Report Start

Report Author: Inquisitor Jacob Flux

Report Subject: Space Marine Chapter "Stone Born"

Report Location: Death World Igneous, Petram Sector, Solar Segmentum

Report Time: A2.983.341.M34

Report Preface: While working through our files on the various Adeptus Astartes Chapters, I came across an unusual entry; the Stone Born. Little information filled the file; it showed the chapter is a successor the Imperial Fists, but their founding was not listed, nor any engagements they had taken part of. Infact, apart from their name, progenitor chapter, and home world, there was no other information. My interest was obviously piqued, and as I was already in the Solar Segmentum I set out to investigate.

Report: Arrival in system was unchallenged, nor was arrival above Igneous. The planet is classified as a Dead world, due to the solid stone ground that stops any vegetation from growing, and hampering mining and orbital scanning. We managed to detect a vox beacon, emanating from a large canyon that scared the plant. I decided to travel down to the surface with my retinue to investigate further.

Report Paused

Inquisitor Jacob Flux smiled as the wind blew past him, carrying dust and small rocks. From where he stood, just next to the edge of a massive canyon, he was being bombarded by force. It felt wonderful, almost strong enough to knock him off his feet. Nature seemed to be pushing him onwards. Forwards, it whispered. Forwards. Come see, come see.

"Getting lost again, sir?" The Inquisitor turned to the member of his retinue behind him. Unlike Jacob, who was wearing his normal black overcoat, Orion was wearing flak armour over his green body-glove, as well as a pair of hardened goggles.

"Just musing. You should take that stuff off, the wind's not bad."

"No thanks. Unlike you and the other two, I need something extra to protect my fleshy bits. And the eyes. God, eyes." Orion shuddered while Jacob chuckled. Orion's last "death" had been particularly gruesome in the optical department.

"Take it off when we get inside then. And speak of the demons." The other members of Jacob group had joined them from securing the Aquila Lander. 010 let off a humorous whistle, having heard Orion's remarks, while Anculus merely studied the landscape from behind his helm. "Zero-One, what's the best way down to the canyon floor?"

"There my lord." 010 pointed towards a narrow ledge that descended slowly. "The Aquila's scanners show that path is wide enough to allow Anculus, and hold our combined weight"

"You know," Orion mused as he tapped the Astartes' armor, "it would be a lot simpler if you just jumped down." 010 left off another whistle, while Jacob smiled again. Orion smiled as well, until he turned around and received a slap to the back of his head.

"Enough," Jacob commanded before it went further. "Let's go. Normal walking order." His routine nodded, and soon they were on their way downwards. Orion moved ahead, scouting for threats, while Anculus brought up the rear. 010 walked between him and Jacob, who was studying the canyon.

As the group dropped lower, the dust cloud dissipated, and the view was finally seen. More than fifty miles away was the other side of the canyon, as steep and craggy as the first. Both sides slowly moved together, until they met at the very bottom of the canyon, through which an ancient river bed ran. Near the river bed was the group's objective; a stone structure built into the cliff. From so high up, it was hard to pick out details, but it seemed to be human.

"My lord what do you expect to find?" 010 asked. Jacob noted Orion doubled back slightly, and he assumed Anculus was listening as well. "You told us this chapter has never been sighted, in or out of combat. No names, no founding record, no records of equipment forging from the Mechanicus. How did they come into the Inquisition's files?"

"The base for our archives was originally the Imperial Place's. The entry was probably copied over but never really noticed." Jacob paused while he navigated over a rock. "As for the chapter themselves, I have a few ideas. Maybe they are unusually secretive for Dorn's sons. Some flaw in communication, perhaps. I doubt they have gone rogue, or fallen to chaos. Jacob paused again, looking down to the structure below. "Unless they were sealed in their fortress-monastery."

"That kind of day then," Orion muttered.

After an hour, the group finally reached the bottom of the canyon. The structure was revealed as a flat stone roof, supported by pillars. A low stone wall connected the pillars, surrounding a smooth floor of tiles. The canyon wall into which the structure was built was smooth as well, with no sign of tools or other markings. Jacob and 010 were currently examining the wall, the former studying it intently while the latter ran their hands and mechadendrites over it. Orion leaned against one of the pillars, while Anculus stood guard.

"You know what would be a shame?" Orion asked, kicking at the dust. "If we came all this way here, walked all the way down that slope, only to be met by a wall of solid rock. Wouldn't that be sad."

Ignoring him, 101 muttered randomly, face inches from the rock face. "High grade sandstone, common across world | Smoothness unnatural, no visible signs of work | Appears solid, no echoes…"

"I mean, it's not the first time it's happened. Remember Cral-x? Ten days searching for a new xenos race, only to find it was some farmer's delusions."

"Delusions made manifest by his latent psychic abilities, if you cared to remember," Jacob said, still staring at the stone. "I almost feel sorry for what I had to do to him, but it was that or…" He trailed off for a few seconds, before snapping back and nodding to himself. "That's it. Zero-One, move back." Once the tech-adept had done so, he closed his eyes and raised his hands. The dust of the canyon was suddenly shifted by an invisible wind, then moved together and began to twist around Jacob's legs. Balls of light formed in his palms, flashing every colour known and unknown. Cupping his hands together, Jacob blew onto the light until it flared, then sharply moved his hands apart. The light flared, and the rock face shivered.

Orion stopped lounging on the pillar and stood up straight, while Anculus turned around to watch. The rock shivered again, and a large slab began to retreat. A metre back it paused, then split to slide aside. The opening was large enough for two space marines to walk abreast, and twice as high. Beyond it, stairs marched down into the gloom, echoes of the opening coming back up like ghostly protests.

"Self-resetting wards," Jacob explained, the light in his palms disappearing as he stepped forwards. "They control and power the door system. Very rare, especially for the Imperium."

"Someone of high power must have created them."

"Probably." Jacob drew his bolt pistol and clicked off the safety. "Let's go see what they wanted to hide."

The stairs went down for miles, so far 010 calculated they went down twice the height of the canyon. Just as Orion was considering rolling down, "broken bones be throne-damned," they ended. A stone door blocked their path, marked by a Gothic ten. Jacob carefully pushed it open, admiration showing for how silent it was. He paused as he saw what was inside the room though. The members of his retinue did so as well, 010 letting out a confused "huff" of air while Orion muttered "Now that's just strange."

Statues. The room was filled with stone statues, raised slightly above the central walkway. Made of pale sandstone, each wore armour, and held either a long sniper rifle, or a bolt-pistol and combat knife. The detail was staggering, 010 noted as he moved closer. Each face was identical, with a neutral but stubborn expression on all of them. He stood back as his internal cogitators threw up a match. "Scout marines. They are Adeptus Astartes Scouts."

"And look," Orion said from the other side of the walkway. He was peering between the stone scouts, eyes glowing unnaturally. "Land Speeders, Scout bikes… Someone was dedicated to consistency."

"Maybe." Jacob studied the statues, face passive, before turning back to the door. Underneath the giant X were words he had not noticed before. "The Unformed."

"Sir." The soft but rumbling tones drew attention to the largest member of the routine. Anculus was at the end of the room, before another door. In front of the it, in the middle of the walkway, was a much larger statue, still in scout armour and holding a sniper rifle. It glared down at the intruders.

"A scout sergeant," Jacob guessed, moving forwards. He looked into it's stone eyes for a few seconds, before moving past it to the next door. "This is marked nine. Scoria." He pushed through the door, and walked into the chamber beyond. This room was much longer, and much larger. As were the statues; now space marines stood carved in stone, looking at each other over the path, bolters clutched in stone gauntlets. Unlike the scouts, these were made of a deep-reddish rock. Jacob tapped one, listing for an echo, while the others joined him in the room. "Zero-One, do a count. How many marines are there in the room?"

010 was silent for a few seconds, calculating, before answering. "A hundred. I also see Rhinos, Land Raiders, Thunderbirds and more vehicles behind the statues. A company's worth of troops and vehicles"

"And, up ahead," Orion pointed, "another in the path. I'm guessing he's a captain?"

"Correct. His command squad lines the wall." Jacob looked around the room again, as if searching for something. "Let's move forwards again."

8, Andesite. 7, Diorite. 6, Grabbro. 5, Rhyolite. The statutes were a light pink colour when Orion pointed something out. "No Dreadnaughts."

"Exactly. Imperial Fist Successors have at least one Dreadnaught per company, but none are here." Jacob idly tapped the captain's solid cape as he passed. "That throws the idea someone made these for aesthetic purposes."

"And the thousand tons of rock above as well." 010 hummed.

4, Pegmatite. 3, Granite. 2, Basalt. 1, Obsidian. The space marines this room were jet black giants in terminator armour. The very last door held no markings, but Jacob paused before it all the same. A glance at Orion showed he felt it as well.

Pushing open the door, the group saw a room very different than the last. It was smaller, and only four statues lined the walkway, each different. One was red, with a servo harness and a large, cog marked hammer. One was white, Narthecium on his arm. One was black, but with a white skull mask and a Crozius Arcanum held across his chest. And one was blue, staff in hand and a psychic hood covering his face.

At the end of the walkway was knelt a unhelmeted black figure that could only be a Chapter Master; Artificer armour with a silvery halo, a masterful power sword at his left hip and a ornate plasma pistol at the other. On either side of him stood three of his honour guard, just as decorated. But Jacob followed the gaze of the chapter master. Raised above the floor was a stone rectangle, plain in its decoration. Only an Imperial Aquila was displayed upon it, but it was big enough to comfortably fit a Space Marine. And it almost glowed with power. Warp energy seeped off the thing in a flood, twisting itself to death as it moved away from it's source. A crackling sound emitted from within 010's robes until he idly turned the detection unit off, still focused on the rectangle.

"It's a coffin." Jacob walked forwards slowly, the insubstantial warp tendrils parting before him. He knocked upon the stone, and a hollow noise came from within.

"Erm… A coffin for what, exactly? A demon? Something worse?" Orion was slowly retreating, eyes fixed on the coffin. 010 stood in place, but low whining noises were coming from his voice-caster. Anculus hadn't even entered the room, and was fingering his bolter's trigger. Orion continued. "I mean, we couldn't sense it a few rooms away, let alone from the surface, but it's giving off enough power to burn a Hive City."

"To burn a world, more likely." Ignoring the increasing pitch of 010's whine, Jacob placed his hands upon the lid, and heaved. The heavy stone resisted for a few seconds, then with a grinding sound moved. Orion ducked and covered his head, one hand snatching a stringless metal bow from his back. Anculus aimed past his master, prepared to fire at anything that jumped out. 010 began to sway.

All froze as a white light leapt from the coffin. Brighter than it should be possible, it played across Jacob's face, creating shadows then destroying them. His purple eyes began to glow as well, as a wide smile spread across his face. He gently reached in, and touched something unseen. His retinue held their breath. Then the coffin was closed, the light was gone, and Jacob was walking back to them. "We're done here."

"Sir? What do you mean?" Asked 010, rotating to follow the Inquisitor as he walked past. "Do we not need to contain the warp source? Or transfer it to the Late Shadow?"

"No. It has to remain here. Close all the doors as we leave. Touch nothing." Still smiling, Jacob walked on, past his confused routine. He stopped though as Orion called after him.

"No offence Flux, but what in the warp is that thing in there?"

Jacob began to walk again, throwing a response over his shoulder. "Safety for the future. A defence in the darkest hour. A final wall." He glanced back, eyes resting on the coffin. "Hope in this dark future."

Report Resumed

We discovered a Mechanicus outpost, long abandoned and maintained by servitors. The vox beacon seems to have activated after a set period of time, but none came to answer it. We searched the surrounding area but found no other signs of human activity.

Report Conclusion: After find no evidence on Igneous or elsewhere of their presence, I believe the Space Marine chapter "Stone Born" was somehow created by record-mismanagement, or by some other accident. If the chapter ever existed at all, it's members are long since buried. Another waste of time. Another waste of time. I and my retinue returned to my ship, and departed the system back to Terra.

I file this report only out of habit, and to say the entry that began my search has been deleted.

Report End

Praise the God-Emperor!

Hope you enjoy this, it's been in my head for ages. Hopefully more stories about Jacob should come. Pls leave reviews so I know how I did.