A Squelch of Empires (crossover)

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Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover)

Post by Esquire » 2013-02-25 10:46pm

Sounds like a story that might be worth hearing...
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Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover)

Post by Eleventh Century Remnant » 2013-04-27 02:38pm

At very, very long last...

this part was the one that I was basically stuck on for more than a year, and kept inching my way towards by mainly sideways increments. It doesn't quite feel like the gem it needed to be, feels more than a bit squeezed out, but I am immensely relieved that it is here at all.

I did have help; Simon_Jester did help break the deadlock by giving me some advice on the physics of it all. Thanks.

Anyway, starting from Caiaphas' point of view,

The blue flare from within the enginarium faded to nothing, and I knew that meant we were too late to stop the emergence. The feathered prince of confusion was among us, and I could feel the miasma. It started by spreading a gnawing sense of doubt and dissatisfaction, that eroded self, corroded sense of duty, withered away loyalty.

I briefly thought of a hundred commissars of iron devotion who would be better in this place than I was, men of unbending will and devotion that could lead their forces to victory even over such as this. Then I thought about how many of them would end up crispy daemon munchies in the attempt.

None of them were here, anyway. It was down to me and such of the regiment as I chose to hazard,and that would be as little as I could- even if it looked as if they all wanted to come. Jurgen of course, and who else- ask for volunteers? No time, if we were to do anything useful it would have to be fast.

Who was nearest? First of the Third. It would be. Sulla's lot, and herself bright eyed and eager at the head of them. No sense depressing her, and some berserk enthusiasm could come in handy. Even if I did think our chances of achieving anything had just been reduced measurably.

'Concentrate, all of you. You know who you are- it was difficult enough convincing you the first time. Soldiers of Valhalla, guardsmen and guardswomen of the Imperium- hold to what you know, don't let that thing's aura of confusion distract you. You know, and I know, and seeing that you're doing his work the God-Emperor knows too.'

Normally the last line of approach I'd take, but considering that if this all went horribly wrong the Golden Throne might become the Golden Expanding Cloud of Dust, it was probably more true than usual.

'That thing releases a miasma of doubt and despair- makes you hesitate, fear and forget. It is sorcery, and it is an attack upon you. Hold to your true selves and your faith, follow me and do what has to be done.'
A great flapping and screeching, thrashing of wings and clatter of claws, an epic rage and frustration as the thing clawed and flailed at the smoothly impervious and perfectly circular main reactor.

If you're going to make a career of attacking the mighty spawn of the outer darkness, might as well start with the damaged ones. Not that I understood exactly- the day these abominations become familiar and comprehensible, it may be time to check into the wibbling academy- but to something that claimed to be what they did, a perfect circle, a perfect anything was probably as much a horror to it as the warp- beast itself was to us. I wondered if that formed part of Mirannon's plan.

Had to-he wouldn't miss a trick like that. 'If we can't put enough firepower into it to drop it, and it may be a shade tricky hacking it to bits, we may be able to bluff it to death.' I said, and Sulla looked at me for a moment as if the scales had finally fallen from her eyes and she realised I'd been living a lie all along, before deciding it was just the bold Commissar Cain raising morale by jesting in the face of death as usual. If she'd looked more closely she would have realised I wasn't laughing.

At least the thing was in the inner chamber, which meant that we had some cover. It didn't seem to know or care that we were there, so we would have to get its' attention. I was daft enough to say so, and a volley of grenades flew past me. Not quite what I had in mind, but it worked.

There were the typical and terrible sounds of explosions in a confined space, and the clatter of shrapnel, followed by a moment of empty noise. It wouldn't be that easy.

Someone was daft enough to say it, of course, and the thing must have been listening because it tried to work its' sorcery, creating a gap in the air that was supposed to suck us in and into its' maw or onto the claws and fangs it had been blunting on the reactor. The howl of air merged with the howl of rage, and most of the valhallans appreciated the icy gale for a couple of seconds anyway- which was all of it we got.

There was a background hum that got louder, a faint thickness in the air- and the gale died down to nothing. The daemon screamed in rage and there was a loud clang. For a moment I wondered if they had effective anti- sorcerous defences, why all of this had come to be; but of course they didn't, which meant that one of the spawn of the Lord of Change had had its warpcraft defeated by the air conditioning.

If we were going to confront the thing, now was as probably as good a time as any. Jurgen and I, then, stood and moved forward into the reactor room. Most of the platoon- with the company behind them- followed. Too close. I wanted a clear path behind me, so that I could run away. 'We're not going to take it in a fighting line, we need room to skirmish.'

The thing heard me; howled, sounding at the jagged edge of its' wits. 'You!'

I walked the last few steps out onto the gantry, and saw it in all its' stomach turning horror. Taller, somehow deeper- lying more heavily on the materium, burned in more profoundly, a thing awful and terrible. Kin, of a sort, to the two I had come across before, although I doubted they had any relationship one with another that was like that which a human would recognize; a parent or elder brother was probably closest.

I could tell, wished I couldn't, but no need to admit that. 'Can't return the favour, you abominations all look alike to me.' That was calculated to irritate, and the thing was in such a state of mind that it succeeded quite well.

That meant violence, of course. The thing released a cloud of the feather- firebirds I had come across back on the station, so few days and so many events ago; a horde, dozens of them. Seemed more like hundreds, looking into the vortex of them.

Las fire crackled out at them, along with a handful of blaster bolts from some of the picked group of stormtroopers who had managed to stay with me. The birds seemed to find it easier to dodge the instant, snapping las than the slower growling blaster shot.

Jurgen's melta carved a cone of burning pseudo- birds out of the air, and that helped, but it didn't get them all, couldn't. Then I noticed a most extraordinary thing. They were slowing down. From flashing, darting things, they congealed, motion slowing, flapping less than swimming through suddenly gooish air. Flying as fast as they could to stand still. I wondered what effect that would have on us if we were down there.

The troopers, who hadn't actually shot the guardsmen yet for which I was quite thankful, decided it was time to aim on the big beastie. A thousand guns had brought down one smaller one, twenty or so had little effect on this. Can't say I was all that surprised.

It did have some, though, stung and annoyed, burnt off individual scales and feathers, which inspired one of the troopers to unsling and arm his melta- bomb.

Penlan of all people shouted at him not to do that, the thing was standing on a reactor dome; 'That dome is designed to contain the energies of a small star. It's the most solid thing in the universe.'

He really shouldn't have said that. It was followed by a shower of explosives of half a dozen different kinds, which ripped apart the remaining slow birds and shrouded the thing in blast and those odd atomic implosion grenades they used.

At the end of one of the nicest fireworks displays I've ever been in a small enclosed space with, the dome was intact- but so, largely, was the daemon. It shook itself and returned to its proper- for an abomination, whatever that means anyway- colours.

It laughed at us. Jurgen's melta blasts seemed to amuse it the most- for this thing, what had it done, what had it seen, what horrors and atrocities had it perpetrated? How far back in human history - or beyond- had it been tempting and tricking and scheming? How many people had it been hated by, and shot at by, and who had wished it would go back to the hells it emerged from? The monster was still here, damnation in the flesh.

'Your mortal weapons are of no relevance to me.' It cackled, and I knew that it was relieved to return to facing a challenge it understood. How to work on that...

'In that case you may as well just bugger off home, then- or am I confusing you with your cousin with the tentacles? You're so alike.' Not the normal bandying of wits with the servants of darkness, many of whom don't seem to have any, but this one was a talker, a trickster, a born or created liar- it would take time and energy to dispute, and expect to gain by it.

So did I at the moment, although I wished I knew what for. Then again, looking at the thing that had seen how many cunning plans come and go, that may have been why I didn't.

Although there was the other possibility that Mirannon was making it up as he went along, and hadn't told me because he hadn't worked it out himself yet. It's very disturbing, working with a person like that, to no fixed plan, never able to be ready, never spiritually at ease and braced for the trials to come.

How Jurgen manages to keep up with me I couldn't tell, and it was just as well I never admitted that I was improvising myself most of the time.

It reacted demonstratively, as you might expect, gathering power- I had time to shout get back, and be partially obeyed, then it splashed forth a blast of volcanic lightning; burning dust that somehow spat out reaching, searching tendrils at the troopers, at the valhallans.

Not particularly at me, standing next to Jurgen as I was, but I couldn't think of anything sensible to do in the face of that cloud of energetic death. Just treat it like an artillery barrage, get down and hold on, and pray.

It must have been potent sorcery, because for the first time I genuinely felt worried about how many of the regiment I was likely to get killed doing this. The death of a million people is just a statistic?

Actually, it is, and has been for as long as there have been enough millions of people to lose a few here and there. The Imperium loses more people than it can count or ever knew existed every day- and on a very bad day, like a Hive Fleet or a Black Crusade, could be millions of millions. I can't do much about that- I have enough trouble keeping the one there is of me alive.

The death of a single individual being a tragedy, though- that was true too, and looking at that hate- filled behemoth brought it home to me just how much I was surrounded by ones and ones of people. This wasn't a usual side effect of ravening electric doom, and I was well within Jurgen's usual miasma. Couldn't just have been the thaumaturgy.

We had to beat it. We had to stay alive and smash the thing's stupid grinning beak in and kick it back to where it belonged in the hells of the Warp- and it was more subtle than I had thought. I felt quite like a commissar. Also quite like someone about to become unsustainably crispy.

Then the bars came down- there was a thud and a clang, and I expected to be seeing the inside of a coffin lid, which was silly anyway because in that state- but it was some kind of technosorcery, a safety system that flashed down and grounded the lightning, metal pylons curving out of the gantry; one of them did catch a guardsman and nail him to the deck, and he screamed- one man.

The thing looked very perplexed, offended, as well it might. Then it made a critical mistake. After Jurgen shot it again with the melta, it resorted to reason. 'You fools, I am change, I am energy, you cannot hurt me with that pathetic heat ray.'

'You're also suffering from self assessment disparity syndrome.' A voice on the ship's broadcast vox. Mirannon. 'How can you change something when you've just declared yourself implacably opposed to all change? I'm sure you can contradict many things, but actually being stupid enough to accidentally deny the meaning of your own existence...'

Was that his plan, talk it to death? Didn't he know he was talking to a greater daemon, a horror from beyond reality? It could spin lies and webs of deception until the stars ran cold, what the frak was the use of logic? What was logic, anyway?

Was self assessment disparity syndrome what you had when you were too stupid to realise that you were stupid- but to level that accusation at a daemon? He really was from a different reality.

The daemon took the bait, though; decided to engage, decided there was something worth arguing about. If it stopped the thing trying to kill us, long enough to come up with a plan anyway, it was stalling time well spent.

We needed space, too- this gantry wasn't big enough to hold enough gunmen to bring that thing down, wasn't even remotely big enough to give everyone room to dodge return blasts.

Fewer people with bigger guns. That was a partial answer, and I wondered if the Marines were finished yet. Or if enough of them had arrived to spare a few. 'If you wish to be humiliated before being destroyed, we may indulge you.' The daemon replied to Mirannon; it was using the royal we, or pretending to.

It seemed to have no sense of shame, to go from frantic and dishevelled to homicidal to grandiose posturing to sly and conniving without so much as a pause for breath. I doubted that was actually a weakness.

'Why aren't we shooting it?' Sulla asked me, indignantly.

'I said we might have to try to bluff it to death.' I said, then it occurred to me what- I hoped- Mirannon's plan was. Weaken it by trapping it in a contradiction, somehow subdue it with strange alien logic so we could actually blow the thing back to hell. The more I thought about it the less feasible it sounded.

'What's he saying?' Sulla demanded, and I realised how much Basic I had managed to pick up, and that they knew none at all. I wouldn't just have to translate from a xenos tongue, but from arcane gibberish as well. Most of what he was saying was symbols and signifers, and with such cool and utter certainty that he made them seem the building blocks of the universe.

If it actually believed him we might be far worse off than if it didn't. It was a strange argument.
'Let's start from first principles. You are basically a curdled structure, a standing waveform of nonlinear nonlocality occupying a turbid singularity of an SU(5) energy metric-'

The daemon looked utterly horrified by that. 'How dare you,!'

'Easily; I can count.' Mirannon bounced back.

'You're revealing the sacred mysteries. Stop corrupting them before I can.' The daemon said, and I wondered if it was actually less of a trick than it thought it was. What damage could listening to unshielded, undiluted cosmic wisdom do? Probably less than being damned by that thing, but...

'Nice try. Unless you believe that God is The Universe, which you manifestly don't as you still have a patron power, there's nothing sacred about it and the only mystery is how you con so many squishy electrochemical lifeforms into believing the infantile nonsense you peddle.' Mirannon said, contemptuously.

'I am greater than they.' It said, meaning us. 'I am closer to the fundamentals of the universe.'

'The physical properties of the universe that cause and permit them to exist are much more simply and easily expressed than yours, and you are much more dependent on them than they are on you.' The engineer said. 'Your definition of fundamental may be in error.'

'Dependency as the ambull depends upon the grox, as the wolf on the sheep. As the eagle descends upon the dove. As the strong devour the weak.' The daemon said, and it should have realised it was making no friends.

' So now you're claiming to be a perfectly natural phenomenon? A thing that could be expected to exist without external input, have you checked with your whirlpool about that?' Mirannon prodded it.

'Don't be more stupid than a lifeform has to be. Intelligence always remakes itself and controls it's form, to the extent that it can do so.'

'Or a collective or an inheritance of life forms.' The big engineer agreed. 'The principles by which they do so are those of physical law, however. I contend that you are less deviant than you believe yourself and your kind to be;

that you are the product and prisoner of laws you you have demonstrated that you do not understand, and those laws and your understanding of them are key to succeeding or failing in the purpose your intelligence has set itself.'

'You're saying I'm doing it wrong? That I am deficient at being a daemon?' It roared; I tend not to agree with such things, as a matter of principle, but it looked pretty thoroughly daemonic to me.

'You have no clue whatsoever of the potential in uncoiled spacetime of an SU(5) unity- as partial proof of which, define one.' Mirannon challenged it, and I wondered if I would understand the answer.

'I exist in many dimensions simultaneously.' The daemon said, not realising that was far too obvious an answer. .Parallel and plural-'

'And incorrect in each and every separate one.' Mirannon snapped at it, treating it like an errant pupil at the schola. 'That's not a definition, it may be a capability but the divisibility of emergent properties, chiefly intelligence and personality, is not indefinite.

You absorb most of your actual knowledge and thinking from your victims, don't you? Consider how you managed to make them your victims- not exactly feeding on prime material there.'

'Bold words, coming from someone who seems eminently edible.' The daemon said, but acknowledging something that had never occurred to me before. If you are what you eat, and daemons fed on a diet of deranged, half- witted misfits, the sort of outcast scum that becomes a cultist, then... No, some of them were genuinely dangerous, far more so than he was making it sound.

'You're also using a folk definition of "dimension" that is comedically wrong, for one thing. I would be much better at this business of being a daemon than you are. Try again, and try for a rigorous definition of dimensional matrices this time.'

'I can slide through space as easily as you can walk.' It objected. 'Innate, instinctive, natural.'

'Biomechanical analysis suggests the energy budget for doing so makes it far from equally easy. The existence of your legs is a point in my favour, also.' Mirannon said, let it fume- in fact it tried to kill him, but it aimed some kind of intellect dissolving hellbolt at the source of the noise. At the ceiling.

'Not so hot on acoustics either, I see.' The dimension outsider mocked. 'Fact is that you adapt in essentially primitive ways, such as having a definable shape at all, to instantiation; you become a subset of yourself operating to more or less the same subset of physical law unity as ordinary people, with the exceptions you think to arrange. We started with heat, did we not.'

'You would be about to state,' It guessed, trying to bring itself back into contention, 'That the rules of heat are part of this very basic set of laws, that I somehow lose by being in violation of? It did not occur to you that I simply transcend them?'

'That may be the first thing you've said that makes the slightest physical sense. It would actually not be utterly inconsistent of you to be able to do that. On you go, reformulate yourself beyond the electromagnetic. Give it a shot.' Mirannon taunted it. It could tell that much, at least.

'Not at the moment.' It declined.

'Shame; I'm a sucker for really colourful special effects. Apart from being quite an interesting route to self- annihilation, the stable solutions needing much more deliberate control to find, it's also utterly inconsistent with what and why you claim to be. I find it difficult to believe you haven't noticed what heat is.' Mirannon said, and I could understand why the daemon looked so blank.

Sulla whispered to me, 'Why aren't we shooting it?'

I finally had an answer to that. 'It's probably not actually going to confuse itself to death- but it may get close enough that we can take it the rest of the way. Give it a moment to dig a deeper hole.'

Which it was in the process of doing. 'Heat is heat, it's primitive, it's how hot something is. Wait, this is a trick question, isn't it?'

'You're drawing on the experience of those you put similar tricks to? What a shame you only have the ones who fell for it to learn from. Of course it is- but it's one you're playing on yourself. I wonder if your patron power can hear you deny him...'

'What? No! This isn't a cookery question, is it? Ah. Oh. Things changed by heat...' The daemon looked utterly horrified as it realised what he had been getting at. Frantically it tried to backpedal. 'That's normal, that's primitive, it's routine, it doesn't matter, it doesn't count.

'It's a primitive example.' Mirannon agreed. 'Of a cosmic fundamental. State and chemical changes caused and comprehended, measured by heat. You were more right than you thought with cooking, for it was said that to make an apple pie from the beginning, one must invent the universe. Assuming that you actually thought.

Consider the dance of the molecules- you may be able to perceive them directly; what a fascinating landscape of data to become utterly lost and confused in. I require a cunningly wrought device- usually a scanning tunnelling microscope, but I have one, so no matter.

What makes them move? Heat. Without heat there is no motion, no change. Without entropy, something worse for you, nothing but uncontrollable change, and no change able to maintain itself, so an end of desire- everything you claim to mean would be as irrelevant as believing in the existence of time.' Mirannon stated.

The daemon had to think hard about that. It wasn't enjoying the experience. 'Don't try to change the point at issue. Time and heat are not the same thing.'

'They form part of the same matrix. This is what I mean by dimensions; one can write the laws of physics in an interlocking mesh, a pattern of how they work with and against each other, but not on a flat piece of paper, not and be right. With extra angles, space of shapes that cannot be seen but only understood, the laws unfold into clarity and elegance.

If one knows only the basics, what you do could easily seem impossible, perhaps magical. With the perspective of higher -dimensional unification, it is merely counterproductively moronic.'

I had stopped translating at this point, judging that that none of us really needed to know- and that I didn't have the faintest idea what he was on about anyway. Sulla prodded me. 'What's happening?'

'If their chief magos militant is making its' brains hurt, how much do you want to know? He's trying to convince it that it can't possibly be immune to our weapons. I don't understand how, but look at the expression on what passes for that thing's face- briefly, don't dwell on it- and tell me if you think he's winning.'

For all her flaws, including a regrettable tendency to nearly get me killed, Sulla was always loyal and devout. Which could be flaws in themselves when she took the hero worship a shade too far. She glanced briefly at the thing then looked away as if in horror, then thought about it for a second, looked back.

'It looks like a fung fresh from the depot. Utterly confused. Surely it's vulnerable now?' She said. I started translating again.

'What nonsense! I am obviously not a statue trapped at this absolute zero of yours. I have met many who tried to wish me away, tried to pretend, hoped desperately, that I was not really in front of them. Very few have tried to convince me that I did not exist.'

'Observed phenomena do require an explanation. I can prove that you exist badly, that you are paying an energetic price for pretending to be immune to a deep fundamental.

It is possible for you to exist in what the locals call the materium because of the energies of the SU(5) matrix, but immune you are not- continually reforming under damage, in fact, and your ability to pay the energetic price of that sets the limit to that existence.'

'Are you saying', The thing appeared to grasp it, 'That with acceptance- obeisance- to heat, I can remain longer in this world?'

Mirannon confirmed, and set up the kill. 'There definitely looks to be a correlation between immunity and instability.'

'Aha!' It said, sounding far too happy too soon, seemed to ripple as it changed shape and colour, looked pleased for a second, then its' face contorted as if someone had shoved a red hot poker up its' giblets. soon improve on that.

'Now, up and at it.' I shouted, and the guardsmen and women, the stormtroopers, crewmen, Marines who had managed to squeeze in, everyone, combined in trying to blow it back to the hells of the Warp. I landed a lasbolt that blew it's right eye out, Jurgen took the rest of it's head off with the melta; a dozen other kinds of fire from a hundred guns converged on it and splattered and burnt it back to the warp.

There was a fading echo, 'you bastard, you didn't mention how much that was going to hurt.'

In the main machinery control room, the hairy engineer shut down the subroutine he had been working on, venting the reactor core interaction plasma into the inspection chamber and roasting the thing. Hadn't been necessary- the commissar knew when to come in. Sat back and felt very relieved- the ship was starting to smell cleaner already.

Looked at the monitor record he had of the dimensional vortice that had believed itself to be a daemon. If I was to go through this fully, he thought, and tease all possible conclusions out of it, I'd probably come out the other end of the process as the greatest expert in Sith alchemy alive, and probably ever.

Psychodynamic engineering doesn't sound like nearly as much fun as I thought it was going to be. Let the abominations look after the abominations, he decided, and deleted it. There was work to do.
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Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover)

Post by Vianca » 2013-04-27 03:41pm

Whooops, did he just delete the Prince her upgrade protocols?

One partely done and still three to go.
That is going to be messy.
Looks like the Empire won't be happy with Lennart, one SD shouldn't be that succesfull against four SSD's.
Even worse if Lennart can get them back, since they would then obey his commands.
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Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover)

Post by RecklessPrudence » 2013-04-27 09:55pm


:wipes tear away: Oh man, that was priceless... Mirannon didn't quite talk a Lord of Change to death, but he did talk it into being vulnerable to the very weapons it was mocking before the conversation.

And then the daemon's parting line...!

And the best part was, while he was talking it into vulnerability, he may have given Cain some insight that Amberley's colleagues in the Ordo Malleus could use, if they could only understand it.

If he hadn't've deleted the data, not only could he have become the greatest expert in Sith Alchemy - and possibly been able to harness that power without acts of cartoonish evil - he may have come up with a truly effective anti-daemon weapon, one that the Expeditionary Force could have traded to the Imperium. Imagine, a weapon mountable on starships, that could perform exterminatus upon Daemon - Worlds. Or something as simple as a new power cell for existing lasguns, that make "chap with wings there, five rounds rapid" a viable method for the Guard. Hell, instead of Grey Knights being the only effective anti-daemon force, they could be the elites used for containing truly horrific monsters, or for leading the charge into the Eye of Terror. That data, properly analysed, could have lead to Cadian Pylons around every major warp storm, and "pathbreaker" ships in convoys, that allow for faster Warp travel.

Unfortunately for the Imperium, Mirannon probably still doesn't understand, at a gut level, how much of their universe is dictated by working around the whims of the Warp. He wouldn't think of how much suffering could be alleviated with that information, he just sees the horrible uses it could - and to be fair, probably would - be put to.

The Imperium, the Empire, neither of their first reactions to that sort of information would be humanitarian. They'd both first, and maybe only, think of all the offensive uses. And without proper understanding of the fundamental theory, the Imperium may, in its enthusiasm, perform the Necron's job for them, and cut the Materium off from the Warp - in the process, killing almost every sentient being in the galaxy.

Plus, y'know, technically the Imperium and the Empire are enemies at the moment, anyway.
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Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2013-04-28 09:23am

Vianca wrote:Whooops, did he just delete the Prince her upgrade protocols?One partely done and still three to go.
Two- the Khornate took a round from an Imperium nova cannon* to the command bridge. Kill credit for that one goes to Commissar Cain, who talked them into being a nice predictable target.

As I recall, his current hope/plan is to board and capture the Tzeentchian battlecruiser (towards which goal both Cain and Mirannon's actions have been essential), use it to even the odds against either the Slaaneshi or Nurglite one, then... I forget what.

*[What, the battlecruiser or the daemon? Both.]
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Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover)

Post by Eleventh Century Remnant » 2013-04-28 12:05pm

Three minor footnotes first; as tempted as I was to use the exact line, Wellington never said "Up, Guards, and at Them"- what he did do was tell the commander of the Brigade of Guards "Now, Maitland, now's your time." If anybody said up guards, and at them, it was Peregrine Maitland. Ah well, so much for shout outs.

I had to look the names of the four ships up in my notes; the flagship of the 401st BCS, possessed by Khornates and now a drifting wreck, was HIMS Benificent, the Tzeentchian- taken ship, now more or less retaken by an extremely mixed crew and about to be used against the two still in chaos hands is the Blistmok (a raptor-like lizard).

Barathrum (the abyss) fell to Nurgle, and Bucinator (trumpeter) to Slaanesh. Next step should be Lennart and part of the command team boarding Blistmok, and capital ship to ship action.

They had a fifty fifty chance that came up in their favour; a daemon could possibly know no more about the real workings of the universe than the human subconscious, but a daemon prince- once human, elevated by success in the cause of Chaos- would likely be better grounded, and less liable to such a trick.

Third minor footnote, something entirely other I came across on the internet recently, and feel I have to recommend; a computer game after action report that is, also and mainly, the story of a ship. I thought it was excellently well written, and just as well I only came across it recently otherwise I would probably have been quite strongly influenced by it- which may actually have been a good thing. It really is quite brilliant. HIJMS Hibiki, the story is Little Ship, Big War; http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.as ... age=1&key=

The problem with psychodynamic engineering, warp/force- based technology, is the first two syllables. Apart from the few defensive elements- gellar fields- essentially every example of the art they've come across, in either universe, is inextricably linked to evil or at least to evil people.

It's a fairly distant footnote in the depths of Battlefleet Gothic, but as the storms were rising at the end of the Golden (Dark) Age of Technology, counterefforts were made, and some of the last lights to go out at the beginning of the Age of Strife did try to hold the darkness back;

there is at least one battle barge (belonging to the Grey Knights, of course) with a spinal "psychic cannon" recovered from the period, that is actually bloody effective at blasting daemons and daemon- ships. It's also a one of a kind relic. What they need isn't so much the science of the Galactic Empire, it's the productive resources and manufacturing capability- which could only come with goodwill between the powers.

Prototypes, especially ones with no logistic support behind them, would be only a momentary relief. Also worth worrying about is the effect on Palpatine, and the ideas it might give him. Already a master of force technology, the crew know enough by now to see him doing nothing but evil with it. The last thing they want is him cooking up synthetic daemons of his own.
The only purpose in my still being here is the stories and the people who come to read them. About all else, I no longer care.

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