Maeleum, The Warp, 9 999.017.M42
As the armor of Horus lurched forward, a hail of bolter fire came from the company's worth of Space Marines. Though the explosive shells of the Astartes-pattern weapons impacted the long silent adamantium of the Terminator plate, still it lumbered forward, left hand frozen in place around the handle of the crumpled Worldbreaker as the monstrous ruin of the Primarch's weapon was sent smashing down, the sturdy handle bashing Commander Dante in the chest and sending him flying back. The daemonic presence that still lived within the armor, having survived the death of the corrupt Primarch as it fed off the connection to Chaos he had wielded in life, seemed to make the skull of Horus almost grin in delight as with but a blow, the remnants of the ancient power maul slashed through the hardened ceramite shells of half a dozen battle-brothers, jagged adamantium piercing through the inferior metal.
The millennial attempted his best to stay out of the way of the lumbering hulk, firing off a barrage of potent Volkite blasts to no avail. It seemed that only the weapon of a god could crack whatever pernicious blessings had been dealt by the Ruinous Powers to Horus' armor. Unfortunately, none of the Primarchs had come, nor had any of their weapons been delivered. That of the Emperor himself still lay across his withered legs, a symbol of the might and authority he once wielded before the Imperium had entombed him, never to arise as a leader again - yet this was pointless, as no man could heft such a mighty blade. The plate was unbreakable, and even the angel of the Emperor himself had managed to put but a chink into it.
Then screamed Brother Ephalos. His armor, painted black with red saltires to show remembrance of the wounds his Primarch had suffered, could no longer resist. The hold of the Black Rage, the conflation of reality and fantasy, the fact that a very fragment of Horus was here in front of him - there was no way he could hold back. Chainsword raised, he clashed with the armor, forcing his weapon through the gap in its center as the whirring blade ripped off a rib of the Primarch, splintered bone flying from the crevasse. As Worldbreaker came down, the weapon arose, the strength of his demigod father bolstering the delirious battle-brother as he yet held his own against the sentient Serpent's Scales. A strike to the knee joint brought the cumbersome armor to its knee as the chainsword struck again, rending apart one of the Primarch's vertebrae and sending his skull clattering to the ground from the cut. For but a fraction of a second, the unbridled ferocity and rage in the touched Astartes was quenched, a moment of peaceful satisfaction filling his heart before the ruins of the power maul punctured through it, the armor running him through with but a single strike.
Droplets of Ephalos' blood slowly poured from the open wound, a wound that would not heal - he had been struck dead by the broken weapon, whose maleficent power still remained strong despite the fate it had suffered. For but a moment, there was silence as the millennial looked at the shambling suit - were a remembrancer to examine the scene, they would find to their horror such similarity to the infamous painting of the duel upon the Vengeful Spirit. Here stood the remnants of the Warmaster of Chaos who had gained the most in the so-called Long War, standing in triumph above the broken body of a fallen Blood Angel, whose fair hair and gaze in death resembled that of his primarch-progenitor. On the other side stood the millennial himself - smaller, visibly weaker-appearing than his opponent, yet with a myriad of Astartes behind him.
But it was not to be. A bright light filled the room, a light which came from no visible source - not within the room, nor without. The light shone through with such brightness that the millennial forced his helmet onto his head, still reeling from the blur the light had provided him. "But... He's dead..."
"By the Emperor..." Those Astartes who were not of the lineage of the Blood Angels gasped in awe as the slowly recovered Dante lowered his head towards the glistening figure, coated in gold, immortally preserved through the faith of the chapters. There, with wings stretched and Blade Encarmine in hand, a gilded grail held in the other, stood the Sanguinor. The so-called poker face his mask showcased was not easy to expose with regards to emotion, yet all could feel a sense of anger towards the shambling ruins of the Warmaster's armor. The pure weapon was raised as the entity rushed forward, knocking the millennial down as he did so, blade locked against the ruins of the Maul. A slash, then another, began to cause damage to the armor that even the daemon within could not maintain, the fractured remains barely holding together. A strike from the gauntleted fist of Horus' armor sent the Sanguinor reeling back, but he soon recovered, the grail slammed into what was once the head area of the armor.
As the Astartes watched the conflict unfold, the millennial attempted to move and assist the herald of good tidings for the Blood Angels in his fight - yet he found that he too could not help but watch what was happening. Force from a wing-assisted rush sent both flying into the wall, the plate remaining unbalanced as the Sanquinor took advantage to bypass the grasp of the armor, cutting down and rending off the hand of the suit to ensure it could not utilize Worldbreaker again. Weaponless, the armor still marched forward, only to meet a two-handed downward strike from the Sanguinor that went through the armor from top to bottom, an unnatural occurrence as the remains stuttered a bit before soon falling forward, both halves collapsing on one another as the energy coursing through the armor finally ceased, forced back to the Warp. One could argue that it was now free - yet it hardly would view itself as such, if only due to the humiliation at its loss.
More of the Death Company had moved towards the battleground. As they saw the Sanguinor, they prostrated themselves in a manner unsee by normal Astartes - both of their knees on the ground, head bowed low and practically touching the floor, as though in reverence. The Sanguinor turned to them - none had ever been told whether it was Azkaelion preserved beyond time, whether the one before them was a semblance of Sanguinius's better half, or whether it had been artificed into existence unknowingly by the chapter and its successors. And yet, before disappearing in a flash of light, it spoke but two words.
It is said that those tormented by the Black Rage within the many Towers of the Lost, if but for a moment, became silent.
Maeleum, The Warp, 9 500.020.M42
It had been three years since they had landed on this world. A world which neither man nor daemon had cared to claim. Yet here a massive Imperial force lay. Occasional sojourns through the Warp had seen attacks on worlds not made daemonic - resources had been plundered from many worlds - crystals of some sort, ancient weapons that had been purified by the smattering of Techmarines and other forces that lived within. Daemons by the hundreds of thousands had been cast back to the realms of their lieges, forced to beg and plead for the grace of their patrons. It was now, for the first time, that the Imperium had struck into the domains of the Chaos Gods and held ground.
And yet not all felt truly right. Within the Blood Ravens, especially, those who were so-called 'Kyrans' exposed themselves regularly, attempting to harm the presence that had built up on Maeleum. The structure built by the fallen Sons of Horus was looted, then razed, the ground beneath it purified by the Sister-Superior who was in charge of the Sororitas force that still remained a part of the crusade. Structures were built from the steel, melted down in makeshift forges to cleanse it of every last fragment of Chaotic taint. Yet a signal occasionally appeared, an enigmatic blip that seemed to ring within the area of the Eye's rim before disappearing for weeks at a time.
At last, answers were to be forthcoming. An Astartes of the Scythes of the Emperor had, using one of the smaller Warp-capable ships within the fleet, traveled to the location of the last signal - and within, they had recovered a small artifact, a dataslate whose data was heavily corrupted. It appeared to have suffered a memory lockup, leaving a single file free to access.
We are the Enclave, all that remains of the Judged
If you are here to find us, here your hunt is answered
Meet upon this world so we may assist your goals
For our father, the Emperor of all Mankind
The coordinates given were for a specific world, one that the millennial knew he would need to eventually travel to. For now, a signal was sent in the affirmative, though it did ask for more information. Were there other loyal Imperial forces within the Eye? Such would certainly be shocking, yet not implausible. He sat back, pondering over what to next do even as another vessel entered the Warp itself, traveling back to Cadia with resources scavenged and taken away. The skull of Horus itself had been sent to Baal, to be stashed as a trophy of the war. The armor of Horus was broken into fragments, each of the nine chapters directly descended from the loyalist legions receiving a section of the plate. Worldbreaker was placed within the white hot forges of the Salamanders, who melted the shattered piece of arms originally made by the Emperor Himself into naught more than an ingot, inscribed with the weapon's name and fine imagery of the Horus Heresy. It was truly a work of art.
The millennial knew that it was likely impossible he would ever successfully see humanity returned to his natural life. He knew that the corruption that had turned the unifying government of mankind into the dictatorship it was today would be nearly impossible to remove. Yet he was still determined to give it an opportunity. He still wished to fix whatever he could, and with the power the Emperor had given him, he was able to get much done. Though his deeds had not rung through the halls of the Imperium, and likely would never be heard, repressed by those who could be threatened by such liberalized views, still he proceeded onward. More chapters of Astartes had been planted, nourished to grow. The chapter known as the Thetans had grown to fighting strength in a remarkable period of time, and its thousand battle-brothers had contributed significantly to the cause of the crusade.
His approach at openly letting the chapters have access to information of their predecessors raised eyebrows. Such had drawn criticism from the more puritan elements of his force, and it was due to such that only certain individuals within the hierarchy of the chapters would be allowed to know the truth - that they were the pure spawn of traitor legions, the last vestige of the good within those Astartes who had turned from the light of the Emperor. For a chapter to soon be planted, he had decided a record keeper would be responsible for keeping the knowledge of the chapter's ancestors private. The conflict throughout the Imperium would further intensify if other members of the Inquisition attempted to pursue him as a radical or deviant - even the Custodes would not be sufficient enough to keep him safe from their wrath.
After all, in the grim darkness of the far future, there could only be war.