Garen made his way back to the Forward Operating base where Adem's superiors stood in discussion. The minuscule tattoo etched on his back burned like nothing else. It had been work for the mysterious warriors or face some unnamed gruesome ending. Garen wasn't ready to die yet. Not a chance in hell of that. He touched his worn necklace for some otherworldly support. He had been Catheric since he was a fresh faced child, and wasn't going to stop believing any time soon.
Xenith was a shithole to be sure. A blasted wasteland with nothing but a few dotted cities filled with sour folk. News of Horus' rebellion had reached even here, though the people had more or less got on with their tedious lives. Eldar Reavers had drawn the Khan's merciless attention, and reports concluded that the wretched xenos waited just over the horizon.
'First Colonel of the 5th reporting, sir.' The vox cackled as he waited for a reply. The FO guards were tireless men, meticulously sifting through every detail that came their way. The Commander's lives were at stake, and if anything befell them, well their lives were forfeit, Garen supposed. As he approached the main gate, swivelling defence turrets rounded on him while they awaited confirmation.
'First Colonel Garen Mahud, you're late,' the entrance voice rasped. Garen passed through and under the hastily assembled fortifications. Bitter old men practiced drills in the main yard, and hoarse laughter drifted from some of the barracks. Gold cloaked Tullians wandered towards the main bunker in a pack of eight, a small delegation from orbit. Four White Scars stood at attention near the far wall, still as statues and no doubt eyeing every single being that walked in the yard. Two Land speeders, camouflaged in the traditional blue-black of the Kalerian Regiments, lay humming, with their pilots joking with each other on board. The hum of the antigrav machinery gave the place a never-ending whisper.
Garen walked into the main arena where the Commander's and their aides were consorting with a senior Astartes. Plastered in the heraldry of the Vth Legion the warrior spoke in low drumming tones, and his top knot of black hair swayed slightly as he gave commands.
'Horus and his allies have smashed the force that the Emperor has sent to bring him to Terra in chains. Ferrus Manus is feared dead, as is Vulkan of the Salamanders and Corax of the Raven Guard. The Ultramarine's under Primarch Guilliman lie at Calth waiting to strike at the Greenskin menace nearby. The Lion fights near the Shield World, and knows naught of the Warmaster's deception. The Imperial Fists and Blood Angels Legions are en route to Terra as we speak.' The transhuman spoke with a certain authority in his voice, and the command arena stood in complete silence. He let the words sink in.
'What is our destination, my Lord?' one of the Commander asked, Flavio something-or-other, Garen mused. 'And who has sided with the Warmaster?' This caused an avalanche of questions to be hurled at the White Scar. Garen flinched. Shut up you imbeciles, and let him speak
The Astartes raised his gauntleted fist, and silence fell again across the room. 'We have preliminary reports indicated that initially only four of the Emperor's Legions infact sided with the Warmaster, including his own' the warrior growled. 'The World Eater's Legion, The Death Guard and the Emperor's Children.' The horror emanating from the Army Commanders was palpable. How could they turn from the Emperor's vision? On their brothers? A few where doubting the Scar's words.
'What we know at this point, is that the Emperor sent seven of my Primarch's brother Legions to bring Horus down. They failed.' The room took a collective gasp, it was rumoured as much... but to hear it from the mouth of one of the Emperor's warriors was unbelievable. 'The Salamanders, the Raven Guard and the Iron Hands were slaughtered on Isstvaan V. It is widely believed that the other four Legions, Lorgar's Word Bearers, the Night Lords, the Alpha Legion and Perturabo's Iron Warriors are in fact in league with the Warmaster.'
The hopelessness of the situation was daunting. Garen crept back outside as the Commander's discussed the tragedy unfolding. He was in the yard, that was good. He flicked on his small tracker, to let his masters know he was en route to his mission. A small munitions shed was situated near the left wall, away from the laughing barracks and there were patrols walking on the metal overpasses. Gun Servitor's guarded the metal shack, and Garen subcutaneously side stepped out of their kill-zone.
His little metal receiver chimed with binary codes as he grew closer to the machines. They quietly shut down as Garen put in the passcode for the shack's protected door. It hissed as it slid open, and Garen stepped inside as the generator lights beamed up and powered on. He plugged in a smaller, knife-shaped device into his receiver and it shone with a green luminosity.
The air went so cold that Garen could see his breath misting. A faint outline began to shimmer into place before him, dark at first, blurry but slowly congealing together to produce the very image of war. A huge, nightmarish man, armoured in the same thick ceramite of the White Scars, stood before him. But it wasn't a man, it was a beast of war. A chained predator waiting for release. It wore the same colours as the Space Marines in the courtyard, but if you looked closely enough, dark green paint showed through, so deep it was like a bottomless timeless lake. The heraldry was a mockery of the Vth, and the smile that Astartes wore was nothing like the Khan's sons.
'You have done superbly, Garen,' said the giant as more of his brothers shimmered into the space behind him. He carried a menacing bolter, with tallies of his numerous kills scraped onto the side in white. The bolter was covered in them. Garen dropped to one knee, the pride was overwhelming. I belong
'My Lords, it is an honour.' Garen spoke as he knelt. He knew there were other operatives but across the courtyard, performing similar rituals, and allowing the mysterious warriors to materialise around them. The deception was beautiful. 'May I ask my master's name, sir?'
The Legionnaire smiled again, as if laughing inside. 'Why, my dear Garen, of course. I am Alpharius.' Garen fainted as the other Marines roared.
didnt space it out as much hope it flows a bit better. ta.