The Battle for Necrid Beta
I gave myself, willingly. Why, I cannot say. Perhaps I have lost my sanity. But the ancient Star Gods have shown me their power, and offered freely to me strength greater than the Imperium ever hollowly promised. When I gave myself, when I went to those barren, forbidden worlds and offered myself to them, when I stated my greatest wish, they answered. Wrapped in a violet cloak of twilight and madness, the Necron Lord appeared to me, flanked by his retinue. For what felt like an eternity, he stood motionless, his glowing, malevolent eyes staring directly into me, as I stood frozen with terror, resisting the urge to flee. He then raised his hand to me, and as I thought he was going to eviscerate me, he simply held his hand out. He did not say what he wanted; He offered nothing but this gesture, yet somehow, I knew what he desired. I took a shaking step near, then another, and he took me by the arm, and we vanished. What happened next is a mystery, but I was transformed into this perfect creation. As I soon discovered, I was not the first. The C'tan can sense something in a man, and their favored converts are given to this specific Necron Lord, who will appear to them and take them. I know not his true name, nor does the rest of his retinue; His silent, irresistible will is all we know. We simply call him Wishmaster, for he has granted us all our wishes.
That was the message that had started this suicidal mission.
It had originated from somewhere in the Necrid system. Few know of its existence; In fact, the only individuals who knew of this place were the Ordo Malleus and the Navigators that guided their ships. The Necrid system stretched out into the darkness, its blackened, charred planets spiralling desperately around a bloated dead star. The star had not exploded or collapsed at the end of its life; It was as though all its energy to do so simply vanished upon its death, and now its black corpse hung in the void, forgotten by the relentless cruelty of time. Expanded before its death, it had grown to such a colossal size that it had engulfed its innermost planet, according to trajectory analysis of other bodies in the system. Necrid Prime was lost to the flaming tempest of the system's decaying star, but the rest of the planets, of which there were four, continued to drift through the nothingness of space, their atmospheres and surfaces boiled away by their star's futile death throes. Necrid Epsilon was a boiled gas giant; Part of its atmosphere remained, violet and sapphire clouds of methane, oxygen, and iodine swirling enigmatically about the husk of its copper and titanium core. The rest, Necrid Beta, Necrid Gamma, and Necrid Delta, however, were quite solid; Necrid Gamma, however, was shown to be in prime location as a life-supporting world in its time, and surface scans had revealed rivers, lakes, mountains, and oceans, but little else.
But it was Beta they were after.
Initial scans of the surface revealed strange xeno structures, apparently durable enough to withstand the dying fury of its nearby star. However, once these scans were seen by the Imperium, the entire system was placed under an Exterminatus order. But it was not until the message from an apparent new Pariah was sent to the Culexus Temple, perhaps as a taunt, perhaps to lure more souls to his own sealed damnation, that the system was given any attention.
"Our base camp is under way," the Grey Knight Justicar said, still wary of the surroundings. Odd green crystal formations twice the height and breadth of a man jutted from the surface, still black silhouettes against the flecked indigo background of the airless, starry sky. Even more unnerving was the carpet of ash and volcanic glass they stood upon- Somehow, these structures had survived the complete and sudden covering of the planetary surface by molten magma innumerable feet deep.
"Good," Inquisitor Baeloth replied. "And life support?"
"Operational, sir. The barracks and motor pool are both sealed tight and filled with oxygen, enough to last several weeks if necessary."
Baeloth sincerely hoped this would not be the case. When told of the mission, Baeloth immediately agreed. He would find what foul scum had done this blasphemy of turning mortal to devil, and eradicate it. The Ordo Hereticus usually managed these ordeals, but the potential presence of Necron forces meant that xeno lifeforms, and potentially the dark presence of the C'tan, were at work- a fact that made the Grey Knights even more zealous for battle.
Baeloth pondered his next objective as his boots crunched the blackened sand beneath him, finding his way through the atmosphere housing and jury-rigged power cells using hastily erected floodlights to find his path. His base camp was a single shining bastion amidst a black, silent sea.
Following close behind, the Grey Knight Justicar stopped to listen to an incoming transmission. Though his face was invisible behind his gleaming helm, such hesitation is unnatural for a Gray Knight. Baeloth stopped, and examined him through his own helm.
"What is it, Justicar Elidian? Have they found the structures?"
The Justicar paused, and emotionlessly said, "Listen to the message, if you would. I can't tell what happened, but you may know more."
With that, Baeloth's own helmet began to play the message in his ears, a garbled, crackling audio feed that sizzled and popped in and out of frequency:
"First Recon reporting. Intelligence was correct; the unholy structures lay at coordinates 1120.541 by 723.669. The structures are large and are shaped like tall ziggurats; Spectral analysis is inconclusive. We cant seem to get any sort of reading on what the structure is made out of or what is inside; Its completely refusing our equipment. We're going to move in and get a closer look. It appears to be extraordinarily large, a least as large as- Stop. Alinus, what is that? HQ: Possible Xeno sighted, but all we can see is a faint green glow, very small in comparison to the structure. It may be a part of the structure, as these ruins are supposedly inactive, but... Hang on, the object is moving. It is travelling about- Wait, no, it stopped."
The transmission ended abruptly with a sharp whine and then static. Dead silence filled the space betwixt Baeloth and Elidian, as neither knew what had happened, but both could easily assume.
Elidian broke the silence first. "Sir? Are you able to shed light on this event?"
Baeloth had seen the feeds- Heard that very noise, that same shrieking terror that lashed forth. It was an image burned forever into his memory. The same unholy, horror-inspiring sound that accompanied the discharge of a Gauss weapon- a Necron weapon. He had seen squads of men left little more than smoldering fragments of bone and armor, men whose flesh had dissolved from the bone, enveloped in a ghastly green energy beam.
"They are dead. The sound at the end was a Gauss discharge."
Elidian stood stoic, undaunted by this news. "Necrons? Arent these structures supposed to be inactive?"
"If our intelligence is to be believed, then yes. However, this may be a sentry of some kind, set to work before the tombs reawaken. If so, we have little time. Rouse the men. We set to battle immediately. We cannot lose this opportunity to strike. Should we wait, we shall all be doomed."
Elidian saluted, and quickly strode off towards the command module. Baeloth watched him as the Justicar went resolutely forth, unknowing of the peril he faced, and not caring either way. Elidian would die with the Emperor's name on his lips- as would Baeloth, if they needed to.
Baeloth strode to his own quarters- He had preparations to make, prayers to say, and reports to write. He concentrated with is utmost dedication as around him the makeshift headquarters roared to life, engines screaming and machinery thrumming the name of the Imperium over the vast dead wastes of the Tomb World.
Within hours, the small army of Grey Knights stood ready for battle, having moved into position behind a tall cresting hill between themselves and the structures. Two mighty Land Raiders punctuated the flanks, as Gray Knight Terminators held resolutely at the front. All were motionless for the Inquisitor and Elidian. The air hung with a deathly silence, all eyes fixed upon him as Baeloth strode across the front of the force. He stopped, gazed upon them, and spoke.
"Faithful servants of the empire., your deeds are great and your faith unshakable. I know not what we face ahead. Mere hours ago, the structures were located, but it appears the ruins may not be as inactive as we thought."
Though Baeloth knew the idea of charging headlong into the ranks of Necron Warriors would wither normal men, he was sure this situation did not affect their morale negatively at all- If anything, the opportunity to cleanse the abominations from the stars bolstered their stalwart resolution. He continued.
"We are to enter the facility, and destroy as many of the foul beasts as possible. We are to take their weapons and their artefacts as prizes for the Imperium, and we are to destroy all else. We do not know what is inside. It may be glory beyond measure, or screaming streams of death. But we do this not for ourselves, but humanity itself. Forward we will march, and we shall crush the unholy wretches, smash them with boots and fists, pierce them with Bolters, and rend them with cannons and blades. The faith you have is unstoppable compared to the wretched evil they feebly array before us. So come, Gray knights. Come, and let us show this vile assortment of nightmares why the Will of the Emperor is scores more implacable than that of their false gods!"
Baeloth thrust his fist into the air, and a mighty roar erupted from the ranks of warriors before him. Baeloth turned around and marched forward, the drumming of feet and the churning of engines following in his wake. He knew that no force could oppose the Emperor's Gray Knights, and that any who tried were doomed. As he crested the hill, however, his faith was tested to the limit.
Before him was arrayed a glittering metallic hell; The eerie green illumination from a lone Monolith reflected from a teeming legion of hellish Necron carapaces, their soulless, glowing eyes leering out from beneath their empty eye sockets. They hunched forward, but moved with purpose and poise that was nightmarishly perfect. Baeloth was undaunted by his foe; he steeled himself, and continued to march resolutely forward.
The Gray Knights, upon seeing their foe, unleashed another glorious war cry, and charged forward, Bolters loosing a hailstorm of magnificent death, searchlights piercing the darkness and illuminating foes, and assault cannons bellowing furiously. As Baeloth himself shouted his valorious chant, surging forward, he was joined by Justicar Elidian and a squad of Terminators, all of them raising their voices in holy chant as they charaged the enemy headlong.
Shrill whines and shrieks drowned out the carnage of the Gray Knights, as sinister green beams erupted from the enemy ranks, slaying or maiming anything they hit. The Gray Knights pressed forward still, seeking cover amongst the crystalline formations, loosing storms of Bolter fire, while the Land Raiders bore down upon the wretched creatures. Elidian, Baeloth, and the Terminators broke upon the front lines of the Necron like waves over a structure made of sand, cleaving the fleshless beasts and destroying them. The necrons, though strong, were slow and unwieldy, and the Terminators annihilated the entire platoon in just a few minutes. Spurred by this victory, and the sounds of weapons blazing, Elidian pumped his fist, bellowing a victory shout.
He was cut short, however, by an enormous explosion. As he turned, Baeloth witnessed the armored hull of a Land Raider soaring into the air, and crashing back down, a smoldering, ruined husk. The most disturbing trait was the perfect hole cut into the side. Not a hole made by a blast or a gauss weapon; There were no jagged edges. it was a perfect circle, so uniform that it may has well have been designed into the vehicle in the first place. As Baeloth traced the firelight back to the ground, he witnessed a sight which chilled his blood.
Silhouetted against the screaming funeral pyre of the Land Raider, a tall, robed figure turned to meet his gaze. The flames that danced and flickered behind the monstrosity were nothing compared the the raw horror that Baeloth felt when he locked gazes with the creature- Its hollow, burning eyes etched a hole into his very spirit and stole his strength from him. Flanking him were a squad of the dreaded Pariahs- Humans given or taken to the Star Gods of the Necrontyr, given unholy immortality and vile, unnatural Necron bodies. The Lord strode forward; The rest of the battle seemed to stop, and Baeloth could no longer hear the din of battle or the screams of his dying soldiers; All he could see was his doom in those malice-filled, burning eyes, as the enemy strode purposefully forward to slaughter them.
Elidian screamed in defiance and opened fire upon the abominations, bolter rounds pinging and deflecting harmlessly from their vile hides. The Pariahs leveled their long, sinister scythes at them, and loosed a wave of death and sorrow over them, as Terminators were pierced and annihilated by the blasts. Baeloth turned in horror to see the rest of the squad, several terminators being no more than smoldering shells of armor. He searched in his haze of terror to find Elidian, and finally, he recognized the armor of the Justicar- The front of his helmet was gone, and his face was dissolved from his head. His corpse lay limp on the black, parched soil, his dilapidated skull staring upwards into the heavens.
Baeloth, filled with a divine rage, turned to face his attackers, his mind now clear and set to purpose. He swung his Power Sword in a great arc towards the Necron Lord, but the blade passed inefectually through him. The Pariahs charged into the squad, their Warscythes glinting, eviscerating and rending the Terminators, melee weapons ringing as they bounced from the aliens' nigh-impenetrable armor. Baeloth reared back to swing again, but the Necron Lord struck him across the face with the butt of his warscythe. Baeloth's face went numb, and his ears rang. He fell to the side from the blow, rolling to see his fellow soldiers being disintegrated, having their limbs rent from their bodies, and other unfathomable terrors the aliens unleashed upon the valiant Gray Knights. He was blinded by a flash as the second Land Raider detonated in a maelstrom of burning shrapnel, bringing him back to reality.
His pain was immense. His jaw was likely broken, and he could not see from his left eye. He felt warm blood dribbling down the back of his head as he rolled onto his back. As he tried to rise to his feet, a metal boot pinned him to the ground. He looked up, through one hazy, blood-soaked eye, and gazed into the soulless eyes of the Necron Lord.
"Who... What are you?" he sputtered.
A presence filled his mind, and a reverberating mechanical voice filled his thoughts.
"He is our Wishmaster."
With that, the Wishmaster swung his Warscythe in a great vertical arc, the blade coming to a stop squarely between Baeloth's shoulders.
This is a short story inspired by a real battle between myself and my friend. The Pariah Quote was what I originally had for his backstory, but the battle was so fierce, and the location so right, that it only seemed proper I make it part of my Character's story. It is told from the perspective of the Inquisitor, because Necron Lords don't have a penchant for dialogue or drama, meaning it would have been a very quick (But very violent) story. I hope I got most of the lore of the Ordo Malleus right; I'm not especially familiar with that particular sect.
Last edited by Iron Angel; 08-03-09 at 05:14 AM.