Ghostwrath and his strike force had arrived at the Ork ship and it had been secured. On board a few Orks had remained alive, though severely incapacitated from the ship’s crash landing. Every xenos that was found alive had been executed and even those who seemed dead received a bolt round through the head to be sure.
The ship was a disaster. Wreckage and debris was everywhere. Parts of the ship’s interior were still on fire, the smoke filling the hull and obscuring everything. Cargo was scattered all over and strewn about the floor. There was no clear space to be found, everything that wasn’t bolted down was laying on the floor.
Warforce had ordered the entire ship searched. He wanted to see if the item he and his strike force lost on the space hulk was on board.
“Sir. We have something here near the cockpit,” came a Marine’s voice through Warforce’s helmet.
With a dull thud, Warforce tossed aside the access hatch he just picked up and walked towards the cockpit where the Marine was standing who had radioed him.
As Warforce stood beside the Marine he saw a shimmering box laying on the ship’s deck among a pile of debris. The box was about the length of his forearm and half as wide. A soft glow surrounded the metal box, constantly coming into and out of focus, creating the shimmering effect.
Kneeling down, Warforce carefully picked up the box. Other than the shimmering glow, nothing seemed unusual about the container. Looking more closely he did not see any hinges or a means of opening it to reach the contents. Curious, he thought and further inspection did not reveal a way to open it.
Warforce held the box in his left hand and placed his right hand just over the surface of the box. A thin frost began to form on everything around Warforce, the temperature suddenly becoming freezing. He opened himself to the powers of the warp and was probing the container, seeking a way inside.
Setting the box down on an overturned crate, Warforce slowly lifted the top off the container. Whatever lay within must be extremely confidential information to warrant a psychic shielding. Under normal circumstances such a shield could only be removed by the psyker it was intended for, however Warforce was an extremely talented Sorcerer, having received many blessings from the Dark Gods. His psychic power was beyond that of most who still faithfully served the Imperium, in turn making most of their defenses malleable to his power.
Warforce reached within the box and removed a data slate. He pressed the power button, the screen lighting up as it performed its boot-up sequence. Once the booting was complete a document appeared on the screen. In a few seconds he read the document, his genetically enhanced mind able to consume all the information and process if faster than a normal human’s.
Ghostwrath walked over to Warforce and asked, “What have we discovered?”
Handing the data slate over to Ghostwrath, Warforce replied hesitantly, “You better see for yourself.”
“We need to take this before the council,” immediately said Ghostwrath after reading the document.
Upon the return of Ghostwrath and Warforce, the Furor Noctis was assembled. Every member was present. Lord Ghostwrath, the first of the Disciples of Twilight. Lord Darktide, the second of their warband. He had worked alongside Ghostwrath to help establish their base and eventually create the Furor Noctis. Lord Soulgore, a Marine of unmatched close combat skill. Grimtech, the only Warpsmith within the warband. Maelstrom, a Sorcerer of great power, often guiding the actions of the warband with his prescience. Warforce, the younger of the Sorcerers but held in high regard by the Chaos Gods.
Warforce had given the battle briefing regarding his conflict with the Orks before turning his attention to the reason for the assembly.
“Aboard the crashed ship I found an item. It was a psychically shielded container and within I found a data slate. The document on the data slate held some very interesting information. A cache of gene-seed was discovered on a planet called Yaundo from a long lost chapter of Marines, the Death Warriors chapter. The location is in an underground base, presumably a base of the chapter’s.
This data slate was sent from the governor of the planet and it was intended for the High Lords of Terra. I can only guess that the ship it was aboard became lost in the warp and came to form part of the space hulk I boarded. I would speculate that an astropath had also sent the message to Terra and that this data slate was sent as a backup.”
Knowing where this discussion was leading, as this was not the first of its kind, Maelstrom asked a question regardless, “What does this information matter to us?”
In reply, Ghostwrath spoke, “We have a chance of survival being presented to us. If we can secure the Death Warriors gene-seed then will be able to create more brothers and strengthen ourselves.”
“To what end? We have survived so far as we are. The life we have now is our penance for our failures; each and every one of us. We all share a bond in that failure and it drives us, motivates us!” responded Maelstrom, his anger rising.
Darktide, sitting impassively and listening, asked, “I too would like to know what our course would be with more warriors at our side.”
Grimtech took the opportunity to voice his thoughts, “Survived? No arguments there, brother, but what are we doing? We have established a crude base on a forgotten planet and we sit here, waiting. What are we waiting for? We are warriors, bred for the cause and we have no cause to fight for. Are we to become farmers then, sowing the land with food and distributing it to nearby planets?
We have failed our former chapter and we are here for that failure but why should we be content with simply survival? We can be so much more than we are. We can thrive.”
Soulgore agreed saying, “I’m with Grimtech on this. Our former lives are lost. We can’t go back now, ” waving his hand in front of his face to indicate his purple hued skin and the horn rising from the right side of his bare skull.
The discussion went on for hours, everyone expressing their thoughts on the matter. Despite disagreements on what they should do, or whether they should do anything, they all agreed that the decision made needed to be in the best interest of their warband so, as they had done countless times, they voted. The vote favored the warband securing the gene-seed so that they could use it to replenish and reinforce the Disciples of Twilight.
With the votes cast, Maelstrom nodded his head in resignation and said, “Very well, brothers. If this is the course we are to take then let us do this right.”
A large contingent of Disciples of Twilight were assembled and made ready to depart Forlorn, their base planet, a few hours after the conclusion of the Furor Noctis meeting. The plan was to slip into the underground base, secure the gene-seed and depart without notice. Warforce was placed as strike force leader and Grimtech, their Warpsmith, was also joining the expedition.
Warforce was watching the strike force board the transport ship that would get them into orbit and onto the larger ship awaiting them when his helmet’s display flashed, indicating someone was trying to reach him on their recon frequency. Activating the frequency, Warforce spoke, “Warforce here. Report.”
“Recon One reporting. The space hulk has fired its engines and is steering its course away from Forlorn,” responded the Marine pilot of the scout ship that was observing the space hulk.
“Monitor the hulk and follow it for as long as needed to ensure it is in fact leaving the area,” ordered Warforce.
Putting the report from his mind for now, Warforce boarded the transport ship, ready to help usher in a new age for the Disciples of Twilight.
I know damn well I could have drug this one out longer, especially in the Furor Noctis meeting. I felt though that I covered what needed to be said in the short dialog I did show. Any more than that I thought would just make it wordy and ultimately only serve to see the same things said by different characters slightly differently. I could be wrong but that was my thought on it anyway.
I do like breaking this out into two parts like this. Being able to set up the game in the first half lets me focus on the details leading up to the game and then the next half I can switch gears and focus on the action; it suits me.
Hopefully someone read this and found it enjoyable :P I’m always open to constructive criticism on my writing as well. I feel that I’m slowly improving and any help to improve more is welcomed. Admittedly this is still a sort of rough draft. I’m so behind on these stories compared to the games themselves that I just need to get them down so I don’t lose motivation and forgot details. There’s a good chance I have some tense shifts in here; sorry, Todd ;)
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Into the Unknown: Salvation (Part 1)
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