Citadel of Steel
Orbit of Ullanor Secundus
Usriel looked over his design once more, having forgone any basis from an STC to act as a base, the schematics for a weapon like no other that the Imperium itself had seen. This project had been an escape for him ever since the Ullanor portion of the crusade had been discussed, and with Ullanor Secundus firmly under the defensive control of the Steel Sentinels and the Knights of Awe, Usriel had desired to continue work on his pet project. Of course, this project he had been working on was entirely untested and with it being plasma-based, he knew that it would be temperamental to get working. Usriel continued to look it over, correcting anything that he figured would not work after his glance over it would reveal.
The sound of the bulkhead behind sliding open was the only sound to break him from his work, bringing his eyes to turn to see the source of this interruption. His eyes would fall upon the robed figure of Belloris, the Orator of the House within the Steel Sentinels. With a light sigh of annoyance, Usriel turned back to his work as he continued to make slight corrections and potential improvement to the untested design. However, the sound of shoes against the metal flooring of his workspace, and the rolling of a cart made it impossible for him to properly concentrate on his design. Usriel did his best to ignore her, but she drew nearer and nearer, the echoes of her footsteps becoming the only rhythm he could focus on, save for the light hum of the Battle Barge itself.
“My lord did not eat with the rest of his sons, as such I have taken the liberty of bringing your meal to you,” Belloris said, her voice lightly echoing in the otherwise empty workspace.
Usriel brought his hands to his side as his focus on his task had been broken, a light sigh of disapproval from the serf’s unwelcome interruption. His head turned and his eyes locked with the mortal’s own deep blue eyes, before he finally sat in his chair and looked over the meal that had been brought to him. It was a roast, his favorite, with a plethora of sides available to him. Yet, he saw smaller plates on the other side of the cart, the side that Belloris had been pushing.The primarch gave the serf a raised eyebrow.
“It would honor me greatly if I could dine with you, my lord. I merely wish to hold conversation with you about your time on Ullanor Secundus and the status of garrisoning the new fortresses,” Belloris explained, bowing her head slightly. She did not normally see Usriel without his armor and it was rarer to eat with him, though Usriel understood that she did not get much time to report to him directly.
A moment of silence stood between the two before Usriel gave his answer, with a nod of his head and a quick statement of, “Very well.”
Usriel allowed some servo skulls to bring his food to him, allowing them to hold the roast as if they were small flying tables, allowing Belloris to eat at the cart, despite having to stand as she ate. There was silence as the two ate, Usriel allowing himself to find some pleasure out of eating the roast, but that silence would soon be broken. The voice of Belloris reached him as she stated, “Currently, the officers and a few regiments from Vion 5 are in transit to Ullanor Secundus. Do you plan to have the officers work alongside the Steel Sentinels to train a new garrison for the fortresses?”
The Primarch looked down upon the mortal before delivering his answer, “Yes. Additionally, we will mark this planet as a planet to draw further Astartes from. As such, the standards of the Steel Sentinels must be upheld at these fortresses.”
“I would not have it any other way, my lord,” Belloris stated, giving a smile to the otherwise emotionless Primarch. Her eyes went over to his workbench, and while she could barely see onto it, she was curious as to what it was Usriel was working on. Her curiosity got to the better of her, “A new project, m’lord?”
Usriel cocked an eyebrow before looking at his workbench, his eyes going once more over the item in question before looking back at Belloris. He did not want to divulge the information around this project, but he knew that Belloris was too loyal to say anything to anyone else, knowing that he could speak his mind around her. With a reluctant sigh Usriel spoke, “It is the schematics for a new weapon, a personal weapon to replace the powerfist that I currently use.”
“And what kind of weapon is it, m’lord?” Belloris inquisitively asked.
“A weapon made of pure plasma. It is a weapon that would be rivaled by none other in melee as it would destroy most other weapons currently used in the Imperium or even seen by its enemies. Not to mention it would be able to negate many of the advantages of the Eldar’s standard ‘rifles’ as the ammunition would be turned to slag upon contact with the blade, though I would question how often that would work to my advantage,” Usriel espoused, relinquishing the plans for the weapon as the grips of his own curiosity took over his mind. He could see Belloris listening intently and even showing signs of understanding his reasoning and his desire to see such a weapon made. However, he soon stopped his ramblings as he realized that he had, perhaps, been oversharing the amount he had wanted to when he had originally planned to indulge in Belloris’ curiosity in his work.
“I am sure this weapon you are working on would bring you many victories,” Belloris said with a smile, only pausing to think of another question, “Is there anything that I could help with, Usriel?”
The Primarch did not give the offer any thought as he answered with a simple, “No.”
“If that is what my lord wishes, then I shall not interrupt his work,” the mortal stated, bowing her head to the Primarch. “As the Ordinator of the House and your personal servant, I promise that I will do whatever it is that you should desi-”
The sound of the door sliding open, the stomps of metallic armor and the voice of a consul spoke out, “My Primarch Usriel, a situation has occurred.”
“Report,” Usriel demanded.
“The mortal serfs tending to a sub-armory have decided to cut access to it due their belief of being mistreated during the Ullanor Secundus invasion. They were former Vion 5 planetary defense forces before being taken on as serfs and are now demanding to be freed back to their homes,” the consul stated.
“Do they have any of our plasma weaponry at their disposal?” Usriel inquired.
“They do, my Primarch,” the consul confirmed.
“Very well. Keep them contained, I will be down in a moment,” Usriel ordered before rising to his feet before looking to Belloris. “Begin inspection of any other dissidents within the ship, any who appear are to be charged with treachery to the Emperor of Man and shall be executed.”
“If that is my Primarch’s wish,” Belloris said as she bowed to the Primarch, backing out of the chamber. The consul followed in silence, leaving Usriel in the silence of his workshop.
The lights to the armory were cut, soldiers moved about the interior of it, only illuminated by the soft glow of blue from the plasma weaponry that surrounded them. They were surrounded, only a few footholds watching the hallways where only the occasional brainwashed serf would peak around the corner a bit too far only to be gunned down. They were unafraid to gun down the previous brothers-and-sisters-in-arms, knowing that they were too blind to see that the Steel Sentinels did not care for them and would use them for the worst possible tasks. They were soldiers, their home was Vion 5, and it was their duty to make sure that they were treated as proper soldiers just as the Sentinels were. They knew that the Sentinels prized these plasma weaponry too much, that was why they had not openly attacked them yet, and that a detonation here would blow a sizable hole in the interior of the ship.
That said, they were still on edge.
There had been little movement for the past few, tense minutes as the neophytes to the Steel Sentinels had stopped taking potshots at the rebels. They had been doing this to make sure they remembered their position, the position they all too well knew, but they had grown accustomed to it for the short while that it was happening. The sounds of nothing were a far more disturbing thought as each man looked out expecting the Emperor’s wrath to come barreling around the corner at any moment. An entire squad of their treacherous kind sat in the hallway, merely waiting in the darkness with weapons raised before small rhythmic sounds echoed towards them. The sound of metal upon metal.
“Go warn Yannik, Godfrey. We have company coming this way,” one of them spoke out, keeping his rifle trained down the hallway as another of the figures moved back to the bulkhead of the armory. Yet, it only opened a fraction of the way, the door refusing to open any further for the men.
The steps grew louder and louder.
“It’s not opening,” Yannik stated, attempting to pull it open, some of the others moving to help.
“Get that door open, Yannik!” the first voice barked, turning to look back at the interruption before the steps were far too loud to ignore. Looking back, he loosed a round of the precious plasma energy down the hallway, the blue light illuminating a gargantuan shape stomping towards them, colliding with it but not stopping it or even damaging it.. “By the Emperor,” he said in disbelief, “Everyone! Shoot to kill!”
The plasma energies became a blinding torrent as the traitors all began to fire towards the figure, their shots never seeming to collide with the mass. They could each see that their shots were never even connecting, instead exploding on an invisible wall in front of it. Then, all at once, their weapons began to cease firing, no matter how hard any of them squeezed the trigger or how many times they pulled it, nothing would come out. The light of their weapons began to grow brighter and brighter.
“You have betrayed my trust, humans. By betraying my trust, you have betrayed the trust of the machine spirits,” a the mass stated to them as it approached. “Be ready to receive the judgement of a Primarch,” he said as a single shot took the head off of the traitor, Yannik.
The traitors panicked, turning to run and try to pull open the door that the others on the other side were trying to help with as well. More plasma met them, a single shot killing three who were too huddled together as Usriel began to near them. One of the men broke away and fell upon his knees to bow to Usriel, his forehead touching the ground as he pleaded for his life and apologizing for his blind nature. Such words did not spare him as Usriel’s metallic foot came down on the man as if he were but a mere insect, blood leaking out as the other traitors screamed in fear. Soon enough, the powered fist launched the bulkhead into the armory along with the now broken bodies of the men trying to open the door. Many tried pleading to their lives, many others tried to shoot their weapons, but the blue glow of those rifles grew brighter and brighter as Usriel made his way through the armory.
Men panicked and died. Traitors being culled for their transgressions.
It was not long until the butchery had been completed, the floors and walls stained with blood and the smell of burnt flesh lingering in the air. Usriel stood among the room of corpses, his genesons walked into the room with their own weapons aimed down as they had already known that these were all dead fools. The primarch turned to them and stated, “Send word to the tech-priests to come and bless the guns properly, I do not want the machine spirits to sympathize with fools.”
Then, the Primarch stomped off to return to his workshop.