Praise to the Emperor!

Mission: Secure Herald of the Omnissiah

Barely has the recovery and comprehension of what may have happened started when one of the terminals light up, and the Astropath of Emperor’s Pilum calls you and several other battle brothers to an audience to relay the following message:

+ + + Command :: Mobilize Deathwatch Kill-Team + + +
+ + + Mission :: Secure Herald of the Omnissiah + + +
+ + + Type :: Salvage + + +
+ + + System :: Khazant + + +
+ + + Planet :: Khazant + + +
+ + + Area :: Orbital Docking Station + + +
+ + + Primary Objective :: Implement Exclusion Litany on Herald of the Omnissiah + + +
+ + + Secondary Objective :: Isolate and Secure the Herald of the Omnissiah command deck + + +
+ + + Secondary Objective :: Secure Magistos Exploritor and Ships Navigator + + +
+ + + Tertiary Objective :: Locate Herald of the Omnissiah Crew + + +
+ + + Tertiary Objective :: Destroy significant infrastructure of Khazant space-docks + + +
+ + + Restriction :: Explorator Artefacts + + +
+ + + Duration :: 0.06.00.00 from system insertion + + +
+ + + Resource :: Herald of the Omnissiah Distress Call + + +
+ + + Resource :: Litany of Exclusion + + +
+ + + Resource :: Khazant Intelligence + + +
+ + + Requisition :: 85 units + + +

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Voyage of the Damned

Arriving on the observation deck of Emperor’s Pilum, the lights of the small fleet are swallowed by the void and the newly blacked carapace you are encased in. In the distance, something surrounded by what look like stars pulses with baelful energy.

As you get closer, a crescent shaped arch is revealed in the violet pulses of light, and the stars that surround it are revealed to be powerful lumination on hundreds of gun platforms bristling with capitol class lance, nova and plasma batteries – enough to destroy even the most powerful imperial naval vessel.

The cresent they guard is huge, especially given that a capitol class lance could comfortably hold a squad of battle brothers. The bottom, for lack of a better word, of the arc is bristling with antennae emenating from housing around crystals that also flicker with the same baelful light. The light pulsing at it’s centre appears to come from nowhere, but it feels like it is awaiting something, almost like a sentient being. If one word were to describe the whole array, it would be “alien”.

The metallic voice erupts from the vox once more “Decelerate to approach speed. Prepare for Jericoh Maw Warp Gate transition. Assume approach distribution.” The fleet fire manuvering thusters, slow at different rates and move into an almost orderly line approaching the giant crescent. A Destroyer leads the queue, followed by the Herald of the Omnissiah, several transport ships and your own Battle Barge assumes position in the rear. The hum of the Barge’s Gellar field fills your ears, and you see indications that the other ships and the weapons platforms have activated their Gellar fields too. You steel youself for another warp jump.

You can see the light from the crystals in the arc intensify, and the antennae act like gigantic Jacob’s Ladders and Tesla Coils with energy surrounding and jumping between them. The energy begins to mount and travel up the cresent, illuminating it to show it’s dark alien panels covered in script of an unreadable origin. As the power reaches the tips of the arc, the baelful energy pulses it’s unnatural amethyst colour once more, 7 kilometres in the void at it’s centre, and expands – drawn to the energy around the cresent, and at it’s centre rips a hole in realspace.

As the fleet enters the rend and slips into the throat of what must be the Jericho Maw, you do not feel the wrongness of a normal warp apperature – there is no warp energy eminating from this tear, and there is a sort of calmness to the unknown beyond as your Barge approaches. The last transport ship spagettifies before you and feel the sickening lurch as the warp-space beyond grabs your vessel too before plunging into darkness that is anything but sill.

Something is different, as you plunge through nothingness. There is the rush of the warp, but this time it is far more intense – you get the sense that this channel is somehow faster or pressurized, accelerating you through at speeds unknown for warp travel. Then you realise that while the vibration of the Gellar feilds is there, it is regular, and wonder where all the unseen warp entities and creatures that constantly test a Gellar field in warp travel are.

The only interruption to the intense nothingness is a light that looked like the end of the tunnel, but rapidly moves to your starboard. The Librarians and Chaplains amoung you cry out, and fall to their knees as it gets closer, tears start streaming down their faces, yet they are smiling with joy as it’s light fills the observation deck, blinding you, and moments later they regain their footing as the light passes to the stern and becomes fainter. The serenity on their faces quickly passes as they arrive at the same realisation.

There is silence amoung you for considerable time, the only sound is the shuffle of re-adjusted steps to the unspoken thought shared by all of your battle brothers – where in the God-emperor’s galaxy are you being taken? You see none of the other ships in the convoy, but after many minutes there looks to be a dull exubrance of heliotrope ahead, which happens again and again, gaining intensity and size as you get closer. Then the deck is filled with the same lavender colour and suddenly all hell breaks loose as you enter realspace.

Vox transmissions fill your ears as your vision is filled with the sight of a massive frigate broken and drifting, the Destroyer that lead your advance impaled in it’s side. The other vessels are scatered chaotically as they attempt full-burn manuvering to avoid collision and get out of the way – and you realise why as your skin darkens to almost ebony immediately with your Melanochromic Organ reacting to the radition as the reactor on the frigate approaches critical. Your vision is filled with fire as the frigate explodes, taking the Destroyer and several transport ships with it, and as it does, the sheer impulse of it rends realspace and Herald of the Omnissiah is swallowed by the warp.

Yourselves and only two transport vessels remain. Only your distance, the fortified bulkheads and hull of the Astartes pattern Battle Barge, and the fact that your Gellar fields were still active protected you from being sucked in or disabled like the other ships. In the absence of the Vox transmissions, you know how alone you are, on the apposite side of the galaxy they said, God-emperor only knows what awaits you.

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New Assignment

You served your Chapter with honor and zeal, and though you were young in the ranks, you were considered a veteran, having partaken in several skirmishes to protect the Empyrean.

Then came the summons to the Deathwatch.

Stripped of your previous squads and battle brothers, you were to head alone to the Calixis sector in Segmentum Obscuris and transfer to the Adeptus Mechanicus Gladius Class Frigate Herald of the Omnissiah in orbit of Synford IV forge world in Subsector Hazeroth.

Given only a breif moment to take in the staggering sight of the Forge World before your teleport beacon lit and you were dazzlingly transported, you glimpsed many Imperial Guard Battleships being loaded with countless numbers of Baneblade pattern tanks and a heavily damaged Warlord Class Titan hanging limply in the void like a several hundred food tall corpse.

You briefly wonder what field of battle requires such might, and what could have possibly damaged a titan so badly as you materialize, and literally seconds after you hear the Gellar fields begin to hum, the electric arc reverberating down the ship and the sickening lurch as you enter the warp as the Herald of the Omnissiah departs orbit of Synford IV.

You stand in an Armory with Armour shrines, empty but for the gleaming shoulder-pad of the Deathwatch and a servitor. Around you stand battle brothers from a number of chapters; Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Raven Guard, Black Templars to name a few.

At one end of the Armoury, a shrine with no Armour bears only an altar, and with a chime to call your attention a holographic projection of the sigil of the holy Inquisition springs to life, casting is glow throughout the hallowed hall, slowly rotating as you gather before it and a voice from the vox issues forth.

“Space Marines. You have been chosen for the honor of serving in the Holy Emperor’s Deathwatch. You now pursue the enemies of mankind directly for myself and the Chamber Militant of Ordo Xenos Holy Inquisition. Your orders and missions are sacrosanct secret, and you may not reveal any of what is about to become of you when your term ends. My name, rank and responsibilities are irrelevant to you – pray to the Emperor that we never meet in person.

“You stand now in the Armoury of the Battle Barge Emperor’s Pilum, which will be your baracks and home for your term of service. You are being taken to the Jericoh Maw, whereupon you will be sent to the Jericoh Reach on the far side of the Galaxy from whence you set out. There you will un-dock from Herald of the Omnissiah and be taken to report at Watch Fortress Erioch, take your Oath before the Omega Vault and be assigned a Watch Commander.

“To show your service to the Emperor, you may use the servitor to adorn your armor with the color of the Deathwatch, and replace your left shoulder with the Deathwatch regalia supplied. To honor your chapter and the spirit of your carapace, the servitor will not mar the insignia of your home chapter, and you may bear it with pride so that others may know the origins of such an elite battle brother.”

There is another sickening lurch, and the echo of electricity arching along the hull without, and a metallic voice issues through the vox “Transition to realspace complete. ETA Jericho Maw, 2 hours. Standby for disengagement of Deathwatch Battle Barge.

There is a loud clunk, and you all feel the drop of the Barge and the slam as the thrusters kick in. The servitors in the alcoves activate and look out at yourself and you other Battle Brothers waiting in the Armoury, and as the hologram disappears, the human voice that addressed you before concludes with, “Prepare yourselves, and live up to the pride of your home chapter or die in the Emperor’s name trying.”

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