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post #24 of (permalink) Old 02-02-12, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Default HOES #12-01: A Beginning

Serpion5: Another Chance...
1099 words

‘Start again.’ The command came, flat and emotionless as it had always been. Row upon row of gleaming metal lychguard followed through their attack pattern in perfect unison, Warscythes rising and falling with unrivalled precision and unity.

Alkvar nodded in satisfaction. The Master of the Lychguard gestured for the elite warriors to continue even as the telltale footsteps of an approaching individual sounded. He turned on one foot and dropped into a bow. His Phaeron, the once renowned King Mithrahc, bade him rise without a word.

‘They are performing quite well.’ Mithrahc nodded, as ever impressed by his bodyguard’s diligence.

‘Only the best, to serve you My King.’ Alkvar replied. ‘Have you need of my services?’ His grip tightened on his own warscythe, a habit from the time of flesh and blood.

‘Yes.’ Mithrahc answered. ‘Select two of your finest and come with me. We have visitors.’

* * *

Mithrahc’s palace was a stark reminder of what it meant to be one of the Necrons. Alkvar noted every detail as he led the way back to the main throne room and audience chamber. His Master had refrained from providing further details and as such he employed his own judgement. Behind him strode Mithrahc with his own staff flanked by the two Alkvar had selected to accompany him.

Time seemed meaningless, and after however long it had been they arrived at the throne room, entering from the western wing. Alkvar quickly broke into a longer stride, tensing as he noted everyone in the large room. The indentured cryptek Seprin stood off to the far right, and the subdued flayer Re’kyt shambled around in the shadows.

There were three visitors, one had the look of a noble, or if he had to guess, a former noble. The second one had the air of a lychguard except for his poorly kept weapon, and the third was clearly a Deathmark. The sniper was immediately the greatest threat, but Alkvar did not discount the other two, nor the familiar cube like object in the grip of the would be lychguard. All this he had surmised in moments, coming to rest in position even as Mithrahc seated himself.

‘Welcome guests.’ Mithrahc spoke. ‘It is good to see others of our kind survived the great sleep. So tell me, what brings you to my doorstep?’

The noble stepped forth. ‘Great King. I am Lord Nemreth. As you know the Necron dynasties are divided and spread far, and in this vacuum many of the young races have filled the void. As a result, our grip on the stars has loosened and the threat of the C’tan breaking free has increased.’

‘Indeed.’ Mithrahc replied. ‘I once had several such creatures in my possession, whereas now I have none.’

‘That is why we have come to you.’ Nemreth nodded. ‘Your time is well remembered, and I for one would rejoice in seeing you returned to power. I have come here to propose an alliance of mutual benefit.’

Mithrahc was visibly intrigued. Alkvar and the other lychguards flinched slightly as Nemreth took the cube from his own servant and approached the throne. At a thought link command from their ruler, they stood down yet remained alert.

‘We recently acquired this one.’ Nemreth explained. ‘A shard of the Deceiver Mephet`ran.’

Mithrahc took the cube and examined it. The power fluctuating within indicated that indeed it contained a shard of a star god. ‘You captured this. The three of you?’ It seemed unbelievable that such a feat could be achieved by so few so ill equipped.

‘Yes.’ Nemreth explained. ‘We searched long and far before coming here, Great King Mithrahc. The other lords hand Phaerons have forgotten the lessons learned long ago. They have become arrogant and complacent. And so, I sought to find you.’

‘And so, with my support and backing, you could capture... more of these?’ Mithrahc could already see the benefits of such an alliance.

‘Indeed.’ Nemreth answered. ‘But as you can see, we are in dire need of essential maintenance, both to ourselves and our equipment. In addition, I would require your cryptek to fashion us some more of these tesseract labyrinths.’

Mithrahc looked at Seprin without a word. Seprin simply nodded and left the room.

‘It will be done.’ Mithrahc said. ‘Alkvar, let it be known that our guests are to be accommodated. Have the Lychguards form an escort and take them to the canoptek chambers. You and I will see to the necessary arrangements with the cryptek court.’

‘Your graciousness is much appreciated Great King.’ Nemreth bowed as Mithrahc returned the gesture before filing out of the room with Alkvar close behind. The remaining two lychguards stepped forward to escort the trio to the repair bays.

‘May we have a moment?’ Nemreth’s guard spoke up, acting in a curt manner that they felt compelled to respect. Giving them a respectful berth yet staying within sight, they allowed the guests a moment of privacy.

* * *

‘Are you sure you wish to do this Nemreth?’ Arakyr asked. ‘We would, lose all freedom we once had.’

‘Our freedom has not kept us well equipped.’ Socous interjected, his gaze not having moved from the flayer lurking in the shadows. ‘We need support, and Lord Mithrahc is willing to provide.’

‘Socous is right.’ Nemreth said. ‘We can provide what Mithrahc wants, and he can provide what we need. It is logical, it will serve us all.’

‘Forgive me.’ Arakyr bowed. ‘I am once again humbled by your wisdom.’

‘That’s the way of it all.’ A rasping voice sounded, and the three of them turned to behold the flayer, standing in a mockery of its former glory. Tattered skin of some unfortunate was draped around it in shambling imitation of royal garb, and it took a single further step, its bladed hands flensing silently the whole time.

‘What?’ Arakyr growled, levelling his weapon at the flayer and drawing a stern look from the two escorts.

‘Warriors one and all.’ The flayer rambled. ‘Always you look to see an ending. Always you look to see a result. And when it is not the result you sought, you feel cheated?’

‘Make sense.’ Arakyr demanded. His temper was all but gone.

‘You see a result. A conclusion.’ The flayer giggled, before darting back to the darkness. ‘Silly warrior...’

‘I see what it means.’ Nemreth nodded. ‘This is not just the result of our labour. This is, a completely new opportunity to rebuild what we once had. This, my friends, is our true beginning.’

With a new outlook, a new purpose, the trio followed the lychguards into the tomb...
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