Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 69)

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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 66)

Postby L'Arpenteur » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:00 pm

It's just damn good. I am astonished about the quality of your work. "Bravo" ! :D In fact I just registered for your story after having reading Lord Lukan "Age of Dusk". I wanted to understand who were these enigmatic Fatemakers and what were their Odyssey.

And now...now I am not relieeeeeveeeed !! Did I miss something or did the story end ? Please, tell me that you're still writing it up !

The Emprah may be gone, but yet, Fate has to remain !
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 66)

Postby Meaneye » Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:20 pm

Hmm... I have not logged in for a long time, apparently :D

L'Arpenteur: Thanks for the praise, and you are right, the story is not fully resolved - in fact, there are four more updates missing. I do have some extra time to kill right now, so give me one or two weeks to finish all four parts, and then I upload everything.
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 66)

Postby L'Arpenteur » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:31 pm

Ahaha yes, it has been time, I hope your warp travel went well ;) and thanks you Meaneye :D it would have been a tragic waste of talent here, if your story didn't end properly, but don't hurry up, if you need more time to finish parts, take it ! as long as you say that you will complete your story, everything's fine ! :D And besides, do you have other projects after this one ?
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 66)

Postby Meaneye » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:42 am

L'Arpenteur: The problem is that I have stories in my head, but I lack the time to write them down. Who knows if I will put anything down on virtual paper again? It takes at least half an hour to write a page, and this one is about 4-500 pages long in my Word file. I cannot afford the time to start anything similar again.

I have written a few other short stories (one of them even appeared in a local fantasy magazine - a fact I am immensely proud of), but I am Hungarian, and unless you are too, you would not be able to read those :P. This is my ony English project.

Anyway, time to update. three more parts are coming :D

Apart from the creaking noise the Opportunity was making, the Fatemaker was completely alone.

He was slowly moving down a long corridor towards the closed reinforced door at the end of it. The only light came from his headlamp: there was no energy left in this section of the ship to illuminate anything. He would have never thought just how lonely it could get in a man-made ship once all life had left her. Nevertheless, he had a task, and his life may still have been in danger, so he pushed these gloomy thoughts from his head and focused.

He arrived at the door and slowly placed a hand on it. Naturally, the door no longer reacted to his presence – in lack of energy, its sensors and its motorized hinges did not work – and there was no way for him to find out exactly what was waiting for him on the other side.

He leaned forward and pressed his ear on the panel.

[Initiate Loriant?]

Even as an initiate, Loriant was too well trained to jump back when the voice addressed him in his head – especially when his brain registered a familiar tone in it. He put together a response in his mind.

[Librarian Akichi. Are you on the other side of this door?]

[Yes. Step back.]

Loriant jumped back, and the two wings of the door came apart in a screeching noise. Loriant’s headlamp fell on the lonely figure of the Librarian standing a few feet away from the door, raising his power staff. Loriant felt the kinetic energy swarming through the doorframe.

Akichi lowered the staff and the door stopped moving. The Librarian stepped through. As Loriant looked at him, he saw a strange tenseness in his eyes. He looked haunted.

‘The battle is over,’ Loriant reported. ‘We won… even though the Opportunity received heavy damage. We are trying to make a perimeter and sweep through this section of the ship. Internal communication is down, so we can only operate within vox-distance.’ He looked past Akichi’s shoulder. ‘Can you confirm that the rest of the deck is empty, Librarian?’

Akichi grimaced.

‘It is… for what it’s worth. Have you any news of the Captain?’

‘The Captain lives,’ Loriant said and saw the relief on Akichi’s face. ‘If this section is secured, we should join the others.’

‘Show me the way,’ Akichi ordered. The pair turned and went back the way Loriant had come from.

‘You mentioned others,’ the Librarian said. ‘How many survivors are there?’

Loriant said nothing, but he slowed down. Akichi did likewise.

‘How many of us survived the battle?’ Akichi asked softly.

Loriant opened his mouth but closed it right away. Finally, he said, ‘With the two of us, my lord… five.’

Akichi glared at him for a few seconds.

‘Five,’ he echoed. Loriant merely nodded.

‘Show me,’ the Librarian finally ordered.

The temporary perimeter was set up in one of the small chapels on the top deck. There was one simple reason why: this was one of the few places on the ship where aesthetic considerations were considered in any form, and so the roof of the hall was reinforced stained-glass window with a view to space.

When Akichi and Loriant entered, the Librarian saw that the protective panels had been pulled back and the purple hue of the Warp-anomaly gave a ghostly illumination to the hall. Two of the three figures inside were standing and looking up at the anomaly and the various-sized wreckage of the Wrath of God flying by. Now they turned and looked at the duo.

One of them was Captain Malistrum in his chipped and blood-soaked power armour. The other was Magos Brakk, although it was difficult to recognise him because his red robe had almost completely been burned away. The rest of his body seemed similarly burned. Although most of him had to be augmented, along with his brain and the pain-receptors in it, there was a stiffness and slowness in the way he moved his head, which suggested great physical injury.

The third person was Chaplain Uskovich. He was sitting on the ground with his knees high up, his arms folded around himself. When the initiate and the Librarian entered, he was having his head cast low, and although he looked up at their approach, he almost immediately cast his head back down. The Librarian could barely feel his mental presence in the room.

None of the five said anything. They did not need to greet one another, or ask questions. There was nothing left for them to say.

Loriant had reported to the Captain as soon as they had got into proper vox-range, so Malistrum was not surprised to see the Librarian alive. He merely nodded to him and turned back to the roof window. After a moment of hesitation, Akichi joined him, while Loriant dutifully stood at the door to guard the chapel.

The two remaining officers stood still for a while.

‘I do not need to tell you what it is,’ Malistrum murmured and gestured with his head towards the anomaly.

‘No, my lord,’ Akichi answered. ‘It is the Warp-anomaly we had seen in my Tarot before the Emperor died and the madness started.’

‘The very same. We have almost made a full circle,’ Malistrum mused. ‘To think that this was how it should have been. Our fate would have been to have a freak Warp accident in this battle and be sucked into this anomaly, only to end up in our past in the Borshak system.’

‘My lord…’ Akichi started, but Malistrum’s mind was clearly wondering somewhere else.

‘Maybe we should have accepted it. After all, even if our name is Fatemakers, who are we to rebel against our own destiny? We have done it far too often in the past, and look where it got us. Perhaps we should have closed the circle. Perhaps I should have closed the circle an hour or so ago.’

‘The circle, my lord?’

All of them – with the exception of Uskovich – turned and looked at Loriant. The young initiate was standing at the entrance, but he was clearly listening to the Captain. Malistrum nodded in understanding.

‘Of course. The higher echelon was privy to the concept of the circle, but certainly not the initiates, were they?’ He thought for a second, then nodded again. ‘I suppose you have the right to know. At the end of all things, I think whoever stayed with us deserves to know it all.’

‘Before that, my lord…’ Akichi started again, but the Captain hushed him.

‘Later, my Librarian. I clearly see you have something to say, but if it has anything to do with our current state, I think it is better if Loriant knows how we got this far.’

He took a few seconds to collect his thoughts before starting with it. He began with the Belandon Incident; the last proper mission the strike force had managed to undertake. He told Loriant about the warning signs of the Tarot as well as the figures it had shown Librarian Akichi: the shadowy Discordia, the Warp-gate which had looked just like the one outside the window, the Astropath in the form of the dead Fatemaker Navigator, the empty Mandatio card and the Emperor, the final, impossible card which had not supposed to appear in any divination cast at all. He told the initiate how the main officers had pondered upon the meaning of these cards while finally deciding to try a greater Astrophatic séance in the Cephola System.

He went on to tell his tale, and Loriant listened intently. He knew most of the story from that point on because he had already been aboard the ship, but he did not know all the truth, and now Malistrum told him everything. He told him how they had realized in Saint Menthas that humanity was doomed to extinction. He told him how they had found out that the Chapter reserve fleet had set off for Terra. He told him how Uskovich and Akichi had fashioned the soulstones after the original Eldar models to act as a kind of soul-dampener at the moment of death, thus cheating Warp-predators of their prey. He told him about Borshak and how it had turned out that the entire Astartes Chapter was destined to fail miserably.

He told them how they had used Astropath Lucas to predict the route the reserve fleet had taken so they could follow them. He told him how the Fatemakers had waged a war for the same Astropath with another Space Marine Chapter, the Howling Griffons. He told him what had really happened between Chaplain Uskovich and the Twilight Monk Chaplain at Valinko outpost, and how it had turned out that their old enemy had more noble goals and more realistic plans for the future of Mankind than the Fatemakers themselves. He told him how they had found the wreck of their brother vessel in the Khadmus system, and how he had decided to ruin his own strike force in a rushed battle to obtain further data about the reserve fleet. He did not need to tell him what that data had proven to be, but he did tell him about the debate between him and Sergeant Essen: how it had ended with splitting up the remaining strike force into two units: the one which had left to survive, and the one – theirs – which had moved on to face their renegade chapter master.

Finally… he told Loriant how about the confrontation between him and Narmantu just before the beginning of the attack. By the time he finished, he had realized just how far his strike force had gone, in distance, time and spirit like. Telling somebody the whole story was, in a way… cathartic.

‘So this is the whole truth of it, at least the truth as we see it,’ he finished. Loriant stood still. He had obviously struggling with taking in all at once, although he finally nodded.

‘I think… I understand now, my lord.’

‘To think how we ended up here,’ Malistrum mused. ‘The last five member of the strike force, the last true Fatemakers in the Galaxy, with the possible exception of some of the remaining strike forces, whom we will never see again, thanks to my crazy fellow Captain. It is perhaps fitting this way. The Chapter was flawed in a way which this new world could no longer tolerate. We had to disappear.’

At this point, the Librarian opened his mouth again, but Malistrum went on anyway.

‘We have done our duty,’ he waved at the others and towards the space beyond the viewport. ‘We saved the Galaxy from ourselves. We sent as many people from the Chapter away as possible. I am sorry about you. You came with me voluntarily, you stayed alive… and the last remaining task ahead of us is merely to decide how we want to die.’

‘No, it is not, my lord.’

The heads turned.

‘No, it is not, my lord,’ Akichi repeated. He was looking at the Captain straight into the eye with fierce determination on his face.

‘What do you mean, Librarian?’

‘I… believe… we have one more chance, my lord,’ Akichi said. There was something strange in his eyes, which all the others noted. ‘A chance not only to get out of this place… but a chance to…’

Akichi’s voice faltered for a second.

‘My lord. It is important to listen to me. I have a theory, and if I am right, we will still be able to save everything. I believe that we have a chance to reverse all this.’

‘All what, Brother-Librarian?’ Magos Brakk asked.

‘The past two years. The past two years, including the Extinction. I do believe that in this place, we have the chance to alter history and save the Emperor.’

It was impossible to say how long the five people stayed immobile. The last remnants of a broken Chapter on a dead ship, with the sinister purple hue of an unknown Warp-rift illuminating them stood still while their minds were trying to process the implication of the Librarian’s words.

‘This is no ordinary Warp-gate, right?’ Akichi went on. ‘We know that much. This is a gate to what Navigator Yasmilda referred to as the Deep Warp. It works a lot differently than most other Warp-anomalies. We also know this because we know that this is the anomaly which is supposed to throw the Opportunity back to the past and force us into the circle which will – would – eventually kill us all. Except for me because I am supposed to die by the hand of my own past self.’

He looked at the others. Nobody reacted. ‘A time portal!’ he finally burst out. ‘This anomaly has the chance to take us back in time! It is supposed to do just that! If we can control our journey, we can choose where we want to go! We can travel back as far as we want! We can go back just in time…’

He paused.

‘To warn the Emperor while He is still alive. We could change history. We have a second chance.’

Malistrum sighed and started to pace up and down the hall. The other three continued to look at Akichi: Loriant with a frown on his face, Magos Brakk with his impassive, metallic eyes and the dead pale Uskovich, who was still sitting on the ground. None of them seemed to understand just what the Librarian was suggesting.

‘It could work,’ Akichi said firmly. ‘We need the Geller-field, and we need to repair the Warp-engines, provided they were damaged at all. Magos, you are specialized in the very Warp-engines we need. Could you lead the ship into the anomaly?’

‘You do realize just how much of a long shot are you taking right now?’ Uskovich asked.

‘What else do we have? Magos! Is this possible? Is this theoretically possible?’

Brakk did not respond immediately.

‘I can… start the engines,’ he finally said. ‘I think I can also turn the Gellar-field back on. However, I must disappoint you, Brother-Librarian. Even if this anomaly has the potential for time-travel, I do not know of any way to travel through this… Deep Warp, least of all how to exit it at an appropriate time coordinate. Nobody has done anything like this before.’

‘It is the Warp,’ Akichi stated. ‘Dep Warp or not, it is still the warp. How did we use to travel through the Warp?’

‘We used a Navigator, which we no longer have,’ Uskovich said.

‘And we know why we needed the Navigator. We needed Yasmilda to look at the Astronomicon and calculate our position relative to our destination. But every strong psyker was able to see the Astronomicon. I saw it. I just lacked the ability and training to navigate through it.’

‘You are suggesting that you would be able to navigate through the Deep Warp,’ Brakk stated.

‘Yes, I do,’ Akichi retorted.

Uskovich chuckled and looked back down at the floor. Malistrum looked back for a second, then continued pacing.

‘That is not possible.’

‘It is. Granted, I know nothing about Warp-navigation. However, I can find one thing with absolute certainty – even in the Deep Warp.’

‘And what is that?’

‘The Emperor,’ Akichi said. ‘He is the source of the Astronomicon, but I am not talking about that. The moment He died, I was performing an Astropathic séance in the Cephola system. When this whole madness happened, when that assassin stroke at Him, I was there, in his throne room. The last thing He did before He succumbed to that bastard was look at me.’

He sighed.

‘His psychic image burned into my mind for all eternity. I think I would be able to see that image from the other side of the Universe if he had still been alive. If this anomaly is indeed a time portal, I could use His image to lead us to the past, to a point where He was still alive. This rift could take us through space as well. We could go to where He is. We could reach Terra through this portal. Once we are there, once we can send a single warning…’

Uskovich raised his head. ‘The theory is… well, it is crazy mad, but it could work. Except for one thing.’

Akich looked at him The Chaplain evidently composed himself somewhat, but he still looked broken, and he did not seem the least bit impressed by the Librarian’s plan.

‘If we want to go to the past, we will first need to enter the Warp-gate,’ Uskovich said. ‘And, unfortunately, we know exactly just how that would turn out.’

Nobody seemed to understand for a second, then Magos Brakk made a sigh-like noise.

‘Of course,’ he stated. ‘The Warp-gate which threw the future Opportunity in front of us in the Borshak system. This is how the ship would be finally destroyed. We saw the pict-recordings of the vessel. It was clearly battle-damaged, which coincides with our current situation. In the light of those events, the logical conclusion is that…’

‘…that we would enter this gate, but in this damaged state, the ship would not be able to make it, and an accident would eject us at Borshak, about a year in our past.’

‘Where we would die,’ Akichi finished. He cast his head down. ‘The circle would be complete.’

‘I believe we have already broken that circle.’

Everybody looked at Malistrum. The Captain stopped pacing up and down and looked back at his crew.

‘Since the very first day I found out about that cursed circle, I have been trying to find a way out of it, he said. ‘I had no idea how, so I took what information we had about the accident and what the future Akichi told us, and I tried to find a way around his words. I thought I did everything I could when I sent most of the strike force away from the ship and ordered them to merge with the Twilight Monks, but now I think we did more than that.’

‘I have a pict-screen on my cogitator about the future Opportunity,’ he continued. The other four were listening tensely. ‘The screen showed clear battle damages on the starboard section. That side of the ship was hit by what I now know was a broadside from Narmantu’s ship. It gutted the Opportunity, and if this was the reason why our future mission will – would – fail, I am not surprised. The only thing I could do to avoid that fate was to make sure the ship herself would avoid any similar damage.’

‘But the ship is still damaged, my lord,’ Loriant protested.

‘Yes. On the portside.’

The others tensed in sudden excitement as they slowly realized what this meant.

‘I deliberately kept turning only one side of the ship towards the enemy in any space battle we have had since Borshak,’ Malistrum said. He went closer to his men to face them completely. ‘As far as I know, the portside is destroyed, but the starboard is still intact. In our current state, we would not have the same outcome even if we actually went through the Warp-portal and it threw us back to Borshak. We have already changed history.’

Uskovich slowly stood up.

‘The difference is almost negligible, my lord,’ he said. ‘Instead of a ship crippled on one side, we have a ship crippled on the other. Would that be enough to avoid our fate?’

‘I have no idea,’ Malistrum admitted. ‘As far as I can say, it will be like the toss of a coin. It can be heads or tails, life or death, success or failure. This way, however, we still get…’

‘…a fighting chance.’

‘By the Throne,’ Loriant breathed. ‘We can do this. We can actually do this!’

‘Yes,’ Uskovich murmured. ‘Maybe. Maybe we can…’

Magos Brakk was still unconvinced. ‘My lord, I do not want to disappoint you, but even if we successfully enter the anomaly and somehow warn the Emperor, there is a good chance that it will not save our Galaxy.’

Malistrum looked at him.

‘What do you mean, Magos?’

‘If we avert the events which lead us to our current situation, we would also alter our own personal history,’ the Magos explained. ‘In this altered timeline, we would not arrive at the point where we would come here and go through the anomaly. This would create a paradox.’

‘Can this paradox be solved?’

‘Not as far as we know, my lord. We know from various sources that time-travel is possible in the Warp, and we Warp-specialists have our own theories about this… discrepancy. The best theory we could formulate – a theory still unproven, I might add – is that whenever a time-altering event might occur, instead, an alternative Universe is formed which continues to function parallel to the original one, but bears the consequences of the alterations. In this case – if this theory is correct – the consequence would be an alternate Galaxy where the Emperor still lives and life goes on for Mankind.’

Malistrum slowly nodded. ‘In another Universe. But not in ours.’

‘This is my logical conclusion, my lord,’ Brakk bowed. ‘Even if this plan succeeded, we could only save another Galaxy. Ours would remain as it is.’

‘With our Chapter dead and Mankind facing extinction…’ Uskovich whispered.


Nobody said anything for a few moments. Then Malistrum looked up.

‘It does not matter,’ he stated firmly. ‘Our destiny was never to save the world, only to give others a fighting chance. The people in that alternate Universe would be just like us. A Galaxy full of humans… and Space Marines. Our Chapter would exist in that alternate timeline. Even with criminals and madmen like Fiffito and Narmantu, they deserve to live and fight for themselves. If we cannot save ourselves, we can at least save others. This alone is enough of a reason to try.’

The other four exchanged quiet looks, then looked back at the Captain. Akichi was the first one to nod, the fever returning into his eyes. Magos Brakk simply bowed his head, a quiet agreement to do the unthinkable. Initiate Loriant obviously needed more time to process all what transpired between them, but he understand that they now had a new mission and a minuscule chance to carry it out, and this was seemingly enough for him. He nodded too with a serious expression.

This left only Uskovich, the broken Space Marine. He no longer had any conditioning left in his mind, and just mere hours ago, he was ready to give up entirely. Only the Captain’s will made him move and function again, but this faint sliver of hope might just be enough to give him a fighting chance as well.

Uskovich took a deep breath and nodded too. Malistrum smiled.

‘I am glad we agreed on this,’ he said. ‘Let’s do it.’
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 67)

Postby L'Arpenteur » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:02 am

Ah sadly, no one is perfect right ? and I am not Hungarian ahah ;) Nice update though ! But it's like a new circle beginning now. Won't it expand too much your story ? And will you have time and will to carry it out ? Anyway I love it, so "LET'S DO IT" yeaaaaaahhh !
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 67)

Postby Midgard » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:24 pm

This is another excellent addition. I am glad I checked back to see if this story has been updated... as always, great stuff!
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 67)

Postby Meaneye » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:15 pm

Time for another update. Originally, I did not want to break up the story this way, but I feel that this deserves its own part - which means there are still going to be three updates left.

Aboard the Opportunity

One thousand six hundred and seven days after the Emperor’s death

Three years, Malistrum thought. Three miserable years to get this far.

He was standing in the one chapel which had survived the battle with Narmantu, waiting for the ritual to start. It was a lengthy one, one of the few the practical Fatemakers could afford, and as he had no part in this phase, he had the time to think. He had a lot to think over.

He still wasn’t sure if the plan would work. He was not even sure it was possible, but what other choice did he have? He and the other four people all knew that any other option was to slowly – slowly – wither and die under the baleful watch of the Dark Torch. As a strike force, as a Space Marine Chapter, they were done. By all human account, they had no more say in the history of the Galaxy. Still, this desperate plan gave them enough motivation to attempt the impossible and challenge Fate itself.

It was been difficult to repair the ship up to the point where it could move again. The fact that it was not impossible was a small miracle in itself. The Opportunity was a ruin, no doubt: with its hull torn up and its main weapon systems disabled, she was no longer in any condition to be called an Imperial vessel. On the other hand, this mission only required some manoeuvrability and enough energy, air and food for five people to survive on board for a while, which were all still more or less available. The five of them did not consume huge quantities of anything any more, which meant they could have survived for even a decade on board.

It turned out they only needed three years. Most of that time was devoted to making the ship capable of movement again. The engine room had become irradiated during the last fight, which killed Magos Brakk’s remaining staff, but the Magos himself stayed alive, and he was able to filter the radiation out of the whole section over a period of several months. It had been obvious even then that the reparations would mostly require time and patience, both of which the Fatemakers now had enough. If they failed, they would only die – an insignificant consequence compared to the fate of the Galaxy – and if they succeeded, well…

Nobody had tried to think about the future consequences too much during the reparations – at least Malistrum knew he did not. The whole idea of changing the past, or even creating an alternate timeline, was so ridiculous that only terminally desperate man would have considered it. The five Fatemakers knew they were that desperate, but they were perhaps too afraid to hope any more. Every time they met up to discuss that day’s tasks, they spoke curtly and business-like, concentrating only on the next stage ahead of them. They knew they had a mission, and that was enough. To consider the enormity of that mission was too much for them in their current state.

Of the five survivors, only two were really indispensable, although nobody was inconsiderate enough to mention this. Magos Brakk, with his versatile experience in engineering, Warp-drives and his extensive knowledge of the layout of the ship was vital to give the Opportunity her basic functions back. After three years of tinkering and kit-bashing – an activity which was normally considered heresy among the teach-priests – the ship started to function again. She still looked torn and battered, but at least she could move again, and she had her electric grid restored along the three most important decks.

This was no life for a machine, merely an imitation of it, akin to necromancy. It was a testimony to the Magos’s own desperation to still go with it.

The other indispensable person aboard was Librarian Akichi. Nobody, not even the Magos understood how exactly he meant to guide the ship through what was now described as the “Deep Warp”. He clearly had an idea, and he was working on something, which involved salvaging the wreckage which used to be the Navigator’s cabin and slowly carving and re-processing all the precious psycurium from the containment deck. He spent days alone, studying certain very classified Warp-theories which would have normally earned him an investigation from the ship’s Chaplain. When he stopped reading those texts, he spent his time carving microscopically regular lines onto the floor of the engine room, which he then filled out with the psy-sensitive material. He was making a set of runes, which he not even denied were parts of some dangerously exotic ritual. Normally, this would have been problematic as well. Now, not even risking their own soul seemed to be too high a price for the salvation of Mankind. The thought of a ritual with possible demonic origins was no longer of any concern.

The big concern was that it may even work.

The other three Astartes tried to help wherever they could. Malistrum did the only sensible thing and focussed exclusively on the tasks at hand, not stopping to consider the bigger picture. There was no point in it, and a rational analysis of their situation would have only suggested giving up completely, which he refused outright. He had already gone too far, and even a ridiculous plan was better than nothing at this point.

Uskovich worked with a newfound zeal. He had already given up life itself at the end of the battle with Narmantu, and it was only the determination of his Captain which propelled him forward for a while. In this last attempt, he seemingly found some form of strength. He did not talk much, but there was a haunting look in his eyes which spoke volumes of his anguish and desperation. If they had failed at any point in this, Malistrum knew the Chaplain would collapse again, this time forever. He needed salvation more than anyone else, and so he worked for three others. He spent a lot of time with Akichi, using his somewhat limited knowledge he had gained at the Inquisition to assist in creating the focusing runes; he worked tirelessly to help Magos Brakk in the long and monotonous task of re-wiring the electric grid on the main decks; he spent long hours, even days in cold vacuum on the hull of the ship whenever some task required him to work in space. He slowly but surely steeled himself for the mission ahead, and even managed to build up some of the Astartes conditioning in his mind. Malistrum did not know whether to feel pride or pity at this.

Initiate Loriant was the one person to be the least affected by their miserable situation – or at least he was the one who did not show any sign of desperation. Perhaps this was because he was still very young even by regular human standards, or perhaps because he did not have to carry the full burden of the past few years, but he remained in surprisingly good humour. He worked just as hard as the others, but at the Captain’s insistence, he also continued certain aspects of his Astartes training. He was not a full-fledged battle-brother, and although even he expected only a short service as a Fatemaker, the other four agreed that he deserved to become a fully accepted member of the Chapter. He repaid this attention with energy and enthusiasm which rubbed off on the others as well: Malistrum often found himself spending time with the initiate and speaking to him, only for himself to feel better after their discussion.

He had hoped he would live long enough to repay this to the initiate. It seemed the day when he could give something back finally arrived.

Malistrum nodded to his right to Uskovich, who stepped forward.

‘Initiate Loriant Vekhamar!’ he declared loudly and clearly.

A lonely figure appeared at the entrance. Initiate Loriant was wearing his regular, although freshly cleaned training outfit; a completely unnecessary thing seeing as how he had been in full power armour for the past few years. Custom dictated that this was the way he had to present himself, and so he donned his old garments – for the last time in his life. He walked towards Malistrum and the Chaplain at a slow pace, allowing the Captain to talk.

‘Has the initiate shown dedication towards the Emperor, the service of Mankind and the Fatemaker Chapter?’

This was a question normally answered by the initiate’s drill-sergeant. Essen was not present – who knew if he was alive at all? – so Malistrum addressed the other two people present at the ceremony.

Magis Brakk, who was standing on the other side of the Captain, nodded. ‘I am here to witness,’ he said in his metallic voice. ‘This initiate has passed all the necessary tests, and his physical condition is within the acceptable parameters. He is fit and able, a worthy addition to the Chapter.’

Librarian Akichi also bobbed his head. ‘I am also here to witness,’ he said quietly. ‘I saw the dedication of this initiate. He is intelligent and willing. His mind and soul is ready to serve Mankind.’

‘Normally, an initiate is supposed to take the mantle of a scout and serve for full five years before he would become a battle-brother,’ Malistrum put forward. ‘These are not normal times, but I am still asking you, the last of our Chapter: has he proven himself enough so we can circumvent our regular process and accept him as he is?’

Loriant was already halfway through to the four Astartes. His features were disciplined and calm, but Malistrum could still feel his excitement, as it was supposed to be. He had no doubt of the answer to his question, but he decided he needed to ask anyway.

‘Loriant fought in our battles, shed our enemies’ and his own blood alike,’ Akichi said. ‘All we ask of anyone in our Chapter is to be ready to fight, kill and die. We are embarking on the last mission any Fatemaker will ever undertake. He deserves to be a full-fledged battle-brother in our final days.’

‘I agree,’ Uskovich said. ‘We are all risking our soul and our very existence by entering the Deep Warp. It is his right to become one of us.’

‘So be it,’ Malistrum said. Loriant reached them and looked at the other four expectantly. The Captain stepped to him and placed a hand on the initiate’s chest.

The chest which had a functional gene-seed in it, the only one which remained aboard the ship. When the rest of the strike force split away, the Captain made a point of sending all the gene-seed with them, even going as far as removing the ones within the chests of those who remained. There was no point in wasting any of them. Every single one meant a potential future Astartes warrior, and Malistrum felt he needed to give as much fighting chance to Essen and his pears as possible. However, when he had found out that initiate Loriant was staying with them, he made sure that one seed stayed aboard. Somehow, he felt that this initiate would have the chance to undergo the ritual and become a Space Marine, a descendant of the Emperor Himself, in every sense of the word.

Originally, Malistrum had got some technical reservations – the Apothecaries dead or gone, Magos Brakk had to perform the operation, which was not really his field of expertise. Still, the implantation was a success, and Loriant recovered in an amazingly short amount of time. It was almost as if the Emperor finally smiled upon them – in this reality or from another, it mattered little at this point.

The Captain made a truly genuine smile, the first one for a long time.

‘You have made it,’ he told Loriant. The young Astartes nodded and made a reserved smile, his pride and happiness tempered by the gravity of the occasion.

‘I don’t think we need to make long speches,’ Malistrum continued. ‘I just wanted you to know that win or fail, if you are the future or the last of our Chapter, I am glad that you decided to stay with us – and I am proud to call myself your brother.’

Loriant merely nodded again, although this time, it was mostly because he was now clearly struggling with his own emotions. The Captain stepped back.

‘Take the garment of an Adeptus Astartes, and wear it proudly,’ he said. There was an armour rack next to the altar, with the pieces of a polished and fully functioning power armour arranged on it. Loriant stepped out of his outfit and started to don the pieces with practiced ease. He had been training in this armour for more than two years now, and knew it inside out, but this time, it was different. So far, the armour had been a piece of equipment – now, it was about to become an extension of him.

The four others were watching approvingly as Loriant put on the armour. This was no test in any way, but it somehow felt good to see another Fatemaker come into being. The ceremony was just as much for them as it was for the former initiate.

Loriant finished, with only the shoulder plates and the gloves remaining on the rack. The others now stepped forward. It was customary for the officers of the strike force to assist the initiates with the last pieces, a symbolic representation of accepting them into the fold. Each of the remaining Fatemakers – the three Astartes and the one tech-priest – took a piece of armour and attached it to its place.

When it had been done, they all stepped back and marvelled at their new brother. He was tall and strong, but there was more to him than merely physical prowess. He was determined but balanced, ready for action, but lacking hastiness and accepting his part in the grand scheme of things. If he was truly the last of the Fatemakers, he represented a worthy closure in the Chapter’s history.

‘Welcome among us, brother,’ Malistrum simply said. Loriant smiled, this time in earnest.

‘It is good to be here with you, my brothers. Whatever comes.’

‘Good.’ Malistrum turned to the others. ‘We are as ready as we can be,’ he stated. ‘The Opportunity is mobile again, and the Warp-engine is prepared. Before we set off, it is time for us to pray.’

They all kneeled down at the altar. Even though the Emperor was dead in this reality, He may be still present in that other, so far non-existent one. If they succeed, there will be someone again, to whom they may continue praying. It was to this hope that they were addressing their prayer.

And so they prayed. The four Astartes to the Emperor, Magos Brakk to the Omnissiah, He Who Is His Representative on Earth. The young Astartes who wished for a future to take part in; the Chaplain who was nothing without faith of some sort; the Librarian who wanted to believe he was still of purpose; the Magos who merely wanted order in the Galaxy; and, finally, the Captain who wished for all four things, even though he was afraid of hoping. He had not prayed since Saint Menthas, almost four years earlier, but now he found solace in the familiar rituals, and, through what he believed would be the last prayer in his life, he was finally, for a short time, at peace again.
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 68)

Postby L'Arpenteur » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:35 am

as cool as ever :)

"No one knows what it's like,
to be hated,
to be fated,
to see the Emperor dieeees"
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 68)

Postby Midgard » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:49 am

Every few months I check this site, and see more of this story. It is as good as ever, and I can't wait for the next part!
My Amazon writer page - check out my novel and short stories!
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 68)

Postby Meaneye » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:44 pm

What do you know, it didn't even take half a year to make a new update? :D

At this rate, it will be the end of this year by the time I finish the story. It doesn''t matter. Exactly two more updates are left. It will happen.

Enjoy this one.

Two hours later.

‘It is time,’ Malistrum said.

The prayer had been the last small comfort the small group of Fatemakers could afford. Immediately afterwards, they had split and gone to their separate stations, ready to face the greatest challenge of their life. The Captain was now standing in a small chamber located under the ruins of the control tower. This room was supposed to be an emergency station, only used for maintenance and system check-up, but now that the bridge was completely destroyed, Magos Brakk re-wired all the consoles to allow at least rudimentary control over the Opportunity’s engines. The chamber had no viewports and half the instruments were not even turned on, but it would do. It had to do.

‘We are still in position,’ Loriant stated. He was the helmsman now, if that title had any meaning at all in their current situation. It was obvious, even at the beginning, that the ship’s engines could not be repaired and maintained to the degree that would allow much navigation. An alternative way had to be found to lead the Opportunity through the anomaly, which meant makeshift improvisation. After months of toiling, it was now possible to actually start the engines, which was a miracle in itself. No real manoeuvring was possible, but then again, it was not really needed. All Loriant needed to do was activate the engines and pull a lever at his console which would push the ship forward – right into the Dark Torch.

Malistrum nodded. He was sitting at the observation console, although he had no access to the remaining few outer cameras. The auspex in front of him displayed the ship’s relative position, as well as the largest pieces of debris and the anomaly in front of them, but even so, his role in all this was more or less nominal. The Opportunity had been moved into the right position through weeks of short activations of the secondary engines. Thirty seconds of propulsion, half an hour of waiting as momentum and inertia pushed the city-sized wreck a few hundred metres away. The five men had learned a lot about patience during those weeks.

The Captain leaned forward. ‘Magos, are you ready?’ he asked into the vox. He then waited a few seconds for the reply. The answer would not come from his ship.

‘I am in position,’ Magos Brakk reported. He was not aboard the Opportunity, but on another piece of debris which used to be the engine section of the Wrath of God. The enemy ship died and all crew aboard was killed, but some parts of her could be salvaged, including the Warp-engine.

This lucky find allowed them to formulate a safeguard against unforeseen accidents. Even though Captain Malistrum claimed he had managed to alter the future by somewhat preserving the Opportunity, no one could deny the dangers of entering the Warp anomaly with such a damaged vessel. The Future Opportunity they had seen was spinning out of control, while being ablaze at the same time. It was impossible to say what could have caused that kind of erratic motion, but with their engines ruined, the most likely cause could have been the Warp-engines failing. By activating the Warp-engines of the other ship and opening a Warp-gate right in front of the anomaly would allow the Opportunity to move to the Warp through a familiar, stable path. Entering the anomaly from the Warp’s side theoretically made the transition smoother, eliminating any chance of an error which would destroy the ship or worse – hurl her back in time to start the circle and seal the fate of the whole Chapter.

At least that was the theory.

The Magos hesitated for a second. There was something… amiss. Not with the engines – he knew himself enough to be sure there was nothing overlooked. No, it was something else. During the three years they slowly formulated and implemented their plan, he sometimes had an uneasy feeling. He could not say for sure, and the other Astartes did not feel the same way, so he let it go, but still… every now and then, he sensed a presence aboard the Opportunity, as if somebody or something had survived and was now observing them. Perhaps it was even helping: the Magos had been sure it would have taken far longer for them to get this far, but time and time again, they had been extremely lucky with their reparations. They always seemed to find the right tool, the right missing component, just another crucial energy source that enabled them to carry on with their work at an optimal level.

He had mentioned this to the Captain once, only for the crew to waste a whole week searching through the ship only to find nothing. In the end, this was what decided it: his instincts were telling him they were not alone, but he was a tech-priest, an ardent believer in logic and reason. He had his calculations, and they had to be enough.

‘I am ready,’ he said. Only another tech-priest could have found the small hesitation in the tone of his voice.


The voice startled Akichi. He slowly looked up from his meditation.

He was sitting in the middle of the engine room. It was not ideally suited for this task, but this was the place which was the most reinforced against Warp-energies. The Gellar-field was working, but what was needed now required every little help it could get.

The tech-priests who had worked here would not have recognised the place. Most of the equipment was removed or wired to the emergency chamber: the consoles were cut out to make room for a big esoteric pentagram which the surviving Fatemakers carved into the floor and filled up with psycurium.


A cowardly word, one used to hide from the truth. The runes around the pentagram were Chaos runes, pure and simple. They shielded against the Warp and focussed Akichi’s powers, but they did so by using Warp-related knowledge. The Librarian had opened a lot of classified and proscribed files in the ship’s databanks to get exactly what he needed: a means to be able to see through the Warp as well as a true Navigator would.
The plan was not complicated, and the end justified the means: the Opportunity would fall into the Deep Warp, which would hurl her through not only space but time as well. With this pentagram, he would be able to locate the Emperor and lead the ship to Him, so they would be able to give a final warning before He would be assassinated. History would change, and anew timeline would be created, in which the Fatemakers would not have to die out.

At least that was the theory.

Something disturbed Akichi, and it was not the ethical considerations. Even if they were now little more than Chaos-using Astartes – Chaos Space Marines, if you like – he would have gladly sacrificed his own soul for the survival of the Imperium. The prospect of failure, however, still instilled a sense of dread in him. Failure was naturally an option here, of course, but this went beyond the already crazy nature of their mission.

They had forgotten about something. This was not the right time.

The Opportunity was, in principle, in a different state than she was supposed to be, which meant that the original accident which had created the time loop would not occur. Still, he remembered all too well that his future self had arrived at the Opportunity with one of the Strike Force’s own Thunderhawks, Thunderhawk Three. The plane was covered with exotic runes from the inside, which suggested some form of Warp-influence. This was the state of things at the moment of the ship’s time travel.

Thunderhawk Three was still intact, but there were no runes to paint it from the inside. Akichi was not even sure what kind of runes they had been, and he was definitely not able to re-paint them even if he had intended to. Those runes were an anomaly, indicating that the Fatemakers should have encountered some outside force which at the very least taught them how to draw them in the first place. The first Opportunity cannot have made the jump back in the past from this point of time.

Akichi had talked to the Captain about this, but he doubted he had understood it, especially as the Librarian himself did not fully comprehend how these things worked. The one thing they could agree on was that at least this way, the Fatemakers would definitely break the circle once and for all.

Can we do this? The Librarian asked himself one last time. The answer came immediately.

Do I still think I have a purpose to fill? Do I still think the Emperor spared me for something greater?

Akichi let out a deep sigh.

‘I am ready,’ he voxed. It was too late to turn back now. From this moment, he would be committed.


Chaplain Uskovich was sitting in Thunderhawk Three. Cursed, miserable Thunderhawk Three, the only vessel that remained intact aboard the ship.

He was not needed for the navigation. He could not help with the engines. He would have only disturbed Akichi with his presence. He was serving only as a backup plan: in case the Magus could not return from the other ship in his own small shuttle, he would have gone out and returned him. Once the Warp-gate was open, the Magos was sure the Wrath of God could have kept it open for at least an hour, and the Fatemakers had no intention of leaving anyone behind any more.

He was as focussed as he could be. He tried not to think of anything. This was his one chance to make things right, and by the Emperor, he would have his amends.

Then he might as well have the Emperor’s peace for all he cared.

‘I am also ready,’ he said.

‘In the name of the Emperor, open the portal, Magos.’

Reality split open.

It was a slow process, a straight line appearing in space between the Opportunity and the engine section of the Wrath of God. The line widened and become a slit with pulsating blue light coming out of it. The light was disturbing to the eyes of the only person who actually saw it, but Uskovich knew from experience that this colour was actually the sign of a stable Warp-gate. The slit opened wide and became an oval. Lightning was dancing around the edge and the blue light seemed to vibrate at a rhythm that was somewhat nauseating to behold. The gate opened barely a few hundred metres from where the edge of the other Warp-anomaly started. Some of the lightnings latched onto the anomaly, and the portal started to swell. In a matter of seconds, the portal grew five times of its original size and folded onto the anomaly. It seemed now that the purple-coloured anomaly had a window on it, offering a somewhat more navigable route through it.

The console in front of Malistrum came alive.

‘Warp-gate opened, Brother-Captain. The path seems to be stable.’ Mags Brakk paused for a second. ‘It appears we have succeeded in the first stage.’

Malistrum took a deep breath.

‘Congratulations,Magos. You may return to the Opportunity.’ He turned to Loriant. ‘As soon as the Magos arrives…’

Only Uskovich saw the blink of the portal.

But all of them felt it. All five of them on both ships felt it at the same time. The Magos felt it in the closed engine section; Akichi felt it in his chamber, regardless of all the protective wards around him; Malistrum and Loriant felt it in the backup command section. Uskovich saw it too.

It was a flash of an impossible colour, one that had no right to exist in the material Universe, one that was none of the basic colours of this Universe, not even the absence of light, but some form of opposite of all colours. It only took a fraction of a second, but it was enough to make the Chaplain scream out in brief but mind-numbing fear.

The anomaly and the portal on its surface both started to ripple and change, as if the Chaplain were looking at some form of weird skin with something was crawling under it. Something that was trying to come through or even be born – even though Uskovich suspected that a natural occurrence like birth had nothing to do with what was happening out in space.

Then he heard the voice.

He was not alone there. Everybody heard it. All five Fatemakers, no matter which ship they were on, heard that terrible, impossible voice. It resonated in their head, in their very bones, filling them with cold dread.

[I welcome you, children of this reality, at the Convergence that is me. I thank you for opening the gate which led me to your dimensions. I welcome the chance to feast upon this Universe. Hear me, see me, feel me, sense me – bow down to me who will become the Fifth and soon all Eight. Tremble before the name I choose in this world.]

[Tremble before Besneherofax.]

It took long seconds for Malistrum to compose himself. The voice physically pushed him back into his chair, and even in spite of his Astartes physiology and mental conditioning, he felt he was about to have a stroke. He leaned forward with uncertain movement, and for the first time since his indoctrination, he had to fight against being overwhelmed with dread.

‘Who… who is speaking?’ he whispered. He cast a glance at Loriant, and the boy looked back with trembling hands and fear in his eyes. ‘Who are you?’ he asked again, somehow feeling that the voice could actually hear him.

He was right. The voice addressed him, and as the words of that… thing… washed over him, Malistrum felt its terrible joy and victory.

[I am what I am. I am the stretched out hand of what you ignorantly call the Deep Warp. I am the herald. I am the gatekeeper and the open door through which it will come through. There are other points of its like in this universe, where the Warp flows deep enough, but this one is special. This is open now and so we can be together. We can all be together.]

‘The anomaly,’ Malistrum heard another voice, a familiar one this time. He had no idea how, but he could hear what Uskovich had just whispered, even though the voxlines were off. It seemed that the thing that called itself Besneherofax created a link with all of them, so they could all speak with and understand it. ‘The Dark Torch…’ Uskovich continued, with the dawning shock evident in his voice, ‘…a portal through space and time?’

[Space and time AND realities. Your Emperor is dead in many of them, and many of you Fatemakers end up at the Torch in most of those Universes. Some of those many realize what the gate is, and a few of those some try to open it to same your lord. Out of those few, only you succeed.]

‘Impossible,’ Maogs Brakk’s voice chimed in. Even the otherwise stoic tech-priest sounded shocked now. ‘Do you want to say…’

[Yes,] Besneherofax boomed. [The Deep Warp is ready to wash over this realm. I, Besneherofax, am not the first to pass. Four are with you already, and a Fifth is being born – but the Four and the Fitfth are no longer needed now that I am here. I can be all: the Four, the Fifth and all Eight eventually. I can seek out the realities which are similar to this one and force them open as well. Every Universe where you Fatemakers exist, every possibility where you try to open the gate belongs to me now, its denizens to be used as I see fit. I can open and bleed this Universe from its creation to its demise – and I can do the same with other realities now. So, so many realities…]

‘No’, Malistrum said with dry mouth. ‘No, no, no.’

[Yes. Countless universes perish. Countless versions of the Fatemarker chapter are damned. All that destruction… and it is all thanks to you.]

Something snapped in Malistrum. He leapt out of his chair, his dread forgotten and replaced by rage.

‘NO!’ he shouted, shaking his fists to the ceiling of the chamber. ‘We will stop you, demon!’

[You are powerless to stop me. And now you can witness the power that is me.]

Besneherofax said a word. None of the Fatemakers understood, and it was good that they did not because that word had immense power in it but did not feel it had any right to exist in the real world. Malistrum felt for a moment that he was no longer looking at his own reality, but rather countless overlapping pictures of the chamber around him. Overlapping pictures with slight differences in the room’s arrangement, with overlapping shapes occupying the space where the wide-eyed Loriant was sitting. Then the world solidified around him, and he returned to his own reality again.

But he and Loriant were no longer alone in the room. Three dark shapes emerged from nothing: three vaguely humanoid, grotesque forms with terrible, inhuman faces, sharp claws and fangs and a nauseating stench. The Captain only had to look at them to know what they were.


All three of the demons leaped at Malistrum with a terrible scream, and Malistrum’s conditioning kicked in. He met them head on, drawing his power sword and slashing with it through the torso of one of the enemies with the same movement. The sword did not kill the demon – if it could be killed at all – but it fell nonetheless on the ground thrashing and screaming. Malistrum ducked under the flailing arms of the other two, leaped forward and then turned back to face them. By then Loriant had also jumped next to him, drawing his own sword.

The two pairs of enemies clashed. Malistrum was fighting with a fury he had not felt for decades. Not even during their long and arduous voyage had he felt such betrayal and anger. His rage was a match for that of the demon facing him. Loriant was swept away from him by his own opponent, but Malistrum did not care. He hacked and slashed, cutting off parts of the demon: fingers, chunks from its abdomen, a good portion of its face. As he was circling around the demon, he found an opening and he jumped in to finish the abomination once and for all.

Then he slipped as the third demon on the ground grabbed his ankle. He reacted immediately and hacked the monster’s head off, but by then the other had the opportunity to smash into him. The strike flew Malsitrum over to the other end of the room, and he blacked out for a second. He tried hard to compose himself and instinctively braced himself for the next attack, the warning cry of Loriant ringing in his ears.


The demon leaped at him, then stopped. A power sword suddenly pierced its torso from behind. Malistrum had no time to think: he swung his own sword and cut off the head of this demon too. As the monster fell on the ground and started to rot immediately, he looked as his helper turned back and jumped to aid Loriant with his opponent.

Malistrum looked with dawning realization as the third Space Marine hacked down the last demon. He was turning his back to the Captain, but there was no mistaking of the armour he wore or the shockingly familiar power sword he wielded.

Both belonged to Malistrum – in fact, he was wearing the armour and holding the same sword at that very moment.

The third demon died, and the newcomer stepped back from Loriant, who was looking at him with an open mouth. He slowly turned and Malistrum looked into the familiar face.

‘You,’ he murmured.

Andorias, who was wearing Malistrum’s power armour and was holding his sword, looked just as shocked and clueless as Loriant.

‘Captain?’ he asked in a trembling voice. ‘You… live? What happened? How…?’

He had no time to finish his question.

‘Impossible,’ Magos Brakk whispered to himself. He was not prone to such impulses, but now he felt he was way past any rationality. Even without genuine human emotions, he felt that the shock would overload his systems.

‘This is not possible,’ he said again, checking his instrument over and over again. None of the data made any sense to him, but he had heard the speech Besneherofax made, and he knew with absolute certainty that he wanted none of the future the demon had in store for them.

‘NO!’ he heard the defiant cry of his Captain. ‘We will stop you, demon!’

[You are powerless to stop me. And now you can witness the power that is me.]

Brakk felt the same disorienting change as Malistrum, although his attention was fixed solely on his console, which remained more or less the same. As the nauseating feeling of seeing multiple facets of different realities passed, he shook his head – another pointless human reaction – and set a few dials on it.

‘We made a fatal mistake, Captain,’ he said, to no one in particular. ‘But I will end all this.’

‘No, you won’t.’

Something grabbed the Magos from behind and hurled him away from the consoles so hard he flew over the entire chamber. He crashed against the wall hard and fell on the ground. His systems could block out the pain, so he did not yell, but even so, but he felt a moment of helplessness and defeat as the same systems informed him of all the broken bones and augmentations in his body. He would not get up from the ground again.

He looked up. It took a few seconds to interpret what he saw, but his mind was shaped to analyse and theorize. It only took those few seconds to get it.

‘Why?’ he simply asked.

‘Why not?’ the Magos answered.

It was him, Magos Brakk, although only vague traces remained of the once proud tech-adept. He His face was gone entirely, replaced by a metal mask which echoed the features Brakk used to have as a yet un-augmented initiate. His red robe was similarly replaced by a shroud made from the same metallic material as his face, and even though the face did not move, the shroud did: it was twitching and waving as if it had a mind of its own. Three pairs of mechadendrites protruded from the Magos’s back, also moving to some unknown rhythm. The figure oozed power and a certain unnatural state which made the lying Magos’s senses revolt.

‘You are my alternate version from another reality,’ he stated.

‘Correction,’ the other replied. ‘You are my alternate version from another reality.’

Brakk struggled for a moment to keep his damaged lungs circulate air.

‘You have augmented yourself with forbidden technology.’

‘I did,’ the other admitted. ‘I used the Necron technology on Khadmus IV – and also used the Chaos-runes we found in the Ongoliant Triangle.’

Brakk sighed ‘human, machine, demonic… and Necron?’

‘The perfect combination,’ the other Brakk answered. He stepped towards the console and positioned himself between the instruments and the Fatemaker Magos. ‘You need all advantages you can have to survive in this world.’

‘How did the others let you… do it?’ Brakk asked. He tried to push himself up from the ground but fell back, exhausted.

‘They didn’t have a say in it,’ the other said. ‘Not after I infected them with a modified version of the Obliterator virus. Now they serve me.’

‘I reiterate: why?’

‘This world – your or mine – makes no sense,’ the answer came. ‘There is no higher purpose to it: not the Emperor, not the Omnissiah. If this is true, you are the only true maker of your own fate. Surely you had the same crisis of faith after encountering the Metal Men?’

‘I did,’ Brakk said. ‘Then I decided to move on regardless.’

‘So did I,’ the augmented Brakk said. ‘In my own way.’

The Magos looked on. He could find no trace of himself in his other version – not in the way he moved or he spoke. Whataver man he was in that other reality, this abomination had destroyed him for good.

‘I thought I was the perfect being when I changed,’ the other said conversationally, turning to the instruments, ‘but now I see there is still room for improvement. The Deep Warp has so much potential. It was worth coming into this system after all.’

‘You are deluded,’ the Magos said. He had to struggle to keep his systems active now. ‘The Deep Warp will consume everything!’

‘Eventually, yes,’ the other agreed. ‘But until that point, this demon will need servants to further its goals. I will serve it, and I will learn from it. I will become part of the Deep Warp.’

‘If you have ever been me…’ Brakk stopped for a second. The pain was slowly overcoming his senses now. ‘… you must remember what it was. You must feel how wrong this is. Help me. Help me stop it.’

‘There is no stopping it.’ Even with his impassive metallic face, the other Brakk sounded almost apologetic. ‘You have no idea how far the tendrils of this entity reach. Do you remember the last mission of the Chapter before the Emperor died? The Chaos-cult we exposed there? Do you remember the Ongoliant Triangle?’

The Fatemaker Magos did not answer.

‘You have no idea, do you? If you had bothered to check the data... if you have used your knowledge of the Warp and taken the energy signatures of this anomaly… if you had experimented with the Chaos Runes from the Triangle… If you have opened the head of Librarian Akichi and scanned his brain to find out about the Warp-attacks of the cultists… it is all connected, you see? All the cultists we have encountered lately… they all used Besneherofax’s power. The entity is entering our reality at this point in our timeline, but it has already converted Chaos-cults in the past. It has already infected this reality and is slowly moving down the timeline. It is the one who created the circle for the Fatemakers. It will and has already won.’

There was silence for a second, while the augmented Brakk was busy working on the consoles. The other Brakk was lying immobile on the ground. It seemed for a few seconds he has already died.

‘You never tried to mix with them, did you?’ he finally asked.

The other turned back and looked at him. ‘Clarify.’

‘The crew,’ Brakk groaned. ‘You never tried to engage in any conversations with them, did you? It was difficult for me at first too, but I took the effort and tried to fit in with the Chapter. I became… one of them. I am… a Fatemaker.’

‘I can live with that loss,’ the other answered.

‘Not really. If you… were a true Fatemaker… you would think like them. You would count… with every eventuality. You would have a backup plan… even for this situation…’

The Magos pondered over this for a second.

‘You are talking about destroying the engine section,’ he stated. ‘It is powering the Warp-gate, which is in turn keeping the gate to the Deep Warp open. It will not work. You are already too damaged to stand up and oppose me.’

‘I don’t have to stand up.’ the Magos coughed up blood. ‘You are disappointing me. You are not thinking far ahead. Or perhaps… you look down on the world and no longer care about simple solutions? I was to return to the Opportunity… but things could have gone wrong even in the very last minute. We needed a final failsafe…’

‘A self-destruct order?’ the Magos asked. ‘I can block any incoming message from the Opportunity.’

‘Granted.’ the Magos pulled a small box from his robes. ‘Can you block the same impulse from inside the room?’

The box chirped and the other Magos jerked. He emitted a high-pitched shriek, and the box went silent.

‘Yes,’ the Magos answered, and he leaped at the Fatemaker.

The Fatemaker Magos died three seconds later, but it no longer mattered. His last moment was filled with a bitter sense of victory. He judged himself well enough: even in this abominable state, his monstrous self was thinking in what he perceived as rationality. The box’s signals were blocked – the box was no longer dangerous. It could be ignored.

And so, as the augmented Magos lashed out with all six mechadendrites at his pureform self, he paid no attention to the box – a simple vox-unit with no remote control abilities – as the real Magos Brakk used his remaining strength and hurled the box across the room with cold, machine-like precision, only for it to hit and activate a very big red button on the console.

The explosion vaporized the remains of the Wrath of God, and the anomaly shook as the Warp-gate started to recede and collapse around it. For a second, it seemed that the Magos’s sacrifice actually paid off, and the gate would close on the demon.

Then the anomaly pulsated once more, and its impossible, sickening colours returned. It was total silence for a heartbeat, then the demon spoke again.

[You are too late.]

Then it said another word, and reality trembled.

Another ship appeared next to the Opportunity. She did not come out of the Warp, merely materialized out of the vacuum of space. To Uskovich, the only person to see her, she looked frighteningly familiar. She was a spitting image of the Opportunity herself, except for two things. First of all, she was intact and battle-ready. Secondly, even though her weapon configuration, ancient battle-scars and even energy signatures were completely identical to the Fatemaker vessel, she bore the name Favoured by Chance on her side.

Another ship appeared, somewhat identical to the other two and bearing the name Opportunity. This ship, howewer, had Chaos iconography and wore the colours of the Blue Avengers – one of the predecessors of the Fatemakers which was supposed to be dead for centuries.

Other ships appeared in front of the Chaplain’s eyes. Imperial and Chaos vessels, familiar and unfamiliar configurations, all sharing some basic characteristics. Magos Brakk was right from the beginning: parallel universes existed with small variations in the actions of some people living hundreds of years ago resulting in different alternative histories and alternative Fatemaker Chapters. All ships, all strike forces who managed to arrive at this point and time in their own universes were slowly pulled into this world as their own reality started to merge with this one.

The roar of Besneherofax pulsated through the portal, which blinked and cast its dark purple light into the void around it. New ships arrived, and then new ones, Opportunities in different forms, carrying different crews convened around the Dark Torch. In a few minutes, the handful of vessels became dozens.

Then the dozens became hundreds.

Then the hundreds became thousands.
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 69)

Postby L'Arpenteur » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:44 pm

HELL YEAH ! I didn't give up u see ;) again, great work, didn't see that coming. But is your story still fitting in The Age of Dusk ? Or is it diverging at this point ?
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 69)

Postby Midgard » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:14 pm

A new chapter, and I was not disappointed. I did not expect this twist. Your work is one of the primary reasons I keep checking this site - keep it up!
My Amazon writer page - check out my novel and short stories!
MIDGARD - my melodic death metal band's new album is now on BandCamp
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 69)

Postby BigDaddyCalgar » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:37 am

I have been binging this story over the course of a week, and I just have to say that you are a brilliant author. I have read many forms of fiction over the course of my life and I can say with the utmost confidence that this is one of the best. Keep it up, and I hope the Fatemakers don't learn the true power of the Nex-[I have no mouth and I must sceam SCREAM SCREEEE-] err, sorry about that, but I hope final 2 segments of the story are of the same quality as the rest.
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 69)

Postby BigDaddyCalgar » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:00 am

Also, how is Besneherofax related to the Nex- [CORRUPTION DEATH MISERY TAINT- NO]
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 69)

Postby L'Arpenteur » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:20 pm

I wander among the dust. I lost the meaning of time. My feat is sealed. My armor rusts and nothing is mine. Of all theses cities in ruin, of all these sacred bonds shatered, my will was the last to break ; my soul the first to be soiled. And I wander. Oh yeah I wander my fellow brothers. Amid the horrors of our dark future, amid the wastes, I'm seeking redemption. I wander and I wonder : is all hope tarnished ? Are our spirits consumed by the endless burn of Terra ? Are our ideas faded by the burden of time ? In face of such adversity and destructions, I have decided to hold. I will hold for you brothers ! I will never give up and I will be back for you, each day, seeking your tales and your magic. As only darkness reigns, resistance is the only choice against oblivion. FATE BROTHERS ! OUR FATE HAS NOT YET BEEN ENDED ! NEITHER OUR COURAGE ! LET IT BEGINS MEANEYE, LET IT BURNS !! LET YOUR TALE IGNITES THE SKY AND BE OUR TESTIMONY, our last fight.
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Re: Fatemakers' Odyssey (50K) (part 69)

Postby Meaneye » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:58 am

Hello L'Arpenteur (and all),

It will happen. I have not completely let go of this project, I'm just having a major writer's block. However, half of the next chapter is done, and I will work on the rest as well. I mean, there are only like two updates left, it should not be so hard to finish it, right?

Right? :D
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