BY ORDER OF HIS MOST HOLY MAJESTY
THE GOD-EMPEROR OF TERRA
INQUISITORIAL INTELLIGENCE CONTAINED WITHIN
AUTHORISED PERSONS ONLY
CLASSIFICATION: Tertiary Level communique
ENCRYPTION: Cryptox v 3.3
AUTHOR: Dashiel Lotan, Inquisitor Lord Ordo Hereticus
SUBJECT: Request - Permission Granted
RECIPIENT: Arken Phlebas, Lord Governor, Soliban Prime, Sector Capital, Garras Sector.
I have considered your request and taken time to research the solutions to your problems and I concur with your findings, furthermore the Intelligence I have gathered, though limited, shows no sign of taint.
This intelligence is incomplete however and as I now grant you this boon, you will in turn do me a favour . I will expect a complete report on the actions of the Rainbow Warriors, you will observe them at every opportunity and report everything you see.
Do not let me find you lacking in this task, my patience is wearing thin. Should your latest Gambit fail I shall intercede on your behalf, this will not be in your best interest.
Suffer not the heretic to live, cast your faith no further than the Lord of Man kind.
BY ORDER OF HIS MOST HOLY MAJESTY
THE GOD-EMPEROR OF TERRA
Purge after Reading
CLASSIFICATION: Primary Level Communique
CLEARANCE: Obsidian Ultra
ENCRYPTION: Cryptox v 6.6
AUTHOR: Operative codename - The Player
SUBJECT: Bishop will move to take knight
RECIPIENT: Operative codename - Bishop
The King requests the aid of the Knight, the Bishop will move to ensure this is made possible.
The Knight sits upon a usurped throne, further evidence of his broken sword?
The Knight must move, only under the watch of Bishop can he be controlled.
Do not fail me,
Namacuix strode along the corridors of the skybridge, as he had done a thousand
times before. He ran his free hand along its walls, feeling the heartbeat-like thrum of the ship reverberate through his gauntlet. He smiled as it welcomed home in its own way, another mission successfully completed, another day he lived to fight for the Emperor.
His mood darkened once more at the fact, that every cluster of his brothers that he passed were gathered in small groups of their own companies, none daring to mix with another group for fear of reprisal from their own, suspicious looks cast all around. He nodded in respect as he spotted a group of Purans discussing a fine piece of weaponry that one held within his arms, their mech-arms seemingly interacting in the air above them. They saluted in response before returning to their discussion.
A few metres later a pair of Amarils strode across the intersection ahead of him, Namacuix felt the hairs on his body raise as they passed, whatever psychic dialogue they were engaged in charging the air around them. They both turned as one, as they noticed him and saluted simultaneously, mirror images of each other, their glowing eyes regarding him dispassionately. He returned the salute as they moved off, sighing at how aloof his librarian brothers had become.
Finally he reached his own chambers, stopping as he always did to kiss the wall beside the entrance portal, the ritual something he did at the return of every battle, a personal reminder that he was alive to see his sanctum. It was just many of such rituals that he engaged in and the simplicity of it always centred him and kept him focused.
He hit the entrance stud and the portal cog rolled to one side to allow him entry. As it slid away he found Ictlan, his major-domo awaiting him. Though Namacuix towered over the much smaller form of the serf, the respect he felt for the old man was only slightly below the Emperor himself.
Kneeling, head bowed, he lifted the specimen jar he held and offered it to the figure before him. “Little Brother, I bring you a trophy for your collection.”
Ictlan grinned, taking the jar from him. “I really wish you’d cease with such dramatics, an astartes should never bow before a chapter serf, not even if they happen to be said astartes kin.”
Namacuix grinned, rising to his feet. “Not even if they are the reason he’s an astartes in the first place?”
He gripped the old man’s offered arm in the old warrior’s salute.
Ictlan laughed. “Such foolishness from a Captain of the 2nd company! You are the reason you are an astartes, not me.”
Namacuix moved passed the old man, placing his helmet upon the small unadorned desk that was pushed against one wall of his room.
“That’s nonsense and you know it little brother, had you not taken that poison dart to the leg, to prevent me from being killed, you would have completed the task and it would be you standing in my place as captain of the 2nd Company.” He growled.
Ictlan turned to look the bigger man in the eye. “Had I done so I would have lost my brother, and no sacrifice was worth seeing that happen. No, I do not for a second regret what I did that day and neither should you.”
Namacuix turned away from his brother, the shame of what had transpired that day still stuck in his throat. The trials of the aspirant were forever burned in his memory, the shame of falling at the final hurdle, the Rainbow Warriors watching from the sides as his brother raced ahead, stopping before the finish line as he realised Namacuix was not with him. His younger brother had returned to help him, throwing himself before one of the course projectiles to prevent it striking Namacuix’s throat.
Ictlan had urged him to his feet and sent him towards the finish line, so that both of them would not fail. The sacrifice that his brother had made in his name that day had honoured him beyond anything he could conceive and as such had determined the warrior he would become, striving always to ensure his brother’s sacrifice had not been in vain, for he loved his brother dearly. As he had risen through the ranks he had requested his brother to be his major-domo and the ever-humble Ictlan had agreed.
“Now, enough of this foolishness, tell me what happened planet side, the tales you bring me are something I look forward to,” He held the trophy up before him, ”and the trophies of course! What have we here anyway?” he said, eyeing it carefully.
“The head of a night breeder Brood lord, ex-sanguinated of course.” He replied as he removed his weapons placing them in their holders with delicate care, silently wording a prayer to the Emperor as he did so, another of his many rituals.
Ictlan grinned manically. “A Brood lord? This will sit nicely beside the Oruken Warlord and the reaver eldar’s helmet. A battle with a brood lord, this will be a tale to beat all others I think.” The old man limped off towards his own chamber, an annexe to the bigger chambers of his Lord.
“And a Gene-Magus, captured alive no less.” Namacuix called after him as the older man disappeared into the next room.
“Most Excellent.” The Old man called back. “I look forward to hearing it. Perhaps a cup of O-cha to calm the nerves after such a titanic struggle?”
Namacuix grinned at his brother’s eccentricity. “I do not suffer from nerves but I will accept your offer anyway.” The darkness of his earlier mood was lifted as the joy of simple discourse with Ictlan reminded him of the joys of living.
He decided he would go and see Tonauac later and purge his dark thoughts by confessing his fears to the Old Chaplain, then pray with him for the souls of his brothers who had succumbed to the red tide, those he had used in such a dark manner on the planet below them.
“Ah the fabled Astartes constitution, what must it be like it never feel fear?”
Namacuix grinned once more as the old man rambled on regarding his notions on the answers to such a question. Secretly though it was something he felt uncomfortable discussing, his brother was a link to his humanity, one that he never hoped to lose and when the conversation turned to such notions he always tried to avoid it, it only served to remind him of the differences between them. It was not that he found humanity frail because of their ability to feel fear, far from it, he had seen countless times the warriors of the Imperial Guard face such fear before conquering it and it had only made him respect them even more. It had everything though, to do with not being reminded of his post humanity, something that had given him so much yet also taken so much away.
“How can you not feel fear, facing monsters such as a brood lord? “ The old man asked re-entering the room carrying a tray, upon which sat a simple clay urn and two clay cups.
“Perhaps its something to do with being a genetically engineered killer and having the finest weapons available to mankind. I’m not sure but sometimes these things help.” Ictlan laughed constantly surprised to hear such crude jokes coming from an astartes captain.
He caught a glimmer of sadness in his brother’s eyes and his face turned grim, in that instant he knew there was something more important that Namacuix wished to discuss.
Namacuix caught the look on his brother’s face and nodded “Bifrost.”
It was all he needed to say; Ictlan knew exactly what it meant.
“He will not listen.” He said quietly.
“No, he will not.” Replied Namacuix. “The Old fool is driving this chapter to ruin, even though the madness of the red tide floods the edges of his mind, his iron-will will not allow it to consume him but the madness remains. He seeks glory and races off at every opportunity to embrace it. He cares only for the first Company and does not see the division that riddles our chapter.”
Ictlan nodded. “It gets worse every day, though they pay me no attention I see the way they look at each other, your brothers move only in groups of their own colour, none mingle. Only the Azuls still move freely and that is mostly down to you. This madness must stop.”
Namacuix stared at the floor, his head bowed in thought. “The Amarills become more and more secluded as time goes on. Their gifts turn more and more from war and instead to the seeking of knowledge and enlightenment. It is an effort for me to even keep the Librarians I have without requesting the help I need from them. It is too much.”
Ictlan listened intently as he poured O-cha into the clay cups, offering one to Namacuix.
“The Anarans barely leave the Chaplaincy anymore, the blood ritual is all they care about, Tonauac barely keeps them in check and he is barely stable himself. They need the structure and order of the chapter to keep them from falling into madness.”
He paused briefly shaking his head, before drinking deeply from his cup.
“Only the Anarans and Verdants are keeping the chapter going and they too are slipping into the old ways. The thing that worries me most is that the Red Tide sweeps more of our brothers up every year carrying them forth into madness, while we can do nothing to stop it. The armed camps that now exist will blow up in our faces if Bifrost does not do something and soon.”
Ictlan looked up from the rim of his cup. “Perhaps it is time.”
Namacuix’s brow furrowed. “Time for what.”
“For new leadership.”
“No I will not betray my chapter not even for the good of its health.”
“You would have the support of the 2nd and the others would surely follow you, Tonuauc would see to that, the Old chaplain sees you as a shining example of our chapter, he would follow you through the Cadian gate and into the gates of hell if you but asked.”
Namacuix shook his head once more. “It’s not that.”
“The prismiites? Surely they would not side with Bifrost simply because he is one of theirs?”
“No, they would not. A great many of them make up even my own chapter, as a great many of us make up the 1st, the old divisions are gone, they would not come to play.”
He looked up and stared his brother straight in the eyes. “I cannot…will not betray the chapter, it is not in my blood.”
Ictlan nodded. “I am of your Blood, would you choose me over your chapter.”
Namacuix looked shocked. “I cannot answer that, I cannot even think of betraying my chapter it, my mind cannot even fathom it. To be given that choice, to have to make that decision-“
He stopped as he noticed the smile on his brother’s face. “Then it is a good thing you will never have to make that choice.”
The sound of Namacuix laughing was interrupted by the sound of the portal chime.
“Enter.” He called out, as both he and Ictlan rose to their feet.
They both saluted as Namacuix’s second in command Borlung entered the chamber; stopping before them he returned the gesture.
“My Lord, I bring grave tidings. The Lord Captain and the men of the Rosians have returned to the surface-“
“What!?” Namacuix roared, cutting his brother off. “What the hell is he up to now. Borlung gather the command squad, I wish to know what the hell is going on.” Borlung nodded and headed off.
Namacuix turned once more to his major-domo.
Ictlan nodded at him, knowing what he must do. “The plot thickens, perhaps you should put more thought into what we discussed.”
Namacuix shook his head sadly, as he lifted his weapons. “Perhaps the old fool will force my hand after all.”
Several hours later found Namacuix and his men striding along the gilded corridors of the Imperial palace of the Void’s Edge governor. From the look of the place it was obvious to see where all of the world’s riches went, huge marble pillars standing in contrast to the gold filigree all around.
The Captain grimaced as he noticed large groups of unarmed PDF troopers being herded by his brothers of the First Company. None of the veterans saluted as he passed and Namacuix gritted his teeth at the slight. Finally, he reached the grand chamber and two of Bifrost’s men moved to intercept them, barring their path.
“Move aside.” He roared as he and his men shouldered passed them, daring them to draw weapons. Borlung growled as he eyed one of them, the young warrior eager to defend his captain’s honour.
Namacuix hoped it would not come to blows, the majority of his company were half a sub-sector away and he would need their numbers if worse came to worse.
He swept onwards into the grand chamber, his cloak fluttering with the motion, his helmet held in the crux of his left arm, while the hand of his right gripped his sword’s pommel tightly.
He stared agog as he noticed the bulky form of the Chapter Commander sitting upon the raised throne of the Governors office, arrayed before him were a squad of 1st company veterans, their weapons aimed at the governor and nineteen of his retinue. The planets hierarchy kneeled before their captors, all with terrified looks upon their face, several of them where whimpering as their bowels loosened, soiling the floor around them. Only the Governor stared ahead defiantly, though his courage seemed somewhat tested by the fact that his entire face was almost covered by the barrel opening of the boltgun held in front of his face.
“My Lord! What is the meaning of this?” He cried, pointing at the Governor.
Bifrost grinned maniacally. “These fools have failed their world and the master of mankind, they are not fit to lead.” He raised his fist and smashed it against the arm of the throne. “We shall rule in their stead, restoring order in the Emperor’s name.”
“I must remind you my Lord, but we do not have the power to do such a thing without Terran consent. We cannot allow any more of their attention to be focussed upon us, as it is we are lucky not to have been investigated. This, “ He said, pointing once more at the governor’s retinue, “this will be a step to far, they will come down upon us like the Hounds of Mictlan themselves!”
“It is my decision to make.” Bifrost replied, his grin spreading wider, like a child who knows he is doing wrong in the face of his parents but carries on anyway, “This world belongs to us now.”
He closed his fist and the sounds of ten Bolters barking twice, rung out across the chamber.
Namacuix gripped his weapon and was on the cusp of drawing it but stopped as he saw his men waiting for his command. Instead he pointed up at the Chapter Commander. “You go too far my Lord, I pray to the Emperor that, for your sake, this does not destroy us.”
He gripped his cloak and turned away, marching smartly off as his men followed in his wake, the sound of Bifrost’s laughter followed them out, taunting them.