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Perfect Warriors

Discussion in 'Role Playing' started by Colapse, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. dx144 dx144 Well-Known Member

    Shattered Legions

    Pholax watched the reports filter through of the scene outside, countless ships burning, the calls for assistance, the cries of jubilation at a kill earned but the one that stuck out and was played again and again.

    Gorgon dead... Fulgrim butchered him

    Even having seen it, now heard it from another source. It could not be true, he'd fought on countless worlds and battlefields for Fulgrim's beliefs and he'd even died for them. Now to learn that Fulgrim himself spat upon those beliefs... What was Pholax then, he was created by beliefs it's creator disregarded like an unwashed cloak. Was Pholax made to be discarded in such a way, or was he nothing more than a creator's failed creation which didn't take the form it should have?

    As the link was cut, Pholax's musings were cast away as quickly as they came, the spell of the words severed. Lowering his form in response to Sidon's own nod.

    As other let out cries of anguish and pain, shock and horror, anger and sorrow, Pholax remained in silence as the rest of the events unfolded.

    Council of the Lost

    Pholax listened as quietly as he could in his box, to the Raven and to his brothers, each raising their voice about this and that.

    Although only Vitaly spoke words that mattered really, all else was grandstanding about their loyalty or how they were going to retain their honour. We were now brothers in arms regardless and they'd not spat upon their honour, it was the others who had done that.

    Pholax finally spoke up, "While I cannot orate like I once used to, and the fire once in my speech is replaced with cold mechanical screeches, Vitaly is right, we are known as enemies to the Imperium, and we do not know who else has fallen in with.... Horus and his ilk... be cautious of who we go to, before we find ourselves going from one gauntlet, to another."

    Pholax paused and contemplated what his was going to say but found the words to speak, "I would prefer to go to Terra, that is no doubt Horus' goal. If we can go there, we can be at the battle that truly counts. Dorn and his Legion were sent to Terra as we know, there is still one whole Legion we know for sure that is loyal to the Emperor. However, you are Praetor, Sidon, where you go, I will follow. And I've already died once, maybe the second time will be kinder." Pholax let out a slight grinding of gears in laughter at his final words, although it felt hollow to say them.
  2. Jorimel Jorimel Well-Known Member

    Aleph had time. He did not want time; he wanted it scarcely more than he wanted sleep, and that was something he took only because he must be in the most perfect condition to fight. He had warred briefy with the word, and revulsion lost to habit. And to truth. He still sought perfection because the Emperor demanded it, deserved it. In his quarters he field-stripped his weapons that could be, polished his two blades with the care of long practice and a kind of love. Still in his fatigues he stood in the centre of the room and looked at the walls. Where once the Phoenician, resplendent in his armour of amethyst and gold had stood over all like the guardian of both Aleph and his dreams, there was already a space. He'd taken the canvas down and stored it carefully, unable to destroy the painting that was at once both warning and reminder. He stared, hearts sinking, at the dark mirror that had hung opposite, glimpsed by moonlight as the Phoenix had once outshone the sun, the one emblazoned, the other deep in haunted shadow.

    "Yes, I do know him better than you," Curze had said, standing in front of the great windows, peering into the city below where his sons murdered, butchered and pillaged its occupants, all in his name. He had laughed then, but it was anything but humorous. "My brother is a sly creature. He has a dark heart but he hides it very well with his charades. Compassion to hide selfishness. Quest for perfection to hide arrogance and vanity. He will fail you Aleph and when he does so, you will remember this moment, this room and my words. Even demigods can be afraid."

    "I remember," he whispered, bleakly."I know now what you meant. Do you, I wonder, ever recall me?" There had been a moment, as thin as a knife blade, where Alephoros had wondered whether he still had a foster-father as the ashes of the Phoenix's fire died. Hope that had died like the stillborn thing it was. "Still, you would have been a cold comfort, would you not? No warmth from those who paint themselves in ashes." He reached up and took down his painting of the Night Haunter, and stored it away, even as he had done with that of his gene-Sire. Not a mark of respect, but a sign of remembrance. To know what could be trusted: nothing. To know who should be adored: no-one. To see what one must fight against, to know what one must avoid at all costs becoming, yes, these were fine exemplars of that purpose. As examples of how to fall into treachery, they were virtually holy writ. An Astartes, Aleph did not forget faces. But there was more than mere likeness in art. Art told of the man, of the soul beneath the skin. What had been, and would never be again, was recorded here like the last memory of something pure, and -

    "NO!" Aleph picked up a nearby object - just enough self-control within him to avoid throwing either of his precious swords - and hurled it across the room. It was a tin of polish and the throw dented both the wall and the tin. There was nothing of Fulgrim any more, anywhere. No pretty picture was going to preserve him and no memory of what he was would ever bring him back. There was use in the work as a reminder of the fallibility of even Primarchs. He would keep it as such a reminder and so that he would always know what had been lost. Discarded. He would need ways to keep himself honest in the days to come. He must not fail. He could not follow his gene-Sire any more.

    He sank down onto the bed, head in his hands. Physically, he was in good shape, at around 85% or so of maximal efficiency at his best guess, as Vitaly might have put it. He wondered how his friend was taking this ... this. He wondered about Extro, solid as always, his Brother to the end. Arnock was rallying, himself and others, as he always did, the Standard-Bearer well chosen for his role. And Pholax, brash, loyal, dead Pholax, well, who knew what was inside the mind of the man now he was entombed? Perhaps Aleph should find out. And he had Brona to look to, if he lived, his loyal cadre of one. Two Palatine Blades from a hundred. Never numerous, yet always worth the name, until now. He glanced across at his painting of Captain Akurduana, first among Palatines. That one, at least, could stay.



    Time passed and he found himself on the command deck once more, Praetor Sidon addressing the crew. Aleph listened silently. He was not a commander, though he had been forced to concede that he might be an inspiration for some. He would follow Sidon and present a united front with his old Sergeant, however, because he believed in his judgement. His gaze fell upon Minteril, scarred perhaps but surviving, though over all the years Minteril above all seemed to have won that survival at a hard price. Then he saw the allies that Sidon had brought in. And he took a long moment to appraise them, because for that moment, he could see nothing but Lucoryphus.

    So these were Raven Guard? Then so be it, he of all people knew how little looks had to do with character. But he wouldn't trust that corpse-countenanced squad as he might once have done. He nodded a respectful greeting to the Chaplain, and kept silent. Corvus Corax, it was said, had always made rather a deal about how his sons were not the Eighth Legion. Let the proof be tested in the field and Aleph would see. Until then they were allies, and he'd worked with many allies now.

    "Lord Sidon," he said, his voice clear, "whom once I knew as Sergeant and Brother, I followed you then and I will follow you now. Unto death, if need be. We are the true Children of the Emperor, and whatever face we wear, we will always bring death to His foes."
  3. Colapse Colapse Forum Beta Tester

    <Council of the lost - Earlier, "Sovereign's" Bridge>

    OOC waiting on @Vulpas @Grall_Stonefist @DeranVendar replies before proceeding with this part.


    <Patient zero - "Battleborn's" Medbay>
    @Vulpas @Grall_Stonefist

    It were both Denatus and Jendon who first received the calls. Denatus, now resplendent in his new Cataphractii Terminator armor carrying a mighty thunder hammer to replace the old gladiator weapon paired with the largest volkite weapon to be utilized by infantry troops, met Minteril in the darkened corridors of "Battleborn" while the crews of lobotomized serfs worked tirelessly to repair the damage done to the strike cruiser.

    Chapter Master was similarly armored, although his terminator suit suffered extensive damage during boarding action and was yet to be repaired, contrary to Denatus' own armor which was brought from the "Sovereign's" vault and prepared just for him to accommodate the toxic weaponry carried by the Millennial's new Destroyer Lord.

    Together they arrived at the ship's medbay where the Chief Apothecary was assigned to, in order to get everything working properly he had to oversee the transition himself. Thankfully, majority of his Apothecaries survived the void war above Isstvan V, so the medical duties weren't that much hard to perform, although the tally with which his men came was not insignificant - they arrived in Isstvan with around four thousand troops spread across the entire Third Millennial's fleet and they left with with around two thousand and seven hundred, not counting the mortal casualties which were much higher. Even thought the Millennial was still strong, if this trend continues the future was indeed grim.

    "Hail brothers," Minteril offered his hand in greetings, looking at the various reports and the nature of the battle they just went through, his next question didn't sound that much surprising. "What do you think Chief Apothecary Jendon, do you reckon we will be able to keep this up for at least a year before we inevitably die out?"

    For a moment he sounded serious, but then a smile appeared on his heavily scarred face. "Before you say anything, know that I'm merely joking. I'll leave these dark and pessimistic topics to our Praetor. What I want to know is - how are our Iron Warrior guests holding and is there any way for us to show more of our hospitality? Say, with a more delicate touch?" Minteril said and turned towards Denatus, giving him a slight nod.

    It was no surprise that Minteril wanted every Iron Warrior legionary captured during the boarding dead, he said so himself right after the battle was done, but while Denatus wasn't there during it, Jendon knew that the Chapter Master had some choice words during the aftermath concerning the traitors. He didn't just want them dead, he wanted them to suffer and what better way to achieve it than consult with two Millennial's top experts on the matter of poisons and forbidden weaponry.


    <Voices in the Dark - "Sovereign's" Librarium>
    @Uriel1339

    "This would be all that we recovered from the landing decks, my Lord," Sergeant Pestin said as he brought another item, this one a horned helmet with a leering animal's face which viciously stared back at Elymas, the symbol of the Word Bearers painted in the center of the forehead.

    This would fit in the eight crate, for that was how much was brought to the Librarium in the aftermath of the Word Bearers boarding attempt. It ended miserably for them and more than three hundred legionary corpses littered the "Sovereign's" decks with three times as many of their mortal servants. Members from at least five Imperial Army regiments came with their masters in the attempt at subduing the loyal Emperor's Children; they all died of course, but the sheer scale of the treachery was unprecedented, although perhaps not much of a surprise any longer.

    Right after the boarders were repelled and the Word Bearers ships destroyed, Sidon ordered the bodies of the intruders to be burned. Legion specialist troops went about their work but after the fires stopped, much to their dismay there were some things that didn't melt away in the purifying inferno. Weapons of all kinds, strange talismans, armor pieces just like this helmet, many of them withstood the flame and where gathered to be brought to Elymas and his Librarians for further analysis.

    "Is there anything else you wish of us?" the Sergeant asked, him and his men not hiding the fact they would rather be anywhere else but near here and not because they harbored any resentment to four figures in the chamber. Elymas' students, Prodah, Halicus and Remus, all three of them survived the boarding and all three of them were there when their master returned to the flagship. Librarium itself was, by either luck or providence, spared from the damage caused during the void battle, so they had plenty of space to receive the myriad of items they were sent. And of course, it didn't take an expert to say that these items were somehow bad.

    As for the Symphonist himself, Elymas heard the discord tones of these things and felt them reverberating through the Immaterium. The traces of corruption brought by the souls carrying them in life still echoed in his mind, he could even glimpse at the twisted forms hiding in the background of each such echo.

    What was also interesting was that he also felt another echo, this one coming from deeper within the Librarium, where the precious few tomes he recovered were stored. It was of fire and light, of a familiar touch, the one of his own late master, as if he was once again among the living.

    If nothing, at least the masked man was nowhere to be seen. After their clash, the creature seemed to have disappeared, his orchestra silenced. For now.


    <Vengeful One - "Battleborn's" Enginarium>
    @dx144 @Draconion

    Like majority of the Iron Warriors war vessels, "Battleborn" was also an uninspiring block of metal drifting in the void, especially compared to what the Emperor's Children were accustomed before. Same like on the outside, the ship's interior was similarly devoid of grandeur, narrow corridors, stocky rooms, it look more like a cargo hauler than a stellar warship. But even such things had its purpose, although not one that could be seen right off.

    Within such chamber, beyond the silent march of the slaved soldiers and their robotic allies, Vitaly worked his craft. Familiar form was in front of him, the purple-golden giant currently undergoing repairs. It turned out that Pholax was the last of their Dreadnoughts, the other two veterans, Brothers Sylas and Nathaniel, both met their second death during the boarding battles and there were no other "suitable candidates" for such position, leaving Pholax the sole remaining Ancient. He didn't suffer that much damage during the fighting, however between the autocannon shells and claws of the tainted Word Bearers, his armor plating was severely thinned and it required Vitaly's more personal touch.

    At least, those were Sidon's orders. Old warrior relayed them to the Forgemaster directly, the need for Vitaly to be present during the tending not surprising given the fact he highly valued Pholax's presence both in and outside battle.

    "I like this Enginarium, you can almost smell the blood residue," Minteril grinned as he walked inside the chamber, three of his Terminator guards remaining outside the entrance. "Forgemaster, Brother Pholax," he nodded to both of them, ignoring Vitaly's Mechanicum assistants and any other Techmarine that might be present in the darkness.

    "How goes the repair effort? Both his and ship's?"

    OOC this is happening some time after Minteril spoke to Jendon and Denatus


    <Triumvirate - "Sovereign's" Command Deck>
    @Jorimel @matt23 @DeranVendar

    Despite the significant damage ship suffered during the battle, the signs of "Sovereign's" noble heritage were present all around the deck. High-arced ceiling with the mural of the Emperor painted in his golden armor held the central piece, surrounded by kneeling warriors in purple power armor. These ancient heroes of the Legion were also present on each side of the long chamber, marble statues in different poses reminding the observers of the virtues of the past.

    Here and there, you could spot Mechanicum's crews working to repair the damage, in some places walls were filled with bolter holes, in others you could see a number of gilded exibit cases being shattered alongside its contents. There were no weapons here to be looted, if you don't count the ones affecting morale - which is what the Word Bearers came for. Their blood was still on the ground, not entirely scrubbed by the automated serfs, but it didn't mean the place was tainted in any way. Lumens were lit and the Command Deck spread in front of four legionaries in all of its glory.

    "I have summoned you here for there is much to discuss, away from prying eyes," Sidon spoke as he offered Aleph, Arnock and Extrovious places around a long table made of black Terran maple. "Don't misunderstand, it's not secrecy that I'm after, but calmness that can only be provided by those that I'm close to."

    Sidon's call found all of them on various parts of the ship. Brona survived and he was among the first to greet Aleph once he returned to the Palatine Blades quarters. He and the marines of new Squad Extrovious continued to fight together after the old 4th Squad went to deal with the Dark Apostle and his lackeys. They joined the main defensive effort and with great skill they managed to defend the primary Word Bearers target which was "Sovereign's" Armory. Brona's cold fury mixed with Extro's chosen raging spirit, alongside Squads Drakk, Pestin and their Archite Palatine troopers, saw that the enemy's attack was thwarted.

    Extrovious himself was similarly busy with seeing to his troops while Arnock received new duties, since the Millennial suffered significant casualties many of the squads were broken and since he was one of the more senior commanders, it fell up to him to complete this logistic task.

    "Arnock, you spoke about only fighting beneath the old standard as a Child of the Emperor. While I never doubted your zeal, I believe that harboring to the old times will get us nowhere if we don't adapt. But this is nothing that you don't know already."

    "I will not mince words - if we continue like this, sooner or later we will all die. There is some indication, at least by what Admiral de Beaumont told me, that the surviving Iron Hands are gathering not far from here, and while I would like for us to attend this meeting, I'm afraid our Father's actions have seen to that alliance."

    "As for the Salamanders and the Raven Guard, all we have left is Lord Kul," Sidon visibly grimaced when he spoke the High Reclusiarch's name. "Him and his men are to be treated as brothers, but I've heard of his name before, long time ago, during the initial pacification of Sol. Terran-born Raven Guard are a different breed than the rest of XIX and while they are undoubtedly efficient, their methods are...questionable and we must keep a close eye on them, as much as that is possible."

    "So in the end, we are alone. Brother Pholax spoke of going to Terra, but if we go now with our honor tarnished, I'm afraid the only result will be our incarceration and eventual execution. So I decided that we are to stay and fight, bleed the traitors dry until at least one of us remains standing. But what Alephoros told me in the sky above Isstvan made me realize something important."

    "Whatever the future holds for our Millennial, I will not be a part of it."

    There was a heavy sigh, release of lifelong tension made Sidon look more gaunt and tired then ever before. "Every one of us has his own demons to fight and faults to overcome, mine are many and the time has come for me to face them. However I'm still the Child of the Emperor at heart, so an inglorious defeat is not something I will accept, therefore I won't leave you to go on a suicide mission, but nor will I set grounds for something greater. This task will be up to the three of you."

    "Alephoros," Praetor continued, now facing each of his former squad mates in turn. "You are the most skilled warrior I have ever had the honor of leading. Your combat prowess has surpassed mine long ago and you have earned the right to count yourself among the finest combatants in the Legion. Therefore, you will be our Sword Exemplar."

    "Arnock. Even before transferred to our Millennial, you have been an honorable warrior. Born leader, if I've ever seen one. Everyone who I talked to respects you and values your advice. I have never seen you say a wrong word or do a bad thing. You are as close as you can be to the ideals set before the Third Legion by the Master of Mankind. You embody all of the virtues and more, which is why you will be our Soul Exemplar."

    "Extrovious. You are unlike any other Emperor's Children I have ever met," Sidon said and offered Extro an honest smile. "Neither gracious nor aloof, in battle you are as brute as a World Eater and efficient as an Iron Hand. At first, you looked different, but I know that below the surface lies a furnace unequal like any other. If your two brothers represent blade-arm and mind of a warrior, then you are what glues them together, our beating heart and bringer of death to our enemies. Our Hand of Ruin."

    "Like in the ancient days, you three will become our Millennial's triumvirate and once I'm gone, one of you must take my place, but only after you find a suitable replacement because never should the triumvirate be without a member. We have seen what happens when one man holds too much power without being checked, therefore my legacy will be this - if I'm to set us upon a path, then this path will not be of darkness and shame, but of honor and hope."

    Leaning back, Sidon became silent, his voice and will nearly spent. He had a distant look in his eyes, letting the silence of the chamber speak for itself, allowing every one of the three legionaries in front of him time to process what he just told them and the implication such order might bring in the future.
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  4. Uriel1339 Uriel1339 Lord of Posts

    <Voices in the Dark - "Sovereign's" Librarium>
    @Colapse
    "No, thank you Sergeant." Elymas kept it brief and simple. Respectful. Where he used to be talkative, he has become more like his late mentor. No wonder, he realized. The creature he spawned to help Arnock annihilate the enemy dreadnought made its fair share of rumors across the survivors. Who would want to be around an individual who could create such monstrosity out of thin air?

    "Prodah, Halicus, Remus." He called them up one by one, sitting behind his heavy desk, looking up to the much younger than himself individuals. There was a soft smile accompanied from a tired gaze. "You make me proud, all three of you. However, we must not get ahead of ourselves. I know that one or the other of you is quite eager to analyze and trace back the origins, document the treatment of armor and decor of the fallen enemy. But they carry dark, dark secrets openly so that we may be tempted to fall for them."

    Elymas sighed heavily, leaning back in his chair, feeling like he aged a few centuries from the statement. "The former chief librarian had been very secret on these matters which made us younger ones always curious to find out the truth, to learn what he hid. I will not repeat that mistake. I speak openly that our... Gift... To tap into the immaterium is dangerous. Dangerous not because of what we can make of it, but what lurks within, what can crawl into our minds and manipulate us, skew our perception of reality." He nodded to his statement like he often did, a trademark of his by now for sure.

    A long pause allowed Prodah almost to speak up, before Elymas lifted a finger and continued. "I have met Lorgar once and although he and his Word Bearers are our enemies now, there is certain knowledge about them we must not learn. I am sure you can feel it to as you brush your finger over their ancient texts stenciled into their wargear." The trio nodded.

    "I wish none of it to be documented nor conserved. We will melt it away and maybe have Vitaly retrieve much needed raw resources of the gear. There is nothing we can do to undo the lingering presence of that, that should not exist. Smelting will be the only path I will take to protect our fledgling forces. No trophies." He spoke with an absolute will.

    "We shall begin the cleansing tomorrow. Until then do as you see fit and get some rest." Prodah, Halicus and Remus gave a firm 'aye' and then marched together off to what Elymas guessed would be the mess. They did not bother asking what he would do, for he had only one task he had busied himself with every single free moment he had. Going through his old masters diary and trying to piece together the decisive moments where everything went wrong.

    And so he rose from his desk and marched into the inner sanctum of the librarium, responding to the echoes of Hephaestus' past.
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  5. <Council of the lost - Earlier, "Sovereign's" Bridge>
    The events of the betrayel, the battle for the sovereign and the horrors they had witnesses had all but full formed Denatus new tacticum response, not only had his specialization damned him no matter what, though the events of the Istvaan system had damned them all, the Emperors glorious vision, set aflame before it even had a chance settle, by betrayal of the worst kind, perhaps best show by the betrayal done by their own farther, when he had murdered his favored brother in cold blood, and cursed their entire line.
    for now he kept his emotions in check, letting not a single flush go over his radiation paled face, agreeing with the idea to stay behind enemy lines, they where not a front line force no more, and maybe a stroke of luck had delivered experts of hit and run tactics to them, though luck in the darkest pit of disaster.

    <Patient zero - "Battleborn's" Medbay>
    as he marched in together with Jendon, though his armours movement was smooth and well oiled, as good as the day it had first been artificed, it was still something to get used to moving around in. though his old armour, and walking armoury had been heavy, this was a completely different level.
    Though the cataphractii suit was known for anything but flexibility, he would still give his best attempt at a curtius bow to the chapter master together with a hand to the chest, as they where welcomed.
    When he realized what they had been called in for, Denatus couldn't help but crack a slight smile, "if i didn't know any better, i would think you would wish us to be very uncurtius to hour iron bound guests" he said, returning the quick nod, "and personally i think i could have just the right ingredients, though a bit of teamwork would no doubt be more effective" as he lowered a hand to give and idle tap to one of the Phosphex grenades strapped to his suits massive chest, "we should hopefully still have plenty of exorteric tools at hand in the vaults"
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  6. Fox Vulpas Well-Known Member

    -Council of The lost-
    Jendon was glad he kept his helmet on, Never had the Apothcary thought in his life he would see something like this. Jendon watched again and a again his fa- Fulgrim kill his best friend, His Brother the Ferrus, As he did he would take in the sight of the battle at large reports of Vulcan and Corvus going MIA and the legions sent to istavaan Shattered as the might of the other legions turned on them, From the Iron warriors to the alpha legion, to the night lords. There truly is no going back from this. Jendon thought as he stood there Jendon heard his brothers problems arrived and a defiant shout from Arnock to help raise morals, It had once touched the apothecaries soul but now it was as if that shout had traveled down the echos of the halls of the Sovereign before it reached his ear and through to his soul.

    There will be no way back way to redeem ourselves in the eyes of others, Only the sins of the father and his sins ours to bear for the rest of our existence. As Jendon heard several problems arrise about there identities and ways to identify themselves the apothecaries mind did all it could to tear away its mind from the very despair he felt in his soul. "Short term, A idea, Not the best one nor one that would be liked by anyone of us here," Jendon said his voice sounding as if he had wrestled with a space wolf, A pump of chemicals from his armor would flood his body at his signal As the apothecary tried to keep himself calm, Not good best not to rely on this, in public sets bad example. Jendon thought as he regained strength in his words became more coherent.

    "Disguising our selves will be needed likely armor and any insignias, Including our ships and vehicles and banners, and even faces in case a helmet loss occurs in battle, till we can gain the trust of someone high enough on the command chain that they can vouch for us. This could be done in several ways I theorize, Blanket no insignias, faces altered so that we don't resemble who we once did, Might get us far enough to talk with others still loyal to the throne but will no doubt raise suspicions, Though another option I would suggest that would get us farther, Though a distasteful and dishonorable, I would only suggest at the request, and permission of Reclusairach Nykar Kul, Would be to request permission from him to possibly wear the badge of his legion," Jendon suggested a part of gnawed at his soul as he knew he might be throwing himself to the wolves for this very idea, But if it was something that would get them a little further closer to some type of objective of his brothers survival he would do it for any of them.

    His mind began scanning as he went silent "I would suggest as well a change in fighting styles, with three legions ambushed and nearly destroyed, we must assume we are outnumbered and will be fighting overwhelming odds, This will require a change in tactics I suggest a more Asymmetrical approach." Jendon finished before began bringing up a few tactics he had learned from another legion The apothcary looked back to answer Sidion. "No matter what Sidion, I will be with you till the last of my life blood has been spent or until another one of us needs the rest of me to continue on, I shall for you and everyone else aboard our battle group till the end." Jendon said looking to Sidion


    -Patient Zero @Grall_Stonefist
    "Good to see you as well Minteril, Currently our gracious guests the Iron warriors are getting a disinfecting, Vitaly had something special in mind that required a bit of my aid and several apothcaires I gathered that would volunteer for a special, Research mission as well as these duties and something that I have found of secoundary important besides our primary objective of keeping up and running." Jendon said greeting the chapter master with a shake of the hands his face remained neutral as well as his voice as he could see what Minteril was implying at.

    "Indeed I can be of help in this endevour, While Vitaly has a several and Captain Karron we are not permitted to use, I have a few groups that can be used in this en devour besides the research that is being conducted on them." As Jendon saw Dentaus the apothecary suddenly felt like he was hit in the head with a thunder hammer when he realized a solution to the problem he had been facing in his head. The destroyers! of course Dammit Jendon why didn't you think of that for long term legion geneseed destruction!

    "Indeed Brother Dentaus I can certainly lend aid to you in this en devour, The Battle born has several things that has not only aided us but also proved beneficial, The Iron warriors brought with them quite a few life supporting bionics that are quite adept at keeping a legionnaire alive, Prove quite at suppressing pain that might occur, Combine that with a several sent from vitally with these similar functions, We have quite a few ways of keeping someone from deaths embrace," Jendon said as Jendon saw Dentaus tap one of his phosphex grenades Jendon thought to himself. "Vitaily himself I believe is making something special that may help extended that even further as well as put the prisoners to use more then even I can if what he says is right."

    "I have to wonder Denatus if its possible to get some of that phosphex injected into someone or coated to a needler round." The apothcary asked theorizing himself what material would be needed to handle it and then get it to hold over a needler round
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  7. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    Prologue

    From the Private Journals of Vitaly Sokolovsky, Entry #576, dated 453.005.M31


    Our Medusan cousins have the right of it. The flesh is weak. In this, I disagree with them over one essential detail - the material aspect of the flesh itself is far from weak. Indeed, in its marvellous intricacy, supreme antifragility and accidental genius, I find myself agreeing with the Biologoi of Mars that naturally-evolved life is, in many ways, a machine of all but unmatched artifice. How much more so, then, the gene-art of the Blessed Emperor, that forged the Legions out of the base clay of mankind, to be the vanguard of humanity's ascension? To think to improve upon that subtle design through crude hack-and-slash cyber-augmentation - now *that* is folly. The art of the Emperor deserves far more respect than that.

    The weakness of the flesh is to be found in its passions, in behaviours and patterns of thought rooted in brute biology, rather than pure reason, informed by educated context, clear-minded experience, and, above all, a robust ethical framework grounded in a social order committed to bringing about the greatest good for the greatest number. In this, the Medusans - or at least their more rational members - and I are in complete agreement.

    For was it not the blind predatory tribalism of Nostramo that led to the VIIIth Legion becoming as it now is, a Legion unable to see past its next atrocity because it was allowed to indulge its animal desires for far too long?

    Was it not the undisciplined hedonism and self-entitlement stemming from excessive self-regard that caused our own Legion to fall to the debasement of the present day?

    And was it not a rampant will to power, no longer held in check by principle or ethicality, that led to the Warmaster repudiating his oaths to the Emperor, dragging a full half of the Legions into high treason with him, committed to conquering the galaxy, even if he has to burn it down to do so?

    A mind rooted in fleshly desires is truly weak, forever swayed one way or the other as fickle, brute biology dictates. At its heart lies instinct - obsolete heuristics that served our primeval ancestors in the daily struggle for survival. As far removed from them as our own brains are, so, too, are the contexts by which we must judge our circumstances and formulate the appropriate responses to them. The ancient stimulus-response schema that once served our distant forebears are too crude, too simple, and simply too out of time and place for our situation.

    The Warmaster appealed to the bestial nature of his followers, and so got a following of beasts. He appealed to greed, ambition, insecurity, vengefulness, hedonism, and cruelty, and so those things have come to define the movement that now surrounds him. We who remain loyal to the Throne must be wary of falling into the same trap, for it is all too easy to do - the animal within both shouts loud, and whispers seductively, and we have to be on guard against it at all times. Ultimately, we must be unselfish. The animal is selfish - it has no moral compass other than its own fickle wants and needs. The evolved, the transcendant - they see the bigger picture, and desire always the greatest good for the greatest number. We must meet the selfishness of the Warmaster's cause with the selflessness of duty, honour, and loyalty.

    The first principle, therefore, is this - above all else, our oaths must hold.



    Before: The Council of the Lost
    Place: The Bridge of the Sovereign


    @Vulpas @Colapse

    When Jendon speaks, Vitaly finds himself listening, generally agreeing with the Chief Apothecary, as he has done over the years. Though he had always found the man slightly odd, he had no doubt whatsoever in his mind that he was both an honourable brother, and a supremely skilled medicus, to say nothing of an eminently pragmatic logician - a man of science after his own heart. They both had a facility for pushing boundaries, asking hard questions, and generally making people - including each other - uncomfortable as a result.

    Jendon's suggestion of going so far as to effect Alpha Legion-style deep-cover guises causes Vitaly to raise his brows faintly beneath his helm, but he finds himself in conditional agreement - if a particular mission called for such measures, he would be the first to back them.

    But not gratuitously. Secrets are kept for instrumental reasons, not for their own sake. Those who deceive for deception's sake soon deceive themselves by sheer force of habit.


    As for the rest - altering operating doctrine, even assimilating into the XIXth Legion for instrumental reasons, these are things he would have himself suggested. Indeed, had anticipated during the long journey to Isstvan. Good to see that flexible strategic minds were not in minority within the Millennial.

    "Chief Apothecary Jendon speaks for me, in broad strokes," he says, "Indeed, for some time, the Forge department has been restructuring our logistical operations for exactly such needs, as you have been aware, Lord Praetor. We are already prepared for such a paradigm shift in doctrine with no lead time, at least on the material front."


    Now: Blood and Iron

    Place: Battleborn, Forge Precincts


    @dx144 @Colapse

    Glowing lines criss-cross Pholax's outer shell as Vitaly finishes bonding a final replacement epidermal plate in place via in-situ nanolathing. Precision mechadendrites from the wheeled tool-bearing unit next to the Forgemaster extend to play clouds of coolant mist over the freshly-installed plate, chilling it from its molten state to solid in less than a minute to encourage the crystals within the metal to form as small and granular as possible, minimising potential lines along which stresses and fractures may spread in the final product. Pulling back from the Contemptor chassis, Vitaly allows engineering servitors to close in, bearing peridermal armour and other external modules to mount upon the dreadnought. When Minteril makes his entrance, Vitaly turns to face the scarred Lord Commander, unreadable behind his own blank-faced helm.

    "Lord Commander. Venerable Pholax is at 99.8% functionality, this to be revised as soon as final component installation and safety checks are complete. As for the Battleborn, it has been restored to 79.2% functionality from an immediate post-battle condition of 58.4%. However, I estimate we will not be able to progress beyond 87% functionality without access to drydock facilities, or at least a forge ship of capital class."

    The blank helm inclines inquiringly as Vitaly pauses to regard Minteril for a moment.

    "Is there some assistance you require, Lord Commander?"
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  8. dx144 dx144 Well-Known Member

    Blood and Iron

    Pholax was unable to do anything but play the events of the past through his head again and again, sometimes it was enjoyable ones of Xenos he'd killed with his brothers and cousins, but then the bittersweet sting of knowing most of them were now on the other side of the gunline from him or had been shot in the back.

    The most painful and most recurring was of the recent events, Word Bearers had always been an odd bunch and the Iron Warriors painfully dull, especially since this ship seemed to have been decorated by a man who knew only three colours as for the others, they were all flawed in their own ways. But the fact they were supposed to be held to a higher ideal and now had fallen further than ever thought possible, it was either cause to laugh or to cry or both.

    Pholax came out of his memories as Minteril was arriving to check on the ships repairs from Vitaly.

    "The ship is too dull and lifeless. For the love of the Phoenician put up splash some palatine and for the love of the Emperor, an Aquila or two." Pholax complained as his chassis was held in place and being attended to by the servitors.

    Coming out of his deathless state of complaints, to ask Minteril directly, though his he could not move to directly look at him. "Where are we going to next, Minteril, the Throneworld calls us. You best not have us tarrying around in the space of nowhere as the Imperium calls." Although the Pholax was forced to forever speak with the assistance of a mechanical voice, the pain at having to wait before going to the real war was clearly evident.
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  9. Jorimel Jorimel Well-Known Member

    Discussion and Deception

    Alephoros listened to Jendon's ideas about disguise and though he would need time to pick the most suitable in his own eyes, he agreed with the idea as a broad one. He could not allow sentiment to diminish his effectiveness. And so he was prepared, if need be, to fight under another's colours when the time came. But for now, he would hold the idea in reserve. And so though he did not voice his agreement, neither did he decry the idea, for the Apothecary spoke sense. He glanced over at their main choice for such a deception. He'd speak with the Raven Guard, if the chance came.


    Triumvirate

    Aleph bowed as Sidon bestowed the honorific upon him, knowing it would mean much more than even the words suggested.

    "We once discussed something like a shadow of this," he said, after the old Sergeant and now Lord Commander was done, and congratulations had been given and the matter sunk in. He turned to Extro. "That first time on the jetbikes, do you remember? You. and me, and that chatty fool Martyn. He was to be the face, I the blade and you the battering ram. This is a more subtle trio." He managed only a small smile, but nonetheless it came. A tiny sliver of hope kindled in his ashen hearts. He turned to Armock. "You make us a much better focal point, Brother. And - I am still the Blade." He paused, giving Extrovious an affectionate punch on the arm, as young men do, though a great part of him no longer felt at all young today. "... Hmm, not sure about you, old friend ..." It was a tiny bit of levity amid the disaster, and though his Brothers could see that it was gossamer-thin it was there and not as a sign of sickness.

    "Lord Sidon, I will strive to always honour the faith you place in me, and do my duty to my Legion. We do not forget, neither ill done nor good served."



    Bird is the Word


    It was not so easy to find men who would rather work in the shadows. In the end Legionary Aster took to strolling the corridors, confident that the Raven Guard would be watching him and equally sure that he would not always know - might not ever know - when and how that would be. Rather than give in to paranoia - for he had the blessing of those truly innocent of clandestine vice, in that he would not be observed at any secret habits he could not practice in public, unlike the skulking Bearers of the Word - Aleph resolved to face any enquiries with the plain truth if his loyalty were questioned.

    Of course, he would not allow repeated slights to his honour, but such was the duty of the Palatine Blade Exemplar. For now, he merely walked, and let himself be seen going about, once his duty was done and he had spent time with Brona in the continuation of his sword training. Sometimes, to make it perfectly plain, he would speak when he was in the loneliest corridors, just softly, but enough so that a watching Astartes could hear.

    "Son of the Raven, I would speak with you, if you are there."

    Let him be the shiny golden treasure that catches the corvid's eye. That was surely the best way to get an introduction with an unfindable man.
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  10. Imperius matt23 Curator

    @Colapse @DeranVendar @Jorimel

    Arnock sunk into his chair as he heard the ominous words of Sidon. He has always been a bulwark in the face of danger, but it had become clear that the current events coupled with his age had taken a heavy toll upon him. 'I wonder how many more have a shared mentality as our old leader' Arnock thought to himself. Regardless, Sidon had just laid plans before each of them with this somewhat strange idea for a Triumvirate and their titles. Hearing Alphareous speak seemed to speak to the fact that this would not be to hard of a transition.

    Looking to Sidon, Arnock could not help but feel compelled to speak, "You have lived long, brother, both in years and accomplishments. Your name shall be engraved in our history, many times over, as symbol of loyalty and honor for millenniums to come. Your wisdom has served to give what loyalty still remains a chance to redeem the honor lost by our treacherous brethren." Arnock then looked up to the standard he still held in hand as he then continued, "The times of one leading many shall no longer be. This triumvirate shall serve to ensure something like Istvann never happens. I agree with these plans, Brother Sidon, and I shall serve this position to the best of my abilities. However, I believe the first thing we all must deliberate upon, is what is to be the fate of this standard." There was a heaviness to Arnock's voice that perhaps had never been heard by any at the table as he continued, "This symbol was give to our Legion when thousands made a sacrifice of loyalty to save the Emperor's life. However, those whom look upon it and do not understand it, will view it as a symbol of loyalty to Fulgrim. So, if it is no longer to be flown above our numbers, what say be it's fate?"
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