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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-14, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Default Renegades 12: Heresy and Lies

RENEGADES 12:

HERESY AND LIES


The dream of the Imperium is gone, the Emperor, once such a stalwart crusader against all things godlike has returned from his isolation a changed man.
This immortal being has allowed his apotheosis to godhood, and the people of the Imperium now suffer for it. He has his disciples, seven sons, who united at first, are starting to feel a pull towards their own dreams of godhood.
The Emperor does not care if the people love him, he does not care if they adore him, all he asks is that they kneel before their new god. Seven Primarchs stand with the Emperors dream, but not all are united.

Only Horus and his remaining brothers. Sanguineous, Russ, Gulliman, Corax; Perturabo, Mortarion, Magnus and now Omeagon, seek to hold the dream together, to over throw a mad Emperor and his equally mad sons.

And all the while the darkness encroaches.

The dream is dead, there is no light, just eternal Darkness
.




Prologue.


Kegara.

A world hardly noticed by the Imperiums astral-cartographers but known to the renegade Primarchs as the new home of the Thousand Sons, and as Perturabo gazed from his Stormbirds window, it was nothing like Prospero.

The deserts of Kegara were vast, covering the majority of the planet, and far more deadlier then any Desert Terra had in her day. Sandmaws, beasts that traversed the deserts with far more ease then the dark skinned nomadic populace,were a source of danger to them. Whilst they were a delicacy to the local cuisine, they were also the apex predators on the planet.

Perturabo, had never seen one up close and personal but he had read enough from Magnus's reports to consider them worthy of respect. The Stormbird banked over a nomadic settlement, and saw the structures.

Now he knew why Magnus wanted to come here.

They were ancient, pyramid shaped, like the old Aegypt culture of ancient Terra just so much older. Statues of mighty rulers dwarfed many of the simple settlements he saw and as they headed towards the City of Sorcerers, even the dour Primarch father of the Iron Warriors drew in a breath of wonder.

The only oasis in a sea of sand, standing out for the populace to see and it was as if Prospero never truly died.

Only Forrix was with him and as the pilot waited for a berthing vector the Primarch turned to his favoured son.

“How did the training go with the Sons of the Hydra?”

Forrix rubbed the back of his neck, a sure sign that he was not entirely sure any of it would work. “I can see why the Alpha Legion were the experts at what they did, the mortals took to it quicker than we did to be fair about things. I don't know how many times I failed simple infiltration tasks. Why did you choose me?”

“Because of all my sons, you have a knack of adapting quicker then any other of your brothers” Perturabo smiled a little and it was good to see it. “You remind me of Raldoron in that regard”

Forrix watched as the Stormbird entered its hanger bay “It is good to see you smile Lord, the last few weeks with Lord Omeagon have been...restful for you”

“He is lost, as was I once. He aided us by marking out those who we suspected as being his twins spies.”

“Are there any within our Legion?”

“No, no there are not, but there were several within the Sons of Horus, Blood Angels and Death Guard. They have been taken care off in the ways only my brothers know how”

“And now we are here. Is this a social visit father?”

Perturabo shook his head “Whilst I wish to see how Magnus is progressing Horus wishes to know how it goes with Amon”

The First Captain and leader of the Triach nodded. It had been many months since he last saw the former Custode. He too wondered if whatever was in his head had come out.

Once the Stormbird had docked, Perturabo and Forrix came down the gangway to be met by Captain Aephos. Perturabo acknowledged the Honour Guard and the kneeling Astartes and humans then walked with the Captain.

“Is Ahriman not here?” Forrix asked.

“Lord Ahriman is not here at the moment Forrix” Aephos inclined his head “We are in respect for the lost Chapter Master of the Ultramarines”

“Something happened to Marius?” Perturabo asked.

“He died my Lord along with many Ultramarines defending Calth from the Emperors Children.”

Forrix shook his head in dismay. Another brave and vaunted warrior gone. Perturabo said nothing and followed his escort through to the Primarchs Chambers. Aephos announced Perturabo and offered Forrix a tour of the City.

Perturabo waited until he was alone with his brother and moved to the throne that Magnus now sat in. The Crimson King sat an an angle, no longer tall and straight. His back forever misshapen by Angron, but his single eye looked genuinely pleased to see his Siege master brother.

“You will forgive me if I do not stand to welcome you to my home my brother.”

“No need Magnus” Perturabo perched himself on the steps beside his brothers throne “Its comfortable here, it is good to see you out of that bed.”

“Yes but it takes me a while to get anywhere, I think I know how Malgohurst feels now” Magnus dryly said. “You have been told about Gage and his brothers?”

“Yes. Aephos informed me just now. Marius Gage...his loss will be keenly felt”

“Yes. Fulgrim is making his own power play now,”

“Well Julius Kaesoron is now leading his own Chapter, away from Fulgrim and thrown in with us. As has Omeagon....our brother”

“Ahhhh so that little secret has come out has it” Magnus chuckled a little as he read Perturabos facial expression.

“I never get to surprise you with anything” The Iron Lord rolled his eyes.

Magnus shrugged a little “My birthright is also my curse. So did Horus send you to check on progress with Amon”

“He did, but he also wishes to know how you are, as we all do. I know that he wishes to come see you but with the Imperials opening up war-fronts every day, his hands are tied”

“Such is the pressure of being Warmaster” Magnus grabbed his Staff and as Perturabo rose from his seat he accepted his brothers offer to lean on him. “Amon has settled in well and work with him goes as well as it can be. I am good, Malcador was a lot older and more powerful then I. However, I discovered that if I put Amon into a hypnotic state and regressed him back in his mind, bits and pieces started to unlock.

I am close to break through now, I have had to be careful. I did not want to take his mind. Amon has a long and very honoured history.” Magnus walked slowly, Perturabo matched his stride, listening quietly “I have arranged lunch for us and when Amon has finished his morning ritual of exercise and battle practise, I will attempt to unlock tier one.”

“Tier one? What in Olympia's heart did Malcador put in there?”

“I do not know, but whatever it was, it was enough for the Emperor to have the Word Bearers and Black Templars after him, and enough to kill Malcador and Constantin in the bargain.”

Perturabo nodded and walked with his brother, whatever it was, it was important enough to die for, and maybe this would give them some leeway over that sanctimonious immortal that called himself their father on one hand on a god on the other. They needed that information, more now then ever, before the universe descended further into a darkness it would have no hope of escaping.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-14, 06:29 PM
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Nice start, but the title does not flow well, at least to me. Perhaps 'Secrets and Fear', 'Heart of Paranoia', or 'Paranoia Rising' or something?

Renegades Saga contributions
(https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...tions-cry.html)
(https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...s-scarlet.html)
(https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...lesh-weak.html)
The Emperor has turned to Chaos. The dream of the Imperium has become a nightmare. But Horus and his Coalition stand against the dark, here at the end of time.

Lorgar's Betrayal
(https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...te-heresy.html)
What was broken has been mended. And what was burned away can never be reforged.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-14, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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hmmmmm ill have a think on that one
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-14, 10:11 AM
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Or the tried and tested "Heresy and Lies"?

My contribution to the Renegades saga. Check it out

My growing IIIrd legion stuff:

17th Millenial (Homebrew Fluff) - "Children of the Emperor, death to his foes!" (Project Log)

Also my 30k tacticas, for those of you interested:

Crusade Army List tactica - Individual Legion tactica

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-28-14, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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And that is the winner,...if someone doesmt mind changing the main title screeen on the Original Works index would appreciate it Dave T Hobbit
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-28-14, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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1.


Senator Jusile Herosian looked out from her balcony across the beautiful white towers of the Central Government Senate. She smiled as she took in the fabled walkway of flowers, black and yellow to symbolise their saviours and the worlds high lord Perturabo. Today would see the swearing of another 12 army units, to join the sons of the mother world Olympia in the wars across the stars.

She turned as a polite cough behind her made her turn to see her military chief Danso Mortasana. He looked pristine in his uniform, and was one of the youngest of her ministers, at 46 he was twenty years younger than the Senator herself, but no one knew tactical acumen better than he did, even for one so young. She had often wondered why it was he had never joined the Legion itself. As it was she had a son and a nephew in the honoured legion.

“Something amusing you my lady?” Danso asked as he joined her side and handed her the data slate with the itinerary for the muster, or the day of allegiance as it was more formally known.

“I was just thinking how beautiful our world is.” She wistfully spoke “A world devoted to our high lord and we are sending more sons and daughters to fight alongside his sons and himself. I envy them”

Danso clasped his hands behind his back and arched an eyebrow “You do?”

“Yes. I did my national service when I was younger. I served in the Olympian 43rd Infantry”

Danso almost baulked. The senator was a slender woman, her silver hair tied into a tight bun, he had never believed she had served in the Olympian 43rd, the unit called Siege Breakers because of their skill in getting behind the line of the enemy and screwing the enemies ability to mount a coherent defence.

“You could be the CO by now” he told her.

“I was, for ten years. I suffered an injury and Lord Perturabo placed me here, as head of the Senate. I still serve him and I have a son and a nephew who serve him even now. Although where they are now I could not say.” her tone took a melancholy cadence “When they become Iron Warriors, they must leave their past lives behind them. One day they will forget their family but we will know.” She looked at her hands.

She had been a widow for twelve years now, never remarried and if she ever took a lover to her bed, Danso had no idea who it might have been. The Senator was guarded about her personal affairs as she was her political affairs.

“Ma'am, I must bring the actions of your advisor and Intelligence Minister to your attention”

“Oh?” She stood straighter, focusing her attention on her Military Chief.

“They have been most vocal in your decision to.....remain loyal to the High Lord”

“And why not? We were a colony world when Perturabo came to his own, and we have always sworn our oaths to the Lord of Olympia”

“They are saying that the High Lord is a traitor. That he has betrayed the Emperor”

And there it was, Jusile knew that her Advisor Tachaon Undentes and her Intelligence Minister Sahel Ornaraosa wanted their world to remain with the law of the Emperor, damn his name. But they were a colony world of Olympia, they came under Perturabos auspice not the Emperor. Both of them had never lifted a finger to aid in the great crusade. Coming from wealthy families they were able to avoid the service requisition altogether.

They had been none too pleased when Perturabo appointed her as High Senator above them, her a army grunt and a native of Olympia, it insulted them. Seems that grudge had lasted longer than she thought.

She didn't need to ask Danso for proof, it was nothing she had not heard before, but what they were saying now spoke of sedition and rebellion, she was not going to let that happen, not on this day, not on any day,

“Also” He handed her another slate “It seems that there are four warships coming towards our world from the translation site beyond Hades Gamma”

She read it and swallowed a little, especially when she saw the ship signatures that had been tagged by station epsilon beta “I want you to go to the Astropathic chambers and have a message sent to the Garrison on Utelesa and to the Iron Blood

“What should it say”

She looked at him “Dark Angel rising

He frowned a little “Ma'am?”

“Just that phrase, and then Danso I want the Military mobilised. I believe the Emperor has come for his due.”

Danso swallowed a little “Betrayed?”

“So it would seem. Meet me at the muster fields. We have to get them sworn it, we have...” She read the time index “just over five hours before they reach here.”

He bowed low and went to carry out her orders. Returning to her chamber, she opened the wardrobe and discarding her senatorial robes, she changed into her old uniform, opening a footlocker she took a las-rifle and pistol from the back and belted her command sword around her waist.

As she returned to her office she glanced at the image of Perturabo alongside the Siege Breakers and his sons.

“It would seem you were right after all my Lord” She kissed the pommel of her sword “Iron within, iron without.”

****


Perturabo watched as Amon finished his battle exercises. Since the last Lion had come to Kegara many months ago now he had repeated his exercises and training regime, more to keep his body and mind focused, the Primarch knew that the last true Custode wanted to be back in the war, in the fight and avenge his Commander and the Sigilitte.

However, whatever Malcador had put into Amons head had been so buried and guarded, it was not a case of simply pulling it out. Magnus had already said that to do that would leave Amon nothing more then a vegetable, and despite what they could use he was not prepared to fry another warriors brain for it.

Perturabo did not pretend to understand the nuances of Psykers actions, but he did understand that care was needed when dealing with something this delicate and well guarded. He supposed that Malcador had done what he had done so that even the Emperor could never get at it without destroying the mind.

Magnus had said that the fail safes inside the mind had ensured that if anyone other than Magnus attempted to get this information then, quite literally, Amons brain would fry. Killing the information and him in the process. When Magnus had explained it to Amon, he had been quite pragmatic about it.

He was not afraid of death, he wanted to get this to the Warmaster, but if it meant his death, as long as the information was saved then, he would have fulfilled his oath to Constantin and Malcador. The Comrade watched as Forrix was reunited with his friend and the two, after greeting each other like long lost brothers, began to spar, watched by the initiate of the Thousand Sons, whom had been placed into Amons care for warrior training.

He was joined by the Crimson King who watched the sparring below. “Let him finish his class. It will do the Initiates good to have their martial lessons observed not only by their master, but the much respected First Captain of the Iron Warriors.”

“How's the rebuilding coming along?” Perturabo asked, still watching the sparring below, pride at his favoured sons skill and admiration at Amons.

“Slowly and painfully” Magnus was honest “I am not sure if we will be ever ready to rejoin the Crusade, certainly not at full strength and certainly not with me at the head. Not until I find a way to straighten my spine so I can partake fully in any battle against father when the time arises”

“That will be some time off yet I suspect” Perturabo frowned a little “Where is Azhek and your Amon?”

“On that assignment”

“Ah, I had forgotten about that” Perturabo admitted “So many other things and I forget about that one.”

“We are all consumed by what other events are happening my brother. Come, I am sure the Initiates would like to meet the Lord of Olympia. How fares your world?”

“Hera is mustering some more army regiments” Perturabo spoke with pride “Next month Olympia will send theirs. I couldn't do what I do without them to be honest, so when they join their fleets it is with pride I will greet them all.”

“I heard about Nostramo...or rather I literally heard Nostramo. I had a headache for days. Does the Emperor realise what he has done?”

Perturabo rubbed his jaw a little. It was understandable that one as attuned to the warp as Magnus would be affected by the death of a world. He was when Venus IX had been attacked and rendered barren by the Imperial Fists. Still it couldn't be the nicest emotion to have to deal with.

“I don't know Magnus” He honestly answered “I do not know if he ordered it, or if Lorgar is acting under his own auspice. Lorgar has more power than even Horus and that, worries me.”

“Oh?”

“Horus was trained by our father for the position he holds, he is a natural leader, warrior and diplomat. Lorgar is different, all that he has advocated has been vindicated, I wonder if his new position means he makes a lot of the decisions on behalf of the Emperor.”

Magnus nodded. The thought had crossed his mind too, still whether it was Lorgar or their father, their father would have sanctioned it, if not ordered it, Curze was not his most favourite brother, but he knew his heart, and he knew that this time that order would backfire completely on the Imperials.

It was bad enough with Horus at their heels, but Curze too....it would not end well for Lorgar, one way or the other the Dark King would have his day.
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****


Omeagon read the names of the short list for the Caliban mission. They were still several days away from the home of the Dark Angels but this was to be handled with care and caution. He would not be able to bring the Beta into the Caliban System, it would be tagged the moment he entered it, and as it was as far as he was aware, all the Dark Angels were loyal to the Emperor.

This was to be a search and recon mission. Something he could get his teeth into and learn more than any other Primarch about the weaknesses and strengths of their enemies. He picked his tea up and sipped it.

The Alpha Legion, and by that extension the Sons of the Hydra were never meant to be a big Legion, there were many that called them The Ghost Legion. There was nothing simple about what the twin Primarch's and their sons did, much like the Hydra of myth from whom they took their Legion symbol, there were secrets and machinations within secrets and machinations. One head did one thing whilst several others did other things, cut the head from one and a new one took its place to continue where the old one left off.

His sons, those of the Effrit Stealth squad which he had commanded, and the others that had come with him had always called him the Ghost Father. Alpharius was the Specialist, and Omeagon was the Ghost, always there yet unseen, until his duties called him to become that which he was born to be. The shadows was where he and his sons operated best, open warfare was not really their first line of attack, but a last line. However, that being said, they could and would fight as hard as any other Legion if threatened enough. The Ghost Legion became as deadly and twisted as the ancient myth it embodied, and they were something that neither the Emperor nor Horus could control, unless the Primarch willed it.

Whilst everyone knew everything about the creation of their legions and their brothers legions, the Salamander, Space Wolves and Alpha Legions were created towards the end of the Primarch Project and away from the others, for what those who deigned to look into such things, believed were specific goals and aims that the Emperor wanted fulfilled at some point. Not even Malcador knew the reasons why these three Primarchs were created in this way. The Emperor certainly was not sharing his knowledge.

Something that his sons Alpharius and Omeagon had in common with their father, if little else. Omeagon had often wondered what part of his father he had inherited. Once he had discovered what he was and who he was, then it was obvious. The Emperor had his secrets and his shadows, the twins were the living embodiment of secrets and lies.

It hadn't helped matters when the Emperor kept the Salamanders, Wolves and Alpha Legion at arms length from any discussions, that, amongst the Emperor military and high court officials at the time bred mistrust. Something that only got worse over time with the Alpha Legion. Over the years the Wolves were generally acknowledged to have been the Emperors own Executioners. Russ was the Primarch, who if ordered, would kill another Primarch if it was necessary, of course that was the case and it cemented the Wolf King a the Emperors attack dog.

Not a great description, but if the suit fit the name then it was the only word that could be used. Omeagon was not entirely sure what the Salamanders specific creation details were, seeing as Nocturne had always been the focus of attacks by the foul dark kin of the Eldar, for slaves and just the joy of the hunt, then he could only surmise that the Emperor had a plan for the Dark Eldar and indeed the Eldar as a whole and it had invoked the onyx skinned Vulkan. Even in light of what had happened, and Vulkan slaying his brother Jugathi, there was still a unknown mission behind the Great Drake.

Vulkan had, as far as Omeagon knew, fully recovered from his battering at the hands of Jugathi, but his mind was no longer what it once was and once or twice he had heard snippets of information that had said the Great Drake was a guardian, but a guardian of what was anyone’s guess.

Still as with any mystery, questions led to more mysteries and when it came to that, then there were none more cloak and dagger than the Twins. That was how he liked it, and despite it all, that was how he would still operate.

He looked up from his musings as Hurt, Peto and Rukshana entered his chambers, all three moved to one knee, despite being in the presence of a Primarch, these three mortals enjoyed close bond with Omeagon, even though they were still in awe of him, they spoke to him on a level that few mortals would ever get to enjoy.

“Stand my friends” he motioned to a seating area and getting up handed them all tea and stood across from them “I can't send you down there, I have a need for you three elsewhere, but I want to know who you have recommended.”

Peto was the first to speak. “Hydra team 5 my lord” he told him “There is a young uxor within that team whose powers are fully developed and trained by Uxor Inseria for such missions.”

“Inseria? Wasn't she injured some time back, quite severely as I recall”

“Yes my lord” Rukshana spoke up “Her sept, like mine is on the wane, but she wanted to ensure that you received the best for this mission of the Warmaster and Angels bidding, she trained Inseria herself so she has high credentials”

“I'll take your recommendation on that Rukshana, please convey my thanks to Inseria” Rukshana bowed her head “You know that the Dark Angels have a feudal society, even since the Emperors arrival on Caliban, they still stick to their knightly origins and all that, so the fortress of Caliban is pretty much the same. How are your team going to pass for Calibanites the Dark Angels are more paranoid then us, but they are no fools”

Hurt cleared his throat, suppressing a snort of laughter “We have studied the physiology of Calibanites, the tech priests have already done the facial operations on all of our operatives and they have had hypnotic lessons to enable them to understand and speak the language in the native tongue with no accent.”

“Very good” Omeagon was pleased, he had merely stated what he required, these three had just acted on what they knew, and without any wet nursing from him. This was why he was proud they had come with him, this was why they were best of all his human operatives.

This was why he trusted them above all over mortals. They were honest and they never lied to him, the course of their new work would mean lies and half truths, but back on the Beta and before their Lord, there was never deception.

Omeagon called up a holomap of Caliban “and the Insertion point?”

Peto got up and walked over. “We inserted them here my lord, at the township of Avenlara, its a small town and the facial reconstructions we got were from five Imperial Army members who died, they had no family and therefore no one to report back should there be any problems. They had been given a job at the Rock, during the day and the nights are theirs to do as they please. The last report was that insertion was successful.”

“When was this achieved?” Omeagon asked.

“Exactly eight weeks ago my lord, whilst we were tutoring some of the Iron Warriors.” Hurt replied “We managed to slip our agents onto a passenger transit bound for the Segmentum Obscurus, and bound for Fenris and Caliban.

Agents Jesria, Calisera, Ibrahim, Marasa and Gregori have been on Caliban for four weeks and have implanted themselves into the populace, all other communications will be made in the usual secure way. Calisera was given a broach by Librarian Zelander to protect her from any first legion Librarians probing”

“And their handler?”

“That would be Hydra Commander 3, he will deal with them after his own observations lord.”

Omeagon smiled a little. Again they had acted within their remit as Hydra mortal commanders. They had absolute authority over their brothers and sisters from the Geno ranks. Not all of them could be saved that day but Omeagon had saved 150 with 100 Uxors, the Black Box incident had much to answer for.

There were others but the Geno were Hurtendo, Peto and Rukshana's authority, still they were the only ones that enjoyed a close relationship with their Primarch, no one else could remain in a room with him and conduct a meeting, whilst looking up at him without crapping themselves, or loosing the ability of speech.

He had a gift for them and motioned to the seats once more. “Now, as you know, you three mean a great deal to me, so I am going to allow you three and you three alone to have enhancements that Luther had done. It won't make you like an Astartes, but you will be faster, stronger and live longer then the average human. Yes Uxor even you, which brings me to you. I have noticed that many couples in the civilian areas of the Beta are having children”

Rukshana nodded a little, a tight smile tugging at the corner of her mouth “Did you not have that someone special Lord, before you realised what and who you were?”

“No, there was this one woman, but I never went beyond the kissing stage, human women are too delicate for one like me.”

That was no idle boast. Primarchs could easily break the body and the insides of a human female should they mate. Mind you he didn't doubt that some of his other brothers might have had carnal relations...and the jokes about Russ and wolves really were too explicit to repeat and never in the company of the Wolf Lord.

Still with the smile on her face and reflected in her eyes the Uxor inclined her head a little “Yes, Lord, there have been children born, they are schooled and taught the ways of the Hydra when they are able, and Lord Captain Traventes has already held trials for this generation. He has said that there were twelve successful candidates, the twelve that did not make the grade have been graded as to whether they join the legion serfs or become intelligence operatives.”

“He always did know what to look for. Now Lorgar curse that bastard to hell and back, has started a cadre calling itself daughters of the Emperor, I want that for us, but they will be the daughters of the Hydra and you my dear will be the first mother superior, your service warrants it, above and beyond the call of duty.”

“You honour me lord.”

“No Rukshana, you honour me” he returned his attention to the door and spoke into his vox. Two members of the Effrit Stealth Squad appeared and bowed low “Take our brothers and sister to Apothecary Garno, he knows what to do, and welcome them as kin my sons.”

“With all due respect Lord” Sergeant Tannara replied “They were that when they first joined us”

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2.

Caliban had verdant forests, a society that many Rememberancers could write Knightly romance stories or poems about. Home of the First Legion and its stoic Primarch, an order of Astartes that would be classed as warrior monks in days of old. Caliban had its beauty, but it had more dangers than one thought.

Plants that would find a human or animal or Astartes tasty, wild beasts that made some ancient Terran beasts look like pussy-cats. Caliban was not a paradise world like MaCragge or other worlds of the 500, it was a death world. The Humans who lived there had learnt to live with the dangers that their world imposed, learnt to live and avoid, but, like many worlds of this definition, Caliban would never be tame and never completely safe.

Hydra team 5 had been briefed, and hypo taught about all things but even the tech priests couldn't impart all the knowledge into them, and that included dealing with the Caliban heat. They had spent time acclimatising to the differing weather patterns, but even so, it had taken a while to adjust.

They had arrived six weeks ago and had heard the chatter in the local inn in the fortress city they had moved into. Thankfully it had gone smoothly, and they had managed to bluff their obvious discomfort with the weather on being away from the mother planet for too long. Many of the citizens had slapped the men on the back and laughed, telling them they would soon re-adjust, or if their skins had become too soft then the planet would find a way to make them remember.

It was disconcerting to think that the people here saw Caliban as a living entity rather than a world of death and challenges. Then again, the men and women of Fenris probably said the same thing about their home world. They mixed in with the community, doing only what was necessary to be seen as one of theirs and when their Commander gave the order to proceed to stage two.

The message came through coded speech in taverns or inns. It was not unusual to see some of the Sons of the Lion come into the Fortress towns and cities, it would have been on their patrol route and it was not unusual for them to come and choose candidates for the next intakes. This was a source of great pride for the families, having a son accepted into the order of Dark Angels would gain them honour, prestige and immortality.

Of course the Geno's knew that it was not always as simple as that. The tests to become a Dark Angel were some of the harshest among the Astartes. They might take one hundred applicants, of that one hundred fifty might make it through to the next stage, and when it came to the final stage of that fifty, only ten might become Astartes. Not all the dead were from battle injuries some were killed if they did not have the heart to continue, but their families were always told they had died in honour, knowing the dishonour such a revelation of cowardice would place upon a family for several generations if not eternity.

The Astartes loved their secrets and ceremonies and the Alpha Legion...correction Sons of the Hydra were no different. It was still taking some getting used to. But their was not to question their Lord, he did what he had to do and they were proud to follow him. Their handler had been good enough to inform them of the honour given their commanders. Hurtendo, Peto and Rukshana deserved it, they had saved them from the horror of the Black Box that had killed so many of their friends and comrades.

They owed Omeagon their lives and it was not a debt they could ever repay, nor would they want to. Their brief was simple but complex at the same time. They were to infiltrate the Rock, observe and report any and all occurrences that might lead to an answer on what the Dark Angels were doing and to assist Hydra Commander 3 in anyway he saw fit. It was simple in the way it was spoken, yet complex in the fact that the Dark Angels were notoriously secretive and paranoid. Many believed that the Night Lords held that title, but compared to the Dark Angels, the Night Lords were a piece of cake when it came to paranoia.

The five agents were sat in their home, relaxing after their first duty in the rock. They had kept their heads down, doing the duties assigned to them, this was going to take some time, no mission ever had success on a first day, but they had all picked up the vibes. Caselia had been almost overwhelmed at the paranoia not just the Astartes but the everyday soldiers too. It gave them an inkling on how to act, but would make their job that much harder. They had seen maybe three Dark Angels, but this was the home of the Dark Angels, they should have seen more than three, and they had not seen the custodian either, not that they had expected too but reports had said that Luther always made some appearance to greet the new arrivals.

Still their day had passed without incident and yet they could not help but think, there was more to it then what they had seen.
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***


Amon waited patiently for the Crimson King and the Siege Master, he was out of his armour now and wore a pair of training trousers and was bare topped. As the Crimson King had directed and, as he had done before in these sessions, he was laid out on a bed, he had cleared his mind of all and any distractions and his breathing was even, he had learnt somethings from the Thousand Sons, one of them being how to clear his mind and attain inner peace, thus making it easier for the Crimson King to do what must be done.

He didn't move, even when Magnus and Perturabo entered the room. The smell of incense was not too heavy but just enough to induce an air of relaxation and calm. He closed his eyes, picturing his homeland on Terra, when he was but a normal child. A woman with dark hair and olive skin beckoned him, he was a child then, and this memory more often than not seemed to appear when he was relaxing himself. The woman he was certain had been his mother, dead now for over two hundred years.

He even thought he could smell the stew she would always cook for him, He felt a hand brush his forehead and the image of his mother faded to be replaced by a scene of sun and sea. A calming image. Before him appeared Magnus, not in the crippled state that he was now, but as he had been. A giant of a man, his crimson mane tied into a long ponytail, a sceptre in his hand that was almost as tall as he was.

He joined Amon and sat beside him. They were always here, by the sea, on a beach in a land long gone from the world he knew.

“How do you feel Amon? Relaxed?” Magnus asked.

“Yes Lord, I – I saw my mother again”

“You are sure she is your mother?”

“Yes” Amon almost whispered “I am sure.”

“Good” Magnus seemed satisfied with that answer “We shall sit here for a while, it seems that it was here Malcador started his journey. Do you know this land?”

“I can't say I do Lord. Although I think it was a disputed land, the aura here is one of long held wars and battles.”

“I have been here, I came here with the Emperor when we were reunited, he believed I might have something in common with the ancient Kings that ruled one of the adjoining kingdoms. It was called Ishrael. A state more than a country to be honest but a powerful one in its latter years, and a land that the ancient religions would fight over.”

“Why would Malcador start here?”

Magnus smiled a little cryptically “That my friend is what we will find out. Now when you are ready I shall begin, if this harms you in anyway, if you feel a headache beginning or should blood come from your nose or ears, even your eyes then I will stop and we will begin again when you are able. Remember Amon, this cannot be done quickly, Malcador placed many tales around the information we require as a safety net and I would rather we take it slow and steady.”

“As you wish My Lord” Amon looked out to sea and watched the children play, they didn't even see the two giants sitting amongst them, it was as if they were invisible. “When you are ready My Lord, I am ready.”

Magnus nodded and began.....
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Excellent progression! I'm also interested in how you see Luther reacting, considering it's the Chaos taint on Caliban that corrupted their hearts... but what about this universe? Thanks for all your work, as always.

The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you have to load, or if you have to unload, go to the White Zone. You'll love it... it's a way of life.

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