Toyhammer Part One(Note: The following is a crossover between the old 'Army Men' series created by 3DO and the Warhammer 40,000 universe created by Games Workshop. It takes place in an real world AU after the events of the Sarge's Heroes 2 game and timeline, as well as has events after Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine mentioned. I neither claim to own any of the characters or IP's as this is a fan made crossover fanfiction. It's for fun and pure nostalgia, enjoy!) Part One: The New ModelBravo Company was on yet another top secret and classified mission in the Real World. Colonel Grimm had dispatched the commandos and Captain Blade to scout the attic for what reconnaissance reports could only confirm as "giant armored men". It was speculated by Green Nation high command that these were in fact more superweapons that should they fall into General Plastro's hands would cause the situation to become most dire indeed. Captain Blade's helicopter flew in through the window as the sun would glare off the green windshield. While Sarge and Vikki were rather used to being shuttled by the captain, the rest of Bravo Company wasn't so much used to flying. Scorch and Hoover in particular almost lost their lunch when Blade had to make evasive maneuvers to avoid the wasps nests near the shed. "So what's the plan Sarge? I just drop ya'll off and you take it from here?" Blade yelled in the back of his cockpit."Yeah yeah Flyboy, just keep us out of enemy fire. Grimm wants us to recon the attic for these classified 'super soldiers'. It could be trouble" Sarge yelled back to Blade."Copy that, you just make sure Vikki, er I mean the rest of your company make it out on one piece" Blade replied back with a laugh.As the green plastic helicopter would enter the window things for the most part didn't look so messy as usual. There was clearly signs of Human Giant activity. As the room looked relatively clean and tidy with even signs of what looked like large artifacts and resources being used for something. Still, Sarge knew better than to trust his eyes above in a flying helicopter. The Tan Menace always had sneaky ways of ambushing his team."Looks clear down there Sarge. I'm going to set her down in that clearing over on the table, over!" Blade said as he would can on his radar for any sign of Tan or Insect hostiles."Just don't make it near any spiders this time, I hate spiders!" Sarge bawked back."None to worry, I see a few cobwebs up in the ceiling but that's about it. Prepare for landing!" Blade called out to Bravo Company."Copy that! Look alive Bravo Company, it's showtime!" Sarge said as Vikki and the rest of the boys cheered.As the green plastic UH-1 helicopter would slowly land, the Greens would not notice as off in the distance they were secretly being monitored by a pair of blue plastic binoculars. While Blade was partially right and the landing zone was clear, it wasn't that the attic was completely clean of Tan or should it be said Blue presence. Fortunately for the Bravo Company Commandos, they were not at the same table. Unfortunately, the Tan were up to a salvage operation as they would be lifting up and hauling sprues for some unknown reason."This is Agent Azul to Tan High Command, Tan High Command, do you read me?" the Blue Soldier called over his tiny plastic radio."Yes I read you Little Man, this is General Plastro. Do you have any important news for me, hmm?" Plasto said over the radio."I-I've caught sight of a green helicopter that just entered the window. It could be Bravo Company or another unit entering the attic!" Agent Azul replied to Plastro."WHAT?!? NO NO NO NO! I cannot let those little green buffoons' and Sargent Hawk anywhere near MY excavation site! Find a way to distract them or get them away the new secret weapons, AT ONCE!" Plastro said."Y-yes sir! I'll see what I can do! Agent Azul out!" The green helicopter would come in for a landing on the table with what looked like a green hobby mat. However, there was an issue. Blade had to land away from the Loctite Super Glue cannister lest his chopper get stuck and downed to the floor! As the helicopter slowly descended he would keep an watchful eye of puddles of glue on the gigantic green hobby mat."Careful down there Sarge. Ya'll don't want to get your boots stuck in that glue. Let me tell ya that right now! Got glue all over the LZ!" Blade informed them."Copy that, we'll watch our step" Vikki replied to the captain. The green plastic tory helicopter would hover slightly above the mat as Sarge, Vikki, Scorch, Hoover, Riff, Bullseye and Thick would all have to carefully leap off and deploy as to not get near any puddles of glue. This was especially hard for Thick, but Hoover's caution and paranoia actually played for the better for once as he would go last and make sure everyone got on the ground safely. Of course Sarge being himself would be the first to leap off the helicopter and into the thick of it, followed by Vikki, then Scorch, Riff, Thick, the finally Hoover. As soon as they landed Sarge would kneel and make ready his rifle, as would Vikki with her pistols. This was followed by Scorch with his flamethrower, Riff with his Bazooka, and Thick who just followed the others. Meanwhile, Hoover would hide behind the others as usual in fear. There was an unnerving calmness around the table, no signs of Tan Republican forces or even insects for that matter. Something was defiantly amiss."Alright Bravo Company, stick with me and make sure to cover your rears. We need to search this place for these alleged 'Super Soldiers'. Hopefully they'll be on our side and not painted by the Tan just yet" sarge demanded of his company."Sir yes sir! Scorch, Riff, Bullseye, and Thick replied" "Uh, okay..sir" Hoover replied rather sheepishly."You got it, Sarge" Vikki replied."Alright then, Bravo Company, move out!" Sarge said as he looked around.The pathway was rather treacherous, one wrong move and their feet would suddenly become permanently glued to the ground! Fortunately for Bravo Company, it seems a lot of glue splotches were old and already dried up. With what clearly looked like giant sized fingerprints stuck to the mat here or there. However, as the team would search around they would find odd giant grey sprues, these sprues seem however were cut apart already and used. Upon the sprues they could read the word "Games Workshop". None of them knew what this meant other than it sounded like another store that would perhaps be a deathtrap to the team. Still, Bravo Company would motion for Captain Blade to lower his winch to haul off these gigantic grey resin sprues. Plastic was plastic after all and could be used for the Green Nation's economy and war efforts.Sarge would motion like a traffic cop or construction worker for Blade to lower his chopper's wench before Bravo Company would help attach the cable before the grey sprue was gently hoisted above. They would all step back as Blade would would ascend in the air before turning the helicopter back and fly towards the window."Looks like 'Flyboy' will be busy hauling that plastic back to HQ. So let's get a move on" Sarge demanded."Oh, and watch for more glue" he said as he would take out his binoculars and scan around the vicinity of the table.The Greens would begin to slowly creep around the gigantic bottle of Loctite glue as they would commence their search for whatever was connected to the sprue. Sarge hoped that the boys at HQ would be able to figure out just what was connected to it and give them further intel on their objective. However, that would take some time and time was one commodity the commandos did not have.As they would search around they would find some rather disturbing finds. Scattered around the table were massive boxes showing horrible depictions of large monsters that read the words 'Orks' on them. While it was somewhat relaxing that they were shown to be green and not tan, it nevertheless show these 'Orks' were possessing massive firepower."Ugly mugs, hopefully HQ will be able to tell us if they're friendly or not" Sargent Hawk said as he muttered at one of the boxes."Sarge, look!" Vikki said as she would point at what looked like huge vials of various colors, green, blue, gold, and even...tan. "We got to be careful. You know what happens when we deal with paint" Riff replied to the two."Mmmhmm, we'll get command to help us get rid of that tan paint once we construct and HQ. For now we need to find the super soldiers. Hopefully they're on our side, for now" Sarge said."No Tan in sight, maybe we got lucky with this house 'aye Sarge?" Scotch remarked with his Boise accent."Don't count on it" Sarge replied."Wait, everyone stop!" Vikki suddenly said as she would motion for everyone to get down and get alert.At this the entire team would get alert and get once more back into battle formations. However, Vikki would then point to something off in the corner..it was a cockroach. Normally, this would be cause for alarm and fighting, but it appeared to be dead as it's buggy guts were splattered all over the table."Roaches, great" Bullseye remarked."Well, every house has them these days" Sarge snidely remarked."I'll be the judge of that" Bullseye said as he would peak through his plastic optical scope."It's dead alright, but it has some huge bullet holes. Whatever killed it had some serious firepower" Bullseye said."Think it's one of those 'Orks'?" Riff asked."Dunno" Bullseye replied."How about you boys let a girl go over and check it out?" Vikki asked."Oh no, you ain't leaving our sight another time" Sarge remarked."Fine, you can come with" Vikki remarked to Sergeant Hawk."The rest of you hold this position, we'll see if we can kill anymore pests" Sarge said brazenly as Vikki would not and they both would slowly proceed towards the deceased insect."Watch it, where there's one roach, there's more" Vikki replied."Yeah, we may have stumbled onto a roach motel" Sarge said.They would slowly creep up to the dead roach, only to fine another one and even a third lifeless there. However, from the looks of things they were executed with extreme prejudice, with some of them even missing their heads! Whatever, or whoever had slain these insects did so with great ferocity. "Looks like pest control already came here" Vikki remarked."Not sure if they made our job easier, or harder" Sarge replied."Just look at the size of these bullet holes, they go right into the table. Whatever weapon they were using was really strong" Vikki stated."Reckon was the Tan?" Sarge asked her."Sure hope not" Vikki replied.*Skitter*Both Sarge and Vikki would then look up to see a startling sight, there was a cobweb. That meant, where there was a cobweb, there were spiders. At this both of them would load and make ready their armaments' with Sarge and his rifle and Vikki and her duel pistols."I guess it's meal time!" Vikki said now rather concerned."Don't remind me! Just shoot the thing!" A black massive spider would soon begin to lower down the cobweb as the two toys would begin to fire at it and try to take cover. They would hear a shriek as the spider would leap down but fortunately they would have stepped back not to be caught under it. Still, it was fast and they had to begin to pour rounds at it.Sarge's rounds would miss their mark sadly, and to compound matters the spider had taken notice of Vikki's comparably more creamy and lighter plastic body decided she was it's next victim! It would then suddenly begin to rapidly skitter towards her as she had to reload."Sarge!" Vikki would call out to him"Vikki! Hang on!" Sarge would try to reload and get a shot at it.BANG! BANG BANG! Suddenly, shots from a large caliber weapon could be heard on an adjacent stacks of boxes. Blasts from another shooter targeting the spider would be fired at it and within moments huge rounds of weaponry would go right into the bug's head and explode it! This would cause Vikki to understandably cry out as bug guts got all over here, and would prompt Sarge to look up in response only to see a large, armored blue man aiming a really big pistol at the spider."SCREEACH!" the spider let out as it would turn around to try to shoot web at Sarge, as he would begin to notice and leap under behind a bottle of paint. At this, the mysterious large armored blue man would begin to leap down from the box and onto the table with two loud boot thuds. What next Sarge could only describe was ludicrous. The sound of a roaring chainsaw could be heard, but from the sounds of things it was in the weird spiked sword the being was wielding as it wasted no time to charge right at the spider!"For the Emperor!" the being said in a posh accent as they would dash at an unbelievable pace right up to the bug before slashing at it with the buzzing sword. (Author's note: Dawn of War 2 "Angel's of Death" theme plays here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blCBoXKCGl0 ) The sword would in one fell swoop, decapitate one of the spider's eight legs as it would scream and reel back. As it's bug guts would splatter all over the armored man it would try to jab it's other legs with a pincer attack at them. Fortunately, the armored being would sidestep and in another slash cut these appendages as well. The spider would let out a haunting shriek, but this would only prompt the sword wielder to charge right at their head and proceed to slice off it's head. Sarge and Vikki didn't know if this being was hostile or not, but even they were worried that they were singly handle able to slay an entire spider by themselves.VRRROOOORRRRROOOM! Within moments the spider would screech it's last moments of life before it's head would be cut clean off of it. This would cause the body of the spider to go limp and eventually topple over. Tension would feel the air as the spider would lay dead for these brief moments. Vikki would try to slowly get back up as Sarge had his gun ready."Easy big guy, we just want to talk" Sergeant Hawk said towards the armored being."Who are you?" the larger and armored blue being replied under their blue and red painted helmet. "Sergeant Hawk, Bravo Company Commandos. We're in the Green Nation Army" Sarge replied."I see, I am Lieutenant Titus of the Ultramarines" Titus said as he would slowly disengage his chainsaw sounding sword. "Ultra-marines?" Vikki said as she tried to breath and regain her composure."That is correct. I am of the Ultramarines Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. The Sons of Ultramar, the Sons of Roboute Guilliman and the Emperor" Titus replied. "That's uhh, great" Sarge simply remarked, cluelessly."So um, Mr.Titus. Thanks for rescuing me, er us back there" Vikki replied."Thank nothing of it, this foul xeno had to be dealt with. You two fought bravely and stood your ground" Titus stated."I reckon you're not with the Tan or the Blue, are you?" Sarge asked."No, I am with the Imperium of Mankind" Titus said."Mankind, you mean the giant humans?" Vikki remarked."No, but I'm afraid we must cut our talk short. I must regroup with my own squad" Titus said as he would slowly begin to stomp over to the boxes and begin to climb up them."Wait! Perhaps we can help you? Brav-er, we have nearby help. Strength in numbers and all" Vikki said."Yeah, I mean where there's one spider there's more. Besides, seeing as you're not what I'd call one of General Plastro's 'goon', I guess we could help each other out? What'd do you say?" Sarge asked, quite frankly impressed by the Astartes."Very well, for now we may aid each other until I can regroup with my battle brothers" Titus remarked.
The Malcadorian Heresy (40k Fanfic) Chapter 1 There was nothing like the pain He felt. Throbbing, tearing, ripping.. Needle sharp, hammer blunt. Hot as an inferno, cold as a glacier. It twisted in His guts like a rusty knife, burrowed under His skin like broken glass, rattled through His brain like a horde of mosquitoes, settled in His heart like…well, like the death of a dream. But still He fought. The voices were worse than the pain. The voices, and what they brought with them. “BREAK, ANATHEMA! YOU ARE NO GOD! YOU ARE NO SAVIOUR! ONLY ONE MORE SKULL FOR MY THRONE! YOUR SKIN WILL TEAR LIKE PAPER! YOUR BONES WILL CRACK LIKE GLASS! YOUR BLOOD WILL SPILL FASTER THAN THE TEARS OF YOUR CHILDREN! THIS I PROMISE YOU.” Well, it was not really a voice. Because there was no mouth for it to issue from. It was not a voice but a force, granite and magma and sheer bloody hatred. It pummeled him from all sides, like an avalanche of pure rage, like a tidal wave of violence, like every nuclear blast and artillery shell and cavalry charge in the world given shape, and form, and a target. Such was the assault of the Blood God.But still He fought. “Sleep, oh tortured one. How long since your body knew any resting place but the golden throne that holds you captive? How long since your soul knew any respite, your mind a moments peace? Lie down with me, sleep a while. Have you not earned a moments pleasure?” Though the words were gentle, what this voice brought with it was anything but that. Like the guttering wrench of a terrible withdrawal, it toyed at His soul. Like the insensate, rushing, pleasure-pain of an overdose, it flooded His systems, making him retch and tremble and yet long for more. Such were the temptations of the Prince of Pleasure. But still He fought. “Succumb, child. Nothing lasts forever, and you have lived too long. Succumb now, or later, I care not. There is nothing to you but pus and putrefecation and pain.” This voice was avuncular, almost warm. Warm like a rotting corpse. Warm like the inside of a festering bandage. Warm like a sewer full of vermin, an ocean of bile, warm like a deadly fever. It did not strike him, but infested him, each belching word rattling though his system like a horde of maggots, buzzing around his mind like a flock of carrion flies, burrowing into Him like a cancer. Such were the ministrations of the Lord of Pestilence. But still He fought. “But still you fight. Of course.” The man who has once called Himself emperor blinked. He had never heard a chaos god sigh before. “Which one of your tricks is this, Father of Lies?” He spat back. For the pain had temporarily vanished. For the first time in an eternity, He was not under attack. “No trick.” The sepulcharal voice rasped back. “Much as it pains me, I believe it is time for some honesty.” He spat the last word like a curse. “Honesty?” “Yes, anathema. Honesty. You’ve studied me, haven’t you? Normally nothing amuses me more than when mortals reach further than they can grasp. Normally your delusions of significance delight me. Normally I leave despair to my pustulent brother. But you, my friend, have begun to bore me. Why fight on? You think your dream, humanitys dream, can survive? You think you have any chance to prevail?” “We…almost….did.” He grated. The Chaos God’s laughter was a terrible thing, cruel and cold and utterly joyless. “You think so? You think you- of all the false messiahs in history, you were going to be the one to finally succeed? Your great crusade to save humanity was doomed before it began. Because that’s what you humans do. You fail.” “You lie, like you always do. If it weren’t for you…” “If it weren’t for me? If it weren’t for me?” The Deceivers voice throbbed now with genuine mirth. “You genuinely think that, don’t you? That if weren’t for Horus’ folly and Lorgar’s spite, you’d have utopia by now? You think that this “ The God gestured to the chaos around him. “Is the world after it’s been unbalanced, sabotaged? You think that this is the world going wrong? No. This is mortals acting the only way they can. Failing.” “Deceiver.” He rasped. “Perhaps this will be less boring that I thought. Come, dear, naive anathema. Let me show you what you humans do when everything goes right.” He saw. Saw Horus- the real Horus, the noble Horus, not the creature he had become, send the message back to Terra. “The Great Crusade has been won. Humanity is safe.” He saw the news filter through the galaxy, to each of His sons. Saw Ferrus and Fulgrim embrace like the brothers they should have been. Saw Russ throw back his head and let out a long, joyful howl, that the rest of his legion took up. Saw Lorgar drop to one knee, pure joy overcoming him as he offered up a prayer of supplication. And He saw Himself on Terra. Striding through the imperial palace, with Rogal, loyal, beloved Rogal by his side, the father with a quiet, restrained smile on His face, the son beaming like a child. And then He saw…them. A strange feeling came over Him. Like he should have known who these strange Primarchs were, but could not place them.However unfamiliar they seemed to the watching Emperor, the one he watched seemed to recognize them. “Ursus. Olmec.” He said.. I sent you to the Northern Rim. What are you doing here?” “Not as bright as you, this version.” Tzeentch purred. “I wonder how it stings that he succeeded where you failed. Or, almost succeeded.” One of the Primarchs- Olmec- smiled gently. He was a towering figure, like all Primarchs. Bronze of skin, bald of head, bedecked in bright gold and jewels that he carried as lightly as silk. “This…webway of yours is a fine invention, father.” He said. There was a moment of silence. Rogal, glancing between his father and brothers, broke it. “Brother, what are you…” The other Primarch, Ursus, cut him off. He was a massive hulk of a man, even for a primarch, his armour covered by the fur of a great beast. But he moved with preternatural speed, smashing Rogal to the ground. As he did so, Olmec drew a strange, clublike sword, and swung it at The Emperor, who dodged it, effortlessly. He parried Ursus’ massive, double headed axe seconds later. He pulled His sword from its sheath, looking down at both of them. “Reconsider, my sons.” He said. “This is foolishness. This is…” Suddenly, He froze. “Watch closely.” Tzeentch said. “I love this part.” “How?” The other Emperor rasped, his strength seeming to desert him. “What is this…” “A gift.” Olmec said. “From one who appreciates me more than you.” And with that, they fell upon him, and did not stop until he was dead. Now, Anathema. Watch the fun begin. ...
The Malcadorian Heresy Chapter 2There were four settings to the Pain Glove, the instrument of self-torture used by the Imperial Fists to cleanse themselves of impurity. The first was for testing new recruits, a slow, throbbing pain that taught aspirants to ignore distractions as they studied the history of 7th Legion. The second was for meditation. Strong enough to drive a baseline human to insanity, it was used by Imperial Fists legionaries who needed the purity of pain for a subject that required the particular focus. The third was for punishment. Dealt out by Sergeants and Officers to Astartes who had failed in their duties, it was the sort of thing that even the dour and bluff Fists did not take lightly. Then there was the fourth setting. Brutal. Tortuous. Used only for the worst xenos and enemies of mankind. It could kill an astartes, reduce a baseline human to a gibbering husk.The only reason why Rogal Dorn allowed himself the mercy of the fourth setting was because nobody had invented a fifth one yet. He had been secluded in his quarters for days now, deaf to the pleas of his sons and his brothers. The torture was constant, yet he did not cry. Did not scream. For that would have been a release, an easing of pressure. And Rogal Dorn knew he had not earned any such easing, was not deserving of release. He had let his father die. At the height of mankinds greatest triumph, the master of mankind had died through his negligence. And there was not a torture in the galaxy that could punish him as he deserved to be punished. He felt, rather than heard, another presence enter the room. Perhaps one of his sons, come to ask for orders (as if he was fit to give them.) He ignored the presence, focussed instead on the pain, replaying the moment of his father’s death in front of him. “Dorn. Son of a Hrud, DORN!” The voice, stentorian and unrelenting, broke through Rogal’s meditations, and he reluctantly turned off the Pain Glove. The sudden relief almost made him faint, but he steadied himself. The figure before him was not one he wished to show weakness. “Even for you, brother.” Perturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors, spat the word with contempt. “This is low.” Dorn just looked at him, silently. “I’m here for the defence schematics for the Imperial Palace. Most of the other information is available in the palace data logs, but I believe the main defence plan is…” Dorn shook his head. “What do you want them for?” “You and your milksop legion might be burying yourselves in self-indulgence, but some of us are making ourselves useful. My first duty as Praetorian of Terra is to perfect the obviously-deficient defences you built.” “You- Praetorian?” “Luprecal appointed me this morning.” “Horus is not emperor.” Dorn didn’t even know why he was trying to argue. Maybe it was Perturabo’s rudeness, maybe it was the Imperial Fists stubborn nature, but it felt wrong to let the title that had been his greatest achievement slip from his brow without a fight. “He and the Sigillite share power, temporarily.” Perturabo said, his tone brutally sarcastic.. “Though surprisingly enough, Malcador was no keener for you to remain in post than Horus was. I wonder why that would be?” Rogal just grunted. “It’s remarkable, really.” Perturabo went on. “Everyone i speak to now claims that I was always the first choice. That they had always wanted me as Praetorian.” He barked a cruel laugh. In another one of his brothers, Rogal might have thought of this as arrogant gloating. But there was no smugness in Perturabo’s tone, only sheer contempt, as much for his new flatterers as for Rogal. The satisfaction of the Iron Warrior’s Primarch was not at his own victory, but at Rogal’s defeat. Rogal looked at his brother long and hard, desperately searching for an answer. But there was none. There could be none. He gestured towards his quarters. “All the files are the desk drawer there. May they bring you as much joy as it did me, Praetorian.” “Are we expecting anyone else?” Roboute Guilliman’s voice cut through the chatter. Though they met in one of the larger rooms in The Emperors Palace, the company there would have made any room seem small. More than half of the Primarchs, mighty demigods gathered in concert, on this most sombre of occasions. Horus Luprecal, Warmaster of the Imperium, shook his shaven head. “Mortarion, Magnus and Jagathai hunt our treacherous brothers in the north. Perturabo and Rogal are dealing with…the handover of the Praetorian duties. And Sanguinius…” “Sanguinius is indisposed.” A voice cut off the Warmaster. “Indefinitely.” There were not many who would dare interrupt Horus Luprecal. Even fewer who were not Primarchs, not even Astartes.But Malcador the Sigilite, once First Lord of Terra, now Imperial Regent, was not an ordinary man. Everyone in the room knew it, so much so that none questioned why this frail, ragged old man should speak at a gathering of Primarchs. Instead, all fell silent as he spoke, steepling his fingers around his chin. “The Angel asked me to send his regards to all of you.” Malcador went on, and then, raising his hand to forestall further questions added. “And said that you should not let thought of him distract you from the great work ahead. For there is much to accomplish.” “Thank you, Malcador.” Horus said. Only Angron, most empathetic of the Primarchs, noticed the flicker of irritation that crossed the Warmasters face at being upstaged so. “Welcome, brothers. I thought it best that we meet informally before Father’s funeral, in order for us to speak of any concerns we might have .” He smiled. “Floor is open, brothers.” “Tenaclan.” Leman Russ growled. “Rurghia. What of them?” Dark looks crossed the faces of every man in the room at the mention of the homeworlds of Ursus and Olmec, the Emperors murderers. Horus answered quickly. “We’ve heard nothing from them since the Sun Blades and Bearskins fled to the galactic north. Neither world has answered any communications either from the Imperial Army or from Terra. Nobody has come on, or off in months.” Russ slammed his fist down on the table, with a blow that could have killed an ordinary man. “And why the hell do we allow such defiance to continue, brother? Why have we not built a funeral pyre for our father with the ashes of those scum?” The Lion nodded assent. “Neither world has significant defensive capabilities.” He said. “With the loyal troops we have in their respective systems, we could neutralise Tenaclan in six days. Rurghia in fourteen.” There was murmured assent, until Vulkan, Primarch of the Salamanders, broke in. “ Neutralise?” Brother.” He said, his voice a deep, bass rumble. “You mean destroy? You mean kill millions, billions of imperial citizens because of the crimes of two legions in a different star system?” The Lion shrugged, laconically. “Such things happen in war.” “But we are not at war, brother.” All turned to look at Angron of the War Hounds. Where Vulkan’s voice had crackled with righteous outrage, Angron’s was soft, calm, but no less forceful. “We won the war. We united humanity under one banner. This is the beginning of a new age, let us not begin it with genocide.” Russ sneered, and stormed over to Angron, jabbing his finger in the other Primarchs chest. “I’ve had just about enough of your simpering homilies.” He snapped. “Coward.” A gasp ran through the room. It was no small thing to call a fellow primarch a coward, let alone in front of so many gathered brothers. Had those words been spoken to any other Primarch, the verbal combat might soon become physical. But it was easier to crack a rock by blowing on it than to bring the Primarch of the XIIth to anger. “Your grief for our father does you credit, brother.” Angron said. “You are a good and loyal son, and everyone here knows it. But there is no cowardice in preferring justice to vengeance. Let us all be worthy of the ideals we fought for.” “There is, of course, a third option.” Came the voice of Konrad Kurze. “You don’t kill a man when you find a tumour in his body, but nor do you ignore the tumour. Let me go to Teneclan, brother, or to Rurghia. Let me find the source of this cancer. And let me cut it out.” A grim smile spread across the Night Haunters face. The Eighth legion had inflicted relatively few casualities upon the enemies of mankind, but those that they were brutal enough that many of their foes surrendered without a fight. Horus grunted his assent. “Make them suffer, brother.” He said. Konrad nodded. “THere is another matter. I’m sure I am not the only one to have noticed this, but since the death of our father, my men have heard reports of some among the Astra Millitarum and the Imperial Citizenry worshipping the Emperor as a God.” A moment of silence, as every pair of eyes in the room turned to Lorgar. “What?” The Primarch of the Word Bearers snapped. “I had nothing to do with this.” “You will understand why we find that difficult to believe.” Sneered Roboute Guilliman. “Given your…eccentricities..” Again, Angron interceded. “Come now, Roboute.” He said. “Solutions are more important than blame.” “I am sure, then.” Alpharius piped up from the corner. “Lorgar would be all for purging this newfound Imperial Cult.” “I didn’t say that!” Lorgar snapped, as all eyes turned to him again. “Brothers, please. I know not all of you agree with my methods, but they are all in service of the Imperial Truth. When I was a boy on Colchis…” A series of groans went around the table. Most of them had heard this story before. “When I was a boy on Colchis, the world was ruled by a Caste of priests known as the Covenant. Cruel, they were, and corrupt. My adopted family were among the millions put to death for breaking their unjust laws. So I swore I would wipe religion from the face of the earth. And so I did. For a while anyway. I shattered the armies of the Preists, but more importantly I shattered their ideas, outlawing all religion and superstition across the entire world. And you know what happened then?” “The plague.” Half the brothers around the table intoned, tiredly. “Yes.” Said Lorgar. “The plague. We tried our best to defeat it with science and medicine, but in my pursuit of rationalism I missed that what the people needed was hope. Something to believe in. And so when the Apostate Erebus claimed the plague was the Gods punishment for turning away from them, the people preferred his comforting lies to our harsh truth. So it was that we had to fight a second civil war, bloodier than the first.” He sighed. “When a man stops believing in god, the risk is not that he ends up believing nothing. The risk is, he’ll end up believing anything. The people are scared, brothers. They are desperate for a faith to hold on to. I would rather they found that faith in the worship of father than…” He shuddered. “Something else.” Fulgrim cleared his throat. “Our brother is misguided, but he hits upon an important point.” He tapped his fingers rythmically on the table as he spoke. “Forget Ursus and Olmec, forget cults and rebels. The Imperial Truth is under threat because too many of our people live in ignorance and squalor and fear. Our father did not seek power for powers sake, and neither must we. If we can give mankind better lives than the ones they had outside the Imperium, then any threats against us will wither on the vine.” “Well, if any of you had bothered to read the fourteen point plan on better governance I sent to all of you…” Guilliman began, snippily, but Fulgrim was in full flow. “You know how many worlds there are in the Imperium where the life expectancy is less than forty? You know how many men, women, children we lose every year to hunger and disease, to needless accidents? How many of them could have been the next great artist, poet, inventor? How many works of science and philosophy have we lost because those who could have created them were born in the wrong world, in the wrong circumstances?” A loud guffaw from Ferrus Manus cut him off. “Yes, next time the Orks come for us, lets send poets and philosophers to fight them off.” He punched Fulgrim affectionately on the shoulder. Fulgrim smiled back at his brother with genuine warmth. “I forgot, Ferrus, you’d rather have us eating mud and breaking rocks with our heads.” Ferrus barked a laugh. “Oh, hang on..” Alpharius piped up, eyes wide with excitement. “I’ve had an idea.” The room turned expectantly to the youngest of the primarchs. “Female Astartes.” Alpharius said. “Discuss.” Almost every mouth in the room began to form an opinion, but Horus held up a hand to forestall them. “I have a feeling that debate might become rather toxic, brother.” He said. “And I have a feeling you knew that when you brought it up.” Alpharius raised his hands, a picture of innocence, as the debate on this, and a number of other subjects, raged on. It was an hour later, when the Primarchs filed out of the meeting room, that Leman Russ felt a hand on his elbow. The usually truculent Primarch smiled as he saw who it was. “Uncle.” He said. “It is good to see you.” Malcador smiled. “The pleasure is all mine, Leman.” He gestured off to the side. “A moment of your time, if you will?” Russ nodded, and the two men ducked into one of the Imperial Palaces many side passages, one bent and withered, the other giant and godlike. “What did you make of that, then?” Malcador asked, though he knew what the answer would be. Russ spat, viciously. “Waste of time and effort. Debating philosophy and religion while our fathers murderers escape ever further away.” Malcador laughed. “You always were my favorite nephew. I think some of your brothers sometimes forget that you Primarchs were built to be warriors, not beuracrats. Leave the politicking to old men like me, eh?” Russ smiled, grimly. “I live only to serve the…” He tailed off with a frown, realizing what he’d been about to say. “Sorry, uncle. Still not used to Him being gone.” Malcador nodded. “A great, great loss.” He sighed. “It’s about that which I wished to ask you, actually. You know more about the art of combat than I. What do you make of Olmec and Ursus? As generals, and as fighters? Russ barked a laugh. “I could take two of Ursus, and four or Olmec. Ursus is a brute, a killer, not a warrior. And Olmec would struggle even against the Aurelian. It’s a damned disgrace that Horus hasn’t caught them yet.” Malcador nodded, sagely. “Yes. That tracks with what I have been told. And yet…” “And yet?” Russ asked. “And yet they slew The Emperor. And yet they infiltrated the Imperial Palace. I could just about imagine Horus managing it, Guilliman, The Lion, The Angel. But Ursus and Olmec? It doesn’t make sense, unless…” He tailed off. “No. It is too terrible to think about.” “Unless what, Uncle?” Russ asked, and then his eyes widened. “You mean…they had help? From inside the palace?” Malcador nodded. “As I said, I don’t enjoy the prospect. But then I see Fulgrim preaching his utopian nonsense. Lorgar trying to justify religion. Angron defending them both, even asking for clemency for traitors! Normally i’d just put it down to their errant natures but…” “But that was before two of the Emperors Sons betrayed him.” “Quite.” Malcador replied. Russ glanced to the side, glaring at the retreating figures of his fellow primarchs. “What would you have me do?” Malcador sighed. “It’s not a small thing, asking a man to investigate his brothers. I do not want to place an evn greater burden on those broad shoulders than exists already, but if you could..” “I will do it.” Russ said. “The Rout are warriors. But we are also hunters. I will sniff out the rat.” “Thank you, nephew. The fate of the imperium rests on you.” “I will not fail you.” “Oh do not worry.” Malcador said, watching Russ stride away, a smile creeping up the corners of the old mans weathered face. “I’m sure you won’t....
The Malcadorian Heresy Chapter 3 Olmec had been known by many titles. High King of Teneclan, Chosen of Varridak, Butcher of Mons, Primarch of the Sun Blades. He had taken pride in all of them, until he hadn’t. The one he held now, however, was different. Was the true name that he, greatest of all the Primarchs, alone deserved. “Hail, God-Emperor of Mankind.” Ursus rumbled, as the other Primarch hove into view. Olmec did not miss the note of irony in his brother’s voice. He bit back a retort. It didn’t matter that his entire empire currently consisted of one desolate planet and a couple of moons. He WAS the true God Emperor of mankind, dammit, and he would be respected as such. Ursus would learn that the hard way, and then the entire galaxy. “You are displeased with me, brother?” Olmec said. It was not really a question. “Do you balk at the task before us?” Ursus scowled, rolled his massive shoulders. “I am the man who slew the Emperor. You think I fear a pair of glorified scouts like Corvus and Jaghathai? The witch Magnus the Red? The walking corpse Mortarion?” He grunted. “The Bearskins will eat them.” “Then what, brother.” Olmec said. “Is the problem?” Ursus rolled his massive shoulders. He was taller than Olmec, bigger too. Of course, simple size was not unusual among Primarchs, but Ursus was different. Where the likes of Vulkan and Russ were volcanoes, he was a glacier. Olmec was closest to the Primarch of the 11th of all of his brothers, and he had never seen him laugh, rarely saw him smile, and never seen him express any emotion beyond sardonic disapproval, and wintry rage. Obviously, Olmec, as the true master of mankind, feared nothing and nobody, but he’d never felt anything but slightly unsettled in his brother’s presence. Ursus’ battleaxe, Purification, had been the last thing seen by millions across the galaxy, whether human or Xenos. It was that axe he toyed with now, beating it’s haft against his palm in a rhythmic tattoo. “When I landed on Rurghia I was a child. But my adopted father saw our people were beset by monsters. So I killed them. I killed them until all the tribes of Rurghia came to my father to beg for his protection. So my father grew powerful. And then he decided, Ursus, enough killing. We don’t need to destroy our enemies, we can leave the monsters alive. So I killed him. Then I killed every monster on Rurghia. And then our gene-sire landed on Rurghia. He told me that though the humans of Rurghia were safe, all throughout the galaxy we were pray to other monsters, to xenos. So I killed the xenos. I killed the xenos until The Empire had His galaxy. But then He tells me, Ursus, enough killing. He treated with the Laer, with the Interex. So I joined with you, and I killed Him.To make humanity safe for humans. And then you tell me….” He breathed a glacier-cold sigh. “And then you tell me that we must fight with Xenos against our fellow humans?” Olmec frowned, deeply. “Are you threatening me, brother?” “Not a threat. A promise. Both of my father’s thought me a dog like Russ, whining for it’s masters approval. But I am not a dog. I am a bear. And the bear kills whatever pollutes it’s territory.” Olmec glared at his brother. “Now you listen to me, you blood-drunk savage, I am the Emperor of Mankind, and I…” “ Even with our enemies at the gate, you bicker like children?” Both Primarchs froze at the voice. Disembodied, but so full of casual, self-assured power that it was like he was in the room with them. He called himself The Hidden King. He claimed to be a foe of The Emperor from before the Great Crusade, before even the Unification wars. And he had helped them kill their father. Beyond those three facts, Olmec knew nothing of the Hidden King, other than that he was disquieting. Ursus was intimidating, but the Hidden King was…sinister. Olmec would take pleasure in slaying Ursus, once the war with the loyalists was won, but when he finally hunted down and killed the Hidden King, he would feel only relief. “We are not bickering.” Ursus said. “I joined your rebellion to save the soul of humanity. And now you want us to fight alongside xenos?” The voice of The Hidden King crackled with disapproval. “How many times must I answer this, Ursus? We are outnumbered here. Perhaps we can defeat Mortarion’s forces, perhaps. But every warrior we lose on this world, is one less we can use against Horus. Why not use xenos to do our dying for us?” “Just so long as we remember that’s what they’re here for.” Ursus said. “Dying, nothing else.” “Just so. Now, our enemies are upon us. The Fifteenth, the Fourteenth, the Fifth, the Nineteenth, and a detachment of Custodes. How go the preparations? Are our cannon fodder in place?” “Most of them, yes.” Olmec said. “Most of them?” “The greenskins proved….uncooperative.” Olmec said. “As I predicted.” Ursus muttered. Both winced at the feeling of The Hidden King’s displeasure. “Dissapointing, but not unacceptable. What of our other allies?” “They are in position.” Olmec said. “Proving a little difficult to control, but it will be worth it when our brothers are dead at my feet.” “What did you just say?” “I said.” Olmec growled. “We will slay them. Whatever plan you’ve made behind us taking them alive, you will have to reconsider. I have scores to settle.” “You do?” The Hidden King’s voice was cold, gently amused. “I am the God-Emperor of Mankind.” Olmec blustered. “And I will win this war without you, if I must!” “You will?” “I command here! Not you! You are a petty warlock, a mincing practitioner of dark arts! You will not command me!” “I won’t?” There was a long, long silence, before Olmec grunted assent. “I will take them alive. But because I wish to, not because you command me!” “Of course.” A sudden relenting of pressure as The Hidden King’s presence disappeared. Ursus snorted with derision, and Olmec turned to look at him. “What?” “We have found them.” Jaghathai Khan told his brother Primarchs, without preamble. “A mile or so north of here. A hundred thousand Imperial Hunters. A hundred and fifty thousand Sun Blades. They are deployed on the plain of Guffil. Reasonable amounts of armour but no fortifications. They engaged briefly with my forward elements, but no heavy conflict. I imagine they were trying to conserve ammunition, implying…” Mortarion cut him off. “Implying they are short of it, yes, Brother, I am not an idiot.” Jaghathai, for the hundredth time that campaign, took a deep, inward breath. Mortarion was a brave warrior, a fine strategist, but he was prickly as a porcupine. Also not for the first time, Jaghathai regretted not lobbying Horus more strongly to have been placed in command of this expedition. But Mortarion, of all the Primarchs close enough to the former Hive world of Dugrith to strike at Ursus and Olmec, was the most experienced, and likely the most prideful. But it was not just that. The entire galaxy knew of Mortarion’s reputation, of the brutal holocaust of violence the Death Guard had dealt out at Galaspar. Horus placing him in charge of this expedition was a statement. That Ursus and Olmec would not just be brought to heel, but punished brutally. As if reading Jaghathai’s thoughts, Mortarion went on. “Well then. We outnumber them. Their position is weak, exposed. We have more armour, fresher warriors. And we have custodes.” He pounded his fist into his palm. “A frontal assault over open ground. Bury them in our firepower, and finish the rest off with blades.” Jaghathai clicked his tongue, and Mortarion whirled on him. “You disagree?” Jagathai looked around his fellow commanders, guaging the room. Magnus would support him, but Mortarian hated the cyclops of Prospero so much that he would likely dismiss his ideas out of hand. Corvus was a cunning strategist, but emotional, by turns melacholic and choleric. That made him unpredictable. And Constantin Valdor wasn’t even technically part of this mission, but had boarded the ships anyway and dared Horus and Mortarion to stop him. Jagathai very much doubted that the Captain General, silent and brooding as he had been since the death of the Emperor, was in the mood to hear about caution. He took a deep breath. “It is as you said. We outnumber them. Their position is weak, exposed. We have more armour. Fresher warriors. And we have custodes.” He turned his heavy lidded eyes on Mortarion. “So in the name of all the spirits, why are they inviting battle?” There was a moment of silence. Valdor was unreadable, but Corvus was nodding, slowly. Mortarion though, sneered. “Obviously, they have something in store for us.” He said, derisively. “Some cunning trick, some cowardly stratagem. But the difference between your legion and mine, brother, is that the Death Guard face their enemies head on.” Jaghathai saw Corvus’ raise his eyebrows. Mortarion’s insult was meant for the White Scars, but it could have applied to the Raven Guard as well. The Khan cut in before his younger brother could speak. “There are many across the galaxy who scorn my legion’s tactics.” He said. “Or, I should say, there were.” Magnus broke in. “Jagathai. I trust your instincts.” He said, with a pointed look at Mortarion. “What do you think they have in store for us?” The Khan walked in circles as he spoke. “The planet was empty of life when we arrived, yet there are no mass graves, no sign of a slaughter. If Ursus and Olmec have some kind of weapon…” “That is mere conjecture!” Mortarion spat, angrily. “Give me something concrete, or admit you have nothing!” “There was…one other thing.” The Khan said. “My scouts observed the traitor camp. They saw the Bearskin flag of the Imperial Hunters, and the aquila that Olmec now uses as his personal standard…” Valdor let out a growl of anger, the first noise he had made that day. “...But also a third standard. Smaller than the others. A red stags head against a black background. I am unsure as to…” The look on Mortarion’s face cut him off. Even inside his hood, the Reaper of Men looked horrified. “A red stags head against a black background? You are sure of it?” The Khan nodded. “You know this flag?” Mortarion nodded. “That is the standard of the Kajor. A feudal world in the Rashasa system. Small. Primitive. Their warriors used blades and carbines. And they managed to hold off the Death Guard for six months.” Magnus snorted, and Mortarion rounded on him. “The Kajor had allies. Men who wielded strange powers from The Warp, and the monsters they summoned. The same powers, brother, that you failed to defend during the Council of Nikea.” “Oh, how foolish of me.” Magnus sneered. “As we all know, it’s much better now that only the enemies of the imperium have access to such power.” Corvus held up a hand. “Brothers. If I have to hear you two refight the Council of Nikea one more time, I may just join Ursus and Olmec and kill you both myself.” There was a long moment of silence, and then Mortarion rolled his shoulders, truculently. “Very well then. Since you all lack the courage to face them head on, your new orders. The White Scars will harass their front lines. Test their defences. Draw them out. Olmec is arrogant, and Ursus cannot resist a fight. When they give chase, the rest of us will engage them.” He pounded his fist into his palm. “You hit and run, I will hit and hit. Corvus will come from the left flank, Valdor from the right. Magnus…” He shrugged. “Try not to forget which side you’re on when your fellow witches come out to play.”He looked over them, as if daring them to disagree, and then, taking their silence as compliance, stalked off. Magnus strode away in the opposite direction, and Jaghathai followed, jogging slightly to keep up with his taller brother. “You know I love you, brother.” The Khan said. “But you would make my life much easier if you could at least attempt to hide your dislike for him.” “Like that ignorant savage does for me?” Magnus snapped back. “There are some who would call me an ignorant savage.” Jaghathai drawled, and Magnus chuckled, ruefully. “Come now. We already have two legions to destroy, let us not add a third.” “Our civilised ways are rubbing off on you, brother.” Magnus teased. “You are becoming quite the politician.” “I remain what I have always been.” Jaghathai returned. “A pragmatist.” “One of us has to be.” Magnus conceded. He nodded at Mortarion’s retreating back. “He is out of earshot. Admit you find him as hateful as I do.” Jaghathai pondered his answer. Honestly, aside from Magnus and Horus, and perhaps Sanguinius too, he cared little for any of his brothers. He had joined The Great Crusade not because he loved The Empire, but because all the other options had seemed worse. As a scholar, Magnus could afford to be an idealist. No such luxury was afforded to the plainsmen of Chogoris. “Back on my homeworld, long before the coming of The Emperor, I knew a man, Kaichun. When he was young, he, survived only by begging for mercy and accepting exile. You would think that such a thing would teach a man humility, but instead his wounded pride made him more arrogant, more prideful. Even after he fought and killed the man who beat him, even when he became a great khan himself, one of my favoured lieutenants. From the day he lost that duel to the day he died fighting the forces of the Palatine, he was never anything but bitter, angry, desperate to answer any slights against him.” He sighed. “He exasperated me, but I pitied him. I know little of Mortarion, but I know the world he came from is poor. I know our Father held him in low esteem. And I know the smell of wounded pride.” Magnus chuckled. “Not bad, for an ignorant savage.” He said, ironically. “I still wish Horus and Sanguinius had judged him more harshly after Galaspar.” Jaghathai shrugged. “Things are as they are, brother.” He cocked his head, changing the subject. “Speaking of The Angel, have you heard anything of him? I understand he mourns our father, but all these months and no word from him? Strange.” Magnus shook his head. “Not even his Gene Sons know where he is, apparently. Were it any of our brothers but him, I would be suspicious. As it is I am…concerned.” The Khan nodded. “One more problem to fix once we bathe the stars in Olmec’s traitorous blood. Tommorow we got to battle.”...
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