Chapter One: The Rift Widens
"There's too many!"
"The planets in the systems are overru-*"
"Our weapons are offline, shields offline, nonoNO-*"
Captain William Aarde, aboard his old Emperor-Class Battleship which had not seen battle in over a hundred years, was trying to keep his ship alive in the Ork onslaught. The orks had numbers not required, five-dozen Kill Kroozers vs thirteen Imperial vessels. The Commodore of the battlegroup had long since been killed, and only an old captain remained in the fight.
"Lieutenant Liritus, plot a course for station Alpha-Nine! I want a message to tell all remaining Imperial vessels to meet us there."
Liritus nodded. "Yes captain. We'll be able to jump in three minutes."
The XO of the ship, Flag-Lieutenant Palidorius Acorda, grunted. “We can’t survive for that long! Do you see how many guns are firing at us!?”
Aarde glared at the CIC’s Imperial Aquila. “We’ll make it. Mister Liritus, did you issue the order?”
Liritus nodded. “Yes sir. Only an Astartes vessel and one other Imperial Navy vessel, as well as a civilian fleet has linked up with us, however.”
Aarde looked to the ground. “Let them come.
The void shields rumbled as random rocks and looted Imperial ballistics impacted. The impact droned on as their own weapons continued to fire back. “Void shields are going to drop in thirty seconds...jumping in twenty-seven seconds…”
“Three. Two. One.”
In the Cadian sector, at that moment, something terrible had happened. The forces of Chaos had won a strategic victory, devastating the Imperium’s fortress world Cadia. A Blackstone Fortress rammed itself deep within the planet itself, shattering the world and stopping a Necron pylon from accomplishing its task. The Eye of Terror...the Great Rift widened. It is known by many names...Gork’s Grin, The Death of Hope...but it does not matter what it is called.
It shattered the galaxy. And Battleship Nebulia, along with its accompanying fleet, were tossed into the Warp...along with the Ork WAAAAAGH! that they had been fighting.
Light returned to the CIC. Aade barely got back to his feet, and the rest of his crew seemed as similarly tossed about.
“...mister Liritus...fleet status report. What the hell...happened…”
Liritus got up and back to his terminal. “Fleet is all here, thirty-eight ships present and accounted for.”
Palidorius coughed, spitting out blood. “You didn’t answer his second question! What the frak just occured, mister Liritus?!”
Liritus shook his head. “I...don’t know. Eight of our ships report their astropaths have been blinded and the rest all report their astropaths are shaken, some even screamed. They’re all saying the same thing, ‘The warp peers into the galaxy’s soul...the warp has split Man in two...the Emperor...the Emperor…’ and now they started to cry.”
Palidorius barked, “Issue the order to shoot them! They’re all tainted filth now!” However the Captain did a slight headturn.
“Cancel that order. We don’t have any more astropaths in this fleet, I won’t be shooting the only people who can guide us to station Alpha-Nine.”
Aboard the Adeptus Astartes vessel Total Faith…
“This...is a complete and utter disaster. All forms of leadership are incomprehensible when we have a mere ninety Astartes and none of them proper leaders, besides a Supreme Aerospace Commander!” An Ultramarine Tactical Marine, by the name of Brodd Aiava, said to a fellow Astartes. Just then, a figure walked down the hallway, the mere act of his walking rumbled the metal plating of the metal floor.
Brodd got to his knee at the sight of the Supreme Aerospace Commander, Aureolus Aarde. “Supreme Aerospace Commander Aarde! We are blessed by the Emperor to still have you aboard the ship!”
Aurelous’s glare nearly burned through the ceramite plating of the Mark Seven armor. “Do not act like you are a noble Astartes to me, after saying such crude words behind my backside. In your ignorance of my other accomplishments, did you forget that we have a certain augmentation called Lyman’s Ear?”
Brodd looked to the ground, suddenly interested in all the cracks and wiring underneath the grated metal plates.
Aurelous looked around, then turned back to Brodd. “The Astartes onboard are, dare I say, worried about their status. I want you to spread word, as soon as we enter the voiddocks in station Alpha-Nine, your respective chapters will come to retrieve you. Relieve your worries.”
He continued on, as Brodd and his brother set out on their new assignment.
As Aurelous entered his quarters (the ship was an Ultramarines vessel), he got down to his knees. “By the Emperor…”
Suddenly, a short-length vox alert was received by the Supreme Aerospace Commander. “Lieutenant Liritus...report to Battleship Nebulia within...fifteen minutes…” He left his quarters and left for the hangar.
Edited by Bruce Malcom, 09 December 2019 - 01:08 AM.