No man’s land
The thunderclap had been heard, and sent a shockwave throughout the command structure at the front. Garbled reports came in and various comms had died in the shockwave. Constantine would merely have to look over to his command staff to know that they had lost a good portion of the five miles. When energy readings had been picked up, the unlucky souls that where within the blast radius had become nothing but ash and sub-molecular matter. A quick death, sufficed his need to understand that the enemy made a very, grave mistake. They would pay, for each Krieger lost, or cooked within the armor of the tanks and siege weapons. He had a plan, however. Turning calmly, without a single shred of remorse, regret, or compassion for their attack, merely seeing it as an attempt to undermine the Guard, he calmly asked “Do We have a comms link to the fleet?”
“Yes, Sir. The EMP wasnt large enough to reach us down here enough to affect all communications inside the command bunker. Your orders?”
“I need you to send a mesage to Xith. The Order will State. ‘Establish Contact with the Captain aboard the Spear of Vraks. Send targetting coordinates to the Skycastle, and the Govermental districts. Long Range Orbital Bombardment, Initiate Operation Hell-storm. Phase 3 of our plan is coming together . Eliminate the Resistance. Send our Nixagris Auxilaries to replace the front lines. Any tank not melted by that blast, I want rearmed and remanned for Combat operations. You have no more than six hours.’ Relay these orders to Viper squad as well. I need a Recon team behind the walls. ” he paused a moment to consider an option that he had not thought of these many weeks. He then said “Send in an attachment of Death Riders to eliminate stragglers. Anyone who crawls outside of that floating fortress. I want their heads on spikes. Dismissed. For the Emperor and for Krieg.”
Charred ash flew to the wind, nothing ever salvageable from it. Tanks melted to slag, were salvaged to be repurposed for ammunition, armor, and battlement fortifications. The Nixagris civilians that had joined the Krieg in the first weeks of its arrival, were ordered to man the front line. A Rather grim visaged Commissar watched over them all, his hand always on the bolt-pistol, just waiting, like that of a hawk, to pick off each and every one of them at the first sign of retreat. Chief amongst these, went not by serial number or a birth name, but only one, which, he was called SturmFeurer. A rather deathly individual, who would rather meet the enemy up close with blades in their throats and grenades strapped to his chest, then to waste his time in a long war of attrition. A very rare circumstance for a Krieger such as himself. He was made, to inspire fear and terror, to make the enemy piss themselves in fear if they ever heard the cackling laughter that would resonate in the air over vox-casted cacophonies of hatred and malice. His baleful watch, with his glowing red lenses that stared demonically from the respirator he wore, stared into the very souls of the men and women who volunteered for this. He waited, patiently, for the enemy to come.
-Meanwhile in Loch Trollsbane-
Xith had become hunched over the spent munitions platforms that had carried the missiles to the desired targets, annointing the blessed machines with ungents and oils, blessed in the name of the Omnissiah. Xith meticulouslly pondered his orders as they were recieved via his own aural network, much like that of a highly advanced configuration of data-feeds that, quite literally, almost extended his reality on an information-based level thrice-fold. With a wave of his hand, his augmented brain scanned the orders, halting at the specific part on what he needed to do and send it where. Without hesistation, he finished his prayer on platform 7, before moving swiftly with his retinue of servitors, to descend into the depths of what was once the lochs lake. Upon arrival, he blurted out in a long screech of machine cant, an order, more or less, that the machines willing obeyed. He set out his servitors to adjust the cogitators, the thinking machines of the Imperium, whilst his mechandrites flushed from his robes in their vast droves to the main strategum table. Hololithic images of the battlefield, based upon current Imperial estimations, set forth in a fresco of multi-colored designs to elbaorately give, in almost precise detail, every inch of the field and the precise locations of enemy and friendly positions. He zoomed in on the vid-picts that showed the skycastle floating once more, barely. Xith would begin a long sequence of calculating a ships algorithmic sequences as well as the coordinates to where the skycastles defensive batteries were located, alongside its main reactors. On a secondary objective, he also produced coordinates for the estimated governmental sectors of which were detailed on the emphasis on their destruction.
-Defensive Astroid Belt, shortly after the departure of the Scourge Eagles Chapter-
The Captain of the Spear of Vraks turned his wisened features towards the communications technician of which she had brought on screen the order as well as the issued coordinates. His hooded eyes would stare softly before looking directly ahead through the reinforced glass that made up the bridge. His wrinkled hand came up to his lean features to stroke his white and gray beard.
“You heard the General. Lock targeting matrix’s onto the issued coordinates, keep a distance, be sure we do not break cover. Adjust cogitators to allow for estimated approach on projectiles, be sure the warheads are small enough to not take out civilian locations. Target their governmental districts, be sure I see black craters from here, otherwise you all aren’t fit for service on my ship.” A loud chorus of Aye’s and Yes Sir’s resounded throughout the metallic chamber built within the ship. The fleets ships began to turn sideways, allowing their guns to take aim. Within the bowels of the ship, slaver gangs pushed their workers to load the larger than life shells into their chambers. The defeaning thrum of the plasma cores within the ship shot out energy pulses, large enough to power an entire continent for several hours. The rounds thundered with a cacaphony of death that of which bellowed forth hatred and righteous judgement on thrusters hell-bent on destroying the Skycastle and the entire government sector of Lorewall. These munitions, from an orbital view, were black, looming masses, encased with fortified plasteel and ceramite to send screaming into the heart of the districts. It took only twelve minutes for the rounds to reach the lower atmosphere, by this time, the populace would see what appeared to be astoroids, burning up in the atmosphere. Little stars of light, glistening against the darkened sky of war. if the five munitions were to hit skycastle, it would cease to exist as a pyroclastic cloud of fire would consume the entire land mass, and envelope half of the sky with such concussive force, it would send tremors throughout the land surrounding Lorewall. If the other five mass-reactive rounds would hit the governmental district, the buildings would be consumed in a white light, and a loud cataclysmic boom would send a shockwave, breaking everything glass within a twenty five mile radius.
The Fleet, as soon as the shells were fired, would begin to rotate back to defensive positions, leaving a tight, inter-locked formation, much like a layered shield, behind the asteroid belt. The Captain watched the screen carefully, watching the orbital feed of where the rounds would hit and how far the explosions would decimate Lorewall. It was considered close to the friendly lines, simply for the fact that these munitions were made for the exact purpose of ship to ship, anything else, left holes miles wide and deep in the crust of the planet.
Constantine, only few seconds before the order was given to send a salvo of munitions into the Skycastle and the Government districts of Lorewall, would move to address his command staff. “They have not learned, exactly how far I am willing to go, to give them Salvation. It is my duty, and my honor, to grant them either the Emperors Grace, or His Mercy. This Planet will be the Imperiums, for the sake of all Humanity, Chaos will die here before it sprouts forth its taint. We are dealing with rebels who our initial estimation of their technological advances were under-estimated. We will not make the same mistake twice. Bombard their lines. I want gore sprayed fifty feet high, and if that doesnt work, put them to the torch. Send the Valkyries in, if they do not budge with our cannon-fire, to drop promethium tanks over their lines, then ignite them. If that occurs, I want you to shut down every other interfering transmission, and broadcast their folly.” He turned a moment as one of the screens kept flashing. It was a transmission, sent to him, and to everyone this side of the planet.
“In this time of war and death, you look into my eyes and see, not a man who is afraid, but a man who is prepared. I am prepared to release our people from the clutches of this menace who treads on our land, who treads on our lives, and who is responsible for the deaths of millions of souls. It is in this selfish endeavour that your fight is futile. What do you fight for? Money? God? Power? None of these is as powerful as the reason why I still stand before you. I fight because of Love, because of Hope, because of responsibility. I stand here before you now, truly, unafraid. Why? I stand here without fear because, I remember. I remeber that I am here, not because of the path that lies before me, but because of the path that lays behind me. I remember that for thousands of years, we have fought to preserve alive our people in the face of certain destruction. I remember that for thousands of years, armies have been sent to anihillate us. But after over these thousands of years, I remember that which matters most. WE ARE STILL HERE! We will shake the foundations of your core, from snowy mountain, to desolate valley. This is our message to you…WE ARE NOT AFRAID!”
He stared into the very eyes of the being that showed its face through the comnet. His icy blue hues, rumored to be the very eyes of death itself, took in the image of this particular person. He then stated calmly, almost humored by the bravado. “We now have our secondary objective. Make sure, his head is brought to me.”
“Sir?” Asked one of the adjacent lieutenants.
“This young soul, thinks he can shake the Krieg. Let us show him, what it means to be shaken to death. He says he doesnt fear, but in fact he does. He fears, losing, fears losing everything he holds dear to him. This shows his weakness. We will rend from his fingers everything he holds dear. We will keep him alive long enough to see it burn, and only then, does he have my permission do die.”
The Command staff would move to their respective posts, however Constantine would turn only slightly, his head turning to regard them a moment before he said “One other thing.”
They all stopped in their tracks turning to him again “Yes Sir?” said one.
“Our tech-priests have been picking up Xenos life forms over the surface of this planet ever since we landed. Gather a report and send it.”
“To Whom, Sir?”
“His Holy Inquistion.”
With that they were dismissed. He would move to make way to his quarters. He would begin the long process of removing his armor plating, setting each set upon the armor rack that he had made certain to bring with him. After a while, he would stare at himself in the mirror. Memories flooded his mind, his scars began to have the tug of long pain and suffering he had endured. He would stare long and hard into the glass that had shown him his reflection.His eyes could not stare into his own, choosing to gaze down into the sink. Would move to sit at a chair that had long since been empty, choosing to kick his feet upon the oak finished table, mindlessly toying with a data-slate he held in his hands. His Journal. He would move the stylus to select a voice-recognition sequence, by which he would state his name, allowing it to unlock. As it did so, he moved the stylus to record Audio-to Text, before setting down the data-slate. He would lean back in his chair, placing his hands behind his head, to stare up at the rockrete ceiling.
“Jounral Entry Number 57291-9. It has been two months since landing here on this planet. Seven months since departure from Base. And, seven years without…Incident…” he paused a moment before clearing his throat “In the time I have been here, I have done exactly, as I would have imagined my men doing. I have walked, marched, battled, and lay Siege to the people of this planet. They have proven to me formidible, rivaling almost our own methods. Its, almost disturbing, to see that we are fighting our own ignorant kin…A planet, a long way from Terra..A Planet where, it is as though they are our opposite…As if they cling so needily to their ideals of safety and love and freedom, but yet have no actual experience with what is out there. They are not like that of the Tau, nor as souless as the Necron..But, they are, Human..Genuine Human…Some times I wonder, exactly, how much we have changed since our origins on Terra..Sometimes I wonder, when we will achieve our final Victory to our birthright..I dream of it, I dream of standing on that final battlefield…And facing our last foe…I dream of one day, walking alongside the Emperor…A Human being, worthy of fighting alongside him, where millenia ago I could not..And though sometimes even then, I wonder..I wonder what he would do were it he walked from the Palace..Were he to, lead his armies again…” he paused a moment, he felt a tug at his heart, this, strange emotion. One could call it sadness, others, acceptance, but never desparity “Maybe though.. One Day…One day I will go and be by his side..And when that day comes…Well, I wish the best of my men, and for them to have the glory they justly deserve. And by then, I hope to be graced with the honor, of Leading them once more. From the ashes of my cowardice kin, rose the pheonix…The 901st…A Siege Regiment that shall reclaim its lost glory, with bloodied hands and beaten faces, to triumph over the fallen enemy…With this, I will make one last remark..”
“I pray to Him on Earth, that there will be an end to this war, where their ignorance is no longer there, and that they, will surrender peacefully, so that we may no longer slay our brothers and sisters…And that they, may become children of the Emperor..In both War, and Peace.”
With this, he would make the statement of End Script. The Data-slate clicking to confirm its memory saved the entry into the long line of logs. Constantine, for the faintest moments in his entire life, felt that he was Human, and not just another statistic waiting for the munitoriums charts of troops.
Location : Scene opens – Below the Ruins of the Meeting hall – Lorewall.
Billy led the way down the shaft that was alongside the original nesting site for the baby bebilths to the JACK’s Hanger. This was specially constructed by King Carrendar who was Izu and Sora’s older brother. Few knew much about King. He was the son of Ergo and Lore in the early days long before recording. It was King that had altered the JACKs from the original steam punk workings that was used for the first ever JACK back in the days of Lacardis. The project was abandoned after King had decided to explore the stars, leaving the JACK army to sit idle while the years passed. Little did anyone know, that Billy had discovered the JACK hanger quite by accident and in the years of his youth, he came to learn a great deal about robotics and the JACK’s construction thanks to the many recordings that King had left behind. It was one of Billy’s favorite places in Lisega. One where he could be undisturbed amongst a massive steel spider army that had not been called into use, since the Meeting halls destruction. Now, the time had come for the JACK’s of old to rise once more. To defend Lorewall as it was designed too. The only thing was that many would be operated by Lore’s grandchildren.
Seven had seen the hanger before. When he and Luna were with Conan on their way to find Charlotte who had been on the trek to the Summit. So when he entered the massive hanger, a bright smile appeared on his boyish features. They were just the way he remembered them. Row upon row of gleaming steel. As far as the eye could see. Billy had ran into the hanger door first, and his first port of call was the observation deck and control panels. This overlooked the Hanger and gave a birds eye view of the entire JACK army. There were thousands of them. With only fourteen of Charlotte’s children, Billy knew he would need more pilots. It was a big ask, but he did it anyways. Turning to Seven, he asked.“Contact the spire. Get ALL the children here. I doubt the Spire is going to be able to withstand the Imperials for long, and if they find a hive of demon kind…it won’t be pretty.” Seven knew that Billy was right, and pulled up his sleeve where he was wearing a comms watch. Tapping in a sequence, one of his brothers came up on the screen.
“Seven…what’s happening? There are incoming reports from the Skycastle…it’s about Uncle Izu….and there is also warnings from the Imperials.” You could hear the urgency and fear in his voice, as the chatter of many children was heard in behind him. Seven knew there wasn’t much time. “Lance, inform all the kids that its time to evacuate from the Spire. Follow the monorail tunnel to the Meeting hall, then take the south passage and meet us at the JACK’s hanger. We are going to need everyone for this. All the kids. Bring the Ettercaps with you for protection. Seven out.” Seven took a deep breath as he could hear a cheer coming from his watch. Clearly the kids didn’t want to be left out, or left behind. Billy was already running through codes, as many of the terminals were coming to life. He ran from desk to desk, ripping off the protection sheaths to reveal an array of highly sophisticated technological equipment. As all the systems were becoming active, you could see row after row of lights coming on down in the main hanger. It was truly an amazing sight to behold. Seven came up alongside Billy, while the other children were taking places at each of the terminals, to learn as much as they could about the JACK’s through tutorials. “Close to four hundred kids are going to be here soon. This place is going to become something of a mad house.” Billy couldn’t agree more. “Then we need to select squad leaders and organize them into sections, to take on various parts of Lorewall.” His tone then lowered as he placed a hand on Seven’s shoulder. “You realize that the Imperials are not going to hold back. Many of us could die.” This was something that Seven knew. Fighting in the JACKs was not a game, it was a real war out there. “I’d rather die fighting for something I believed in, than being massacred in that Spire.” The older Carrendar patted his shoulder, and then went back to work on the terminals.
Within the spire there was a roar of noise as the children of Taru and Charlotte began to move on mass to the monorail tunnels. The fabled Spire would fall silent and be left to those that either conquered Lorewall, or liberated it. As the last of the lights faded the statue of Lorelei glowed in a strange hue that one could not describe. Was her presence still being felt within the bowels of the Spire?
Location : Carrendar Island off the Eastern Coast line.
Appearing out of a black haze was the first of the elder Carrendar sons of Izu. Orson being the first to arrive found himself standing in the kitchen of the expansive home. He immediately started to look for Lady Bunton; who had been with the family since their mother died. A long time friend of Izu’s she made her home on the Island so there was always someone to return home too.
“Janice?!” Orson cried out, as he ran through the house. Lady Bunton appeared from the communication room with tears running down her face. She had intercepted the messages that Izu had sent out to his loved ones – his sons. With all that was going on, it was clear the war had taken a turn for the worse. “Orson?!” Her voice was shrill as she heard him racing through the house. Right on cue, this was when Brock materialized – looking frazzled to say the least. Orson almost ran into him. He grabbed his brother by the arm. “Where’s the others?” He must have thought his brothers – Nigel and Billy would be there. At this point, Lady Bunton reached the pair. “Boys…your father…” Both Billy and Orson turned to face Janice, who looked stricken. “What about him? Where is he?” The words she was about to say, would leave each in a state of shock. “Skycastle.” Brock was the first to cry out. “NO!” He had been led to believe that his father was not on it. Racing off to the communications lab, he left Orson behind with a sobbing Lady Bunton. Orson brought her into his arms, and cradled her as she cried.
In the communications lab, Brock ran to one of the terminals and started to type in a code to access all messages and found the symbol for Sky castle. A new one was just being aired and Orson along with Lady Bunton came in behind Brock as it played.
“In this time of war and death, you look into my eyes and see, not a man who is afraid, but a man who is prepared. I am prepared to release our people from the clutches of this menace who treads on our land, who treads on our lives, and who is responsible for the deaths of millions of souls. It is in this selfish endeavour that your fight is futile. What do you fight for? Money? God? Power? None of these is as powerful as the reason why I still stand before you. I fight because of Love, because of Hope, because of responsibility. I stand here before you now, truly, unafraid. Why? I stand here without fear because, I remember. I remember that I am here, not because of the path that lies before me, but because of the path that lays behind me. I remember that for thousands of years, we have fought to preserve alive our people in the face of certain destruction. I remember that for thousands of years, armies have been sent to anihillate us. But after over these thousands of years, I remember that which matters most. WE ARE STILL HERE! We will shake the foundations of your core, from snowy mountain, to desolate valley. This is our message to you…WE ARE NOT AFRAID!”
“DAD!” Orson cried as Lady Bunton brought her hands up to her chest. The last she had heard he had gone down with the Skycastle. “How is that possible? I heard him give a farewell message to you boys. He’s alive?” She was stunned and then let out a laugh like a woman about to lose her mind. There was no mistaking that she had loved Izu for many years, and treated the boys as her own. Though not a bebilith like her charges, she was the next best thing. Brock turned to his brother and Lady Bunton. “Dad’s right, we are still here, and by Mazmezz we are going to fight. We are not going to be afraid. Time to suit up and join this war.” Orson didn’t need to be told twice, he was already getting ready to go pilot Arachnea Two. This left Janice behind with Brock. It was then she noticed the heavy scaring on his face and she looked confused. “Brock, what happened to your face?” She reached out to touch it, only to have him try to brush her hand away.“It’s nothing..please we don’t have time for this.” Janice wouldn’t budge on it. “You can heal, regenerate. These scars look old. Why? Something happen on that planet? What of Pandora?” At the mention of Pandora, Brock took Lady Bunton’s hands in hers. “I made a huge mistake, and this is the price for that. Pandora will be fine. I just hope I get to see her one last time…” You could hear the pain in his voice, as he hated having to leave her behind the way he did. Lady Bunton squeezed his hands tightly with her own. “You will, Son. You have too.” Brock bent forward and kissed the top of Janice’s head, before he himself ran for his own ship – Arachnea One. All the Carrendar children regardless of age and distance were joining the cause. All were to fight for the freedom of their world, to save it from annihilation.
Janice was left behind in the communications lab. She would be the eyes and ears of the Carrendar as the two elder boys prepared their ships for take off. Would this be their last ever mission? As Brock entered Arachnea one, he took out of his pocket a picture of Pandora and brought it to his lips. “I will come home to you, Pan.I promise.” he said softly, before putting on his flight suit. In Arachnea two, Orson was smiling. It had been a long time since he flew the ship created by his father all those years ago. “I’m home, baby. Let’s show Lorewall what you can do.” The intercom buzzed as Lady Bunton’s face appeared. “Good Luck boys….make your father proud. In Nemeaus, we trust.”
Location : Lorewall City streets above the Spire.
A black hooded being pushed off the sewer lid and tossed it across the road before emerging from beneath. The face would be obscured by the cloth but her voice was unmistakable. In the time from when she and Sora had left the Spire to go out in search of the Tarantula promised by the War factory, she would be unaware that her and Charlotte’s children had abandoned the Spire to join the JACKs army with Seven and the others. Not even looking back, Taru sung out. “Come on, Brother. We don’t have time to waste.’ The streets were already deserted, and there was a heavy stench of smoke and ash in the air from the downing of the Skycastle. Raising her head, she could see the Skycastle was once again airborne.“Well I’ll be.” she said, with something of an amused expession. “And here I was thinking that ship was toast. Seems our brother and his crew weren’t about to give up and die.” Once her brother made his way up and out of the sewer tunnel, they would make tracks for the last location of the War factory. “Larry better have that Tarantula ready or we are already the walking dead.”
Location : Skies above the battle field of Lorewall – North
A loud humming sound would be heard followed by the errie noise of gears and pistons before the outline of a massive air ship would come into view over the Imperialist held land of the Lorewall borders. Captain Fairweather’s timing couldn’t have been worse. Coming up and onto the deck, she could see the devastation below, and in the distance, the fires of Lorewall where the city had already come under attack from a ground assault. Glancing up at the sky, she could see the tear. Why to God could no one else see it? Holding onto her feather plumed hat as she righted herself after the ship was jolted by the sonic boom of yet another missle exploding; Amelia checked her row of clocks on the front of the deck. All the clocks showed that this was the point in time that she aimed for. Her only hope was that the Master had not gotten here first. One of her clockwork machinations chimed as it buzzed about her, speaking in a dialect only she could understand. She nodded as another set of droids lowered the rope ladder into no man’s land. “I know what I am doing, crazy as this sounds. I have to find Constantine…before it’s too late.” Giving her droids a send off, with the tip of her hat, she jumped over the side of her ship, as it soon became cloaked with an invisibility shield cover. The last thing she needed was for her TARDIS to become a target. Slowly, she climbed down into Imperial territory.
KingFalthosHellbore: The battle raged with an unbridled fury. The very earth trembled beneath the guns of the Krieg. Behind miles of razor-wire and mine laden expanses of no-mans land, stood gun-nests that stared out across the fog that rolled across the battle-field. Infantry, armed with either their las-rifles or trench-shotguns, moved almost casually amongst the lines. Hydra flak-cannons scanned the air, seeking targets to shoot down with such fury that it would pepper the sky in darkness. Constantine stood to the open air, the skulled visage of the Krieg General glared almost ominously across his lines. He had made sure to errect rockrete fortifications, almost maze-like in their design, to confuse the enemy and to discourage a land assault, for fear of great casualties that would most certainly give them the advantage. He stared out a moment, before his rasping voice thrummed from the vox-unit in his mask “Its quiet. Almost too quiet. It appears we have the advantage, they have allowed us to dig in and fortify. A mistake, that will cost them dearly. What do our squadrons report?”
The box officer next to him chimed in almost in sync “No movement. Seemingly an evacuation from Lorewall. Civilian’s mostly.”
Constantine raised his head a moment as if in sudden realization, only to be replaced in deep thought “Evacuation. Why…What do they have…They are abandoning their entire city…For what purpose? Is their fear so great they would rather flee? No…No…Something is amiss. I smell treachery…”
The Sturmfeuer would skulk across the ranks of conscripts, like a stalking vulture awaiting for the moment that they decide to retreat or die, to go and do his duties. His crimson colored lenses stared out through the mist, his tattered robes fluttered to the wind, a silent statue, a guardian of war and death. He, alone, executed thirteen conscripts, on charges of cowardice and means to desert ones post. He took the rigged explosives from them, handing the burden equally to the rest.
Officers scurried about, moving between panel to panel of communication screens, arrays, scans, stratagem feeds, stellar pict-feeds from the fleet, and above all, perimeter defense arrays. A siren began to ring out, blaring red lenses flared angrily as a drone resonated across the rockrete bunker. Many of the officers stopped, staring up at the screen. A lieutenant came into view, his grim scarred features gnarled into a permanent feature of anger and hatred, disgust and revulsion. His voice growled out “On screen.” What came into view was the face of a pilots feed, snapping a shot of what appeared to be a rather primitive craft, floating towards the Kriegers lines.
“Are our cannons in range?”
“Any known ordinance carried upon the vessel?”
“Only one?!” at the mention of this he turned to regard with cold steel eyes towards the officer that spoke to him.
“Yes Sir! One confirmed life form, origin, unknown. The Auspex is unable to detect Human or Xenos.”
“Are you sure? Be damned sure. Because if not, I will sprawl your innards across the command bunker and have the tech-priests make sure you are alive, writhing in pain for one standard terran year. Now, Are you sure?”
“I would stake my life on it in the name and service of the Emperor of Mankind.”
With a grim nod he would speak once more “Alert the General. Tell him he may have a visitor.”
-Topside, near the Bunker-
“This is Constantine.”
“Sir, we have sightings of a primitive vessel, one confirmed life-sign, origin unknown, auspex readings are off the charts. Hydra cannons are on Stand-by. Awaiting your orders, General.”
He stared upward, instinctively moving his hand to adjust his power claws a moment before he said “Brave, or Foolish. We will find out soon enough. Give the being permission to land, on my location.”
“As you command, so shall it be, General.”
His communications officer turned towards him, almost questioningly. He did not even have to look towards him as he answered the unasked question.
“I do not know. However I doubt the enemy is stupid enough to try this petty suicide. They are smarter than that. This, is merely a delegation. The least I can do is hear the words spoken. And maybe then, I will be entertained.”
A communication was sent in the direction of the craft. “Unidentified Craft, you have clearance to land at these coordinates. Be warned, you were dead when you entered our sights. Make the best of your life.”
No mans land – North Lorewall
CharlotteCarrendar: – Captain Amelia’s boots hit the broken earth with a dull thud as she released the rope ladder that she had used to alight from her vessel. The clockwork droids up on the main deck reeled in the ladder and it soon vanished from sight. Adjusting her hat so it sat on a jaunty angle, Amelia surveyed her surrounds. It was far worse than she had imagined. Black earth, tumbling clouds of smoke and ash. The air was ripe with the scent of death. Charred and disfigured bodies littered the ground along with that of many a horse. Tanks that were blazing wrecks and towers that were nothing more than broken and bent shards of metal. Amelia’s face crumpled at what she saw. Was she too late?
It was clear that the war had taken many lives on both sides. Starting to walk northward, her boots would crunch down over the bones of the deceased. Some had been blown beyond recognition, fire having eaten away at their flesh. After walking a few more paces, she spotted a burnt cloth that was still fluttering from the ground. Crouching slightly she tried to pick it up. It was a Neumauen flag, half of it having been burnt. She smoothed the fabric with her hand and then raised it in the air, before letting the wind catch it. As though an unseen hand took it, the remnant simply floated off into the air. A symbol perhaps.
A buzzing sound came from Amelia’s wrist, and she flicked on the comms. “Incoming…”
“Unidentified Craft, you have clearance to land at these coordinates. Be warned, you were dead when you entered our sights. Make the best of your life.”
Amelia’s head was bowed as she heard the communication. The voice was unmistakable. Lifting her chin ever slightly, Amelia responded.
“What is life? What is death? All I know is that time is eternal. I wish only a brief few moments of your time, Constantine.” Yes, she said his name. Her voice had a certain British sound to it. She kept walking as she lowered her arm, and no doubt she believed he could still hear her.
“You think the enemy is on the ground. I hate to say this, but what you are about to face is far greater than anything the Emperor has come up against before. Not Xenos, nor demon. I come with a warning, one I hope you will heed.”
She then stopped in the middle of the field of death. Dressed like that of a Fifteenth century pirate maiden. Tall knee high boots, and a fancy frilly bustier and petticoat, covered by a crushed velvet coat. Curly red hair sat upon her shoulders. She wore twin steam punk styled revolvers, and in her hand…a simple looking metallic screw driver.
KingFalthosHellbore: – As the craft came to land, his eyes had stared hard and long at the primitive vessel that he had allowed to live. His boots crunched beneath the earth, indiscriminately stepping onto the bones of the dead. He halted short. His six foot, broad muscled features were seen beneath the armor he wore, as well as the gothic regalia he wore. What she would find lacking, would be medals, perhaps a laurel to distinguish rank and office, but no commendations, nor medals, awards, nothing. Stripped as if almost bare of anything more than rank. His hands remained at his sides, the metal gauntlets thrummed with power, as if waiting to unleash the power-wreathed talons that remained dormant in their casings. His voice resonated first with a click, signalling that he was to speak.
“You are brave, to come here. Life is in the service to the Emperor, and only in Death, does Duty End. We have seen the enemy, and we remain vigilant. I will hear you out, merely for humor of your brave decision. You clearly have not come to fight me, therefore I have the right to not execute you were you stand.” he turned his head, with a nod, letting his retinue know to withdraw a respective distance. As they withdrew silently, their eyes never leaving the stranger, they vanished into the fog. He turned his head back to regard the woman.
“What, Great enemy, seeks its Death this day? And being as you seem to know quite a lot about what we have faced, then prey tell, What exactly is more fearsome, then the Demonic, or the Xenos that corrupt this soil?”
CharlotteCarrendar: – Watching with eyes the purest shade of green, the man she had traveled across the spanses of time appeared before her, his own boots breaking the very bones of the dead just as she had done. This was no man’s land. It was a place where the leaders of sides could discuss the battle plans, but this was not about the battle for a nation, but rather….for the very universe itself. Of course, Captain Amelia bore no medals, or ribbons of honor. She had not ever taken anything from the worlds she had visited but knowledge. She regarded the oncoming figure of Constantine with a somewhat gentle expression. While he was intimidating, with both size and the ever present hum of his metal gauntlets, Amelia kept her own feeling buried, for this was not about her.
“Be it bravery or sheer stupidity, it is my duty as a time lord to warn the unsuspecting when danger has reached a point that is obviously beyond their level of understanding.” She was not trying to belittle the Commander, but more or less exercise her point of standing in such a precarious position. Listening to the man speak of what possible great enemy could be far greater than the demonic or Xenos, the Captain merely raised her arm and pointed with her finger to a large black halo image in the sky.
“I understand that you have a war to win, Constantine, but what if I were to tell you, the war was lost far before you had even begun.” If he had seen the tear for himself, be that this may have been the first time he took notice, he might take the Captain more seriously.
“I have been to this same planet many hundreds of times, Constantine. This planet or what you are experiencing now, is actually not at all what it seems. The very same planet exists on another plane of existence that is not suffering war…or the threat of invasion. A tear in time, my friend. There is a man…or rather one that seeks to destroy…all of time. That tear…is the beginning of the end of your universe.”
Amelia stared at the Commander, and waited for his reaction. Would he believe her?
KingFalthosHellbore: – He heard her speach. Granted, his stoic expression that lingered behind his mask, unamused and unimpressed would simply stare, as if a machine to the same monotonous task repeated time and time again. He would move to remove his mask, the skulled visage falling from his pale features, as duel-scarred and yet as stoney as they appeared, his features were hardly a grim expression. His blue-ish grey eyes, almost as mirthless as the surface of the planet he hailed from, stared to her. He would begin to walk closer, almost coming within arms reach with her. His voice uttered out in, what a primal, unbridled force would speak as, like that as if the very elements themselves communicated through his voice “Look around you. War, is Everywhere. You speak of separate planes, alternate universes. Madness. However. I am not in a position to not believe ones madness. I have fought, and killed both enemy and kin. Do you know, the debt we all carry from birth? We owe the Emperor a blood debt. You dare come to me, to tell me there is a greater enemy than those that betrayed us millenia ago? You come to my doorstep, proclaiming apocalyptic madness, and expect me to believe it?”
He stared long and hard into her eyes, as if a predator seeking its prey. He then would say “Who are you? And what Enemy do you speak of. What man, is capable of such power and why hasn’t he been destroyed?”
CharlotteCarrendar: – The Captain approached the Commander, with her head held high. She had lived a long time, met with all manners of men, leaders, Gods, or those who proclaimed to be…and had even met the Emperor himself. Amelia listened to the Commander speak at her as though she was being disrespectful, even though she truly wasn’t. When he had asked her the question she knew was coming, she then stopped bare inches from his face.
“I am Captain Amelia Fairweather. I am…a Time lord. I existed long before you, and will so, long after you are gone. Even the Emperor knows my name, as I do yours.” She stared him down, no trace of humor or even emotion on her face. He would see her for exactly what she was; a guardian of time.
“The man I speak of is known simply as the Master. He has been to the other planet that carries this name, and he seeks to bring about its end. Why? Because he is the corrupt. He has no leader, nor does he care for the whims of any people or government. He seeks to watch worlds burn, regardless of who is responsible.”
Pointing up at the tear, which in behind had nothing but a sheer black discolouration, the Captain then looked back at Constantine. “That is what he has been waiting for. The rift has been opened, and it is getting bigger. While you wage war in the Emperor’s name, the Master is waging war on you all!” The last part was said with an almost impassioned plea. Amelia’s face became grim. “I came simply to make you open your eyes, Constantine.”
KingFalthosHellbore: – With her last words he turned on heel and began to walk away. He had heard enough of her prattle to last him a life-time. However, he stopped. Almost as if ordered to a halt. He turned his head slightly back to regard her “You met with the Emperor…” he said, his voice, for a moment, softened. His head bowed slightly, however, not so much as to regard reservation. “Tell me then, Amelia. Do you think, that he could forgive my kin, for their misdeeds, during the Heresy?…Do you think, that were he here, standing with us, to lead us into battle..Do you think, he would smile upon us?” His question was personal, however, He turned more to regard her “We have fought. Endured for thousands of years, by Faith alone. The only thing we seek, is to die in his name. To repay the blood debt we owe, to use our lives in Service to Him Enthroned on Earth. You came here, to open my eyes. Tell me then, Captain..Why do you call upon his Sons?” He would stare at her, as if they were the only to people here on this planet. His stature still stood strong, but rather, he felt humbled, almost touched by the mere thought of this being, this woman, whether her words proven blasphemous or truth, told him of the Emperor.
“We came to liberate this planet. Called upon by the Scourge Eagles to serve in glorious battle, to free this planet from its Demonic taint and to restore balance and order. This, Master you speak of. He is a threat if what you say is true. If a power like this is to be taken down, then through unity it will have to be brought. As much as I loathe this, and as much as my very blood seems to revolt against what my very soul tells me to do, I will stand down and unite against this Master. And I will be ready, with his death in my hands.”
For this piece:
CharlotteCarrendar: – At first Amelia was dissapointed to see Constatine turn away from her. Had her words all been for naught? But as she was about to just let him walk back to his units, he stopped. Her brow creased as he looked over his shoulder. A second thought perhaps. “You met the Emperor..” Amelia nodded twice, and her face remained unmoved. Was he now beginning to understand that she was far older than she looked. Few are granted audience with someone like the Emperor. Constantine then had a series of question, his curiosity had been heightened now. This was a moment in his life he may well not forget. She listened. Like a child, he opened up to her in the way that was almost endearing. Genuine about what she knew, what she felt the Emperor would feel about his Krieg, his children. In effect that is exactly what they were. They lived their lives to die for him, to fufill the blood oath, and to be of service to see the Emperor’s right to rule live on through the ages.
“You ask me why I call upon you, Constantine. It is simple. You are a son of the Emperor. If there is anyone on this earth that can fight against a true evil than it is you all. While the Xenos would easily be tricked by the Master’s games and offers to appease to their core values; debauchery and corruption, the Krieg would see through such attempts.”
At this point, Amelia approached Constantine in a totally different light. He wanted to know what the Emperor would think, what his reaction would be to the countless battles they had fought in his name.
“It would be wrong of me, to say what the Emperor would think. However, knowing him as I did he would smile upon you. You have lived and died in his name for thousands of years.. The ultimate gift to the Emperor, without question. You honor him. You and your brothers.” She said simply.
KingFalthosHellbore : – Constantine stood for a long period of time in silence, whilst the guns thundered and roared in the background, the dull hum of such power, was only a whisper to his ears. Her words, struck in him a soft point, perhaps the only soft point he ever had known. Though he never saw the Emperor in person, but perhaps in dreams, in thoughts and in prayers, he had longed to fight by his side. To show him, that the 901st had been worthy enough to fight by him, that they, in the end times, would stand with him, and loyally battle the forces of Chaos that sought to consume all known existence. He looked up, and the years seemed to not look so kind upon him. He said, in a voice that was more menacing then when he would shout. He spoke, his voice calm, almost father-like.
“We have Endured. For ten-thousand years, besieged on all sides, from within and outside the Imperium. From Heretics to Xenos, to the Daemons of the Warp. The Imperium of Mankind has endured. From the men I have led, to the lives I have taken. I am reminded of exactly why we fight, and what we fight for…Amelia. My men and I will stand by your side, not for your sake…But for the Emperor. I have faith, that were he here now, He would think of the lives of many, over the selfishness of the few…” he paused a moment, clenching his jaw a few times, almost as if collecting his thoughts. “We will. Take this world. Peacefully, or Forcibly. But we will give it a brighter future, than to fall to the darkness we endured, millenia ago. We will give it a fighting chance, to be a candle light in the darkness, to make way for a future, that the Emperor gave his own life to achieve. We will march to the very end, and achieve the dream the Emperor forsaw. A United Galaxy, Free of the corruption of Chaos and of the Barbaric Xenos.. And I promise, by my hands, and my successors…We will keep, these people safe, from the dangers, Within, And Without…” he would turn his back to her, moving to seal his mask over his face once more, the very same grinning skull visage he wore to battle countless times before. His voice, amplified through the vox-speaker of such a mask, roared into life with his next words.
“Stand down! Reconsolidate within the Command Bunker!” The fog that had surrounded them, came to move way to the massed bodies that all held their las-rifles at the stranger. Hundreds of Kriegers, their very skulled masks glinting in the light with a dull hue that could have only come from fighting as hard as they did. The dark lenses that made for their eyes, peered like that of statues towards the figure, only at the command of the General, did they move to stand down, becoming at ease before shuffling back into the fog of war. Constantine had marched no further, than six feet before he said “If we are to make war with the Emperor’s enemies, You might want to tell our neighbors that they should likewise, understand the importance of this cause. Otherwise, We may very well repay our blood debt earlier than anticipated.”
CharlotteCarrendar:- From a field on which many a dead man lay with the pounding sounds of artillery and rocket fire, there stood two souls. Both had seen and lived many a life though really it was just one. Amelia could understand without a doubt that the Commander spoke with honest truth to what he had endured and seen over the many years, no..the ten thousand years that the Imperium of Man had fought and won. All in the Emperor’s name. The strong held belief that they paid their blood oath on the rise and fall of ever sun. They did so without regret or ounce of thought for self. It was actually quite profound to hear the Commander speak so openly. Had this been a different time a different place.
She watched him with a touch of melancholy as he turned away and replaced what was his own scarred face with that of the grinning skull mask. All trace of humanity vanishing within the blink of an eye. That was the face his foe would see before they took their last breathe. To be haunted till reaching their maker or cast into the void from which they came.
The Captain had achieved a small win for now. The Imperium would fight along side her when it came to the threat of the Master and the rift in time. Now she had a bigger job ahead. Informing those that were bunkered down in the city and foothills of Lorewall. No doubt they would be harder to talk to. She knew that Xenos existed beyond the trenches, and she also knew that they would be reluctant to just lay down arms after all they had lost so far. Tugging at her hat, which had fallen back slightly due to the gusts of wind and debris that swirled in from the north, she heard the parting words of the Commander as he returned to his post.
“If we are to make war with the Emperor’s enemies, You might want to tell our neighbors that they should likewise, understand the importance of this cause. Otherwise, We may very well repay our blood debt earlier than anticipated.”
“Understood, Constantine. I only hope they are wise in counsel as you have been. In the Emperor’s name.”
She had respect now for him, and for his cause. Hearing the loud whir of her TARDIS as it flew overhead, she reached up and caught the lower rungs of the rope ladder that had been lowered. With a bounce of step she lifted off the ground, and started her climb back up to the massive air ship with large Chinese like sails. On reaching the sides, she swung a leg over and her steam powered droids brought up the rope ladder from below. Taking a deep breath, she put in the order.
“Lorewall…..here we come.”