The following collection of information is to be considered suspect by the Holy Order of the Emperor's Inquisition. While its validity is questionable due to its origins, there has been no evidence to prove that it is untrue.
From the personal logs of Alfamius, formerly Tertullian Mius, battle-brother of the Alpha Legion – Discovered deep in the archives of the Space Wolves library, Fenris, circa 9 999.999.M41
I expect very little in the way of sympathy from the Imperium. Though our decision was made because of our conviction to the sacred cause of our Father, the Emperor, the rest of the galaxy will never know of how our small band of loyalists were forged from the ashes of our so-called fallen legion.
What we expected was not what we received – the Primarch, our progenitor and gene-father, had ordered the Alpha Legion, two hundred thousand strong, to meet upon the great Battle Barge of our crusading fleet – the Alpha. Every legionnaire who could make this conclave was to come, and those who were not available were to listen in through whatever means they could utilize. A scant few were unable to respond to their calls, performing operations of such a clandestine nature that not even I can recount.
Alpharius stood at the head of the room, floor perfectly flat, his minor difference of height being the sole feature to distinguish him from his legion. I was at the forefront of that mighty horde of Astartes, my Primarch a mere ten meters away, if that. Slowly, he doffed his helmet, revealing the piercing eyes that gazed into our souls mercilessly, yet with a sense of empathy and unity that I can never truly explain.
"Our sons..." He began, his voice echoing throughout the vessel's meeting room. "We have received news most troubling." From a small compartment hidden within his armor, he produced a small dataslate, one which carried on it information that, little did we know, would be the key to the ruination of the galaxy. "An agent of an organization known as the Cabal went through great lengths to gain contact with us. We met with them – their powerful seers having gazed into the future and discovered what will happen during one day very soon."
"Our brother, the Warmaster, will suffer… some circumstance. They were scarcely clear on the matter. What they did tell us, however, was that this circumstance shall be the catalyst for a war that will break the Imperium, bring it to its knees. The two potential outcomes of this conflict were revealed to us." He stayed silent, letting us feel the radiated emotion within his hearts. Even the newest of us could tell that whatever he was about to say revolved around the most difficult decision he was to make.
"Should the Imperium gain a glorious victory over the rebellious Horus and whatever forces follow him, humanity shall be saved, for a time – though ten to twenty millennia from now shall see mankind consumed eternally by the powers of Chaos, trillions of souls devoured into the Warp. The Imperium will slowly decay to dust, and our Father will have failed in His mission." The repercussions of this revelation were vast – I recognized that from this morsel of information we had been fed, he was implying but a single option.
"There is, however, another option." Another period of silence, more of a dilemma forming within my soul. "Should we assist Horus in overthrowing the Imperium… He shall seem a tyrant. But in time, he shall remember how much our Father loved him, how close they were… and the potent powers of guilt shall shatter whatever nefarious entities clutch our brother in their grasp. He shall lead humanity on a mission to finish what our Father started – the powers of Chaos, and humanity itself, will be destroyed. Nothing shall remain – the Ruinous Powers of the Warp will die in not a bang, but a whimper. Humanity has spread through the galaxy and gained such a reach that these malevolent Warp entities feed upon their emotions, their experiences… their fears. When those no longer exist, they shall be forced to consume the powers of their own daemonic entities – even that shall not be enough."
"We have made our decision… The Alpha Legion has always, always, been for the Emperor! And to achieve the goals that our Father has made clear from the first of days… So shall we play the traitor in this grand game." My heart dropped heavily as the decision was made. "Should any of you have objections to this course of action… speak them now, lest you regret your inaction."
For a span of seconds that felt as though they were the longest slivers of time I had ever experienced, no one spoke. Someone had to suggest an alternative, to… to dissent. I raised my hand and immediately felt the eyes of an entire legion gaze at my outstretched gauntlet. "Brother Tertullian… What have you to say about our future plans?"
Though it was but a shard of a minute, an argument formed within my head – several arguments, in fact. All wielded a degree of weight that could not simply be ignored – our Primarch always accepted discourse and discussion from his Legion, and now would be no different.
"My Lord… there are a myriad of reasons one could put forth as an objection to your plans. While I certainly am sure that you have scanned the validity of these visions to determine their potential as outcomes… To turn against our Father, the Emperor, would be to invite damnation." I continued, feeling somewhat bolder in my response. "If Chaos will have a grip upon Horus, it will also have everyone who joins him under its thrall. I swear my soul to the service of none but the Emperor, and I am certain there are other battle-brothers who feel the same."
"In concert… were these seers shown the complete vision and what role the Alpha Legion would play? Were the probabilities calculated as to what would happen were we to merely stay out of the war, or did they vitally depend on our involvement with the conflict through one fashion or another? As well, if these were xenos… what manner of merit can we place in their words? Manipulation of them has proven useful in years past, certainly, but have we not heard the creed of our involvement with such beings? Beware the alien, the mutant, the heretic. To trust these xenos when the fate of the Imperium is in the balance. Many may die if we follow the words of this Cabal over what we know to be – many loyal servants of the Emperor will be lost if we make this decision." I concluded my utterance, fully aware that to those I had served by for centuries, I had committed a cardinal sin – dissenting from the group.
"I agree." A metallic voice further back in the crowd spoke up – it was Brother Tririon, one of the older members of the legion who fought during the tail end of the Unification Wars, only to be critically wounded during the Great Crusade, living on within the shell of a Contemptor-class Dreadnought. "This, to me, sounds as though it is some sort of plot to ensure that we as a Legion are cursed, regardless of how loyal we may truly be."
"As do I." Another voice spoke up. This one was a Lernean Terminator – I recalled not his name, but his armor was particularly ornate, the heads of the hydra engraved in silver over his shoulders. Other voices would speak up in due time… Several hundred, certainly, though I could hardly determine how many numerically there were as they were scattered throughout the great hall of the Battle Barge. When the last voice had stopped echoing within the chamber, our Primarch said nothing, merely raising his hand and motioning for those few who disagreed to worm their way through the sea of power armor and come to the front. I myself stepped forward, finding a splinter's worth of fellow Astartes who chose to ponder upon my viewpoint.
"This has been a remarkable day in the history of the Alpha Legion." Alpharius uttered. "Never before has there been dissent to such a degree. Who will speak privately on the behalf of these Legionnaires?" I raised my hand and, as my Primarch turned away, followed him to the Alpharion Chamber – the vault-like door of the private room sealed shut as the lights dimmed.
Before we began our dialogue, Alpharius and Omegon both made me swear never to reveal the details of what we spoke of with one another. Regardless of my views on the decisions they made, I will not break a vow. Thus I exited the room, the battle-brothers who shared my views eagerly awaiting to hear what word the Primarchs had – or what punishment we were to experience.
"We have new orders." My voice stayed resolute, the discussion having not been as malignant as I expected. "As of now, we are Perseid Splinter. Our orders are to travel to the Fenris system… a Chaos incursion is rumored to have begun there, and our skills are needed." I could tell, through the eye-slits of the many armored suits worn by my brethren, that they understood this transfer was specifically intended to ensure that we were to not be involved with the business of the legion through its next move.
I was placed in command of Perseid Splinter. We were given the Strike Cruiser Theta to use as our means of transportation – widely regarded to be the fastest of the vessels the legion had utilized since the beginnings of the Great Crusade. Relics, armors, vehicles, and a wide plethora of wargear were amalgamated with our unit, tech-priests and servitors filling the spaces we legionnaires did not. Soon, we were on our way through the Warp, a tedious journey made more difficult through the sense of terror and dread the Librarians with us experienced.
Upon our exit from the rift, our sensors immediately detected a vessel in the system under attack – it was a Space Wolves strike cruiser, the Seawolf, under attack from a vessel completely shrouded in black. The vessel's profile was most identifiable – it was a Retribution-class Battleship, coated in black paint and transmitting no form of identification. Despite this, the feeling of dread filled my heart – I knew who they were and what they were doing. None of us would dare speak of what info we knew regarding the schismatic intentions of our Primarchs – actions were always more useful than words. We were outmatched, certainly, but if we were going to die, we were going to die as servants to the Emperor.
The void shields of the vessel were ignorant of our arrival. All their energy seemed to be directed towards the Space Wolves' vessel, soaking up lance and macrolaser fire from the smaller ship. I gave the order to open fire upon the battleship's weakened engine array, and as fire from our ship found itself unleashed upon the rogue vessel, we gazed through the transparent windows, watching as the carapace of ceramite and adamantium that comprised the warship vaporized, fragmenting into splinters as though it were no longer a cognizant unit. The vessel began to list to starboard as the Fenrisian starship floated in front of the greater vessel, its own warp drives powering up as the temporary rift in the whole of space and time emerged… but it was the battleship that found itself drawn towards the hole in the Materium, the Seawolf's engines at full reverse thrust to prevent its irretrievable emergence into the crevasse. When the ship finally entered, a pulse of energy shuddered from the canine vessel, the Warp rift closing around the battleship and tearing it asunder. Not even void shields could protect it from the collapse of a void in existence, whose mere power wielded effects similar to the black holes spawned by dying stars.
The Seawolf hailed us, their damaged vessel requiring escort back to the homeworld of the Space Wolves chapter. There had been consistant interference on behalf of the traitorous war machine, interference that had stopped those Astartes who remained on Fenris from sending whatever reserves they had to reinforce the forces surrounding their Primarch in his campaign alongside the Dark Angels against the renegade Night Lords. We were more than willing to oblige – but as we entered deeper into the planetary defenses of the world, we found guns trained towards us. They knew what our brothers had done, and they expected us to do the same, despite our assistance. In retrospect, I cannot blame them – not with the degree of treachery they experienced from those who stayed loyal to the plans of the Primarch.
Our vessel soon found itself boarded. We offered no assistance as one by one we were taken to the surface. Looking back, though our legion had committed multiple atrocious deeds which could never be forgiven, the Space Wolves allowed us to retain our armor and weapons even as they surrounded us and led us to their fortress-monastery for interrogation. For years we were held there – not as prisoners, but neither were we guests, honored or dishonored.
The arrival of Leman Russ himself changed our fortunes for the better. All of Perseid Splinter was invited – nay, taken – to a feast that would prove modest by the standards of a Legion known for their revelry. A great table filled their mess, upon which were two things – the roasted flesh of the mighty beasts of this world, and large tankards of ale, with glasses for every man. It was whispered that the Primarch had brewed this drink, known to certain Space Wolves as the "Drink of Truth" for its unique effects, as both a form of merriment and a trial by passiveness to determine if our loyalty to our Father the Emperor was legitimate.
All of us sat down at the table, Wolves and Legionnaires across from one another. Each grasped in their gauntleted hand a strip or drumstick of roasted meat, for the effects of the Canis Helix upon the legion had given them no reason to bother with petty utensils. As I bit into the succulent flesh, I found myself consumed with a thirst, unnatural in size and scope – a thirst that solely found itself satiated with more drink. I know not how long I ate and drank, for the ale contained within it something that altered my perception of time. All I recollect when things became clear was the sight of the Space Wolves' Primarch gazing at me, giving a silent nod before exiting the banquet hall.
Soon, news came from Terra as the sorcerer-created Warp storms our fallen brothers artificed dissipated. Horus had failed. The Alpharius Gambit was a loss - they had fulfilled the promise which they had fallen in order to prevent. Silently I cursed the Cabal - the foul xenos had further cost the Imperium billions of lives and the official loyalty of an entire legion of Astartes. Now we were to pay the penalty.
Though the High Lords of Terra wished for our demise, impassioned words of defense came from the most unlikely of sources - that of Leman Russ himself. Whatever he had seen in us throughout the years of the Horus Heresy, he made it known both to the leaders of the Imperium and his fellow Primarchs that we did not deserve death. To the Great Wolf, I give my undying respect - he alone believed that even from the cesspool of enigmatic corruption our legion had become, there was still good to be found.
It is at this point I shall end my tale. For now, we have sworn ourselves to the service of our new battle-brothers, the Space Wolves, to assist them with whatever endeavour it is that we might be put towards. I am looked to by the surviving loyal members of our legion as someone who holds the decision of our last vestiges in my hands. In time, when the sixth legion no longer needs us, I will seek to further travel the stars and find a new home in the Imperium where we might return to our duties. Until then, I shall remain the head marine of this loyal splinter.
The Alfa Marine.