Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Fabricated Tales of Alpha Capharius - Season 2: Chapter 5

The Fabricated Tales 


Alpha Capharius

Season 2: Chapter 5

This is a piece of fiction and may contain mature and adult themes. 
You have been warned - read at your own discretion.
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.

Converted Dark Eldar model from authors collection.

+++Personal Journal+++
Never expect the plan you were asked to come up with to be used.  It reminds me of the old Sol fictional series of a caped crusader and one of his half-faced scared adversaries.  This individual is entranced by the idea of chance—making most of his decisions based on the outcome of a coin toss.  It would seem that my whole life to this point has been nothing but the whim of a die and that my attempts at crafting my own destiny are thwarted by whimsy.
+++End Journal+++

With my crafted plan tossed out the window and a new one thrust upon me I pondered the difficulties that had been presented to me.  The Ur’kon/ME copy was exceptionally helpful and compliant with the ensuring my experiments and data collection continued without interruption.  The construction of the replacement bodies for Francine went well and the consciousnesses transferred without any complications.  The secondary body is a synthetic "full-body prosthesis" augmented-cybernetic AI[1].  The primary body is secretly maintained as part of the contingency plan.

My plan of wrestling the Rod went out the window as I think I mentioned.  I now found that the Haemonculi Ru’kon was a “servant” to this Archon who I have given the name Helbram.  The Haemonculi - long masters of their own counsel and the ones whom all Dark Eldar seek boons and grovel to, now finds himself a lowly tool in the hierarchy of some petty lordlings ambitions.  Clearly some great misfortune happened here… I certainly know where.  Nonetheless I am prepared to deal with the mistake and work with the flawed materials I have at hand and hope that something can be salvaged from it all.

This Archon Helbram has for unknown reasons become aware of Ur’kon/ME’s interest in the Rod.  (Always suspect a trap.) He has offered to release the Rod to us[2] in exchange for some wet work.  He requires the assassination of the Archon (let’s call him Dralval Veloth) whose daughter the company “executed” in the arena a while ago.  Kill this individual and bring back proof and the Rod will be ours.  Why do I still expect treachery, I should have taken his beating heart as hostage as proof of good will and to return in exchange.  Oh well next time perhaps.

With access to the resources of a well sourced Archon and Ur’kon/ME’s haemonculi covens the accessibility to military grade hardware necessary to hit a high threat target was “capricious”[3].  Equipment was found that was adequate to meet “standard” opponents, my worry was that our target was an Archon and his retinue.  Well I guess I could whinge about the facts but the past has happened at the time of this writing so I shall continue on.  The party loaded for bear, I as was custom took simple weapons, a blaster rifle and the liquifer pistol though I did acquire a Shadow Field.

A plan was required to find and assassinate this Archon.  It was known that he enjoyed hunting the lesser lordlings and anyone foolish enough to be easy targets of opportunities.  I was aware that Elsie was still out there in the city causing mayhem.  Not enough that would cause a significant hunt, or he’d be dead by now, but enough that he had earned a reputation as a worthy trophy.  Here was the bait needed to attract this Archon, now all I needed to do was persuade the bugger to accept and follow the plan. Not going to happen is it!

Reluctantly Elsie returns and even more reluctantly agrees to the plan.  He sees that there is not much in the way of other options on the table, he even begrudgingly agrees that it’s a good plan.  I’m rather suspicious over this and wonder what he’s up to.  Spies are dispatched, routes are mapped and eventually an area is located where an ambush can be sprung. 

The main company has clustered in preparation of hitting the Archons skimmers and guards once Elsie has been discovered.  Elsie had to gain their attention, which he did by throwing a grenade.  After that it was all down to the hack and slash of general warfare.  This though was not normal, the Dark Eldar like their Eldar kin are not to be taken lightly.  They may be “brittle”, but if you allow them to hit you with their weaponry or allow their weapons masters to melee you then you are truly doomed.

The skimmers went down easy enough, crew and troop loses were minimal.  The lesser troop guards while resilient did eventually succumb to the firepower directed at it by the company.  The Archon and his Incubi guard were another matter altogether.  The Archon spoke to us:

“I see you are the wretches of the Kabal of Torn Thorns who fought against my daughter in the arena!  Which of you scum killed her?”

Well the company all pointed to Elvis, though Elsie pointed at me (silly fool).

“You (Elvis) I will kill last and slowly over the long centuries, slayer of my daughter.”

The battle began - Elsie found that the “captain” of the Incubi guard was lethal and he was stricken multiple times, I don’t think he managed to land a blow once in the time it took for this individual to take him out.  Grenades were being tossed with ruthless efficiency, and the Incubi were dodging with little difficulty.  At one point it was a battle between Ur’kon/ME and the Archon.  Again I was surprised with knowledge I was not made aware of, frustrating me no end.

The Archon proved to have some hideous weapons and artifacts in his arsenal.    The Vexator Mask was unsettling but had little effect on me, thinking it could fool me by showing an image of a most trusted friend, beloved ruler, or loved one. Bahahahaha nothing falls into one of those categories, though for some reason someone thought I fit all of them.  Such a silly notion. Only lower being would have such base natures ruling them.  While this may have been an inconvenience, the Orb of Despair[4] was truly the more devastating weapon, and had it been able to inflict its deadly damage to the company then… thankfully it did not – and in my case my Shadow Field protected me. Limiting myself to no melee weapon may have been a mistake, but the armoury only had one klaive in it – and Elvis got that! 

With the last of the Incubi gone and his health much in ruin the Archon reached for his webway portal device and activated it.  While I initially missed it, Francine did not and alerted me to it activation.  Mind you the disturbance in the immediate area of the creation of the field certainly warned me of this occurrence.  The only weapon I had which could possibly be used at close quarters was the liquefier gun.  It did the job and melted the device and some of the Archons armour in the process.  Distracted and injured the company pounced bringing down the Archon allowing him to be captured along with several other Incubi guards who had not been killed.  Apparently killed is not killed, which works out well as a live victim for our benefactor might mean a more grateful one.  The Incubi “captain” that was playing with Elsie decided that with the death of her “lord” a tactical retreat was in order and fled the location.  Sources later informed me that this individual was the wife of our target!

During this engagement I had reluctantly released the dampener on Elvis so that he could access his psychic abilities.  Again Elvis forgot that he could mask his psychic spore from the area and drew the attention of something unwanted.  Thankfully we were long gone before it arrived.  Thankfully the detonation sequence was a cortex impulse device, not a clumsy hand held detonator otherwise who knows what would have happened during the heat of melee.

What can I say about ungrateful sponsors!  Archon Helbram, even being given a live Archon Dralval Veloth he was still not prepared to hand over the Rod as per our agreement. The terms of the agreement had changed.  Didn’t I say it was a trap.  Now he wanted the Incubi “captain” who was the wife of the Archon we had now delivered.  He wanted the pair.  Rather than strike immediately while the woman was still cementing her position of power, we had to wait “six months”.  Allowing the “enemy” sufficient time to bolster their defences in the knowledge another strike was most surely coming.  I’ll say it now as I’ll say it a thousand times “it’s a trap”, but no one listens to me – even though I’m the apparent leader?

Well with “six months” Ur’kon/ME had to keep up appearances.  Daily torture routines for all around, with the exception of my prized catch, me of course.  Can’t damage a brilliant mind, I only tortured me slightly by placing no mirrors in the rooms.  That mollified any spies I’m sure.  Part of this down time was a relocation to a new premises.  Again, no idea why but suspect duplicity on behalf of our “benefactor”.  I was given a hundred new souls to grind down for Helbram.  A new tarnished “soul” to this company was a rogue trader down on his luck, I mean really down on his luck, as in no ship and his crew of some 32 in total now part of the herd delivered to my care!  Two of these souls interested me, one was a “bosun” the other a “navigator” with knowledge of pirate points.  The “navigator” Grizelda Zell besides providing a wealth of knowledge which I accessed and stored had exquisite cybernetic enhancements allowing her hands to interface with a ships control systems.  I took Francine along with me and we spent some time exploring the intricate nature of the systems, I’m sure we put all the pieces back in the right place when we were finished.

The company also acquired a new chew toy whose pretentious name and title I’ve already disregarded as pompous.  I’m thinking Captain Pugwash suits the demeanor of the low class villain.   His confinement and torture have rehabilitated him of his worst afflictions, and he didn’t even thank me.  Can’t please anyone these days, which is why I implanted an explosive device inside this one.  Yes he has his collar, but what was that band called King Missile, damn now I can’t get that tune out of my head and Francine keeps giggling and asking to test if it will work.  She really does have a warped sense of humour at times.  Best Captain Pugwash not know of this extra burden, less for him to worry about.

Part of the torture process has been the acquisition of a cook.  He calls himself “Chairman Kaga” – delightful. The world of Ibigoseth is teaming with the abhuman form classified as homo sapiens minimus or Ratling[5]. While he said he was an excellent cook, I’m thinking that his claims may be a little exaggerated – which is why I’ve taken and instant liking to him.  At the start of every preparation he would say “if my memory serves me correctly…”[6] which would always alert me to the fact it was his code for “I am creating a poison” or “I have no idea what I am doing”.  Delightful!  This one is a keeper, so more entertaining than those dour sods that keep me company, though I do seem to be missing small inconsequential items whenever he’s near.  An increase in my personal voltage field should discourage him from further attempts.  Pavlov’s dog learnt in the end - Kaga should as well.  His personal battle-cry of “Bang a gong, we are on!” is a little unsettling though.

Keeping up appearances! Yes it wasn’t just a show! How droll, it will pass so many by I’m sure.  Back on track: I took matters in hand so that the company gained benefits from their “imprisonment”.  This took the form of rigorous training in all forms, from weapon training to schooling – yes even Lady B learnt the proper alphabet – again.  The company is now extremely hateful towards me, I’m guessing it’s more directed towards the Ur’kon/ME copy but I know better than to wish otherwise.  At the end of the six months though improvements were made for all members of the company, so my brilliance is again evident by the results. Hate me all you like people, you reap the benefits of that hatred.

Now for the problem child.  The one that will not conform.  We all have one and that one was Elsie.  He refused to stay in the cell, constantly broke the soul harvesters and generally made a nuisance of himself.  Not a team player.  In the end I banished him for the six months with instructions to leave this facility and the surrounding area alone from his deprivations.  He did so, but as usual sabotaged the instructions with the willful glee of external sources. 

My preparations were complete and ready to enact once Ur’kon/ME and the company departed.  The subspace signal received and the homing device was activated.  I was interested though to see a third party was now involved in this operation, fascinating!

The requisitioning of equipment proved to again be an entertaining operation in the application of the chaos principle.  Ask for and get nothing that you want which may actually help you assault a strong point.  Even with “six months” preparation, nothing to truly assist the company was made available.  Truly Ur’kon/ME is an underfunded and unappreciated Haemonculi asset.  Nevertheless the company made do with its limited resources and hoped that after it made its way through three levels of fortified and guarded tower it would still be functional in defeating it primary target.  I’m so optimistic about this mission…

Archon Helbram has sent agents in to mark the route to the target, but it has died or been captured.  We have been allocated a Talos to assist in the assault, clearly this in not a stealth mission, so I’m not going to entertain any after mission report of “well you had the opportunity of…”  It won’t wash this time.  Other forces were assaulting this location as a distraction to allow us to enter and begin our own assault. 

Who decides to turn up and join us for the assassination raid – Elsie.  He comes bearing “gifts” for the company in the form of alcohol and “smokes”.  Quite frankly I’m beyond caring who decides to help themselves, the little shit has been out and about sabotaging the area and leaving a giant suspicious untouched area alone.  That’s fine; I’ll be gone once this lot has left on this suicide mission. 

Didn’t I say it was a trap from the beginning? No sooner had we advanced around the first corner than two guards came upon us.  There was no option but to neutralize them as the Talos was not one of their Kabal.  One of the Guards got away, the alarm was tripped.  After that it was nothing but bloodshed all the way.  I accessed the towers system, could see what was happening and the forces that were coming.  What does certain elements in the group do – loot?  Rather than prepare for the overwhelming forces directed at us, they decide that looting some crates is more convenient than staying with the main company.  Even when they didn’t even know the loot was there!  (Out of game information)

So I was able to take control of the towers systems on this level and shut them down disabling the sentry guns and defense systems.  Genius am I not.  Yet when it comes to being able to use the very same skills to turn these systems against an overwhelming force against us, now my skills fail me.  Hmmm…

So here is where I leave our company!  The dead man switch is activated, traitors had better not lose their heads when making decisions.  Mine has already been taken.

+++Personal Journal+++
[Redacted... by Council of ME.]
+++End Journal+++

The webway portal rippled as each container passed silently through.  The giant warrior standing guard at the portal watched with interest at the amount of materials his mentor had acquired during his short stay in this dreadful realm.

“Alpharius really can produce when he has the time, resources and motivation doesn’t he Lady?”

The robed figure accompanying the last of the material nodded in agreement.  As tall as the armour clad warrior, little else could be discerned from what was hidden under the masking robes of scintillating colour.

“My love can do anything when he is justly motivated.  It is time we moved on; your arrival here has surprised us.”

“It has surprised no one more than me Francine,” said Alpharius as he accompanied the last of the materials towards the portal.  “I had not expected to see a Legionary; especially one of the Fallen sent to aide me. Ah, don’t bristle so Dantioch, I don’t judge I merely state the affairs as they stand.  I am judged a heretek by my own for my thoughts and technological discoveries.  Where we go and what we do now, they are of our own doing.”

A number of things happened at the same time.  The Iron Warrior Draco Dantioch drew his bolt pistol and fired into the gloom which shrouded an entrance to the chamber.  An imperial marked case was tossed and slid its way towards the portal.  Several shapes lithely stepped into the chamber easily avoiding the rounds fired by Dantioch.

“Stop firing fool or you will summon unwanted attention,” hissed the leading figure.  This slowly revealed itself to be a female elder of deadly proportions and the other figures as her retinue.  Sensing that the intent was not immediate bloodshed, Dantioch stopped firing, but did not lower his weapon, keeping it trained on the speaker.

“I am Lady Malys I have been sent to deliver this case to the human agents of Alpharius.”

Dantioch laughed at this, which clearly did not impress Lady Malys.

“What is amusing Traitor Legionary? You are clearly his agents, you bear his seals.”

Dantioch was enraged at the Traitor quip and was prepared for a retort but Alpharius interrupted in his stead.

“Dantioch please get the case, it’s time we left.  Francine – initiate the destruct sequence now.  Lady Malys, I suggest you leave as quickly as you arrived, this facility is about to be vapourised.  Oh and Lady Malys, Dantioch was amused because I am Alpharius!”

With those last words Alpharius dashed through the portal as the facility was rocked with multiple explosions.  Lady Malys knew better than waste time on thinking about lost opportunities, she activiated the webway portal and exited the vaporizing facility.

A 10 Kilometer spherical zone became an open space of void, the warp came pouring in and for a period of time Cammorragh had more to worry about than the disappearance of a Haemonculi coven.

Coming soon – The Adventures of Agents of Alpharius

[1] This initial parameter was perverted in the course of the days play and I discovered that I had apparently made a biological construct (without my knowledge).
[2] US – yes I’ll use plural for referencing either Ur’kon/ME or just me.  So it might get a little confusing as to who is actually writing this. It will be me though regardless.
[3] Yes you will find I may use this word a lot in my story.  Logic and understanding of operations do not function when fate would prefer to take a hand and throw a die.
[4] The horrible blackness of this orb that has sat deep within an oubliette absorbing the pain and horror of those within for millennia.  When the device is triggered the darkness within overwhelms the emotional psyche burning out their ability to cope with the darkness that seeks to consume their very souls.
[5] Though devious, duplicitous and morally dubious, Ratlings possess such unique talents that they will always find a place in the armies of the Imperium. Whether killing off enemy officers or procuring black-market booze for their own, these adaptable Abhumans have certainly found their niche in the ranks of the Imperial Guard. (source: http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Ratling)
[6] Quote from Iron Chef Japan Series.

Story (C) John A McDonnell 30 January 2019
The 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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Books, Books, Comic

Inspired by others I ramble about books, books and maybe comics!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Lady Malys - The Diversion

Lady Malys 
The Diversion

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.

“…paused only to place the stolen STC upon a stasis pedestal between the mummified head of a human technosavant and the gilded hands of Saint Cerulia the Just.”
The Rise of Vect,Warhammer 40,000 Dark Eldar Codex (2010) p17

Lady Aurelia Malys was drawn to her trophy halls within one of her inner chambers.  Something was whispering to her, calling to her.  It was maddening.  She had sent her guards to search the area, they had report back that there was no one there.  Yet the whispering continued.  Unsatisfied, she sent one of her trusted lieutenants who oversaw the chambers – nothing. Still the whispers nagged at her.  In the end she had no choice but go herself and see what the source of this matter was. This nagging sound so familiar went on and on as she and her bodyguard approached the halls, the ceased as they entered.  Not slow on the uptake Malys knew she had to leave her bodyguard behind and enter the hall alone.

As the halls doors closed behind her a faint scintillating light came from the mon-keigh trophies. No that was a disservice to them, they called themselves humans and while the herd were little more than the derogatory mon-keigh name, many of them were worthy of their species name of human.  Like pestilential vermin they had spread like a plague across the universe, and her race must thank them for that for without such a bountiful species, the nourishment to live would be so poor.  Of all the alien races encountered, humans were the most susceptible to fear and the aura they gave off was one you could carve with a knife at distance.

She knew these halls well; each of the trophies brought back memories.  Here the optical array of the entity Tyx from the Crone world Lyskuni deep in the Maelstrom or what the humans call the Eye of Terror. There the head of one of Bile’s primarch clones - She Who Thirsts ascended pets’ cries for vengeance at her interference.  So many trophies, and yet the one she yearns for most eludes her – Vect. Like a spider spinning her web, it takes many threads to perfect her art.  She will attain her prize; her heart tells her it will be so. Patience, patience…

“Aureila.  Auuuriiiiilaaaa.”

Her reverie was broken by the voice, no longer a whisper that came from an alcove she had almost forgotten.  This was not like her, she had been distracted.  She cursed herself.  The scintillating form she had met those many years ago now seemed to be before her.

“Why are you here Alp- arrgh.“

Malys clutched her chest where her heart was and fell to her knees.  The pain was unbearable, worse than when she had cut her own heart out and plunged the crystalline object in its place.  Why had she done that?  Had she been played a fool from the start?

“Ah no names now Aureila, we had such fun all those years ago.  I confess that I just wanted you for my experiments, but you provided me so much more.  You see, I have been for so long stuck with companions that had the charm and sophistication of the larval infestation of Honra Du X.  While you are a murderous and sadistic bitch and there is no way I’d either trust you or bed you, your charm and whit has been truly exceptional for one who finds none in this dreary universe.  As such I spared your life – conditionally.”

“Conditionally?  I can’t say I like the sounds of that, considering you say you appreciate me Al- lord.”

“While the rest of your followers vanished from your side that day – you were spared for a different reason.  Oh they supplied such excellent data by the way.  I left you the ‘heart’ as my data research node.  It is fully self aware and while it collects myriad types of data its protocol of self protection has allowed you to stay alive longer than you have thought possible.  In fact you almost feel invulnerable don’t you my dear?”

Malys was dumbstruck, she had been played.  She was little more than an experiment of some alien who was using her to spy upon her people.  Who knows what information she had betrayed to this alien.  Did she care though?  Did any of her race care for anyone but themselves?  Her heart gave a lurch and she clutched at it in fear of it being ripped from her.

The scintillating being paused.

“It would appear the heart is not ready to part company with you yet Aurelia.  There are still secrets that it has yet to gain, these it can only obtain once you have Vect.  Well that settles matters; you live for a while longer then my dear.  Enjoy your extra parole.”

“Why? Why are you doing this?”

“Why? Why? Because I’m trying to stop the second cataclysmic creation of a divine consciousness within the warp.  You think She Who Thirsts is something to fear, imagine He Who Hates All for that is what the human god emperor really is.  His ecclesiarchy are all about hating anything not human, anything not sanctioned by humans and the list goes on. Fear is driven by hatred and hatred is all consuming.  Khorne will but a child compared to this godling when it is spawned.  So I must use you to an end my dear.  If you want your race to continue, then please live on and get to Vect.  One day I shall return.”

The scintillating being seemed then to notice the display that it had chosen to be among.  A laugh issued from it, mocking and sad.

“Oh no, I can’t have that lying around now. That won’t do.”

With those words the mummified head of the human technosavant vanished from it place in the trophy display.

“Now what else have I got to tidy up?  I see her hand is her?  I guess Horst would like some memory of her seeing it is all that remains of her.  In reparations – let me see?  The timeline… Yes it’s happening now.”

The STC case was lifted and tossed to Malys by some means she could not discern. She dodged it out of reflex and it clattered to the floor behind her.

“Tsk, tsk, Aureila. Still as untrusting I see.  Just as well the contents are unbreakable.  Now listen up you are going to do me a little favour to thank me for adding more years to your life sentence.  Archon Helbram, you know that little abrax of a dram who cheated you to the titles of the sectors held by the Kabal of Jade Teats. Oh I see by the look of surprise you weren’t aware of that little fact.  Well I see that this information may well then be all the good news you need to spur you on then.”

“As we speak a – shall we say – incursion mission is underway and I’d like to see that Archon Helbram is well and truly occupied on all fronts.  I know that you’d like to reclaim your sectors which should rightly belong to you, and I need you to deliver this STC case which you clumsily dropped to some human agents acting against the best interests of Helbram.  It’s a win win situation for everyone, well maybe not so for Helbram.”

Malys thought on this.  The STC was a trinket of no worth to her, just a trophy.  However to the humans it was something of considerable value, it was codenamed PANACEA.  Did she want something that could save millions of human lives out there, allowing them to breed and multiple, fight and sow sorrow and fear for the limited resources the universe had to offer.  The sweet sweet aroma of hypocrisy was delicious; her race would be feeding of the benefits this PANACEA would bring for millennia.

“Very well A-lord. I will ensure your agents are given every opportunity to perform their mission and escape. I will see they get this STC as you have directed.  As you once said to me ‘may we live in interesting times’.”

Malys bent down to collect the STC case.  When she looked back to where the scintillating being had been it had vanished along with the gilded hands of Saint Cerulia the Just.  Now she would have to hunt the human Imperium again for trophies worthy of what had been taken.  She hoped Alpharius knew what that would mean in the end.

Story (C) John A McDonnell 11 January 2019
The 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.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Draco Dantioch - Agent of Alpharius

Draco Dantioch
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.

Belisarius Cawl stared out from his doll at the warrior seated before its image.

“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.”

Draco nodded.

“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.”

“Resume recording.”

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 2019 
The 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.

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Fabricated Tales of Alpha Capharius - Season 2: Chapter 4

The Fabricated Tales of 
Alpha Capharius
Season 2
Chapter 4

Kroot - Miniature from my personal collection of painted stuff!
This is a piece of fiction and may contain mature and adult themes. 
You have been warned - read at your own discretion.

Distressed Ramble: To start with I was of many minds when I finished playing this session of Dark Heresy as to whether or not to write another Fabricated Tales.  I put a lot of effort into developing a character, and my character development is done through my story telling here in this blog.  In game my character is the weakest there is.  I don't show any interest in the biggest guns, best armour or toys.  That's for the tanks, of which this party is not lacking.  My character is a "scientist" a person interested in seeking out knowledge and technology.  Fighting is something I only do as a last resort.  So when I find with the last two sessions the company being placed in two unwinnable situations I find I suffer severe malaise of psyche.  As I have stated at multiple opportunities I don't respond well to certain situations, and this session was one of them.  I enjoyed the day to a point, then didn't.  In the end it has taken me some time to  wash away the overwhelming negativity of the day and write my Tales without too much of my distaste of the day seeping through.  If it has I apologise, and this preamble will hopefully explain why it may seem angry at times.

+++Personal Journal Update+++
The universe can get fucked!
+++End Journal Update+++

Our endless journey in the webway appears to be drawing to a conclusion.  The continual bonding between Horst and Eliza Le Roche is disturbing.  To think that I have to somehow manipulate the fabric of time to place this woman back in time appalls me.  Then I think why worry, it won’t affect me!

Eliza has taken to questioning Horst regularly about the god emperor and his purpose and divinity. She will often knell before the mighty Horst in seclusion where the pair will perform their holy rituals.  Horst will go on about the expanding might of the emperor’s faith and how his seed of truth will implant itself in the body and minds of the faithful.  [redacted by Censorshang on since when did my work become the subject of censorship, if I want to write smut I should [redacted] – right I see that I am not going to win at this point in time, but I always win my wars if not battles.] So it would appear that Eliza has fallen well and truly into the camp of the Imperial faith and the clutches of Horst’s bed (now I can’t get that image out of my head and Francine keeps asking me constantly now about this subject).

Finally our destination is found and a disused entrance way located.  It would appear that this is the dumping ground for bodies of the failed experiments of the Haemonculi.  I wondered at the time why they had been left here rather than fashioned and repurposed, but then all traps need bait.

The nature of the company I keep is to loot, they cannot help themselves.  In the process of rifling through the putrid body parts and corpses they discovered life signs!  Lady B attempts to get my attention to investigate but my interests are not in saving the life of a failed and discarded corpse.  I had already determined what the outcome of this encounter was, a trap and I left it to Lady B to resolve.  A hideous larval creature erupted from the corpse with the intention of impaling the nearest living being.  That’s why I left Lady B deal with such trivial matters. She dealt with it.  I scanned the remains, and noted it in my extensive alien database.  These Haemonculi are certainly a busy lot, at least more directed than the Hivemind of the Tyranids.

Unknown to me at the time was that the creature was a psychic bomb and it’s death triggered a scream which drew the attention of a sentinel.  It did not help matters when the psyker in our company decided to search for the source of the incoming signal.  Elvis is fast proving to me that all the mutants on Sel Delmas must be purged for the greater safety of the universe at large.  I would say humanity, but to be honest there are wonder more deserving of continuance and letting these blue skinned maniacs out into the universe in numbers would see these marvels destroyed in the least, vandalized or looted at worst.  Getting back to the insane psyker with not the whit to master the basics of masking his psychic spore; well he drew the crabs onto us – but not before the company set of more fireworks.

Sadly one of the containers well… contained loot and as the pack rats they are (not I don’t include myself among them – I am above such trivial matters[1]) were unable to restrain their baser natures.  A slew of alien equipment was found, from Ork, Hrud[2] and Rak’gol[3].  The Hrud technology in particular Horst and I attempted to persuade Elvis from using but the belligerent bugger refuses to listen to us and I fear that in the end blows would end the issue[4].  The only thing that spared Elvis an immediate execution was the cleansing of the radiation from his body and personal equipment.  This made me more concerned as to the nature of the Hrud weaponry and backed Horsts desire to destroy the weapon even more.

It was then or thereabouts the company came under fire from a Kroot shaper.  What it was doing out here all alone I have no idea?  Was it cut off from its band? Was it just another mercenary in the employ of the Dark Eldar overlords?  Who knows, the trigger happy “diplomats” in the company decided that “negotiations” would start with a good old round of gunfire?  I think Elvis was again the offender in this engagement, trying out his new toy (hence learning his radiation salvation).  He nicely lit the top of the ruined tower, signaling to all and sundry “hey look, there is something happening here, come and investigate”.  So went any attempt of sneaking into Commorragh, but I’m sure it was never our destiny to be given that opportunity…

While the company thought the Kroot had been killed or driven off, the individuals found a number of novel and deadly rooms and corridors.  Elvis discovered the corridor of slice and dice death lasers which moved up and down the corridors once you entered them[5]. Sadly he survived that encounter, I was very sad he did not perish here.  Elsie found lots of strange sealed storage pods which proved in the end to be batteries.  Each “battery” contained the suffering lifeform of a “soul” on the last moment of a hideous and painful death.  I found two “entertaining” areas; one was a control room where the access devices/panels were too deadly to access.  Yes they inflicted or would have inflicted severe wounds had I decided to use them, I would have shuddered to think what sitting in the console chairs would have done had I chosen to do so.  The other was a corridor section which at first I thought was clear, there was no immediate danger.  I chose to send the Tau drone in first, which is just as well.  A force wall of some description slammed down – though I’ve now come to the conclusion it must have been a gravity inducer as there was no ceiling in these corridors or sensors evident.  The pressure plating, damn it, who knows the capriciousness of this place is literally driving my logic capacity to despair, even Francine is starting to note it.  The shield on the drone managed to hold just long enough for me to ascertain that the consoles in the room I left must have some functionality with the corridor.  Somehow Francine and I destroyed the consoles with little physical damage to us and the field was shut down and the drone freed.  I was muttered some dire imprecations to the warp at this stage.  Lastly I located another room with some storage containers in which I found an ornate deactivated silver cyber skull. 

While all this was going on, people were off wandering; Elvis was still being a silly bugger and playing with the warp and the psychic signal.  Lady B, who is also somewhat psychic, appeared to be playing possum…

Enter the insidious elder wraith engine constructed and twisted by the insane minds of the Dark Eldar.  If the city of Commorragh was not aware of us before they were now.  The firepower that was being exchanged was horrific.  From my position, Francine and I could only observe and wonder at the failure of our silent insertion mission.  Our “snatch and run” option was now looking like “run and hide”.  Eventually the sheer firepower which the company could dish out, took the construct down.  Yet the first of a continual stream of Dark Eldar vessels and troops continued to swamp us.  A brave and valiant attempt by Francine and I did obliterate a number of the skimmers as they approached but in the end small portals were opening and troops were entering from multiple locations.

Before the last hurrah though, there was a quick skirmish between a chaos champion and Elsie.  A rather one sided affair after the beings weapon was destroyed as it slumbered in stasis, but Elsie is more than capable of stabbing any sleeping foe without fear and remorse.  AND I found an ornate pistol which decided it wanted to be part of me.  Another insidious and capricious trap left by a vindictive godling from the warp.  Without hesitation I cut my left hand off.  At this stage my malaise had taken hold and I had given the order to retreat.  Again that capricious entity decided to play its hand and decided Eliza wanted the weapon.  Yes, don’t ask me why, I attempted to kick it out of the way only to find out that this weapon was clearly more that it was.  Mouthing dire warnings to the warp I managed to get the weapon over the edge and out of harm’s way of any others.

Our exit was closed?  The Dark Eldar were pouring in from everywhere.  The combat would have continued until everyone was dead however one of my neural links activated and I knew what had to be done.  I wasn’t happy, no way was I happy.  I knew my company was not going to like the outcome, the lost equipment in particular. However between the choice of certain death and the slim chance of life…

I communicated by voice, open communication channels and subspace.

“Gha tia''anga' Ur’kon.”

Time stopped for everyone with the exception of Elsie who spent the next two years scavenging and lurking in the underspire of Commorragh.  How that depraved piece of effluent survived I know not, it only goes to proves how much of a genius I am when it comes to crafting works of excellence.

Well I shouldn’t say time stopped for everyone.  Two years passed where we were the play things of the Haemonculi known as Ur’kon.  This depraved creature spent every moment torturing the company, learning what secrets he could from us.  Clearly the only thing my fellows could provide was their fortitude and willpower; they certainly had nothing of worth meriting their extended life.  I could only assume the suffering and agony they provided kept the foul creature well fed.  As for me, well there was the problem, which was I why I didn’t want to come here in the first place.  Francine was “boxed”[6] but she had more than enough tasks to keep herself occupied until such time as I or others freed her.  Ur’kon had a great delight in breaking down my body; he dined well that one on my despair.  Even greater was my despair when I found at the end of our separation and we were all brought together – along with three copies of me.  Each one claiming to be me – but of course each of us would say that.  The confounded look on the others when they saw four of me… priceless. Ultimately though I was again driven by despair, Ur’kon was feeding well I could see it.  His ego was swelling as I looked…

Ur’kons translator device clicked on and conveyed to us his alien words.

“Creatures, you have fed me well these last cycles. Rather than rendering you down, I give you an opportunity to earn me greater sustenance and patronage.  You will fight in the arena.  If you win, you live… you earn some rewards, not many – perhaps a release from the constant pain, like now.  If you lose, well I think you know the results of losing.  See how an identical copy of the slain original is here, oh wait there are three. I can’t even tell which the original was anymore[7]. ”

This boring and egotistical creature droned on and on about its own magnificence, how it intended to use us for its own importance. If I didn’t know better I could swear I was listening to an alien version of myself…

Like a herd of cattle ready for the slaughter the arena awaited us.  The copies and I hatched a plan settled on a plan.  We agreed that there could only be one outcome from this debacle.  Death.  We all had only one objective from the arena – cost Ur’kon so much in resources to remake us that in the end he would just cease finding amusement in sending me (and by that I me US plural) to the arena.  I was not concerned about dying here in this benighted place; after all I knew my future self and several alternate timeline operatives were out there.  I’d live on, my core knowledge was already in Francine and the coded distress signals she was sending through the Dark Eldar network would reach the right sources.  Time to upset the company by letting them think I’m a brave warrior!

I won’t bore you with the tedious boredom of the arena.  It was hack and slash.  Yes I surprised the company by my bold and suicidal leap into combat.  Sadly it seems as if the universe laughs at the perversity of cruel injustice.  If I was to have attempted what I did in the arena in what would have been previously “the call of duty” I would have more than likely been struck down and destroyed.  In the arena, I proved the fool of entertainment, fumbling and failing with the dignity of a drunk on his wedding night.  Out of all the bouts not one of my “copies” was able to kill themselves in combat, and trust me – we damn well tried.

Our final bout was against some lord’s daughter who wished to prove herself.  Apparently a lot was riding on this bout, and my knowledge of the deadliness of wyches gave me much hope of seeing one of my selves expire in the arena.  Again my hopes were dashed, and the damn wyche proved inadequate to the task, she couldn’t even pick off the weakest target in the group – ME. 

My malaise was deepening with each combat.  Fate was refusing to allow me to end my existence and escape this hell hole I had unwittingly been assigned to.  After the last battle we were brought before Ur’kon for another of his ego fueled speeches.

Instead we find that he had company.  An Archon and his retinue had paid a visit to Ur’kon. The conversation between the aliens is incomprehensible as none in the company understand the language[8] (yet).  There was the exchange of “gifts” and it was while this was happening I caught sight of the Rod secured to the waste of the Archon.  Here we were, restrained and neutered with no way of doing anything even if we could gain the sought after artifact.  Despair gripped me further as I decided to send the Alpha Omega 666 code to the copies.

Their business concluded the Dark Eldar left leaving us to the fate of Ur’kon and his monologue.

“Well, that went well.  I trust you spotted the Rod Alpharius?”

This was spoken in well modulated Imperial cant; in fact it was spoken in my voice.  This startled me, in fact it startled everyone.

“My plan worked – in a fashion, I’ve kept you alive to this point in time.  It’s all thanks to the curiosity of Ur’kon really and my genius.  If he hadn’t injected himself with my blood then this plan of mine well ours would not have worked out.  Trust me!”

With this Ur’kon/me walked over to me (yes not one of the other three copies, we all know who the original is) and we exchanged or more precisely Ur’kon/me downloaded all the data he had accumulated during his time in this place.  The data I now have, so much information and technology and as usual no time, resources or opportunity to implement any of it.
I ascertained the following information:
  • All our equipment had been taken, but Ur’kon had stockpiled it, though some has been destroyed.  My Omnissian Axe and Inferno pistol though were not part of the missing and will be waiting for me.  Some things never change.
  • Francines AI has been boxed, her robotic frame was reclaimed for alternative use.  Her AI is intact along with all back up materials and technology.  ANGUS is there as well!  Apparently it’s a noisy place.
  • Elsie is roaming the Sprawls and Low Commorragh.
  • Ur’kon had injected my blood into his veins once I had let slip the wonders of my nanotechnology.  This of course was the doom I had planned for him, it would take time as I was not too sure how swiftly the Dark Eldar blood would resist the nanotechnology.  Haemonculi are surprisingly resilient and it took some time to overcome the being.  Then the charade had to continue with torturing the company.  Though I believe I did enjoy inflicting on certain members of the company more than others…
  • Elvis now has a psychic dampener and explosive collar.  I have the codes.  That solves one problem.
  • Lady B’s suit has been severely damaged by Ur’kon’s initial experiments and none of her weapon options will initiate.  Her physiognomy has now changed into a pale skinned eldar with white hair.  This has appalled her no end, and has pleased me greatly.
  • Archon Helbam is the holder of the Rod.

Our mission now is to pose as mercenary guards in the employ of local Dark Eldar antiques dealer who has acquired a trinket which will more than pique the interest of Archon Helbam.  Sadly Rervam the trader has no idea that he has been set up, though considering this is Commorragh he should know better.  Once we have obtained the Rod, we can flee Commorragh using the webportal device I have been given.  This will deliver us to a safe “house” where our cache of armour and weapons reequipped and way to freedom secured.  Well that’s that plan – so far no plan as ever survived contact with…

+++Personal Journal+++
+++Date:[Temporal seal]+++
The fate of Ur’kon/Alpharius hybrid is recorded in the Council of ME.  Once the company had successfully left Commorragh the Haemonculi laboratory and surrounding areas were destroyed with a warp breach occurred as a result of an unstable application of a dark matter experiment.  There were no survivors or trace of his experiments for others to utilize. 
+++End Personal Journal+++

Rak’gol Dark Matter Rifle, Bandolier of Ammo, 30 per clip, 5 clips
Ork slugga (useless), choppa, armour
Stryxix aether blade, 1d10+2 E, ignores armour, blue grey blade, hums
Square, round edges object, funny looking?
Hrud Rifle (warp touched) Black Plasma draws form the warp
Deactivated ornate silver cyber skull

[1] Unless it deals with matters of technology and information.
[2] Hrud species show a bizarre, vaguely humanoid, black-eyed creature with long, segmented limbs, an exoskeleton and a mouth featuring both teeth and mandibles. Whatever their physical form, the Hrud prefer darkness and are basically scavengers and tunnel-dwellers. They are found all over the galaxy, though never in large numbers. They are considered to be parasites, and when they are referred to it is usually as "infesting" a place. (source - http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Hrud)
[3] A xenos breed of which little is known for fact, they take the appearance of rough-hewn and irregular stone reptilids, eight-limbed and over three metres long. Chalky white in colour and mantis-like in bodily arrangement, Rak'Gol warriors favour cybernetic augmentation to increase their abilities and replace lost limbs. (source - http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Rak%27Gol)
[4] Regrettably this did not happen due to the many interruptions that plagued us.
[5] Reminiscent of the old Sol vid Resident Evil where the computer defends itself with a laser grid.
[6] Boxed - reference to being reduced to the core AI. Usually a functioning power core and cybernetic unit, normally a boxed AI is shut down so it is unaware of the passage of time. Some individuals have been known to leave an AI active while boxed allowing the AI to perform assigned tasks.
[7] A rather useful ability I have is that of regenerating.  It is especially useful when it comes to attempts at branding me with identification marks.  I’m able to either remove it altogether or alter it to another code.  Rather handy at times when you need to impersonate someone else.
[8] I should point out that the Dark Eldar will rarely sully their tongues with base languages of aliens (though they known them), preferring to leave the menial task to translator technology when such communication is absolutely necessary.