Event: The Great Massacre of Nyr Tempus -
Location: NG 31-20 (Nyr Prime) - Nyridian Gulf
Parties Involved: XIII Legion, XIII Primarch, Insurrectionists of Nyr Tempus,
____________________________________________________________________________[...INITIALIZING DATA CURATED VAULT I.D. 8879-AE-8813…]
[...AUTHENTICATING ACCESS LEVEL ‘PRIMUS’...]
[...COMMUNICATING WITH COGITATOR I.D. ZIV-0013…]
[...COMMENCING DATA PACKET DISPLAY…]
[...DROWN IN DUSK…]
The bolter lightly barked in his ceramite gauntlets as the dusken power armor automatically adjusted for imminent recoil. Muzzle flashes illuminated the alcoves he strode through in slow, deliberate bursts. Seventy-five caliber casings expended out the side of his weapon, cognitive runes accurately tracking the remaining rounds in the armament. Each bullet ejected was a mortal - a traitor
- exploded into visceral paint against shattered rockrete. A local augury scan confirmed the presence of more fleeing mortals in the vicinity. The built-in voxcaster within his helmet confirmed enemy movement through tapped vox traffic. Each stomp of his armor brought a sickening crunch over roads choked with mutilated cadavers. Every tap of his mailed finger saw the methodical execution of one more speck in this planet’s populace.
Fleeing silhouettes, traced by sight and augur, leapt around the corner away from himself and his brothers behind him. His footfall lacked urgency, the eventuality of catching up to the group was preordained. The architecture of their doomed home loomed overhead in the form of skyward citadels and monolithic cathedrals stretching across the span of a continent. The sky itself, he noted, was a sickening emerald after the first phospex bombs detonated mid-atmosphere. It was only a matter of time before their victory was assured, he thought to himself, before the traitors were purged.
As if guided by providence, he caught up with the fleeing mortals before they could dive into another building. His squad required no orders, for their bolters answered the final verdict of the Imperium. His gunmetal instrument of death echoed the stentorian roar of his fellow Astartes’, unleashing a trio of short bursts into the crowd. Many of them fell to their flurry, but one remained with both of their hands raised against the tide. Projectiles hung in the air as if wrapped by an incorporeal blanket. He felt his teeth clench at the abomination that stood before him, disguised in the skin of humanity.
“Aberrant psyker.” His words flew from his mouth in disgust. An umbral gauntlet fell to his left side to clutch at the handle of an intricate blade wrapped in an ornate sheath. Adrenaline cocktails filtered through his veins as his body lurched forward with the impossible speed of a gene-warrior. The traitor before him attempted to turn their malevolent gaze upon his brothers; however, it would never come to pass. With his bolter magnetically locked to his right leg, his dusken fist met the frail form of the mortal. Bones shattered beneath his might, screams stained his auditorial modules, and blood sprayed into the air as the figure was battered upon. Thumbing the activation rune of the sword, he cut into the rogue with a brilliant-blue blade. The traitor, vivisected, fell into the mass of ichor formed by its former allies.
+’Squad Zakariah reports successful target elimination of enemy groups thirty-seven through forty-one. Moving to regroup with Squads Yusef and Hazem. Squad Zakariah further reports an additional
aberrant kill.’+ He began to speak, moving to the member of his squad with a bulky nuncio-vox attached to his powerpack. The remainder of the gene-warriors stalked through the alcove, scouting the nearby building and confirming the deaths of the mortal ichor-pit. A green rune acknowledged the request before a voice spoke back to him.
+’Legion Command confirms, Sergeant Zakariah. Begin routine purgation protocols of sectors thirteen-alpha with Sergeants Yusef and Hazem.’+ The tentative tone of a vox-operator from the Legion spoke with a monotone, matter-of-fact voice that was shortly followed by Zakariah’s affirmative click.
“We move.” Sergeant Zakariah shouted, the rest of the nine Astartes beginning to coalesce around him in response to his recall. No further words were required as his unit moved back through the alcove into the main thoroughfare of the city. His lenses scanned the scenery before him as one of his brethren began to commune with the augury scanner’s machine spirit on their powerpack. The nearby heavy grumble of a Spartan Assault Tank crushed the rockrete of the metropolis underneath, while the screaming of atmospheric ordinance erupted portions of the city along its furthest edge. To Zakariah’s right, the Astartes of another squad flung limp mortals out onto the shattered boulevard. The crack of bolter rounds confirmed their final deaths in eruptive ichor.
“Another aberrant, Sergeant, should we be anticipating more in Nyr Tempus?” The filtered, vox-grilled voice of an Astartes called out behind him. Ghassan, one of the first few to adorn a shroud from the Primarch’s homeworld, stalked forward to stand next to Zakariah. An umbral bolter with a chain-bayonet idly sat in his Mark III armored palms. His stance was gaudy, his bronze armor reflecting the light of Nyr as a charcoal robe complimented his armored form. Clothes to be grabbed by an enemy
, he thought to himself.
“You can read the metrics yourself, Ghassan. The entirety of the Gulf is infested with mutants. It is why we purge this place.” Zakariah hissed to the other Astartes, bile building in his throat at the thought of Nyr’s condemned population. The powersword was sheathed as he idled, the bolter properly returning to his hands from his right leg. A red, runic meter counted half a magazine left in his armament. Fifteen rounds left to deliver the Emperor of Mankind’s justice.
“As the Emperor wills it, Sergeant.” Ghassan coldly replied as the Astartes with the augur scanner began to move ahead of the group. His gaze turned as an inferno ignited to their left, a corpse pile stacked as tall as a carnosaur furiously burned with the help of several despoilers hefting flamers. Billows of smoke rose across the metropolis in carefully designated areas followed by the stench of seared skin. The screams of mortals had faded to whimpers as the sky grew crimson with further orbital assaults. The squad moved on.
A cry born from the heavens boomed across the metropolis as an avalanche of rockrete disintegrated under a lance of blinding, volcanic destruction. The land rumbled in seismic earthquakes as a towering shape slowly strided towards the last bastion of resistance in Nyr Tempus. Their destructive intent honed in on a single, fortified tower that scraped the sky surrounded by a wall with eightfold bastions. Potent voidshields licked the air as a new film wrapped over the hole punched through by the lumbering colossal. An innumerable number of wall-mounted turrets spat angrily at the sky, land, and sea in desperate defense. The air perforated around the top of the Nyrian tower, an iridescent streak of magenta lightning arced through the atmosphere in protest of its fate.
“Fury upon those that would defy the Custos Honoris. Wrath, preordained, befall their walls!” A male voice roared out from a highly ornate, modified throne seated in the midst of a wide chamber overlooking the battle. A swarm of cords connected a mature man with aging, dark hair to the basilius throne. With the exception of the elder, a squad of augmented individuals maintained vigilance over their respective consoles. Each attached themselves to their enormous cogitators, actively pressing runes and tracking invisible data through ethereal cords of information. +FURY UPON THOSE THAT WOULD DEFY THE CUSTOS HONORIS. WRATH, PREORDAINED, BEFALL THEIR WALLS!+
The leviathan at the forefront of a mechanical pack echoed in a guttural voice that boomed through the titanic mask of knight-like visage. Enormous, red and gold banners whipped against the Nyridian wind from the gargantuan shoulders. The symbol of a cog encircled a black triangle overlapped by a yellow, horned skull with an arrow defining its allegiance. One titanic arm was a single, monstrous barrel with a myriad of rails spontaneously connected to it. The other arm was a six-barreled amalgamation of elephantine proportions. A pair of rocket pods dotted with twenty armament-filled holes attached to the palatine shoulders of the titan. Around the metal behemoth’s legs, several of its metallic kin scurried in different sizes and armaments.
Warhorns klaxoned in defiance as the golden, scarlet giant and its lesser kin broke into a dauntless stride. Clouds of adamantine-tipped rockets ignited from the back of the metallic horde to burst against the tower’s shields in incandescent blooms of promethium. The force fields flickered long enough for a malevolent rain of orbital fire to utterly demolish the foundations beneath the Nyrian bastion. The scarlet deities crisscrossed their acrimonious munitions in a scissoring slaughter, timed perfectly for support from the void.
“Grandmaster Vlendig, tracking anomalous fulmination at the precipice of the enemy fortification! With permission, calibrating void shields for contact in several seconds. Preparing mass stabilizers for contact, recording the probability of crew death at 41.094 percent.” One of the individuals in the chamber repeated as probabilities were tested, counted, and theorized for possible outcome. An audible grinding sound echoed across the room as the old man grinded metallic teeth together in anger; however, he relented with a single nod. The gatling blaster died to a halt as several barriers fortified around the exterior of the Custos Honoris.
Thousands of Nyrians cried for vengeance in their mourning wails, hatred then venting in the form of one last arc from the monolithic citadel’s crowning armament. Energies from the Immaterium sundered the air in an ear-splitting crack. Chloric fulmination struck out into the void to rupture the Imperial starships in orbit. Reality grew pregnant with anticipation as the vessels above splintered, cracking with vicious snaps of shattered hulls. Explosive detonations from immense storehouses painted the sky a brilliant crimson, momentarily enlightening the entirety of Nyr Tempus with a miniature sun. The surface inhaled a terrible gale as wind was cast across several continents, ushering horrendous typhoons onto the shores of the Nyrians. A short apocalypse overcame the invaders, retribution delivered by the extinguished natives.
“Eastward! Let none of them live!” Zakariah roared as a torrent of bloody rain crashed against his armor. The power sword slashed left, dismembering a mortal with the powerfield active. Its azure corona burned through the ramshackle carapace of the Nyrian, slicing through bone and sinew in a single slash. In his right hand the bolter violently barked a hailstorm of bullets, eviscerating hordes of the stubborn defenders into ichor pools. A red rune chimed annoyingly as the Sergeant unleashed hell on the shattered buttress of Nyr Tempus. Reload, reload, reload, I know!
, he thought to himself as the next traitor died to his blade.
“Sergeant Zakariah! They’re congregating at a ramshackle starport on the end of the city walls! I have faith that these are their final guardians.” The voice of Ghassan spoke, his voice enhanced through his helmet’s vox-caster. An empty magazine from the Astartes’ bolter dropped onto the plascrete. A fist claimed the life of a nearby mortal while Ghassan’s powerpack supplied his next reload. He flanked the Sergeant alongside five other Astartes, two of their number falling to the uncontrollable might of the aberrants.
+’Yusef, Hazem, converge on my location.’+ Zakariah spoke, the vox traffic blaring with a thousand different voices reciting the same thing on a loop. Orbital assets had been lost, Legio Honorum’s god-engines were stunned, and half of the city was underwater. All of their auxilia had died in the Nyrian apocalypse. Luckily, affirmative clicks from the other Sergeants had confirmed the order. A small salvation in a tide of misfortune
, he thought as his stride brought him into the next tower.
The Nyrians scattered in throngs of stinking flesh, his Astartes clearing a small bastion with concentrated salvos of bolter fire. His sword impaled the closest, armed dissident before they could summon their unnatural strength. Zakariah deactivated the powerfield, ripping the entrails from the mortal as he removed his blade. His armored foot stood over the chest of the frail figure, crushing their embers of life with his footfall. The Sergeant planted his blade into a prone Nyrian, utilizing the time to swiftly reload his bolter. His eyes coldy watched the internal augur display fizzle with distortion in an attempt to realign itself with local scanners.
“Brother Aziz I- damnation.” The sergeant had begun to speak out to a fallen member of the squad, quickly remembering that the legionnaire had passed away several moments ago. His crimson gazed attention turned to the scarlet tempest outside the doorway that followed the next series of battlements. His augury feed continued to crackle with distortion. It was ignored as Zakariah led his squad out onto the walls once more.
A flight of stairs momentarily halted their sprint as several hooded mortals barred their path. One of them was hunched over on the ground, clutching at rapidly growing mutations spreading across their body. The other two directed their attention to the oncoming space marines with lightning enveloping their charred hands. As the two functioning guardians began to initiate their attack, a length of azure, feathered tentacle slammed into them. Their silhouettes disappeared into the dark waves below with agonizing cries.
An ignoble mess of flesh, tentacle, and feather coalesced into living form before the Astartes. What could be considered a cross between a mouth and a beak screamed agony and hatred in equal amounts. The thing
leapt at the first of Zakariah’s squad to begin firing their bolter. It landed on the superhuman with a sickening crunch of bone and ceramite, outright killing one of his squadmates with unnatural speed. Sevenfold bolter rounds exploded uselessly against the hide of the abomination as the legionnaires composed themselves seconds later.
“Split the beast! Ghassan, Odai, and Rayan with me! Suheil, Rahim, Othman, and Iyad on supporting fire.” The orders flew from the lips of the sergeant as he charged forward with the power sword activated. Ichor-rain sizzled off the azure forcefield of the blade. The former Astartes charged into close combat with their chain-bayonets revving to life. The latter Astartes backpedaled to deliver sharp, precise shots of their bolters. Each legionnaire activated the magnet properties of their greaves to avoid being flung.
The creature responded as a beast normally would, flailing about in every direction with a swarm of extremities. Adamantinum-tipped bullets burst chunks of flesh in vital joints, while a flurry of metal teeth bit into the abomination’s flesh. Howls of human voices and bestial screeches emitted from various orifices on it’s hide. New extremities grew as the beast’s hide was culled in lumps, impaling a bronze-hued legionnaire. A roar of pain groaned from within the helmet of the superhuman as he was speared with a cerulean tentacle. The Astartes gripped the impaling tentacle with a gauntlet, claiming a fragmentation grenade from a belt pouch.
“Glory in death, fury for the Emperor!
” The marine roared as he further impaled himself along the length of the tentacle. A hand primed the grenade as he closed the distance with the abomination, while the other held himself to the creature’s hide. The Astartes scattered as the legionnaire detonated the grenade. A shockwave of force and a spray of fragmented metal exploded on the battlement. The warrior and the beast disappeared into the waves below in a shower of ichor and explosives.
“Glory to you, Odai.” Zakariah said in a grim tone, the crimson lenses reflecting the demise of the marine. He turned to regard the rest of his squad. Five remained of the original nine: Ghassan, Rayan, Suheil, Rahim, and himself. Each member was battered, bloodied, and stained in the tempest of the Nyridian apocalypse; however, Ghassan’s robes remained impervious to the weather. The sergeant disregarded the cloth with a pained look under his helmet before moving up the once guarded stairs.
What awaited them was a brief overlook of the nearby battlements and a dreadful view of the destruction wrought by the Nyrians on their own planet. Zakariah noted the falling debris from orbit, the flooded boulevards, and standing titans outside the walls. From the point they stood, the sergeant’s augur returned to semi-functioning status. Many of the Legion still lived in separate areas of the metropolis with Yusef and Hazem’s squads converging nearby. A blinking rune on his visor alerted him to the proximity of their target - the improvised starport. He saw it now as his squad stood beside him on the battlements.
A circular area of the northern wall that stretched down into the watery depths of Nyr Prime acted as the landing pad. Several winged vehicles idled on the improvised zone with their reactors glowing hot from overuse. An enormous herd of tiny silhouettes gathered around to escape the self-imposed apocalypse. A row of figures stood outside of the massive group with streaks of lightning or las pushing back larger shadows. Several of the defending forms collapsed or disappeared in a shower of gore. Some of the horde behind them were caught by stray gunfire, spraying other individuals in ichor.
“It seems fair to assume that Yussef and Hazem are already engaged with the enemy, Zakariah. Shall we?” Ghassan spoke out as he watched the carnage unfold in the distance. The sergeant gave no reaction to the legionnaire, pressing forward with power sword and bolter in hand. The robed Astarets gave a short chuckle to the reaction before falling in line with Zakariah. The remaining legionnaires followed after him down similar staircases that they had crossed previously.
On the other side of the stairs awaited a litter of dead Nyrians lying in clumps of ichor. Holes the size of miniature craters pocketed their forms, while others had egregious wound-like fissures that tore some from stomach to shoulder. Fragments of metallic teeth remained embedded in their flesh, remnants of a chain weapon used by the Imperium. Empty bolt-round cases smoked nearby under the scarlet drizzle. Their display displayed probable times of activity before they could begin to speculate; however, the objects nearby would confirm their theories.
Armored forms lay butchered in a nearby bastion, ceramite sundered in several places by energy marks. The legionnaires swiftly moved into the tower with their bolters ready to claim the lives of more Nyrians. None came out to ambush them, however, as they fully entered the structure. The armaments of the marines lowered as they inspected the butchered Astartes. Their weapons lay nearby with similar discharged bolts rendering them useless.
“Unfortunately, these are some of Yussef’s warriors. The rest likely lay ahead.” The sergeant spoke with no emotion attached to his voice, stating aloud as the information flooded his lenses; however, Yussef was not among the number of dead legionnaires. He marched forward, internally marking the bastion as a point to return to once the campaign was over. The warriors behind him shifted to follow in his stead. A few of his squad murmured oaths of vengeance, while the rest remained silent in the face of distasteful death.
The sound of combat grew closer, their receptors picking up the difference between standard lasgun fire and the stentorian bark of bolters. Zakariah felt his blood boil as the end of the campaign awaited nearby. He slightly turned his head midwalk to regard the squad. “The target is nearby. Ready krak grenades. We will accomplish this genocide. No Nyrian shall live past this day.” The sergeant growled with his thumb playing with the activation rune of his power sword. A rustling of equipment echoed behind him as the legionnaires prepared their krak grenades.
Within moments of the auspex chiming the proximity of the target, they could see the first Astartes not attached to their squad that still lived. Members of Hazem’s squad backpedaled as lightning wreathed a covered corridor. A marine attempted to wade through the electricity with their bolter firing on automatic; however, they crumpled under the scorching arcs. The remainder took cover around the corners that formed the three-way passage. One of the superhumans acknowledged the arrival of Zakariah by patching into the squad-vox.
“Zakariah. Glad to see you’ve made it to the objective. Yussef… did not make it. The guardians present on their landing pad are powerful.” The soft tones of Hazem’s voice rang in Zakariah’s helmet. A small smile played across his cracked lips as he rushed forward to reunite with the other squad. Hazem momentarily maglocked the bolter to toss a fragmentation grenade around the corner. A hearty explosion resounded with the scream of several injured mortals.
“Unfortunate. We have no more time to deal with these mortals. Release the rest of your frag grenades and maneuver right. We’ll form the left flank. My squad still has krak grenades available.” The sergeant responded to the other, a short nod from Hazem confirming the plan without hesitation. There was a pause in suppressive fire as the other squad prepared their grenades. An internal timer synchronized with the rest of the gathered Astartes, their momentary rest used to refresh their weapons with fresh magazines.
The chronometers chimed. The grenades of Hazem’s squad sailed through the air as the legionnaires rushed through the alcove. Zakariah split left, Haseem split to the right. Both squads fired volleys of bolt rounds with furious prejudice, tactically picking off the aberrants as the grenades exploded. Several of the guardians attempted to shield themselves in shields of lightning, but their downfall came soon afterwards as the bolts ripped through the shieldings damaged by fragmentation. A handful disappeared in scissored crossfire, their bodies detonating in gore piles or exploding in showers of ichor.
Some guardians still survived, splitting their focus to deal with both squads at the same time; however, the squad sergeants had been prepared for this. Zakariah rushed from the left with the power sword wreathed in an azure corona, and Hazem rushed from the right with a power axe. The speed of their gamble saved them as the untrained aberrants speared arcs of lightning away from the sergeants. The duo's power weapons delved into slaughter, further reducing the number of traitors down to nil.
While the sergeants engaged in brutal melee, the rest of the legionnaires began their final task in the accursed world of Nyr Prime. Those civilians that had not successfully gained passage onto a shuttle were cut down in the form of scissoring bolt fire from the left and right flanks. A few of the Astartes on the left flank split from their slaughter to lob krak grenades with all of their superhuman strength. The anti-armor shells detonated against the hull of the transports, rupturing their bulwarks and sending them plummeting into the depths below.
The carnage continued for an hour as the Nyrians were cut down to nothing between bolter fire, chain-bayonet, and power weapons. No transport survived the slaughter, destroyed by the precise throws of krak grenades. Those within the ruptured transports had either died on detonation, dived into the murky waters, or crashed with the shuttles. The final aberrant was slain by a combination of sword and axe from Zakariah and Hazem, almost resulting in an abomination birthing from the destruction the Legion had wrought.
With the last Nyrian dead, the blood rain pittered to a slow drizzle across Tempus. The clouds shifted, dispersing into nothingness to reveal the destruction in the high atmosphere of Nyr Prime. Debris that hadn’t already fallen lingered as drifting hulks of warped metal in orbit. The god-engines moved once more in the eastern fringe of the city, resolving their failure by crushing the closest fortification with extreme prejudice. The tides calmed to a stir as oceanic water began the slow retreat out of the metropolis. All the damage remained, millions of cadavers either left in their plascrete tombs or swept into the waves.
“It seems we were successful, Zakariah. I’m getting vox-traffic from surviving vessels in orbit. Legion Command has passed down a rallying order in the middle of Tempus, after a thorough sweep of the battlements and outlying regions… the casualties are immense on the walls alone.” Sergeant Hazem spoke as the vox crackled in Zakariah’s ear. A veil had been lifted from the world itself, allowing the free travel of information as the internal augurs realigned. Static rose from a low pitch to a high as a feedback loop patched through the vox.
A thousand and one deathcries burst through the general and private vox alike with the myriad throes of auxilia, Nyrians, and Astartes. Distress cries, pleads, and ravings of dying warriors fed through the network as delayed transmission. Mortals hungry for salvation, no matter whose hand, screamed through wailing howls. It was nightmaric. It continued on a loop for several hours until communications were purged in their entirety.
Zakariah and Hazem clambered down the stairwell as part of their combined squad’s final patrol on the battlements, finding only cadavers and fallen brethren in their search for Nyrians. The remaining marines of his squad followed after him, same with the other sergeant next to him. Both squads had been forced to combine in preparation for further insurgents, although no ambush halted their investigations. Many members of the combined squad noted several locations of fallen brethren for later geneseed extraction, including Sergeant Yussef.
Now, however, Zakariah gazed out at an enormous throng of Astartes with the god-engines of Legio Honorum idling outside the walls of Tempus in the background. The mired boulevards of the metropolis remained slightly flooded despite the retreat of the crimson tides. Legion vehicles marked with streaks of scorched hulls and lengths of oceanic vegetation lingered nearby. The vast collection of bronze-hued entities harshly reflected the sunlight that beamed through the skies. The ruins of a great, monolithic obelisk formed small amounts of shade in the crater they gathered around.
In the midst of the warriors stood the last vestiges of the Legion hierarchy on Tempus, the forms of Chapter Commander Zameel and the Company Captains spoke with their helmets removed. Among their number, a few augmented mortals in the red and gold of the Legio listened. The metallic priests of Mars were included in the conversation, their Skitarii standing near the rest of the Astartes. Other than those, only a single mortal took the place as auxilia commander - a commander of no survivors. Already, the said mortal appeared far beyond their experience standing in the presence of the Emperor’s genewarriors. None of the Legion lieutenants numbered among them, those marines attending to their duties as company commanders.
As if summoning him from the aether, an Astartes with a MKII helmet topped by a snake motif approached Zakariah and Hazem as they finished their descent. “By Terra, it is good to see you both. I feared that most of the First Company had been lost to the Nyridian apocalypse.” The lieutenant spoke with an appreciative tone, the elegant charnabal saber hanging from his belt and his combi-plasma maglocked to his leg. His umbral robes - another shroud of dusk - licked at the wind against his armored form. The sergeants and the lieutenant converged to embrace, an appropriate cultural act from when they were Bronze Scorpions.
“It is good to return from the slaughter, Lieutenant Bakri. Many of us died, I have marked the locations for the apothecaries. Know that our combined squads saw the death of the final aberrants on Nyr Prime.” Zakariah spoke with triumph in his hearts, fully debriefing information to the warrior that was his superior. A midnight gauntlet slapped his pauldron in a congratulatory gesticulation, a warm smile pervading behind the helmet of Bakri.
“Do not let Zakariah lie to you, brother. It was half him and half myself that slew the final aberrant on this accursed world.” Hazem said with a chuckle before the trio were released from their embrace. The lieutenant momentarily gazed among the numbers of their squad, searching for a particular member of note. “Unfortunately, Yussef did not survive. He died on the platform attempting to halt any Nyridian escape.”
“I see.” There was a note of sadness in his voice before the lieutenant turned away from the arriving Astartes to gaze at the entirety of their forces. A gauntlet fell to the pommel of his snake engraved hilt, while his other gauntlet rested on his waist. “He will be honored in death by the accolades given to us by the Primarch. I’m certain of this.”
As Bakri was about to speak again, a green rune appeared on the display of each Astartes helmet. An alert chimed for the gathered marines to coalesce into a tight formation close to the Chapter Commander. Wordlessly, Zakariah and Hazem followed the lieutenant as they were led to the edge of the immense, shallow crater. Several vexillas were hoisted into the air with the Legion number imprinted upon the cloth surface. Several vox-units were strategically spread out amongst the legionnaires, save for the Skitarii horde. The Company Commanders divided into their respective cohorts while the Legio officials, Auxilia Commander, Mechanicum officials and Chapter Commander stood before the broken monument of Tempus.
“Hear me, warriors of the Emperor, and hear me well! The genocide of the Nyridians is complete after many auspex scans, patrols, and hunts. We have succeeded in culling Nyr Prime of its traitorous blood! Glory to you that have survived, glory to the dead that fought to their last breath, and glory to the Emperor for our conquest! Glory to Auxilia Commander Akilah for her ability to survive where none else could. Glory to the Legio Honorum and Grandmaster Vlendig for their god-engines and the many citadels destroyed by their cannons. Glory to the Mechanicum for their vital operations in command. Glory to the Primarch!
” The titanic roar of Zameel’s voice boomed across Tempus, echoed by a variety of vox-units and vox-casters that flung the words into orbit. A legion of raised fists saluted the Chapter Commander followed by cries of victory and celebration, repeating the final phrase of the Dusk Warden’s speech.
Zakariah’s voice felt his throat go hoarse after repeating ‘Glory to the Primarch’ several times over. His hearts leapt at the glory given to them by the Chapter Commander, and eventually the Primarch when he arrives on Nyr Prime. Hazem, Ghassan, and the rest of his troop had emulated him in varying degrees of voice tone. Other than knowing the Lieutenant was alive, it was the only scene that could grant him a small smile for his victory. His eyes watched as the Legio princeps gave bows before leaving with the Mechanicum entourage. As the group became fully Legion personnel, Zameel spoke once more in a powerful voice.
“Soon, the Primarch will arrive to witness our victory and present accolades. Return to your duties, recover from your wounds, and bask in the company of your cohorts. There are many, many more wars in the stars and this is a brief respite before the slaughter begins again
.” He finished before stepping away to speak with the reconvergence of the company commanders. The lieutenant returned to the side of Zakariah and Hazem as the survivors gathered in groups.
“If the Primarch would allow it, then I hope that our accolades will be presented on the mystical ‘Pandjoras’ instead of this flooded planet.” Bakri spoke with disgust for the world they had liberated. A few of their number nodded in agreement, especially Hazem and Ghassan. Zakariah chose not to voice his opinion as the retinue began to converse amongst themselves; however, their dwell time would never come to pass.
Dark shapes covered the sky as fresh vessels loomed overhead in large quantities, replacing the warships that had been lost in the siege. Smaller shapes had begun to descend in various waves, some as the bulk carriers that delivered titans and others as the gunships of the Legion. A fleet of large transporters glided down to different parts of Nyr Prime, while the gunships rapidly approached Tempus. One particular gunship flew down as a golden effigy of brilliance, the blade and dusk sun emboldened upon it’s hull.
Furiously, the Astartes of the Second Chapter moved in unison to prepare for the arrival of the incoming transports. No apothecaries attended their mass formation to work in the confines of the metropolis, but the company commanders began to coalesce their cohorts in stretched out lines. Zameel directed the preparations through the vox, setting locations and avenues for the gunships to settle down.
The Primarch had arrived.
Sergeant Zakariah and his squad remained kneeling amongst the grand formation set for the arrival of the Primarch. His squad was the first in a row of five other bands, the other sergeants in his company having recently risen to the rank after the butchery. Lieutenant Bakri knelt at the forefront of his cohort, signifying him as the commander. Immediately in front of him was Company Captain Abdul, ringed by his veterans, genuflecting as the rest of the enormous formation. This process repeated for miles from squads to companies to battalions and finally to the chapter command at the furthest stretch of the formation. The Chapter Master, Zameel, waited at the furthest end with his own cohort and the consuls present.
Despite his position staring at the ground, Zakariah watched through a cohort-wide shared pictview at the corner of his helmet. He was grateful to be able to properly view the arrival. The vexillarii stood as regal banners of conquest and victory, drastically spaced out over the stretch of their chapter. The titans of Legio Honorum stood vigilant outside the city as their lesser kin disappeared into the fat bellied bulk loaders. The surviving techpriests divided throughout the chapter with voxcasters and pict-recorders mounted on their back. It was a sight that made him shake with anticipation and excitement, emotions he’d thought were cut since beginning the conquest of Nyr Prime.
The sea wind snapped against their ceramite plating as the first gunship began its landing descent, lowering their flat-footed landing gear to reach for the hurriedly smoothed over rockrete. The ground threatened to give way as the ornate Thunderhawk completed landing procedures at the opposite end of the Chapter Master. A wide berth of a cleared, improvised landing pad allowed further room for several more of the winged machines to settle further from the formation. The first’s frontal ramp - emboldened with the Thirteenth’s insignia - dropped to the ground to allow it’s inhabitants to gaze out at Nyr.
The first warrior to step off was the draconian warrior that previously led the Thirteenth, Legion Master Zaid. A golden laurel topped his Mark II helmet, while a dusken tabard dangled with reinforced leather straps at the waist. A hefy chainaxe swayed from his left, while an old variant of a bolter with chain-bayonet was maglocked to his right leg. A raptor with four lightning bolts was inscribed on his right knee plate. His crimson lens stared defiantly out at Nyr Tempus’ destruction. Zakariah held fond memories of the elder warrior during their earliest campaigns.
The second was the cowled form of a consul wrapped in a heavy bundle of dusken robes, an enormous power sword hugging behind their waist. Only the gray eyes of the consul looked out at the gathered throng with admiration before they stepped forward to join the Legion Master.
Many more individuals stepped out in a vast array of personalized cataphractii terminator plating, their forms decorated with a plethora of Terran beasts across the armor. Each held a swaying scabbard with a power saber hidden within the decorated covering. Stormbolters remained in their grasp, lowered to the audience that awaited their arrival out of respect and safety.
Finally, the dusken deity that was their Primarch emerged from the interior with the majority of their features covered by a beautifully ornate robe the hue of the void. Extremely augmented artificer armor hugged their body to suit their lithe form. An incredibly ornate scabbard clung to the back of their waist, a twisted, alabaster hilt only revealing itself. Their claw-tipped gauntlets idly hovered by their waist as they walked. Vibrant, amber eyes with slitted pupils glanced between sections of the kneeling Astartes before returning to the Chapter Master at the end of the formation.
Zakariah felt his extremities weaken from the aura that the Primarch exuded, even from the distance they walked from. He desperately wished to raise his visor to admire and receive glory from the warrior-lord born from the Emperor’s labors. The sergeant clenched his fist in anticipation of the words that were going to be spoken. Twin hearts beat in rapid succession as their gene-father walked the grounds that he had personally conquered with his brethren. Unwarranted adulation coalesced in every beat of his heart for the Thirteenth Son. He could only guess whether his brothers felt the same.
As if to answer his prayer, the Scion spoke as he passed through the several mile-long formation. His words held a brilliant, alluring trill that drew the attention of even the most stalwart individual. The deity’s arms unfurled from his side like umbral wings stretched out in either direction.
“Raise your eyes. Did I not tell you all to treat me as a warrior the same as you when we all met on Terra? You’d honor me with your heartfelt kowtowing, however it is unnecessary in this situation. Your wishes for praise won’t be fulfilled today.” The primarch growled, speaking in a way that reflected their appreciation, disgust, and anger in equal amounts. Confusion filled Zakariah’s hearts at the words that were spoken. Those were not words of adulation, rewarding their efforts with praise. They were words said with deflection, jest, and vehemence. He felt the aura of the deity swiftly change as confusion reflected in the ranks of the Astartes.
The retinue of the Primarch split apart at the end of the formation to allow the warrior-king a swift march. Each footfall of the scion reverberated with a figurative shockwave of their frustrated emotions. Their orange orbs were furiously lit with the fires of malevolence, reflecting as significantly sharpened pupils that lingered on a single individual. Previously unfurled arms balled into fists as they returned to the Thirteenth Son’s sides. Only an aura of hatred emanated from the gene-son of the Emperor.
Zakariah lifted his gaze as the pictfeed was disrupted, several hundreds of Astartes mimicking his movement as the Primarch stormed towards the Chapter Master. Fear embedded itself into his psyche, an emotion that had been cut from his vocabulary for decades now. Sweat glistened on his skin as the events unraveled in front of the entirety of the Second Chapter. Despite his fear and anxiety, Zakariah felt unperturbed awe at the magnificence of their gene-father in rage. It was only the beginning of a long stretch of emotions that would entail his form.
” The Primarch spoke with every ounce of hatred that they could muster.
“Lord Zaphariel! We are humbled and honored! Why a-” The Chapter Master began to speak, wonder and confusion interwoven in his tone; however, the Astartes was cut off as a claw-tipped gauntlet grabbed Zameel by his armor’s gorge. Their leader was raised into the air as the rest of the formation froze in sheer shock at the action.
“You have no idea what you’ve done, yet you still prattle on expecting to be humbled with words of praise and glory. Utterly deplorable! Who sanctioned your actions on this world!?
” Primarch Zaphariel roared, demanding an explanation to be wrought forth from Zameel. Zakariah watched in horror as speculation coursed through his mind. Was it not you who ordered the scouring, Primarch?
He thought to himself as the rest of his brethren remained frozen in fear. The first of their formation to stand were the Captains at the forefront, stifled in their standing forms as the question left the Primarch’s lips.
“How many hundreds of your brothers died from this assault alone!? How many auxilia died in the initial invasion!? How many god-engines were destroyed from your imperceivable large disregard for your hierarchy!?” The Thirteenth Son continued without stopping. The Chapter Master croaked in his grip, confusion and terror twisting his facial features. By this time, Zakariah watched several other Astartes begin to rise in surprise as Zameel managed to speak.
“We purged them as was necessary by the Emperor! An extension of your will, my Primarch!” The response came, the booming voice of Zameel echoing across the hollow city of Nyr Tempus. It was an answer that wasn’t accepted by the dusken deity. Zakariah watched as the Chapter Master was thrown several feet behind him, near the retinue that had arrived with the Primarch. Unable to fathom the situation, Zameel failed to orient himself for a cushioned landing and tumbled to the ground in disgrace.
“I brought fifty of the Nyrian worlds into compliance with a fraction
of the forces committed against Prime and you dare say it was my will?
Were you not present when we first spoke of this campaign? Did you not listen to my
wishes when I expressed how our conquests must be operated? None of this was my will
.” The Primarch approached with a storm of footfalls to stand before the recovering form of Zameel. Zakariah felt that the climax of the events was only just beginning as their gene-father stood over their Chapter Master.
now, Zameel. You’ve failed your legion. You’ve failed your Primarch. You’ve failed the countless men and women of the Imperium that could’ve properly been used. Your failure is irredeemable.” The color drained from the Chapter Master’s face as the words were spoken. It was echoed by the many surviving members of the Second Chapter, Zakariah included. If the Chapter Master was a failure, then by extension so too were the warriors in his command.
He thought to himself. Some of his brethren sank to their knees, likely with the same thoughts.
Zakariah’s awe died as the Chapter Master was ridiculed by the berating of the Primarch, exhibiting none of the personality that he held on Terra. None from the Second Chapter dared to defend Zameel, who cowered from the warrior-lord by kneeling before him. The only member to move was one of Zaphariel’s retainers, the Legion Master Zaid. Archaic boots stepped next to the knelt Astartes, placing a calm hand on the bulking pauldron.
“My lord, I understand your anger and disappointment are immeasurable; however, Zameel successfully conquered Nyr Prime with diminished forces. That alone is worthy of accomplishment. I beg that you reconsider whatever punishment awaits him.” Zaid’s aged voice spoke through the helmet’s vox-grill, bowing his head towards the Primarch as he finished. The orange orbs of the scion scanned the genuflected Astartes with an impassive gaze, contemplation forming behind their eyes. Tension built up in the warriors of the Second Chapter, a token of redemption and hope from the Legion Master offered to their gene-father.
Silence permeated the world around the Primarch as they considered the proposition by the Legion Master. It lasted several seconds as a conclusion formulated in the unknowing thoughts of the Thirteenth Son. “... Then it shall be. Zaid has offered his neck for you, Zameel. If he had not intervened, then your life would be mine.” Zaphariel spoke, relieving every member of the Second Chapter of their tension and fear. Zakariah saw light shine in the eyes of Zameel, raising his gaze to the gene-father as they strided away.
The Astartes kept their full attention on the Primarch as he returned to the center of the formation. His visage turned to each corner of the gathered gene-warriors, the orange eyes dancing between the commanders of the Second Chapter. His lips parted to speak in such a way that his voice reverberated twice over, pulling the ears of his gene-children instinctively toward the nexus of the sound. Zakariah felt an unimaginable, irresistible draw to the Primarch as he spoke.
“By my decree, as is my right as the Primarch of the Dusk Wardens, I recognized and ordain the creation of the Legiones Mamluk! You, of the Second Chapter, will recognize it as your home from this moment forward. Never shall you don the dusken robe of the Legion, never shall you operate in the umbral shades as a hassan, and never shall you hide from your wanton slaughter. You shall always wear the crimson robes of dawn, you shall always fight on the forefronts of your brothers, and you shall always exhibit the brutality you demonstrated on Nyr. This is your punishment. This is your honor. Prove your worth for the Legion in the Mamluk!
” Primarch Zaphariel finished, silence followed the decree of the Legiones Mamluk. Zakariah felt it was only the beginning of a long list of changes, but he felt satisfied. He felt impassioned to be the most glorious Mamluk to herald the arrival of the Dusk Wardens. He would prove himself worthy of the Primarch’s attention. He was the first to shout in triumph.
A howl of approval echoed through the chapter as Zakariah roared triumph above the rest of his brethren. His brethren realized the correctness of his action, raising fist and voice to the sky for the Primarch. The placid gaze of the Thirteenth Son shifted into a toothy grinned, joyful face as the Legion accepted their punishment with outlandish acceptance. Primarch Zaphariel strided through the throng of Astartes, ready to depart with his retinue. Chapter Master Zameel attempted to follow after the Scion, but he was forced to remain by the Legion Master. This action was noticed by the dusken deity, who turned to regard the dishonored warrior.
“You will forever bear this shame, Zameel. You will bear it as my personal executioner and the master of the Second Chapter. Never forget what was decreed here. Return to my side once this planet is properly resupplied for compliance. After that, we shall discuss things in a more private scenario - on Pandjoras.” Primarch Zaphariel spoke in a volume that could be heard over the cheering of the Astartes. The deity disappeared into the darkness of the ornate Thunderhawk, the ramp rolling up to be caught and sealed. Several moments passed as the gunship left with a swiftness that rivaled their arrival. Zakariah observed the promotion to personal executioner of the Chapter Master with awe. He realized he couldn’t have been prouder to be an Astartes of the Second Chapter. Glory to the Primarch…
He thought to himself as he weeped tears of joy beneath his helmet.
The Primarch of the Dusk Wardens, Zaphariel, lightly tapped a claw-tipped gauntlet against the glass of the observatory on the Dirge of Dusk. It had been several hours since they returned to the Gloriana-class. Only himself, the consul, and the Legion Master Zaid remained in the chamber overlooking Nyr Prime. Lavish curtains decorated the edge of the glass, while dusken carpets and plush furniture surrounded their figures. It mattered little to the Scion, still adorned in power armor and a shroud of dusk. His cowl had long been pulled back to reveal the frustrated attributes of the deity.
“Are you certain about this, my lord?” The draconic warrior spoke first, a rumbling engine of a voice that filtered through the Mark II helmet. His attention had remained on the Primarch since they had returned from the surface, questions brimming from the bottom of his soul. He patiently awaited the answer from the Primarch, preparing his own counterarguments and suggestions for the Legion. He was their lord before I was, after all.
Zaphariel thought to himself.
“Without a single doubt. This Legion requires a new tone. The Bronze Scorpions have passed on to become something different. Ensure the Legion is in full compliance by the time we reach Pandjoras. There will be no more chapters, battalions, or companies. No more commanders, sergeants, or legionnaires. It will be remolded from the bottom, starting with the Legiones Mamluk.” Zaphariel’s words were absolute, unquestionable. None of what he had said left room for argument. The knowledge necessary to recreate the Legion was passed onto the Legion Master. Great Conclaves as Chapters, Conclaves as Companies, Sultans as Chapter Masters, Emirs as Company Captains, the list went on. The entire organization was to be remade into a reflection of Pandjoran society. A society that paid absolute loyalty to him.
“It shall be as you say, my lord.” Zaid stated, promptly leaving with the required information to reshape the Legion. The previous Legion Master left the Primarch and the consul alone in the emptiness of the observatory. Silence overtook them for several moments before the Astartes finally spoke.
“...If you are unsatisfied with them, then perhaps you could launch cyclonic torpedoes on the planet?” The consul suggested with the mimicry of Zaphariel’s toothy grins plastered across his lips. A pair of gray eyes shifted their view from the planet to the Primarch before him, his armored legs bringing him to stand next to his gene-father. The scion of the Emperor gave no immediate response as he continued to stare at the myriad of warships gathering in orbit of Nyr Prime.
“It’d be a waste of everything we’d achieved today. Instead it’ll sit as a tribute to the change that the Thirteenth Legion will undergo. The hubris of the Second Sultan gave us the answer to the problem these Astartes had.” The Primarch mused, mulling over the thoughts before carefully picking the correct words to use. His eyes narrowed as he uttered the next statement. “They are supremely loyal to my Father over their own Primarch. This
world is an example of how the Emperor wages war. Zameel spoke truthfully, stating that it was a directive from the Master of Mankind using my own will as an excuse. They all
think like this.”
Doubt nestled freely in his mind as he conversed with the consul beside him. Zaphariel never feared a reproach from the Astartes for they acted one and the same. The warrior next to him was the closest in appearance and action to his own. He saw the smaller warrior as a figurative extension of himself, a cunning gene-son that had become the pinnacle of what he desired. The consul radiated with unblemished loyalty to him and schemed just as deviantly.
“The truth wouldn’t have been possible without you, Raamiz. Drown in the glory that your actions have brought. You will rise as one of the pillars that uphold the Wardens. The first of my High Hakim.” The orange orbs of the Primarch turned to address the consul known as Raamiz, but his eyes found him kneeling before him. A tinge of disgust crept up through his chest but it was quickly stifled under a layer of stubborn acceptance. He felt bile begin to bubble in his throat the memory of the kneeling Astartes on Nyr, their auras radiating with divine
“My supreme lord, I only did what you asked of me. It was your ingenious, glorious word that created the opportunity. My former Chapter Master presented a superb level of ease in manipulating. All he required was a push of confidence from his inner circle of consuls to perform. I will always follow you even if it results in my death, my gene-father.” Raamiz spoke in a sinister mixture of reverence and venom. His words were as sweet and soothing as honey. Every fiber in the Primarch’s body was demanded to discipline the consul for their tone; however, he soothed his malevolent disgust.
“Your loyalty is worth more than you know. You will be the beginning in making the Legion an unrivaled brotherhood of asasiyun, loyal unto death. You will be my first Hafiz, the High Hakim of the Order, and you will learn the word of the Old Man. This is the start in a long, drawn-out bleeding of the Legion. Be ready to train more Astartes like yourself. They will be absolutely necessary.” Zaphariel turned as he finished speaking to the knelt form of Raamiz, who silently trembled in an unexplainable emotion unknown to him. Wordlessly, the consul left after being dismissed with a plethora of new plans to execute. Once more, the Primarch was left alone in the observatory of the Dirge.
“...Father. Prove to me that this isn’t what you had born us for.” The Primarch spoke to none other than himself, reflecting the dull glow of his orange eyes in the reinforced glass. Nothingness answered his call into the void, a hollow echo of his voice bounced across the chamber until it fell into silence. The dusken deity scoffed as he removed himself from the observatory to attend his business as the Malik of Pandjoras.[...SUNDER UMBRAL SANDS…]
[...SECURING AS ACCESS LEVEL ‘PRIMUS’...]
[...DISCONNECTING WITH COGITATOR I.D. ZIV-0013…]
[...SHUTTERING DATA PACKET DISPLAY…]
[...SEALING DATA CURATED VAULT I.D. 8879-AE-8813…]