RandomReader- Thank you for actually reviewing and leaving comments. Mistakes have been fixed now. Honestly, it's nice to find people actually reviewing this story. I know I don't review the stories I read, but still. It's great to have people leave reviews and all.
ATP- On the bright side, he has Eldar to experiment now if he manages to get some back in time.
Waaghmater13- Yeah, let's find out just how many problems they'll create.
Erika was scared. More scared than she was taken by those mean monsters and lost her family. She had done the things that the big man told her to do. She kept the book safe and let no one take it away from her. It was hard work, especially around these monsters, who looked extra sharp compared to those on the ship that took her away from her home. She studied the book, eventually learning the things contained within the book. Eventually, when she felt that she learned everything that the book held within, she began casting the spells within it, using whatever she had as material to conduct them as they required a few things in order for them to work.
Once she was alone and she was sure that the bad monsters won't interfere, she began casting the spell. As she conducted the spell, she saw that it was causing dark clouds to form everywhere and they were scaring her. A part of her wanted to stop what she was doing, but the grander part of her continued, wanting not to disappoint the man that had saved her life.
Once she cast the spell, however, she wished that she listened to that small part of herself because once she finished that spell, the entire room she was in went dark with black shadows with red lightning crackling inside them and the shadows began spreading throughout the mines. Erika was sitting inside the room where she cast a spell, too scared to move because of the black shadows. How they surrounded her and made crackling noises as people came out of them, ranging from human soldiers with scary armor to giants the size of her savior. Some of which bore the colors of said savior, but Erika knew they were nothing like him. They either radiated a cruel aura around them that made Erika wet herself or were seemingly empty inside, radiating a cold light within them.
It was this state that Ahriman found his little summoner, in a corner in a fetal position. Seeing this, Ahriman kneeled down to the little girl and held out his hand.
"Be at ease little one." Said Ahriman as he used his psychic powers to calm the little girl as well as clean her from any filth on her. "I've come to reunite you with your family." Erika, now calm, spoke out.
"You really mean it?" Asked Erika, gazing upon Ahzek Ahriman with those big blue eyes. Ahriman nodded.
"Yes." Said Ahriman. "You have done all that was asked of you and now is the time for you to receive your reward." Erika smiled at that as the prospect of seeing her family again excited her, taking her away from the cruel life that these monsters put her in. "Just take my hand and I'll lead you to your family." With that, Erika was about to take Ahriman's hand when Ahriman received a transmission from Volmas. Cursing to himself, Ahriman receded his hand, causing Erika to flinch, in order to speak with Volmas. To ask him what was important for him to contact the Thousand Son.
"Ahriman, it appears we have uninvited guests." Said Volmas as he fought for his life. Upon hearing the sounds of battle, Ahriman asked him what was going on. "The Aeldari are here, Ahriman. They've just ambushed me and are trying to kill me." Upon hearing that, Ahriman was momentarily stunned.
The Eldar? Here? How? How could they be here? With them and the Tau? Was an entire craftworld here? Was Yvraine here? What did this mean for them all? All these questions and more filled Ahriman's mind as he tried to make sense of this all.
He was unable to do so, however, when he heard Erika whimper in fear. Hearing this, he once again psychically calmed her again. Once she was calm enough, Ahriman took her in his arms and walked through one of the rifts that she made. After passing through, he was back at the flagship of this Warband.
Seeing various Chaos marines and mortal servants hauling whatever human subjects and spoils they stole from the planet Erika was on, Ahriman quickly cast a spell that teleported them to his quarters on the ship before anyone noticed the little girl in his arms. Once they were safely in his quarters, Ahriman placed her in his bed.
"Stay here." Said Ahriman to Erika. "Under no circumstances are you to leave this room. My fellow compatriots will not be as friendly to you as I. Do this one more thing and I promise you that I will reunite you with your family." The girl nodded at Ahriman, satisfying him. After bidding her goodbye, Ahriman left to deal with the Eldar. Once he was gone, Erika prayed to whatever gods there are out there that Ahriman will keep his promise and that her family will be reunited.
Ahriman, meanwhile, was teleporting back to the planet, hoping that Volmas hasn't ended up dead or something. If he did, then things will not end well for them as he was a key resource to producing new Chaos Marines. Through means he never told any of them, Volmas had the ability to produce new Adeptus Astartes from any human male, regardless of their age. Though untested, these new marines seem to be as capable as the marines they created through the tried-and-true way of creating new Astartes and that was enough for Ahriman to want to save Volmas, no matter how cold and calculating the Iron Warrior was.
"Intriguing." Said Volmas as he finished off the last Eldar that attacked him. All around him were the dead bodies of the rest of his attackers, who died in their pathetic attempt to slay him. He himself bore little to no damage from their confrontation. Aside from a few dents in his armor and a few cut tendrils, Volmas was ready for another fight, which he believed will happen soon.
Removing his halberd from the corpse, Volmas studied its armor so he can discern some important details of what craftworld these Eldar were from, thus enabling him to create battleplans to effectively combat them.
The black armor of the Eldar strike team told him that they were from craftworld Ulthwé, the Eldar craftworld of seers, known for their high number of psychic warriors, even for the psychically attuned Eldar, who were known for their psychic abilities. The symbol for the tear of Isha, the symbol for Ulthwé, on the chest armor of the Eldar confirmed it.
Not knowing if there were other Eldar from other craftworlds here, Volmas nonetheless began formulating plans to deal with these Eldar.
Since Ulthwé relied heavily on psykers and rapid strikes, Volmas began formulating plans to counter such tactics. As he was doing so, he was contacted by Ahriman.
"Volmas, I'm here on the planet with some of my brothers." Said Ahriman as he contacted Volmas. "The Eldar are here. They're fighting our warriors, killing or destroying whatever they get a chance to before slipping away before we can respond. I've just stopped an attack made by the Eldar to kill off one of our hauls. Yet their behavior is odd. Instead of fleeing, the Eldar stood their ground until it was clear they could not win, losing many in the process. I'm receiving news from my fellow brothers of this being the case everywhere else. Something is not right." Volmas agreed at that. Eldar do not stand and fight when the odds are against them and even if the odds are with them, they still do not stand and fight. In order to avoid any kind of casualties, the Eldar employ hit and run tactics at all times, preventing Eldar deaths as much as possible, unless things were dire enough to prevent such tactics from being utilized. Such was their way. He then remembered these Eldar were from Ulthwé.
Being the craftworld of seers, they had an abundance of psykers, even more than other craftworlds. And with those psykers, came those that can peer into possible futures and realities, hence the title for Ulthwé. That meant they have peered into the future and have seen many possible outcomes of their engagements here. And without the interference of Tzeentch or the other Chaos Gods, their seers have utmost clarity in their attempts to look into the future. Ahriman and, in theory, any psyker, can cloud a seers attempts to look into the future, but he never knew of the Eldar's presence in this galaxy, so he couldn't do so, thus the level of thought that was coursing through the Warpsmith.
His reasoning was that, since the Eldar had free reign to peer into the future, they pick the outcomes that will minimize their own dead and maximize the deaths of their enemies. Such were the ways of the Eldar. They'll gladly sacrifice millions of, what they deem as, lesser beings, which was essentially anyone that wasn't an Eldar, to save only a handful of Eldar lives. Volmas wouldn't be surprised at all if they'll kill millions just to save one Eldar life.
So, with all that in mind, combined with what Ahriman told him, Volmas had reason to believe that the Eldar had a plan. One that will wipe the Chaos marines in one fell swoop with minimal Eldar casualties.
But what would that be, Volmas wondered. An orbital strike was plausible, but if so, why didn't they do so right now? It would have been easy for them to bombard them from orbit if they had even a frigate class warship in system. The Batarians, with how incompetent they were, would be unable to respond to deal with such a large vessel in their naval classifications. A powerful psychic ritual? Also plausible, but Ahriman and the Thousand Sons can detect such a ritual and deal with it accordingly. So, what were they doing exactly?
As Volmas wondered what was going on, a console in the command center began to beep out in alarm. Thinking it was just a Xeno trying to, futilely, request aid, Volmas was about to shoot at the console when his warrior instincts stilled his hand. Something about the console and what it carried stayed his hand. Plus, logic also told him that it could carry useful intelligence on what the Eldar or Batarians were doing against his men, even if the former was unlikely.
Trusting those instincts and logic, Volmas went over to the console and activated it. The scrap codes the Alpha Legion installed prevented the Batarians from effectively communicating with each other, but didn't prevent a Chaos Marine, with the proper skills, to undo them if they wished and Volmas, trained in the ways of the Warpsmith, knew exactly how to undo a scrap code.
Undoing the, relatively easy scrap codes installed in the Batarian security system, Volmas was able to access what the console was trying to convey. What he got surprised him as much as an Iron Warrior can be surprised.
A sizable asteroid was flying towards the system's Mass Relay at speeds not possible for an asteroid. Not without assistance anyway. Seeing this and hearing reports of Iron Warriors fighting off Eldar warriors, Volmas began to see the Eldar's plan.
The Eldar, perhaps knowing they'll be unable to beat the Chaos Marines in a straight fight, either due to lack of resources or an unwillingness to take significant casualties, made this plan involving the system's Mass Relay's destruction.
Though he didn't know as much as he wished to in regard to that particular Xeno technology, Volmas knew they contained powerful energy. Energy that, if released all at once, can be destructive enough to destroy the entire system and perhaps beyond that.
Given the speed the asteroid was going, it wasn't being powered by Eldar technology. The fact the Eldar were still here, given the reports by his men, indicated this. So the Eldar were using Batarian tech, for whatever reason, to crash into the Mass Relay and they were fighting them to ensure that either he or Ahriman would figure out what they were doing and escape the blast zone.
Crude. Simple and prone to errors, but effective if all went well. If.
Even if this plan wasn't exactly what the Eldar went with, Volmas knew one thing was certain. They must leave this system now or risk being destroyed.
Contacting Ahriman, Volmas spoke.
"Ahriman, I bring grave news." Said Volmas as he ran out of the command center, landing harshly on the ground below before running to meet with the closet Iron Warriors squad. "The Eldar. They're planning to destroy this entire system."
"Are you certain?" Asked Ahriman as he after he ordered a fellow Thousand Son sorcerer to begin taking what supplies survived the assault back to their ship as well as informing their fellow brothers to do the same as well.
"Positive." Said Volmas as he saw a squad of Iron Warriors massacring a platoon of Batarians, shooting them down with their bolters, creating gory messes, or ripping them apart with their combat knives or chain swords. "I've recently seen data that shows an asteroid flying towards the system's Mass Relay. It's of sizable size and speed to inflict sufficient enough damage to the Relay that it'll cause the energy stored in the Xenos artifact to release all at once. And I do not need to inform you of what that means to this system." He didn't as Ahriman knew what would happen.
"Keep us distracted while this happens." Thought Ahriman as he thought of this plan. "Then leave at the last moment safely so we can't escape in time. Just like an Eldar." Thinking this was the likely plan of the Eldar, Ahriman spoke to Volmas.
"I believe you're right, Volmas." Said Ahriman as he responded back to the Warpsmith as he reunited with his brothers. "Even if the situation isn't as severe as we believe it is, we must leave now. That Relay's destruction is warranted enough to evacuate the planet with what spoils we have. And I rather not leave this operation in the sole hands of Neroth and the Alpha Legion. Not when both of our legions have stakes in its success."
"Some more than others." Thought Volmas as he ordered the Aspiring Champion of the Iron Warriors squad to radio the rest of their brothers, to inform them that they must leave with what spoils they acquired now or face destruction. The Aspiring Champion obeyed and relayed the order.
"I'm pulling my men out now, Ahriman." Said Volmas as the Iron Warriors left, taking what spoils they wanted from the Batarians, which were a cageful of humans. "I suggest you do the same as well." Ahriman silently agreed and began to psychically call his brothers throughout the planet, telling them what they needed to do and the dangers coming to them. Some obeyed, choosing to follow Ahriman's lead, while others argued, believing the spoils were too great to pass up, but a forceful order from Ahriman made them comply.
Such difficulties were found with Volmas as well. Some of his warriors obeyed, but a few dared to argue with him, calling him a coward. The vast majority of these, of course, being marines created from this galaxy. One, in particular, openly challenged his orders, calling him a weakling. This caused Volmas to swear an oath to kill that one in public as a show of force. Some of these warriors he managed to force to obey his orders. The others he allowed to die. If they refused to see the logic in his orders, then they deserved death. They were not true Iron Warriors.
Soon orders from Ahriman and Volmas were relayed to all present in the planet Aratoht. Some obeyed willingly. Others cursed at such orders, as they were close to achieving more spoils or were about to prove themselves to their elders. And the rest disobeyed, choosing to fight on like fools, unaware of the danger they were in.
As the evacuations started, the Eldar began to attack more frequently, as if they sensed their intents and were eager to prevent them from doing so. Many mortal followers were slain, and even a few newborn marines, from the Eldar attacks along with their spoils, aka the human slaves.
After a shot from a sniper blew a hole in a mortal follower, Ahriman spotted an Eldar warp spider team appearing from the Warp and gunning down a group of slaves with their weaponry before teleporting back to the Warp. Just as they did, however, reached out with his hand and psychically grab one of the Warp Spiders and drag them towards him. Grabbing the throat of the Warp Spider, Ahriman noted that he acquired the Exarch of the Warp spiders, an Eldar commander. Feeling some satisfaction of acquiring such an individual as it gave him the opportunity to figure out why the Eldar were here and what was their purpose for being here. Though an Eldar Exarch was merely the equivalent of a human sergeant or lieutenant in status in the Eldar's hierarchy, it was better than nothing. And if anything, they can be used to keep Neroth busy as the Chaos Sorcerer was quite eager to spill the blood of Xenos. And nothing would thrill the Sorcerer than torturing an Eldar as they were quite difficult to capture alive. Ahriman quickly teleported away with his prisoner and those with him.
Soon, all that remained on the planet of the Chaos warbands were those that refused to leave the planet. To them, those who left were cowards and they'll prove to them that there was nothing to be afraid of and will bask in the glory they'll receive for being in much bigger hauls than their cowardly allies. To those that left, they were fools that will die soon.
And they were right in that regard. For hours later, the asteroid crashed into the Mass Relay of the Bahak system, causing the energy of the Mass Relay to release into one big explosion, engulfing the entire Bahak System and anything there. Chaos Marines, Batarians. Everything. Everything except for those that escaped safely at the last minute.
"Farseer, I regret to inform you that our primary targets, the mon-keigh known as Ahzek Ahriman and Volmas have escaped." Said an Eldar, dressed in attire made for battle, as he along with a few other Eldar, dressed in similar garb, surrounded the one he called Farseer. That being the woman that was present at the asteroid that caused the Bahak system's destruction. Upon hearing that news, the woman frowned beneath her helmet.
"An unfortunate fact." Said the Farseer, her voice slightly metallic in tone as well as melodic in nature. "A fact that may prove to be fatal." She then turned towards the Eldar Warlock, allowing her to see that more of her people were arriving. One, in particular, an Eldar male, flanked by two other men in armor, dressed in dashing black clothes with a helm that exposed their face, revealing themselves to be pale with long, elegant ears. A dashing Eldar male that the Farseer wished to speak to regarding important matters. "Prince Amvyn have you located the system?"
"No Farseer." Said Prince Amvyn with no hint as to what he felt. "I'm afraid my ships have not found what we're searching for as yet. The location you've provided proved to bore no fruit to our hunt." The Farseer gave a slight exhale of frustration.
"Then we must remain hidden." Said the Farseer. "We cannot afford to face the corrupted followers of Chaos and deal with the naïve Tau at the same time. For every moment we waste places the lives of our people in jeopardy." The Eldar around her gave slight nods of agreement as all around them Eldar pilots of the ship they were on, piloted and monitored the systems of said ship. "Good, continue your search prince Amvyn. We cannot let the Chaos worms much respite." The prince nodded before leaving. Though he didn't show it, the Farseer can sense he was frustrated that he wasn't restricted from going out and facing whatever he wished in battle. Much as this caused the Farseer to worry about holding his instincts at bay, she needed the prince to reel in his baser emotions. Too much was at stake for him to kill a few inferior races just to satisfy his wish for thrills.
Once the prince left with his escort, the Farseer spoke to her remaining advisors, instructing them on what to do in the meantime. After she spoke to everyone and they dispersed, the Farseer looked towards the stars, knowing that, out there, were the forces of Chaos, with all four of their leaders alive and now they knew that the Eldar were here, thus putting them on guard. Things grew harder for the Eldar, both to eliminate some of Chaos' most powerful champions, as well as to prevent the catastrophe that she had foreseen. A catastrophe that will see the death of many Aeldari, something she will not tolerate.
"I swear by my name and title, I will not let my people die by hands of the servants of Chaos." Thought the Farseer. "And if the Tau or their foolish allies interfere, they will die as well."
Erika and Ahriman
"Where's my family?" Asked Erika as she walked with Ahriman through the hallways of the ship they were in. Ahriman said nothing as they walked through the hallways of the ship. "You promised me that I'll be reunited with my family if I obey you. Now where are is my family?" Despite the demanding tone, Ahriman knew that she just wanted to see her family again. To know her loved ones were safe and that they can live together in peace with each other. Such a thing was something that Ahriman can understand greatly, even respected, but it also tore his being for what he was about to do.
"And you will be reunited with them soon." Said Ahriman as they walked. "Be patient. Rewards come to those that are patient." Before Erika could retort that she was through being patient, she suddenly felt a bit dizzy and tired. At first, she tried to fight it but she eventually succumbed to the drowsiness she was feeling.
Catching the girl before she could fall to the ground, Ahriman then gently brought her into his arms before resuming his walks, eventually arriving at a large door. Even outside, Ahriman could feel the demonic power seeping through the doors as well as the screams of agony coming through it. Despite all that, Ahriman walked inside.
Upon entering the room, Ahriman could see a large furnace-like object in the middle of the room attached to a set of sarcophagus-like objects via translucent tubes, arranged in a half-circle with most of them closed except one, along with a large-block machine at the end. Amongst all this equipment was Volmas, who, despite his posture giving nothing away on how he felt, was annoyed at Ahriman for coming to his private quarters.
Without pause, Ahriman walked towards one of the sarcophagi and placed Erika in one of them. With a slight pause to look at the girl one last time, Ahriman then closed the sarcophagus and nodded at Volmas to start.
Without pause, Volmas went to a nearby console and began powering up the machine. With no hesitation, Volmas started it up and soon the sarcophaguses began to glow red as screams came from all of them except for one. Erika's sarcophagus. As the screams ended, the machine began to rattle and, somehow, groan, as it began its infernal work.
Working hard, Volmas watched as his machine did its work. His work. Soon, a container soon came out of the machine. Walking over to it, Volmas opened it up to reveal its contents. An Adeptus Astarte. Opening up one of the Astarte's eyes, Volmas inspected the specimen, checking to see if it was useable to the Chaos Legions. After a few more minutes of inspection, Volmas spoke up.
"The specimen is worthy." Declared Volmas before looking over at Ahriman. "You'll be pleased to do that the tissue of the females hadn't affected the process in any significant way. None that I can see at the moment. That doesn't mean issues won't emerge later. We don't even know if it can survive your little ritual, though I think it'll be an improvement anyway."
"We shall see." Said Ahriman as he looked at the space marine before him. "If this Astarte is stable, then I've kept my promise to the girl." Volmas just said nothing as he looked at the space marine before them.
"Do not forget our deal, Ahriman." Said Volmas, ignoring Ahriman's last sentence. "The next time you raid, my legion will gain a good portion of the spoils. No exceptions."
"I will uphold my end of the bargain, Volmas." Said Ahriman. "I will keep your secret safe as well as ensure you will gain valuable specimens for your legion as well. In addition, if I capture anymore Eldar, they will be given to you." Volmas gave another grunt before beckoning Ahriman to take the Space Marine.
"Take it." Said Volmas as he looked at his machine, eager to conduct the next procedure. "I must partake in the creation of more Astartes. To rectify the failure of our last raid." Ahriman simply nodded at that before taking the container with the Space Marine with him. To begin the process of it undertaking the Rubric. As he walked with the container, lifted up with his psychic powers, Ahriman wondered what the goals of the Eldar that attacked them and how much of a problem they'll be in the future. Something that must be discussed in the next meeting with the others.