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The Third Son

II Legion Lost Primarch Missing Legion

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#241 simison

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 07:14 PM

It was promptly broken by the last, blind Ork left on the platform. "Boss? Whaz goin' on? I don't hear no fightin'."

 

Alexandros spared a glance at the Nob before he turned to Jorg and the assault marines marching onto the platform. Nodding to the greenskin, Alexandros commanded, "Put it out of its misery." 

 

With a trigger, a thunderous explosion echoed over the place before dying away. As he approached, Jorg looked over his Primarch with a stern expression. "My lord, how badly injured are you? We can have an apothecary here in four minutes."

 

Wiping away some of the dried blood on his left eye, Alexandros replied, "On a scale of 1 to 6, one being on Death's door and six being full health, I'm a solid four." 



#242 simison

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:50 PM

Jorg pressed. "And your arm?"

 

"Will heal in due time. For now, we have other matters. Jorg, grab my sword. Gunter, my shield. Sergeant Volk, status of my strike force," Alexandros ordered as he swept his vision across the massive cave. 

 

The space marines snapped to as the sergeant began his report, gesturing to fleeing greenskins at the other side of the cave. "My lord, as you can see, with the Ork warlord dead, Ork resistance here is crumbling. Our forces are advancing swiftly with few casualties. Additionally, brief skirmishes among the xenos as leadership conflicts occur between the larger Orks for control. These are spreading and will probably reach the rest of the horde on this space hulk within the hour."

 

"Indeed," Darshan affirmed as he cast his gaze toward the future. "It won't lead to a total collapse, but this battle will not last much longer. In one hour and seventeen minutes, we'll begin the final phase as we shift to search-and-destroy protocols."



#243 simison

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 03:31 PM

Alexandros turned away from the fight as he handed his shield to Gunter. The Storm Rider had to holster his pistol and mag-lock his chainsword to hold onto the shield which was as large as he was. Jorg waited next to him, holding the Primarch's blade.

 

With his good arm freed, Alexandros reached down and grasped Burklak's severed head before lifting it as high as he could hold it. "As you heard before, ring the bell of death, my sons." 

 

Jorg took care to hold the sword horizontal to the shield before he striked. Again, a piercing tone cut through the dimming orchestra of war. 

 

"My sons!" Alexandros declared as he amplified his own voice. "Rejoice! For I have claimed the head of their warboss! With it, I declare victory is ours! No longer will this be a battle, but a slaughter. Hunt the greenskin down. Leave none alive. For the Emperor wills it!"

 

The Legion answered, "FOR THE EMPEROR!" 



#244 simison

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 07:28 PM

Looking back now, I think it's safe to say that I lost control over Chapter 5 at some point and should have broken it down into several smaller chapters. At 40,000 words, this is now the size of a small novel.



#245 simison

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:03 PM

Chapter 6: A Different Kind of War

 

"Gunner," Alexandros called out. "Add six degrees to the left." An affirmative returned the Primarch as he dispassionately watched the battle before him. Once the command was completed, Alexandros ordered, "Fire."

 

The Elpis' nova cannon answered its master's will and released a powerful shot that shook the ship. Mere seconds later, a small star appeared in the midst of the enemy warships. The detonation outright destroyed one white capital ship while four more were crippled. With that last attack, the last organized resistance was no more. From this point on, the enemy fleet was reduced to a scramble for survival as the 35th Expeditionary Fleet pressed the offense against the survivors, specifically targeting the nacelle-engines. After all, it was Alexandros' explicit wish to spare as many of the human crew members as he could. 

 



#246 simison

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 03:31 PM

His orders given, Alexandros turned and began his trek to his ship's strategium. Placing the bridge of a warship on the outer edge of the hull to allow one to physically see the void and beyond was an implied dare to its enemies. A sign of confidence that no matter what the enemy may do, the bridge would be protected by the full strength of the warship. It was fairly standard across the Imperial Navy. Although he had indulged it, Alexandros refused to allow his strategium to be as exposed. Instead, the strateigum was located closer to the center of the warship, protected deep within the hull. 

 

As he walked, Alexandros rubbed his throbbing shoulder. The pain of his nerves reconnecting the damaged tissue could be quite excruciating if he moved his arm too much. That was the purpose the sling now served after his body had successfully reconnected the exterior flesh. He estimated that his wound would have fully healed after another week. Until then, his right arm was kept close to his body. 



#247 simison

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 02:24 PM

Almost equal in size to the bridge, the strategium was equipped with similar stations for ship controls, allowing it to function as an emergency command deck if the bridge was ever breached. But like most strategiums, it's primary purpose manifested in the form of the giant, circular holographic table in the room's center. Hologram technology had been a new and rudimentary field on Delos, which made the Imperium's technology all the more impressive. In fact, Alexandros had received word that the new technology had not only improved communications across the system, but led a revolution in recreational and gaming fields. At the moment, the most popular game was a simulacra of the Great Crusade, where players assumed the roles of either Imperial forces or xenos and did battle with one another.  Alexandros idly wondered how popular the game would be once the Great Crusade completed its task to secure the galaxy. 



#248 simison

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:46 PM

Moving to be in front of his seat, Alexandros enjoyed the temporary solitude as he activated the table, keying the in-built cogitator to compile information about Balov Prime. It was more traditional for everyone to stand while in the strategium, but Alexandros thought that unfair to the mortals who did not benefit from transhuman endurance or mechanical implants. So, he had installed a number of collapsible chairs that could be summoned from the floor. As an additional benefit, the chairs could be resized to fit a human, a Space Marine, or a Primarch as necessary. The only permanent chair was Alexandros' own throne, though he had taken care that it was clean of ornamentation and was no larger than any of the Primarch seats. 

 

The cogitator whirred as it completed its task. Soon, the table came to life as information filtered in, bathing the room in a green glow. All that was left to do was to wait. 



#249 simison

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 03:07 PM

It was to little surprise that the first officer to appear was Commander Ludendof, Chief of the Legion Support Corps. Although the Emperor had created the Astartes with inhuman levels of endurance, the ancient adage still held true that 'an army marches on its stomach'. More importantly, the Legion Support Corps was in charge of munitions, ensuring that no unit went to war without weapons ready for war from bolts to promethium. Unfortunately, as necessary as the Legion Support Corps was to the Legion's operation, there was little chance for the Storm Riders here to earn personal glory. 

 

Ludendof's armour may have been meticulously well-kept, but it was plainly obvious how bare it was compared to other similarly ranked officers. No earned honours adorned the Commander's plate. The only distinguishing mark he possessed was on his right pauldron. There a sword and key crossed, wrapped in a laurel to designate the Space Marine's specialty and his rank. Alexandros did not require his telepathy to see that Ludendof carried an edge of frustration with him. The Commander snapped to attention and saluted perfectly. "My lord! I have come as summoned."



#250 simison

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 05:51 PM

Alexandros flashed his son with a sincere smile. "It's good to see you, Erick. Please, take a seat." 

 

"As you will, my lord."

 

With a press of a few buttons, thirty Astartes-sized seats rose from the floor. Instead of taking the seat next to his Primarch, the Support officer sat four spaces away, already making way for the higher officers.

 

"Oh come now, Erick," Alexandros protested. "Sit next to me. I want to talk about the kibotos."



#251 simison

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 05:09 PM

The item in question was one of the artifacts recovered during the last campaign against the Ork space hulk. It was a treatise on equipment storage, inventory, and deployment from the Dark Age of technology. Unfortunately, portions of the treatise had suffered data degradation over the millennia. Including the schematics for the kibotos itself. From the quick glance that the Storm Riders techmarines had taken, it seemed to be a potential ammunition auto-loader for several kinds of heavy weapons. Unfortuantely, due to the Treaty of Mars, the schematics was immediately claimed by the Mechanicum. Although Alexandros had possessed the authority to deny their claim or delay it, he had no desire to antagonize one of the pillars of the Imperium for so small of gain. 



#252 simison

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 06:45 PM

"As you wish, my lord." The Storm Rider commander hesitated before moving from his seat, moving with almost inhuman precision. As he sat down, Alexandros could see his aura affecting the marine, and Ludendof was subconsciously fighting it. "What information do you require?"

 

"Have you had any trouble implementing it? Any noticeable improvement?" 

 

Ludendof began a detailed report, which did include improved efficiency rates, storage capacity, etc. Although Alexandros heard and would not forget a single word, he was far more curious about the state of Ludnedof's heart. Without even actively reaching for his more supernatural tools, Alexandros felt the frustration exuding from Erick. From his passive senses alone, he attempted to feel more. The frustration was merely the noticeable consequences of something else. Something was provoking it from beneath.

 

The longer Ludendof spoke, the harsher the frustration became. As it became stronger, Darshan tasted something acidic.

 

Bitterness.

 

Still attempting to discern the root without calling more on his Warp power, Darshan gradually became aware that the bitterness was divided in half between inward and outward. Once he could detect that subtle clue, knowledge came swifty to Darshan. Given his close proximity, the outward bitterness targeted the Primarch. The inward half was reserved for Ludendof himself. But the why eluded the empath. 



#253 simison

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:56 PM

Alexandros did not get a chance to delve deeper. As Lundendof ended his report, his heart began to quicken. It was said that Space Marines knew no fear, but they did not possess an immunity to other darker human emotions, including anxiety. There was hesitation once Ludendof finished, "My lord, I know it is outside the the chain of command, but I have a request."

 

With his senses so highly attuned, Darshan inwardly recoiled as the bitterness and frustration came screaming to the surface. Outwardly, Alexandros maintained his smile and answered, "By all means, Erick."

 

"My lord, I request a transfer to a combat unit."



#254 simison

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:04 PM

Before Alexandros could answer, the strategium's doors opened as Irvin Ruel and another member of the Praetorate walked in. "Commander, I will consider your request and have an answer for you after this operation."

 

"Yes, my lord," Ludendof replied in a neutral tone before he moved back to his prior seat. The bitterness and frustration remained, but now wrestled with a third emotion, hope. Alexandros wasn't sure if it was warranted. 

 

Too professional to comment or ask about the interaction, Irvin instead marched to his Primarch and saluted. "Lord Commander Ruel, reporting as ordered."

 

[Have a vague desire to outline at least a few members of the Praetorate. Who should that include?]



#255 simison

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 06:53 PM

Beside Irvin came the previous second-in-command before Alexandros' arrival. "Chapter Master Crassus, reporting as ordered," the blue-eyed transhuman declared as he saluted. Unspoken was Crassus' other title, Praefectus Alae, Commander of the Cavalry. Unlike Irvin, who's armour bore only the medals and awards he had earned, Crassus had felt free to embellish his suit with gold-trimmed pauldrons and a rich, red cape. From what Alexandros had heard, Crassus' cape had originally been a deep purple but had changed colours when Alexandros had taken his position as master of the Storm Riders. 

 

Alexandros returned the salute, "At ease, and take your seats. I imagine the rest of the Praetorate will not be far behind."

 

"Yes, my lord," both answered before taking the seats on the left and right of Alexandros' throne. After he seated, Crassus added, "My lord, I hope this campaign will finally involve battle on open terrain. I and the rest of the Prefects are eager to display our skill before you, my lord."

 

Alexandros offered a diplomatic smile. "I've heard that the Prefects are one of the Imperium's finest armoured corps."

 

"The finest, if I may be so bold, my lord," Crassus corrected. "We are the true Riders of the Storm in this Legion."

 

With a chuckle, Alexandros was spared the rest of the conversation as the doors opened again to admit the rest of the Praetorate. 



#256 simison

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 04:09 PM

The last to take his seat was Praetor Niemann. Formerly of the Destroyer Corps, the Storm Rider had a burn scar across half of his face from a previous battle when an incendiary charge had misfired. It had also necessitated a cybernetic eye. Niemann merely offered a deep nod to his liege lord, caring not for his abrasive demeanour. 

 

With the Praetorate fully assembled, Alexandros began the briefing with a quick overview of Balov Prime. A civilized war by Imperial standards, it was ruled by the Troika, or at least it was in theory. Although rule was supposed to be divided into three persons, data caches above the Balovian warships revealed that the third post was empty, the duties of that position had been divided between the two remaining members. 







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