Agent of Alpharius
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
“You are prepared for this undertaking Draco, once you leave your company there is little chance that you will return?”
“Yes Cawl, I am. Alpharius has shown me what I need to do. I am his agent while he undertakes his greater works. Don’t scowl Cawl, I’m not a puppet like this doll before me. You made us primaris a little too well I fear, too close to the flawed humanity you chose to model us on. I studied the data Alpharius and you supplied and compared that to the original gene-seed programme. I think you have created a monster of your own making Cawl, but I believe that was your intention from the outset.”
The dolls features twisted in fury and its appendages struck out with lightning reflexes only a mechanical construct could possess. Yet for all that speed the response of the warrior was quicker, his power sword activated and sliced the approaching limbs in one fluid action. The sliced pieces dropping inert to the floor and the doll, stopping stunned at the rapid response.
Draco directed the powered blade to the dolls brain case, located in its armoured stomach. The energy of the blade connected with the power field protecting the doll and a contest of fields played between the sources. The fluctuating display of light cast an eerie display across the visage of the warrior and doll as they stared at each other.
“Damn Alpharius and curse your curiosity Draco,” spat the Cawl doll.
“Of course you are right Draco. You are all flawed with the hubris of humanity; it is what makes you and your species able to perform against the odds which confront them. If I take away that tiny piece of vulnerability then you are little more than mindless automaton which I or any other Mechanicus warlord could produce in the millions for a fraction of the cost. So I count on a 5% failure rate among the recruits. These will fall to the lures of the vices humanity has suffered since the dawn of time. However on the whole the project will succeed as long as that 5% failure rate is kept from the top echelon of command. That of course will be nigh on impossible to monitor considering the size of the Imperium and the fact that Guilliman has spread my results across the universe. Hence we can expect failure to rear its ugly head sooner than later, I’m expecting sooner considering the constant exposure to contamination. “
Draco lowered his blade and considered the response.
“So your deal with Alpharius and keeping the Fallen Legions separated and isolated from the Imperium has been to weed out the failure rate. No, that’s not possible. It’s been to monitor the warning signs and the aberrations within the development cycles. You and Alpharius are working on systems that will identity at risk individuals and either administers remedial pogroms or failing that remove the failure from the system. Cold and heartless, iron within - iron without.”
The Cawl doll nodded and far away the consciousness that was Cawl pondered its next move in the greater game it played. It had made an error here, the pawn Draco was not what it had hoped for. Damn Alpharius, he had contaminated another of his projects and taken away yet another opportunity… but, no Cawl thought, let’s play this out and see what happens. If Draco can’t send back his reports to Alpharius then… The Cawl doll spoke in irritation.
“I have nothing further to say on this matter. You have been given your orders.”
A servitor activated and approached the pair. Draco raised his blade in preparation, but saw that it was only a recording and servitor scribe.
“I shall have to prepare a proper Seal of Authority for you. While you have met this Alpharius, the one you are about to meet is, let me say, extremely paranoid and very untrusting. Once you see who he has as company you will understand. Are you ready? Please nod when so.”
“This is Belisarius Cawl to Alpha Capharius or should I say Alpharius Primus. This is a Seal of Authority by me for the individual who bears it. State for the Seal warrior who you are?”
“I am Draco Dantioch, gene-seed scion of Barbarus Dantioch, 1001 Grand Company, IV Legion.”
“Who is your loyalty pledged to?
“What is your mission?”
The Cawl doll immediately stopped the recording and angrily spat.
“What is the meaning of this? You can’t have a classified mission? The whole purpose of this Seal of Authority is so that the Alpharius that receives this missive understands what this whole matter is about. Withholding that from him will only make him suspicious? It is also making me as well, including angering me.”
Draco smiled at the Cawl doll and nodded.
“Yes that’s the whole point Cawl. Alpharius doesn’t trust you. Just accept that he has ways of getting his self to know things you just can’t fathom. You see you gave up too much of yourself in your pursuits, Alpharius didn’t. It’s what gives him the edge over you in most of these tête-à-têtes.”
A shadowy form dropped from the ceiling, its humanoid form blurring the senses. Tendrils snaked forth from its form and attached itself to sensitive sections of the Cawl doll, rendering it inert and helpless. With this done, the blurred form spoke in a feminine voice.
“Cawl you are taking too long in dealing with a simple matter of dispatching Draco on this mission. I think you are up to something, mother and father agree with me as well. I will finish this Seal without your permission and send Draco on his way.”
The Cawl doll, now helpless and in the control of another continued to complete the Seal of Authority.
“I Belisarius Cawl release Draco Dantioch from the Mechanicus Injunction. His credentials are Death Watch authorized.”
With that the figure gestured for Draco to obtain the Seal recording from the servitor. Once this was done, the Cawl doll was released and its functioning returned. The venom in the voice was like acid.
“You abomination. How dare you interfere in this matter, I decide what happens on this planet, not you or those you call your parents!”
“Oh Cawl, you gave up all control of this planet decades ago when you gave father control of it. You really should read the fine print of any contract you sign with the Devil. I think you will find that you have no more say in how things operate here anymore. Pity, but it’s time for you to go now. Bye!”
With that final word the being raised a blurred appendage and shot an energy beam at the Cawl doll which rendered it to nothing but component atoms.
Draco looked over at where the doll had been and then back at the shooter.
“Was that really necessary Lady? Cawl is known to hold a grudge for a long time.”
The blurred form moved towards Draco and caressed the side of his face.
“Oh Draco, I could not have my fathers favourite protégé harmed. You mean too much to us for that to happen. Now, quick off you go. Get this silly mission of fathers over and done with and get back here to me and my sisters as soon as you can. We still haven’t mastered poetry yet.”
Draco swallowed a nervous gulp and wondered if exile in eternity was possible for the daughters of Alpharius had mastered (contrary to her statement) Vogon poetry and it was that bad.
Story (C) John A McDonnell 9 January 2019The Warhammer 40,000 Universe is copyright to Games Workshop, no challenge is intended to their title and rights. This is a piece of fan fiction for the Dark Heresy Role Playing game from the Fantasy Flight Games edition.