First a sudden Chaos incursion out of nowhere, now a Primarch pops out to save us. I'd call that the Emperor smiled upon us."
"Believe me Astartes, I myself didn't thought that the Great Enemy would appear in the sector. Something must have lead the Chaos Marines back here, given that a Alpha Legion warband once besieged the system." - Vulkan knew well that there must've been someone that wanted to see the sector burn and conquered. Given the past conflict, it may be given that the forces of Chaos wanted revenge for Stubbs defeating them. But who would be so desperate to go to such great lengths?
"Well, thank you for saving the people and us." - replied Barak.
"My pleasure. You marines do care for the Kauravans? My sons would see in you kindred spirits."
"I don't like to be flattered. Just doing my duty."
"Me too. I and my brothers do what is right." - added Varland.
"Still the Salamanders would consider you that."
The two commanders didn't want to admit that they really cared for the civilians and Guardsmen, especially the Black Dragons, but that was already in their nature. As the convoy got closer to Rockclaw Bastion, night was slowly engulfing the side of Kaurava III on which they were...
Near the Jalaganda Lowlands:
"This is Sergeant Stone to Jagalanda control. Requesting permission to fly through the Webway Gate."
"Permission granted. We were already given the message that the two of you are on a mission from the Governor." - replied the officer through the vox.
"That was easy." - said Duke - "Still dunno how to feel by having to haul this rustbucket. If we are to get that Trazyn revived, then we have to assemble our team again. Hope Lieutenant Kane will join us too."
"We'll see after we get there. Now lets focus on what is now."
In that moment the Valkyrie was heading towards the Webway Gate. When the aircraft was near enough, it suddenly disappeared inside the ancient Eldar structure. On the inside, the Webway was extremely spacious. Under them there were columns of refugees from the rest of the system heading to Kaurava I. Those were people that didn't make it to the shelters on their respectful planets.
"No matter how many times we would fly through this, I always amazed with how much free space there is."
"Well Duke, I myself wonder on this, as well why didn't the Eldar tried to shut the gates down. I mean, wouldn't they be angered if somebody used their Webway?"
"Who knows. As long as we don't try to enter the regions outside the main lanes to the Kaurava planets, then we won't give the space fairies any reason try to sparkel us to death."
"Yeah." - replied Stone as he was manipulating the controls in the pilot's seat - "Ready yourself Duke. We're about to leave Webway space."
A blinding flash appeared as they exited Webway space and appeared on Kaurava III. At that time it was dawn, yet still dark.
"We made it." - said Stone - "Now to fly to the Nirraein Garrison and we can go to Costa Immosa..." - "RED ALERT!!, RED ALERT!! TWO UNIDENTIFIED CRAFT DETECTED!!" - interrupted the Valkyrie's servitor.
"Bloody hell, they caught up this quick and that close to us? Sneaky little bastards." - replied Duke.
"Hold tight Duke, time for a dogfight!!!"
Meanwhile on Kaurava I:
"31st Platoon! Reinforce the southern parts! Meanwhile 46th Platoon will secure a landing zone in the eastern part of the city. 7th and 22nd Armored Squadrons will spearhead the assault on the Chaos Marine entrenchments." - Vance Stubbs directed the Conservators. Each order he gave through the vox, he gave it without hesitation. Chaos Marines were one of the things he hated most and he wouldn't have them in the Kaurava system.
"SIR!!" - came a message from one of the lieutenants - "27th Platoon is under attack by Chaos Knight Titans!! We request backup or we'll be overrun!!"
Knight Titans of their own? That was something unexpected...
"Roger that!!" - replied Stubbs - "I'll give you fire support and send in the 11th Armored Squadron to aid you." - Vance quickly switched channels to 11th Armored Leader - "11th Squadron Leader. Follow the coordinates and reinforce 27th Platoon. They are under attack from Chaos Knights."
"Executing your orders SIR!!" - replied the squadron leader. After this Stubbs switched channels.
"5th Experimental Corps..." - paused Stubbs for a moment - "Roll out the Magnus MK II."
After the Kaurava conflict and investing into numerous projects that made Kaurava a thriving system and military centre, a number of Forge Worlds were interested in the giant factorum that made most of the supercontinent of Kaurava. Vance would produce vehicles for them (and the Conservators), while the Priesthood would provide the STC. The Scions of Mars were not that eager to share their knowledge, but the fact that there was something that would mass-produce Baneblades and other vehicles was something they were willing to pay for. Thus cooperation between the two sides commenced. Stubbs later formed with some of the platoons and Tech-Priests the eponymous Experimental Corps. These Platoons were created to test out new wargear and STC (made out of combining elements from existing ones). From cheap and easy to produce equipment, to weapons that are extremely sophisticated and destructive. What would come out from the Experimental Corps would later be shipped to Mars and other Forge Worlds.
The Basilisk Magnus MK II was one of these. Created from the old MK I and enhanced with even more advanced mechanisms from the Dark Age of Technology, the MK II was even larger and powerful. A cheaper version to the Deathstrike, the MK II was capable of firing rounds on a continental level that would reduce its targets in an instant. No matter how durable they were. Only Warlord or Imperator Titans had the means to defend themselves from such a force. Yet like the previous model, it still required a spotter so that the satellite system would lock into and send in targeting data.
"Target acquired." - reported the Vindicare. The battlezone on the outskirts of Kaurav City was heated already, but the arrival of Chaos Knights added oil to the flames - "Locking on the laser." - of all the most difficult things, locking on the target made the spotter to be completely immobile, thus vulnerable to attacks.
The Vindicare sat immobile in cover, still locking on the laser mounted on his Exitus Rifle on the Chaos Knights that, so far, didn't move due to the resistance the 27th Platoon showing exceptional resistance (especially after the 11th Armored Squadron arrived to help out).
Something however was creeping behind the Assassin and he felt it - "Well what do we have here? HYDRA DOMINATUS!!!" - A ALPHA LEGIONNAIRE! How did he found him? Normally he'd whip out his Exitus Pistol and shoot him, but the orders were more important than this. The Chaos Marine was about to strike him with his power sword, when suddenly a barrage of sniper shots struck the power armored warrior, one of the shots blowing a hole in the marine's head.
"Hey there hunk." - called in a voice through the vox - "Now you own me and my girls a nice day after this battle is over."
The Vindicare hated to own somebody anything, and owning something to those happy-go-lucky Felinids even more. After the cat-woman finished her sentence, the signal on the rifle started to beep. The satellite above the planet locked to the coordinates from the Assassin's laser.
"LORD GOVERNOR! TARGET MARKED! THE SATELLITE LOCKED ON TO THE COORDINATES THE SPOTTER GAVE!" - cried out one of the Stormtroopers that was part of Stubbs's retinue.
"ORDER TO FIRE!!"
Kaurav City outskirts:
"RUN LITTLE INSECTS!!! BOW DOWN BEFORE THE GRACE OF SLAANESH!!!" - a ghostly voice roared over the battlezone. The Titans of House Devine were unleashing their daemonic weapons on the Conservators along with the other Chaos Forces that accompanied the cursed Knights. Due to the timely arrival of the 11th Armored Squadron, the 27th Platoon started to fight with even greater fervor, yet even that wasn't enough to defeat the Chaos army - "YOU ONLY SLOW DOWN THE INEVITABLE FOOLS! DO YOU HONESTLY THINK THAT THOSE PUNY DEFENSES AND TOY TANKS WILL SAVE YOU!? ONWARDS!!! GRIND THEM TO..." - before the leader of the Divine Knights could utter the rest of his sentence, there was a whistling sound being heard. The whistling was becoming louder and louder, until it hit the ground. The special Earth Shaker round created for the Magnus MK II Basilisk utterly obliterated the assaulting Chaos Forces and damaging both the Chaos Knights and more powerful super heavy vehicles that were to the heretics' disposition. Even the few Greater Daemons that joined the battle didn't survive the blast. The 27th Platoon and 11th Armored Squadron moved on boldly to finish off the enemies.
"Direct hit sir. The enemy didn't knew what hit them."
"Thanks to this we can now concentrate on other critical points on the battlefield. Patch me through to the 36th Platoon and 17th Armored Squadron. I want them to..." - "GOVERNOR GENERAL!!" - one of Stubbs's intelligence officers cried out - "CHAOS FORCES TELEPORTED NEAR SHELTER 21!! CIVILIANS IN DANGER!!!"
Vance Stubbs turned snow white after hearing this. He realized to his horror that it was that shelter where he sent his children...
Sergeants Duke and Stone had bad luck today. Not only they had to dogfight two Hell Talons immediately after exiting the Webway, but despite defeating the two Chaos craft (thanks to Stone's piloting skills) their Valkyrie was hit in the fuel container. How it didn't explode was some kind of miracle. This however forced the two to drop their brand new Taurox they transported with them near the ground, and had to land the aircraft. From that point, they would go by ground.
"DAMMIT!" - was Duke's response to the situation - "If it wasn't for that hole, then we would've gotten to Kier Harrad in a very short time! Now we have to go there encountering every imaginable trap those Chaos punks will throw at us."
"Easy Duke." - replied Stone - "I always treat my enemies seriously, but you are overestimating them...unless we are dealing with simple cultists that are mostly stupid, crazy, or both. If we're dealing with Chaos Marines, then it is really serious."
"And knowing our luck, we're probably meet them frequently before we find Fenix and Chief. Kier Harrad is currently under Chaos attack, and apart of five platoons and a company worth of Space Marines. Lieutenant Kane should also be there."
"Bringing back the team would be nice. The two of us can handle a lot, but without the rest it's going to be really hard to get to Coastal Immosa."
"Well, if we have to reactivate that Trazyn, then the entire team is needed for this."
As the two chatted about the situation, Stone accelerated the Taurox to maximum speed to Harrad...
"WHY IN THE EMPEROR'S NAME WERE THERE NO SOLDIERS GUARDING THE SHELTERS!!?" - asked a enraged Stubbs one of his Officers - "I SPECIFICALLY ORDERED SOLDIERS TO GUARD THIS PLACE!!"
"Y-y-y-yes sir, we did send in, but the Chaos forces proved to be this severe that we had to re-route them to defending key locations."
"THE SHELTERS ARE KEY LOCATIONS!!!" - roared back Stubbs at the already terrified officer, clearly holding back not to personally execute him - "I WON'T ALLOW KAURAVA TO SUFFER LIKE IT HAD THE LAST TIME UNDER THOSE INCOMPETENT FOOLS WHO PUT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE AS SECOND, INSTEAD OF TRYING TO SAVE THEIR OWN HIDES!!"
"P-p-p-p-p-please calm down sir. A-a-a-a-anger never solves anything."
"You're right." - Stubbs replied, now slightly calmer yet still enraged, then he called Lord Commissar Doran - "Lord Doran, for a time I'll be rerouting command to you. Chaos forces appeared near the shelters."
"They appeared near the shelters!?" - asked the surprised Lord Commissar while strangling a Chaos Marine with his power fist - "What kind of sorcery should that be!?"
"Portals." - replied the Governor General - "Lately Chaos Forces are starting to be awfully fond of them."
"ALright Governor Stubbs, I will take over for this time, yet you must get back soon. A army without a General is bound to fall apart."
"I'll be back before anyone notices it." - Stubbs then switched vox channels - "Get me some spare Valkyries. I and the Stormtroopers are going to Shelter 21."
Rockclaw Mountains. Once infested with Orks that terrorized the Kaurava system with raids, now it became a immense fortress outpost. The Ork stronghold during the conflict was under the rule of Warboss Gorgutz The 'Ead 'Unter. Before the arrival of the infamous Warboss, the Rockclaw Stronghold was completely impenetrable and well camouflaged. Gorgutz thought of it as un-Orky, and had some of the elements dismantled. Ork Stronghold wasn't invincible and could be located, it was still more than a match for the armies back then...until the combined might of both the Conservators and Blood Ravens made short work of the place. Gorgutz managed to escape, yet the Rockclaw mountains were taken by the Imperials. Now standing there, under Stubbs's Peak, was the Rockclaw Bastion. A enormous construct, it was the main center of operations of the Conservators on Kaurava II, apart from the Lands of Solitude the Blood Ravens left after the conflict ended.
"We finally made it!" - one of the Conservators spoke out - "Lets get medics in there. Take the wounded to the medical center. Also make sure the civilians"
The Guards quickly unloaded the wounded and the civilians. Medic teams that arrived quickly took care of them.
"Now that the civilians are safe, we can concentrate on defeating the Chaos Forces." - spoke out Barak - "We should..." - "Not now." - Interrupted Vulkan.
"There may be still civilians and Guardsmen that need aid while escorting them to the Bastion." - answered Varland - "Judging by the appearance of Soul Grinders among the traitors, the situation is much severe than it was suspected. I also heard that Monse is showing heavy resistance to the Chaos Marines there. If we reinforce that place, then we will counterattack."
"You speak well there Lord Astartes." - a voice came from behind them. A lieutenant, probably the bastion commander, came with a group of Guardsmen - "Monse since the day of the Chaos incursion showed great resistance, yet even now people are rapidly getting away either to the Webway gate there, or to this place. Alternatively the Lands of Solitude are also holding well against the heretics, but it is unknown how long are they going to last. At least we got the authorization to use the super heavies."
"*sigh* Well, where are we going then?" - asked Barak.
"First we'll have to secure Monse." - replied Vulkan - "Then we go for the Lands of Solitude. Lieutenant, can we borrow some of you troops?"
"I wanted them to send them to Monse anyway. I will give you one of our Baneblades for that."
"Good to hear that. ASTARTES!! Let's get those people to safety."
Kaurav City, The Shelters:
"Where are those entrances to the shelters!!?" - cried out a angry cultist - "The sorcerer that teleported us there told us to kill everyone for the ritual!! Added that now somebody is taking down every group we send into the streets!! ALL BLOWN UP!!!"
"Would you kindly shut up!!?" - replied violently the cultist leader - "We're here to blow those shelters up!! SO WE HAVE TO HURRY ELSE THOSE LOYALISTS GET THERE!! FIND THOSE BLOODY SHELTER ENTRANCES!!"
The cultists moved out. There were ten of them, yet they were a part of a much larger force that looked for the entrances to the shelters. From a safe distance, in cover, two little figures observed the Chaos worshippers.
"This is bad." - said Alexandra to her brother Lukas - "We're delaying them and they won't quit."
"No wonder. Dad once told us about crazed heretics that were as stubborn as they were stupid, but these seem all but stupid...maybe." - replied the brother.
Before the Chaos Forces attacked the shelters, Lukas and Alexandra didn't wanted to stay behind in safety while their father's army fought against the crazed lunatics. Thus they escaped the shelter where they were put in along other civilians via air duct. For a adult it was hard, if not impossible to move through it due to the small size...but for a pair of nine-year olds it was a walk in the gardens.
"At least we found some explosives and booby trapped some of the streets. I do wonder who left them though. What do you think sis?"
"I think you are overthinking at the moment. Come on. We need to at least slow them down."
With that the two moved through the shadows to cause difficulties to the heretics...
It was a strange thing for two nine-year olds to know how to make simple booby traps by minelaying detonator packs all around the streets. Truth was that the kids, inspired by their father's incredible stories from the Astra Militarum, wanted really badly to serve along their parents. It should also be mentioned that their mother herself, the Lady Marianne Stubbs, was part of the Cadian Regiments, and was one of the top White Shield graduates that made it to junior lieutenant rank in a short time (quick thinking and guts were implied to have been used). That was before she married the Governor General and finally retired due to her pregnancy, limiting herself to charity and new social projects.
Seeing that both their parents were stalwart defenders of the Imperium, the two wanted badly to join the Conservators. Being the children of the Governor General, the two had some special privileges. Yet instead of abusing them (like most children of Governors of a star system or sub-sector do), the two took secret Valkyrie rides to the Dussala Precinct in order to secretly learn from the Guardsmen various tricks. This resulted in the children to learn some useful skills. While most children played with each other imagining that they are Guardsmen, Lukas and Alexandra literally played Guardsmen. But in this situation, the two would put to the test the skills they gained after training for one year. It wasn't much, but it had to suffice no less.
Night, near Kier Harrad:
"DAMMIT DUKE, DRIVE A LITTLE FASTER!!!" - cried out Stone as he operated the Taurox's Assault Cannon turret.
"AND WHAT DO YOU THINK I'M DOING!!!? DOES THIS LOOK TO YOU AS IF I TRIED TO PICK UP CHICKS!!!?" - replied Duke.
The two Stormtroopers did indeed gotten themselves into trouble. The beginning of their journey while driving the Taurox went with only few groups of Cultists that were stupid enough to attack them without anti-vehicle armaments. Only when it was already late evening, then that situation happened. Stalk Tanks descended on the Troopers' Taurox and it was already something radically different. Stone managed to blow up one with a lucky shot, but the other three were simply avoiding the barrages as much as they could. In fact, the bloody things avoided them so well that Stone had difficulties in aiming. Then one of the Stalk Tanks that were pursuing them accelerated further...
"OH SNAP!!! DUKE!!! STEP TO NITRO!!!"
"HOLD YOUR GROX!!! I'M SWITCHING TO NITRO!!!"
And with that, Duke pressed the nitro switch and the Taurox's exhausts exploded in flames, leaving but dust and smoke in the faces of the agile daemonic machines. Stone sat on the passenger's seat after he exited the turret.
"Well now we'll get to Harrad on time. Bloody Chaos punks had no balls to attack the place, so they limited themselves to raiding convoys and guerilla tactics." - said Duke with a disgust.
"Well old buddy, enemies with actual balls are hard to find these days. Plus if it wasn't for the fact that all of our heavier weapons were in the trunk along with mister busted zombie-bot, then we'd have blown those Stalk Tanks to smithereens from the get go."
"Let's get rolling then. I want to team up with the rest of our old team before we'll get hit by something bigger...huh? Sudden energy spike in the vicinity? Awww shi..." - before Duke could finish his sentence, a pinkish beam hit the left back track of the Taurox.
The vehicle went out of control and hit a rock that was in the way. The Taurox made a flip and hit the ground. The vehicle was upside down, reduced to a pile of beaten metal. From its inside Duke and Stone crawled out, still wondering how did they didn't anticipate this. After they crawled out (still looking at the world through hazy eyes after the accident), the two found themselves surrounded by Stubber wielding Cultists and the aforementioned three Stalk Tanks.
"Dammit!" - was Duke's first word after the haze wore off and saw in what situation he and Stone gotten themselves in.
"Well, well, what do we have here? Loyalists for the kill." - the cultist leader spoke out from the group - "Who sent in two Stormtroopers to Kier Harrad? Maybe it was that weakling Governor? If so then he must be either really desperate or foolish to send you two instead of additional platoons."
After hearing the words weakling and foolish, Duke snapped. He did dislike Stubbs for his idealism and his guts, but he would never call the Governor a weakling nor a fool. Duke had a grudging respect for the man who liberated Kaurava and turned it into what it is now.
"I'll give you a advise pal. You keep calling the Governor like that, and I'll chop off your head and take a dump down your throat." - replied Duke.
"You are not in a position to threaten neither me nor the rest of us Loyalist scum!"
"I would take it seriously if I were you." - added Stone - "He can do that."
"You shut up!! Both of you will be questioned by us and after we're done with you, we'll sacrifice you to the Gods. Take them away."
Before the Cultists could react, a solid crimson beam cut through the remaining Stalk Tanks, cutting them as if they were made out of cardboard.
"WHAT WAS THA...!!?" - one of the Cultists was cut down by Bolter fire along with a couple of others that were unfortunate to be in proximity. Duke and Stone took advantage of the confusion and grabbed the nearest cultists, took their weapons and started shooting. Before the Chaos worshippers could react, most of them were already dead. Of the fifteen cultists, only the Leader was left. Wounded and broken.
"Remember what I said pal?" - answered Duke to the Cultist Leader while unsheathing really long Catachan grade Power Machete - "I'm going to chop your head off and take a dump down your throat for badmouthing the Governor."
Before he could react, the Leader's head was grabbed by Duke's free hand and chopped off by the machete.
"Well that was all really sudden here. Thanks for the helpful hand." - spoke Stone in the direction from where the shots came. The figures had only their silhouettes visible in the night, only when they came closer, they became completely visible.
"Well, didn't know that you would come out and greet us outside." - added Duke - "Fenix and Chief. Heard you got promoted to sergeants. Good to see ya after this long."
Kaurava II, Monse:
"THEY ARE SOFTENING UP!!! PRESS FORWARDS FOR THE DARK GODS!!!" - roared a Chaos Marine commandeering the tides of Lost and Damned.
Before the Kaurava conflict, Monse was a patchwork of cities and farmlands that was constantly plagued by Ork raids that came from Rockclaw mountains. It contained a Webway gate Due to this, it became the most fortified place on Kaurava II. After the conflict finished, Monse was further altered into a giant web of fortress cities and farmlands, only rivalled by the Lands of Solitude and Rockclaw Bastion in terms of defensive capabilities. In its centre, near the Webway gate, stood a memorial to someone that the Governor General considered both a great ally, as well as a good friend. That man died fighting the Tau led by Or'es'Ka. When the Chaos Forces struck at the place, they were met with fierce resistance from the locals and Guardsmen stationed there. Even though the city fortresses were hard to penetrate, the defenders were hard-pressed by the ravening lunatics, fallen marines, daemons and hellish engines. The fall of Monse was imminent, unless reinforcements would arrive.
On the walls of Monse's centre:
"HOLD THE LINE!!! DON'T LET THEM ENTER THE CITY!!!" - cried out the commandeering Lieutenant - "BY THE EMPEROR DO NOT FALTER!!!"
"SIR!!! TITANS!!!" - pointed one of the Guardsmen. The Lieutenant looked in the direction the Guardsman pointed and it was true. Warhound Titans. Five of them. The city was capable of withstanding even the tides of heretics and their machines, but it wasn't strong enough to take on Titans.
"DAMMIT, WHERE ARE THOSE REINFORCEMENTS!!!?"
The Chaos Warhounds opened fire on the defender's positions. Blasts from Mega Bolters and Plasma Cannons paved the way for the servants of the Dark Gods as the walls were finally breached. From afar however...
"THEY ALREADY BREACHED THE WALLS OF THE CENTRAL CITY LORD PRIMARCH!!"
"THERE IS NO TIME TO BE LOST!!!" - replied Vulkan as he readied his portable Melta Cannon while jumping on the nearest Baneblade - "FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!"
With the orders given, the armoured columns accelerated to attack speed.
From the distance, one of the Chaos spotters detected the armoured columns and alerted the main force. Two Warhounds and a large host of heretics along their armoured squadrons broke away to meet the forces led by Vulkan.
"DAEMON ENGINE ON THE LEFT, FIRE!!!" - roared the tank commander in the Baneblade that Vulkan was standing on.
The super-heavy tank's turret turned to face a Soul Grinder that was charging at it. A precise shot in the central body made short work of it. Due to concentrating on the infernal machine, a Stalk Tank took advantage and attacked from the right flank, leaping on the Baneblade. Vulkan instantaneously reacted and shot the Chaos Machine before it could tear into the chassi. The Baneblade rolled over a group of Chaos Spawns that blindly charged it. Seven Baneblades and over forty various types of Leman Russ Tanks from traditional ones to Punishers came to fight the forces attacking Monse.
Barrages against barrages. Guns against guns. Vulkan's Tank Columns took damage, as one of the Baneblades and seven Leman Russes were wrecked. The decisive battle for Monse has come.
"COMMANDER!!! WE NEED TO DESTROY THOSE TWO TITANS OR WE'LL NEVER BREAK THROUGH!!!" - called Vulkan the Baneblade Commander. He had to cry out to him due to the noise the barrages were doing.
"THERE ARE ONLY TWO WAYS TO DESTROY THESE THINGS LORD PRIMARCH!!! IF WE HAD VOLKITE WEAPONS, THEN WE'D HAVE IT EASIER!!! THE ONLY WAY IS TO ROLL THROUGH THEIR VOID SHIELDS AND OPEN FIRE FROM THE INSIDE, YET IT WILL LEAVE US VULNERABLE TO FIRE FROM THEM!!!"
"GUESS WE'LL HAVE TO RISK IT!!!" - replied the Primarch - "ORDER SOME TANKS TO DISTRACT THE TWO WARHOUNDS WHILE I GO AND INCAPACITATE ONE, WHILE TWO VANQUISHER WILL FINISH OFF THE LATTER AFTER ITS SHIELDS ARE DOWN!!!"
"IT'S RISKY, BUT WE'LL TRY!!!"
At this point the plan on defeating the two Titans was risky, yet not impossible. Vulkan jumped off the Baneblade after it was in proximity with one of the Titans and used the unique ability of his robe. The black robe was given to him by Tranzyn before they attempted to teleport to Kaurava. Instead of being a normal robe, it was a Robe of Shadows that would bend light around it's user and make him completely invisible. The Primarch vanished in an instant and ran towards his target that was still due to being occupied by the Conservator Tanks.
The Leman Russes and Baneblades that were not occupied with the small fries unleashed barrages on the Chaos Warhounds. The Void Shield made puffing sounds when the barrages of physical projectiles and las-beams disappeared after making contact with them. Already two Leman Russes were blown by the Daemonic Titans. Vulkan slowed down, passed through the Void Shield and positioned himself with the Melta Cannon. The Primarch opened fire into the joint between its left leg and foot. If the weapon he wielded was just a Multi Melta, then it would've done little. A Melta Cannon was something different, as it quickly turned the Titan's foot into molten slag, topping it down.
The Titan that Vulkan toppled was completely defenseless. The other one couldn't deal with the tanks that were driving around it and shooting from all directions.
"WEAK POINT ON THE RIGHT!!!" - the Baneblade Commander shouted through the vox. The shields on this Titan were not synch-ed well, allowing for a pair of Vanquishers to shoot into the shield's weak point and deal enormous damage to the machine, collapsing completely its only protection. After the collapse, a barrage from the other tanks followed and fell the Warhound.
"Gyyyyyhhh..." - one of the Chaos Spotters shuddered in fear as he saw both Titans falling down. He immediately took the vox - "OH MIGHTY CHAMPION!! THE WARHOUNDS FAILED TO TAKE OUT THE LOYALISTS!!!"
"IT WAS THEIR HUBRIS THAT MADE THEM UNDERESTIMATE THOSE CONSERVATORS!" - replied the Champion - "BUT NOW WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS!!! ALL REMAINING FORCES, SEIZE THE WEBWAY GATE AND KILL OFF THOSE WEAKLINGS!!!"
Like one the Chaos Forces ran towards the Webway, when suddenly from left and right unexpected forces...
"FIRE AND BONE!!!" - roared Barak as he and his Dragon Claws fell upon the enemy - "FOR THE IMPERIUM!!!" - followed Varland as his Storm giants opened fire while jumping off Valkyries in modified grav-chutes. Both Captains and their Marines started to unleash havoc on the traitors, yet even that didn't slow them down. As the traitors were coming closer to the gate, three enormous white super heavy tanks rolled out and shot at the remaining Warhounds immediately collapsing their shields and hitting them in the upper halves. The super-heavies were followed by strange Space Marines in pure white that emerged from the webway. One of them, the captain judging from the cape and ornament artificer armour, bellowed a great warcry - " AVE DEUS-IMPERATOR!!!"