Authors Note: Here is the last chapter. Thank you all for reading, I have been surprised and pleased by the number of follows and favorites. I hope you enjoyed the story. Reviews are much appreciated. If you were wondering, no I didn't acquire ownership of any of these properties in the last week.

Chapter 4: Epilogue – Consequences

January 29, 2011

Shortly after midnight Taylor Hebert was awakened by a load roar and knew, she had failed. It was impossible to mistake the sound of Marauder Bombers for anything that ought to be on Earth Bet. She listened as flight after flight of Marauders climbed into the sky and turned, north and south and west. When she heard the first Archaeopter fly over the PRT building she began to weep.

She wept for the young heroes would find themselves fighting with endless waves of guardsmen armed with weapons they didn't understand and wielding forces they couldn't conceive of. She wept for the men and women of the Imperial Guard whose commanders would use their bodies and their blood to figure out how to overcome parahuman powers. She wept for the civilians, who had simply been living their lives, who had done nothing to deserve being swallowed up into the insatiable maw of the Imperium of Man. St. Weaver wept.

As she wept she remembered. She remembered meeting with the heads of the cartels that were going to produce the Cataphract Commorragh. She remembered the sudden surge of warp energy. She remembered waking up in a PRT cell. She remembered her shock at realizing that it was just a few days after her trigger. She remembered her initial hope when she realized the warp was calm and her fear and anger when she felt Chaos slipping in along the edges of her connection to the Emperor. She remembered planning how to keep Chaos out. She remembered her hope that she would be able to leave Earth Bet better then she had found it.

She remembered her impotent fury when they called in that moron Charles Young. She remembered struggling and failing to convince him that her memories were real. She remembered her frustration at his bullheaded stubbornness and his preventing anyone else from talking to her. She remembered trying to speak to others through her bugs and the extermination campaign that had resulted.

She remembered deciding not to kill Dr. Young because listening to Director Piggot had convinced her that if she killed him no one would ever listen to her again. She had considered breaking out but had nowhere to go and no good ideas for how to accomplish anything once out. She remembered hearing about the arrival of the Imperium in Brockton Bay and realizing she was out of time. She remembered carefully planning how to get Alexandria to believe her. She remembered her hope when Alexandria listened to her and considered her words. She remembered her disappointment when Brockton Bay began to be evacuated but no one came to take her to the Imperial structure. Now she sat, she remembered and she wept.

When the moths flying at the outer edge of her range detected Astartes with jump packs heading for the PRT building Taylor dried her tears. By the time they arrived there were bugs in position to direct them to her cell and warn them where the PRT troops were stationed. She listened dry eyed as their Volkite Calivers slaughtered the PRT officers attempting, and failing, to protect the building.

When Champion Kratos knocked the door to her cell down she was standing against the back wall ready to welcome the Dawnbreaker Guard, thank them for rescuing her and do her duty for the Emperor and Humanity.

When Kratos saw her he exclaimed, "Praise the God-Emperor!"

When she looked questioningly at him, he managed to look embarrassed, even though he was wearing power armor and a helmet, and said, "It is great to see you are well, Lady Weaver. Techmarine Ben-Ur has a special set of armor that Lady Dragon sent. Once you have it on we can fly back to the Emperor's Way and return you home."

"The Emperor's Way?" Taylor asked.

"That is what Dragon named the portal device," Kratos explained. "She said that, 'the Emperor's light showed her the way so it is the Emperor's Way."'

Then Techmarine Ben-Ur and Sanguinary Guard Seraph Gamaliel entered her cell and it was suddenly very crowded. She ordered Kratos and Gamaliel out of the cell so there was enough room for the Techmarine put her armor on. As soon as she had the helmet on, while Ben-Ur was still appeasing the machine spirits of the shields and other devices, she asked Seraph Gamaliel for a report.

"The attack is going well," he answered. "Opposition so far has been minimal and disorganized. We should be able to return to the Emperor's Way before anyone threatens us. The Dawnbreaker Guard hasn't suffered any causalities. Missy and Dragon are waiting on Nyx to give you a full report."

"Thank you," St. Weaver answered. "Tell the group attacking the Rig that there is probably a corrupted dagger in Armsmaster's lab. They should secure it as soon as possible. Alert me if anything changes,"

It took another fifteen minutes for the Techmarine to finish activating her armor. He then asked, "Will you need a jump pack, My Lady?"

"No," she answered. "Coming here didn't affect the Emperor's gifts."

The Dawnbreaker Guard escorted her up the stairs all the way from the basement cells to the roof. St. Weaver summoned her wings and they took off and flew low along the coast of the bay toward the Emperor's Way.

As they flew, Taylor looked east toward the Rig and saw it's shields glowing and flickering as flights of Stratoraptors attacked it. Suddenly one of the Stratoraptors swung to the side and started to drop. The light from the shield allowed her to see Glory Girl flying away from the damaged Stratoraptor. There was a blinding flash and two Stormhawks flew past the Rig. They turned and attacked Lady Photon, Laserdream and Shielder who were approaching the Rig from north. The heroes dodged frantically as the Stormhawks tried to sweep them from the sky. Several flights of Stratoraptors turned to assist the Stormhawks as Taylor and her escorts turned west, toward the Emperor's Way, and she lost sight of the rig.

As they approached the Emperor's Way Taylor saw that Lady Magos Dogma Dragon (for who else could have come up with such an innovative design that actually worked in three weeks) had based the decorations on Imperial warships and triumphal arches.

The ground around the Emperor's Way was covered with Imperial troops. Aircraft emerged from the north side every minute or two, climbing hard to clear the buildings just a few hundred yards from the Emperor's Way. As they approached a flight of Fury Interceptors emerged from the Way and began a steep climb toward orbit. She guessed the Missy and Dragon had decided to attempt to kill the Simurgh.

Taylor couldn't see the west side of the Emperor's Way but she could see long ranks of Skitarii marching west escorting massive columns of construction equipment. The Adeptus Mechanicus had come to Earth Bet to stay.

The south side of the Emperor's Way was a hive of activity with tens of thousands of soldiers of the Nyxian PDF moving in all directions and spreading out into the city. Taylor didn't have time to analyze their movements but it looked like they had decided to flood Brockton Bay with soldiers. Since Nyx could easily deploy ten soldiers for every resident of the city it seemed a sound strategy for quickly gaining control.

Taylor did get a good look at the east side of the Emperor's Way, they landed just in front of it. The Adeptus Mechanicus had laid out extensive fortifications and were beginning construction. She recognized multiple specialized devices, many obviously borrowed from the Amphitrite STC, for controlling water. Dragon clearly hadn't forgotten Leviathan's attack on Brockton Bay.

As they touched down the Mechanicus personal all launched into the noise they called music. Taylor had never come to appreciate it but she recognized a triumphal cant in praise of the Omnissiah. She gave them a brief salute and proceeded immediately through the Emperor's Way.

When they arrived on Nyx she asked the Dawnbreaker Guard if there was anything that required her immediate attention and they assured her that Missy and Lady Dragon had everything well in hand.


Taylor Hebert, Saint Weaver, Peer of Terra, Basileia of Nyx, Baroness of Pavia, Duchess of Commorragh and Duchess of Brockton took almost an hour after her return to Nyx to eat, bath, kiss her girlfriend and get dressed and armed as befitted her station. Then, escorted by Forgefather Vulcan N'Varr and Firedrake T'klis Rubix of the Dawnbreaker Guard, she proceeded to the Great Strategium.

When she was announced there was a brief cheer but she quickly insisted that everyone get back to work. She knew very well that a planetary invasion, and that was unambiguously what was happening on Earth Bet, was not going to run itself. She proceeded to a small side room reserved for classified briefings. There she met her heir Missy Byron, Lady Magos Dogma Dragon Richter, Lord Inquisitor Odysseus Tor, General Jonas Maniakes and Archmagos Desmerius Lankovar.

"Thank you for all your hard work over the past month," Saint Weaver began. "First, I am very grateful to be home. I want everyone to be aware that while the leadership of Earth Bet was highly suspicious of me and never believed a word I said, they treated me well. I don't want the invasion of Earth Bet to turn into a vengeance campaign."

"My Lady," General Maniakes said, "I don't think you need to worry. Missy, Dragon and Archmagos Lankovar have all been very insistent on capturing Earth Bet and not slaughtering innocents."

"Good, see that I don't," Saint Weaver ordered. "Second, Lord Inquisitor, I want you to assemble a force to search for demonic corruption on Earth Bet. The day after the Emperor's Way opened a force of locals corrupted by Khorne and Tzeentch attacked the PRT building where I was being held. They used both sorcery and corrupted blades. Chaos doesn't appear to have been present before I appeared on Earth Bet. I want the Inquisition to purge the parasites."

"Yes, Your Holiness," the Lord Inquisitor answered.

"Third, I think I can guess what happened while I was away based on my experiences in PRT custody. The officials of Earth Bet absolutely refused to consider the possibility that anything you said was true and were completely unwilling to negotiate quickly and in good faith. Public opinion on Nyx would not permit any option but an attack to free me and Imperial policy meant that such an attack had to aim at annexation. I will read the details later but do I have the outline correct?"

"Yes, Taylor," Missy answered, "that is the broad outline of what happened."

"Good," Taylor replied, "then let us hear the report on the current situation."

"We have achieved the preliminary objectives of the operation," Archmagos Lankovar began. "Mechanicus forces have established themselves west of Brockton Bay and began construction of a fortified Spaceport. Mechanicus forces have also made significant progress fortifying the Emperor's Way. We are hopeful that the defenses will be capable of repelling the beings the locals call Endbringers as well as the most powerful Parahumans."

"The Imperial Guard and the Nyxian PDF has secured control of Brockton Bay and the surrounding area," General Maniakes reported. "The local Parahumans have been neutralized. Unfortunately, the heavy weapons used to kill Lung caused significant collateral damage. The Aeronautica Imperialis has attacked strategic targets across the eastern half of North America and should be striking Europe very soon. Resistance has been disorganized so far. We appear to have achieved complete tactical and strategic surprise and Lady Dragon was able to disrupt the local communication systems. Unless something unexpected happens we will be in control of the entire planet within a week."

"How are you dealing with Parahuman resistance?" Taylor asked.

"Overwhelming firepower," Archmagos Lankovar responded. "I don't understand why the people of Earth Bet so quickly came to believe that only Parahumans could oppose Parahumans. It seems illogical. Based on the information I reviewed Lung was said to be unstoppable yet he died quickly when targeted by artillery and heavy bombers."

"The Simurgh has proven more resistant," Lankovar admitted. "However, the Dragon-Pattern Smaug Battle-Lascannons the Mechanicus deployed around the Emperor's Way were able to drive her off. Our projections indicate that orbital bombardment will be sufficient to deal with Behemoth."

"Of more immediate concern," Missy broke in, "is what to do with our doubles."

"I don't think I have one," Taylor commented.

"No, you don't," Missy confirmed, "but the rest of us do. I ordered elite Nyxian units to capture as many of our doubles and friends as possible as part of the first wave. I'm afraid we couldn't find the Undersiders but I got all the Wards and their immediate families. I also got your father, he is in good health. I confined him in a guest apartment in the Spire."

"I also spoke with my double, she is furious and confused, exactly as I would have been. She is being held with the rest of the Wards in a power suppression cell, but I need your advice."

"She is not you," Saint Weaver answered. "She is her own person who must make her own decisions. We will treat them as individuals and if you want to help her adjust you can but she has no legal connection with you nor does her family. Add that to Nyxian Law, the people of Earth Bet who have biological relations to Nyxians are to be treated legally as unrelated. Inheritances and family ties will not be altered by our interactions with this new Earth Bet."

"Thank you!" Missy answered, "that will make the legal situation much simpler."

As people began to relax the Lord Inquisitor spoke, "The ownership of Earth Bet will not be as easily resolved. The Inquisition has reviewed the reports of the psykers who have been through the Emperor's Way. The Astropaths report that they cannot reach any other Astropaths from Earth Bet, except for Nyx's Choir which they reach along the Emperor's Way. The Navigator's report that the Astronomican is not visible on Earth Bet."

"I have also examined the data available from Earth Bet's internet and it appears to confirm that Earth Bet is a close duplicate of M3 Holy Terra. This is going to be a political and religious shock for the Imperium. We need to decide how to handle it."

Everyone, but Taylor, started talking at once. She let them talk for a couple of minutes. Missy wanted to try and add Earth Bet to the Nyx sector. Dragon wanted to pull out of Earth Bet now that they had Taylor back. Archmagos Lankovar wanted the Nyxian Mechanicus to take over Earth Bet's Mars and General Jonas Maniakes wanted to have the Imperial Guard or the Astartes take over the occupation so the Nyxian PDF could return to Nyx.

"Enough!" Taylor said, and everyone fell silent. "You each have good points but seven of the High Lords will try and take us down if we give them an excuse. Abandoning a human world would be the excuse they are looking for but so would trying to annex a world in another dimension. So, I have a question."

"Dragon, could the Emperor's Way be duplicated elsewhere and still connect to the same Earth Bet?"

"Yes," Lady Magos Dogma Dragon Richter answered. "I can send the design to Mars. As long as we keep our Way open any new one will connect to the Earth Bet we are currently conquering."

"Good," the Basileia answered. "Then what we are going to do is kick the question of Earth Bet to the High Lords. Everyone is to prepare a full report for them. We will secure the planet and inform them that we are prepared to turn it over to whomever they designate. Is that acceptable Lord Inquisitor?"

"That should work very well," he replied.

"We're going to abandon the people of Earth Bet!" Dragon said in a tone of shock and discomfort.

"Yes," Saint Weaver answered sorrowfully. "I will not destroy the Nyx sector and harm the unity of the Imperium in order to protect Earth Bet. Especially since Chaos is present on Earth Bet."

"Now, is there anything else we need to deal with right now?" Taylor Hebert asked.

"We need to set policy toward the current leadership of Earth Bet," General Maniakes offered. "They aren't really traitors but based on my study of the planet I can't see them cooperating with us."

At the mention of Earth Bet's leadership St. Weaver's face hardened. "Purge them," she said. When Missy started to object St. Weaver continued, "I sat in a cell for three weeks waiting for them to figure out that they had problems that needed to be dealt with and describing to everyone who would talk to me how I could help. They ignored me completely while convincing themselves, despite all evidence, that I was mad. Now we have invaded and offended their pride, they had their chance, they won't help, sparing them will only create problems down the line. Purge them."

"I have talked with both Dragon and Missy about the culture of Earth Bet," Lord Inquisitor Tor said. "I agree the existing leadership will never cooperate with the Imperium. It is better to purge them now and put in a new leadership which will be loyal."

"Does anyone disagree?" Taylor asked.

"I would like to," Lady Magos Dogma Dragon said. "But, the Lord Inquisitor is right, they would never be loyal to the Imperium."

After a moment of silence, Taylor asked if there was any more business and when no one spoke she said, "good, then everyone get back to work, we have a planet to conquer."

As everyone filed out Missy Biron stayed behind. Once they were alone she began, "I'm Sorry Taylor! I know this isn't want you wanted but I couldn't find another way. The people demanded we go get you. I tried to hold them back but Alexandria would barely talk with Foreign Minister Zoe XIX Attica and wouldn't negotiate with any urgency. I'm sorry I couldn't find another option!"

Saint Weaver wrapped her arms around Missy and said softly into her hair. "I understand, sometimes there is no good option. Earth Bet's fate was sealed as soon as Alexandria, the Triumvirate and the PRT decided that everything going on around me had to be a result of my parahuman powers. If they would have taken Nyx seriously and actually worked with us to get me home we could have kept them out of the Imperium. But they wouldn't cooperate and I couldn't stay and once it came to force the Imperium's policies meant we had no choice but to bring them in."

"It isn't your fault Missy," Taylor Hebert concluded. "You did the best you could, you picked the best option available. But the childish saying was true here. They assumed and they spelled it by making an ass out of me and out of you."

The End.