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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-13, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Default The Sakir-Har Dynasty, A Living History

Prologue: Rude Awakening

Darkness permeated the corridors and chambers of the long forgotten complex, any hint of light long forgotten as the ages had slipped by silently and largely ignored. What little movement that could be perceived within the vast network of somber passages came from the autonomous machines that had been charged with the upkeep of the place. Many of the autonomous creatures had, in the intervening millennia, begun to show signs of burgeoning intellects as evident by their peculiar penchant of not just maintaining the ancient machines in their care but improving them as time when on. Ever present in the infantile minds of the machines hung the notion that someday their masters would return to them and give praise to their creations for having had the tenacity of mind to develop as they had.

Such a dream, if it could be called such, went unrealized for a great expanse of time. Even so, each machine that held the ideal that someday they would be surrounded once more by their former lords continued to toil in the silence with such notions held close. And when the first sarcophagus began to stir with renewed ‘life’, the machines met their master with eagerness uncommon in similar machines elsewhere.

A metal hand rose from depths of the sarcophagus first, grasping at nothing but empty air at first. The movements were slow, hesitant, and awkward. It was obvious that prolonged slumber had temporarily dulled the senses of the owner of the hand. The gathered machines waited patiently, expectantly, for their master to gather his wits. After several more gasps at empty air, the hand sank to the edge of the sarcophagus and with some effort, pulled the upper torso into an upright position.

Awareness slowly returned to the disoriented Necron Phaeron. It seemed as if an eternity had passed since he had last commanded the limbs that he had been given during the biotransference. His thoughts were still slow, his perception marred by flaws in his cognitive protocols. One thing, however, did not escape him as he sat in the sarcophagus… he was fully aware of the eyes upon him.

Turning his head slowly, the Phaeron gazed upon the many faceted eyes that patiently observed him. Though they all lacked features capable of expressing it, the eager expectations of the machines were evident and extremely unnerving to behold. At first, the newly awakened Necron could hardly imagine what he was beholding. Before he’d succumbed to the Great Slumber, his Canoptek minions were completely subservient to their base programming. They held no interest in the affairs of their masters, no designs of their own, no will of their own. And yet now he was gazing into the eyes of what could have been classified as children waiting for guidance.

As he mulled over such notions, another thought crossed his mind. He knew that he had once possessed an identity, some grand moniker that set him apart from the others of his kind. He knew that he held dominion over all that resided within the great Tomb World in which his own sarcophagus now rested, but he couldn’t make the connection as to why.

“Do you know who I am?” the Phaeron asked of the gathered machines that had gathered silently around his sarcophagus. Even as the words issued forth from his voice synthesizing device, the Phaeron felt foolish. He knew the machines hadn’t been outfitted with any means of communication. They were simply tools, created to perform labors which more Necrons were incapable of performing even with their nigh-indestructible forms. He began to turn away when one of the Wraiths before him began to scrawl out a message with one of its legs upon the onyx floor. In the looping and interconnecting language of his people, the machine managed to spell out ‘Ancient One’ upon the unblemished surface.

“Ancient One…” the Necron mulled the name over aloud as if to test it for palatability. It didn’t have an awkward tone, and it certainly did fit as far as names were concerned. The Phaeron decided it would suffice for a name just as well as any other might have in its place. It did carry a modicum of mystique, which never hurt when dealing with others of his kind outside of his own dynasty.

The Ancient One returned his gaze to the mechanical servants who still stood silently in a semi-circle to his left. He was already impressed with the responsiveness of his servants, but wondered if simple queries were the limit of their abilities to interact.

“Have others awoken before me?” the Phaeron inquired of the machines. Each of them, in their own turn, moved their head in a side to side manner in an almost satirical mimicry of their sentient masters. It was hard for the Ancient One not consider such a thing laughable… had he the ability to feel such emotions properly.

While he could vividly remember that there had been a sensation linked to humorous events, he could no long grasp it since the biotransference. He could unerringly recall a great many occasions after the transfer and right before the Great Sleep that he might have laughed about had he the ability to. It was a damnable thing to retain the memory of such enjoyment and yet be denied the pleasure of it.

“How long have I been asleep?” the Ancient One demanded, half-expecting the machines to stumble at such a difficult request.

Much to his surprise, the same Wraith that had given him a name began to scrawl out a number. The first few numbers it scratched into the floor seemed reasonable, but the thing didn’t stop with just a scant few centuries. More and more numbers kept finding their way into the etching until the number stood at just shy of 61 million years. Such a vast number seemed impossible. Even with all the grand technology that had been gleaned from the C’Tan and their own developments, a 60 million year slumber was something staggering to accept.

“How can this be…?” The Necron mused as he rose from his sarcophagus; his mind now fully entrenched in his form once more.

Rather than mar the surface of the floor with a reply, the Wraith motioned for his master to follow it. It was at this moment that the Ancient One understood. In the time that had slipped by, his minions had become far more than their initial programming had accounted for…

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-31-13, 12:01 AM
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This is a good start, here. It doesn't seem like the Necrons get enough love when it comes to original fiction, and this really does convey that ancient, dusty feel that the Tomb World evokes- can practically see the dim hallways and huge chambers. Looking forward to the next bit!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-31-13, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Chapter 1: Revivification

It had taken the Ancient One several weeks of study to fathom all that had transpired since he had succumbed to the forced slumber that the last Silent King had ordered his people to commit themselves to. The hardest thing to fathom had been the Tomb World’s new position in the vast expanse of the universe. Where once a sun had dominated the sky of Tepmosi, now only the void of interstellar space and the stars that surrounded them were visible in the sky that was now nothing but perpetual night. For their part, the machine caretakers had made note of the event, even if it had caused very little in the way of a disturbance to the planet. Having no need of the sun to nurture their function or that of their masters, the entire affair of being ejected into interstellar space had been little more than a footnote in the vast string of information that had been compiled in the central information database.

Indeed, the vast majority of the information that had been catalogued by the autonomous servants of the Tomb World was of little interest. Most of it was little more than routine maintenance of the vast machines within the Tomb World. Hundreds of blocks of text were devoted to simple repair algorithms that dominated the programming of the Canoptek creatures. At least, that was the trend for the first twenty or so million years that had passed by. After the planet had been ‘liberated’ from the sun which had once been the lifeblood of the Necrontyr who had lived before the biotransference, strange anomalies began to surface within the data. Deviations in the patterns of routine maintenance gave way to inspirations. Failed redundant systems began to be cannibalized in an effort to improve the stasis mechanics that had started to degrade.

The closer to his awakening the Ancient One got in his reading, the more bizarre the information became. Where there had once been simple reports and the occasional modification to existing practices, the vast majority of logs showed something akin to a banter among the various machines. Though they didn’t seem to converse in the same manner that a Necron might converse with another Necron, it had the distinct feel of a dialogue. Questions would be postulated and not long after a string of answers would be logged, each of them becoming more complex as more questions were asked. It was the last question that disturbed the Ancient One the most.

When will they come back?

Unlike all the other questions, this one carried with it in no uncertain form a verifiable awareness. The machines knew that their masters had been gone for a great length of time. More unnerving still, the machines did not seem at all content with their lot as simple caretakers. While no log of such a thought had been made, such a disdain for being left alone was rather evident to the Ancient One after his revival. The various machines that flooded the corridors, from the smallest scarab to the massive Tomb Stalkers, would stop whatever they had been doing to watch him traverse a given expanse of corridor they could see and would not move again until he was nearly out of sight.

When he had gleaned all that the massive database had to offer, the Phaeron made the choice to lock the archives to all eyes but his own. At first he had thought to wipe the slate clean and reset the many Canoptek creatures to their original states. Such a thought at first seemed the most logical, after all none of them had been intended to be anything resembling sentient. But as he mulled it over, the Ancient One began to find flaws in his logic. Just because his people hadn’t intended the servants of the Tomb World to reach such a state of mind it didn’t mean that such a thing was an abomination.

Indeed, in the weeks that he spent alone in the catacombs, the fact that the various servant machines could respond in even the most rudimentary fashion to his inquiries and desires reinforced the possibility that such a development might well be a boon. During the War in Heaven, it took vast amounts of mental effort to keep the hordes of machines on task, even more so than it did to keep the various Warriors and other less cognisant of the Necron horde from running completely astray. Such assertions of will were both draining and at time counter-productive in the grand scheme. Many a Lord and Overlord within his small dynasty suffered a complete logic breakdown trying to keep their forces from running amok. This new awareness of the Canoptek creatures might well signal a transformation of tactics and methodologies should they come into conflict with an ancient foe, or others of Necrontyr descent who had in times before attempted to usurp and absorb the Ancient One’s small but robust dynasty.

Finally, after assuring himself that all had been made ready, the Phaeron ordered the servants of the Tomb World to begin the revivification process that would bring the silent and dead world back to the mockery of life that was given to the Necron people. Each scarab scrambled about in an almost joyous dance as they scurried about to heed the Phaeron’s command. Each Wraith slithered through the corridors ensuring that each sarcophagus was connected to the power grid that would soon rouse the slumbering masses. Every Spyder made ready to spawn yet more scarabs should something transpire unexpectedly and support was needed. Each of the many Tomb Stalkers that once stood guardian over the lifeless passageways now stood upon the surface of the world, ready to meet anyone who might attempt to lay siege to the planet as their masters slowly regained consciousness. And then the generators came online...

The thunderous pulsating of energies through the once dormant power nodes gave new life to the dead planet. The blinding glow of fluorescent greens throughout the vast complex transformed the desolate tombs into something akin to a living thing. The pulsating energy running through the nodes reminded the Ancient One of the heartbeat he had once felt resonating in his chest. Such thoughts had long sat dormant in the Phaeron’s mind and it was almost too much to bare... Almost. As the many display globes began to register movement and reports from the many Canoptek machines began to flood in, the Ancient One abandoned such trivial considerations to focus on what was far more important... the restoration of his people.

At first, the restoration efforts proceeded as smoothly as had been projected. The various Necrons of differing forms and functions began to emerge from their crypts and sarcophagi. The ancient machines of war began to hum to life and buzz with renewed eagerness to resume their ancient works. Everything was going according to design... until the Warriors began to awaken...

Last edited by jonileth; 03-31-13 at 01:58 AM. Reason: Formatting Error Correction
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-08-13, 06:37 AM
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I have been meaning to leave a comment on this story for awhile now and have been rather absentminded. I wanted to say that I really like the story and the idea of the canoptek constructs "evolving" a form of sentience. The the descriptions of the tomb world and the necron tech are good and I feel draws the reader in. I hope that you continue the story and look forward to more!

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