The Dawning of the Dusk [50K setting]

For Warhammer fiction not strictly from either universe.

The Dawning of the Dusk [50K setting]

Postby LordLucan » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:23 pm

This is from the old forum. Can't believe I forgot to port it over:

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398.M46: Ultima Segmentum.

The planet was old. Ancient when the Old Imperium was young. The cold dead plaet was grey and featureless, save for the old Imperium ruins, that were scattered like shattered children’s building blocks. A vast wound ruptured this wreckage, splitting the ground straight to the bedrock beneath the dusty surface in a ragged pattern. The ruined world had once been a world of industry and monotony, a world of bitter boredom and paranoia. Now, however, it was dead, plasma generators exploding in an impossibly vast detonation. The world was known to mankind as Penitium, the penitent world.

It was dead, all save for one thing.

One thing which could never die.

Out of the featureless void, a single star twinkled more brightly than the others in the deep fabric of space. Then, within a second, the twinkling light was no longer impossibly distant. Speeding silently and more swiftly than any form of light, the light became a single titanic silver vessel. Shaped like a huge disk with a concave hemisphere cut from its front, the crescent vessel was topped by a towering edifice of beautiful golden pyramids; a city of golden light mounted upon the back of the silver colossus. Gradually, the ship slowed to an abrupt stop, a hundred thousand miles from the ruptured world.

Within the central pyramid of the vessel, a perfectly domed chamber stood. Every single surface within the chamber was a perfect mirror. Even the ten silent skeletal sentinels who stood around the perimeter of the dome were mirrored and glittering, only their heavy gauss cannons comparatively dull as they held them across their chests in a soulless discipline which was far from natural.

The centre of the curved crescent prow of the vessel rippled, as if fluid, before a series of snaking metallic veins drooled from the central section, forming a complex pattern at the front of the vessel. Moments later, ethereal green beams slid from the metal silently, reaching out and fondling the entire surface of the planetoid with perfect arcing streams of light, scanning every facet of the world in the space of minutes.

This was the place. The nexus hummed and moaned as if in pain.

“Perfect,” a silken voice resounded throughout the domed chamber. “At last.”

Soon after, the exact centre of the chamber began to glow a brilliant gold. From within this impossibly bright orb of energy, a rippling being of living metal shimmered into existence. The giant was a perfect golden figure, shaped like some naked Adonis, swathed in robes that billowed about it as if they themselves were animated by the giant’s own will. A horrific smile split the creature’s face from cheek to burnished cheek.

“So... this is the place they trapped you? You have no idea of how many worlds I burned to locate you,” the figure chuckled to itself, its voice cultured and powerful beyond words. The being ignored the silvered beings arrayed around it. They were tools, nothing more. The thing he had come for was far more useful for the Messenger-God’s plans.

“Open a communication channel. All frequencies, all spectrums and strata. Loop the message through all the dimensions of the ‘Nightshroud’ arrangement, and compress it into a waveform capable of being detected out of phase,” the golden one spoke out, to nothing in particular. The silver beings instantly stiffened, their consciousnesses travelling through the nodal grid, to enact their master’s whims.

“Let us see if we can awaken our slumbering friend.”

###

A droning note rumbled throughout the void, and through space. Impossibly, the sound resounded through the airless space between Pentium and the un-living silver craft.

And, somewhere deep within the cold dead orb of Pentium, something vast shifted.

The golden being stood, hovering mere inches from the polished floor, waiting. And waiting. Almost an hour passed. A brief flicker of a moment to one such as the Messenger, but it still irritated the ageless being.

“Enough of the theatrics. Wake up!”

As if on cue, a deep rumble shuddered throughout the ship, and its ethereal glow dimmed as if a shadow had passed in front of a star’s rays. Then, to the golden figure’s mild surprise, one of his mechanical constructs turned to face its master. The Star God flicked its wrist, expecting the construct to immediately obey this command without hesitation. The figure did not. Not only that, but it had lost its shimmering silver finish. It had become a dull grey, and veins of black had begun to run along its entire body.

The golden one raised a living metal eyebrow, mimicking a human expression of intrigue.

“The Deceiver wants to wake them? Us. The one within the coil? You remembered us?” the subverted construct explained, its rasping voice edged with an almost sing-song lilt, quite at odds with the lifelessness at the heart of the fiend.

“Use my true name, but yes, I would very much like to awaken you,” the Deceiver explained, faintly amused at the entity’s method of communication.

“The long-ago foe came, and bound us and them and the when. We need a soup of starlight, Deceiver... Mephet’ran... a torrent of light, and the way will be open once more.”

The Deceiver laughed. “Starlight? Is that all you need?” he chuckled, eyes aflame.


Languidly, the Deceiver gestured at a console, which emerged from one side of the dome. A screen folded from within the display, showing an image of the system’s glowering star, which span slowly. The Deceiver closed its fist, and instantly a arcing stream of green energy spewed from the Necron vessel, spearing straight towards the ancient star. As soon as the beam struck the ball of plasma, it pulled the lethal energies of the star into the ship. Simultaneously, another beam pulsed from the craft, and transferred the star’s power directly into Pentium.

The entire world shuddered with light, as the star’s rays burned the entire world. Splits ran along the world like a terrible lattice of immense scale. Within minutes, the entire world split apart.

“Mister Cowl would thank you for your support, Mephet’ran,” the puppet-Necron responded, sighing with pleasure.

The world was now little more than a dense field of asteroids, surrounding a single, deep core of shadow. Pentium’s mines were not dark because there was no light underground. They were dark because dark is what they were formed from. Darkness, phased into a pure, unchanging form, bound within a shell of stone and shimmering warp wards. The energies of the improvised Necron weapon burned away those defences. The shadow was no longer paused, and it began to drift into the form of a two dimensional rectangular panel of un-light, which slowly began to turn upon its end.

“Mister Cowl? Is that what you have been calling yourself? You have been in there too long I think. I prefer your old name, it is so much prettier. Don’t you think so? ‘Ophilim Kiasoz’. Much more elegant. Now, we have much work to do,” the Deceiver explained calmly, as he watched the edge of the rectangle pierce the fabric of the universe itself, and something of hateful angles began to shred its way forwards, and upwards, and inwards.

The golden Star God watched with glee, as all visual sensors shut down at once, and the puppet Necron collapsed upon itself. The star itself began to slide apart in odd segments, like a puzzle being pulled open and jumbled. Mephet’ran needed no eyes to see what the Ophilim was doing. It was yawning, mewling as it ended its long hibernation.

The C’tan laughed a long, mirth-filled laugh.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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