The flotilla of coalition ships waited in high anchor on the outter rim of the Cadian system out of sensor range of the fleet making it's way towards the blasted Eye of Terror. On the bridge of the Kami Saiban, the last chapter master of the Void Stalkers, Tokugawa Minobu, sat in his command throne high above the milling sea of chapter serfs and servitors whose tireless efforts kept the old ship plying the tides of the Empyrean. The glowing lights of his command lecturn reflected off his burnished golden terminator armor, casting it in various shades of greens and reds and yellows, as he studied the incoming messages from the other ship's commanders.
Word from astropaths had brought bad news. While unable to send messages across the vastness of space, their powers still granted them the abilities to do so over the short distances between the fleet's ships. He rubbed his brow in frustration as the information scrolled across the viewscreen incompassing his lectern. The Minotaurs and the Marines Malevolent had turned from their duties and joined with the forces of the child Emperor. With more and more chapters of the astartes coming under the banner of this child, those who stood against him found themselves branded traitor or worse. Minobu had accepted the black-mark for he knew in his soul that this was wrong. "There is only one Emperor and he resides on Terra" he intoned to himself in a hushed whisper, "Long may he reign."
He turned his weary eyes to those below as they went about their duties. The old battlebarge was a hive of activity with men and women running back and forth in the ordered chaos that only those who had experienced it could understand. They each bore reports over the various ship's system status and the rediness of the fleet for action. Squeals of binary could be heard over the sounds of the bridge crew as the ship's techpriest communed with the vessel's ancient machine spirit, making sure the ship was in working order and prepared for the task ahead of it.
When he had first heard that the Emperor had been reborn, Minobu had rejoiced. That mankind's saviour had been returned to them after his supposed death had been seen as a sign of his greatness. The resulting rebirth had created a tidal wave of faith that washed through the length and breadth of the Imperium but at the same time created a rift. This was especially true in the aftermath of the Astronomican going silent for the first time in millenia. There were those who doubted the veracity of the boy's claims, many of those being the astartes themselves. It hadn't taken much for the thousand chapters of space marines to begin taking sides. Some saw the return as a sign that they should turn from their heathen ways and accept the child as the god he seemed to be.
Terror had gripped humanity in it's cold, black grasp on that fell day when the Emperor's beacon went dark. With no means of safely plying the warp, ships had been forced to either fly blindly into the realm of daemons or limit their pace to that of their sublight engines. The Imperium that the Emperor had carved out with his blood and sweat and tears had fallen apart in the course of but a few days as anarchy niggled it's way in in the place of order. Riots on the scale of planet-wide warfare had errupted on many of the hive worlds that made up the Imperium. Having no way to produce food for themselves and facing the prospect of wide-spread starvation, those worlds had turned to insanity as the frightened masses scrabbled to gather what little provisions they could. Such acts were not limited to hive worlds though. The Imperium was a great behemoth and it depended on each planet to support itself.
It was in this insanity that the sparks of war were fanned into a blazing inferno. Chapter fell on chapter as each questioned the piety of their fellow brothers. Had it not been for the intervention of the Ultramarines, many believed that they would have seen another clash similar to the Horus Heresy. The chapter master of the Ultramarines brokered an unsteady peace between the two factions only to see it casually disregarded the following year when the false Emperor-child called for a crusade against the non-believers, preaching that Holy Terra should not be allowed to remain in the hands of the unfaithful.
"The Emperor still lives..."
That was all that could be made of the garbled, static-filled transmission that had surfaced over five years ago. Those four words had galvanized the astartes still unsure of the child-Emperor's claims. The Wolves of Fenris had been the first to react. Along with the Salamanders and the Blood Angels, they created what would later become the coalition. They openly called for the child-Emperor's death as the boy could certainly not be the true Emperor of mankind. On Terra's fortrees moon Luna, the first conclave was called and those loyal to the true Emperor had met and made preparations for the conflict surely to come. The Ultramarines and their successors along with the Imperial Fists were the first chapters to join the coalition against the child Emperor. The numbers swelled as more and more chapters repledged their fealty to the one, true Emperor.
It was during this time that the fleets of the child-Emperor made their move. From the warp came at first dozens of ships, then hundreds, then thousands and not all of them were Imperial. Ork, tau, Chaos, Eldar...all came to aid or destroy the Emperor and those loyal to him depending on their agenda. The war for Holy Terra had begun. And the battle still waged. It was never-ending carnage as those involved continued to send forces to sacrifice on the altar of war. Word had spread that Terra still burned. Of those who still defended it, there had been no news. Minobu ferverntly prayed that those warriors still held.
"And here I sit preparing for war because whispers and rumors" Minobu muttered, as he slammed his ceramite-encased fist into the arm of his command throne. The sound of their chapter master's deep, gravelly voice and the following boom startled many of the junior serfs who had never been in the presence of their lord before, much less the bridge of a warship making to go to war. Still, not all news was bad. Ships of the Redemptors and the Eagle Warriors had joined with the fleet, adding their might to the fleet. That brought their total numbers to a little over nine thousand astartes. Such a great number had not been seen for very long time.
His attention to the scrolling screen was broken by a polite cough. "Yes Admiral?" he asked.
"My lord, the false Emperor's fleet is moving towards the Eye."
Standing, Minobu turned to Admiral Minamoto Heida. "Prepare the fleet. We move to engage."
"HAI!" the admiral replied, slamming his fist into the golden aquila splayed across his amethyst-armored chest. His voice sounded throughout the bridge, filling the crew with renewed vigor.
"My lord! Khan Subedai requests the honor of leading the assualt." came a voice from ship's vox master.
"Tell him I would be honored follow in the wake of the White Scars."
Slowly, the ponderous warships of the coalition fleet made their way through the stars towards their objective.
"For the Emperor" Minobu called. The vox filled with replies as the ships joined in the battlecry.
"If you can't stun them with your tactical brilliance, baffle them with your superior grasp of BS."
"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."
Well, seeing as how you capitalize your characters, use proper grammar and punctuation, I'd say you qualify.
Last edited by Shogun_Nate; 11-08-08 at 06:41 PM.