The Darkest of Heresies
Forbidden Lore Bencorp Industries
Forbidden Lore Bencorp Industries
Theme song: Work, Produce, Develop"
It rains heavily on the dark surface of Tartarus six, Bencorp Industries home-world of scientific discovery, experimentation and development of new technology. The black clouds seemed to have a darker hue than usual and the random lightning-flashes seemed to glow brighter than normal. This didn’t lessen The Fabricatus General concerns about today’s primary ignition-test of STC-01. He was standing in his office with a worried frown on what was left of his human face. With his office situated almost at the top of the central spire, 2 kilometers taller than any other spire in the massive city-compound, he had quite the view. He looked through the 6 meter thick diamantine panorama-window and watched the metallic surface that covered the entire planet.
Tartarus looks like one giant hive-city, but despite its appearance it is far less inhabited than the average hive-world. Big, artificial oceans causes Tartarus six to have an impressive weather system and makes it look like it is always raining. This is to form an extra protective layer to the intricate circuitry and machinery that cowers the planet. The clouds absorb a chemical compound that blocks out a wide specter of radiation levels that can harm electronic devices. Unfortunately this makes the rain turn into a strong alkaline and is therefore uninhabitable for most species. This is with the exception of the colossus ray serpents. They live deep in the artificial oceans but during the mating season they jump several hundred meters in the air and glide with their massive aerodynamic bodies. They travel many kilometers over the oceans while displaying beautiful glowing patterns across their surface to signal others they are ready to mate. That’s why every five years, when the mating season starts, a non fly zone is set over all oceans. Due to accidents where ships as big as destroyers have been mistaken for mating partners and been dragged under the ocean.
The Fabricatus General remembered the last time he had witnessed their magnificent display 82 Terran years ago and thought that if he had the time, he would see it next year.
He checked his internal time piece and pressed such trivial memories away. Today’s test was of the out most importance to the company. It had cost them over half their century budget, which normally would have produced 5 battleships, 14 warlord titans and untold millions of other equipment. Even the Head CEO Prime was overseeing the tests which had not happened the last 100 years.
Bencorp’s flagship, The Lunar Eclipse and its escort vessels had left warp in the outer fringe of the Tartarus System and was now standing by to proceed to Tartarus Six. The CEO Prime seated on his command throne on the bridge when the holographic screen displayed a familiar image. A 3D image of one of the S.G.A.S drones that formed the first line of defense in the Tartarus system. It’s machine spirit was demanding access-codes and this particular drone didn’t seem be one of the patient kind. The Lunar Eclipse sounded the automatic alarm when it detected that the drone armed its two primary weapons. “Silence the alarm! Signal all escorts to form a defensive line behind the Lunar Eclipse! We don’t want any unnecessary casualties today.” The CEO Prime ordered. He knew the Lunar Eclipse could withstand direct fire from one of the S.G.A.S drones with its battleship class void-shields and heavy armor, but that thing could bring down a heavy cruiser with one salvo if it got the chance. The CEO Prime knew that One S.G.A.S (Super Gatling Array Sentinel) Is armed with Three Omega Gatling cannons that fires 3050 rounds per minute (over 9000 rounds together). Each round is a 4000mm anti void-shield macro shell with a high density plasma core for maximum impact damage. The second Armament is a set of 12, Melta-tipped torpedoes armed with a Thermo-nuclear warhead which each has a yield of approximately 150 megatons of conventional explosives. They also had this nasty last resort weaponry if they get overwhelmed. A nova bomb that would take out itself and many crafts in its vicinity.
The CEO Prime personally sent the codes to allow passage and a binary message to calm the angry spirit. At first there was no response and he was about to order all batteries to open fire to prevent a new catastrophe. He had already lost 5 ships to warp-storms and was not going to lose more vessels. Then suddenly response came back as a positive read followed by a robotic message. “Welcome Home CEO Prime Azaran. It has been approximately 98 years, 241 days and 2 hours since your last visit. It is good to have the All-Father back with us again. Proceed with coarse D-699 Z-470 K-983 and re-enter the second code of passing at D-701 Z-471 K-983 for further identification procedures”
After two days of sub light-speed travel, the Flagship and its convoy entered geocentric orbit around Tartarus Six. It was a magnificent sight to behold, The planet with the six moons, all in ideal orbit around its mother planet. Traveling around the planet’s equator in perfect symmetry, they formed a hexagon around it. If it was natural or made by some long gone civilization was unknown, but Bencorp Industries had taken full advantage of the moons as giant space harbors, defensive structures and shipyards. It is here that the massive Nova cannon bombardment batteries was pointing straight up as big as hive spires. They form the ultimate line of defense as they literally could obliterate anything within a range of 1 million km. It’s only weakness is its long reload time of 2 hours. That is why there are many “ordinary” planetary defense weapons accompanying them, such as macro artillery and defense lasers.
But the moons importance stretches even further as they are responsible for creating a massive electromagnetic field around themselves and the planet. Because of the planets massive age of three times that of Terra, its core and mantel has gone solid-cold and does not move anymore. This means that there are no tectonic shifts or any kind of core movement. This is fortunately not the case with the moons as their metal cores are still moving and produces together a magnetic field that covers the planet.
It had been a long journey from Segmentum Solar to Segmentum Obscurus and the CEO Prime was glad it was over. The interrogation on Mars had been severe, but he had endured worse. Those old, rusty fools on Mars were the biggest bunch of narrow-minded thinkers he had ever met. He had been suspected of severe techno-heresy of the worst kind by trying to produce new technology and improve old STC designs. If it hadn’t been for the steady stream of weapons his organization provided countless battlefields and the extreme planetary fees they paid he would have been done for. They had accused him of putting himself above the Omnisiah himself, something even him found revolting. The interrogation had occurred after he had personally introduced the blueprints of a new type of weapon specifically designed for battling the Tyranids. The weapon had been under construction since he attended a shadowy council called the Strategic Collective. They had been analyzing all details of the Tyranid invasions, and had drawn a conclusion as stark as it was terrifying: The fleets faced by the Imperium to date are but parts of a far greater whole, and this whole will be arriving at the Imperium’s borders within less than a century. They estimated that mobilization levels would need to be increased by a minimum of 500% – effectively including every able-bodied man, woman and child on every world in Segmentum Solar, Obscurus and Tempestus – to have even a hope of stopping the Tyranids. The last time a mobilization order of this magnitude was initiated were during the Great Crusade led by The Emperor himself.
“Ready the Phalanx-Guard, I am disembarking as soon as we have docked with the third moon Europa” CEO Prime Azaran ordered as he readied himself, physically and mentally.
The Fabricatus General Galanthus was being transported by a shuttle to the main shaft entrance. It was here he would meet up with the CEO Prime and start the descent for level 9, the most secure level of the planets facilities. “All passangers, All passangers, we seem to have some unusual gravity fluctuations caused by the arrival of the Sirius Fleet, so we will be expecting some turbulence shortly. Over and out.” Galanthus had just gotten himself a drink to calm his nerves, when the shuttle suddenly dropped a few meters and his drink started floating just above the glass as it became weightless for second. The drink splashed on his newly polished ceremonial power armor and with a sour grin on his face he used his cape made out of Phyrr Cat hides to wipe it off. “Great! Another bad omen” he thought for himself as the shuttle was landing on the VIP runway near the fortified entrance of the RTDS (Rapid Transit Descent Station)
Most of the people working on Tartarus Six and it’s moons were highly automated and about 80% of them did not have the cognitive abilities to be self aware. This is necessary for keeping technologies secret, have maximum productivity and prevent uproars and the like. Galanthus had ordered a grand procession to welcome the CEO Prime back after such a long absence. About 10 000 cybernetic troops welcomed him with a salute as he walked in the heavy rain to stand by his next in command. His next in command was the Fabricatus Admiral who was responsible for star ship productions, orbital facilities, counter intelligence and overall security.
The CEO Prime’s heavy shuttle landed with its two escorts fighters in front of the masses that were aligned in perfect order. When Azaran disembarked the shuttle he was quickly flanked by his ten strongest Phalanx Guards who formed a perimeter around him. Galanthus had always felt uneasy around them. They wore an all black, specially designed power-armor and their huge size of almost three meters didn’t make them any less terrifying. Their rhombus shaped helmets had eight red dots that worked as observation-lenses. It was disturbing to look at how all the lenses moved independently of each other, covering all blind spots, much like a chameleon with red eyes would. Equally disturbing was their reverse jointed legs and tail that balanced their huge bodies. They had two sets of arms, one set armed with either a modified autocannon, plasma gun or stormbolter. The second pair was obviously for close combat as they all had two power-swords in their scabbards.
“MEN! PRESENT ARMS! SALUTE!” Ordered the Fabricatus Admiral and got a unison response from the troops with a massive “ORAH!” The four Warlord Titans that were present sounded their war-horns and lifted their weapon-mounts to resemble a salute. Galanthus lowered his salute and went to meet with the CEO Prime. But before he was able to lift his hand in greetings, he was prevented by one of the Phalanx guards to come any closer. “Let him pass, hi is not a treat” The CEO Prime said. The Phalanx let him pass, but kept several eyes on him just in case. “Welcome CEO Prime, it has been so long since you’ve granted us the honor of seeing you in person” “Spare me the flattery, have the years of rainy weather given you brain-rust, or do you honestly think I would forget an old friend like you?” Azaran was dead serious with his one still organic eye and Galanthus didn’t know what to make of the situation in front of him. “Eh, no, not at all sir. I would never think of any such thing, forgive me for giving you the wrong impression” Galanthus stuttered. It was then he discovered that Azaran was trying to make a joke. An old habit he had from his time as a Rogue Trader. “How are the preparations going for today’s test? I surely hope there will be no delays.” Azaran asked with a much friendlier tone. “It is going as planned and we are already diverting power from the planets main fusion reactors. It should be powered to the required 75% when we reach it.” Galanthus answered proudly. He had personally organized all the preparations so that the operation would go as smooth as possible.
About 10 million kilometers away from Tartarus six. Onboard the cloaked Battle Barge Ascension was The Grey Knight Chaplain Constantine standing in his terminator armor discussing possible plans of entry with another senior officer. “It looks like the Inquisition’s informant was trustworthy after all. I didn’t believe that there was such a significant gap between the 30000 guard sentinels that protects the Tartarus system. We seem to have slipped right past them unnoticed. It is now only their planetary defenses that stops us from getting any closer without the possibility of getting detected.” “Chaplain, we will circle the planet at distance and look for possible routes. We will then order our shock squad to teleport down to where we suspect the main research entrance is located.” “Good, I will speak to the brothers who are the Emperors chosen to take on this mission. I have my suspicions that the CEO Prime will not let us go through with this surprise inspection unhindered.” The Caplain went to the armory where his 20 chosen were getting ready. 6 terminators, 5 devestator-marines, 5 assault-marines, 1 tech-marine, 1 apothecary, 1 dreadnought and 1 dreadknight. “Brothers! Gather around me!” The warriors knelt in a half circle around him as they bowed their head in respect. Stunning silence ensued.
“Brothers! We do not know what our chances of survival are, so we fight as if they were zero. We do not know what we are facing, so we fight as if it was the dark gods themselves. No one will remember us now and we may never be buried beneath Titan, so we will build our own memorial here. The Chapter might lose us and the Imperium might never know we existed, but the Enemy – the Enemy will know. The Enemy will remember. We will hurt it so badly that it will never forget us until the stars burn out and the Emperor vanquishes it at the end of time. When Chaos is dying, its last thought will be of us. That is our memorial – carved into the heart of Chaos. We cannot lose, Grey Knights. We have already won.”
The Entrance to the RTDS was massive. It was huge enough to let two warlord titans walk side by side in and out of it. The 30 meter thick ceramite covered adamantine gate opened with the sounds of enormous gears moving and vast chains being pulled. Inside was what looked like a giant platform capable of transporting even small space ships. Only Azarans Phalanx Guard, a few higher officers and skilled tech-priests were allowed beyond this point. That made it look like a few ants were standing on 1 by 2 meter metal plate. They entered a relatively small vacuum-sealed compartment at side of the platform. Here they sat down on what looked liked seats in a fighter plane. The reason why came apparent after they were all secured in their seats. To reach level 9 within less than two hours they needed to reach a speed of almost 3000 Km/h. Sector 9 lies in the bowels of Tartarus Six, almost 6000 km underneath ground level. This is of course possible due to the hardening of the mantel and core.
Tartarus Six’s level system is arranged after importance of secrecy, protection and containment-needs. Level 1 is the main manufactorum. Located “only” at 25 km below the surface, it is here that all standard equipment is produced. Level 2 is Located at 300 km and are processing metals and ores for use in the production line. At level 3 is power production located 600 km below the surface. Level 4 at 1100 km is Titan production. Level 5 at 1600 km is the conventional weapons and tactics research department. Level 6 at 2000 km is the Biologis and Xeno Research department. Here they are keeping live samples of thousands of different species, such as Orks, Tau, Eldar and several hundred different types of Tyranids. This is with the exception of Necrons which have an unfortunate habit of teleporting away when they get injured. Level 7 is the most dreaded level of all. Situated farthest away from all the other levels at 3500 km they form up the warp prisons that keeps hundreds of different Warp creatures trapped in stasis. The only thing keeping them from not disappearing back into the warp is by the power of the ancient Warp monoliths similar to those on Cadia. They are found randomly on the surface, inside the planets crust and make the warp stabilize and cuts it off from those who nourish from it. The most spectacular specimen here is a Greater Demon of Khorn and a small band of Chaos Space Marines. Level 8 is located at 5000 km and houses Tartarus Six’s data storage, STC designs and the planets Machine Spirit. Level 9 is Located near the planets core at 6000 km and is housing the Experimental Xeno Weaponry of mass destruction’s testing facility. It is located here for the sole reason that any interference could result in cataclysmic consequences. Should such an event happen, will the 6000 km of solid rock, concrete and steel hopefully contain its effects to the planet alone and not affect the rest of the Imperium.
After two hours of freefalling in the vacuum elevator, they reached the final blast-door security checkpoint. There were ten in all, one guarding the main shaft-entrance and one for each level. The final door was covered in ice and frozen liquids. Despite the enormous pressure of all thousands of kilometers of rock above level 9, the temperature is kept at a freezing -20 degrees for cooling the complex machinery. Azaran tugged his coat tighter around him as the cold air made his breath look like smoke. He walked towards the access panel that was located to the left of the massive door and entered a series of complicated algorithmic codes. After a couple of minutes, they heard the sound of ice breaking accompanied by a mechanical voice “Central authority key acknowledged. Right of entry granted to CEO Prime Azaran the Third. Welcome”
On the other side waited the most augmented tech-priest Azaran had ever seen. He or she (it was impossible to tell) was the head tech-priest working on the project code named STC-01. It had 8 mechanical arms and countless bionic tentacles that seemed too writhed around seemingly aimless. On his back was three hardened glass jars filled with some kind of green liquid. They also contained a brain that seemed to be connected to the spine of the tech-priest. He wore a heavily ornamented version of the orange cloak that all the tech-priests of Bencorp Industries are assigned. To support his massive weight was six spider-like legs that moved with precision like that only of a skilled tech-priest. “Welcome CEO Prime. Our name is Ihateus Alleneuskeys, Allen for short. We have been waiting so long for your return that we almost believed that you had forgotten about us” The tech-priest’s voice seemed to resonate with the surrounding walls, as if it was coming from everywhere. “We have been working tirelessly day and night so that IT would be finished when you returned to us. We have it powered up and are almost ready for the primary ignition test. The only thing missing is the Artifact Key that only you posses, we trust it that you brought the Artifact?” “Of course I did. Without it, this whole test is useless.” Azaran reached within his cloak and pulled out the Artifact. He had kept it in a chain around his neck and showed it to the tech-priest. It was the size of a bolt shell and was shaped like a perfect prism. It glowed faintly in several different colors and had multiple runes that seemed to change and dance upon the surface. “The gift of the Omnisiah surely is as beautiful as the legend says. Its looks is only matched by its song, oh CEO Prime can’t you hear how it sings to us, how it calls to us.” Azaran was fully aware of the “song” that emanated from the Artifact but he had shielded himself and his companions from it. The song had a tendency to turn even a less augmented person into an insane mess if listening to long. “I recommend that you block out its bineric frequency. Its effects might drive even you mad.” Azaran warned. “As you wish CEO Prime.” The tech-priest said as some lights in the brain-jars flickered.
Their cortege arrived at the testing facility 10 minutes later and discovered that it was buzzing with activity. Automations carried equipment, cables and other devices around with peak efficiency. Tech-priest roamed around, checking valves, instrument panels and used different measuring instruments to check if everything was ready. They were greeted by a pair of armed automatons as they went past the last checkpoint and entered the Omega testing range. There it stood. A colossal machine that looked like a mixture of a fusion reactor and a warp-drive. Its surface was covered of intricate machinery and scrolls with all kinds of blessings. All over it, automatons and Tech-priest’s alike where checking if every system was ready. The Fabricatus General had not been taking any risks when working with a weapon that had the potential of destroying all life in a star system. Azaran was eager to get today’s test done with. He didn’t like working with such an archaic contraption anymore than anyone else.
The reason this weapon raised such a suspicion amongst the Adeptus Mechanicus and The Inquisition was because of its origin. Its digital blueprints where found on a long abandoned world in the fringes of the Milky Way. It was here that the second Standard Template Construct of the Men of Iron was found. At first it had looked like some kind engine for a spacecraft, but after further inspection it seemed to be a weapon designed to end all of humanity. It is believed that in the end of the war between humanity and the Men of iron, the machines understood that they were losing the battle of dominance. As a final solution they had started creating a weapon capable of destroying all organic life, but spare the machines. It was designed to penetrate everything and that it was no way of protecting oneself from its all encompassing effects. What Bencorp Industries has been working on for the last hundred years is a version of this weapon that only targets Xeno life and especially that of the Tyranid race which only consists of living beings. Today they were going to test the weapon for the first time and Azaran hoped it would change the tide in humanities favor.
4000 Km above them, in level 6, the guards Bob and Geir were patrolling the many cells that held the Xenos filth trapped. “I knew my luck was going to fail me today, being assigned gard-duty on level six and all. I had hoped to see the CEO Prime with my own eyes before I died, but I guess it is bound never happen. I don’t even know why we are assigned such a stupid mission anyway. This level is arranged with at least 5 fail-safes should anything happen. And what difference could we do anyway with two hellguns and shock mauls when the roof is covered with automatic hurricane lascannon-turrets? ” Geir sighed. “aah, don’t be so moody now. Look at bright side. We get extra pay for this and we can piss off some of the creatures down here. At least that usually cheers me up” Bob answered. “Look over there! That’s one of the Carnifex cages. Lets see what fun we can have with it.” Bob encouraged. “yea, I guess you’re right. It better be active today or else I am going to be pissed” Geir muttered. “Oh I am sure it is, remember today is feeding day, so I guess its energy should be at its peek.” “Yea, maybe today will be ok after all…”
“READY THE IGNITION SEQUENCE!” CEO Prime Azaran ordered with a thunderous voice. He and the others were standing on the primary observation and control-bridge. From here they could supervise the entire operation. “Ignition sequence ready” “Ok, give me a status update on the power consumption” “Power consumption is at 30% planetary capacity.” A female synthetic voice answered. “Good, other changes that I should be aware of?” Azaran asked. “Radiation levels in the Gravimetric fluxfield generators have climbed but seem to be stabilizing at 400% Sir” “Nothing to worry about. Continue with the primary activation procedures.” “Primary activation procedures initiated. Activation artifact needed for further startup” The machine voice answered. Azaran looked on the shining crystal-like artifact and thought for himself: “It is now or never” He put the artifact inside the input-lock and waited. It was now only theoretical what would happen next. In theory the Artifact would activate the machine-spirit that controlled the weapon and therefore doing the rest by itself. That’s what concerned Fabricatus General Galanthus when nothing seemed to happen. He started tapping his hand against his prosthetic thigh anxiously. “What could have gotten wrong?!” He thought. He had checked everything and all should be in order. Unless… “How much more power can the crystal core take?” He asked the mainframe. “It can take up to 75% of planetary capacity. However that will halt all other production facilities and limit our planetary defenses to only atmospheric-ranged weaponry.” The female Robotic voice answered. “How long will it take to reroute the power back to our primary defenses?” “Approximately 30 minutes” Answered the machine. Galanthus asked one of the tech-priests charged with surface communications. “Has the S.G.A.S system detected any suspicious activity on our borders?” The Tech-priest sent a bineric message and after only 20 seconds responded with: “There has been no contact with any of the 30000 drones after the Sirius fleet entered the system, but there was one detecting a faint gravity distortion a couple of days ago.” Azaran weighed the chances before he came to conclusions. “Divert the necessary power. The operation will proceed as planned.”
But in all of Azarans calculations he had overlooked one thing as a non-crucial system. To prevent the Chaos Spawn from communicating and detecting its brethren in the warp, Tartarus Six is equipped with an immense warp disruption field that enhances the will of a hundred Psykers. This amplification device requires 6,74% of the planets power and its disappearance can be detected by Psykers as a mental punch of despair and horror emanating from the hundreds of creatures in level 7.
Back at the Battle Barge Ascension: “Chaplain! We are getting some strange readings from the planet. They are for some reason powering down almost all of their systems. Just look at it. The planet is going dark.” The Chaplain looked through one of the armored observation windows. There he saw the lights on the moons fade and the cityscape that was not covered by clouds darken. “This is our chance. Sound the order for mobi…. AARRRGHH” More didn’t Chaplain Constantine manage to say before he felt the foul touch of the Arch Enemies presence. “Do you feel that as well Chaplain?” Asked the helmsman. “This changes everything. Prepare for all out assault. Ready all weapons and engage planetary bombardment at my command. Aim for their nearest moon. The Emperors champions are to be ready for teleportation immediately, I will lead them myself upon thee field of battle.” “Ay Ay, Chaplain.” The entire bridge sounded as activity buzzed into life throughout the ship.
In level 6. Geir and Bob were standing in front of the Carnifex cage and was trying to get another response from the savage beast. They had made it run into the force-field that kept it trapped several times now. A Carnifex was assigned a class 3 cage, which consisted of a diamantine panel, adamantine bars and a force-field. Geir and Bob knew this and had good time watching the Carnifex run into the field over and over again. After a couple of minutes, it got zapped by a powerful automatic electric shock weapon that stunned it. “Ahhh, I hate that thing, it ruins all the fun. I know it’s suppose to prevent the cage from being harmed but it makes the creatures become docile and boring to look at” Bob said. Geir was about to suggest looking at class 4 cage when suddenly all went black. “Emperor damn it! What now? A power failure here in level 6? No way.” Geir exclaimed. It only took about 20 seconds before the darkness was replaced with red emergency lighting. “I say we call security headquarters and ask what the hell is going on! This is supposed to be one of the priority levels! Even our backup generators got backup generators.” Bob said with a mixture of anger and annoyance.
The observation and control-bridge was teeming with activity as one of the tech-priest operators came with an update. “Power is at 71% planetary capacity and rising. The weapon will be ready to fire in 10 minutes CEO Prime ” Azaran acknowledged by slight nod. “Good, give me status on all systems.” “All systems are operational and responsive sir.” “Great, sound the warning siren. Get the workers out of there.” A loud siren started howling inside the massive chamber, accompanied by a loud mechanical message: “All workers are to leave the testing chamber immediately. Blast doors will be closing in 5 minutes. I repeat…” Galanthus was checking the surveillance monitor watching the Tyranid test-subjects. They were inside a huge armored bin, 2000 meters in front of the weapon. They had put all kinds of different creatures in there, ranging from the small Ripper type to the big hive tyrant. If the weapon did what they thought it did, none of the “nids” would survive. “All specimens are ready for high-grade exposure CEO Prime.” The Fabricatus General said to Azaran. “Ready main beam for fireing” Azaran ordered. “Readying main beam for fireing procedures.” Sounded in the entire testing chamber. “This is what all of humanities struggles has led up to. This is what will change this endless war in our favor and give humanity its rightful place as the dominant species. This weapon will be the most important factor if we are ever to succeed in taking down the Great devourer.” Azaran thought for himself as small smile was starting to grow on his face. A smile that would soon fall into oblivion.
Three Guards were taking a lunch-break on the moon Vulkan, the first moon of Tartarus six. “So that’s when I said: you’re so ugly, even an Ork would run away.” The two others laughed as they toke another bite of their high-grade nutrient bar. Then suddenly one of them looked up. “I didn’t know we were going to have a meteor shower today? I mean we usually get a forecast on those.” “Look at that one. It’s getting brighter and brighter, it, it almost looks like it’s coming right for us.” The other said with a worrying frown. “Guys, I don’t think that is a meteor shower. Its bom…” More couldn’t he say before him and 50 000 others got vaporized by a torpedo strike.
Red alarm lights started spinning in the ceiling of the observation and control-bridge. “Alert. Alert. Outer defenses are under attack.” “That is impossible. Check for false alarm signals and get me communications with the surface at once” Galanthus demanded. “THIS IS VULKAN COMMAND! WE ARE UNDER ATTACK BY AN UNKNOWN VESSEL! I REPEAT WE ARE UNDER AT…” “Vulkan command? Vulkan command! Answer damn it!” Galanthus shouted into the reciver. “Sir, we just got reports that Vulkan command got annihilated by what seems to be a lance strike.” One of the communication officers said with a grim look. Galanthus thought he was hallucinating. How could one of the most protected planets in the galaxy be attacked so easily. Azaran on the other hand did not let the overwhelming news get to his head. “Abort the test. Reroute power back to orbital ranged weaponry. Order the entire Sirius fleet to search and destroy all hostiles. I want this threat destroyed at all costs!” Azaran’s voice thundered. “Vulkan has taken heavy casualties. Estimated a loss of 5 to 10 million crew. 35 % of surface installations have been obliterated and is climbing. Main power is being rerouted, but the experimental weapon does not power down. Its internal Machine-spirit is blocking all our commands.” Azaran clenched his fists. He knew that if the weapon returned its own power, it would take far less time to power up the defenses. “Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Surface gate has been compromised. Detecting 21 entities accelerating downwards through the main shaft.” Azaran couldn’t believe it. That gate was able to withstand a direct impact from a titan plasma annihilator cannon. There was no way 21 people could destroy it, unless…
“Brothers! Today The Enemy shalt feel the might of the Emperor! As we dive into the devils nest we shalt purge their flesh from their bones! Leave none alive, for only in death may the Emperor Judge their crimes! Someday we will die gloriously upon the field of battle, but it is not this day! Today the Arch Enemy will regret their betrayal as they feel our swords slice their throats! Grey Knights! We are invincible! As ONE!” (Unreasonable hatred!) After Chaplain Constantine’s heroic speech they jumped down into the dark shaft.
Tartarus Six digital defenses had been rumored to even rival that of Mars. This was because of the non-sentient artificial intelligence core that administered almost all binary traffic. It was named “Gaia” after the old earth’s name for soul of the planet. “Gaia” Needed very much energy to sustain its operations and protect its networks. It was now running on a minimum, only to not lose stored data.
“Chaplain! I have entered their system and I have control over something labeled level 6 and 7.” It was the tech-marine Dromon who had been trying to infiltrate Tartarus Six systems and had met surprisingly little resistance in doing so. “Good, what are those sectors for?” The Chaplain questioned. “It looks they are for prisoners. I have detected thousands of cells that are under lockdown. What should I do with them? We can’t just leave them there. They must have been trapped by the arch enemy” Dromon said. A slight pause happened as the Constantine searched for unused opportunities. “Release them all!”
Back at level 6. “What do you mean we are under attack?” Geir was speaking to one of his superiors on the com when he felt Bobs hand on his shoulder.“Geir? You better see this” “What! Can’t you see I’m busy here? It’s a fucking mess up there!” “Geir, this is really important” Bob insisted. “WHAT!” Geir turned around, his face flustered with confusion and anger. There he saw the pale face of Bob “The doors. They are opening.” ”Which ones? I don’t see very well in this damn red light!” Geir answered. “All of them…”
In the depths of level 7, a huge shadow was moving for the first time in 400 years. As its red eyes opened it uttered with a deep guttural voice. “Finally. I awake from my slumber. I, Doom Incarnate!”
“What? How can they have gained access to the cellblock controls on level 6 and 7!?” Azaran yelled to Ihateus Alleneuskeys, the head Tech-priest. “When the power was rerouted, the main defense against binary intrusions was disabled to further increase the experimental weapon’s power supply.” Allen answered with calculated ease. Azaran was looking at the huge control panel and what he saw made his stomach turn. Level 6 and 7 was completely overrun. All personnel on both levels were dying incredibly fast and both masses of xenos and chaos spawn was moving slowly but steadily towards the main shaft. “How long until power is back online?” “15 minutes, but it will only help us with taking out that blasted starship. We don’t have the necessary firepower down here to withstand a xeno invasion!” Galanthus said with a slightly desperate look.” Then we will make our stand here. Gards! Organize a defensive perimeter near the main blast door!” The chief of the Phalanx Guard gave a quick nod and answered mechanically. “It shall be done.” Azaran looked at the control panel again when he saw an opportunity. The 21 intruders had just passed level 6 and were nearing level 7. “Open main gate at level 6.”
Bob was running for his life. Geir had just been relieved of his legs by a lictor and was screaming in agonizing pain as the lictor’s tentacles ripped his skin off. Bob was running to one of the many emergency elevators as he heard a sound that sent a chill down his spine. It was the sound of the 20 000 ton heavy blast door that separated level 6 from the main shaft. A deep shaft consisting of kilometers upon kilometers of vacuum. “I have no regrets” That was Bobs last words as he and thousands of Tyranids got sucked down the shaft.
“Brothers! Our Enemy is Near! Brace yourselves!” The Chaplain said just before they landed in front of a huge door with a black skull on it. They had used their psychic abilities get her as fast as possible. Dromon started working on getting it open almost on instinct. The Chaplain felt the sickening presence of Chaos filth on the other side of the gate, but something told him that The CEO Prime would be at the bottom. He therefore told Brother-Captain Ignatius to take five with him and transcend into the abyss. “It is an honor to be chosen for such an important task Chaplain. With me my brothers!” He signaled for five to come to him. “Good luck brother. May the Emperor be with you!”
They were all aiming at the door when it opened. Inside was nothing but a faint red light and a metallic emptiness. They started moving in formation inwards with the Chaplain at the front and the dreadnought in the back. “It is too quiet in here. Show yourselves wretched scum!” The operator of the dread knight yelled. “WITH PLEASURE” A deep voice answered. The Chaplain sensed movement. “Brothers! Above us!” But it was too late. The Deamon was covered in a red aura that flickered like flame. It was without doubt a greater demon of Khorn and he had summoned his sword. The dreadknight was almost about to fire its Gatling Psilencer when he was impaled by the horrific creature. A wall of sanctified bolter rounds slammed into the Greater demon and cut of one his arms, but the damage was already done. The Nemesis Dreadknight collapsed as its user had been cut in half by the demon blade. “NOOO” the Chaplain screamed as one of his Brothers had fallen. He sprinted towards the deamon with his Nemesis Deamon Hammer held high, ready to avenge the fallen. It was then all the other lesser demons and chaos space marines jumped from hiding and started attacking at random. “Blood for the blood God! Skulls for the throne! Death to the false Emperor!” The Arch Enemy yelled. The Chaos space marines had looted what they could find of weapons, but they still outnumbered the grey knights 3 to 1.
The grey knights opened up with all they had. Flamers, bolters, melta guns and grenades hailed over their enemies as they tried to overwhelm them. Their dreadnought was in a frenzy and was pouring mass reactive rounds with his twin assault cannon upon the hordes of horrid warp spawn running towards them. The dreadnought’s robotic voice called to those around him. “To me my brothers! I will crush those who stand before me!” “Come feel the bite of my sword!” one of the Grey-knights said just before decapitating a larger deamon. When they saw that they were gaining ground they all started yelling against the demons. “Drive them back into the warp! Purge the beasts! Burn the Heretics!”
The Chaplain stood triumphant upon the smashed remains of the Greater Deamon. It had been a rough fight, but it had been the deamon’s loss of an arm that sealed its faith. Constantine was looking at his men who were swooping up the last of the wretched filth. But the fight had cost him four brothers, one veteran terminator, one devastator, one assault marine and the unfortunate Nemesis Dreadknight pilot. The apothecary was already gathering their gene seed to ensure that their loss would not be in vain. The chaplain was about to lay down his blessings on his fallen brothers when a sudden crash was heard on the platform on which they had entered. Constantine immediately reached out with his psychic mind to detect what had caused the sounds. It was then he stumbled back with one hand against his head and the other clenching his nemesis deamon hammer. He had just made contact with a minor hive mind consciousness.
“Fire!” Azaran ordered the main planetary batteries. The enemy ship had destroyed 80% of the first moon Vulcan and the CEO Prime was eager to blast the attackers out of existence. All planetary gun emplacements were now hammering out all their might against the aggressors and with great effect. Fortunately for the battle barge, their sensors had detected the energy surge and started their tactical retreat. “Sir, the enemy ship is leaving orbit and by the look of our readings they are powering up their warp-drive.” One of the operators said. “Don’t let them escape! They shall feel the fury of Bencorp Industries upon their very flesh! They will regret ever entering this system! We will pursue and destroy until none of them are left breathing!” Azaran was in rage. Not since the challenge of the Ork Warlord (Garshul the Destroyer) had someone caused so much damage on their homeworld before. Back then Azaran had sworn that no such harm would occur on Tartarus Six ever again, a promise he now had failed. “Order the Sirius fleet to follow the craft at all cost, don’t let them escape. Fabricatus Admiral, you are in charge of operations. Don’t disappoint me.” Azaran firmly commanded. The Admiral gave a fast salute as he sat down in one of the command chairs.
The Phalanx guard had just finished fortifying the entrance to the testing chamber when they heard several bangs outside the blast door. Like metal rain had hit the ground outside of the blast doors and it was followed by a deafening silence as they all stopped moving. “That door is 10 meters solid adamantium, it is no way they have breaching equipment for that kind of job” The Phalanx leader said as he readied his twin-linked plasma gun. It was then an intense purple light blinded half of them. It happened in a blink of an eye. Out of nowhere 6 huge figures appeared. They were clad in thick silver armor and they didn’t spoil their element of surprise.
“For the emperor!” Screamed Captain Ignatius as he drew his force nemesis sword and fired his stormbolter in an unrelenting charge against the foes before him, quickly followed by his brothers. His optics and internal machine spirit was scanning his opponents and tried to match them to his databases for known enemies in the Imperium. That way he would know all the weak-spots, tactics and equipment they would probably be facing. It came as an unpleasant surprise when all he got was: “Species unknown, tactics unknown, Astartes grade weaponry detected.” He shrugged it off, his blind confidence in his abilities underestimating his enemies. Ignatius was the youngest Grey Knight in their breaching party. He had only gained the rank of Captain in his youth of 58 Terran years through his unnatural skills in planning, fighting capabilities, and his special psychic ability. His special ability had even surpassed his Chapter Master and he had therefore gained one of the spots as the emperors chosen. He had even gained the honor of carrying the Amulet of Heroes. A symbol of hope that was only carried by those believed to bring about great victory and justice. It also had an amplifying effect to Psychic powers.
He was able to destroy one the four armed creatures and he was about to swing his mighty sword at another. He was then severely surprised at how fast his opponent dodged his attack. His adversary had eight red eyes and they were all staring intently at him. He attacked again with a barrage of lightning fast blows, aimed at the creature’s head, chest, arms and legs, but his opponent kept dodging. In his frustration he used his psychic mind to keep his opponent still. With his opponent immobile he was readying his final blow. Just as he was about to decapitate this foul creature he was blocked by to others that had come from seemingly nowhere. That broke his concentration and the one he had kept still were free once again and he now got to witness the true strength of the phalanx guard. The tree warriors in front of him started attacking in unison. With each of them carrying two power-swords made it impossible for him to do anything else than dodge and block. But it was something more. They all seemed too see what all the others saw and use what the others had learned to use against their opponents, like they were mentally linked somehow. The unrelenting blows and occasional weapons fire got too much for one his brothers. Ignatius saw one of his Battle Brothers being stabbed five times and losing one arm before using some kind powerful ability to take two of the wretched xenos with him into the warp. Ignatius saw then another one of his brothers being hit by salvoes of plasma and auto-cannon fire in the chest. He saw that the only way of winning this fight was for him to use his forbidden ability.
When he was about to activate it, loud speakers roared in the chamber. “Enough! Have you not caused sufficient damage yet!? Have you not taken enough innocent life’s already? Is your thirst for destruction really this unquenchable?” Azaran’s voice sounded. “Your ship has been destroyed and your brothers are fighting a hopeless battle against the great devourer itself! At the end of this corridor lies mankind’s last hope of fighting the xeno threat! That hope which you and your fellow brothers have been so eager to destroy! So continue and doom the Emperor himself together with the rest of Imperial civilization or lay down your arms and help ensure humanities survival!” The Phalanx guard had disengaged and was hiding in the shadows waiting for new orders. Ignatius was looking at his fellow Battle Brothers, two were dead and the rest severely wounded. He had learned that if there was no escape he should kill as many heretics he could before his own demise. He had also learned that the forces of chaos would go to any lengths to deceive, betray and mislead. “You are lying! We are the Emperors chosen and we are invincible. Even in death we resist the foul warp spawn. All of you are followers of chaos as we have felt since we made planet-fall. That there is no evidence against!” Ignatius spoke with such burning passion that even the Primarch’s would have been proud. They heard a sigh coming from the speakers. “When I was trading with the Ultra Marines home-world of MacCragge I learned that Space Marines treasured their logic and intellect almost more than their weapons and fighting skills. Where is yours?” While Azaran said that, he sent an unencrypted data package to the four remaining Grey Knights. There it showed that it had been them that released the demons and xenos. It showed the general blueprints to their new experimental weapon, but worst of all it showed his brothers one sided battle against the horrific Tyranids.
The video file showed a direct link to the surveillance system in level 7. “Brothers! To me! The Emperor is with us until death! The Chaplain roared as he swung his hammer with unrelenting force. Ignatius quickly saw that the Chaplain had several jagged spikes protruding from his back and chest. They were seven left standing on top of a steadily growing pile of dead Tyranids. The Chaplain had just sent a wave of psychic lightning to fry one of the bigger synaps creatures and was about to fire his last rounds of sanctified bolter-rounds when he discovered his arm were gone. The rending-claws of two Genestealers had taken it and were eager to take the other one as well. He spun around and quickly smashed them both. He then felt shock when he was being lifted up from the ground. Constantine tried to move but was immobile due to a 3 meter long claw that was sticking out his stomach. He had been stabbed by a Carnifex from behind and as he saw the last of his Brothers being overwhelmed by the seemingly endless swarms. He uttered a final prayer. “I shall not be left to wander the drifting roads of the Warp. For there is no darkness, nor death either, in the Emperor’s Light. And nothing that He has wrought shall be lost.”
Ignatius had been through severe training on how to control his emotions. He had learned to fight for The Emperor, his Chapter and his Brothers. Should they fall, then he would avenge them until his last breath. He reached out with his mind to make contact with his brothers but to no avail. He stared almost blankly in front of him as he realized that this was actually the truth. Ignatius was thankful that his blessed helmet hid the lone tear he shed for brothers.
Then, they all heard the sound of huge masses impacting on the other side of the door and the scraping of a hundred claws against adamantium. “They are here” was all Azaran could say over the speakers before the door started to shake. It was obvious that the creature somehow knew that there was fresh biomass on the other side. “If you have ever valued the words of The Emperor I suggest you help us make a stand here or else we are all doomed.” Azaran Encouraged. Then Ignatius regained his resolve. He turned around to face the three left standing. “Brothers! As you have seen and sensed, our Chaplain has joined with The Emperor. It is at the hands of the Horrid creatures on the other side of that door that our great leader was taken away from us! We must avenge him in The Emperor stead and send them back to foul place they came from! We shall show this new enemy our righteous fury and bade them in their own blood! For Titan!
“Sir, the Tyranids will break through in five minutes and they have somehow risen in number since our last reading!” It was one of the communication officers who had given the dreaded news. Azaran had hoped the blast doors would hold, but he had underestimated the Tyranids. “Send every one capable of holding a gun and seal every door leading to this chamber. We must hold them back until we can rearrange the experimental weapon to face the corridor.“Azaran knew it was a discouraging plan at best. It was unsure if the untested weapon would have any effect at all or if it needed some more calibration. He could only hope for the best, but in his stomach he feared the worst. To strengthen his own resolve he powered up his sword. “They will meet resistance to the very end.” He said with gritting teeth.
Ignatius was preparing himself. It had been over ten years since he had used his forbidden ability and he remembered how great the psychic pain was when he used it. He steeled himself as he summoned “Thrandul, Protector of the Flesh”. A constant pressure wave started emanating from Ignatius as he focused all his might in containing his spirit within himself. He started glowing with a blue-white aura as halo of heat and fire started forming around him. Then, a physical representation of what could only be described as a divine being started forming around him. The partially translucent figure wrapped itself around Ignatius much like that of a nemesis dreadknight would. It formed an armor that worked like an extension of him and offered the ultimate protection from all harm. Only seconds after the ritual was done the gate broke open and in came a frightful mass of claws, jaws, spikes, eyes and insectoid like armor plating.
The glowing entity surrounding Ignatius stretched its arms out as two massive swords got summoned in its hands. With them it slashed at the oncoming horde and the force of the impact smashed the creatures in the front to a gushy mass of gruel. The lucky ones that didn’t get destroyed by this psychic meat grinder sprinted past it and started attacking the others behind Ignatius. The rest of the Phalanx Guard and lots of weaponised automatons fired their guns at the approaching horde. Trying their best to hold the line.
Azaran was watching the surveillance cameras and hope started to rise when he saw the awesome and powerful display from the Space Marine in silver armor. He saw how the Space Marine dealt with two Carnifexes at once and smashed countless lesser creatures with a flick of his wrist. But then Azaran saw him go down to knee, as if struck by some invisible force. The great power seemed to come with a heavy cost to its user. Little did Azaran know that the Divine Being sucked energy directly from Ignatius soul. “How long until the weapon is turned?” Galanthus asked. Ten more minutes sir. We are working as fast as possible. ”Fire when ready!” Azaran commanded. “Sir, yes sir!” The entire command room sounded.
It was like watching some bizarre dance when they occasionally saw the Space Marine with the blue aura armor. It danced from target to target, cutting its way through bones, muscle and armor like it was made of rotten fruit. It seemed to have godlike reflexes, dodging and parrying all attacks from any angles. The Tyranids who tried to penetrate the aura ended up melting/burning their limbs. If it hadn’t been for him, they would have been overrun in a matter of seconds. The rest gave it their best, offering a hail of support fire to try to weaken the remorseless masses of xenos attacking them. Then the inevitable happened. The bluish armor started flickering, like a flashlight almost out of battery. Its movements became slower and it started taking more and more hits. It was the beginning of the end for the Space Marine in silver armor.
Ignatius was struggling to stay conscious as he felt his very soul being drained slowly but surely. It was the only drawback to using this ability and it was starting to take its toll. He could sustain the armor for much longer periods of time but when engaged with this many enemies he had to go all out. This unfortunately only increased its appetite for his soul and made it much harder to sustain. It would not kill him though, because it needed him to be awake for it to exist in real-space and he would go unconscious before it was able to take all of his soul. But that was meager comfort when he knew he would be torn to shreds by the xenos when it disappeared. “Must… Continue… Must… Endure…For my Brothers…For the Emperor!” He muttered weakly as he again lashed out at the nearest enemy. But his focus slowly faded as two Hive Tyrants coordinated their attacks on him. They were able to drain enough power from the divine being so that it consumed a larger portion of Ignatius soul. The room darkened as he slowly drifted into slumber and the untold amounts of claws and jaws unleashed their combined wrath upon him.
“Fall back! Fall Back!” One of the Officers said as he fired his boltgun empty. Everyone retreated into the corridor to find a more defensible position. Except for the remaining Phalanx Guard and Grey Knights who tried buy as much time as they could. “This will halt them back for a couple of minutes.” said one of the Phalanx Guard as he opened a sealed canister he carried on his side. Inside was an extremely rare Vortex grenade. They sprinted inside the corridor after the vortex grenade had gone off.
After only a minute they heard that the Tyranids had gotten past the artificial vortex and was storming inwards. Azaran was looking at his control monitor and was almost about to march out and help his men defend the last gate to the testing chamber when he heard the most beautiful words he had ever heard. “Weapon is ready to fire, sir!” “Azaran did not hesitate. “FIRE!”
An invisible pulse traveled at the speed of light through the entire complex. It felt like being hit by a strong warm wind except that you even felt it inside you as much as everywhere else. All around in the control room you could see men checking their vitals to see if they had been affected somehow. It had been a possibility that the weapon would have killed everything I touched. After thanking the Emperor he was still alive Galanthus checked the status on the Tyranids and what he saw terrified him. They heard from one the communication officers. “Negative impact sir, negative impact! No effect on target, repeat, no effect on target!” “Reboot the weapon and fire again!” Galanthus ordered desperately. “Hold that order! Look at them! They are slowing down!” Azaran said hopefully. The Fabricatus General watched the screen again and this time what he saw amazed him.
In the corridor you could see that the creatures desperately tried to move forwards but seemed to be halted by something. Then their limbs started falling apart and scales and teeth just fell off, like a three shedding leafs. Then they fell on the ground and started to literally dissolve into slimy fluids. You could see the bigger creatures trying to stay alive as their bodies melted around them leaving them empty husk filled with goo. The few remaining soldiers and officers looked over their barricades and yelled in victory. “We beat them! We beat them all! Long live the CEO Prime, long live the Emperor, by the Throne of Terra we beat them!” They all cheered and the tech priests sent out binary codes of gratitude to the Omnisiah before starting to repair damaged equipment and machinery. The Grey Knights waded through the pond of gore to reach their fallen brother. Under a pile of dead tyranids they found him. His legs and arms were torn off and his chest was badly eviscerated, but upon further inspection they found that he had gone into the deep sleep coma and could still be saved. “Brother Ignatius must be treated by the temple apothecaries as soon as possible, but first we must tie up some loose strings” They said as they secured their brother and lifted him up from the pile of xenos.
CEO Prime Azaran was sitting on his command throne absolutely exhausted. He had given Galanthus the task of administering the damage control teams that were putting out fire and rescued survivors. Clean up teams had been ordered to search for remaining demons or xenos and exterminate them on sight. The latest death toll was now up to 223 million and slowly rising. Almost one percent of the planet’s population. It was going to take years to rebuild Vulcan and Azaran was going to put more effort in heightening the number of detectors in the system so none could slip past so easily again. Fortunately for the Space Marines (which he now knew was called Grey Knights) their battle barge had escaped the Sirius fleet and had now returned after several hails by Tartarus Six’s mighty astronomican choir. He had let them collect the remains of their dead and after an aggressive debate he had even let one of them check his mind to see where his loyalty lay. They then came to an agreement. That the weapon was to be kept a secret between Bencorp Industries and The Grey Knights due to the corruption and loose mouths in the Imperial Administratum and the like. The Grey Knights then confiscated all of the research done on the chaos demons and the arch enemy. This was to secure that this important world did fall to the temptations of the warp. The grey knights were escorted by the Sirius fleet to their warp destination and that was the last time the Grey Knights were ever seen in the Tartarus system.
One year later.
“Now that is what I call majestic” Galanthus said as he took in this spectacular sight. He, Azaran and en escort were standing on a hovercraft not so far from the shoreline of the main ocean of Tartarus Six. “That’s why I thought it was good idea to see it with an old friend like you Galanthus.” Azaran said with a slight smile on his face. “It’s been so long since I saw such raw beauty displayed in front of me like this.” Then one of the colossus ray serpents dove under the sea and created a small tsunami while doing so. They looked both to the sky again as they saw at least 15 colossus ray serpents flying across the vast sea, displaying their marvelous fluorescent light-patterns. “That actually reminds me of the pattern we saw on the side of that giant Glow slug we tried to capture on Dusk, do you remember that dreadful place?” Azaran asked. Galanthus stroked his Cape made out of Phyrr Cat hides. “I sure do Azaran, I Sure Do.”