Altair's first thought was to avert his eyes. His second was of overwhelming curiousity and he looked up.
The Golden Throne of Earth sat quietly before them, humming gently in time with a pulsing white light, coming from a lantern hung high above the room. Arcane machinery surrounded the edifice, tubes and gauges like parasitic growths on the machinery of the Palace.
The figure bound to the throne was covered in a perfect, white veil, all it's features wiped away by the death shroud's thickness. Golden threads etched High Gothic runes onto the sheets, entire chapters from the Tome Imperialis. A crested helmet sat on a pedestal at the base of the throne's steps, it's golden color reflecting onto the assembled demons' armor. A perfect red crest rose above it. A red-tinted sword and a massive power claw sat on two other pedestals nearby.
Reyzak breathed in. "Daemonicum, deliever us. By Tzeentch, forgive us of this sin, what we do we do in your name."
He removed a glass orb from the depths of his cloak. Inside swirled six distinct shapes, one grey-blue, one black, and the rest were green, white, and a second green. They were all eclipsed by a larger golden spark, it's light seeming dim in comparison.
He weighed the orb in his hand. "This is Angel's Fall. The ancestral home of the Emperor's forefathers. This is where the first Imperial ships were sent into the far reaches, to begin the Great Crusade."
Machira chimed in. "The last stand of the Custodians. The place where Alicia Dominica and the Daughters of the Emperor were taken to see him."
Altair looked at the orb. "What are you doing?"
Reyzak looked from the shrouded figure, to the orb, to Altair.
"Completing the circle." said Reyzak, every word holding deadly menace.
He drew a curved knife and whipped it at the shrouded figure's throat. Black gore and decaying flesh exploded onto the pristine white blanket. A number of red runes flicked onto the Golden Throne's screens, while a screeching whine built in the air. The golden spark in Reyzak's orb burst to life, suddenly glowing white-gold in his fist.
Altair stood in shock. Reyzak spoke something inaudible. Machira gestured with a bone-colored blade. Uraj picked up the golden helm and placed it on the floor. The demons drew black knives and carved a petagram into the stone. It glowed with ruddy red lights.
"From the beginning, unto the ending of time, and the destruction of all things, we ask, mighty Tzeentch, Deliever the imprisoned into form!"
He smashed the orb against the helm, and the world went white.
Thanks all. I just figured out how this will end. There will be deaths.
TO KILL A DEMON
When the world's color drained back into Altair's vision, he saw that six figures stood in the pentagram.
The first was clad in golden armor, with a flowing red cape. The second had a massive hammer, his armor functional and painted green. The third was black, with a golden trim. A lion's head was engraved onto his shoulderpad.
The fourth was also black, but his armor simply had a Raven's head painted onto it. A plasma pistol hung in a holster and he had a gaunt expression. The fifth was a massive blue-grey armored figure, holding a glowing axe his hand.
But it was the last man that caught everyone's attention.
The last figure was armored in a simple gunmetal suit of Power Armor. Even so, he dwarfed all the others, his presence filling the massive chamber. Altair noticed the swathed figure from the Golden Throne had vanished, leaving behind a bloodstained sheet. The metallic warrior picked up the golden helm from the floor and replaced his own, letting the metal helmet clank off the floor and roll to the base of the Throne. He took off one of his gauntlets, and placed the huge claw Altair had seen over his forearm. The red-tinted sword went into his other fist. It burst into orange flame as he touched it.
Altair realised with a sharp intake of breath that Janghati Khan, Leman Russ, Corax, Vulkan, and Lion El'Johnson all stood in the room, facing the metallic Marine.
The Emperor raised the burning sword, and pointed it at the assembled demons.
"Demon filth." he said, the helmet's vox arrays booming his voice.
And with that, The Emperor nodded to the golden-armored giant.
Altair frantically drew Ristvak'baen as Janghati Khan smashed into him, throwing him to the floor. The golden warrior raised the massive sword he had in both his hands and brought it down, the very motion being blurred by the superhuman speed. He brought up the demonblade in a panicked motion, deflecting the sword in a shower of bruning shards. Janghati Khan looked at the deep grove in his sword with something approaching respect, then swung again. Altair felt the warp energies soar through him, and the giant stopped.
Not only had Janghati Khan stopped, but everyone in the room had. The Emeperor stood with his four other sons, a confident smile on his face. Reyzak and Machira, with hope and fear respectivly. Altair simply stepped behind the master of the White Scars with confusion. Ristvak'baen's black runes comforted him.
Warptime. I told you that you were a psyker now.
Altair let the sorcery go, and Janghati Khan's sword smashed into the floor, cutting a foot down with his strangth. Altair raised the darkblade, and swung. The blow (from the flat of the blade) knocked into the Primarch's head with a dull thunk. Vibrations rattled up Altair's arms. The golden giant toppled over, his eyes rolling back into his head.
Altair stood in shock, looking from the Khan's body to Ristvak'baen. The Emperor clapped slowly, the demons flinched.
"Very good creature, nicely played. Now, I'm afraid you will all die."
"Wait!" Altair said frantically. The Emperor stopped. "What if I told you we needed your help?"
The Emperor seemed to consider this. "You'd have to give me proof."
Altair's clawed hand reached inside his armor, and he pulled the small Apothecarium necklace from his cloak.
"Corax." said the Emperor.
Corax took the small charm from Altair's hand, and ran a small scanner over it. "My lord, the auspex indicates the sigil is registered to Lukas Altair, KIA over two weeks ago."
"It's mine," said Altair. "I needed to be this in order to kill the foe we face."
Corax consulted the auspex. "It has a DNA trace."
He stabbed the auspex's sensor into Altair's shoulder. "Matches. It's the same marine."
The Emperor nodded. "Russ, help Janghati and El'Johnson seal up the breach. Our warriors will want to know their fathers have returned. It seems we owe you our ressurection, Lukas Altair. What is it that you fight?"
Altair swallowed. "Chaos. Of the most fearsome kind."
Reyzak chimed in. "A demonlord called Azulanthis has crushed your domain, my lord. Over the last hundred years he has conquered every one of your "segmentums" except for this one, Solar. Here the hammer's stroke will fall hardest. Here the great battle of our time will be decided. Your people need their leader. Your people need you."
The Emperor's helm nodded. "So it shall be," he spoke into a vox-caster. "Warriors of the Imperium! Heed my call! For twenty thousand years I have watched over you all, now is the time! Now is our hour! Destroy the demonspawn and his army! For The Imperium!"
A massive noise rose outside, and Altair realised Russ and the others must have made themselves known to the Imperials. A cheer rose from the battle.
The Emperor turned. "I hope my son did nothing to harm you, demon. We will need you and your band before the day is out. We will need you to do what no other, not even myself, have done. We need you to kill a demon."
The emperor comes back, I know you hate the Ultrasmurfs Dirge but is Guilliman coming into this at all or was Macragge destroyed? I don't know how you can hope to follow this one up. Keep it up.:victory::grin:
(I think I mentioned this in The Emperor Protects, I'm not sure. If not, here!)
Macragge was completely destroyed six months before the Tyranids split into two factions (the inter-species war that made the Lictor a plausible character.) Plus, I finally got to destroy the Ultramarines! Nope, the surviving Primarchs (the ones GW never had an end for) are all there.
EDIT: I just noticed I have 666 posts. *spooky noises*
what that isnt fair the Ultrasmurfs may be twats but they are still space marines and another dead primarch is a waste of precious geneseed! but what of the naughty primarchs, does the emp open a can of whoop ass on them or what?
P.s great story now lets see the next installments
Turns out I was extra horrifically lazy. Here we go again!
Altair and Reyzak walked down the steps of the Imperial Palace, and into hell.
Imperial Guard and a few Space Marines fired madly at a horde of demons, filling the firezones with corpses and blackening the air with their chants. Huge Greater Demons reared up among their diminuative minions, firing vast weapons or leading their subjects in heretical prayer. Leman Russ stood in a knot of Space Wolves, with half a demon in each hand. As Altair watched, he tossed the corpse away and swung a glowing axe, cleaving six in half.
A host of Khorne burst through the lines, hacking at frantic Guardsmen. Golden figures sprang to meet them, swinging Force halberds and Psycannon. The Custodes cleared the line within seconds and the survivors wearily stepped to the firing lines.
Altair ran to the embankment where a Space Marine swung a combat knife into the thigh of a Greater Demon. It screeched and batted the man aside. Altair drew Ristvak'baen and swung, cleaving the legs from the demon. It roared in agony and swung it's own weapon. The screaming blade was cut in half by Altair's parry, and he beheaded his foe. The demon's body slumped to the ground, pouring multicolored gore. The marine got to his feet and nodded his thanks.
"They're coming, you know." he said.
"I'll be ready." said Altair, gesturing with the demonblade.
"No, not these heretics. Not them at all."
Then he turned away. Altair shrugged and followed Reyzak into the next group of Berzerkers, rolling into the fight sword first.
The fight had lasted long into the evening. Demons clashed on the gore-stained earth, while the few Imperials fought valiantly alongside the Daemonicum. Azulanthis' horde seemed to be without number. Every time the Emperor and his few remaining Custodians charged, they slew hundreds of demons, falling back to avoid being surrounded. The Primarchs led their men well, killing more then their share of the horde themselves. As the hordes of Azulanthis retreated again, the warriors regrouped fro the last charge.
An hour later, the last offensive came. Led by a massive group of Greater Demons, Azulanthis' army crashed into the Imperial lines. Swords clanged against armor, bullets into flesh. Screams lifted into the darkening sky. Altair was fighting a demon when a vast, screaming wind knocked him from his feet.
A piece of black metal slammed into the earth ten feet from him, it's surface glowing cherry red from the heat. The hatches blew outwards, catching dozens of heretics, and there, in the doorway, stood Fredric.
Altair stood up, flabbergasted, as the former Space Wolf ran down the gangplank, screaming. He swung a frostblade into the first of the dazed demons, hacking clean through it. The next fell to his blade as well. On the third foe, the Reclaimed stormed out of dozens of drop-pods, and multicolored Thunderhawks and Longswords filled the sky, raining fire on the hordes. Altair cut another demon from shoulder to groin, then swiped sideways, catching a Berzerker in the middle and cutting him in half. He parried a lunge, then broke the blade and beheaded it's owner.
Fredric swung wildly at Altair's head. He stopped a foot from his skull, staring at the necklace around Altair's neck.
"What have you done, creature!?" he yelled, drawing the sword back.
"Fredric! Stop!" yelled Altair, reaching into his armor to withdraw the Apothecarium symbol. "It's me..I'm me."
Fredric looked at him with a confused expression. "Laddie? What've they done to you?"
"I was changed, by the foe we fight. But we have no time right now! Come, old friend. Gather the Reclaimed and let's have us a real fight!"
Fredric toasted him with a flask. "So be it, Altair."
The Reclaimed threw a mighty cheer into the smoky air, and charged. Demons died, banners fell, and bolters rattled as nearly five hundred Space Marines smashed into the demons' line. Within ten minutes, they had cut a quarter-mile gap into the horde, and broke it.
The demons ran, throwing down standards and weapons in their haste to retreat from the blood-soaked marines. Altair stopped with Fredric and his command team, breathing heavily.
"We saw em' off, lad. We gave those heretics a good fight!"
Altair nodded. "Yes, we did. Nice timing."
"Indeed it was. Now, laddie. You've got some explaining to do. I want to know everything."
Altair stood quietly in the makeshift chapel, a multicolored idol of Tzeentch next to a golden statue of the Emperor. He gazed from one to the next, unsure.
Reyzak materialized beside him, his black cloak swishing back and forth on the rockrete floor. The demon looked from the Emperor to the idol of Tzeentch, then bowed to the Tzeentch statue, folding his hands over the hilt of his sword. He mouthed a prayer, then turned to Altair.
"I sense you are, confused, young Altair."
Altair nodded. "Yes. Conflicted, to be exact. I am devoted to the Daemonicum in soul, but my oaths to the Imperium compell me to abhor the creeds I swore to."
Reyzak sighed. "Yes, it happens to all the Nerzhulan at one point or another, they become divided in their loyalties....you must choose, eventually. You must decide to follow your elder gods, or to a new destiny. Be cautious. Once you refuse the tenants of the Daemonicum, there will be no return."
Altair looked at Reyzak. "Nerzhulan?"
"Yes, Azulanthis stabbed you with the daggers all the Daemonicum carry. A Nerzhul, as we call it."
Altair nodded sadly. "There always has to be a choice, doesn't there?"
Reyzak smiled. "Yes, young one. There is always a choice, it's what keeps us different from the beasts."
Altair picked up Ristvak'baen from where he had placed it against the idol of Tzeentch (the sword insisted it be allowed to continue it's worship), and passed Reyzak to the door. Opening it, he continued to the dugouts where Kale's Eternal Guard stood, talking quietly.
He walked past the chatting figures to the Reclaimed's command bunker. Kale stood talking with Fredric, flanked by two massive Immortals. The unliving warriors' heavy Eviscerator cannons tracked him until the pair decided he wasn't a threat. Fredric nodded to Altair as he walked to the opposite side of the map table.
"Well, laddie, we've got some new high orbit shots, since our fleet saw off the heretics. Here."
He nodded to Kale, who hit a button on the side of the table. A green-tinted vision of the surface of Terra blossomed between the three warriors. A mass of green dots indicated the combined Daemonicum and Reclaimed forces, while a blue mass formed the Emperor's Armies. The lower half of the map contained a relatively small mass of red dots, showing the shattered remains of Azulanthis' armies.
Altair nodded. The hardest part of their campaign was over, yet Azulanthis wasn't beaten yet. The Emperor's army had pressed the demons against the Eternity Wall, allowing Altair and Reyzak to cut a swath through the fleeing hordes. Three days after the Reclaimed had fallen from the sky to destroy the demonic hordes, they were at the end.
A long, sonorous horn called from the trenches outside. Kale and Fredric rushed outside, followed by the massive Immortals, and Altair.
A single demon stood on a finger of rock, a massive horn held in both hands.
A voice reverberated through the air, and Altair realized only the Daemonicum could understand it's meaning.
We are at the End, the Ultimatum. The forces of the Great Enemy gather at our doors, yet we destroy them. Forces of Mighty Tzeentch, one final effort, to drive the Great Enemy back forever.
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