BY ORDER OF HIS MOST HOLY MAJESTY
THE GOD-EMPEROR OF TERRA
INQUISITORIAL INTELLIGENCE CONTAINED WITHIN
AUTHORISED PERSONS ONLY
CLASSIFICATION: Tertiary Level Communique
ENCRYPTION: Cryptox v 3.3
AUTHOR: Arken Phlebas, Lord Governor, Soliban Prime
SUBJECT: Further reports regarding our most desperate of situations
RECIPIENT: Dashiel Primus Lotan, Lord Inquisitor, Ordo Hereticus Headquarters Segmentum Tempestus
I agree fully with your terms and thank you most graciously for your assistance, though I must beg of you that you move will all haste, the situation here is becoming more desperate. As requested I have forwarded on both the autopsy report you requested and the Vox logs of the survivor interrogation.
I do not presume to make demands of you but the sooner the Noble Rainbow Warriors arrive to reinforce us the better, for I fear without their aid this planet will fall.
As always my loyalty remains to the Throne.
Arken Phlebas, Lord Governor.
Date :- Classified
Subject :- Classified
Mortician:- Biologis Magos Jenon.
Magos code - Beta Prime.
Each of the three corpses returned from the war zone showed startling degrees of degradation, their deaths almost certainly Violent in the extreme.
The first corpse was little more than a skin sack, the internal organs completely pulped and in several instances entirely missing. Further investigation of the ‘corpse’ found little next to no signs of contamination or even mutation.
The second corpse, itself not much better than the first was slightly more complete in the sense that its ‘battle wounds’ were a little less severe, its skeleton was almost completely whole and of course that it had a head. This fact is what enabled us to discover a slight aberration in the size of the Brain. In this case the brain had reduced in size by almost 40%.
However I was unable to conclude how significant this fact was as the third corpse, though I now use that term lightly, became animated during the procedure; killing three of my adepts in the process. Though I am at a loss to explain this, as the wounds it had suffered should have killed it three times over. The PDF commander decided it was better that we burn the corpses and any further study be abandoned.
Though I concur with his decision I have taken it upon myself to study the second corpse in greater, hopefully the aberration in brain size will perhaps provide an answer to this most pressing of problems.
Vox recording file number:- 3119954
Telepathic Duct:- Astropath Terminus Juliens
Ref:- Prisoner interrogation Astor 452
PDF Sergeant Vilas - Tell us how it happened…..
External source screams, scuffling commotion in the room. Fifty nine seconds later interrogation continues.
Prisoner - P-please help me, the eyes…..the eyes….I can’t get them out of my head.
SV - Ignore them and answer the question, then you will receive the help you require.
Silence maintained for a further thirty nine seconds.
Prisoner whispers something vox fails to pick up on.
SV - Please repeat that, louder this time so we can hear you.
Prisoner whispers again, vox picks out only two words ‘Dead’ and ‘She’
Loud noise as SV kicks the table
SV - Louder!
P - W-we didn’t know she was dead…..
SV - Who?
P - The old Woman….and then she….she began biting people, her eyes though, her eyes…. They tore at my soul….I…I…..
Commotion as prisoner drops to the floor, suffering from some kind of fit.
SV - Damn it get a medic in here n…
Transcript is lost as SV begins to scream.
SV - Damn it I’ve been bit, the frakker bit me. What the hell are you fools doing? Im not the threat!
Transmission terminates to the sound of several Hellguns being fired.
BY ORDER OF HIS MOST HOLY MAJESTY
THE GOD-EMPEROR OF TERRA
Purge after Reading
CLASSIFICATION: Primary Level Communique
CLEARANCE: Obsidian Ultra
ENCRYPTION: Cryptox v 6.6
AUTHOR: Operative codename - The Player
SUBJECT: Bishop will initiate Gambit
RECIPIENT: Operative codename - Bishop
Initiate Gambit, destination Priism.
Knight will move to support King.
Should Knight turn in his loyalty, Secondary Gambit Red Hunter will be engaged.
Do your best to prevent Secondary Gambit becoming necessary,
Namacuix walked slowly along the darkened corridor, unsure as to whether Tonauac would be awaiting him. He sincerely hoped the Old warrior would not be angered by his tardiness, the discussion with Heimdallr had taken longer than he expected, for the items the apothecary had divulged had given him much to chew on. Now he could only wait to see what other surprises a similar talk with Tonauac would reveal. Truly he had not expected to return to find the Skybridge enmeshed in such a disturbing state.
His normaly self confident bearing began to ebb, only to be replaced by confusion as he realised something was not right within the halls of the Purans. The normally bustling chaplaincy barracks were unusually quiet and a familiar aroma filled the air. This smell could only signify one thing.
The Captain snarled in anger as he strode through the mist filling the air around him, he recognised the incense of the blooding ritual instantly, having received the sacred blessing many times in his past. Though for once the pungent aroma was not welcome, as realisation hit home that being the current Commander of the Skybridge forces, he had neither given his consent nor had it requested for the ritual to be engaged.
He gripped his fists tightly as he strode on through the smog shrouded hall, heading for the ritual chamber, surely Tonauac of all people, would not have gone behind his back.
His suspicions were confirmed as he entered the main chamber to find a ten man squad of the Rosians kneeling in the centre of the vast room. Namacuix peered through the surrounding darkness to see the darkened forms of several Purans, each hidden behind their ceremonial skull helms, standing before bulky altars. Further study revealed the alien forms strewn across these altar blocks, their exposed chests pulled taught. Namacuix’s eyes shifted to the largest of the altars and the imposing figure who stood before it.
Tonauac’s golden deathshead helm seemed to take Namacuix’s presence in, though the father chaplain displayed no signs of registering his presence. The yellowed skull returned its focus to the offering before it, drawing the dark pin pricks of light that lit its hollowed eye sockets, away from the Captain of the Third.
“You offered your physical body to the Emperor’s service to become one of his immortal warriors,“ the Chaplain’s booming voice filled the chamber, “and you were rewarded with acceptance, the challenge of this transformation was placed before you, the goal to shed the weakness of your mortal form and transcend your humanity to become a servant of the God Emperor. Yet you failed in this most holy of tasks, your weaknesses too great for you to ascend, your body now displayed here broken, your failings plain for all to see. Yet even in this, the moment of your greatest weakness you have chosen to offer yourself to others as an example; not in failing but in strength. The life blood that will flow forth from your sacrifice will be used to spurn your former brothers onwards.” The Chaplain hefted a large dagger above his head, the sharpness of the gilded blade glinting even in the darkness which surrounded it.
All around him the other Lords mirrored his movement and raised their own knives until all seven blades were held high and poised to strike.
Namacuix inhaled deeply, feeling the powerful scent of the incense fill his nostrils, the heady brew stirring powerful emotions within him, the blooding ritual had this effect on all who would partake in it. He exhaled loudly feeling his aggression surge to the forefront of his mind once more, images of past battles flashing through his mind calling to him, singing a song of battle lust directly to his soul.
“Accept the peace that this knowledge will bring you. Know that in failing you have gained a small measure of victory. Know that the Emperor will still accept your soul to his grand halls. Most of all know that, by willingly allowing your lifeblood to mingle with that of xenos kind, that you will overcome your failings just as the purity of your life blood purges the taint of xenos corruption.”
Tonauac drove his blade into the chest of the aspirant, tearing the flesh and causing his victim to scream until his throat filled with his own viscosity changing the sound to a dying gurgle. All around the Master of sacrifices, a facsimile of the scene was played out as the other chaplains drove their own blades into the chests of the xenos before them. A cacophony of death screams filled the chamber, Namacuix drunk the noise in deeply, the piteous whines of dying xenos like a hymnal to the God- Emperor of man. His eyes fixed on the body of a Slann-Saurian as it thrashed like a gutted fish, its screeches filling the air, before quickly descending into an unnatural quiet as its life force was spent. Finally there was a couple of further screams from the others before the noise died down entirely leaving a deathly silence.
Namacuix felt his blood boil as Tonuauc lifted the still beating heart of his aspirant clear of its host. Holding the vibrant red organ before him, he began to chant calling to the favours of the God Emperor, holding the organ to face the huge tapestry that filled the roof above them, where the Emperor’s magestic form looked down upon them, his face split down the middle to display the twin visages of his Tonalian Sun god and Prismiite Moon God forms.
Namacuix watched as his brothers of the Rosians seemed to slip into a darkened trance, their bodies spasming violently as the blood induced memories of battles overtook them. Several other figures now strode forward, most taking their place beside the rigid forms of the chaplains who even now stood displaying their grisly wares, while yet more forms moved to stand around the prone forms of the Rosians.
Namacuix knew that the next few moments would be crucial, any of the Rosians displaying odd behaviour would be quickly subdued lest the red tide overcome them to create havoc within this most holy of chambers. The Captain of the Azuls bit down on his cheek, allowing blood to flow freely within his mouth and flashes of pain to ground him in the present, it would not do for him to slip into the battle trance here when a clear head was what he needed most. His iron will struggled to maintain his composure but it was no easy task. Lifting his head from facing the floor he once more took in the scene before him, picking out details and keeping himself centred as the edges of his vision swam with memories of battlegrounds long lying silent in the past.
Tonauac turned around and holding the heart before him, squeezed its contents into a strange funnel shaped instrument held out to him by one of the many chapter serfs which served the Master of Sacrafices. Namacuix watched as a rainbow riot of colours began to pour down a long series of chutes which ran from each of the altars to the centre of the room. Each of these chutes met in the centre of the room converging to create a multicoloured river prevented from mingling by the walled lining of their individual passages.
A single figure strode forward and Namacuix recognised Yingarna, the young Master of Ceremonies, his silver skull helm the dark mirror of Tonauac’s flashed in the darkness. Yingarna was the moon to Tonauac’s sun, each designed to represent the Emperor in his twin roles of Sun Warrior, Violence resplendent and Moon Lord, wise Leader.
Namacuix watched as the Chaplain strode forward to dip a wide brush made from the hair of brothers lost in battle, into the bright red fluid in the biggest of the pots which even now continued to fill as the last of the dead aspirants blood flowed from him. Lifting the brush forward, he nodded and one of the Puran Templars who flanked him strode forward to clasp the head of the first Rosian between open palms. Yingarna then matched these movements before running the brush down the face of the warrior of the first, from the centre of his scalp all the way to line of his chin, down to where the base of his neck met the rim of his chest plate. Turning away once more, the Master of Ceremonies took a second smaller brush from a waiting serf and in turn dipped it into the second pot, this one holding the bright orange lifeblood of the Virindians, a race of bovine like xenos. Then, as before, he turned back to the Rosian and ran twin streaks of the life blood on each side of the first.
Namacuix was transfixed by the simplicity of such a task, a simplicity that was not reflected in its meaning to the Chapter for the Red Blood of the aspirant reflected the purity of Mankind and it was displayed proudly upon the centre of a Rainbow Warriors face where it held fast against the myriad races arrayed against it. This simple display was designed to show the unflinching power of humankind.
Namacuix turned to face Tonauac knowing that now his part of the ceremony was over, perhaps he would have his chance to speak with him. The old chaplain’s eyes met his before the Chaplain turned away, his long cape flowing behind him as he and the other Lords of the Sacrifice left the chamber. Namacuix rose to his feet making the sign of the Aquila before placing his palm vertically to the centre of his face, in the traditional salute of the Rainbow warriors, then turned and followed in Tonauac’s wake.
“What is the meaning of this? Who authorised a Blooding Ceremony and why wasn’t I consulted.” Namacuix demanded as he burst into the Old warrior’s audience chamber, disregarding the usual required entrance protocols as his anger continued to overtake him. Tonauac sighed loudly, refusing to turn and face the raging captain, removing his helm, the Old warrior placed it on the desk in front of him.
“I did only as I was requested by the Master of this chapter, his men are apparently seeing quite a bit of action on planetside,” Namacuix arched his eyebrow at this and Tonauac realised this waas soething else the young Captain had not been told about, “apparently there is some resistance to the enforced regime change.“ Namacuix nodded motioning for him to continue. “It is of course my duty to ensure they are prepared. I had thought to tell you of this my Boy and had I thought for a moment that Bifrost would not have done so himself, I would have done. I now can only offer my sincerest apologies. That the Commander should slight the honour of the Captain of the Third, the current Master of the Skybridge no less and that I should compound such an insult further shames me fully. You have every right to be angry Namacuix and for that I will ignore your unforgivable breech of protocol, however you allow your anger to get the better of you and that I will not tolerate.” The Old warrior turned finally to face him, his features dark and as Namacuix took in the noble bearing of the ancient warrior, his face began to colour once more.
“My apologies my Lord, for the second time in the past few days I have been scolded for acting like the young aspirant I once was.” Namacuix bowed his head to show his shame.
Tonauac grinned, were his features not so strained and desiccated, Namacuix was sure this was meant to be a paternal smile, instead translated as a rictus grin, a parting of his fleshless lips to show altogether too much teeth.
“It is I who should be shamed Namacuix. You are the Captain of the Azuls now, not the foolish novitiate I once had flogged for sneaking in to view one of my blooding ceremonies.” This time it was the Chaplain’s turn to bow his head. Namacuix positively beamed at the honour the old man had just bestowed on him.
Tonauac grinned once more. “Though perhaps Heimdallr did not scold you enough.”
Namacuix looked up sharply. “How did you know?”
“There are only two astartes in the whole chapter who could command the kind of respect it would take to scold you and it could only be the Captain of the Verdants who would dare do so.” Tonauac lifted a small urn from his desk and began to pour a clear liquid into a clay cup. “Apart from myself of course.”
He placed the cup to his lips and supped deeply from the draught. “Now, I cannot believe that you have the gift of the Amarils.” Namacuix raised an eyebrow as Tonauac continued. “You would have needed the gift of foresight, or perhaps an obscene amount of luck to have come to the chaplaincy purely to interrupt the blooding ceremony so I cannot believe that was your reason for seeking me.”
Namacuix nodded in agreement. “I came to apologise for breaking our previously agreed meeting time.”
Tonauac watched the Captain from behind the rim of his cup, knowing that there was more to it than a simple need to apologise.
“I wish to discuss the current problems that plague our Chapter.” He continued matching the old man’s stare.
Tonauac turned replacing the cup on the desk. “Ah, now we get to the rub.”
“As Captain of the Purans, you yourself must have seen what is happening, the isolation of the great companies, the degradation of the teachings of the Imperial Codex, the rising numbers of those succumbing to the red tide. I cannot ignore it any longer.” Namacuix spoke with a hard edge to his voice, allowing Tonauac to once again sense the iron resolve the boy possessed.
“Nor would I expect you to my boy, these problems cannot be lain simply at the feet of the Commander either, something is rotten within the core of our foundations.”
Namacuix sensed the Old warrior was trying to warn him of something but did not feel right to pursue it further, instead he allowed Tonauac to continue to lead the conversation.
“Bifrost has failed in his duties two fold firstly he has severed his own leadership from the Chapter and secondly in sending you on countless quests away from the Skybridge he has robbed us of the one person who has the power to unite us once more.”
Namacuix blinked in confusion, surely his brother was exaggerating his belief in Namacuix’s abilities, though it was true he wished to expunge the cancer from the heart of his chapter, he had no intentions of stepping over his mark and trying to lead his Chapter, insurrection was as abhorrent to him as turning his face from the Emperor’s light.
“The chapter has fragmented under the lack of leadership, there are those who work from within to undermine any attempt to reverse this.”
Tonauac turned away once more, lifting his helm from the desk and placing it within a small cabinet upon the wall, touching his fingers to his lips he pressed them against the forehead portion of the helm and whispered a small prayer before closing the casing.
Once more Namacuix felt that the Old man wished to say more but was stopping himself from going further, though the Captain of the Azuls felt unsettled by the underlining tone apparent in Tonauac’s casting suspicion on others of the chapter seemed below a brother of such stature.
Namacuix felt he was left with two choices; ask Tonauac straight out who he was referring to, or go back to the start and discover where this all started. He quickly decided he needed to look at the bigger picture.
“How did this happen? When did our chapter slide so dangerously close to oblivion?” If Tonauac was surprised by the change in direction he showed no outward sign.
“I cannot tell you when it began, or how. I can merely speculate on the causes; lack of leadership, the red tide-” Tonauac paused as Namacuix interrupted him.
“I know all of this already but what I do not understand is the paranoia and fractious natures that are now apparent within the great companies. I cannot walk from one part of the Skybridge to another without crossing armed squads of brothers, armed here on the Skybridge and against threat of what? Retribution from their own brothers? This ship is supposed to be the one place that our Chapter Brothers can be at ease with each other, instead they view each other with suspicion and distrust, so much so that I am surprised we have not had open conflict in the barracks.”
Tonauac sat down upon a chair, raising his hands to his face, he viewed his brother through steepled fingers. “It’s the rumours.”
“Rumours?” Queried Nama, his interest piqued.
“Rumours that the red tide is contagious, that it spreads through contact.”
Namacuix dropped into the chair facing Tonauac, his shoulders sagging as those words flowed through his mind.
“That is beyond foolishness.” He was truly lost for words, how could his brothers fall for such stupidity.
Tonauac said nothing, he simply watched as Namacuix put everything together.
“How could such idiocy have gripped this Chapter, why did you not stop it?” Tonauac knew the question was coming but was still surprised by the iciness of Namacuix’s words.
“I tried but as I said, I have been undermined, even by those within my own company.” Namacuix shook his head sadly at the Old Man’s words.
He thundered the desk in front of him with the base of his fist. “This ends now.” Namacuix rose to his feet, anger plain on his face. “I intend to return this chapter to its former glory and I’ll need your help in this endeavour. Do I have your support?”
He offered his hand to the Chaplain in the warriors salute. Tonauac grinned before gripping the offered forearm.
“Of course you have my support. There are none more deserving of it than you.”
Namacuix nodded, proud that this most respected of chapter brothers would show such faith in him.
“Good, then I shall begin by tearing down the walls that our brothers have built amongst themselves. It is time this Chapter became whole once more.”
Finally the young captain saluted and turned away.
“Be ready, when the time comes I will need your guidance.” Tonauac nodded his assent.
“You will have it.”
With his back turned Namacuix did not see the sly grin that had appeared on the Chaplain’s face, nor the dark machinations hidden behind the expression.
Last edited by the_unchanged; 11-23-09 at 07:37 PM.