The inquisitor kept one eye on the battle raging around him as the black armored apothecary finished extracting the gene-seed from the Grey Knight’s broken body.
<With that we have everything I need> mused the inquisitor, <the Emperor thanks you.>
<Yes but the Knights certainly won’t. We need to leave now, Marcade> thought back the marine softly, surely, solemnly.
After Marcade shot a few plasma bolts into the Knight’s body disguising the surgery, they went to their waiting transport and took off into the stars through the hail of fire scouring the shattered landscape of Armageddon. Back on Marcade’s ship in orbit around a nearby moon they stored the gene seed with the others they had collected.
“At last,” Marcade said, more to himself than anyone in the room, “Navigator, take us to Solemnity.”
On the star charts it could be seen that the navigator had set the course for the Eye.
They docked at the derelict hulk of the remains of a blackstone fortress split in two in some ancient war by some inconceivable force on the far side of the Eye of Terror. Marcade left the ship followed by three black armored marines, including a techmarine, and several servitors bearing a suspensor equipped capsule. They arrived at a massive laboratory bristling with arcane technologies, bustling with servitors, a veritable starscape of diodes, indicators, and worklights. Marcade and the third marine, wearing a helmet shaped in the skull of his order, looked on as the apothecary and the techmarine worked peculiar servitors to install the contents of the capsule into an ancient and bizarre machine.
“Choragius, is the device ready?” Marcade aimed at the techmarine.
“The re-splicer should be functional, although I doubt highly that all of the seed will come out identical.” Choragius admitted.
“That will be Sanos’s problem and mine,” said the skull helmeted marine, “We have trained a long time for such peculiar problems.”
“Vigilo is correct, there is no need to worry about that problem when we have so many more,” Marcade sounded increasingly impatient, “Do it, there is no need to wait.”
Choragius engaged the device, which awoke like a beast startled from sleep by a storm, first it screeched, then it roared, and finally it settled into a quiet humming.
Marcade and Sanos led the pack of servitors down the empty halls of Solemnity, the quick steps of the inquisitor on the metal floor echoed along the corridor beating out a frantic staccato in sharp contrast with the slow heavy clangs of the marine’s power armored footsteps. Winding down the long path into the bowels of the fortress, they arrived at a cavernous chamber sealed by great ceramite doors. Marcade unlocked the gates and led the group through. The room was filled with row after row of pods each holding a single comatose test-slave and all hooked up to advanced life support systems. Sanos had the servitors bring a pod to the operating table and removed one of the newly reformatted progenoid glands from the capsule they had brought down. He and Marcade opened up the test-slave and implanted that most sought after organ. The servitors then brought the test-slave and vat back to its storage space and brought back another.They repeated the process again and again until all the glands had been used save one. That one was placed carefully back within the capsule. Marcade then laid himself down on the table.
“I’m ready for the first three,” Marcade spat out as Sanos strapped him down to the table.
“I’ll be the judge of that,” answered Sanos calmly as he took samples from Marcade, “Yes, the age regression process appears to have worked, your body seems ready to receive the implants.”
“Then get to work,” Marcade barely finished speaking before the drugs took effect and he knew no more.
Date: Time will be meaningless if all goes well.
Sanos tells me he has been able to slow the virus, and I can keep it mostly in check while awake, but even we must sleep sometimes. Vigilo says he has seen the future and that I have many a role yet to play in our grand scheme. I must believe them.
Perhaps it would have gone differently if my aim had been true. Perhaps that beast would never have touched me and they wouldn’t have been close enough to hear it’s scream. Yet, the Emperor guides my arm; this must be as He intended. His will be done.
Use the enemies’ weapons against them, that is, no was, part of our duty in the Deathwatch. Though I am probably forsaken now by them too, that is all we are trying to do. Perhaps we will be forsaken even by the Emperor after what we do now. But even if our souls be forfeit I will not forsake the Imperium. Vigilo tells of our deeds to come as unspoken, unthanked, and absolutely necessary.\
Note: Title logs from now on, dates are suspect.
“Today we attempt what no loyal citizen of the Imperium has done before,” Marcade said with great import, leaning heavily on his force staff for support.
“Let’s hope that the Xenos hasn’t tricked us,” said Choragius warily.
“We know he isn’t lying, but let’s hope he knows what he is...,” said Sanos.
“He does,” ended Vigilo with knowing finality, “We will be fine, the modifications to the Navigator were successful, and the food replicators are fully functional, Marcade, it’s up to you.”
Marcade spoke the words that would potentially damn them all, “Ten years in a day. Take us through, Prometheus.”
<Right away, sir> answered the Navigator.
Sanos looked up from Marcade’s unconscious frame at the vidscreen. The vast cloud of green and blue surrounding the ship pulsed with malevolence. Impossible skittering horrors, made of scything claws and of malice, clambered over all the parts of the Uerisimile Conatus looking for purchase with which to tear the ship into oblivion. Sanos shuddered and returned to his work.
Choragius’ alarmed voice rang out through the chamber from the vox as the warning sirens began to go off, “The Sensei field is breaking down near the port side engine!”
Sanos took up his bolt pistol and slammed on his helmet as he rushed out the door. <Vigilo, are you coming?> thought Sanos in earnest.
<I can’t. Prometheus is having some sort of fit, I am putting his mind to ease.>
<We’ll do our best without you,> thought Sanos in exasperation.
Sanos ran quickly down the corridors, the sounds of flamer and plasma fire beginning to reach his ears over a chorus of hideous screams. The noise died down as he arrived at the engine room. Choragius stood in the midst of a pile of burnt or burning daemon corpses, slowly flickering into oblivion. “Where’s the breach?” Sanos asked quickly.
Before Choragius could speak the hellspawn made the answer abundantly clear by tearing through the vent to Sanos’ left. The many eyed beast pounced on Sanos knocking him to the floor. Three flickering tongues licked out of its many tentacled maw to taste Sanos’s armor. It sang with impotent rage and its tentacles flared out as Sanos bucked it off to land in the corner on three sets of warp sharpened claws. Before it could stand back up, Sanos leveled a shot at it with his bolt pistol. The psionically charged bolt burrowed deep into the beasts flank before exploding in a burst of kaleidoscope gore, splattering the wall opposite with all that remained. Choragius’s accursed left arm formed the plasma rifle which he used to quickly dispatch another of the tentacle wolves. “Use this to seal the breach!” He shouted to Sanos, throwing back a small canister as he thundered down the room toward a patch of giggling daemonspawn.
Sanos caught the canister and quickly got to work on the wall, spraying the nano-foam over the holes, sealing them tight. Choragius purged the hellish remainder congregated around a control panel with the judicious use of his servo-harness flamer. Quickly he set upon repairing the Sensei field relay that the beasts had damaged. “Field holding stable,” said Choragius over the shipwide vox. Turning, he gazed into the gaping jaw of a beast for a split second, long enough even for the spray of acidic saliva to begin to sizzle on the ceremite of his helmet, but far too short for the beasts razor sharp fangs to clamp down.Then a bead of light appeared in the beast’s forehead which expanded quickly in an explosion that painted Choragius’s armor an interestingly new pattern of yellow and pink.
“Thanks, Sanos,” Choragius said, perhaps a bit reluctantly.
“You're welcome,” said Sanos as he lowered his smoking bolt pistol, “Did you fix it?”
“Yes, I repaired the breach,” said Choragius calmly, “First breach in two years, just had to happen while Marcade was under the knife. Still,” his arm reshaping into a fist, “I am surprised we haven’t had more problems, operating without a proper Gellar field.”
“It’s the Numen’s light, the Emperor protects us still,” interjected Vigilo as he entered the room carrying the corpse of a small impish creature. “I found what was troubling our Navigator. He should be fine in a few hours time. We will be entering realspace while he recovers. I think it will be good to see what we are fighting for. It will be good to see the stars.”
They combed the remainder of the Uerisimile Conatus for any other daemonic incursions while the ship made the transition and then sojourn into realspace. Sanos stole a glance at a vidscreen and smiled. It was covered in stars.
Marcade convulsed with pain. The mixture of genes roiling in his blood was tearing his body apart and building it anew at every level. With a scream and a twitch he smashed his servo-skull attendant to pieces. Sanos entered the room with a fresh batch of muscle relaxants, “Are you ready, Marcade?”
“No!” shouted Marcade through clenched teeth, “Give me no more medicine until the next stage. I must adapt with this new body or it will kill me.”
“If you must, but this ma-,” began Sanos unable to finish because of the psychic scream that issued forth from Marcade and echoed through the warp space around them. Fortunately, the prince of excess heard it not, with them being so far into the formless wastes. Such agony would have certainly earned his profane attentions. After pulling down the barriers he had barely been able to erect in time around his mind, Sanos finished. “Without the medicine, the process may kill you regardless.”
“Nonsense, this is merely my first test of faith, but I thank you for your kindness Sanos. Please bring me Vigilo,” answered Marcade, breathing heavily.
“Very well,” Sanos left to wake the Chaplain from his sleep.
“Greetings, Sanos,” Vigilo answered, apparently wakened by Marcade’s scream. “How is Marcade?”
“In grave condition, I fear,” Sanos answered dutifully, “he requests your presence, and I believe that his problems are not so much of the body but of the spirit. Your guidance is the best medicine we can administer at this juncture.”
“Thank you, I will speak to him,” said Vigilo, with a far off look in his already distant eyes. Vigilo stood, following Sanos out the door, but turning towards the medical bay as Sanos peeled off to check on the test-slave vats. Walking down the metal corridors, he left a lonely echo in his wake.
“Your council would be much appreciated, Vigilo,” managed Marcade in between wheezing breaths.
“We are six years into this leg of our venture,” began Vigilo, “but that is nothing compared to the time we have yet to spend in our duty. From my glimpses of your fever dreams your nightmare is not to fall but to fail. I would be remiss to not remind you that they are one and the same for us. But there is brighter news. I have seen our first battles. That means we must live on for some time hence. Surely that is some small comfort. The Emperor has some purpose for us yet.”
“His will be done,” said Marcade with the old grim, determined fire flaring once again in his eyes.
“His will be done,” echoed Vigilo.
“The process has worked, the blending in of all these; the eleventh, the Knights, the Children, and so many others, has produced you.” Sanos said to a silent Marcade. Marcade stared out into the maddening colors of the void as the ship tore through in glorious return to realspace. Now standing over a head taller than he did precious years earlier, he turned to face Sanos. His heavily scarred features played sharp contrast to the sleek black and gold suit of power armor he now wore. Sanos brought him out of his reverie, “Vigilo and I agree that you as architect should lead, that you should name us.”
“Then I shall. I would be lying if I said that I have not long desired this power. But now I understand the cost. This much power in the hand of every human would tear the Imperium asunder; it is no wonder that the Imperium fears the Astartes as much as it needs them. We shall raid the warp storms; striking hard and fast. We shall ride into battle upon the steeds of our enemies and cut them down with their own swords. We shall leave a great blood wake, but we shall never rest, for we are forsaken to all who we protect. We shall be the reavers of the storms,” Marcade finished with quiet certainty.
Sanos nodded, “We still have almost forty years until we will have enough seed to create the full company.”
Marcade replied quickly, “That assumes we find enough recruits. We need to start now,” The ship tore towards the planet below, which raged with the fires of battle.
Edited by Teetengee, 23 December 2014 - 03:22 PM.