Those Led By Dark Motives

October 29, 2010

Who knows where those Necrons had come from? They had arrived from the cold of space, the empty void, a huge cloud of metal travellers immune to the effects of that unforgiving enviroment. Perhaps they had been traversed the heavens for countless millenia, or a stealthy Necron vessel released them in some secluded corner of the Nexus Prime system.

Whatever their origin, they had descended through the atmosphere, the salmon pink sky of this wintery world, appearing for all the world as if a meteorite storm was in progress. Once there, they had sought every nook and cranny that gained access to the Hospice Victua.

As we made our way toward a waiting vessel, the acolytes expanded on the subject of the Necrons, largely at my insistence though I soon began to tire of their breathless debate. From the conflicting sources a picture emerged of these metallic foes. Robots, artifical creatures, motivated by dark souls. They did not reproduce, nor even replicate, for each required the cold mind of dead spirit within it. They needed no air, light, heat, nor sustenance. They could exist forever, or until the material of their being decayed in the entropy of some unimaginably distant future.

I should consider myself lucky, so the acolytes told me. These were minor creatures of the Necron race. Drones. Expendable soldiers sent into battle for their assigned task. The truth was that the Adeptus Mechanicus admired them. Truly they were alien, a despised form of existence, one of darkness and implacable hate and malice, but they had embraced the machine and achieved a purity of purpose that appealed to the logical mind. It was if many cultists felt a sympathy for their condition, tempered only by the relentless war they waged upon those who disturbed their rsting places.

"I read an account in the Annals Xeno-Divinis." One acolyte related with some enthusiasm, "It was recorded that seven hundred years ago a Necron ship was found in the Souless Veil. A cold ship, airless, devoid of comfort or consideration, yet a ship capable of crossing the void alone. The Necrons do not sail the Immaterium as we do, but travel from one point to another by compelling the inertia of their ship to evaporate."

"I don't understand." I replied irritably as our party made its way into the access halls of a minor spaceport. Through the windows an array of garish landers, replete with gothic splendour, awaited their next jourbney.

"What my brother means," Continued an older acolyte, the one I had threatened with a bolt pistol earlier, "Is that whilst we are constrained by physical reality to use the Immaterium as a means to cross vast distances, they remove the constraints and are not impeded by such considerations."

I confess, I was not fully interested. Nonetheless I questioned further. "So without the horrors of the Warp, they have less to contend with?"

The acolyte stopped in his tracks, suddenly engaged in an intellectual quandary, dragging our party to a halt as he mused on that possibility.

"I don't know." He replied earnestly, "I have not enough data to reach a conclusion. Certainly the hazards of the Astral Sea are of no concern to them, but what do we know of the Deep Void? Forever dark and never completely empty. Krakens, anomalies, rogue bodies, energy fields and ionic storms, perhaps forgotten things lurking in the endless night? Astonishing that in forty one millenia so little has been learned of that space that lies between worlds. But then, unlike the Necrons, we cannot cross those distances in a lifetime."

"Perhaps that is why they are undead, Brother." Suggested another acolyte, "For what else could survive beyond the lifespan of mortal men than the endless death that follows? It is said that Necrons sleep until disturbed, hidden in crypts and charnel houses until needed. I've heard it said their ships are no different."

"Conjecture." Replied the elder acolyte. "What evidence is there? A few tales from starport taverns? How many have actually stood upon the decks of a Necron ship?

Rufo lost patience and urged our progress, something I agreed with wholeheartedly. I found the subject of Necrons somewhat macabre.

At last we came upon the long ramp led to the boarding gate, one of many arrayed under a vast dome lit by long stained glass windows in that expansive curved roof.. As if the way had been prepared before us, the heavy doors twisted open like revolving teeth, and the cold air of the Nexus Prime sky challenged our comfort, an icy wind that chilled us no mater what protection we had.

Our lander waited at the far end of the ramp, outside this great dome of egress. Imperial vessels did not make many concessions to beauty, or for that matter efficent design, for majesty and power was everything to the human mind, and the art of spaceship design was no less influenced by our inner instincts. This one was exceptional, more like an oversized flyer than a vessel of the void, though in truth it still bore the unmistakeable signs of human principles in the sturdy struts that pinned the wing surfaces in place like horizontal buttresses.

We were greeted by enginseers and mech-loks of the Questor Arcanum. There was no lingering ettiquette about this meeting. These were creatures of efficient order, not prone to the intricate rituals of politics and good manners, and in any case, their haste to be underway was evident.

Rufo was uneasy. He had already warned that the Adeptus Mechanicus were alert to the threat of aerial intruders, and what defenses existed at the Hospice were manned and ready. I too shared that unease. There was something too convenient about this exit from our predicament. Yet that was not all. In the dark entryway of the airlock I saw one man standing in black robes, a polished chrome oval bolted over his forehead, a long white beard and a gaze of uter depth that made one feel you were peering over the edge of a precipice.

I pushed aside those around me and stepped before this man. For a moment I studied his silent and confident demeanour. I sensed a power in him that left me wary. "Who are you?" I demanded quietly.

"Turias Negadon. Indentured navigator to the Glorious Aggressor. It is I who shall guide your passage through the Immaterium. You will find my services most skilled., most erudite in the ways of random flow, most able and dedicated to the art of arrival. I am in every way the navigator you require. And, if you are doubtful of my claims, then be aware that it was I who followed your ship through the void. The Sarkian Angel was an elusive quarry. What a fine hunt we had! But the Kydensu were always chaotic and unreliable, thus my skills at navigation prevailed. I am honoured to find myself in the presence of the captain who eluded us for so long. May we avoid misfortune under your command"

Fine words, yet I felt unimpressed, suspicious of his sincerety. He continued "We don't have much comfort aboard the lander. The Glorious Aggressor is another matter, although we had a considerable struggle to stop the Cult artisans from stripping it out. Comfort is not efficient, so they tell me. But there are a few cabins on the upper decks if you wish to rest and relax while we ascend into orbit."

"Thanks, but that won't be necessary." I replied, anxious not to get too close to the navigator. It was as if his physical proximity was disturbing.

The elder enginseer interrupted the awkward silence and said "We must launch at the earliest opportunity. Our suppression of aerial defense will not exceed the hour."

I nodded agreement, and the crowd began to disperse toward their stations. Before the older acolyte could leave I caught his arm, and he looked at me with a complex mix of emotion. He had yet to divorce those inner instincts. For him, logic and reason were goals to be atained, and his mortal reactions were no different from anyone elses.

"Those two skitarii who fought off the Necron? Can we retrieve them?" I asked.

"I shall enquire on your behalf.... Lord Captain." He said, then immediately scurried away to his business.

Turias watched him depart then spoke to me again. "Curious folk, are they not? Finding absolution in ltheir logic and nihilism. What would compel a man to submerge himself in the machine the way they seek to do? My calling was thrust upon me of course. An accident of birth, as it were. Perhaps you find it curious that a mutant such as I can be so respected and admired?"

"Not all navigators are admired, Turias." I responded. " By the way... If you're a navigator, what house are you from?"

"The revered and magesterial House of Immerkad, Lord Captain. Ever your most loyal and ardent ally."


Deep Divisions

October 27, 2010

My people were dead to all intents and purposes. They had been sold to the Cult Mechanicus for slavery, and for the adepts of the Omnissiah, that could only mean conversion. They were therefore made servitors the moment the Magi of Crucible Draconis discovered where they were. The priests of arcane science forgot nothing, for they logged everything in records and archives, and in their rigid definition of society, what was decreed was irreversible.

I stood on the borderline between rage an...

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The Inevitable Fate

October 24, 2010

Finally the student gave in to the limits of human endurance and ceased the pointless assault upon the hapless servitor, now a creature smashed apart. He stood up, entranced by feral satisfaction, his logical world confounded by the horrified curiosity of what he'd done.

His mentor, Rylan Two Rho, began to pick over the corpse for whatever technology he could scavenge, trailing a cable from his cranial bowl to the now inactive surgery-machine hanging from it's track along the ceiling. He...

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To Ensnare The Enemy

October 20, 2010

Subject: My Nemesis

Thought for the day: Everything comes to he who is resolute, valiant, and merciless.

There are inquisitors who fuss and meddle in every insignificant disruption and threat. These men have not learnt the art of delegation. I have found that it is often more efficient to have the Adeptus Arbites or the Imperial Guard deal with minor problems, and that policy has served me well over the course of my career.

Of course that policy is also indiscriminate,...

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By Remote Control

October 19, 2010

In a bright flash my vision returned. At first the discomfort was almost painful, a feeling that faded quickly. I myself strapped to a angled table within a dark place, a chamber of mechanical horrors, a room constructed of metal grids within a blue glow. A hanging machine slid across the roof dangling all manner of cutting and slicing implements.

"Rogol Four Delta, I bid you welcome to our laboratory." Said a thin artificial voice. Looming over me was another technomancer, his cranium rep...

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Contact Established

October 17, 2010

Curse these cultists of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Curse them all. Since I became embroiled in their regime I have lost free will and action. Control is everything to them. It brings order to chaos. It predicts the future. It reduces all the dangers of life to a predetermined plan. Now they have me. A remortificarium? A place of return to death? I could only guess at the purpose of that, if only I had senses to observe and experience my enviroment. As before, I was denied that luxury. Perhaps ...

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Metal On Metal

October 15, 2010

An alarm sounded on the following morning. Such an insistent klaxon, a harbinger of danger, and within me a sense of imminent danger was impossible to ignore.

Across the quadrangle, a dark metal door that I knew was the exit from this cloister opened with the clatter of mechanical locks. I snatched my woollen tunic and readied myself for whatever was coming. Was this the moment of Cult decision about my fate? If I was to be dragged away for conversion, I would not go peacefully. That much...

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We Declare

October 12, 2010

Subject: Confirmation
Thought for the day: What we throw away, we cannot recycle

To the Enumerator Classis
Departmento Munitorum

We, the Questor Arcanum, submit the following data for processing.

We declare that under the statutes of code 394, paragraph 4, Codex Imperia, we are now entitled to possession of the starship formerly known as the Glorious Aggressor, formerly under the flag of the Battlefleet Galgoth.

We declare that under the statutes of code 39...

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Recollection and Consequence

October 10, 2010

"Damage is superficial" proclaimed the Medicant as he withdrew his tendrils from my side. "Healing is accelerated but essentially natural. Inefficient. Subject should consider alteration to allow more efficient conduction of fluids."

I refused that suggestion in the strongest terms. Somewhat baffled by my unwillingness to embrace the Machine, he withdrew, almost gliding across the floor in smooth motion beneath his blood splattered white gown.

The truth was that I felt stiff, tired, and i...

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Can You Hear Me?

October 7, 2010

What choice did I have? The Adeptus Mechanicus had already made it clear that my free will would be revoked if I tried to rebel against their control. A servitor I would become, a cyborg, half machine, half man, and in no way a human being any more. How Serious Black had laughed when I backed down. The Magos knew I would. That was why the meeting had been arranged.

As I lay there upon the straw pallet that night, listening to the oddly comforting steady clatter of machinery in slow rotatio...

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The Imperium is the mighty empire of Mankind, spread across a million worlds of our galaxy, ruled by the nameless God-Emperor who is forever dying upon his Golden Throne of Holy Terra. The survival of the many outweigh the deaths of the few. Purge the unclean. Cast out the heretic. Suffer not the mutant. Ignorance is no excuse. Pray for your soul. There is only war.

Brother Alvedus

Enumerator Specialis I am nothing more than a scribe, a humble imperial servant. In the course of my duty I discovered a journal, the tale of Rogol Sejaran as he adventures in the galaxy of the Imperium of the 41st Millenium. Perhaps I should be dutiful and adhere to my census of starships in our sector. However this story will highlight corruption and heresy in high places and I cannot sit idly by whilst the Imperium rots from within. Beware! For this information is not approved, and you and I will not be missed...

                               Contact Brother Alvedus    

Authors Note

I apologise to visitors of this website but it appears that a small numbers of posts have been deleted without my prior knowledge and consent. These issues will be addressed and I hope this does not detract from your enjoyment of Tales From The Void


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