very much just an initial brain dump...
Not a path i'm going to take in my actual version but another interesting exercise.
It could probably be argued that the story line I took seems to be one of 'actually the other guy seems to be rebelling', but perhaps this how rebellions start, where the 'rebel' is unaware that they are actually now 'the bad guy'. right and wrong are often 'grey area' so from my chapter's perspective they are clearly in the right, and vice versa from the enemy's perspective.
It's a fairly abstract piece with little background as to why or how the Black Templars are itching for a fight, they just are (aside from the previously established chapter history etc).
- - - -
The blockade sweeps like a wall substantial across the sensor display. An officer gestures and the image evaporating into nothingness.
Out of the viewer 'display' the tiny specks of metal reflecting the nearby sun's radiance.
Haral Dalan knew that the wall ended eventually, though it curved away in an imposing arc before it did. The ships grew larger, ever larger, the increase perceptible only to his enhanced vision at this stage, but it wouldn't be long before the humans on the deck could make them out too.
He had already seen this path over the previous days... his gift, and yet here they still were.
Victory was not assured. Victory? Could it even be called that?
The taking of Astartes blood by a fellow brother, regardless their estrangement, was something the Chapter had never abided. Chaos was something different entirely. Was that force at play in this remote locale?
For them the petty pedantry of the inquisitor's whims and time wasting was as feeble as their puny arms by comparison. The Astartes are bigger than that... better than that... so he had thought.
'We are the Emperor's will,' the thought escapes on a breath.
"Commander?" queries Harlan. The venerable Chaplain stands resolutely at Dalan's side. If Dalan had any doubts as to their purpose they were swept aside by the sight of his brother; a veritable paragon of truth, the embodiment of the Emperor's plan.
The corner of Dalan's mouth rises slightly, not a smile, but a grim acknowledgement.
"Stand fast Commander," says the Chaplain peacefully, "We are with you."
And they were, the Chapter's vast fleet of war ship arrayed behind Gunrock. The rude flint spearhead seemed incongruous atop the metal shaft of the fleet, but its primitive origins bely the devastating ferocity it could unleash.
The local imperial fleet added to their number, swarming packs of guns and engines from the various systems surrounding their orderly structure. A force instigated by the Chapter, an extension of the Imperium built by these very marines.
'Damned if they're going to destroy it!' Dalan thinks bitterly.
The Emissary had arrived days earlier in the northern reaches. A lone Frigate embellished with the white, eight pointed cross denotes their brand, Black Templars.
Eight points, Dalan considers as he waits in the hall for their visitors.
Many centuries ago the same white cross had emblazoned the shoulder of his own armour. How long ago that seemed now.
He had anticipated the worst and received nothing less.
The Templar Captain stops in front of the Commander. He briefly glances at the stylized sun emblazoned proudly on Dalan's pauldron as though that is all the identification he requires.
"We know who you are," the Templar Captain states curtly, introduction apparently superfluous to his mission.
"As do we," replies Dalan remaining passive. "Servants of the Emperor."
For over a millennium the Chapters' paths had not crossed directly. It was a deliberate caution on the side of the Solar Blades, and one seemingly worth the effort.
"Mutant," the word came out surprisingly flat, factual, but Dalan picked up every fraction of hatred that propelled the syllables.
"I don't need to get our Warrant of Founding," states Dalan, "You clearly know who we are, what we have done, what we have achieved... and why. We do not have to answer to you. We will not."
"No, you do not need to answer to me," states the Templar Captain, "but your time is come never-the-less."
"You came all this way to threaten us?"
"Commander, we came this way to undo your treachery. I am not here because I want to be, but because I have been ordered here. Others, other more generous than I are giving you a chance to repent. It seems my superiors hold a shred of hope for your damned soul because of our... shared origins," his distaste is blatant, "The end of your corruption however, that is an inevitability."
A message is transmitted unseen to his suit. 'Warning: Imperial fleet detected. Hostile.'
"For... the... Emperor," states Dalan. He turns and walks away expecting the Templar Captain or his men to attack immediately but their swords remain sheathed and they just watch his departure contemptuously.
A series of reports follow their departure. Reports of pending dread, reports of unfolding death, and finally the punctuation of silence.
Tell, the planet on which their brief discourse had unfolded had been scourged by the Templars, a warning, a prelude.
The Solar Blades fleet amasses with all due haste at Podd; the first planet developed, nurtured by the Chapter when they arrived in the area. It was a fitting site for their current muster.
Nurture... hardly a verb associated with the Astartes but appropriate none the less. For centuries the marines had overseen the development, the safety, the growth in this far corner of the galaxy. Endeavoring with resolute determination to shine the Emperor's light so far from the pale dot of the distant Astronomican.
These event could not be more unforseen.
Now in the distance, closing, the Templars, Sororitas, Adeptus Mechanicus... The enemy arrayed before them boggles Dalan's mind, in no way can he reconcile this action.
No Imperial Navy... curious.
The Mechanicus; it was just ten years since their last delegation of sanctioned tech-marines returned from training at Mars.
The Sororitas; the 'inquisition' practically instigated their founding, though the various off-shoot branches were renown for their 'instability'.
The Black Templars; well... perhaps conflict was just a matter of time, though he had thought their origins suitable obscured.
Someone in the Administratum with a hidden agenda? Blind mischance? Chaos?
Their relationship with the Administratum was the very bedrock of the Silvestris Sector's success. The legitimate partnerships with the Mechanicus were triumphs in their own right.
"Communications?" he asks. There had been no hails since the fleet had entered real space several hours ago. No response to theirs either.
Seconds pass, forming minutes. The bridge is silent beyond the mechanical interactions of machine to machine, human to machine, the flow of data.
"A response Commander!"
A stern Astartes in black armour appears before Dalan and his retinue on the bridge.
The disembodied torso looks at each individual deliberately, as though sizing them up, putting a face to the his mission, finding them wanting.
"I am Commander Dalan of the Solar Blades. I demand an immediate explanation for this invasion. I demand to know by what authority you raise arms against this loyal sector of the Imperium. And... I demand it now."
"I am Marshal Haket of the Black Templar; true Astartes" replies the Templar, "You may demand nothing traitor."
Dalan feels his compatriots bristle with the unfounded accusation.
"Your crimes are multitude; mutation, treachery, heresy. Your "sector" is the work of tainted seed... and the word 'loyal' should burn in your mouth," he pauses as though imagining a new and interesting torture. "The inquisition will certainly have its work cut out here once we're done."
All the while the tiny ships draw nearer, bringing the grim marine ever closer.
"We answer to the High Lords," states Dalan brushing aside the stark rudeness, he senses there will be a time to deal with that affront personally, "You have their mandate I presume?"
"You were a mistake born of our gene-seed," says Haket side-stepping the question, "You are therefore our problem to rectify."
"I see you have not managed to convince any of other our brothers of your lunacy. The Novamarines, the Raven Guard, our allegiances means nothing to you?"
"Your inveiglement of our kin is just another crime to add to your ledger," spits Haket.
"We are the Emperor's servants. There appears to be no reasoning with your madness," Dalan pauses, "It is only pity I feel for your descent."
The ships of the Solar Blades thunder forward through the void, aimed as certainly as the Astarte's bolts at the illegitimate invaders.
On every deck preparations are made. Weapons, armour, engines, fuel, harnesses, sensors; the machines of war spin into action.
Dalan's helmet is already locked in place though he is still on the bridge, he will join his boarding squad after the initial clash. It is his place to be amongst his men and he will not let them down.
The enemy ships are discernible now. Dalan no longer cares as to the cause of the enemy's actions, knowing only that they must be stopped.
Already signals have been sent to the agents of the Administratum. Had the Administratum sanctioned this action for reasons unknown?
He has no idea how history will remember these forced decisions, his handling of this unfortunate matter, but it was his duty to handle it regardless. He will not yield.
A glyph flickers in his helmet: 'In range.'
Edited by paulJam, 19 May 2015 - 07:25 PM.