Somewhere near the Halo Stars far from Holy Terra…
“This is the Imperial Dogma, we read you Inquisitor Longinus, and have locked onto your signal. Ready to begin teleportation transfer upon your command.” Voxed the Captain from orbit high above the dead world.
“Longinus here, begin teleportation!” Replied the Inquisitor as two metallic cylinders about three meters each in height suddenly materialized next to him and his entourage.
“Have your Menials secure the stasis tubes and fall in behind us.” Motioned Longinus to the Tech-Priest Magos Oro.
“As you command Inquisitor.” Replied the machine adept through his vox implant as the huge cybernetic enhanced Menials hefted the cylinders as something from within banged and thrashed about momentarily throwing the tech servants out of balance.
“Sir! We have secured passage to the temple vault and have locked down the adjacent passageways.” Informed an Inquisitorial Storm Trooper as he moved forward and saluted the Inquisitor while catching his breath from the long dash to the surface.
“Good, we move now!” replied Longinus as he activated the vox on his wrist.
“Imperial Dogma, this is Inquisitor Longinus, we are entering the tomb now, if you do not receive vox transmission from either myself or Magos Oro within the hour orbital strike this position and wipe the tomb from the face of the planet! Longinus out!” continued the grim faced Inquisitor as Sister Ursula of the Ecclesiarchy looked uneasy at the order to enter the tomb.
Standing before the blasted open doors of the stone complex Longinus moved forward as a detachment of Storm Troopers moved to meet him and fell in line with the expedition party. Descending the stairs which lead into the blackness below the Inquisitor drew his power sword and racked his bolt pistol.
Passing through the rune engraved corridors which were lit by an eerie green light from a series of glowing crystals it was evident that the conflict below had only just ended. Dead Inquisitorial Storm Troopers littered the floor with their bodies scarred and blasted, mangled and stripped almost beyond recognition.
“We tread on the border of heresy!” Whispered Sister Ursula as she carefully stepped over the bodies as to not dirty her boots.
Looking for silent assurance to the Inquisitor, Magos Oro was met back with a reassuring glance as Longinus ignored the Sisters observation.
“Are there any mechanical dead?” asked the Tech-Priest as his servo arms and ocular limbs took sensor readings of the walls.
“No Lord Tech-Priest, their dead vanished shortly after we secured the chamber.” Replied one of the Storm Troopers unsure and hesitant how to address the Mars Priest.
“Vanished?” noted Sister Ursula looking about in disbelief.
Continuing on the party made quick progress to what appeared to be the central vault of the tomb complex. Now hundreds of meters underground there was nothing but coldness and silence broken only by the shuffled footsteps of the group and the whirling servo motors of Magos Oro’s Skirarii and Menials.
“We are here- have them place the cylinders over there.” Noted the Inquisitor as Magos Oro motioned to his Menials.
“By the Holy Machine!” gasped the Tech-Priest as his cybernetic ocular locked on the giant structure before him.
Standing as tall as the most ancient of titans the group stood before a huge metallic construct that appeared to be fabricated out of living metal which pulsated with unholy internal energy as runes danced across its surface.
Mounted on a huge four pronged base stood a crescent shaped support structure, which in turn supported a massive five pronged pulsating green crystal.
Turning to the Tech-Priest Longinus nodded his head as he switched off the vox communicator on his wrist…
“Magos Oro, you have twenty minutes to complete your analysis, I suggest you get started with all haste.”
Nodding in return the Tech-Priest moved towards the pylon surrounding it with Menials as their sensors and auspexes divined what secrets they could.
“Inquisitor! I must protest!” barked Sister Ursula. “This construct is an abomination and a heretical symbol to our faith.
“Sister, I will remind you only once that you are a guest of this expedition on behalf of your Sister Superior, and as a courtesy I have extended to the Ecclesiarchy. I suggest you remain silent and remember your place.” Continued Longinus as he watched Magos Oro continue his scans.
Growing more nervous with each passing second Sister Ursula slowly fingered the bolt pistol in her holster as she swallowed hardly.
“This is Heresy!” she yelled as she moved to draw the pistol.
“This is the Inquisition!” barked back Longinus as he turned with his bolt pistol already on the draw and fired a round into the Sisters neck tearing through it. Collapsing face forward on the ground Longinus kicked her pistol aside as Magos Oro stopped his reading for only a moment.
BOOM! Suddenly echoed one of the side passages leading into the vault as the sounds of hellgun fire and the screams of men filled the air.
“Reinforce! Go! Go! Go!” ordered the Storm Trooper Sergeant standing next to Longinus as he took off with his men heading down the corridor into battle.
Turning his head almost completely ninety degrees behind him Magos Oro pleaded “I need more time!”
“Five minutes!” was the reply from Longinus as he palmed a single bolt pistol round in his hand. Turning it over and over for a moment he marveled how it seemed to encapsulate a tiny galaxy in its translucent chamber head.
Racking back the single load slide on his pistol he pushed the round into his bolt pistol and took aim down the corridor while bracing it across the elbow of this other arm to steady the shot.
Brak! it cracked as the round traced through the air leaving a trail of warp residue as it sped down the corridor into the sounds of battle.
Removing a small activation ward from his power armor Longinus pointed it at the metallic cylinders and activated it as air hissed from within releasing the sides and blasting the tops off.
“Wrahhhh!” screamed a legion of voices as two misshapen humanoids bound in warp chains and runic hexagram wards stumbled out writing in agony and warp fire. Pausing for a moment they seemed to taste the air before taking off at breathtaking speed down the passage.
As the explosions and small arms fire continued Longinus moved to the pylon and the Tech-Priest as he trained his bolt pistol glancing around the empty space before him.
Feeling a shift in the air before him Longinus instinctively whipped around to the right and began firing off his pistol as a group of shadows materialized before him transforming into a group of hulking metallic humanoids wielding burning green rifle like weapons.
Peering into the very soul of the Inquisitor the tallest of the metal constructs motioned his warriors forward with an arcane staff which blasted out bolts of energy dissolving the organic parts of a nearby Menail leaving nothing more then a writhing heap of mechanics.
Moving to fill the gaps the Skitarii returned fire with their las-burners and plasma guns which slammed into the metal warriors blasting them apart while others reformed moments later to continue the assault.
“Done!” droned Magos Oro as he caressed the pylon with his remaining organic hand before sacrificing his Menials into the charge to buy a few more precious moments of time.
“Good, then our agreement has concluded!” Returned Longinus as he sheathed his power sword and removed an odd shaped grenade from his belt holster. Clamping it to the pylon he activated it as a small warp void opened and began to burrow deep into the construct.
“No, this artifact is priceless!” shirked the Tech-Priest as Longinus yelled over him into his vox.
“All squads back to the surface, fall back with covering fire! Teleportation evac…in ten minutes.”
Running through the corridors emptying clip after clip into the green tinted darkness Longinus fired upon an array of mechanical spiders, and metal warriors as his lungs and legs began to give way before climbing out to the surface of the planet.
Standing with a dozen or so surviving Storm Troopers and Magos Oro he gave the signal to transport as they dematerialized just in time.
“Faint life signs are noted still below.” Observed the Captain of the Imperial Dogma as the Inquisitor and Tech-Priest towered over his shoulders from behind.
“There is nothing that can be done for them now, only deliverance to the Emperor’s grace. Lance strike all ordinance on the tomb and a hundred meters out.” Ordered Longinus grimly as he turned to Tech-Priest.
“You are disturbed Magos Oro?
“I mourn the unnecessary destruction of any artifact to the manifestation of the Machine God.” Came a droning reply.
“We both have our obligations Tech-Priest. The ends always justify the means!”
Was Longinus’ reply as the planet surface below erupted into flames.
Clutching his Staff of Light as best he could with what remained of his shattered arm the Necron Lord limped into the central chamber of the tomb flanked by battle scarred Immortals.
The Harvest of thousands was complete and for now he would have a few moments of eternity to himself. Dismissing the Immortals with a flicker of hate form his eyes the Lord took the passage to his personal chamber overlooking the interior of the tomb complex.
Sitting in his archaic throne he rested his staff to the side as raised hieroglyphs on the throne parted releasing a swarm of small scarab like mechanical drones. Swimming over the broken body of the Lord they repaired living metal and star god technology with unmatched efficiency knotting the Lord back to full strength before reabsorbing back into the throne.
Once again the Lord took his staff and gazed over the open chamber below. Legions of Warriors were phasing in from the success of the Harvest as they were sorted out by the Tomb Spyders. Those with the scars of battle were directed to the Schlepula chambers for repair while other were marched to their stasis crypts to again slumber.
“How have I come to this?” echoed a shredded fragment of his soul.
“I was something else so long ago…”
“…do I dare to be it again?” intensified the glow of his eyes.
Staring grimly at the vox-screen Inquisitor Longinus keyed in the access commands securing the feed to his console only. Scanning over the spider like hieroglyphs he waited impatiently for the Imperial Dogma’s machine spirit to translate it to high gothic.
Merely gazing on such symbols would immediately condemn a man to death, but as an Inquisitor he was beyond such trivialities set up by the High Lords of Terra.
“The ends always justify the means.” He intoned as he whispered thanks to the Emperor before committing the translated message to memory and keying the console clean of any data traces.
“Commander, status on our progress?”
“Lord Inquisitor, we have finished the transfer with the Space Wolves and are ready to bring the warp engines online.”
“Good, I am on my way now, comm the Space Wolf Commander to meet me.” Replied Longinus.
“At once Lord Inquisitor.”
The command deck of the Imperial Dogma was quite different then other Imperial cruisers of its class. Extensively upgraded with the blessings of the Machine Adapts and null magics, it was built to penetrate places unseen.
Working with a minimal crew of servitors and menials most of the cruiser operated itself through the presence of a power machine spirit. So much so, there were times when Longinus was alone yet he could feel as if the ship was watching him.
Walking over to the main bridge panel, Longinus feigned interest in the readout on the console as the Space Wolf commander grew more impatient by the moment.
The ‘Wolves were a proud chapter with an inherent distaste in Imperial authority so Longinus knew he needed to establish his dominance in the next few moments if they were going to be of any use to him.
About to speak the Space Wolf Commander was cut off as Longinus motioned to the Imperial Dogma’s Captain.
“Captain, prepare to jump to warp take us to this point.” Was the order as Longinus entered the coordinates into a keypad on the console.
“Coordinates confirmed Lord Inquisitor, awaiting jump on your command.” Replied back the Captain as relays and pic-screens flashed to life on the command deck.
“Commander…” motioned Longinus to a harness seat next to the Space Wolf as he strapped himself into one in preparation.
“Jump!” Issued Longinus as the structure of the Imperial Dogma began to elongate and then bend inward as it broke through to warp space in a shower of prismatic colors.
Part of the fifth great company, Falgeirr and his pack of Grey Hunters were on their way back to the Fang when they received an Inquisitorial order to rendezvous with the Imperial Dogma.
Not one to obey any outsider’s order, especially one from the Inquisition, Falgeirr did what any proper Space Wolf would do- he promptly ignored the broadcast and continued on his way.
“Let them eat static!” he laughed with his Wolf brothers as the Inquisitorial ship hailed them again which was cut short by litanies from the Iron Priest over the comm.
“Engines are off line! Grav-drives failing!” was the frantic message as the Space Wolf vessel slowed to a dead stop.
“Brother Falgeirr, the Inquisitorial ship is haling us again, they want to know if we are ready to listen now?” remarked one of the Space Wolves stationing the communications console.
“Battle posts lads! We won’t fire the first shot, but by Russ we won’t be pushed around either!” replied Falgeirr as his brothers readied themselves.
Pulling alongside the Space Wolf ship the Imperial Dogma launched its boarding cables and extended it coupling as the two ships embraced. Signaling that the airlock had cycled, Falgeirr and his group of Grey Hunters stood with their weapons drawn and at the ready.
With a rush of stale air the doors to the hatch opened qw a squad of heavily armed Inquisitorial Storm Troopers escorted a servitor forward.
“Space Wolf Falgeirr, this ship, yourself, and the Brothers in your command are hereby under conscription to the Inquisition. By the Immortal Emperor of Mankind you will transfer all control and command to Lord Inquisitor Longinus.” Droned the servitor as a parchment copy of the Inquisitorial decree slid out of a scriber mounted into the side of its head.
“What?” gasped Falgeirr in disbelief as the vox relay inside his ear also sprung to life.
“…Storm Trooper boarding squads have teleported to the engine room and weapons control….orders…?”
Hesitating for a moment Falgeirr calculated the odds of a dozen or so Space Wolves versus the Inquisitorial forces that were suddenly taking over. It would be quite a tale to tell back at the Fang.
“Tell Inquisitor Longinus that the ship is his, but there will be a reckoning for these actions this day, so I swear!” Replied Falgeirr as he issued a ship wide order to transfer command.
“I demand to know the reason for this abduction Inquisitor!” barked Falgeirr as his patience had finally worn out.
“Respectfully so Brother Falgeirr, you are in no position to make demands of the Inquisition. What I choose to tell you is out of the grace of my generosity and our mutual commitment to serve the Emperor.”
Definitely not his first choice in an ally, Longinus had learned long ago that even with the best of plans you often have to make your own opportunities, and drafting the Space Wolves into service was just such an example.
“Brother Falgeirr, what we speak of here and now is heresy, it is beyond everything that the Imperium holds sacred. What we are about to cast our eyes upon would be an instant death sentence in any other situation.” Paused Longinus for a moment as he dismissed the Storm Troopers from the post at the door.
“There are but a few moments in history, where the heroic actions of a few can alter the course of the universe. You and I are about to embark together on such a moment.” Continued the Inquisitor as he keyed in the pass code to the door before taking hold of one of the cable like communication interfaces dangling from the ceiling.
Activating the interface spike, Longinus inserted it into the data port behind his neck as he released the final runic ward to the door causing it to slowly open as runes of warning flashed across its surface.
Feeling a pulse of unholy energy washing over him Falgeirr caressed the runic charm and wolf totems that decorated his power armor.
“Sorcery!” he whispered as he followed the Inquisitor inside the room.
Seated on a raised platform in the center of the room supported by a jumble of hoses, wire bundles and arcane mechanics was a large metal sphere made out of an array of misshapen metal sheets that seemed to blend and redefine themselves over the curvature of the structure.
“Names and labels are wasted on the uninitiated, but the importance of our mission depends on your understanding of this object, and what it represents to our cause.” Began Longinus as Falgeirr cautiously inched closer to it.
“This is but one of three xeno objects known as a Dyson Sphere. Fabricated by a long dead race, its true use to us has been lost to time. What we do know from the experiments and research of the Adepts of Mars is that such a sphere has the ability to negate the warp by causing a tear in the reality that feeds it.”
“If this relic has such power how were we able to enter the warp in its presence?” inquired Falgeirr skeptically.
“Such an object is antithesis to all Chaos and its abominations, but this one currently lies dormant. All attempts at divination on how to activate it have failed, but a recent opportunity has presented itself to me where we have the possibility of securing the rites to its activation.”
“And once it is active?”
“Ahh, that is the nature of our mission, to obtain the rites of activation, and then to deliver such an artifact into the very heart of Chaos’ domain!”
“I need your help in this Brother Falgeirr and that is a difficult thing for an Inquisitor to admit, this opportunity has come to me while under strength and under manned. If I were to go though proper administrative channels there would be talk, debate, and a waste of valuable time, not to mention those in power who disapprove of my methods.”
“Now is the time for warriors such as you and I to do what we were born to do. So I ask- are you and your men with me on this?” finished Longinus as he gazed intensely into the unflinching Space Wolf.
Nodding grimly for a moment Falgeirr replied.
“The will of the Emperor works in strange ways Inquisitor, myself and my battle brothers will assist you if what you say has been truthful so far…”
Exiting from the warp with a metallic shudder the Imperial Dogma decelerated as its relays and console displays returned to normal. Now at the edge of Imperial Space it drifted among the Halo Stars- huge gas giants and void pulsars who have existed since the creation of the galaxy, but have now grown cold and dim with age.
A segment of space marked by superstition and myth there was little Imperial presence anywhere other then a few observation probes from the Adeptus Mechanicus.
“Brother Falgeirr, assemble your men and have them meet me on the bridge, tell them nothing other then we will both be working together to deliver a great blow to the mightiest of traitors to the Emperor. The less they truly know is for their own good.” Ordered Longinus as he parted ways leaving the Space Wolf to his own thoughts.
Secrecy was for those without honor and as a Space Wolf it was going to be hard for Falgeirr to keep the details of this mission from his men. He always took comfort in knowing up front the perils that one might face and what sacrifices would be called upon to make. If he had little faith in Inquisitor Longinus with what scraps of truth he was undoubtedly told about this Dyson Sphere how could he ask his men to follow him into battle on even less?
“Ho! What news?” greeted the Grey Hunter Sergeant as Falgeirr entered their jail like barracks onboard the Imperial Dogma.
“Yes, how long must we be caged like animals!” asked another Grey Hunter.
“Be still Brother Arius! I’m sure Brother Falgeirr made the Inquisitor see things eye to eye and tooth to tooth.” Belted the Sergeant back as the pack assembled.
Clearing his throat Falgeirr continued.
“Brothers, we have been through many trials together and shown many a foe what it means to be a Space Wolf.”
“Here! Here!” raised a muffled cheer.
“What I ask now is based on the integrity of my heart, my loyalty to you and the chapter.”
“We have been chosen for a new assignment, what was to be a quiet homecoming back to the Fang will now take us to a place beyond to all but the light of the Emperor.”
“I know little of what will be expected and what is known I have been sworn to secrecy by order of the Inquisition. All I can ask is for your loyalty and trust in that the will of the Emperor has decided to test our resolve and worthiness as Space Wolves.”
“What kind of test?” asked a Brother.
“A test against the mightiest and most epic of traitors to the Imperium.”
“Yes, Chaos, but different in that we will be taking the crusade to them this time, to bring retribution to the very heart of their wickedness, and show them the wrath of betrayal.”
“Are you with me lads?” asked Falgeirr hesitantly.
“Aye!” was the instant response in unison to the question.
When one had total faith in their Brothers there was no need for words or diplomatic persuasion, such was the way of the Space Wolves.
“I am Inquisitor Longinus and I ask for your attention to what we are about to speak about.” Began the Inquisitor as the group assembled on the command deck of the ship.
“The secrecy of this assignment is of my choosing as it is paramount to its success. We are on the edge of known space, a region known as the Halo Stars and in a moment there will be no chance of turning back from our task.”
“Heed closely, as what you will soon see and be asked to do in the Emperor’s name will be trying. There will be times where truth appears as falsehood, and what you have been trained to hate must be cast aside.”
“Once we are again underway and you have demonstrated your trust in me and the mission at hand will I be able to fully tell you what will be expected of you.” Finished the Inquisitor as a faint strobe like flash could be seen far in the starry distance out the command deck window.
Something was approaching the Imperial Dogma with a tremendous velocity as a mere speck in the distance grew larger and larger as it was evident a starship of sorts was approaching.
“Commander, clear the bridge and secure the doors. On my authority have the Storm Troopers stand watch and shoot anybody who leaves this room until I give the order to stand down.”
Confirming and following the Longinus’ orders the bridge was cleared of all personnel including the servitors and menials till only the Space Wolves and the Inquisitor himself remained.
“Imperial Dogma, lower shields and power down all offensive systems.” Commanded Longinus as the machine spirit of the ship shuddered in compliance.
Decelerating to a complete stop at the last moment a planet spanning vessel clad in shadowy darkness cast its bow over the Imperial Dogma followed by the sound of faint metallic grinding throughout the ship.
“Stand fast!” whispered Falgeirr to his Brothers as they instinctively readied their bolters and gripped their chain sword hilts.
“Imperial Dogma, signal that we are ready!”
On the bridge of the Imperial Dogma there was a feeling of time standing still as a ripple of distorted space folded out next to Longinus. With a flash of blue light there was a sudden appearance of a group of skeletal beings.
Surrounding their Lord were a dozen hulking Immortals, their blasters at the ready as their sulking heads framed between massive ornamental shoulders glanced back and forth waiting for orders.
Drawing power weapons and flashing chain sword to life Falgeirr’s Grey Hunters stepped forward as the Immortals blasters began to power up.
“Hold!” boomed Longinus as he put himself between the two groups forcing both sides to lower their weapons and uneasily stand down.
“Hrash Sharr…” whispered a long dead voice which coldly filled the room.
Bowing for a moment the Inquisitor then replied.
“I am ready to honor the terms of the agreement.”
Parting the Immortals aside with a casual wave a Necron Lord strode forward looking down Longinus.
Its skeletal form etched in gold, the Lord wore a shimmering metallic cape and held a techno-arcanic staff which was clearly both a powerful weapon and symbol of rank.
“Imperial Dogma, set course for the Eye of Terror! Activate null shields!” Ordered Longinus as he turned aside and bid the Necron Lord to follow.
Marching like clockwork machinery the Immortals moved behind their Lord before coming to a halt outside the door as their master, Longinus, and Falgeirr went inside.
Standing outside the closed door meeting room the Grey Hunters made sure their bolters were chambered and their chain swords only a fist away as both sides stood unmoving before each other.
Reviewing the star chart before them Falgeirr was amazed at the level of detail it contained regarding the Eye of Terror.
“Brother Space Wolf, do not be surprised as we are not the first to find ourselves in this shadowy realm.” Offered Longinus.
“Sayash…” whispered the Lord back.
“Yes, the path you have charted will take us to this planet, 5th in the system, volcanic atmosphere. The artifact in question is located here.” Continued Longinus as a small rocky red planet displayed across the pict-screen before zooming down to surface level revealing a towering obelisk like object.
With its red eyes flickering intensely for a moment at the image of the obelisk Falgeirr wondered why it was clearly so important to the Necron.
“I will deliver you there as promised and when so I expect the activation codes in return.”
With another flicker of its cold gaze the Lord signaled its understanding as it took leave of the room leaving Longinus and Falgeirr alone.
“Imperial Dogma, secure this room.” Ordered the Inquisitor as there was an echo of shifting metal in the distance.
“We are free to speak now.” Began Longinus as he turned off the pict-screen.
“What do you think of the situation?” casually asked Longinus as Falgeirr thought long and hard for a moment.
“We Space Wolves have our own customs and often the service of a Space Wolf is rather simple. All our tales of legend, training, and faith in the Emperor compel us to seek our and destroy those who would threaten humanity.”
“Now you have not only made a pact with such an enemy but you have brought us to the very shores of hell to consummate that pact.”
“The edicts of the Emperor demand we follow your orders but what my bothers have seen this day…it might be too much to ask of even a Space Wolf.”
“This Necron Lord, he has the ability to activate the sphere artifact?” asked Falgeirr.
“Yes, it was his race that created it.”
“That structure we just saw, it is Necron also?”
“What do they want with it?”
“I don’t know other then the Lord has his own personal reasons.”
“What is to prevent them from betraying us?” asked Falgeirr.
“Nothing, other then it is not in their best interests in do so…for now. Just as we are taking great risks here so is this Necron. It is acting alone and no doubt the powers that command it would not be pleased to know it is working with us. As long as it needs us we are safe.”
“And when it no longer needs us?”
“It will turn on us as we will turn on it, and this is where I need you Space Wolf. We will have only one opportunity.” Finished Longinus.
“How long must my talents be wasted here? Lamented the Chaos Lord as the Khornate collar around his neck grew tighter suppressing his thoughts of rebellion.
His masters were fickle and a moment of laxness had brought him to centuries of boredom on this volcanic waste of a planet. Failure for the World Eaters meant death, yet he was denied his place before the brass throne, left to anguish here, cursed warrior now turned bureaucrat.
“Lord Syn…production from barcardium pit five is lagging again…” Hissed once of the sniveling lackeys who was forever trailing him with details, statistics, and numbers.
Watching the anguished forms of the slaves working below in one of the mine pits, Syn was angered for having his thoughts disturbed.
“Let the men handle it, take some heads and the rest will fall into line!” he barked about to continue as a flash of light in the ashen sky caught his attention for a moment.
Without the instincts of his master the lackey behind Lord Syn was vaporized by a wash of plasma as the slave pit in front of them exploded followed by the echoed explosions of ordinance in the distance.
Kicking the charred corpse aside Lord Syn rose to his feet as the comm inside his helmet blared to life.
“I know that fool! Assemble the legion at the refinery and prepare for a counter attack!” ordered the Chaos Lord as the collar around his neck broke free and tumbled to the ground.
“First salvo away, lance barrage two loading, thirty seconds…” replied the bridge gunner of the Imperial Dogma as Longinus picked out the second round of targets.
“When we land, fire at will, but keep this sector free.” Was Longinus’ final order as he made way to the hangar.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with the Immortals in the hold of the Thunderhawk, Falgeirr could sense the uneasiness of his Brothers as the Necron Lord and Inquisitor Longinus closed the hatch behind them.
Moments later the small craft was hurtling towards the surface of the planet as the Inquisitors voice commed the cabin.
“Space Wolves, enemy ground contact, prepare to engage, two minutes…”
“For the Emperor….and Russ!” was the reply in unison as the Immortals stood by in silence.
Whipping the dust up into the air around the landing zone Lord Syn looked on as his World Eater Bezerkers took up position.
“All teams in position my Lord!” commed his Chosen as Syn looked up making sure the Havoc squad on the ridge was in position.
“World Eaters! The lackeys of the false Emperor dare to come here and challenge us, take their skulls for the skull throne!” he replied on the open channel as the Thunderhawk landed dropping its ramp into the blackened ground.
As soon as the shadows inside began to move the first wave of Berserkers were afoot charging with bolt pistols and chain swords.
“Blood for the….” Was their rally which was cut short at the surprise of the skeletal Immortals marching down the ramp instead of marines, as they stripped away at the World Eaters with lightning from their gauss blasters.
“Havocs!” rallied Syn as he cursed, directing their las cannon and missile fire into the Thunderhawk blowing off one of its turbines as the Space Wolves then disembarked moving ahead of the Immortals.
Meeting the World Eaters failed charge head on Falgeirr and his Grey Hunters crashed into their ranks which quickly turned into a mass of whirling chain swords and flashes of bolter fire.
“Get him up there now!” bellowed Syn as he shoved away the mutant lackeys scurrying around him trying to direct the battle.
Breaking through the front ranks Falgeirr called out to the pack next to him as he tried to locate Inquisitor Longinus.
“Rally!” he ordered just as a mutated World Eater Rhino rumbled ahead dragging a chained and bound Chaos Dreadnought behind it. Bellowing in pain and eternal fury the Dreadnought popped its chains free as it towered forward lining up its plasma cannon.
“Take Cover…” ordered Falgeirr as his group instinctively dropped to the ground while continuing to fire away with their bolters.
Caught out in the open the group of Hunters to the right was incinerated by the ball of plasma from the Dreadnought.
“Melta-gun! Brother Arik!” cracked the comm as the battle intensified.
Driven by madness the Dreadnought charged towards the Space Wolves as a veil of darkness shimmered next to it materializing the Necron Lord who then lightly swung his staff of light across the machine blazing through its leg and lower torso.
Toppling forward the Dreadnought crashed to the ground as the plasma cannon discharged at point blank filling the air with star fire.
“Let them die for the Blood God! Order the rest to fall back to the wastes and we will draw them in for a counter attack!” ordered Lord Syn as he exited with his chosen Terminators.
Regaining his senses as the World Eaters retreated Falgeirr took a roll call of his men which was met with more silence then “Aye!”.
Picking up Brother Arik’s melta-gun Falgeirr found Longinus talking to the Necron Lord.
Blocking his path a group of Necron Immortals strode forward causing him to stop. Taking stock in their numbers only a few were missing, probably buried in the piles of dead scattered about, while surprisingly the remainder appeared unscathed in the least.
“Honor our agreement!” commanded Longinus as the Necron Lord’s eyes flickered before dismissed the Immortals so Falgeirr could approach.
“Commander Falgeirr, we advance to the obelisk. You and your marines will go with the Immortals to draw away the enemy. I will accompany the Lord and we will meet at the obelisk.” Was the order from Longinus who now seemed a bit stiff and formal.
“Yes Lord Inquisitor.” Saluted Falgeirr as he rounded up his Brothers.
Trekking through the ash waste the Immortals trudged on ahead with little regard for cover or stealth.
“Let them lead lads, better to draw fire, and keep their backs to us.” Remarked Falgeirr as the volcanic winds picked up almost washing out of sight the Necrons ahead.
“They test me, the true gods are granting me redemption!” hissed Lord Syn as the scout reports were relayed to him. Many other commanders might have been confused in the chaos around them, but Syn’s centuries of experience told him otherwise.
“The bombardment from the cruiser is of no concern. They target the slave pits and refineries to mislead from their true objective- which is here.” He pointed out to his assembled Chosen.
“Now it seems that they have split up with what appears to be their main attack force here led by the Space Wolves. We will deny them this advantage and make sure we strike first!
Pausing for a moment Falgeirr and his pack crouched low in the ashen waste as a growing rumble could be heard in the distance.
“Armor?” commed one of the men as the ground began to shake followed by the eruption of gauss weapon fire.
“Forward you slaves and mutant dogs!” cursed Lord Syn as the Chaos task masters drove the remaining slaves from the chemical mines into the ashen wasted towards the Space Wolves.
Moving back to back with the Necrons, the Space Wolves emptied clip after clip into the huge mass of misshapen slaves who were more afraid of the wrath of their masters then the fury of the Space Wolves.
“Magazine clear!” barked one of the ‘Wolves as a fresh clip was passed to him as others were slinging their empty weapons and drawing chain swords.
“Wait for it!” was the order as a wall of slaves crashed into them pressing and pulling in all directions. In such a sea of flesh, skill was of no importance as there was no room to swing a sword or draw a pistol.
Power armor and Necron bodies were torn apart by thousands of prying hands and claws as Falgeirr struggled to maintain his grip on his melta-gun.
“Pst!” “Pst!” popped the Immortals as their bodies began to phase away while a shimmering of darkness gathered next to the last two of them. Seeing an opportunity and acting on instinct Falgeirr struggled through the sea of bodies and grappled onto the back of the Immortal as he felt his insides churn and spill out as the veil of darkness enveloped him.
Materializing atop one of the broken mountains overlooking the ash waste Falgeirr rolled away behind a group of larger rocks as he struggled to keep from passing out.
Climbing across the rocks he glimpsed the battle below as the few remaining Space Wolves that he could see were swallowed under the mass of the horde.
“Call off your warriors and give me the code!” came the familiar voice of Inquisitor Longinus from the other side of the rocks.
“Rashat…” was the silvery reply.
“Consider your next move carefully Necron! My ship has locked onto this spot and if the correct code for the Dyson Sphere is not relayed it will fire on this position. Even if you survive, this structure won’t!”
Turning on his back Falgeirr could see the top of the obelisk as he heard the two immortals move away.
“…we will have only one opportunity.” Whispered the Inquisitor’s voice telepathically in his head as Falgeirr willed himself up and crouched low to remain hidden.
“Good, and now that our agreement has concluded…” began the Inquisitor followed by the sudden bark of bolt pistol fire followed by flashes of gauss energy and a high shrill scream.
Rising up from the rocks Falgeirr caught a final glimpse of Longinus’ life as half his body, power armor and all, disintegrated away. Vaping away the two Immortals with the melta gun Falgeirr swung around to the Necron Lord as his trigger clicked a final time.
“Empty!” Flashed through his mind, as the Necron Lord held his position keeping the staff aimed directly at him. Understanding the Necron couldn’t risk a glancing shot to the obelisk it held its fire.
Raising the melta gun an inch higher towards the obelisk the Lord’s eyes flickered brighter as it took a step forward.
Hoping to buys some time Falgeirr called out to the Necron as he slowly moved over to Longinus’ body.
“What is this?” he asked nodding to the obelisk.
“Old Ones…” echoed back the Lord in perfect high gothic as the ground rumbled and the obelisk rose to life and began to open apart.
Leaping away with all his strength Falgeirr rolled as pulses of light impacted into his armor while the Necron used the distraction to enter the obelisk.
“Longinus!” gasped Falgeirr as he grasped the Inquisitor’s other bolt pistol from his belt and removed the helmet to his power armor only to find a woman’s face heavily studded with neuro implants in its place.
“Falgeirr!” suddenly commed the inquisitor’s voice inside his helmet.
“No time! The Obelisk has shielded itself from our targeters, we can’t take it out from orbit…Necron Lord….” It cracked before washing out to static.
Knowing what needed to be done Falgeirr ran to the obelisk finding the Necron Lord inside about to enter the shimmering light of its power core.
Firing off the remaining pistol rounds to no effect the Lord’s eyes grew dim as it entered the light.
“We have a lock on the obelisk!” replied the bridge gunner on the Imperial Dogma as Longinus watched the pict relay of the obelisk powering up.
“Lance strike it now!” he ordered as a volley of plasma fired from the cruiser.
Hearing the screech of ordinance entering the atmosphere Falgeirr knew there was no surviving once it hit. Filling with anger at the deaths of his ‘Wolf brothers and the machinations of Inquisitor Longinus, he swore to Russ that wherever this Necron was going he would follow to make sure it paid for its part in this scheme.
With a wolf like howl Falgeirr tackled the Necron Lord as his eyes were blinded and all sense of space and time seemed to stop.
Floating in a sea of light he heard the booming sound of plasma in the distance as he hovered across from the Necron Lord who’s skeletal body began to dissolve and transform into a being of light as the fragmented remains of its soul were finally released from its curse of mechanical immortality.
“Peace…” where its last words as Falgeirr reached out at the last moment taking hold of its staff and yanking it free from its hands.
Feeling the weight of the universe returning to him the staff glowed with an unholy green color as the bright white light was replaced by the stone blocks of a cold dark room overlooking a large center chamber.
Rising quickly from a large metallic throne Falgeirr spun around as ranks of Necron Immortals entered the room and stood at the ready.
“For the Emperor…for Russ!” he growled tightening the grip on the staff…