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The Ringing of a Forge of Stars [Warhammer 40k/ Celestial forge V3||OC...ish]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Slider Zero, Apr 14, 2021.

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  1. Logos01

    Logos01 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Yet.

    They have no armor or weapons yet.

    The biggest thing about Valkyrie Cores that you need to remember though is that even though they don't communicate with their bonded human, they are sapient AIs on top of everything else... sapient AIs that are immune to Scrap Code and love humanity.

    Given, further, the fact that Mio is on board with the Sisters having the Cores, there's very little chance of the Sisters being shipped off with nothing more than their suits and spare parts. I'd be surprised if those cores didn't have standardized tech databases contained within them (if not the full STC) and some autofab and power equipment in their storage spaces as standardized kit.

    Combined with the autonomous integration and refinement processes that Cores have, and the need for protections against Chaos Psykers, and the Sisters' own beliefs about the efficacy of prayers to the Emperor as protections against Chaos, I wouldn't at all be surprised to see the Cores working out some basic Empyrean Wards based on holy iconography of the Emperor.

    If the tech database from Mio also includes some of the psionic tech, they might even reinvent X-COM style Mind Shields by cloning/printing psionic neural tissue and using it to create mind defenses for the Sisters. (Albeit not made from Ethereals, since he doesn't yet have that actual perk.)
     
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  2. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    For the first, it was something that I was thinking about, and your idea aligns with the small bits that I had. I'm not sure I wanna run with that particular option, though. (besides, I like Satori Being a Tails Expy.)

    for point the second: Putting aside the gender requirement, I see no reason for it to act in this fashion. I also do not see any reason It could not. It would depend on how I feel about it when it happens.

    thanks for the feedback, though. I do appreciate it, despite the various statements from others that try to say otherwise.
     
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  3. Logos01

    Logos01 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    The Strike Witches animal traits come from the Strikers empowering the Witch's familiar spirit to the point it manifests in their body -- and when manifest they do so even through clothing (without tearing said clothing).

    It's pretty clear these aren't part of the mundane biology and that would be relevant to how they interact for someone who actually has a tail or animal ears.

    Satori can wear a hat to hide his fox ears. A Strike Witch's animal ears aren't actually her ears but her familiar's, and they can't be hidden if manifested.

    So... There's that.
     
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  4. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    nah, I knew about that part. I was just not sure if I wanted to actually use it. is all. Strike Witches Magic would be, as of now, Satori's..eighth magic system? he Kind of has a collection of them right now, even if he only actively uses three of them at the moment.

    (of curse, the Magic of Twokinds is a bit different, and can combo with other styles; Photonics is magic in name only (Literally, this is a story beat in Phantasy Star III), and a major reason for developing them is that they can be used by anyone; the Gushimera Lab comes iwith it's own system as well, though it's very vague in it's use. and those are just off the top of my head. He's working primarily on refining them all into a unified system.)
     
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  5. Trek

    Trek The Ascendant

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    Ya, not wanting idiot character = sociopaths who never make mistakes. So true, make perfect sense.

    Lets not forget that teen had barely met mc and they were not good friends when mc decide to take that massive risk.

    Sure, 'who Mia truly was' what a joke, a twisted caricature of a companion is beautiful to you and helped you understand humanity.

    I also learned to not listen to loud and illogical ones like you, people write what they want, if they dont want critical feedback then add it as a disclaimer in the first chapter.

    Want to keep arguing and fighting, lets take it to PMs this is getting off topic now.
     
  6. Threadmarks: CHapter 18.1
    Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    It had been a long road to this day.

    The message from the planet of Necromunda, that there was a fully intact and uncorrupted STC on the planet, was too much to ignore. That alone would have gotten them to move.

    The word that there were elements of the Ecclesiarchy actively attempting to hide this information from them?

    Completely unacceptable.

    And so, the Fabricator General gave the order that would shake the Imperium to it’s core: The STC is to be recovered at all costs.

    Including the planet itself, if need be.

    And so, a grand fleet was gathered. Legiones Skitarii brought in from countless forge worlds, each of them the best that could be offered. The mighty Centurio Rodinatus roused their great machines of war from slumber and prepared them for war. The Collegia Titanicaus put out the call, and was answered in turn: ‘We Will Walk.’ The Machine Spirits of the Legio Cybernetica were called upon to wage war in the name of the Omnissiah.

    Even the feared Ordo Reductor was called upon, that the world of Necromunda may yet be taught a lesson in appropriate deference to the will of the Omnissiah.

    This Fleet, thousands, possibly tens of thousands strong, had finally arrived at Necromunda proper. And the sight of so many ships laden for war bearing down on an Imperial world was a thing of terrible beauty.

    And utter horror, for those few tasked with monitoring Necromunda’s local space.

    Hails went unanswered.

    Requests for their purpose met with silence.

    Even the begging of those who tried to maintain some form of order in the skies and space of the planet fell on deaf ears. The Grand fleet, the Mechanicus Dominus, had its own orders, its own purposes.

    Naturally, this led to some conflict.

    The Imperial Fists became aware of the issue, just as the rest of the world had, by witnessing the arrival of the ships to the planet. Unlike the rest, however, they had both the means and authority to challenge them directly.

    These hails were responded to. And the Imperial Fists, who were, until then gearing up for combat and the defense of their world, suddenly just...stopped. No explanation was given, no excuses meted out, the great Astartes were simply stood down without comment or question.

    This naturally drew the attention of Lord Helmawr, Planetary Governor of Necromunda.

    His response was just as swift, just as decisive, as that of the Space Marines when they called.

    However, unlike them, the response received was not just for him, but for the planet as a whole.

    The message was broadcast across the entire planet, without exception.

    “To the people of Necromunda: Your world is now under the control of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Do not resist, and no harm shall befall you. Stand against us, and you will feel the wrath of the Omnissiah.

    “You are to obey any and all commands given to you by our forces, or face punishment. There are no other options.”

    The reactions to this message varied widely.

    For the “official” branches of the government, there was unease and fury at being so blatantly usurped. Many of the planet’s nobles scrambled to find a way to take some form of advantage in the situation as hundreds of plans crashed down around them, all useless in light of the Mechanicus’ sheer numbers. A few were wary for a different reason, having possessed forms of Archaeotech or other lost technology as personal property or family heirlooms. Their fear was the loss of such powerful technology to the mechanicus...or worse.

    The other institutions of the planet had things to say about it as well. The Planetary Defense Force had begun an emergency muster immediately upon being notified of the mass transit from the warp, and had yet to be ordered to stand down. They would, in theory, be the first wave against the incursion absent orders to the contrary. Even now, Commissars of the PDF were out rounding up any and everyone they could to be placed under arms, all in the name of standing against the tide of metal and circuitry poised to come at them.

    Gangs, too, were not silent. The major houses were quickly moving to get as much of their affairs in order as quickly as possible, while doing what they could to hide anything that would draw overt attention to themselves. Unfortunately for them, not all would be successful.

    In particular, the Higher ups of house Van Saar were all but panicking, as they knew above all what could drive the Mechanicus to such force and fury...and they mistakenly believed that the time for their reckoning had come. The leadership was torn between surrendering immediately and somehow finding a way to run for it, leaving the lower level commanders to fend for themselves in the ensuing chaos. A Chaos which a certain Augmek did not appreciate so soon after having been forced to ground by events outside of her control.

    Other forces on the planet, too, had taken heed and were preparing appropriately. The Genestealer cults of the Scions of the Needle, long a thorn in the side of the planet’s administratum, had heard the news as well, and were rapidly planning their own involvement in the coming slaughter...for they knew full well that what had come to Necromunda was no mere envoy, but a blatant and unapologetic Power Fist.

    And a reaping was coming.

    Deep underground, in the so-called Forgotten Cities, The forces of Chaos stirred. Their plan to deny the prize to the enemy had failed...for now. Better to allow the enemy to do their work for them at this juncture. Aside from the usual players of the Great Game, they would wait and see.

    So, too, did the Sororitas prepare a plan for this unexpected development. Their Canoness decreed that they were to stand down and await further orders unless provoked. Few believed that they would not be by the time it was all said and done, especially as the Sisters were amongst the very few who knew the real reason why the Mechanicus had come in such overwhelming force.

    One of the other factions who had recognized the ploy, however, were even now planning to set the entire barrel into a firestorm. An Eldar Farseer of Craftwrold Ulwithe had been present prior to the Mechanicus’ arrival, on business of her own. Her retinue and “honor guard” were more than enough to incite the needed measures and deal a telling blow to the Imperium while they sought out the real prize and denied it to the Mon’keigh.

    The visions of one who was potentially the savior of their race were pushed aside, along with the portents of the final destruction of the Aeldari at the hands of this “savior”. Those could wait for another time.

    And far in the ash wastes of the planet, inside of a structure that was simultaneously of and not of this world, the final pieces of the grand play watched as the fleets fell around the world, blockading all avenues of escape. Unknown to all, they were by far the most important of the players, for they alone held the prize sought by all...and unlike the rest, the power to wield it.






    Mio’s face never left that shade of pale, even as she started giving an updated count of the amount of ships in orbit and their contents, courtesy of the noosphere. I stopped paying attention when she hit five digits. I could see with my own senses that the local noosphere had expanded with the arrival of the Fleet, with either the entire element or the flagship itself calling itself Mechanicus Dominus. I really wanted nothing to do with it whatsoever, but it was looking like we wouldn’t be getting a choice in the matter.

    The poor Sisters of Battle were not much better, hearing that the Mechanicus had come to the world in force was not an easy thing. Seeing the numbers with their own eyes and newly-acquired senses was something else entirely, and the sheer glut of information, as well as the fact that they had succeeded in their mission only to fail anyway, was overwhelming them.

    On the other hand, Harry was oddly calm for someone whose world had just come under siege by one of the most independent factions of the Imperium. Almost as if he was expecting this to happen. I’d ask about it later, right now there was work to get done, and nowhere near enough time to actually do it.

    I decided to take the initiative. “Alright, since this situation has just upgraded itself into a clusterfuck, I have to stop being slow and polite about things. Sister Vanalyn, I’d intended for you t receive a full copy of the contents of the STC, and I meant a full copy, as soon as one was available, hopefully to send you back to your bosses in good faith. That just went out the airlock, and we’re not getting it back.”

    “Instead, I’m going to be giving you and your squad a full rundown on those little spheres you just picked up, why they are reacting the way they are, and how to properly use them, so that you can be ready to face the inevitable shitstorm that is coming for this world. Because, rest assured, it is coming. The size of that fleet will have attracted major attention, and not all of it is good...depending on how the factions decide to react, we could be seeing a major jumping off of conflict here.”

    Sister Vanalyn finally found her voice. “And exactly what can you do to teach us about what is coming? What we face? And why do you suddenly choose to withhold the STC now, with the Mechanicus at your doorstep?”

    And of course the stubborn streak crops up. I didn’t blame her, a lot was happening all at once, and falling back on what she knew best was a viable option.

    Usually.

    “Because before I could at least use you to distribute the damned thing to people who were at least partially trustworthy” A lie. Boldfaced at that, but I didn’t let it stop me. “And hopefully figure out where the hell some of my other issues were coming from. Would have been nice to have an ally.”

    It was Mio who interjected next, interrupting me before I could continue. “You need to be aware of something, Sororitas: The Mechanicus sees the Standard Template Construct as the most holy of relics, to be recovered at any cost. And that is for the mere fragments. For this, a complete and undamaged STC without any form of corruption? There will be nothing else more important. Forces will be called from across the galaxy for the sole purpose of securing this, the holiest of holy relics...or ensuring that no one else can do so in their place.”

    There was a gasp from somewhere in the ranks of the sisters, muffled by the helmets as they were. I filed the occurrence away for later while Mio continued.

    “And once they have finished their work...they will punish those who stood against them, who harbored such a prize without informing them as was their duty. There will be retribution the likes of which has not been seen before on an imperial world. Necromunda will burn, for the sole purpose of being an example of what not to do for others. And that is if they succeed in their task. Should they fail…” She allowed herself to trail off meaningfully at that.

    There wasn't anything more to elaborate on, really.

    I finally hopped back in. “so then. Now that we know the stakes, and where everyone stands, what do we do about it?”

    The immediate response of “hand over the STC” died in Sister Vanalyn’s throat as the realization that they were doomed no matter what set in. I could see it on her face, as much as she tried to school it into neutrality.

    “My immediate response? I’m going to give you the means to survive the coming storm...and to make sure that the hand that guided you here gets something out of it after all of the work put in.”

    And eventually, somewhere along the line, the Emperor and I were going to have a Talk. And depending on how often he intends to butt his head into my affairs, there may not be too much being said, by either of us.

    Right now, though? Time to put those skills of mine to work--and apparently a new set, as well.

    Unusual for an ability package from the Forge, Watts had provided both an executive summary and a “Grunt Edition” for use as quick reference. The breakdown was shockingly simple, with the immediate benefit item right on tip: the aptly titled “High Speed Creationist”. The reference was for creating in seconds what would normally take hours. I think I could do one better. The other ability was a nice addition that allowed for identifying both strengths and weakness in a give n item, and either adding to or removing both as desired, up to and including destroying a thing if needed. I intended to use both to get those sisters in fighting shape.

    I immediately turned and made a beeline for the main workshop’s spares storage, which was closer than the actual R-gen itself, and started pulling as many spare parts and material as I could into my Impeller field. Mio quickly caught on to what I was up to and started feeding me info on the Sisters’ specific mark and pattern of power armor, as well as the “normal” tweaks used to ensure longevity and overall robustness. Methods that I would be ignoring, for the most part, as I lacked both time and requisite materials for redoing everything in Auramite or some of the more esoteric forms of Adamantine. Nonetheless, this shit was going to work wither way.

    Mio chimed in over our link. [Honey, I’m making more fabrication modules for the use of the Sisters. Give me a bit to finish them all...I’m thinking about four each, for their weapons usage?]

    Whatever proper God that exists, thank you for Mio. that woman is a treasure and I do not deserve her.

    A flicker of emotion from Mio warned me that she had noticed that thought and had things to say about it later, at length. I suspected I would thoroughly enjoy the ‘discussion.’

    More importantly, she was willing to call me with endearing pet names? Progress!! [That’s fine, dear. I’ll let them know what to do with them after you’re done. Think you can use a few of them to create the rest without forcing a quick integration?]

    The two of us sped up our work considerably, creating all of the needed support equipment and doodads for the next stage of our wonder-forging. Mio’s face was a mask of utter concentration, but her face was still pale with fear. {I can do that. Should speed things up a bit. And I’ll be integrating a few of them for myself anyway, as it seems that we will be needing the construction support. I suggest you do the same.]

    I did what I could to soothe her fear, but it was hard. She was still listening in over the local noosphere, and it was painting a bleak picture. The level of force being brought to bear was downright terrifying, and it was only growing larger by the moment as more and more ships arrived from across the galaxy. Getting anything out of this was going to be difficult at best.

    And there was something that I needed to address once I was done with the Sisters here.

    With the additional build speed that we were now capable of, combined with the onboard fabber modules of our own frames, we were able to finish the new gear for the sisters quickly, much to the shock of our visitors themselves. One of them seemed to be even interested in how we managed to pull that feat off. I was going to make sure to include a manual with the setup.

    “Alright ladies, here’s the situation. This gear here,” I motioned to the mess of extra bits, various thrusters and such for flight modules, and some modular armor reinforcement panels for emphasis, “are going to be added to your armor. The primary reason is so that you do not die when the Skitarii legions come for you. The other reason is that you need a means of flight to really take advantage of your new gear.

    "Now, pulling things into your Core is really easy, and intuitive. Do you feel that field around you that is “touching” everything? That’s called an Impeller field, and it’s both a shield from harm and a means of manipulating your environment. More to the point, you can ‘store’ things inside of it that can be used or even integrated into your core as you go. There is a function of constantly improving the gear as well, so keep that in mind, please.”

    I still found it strange that they were listening to me, even as I could feel some of the restrained hostility that they were trying to suppress as they got as much as they could from me. I didn’t put it past them to try and shoot us before all was said and done, but that was something I could deal with later on.

    “Each of you has a pile of stuff to pull in. each of you WILL pull that pile in. we would have just performed direct modifications to your armor, but we decided that defeats the purpose of what needs to be taught. Once you have stored all of the stuff, follow us."

    The sisters reluctantly went about getting used to the most basic of basic abilities of a valkyrie core, overseen by Mio, and I used the opportunity to pull Harry aside. “Alright, man. what is it?”

    Harry, for his part, didn’t deny that he was caught. “Noticed that, huh? Not surprised. My issues are minor compared to the mess that is happening right now, but it is still something I want to address.”

    He motioned in a general direction that I recognized as being back towards Hive Primus. “The rest of the Van Saar outpost that we worked with is going to get crushed in this mess. I know that trying to get back in there with the hammer coming down is going to be rough, but I can't just leave them behind. It feels like a betrayal. I was trying to work out a plan that gets us into the hive and finding our people before it goes to shit.”

    I nodded. That was about what I had thought was happening. Harry very much didn’t like leaving people behind, which in this day and age was rare for everyone but certain Chapters of Space Marines. “Figured as such. I have the bare-bones of a plan to work with, and I think it can do some good regardless. Besides, we have about...48 hours to kill anyway before we can actually leave without risking bad things happening, so using the time for search and rescue is worth it. If nothing else, we can try and clamp down on those Genestealers we haven’t gotten to just yet.”

    I turned to Mio, who had managed to get the sisters sorted out with their new gear, and waved her over. I made sure to tug at Rico too, as he was important for this part.

    “Alright, we have a bit of a problem. There are some associates of ours that need bailing out back in the hive, and Harry is wanting to get back to them and try for a rescue before the boot comes down. I agree with him on general principle. I also want to go after those Genestealer cults that we have ID’ed before we beat feet off-planet. And we have around 48 hours before the ship is finished converting and ready to go. I’m thinking that we do our SAR job, then hit the main hub of activity for the cults as hard as possible on the pullback. With any luck we can hit hard enough to free up some of the PDF for the inevitable pushback when the crackdowns hit, then pull out after we’re done.”

    Mio shook her head. “That’s not going to happen the way you want it to. Right now, all air traffic is being forced to ground, and anything defying the order is getting shot out of the sky with a vengeance. Getting back to Primus is going to be a pain in the ass without some way to bridge the space, and the pullout is going to be harder. We might be able to get the orbital guns to focus fire on targets we want hit, but that’s about it.”

    I glanced at Mio in surprise. Were the warships in orbit really that powerful? “...what’s the fastest thing they can track? Do you know?”

    She nodded at this. “ I spent enough time onboard the ships to recognize the standards. The gun patterns used on those are good for most normal air traffic, and they tend to use some rather overpowered lasers for the rest. Tracking software is good for targeting a lot of things, and would likely have been updated to be able to handle something about as fast as a Thunderhawk in flight if pressed. Why?”

    I could barely contain my grin at this. “Because we are going to be the distraction for Harry to get into the Hive and pull our guys out. It’ll be good training for the Sisters, too, now that I think of it.” I noticed Sister Vanalyn perk up at the mention of her squad. “Besides, you need a good workup on what you have as well...and this is the best way to do it.”

    Mio’s stare was devoid of anything that could be considered warmth or love. “You.” she pointed at me, “Want us.” she waved at herself and the Sisters, “to go out FLYING into that mess?”

    I barely, barely held back the laugh that wanted to escape from me. It would do horrible things to my supply of nookie. “Yes. I want us to go out there and play a giant game of whack-a-mole with a massive fleet of starships. And in the process, show you, all of you, exactly what a Valkyrie is capable of.

    “Harry, take Rico with you. He’ll help with the evac and is a good partner for your style besides. We will handle the rest. Stay in touch, and be ready to move on a moment’s notice if things drop any further into the pot. Also, take one of the deep space rigs with you when you go, in case we have to use the worst case. Rico knows where they are at, along with the suits. I’ll catch up to you when i’m done with the game here, but don’t be afraid to call for help.”

    Harry nodded, and rushed off to prepare himself for his mission. Mio, meanwhile, was looking at me with utter contempt. I got the feeling that she did not like me letting Harry run off alone.

    “No, I’m not changing my mind. And yes, you are going to let it happen. Harry can take care of himself, and Rico is going to be with him. I assure you they will be fine, even in the face of Armageddon.”

    Her scowl did not lessen, and Sister Vanalyn was giving me equally nasty looks now.

    Time to nip this in the bud and show them.

    “Everyone outside. You have five minutes. Mio, grab some extra weapons for the Sisters, please, as well as yourself. You’ll need them for your core. I’ll join you there.” I left no room for argument, as I immediately left myself to get my own kit together.

    First and foremost, I needed more offensive punch for my damned Frame. The power beam was all nice and good, but even brief tests had shown that it was the hilariously short ranged version of the beam, and not the proper upgraded long beam. Fixing that was probably beyond my capabilities at the moment, so I was sidestepping the issue by just getting better weapons.

    To start, I had the designs for the standard UN Hypervelocity Cannons ready and waiting for me to tear apart and repurpose for my own evil ends. I took the design, gave it a twin-link setup, and then applied mass effect tech wherever I could. The resulting weapon was something that was downright terrifying to behold, even without the knowledge that a Valkyrie was going to be using it. I quickly integrated this into my frame, on my forearm bracers, then linked enough of the spare fabricators we had hanging around to them that ammunition would no longer be a concern.

    Next, I created eight supersized versions of the prototype dual-mode rifle with some extra tweaks thrown in now that I didn’t have to worry about making it man-portable or even stable, like adding in some of the planned photon technology that was missing from the prior version. I made sure to include an add-on for launching larger solid munitions as well, like grenades or even potentially some knockoff power bombs if I needed to. These I integrated with zero fanfare, making sure that at least two of them were in an over-the-shoulder config on my back.

    Finally, I quick-built a missile pod to use with whatever I could come up with, and added the mess to my storage for later use. Making ammo could come later.

    I thought about adding more, but decided against it in the end. I could make more later on as needed.

    I made sure to grab my own customized rifle as well, and integrated it into my armor along with everything else before I left.

    Stepping back out of the workshop I’d used to gear up, I found that the area was empty of everyone but the Kerbals, who were running around in a state of controlled panic.

    I quickly stepped up to the group. “Guys, GUYS!! Calm down, please! It’s not as bad as it looks.”

    Bill shot that down fast. “Not as bad as it looks, huh? Well, there are thousands of warships up in orbit right now, boss! That looks really fucking bad!!

    Okay, he had a point. I made sure to mention as much. “Still, we’re not completely screwed. We can make it. Right now, I want you all to get to the ship and prepare anything you think you will need for an extended voyage with little chance of a friendly resupply. Once you are done, hole up onboard until things start kicking off. I’m going to be closing the hangar doors, so make sure you have everything you need before you shut the airlock to the shipyard, because it’s not going to open back up until I get back, okay?

    The last of the orange-suited Kerbals, and the only one that I had yet to meet, stepped forward. “We’ll take care of it, sir. Besides...I get to fly that baby, right?”

    I chuckled. “Yeah. you get to fly that baby. Now, get ready to go, and wait for either the ship to finish upgrading or our signal that shit has hit the fan. We’re counting on you, alright?”

    The Kerbal nodded. “Jeb, sir. Jeb Kerman, lead pilot. And yeah, I’ll make sure that everyone is good to go.”

    I nodded back, and turned to the exit of my home for the last month or so.

    It was time to go to war.






    Arikia found herself confused as she guided her sisters back out of the odd space pocket that resembled a hangar. Sure, the STC was safe there, but...their mission was to recover it, and yet the same man (she refused to call him a mutant, not anymore) had helped them once again. Had even been planning on giving them the STC, or at least a copy thereof, to return with...at least, until the coming of the apocalypse that was the enraged Adeptus Mechanicus.

    That the same man had stated outright that the odd spheres that Mariel had all but pleaded for them to collect had granted them extraordinary powers…

    Well, she would find it hard to believe, but she could literally feel the difference. The field around her, this Impeller Field, had been an eye-opener to a lot of things. That she had then used this same field to figuratively eat a large stack of parts, gear, and weaponry as if it was mere food was another shock. Watching the same parts aligning themselves with her power armor, in many cases outright replacing the necessary pieces as needed, was another thing entirely. Her armor had never functioned better, and in fact now felt very much like an extension of her body.

    ‘Was this what it felt like for the Astartes?’

    No matter. Now was the time to fight, as this man had brought up a very good point: the rabble was not going to sit idle while the boot came down. There would be heretics and traitors plenty to subdue when the time came, and she doubted that the ganger House Cawdor would be any exception to the rules, despite their fervor and zeal. This was not to include what else could potentially make itself known in the process of scurrying away from the Emperor’s light.

    Nonetheless, she had gathered and arranged her squad in the small airlock room outside of the pocket space, and along with the woman (who she believed was affiliated with the Mechanicus herself), waiting for that strangely vexing man to come outside from whatever errand he was on at the moment.

    She turned to the woman instead, hoping for an explanation. “So, then. What manner of piracke does this man of yours think he has access to that would allow him to survive orbital bombardment?”

    The woman’s response was strained. She seemed to be still annoyed, head low in thought. “He thinks that the guns will be too slow to track us for some reason. I don’t know why, though.”

    She looked up at Arikia, a resigned look on her face. “It really doesn’t matter. At the least, I managed to live out my dream for a while, and had found love to boot. You can’t really beat that. But, there is one thing I would ask. Could I know the names of those that are going to die beside me?”

    Arikia looked at her command with a neutral expression. “That is for each of you to decide on your own. I will not condemn you for your decision, whatever it is."

    Her Sisters looked among each other for a moment, before reaching to remove their helmets one by one, Introducing themselves.

    The first had Stark white hair, a common feature of the Sororitas, styled in a simple pixie cut, along with shapr features. “I am Beatrice, and act as a second to the Sister Superior.”

    “Rikah.” this one was a dour and mousy-looking woman, her head covered by a simple Veil.

    “Annalise. I am the sharpshooter of our team.” a blue-eyed beauty of a woman with pleasant features, also covered by a veil.

    “I am Sister Mariel, a passing technology adept.” This one was a rather cheery-looking woman with loose brunette locks, currently done up in a simple bun for expediency.

    “And I am Lisbeth, a pleasure.” THe last of them also had bome-white hair, with no veil, along with striking gray eyes. It was an interesting combination that somehow worked for her oddly laid-back face and posture.

    Mio suddenly started, remembering something. “Ah. I forget myself. Please allow me a late introduction. I am Miolala Granliss, a Techpriest for the Mechanicus that was on explorator duty...until I found, by chance, the love of my life. I will leave it to him to introduce himself.”

    “Satori Green. Formerly of the United States Air Force, a military long forgotten by time.” the newly-named Satori had appeared just after their introduction session, having completed his preparations. “And I’ve got everything that I want ready to go. First off, each of you, take these.”

    He was handing out what looked like a small block of something cogitation-related. Was this the STC Archive?

    “Each of you will absorb this into your frames, and then hang on to them until such time as you have either arrived back at your home station or you feel it is necessary to reveal it to others. I am going to assume that you either know or can figure out the contents of that little package easily enough, so I’m not going to elaborate.

    “Other than that, everything is good to go. You ladies ready?”

    Arikia could see that Miolala was clearly not wanting to go through with this, but felt she had no choice. Satori, on the other hand, seemed very confident for reasons unknown.

    She noticed Satori had closed the door and removed a key of some kind from it before storing the key away, probably in that strange power armor of his. “Alright ladies, time for me to give you an example of why you now own the skies....and you, Mio, need a formal example of just why Valkyrie cores are such a big deal. Follow me, please.”

    Beatrice interjected. “And why should we follow you to our deaths, Mutant? There are better ways for us to spend our lives.”

    Satori just looked at Bea for a brief moment, visibly struggling to keep in some--was he laughing?

    “And who said you were going to die? I’m confident, not stupid. I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t sure that this was safe. Well, safer than just dying outright, at any rate.”

    So, then. We are going to fly. And we are going to outrun us some laserfire, and orbital bullshit. And you are going to learn how to do it on the fly.” and with that, he stepped out into the polluted air.

    They had no choice but to follow.

    Outside, she watched in amazement as he simply flew, without any real effort on his part, the power suit of his having manifested itself in a mere moment to protect him from the environment. This change prompted her to remember that she’d had her helmet off for a while now...except now she didn’t? And neither did her Sisters? How the--

    “That’s part of the features. Your Core got a read on what you would want in this situation and responded appropriately. Normally it takes a bit longer for that kind of thing to settle in, but I see that Mio made improvements.

    “Now then, we are going to be doing some loose waypoint flying. Don’t worry too much about formation, just keep up with me. I’m sending you the track we’re going to use right now. Oh, and you might wanna hurry. I’m going to be drawing some attention when I get going.”

    With that, he lifted off into the air at a pace that she could hardly believe. Mariel was looking on in awe at the sheer spectacle of it, and seemed to be whispering something to herself as well.

    Miolala, however, was somewhat shocked, judging by the look on her face. It was with an indignant roar of frustration and fury that she called her own armor to hand and followed after her lover, surprisingly at the same speeds.

    In a rare move for the group, it was Lisbeth that broke the sudden quiet. “So fast…”

    “And we are to believe that somehow we are now capable of that level of speed in flight?” Beatrice was not amused. “What madness is this?”

    Mariel had turned her head to the sky for a moment. “It’s the madness that gets them away from that ship that is currently targeting us with auspex, Sister Superior. Shall we depart?”

    Annalise was watching the ships as well, with a rather pensive look on her face. “Huh. never knew that the mounts looked like that…” wait, was she admiring a ship in low orbit, from the ground? Arikia knew that the Emperor had blessed her with superior eyesight, but that was ridiculous.

    In any case, they had stayed long enough. “Very well. We depart! To the Skies, Sisters!!”







    Cutting it off here, as I’m unable to focus further on how to push, for reasons.

    Metroid Dread is now released, and you will not be getting chapters until I’m done playing it. Just being straight up about it.

    the chapter is technically a piece of a whole, so I will post the perks gained with the reamainders.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
  7. edboy49

    edboy49 Versed in the lewd.

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    Awesome chapter.
    Question how different would have your MC reacted if the Red Toaster fleet that came was under the command of Cawl?

    Well, can't you blame the guy?
    Your MC is quite possibly the only good human in the entire universe that won't worship him like a god and actually tell him the truth and not grovel.
     
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  8. Project Eden

    Project Eden Enthusiastic Seeker of Culture

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    I'm still frustrated that MC has to play nice with Bolter Bitches instead of disabling their power armors and reclaiming those Cores. Seriously, he made those wonders and lost them to crazy gun totting nuns. Any way to swipe them from their hands while they're distracted? So far, best plan seem to be use boosted Sororitas to distract AdMech and reclaim the cores while they're both distracted.
     
  9. Nimeroni

    Nimeroni Getting sticky.

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    So sublety died in the fire of a massive fleet. Satori is totally going to end on the AdMech radar.

    I can't wait for the fireworks.

    It's the full STC, right ? He made smaller copies of it a few chapter ago.

    Now if only Emp could stop being a jerkass...

    It's not easy to find someone compatible with the cores, and the girls are at least loyal to the imperium, so why not ? It's not like they can threaten him or he have an immediate need for the cores. Also throwing the sisters at the AdMech might create a distraction to help him escape.

    (And of course there is the whole "that was Mio's decision")
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
  10. Project Eden

    Project Eden Enthusiastic Seeker of Culture

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    Can MC not use it for himself? I don't know much about the Valkyrie Cores but since it's anime, it's only usable for women? What about simply using it as a power battery like he originally intended?
     
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  11. Nimeroni

    Nimeroni Getting sticky.

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    He already have his own core (Thot), heck he have a core that got tinkered by the Chozo, so it's even better. Mia and Harry already have cores too.

    The extra cores were pretty much created as an experiment by Mia, but the only real way to use them is to give them to someone else.
     
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  12. Acolyte

    Acolyte Know what you're doing yet?

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    He doesn't rule the skies. He really hasn't practiced flying his valkyrie core. He slightly rents the sky at best.

    And thousands warships should easily able to shoot them down.
     
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  13. ATP

    ATP Versed in the lewd.

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    So,Admech would be busy with gangs,nobles,sororitas and Nids.If SI only keep flying,he could survive.
    If he made it,then he should leave system with info"BWAHAHAHA,l take STC,look like this STC kind of ship is working" There is hope,that Admech would pursue him and do not massacre population too much.

    P.S Eldar chick ? new addition to Harry harem,except Sororitas.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2021
  14. Cheetored20

    Cheetored20 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    You clearly don't know what Valkyries have to dodge then (ftl lasers to start)
     
  15. Acolyte

    Acolyte Know what you're doing yet?

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    I do infact know what they have to dodge.

    Have you read the fucking quest. It takes years to train valkyrie to that level.
     
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  16. Cheetored20

    Cheetored20 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    These are improved cores, we don't know how long they take.
    Also time perks.
     
  17. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    Taking a break from Dread to respond here. it looked warranted.

    I highly doubt that even Belisarius Cawl would be lenient in the face of a full STC being available for the collecting. This is not just a response to the AdMech showing up on-world, but to the sheer effort that they are putting out to ensure that they secure the STC for themselves.

    A reminder that there are a minimum of TWO STCs on that world, and Van Saar has the other one...and there is no reason to think that the data inside the Van Saar STC is damaged in any way, merely the shell casing, which is why the constant radiation sickness. So the AdMech is going to find at least one of them. This does not even begin to count what might be hidden underground in the forgotten vaults. Necromunda is getting picked clean one way or the other, dammit.

    The Emperor's interest in the affairs of Satori is likely due to the level of outsize influence he has over his surrounding space, combined with the technology available. The Emperor taking a hand in certain matters to ensure an outcome favorable to him is a standard thing. This time the Sisters benefited from it.

    And while Satori is not necessarily a "nice guy", by the standards of 40k he's a fucking Saint. And yes, he is just about the only one willing to call RMps on his bullshit. Whether or not Revelation listens is a different matter.

    Not Happening.


    Satori is not being forced to do shit. He was playing nice with the Sororitas because they had previously proven that they were willing and amenable to actually hearing him out before screaming about mutants and heresy and going "So I started Blasting". That this relationship continues is just an extension of the fact that the AdMech is a problem for the entirety of Necromunda, not just him.

    I answered these earlier on Discord, but I'm doing it again for the benefit of everyone else here.

    Yes, that was a Full STC. For each of them. Normally this would not be a thing, but the SIsters were going to be gutted by their own people for the "Archaeotech" that they now possess without some form of carrot attached to prevent it. The Mechanicus is vicious like that.
    Subtlety is dead and gone in the face of the near entirety of the AdMech converging on one planet. If he could leave right away, sure, sneaky sneaky would have been an option, but they have to hold out for at least two standard days before that's an option, and even Satori is not that good, ninja though he may be.
    And yes, Core compatibility is still rare enough that actually taking what you can get is an accepted strategy for employing them. As for the Sisters being distracting so that the team can escape, see the fact that they still have a good length of time to stall.

    I hate to say it, but the AdMech is going to be making an example of this world for hiding it's secrets from them. Nevermind that the STC was a new find, everyone gets it because the Mech wasn't in on it from day one. simple as that.

    As for staying airborne...the weapons onboard the ships in orbit are clunky things, but there are a lot of ships. eventually someone will get a lucky shot in if they just keep the air filled with fire.

    as for options to draw AdMech away from the world...well, that's a decent start, but it would take a bit more than that to really get them to pull out completely. the fact that even one STC was found there (and the second soon to be discovered) will mean that they are digging in to scour the world for anything that they might have missed.

    but yes, it does mean that they now have to deal with the local issues, and the Jeans are but one of them.

    Grouping them both for convenience.

    Acolyte, you apparently haven't read the quest lately, as it is blatantly clear that the biggest hurdle to utilization of a Valkyrie core is not the insane training, but the actual core itself. Most of the early days of training are used to get used to actually being synced with the core, and making use of the expanded functionality thereof. The implication that the cores also enhance their users is also a thing, and likely helps with the process.

    and these are NORMAL cores. Mio's cores are that, added in with Satori's fixes for use with humanity and not whatever they were tuned to before, plus some improvements across the board that grossly simplify the process of acclimating to the core and it's functions.

    Satori's personal core is literally a Chozo Powersuit crossed with a Valkyrie frame.
    And considering just what a Chozo Suit is truly capable of, as shown by Raven Beak and his cohort...yeah. Good luck. Even if his fight was just him Spamming Aeion powers all over the place, it was still nuts.

    And even if you want to scream about inexperience in actually using his frame in combat, please bear in mind that Satori is himself a trained soldier, and not only used to combat, but, thanks to both Aura and Ninja training, used to High-Speed Combat. That training was not just for show, dammit.
    So, yes, he does in fact Rule the Skies, as nothing that can actually be fielded in the air can stop him, and the Fleet in orbit has to rely on prohibitively large amounts of massed fire and praying for a lucky hit. The disparity is utterly clear here. The fact that, as stated above, Satori is not willing to push his luck on someone getting that lucky shot is just him being a pragmatist.
     
  18. StealthGorgon1

    StealthGorgon1 The Abyss stares back

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    I was thinking for a second, wait a second: Isn’t Necromunda at least somewhat important? Then I remembered that this is angry AdMech that found out about a full STC being on the planet and not being immediately given to them, they don’t give a fuck if the planet is important. If this was Holy Terra itself they would still probably try and start shit. The blue bloods are fucked, doesn’t matter if they knew about the STC or not. The Fists are probably going to decide to find a new world to Fortify!

    If there is a planet with any population when they are done (baring MC bribing the shit out of the Mechanicus) I would be surprised.

    Edit: a population not made entirely of servitors.
     
  19. Ghost in a Wall

    Ghost in a Wall Making the rounds.

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    Oh god, I just realized, Satori has Warframed himself. He's now a space ninja in a super suit! Those poor, poor fools. They gave the (Tech) Wizard time to prep....
     
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  20. omegasrevenge

    omegasrevenge The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate)

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    I guess some people have trouble visualizing why the AdMech coming here, even in force, is so terrible for Necromunda. They think to themselves "Gee, an army of Engineers came here for a bunch of blueprints they want."
    But that's not what's happening.
    This is an army of Zealots on a bloody Crusade for a most sacred relic of their God, and anyone between them and their goal and anyone within a couple million miles is to be put to death.
    Deus Vult.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Logos01

    Logos01 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    This is just a small peeve, but the Valkyrie Core is not the frame. Frames are human made and paired with cores, but the cores themselves are the whitish slightly more than fist sized spheres of alien and unknown manufacture that literally fell on the earth slightly before the Antagonists arrived. (As in they were found in a fresh meteor impact crater, IIRC.)

    Frames are impressive tech on their own, and it requires a Core-synched human to even try to use them -- but they aren't the cores themselves.

    Main reason I bring this up is the reminder that anywhere in the vicinity of the core's Impeller Field is an area that the internal subspace storage can be "expressed" from for anything in that storage -- and that includes the Frames. Which can make any fight with our MC even more of a challenge when all of those time compressed crafting perks start applying to the core's stored fabricators.

    Kinda hard to successfully orbitally bombard someone who is laying down a new cityscale Void Shield and teleporting to another continent every two seconds. And firing back on your position with anti-capital surface-orbit platforms that are resident in a subspace dimension with only the weapon apertures in our universe... and each is a full mile separate from any other aperture.
     
  22. Acolyte

    Acolyte Know what you're doing yet?

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    That's completely different styles of combat. Being a trained soldier doesn't make you fighter pilot and ninja training has almost nothing to do with valkyrie training aside from the speed.

    How did he learn where and when to target with missiles, how does he know when to use Thrusters for turning or when to manipulate inertia. How does know how to dodge lasers. How does he know how to read his sensors and make sense of the vast amount of information in active combat.

    And you know that the valkyrie training is much more than just learning to use the cores abilities. One of the first things they teach is how to actually best use the valkyrie frames as a combat platform in a combined arms race or how to fly or how to deal with the enemies E-war. So you claim of it being mostly cores abilities is bullshit. It's entire new paradigm of war and that takes years to learn, maybe his abilities could even shorten it down to a few days, but he hasn't even committed that much time to practice with his frame.

    While he may know how to do technically everything in combat. But he doesn't have the instinctive fluency with his system. Because he didn't practice like a dumb ass.
     
  23. Cheetored20

    Cheetored20 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    You are forgetting that not everything is shown on screen, also chozo tech laughs at inertia.
     
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  24. InfiniteChaosRai

    InfiniteChaosRai World's only not-cringe Furry

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    It laughs at a lot more than inertia bro.
     
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  25. Cheetored20

    Cheetored20 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    True that, been playing dread and realizing how outclassed some things are is crazy. (Also I forgot about Metroids because I count them as a different faction.)
     
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  26. Helios3019

    Helios3019 Just lurking ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I'm just gonna ignore any questions about Satori's hypotetical training regime and just enjoy him getting his "I am a leaf on the wind" moment.
     
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  27. Threadmarks: Chapter 18.2
    Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    I return, with Part Two of this chapter. Enjoy it!
    Thanks to Kamui and Fourmyle,' Paradox's Chosen over on Discord for creative feedback and editing





    Watching the Sisters finally get airborne over sensors was oddly warm for me. Maybe it’s because I knew what they were about to experience, and knowing that they would be the first of the Imperium to actually broach into that hallowed realm of the Valkyries...and all of the myriad bullshit that one was capable of when they had a core partner.

    Musings aside, I had a lesson to teach, and a gaggle of eager students to teach it to.

    I was currently cruising at a ‘mere’ mach four or so, keeping the speed down a bit so that the others could adjust their flight patterns as needed. So far, the Sisters were doing quite admirably at keeping up, and from what I could hear of their comms chatter, were ecstatic at the ability shown by their new gear.

    Mio, on the other hand, was making a point of gluing herself as closely to my side as possible, even while I made lazy-ish evasive maneuvers to spoil the orbital fire that would be coming down soon. That she was making it look surprisingly easy was expected of her. After all, she was my Dragon, and as such was superior in all things.

    [The flattery will not save you. I will be punishing you for this. And I mean an actual punishment, not just you getting more playtime with me like normal.]

    I pointedly ignored the subtext of what would happen after. Right now, I needed to focus.

    My sensors started lighting up with the bands of detection from the orbital assets as they attempted to get a bead on our group. At this low speed, getting out of the sensor return range wasn’t going to happen, but at the same time, we weren’t kicking up enough of a displacement wake to be detectable from that alone without a bit of jiggering, either. That left me a good few clear zones to navigate my little ducklings though as a test exercise.

    I quickly rearranged my comms channels for the new squad arrangement, then went to all-call. “Alright ladies, now that we’re airborne, I am going to give you a, and pardon the pun, crash course in the general combat operation of a Valkyrie Core. This is not meant to be all-encompassing, but it does cover the basics easily enough.”

    I paused to await any questions, and received none. Guess they are used to it for now.

    “First off: the Core itself is just an enabling platform for everything else. The actual hardware that the core supports is integrated into what is referred to as the Frame. These Frames can have varying abilities depending on loadout, but a key point to remember is that by default and due to the core itself, all Frames are at least partially flight capable and have access to the core’s Impeller function.

    “Now, the Impeller is a complex as fuck piece of work, but the short version is that it is a multipurpose field controlled by the user and utilized in various ways even beyond what you have demonstrated previously. One of the more common high-end skills is the ability to literally teleport via a bit of spatial manipulation. The abilities of the Impeller field are limited only by the user of the frame and associated core ability, so remember that the sky is the limit. Sister Superior, I am sending you and yours a condensed rundown of the capabilities known to me. There are more that are theorized, as well, and I strongly urge you to test and refine those as time goes.”

    The document I’d sent out was just that: a list of notes and theories regarding the IF and its use. Some of it would be enabled by their cores themselves as they continued to sync, now that they knew the possibility was there. As for the rest, practice was a thing,

    I continued my lecture. “Most important to the operation of a Valkyrie Core of any kind is the synchronization rate, and sync length. Basically, your capabilities are initially determined by your sync rate, which is a measure of how compatible you are with the core itself. This is unimportant in the long run, as merely by being synced to your core, the rate will increase, and eventually allow you to move and act as if the core was a full extension of your being. This is the Sync Length, usually measured in hours synced over one’s lifetime. The more you have, the better you can be.

    “This means that veteran Valkyries are all the more dangerous than newbies, because they have more control over the things their core can offer and do, as well as potentially having a unique system or three due to the upgrade process. This brings us to the third point of the Valkyrie Core, and one that needs repeating even now: everything that is integrated into the Core itself to form the Frame, and everything that is stored inside of the Impeller field, will upgrade itself over time. Doesn’t matter what it is, it will upgrade and even repair itself as well. As the process goes on, the equipment and layout of each core’s frame becomes unique and personalized to the individual who uses it. Keep that in mind, as those cores will likely last far beyond your own deaths.”

    [INCOMING MISSILES]

    I was forced to pause in my explanation again as I got everyone to dodge the beginnings of the orbital response, which for now was being strangely constrained compared to what I was expecting. I fired a scan up into the atmosphere to check, and confirmed that we were not in some kind of blind zone or sensor hole or another. It did beg the question of why they weren’t shooting at us, though.

    “I have a question!” The radio sounded off, the Identifier listing it as Sister Mariel. “The storing things part: that was what we did to get the upgrades to our power armor installed, right? Is that possible for other things?”

    I had to suppress a chuckle at the sheer earnestness in her voice. Mariel’s love of all things technical was clear to see for everyone who didn’t try and desperately keep their heads in the sand out of fear of drawing the ire of the Mechanicus. In any other universe she would likely have become a solid grease monkey and loveable wrench wench for some lucky person.

    Here, she’s just another cog in the machine of war. Or, at least, she was.

    “Yes, Mariel, the Impeller field stores things kind of similar to a dimensional pocket, and the more things are integrated into the core, and specifically the more complex those things are, the stronger and larger the Impeller Field gets. It’s something related to the way the cores are set up, and is a bit complex for right now,” I subtly guided the group around another swarm of Missiles as they swarmed again “with the constantly having to dodge incoming fire thing. I’ll drop an overview on you after we’re clear. Also, everyone, prepare for hypersonic bow shock and form up on me.”

    Mio poked me through our link, even as she all but yelled at me. “Hypersonic? When did we hit Hypersonic speeds? We were only going at Mach 4!!”

    I barely suppressed a chuckle. “Yep. Keyword were. I’ve been bumping the speeds up ever since everyone caught up. I was waiting to see if anyone would notice.”

    Mio’s growling was super cute, and besides, I could feel the immense spike of interest and wonder that was hidden behind it anyway. That she only growled more at my reaction was icing on the cake for me.

    The addition of what looked suspiciously like siege weaponry to the mix of stuff I was having to thread through was another matter. If this shit kept up, we might actually get clipped by something. Hell, we hadn’t even made it to the racetrack holding route that I’d set up. The fuck?

    “So then...are we actually going to get to our destination sometime today?” Interestingly, it was Sister Annalise who was snarking at me about the inconvenience of travel times.

    The fact that she felt comfortable enough to snark at me was proof enough that they were becoming well aware of just why I was so confident of our utter superiority in the skies.

    “I’m working on it. As you can see, the orbital cover is being a little insistent on not letting us do as we please.” As if on cue, another set of energy weapons fire lit up the sky around us, this time actually coming close to hitting. I guess the Mechanicus ships have better tracking systems for their guns than the standard for the Imperial Navy.

    “Alright people, it’s about to get really fucking annoying in a bit, now that the top cover has got their heads on straight. Watch your sensors and don’t fly in a predictable pattern, and with luck we should be able to outrun the tracing systems the guns use.”

    I kicked up the speed to an equally leisurely (for a Valkyrie, anyway) Mach 7. A bit of minor impeller control took the worst of the bow shock and turbulence and...not quite cancelled it so much as redirected it away from my person and the rest of the flight as we passed by, loose as our formation was. Both Mio and the Sisters were able to keep up with no complaints as I swung around another attempt at a heavy orbital strike and mushed us closer to our stage.

    You would think by now that the people in charge would have figured out that it’s not happening and sic some recon elements on us instead…

    Mio never said a word, but the extremely sharp feeling of negativity I got from her was answer enough.

    “This...this is beyond anything I had imagined. We’re moving so fast...how is this possible?”

    Ah. seems that Sister Beatrice had finally hit her limit of stoicism.

    “Mostly through extremely advanced science, the likes of which have been long-lost since the Dark Age of Technology.” Mio’s Response seemed to grab the attention of the Sisters. “We, Humanity, were once more than capable of doing all sorts of wondrous things, and then came the fall, and now we poke and scrape at the remains in a vain hope for an echo of reflected glory.

    “Now? The planet below burns simply because an archive of such knowledge has been even found. And this is by other Humans, other otherwise loyal citizens of the Imperium. Imagine how our enemies will react?”

    It was a sobering thought, that the Mechanicus would do this to a loyal world simply for possessing an STC, but that’s the Imperium for you: a giant, crumbling mass of contradictions and broken promises rotting from the inside. I was honestly unsure if even the Emperor himself could save what was left.

    I decided to change the subject. “We can’t do anything about that right now. What we can do is fight the enemies of Mankind to the best of our ability and strength, and ensure that even now they have no room to maneuver...and receive no mercy from our Fury.”

    I got the impression of nods coming from the Sisters, and a feeling of warmth and encouragement from Mio as we continued dodging the weapons fire from above, and now even some from below, as well. From the looks of it, they’d managed to get the main complements of the ground forces on-planet and deployed for action, including a number of Titans, all of which were adding to the bullet hell that we were threading our way though. It was getting a little hairy, in fact.

    Which meant that we were doing a very good job at being distractions. And it was giving the Sisters some good practice in operating their Frames. It did help that they were all inherently highly compatible, to the point that in another world they may have been labeled as prodigies.

    The air was becoming a clogged mess now, bullets and missiles and energy weaponry coalescing everywhere at once in maddening patterns. And yet, not a one actually came into contact with us. The Sisters were adapting shockingly well to adjusting their impellers for best flight practices, directing the otherwise lethal wake and heat of hypersonic flight away from not only themselves but the rest of us with almost contemptuous ease.

    It was around now that the guns arrayed against us started finding their marks...to negligible effect. The lasers from above were getting hit with some severe attenuation issues, and were bleeding a lot of their power to the atmosphere due to being designed for orbital use. Thing is, even with that being accounted for, I didn’t think that they could have punched through even the weakest Impeller of our little ragtag group...and we were simply moving too fast for anything on the ground to hit us with anything less than a miracle shot.

    And it was only those Lasers that were hitting. The missiles had stopped a while back after it became clear that wasn’t working, and the various esoteric energy weapons that were being employed each had their own problems that made them ineffective. The one that I was worried about for a bit, a weapon that looked like it was a souped-up tesla coil, proved useless when the bow shock of our passing screwed up the ion channel needed for the weapon to discharge into us properly.

    I oddly found myself…disappointed? [I knew this was going to be relatively easy, but this is kind of...sad. I expected...more?]

    [Well, we’re actually cruising at Mach seven, and this is definitely not even close to top speed. Combine that with the fact that the only weapons they have fast enough to hit us are ineffective because of distance and, well…]

    Mio was trying to keep her wonder and elation from her side of the link, but unfortunately for her our link was very much a two-way street. She got to ride in my head at will, I got to do the same to her. And there was no hiding, not even in here. I was curious as to what my punishment was going to be for this stunt, though.

    [Oh, don’t worry. I will make sure that it is appropriate. Something to teach you the value of restraint.]

    It was about now that our sensors (and only our sensors) picked up the burst of magical power coming from the direction of Hive Primus.

    Seemed like Harry had gotten started, then.

    One of the Sisters, Lisbeth I believe, let out a whoop of utter joy at her newfound ability and power, reveling in the sheer freedom it brought.

    And to think, this was just flying. Wait’ till they actually have to fight something!!

    Our Racetrack pattern was a wide, semi-randomized setup placed well away from things considered important by the planetary government. It was a risk doing this, as the Mechanicus could bring down yet more firepower on our heads, but it was a small price to pay for being able to keep their attention.

    I figured it was time to really kick it up a notch before I let the Sisters loose on their own initiative.

    “Alright ladies, last lesson before we split up and everyone does their own thing. You may have felt that pressure from the speed as we’ve been zooming around?”

    “Our Armor compensates for most of it, but the force is still noticeable.” Mariel responded. “It’s not really that big of a deal, even at top speed like we are now.”

    Oho...they thought...hoo boy.

    “Two things. First, you will want to learn how to do inertia damping eventually for high acceleration profiles for later on. Second...this is not your top speed. Not even close. The air isn’t even properly burning yet.”

    Even in the middle of the worst set of aerial interdiction I had ever even had nightmares of, the silence was deafening. Mio, for reasons of her own, acted surprised along with the Sisters, though it was wholly unnecessary.

    “Alright ladies, kicking it up a notch to Mach 10. Racetrack is extending, try and avoid crossing your wakes unless you can control yourselves, and be careful about the Gees. if you can’t hold the pace, don’t force it, just work on your inertial cancel until you can.”

    The sudden commands and change in tempo snapped them out of their haze of wonderment, and got their minds back in the game. With any luck, it should only take about four rotations for the Sisters to pick up the needed skills, and then we could get to the next phase.

    I was curious about how Harry was holding up, though. I could still feel the mana spike from whatever he did.

    Eh. I’m sure he’s fine.






    Harry was anything but fine at the moment.

    Under normal circumstances, this would have him taking out his frustrations on the source of his predicament, but this was complicated by the fact that the source was a fucking Eldar. Dealing with the knife-ears was always an exercise in near hopeless patience at best. That the obvious Farseer was going out of her way to try and make his life miserable in particular was just the garnish on his shit sandwich.

    And everything else was going to shit around him, too. Primus was a madhouse, with Skitarii everywhere, brutally cracking down on the populace and asserting the Mechanicus’ will. This was amplified by the residual Chaos complements from the hellstorm incident deciding to come out of the woodwork and make some noise as well, which had the portions of the PDF that actually had something looking like cohesion completely tied up. The sudden and unexpected ganger uprising from a lot of the small-timers trying to take advantage and move up was just more fuel to the fire...and more cannon fodder for his advance.

    The reason he was anything but fine was because everyone seemed to treat him as the single biggest threat in the area and would regularly team up for the sole purpose of putting him down by any means necessary. That they were all failing miserably was of no consequence, they were still annoying as fuck.

    “WILL YOU ASSHOLES PLEASE LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!?!”

    “Fuck you, you piece of--” The dissenting voice was silenced by a bolt of photon particles as Harry took exception to his idiocy. The stationary turrets he’d deployed chewed up another group trying to move in, and his more mobile mana orbs (something that he remembered Satori calling ‘Options’ at one point while they were training) kept the rest mostly honest. Still, he was having to slog through hell for every fucking yard, which was not a fun proposition.

    Beside him, Rico sliced down another set of chaos cultists with little fanfare and even less mercy. “Where the hell are they coming from?” he shouted. “ I’m pretty sure I’ve killed that same guy five times already!!”

    “I don’t know!” Harry yelled back, cutting down yet another cultist, just as the Skitarii assigned to this area decided to test their luck. “Just keep pushing for the main square! We can get reoriented there!!”

    “Oh, sure! We go to the same square that is absolutely crawling with bad guys!! GREAT CALL HARRY!!”

    A plinking sound rippled through Rico’s barrier as another of the Eldar snipers decided to try their luck. “AND CAN SOMEONE PLEASE KILL THE GODDAMNED ELVES ALREADY!?!”

    A second, angrier plink was his response, along with what looked like a burst of focused psionic power.

    Harry cursed under his breath. This was getting them nowhere. It didn't matter that they could mow everything down for miles, there were simply too many bodies that could be thrown at them at once, and even if they couldn’t kill either of them, the opposition could most definitely slow them down. Considering that Harry was pretty sure that Van Saar was on an increasingly short time limit and the problem became clear.

    Teleporting was out of the question. Setting up even a short-range dimensional transfer would take too long, and all of the other utility teleport spells were made with open spaces in mind, not the confines of an Imperial Hive city. Assuming the safeties would work correctly, he either wouldn’t teleport at all or would telefrag himself. Both were poor options.

    He vaguely heard someone shouting something about striking quickly, and tossed a shield in that general direction just as the incoming fire from yet another Eldar contingent came in to ruin his day.

    Asking why the knife-ears were even on planet to begin with could wait until later.

    Right now, it was time for a new approach.

    “Rico, form up behind me. I’m plowing through this mess the hard way.”

    Rico wasted no time in complying, even as Harry formed a new set of planar shields in front of him in a wedge formation. Anchoring them to a fixed distance from his person, he tossed as much residual mana as he would spare into a physical enhancement.

    And then he became the wrecking ball, plowing through everything in his path, completely uncaring of return fire or--

    The loud *CLANG* sound was his only warning before everything came to an abrupt stop, and he had to quickly reverse-motor to not plow into his own shield.

    The distinctive laughter of an Eldar echoed in the mess.

    “Buggers are getting annoying as hell right now…”

    Rico shielding against a rather massive laser assault forced Harry to refine his focus on the current situation. Right now, they were once again surrounded on all sides, everyone trying their damnedest to put the two of them in a grave. Direct return fire on those angles was inadvisable, simply due to the sheer amount of firepower being put out, so Harry stuck to deploying more turrets and using a mana-based version of telekinesis to move the ones that were already set up. The surprise of the guns being retrenched caused quite a bit of chaos among the opponent lines...and, as usual, completely failed to affect the Eldar in any way.

    Annoying little shits…

    “Any suggestions, mate? We’re kind of getting dug in here!1” A plasma cannon shot from a--was that a fucking CHAOS SPACE MARINE!?! THE FU--

    “No idea!! They keep coming, and I’m running out of ways to take them out safely!!”

    Harry risked a moment to get a snapshot on the Traitor Marine with his rifle, a clean particle shot punching straight through the forward plate. The lack of an exit point concerned him, though.

    “HARRY!!”

    It was a pure reflex move. One moment, he was behind cover, contemplating his next action. The next, he was fully thirty feet away, the place where he used to be hunkered down at obliterated by a swirl of chaotic power. He could feel the taint from here, it was so bad.

    ‘Of all the fucking…’ This was why he left the chaos shit to the Ordo Hereticus. Dealing with that on a regular basis was not a thing that let you retain your sanity.

    Too bad none of them were here now to actually do their fucking jobs.

    “That was entirely too close for comfort…”

    “Then we shall remove the safeties this time.”

    Harry snapped, flinging himself away from his position, but it was already too late. The Eldar Warp Spider (now recognizable for what it was by the armor it wore) had a clean shot on his person, and utilized it to full efficiency...only to watch it fail against his Knight Armor, with only minor actual penetration of the defenses. The Eldar, being no fool and veteran of the games of war, quickly relocated himself away from the retaliatory strike thrown his way.

    Harry, on the other hand, now found himself dodging fire from all sides, the better shields not having enough time to set up before he had to vacate his position again, in some kind of cruel game of cat and mouse. Worse, it seemed that the entire point of the weapons fire was to separate him from Rico, who had rather abruptly found himself under a furious assault.

    Wait a minute…

    Harry opened a telepathic channel as he re-set his position and compared it to where he needed to go. A cultist tried his luck against the new redoubt and rather abruptly was missing a torso.

    {Rico, I think they know you swiped the STC before, and are trying to get to you to either collect it or reveal where it is. Be careful!!}

    Another wash of weapons fire forced Harry to abandon his position, again, sending him even further away from Rico, who was now receiving the full attention of the groups arrayed against them. The good news was that it put him in a rather appealing position to disengage and complete the actual objective of this mission, and collect the Van Saar holdouts.

    {Let them think that, and don’t worry about me. Go get the stragglers, I can hold here all day!}

    A wave of magical power punctuated this statement, clearing a wide space around Rico of opponents...and drawing yet more fire in return.

    Harry sighed internally, not wanting to leave someone to their own fate, especially not the being that he saw as a teacher and mentor. Still, needs must, and getting some more weapons on target might help them in getting out when it mattered…

    Deploying his last set of fixed turrets to hopefully hold something like a back line, he retreated into the now-open alleyways and avenues and continued his search.

    Sometimes you had to just trust your teammates.






    Rico was not having fun anymore.

    Sure, at first it was interesting to see how he measured up against the new opposition, but...things had changed. The enemy forces, upon seeing him, seemed to focus on either killing off Harry or separating the two of them as quickly as possible while blocking escape routes. That they had successfully done so, only to then refocus entirely on him, was just mean.

    Of course, then Harry had to suggest that they were after the STC that he was believed to have stolen, thanks to his Lord’s little bit of subterfuge...at least some of them, anyway.

    Those big scary power armored guys (He thought that he ‘heard’ Harry thinking something about ‘Traitor Marines? It was hard to tell with only a barebones battlefield link) seemed to be after something else entirely, judging from the level of intent he was getting from them. Not to mention the ever-creeping attempts at bypassing his system protections getting to his main core...as if he didn’t already have enough issues.

    Stupid Chaos corruption. And stupid whatever that weird guy was that kept trying to attack his coding with that vile energy. Seriously, you would think that after the asshole Dark Mechanicus guy bit it by his hand while trying to use scrapcode against him would have learned…

    But nooo. Now his freaking armored friends came for the ride.

    “Hey you!! Big Ugly!! Try out the new flavor of Icicle!!”

    Tossing a suddenly fuckhuge ice spear directly at one of the Traitor Marines was quite cathartic to his sensibility, especially as he had been mostly using his magic to incapacitate people, not kill them...with some notable exceptions, of course.

    Right now, though? This was him pissed off, and these idiots got the special treatment.

    “Hope you dumbasses like fire!!!”

    The Foie technique, is, at first glance, highly simple. Just a fire spell converted to photonics usage and semi-directable as a result.

    In Rico’s grubby little hands? Even this humble manifestation was enough to light a bonfire.

    And from the looks of it, the Chaos guys weren’t liking it. At all. Even causing them to start fighting amongst themselves, too. Maybe different commanders on that side?

    Whatever. He needed to hammer the gap before--

    “Strike Quickly!! Strike Now!!”

    And of course the goddamned elves decided now was a perfectly good time to interfere, and from the looks of it they were attempting a capture…a very elaborate one, at that, and that would have succeeded rather nicely if he hadn’t seen it coming.

    As it was, dodging the attempt was child's play, even baiting one of the fucking elves into eating a plasma bolt meant for him instead, much to the dismay of the poor thing that was trying to steal him from his Lord.

    It was times like these, he really disliked the directive that he had been given to not just scour the planet clean. He could do it, too, and alone even, without needing a unison partner.

    But nooo. Lord needed everything to stay intact for some reason or another. So here he was, holding back and trying to avoid property damage, even as everyone else around him played out their overly elaborate (or sometimes completely nonexistent) plans to capture or corrupt him for their own ends.

    At least the Enforcers were acting regularly. They were trying (and failing) to fight against the chaos cultists and their power armored buddies, and unfortunately dying pointlessly as well, which was a shame.

    “Again! It is distracted!!”

    Dodging around the repeated elven attempt to capture him (and telekinetically crushing the damned green cloak asshole trying for the trouble), he took a quick glance at his surroundings.

    Enemies on the left, the Skitarii forces of the Mechanicus Dominus fleet.

    Enemies on the right, the remnants of the forces of Chaos plus their new friends.

    Enemies in front, the local idiots, a conglomeration of mixed gangsters and wannabes, along with the remains of the disorganized PDF units.

    Enemies to the rear, the Elves and their bullshit.

    Rico couldn’t help but smirk. ‘Excellent.’

    “I HAVE THEM RIGHT WHERE I WANT THEM!!!”

    And with that, he unleashed a combined attack a full two magnitudes above what had been getting thrown around previously.

    The confusion on all sides was temporary.

    Their Doom was Eternal.






    Mio surprisingly found herself lost in thought as the deadly dance in the skies continued.

    Since she had awakened to this new world, this new Imperium, she had been witness to many things that one would consider to be...abnormal. Everything from the nature of the forge itself, to her odd partnership with the man that was meant to be her master, now turned on its head because of her impulsiveness...which had instead won her the love of her life.

    That the two were the same man was inconsequential to things, even in the immediate term. He was Hers, and that was that. That she was having to enforce the corollary of that statement less often of late was a pleasant surprise and a joyous relief, as well.

    She always loved it when he took the initiative in claiming her.

    The changes to her form, even, were also as if a strange dream. The Draconic bits she was long-since used to, and enjoyed even. No, it was the underlying portions of that, the nanomachine colony that had miraculously fused itself to her flesh in a symbiosis so absolute that there was no difference between the two...that was the real prize. And one she had hoped to share with the Imperium of this galaxy.

    Only to find that the Imperium she knew and the Imperium that was the reality here were two entirely different things.

    Her Imperium was a thing of strength, quiet and resolute honor buried under the weight of being the last bastion of order and reason against the unceasing hordes of Chaos. It was a place where millions died daily, their names forgotten, in defense of the realm, awaiting the day that The Emperor would walk among them once more. It was something that was worth fighting for, even when all hope seemed lost.

    This place...this place was where that hope came to die.

    Everything she had seen of here was betrayals after betrayal after soul-crushing betrayal, with the very Imperium itself seeming to have a vendetta against its own people. The Noosphere records had illuminated much for her, and her beloved’s mind and memories gave her even more, as much as he tried to shield them from her.

    The evidence was damning in its veracity.

    Thousands upon thousands gathered onto the black ships, carted to Terra, where none returned....the vast majority fed to the Emperor to maintain his form. Xenophobia of a degree that was completely unheard of in her home, to the point that even the most minor of mutations was seen as a blight to be purged rather than something to be celebrated and adapted to, regardless of whether the afflicted one was loyal or not.

    An Imperial Guard that had been set up to guard against itself as much as it did the Enemies of Mankind, and all of them under trained and ill-equipped to deal with the true threats of the galaxy, instead dying in droves, as that was the only real weapon they had: their numbers.

    The Adeptus Terra itself, the Ministorum, distant and cold to those who it should have served, all of them mired in endless games and intrigues of their own making while their people suffered under an iron heel.

    And then there was the worst part of all.

    A Mechanicus that instead of pushing for advancement in the face of the horrors that Chaos and Xeno would inflict upon Humanity’s attempts to rise up from the darkness, would instead snuff out that light, bury it in ignorance and fear, all the while hoarding the last shattered pieces of what they once were and calling themselves enlightened for it.

    A Mechanicus obsessed with themselves, scavengers all, hungry for whatever knowledge they could steal and completely uncaring of what they could instead learn.

    A Mechanicus that was willing to ravage an entire world, despite being loyal, solely to acquire an STC...that would have been given to them anyway, in due time.

    All of this stood in contrast to the wonders she had been shown, of what could be done if only Humanity reached out to the future before them and didn’t bury themselves in ignorance.

    “Why? Why does it have to be like this?”

    Her Satori perked up at the question, directing a portion of his focus to her as he always did whenever she spoke. It was something that she appreciated in him, that he was willing to listen.

    “Why does this world...this Galaxy, have to be so...heartless?”

    “Something, something, Chaos is the usual answer, honey. But somehow I don’t think that was what you were referring to.”

    “No, I was not. I refer to the state of the Imperium, the blatant rot seeping out from its core, that none dare to stand against, and none strive to correct.”

    There was a flicker of concern from her Treasured, but she ignored it.

    “This place...no one is actually fighting for anything but sheer survival, and even then they are nothing more than an endless fuel to the hopeless machine of war that this galaxy has become.

    “This is not how we were meant to be, Satori.”

    She could almost see his frown, now. It was a sad thing that she had to ignore it.

    “Humanity was meant to be more...and yet here we are fighting ourselves simply because one side wants the shiny more. Not that they will actually use it.

    “Mio--”

    “No, Satori. This entire situation is a sham. I appreciate you trying to save those who are loyal to the Imperium, but at this point even that is pointless. The Imperium itself is the issue.”

    She felt it then, that sadness and regret, a strange determination to see something through and a bitter resignation over something that was as yet beyond her. She had her suspicions.

    “Mio. Are you sure you want to hear this?”

    “Nothing you say will tell me anything I do not already know. This Imperium is all but beyond saving, Satori...and it is time that we both acknowledged that.

    “Even now, the Mechanicus sacks a world for a database that we would have granted them, and would punish the inhabitants for something that none of them even knew existed.

    “Even now, the very troops that are supposed to protect the people are being turned upon them in a last ditch effort for power. I know you can feel them, even from here.”

    Mio swept her hand across the battlefield, still dodging around the myriad weapons fire coming at them. “Look around. We have offered no struggle, and in fact are guided by those of the Adepta Sororitas...but they still try to shoot us down, Kill us with no explanations given and none asked for. Have they even asked for our purpose or identification?”

    “Mio, we can’t--”

    “SAYS WHO?” she yelled back. “ Who says we can’t be a force of change, and actually save people instead of propping up a dead system? I had enough time to find all of the facts, and your own knowledge was enough to piece together what I did not know. The great project of the Emperor of Man is as undead as he is, in this galaxy. We have the power to fight for and save those who have been left in the darkness in his crusade. Let’s actually use it for once!!”

    Satori was silent. His thoughts, however...they swirled in turmoil, seeking a way to rebuff her even as he saw the truth of the matter...a truth that he fully intended to lay at the Emperor’s feet, along with his failures. And even then, he could not choose, trying to find a way to walk the middle path and spare the Imperium the hammer blows that would be its undoing…

    A blow that had already been delivered simply by the discovery of that STC, and the Mechanicus’ reaction to it.

    “I have seen so much since meeting you, you know. You showed me a path that I had long thought to be impossible, and a future that was not a fleeting dream to ward away the darkness. All around us, we have nothing but the selfish squabbling of the rats trying to be king of the sinking ship. We can begin the process of changing that here.

    “Please. Let us create something better.

    She knew, after all.

    She knew full well that he refused to let it die, and wanted to save as many as he could from the coming days of darkness and pain. But...the Imperium was not capable of handling that task. As it was now, all it could do was hold the line as the sharks circled around…

    “ARCHENEMY ON THE GROUND!!”

    Her thoughts were interrupted by Sister Rikah shouting out over the comms, bringing to mind the last little bit of horror that was this galaxy.

    The fact that Chaos had effectively already won, simply because the people were blind to the dangers it presented. That they were able to arrive here, in force, so quickly, and with, from the looks of it, actual Traitor Marines, no less, was a damning indictment.

    Satori’s thought that they were probably after him was ruthlessly smothered by her touch, countered with the fact that she was, by their own decision, just as much a beneficiary of this mess as he was. It was her forge too, after all.

    Instead, she broke off her intended course and rose into the air, gathering power as she went.

    The radio conversation that she had been having with her Treasured was instead switched to a general broadcast.

    “This, all of this, it is rotted and broken. The foundations shattered beyond repair. And none here seek to fix what is so clear to those with eyes to see.

    “Very well then. Since none of you have any intention to fix this....”

    She raised her hands above her, into the air, cupped around an invisible point.

    “Then it seems that The task falls to me.”

    The power gathered into her hands, a second sun blooming into the sky.

    “Witness now, the fate of those who would willingly become enemies of man for their own gain.”

    Mio forced her gathered power into the sky, a sphere of energy surging and roiling even as it rose above her.

    “Begone,”

    The Sphere erupted.

    And Destruction rained from the heavens.





    Nope, it's not over yet. got one more part to this, at least.
    Expect the Sisters of Battle to make their combat debut next time.
     
  28. flenser

    flenser Getting sticky.

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    That is quite the task she has set before them. Even more difficult than the path that Satori was looking to set out upon. What it boils down to is the need to conquer the universe one person, one planet, one system at a time and put the Imperium and its Lich King/Order(Chaos?) Locus out of its misery.
     
  29. Frescko

    Frescko Queen of Silver

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    I could see the Emperor giving one last order to follow the MC before dying, then use his dying moments to cause a massive suicide attack on chaos. Imagine what the emperor could do if he didn’t have to worry about protecting humanity or worry about remaining alive. At minimum one of the Gods of chaos is dead and the others are crippled, best case? All the gods of chaos are dead and most of everything else in the warp is dead leaving the it weakened enough for the MC to seal it or purify it
     
  30. Logos01

    Logos01 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Technically he is the nascent Chaos God of Tyranny and Order. And also not. He was trying to be the nascent Chaos God of Atheism. It didn't work out.
     
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